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Prince Harry will be sitting down for two tell-all interviews this upcoming weekend.

In one of the sit-downs, the Duke of Sussex states he wants his brother and father “back,” while also alleging stories were planted as he and his wife, Meghan Markle, attempted to step back from royal duties. Both interviews are set to air ahead of the release of his memoir, “Spare,” on Jan. 10.

Harry’s two interviews will premiere on Sunday, Jan. 8, when he will be speaking with ITV’s Tom Bradby as well as Anderson Cooper for his first U.S. interview on “60 Minutes.”

“They’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile,” Harry is seen saying in a promo clip for his ITV interview. “I would like to get my father back. I would like to have my brother back,” he added of King Charles and Prince William.

Harry was also shown saying that “they feel as though it is better to keep us somehow as the villains” – though it was not clear who he was referring to.

Prince Harry also touched upon leaked stories by the palace in a new one-minute segment shared by CBS News where Cooper is seen asking Prince Harry about his decision to go public as he stepped away from the royal family.

“And every single time I’ve tried to do it privately, there have been briefings and leaking and planting of stories against me and my wife,” Prince Harry is seen answering in the clip.

Harry goes on to state that the palace has meetings with the media where the reporters are “spoonfed information” to then write a story.

The royal also alleged the palace stated it could not release a statement to “protect” him and his family while doing the opposite for other royal family members.

“There becomes a point when silence is betrayal,” Prince Harry told Cooper.

Harry also made similar bombshell claims about the palace covering for other royal members in the couple’s latest Netflix docuseries, “Harry & Meghan.”

Prince Harry stated he and Markle were victims of “institutional gaslighting” while also alleging the palace was “happy to lie” to protect his brother, Prince William.

Harry and Meghan’s popularity among the British public has taken a hit since the docuseries was released, with a recent poll by YouGov in the United Kingdom on behalf of The Times finding that almost half of the respondents believe the prince should be stripped of his royal title.

The “tell-all” book is set to hit shelves just two days after Harry’s two interviews.

Royal expert Shannon Felton Spence previously told Fox News Digital that the royal family will be watching the release of his book “closely,” as the contents of the memoir could prove to be detrimental to the family’s reputation.

 

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22 Comments
  • Po says:

    I guess being born a prince does not make you smart.Why does he keep going to the eil media

  • Terry says:

    Soft bastard, why should they after his and her behaviour. He should be banned from UK

  • Annabel says:

    So Harry would like to get his father and brother back would he? Well he should have thought of that prior to constantly opening his mouth with all his bitching. Too late now Harry…move along…..

  • Eve says:

    Harry married a jezebel.
    Only a miracle can help him now.
    MM is no class, just, a**.

  • Ann says:

    Truly totally disappointed in Harry; Meghan is just a trouble maker because she didn’t get the attention and everything that she wanted. You leave your family for the likes of a woman like her, you get what you deserve and that in my book is nothing

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    Trump said the Biden administration is spreading this because “they look so bad, as usual.”

    “They are incompetent,” he said.

    Former Trump White House national security adviser John Bolton told Fox News Digital that he never heard of anything like this under his tenure.

    “I don’t know of any balloon flights by any power over the United States during my tenure, and I’d never heard of any of that occurring before I joined in 2018,” Bolton said. “I haven’t heard of anything that occurred after I left either.”

    Bolton said that if the Biden administration has “specific examples, they need to tell Congress.”

    He added: “I can say with 100% certainty not during my tenure.”

    Robert O’Brien, wh served as White House national security adviser from 2019 to 2021, told Fox News Digital that he had no knowledge of anything like this occurring.

    “Unequivocally, I have never been briefed on the issue,” O’Brien said, telling Fox News Digital that his team, which included Matt Pottinger, who served as deputy national security adviser, and Allison Hooker, who served as senior adviser to Asia, also were not briefed on these activities.

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    “I can’t rule out that things occurred that I was unaware of, but I do think something like this, I would have been aware of,” Klinck said.

    Former Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper also said he was never told about Chinese surveillance balloons above the United States during his time at the Pentagon.

    “I don’t ever recall somebody coming into my office or reading anything that the Chinese had a surveillance balloon above the United States,” Esper said during an appearance on CNN. “I would remember that for sure.”

