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Melbourne baby girl dies as her parents plead for their stolen phone, & more in News in 5.

– With AAP

1. Baby girl dies after parents plead for return of stolen phone full of photos of her.

A terminally ill 11-month-old Melbourne baby has died just days after her parents pleaded for public help to return a stolen mobile phone full of photos of their daughter.

Jay Windross, the father of baby Amiyah Windross, shared the news of Amiyah’s death “with utter sadness” in a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon.

“Amiyah’s last hours were spent peacefully and calmly, cuddling in Mummy’s and Daddy’s arms – which is what she loved most,” he wrote.

“Amiyah battled hard and fought an undiagnosed neurological issue from the day she was born. Her strength, her courage, and her unrelenting fight was on display from her first breath, all the way till her last.

“She held on and fought every minute to stay cuddling with her Mummy and Daddy for as long as she could and we can’t begin to describe how brave and courageous she was.

“As incredibly empty as we are feeling right now, we are relieved that Amiyah is no longer in any more pain or distress.”


He said that although their time with Amiyah was short, she had taught them so much in her 11 months and made them stronger and more courageous than they ever thought they could be.

“We will never stop thinking about you and those chubby cheeks,” Jay wrote to his daughter. “That infectious big toothy smile that you would show us when we cuddled with you will stay in our minds forever.

“We know that you were made up of a bit of Mummy and a bit of Daddy, so you will always have us with you where ever you go. No matter what, you will forever be in our hearts and we are so proud of you.”

Amiyah’s death comes days after her parents appealed for public help to track down a stolen phone containing irreplaceable photos of her.

Dee accidentally left the Samsung Galaxy S8 with a purple phone cover behind in a toilet cubicle while she washed her hands in a bathroom at Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre on Saturday afternoon.

When she realised and went back for the phone less than a minute later, it was gone, along with hundreds of photos of Amiyah who was in her last days.

Speaking to 7News, Windross explained his daughter has spent 200 days of her 11 month life in hospital as an undiagnosed baby, meaning doctors haven’t yet been able to find a diagnosis for her multiple health conditions, but she deteriorated over the Easter long weekend.

Over the weekend Windross said they would “gladly offer a cash reward for the phone, no questions asked, no grudge held,” and would make the transaction “amicably and without intervention of the police.”

The couple are urging anyone who might have information of the phone’s whereabouts to anonymously drop the phone off to reception at Monash Children’s Hospital or any information desk at Chadstone Shopping Centre.

2. Joe Biden announces 2020 President run.

Former US Vice President Joe Biden has formally joined the crowded Democratic presidential contest, betting his working-class appeal and ties to Barack Obama’s presidency will help him overcome questions about his place in today’s increasingly liberal Democratic Party.

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Joe Biden. Image: Getty.

He made his announcement in a video posted on Twitter, declaring: "We are in the battle for the soul of this nation."

"If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation," Biden said.

"Who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen."

Thursday's announcement marks the unofficial end of the chaotic early phase of the 2020 presidential season. The field now features at least 20 Democrats jockeying for the chance to take on President Trump next year.

Biden, a 76-year-old lifelong politician, becomes an instant frontrunner alongside Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is leading many polls.

Among Democrats, Biden has unmatched international and legislative experience, and he is among the best-known faces in US politics.

But the anti-establishment wave that swept Trump into office has not been kind to either party's statesmen. Biden's team worries about his fundraising ability and his tendency to commit gaffes. His centrist approach in a party moving left on major policy debates raises questions about his appeal.

Four years Trump's senior, Biden would be the oldest person ever elected president should he win. Yet his allies believe the sceptics will ultimately warm to his strong connections to the Obama years.

Biden has said he would campaign as an "Obama-Biden Democrat," who is as pragmatic as he is progressive. He's aiming to be a conduit between working-class white voters and the younger, more diverse voters who backed Obama.

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Obama said through a spokeswoman that selecting Biden as his running mate in 2008 was "one of the best decisions he ever made" and that he frequently relied on his "knowledge, insight and judgment", but didn't explicitly endorse him.

The Republican Party wasted no time seeking to undercut Biden's record, releasing a video on Wednesday questioning economic growth under Obama and Biden while resurrecting conservative arguments against Obama's health care law and a failed investment in green energy company Solyndra.

With a record that stretches half a century, Biden's challenges are easy to find.

Most recently, he struggled to respond to claims that he touched 2014 Nevada lieutenant governor nominee Lucy Flores' shoulders and kissed the back of her head before a fall campaign event. A handful of other women have made similar claims, though none has alleged sexual misconduct.

Biden later pledged in an online video to be "much more mindful" of respecting personal space but joked two days later that he "had permission" to hug a male union leader before addressing the group's national conference.

His first White House bid in 1988 ended after a plagiarism scandal and dropped out of the 2008 race after earning less than one per cent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses. Later that year, Obama named Biden as his running mate.

