1. As Home and Away actress Jessica Falkholt’s life support is turned off, it’s been revealed the driver responsible had 60 prior convictions.
Driving back from a Christmas family holiday on Boxing Day, Home and Away actress Jessica Falkholt and her family were involved in a horrific collision on the NSW south coast.
Lars Falkholt, 69, and Vivian Falkholt, 60, died at the scene. Jessica, 28, and her 21-year-old sister Annabelle were taken to hospital.
Three days later, Annabelle succumbed to her injuries.
And yesterday - one day after the funerals of her parents and sister, and a fortnight after the boxing day crash - Jessica's life support was reportedly switched off, however the TV actress remains in a critical condition at St George Hospital, AAP reports.
At the same time, it's reported the man driving the 4WD, which smashed into the family's Mazda on the Princes Highway near the town of Sussex Inlet, had more than 60 prior convictions - many of them for dangerous driving.
According to an exclusive report from the Daily Telegraph, 50-year-old Craig Whitall, who also died at the scene, had been jailed four times over traffic offences; had received a nine-year driving ban; and had at least 10 convictions for driving while disqualified.
Reports at the time of the crash claimed Whitall was driving back to his home in Ulladulla from a methadone clinic in Nowra. The father and grandfather was on his P-Plates after recently having his license returned, and several witnesses told police they saw his Prado swerving onto the opposite side of the road on December 26 before the fateful crash.
But the report from the Daily Telegraph adds a more sinister dimension to Whitall's already-horrific incident.
The newspaper claims Whitall was a serial offender who had used 28 aliases to try and avoid police as he continued driving even while his license was suspended.
His record reportedly shows he was banned from driving between July 2004 and July 2013. However, this didn't stop him hopping behind the wheel. He was caught driving in August 2004 - just a month after his conviction - and jailed for nine months. A year later, he was caught again and jailed for 16 months.
He was declared a habitual offender by the courts - a charge which adds another five years to any sentence. And, when he was caught three times in four months in 2011 for driving with a suspended license, he was jailed once again. He was imprisoned only three months, from July 2011 to September 2011, and released after a successful appeal.
After all this, Whitall had his licence returned in December 2016.
He's also been convicted of assault; driving while under the influence of alcohol; and driving under the influence of drugs.
Lars, Vivian and Annabelle were farewelled by hundreds of family members and friends at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Concord, on Wednesday.
To read more in the Daily Telegraph, click here.
2. Melbourne artist and mother found dead in bathtub by her son, circumstances are "suspicious".
A woman, identified by the media as artist Antonia Tatchell, has been found dead inside her house in Melbourne's inner north with police treating the death as suspicious.
The body of the 43-year-old woman was discovered by her son in the bathtub at her Albert St home in Brunswick, Yahoo7 reports.
Police were called to the scene around 6.30am on Thursday, and Tatchell's body was removed several hours later.
Her death is currently being treated as suspicious and police will await the results of a post mortem examination.
3. PM Malcolm Turnbull is "heartbroken" by 14-year-old Dolly's suicide, ahead of her funeral today.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he is "heartbroken" by the death of 14-year-old Amy "Dolly" Everett from the Northern Territory, who took her own life last week after being bullied
"Dolly's passing highlights the devastating impact that bullying can have on its victims," he said in a statement, ABC reports.
"Every step must be taken to reduce the incidence of bullying, whether offline or on, and eliminate it wherever we can."
He said "much more work is needed" to prevent and protect against the impact of cyber bullying, as "cyber bullies can harass and intimidate their victims from any location and at any time of the day".
Meanwhile, a service for Dolly, who was the former face of the Akubra Hats brand, is taking place in the Northern Territory today. Her grieving parents Tick and Kate Everett will be in attendance.
"I know for some suicide is considered cowardly but I guarantee those people wouldn't have half the strength that my precious little angel had, Doll had the strength to do what she thought she had to do to escape the evil in this world," Tick recently wrote on Facebook.
The service will be held on Friday at the Casuarina Street Primary School in Katherine East, AAP reports. Friends and family are asked to wear blue, which was Dolly's favourite colour.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25).
4. There's no difference between fresh and frozen embryos when making babies IVF babies, research finds.
Freezing and subsequent transfer of embryos gives infertile couples just as much of a chance of having a child as using fresh embryos for in vitro fertilisation (IVF), research from @UniofAdelaide @sahmriAU has foundhttps://t.co/ZQP4otjEwg pic.twitter.com/VOc3OaiTSs
— Au Science Media Ctr (@AusSMC) January 11, 2018
There's no difference between fresh and frozen embryos when it comes to producing IVF babies, Australian and international researchers have found, AAP reports.
A new study has looked at ongoing pregnancy rates and live births in almost 800 women, with one group using frozen embryos, the other fresh. It found no significant difference between the groups - except in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
The research could have a bearing on an emerging trend among many fertility clinics that have been moving away from fresh embryo transfers, in favour of frozen ones.
Professor Ben Mol, from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute who worked on the study, says there's no benefit in freezing embryos for women who don't have PCOS, and the freezing process can drive up costs.
"Couples concerned about such unnecessary costs of freezing all embryos do not need to go down that path, and will still have the same live birth success rate," he says.
5. The Queen's bra-fitter has been fired after she published a revealing book.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) January 11, 2018
Since at least 1960, Queen Elizabeth has had her bra fitted by luxury London-based lingerie company Rigby & Peller, The Cut reports. But the Queen was forced to fire the supplier after its owner revealed the secrets of the royal bra fittings in a tell-all book.
The author of Storm in a D-Cup, June Kenton said Rigby & Peller lost its right to display the royal coat of arms in 2016 after she mentioned the royals in her autobiography.
Kenton said she never discusses what happens in a fitting room but the book recounts her first meeting with the monarch and her trepidation about being ushered into the royal bedroom.
The 82-year-old Kenton says losing the warrant "absolutely killed" her and that she regrets "not being wise enough" to omit mention of the royals in her autobiography.
"I only ever said I went there, not what happened. I have never, ever spoken about what I do there with her, or the Queen Mother or Princess Margaret," Kenton told the BBC.
"I think it's unbelievable. It's just upsetting at the end of my life, but what can I do. I can't fight with Buckingham Palace and I wouldn't want to, but it's hard."
6. YouTube has cut its ties with controversial vlogger Logan Paul.
YouTube puts Logan Paul film on hold & removes him from Preferred program https://t.co/CDIdEhFpvr
— billboard (@billboard) January 11, 2018
YouTube has cut ties with blogger Logan Paul after backlash from a controversial video he posted on December 31 that included footage of a person who died from a suicide, AAP reports.
"In light of recent events, we have decided to remove Logan Paul's channels from Google Preferred," a YouTube spokesperson said.
YouTube received backlash for its delayed response, waiting 11 days to address Paul's video. The video, which received six million views before being taken down, immediately ignited a social media firestorm.
The video had featured a blurred image of a man apparently hanging from a tree in Japan's so-called "suicide forest", Aokigahara.
Paul apologised for the content in a video and tweeted that he was taking a break from posting online content.
The YouTube star has more than 15 million subscribers on his account. His page has not been suspended or deleted yet.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.