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

9am That's it from me today. Have a lovely Tuesday.

8.57am Would you be happier with just 50 possessions? The minimalist trend is sweeping the globe, as people look to live more simply. Read an interview with two of the movement's "leaders" here.

8.53am Self-proclaimed ‘‘face melters’’ DZ Deathrays will hit Rad Wollongong on May 30 at 8pm. Support acts are Palms and FOAM. Tickets are $19.40 from

8.50am CELEB GOSS You can't have a celebrity wedding without some drama. Apparently Kim Kardashian's brother Rob bailed on the nuptials after a fight with his big sis over his weight gain. 

8.46am NATIONAL NEWS Nigeria's military knows where the more than 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram are but has ruled out using force to rescue them, the state news agency quoted Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh as saying on Monday. SMH

8.42am Australia suffers from a serious lack of fairytale castles. Just beautiful

8.38am TV ALERT The Voice is up to the second battle round already - have a read of this recap if you missed it last night. 

8.34am If you're taking advantage of the sun and going for a dip today, be wary of powerful surf conditions.

8.30am NATIONAL NEWS Women will suffer disproportionately from the government's decision to apply real interest to student debts for the first time, new modelling shows. SMH

8.26am OOPS The Obama administration accidentally revealed the name of the CIA's top official in Afghanistan in an email to thousands of journalists.

The officer's name - identified as "chief of station" in Kabul - was included by US embassy staff on a list of 15 senior American officials who met with President Obama during his surprise Saturday visit to Bagram Air Field.

The list was sent to a Washington Post reporter who was representing the news media, who then sent it out to the White House "press pool" list, which contains as many as 6000 recipients. SMH

8.22am 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.

8.16am On this day in 1927, Ford ceased production on Models Ts, in 1937 the Golden Gate Bridge was opened to pedestrians and in 1967 Australians votes in favor of a constitutional referendum to count Indigenous Australians in the national census.

8.12am LOCAL NEWS Bus drivers in the Illawarra are under pressure to meet ‘‘unrealistic’’ timetables set by the NSW government, according to a NSW trade union.

A survey by the state branch of the Transport Workers Union found  55 per cent of bus drivers reported vehicle maintenance not being carried out and  90 per cent said they felt pressured to drive unsafely by the government-implemented schedules.

8.08am Artist Mel Chapman is exhibiting some of her work at Minty Duds this Thursday, followed by an afterparty at Three Chimneys. 

8.04am Celtic Thunder returns to Wollongong with its latest show, Mythology, on May 28 at WIN Entertainment Centre. Tickets $99 - $299 from

8am The day is off to a lovely start - it's expected to hit 28 degrees in Wollongong today.

7.56am SPORT NEWS State of Origin game one is on Wednesday night -  I'm going to have fight to watch Offspring instead. If you're hosting  SOO party, why not consider a cockroach cake? Sure, it looks gross, but I bet it tastes yummy.

7.52am LOCAL NEWS Hundreds of Port Kembla dock workers could lose penalty rates and face longer working weeks if three major stevedoring companies win their bid to have working conditions changed.

7.48am MOVIE NEWS The Fault in Our Stars, based on the best-selling YA novel, is released next week. The anticipation is mounting, although not everyone loves the casting choices. Take a look at the trailer.

7.44am LOCAL NEWS Mount Ousley Public School is one of 99 schools across the globe sending a mini experiment into space aboard a NASA rocket next month. 

7.40am Famous birthdays today: Actor Christopher Lee, Glee's Chris Colfer and the naked chef, Jamie Oliver.

7.36am Looking for a fun night out? The Social is hosting Fiesta Thursdays, serving up a range of sangria specials to go with tasty $5 tapas plates. You can also head there for an after-work drink every Tuesday to Friday - enjoy $5 house beer & wine from 5pm to 7pm.

7.32am LOCAL SPORT NEWS Twin sisters Katherine and Liisa Ups are USA-bound after earning basketball scholarships with Buffalo University in New York. The former Smith's Hill High School students have always dreamed of attending a US college.

7.28am TV NEWS If, like me, you are suffering Game of Thrones withdrawals thanks to a week-long break in season four while Americans celebrate Memorial Day, I direct you to this article on Pedro Pascal, who plays Oberyn Martell.

Added bonus: it includes a mock-up of a front page Westerosi newspaper. But, as always, SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS.

7.24am WORLD NEWS Oscar Pistorius, accused of murdering his girlfriend, has arrived at a psychiatric hospital to begin up to 30 days of tests, as ordered by a judge during his trial.

7.20am Entries for the Original LOP Band Comp are now open, with heats to be held each Thursday at Woonona Bulli RSL from June 12. 

Heat winners will go through to the final on August 9, vying for $20,000 in cash and prizes.

Contact for more information.

7.16am Cute animals time  - I give you the guineapigosaurus

7.12am TRAFFIC ALERT The first stage of work on Mount Keira Road is nearing completion with the road due to be reopened in August.

