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

8.48am That's it from us today. Hope you enjoyed this morning's edition of the Rush. Join us tomorrow for more news & goss.

8.46am 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. More than 400 tickets have already been sold - don't miss out!

8.44am Check out these pics of some guilty dogs. Awww, these guys looks so sorry.

8.42am Love a good horror film? Think you're not scared of anything? Think again - this two-minute film will seriously make you pee your pants.

8.41am BREAKING: A man has been stabbed during a fight at a Russell Vale home during the early hours of this morning. NB We'll have a full report online after the Rush.

8.40am TV NEWS: Oh lord, prepare yourself - Seven is launching a new show calledBogan Hunters. Yep, you read it right. The guys from Housos have visited every Aus state to find the biggest bogans. Wow, just wow.

8.38am MUSIC NEWS: Spice up your life! Looks like the Spice Girls are reuniting and heading to Las Vegas! But maybe without Posh...

8.36am This video is not for the faint hearted - LA Angels coach Don Baylor broke his leg on his first day while throwing the ceremonial first pitch. And it looks really painful!

8.34am Today is also World Autism Awareness Day.

8.32am A little hump day funny for you. Enjoy!

8.31am TRAFFIC ALERT - Gwynneville - heavy traffic near the uni. What's new!?

8.30am BREAKING: A 34-year-old man has been shot several times in a targeted attack in Sydney’s west. Police say the victim, who is from Condell Park, is known to them but doesn’t appear to have links with gangs. The victim was shot in the torso and stomach and has been taken to Liverpool Hospital for surgery. The incident is the 36th shooting in Sydney this year. (AAP)

8.28am Today is International Children's Book Day. Remember the time when kids didn't have ipads, iphones, DS, DVDs etc!? Let's go back there - grab a book and read to your children today. NB I can still remember my father reading Winnie the Pooh to me - memories that will last a lifetime...

8.26am LOCAL NEWS: A shortage of volunteers has put The Smith Family's after-school homework program at Lake Illawarra High School on hold.

-Read the full story by reporter Gemma Khaicy here.

8.24am CELEB GOSS ALERT: It seems no-body wants Justin Bieber. Even his homeland, Canada has turned against him - he got booed at an awards show in Juno over the weekend. Ouch.

8.22am NATIONAL NEWS: Police say they are staggered by the "stupidity" of three Sydney work colleagues who were allegedly caught drink-driving in the same ute within minutes of each other near Newcastle on Monday night. Read the full story here.

8.20am Today is Australia's biggest blood pressure check. Head to the docs & get your blood pressure tested ASAP!

8.18am SPORT: Leave a message for NRL player Alex McKinnon here via our website.

8.17am STRANGE BUT TRUE: Chanel has released a line of sweat pants & joggers haute couture. Hmmm.

8.15am Did you get tricked by Vegemite's "new" energy drink launch yesterday?! First of all, ew. Second, April Fool's Day for the win!

8.12am A colleague posted this recipe on Facebook yesterday from Frankie mag and it looks DELISH - anyone want to whip up a greek yoghurt & passionfruit cheesecake with cashew-coconut crust for me? Ta.

8.10am Anyone else feeling a bit like this today? Sigh.

8.08am The most popular baby names of 2013 have been released - it's William, Jack & Noah for boys and Charlotte, Ruby & Lily for girls.

8.07am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Paparazzo Sheng Li will ask a New York judge today to issue a warrant for the arrest of Australian model Lara Bingle. He's set to ask the judge for charges against him to be dropped and the focus of the case to be switched to Bingle and her movie star boyfriend, Sam Worthington.

8.02am LOCAL NEWS: The smiles on dials will return to Seven Mile Beach on Sunday at the Disabled Surfers Association's 13th annual Gerroa hands-on day.

8am Okay, so these BuzzFeed quizzes are getting a little out of hand - you can literally test everything from what plant you are to what Friends character you would be!? Why not try this one? Discover: "who were you in a past life"!? Oh good lord...

7.58am BREAKING: The opposition has challenged Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to return from Papua New Guinea with a crystal-clear guarantee that asylum seekers detained on Manus Island and found to be refugees won’t be resettled in Australia. (AAP)

7.56am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Some clever sod has turned Miley Cyrus into a Ren & Stimpy cartoon. Check out the pics below.

