News in 5: Alfie’s still fighting, days after his life support ended; Kim Wall murderer guilty; Running leads to happiness

1. Little Alfie Evans is still alive, even though his parents were forced by the courts to switch off his life support two days ago.

Alfie Evans in the UK is almost two but, for the little fighter and his parents Kate James and Tom Evans, those 23 months have been a lifetime of stress and heartache.

Alfie has an undiagnosed terminal condition and, two days ago, it seemed like Tom and Kate had forever lost their fight to transport their little boy to Italy for treatment. But Alfie is a fighter.

Even though his parents were forced by the justice system to switch off Alfie’s life support on the evening of Monday, April 23, Alfie is still alive two days later.

“Coming up to 24 hours and he’s fighting with his gorgeous features, pink lips, handsome grown up face, and odd cheeky smile now and again,” Tom posted to Facebook a day after the fateful moment.

“Our boy continues to fight with no suffering or indication of pain. Coming up to two days now, please save our son Lord,” is the most recent post from the anguished father.

Little Alfie. Image via Facebook.

Tom and Kate have relentlessly fought for Alfie to receive treatment, transversing the justice system since Alfie was put on life support for the first time in December 2016.

He'd been admitted to hospital after making jerking movements, and developed a chest infection.

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"They told us in the new year that Alfie wasn’t going to make it so we had him christened," his parents wrote on a crowdfunding page in early 2017.

"We thought we were going to lose our son! But Alfie had other ideas. He managed to beat the infection and start breathing on his own."

But that was only the beginning, slowly Alfie lost all ability to walk and talk and has been in a "semi-vegitative" state for more than a year.

His parents believe Alfie has a mitochondrial condition - similar to another UK child who died after a long legal battle for treatment, Charlie Gard - but doctors have deemed it a degenerative neurological condition, and are unable to provide a more specific diagnosis.

"Alfie is suffering from epilepsy, or constant, chronic seizures," Tom wrote on their crowdfunding page.

When the hospital urged Tom and Kate to turn Alfie's life support off, the parents took the hospital to court.

They lost, time and time again... At the court of appeal. At the European Court of Human Rights. At the Supreme Court.

They even appealed to the Pope, who tweeted in April, The Sun reports: "It is my sincere hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard."

Still, to no avail. After one bout in court, Lord Justice Davis told the parents there was "no hope".

"We cannot have a kind of legal Groundhog Day where you come back again and again and again on the same point," he said, The Sun reports.

"We're in bits, distraught, in pain," Tom wrote to Facebook after judges at the European Court of Rights dismissed the case, adding the decision meant their son was "about to be murdered".

But Alfie's not ready to give in yet, and the whole world, it seems, is rooting for him to pull through.

2. The Danish man who murdered Swedish journalist Kim Wall onboard his submarine has been sentenced to life imprisonment.


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Kim Wall. Image via Twitter.

A Danish court has sentenced inventor Peter Madsen to life in prison for murdering and dismembering Swedish journalist Kim Wall aboard his home-built submarine in Copenhagen harbour in August 2017.

Madsen, dressed in black, sat completely still as his sentence was handed down in the Copenhagen City Court on Wednesday, AAP reports.

Police detained him on August 11 last year when he emerged from his submarine without Wall, a 30-year-old Swedish journalist who was researching a story on the man who was already well known in Denmark for his submarines and his plan to send a human into space in a home-made rocket.

Later that month, police identified a torso washed ashore in Copenhagen as Wall's. Arms, legs and a head determined to be that of the victim were also later retrieved by the authorities.

"After a total assessment, the court finds that the defendant murdered Kim Wall," Judge Anette Burkoe said.

Wall was a freelance journalist whose work had appeared in Harper's Magazine, The Guardian, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, the South China Morning Post, The Atlantic and TIME.

The court decided that Madsen had "dismembered the body to conceal the evidence from the crime he had committed," she said.

The prosecutors had said Wall died either by strangulation or having her throat cut. Forensics has not been able to confirm nor deny either allegation.

Madsen, 47, admitted to dismembering the body and throwing it overboard his 17-metre submarine but he denied murdering Wall.

He was also accused of "sexual assault without intercourse, of a particularly dangerous nature" in relation to the 14 interior and exterior stab wounds investigators found to Wall's genitals.

He claimed Wall died from breathing exhaust gases that had leaked into the submarine due to a technical error while he was on the deck preparing to submerge. Forensics has also not been able to back up his claim.

"The explanation is not credible and is not consistent with the following decision to dismember the body," the judge said, noting that the jury found the murder had been planned.

A life sentence in Denmark is typically around 15 years without parole.

Wall's closest relatives were not present in court on Wednesday. Her mother had previously said: "She gave a voice to the weak, the vulnerable and marginalised people. That voice would have been needed for a long, long time. Now it won't be so."

Madsen will appeal against the sentence, his defence lawyer told the court. The defendant had sought a minimum sentence of six months in prison for dismembering the corpse.

3. A 13-year-old girl in Sydney has been shot in the leg during a drive-by shooting.

A 13-year-old girl is lucky to be alive after getting caught in the line of fire while talking to a group of friends inside a garage in Sydney's west.

The teenager was shot in the leg in what police believe was a targeted drive-by attack on a home on Constance Street in Guildford on Tuesday night.

It's understood a silver SUV pulled up near the driveway before a number of shots were fired from the passenger side into the garage, which had its door up.

The victim and at least four other young girls were inside chatting at the time, NSW Police say.

The 13-year-old was taken to the Children's Hospital at Westmead where she remains in a serious but stable condition.

"This is an atrocious crime," Superintendent Matt Appleton told reporters on Wednesday.

