Aussie Backpackers Look to London Sperm Banks to Fund Their Travels

London fertility clinics are reporting that up to one-third of their sperm donors are from foreign countries. Many of these donors are Australian backpackers on extended tours of the UK and Europe. They have found fertility clinics to be a decent source of income. Though the money is not great, repeat donors (always welcomed by the clinics because they only have to be screened once) can make more than $1200 over the course of several months.

A British law, passed in 2005, might be helping increase the demand for Australian donors. The law says that children conceived by donated sperm have the right to contact their genetic father at the age of 18. Living on the other side of the globe affords these backpackers from Down Under a bit more anonymity than local London residents.

What do British people think of the trend? Clinics welcome it. After the passage of the 2005 notification law, the number of local donors shrunk considerably. So sperm banks have no choice but to look to foreigners to fill the void.

Italians now know how much other Italians make. Mamma mia!

Can you imagine knowing how much all your friends, neighbors and coworkers make?

Italy’s IRS created a grand snooping opportunity Wednesday when it posted on its Web site the taxable income of just about every Italian citizen – for a few hours. There was a huge outcry, and the tax collector had to take the information down, NPR reports. Listen to the piece here.

According to BBC, the release of the information was one of the last acts of the outgoing center-left government and has shocked many tax-shy Italians. But it was also hugely popular, and within hours the site was overwhelmed and impossible to access.

According to an Italian government report from 2007, the amount of unpaid tax in the country is equivalent to 7% of gross domestic product. The finance ministry described the move as a “bid to improve transparency”.

I don’t think this kind of “transparency” generally goes over well.