Covering The Multicultural Asian American Community in Georgia
www.gasiantimes.com March 15-31, 2017
March 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
Georgia Asian Times March 15-31, 2017
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Symposium on Asia USA Partnership Opportunities (SAUPO) Organized by Kennesaw State University Date: Friday, April 14, 2017 Time: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm Venue: Loews Atlanta Hotel 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 23rd 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
March 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
METRO ASIAN NEWS
Crawford & Company moves global HQ to Gwinnett County Forum on China’s new Silk Road initiative reveals opportunities for U.S. companies Atlanta, March 3, 2017 — Over 170 business executives from Georgia and Southeast attended a forum on “One Belt, One Road”, China’s led initiative on infrastructure projects and investments in Asia Pacific, Europe, and African nations. “OBOR is not a China project specifically. This is a China led-initiative to re-globalize,” said Ralph Chow, Regional Director Americas at Hong Kong Trade Development Council in his introductory remark. The forum features an opening remark by Minister Tian Deyou, Economic and Commercial Minister Counselor of People’s Republic of China in Washington DC. Quoting a popular Tang Dynasty saying, “If you wish to make yourself rich, you should build a road” — the initiative was launched modeling the ancient Silk Roads. However, the latest initiative involved 6 major corridors involving over 60 countries and over 100 international supporting organizations. Minister Tian added that by bringing the infrastructure initiatives to international arena, “it will bring wealth to the people. It will also improve connectivity and build better connectivity for the countries involved.” A panel discussion involving 3 panelist to give their insights and views on the OBOR initiative: Nicholas Kwan, Director of Research, HKTDC, Hong Kong, Henry Yu, President of Hong Kong Association of Atlanta, COO of
Asian Consortium group, and Minister Tian DeYou, Minister from the People’s Republic of China. Nicholas Kwan provided a humorous analogy comparison for the OBOR and the defunct Transpacific Trade Partnership (TPP), “it is best to describe OBOR as traditional Chinese medicine therapy and TPP as Western medicine therapy.” “Traditional Chinese medicine tends to be wholistic and organic; whereas Western medicine is more targeted and focused,” adds Kwan. Kwan further shares with the attendees that OBOR has 5 key distinctive features: OBOR is inclusive and mutually beneficial to every party involved. The initiative is not limited to the ancient Silk Road model. OBOR fully utilize market mechanism and follow international corruption practices. Lastly, connectivity through policy, facility, trade, finance, and people. Henry Yu provided specific examples of international financing deals on OBOR. Over $126 billion of contracts have been signed to date, according to Yu. James Suciu, President, Global Sales and Marketing, GE Power & Water, shared his insights on his company involvement with OBOR during the luncheon keynote address. The event was jointly organized by the China Program at The Carter Center and Hong Kong Association of Atlanta.
Norcross, March 9, 2017 – Crawford & Company, the world’s largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management solutions to insurance companies and self-insured entities, and Partnership Gwinnett announce the relocation of Crawford’s® global headquarters to the City of Peachtree Corners, Gwinnett County.
“Crawford’s decision to select Peachtree Corners as the home of their new location is great news for the city,” said City of Peachtree Corners Mayor, Mike Mason. “We look forward to working with the company to connect our talented workforce with the highwage jobs this relocation will bring to our community.”
“We are excited to bring Crawford & Company to Gwinnett County,” said Harsha V. Agadi, president and CEO of Crawford & Company. “This relocation will allow us to continue our expansion, while also bringing investment and competencies to the local business community, further contributing to the great economic climate found in Gwinnett.”
“The Atlanta Regional Commission is excited to work with Crawford on a range of workforce development initiatives to ensure the company has access to the highly skilled employees they need to continue to grow and innovate,” said Doug Hooker, executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission.
The new facility will be located at 5335 Triangle Parkway in the City of Peachtree Corners. This announcement represents approximately 500 new jobs in Gwinnett County, and $15 million in capital investment over the next three years. “We are thrilled that Crawford, a highly respected global organization, has chosen Gwinnett County as its new location,” said Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chair, Charlotte Nash. “This location will add to the strong economic vitality of our community through new job opportunities, the company’s strong global presence and their admired quality services.” With an expansive global network serving clients in more than 70 countries, the Crawford Solution® offers comprehensive, integrated claims services, business process outsourcing and consulting services for major product lines including property and casualty claims management, workers compensation claims and medical management, and legal settlement administration.
Crawford® recently announced the acquisition of a majority interest in WeGoLook®, LLC, an online and mobile-enabled economy platform that will allow the company to provide a new system for their clients to better handle high-volume, low-severity claims. They also recently formed a new entity, Crawford Innovative Ventures to invest in more strategic acquisitions and partnerships. These steps will help ensure that the company stays at the forefront of a rapidly growing and changing insurance environment and allow them to continue their longterm efforts of expanding into new industries and providing additional services for their clients. “Gwinnett County continues to be a strong draw for companies with outstanding global recognition,” said Nick Masino, chief economic development officer for Partnership Gwinnett. “Our diversity, excellent workforce and prime location in metro Atlanta makes Gwinnett the best place to do business. We congratulate Crawford & Company and look forward to supporting them in the future.”
