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

8.48am That's it from us this morning! Tune in tomorrow for the hump day edition of the Rush. Ta ta for now!

8.45am Looking for something to do this weekend? Well, grab your popcorn and your chair & head to the Sunset Cinema on Saturday night to see the Great Gatsby.

8.42am WORLD NEWS: Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the AK-47 assault rifle, reportedly wrote a regretful letter several months before his death asking the head of the Russian Orthodox Church if he was to blame for the deaths of those killed by the guns.

8.38am I am dying to see Wolf of Wall Street. I have loved Leo since Titanic! Check out his thoughts on his latest film, which he earned a Golden Globe for yesterday.

8.35am TRAFFIC ALERT: Changed traffic conditions will be in place on Corrimal Street in Wollongong on Thursday between 7pm and 5am. During work, northbound lanes of Corrimal Street will be closed between Gipps Street and Bourke Street, including the Kembla Street intersection. Electronic signs will be in place to direct motorists to a northbound detour via Georges Place, Cliff Road and Bourke Street.

8.32am WORLD NEWS: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie faces a federal investigation over his use of $US25 million ($27 million) of Hurricane Sandy relief money for a commercial he starred in promoting tourism at the New Jersey shore. The probe comes amid new details of political payback from the New Jersey Governor's office.

8.28am Looking for some new nail inspiration? Take your cues from the red carpet and check out the manicures at the GG's. There were some gorgeous hands out there!

8.25am GOLDEN GLOBES: Julia Roberts wore a shirt underneath a dress & Emma Watson wore leggings. Here are some of the more unusual GG outfits.

8.22am POLITICS: The Abbott government's decision to hold a quick review of the national curriculum is poorly timed and threatens to disrupt and destabilise the work of teachers, a group of more than 150 prominent educators has warned.

8.18am LOCAL SPORT: The Wollongong Hawks are hoping to boost their poor crowds with a free ticket offer for this Sunday's home game against Cairns. Averaging a league-low 2300 fans this season, the Hawks will give away a child's ticket for every adult ticket sold as part of the club's Family Funday Sunday package.

8.16am Keen to send your kids to the circus? Try out a juggling workshop with Circus Monoxide at Warrawong Library today at 10.30am. Bookings essential. Cost: $4 per child, max. 16 children per workshop.

8.13am Savvy Fitness has just launched an app! The savvy app is available now in the iTunes store.

8.10am Fancy something a little out of the ordinary to beat the heat? The brains at Gelato Messina (praise be to Gelato!) have cooked up their own version of a hot dog as part of their pop-up at the Sydney Festival Village in Hyde Park. The $9 "Yeeeah Dawg" uses a sweet finger bun to contain a chocolate gelato "sausage", topped with raspberry "ketchup", passionfruit "mustard", coconut "onions" and butter-cream "mayonnaise". Wow.

8.07am BREAKING WORLD NEWS: A man has been shot dead in Florida after a fight in a movie theatre. The suspect stood up and shot the man after he wouldn't get off his phone. (Nine News)

8.04am BREAKING: The labourer accused of felling Sydney teenager Daniel Christie with a single punch will appear in court charged with his murder. Martial arts fighter Shaun McNeil, 25, is accused of punching Mr Christie in Sydney’s Kings Cross on New Year’s Eve, critically injuring him. He had already faced court on a grievous bodily harm charge but a murder charge was laid on Monday, after the 18-year-old’s life support was switched off in St Vincent’s Hospital over the weekend. McNeil is due to appear in Central Local Court today. (AAP)

8.02am LOCAL NEWS: A Balgownie woman released on bail after a violent king-hit assault that left a refugee in hospital is back behind bars after breaking her night curfew, a court has heard.

8am GOLDEN GLOBES: Emma Thompson took to the stage holding her shoes & carrying a martini. Love it. Drunk or hilarious?

