Covering The Multicultural Asian American Community in Georgia
Milanâ€™s fashion week wraps up with Armaniâ€™s expressive colors
March 1-15, 2017
March 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
Georgia Asian Times March 1-15, 2017
Publisher: Li Wong Account Manager: Adrian West Contributors: Andrian Putra, May Lee, Mark Ho Photographer: Ben Hioe
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GAT Calendar of Events GAT welcome submission of announcement pertaining to community related events. Please email event, date, venue, and time to firstname.lastname@example.org. GAT does not guarantee insertion of event announcement and has the right to deny any posting.
“One Belt, One Road” - Challenges & Opportunities for U.S. Companies Organized by The Carter Center-China Program, Hong Kong Association of Atlanta Date: Thursday, March 2, 2017 Time: 10:00 am -1:30 pm Venue: The Carter Center Admission: $50 per person; $500 (table 10) US-Japan Now Womenomics Luncheon Organized by JASG, GT CIBER, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Date: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 Time: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm Venue: Federal Reserve Bak of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 For more info: https://thejapanamericasocietyofgeorgiainc.wildapricot.org/ event-2452248
“China’s Rise and the Challenge for American Security” By Dr. Thomas J. Christensen, Princeton University Presented by 2017 China Research Center Annual Lecture Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 Time: 4:00 pm -5:30 pm Venue: Peachtree Room, Georgia Tech Student Center Common, 360 Ferst Drive, NW, Atlanta GA 30332 Free & open to public For more info: chris.mcdermott@ gatech.edu Celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month & Scholarship Award Ceremony Annual Unity Gala Organized by Asian/Pacific American Council of Georgia (APAC) Date: Saturday, May 6, 2017 Time: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm Venue: Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta For more info: 770.833.7009
March 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
METRO ASIAN NEWS
Center for Civil and Human Rights controversial withdrawal from proposed “comfort women” memorial Atlanta, March 2, 2017 — Derreck Kayongo, CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights officially withdraw the agreement signed last month between the Center and a task force representing The Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Taskforce in a letter delivered via email. In the Center’s letter, they stated as their reason that “permanent exterior fixtures were not part of the original design or any new strategic plan” for the Center. “We’re deeply disappointed to hear the Center is backing out of our written Agreement and work we’ve been engaging them in for 6 months now,” said Task Force Chair, Baik Kyu Kim. The Task Force first approached the Center in September and received written notice of their board’s approval in early December. They worked with Center staff members to assess and select the outside space for the memorial. The Task Force and Center held a joint public press conference three
weeks ago. The Task Force then purchased the statue, and spent thousands of dollars on advertisements showcasing the Center itself. “We did all this in good faith and belief in the integrity of the Center board and staff. If there really was a policy that existed, why are they telling us now?” said Kim. Since the press conference and public launch on February 9, the local Japanese Consul General met with business leaders at the Metro-Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Center, and City of Atlanta, among many others to express concerns and threaten Japanese business fall-out from erecting this Memorial, according to Helen Ho, consultant and Special Advisor to the Task Force. This was followed by an email trolling campaign from non-local Japanese to all known donors to the Center, refuting the history and human rights violations of the comfort women and referring to them as “well paid and well treated prostitutes.”
“The Task Force was never contacted or notified of this anti-Memorial campaign effort, and found out third-hand a week and a half after it began, so it’s hard to believe their decision is policy-based,” said Ho. “Part of the tragedy of the comfort woman story is that there has never been full governmental acknowledgement, apology and reparations that United Nations rapporteurs, human rights tribunals, our US House of Representatives and other political bodies have universally demanded for decades. With continued efforts to silence and dismiss this history, it’s another trauma.” “Likewise, the Center failed to alert us and invite us to help share information when this anti-Memorial campaign occurred. This felt sadly familiar to the systematic efforts to silence and ignore the truth and power of these women and girls we are seeking to honor,” said Ho. Despite this set back, the project is going extremely well and nearing its
fundraising goal. “We are confident we will find a site deserving of this beautiful statue and memorial honoring the brave lives of girls and women who were forced into one of the largest known sexual and human trafficking rings in the 20th century,” said Chair Baik Kyu Kim. “We have almost reached our original fundraising goal and will simply redouble all our efforts. We would dishonor the spirit and history of these women if we didn’t keep moving forward at this time,” said Kim.
Georgia Asian Times March 1-15, 2017
METRO ASIAN NEWS
Hong Kong welcomes Year of Rooster with forum and reception Atlanta, Feb 16, 2017 — A forum on “Hong Kong’s Future” was organized by Emory University’s East Asia Collective to explore issues and concerns on Hong Kong since the 1997 Handover from the British. A panel discussion comprising of Steve Barclay, Director of HK Economic Trade Office in New York, Professor Shirley Lin, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Henry Yu, President of Hong Kong Association Atlanta provided insights and update on Hong Kong development since 1997. Hon. Clement Leung, Hong Kong Commissioner to USA, provided the opening remarks at the Forum. Steve Barclay, Director of HKETO New York, gave a short introduction about Basic Law and the important concept of “One Country, Two Systems” to an audience of students at Emory University.
Professor Lin delivered an overview on current issues confronting the young demographics population in Hong Kong. Mr. Yu delivered a quick overview of Hong Kong’s economy and the “One Belt, One Road” project which is intricacy linked with Hong Kong’s economy. Over 100 guests from Atlanta’s academic, business, and local governments attended a reception at the High Museum of Arts later in the evening. Hon. Clement Leung, Commissioner of Hong Kong to USA, was the evening’s guest of honor and delivered the welcome address.
Top Gwinnett students honored with teachers at luncheon Norcross, February 27, 2017 – Nearly 60 students and teachers were honored at the annual STAR Student and Teacher Luncheon. Hosted by the Gwinnett Chamber and presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the event celebrates all local school STAR students from each Gwinnett County high school (public and private), as well as the top student from Buford High (Buford City Schools).
