1. The woman responsible killing a 19-year-old in a drink-driving incident has been accused of getting pregnant to avoid jail.
In January 2016, Subha Anand crashed her car into the back of 19-year-old nursing student Natasha Pigot's vehicle, killing her instantly.
At the time of the accident, 29-year-old Anand was triple the legal blood-alcohol limit and was travelling an estimated 115km/h in a 70km/h zone.
In the months following the crash, Anand married her boyfriend, got pregnant and welcomed a son, who is now nine months old, decisions which Pigot's mother told a court this week were deliberately designed to drag out the court case.
Anand - due to be sentenced today, on her 30th birthday - has applied to have her child with her while she serves an inevitable prison sentence for her role in Pigot's death.
Natasha's mother Aleacha McMaster told the Victorian County Court she didn't think she "could ever forgive" Subha, the Herald Sun reports.
"You have denied and dragged this out to your advantage as far as you could," McMaster said.
Outside court, McMaster said Subha chose to "live a different life" after causing the death of her daughter.
In an emotional victim impact statement, McMaster told the court how she had endured her own 40th birthday, and two of Pigot's birthdays without her daughter.
On what would have been Pigot's 21st birthday in June, she said she took a pink cake to her daughter's grave and sang her happy birthday.
"I wasn't there to protect my precious daughter from the most horrific, unforgiving, selfish act of another human being. I wasn't there when she needed me," McMaster told the court.
"My whole world has changed since Natasha was killed. I no longer know how to smile and really feel it. I can't remember the last time I actually laughed or enjoyed myself."
2. A Sydney teacher accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student said she thought she was 'making him happy'.
A former teacher at an elite Sydney private school who had sex with a student half her age says she was motivated by the mistaken belief she was doing good by him and making him happy, AAP reports.
The woman was distraught and panicked when the 17-year-old told her she had actually harmed him and he wanted to sever all contact, the NSW District Court heard on Thursday.
"It seemed to undermine everything I thought was happening and I had gained a sense of meaning in my life from thinking - wrongly, I wrongly thought - that I was making him happy," she said.
The former Sydney Grammar School teacher faced a sentence hearing after pleading guilty earlier this year to five counts of sexual intercourse with a person under care.
She had secretly met the victim several times over about three months in 2016 at her home, a classroom and a school storage cupboard, according to an agreed statement of facts.
The woman, now 34, had already been warned about her conduct with students and was told not to make sexual references or comments with obvious sexual connotations when she began texting the victim in 2015.
She spoke about her "cold" marriage, her depression and other health issues, the facts said.
The woman cried as she told the court on Thursday that by the end of 2015 she had transgressed the professional boundaries of a student-teacher relationship but the victim helped fill a need at a time when she was struggling.
"He said he was lonely, that he had trouble talking about things to other people," she said.
"I myself was very lonely at the time and I think it probably filled a need in me to see that I was helping someone else who was sad and lonely as well."
She kissed the student on the lips when he visited her flat for lunch and some beers in early 2016, according to the agreed facts.
As they repeatedly met in following months for sexual intercourse, the student was afraid to end their contact out of concern the teacher would self-harm.
She said on Thursday it was difficult for her to explain her actions at a time when she was mentally unwell and her thinking wasn't clear or rational.
She was shocked when the victim in April 2016 said he didn't love her anymore, that she'd hurt him and he didn't want to speak.
The agreed facts reveal she bombarded him with messages in which she professed her love, said she was a "f***ing monster" and asked if she was going to jail.
The matter is scheduled to return to court on December 13.
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. From today, the pap smear as you know it is no more.
Today marks the day when the pap smear as Australian women know it is no more.
Changes to the country's national cervical screening program mean that, starting today, the pap test has been replaced with a superior test that means women will need to be tested less often.
Currently, women are advised to visit their doctors for a pap smear every two years. The new test requires women aged 25-69 to be screened for human papillomavirus every five years.
Health experts believe the new regime will be more accurate and help pick up cervical cancer earlier than pap smears.
They also predict the changes will lead to an overall drop in the need for women with pre-cancerous abnormalities to undergo surgery.
"Instead of just identifying when you have cervical cancer, the pre-cancerous stage can be identified," Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
The test, however, wont' be any less uncomfortable, with samples still being collected the same way.
