The U.S. government is still working to identify the three high-altitude objects that it shot down over the past three days, the Biden White House said Monday.
“We have not yet been able to definitively assess what these most recent objects are,” said John Kirby, spokesman for White House’s National Security Council, during a press briefing.
American officials know that countries, companies, scientific researchers and academic organizations operate objects at high altitudes for purposes that aren’t nefarious, but the military acted out of an abundance of caution to protect national security interests and the safety of commercial flights, he told reporters.
“We haven’t found the debris,” Kirby also said. “All three have fallen into some pretty remote, difficult areas to reach, but we’re going to do everything we can to find them, and that will tell us a lot.”
Kirby’s remarks come after a U.S. fighter jet shot down an “unidentified object” over Lake Huron on Sunday — the fourth such downing in eight days. The three most recent objects — downed Friday, Saturday and Sunday — were much smaller in size, different in appearance and flew at lower altitudes than the suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down on Feb. 4.
Kirby also echoed defense officials who have said U.S. troops have been more closely scrutinizing airspace, including enhancing radar, and that may at least partly explain the increase in objects detected over the past week.
U.S. troops “have modified the filters and the gains as we call it, of the radar capabilities to look more discreetly at high-altitude, small-radar-cross-section and low-speed objects,” the White House spokesman said. “If you set the parameters in such a way to look for a certain something, it’s more likely that you’re going to find a certain something.”
Kirby and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre both said there wasn’t a connection to aliens.
“There is no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns. I wanted to make sure that the American people knew that,” Jean-Pierre told reporters.
When asked if President Joe Biden should be speaking directly to Americans about the state of affairs with high-altitude objects, Kirby said he “won’t speak for the president’s personal speaking schedule,” but Biden has been deeply engaged on the issue.
During Monday’s briefing, Kirby also announced that Biden has directed an interagency team to study the broader policy implications around the detection, analysis and disposition of unidentified aerial objects that pose safety or security risks.
“We were able to determine that China has a high-altitude balloon program for intelligence collection that’s connected to the People’s Liberation Army. It was operating during the previous administration, but they did not detect it. We detected it. We tracked it, and we have been carefully studying it to learn as much as we can,” the spokesman said.
“We know that these PRC surveillance balloons have crossed over dozens of countries on multiple continents around the world, including some of our closest allies and partners. We assessed that, at this time, these balloons have provided limited additive capabilities to the PRC’s other intelligence platforms used over the United States. But in the future, if the PRC continues to advance this technology, it certainly could become more valuable to them.”
On Monday, China alleged that the U.S. had flown high-altitude balloons through its airspace more than 10 times since the start of 2022, adding fuel to an escalating diplomatic standoff on this issue.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.’s stock jumped more than 21% Monday on the eve of the meme-stock darling’s fourth-quarter earnings. However, AMC’s Preferred Equity units APE, -5.32% fell 3.9% Monday and have fallen 13.5% in the last five days. AMC’s path to recovery could be helped by an increase in movies released in theaters this year, according to CEO Adam Aron. AMC exited its fiscal third-quarter with debt of $5.325 billion and with cash and cash equivalents of $684.6 million. Of seven analysts surveyed by FactSet, three have a hold rating and four have a sell rating for AMC shares.28 days ago MarketWatch
A Texas man who threatened U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter after he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 was sentenced on Wednesday to more than three years in prison. After Miller posted a selfie showing himself inside the Capitol, a friend wrote, “bro you got in?! On Jan. 6, he helped lead the charge as rioters removed barriers and swarmed the east front of the Capitol, prosecutors said. U.S. Capitol Police referred the threat to the FBI, who at that point were already investigating Miller for his Jan. 6 actions, prosecutors say. Days after the riot, Miller was sharing photos of the officer he believed fatally shot Ashli Babbitt at the Capitol, prosecutors say.1 month ago MarketWatch
The IRS recently addressed whether people would have to report those payments on their federal income-tax returns. In Alaska, for instance, residents don’t have to report their extra payment to defray energy costs, but they do have to report the annual payment they get from the state’s Permanent Fund Dividend.) “ The IRS classified the inflation-relief payments from four states as refunds of paid state taxes. ”For the four other states, the IRS classified the inflation-relief payments as refunds of paid state taxes. Taxpayers who wrote off their state and local tax costs on their 2020 and 2021 taxes may deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes.1 month ago MarketWatch
It’s Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, the day of indulgence before the Christian fast known as Lent in the lead up to Easter. And in New OrleansIn New Orleans, Fat Tuesday is the final day of Carnival. Carnival season officially begins each year on Jan. 6, the 12th day after Christmas, known as King’s Day. It is believed that the king cake originated in France and was brought to New Orleans in 1870. Entringer began baking the porcelain dolls into his king cakes to symbolize baby Jesus, and the tradition was born.1 month ago MarketWatch
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” hits theaters over Presidents Day weekend. Disney’s latest Marvel movie, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” hits theaters Presidents Day weekend. But this weekend’s box office projections are still well above the first two “Ant-Man” movies in 2015 and 2018, which made $57 million and $76 million domestically over their opening weekends. Early reviews warn the latest Marvel movie has some bugs — and they’re not talking about Ant-Man’s six-legged friends. Disney’s latest Marvel movie, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” hits theaters Presidents Day weekend.1 month ago MarketWatch
This year’s Super Bowl didn’t disappoint, thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs clinching victory with a kick, Rihanna — pregnant again! And his appearance at the Super Bowl on Sunday was another milestone along his incredible road to recovery. Catch the whole song here:There was an all-female flyover — and a menopause commercial during the Super Bowl?! Rihanna shines bright like a diamond — and reveals she’s pregnant — during the halftime showRihanna knows how to work, work, work, work, work, work, all right. The “Diamonds” singer is one of the wealthiest performers to ever headline the Super Bowl halftime show.1 month ago MarketWatch
By that time, the tax authority already received nearly 19 million income tax returns and issued almost 8 million refunds. California alone had issued more than 16 million payments on its “middle-class tax refund” for more than $9 billion, reaching over 31 million state taxpayers and their dependents. “The IRS appreciates the patience of taxpayers, tax professionals, software companies and state tax administrators as the IRS and Treasury worked to resolve this unique and complex situation,” it said Friday. The tax question should have been figured out before the start of tax season, said one critic inside the agency. Friday’s announcement comes while the IRS is trying to run a smoother tax season compared to recent years.1 month ago MarketWatch