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2:44 AM ET, February 5, 2023

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
U.S. military downs Chinese balloon over Atlantic Ocean  —  A U.S. military aircraft on Saturday downed the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that had been floating over the United States for several days, according to a U.S. official and eyewitness videos circulating on social media.
RELATED:
Jim Garamone / U.S. Department of Defense:
F-22 Safely Shoots Down Chinese Spy Balloon Off South Carolina Coast  —  A U.S. Air Force fighter safely shot down a Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a written statement.  —  President Joe Biden ordered the action on Wednesday …
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
The inside story of how the U.S. shot down the Chinese balloon  —  Intelligence analysts distinguish between secrets and mysteries.  The bizarre Chinese balloon overflight of the United States that ended with Saturday's shoot-down over the Atlantic coast has elements of both.
CNN:
US fighter jets shoot down Chinese spy balloon off East Coast  —  US military fighter jets shot down the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed Saturday.
U.S. Department of Defense:
Statement From Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III  —  This afternoon, at the direction of President Biden, U.S. fighter aircraft assigned to U.S. Northern Command successfully brought down the high altitude surveillance balloon launched by and belonging to the People's Republic of China …
Associated Press:
China balloon: Many questions about suspected spy in the sky
Peter Alexander / NBC News:
U.S. has downed Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast and will attempt to recover debris
Discussion: Associated Press and The Hill
Associated Press:
China plays down Blinken's canceled visit over balloon
New York Times:
U.S. Close to Shooting Down Chinese Spy Balloon Over the East Coast
Lily Kuo / Washington Post:
China rushes to cap damage over suspected spy balloon as Blinken delays trip
James Kirchick / Air Mail:
Armie Hammer Breaks His Silence  —  For the vast majority of humanity, January 1, 2021—a year into the coronavirus pandemic, when most of the world remained under some form of lockdown and vaccines were not yet widely available—brought little to celebrate.  Not for Armie Hammer.
Sara Boboltz / HuffPost:
Ron DeSantis Moves To Strip Florida Venue's Liquor License For Christmas Drag Show  —  The Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation is the Florida governor's latest target as he wages war against drag performers.  —  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration moved on Friday to strip …
Daniella Silva / NBC News:
Family found dead in Pennsylvania made a ‘joint decision’ to kill themselves, police say  —  A Pennsylvania family found shot dead in their backyard last week in what police say appears to be a suicide pact, included a mother and daughter who loved bowling and were devout Christian conservatives, people who knew them said.
Discussion: New York Post
Francis Farrell / The Kyiv Independent:
One night in Bakhmut: Civilians wait for the end as Russia draws closer  —  Editor's Note: This piece tells the story of the lives of civilians and first responders in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, directly through the personal experience of a Kyiv Independent reporter who stayed overnight …
Discussion: CBS News
Melissa Klein / New York Post:
Ex-staffer claims George Santos sexually harassed him, violated pay rules  —  A short-term staffer for George Santos claims he was sexually harassed by the disgraced Long Island representative, who allegedly touched his groin and invited him home, according to an ethics complaint the man says he filed.
Discussion: New York Times, abc7NY and HotAir
Robert Kagan / Wall Street Journal:
Challenging the U.S. Is a Historic Mistake  —  Like Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, today's China is a rising power determined to dominate its region and convinced that American strength is waning.  It runs the risk of experiencing a similar fate if it attacks Taiwan.  — Copy Link
 
 
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