Georgia Asian Times March 15-31, 2017
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Trump plans to host China’s Xi in April at Florida resort, says report Washington DC, March 13, 2017 — President Donald Trump is planning to host Chinese President Xi Jinping at a two-day summit next month at his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort, U.S. online media outlet Axios reported on Monday, citing officials familiar with the plans. The two-day meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 6-7, the U.S. media outlet reported. Reuters has not verified the Axios story and does not vouch for its accuracy. Representatives of the White House and for Xi could not be immediately reached for comment. The planned summit would follow a string of other recent U.S-China meetings and conversations seeking to reaffirm ties following months of strong rhetoric from Trump. Last month, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi visited Washington to discuss the two countries’ economic ties and security interests. Yang, who outranks China’s foreign minister, met separately with Trump, as well as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
During his presidential campaign, Trump accused China of unfair trade policies, criticized its island-building in the strategic South China Sea claimed by several countries, and accused it of doing too little to constrain its neighbor, North Korea. Since taking office on Jan. 20, Trump has written a letter to Xi, seeking “constructive ties” and later speaking with him by phone. In December, Trump incensed Beijing by taking a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and later saying the United States did not have to stick to the so-called “one China” policy. Under that policy, Washington acknowledges the Chinese position that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is a part. Trump later agreed in a phone call with Xi to honor the policy. – Reuters
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March 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
BUSINESS China’s ZTE pleads guilty, settles with U.S. over Iran, North Korea sales New York, March 7, 2017 — Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp has agreed to pay $892 million and plead guilty to criminal charges for violating U.S. laws that restrict the sale of American-made technology to Iran and North Korea. While a guilty plea deals a blow to ZTE’s reputation, the resolution could lift some uncertainty for a company that relies on U.S. suppliers for 25 percent to 30 percent of its components.
Musk says Tesla to run contest for homemade commercials Elon Musk, an active Twitter user, has been Tesla’s mouthpiece to the public, informing them about the electric car maker’s upcoming products and plans. On Wednesday, in response to a letter by a fifth grade student, the founder and chief executive of Tesla made another announcement on the social media platform – the company will hold a contest for homemade advertisements. Bria, daughter of Twitter user Steven, suggested that Musk should run a competition to find the best homemade commercial for Tesla, which has been averse to commercials. “Thank you for the lovely letter. That sounds like a great idea. We’ll do it!” Musk responded to the letter in a tweet. Bria, who aspires to be a politician, wrote in the letter that Tesla cars were the “best thing” she had ever seen and that she hoped to drive a Tesla car in the future.
“You could give the winners a year of free Supercharging or a Model 3 Easter Egg or something,” Bria suggested in the letter, which was written for a school project. “The cool part is that you still won’t be taking the time and money to advertise for yourself,” she wrote, adding “it would be so cool if you could hook me up with a Tesla t-shirt.” She also expressed her disappointment over Tesla cars not being sold in Michigan. Steven, who shared the letter, is a journalist and a professor at Art Institute of Michigan, his Twitter account showed. – Reuters
A five-year investigation found ZTE conspired to evade U.S. embargoes by buying U.S. components, incorporating them into ZTE equipment and illegally shipping them to Iran. In addition, it was charged in connection with 283 shipments of telecommunications equipment to North Korea. “ZTE Corporation not only violated export controls that keep sensitive American technology out of the hands of hostile regimes like Iran’s, they lied … about their illegal acts,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. ZTE agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, obstruction of justice for an elaborate cover-up, and making a material false statement for claims it was complying with regulations The investigation, spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, followed reports by Reuters in 2012 that ZTE had signed contracts to ship millions of dollars worth of hardware and software from some of the bestknown U.S. technology companies to Iran’s largest telecoms carrier. The Justice Department noted one Reuters article in its statement announcing the plea deal on Tuesday. The original report can be read here: here.
“ZTE acknowledges the mistakes it made, takes responsibility for them, and remains committed to positive change in the company,” ZTE Chief Executive Zhao Xianming said in a statement. The company’s guilty pleas, which must be approved by a judge, will take place in U.S. District Court in Texas. The Shenzhen-based company has a U.S. subsidiary in Richardson, Texas. In March 2016, ZTE was placed on a list of entities that U.S. firm could not supply without a license. ZTE acted contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests, the Commerce Department said at the time. Commerce will recommend that ZTE be removed from that list if the company lives up to its deal and a court approves its agreement with the Justice Department. ZTE warned last month the penalties could impact its results. The company has a market capitalization of about 60 billion yuan ($8.7 billion), according to Thomson Reuters data. It has continued to do business with U.S. suppliers under a temporary general license that was extended several times, with the latest reprieve expiring March 29. ZTE purchases about $2.6 billion worth of components a year from U.S. technology companies, according to a company spokesman. Qualcomm, Microsoft and Intel are among its suppliers. Items shipped in violation of U.S. export laws included routers, microprocessors and servers controlled under export regulations. Authorities said executives at ZTE approved the scheme to prevent disclosure of the sales. The scheme included a data team that destroyed or sanitized materials involving ZTE’s Iran business after March 2012.
Georgia Asian Times March 15-31, 2017
Chinese provinces fizz with fervor for Xi’s New Silk Road Beijing, March 10, 2017 — China’s regional governments are falling over each other to curry favor with President Xi Jinping, jostling for roles in his New Silk Road plan to boost economic and cultural links through Asia to Europe. One says it wants to send its young people to be Silk Road “super connectors”, while a second is pitching to become a new home for foreign consulates. Another wants to build a folk museum to commemorate Beijing’s overseas push. The plan, officially the ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) project, has so far seen billions of dollars pledged overseas to countries such as Pakistan and Kazakhstan, in a drive to develop trade and build infrastructure along land and sea routes between the two continents. At home, it is stoking a frenzy of one-upmanship among provinces keen to catch Xi’s eye and find new drivers for growth in their patch as the economy slows. While official plans published in 2015 only list 18 provinces as areas key to the plan, over 30 of China’s territories now say they have an OBOR strategy. At the annual meeting of China’s rubber-stamp parliament in Beijing this week, delegates from all attending provinces trumpeted their support for the initiative during meetings.
