Monday's news in 5 minutes.

1. Mum charged with the smothering death of her two-month-old baby while ‘high and drunk’.

A 23-year-old mother-of-two has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after she fell asleep with her two-month-old son on the couch and accidentally smothered him.

Arissa Ward, from Pennsylvania, called police on December 30, 2016 after she woke to find her son unresponsive.

According to Penn Live, she allegedly told police she had been drinking alcohol and smoking pot before she lay down to sleep with the baby.

An autopsy conducted on January 3 showed the little boy’s death was caused by “traumatic asphyxia combined with smothering”.


The two-month-old baby also had a small amount of marijuana in his system, believed to have been transferred via Arissa’s breast milk.

Dauphin County district attorney Ed Marsico said Arissa had been charged with involuntary manslaughter, as the death was “caused by a reckless act” but “not an intentional one”.

The 23-year-old’s attorney, Casey Shore, described the baby boy’s death as a “horrible tragedy” for the young mum.

Arissa has been released on bail, and her other child remains in her care after an investigation by Children and Youth Services.

Ed Marsico offered a warning to all parents about the dangers of sleeping with an infant.

“Our message today is don’t sleep with your kid, especially if you’re smoking dope or drinking all night, because you don’t know what you’re doing,” he said.

2. Eight people, including a sheriff’s deputy, have died in a Mississippi shooting.


Authorities in Mississippi say a suspect is in custody after eight people were killed in a shooting, including a sheriff’s deputy, AAP reports.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said the shootings occurred at three separate homes on Saturday night in rural Lincoln County.

Two of the homes are in Brookhaven and one is in Bogue Chitto about 110km south of Jackson, the capital.

Strain said charges had not yet been filed against the suspect, who was arrested in Brookhaven, and that it would be “premature” to discuss a motive.

However, the suspect himself gave some insight into the events that led to the shootings in an interview with a newspaper.

“I ain’t fit to live, not after what I done,” Cory Godbolt told The Clarion-Ledger after his arrest. The newspaper recorded video of the suspect talking as he sat with hands cuffed behind his back on a roadside surrounded by law enforcement officers.

Godbolt said he was talking with his wife and members of her family when somebody called authorities.


“I was having a conversation with her stepdaddy and her mama and her, my wife, about me taking my children home,” the suspect says on the video.

“Somebody called the officer, people that didn’t even live at the house. That’s what they do. They intervene.

“They cost him his life,” the suspect said, apparently in reference to the slain deputy. “I’m sorry.”

The suspect also said he did not intend for police to capture him alive.

“My intentions was to have God kill me. I ran out of bullets,” he said. “Suicide by cop was my intention.”

Governor Phil Bryant issued a statement asking state residents to pray for the victims. He also noted the “sacrifice” made by law enforcement officers to protect and serve their communities.

If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT.

3. A 33-year-old woman has died in a boat crash on the Gold Coast.


A 33-year-old woman has died after her tinny collided with a larger boat near the Gold Coast on Saturday evening.

Jess Murray and her boyfriend Bryce Semple, 41, were travelling to Couran Cove for a romantic date when their 3.5-metre aluminium tinny collided with an 11m cruiser, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports.

Jess was knocked unconscious and into the water during the collision.

Her partner and passengers from the larger boat jumped in and helped pull her to shore and began CPR, but she could not be saved.

Bryce was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious but stable condition, with police confirmed he had suffered a head injury and broken bones in the crash.

4. Sydney’s Taronga Zoo celebrates the birth of an adorable baby elephant.


Sydney’s Taronga Zoo is celebrating the birth of a male Asian elephant, the first born at the zoo in seven years.

Mum Pak Boon was pregnant with the 130kg calf for almost two years, and gave birth on Friday morning at 1:35am after a quick half an hour labour.

It’s the second baby for Pak Boon, and the zoo’s two other elephants watched on in support during the birth.

The yet-to-be named baby boy was on his feet and playing within five minutes of entering the world.

A zoo spokesman says both mum and calf are in good health after the birth, AAP reports.

Elephant keeper Lucy Melo described the moment as a “highlight” of her 20-year career.


“[It was] truly an honour and a privilege to witness such a miracle of nature,” she said.

5. Hunt for man after the indecent assault of a five-year-old girl in Sydney.

Police are searching for a man who allegedly indecently assaulted a five-year-old girl in Sydney’s inner west, AAP reports.

The girl was approached by the man on Wentworth Park Road at Glebe at about 8.20am on Saturday, NSW Police said.

Officers were told he indecently assaulted the girl before running away.


Police are trying to identify the man, who is described as being of sub-continental appearance with a slim build and black hair.

He was wearing a white T-shirt with a black motif on the chest and grey tracksuit pants, police said.

6. Landslides and floods in Sri Lanka have killed at least 151 people.

Landslides and floods in Sri Lanka have killed at least 151 people and the country faces the risk of more mudslides as torrential rains continue, officials say.

More than 100 people are still missing after the worst rains in the Indian Ocean island since 2003.


The state-run National Building Research Organisation on Sunday warned people in seven out of the country’s 25 districts to evacuate from unstable slopes if rains continue for the next 24 hours.

The Department of Meteorology said there could be heavy rain falls of above 100mm in central Sri Lanka within the next 36 hours.

The death toll has risen to 151, while 111 people are still reported missing and 95 injured, the state-run Disaster Management Centre said.

Nearly 500,000 people have been affected by the disaster, the worst since the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and the downpours have displaced over 100,000 Sri Lankans.

People in Agalawatte, 74km from the capital Colombo, said they were losing hope of water levels falling soon.

“All access to our village is cut off. A landslide took place inside the village and several houses are buried. But nobody could go to that place,” Mohomed Abdulla, 46, told Reuters in Agalawatte, a town in western coastal district of Kalutara, where 47 people have died and 62 are missing.

Rescue efforts are under way but are hampered by lack of drinking water, lack of electricity and continued rain.

Sri Lanka has already appealed for international assistance from the United Nations and neighbouring countries.


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