7.58am Head over to the Botanic Gardens today for a trip with Captain Compost and the Chocolate Explorers. Join the sea-faring pirates on a quest to unveil the discovery of chocolate before Captain Compost shows kids how they can turn uneaten holiday food into valuable compost for the garden. It’s on until Friday from 10am to 1.30pm. Suitable for ages 3-12. Cost: $9 per child; family package (2 or more children) $17. Sausage sizzles and drinks will be available for purchase.

7.56am NATIONAL: A former semi-professional basketball player and model caught in the middle of a burglary in Canberra's north has been convicted of a series of offences. Read more here.:

7.54am Here's what's making news in your Mercury today:

*Most of NSW will experience heatwave conditions this week with the state's west to sweat through temperatures of 40 degrees or more. The Illawarra will escape the full brunt but inland NSW is set to be blasted with a "severe heatwave" until at least Friday.

*Teen girls with an interest in engineering are being courted by industry as part of a pitch towards greater diversity in the still-male dominated field.

*Wollongong's total land value has virtually flatlined, dropping by $20 million over the past three years, according to NSW Valuer-General Philip Western.

*A broken pipe that has leaked water down a North Wollongong street for three weeks has prompted a warning for people to report leakages quickly. 

7.52am Good morning! If you're just tuning in, let's have a look at the latest weather, traffic and trains, shall we?

WEATHER We're headed for a mostly fine day with cloud clearing and tops of 26 degrees. While the rest of the country is on heat, we should be fairly comfortable. There will be some light winds and fire danger is high. Right now it's 16 at Albion Park and 20 in Bellambi.

TRAFFIC Everything looks pretty clear around the Illawarra - don't forget those road works at Gerringong. The RMS is also warning about potential delays at the Royal National Park as people head there during the holidays. The run to Sydney and south is clear.

TRAINS There is a good service on the South Coast line.

7.50am Kids can play with Lego today at Thirroul Library from 10am & 11am. Bookings essential.

7.48am LOCAL SPORT: NSW Country kept themselves in contention for the national championship title in Canberra with a three-wicket win over East-Asia Pacific. NSW rolled Pacific for just 154 then reached the total in less than 25 overs to pick up the bonus points.

7.46am GOLDEN GLOBES: When host Amy Poheler won for her show Parks & Recreation, she made out with Bono. As you do. Check it out here.

7.44am TV NEWS: Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue's debut as a coach on The Voice UK on Saturday night has been heralded as a ratings win for the BBC. The Voice UK had suffered a lull in ratings throughout its second season last year but the new additions of Minogue and Kaiser Chiefs' lead singer Ricky Wilson as coaches have helped pull some of the highest ratings time the shows has seen in quite some time.

7.42am WORLD NEWS: Could there be trouble in the White House? There is speculation all is not well between the President and his First Lady....

7.40am In more sport news, today marks day two of the Australian Open. Play starts at 11am with Victoria Azarenka, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Lleyton Hewitt playing their first-round matches.Should be a good day!

7.38am Arr, the old Sydney v Melbourne debate has reared its ugly head. This time, it’s about their respective art scenes. Read all about it here.

7.36am SPORT: Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world's best footballer for the second time on Monday, preventing his great rival Lionel Messi from winning the award for a fifth year in a row. (SMH)

7.34am GOLDEN GLOBES: In VERY poor taste, E! News ran a "fun fact" about Michael J Fox's Parkinsons diagnosis. Nice.

7.32am LOCAL NEWS: Sun, surf and sexual health checks are all part of the beach scene this summer as the CaddyShack mobile chlamydia screening program tours the Illawarra.

7.30am MUSIC NEWS: Shakira and Rhianna (man that's a lot of "a's"!) have teamed up and released a new song. And the pop music world has gone nuts.

