Friday's news in 5 minutes.

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.


Police say a 21-year-old man has been arrested and charged with multiple offences including robbery with violence, abduction of a child, assaults occasioning bodily harm and dangerous operation of a vehicle, Australian Associated Press reports.

He is due to appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court today.

4. Parasitic infection outbreak prompts swimming pool warning to parents.

NSW health authorities are urging the public to stay out of swimming pools if they have diarrhoea because of a rise in cryptosporidium infections.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports 149 cases of cryptosporidiosis have been detected so far in the Sydney and Hunter New England areas this month.

Cryptosporidiosis is caused by a parasitic infection of the intestine that is easily spread in swimming pools and from person to person or, less commonly, via drinking contaminated water or handling infected animals, according to NSW Health Protection director Dr Jeremy McAnulty.

The most common symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes fever, nausea and vomiting.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the biggest outbreak of cryptosporidiosis was in 1998, where there were more than 1000 confirmed cases.

Sydneysiders were forced to boil their water after it was found to be infected by the pathogens cryptosporidium and giardia.

5. Family confirm NRL player’s body found.

A body found by electrical workers in a vehicle in Sydney’s west on Thursday is that of former NRL player Chad Robinson, family members have confirmed.

Tradesmen found a silver Subaru Outback belonging to the 36-year-old with a body inside on Thursday afternoon.

It was situated at the bottom of a gorge at in bushland at Kenthurst, reports.

While police were yet to formally identify the body, family members confirmed it was indeed Robinson in a Facebook post on the page created after his disappearance.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we confirm that Chad’s body has been found this afternoon,” the post reads.

“There are no words for our families loss and especially his two beautiful kids. Thankyou to every one of you for your support the last few week (sic).

“Brother you were the world to all of us, I can’t imagine life without you, but you are free, fly high my beautiful brother.”

Police are trying to find out what happened after the father-of-three left his Crestview Ave, Kellyville home on November 26. His car was found just 13km away.

6. Three men arrested after Sydney brawl.

Three men have been arrested following a violent brawl in Sydney’s CBD overnight.

Police were called to George Street at Town Hall last night after a fight broke out between two groups of men just before midnight, Channel Nine News reports.

One man sustained minor injuries and was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital.

The arrested men were assisting police with their inquiries, but no charges have been made.

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