Prince William’s children get starring roles at brother’s wedding

Britain’s Prince William walks with Prince George and Princess Charlotte (AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Prince William’s children get starring roles at brother’s wedding

  • All the bridesmaids will be children after Megan Markle failed to chose between her friends
  • George and Charlotte also acted as page boy and flower girl at last year’s wedding of Pippa Middleton, sister of his mother Kate

LONDON: Britain’s Prince Harry and his US fiancee Meghan Markle have chosen George and Charlotte, the children of the royal’s elder brother Prince William, to be among the bridesmaids and page boys for their wedding, his office said on Wednesday.
Also selected for the much-anticipated event at Windsor Castle on Saturday are the couple’s goddaughters and godson, and the children of one of her best friends.
Harry’s office said last week that all the bridesmaids would be children and that Markle had decided not to have a maid of honor because she could not choose between her friends.
Princess Charlotte, 3, will be joined as a bridesmaid by Florence van Cutsem, 3, and Zalie Warren, 2, Harry’s goddaughters; Remi and Rylan Litt, 6 and 7, who are Markle’s goddaughters; and Ivy Mulroney, the 4-year-old daughter of her friend Jessica Mulroney.
Mulroney’s sons Brian and John Mulroney, both 7, will also join Prince George as a page boy along with Harry’s godson Jasper Dyer, 6.
While George, 4, and Charlotte will have roles in the ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor, their younger brother Prince Louis, who was born last month, will not be attending, Kensington Palace has confirmed.
George and Charlotte also acted as page boy and flower girl at last year’s wedding of Pippa Middleton, sister of his mother Kate, to financier James Matthews.
Bridesmaid Florence van Cutsem also provides a link to William and Kate’s own wedding. Van Cutsem’s cousin Grace, William’s goddaughter, was a bridesmaid at their ceremony in 2011.


Unmapped roads raise risk to Southeast Asian rainforests — study

An aerial photo of a road running through an palm plantation in Dumai, Riau, Sumatra island, Indonesia. (Antara Foto/Rony Muharrman/via REUTERS/File)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Unmapped roads raise risk to Southeast Asian rainforests — study

  • Researcher Alice Hughes found that roads have penetrated areas previously considered untouched and unreachable by vehicles.
  • An average of 75 percent of roads in five countries were missing from OpenStreetMap (OSM), a mapping platform widely used by researchers and academics.

KUALA LUMPUR: Forests in parts of Southeast Asia face greater threats than previously thought because researchers often rely on data that ignores new roads, which are precursors to deforestation and development, a study shows.
The paper, published this month by the journal Biological Conservation, showed that an average of 75 percent of roads in five countries were missing from OpenStreetMap (OSM), a mapping platform widely used by researchers and academics.
“Large-scale forest clearance is preceded by the growth of road networks, which provide a stark warning for the region’s future,” the study said.
Author Alice Hughes, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, studied a total of 277,281 square kilometers by analyzing satellite images and maps showing forest loss and coverage, as well as agriculture concessions.
She found that roads have penetrated areas previously considered untouched and unreachable by vehicles.
“We are deluding ourselves that we still have large tracts of inaccessible, pristine forest, when the reality is highly-fragmented, very accessible forests,” Hughs said on Friday.
Her research examined road networks in parts of Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
“In some parts of the region, up to 99 percent of roads on those global maps, which are used as the basis for a huge amount of further analysis, are not included,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Deforestation and development of forests in the area studied have occurred at a rapid pace since 2000, said Hughes, while maps used by researchers do not regularly update their road data.
“Most of the time these roads are just providing access to forests and up to 99 percent of deforestation is within 2.5 km of road,” she said. “They are clearly the access method.”
She added that the region urgently needs better protection and enforcement for its remaining forests.
Indonesia, which is the world’s biggest palm oil producer, introduced a forest clearing moratorium in 2011 to help reduce deforestation.
Hughes said the ban should be expanded beyond just land designated as natural, untouched primary forest to include all high biodiversity forests.
Hughes’ research methodology should be used to determine whether the same patterns exist in other parts of the world, said Christopher Martius, team leader for climate change at the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research.
“It is surprising that nobody ever did that before, and it is shocking that the result shows we grossly underestimated the possible threat to tropical forests from road building,” he said by email.