7.28am BREAKING WORLD NEWS: Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged "Octomom" Nadya Suleman with welfare fraud. (AP)

7.26am NATIONAL NEWS: Firefighters are still working to control a blaze that destroyed 49 homes and two sheds in the Perth hills, with authorities warning strong winds could cause a flare-up. The blaze, which tore through 650 hectares in the Shire of Mundaring on Sunday, was contained yesterday. However, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) says firefighters are still battling to get it fully under control. A watch and act alert remains on Tuesday for the eastern part of Parkerville, Stoneville and Mount Helena. Four people who were feared missing in the blaze were accounted for yesterday. (AAP)

7.24am GOLDEN GLOBES: Woody Allen was honoured at yesterday's awards but his son Ronan Farrow was NOT happy about it. He took to Twitter to vent his rage - and his attack was scathing.

7.22am Kids (and parents!), head over to the Wollongong Art Gallery today for the ‘‘Lords & Ladies’’ workshop. Step back in time into a medieval world by creating your own coat of arms, costume, mask, crown or tiara. 10am – 12 noon & 1.30pm - 3.30pm. Suitable for ages 5-8. Cost: two-hour workshops $20 per child, full day workshops $50 per child.

7.18am LOCAL NEWS: The Pope's Ambassador to Australia, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, will join more than 600 Catholics in Wollongong tomorrow for a four-day conference on Catholic liturgy.

7.16am Dying to see a flick at the Sunset Cinema? Well, why not try and win some tickets! We’re giving away double passes to the movie of your choice. Enter here.

7.14am POLITICS: Taxpayers have allegedly been defrauded of tens of thousands of dollars by a recently retired Liberal Party federal MP who appears to have paid his wife for non-existent work in his electorate office.

7.12am STRANGE BUT TRUE: A Russian café that charges customers according to how long they stay – but offers unlimited free tea and biscuits – has opened its first UK branch. The unusual pricing strategy at Ziferbla has proven popular in Russia. Customers must take an alarm clock from a cupboard upon arrival, note the time, and then keep it with them until they leave. A flat fee of three pence per minute means that an hour-long stay will set you back just £1.80 ($3.30) – no matter how many cups of Earl Grey and custard creams you manage to tuck away.

7.10am GOLDEN GLOBES: The telecast of the awards drew in nearly 21 million viewers in the US alone. Phew! (NY Times)

7.08am Is your child a Monet-in-the-making? Well, send them off to Towradgi Beach Hotel for the Little Leonardo Art Classes. They will run week days until January 24. Spaces are limited so please call to ensure your child’s place. Daily classes are perfect for five to 12 year-olds, and are only $12 per child.

7.06am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Has Lara Bingle threatened to leave the country? Well, kind of. At least that's what she told a Woman's Day photographer last week, reportedly saying she wants to leave Australia. “Sydney's my home but I don't like it,” the 26-year-old model told the photographer, “I can't even go to the supermarket without being papped." Poor pet.

7.04am WORLD NEWS: Pope Francis baptised 32 babies in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday and told their mothers, including one who was married in a civil service rather than in church, to have no qualms about breast-feeding them there.

7.02am GOLDEN GLOBES: Mums were the date of choice for several A-listers including Leonardo Dicaprio and Bradley Cooper. Sigh, could they be more adorable?

7am LOCAL SPORT: For Shellharbour left-hander Ellen Perez, there is rarely a more exciting time of year than the Australian Open. After just missing out on a wildcard spot to the women's doubles draw with Queensland-based partner Priscilla Hon, the 18-year-old will play a vital role at Melbourne Park as a hitting partner to professional players in the draw.

6.58am TV NEWS: Game of Thrones fans, get excited! We've got a cheeky preview of the Season Four trailer for you.

6.56am NATIONAL NEWS: Mystery surrounds the death of a world-renowned hypnotist who plunged from the balcony of an apartment in Sydney. Police are investigating whether Dr Scott Lewis, known as the Hypnotist, was climbing between balconies at the Goldsbrough Mort building in Pyrmont on Saturday morning when he slipped and fell, landing on the balcony of an apartment six floors below. He died at the scene.

6.54am Here's what's making news in your Mercury today:

*Most of NSW will experience heatwave conditions this week with the state's west to sweat through temperatures of 40 degrees or more. The Illawarra will escape the full brunt but inland NSW is set to be blasted with a "severe heatwave" until at least Friday.