Mr. Ryan Keefer
“Education is the foundation of success for every community and a key part of every student’s preparation for life. We are thrilled with the remarkable level of achievement these STAR students have earned through hard work and dedication, along with the talent and support of their inspiring teachers,” said Dr. Dan Kaufman, President & CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber. “These students should be very proud of their significant accomplishments as they prepare themselves to be leaders in the decades ahead.”
Margeaux Ratcliff, Duluth High School Mr. James (Jim) Reason
Each STAR student is the senior in the top 10 percent of his or her class with the highest SAT score. As part of the recognition, each STAR student selects a teacher as the educator who has had a strong influence on his/her academic career.
Ke jia Zhang, Killian Hill Christian School Mr. John Allan
The STAR students will move on to the region competition where they and their STAR teachers will be recognized and vie for the regional title. Regional winners will then compete for the honor of being named Georgia’s 2017 STAR Student and Teacher. 2017 STAR Students and Teachers: Sabarish Sainathan, Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (System Winner – Tie) Mr. Greg Field Eric Yan, Peachtree Ridge High School (System Winner – Tie) Mr. Gabriel Pak Hannah Mahaffey, Archer High School Mr. John Jameson Diane Lin, Berkmar High School Mr. Christopher Pae Karl Patram, Brookwood High School Mr. David Dimsdale Qasim Hassan, Central Gwinnett High School Ms. Lindsay Bates Douglas Court, Collins Hill High School
Caleb Godwin, Covenant Christian Academy Mr. Brandon Buchanan Paul Dittamo, Dacula High School Mr. Matthew Ludewig Brandon McCoy, Discovery High School Mr. Jonathan Larese
William Taylor, Grayson High School Mr. Jeremy Mulkey Mason English, Greater Atlanta Christian School Mr. Derek Wilson Katherine Reynolds, Hebron Christian Academy Mr. Shomari Young
Ashley Park, Lanier High School Mr. Collin Jones Aijon Pineda, Meadowcreek High School Mrs. Pintu Thaker Bryan Endsley, Mill Creek High School Mrs. Aylen Parra McKade Stewart, Mountain View High School Mr. Billy Jones Jennifer Wang, Norcross High School Mrs. Michelle Larate Jonathan Park, North Gwinnett High School Mr. Jeremy Martin Mohammad Makhmudov, Parkview High School Ms. Caroline Miklosovic
Joshua Randrup, Providence Christian Academy Mr. Randall Cailor Mehul Mehra, Shiloh High School Mr. Vincent Tran Isabelle Williams, South Gwinnett High School Ms. Meryl Weaver Angela Yang, Wesleyan School Mrs. Deborah Brown
March 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
BUSINESS China cuts growth goal, puts focus on reform and ‘firewall’ against risks Beijing, March 5, 2017 — China has cut its growth target this year as the world’s second-largest economy pushes through painful reforms to address a rapid build-up in debt, and erects a “firewall” against financial risks. China aims to expand its economy by around 6.5 percent, Premier Li Keqiang said in his work report at the opening of the annual meeting of parliament on Sunday. The target, which Reuters had reported exclusively from sources in January, was realistic and would help steer and steady expectations, said Li. China set a target of 6.5 to 7 percent last year and ultimately achieved 6.7 percent growth, supported by record bank loans, a speculative housing boom and billions in government investment. But as the government moves to cool the housing market, slow new credit and tighten its purse strings, China will have to depend more on domestic consumption and private investment for growth. As in 2016, China did not set a target for exports, underlining the uncertain global outlook. “The developments both in and outside of China require that we are ready to face more complicated and graver situations,” Li said, adding that world growth remained sluggish, while deglobalization and protectionism were gathering pace. Growth of around 6.5 percent is sufficient to safeguard employment, said Huang Shouhong, director of the State Council Research Office, who helped craft the premier’s work report. China added 13.14 million new urban jobs in 2016, with the number of college graduates finding employment or starting businesses reaching another record, according to Li’s report.
“As for whether there is a bottom line on growth, as long as there are no problems in employment, growth slightly higher or lower is acceptable,” Huang said. Michael Tien, a Hong Kong delegate to China’s parliament and founder of clothing chain G2000, said he was surprised by the 6.5 percent figure. “I think it’s very high,” he told Reuters. “In the past few years, whatever number they come up with, they will always meet it, and they will always exceed it a little bit. So with this economy, 6.5 (percent) is mind-boggling.” DELICATE BALANCE Economists say it is a delicate balancing act to support growth and maintain liquidity while pursuing reforms and taming unruly financial forces. The 2017 target for broad money supply growth was cut slightly to around 12 percent from about 13 percent for 2016. The government’s budget deficit target was kept unchanged at 3 percent of GDP. Li said China would continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy, adding that government aimed to cut companies’ tax burden by about 350 billion yuan ($51 billion) this year. China will also maintain a prudent and neutral monetary policy, he said. Beijing has flagged in recent months a gradual shift away from a loose monetary stance to discourage speculative investments. Since February, the central bank has raised by tiny increments the interest rates on some lending facilities. Jia Kang, former director at the
finance ministry’s Institute of Fiscal Science, told Reuters he did not expect the PBOC to hike policy rates, at least in the near term. “It seems unlikely, since stability comes first in the short term,” Jia said. At present, systemic risks are under control, but China must be fully alert and build a “firewall” against financial risks, Li said. Chinese banks extended a record 12.65 trillion yuan of loans in 2016, and recent data shows that new yuan loans hit 2.03 trillion yuan in January, the second-highest ever. “We will apply a full range of monetary policy instruments, maintain basic stability in liquidity, see that market interest rates remain at an appropriate level, and improve the transmission mechanism of monetary policy,” Li said. China will also press on with asset securitization and debt-to-equity swaps this year. CAPACITY CUTS, LAYOFFS China will push forward with reform of state-owned firms and assets this year, Li said. Ownership reforms at more than 100
central government-run enterprises will be completed by year-end as part of efforts to use private capital to revive its lumbering state sector, state media reported last month. China is also looking to shutter more ‘zombie’ enterprises, a term loosely used to describe inefficient firms with surplus capacity. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a work report released on Sunday that it would shut or stop construction of coal-fired power plants with capacity of more than 50 million kilowatts. China will also cut steel capacity and coal output this year, the economic planner said. Fixed-asset investment is expected to rise about 9 percent in 2017, down from last year’s target of 10.5 percent. “As overcapacity is cut, we must provide assistance to laid-off workers,” Li said. China aims to create more than 11 million new urban jobs this year, even as employment pressure grows. “This year’s target for urban job creation is 1 million more than last year, underlining the greater importance we are attaching to employment,” Li said. - Reuters
Georgia Asian Times March 1-15, 2017
India’s strong GDP data leaves economists scratching their heads New Delhi, March 1, 2017 — India defied expectations on Tuesday to retain the title of the world’s fastest growing major economy, despite the pain caused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s shock crackdown on cash.
