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A mother’s love: the woman who underwent brain surgery whilst pregnant and delayed radiation to save her child

***EXCLUSIVE*** CALIFORNIA, USA: This woman had brain surgery WHILE PREGNANT but delayed radiation for FIVE MONTHS for the sake of her newborn son, as she feared at first that her tumour caused his heart condition. Area supervisor, Sheila Downing (33) from California, USA, found out she was expecting her second child in January 2018, but early on she started experiencing severe headaches. At the start of March, while 16 weeks pregnant, Sheila would sleep with an ice pack on her head to relieve the pain and she saw visual auras in her view which would come and go.  Sheila was given migraine medication and told it was just a tension headache. However, on March 9, Sheila was driving her daughter Sophia (2) who was almost one at the time to nursery and experienced the auras in her view. Fearing for her safety while driving, Sheila pulled over before returning home to rest further. That night, Sheila’s husband, Joshua, noticed that she was breathing peculiarly so he woke her up, but she was very disoriented once awake. Joshua called an ambulance and Sheila had a seizure in the back of the ambulance, then another at the hospital. An MRI was carried out at the hospital which revealed a tumour in the back, right side of Sheila’s brain. At 17 weeks pregnant, Sheila was told she needed brain surgery, making her incredibly fearful for her unborn baby’s health. On March 12, 2018, Sheila had a craniotomy to remove the tumour and her baby was monitored throughout the surgery. At an appointment to remove her staples, doctors informed Sheila that she had a grade two slow-growing tumour, but she would have to wait until her son was born to receive treatment. On August 8, 2018, Sheila welcomed her son Josiah who weighed 7lb 8oz. Unfortunately, Josiah was born with a coarctation of the aorta, which is a narrowing of the blood vessel carrying oxygen, requiring heart surgery at four days old. Sheila should have started radiation immediately, but her sick son needed her, and she wanted to breastfeed him to aid his recovery, so she delayed treatment until January 2019.

Penis festival attracts thousands as giant phallus paraded through streets

Komaki, aichi, Japan: Thousands of people have flocked to a huge festival in Japan - and it is dedicated entirely to penises. Enormous members, multi-coloured phallic decorations and food shaped like the male anatomy all feature at the Penis Festival, which is also known as Honen-sai. Every year in March, residents and visitors of the Aichi Prefecture in Japan flock to Komaki, north of Nagoya, to see a giant phallus carried through the streets. Men of an "unlucky age" carry a two-metre penis, carved from Japanese cypress, and offer it to the shrine with prayers for a good harvest, flourishing of all natural things and fertility to loved ones.

Neighbour donates liver to cure her friend

***EXCLUSIVE*** ONTARIO, CANADA: Renee Ly, 43 from Ontario, Canada was suffering from a rare liver disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. The disease attacks the bile ducts leading to liver damage and eventually liver failure. She had no hopes until her neighbor Erica Hogan stepped forward and was adamant in helping her by donating her liver which had been tested to be the perfect match. This great deal of goodwill has bought both Renee and Erica close and also cured Renee’s Liver Disease.

Retired painter and decorator, 71, who transformed his council house into a replica of Sistine Chapel turns celebrities into renaissance-style religious figures

***EXCLUSIVE*** A retired painter and decorator who transformed his council house to look like the Sistine Chapel has turned celebrities including Wayne Rooney, Jamie Oliver, and Jeremy Corbyn into religious figures. Renaissance art enthusiast Robert Burns, 71, trawls newspapers for photographs of celebrities in poses that remind him of his favourite historical paintings. The grandfather then merges the two images, transforming the stars into religious figures as renaissance paintings - a process which takes 60 hours. Mr Burns has recreated chef Nigella Lawson as Saint Mary Magdalene, actor Russell Brand as Jesus Christ and football manager Gareth Southgate as Leonardo da Vinci's famous 'Salvator Mundi'. Mr Burns now proudly hangs his series of acrylic paintings in his three bedroom council house in Brighton, East Sussex, which he spent 12 years transforming into a recreation of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.

A six-year-old girl is fighting cancer with the help of her best friend who let the schoolgirl shave off all his hair so he „could look just like her”

***EXCLUSIVE*** Lulu DeVries and Oisín Ruskin met on the first day of school, just months before she was diagnosed with a rare aggressive cancer. The brave schoolgirl has endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, a stem cell harvest, stints in isolation, radiotherapy and is currently having immunotherapy. Her desperate parents have been told it's her "last chance", and even if it works, there is a 50 per cent chance she'll relapse.

