'Walking is great!' Heart-warming video shows brave six-year-old's first steps after 'miracle recovery' from tragic car crash

A brave six-year-old Gold Coast girl is being called a medical miracle after taking her first steps since a tragic car crash which killed her grandmother and left her 99.8 per cent brain dead eight months ago.

The crash happened in Port Macquarie, NSW and her mother, who was also injured in the crash, was told that her daughter Mackinlee Anderson might not survive her injuries. 

Doctors believed if she did survive the six-year-old may never be able to talk or walk again.

"Mackinlee had horrific injuries. She had a broken pelvis in three different places, she had a ruptured bladder, a dislocated hip and a broken femur," Ms Anderson told Nine News.

"That was all on the bottom half. And then she had an extreme brain injury, with extreme brain trauma.

"We were pretty much in a place there where the doctors thought there was no hope for her."

However, inspirational footage shows Mackinlee taking her first steps since the accident and talking as she does.

"Walking is the best, walking is great," the young girl says as she makes her way unassisted down a hallway.

Her proud mum is still amazed at the miracle recovery Mackinlee has made.

"Mackinlee amazes me every day with her determination. Every day the doctors say she can't do something and the next day she can do it.

"And she walks everywhere now, around the house, everywhere. You just can't keep her still."


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Worrying rise in Ebola cases after efforts to contain Congo outbreak become violent

A runaway hearse carrying an Ebola victim has become the latest example of sometimes violent community resistance complicating efforts to contain a Congo outbreak - and causing a worrying new rise in cases.

The deadly virus' appearance for the first time in the far northeast has sparked fear. Suspected contacts of infected people have tried to slip away. Residents have assaulted health teams. The rate of new Ebola cases has more than doubled since the start of this month, experts say.

Safe burials are particularly sensitive as some outraged family members reject the intervention of health workers in the deeply personal moment, even as they put their own lives at risk.

On Wednesday (local time), a wary peace was negotiated over the body of an Ebola victim, one of 95 deaths among 172 confirmed cases so far, Congo's health ministry said. Her family demanded that an acquaintance drive the hearse, while they agreed to wear protective gear to carry the casket. A police vehicle would follow.

On the way to the cemetery, however, the hearse peeled away "at full speed," the ministry said. A violent confrontation followed with local youth once the hearse was found at the family's own burial plot elsewhere. The procession eventually reached the cemetery by day's end.

The next day, with a better understanding of what was at stake, several family members appeared voluntarily at a hospital for Ebola vaccinations, the ministry said.

"They swore no one had manipulated the corpse," it added. Ebola spreads via bodily fluids of those infected, including the dead.
The Beni community where the confrontation occurred is at the center of Ebola containment efforts. To the alarm of the World Health Organisation and others, it is also where community resistance has been the most persistent - and where many of the new cases are found.

Chronic mistrust after years of rebel attacks is part of the "toxic mix" in Beni, WHO's emergencies chief, Peter Salama, said in a Twitter post.

So far, the Ebola work in Beni has been suspended twice since the outbreak was declared on Aug. 1. A "dead city" of mourning in response to a rebel attack caused the first. Wednesday's violence caused the second. With each pause, crucial efforts to track thousands of possible Ebola contacts can slide, risking further infections.

Defending themselves, Beni residents have pointed out the shock of having one of the world's most notorious diseases appear along with strangers in biohazard suits who tell them how to say goodbye to loved ones killed by the virus.

"Until now we didn't know enough about Ebola and we felt marginalised when Red Cross agents came in and took the corpse and buried it without family members playing a role," Beni resident Patrick Kyana, who said a friend lost his father to the virus, told The Associated Press. "It's very difficult. Imagine that your son dies and someone refuses to let you assist in his burial. In Africa we respect death greatly."

Until recently many people in Beni didn't believe that Ebola existed, thinking it was a government plot to further delay presidential elections, Kizito Hangi, president of Beni's civil society, told the AP.

Now the population has started to catch on and cooperate, Hangi said. "The problem was that the health workers all came from outside, but local specialists have been included to persuade and inform people in local languages."

The head of emergency Ebola operations with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Jamie LeSueur, acknowledged the problem.

In early October two Red Cross volunteers were severely injured in an attack during safe burials in the community of Butemo. Another volunteer was injured in September by people throwing stones.

"It raised a lot of questions for all of us. Where is the violence coming from?" he said. They have stepped up efforts to collaborate with communities and be clearer about messaging while working within cultural norms as best as possible.

