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Port Macquarie Koala Hospital clinical director Cheyne Flanagan tends to Paul the koala, from Lake Innes Nature Reserve, as he recovers from burns. Photo: Nathan Edwards/Getty Images

Australia's wildlife carers are set to work "around the clock" through Christmas to deal with the impact of the deadly wildfires on the country's unique wildlife, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The fires have burned an estimated 12 million-plus acres across the country, per the Guardian. The impact on wildlife has been devastating, particularly for koalas. Conservationists fear over 2,000 of the marsupials have died in the blazes, SBS News reports.

The state of play: Cheyne Flanagan, clinical director of Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, told Reuters staff are caring over Christmas for 72 koalas affected by the blazes — and they're preparing for more, "particularly for baby animals stressed by hot weather, bushfires and drought."

  • A fund-raising page set up for the hospital to help koalas in October, a month after the bushfires broke out, had raised $2.1 million by 10 p.m. Tuesday Eastern Time.
  • Across the country, tales of heroism are emerging as Aussies step up to help rescue native wildlife — including some involving remarkable four-legged heroes.
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Go deeper: In photos: Deadly wildfires rage across Australia

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
36 mins ago - Economy & Business

Why fears of a SPAC bubble may be overblown

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The SPAC surge continues unabated, with 10 new ones formed since Wednesday morning. And that's OK.

Between the lines: There are growing concerns that retail investors are about to get rolled, with smart sponsors taking advantage of dumb money.

Schumer says Senate will stay through weekend to vote on COVID relief

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) accused Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) of going to "ridiculous lengths" to show his opposition to a COVID relief package widely supported by the American public, after Johnson demanded that the entire 600-page bill be read on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Johnson's procedural move will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate, during which Republicans will propose amendments to force uncomfortable votes for Democrats. Schumer promised that the Senate will stay in session "no matter how long it takes" to finish voting on the $1.9 trillion rescue package.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

What central bank digital currencies mean for crypto

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, represent the ultimate ratification of digital finance: Its adoption by the most venerated guardians of the international monetary architecture.

Why it matters: Crypto-evangelists often talk about CBDCs in awed terms. But it's far from clear that the bitcoin-and-ethereum crowd would ultimately benefit from money going digital.