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

8.28am STATE OF ORIGIN: NSW five-eighth Josh Reynolds has vowed to fight a dangerous throw charge on Brent Tate that is set to rub him out of game two, dumbfounded by the match review committee's ruling. Read the full story here.

8.26am MOVIE NEWS: Entourage fans, rejoice! The Entourage movie is set to be released on June 12, 2015 - in the US. We'll get it sometime after that, I imagine.

8.25am BREAKING LOCAL NEWS: Up to 120 jobs to go from Wollongong Coal's Wongawilli mine, leaving just 15 on-site to operate the mine.

8.24am Here are some baby otters playing the keyboard. Look, it ain't Mozart but I don't care. These things are so freaking cute!

8.22am WORLD NEWS: A 41-year-old Australian woman has been sentenced to 23 years’ jail in Cambodia for attempting to smuggle of 2.2 kilograms of heroin to Australia last year. (AAP)

8.20am Can anyone else relate to this? I'm hobbling around the office with a kick-boxing injury and I can't even talk about what I looked like after last year's City to Surf! Anyone else in exercise-induced pain?

8.18am LOCAL SPORT: South Coast surfers Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright will face-off in expected two-metre swells at the world tour event in Fiji today.

8.16am Ha! This is CLASSIC - a very novel way to apply for a job. Sick but novel.

8.14am This is a picture of a happy stoat. I'm not really sure what a stoat is, but boy he looks happy!

8.12am LOCAL NEWS: From July, unemployed young people in the Shoalhaven and 17 other areas will have to work 15 hours a week to get the dole. But welfare groups say restarting work for the dole will be less effective than wage subsidies.

8.10am Google has invented a self-driving car. Yes, a self-driving car. It has no steering wheel, brakes or accelerator - why would it, it's self-driving!

8.08am Being too cynical may increase the risk of dementia in later life, a study suggests. People who display high levels of "cynical distrust" - the belief that others are mainly motivated by selfish concerns - are three times more likely to develop Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia than those with low levels, scientists found. (SMH)

8.06am MUSIC NEWS: Fugees singer Lauryn Hill performed at the Opera House this week and apparently her gig, according to the SMH, was a "crushing disappointment". Ouch. 

8.04am Three Chimneys has some delish breakfast specials on their menu this morning. Pop in for some yummy breakkie.

8.02am NATIONAL: Tony Abbott has predicted the inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse will be the "best-funded royal commission in Australia history" after conceding that the inquiry had underspent its budget last year.

8am STRANGE BUT TRUE: A man in the US ordered a $54 Starbucks drink - the most expensive ever. It has 60 shots of espresso and looks unbelievably gross. Check it out.

7.58am LOCAL NEWS: Staffing at a women's housing service in Warrawong will be pared back to minimal levels - no longer equipped to accept crisis cases - when a major source of funding disappears.

-Reporter Ang Thompson has the full story here.

7.56am A little Thursday funny for you - hehe.

7.50am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Evan Rachel Wood and Jamie Bell have split after nearly two years of marriage. How come these celeb marriages never seem to last?

7.48am Love live music? So do we - check out what's on this weekend across the Illawarra.

7.46am NATIONAL: Pubs, clubs and bars across central Sydney will be hit with a fresh crackdown on alcohol service from mid-July, including a ban on shots, doubles and pre-mixed drinks after midnight in a bid to prevent alcohol-fuelled violence.

7.44am I'm on a strange-but-true binge this morning - an intoxicated Georgia man was lassoed and beat up after allegedly wounding three people at a Memorial Day Weekend rodeo. LASSOED. He was LASSOED.

7.42am I am always so impressed by people who can make clever cakes - my sister is a whiz in the kitchen, especially with cupcakes. These cakes are just amazing - they put my baking to SHAME. NB does packet mix count as baking? Oh who am I kidding, my fiance does all the cooking in our house!

7.40am LOCAL NEWS: A whistleblower who was sacked from the State Emergency Service in reprisal for exposing credit card misuse and other potential misconduct says a corruption finding against her former boss is a ''hollow victory'' unless she is reinstated in her job.

7.38am OOPS: Emily Blunt said she would rather be a "poor theatre actress" than star as a "spear carrier in a Tom Cruise movie." That was 2005. Now she's in Edge of Tomorrow with him - playing spear carrier #1. Awkward.

7.36am LOCAL SPORT: Warilla paddler David Smith is on target to complete a stunning international double with the K4 1000m Olympic gold winning crew.

7.34am STRANGE BUT TRUE: People, I bring you female-only parking spaces. Only in South Korea - they're slightly wider, better lit & pink.

7.32am TV NEWS: The Good Wife has a SERIOUS season 5 bombshell. Click here if you don't mind spoilers. Otherwise, wait for the end - it's going to be AMAZING. And very, very sad.

