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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 321)

Bus-size asteroid will buzz earth at 18,400 mph on Jan. 2

Westlake Legal Group asteroid-iStock Bus-size asteroid will buzz earth at 18,400 mph on Jan. 2 Gary Gastelu fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fox news fnc/science fnc article 158bf5b0-0023-5393-ba49-211f47613df9

Here’s one extraterrestrial express bus you’ll be glad you missed.

An asteroid named 2019 AE3 will pass by earth on the morning of Jan. 2. NASA says the space rock is between 32 and 71 feet long, or roughly the size of a city bus, and zooming through the cosmos at 18,400 miles per hour.

‘ANCIENT STAR BURST’ SPOTTED AT THE CENTER OF THE MILKY WAY

Fortunately, the Near Earth Object (NEO) won’t come too near to the earth. The closest it is expected to get is four lunar distances — about 1 million miles – at approximately 9 am EST. Tracking is available on The Sky Live, which calculates that 2019 AE3 will technically be visible from New York between around 1 a.m. and 10 am.

The event is set to occur just three days after five sizeable NEOs flew by the earth on the same day. The largest was taller than the Statue of Liberty and came within 3.1 million miles of the planet, according to The Sun, while another similar in size to 2019 AE3 practically skimmed it just 415,000 miles away.

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Westlake Legal Group asteroid-iStock Bus-size asteroid will buzz earth at 18,400 mph on Jan. 2 Gary Gastelu fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fox news fnc/science fnc article 158bf5b0-0023-5393-ba49-211f47613df9   Westlake Legal Group asteroid-iStock Bus-size asteroid will buzz earth at 18,400 mph on Jan. 2 Gary Gastelu fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fox news fnc/science fnc article 158bf5b0-0023-5393-ba49-211f47613df9

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Pro-Iranian Protesters End Siege of U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

BAGHDAD — After a second day of tense protests at the American Embassy in Baghdad, thousands of pro-Iranian demonstrators dispersed on Wednesday, ending a siege that had trapped American diplomats in the embassy compound overnight and winding down a potentially explosive crisis for the Trump administration.

The demonstrators had swarmed outside the embassy, chanting “Death to America!” Some tried to scale the compound’s walls and others clambered onto the roof of the reception building they had burned the day before.

In contrast to Tuesday, when some demonstrators forced their way into the compound and set some of the outbuildings on fire, the crowd on Wednesday was smaller and no protesters breached the compound’s gates.

Westlake Legal Group embassy-sat-map-Artboard_2 Pro-Iranian Protesters End Siege of U.S. Embassy in Baghdad United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

Protesters entered

the compound

at this gate.

They burned a

reception building

and guard posts.

Al Kindi St.

GREEN

ZONE

U.S. Embassy

compound

Protesters entered

the Green Zone

from this bridge.

Tigris River

Westlake Legal Group embassy-sat-map-Artboard_3 Pro-Iranian Protesters End Siege of U.S. Embassy in Baghdad United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

GREEN

ZONE

Protesters

entered the

compound

at this gate.

They burned a

reception building

and guard posts.

Al Kindi St.

U.S. Embassy

compound

Protesters entered

the Green Zone

from this bridge.

Tigris

River

Satellite image by Maxar via Bing
Westlake Legal Group satellite-map-Artboard_2 Pro-Iranian Protesters End Siege of U.S. Embassy in Baghdad United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

TIGRIS RIVER

GREEN ZONE

U.S. Embassy compound

TIGRIS RIVER

Westlake Legal Group satellite-map-Artboard_4 Pro-Iranian Protesters End Siege of U.S. Embassy in Baghdad United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

TIGRIS RIVER

GREEN ZONE

U.S. Embassy compound

Sources: Compound boundaries from the Associated Press and satellite imagery.

By Sarah Almukhtar, Falih Hassan, Lauren Leatherby, Allison McCann and Anjali Singhvi

When the demonstrators — largely members of Iranian-backed militias angered by deadly American airstrikes over the weekend — reached the roof of the burned reception building on Wednesday, American security forces, including Marine reinforcements sent by the Pentagon the day before, fired tear gas to drive them back.

A few hours later, the militia leaders who had organized the demonstration called on the crowd to leave, and most gradually drifted away on foot or drove off in trucks.

In a parting shot, some militia members hung a green banner with yellow writing on the burned reception area saying “Popular Mobilization Commission,” the umbrella group for the militias, as if to remove any doubt of who was in charge.

The point was made, but the two-day standoff at the embassy, a test of wills between the United States and Iran that evoked traumatic memories of earlier attacks on American embassies in Tehran and Benghazi, Libya, ended peacefully, with no reports of deaths or injuries.

The flare-up began with a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base on Friday that killed an American contractor and wounded several Iraqi and American service members. The United States blamed an Iraqi militia with close ties to Iran, Kataib Hezbollah. The militia denied involvement in the rocket attack.

American forces carried out airstrikes Sunday on five sites controlled by the militia, in Syria and Iraq, killing at least two dozen people and wounding twice as many; Iran has put the death toll at 31.