"The actual way it's conducted is exactly the same, so you still need to go see your doctor and have a gynaecological examination with a speculum," Dr Daria Fielder, a GP at Sapphire Family Medical Practice in NSW, told Mamamia.
"The cells are collected the same way, the difference is how they're processed."
Since the national cervical screening program began in 1991, cervical cancer death rates in Australia have halved.
4. In case you were wondering, this is what four-year-old Prince George is asking Santa for this Christmas.
There's been a lot of focus on the royal family this week after it was confirmed 33-year-old Prince Harry was engaged to American actress Meghan Markle.
But in all the romantic news, there's one royal we've all seemed to forget about: little Prince George.
Thankfully, the adorable four-year-old is back in the news after his father, Prince William, passed along his Christmas wish list to Santa during an official visit to Finland.
Meeting Father Christmas at a festive market in Helsinki, The Duke passed over a letter that Prince George had hand-written.
"Dear Father Christmas, This year I have been nice," the adorable letter said.
"For Christmas I would like: police car. Love, George"
The template letter had the printed word "naughty" crossed out in pencil and the handwritten words "police car" and "George" added, apparently by the young prince.
5. Sam Dastyari tearfully leaves Senate over his controversial ties with a Chinese businessman.
Sam Dastyari rubbed his eyes and choked back tears as he described the damage his dealings with Chinese political donors has had on his young family.
But the emotion had drained from his voice by the time he was hauled before the Senate again hours later to deliver a second statement.
The excitable Labor senator for NSW usually seeks out the spotlight - but not on Thursday.
"I rise to make a short statement," Dastyari told parliament, which fell to pin-drop silence, AAP reports.
Hours earlier, he was forced to resign from senior party positions - for the second time - over comments made at a June 2016 press conference contradicting Labor policy on the South China Sea.
Dastyari had previously said he had only "incorrectly" mumbled an answer backing Beijing's controversial policy when asked by Chinese reporters.
The embattled Labor senator was forced to walk the plank again after audio emerged which completely jarred with his characterisation of the press conference.
"A recent audio recording shocked me, as it did not match my recollection of events," Dastyari told the chamber.
"When a public official makes a statement that contradicts events, there are consequences."
Those consequences extended to his wife and two children, who had also been thrust into the spotlight.
"Hannah is now six and has to answer questions in the playground. That breaks the heart of any father," Dastyari said through tears.
"I always intend to put the party first and do not want to be a distraction. I will continue to work as I always have done for the people of New South Wales."
Dastyari vacated the chamber by the time Attorney-General George Brandis said it was "pathetically weak" for Mr Shorten to give him another "summer sabbatical" to overcome his latest embarrassment.
The PM demanded Dastyari leave parliament over what he called "disloyal conduct of the highest order".
"If he refuses to resign, Shorten should dump him from the Labor Party and let him languish in contempt on the crossbench," he told reporters.
6. Prepare the brollies: Victoria set for three months' worth of rain in just three days.
With Victoria expecting three times the monthly average rainfall in just three days, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned the public to stay safe and heed advice from authorities, AAP reports.
The BOM has issued a sever rain warning after a low-pressure system is expected to dump more than 300mm of rain in Victoria's northeast and up to 200mm over Melbourne.
Victorians should brace for the most significant rain event in more than a decade which could threaten lives, flood rivers and turn farms into lakes.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has urged the public to stay safe and heed advice from authorities in the coming days.
"This is an event of absolute massive scale," senior meteorologist Scott Williams said.
"It is an event that poses a threat to life. There will be a massive amount of lightning, there will be roads cut and flood waters."
"This event will turn farms into lakes with such rapid rain rates."
A rain event of this forecasted magnitude hasn't been seen in metropolitan Melbourne since 2005 and in regional Victoria since 2010, SES deputy chief Tim Wiebusch told reporters.
It only takes 15cm of water for a car to float and people should not attempt to drive through floodwaters, he added.
People are being warned not to become complacent if the rains haven't hit by Friday morning, with Mr Williams adding: "They didn't think the Titanic would sink, but it did two hours later".
A flood watch has been issued for rivers across the state, including Melbourne's Yarra, with widespread flooding likely from Friday onward.
City dwellers are also being put on high alert for flash flooding, which is likely to occur too quickly for warnings to be put out, Emergency Management Victoria said.