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

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8.30am That's it from us this morning. Have a wonderful Thursday. Catch ya tomorrow for the TGIF edition of the Rush.

8.16am The team at Bostons Espresso are whipping up iced lattes. Yum!

8.14am Don't forget the Foragers' Market is on at Bulli on Sunday.

8.12am LOCAL NEWS: The state’s mining lobby says the NSW government should ‘‘take control’’ of the planning system to put an end to the ‘‘circus’’ in place under the independent Planning Assessment Commission.

*Reporter Ben Langford has the story.

8.10am A zookeeper has tried to feed two pandas - but they had other ideas...

8.08am VICTORIA: Two men and a woman are dead and a man has been arrested following a shooting and siege north-west of Melbourne that police say was triggered by a neighbourhood dispute. Read more.

8.06am BREAKING: Reports the Ottawa shooting suspect, shot by police, is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

8.04am STRANGE BUT TRUE: A man has faked being in a coma for two years to avoid time in prison.

8.02am Bob Brown will deliver a lecture at UOW tonight.

8am TECH TALK: Google is rethinking how your inbox should look and work. The result is Inbox, a new product that Google says is a smarter way to sort email. NB no, I hate change!

7.58am Good morning! Welcome if you're just tuning in. We're in for a partly cloudy day with a top of 24 degrees. There is a slight chance of a thunderstorm this afternoon. All good on the roads & rail.

7.56am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Video has surfaced of a 13-year-old Kim Kardashian telling the world she will be remembered for being "beautiful".

7.54am Have you booked your tickets to Rude, Crude & Musical? It's on this weekend at the City Diggers club.

7.52am WHO Magazine revealed its Sexiest People of 2014 edition last night - and a naked Megan Gale is on the cover.

7.50am LOCAL NEWS: It is too early for Labor to commit to installing lifts at Unanderra station if elected, said shadow transport spokeswoman Penny Sharpe.

*Reporter Glen Humphries has the story.

7.48am STRANGE BUT (MAYBE) TRUE: People, I bring you a man who swears he lost his virginity to an alien woman called Crescent. I kid you not.

7.46am The Russian National Dance Company will perform at the IPAC tonight.

7.44am NATIONAL: The Commonwealth received expert medical advice more than 25 years ago warning Canberra's death rate to mesothelioma would almost certainly rise if people lived with Mr Fluffy insulation and that children were particularly vulnerable to harm from the asbestos fibres.

7.40am Diggies is set to launch its new summer menu today.

7.38am LOCAL SPORT: Underrated forward Dave Gruber has been left out of the Wollongong Hawks team to face Adelaide in tonight’s round three battle at Adelaide Arena.

7.36am Mangerton science whiz Ethan Butson & pilot Ryan Campbell have been nominated for the NSW Young Australian of the Year.

7.34am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Billy Bob Thornton has opened up about his marriage to Angelina Jolie claiming "she thought it would be romantic to slice our fingers." Um, okay then.

7.32am HSC exams continue today. Good luck!

7.30am Ever been stung by a new lipstick or foundation? Don't fret - thousands of Australians are being injured by mislabelled and poor-quality products, with one-third of injury reports made to the consumer watchdog in the past year relating to cosmetics. Good lord!

7.28am STRANGE BUT TRUE: A woman who got dumped by her boyfriend spent an entire week, post break-up, at KFC. That's a LOT of chicken.

7.26am LOCAL NEWS: Tell truckie Pat Armstrong that his job is the most dangerous in Australia and he’s not surprised at all.

*He spoke to reporter Glen Humphries about the perils of the trucking industry.

7.24am WORLD NEWS: Seven years after US security contractors killed 14 unarmed Iraqis by firing machine guns and grenades into a Baghdad traffic circle, a jury has convicted four of the guards of murder and manslaughter charges.

7.22am The fashion world is still morning the death of designer Oscar De La Renta - check out some of his most famous outfits here.

