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U.S. Navy recovers shot-down Chinese spy balloon



Chinese spy craft was 200 feet tall and weighed several thousand pounds, according to officials

New details are emerging about the Chinese Spy balloon that flew over the continental United States from coast to coast.

The United States Navy recovered the Chinese spy craft after it was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean this weekend.

According to the Pentagon, it was 200 feet tall, weighed a couple of thousand pounds, the debris spanned 15 football fields. The equipment onboard included photographic material and possible explosives to deflate the balloon.

China says it was a civilian balloon—but U.S. officials aren’t’ buying that explanation.

“The PRC knows precisely why this was in our airspace, the PRC knows precisely what this was doing over the United States, and ultimately the PRC knows precisely why we did what we did,” said Ned Price State Department spokesperson.

The Chinese spy craft also travelled over sophisticated ICBM locations and other military facilities.

Lawmakers briefed on the situation and say this wasn’t the first time.

“What we were told is there were multiple incursions over Florida, one over Texas, and then there’s been separate reporting—we haven’t been able to ask about yet—over Hawaii and Guam. So, what were the extent of these incursions?” asked Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL).

As lawmakers are demanding answers from the Biden administration about why they allowed the balloon to continue its mission for a week and why the balloon allowed to enter U.S. airspace—China admitted  that a second balloon spotted over Latin America is theirs—again—alleging that the aircraft is ‘civilian’ in nature and shifted off course because of weather.

All eyes will certainly be on U.S. President Joe Biden when he delivers his state of the union address on Tuesday evening to see if he will discuss the international incident or take a harder line against China.

Veronica Dudo is the U.S. Correspondent for Ticker News covering America’s biggest headlines. As an Emmy® Award nominated global journalist, Veronica has traveled across the country and around the world reporting on historical events that connect all citizens. Lauded as an award-winning international journalist, Veronica has executed stellar news coverage for NBC News, CBS News, The Hill, ME-TV Network and AOL. Her stories have highlighted a plethora of topics ranging from breaking news and politics to economic affairs across the USA, European Union, and Asia; cultural affairs; globalization; governance; education; and sustainability.

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Two Australian Army personnel injured in helicopter crash



The helicopter crashed into water during counterterrorism training

Two Defence Force personnel have been injured after an Australian Army helicopter crashed into the water during routine counterterrorism training on New South Wales south coast.

There were 10 personnel on board the aircraft when the incident occurred and all have been recovered from the water.

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Simon Stuart says the incident had the potential to end in “tragedy”.

He notes the quick responses of ADF personnel and emergency services alongside well drilled teams prevented potential loss of life.

An investigation into this incident has been launched to determine the cause.

The training activity has been temporarily paused as a precaution and the MRH-90 Taipan fleet will be grounded while the cause of the incident is determined. #trending

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Volodymyr Zelensky visits Bakhmut frontline



The President was handing out medals and visited the wounded

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky visited his troops near the frontline city of Bakhmut, the ongoing battle for the city being one of the bloodiest of the war.

Footage released by the president’s office shows him handing out medals and visiting wounded in the Donetsk region, where Bakhmut is located. He’s telling the troops that they’re there to protect the land for their children and later, in the hospital, “good luck, boys.”

Zelensky’s visit came after a swarm of Russian drones hit Ukrainian cities including the capital overnight, said by Ukraine’s military to include Iranian-built suicide drones.

And in a tweet, Zelensky apparently referenced Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Moscow, saying: Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order is given there for such criminal strikes.”

Meanwhile, the British government is rejecting accusations from Moscow that ammunition it has given Ukraine made from depleted uranium risks raising the nuclear stakes in the war.

Depleted uranium shells are used by many militaries including Russia to penetrate armour such as tanks.

The UK doesn’t consider it nuclear armament, but the dust it creates does pose a risk to people wherever the shells land after being fired.

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U.S. Fed Reserve raises interest rates, hikes may be ending



Jerome Powell has admitted a pause may be coming

Jerome Powell has announced interest rates in the U.S. will be going up by a quarter of a per cent.

The move will see rates move closer to the 4.75-5 per cent range.

The Fed has been raising rates since the middle of last year to try and get inflation down to a controlled level of two per cent.

Meanwhile, during the announcement, Powell acknowledged the central bank’s hikes may be coming to an end.

It follows a turbulent few weeks in the banking sector.

“We have to bring down inflation down to 2%,” he said. “There are real costs to bringing it down to 2% but the costs of failing are much higher.

“My colleagues and I are acutely aware that high inflation imposes significant hardship as it erodes purchasing power, especially for those least able to meet higher costs of essentials.

“We believe however that events in the banking system over the past two weeks are likely to result in tighter credit conditions for households and businesses which would in turn affect economic outcomes,” Powell said.

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