Heavy rain in northern England has brought a stunning waterfall back to life for the first time in centuries.
Category Archives: UK
Declan Rooney is a one-man babymaking machine who is in an astonishing crusade to help women struggling to have children.
This year alone Declan has notched up 31 births after setting up an online sperm donation website last year.
Now he even has a smartphone app offering his services as a private donor and a free alternative to clinics.
And with 15 more buns in the oven, he has no intention of stopping – despite causing uproar among family campaigners.
Today Declan, 43 – who has eight children of his own with four different women – hit back at critics of unregulated sperm donation, insisting in his case that everything is above board.
Looking exasperated while nursing the result of one of his donations, Declan said:
“I’m a nice guy. Why can’t people understand I am just doing this to help out?”
He insists he has not received any money as a donor apart from petrol expenses to deliver the sperm to the mother – once, he admits, in a takeaway coffee cup.
“Egg donors get treated like saints, sperm donors get treated like back alley, smutty boys,” says Declan. “But I’m not doing a bad thing. I’m not ashamed. I have helped women create families.
And some like what he offers so much, he even gets repeat business.
“I have seen five of the children in the past month because I have been donating for siblings,” he says.
Declan insists he imposes strict conditions on his services, which includes no sexual contact and banning women from smoking while they are trying to conceive. He also checks potential parents out to make sure they can afford a child.
The former graffiti artist and website designer decided to start donating sperm in March last year.
“There wasn’t a eureka moment. I just felt as I was in the right place and time of my life.
“It’s not really on an industrial scale. The first children were born last December and will be one this month.
“All of the recipients keep in touch. All the babies are healthy and happy. I have a watchful eye. They send me feedback and tell me how the children are doing.”
He knows that 17 of the 31 children born so far are boys and 14 are girls. After setting up his website, the requests soon started rolling in.
“I’ve been inundated from the start. There were women who had been trying to have a baby for three or four years so it was very busy to begin with.
“I have helped people who have been to clinics where it’s failed, and it has worked first time with me. There are more babies born in the UK by private donation than through private clinics.
Declan usually insists the recipients provide their own sterile sample kits. He says some of his clients simply want a baby without involving a man.
“One was a victim of abuse. She was desperate to be a mum but adamant she never wanted a sexual relationship,” he says. “Another was in her early 40s caring alone for elderly parents. A sperm donor was her only way of getting pregnant as she had no time to meet a man.
Declan’s current partner knows about his donations and he says she is OK with what he is doing.
But he adds:
“My eldest child isn’t too happy about it, but she found out before I was able to tell her. Two of my children are at university. The others are too young to understand. I’m a nice person.”
Two of the women who have had children with Declan are already trying to get pregnant again. And five of his donor babies have met each other because the mums are friends.
He says: “I have got things in place where everyone knows who everyone is, but privacy is still respected. I don’t pressurise people into telling me they are pregnant.
The prolific dad has a three-year-old boy, a two-year-old daughter and a year-old girl from his current relationship. He is also aware that children conceived using donor eggs or sperm can trace their biological parent once they reach 18, in the same way as children who are adopted.
One thing Declan is not concerned about is being stitched up by the mums he vets so carefully.
“I’m not worried about CSA claims because of the people I’ve chosen to help. It’s all done on trust. I don’t expect any problems,” he says
Tourists travelling to exotic locations like Thailand for some winter sun are being advised against indulgingin attractions involving animals like ‘elephant massages’.The service involves a customer lying on their front while an elephant, led by a human trainer, pummels their back with their trunk and feet.But animals rights charities have criticised the business, claiming that most of the elephants have been taken from their mothers as babies and subjected to ‘phajaan’, or ‘crush’, where they are kept in cages with their legs and head toed down so they cannot move.