A woman says she has become a happier and more confident person - after LOSING the ability to walk

***EXCLUSIVE*** Monica Thomas, 29, was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease when she was two years old after inheriting the genetic condition. CMT causes muscle weakness, highly arched or very flat feet and an awkwardness walking, and gets progressively worse. The condition meant that by 19 she was confined to a wheelchair full-time after years of using leg braces and failed physical therapy - but she now views her chair as her ticket to freedom. The blogger, from Indiana, USA, explained: "While some people may see wheelchairs as a kind of prison, to me my wheelchair is my freedom - I'm so much more mobile now.

Never-before-seen photos of a young Princess Elizabeth and her husband are revealed as they go up for auction

***EXCLUSIVE*** Candid never before seen photos of the Queen and Prince Philip have come to light. The snaps, which are believed to date from the late 1940s and early '50s, show the couple in a relaxed setting away from the public gaze. One of the images reveals a youthful Elizabeth sitting on a blanket eating sandwiches next to Prince Philip. She is wearing a tartan skirt and the prince is resplendent in country attire, including plus fours.

'My straighteners burnt my hair off and left me screaming with pain'

***EXCLUSIVE*** A student is devastated after she claims her new automatic hair curlers ripped out chunks of her hair -- leaving her with a BALD PATCH. Chloe Carr, 19, received the Remington Keratin Protect auto curlers as a Christmas present from her grandmother. According to the website, the device works by "drawing hair into the ceramic curling barrel, gently heating and curling hair, to release healthy looking curls". But Chloe was left humiliated and in pain after she claims the device failed to release her hair - and pulled out a huge clump on the back of her head.

Family who lost their GoPro camera when it dropped into the sea while surfing are reunited with it - 10 MONTHS later

***EXCLUSIVE*** A family have been reunited with their GoPro camera - 10 months after they lost it in the sea while surfing. James and Janine Kennedy assumed they would never see their family holiday action videos again when the camera was knocked off the front of one of their surfboards in Cornwall last May. But it washed ashore on a beach four miles away three weeks ago and was picked up by dog walker Felicity Chadwick. She dried out the Ł200 device before charging it up and finding the video clips of a family. Felicity, a restaurant manager, launched a social media campaign to track them down.

A football fan who had a stroke has told how he shocked nurses by uttering his first words in FOUR MONTHS - when he mocked his rival team

***EXCLUSIVE*** Darren Thomson, 22, lost all feeling in the left side of his body just 15 minutes after he developed a blinding headache. The Hibs fan was rushed to hospital where scans revealed he had suffered a stroke and had a bleed on the brain caused by a blood clot the size of a 10p coin. He had two operations to help drain the excess fluid in his brain, but he still couldn't speak for three months due to a tube down his throat then brain damage. Darren heard his nurses talking about how they supported rival team Hearts - and shocked them by blurting out his first words: "Hearts are s**t".

Shipwrecked’s ‘chicken stripper’ makes £120,000 a year selling nude photos taken by her mum

***EXCLUSIVE*** Beth Spiby, 22, used to work summers in Magaluf and winters at the gift shop at Marks until a colleague told her about selling naughty pics online. The former shop girl recruited her mum Jane, 53, an accountant, to help her take daily photos and videos - despite posing nude and in her undies for the explicit pics.

Tobacco cultivation Bangladesh

DHAKA, BANGLADESH: Tobacco cultivation in Bandarban hill district of Bangladesh raises hackles as some companies are managing to manoeuvre a web of incentives in cash and kind to attract marginal farmers. Bandarban once was known for growing diverse food crops like paddy, maize, potato, eggplant, long gourd, bean, radish, cauliflower, cabbage, lemon, papaya, and banana, but since tobacco cultivation started the area turned into a food deficit district. Tobacco farming is damaging the environment, reducing soil fertility and occupying more and plain lands earlier used for growing rice and other crops. However, around 40000 tonnes of firewood are burnt in about 2000 tobacco processing kilns a year, depleting natural forests, according to environmentalists. “Tobacco companies are providing cash loans and fertilizers in advance, and there is conformation they buy the harvested leafs. This is the reason the farmers are bent on tobacco cultivation,” a tobacco farmer says. Another farmer said that tobacco farming was gaining the momentum as it is more profitable. The burners, commonly known as “tandur,” are burning around 100,000 tonnes of firewood annually to process some 1.75 million bales (1 bale is equal to 7217.724kg) of tobacco now being grown in the district. According to official data for 2016, tobacco is grown on 46,472 hectares of land, producing 87,628 tons of tobacco leaf. Bangladesh ranks 14th for area undertobacco, 12th for production in quantity, and has a share of 1.3% of globaltobacco production (FAOSTAT 2018).

