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Meet the women helping fill Russia’s rural healthcare gap

In vast, sprawling Russia, many people still live in small villages far from the nearest medical clinic. The government has been busy “optimising” medical care, a euphemism for the closure of thousands of rural hospitals and clinics, to save cash. The situation has got worse in recent years, so now one region has taken matters into its own hands. Dozens of older people, mostly women, have been training as first-aiders and offering emergency care to their neighbours. Sarah Rainsford has been to meet some of them, in villages near Saransk…

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Helping people with a learning disability to find love

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAlison and Michael go on dates that their mothers help organise A couple who both have Down’s syndrome have spoken about how their relationship has thrived thanks to the support of their families. Alison Williams, 35, and Michael Gallagher, 31, from Anglesey, have been together for 12 years after meeting at a sports club. Support group Mencap Cymru said people with learning disabilities have the right to meaningful relationships. It urged carers to help them and not to be “frightened”. For Alison…

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The robot helping a seven-year-old boy go to school

A seven-year-old boy with leukaemia is using a robot to take part in lessons at school. Sam’s weak immune system means he can’t be in the classroom, so the AV1 robot acts as his eyes, ears, voice and hands. A new government funded initiative is aiming to help children with long-term illnesses to participate in school lessons from home. Sam’s mum Jude told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Perhaps most importantly for Sam, it’s knowing what’s going on during school without getting any germs. And just not feeling left out. Feeling…

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Helping teenagers beat the blues

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Teenagers on the Blues programme are encouraged to get out more Go for a walk, speak to your friends face-to-face, go and visit your grandma. It might sound like common sense, but this is some of the advice being offered to UK teenagers who are showing early signs of anxiety, low mood or poor self-esteem. “When we were young, we used to play in the street, in the woods, we were falling out of trees, playing in the stream, catching fish with our bare…

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Dad’s comfort doll ‘helping him fly for 43 years’

Image copyright Lesley Grashow Image caption James packs his comfort doll in his case before flying off to visit his daughter When Zoe was five years old she made her dad a doll. The doll was lovingly produced so that dad James Grashow, who is afraid of flying, had something to hold onto when he went on a plane. Forty-three years on, and he has taken the doll with him on every flight he has boarded since. Speaking of the doll, James said: “I believe in magic and there is…

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Dakar Rally: Sam Sunderland wins stage after helping hurt rival Paulo Goncalves

Sam Sunderland is second overall in the Dakar Rally, which consists of 10 stages and is held in Peru British motorcyclist Sam Sunderland was promoted to stage five winner on the Dakar Rally after stopping to help a fallen rider. The 29-year-old lost more than 10 minutes while he tended to Portugal’s Honda rider Paulo Goncalves. Sunderland finished in 14th, more than seven minutes behind Frenchman Xavier de Soultrait. But stewards gave him back the time he spent with Goncalves, meaning he became stage winner and lies second overall. Sunderland…

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Are podcasts helping to solve crimes?

Image copyright SUPPLIED Image caption Lynette Dawson, a mother of two, was last seen in 1982 On paper it was an old story, told many times over the years. In the early 1980s, Sydney housewife and mother-of-two Lynette Dawson suddenly disappeared. Over the next 30 years, police searched fruitlessly for her. But now, exactly 37 years after her husband Chris Dawson said he last saw her, investigators may finally be closer to finding out the truth. Last month, police finally made an arrest in the case: Lynette’s husband. He has…

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How Vancouver is helping opioid addicts

In the past two years, more than 8,000 people in Canada have lost their lives due to opioid overdoses. In Vancouver, the downtown east side is the epicentre of the problem, and much of the area’s drug is supply tainted with the powerful synthetic opioid Fentanyl. But under the city’s unusual approach to the problem, users can access supervised injection sites, which allow people to use illegal drugs with trained staff present. The BBC’s Jeremy Cooke reports on how the city is treating its opioid epidemic as a public health…

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On the streets of Birmingham helping homeless pets

Image caption Shadow, pictured with her owner Jonathan Wall, have been helped by Street Vet in Birmingham When a beloved pet becomes ill, most of us don’t think twice about taking them to the vet. But what if you are homeless and can’t afford the bills – where do you go for help? When eight-year-old Shadow was attacked by two dogs in the summer, she suffered a nasty bite to her stomach. Her owner, Jonathan Wall, said within two days it got infected and developed an abscess. Being homeless at…

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Man Utd: Paul Pogba thanks Jose Mourinho for helping him ‘improve as a person’

Paul Pogba (left) won the League Cup and Europa League under Jose Mourinho Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has thanked former boss Jose Mourinho for helping him “improve as a person”. Mourinho was sacked on Tuesday after two and a half years as Red Devils manager, with reports his relationship with Pogba was problematic. Pogba was part of the United side that won the League Cup and Europa League during Mourinho’s first season. “We won trophies with Jose and I want to thank him for that,” he said. “He makes…

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