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US immigration agents raid 7-11 stores W

ASHINGTON, | AFP | 1/10/2018 - US immigration agents raided nearly 100 7-Eleven convenience stores around the country Wednesday, sending a warning to businesses not to hire illegal immigrants, officials said. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 21 undocumented immigrants in the raids of 7-Eleven franchises in 17 states and the capital, they said, amid a broad

crackdown by the year-old administration of President Donald Trump. "Today's actions send a strong message to US businesses that hire and employ an illegal workforce: ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable," said ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan. "Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigra-

tion and we are working hard to remove this magnet," he said in a statement. "ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration." Ninety-eight stores were targeted in Wednesday's raids. Continued on page 10

Trump says US could 'conceivably' return to Paris climate deal

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ASHINGTON, United States | AFP | 1/10/2018 President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the United States could "conceivably" return to the Paris climate accord, although he stopped short of signalling any move in that direction. "Frankly, it's an agreement that I have no problem with, but I had a problem with the agreement that they signed, because, as usual, they made a bad deal," Trump told a news conference.

Christopher Kuemmerle of U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security watches as agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Los Angeles. 100 stores nationwide were targeted to open employment audits and interview workers. (Photo: Chris Carlson)

Trump speaks during a news conference with Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg. (Photo: AFP)

"So we can conceivably go back in," added the president, who pulled out of the 2015 accord on curbing global warming emissions last June, to controversy both in the US and abroad.

Grand New Year's celebration and leadership transfer at Sri Meenakshi Temple More than 4,000 devotees visited the Meenakshi temple on that day to witness the pujas and the customary transfer of leadership once every 2 years.

See report on page 3

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VOICE OF ASIA 2

OP-ED/COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS 2018 - A year for L

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

VOICE OF ASIA Publisher: Associate Publisher: Editor-in-Chief: Austin Correspondent: Marketing Director: Office Manager:

Koshy Thomas Sherly Philip Shobana Muratee Sherine Thomas Susan Pothanikat Priyan Mathew

Columnists: Legal: Richard M. Alderman Legal: Sharlene Sharmila Richards Research: Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Health Insurance: Sudhir Mathuria Astrology: Hardik Vyas Medical: Drs. Surya and Manjula Raguthu Opinion: Dr. Chandra Mittal

VoiceofAsiaOnline.com Editor Online:

Shobana Muratee

All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the consent of the publisher. Voice of Asia assumes no liability resulting from action taken based on the information included herein. Published weekly by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713-7745143. Email for editorial submissions: voiceasia@aol. com; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions: ads@voiceofasiagroup.com

It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or confirmation of any facts or allegations contained in letters to the editor. Moreover, Voice of Asia reserves the right to edit letters to the editor as necessary to correct errors of fact, punctuation, spelling and to comply with space constraints. Although paid advertisements may appear in Voice of Asia Group Publications in print, online, or in other electronic formats, the Voice of Asia Group does not endorse the advertised product, service, or company, nor any of the claims made by the advertisement. - The Publisher

Voice of Asia (USPS 010-215) (ISSN#10705058) is published every Friday (for a subscription rate of $30 per year) by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713774-5143. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Voice of Asia, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074

et’s face it: 2017 was truly frightening despite being a banner year for the economy. So as we approach the oneyear anniversary of President Trump’s inaugural it is worth pausing to reflect. His first year in office has been a difficult one for those seeking leadership role models. It is not just Trump’s inappropriate tweets, the rollback of environmental regulations, and the foreign policy gaffes that have posed a problem.

As a professor of leadership and a news junkie, I have been disappointed in the performances of our most visible leaders throughout the woebegone 2017. Given a never-ending array of unsettling headlines, including sometimes terrifying stories about Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, we have been witness to corruption and toxic leadership that distorts truth and intimidates followers and critics alike. But let us focus on the United States, where leaders on both sides of the aisle have noted this dysfunction. Worse still the negativity cascades from the top throughout the government, business and society at large. Toxicity is catching. The narcissistic tendencies and fear-mongering tactics of our leaders, plus a series of revelations of noted sexual misconduct in many fields, made the events of 2017 read like a leadership Greek tragedy. In the past year, our political and business leaders have been exposed as both out of touch, unable to act on major issues like global warming and drug addiction, and, too often, acting badly if not outright bizarrely in support of their own self interests.

leadership in America

Photo: Getty Images to the leadership challenge. When we need to be externally oriented and open to new ideas, we shrink into the corner and avoid engagement. When there is a need for risk taking, experimentation, and learning from mistakes, we fall into a set mode where we want to prove ourselves, move away from challenges, and see others as judges. It doesn’t have to be this way. There is a path forward. But we have to take it now. Times of crisis require us to become more, not less, open to change and innovation, and more willing to step into a leadership role. This is a time for “distributed leadership.” Addressing the complicated issues facing our government and our businesses will require cooperation, reliance on others and a willingness to engage internally and externally, up and down organizational hierarchies. It will involve working together with people who are different from us,

sometimes leading and sometimes following. In short, we need to step up individually and collectively. Distributed leadership, seeks a balance between top-down and bottom-up leadership, where information and influence flow freely, and employees act as entrepreneurs providing new solutions and citizens take power back into their own hands around issues they care about. So at this moment in time we have to fight our instincts. We need to resist the desire for certainty and for a powerful leader with simple answers and great promises. This is a time for people to step up with one another to envision a different future and commit to making it happen. This is what Martin Luther King Jr. referred to as the urgency of now. What can you do? On the political front, join a grassroots movement, support a candidate, or run for office on a platform that links to your core

values, be it the environment, education, drugs, inequality or wherever you see a need that is not being met. Look around for where you can make the most difference, not just satisfy the need to do something. Step up now. To be silent is to acquiesce to the status quo.

On the business front, speak up when you see people taking advantage of others or using their power for ill, create teams of employees across the organization to tackle key problems and innovate, or start your own company that deals with the challenges of our time. Try to understand the perspective of those who may not agree with this new direction. Why might they be immune to change? Why might you be? In a world of distributed leadership, we cannot be silent in 2018 if we want it to be different than 2017. Each and every one of us has to step up now to unleash the power of the many against the power of the one or two who threaten to pull down the values and institutions that have built this nation. Deborah Ancona is founder of the MIT Leadership Center and the Seley distinguished professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Yet surprisingly, psychologists and political scientists alike have shown that in uncertain times we often gravitate toward these Trump-like authoritarian leaders who promise a better future. When the promise is not forthcoming, however, or the pain worse than we feared, we flip-flop between two states: paralysis and over-reactivity. In doing so, we become ineffective in solving problems where real solutions might be available. For example, when the demand is for innovation, stress and threat can make us rigid and fearful of stepping up

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VOICE OF ASIA 3

Section 1

Community Email: voiceasia@aol.com

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

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Grand New Year's celebration and leadership transfer at Sri Meenakshi Temple by Kamala Raghavan

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tarting from evening of December 31, 2017, devotees gathered at Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS) to bid farewell to 2017 and to welcome 2018. The special midnight pooja has been a regular feature at MTS with many devotees braving the winter cold. The Thiruppavai and Thiruvempavai recitals in the auspicious Dhanur Masa (Marghazhi) from mid-December to mid-January reverberate at the dawn hours to awaken the Gods, and set the scene for the New Year on January 1st. It was a Grand New Year’s Day celebration at Sri Meenakshi Temple. From the early morning to the late night the main temple was filled with devotees, in spite of the biting cold weather. More than 4,000 devotees visited the Meenakshi temple on that day to witness the pujas and the customary transfer of leadership once every 2 years. Ganapathi Homam, Venkateswara Laksharchana, Pallakku processions for Goddess Meenakshi in the morning and for Lord Venkatesawara along with special Archanas all went smoothly with large number of devotees participating. The Priests did an excellent job with the throngs

A priest addressing the devotees during the special pooja.

Devotees line up in long queues at Sri Meenakshi Temple Society for prayers.

of devotees coming to pray and seek blessings. The décor and the ambience of the inside main temple beautifully complemented the expanded corner temple praharams and walkways with Acharyas, Nayanmargal and Alwargal.

dents of Sreepadam Schoolof Arts, Sunanda’s school of Arts,, Anjali Center for Performing Arts, and Abhinaya school of Performing Arts.. The talented performers left the audience totally enthralled. Devotees toured the Corner Temple praharams and expressed their delight in the progress made by the Corner Temple Renovation Project (CTRP) in bring-

The Cultural Segment ‘BHAKTHI” started with a skit by local talent on Nayanmargal, Alwargal & Acharyas.

It was both educational & entertaining & well received by the audience Classical dance performances by students of 4 local dance schools added to the festive ambience on New Year day. The hall filled up with guests to enjoy a magical afternoon of singing and dancing. As the program progressed, we experienced delightful classical dances from stu-

Club 65 celebrates New Year by Paru McGuire

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hoever said that Seniors don’t have fun should have joined the Club 65 seniors on January 3, 2018 when they celebrated new year on a cold wintry evening. The temperatures were in the mid 20’s and yet close to 100 seniors crammed into the Savoy party hall decked in their colorful attires and broad smiles. The party mood was further enhanced when each member donned a special mask provided to them. The energetic and effervescent Paru McGuire, President of Club 65 greeted the members and guests with a warm welcome. She then expressed her gratitude and felicitated with a box of chocolates, the Board – Chair Fateh Ali Chatur, Vice President Rahat Kalle, Joint VP Hatim Kanorwala, Secre-

tary Albert Joseph, Treasurer Farida Bandali and core team of volunteers – Farida Jinnah, Rozina Jaferali, Shaheen Vora, Saeed and Bilkish Pathan – for their help in pulling off all the programs throughout the year. Streamers, balloons, colorful garlands and other new year paraphernalia decorated the Savoy party hall giving it a festive look. A photo wall was also set up for members to take pictures with their friends and family to etch the memories of the evening forever in their photo albums. The evening started with hot soup, vegetable spring rolls and pakoras accompanied by hot masala chai and soft drinks, followed with a sumptuous dinner and desert. Music was organized by club 65’s very own member, Jamil Chunawala and local

artists including Bindu Malhotra, Taiyeb Mohsin Shipchandler affectionately known as kaka to Club 65 member as well as Salem Afroz and Safder Hasan. The audience was mesmerized by the melodies, some swaying, others lost in reverie while still others on the dance floor alone or with their spouses completely held captive in the moment. The program held a few more surprises, with raffle tickets and prizes for six lucky winners, Face masks, noise makers and gift bags for all Club 65 King and Queen 2018 – Mariam Ibrahim (Queen) and Taiyeb Moshin Shipchandler (King), were crowned (a very tough decision indeed) by the judges Mrs. Ashma Moosa and Mr. Saeed Pathan. Dr. Jaseem Pasha, a Club 65 member offered the toast accompanied by members welcoming 2018 with sparkling cider, noise makers and a crescendo from the music group. The evening ended at 10 pm with each member and guest receiving a gift bag, once again to commemorate the evening. What a grand way to start the new year!

Club 65 King and Queen 2018 – Mariam Ibrahim (Queen) and Taiyeb Moshin Shipchandler (King).

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ing the atmosphere of authentic Indian temple to US. Food booths were always crowded, and the vendors did an awesome job serving all the devotees. MTS thanks the event coordinator Secretary Ramachandra Reddy, all the volunteers, board members, council members, and staff for their hard work and dedication in putting on such a wonderful New Year’s Day experience at our Temple.


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 4

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

NAINA celebrates Advanced Practice Nurses

Left to Right Accamma Kallel (President of INAGH, Houston, Texas), Dr Jackie Michael, President (NAINA), Mr. Zafar Tahir (Houston planning commission Representative), Alison Mitchell (Nurse practitioner, Methodist hospital, Houston, Texas). Dr. Lydia Albuquerque (APN committee chair, NAINA). by Lydia Albuquerque,

T

he 2017 clinical excellence conference organized by the National Association of Indian nurses of America (NAINA) concluded on Dec 2nd at Houston, Texas. It was for the first time that NAINA as a minority organization ventured to engage in a clinical excellence conference titled “Advancing health through excellence in clinical practice”. This conference hosted by the Indian Nurses Association of Greater Houston, Texas (INAGH) was attended by over 200 participants and nurses were provided with 8.91 CEUs by the Southwestern University hospital, Texas. Participants applauded the organizers for providing an opportunity to network and immerse in a day full of activities that provided thought provoking information to bring back to their own

was awarded the third prize. Dr. Rachel Koshy, committee chair of the NAINA Journal motivated the participants to submit scholarly articles for publication. The NAINA Journal was released by NAINA President, Dr. Jackie Michael. This Journal has been published for the second time with a goal to continue publications at least twice a year.

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Conference hosting chapter, INAGH, Houston, Texas, facilitated the Gala nite celebration with Bollywood dancing, a grand finale of the Texan dance choreographed by the nurses of Houston chapter, and other entertainment programs. The plenary committee members along with the planning committee were given standing ovation for conducting an excellent conference which was inspiring, energizing and remarkable.