    And former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, who had previously served as director of the National Counterterrorism Center, also told Fox News he never had heard of a Chinese spy balloon while he was in government.”

    “Never heard a whisper and I have to think if anything like that happened that would have been a huge issue,” Miller told Fox News Digital. “No. Absolutely never heard of anything like that while I was in government or at the Pentagon.”

    It is unclear, at this point, if these activities did take place, and if it was military leadership that chose not to brief civilian leadership on the matter.

    The balloon was shot down on Saturday off the coast of South Carolina, after traveling for days over the continental United States.

    Senior defense officials said Saturday was the first time the U.S. had the chance to shoot down the balloon over water. Officials could have shot the balloon down over Montana and northern U.S. states, but out of an abundance of caution, chose to wait until it was transiting over water to prevent any risk to civilians or civilian property.

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    Harry’s Mystery ‘Older Woman’ Lover Comes Forward, Confirms Prince’s First Sexual Encounter

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    A former worker at King Charles’s home has outed herself as the “older” woman who took Prince Harry’s virginity.

    Sasha Walpole, who is now 40 and just two years older than Harry, said she and the prince had a quickie when she was 19 during the summer of 2001, The Sun reported.

    “It was literally wham-bam between two friends,” Walpole said.

    The tryst took place in a field behind a pub where both had been drinking while celebrating Walpole’s birthday. They downed shots of tequila, Baileys and sambuca and stepped outside to smoke, according to the report.

    They walked through a beer garden and climbed over a fence to the field.

    Walpole said Harry wore boxers and there was no chatting or words. Afterward, they made their separate ways back to the pub and, although they had been gone just minutes, the prince’s security team was looking for him, she said.

    She said a friend ended up driving around with one of the guards looking for Harry, who was in a phone booth down the road.

    “I didn’t know Harry was a virgin at the time. Then it kind of dawned on me that perhaps he was,” Walpole said, noting the young prince never had any girlfriends that she knew about.

    Harry was two months shy of his 17th birthday at the time. Walpole worked at the stable at Highgrove, his father’s residence, and said the two teens were “mates.”

    The identity of Harry’s lover had become a guessing game after the prince described his first time as an “inglorious episode” with an older woman in his bombshell new memoir “Spare.”

    He wrote that “she liked horses, quite a lot, and treated me not unlike a young stallion.”

    “Quick ride, after which she’d smacked my rump and sent me off to graze,” he wrote.

    Walpole said she didn’t mind the “inglorious” description.

    “It wasn’t that glorious. We were drunk and having sex in a field,” she said. “It’s never going to be glorious.”

    Walpole, now a mother of two who drives excavators, said she hadn’t seen Harry since that night and never planned to reveal the encounter.

    “I’ve kept this a secret for 21 years. I would never have said anything if he hadn’t put it in his book,” she said. “I have to say it in my words.”

    Speculation about the identity of Harry’s possible lover included Suzannah Harvey, a former model and CEO of Cotswold Airport in England. Harvey had once described a steamy encounter she had with Harry at a Christmas ball.

    Actress Elizabeth Hurley denied she was the prince’s lover after rumors swirled that she was the mystery woman.

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    Santos Accused of Sex Harassment in Capitol Office

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    Congressman George Santos has been accused of sexually harassing an aide and asking him if he was on Grindr.

    Santos, 34, allegedly asked Derek Myers if he was on the dating app and explained that he had a profile.

    The pair had been going through letters from constituents on January 25 when the allegations took place, according to the letter sent to the House Committee on Ethics on Friday.

    Myers claims that Santos asked him to sit closer after they spoke about Grindr, and allegedly began touching his leg before inviting him to karaoke.

    The aide said he declined the invitation, but Santos then moved his hand to his ‘groin area’ and assured him that his husband was out of town and invited him over.

    Myers was in the process of being hired by Santos, but was fired a day before he made the allegations because he is facing criminal wiretapping charges in Ohio – something which he denies.

    The journalist was charged last year after a small newspaper he ran published audio of courtroom testimony that someone else recorded and sent to him.