The road has been closed since December 2012 after a rockfall and subsidence on some sections.

7.08am I can't stand Adam Sandler. But for those that do love him, Howlin' Wolf is showing Happy Gilmore at the bar tonight.

7.04am WORLD NEWS India's Narendra Modi was sworn in as prime minister on Monday with the strongest mandate of any leader for 30 years. SMH

It's 7 o'clock, rise and shine. It's going to be a lovely sunny day, the roads are accident-free and the trains are running smoothly.

6.57am NATIONAL NEWS Holden has announced the recall of 42,000 VF Commodores over a potential fault with the front seat belts. Holden said the recall applied to certain model year 2014 (MY14) VF Commodore and Caprice variants.SMH

6.54am LOCAL NEWS  Real estate firm Colliers International has been engaged by Kiama Municipal Council to find a supermarket retailer to anchor the council's proposed Akuna Street development.

6.50am CELEB GOSS I judge myself for caring. The Kimye union became official over the weekend, as the celeb pair wed in Florence. Here are a few wedding snaps of the intimate, budget-conscious wedding (insert sarcasm here)

6.46am Don't panic if you see smoke in Otford today. The NSW Rural Fire Service is conducting hazard reduction burns in the area for most of the day. 

Otford residents are advised to keep doors and windows closed, remove washing from clothes lines and ensure pets are in a protected area.

Motorists in the area should slow down if driving through smoke, keep their windows up and turn on their headlights.

6.42am I love this SMH story - does male menopause exist? Or is it a bit like the elusive man flu?

6.38am LOCAL NEWS School violence is at its highest level in a decade in the Illawarra, with serious reports more than doubling in the last year alone.

The latest Department of Education figures show 25 reports of assault in Illawarra South East region schools in term 3 last year, following a pattern of increasing violence throughout the year.

6.34am Sunrise is still a few minutes off, but looking at this pic of a sunrise at Austinmer, it's a good reason to get out of bed and head outside for an early-morning stroll.

6.30am LOCAL SPORT Dragons boss Peter Doust insists a Wayne Bennett return to St George Illawarra hasn’t even registered on his radar, while also leaving the door ajar for caretaker Paul McGregor to be anointed Steve Price’s permanent successor. Adam Pengilly has the full story.

6.26am TRAFFIC ALERT Work will start this week to improve road safety at Yallah with the installation of a concrete median safety barrier on the Princes Highway. Work will be carried out from 7pm to 5am Sunday to Thursday, weather permitting. A reduced speed limit of 40km/h will be in place during work.

6.22am Today is sunscreen day! Which normally wouldn't make any sense as we are a few days away from winter, but given the recent steamy weather, it's still a good idea to slip, slop, slap.

6.18am LOCAL NEWS The Camp Quality Puppet Show made a stop at Mount St Thomas Primary School on Monday, much to the delight of 10-year-old Sophie Barnhill, who battled cancer when she was younger. Have a look at the photos here.

6.15am Anyone been to Sydney to check out Vivid yet? The lights look amazing

6.12am SPORT NEWS St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust yesterday confirmed Steve Price has been sacked as coach. Read the full story here.

6.09am Some national news, courtesy of the SMH

*The state's most notorious crooked police officer, Roger Rogerson, was on the run on Monday night as detectives sought to question him over the alleged murder of a Sydney university student during a botched drug deal.

*A state government election pledge to get tough on illegal brothels in NSW has fallen by the wayside, allowing drug distribution and criminal links to prosper, critics say.

*Rolf Harris was labelled “The Octopus” by a well-known Perth radio host, following an incident in which she says she and another female ABC colleague were “felt up” by the entertainer following an interview

6.06am Here’s some of the top stories in today’s Mercury

*A Scarborough man killed his cousin with a single punch to the head after getting into an argument over foul language in a Woonona restaurant, a court has heard.

*A Wollongong community group has warned Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery not to use federal budget cuts as an excuse to slash services or raise fees.

*A single mum is raising money to build a protective fence around her Farmborough Heights home to deter neighbourhood vandals and bullies who taunt her 15-year-old daughter, who has Down syndrome.

*Keiraville residents have accused Wollongong City Council of choosing revenue over a resolution to the suburb’s parking problems after it was revealed that the council issued more than $85,000 worth of fines in the suburb in the past year.

6.03am Let’s take a look at the roads and the skies

WEATHER This strange second summer continues today, with a top temp of 26 degrees! Better dust off those swimmers. There will some cloud and patchy drizzle later in the day.

TRAFFIC Looking good from Nowra to Sydney. There are roadworks at Gerringong and the top of Mount Ousley

TRAINS There is good service on the South Coast and Southern Highlands lines.

6am Morning all! Your host Kate Walsh will be joining you for Morning Rush today with all the latest news, weather and funny tidbits.