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The United States is in the process of recovering debris from the Chinese balloon out of the Atlantic for analysis by intelligence experts and there is no plan to give the remains back to Beijing, the White House said Monday.
"They have recovered some remnants off the surface of the sea and weather conditions did not permit much undersea surveillance of the debris field," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, two days after a US fighter jet shot down the balloon, which had previously traversed the country.
US personnel will "in the coming days be able to get down there and take a better look at what's on the bottom of the ocean, but it's just started," Kirby said, noting that the area where debris had scattered was "sizeable."
China says the balloon was an errant weather observation aircraft with no military purpose. The United States says the balloon was a sophisticated high-altitude spying vehicle.
After slowly traversing the middle of the United States, reportedly over several top secret military sites, the balloon headed out over the east coast, where President Joe Biden ordered it to be shot down.
Kirby said there was no intention to send the pieces back. "I know of no such intention or plans to return it," he said.
The Biden administration is painting the incident as a provocative move by China that turned into something of an own goal by providing US intelligence services with valuable data.
According to Kirby, measures were taken to ensure the balloon's instruments were "mitigated" in their ability to spy, while "at the same time increasing and improving our ability to collect intelligence and information from it."
"We're still analyzing the information that we were able to collect off of the balloon before we shot it out of the sky and now we're going to recover it and I suspect we may learn even more."
One detail already known, Kirby said, is that the balloon was not merely drifting but had propellers and steering to give a measure of control, even as it was swept along in the high altitude Jet Stream wind.
"It is true that this balloon had the ability maneuver itself -- to speed up, to slow down and to turn. So it had propellers, it had a rudder, if you will, to allow it to change direction," he said. "But the most important navigational vector was the jet stream itself, the winds at such a high altitude."
© 2023 AFP
A Black man from Florida is finally getting justice against a racist neighbor who for years has been targeting him with racist harassment.
Florida-based news station Local 10 reports that Miami resident Alexander Tatum won in court recently after he spent years documenting the racist behavior of neighbor Jesus Hiedra, who has been shown on camera repeatedly hurling the N-word and flipping the middle finger.
In addition to this, Tatum has video showing Hierda spraying some substance onto his property that he believes was a chemical irritant that harmed one of his pet dogs.
After weighing all the evidence compiled by Tatum, the judge overseeing the case ruled in favor of a three-year restraining order against Hiedra, who will be prohibited from having any contact with Tatum and who will have to remain at least 500 feet away from his neighbor at all times except when entering and leaving his own house.
Hierda is also not allowed to post complaints about Tatum in the internet.
Tatum told Local 10 that he feels justice has been served -- and now he can apparently enjoy spending time in his own neighborhood.
"“Peace of mind – mentally, nothing better than having some recourse to the situation,” he told Local 10.
Jordan Green is an investigative correspondent based in Greensboro, N.C., who covers right-wing extremism for Raw Story. His work has been featured in a host of publications, including the Washington Post, The Daily Beast, The Nation, In These Times and Sojourners.
Prior to joining the staff of Raw Story in March 2021, Green spent 16 years covering housing, policing, nonprofits and music as a reporter and editor at Triad City Beat in North Carolina and Yes Weekly. Green’s exposé on Medicaid fraud by a bogus drug-treatment program placed third for the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s David Carr Investigative Reporting Award in 2020, while his reporting on how tax revaluations discriminated against Black homeowners in Winston-Salem won the N.C. Press Association’s second-place award for investigative reporting in 2013.