    He was widely defended by journalism organizations, calling for the charges to be dropped in the name of press freedom.

    Myers also released a tape to Talking Points Memo in which he was having a conversation with Santos, but failed to tell him or his chief of staff Charlie Lovett that he was recording them.

    Santos said ‘I’ve obvious f***ed up and lied to him, like I lied to everyone else’ while referring to Lovett, though it is unclear what he is admitting lying about.

    Posting on twitter, Myers said that he had also filed a report with Capitol Police, adding: ‘These matters will not be litigated on social media or through news media.

    ‘They are serious offenses and the evidence and facts will speak for themselves if the committee takes up the matter. This tweet is being made public in light of transparency.’

    A spokeswoman for Representative Susan Wild, a member of the House Ethics Committee, acknowledged that his letter had been received by her office.

    It is the latest in a long line of allegations that Santos is facing, and is the subject of numerous probes into his business and campaign finances.

    He gave an interview earlier this week claiming that he has ‘learned his lesson’ and that everything will be ‘above board’ from now on.

    The Republican congressman from New York, who stepped down from his committee assignments on Tuesday, argued he has already apologized for his lying, which he claims was only about his educational background.

    Santos was exposed by a report in the New York Times which claimed that he falsified his resume and biography claims.

    On one occasion, it was claimed that he stole money that he intended to use to pay for lifesaving surgery for a disabled veteran’s service dog, which died from not getting treatment.

    He also said he graduated with a degree in economics and finance from Baruch College in 2010, but a Baruch representative told the New York Times there was no record of Santos being in the class of 2010.

    Pictures also emerged of him working as a drag queen in Brazil, something that he initially denied and then said it was ‘just for fun’ at a festival despite the images spanning three years.

    A watchdog group claimed he’d made multiple campaign finance violations and filed a complaint with the FEC.

    They say that he was loaned more than $700,000 despite having only $55,000 in earned income for his campaign

    Santos announced in a GOP conference meeting on Thursday morning that he would be stepping down from his assignments on the Science and Small Business committees, reportedly telling his colleagues that he felt he was a ‘distraction.’

    Polling from Newsday and Siena College showed that 78 percent of Santos’ New York constituents now believe he should resign.

    He is being investigated by the district attorney’s office in Nassau County, N.Y., which is where his congressional district issue. And authorities in Brazil are also seeking to revive a fraud case against him dating from 2008.

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    Researchers Warn of Dangerous Fungal Illness Rapidly Spreading Across Country ‘Due to Climate Change’

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    For most people who are suffering from fever, cough and fatigue, the likely culprits are cold, flu or COVID-19.

    But for those living in the southwestern U.S., the symptoms could point to Valley fever — and some scientists predict that this illness eventually could spread to other regions.

    Named after the San Joaquin Valley in California, Valley fever is an infection caused by breathing in the spores of a fungus called Coccidioides, which originates in the soil.

    Southern Arizona and Southern California have the highest volume of cases, per the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — but the disease is also prevalent in New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Texas and parts of Washington State.

    As of 2019, Valley fever cases topped 20,000 nationwide, the CDC reported.

    Reported cases tripled in that state between 2014 and 2018, according to the California Department for Public Health.

    Dr. George Thompson, a professor at UC Davis Health and co-director of the Center for Valley fever in Sacramento, told Fox News Digital about the ramp-up in cases.

    “We have seen a gradual increase in cases over the last five years, and a greater number of patients are coming into our clinic for diagnosis and treatment,” he said.

    “Some [people] may have a fever, chills or fatigue, or just feel generally unwell.”

    While geographic location heightens the overall risk of contracting Valley fever, the CDC notes that certain groups are more vulnerable.

    These include people 60 years of age and older; those who have weakened immune systems as a result of certain diseases or medical conditions; pregnant women; people with diabetes; and people who are Black or Filipino.

    Symptoms of Valley fever tend to mimic those seen in patients with COVID-19, experts say.

    “Some [people] may have a fever, chills or fatigue, or just feel generally unwell,” Thompson of UC Davis Health said.

    However, he said he does see some severe cases where patients experience respiratory illness.

    Thompson estimated that for 1%-3% of people, the infection will leave the lungs and travel to other parts of the body — which can lead to meningitis.

