1. Police have neutralised a terror threat planned for Christmas Day.
Police say they have “neutralised” a terror threat likely planned for Christmas Day, after raiding several of properties across Melbourne’s north-west and making arrests in a major operation overnight.
Commissioner Graham Ashton said there were raids on five properties in Gladstone Park, Flemington, Meadow Heights, Dallas and Campbellfield.
Seven people were arrested. Five people remain in custody and are being questioned.
Mr Ashton said police believe the plotters planned to use an explosion and other weapons in the attack and will be laying criminal charges.
“Over the last fortnight … we have had to conduct a criminal investigation relating to the formation of what we believe was a terrorist plot,” he said.
“We believe that there was an intention to conduct what we call a multi-mode attack, possibly on Christmas Day.”
Federation Square, Flinders St Station and St Paul’s Cathedral were all named as possible targets for the attack.
Mr Ashton said last night’s raids had “neutralised” the threat.
Premier Daniel Andrews said there would be an increased police presence at large gathering across Victoria over the Christmas period.
2. Co-sleeping mother charged with second baby’s death.
A US mother has been charged with manslaughter after her infant son died while co-sleeping, with her first child dying in the same way.
Erin Piche-Pitts’ 13-day old daughter Angelina died in her bed in December 2009 with police ruling her first child’s death as accidental suffocation, news website WFLA reports.
Ms Piche-Pitts, from Polk County, Florida, was told multiple times the dangers of co-sleeping after her second child Javier was born on September 18, 2016.
However, on October 6, awakened by her son’s cries, the mother took her baby from his bassinet, made him a bottle and went to bed with him.
She told investigators she propped him up with a pillow, nestling his head in the crook of her arm before she fell asleep.
Two-and-a-half hours later she awoke. Javier had vomited and was unresponsive. He was later pronounced dead at 18 days of age at Winter Haven Hospital.
Polk County Sheriff’s office launched an investigation and Piche-Pitts was arrested on Tuesday.
She appeared in court on Wednesday and was charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child due to the death of her baby through culpable negligence.
3. Man will face court over carjacking which saw three-year-old girl taken.
A 21-year-old man will appear in court today over the violent carjacking in Queensland’s south-east which allegedly involved him driving off with a three-year-old.
Faith Whittaker told Channel Seven of her fear while being dragged out of the car by the hair in a Laidley supermarket car park on Wednesday night.
The 41-year-old was able to pull her 10-year-old daughter from the car, but the man sped away with the three-year-old still trapped in her car seat.
The driver stopped the car nearby and left the girl unharmed on the side of the road.