Brekky Wrap: Greeks Slam Government Over Fire And By-Elections Loom

All the news you need to know this Friday.

Angry locals have confronted Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos as he visited some of the resorts damaged by Monday's fires. Residents of the areas questioned the minister about why the government response to the disaster was so slow and why greater efforts to ensure their safety weren't made faster. Kammenos however, said residents themselves were partly to blame for the widespread devastation. He said their violation of building regulations in woodland areas led to the fires spreading so widely and rapidly.

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has slammed Nine Entertainment's planned take over of Fairfax Media. Keating told the ABC that the "pus" from the "carbuncle" of Nine's culture will ruin the high-level journalism Fairfax is known for. Keating also attacked the news management and editorial judgement of Channel Nine saying it has "no moral compass" and called the merge of the two companies "a great pity" for Australia.

As Saturday's by-elections loom, Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull are working to win-over last minute voters. The elections are particularly significant for both major parties. Turnbull is aiming to increase his majority in the House of Representatives and solidify his leadership leading into the next federal election due in May 2019. Bill Shorten is trailing the PM in personal popularity and is seeking success to stay in his job as recent polls showed Labor would experience a better victory at the weekend if Anthony Albanese was leader.  With five by-elections being the highest held on a single day, Saturday's race to the polls is certainly set to be super.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have threatened to slap hefty sanctions on Turkey if they fail to release American pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest. Bruson, an Evangelical Presbyterian pastor from North Carolina, was arrested in 2016 when the Turkish government cracked down on Christian minorities and journalists. He was released on house arrest on Wednesday but the U.S. say he might be out of jail, but he is not free.

Former cricketer Imran Khan has declared victory in Pakistan's general elections. Millions of people flocked to polling booths around the country to cast their votes amid violence. 31 people died in the city of Quetta when a suicide bomber drove a motorcycle into a police car on Thursday. Another 35 people were injured in the attack. Khan has said that he will be the first party not to carry out political persecution following the elections and that he will deliver a "new Pakistan" free from corruption.

Former cricketer Imran Khan has declared victory in Pakistan's general elections
Khan promised to deliver a corruption free, "new Pakistan" following his victory. Image: Getty.

Facebook shares plunged more than 20 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday shaving some $120 billion from the company's market value. The shift came after the social media network announced that it would become less profitable in the next few years due to shifts in advertising. The BBC reports that Facebook is struggling to monetise advertisement on Instagram Story efficiently as people are using that platform more frequently.

Mixed Martial Arts star Conor McGregor has avoided jail for his part in a violent New York brawl. He pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn criminal court to disorderly conduct and managed to organise a deal which sees him avoid jail time. The attack at the UFC contenders in April injured two athletes and damaged a vehicle. He has been handed five days community service and must attend an anger management program.

You've got the chance to see the longest lunar eclipse this century on Saturday. The event, where the Earth moves directly between the sun and the moon, will last for approximately one hour and 43 minutes. Western Australia is the only state that can catch the entire eclipse but the rest of Australia will be able to catch parts of it. Detailed times in your state can be found here.

Super blue blood moon eclipse in Melbourne on January 31, 3018. Image: AAP

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