Australia

"Catastrophic" wildfires ravage eastern Australia: What you need to know

A NSW Rural Fire Service firefighter mops up after a bushfire in the suburb of Llandilo on November 12
A NSW Rural Fire Service firefighter mops up after a bushfire in the suburb of Llandilo in Sydney on Monday. Photo: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

Dozens of wildfires were burning out of control amid "catastrophic" hot, dry, windy conditions in eastern Australia on Tuesday, and officials said it's now "too late" to leave properties under threat from the blazes, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Thousands have fled the fires, which have killed at least three people and razed over 150 homes, per the New York Times. The states of New South Wales and Queensland have declared states of emergency. NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told a news conference, "Conditions are expected to get worse."

Australia's "climate wars" are spilling into the streets

Australian climate protesters and police
Climate change protesters link arms as they attempt to blockade the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) being held in Melbourne on October 29, 2019. Photo: William West/AFP/Getty Images

Australians are becoming increasingly frustrated with the conservative government's inaction toward climate change, and it's pushing many to take to the streets for some of the largest protests the country has ever seen, reports the New York Times.

Why it matters: The Australian government is struggling to keep its promise to reduce its carbon emissions under the Paris Agreement as politicians continue to lobby in favor of the coal industry. For some lawmakers, "defending coal has come to be equated with defending the country," according to the Times.