    Is a nationwide spread possible?

    In 2019, a study by Morgan Gorris — which was published in GeoHealth, a journal focused on environmental and health sciences research — suggested that climate change could trigger an expansion of Valley fever into northwestern states, including Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.

    “At first, I was skeptical,” said Dr. Thompson of California. “But I’ve recently heard about new cases emerging in Nebraska and even Missouri, so I think it’s in the realm of possibility.”

    Valley fever cases are expected to arrive in northern Utah and eastern Colorado by 2035, according to the study. Gorris, the study’s author, also predicts that the disease will become endemic in Nebraska, southeastern Montana, southern Idaho and South Dakota by 2065, and that it could arrive in northern Montana and North Dakota by 2095.

    “Valley fever likes undisturbed soil — so as people continue to populate more arid, dry and less developed areas, there will likely be more interaction with it.”

    Other research has linked the rising Valley fever cases to an increase in dust storms. Another recent GeoHealth study by Daniel Q. Tong, a scientist and professor at George Mason University in Virginia, found that dust storms in the Southwest have risen by 240% between the 1990s and 2000s, followed by an 800% spike in Valley fever cases between 2001 and 2011.

    Purdie, for his part, believes that Valley fever could become more widespread amid changing climate patterns and population growth.

    “Valley fever likes undisturbed soil — so as people continue to populate more arid, dry and less developed areas, there will likely be more interaction with it,” he said.

    Doctors and patients await a vaccine

    While there is not yet a vaccine for Valley fever, Dr. Thompson is optimistic about progress toward that goal. He pointed to three vaccines currently in development, including one that has been successfully tested with dogs.

    The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, recently announced $4.5 million in funding to support research toward diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for the disease.

    In the meantime, Thompson often treats Valley fever patients with antifungal medications such as Fluconazole and Itraconazole.

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    8 Tax Deductions, Credits You May Qualify for in 2023

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    Tax season is upon us again, with less than 80 days until tax returns are due. If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, that means you still have time to take advantage of some commonly overlooked credits and deductions.

    As the IRS explains, deductions will reduce the amount of your income before you determine the taxes you owe, and credits can cut the amount of taxes you owe or increase your refund.

    While deductions and credits can be helpful, they don’t always have a large impact on your refund (which is expected to be smaller this year).

    “There’s no silver bullet,” Mark Steber, chief tax information officer for Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, tells Nexstar. Deductions and credits may result in a couple extra hundred dollars in your pocket, but not thousands.

    Deductions

    Self-employment

    If you’re self-employed, there are a handful of deductions you can take advantage of, Steber says. For example, if you drive for a rideshare company, you can deduct not only the mileage put on your car but expenses for registering it, servicing, oil changes, gas, and tire maintenance.

    If you work from home, you may also be able to deduct certain expenses, according to the IRS.

    Medical and dental expenses

    You can deduct medical or dental expenses you paid for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents if the amount of your total medical expenses exceeds 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, the IRS reports.

    Teachers’ expenses

    If you’re a teacher, you can deduct up to $250 on any unreimbursed expenses for classroom materials like books, supplies, computers, or other equipment used in your classroom.

    Education

    There are roughly a dozen tax breaks related to education, according to Steber. One of the most common is a deduction for the amount of interest you’ve paid on your student loans. According to the IRS, you can deduct up to $2,500.

    Credits

    Earned Income Tax Credit

    According to IRS data, one in five taxpayers overlook this credit every year, Steber says. EITC is aimed at low- to moderate-income workers that meet multiple qualifications.

    Education

    While there are roughly a dozen tax breaks related to education (including those mentioned above), Steber highlights two: the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. You can determine if you qualify for either on the IRS’s website.

    Adoption

    Qualified adoption expenses may make you eligible for a tax credit and an exclusion from income for employer-provided adoption assistance. According to the IRS, expenses include reasonable and necessary adoption fees; court costs and attorney fees; travel expenses; and other expenses directly related to adopting an eligible child. More details can be found here.

    Electric vehicle owners

    If you purchased a qualifying electric vehicle in 2022 or 2023, the new version of the EV tax credit maxes out at $7,500. Vehicles bought before 2022 can still be claimed under the old credit if you file an amended tax return for the year of purchase.

