Zomato row: Food aggregator app is right to call out bigotry, but its own virtue-signalling raises problematic questions

There’s nothing like a good controversy to stir things up on a slow news day. On Wednesday, Zomato became a national talking point over its response to a customer who wanted the food aggregator app to change its delivery agent because he was a Muslim. Zomato refused to do so, following which the customer, one Jabalpur-based Amit Shukla, canceled the order and demanded a refund. Zomato refused to comply with Shukla’s demands — changing the “Muslim rider” or a refund — and requested the customer to pay cancellation charges because the…

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On Day 1, MBBS counselling fails to take off amid row over cap on fee

With the state’s department of medical education and research failing to release the seat distribution and fee structure for MBBS admission till Friday late evening, Baba Farid University for Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, the nodal agency, did not start the first round of scheduled counselling. There are 1,025 MBBS seats in eight medical colleges. BFUHS had uploaded the merit list on its website, but MBBS seats and fee in three private medical colleges including Adesh Medical College, Bathinda, Guru Ram Das Medical College, Amritsar and Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, are not uploaded.…

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Trump’s ‘alternative facts’: Why the row about inauguration ‘lies’?

He has only been president for a few days – but already Donald Trump and his team are locked in a new dispute with US news organisations. The row over the coverage of his inauguration has provided the first indication of what Mr Trump’s relationship with the media will be like. And it has amazed even some of the most seasoned political commentators. What is the argument about? Photos showed more people had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Barack Obama in 2009 than Mr Trump’s inauguration on Friday. The number…

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Health Spending Rises for Second Year in a Row

A spike in the use of healthcare services and a continued rapid increase in spending on prescription drugs helped push up the nation’s health spending in 2015, but the rate of growth was still lower than historic trends, government economists said. Overall, the United States spent $3.2 trillion on healthcare in 2015, or about $9990 per person, according to economists, who work for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). That represents a 5.8% increase in spending from 2014, when spending rose 5.3%. The growth in spending in 2014…

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Facebook fake news row: Mark Zuckerberg is a politician now

I’ve long suspected that Mark Zuckerberg, who often refers to himself as the “leader” of Facebook, has dreams of high office. This week, a taster of what that might be like has been knocking at his door in the wake of the US election result. While Donald Trump’s visit to the White House was an apparently sobering experience about the level of responsibility he’d soon inherit, Zuckerberg has had a brutal political awakening of his own. Facebook’s “fake news” crisis has had the normally stoic 32-year-old visibly irritated, and that’s…

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Show’s over for veteran fashion elite as style insurgents seize front row

This was meant to be Vogue’s year. The British version of the magazine turned 100, resulting in, among other celebratory goings-on, an exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery, Vogue 100: A Century of Style, telling the story of one of the world’s most influential magazines. But a turn of events, and the social media reaction, threw a stiletto at the brand’s well-manicured public appearance and demonstrated very publicly an insurgency that is under way next to the catwalk. During a round-table discussion about Milan fashion week, editors on Vogue’s American…

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