MORNING RUSH: news, sport, weather, traffic and online buzz

9.15am That's it from us this morning. Thanks again for joining us and hope to see you tomorrow, from 6am. 

9.05am A forum at Wollongong City Gallery tonight will explore the magic of 3D printing, taking into account the views of a surgeon, a scientist, an artist and an ethicist. Details here - bit.ly/18YX5gD

8.56am A woman who was abused by her uncle as a child is pursuing compensation from those who watched the abuse online. The New York Times reports the images are among the most widely viewed child pornography in the world. The woman, known as Amy, has written a victim impact statement for the US Supreme Court. “It’s like I am being abused over and over and over again.” 

8.49am A recap of some of today's local headlines: 

* Former Gujarat NRE Coking Coal chairman Arun Jagatramka is to take a massive pay cut from $1.3 million to $just $79,025. Details - bit.ly/1cST4tq

* Wollongong residents face a tough choice between a rate rise as high as 25 per cent or deep cuts to services and council jobs, under new, "lose-lose" budget scenarios aimed at bringing the city to financially sustainable levels. bit.ly/1bdDABs

A racial taunt led to a fight between two men outside the Illawarra Steelers Club that left one with extensive fractures to his skull, a court has heard. bit.ly/ICG69m

Shellharbour MP Anna Watson says a study commissioned by the NSW government into the Albion Park Rail bypass is ‘‘an expensive embarrassment’’. bit.ly/18AP7w9

8.42am TV producer Elan Gale, who achieved insta-fame after tweeting in real-time his epic note-passing war with "Diane from 7A" on a delayed Thanksgiving flight, has revealed the whole thing was a hoax. The Guardian has provided a post-mortem of the affair, under the headline 'The Elan Gale internet hoax sums up all that is rotten about our online lives'.

8.32am Ham, anyone? 

8.26am Clarity this morning from Paul Walker's team regarding claims the star's daughter witnessed his fatal car crash. 

8.19am Rolling Stones fans rejoice! A full national tour - including Sydney's Allphones Arena on March 25 has just been announced. 

8.05am Why not give a vote to Austinmer experimental pop band Shining Bird, contenders for the Mess + Noise Readers Poll (vote here - bit.ly/1cjYtve)? Maybe their hilarious video for Hot Summer Days will convince you. 

8am A quick update on some Wednesday morning essentials -

WEATHER: It’s a warm and partly cloudy morning, with a chance of rain and thunderstorms tonight. Rights now it’s 19 degrees in Bellambi and Kiama and 17 in Albion Park, headed for a maximum of 27. Winds north to northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h becoming light in the evening, then becoming northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h in the late evening. 

ROADS are clear 

TRAINS are running on time, with no trackwork or delays.

7.56am Food wanted for Christmas hampers. Can you help? 

7.53am Congratulations to Wollongong Hawks player Rhys Martin and his wife, Danielle, who welcomed daughter Ella-Christine into the world on Monday night. 

7.49am They're making cider in Darkes Forest nowbit.ly/1cjW2bR

7.43am Meanwhile, over in Ballarat, all eyes are on a bird. Or birds. 

7.32am There are calls for Channel Seven to cut the "sexist" Lingerie Football League. As Liv puts it, in the comments section of this (bit.ly/1be61OUSMH story, "This is not a legitimate 'sport'! It's ogling eye candy for men! What about the recent Matilda's international football match against China? Their second game was not broadcast, nor available for stream. The girls won both matches. Very unhappy that channel 7 has chosen to be irresponsible with their rights to broadcast.

7.30am Folk at Crown Street Mall are having a photo competition as part of Christmas festivities this year. There's a $250 shopping voucher up for grabs. 

7.26am Wollongong record store Music Farmers is hosting a shindig in Crown Lane this Friday.

7.22am Congrats to local band Jenny Broke the Window, whose tunes are well worth a listen. 

7.17am Paul Walker died at a drifting hotspot known as Hercules Curve. The SMH has an update and vision shot by a passer-by in the accident's aftermath -bit.ly/1avEa9r

7.10am The AFL and Essendon offered James Hird a series of inducements to accept a 12-month suspension from coaching and drop his court action against the league through secret negotiations, reports The Australian.

