US downs suspected Chinese spy balloon off South Carolina coast
Four days after entering U.S. territory, a suspected Chinese spy balloon was shot down off the South Carolina coast Saturday afternoon, Pentagon officials announced. The balloon, which carried a large payload of spy gear according to U.S. officials, had soared over several strategic sites, including nuclear missile silos, and became the latest flashpoint in tensions between Washington and Beijing. An F-22 warplane struck the balloon with a missile about 6 nautical miles off the coast in U.S. territorial waters, according to Pentagon officials. Recovery efforts immediately began. Chinese officials, who claim the balloon was collecting weather data and had been blown off course, said that the country has the right to "take further actions" against the U.S. for taking down the balloon.
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Beyoncé breaks Grammys all-time wins record
Beyoncé now is truly the queen - of the Grammys. By winning the best electronic/dance album Grammy midway through Sunday's telecast, the singer brought her 22-year total to 32, topping the 31 statues claimed by legendary Hungarian conductor Georg Solti and making her the all-time awards champ of the Recording Industry Association of America. Solti died in 1997. More history was made earlier in the evening when Sam Smith and Kim Petras won the award for best pop duo/group performance for their hit, "Unholy." With the win, Petras became the first transgender woman to win in the category. For more on Sunday's Grammys, see the latest winners and highlights here.
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New Hampshire may have seen coldest recorded wind chill in US history
Bitter cold temperatures hit record-breaking lows in the Northeast over the weekend. The wind chill - what the temperature feels like - on the summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire, dropped to minus 108 F on Friday. That's likely the lowest wind chill ever recorded in the United States since meteorologists began calculating them, said climate scientist Brian Brettschneider. The temperature on Mount Washington dropped as low as minus 46 degrees F on Friday night, with 97 mph winds, the National Weather Service said. The Arctic blast has been blamed for at least one death, when high winds brought down a tree branch that crushed a vehicle in Massachusetts and killed an infant riding inside. The region saw a dramatic warmup Sunday, however, with highs in the 30s and 40s.
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Train derailment in Ohio causes massive fire, evacuations
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Ex-Pakistan President Musharraf, key supporter of US after 9/11, dies
Pervez Musharraf, the former president of Pakistan who provided crucial support to the U.S.-led "war on terror" following the 9/11 attacks, has died at 79, the Pakistan military announced Sunday. No cause of death was revealed, but Musharraf had been battling a rare disease and was being treated at a hospital in Dubai, Pakistani media reported. Musharraf seized power in 1999 from then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup, and served as president of the country until 2008. He was a close ally of the U.S. and President George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks, but his partnership with Washington during its military intervention in neighboring Afghanistan drew mixed reviews at home.
Democrats shake up 2024 primary calendar
Democrats on Saturday approved a plan to reorder their 2024 presidential primary calendar in an effort to amplify diverse voices earlier in the presidential selection process. Overruling objections from two states that have traditionally held the first contests, Iowa and New Hampshire, the national party greenlit a schedule that moves South Carolina to the front of the line. The revamped calendar elevates Nevada to the second position alongside New Hampshire and welcomes Georgia and Michigan to the early primary window for the first time.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Spy balloon shot down, Grammys, record cold temps: This weekend's news