In the headlines
The US is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon flying over Montana. Pentagon officials say they considered shooting down the spy craft after it was spotted hovering over a nuclear silo field, but held off because falling debris could injure nearby residents. Energy regulator Ofgem has banned British Gas from breaking into customers’ homes to install prepayment meters. The other big energy companies have also agreed to suspend the practice, after a Times investigation found that debt collectors were fitting pay-as-you-go devices in the properties of “extremely vulnerable” people. Hong Kong is giving away 500,000 free airline tickets worth $250m in a bid to revive its Covid-hit tourism industry. The World of Winners lottery will open for travellers living outside Southeast Asia on 1 May.