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clinical practice. The APN committee chairperson of the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) Dr. Lydia Albuquerque set the tone of the conference by welcoming the hosting chapter President of Indian Nurses Association of Greater Houston (INAGH) and APN conference planning committee chair Accamma Kallel, MSN, APRN, APNC, CCRN to deliver her welcome address. The key note speaker Melissa Herpel, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, challenged the participants to embark on path- Left to right: Dr. Nitha Mathew Joseph, Dr Simi Jesto, Acamma Kallel (President ways to excellence in & conference planning Committee chair, Houston), Dr. Jackie Michael (President, independent practice NAINA), DR Lydia Albuquerque, (APN forum chair, NAINA), Dr. Harilal Nair, as Nurse Practitioners. Executive director, APRN world. As an entrepreneur, she shared success Fund which was accepted stories of her own business challenge the participants to by Mr. Zafar Tahir, Houston model, how she overcame the go out and start clinics that planning commission reprechallenges that she faced dur- would provide primary care sentative on behalf of mayor ing the process and dared to to the communities. All other of Houston. NAINA received speakers delivered their topics a grant from Boston scienof interest and expertise with tific and generous sponsorship recent practice guidelines to from educational and pharmathe participants. ceutical companies. Our grand Poster presentations were cosponsor “APRN world” an ordinated by Dr. Letha Joseph, independent educational orgaDr. Solymole Kuruvilla and nization, started by Dr. Harila Dr Simi Jesto. Bindu Jacob, Nair, a Nurse Practitioner and BSN, RN,( New Jersey) was entrepreneur of Indian origin awarded the first prize, Jessie based in California needs a Kurian, MSN,RN (Dallas) was special mention for his generawarded the second prize and ous support. Dr. Lisa Thomas (Houston)

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VOICE OF ASIA 5

Fort Bend View

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

Sugar Land, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg and Meadows Place

Section 1

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Tom Tynan Brings SportsRadio’s HomeShow- to 8th Annual Sugar Land Home & Garden Show Radio and television celebrities add expertise to impressive list of professionals

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UGAR LAND, Texas – Jan. 4, 2018 – The 8th Annual Sugar Land Home & Garden Show will be held on Jan. 27 and 28, 2018, at the Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Road in Stafford. Whether searching for the right products and tips on how to do it yourself or a professional with all the right knowledge and materials, more than 200 exhibitors, experts and vendors will be on hand throughout

the show to guide homeowners through the process. “Tom Tynan will broadcast his HomeShow live on SportsRadio 610 from the HomeShow Radio booth from 8 to 11 a.m. both days of the show,” said Tony Wood, president of Texwood Shows Inc., producer of the Sugar Land Home & Garden Show. “And Catrina Kidd, star of ‘Texas Flip n’ Move’ on DIY Network, joins the show this year to share a homemade

formula she mixed up from common, everyday household products that gives new lumber the look of increasingly popular and hard to come by reclaimed wood.”

p.m. throughout the weekend, answering questions and handing out his free guide, ‘12 Projects Every Homeowner Needs To Do,’ available exclusively to those attending the show.

Addressing something that’s on the minds of many homeowners who unwillingly hosted Hurricane Harvey flood waters, Tynan will provide tips on how to avoid common recovery mistakes and will be available at the HomeShow booth until 2

Taking the Fort Bend Lifestyles & Homes Presentation Stage are many notable experts including Randy Lemmon, host of KTRH Radio’s GardenLine, who will discuss his new book and gardening in the Texas extremes at 10:30 a.m. on Sat-

Houston Methodist Sugar Land offers support and assistance to cancer survivors and patients

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UGAR LAND - Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital now offers a wide range of support groups and programs designed to improve the physical, social, psychological and spiritual health of cancer survivors and caregivers. “With the tremendous strides made in cancer care, we are seeing more and more survivors live long and productive lives after their treatment ends,” said Amy SebastianDeutsch, director of oncology and infusion therapy services at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “But these survivors, most over the age of 50, often require specialized services to overcome the physical and emotional impacts of their disease and treatment. There really was nothing comprehensive offered in Fort Bend, so we decided to augment our current supportive offerings by providing a range of services centered around art, music, exercise and massage.” The hospital’s program, developed with a generous grant from the George Foundation, includes three unique classes, held monthly and all free of charge: • Thriving Through Creative Arts — Offers survivors a chance to relax and express themselves through art — a proven approach to help cope with the aftermath of cancer and related treatments • Life in Motion — A creative movement program designed to improve balance, coordination and agility and enhance social and emotional health • Music4Life — Is a unique music program offered in collaboration with the Houston Methodist Center for Performing Arts Medicine (CPAM) that can help improve cognitive, physical, psychological and social functioning. Music therapists use evidence-based music interventions to address the stress associated with a di-

These survivors, most over the age of 50, often require specialized services to overcome the physical and emotional impacts of their disease and treatment. (Photo courtesy HMSLH)

urday, with a book signing event after his presentation; Michael Garfield, the H i g h - Te c h Texan, will discuss new home products and online security tips Saturday on at 1:30 p.m.; color experts from Sherwin- TomTynan Photo courtesy of SportsRadio 610. Williams will share the comNurseries also will display pany’s Color Trends for 2018 as plants hearty enough to survive well as provide ideas on how to the Texas heat while Houston incorporate them in any home Mosquito Control Systems will at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and 1:30 help teach homeowners how p.m. on Sunday; Catrina Kidd to keep uninvited guests from of DIY Network’s ‘Texas Flip their homes with the Mosquito n’ Move’ will share her sucMist Away System. cess stories with homeowners at noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday Swatson, the mascot for the and Sunday; just in time to adSugar Land Skeeters, will be at dress one of the more popular the show on both days from 1 New Years’ resolutions of getto 3 p.m., and Cousins Maine ting more organized, Certified Lobster, Houston’s Il Primo Professional Organizer and auPizza and the Foreign Policy thor Lisa Giesler takes the stage food trucks will be set up in at 1 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. on the Stafford Centre parking lot Saturday; and Houston Chronthroughout the weekend-long icle’s architecture and design show. writer, Diane Cowen, on SunShow hours are 9 a.m. to 6 day at 1 p.m. p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Throughout the show, experts Jan. 28. Tickets for the Sugar in curb appeal and outdoor livLand Home & Garden Show ing updates will be available to are cash only at $10 for adults, answer questions and provide $9 for seniors, and children 12 guidance. Belgard Outdoor Livyears and younger can attend ing Ideas will bring its popular for free. Parking is available at semi-truck filled with products no cost. and provide professionals to For show and ticket informahelp guide homeowners through tion call 832-274-3944 or visit changes to their outdoor spaces SugarLandHomeAndGarden. by adding or updating pavers, com, where a downloadable retaining walls or outdoor firediscount coupon for $2 off adplaces and kitchens. Big Tex mission is available.

agnosis of cancer and cancer or to register, visit houstonmethodist.org/events and treatment • Massage — This service select Cancer under Health will be provided on a limited Topic in the life side bar or call basis for cancer survivors be- 281.274.7500. ginning in February 2018. The benefits of massage include alleviation of stress, pain and other side effects which may be experienced as a result of cancer and its treatments. Survivors should call Houston Methodist Wellness Services and mention the cancer survivor program provided through Houston Methodist Sugar Land at 713.441.5980

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital also offers three other support groups for breast cancer patients and survivors, patients with an ostomy, and one focused on helping people cope with the grief of losing a loved one. More information on these support groups can be found on our spiritual care page at bit.ly/supportgroups-sl.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land is Fort Bend County’s only hospital with American College of Surgeons - Commission on Cancer (CoC) accreditation. Facilities achieve such accreditation after proving commitment to providing the best cancer care and complying with CoC standards. Hospitals that achieve accreditation provide a vast scope of high quality, specialized services — screenings, diagnostics, genetic For more information on the testing, advanced technology, cancer survivorship programs, clinical trials and patient support. “These programs provide other benefits, too, because they allow survivors to meet and interact with others who have liv-ed through the same experiences,” said Sebastian-Deutsch. “Having someone to talk with who understands what it’s like to fight and survive cancer is an important part of the healing process. Having that camaraderie with others can be powerful.”

JANUARY 27 & 28

SugarLandHomeAndGarden.com EXPERT ADVICE!

Fort Bend ISD students encouraged to apply JASON Argoanut program

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ORT BEND ISD (January 9, 2018) – Fort Bend ISD students are encouraged to apply to the 2018 JASON Argonaut Program, one of the nation’s premier STEM programs. As an Argonaut, students will gain hands-on, scientific fieldwork in locations across the globe. Funding provided by Chevron assures that all travel, lodging, food, programming and equipment costs related to the Houston-area Argonauts activities will be covered in full. Who Should Apply? Student Argonauts must be between 13 to 17 years old by June 1, 2018, and will have demonstrated experience with JASON Learning. As such, middle school applicants will be given priority. Student applicants must also have a committed sponsor to assist them through the Argonaut experience. Ideal Argonaut will:

candidates

Demonstrate a strong interest and ability in science

Argonaut Program Application Information

Possess excellent leadership and/or teamwork skills

JASON Argonaut candidates will complete and submit their application materials by the January 15, 2018 deadline. Student and Educator Argonauts will be selected and notified in the Spring of 2018.

Be self-motivated, creative, and adventurous, taking personal initiative to meet challenges and overcome obstacles Possess excellent communication skills and be comfortable in front of a camera Participate in field activities which may be outdoors and/ or strenuous in nature; activities, locations, or conditions may include, but are not limited to: snorkeling, swimming, extensive time on boats, small/ confined spaces, heights, and adverse weather conditions (temperature extremes, precipitation, wind, etc.) Be comfortable with the idea of being on a boat and/or have prior experience on boats Possess or be able to obtain a passport and be willing and able to travel to an international location

For more information about the program and application process, visit the 2018 Argonaut application page on the JASON website at https:// www.jason.org/argonaut-program.

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About JASON Learning JASON Learning is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. Named for the mythological Greek explorer, JASON is a nationally acclaimed, exploration-based program that links students—inside the classroom and out—to real science and scientists through technology-intensive, inquiry-based curricular experiences. Learn more at www.jason.org.

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COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 6

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

Parents show gratitude to teachers at son’s surprise graduation party

Sushain Cherivirala (center) with his teachers, parents (2nd and 3rd from right) Dr Ramesh and Anuradha Cherivirala and his sister Spoorthi (far right). Photo credit Dr. Sushovan Guha by Shobana Muratee

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ounding up your child’s middle school and high school teachers and friends for a surprise graduation party could be a herculean task. But not parents Dr. Ramesh and Anuradha Cherivirala, who wouldn’t have it any other way for their son Sushain Cherivirala, graduating from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science this year. Sushain studied at Dulles High School’s FBISD Math and Science Academy where he leaves behind a trail of significant achievements. Of

the many outstanding works he did, highlights were the ‘Google Code-In’ contest and winning the IBM’s Master the Mainframe Contest. Sushain is an undergraduate in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and a researcher in the ISR. On Friday, January 5th, Sushain parents hosted a surprise graduation party at the India House where friends, families and teachers from his school attended. Many present knew of Susahin’s track record in schools and now college, but what they heard from the teachers was most alluring and

inspiring to parents and other graduates-to-be. “He reminds me of a cross between Colin Powell with his discipline and Warren Buffett as he relates to the finance end of it,” said Regina Crafter, Quail Valley Middle School health teacher and former Ms. Texas America, 2015, who is also a cancer survivor. Sushain, Ms. Crafter acknowledged, had played a very active role in the fundraising efforts at the health club she sponsored at Quail Valley Middle School, where students raised $40,000 in a three-year period for the MD Anderson Cancer Center. “What I like about him is

Lunar New Year Houston 2018 Celebrating the Year of the Earth Dog! Lunar New Year Houston 2018 celebrates the Year of the Earth Dog in SW Houston, the International Heart of Our City. With 100 dazzling Lions & Dragons roaring amid a million Lucky Red Firecrackers, we ring in this Mountain Earth Dog Year! Our legendary Lions & Dragons, dance to giant drums and gongs, and challenge fierce fireworks. They cast out all bad spirits of the old year, and welcome the Great Good Fortune of the new! Lunar New Year has been celebrated just like this for more than 2,000 years! It is our Asian heritage Holiday of Holidays! Lunar New Year Houston presents this venerated tradition in all its ancient authenticity. Entire families, from great grand-elders to tiny toddlers, join in our ageless celebration to welcome the New Year and be blessed with the Good Luck of the Lions & Dragons.

February 24 & 25, 2018 Saturday & Sunday / 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Our New Year Celebration is definitely all TexAsia, showcasing the finest of our fabled heritage in our hometown Houston. Visit the fun at the KidZone and enjoy traditional music and dance at the Lion Dance Arena! Plus, Lunar New Year Houston features the best martial arts teams in Texas - showcasing the exhilarating

Vovinam styles of Vietnam and soaring Shaolin Kung Fu traditions of China. So, treat yourself to delectable delights at our World Food Fest and Join our celebration to Welcome the New Year! For more event information, visit LunarNewYearHouston.com

K. V. Doraiswamy Bhattar 281-489-0464 or 281-948-8368 kvdoraiswamybhattar@yahoo.com kvdoraiswamy60@gmail.com

Rituals Performed: Sreemantham, Punyahavachanam, Namakaranam, Annaprashanam, Vidyarambham, Choulam, Upanayanam, Wedding, Sathya narayana puja, and all kind of Homas (Havans) and more. I can drive to your place. More than 30 years of experience as Priest in major temples including Sri Meenakshi Temple Pearland, TX. Can speak 5 languages (Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and English)

Sushain with his friends from High School and earlier. Photo credit Dr. Sushovan Guha

that he is grounded and never wants to feel like he is better than anyone else,” she added. Among others who spoke was Mr. Simons, whose message was profound and touching. He praised Sushain with some of the choicest words like ‘genius’, ‘hardworking’ and ‘focused’. He also praised the parents, saying if parents were as dedicated as Sushain’s the job of a teacher would be far less challenging. Sushain’s sister Spoorthi - who is also a bright and promising student - said she was proud of her big brother and jested about how they tricked him into the surprise party. A large collection of pictures from Sushain’s childhood to his most recent years was presented in a slide show as “My feelings”, prepared by his mother Anuradha. A few close friends of the family whose children grew up with Sushain also shared their feelings and congratulated him as well on the occasion.

