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Ukraine pushes to exclude Russia from 2024 Paris Olympics

With next year's Paris Olympics on the horizon and Russia's invasion looking more like a prolonged conflict, Ukraine's sports minister on Friday renewed a threat to boycott the games if Russia and Belarus are allowed to compete and said Kyiv would lobby other nations to join.

Mayor of Marseille Benoit Payan, centre, raises the Olympic flag with Head of Paris 2024 Olympics Tony Estanguet, centre right, after a press conference in southern France, Friday, Feb. 3. 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

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U.S. downs Chinese balloon, a flashpoint in U.S.-China tensions

The U.S. military on Saturday shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast on orders from President Joe Biden, after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America, becoming the latest flashpoint in tensions between Washington and Beijing.

In this photo provided by Brian Branch, a large balloon drifts above the Kingston, N.C. area, with an airplane and its contrail seen below it. The United States says it is a Chinese spy balloon moving east over America at an altitude of about 60,000 feet (18,600 metres), but China insists the balloon is just an errant civilian airship used mainly for meteorological research that went off course due to winds and has only limited "self-steering" capabilities. (Brian Branch via AP)