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

8.49am That's it from us this morning. Enjoy your April Fool's Day - get pranking! See you tomorrow for Wednesday's edition of the Rush.

8.46am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Sarah Jessica Parker has graced the cover of Harper's Bazaar magazine - and she looks GORGEOUS!

8.44am STRANGE BUT TRUE: The pub made famous as the watering hole of Mick "Crocodile'' Dundee has been sold. Read more about the Walkabout Creek Hotel's sale here.

8.42am NATIONAL NEWS: Two men carried out a citizens' arrest on an armed thief who had stolen the day's takings from a shop in Bondi Junction, police say. The pair managed to knock a stun gun out of the man's hands and overpowered him before police arrived a short time later and arrested the 21-year-old yesterday afternoon. 

8.40am Let's play "anywhere but here" - today I'd rather be swimming in the stunning Kayangan Lake in the Phillipines. A girl can dream...

8.38am TV NEWS: The Logie nominees were announced yesterday - and Asher Keddie is the one to beat for the Gold Logie. Again. She's up against comedian Andy Lee, presenter Carrie Bickmore, Home & Away actor Stephen Peacocke, actress Essie Davis, who stars in the ABC1 drama Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, and TV presenter Scott Cam. For a full list of nominees, click here.

8.36am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Harry Potter star Emma Watson has opened up about her love life - and why she refuses to date "famous" people. Read more here.

8.34am This Instagram post from i98FM breakkie host Bianca Dye is CLASSIC - and so true! Who hasn't yearned for Ariel's lovely ginger locks? Or Cinderella's up-do!?

8.32am A bit of motivation this morning - 30 things to stop doing to yourself, courtesy of reporter Gemma Khaicy. Thanks Gem!

8.30am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Check out Posh & Beck's 15-year-old son Brooklyn  - he's the cover star for Man About Town magazine!

8.28am LOCAL NEWS: The Transport Workers Union will conduct an audit of Illawarra trucking company Kosseris Bulkhaul after claims the company has failed to pay one of its worker's superannuation.

-Full story by reporter Dominic Geiger here.

8.27am Apologies for that delay - slight technical hitch!

8.22am Is your child four-years-old or older? Can they ride a bike without training wheels? If not, FIT2BKIDS Safe Cycling can help! They have a few spots available in their classes this Saturday & Sunday. The lessons will be held at MacCabe Park. The cost is $20 per child per lesson. Register by emailing russjones@rucommuting.com.au

8.20am TV NEWS: Tonight marks the last ever episode of How I Met Your Mother in the US. Very sad news for fans - it's a great show. Aus audiences have a couple of weeks before it hits our screens.

8.19am LOCAL NEWS: A 22-year-old man has died after a crash in the Southern Highlands. The crash happened on Myra Vale Road, Wildes Meadow, about 2.15pm yesterday. The man suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Bowral Hospital, where he later died.

8.17am Have you seen this video of a little boy REALLY upset about news he is getting ANOTHER little sister? It's hilarious but you can sympathise with the poor kid - those tears are real!

8.15am TV NEWS: If you missed this yesterday, British actress Kate O'Mara, who starred in hit US soap opera Dynasty in the '80s, has died at the age of 74. She played Cassandra "Caress" Morrell, the scheming sister of Joan Collins' Alexis Colby.

8.13am MUSIC NEWS: Italian crossover star Andrea Bocelli has announced he will tour Australia in September, his first visit here since 2008.

8.10am BREAKING: The CFMEU is set to inspect all Lend Lease sites as part of a safety audit crackdown.

8.08am STRANGE BUT TRUE: A Florida woman has photobombed a live TV broadcast dressed as a unicorn in a tutu. Wow. Just wow. I'm just going to chuckle over this one for awhile!

8.06am LOCAL SPORT: The first official day of the off-season would usually mean a sleep-in for most professional athletes. But when there's Mad Monday costumes and parties to organise, sleep can wait. The Hawks celebrated Mad Monday yesterday - super-hero style. NB I saw the giraffe and Captain America wandering past Wollongong Woolies!

8.04am The Merc is launching a new page on April 15 called Kid’s Corner. Send in pics of your little cherubs & we’ll print them - email kidscorner@fairfaxmedia.com.au for more info.

