8.48am That's it from us this morning. I'm off on holidays next week (YES!) but the Rush will still run, under the very capable hands of Ms Walsh & Ms Thompson. Have a lovely weekend, ciao.
8.46am SYDNEY: Sydneysiders planning to catch a ferry on Monday morning may have to make other plans with unionised ferry workers set to strike during peak hour, a move their employer says is ‘‘completely unacceptable’’. (AAP)
8.44am We showed you the Queen's photobomb this morning but check out this royal pic, this is AWESOME!
8.42am Love live music? So do we - here's a guide to what's on around the traps this weekend.
8.37am Anybody else feel like this right now? JUST GIVE ME THE COFFEE!
8.34am WORLD NEWS: New US government data suggest a non-medical cause of America's childhood obesity crisis: denial. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 per cent of obese boys and 36 per cent of obese girls think their weight is "about right." Among kids and teens who were merely overweight, 81 percent of boys and 71 percent of girls also judged their weight to be "about right."
8.32am MUSIC NEWS: Pharrell Williams & Miley Cyrus have teamed up for a new video. Check it out below - the track is "Come Get It Bae."
8.30am LOCAL NEWS: More than 30 Illawarra businesses have teamed up to provide a wedding extravaganza for a local family affected by cancer.
*Click here for the full story.
8.28am SPORT - Commonwealth Games: So far, we've already scored five gold medals, seven silver & seven bronze & we're coming second in the medal tally. Yay!
8.26am CELEB NEWS: If you missed this yesterday, Glee star Naya Rivera has married Ryan Dorsey - just three months after she broke off her engagement to Big Sean. Wowser!
8.22am LOCAL SPORT: Dragons centre Peter Mata'utia will drive to Newcastle on Friday night to watch his younger brothers make their NRL debuts, after they were called on by Wayne Bennett to come to the rescue of the embattled Knights.
8.20am NATIONAL: A Sydney mother trapped in Lebanon and facing adultery charges raised by her husband has been disowned by her family and friends. Mahassen Issa, 29, due to return home to her two sons, aged six and nine, when she was charged with adultery over the weekend. She flew to Lebanon to visit her new partner Mohammed Awick. Get the full story here.
8.18am Looking for something to do on Sunday? There is a walk & talk tour of the old Kembla Mine site. From 1pm. Meet at the picnic ground near Harry Graham Drive.
8.16am TRAFFIC ALERT - Mt Ousley: There is a truck breakdown on the F6 near New Mt Pleasant Rd. Be careful.
8.14am Happy birthday Jennifer Lopez! And a big happy birthday to all the other July 25 babies.
8.12am BREAKING: Police are investigating whether the drive-by shooting of a man inside his car on the NSW Central Coast is linked to bikies. Police were call to Comserv Close in West Gosford at 7.45pm on Thursday to find a man slumped in his white 4WD. The 29-year-old man died at the scene and has not yet been formally identified. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. (AAP)
8.10am Look at these English bulldog puppies having QUITE the make-out session. Woooo.
8.08am TV NEWS: The federal agency that supports film and television production, Screen Australia, will reduce staff by 10 per cent and wind back its maximum investment in projects following cuts to its funding in the federal budget.
8.06am LOCAL NEWS: NSW Governor Dame Marie Bashir was humbled to be invited to open the new buildings at St Mary Star of the Sea College in her role as patron of house Bashir at the school.
*Education reporter Kate Walsh has the full report here.
8.04am CELEB NEWS: If you missed this one yesterday, a coroner confirmed Peaches Geldof died as a result of a heroin overdose. Very sad.
8.02am Don't forget the Foragers Market is on again this weekend at Bulli Showground.
7.58am A little history lesson this morning. Fairy Meadow Railway Station was opened as Para Meadow on October 3, 1888. It was renamed Balgownie on December 13, 1901 and Fairy Meadow on January 22, 1956.
7.56am LOCAL NEWS: The new motorcycle lane filtering laws probably won’t have much affect on traffic, according to Illawarra motorcyclist Trevor Jordan.
*Click here for the full story.
7.54am Have you bought your tickets to a fundraising night for Lisa O'Connell yet? Beautiful Lisa is battling cancer. The event is on August 2 @ Woonona-Bulli RSL, tickets still available.
7.52am CELEB NEWS: Adele's son Angelo may only be a year-old but he's managed to score himself a five-figure pay check! The Brit singer's baby has won a case against Corbis Images UK after the agency snapped private family moments & published them worldwide.
7.50am BREAKING: Jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste will launch a legal appeal against his conviction and seven-year jail term for defaming Egypt and aiding banned Islamists. His family will detail plans for an appeal in Brisbane today. (AAP)
7.48am The girls over at Papergirl Wollongong have been busy putting together a workshop series. Keep your eyes pealed for free art workshops in August.
7.46am For all those people who don't enjoy sharing their food (From Friends: "Joey doesn't SHARE FOOD!"), you'll love this. Just as there is no 'I' in 'team', there is no 'we' in 'food'.
