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

8.47am That's it from us this morning. Tune in tomorrow for Tuesday's edition of the Rush. Have a great Monday!

8.45am Check out this alternative to a traditional wedding cake - a donut cake! I LOVE it. Mmmmm donuts...

8.43am WORLD NEWS: Failures by the New Zealand Fire Service and Urban Search and Rescue did not contribute to the deaths of eight people at the CTV site in the aftermath of Christchurch’s 2011 earthquake, coroner Gordon Matenga has found.

8.41am If you missed this read over the weekend, delve into it now. Reporter Jodie Duffy has a fantastic piece on the notorious Todd St Department of Housing complex and one mum's desperate attempt to get out of there.

Why can't they see this is no place for children to live?

Hollie Rizzotto

8.39am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Gywneth Paltrow has a serious case of foot-in-mouth. She recently commented how "easy" an office job must be for non-Hollywood parents. Well, one office worker mum has hit back...

8.37am BREAKING: Asylum seekers will no longer receive taxpayer-funded immigration advice if they arrive in Australia through unofficial channels. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that from today, asylum seekers who arrive without proper visas, either by boat or plane, won’t be eligible for free help under the Immigration Advice and Application Assistance Scheme.The cut will save the federal government $100 million over four years. (AAP)

8.35am Easter is coming and we’re running an Easter Egg Hunt. The promo will run from tomorrow until April 19. 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. Here's all the details.

8.32am CELEB GOSS ALERT: So who is Miranda Kerr really dating? A little yarn in the SMH yesterday revealed James Packer is "one of about 10 billionaires" making a play for the former Victoria's Secret angel. Gee, life's tough when you're gorgeous!?

8.30am The Australian military has revealed they've spotted more objects that might be linked to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

8.28am BREAKING NATIONAL NEWS: Former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer and former South Australian Labor premier Mike Rann will take up high-profile diplomatic posts in the UK and Italy. Stephen Brady, former governor-general Quentin Bryce’s secretary, has been appointed Australia’s next ambassador to France. (AAP)

8.26am TV NEWS: If you missed The Block last night, Lysandra collapsed suddenly due to to the heat on set. Drama!

8.24am Have you been to see Young Frankenstein at Arcadian's Miner's Lamp Theatre in Corrimal yet? I've heard the show is wonderful & so, so funny - it closes this weekend, grab your tickets quick!

8.22am LOCAL SPORT: South Coast Wolves secured their first competition point of the season in a 1-1 draw with Sydney Olympic at WIN Stadium yesterday.

8.20am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Christina Aguilera is set to give birth to a baby girl. She is already mum to Max, age 6.

8.18am MOVIE NEWS: J K Rowling has agreed to write screenplays for three Harry Potter spin-offs based on her Fantastic Beasts textbook. Awesome!

8.16am LOCAL NEWS: The Illawarra forecast says ... more rain. Boo.

8.14am NATIONAL NEWS: Qantas workers are planning a series of street marches that will block roads around the country as they fight against the airline's plans to cut 5000 jobs and send positions offshore.

8.12am MUSIC NEWS: Amy Winehouse is "touring the world" as a hologram, it has been reported. No, no!? Is this awful or is it just me? Would you go and see this!?

8.10am Legally Blonde 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 are on sale now via Ticketek - get in quick!

8.08am STRANGE BUT TRUE: Sherrif's deputies and firefighters have saved a struggling bull from drowning in Tampa in the US. Check out the video below - what an effort, that was one big bull!

8.06am TV NEWS: MKR's Kelly (one half of the "well-travelled friends") has a real, big-girl cooking job. She is working as a chef at Perth restaurant The Trusetee.

8.04am LOCAL NEWS: If you missed this story over the weekend, reporter Ben Langford has a great piece on fossickers hunting for gold in Kangaroo Valley. Fascinating stuff.


Ross Langland - fossicker

8.02am BREAKING: Channel Nine is reporting that the Pope has broken Vatican rules by confessing his sins to a priest in public. Oops.

8am CELEB GOSS ALERT: So there's reports that Kim Kardashian is set to get a little mani, peni, plastic surgery combo for her upcoming wedding. She's already a stunner, what is she worried about?!

7.58am WORLD NEWS: A 14-year-old boy, digging a pond in his dad's backyard, has uncovered the remains of a Native American, believed to be 1000-years-old. Just proves you never know what you're going to find in your yard!

7.54am Hello & top of the morning to you! If you're just tuning in - welcome! Let's have a look at the weather & traffic right now around town.

WEATHER We're in for ANOTHER partly cloudy day with a chance of showers and a top of 24 degrees. Right now, it's 16 in Albion Park and 18 in Bellambi.

TRAFFIC Everything looks a-okay around town and for the drive to Sydney.

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

7.52am Can you believe Elle McPherson turned 50 yesterday? Sheesh! I hope I look that good when I'm 50.

7.50am SPORT: Sam Burgess says the feeling at South Sydney has not changed from last year despite the Rabbitohs falling to their third consecutive defeat in a lacklustre and error-riddled performance against Canberra at ANZ Stadium yesterday. (SMH)

7.48am BREAKING: One man is dead and three other people have been seriously injured after falling from balconies and roofs in separate accidents in NSW in just one day, police say.

7.46am Anyone else feeling like this today? Urgh, serious case of Mondayitis.

7.44am LOCAL NEWS: A man alleged to have been on the run since Friday was recaptured at Oak Flats train station on Saturday night.

7.42am Bad news - overalls are back. Yep, as much as we'd like to forget that trend from the '80s/'90s, the denim onsie is back. Comfy but oh so daggy.

7.40am Bulli High School will be open for Year 7 to 12 today.

7.38am WORLD NEWS: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Paris seeking to hammer out the framework of a deal to reduce tensions over Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. (SMH)

7.36am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Beyonce finished her Mrs Carter tour - and bawled during her final concert. NB Check out her "ugly cry face" below, urgh!

7.34am NATIONAL NEWS: Investigations are underway after 20 people became stranded in a Perth theme park chairlift. Oh dear.

7.32am Have you read Gone Girl? If you read it and LOVED it like me (consumed in a day, SO good), you'll be thrilled to know Gillian Flynn has a new book out - Dark Places. Pick up a copy, turn off your phone & devour!

7.30am POLITICS: The PM and opposition leader will be updated on the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, as they hit the campaign trail for the West Australian Senate election re-run today. Both Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten are in Perth to shore up support ahead of Saturday’s poll. (AAP)

7.28am MOVIE NEWS: It's happening - strap yourself in for MORE semi-naked Channing Tatum. The Magic Mike sequel is in the works. Its title? Magic Mike XXL. Of course.

7.26am LOCAL SPORT: It's the ace up his sleeve, but Steve Price will have not only Josh Dugan but a near full-strength NRL squad to choose from for the Dragons’ clash with Souths on Saturday night. NB My fiancee is a HUGE Souths supporter - what is going on with the Rabbitohs!? Get it together boys!

7.24am STRANGE BUT TRUE: Oh boy, these just get weirder & weirder - the Batman logo has been spotted in a little boy's front teeth. What do you think?

7.22am TV NEWS: The arrival of the Logie Award nods can only mean one thing - it's also time for the Bogie Awards. Yep, that's right - it's your chance to vote for Australia's worst TV. You can vote at

7.20am MUSIC NEWS: Aussie singer Kate Cebrano has released an autobiography - and apprarently it's quite racy! It's available for purchase at all good book stores.

7.16am It's time for this morning's edition of "anywhere but here". Today, I'd rather be watching the sunset on the beach in Phuket. Arrr, I can almost taste the cocktails...

7.14am LOCAL NEWS: Illawarra commuters can use the Opal card on the South Coast line from Friday.

