8.52am That's it for us this morning. Excuse me while I reboot my computer & try and solve my tech issues :( Have a wonderful Tuesday - see you tomorrow for the TGIF edition of the Rush!
8.50am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Could Orlando Bloom have a new GF? He's been spotted out & about with British model Laura Paine in London this past weekend.
8.48am NATIONAL NEWS: The national peak body for youth affairs will close its office doors at the end of June after its funding was stripped in the federal budget. The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition has relied on $1.6 million of federal funding over the past four years, which was not renewed in last week's budget. As a result, AYAC will close its Sydney office and four full-time and two part-time staff will be made redundant. (SMH)
8.46am Legally Blonde, the musical, is coming! Moonglow Productions is set to stage the musical for the first time in Wollongong on July 4-5 @ the WIN Entertainment Centre. Tickets available now via www.wec.org.au - don't miss out!
8.44am I love this photo series of dogs at bath-time. They never look happy, do they?!
8.42am BREAKING: A man will face court accused of forcing his way into a neighbour’s unit in Sydney’s west and pouring diesel onto the staircase. Police allege the man, 58, was carrying diesel, matches, an iron bar, a screwdriver and a hammer when he entered the Montrose Avenue unit in Fairfield East on Monday afternoon. He'll face Fairfield Local Court today.
8.40am Anyone who knows me well knows I LOVE weird baby names. Check out this list - there are some doozeys on here! For a girl, how about Chosen? Ooo that's nice. And for a boy - Charger or Forever. Nice.
8.37am I'm back!
8.29am Excuse me for a mere moment while I pop a parking ticket in my car. Talk amongst yourselves.
8.28am Nutella is celebrating its 50th birthday today! Wow. Just in case you needed some ideas for how to eat the delicious chocolate spread, here's 53 suggestions. Yep, 53.
8.26am STRANGE BUT TRUE: Australia’s largest council has been accused of imposing a curfew on blind people by turning off audible traffic signals at night.The Brisbane City Council has angered Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes, who’s said he was stunned to learn what the council has done to satisfy CBD residents unhappy about the noise. (AAP)
8.24am Love this pic - US president Barack Obama has been snapped playing Little League baseball with some kids. Cute!
POTUS plays catch with Little League team at afternoon drop-by pic.twitter.com/JEZIYo2sPM— Eric Schultz (@Schultz44) May 19, 2014
8.22am LOCAL NEWS: Shellharbour City councillor Peter Moran wants to slash the council's base rate to pre-administration levels, making 70 per cent of ratepayers better off.
-Reporter Alex Arnold has the full report.
8.20am TV NEWS: Poor ol' Channel 10's Wake Up never really stood a chance. Its future is in doubt after it attracted just 32,000 metropolitan viewers last week. Oh dear.
8.18am SPORT: Canterbury’s Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds are set to be the NSW halves combination for the entire Origin series after replacing dumped Sydney Roosters pair Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney for next Wednesday night’s series opener at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
8.16am MUSIC NEWS: The official song for the 2014 World Cup has been revealed - and it's not exactly hitting it off with fans. First of all, it stars Pitbull (urgh!) featuring J-Lo. Secondly, the video is, well, interesting. You be the judge.
8.14am STRANGE BUT TRUE: A leading lawyer has called for dog owners to have compulsory third party insurance to protect them from any damage the dog might to do another person. What do you think? Seems a bit extreme, but hey, we're insured for everything else!
8.12am Shellharbour Central Hotel is hosting its first birthday this week! Congrats.
8.10am POLITICS:The chairman of the COAG reform council, John Brumby, says broadening the GST would be the fairest way to raise state revenue. But NSW opposition leader John Robertson sees no merit in broadening the GST. It comes after Federal coalition MP Ian Macdonald called for the GST to be applied to fresh food. (AAP)
8.09am CELEB NEWS: If you missed this big story yesterday, Baywatch star Pamela Anderson has revealed she was molested and raped as a child.
8.07am Today would have been writer Nora Ephron's 73rd birthday. Happy birthday to all those other May 20 babies.