Aneesh Srivastava, chief investment officer, IDBI Federal Life Insurance Co. “I am totally surprised and stunned to see this number.” VINDICATION
Annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the October-December period came in at 7.0 percent, a tad slower than 7.4 percent in the previous quarter but much faster than the 6.4 percent expansion forecast by economists in a Reuters poll. File Photo – An employee works inside an undergarment factory in Kolkata, India, February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo It was also higher than China’s 6.8 percent growth for the last three months of 2016. Modi’s decision last November to outlaw old 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee banknotes was widely expected to exact a heavy toll on an economy where most people are paid in cash and buy what they need with cash. Little surprise, then, that Tuesday’s robust GDP figures have left economists dazed, and have also raised fresh doubts about the quality of India’s official economic data reporting. “Perhaps this data is not capturing the impact of demonetization,” said
Modi had received flak for his shock monetary therapy from political opponents as well as prominent economists such as Amartya Sen and Paul Krugman. The move sucked 86 percent of the currency out of circulation virtually overnight and left many companies, farmers and households in misery.
The strong performance in the OctDec period allowed the federal statistics office to retain its growth forecast for the fiscal year that ends in March 2017 at 7.1 percent. Strong growth figures would also dash hopes of further interest rate cuts by the central bank, which has shifted its focus squarely to inflation.
Anecdotal evidence suggested massive job losses following the cash crunch in India’s vast informal sector, which not only supports the formal sector but also employs nine out of 10 workers.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) left the policy repo rate on hold at 6.25 percent for a second meeting in a row this month and signaled an end to its longest easing cycle since the global financial crisis, citing growing inflationary risks.
The government as well as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), however, all maintained the pain would be shortlived and predicted a sharp economic rebound.
“With inflation pressures also building, we think that the RBI could begin hiking rates over the next 12-18 months,” analysts at Capital Economics wrote in a note.
The latest GDP data vindicated their assessment. “The numbers completely negate the kind of negative projections and speculations which were made about the impact of demonetization,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das told reporters after the data release.
CREDIBILITY The strong data have also reignited the debate about the credibility as well as the quality of the official GDP data. Ever since India changed its methodology to measure economic activity two years back, which transformed a sluggish economy into the world’s fast-
est-growing major economy overnight, private economists have been struggling to square it with the not so rosy reality on the ground. The latest data has only added to the confusion. For example, the official figures show economic growth was primarily driven by consumer spending, offsetting a fall in government expenditure. However, this is not backed up by the earnings of consumer goods firms in the last quarter. As cash-strapped households turned wary, sales of various goods from beverages to domestic appliances to cars all plunged. The lackluster consumer spending prompted several companies to trim their revenue outlook. Consumer confidence also fell sharply, with households uncertain about their income, employment and spending capability, according to an RBI survey published this month. “There are widespread doubts about the accuracy of the national accounts numbers,” analysts at Capital Economics wrote. “The unexpected strength of today’s data will do nothing to allay these concerns.” – Reuters
March 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
‘Moonlight’ upsets ‘La La Land’ for top Oscar after major gaffe
Los Angeles, Feb 27, 2017 — African-American coming-of-age tale “Moonlight” won the Oscar for best picture on Sunday on a big night for Hollywood diversity that was overshadowed by an embarrassing onstage gaffe over the top award.
this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred,”
In a mishap that caused uproar and confusion, presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway initially announced that romantic musical “La La Land”, the presumed favorite for best picture, had won.
Officials from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were not immediately available to comment.
89th Academy Awards – Oscars Awards Show – Producer Jordon Horowitz holds up the card for the Best Picture winner Moonlight. At left is Ryan Gosling and right is presenter Warren Beatty who mistakenly announced La La Land as the best picture winner. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson As the casts of both films stood awkwardly on stage, Beatty explained he had been given the wrong envelope to open. It was the first time in living memory that such a major mistake had been made at the Academy Awards, Hollywood’s biggest night. It even eclipsed the prior three hours of a show peppered with jokes about U.S. President Donald Trump. Accountants Price Waterhouse Cooper, who oversee the ballots, said the presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope. “We are currently investigating how
PwC said in a statement, while apologizing to “Moonlight” and “La La Land”, Beatty and Dunaway and Oscar viewers.
“Is that the craziest Oscar moment of all time?” Stone, who won the best actress Oscar for her “La La Land” role as a struggling actress, told reporters backstage “It’s a very strange happening for Oscar history.” “Moonlight,” about a young boy struggling with poverty and his sexuality in Miami, also brought a supporting actor Oscar for first timer Mahershala Ali, a best adapted screenplay statuette. Viola Davis won for her supporting role as a long suffering housewife in African-American family drama “Fences.” The recognition for both the actors and their films made a stark contrast to the 2016 Academy Awards when no actors of color were even nominated. “Moonlight” producer Adele Romanski said she hoped the movie would inspire “little black boys and brown girls and other folks watching at home who feel marginalized.”
