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Boy sends card to grandad in heaven... and receives reply

Phil’s letter to his grandad resulted in a message from heavenA five-year-old boy couldn’t get over the death of his grandfather, so he attached a card to a helium balloon and let it fly into the sky. His parents were surprised to find a parcel in the post shortly afterwards.

In the letter written by his mum Manuela, Phil asked his Opa how he was and told him that he hoped everyone in heaven was being nice to him.

“He was always talking about his grandfather and couldn’t get over his death,” Manuela said.

The family had expected that to be the last of it, but then a package arrived in the post addressed to Phil. When he opened it, he found a letter and a teddy bear.

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Bundeswehr troops to join NATO mission

Germany plans to send up to 650 troops to join a new NATO mission to counter human trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea and combat arms smuggling by the Islamic State militant group, Der Spiegel reported.

The ruling coalition aims to present a plan to parliament for approval shortly, the magazine said. It would call for the German involvement in NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian to last until December 2017.

The deployment is part of a broader shift by Germany to expand its military role in Europe and NATO. 

Der Spiegel said that Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told parliamentary leaders in a letter that “terrorist organisations can act unimpeded” because of the lack of government controls along the Mediterranean coast. This presented “significant threats to our security”.

German ships are also participating in a EU military mission called Sophia to try to combat the smuggling of weapons and people off the Libyan coast.

Far-right clashes in eastern town

Bautzen town officials have tightened rules for refugees following several outbreaks of violence last weekViolence broke out last week between refugees and members of the far-right scene in Bautzen, Saxony. Now local officials have imposed restrictions on the young refugees living there.

Four young men who participated in the fight on September 14 were taken to other refugee facilities, so that they would no longer have an influence over others, Bautzen officials said.

Officials also tightened rules in general for the approximately 30 unaccompanied minors living in Bautzen, imposing an alcohol ban and a 7pm curfew.

The fight broke out after around 80 people from the far-right scene gathered in a town square in the evening and were met by a group of 20 young male refugees.

Police chief Uwe Kilz said the violence was sparked by the young refugees when they started throwing bottles and pieces of wood at the far right group.

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