8.05am LOCAL SPORT: Corrimal are on the hunt for a new coach after their winless start to the season claimed the first casualty on Sunday, when the Cougars board sacked coach Trevor Schodel.
8.03am NATIONAL NEWS: Prime Minister Tony Abbott is confident people will rally behind his government’s tough budget, even if they do so reluctantly. A week after it was handed down, Mr Abbott was on Tuesday continuing his bid to sell the budget to Australians as opinion polls showed many weren’t impressed and thought it was bad for the economy. (AAP)
8.01am STRANGE BUT TRUE: A man is suing the state of New York for $2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Why? He was bitten by a dog & had his picture taken without his permission. Fair call. NB you'll note that amount is "undecillion" dollars.
7.59am Love doing those ridiculous Buzzfeed quizzes? Then you'll ADORE this one. How would you die in Star Wars? Lol. How do people come up with this stuff!?
7.57am MUSIC NEWS: Aussie singer Iggy Azalea is the new IT girl in Hollywood. She wowed Sunday night at the BMAs - you go girl!
7.55am More minor tech difficulties - I think it's time for a new computer!
7.52am Morning! Welcome if you're just tuning in. We're in for a partly cloudy day with a top of 24. All is clear on the region's roads & for the drive to Syd. CityRail is reporting a good service on the South Coast line too.
7.50am LOCAL NEWS: A Moss Vale mining manufacturer has announced it will shed 50 jobs in what comes as another blow to the region's mining industry. Joy Global has offered 50 VRs to workers.
7.48am MOVIE NEWS: The latest X-Men film hits Aussie theatres this Thursday. This time, Jennifer Lawrence joins the team - and she's got a pretty cool skill! Check out the trailer below.
7.46am SPORT: Nathan Tinkler is tipped to relinquish control of the Newcastle Knights as soon as today after further crisis talks yesterday between the NRL, Hunter Sports Group and the Knights Members Club. (SMH)
7.45am I saw this yesterday and thought it was very funny - one teacher's approach to getting the kids to stop singing songs from Frozen. Let it Goooo, Let it Goooo ... damn the songs are catchy!
7.44am LOCAL NEWS: After 15 years of operation, Thirroul Medical Centre will be forced to charge all its patients for the first time with the introduction of a "GP tax". Read the full story & the impact of the changes here.
7.42am Okay, let's play "anywhere but here". This morning, I'd rather be wandering through Central Park in the US Spring time. Sigh...
7.40am Don't forget the Mercury's Cartoon Competition! We want 15-25 year-olds to produce their own cartoon or caricature that reflects a popular news topic or personality. There's awesome prizes, PLUS the best entries will be printed in the paper and exhibited at the Wollongong Art Gallery.
7.38am STRANGE BUT TRUE: We've found Grumpy Cat's arch enemy - Zen Cat. OMG will there be a face-off? Whisker-off? Not sure on terminology...
7.36am NATIONAL NEWS: Senior members of the government are bracing for more student protests after Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and former Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella were harangued in recent days.
7.34am Earlier in the Rush, we mentioned the petition to keep the Bulli rapist under supervision. It's only been up overnight and it's already collected 400 signatures. Have your say here.
7.32am MOVIE NEWS: It hasn't even hit our screens yet and there's already a sequel in the making. Yep, keep your eyes peeled for Godzilla 2. The 2014 reboot stomped its way all over the international box office at the weekend, pulling in nearly $US200 million ($AU213 million) worldwide, making it the biggest global opening so far this year. It's due out here on Thursday - check out the trailer. NB There are comments that Godzilla looks fat. Thoughts?
7.30am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Cameron Diaz has herself a new man - and it's a Madden twin. Yep, Cameron is dating Benji Madden, twin of Joel. Nice!
7.28am Sun tanning can be highly addictive and often has more to do with how it makes people feel than with how they look, says a US dermatologist who is visiting Australia. Ultraviolet (UV) light causes cells to release endorphins, the feel-good hormone, says Prof Feldman, a speaker at the annual scientific meeting of the Australasian College of Dermatologists. (AAP)
‘‘It’s like a little hit of morphine.’’
7.26am BREAKING: 18 people have been killed in a bus crash in Brazil.