While American officials said the strikes were retaliation for the death of the American contractor and intended to establish a deterrent to the Iranian-backed militias, Iraqi officials denounced the action as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

On Tuesday, thousands of Iraqis, many of them militia fighters, marched on the United States Embassy compound in Baghdad to protest the American strikes, and some of them forced their way through the outer wall.

In an ominous sign for the Americans, the Iraqi authorities, who had prevented previous demonstrations from getting near the embassy compound, allowed the protesters on Tuesday to march on it unimpeded.

In recent months, in the face of antigovernment protests, it was Iraqi forces firing tear gas to dispel protesters. But this week, the Iraqi authorities left task to the United States, rather than confronting their own people.

The militias, although closely tied to Iran, are made up of Iraqis and fall under the under the umbrella of the Iraqi military, though they have a great deal of independence. But the Trump administration cast both the killing of the American contractor and the attack on the embassy as the direct work of Iran.

President Trump tweeted Tuesday that Iran “will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities.”

“They will pay a very BIG PRICE!” he said.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded on Wednesday, taunting, “You can’t do anything.”

Iraqi militias played a crucial role in the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS. While many of the armed groups, who are principally made up of Shiite Muslims, are backed by Iran, a Shiite theocracy at odds with the United States, the two powers had a common goal in their effort to defeat the Islamic State.

Once the Islamic State was largely demolished, however, the Iran-backed militias turned their attention to constraining United States activities in Iraq, especially after the Trump administration ratcheted up its sanctions against Iran.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the United States was “taking revenge on the Popular Mobilization Forces for defeating ISIS,” a group that he claimed “the U.S. had created.”

Kataib Hezbollah denied responsibility on Wednesday for the most confrontational demonstrators, although it had pushed for protests in front of the embassy.

There are about 30 groups within the Popular Mobilization Forces, each answering to different leaders who do not always agree with one another. Neither the government nor any of the factions has the authority to corral all of them, making for a dangerous mix.

Falih Hassan reported from Baghdad, and Alissa Rubin from Paris.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

‘Captain America’ actress charged with second-degree murder of mother

Westlake Legal Group Captain-America-Civil-War-1 'Captain America' actress charged with second-degree murder of mother fox-news/topic/marvel fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article Andy Sahadeo 24d5d8d1-f64d-5055-b65c-1b5924c84a7c

Mollie Fitzgerald, an actress who had a small role in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” is being accused of stabbing her mother to death in Olathe, Kansas.

Fitzgerald, 38, was arrested on Tuesday on charges of second-degree murder and was jailed on $500,000 bond. It is unknown if she had retained an attorney yet.

The actress is being accused of slaying her mother, 68-year-old Patricia “Tee” Fitzgerald, who authorities say was found dead inside her Olathe home on Dec. 20.

SALMA HAYEK ‘CAN’T BELIEVE’ SHE’S WORKING WITH ‘GAME OF THRONES’ ICON KIT HARINGTON IN NEW MARVEL MOVIE

According to the website IMDb, Mollie Fitzgerald is a movie director and producer as well as an actress. She worked on mostly low-budget films, including “The Lawful Truth” in 2014 and “The Creeps” in 2017.

In “Captain America” she played Stark Girl and worked as an assistant to the director, Joe Johnson. The film grossed $176.6 million in the U.S.

“Being a part of this production has been one of the best experiences of my life,” Fitzgerald told a comic book publication in 2011.

MARVEL SLATES ‘ETERNALS,’ ‘DR. STRANGE’ SEQUEL, NATALIE PORTMAN AS LADY THOR, ‘BLADE’ REBOOT FOR PHASE FOUR

Patricia Fitzgerald was in the process of moving back to Kansas City after living several decades in the Houston area, her brother, Gary Hunziker, told the Kansas City Star.

Hunziker, 72, said he knew few details about the circumstances surrounding his sister’s death.

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“We were shocked,” he said. But, “it doesn’t matter the circumstances — the loss of a sister is what it’s all about.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Captain-America-Civil-War-1 'Captain America' actress charged with second-degree murder of mother fox-news/topic/marvel fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article Andy Sahadeo 24d5d8d1-f64d-5055-b65c-1b5924c84a7c   Westlake Legal Group Captain-America-Civil-War-1 'Captain America' actress charged with second-degree murder of mother fox-news/topic/marvel fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article Andy Sahadeo 24d5d8d1-f64d-5055-b65c-1b5924c84a7c

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A Restaurant With No Leftovers

Garbage is inevitable in the restaurant and bar business. Kitchen employees toss onion skins and meat fat into the wastebasket almost instinctively. Once-used plastic wrap and slips guarding the linens find their way into black bags for trash-day pickup. Plastic bags are ordered by the bundle and then often discarded after customers use them to take leftovers home.

At the Brooklyn natural wine bar and restaurant Rhodora, however, taking out the trash works a little differently.

The new eatery is one of a handful of establishments in various cities that have begun to operate under a zero-waste ethos, meaning they do not send any trash or food waste that enters their business to a landfill. There is not even a traditional trash can on the premises.