Britain starts bombing Syria: Tornado jets take off from Cyprus RAF base to target ISIS strongholds after MPs back airstrikes
David Cameron tonight boasted Britain is ‘safer’ after MPs agreed overwhelmingly to launch airstrikes against ISIS in the terror group’s Syria stronghold.Two Tornados deployed from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, to bomb ISIS in Syria after a crunch vote saw military action authorised by by 397 votes to 223 – a majority of 174. A further two Tornados have since taken off from the base.Six Typhoon attack aircraft and two extra Tornado GR4 fighter jets are on their way to the region after a crunch vote saw military action authorised by by 397 votes to 223 – a majority of 174.Some 66 of Labour MPs defied their pacifist leader Jeremy Corbyn to back the Tory government, after Mr Cameron warned Britain had to strike at the heart of ISIS or ‘wait for them to attack us’.Just half an hour before the crunch vote, Mr Corbyn sat stony-faced as his shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn was cheered in the Commons for a stirring speech in which he declared: ‘We must now confront this evil.’The stirring speech is thought to have swayed wavering Labour MPs, helping the government to a majority much higher than the predicted 100.The Lib Dems and DUP backed the airstrikes, while the Scottish National Party claimed the government hadnot made the case for war.The Prime Minister, who was thought to have shelved plans for a vote just a few weeks ago, wrote on Twitter: ‘I believe the House has taken the right decision to keep the UK safe – military action in Syria as one part of a broader strategy.’
The mother of a teen who committed suicide after suffering from what she calls a rare allergy to Wi-Fi is accusing her daughter’s school of failing to protect her.
Jenny Fry, 15, was found hanging from a tree near her home in the U.K. last June. Her story is now coming to light because of a legal investigation into the cause of Jenny’s death.
Her mother, Debra Fry, told the Mirror that Jenny suffered from blinding headaches, fatigue, concentration problems, and bladder issues that she says were caused by electro-hypersensitivity syndrome (EHS), a condition in which electromagnetic radiation emitted from wireless technology, including Wi-Fi, cellphones, and cell towers, causes debilitating physical symptoms.
Although Jenny’s parents had removed Wi-Fi from their home, which helped, it was still present at her school.
“Both Jenny and I were fine at home, but Jenny continued to be ill at school in certain areas,” said Fry.
Jenny received several detentions in school, not for being disruptive in class, but because she’d often have to leave the classroom to find an area away from Wi-Fi where she could concentrate.
Fry had shared information about Wi-Fi’s potential problems with the head teacher of Jenny’s school, Simon Duffy, but according to Fry, Duffy told her there was an equal amount of information that shows Wi-Fi is harmless.
“I also had a heated exchange with teachers telling them Jenny was allergic to Wi-Fi, and that it made no sense making her take detentions in rooms that were making her ill,” said Fry. “The least they could do was allow her to take them in rooms where she felt able to concentrate, but they wouldn’t listen.”
Fry believes Jenny’s suicide attempt was meant to be a cry for help. A police statement said that on the day Jenny died, she had texted a friend twice, telling the friend about her intentions to commit suicide and stating where she was, according to the Mirror. But her friend didn’t have her phone with her to see the texts in time.
“Jenny left letters for us where she said she couldn’t cope with her allergies from Wi-Fi anymore,” Fry told the Telegraph. “She left them for us in case things went too far, but I don’t believe she wanted to die.”
The Russian President said he has received more information that confirms the terror group has been shipping oil through Turkish territory.
Speaking today, Putin accused the Turks of shooting down the plane with the desire to defend their oil trade in the Middle East.
He added that the attack was a “huge mistake” on Turkey’s part and that he still has not met with President Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the matter.
The downing of the Russian Su-24 fighter jet came on Tuesday, killing one of the pilots.
Earlier today the Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, said his country would NOT apologise for the incident.
He said: “Protection of our airspace, our border is not only a right but a duty for my government and no Turkish premier or president … will apologise [for] doing our duty.”
The shooting down of the Russian fighter jet by NATO-member Turkey, the first known incident of its kind since the Cold War