‘LA LA LAND’ WINS SIX AWARDS “La La Land” went into the Oscars with a leading 14 nominations and emerged with six, including for its score and theme song “City of Stars.” “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle, 32, became the youngest person to ever win a best director Oscar. Elsewhere, “Manchester by the Sea” star Casey Affleck was named best actor, winning his first Oscar despite 2010 sexual harassment allegations that resurfaced during awards season. Affleck denied the allegations which were settled out of court. “Man, I wish I had something better and more meaningful to say…I’m just dumbfounded that I’m included,” said Affleck, who played a heart-broken father in the movie. Earlier in the show, Trump had been the butt of numerous jokes, capping an awards season marked by fiery protests by celebrities at his policies. . Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel fired off political zingers and even tweeted at the Republican president, getting no immediate response.
Several celebrities wore blue ribbons on Sunday in support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) advocacy group that worked to get Trump’s bid to ban travelers from seven majority Muslim nations blocked in U.S. courts. But for the most part, speeches at the ceremony were mild or made general pleas for tolerance rather than directly attacking Trump. Iranian director Asghar Farhadi was an exception. His drama “The Salesman” was named best foreign language film but Farhadi, boycotted Sunday’s ceremony because of the Trump’s travel ban. In a speech delivered on his behalf by Iranian-American space expert Anousheh Ansari, Farhadi said his absence was due to “an inhumane law that bans entry into the U.S… Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war.” – Reuters
Georgia Asian Times March 1-15, 2017
Milan’s fashion week wraps up with Armani’s expressive colors A signature scent for the new Cerruti man Paris, March 3, 2017 — Channelling inherent elegance and natural charisma with a decidedly masculine edge, Cerruti 1881 Signature is a new fragrance to embody the luxury readyto-wear label’s new take on masculine style. The brand celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Named creative director of Cerruti in 2015, Jason Basmajian has breathed a new lease of life into the Cerruti label while carefully maintaining the heritage of its founder, Nino Cerruti. The brand’s new vision of masculinity embodies laidback elegance, with a natural and upfront kind of chic, charisma and virility. This vision also inspired the Cerruti 1881 Signature fragrance, embodying the spirit of the new Cerruti man. A fragrance with character This spicy, coppery and oriental scent was developed in collaboration with perfumer Nadège Le Garlant-
ezec, who selected ingredients full of character, sometimes heady — almost intoxicating — and sometimes bringing a touch of sensuality. Cerruti 1881 Signature opens with top notes of pepper, nutmeg, cypress and grapefruit, followed by middle notes of labdanum and cardamom. Base notes reveal three enveloping aromas: Vetiver, amber and patchouli. Finished entirely in black, the fragrance bottle has cleaner, more graphic lines, with new 1881 etching, as if written by hand. Andres Velencoso, who fronts the brand’s ready-to-wear campaign, is the face of Cerruti fragrances for a second time running. Dressed in a dark suit, echoing the spirit of the fragrance, he appears more elegant, charismatic and manly than ever.
Milan, March 1, 2017 — Once again Italian designer Giorgio Armani stunned with bright and eloquent colors in his autumn and winter collection, wrapping up six days of catwalk shows at Milan’s Fashion week. As with his Emporio line, shown on Friday, the designer brought to life his creations with ruby and deep reds, purple, orange, emerald green, turquoise, petrol and electric blue, as well as multicolored polka dots. “Color is an expressive gesture,” the 82-year-old said in the style notes given to guests at the show on Monday. The black velvet and silk was enriched with tassel and pompom details and necklaces, fringes and strings of colored beads and sparkling sequins, showing off the sharp, elegant lines of Armani couture. The collection also showcased big mohair coats and tops and capes in acidic green and black. Dog-shaped patterns adorned knitwear and jackets, while puffs and frills on sleeves and at the hemline of tops and skirts hinted at Pierrot costumes.
Models wore bowler-style hats, carried big fur bags and wore flat shoes in velvet or polished leather. “The collection is a new adaptation of the Armani style: free, aware and subtly irreverent,” the style notes said. But “King George” kept true to his style, with geometrics in both the cut and the patterns. Tops were architectural: sculpted with pleats; jackets and tops were asymmetric; skirts were paneled and big shawls were draped to form cascades. Models walking a shiny black runway gleamed in fluid trousers that merged into skirts or with big frontal flaps, matched with clean-cut jackets, furs, quilted vests and long textured cardigans. – Reuters
March 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
Hong Kong Chinese New year-Spring Reception, Feb 16, 2017
Georgia Asian Times March 1-15, 2017
Global art sales plummet, China biggest market, says report Paris, Feb 27, 2017 — Global art sales plunged in 2016 as the number of high-value works sold dropped by half, while China regained its status as the world’s top market, Artprice said in an annual report released today. Art auctions worldwide totalled US$12.5 billion last year, down 22 per cent from US$16.1 billion in 2015, it said. The world’s biggest database for art prices and sales, working with Chinese partner Artron, attributed the drop to a plunge in the number of works worth more than US$10 million each—from 160 in 2015 to 80 last year. “On all continents sellers are choosing a policy of ‘wait-and-see’,” Artprice CEO Thierry Ehrmann said. Top-dollar auctions last year included that of an Impressionist painting of a haystack by Claude Monet, Meule, which went for US$81.4 million and a Peter Paul Rubens masterpiece, Lot and his Daughters, sold for US$58.1 million, both at Christie’s.
Contemporary art had its stand-out moments, too, with an untitled painting from American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat that went to a Japanese collector for US$57.3 million, and Wassily Kandinsky’s Rigid and Curved from 1935, which went under the hammer for US$23.3 million. China, art ‘superpower’ But it was China which chalked up the highest total sales and “established itself clearly as the superpower” of the art world, the report said. After five years of dominance, the country lost its title as top art market to the United States in 2015, but a year later was back, recording US$4.8 billion in auction sales. That figure represented 38 per cent of total world sales, said Artprice, which compiled the data with its partner firm Artron of China. Traditional calligraphy and painting comprised the vast majority of sales in China.
The country’s biggest sale in 2016 was a scroll painting of Five Drunken Kings Return on Horses by early 14th-century Chinese artist Ren Renfa that went for US$45.89 million.
