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Image: Whether Philippines

The most intense storm on Earth so far in 2018 is on track to hit the northern Philippine island of Luzon on Friday. Super Typhoon Mangkhut peaked in intensity at sustained winds of 180 miles per hour, equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane, and was expected to make landfall near full strength.

The big picture: On the other side of the world, Hurricane Florence is barreling towards the U.S. East Coast with sustained winds of 100 miles per hour. Mangkhut, with current sustained winds of 170 mph, is one of the most powerful typhoons to hit the Philippines since the disastrous Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the islands in 2013.

By the numbers, per CNN: Typhoon-force winds stretch for 270 kilometers (168 miles), which is the distance between Paris and Brussels.

  • Tropical storm-force winds are expected to extend all the way south to the Philippines' capital, Manila, and as far north as Taiwan.
  • On the Philippines' island of Luzon, more than 30 million people are expected to face tropical storm-force winds.
  • More than 4 million people are in the path of the most destructive typhoon-force winds in northern Luzon.

Go deeper

56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.