Special village in Australia created for new dementia treatment

Dementia patients in Australia are welcoming an innovative new treatment which enables them to live a normal life. 

Based on dementia villages in the Netherlands, new residential facilities are being created which will give patients real-life scenarios such as supermarkets and cafes, which will have health staff working in them, 9News reported. 

CEO of Australia's first dementia village, Lucy O'Flaherty, said the safe space would enable "people do what they ordinarily would have done".

It will home 90 patients and is to be built in Hobart. 

There is another village planned to be build in the state of Victoria, according to 9News.

Many dementia patients live in nursing homes. 



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

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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


Watch: Aussie grower shares heartbreaking video of strawberry crop being dumped - 'This is no doubt the worst thing to ever happen to my family'

An Australian strawberry grower has posted heartbreaking video of truckloads of her family's strawberries being dumped.

Stephanie Chheang posted the video of her family's crop being dumped as a result of needles being found in punnets across Australia, which has forced a complete recall of product.

It also means growers have nowhere to sell their picked and ready fresh fruit.

"This is no doubt the worst thing to ever happen to my family," Ms Chheang wrote.

"This here is a video of our strawberries being dumped, this here is worth more then you could ever imagine and within 3 days we lost it all.

"My mum, Leena Lee Cufari and my step dad has worked years to build the empire they're sitting on now, they put all their money and effort in to build such a successful business.

"They work hard to make the money for our family and to have these selfish individuals destroy it is just so upsetting.

"My mum works day through to the night, controlling the shed and her 250 employees, making sure her strawberries are packed to perfection.

"This will not stop my family from doing what they do best, if anything they’re going to do better.

"I thank everyone who supports us and all the other farmers who were affected by this horrible issue. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

Queensland strawberry farmer installs metal detector

Meanwhile, a Queensland strawberry farmer will install metal detectors to check his produce as the industry deals with the fallout from the discovery of sewing needles in punnets of the fruit.

Glass House Mountains farmer Leonard Smith said the safety measure would cost him about $30,000, but would hopefully get the rest of this season's fruit back on supermarket shelves.

However, he said the detectors wouldn't work if the contamination was occurring offsite.

Mr Smith's farm was forced to burn off 500,000 unsellable plants at the weekend as it was cheaper to destroy them than pick them.

"I need to get them in service in weeks so I can pay some debt off so I don't have to have some uncomfortable conversations," Mr Smith told The Courier-Mail.

He said other growers were being forced to do the same, with others cutting back on staff in the wake of the nationwide strawberry contamination.

One farmer from the Atherton Tablelands says he has had to lay off 15 employees while his business tries to bounce back.

But he says locals in the region are rallying to help farmers by buying fruit at the farm gate.

"Since it started the public support here at the farm is brilliant. They've gone out of their way to come up and actually buy here," he told ABC radio.

Needles have been found in strawberries in all six states, with New Zealand announcing this week it would pull the Australian-grown fruit from its supermarket shelves.

A health warning to throw out or cut up strawberries remains in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

Queensland Strawberry Growers Association vice president Adrian Schultz said "commercial terrorism" was bringing an industry to its knees.

Queensland Police's investigation into the contamination was further complicated when a 62-year-old woman was caught sticking a needle into a banana in a shop in Mackay, in an apparent copycat act.

The woman, who is understood to have mental health issues, was given a warning and referred to appropriate support services.

"The community is reminded that contaminating food is treated as a serious offence and a threat to public safety," a police spokesperson said.

"All reported incidents will be investigated thoroughly."