8.03am POLITICS: Greens leader Christine Milne says Prime Minister Tony Abbott is governing in the interests of mining magnates and media moguls and predicts he will be unable to manage an unruly Senate after July 1. Read more here.

8.01am Awww this bunny is off to school! Awwwwwww.

8am A little history lesson this morning: today in 1893, seven people drowned, including Captain Thomas Honey, in a Minnamurra boating tragedy.

7.58am LOCAL NEWS: A draft plan of management for Jones Beach and Cathedral Rocks reserves in Kiama will go on public exhibition tomorrow.

7.56am **CUTENESS ALERT** Oh god, I'm dying. This takes the cake for cute animal pics - a whole GALLERY of puppies cuddling their stuffed animals. Can't.Even.Handle.It.

7.54am Good morning! If you're just tuning in, welcome & happy April Fool's Day. Let's have a look at the latest weather & traffic, shall we?

WEATHER We're in for a mostly sunny day with a top of 26 degrees, yay!! There will be some early fog and light winds this afternoon. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts - it ain't gonna stick around. Right now, it's 14 in Albion Park & 19 in Bellambi.

TRAFFIC All looks fine for the drive around town and for the trek to Sydney.

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

7.52am Anyone else feeling like this today? I'm struggling this week - eight days until holidays!

7.50am It seems Google has even got in on the April Fool's Day pranking - if you spot some strange creatures on your Maps app today, don't stress! Google Maps has teamed up with Pokemon for an epic prank. Nice!

7.48am Looking for a prank to pull this April Fool's Day? Here's some inspiration. My favourite - glad-wrap over the toilet seat. An oldie but a goodie.

7.46am BREAKING NATIONAL NEWS: An 80-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly shooting birds off power lines in a western Sydney street. Police went to Links Avenue in Cabramatta after locals reported hearing gunshots about 10am yesterday. Officers found two dead currawongs and a third bird with a gunshot wound. The man will face court at a later date on firearms and animal cruelty charges. (AAP)

7.42am LOCAL NEWS: Wollongong Blood Donor Centre is benefiting from an injection of young blood, thanks to some inter-college rivalry at the University of Wollongong.

-Full story from reporter Lisa Wachsmuth here.

7.41am And in other "strange but true" news, this man is "eating" nothing but beer for 40 days. It's his version of Lent. Riiiiiiight...

7.39am STRANGE BUT TRUE: This shot of a father-daughter Halloween costume is PRICELESS. What do you do when your daughter wants to be the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood? Well, you strap on your red cape & get on with it...

7.36am SPORT: The Netherlands have humiliated 2010 champions England by 45 runs at the World Twenty20 in Chittagong, rounding off a wretched winter for the English side that included a 5-0 Ashes series loss in Australia. (SMH)

7.34am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Ladies, MKR's Manu Feildel is still on the market. Well, technically. He has not tied the knot with his fiancee, despite reports of a secret wedding.

7.32am MOVIE NEWS: Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine is set to make his movie debut! His film Begin Again, also starring Mark Ruffalo & Keira Knightley, is set to hit cinemas on August 7. This looks really good - what do you think? NB Keira can sing!

7.30am BREAKING: The last words spoken by one of the pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines airliner to the control tower were "Good night Malaysian three seven zero", Malaysia's civil aviation authority said, changing the previous account of the last message as a more casual "All right, good night."

7.28am Turn off your phone & settle in - you'll need a moment after you watch this video of a two-legged dog visiting the beach for the first time. OMG. He's so happy. Go Duncan, go! NB He's had 2 million hits on YouTube.

7.26am LOCAL NEWS: Plans to introduce a policy for short-term holiday rental accommodation in Shellharbour City have been put on hold by councillors pending further information and a closer look into governance issues.

-Full story by reporter Alex Arnold.

7.24am WORLD NEWS: Google says Turkey has been intercepting its internet domain and redirecting users to other sites in the latest battle between Ankara and web giants. NB How does that even happen!? Far too clever for me!

7.22am BREAKING: Channel Nine is reporting that an April Fool's prank has caused panic for parents at Castle Hill High School after a text claimed the school had been vandalised. Oops!

7.18am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Chelsea Handler is leaving E!

7.16am Ball Park Music are set to play at the UniBar this Thursday night. There were only about 170 tix left yesterday - get in quick!

