The Daily: 19 September
A fragment of fourth century papyrus unveiled by a Harvard professor claims to undermine centuries of Christian teaching. The papyrus is said to contain a dialogue in which Jesus is defending 'Mary', believed to be Mary Magdalene, against criticism from his disciples. Jesus is alleged to say "she is my disciple" and "I dwell with her" before referring to her as "my wife". The papyrus which was unveiled by professor Karen King, an expert in the history of Christianity, has been studied by Coptic script experts who believe it is a copy of gospel written in the second century. Though King asserts that it is not definitive proof that Jesus was married, she stresses that it is the only surviving ancient text which quotes Jesus referring to a wife. King claims this highlights that early Christianity was engaged in "vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage" and that Jesus' marital status was often used in these debates. Christian teaching throughout the centuries has maintained its stance on Jesus' celibacy and King believes that this particular gospel could have been rejected because it flows "so strongly against the ascetic currents of the tides in which Christian practices and understandings of marriage and sexual intercourse were surging".
Miracle Sextuplets reunited at home for the first time
After four and a half months of waiting, Texan couple Lauren and David Perkins finally saw their sextuplets reunited at home for the first time. Five of the six babies had been waiting at home for their tiny sister Leah, who had suffered from health difficulties, to join them. The sextuplets were conceived after the couple struggled for 18 months to have a baby and resorted to the fertility treatment IUI. The procedure has a success rate of 25% for conceiving one baby; the odds for sextuplets were a tiny one percent. Lauren gave birth to the babies in April in a natural labour that required 35 people in the operating room. Baby Leah had to remain in the neonatal unit for two operations to repair part of her bowel, but can now return home to her siblings. Speaking of their miracle babies Lauren said "this is a full time job, but we are so blessed"
A new survey suggests that nearly a third of Britain's 8 million cats are now obese. The survey found that British cat owners may be indulging their cats a little too much, describing at least 30% of domestic cats as "hugely overweight". Vet Martha Cannon described how "once the weight has gone on, it is very difficult to get off" and can lead to health problems such as diabetes and arthritis. But with one in five British households now owning a cat, it appears our habit of indulging our cats is far from over.
When the Metcalf family of North Carolina lost their beloved dog Cassie they presumed they would never see her again. However, thanks to some clever technology and the kindness of a stranger they were reunited with their canine pet four years later. Cheryl Smith from Gaston County, some 190 miles from the Metcalf's home, spotted Cassie when she wandered into the neighbourhood. Noticing she didn't have a collar or tag, most people would have taken her to the shelter. Instead, Smith visited a number of vets in the hope they would have her records on file. Eventually discovering that Cassie was micro chipped, Smith and the Gaston County animal shelter were able to reunite the dog with their very grateful owners.
Springer Spaniel Jess has proven herself to be the world best sheepdog; by feeding orphaned lambs from a bottle. The four year old dog from Exeter is now 'mum' to four Dorset Horn Lambs that could not be fed by their own mothers after learning how to hold a bottle when she was just a puppy. Louise Moorhouse, who has 270 sheep on her 180-acre farm, described Jess as "like having an extra pair of hands" and said "she's very funny when she runs across the field gripping the bottle".
Kate and William end their tour of the Far East
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to fly home to the UK at the end of their Diamond Jubilee tour. The couple touched down in Brisbane this morning for a brief two hour stay, before catching a flight back to London. The Duke and Duchess started their nine day tour in Singapore and continued to Malaysia, Borneo, the Solomon Islands and the tiny island of Tuvalu. The couple spent the last night of their trip at a Tuvalu state dinner in which they were treated to a feast of pigs, lobster, coconut, crabs and local fresh fruit. They also wore the tradition 'titi saga' and they joined in with traditional dancing on the tiny isle.
Father break world record
A 53 year old father from Whitburn, South Tyneside has broken a world record for the most underwear worn at one time. The self proclaimed "pantsman" Gary Craig already held the 2011 record but was beaten in February by American Janine Keblish. However, the dad of three was determined to reclaim his title and beat Keblish's impressive total of 252. On Sunday, with a huge crowd watching at the Great North Run, Craig reclaimed his title by wearing an impressive 302 pants at the same time. Speaking of his victory Craig said "the atmosphere on Sunday was fantastic and I smashed the world record. I couldn't ask for more". However Craig also revealed he will be hanging up his pants for good, saying "I think this is it now. I am not going to go and attempt any more world records".
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