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Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison visits a wildflower farm in an area devastated by bushfires in Sarsfield, Victoria, on Friday. Photo: James Ross/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who's faced widespread criticism for his leadership over the country's deadly wildfires, was forced to defend himself again Sunday morning local time.

Details: He's been criticized since last month, when he was on vacation in Hawaii during the bushfire crisis, for not responding quickly enough to the situation and for his stance on climate change. In the past few days, he's faced an angry crowd of fire victims and been accused of blindsiding a state fire chief on the deployment of 3,000 Defense Force Reservists to help fight the blazes.

Driving the news: New South Wales Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told 9 News he was "disappointed" and "frustrated" to learn via media reports of the troop deployment announced by Morrison.

What he's saying: Morrison said during a news conference a "breakdown in communications" was to blame for Fitzsimmons not being told.

  • "There has been a lot of blame being thrown around," Morrison said. "And now is the time to focus on the response that is being made. ... Blame doesn’t help anybody at this time and over-analysis of these things is not a productive exercise."
  • Morrison also said there's "no dispute" about the issue of climate change globally "and its effect on global weather patterns and that includes how it impacts in Australia."
"I have to correct the record here. I have seen a number of people suggest that somehow the government does not make this connection. The government has always made this connection and that has never been in dispute."

Go deeper: Australia's deadly fires: What you need to know

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”