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Found 16 results

  1. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have left hospital after the arrival of their third child, a boy. The couple's second son, who was born at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz, is fifth in line to the throne. Prince George and Princess Charlotte had visited their brother at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London. Leaving the hospital Prince William said the couple were very happy, before holding up three fingers and joking he had "thrice the worry now". "We didn't keep you waiting too long this time," he added. When someone asked him whether the couple had decided on a name, he said: "You'll find out soon enough." Read more:
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  2. UK - Big Ben sounds its midday bongs for the last time in four years... and it upsets many Brits! Â
  3. UK - Conservation work set to silence much-loved Big Ben for four years Â
  4. Terrorist incident at Manchester Arena Police shutdown central Manchester, early Tuesday morning, after a suspected explosion at the Manchester Arena killed 19 and injured 50. Suicide Bomber suspected The incident is thought to have occurred at 22.35 local time (21.35 GMT), at the end of an Ariana Grande concert as 20,000 + attendees were leaving the premises. Emergency vehicles streamed to the arena and helicopters circled above as police urged people to stay clear of the area. As we all get more details about this event please post news below as a reply
  5. (CNN)The UK's fertility regulator has given the green light to a treatment that will make it possible for babies to be made from two women and a man. The new advancement in in vitro fertilization, developed by doctors in Newcastle, is intended to prevent children being born with certain fatal genetic diseases. The first child to be born in the UK through the new method could arrive by the end of 2017. The procedure will allow the donation of mitochondria, which provides energy for cells, to mothers with mutations within the DNA of their own mitochondria so they do not pass the mutations on to their child. What are mitochondria? Mitochondria are small structures found in our cells that generate the cellular energy used to power every part of our bodies. Mitochondria have their own DNA, which controls only mitochondrial function and energy production. This is separate from our "nuclear DNA," which makes us who we are and determines appearance and personality. (Source: Wellcome Trust) Replacing your mitochondria Mitochondrial diseases are genetic conditions; about one in 4,300 affected children are estimated to be born with these conditions every year. Mitochondria provide humans with energy and are present in almost every cell within the body. Known as "mitochondrial donation," the IVF technique involves replacing faulty mitochondria inherited from the mother with the healthy mitochondria of another woman. Most of a cell's genetic material, or DNA, is contained within the nucleus, but a very small amount (less than 1%) is found in the mitochondria. This mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother through her eggs. If the mother's mitochondrial DNA is faulty, it is possible that she may pass on a number of rare but very serious mitochondrial diseases, including muscle weakness, diabetes, heart problems, epilepsy and stroke-like episodes. In serious cases, they can lead to death. About 1 in 6,500 children are thought to develop a serious mitochondrial disorder, according to Newcastle's Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, which has been a leading partner in the project. A historic decision "Today's historic decision means that parents at very high risk of having a child with a life-threatening mitochondrial disease may soon have the chance of a healthy, genetically related child," said Sally Cheshire, Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority chairwoman. "This is life-changing for those families." An expert panel reviewed the development, safety and efficacy of these techniques over five years and four reports, she added, saying the authority feels that "now it is the right time to carefully introduce this new treatment in the limited circumstances recommended by the panel." Moving forward has been approved, but caution is still recommended. "Although it is tempting to rush ahead with new treatments, the UK approach of testing public opinion, putting the issue to Parliament and carefully monitoring laboratory research has proved to be the most responsible and sustainable of introducing new, cutting-edge treatments into the clinic," Cheshire said. "Such an approach has allowed us to balance innovation with safety, maintaining public trust as we go." In February 2015, UK lawmakers voted in favor of a law that would allow the pioneering technique using DNA from three people. The Newcastle team aims to offer treatment for up to 25 women a year affected by mitochondrial disease, but the treatment could be held back if they don't have enough healthy donated eggs. Playing catch-up The UK is probably not the first country in the world to have children born through the three-person technique. A Jordanian couple and doctors in New York claimed they performed the procedure in Mexico, with the child being born on April 6. The use of this reproductive technology was originally intended to prevent Leigh syndrome, a severe neurological condition that affects at least one in 40,000 newborns. The mother in this historic case previously had four pregnancy losses and had given birth to two children, one of whom survived less than a year and another who lived only six years, both due to this syndrome. For religious reasons, the mother wanted to use a technique that would not require the destruction of a fertilized egg. A team of doctors, led by Dr. John Zhang, founder of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City, went to Mexico to perform the procedure, as it is not licensed in the US. But the UK may now see many babies being born through the method in the coming years. "Mitochondrial donation offers a real opportunity to cure a class of potentially devastating inherited conditions and will bring hope to hundreds of affected families in the UK," said Dr. Dagan Wells, associate professor at the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at the University of Oxford. "Research teams, such as those of Professors Herbert and Turnbull in Newcastle, have done sterling work to assess safety of methods for replacing defective mitochondria, and their research has provided much reassurance in that regard. "The HFEA's decision to allow clinics to apply for permission to perform mitochondrial donation finally opens the way to begin using this technology for the benefit of families that have faced much heartbreak and hardship as a result of carrying a mitochondrial disorder." "This marks a momentous and historic step, and we hope families next year will begin their journey to eradicate these genetic diseases," added Dr. Adam Balen, chairman of the British Fertility Society. "Clinics will now need to apply for a license, and the regulator will grant them, taking into account each application extremely carefully." CNN's Meera Senthilingam contributed to this report.