John Lennon FURIOUS with record label in resurfaced letter - now up for auction

***EXCLUSIVE*** A no holds barred letter by John Lennon ranting at record executives for sabotaging his first album with Yoko Ono has emerged for sale for Ł15,000. ($20,000). The former Beatle could not contain his fury as he outlined how he felt the release of their experimental collaboration 'Two Virgins' had been undermined. He claims the bigwigs ''f****d' them about by pretending to be interested in the album which featured John and Yoko fully nude on the front cover. But, in his view, they then went out of their way to not distribute it.

Hares do high five

***EXCLUSIVE*** Two hares look like they high-five each other as they tussle in the snow in freezing conditions. Moments before their high five one of the Arctic hares discovered a good source of food as it was digging beneath the surface. The hare was then forced to defend its prize from its hungry friend and the pair broke out in a scrap.  As the two hares fought with their front paws, it looked as if they high-fived. Amateur photographer Jonas Beyer braved temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius in Thule, Greenland, to capture these images.

Beatles 'Love Me Do' demo worth £20,000 handed to a charity shop by unwitting owner who gave the 'not for sale' vinyl to British Heart Foundation

***EXCLUSIVE*** An incredibly-rare demo record of the Beatles first single Love Me Do that was donated to a charity shop by mistake has sold for almost Ł10,000. The rare piece of Beatles memorabilia was discovered in a carrier bag full of old 7ins vinyl records dropped off at the British Heart Foundation store in Midhurst, West Sussex. The record has a typo on the label, with Paul McCartney's name spelt 'McArtney'. It also bears the words 'Demonstration Record' and 'Not For Sale'.

Live like a duke, for £15,000-a-month: Historic former hunting lodge where the Churchill family lived while Blenheim Palace was being renovated is up for rent

***EXCLUSIVE*** History buffs can now live in one of the country's most historic homes that has hosted royalty and aristocrats for more than 400 years - for Ł15,000 a month. High Lodge is a Grade II* listed former hunting lodge on the Blenheim Palace estate and the striking property is set in the heart of ancient oak woodland within the World Heritage Site in Oxfordshire. It is the oldest property on the estate, dating back to the 16th century, and was first recorded as the official residence of the ranger of royal forests under Queen Elizabeth I. High Lodge is about half a mile from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and currently home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough.

Powerful strikes from herons as they catch frogs

***EXCLUSIVE*** Herons cause pond water to erupt as they grab frogs with ferocious strikes.  These action shots capture the moment the skilled hunters pluck their prey from the water with incredible precision. The long-beaked birds stand perfectly still in the water and patiently wait for the frogs to make a move before launching a powerful, swift attack. Splashes of water and pond debris can be seen flying through the air as a result of the ferocious strikes. The images were captured by amateur photographer Geir Jartveit in a pond outside his home in Alesund, Norway.

Drying clothes

***EXCLUSIVE*** Workers unfold hundreds of metres of freshly dyed bright red cloth across a field as part of the process of creating traditional Batik. The incredible images capture the techniques where wax is used to create stunning patterns on a huge scale. The wax prevents the dye from penetrating the area it is placed on, allowing workers to create amazingly complex multi-coloured designs. They then soak the cloth in a dying emulsion before rolling the large cotton, silk, or wool cloths in the hot sun to dry.

Wildebeest versus lioness

***EXCLUSIVE*** A lone lioness sucessfully takes down a wildebeest by itself as the two animals are locked in this life or death battle as the big cat locks into the wildebeest's throat. The picture, by commercial manager Shafi Rasheed from Kerela in India, was taken whilst Shafi was on a early morning safari trip in the Masai Mara region of Kenya in African. Shafi said: “I was on a safari trip in the early morning hours when suddenly I met this lioness walking with her pride.  I had taken many photos of this lioness during the sunrise and it was around this time that she saw the isolated wildebeest.” “I was excited to see this scene play out before me lit by the wonderful morning sunrise, but I was sure to keep my distance.” On this occasion the lioness was successful in her efforts to over power the wildebeest.