Rain has come to Australia. But we must remember the fires

After the apocalyptic scenes of bushfires in Australia – more evidence, according to one historian, we’ve entered the Pyrocene, the “Age of Fire” – flash flooding has come to parts of the country’s east and west coasts. Byron Bay, a popular holiday destination about 750 kilometres north of Sydney, got almost 300 millimetres of rain in 24 hours.

Merkel shows the rest of the world how to be a true leader

With Germany facing elections on September 24, here’s a clue to the nation as it is, how it’s travelling, adapting – its fit in the world, when the most powerful and oldest democracies, the United States and Britain, have taken a resolutely populist turn. With a 13– to 17-percentage-point lead in opinion polling, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who opened national borders to a staggering one-million refugees, looks set to be re-elected for a fourth consecutive term.