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  6. Crews remain at the Nicholas Street building in Manchester city centre following the blaze in the early hours of Friday Firefighters outside the building in Chinatown (Photo: Steve Allen) Firefighters are still at the scene of a devastating Chinatown fire which claimed the lives of two people - believed to be rough sleepers. Crews remain at the Nicholas Street building in Manchester city centre following the blaze in the early hours of Friday. A handful of firefighters are working to ensure the fire is completely out. They doused small pockets of fire overnight - and expect to be at the building for the rest of the day. Crews - and an aerial appliance - extinguished smoldering embers in the basement of the building on Friday night. Tragically, two bodies were discovered by fire service search and rescue dogs on the first floor of the five-storey building. They have not yet been identified, but are thought to have been members of Manchester’s homeless community. Police confirmed that one line of enquiry is that they had started a fire to keep warm, though the cause of the blaze has not yet been established. The fire has caused outrage among homeless charities and MPs, who have called for more action to tackle homelessness in the city. Amanda Croome, manager of Manchester’s Booth Centre, which offers advice and support for homeless people, said she was stunned by the incident and hoped it would prompt urgent action. MPs blamed the government’s austerity drive for the rocketing number of rough sleepers. Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey said: “We can’t go on with this type of society. This isn’t civilisation.” The alarm was raised just before 2.15am on Friday. The building was left devastated by the inferno and the roof caved in. The blaze has caused severe damage to the building. Crews were forced to tackled the fire from a distance to avoid falling debris, with fears the structure could collapse. Council engineers are working with a building inspector as the site has been deemed structurally unsafe. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 - quoting incident number 146 of 25 November - or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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  7. Solar panels are great. So is architectural conservation. But what should we do when historic buildings want to incorporate cutting edge clean energy technology? It's probably always going to be a balancing act. But Business Green reports on an impressive project over in the UK, in which the 1,000 year old Gloucester Cathedral has installed 150 solar panels in an effort to cut its environmental impact. Mypower, the installers, claim it's the oldest building in the UK—and maybe the world—to install a commercial-size solar array. Of course, cathedrals have one big advantage over many other historic sites: They are really, really tall. And the fact that they are surrounded by ornate buttresses and gargoyles and other fancy architecture means that the solar panels will mostly be hidden from the ground—meaning the cathedral gets to cut its energy costs by a quarter without really compromising its historic, architectural integrity. Interestingly, cathedrals and other older churches also have another benefit when it comes to going solar. Namely, they were usually built pointing directly from east to west—leaving a huge area of south-facing roof that's ideally placed for maximum solar gain. Given that the Church of England has declared climate change "a great demon", and has even divested itself from the dirtiest fossil fuels, I suspect we will see many more churches going solar as the costs come down. This particular atheist is going to be singing the praises of the church if that really does happen.
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  8. The world’s largest aircraft, the Airlander 10, compared by some to a giant pair of buttocks, took off on its maiden flight from Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire.
