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Australia Suffers From Heat And Fuel Wildfires

The fires coincided with the formation of Cyclone Owen in the Coral Sea

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Queensland, Australia, Hindu
FILE - A dead tree stands near a water tank in a drought-stricken paddock located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

Heat and wind on Monday were fuelling over 110 forest fires that have been burning for two weeks in Australia, where the authorities have also been alerted to a tropical cyclone off the coast.

The Queensland Bureau of Meteorology, Australia has also issued a severe storm warning for the state, reports Efe news.

“Damaging to destructive winds, large to giant hail and heavy rainfall are all possible. Storms may affect current fires burning in the area,” the bureau said on Twitter.

At least one person has died from the fires in the state of Queensland, where more than 527,000 hectares have been razed.

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Tire tracks left by a truck can be seen in a drought-stricken paddock on Kahmoo Station property, located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

One of the areas that most concerns firefighters is North Stradbroke island, near Queensland’s capital Brisbane, where it is feared flames could jump to the nearby Russell and Macleay islands.

“Our greatest area of concern is still North Stradbroke Island in the south-east, just off Brisbane. We were expecting high winds today to impact that already dynamic fire,” Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Michael Wassing told the media.

The centre of Queensland is another area that has been of concern to the fire department, which has alerted the population of Captain Creek, located 467 km from Brisbane, to prepare for evacuation.

Climate change, Australia
The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation’s top carbon dioxide emitters, stands in the distance in Juliette, Georgia. VOA

In the same region, firefighters urged several more communities to stay informed, and asked evacuees last week to refrain from returning home as conditions remain extremely dangerous.

The fires coincided with the formation of Cyclone Owen in the Coral Sea, more than 900 km from Cairns, in the north of Queensland, Australia

Also Read: California Wildfire Almost Completely Controlled: Authorities

While the cyclone is projected to weaken, it is expected to cause rain on Wednesday in several areas of the state’s central coast. (IANS)

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Microsoft Pulls Plug On Its Cortana Mobile App For Android and iOS Devices

Microsoft is pulling the plug on its Cortana mobile app for both Android and iOS devices across several countries

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Microsoft
Microsoft is pulling the plug on its Cortana mobile app for both Android and iOS devices in several countries. Pixabay

Microsoft is pulling the plug on its Cortana mobile app for both Android and iOS devices in regions such as the UK, Canada, Australia and several other countries.

Beginning January 31, Microsoft will no longer support the digital assistant app in the above-mentioned countries, it said in three regional support notes.

When asked if the iOS and Android apps will also be shuttered in the US, a Microsoft spokesperson said that in addition to Britain, Australia and Canada, affected markets include China, Germany, India, Mexico and Spain, CNet reported on Saturday.

Microsoft
Microsoft will no longer support the digital assistant app in some countries. Pixabay

Notably, the Cortana app is used to configure settings and update firmware for devices like Microsoft’s Surface Headphones.

Lists, reminders and other content created by way of the iOS or Android app will still be accessible via Cortana on Windows, the company said in its support page.

Also Read- Xiaomi Plans To Unveil All Smartphones Over $285 with 5G Support Soon

“Cortana is an integral part of our broader vision to bring the power of conversational computing and productivity to all our platforms and devices,” a Microsoft spokesperson was quoted as saying by CNet. (IANS)