"Of course there are limitations," LeSueur said. "Some people like to view the corpse as it is buried but with Ebola it is difficult to open up the body bag."

In the emotionally charged environment where families have lost loved ones, a misstep could quickly raise tensions.

While Congo's government is acting to give more protection to its own safe burial teams in Beni, LeSueur noted that the "militarisation" of similar efforts in the far deadlier Ebola outbreak in West Africa a few years ago led some residents to hide or not report deaths from the virus.

"I don't think that will be the case in this event" but everyone remembers that lesson, he said.

With its position of neutrality the Red Cross doesn't use armed guards in any case, LeSueur added. "Community acceptance, that's our security."

Source: Associated Press


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Wild weather in Antarctica delays annual journey

Antarctica is facing a series of storms that have caused the longest delay for the start of the season in decades.

Antarctica New Zealand staff were due to fly south on 1 October to set up Scott Base for the science season ahead, but wild winds and snow have closed the McMurdo Sound airfields.

Antarctica New Zealand general manager of operations Simon Trotter said the team was working hard to minimise impact on work planned for the season.

"There are only 22 weeks in the season, so a two-week delay, especially at the beginning, is significant.

"Although weather delays are beyond our control, we deal with them every year. All we can do is re-schedule and wait for the window of opportunity."

"The storms have also affected our US neighbours who are due to fly south to McMurdo Station," Mr Trotter said.

"Unlike us, they can't send their employees home to wait it out - so many of them are getting to know Christchurch very well."

Meanwhile, the US participants in Christchurch are getting required training they would otherwise get in Antarctica to maximize their productivity once they reach McMurdo.

A US Air Force C17 Globemaster is patiently waiting on the tarmac at Christchurch Airport for the Antarctic storms to subside. As soon as the weather clears, the plane, along with an Airbus, will fly participants to the ice.

Weather permitting, flights will start tomorrow. The plan is to start clearing the backlog with seven flights over the next week if weather clears.

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The icy Antarctic sea. Source: 1 NEWS

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Singer Michael Buble says son's cancer diagnosis made him no longer 'have the stomach' for public life

Michael Buble has suggested in an interview that he is retiring from the music scene after one final album. Though it's unclear if he was serious, and his publicist has now claimed the comment was taken out of context.

His announcement follows his son's diagnosis with liver cancer that has left him believing that he no longer 'has the stomach' to maintain a public life. He has also announced that he will no longer be using social media.

In an emotional interview with the Daily Mail, Buble said that he will no longer give interviews or release music (apart from his final album) and will concentrate on his family.

The Daily Mail story, however, suggests at the end he may not have been totally serious about calling time on his career, and his publicist has since said the story "took his comments out of context".

His son Noah’s cancer is now in remission, but Buble nonetheless feels as if he is done with the anxiety and pressure of being famous.

Speaking about the tragedy of his son’s diagnosis, he said: “My whole being has changed. My perception of life. I don’t know if I can get through this conversation without crying and I’ve never lost control of my emotions in public.

“I never fell out of love for music, I just need to put it aside.”

The Canadian-Italian singer also spoke about his last album and the reason behind it.

"There are three reasons I wanted to do this album," he said.

"One, because I felt a debt of gratitude, deeper than I can explain, to the millions of people all over the world who prayed for us and showed us compassion. That gave me faith in humanity.

"Two, because I love music and feel I can continue the legacy of my idols. And three, because if the world was ending – not just my own personal hell but watching the political turmoil in America and watching Europe break up – there’s never a better time for music."

Then suddenly he stopped in the interview.

"This is my last interview," he said. "I’m retiring from the business. I’ve made the perfect record and now I can leave at the very top."

The Daily Mail writer then says: "Somehow, though, I don’t think he really means it."

His record Love, will be released on November 16.

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Rescuers conducting 'hasty' searches in Florida after one body recovered in wake of Hurricane Michael

Rescuers intensified efforts Saturday to find survivors who might be trapped amid the ruins of a small Florida Panhandle community nearly obliterated by Hurricane Michael, where one body has already been recovered.

Crews with dogs went door-to-door in Mexico Beach and pushed aside debris to get inside badly damage structures in a second wave of searches after what they said was an initial, "hasty" search of the area.

Authorities say there is little doubt the death toll will rise from the storm, which made landfall Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds (249 kph) and heavy storm surge. The tally of lives lost across the South stood at 14, including the victim found in the rubble of Mexico Beach, where about 1,000 people live.