  9. After the Brexit vote, climate hawks voiced concern that a new British government could be less aggressive in fighting climate change. Looks like they may have been right: New British Prime Minister Theresa May hasn’t even unpacked her bags at 10 Downing Street and she’s already got green groups very worried. May announced Thursday that she would axe the Department for Energy and Climate Change and replace it with the newly formed Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Climate experts and politicians called the move “plain stupid,” “terrible,” and “beyond daft.” “The decision to shut down DECC is a deeply worrying move from Theresa May,” said Green Party Member of Parliament Caroline Lucas. “Climate change is the biggest challenge we face, and it must not be an afterthought for the Government.” Also troubling, May appointed Andrea Leadsom as the new environment secretary, a woman who has regularly opposed climate action. One of the first questions Leadsom asked officials when she became energy minister last year was, “Is climate change real?” Leadsom also supported selling off British forests in 2011, a thwarted proposal that proved to be deeply unpopular with British citizens.
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  10. British Jews Fear State Crackdown On Circumcision, Kosher Meat And Religious Schools "The purpose of the state in my view is not to impose cultural values on a minority which has its own cultural values and which does not clash, fight or inflict violence on anybody else", says David Frei British Jews may be forced to rethink their future in the UK in the face of increasing criticism of religious practices including circumcision, religious schools and ritual slaughter, according to a prominent figure at the London-based Beth Din religious court. David Frei, a British-born barrister and registrar at the Beth Din since 1999, has warned of a growing trend of anti-religious sentiment in Britain that has followed record levels of atheism and Islamist terrorist atrocities in Europe that have turned people against faith – be it Judaism, Islam or Christianity – as a whole. He fears the British government will look to crack down on religious freedom in the UK in response to public opinion. He also believes the Jewish Orthodox community will resist any attempt to legislate against customs such as kosher meat, Jewish yeshivas or the practise of circumcision, which is mandated in the Torah. “I think there are genuine fears at the moment in any number of areas – including circumcision and ritual slaughter – that the state may one day take a more interventionist role and it is very disturbing. At one point or another Jews will have to evaluate their future in the country if this was to happen,” Frei told IBTimesUK in a wide-ranging interview published on 28 January. “There is a very secular wave that is washing over this country at the moment. There is no question that fewer people than ever before believe in God. The opinion polls will show you that 30 or 40 years ago, the vast majority of people believed in God and now the vast majority don’t.” Frei spoke as part of an IBTimesUK investigation into the role of Sharia courts in Britain in the face of criticism by both the government and independent politicians such as Baroness Cox. Beth Din has operated in the UK in one form or another for some four centuries and today still officiates in cases of Jewish divorce, which has a starkly different form to divorce under British civil law. Beth Din has so far escaped the scrutiny that Sharia has fallen under in recent years, with critics arguing Islamic divorces discriminate against women – who, unlike men, have to go through the Sharia divorce court process and get permission from male relatives. Men are permitted to divorce their wives verbally. It is argued that Jewish divorce law is similarly discriminatory in that it requires the husband to give his consent to a divorce, which cannot go ahead if he refuses. This has led to the phenomenon of so-called “chained women” in Britain, unable to remarry as their estranged partners refuse to agree to the divorce. But speaking this week, Frei said Jews knew what they were getting into when they had an Orthodox marriage. He said: “People are voluntarily taking upon themselves additional restrictions because they believe in it. The reality is that if you are a religious Jew, the way that you think marriage is performed is platform X and divorce platform Y. And what is wrong with that? “That is a restriction that [they have] taken upon [themselves]. That is what you believe in, your value system. That is not a threat to any society.” In this, and in practices such as circumcision, religious schools and kosher meat, Frei said it was not the role of the government to impose on the personal religious beliefs of its citizens. He said: “The purpose of the state in my view [is] not to impose cultural values on a minority which has its own cultural values and which does not clash, fight or inflict violence on anybody else. We are a law-abiding community. We are people who have given a full and valued contribution to British society, so why should the state come barging in and tell us what we can and can’t do in terms of matters of personal religious belief.” On religious schools, Frei said hostility appeared to have come from the rise in extremist Islam and attacks in Europe and further afield, a link that he felt was unfair. He said: “Very shortly after the most recent attacks in Paris, the first letter I read was about chucking out religious schools and I thought is there any evidence that any of these terrorists had ever actually attended a religious school? I don’t think so. They are better off asking to shut down the internet, because that is causing it rather than religious schools.” This article was first published at IBTimes, by Orlando Crowcroft

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