7.54am STRANGE BUT TRUE: International Stars Wars Day (May the fourth) is expected to see countless Brisbane couples with a love of the science-fiction franchise tie the knot at a wedding with a theme from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Too good!

7.52am Good morning & happy hump day if you're just tuning in! Let's check out the latest weather & transport deets.

WEATHER We're in for a mostly sunny day with a top of 26 degrees. It's still warm, isn't it!? There will be some light winds this afternoon. Right now, it's 14 in Albion Park & 19 in Bellambi.

TRAFFIC All looks fine for the drive around town & to Sydney.

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

7.50am BREAKING: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is due in Perth today. He will meet with Tony Abbott & discuss search efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

7.48am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Heather Locklear and her ex-husband Richie Sambora have holidayed together in Hawaii. Wha!?

7.46am LOCAL NEWS: Illawarra Cycle Club has called on motorists to consider how much "a metre matters" after three members were hit and injured during a morning ride in Unanderra on Tuesday.

-Full story from reporter Lisa Wachsmuth here.

7.44am Did you know that New York City hosts a Faberge Big Egg hunt every year? They plonk the big eggs around the city - v cool. Nearly as cool as the Merc's Easter Egg hunt (see what I did there!?) - read all about it here.

7.40am WORLD NEWS: Oscar Pistorius' lawyer says a pathologist will likely testify first when the double-amputee athlete's defence team starts calling witnesses at his murder trial next week.

7.38am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Lady Gaga celebrated her 28th birthday with some famous friends including James Franco. She also sported a very interesting fur outfit. And I mean, VERY interesting.

7.36am A Russian photographer has taken these STUNNING pics of models with real animals. Check them out - absolutely breathtaking. 

7.34am NATIONAL NEWS: ABC managing director Mark Scott says savings identified at the ABC should be reinvested into the broadcaster. As the Abbott government’s cost-cutting study into the ABC and SBS prepares its final report, Mr Scott told the University of Melbourne on Tuesday night the ABC was a sure bet in the midst of the media storm.

7.33am Check out this pic of a blue tiger - wow! I've never seen one before, just beautiful.

7.32am Speaking of popular characters getting a reboot, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are also set to hit the big screen - with Megan Fox. Yep, the boys are coming - and they're pretty bad ass. Check out the trailer - the movie will be released in August.

7.30am MOVIE NEWS: The Pink Panther is set to get a reboot on the big screen via a live action-animated film. Julie Andrews (perfection in human form) will produce. Cool!

7.28am CELEB GOSS ALERT: So Nicole Kidman looks a little freaky deak in the new Jimmy Choo ad - she's virtually unrecognisable!? Thoughts?

7.26am MUSIC NEWS: If you missed this one yesterday, '90s boy band Hanson are heading down under! They're set to play the Enmore Theatre. Tix on sale April 9.

7.24am NATIONAL NEWS: A medical student who suffers an "extreme" fear of exams has won the right to continue her degree after a tribunal ruled the university discriminated against her because of her mental health disability.

7.22am LOCAL NEWS: A Wollongong man accused of child-sex offences allegedly forced his alleged victim to watch a pornographic DVD and "copy" the things she saw, a court has heard.

7.20am STRANGE BUT TRUE: The pigeon has been renamed as New York City's official bird. NB I can understand why - there are a LOT of them. Coo, coo. That was a pigeon impression.

7.18am TV NEWS: Channel 10 is in SERIOUS trouble - last week, the network posted its worst weekly audience share for prime time on record, just 13.8 per cent. Oh dear.

7.16am Have you entered the Merc’s footy tipping comp? It’s not too late to sign up - even if it’s purely for bragging rights.

7.15am A mystery lotto player has won $1.9 million. It was a Sydney ticket - could it be you?

7.14am LOCAL SPORT: Emma & Dave McKeon are set to swim in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

7.11am BREAKING: Channel Nine has spoken to Grant Hackett after his time in a US rehab facility.

7.08am STRANGE BUT TRUE: This is a series of bacon-wrapped snacks. Apparently there are many things you can wrap in bacon. Who knew?!

