Made In Chelsea's Toff: Reality TV stars do have brains – BBC News

BBC News

Made In Chelsea's Toff: Reality TV stars do have brains
BBC News
Mimi explains that since joining the show, she has taken a course in marketing and studied guides on blogging and advertising in an attempt to make her online space something positive and empowering for others. "My demographic is a lot of girls who are

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Trekking through mud, rivers and jungle to provide free medical care

Yaounde, Cameroon (CNN)For 21 years, Georges Bwelle watched his ill father slip in and out of consciousness, traveling to hospitals that weren’t equipped to help him.

Jamef Bwelle was injured in a 1981 car accident near Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital. He suffered only a broken arm at first, but an infection developed and spread to his brain, creating a hematoma that would affect him for the rest of his life.

    “There were no neurosurgeons in Cameroon,” Georges Bwelle said. “We would have taken him out of Cameroon if we had the money.”

    Lack of options

    Instead, Bwelle spent years escorting his father to overcrowded clinics and hospitals, getting whatever treatment they could get.

    “It’s not easy,” Bwelle said. “You can leave home at 5 a.m., running to the hospital to be the first, and you are not the first. There (are) a lot of patients. … Some people can die because they are waiting.”

    The situation hasn’t changed much since Bwelle’s father passed away in 2002.

    In Cameroon, there is only one doctor for every 5,000 people, according to the World Health Organization. For comparison’, the ratio in the United States is one doctor for every 413 people.

    And even if they could see a physician, many Cameroonians couldn’t afford it. Two out of five people in the country live below the poverty line, and nearly three-quarters of the country’s health-care spending is private.

    “The only problem they have is poverty,” Bwelle said. “And with poverty, they … cannot enjoy their life.”

    Seeing his father and so many of his countrymen suffer, Bwelle was determined to do something about it.

    He became a doctor himself, working as a vascular surgeon in Yaounde’s Central Hospital.

    He also started a nonprofit, ASCOVIME, which travels into rural areas on weekends to provide free medical care. Since 2008, he and his group of volunteers have helped nearly 32,000 people.

    Almost every Friday, he and up to 30 people jam into vans, tie medical supplies to the roofs and travel across rough terrain to visit villages in need.

    Their luck, however, doesn’t always hold out.

    They’ve had to push vehicles through rivers and mud more than once. But when they arrive, they receive a true heroes’ welcome: a feast, singing and dancing, and the best accommodations the community can offer.

    In these villages, free medical care is truly a cause for celebration, and Bwelle — with his big smile and boundless energy — is more than happy to join in the fun.

    The next morning, the team begins meeting with hundreds of patients.

    High demand

    “We are receiving 500 people in each trip,” Bwelle said. “They are coming from 60 kilometers (37 miles) around the village, and they’re coming on foot.”

    Each of these weekend clinics provides a variety of medical care. Many people are treated for malaria, tuberculosis, malnutrition, diabetes, parasites and sexually transmitted diseases. Others might receive crutches, a pair of donated eyeglasses or free birth certificates — documentation that’s required for school but that many impoverished families simply can’t afford.

    In the evenings, the team will do simple surgeries with local anesthesia. Operations are usually done in a schoolhouse, town hall or home; after the procedure, patients get up and walk to the recovery area to make way for the next person.


    With the group’s generator lighting the operating room and sanitizing equipment, Bwelle and his volunteers work into the early hours of Sunday morning. It’s a backbreaking pace, but village musicians usually help keep the team motivated.

    “They are beating drums all the night to (keep us) awake and continue our work,” Bwelle said.

    On Sunday, the team heads back to the city, tired but proud of their work. The group — a mix of Cameroonian doctors and foreign medical students — has performed 700 free surgeries in the past year, and they know that their help can make a world of difference to those they help.

    One man explained that the free hernia surgery he’d received will allow him to work again.

    “This will change my future with my family,” the man said.

    In addition to holding these weekend clinics and working as a hospital surgeon, Bwelle also works nights at private medical clinics around Yaounde. It’s this second job, he said, that funds about 60% of his nonprofit; the rest is covered by private donations.

    “I’m not sure when he sleeps,” said Katie O’Malley, a second-year medical student from Drexel University in Philadelphia and volunteer with Bwelle’s group. “He is always either at the hospital or trying to make money for the organization so he can go on these campaigns.”