“Our party secretary, mayor, vice-mayor have all visited One Belt One Road countries like Poland and the Czech Republic, even parts of the Russian Federation like Tatarstan,” Tang Limin, secretary-general of central Sichuan province, told Reuters after addressing delegates at a meeting. It didn’t matter that the government didn’t identify Sichuan as key to the plan two years ago, Tang said. “We have a lot of cooperation projects that come under One Belt One Road,” he said. Aligning such projects with Xi’s vision has been aided by the loose definition of OBOR. Beijing has provided some guidelines of where it wants the initiative to focus, such as heavy infrastructure investment, but has left much of it open to interpretation. Cultural exchanges with other countries, the formation of the Asian Investment Infrastructure Bank, and overseas acquisitions by Chinese firms have all been described by local media as part of the OBOR project. Delegates to the parliament have embraced that kind of flexibility. “We have people who can be ‘super-connectors and super partners’,” said Chan Yung, the Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress, when asked how the autonomously governed city plans to contribute to the initiative.
“Hong Kong’s youth are very open … As long as they’re willing to fork out 1-3 years to travel the One Belt One Road routes and stay in a country for 1-2 years, they can become experts.” Bai Hongzhan, a delegate from Henan in central China, proposed that the provincial capital Zhengzhou should be developed into a key node on the route where foreign consulates could be persuaded to set up a base. The province of Shaanxi, home to China’s historic Terracotta Army, is weighing up a proposal for a Silk Road Chinese Folk Culture corridor, with folk museums, memorial halls and gardens to pay tribute to the initiative, documents show. Plans for how to participate in “One
Belt, One Road” have not just been drafted by the provincial government, but companies and other entities. In the coastal province of Jiangsu, the fervor is not restricted to the provincial authority but reaches down to lower tiers of government and corporate China, said Yan Lijuan, a delegate from the province and top executive at XCMG Construction Machinery. “One Belt, One Road is extremely important to every city in Jiangsu, every company and industry.” – Reuters
March 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
ART Mona Lisa’s smile decoded: Science says she’s happy Paris, March 11, 2017 - The subject of centuries of scrutiny and debate, Mona Lisa’s famous smile is routinely described as ambiguous. But is it really that hard to read? Apparently not. In an unusual trial, close to 100 per cent of people described her expression as unequivocally “happy”, researchers revealed yesterday. “We really were astonished,” said neuroscientist Juergen Kornmeier of the University of Freiburg in Germany, who co-authored the study.
Giant Ai Weiwei refugee installation to go on display in Prague Prague, March 11, 2017 — Refugees are the focus of the biggest installation of Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei which goes on display next week at the National Gallery in Prague.
“I felt what it was like to be on a poorly equipped boat, all by myself, as an insect on a leaf in the middle of the lake,” added the 59-year-old painter, sculpture and photographer.
Called “Law of the Journey”, the 70-metre-long (230-foot-long) inflatable boat with 258 oversize refugee figures will be shown from March 16 through the rest of the year, the gallery said.
“In the boat I found a baby bottle and a Bible soaked with seawater. That was when I decided to explore this, to go after all those thoughts that are in my head.”
“The largest individual object by this Chinese artist reflects his intense interest in the fate of refugees, which led him to 40 refugee camps in different locations across the globe,” it said. Ai spent the last year visiting such migrant and refugee hotspots as the US-Mexican border badlands to the Turkish-Syrian frontier and crowded holding camps on Greek islands. “When I first came to Lesbos, we found a half sunken boat there. I asked to be taken to it and sent the other people away. I wanted to experience what it was like to be there alone,” Ai said, quoted in the gallery statement.
An outspoken critic of the Chinese government, Ai was detained in 2011 for 81 days and had his passport confiscated for four years. He later travelled to Berlin where his wife and son live. Recently he has staged several high-profile exhibitions inspired by migrants, including decking out the columns of Berlin’s Konzerthaus with 14,000 orange life jackets from Lesbos. Last month, he said he has looked with dismay at the Trump presidency, the US entry ban on Syrian refugees, the attempt to deny visas to citizens of several mainly Muslim nations, the pledge to build a wall with Mexico and invoke mass deportations.
