Morning briefing: 8 stories from around the world

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. Photo / AP
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. Photo / AP

1 Trudeau's wife criticised

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife is being attacked by opposition parties and on social media for wanting extra staff to help manage her official duties. Sophie Gregoire was quoted last week in the Quebec City newspaper Le Soleil as saying she feels overwhelmed by the crush of requests from groups that either invite her to speak or ask her to help promote their causes. Gregoire, 41, a former television host in Quebec, pointed out that she only has one aide to help manage her official duties, noting she must also find time to raise her three young children. Conservative MP Jason Kenney noted that Laureen Harper, the previous Prime Minister's wife, never complained about her duties. Conservative MP Candice Bergen wondered how the Government could hire more staff for Gregoire when there are Canadian families struggling to make ends meet. And Leftist New Democrat MP Niki Ashton said in Parliament it shows how out of touch the governing Liberals are with the realities that working women face today. The hashtags #PrayForSophie, #SophieStrong, and #JeSuisSophie are appearing on Twitter.

2 Natural disasters a $232 trillion problem

The World Bank is warning cities around the world are unprepared for fast-increasing risks from extreme weather and other hazards, which is compounded by population growth and surging migration. By 2050, 1.3 billion people and US$158 trillion ($232 trillion) in assets will be affected by worsening river and coastal floods alone, warns a new report on Monday prepared by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), managed by the World Bank.

3 First US penis transplant

A 64-year-old cancer patient has received America's first penis transplant, a groundbreaking operation that may also help some of the US veterans maimed by roadside bombs. In a case that represents the latest frontier in the growing field of reconstructive transplants, Thomas Manning of Halifax, Massachusetts, is faring well after the 15-hour operation last week, Massachusetts General Hospital said. His doctors said they are cautiously optimistic that Manning eventually will be able to urinate normally and function sexually again for the first time since aggressive penile cancer led to the amputation of his genitals in 2012. Only one other patient, in South Africa, has a transplanted penis.

4 Calf dies after tourists intervene

A bison calf that tourists loaded into their vehicle at Yellowstone National Park because they were concerned for its welfare could not be reunited with its herd and had to be euthanised, park officials said, as they reasserted the importance of avoiding wildlife.The incident last week and several other recent cases led to fresh warnings that park rules require visitors to stay at least 25m from all wildlife and 100m from bears and wolves.V isitors brought the newborn calf to a park facility on May 10, which officials called a dangerous move because adult bison are protective and will attack to defend their young. Rangers took the animal back to where it was picked up, but they could not get it back with the herd after several tries.

5 Dangers of spillage to reef

A large coal spillage on the Great Barrier Reef would kill coral and stunt the growth of fish and seagrass, a new study suggests. Scientists say their research demonstrates the likely effects of a coal tanker accident on the World Heritage listed reef. Researchers exposed a range of marine species to varying levels of coal dust, and found coral subjected to the highest concentrations died within two weeks. Corals exposed to lower concentrations of coal lasted longer, but most of them also died after a month. Some fish and seagrass also died but the coal dust mostly stunted their growth by half compared to those in clean water. The study, by scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, has been published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

6 Baby born after mum dies in crash

Missouri doctors managed to deliver a baby whose mother was killed in a crash on her way to a hospital to give birth. Sarah Ile and the baby's father, Matt Rider, were headed last Thursday from Cape Girardeau, where they lived, to a hospital in Poplar Bluff when his SUV was struck by a tractor trailer. The collision pushed the SUV into the median, and Iler and Rider were ejected. Upon arriving at the scene, officers began performing CPR on Iler in an attempt to save her and the baby, but Iler was declared dead upon arrival at a Cape Girardeau hospital. Doctors, though, performed an emergency cesarean section and delivered her daughter, Maddyson.D octors don't yet know if she suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen after her mother's death, relatives said. Matt Rider suffered extensive injuries but is recovering.

7 Good news for Greece

Greece expects a record 27 million tourists this northern summer, raising hopes that the holidaymakers will give a much-needed boost to the country's struggling economy. Secretary General of Communications Lefteris Kretsos told reporters during a trip to New York that, despite continued austerity measures and the flow of migrants, Greece was hoping that the number of tourists would surpass the 26.5 million visitors it attracted last year. "Twenty-seven million is a big target - it's a milestone," Kretsos said. "There are also estimates that it will be higher, something like 27.5 [million]."

8 Quake survivors still struggle

A month after a devastating earthquake flattened the Ecuadorian beach town of Pedernales, people are still living in tarp shelters and schools remain closed. Just a third of the rubble has been swept from the streets. Some of those whose homes were wrecked survive by scavenging through the debris and panhandling. And some go hungry. Officials deployed a giant flag over the town to commemorate those who died in the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that killed 660 and initially left tens of thousands homeless. Aid poured in from around the world, but officials say more than 7000 people remain without a home.

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