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

8.54am That's it from me this morning. I'll be with you bright and early tomorrow morning for another edition of Morning Rush.

8.50am A group of Mount Warrigal residents has welcomed Shellharbour City Council's $20,000 commitment to clear a section of the Lake Illawarra foreshore of weeds, undergrowth and dead material.

Victory: Foreshore Improvement Group members Jo Lye, Kay Tomlins, Don Martin, Patricia Eagles, Anita Teesdale, Pat Cummins, Robert Hooper, Roshelle Williams, Colin Sherack, Fred Pintley and John Davey (front) have welcomed Shellharbour City Council's $20,000 grant. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Victory: Foreshore Improvement Group members Jo Lye, Kay Tomlins, Don Martin, Patricia Eagles, Anita Teesdale, Pat Cummins, Robert Hooper, Roshelle Williams, Colin Sherack, Fred Pintley and John Davey (front) have welcomed Shellharbour City Council's $20,000 grant. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

8.47am Great pic from Lost Wollongong

8.44am The HSC Study Guide is available in today's Mercury for all the year 12 students already hard at work swotting up on equations and quotes for their final exams. It features a guide to the marking system, advice from former high achievers and tips to ace each subject.

8.40am There's a power outage at the Qantas terminal at Melbourne Airport. Flights are still landing but outgoing ones are grounded while they fix the issue.

8.36am CELEB GOSS The most talked about artist on the planet, Miley Cyrus, will be bringing her BANGERZ TOUR to Australia in October this year. Tickets go on sale June 20.

8.32am For your chance to win a double pass to see Legally Blonde the Musical at the Win Entertainment Centre on Friday 4th July at 7:30pm simply complete the entry form.

One lucky winner will also receive an exclusive meet and greet experience with one of the cast members AND a midweek tandem skydiving gift voucher valued at $399, thanks to 'Skydive the Beach and Beyond'. 

Competition closes 5pm Sunday the 22nd June

8.28am The Lagoon is hosting High Tea or Mums & Bubs today between 9.30am and 11.30am. As well as yummy drinks and teats, there are kid's activities to keep the little ones entertained while mum sips her chamomile. It's $25 per person and $7 per child over 12 months. Bookings are necessary, call 4226 1677.

8.24am The snow has finally fallen on NSW slopes after a very, very slow start to the season.

8.21am Ali Nesha made unreported history when she arrived at Christmas Island in May last year - at 98, she became the oldest asylum seeker to attempt to come by boat without an invitation.

She made a bit more last December when, as the oldest resident of an Australian immigration detention centre, she celebrated her 99th birthday with cake and a song with inmates and staff at Brisbane's low-security facility.

8.17am Are you following Illawarra Mercury Photographers on Facebook? You should be!

8.13am On this day in 1487 was the Battle of Stoke Field, the final battle in the War of the Roses, while in 1946 Pope Pius IX was elected, beginning the longest papal reign ever. In 1963 cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space and in 2010 Bhutan became the first country to implement a total ban on tobacco.

8.10am SMH sports Andrew Webster has a great piece on what football means in Brazil's favelas.

8.06am A handy infographic for all The Proclaimers fans out there

8.03am Port Kembla Salvos is operating a new cafe that is offering the long-term unemployed a ‘‘hand-up’’ instead of a ‘‘hand-out’’.

The Foundery cafe turned training facility links with employment agencies such as Mission Australia to give those willing to learn a go. 

It's 8am. Roads are clear, trains are on time and it's about 12 degrees outside.

7.56am CELEB GOSS Angelina Jolie was made an honorary dame in Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honours list for her efforts to combat war-zone rape.

7.52am Aerial spraying will take place over 160 hectares from Fairy Meadow to Gerringong this week to tackle infestations of  noxious weed bitou bush at Puckey's Estate and at the northern and southern ends of Port Kembla Beach.

7.48am WORLD NEWS Sunday was a national day of morning in the Ukraine for 49 Ukrainian servicemen killed by pro-Russian separatists.

