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Australian Authorities Steer Mass Evacuation Amid Deadly Blazes

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Australian Authorities Steer Mass Evacuation Amid Deadly Blazes

Australia’s wildfires took no time off during the new year holiday.  Tens of thousands of holiday makers had to flee from seaside towns on the continent’s east coast on Thursday ahead of advancing bushfires.  Military ships and helicopters have begun rescuing thousands more trapped by the blazes.

Extremely high temperatures and high winds have spurred more than 200 fires across the southeastern states of New South Wales and Victoria.  Several other towns are also threatened by the blaze.

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More than 50,000 persons were without power, and some towns had no access to drinking water.  Authorities are asking residents and visitors in many towns on the southeast coast to leave as extreme heat is forecast for the weekend.  Authorities say the heat would spark more fires.

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Officials said on Thursday, eight persons have been killed by wildfires in the eastern states of New South Wales and Victoria since Monday, and eighteen are still missing.

Thousands had been evacuated from the greater adjoining region of east Gippsland in Victoria, and five military helicopters have gone to the south coast to back up firefighters.  They are also taking supplies like water and diesel.  Australian defense force said on Thursday the aircraft will also be used to evacuate the injured, elderly and young persons.

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Namibia Receives More COVID-19 Medicals Supplies From China

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Namibia Receives More COVID-19 Medicals Supplies From China

Namibia has on Thursday received a batch of COVID-19 supplies worth 300,000 U.S. dollars donated by the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the occasion of China’s 71st anniversary.

Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah speaking at the handover event held in Windhoek conveyed warm congratulations to China as it celebrates its anniversary, stating that the donation comes at an opportune time as the two countries continue to strengthen diplomatic ties.

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The donation included 30,000 N95 masks, 10 oxygenators, 20 ventilators, and 100 thermometers, making this the fourth batch of COVID-19 supply donations from the Chinese government so far.

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The Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming said the friendly protocol arrangement demonstrates the friendly relationship and common determination to jointly fight the COVID-19 between China and Namibia.

Meanwhile, Namibia’s executive director of the Ministry of Health, Ben Nangombe, said the items Namibia received from China have gone a long way in assisting the country’s health sector, be it through donated clinical materials or through telemedicine conferences.

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Navalny Tells Magazine Putin Was Behind Poisoning

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Navalny Tells Magazine Putin Was Behind Poisoning

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has told a German magazine that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind his suspected poisoning.

In late August, 44-year-old Navalny who is a staunch critic of Putin was airlifted to Berlin for treatment after falling ill during a flight in Russia’s Siberia region. Having spent 16 days in a coma he was discharged from inpatient care.

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According to an extract of an interview due to be published later on Thursday, Navalny told Der Spiegel, “I claim that Putin is behind the crime and I don’t have any other versions of what happened.”

The anti-corruption campaigner also confirmed to Der Spiegel that he plans to return to Russia after his recovery, saying “my job now is to remain the guy who is not afraid. And I’m not afraid!”

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European countries including Germany and France have called for a Russian investigation into the suspected poisoning. The UK also called for a “full and transparent” investigation.

The Kremlin has consistently dismissed accusations that Russian president Putin was involved in the suspected poisoning of opposition critic Alexei Navalny after the German hospital treating Navalny said he appears to have been poisoned.

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Disney Lays Off A Quarter Of U.S. Theme Park Workers

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Disney Lays Off A Quarter Of U.S. Theme Park Workers

Disney’s California-based Theme Parks says the company will lay off twenty-eight thousand staff members as a result of prolonged closures of the parks.

In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday, the company’s head of parks, Josh D’Amaro said the company’s shares fell less than 2% after the closing bell on Tuesday.

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The statement further revealed around 67% of the 28,000 laid off workers are part-time employees.

While Disney’s Theme Parks in Florida, Paris, Shanghai, Japan and Hong Kong have reopened with limited capacity, both California adventure and Disneyland have remained shuttered.

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The company has promised to provide severance packages for the employees and also offer other services to help workers with job placement.

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