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

8.50am That's it from us this morning. Have a good weekend, we'll be back on Monday from 6am. 

8.45amSPORT Wollongong-born Socceroo defender Luke Wilkshire has joined Dutch club Feyenoord on a one-year deal.

8.35am "The child will never know his twin sister, who was born healthy with him in a Bangkok hospital and has been taken away by their parents, who are living anonymously in Australia." A baby boy born with serious medical problems has been left with his Thai surrogate.

8.30am A ship, you say? Buried six metres beneath the World Trade Centre, you say? Now science has an explanation

8.25am The Australian government’s attempts to protect international relations appear to have backfired after a suppressed court order was published on Wikileaks, prompting Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to demand an explanation.

8.20am BYO bowl for soup and film night at Thirroul Community Centre, Sunday.

8.15am COMMONWEALTH GAMES Gulp. Aussie diver Melissa Wu has slipped and lost control on a dive off the 10M platform, hitting the water feet-first.

8.10am Free. Fairy. Floss. You have raised the bar, Hotel Illawarra. 

8.05am Wollongong online music zine Helter Smelter is back from a bit of a hiatus - and with a giveaway, no less.

8am Good morning, if you're just joining us. A quick update: 

WEATHER We're in for a mostly sunny day with gusty westerly winds 35 to 50 km/h. Maximum 17.

TRAINS There is good service on all lines and no trackwork scheduled today.

TRAFFIC Area roads are looking clear so far. There are ongoing roadworks at Gerringong and the top of Mount Ousley, and Keira Street between Market and Crown Streets remains closed for the GPT development.

7.50am SPORT Wollongong hockey royalty Keiran Govers and Tristan White are killing it in Glasgow. Go the Kookaburras! 

7.45am "This incessant wind is causing fuel to become dryer than it normally would.’’ The Rural Fire Service has warned Illawarra residents to prepare for heightened fire activity this year following a warmer and dryer than average July.

7.40amCELEB GOSS Miranda Kerr has been cast as Helen of Troy in a real-life bit of biffo involving her former husband Orlando Bloom, who was filmed hitting Justin Bieber in Ibiza. Leonardo DiCaprio was said to have cheered Bloom on; Biebs posted a photo of Bloom crying; celebs are taking sides. Hungry social media is getting a good feed out of this one.

7.35am The gals from Wollongong Illawarra Roller Derby are recuiting, if you fancy yourself as "fresh meat".

7.30am Do you haiku? Papergirl Wollongong has arranged a lesson in the pocket rocket of the poetry world, next Friday. 

7.25am GAZA What horror.

7.20am Former Australian Olympic pole vaulter Steve Hooker has abandoned commentating duties for Commonwealth Games broadcaster Network Ten, after his athlete wife Ekaterina Kostetskaya was banned for drug use. SMH has the story here.

7.15am "The photograph was of a group of people - women, men and children- standing together smiling at me and all I saw was love." An incredible story from a Belgian tourist who returned to Kings Cross, the scene of her rape, with the support of the local community. Trigger warning - discussion of sexual assault.

7.10am CHILDREN IN DETENTION The Immigration Department told medical experts to suppress statistics showing alarming rates of mental health problems among a significant number of child detainees, the Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into children in detention has heard - SMH.

7.05am COLD CASE Police have charged an elderly South Australia man over the rape and murder of teen beauty queen Bronwynne Richardson 41 years ago. 

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

WEATHER We're in for a mostly sunny day with gusty westerly winds 35 to 50 km/h. Maximum 17. Right now it's about 14 degrees.

TRAINS There is good service on all lines and no trackwork scheduled today.

TRAFFIC Area roads are looking clear so far. There are ongoing roadworks at Gerringong and the top of Mount Ousley, and Keira Street between Market and Crown Streets remains closed for the GPT development.

6.50am A fundraiser is in planning for Rochelle Bugden of Oak Flats, who has decided, at just 21, to cease treatment for two aggressive brain tumours. You can read Rochelle's story here

6.45am Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's majectic sky penis. From the NT News, naturally.

6.40am GAZA CONFLICT An expertly written opinion piece, critical of the US's support of Israel, is generating heated debate on social media.

6.35am CORRIMAL A woman and two children have had a close call after a metal light pole fell "of its own accord" and crashed into their parked car.

6.30am Check out the latest entry in this fantastic blog by Wollongong record store owner/music promotor Jeb Taylor, who is touring Europe with local band The New Christs. The Adriatic Coast, Rome, Venice ... sigh. 

6.28am An Australian weightlifter has pleaded guilty to assaulting a Commonwealth Games rival and breaking his nose in Glasgow.

6.23am A Sydney jihadi wanted on terrorism offences has issued an extraordinary statement, threatening a terrorist attack on Australian soil and calling for the release of 12 prisoners. A senior police source has told the SMH's Rachel Olding that Mr Sharrouf was a "prolific liar".

6.18am If you thought yesterday was a warm one, for the middle of winter, you're quite right. At 26.1 degrees, this was Albion Park's hottest July day on record. Ever.

6.13am Some lovely and lively slice-of-life photography from those colourful Humans of New York right here.

6.09am "Burn all bodies." Liberia and Sierra Leone have declared states of emergency, ordered the closure of schools and markets, and quarantined communities in an attempt to halt the Ebola epidemic that has claimed more than 700 lives across west Africa. That's right, Ebola. 

... meanwhile, a US aid worker has been offered and "experimental serum" thought to treat the virus. 

6.05am NATIONAL The federal government is expected to ditch one of its most controversial budget measures - the plan to apply real interest rates to student debts - following advice from the architect of the HECS repayment scheme that it is unfair to poor graduates.

6.01am Let's take a look at what's making new locally:

* An electric guitar has allegedly been used to murder a 47-year-old patient at a Shellharbour Hospital mental health facility.

* GPT's expanded Wollongong Central shopping centre is expected to create 800 jobs. The developer has created an online employment shortlist to start the recruitment rolling.

* The transformation of Bulli Hospital into a centre of excellence for aged care is one step closer with the selection of a project management consultant.

* Almost half of pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven smoke, according to a national report.

6am Good morning, Illawarra and welcome to the first day of August. 

WEATHER We're in for a mostly sunny day with gusty westerly winds 35 to 50 km/h. Maximum 17.

TRAINS There is good service on all lines and no trackwork scheduled today.

TRAFFIC Area roads are looking clear so far. There are ongoing roadworks at Gerringong and the top of Mount Ousley, and Keira Street between Market and Crown Streets remains closed for the GPT development.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop