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Covering The Multicultural Asian American Community in Georgia

www.gasiantimes.com

July 15-31, 2017

25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia


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July 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times


Georgia Asian Times July 15-31, 2017

Publisher: Li Wong Account Manager: Adrian West Contributors: Andrian Putra, May Lee, Mark Ho Photographer: Ben Hioe

Tel: 678-971-9388 Advertising: gat@gasiantimes. com Editorial: info@gasiantimes.com URL: www.gasiantimes.com Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4502 Suwanee GA 30024

Copyright Georgia Asian Times 20042017 All Rights Reserved: including those to reproduce this printing or parts thereof in any form without permission in writing from Georgia Asian Times. Established in 2004, the Georgia Asian Times is published by Asiamax Inc. All facts, opinions, and statements appearing within this publication are those of writers and editors themseleves, and are in no way to be construed as statements, positions, endorsements by Georgia Asian Times or its officers. Georgia Asian Times assumes no responsibility for damages from the use of information contained in this publication or the reply to any advertisement. The Publisher will not be liable for any error in advertising to greater extent than the cost of space occupied by the error and will only be made for a single publication date. The Publisher reserves the right to reject any ad or articles submitted for publication that may not be in good taste for a free publication.

GAT Calendar of Events GAT welcome submission of announcement pertaining to community related events. Please email event, date, venue, and time to gat@gasiantimes.com. GAT does not guarantee insertion of event announcement and has the right to deny any posting.

Wreath Laying Ceremony for 740 Georgia Heroes of the Korean War Organized by American Korean Friendship Society Date: Friday, July 21, 2017 Time: 10:00 am Venue: Georgia State Capitol Stairs 206 Washington St NW, Atlanta GA 30334 Seoul of the South - Food Tour Date: Aug 19, 2017 Time: 2:00 pm Venue: Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce For more info: www.exploregwinnett. org Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival-Atlanta Date: Saturday, Sept 9, 2017 Time: 7:00 am -6:00 pm Venue: Lake Lanier Olympic Kayaking Center, Gainesville, Georgia For more info: DragonBoatAtlanta.com

2017 JapanFest Date: Sat-Sunday, Sept 16-17, 2017 Time: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm; 10:00 am5:00 pm Venue: Infinte Energy Center For more info: www.japanfest.org 13th Atlanta Asian Film Festival Date: Oct13-28, 2017 Venues: Georgia State University-Dunwoody, Plaza Theatre For more info: www.ATLaff.org

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METRO ASIAN NEWS

Trump nominates BJay Pak as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Washington DC, July 21, 2017 — President Donald Trump officially announced his choices for two U.S. attorneys in Georgia. President Trump confirmed his plans to nominate Byung J. “BJay” Pak as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia and Charles Peeler for the same job in the Middle District of Georgia. The offices of both Georgia’s U.S. Senators endorsed Pal and Peeler in a joint statement. “These are two great Georgians whom the president intends to nominate to serve as U.S. attorneys,” Sen. Johny Isakson said in the news release. “I look forward to working with them as they go through the confirmation process in the Senate.” “President Trump has nominated two impressive Georgians to fill the U.S. Attorney vacancies in the Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia,” Perdue said in the same release. “I look forward to working with BJay Pak and Charles Peeler as they go through the Senate confirmation process.” Pak is a former federal prosecutor who represented a Gwinnett Coun-

ty-based district in the state House for three terms from 2001 to 2016. Pak practices in complex litigation and government investigations with Chalmers Pak Burch & Adams. Pak served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Georgia from 2002 to 2008. He prosecuted drug trafficking, money laundering, intellectual property and white-collar crimes. Prior to becoming a federal prosecutor, he was a litigation associate at Alston & Bird. He clerked for Judge Richard Mills of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. He earned a B.B.A. from Stetson University in 1995 and a J.D. from University of Illinois College of Law in 1998. Peeler lives in Albany and is a partner with a firm he co-founded in 2005, Flynn Peeler & Phillips. His practice is focused on complex civil litigation and federal criminal matters. Previously, he worked in Atlanta at King & Spalding, where he handled intellectual property litigation.

