27
Monday
January 2020
2:18 AM IST
News Headlines
Padma Vibhushan for Jaitley, Sushma, Fernandes posthumously; Parrikar given Padma Bhushan        Coronavirus scare: Nearly 100 people under observation, PMO reviews India''s preparedness        China facing ''grave'' situation, says Xi as coronavirus death toll rises to 41        Quake kills 22 in Eastern Turkey        Nepal offers to play role of mediator between India and Pakistan        India can play Asia Cup matches at neutral venue, but call is ACC''s: PCB CEO Khan        South Africa crumble after Broad, Wood help England rack up 400        Hugo Boumous inspires FC Goa to a thrilling 3-2 win over Kerala Blasters FC in Hero ISL        Growth slowdown in India temporary, expect momentum to improve going ahead: IMF chief        SC refuses to entertain plea against imposition of NSA amid anti-CAA protests        'Batman' script is beautiful, dark and moving: Colin Farrell        Scriptwriting is underrated: Ayushmann Khurrana        Agarkar applies for national selector's job, frontrunner for chairman's post, Prasad in running too        Rahul relishing dual role, says staying behind stumps helps batting too        Samsung moves India chief HC Hong to Latin America        WEF 2020 meeting ends with hopes for better and cleaner economy        Sebi fines Scan Steels Rs 18.8 lakh for fraudulent trading        Italy threatens Facebook with new fine for selling users' data        Nepal says if India can resolve boundary issue with Bangladesh, why not Kathmandu        Houston building explosion shakes city, scatters debris        
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International News
Australia turns from defense to offense in wildfire battle
 
Bodalla: Crews battling Australia''s wildfires said Sunday that they have been able to turn from defense to offense for the first time in weeks thanks to a break in the weather. Dale McLean, who is helping manage the response to a fire near the town of Bodalla in New South Wales state , was part of team that was bulldozing down small trees and burning scrub ahead of the fire''s projected path to try to stop it from reaching a major highway by starving it of fuel. "This fire took a major run about seven or eight days ago, and with the weather changing now, the weather settling down, the fire has settled down," he said. "The fire behavior has changed. So we''re able to get in front of the fire now, get on the offensive."

Other workers echoed McLean''s comments, saying cooler temperatures and mild winds have finally offered them a chance to make progress. The weather is expected to remain benign for the next week, although any deterioration in conditions after that could see the wildfires flare up again. The progress came after a firefighter was killed by a falling tree. Bill Slade — one of the few professionals among mainly volunteer brigades battling blazes across southeast Australia — died on Saturday near Omeo in eastern Victoria state, Forest Fire Management Victoria Executive Director Chris Hardman said. The 60-year-old married father of two was commended in November for 40 years of service with the forestry agency.

"Although we do have enormous experience in identifying hazardous trees, sometimes these tree failures can''t be predicted," Hardman said. "Working on the fire ground in a forest environment is a dynamic, high-risk environment and it carries with it significant risk." The tragedy brings the death toll to at least 27 in a crisis that has destroyed more than 2,000 homes and scorched an area larger than the US state of Indiana since September. Four of the casualties have been firefighters. The crisis has brought accusations that Prime Minister Scott Morrison''s conservative government needs to take more action to counter climate change, which experts say has worsened the blazes. Thousands of protesters rallied Friday in Sydney and Melbourne, calling for Morrison to be fired and for Australia to take tougher action on global warming.

The prime minister said Sunday that his government was building resilience to the fire danger posed by climate change. He said the government was developing a national disaster risk reduction framework within the Department of Home Affairs that will deal with wildfires, cyclones, floods and drought. "This is a longer-term risk framework model which deals with one of the big issues in response to the climate changing," Morrison said. He said his government accepted that climate change was leading to longer, hotter and drier summers, despite junior government lawmaker George Christensen posting on social media over the weekend that the cause of the latest fires was arson rather than man-made climate change. Another junior lawmaker, Craig Kelly, has also publicly denied any link between climate change and fire crisis.

State authorities have said a minority of fires are deliberately lit. "The government''s policy is set by the Cabinet. Our party room has a broad range of views," Morrison said of those within government ranks who reject mainstream climate science. Morrison also announced that 76 million Australian dollars (USD 52 million) would be spent on providing psychological counseling for firefighters and fire-affected communities as part of a previously announced AUS dollar 2 billion (USD 1.4 billion) recovery fund. "There has been a deep scar in the landscape that has been left right across our country," Morrison said. "But I am also very mindful, as is the government, of the very real scars that will be there for quite a period of time to come for those who''ve been exposed to the trauma of these bushfires."

While the fire threat is most acute in rural communities, wildfire smoke that has choked some of Australia''s largest cities is a reminder to many urban Australians of the unfolding disaster.


China facing ''grave'' situation, says Xi as coronavirus death toll rises to 41
Quake kills 22 in Eastern Turkey
Nepal offers to play role of mediator between India and Pakistan
Italy threatens Facebook with new fine for selling users' data
Nepal says if India can resolve boundary issue with Bangladesh, why not Kathmandu
Houston building explosion shakes city, scatters debris
Lanka Prez Rajapaksa stays arrest of judge in tape controversy
Queen gives assent for Britain to leave EU
UN court orders Myanmar to prevent Rohingya genocide
Trump trial opens with clash over witnesses
Trump 'would have loved' to have met Thunberg at Davos
China''s ex-Interpol chief sentenced to over 13 years in prison for corruption
Thousands of missing persons during Lanka''s civil war are ''dead'': President Gotabaya Rajapaksa
China coronavirus: Death toll rises to 6 as leaders warn officials against cover up
IMF lowers 2019 India growth to 4.8 per cent
BBC boss Tony Hall to step down in six months
More than 80 soldiers killed in Yemen missile, drone attack
Indian school teacher undergoes treatment for Streptococcal infection in China
Putin's, Xi's ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West
Ukraine PM offers to resign after leaked recording
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
'Batman' script is beautiful, dark and moving: Colin Farrell
 Los Angeles: Hollywood actor Colin Farrell has revealed that the script of Matt Reeves' "The Batman"  
Scriptwriting is underrated: Ayushmann Khurrana
Abhishek Bachchan starts filming 'Bob Biswas'
Signed 'Radhe' for story and my character: Disha Patani
KERALA NEWS
Man killed with soil excavator
 Thiruvananthapuram: A 36-year-old man was killed with an excavator near here when he objected to a g
Delhi court extends ED custody of NRI bizman C C Thampi
Congress president restructures KPCC
Kerala Guv again criticises LDF govt for passing resolution in Assembly against CAA
NATIONAL NEWS
Padma Vibhushan for Jaitley, Sushma, Fernandes posthumously; Parrikar given Padma Bhushan
 New Delhi: Former union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and George Fernandes, Olympian boxer M
Govt will not allow universities to become political battlegrounds: Ramesh Pokhriyal
Maha phone tapping row hots up; Fadnavis rejects charge
Bru settlement: Tripura begins survey to identify beneficiaries
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