Sushain’s has undoubtedly raised the bar of academic excellence for his peers and others who’ll follow. With a career path unmistakably bright, Sushain continues to challenge himself in other areas, such as philosophy and law to economics and business. He serves as vice-chair of the university’s

Undergraduate Student Senate. His main passion however, is software development and he aspires to become a technical product manager handling global projects. From his just two decades of academic history, one can clearly perceive how far and high he will go in ranks. Good luck!

Sushain Cherivirala and his dad Ramesh at IBM headquarters in New York.Courtesy photo.


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 7

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

Sri Sarada School of Music 10th Anniversary

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n the auspicious day of Thyagaraja Panchami, which fell on January 6th, 2018, Sri Sarada School of Music celebrated its 10th anniversary at Ashtalakshmi Temple with the company of over 200 Houstonians. Founded by Mr. Sitaram Ayyagari, the school is dedicated to impart Carnatic Classical music to the young, budding talent in the city of Houston. Mr. Ayyagari received his initial training from Smt.Peddada Surya Kumari, and advanced his music skills under the mentorship of the legendary Late Sri Ivaturi Vijjeswara Rao in India. The event commenced with a commentary on the spiritual journey of Saint Thyagaraja through his own compositions, delivered by Mr. Ayyagari. Following the introduction, students began the evening with a prayer to Lord Ganapathi through “Sri Gana Nadha”. This was followed with swarajathis, varnams, and krithis of Saint Thyagaraja, Mutthuswami Deekshitar, Papanasam Sivan, Bhadrachala Ramadasa, Annamacharya, and Purandara Dasa by 4 groups of junior and senior students. Over 30 Ragas were presented by the same number of students, each charming the evening with their flawless renditions.

Music teachers and students of Sri Sarada School of Music during the school's 10th anniversary celebrations on January 6th, 2018.

After the student’s performances, Chi. Siddharth Ayyagari gave an enthralling mini-concert, starting off with the Navaraagamalika varman “Valachi Vacchi.” The main item was “Sogasuga Mrundaga Thaalamu” in the raagam Sri Ranjani, set to rupaka thaalam. The entire program was supported with stellar performances by Nischal Anand and Mukund Josyula on the violin for the juniors and seniors, and Vishal Setlur on the mridangam. Sri Kanth Josyula provided excellent AV support throughout the entire event. At the culmination of the program, student’s parents and devoted senior citizens rendered the Nama Ramayanam, a musical description of the Ramayana originally brought to fame by the legend Smt. M.S.Subbulakshmi. Dr. Ravi Tamerisa led the group with his scintillating rhythms on the mridangam. Chief Guest Sri Chitten Raju Vanguri, President of Vanguri Foundation insisted on coming together for preserving and nurturing the traditions of Indian Classical Music by involving the kids and themselves alike. Sri Sarada School of Music intends to continue its services to enhance the cultural & musical knowledge for generations to come.

Sri Sarada School of Music performing.

In an age when technology reigns supreme, HCC create broad career pathways

HCC SW President Apple Coding. Photo credit HCC SW. by Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, Ed.D., President, HCC Southwest College

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OUSTON - Our typical day today is so much different from how it was barely 10 to 15 years ago. You are awakened by your watch alarm followed by a calendar day view of your meetings for the day and a quick scan of texts and email messages before you even are out of bed. Upon walking to your kitchen your coffee is already made by a programmable machine. As you finally get into your self-driving car, your GPS automatically sets the car navigation to your work address even without your command because it “knows” that’s your morning pattern. After your electronic driver has taken you to the office, you start answering emails and making calls about the latest product prototype being produced by the 3D printer of your company as part of a major client sales presentation. If you are a business owner or manager, you are already grappling with the immense productivity potential, yet you’re also faced with ethical and cybersecurity concerns that all these technological advances represent across industrial sectors. But if you are like me, you could feel overwhelmed by the mere rate of innovation among all the new developments. Changing Job Demands with Leaps in Technology There’s no doubt technology has changed not only our daily life, but also production, service deliveries, global supply chain, logistics, communications, and even how we interact with our home appliances. We are all connected through the internet of things. We have access to information in real time, we can create ideas into drawings using software connected to 3D printers and produce prototypes in all types of materials in our homes.

With the integration of augmented reality now into cellphones, the pace of innovation will not slow but we will experience another 10 years of disruptive innovations limited only by the capacity of our workforce. Augmented reality alone as an industry, is predicted to hit global revenues of $90 billion by 2020. With the new developments in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, Chatbots, and the significant leaps forward in terms of industry adoption, there’s no doubt that no other era as the millennium requires now all individuals in the workforce to become lifelong learners. The jobs of tomorrow are emerging while jobs we know today will disappear. Even jobs in construction, traditionally viewed as manual skills, will evolve. For example, we now have the capacity to build entire homes in concrete and other materials using industrial-size 3D printing. Based on these developments and others, however, there are several job sectors we can expect to grow in demand exponentially. Our challenge in education will be to increase awareness of these new career fields for the next and current workforce-age generations, develop instructional programs in these new emerging fields, and integrate in our curriculum the new collaborative engagement skills required in the workplace. All these technology developments require lines of code and programming. As such, coding is becoming – if not already – the most in-demand skill across industries. According to a recent article on Glassdoor.com, eight of the top 25 jobs this year are technology positions. Similarly, researchers from Burning Glass Technologies found that jobs that require coding skills pay up to $22,000 per year more, on average, with nearly half of all jobs that pay more than $58,000 requiring some coding skills, according to their

Computer Class in session at HCC-SW. Photo credit HCC SW. analysis. The gathering of all the data through such technology hardware also makes these systems vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hence, cybersecurity is one of the fastest fields in information technology. Advanced Manufacturing Infused with Hi-Tech In manufacturing, we are seeing not only the increasing disruption and growth of 3D but also automation and robotics artificial intelligence. Industrial maintenance now requires technicians with a matrix of electronics, basic coding, machining and hydraulics, for example, to maintain the new machines of the millennium. Similarly, medical instrument technicians will require cross-discipline technical skills to support the operations of equipment used in healthcare. As a workforce educational leader in the U.S.A., Houston Community College Advanced Manufacturing Centers of Excellence deliver innovative educational programs in state-of-the-art facilities, to train and educate new workers into these careers with high opportunities and incumbent workers to upgrade their skills to remain competitive. For example, HCC offers courses in high demand in CNC, manufacturing engineering, and 3D software skills such as Auto desk, Fusion and Solidworks, AutoCAD, Inventor, 3D Slah and Tinkercad. Leading-Edge Programs in Coding, Cybersecurity The HCC Digital and Informational Technology Center of Excellence offers the latest technology programs in cybersecurity, coding, geographical information science, and digital gaming and simulation. Future developments at HCC includes Robotics and Drone technology programs, and integration of these applications into all other educational programs reflecting the world

around us. We invite all readers to stop by one of our campuses and learn more about all the cutting-edge fields offered by the college as well as our

continuing education shortterm courses for incumbent workers to upgrade their skills. Enroll in HCC Programs

Call 713.718.2277 or register at hccs.edu/apply. Learn More About HCC. Visit hccs. edu or call 713.718.2000 or email student.info@hccs.edu


DIASPORA

VOICE OF ASIA 8

Har Gobind Khorana: Why Google honoured him

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

Teradata hires Souma Das as MD for India Operations EW DELHI, India | AFP - Leading data and analytics company Teradata Corp. on Thursday announced appointment of Souma Das as the Managing Director for Teradata in India.

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ILICON VALLEY / SAN DIEGO, California - Hailed for constructing the first synthetic gene, Nobel Prize winner Har Gobind Khorana would have been 96 on Tuesday, January 9 - that's the date of birth in his documents, although the exact date remains uncertain. In the Indian-American scientist's honour, Google is changing its logo in 13 countries to a doodle - or illustration - of him and his DNA work. This is his story: - Village origin Khorana was born in a small village of about 100 residents in Raipur. He was a member of practically the only literate family in his village - Khorana's father taught his five children to read and write. Having advanced his education through scholarships, Khorana received his Bachelor's degree in 1943, and his Master's in 1945 at the Punjab University in Lahore. In 1948, he completed his PhD after being awarded a scholarship by the Indian government to pursue doctoral studies at the University of Liverpool in the UK. He then went to the Swiss city of Zurich to work with Professor Vladimir Prelog for

one year. In Khorana's biography, Prelog is credited for moulding "immeasurably his thought and philosophy towards science, work, and effort". Married to Swiss Esther Elizabeth Sibler, Khorana's biography praised Sibler for bringing a "consistent sense of purpose ... at a time when [Har] Khorana felt out of place everywhere and at home nowhere" - Freedom A job offer in 1952 took Khorana to the University of British Columbia in Canada, where he initiated his Nobel Prize-winning work. During his time there he was offered "all the freedom in the world" to do his own research, according to Gordon M Shrum, a Canadian scientist in British Columbia. At the University of British Columbia, Khorana and a group of scientists began to work in the field of biology. Khorana was an expert on the chemical synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids. In 1960, he moved to the US, where started working at the University of Wisconsin. He was granted American citizenship in 1966. Two years later, Khorana, Robert W Holley and Marshall W Nirenberg were awarded jointly the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine "for their interpretation of the genetic code

and its function in protein synthesis". But this was not his only accolade. In 1972, Khorana was also recognised for the construction of the first artificial gene, while four years later he announced that he had gotten an artificial gene to function within a bacterial cell. Among his several recognitions, Khorana also received the Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research and the National Medal of Science. Khorana died on November 9, 2011. His death was announced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a professor emeritus. He was survived by his children, Julia and Dave. (-Yahoo! News)

Souma will be responsible for providing leadership and overall strategic direction to the company's India business overseeing field operations that include sales, customer management, marketing, professional services and customer support. Souma joins Teradata backed by a stellar career spanning almost three decades of technology industry experience having successfully nurtured and grown the business of large information technology organizations in India. Prior to joining Teradata, Souma was the Regional Vice President and Managing Director of Qlik for its India operations responsible for driving growth, revenue and customer satisfaction for organisations leveraging Qlik's analytics platform.

Das will be responsible for providing leadership and overall strategic direction to the company's India business, overseeing field operations. revenue lines for businesses. "We are excited to welcome Souma Das to the role of Managing Director for Teradata in India. His leadership experience in the technology industry and proven track record of delivering customer outcomes across all industry sectors makes him stand out as a business leader," said vice president Asia Pacific and Korea(APAK), Teradata Corporation, Andrew Blamey.

Before joining Qlik, Souma was the Managing Director of Infor India. Souma is an industry leader known for building, coaching and nurturing teams to create high performing talent and driving new growth

"We are looking forward to benefitting from Souma's valuable experience and market insights as we focus on providing our market-leading analytic technology offerings to

US revokes citizenship of Indian native who now faces deportation

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ASHINGTON: In a first of its kind case, the US has revoked the American citizenship of an Indian native, who, authorities said, acquired it by fraud. Baljinder Singh alias Davinder Singh, 43, who married a US citizen, has now been reverted to the Green Card status

which leaves him potentially subject to removal proceedings at the Department of Homeland Security's discretion, the Justice Department said. The Department of Justice, which moved a petition in this regard before a US court last September, said that Singh in his citizenship application concealed prior orders of ex-

clusion and his deportation under different identities than the identity under which they naturalised. "Singh's denaturalisation is the first arising out of a growing body of cases referred to the Department of Justice by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as part of Operation Janus," the

customers, delivering successful business outcomes enabled by best in class technology platforms," added Blamey. "I look forward to solidifying Teradata's business led and technology enabled approach to empower and enable Indian companies to innovate and thrive in an increasingly complex and analytical ecosystem. In India, we are seeing organizations embrace Big Data and analytics as a business enabler and I am looking forward to leading Teradata India's growth trajectory and further strengthening relations with our customers and partners," said Souma Das on his appointment. Department of Justice said in a statement. A US District Court in New Jersey on January 5 had entered an order revoking his naturalised US citizenship and canceling his Certificate of Naturalisation. Under Operation Janus, the Department of Homeland Security has identified about 3,15,000 cases where some fingerprint data was missing from the centralised digital fingerprint repository. Continued on page 10

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SOUTH ASIA

VOICE OF ASIA 9

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

Award-winning Pakistani jour- India's top court to review gay sex ban nalist escapes kidnap attempt by David STOUT

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SLAMABAD, Pakistan | AFP 1/10/2018 - A Pakistani journalist known for criticising the powerful military said he had escaped an abduction attempt after being assaulted by armed men in Islamabad Wednesday, in the latest case involving forced disappearances in the turbulent country. Taha Siddiqui, who won France's highest journalism award the Albert Londres prize in 2014, said he was attacked by up to a dozen men en route to the airport in Rawalpindi but managed to escape before being kidnapped, suffering minor injuries during the scuffle. "Safe and with police now. Looking for support in any way possible #StopEnforcedDisappearances," wrote Siddiqui in a tweet posted on a fellow journalist's account. He later said the attempt bore similarities to previous abductions by authorities, suggesting that "agencies" may have been involved. But he maintained he had no plans to leave Pakistan, and instead called on authorities for protection. "I think the idea is to silence me," Siddiqui told a press conference. "I'm here. I'm staying put," he added. Siddiqui, the Pakistani bureau chief of Indian television channel WION and who has reported for France 24, had previously complained of being harassed by authorities for publishing bold critiques of the country's security establishment. Human rights and media groups voiced concern over the incident, saying the use of violence against journalists was troubling while critising impunity for some attackers. Amnesty International called the incident the "latest in a deeply worrying pattern of attacks on journalists in Pakistan". "(T)here must be a clear and unequivocal commitment by the Pakistani authorities to end impunity for attacks on journalists," the rights group's deputy south asia director Omar Waraich said in a statement. Human Rights Watch coun-

Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community take part in a parade in New Delhi in November 2017. (Photo: AFP/Sajjad Hussain).

