How the fires look from space. Photo: Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory/Facebook

The Amazon rainforest has been ravaged by hundreds of fires for the past 3 weeks, and the Brazilian government has deployed 44,000 troops to battle the blazes.

Why it matters: World leaders at the G7 summit have pledged a $20 million aid package to help affected South American countries fight the blazes. The BBC notes that from 1980 to 2010, the rainforest's trees are estimated to have pulled in carbon dioxide equivalent to the fossil fuel emissions of most of the 9 countries that own or border it.

Forest is cleared with fire in the surroundings of Boca do Acre, a city in Amazonas state, in the Amazon basin in northwestern Brazil, Aug. 24. Photo: Lula Sampaio/AFP/Getty Images
A farm worker in Nova Santa Helena municipality in northern Mato Grosso state, south of the Amazon basin in Brazil, Aug. 23. Photo: Joao Laet/AFP/Getty Images
Burned areas of the Amazon near Boca do Acre, in the Amazon basin, Brazil, Aug. 24. Photo: Lula Sampaio/AFP/Getty Images
Fire in the Amazon rainforest, near Abuna, Rondonia state, Brazil, Aug. 24. Photo: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images
Cattle graze near a burned area of the Amazon near Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil, Aug. 25. Photo: Joao Laet/AFP/Getty Images
Fire burns out of control at a farm in Nova Santa Helena, northern Mato Grosso state, in the Amazon basin, Brazil, Aug. 23. Photo: Joao Laet/AFP/Getty Images

Go deeper: Earth's lungs are burning

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Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests
  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

3 hours ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China