7.12am A bush medicine workshop will be held at the Wollongong Botanic Gardens tomorrow from 10am.

7.10am MOVIE NEWS: Frozen has officially been named the highest-grossing animated film of all time. NB I haven't seen it - but I can't get that stupid Let It Go song out of my head! V catchy.

7.09am 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 for more info.

7.08am BREAKING: An Australian military aircraft has spotted four orange objects at sea, more than two metres in size, which will be analysed by the Australian co-ordination centre for missing flight MH370.

7.06am TV NEWS: It's a bit of Les Mis parody morning! Neil Patrick Harris & Jason Segel from How I Met Your Mother have sung "Confrontation" from the hit musical on a US TV show. These two are GREAT! What do you think?

7.04am SPORT: The Newcastle Knights rose for injured player Alex McKinnon over the weekend, thumping the Cronulla Sharks.

7.02am TV NEWS: It's Logie time! Australia's public broadcasters and pay TV outfit Foxtel have carved off the lion's share of nominations for best television drama. The ABC's Paper Giants, Redfern Now and The Time of Our Lives, along with Foxtel's Top of the Lake & Wentworth all received nods. The full list of nominees will be announced in Melbourne today. NB How good has Aussie TV been this year? There's been some wonderful Australian dramas - props to our national TV industry.

7am LOCAL NEWS: Did you take part in the Splash 'n' Dash at Belmore Basin over the weekend? It would have been the perfect day for it yesterday! Check out our gallery from the event here, along with the report from Josh Butler.

6.58am WORLD NEWS: North Korea vowed not to rule out a "new form" of nuclear test yesterday after the UN Security Council condemned its latest ballistic missile launch amid simmering tensions over Seoul's joint military drills with Washington.

6.56am MUSIC NEWS: Hugh Jackman is awesome - that is all. Well, okay, there's more - he agreed to sing Who Am I? from Les Mis with alternate lyrics for a UK radio show. The result? Wolverine the Musical - watch below.

6.54am Good morning & top of the morning to you! If you're just tuning in - welcome! Let's have a look at the weather & traffic right now around town.

WEATHER We're in for ANOTHER partly cloudy day with a chance of showers and a top of 24 degrees. Right now, it's 15 in Albion Park and 18 in Bellambi.

TRAFFIC Everything looks a-okay around town. There are some tiles on the road @ Miranda (Port Hacking Rd @ The Boulevarde) so just be careful there. There's also heavy traffic heading towards the domestic airport at Mascot.

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

6.52am How much do I love Grumpy Cat? Just so funny. Good news - he's still grumpy.

6.50am The Nickoloden Kids Choice Awards were held in the US yesterday - and Justin Timberlake was named Favourite Male Singer. Nice! Anyone got tix for his Syd shows? Should be amaze...

6.48am Where were you in March 2004? Pretty sure I was in HSC hell. Still not sure? Step back in time with our Flashback gallery - it might trigger your memory.

6.46am NATIONAL NEWS: Rich and poor countries are still unprepared for many of the threats posed by climate change, a major UN assessment of the impact of global warming to be released todayy will warn.

6.44am MUSIC NEWS: Country band The Dixie Chicks has covered Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball - and it's pretty sweet. Have a watch, tell me what you think!

6.42am Did anyone catch 60 Minutes last night? There was a really interesting story about the Portland murders in Victoria. Definitely worth a watch - check it out below.

6.40am LOCAL NEWS: More than 3000 Wollongong homes and businesses were without an internet connection for much of the weekend.

6.39am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Elton John is set to tie the knot with his long-time partner David Furnish. Awwww.

6.37am NATIONAL NEWS: Protesters are preparing to chain themselves to cement blocks in northern NSW today to prevent Metgasco workers drilling for coal seam gas. It is one of a wave of protests against gas and coal mining across the state.

6.34am Remember Steve Sanders from Beverly Hills 90210? Who doesn't!? Well, Ian Ziering is celebrating his birthday today  - happy b'day to him! And a big happy b'day to the other March 31 babies out there.

