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  • ABC News(LONDON) -- The poisoned daughter of a former Russian spy has reportedly been discharged from hospital after being targeted with a suspected nerve agent alongside her father.Hospital officials said Yulia Skripal, 33, left the hospital early on Tuesday morning having made a rapid recovery after spending almost a month unconscious and in critical condition.A statement delivered by Salisbury Hospital Medical Director Christine Blanshard said they "wish Yulia well," but said "this is not the end of her treatment.""Yulia has asked for privacy from the media and I want to reiterate that request," Blanshard said.Yulia and her father Sergei, 66, were found slumped on a park bench in the English city of Salisbury on March 4. Blanshard said Sergei has also made "excellent" progress and they hoped he would also be released from the hospital "in due course."Assessments by the British government concluded they were attacked with a type of Russian nerve agent known as Novichok.Russia has fiercely denied allegations it is responsible and accused the Brits of fabricating the attack.Doctors at Salisbury District Hospital said last week that Yulia Skripal was "responding well to treatment, improving rapidly and no longer in a critical condition.""Our job in treating the patients has been to stabilise them -- ensuring that the patients could breathe and that blood could continue to circulate," Blanshard said Tuesday morning of the treatments used to save Yulia and her father. "We then needed to use a variety of different drugs to support the patients until they could create more enzymes to replace those affected by the poisoning."Shortly after the hospital's announcement, it emerged that Yulia may have spoken to her cousin in Russia by phone.A recording which purported to be of the conversation was aired on Russian television, consisting of a brief conversation between the two, with Yulia saying she did not think her cousin would be given a visa to enter the U.K. to visit her.Over the weekend the British press reported the Skripals may be resettled in one of the western countries involved in the "five-eyes" intelligence-sharing community -- the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
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  • Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Duchess Kate is due to give birth to her third child in a few short weeks and royal baby watch is officially beginning.The Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital, where Kate delivered Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Monday issued parking suspensions around the hospital and started erecting barriers for the thousands of media, TV crews, photographers and well-wishers expected to descend on the hospital when Kate goes into labor.Both Kensington Palace and St. Mary’s Hospital are doing what they can to ensure minimal disruption will take place at the hospital.Kensington Palace has not announced the Duchess of Cambridge’s due date but it is understood that the baby is expected around April 23.Prince William and Kate's new baby will join siblings George, who will turn 5 in July, and Charlotte, who turns 3 on May 2.Kate will have the same doctors who oversaw the delivery of Charlotte in 2015 with her in the delivery room for this child.Dr. Guy Thorpe Beeston, an obstetrician, and Sir Alan Farthing, surgeon gynecologist to Queen Elizabeth, will again lead the delivery, along with a number of midwives and other medical professionals.Here is what to know as Kate’s due date quickly approaches.How the baby's birth will be announcedWhen Kate gives birth, Queen Elizabeth and the royal family will be notified before a public announcement is made.In keeping with tradition, once the birth is announced, a statement will be 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 familyWhen 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.William and Kate's help at homeThe couple currently has a nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, who attended the prestigious Norland College in the U.K.It is expected they may hire a second nanny or assistant to help with the addition of their third child.Kate's maternity leaveKate’s third pregnancy was announced on September 4th, after she was forced to cancel an engagement. Kate was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe morning sickness, as she did with her previous two pregnancies.The diagnosis did not slow down her pace of royal engagements throughout her pregnancy.She attended her last royal engagement on March 22 and went to an Easter service with members of the royal family this month.Kate is expected to return to royal duties this fall after she takes some time off for maternity leave to spend time with her family . Kate is expected to still attend Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle on May 19th, provided her pregnancy remains on schedule.Kate joked in February that William was “in denial" about their third baby and William has spoken about his exhaustion from two young children.With George and Charlotte both currently attending school -- George at Thomas's Battersea and Charlotte at the Willcocks Nursery School, near Kensington Palace -- Kate and William will be able to enjoy some solo time with their new infant this time around.Delivery at the Lindo WingKate will have all the amenities of a five-star hotel inside the Lindo Wing, including freshly-prepared meals and afternoon tea service and champagne
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  • Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle don’t want every day wedding gifts like new china, a vase or a stand mixer as gifts from the public for their upcoming wedding.Instead, the couple – whose passion for humanitarian issues reportedly brought them together -- would like donations made to their favorite charities, Kensington Palace announced Monday.“Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill shown to them since the announcement of their engagement and are keen that as many people as possible benefit from this generosity of spirit,” the palace said in a statement. “The couple have therefore asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion considers making a donation to charity, rather than sending a wedding gift.”The couple, who will wed on May 19 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, identified seven charities for well-wishers to direct their donations to, if they are so inclined.Two of the charities -- the Children's HIV Association (CHIVA) and Crisis -- provide support for HIV and homelessness, two issues that Harry and his brother, Prince William, have actively supported in their own charitable work, carrying on the legacy of their mother, the late Diana Princess of Wales.The charities chosen by Markle and Harry also include Surfers Against Sewage, which focuses on marine conservation, to Scotty's Little Soldiers, which supports children who have lost a parent serving in the military, to the Myna Mahila Foundation, a charity focused on supporting women in Mumbai.Markle saw the work of the Myna Mahila Foundation firsthand when she visited the charity last year, and wrote about it in Time magazine.Neither Harry, 33, nor Markle, 36, have a formal relationship with any of the chosen charities, according to Kensington Palace.The palace announced last month that people who are involved in charitable work will also play a role on Harry and Markle's wedding day.Among the 2,640 people Harry and Markle plan to invite onto the grounds of Windsor Castle to see their wedding carriage procession depart will be 200 individuals who take part in charities and organizations of which Harry serves as royal patron.The other 2,440 members of the invited public will be selected from different regions of the U.K. with a special emphasis on those who have served their community, according to Kensington Palace.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABCNews.com(MOSCOW) -- Airstrikes on a major air base in central Syria on early Monday were allegedly carried out by Israeli jets, according to Russia's Defense Ministry.Russia said two Israeli F-15 jets launched eight guided rockets from Lebanese airspace, targeting T4 air base in Homs before Syrian air defenses managed to shoot down several of the rockets.Syrian state TV SANA reported that there had been casualties at the base, but Russia said no Russian military advisers were hurt in the attack.The airstrikes come a day after a suspected chemical attack in Douma, a rebel-held area near Damascus, over the weekend.Both the U.S. and France had threatened a response over the suspected use of chemical weapons, with President Donald Trump and President Emmanuel Macron issuing a statement on Sunday vowing to "coordinate a strong, joint response."However, both countries denied any involvement in the airstrikes early on Monday.“At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes inside Syria…. However we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable,” the Pentagon said in a statement.On Saturday night, activists and doctors in the town of Douma said that dozens of Syrians had been killed after a suspected gas attack near an opposition hospital.Images and videos, which cannot be independently verified, showed dozens of bodies, including children and women, many with foam streaming from the nose and mouth.Footage shot inside a hospital where people exposed to the attack showed children and men shaking and having apparent seizures.Doctors at the hospital told journalists via WhatsApp that as well as spasms and secretions from the mouth and nose, they had also treated patients with miosis, or constriction of the pupil, all of which are symptoms consistent with exposure to nerve agents.On Sunday, Trump tweeted in response to the reports of the alleged chemical attack on Douma, saying Russia and Iran were responsible for backing “Animal Assad” and warning there would be a “big price to pay.”He also called for the area to be immediately open to humanitarian and medical assistance to treat the wounded.In February, Israel confirmed it had carried out a raid over Syria, in a rare admission of action.The airstrikes targeted Syrian air defenses and resulted in an Israeli jet being downed during the mission, after an Iranian drone was launched into Israeli territory, according to Israeli Air Force Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar.The pilots of the downed jet were able to parachute to safety before the craft crashed in northern Israel, Bar said.The raid was “the most significant attack” since the 1982 Lebanon War, according to Bar.Israel is said to have carried out around 200 airstrikes on Hezbollah and Syrian targets inside Syria since the start of the war, according to The New Yorker’s Robin Wright. The vast majority aren’t officially claimed by the Israeli military.On April 4, 2017, a suspected chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, a rebel-held town in Idlib province, killed more than 100 Syrians and injured many more.Two days later, Trump ordered an attack on the Syrian military base from which the chemical weapons were believed to have been launched. Fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles launched from U.S. Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea targeted the Shayrat Air Base in Homs.Speaking after the Khan Sheikhoun attack, Trump condemned the use of chemical weapons and blamed his predecessor, President Barack Obama.“These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution…. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a 'red line' against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing.”
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) - -The Pentagon is denying claims by Syrian state television that the United States launched missile strikes against an air base in western Syria.Syrian state television reported late Sunday night that there were explosions heard at the T4 air base outside of Homs and blamed the U.S. for the apparent attack.Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA, later reported that Syrian air defenses had shot down eight Tomahawk missiles.Several U.S. officials initially said the press reports from Syria about a U.S. missile attack were false.The Pentagon later issued an official statement denying the reports of airstrikes in Syria."At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting airstrikes in Syria. However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable," said the Pentagon statement.A U.S. official told ABC News that the U.S. intelligence community is assessing the alleged chemical attack.The Pentagon's denial followed speculation that the U.S. was considering military action after reports of an apparent chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma on Saturday that killed dozens of civilians.Earlier on Sunday morning, President Donald Trump had tweeted that Syria would have a “big price to pay” for the alleged attack and labeled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as an “animal.”It was a year ago this week that Trump ordered Tomahawk missile strikes at a Syrian base in Syria days after a Sarin gas attack by the Assad regime that killed 100 civilians and injured hundreds more. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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