"Everything is time consuming," said Capt. Ignatius Carroll, of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue task force. "You don't want to put a rush on a thorough rescue."

More roads were passable along the storm-ravaged coast as crews cleared downed trees and power lines, but traffic lights remained out and lines at the few gas stations that were open were five to six cars deep.

Search and rescue teams combed through dozens of destroyed buildings, some knocked by the massive sea swells clean off their foundations, others gone altogether. Source: Associated Press

Schools will stay closed indefinitely, a hospital halted operations and sent 200 patients to hospitals elsewhere in Florida and in Alabama, and some residents were packing up and getting as far away as they could.

Jeff and Katrina Pearsey, with a ruined rental home in the Panama City area and no indication of when they could again earn a living, said they were heading to Bangor, Maine, where Katrina once worked as a nurse. Several trees came down on their property, including one that smashed through the roof.

"We're getting our stuff and we're going," said Jeff Pearsey, 48. "We're probably done with Panama City."

Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, the leader of a search-and-rescue unit combing through the wreckage of Mexico Beach, said searchers were trying to determine if the person found dead in the community had been alone or was part of a family.

Michael was one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever make landfall in the U.S. While most residents fled ahead of the storm's arrival, others stayed to face the hurricane. Some barely escaped with their lives as homes were pushed off their foundations and whole neighborhoods became submerged.

Panama City has suffered heavy damage from the tropical storm. Source: Associated Press

Hector Morales, a 57-year-old restaurant cook, never even thought of evacuating. His mobile home wasn't on the beach but when it suddenly began floating during the hurricane, he jumped out and swam to a fishing boat and clambered aboard.

"I lost everything," Morales said. "But I made it."

How many others were not so fortunate was still not clear. By one count, state officials said, 285 people in Mexico Beach defied mandatory evacuation orders and stayed behind. It's unclear how many people stayed behind in nearby communities.

One who did, Albert Blackwell, was preparing on Saturday to cover holes in the roof of his apartment and take a chain saw to trees that fell and broke his windows just outside Panama City.

"I'm the idiot that rode it out here in this place," said Blackwell, 65, sweat dripping from his face. He figured rebuilding will take months, but he doesn't plan to leave.

"The immediate day after (landfall), I stopped looters from coming in here," he said. "We're staying to protect our place."

Emergency officials said they've received thousands of calls asking about missing people, but with cellphone service out across a wide area, they found it impossible to know who among those unaccounted for were safe but just unable to dial out to friends or family.

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long said he expected the death toll to rise.

"We still haven't gotten into the hardest-hit areas," he said, adding with frustration: "Very few people live to tell what it's like to experience storm surge, and unfortunately in this country we seem to not learn the lesson."

Authorities have set up distribution centers to dole out food and water to victims, who just were coming to grips with the brutal realities of their situation. They've also set up a triage tent to treat residents stepping on nails and cutting themselves on debris.

The Pearseys were in Orlando, on vacation when they heard about the storm and were unable to return before Friday. Rain got into the modest home, just north of Lynn Haven in the Panama City area, and it had started to smell of mold.

Katrina Pearsey, 46, said she wasn't willing to wait to see if the government would help them out.

"FEMA don't get in no hurry to get anything done. We'll starve to death by then," she said.

President Donald Trump announced plans to visit Florida and hard-hit Georgia early next week but didn't say what day he would arrive.

"We are with you!" he tweeted.

On the Panhandle, Tyndall Air Force Base "took a beating," so much so that Col. Brian Laidlaw told the 3,600 men and women stationed on the base not to come back. Many of the 600 families who live there had followed orders to pack what they could in a single suitcase as they were evacuated before the storm.

The hurricane's eyewall passed directly overhead, severely damaging nearly every building and leaving many a complete loss. The elementary school, the flight line, the marina and the runways were devastated.

"I will not recall you and your families until we can guarantee your safety. At this time I can't tell you how long that will take, but I'm on it," Laidlaw wrote.

Meanwhile, Carroll said, authorities were setting up a triage tent to treat Mexico Beach residents stepping on nails and cutting themselves on debris.

"Now we're getting residents who are still here who are suffering injuries," Carroll said. "These minor cuts and bruises can turn into something more serious" if left untreated.

Search and rescue teams combed through dozens of destroyed buildings in Mexico Beach. Source: Associated Press