1. WA bushfires continue to spread.
An emergency warning remains in place for a number of suburbs in Western Australia, after a massive blaze began on Wednesday.
The warning affects Waroona, Harvey, Preston Beach, Lake Clifton, Myalup, and surrounding areas. Many residents have been told it is no longer safe to leave, and to prepare to defend their homes.
The blaze has destroyed over 100 properties in the historic town of Yarloop, and burnt through 67,000 hectares of land. Along with homes, the local hotel, 110 year old Yarloop Workshops and Steam Museum, heritage doctor’s residence and most of the local school have also been destroyed. It is believed to have taken the inferno just 7 minutes to sweep through the town on Wednesday night.
The blaze had been travelling at 1.5km per hour in a South Westerly direction towards Harvey, but authorities say easing winds overnight has slowed the blaze’s progress. But the 200 plus crew of firefighters will have more hot weather to contend with today, with temperatures expected to reach the mid 30s, along with dry thunderstorms.
Residents who had been unaccounted for have now been found. There have been no confirmed serious injuries in the fire.
2. Mexican drug kingpin recaptured.
Fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been recaptured by Mexican authorities, six months after he escaped from a high security prison.
Mexican marines had been conducting extensive operations in the northwestern states of Sinaloa and Durango in search of the 58 year old. The arrest has come as a huge relief for the President, who was criticised and humiliated after the escape.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which played a key role in Guzman’s previous arrest in 2014 by providing intelligence, praised Mexican authorities.
On July 11, after 17 months at the Altiplano maximum-security prison in central Mexico, Guzman slipped through a hole in his cell’s shower, climbed on a motorcycle mounted on rails, and traveled 1.5 kilometers through a tunnel to freedom.
Officials say he then flew to his home at the Sinaloa-Durango state border, where he is revered as a modern-day Robin Hood.
More than a dozen prison and federal police officials have been arrested on charges of helping Guzman flee, along with several associates of the drug lord who worked from the outside on building the tunnel.
3. Man charged over New Year’s Day one-punch attack.
A man has been charged over a one-punch attack in Canberra’s city centre, after CCTV footage was released to the public.
The 20 year old Braddon man handed himself in to police yesterday afternoon, and is helping police with their investigation. He has been charged with one count of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, and has been released on bail. He will appear before the ACT Magistrates Court on January 15.
The victim had emergency surgery following the punch. In the footage, he can be seen falling sideways and hitting his head on the concrete.