Lost dogs: The team reuniting pooches with their owners

From detecting the faint barking of pups stuck in quarries to finding spooked dogs who’ve bolted through fireworks, this team of dog rescuers rarely has a dull day. Missing Dogs Team Wales has helped hundreds of pets during the pandemic.
Jill, who works in a team of about nine volunteers, said it can be a 24/7 job.
“It’s that intense. There were more dogs last year than in seven, and already in January there are many stolen again.”
The team scans social media for posts about lost dogs, and contacts owners for details.
“The first thing we do is take the details and give advice about scenting, so putting unwashed laundry on the line for the dog to pick up that scent. Bedding, and especially pillow cases, is very effective.”
Nine times out of 10, Jill says, this approach works – even in coastal areas or up on mountains, the team finds dogs are able to find their way home from this simple action.
But if it doesn’t work, it’s time to check with the owner whether the dog has a microchip and ensure their contact information is up to date.
Then, it’s time for posters and social media – ideally all still within 24 hours of the dog going missing.
“We keep in touch with the owners throughout, and if it’s close to home for one of us we will join in the search, although that’s harder with Covid restrictions,”
Jill said.
They focus on areas where there have been sightings, and can set up cameras to see if the dog is still in that area.
“I go out with Swedish meatballs, no dog can resist that,” she added.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-55544536

Singapore: Why these defiant ‘nail house’ owners refuse to sell

It is hard to miss the two little houses sitting defiantly in the middle of the Singapore building site. It’s instantly reminiscent of the award-winning cartoon Up, the Pixar film which tells the tale of an old man who refuses to move from his home as towering
blocks of flats rise around him. Indeed, the owners of these two homes are just as determined to stay put, refusing offers reportedly worth millions to move elsewhere.
But unlike the cartoon hero, who eventually floats off to a new life, the owners of these houses – dubbed “nail houses”, as they refuse to be hammered down – are going nowhere.
‘I can’t find such a house’
“I won’t sell it no matter how much money the other party offers,” the 60-year-old owner of 54 Lorong 28 Geylang told local media outlet Shin Min.
“I turned the open space in front of a house into the garden. I have potted plants, I raise fish and birds and sit here in the morning as the city wakes up.
“I can’t find such a house now. It’s a freehold land that belongs to us.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55312871

Disability and dating: ‘Why do people think I’m my boyfriend’s carer?

Hannah and Shane
The couple, who live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, tell BBC Three that the knee-jerk response reflects how misinformed many people still are towards disability and dating.
“Our society tells us that disabled people aren’t worthy partners,” she says. “There’s almost no positive representation of disability or dating with a disability in our media, so many people think that disabled people couldn’t possibly be in a healthy, wonderful relationship.
“This means when they see Shane and I, they invent conspiracy theories to try to reconcile our relationship with what they’ve been taught.”

Charlie and Gina
Fast-forward three years. When we’re out, I’ve got used to the shocked, sympathy look I get when I mention my boyfriend is a wheelchair user or that I
have to assist him with certain tasks. People say, “that must be a lot for you… I bet it was difficult to decide whether you wanted to move forward with the relationship.”
The answer, bluntly, is no. I always reply with a compliment to Charlie or explain that no, I am not in a burdensome one-way relationship, but rather with
him because he is an amazing, loving and caring person. I think a lot of the misunderstanding comes from people believing that helping a disabled person can only be a chore – the duty of a paid friend or assistant. What they fail to understand is that, actually, when I help Charlie, it doesn’t weaken the relationship and take the love away. If anything it heightens it. I never use the word carer for this reason, I am Charlie’s partner through everything.

Lorna and Rob
I’ve been with Rob for 11 years, and married for four. We’d been together for about seven years when I was diagnosed with ME, which causes severe fatigue
and leaves me often using a wheelchair and housebound most of the time.
It also means Rob has to help me with some personal care, such as showering and other day-to-day tasks.
I would say it absolutely brought us closer as a couple, and continues to do so. I think care within a relationship, although often tricky to navigate,
can be so intimate.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/3fd6b74d-e71e-4327-b2f7-3257e6a3c1ea

‘My new life with a stranger’s face

Eight years ago, Robert Chelsea sustained third-degree burns on more than half of his body when his car was hit by a drunk driver. In 2019, he became the first ever African American recipient of a full-face transplant.
This is a story of his recovery, a remarkable test of faith, identity and character.
Since the first partial face transplant was performed in 2005, there have been less than 50 worldwide. According to federal data, in 2015 17% of black patients awaiting an organ transplant received one, compared to 30% of white patients.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-55578090