25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia celebrated with awards gala Duluth, July 12, 2017 — Over 230 guests celebrated the annual Georgia Asian Times 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia with an awards dinner gala at Sonesta Gwinnett Place. This year’s award featured 14 women and 11 men honorees from various ethnic Asian communities in Georgia. Among the participants for the evening’s dinner including the Hon. Takashi Shinozuka-Consul General of Japan, Hon. Vincent Liu-Director General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office-Atlanta, Mayor Jimmy Burnett-City of Suwanee, Doug Hooker, Executive Director Atlanta Regional Commission, and Dr. Dan J. Kaufmann-President of Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. Honorable Charlotte J. Nash, Chairman of Gwinnett Board of Commissioners, delivers the keynote address for the evening.

Vince Bailey and Raeha Kim were masters of ceremony for the evening’s program. Georgia Asian Times has also recognized the Asian/Pacific American Council of Georgia (APAC) with the Asian American Spirit Award for the group’s work to strengthen the community over the years. Asian/Pacific American Council of Georgia is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit federation organization which comprised of 15 ethnic Asian member groups based in Georgia. For a complete profile of this year’s 25 Most Influential honorees, visit http://gasiantimes.com/?p=18072


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July 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times

BUSINESS Amazon plows ahead with high sales and spending New York, July 28, 2017 — Amazon. com Inc yesterday reported a jump in retail sales along with a profit slump, as its rapid, costly expansion into new shopping categories and countries showed no sign of slowing. The world’s largest online retailer posted second-quarter revenue of US$38 billion, up 25 per cent from a year earlier. The breakneck growth stood in contrast to the fate of many brick-andmortar rivals, who have struggled to find their footing as more people shop online. Yet Seattle-based Amazon posted a 77 per cent drop in quarterly income, and even said it could lose up to US$400 million in operating profit during the current quarter. Beyond reflecting retail’s notoriously thin margins, the forecast signaled Amazon would invest heavily to maintain its dominance. Shares — up nearly 40 per cent this year — fell 3.2 per cent to US$1,012.68 in after-hours trading. The company had earned 40 cents per share instead of US$1.42 as analysts had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. “Q3 is generally a high investment period,” chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said on a call with reporters, citing spending on fulfillment and hiring to prepare the company for the Christmas holiday rush.

While some expected Amazon’s spending in these areas — stepped up since last year — to ease, the company is plowing ahead to reinforce its fast-shipping club Prime. Olsavsky said video content included with Prime membership has helped Amazon retain subscribers and persuade those on a free trial to sign up for US$99 per year in the United States. A cornerstone of the company’s strategy, Prime encourages shoppers to buy more goods, more often from Amazon. Subscription sales including Prime fees rose 51 per cent in the second quarter to US$2.2 billion. Cowen & Co analysts have estimated that more than 50 per cent of US households will have Prime membership by the end of 2017.

“The fact that they are investing on so many fronts right now just speaks to the opportunity that they have before them,” said Edward Jones analyst Josh Olson. “We are giving them the benefit of doubt here because they have executed so well historically.” New frontiers and costs

“Our video content spend will continue to grow, both sequentially and quarter over quarter.”

Shares of Amazon had touched a record high of US$1,083.31 earlier yesterday, helping chief executive officer Jeff Bezos briefly unseat fellow tech billionaire Bill Gates to become the world’s richest person, according to Forbes.

Indeed, investing in faster shipping and video has become a refrain of sorts for the company.

His wealth has followed the meteoric rise of Amazon’s stock.

From its origins as an online bookseller, Amazon has jumped into areas that historically had barriers to e-commerce, from apparel to appliances. The specter of Amazon’s disruption now hangs over a dizzying array of industries. Grocery is the latest to feel the threat. The company said last month it would buy Whole Foods Market Inc for US$13.7 billion, pending regulatory approval. Olsavsky declined to discuss in detail the company’s strategy for the upscale grocer but said, “We really think it will be a big boost for us as we expand our grocery and consumables offering.” Amazon also announced its twohour delivery service Prime Now in Singapore on Wednesday, part of its ongoing investment to be a major retail player in Asia. Amazon has committed to investing US$5 billion in India and earlier this year said it would take on commerce in the Middle East by acquiring Dubai-based Souq.com. Even excluding the proposed Whole Foods deal, Amazon forecast an operating income of between US$300 million and a loss of US$400 million for the current quarter. Analysts had expected US$931 million, according to FactSet StreetAccount.