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Siddiqui was left with a torn and bloodied shirt Credit: AAMIR QURESHI/ AAMIR QURESHI Source: AFP try representative Saroop Ijaz also told AFP it reinforced "the fear that human rights groups and media organisations have voiced for a while now that the Pakistan government views violence as an instrument of dealing with dissenting voices". The Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists said it had contacted Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal "to direct the concerned officials to investigate the incident of attempted kidnapping of a senior journalist". - Enforced disappearances The attack comes months after prominent reporter Ahmed Noorani was also savagely beaten and stabbed in the head after being dragged out of his car in Islamabad by armed assailants. Pakistan has a long history of enforced disappearances, particularly in conflict zones near the border with Afghanistan. More than 1,500 people are still missing in disappearance cases, according to data compiled by Pakistan's commission of inquiry on enforced disappearances published this month. Pakistan routinely ranks among the world's most dangerous countries for media workers, and coverage critical of the powerful military is considered a red flag, with reporters at times detained, beaten

Two dead as Pakistan protests over child killer turn violent

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AHORE, Pakistan | AFP | 1/10/2018 - At least two people were killed when a protest against the rape and murder of an eightyear-old girl turned violent in Pakistan Wednesday, police said, as a city scarred by child abuse erupted in fury. Paramilitary forces were called to the city of Kasur near the Indian border, Punjab provincial police said. A senior police official told AFP hundreds were protesting the killing, which also prompted a deluge of outrage on social media. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the child named as Zainab was kidnapped on January 4. Her dead body was found in a garbage heap on Tuesday. Zainab was the eighth minor to have been raped and murdered in Kasur in the past year, the police official said, adding that investigators could not confirm if they had a serial killer on their hands. Her murder ignited fury in Kasur, which made global headlines in August 2015 for a massive child abuse and extortion scandal. Violence broke out Wednesday when demonstrators tried to storm the police station, the police official said. "Two protesters have been killed and three others injured, the situation is still tense," he said. It was not clear how the two protesters were killed. A spokesman for the Punjab provincial police said paramilitary troops had been called in to restore order. #JusticeForZainab became a top Twitter hashtag in the country as outrage grew and politi-

cians called for action. "The beasts who have disrespected our daughters should be punished immediately," former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said. Cricketer-turned-opposition leader Imran Khan urged authorities to act swiftly. "The condemnable and horrific rape of the minor had once again exposed how vulnerable children are," he tweeted. The girl's parents, who had been in Saudi Arabia, flew back to Pakistan Wednesday and told reporters at Islamabad airport they will not bury their daughter until her killer was arrested. "For the last two years, we are living in fear, parents are scared to send their kids outside," her father, named as Amin Ansari, said in televised comments. Pakistan's chief justice called for a police report within 24 hours, a Supreme Court statement said, while the spokesman for the military tweeted that the army chief had directed "all out support to civil administration to arrest the criminals and bringing them to exemplary justice". The 2015 scandal saw allegations that at least 280 children were filmed being sexually abused by a gang of 25 men who blackmailed their parents by threatening to leak the videos. Dubbed the largest child abuse scandal in Pakistan's history, it came to light after parents of the victims clashed with police in Kasur during a protest blasting authorities for failing to prosecute the case.

and even killed for running afoul of the security establishment. The assault on the reporters followed a crackdown on social media activists earlier in 2017 when five bloggers, who had taken stands against religious intolerance and criticised Pakistan's military, were abducted within days of each other. Four of the five were later freed but remained largely muted about the identity of their captors. One of the activists, Waqass Goraya, later told the BBC he was repeatedly tortured while detained, saying officials with links to the military were behind the incident. Security sources have denied being involved.

EW DELHI, India | AFP | India's Supreme Court on Monday announced a review of a hugely controversial ban on gay sex, saying no one should have to live in fear because of their sexuality. The court said it would take up a legal challenge by five high-profile Indians who said the colonial-era law created an atmosphere of intimidation. "A section of people... who exercise their choice should never live in a state of fear," said the court in its ruling, adding that "societal morality" was subject to change over time.

The announcement is the latest chapter in a long-running legal tussle between social and religious conservatives and the gay community over the law passed by the British in the 1860s. Section 377 of the Indian penal code bans homosexual acts as "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" and allows for life imprisonment, though prosecutions for same-sex activity have been rare. Gay sex was effectively decriminalised in India in 2009 when the Delhi High Court ruled that banning it violated a person's fundamental rights.

That ruling emboldened the gay community to campaign publicly against widespread discrimination and violence. But the Supreme Court reinstated the ban four years later in 2013, saying responsibility for changing the law rested with lawmakers not the courts. That verdict was thrown into doubt again last year when the court referred explicitly to the issue in a landmark ruling upholding the right to privacy. "The privacy of the home must protect the family, marriage, procreation and sexual orientation, which are all important aspects of dignity," it said in the ruling.

India probes breach of biometric identity database

In restive southwestern Balochistan province, several newspapers have also shuttered their presses for months after receiving myriad threats from militant groups, in a vivid display of the dangers journalists face from all sides.

India orders fresh inquiry into historic Sikh masscare

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EW DELHI, India | AFP | 1/10/2018 - India is to reopen nearly 200 unsolved cases associated with a frenzied massacre of Sikhs in 1984 that left nearly 3,000 dead, mainly in the capital New Delhi. The Supreme Court said Wednesday it would task a new three-member panel with "reinvestigating" 186 cases previously closed by police into the deadly mob violence directed against the Sikh minority. The carnage erupted just hours after then prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, and lasted three days with Sikhs raped and murdered, and their homes and businesses torched. Few have been brought to justice over the massacre, with government-appointed commissions in the past failing to prosecute more than a handful of minor cases. Gandhi, also the Congress leader at the time, was shot dead after ordering Indian troops to storm the Golden Temple -- Sikhism's holiest shrine in northern Punjab state -- to flush out separatists from the minority faith holed up inside. Sikh leaders say the death toll from the pogrom that followed far exceeded the official figure of 3,000, and accuse Congress leaders of fanning the violence that saw Sikhs dragged from their homes and burned alive. The new investigative panel will be headed by a retired high court judge and assisted by former and serving senior police officials. The decision to reopen the historic cases was "good news for the victims who have been waiting for justice for the last 33 years," said lawyer HS Phoolka, representing the victims. India's top investigating agency had blamed senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for inciting the mobs, but he was acquitted by a court in 2013.

The Aadhaar IDs record personal biometric data, including fingerprints and eye scans [EPA] by by Zeenat Saberin he Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which runs the world's largest biometric identity card scheme, has initiated a police probe into a major security breach.

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The probe was ordered on Thursday after the local Tribune newspaper accessed a database containing the identity details of more than one billion citizens, which was being sold for a meagre $8, the report claimed. An anonymous seller over WhatsApp created a "gateway" for one of the newspaper's correspondents to gain access to the database, after which any identification number, referred to as Aadhaar, could be entered and the person's name, address, photo, phone number and email displayed. On Thursday, the UIDAI said the breach appeared to have been caused by the "misuse" of a grievance-redressal search facility that can be accessed by the public. "The Aadhaar data, including biometric information, is fully safe," the authority said in a statement. But Kiran Jonnalagadda, cofounder of the Internet Freedom Foundation, said the incident revealed a serious problem with data security. The breach involved the use of a backdoor created by the UIDAI for the use of authorised parties, a definition encompassing thousands of government officials, he said. "These officials were allowed to appoint other officials with the right to access data. It's no wonder someone down the chain went rogue and started selling access," Jonnalagadda told Al Jazeera. Growing privacy risks Activists have warned of increasing security and privacy

risks associated with the ambitious Aadhaar project and its linking with government and private services, including banking and telephone accounts. Security protocols were clearly violated, said Pranesh Prakash, policy director at Centre for Internet and Society. "This incident shows that those who have legitimate access to the Aadhaar database have been involved in providing illegitimate access to it by creating accounts for others, like the journalist for instance. The entire Aadhaar ecosystem is leaking like a sieve," Prakash told Al Jazeera. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, dismissed the Tribune report as "fake news". Last month, India's junior information technology minister told parliamentarians that 210 government websites had mistakenly published several citizens' personal data. The UIDAI says that more than 1.13 billion people are enrolled on the database. India's finance minister says there have been 20 reported cases of Aadhaar-related bank fraud since 2015. "Banking fraud, where people's money is being stolen through linkage with epayment firms, is happening because people's personal data is available in the public," Prakash said. "The security infrastructure relies on these linkages being private information. Data leaks for the past year have shown that demographic authentication is much harder to do if everyone actually knows everyone else's Aadhaar and phone number." The breach investigation has intensified debate over

security concerns related to the ambitious national identity card project. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has asked citizens to link their ID card to banking, phone accounts and government services, saying the project will lead to a "social revolution". The validity of the government's orders will be debated in the top court starting on January 17. Lack of safeguards The Aadhaar IDs record personal biometric data, including fingerprints and eye scans, which the government says allows it to ensure that welfare services are being delivered to those who really need them. But critics say the cards can link a large amount of data, enough to create a full profile of a person's spending habits, phone records, rail bookings, property ownership and a trove of other information - all without clear safeguards for access or use by government or private companies. Steps could be taken to minimise privacy risks, Prakash said. "It's being used everywhere senselessly. The usage of Aadhaar must be regulated. Right now, any private party can force you to disclose your Aadhaar number for any reason. It's being mandated thoughtlessly even when there isn't any identity fraud problem to be tackled," he said. American whistle-blower Edward Snowden weighed in on the Aadhaar debate on Friday, tweeting about governments' desire for the "records of private lives". "History shows that no matter the laws, the result is abuse," he said. SOURCE: AL JAZEERA


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Netanyahu set to lead trade task force to India by Stephen Weizman

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ERUSALEM, Undefined | AFP | Wednesday 1/10/2018 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take 130 businessmen with him to India next week for trade talks which will also cover defence sales, a senior Israeli official said Wednesday. Foreign ministry deputy director general for Asia, Gilad Cohen, said the six-day trip starting Sunday was meant to further deepen political, trade and cultural ties. India last month voted for a resolution at the UN General Assembly opposing US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Israel has lobbied hard for support from countries such as India at the UN, but Netanyahu said Wednesday he did not envision any setback in relations over the vote. "I would have preferred another vote, to be frank," Netanyahu told journalists. "But I don't think it materially changes the tremendous flowering of relations between India and Israel." India's defence ministry announced last week that it would buy 131 surface-to-air missiles from Israel. The Barak missiles made by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems are to be used for India's first aircraft carrier which is under construction. But at the same time, Rafael said India had cancelled a separate $500-million deal to purchase Spike anti-tank guided missiles. "Rafael has received an official statement from the Indian ministry of defence on the cancellation of the Spike missile deal," the company told the Jerusalem Post newspaper last week. The Post said Rafael execu-

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Experts say Iranians are increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to circumvent sanctions leveled against their country by the U.S. and other world powers. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trip to India next week comes after Indian counterpart Narendra Modi's visit to Israel in July tives would be in the trade delegation accompanying Netanyahu. Cohen declined to answer questions on the subject in his briefing to journalists in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

desalination unit mounted on a dune buggy. Cohen said Netanyahu would present one to Modi during his visit next week. - Hooray for Bollywood -

"The prime minister will be talking (to his hosts) on the whole range of issues which make up relations between Israel and India: water, agriculture, energy, culture, innovation, also defence," he said.

One of Netanyahu's stops on the trip, the first by an Israeli premier since Ariel Sharon in 2003, will be in Mumbai where he will meet on January 18 with stars and executives of India's mammoth film industry.

"I do not want to elaborate on defence issues."

Bollywood "mega-celebs wield tremendous influence around the world," Cohen said.

Israel is a major weapons supplier to India, selling it an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year.

Israel wants the Indian movie industry to shoot a film in the Jewish state, he added.