7.07am NATIONAL NEWS: Construction workers on the University of Technology, Sydney building site in Ultimo were sent home by Lend Lease managers on Tuesday after a union launched a safety audit on the company's building sites nationally.

7.05am LOCAL NEWS: Bradley Max Rawlinson orchestrated the death of his girlfriend, Wollongong lawyer Katie Foreman, because he harboured strong feelings of animosity towards her, a court has heard.

-Full story from court reporter Shannon Tonkin here.

7.03am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Beyonce shared this adorable pic of daughter Blue Ivy on Instagram - what a pet!

7.02am TV NEWS: Former X Files actor David Duchovny has been cast to star in a new TV drama about the search for mass murderer Charles Manson. Bosses at America's NBC have placed a 13 episode, straight-to-series order for a show titled Aquarius, which centres on a LA police sergeant's hunt for the serial killer in the '60s. (SMH)

7am WORLD NEWS: The Boy Scouts of America has followed through on its ban against gay Scout leaders, booting a man it says “deliberately injected” his sexuality into scouting. Read more here.

6.58am SPORT: Tiger Woods will miss the Masters after undergoing surgery for a pinched nerve that has been hurting him for months (SMH)

6.56am This is why I love theatre types - patrons of Virgin Aus flight 0970 might have been expecting a little in-flight entertainment on their journey from Brisbane to Sydney, but they almost certainly were not expecting a full-on live performance - from the Aussie cast of the Lion King. Nice! Watch below.

6.54am LOCAL NEWS: Telstra is expecting to have the last of 3500 Wollongong internet connections that went down on Saturday reconnected by Friday.

6.53am Good morning & happy hump day if you're just tuning in! Let's get you out of bed with the latest weather & transport deets.

WEATHER We're in for a mostly sunny day with a top of 26 degrees. It's still warm, isn't it!? There will be some light winds this afternoon. Right now, it's 14 in Albion Park & 20 in Bellambi - yep, it's hot towards the CBD!

TRAFFIC All looks fine for the drive around town & to Sydney.

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

6.51am CELEB GOSS ALERT: I think I really like Lorde. She called out some serious photoshopping of her face via Twitter yesterday. It got retweeted 27,000 times. NB the photoshop job is pretty bad!

6.49am TV NEWS: Have you been watching The Face with Naomi Campbell? I haven't but apparently it's a classic. She's a classic! Check out some of her best quotes below, the woman needs to be told to think before speaking!

6.48am 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.

6.46am MUSIC NEWS: Frankie Knuckles, the 'godfather' of house music, has died, aged 59. In addition to developing the sound and culture of house music, Knuckles would go on to mix records by major artists such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Depeche Mode.

6.44am POLITICS: The Clive Palmer circus is unlikely to be coming to State Parliament after Palmer United Party officials failed to register the party in time for the 2015 election.

6.42am Check out this absolutely AWFUL ad for a gym. Terrible marketing ploy!

6.40am LOCAL NEWS: Dawn raids at Warilla and five Sydney properties on Tuesday have busted an alleged firearms ring that police say involved former bikie boss Sam Ibrahim, his younger sister and the drummer of Sydney rock band Rose Tattoo.

6.38am STRANGE BUT TRUE: The New Yorker has featured a story on ... rooster pageants. Yep, you read it right. It's a thing in Malaysia. Check out some pics here. Thank god there's no swimsuit component!

6.36am MUSIC NEWS: Shakira has gushed about her BF. Quote: “I’ve written many love songs for Gerard but it’s never enough. I feel that he deserves a million love songs written for him.” VOMIT.

6.34am SPORT: Oh Andrew Fifita - his management team have now asked the NRL to investigate why his multi-million $$ contract with Canterbury fell over. Apparently, he knew the deal was on the verge of collapse when he said he wished he'd signed with rugby union.

6.32am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Miranda Kerr has talked sex & the single life in a new interview with GQ mag. She claims her body is less toned as she's having less sex. Riiiiight.....

