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National News


National and world news from the San Jose Mercury News, part of Bay Area News Group.






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US moving ahead on plan to down Chinese balloon over ocean

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is moving forward with a plan to shoot down a large Chinese balloon suspected of conducting surveillance on the U.S. military, by bringing it down once it is above the Atlantic Ocean where the remnants could potentially be recovered, according to two U.S. officials.

China balloon: Many questions about suspected spy in the sky

The massive white orb drifting across U.S. airspace has triggered a diplomatic maelstrom and is blowing up on social media. The Pentagon says it’s a Chinese spy balloon and that its presence led Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a trip to China that was aimed at easing tensions between the countries. China says the balloon is just an errant civilian airship used mainly for meteorologica…

Pope says South Sudan’s future depends on treatment of women

Pope Francis says South Sudan's future depends on how it treats its women. On his second and penultimate day in Africa on Saturday, Francis called for women and girls to be respected, protected and honored. He was meeting with some of the 2 million people who have been forced by fighting and flooding to flee their homes. In South Sudan, sexual violence against women is rampant, child brides are c…

Dems decide to shake up start of 2024 presidential primary

The Democratic Party has approved the reordering of its 2024 presidential primary. Members of the Democratic National Committee voted Saturday to replace Iowa with South Carolina in the leadoff spot. It's part of a major shake-up meant to empower Black and other minority voters critical to the party's base of support. Changes to the lineup are still possible throughout the summer and beyond. But …

State of the Union: Biden sees economic glow, GOP sees gloom

Going into Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Joe Biden sees a nation with a glowing economic future. But Republicans take a far gloomier view. They say the nation is saddled with a crushing debt and that Biden is largely responsible for inflation. The reality is that the United States is on an economic tight rope. It's trying to balance efforts to reduce inflation while trying to av…

California News Publishers Association conference focuses on trust

Trust was the buzzword at this year’s annual gathering of the California News Publisher’s Association. Nearly 200 news and media executives attended the two-day Capital Conference at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel in Sacramento on Wednesday and Thursday. Also attending were lawmakers, lawyers and subject matter experts who came together to discuss the public’s trust in […]

Dozens of soldiers freed in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap

Officials on both sides of Russia's war in Ukraine says dozens of prisoners have returned home following a prisoner swap. Top Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak said in a Telegram post that 116 Ukrainians were freed. He said they include troops who held out in Mariupol during Moscow’s monthslong siege that reduced the southern port city to ruins, as well as guerrilla fighters from the Kher…

One-year sentence for Hayward driver who killed pedestrian in DUI crash while driving with tall beer can in the cupholder

Ivan Lopez-Garcia, 25, had an open can of Modelo Especial in the front seat of his car when he struck and killed Jim Carlos Sanchez in Hayward, according to witness testimony.

San Pablo officers cleared in fatal December 2021 shooting

The Contra Costa County DA’s Office said the foursome “acted with an actual and reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary.”
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