7.22am MOVIE NEWS: A film about the missing MH370 flight is set to be released. Too soon? I think yes. You be the judge - here's the trailer.
7.20am It's not too late to host your own Biggest Morning Tea and raise money for cancer. Who doesn't love an excuse to have tea & cake!?
7.18am Have you seen our new page 2 "herenow"? It's getting lots of comments - people seem to really like it! It's choc-ful of bite-size news, weather and cops stuff.
7.17am CELEB GOSS ALERT: How cute is Hamish Blake & Zoe Foster's son Sonny? What a peach! And he's already got celeb points - he met Hugh Jackman yesterday!
7.16am LOCAL SPORT: After announcing herself on the international stage at the last World Cup, Lake Illawarra’s Caitlin Foord is setting her sights on another successful campaign, as the Matildas qualified with a 2-nil win over Vietnam.
7.14am Another little Tuesday funny for you - check out these HILARIOUS hair-cuts. Some of these are truly awful - how do you even do this to your hair!?
7.12am NATIONAL NEWS: Things are heating up at the ICAC - tensions inside the corruption inquiry have spilled out onto the street as associates of former Liberal state energy minister Chris Hartcher allegedly assaulted reporters after he left the witness box on Monday afternoon. Ooo drama!
7.10am STRANGE BUT TRUE: This is a bacon cheeseburger bomb - basically, it's like a cheeseburger meatball. I don't know whether to be impressed or disgusted.
7.08am Have you been snapped out & about in the Illawarra? Check out our social pics gallery here - you never know who you might see!
7.06am MUSIC NEWS: More from the Billboard Music Awards - by the powers of technology, a hologram of Michael Jackson performed during the show - and it's pretty freaking awesome. Check out the video below.
7.03am LOCAL NEWS: Police are looking for two men after a series of break-ins involving a stolen car in Gerringong early on Sunday. Reporter Kate Walsh has the full story.
7.01am Just having a few tech difficulties here - stay with us!
6.58am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Oh that cheeky Brad Pitt! He tossed a beer over a balcony to his mate Matthew McCounaghey when he discovered the pair were staying near each other in New Orleans. Cute! NB Brad looks good for 50!
6.56am Morning! Welcome if you're just tuning in. We're in for a partly cloudy day with a top of 24. All is clear on the region's roads & for the drive to Syd. CityRail is reporting a good service on the South Coast line too.
6.54am TV NEWS: Have you been watching The Voice? I must admit I haven't tuned in - but that's mainly because I can't get Channel 9 at home at the moment! Here's a recap if you missed last night's ep.
6.50am RED CARPET: More red carpet shots for you - this time from the Cannes Film Festival. Enjoy. NB Blake Lively - you can do no wrong.
6.48am I love the picture of this puppy & his stuffed puppy sharing a peanut butter jar. Awwww.
6.46am MUSIC NEWS: Queen has announced plans to tour Australia for the first time in 29 years. Frontman duties are set to be played by American Idol alum Adam Lambert - he had that annoying Whataya Want From Me song. Queen will tour late August to early September. (SMH)
6.44am LOCAL NEWS: Kiama Municipal Council's new network of 20 CCTV cameras planned for Kiama's central business district are due to be in place by September.
-Reporter Alex Arnold has the full story.
6.42am NATIONAL NEWS: Joe Hockey appeared on ABC's Q&A last night - and he was booed. If that ain't a sign that your budget is unpopular, I don't know what is!?
6.40am A little Tuesday funny for you. Lol!
6.36am WORLD NEWS: One of the most influential figures in Malaysia’s ruling party claims information about flight MH370 is being hidden and the Australian-led search for the plane off Western Australia is a waste of time and money.
6.34am Award winning speaker Rob Salisbury will return to present at the next Shellharbour City Business Network meeting this week. Contact Shellharbour Council on 4221 6030 for more information.
6.33am TV NEWS: Did you miss Game of Thrones last night? Don't have Foxtel? Don't fret - here's a nifty recap.
6.32am CELEB GOSS ALERT: And in other big celeb news, the kountdown (lol!) to the Kardashian/Kanye wedding is on! The pair are set to marry in Florence this weekend. Right now, they're roaming around in Paris.
