Jan 19, 2020

Rain hits Australia's fire-ravaged states, but bushfires still burn

A downpour in Sydney, where a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for some parts as the city experiences its wettest weekend in four months, but bushfires continue to burn. Photo: Jenny Evans/Getty Images

Heavy rain has triggered flash floods in the fire-ravaged Australian state of Queensland, SBS News reports. New South Wales also got a soak and further rainfall and thunderstorms were expected. But bushfires continued to burn over the weekend.

The state of play: There were over "50 reports of flooded roads across Queensland's southeast," per SBS, which notes flooded theme parks were forced to close. Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms were forecast for Victoria, where 15 fires were still burning, according to the Guardian. In NSW, over 1,300 firefighters were tackling flames across "69 firegrounds," the state's Rural Fire Service said, with 19 fires still not contained.

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Oil faces tough road back from coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil companies in the battered shale patch are starting to bring back some production as prices climb, but a new report underscores how the pandemic is taking a heavy financial toll despite signs of revival.

Driving the news: Fourteen North American producers have filed for bankruptcy thus far during the second quarter, per a tally from the law firm Haynes and Boone, which closely tracks the sector's finances.

2 hours ago - World

Hong Kong legislature bans insults to Chinese national anthem

Activists holding a candlelit remembrance outside Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2020, to mark the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong’s legislature approved a bill Thursday that makes insulting the "March of the Volunteers," the Chinese national anthem, illegal, AP reports.

Why it matters: It did so on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, when Chinese troops opened fire on pro-democracy activists in 1989. The death toll has never been released, but estimates vary between hundreds and thousands.

1.9 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

Data: U.S. Employment and Training Administration via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Another 1.9 million people filed for unemployment last week, the Department of Labor said on Thursday.

The big picture: The coronavirus pandemic is still putting a historic strain on the labor market, though the pace of unemployment applications continues to slow.