New York City remained the undisputed capital for art auctions, chalking up US$3.2 billion in sales, over Beijing’s US$2.3 billion and London’s US$2.1 billion.
But contemporary art sales, too, are becoming frequent in Hong Kong which “has become an unmissable spot on the art market”, Artprice said.
Chinese artists were also the main moneymakers in the auction world, taking three of the five top spots for 2016 sales.
A year of ‘consolidation’ Despite the drop in overall value of sales, the global art market witnessed an 11-per cent rise in “fine art” transactions, a category that excludes antiques, applied art like pottery and furniture. “The range of prices under US$50,000 shows the strongest progression and currently makes up 96 of the market in the West”, the art database said. In 2016, “the principal objective was to consolidate the core of the market, to the detriment of a new race to reach record prices,” it said.
Works by China’s Zhang Daqian fetched the highest amounts, followed by 20th-century master Pablo Picasso, then Chinese watercolourist Qi Baishi and “father” of Chinese contemporary art Wu Guanzhong, and, finally, the German contemporary artist Gerhard Richter.
March 1-15, 2017
Georgia Asian Times
Does penis length recover after prostate removal? Tokyo, Feb 28, 2017 — After prostate removal for cancer, men sometimes complain to their doctors that their penis shrank, but a new study from Japan suggests they should not lose hope.
The men’s stretched penis lengths were shortest 10 days after surgery, when measurements were an average of about 1.99 centimeters (0.78 inches) shorter than before prostate removal.
Following men for up to two years after surgery, researchers found the patients’ penises were shortest a few days after their procedures. Penis lengths generally returned to normal after one year, however.
By the one-year mark, the men’s penises generally returned to original lengths, which averaged about 11.72 centimeters (4.61 inches), according to the results in BJU International.
The study’s lead author said the research was started after encountering a few patients complaining of penis shortening after prostate removal, which is known medically as a radical prostatectomy. Past reports mentioned shortened penises after prostate removal, but the results were a bit different, said Dr. Yoshifumi Kadono, of Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medicine Science. “Therefore, we started our study to obtain our data,” he told Reuters Health. For the new study, the researchers measured the penis lengths of 102 men before having their prostates removed and then at 10 days after surgery and again one, three, six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months later.
The researchers wanted to know what caused the shortening and if any particular variable, such as the size of a man’s prostate gland, would predict which men would experience this effect. Based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the patients, the researchers noticed some internal changes. Specifically, the portion of the urethra directly below the bladder moves up into the body after surgery, but moves back down after some time. “However, further research is needed to elucidate long-term changes of (penis length) with respect to the influence of sex hormones or changes in penile blood flow after (radical prostatectomy),” said Kadono. The new findings may be useful for men who have low-to-moderate self esteem tied to their perceived lost penis length after their surgery, he added.
The findings may not represent reality for all men, however. Most men will have some penis length loss after surgery and sometimes that will be permanent, said Dr. John Mulhall, who is director of the Male Sexual and Reproductive Medicine Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. “If you have documental length loss at six months, then you shouldn’t expect that to improve at 12 months,” said Mulhall, who wasn’t involved in the new study. He told Reuters Health that loss of penis length can be attributed to two issues. For example, muscle contractions may pull the penis into the body, but that relaxes over time. Men may also experience after surgery the loss of erection tissue. “Once that muscle degenerates, it’s gone,” he told Reuters Health. Dr. Drogo Montague, who wasn’t involved in the new study but often treats
urological issues in men after prostate removal, also said some penises may appear shorter after surgery due to scar tissue that builds up when men have sex with partial erections. The patients included in the new study would generally be considered to be normal weight, noted Montague, who is a professor of surgery at the Center for Genitourinary Reconstruction Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “So these findings won’t necessary be generalizable because of the prevalence of obesity,” he told Reuters Health. Mulhall said medications like Viagra and Cialis – known as PDE5 inhibitors -are shown in previous research to guard against lost penile length after prostate removal. In addition to PDE5 inhibitor, Montague said men can get prostheses and other interventions to strengthen their penises. – Reuters
Georgia Asian Times March 1-15, 2017
Luis Enrique to leave Barcelona at end of season Barcelona, March 2, 2017 — Barcelona coach Luis Enrique ended speculation over his future yesterday by confirming he will leave the Catalan giants at the end of the season, blaming the huge pressure of the job for his decision. “I will not be the coach of Barcelona next season,” Enrique said after Barca’s 6-1 thrashing of Sporting Gijon in La Liga. “It is a difficult, measured and well thought-out decision and I think I have to be loyal to what I think.” Enrique’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season. The former Barcelona captain has won eight trophies in his three seasons in charge, including a treble in his first campaign and a La Liga and Copa del Rey double last season. Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said Enrique would go down as one of “Barca’s legendary coaches.”
However, his future was placed in serious doubt after Barca’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie two weeks ago.
“There are three exciting months ahead,” Enrique added.
“We were all left a bit open-mouthed. We didn’t know he was going to announce it today.
“We are in a difficult situation, especially in one competition, but with the help of everyone and if the stars align we can turn that game around. “I will give my full dedication in these three months.” Like his friend and former teammate Pep Guardiola, who stepped down after four glorious years in charge of Barca in 2012, Enrique highlighted the pressures of the top at the Camp Nou as his reason to step down. “The reason is the way in which I live this profession. It means very few hours of rest.” However, midfielder Ivan Rakitic said Enrique’s decision left the Barca
“The coach came into the dressing room and told us before the press conference,” said Rakitic.
“He has all the support of the dressing room. We will do everything we can to do our best in the months to come.” Manchester City manager Guardiola paid tribute to Enrique’s three “unbelievable” years in charge. “As a Barcelona fan, I’m sad that we’ll miss the perfect trainer for Barcelona,” Guardiola posted on his official Twitter account. “His three years they has played unbelievable football.” Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli is the early favourite to take charge next season after leading the Andalusians to an unlikely La Liga title challenge and
into the Champions League last 16 in his first season in Spain. Athletic Bilbao coach and former Barca player Ernesto Valverde is also a leading candidate. “We will work with discretion and from July 1 we will announce the name of the new coach,” added Bartomeu. “We don’t have to speculate more for now and we need to concentrate on the future. “We have La Liga, the game against PSG, the Cup final and much more work to do in the months ahead.” Victory over Sporting took Barca a point clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, but Real have a game in hand. Unless Barca stage an unlikely comeback against PSG on March 8, Enrique’s final game in charge will be against Alaves in the Copa del Rey final on May 27.