7.20am Lower East is cooking up its new spring menu & this meal looks GOOD - guacamole, eggs & a sweet potato rosti. What could be better!?

7.18am SPORT - cricket: Mitchell Johnson was Australia's most dangerous weapon as the visitors became locked in a grim battle of attrition yesterday with a Pakistan batting line-up intent on keeping Michael Clarke's side in the desert heat for as long as possible. Read more.

7.16am BREAKING: Police are on the scene of a possible shooting at a Texas Medical Center in the US. Reports one person is dead.

7.14am Got some spare millions lying around? Great, you can buy this house - it's the mid-century Californian ranch where president John F. Kennedy is believed to have seduced Marilyn Monroe. It's on the market for $5.6 million.

7.12am LOCAL NEWS: A Towradgi labourer has been jailed for a minimum 20 months over a violent attack on a man that left him with a fractured skull.

*Court reporter Shannon Tonkin has the story.

7.10am TV NEWS: Carrie Bradshaw is in trouble! Sarah Jessica Parker posed outside Carrie's steps in New York City - and the real owners weren't happy!

7.08am This is another story making a big splash on social media - the uni student who travelled the world & didn't know she was pregnant. She thought her growing tum was just a "food baby." Sheesh!

7.06am MOVIE NEWS: The trailer for the latest Hunger Games film, Mockingjay, is out - and it looks AMAZING. Counting down the days!

7.04am NATIONAL: Tony Abbott's signature paid parental leave policy has effectively ground to a halt with Treasury officials revealing limited progress is being made in determining how state public service schemes will dovetail with the proposed Commonwealth one, or how much it will eventually cost.

7.02am LOCAL NEWS: They didn’t give the game plan away, but the Wollongong Hawks might change tactics and resort to a fast-paced attack in tonight’s road meeting with Adelaide. Don't forget the boys play at home on Sunday - 2pm at the WEC.

7am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Matthew McConaughey has walked the red carpet with his whole family - including his adorable children. #toocute

6.58am Good morning! Welcome if you're just tuning in. We're in for a partly cloudy day with a top of 24 degrees. There is a slight chance of a thunderstorm this afternoon. All good on the roads & rail.

6.56am WORLD NEWS: Fire crews in California have worked to control a ferocious blaze.

6.54am LOCAL NEWS: An Illawarra man who got his four-year-old niece to perform a sexual act on him told her they were "playing a game", a court has heard.

*Court reporter Shannon Tonkin has the story.

6.52am In some other music news this morning, I am TRULY excited by rumours that S Club 7, THAT 90s band, are reuniting later this year for charity. There ain't no party like an S Club party!

6.50am NATIONAL: The federal government insists it is ready to help regional neighbours combat any Ebola outbreak, despite not having provided Ebola-specific training to its emergency medical teams.

6.48am I always thought breakfast was the most important meal of the day but it turns out what you eat for lunch can make or break your afternoon.

6.46am Look at this baby sloth - I want one! #notapet

6.44am MUSIC NEWS: The stage is set in Adelaide for The Rolling Stones' first Aussie concert - and fans are in for a treat. Get the full details here.

6.42am WORLD NEWS: The mother of Oscar Pistorius's slain girlfriend insists she does not want "revenge", the day after the disgraced South African athlete was handed a five-year jail term for shooting her daughter dead. Read more. 

6.40am RADIO NEWS: Kyle Sandilands has opened up about losing a child to miscarriage during a call with a listener yesterday. Click below for the interview.

6.39am TRAFFIC ALERT - Mt Ousley: All northbound lanes have reopened on the Mount Ousley, approaching Picton Rd after that earlier B-Double breakdown.

6.38am Want to win a People for Plants skincare pack? Enter here.

6.36am It's Sculpture by the Sea time - expect a giant frying pan on Tamarama Beach & other whacky works. It's on until November 8.

6.34am Aww, look at this kitty discovering his tale. CUTE!

