Tuesday afternoon's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the biggest headlines around this afternoon, so you can catch up on the most important news in just a few minutes.

1. Man remanded in custody over alleged murder of pregnant partner on Gold Coast.

By ABC News

A Surfers Paradise man charged with murdering the mother of his unborn child and breaching a domestic violence order has been remanded in custody.

Queensland Police alleged Brock Wall, 34, attacked Fabiana Palhares, 34, with a small axe at Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.

Police said he could also be charged with killing his unborn child.

Wall did not appear in Southport Magistrates Court when his case was mentioned briefly on Tuesday morning.

There was no bail application and his case was adjourned for a committal mention in May.

Fabiana Palhares dies in hospital after suffering serious head injuries. Image via Facebook.

Friends of Ms Palhares told the ABC outside court she was pregnant and that Wall was the baby’s father.

Gisele Reid said she was shocked and revolted by what had happened.

“I know her from the gym,” she said.

“She used to love to go to the gym all the time… I’ve seen her at the beach a couple of times.

“I don’t know much about Fabi… I’m not a close friend, but as I remember her, she was always happy.

She said it was possible Ms Palhares’ brother would travel to Australia from Brazil.

“It’s devastating. I think everyone’s trying to help the family now.

“We don’t know if the brother’s coming – if he is then I think we’ll all be supporting him but I think everyone’s pretty much shocked at what happened.

“I couldn’t sleep last night to be honest.”

Police found Ms Palhares with serious head injuries after being called to a Varsity Lakes home on Monday afternoon.

She was taken to Gold Coast University hospital but died that evening.

A version of this article originally appeared on ABC News here and has been republished with full permission.

2. One dead after shopping centre explosion in Perth.

One person is dead and three have been injured after an explosion in a Perth’s Galleria shopping centre in Morley.

Four people may have been injured in the explosion that Worksafe is now investigating, AAP reports.

Morely Galleria shopping Centre in Perth.

A Department of Fire and Emergency Service spokeswoman told a “large number” of fire crews attended to the scene. At least 10 crews rushed to the scene at 9.37am (Perth time) and the fire was extinguished by 10am.


The explosion is believed to have happened behind the Woolworths store in a “mechanical” area of the venue. Sky News reports an electricity transformer caused the blast.

3. 2014 hottest year on record: UN’s World Meteorological Organisation.

By Jake Sturmer for ABC News

The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has ranked last year as the hottest on record.

Average global air temperatures over land and sea in 2014 were 0.57 degrees Celsius above the long-term average of 14C in the 1961-90 benchmark period.

The WMO said the difference in temperature between the warmest years was only a few hundredths of a degree – less than the margin of uncertainty.

The UN World Meteorological Organisation has ranked 2014 the hottest year on record.

But the agency’s secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, said the overall trend showed warming.

A version of this article originally appeared on ABC News here and has been republished with full permission.

4. Passenger protest on Qantas flight delays deportation of Tamil asylum seeker.

The forced relocation of a Tamil asylum seeker has been postponed after passengers onboard his plane staged a protest against his deportation.

On Monday, immigration offices were taking the 25-year old Tamil asylum seeker, who had been living in the community, from Melbourne to Darwin ahead of his expected relocation, The Guardian reports.

Passengers on board a Qantas flight stage a protest over the imminent forced relocation of a Tamil asylum seeker.

The man told immigration officials he feared being tortured upon returning to Sri Lanka.

The Tamil man was seated on the Qantas flight when one passenger stood up and began recounting the man’s story and fears of  being returned to Sri Lanka to the other passengers.

“After it was explained to the passengers what was happening and that [the asylum seeker] was on the flight, two passengers stood up and refused cabin staff instructions to buckle up. They were escorted off the plane by the staff,” protester Jasmine Pilbrow told The Guardian.

“Police officers then came and spoke to me. I left the plane after they decided to take [the asylum seeker] off the plane. I walked off behind him.”

The asylum seeker has now been taken back to detention in Melbourne.

5. College Sorry After ‘Fat-Shaming’ Weight Loss Emails Sent To Students

A college in the US  has been accused of “fat-shaming” after sending messages about a weight loss program to its students with higher body mass indexes.

The school has since apologised for the email.

Students with “elevated BMIs”  received an email from Pennsylvania college Bryn Mawr College, inviting them to take part in a free, personalised weight loss program, reported. The women were selected from their records with the college’s health centre.

Rudrami Sarma received an email inviting her to take part in a free, personalised weight loss program developed by her school.

Junior student Rudrani Sarma was among one of the hundred girls who received the email and took to Facebook to respond to the school with an open letter. She condemned the move as “problematic,” “hurtful” and “just plain stupid.”

Sarma has been treated for an eating disorder at the health center, according to WPVI.

The school has issued an apology following outrage expressed by students and parents.

6. Couple accused of sexually abusing three-year-old son “blame each other”.

By Loukas Founten for ABC News

Trigger warning: This post deals with child rape and other forms of violence against women, and may be distressing for some readers.

A couple who sexually exploited their young son and then took photographs have blamed each other for initiating the abuse, the Adelaide District Court has heard.

The boy was just three years old in March 2011 when he was forced to perform various sexual acts with his mother, 36, and father, 33, at their family home in South Australia’s south-east.

The court heard 45 images of the abuse were found in a folder titled “rape incest” on their computers, as well as images of the woman performing acts of bestiality with a dog.

The father has been charged with persistent sexual abuse of a child, and producing and possessing child pornography, while the mother also has an additional charge of bestiality.

They have each pleaded guilty to the charges.

In a sentencing submission, Prosecutor Stephanie Borek said both seemed to blame the other for initiating the abuse, but both had participated and breached the trust of a vulnerable child.

If this post brings up issues for you, or you just need someone to talk to, please call Bravehearts for the organisations’ Information and Support Line on 1800 272 831.

A version of this story was originally published on ABC and has been republished with full permission.

7. Groundhog bites mayor during traditional ceremony.

By ABC News

A groundhog has bitten a US mayor during an annual folklore tradition where the rodent “announces” whether spring will come early.

In Wisconsin, Jimmy the groundhog bit the ear of Sun Prairie mayor Jon Freund as the rodent whispered a prediction that, as tradition has it, only the mayor can understand.

Sun Prairie mayor Jon Freund gets bitten by Jimmy the groundhog. Image via the ABC.

A version of this post originally appeared on the ABC website and has been republished with permission.

8. Julie Bishop reassures colleagues: I won’t challenge.

Julie Bishop has put an end to a day of leadership speculation by assuring Prime Minister Tony Abbott that she isn’t after his job.

Fairfax reports the Foreign Minister told the Prime Minister and her cabinet colleagues that she would not challenge for the leadership and denied having had private conversations with backbenchers to assess the level of support for a spill.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has ruled out a leadership challenge.

Earlier today, the Prime Minister dodged questions from journalists about the potential challenge from his deputy and told reporters in Sydney he would not be calling a leadership ballot.

He did not rule out a challenge however.

“Julie and I have lots of talks as you’d expect, we’re friends, we’re colleagues, we’re part of the leadership team and we support each other…we always have and we always will,” the Prime Minister said.

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