March 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
United in suspense over Ibrahimovic, Rooney futures Manchgester, March 3, 2017 — Growing uncertainty over the futures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney threatens to overshadow Manchester United’s all-important quest to return to the Champions League. Ibrahimovic, the former Paris Saint-Germain striker, has been a huge success during his first season in England yet recent comments have cast doubt over whether there will be a second. Ibrahimovic’s 26th goal for United was the winner as they beat Southampton 3-2 last Sunday to secure the League Cup, their first major trophy under Jose Mourinho’s management. But asked if he would trigger the 12-month extension option in his one-year contract, the former Sweden international said: “We have another two months of the season to go. Let’s see how I feel, the situation. “Somebody made up a story that if we don’t qualify for the Champions League, I will not extend. It has nothing to do with that.”
The 35-year-old has played his part in a very good spell in the cup competitions for United since their last Premier League fixture on February 11. His hat-trick saw off Saint-Etienne in the Europa League last 32, he netted the winner against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup fifth round and scored twice to see off Southampton at Wembley. Already dropped from the starting XI, Rooney has played no part for United for the last month, firstly as a result of a muscle injury and then because he needed root canal treatment to sort out a dental problem. The club captain was an unused substitute against Southampton and has become an increasingly peripheral figure at Old Trafford despite breaking United’s all-time scoring record in January. The 31-year-old is understood to be considering a return to his former club Everton, whose manager Ronald Koeman admitted on Tuesday that he was interested in signing the England captain.
Mings not fazed United, unbeaten in the Premier League since October, are guaranteed to climb up from sixth place with a win against Bournemouth at home tomorrow because the two teams immediately above them — Liverpool and Arsenal — play each other the same day. A fourth-place finish would mean Champions League football after missing out this term and midfielder Ander Herrera said: “We are playing every week now and the manager understands perfectly what we need. “Already, we have to focus on Bournemouth as we have to be in the top four. We want to play in the Champions League next season.” Central defender Phil Jones is ready to return after a month out with a foot injury, but attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan remains a doubt after missing the League Cup final with a hamstring problem. Without a win in their last seven league games and having suffered four successive defeats, Bournemouth head
to Old Trafford in danger of being dragged towards the bottom three. Eddie Howe’s side sit in 14th, four points above the bottom three, but with a number of teams below them showing signs of improved form, the Cherries must halt their slide quickly. Key to their hopes will be their ability to nullify the threat of Ibrahimovic and Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings is not intimidated by the prospect of facing the forward. “I watched Zlatan on TV when I was a kid, but that’s the same with everything at the moment,” said Mings. “My rise has been quite quick so the people that I’m playing against are also the people that I watched. It doesn’t affect me one bit. I’m just trying to learn and impose myself on them. “If I start getting dazed when playing other opposition, I’d probably start showing them too much respect.”
Georgia Asian Times March 1-15, 2017
HEALTH Is exercise more powerful than weight loss for lowering heart disease However there was no association between BMI alone and cardiovascular disease.
New European research has found that the health benefits of physical activity may be strong enough to outweigh the impact of being overweight or obese on cardiovascular disease in middle-aged and elderly people. Carried out by a team from the Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the observational study looked at more than 5,344 participants aged 55 to 97 years of age (average 70 years) and free of cardiovascular disease at the start of the research, who were followed for 15 years. The team collected information from the participants about BMI, physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, diet, education, and family history of premature heart attack. Participants were then categorized into groups according to their BMI:
normal (18.5-24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2) and obese (>30 kg/ m2); and physical activity, low and high. With 16% experiencing a cardiovascular event in the 15-year period, analysis showed that physical activity on its own was associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, regardless of BMI category.
When the team analyzed the effect of physical activity and BMI combined, they found that in comparison to normal weight people with high physical activity levels (the ideal combination), overweight or obese individuals with high levels of physical activity were not at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However overweight or obese people with low levels of physical activity had a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease. The results led the team to conclude that it is physical activity rather than a
normal BMI that has a protective effect on cardiovascular risk, explaining that being overweight and obese increases cardiovascular risk by accelerating atherosclerosis — the hardening of the arteries — whereas physical activity helps to protect from atherosclerosis. While the group was particularly active, with ‘low’ and ‘high’ levels of activity representing two and four hours a day, author Dr Klodian Dhana points out that “any physical activity is positive for cardiovascular health and in elderly people of all weights walking, biking and housework are good ways to keep moving. European guidelines recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.” The findings can be found published online in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
10 daily portions of fruits and vegetables could prevent early death the study, as well as reducing cancer risk by 13%.
While health guidelines currently recommend five servings of fruit and veg every day to prevent disease, an analysis of 95 international studies suggests that doubling this to 10 portions — equivalent to 800 grams — could be needed to see the greatest benefits and increase life expectancy. The study, carried out by researchers at the UK’s Imperial College London, estimates that 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide could potentially be prevented each year if people ate 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The researchers studied up to two million people, assessing up to 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, 112,000 cancer cases and 94,000 deaths. Fruit and vegetable intake of as little
A 31% reduction in premature death
as 200 grams per day can already have positive health benefits, the researchers found, cutting the risk of heart disease by 16%, reducing the risk of stroke by 18% and the risk of heart disease by 13%. Increasing daily intake to 800 grams boosts these figures to 24%, 33% and 28% respectively, according to
Compared to people who don’t eat any fruit or vegetables, the risk of early death can be reduced by as much as 31% by increasing intake to 800 grams a day. Fruit and vegetables were found to be beneficial irrespective of people’s weight, physical activity levels, smoking and overall diet. The researchers identified the following fruits and vegetables as potentially beneficial in preventing heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease and early death: apples and pears, citrus fruits,
salad and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and chicory, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. They also found that green vegetables, such as spinach or green beans, yellow vegetables, such as peppers and carrots, and cruciferous vegetables could potentially reduce cancer risk. These health benefits are understood to be linked to the many nutrients found in fruit and vegetables, such as antioxidants, which could potentially reduce DNA damage and reduce cancer risk, while also reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, boosting the health of blood vessels and the immune system, and benefitting naturally-occurring bacteria in the gut, explains lead author Dagfinn Aune.
