Hello, Joanna Nicholson with the top stories on ABC News.
Cooler conditions have eased the bushfire threat in northern New South Wales and Queensland, but dozens of fires are still burning. In New Wouth Wales, blazes at Bees Nest and Drake remain out-of-control but no fires are currently at emergency warning level. In Queensland, almost 70 fires are still burning but the worst of the blazes around Applethorpe and Stanthorpe have been downgraded to Watch and Act.
Police are investigating a fatal house fire in Melbourne's south-east. Emergency services were called to a home in Endeavour Hills last night and found a 71-year-old man dead inside after the fire was extinguished. A crime scene has been established and an arson chemist is expected to examine the site today.
Russia and Ukraine have completed an exchange of 70 prisoners in a move US president Donald Trump has described as a possible 'first giant step' towards peace in eastern Ukraine. Those freed include 24 Ukrainian sailors and — controversially — a person of interest in the downing of flight MH17 in 2014.
And in Ashes Cricket. Tim Paine's men are eight wickets away from becoming the first Australian side in 18 years to retain the Ashes on English soil at the fourth test at Old Trafford.
And those are the latest headlines from ABC News.
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