7.44am NATIONAL: One woman was told to consider having an abortion when she announced her pregnancy to her boss while another was told she would have to choose between her baby and her job in shocking stories which have emerged from a study into discrimination against parents in the workforce. Click here for the full report.
7.42am Looking for something to do next weekend? Head to the Phoenix to see local performer Laura Jackson in her one-woman show Handle It. It's on August 1 - 3. Tix still available.
7.40am MUSIC NEWS: Ice Cube (as opposed to Ice T or Vanilla Ice) has announced an Australian tour in December. He's headed to Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane. Click below for ticket information.
7.38am MH17: Julie Bishop has visited a shrine dedicated to victims of MH17 outside the Dutch Embassy in Kiev.
7.36am MOVIE NEWS: Hercules AU hit cinemas yesterday. It stars the Rock, sporting some Greek & Roman costumes. That's the extent of my knowledge on that one!
7.34am NATIONAL: Money and work are still the biggest worries keeping us up at night. A Lifeline poll of more than 1200 respondents reveals that 77 per cent of Australians experience job-related stress and 72 per cent experience stress caused by finances. (AAP)
7.32am STRANGE BUT TRUE: A dating site has popped up for people in the military - it's called Zero Dark Flirty. Ha!
A dating site for people in the military called Zero Dark Flirty— Space Otter (@space0tter) July 24, 2014
7.30am WORLD NEWS: Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk has resigned after two parties quit the ruling coalition and President Petro Poroshenko signaled his support for early elections.
7.28am MOVIE NEWS: A release date has been set for the new Mad Max film, Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy. It will hit cinemas in May next year.
7.26am Visitors to New York can expect to see an odd sight at the Rockefeller Center. Artist Jeff Koons has a half pony/half dinosaur giant statue on display. Very cool - he's got an exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art too.
7.24am LOCAL NEWS: Crown Street in West Wollongong will get some attention via a $450,000 resurfacing.
*Read the full story here.
7.22am Swimmer Emma McKeon has told reporters in Glasgow: "when stuff like this happens, I'm usually at home watching it on television." So good to see our Illawarra swimmers killing it!
7.20am CELEB GOSS ALERT: People, breathe a collective sigh of relief, Robin Thicke is giving up the fight to win back his wife Paula Patton. The couple are officially calling it quits.
7.18am NATIONAL - Townsville: A young woman has been charged with biting off another woman’s ear in a violent fight at a Townsville home. Police allege the 22-year-old launched herself at her victim, leaving her with a severed left ear and injuries to her upper arm. She's been charged with serious assault and is due to face the Townsville Magistrates Court today. (AAP)
7.16am LOCAL NEWS: Primary school students are singing in chorus for the 60th anniversary of the Wollongong Schools Choral Festival at Wollongong Town Hall.
*Click here for the full story.
7.14am SPORT - Commonwealth Games: Anna Meares won the country's first gold medal at the games, dominating in cycling. Nice!
7.12am The world's "saddest bear" Arturo - a captive bear in Argentina - has lost his chance to move to Canada - he's just too old to be relocated. Apparently the bear has depression due to his poor enclosure. Awww, poor Arturo!
7.10am MOVIE NEWS: Mrs Brown's Boys fans, good news - there is a movie adaptation of the hit TV show. While the SMH has flagged it as "possibly the worst movie of all time', you be the judge. Here's the full review. The film is in theatres now.
7.08am CELEB GOSS ALERT: If you missed this yesterday, Aussie model Erin McNaught and husband Example are expecting a bub.
7.06am LOCAL SPORT: English prop Mike Cooper is confident the Dragons can handle a Tigers pack that overpowered the monster Canterbury forwards on Sunday.
7.04am NATIONAL: The number of child abuse reports increased by 15 per cent over the past two years, but more than half of all reports were never investigated by authorities, according to new figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
7.02am Looking for something to do this weekend? Roo Theatre's season of Summer Rain is on - the show closes Saturday night. Tix still available. The Phoenix Theatre's A Midsummer Night dreams also closes this weekend.
7am LOCAL NEWS: Kiama Council is working with a group of Kiama High School students to run a forum to brainstorm youth-related issues.
*Alex Arnold has the full story here.
6.58am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Britney Spears is releasing a lingerie line. Yep, the Intimate Britney Spears is coming soon to stores in the US, Canada & Europe.
6.56am Good morning! Welcome if you're just tuning in. We're in for a mostly sunny day with a top of 21. All good on the roads & rail.
6.54am Work is continuing on the renovations to the Crown St Mall. The council snapped these pics of the slab being poured outside David Jones yesterday.
6.52am MUSIC NEWS: Pop music's king of strange, "Weird Al" Yankovic, has landed atop the Billboard album chart this week, with 104,000 copies of his album sold in the week ending July 20. It's the first comedy album to reach No.1 on the chart since 1963.
6.50am Dolphins & whales were out to play on the South Coast yesterday. The team at Dolphin Watch Cruises - Jervis Bay spotted two southern right whales, two humpback whales, a couple of seals & a dozen bottle-nose dolphins. And a partridge in a pear tree. No, I'm kidding about the partridge.
6.48am WORLD NEWS: Pope Francis met privately yesterday with a Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, blessing the woman as she cradled her infant daughter born just weeks ago in prison.