March 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
Japan punches time clock early for ‘Premium Friday’ Tokyo, Mar 2, 2017 -- Japan’s Prime Minister will spend Friday afternoon meditating while staff at some of the country’s biggest firms are also quitting work early — in time for a bit of shopping or maybe a boozy train ride. Welcome to Premium Friday, Japan’s latest bid to tackle two perennial problems — sluggish consumer spending and notoriously long working hours blamed for a national health crisis known as karoshi, or death from overwork. The work-life balance campaign, which launches this week, calls on employers to let staff off around 3:00 pm on the last Friday of every month. Major firms such as automakers Nissan and Toyota, beverage giant Suntory and brokerage Nomura are taking part in the government-backed scheme. Thousands of other firms are offering promotions to workers who will have a bit of extra time on Fridays.
Mobile carrier SoftBank is letting staff quit early and, later this year, will be putting an extra 10,000 yen ($90) in their pockets. One railway operator is offering a special train ride with beer and bento boxes, while off-early workers can also get discounts on everything from matchmaking services to cancer checks. Prime minister Shinzo Abe will be taking it down a notch by spending the afternoon at a Zen meditation temple, followed by a music concert. So says top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga who is also kicking off early — as soon Friday’s press briefing was done. “Unfortunately I have to hold this press conference at your request,” he told reporters in Tokyo. “But as soon as I’m done with this, I’m going to doing something” for Premium Friday.
‘Changing our lifestyle’ Every year, Japan’s notoriously long working hours are blamed for hundreds of deaths due to strokes, heart attacks and suicides, along with a host of serious health problems. The issue was highlighted again in late December when the head of Japan’s biggest advertising agency Dentsu resigned in response to the suicide of a young employee who regularly logged more than 100 hours of overtime a month. More than one in five Japanese companies have employees who work such long hours they’re at serious risk of death, according to a government survey released in October.
in long hours is still seen as a sign of dedication at many Japanese firms. “We’re hoping to boost spending by changing our lifestyle, the way we work and the way we think,” said Masanao Ueda, director of major business lobby Keidanren’s Industrial Policy Bureau. “It’s hard for Japanese workers to take a day off so we need to create conditions in which everyone can take a holiday.” But it could be hard sell. Many Japanese employees don’t even take all of their regular annual leave and firms are not helping with the needed wage hikes. And only a small fraction of Japan’s firms are taking part in the non-mandatory scheme.
Japan’s long working hours spawned the image of the weary salaryman who worked all day, drank with the boss all night, and was back at his desk early in the morning.
“This campaign will not suddenly boost spending or stop long working hours,” said Naoko Kuga, analyst at Tokyo’s NLI Research Institute.
That punishing work culture has softened over the decades, but putting
“It’s not even mandatory for workers to leave early.”
Georgia Asian Times March 1-15, 2017
Japan’s silver-tongued Lotharios sell dreams to lonely women Tokyo, feb 21, 2017 -- Cigarette smoke hangs thick in the air of a Tokyo nightspot as Aki Nitta sips champagne with a trio of sweet-talking Lotharios peddling fake love at premium rates.
Many women — ranging from 20-somethings to those in their sixties — lavish expensive gifts on their favourite hosts, buying them diamond watches, luxury cars, even apartments.
In a country which has lost its mojo, many wealthy Japanese women spend eye-watering sums on male hosts in return for an evening of sweet talk, flirting — and often sex.
“When I was 20 a customer bought me a Porsche,” said former host Sho Takami, who owns a chain of clubs and likens a host’s role to that of a psychiatrist, with benefits.
“I want my heart to flutter,” said Nitta at a popular club in the Kabukicho red-light district lined with chrome and mirrors.
“It’s a 24-hour job,” insisted the 43-year-old after arriving for work in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce.
“Japanese men aren’t very attentive and don’t show their feelings, but hosts treat you like a princess. I want to be pampered and I don’t care how much it costs,” she adds. The 27-year-old businesswoman from Nagoya, spends around $10,000 a month on the object of her desire — a faintly androgynous beau with bleached hair and a boyish grin. But some big-spenders splurge over $100,000 in a single night to have their egos stroked by smooth-talking rental Romeos who themselves can earn five times that amount in a good month. There are a growing number of wealthy and successful Japanese women that have become frustrated with traditional dating and instead prefer to focus their romantic energies somewhere they are guaranteed to be treated well. “I’m paying for time, rather than men,” explained Nitta. “Time is more important to me so I want to live for now, without any regrets.”
“Our real work starts after hours — going for drinks with customers, crawling into bed at 9am, meeting another one for lunch,” added Takami, who is set to open a host club in Las Vegas next year. Chance of love “It’s important the customer believes there’s a chance of love. After all that’s how you get her to come to the club and spend money,” Takami explained. Host clubs are a $10 billion industry in Japan with some 800 venues nationwide. Around 260 of those are located in Tokyo, most squeezed into Kabukicho’s narrow streets where flickering neon signs display the air-brushed faces of hosts outside clubs with names such as Romeo, Gatsby and Avalon. Hosts have been compared to male geishas and Takami believes the culture, which began in the early 1970s, empowers women. “A host’s job is to support a lady’s heart,” he said. “We’re here to encourage women’s social advancement. It
used to be considered a bit vulgar to party with hosts. “But times have changed. These days being able to let your hair down at a host club is a mark of status or success,” he added. Japan’s hosts, denizens of the night instantly recognisable by their spray tans, crimped long hair and tight-fitting suits, are often accused of preying on women’s emotions. “The customers are buying affection,” shrugged ex-host Ken Ichijo on the terrace of his penthouse flat. “We’re selling them dreams, so you lie about loving them in return for serious money,” added the 38-year-old club manager, freshly blow-dried and shirt open to reveal a medallion. “That leaves a bad taste for some people who think we’re just ripping girls off.” Raging libidos Ichijo argues that it is simply a case of supply and demand. “Hosts exist to fill a void in someone’s life,” he said. “In this business, the host is the product. We pamper to a woman’s every need — listen to her problems, tell her she’s beautiful, act out her fantasies.”