“You tend to expect companies like this to grow their expenses at a slower rate than their revenues,” said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities. “G&A up 50 (per cent) is crazy,” referring to general and administrative costs in the second quarter. Operating expenses rose 28.2 per cent to US$37.33 billion in the second quarter ended June 30. Costs for fulfillment, marketing and technology all rose. Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian said in a note Amazon’s profit margin was “a bit mixed” but added, “accelerating growth in core retail and relatively steady growth in AWS underpin our positive long-term view.” Sales from Amazon Web Services, the company’s cash cow and the biggest cloud-computing business in the world, rose 42 per cent to US$4.1 billion. The subsidiary will expand in France, Sweden and China in the near future, Olsavsky said. — Reuters


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LIFESTYLE

Smiley faces to rolling eyes: Where do all those emojis come from? Los Angeles, July 28, 2017 — Cheery Hi-5, a snobbish Poop and a conflicted Meh have starring roles in the animated “The Emoji Movie,” which imagines a world inside cellphones where emojis rebel against portraying just one emotion all their lives. Yet the dozen or so people who select and release the tiny, ubiquitous characters globally are far removed from the glitz of Hollywood, where the Sony Pictures movie, which begins its global rollout on Friday, was developed. The humans who toil in obscurity to shape and approve new emojis are part of the Unicode Consortium, a Silicon Valley-based group of computer and software corporations and individual volunteers with backgrounds in technology, encoding and linguistics. From smiley faces to thumbs up,

there are now some 2,600 different emojis worldwide and, according to a July Facebook Inc report, more than 60 million a day are sent on the No. 1 social media network alone. The consortium approves about 50100 new emojis every year, not counting the different skin tones for people emoji, after a rigorous application and review process, said Mark Davis, president and co-founder of the group. The latest batch, released in June and reaching phones and other devices in coming months, include a star-struck emoji, an exploding head, a group of wizards, mermaids and a woman wearing a hijab. “We get submissions from all over the world,” Davis said in an interview. “The hijab emoji came from a Saudi Arabian young woman who is living in

Germany who made a very compelling proposal. I’m looking forward to the exploding head – I think that’s going to be very popular. “People need to make a case as to why they think their emoji is going to be frequently used, how it breaks new ground, how it is different from other emojis that have already been encoded.” Logos, brands and emojis tied to specific companies are not accepted. “We also don’t accept specific people. We did encode a cowboy but we wouldn’t encode John Wayne,” Davis said. Some concepts just do not translate as emoji. “Anything that needs a lot of detail to explain or understand is trouble. It’s also hard to make an emoji for something abstract – like good governance, or a responsible president,” Davis said.

Davis said there are 2,666 emojis worldwide. The LOL emoji with tears of laughter is the most popular, according to a July Facebook survey of its 2 billion monthly users, followed by the heart eyes emoji. Italians and Spaniards favor the kissing emoji. The consortium played no part in the making of “The Emoji Movie,” Davis said, because all of its work is opensource, available to all, and no permissioning was needed. Nevertheless, he never imagined that the computer-generated punctuation marks that originated in Japan in the 1980s would become Hollywood stars. “That’s something that never really crossed our minds,” Davis said.


Georgia Asian Times July 15-31, 2017 

EVENTS

GAT 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia-Awards Dinner July 12, 2017

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EVENTS

July 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times

GAT 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia-Awards Dinner July 12, 2017


Georgia Asian Times July 15-31, 2017

EVENT

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GAT 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia-Awards Dinner July 12, 2017


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July 15-31 2017

Georgia Asian Times

LIFESTYLE

First contemporary photography museum in China to open in December Guangdong, July 25, 2017 — Intended as a cultural space for both local residents and international academic researchers, the Lianzhou Museum of Photography will be the first institution of its kind in China. In 2005, Lianzhou became the locus of an international photography festival. Located in the northern Guangdong Province (current population: 510,000), the city is the region’s centre of tourism. Over the past 12 years, the festival has become a reference for new trends in Chinese photography. Its 2017 edition theme was “Your Selfie Stick (and You).” “The original intention was that, in addition to presenting photographs at the festival, we should make the archive available to photography researchers, because China did not have its own photography museums and it lacked the basic conditions for

this kind of academic research,” stated Duan Yuting, founder and director of Lianzhou Foto Festival, in an official statement about starting a permanent institution. The leaders of the Lianzhou Municipal Government decided to establish a contemporary photography museum there in 2013. The venue will exhibit and collect both Chinese and international photography, while also developing global cultural exchanges. It is the first public contemporary photography museum in the People’s Republic of China. The museum broke ground in 2015 on the fringes of the Pearl River Delta, located on Lianzhou’s oldest extant street: Zhongshan Nan Road. Sparking a revitalization of the old centre, it is designed to drive the economic and urban development of the entire city when the museum opens in early