    For medical and nursing students such as O’Malley, who come from the United States and Europe to join Bwelle on his missions, it’s a hands-on opportunity they’d never get at home.

    “We’ve been able to scrub in on surgeries where we help blot blood away or hold tools for Dr. Bwelle,” O’Malley said. “That’s not something you’d ever get to do in America as a second-year medical student.”

    The student volunteers usually pay their own way to Cameroon, often arriving with donated medical supplies. But once they arrive in Yaounde, their board, transportation and instruction are covered by Bwelle.

    “He’s a hero, without a doubt,” O’Malley said. “He gives his life to this organization, and his desire to help the Cameroon people is everlasting.”

    For Bwelle, the near-constant workload isn’t a hardship. Helping others live happier lives, fulfilling a promise he made to his father, is something that brings him great joy.

    “I am so happy when I am doing this work,” Bwelle said. “And I think about my father. I hope he sees what I am doing.

    “To make people laugh, to reduce the pain, that’s why I’m doing this.”

    Want to get involved? Check out the ASCOVIME website and see how to help.

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    Snapchat’s new Snap Store teases in-app commerce potential

    Snap Inc. just launched a merchandise store. The goal isn’t to make money yet, but it proves the potential for an in-app commerce platform for other brands.

    Today the company opened the Snap Store, which lives in the Snapchat app’s Discover section and lets you buy Snapchat merchandise, like a $20 Dancing Hot Dog Plushie or a $30 Dog Lens T-Shirt. You can scan the Snap Code below with the Snapchat camera to open the store and buy exclusive items that will only be available for a limited time. Click here on mobile to open the in-app store.

    This isn’t designed to be a serious revenue stream for Snap Inc., though, despite it missing revenue targets last quarter. A Snapchat spokesperson gave no official comment, but told me this is something the company does for its community. Essentially, it’s a way to drive brand loyalty, though it also earns Snap some free marketing as people wear the gear.

    But if Snap can use its own Snap Store to prove the potential for in-app e-commerce, it could potentially develop a real revenue stream around charging brands a cut of what they sell on Snapchat or getting them to buy ads promoting their stores.

    Snapchat has previously sold a few items, like a Ghostface Chillah backpack and Dancing Hot Dog Halloween costume on Amazon, and it sold its Spectacles camera sunglasses through its Snap Bots, pop-up shops, retail partnerships and online. But now Snap is running its own sales of the third-party manufactured merchandise, and appears to have pulled everything but Spectacles off of Amazon.

    Users can visit the Snap Store’s site for the Snapcode (also below), and subscribe when they first open the in-app store to see it pop up in the Discover section when new items become available. The next product drop happens on February 8th. We got tipped off to the store’s launch by reader Moshe Isaacian.

    The current product offerings are:

    • Dancing Hot Dog Plush Doll: $19.99
    • Streak Hat: $29.99
    • Winkface Sweatshirt: $49.99
    • Dog Lens Tee: $29.99
    • Bring Back Best Friends Sweatshirt: $49.99

    It would have to sell a ton of these to make any dent in the revenue expectations Wall Street places on the company to justify its $16.7 billion market cap. Still, after a great morning for its share price following Facebook announcing its first-ever decline in U.S. users yesterday and its slowest-ever user growth, investors push $Snap higher on news of the store’s launch.

    I bought a Dancing Hot Dog… for science. Check-out happens entirely within the app, and Snapchat prompts you to save your payment details. That means it could be building up a database of credit cards to facilitate future purchases. The fact that this was built by Snap product designer Trevor Denton, who previously worked on Starbucks’ coffee ordering app, signals that this isn’t just some throwaway project for the company.

    Commerce on mobile can be incredibly annoying. Between slow-loading websites, a paralyzing array of choices and having to punch in all your payment details, tons of users drop-off before they hit Buy. Snapchat could poise itself as a way for top brands to reach a premium teen audience in a way that makes shopping a seamless part of the social experience.