Making waves: the hit Indian island radio station leading climate conversations

Mari, 33, and her friends and family all unfailingly tune into Kadal Osai
on 90.4FM, India’s first local radio station for a fishing community.
With guests including from older people from the villages sharing their fishing wisdom or chatting about the climate crisis, the station has become an
integral part of local life, featuring gossip, jokes, old songs and news on fish prices and sea conditions. Gayathri Usman, head of Kadal Osai, fell in
love with the station when she visited the area, and stayed on to run it.
“Our shows are popular because they are entertaining, useful, and, more importantly, in a local dialect of Tamil that the fishing community understands
and finds comfort in,” she says.
Started by businessman Armstrong Fernando, himself from a fishing family, Kadal Osai (“the sound of the ocean” in Tamil) began in August 2016 with just
a few hours of transmission daily, before going full-time in 2019. Alongside updates on weather, marine affairs and fish prices, advice on safe and sustainable
fishing and the preservation of coral reefs, the station also conducts on and off-air workshops on the climate crisis and biodiversity.
On the fringes of India’s mainland, across the water from Sri Lanka, Pamban and the surrounding 20 islands and coral reefs are part of the richly biodiverse Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, and home to 47 hamlets of the indigenous Marakeyars, engaged in fishing for centuries.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jan/07/making-waves-the-hit-indian-island-radio-station-leading-climate-conversationshttps://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jan/07/making-waves-the-hit-indian-island-radio-station-leading-climate-conversationshttps://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jan/07/making-waves-the-hit-indian-island-radio-station-leading-climate-conversations

A new exhibition shines a light on the long-running collective of photographers who started documenting black culture in the 60s and haven’t stopped since

om-wean-yeh) collective all started in 1963, when a group of 14 black New York photographers came together to form a group, to
trade skills and offer critiques to one another. They chose “Kamoinge,” as it means “a group of people acting together” in Kenya’s Gikuyu language. They
worked to tell black stories by depicting black communities, from local neighbors to superstars, and saw their rise around the same time as the Black Arts
Movement. Kamoinge photographer
Adger Cowans,
who is 84, always believed the group could show the truth of black lives,
more so than an outsider.
The goal has always been to “show people in a positive light”.
A selection of over 100 photos by the group are on view in a survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York called
Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop,
which runs until 28 March.
“The 1960s and 1970s were a time of social unrest, as ours is at this point,” said Whitney curator Carrie Springer
“Looking at how they centered their artwork on depicting the community as they experienced it is inspiring, at a time like now,” said Springer. “Their
self-organizing work in their community represents an individual and collective truth, one which is focused on the power art can have in communities.”
(this traveling exhibition from the
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
is curated by Sarah Eckhardt)

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/jan/07/the-kamoinge-legacy-black-photographers-changed-game

Motor neurone disease: The man losing his voice, but singing an opera

Paul Jameson was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) three years ago, and is quickly losing his voice.
But with the help of professional baritone, Roderick ‘Roddy’ Williams, he’s performing his own opera, called Paul’s Aria.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-55552195

Stuck in Taiwan, a Brit spearheads campaign to clean up river

Covid-19 has trapped British national Peter Lowe in Taiwan for months. So, with time on his hands, he decided to get a boat.
But what was meant to be a fun way to get to see the region’s nature and wildlife up close has turned into a quest to clear the water, river banks and
mangrove forests of plastic.
His efforts have now inspired local volunteers to join and even the authorities have taken notice and are helping with the clean-up campaign.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-55433589

US doctor forgives $650,000 in medical bills for cancer patients

A US oncologist has wiped out nearly $650,000 worth of debts for 200 cancer patients after realising that many of them were struggling to pay.
Dr Omar Atiq closed his cancer treatment centre in Arkansas last year after nearly 30 years in business.
He worked with a debt collection firm to gather outstanding payments, but then realised many families had been hit hard financially by the pandemic.
Over Christmas, he wrote to patients telling them any debts would be erased.
“Over time I realised that there are people who just are unable to pay,”
Dr Atiq told ABC’s Good Morning America.
“So my wife and I, as a family, we thought about it and looked at forgiving all the debt. We saw that we could do it and then just went ahead and did it.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55544496

Conjoined twins ‘learning to stand’ for Cardiff school

When they were born Marieme and Ndeye Ndiaye were not expected to live for more than a few days.
But the conjoined twins are now “learning to stand” and are settling into their new Cardiff school.
Now four, the girls, who have separate hearts and spines but share a liver, bladder and digestive system, are being introduced to a special frame which
gives them the experience of being upright.
At children’s hospice Ty Hafan in Sully, Vale of Glamorgan, the frame is being used to help build strength in their legs.
The hope is that the stand can be used while they are at school to allow them more freedom.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-wales-55535410