Brekky Wrap: Queensland Fires And Rain Deluge In NSW
All the news you need to know this Wednesday.
Queensland authorities have called on states around Australia for reinforcement as over 80 fires burn in the state. New South Wales is set to send 100 extra firefighters north to Queensland to help extinguish the blaze, while an additional 225 people have been requested from other states. Strong winds across the state have contributed to the worsening conditions and residents in areas including Deepwater in central Queensland, Baffle Creek, Rules Beach and Oyster Creek are being urged to evacuate immediately as it will soon be too dangerous.
Heavy rains descended on Sydney at about 5.30am on Wednesday morning. Torrential downpours and strong winds are predicted across the state, with authorities urging commuters to reconsider their travel and stay off the roads where possible. Airlines have warned travellers in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast to prepare for significant delays as the adverse weather conditions will make flying dangerous. Up to 100 mm of rain is expected in Sydney where some places outside the city could get up to 200 mm.
Former Melbourne school teacher and accused paedophile Malka Leifer has avoided coming face-to-face with three of her alleged victims after she was excused from facing court in Jerusalem. Leifer is currently fighting her extradition to Australia where she is wanted over 74 charges of sexual assault. Three of her victims, sisters Dassi Erlich, 31, Elly Sapper, 29, and Nicole Meyer, 33 flew to Israel to see their alleged abuser in court but Leifer was excused on mental health grounds. Leifer fled to Israel 10 years ago after accusations of sexual assault were made against her.
The Syrian refugee who was stranded in KL airport for more than seven months landed in Vancouver on Monday. Hassan al-Kontar is wanted in Syria for refusing to serve in the military and was stuck in the Malaysian airport after arriving on a short-term visa that stopped him travelling to other destinations. He was arrested by Malaysian police and it was expected he be transported back to Syria, but after work by his lawyers, he was able to accept an offer from the Canadian government to claim asylum there. He announced he would soon be in Vancouver, his " final destination", via social media on Monday.
US President Donald Trump had weighted in on Theresa May's Brexit deal, suggesting the draft plan could hurt US-UK trade. Trump told journalists on Tuesday the deal sounds like a "great deal for the EU". Downing Street has said May is ready to defend her deal in a debate with Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn, but Trump seemed certain the deal would not be great for US-UK relations. "Right now if you look at the deal, [the UK] may not be able to trade with us. And that wouldn't be a good thing. I don't think they meant that" he said.
Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine has appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to racketeering and firearms charges. He's been charged with racketeering, carrying a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy murder charges. The singer was arrested in early November and could face a minimum of 32 years in jail if he is found guilty of the charges, which stem from his alleged involvement in a violent US gang.
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