6.31am RED CARPET: Still on the Billboard Music Awards - here are some of the looks from the red carpet. NB A disturbing new trend emerging - side boob. Ladies, this is NOT pretty! Survivors say, just don't!
6.30am LOCAL NEWS: Wollongong Hospital dietitian Kelly Lambert's efforts to help malnourished patients have been recognised with a national dietitians award.
-Health reporter Lisa Wachsmuth has the full report here.
6.28am It's cat pic time! This morning, we've got some BIG cats for you - it's always good to mix it up...
6.26am NATIONAL NEWS: Cambodia’s PM Hun Sen has confirmed his impoverished country will accept refugees from Australia in a controversial agreement condemned by human rights and refugee advocates.
6.24am MUSIC NEWS: A little bit more from the Billboard Music Awards this morning - Katy Perry performed her hit Birthday in a bright green wig & skin-tight body suit. Girlfriend is not afraid of whacky costuming!
6.22am Don't forget we're crossing every hour to Pulse 94.1FM with all the latest from the Rush.
6.20am LOCAL SPORT: St George Illawarra have earmarked Laurie Daley as a potential coach but will stick by Steve Price until at least the end of this season.
6.18am STRANGE BUT TRUE: Someone has Single White Female-d Brynne Edelstein. Her estranged hubby Geoffrey has stepped out with a new GF - and she's a spit for Brynne. Seems he sticks to type! Check her out here.
6.16am A little history lesson for you - the always-stylish Jackie Kennedy died on this day in 1994.
"One man can make a difference and every man should try." -- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, died on this day in 1994— The WorldPost (@TheWorldPost) May 19, 2014
6.14am LOCAL NEWS: An Illawarra school teacher accused of filming up the skirts of some of his young students will learn early next month whether the case against him will proceed.
-Court reporter Shannon Tonkin has the full story.
6.12am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Beyonce, Jay Z and Solange Knowles have posed for their first pic together after THAT elevator incident. Good to know celebs have family drama too!
6.10am WORLD NEWS: Rolf Harris had a history of molesting young women and girls who were in awe of him, a series of witnesses are expected to tell a London court this week. Read the latest on the case here.
6.08am MUSIC NEWS: The Billboard Music Awards were on in the US on Sunday night - and Kendell Jenner had a very special moment. She nearly called Aussie band 5 Days of Summer, One Direction. Oops. Also, JT won a lot of awards, along with Lorde.
6.06am Here's the latest national headlines via the SMH:
*A senior Coalition MP has called for the GST to apply to fresh food as rattled colleagues questioned the government's pre-budget political strategy and admitted they have been hit by a wave of voter anger over broken promises, new taxes and cuts in Joe Hockey's first budget
*Millionaire politician Clive Palmer has switched his position on the Abbott government's plans to deregulate university fees, saying he will block the legislation just days after flagging he would support the controversial changes.
6.04am Let's check out what's making news in your Mercury today:
*The first victim of the Bulli rapist has called on Illawarra residents to support her in a campaign to keep him under supervision for the rest of his life. Sign the petition here.
*Up to 120 jobs at Wongawilli Mine may be axed in coming weeks unless workers can strike a deal with Wollongong Coal to stem the losses.
*A 10-year-old-boy was approached by a man in a van while walking home from school in Woonona on Friday.
*The family of an Albion Park couple killed when a speeding driver ran a red light in Melbourne say they are devastated she could walk from jail in just over three years.
6.02am If you're just waking up, welcome to Tuesday! Here's the latest traffic & weather to kick off your day.
WEATHER We're in for a partly cloudy day with a top of 24 degrees. Those westerly winds will still be around for most of the day & into the evening. Right now, it's 19 in Albion Park and 18 in Bellambi - not exactly "wintery" weather, is it?!
TRAFFIC All looks fine on the region's roads & for the run to Sydney.
TRAINS There is a good service on the South Coast line.
6am Good morning! Your host, Emma Spillett, is back! Apologies for yesterday - the dreaded cold hit me like a hole in the head. Yuck! Anywho, we're back today with all the latest news et al. Stay tuned.