In April last year the two countries signed a military deal worth nearly $2 billion which includes the supply over several years of medium-range surfaceto-air missiles, launchers and communications technology. Netanyahu's India trip comes after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel in July, the first ever by an Indian premier. A media highlight of that visit was a barefoot stroll though the surf together at an Israeli beach, where Modi got a demonstration of a mobile water

"You can imagine the effect that would have on our tourism, on Israel's exposure." The visit begins in New Delhi where Netanyahu will have dinner with Modi and meet Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. The following day he will call on President Ram Nath Kovind then have more talks with Modi. On Tuesday, Netanyahu will visit the Taj Mahal and then attend India's annual "Raisina Dialogue" geo-political conference.

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elf-driving cars may take a while to arrive, but the self-driving suitcase is here now.

“Visa, Mastercard and everything in the outside world is working well, but in Iran, because of the embargo, we don’t have access to these tools,” said Hadi Nemati, a cryptocurrency researcher in Iran who works at Blockchain Match, a blockchain technology accelerator. Nemati was referencing the heavy sanctions Iran has faced from the United States and its allies in an effort to curb Tehran’s missile development program and its funding of terrorist groups. (-TheHill)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7-Eleven convenience store Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. Agents said they targeted about 100 7-Eleven stores nationwide Wednesday to open employment audits and interview workers. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Continued from page 1 Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. said it was not responsible for the hiring practices of its franchise owners. "7-Eleven Franchisees are independent business owners and are solely responsible for their employees, including deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States," the company said. "7-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws." ICE and its sister agency,

US Customs and Border Protection, have stepped up arrests and deportations of illegal border crossers since Trump came to power in January 2017. Trump made cracking down on immigration a key plank in his election platform, cutting back on legal as well as illegal arrivals in the country and promising to build a wall along the Mexican border. Earlier this week, the government removed special protected status for about 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants living in the United States for at least 17 years, giving them 18 months to leave the country unless Congress says otherwise.

India suspends Holt International for 'negligence' in Mathews adoption by Alisha Ebrahimji

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ALLAS - India has suspended an American adoption agency for what the government says was "negligent" behavior in the assessment of adoptive parents.

foreign prospective adoptive parents. There is no information available at this time on what exactly was negligent about their findings throughout this process.

laws and best practices," they wrote. CARA has called for partner agencies to make sure that interested applicants who want to adopt a child from India

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and CEO of The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) Deepak Kumar made the formal decision to suspend Holt International, the adoption agency used by Sherin Mathews' adoptive parents Sini and Wesley Mathews.

In a tweet, Kumar said CARA found negligence in the assessment of the adoptive parents and also in the post placement assessment of the family. The family Kumar refers to in his tweet is not explicitly noted as Sherin Mathews' however Indian media has confirmed that this is the reasoning behind the move and is the family he references.

The "robot suitcase" from California-based startup Travelmate can be controlled with a smartphone app and can roll alongside its owner at speeds up to 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) per hour, navigating around obstacles.

On CARA's website is the adoption procedure for interested non-resident Indian, overseas citizens of India and

"This is really a robot which follows you around," said Travelmate founder and president Maximillian Kovtun.

China-based 90FUN, which has been available in the Chinese market and is soon coming to America. It uses selfbalancing technology from the personal transport maker Segway.

Travelmate designed the device -- which integrates elements of artificial intelligence -- to roll at a pace that matches that of the user, or it can be directed with the smartphone app in the same manner as a drone.

"It uses computer vision and a driving algorithm to have a clear path," said founder Nicholas Chee, who showed a pro-

While investors all over the world have purchased large amounts of digital currencies, their moves are largely speculative based on their expectations of future value. But for Iranians, bitcoin is more than a speculative investment, the experts said.

CARA is India's managing agency for adoptions.

Some of the technologies used in autonomous cars have been adapted in products unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, to help travelers with the weighty problem of dealing with baggage.

A competing offering from ForwardX, a Chinese startup with offices in California, is designed to be used with facial recognition, without need for a smartphone application.

US immigration agents raid 7-11 stores

he popularity of cryptocurrencies in Iran appears to be on the rise amid mounting economic anxiety in the country.

Forget the self-driving car, meet the self-driving suitcase

Priced at around $1,100, it is slated to roll out in February for the US market, and late in Europe and Japan.

Cryptocurrencies on the rise in Iran

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

The ForwardX Robotics self-driving CX-1 suitcase, which can follow its owner by using artificial intelligence, is seen at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show totype at CES. The ForwardX suitcase also has gesture control technology and can be immobilized to protect against theft. Chee said he expects the launch in mid-2018 at a price under $1,000.

Anywhere Security System www.a-oneinternational.com

Both Travelmate and ForwardX say their devices comply with US safety regulations because their lithium-ion batteries, banned in checked luggage, can be removed. Also shown at CES was an auto-following suitcase from

Surveillance System Home Theater

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And finally for the weariest of travelers, a luggage product called the Modobag, which lacks artificial intelligence but offers a sizeable perk instead: as a ride-on suitcase which can carry its owner along with their clothes.

Sherin Mathews "Further decision on the revocation of its authorisation shall be taken on getting the detailed report from the US Central Authority and the Indian Embassy in the USA," Kumar said. In a statement to WFAA, Holt International said they are saddened by Sherin's death. "During the Mathews' adoption process, Holt International, as well as our partner agency in Texas, followed all national and international adoption policies, procedures,

Continued from page 8

tional Airport on September 25, 1991, without any travel documents or proof of identity. He claimed that his name was Davinder Singh.

Among those cases, some may have sought to circumvent criminal record and other background checks in the naturalisation process, feels the Department of Homeland Security.

He was placed in exclusion proceedings, but failed to appear for his immigration court hearing and was ordered excluded and deported on January 7, 1992, federal prosecutors said.

According to the Justice Department, these cases are the result of an ongoing collaboration between the two departments to investigate and seek denaturalisation proceedings against those who obtained citizenship unlawfully.

Four weeks later, on February 6, 1992, he filed an asylum application under the name Baljinder Singh.

Revoked

Singh, a native of India, arrived at San Francisco Interna-

He claimed to be an Indian who entered the United States without inspection. Singh abandoned that application after he married a US citizen, who filed a visa peti-

have an evaluation of their psychological condition conducted by a licensed practitioner. The organization added this requirement in December. "We have already made the Psychological assessment of the Prospective Adoptive Parents mandatory for which circular has already been issued to all Authorised Foreign Adoption Agencies," Kumar said. Holt International has been serving children and families in India since 1979. (-WFAA News)

tion on his behalf. Singh naturalised under the name Baljinder Singh on July 28, 2006, prosecutors alleged. "The defendant exploited our immigration system and unlawfully secured the ultimate immigration benefit of naturalisation, which undermines both the nation's security and our lawful immigration system," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler of the Justice Department's Civil Division. In September, the Department of Justice made a similar move against two persons from Pakistan: Parvez Manzoor Khan and Rashid Mahmood. No decision has been taken yet in their case.


VOICE OF ASIA 11

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Indian-origin banker Ravi Menon named best governor of Asia Pacific

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INGAPORE: (PTI), Jan 4, 2018 An Indian-origin banker in Singapore has been named as the best central bank governor in Asia-Pacific for 2018, a media report said today.

The article noted that the MAS was among the first regulators to set up a dedicated fintech group that focuses on understanding technology's risks

Tel: 713-774-5140

Swapan Dhairyawan takes charge as president IACCGH n the first day of every year, Swapan Dhairyawan spends two hours writing his goals for the year. He sticks this sheet of paper on his closet door and reads them every day. One of the big goals on that sheet this year is to take on the mantle of leadership as President at IACCGH and empower business.

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In 2004, Swapan and a colleague Irfan Moosa branched out on their own with MD & Associates LLP- a Certified Public Accountancy firm. He took up a friend’s invitation to attend a Chamber networking event and the potential made him renew his membership every year. In 2012, he joined the Board and became Treasurer. For five years, Swapan oversaw the books and in

The annual recognition is by magazine, a publication under The Financial Times Group,is based on a selection process involving a survey of bankers and economists.

"These are the key reasons for selecting Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, as the Central Bank Governor of the Year for Asia-Pacific," The Straits Times reported, quoting the magazine article.

Section 2

by Manu Shah

Ravi Menon, managing director of Singapore's central bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), was recognised by the leading UK-based magazine 'The Banker' for his contribution in the makeover of Singapore's financial system.

"The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country's central bank, stands out for its cutting-edge regulatory approach to fintech while maintaining macroeconomic stability," the magazine said in an article.

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

Continued on next page Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), speaks at a conference organized by the Investment Management Association of Singapore. (Photo: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg via Getty Images) and benefits. "You can only encourage technology to the extent that you can also contain and manage its risks. A smart financial centre must be a safe financial centre as well," Menon was quoted as saying in the article.

Toyota brings the store to you with self-driving concept vehicle

Singapore's Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was also named the best banker in 2011. He was then as MAS's managing director. Over the last three years, the central bankers of Vietnam, India and Bangladesh were named for the recognition.

Data Technology Trends that will redefine Business in 2018

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n the ever-changing IT landscape, 2017 was no different. This year has witnessed many disruptive technologies emerge and make headlines worldwide. Terms like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cloud and Blockchain became the brainstorming topics of discussion for boardrooms across the world. These technologies will continue to impact businesses and will certainly become integral parts of companies’ plans to lead in the future. The machine learning market is expected to grow from USD 1.41 billion in 2017 to USD 8.81 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 44.1% globally. Why? In past years, the rapid increase of large and multidimensional data sets, proliferation towards data-based real-time problem solving and rising demand for sophisticated algorithm platform along with advanced tools contributed to and will keep contributing towards the adoption of machine learning across the globe in the coming years. By keeping all the hot phenomena in mind, Ashutosh Mehrotra, Business Head, APAC Region at Toovio, has highlighted three key trends in “data technology” that are likely to dominate discussions and will have an immense impact on how companies will be doing business in 2018. Companies will look for an Advanced Decision Platform that can“Sense”-“Comprehend”-“Act” Data analytics and business intelligence will play crucial role in the overall business strategy to make better and faster business decisions. Companies will continue to leverage the power of data analytics and look for “top line” to be specialized in the field of data science. Undoubtedly, Machine Learning (ML) has come a long way in the past few years and has changed the way companies look the way they need to do business. From voice-powered personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, to more underlying and fundamental technologies like behavioral algorithms, suggestive searches, network optimization, pattern analysis, fraud detection, customer identification, churn prediction, recommendation engines, etc., these are a few examples and applications of ML in use today. Technological advancement has made almost everything possible. From accurately predicting Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) to pinpointing a customer’s preference and populating the best offering, network operators are truly reaping the benefits of continuous improvement in targeting the right audience at the right time in the right channel and with the right content

The Toyota e-Palette concept will bring the store to you no matter where you are

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by implementation machine learning techniques. Since powerful predictive capabilities came into existence, companies are investing heavily on voice assistants, chatbots, and other intelligent business processes. Companies will head towards “Hybrid Multi-Cloud” Why will companies look forward to it? Moving to a hybrid cloud environment helps organizations save money and become more efficient and agile. It offers multiple level of flexibility, scalability, security, and reduced latency. Most importantly, cloud service providers are incredibly reliable, maintaining up to 99.999% uptime. Another benefit of cloud based infrastructure is that cloud drastically reduces capital expenses and downtime is the rarity. Organizations need not invest in hardware, facilities, utilities, or building out a large data center to grow their business thereby leading to zero capital investment and low maintenance. Companies have already started moving to “Hybrid Cloud” and will keep leveraging the benefits. Gartner estimated that by 2020, cloud adoption strategies will influence more than 50 percent of IT outsourcing deals. The largest market will be the SaaS market, which will double to $75 billion by 2020. That said, this will be a productive year for data technology companies who offer Software as a Service (SaaS) on cloud deployment. Moreover, it will be the year for companies who work on an automated machine learning methodology and provide real time interactive management platform addressing customer behavior through cloud based services for consumer based companies. Predictive Analysis to offer Radical Discoveries Data will continue to be the “King” and will play a crucial role in predic-

tive analysis. The way data movement has taken over in a short span, is something C-Suite and technology analysts are embracing. In the last few years, companies have been undergoing data-driven digital transformation and leveraging data as a strategic asset. Data-driven decision making has caught fire as companies find ways to use the vast amounts of data they collect to gain a competitive edge for better service and a betterquality experience for their customers.

Predictive analytics connects people for greater predictive power and high-impact insights. It enables leaders to make radical discoveries about their companies and dissect and solve complex business challenges. (-Courtesy: Enterprise IT World)

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da said, including ridesharing, retail, medical services or entertainment.

The Japanese auto giant’s president Akio Toyoda unveiled the new initiative at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, seeking to get ahead of rivals offering single-use autonomous transporters.

The new initiative is part of an effort to transform Toyota from an automaker to a multifaceted “mobility” company, Toyoda said.

The “e-Palette” vehicle platform features a boxy electric-powered minibus designed to handle deliveries or even bring retail services to consumers, but can also be used for ridesharing and other purposes. “It is a flexible platform that can be adapted to a range of services,” Toyo-

The media demonstration showed how the vehicle could deliver packages or even enable consumers to try on shoes or apparel.

Partners in the project, which is set to be deployed “in the early 2020s,” include Amazon, Uber, Pizza Hut and China-based Didi. Rival Japanese automaker Mazda will also participate in development. The company said it hopes to showcase the technology at the 2020 Olympics in Japan.

According to an estimate by the International Data Corporation, “global data doubles in size every two years and by 2020, it will reach over 44 trillion gigabytes.” Witnessing the data explosion at this rate, businesses will look for various ways to stay competitive.