The aim is to lessen the restaurants’ environmental impact while running a profitable venture — with a possible added benefit of solidifying their eco-conscious bona fides among discerning clientele. Such radical idealism comes with challenges, including finding producers and distributors who can accommodate requests like compostable packaging and figuring out how to recycle broken appliances.

“We’re in the business of serving people,” said Henry Rich, a co-owner of Rhodora. “And it feels incongruent to take care of somebody for an evening and try to show them a great time, and then externalize the waste and carbon footprint of that evening onto people.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_164815095_20f5e58f-0e58-48f9-8c87-2de3bff73fce-articleLarge A Restaurant With No Leftovers Waste Materials and Disposal restaurants Recycling of Waste Materials Food

Rhodora, a natural wine bar and restaurant in Brooklyn, does not send any trash or food waste to a landfill. Credit…Winnie Au for The New York Times

A recent report from ReFED, a nonprofit organization focused on food waste reduction, found that restaurants in the United States generate about 11.4 million tons of food waste annually, or $25.1 billion in costs. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that food waste and packaging account for nearly 45 percent of the materials sent to landfills in the United States.

The reason zero-waste “is not a mainstream concept, that you don’t see it in gastronomy or hospitality in mainstream ways, is because we’re just waking up to it,” said the chef Douglas McMaster, who runs the waste-free London restaurant Silo and advised the owners of Rhodora. “We’re just seeing the reality of wasting as much as we do.”

Mr. Rich and Halley Chambers, the deputy director of his Oberon restaurant group and co-owner of Rhodora, spent almost 10 months and $50,000 researching and transforming their Fort Greene space into a neighborhood joint that could operate without any trash pickup.

Out went many of their regular vendors who wrapped deliveries in single-use plastic. In came tools to aid their waste-reduction efforts: a cardboard shredder to turn wine boxes into composting material, a dishwashing setup that converts salt into soap, beeswax wrap in lieu of plastic wrap.

“It’s not arcane secret knowledge,” Mr. Rich said. “It’s just a couple things that are very specific, and you need to kind of re-engineer how you think about” operating a restaurant or bar.

Much of the planning time was spent searching for distributors and producers who could adhere to Rhodora’s mission. One cheesemaker offered to remove the plastic wrapping before delivery — and then throw it in the garbage.

Rhodora’s bread comes from She Wolf Bakery.Credit…Winnie Au for The New York Times Any food left behind is collected and composted.Credit…Winnie Au for The New York Times

A handful of companies were able to accommodate the unorthodox restrictions, including She Wolf Bakery and its sister butcher shop, Marlow & Daughters, which deliver reusable plastic bins full of fresh-baked breads and jars of pickled vegetables and eggs via Cargo Bike Collective riders. Another company, A Priori Distribution, switched to using compostable packaging and paper tape when dropping off aluminum tins of fish.

“It certainly is unique, and that is new for us,” said Caroline Fidanza, culinary director of the Marlow Collective, which includes She Wolf and Marlow & Daughters. “There’s a certain amount of that that’s very doable. It’s harder to package things than to not package them on some level.”

Alongside limiting the amount of spoilable inventory Rhodora orders, Mr. Rich said, the bar eliminated any sort of chef position, partly to avoid creating “a top-down kind of vibe, where there were things being considered other than being zero waste.”

Cheese is a staple menu item at Rhodora, as is mushroom broth.Credit…Winnie Au for The New York Times Compost will be used to fertilize mini-gardens outside Rhodora.Credit…Winnie Au for The New York Times

Rhodora’s staff members, who rotate duties like waiting on customers and popping sardine tins to plate food orders, congregate weekly to generate simple menu ideas based on what’s available from the bar’s dozen or so approved vendors. Cheese boards and mushroom broth are staples.

“Having a small staff playing a central role, we can be more nimble than a normal restaurant,” Ms. Chambers said.

The paper menus, which feature a mini-essay on the restaurant’s green mission, are fed to the compost pile when they become outdated or tattered. Anything left on customers’ plates is dumped into collection bins in the kitchen, which are fed into the commercial-grade composter tucked inside hutches adjacent to the bar. (Rhodora does not serve meat, which is more difficult to compost, although its composter does process any fish that is left over.)

Natural wine bottles and most other non-compostable containers are removed for recycling via Royal Waste Services, which the restaurant said also accepted broken glass. Corks are donated to ReCork, a recycling program that repurposes the material for shoe soles and yoga blocks.

There are financial incentives for restaurants to invest in these zero-waste practices, with one study finding that restaurants save on average $7 for every $1 invested in kitchen food waste-reduction practices. The National Restaurant Association found that around half of diners say they are beginning to consider establishments’ efforts to recycle and reduce food waste when choosing where to eat.

But many establishments operate on slim profit margins, and it’s not always immediately obvious how programs to reduce food waste can translate into financial gains, said Angel Veza, director of the Hospitality Advisory at First Principle Group, a global advisory firm. Many chefs and restaurant owners see little incentive in pursuing more environmentally friendly ways to order ingredients, much less pay an extra $800 as Rhodora does for a bin from TerraCycle. The company turns hard-to-recycle trash left behind by customers, like gum or plastic wrapping, into new goods. (Rhodora has a second bin placed in the bathroom for used hygiene products.)