Kornmeier and a team used what is arguably the most famous artwork in the world in a study of factors that influence how humans judge visual cues such as facial expressions. Known as La Gioconda in Italian, the Mona Lisa is often held up as a symbol of emotional enigma. The portrait appears to many to be smiling sweetly at first, only to adopt a mocking sneer or sad stare the longer you look. Using a black and white copy of the early 16th century masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci, a team manipulated the model’s mouth corners slightly up and down to create eight altered images - four marginally but progressively “happier”, and four “sadder” Mona Lisas. A block of nine images were shown to 12 trial participants 30 times. In every showing, for which the pictures were randomly reshuffled, participants had to describe each of the nine images as happy or sad. “Given the descriptions from art and art history, we thought that the original would be the most ambiguous,” Kornmeier said. Instead, “to our great astonishment,
we found that Da Vinci’s original was... perceived as happy” in 97 per cent of cases. All in the context A second phase of the experiment involved the original Mona Lisa with eight “sadder” versions, with even more nuanced differences in the lip tilt. In this test, the original was still described as happy, but participants’ reading of the other images changed. “They were perceived a little sadder” than in the first experiment, said Kornmeier. The findings confirm that “we don’t have an absolute fixed scale of happiness and sadness in our brain” - and that a lot depends on context, the researcher explained. “Our brain manages to very, very quickly scan the field. We notice the total range, and then we adapt our estimates” using our memory of previous sensory experiences, he said. Understanding this process may be useful in the study of psychiatric disorders, said Kornmeier. Affected people can have hallucinations, seeing things that others do not, which may be the result of a misalignment between the brain’s processing of sensory input, and perceptual memory. A next step will be to do the same experiment with psychiatric patients. Another interesting discovery was that people were quicker to identify happier Mona Lisas than sad ones. This suggested “there may be a slight preference... in human beings for happiness, said Kornmeier. As for the masterpiece itself, the team believe their work has finally settled a centuries-old question.
March 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
NACA reception for Chinese Embassyâ€™s Minister TianDeYou, Mar 2, 2017
March 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
One Belt, One Road Forum, Carter Center, Mar 2, 2017
Georgia Asian Times March 15-31, 2017
Navy, shiny leather and suits: The big Paris Fashion Week trends Paris, March 8, 2017 — Snazzy men’s style suits, lots of shiny leather, hats galore and navy blue. Here are the big womenswear trends on the Paris catwalks as the Autumn/ Winter shows end late yesterday. Suits you, Madame Just as in New York and Milan, the designers in Paris could not stop themselves from raiding men’s wardrobes for ideas. Everyone from relative newbies Aalto to Celine, Lanvin and Valentin Yudashkin were putting women in natty men’s suits, from pinstripes to smoking jackets, with ties also making several appearances. Mugler’s fearsome power suits had turned-up padded shoulders while Stella McCartney’s high-waisted tailored country tweeds channelled aristocratic insouciance. Only at Saint Laurent, were you would most expect them, were men’s suits absent, save for one cut-off dinner jacket. Hell for leather Nothing emphasises the new tailored trend more than the abundance of sharply cut shiny leather on the podiums. And as McCartney proved Monday, it no longer has to be the real thing. But the new, and to some, excessively sexy Saint Laurent wanted skin. Designer Anthony Vaccarello — who got into trouble over what some called his “degradingly sexist” ad campaign — wrapped his 1980s Saint Laurent vamps in tight rippling leather outfits, while Chloe dusted off a brown patent 1970s mini dress that Mary Tyler Moore might have worn in one of her racier moments. Lanvin, now under the classy
Bouchra Jarrar, went for a full patent black suit while Olivier Theyskens chilled and thrilled with a full-length black Gestapo-style leather coat. Hermes used leather more subtly to shift its new look up a gear, but Y/ Project stopped the traffic with a red leather coat and baggy trousers. Thigh-high boots If you thought thigh-high boots were a temporary blip of bad taste, think again. They have been around for three seasons now and show no signs of walking. Pop star-turned-designer Rihanna walked her Puma boots all over the tables of France’s national library, and Balmain looked as though a dragon had been skinned for theirs. But not all were so in-your-face. Celine’s were almost understated, as were Alexis Mabille’s despite being gold, while Esteban Cortazar’s red and white creeper-patterned boots were as subtle as they were sexy.
Chanel’s latest handbag campaign star: Pharrell Williams Paris, March 10 - Pharrell Williams is taking his fashion career to new heights by becoming the first man to star in a Chanel handbag campaign. The multi-talented artist has once again teamed up with the luxury fashion brand, this time to promote the label’s new ‘Gabrielle’ bag, WWD reports.
Images released to the site show the star modelling the accessory in a concert venue, dressed casually in a blazer and denim and rocking several chunky necklaces. Fellow Chanel faces Kristen Stewart, Caroline de Maigret and Cara Delevingne also feature in the campaign, which is set to launch on April 3.
In a blue mood Dior was categorical, Chanel less emphatic, but a dozen other houses including Lanvin, Celine, Mugler and Yohji Yamamoto took blue as their big colour for Autumn/Winter. Maria Grazia Chiuri produced an almost monochrome navy blue collection at Dior; Guillaume Henry at Nina Ricci mixed blue and black for a retro sensuality; and Vaccarello at Saint Laurent went for shiny wrapping-paper blue. Hats Paris has fallen head over heels for hats. This week has seen an unprecedented sprouting of headwear on the runways, from turbans to Dior’s Black Panther leather berets.
The American iconoclast Rick Owens created a whole gallery of mitres, crowns and veils for the “contemporary ceremonial” of his show, making alien burqa creations from sweatshirt sleeves. And caps were doffed to Jacquemus for its stylish riff on vaguely Spanish black felt headgear, from jaunty bicorne Picasso monteras to stovepipe 1950s numbers. Japanese label Undercover, however, topped everyone with a procession of wild plumed fascinators.
Cosmic handbags With life on Earth looking increasingly bleak, Chanel rocketed us off to the Moon in its space-themed show, while Indian designer Manish Arora’s joyous collection promised nothing less than “cosmic love” with “heavenly bodies aligning in glittering galaxies”. His Saturn handbags and shooting star and sunburst belts bedazzled the front row. Dior too found room for astrological embroidery in its far more austere show, while Issay Miyake embraced the Aurora Borealis.
