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Switzerland

Cyrano Dot Com? A French Service Offering Online Seduction

Top executives and even ordinary folks use the skills of the French company Net Dating Assistant to pose for them online and woo would-be lovers.

At an exhibit preview in Toulouse, in February 2012.
At an exhibit preview in Toulouse, in February 2012.
Alan Monnat

TOULOUSE — Matthieu Banas, co-founder of Net Dating Assistant, recalls the words of one of his businessman customers. "I delegate the recruitment of my interns for my company, so why should I be any different when searching for a partner?"

Based in southern French city of Toulouse, Net Dating Assistant offers a rather unusual service: finding (and keeping) its clients' soulmates on dating websites. From creating profiles, searching and even chatting in their clients' name. These "dating assistants" take care of everything, up until the first date, about which they will, of course, brief their would-be Romeos. Potential partners, they insist, never suspect a thing.

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Society

Taking A Position: A Call To Regulate Yoga In India

Trained practitioners warn that unregulated yoga can be detrimental to people's health. The government in India, where the ancient practice was invented, knows this very well — yet continues to postpone regulation.

Prime Minister Modi at a mass yoga demonstration in Lucknow, India

Banjot Kaur

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the eighth International Yoga Day from Mysuru, in southwestern India, early on the morning of June 21. Together with his colleagues from the Bharatiya Janata Party, he set out to mark the occasion in various parts of the country — reviving an annual ritual that had to take a break for the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga is one of the five kinds of alternative Indian medicine listed under India’s AYUSH efforts — standing for "Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and naturopathy, and Homeopathy." Among them, only yoga is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament: All other practices are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), Act 2020.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges across 14 Indian states. The Mangalore University in Karnataka first launched this course in 1989; today, these subjects are also taught at the postgraduate level.

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