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

8.30am That's it from us this morning. We'll be back tomorrow from 6am. Hope you'll join us then.

8.20am Check out these photos of the latest garden transformation by the volunteers at Permablitz the Gong. The latest blitz was at the Urban Grown farm in Warrawong. Fantastic work!

8.15am A charity worker has accused security guards at Nauru of physically abusing child asylum seekers, in a letter of concern from staff at the centre.

8.10am Members of the 1964 HMAS Leeuwin 8th Intake will lead this year's Anzac Day march through Wollongong, writes Ben Langford.

8.05am CELEB GOSS Sorry Sony Music Australia, did I read that correctly - Karl Stefanovic is getting his own music TV show? 

8am Good morning, if you're just joining us. 

WEATHER We’re in for a sunny start, with some cloud and - probably - a shower or two, come the late afternoon. Winds will pick up to 25-35km/h with the change. Maximum 27. Right now it’s 14 in Albion Park, 21 in Bellambi and 19 in Kiama. 

TRAINS There is good service on the South Coast line.

TRAFFIC  Looks like it’s a clear run from Nowra to Sydney this morning, with the exception of ongoing roadworks at Gerringong and the top of Mount Ousley. 

7.50am Contratulations to Australia's oldest PhD graduate, Elisabeth Kirkby! 

7.42am A new mobility chair for Horsley teen Abbie Tippin - wonderful to see. 

7.35am Divers have search the sunken Korean ferry in near-total darkness for bodies. Meanwhile, prosecutors have raided the home of the ferry owner.

7.30am Australia's Group of Eight universities is urging the government to remove caps on student fees, saying it would allow them to compete on quality with prestigious institutions such as Harvard and Stanford. Read more here.

7.25am "Ninety-nine years later the easy and lovely calm of dusk masks the coming whirl that is Anzac Day," writes Tony Wright in this scene-setting piece from Gallipoli.

7.20am There's not long left to tell council your thoughts on the city's plans for pools and playgrounds. 

7.10am The Mercury recently gifted its massive photo archive to Wollongong City Library. We've put some cracking old gems online to mark the occasion - you can take a look here.

7.03am "After more than 13 years, the 9th drop has now collided with the 8th in the bottom of the beaker." Check out video of the bemusing "pitch-drop experiment" at the University of Queensland, where researchers have witnessed the result they've been waiting for for the first time in 83 years.

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

WEATHER We’re in for a sunny start, with some cloud and - probably - a shower or two, come the late afternoon. Winds will pick up to 25-35km/h with the change. Maximum 27. Right now it’s 10 in Albion Park, 19 in Bellambi and 16 in Kiama. 

TRAINS There is good service on the South Coast line.

TRAFFIC  Looks like it’s a clear run from Nowra to Sydney this morning, with the exception of ongoing roadworks at Gerringong and the top of Mount Ousley. 

6.57am Consult our guide to Anzac Day services in the Illawarra for details on where to be, when, tomorrow. 

6.52am A debate of the baking variety is getting going over at ABC Illawarra ahead of Anzac Day. I say chewy, all the way! 

6.47am The folk at Yours and Owls are putting on a new show at Beach Bar next month, called The Shindig.

6.42am Has the cost of seeing a movie gotten out of control? Josh Butler compares prices at Illawarra cinemas. 

6.35am Smiling Sally Fitzgibbons is gracious in defeat at Bells Beach. 

6.30am Madeleine McCann may have been among the victims of a series of sexual assaults on British children in Portugal, say British police, in the latest chapter to the seven-year-old mystery.

6.25am Former Central Coast Mariners boss Graham Arnold is favourite to replace out-going Sydney FC coach Frank Farina.

6.20am A 16-year-old boy has drowned at Wentworth Falls Lake in the Blue Mountains. 

6.15am The Sydney Swans have confirmed that their star recruit Buddy Franklin was involved in a car accident on Wednesday night. Franklin was driving a Jeep belonging to his girlfriend, TV presenter and model Jesinta Campbell. He was not carrying passengers and no one was injured.

6.10am The brother of Camilla Parker Bowles, Britain's Duchess of Cornwall, has died in a New York hospital after he fell and suffered a serious head injury.

6.05am And making news further afield ...

* Debris found washed on a West Australian beach yesterday was being examined by experts to determine if it’s part of the wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

* Welfare spending will be put to the knife in the federal budget, as Joe Hockey outlines a radical budget overhaul that could slash government outlays by $65 billion a year within a decade. The Australian

* The cost of running the 58 Joint Strike Fighters announced by the Abbott government will double the price tag for the cutting-edge planes to a towering $24 billion, it was revealed on Wednesday. SMH

6.02am Let’s take a look at what’s making headlines locally. 

* The past month's soaking rains have caused a landslip, bringing the cliffside alarmingly close to homes in Austinmer and Thirroul. Ben Langford reports.

* The child sexual assault case against prominent Illawarra Aboriginal activist Roy ‘‘Dootch’’ Kennedy has been adjourned to June, as the prosecution awaits the results of DNA tests.

* A helicapter has been called in to spray herbicide over Big Island, off Port Kembla, as part of efforts to rid the island of noxious weeds and improve its value as a bird breeding habitat. 

* Police are searching for a wanted man - Luke Krajnovic, 26, accused of kidnapping - who may be in Lake Illawarra or Wollongong.

6.01am First things first ...

WEATHER We’re in for a sunny start, with some cloud and - probably - a shower or two, come the late afternoon. Winds will pick up to 25-35km/h with the change. Maximum 27. Right now it’s 10 in Albion Park, 19 in Bellambi and 16 in Kiama. 

TRAINS There is good service on the South Coast line.

TRAFFIC  Looks like it’s a clear run from Nowra to Sydney this morning, with the exception of ongoing roadworks at Gerringong and the top of Mount Ousley. 

6am Welcome to Thursday's edition of Morning Rush. Stay with us until 9am for the latest Illawarra news.

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