What Australia’s devastating fires look like on the ground

Severe drought, record heat, and strong winds are fueling deadly blazes across Australia, with no end in sight. The smoke from the raging bushfires has bathed many major cities in an eerie orange glow and created apocalyptic scenes of destruction across the continent.

The fires have already torched 13.5 million acres, an area larger than Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Since September, the bushfires have destroyed more than 900 homes, decimated small towns, and killed more than 480 million animals and at least 17 people. The smoke from the fires made breathing the air in cities like …

Trump’s tweets about Obama using war with Iran to win reelection are very awkward now

As he gears up for a tough reelection campaign, President Donald Trump just approved a military strike that assassinated one of the most powerful people in Iran, Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani — a move that many experts are calling an “act of war,” and one that dramatically increases the chances that outright conflict between Iran and the United States breaks out this year.

On Twitter, Trump justified the assassination by claiming that Suleimani “was plotting to kill many” Americans. During President Barack Obama’s tenure, however, Trump took a much more cynical view of the possibility of armed conflict with …

Chief Justice Roberts warns we’re taking “democracy for granted.” His rulings haven’t helped.

Chief Justice John Roberts handed down his 2019 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary Tuesday evening, an annual tradition that sends Supreme Court reporters scrambling to read the document before they can disperse to New Year’s Eve parties.

The chief justice typically begins each report with a lengthy preamble. In some cases, the preamble crosses the line into subtle political commentary and even advocacy. The bulk of Roberts’s 2019 preamble is a call for “civic education.”

“We have come to take democracy for granted,” the chief writes, “and civic education has fallen by the wayside.”

Roberts, who flirted with becoming

US airstrike kills Iranian Gen. Qassem Suleimani: what we know

A US airstrike killed a top Iranian military official, along with four others, at the Baghdad airport early Friday morning, according to a Pentagon statement. The attack represents a major escalation of simmering hostilities between the US and Iran.

The death of Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, who led Iranian covert operations and intelligence and one of the country’s most revered military leaders, was reported by Iraqi state television early Friday morning local time, according to multiple US media sources, and confirmed in a statement from the Pentagon.

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members …