April 23, 2018

Critically endangered Mekong river dolphins start to show signs of a comeback

Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After decades of decline, the critically-endangered Mekong river dolphin has increased in population for the first time in a census released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the government of Cambodia. One of just a few species of river dolphins in the world, Mekong dolphins had plummeted from 200 in 1997, the first year they were counted, to just 80 in 2015. Today the population is estimated at 97 with three dolphins born just this year. Effective patrolling by teams of river guards and the strict confiscation of illegal gill nets which trap and drown the dolphins are the main reasons for the increase, according to experts. Law enforcement efforts and increased ecotourism has helped draw attention to the dolphins while bringing economic opportunities beyond fishing. The latest survey shows other encouraging signs, with improvements in survival rates, an increase in the number of calves and a drop in deaths. “River dolphins are indicators of the health of the Mekong River and their recovery is a hopeful sign for the river and the millions of people who depend on it,” said Seng Teak, country director of WWF Cambodia. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
April 23, 2018

Van hits pedestrians in Toronto, extent of injuries unclear: Police

iStock/Thinkstock(TORONTO) -- A white van hit pedestrians in Toronto, Canada, Monday, injuring a possible eight to 10 people, police said. The extent of the injuries was not immediately clear, police said. “1:27 pm, police were called to Yonge Street and Finch Avenue East, for a collision," Toronto Police tweeted. "A Media Sgt from traffic services is on their way to the scene. Too early to confirm the number of pedestrians struck or their injuries. More to come.” Multiple police vehicles could be seen where the incident occurred. This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
April 23, 2018

British royals Princess Kate, Prince William welcome a baby boy

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince William and Princess Kate have welcomed a baby boy. Kate, 36, delivered a son in the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital, Kensington Palace announced. The newborn, the third child of William and Kate, weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces at birth. He was born at 11:01 a.m., local time. William, 35, was present for the birth of his third child, according to Kensington Palace. "The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news," Kensington Palace said in a statement. "Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well." The newborn will join siblings Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, who turns 3 May 2. The baby will be Queen Elizabeth II's sixth great-grandchild. Early in her pregnancy, Kate suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, or extreme morning sickness, as she did with her first two pregnancies. Kensington Palace announced Kate's pregnancy in September. During her pregnancy, Kate maintained a busy pace of royal engagements, including a trip with William to Norway and Sweden and the launch of a mental health program in schools. She is expected to now take time off from official royal duties, as she did after the births of her older children. How the baby's birth is announced Once Kate gave birth, Queen Elizabeth and the royal family were notified before a public announcement was made by Kensington Palace on Twitter. In keeping with tradition, a statement was later posted on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, just as it was after George and Charlotte's births. Bells will toll, and there will be the traditional gun salute as the country celebrates the new heir. The new baby's place in the royal family When the baby is born, history will be made as Charlotte will be the first female to retain her claim to the throne, regardless of the baby’s gender. The Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which was passed when Kate was pregnant with George, states that succession to the throne would be based wholly on birth order, not gender. George is third in line to the throne and Charlotte is currently fourth in line to the throne. William and Kate's third child will become fifth in line to the throne. Prince Harry will be bumped down to sixth in line to the throne. Like George and Charlotte, this child will also be designated as His or Her Royal Highness and will have the title of Prince or Princess. Delivery at the Lindo Wing Kate had all the amenities of a five-star hotel inside the Lindo Wing, including freshly-prepared meals and afternoon tea service and champagne available for those who request it. Birthing packages at the exclusive Lindo Wing start at 5,900 pounds, or around 8,300 U.S. dollars, for a one-night stay, with a standard room package. Deluxe packages at the hospital start at 6,275 pounds, or nearly 9,000 U.S. dollars. The Lindo Wing is where the late Princess Diana also delivered both William and Harry. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
April 23, 2018

British royals Princess Kate, Prince William set to welcome 3rd child

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince William and Princess Kate are set to become the parents of three children. Kate, 36, entered labor with her third child Monday, Kensington Palace announced. The palace announced on Twitter Kate was taken to St. Mary's Hospital "in the early stages of labour" Monday morning along with husband William. The newborn will join siblings Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, who turns 3 on May 2. The baby is set to be born in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital, the same London hospital where Kate gave birth to George and Charlotte. The newborn will be fifth in line to the British throne after the child's grandfather, Prince Charles, father, William, brother, George and sister, Charlotte. The reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, ascended to the throne in 1952. The baby is the queen's sixth great-grandchild. Early in her pregnancy Kate suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, or extreme morning sickness, as she did with her first two pregnancies. Kensington Palace announced Kate's pregnancy in September. During her pregnancy, Kate maintained a busy pace of royal engagements, including a trip with William to Norway and Sweden and the launch of a mental health program in schools. She is expected to now take time off from official royal duties, as she did after the births of her older children. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.