1. “I wasn’t a top mum, I would change many things”: Ice-addicted mum lost two newborn babies in the space of a year, inquest hears.
An ice-addicted Sydney mother has admitted in a coroner's court she would "change many things" over the deaths of her two children, AAP reports.
A drug-addicted mother has tearfully admitted she "wasn't a top mum" as an inquest examines the sudden deaths of her two children, known as BLGN and DG. The two stepsisters, who were three months and 19 days old respectively, died in 2014 and 2015.
The young woman admitted in Glebe Coroners Court on Monday to having an ice addiction since she was 13, saying she was coming down off drugs the day her older child died. She also admitted to smoking ice while pregnant and then later in front of her children.
The young woman, who's had two miscarriages since her daughters died, broke down as she denied statements from neighbours claiming her other children were often found hungry in the street.
"They were always fed, they never starved. I would steal food if I had to," she said.
But the woman agreed there was no food in the house the day BLGN died, adding that when she was coming down off drugs she became lazy "not just with parenting, with everything".
"I wasn't a top mum, I would change many things," she told the court.
"No one is suggesting you didn't love your kids," Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame said.
The coroner said while nothing could bring them back, the inquest's task was to learn lessons to help other vulnerable mothers needing support.
"The problem that was going on was pretty obvious," she said.
Police found an ice pipe on top of a baby bottle and an autopsy found no suspicious injuries.
However, the court heard a drug dealer who came to the house the night before the tragedy put his hands on the crying baby's mouth to make her "shut up".
The inquest also heard child protection workers failed to intervene to remove the sisters from their drug-addicted mother.
Child protection workers repeatedly failed to remove BLGN despite receiving multiple risk of significant harm reports between 2010 and 2014, counsel assisting Kate Richardson SC said.
A Mission Australia employee told the Department of Family and Community Services she did not want "blood on her hands" after BLGN's case was dropped altogether due to "competing priorities", she said.
2. Melbourne surgeon's fall made a "huge thud" after deadly punch for telling a hospital visitor to stop smoking, court hears.
The sound of a punched surgeon's head hitting a hospital's tile floor was like "the noise of a 10-pin bowling ball", a court has heard.
There was evidence the impact of the fall cracked the tile floor, Crown prosecutor Mark Gibson SC told Melbourne Magistrates Court, AAP reports.
Joseph Esmaili, 23, is charged with the manslaughter of cardiothoracic surgeon Patrick Pritzwald-Stegmann at the Box Hill Hospital on May 30.
Mr Gibson said the surgeon noticed a group, including Esmaili, who was smoking in the non-smoking area outside the hospital, and called security.
Esmaili then entered the hospital and had a confrontation with Mr Pritzwald-Stegmann, who told him that smoking was banned, before asking Esmaili to leave the hospital.
CCTV footage played to the court on Monday showed the two men talking closely before the accused launched a single punch, felling Mr Pritzwald-Stegmann, who hit his head on the tiled floor unconscious.
"Evidence suggests the back of his head cracked the tiled floor," Mr Gibson told the first day of the five-day committal hearing.
Before the punch, the surgeon was heard saying to the accused: "Did you just spit in my face?" The accused man then told him: "I need you to suck my d***".
Witness Darren Haymes said Mr Pritzwald-Stegmann's fall made a "huge thud".
"I saw and heard the noise of a ten-pin bowling ball hitting the floor, " he told the court.
He said in his police statement the offender was red-faced, yelling loudly and appeared in a "rage".
"His eyes looked wide open, he looked evil and he was standing over the victim and foaming at the mouth," he said.
"The offender was in a rage and wanted to pick a fight."
Mr Gibson said Mr Pritzwald-Stegmann was not showing aggression and had his arms by his side immediately before being punched.
The accused, who was on bail at the time, allegedly fled after the attack.
Mr Pritzwald-Stegmann suffered a large bleed on the skull and died almost a month later.
The hearing continues on Tuesday.
3. Australia just won its first medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics thanks to mogul master Matt Graham.
Australia has officially added the first medal to our tally at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea after 23-year-old skier Matt Graham won silver in the men's moguls event, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The world number three in the event was awarded 82.57 points in the medal round on Monday night, which took placed in minus 11 degree temperatures.
As part of his run, Graham performs a back flip full twist on his opening jump before navigating through the middle of the course and landing a D spin 10 off the bottom jump.
Graham, from Gosford in New South Wales, was in the gold medal position until Canadian Mikael Kingsbury took to the slopes, beating the Aussie's score by 4.06 points.
Australia had high hopes for both the men's and women's moguls events, but Aussie girls Jakara Anthony and world champ Britt Cox finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in their event the previous night, missing out on the podium.
Graham is just the 13th Australian to ever win a medal at a Winter Olympics.