7.14am LOCAL NEWS: Two men have pleaded guilty to affray following an unprovoked attack on a man at a Mount Keira unit block last year.

- Full report from reporter Bree Fuller here.

7.12am FOODIE NEWS: If you missed this yesterday, Heston is coming to Aus! British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal will close the Fat Duck, his three-Michelin starred restaurant, at Christmas and move the entire operation to Melbourne for six months in 2015. Awesome!

7.10am Those cheeky dolphins have been snapped playing again! The team at Dolphin Watch Cruises in Jervis Bay spotted more than 60 bottle nose dolphins playing north of Plantation Point yesterday. Wow!

7.08am TV NEWS: Walking Dead fans are in mourning - the show's finale screened last night in the US. Not long until it hits our shores.

7.06am Easter is coming and we’re running an Easter Egg Hunt! The promo kicks off today. Twenty Easter Egg images will run in the paper - some days there may be one, other days there could be several! Once you’ve found the image/s, post them in or fill out an online entry form. Entrants have the chance to win one of five $200 chocolate hampers.

7.04am NATIONAL NEWS: The Australian Federal Police refused a request from Papua New Guinea for an officer to help interview witnesses to the killing of asylum seeker Reza Barati on Manus Island. Read more here.

7.02am TIARA ALERT: If you missed this one yesterday, AWKWARD ALERT! Kate Middleton wore the same blue Missoni coat as another guest at a wedding over the weekend. Oh so awkward!

7am The Eiffel Tower is celebrating its anniversary today - it opened to the public 125 years ago today. Bon anniversaire shiny silver statue!

6.58am LOCAL SPORT: Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod is unable to shed any light on what the Hawks roster will look like next season.

6.56am Who doesn't love a good April's Fool's Day prank? This one is a CORKER! Nova 96.9's Fitzy & Wippa got in early yesterday with a stunt - Fitzy pretended to quit live on-air. The announcement sent the program's head honchos racing down the corridor to the studio to stop what was happening. Too good.

6.54am Good morning! If you're just tuning in, welcome & happy April Fool's Day. Let's have a look at the latest weather & traffic, shall we?

WEATHER We're in for a mostly sunny day with a top of 26 degrees, yay!! There will be some early fog and light winds this afternoon. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts - it ain't gonna stick around. Right now, it's 14 in Albion Park & 19 in Bellambi.

TRAFFIC All looks fine for the drive around town. There is a three-car accident @ Randwick (Rainbow St @ Avoca St), which is causing a few headaches. Otherwise, all good.

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

6.52am TV NEWS: Top Gear co-host Jeremy Clarkson is in trouble again after an allegedly racist remark during the BBC show's Burma-based series finale.

6.50am MUSIC NEWS: Good news for Michael Jackson fans! An album of previously unreleased songs, XSCAPE, is due to hit shelves on May 13. Pre-order a copy today!

6.48am Are you an ugly crier? You know - all scrunchy in the face, red cheeks, lots of gasping. I can freely admit that I am - I try to be pretty and girly but it just doesn't happen. Don't fret if you are - check out this gallery of top Hollywood ugly cries. James Van Der Beek in Dawson's Creek is HIDEOUS!

6.46am TV NEWS: Lindsay Lohan's reality show has continued in the US - this week, she finds a way to blame someone else for her stalled acting career.

6.44am LOCAL NEWS: Shellharbour City Council has received a $1.12 million insurance payout for the loss of its terminal building at Illawarra Regional Airport.

-Full story here by reporter Alex Arnold.

6.42am NATIONAL NEWS: The boss of a Sydney construction firm has vanished leaving millions in unpaid bills and bikie gangs have been turning up at construction sites across Sydney in a bid to recover the money he owed for work on at least seven major projects.

6.40am MOVIE NEWS: Channing Tatum has been busy - he's been filming Jupiter Ascending, a space-age film, with Mila Kunis. It's due for release in July. Check out the trailer below - looks good!

mila

6.38am I love a clever meme - and this one is good. Lady Gaga or wardrobe from Disney's Beauty & the Beast?

6.36am WORLD NEWS: Rescuers have ended their search for a 43-year-old man swept out to sea during a baptism ceremony on a Southern California beach.