*Teen girls with an interest in engineering are being courted by industry as part of a pitch towards greater diversity in the still-male dominated field.

*Wollongong's total land value has virtually flatlined, dropping by $20 million over the past three years, according to NSW Valuer-General Philip Western.

*A broken pipe that has leaked water down a North Wollongong street for three weeks has prompted a warning for people to report leakages quickly. 

6.52am Good morning! If you're just tuning in, let's have a look at the latest weather, traffic and trains, shall we?

WEATHER We're headed for a mostly fine day with cloud clearing and tops of 26 degrees. While the rest of the country is on heat, we should be fairly comfortable. There will be some light winds and fire danger is high. Right now it's 12 at Albion Park and 18 in Bellambi.

TRAFFIC Everything looks pretty clear around the Illawarra - don't forget those road works at Gerringong. The RMS is also warning about potential delays at the Royal National Park as people head there during the holidays. The run to Sydney and south is clear.

TRAINS There is a good service on the South Coast line.

6.50am 100 jobs in 100 days: They have been rejected time and time again, but Tahlia Simpson, Dan McMaster and Corey Wallace are determined to find a job. The Illawarra trio participated in a hospitality workshop at the Illawarra ITeC centre yesterday as part of the organisation's campaign to find 100 jobs in 100 days for indigenous job seekers. Read more here and support this great initiative.

6.48am Looking to get the kids off your hands for a day or so these school holidays? Why not try out the Kidzcare vacation care program at the Lake Illawarra PCYC? It’s on until January 24. Call 4296 4448 for more information. Daily rate is $35 plus excursion costs.

6.46am GOLDEN GLOBES: If you need more reasons to love Jennifer Lawrence (who does, really!?), check out this pic of her photobombing Taylor Swift. Oh too good!

6.44am NATIONAL NEWS: New licensing laws to regulate tattoo parlours could give credibility to backyard businesses and increase the risk of infectious disease, operators warn. The licences, a NSW government measure to crack down on organised crime and bikie gangs, came into effect in October last year. Since then, 177 licences have been approved, with more than 700 still pending

6.42am Want to check out our Hawks take on the Taipans on Jan 26? We’re giving away family passes.  Enter here for your chance to win.

6.40am GOLDEN GLOBES: Jennifer Lawrence is copping some flack for her GG gown. Personally, I loved it - but some people are claiming my girl Jen duct-taped her dress. Oh leave her alone!

6.38am TV NEWS: Australian actress Yvonne Strahovski has joined the cast of the reboot of the US action series 24. She joins lead actor Kiefer Sutherland and another Aussie, the two time Oscar nominee and Golden Globe and Emmy winning actress Judy Davis, in the series. (SMH)

6.36am TRAFFIC ALERT: Changed traffic conditions will be in place on Lawrence Hargrave Drive from Bald Hill to Stanwell Tops until tomorrow for essential maintenance work. To minimise traffic disruptions, the work will be carried out at night, between 7pm and 5am, weather permitting. Longview Crescent at Lawrence Hargrave Drive will be temporarily closed and traffic will be detoured via Stonehaven Road.

6.34am SPORT: The Aussies had success at the Australian Open yesterdayThe first-round win Sam Stosur needed was matched by Matt Ebden's first in the three years the West Australian has led higher-ranked opponents by two sets to love at Melbourne Park.

6.32am GOLDEN GLOBES: Check out what the celebs got up to after the awards - and it wasn't drinking cups of tea!

6.30am NATIONAL NEWS: Police are investigating if a father and his young daughter, missing now for more than two days, have fled the north coast or are possibly camping out nearby.

6.28am Teeheehee, a hilarious dog picture to kick off your morning. This one is a corker!

6.26am LOCAL NEWS: Many holidaying schoolchildren took mum and dad’s advice and went outside into the garden yesterday – the Botanic Garden, that is – for Wollongong City Council’s holiday program. Check out our gallery of adorable pics here.

