1. Shani’s partner surprised her with a trip to Thailand for her birthday. A horrific moped crash has left the mum-of-two with bleeding on the brain.
It was meant to be the getaway of a lifetime: to celebrate turning 24, Shani Bourne's partner Sam William booked a surprise trip to Thailand.
But their dream holiday turned into a nightmare, with the Canberra mum of two little boys left recovering in a Thai hospital with horrific injuries when the moped she was riding collided with a truck.
It's believed the pair had swerved to dodge a parked car before the accident.
Speaking to 7 News, a friend of the pair, Renee, says Shani was thrown from the moped and was knocked unconscious.
"Sam was sitting in the street holding her and screaming - it was very traumatic," Renee said.
Despite wearing helmets, Shani has been left with bleeding to the brain, as well as a broken pelvis, broken nose and severe lacerations to her face, mouth and body. The couple also face medical bills of up to $80,000 to get Shani home to her two sons in time for Christmas.
"Insurance is refusing to pay for anything and they are now stuck in Thailand with large medical bills," a GoFundMe page set up for the young mum reads.
"Shani's two beautiful little boys just want their Mummy and Sam back home.
"If they cannot be transferred on an air ambulance they will have to wait for clearance of the doctor's to fly commercially, which could be weeks."
The duo has been left with no money for accomodation, food or medications while Shani recovers in hospital.
In just one day, friends and family have raised more than $56,000 for the couple.
To help Shani with her medical bills, donate here.
2. A Sydney council is offering same-sex couples free wedding venues after historic marriage equality laws were passed yesterday.
Hours after the federal parliament passed historic marriage equality laws, a Sydney council has promised free venues to host same-sex weddings.
Inner West Council is officially accepting bookings for same-sex marriages in its town halls, community centres and parks at no charge over a 100-day period, AAP reports.
"This is an historic day in the struggle for civil rights in Australia," Inner West Council Mayor Darcy Byrne said on Thursday.
The offer, which will start from January 7, is a gesture of solidarity and recognition for the country's LGBTIQ community, Mr Byrne said.
"We are proud that the Inner West delivered the highest turn out in the postal survey of any area in NSW... now we are aiming to become the same-sex marriage capital of Sydney."
It follows City of Sydney's motion in October to offer free venues for same-sex weddings should the legislation pass federal parliament.
3. Sorry, but the jeweller who designed Meghan Markle's engagement ring won't be making any replicas.
The jewellery maker who worked on the engagement ring Prince Harry gave to Meghan Markle says it's been inundated with requests for replicas but it won't be taking any orders for copycat rings.
Stephen Connelly, director of Cleave and Company, told The Associated Press the intense media attention has been "a bit of a shock".
"We're not going to be making replicas of it. If you want a ring, then we'll design you a different one," he said.
Harry has said he sourced a diamond from Botswana for the yellow gold engagement ring, which also features smaller diamonds that had belonged to his mother, Princess Diana, so she could be with them "on this crazy journey together".
David Thomas, a former Crown Jeweller who looked after the royal family's jewels and now works with Cleave and Company, said working on the ring was the "biggest and hardest secret" he's had to keep in his life.
He said he has been bombarded by questions from the press, including how much the ring had cost, but he declined to violate the royal couple's privacy.
"Jewellers are like doctors: we never discuss our patients!" Thomas said.
The company wanted to keep such a low profile that it only allowed the AP access to its workshop on the condition that its location is kept secret.
Harry and Meaghan are getting married at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in May next year.
4. Time to rethink your Christmas snacks? Research finds that some dips and crackers contain more salt than seawater.
Australians are being told to think twice before reaching for the crackers and dip this Christmas - for the sake of their hearts, AAP reports.
New research reveals some dips contain so much salt they are saltier than seawater. When combined with some crackers, a person can consume more than half a day's worth of salt in just one serve.
Researchers at the George Institute for Global Health unpacked the levels of hidden salt in 850 dips and nearly 1300 crackers sold on supermarket shelves.
Nutritionist and the report's lead author Clare Farrand says the results are alarming.
"Just looking at the average dip and average cracker you would be eating 1.6 grams of salt in an average serving. Considering you are not meant to eat any more than five grams of salt per day this equates to nearly a third of that," said Ms Farrand.
"If you combined the highest salt dip with the highest salt cracker you would be eating at least three grams of salt in that average serving, so three grams out of a daily five grams, that's huge."
From 2013 to 2017 the average salt content of dips increased by 14 per cent, the research showed.
Taramosalata, olive and aioli dips had the highest levels of salt on average. The saltiest dip, Fresh Fodder Taramosalata, contained 4.8 grams of salt per 100 grams - this is almost 400 times saltier than the least salty dip.
Tzatziki and vegetable dips, including hummus, guacamole and eggplant dips, had the lowest average salt contents.
The good news is that the average salt content of crackers has decreased by nearly 16 per cent since 2010.
However there is still great variation in salt levels among savoury biscuits, ranging from zero salt to 5.3 grams per 100 grams.
Ms Farrand believes a person could easily eat an entire day's worth of salt when a tub of dip and a packet of crackers is shared between two people.
Heart Foundation Victoria CEO Kellie-Ann Jolly echoed the concerns.
"Excess salt is directly linked to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke, heart and kidney disease," said Ms Jolly.
The new research was part of VicHealth and the Heart Foundation's ongoing Unpack the Salt campaign and has led to calls for a national target for salt content of dips.
5. Popular wine brand recalled from shelves after glass was found in the bottles.
Food recall - Warburn Estate bottled wines are being recalled. The products have been available for sale at BWS, Dan Murphy’s, independent liquor stores and hotels nationwide. https://t.co/0LMkMFmGTb pic.twitter.com/6bW81o2bBB
— FoodStandardsAusNZ (@FSANZnews) December 7, 2017
A popular wine brand, Warburn Estate, has recalled 13 products from their range after a packaging fault led to traces of glass being found in the bottle.
According to The Herald Sun, the winery, which produces the Rumours and Gossip brands, have recalled wines being sold nationally in BWS, Dan Murphy’s and independent liquor stores.
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand have issued a recall on Warburn Estate Sangiovese Rose 2017, as well as 2017 Rumours varieties of Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Mostcato.
Gossip 2017 varieties of Chardonnay, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato, Pink Moscato, Dolcetto and Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc and Wine Gang Sauvignon Blanc 2017 have also been recalled.
Consumers who have purchased the product - sold as individual 750ml bottles and in cartons of six bottles - are being urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
"Food products containing glass may cause injury if consumed," the warning reads.
"Consumers should not drink this product."
6. No more Fido and Fluffy: Aussies are giving their pets names that are more creative than ever.
So long Fido and Fluffy.
Australians are getting much more creative when it comes to naming their dogs and cats, with Luna topping a recent list for both canines and felines.
The interstellar name is the most popular for furry friends in 2017, according to Pet Insurance Australia.
"A lot of names have changed this year, with the top spot being claimed by a name that didn't even make the chart last year," spokeswoman Nadia Crighton said.
Popular TV shows like Game of Thrones and Vikings have influenced pet name choices with Loki proving popular for mischievous cats, coming in at No.11.
"It's wonderful to see so many new names making the list, and some old-school names like Frankie and Archie making a comeback," Ms Crighton said.
The top ten dog names for 2017 (from one to ten), are Luna, Charlie, Bella, Ruby, Max, Archie, Coco, Frankie, Bailey and Molly.
For cats, owners also like the name Luna the most, followed by Coco, Leo, Bella, Charlie, Simba, Milo, Max, Tilly and Frankie.