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Sydney smoke crisis 'longest on record'
AFP, Sydney
Australian bushfires have caused unprecedented pollution in Sydney and along the country's east coast, officials said Thursday, with smoke and dust burning residents' eyes and prompting a spike in respiratory complaints.
Hundreds of bushfires have burned out of control since September up and down the eastern seaboard, blanketing cities from Sydney to Brisbane in smoke for weeks on end.

14 missing in deadly Ukraine fire
AFP, Kiev
Fourteen people remain missing from a fire that claimed a student's life in Ukraine's southern port city of Odessa, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday.
The fire broke out in a college building in central Odessa on Wednesday, killing a 16-year-old female student and injuring 27 others. The blaze had been contained by Thursday morning, but dozens of firefighters were still combing through the partly destroyed walls of the six-storey building.

Four dead, four missing after gas explosion in Poland
AFP, Warsaw
Four people were killed and another four were reported missing after a gas explosion destroyed a house in a ski resort in the south of Poland late Wednesday, local authorities said.
Around 100 firefighters were still scouring the debris of the house in Szczyrk on Thursday morning in search of possible survivors. The local prefect, Jaroslaw Wieczorek, said that one of the bodies recovered was a child and the other three were adults.

Quake hits Xinjiang, no casualties
Xinhua, Urumqi
A 4.9-magnitude earthquake jolted Baicheng County of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region at around 10:46 a.m. Thursday, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).
The epicenter was monitored at 41.73 degrees north latitude and 81.65 degrees east longitude.

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Lukashenko abruptly sworn in, Belarus opposition calls for more protests

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Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals

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Australia attempts to rescue hundreds of stranded pilot whales

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UAE gets American drones as China ramps up sales

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