Wednesday's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the latest news from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.

1. Father slept through death of 11-year old daughter.

A 65-year old man who slept through his daughter’s violent death was interviewed in police custody yesterday but was released without charge.

The 11-year old girl was found in the bathroom of the Brisbane apartment complex about 1.50am on Tuesday after family friends called police.

Inspector Geoff Sheldon said the girl, named as Celeste Pearson, suffered a “violent death” but did not reveal how she was killed.

“It could be a murder, It could be a murder-suicide and really it doesn’t pay to have a closed mind in relation to these things,” he said.

The girl’s mother, Chiaki Pearson was found dead at a nearby construction site in Toowong. Police believe she took her own life.

Inspector Sheldon said on Tuesday afternoon the father was assisting them with inquiries.

“His assistance has been of great help trying to work out more about family life, the dynamic, what’s going on around the house, relationships and the history to this whole tragic scenario.”

Inspector Sheldon said police had been called to the apartment once in the past six months for a domestic violence-related incident, however when officers arrived no action was taken.

“For all intents and purposes it was your average family living in Brisbane and there’s no general welfare concerns along those lines,” he said.

The couple’s other daughter, an eight-year-old, was staying with family friends on Monday night. She is now in the care of Child Safety Services.


The principal of Milton State School, where the Celeste had just finished year six told The Courier Mail that the community was in deep shock and sadness.

“She was an enthusiastic, high-achieving and friendly young child who will be greatly missed by all her friends and teacher,” Principal Paul Zernike said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the family, caregivers, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.

“Support is being provided to students and staff, and guidance counsellors will remain at the school to provide support.”

Meanwhile police have appealed for anyone who saw Chiaki Pearson’s car.

Anyone who believes they may have information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.

Lifeline: 13 11 14. 

2. Gerard Baden-Clay appeal decision seen as a blow to all women.

Domestic violence campaigners have said the decision by the QLD Court of Appeal set aside Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction for the lesser charge of manslaughter is an injustice for all victims of domestic violence.

University of Queensland domestic violence expert Dr Lynne Baker told The Courier Mail said the decision threatened the value women placed on coming forward to authorities.


“This has the capacity to make women feel that they are not worth it … this decision devalues what has happened to these women,” she said.

“This is a loss for every woman in the country.

Unfortunately, this would cause people to question the legal system,” she said.

“This does not encourage women to come forward, even if they are in fear of their life.”

Last night the QLD Attorney General said he was seeking legal advice on what grounds he could challenge the appeal.

For more:

The newspaper front page that says what we are all thinking.

Why it matters so much that Queensland takes Baden-Clay decision to the High Court.

2. Oscar Pistorius smiles as he is freed on bail and allowed to leave the house between 7am and 12pm.

Oscar Pistorius, the former Paralympic athlete who last week was convicted of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, has been granted bail on the provision he surrenders his passport and wears an electronic tag.

The 28-year old is under house arrest at his uncle’s palatial home in Pretoria after he was released on parole just one year into his five year sentence.

As he returned to court to apply for bail pending a decision by the Constitutional Court he smiled and chatted happily with his lawyer.

Judge Aubrey Ledwaba, said it would “not be in the interests of justice” for the athlete to be banned from leaving his house at all and allowed him to leave in the afternoons as well with the permission of the police.


He instructed Pistorius to post R10,000 bail before Friday and instructed all parties to return to court for an update on the Constitutional Court process by April 18 next year.

3. Eagles of death return to Bataclan theatre.


Eagles of Death Metal have made an emotional return to the Bataclan to pay their respects less than a month after their concert at the Paris venue was attacked by terrorists.

The group were performing at the Bataclan on November 13 when gunmen stormed the building, killing 90 concertgoers.

The California band escaped the carnage by hiding in a dressing room backstage and later told how they want to return to Paris to finish their performance.

Their return to the Bataclan was preceeded by a performance with U2 at the Accor Hotels Arena in the French capital.

It was the first time the band have performed in Paris since the attacks.

Introducing the band to the stage, U2 frontman Bono told the crowd at the arena: “They were robbed of their stage three weeks ago – we would like to offer them ours tonight.”

During the performance, Eagles Of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes vowed: “Paris we love you and we will never give up rock and roll.”

The two bands then performed Patti Smith’s People Have the Power together before Eagles of Death Metal sang I Love You All The Time.

In a post on their Facebook page after the gig, Eagles of Death Metal thanked U2 saying they had “reminded us that the bad guys never take a day off, and therefore we rock ‘n rollers cannot either … and we never will”.


4. Mother convicted of domestic violence assault after smacking her daughter.

The mother forced her five year-old daughter to stand outside a Sydney restaurant with her hands in the air for half an hour.