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    Trump’s ‘recalibration’ with Cuba could bring down the shutters once more

    President likely to announce a reset in US-Cuba relations, and young Cuban Americans say such a move would squander years of progress

    It has been 60 years since Alexa Ferrers grandparents fell in love on Havanas famous seafront esplanade, the Malecn but only three weeks since the third-generation Cuban American was finally able to visit her familys homeland and retrace their first romantic footsteps.

    Taking advantage of Barack Obamas relaxation of a half-century of travel restrictions, Ferrer, a student from Miami, spent 10 days in Cuba fulfilling her childhood dream, in an emotionally charged journey across the country that until recently would have been unthinkable.

    On Friday, however, if Donald Trump fulfils expectations by announcing a reversal of at least some of his predecessors conciliatory policies, the shutters could be closing once more.

    To Ferrer, in her fourth year of Latin American studies at the University of Florida, such a move would squander years of progress towards a normalisation of relations between the countries and rob many Cubans on the island their chance to rise above poverty.

    I realise this trip might no longer be possible for those like me, but its not about our selfish interest to travel, its more about the opportunity weve opened, said Ferrer, 21, who visited in May on a trip organised by Discover Cuba, the travel wing of Roots of Hope, a Miami-based advocacy group linking young Cuban Americans with Cubans on the island.

    Id be heartbroken if Im not allowed to travel but Id be way more heartbroken that someone whos been operating a casa particular or paladar would be shut out of business, she said, referring to the private bed and breakfasts and home restaurants that have flourished in recent years.

    These people are the rich ones now on the island. Our tourism has created a middle class that has not existed the way it is now, with the people that own casas particulares, paladars, or operate a taxi realising this is the avenue to make money.

    Ive just met all these incredible Cubans that are seeing success in their lives for the first time. Imagine how nervous they are. They dont deserve it.

    The White House has not yet released details of Trumps recalibration of US policy towards Cuba, but the president is widely expected to fulfil a pledge made on a campaign visit to Miami in September to follow a harder line to put pressure on Havana over human rights. Floridas Cuban American politicians, including Senator Marco Rubio and the US congressman Mario Daz-Balart, have worked with the administration to help shape the new direction.

    As well as rolling back Obamas relaxation of travel restrictions, which allowed American cruise ships and airlines to resume scheduled services to Cuba last year for the first time in more than 50 years, Trump is reported to also be considering moves to limit business opportunities for US companies.

    John Kavulich, president of the independent US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, warned that almost all US business in Cuba would be shut down if Trump imposed a ban on dealings with Gaesa, the economic wing of the countrys military government, which controls 60% of the islands economy, including state-owned hotels, restaurants, banks and gas stations.

    Such a move would place existing or planned deals with several major American hotel chains in immediate jeopardy.

    Trump is expected to make his announcement at Little Havanas Manuel Artime Theatre, a symbolically important venue named for the political leader of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in which Cuban exiles attempted to overthrow the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

    The embassies in Havana and Washington DC that reopened in 2015 are expected to be unaffected by Trumps policy shift, but his tightening of the relationship and reinforcing of the 50-year US-Cuba trade embargo will please many among Miamis hardline Cuban exile community who helped him win Florida and consequently the White House in Novembers presidential election.

    Various business and advocacy groups, however, including Human Rights Watch, remain opposed to any reining back. The previous administration was right to reject a policy that hurt ordinary Cubans and did nothing to advance human rights, said Daniel Wilkinson, HRWs managing director for the Americas.

    The fact that Obamas approach hasnt led to political reform in Cuba after just a few years isnt reason to return to a policy that proved a costly failure over many decades.

    Ferrer, meanwhile, said she understood the position of the hardliners. My grandfather trained for Bay of Pigs, his cousin served seven years as a political prisoner, and I come from a family where some members feel like they cant go back, she said.

    But you also have people like me, the third generations who are going back, and the people on the island, so excited and loving, the most generous people I ever met.

    People see what its like to have a middle class, to work for your money and become an entrepreneur. As soon as we build that wall back up, its going to weaken the private sector and open up the space for the state to take control again.