3. Prince William honours ANZACs, visits survivors during first day in Christchurch.

Prince William has arrived in Christchurch to thank emergency staff who worked through the aftermath of deadly shootings at the city's mosques, but not before a meeting with a five-year-old survivor of the attacks.

Image: Getty.

The Duke of Cambridge was whisked through the South Island city in a police motorcade after touching down on Thursday afternoon, accompanied by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as he got off his plane.

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High security and a low-key approach by organisers meant the handful of royal watchers gathered at the airport and along streets would have no chance to catch a glimpse during the arrival.

A small group of curious bystanders formed outside the gates at the Prince's first port of call, the city's Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, which acted as a base of operations after the terror attack.

He was greeted by Police Commissioner Mike Bush and met with officers and ambulance staff, some of whom were at the scene of the attacks that killed 50.

The Duke enquired about the how the response had been coordinated and unfolded.

"Nothing really trains you for seeing it in real life," the Prince, who served as a pilot with the air ambulance service in Britain, said.

Afterwards, Bush told reporters staff had been "overwhelmed" by William's message of support and his acknowledgement of their work.

"The emotion was quite palpable," Bush said.

"If I could use his words to our staff which was: 'A good friend doesn't pick up the phone when people are in need, you travel to their place and you put your arms around them.'"

Before heading to Christchurch, William made time to stop by Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland, where he visited a five-year-old girl left in a coma during the shootings and who only recently began to speak again.

A video posted by Kensington Palace shows William at the child's bedside, talking to her about his daughter Charlotte.

"She's about the same age as you," he said in reply to a question from the child.

William began his two-day visit to New Zealand on Thursday morning by paying his respects to Australian and New Zealand soldiers with a wreath-laying at an Anzac ceremony at Auckland's War Memorial Museum.

The March 15 terror attack has loomed over this year's commemorations in New Zealand.

Dozens of armed police officers stood guard during the hymns and speeches, trucks and buses blocked roads around the site and lookouts kept watch from the museum's roof.

While William did not speak, Ardern in an emotional speech said the event was a reminder of shared values after the terror attack.

"Let us recommit to always remembering our shared humanity, that there is more that unites us than divides us," she said.

"Our sense of independence is as strong as our sense of responsibility to each other and not just as nation-states but as human beings."

Visiting Christchurch's attack survivors will now be the focus for the remainder of the Duke's trip.

Apart from a last-minute public walkabout on Friday, events are expected to take a significantly more sombre tone than most royal visits.

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The Prince will on Friday visit the city's hospital to meet with a handful of those still being cared for, before meeting with the Muslim community at the city's terror-struck mosques.

He previously visited Christchurch following the deadly 2011 earthquake and last visited with wife Catherine - who hasn't joined him this week - in 2014.

With PA.

3. Six deaths in two days on NSW's roads.

Senior police are imploring drivers to take care on the roads after six people died in two days with five of the fatalities coming from single-vehicle crashes.

A man died at Vittoria near Orange on Thursday afternoon with a passing motorist finding the man's car. It was smashed and the driver had died at the scene.

Earlier on Thursday, a driver was killed when his car hit a tree near Mudgee just before dawn.

Police say the man's station wagon left the Castlereagh Highway at McDonalds Creek and hit the tree about 6am. He died at the scene.

An hour later, the body of a 46-year-old man was found next to a motorcycle down an embankment off George Booth Drive in Seahampton near Newcastle.

The man, from Strockrington, was riding a black Harley Davidson cruiser-style motorbike.

Specialist forensic officers examined the area and established a crime scene.

Any witnesses to the crash have been asked to come forward.

Meanwhile, another motorcyclist died northwest of Canberra on Wednesday afternoon.

The 52-year-old was found by a driver after coming off his bike on the Nottingham Road Bridge at Wee Jasper south of Yass.

It's unclear how long he'd been there. Paramedics took the rider from the scene but he died a short time later.

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A car and cement truck collided head-on on Wednesday afternoon at Sandy Point with the car catching alight after impact. The car driver died at the scene.

A 69-year-old man also died on Wednesday morning when three utes were involved in a crash at Newee Creek on the NSW mid north coast.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy is disturbed by the loss of six lives in a few days.

"I implore people to pay attention when they are behind the wheel and drive with diligence," he said in a statement on Thursday.

"Ensure you are well rested and drive to the conditions of the road."

4. Accused killer's health aired in Vic court.

A cause of death is yet to be revealed for a Geelong woman found lifeless in Melbourne's Chinatown district.

Natalina Angok's alleged killer Christopher Allen Bell, also aged 32, faced court on Thursday charged with one count of murder.

The court was told he needs treatment for schizophrenia.

Bell, from Phillip Island, is due to face a magistrate again on Friday.

An autopsy was conducted overnight to determine Ms Angok's cause of death. The results are yet to be made public.

She was found at the intersection of Little Bourke Street and Celestial Avenue just after 6.30am on Wednesday.

Detectives quickly declared her death suspicious.

Ms Angok is believed to have been found by a member of the public.

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