6.32am LOCAL SPORT: Dragons utility Kyle Stanley is adamant off-field issues surrounding the Samoan Test side will have a galvanising effect ahead of their opening Four Nations clash with England on Saturday.

6.30am TV NEWS: Have you been watching Dancing with the Stars? Our own Matt Cooper is doing quite well - perhaps he's long had a hidden talent...

6.28am Check out this gorgeous shot of the sun rising over Wollongong Harbour. Sometimes I forget what a beautiful city we live in.

6.26am NATIONAL: Australia's $20 billion alternative energy sector has been plunged into fresh uncertainty after the federal government indicated further policy changes to reduce the reliance on wind and solar power, potentially leaving billions of dollars invested in the sector stranded or devalued.

6.24am MUSIC NEWS: The line-up for the 2015 Future Music festival has been announced & it looks pretty good - Drake, Avicii, Afrojack and The Prodigy are set to headline. Read more.

6.22am STRANGE BUT TRUE: Air New Zealand have created a new safety video - using The Hobbit. Of course.

6.20am SPORT: Injured Newcastle Knights star Alex McKinnon is hoping a Gold Cost neuroscience expert will help him walk again.

6.18am This story is getting a lot of traction this morning - the ol' not child-friendly cafe debate. The Little French Cafe, at Broadmeadow in Newcastle, have received both applause and criticism after posting a "housekeeping" announcement re children on its Facebook page. Read more.

6.16am LOCAL NEWS: A 12-year-old boy violently bashed after refusing a request by his so-called friends to break into the Blackbutt Youth Centre may never fully recover from his injuries, a court has heard.

*Court reporter Shannon Tonkin has the story.

6.14am In some other celeb news this morning, Renee Zellweger has hit back about THAT photo of her yesterday, showing her, urgh, slightly different face. She says she is "peaceful" and "healthy". Hmm.

6.12am MUSIC NEWS: This story is my favourite so far this morning - singer James Blunt has apologised for his "annoying" track You're Beautiful. You remember it - and yes, my god, it was SO annoying.

6.10am BREAKING WORLD NEWS: A gunman has shot and killed a soldier at Canada's National War Memorial in Ottawa before he entered the country's parliament buildings where he was shot dead by police, according to media and witness reports. Read more.

6.08am CELEB GOSS ALERT: Katy Perry has called off her 30th birthday celebrations, which were to be held this weekend, for "safety reasons." She wanted to go to Egypt but apparently it's too dangerous.

6.06am And in national news, via the SMH:

*Australian intelligence agencies are examining the latest Islamic State video featuring a Sydney teenager amid suspicions that notorious extremist Mohamed Elomar might also appear in the footage.

*Australia's financial regulator has completed a "comprehensive" stress test of the biggest banks and believes lending standards are being stretched because major banks are competing aggressively on home loans.

*An hour after teenager Samantha Giufre left a Father's Day celebration, she was found unconscious with injuries that are so severe, she may never walk, talk or see properly again. Read more.

6.04am Here's what's making news in your Mercury today:

*Dapto's Mullet Creek crash: Marco Paul Silvestri jailed for eight years for causing crash that killed unborn baby. Read more.

*Staff from the University of Wollongong’s business faculty have been warned they face a round of redundancies by Christmas, union sources say.

*Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has praised Kiama MP Gareth Ward after he criticised her and her department in parliament on Tuesday. Read more.

6.02am Let's kick things off with the latest weather & traffic.

WEATHER We're in for a partly cloudy day with a top of 24 degrees. There is a slight chance of a thunderstorm this afternoon.

TRAFFIC There is a B-double breakdown on Mt Ousley approaching Picton Rd. One northbound lane is closed. Reduce your speed & be careful. Otherwise, all good on our roads & for the run to Sydney,

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

6am Good morning Illawarra! Hope you're having a good week. Happy pre-Friday - yep, nearly the weekend! And I've got a three day weekend coming my way! Stay with me this morning for all the latest on the weather + news etc.


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