March 15-31, 2017
Georgia Asian Times
Eric Tsang wins Best Actor for the first time in 25 years Kuala Lumpur, March 12, 2017 — Twenty-five years after winning his first Best Actor Award at the 1992 Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA), 63-year-old actor Eric Tsang finally bagged his second Best Actor Award at the inaugural Malaysian Golden Global Awards (MGGA) held last Sunday. Tsang who rarely acts in lead roles, was surprised that he was nominated for the category and is thankful for that, but it surprised him even more when he won the Best Actor title over other nominees like Aaron Kwok, Kai Ko, Kwak Do-won, and Shahab Hosseini. “Even though I was nominated, I already felt like I won. Because this is an international award, it’s not some low-level ceremony, and the nominees are all great!” the actor said at the post-party of MGGA in Genting Highlands. “The Korean actor Kwak Do-won was in it, and he is amazing. Shahab Hosseini from the Oscar-winning The Salesman is also great. So I thought if anyone would win this award, it would be these two because going against them is not easy.” Tsang however joked that he doesn’t see Aaron Kwok as a competitor in the category. “I don’t really mind not winning the award because I came to this event with no expectation that I would be winning at all. I only came to this event because this is the first Malaysian international film festival, and I need to support it,” Tsang continued.
Although Tsang does wish that he’ll win the category, his main intention of coming to the event is to show support, as Malaysians too have always been giving non-stop support to the Hong Kong film industry. In 1992, Tsang won Best Actor for Alan and Eric Between Hello and Goodbye, beating other nominees like Ray Lui, Stephen Chow, Chow Yun-fat, and Andy Lau. “Winning Best Actor for Alan and Eric Between Hello and Goodbye is a miracle because I feel that my best achievement so far is winning Best Supporting Actor. I rarely win Best Actor because I don’t get lead roles so often,” he said. In the upcoming HKFA this April, Tsang is nominated as Best Supporting Actor along with Paul Chun, Ng Mantat, Philip Keung, and Liu Kai-chi. When asked whether he is confident about winning, Tsang admits that it is hard to say as the competition is quite fierce though he does wish that he can get the award. However, the famous star of the Super Trio series said that his biggest wish for this year’s HKFA is to win an award together with his son, Derek Tsang who is nominated for Best Director for Soul Mate. “I wish that I can win an award together with my son at the Hong Kong Film Awards since we’re both nominated. That would definitely be a dream come true,” said the actor.
Tyra Banks to host ‘America’s Got Talent’ season Los Angeles, March 13 , 2017— Tyra Banks has been confirmed as the new host of America’s Got Talent reports Deadline. Veteran judge Howie Mandel announced the news on social media, which will mark Banks’ return to reality series after also hosting America’s Next Top Model. The ex-model will replace long-standing AGT host Nick Cannon, who quit last month. “Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with grandiose acts and performers who make the seemingly impossible possible,” said Banks, “I
love how AGT brings that feeling into everyone’s home, capturing the best of people who come out and give it their all to make those big, fierce and outrageous dreams come true.” Judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B. and Howie Mandel are all confirmed to be returning for the next season.
Georgia Asian Times March 15-31, 2017
Djokovic, Federer, Nadal advance at Indian Wells Indian Wells, March 13 , 2017— Novak Djokovic launched his bid for a sixth ATP Indian Wells Masters crown with a two-set triumph over Kyle Edmund as the stars shone yesterday in the California desert. The 46th-ranked Edmund served for the second set at 5-3, but world number two Djokovic broke him en route to a 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) triumph. His reward is a tough third-round clash with former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, a 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 winner over fellow Argentine Federico del Bonis. “I think I played very well in the first set,” Djokovic said. “Second set was obviously up and down. But credit to Kyle for playing some really aggressive tennis. “He made a lot of winners in the beginning and midway through the second. There was not much wrong I did. I did miss some forehands. But other than that, it was a very solid match. Good, quality tennis, a good test.”
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal also reached the third round, Federer flying through with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over France’s Stephane Robert in just 51 minutes. Nadal opened his account with a steady 6-3, 6-2 victory over Argentina’s Guido Pella. The three stars are packed together in a remarkable bottom quarter of the draw. But Djokovic said he can’t afford to think about a possible quarter-final clash with either of his longtime rivals with del Potro coming up. While Djokovic has won 12 of their 16 career meetings, the Argentine handed him a crushing two-tiebreak defeat in the first round of the Rio Olympics—a defeat Djokovic avenged in Acapulco this month.
you wish for, but it is what it is,” added Djokovic, who is trying to get back to the winner’s circle after a shock second-round exit at the Australian Open and a quarter-final loss to Nick Kyrgios in Acapulco. Ninth-seeded Federer, resurgent after a 2016 season marred by injury, downed Nadal in an epic Australian Open final to secure his 18th Grand Slam title. He hit a speed bump in Dubai this month, failing to convert three match points in a third-round loss to Evgeny Donskoy—but he was firing on all cylinders against the 81st-ranked Robert. “Very happy,” said Federer, who missed Indian Wells last year with a knee injury that required surgery. “Knee is a thing of the past, which is great. I don’t even have to think or talk about it.” ‘Solid’ Nadal
“Big guy, big serve, big forehand,” Djokovic said of del Potro.