6.24am BREAKING WORLD NEWS: Rolf Harris is due back in a London court today, facing 16 charges, including 12 counts of sexual assault. (Channel Nine)

6.22am Don't forget we're crossing to Pulse 94.1FM every hour. Tune in for the latest news from the Rush - and to hear your host try her hand at radio!

6.21am Have you tried out Cafe on Legs yet? The cafe has large chicken breast schnitzel for $10, rump steak for $12 all day today. Both specials served with hand-cut chips, sauce or gravy of your choice, and a complimentary soft drink.

6.18am LOCAL SPORT: A bizarre leg infection threatens to knock Wollongong Hawks guard Tyson Demos out of Sunday's home clash with the Cairns Taipans. Read more here.

6.16am GOLDEN GLOBES: Missed the ceremony? That's okay - we've got the best bits for you anyway.

6.14am WORLD NEWS: British police plan to arrest three burglars who made ‘many phone calls’ after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal in 2007, a British newspaper has reported.

6.12am CELEB GOSS ALERT: If you missed this one yesterday, Brynne & Geoffrey Edelsten have split. Brynne ended her four-year marriage to disgraced medico Geoffrey, telling friends she is unable to forgive her publicity-obsessed husband for a reported dalliance with another woman more than 18 months ago.

6.10am It's school holidays - and you're running out of ideas to keep the kids entertained! Why not bring them along to see live butterflies up close at Albion Park Library from 10:30am - 1:30pm today? Children can enter the butterfly house for a few minutes and enjoy interacting with butterflies. Bookings are essential and children must be accompanied by an adult. 

6.08am GOLDEN GLOBES: Miss out on all the fashion yesterday? Not to worry - we've got it here for you this morning! Grab a coffee and gaze lovingly at the gowns.

6.06am Let's check out the national headlines, courtesy of the SMH:

*Two of the largest venues in Kings Cross are asking the council to renew trials of late trading, amid debate about alcohol-fuelled violence and its relationship with extended drinking hours.

*Australia’s world-leading introduction of plain cigarette packaging appears to have triggered a significant spike in callers to Quitline.

*First-home buyers continue to be squeezed out of the property market, with their share of home-loan approvals falling to a record low, despite growth in investor activity slowing.

*Police have charged self-proclaimed mixed martial arts fighter Shaun McNeil with murder, after 18-year-old Daniel Christie’s life support was switched off on Saturday.

*Nearly 50 homes have been destroyed and four people are missing in bushfires on Perth’s eastern fringes.

6.04am Here's what's making news in your Mercury today:

*Most of NSW will experience heatwave conditions this week with the state's west to sweat through temperatures of 40 degrees or more. The Illawarra will escape the full brunt but inland NSW is set to be blasted with a "severe heatwave" until at least Friday.

*Teen girls with an interest in engineering are being courted by industry as part of a pitch towards greater diversity in the still-male dominated field.

*Wollongong's total land value has virtually flatlined, dropping by $20 million over the past three years, according to NSW Valuer-General Philip Western.

*A broken pipe that has leaked water down a North Wollongong street for three weeks has prompted a warning for people to report leakages quickly. 

6.02am Let's have a look at the latest weather, traffic and trains, shall we?

WEATHER We're headed for a mostly fine day with cloud clearing and tops of 26 degrees. While the rest of the country is on heat, we should be fairly comfortable. There will be some light winds and fire danger is high. Right now it's 12 at Albion Park and 17 in Bellambi.

TRAFFIC Everything looks pretty clear around the Illawarra - don't forget those road works at Gerringong. The RMS is also warning about potential delays at the Royal National Park as people head there during the holidays. The run to Sydney and south is clear.

TRAINS There is a good service on the South Coast line.

6am Good morning, happy Tuesday! We've got a Golden Globes special edition of the Rush, yay! We'll have dresses, we'll have goss, we'll have everything you want to know. Plus, all the usual news etc.

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