“If they’re thriving, making money, they don’t have a reason to change,” said Ms. Veza. “Restaurants close all the time, too, so the last thing they’re going to think about is, ‘Am I going to use single-use plastic?’”

One of the tools to aid waste-reduction efforts is a dishwashing setup that converts salt into soap.Credit…Winnie Au for The New York Times The aim is to lessen the restaurants’ environmental impact while running a profitable venture.Credit…Winnie Au for The New York Times

Though Rhodora is striving to ensure its space is zero waste, the system isn’t perfect. It hasn’t been determined, for example, what the landfill-eschewing answer is to disposing of a dishwasher beyond repair.

“I don’t want to pretend we have everything figured out,” Mr. Rich said.

The first batch of compost will be used to fertilize its mini-gardens on top of hutches outside the wine bar, and possibly the Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farm at the Navy Yard. A Rhodora spokeswoman also said that compared with Mr. Rich’s previous Brooklyn restaurant venture Mettā, the business had saved an average of $300 a month in part by eliminating its trash pickup. (Ms. Chambers estimated that Mettā, which promoted itself as being a carbon-neutral and low-waste restaurant, produced 7,000 pounds of trash per month.)

“We’re at one pivot point,” Mr. Rich said. “The hope is that maybe we can influence and inspire some people above and below to learn what zero waste is, because it’s so beautifully simple not having a trash and not sending it to the landfill.”

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Kim Jong Un threatens to renew testing nuclear weapons, long-range missiles

Dictator Kim Jong Un said North Korea was no longer obligated to comply with a self-imposed moratorium on testing nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

In remarks Tuesday to party leaders– and shared on state media Wednesday– Kim also warned of introducing a “new strategic weapon” in the near future.

Kim’s audience also heard him accuse the United States of making “gangster-like demands,” according to Reuters.

At times smiling or slapping the podium, Kim charged the U.S. with maintaining a “hostile policy” that included holding continued joint military drills with South Korea, adopting cutting edge weapons and imposing sanctions,

KIM JONG UN SAYS NORTH KOREA NEEDS TO TAKE ‘OFFENSIVE MEASURES’ TO PROTECT COUNTRY’S SECURITY

Westlake Legal Group kim-jong-un-AP Kim Jong Un threatens to renew testing nuclear weapons, long-range missiles Robert Gearty fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/person/kim-jong-un fox news fnc/world fnc dbd8972e-169f-50fe-b081-0ec0f64fc9e9 article

In this undated photo taken during the period of Dec. 28 – Dec. 31, 2019 provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a Workers’ Party meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

“The world will witness a new strategic weapon to be possessed by the DPRK in the near future,” Kim said, using the initials for North Korea’s official name–the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, according to Reuters.

While saying he no longer felt bound to honor a moratorium, the rogue leader gave no clear indication that a resumption of such tests was impending. He also appeared to leave the door open for eventual negotiations with the U.S.

Kim has used the diplomatic stalemate to expand his military capabilities by intensifying tests of shorter-range weapons. His arsenal is now estimated to include 40 to 50 nuclear bombs and various delivery systems, including solid-fuel missiles designed to beat missile-defense systems and developmental ICBMs potentially capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

Kim has also strengthened his negotiating position, moving the diplomacy closer to an arms reduction negotiation between nuclear states rather than talks that would culminate in a unilateral surrender of the weapons he sees as his strongest guarantee of survival.

HARRY KAZIANIS: NORTH KOREA’S KIM HAS THIS GOAL IN MIND (NO, HE’S NOT CRAZY). HERE’S HOW TRUMP SHOULD RESPOND

Lee Sang-min, a spokesman for South Korea’s Unification Ministry, said North Korea carrying out its threat to showcase a new strategic weapon would be unhelpful for diplomacy.

Kim’s comments published in state media Wednesday were made at a key, four-day meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee as talks between Washington and Pyongyang have faltered over disagreements on disarmament steps and the removal of sanctions.

President Donald Trump said he had a good relationship with Kim and thought the North Korean leader would keep his word, Reuters reported.

“He likes me, I like him. We get along. He’s representing his country, I’m representing my country. We have to do what we have to do.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“But he did sign a contract, he did sign an agreement talking about denuclearization,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group kim-jong-un-AP Kim Jong Un threatens to renew testing nuclear weapons, long-range missiles Robert Gearty fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/person/kim-jong-un fox news fnc/world fnc dbd8972e-169f-50fe-b081-0ec0f64fc9e9 article   Westlake Legal Group kim-jong-un-AP Kim Jong Un threatens to renew testing nuclear weapons, long-range missiles Robert Gearty fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/person/kim-jong-un fox news fnc/world fnc dbd8972e-169f-50fe-b081-0ec0f64fc9e9 article

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In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191119032_custom-e40edec1b7d31f78879efa524a2cb24149da2b21-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

On December 31, 2019 firefighters struggled against the strong wind in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

On December 31, 2019 firefighters struggled against the strong wind in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Wildfires are a regular occurrence in Australia, but on New Year’s Eve, residents of the state of New South Wales experienced blazes stronger and more destructive than they had in years. In several of the southeastern towns, smoke blocked out the sky, houses were destroyed, and thousands of tourists and locals were forced to flee to nearby beaches. Seven people have died so far, and several others are unaccounted for.