December of this year. The premises were designed by O-office Architects, a Guangzhou-based practice established in 2007. The architecture is comprised of two interlocking buildings. A roof garden and outdoor theatre link the museum’s respective old and new structures; the space between the buildings is open to the public. The architects used local materials unique to the area, including dark gravel, steel plates, light brick, and green tiles. “The ambition of the Lianzhou Foto Festival has always been to provide the public with an education, a panoramic view of what is going on in photography,” stated museum co-founder François Cheval, the French curator who headed the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône from 1996 to 2016. He emphasised “the museum’s strong intention to become a showcase

for the region, and perhaps, in the end, take part in its redefinition.” Three photographers will open the space: Zhuang Hui, a key figure in China’s New Photo movement based in Beijing, with the series “A Shadowless Place”; Scottish-born New York-based Albert Watson, known for celebrity portraits and magazine covers, with the series “The Two Faces of Janus”; and Zhang Hai’er, one of the pioneers of experimental Chinese photography, who lives and works between China and France, with the series “Bad Girls.”


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SPORTS

Rooney can lead Everton to new level, says Koeman London, July 24 — Everton manager Ronald Koeman says their new signing Wayne Rooney has already made a huge impact on the squad and believes the England captain’s experience could lead the Merseyside club to new heights. Rooney, who is the record scorer for the national team, returned to his first club after 13 years with Manchester United and was Koeman’s sixth signing in the current transfer window. “He has a lot of experience,” Koeman told the club website (www.evertonfc. com). “He is an important player on the pitch but also important for his team mates and certainly the young players to show them what you need to do to reach that high standard of football. “That means he needs to be a leader off the pitch and if I see how he’s working and what he’s doing with all the players it’s really what we want.” The Merseyside club have been one of the most active Premier League clubs in the transfer window, with their major signings including Rooney, Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy

Klaassen, Henry Onyekuru, Sandro Ramirez and Cuco Martina. With Koeman hoping to sustain a challenge in both the Premier League and Europe during the upcoming season, the Dutchman believes they have added plenty of quality to the squad. “I’m really happy with how the new players have settled in,” Koeman added. “They have great futures at Everton and provide the quality we need to improve.” Everton will begin their new season against Ruzomberok, of Slovakia, in the Europa League third qualifying round. Koeman’s side will be at home in the first leg on Thursday with the return fixture scheduled on August 3. — Reuters

Singapore’s Schooling sets Asian record for 50m butterfly at World Championships Budapest, July 24 — Joseph Schooling got his campaign to win two golds at the Fina World Championships off to a promising start when he qualified overall third for the 50m butterfly semi-finals yesterday (July 23) in a new Asian and national record. The reigning Olympic 100m butterfly champion clocked 23.05sec to finish third in his heat and sliced 0.20sec off his Asian record, which he had set at the 2015 World Championships in the Russian city of Kazan. Schooling finished overall third behind Ukrainian Andrii Govorov (22.92sec) and American Caeleb Dressel (22.97sec). Dressel is the swimmer who beat Schooling in the 100-yards butterfly final at the NCAA Championships in March and broke his record. The 50m fly is one of two events that Schooling has targeted to win in Budapest, along with the 100m butterfly. The 22-year-old University of Texas undergraduate told the media after his race, he took two breaths leading into the last 15m, which led him to go “a

bit further”, slowing his momentum a little. He said he was “a little nervous” going in as he dealt with “first race jitters”. But he said he “did a good job”, adding that he now knows “the feel of the crowd, the feel of the water, the feel of the competition”, and that would give him the confidence he needed. Added Schooling: “I’m going to go back and look at form, maybe I’ll take two breaths in a row, and I should cut down a breath, kind of slowed down my momentum a little bit, but other than that I felt like I went out there, I raced well.” While Schooling is targeting to break Michael Phelps’ world record in the 100m fly, the 50m fly sprint is not on his wish list. He said: “No, that world record is insane — 22.4sec. As you can see, everyone’s like half a second behind the world record, so it’s all about winning this event. I don’t really care about the world record in this event.” — TODAY


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SPORTS

Lukaku aims to ‘create history’ at United Manchester, July 25, 2017 ― Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku does not consider himself a complete striker but is optimistic of creating his “own history” at Old Trafford.

“It was the conversation I had with the manager that really convinced me the most, the plans and how he wanted to rebuild the club and he wanted me to be part of it,” Lukaku told reporters.