6.30am TV NEWS: Did you watch MKR last night? **SPOILER ALERT** Paul & Blair won the challenge - yet again. They scored immunity from elimination for two challenges. All the food looked really good - no-one had an EPIC fail. Although Josh & Danielle's pork & prawns with watermelon looked a bit spesh & Cathy & Anna had a crab-related meltdown. Here's a recap if you missed it.

6.28am MUSIC NEWS: If you missed this yesterday, Kanye West has announced he's postponing his Aussie tour dates to finish work on his new album. He'll be here in September.

6.26am NATIONAL NEWS: A 10-year-old girl with profound hearing difficulties was allegedly raped several times by an elderly cab driver hired to take her to school. Sydney police charged the 64-year-old yesterday with eight sexual assault offences. He fronted Liverpool Local Court yesterday and was denied bail. He's due back in court in May. (SMH)

6.24am LOCAL NEWS: We sent reporter Ang Thompson up in a biplane yesterday for a preview for the Scarborough Air Show this weekend. Check out the awesome video & pics here - she's a brave lady!

6.22am Don't forget we're crossing every hour to Pulse 94.1FM with all the latest from the Rush.

6.20am TV NEWS: The finale of How I Met Your Mother has enraged fans - Twitter has erupted with angry tweets over the ending. Oh dear. Have you seen it yet? What did you think?! NB **Spoiler Alert** do NOT click if you don't want to know what happens.

6.18am TECH TALK: Facebook CE Mark Zuckerberg, the 22nd richest person in the world as ranked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was paid just $US1 in salary for 2013. That's down from a base salary of $503,205 in 2012, the year Facebook went public. Mr Zuckerberg is following the well-worn path of other Silicon Valley tech moguls who also chose to take on the symbolic annual salary of $US1 after they were already wealthy.

6.16am Three Chimneys is hosting a night of street food & music tomorrow. Head along for same great grub & tunes. NB the place is AMAZING - you have to try it!

6.14am Have you seen this great time lapse video of a trip along the old Princes Hwy? It was captured by reader Alan Bond in 1971 - very interesting to see how the path has changed - or not.

6.12am WORLD NEWS: The saga of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight has continued - Malaysian authorities have this morning reiterated they believe there was a “deliberate action” by someone on board the missing plane to divert it from its scheduled flight path. Plus. the head of the search has raised the possibility no wreckage may ever be found.

6.10am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Kim Kardashian tried to snap a selfie with an elephant on her trip to Thailand - and the elephant was NOT happy. Check out the hilarious pic below!

6.08am Let's check out the national headlines, courtesy of the SMH:

*Sydney’s runaway property prices are unlikely to be derailed by interest rate rises any time soon, with low rates required to stimulate an otherwise sluggish economy.

*Teachers at many independent schools will refuse to take student teachers into their classrooms next term because they say universities fail to pay them adequately for their supervision.

*A $100m salvage package for redundant car industry workers is underfunded and in disarray, more than a month after Tony Abbott promised to announce the details of an assistance program.

*A leading sports lawyer has urged the NRL to review the three-man tackle, believing the governing body is leaving itself open to legal action over incidents such as Alex McKinnon.

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

*A long-running proposal to rezone Kembla Grange industrial land to make way for a factory outlet is set to be debated by Wollongong councillors for the fourth time in two years. Full story from reporter Kate McIlwain here.

*A Wollongong cancer researcher has revealed his street smart side in a rap video filmed in the lab.

*Skydive the Beach has revealed plans to upgrade its North Wollongong headquarters, proposing to replace its ageing Stuart Park cottage with a modern administration block at the edge of the park.

*Two men nearly drowned in a dramatic rescue at Stanwell Park Beach on Monday evening, just three days after lifeguard patrols had been cut back at the end of the swimming season.

6.04am if you're just waking up, rise & shine pet! Let's get you out of bed with the latest weather & transport deets.

WEATHER We're in for a mostly sunny day with a top of 26 degrees. It's still warm, isn't it!? There will be some light winds this afternoon. Right now, it's 15 in Albion Park & 20 in Bellambi - yep, it's hot out.

TRAFFIC All looks fine for the drive around town & to Sydney.

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

6am Good morning & happy hump day Wednesday! Stay with us this morning for all the latest from the Rush.


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