It’s still unclear how long the fires will last or what the extent of the damage will be. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service, made up of 74,000 volunteers, predicts that conditions will remain unsafe through the weekend. But that doesn’t mean things will clear up anytime soon; fire season in Australia’s southeast, where it’s currently summer, lasts for months. The most recent fires are coming after weeks of strong winds, record-breaking heat and years of drought in parts of the country.

Images from the fires capture sparks flying, ravaged buildings, smoke and glowing red as far as the eye can see. Here are some of the most striking scenes of the destruction so far.

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191100801_custom-7fdec5ee242980ce9ad1f4a3ac864cce8d707576-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town. Thousands of holidaymakers and locals were forced to flee to beaches in fire-ravaged southeast Australia. Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town. Thousands of holidaymakers and locals were forced to flee to beaches in fire-ravaged southeast Australia.

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191093997_custom-849aa0bce7d68fba5955070030858f40d8d70303-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down the area as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down the area as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191100167_custom-e7c5b2dc423549e874cff66ee27bb703f6567e0c-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A firefighter walks past burning trees during a battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A firefighter walks past burning trees during a battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1190712968_custom-53557c5518b6ae02157f38162111e8acc5fa7287-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A house and van are seen destroyed after bushfires ravaged the town of Bilpin, 70 km west of Sydney on December 29, 2019. Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A house and van are seen destroyed after bushfires ravaged the town of Bilpin, 70 km west of Sydney on December 29, 2019.

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group ap_19365361950566_custom-13a08693d20fdc3ca2778fd77671505dd4544440-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters are seen as they try to protect homes around Charmhaven, New South Wales. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states Tuesday trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions, destroyed many properties and caused fatalities. New South Wales Rural Fire Service/AP hide caption

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New South Wales Rural Fire Service/AP

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters are seen as they try to protect homes around Charmhaven, New South Wales. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states Tuesday trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions, destroyed many properties and caused fatalities.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service/AP

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191099721_custom-58af782425f4aa56e511194c6ffeea821d1b1426-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Amy (L) and Ben Spencer sit at the showgrounds in the southern New South Wales town of Bega where they are camping after being evacuated from nearby sites affected by bushfires on December 31, 2019. Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Amy (L) and Ben Spencer sit at the showgrounds in the southern New South Wales town of Bega where they are camping after being evacuated from nearby sites affected by bushfires on December 31, 2019.

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191130657_custom-1a548691073ffe26cf5ed2caa7345d2c8b1f7c77-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back-burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1. Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back-burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1.

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191093992_custom-c365e401a9bfc90d1864230c82906ca49c98c789-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down trees as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down trees as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191120340_custom-74bf6029ab786e7fe941335f0a015891aeeb2658-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A horse tries to move away from nearby bushfires at a residential property near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on New Year’s Eve. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A horse tries to move away from nearby bushfires at a residential property near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on New Year’s Eve.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191100805_custom-d537802bad02cd8213c41f912afb0557dfa1fefd-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town. Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town.

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group ap_19356361253350-1-_custom-309d3c9a4ab93ff21a33669702e3bfa142c52ae2-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

In this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, photo, NSW Rural Fire Service crew fight the Gospers Mountain Fire as it impacts a property at Bilpin, New South Wales state, Australia. Dan Himbrechts/AP hide caption

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Dan Himbrechts/AP

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

In this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, photo, NSW Rural Fire Service crew fight the Gospers Mountain Fire as it impacts a property at Bilpin, New South Wales state, Australia.

Dan Himbrechts/AP

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-11911306571_custom-8ec0368fb07d7b977fd7ba9299e24635e97b6493-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1. Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1.

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

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Netanyahu seeks parliamentary immunity that could delay corruption trial until after election

Israeli’s prime minister said Wednesday that he will seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution from the corruption charges brought against him, a move that could delay his trial until the spring.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement will likely put the trial against him on hold until after the elections in March, when he hopes to win a majority coalition that will shield him from prosecution.

In Israel, a trial cannot get underway once an immunity request is made.

ISRAEL’S NETANYAHU WINS LIKUD PARTY PRIMARY CHALLENGE IN LANDSLIDE

Westlake Legal Group Netanyahu-thumb-Reuters Netanyahu seeks parliamentary immunity that could delay corruption trial until after election Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc f97c7792-df71-5ab0-b678-33df9dea5df8 article

Israeli’s prime minister said Wednesday that he will seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution in the corruption charges against him, which could delay his trial until after the elections. (Patricia de Melo Moreira/Pool via REUTERS)

Netanyahu was indicted in November on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust over allegations he granted state favors worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israeli media barons in return for gifts and favorable coverage.

The 70-year-old once again denied any wrongdoing during a nationally televised address Wednesday. He said he would seek to invoke the law that would protect him from prosecution while he remains in office.

