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Portugal: 5 Stories Making Headlines At Home

This week, we shine the spotlight on Portugal:

DOES RECOVERY SPELL REELECTION?

After years in the doldrums, the Portuguese economy is showing signs of picking up, with the country's GDP growing — albeit slowly — and unemployment figures reaching five-year lows, Diário Económico reports. According to official data from Portugal's National Statistical Institute INE, private and public consumption are up as well as investments, pushing the GDP 0.4% higher in the second quarter, up 1.5% compared to the same period the previous year. The country's long-lasting unemployment issue is also improving although it remains high, at 12.1% for July 2015, the lowest rate in nearly five years.

And with a general election just one month away, the good news comes at a crucial time for the governing center-right coalition, which has implemented harsh austerity measures under a 78-billion-euro bailout plan from the "troika" that ended a year ago. But it might not be enough for Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho to keep his job after Oct. 8.

Recent polls published in Público suggest the governing coalition are trailing the Socialist Party, although the 37,6% of the vote the centre-left party, led by former Lisbon mayor António Costa, is projected to obtain is nowhere near enough to secure an absolute majority. Unlike other crisis-hit countries Greece and Spain, Portugal hasn't seen support for radical left parties soar, but that hasn't prevented a growing part of the population from becoming disillusioned with its political leaders.

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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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