With harsher restrictions on opening hours, regular police checks and far less ‘yakuza’ gangster involvement, the host business has cleaned up its shady image in recent years. But the promise of sex is still dangled as bait in a cutthroat industry, admits Ichijo, whose plush apartment screams bling. “Sex is not necessarily part of a host club’s service,” he said. “But it is part of trying to satisfy the customer’s needs.” Japan’s shrinking birthrate has been blamed in part on a growing social trend known as ‘herbivore men’ — those who shun carnal pleasures and machismo in favour of the quiet life. But libidos rage among the coiffured gigolos at the Top Dandy club, where sex worker Megumi Suzuki is a regular. “Hosts are charming and they understand a woman’s feelings,” purred the 27-year-old as a snake-hipped host in leather pants and winklepicker shoes lit her cigarette. “I come here to blow off steam. The men are like sparkly things — I could come every day and never tire of them.”
March 1-15, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
TRAVEL Taiwan, Vietnam among top 10 destinations offering good value on hotels New York, March 1 — TripAdvisor has assembled a list of ten destinations for US travellers looking for good value in their vacations as part of its 2017 Hotel Pricing Report. The list takes into account the country’s average hotel rate and year-on-year price decrease.
Caribbean 2017 Avg. Nightly Rate on TripAdvisor: US$442 YoY Price Decrease: -8 per cent
New York, Feb 27 -- Motion sickness — an inner ear disorder that causes nausea, dizziness and even vomiting — is an unpleasant but common occurrence on car, boat and plane trips, says Dr. Jennifer Derebery, a physician at the House Clinic in Los Angeles who specialises in ear disorders.
2017 Avg. Nightly Rate on TripAdvisor: US$122
A few unexpected entrants include Taiwan, for which TripAdvisor calculated an average hotel rate of US$138 , a 12 per cent year-on-year drop, and the United Arab Emirates. The Caribbean was also recommended as a good value destination, despite its average hotel price being the highest on the list, at US$442.
2017 Avg. Nightly Rate on TripAdvisor: US$180
“Motion sickness happens when there is an imbalance between the eyes, inner ears and spinal cord, but fortunately, there are ways to reduce the chances of it hitting you,” she said.
YoY Price Decrease: -5 per cent Sri Lanka
YoY Price Decrease: -5 per cent Costa Rica 2017 Avg. Nightly Rate on TripAdvisor: US$298 YoY Price Decrease: -4 per cent Vietnam
Derebery offered these prevention tips. — Let your eyes see the movement When motion sickness hits, it’s natural to want to keep your eyes shut or lie down, but Derebery recommends doing the opposite. “The key to recovering from motion sickness within minutes is to look toward the movement that’s happening, because doing so will reorient your inner ear,” she said.
Turkey 2017 Avg. Nightly Rate on TripAdvisor: US$109
2017 Avg. Nightly Rate on TripAdvisor: US$118 YoY Price Decrease: -4 per cent
YoY Price Decrease: -14 per cent Philippines Taiwan 2017 Avg. Nightly Rate on TripAdvisor: US$138
2017 Avg. Nightly Rate on TripAdvisor: US$146
This means that if you’re in a car, look at the road ahead, and if you’re on a cruise ship, stand on a deck and look at the water or the horizon in the direction the ship is moving. You can’t see movement ahead while sitting on a plane, but staring out a window and seeing the clouds and the ground underneath you alleviates symptoms, Derebery said.
YoY Price Decrease: -3 per cent — Prevent the onset
YoY Price Decrease: -12 per cent United Arab Emirates Belize 2017 Avg. Nightly Rate on TripAdvisor: US$269
2017 Avg. Nightly Rate on TripAdvisor: US$358 YoY Price Decrease: -3 per cent
YoY Price Decrease: -9 per cent
throw off inner ear balance, Derebery said. On planes, request the window seat, and on cruise ships, book a room with a window, preferably in the stern or back of the ship because this area doesn’t have as much up-and-down motion as the front of the ship. — Hit the drugstore
The list contains countries that, due to their economic climate, are unsurprisingly good value, such as Turkey, as well as those known for low accommodation prices like Vietnam and the Philippines.
See the full list of affordable travel destinations below:
Travel tips: How to deal with motion sickness
You can prevent the onset of motion sickness or lessen its severity. On car trips, be the driver or sit in the front passenger seat because, in either instance, you’ll be looking ahead at movement. And avoid reading, watching television and texting — all can
Over-the-counter antihistamines such as Antivert, Benadryl and Dramamine help with motion sickness — those prone to getting sick should take the recommended dosage an hour before their journey starts. These medicines can bring on sleepiness, and Derebery doesn’t recommend them if you’re driving. As an alternative to drugs, some may find motion sickness wristbands helpful. They have a button that presses a wrist point that affects inner ear balance. For cruises, she suggested getting a prescription for a transdermal scopolamine patch, which keeps the inner ear in balance. — Eat and drink wisely Fried food, spicy food and rich dishes like fettuccine Alfredo can worsen the nausea that comes with motion sickness. “These harder-to-digest foods increase the chances that you’ll throw up,” Derebery said. Before and during your trip, it’s best to stick to easily digestible foods like chicken noodle soup, bagels and crackers. To drink, go for carbonated clear liquids like ginger ale, which are helpful with nausea. - The New York Times