A 40-year old woman has been convicted of domestic violence assault after slapping her five-year old daughter when she would not eat her lunch.

Then woman appeared in front of Newtown Local Court yesterday, and “sobbed in the arms of her husband” reports The Daily Telegraph as she was convicted of domestic violence assault.

She initially faced six charges but five other assault charges were withdrawn.

The mother, who cannot be identified forced her five year-old daughter to stand outside a Sydney restaurant with her hands in the air for half an hour, and repeatedly slapped her when the little girl would not eat her lunch.

Mr Williams sentenced the woman to an 18-month good behaviour bond and fined her $1200.

For more read this post here. 

5. Donald Trump defends his call to ban Muslims from entering the US.

Donald Trump defends his call to ban Muslims from entering the US.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has defended his controversial call to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

Trump told ABC America it was a temporary measure in a time of war.

“What I’m doing is no different than FDR,”

His defence came on the back of a statement issued by the Trump campaign saying: “Donald Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”


His officials confirmed that the ban would apply not only to immigrants and refugees, but tourists as well.

“We have no choice but to do this,” he told ABC America “We have people that want to blow up our buildings, our cities. We have to figure out what’s going on.”

Donald Trump says his Muslim ban proposal is motivated in part out of fear that the US cities will become like Paris and London, where he says areas are completely radicalised.

“We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that police are afraid for their own lives,” he said in an interview with MSNBC.

His comments have been slammed across the world with Paul Ryan, the top Congressional Republican saying “This is not conservatism,” he said. “Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islam terror are Muslims.”


6. Tony Abbott says that Islam needs to reform.


Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has claimed in an opinion piece that Islam must undergo “an urgent transformation.”

The former PM (and second-hand fridge owner) warned of a “clash of civilisations” unless Islam undergoes a global reform.

In a column for News Limited he says“We can’t remain in denial about the massive problem within Islam.”

He said that while most Muslims rejected terrorism, some were “all too ready to justify ‘death to the infidel’.”

“Islam needs to delegitimise the urge to ‘behead all those who insult the Prophet’ but only Muslims can do this,”


“Demonising Islam generally or all Muslims could bring on the ‘clash of civilisations’ that academic Samuel Huntington feared two decades back and make ‘Islam’s bloody borders’ even more dangerous.”

It’s also time Australians stopped being apologetic about the values that have made our country as free, fair and prosperous as any on Earth,” Mr Abbott wrote.

“It’s not culturally insensitive to demand loyalty to Australia … we should be ready to proclaim the clear superiority of our culture to one that justifies killing people in the name of God.”

7. Is there a second painting under the Mona Lisa?

A French scientist claims to have discovered a hidden image under the Mona Lisa.

The BBC reports that Pascal Cotte who spent 10 years analysing the painting made the discovery by using a multispectral camera which projects a series of intense lights onto the canvas. He found what he says is a second portrait

Mr Cotte said the woman underneath does not appear to be Lisa Gherardini who is widely believed to be “Mona Lisa”.

“When I finished the reconstruction of Lisa Gherardini, I was in front of the portrait and she is totally different to Mona Lisa today,” he said.

“This is not the same woman.”

Other art historians reject Mr Cotte’s findings.

8. Santa has comforted a boy with autism telling him he shouldn’t be bothered to be who he is.

Landon with Santa from the Rivertown Crossings Facebook page.

Once again that good guy with the white beard is doing what he does best – making people happy.

Santa has been working at a shopping mall in the US where he came across a young boy with autism who was keen to tell Santa about his autism. The boy’s mother has taken to social media to praise the Santa for his reaction to her son.


The mother, wrote on the Rivertown Crossings Facebook page:

After sitting on Santa’s lap, her son, Landon asked if he could go back and tell Santa something about himself.

“He was flapping his hands, all excited to let Santa know that he has autism,”

“Santa sat him next to him and took L’s hands in his and started rubbing them, calming them down. Santa asked L if it bothered him, having Autism? L said yes, sometimes. Then Santa told him it shouldn’t. It shouldn’t bother him to be who he is. L told Santa that sometimes he gets in trouble at school and it’s hard for people to understand that he has autism, and that he’s not a naughty boy. Santa told L to not worry and that he has been a very good boy being who he is. They sat, and chatted for at least 5 mins. Santa payed close attention and listened to him.”

“This just melts this momma’s heart! ” she wrote

“My child is a great advocate for himself. But this day was different. He opened up to this person about who he was and he was accepted. He wasn’t a science experiment, like he gets treated when most people find out he autistic. He was Landon, sitting with Santa and being told that it was ok to be himself.”

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