Nadal was pleased with a “solid” opening effort against Pella, made trickier by the oven-like mid-day temperatures and the fact that Pella, like Nadal, is a left-hander.
“Definitely not the draw that you like early in the tournament and that
“I didn’t try to do amazing things. I tried to play solid,” the fifth-seeded
Spaniard said. “For moments I played well. For moments I played a little bit less well. Important thing, I won, and I won in straight sets.” Nadal knows he’ll have to turn up the intensity if he wants to end a hard court title drought stretching back to 2014. The bottom half of the draw also features fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan, who eased past Britain’s Daniel Evans 6-3, 6-4 yesterday. But sixth-seeded Marin Cilic, who beat Nishikori in the 2014 US Open final, was an early casualty, beaten 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 by 19-year-old American Taylor Fritz. The jam-packed half of the draw is a contrast to the wide-open top half, which lost a lot of its lustre on Saturday when world number one Andy Murray was stunned by 129th-ranked Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil. “That’s sport, no?” Nadal said. “Yesterday probably Andy didn’t play his best match and Vasek served very well. So then you go to a tiebreak and anything can happen.”
March 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
SPORTS Barcelona hit PSG for six in historic late fightback Barcelona, March 9, 2017 -- Sergi Roberto scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time as Barcelona capped a sensational Champions League fightback to thrash Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 and reach the quarter-finals on Wednesday. Despite Luis Suarez’s early opener, a Layvin Kurzawa own goal and Lionel Messi’s penalty, Barca, who lost the first leg 4-0, looked down and out when Edison Cavani volleyed home what seemed to be the vital away goal for PSG. However, Neymar restored Barca’s belief as he firstly fired home a sensational free-kick two minutes from time and then converted from the penalty spot. And Roberto capped the biggest comeback in Champions League history when he stretched to turn home Neymar’s dinked cross to the delight of a near 100,000 at a rocking Camp Nou, making the score 6-5 on aggregate. “I threw myself at it with everything,” Roberto told BeIN Sports Spain. “We left Paris very down and now this is incredible. We were prepared for all this. The fans were like 10 extra players and in the end this is all for them.” Teammate Ivan Rakatic added: “It’s crazy. After Paris, many people spoke hard about our team but tonight was special, we made history. We know we are the best team in the world.” Barca also enter the record books by reaching the quarter-finals for a 10th straight season. Outgoing Barca coach Luis Enrique warned the French champions on Tuesday that his side were capable of scoring six and they needed the full 95 minutes to pull of a miracle revival.
No side had ever come back from a 4-0 first leg deficit in the Champions League, but after much pre-match hype of a historic turnaround, Barca truly believed when Suarez opened the scoring after just three minutes. The PSG defence was stationary as Marquinhos headed Rafinha’s cross high into the air and Suarez nipped in ahead of the flapping goalkeeper Kevin Trapp to nod in despite Thomas Meunier’s best efforts to clear off the line. In a role reversal from the first leg, Barca’s high pressing wasn’t allowing the visitors any restbite, whilst PSG failed to take advantage of the huge spaces in behind the Barca defence on the counter-attack. Shambolic defending Neymar was inches away from delivering a spectacular second when he drilled just wide from well outside the area before Trapp easily collected a Suarez effort from an acute angle. However, Barca’s hopes were further raised five minutes before the break thanks to more shambolic PSG defending. Andres Iniesta reached Suarez’s hopeful through ball and his backheel provoked Kurzawa into shanking the ball into his own net on his weaker right foot. The second period started just as the first ended as Barca edged closer to the history books when Neymar was clipped by the prone Meunier and, after consultation with one of his assistants, German referee Deniz Aytekin pointed to the spot. Messi made no mistake with the penalty to rifle home his 11th Champions League goal of the season.
Only when 3-0 down did PSG begin to come out in search of the crucial away goal and were nearly rewarded immediately as Meunier got to the byline and his low cross was turned onto the post by Cavani. The Uruguayan had to wait just 10 minutes more, though, to find the net. Kurzawa made amends for his earlier error by heading down a free-kick and Cavani connected sweetly on the volley to register his 38th and seemingly most important goal of the season. PSG were then to rue to huge missed chances to put the tie completely beyond Barca. Firstly, Cavani should have had his second as he was played in by Draxler, but this time Marc-Andre ter Stegen stood up to block with an outstretched leg. PSG’s two-goal hero from the first Angel di Maria had started on the bench, but the former Real Madrid man should have rubbed salt in Barca’s
wounds five minutes from time when he somehow skewed wide with just Ter Stegen to beat. Just when Barca looked down and out Neymar restored hope when he curled home a sensational free-kick high into the top corner. And as the match entered stoppage time, Barca were awarded a second controversial penalty when Suarez tumbled under a challenge form Marquinhos. Neymar this time took responsibility to send Trapp the wrong way. And the Brazilian also showed a cool head amongst a mad final minute when he cut inside before chipping into the box for substitute Roberto to extend his right leg just enough to beat Trapp and leave PSG floored.