SBA AND CONVENTIONAL LOANS Rajiv B. Bhavsar SVP Commercial Lending Officer (281) 217-7330

elf-driving buses aren’t new, but Toyota’s concept vehicle unveiled Monday aims to be more than just that -- a mobile platform for e-commerce, ridesharing and medical services, for a start.

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Racism row online in Austria over Muslim New Year’s baby

Tourists make a beeline for Sri Lanka Gayatri Rangachari Shah heads south for a refreshing vacation to the teardrop-shaped paradise

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IENNA, Austria | AFP - A Catholic charity on Friday protested that Facebook had removed a page for Vienna’s first baby of 2018, born of Muslim parents, which had garnered 20,000 messages of support after a rash of racist comments. The birth of Asel, hailed in the press as “the first Viennese baby” of the year, sparked a wave of racist comments on the internet as the mother was seen wearing an Islamic veil.

The island nation is increasingly becoming a preferred getaway — and the spotless streets could be one reason why

In response, the Catholic charity Caritas, which works with migrants and refugees, launched a campaign of support for the infant and her parents, Naime and Alper Tamga.

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“It is a completely new dimension of online hate, targeting an innocent newborn,” said Klaus Schwertner, head of Caritas in Vienna. “That crosses a red line.” Schwertner said the Facebook page was probably targeted in a concerted campaign to get it taken down and called on Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg to reinstate access. “We want to show that love is stronger than hate, on Facebook just as in real life,” he said. The hateful messages come amid tensions in Austrian society over the migrant influx to Europe and Islam.

Naime and Alper Tamga with their daughter Asel, who was the first baby to be born in Vienna in 2018. (Photo: KAV/Votava) The country’s new conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s coalition includes a farright party. One of the hostile messages

to the baby’s family referred to the new far-right interior minister Herbert Kickl, saying he “is going to send you out of the country. He’s the man to do it.”

Chinese rapper accused of sexism blames ‘black music’

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EIJING, China | AFP - After drawing public criticism for lyrics deemed sexist and promoting drug use, one of China’s bestknown rappers has dug an even deeper hole by blaming the influence of “black music”.

said PG One, who rose to fame last year when he was declared champion of “The Rap of China”, the country’s wildly popular hip-hop reality show. But he undercut any goodwill by saying on China’s Twitter-

words!” wrote another. State-run Xinhua news agency followed Friday with an online post saying “vulgarity cannot be branded as an individual character, and infamy cannot get you money.”

The China Women’s News, which is pubRapper PG One lished by the All-China Women’s Association, posted an opinion piece on social media Thursday ac- like Weibo platform that “early cusing PG One of “instigating exposure to hip-hop culture” drug use among youths and and the “deep influence of publicly insulting women.” Black music” were to blame for It said his lyrics were “essen- his vulgar lyrics. tially offensive to women.” That drew even more online criticism. The rapper responded later Thursday on social media with “What does insulting women an apology, saying he was re- have to do with black music? moving any offending songs Strictly speaking this is racial from the internet, and promised discrimination,” wrote one anto promote “positive energy” in gry commenter on Weibo. his future work. “Chinese hip-hop draws from “The spirit of hip-hop should hip-hop the musical style and always be peace and love,” rap techniques, not their swear

Five pro tips for staging your home for sale this year

Cheryl Eisen, founder of Interior Marketing Group, which specializes in homes listed above $4 million, staged the apartment. She filled it with

hygiene levels. Public bathrooms? Not a problem. Garbage? Not littering the streets. As I wandered through the coastal towns of Ambalangoda, Meetiyagoda, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Talpe and Mirissa, I was impressed that even the smallest places were spotless. Unfortunately, despite Prime Minister Modi’s Swacch Bharat initiative, India continues to fail on this front. During the break, I read a news report about how the new air conditioned Mumbai suburban trains had been littered with empty chips packets and cigarettes.

It used to be that December break meant Phuket for many Indians (including me) but for the past few years, I’ve preferred heading South rather than south-east (it didn’t help that on my last trip to Phuket, there was a hideous stomach bug that infected people up and down the island).

Why is our smaller southern neighbour so much cleaner than we are? I raised the subject over dinner with friends at the Aman hotel in Galle Fort, where we had gone to bring in my birthday, on New Year’s Eve. “Their population is about the size of Mumbai’s,” pointed out Ms Practicality, who was on her maiden visit to the country. “That’s a cop-out,” said Mr Real Estate Developer, with a dismissive wave of his hand. “Look at Haiti, which has a half of Mumbai’s population but is filthy.” He had a point, and I wasn’t about to challenge it, since I hadn’t been to Haiti, but one look at India’s smaller towns would affirm that a smaller population didn’t

Although the topography is similar to Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the vibe in Sri Lanka is totally different. It’s much more relaxed. Women can hang out on the beach without getting ogled at. But what really sets the place apart is the cleanliness.

necessarily result in clean surroundings. The next day, we continued the discussion over a languid Italian lunch at WB, located at Why Beach in Talpe, but were unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion. I gave up trying to find an answer. Later, strolling in Galle Fort, with its well preserved 17th century streets and buildings, it was hard not be seduced by the historic charm, quaint shops and hotels dotting the world heritage site. TripAdvisor describes Galle as the “emporium of foreign trade” and you have to have nerves of steel to not succumb to a shopping expedition. Temptation abounded. Delicate designs, with the semi-precious gemstones Sri Lanka is famous for, were ripe for the picking at Sandaken on Peddlers Street, and Ibrahim Jewellers, on Church Street. Spices, silver, home accessories, retro art, handicrafts and top quality linen could be found in chic boutiques. But never mind these beautiful material goods, those could be had at a price in India too. What truly impressed was the realisation that, in South Asia, cleanliness is the ultimate luxury. Let’s hope that 2018 is when we Indians clean up our act. (-The Hindu)

Legal marijuana off to blazing start in California

He also raps of “sleeping in the day, shouting at night, pure white powder walking on the board.”

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t’s the dawn of a new year but I long to go back to the final vestiges of 2017, when, relaxing on the glorious beaches of southern Sri Lanka, reality was so far away. This year, it seems like an enormous, well-heeled Indian contingent is vacationing in Sri Lanka. From press accounts, even Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh were there to snorkel. The Indian Ocean doesn’t offer the calmest of waters, of course, but the sun sizzles and it helps that the Sri Lankan currency is so much weaker than ours.

Ever since my first visit five years ago, I was amazed at the

PG One came under fire after official media on Thursday highlighted lyrics from the 24-yearold rapper’s 2015 song “Christmas Eve”, in which he uses obscene language to boast about forcing himself on a woman.

he practice of redecorating a home to attract buyers is not new, but in recent years it has grown in prominence. In a recent survey 38% of seller’s agents told the National Association of Realtors that they stage every home they list, while another 14% said they stage difficult properties. NAR only began asking about staging in 2015, when 34% of seller’s agents said they always stage. Buyers “need to fall in love,” says listing agent Jacques Cohen “Large assets like this have more emerging competition. So it is absolutely critical that you have it beautifully staged, that a buyer can walk in and say: ‘OK I am ready to move in.’” At the high end, he says, homes sell faster when staged. At more modest price points, staging can help a property command a higher price.

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

neutral, natural colors and rich fabrics—layered to add depth. She used giant mirrors to make the space look bigger and floor to ceiling drapes to highlight the intimate Central Park views. Large, custom abstract canvases fill the walls to help the buyer imagine displaying their own collection. “The difference between interior design and staging is that interior design is targeted to reflect the person you are designing for,” says Eisen. “Staging is depersonalizing. It is about broad appeal, something everyone will like, without feeling sterile. It has to feel authentic as well.” So what tips does Eisen have for sellers looking to prep their home for sale? 1. If a space is dark add mirrors. They multiply the light coming in through the windows and add depth. In this apartment, Eisen added four large mirrors to a long living room wall. She painted the frames the same color as the wall so

“This kind of singer disrespects the industry and the audience... and doesn’t deserve to own the hip-hop stage.” PG One’s victory on “The Rap of China” brought him over four million followers on Weibo. The first season of the internet-based show, which concluded in September, accumulated a stunning 2.94 billion online views, shining a light on China’s emerging hip-hop culture.

they look built in. 2. Take care to highlight what makes your home special. In this case, a giant window looks out just above the trees that line the southwest entrance of the park. (When Forbes visited in September the leaves were still bright green, check out the view in the video above.) In the dining room that abuts the window, she used a glass table to avoid blocking the view. 3. Stick to a neutral palette, but add small pops of color and personality to keep the place from looking sterile. Here you’ll notice accents of deep orange and red. 4. Scope out the competition and keep the personality of your neighborhood in mind. Uptown, generally seen as more conservative than funky downtown, Eisen goes with a more tailored look. 5. Inexpensive interventions, like a fresh coat of paint and a scented candle, can go a long way. If nothing else, experts strongly recommend cleaning house before listing. Ninetythree percent of agents recommend decluttering; 89% say a home should be cleaned thoroughly and 75% recommend minor repairs (-Forbes)

the 35-year-old, who has vibrant blue-green hair. Eight states as well as the capital Washington have already legalized recreational use of the drug, though it remains outlawed at the federal level. But California’s sheer size -- its roughly 40 million people make it America’s most populous state -- as well as its booming economy mean it is expected to be the world’s largest market for the green flowering plant. California became a pioneer when it legalized medicinal use of pot in 1996, and its decision to expand that to recreational use effective Monday will be watched closely around the world For Nicole Salisbury, owner of the Green Pearl Organics marijuana store, by countries hoping to California’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana is a matter of cash in on the so-called personal dignity (AFP Photo/Robyn Beck) “green rush.” - Riding high interest in sampling her wares. by Veronique Dupont Throughout the Golden State ESERT HOT “I’m so excited but I’m also on Monday, marijuana aficionaSPRINGS - It’s the a little bit nervous,” says Salis- dos formed lines outside legal first day that marijuana bury, who has been in the mari- shops, no longer forced to concan be bought and sold legally juana business for a decade and duct business with illicit dealers in California, and store owner opened Green Pearl Organics as on the down low. Nicole Salisbury’s stock of pot a medical dispensary two years Desert Hot Springs is hoping edibles is already running low. ago. to carve out a niche as a destiThe phone has been ringing “For the first time, I feel com- nation for marijuana lovers -- as non-stop for weeks with people fortable telling people that I well as the curious -- from all from out-of-state expressing an own a marijuana shop,” added over the country.

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Swapan Dhairyawan Continued from page 11 2017, was voted unanimously as President for the year 2018. Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia sums it up when he says he is highly impressed with Swapan’s organizational skills, his willingness to understand a different point of view and work at building a community consensus. Running a business is no easy feat and no one knows this better than Swapan - an entrepreneur himself. One of his goals this year is to empower small businesses and help them adapt to the changing times. He would also like to continue the momentum of engaging younger demographics in the Chamber’s activities. Swapan came to Houston in

1999 and along with finding a foothold as a CPA, was active in community service – a bent of mind inherited from his mother. Over the years, he headed the India Culture Center as President, the International Hindi Association as National President and played a key role in organizations such as Sewa and IMAGH. His CPA side is clearly visible as one of the first pieces of advice he gives any organization is to develop “fiscal responsibility” and have a “rainy day fund.” No organization, whether commercial or nonprofit, he insists, can survive long term without this in place. He pushed for this as well as transparency practices in several organizations. A point of pride is a compliment from an IRS Audit agent who told Swapan – “I wish all nonprofits maintained their books like this.” His favorite financial advice to people – “controlling your lifestyle is the way to build wealth.”

Swapan is a great believer in time management and multitasking which probably accounts for his ability to attend dozens of community meetings, events and run a leading CPA firm. He is quick to credit wife Pallavi for her unwavering support, whether it’s missing dinnertime again or writing out a check for a community cause. The one thing he never compromises on is dad-time with his 11 year old daughter, Eesha. When Hurricane Harvey battered the city in August, Swapan was struck by the fortitude Houstonians displayed and it reminded him of his hometown Mumbai’s “never say die” attitude. Like many Indo Americans, he pitched in to help the community get back on its feet, whether it was organizing meals or assisting folks who were stuck. He is a proud Houstonian and IACCGH is proud to have him head the Chamber this year.


VOICE OF ASIA 13

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

BOLLYWOOD - HOLLYWOOD

Section 2

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Hollywood stars ‘DECLARE WAR’ on sexual misconduct at Globes by Frankie Taggart

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OS ANGELES | AFP | Monday 1/7/2018 - Hollywood spoke with one voice at the Golden Globes on Sunday to declare war on the film industry’s culture of sexual harassment and abuse, as it kicked off its annual awards season on a rare serious note. Crime drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” was the big winner of the night with four trophies, giving it momentum ahead of the allimportant Oscars in March. But the awards podium played second fiddle at times to the clarion call coming from numerous stars about the need to heal and move forward. “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” actress and media powerhouse Oprah Winfrey told the audience at the Beverly Hilton as she accepted a lifetime achievement award. “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up!” she added, earning a standing ovation.

