Carlos Ghosn has been pictured celebrating New Year’s Eve with his wife and friends in Lebanon

Carlos Ghosn has been pictured celebrating New Year’s Eve with his wife and friends in Lebanon after escaping nine months of house arrest in Japan.

The 65-year-old former Nissan CEO can be seen sitting next to wife Carole in a plush dining room in front of a table strewn with empty plates, glasses, a half-full bottle of wine and decorated with lit candlesticks on Tuesday.

In Victoria – where there are grave fears for 28 people still missing in the East Gippsland region – authorities have sent 250,000 text messages to people in affected shires and urged them to evacuate.

Late on Friday, authorities said 3.5% of the Victorian landmass had been affected by fire.

For more than two decades, Soleimani was the architect of Iran’s expanding influence across the Middle East. He travelled the region in his dual roles of diplomat and military commander to build and support a “resistance bloc” – an alliance of Shia militant groups that would facilitate Iran’s regional ambitions and counter US influence.

Stretching from Tehran to the Mediterranean coast, through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, this network of non-state actors received significant military and financial support, which gave Iran significant influence across the region.

The strike that killed him was one of opportunity as Soleimani was known to be on the move almost constantly. Israel has wanted to kill him for many years and has failed.

It is entirely possible America saw an opportunity and Trump gave the green light to the attack – apparently with little thought to the consequences.

After he was heckled by residents whose homes had been destroyed, Scott Morrison, the prime minister, said he understood that people were feeling a “sense of frustration, and hurt, and loss and anger” due to the scale of the bushfire disasters. About 2,000 homes have been lost across the country.

Mr Morrison said that he was “inclined” to cancel official visits this month to India and Japan. They are Australia’s largest coal export markets after China and energy exports were expected to be on Mr Morrison’s agenda.