    Don’t qualify for any of these tax breaks? All hope isn’t lost. Steber recommends checking credits and deductions from your state, calling them “a cornucopia of opportunity.” Your state may offer enhanced earned income credit, or other localized tax breaks that could benefit you.

    “The tax code is big, it’s complicated,” Steber says. “There’s some downside to that, it makes taxes hard. The upside is there’s a variety of tax benefits, none of which are a magic bullet to add $5,000 to your tax return, but there’s a lot of $500, smaller bullets in there that can add up both at one time or over time to a significant tax benefit and a significant reduction in your overall tax lifetime liability.”

    The tax filing deadline falls on April 18 this year for two reasons: April 15 is on a Saturday, and the District of Columbia’s Emancipation Day holiday falls on April 17, the IRS announced last week.

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    WATCH: Bill Maher Roasts Woke Revolutionaries Who Scream at ‘Reality,’ Say Biology Is a ‘Theory’

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    Comedian Bill Maher blasted woke revolutionaries who think they can change human nature during his show Friday, drawing parallels between the woke movement in the U.S. and the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

    During Friday’s episode of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Maher took aim at leftist activists, saying that they are actually fighting a war with reality and biology.

    “If you’re part of today’s woke revolution, you need to study the part of revolutions where they spin out of control because the revolutionaries get so drunk on their purifying elixir, they imagine they can reinvent the very nature of human beings,” Maher said.

    Maher then discussed communists, who he said believed that they could selfishness from humanity.

    “The problem with communism, and with some very recent ideologies here at home is that they think they can change reality by screaming at it, that you can bend human nature by holding your breath. But that’s the difference between reality and your mommy,” Maher said.

    The comedian also joked that he had asked ChatGPT about similarities between Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in China and the woke revolutionaries of today, saying that it responded by asking him how much time he had.

    Maher referenced Mao’s war on the Four Olds of old thinking, old culture, old customs, and old habits before he compared communist reeducation programs to freshman orientation at American universities.

    To back up his claims, Maher pointed to Jason Kilborn, a law professor who was disciplined for alluding to racial slurs in a test question about racial bias, and Winston Marshall, a former banjo player for Mumford and Sons who was criticized after sharing that he liked a book by Andy Ngo.

    During the monologue, Maher also blasted those who think they can erase gender and make obesity healthy by creating a new human.

    “With communists, that human was no longer selfish. In America today, that human is no longer born male or female. And obesity is not something that affects health. You can be healthy at any size. Seriously, we voted on it,” Maher said.

    Maher, who has been critical of gender theory in the past, blasted The Atlantic as a “formerly serious magazine” because it had published an article about not segregating sports by sex.

    “I’ve spent three decades on TV mocking Republicans who said climate change was just a theory,” he concluded. “And now I got to deal with people who say, ‘You know what else is just a theory? Biology.’”

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    Teen Girl Killed in Suspected Shark Attack While Swimming with Dolphins

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    A teen girl was killed in a suspected shark attack after she jumped into the water to swim with a pod of dolphins in Australia.

    According to multiple reports, a 16-year-old girl was jet-skiing on the Swan River in the Western Australian city of Perth around 3:20 p.m. on Saturday.

    A 16-year-old boy allegedly witnessed the deadly shark attack. He was with a group of friends who were swinging from a bridge rope swing into the Swan River when they noticed a jetski nearby.

    “There were about seven of us, and we were on the rope swing for around an hour or two,” the witness told Western Australia Today. “We saw the dolphins, there were dolphins there.”

    “When all the police came by we thought we were in trouble,” he added. “They looked at us and they didn’t tell us about it which is kind of worrying as after this had happened we were still jumping off the rope swing.”

    “Another person then came over on a jetski and told us to get out of the water,” the boy explained. “We were so grateful that it wasn’t one of us, of course we’re so sorry for what happened and for the family involved.”

    The teen girl was pulled from the Swan River with critical injuries. Emergency crews provided medical treatment, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Police Acting Inspector Paul Robinson described the shark attack as “very, very traumatic,” and said the girl’s family was “absolutely devastated by the news” of her tragic death.

