The Wider World

U.S. downs Chinese balloon

CHINESE BALLOON explodes after being struck by a missile fired from a U.S. F-22 fighter jet (Twitter).

A U.S. F-22 jet fighter shot down what was suspected to be a Chinese surveillance balloon off the Atlantic coast on Saturday.

The Associated Press reports that the balloon hit with a missile and exploded east of the Carolina coast on orders from President Joe Biden. He had reportedly made the decision on Wednesday, but a delay was approved so that debris wouldn’t pose a danger to those on the ground.

China insisted that the balloon – like one seen over South America – was a weather observation airship that went off-course and called the shoot-down “an obvious overreaction” and hinted at “further actions in response.”

Defense officials say the balloon traveled over “sensitive military” installations it its flight.

Democrats overhaul primary process

Seeking to change how the Democratic Party chooses its  presidential candidates, the party’s national committee on Saturday approved and announced some major changes.

THE CAMPAIGNS begin for 2024 (Shutterstock).

According to The New York Times, the 2024 presidential primary lineup will start with South Carolina on Feb. 3, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada on Feb. 6, then Michigan on Feb. 27. In recent years, the campaign started with a caucus in Iowa, followed by a primary in New Hampshire.

Also in the news … Memphis Police Officer Preston Hemphill, a White officer seen using a Taser on Tyre Nichols on Jan. 7, has been fired. Five other officers – all Black – have already been terminated. Those five face murder charges in the death of Nichols, who is Black.

Sports: Lakers fall, Clippers win

LeBron James scored 27 points Saturday night and moved to within 36 points of the all-time NBA scoring record, but the Los Angeles Lakers lost 131-126 to the Pelicans in New Orleans. Anthony Davis led the team with 34 points.

In NewYork, the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Knicks 134-128 in overtime. Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points and Paul George had 30.

The Clippers had a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Knicks were able to tie it up just before the buzzer. 

Weather:  Here comes the sun … soon

We just have to wait one more day for sunny skies to arrive over the West Orange County area. The forecast for Sunday is for morning clouds (with a 24 percent chance of rain) followed by afternoon sun. The predicted daytime high is 67 with an overnight low of 42. The sunny times start on Monday with a high of 69 (low of 45) followed by progressively warmer days. Tuesday should rise to 74, Wednesday to 75 and Thursday to 80.

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