"It's a cowardly act for someone to fire into a house in any circumstance, but then to put children at risk is hard to describe in words. She was very lucky."

Police don't believe it was a random attack, but are unsure who the intended target was.

There was nothing to indicate it was the teenage girl herself although that was a possibility, Supt Appleton said.

The teenager did not live at the home but was just visiting.

"The more salient line of inquiry at this stage is to do with the premises," Supt Appleton said.

A neighbour told the Nine Network they heard about "five or six pops" followed by screaming and sirens.

"There were just sounds of screams ... it was pandemonium," another local said.

Police have called in detectives from across the region to help with the "very large scale" investigation.

4. Australians who pay a Medicare levy won't have to any longer - it's been axed.


Australians won't spend an extra cent on the Medicare levy as the Turnbull government promises to scrap a proposed $8 billion increase it says is no longer needed to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The increase, a signature measure of the 2017 federal budget, was to cover the costs of the NDIS.

Treasurer Scott Morrison will release better-than-expected tax receipts on Thursday to show the extra 0.5 per cent hike is no longer needed.

"We are now in a position to give our guarantee to Australians living with a disability and their families and carers that all planned expenditure on the NDIS will be able to be met in this year's budget and beyond without any longer having to increase the Medicare levy," he will tell business economists on Thursday.

"The reason we proposed to increase the Medicare levy was only to fully fund the gap left behind by Labor on the NDIS.

"We no longer believe we need to do this."

The treasurer will blame Labor for leaving a $57 billion gap in NDIS funding when it left office.

Mr Morrison 's speech points to tax receipts up until February running $4.8 billion higher than estimated in December, thanks to company profits, a temporary commodities boost and a jobs boom.

"This decision will withdraw the Medicare levy increase and associated revenue from the forward estimates and ensure that all Australians who pay the Medicare levy will now not have to pay more," his speech states.

Mr Morrison said the government had banked on the generosity of Australian to help fund the NDIS when it put forward the proposal.

"We did not put forward this proposal in last year's budget lightly, as we knew it would cost Australians more, but we had faith in the big-heartedness of Australians. It was about helping your mates," he will say.

For him, "tax can go too far" and this would've been proof.

But negotiations over the government's bill have stalled in the Senate.

Labor had proposed to restrict the 0.5 per cent Medicare levy increase to those earning more than $87,000.

5. An Anzac Day tragedy: A man is dead after his boat capsized off Sydney, despite the fact he was wearing a lifejacket.


The boat that capsized, killing one. Image via Nine News.

A 47-year-old man has died after the small boat he was in with two others capsized in Sydney's south.

Emergency services were called to Boat Harbour at Kurnell on Wednesday morning after bystanders pulled the trio - two men and a woman - to the shore.

The three were in the water for 20 minutes before they were rescued, Surf Life Saving NSW said in a statement.

"A group of three were out on the water on Anzac Day about 9am when the small boat they were travelling in was struck by a wave, overturning it instantly," the organisation said.

It is believed all three were wearing inflatable life jackets - and, according to Nine News, an investigation is now underway as to why the device didn't work.

By the time emergency services arrived at the remote location, however, the bystanders had started CPR on the 47-year-old and his life jacket had been removed, authorities said.

Cronulla lifeguards were first to arrive before the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter winched down an officer with a medical pack and they attempted to defibrillate the victim.

But the man died at the scene.

"It's unclear how the deceased man got into difficulty," Surf Life Saving NSW said.

The two others in the boat - the owner, a 39-year-old man, and a woman aged 26 - were taken to Sutherland Hospital suffering minor injuries.

Inspector Christopher Hill says people always want to head out and enjoy themselves on public holidays.

"(But) the message here is, obviously, wear life vests when out on watercraft ... and make sure you're aware of conditions," he told reporters.

Video footage aired by the Seven Network showed the small upturned boat washed onto a rock ledge. The ocean wasn't particularly rough at the time.

"The forecast was for reasonably good conditions so why the boat has overturned I don't know," Westpac rescue helicopter chief executive Stephen Leahy told AAP.

The capsized vessel was recovered and will be forensically examined, NSW Police said in a statement.

A crime scene was established and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

6. Running brings you happiness, apparently... Well, science says so.


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Regular running makes people happier and more confident in everyday life, according to research.

Academics said a survey of 8000 runners found they enjoyed a sense of satisfaction and achievement, with social networks such as parkrun and Strava adding a sense of community.

The vast majority of those surveyed - 89 per cent - said running regularly has made them happier and has had a positive impact on their mental health and body image.

The runners surveyed scored 4.4 on the Oxford Happiness Scale, above the average score of 4 on the method used by scientists to measure wellbeing.

Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University carried out the study by interviewing 8157 runners across the UK registered with parkrun, the nationwide weekly free 5K run, and fitness app Strava.

Dr Emmanuelle Tulle, reader in Sociology at the university, said: "Running gives you a feeling you have achieved something and a sense of tremendous satisfaction.

"It adds to a general sense of wellbeing, you feel good and it helps boosts your self-confidence.

"The combination of attending parkrun and being able to track your progress on Strava makes runners feel as if they are not on their own, it enables them to see the point of running.

"They are much more likely to maintain regular exercise as a result and reap the benefits.

"There is a combination of competitiveness and togetherness, which is extremely beneficial."

The survey found 83 per cent felt more motivated to exercise through using the Strava app while 55 per cent said taking part in parkrun had a positive impact on their social life.

Gareth Mills, UK manager for Strava, said: "We know running is good for us physically, here we see the psychological benefits that being part of an active community can bring."

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