7.45am WORLD CUP NEWS Look away if you have the France-Honduras game taped for later. Goal-line technology awarded the first international goal in history, causing mayhem in the process. Goal-line technology is being used for the first time at a World Cup finals in an attempt to eradicate unwanted controversies that saw England denied a valid goal against Germany at the 2010 World Cup. SMH

7.40am NATIONAL NEWS Newborn babies and their families are being secretly moved in the dead of night to Christmas Island detention centre, which is widely considered as unsuitable for young children by medical practitioners. The sudden relocations come as Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced a $2.6 million educational package for school aged children in the island's detention centre.SMH

7.37am The Heart Foundation is urging people to ditch the winter greys and blacks and break out some bright red – all in the name of a good cause. Go Red this June and help the Heart Foundation beat heart disease, the single biggest killer of Australian women.

7.34am Feel like a longer read over brekky? Barbara Arrowsmith-Young struggled with acute learning difficulties until adulthood before a chance encounter sparked her research into the plasticity of the brain. Now Illawarra students will have a chance to benefit from her work.

7.30am 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.

7.27am WORLD NEWS The US Embassy in Baghdad plans to evacuate a substantial number of its personnel this week in the face of a militant advance that rapidly swept from the north toward the capital, the State Department announced Sunday. SMH

7.23am  WHSPA presents The Pirates of Penzance. It’s on from Thursday June 19 to Saturday June 28. Shows at 7.30pm and 2pm on Saturdays. Tickets are selling fast - visit to book.

Arrgh, me lads and lassies: Brayden Kennedy as the Pirate King with the cast of The Pirates of Penzance. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Arrgh, me lads and lassies: Brayden Kennedy as the Pirate King with the cast of The Pirates of Penzance. Picture: ROBERT PEET

7.20am Congrats to the Kookaburras, who thrashed the Netherlands 6-1 in the hockey World Cup. It's their third World Cup title!

7.17am Advocates of Wollongong’s sobering up centre have launched a last-ditch attempt to save the rehabilitation facility before it closes in less than a fortnight. Watershed supporter Simon Insley started a petition on, calling for Family and community services minister Gabrielle Upton to rethink this decision.

7.13am WORLD CUP NEWS So this is my absolute favourite piece of World Cup coverage so far. It gets better and better each time you watch it. 

7.10am If you love a good smear of honey on your morning crumpet, make sure you're actually spreading the sweet stuff. The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council is cracking down on imported brands that may not actually be honey, but more likely corn syrup. At the top of the offenders list is Victoria Honey, which is actually imported from Turkey. Good Food

7.06am ROYAL GOSS Prince George is almost walking - he attempted some cautious steps aided by the Duchess while watching his dad play polo. Too cute.

7.03am In weird and wacky days, June 16 is Eat Your Vegetables Day, but you can counter this with some yummy dessert, as it’s also Apple Strudel Day.

It's 7am and the sun is finally up! The roads and trains are looking good, and right now it's 10 degrees. Take a jacket for your commute!

6.58am WORLD NEWS A lakeside villa in Berlin, once the home of infamous Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels is on the market. The 70-room complex is owned by the Berlin city government, which has been trying to find a buyer since Germany’s reunification.

6.55am And here's a cute animal to distract you from your Mondayitis.

6.52am Australia' first cat cafe is set to open in Melbourne next month. A place where people & cats can sip coffee together. Rightio.

6.48am The rate of interstate migrations has dropped over the past decade - it seems we're all very comfortable where we are thank you very much. Ross Gittins speculates as to what is keep us at home. SMH

6.45am A 13-year-old boy remains in hospital after he collapsed from a head knock during a junior rugby league game on Saturday. Jarrod Fletcher was elbowed in the face and taken off the field during a game at Campbelltown. But the Macarthur Saints player was allowed back on and then collapsed.

6.41am You're never too old for Disney. Kids and cartoon-loving parents flocked to the latest Disney on Ice show over the weekend to spy Cinderella, Mickey and Buzz Lightyear demonstrate their skating talents. Take a look at some of the fabulous pics. 



6.38am WORLD CUP NEWS Illawarra's most decorated footballing export Scott Chipperfield has landed himself in some hot water after sending out a tweet many perceived as racist. While it was deleted quick smart,  it did not stop him from being on the receiving end of a torrent of abuse from some of his followers.

