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

7.40am CELEB GOSS: Jay Z, Solange, and Beyonce have at last broken their silence on the now infamous elevator fight video. The trio released a joint statement about an hour ago, saying, "Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred ..."

7.35am There's a foodie tour of the Gong kicking off at 12.30pm today for students of UOW. For $5 you get a tour guide, transport and lunch. Tickets here:

7.30am Between 30,000-40,000 of Australia's restaurant and cafe workers will lose some of their Sunday penalty rates.

7.25am SUDAN A judge has sentenced a pregnant Christian woman to death by hanging for renouncing Islam, despite appeals by Western embassies for respect for religious freedom.

7.20am UNIVERSITIES Fees are expected to more than double for environmental studies and communications students when fees are deregulated in 2016, while mathematics students are set to emerge as winners, reports the SMH.

7.10am Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has warned Australia will turn into a "colder, meaner and narrower place" in his budget reply speech. 

7.05am llawarra Women's Health Centre general manager Sally Stevenson is concerned that the Illawarra's most "vulnerable and marginalised women" will have less access to health services under measures outlined in the federal budget.

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

WEATHER We’re in for another fine and sunny day (go May!) with a maximum of 23, and Saturday looks much the same. Sunday partly cloudy, maximum 22. Right now it’s 6 in Albion Park, 15 at Bellambi and 16 at Kiama. 

TRAINS There is good service on the South Coast line.

ROADS It's all clear between Nowra and Sydney at this early hour, with roadworks at the top of Mount Ousley and at Gerringong.

6.55am The group jump; the horizontal bride; the "Do we even know each other? Or are we just beautiful hipster strangers staring at a camera?". Eleven cliched wedding photos.

6.50am "She's going to make her way in the world ... I hope she does well and I'm incredibly proud of her," says New Zealand PM John Key of his art student daughter Stephanie Key, 21, who recently sparked a bit of a controversy with some topless, Indian headdress-y pics. Stephanie posted the images online as contenders for her portfolio at the Paris College of Art.

6.45am It's also a good weekend for walking the dog, with the RSPCA Million Paws Walk leaving from Reddall Reserve at 10.00am Sunday. Registrations are taken on the day from 9am.

6.40am Local photographer Ben Chilby makes a good case for getting back on the bike this weekend. 

6.35am Check out this week's Radar Illawarra column for all the local music happenings. 

6.30am What do you say? Did our learned education minister Christopher Pyne really drop the C-bomb in parliament? Twitter is teeming with theories.

6.25am Sad news from the Highlands, where - after 40 years - Mittagong Mushrooms will close on June 27, forcing 64 people out of work.

6.20am ARTEXPRESS opens at Wollongong City Gallery from tonight, showcasing work by some of the state's most creative students. 

6.15am Advisor to Turkey's PM, Yusuf Yerkel, has apologised for kicking a protestor in Soma after Tuesday's coal mine tragedy.

6.07am A six-year old girl from Sydney’s northern beaches was rushed to hospital after she picked up a funnel web spider and was bitten. The girl needed three vials of anti venom, and is recovering.

6.02am ... and in news further afield

* Key elements of the Abbott government’s economic strategy have been thrown into chaos after Bill Shorten declared its first budget a document based on lies, and committed to combine with the Greens in the Senate to block them. SMH

* The federal government will review how Aboriginal medical services spend their funding after revelations rugby star Greg Inglis was paid up to $90,000 a year from Medicare income for promotional work.

* People-smugglers are offering ‘‘kids travel free’’ deals and reducing prices in a bid to encourage asylum-seekers to make dangerous boat trips to Australia and revitalise their flagging operations. The Australian

* Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has told a royal commission he bore "ultimate responsibility" for the failures of his government's home insulation program, in which four workers died.

6.01am Now let’s see what’s making news in the Illawarra

* The 24-year prison sentence handed to Terry John Williamson for a series of brutal rapes in the Illawarra has officially ended, but he will remain under supervision until at least the end of June.

* UOW Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings says student fees are likely to rise by up to 27 per cent under the federal government's incoming uncapped fee system - and that's just to break even.

* Wollongong is becoming increasingly attractive to property investors as the Sydney real estate market loses some of the heat from last year's boom, says founder.

* About 120 Shellharbour City Council staff walked off the job on Thursday over concerns surrounding the ongoing restructuring of the organisation.

6am Good morning Illawarra. Thank God it's Friday! Let's take a look at how the day's panning out. 

WEATHER We’re in for another fine and sunny day (go May!) with a maximum of 23, and Saturday looks much the same. Sunday partly cloudy, maximum 22. Right now it’s 6 in Albion Park and 15 at Bellambi and Kiama. 

TRAINS There is good service on the South Coast line.

ROADS It's all clear between Nowra and Sydney at this early hour, with roadworks at the top of Mount Ousley and at Gerringong.


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

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.