6.34am MUSIC NEWS: Taylor Swift has reportedly dropped $20 million on a penthouse in Tribeca, NY. NB the home is believed to have once been owned by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.

6.32am SPORT: In a SERIOUS case of foot-in-mouth, NRL star Andrew Fifita last week announced he wished he'd never signed a $3.5 million deal with the Bulldogs because he wanted to play rugby union. No dramas, said the Bulldogs, see you later! Seriously, these NRL types need to learn basic PR skills!

6.31am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Former Home & Away star Jodi Gordon has shared the first selfie of her daughter Aleea. Oh, she's a cutie!

6.30am LOCAL NEWS: Illawarra TAFE teachers fear the Higher School Certificate course at Wollongong campus will be next in the firing line as a result of widespread cost-cutting.

-Full story here by reporter Ang Thompson.

6.28am In some other TV news this morning, E! News is reporting that Happy man Pharrell Williams has signed on as a judge for the latest season of the US version of The Voice.

6.26am TV NEWS: Did you watch MKR last night? *SPOILER ALERT* Carly & Tresne went home. Nooooo! I loved them. It was very close but their raw wagu beef main sealed their fate. Mind you, the mums plated up some chicken thing, which looked really gross & also raw. People, learn how to cook meat properly! Anywho, here's a recap.

6.24am It's time for our first animal funny of the day - this one is great. Seriously, who comes up with this stuff!? NB A cat in a cardboard tanker = genius.

6.22am NATIONAL NEWS: The hunt for any sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight has continued - but objects sighted at sea on Sunday by an Australian Orion searching for the missing jet have been identified as fishing buoys, nets and other ocean junk.

6.19am Don't forget we're crossing to Pulse 94.1FM every hour with all the latest news from the Rush.

6.18am CELEB GOSS ALERT: The Kardashian klan (hehe) is on vac-ay! The Kardashian-Jenner gang headed off to Thailand - check out the snaps here.

6.17am WORLD NEWS: Japan will respect an International Court of Justice order to end its annual Antarctic whale hunt despite "deep disappointment" with the landmark decision, it said on Monday.

6.15am The price of a basic postage stamp has gone up - to 70 cents! Sheesh, they don't make mail cheap these days, do they?! No wonder people just email...

6.13am SPORT: Devastating sport news this morning - Newcastle Knights player Alex McKinnon has woken to news that his injuries, sustained in a game last week, may have left him a quadriplegic.

6.11am CELEB GOSS ALERT: could Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez be engaged!? She's been spotted wearing a ring on THAT finger - and it was a gift from Justin. Dear god no, run girl run!

6.09am Let's check out the national headlines, courtesy of the SMH:

*ICAC has heard Australian Water Holdings’ chief executive Nick Di Girolamo was billing government-owned utility Sydney Water for expenses, which had nothing to do with the provision of water services in Sydney’s northwest growth centre.

*As many as eight students have been expelled from Trinity Grammar after a drug-related incident in November last year.

*The national school curriculum unfairly assumes all students can do their homework using a computer and the internet at home, a submission to the federal government’s review warns.

*The government has told East Timor the fledgling nation can’t tax a lucrative pipeline from a Timor Sea gas field, in a move that has further soured relations between Australia and its neighbour.

6.07am Here's what's making news in your Mercury today:

*"Worse than a bomb" was how a Cordeaux Heights man described the lightning strike which set his ceiling on fire on Sunday night.

*A former Wollongong man has devised a new way of photographing the stars using a NASA telescope and the rings of Saturn - story by Ang Thompson.

*While the sun came out for the last day of the month, the rest of March will go down as one of the Illawarra’s wettest on record.

*Karen Sloane’s 11-week-old American staffordshire puppies are back home in Berkeley a week after being stolen, having been found almost 100 kilometres away in Callala Bay.

6.05am If you're just waking up, hello! Grab a cup of tea & some Weetbix and let's check out the traffic & weather around town.

WEATHER We're in for a mostly sunny day with a top of 26 degrees, yay!! There will be some early fog and light winds this afternoon. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts - it ain't gonna stick around. Right now, it's 15 in Albion Park & 19 in Bellambi.

TRAFFIC All looks fine for the drive around town & if you're headed to Sydney.

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

6am Good morning & happy April Fool's Day! Yep, it's April 1 - how did that happen!? This year is just zooming by.

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