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If Kate Has Twins, Which One Will Assume the Throne?

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Britons woke up yesterday morning to gleeful headlines declaring that the former Kate Middleton, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant. It was, of course, something British tabloids already knew—every time the Duchess turned down a glass of wine in favor of water or happened to rest her hand on her stomach, she was instantly and obviously pregnant.

But this time around, she actually is. However, the happy couple was forced to explain to the salivating British press much earlier than they had wanted to after Kate, possibly between six and eight weeks pregnant, was rushed to hospital with severe morning sickness. And that’s got everyone speculating in a totally new direction—could she possibly be having twins?

The medical term for what Kate’s going through is “hyperemesis gravidarum,” and it's typically caused by an uptick in baby-growing hormones; it’s also more common among women who are pregnant with multiples. However, The Daily Mail, normally one of Britain’s most excitable tabloids, had to go and rain on everyone’s baby parade when it cautioned that only a “tiny excess” of women who deal with the condition actually go on to have multiples. (So maybe hold off on buying those “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” onesies.)

But it could still happen—and in the event that Kate does have twins, or even triplets, who gets to ascend the throne? According to Josh Voorhies at Slate, “it'll be a flat-out race down the royal birth canal”—meaning that whoever gets born first gets the crown. Voorhies also highlighted that under Britain’s new succession laws, it doesn’t matter if the firstborn is a boy or a girl; British Commonwealth leaders agreed in 2011 that males and females have equal rights to the throne.

But there’s another wrinkle! According to Britain’s NHS, just about half of the twins and nearly all of the triplets born in the UK were delivered via caesarian section—so the future King or Queen of England could actually come down to doctor’s choice.

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Animals
Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air
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Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.

 

As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]

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