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    Loveland-based Bargain Bombshells helps couponers navigate deals – Loveland Reporter-Herald

    Loveland-based Bargain Bombshells helps couponers navigate deals
    Loveland Reporter-Herald
    "These people can reach out to me, and I'll connect with them." Ramirez figured she could do additional classes for free and now does them as live online videos twice a month, setting up her materials and supplies in her kitchen to better relate to her

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    Does the Jarvis Landry trade tell us anything about a potential Dez Bryant market? – Blogging The Boys (blog)

    Blogging The Boys (blog)

    Does the Jarvis Landry trade tell us anything about a potential Dez Bryant market?
    Blogging The Boys (blog)
    If you have a pulse there's a good chance that you were traded to the Cleveland Browns on Friday. Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor, Damarious Randall, it feels like the list is 100 players long. Whatever the case, good for the Brownies finding a way to

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    The glitz and the grit: Las Vegas homeless stake claim on the Strip

    As the city works hard to position itself as the ultimate luxury destination, its most impoverished residents complain of growing tensions with police

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    Bill About this content

    Behind some shrubs at the Wynn, Jackson can overhear drunken banter as high-heeled shoes go clapping past, and see the Strips glow reflected on clouds overhead. He expects to be shooed off the grounds before dawn. Tourists pay as much as $500 to golf at the resort, though some of their extravagance filters down.

    When Im here, said Jackson, his face scabbed and his long blonde hair chunky with dirt, me and whoever Im around eat better than Ive ever eaten in my life. People give leftovers from really expensive restaurants.

    about the series

    As a local saying goes, Las Vegas is a last chance city for last chance people, and hundreds of homeless people beg or perform along its most famous stretch of asphalt each day. But in recent years, the city has rebranded itself as a destination for luxury shopping and bottle-service clubs, and its homeless residents are wondering whether they have a place any more.

    Against a backdrop ofpalm trees, fountain shows and neon-lit resort bars, some dress up as levitating mystics, or collect beer cans from trash bins, or hold signs stating everything from requests for food to bizarre invitations to kick them in the groin for cash. By turns, the street is both glitzy and gritty, and the lives of its homeless inhabitants evoke stark contradictions.

    Jaime, a 23-year-old Utah woman, bowed her head behind a sign reading pregnant and homeless, anything helps in front of a mall with Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton stores inside. (Like others, she declined to give her last name.)

    During the coldest hours of the night, she said, she sleeps in a casino sportsbook while her boyfriend keeps an eye out for security. I only leave the Strip when I have to go to court, she added, noting that shes always on alert for the guys in neon yellow jackets officers on foot patrol.

    Joe, who is homeless, holds a sign asking for help as tourists take a selfie on the Strip in Las Vegas. Photograph: Rachel Aston for the Guardian

    Walt, a 52-year-old army veteran, was stationed in his wheelchair on a bridge between Caesars Palace and the Bellagio, two of the strips most palatial resorts. He wheels himself there every morning from the concrete flood wash that houses his tent, one of the many homeless people who live in the bowels of the city.

    Echoing Jackson, the man behind the bushes, he said: I actually eat better now that Im on the streets than I did when I had a house and was working. There was a box of Giordanos pizza by his side. As he spoke, a sign announcing his military service attracted a $5 bill.

    Thank you for your service, said the donor, a sunburnt man in a polo shirt. If you in fact did it.

    But as with other homeless people on the Strip, Walt says he has been feeling the arm of the law more aggressively. He claims he was jailed recently for obstructing the sidewalk with his wheelchair. Theyre trying to get all the homeless out of here by arresting people, he said.

    The police have indeed been focusing more attention on Las Vegas Boulevard as the city the focal point for the 6,200 homeless people tallied in the region during a recent count gets serious about making it a more walkable destination.

    There has been an effort to remove chronic nuisances from the Strip, such as panhandling and people sleeping on the sidewalk, said Las Vegas police spokesman Michael Rodriguez. The homeless tax the resorts resources as well. Security has to remove people who are sleeping in bushes, or deal with other nuisances like urinating in fountains or leaving trash behind.

    Six major resort companies declined to comment for this article. The police department defended the surge in nuisance citations by referring to its role in an alternative court system, the community impact court, which launched in January. In lieu of jail time, a judge there may direct homeless people to social services groups that specialize in things like housing assistance, job training or mental health treatment.

    Rodriguez said that the court provides homeless Las Vegans with resources that law enforcement isnt equipped to provide. As an officer at the scene, I cant help someone obtain their ID from Mississippi so they can get their social security check, or get psych meds they need because they have schizophrenia.