The Belgium international arrived at Old Trafford for a reported fee of £75 million earlier this month after netting 25 league goals for Everton last season.

“I always wanted to play for a club of this stature. Now I am here I want to take my chance and try to deliver as much as I could for the club.

When asked if he was in the same bracket as some of Europe’s elite forwards, including Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, he replied: “No, no, no -- I’m far from that level.

“For me, it’s all about winning. I want to win and now I’m at a club where winning is the most important thing.”

“I’m 24 years of age. I can’t say I’m the complete package. I can’t say I’m in my prime. “There is a lot of work to be done and I’m delighted that there is still work to be done. That means I can become even better than I am now.” Lukaku said winning trophies was the most important thing for him and he joined United after hearing manager Jose Mourinho’s rebuilding plan. The Portuguese boss, who previously worked with Lukaku at Chelsea, led the United to League Cup and Europa League title in his first campaign last season.

Lukaku is expected to make his league debut for United at Old Trafford against West Ham United on August 13. ― Reuters

Elbow injury may rule Djokovic out of US Open in August Belgrade, July 25 ― Former world number one Novak Djokovic is in doubt for the US Open due to his elbow injury, Serbian media reported, citing the country’s Davis Cup team doctor. Djokovic retired hurt during the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and said he was considering taking a break from playing to recover from the long-standing injury to his right elbow. Serbia’s Sportski Zurnal reported that the 30-year-old could face up to 12 weeks on the sidelines. “He has a bruised bone due to excessive playing,” it quoted Zdenko Milinkovic as saying. The 12-times grand slam champion won the US Open in 2011 and 2015. This year’s tournament begins on August 28.

Britain’s The Times said Djokovic would make a decision about his playing schedule over the next 24 hours and that an announcement would me made at a news conference in Belgrade this week. “We are doing different checks and getting opinions from more than one doctor,” The Times quoted his spokesman as saying. Djokovic has appeared in 51 straight grand slams since his debut at the 2005 Australian Open. ― Reuters


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HEALTH New study says 9 lifestyle changes can cut dementia risk One third of dementia cases can be prevented with some basic lifestyle changes and better education during childhood, a study published in The Lancet said Thursday.

“Acting now will vastly improve life for people with dementia and their families and, in doing so, will transform the future of society.”

Nearly 50 million people around the world suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s according to the latest estimates. This figure could balloon to 132 million by 2050.

The researchers said maintaining good hearing between the ages of 45 and 65 reduces the number of cases by 9%.

The nine factors which damage the brain notably include hearing loss, obesity and smoking, the study found. “Our results suggest that around 35% of dementia is attributable to a combination of the following nine risk factors: education to a maximum of age 11–12 years, midlife hypertension, midlife obesity, hearing loss, late-life depression, diabetes, physical inactivity, smoking, and social isolation,” the study said.

It said if people stayed in school until the age of 15, the benefits of education and socialisation would help reduce the cases of dementia by 8%. “Although dementia is diagnosed in later life, the brain changes usually begin to develop years before,” said lead author Professor Gill Livingston, from University College London.

Stopping smoking could reduce the number of cases by 5%, it said.

It said nearly 85% of these costs were “related to family and social, rather than medical, care”. The researchers however said that the study had its limitations. “We have not incorporated other potential risk factors, such as diet, alcohol, living near major roads, or sleep, which could be relevant. Therefore, the potentially preventable fraction of dementia might be underestimated in our figures,” the study said.

Other factors contributing to the risk include depression (4%, physical inactivity (3%), social isolation (2%), high blood pressure (2%), obesity (1%) and type 2 diabetes (1%). The study said the 2015 global cost of dementia was estimated to be US$818 billion and this figure would continue to rise.

How to use your vacation time to set a new and healthy sleep schedule Being on vacation and away from the stress of daily life is a great time to get some much-needed rest and recharge the batteries. However, it is also the perfect time to put into place a new sleep hygiene routine that you can continue when back at home. Setting a healthier sleep schedule will not only improve the length of your sleep but also the quality, which in turn will give your overall mental and physical health a boost all year long. Turn off all screens With the rise in social media and the use of tablets and screens before bedtime many recent studies have looked into their effect on sleep, and the news isn’t good. Too much screen time before bedtime can affect the release of melatonin, the hormone which helps you to doze off, and can reduce not just the quantity but also the quality of your sleep. So avoid checking Facebook, emails, or a Netflix session for at

Use your hotel room

least two hours before bedtime, and instead take time for your summer holiday reading to promote a more peaceful night’s sleep. Get some gentle exercise Research has shown that one of the many benefits of regular exercise is a better night’s sleep. If your hotel has a gym you could head there to complete your regular gym workout, or try swimming in the hotel pool or running on or by the beach. Even just walking around sightseeing will help get you active and help tire you out for an early night.