6.46am People, good news, it's national Tequila Day. And on a Friday - that's jut nifty! Make yourself a delish batch of margaritas to celebrate.
6.44am LOCAL NEWS: The Yours and Owls fourth birthday party has been announced, and it's HUGE. To be held in Stuart Park on October 4, the event will be headlined by Dune Rats, The Griswolds and Sticky Fingers, with the likes of Safia, High Tails and Lyall Moloney in support. Tickets go on sale on August 1.
6.42am NATIONAL - Victoria: An 18-year-old man remains in a critical condition in a Melbourne Hospital, after a deadly bus crash on the Great Ocean Road yesterday.
6.40am SPORT - Commonwealth Games: Australian hockey player Jayde Taylor's selfie has quickly become a worldwide social media phenomenon after Queen Elizabeth inadvertently photobombed the picture. Check out the picture here - love it! I reckon the Queen is a closeted selfie snapper...
6.38am Love the Beatles? What about Elvis? Tonight you don't have to choose. The boys from Grooves & Dust are doing an Elvis v The Beatles vinyl battle at the Little Prince from 8pm. Head down for some cool tunes.
6.36am LOCAL SPORT: Wollongong Hawks coach Gordie McLeod hailed last week's trip to America as a success and has narrowed down his list of potential import recruits for the 2014-15 NBL season.
6.34am I love this picture - too funny. Anyone else wish it was summer & tanning weather?! What I wouldn't do for a bit of sunshine!
6.32am COURT - SYDNEY: A Sydney youth has described how he was ordered at gunpoint to douse a young woman with petrol and then set her alight, telling a judge "I still don't believe that I've done what I've done." Get the full report here.
6.30am RED CARPET: Rachel McAdams has walked the red carpet for her new film A Most Wanted Man. And she looked STUNNING in a blue/green wrap dress & nude heels. Check it out.
6.28am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Apparently the Brangelina wedding is on. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Brad & Ange are set to marry - oh wait, just in a new film, not for real. Gotcha!
6.26am SPORT: Gold again! The Illawarra's Emma McKeon has won gold with the women's 4 x 100 metre relay, breaking the world record! Nice!
6.24am LOCAL NEWS: A special event to promote the Kiama municipality as a canine-friendly community is to take place at Black Beach tomorrow.
*Get the full story, from reporter Alex Arnold, here.
6.22am MOVIE NEWS: The first trailer for the Fifty Shades of Grey film has been released - and it looks pretty damn sexy. Expect it in cinemas on Valentine's Day next year. Here's a little sneak peek.
6.20am WORLD: A UN shelter in northern Gaza was shelled yesterday, causing "multiple deaths and injuries," according to a spokesman for the UN refugee agency.
6.18am Don't forget we're crossing every hour to Pulse 94.1FM with all the latest from the Rush.
6.16am MH17: The parents of Fatima Dyczynski have flown to Ukraine despite Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott declaring victims' relatives would be "ill-advised" to travel to the war-torn crash site of MH17.
6.14am They're back! His Boy Elroy has cronuts. Get in quick, these suckers won't be around for long!
6.10am SPORT: We're already dominating in the pool at the Commonwealth Games - a HUGE congrats to our own Emma McKeon who won gold in the women's 200 metres freestyle & silver in the women's 100m butterfly. YOU GO GIRL! Her brother David took out silver in the men's 400 metre freestyle.
6.08am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Avatar star Zoe Saldana is pregnant - with twins! Aww, congrats guys.
6.06am And in national/world news (via the SMH):
*An Air Algerie flight crashed yesterday en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, an Algerian aviation official said.
*The first Australian investigators to visit the MH17 crash site in a small investigative party have discovered new sections of the crashed Malaysian Airways aircraft and human remains that had been overlooked in earlier, much-criticised sweeps of the area.
*An embattled Julia Gillard secretly offered to stand down as PM in June 2013 and secure the leadership for then Climate Change and Industry minister Greg Combet in order to fend off Kevin Rudd, Mr Combet has revealed.
6.04am Here's what's making news in your Mercury today:
*A massive blood drive is being planned in honour of teenage Albion Park crash victim Casey-lee Hull.
*The head of a leading Illawarra financial institution has expressed concern that first home buyers are being priced out of the heated housing market.
*A Farmborough Heights mum has made a fortress of her family's home - complete with motion-sensing cameras - to guard against neighbourhood vandals and bullies who taunt her daughter, who has Down syndrome.
*More needs to be done to make students feel comfortable reporting bullying and make people aware of what counts as bullying, according to an Illawarra education officer.
6.02am Let's kick off the morning with the latest weather & traffic.
WEATHER We're in for a mostly sunny morning with a top of 21. WOW, 21! Things are warming up. Expect some isolated showers this arvo. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with a top of 19 and Sunday will be sunny with a top of 18.
TRAFFIC All is good on our roads & for the run to Sydney.
TRAINS There is a good service on the South Coast line.
6am Good morning Rushers! Apologies for my absence yesterday. But I'm back! And just in time for the TGIF edition of Rush.