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Three presidents, one state as the U.S. midterms fast approach

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Three presidents in one state as America braces for a red wave

It’s not everyday you see three current and former U.S. presidents touch down in the same state for election rallies, but that’s exactly what happened at the weekend.

Arguably the biggest stars of the Democratic and Republican parties – former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, as well as sitting President Joe Biden, all toured to Pennsylvania in a bid to do their part for the race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz.

With polling day just days away, Obama is warning about divisions fuelling a “dangerous climate” in the U.S., saying “sulking and moping is not an option”. The former president believes the only way to save democracy is if his party fights for it.

“On Tuesday, let’s make sure our country doesn’t get set back 50 years. The only way to save democracy is if we, together, fight for it.”

The Democrats argue their opponents will pursue an extreme agenda on issues including abortion, voting rights and Social Security benefits. Biden warns democracy is literally on the ballot.

“Your right to choose is on the ballot,” Biden said. “Your right to vote is on the ballot.  Social Security and Medicare is on the ballot. There’s something else on the ballot: character. Character is on the ballot.”

But data shows voters are more concerned with the state of the economy and crime rates.

Republicans have been gaining nationwide in the last few days of campaigning, with many polls now suggesting the party will seize control of both the House and the Senate.

This would push Capitol Hill into a standstill and signal the beginning of the end for the Biden administration’s agenda.

Trump all but announces his 20224 Presidential bid

Also speaking in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump continued with his allegations of fraud at the 2020 election, and claims Biden is running the nation’s the economy into the ground.

He took aim at the administration’s failure to stem crime, inflation and the immigration crisis.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks at a pre-election rally to support Republican candidates in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 5, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Segar

During his praise for Doctor Oz, Trump also made fun of current Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis is of course Trump’s nearest rival for the presidential nomination and it’s expected Trump will announce his intention to run any day now.

“This is the year we’re going to take back the House. We’re going to take back the Senate. And we’re going to take back America. We’re going to take it back,” Mr Trump told 6000 supporters.

“And in 2024, most importantly, we are going to take back our magnificent, oh-so beautiful White House.”

The head-to-head rallies are some of the final campaign events as polling day quickly approaches.

Democrats are bracing for a red wave, with the national mood shifting considerably since the last time Americans were at the ballot box.

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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U.S. fighters shoot down Chinese spy balloon – now what?

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U.S. military fighter aircraft shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floated off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, drawing to a close a dramatic saga that shone a spotlight on worsening Sino-U.S. relations.

“We successfully took it down, and I want to compliment our aviators who did it,” President Joe Biden said.

Biden said he had issued an order on Wednesday to take down the balloon, but the Pentagon had recommended waiting until it could be done over open water to safeguard civilians from debris crashing down to Earth from thousands of feet (meters) above commercial air traffic.

China has mounted “the largest intelligence operation in the history of the human race” against the US and Australia, a former top US intelligence official has warned, as the US military shot down a Chinese spy balloon as it neared the Atlantic coast above the Carolinas.

Multiple fighter and refueling aircraft were involved in the mission, but only one — an F-22 fighter jet from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia — took the shot at 2:39 p.m. (1939 GMT), using a single AIM-9X supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air missile, a senior U.S. military official said.

The balloon was shot down about six nautical miles off the U.S. coast, over relatively shallow water, potentially aiding efforts to recover key elements of the Chinese surveillance equipment among the debris in the coming days, officials said.

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Russia throws more troops at Ukraine front line

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says the situation on the front lines in the east of the country is getting tougher and Russia was throwing more and more troops into battle.

Russian forces are slowly gaining ground in the Donbas region, encircling the city of Bakhmut north of Donetsk and battling to take control of a nearby road which is a major supply route for Ukrainian forces. They are also trying to capture Vuhledar, southwest of Donetsk.

“I’ve often had to say the situation at the front is tough, and is getting tougher, and it’s that time again. … The invader is putting more and more of his forces into breaking down our defences,” Zelenskiy said in a video address.

“It is very difficult now in Bakhmut, Vuhledar, Lyman and other directions,” he continued.

Earlier in the day, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar wrote on Telegram that Russian efforts to break the defences in Bakhmut and Lyman had failed.

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Balloon diplomacy blows China off course

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China claims an “airship” that is flying over the United States is for civilian meteorological and other scientific purposes and voiced regret that it strayed into U.S. airspace.

U.S. officials said on Thursday that a Chinese spy balloon has been flying over the United States for a couple of days, in what would be a brazen act just days ahead of a planned trip to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In a statement late on Friday, China’s foreign ministry also said that it would continue to maintain communications with the United States to properly handle the unexpected situation.

“The airship is from China and is civilian in nature, used for meteorological and other scientific research. Due to the influence of westerly winds and its limited control capability, the airship deviated from its intended course,” it said.

“China regrets that the airship strayed into the United States by mistake due to force majeure. China will continue to maintain communication with the U.S. side to properly handle this accident,” it said.

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