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SYDNEY (AP) — Scores of Australians have evacuated their homes in mountains west of Sydney as intensifying winds fanned wildfires that have ravaged the region for days.
The winds were showering communities with embers Wednesday, and all schools were closed in anticipation of worsening fire conditions in the Blue Mountains. The region lost more than 200 homes to blazes last week.
Springwood resident Rae Tebbutt said the atmosphere was tense in the village that was one of the worst-hit last week.
Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says 71 blazes are burning in New South Wales state around Sydney, including 29 burning out of control.
SYDNEY (AP) — Australian police seized around 200 million Australian dollars ($190 million) worth of methamphetamine hidden in the tires of a truck shipped from China, officials said Friday.
Three Melbourne men were arrested after officials found more than 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of the drug in a shipment from Shanghai that arrived in Melbourne on Oct. 1, the Australian Federal Police said.
"The concealment did show up on X-ray but what was unusual about the truck was when you just looked at it, nothing," Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Victoria regional director Graham Krisohos said.
Two of the three men arrested were dock workers in Melbourne. The men face charges of importing and attempting to possess drugs and face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Australian police have made a series of large drug busts in recent months. The country is becoming an increasingly lucrative market for international drug networks because of the strength of the local currency and resilience of the national economy compared to other wealthy nations.
St. Louis Based Peabody Energy plans to cut 450 jobs at Australian coal mines.
The St. Louis Business Journal reports along with Switzerland-based coal company Glencore Xstrata, a combined 500 mining jobs in Australia will be cut as global coal supplies push down prices.
The cuts will take place over the coming weeks across Peabody's operations in Queensland and New South Wales, where it mines both coking and thermal coal.
Prices for coking coal, used in steel making, have fallen about 40 percent in the last year while prices for thermal coal, used in power generation, have dropped 30 percent in the last two years, according to the news agency.
St. Louis-based Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), the world's largest private-sector coal company, reported a loss of $575.1 million in fiscal 2012, on revenue of $8.1 billion.