Georgia Asian Times March 15-31, 2017
HEALTH Gluten-free diet increases risk of type 2 diabetes, says study In response to the trend for gluten-free products, on Thursday the American Heart Association (AHA) announced research, based on 30 years of surveys, that establishes a link between gluten-free diets and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. To date, no scientific studies have demonstrated any health benefits that accrue from a gluten-free diet for the vast majority of people who do not suffer from Celiac disease (which affects one percent of the population in the US) or gluten intolerance. Using data from three long-term studies that monitored 200,000 people over 30 years, researchers from the University of Harvard evaluated the
In the US, a 2014 Consumer Reports National Research Centre survey found that 63% of Americans believe that a gluten-free diet would improve their physical and mental health.
impact of a gluten-free diet on the health of subjects with no medical diagnosis of gluten intolerance. Their findings, which have now been made public by the AHA, are unequivocal. People who regularly consume gluten (an average of 5.8 to 7.1 grams per day) have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Bread, pizza, pasta, cereal, pretzels and even muffins were among respondents’ most commonly listed sources of gluten. At the same time, the researchers noted that those who sought to avoid gluten consumed less cereal fiber, which is known to reduce the risk of diabetes.
The study has added weight to warnings from nutritionists worried by the excessively high glycemic index of processed gluten-free products that lack fiber and nutrients and may contain additives. And that is not to mention the risk posed by the “healthy” image of these products, which may lead some consumers to overindulge.
The Harvard University study findings were presented at the at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/ Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions in Portland, Oregon.
Exercise more effective than meds at relieving fatigue for cancer patients Exercise could be a more effective way of reducing cancer-related fatigue than medications suggests new research published this week in JAMA Oncology. Led by the Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester in the state of New York, the study analyzed more than 11,000 patients across 113 unique studies that tested various treatments for cancer-related fatigue. All were randomized clinical trials, the highest standard for evaluating effective treatments. Nearly half of the studies’ participants were women with breast cancer, with ten studies focusing on other types of cancer and including only men. All of the participants suffered cancer-related fatigue, the most common side effect during and after cancer treatment.
This type of fatigue is different from being chronically tired, explains lead author Karen Mustian, and is a “crushing” sensation that’s not relieved by rest or sleep and that can persist for months or even years. Even more concerning, Mustian explained, is that this fatigue can decrease a patient’s chances of survival because sufferers are less likely to complete medical treatments, with the National Cancer Institute putting cancer-related fatigue as a top research priority. After analyzing the data, Mustian and her team found that exercise alone — including both aerobic or anaerobic — had the most significant effect on reducing cancer-related fatigue. Psychological interventions, such as therapy to help change personal behavior and the way a person thinks about his or her circumstances, also had a similar, beneficial effect.
However, perhaps surprisingly, studies which looked at a combination of exercise and psychological therapy had mixed results, with the researchers unable to say for sure what is the best combination of both to make them effective. With exercise and/or psychological therapy working better than medications used for treating cancer-related fatigue, the team now believe that these methods should be recommended first to patients.
“The literature bears out that these drugs don’t work very well although they are continually prescribed,” commented Mustian, “Cancer patients already take a lot of medications and they all come with risks and side effects. So any time you can subtract a pharmaceutical from the picture it usually benefits patients.” “If a cancer patient is having trouble with fatigue, rather than looking for extra cups of coffee, a nap, or a pharmaceutical solution, consider a 15-minute walk,” she suggested. Mustian has been studying exercise and cancer alongside Wilmot colleagues for almost 15 years. Much or her work looks at gentle yoga, walking, resistance bands, and other forms of movement to help ease side effects.
March 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
Study: China’s elderly live longer, but are less fit Beijing, March 10, 2017 - The number and proportion of people in China over 80 are growing, but their mental and physical fitness appear to be declining, scientists reported today. Comparing medical data and surveys from 1998 and 2008 of nearly 20,000 people aged 80 to 105, researchers found that the ranks of China’s ‘oldest old’ had expanded since the turn of the century. For octogenarians and nonagenarians, mortality fell by nearly 1 per cent over that decade, they reported in the medical journal The Lancet. For the 100-and-up club, death rates dropped nearly 3 per cent. The ‘over 80’ cohort is by far the fastest rising age group in the country.
At the same time, however, physical and cognitive function showed a small but significant deterioration. Simple tasks - standing up from a chair, for example, or picking up a book off the floor - were harder to perform, while scores on memory tests slumped. “This has clear policy implications for health systems and social care, not only in China but also globally,” the authors concluded. “Many more state-subsidised public and private programmes and enterprises are urgently needed to provide services to meet the needs of the rapidly growing elderly population,” especially those over 80.
Paradoxically, the 2008 respondents reported less difficulty in performing daily activities - such as eating, dressing and bathing - than those born a decade earlier. The scientists, led by Yi Zeng, a professor at the National School of Development at Beijing University, chalked this up to improved amenities and tools, but said more research was needed. The findings illustrate the tug-of-war between two approaches to assessing ageing populations, whether in rich or developing countries. One emphasises the “benefits of success”: people living longer with lower levels of disability because of healthier lifestyles, better healthcare and higher incomes. By contrast, the “cost of success” theory suggests that living longer
might mean that individuals survive life-threatening illnesses but live with chronic health problems as a result. The new study shows that both theories are at play, and that governments will need to adapt under either scenario. “The findings provide a clear warning message to societies with ageing populations,” Yi said in a statement. “Although lifespans are increasing, other elements of health are both improving and deteriorating, leading to a variety of health and social needs in the oldest-old population.” Whether it means providing longterm care for the disabled, or work and social opportunities for healthy octogenarians, adjusting to an ageing population will require planning and investment, the researchers concluded.