“In order to continue to lead Israel to great achievements, I intended to approach the speaker of the Knesset in accordance with chapter 4C of the law, in order to fulfill my right, my duty and my mission to continue to serve you for the future of Israel,” he said.

NETANYAHU RUSHED TO BOMB SHELTER AFTER ROCKET ATTACK ON SOUTHERN ISRAEL

The announcement came just four hours before a deadline for an application for immunity was set to expire, Reuters reported.

Amid a deep political deadlock, Israeli’s parliament seems unlikely to decide the issue before the March 2 election.

The current caretaker government is not empowered to make a decision on granting Netanyahu immunity.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In order to debate the matter, parliament would have to appoint a special committee that needs to study the request. But it remains unclear whether it will be allowed to do so.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Netanyahu-thumb-Reuters Netanyahu seeks parliamentary immunity that could delay corruption trial until after election Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc f97c7792-df71-5ab0-b678-33df9dea5df8 article   Westlake Legal Group Netanyahu-thumb-Reuters Netanyahu seeks parliamentary immunity that could delay corruption trial until after election Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc f97c7792-df71-5ab0-b678-33df9dea5df8 article

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Iraqi Protesters End Siege of U.S. Embassy After Second Day of Protests

BAGHDAD — After a second day of tense protests at the American Embassy in Baghdad, thousands of pro-Iranian demonstrators dispersed on Wednesday, ending a siege that had trapped American diplomats in the embassy compound overnight and winding down a potentially explosive crisis for the Trump administration.

The demonstrators had swarmed outside the embassy, chanting “Death to America!” Some tried to scale the compound’s walls and others clambered onto the roof of the reception building they had burned the day before.

In contrast to Tuesday, when some demonstrators forced their way into the compound and set some of the outbuildings on fire, the crowd on Wednesday was smaller and no protesters breached the compound’s gates.

Westlake Legal Group embassy-sat-map-Artboard_2 Iraqi Protesters End Siege of U.S. Embassy After Second Day of Protests United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

Protesters entered

the compound

at this gate.

They burned a

reception building

and guard posts.

Al Kindi St.

GREEN

ZONE

U.S. Embassy

compound

Protesters entered

the Green Zone

from this bridge.

Tigris River

Westlake Legal Group embassy-sat-map-Artboard_3 Iraqi Protesters End Siege of U.S. Embassy After Second Day of Protests United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

GREEN

ZONE

Protesters

entered the

compound

at this gate.

They burned a

reception building

and guard posts.

Al Kindi St.

U.S. Embassy

compound

Protesters entered

the Green Zone

from this bridge.

Tigris

River

Satellite image by Maxar via Bing
Westlake Legal Group satellite-map-Artboard_2 Iraqi Protesters End Siege of U.S. Embassy After Second Day of Protests United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

TIGRIS RIVER

GREEN ZONE

U.S. Embassy compound

TIGRIS RIVER

Westlake Legal Group satellite-map-Artboard_4 Iraqi Protesters End Siege of U.S. Embassy After Second Day of Protests United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

TIGRIS RIVER

GREEN ZONE

U.S. Embassy compound

Sources: Compound boundaries from the Associated Press and satellite imagery.

By Sarah Almukhtar, Falih Hassan, Lauren Leatherby, Allison McCann and Anjali Singhvi

When the demonstrators — largely members of Iranian-backed militias angered by deadly American airstrikes over the weekend — reached the roof of the burned reception building on Wednesday, American security forces, including Marine reinforcements sent by the Pentagon the day before, fired tear gas to drive them back.

A few hours later, the militia leaders who had organized the demonstration called on the crowd to leave, and most gradually drifted away on foot or drove off in trucks.

In a parting shot, some militia members hung a green banner with yellow writing on the burned reception area saying “Popular Mobilization Commission,” the umbrella group for the militias, as if to remove any doubt of who was in charge.

The point was made, but the two-day standoff at the embassy, a test of wills between the United States and Iran that evoked traumatic memories of earlier attacks on American embassies in Tehran and Benghazi, Libya, ended peacefully, with no reports of deaths or injuries.

The flare-up began with a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base on Friday that killed an American contractor and wounded several Iraqi and American service members. The United States blamed an Iraqi militia with close ties to Iran, Kataib Hezbollah. The militia denied involvement in the rocket attack.

American forces carried out airstrikes Sunday on five sites controlled by the militia, in Syria and Iraq, killing at least two dozen people and wounding twice as many; Iran has put the death toll at 31.

While American officials said the strikes were retaliation for the death of the American contractor and intended to establish a deterrent to the Iranian-backed militias, Iraqi officials denounced the action as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

On Tuesday, thousands of Iraqis, many of them militia fighters, marched on the United States Embassy compound in Baghdad to protest the American strikes, and some of them forced their way through the outer wall.

In an ominous sign for the Americans, the Iraqi authorities, who had prevented previous demonstrations from getting near the embassy compound, allowed the protesters on Tuesday to march on it unimpeded.