    The program coincides with a $5m investment to improve the pedestrian experience on Las Vegas Boulevard through wider sidewalks and relocated fire hydrants and street signs. It is also complemented by another courtroom initiative in a warehouse behind the Cosmopolitan casino that targets certain non-permanent obstructions, a bureaucratic euphemism for people who sell beer, water, and other black-market goods on the Strip.

    Karen Taylor waits on the Strip for handouts in Las Vegas. Photograph: Rachel Aston for the Guardian

    So far, these initiatives havent gone over well on the street. Next to a trio of young women taking a group selfie in front of the faux Eiffel tower, Joe, a bearded homeless man, said: Cops got nothing better to do than to come make us move. As a guitarist picked through a flamenco melody, Joes attitude darkened. Ive been through the program. Its just a way to keep tabs on us.

    Desmond Young, 20, paused from strumming a ukulele to say that getting barred from the Strip would devastate him. This is the only way I can make money unless I wanna go sell my body, or do something that might get me arrested. I cant help my family from jail. He, his mother and siblings live on the brink of homelessness in a weekly motel. When two young women approached from Planet Hollywood, he belted out impromptu hard-luck lyrics.

    For now, the Strips homeless inhabitants exist in an uneasy in-between state. Outside the Bellagio Fountain, where water streams twirled to a Three Tenors opera aria, Jesse, 44, put down a beer can to stand up and show off four police citations, symbolic of the new regime in town and its contentious way of reaching out. He fanned them like a poker hand.

    Ive got four queens! What do you got?

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    Dad Calls Out Breadwinner Husbands With Viral Post That Has Moms Everywhere Cheering AMEN!

    “The luxury of rest is a gift many men steal from their wives each weekend.”

    The old saying goes, “Man may work from sun to sun but woman’s work is never done.”

    While the progressing state of gender roles and women in the work force is shifting that mentality in the 21st century, it is a stereotype that one bold husband is trying to redefine once and for all with some godly wisdom.

    Facebook/Dale Partridge

    Even the Proverbs 31 description of the excellent wife has been misconstrued by some to mean the household duties rest solely on the woman who “rises also while it is still night” and whose “lamp does not go out at night.”

    She rises also while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night.

    Between soccer games, school lunches, doctors appointments, diaper changes and the never-ending to-do list, it’s no secret that moms have more than a full-time job on their hands. Many men assert that going out to make money while their wives take care of the kids is a fair trade, butDale Partridgebegs to differ.

    “Husbands, we are no more entitled to a restful weekend than our wives,” he wrote in his viral Facebook post, adding that “the luxury of rest is a gift many men steal from their wives each weekend.”

    Facebook/Dale Partridge

    Dale’swords have now traveled around the world, amassing over 170,000 likes and shares.

    Most importantly, his powerful message about shattering the cultural standard of the 40-hour work week to share in his wife’s daily burdens is charging men everywhere to rise to the challenge:

    She spends all week serving me and the kids. I spend all week serving the bills. Most men think it’s a fair trade, but I doubt it. Husbands, we are no more entitled to a restful weekend than our wives. The badge of “breadwinner” doesn’t authorize us to escape our home duties come Saturday and Sunday. The luxury of rest is a gift many men steal from their wives each weekend. Remember, the 40-hour work week is a cultural standard, but God tells us to share our wive’s burdens and protect her from strain. It’s okay to rest, God even commands it, just make sure you’re not the only one doing it. #DaleyWisdom

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    Pippa O'Connor hates to see trolls on social media –

    Pippa O'Connor hates to see trolls on social media
    Pippa O'Connor Ormond has said that while social media has been "amazing" for her, she "hates" to see it used by people posting "incorrect or downright horrible" things. Speaking about social media as a medium, Pippa told Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late

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    Cowboys made right call by not overpaying DeMarco Murray in 2015 – Blogging The Boys (blog)

    Blogging The Boys (blog)

    Cowboys made right call by not overpaying DeMarco Murray in 2015
    Blogging The Boys (blog)
    Depending who and when you ask, the Cowboys front office is either full of masterminds or idiots. They shouldn't do some things, they need to do others, it's impossible to please everyone and have every decision be a home run. Dallas has flaws, just

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