Use the comfort of your hotel room and its facilities to set the right ambience before you sleep. Pull down the blinds and close the curtains to darken the room, use dimmer switches to soften the lightening, and adjust the air conditioning to help set a cooler temperature. Once at home put the same ideas into practice with a sleep mask or invest in blackout blinds, and use fans and open windows to keep the temperature cool if you don’t have air con at home. Take only short siestas If you’re relaxing on the beach or by the pool, it can be tempting to sleep a lot while on vacation. However try and keep your siesta time to a minimum, as short naps will refresh you but longer ones can interfere with that night’s sleep. Experts suggest

that a short 15- to 30-minute power nap between 1 pm and 3 pm is sufficient should you feel you need a little shut-eye. Early to bed, early to rise It’s tempting to sleep in at the weekends, especially after a busy and often sleep-deprived week. But research shows that keeping to a regular sleep pattern, including heading to bed early and rising early, is actually better for health. Vacations can be a great time to get into this good habit though — there are not as many distractions to keep you up late at night, feeling more relaxed can help you drift off earlier, and sunny mornings and days of sightseeing make it easier and more motivating to set the alarm.


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Misc Asia Phone and e-banking records from the drivers led to key trafficker Sunan Saengthong, a Ranong politician and businessman who had deposited nearly US$600,000 (RM2.6 million) in accounts belonging to Manas. In May 2015 police found more bank slips revealing that Sunan’s nephew had also transferred huge sums to Manas, including some US$400,000 in just over a month. Sunan was jailed for 35 years in a separate trial but his nephew Nattaphat Saengthong and others remain at large. Around the time of the money transfers, Manas served as a top commander of Thailand’s southern security arm.

Rise and fall of General Manas: Thailand’s top human trafficker Bangkok, July 24 — An army ‘Big Shot’ whose influence seeped across the south, Lieutenant-General Manas Kongpan sat at the apex of Thailand’s grisly trade in humans, raking in an untold fortune to keep prying eyes off the trafficking route. As the number of desperate Rohingya and Bangladeshis shuttled through the trafficking operation shot up, so did Manas’ rank in the Thai military. But the silver-haired general was condemned to 27 years in prison on Wednesday for profiting from the trade, an extraordinarily rare conviction of a senior member of an army that dominates the kingdom. The 61-year-old’s downfall was hastened in 2015 after investigators uncovered secret jungle prisons in the south where traffickers starved and tortured migrants while holding them for ransom. The discovery exposed Thailand’s horrifying role in a criminal operation that shifted victims from Myanmar to Malaysia, and forced the ruling junta to launch a belated crackdown.

Police followed a money trail that lead straight to Manas, an army hardliner with a passion for bullfighting. “He was involved in such an obvious way... at a time when the junta was really trying to show themselves to be clean,” said Paul Chambers, an expert on Thailand’s military. “He is going down because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.” Money trail Manas was first highlighted as a suspect in early 2015 after 98 famished Rohingya were found in trucks in Nakhon Si Thammarat, stopped by a random police checkpoint. Provincial police — aided by anti-trafficking NGO Freeland — used the drivers’ cell phones to trace their regular route. The trail carved through Thailand’s southern neck from coastal Ranong, where boatloads of migrants arrived from Myanmar, to malaria-infested camps near the Malaysian border, where they were held in appalling conditions.

His job was to enforce its controversial “push-back” policy — which meant turning around boats of stateless Rohingya who were trying to flee persecution in Myanmar. But he used this position to do just the opposite, according to last week’s verdict, which exposed a matrix of collusion between state officials and businessmen who profited from trafficking. Witnesses said Manas instructed officers to force back a boat of 265 Rohingya in 2012 — only to covertly re-route the ship to shore and truck the human cargo south to the jungle prisons. Manas “had direct responsiblity in the push-back mission and must have been part of this human trafficking network, otherwise the Rohingya would not have been able to return to Thailand so quickly,” the verdict read. Southern ‘Big Shot’ The trafficking operation flourished until the 2015 crackdown, with tens of thousands of victims funnelled through a trade worth an estimated US$250 million dollars. Many were lured from the Myanmar-Bangladesh border by brokers who promised jobs, while others were violently kidnapped and forced onto the boats.