6.32am TV NEWS: Have you been watching the Real Housewives of Melbourne? I'm obsessed! Well, apparently fireworks are set to spark at the reunion episode, taped today. The SMH is reporting some of the women are coming armed with legal letters & too many C-bombs!

6.30am TRAIN ALERT: The 5.39am Wollongong to Kiama train is running 15 minutes late.

6.29am BREAKING: Nine News is reporting that there has been a dramatic drop in the amount of alcohol-fuelled violence in Sydney's CBD since the introduction of new laws. Great news - really hope it's true & there's stats to back it up.

6.27am LOCAL NEWS: Three people were evacuated from a Cordeaux Heights home yesterday after a lightning strike set their home alight. NB Wow - it was quite a storm last night, phew!

6.25am SPORT: Australia were eliminated from the World Twenty20 before a ball was bowled in their clash with India - but still managed to dig deeper into their hole with the most embarrassing loss of George Bailey’s Twenty20 captaincy, a 73-run hiding at the hands of India. (AAP)

6.23am TIARA ALERT: Have you seen the latest family portrait of Wills, Kate & baby George? That is one seriously cute kid. Click the link below to view the pics.

6.21am Don't forget we're crossing to Pulse 94.1FM every hour with all the latest from the Rush.

6.20am  Did you watch MKR last night? *SPOILER ALERT:* the mums went through to sudden death with some weird looking, no sauce pasta. Here's a recap for you if you missed it.

6.16am STRANGE BUT TRUE: Some people love celebrities. This woman loved Jennifer Lawrence SO much that she spent $25,000 on plastic surgery to look like her. Wowser!

6.14am WORLD NEWS: The search for the wreckage from the missing Malaysian Airlines flight has continued but finding the jet's black box flight recorder is simply ''untenable'' as things stand at the moment, the US Navy officer who will lead the search has conceded.

6.12am It's never too early for a wonderful dog picture - and this one is just precious. I'm melting! NB Literally - my heart is melting for this CUTE dog.

6.10am CELEB NEWS: The latest in the custody battle over Paul Walker's daughter. Oh dear, can't her mum and grandmother work it out!?

6.08am Let's have a look at the national headlines, courtesy of the SMH:

*Two of the key players in the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s inquiry into Obeid-linked company Australian Water Holdings have fallen out spectacularly over a $1.3 million rural property.

*Quentin Bryce agreed to become the first dame nominated by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, but it turns out she has collected another title to take into retirement.

*Complex childcare subsidies worth billions should be streamlined and a long-term plan developed to give preschoolers universal access to high-quality childcare, a leading childcare expert says.

*Indigenous leader Tom Calma has skewered Attorney-General George Brandis’ proposed changes to race-hate laws, making for an awkward Monday as the two men will share the stage at a reconciliation launch.

6.06am Here's what's making news in your Mercury today:

*Courageous and committed to the very end, the Wollongong Hawks were knocked out of the NBL title race by Perth on Sunday at WIN Entertainment Centre.

*Lake Illawarra police have urged residents to be cautious of phone fraudsters calling landlines and claiming to represent Telstra.

*Kiama MP Gareth Ward has hit out at Labor suggestions that the NSW Liberal Government has failed the Illawarra. He claims the region has "never been better off ".

*A bumper weekend of sporting events has left fans spoiled for choice after the city played host to major games across three codes.

6.03am If you're just waking up, grab a cuppa & a bowl of cereal and let's have a look at the weather & traffic right now around town.

WEATHER We're in for ANOTHER partly cloudy day with a chance of showers and a top of 24 degrees. Right now, it's 15 in Albion Park and 18 in Bellambi.

TRAFFIC Everything looks a-okay around town & for the drive to Sydney.

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

6am Good morning & happy Monday! Welcome to the start of the working week - doesn't the weekend just fly by!?


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