Many Australians yesterday experienced a bittersweet break from the threat of bushfires, with flooding rains deluging some parts of the eastern states and a tropical cyclone forecast to hit the nation’s northwest over the weekend.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued severe thunderstorm warnings for Queensland and a flood alert for more than 20 areas in New South Wales (NSW) after the start of heavy rainfall that is expected to continue for several days.
Warm, moist air feeding in from the east was bringing the rain, bureau forecaster Mike Funnell told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
“We are expecting those larger totals and heavier rainfall to come into the northeast coast of NSW and then sort of track slowly southwards,” he said.
A tropical low off the Kimberley coast in Western Australia state was forecast tomorrow to develop into a category three cyclone that could hit the Pilbara region, Australia’s iron ore producing heartland.
The wet weather has helped douse or slow some of the most damaging and long-running wildfires, which have burned through more than 11.7 million hectares of land since September last year.
The prolonged bushfire season has killed 33 people and about 1 billion native animals.
More than 2,500 homes have been destroyed.
However, officials warned that the threat was not yet over and that there will likely be weeks more of firefighting ahead.
About 60 fires were still burning across NSW and Victoria, the nation’s most populous states, with about half of those classified as uncontained.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around