Deepika Padukone bonds with Neha Dhupia at Vogue BFFs Season 2, in Mumbai, January 8th (Photo: Yogen Shah) Oprah Winfrey brought Hollywood’s A list to its feet with her rousing speech as she accepted a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes (Photo: AFP)

‘ A ishwarya Rai is my mother’: THE BIG WINNERS ON THE NIGHT

The industry’s elite turned the red carpet black for the Globes, eschewing bright colors in a fashionable repudiation of disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein and others ensnared in allegations of misconduct.

Andhra Pradesh man’s bizarre claim A 29-year old man from Andhra Pradesh has claimed that he was born to Aishwarya Rai 6 years before she bagged the Miss World crown in 1994.

And fittingly, it was a big night for movies and TV shows telling women’s stories, such as “Three Billboards” and coming-of-age tale “Lady Bird” on the film side, and TV juggernauts “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Big Little Lies.”

by Anurag Verma

told media.

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Hailing from Vishakhapatnam, Kumar said that he was born in 1988 in London through IVF and was allegedly raised for two years by Aishwarya’s parents Vrinda Rai and Krishnaraj Rai.

here’s always a certain curiosity that surrounds Bollywood’s kids.

The overall message at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s champagne-drenched annual prizegiving was a call for continued change.

How they look, what they wear, where they party, paparazzi are always on the lookout to catch a glimpse of them.

“People are aware now of a power imbalance. It’s led to abuse in our industry... It’s everywhere,” Meryl Streep, who was nominated for her work in media drama “The Post,” said on the red carpet.

With no documents to prove his bizarre claims (because apparently, his

- ‘Time’s up’ Seth Meyers, making his debut as Globes host, opened the show with joke after joke about Hollywood’s post-Weinstein reckoning. “It’s 2018, marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn’t. It’s going to be a good year,” the late night NBC funnyman said. “For the male nominees in the room tonight, this is the first time in three months it won’t be terrifying to hear your name read out loud.” Leading the pack by the end of the night was “Three Billboards,” Martin McDonagh’s searing film about a mother who battles local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder. It picked up trophies for best drama, screenplay, actress for Frances McDormand and supporting actor for Sam Rockwell.

There were no nominations at all for female directors, prompting withering remarks from presenters Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain and Barbra Streisand. “Did I hear it right -- I was the only woman to get the best director award. And, you know, that was 1984? That was 34 years ago? Folks, time’s up,” Streisand said of her victory for “Yentl,” name-checking a new antiharassment initiative.

- Big night for ‘Big Little Lies’ While many fields were wide open, James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”) was always a shoo-in to win best actor in a musical/comedy movie. Franco -- who also directed the film, which tells the unlikely story of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 flop-turned-cult-hit “The Room” -- gave a shoutout to his brother and co-star Dave, telling the gathered celebrities: “I love him more than anything. Thanks to my mother for giving him to me.” Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) pipped Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”) in the much closer best actress race, and

Ronan was back on stage again alongside her director Greta Gerwig when the coming-of-age fable won best comedy movie. Gary Oldman, who has earned wide acclaim for virtually disappearing into the role of British wartime prime minister Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour,” took home the Globe for best actor in a drama. On the small screen, HBO’s “Big Little Lies” scooped up a rare trio of acting awards for Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard and Laura Dern, and another trophy for best limited TV series.

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relatives destroyed them all), Kumar goes on to say that Aishwarya and Abhishek have separated and now his “mother” lives separately.

But now a 29-year old man from Andhra Pradesh has claimed that Aaradhya isn’t the only Bachchan kid.

“My mother got married in 2007 with Abhishek Bachchan and she is separated, living alone. I want my mom to come and live with me in Mangaluru. It’s already 27 years since I separated from my family, I miss her a lot.” he adds.

Sangeeth Kumar, in his bizarre claim, says he was born to Aishwarya 6 years before she bagged the Miss World crown in 1994. Yes, you read that right.

“The women are not here for the food, they’re here for the work,” McDormand said to applause, noting the “tectonic shift in our industry’s power structure.” But McDonagh lost out in the directing category to Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, whose fantasy romance “The Shape of Water” came in as joint runner-up alongside “Lady Bird” with two awards each.

Thanks to them and the Internet, Aishwarya Rai-Abhishek Bachchan’s daughter Aaradhya is no stranger to the world.

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“I was born to her by IVF in London in 1988. I was brought up in Chodavaram from age three to 27. I was with my grandmother Brinda Krishnaraj Rai’s family at the age of one and two in Mumbai. My grandfather Krishnaraj Rai died in April 2017, and my uncle’s name in Aditya Rai,” Sangeet

“This show is so much about the life we present to the world that could be very different than the life we live behind closed doors,” said Reese Witherspoon, who produces and stars in the series, which tackles domestic abuse. “So I want to thank everyone who

“I’m getting enormous headache and anger at my native place, most of my relatives have manipulated things since childhood, otherwise I would have come back to my mother before itself with clear information. Due to lack of information, I could not come to my mother, so now I got all clarity,” he concluded. (-CNN-News18)

broke their silence this year and spoke up about abuse and harassment.” Kidman, who portrays an abused wife in the show, said she hoped the show and others could “elicit change,” while Dern urged Hollywood to support survivors of abuse.


LEGAL

VOICE OF ASIA 14

Section 2

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

International Business and FCPA Compliance Part 2 even if they have acted outside the United states. In order to violate FCPA anti-bribery rules, a payment must be made “corruptly.” This means that there must be wrongful intent in efforts to influence the recipient. A violation may be cited even if no bribe is paid, and the identity of the recipient remains unknown. It is not important, either, whether the company receives the benefit of a corrupt payment. It is the intent that is important.

Surendran K. Pattel Attorney & Counselor at Law, PKS Law Firm, PLLC

Question: What are the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA? Answer: It is unlawful under the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to offer, pay, promise to pay, or authorize payment of money, or to offer, give, or promise to give anything of value to a foreign official in an effort to obtain a business or secure a questionable business advantage.

Improper payments may be anything of value, not just cash. These can be in the form of travel or entertainment expenses, or expensive gifts of a non-monetary nature. Foreign charitable contributions are allowed as long as they are not meant to influence a foreign official. Whatever the nature of the payment, be it direct or indirect, it is illegal if it is made for the purpose of influencing a foreign official. Payments to foreign officials through third parties or intermediaries, or payments to friends or family members, can be illegal if they are made with corrupt intent.

Anti-bribery provisions can apply both within the United States and abroad. While the original FCPA anti-bribery rules applied only to U.S. nationals and to U.S. firms and issuers, a 1998 amendment expanded the scope and application of FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. As a result, antibribery provisions now apply not only to an act that promotes a foreign bribery scheme that occurs in the United States, but also to any act that utilizes any sort of interstate communication. It is irrelevant weather such communication occurred intrastate; the acts of U.S. companies and individuals are subject to the FCPA

There are possible defenses under FCPA anti-bribery provisions. One deals with whether transactions or payments comply with the local laws of the foreign country at issue. The other is rooted in determining whether an exchange of money is a legitimate and bona fide business expense. Payments made for routine

nondiscretionary governmental actions or payments made to protect against imminent danger of physical harm do not violate the FCPA. Since there is no specific statute of limitations in the anti-bribery provisions, a general five-year limitation period applies to what are viewed as serious violations. However, there are circumstances in which the limitations period can be extended; for instance, when it is determined that a conspiracy exists or simply to obtain evidence from foreign companies. In the next column we will look at FCPA accounting provisions. Disclaimer: Information in this column is meant to be general and informational; it is not intended as legal advice. Consult an attorney regarding your personal situation before you take any action that has legal consequences. BIO: Surendran K. Pattel is an Indian-born attorney in private practice in the Houston area. He is the founder of PKS Law Firm, PLLC. He is licensed to practice in Texas, United States District Court Southern District of Texas, and in India. To contact please email: adv. surendran@gmail.com

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

County Attorney Ryan wins Court Order Stopping Hazardous Waste Dumping

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arris County Attorney Vince Ryan won a court order on Monday stopping a Houston company from dumping hazardous waste into the city’s storm sewer system. The temporary restraining order prevents Wright Containers, LLC, 6633 Lindberg in southeast Houston, from accepting more waste and disposing of the waste into the city’s system. Judge Jeff Shadwick of the 55th State District Court ordered Wright Containers to return for a hearing on January 19. Wright Containers operates an industrial packaging company that supplies totes, steel drums, and other packaging products. Among its products are “Reconditioned Bottle Totes.” Totes are large plastic chemical storage containers that are encased in a heavy metal wire cage. Each tote is capable of holding approximately 300 gallons of waste. According to its website, “Wright Containers will pick up your dirty and empty IBCs.” Three company employees alerted authorities about ongoing violations of the Texas Water Code. The District Attorney, the City Attorney and the Houston Police Department used their information to obtain a search warrant. The search of Wright Containers by HPD on January 4 uncovered evidence that the company had accepted used hazardous waste containers without proper state authorization. Additional evidence

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found at the site supported the whistleblower allegations that hazardous waste had been illegally dumped into a concealed storm drain leading to the City of Houston’s storm water collection system connected to Sims Bayou. Between 300 and 500 totes remain at the facility. Many contain hazardous waste, some of it is highly corrosive, and the totes are in various states of disrepair, with some leaking waste onto the ground.

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Healthy Living

VOICE OF ASIA 15

Section 2

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Women who work nights face higher cancer risk: study

Tel: 713-774-5140

How Facebook could stop a disease outbreak

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acebook accounts and telephone records can be used to pinpoint the best individuals to vaccinate to stop a disease outbreak in its tracks, researchers said Wednesday. Such people would be “central” in their social networks, and thus likelier to spread disease-causing germs from one group to another.

Overall, long-term night shift work increased the risk of women developing cancer by 19 per cent (stock image).

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IAMI, | AFP 1/8/2018 - Women who regularly work the night shift in Europe and North America may face a 19 percent higher risk of cancer than those who work during the day, said a study Monday. These heightened risks were not apparent among female night-shift workers in Australia and Asia, said the metaanalysis in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. “Our study indicates that night shift work serves as a risk factor for common cancers in women,” said study author Xuelei Ma, an oncologist at the West China Medical Center of Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. “We were surprised to see the association between night shift work and breast cancer risk only among women in North America and Europe,” he added. “It is possible that women in these locations have higher sex hormone levels, which have been positively associated with hormone-related cancers such as breast cancer.”

The review incorporated 61 previously published studies on the topic, spanning 3.9 million participants from North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia and more than 110,000 cancers. One drawback to the study was that the different definitions of long-term night shift work -- with some of the papers describing it as “working during the night” and others saying “working at least three nights per month.” But the association was stark. While overall long-term night shift work increased the risk of cancer by 19 percent, the risk of certain cancers were even higher. Female night shift workers saw a 41 percent increased risk of skin cancer and a 32 percent higher risk of breast cancer. The risk of gastrointestinal cancer was 18 percent higher than in women who did not perform long-term night shift work. A subset of female nurses was also highlighted in the study, which showed “those who worked the night shift had an increased risk of breast (58 percent), gastrointestinal (35

Additives make your food highly unsafe

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YDERABAD, India, 1/8/2018 - The scientific panel of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has recommended that fluoride, potato protein, willow bark extract, lemon balm and pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) must not be used in any food product as they are unsafe for human consumption. The FSSAI has directed that products containing fluoride and potato protein isolate must be withdrawn immediately and new products must not have these ingredients. Willow bark extract, lemon balm, and PQQ are used in herbal products and dietary supplements and they too are now banned as they are found to have the effect of drugs. For dietary supplements, functional foods and nutraceuticals these additives are to be used based on the recommend-

ed dietary intake guidelines of the FSSAI. • Fluoride is found in foods that contain water. Untreated water has a high fluoride content which is residue from agriculture and industrial waste. The food processing industries that use this water have been told to test the level of fluoride in the water before use. Fluoride is found in liquids more than solids. It is most commonly found in a) Fruit juices; the highest content is found in apple and grape juice b) Sauces like tomato sauce c) Salads that are eaten raw and not properly washed d) Soda e) Toothpaste, mouthwash and dietary supplements. Excess fluoride in the body causes thyroid, arthritis, dementia, bone fractures and dental fluorosis. • Potato protein isolate is a protein which is extracted from

percent), and lung cancer (28 percent) compared with those that did not work night shifts.” Ma noted it was possible that nurses might be more likely to undergo screening, since they work in the medical profession. “Another possible explanation for the increased cancer risk in this population may relate to the job requirements of night shift nursing, such as more intensive shifts.” When it came specifically to breast cancer, the risk rose by 3.3 percent for every five years of night shift work, said the study. Previous research has shown that nighttime work can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms, causing hormonal and metabolic changes that may boost the risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity and depression. “The results of this research suggest the need for health protection programs for long-term female night shift workers,” said Ma. “Long-term night shift workers should have regular physical examinations and cancer screenings.”

the potato. It has replaced animal protein in the food processing industry to suit vegetarian tastes. It gives a feeling of fullness. Potato proteins are used in a) Baked items like crisp bread, cookies, wafers, crackers, biscuits b) Pizza base, sweet bread, muffins. High levels of this protein cause kidney problems. • Willow bark is a herb that has been in use since the 5th century. It is used in herbal products, tea and dietary supplements. The FSSAI says willow bark is nothing but aspirin. Its excessive use in tea powder and herbal products can cause thinning of the blood and in some cases sudden death. • Pyrroloquinoline quinine (PQQ) is a compound. It is found naturally in soil and also foods such as kiwi fruit and in human breast milk. It is also added to skimmed milk and dietary supplements.PQQ’s role as a vitamin has been controversial since its introduction in 2005. PQQ can be toxic and can damage the kidney and liver. (-Deccan Chronicle)

