Thousands of people were being evacuated from their homes in northeast Australia on Wednesday, as bushfires raged across Queensland state amid a scorching heatwave.
Some 8,000 people were told to leave the town of Gracemere, south of the central coast area of Rockhampton, as a fast-moving blaze threatened homes.
The Bureau of Meteorology declared a “catastrophic” fire danger the highest possible risk rating in some central areas, while firefighters battled to contain more than 130 blazes across the state.
“This is a very stressful situation for families. I need you to all be strong. I need you to all listen. Your family and the protection of our community is vital,” state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned those told to leave.
“So we need to reach out to community members who are frail, who are elderly, who have a disability. Please listen to authorities, it is going to get a lot worse,” she added.
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The Bureau of Meteorology said scorching temperatures had broken records across Queensland, with the state capital Brisbane reaching 37.9 degrees Celsius (100.2 degrees Fahrenheit).
At least 34 schools were closed, and authorities earlier in the day said the number of homes destroyed was likely in “single digits” but it was too early to confirm.
We will see more fires flare up very very quickly, so this is the start of it,” Queensland fire and emergency services commissioner Katarina Carroll warned those evacuating.
“It is very difficult to get a sense of how long people have in the area because the winds are picking up faster than what was expected so evolving, but very, very quickly,” she added.
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Inflation rate falls to 1.7%
The office for National statistics says the consumer price index is 1.7%-down from 2.1% – in August
Head of inflation at ONS Mike Hardie said: “The inflation rate has fallen noticeably into August, to its lowest since late 2016. This was mainly driven by a decrease in computer game prices, plus clothing prices rising by less than year after the end of the summer sales.
“Annual growth in house prices slowed to its lowest rate since September 2012, with four of the nine English regions now seeing prices falling over the year”.
Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe
Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.
The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).
The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.
According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.
It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.
“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.
“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”
The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.
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