'Hope things get better' - stranger pays parking fine for mother with sick child

A kind-hearted stranger has paid a parking fine for a mother who had spent days in hospital with her sick child.

Now an image of the note left by the well-wisher known as Laura has gone viral, shared more than 7000 times since it was posted on the Canberra Mums Facebook page.

The incident came to light after it was posted on social media by the grateful parent.

"I saw your car had a parking ticket on it," the note left on the mother's car read.

"I'm sure whatever you are going through at hospital is tough enough so I paid for you. Hope things get better."

The anonymous mother expressed her thanks by sharing the note on Facebook. 

"Over the past few days I have been in hospital with my 9 week old son," her message read.

"We were discharged today and as I walked to my car I noticed that I had a parking ticket. After those days in hospital, a parking ticket was one more thing that I didn't need.

"Well to my surprise, when I opened the envelope there was a note from a lovely lady named Laura.

"I hope that Laura sees this and knows how much I appreciate her support. Thank you so much."


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Russian military aircraft with 14 on board inadvertently shot down by Syrian artillery -report

Syrian government anti-aircraft artillery inadvertently shot down a Russian military patrol aircraft with a number of personnel on board after the Syrians came under attack by Israeli missiles, according to a US official, quoted by CNN.

The broadcaster said the US official with knowledge of the incident said the regime was actually trying to stop a barrage of Israeli missiles.

A second official had confirmed Israel was responsible for the missile strikes on the Syrian regime.

CNN said the Russian state news agency TASS reported that a Russian IL-20 military aircraft with 14 personnel on board disappeared over the Mediterranean on Monday. 

According to TASS, the ministry of defence specified that "the mark of IL-20 went off the radars disappeared during the attack of four Israeli F-16 aircraft on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia".

The Israelis had fired multiple missiles against targets in the coastal area of Latakia where Russia has based much of its military presence, including aircraft. 

In an attempt to strike back against the Israelis, the Syrians launched extensive anti-aircraft fire, the official said and the Russian aircraft was hit.

An Israel Defence Forces spokesman declined to comment on the reports.

CNN recounted that in February, the two-man crew of an Israeli F-16 ejected from their aircraft when a missile exploded near them, damaging their aircraft as they finished conducting a mission against Syrian forces.

An Israeli defence official told CNN earlier this month that Israel has struck Syria 200 times in the past 18 months to prevent the deployment of Iranian weapons in the region.

It's the heaviest bombing of Syria's rebel-held province in weeks and is only expected to worsen.
File picture Source: BBC

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Parents in Papua are refusing government vaccine drive

Parents in Papua are reportedly refusing to let their children be immunised, as the government rolls out a vaccine programme in schools.

injecting injection vaccine vaccination medicine flu man doctor insulin health drug influenza concept - stock image
Needle (file picture) Source: istock.com

A worker from a community health centre in Tolikara regency told Antara News around 40 percent of parents are refusing the vaccines.

Herdika Pareang said the parents were concerned about their children contracting disabilities or other illnesses.

The regional Health Agency said it was trying to educate parents who have a limited and incorrect understanding of vaccines.


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SpaceX announce Japanese billionaire will be first space tourist sent around moon

SpaceX says Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be first private passenger on a solo rocket trip around the moon.

The 42-year-old entrepreneur appeared at an event this afternoon (NZ time) at the space launch company's headquarters of the space launch company near Los Angeles.

He says it's been his lifelong dream to go into space. He says just thinking about the journey gets his heart racing.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says Maezawa will fly to the moon aboard a new rocket called the BFR, which is still in development.

The reusable 118-metre (387-foot) rocket will have its own dedicated passenger ship.

The average distance from Earth to the moon is about 382,500 kilometres.

No one has been there since an Apollo mission in 1972.

Yusaku Maezawa. Source: SpaceX


Turkey, Russia agree on demilitarised zone in Syria's Idlib

The leaders of Russia and Turkey agreed today to establish a demilitarised zone in Syria's Idlib region, the last major stronghold of anti-government rebels where fears had been running high of a devastating offensive by government forces.

The zone will be established by October 15 and be 15-20 kilometres deep, with troops from Russia and NATO-member Turkey conducting coordinated patrols, President Vladimir Putin said at the end of a more than three-hour meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi.

The deal marked a significant agreement between the two leaders and effectively delays an offensive by Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies, one that Turkey fears would create a humanitarian crisis near its border.