7.30am Are you a regular commuter? Then you'll love this - the 11 people to avoid on public transport, courtesy of Mamamia. My favourites? The sniffer & the over-sharer. Check out the full list here.

7.28am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Jessica Simpson is back and she's got some seriously toned legs. She's posted a pic on Instagram of her fit bod - she looks good!

7.26am STATE OF ORIGIN: SMH League columnist Phil Gould has gushed over last night's game, labelling it "one of the most gripping, energy sapping and emotionally draining sporting contests" he's ever watched. Wow.

7.24am LOCAL NEWS: A Dapto labourer has denied he stabbed a driver in the arm during a road rage incident sparked by the honk of a car horn.

-Court reporter Shannon Tonkin has the full report.

7.22am STRANGE BUT TRUE: A woman has been cut by an out-of-control buzzsaw while walking past a construction crew in New York.

7.20am MOVIE NEWS: Malificent, starring Angelina Jolie, hits cinemas today and it looks brilliant. I'm not a huge Angie fan but she looks to have rocked it in this. Check out the trailer below - love to know what you think!

7.18am NATIONAL: Police Minister Stuart Ayres says the introduction of 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks for licensed venues in central Sydney is driving a cut in alcohol-related violence. Get the full story here. 

7.16am Want to see a dog base jump? Here it is. The world's first wingsuit base jumping dog. Nuts.

7.14am 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.

7.12am And in some other celeb news, this is just hilarious, rapper 50 Cent has thrown one of the WORST first pitches EVER at a Mets Game. It was awful.

7.10am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Selena Gomez has lupus. She's been battling the disease for several months.

7.08am BREAKING WORLD NEWS: Four more girls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants last month have escaped their captors, the education commissioner for Nigeria's Borno state said on Wednesday, leaving 219 still missing. (SMH)

7.04am STATE OF ORIGIN: Queensland winger Brent Tate has launched an impassioned plea to the NRL to eradicate lifting tackles from rugby league, saying he had never been more frightened than he was when sent hurtling into the air by NSW playmaker Josh Reynolds in the Origin opener at Suncorp Stadium. NB Just watched the replay - yowser! I would have been scared too! 

7.02am STRANGE BUT TRUE: Anyone want to host the 2022 Winter Olympics? Anyone? Yep, so no-one wants to host it - Krakow has withdrawn its bid, along with Stockholm, Munich and Switzerland. There are literally no contenders for the games at the moment. Ouch.

7.01am LOCAL NEWS: Wollongong MP Noreen Hay has used State Parliament to criticise the government's decision to install lifts at Artarmon station ahead of Unanderra.

-Reporter Glen Humphries has the full story here.

7am BREAKING: Apple device owners who have iCloud accounts are being told to change their passwords by Australian authorities in the wake of a hijacking attack that appears to have spread to the US

6.58am Good morning! Happy Thursday if you're just tuning in. We're in for a mostly sunny morning with a chance of showers tonight and a top of 20. All is clear on our roads & for the run to Sydney. Looks good on the South Coast line too but major delays on the Airport & Inner West lines.

6.56am Google has paid tribute to Norman Hethrington creator Mr Squiggle in today's Google banner. Very clever! I loved Mr Squiggle & the blackboard "hurrry uuuuup."

6.54am CELEB GOSS ALERT: So apparently Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have spent their honeymoon mountain bike riding, hitting up the local pubs & enjoying a picnic in Ireland. Yep, you read right. I know, I'm shocked too.

6.52am SPORT: In a battle of the brothers, David Hussey has come out ahead of brother Michael as he helped Chennai Super Kings to a seven-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians in an IPL elimination match. (AAP)

6.51am Vivid Sydney has welcomed more than 270,000 visitors in its first weekend. Wow! That's incredible.

6.50am Our petition to place place convicted "Bulli rapist" Terry John Williamson under supervision for the rest of his life had received more than 1500 signatures. To add your name, click here.

6.48am CELEB GOSS ALERT: There is a baby boom in Hollywood - former Heroes star Hayden Panettiere and her fiance are pregnant. Aww.

6.46am STRANGE BUT TRUE: The Gulf State of Qatar has begun a campaign to remind tourists how to dress and behave in the strict Islamic country. And high on their hit list for offensive clothing – leggings. “Legging are not pants” state the pamphlets distributed by the Qatar Islamic Cultural Center in preparation for the 2022 Football World Cup Qatar is hosting. NB Maybe Australia should consider this...seriously.

6.44am So these dancing babies from South Korea have become internet sensations - I've never wanted a chubby Korean baby more than I do right now. This video is very funny.

6.42am SPORT: Defending champion and world number one Serena Williams has been knocked out of the French Open by Spain's Garbine Muguruza as the women's tournament was thrown wide open. See how it went down here.

6.40am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Bruce Willis & Demi Moore's daughter Scout has been parading around New York topless to make a point about Instagram deleting pics of female nudity. Can't she just make a speech!?

