Spy balloons are not new

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

The Chinese spy balloon shot down by a U.S Air Force jet was part of an ongoing aerial surveillance operation by the Beijing government.

The New York Times is reporting that American defense officials say that the flights have been going on for years and are intended to gather information about the status of military forces, especially those of the United States.

Chinese balloons have been seen over Latin America, Southeast Asia, East Asia and Europe.

Quake death toll passes 11,000

AN ESTIMATED 11,000 people have died as a result of the quake that hit Turkey and Syria (Shutterstock).

Three days after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, rescue workers are still digging through the rubble, looking for survivors.

According to the Associated Press, the count of people killed by the quake has passed 11,000. Many more are homeless and it’s a cold winter in that region with some rain.

Also in the news … The Walt Disney Company announced Wednesday it would cut 7,000 jobs in a money-saving effort. The announcement came after Disney reported a growth of 8 percent in its revenue over the previous quarter, according to United Press International.

Sports: Clippers vs. the Mavericks

The Los Angeles Clippers, one game back in the NBA Pacific Division, have a chance to close the gap when they host the Dallas Mavericks. The first place Sacramento Kings are playing the Houston Rockets.

Check back later for the results.

Weather:  Sunny again, then cool

Take advantage of Thursday’s sunny warm weather, because it’s going to be gone for several days. The forecast for the West Orange County area that day is for sun and a daytime high of 81 with an overnight low of 52. But on Friday there will be partly cloudy conditions and a high of 79 (50). Saturday will be similar but with cooler temps – 62 for the high and 43 for the low. Sunday should be 64 (44) with some clouds. The sun comes back on Monday.