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US Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) during a Jan. 6 committee hearing.

USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

What We're Watching: The outgoing Liz Cheney, trouble in Kosovo, France out of Mali

Liz Cheney’s next move

Liz Cheney, a three-term Republican US congresswoman from Wyoming, suffered a stinging defeat Tuesday night at the hands of well-funded primary opponent Harriet Hageman, enthusiastically backed by former president Donald Trump. Sarah Palin — the former vice presidential candidate and governor, also supported by Trump — won the Alaska primary to run for Congress. Cheney’s defeat marks a remarkable political fall for a nationally known conservative politician who is the daughter of former VP Dick Cheney, the previous generation of Republicans’ best-known Washington powerbroker. Her political future and her potential impact on American politics will be defined by her central role on the congressional committee investigating the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and Trump’s role in it. Trump, according to Cheney, is “guilty of the most serious dereliction of duty of any president in our nation’s history.” Cheney raised some $13 million for her now-failed House campaign. She can still spend that money on a future race. Next up: speculation that Cheney will run for president in 2024 in a campaign defined by opposition to Trump, who is still the Republican presidential frontrunner.

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Gabriella Turrisi

Hard Numbers: Chinese data hack, July 4 massacre, US Navy wants Iran tips, Uzbek unrest, Mali sanctions lifted

1 billion: An anonymous hacker claims to have stolen the police records of about one billion Chinese citizens, almost three-quarters of the population. If true, it could be one of the biggest data hacks of all time — and very embarrassing for Beijing.

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A barricade is seen inside the Waterloo Station in London.

REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Hard Numbers: Train strike slows UK, terror in Mali, pricey Peace Prize, deadly tremor hits Afghanistan, crafty house-selling in China

30: If you’re based in the UK, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to exercise this week. The biggest transport strike in 30 years got underway on Tuesday, affecting commuters and tourists alike. More action is planned for Thursday and Saturday, with tens of thousands of railway workers participating and threatening to continue striking until their demand for a wage increase is met by the UK's rail, maritime, and transport union.

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Pro-Russia protesters burn a Ukrainian flag outside the district council building in Donetsk.

REUTERS/Marko Djurica

What We’re Watching: Russian annexation fears, Russia-Israel drama, Mali breaks from France

Will Russia annex more of Ukraine?

The US is warning that Russia plans to formally annex the Donbas regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, along with the city of Kherson, which Moscow has controlled since early March and where it has introduced the ruble. This wouldn't be the first time Russia illegally swiped a chunk of Ukraine – the Kremlin has run Crimea since holding a bogus referendum there on “joining Russia” in 2014. Washington believes Moscow will soon announce similar votes in the Donbas and Kherson — perhaps as soon as Russia’s Victory Day (a World War II celebration) on May 9. This major Russian holiday has become even more important now that the Kremlin frames its war in Ukraine as a fight against “Nazism.” Symbolism aside, why would Putin do this? For one thing, he needs to show something for his war effort, and he may want to make these territories bargaining chips in any eventual talks with Kyiv. But there's a downside for him, too: successfully holding these areas will mean pacifying hostile populations and supporting battered economies. Does Russia really have the military and financial wherewithal to do all that?

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Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during a campaign rally in Metro Manila, Philippines.

REUTERS/Lisa Marie David

Hard Numbers: Marcos’ tax bill, Russian cash in Swiss banks, Cubans sentenced, Mali vs French media

3.9 billion: Philippine presidential frontrunner Ferdinand Marcos Jr. owes a whopping $3.9 billion in unpaid taxes from the estate of his dad, the late dictator. Marcos, of course, says this is fake news, but his rivals hope it'll hurt his chances in the May 9 election.

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US Vice President Kamala Harris

Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA

What We're Watching: Harris goes to Munich, French troops quit Mali, Japan's soft opening, Africa's mRNA mission

Harris goes back to the future in Bavaria. In recent years, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) – to say nothing of the broader transatlantic alliance – have suffered from a sense of unclear purpose. US President Donald Trump questioned NATO’s value, and French President Emmanuel Macron has called it “brain-dead.” Without the Cold War framework, many have asked whether NATO even has a purpose? But things couldn’t feel more different today, according to Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer. “You’re talking about US leadership and an alliance that feels unprecedentedly threatened by the recent escalation in Ukraine from Russia,” said Bremmer from Munich on Thursday. And the face of that US leadership at Munich this year is US Vice President Kamala Harris, who will deliver an important address on Saturday. Harris, who was also tasked with handling the challenge of migration at the US-Mexico border last year, has struggled to shine in her historic role as the first female Veep. A powerful address at Munich, delivered in the thick of a major transatlantic security crisis, could be her moment in the sun.

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A group of military widows in Mali show their support for the armed forces during a demonstration.

Nicolas Remene/Le Pictorium/Cover Images

Why West Africa might see more coups

Guinea-Bissau had a failed coup attempt on Tuesday, less than two weeks after the military seized power in nearby Burkina Faso. In just a year and a half, West Africa has seen four successful coups and two failed bids.

While we’ve been seeing fewer armed takeovers of governments in the region in recent years, West Africa was once known as the continent’s “coup belt.” Do recent rumblings signal a comeback for military coups in the region?

Here are three reasons why more might be on the way.

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Gabriella Turrisi

Hard Numbers: Germany ditches nuclear, (some) Americans justify anti-government violence, Mali’s election in danger, Scottish witches pardoned

3: Germany has closed three of its remaining six nuclear power plants as it hastens its withdrawal from nuclear in favor of renewable sources of energy. Berlin decided to speed up its shift away from nuclear power after Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011.

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