1/ The U.S. shot down three “unidentified object” flying over Alaska, Canada, and Michigan – the fourth such downing in eight days. Pentagon and intelligence officials said they couldn’t confirm whether the objects were a balloon, but said they were traveling at an altitude – about 20,000 feet – that made it a potential threat to civilian aircraft. The Chinese spy balloon that drifted over the U.S. flew at 60,000 feet, which didn’t pose a danger to aircraft. Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command, said: “I’m not going to categorize them as balloons. We’re calling them objects for a reason. I’m not able to categorize how they stay aloft.” After the briefing, a defense official clarified that there was “no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns.” The Pentagon later said the unidentified flying object shot down in Canadian airspace appeared to be a “small, metallic balloon with a tethered payload below it.” The Biden administration, meanwhile, announced the formation of an interagency group to address the unidentified objects flying over North American skies. (Associated Press / CNN / ABC News / NBC News / New York Times)
2/ A Georgia judge ruled that portions of a Fulton County grand jury’s investigation into Trump and his allies’ actions after the 2020 election be made public. In an eight-page ruling, Judge Robert McBurney ordered the report’s introduction and conclusion, as well as the section where jurors expressed concern “that some witnesses may have lied under oath during their testimony,” to be made public on Thursday. Those witnesses are not identified. Recommendations on who should or should not be prosecuted will also remain secret to protect their due process rights. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said last month that decisions on whether to bring charges were “imminent.” (NBC News / Politico / New York Times / Associated Press / NPR / CNN / Wall Street Journal)
3/ The special counsel investigating Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol subpoenaed Pence for documents and testimony. Jack Smith’s office wants Pence to testify about his interactions with Trump leading up to the 2020 election and the day of the attack on the Capitol. Trump’s lawyers, however, are expected to fight Pence’s subpoena on executive privilege grounds. (CNN / NBC News / NPR)
4/ Trump’s legal team turned over more materials with classified markings, including a laptop belonging to an aide who works for Save America PAC. The Trump aide had previously copied those same pages onto a thumb drive and laptop, apparently not realizing they were classified. The laptop and the thumb drive were turned over to investigators in January. Trump’s attorneys also handed over an empty folder marked “Classified Evening Briefing.” One of Trump’s lawyers, Tim Parlatore, said the empty classified folder was in Trump’s bedroom because Trump used it block the blue light from his landline telephone. The FBI, meanwhile, removed one document with classified markings from Pence’s Indiana home, and six “additional pages without such markings that were not discovered in the initial review” were also removed. (CNN / NBC News)
5/ Trump’s 2020 campaign hired a research firm to prove Trump’s electoral-fraud claims. Berkeley Research Group was hired to study 2020 election results in six states and look for fraud or irregularities to highlight in public and in the courts. The findings, however, were never released because the research contradicted some of Trump’s theories, such as his baseless allegations about rigged voting machines and large numbers of dead people voting, and the firm couldn’t prove that Trump was the rightful winner of the election. (Washington Post)
6/ CDC researchers reported that teen girls in the U.S. are “engulfed in a growing wave of violence and trauma,” showing increases in rape, suicidal thoughts, and record levels of feeling sad or hopeless. Nearly 15% of teen girls reported that they were forced to have sex – an increase of 27% and the first increase since the CDC began tracking it; 30% of teen girls said they have seriously considered suicide — up nearly 60% over the past 10 years; and 57% of teen girls said they felt “persistently sad or hopeless” – double the rate of boys and the highest in a decade. The CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey is done every two years and is based on data collected from a nationally representative sample of students in public and private high schools. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Bloomberg)
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