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Breaking: U.S. Military Shoots Down Chinese Spy Balloon

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The U.S. military shot down the Chinese surveillance balloon on Saturday as it made its way over the Atlantic Ocean. 

Shortly after the government announced the Chinese spy balloon was shot down, President Joe Biden said he authorized the Pentagon to do so days ago.

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"I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible," Biden told reporters on Saturday, adding "they decided without doing any damage to people on the ground they decided that the best time to do that was when it got over water outside within a 12 mile limit." 

Biden continued to claim that he ordered them to shoot down the balloon on Wednesday, adding "they said to me let's wait for the safest place to do it."

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the president did give him orders to take the balloon down on a few days ago, however, the military decided to wait until the surveillance balloon was no longer a risk to American lives.

"On Wednesday, President Biden gave his authorization to take down the surveillance balloon as soon as the mission could be accomplished without undue risk to American lives under the balloon’s path," Lloyd said. 

Earlier on Saturday, the FAA  issued a ground stop to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon once it crossed over the Atlantic Ocean.

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According to officials, the FAA ordered a ground stop at three airports in closed airspace in parts of North and South Carolina effective until 2:45 E.T., citing "national security initiatives" in the area. 

However, it is unclear if President Joe Biden has declared a final decision on the plan or not. 

Earlier on Saturday, Biden answered a reporters question on the issue saying “we're going to take care of it." 

The Chinese spy balloon surveillance balloon was last seen flying over the southeastern U.S. earlier Saturday, and in parts of North and South Carolina as it made its way toward the Atlantic coast.


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