Putin said "radical militants" would have to withdraw from the zone. Among them would be those from the al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham — Arabic for Levant Liberation Committee. The group denies it is linked to al-Qaida.

It was not immediately clear exactly how the deal would be implemented in the province, which is home to more than 3 million Syrians and an estimated 60,000 rebel fighters from various groups.

"I believe that with this agreement we prevented a great humanitarian crisis in Idlib," Erdogan said at a joint briefing with Putin.
Turkey has been eager to prevent an assault by Syrian government troops in the province.

Putin said he believed the agreement on Idlib could hasten final resolution of Syria's long and devastating civil war.

"We agreed that practical implementation of the steps we plan will give a fresh impetus to the process of political settlement of the Syrian conflict and will make it possible to invigorate efforts in the Geneva format and will help restore peace in Syria," he said.

Asked whether Syrian President Bashar Assad's government agreed with the Putin-Erdogan plan, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told reporters in Sochi that "in the coming hours, we will agree with them on all the positions put forth in this document."

Ahmed Ramadan, a spokesman for the Syrian political opposition in exile, said the agreement offered Russia a chance to walk back its threat against Idlib and represented a success for diplomatic pressure from Turkey and the United States, which was also against an offensive.

Ramadan also said the deal offers the Syrian government and Russia one of their main demands, which is securing the highway that passes through Idlib and links northern Syria with other cities. That was one of the government's strategic aims in an offensive in Idlib.

"Turkey offered Putin a ladder with which to climb down from the tree, threatening a military offensive in Idlib that had little chance for success," Ramadan said in a series of text messages with The Associated Press. "The Turkish and U.S. serious pressures were the reason behind Russia abstaining from the offensive and offering an air cover which means Iran alone won't be able to carry out the offensive with the overstretched forces of the Assad regime."

He said Russia has also refrained from its accusations that the rebels are all terrorists. "Russia swallowed all its accusations," he said. "Turkey is in a strong position."

He said the zone would be enforced by Turkish patrols on the opposition side and Russian patrols on the government side.
Ramadan added that the opposition was now stronger than when it was after losses in Daraa and Ghouta.

He said the Russians reached the agreement without negotiating it first with the Syrian government, pointing to Shoigu's comments that Moscow will discuss the deal with the Syrian government later.

Abu Omar, a spokesman for the Turkey-backed rebel group Faylaq al-Sham, thanked Erdogan for preventing an offensive and giving the rebels time to defend their rebellion and people. Millions "of civilians in Idlib are in peace," he tweeted.

He said he was confident that the deal "would not have been possible without the steadfastness of our people and fighters. Thank you, Erdogan."

Capt. Naji al-Mustafa, a spokesman for the Turkey-backed umbrella group of opposition fighters known as the National Front for Liberation, said diplomatic efforts have prevented a wide-offensive on Idlib but that his group still needs to learn the details of the deal.
He said the nature of the demilitarized zone and how it would be implemented are not yet clear.

"We need details," he said, adding that the Assad government has broken many agreements before, including the Russian-Turkey negotiated de-escalation zones.

"We will remain ready for fighting," he said.

Russia has called Idlib a hotbed of terrorism and had said the Syrian government has the right to retake control of it. In recent weeks, Russian officials repeatedly claimed rebels in Idlib were preparing a chemical weapons attack that could be blamed on the Syrian government and prompt a retaliatory strike by the West.

Turkey had appealed to Russia and Iran, its uneasy negotiating partners, for a diplomatic resolution. At the same time, it has sent reinforcements to its troops ringing Idlib, a move designed to ward off a ground assault, at least for now.

The International Rescue Committee, a New-York based humanitarian group, said the people of Idlib "will rest easier tonight knowing that they are less likely to face an impending assault."

However, Lorraine Bramwell, the group's Syria country director, cautioned that previous de-escalation deals didn't last long.

"In order to give people in Idlib peace of mind then, this agreement needs to be built upon by the global powers working together to find a lasting political solution that protects civilians," Bramwell said. "It is also essential that humanitarian organizations are allowed to reach those who will remain in need throughout Idlib, including in any 'demilitarised zone.'"

Idlib and surrounding areas were quiet Monday, a continuation of the calm that started less than a week ago amid Russia-Turkey talks.

Children are among those believed to have been killed in airstrikes on the rebel-held province. Source: BBC