Smoke from bushfires blankets Australia's capital, Canberra, in a haze with hazardous air quality. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen/The SMHFairfax Media via Getty Images
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted his thanks to President Trump for his "strong messages of sympathy, support and friendship for Australia during our terrible bushfire season," after the president phoned him to offer help.
What's happening: Morrison also thanked the American people "for their many messages of support." "Australia and the US are great mates," he added Tuesday afternoon local time. As cooler, wetter conditions offered a respite to firefighters in southeast Australia, Victoria's Premier Dan Andrews posted a Facebook tribute welcoming American firefighters to the region.
An Iranian cyber operations front organization that’s a target of new U.S. sanctions was itself the victim of an attack that looted its own hacking tools and dumped them on the internet two years ago.
Driving the news: Last week, amid increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran, the Treasury Department announced major new Iran-related sanctions targeting cyber operators working for Iranian intelligence. The sanctions targeted 45 individuals affiliated with Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), Tehran’s main civilian intelligence agency.
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn promised that "science will guide our decision" for a coronavirus vaccine at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
Why it matters: More Americans are expressing doubt about a first-generation vaccine, despite President Trump's efforts to push an unrealistic timeline that conflicts with medical experts in his administration.
A closely-watched CEO economic confidence index rose for the first time after declining for nine straight quarters, according to a survey of 150 chief executives of the biggest U.S. companies by trade group Business Roundtable.
Why it matters: The index, which still remains at a decade low, reflects corporate America's expectations for sales, hiring and spending — which plummeted amid uncertainty when the pandemic hit.