In recent months, in the face of antigovernment protests, it was Iraqi forces firing tear gas to dispel protesters. But this week, the Iraqi authorities left task to the United States, rather than confronting their own people.

The militias, although closely tied to Iran, are made up of Iraqis and fall under the under the umbrella of the Iraqi military, though they have a great deal of independence. But the Trump administration cast both the killing of the American contractor and the attack on the embassy as the direct work of Iran.

President Trump tweeted Tuesday that Iran “will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities.”

“They will pay a very BIG PRICE!” he said.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded on Wednesday, taunting, “You can’t do anything.”

Iraqi militias played a crucial role in the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS. While many of the armed groups, who are principally made up of Shiite Muslims, are backed by Iran, a Shiite theocracy at odds with the United States, the two powers had a common goal in their effort to defeat the Islamic State.

Once the Islamic State was largely demolished, however, the Iran-backed militias turned their attention to constraining United States activities in Iraq, especially after the Trump administration ratcheted up its sanctions against Iran.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the United States was “taking revenge on the Popular Mobilization Forces for defeating ISIS,” a group that he claimed “the U.S. had created.”

Kataib Hezbollah denied responsibility on Wednesday for the most confrontational demonstrators, although it had pushed for protests in front of the embassy.

There are about 30 groups within the Popular Mobilization Forces, each answering to different leaders who do not always agree with one another. Neither the government nor any of the factions has the authority to corral all of them, making for a dangerous mix.

Falih Hassan reported from Baghdad, and Alissa Rubin from Paris.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191119032_custom-e40edec1b7d31f78879efa524a2cb24149da2b21-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

On December 31, 2019 firefighters struggled against the strong wind in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

On December 31, 2019 firefighters struggled against the strong wind in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Wildfires are a regular occurrence in Australia, but on New Year’s Eve, residents of the state of New South Wales experienced blazes stronger and more destructive than they had in years. In several of the southeastern towns, smoke blocked out the sky, houses were destroyed, and thousands of tourists and locals were forced to flee to nearby beaches. Seven people have died so far, and several others are unaccounted for.

It’s still unclear how long the fires will last or what the extent of the damage will be. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service, made up of 74,000 volunteers, predicts that conditions will remain unsafe through the weekend. But that doesn’t mean things will clear up anytime soon; fire season in Australia’s southeast, where it’s currently summer, lasts for months. The most recent fires are coming after weeks of strong winds, record-breaking heat and years of drought in parts of the country.

Images from the fires capture sparks flying, ravaged buildings, smoke and glowing red as far as the eye can see. Here are some of the most striking scenes of the destruction so far.

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191100801_custom-7fdec5ee242980ce9ad1f4a3ac864cce8d707576-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town. Thousands of holidaymakers and locals were forced to flee to beaches in fire-ravaged southeast Australia. Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town. Thousands of holidaymakers and locals were forced to flee to beaches in fire-ravaged southeast Australia.

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191093997_custom-849aa0bce7d68fba5955070030858f40d8d70303-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down the area as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down the area as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191100167_custom-e7c5b2dc423549e874cff66ee27bb703f6567e0c-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A firefighter walks past burning trees during a battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A firefighter walks past burning trees during a battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1190712968_custom-53557c5518b6ae02157f38162111e8acc5fa7287-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A house and van are seen destroyed after bushfires ravaged the town of Bilpin, 70 km west of Sydney on December 29, 2019. Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A house and van are seen destroyed after bushfires ravaged the town of Bilpin, 70 km west of Sydney on December 29, 2019.

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group ap_19365361950566_custom-13a08693d20fdc3ca2778fd77671505dd4544440-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters are seen as they try to protect homes around Charmhaven, New South Wales. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states Tuesday trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions, destroyed many properties and caused fatalities. New South Wales Rural Fire Service/AP hide caption

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New South Wales Rural Fire Service/AP

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters are seen as they try to protect homes around Charmhaven, New South Wales. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states Tuesday trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions, destroyed many properties and caused fatalities.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service/AP

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191099721_custom-58af782425f4aa56e511194c6ffeea821d1b1426-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Amy (L) and Ben Spencer sit at the showgrounds in the southern New South Wales town of Bega where they are camping after being evacuated from nearby sites affected by bushfires on December 31, 2019. Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Amy (L) and Ben Spencer sit at the showgrounds in the southern New South Wales town of Bega where they are camping after being evacuated from nearby sites affected by bushfires on December 31, 2019.

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191130657_custom-1a548691073ffe26cf5ed2caa7345d2c8b1f7c77-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back-burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1. Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back-burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1.

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191093992_custom-c365e401a9bfc90d1864230c82906ca49c98c789-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down trees as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down trees as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191120340_custom-74bf6029ab786e7fe941335f0a015891aeeb2658-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A horse tries to move away from nearby bushfires at a residential property near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on New Year’s Eve. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A horse tries to move away from nearby bushfires at a residential property near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on New Year’s Eve.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191100805_custom-d537802bad02cd8213c41f912afb0557dfa1fefd-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town. Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town.

