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Smoke from Australia bushfires reaches Brazil

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Smoke from bushfires raging across Australia reached Brazil on Tuesday, an arm of the National Institute for Space Research said on Twitter.

Referring to satellite images, the agency’s Department of Remote Sensing said the smoke had arrived in Brazil’s southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul.

Private meteorological company MetSul also tweeted about the arrival of a smoke cloud to Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, but emphasized that “the presence of smoke from Australia in the air is almost imperceptible, despite the satellite showing smoke in the atmosphere over the great Porto Alegre.”

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Chile’s meteorological service said Monday that smoke from the fires was visible in Chile and Argentina.

That means the hazy cloud of smoke, sitting at about 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) in the air, traveled more than 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) to reach South America.

But the drifting smoke won’t negatively affect the health of the continent’s inhabitants, the Chilean service said.

Fires ravaging Australia since September have left 24 people dead and destroyed some eight million hectares (80,000 square kilometers) of land — an area the size of Ireland or the US state of South Carolina.

After a catastrophic weekend, Australian firefighters — supported by US and Canadian forces — welcomed rain and a drop in temperatures to boost their efforts early in the week before another heat wave is expected in the coming days.

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Reserve troops have been deployed to help throughout the country, and the government has earmarked an initial Aus$2 billion ($1.4 billion) for a national recovery fund for devastated communities.


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Fox & Friends floats impeachment conspiracy theory about GAO findings of Trump crimes against Ukraine

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"Fox & Friends" assured viewers they could ignore a federal watchdog agency's findings that President Donald Trump broke the law by withholding Ukraine aid.

The nonpartisan the Government Accountability Office found the White House Office of Management and Budget violated the law by freezing $400 million in congressionally approved military aid, but the Fox News hosts suggested the agency was only trying to hurt the president.

"Do you think it's just a coincidence that that news would drop exactly the same day the (impeachment) trial started?" said co-host Steve Doocy.

Co-hosts Pete Hegseth and Ainsley Earhardt agreed, and accepted administration denials at face value.

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GOP senators are questioning allegiance to Trump as impeachment becomes a reality: Morning Joe panel

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According to members of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panel, Donald Trump may see more defections by previously supportive Republican senators now that the impeachment of the president has become a reality and their conduct will be scrutinized by voters back home.

Speaking with columnist David Ignatius, host Joe Scarborough noted that multiple Republican senators -- including several who are retiring -- are going soft on defending the president and may be inclined to allowing multiple witnesses who could damage the president.

"David Ignatius, you know, we've known Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) both of us, for a long time. and as they coming to the end of their careers," Scarborough began. "I would think [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell would be concerned that these gentlemen would vote their conscience and not just blindly follow Donald Trump and would vote to have a fair, open hearing and trial and get this new evidence that's coming in, that's come in since the House impeached."

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Iran’s supreme leader says Trump is a ‘clown’ who will betray Iranians

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Iran’s supreme leader said President Donald Trump is a “clown” who only pretends to support the Iranian people but will “push a poisonous dagger” into their backs, as he struck a defiant tone in his first Friday sermon in Tehran in eight years.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the mass funerals for Iran’s top general, who was killed in a US airstrike earlier this month, show that the Iranian people support the Islamic Republic despite its recent trials. He said the “cowardly” killing of Soleimani had taken out the most effective commander in the battle against the Islamic State group.

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