6.38am LOCAL NEWS: The Department of Family and Community Services has called on witnesses to antisocial activity in a public housing neighbourhood at Farmborough Heights to report the incidents to authorities.

-Reporter Angela Thompson has the full story here.

6.36am OOPS: Officials in Ottawa, Canada, bankrolled a public art project intended to celebrate the late Jack Purcell, a local man who mended broken hockey sticks & gave them to kids. But they stuffed up - they ended up creating a memorial dedicated to a different Jack Purcell - a badminton star. Ha.

6.34am WORLD NEWS: Social networking site Facebook was temporarily blocked in Thailand yesterday afternoon in an attempt by the country’s information technology ministry to stop anti-army protests being organised.

6.32am LOCAL SPORT: Wollongong-born Socceroo Luke Wilkshire is happy to play the role of an unassuming mentor to Australia’s youthful World Cup squad.

6.30am CELEB NEWS: Packed to the Rafters star Jessica Marais has revealed she has bipolar disorder. Bravo Jessica for speaking out on an-often taboo topic.

6.28am Keeping with the animal theme, here is a gallery of 30 happy animals for you - awww, how can you not smile!?

6.26am TV NEWS: I'm worried about Peppa Pig. I have a real soft spot for Peppa and there's no guarantee the ABC will continue to screen the show in Australia - they need to save money. Oh, poor Peppa!

6.24am MOVIE NEWS: Wolf of Wall Street is out on DVD today - the same day a broker who was portrayed in the film has lodged proceedings, suing Paramount for $25m over his portrayal. He was the toupee-wearing partner.

6.22am STATE OF ORIGIN: Blues superstar Jarryd Hayne described his man of the match performance on Wednesday as a night he "went to a place that I've never been before".

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

6.20am WORLD NEWS: American author & poet Maya Angelou has died, aged 86.

6.18am LOCAL NEWS: Austinmer's rock pools will be closed for an estimated 16 weeks, as $500,000 worth of repair works are carried out. The pools shut yesterday.

6.16am For someone with a SERIOUS fear of birds, this video of a turkey chasing a boy on a unicycle is terrifying.

6.14am NATIONAL: In my favourite news story of the morning, Joe Hockey has been captured in a video from 1987 showing him protesting against university fees. Too good! Check it out here. NB Please note they were protesting against the introduction of a $250 administration fee. $250.

6.12am MUSIC NEWS: Two of the One Direction boys are in BIG trouble. They've been caught smoking pot, prompting fans to burn their concert tickets in protest. Oh dear.

6.10am WORLD NEWS: Rolf Harris has agreed his private life was very different to his fun, public exterior. And he admitted admiring the body of a 13 year-old girl and making a sexually suggestive comment to her. Read the latest on the trial here.

6.08am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Charlie Sheen is causing trouble again - he's evicted his ex Denise Richards & their three daughters from their home.

6.06am And in national news (courtesy of the SMH):

*Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne has floated the idea of collecting student debts from the dead as a way of boosting the budget bottom line.

*Pubs, clubs and bars across central Sydney will be hit with a fresh crackdown on alcohol service from mid-July in a bid to prevent alcohol-fuelled violence.

*Sydney will need more than 600,000 extra homes for an additional 1.6 million people in the next two decades, according to state government figures.

*Slain university student Jamie Gao faced court on kidnapping and assault charges a week before he was allegedly shot dead by two former detectives during a botched multimillion-dollar drug deal.

6.04am Let's have a look at what's making news in your Mercury today:

*A clutch of brave witnesses sprung into action to aid a trapped driver, after he lost control and flipped his truck at Wollongong’s north gate yesterday afternoon. Check out the pics & full report here.

*Plane or train - whatever Jarryd Hayne's preferred mode of transport is - NSW rode every inch of it with him to stumble just one stop away from their State of Origin holy grail in a game one heartstopper.

*Bluescope is planning another round of workforce cuts which may result in the loss of more than 80 jobs at Port Kembla, the steelworkers’ union has revealed.

*llawarra mine workers and their families are bracing for the bad news that more than 100 jobs could be cut at Wollongong Coal, as workers at the Wongawilli mine decide this morning whether to accept drastic cuts to their wages.

6.02am Here's the latest weather etc to kick off your morning.

WEATHER It's going to be a mostly sunny morning with a chance of showers tonight and some light winds. We're headed for a top of 20 degrees. Right now, it's 13 in Albion Park and 15 in Bellambi. 

TRAFFIC All is clear on the region's roads - don't forget those roadworks at Gerringong & Mt Ousley. The run to Sydney looks good too.

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

6am Good morning! It's the morning after State of Origin - any sore heads out there hehe!? Go the Blues! Stay with your host, Emma Spillett, this morning for all the latest news etc.


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