There are still a number of Aussies up for medals throughout the Winter Olympics, including in men's and women's figure skating, alpine skiing and women's half-pipe snowboarding.
4. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed more details about their upcoming wedding, and the countdown is officially on.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed eagerly-awaited details of their upcoming wedding.
The pair will have the eyes of the world on them on May 19 when they tie the knot at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Kensington Palace has released an update on the big day, which takes place on the same date as the the 2018 FA Cup Final.
Fans of both football and the royals will be relieved to know that the wedding service will begin at midday - meaning that a clash is unlikely as recent finals have kicked off at 5.30pm.
The palace said the couple are "hugely grateful for the many good wishes they have received since announcing their engagement", adding: "They are very much looking forward to the day and to being able to share their celebrations with the public."
Information released included the ceremony time and confirmation that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will marry the couple.
At 1pm, the newlyweds will embark on a carriage procession along a route including Castle Hill, High Street, Sheet Street, Kings Road, Albert Road, Long Walk and finally Windsor Castle.
After the service, there will be a reception at St George's Hall for the couple and guests from the congregation.
Later that evening, the Prince of Wales will give a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family.
As president of the Football Association, Harry's older brother the Duke of Cambridge usually attends the FA Cup Final and presents the trophy.
But this year, William, who is tipped to be Harry's best man, looks likely to be otherwise engaged with wedding duties.
Harry and Ms Markle have gone against tradition by choosing a Saturday, as royal weddings usually take place on a week day.
Palace aides have already said that the prince and Ms Markle's wedding will "reflect their characters and personalities" and be a moment of "fun and joy".
The Queen will be there, as will the rest of the royal family, along with Markle's parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are likely to take on the roles of pageboy and bridesmaid.
Intense emotional stress caused by a break up, the death of a loved one or even workplace bullying can "stun" the heart and cause temporary heart failure, AAP reports.
Known as broken heart syndrome, it feels like having a heart attack and is a real "medical emergency" that Australians should be aware of, says Professor Vaughan Macefield of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.
"So people have chest pain, pain radiating down their left arm, breathlessness and so they go to hospital and it turns out that their heart has this dysfunction which leads it to change its shape," Prof Macefield explained.
The research shows the condition, also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is triggered by emotional stress and it occurs more often in post-menopausal women, although the underlying mechanism that causes is still unknown, Prof Macefield says.
"Basically the intense emotional stress leads to an increase in nerve activity to the heart. This intense barrage of nervous activity stuns the heart and it ceases functioning normally and then you get all these signs of heart failure," he said.
While broken heart syndrome is a temporary condition, research has shown it can have long-term effects, Prof Macefield warned.
"Some recent evidence suggests that individuals often readmit to hospital and they have long lasting signs of disturbed cardiac function.
"People do need to be aware that stress is a very real problem that has very real cardiac consequences," he said.
To understand why stress causes some people to develop the syndrome but not others, Prof Vaughan - a neurophysiologist - will launch a study that will investigate a link between the brain and the heart.
6. Scientists say our beloved pets help us lead 'better quality lives' and can improve our overall mental health. Obviously.
In what could possibly be the most obvious news of the day, scientists have determined that our beloved pets help drastically improve our quality of life.
According to Metro UK, researchers from Liverpool, Manchester and Southampton universities studied 17 international papers to determine what effect our furry, feathered and even scaly companions can have on our mental health.
Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that pets provide benefits to those managing mental health conditions.
The lead study author, Dr Helen Brooks, said further research would be required to determine the exact nature and extent of the relationship between pets and positive mental health.
The research highlighted the "intensiveness" of connectivity people with pets reported, and found that pets contributed to the management of mental health conditions, particularly in times of crisis.
The research also determined the negative aspects of pet ownership, like the physical and emotional burden caring for a pet can have, and the psychological impact of losing a pet.
7. Visitors have been left horrified after dozens of pigeons were found dead in Perth CBD after 'suspected poisoning'.
Shoppers and visitors to Perth's CBD were left horrified after discovering the bodies of a dozen deceased pigeons, and many more in obvious distress, yesterday morning 7 News reports.
The bodies of pigeons were found on the ground after what is believed to be a mass poisoning.
The pigeons were found in Forrest Chase, a shopping centre in the city, with one visitor describing some of the birds as "having seizures".
"It was really horrible, it's not a nice thing to see," Fiona Edgerton told 7 News.
When the footage was shared on Facebook, Emma Made and Jessica Williams drove to the city and attempted to help the birds.
"[We wanted] to take them somewhere to either put them out of their misery sooner or be helped, if that's possible," Emma said.
Many accused the City of Perth council of being behind the deaths, but the council has denied any involvement. Rangers were sent out to remove the dead and injured birds from the streets.
It's not yet clear whether the birds were deliberately baited, or if there had been an accidental poisoning. The RSPCA has confirmed they are not currently investigating the incident.