The big money was made in Thailand, where jungle camp wardens phoned relatives of the weakest migrants and threatened to kill them if they didn’t send more cash. The young and strong were sold off as labour to Malaysian palm oil plantations or fishing boats, according to Freeland. All the while, Manas’ seemingly inexorable rise up the army ranks continued, with his command stretching over increasingly large chunks of the south. Months before his arrest in 2015, he was promoted to Lt-General and given the sweeping role of “military advisor”. It wasn’t the first time the hawkish officer had hurdled controversy. He was linked to a 2004 raid on a mosque that left more than 30 Muslim rebels dead in Thailand’s far south, one of the early sparks of an insurgency still burning today. “He had a reputation for often going beyond the law,” said Chambers, adding that he was known as a “big shot” in the region. Manas was the only military man convicted in last week’s trafficking trial, which saw more than 60 people sent to jail. Rights groups welcomed the verdict but warned that many perpetrators remain at large. “We know not everyone has been accounted for in this trial,” said Amy Smith from Fortify Rights, which closely tracked the investigation. “More needs to be done to account for the horrific crimes that took place... and to ensure this never happens again.”


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Misc Asia

unflattering of the then Crown Prince and now King Maha Vajiralongkorn. Since his release Ekachai stayed away from protest, choosing instead to set up a small foundation to help those charged with lese majeste. But the disappearance of the plaque reignited his defiance.

Thai dissident’s lonely fight to keep history alive Bangkok, July 24, 2017 — Carrying a bucket of cement and a heavy bronze plaque, Ekachai Hongkangwan set out across Bangkok’s heavily-policed Royal Plaza in late June to perform a solo act of DIY dissent. But the 42-year-old was quickly bundled into a police van before he could lay down the metal disc — an exact replica of a monument that was mysteriously removed in April, sparking fears officials were trying to whitewash history. The 15-inch (38 cm) plaque, which had lain undisturbed for decades, marked the bloodless 1932 Siamese Revolution that ended absolute monarchy. But it was suddenly replaced with a new plaque espousing loyalty to Thailand’s royal family, an institution whose influence has roared back into prominence in recent decades as democracy has faltered. The date Ekachai chose for his oneman protest was 24 June, the anniversary of that revolution. “I wanted to dig the new one out but I think (knew) it will be very difficult

for me,” he said from his house in eastern Bangkok, a wry smile across his face. The attempted restoration was a dangerous and rare act of subversion in a country smothered by an arch-royalist military and where criticism of the monarchy is being purged at an unprecedented rate. More than 100 people have been charged with Thailand’s notorious lese majeste law since the junta’s 2014 coup, threatened with up to 15 years in jail for each slight to the country’s royals. Unprecedented purge Record-breaking, decades-long sentences have been handed down and many of those advocating for reform of the law or pushing for greater scrutiny of the royals have gone to ground, fled or been imprisoned.

“This is a democracy symbol,” he said, proudly retrieving the replica plaque from the back of his house, which authorities returned after he was released without charge for his stunt. “They try to make it a hidden history.” Junta officials and police have said they do not know what happened to the original plaque, a position that stretches credulity given it lay outside a palace in a heavily policed area of the city. CCTV cameras were not working when the plaque vanished and authorities have warned against further protests or enquiries over the mystery.

forces media to self-censor. It was during the last few decades of King Bhumibol’s 70-year reign that the law was increasingly wielded, despite an address the late monarch gave in 2005 saying he was not above criticism. Since Bhumibol’s death in October little has changed under Vajiralongkorn, who has yet to attain his father’s widespread popularity. At least eight people are known to have been charged with lese majeste charges since his succession. One case expected to hit the courts soon involves a man charged for liking a sarcastic Facebook post about Bhumibol’s favourite dog. “I’m not opposed to the monarchy,” Ekachai said, a portrait of the recently departed King Bhumibol Adulyadej hanging behind him. “But that doesn’t mean we should be unable to criticise them at all,” he said.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a politics expert at Chulalongkorn University, described the plaque as “a bump on the road of Thailand’s royalist narrative”.

While Ekachai admits his plaque replacement stunt was never going to succeed, he dismisses those who say such acts are futile.

Until its removal few knew it existed “even those who live in Bangkok.”

Following his detention he discovered his military interrogator was unaware that the date he had chosen marked the anniversary of the 1932 revolution.

