Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

A helicopter water-bombing a bushfire at Northmead in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday morning local time. Photo: Jenny Evans/Getty Images

Scores of bushfires are threatening parts of Australia during a record heat wave — including an out-of-control blaze that prompted evacuations in Sydney Sunday and another fire ravaging the popular Queensland tourist destination of Fraser Island.

Why it matters: New South Wales' fire chief Shane Fitzsimmons told Channel 9 Sunday it's the "worst day" for fires since last season's deadly "Black Summer" bushfires, when temperature records were broken across Australia — including in Sydney, which reported its hottest November night this weekend.

  • The NSW state capital recorded a low of 77.5°F over Saturday night.
  • Another November record was reached in Sydney Sunday, when temperatures rose above 104°F for a second straight day, per the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

The big picture: Firefighters in New South Wales were battling 45 fires across Australia's most populous state amid searing heat and strong winds, per an NSW Rural Fire Service statement.

  • In the western Sydney suburb of Northmead, families were evacuated as the bushfire burned "dangerously close" to homes, Channel 9 reports.
  • A total fire ban was in effect across nine areas of NSW for the duration of Sunday.

On Fraser Island, off Australia's east coast in the state of Queensland, a bushfire has torn across 40% of the World Heritage-listed destination as it nears two popular tourist spots, News.com.au notes.

For the record: Bourke, Ulladulla, Albion Park and Albury were among other NSW towns to record highest November minimums over Saturday night.

In Victoria, November maximum temperature records were set Saturday in the towns of Mildura, where it hit 114°F, and Walpeup, which reached 113°F.

South Australia also reported new November records in the towns of Yunta (112°F) and Coober Pedy (almost 115°F), according to the BOM.

Flashback: Australia fires cause "widespread devastation across the ecosystem"

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the temperature records.

Go deeper

Dec 2, 2020 - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

Dave Lawler, author of World
16 mins ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.

Updated 35 mins ago - Technology

Facebook refers Trump ban to independent Oversight Board for review

Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's independent Oversight Board has accepted a referral from the platform to review its decision to indefinitely suspend former President Trump.

Why it matters: While Trump critics largely praised the company's decision to remove the then-president's account for potential incitement of violence, many world leaders and free speech advocates pushed back on the decision, arguing it sets a dangerous precedent for free speech moving forward.