    “The family weren’t there when this took place, however, her friends were and as you can imagine this is an extremely traumatic incident for anyone to witness so obviously we’re offering counseling services to anyone who did witness it or is affected by the incident,” Robinson said.

    The species of the shark in the killing of the teen girl has yet to be identified.

    The Department of Fisheries found it very unusual for a shark to be so far down the river.

    The fatal shark attack is believed to be the first in the Swan River in a century.

    Australian news outlet The Age reported, “The only recorded fatal bull shark attack in the Swan River prior to Saturday’s incident happened in 1923, when a 13-year-old boy was bitten on the thigh while swimming near Mosman Park.”

    The National Wildlife Federation noted, “Unlike most sharks, bull sharks can survive in freshwater for long periods of time. They have even been found in the Mississippi and Amazon Rivers. They prefer shallow coastal water, which means they can often come into contact with humans. Bull sharks are often considered to be the most dangerous sharks to humans because of their aggressive tendencies and ability to migrate up rivers.”

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    China Responds to U.S. Military Shooting Down Spy Balloon

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    The Chinese foreign ministry responded to the U.S. military shooting down its spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday by claiming without evidence that the balloon was a civilian object and that the country was extremely upset by the action.

    An F-22 Raptor took out the spy balloon with one air-to-air A9X sidewinder missile that was fired at an altitude of approximately 58,000 feet. The decision to shoot down the spy balloon came after President Joe Biden allowed the balloon to fly thousands of miles over the continental U.S. during the last several days.

    “China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and protest against the US’s use of force to attack civilian unmanned aircraft,” the statement claimed. “The Chinese side has repeatedly informed the US side after verification that the airship is for civilian use and entered the US due to force majeure – it was completely an accident.”

    “China clearly asked the US to handle it properly in a calm, professional and restrained manner. A spokesman for the US Department of Defense also stated that the balloon will not pose a military or personal threat to ground personnel,” the statement continued. “China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of relevant companies, while reserving the right to make further necessary reaction.”

    Biden tried to take a victory lap over the weekend after the spy balloon was shot down, claiming that he “ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible,” but that the decision was made to not shoot it down over land because debris could cause damage when falling to the ground.

    U.S. officials were reportedly “well aware” that the balloon had crossed into American airspace on January 28 and that it was over Idaho on Tuesday, but decided not to inform the public to not upend Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s diplomatic trip to China.

    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the spy balloon was sent to the U.S. “in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States.”

    Biden faced intense scrutiny from top lawmakers who said that the spy balloon should have been shot down last month when it crossed over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

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    New Video Emerges of Chinese Spy Balloon Being Shot Down

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    New video emerged Saturday afternoon showing close-up footage of the moment that the U.S. military shot a Chinese spy balloon out of the sky over the Atlantic Ocean.

    A senior U.S. military official said that an F-22 Raptor took out the spy balloon with one air-to-air A9X sidewinder missile that was fired at an altitude of approximately 58,000 feet.

    Officials waited until the balloon was several miles off the coast of South Carolina before taking the shot in an effort to avoid any damage that may occur from debris falling from the sky.

    Biden tried to take a victory lap over the weekend after the spy balloon was shot down, claiming that he “ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible,” but that the decision was made to not shoot it down over land because debris could cause damage when falling to the ground.

    U.S. officials were reportedly “well aware” that the balloon had crossed into American airspace on January 28 and that it was over Idaho on Tuesday, but decided not to inform the public to not upend Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s diplomatic trip to China.

    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the spy balloon was sent to the U.S. “in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States.”

    Biden faced intense scrutiny from top lawmakers who said that the spy balloon should have been shot down last month when it crossed over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

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    Biden Tries to Take Victory Lap for Shooting Down Chinese Spy Balloon, Gets Slammed By Top Officials

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    President Joe Biden tried to take a victory lap Saturday afternoon after the U.S. military shot down a Chinese spy balloon that Biden allowed to travel across the entire country before destroying.

    Biden claimed in remarks to reporters that he “ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible,” but that the decision was made to not shoot it down over land because debris could cause damage when falling to the ground.