“But now its controversial disappearance has led to a kind of rebirth of the June 1932 political change from absolutism to constitutional rule,” he said. A history lesson

Ekachai, a former lottery ticket seller, served nearly three years for the offence in 2011.

So far Ekachai has managed to avoid being charged over the plaque and he steers clear of any direct criticism of Thailand’s royals.

His crime was selling Thai translations of State Department cables and international press reports that were

Instead he focuses on trying to reform the lese majeste law, which makes scrutiny of the family impossible and

“In school they teach them nothing about this, they try to erase it from history,” he said. Breaking into a chuckle, Ekachai said he was delighted to get a chance to give the officer a brief lesson.


Page 18 

July 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times

TRAVEL What to do if your smartphone gets stolen San Francisco, July 24, 2017 — All it takes is a moment of carelessness, an open handbag or an opportunist pickpocket and your smartphone can disappear from right under your nose. Here are some of the things you should do if your smartphone gets stolen this summer.

Act quickly

Summer photo focus: Print your snaps with these three apps Paris, July 21, 2017 — Vacations are prime times to shoot selfies, landscapes or groups of friends and family. Over the course of a week, Relaxnews is focusing on photography, with a pick of cameras, tools and gadgets to get the best out of summer snaps. Favourite vacation memories can be enjoyed all year round by printing snaps using specially dedicated apps to edit and print photos stored on a smartphone, in the cloud or on social networks. These services are also available online via a web browser. Pictures galore As a well-established reference in the field, Photobox is a photo printing service offering all kinds of formats and photo gifts, such as paper prints, posters, books, mugs, canvasses, calendars and more. The mobile app offers fast access to the service and its editing functions. It can be used to print photos quickly and easily from multiple online accounts (storage, social networks, etc.), as well as pictures stored directly on a smartphone. Photobox is available to download from Google Play (Android) and the Apple App Store (iOS).

Fun prints In a few simple clicks, the Lalalab app can be used to turn any photo into magnets, postcards, smartphone cases, storage boxes and various fun formats to decorate walls, give as gifts or just enjoy. Lalalab is available to download from Google Play (Android) and the Apple App Store (iOS). Original formats Cheerz aims to make photo printing easy and fun. Here too, photos can be printed in various original formats (Polaroid, magnets, heart shapes, boxes, etc.) for a fun way to cherish favourite snaps from a family vacation or a weekend with friends. The interface can be used to customise creations in various ways or add filters to get the best out of snaps or selfies. Cheerz is available to download from Google Play (Android) and the Apple App Store (iOS).

It’s highly likely that your smartphone was stolen while it was switched on and ready to use. Quickly call your mobile operator to get your line blocked before the thief has the time to use it. That will prevent any fraudulent use of your phone line and your contract’s services. If you know your phone’s IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity number), you can also get the handset blocked. The IMEI number is a unique identification number for each handset. It’s wise to make a note of this number when you buy a new phone. You can get it by typing “*#06#” on your phone keypad. A 15-figure code is then displayed — write it down and keep it somewhere safe. The IMEI number can also be found on the phone itself, under the battery, as well as on your bill or on a sticker on the phone’s original packaging, near the bar code.

Report it You should report the theft to the police, giving them the handset’s IMEI number. Documents proving that the theft has been reported to police are usually required for operators to block lines or handsets, or to make an insurance claim if the handset is covered. The IMEI number could also help identify your handset if it is recovered.

Change passwords Smartphones are used for much

more than making calls, as users often read emails, access social networks, and use shopping or banking apps on their devices. Tech-savvy thieves could, therefore, gain access to online accounts. Passwords should be changed quickly as a security precaution.

Preventative measures It’s important to set up a locking system for your handset with a password, a combination of gestures or a fingerprint. Make sure you change the default password (0000 or 1234) to a more complex combination that’s difficult to guess. Set up device geolocation, if available. Certain mobile operators, phone makers and app developers let users track the whereabouts of mobiles on special websites, as well as block devices remotely and, in some cases, remotely recover data from the handset before deleting it. To avoid losing data, sync your device with an online storage service to back up things like contacts, photos and more. Many such services are available, some of which offer free storage for a reasonable amount of data. With some devices, everything can be recovered identically when you power up your new smartphone. Finally, save your phone’s IMEI number somewhere where it can be accessed remotely, such as in the cloud or in an email.

Georgia Asian Times July 15-31, 2017  

Georgia Asian Times cover the multicultural Asian American community in metro Atlanta and Georgia.

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