6.34am Did your kidlet take part in the Wollongong Eisteddfod? We've got all the results here. There's a lot of talented kids in the Illawarra!

6.31am Wollongong Central is set to be home to the newest JB Hi Fi concept store when the centre expands later this year. It will have all the usual JB Hi Fi stuff + electrical appliances like ovens, fridges, computers & cameras. 

6.28am Mercury photographer Kirk Gilmour spent a week cruising along the Croatian coast, visiting the islands of Hvar, Vis, Korcula, Mijet and Sipan. Jealous much? Take a look at his beautiful photo essay.

Mercury. Weekender. Croatian Sailing. A stunning sunset on  the island of Korcula in Croatia. Korcula is believed to be the birthplace of explorer Marco Polo. September 2014. Photo Kirk Gilmour

Mercury. Weekender. Croatian Sailing. A stunning sunset on the island of Korcula in Croatia. Korcula is believed to be the birthplace of explorer Marco Polo. September 2014. Photo Kirk Gilmour

6.25am LOCAL SPORT The Shellharbour Sharks beat the Jamberoo Superoos 36-4 over the weekend, while Warilla were held to a 30-all draw by Nowra-Bomaderry, while Berry-Shoalhaven Heads upset Gerringong 30-16.

6.21am STRANGE BUT TRUE If you're planning on travelling to Mars anytime soon, you better be an introvert. A NASA-funded study found extroverts are likely to struggle with the long, isolated and confined missions and become an unnecessary drain on other team members. SMH

6.18am WORLD NEWS A Jamaican man accused of being a violent pimp who forced women into prostitution in Australia will face trial in a Miami court. He was arrested in New York in January following a joint operation by Australian and US authorities. SMH

6.15am Happy birthday to all the June 16 babies. You share your day with Tupac and author Joyce Carol Oates.

6.12am WORLD CUP NEWS Were you at the Fraternity Club bright and early on Saturday morning to watch the first World Cup game? See if you can spot yourself in these pics

6.08am Here’s a look at national headlines, courtesy of the SMH

*Chef Jamie Oliver has said he sympathises with farmers who are being charged a 40¢-a-crate levy by Woolworths, to fund a ''Jamie's Garden'' advertising campaign, on top of an existing marketing levy.

*Australia is now the seventh-largest importer of major arms in the world and the biggest customer of the largest weapons producer, the US

*Cyclists are travelling at an average of almost twice the signposted speed limit during peak hour on one of Sydney's busiest pedestrian thoroughfares, a Sydney Morning Herald speed camera test has revealed.

6.05am Here’s some of the top stories in today’s Illawarra Mercury

*A man’s body was found in bushland off Jamberoo Mountain Road at about 8.45am on Sunday. Police have established a crime scene and the death is believed to be suspicious. The body has not yet been formally identified.

*Shots were fired into a townhouse on Whitby Mews at Bellambi just before 1am on Sunday. It is believed the gunman made his way on foot along the cycleway and fired one to two shots into a downstairs window at the back of the house.

*Public housing residents on Cliff Road in Wollongong have called on urgent action after being left without hot water for more than a week. The hot water system services six homes in the public housing complex - all of them have been without hot water since June 8.

*Wollongong Coal has terminated its supply agreement with former parent company Gujarat NRE Coke, removing one of the final ties between the Illawarra miner and Gujarat-based industrialist Arun Jagatramka.

6.02am Let’s take a look at the roads and the skies

WEATHER A mostly sunny day across the Illawarra today, although there is definitely a chill in the air this morning. Right now it’s about 9 degrees in Wollongong, with a top temp of about 18 degrees expected. There is large and powerful surf along the coast, so be wary if heading out for a surf or a fish.

TRAFFIC Looking good on the roads between Nowra and Sydney this morning. Watch out for roadworks at Gerringong and the top of Mount Ousley.

TRAINS There is good service on the South Coast line.

6am Good morning Illawarra! Where did the weekend go? I'm Kate Walsh and I'll be rushing with you all week.