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A woman with her baby in Wuhan, China, on Monday. Photo: Getty Images

China's government announced Monday it is relaxing strict family planning restrictions and allowing couples to have three children each, per an official Xinhua post translated by Channel News Asia.

Why it matters: The ruling Chinese Communist Party lifted the two-children-per-parents limit in order to counter an aging population and falling birth rate that has raised concerns about the country's economic future.

The big picture: The government imposed a repressive one-child policy to slow population growth in 1979.

  • It eased the limit on couples to two children in 2016, but Census figures released earlier this month showed the country had recorded its slowest population growth for over half a century.

Go deeper: China's population woes

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Under-18 population in U.S. declined by 1 million over last decade

Young people look at a phone in Times Square in New York City in October 2020. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

The Census Bureau counted 1.1 million fewer people under the age of 18 in last year's census than it did in 2010's tally, according to new data released Thursday.

Why it matters: The decrease in the U.S.' under-age-18 population reflects a general decrease in fertility and the fact that the country, overall, is growing older.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.