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On Wednesday, residents in Montana saw a mysterious object — a balloon — hovering and bobbing around in the skies. The enigma brought Americans out to squint at the heavens, caused a diplomatic visit to be canceled and opened a political debate.
How did a balloon end up kindling such tension between Washington and Beijing?
On today’s episode
The Chinese balloon drifted for seven days across the United States. Here’s a timeline of events.
The balloon was brought down by an air-to-air missile fired at it off the coast of South Carolina.
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Edward Wong contributed reporting.
The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Anita Badejo, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Chelsea Daniel, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Sofia Milan, Ben Calhoun and Susan Lee.
Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Cliff Levy, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Desiree Ibekwe, Wendy Dorr, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Renan Borelli, Maddy Masiello and Nell Gallogly.