    U.S. officials were reportedly “well aware” that the balloon had crossed into American airspace on January 28 and that it was over Idaho on Tuesday, but decided not to inform the public to not upend Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s diplomatic trip to China.

    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the spy ballon was sent to the U.S. “in an attempt to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States.”

    Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and a member of the Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that Biden should have taken out the balloon much sooner “over remote areas of Alaska or Montana.”

    House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Greene (R-NC) said that it was “indefensible that this threat was eliminated only after great public outcry and the damage to U.S. national security and American sovereignty was already done.”

    “The fact remains that President Biden, when faced with the opportunity to protect the homeland from our adversaries, chose yet again to demonstrate weakness on the global stage,” Greene added. “From the Southern border to Afghanistan and, now, Chinese surveillance directly above our homes and sensitive military installations, this President shows he is not interested in protecting American interests.”

    House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) said that Biden should have “taken care of this before it became a national security threat.”

    “I hope we will be able to recover the wreckage to help determine what intelligence the CCP collected while its spy balloon was over our country for days,” McCaul said. “I will be demanding answers and will hold the admin accountable for this embarrassing display of weakness.”

    Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO) said that while he was glad the U.S. military shot down the spy balloon, “the damage has already been done.”

    “We need answers from the Biden Administration on why it took this long to bring the Chinese spy balloon down and we need [to] ensure that this never happens again,” Schmitt continued.

    Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) slammed the entire episode as “a tremendous embarrassment for the United States of America.”

    Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) called the ordeal “an abysmal security failure by Biden.”

    Some Democrats, including Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), were not happy about the incident, saying that “the Chinese government’s incursion into our airspace is unacceptable & we need to treat it as such.”

    “There need to be consequences for the CCP beyond the postponement of @SecBlinken’s trip to Beijing,” she said. “All members of Congress need to be briefed on the situation this week and in the future as we learn more from studying the remains of the balloon’s payload. We also need to take steps now to demonstrate to the Chinese government the seriousness of their actions. Whether through new sanctions or tighter restrictions on U.S. exports to China, the message needs to be loud and clear.”

    Other notable responses included:

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    Report Reveals Where Americans Moved to – and Away from – Last Year

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    A recent report revealed where Americans moved to last year — and the top places that they left.

    Allied Van Lines’ Magnet States Report from 2022 revealed information regarding how Americans are moving around the country. It showed that fewer people packed up and moved last year than they did the years before in 2021 and 2020. Moves in general went down in each state across the nation, which led to a 20% drop over the course of 2022.

    In 2022, the top states for Americans to move to included Arizona, which led the pack, followed by South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. The major cities people wanted to move to started with Tucson, Arizona, followed by Sarasota, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Nashville, Tennessee.

    Americans were also leaving certain states more than others. Illinois in the top spot, with California, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania coming in next.

    The top cities that Americans got out of were New York, New York; Anaheim, California; San Diego, California; Chicago, Illinois; and Riverside, California.

    Americans were most likely to move on Tuesdays during the week, followed by Wednesdays and Fridays. Most moved in June, followed by July and August.

    The report noted that there were also not many major city regions that experienced a significant bump in population last year as more people decided to pack up and head to the suburbs rather than live in the cities.

    Some of the cities that are seeing a major bump in residents also saw a spike in home prices because of the increase. However, the cities where people left also had high prices.

    New York City’s average home costs 119% more than the average across the country. Riverside, Anaheim, and San Diego also have home prices that are more than the average. Chicago, for one, does not. Its home costs are under the national average, but that could mean that other issues like crime and cost are pushing people out of the city.

    According to Neighborhood Scout, Anaheim, California, has a crime problem as well. Its crime index notes that it is safer than just 9% of cities in the United States. New York’s crime index is 15, whereas Riverside’s is 5, and San Diego’s is 17. Chicago’s crime index is also at a 9.

    All of the top cities for people to move experienced an uptick in home prices, except for Tucson.

    Prior to the pandemic, the report added, the majority of Americans were buying homes fifteen miles away from their previous houses. In the present day, however, they are purchasing homes fifty miles or more away from their prior residences.

    A report by Extra Space Storage noted that they believe the housing market will be steadier this year, which could put many people in a situation where they are more able to move.

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