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‘My Name Is Cleo’: Missing Four-year-old Found in Locked House

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Police who found missing Cleo Smith in a locked house in Australia say they were “shocked” and then “elated” when the four-year-old confirmed: “My name is Cleo.”

Detective Sergeant Cameron Blaine told reporters they were not prepared for such a happy outcome despite “always” hoping for it.

“It was absolutely fantastic. To see her sitting there was incredible,” he said.

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Cleo in hospital after being found by police. Pic: WA Police

The child disappeared from a campsite in Western Australia more than two weeks ago.

A 36-year-old local man was arrested following a late-night raid at the house in the coastal town of Carnarvon, after police received a tip-off.

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While one of the other officers picked Cleo up, Detective Blaine said he was concerned to make sure it really was her.

“I said: ‘What is your name?’ She didn’t answer, I asked again and she didn’t answer. I asked a third time and then she looked at me and said: ‘My name is Cleo.’ And that was it. Then we turned around and walked out of the house.”

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Police outside the house where Cleo was found. Pic: AP

Lead investigator Superintendent Rod Wilde said officers were overcome with emotion after finding Cleo.

“We all cried,” he said. “Most definitely. It was an amazing moment. Suddenly after hearing that, we were on such a high. It was fantastic.”

Detective Sergeant Hutchinson, the family liaison officer, then called Cleo’s parents, telling them: “We’ve got someone here that wants to speak to you.”

Their reaction was “just absolute surprise and they were ecstatic”, the officer added.

“Things developed very quickly. To be able to give them that news and say ‘please start making your way to the hospital’ was fantastic.”

Cleo’s mum, Ellie Smith, wrote on social media: “Our family is whole again.”

Image:
Bodycam footage shows an officer carrying Cleo

Detective Blaine said Cleo is “physically okay – that was evident from the start”.

Finding her caused “shock to start with, quickly followed by elation”.

He added: “Can I say, having seen her a couple times this morning, she is a little energizer bunny.

“She’s just a very, very sweet, energetic girl, very trusting and very open with us. You know, we all wanted to take turns in holding her. So yeah, it was a really good experience.”

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Australian police on finding Cleo

Sky News correspondent Siobhan Robbins, who is in Australia, said: “Cleo Smith’s mystery disappearance has gripped Australia. As the days passed with no news and no new sightings many were beginning to fear the worst. The hopes of finding the four-year-old safe and well seemed to be bleak.

“So today’s surprise rescue has been described by some as a miracle. Many received the news as if it was an update on their own loved one.

“Others told us this was a ‘good day for Australia’ as a family – and a nation welcomed a little girl back home.

“‘I have a 4-year-old too so it really hit home with me,’ added 37-year-old New South Wales mother, Gina Walker.

“‘I did not think that was going to be the outcome. I was shocked and so happy – I even teared up.'”

Image:
Cleo’s mother, Ellie Smith, and her partner Jake Gliddon

Initially when Cleo went missing a huge land and sea search got under way on the assumption that she had wandered away from the tent she was in.

But the zipper on the compartment where she and her sister were sleeping was too high for her to have reached it.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said her discovery was a “huge relief” and a “moment for great joy”.

Western Australia state Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said “dogged, methodical police work” led to Cleo being found.

He added: “It is a really special day for Western Australia. Indeed, I know the nation is rejoicing over the fact that we have been able to conduct this operation and we never gave up hope, and I know that Cleo’s parents never gave up hope.”

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Original Article: news.sky.com

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WHO Estimates 15m People Have Died Directly or Indirectly From COVID – More Than Double Official Death Toll

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The World Health Organisation estimates that 15 million people worldwide have now died of coronavirus – or as a result of its impact on health services.

WHO data shows the number of excess COVID mortalities to be somewhere between 13.3 million and 16.6 million people from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021. This is more than double the official death toll of around six million.

Excess mortality refers to the number of people who have died of the virus either directly or indirectly by being unable to access health services for other conditions.

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The figures were compiled using country-reported data and statistical modelling, the WHO said.

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There were 14.9 million excess deaths associated with COVID-19 by the end of 2021, the UN body said on Thursday.

Most excess COVID deaths (86%) happened in Asia, Europe and the Americas, according to the figures.

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Middle-income countries accounted for 81% of deaths, with 28% occurring in upper-middle-income countries and 4% in low-income ones.

Some 68% of all excess deaths worldwide happened in just 10 countries.

There was a higher rate for men (57%) than there was for women (43%), with more excess deaths among the elderly than younger generations.

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WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented: “These sobering data not only point to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems.

“WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to generate better data for better decisions and better outcomes.”

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Original Source: news.sky.com

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Pope Francis Seen Using Wheelchair for the First Time for Mobility Reasons

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The Pope has been pictured using a wheelchair – the first time he’s used one in public due to the knee pain that’s made it hard for him to walk and stand.

Francis, 85, was wheeled on stage and helped into a seat during an audience with a group of nuns and religious superiors from around the world at the Vatican.

He appears to be having a flare-up of sciatica, a nerve condition he suffers with that he’s called his “troublesome guest”.

The Pope has had to cancel or cut short activities several times in the last month because of pain in his right knee.

He was pictured in a wheelchair last July after major intestinal surgery, but this is believed to be the first time he’s used one in public due to his mobility problems.

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Before Thursday’s event, he was able to walk the roughly 10 metres or so from the side entrance of the stage to his seat with some help.

He recently received some injections to try to relieve the pain but has continued to struggle.

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His impaired movement was apparent over Easter when he attended but did not take charge of masses at St Peter’s Basilica, instead delegating a cardinal or archbishop to preside.

During a trip to Malta in April he was also pictured using an elevator platform to get on and off the plane.

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Original Article: news.sky.com

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Woman Pulled Alive From Rubble Six Days After Building Collapsed

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A woman has been found alive in the rubble of a building that partially collapsed almost six days earlier, Chinese state media has said.

At least five people are confirmed to have died and possibly dozens are still missing following the disaster in the city of Changsha, in central China‘s Hunan Province, on 29 April.

The unidentified woman has become the 10th survivor and was rescued shortly after midnight today, about 132 hours after the rear of the six-storey building suddenly caved in, the official Xinhua News Agency has reported.

The woman was conscious and told rescuers how to pull her out without causing further injury, Xinhua added.

Teams had used dogs and hand tools as well as drones and electronic life detectors in the search.

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All the survivors were reportedly in good condition after being treated in a hospital and it is thought intermittent rain showers over the last few days may have helped their chances of survival without food or water.

At least nine people have been arrested in relation to the collapse of what Xinhua has described as a “self-built building”.

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This includes its owner, on suspicion of ignoring building codes or committing other violations.

Three people in charge of design and construction were also held, along with five others who allegedly gave a false safety assessment for a guest house on the building’s fourth to sixth floors.

The building also housed residences, a cafe and shops.

Image:
An aerial photo shows the site of the collapsed residential building in Changsha, central China’s Hunan Province

There has been increase in the number of collapses of self-built buildings in recent years.

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for additional checks to uncover structural weaknesses.

Following the building collapse at the weekend, he urged for more victims to be found in the rubble “at all costs”.

Poor adherence to safety standards, including the illegal addition of extra floors and failure to use reinforcing iron bars, is often blamed for similar disasters.

China also suffers from decaying infrastructure such as gas pipes that has led to explosions and collapses.

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Source: news.sky.com

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