Georgia Asian Times March 15-31, 2017
lipservice to viability - giving a free service to customers and merchants, while burning through their start-up funding. Their only source of income has been commissions on phone and utility bill payments.
State-backed rivals force India’s e-payment firms to step up Mumbai, March 10, 2017 — Electronic payment firms got a big boost when India abolished most of the country’s banknotes last year, but rival state-sponsored e-payment services are forcing them to raise their game to hang on to their new customers. Until November’s move, which scrapped 86 percent of all notes to foil counterfeiting and the black market, more than 90 percent of transactions in India were in cash. Electronic payments providers such as market leaders Paytm and MobiKwik, and smaller players FreeCharge, Citrus, ItzCash and Oxigen, seized the opportunity, snapping up millions of customers and merchants caught out by the sudden shortage of cash. Now the government is rolling out three tools to facilitate rival cashless transactions, including a United Payments Interface (UPI) app that simplifies inter-bank fund transfers, and Aadhaar pay, a bank-linked payment service that relies on the national identity card and can be used with just a fingerprint.
a simple payment system, helped by Visa and MasterCard. It requires only a smartphone and is aiming to sign up 2 million merchants by September. The UPI app was downloaded more than 17 million times within two months of launch, and transaction values jumped 18 times between November and January, albeit from a low base. So e-wallet providers such as Alibaba-backed Paytm, the largest, with more than 200 million clients, are adding services to stay a step ahead. Paytm is betting that its license to set up a niche bank so it can pay interest on deposits - and connect its systems with the UPI network - will help, and it knows it will need extra services to make the business profitable. “The point is that e-wallets as a standalone business will be massively risky and not viable,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and Chief Executive of Paytm. FREEBIES
It has also promoted Bharat QR, another bank-linked service that uses machine-readable labels as the base for
In the early stages of their buildup, the companies haven’t even paid
Paytm’s parent company has raised $675 million from Alibaba and more from others, and says its current valuation is about $5 billion, but it has lost about $230 million over the last financial year. MobiKwik, part-owned by American Express and Sequoia Capital, has raised about $80 million and is eyeing a $1 billion valuation as it holds talks with investors for more funding. Both have waived fees to enable free money transfers from wallets to bank accounts. Paytm says transfers within its wallets and accounts will be free forever.
of third-biggest Indian lender HDFC Bank, which has its own payment app. MobiKwik, which started as a simple digital wallet, is looking to partner with mainstream banks to market a host of financial services on its platform, from mutual funds to loans. It aims to triple its wallets user base to 150 million by end-2017, and raise the value of transactions five times to $10 billion. It thinks its head start and extra services will keep it on top of the competition, and that banks, latecomers to e-payment, will struggle to match the scale of its operations and vendor network.
And they have been using cash discounts and freebies to lure customers.
“UPI is a solution for bank transfers. UPI is not a payments ecosystem today, as there are no merchants on UPI,” said MobiKwik Chief Executive Bipin Preet Singh.
Mumbai-based management teacher Christina Sundaresan says she started using Paytm when the government pulled the plug on notes, and now uses it so frequently she gets a free movie ticket each weekend.
Dhruv Chopra, managing director at the Indian unit of South African payments solutions provider Net1, which has invested in MobiKwik, is also betting the start-ups will be too nimble for the banks.
“My laptop repairer, the vegetable vendor and the medical store are all accepting Paytm, so it works well,” she said.
But with a large number of small players, many will not survive, he said.
But she says she would consider other payment options, including UPI. That will make it difficult for Paytm to withdraw the freebies, but they can’t keep burning cash. “You can’t have a business that says ‘pay a 500 bill and take 250 cash back’,” said Aditya Puri, head
Avnish Bajaj of venture capital firm Matrix Partners, which has investments in payments companies ItzCash, Mswipe, and ride hailing firm Ola, which has its own e-wallet, agrees there will be a clearout under competitive pressure. “There’s going to be a bit of consolidation in the e-wallets space in the next two years,” he said. - Reuters
March 15-31, 2017 Georgia Asian Times
Smart sunglasses made for everyone Google adds new languages, voice dictation to its iPhone keyboard San Francisco, Feb 25, 2017 — Google has added 15 new languages and voice dictation to its iOS Gboard keyboard. The features have been added to the latest version of Gboard for iOS, enabling iPhone and iPad users who have downloaded the update to access voice dictation — or what Google called “voice typing” — simply by pressing and holding the space bar to take you to a new screen with a mic interface.
Other new features include the addition of 15 new languages, including Dutch, Russian, Malay, and Polish, access to the latest emojis, and quick access to Google’s Doodles — the popular animations that appear on the Google home page to celebrate special days and events. The new features are currently available on the iOS version of Gboard.
New York, March 9 — Smart glasses you wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear in public. That’s the premise of the Blade 3000 augmented reality (AR) smart ‘sunglasses’. Wearers can view and interact with video and digital content, which appears as 3D floating holograms. Developers Vuzix believe they’re a game-changer. Vuzix has been making wearable display tech since the 90s. But with the Blade 3000s they’re looking to crack a market others have struggled in.
It also features a head-motion tracker, built-in noise cancelling mics with speech recognition, and gesture control using an integrated touch pad at the temple. Vuzix recently penned a deal with Toshiba to build a customised pair of smart glasses, though details of this new device are being kept under wraps. Meanwhile, the Blade 3000s will ship in the second half of 2017. Vuzix says the cost will ultimately be around 500 dollars. — Reuters