7.04am Here's the story of the incredible 1000 Surfboard Graveyard, a mesmerising feature of Garie Beach in the Royal National Park for one night only before it disappeared.bit.ly/1bGHXXu

7am Good morning, if you're just joining us. A quick update: 

WEATHER: It’s a warm and partly cloudy morning, with a chance of rain and thunderstorms tonight. Rights now it’s 19 degrees in Bellambi, 15 in Kiama and 14 in Albion Park, headed for a maximum of 27. Winds north to northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h becoming light in the evening, then becoming northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h in the late evening. 

ROADS are clear 

TRAINS are running on time, with no trackwork or delays.

6.58am Women are "rebirthing" their babies. That's a thing now. 

6.50am Best and Less, Rivers, Just Jeans, Peter Alexander and Bonds are among those on the naughty side of a Naughty or Nice list released by Oxfam ahead of Christmas. The companies aren't signatories to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord, which gives workers the right to refuse dangerous work, and mandates independent building inspections.bit.ly/19fds52

6.38am COMPETITION: Win a family pass to the Wollongong Hawks NYE game. They're playing the Melbourne Tigers at the WEC. Entry form here bit.ly/188dLE7 

6.30am Check out The Other Superman doing his thing in Crown Street Mall yesterday! Paul Nunnari is a wheelchair aerialist, former Paralympian and Australia's Got Talent finalist. There's a jaw-dropping gallery here - bit.ly/1jhOY2D plus a video -

6.27am Woolworths and Coles are close to doing a deal with the competition regulator over their controversial petrol shopper docket schemes, says the SMH. Word is there will be a cap on the discounting, putting an end to the mammoth cuts of up to 45 cents a litre - as was offered by Woolies this year.

6.20am Minnamurra gal-turned US prime-time star Clare Bowen, of the TV show Nashville (we don't get it here) has sent some Twitter love to fellow UOW graduate Stef Dawson, who scored a role in the Hunger Games film franchise. Aww. 

6.14am Congratulations to the wonderful ladies of the Wollongong Illawarra Roller Derby, who had a win against Newcastle on Saturday night. I love it when we beat Newcastle, booyah! 

6.07am And in news further afield ... 

Intelligence and security agencies are investigating a suspected industrial espionage case at the nation’s top scientific organisation, the CSIRO, reports the SMH.

Australia is facing an egg shortage and rising prices ahead of the peak holiday season after an outbreak of bird flu closed two poultry farms.

* A crackdown on Australians travelling to Syria to fight with jihadists is set to widen, with police preparing to charge a third suspected extremist currently in jail on attempted murder charges, says The Australian. 

Australian teenagers have slipped further behind their overseas peers in international tests assessing skills in reading, maths and science, now ranking behind students in Vietnam, Poland and Estonia.

* Mining magnate Gina Rinehart used a bodyguard to offer one of her daughters a $25 million loan to pull out of a long-running court feud over a family trust, reports the ABC.

6.05am Making news locally

*Wollongong residents face a tough choice between a rate rise as high as 25 per cent or deep cuts to services and council jobs. Wollongong City Council released four budget scenarios yesterday, with Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery admitting the situation was lose-lose in terms of popularity. Read all about it right here: bit.ly/1bdDABs

A racial taunt led to a fight between two men outside the Illawarra Steelers Club that left one with extensive fractures to his skull, a court has heard. bit.ly/ICG69m

Shellharbour MP Anna Watson says a study commissioned by the NSW government into the Albion Park Rail bypass is ‘‘an expensive embarrassment’’. bit.ly/18AP7w9

*Former Gujarat NRE Coking Coal chairman Arun Jagatramka faces a massive pay cut next year. He was paid $1.3 million in 2013 but his proposed salary for 2014 is just $79,025. bit.ly/1cST4tq

6.03am First up, let's see what's happening in the sky, on the roads and on our rail lines.

WEATHER: It’s a warm and partly cloudy morning, with a chance of rain and thunderstorms tonight. Rights now it’s 18 degrees in Bellambi and Kiama and 14 in Albion Park, headed for a maximum of 27. Winds north to northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h becoming light in the evening, then becoming northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h in the late evening. 

ROADS are clear 

TRAINS are running on time, with no trackwork or delays.

6am Good morning, Illawarra and welcome, this fine Wednesday, to our Morning Rush. Check in with us over the next three hours as we blog local news, tidbits and happenings. 

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