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Threatened and endangered species among the animals hard hit by Australia’s bushfires

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Australia’s bushfires have burned more than half the known habitat of 100 threatened plants and animals, including 32 critically endangered species, the government said Monday.

Wildlife experts worry that more than a billion animals have perished in the unprecedented wave of bushfires that have ravaged eastern and southern Australia for months.

Twenty-eight people died in the blazes, which have swept through an area larger than Portugal.

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Officials say it will take weeks to assess the exact toll as many fire grounds remain too dangerous to inspect.

But the government’s Department of the Environment and Energy on Monday issued a preliminary list of threatened species of plants, animals and insects which have seen more than 10 percent of their known habitat affected.

More than 80 percent of the known or likely habitats of 49 species has fallen within fire zones, while another 65 species have seen 50-80 percent of their distribution areas affected.

Sally Box, the department’s Threatened Species Commissioner, said the survey results were just a first step in understanding the potential impact of the bushfires on Australia’s wildlife.

“Some species are more vulnerable to fire than others and some areas were more severely burnt than others, so further analysis will be needed before we can fully assess the impact of the fires on the ground,” she said.

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The threatened by the fires included 272 plant, 16 mammal, 14 frog, nine bird, seven reptile, four insect, four fish and one spider species, the department said.

Of the 32 critically endangered species impacted by the fires, most were plants though they also included frogs, turtles and three types of bird.


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2020 Election

Paul Krugman issues dire warning about next four months under Trump

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In his column for the New York Times, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman expressed dismay that -- even with coronavirus infection rates going through the roof across the country --Donald Trump is still acting like the health crisis is over and Americans should return to their normal lives.

Noting that Vice President Mike Pence recently penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal proclaiming, “There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave',” the columnist was gobsmacked by the Trump administration's "delusions and magical thinking that have marked every step of the Trump administration’s response to Covid-19."

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CNN

‘Gaslighting on a massive scale’: Doctor warns Trump is lying us into a COVID disaster

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On CNN Friday, Dr. Celine Grounder tore into President Donald Trump's ongoing falsehoods about the coronavirus pandemic.

"No matter how many times public health officials, especially like Anthony Fauci, speak the truth, what does it do, Doctor, when the president continues to lie to the public in face of a public health crisis?" asked anchor Kate Bolduan.

"This is gaslighting on an enormous scale, and means until people eventually get sick or their family members get sick, the communities hit hard, they won't believe it, and then it will be too late," said Grounder. "The problem is there's a lag period from the time that somebody's infected and starts to develop symptoms a couple days later. We don't see people get severely sick and need to be hospitalized and in ICUs until a week into disease, and talking about probably one to two weeks of lag time from the time somebody's exposed at least before you start to see hospitalizations and then another couple weeks before you start to see deaths."

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2020 Election

Republicans ‘anxious’ as campaign aides observe ‘a sudden alertness’ in Trump that he is losing: report

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Republican are growing increasingly worried about President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, according to a new report in Politico.

“I’d say Republicans are feeling anxious, and there’s a real sense of urgency for the president to precisely define his second term agenda. What are we running on? His answers on that have been lacking and he needs to show people why he wants four more years,” Scott Jennings, a top political adviser in the George W. Bush White House, told the publication.

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