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group ap_19356361253350-1-_custom-309d3c9a4ab93ff21a33669702e3bfa142c52ae2-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

In this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, photo, NSW Rural Fire Service crew fight the Gospers Mountain Fire as it impacts a property at Bilpin, New South Wales state, Australia. Dan Himbrechts/AP hide caption

toggle caption

Dan Himbrechts/AP

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

In this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, photo, NSW Rural Fire Service crew fight the Gospers Mountain Fire as it impacts a property at Bilpin, New South Wales state, Australia.

Dan Himbrechts/AP

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-11911306571_custom-8ec0368fb07d7b977fd7ba9299e24635e97b6493-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1. Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1.

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191119032_custom-e40edec1b7d31f78879efa524a2cb24149da2b21-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

On December 31, 2019 firefighters struggled against the strong wind in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

On December 31, 2019 firefighters struggled against the strong wind in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Wildfires are a regular occurrence in Australia, but on New Year’s Eve, residents of the state of New South Wales experienced blazes stronger and more destructive than they had in years. In several of the southeastern towns, smoke blocked out the sky, houses were destroyed, and thousands of tourists and locals were forced to flee to nearby beaches. Seven people have died so far, and several others are unaccounted for.

It’s still unclear how long the fires will last or what the extent of the damage will be. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service, made up of 74,000 volunteers, predicts that conditions will remain unsafe through the weekend. But that doesn’t mean things will clear up anytime soon; fire season in Australia’s southeast, where it’s currently summer, lasts for months. The most recent fires are coming after weeks of strong winds, record-breaking heat and years of drought in parts of the country.

Images from the fires capture sparks flying, ravaged buildings, smoke and glowing red as far as the eye can see. Here are some of the most striking scenes of the destruction so far.

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191100801_custom-7fdec5ee242980ce9ad1f4a3ac864cce8d707576-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town. Thousands of holidaymakers and locals were forced to flee to beaches in fire-ravaged southeast Australia. Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town. Thousands of holidaymakers and locals were forced to flee to beaches in fire-ravaged southeast Australia.

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191093997_custom-849aa0bce7d68fba5955070030858f40d8d70303-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down the area as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down the area as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191100167_custom-e7c5b2dc423549e874cff66ee27bb703f6567e0c-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A firefighter walks past burning trees during a battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A firefighter walks past burning trees during a battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1190712968_custom-53557c5518b6ae02157f38162111e8acc5fa7287-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A house and van are seen destroyed after bushfires ravaged the town of Bilpin, 70 km west of Sydney on December 29, 2019. Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A house and van are seen destroyed after bushfires ravaged the town of Bilpin, 70 km west of Sydney on December 29, 2019.

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group ap_19365361950566_custom-13a08693d20fdc3ca2778fd77671505dd4544440-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters are seen as they try to protect homes around Charmhaven, New South Wales. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states Tuesday trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions, destroyed many properties and caused fatalities. New South Wales Rural Fire Service/AP hide caption

toggle caption

New South Wales Rural Fire Service/AP

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters are seen as they try to protect homes around Charmhaven, New South Wales. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states Tuesday trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions, destroyed many properties and caused fatalities.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service/AP

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191099721_custom-58af782425f4aa56e511194c6ffeea821d1b1426-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Amy (L) and Ben Spencer sit at the showgrounds in the southern New South Wales town of Bega where they are camping after being evacuated from nearby sites affected by bushfires on December 31, 2019. Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Amy (L) and Ben Spencer sit at the showgrounds in the southern New South Wales town of Bega where they are camping after being evacuated from nearby sites affected by bushfires on December 31, 2019.

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191130657_custom-1a548691073ffe26cf5ed2caa7345d2c8b1f7c77-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back-burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1. Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back-burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1.

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191093992_custom-c365e401a9bfc90d1864230c82906ca49c98c789-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down trees as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

Firefighters hose down trees as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191120340_custom-74bf6029ab786e7fe941335f0a015891aeeb2658-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A horse tries to move away from nearby bushfires at a residential property near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on New Year’s Eve. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A horse tries to move away from nearby bushfires at a residential property near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on New Year’s Eve.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1191100805_custom-d537802bad02cd8213c41f912afb0557dfa1fefd-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town. Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town.

Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group ap_19356361253350-1-_custom-309d3c9a4ab93ff21a33669702e3bfa142c52ae2-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

In this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, photo, NSW Rural Fire Service crew fight the Gospers Mountain Fire as it impacts a property at Bilpin, New South Wales state, Australia. Dan Himbrechts/AP hide caption

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Dan Himbrechts/AP

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

In this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, photo, NSW Rural Fire Service crew fight the Gospers Mountain Fire as it impacts a property at Bilpin, New South Wales state, Australia.

Dan Himbrechts/AP

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-11911306571_custom-8ec0368fb07d7b977fd7ba9299e24635e97b6493-s1100-c15 In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1. Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  In Australia Wildfires, Scenes Of Smoke, Sparks And Chaos

A fire burns from back burning as firefighters prepare ahead of a fire front in the New South Wales town of Jerrawangala on January 1, 2020. A major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in fire-ravaged seaside towns was under way in Australia on January 1.

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

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