Assuming there is an outbreak, and not enough vaccines for every person in the world, immunising these wellconnected individuals would remove social “bridges” by which germs can spread, experts wrote in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. The study, which tracked the digital and physical contacts of more than 500 university students, concluded that people who are central in their digital networks are also central in their real-life human networks. “If you are a hub for your friends in the sense that you have many contacts via phone calls or on Facebook, making

Photo credit: National Cancer Institute

you a bridge between diverse communities, chances are high that you are also likely to be a bridge to connect those communities in case of an epidemic, such as influenza,” study co-author Enys Mones of the Technical University of Denmark told AFP. “By understanding the online contacts, we can find individuals who are such central members of the population and focus targeted counter-measures on them when there are limited resources for vaccination.” Using computer modelling,

the research then calculated that vaccinating these “central” individuals would be “almost as efficient as the most optimal (existing) vaccination strategies”. It was also cheaper, as digital activity is easy to trace. The goal of vaccination is to reduce the size of the population at risk of infection. It achieves something called “herd immunity”, whereby unvaccinated people are increasingly unlikely to come into contact with an infectious individual.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital offers new Lymphedema Management Program

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UGAR LAND – Through the collaboration between oncology services and rehabilitation therapy at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, cancer survivors experiencing lymphedema will soon have access to a beneficial treatment called complete decongestive therapy (CDT). CDT is a comprehensive therapy that reduces the effects of lymphedema, the build-up of lymphatic fluid that causes swelling, discomfort and a loss of flexibility. “We are excited about the benefits of this therapy and are thrilled to be able to offer it to our patients,” said Sean Croft, PT, MPT, director of rehabilitation services at Houston Methodist Sugar Land. “Because there are no medications currently available for lymphedema, CDT is a major step forward, in helping survivors in their post-cancer recovery.” Lymphedema can occur when lymph nodes are removed during surgery or damaged from radiation therapy during cancer treatment. The flow of lymph fluid is disrupted, which leads to swelling in different parts of the body. Swelling can worsen over time and become severe, causing skin sores to develop. If left untreated, the area is susceptible to infection. However, early recognition and prompt intervention can alter the course of the condition. For this reason, Houston Methodist Sugar Land has incorporated bio-impedance devices that enable staff to measure subclinical changes in the extracellular fluid (ECF) and discover lymphedema up to 10 months earlier than current measurement techniques. CDT uses a set of techniques administered and taught by credentialed therapists to reduce the symptoms of swelling. Certified lymphedema therapist Kimberly Kainer, OTR, CLT, is the lead therapist for the Lymphedema Management Program at Houston Methodist Sugar Land. “This program will provide significant benefits to patients through the delivery of CDT

Kimberly Kainer, OTR, CLT (Photo courtesy HMSLH) ― a comprehensive set of techniques that may include manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandages and garments, and therapeutic exercises,” said Kainer. “I create an individualized treatment plan that focuses on each patient’s unique symptoms, and it really makes a difference in the quality of life for the patient. This is a chronic condition with no cure, but the ability to manage it with therapy is a relief for many patients.” Kainer says that learning how to prevent infection in affected areas is an important part of treatment. Since swelling makes it easier for bacteria to grow, patients are encouraged to take extra precautions to keep those areas healthy. “It’s important to remember to keep your skin clean and well-moisturized and to check it regularly for cuts, sores, bug bites or blisters,” she said. “Being extra careful while shaving, avoiding picking at or cutting your cuticles, and wearing shoes that fit well are actions that we all should

adopt, but they are especially important for patients with lymphedema because even a small injury can lead to infection.” Amy Sebastian-Deutsch, DNP, APRN, CNS, AOCNS, director of oncology services at Houston Methodist Sugar Land, said the addition of the Lymphedema Management Program is just one element in the hospital’s holistic approach to treating cancer ― an approach that begins with screening and diagnosis and continues across the care continuum. “In some cases, lymphedema occurs shortly after surgery or radiation,” Sebastian-Deutsch explained. “But for some patients, it doesn’t develop until months or even years later, long after their cancer treatment is over. Incorporating the ability to detect subclinical lymphedema gives us the opportunity to implement treatment plans early, which is one way we are extending our care and support to enrich the lives of survivors.” (-HMSLH)

Read other HEALTH articles Visit: www. voiceofasiaonline.com


HEALTH

VOICE OF ASIA 16

Eating healthy in 2018: take a close look at the labels The gluten-free and vegan trend is expected to grow in 2018, following in the wake of the boom in organic products, elimination diets, and vegetarianism. These new products are tempting, but they’re not necessarily good for your health, and can lead to an unbalanced diet.

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he gluten-free and vegan trend is expected to grow in 2018, following in the wake of the boom in organic products, elimination diets, and vegetarianism. These new products are tempting, but they’re not necessarily good for your health, and can lead to an unbalanced diet.

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An increasing number of people have adopted vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan diets, without being aware of the nutritional guidelines to avoid vitamin or protein deficiency.

A close examination of the ingredients of gluten-free products (bread, cookies, pasta, quiches, etc.) for example, can reveal that the wheat (gluten) has been replaced by refined rice or corn flour, modified starch, sugar, a long list of additives, and very little fiber. Studies have shown that too much of these in our diet can lead to an increased risk of type

Consumers have an ever-increasing array of vegetarian and vegan products to choose from

2 diabetes. A vegan lifestyle, which consists of avoiding any products derived from animals –- including meat, milk, eggs, honey, leather, fur, etc – comes with its own risks.

and so on, often contain few or no natural products. Sugar (fructose or glucose syrup) and starch are added to replace fat and to add consistency, but these ingredients can be fattening.

While fruit and vegetables are excellent for health, industrially produced vegan or vegetarian sausages, soy burgers

Being vegetarian or vegan does not necessarily provide protection from illness and can lead to weight problems

and deficiencies if you rely too much on processed products. A vegetarian or vegan diet should involve more unprocessed vegetable protein (such as lentils, chickpeas and soy), seasonal fruit and vegetables, and essential fatty acids found in flax seeds, crushed or ground chia seeds, canola oil, hempseed oil, and oilseeds.

Meet the robot duck that could help children with cancer

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AS VEGAS - A plush, robotic duck may soon become a fixture in the world of children with cancer. The social robot can be silly, happy, angry, scared or sick just like them, and help them cope with their illness through the power of play. Aaron Horowitz was diagnosed with a debilitating condition as a child. He and his Rhode Island-based company Sproutel developed the emotional support robot to help children manage stress and change the way they deal with

their health. The American Cancer Society says almost 11,000 US children are diagnosed with cancer yearly. The duck is modeled after the mascot for insurance company Aflac, which paid for its development. Beginning later this year, the ducks will be distributed free to kid patients.

A robotic “My Special Duck” is demonstrated at CES in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 7th. (Photo: Reuters)

The duck’s expected to be featured Monday at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas. (-AP News)

Egg-preserving hysterectomy raises heart risks later, study finds link by Kerry Sheridan

row, blocking blood flow.

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“This is the best data to date that shows women undergoing hysterectomy have a risk of long-term disease -- even when both ovaries are conserved,” said lead author Shannon Laughlin-Tommaso, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Mayo Clinic.

IAMI, AFP | 1/3/2018 - Women who undergo hysterectomy before age 35 may face significantly higher longterm heart risks, even if their ovaries are preserved, a study found Wednesday. The research by experts at Mayo Clinic focused on more than 2,000 US women who had their uterus removed but left their ovaries intact -- widely considered the most desirable option if possible because it prevents a woman from entering early menopause. Compared to women in the same area of Minnesota who did not have hysterectomies, the study found those who did faced a greater risk of obesity, clogged arteries, high blood pressure and high cholesterol in the 20-plus years after surgery.

Cancer deaths decline again in US ASHINGTON, United States | AFP | Thursday 1/4/2018 - Death rates from cancer in the United States dropped again between 2014 and 2015, continuing a downward trend that began in 1991 and has meant 2.4 million fewer deaths, a study said Thursday. Advances in early detection and treatment, along with a drop in smoking, are believed to be responsible for much of the 26 percent drop since 1991, said the findings in the American Cancer Society’s comprehensive annual report.

If you regularly buy products labelled “gluten-free” or “vegan” under the pretext of eating “healthily”, you could actually be putting your health at risk.

To avoid falling into the processed “healthy” food trap, pay attention to labels (including for organic products) and make sure you eat a wide variety of fresh produce.

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

“Hysterectomy is the second most common gynecologic surgery, and most are done for benign reasons, because most physicians believe that this surgery has minimal long-term risks,” she added. - ‘Consider alternatives’ Some 400,000 operations to remove the uterus, or womb, are performed each year in the United States.

The elevated risks ranged from 13 percent more for high blood pressure to 33 percent more for coronary artery disease.

Most are not due to lifethreatening conditions like cancer, but rather because of painful fibroids, menstrual disorders or uterine prolapse, when the uterus begins to sag into the vagina, according to the study.

For women under age 35, the risks were particularly acute -- a 4.6-fold increased risk of congestive heart failure and a 2.5-fold greater risk of coronary artery disease, when the arteries become hard and nar-

In cases of cancer or high genetic risks, doctors may remove the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. In other cases, just the uterus is taken out, rendering a woman unable to become pregnant but preserving her

hormonal function through the ovaries, thereby postponing menopause. This option became more popular after research showed that removing the ovaries along with the uterus can raise the risk of early death and chronic disease. But experts say the effects of ovary-preserving hysterectomies have not been well studied until now. “While women are increasingly aware that removing their ovaries poses health risks, this study suggests hysterectomy alone has risks, especially for women who undergo hysterectomy prior to age 35,” said Laughlin-Tommaso. “With the results of this study, we encourage people to consider nonsurgical alternative therapies for fibroids,

endometriosis and prolapse, which are leading causes of hysterectomy.” - ‘Fascinating’ research According to obstetriciangynecologist Jill Rabin, who was not involved in the study, the research is “well-powered” and “fascinating.” While the biological reasons for the health risks are still being studied, researchers suggested that the uterus may play a role in communicating with the hormone-producing ovaries.

“This new report reiterates where cancer control efforts have worked, particularly the impact of tobacco control,” said Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. “A decline in consumption of cigarettes is credited with being the most important factor in the drop in cancer death rates.” However, he noted that “tobacco remains by far the lead-

ing cause of cancer deaths today, responsible for nearly three in 10 cancer deaths.” Overall, the US cancer death rate reached a peak of 215.1 per 100,000 population in 1991, and has declined to 158.6 per 100,000 in 2015. Deaths from lung cancer made a 45 percent decline among men and 19 percent among women. Cancers of the breast, prostate and colon and rectum are also down steeply. The report forecasts about 1.7 million new cancer cases and 609,640 cancer deaths in the United States in 2018. “Over the past decade, the overall cancer incidence rate was stable in women and declined by about two percent per year in men,” it said. While progress is evident, stark racial disparities remain. The cancer death rate in 2015 was 14 percent higher in blacks than in whites, down from a peak of 33 percent in 1993.

Mouse study shows how alcohol may cause cancer

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ARIS, France | AFP | Wednesday 1/3/2018 Alcohol damages the DNA of stem cells responsible for producing new blood, according to a mouse study which may explain the link between drinking and cancer, scientists said on Wednesday.

repaired incorrectly, it can lead to cancer.

Health watchdogs have long warned that alcohol consumption contributes to seven types of cancer -- of the mouth, throat, larynx or voice box, oesophagus or food pipe, breast, liver and bowel.

The team also examined how the body fights against alcohol damage using a family of enzymes called ALDH, which turn acetaldehyde into acetate, which cells can use as energy.

“While some damage occurs by chance, our findings suggest that drinking alcohol can increase the risk of this damage,” said lead author Ketan Patel of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

For the new study, published in the science journal Nature, researchers gave lab mice diluted alcohol, known chemically as ethanol.

Millions of people -- particularly from Southeast Asia -- either lack these enzymes or carry faulty versions, said the team. And mice lacking ALDH, given alcohol, suffered four times as much DNA damage.

They then used chromosome and DNA analysis to examine genetic damage caused by acetaldehyde, a chemical produced when the body processes alcohol.

“Our study highlights that not being able to process alcohol effectively can lead to an even higher risk of alcohol-related DNA damage and therefore certain cancers,” said Patel.

“They found that acetaldehyde can break and damage DNA within blood stem cells, leading to rearranged chromosomes and permanently altering the DNA sequences within these cells,” Cancer Research UK, which helped fund the research, said in a statement.

It may be a contributor to an “extremely high prevalence” of throat cancer in countries such as China, commented Malcolm Alison of the Queen Mary University of London, who was not involved in the study.

What was not well understood was: how?

“It is important to understand how the DNA blueprint within stem cells is damaged because when healthy stem cells become faulty, they can give rise to cancer.” DNA damage can lead to cell death, but can also trigger the body’s natural repair mechanisms. However, if the DNA is

way. You are stopping the communication,” said Rabin, who is co-chief of the division of ambulatory care and women’s health programs at Northwell Health in New York.

Therefore, removing the womb may cut blood flow and change hormonal stimulation to the ovaries, leading to negative effects on the entire body.

Hysterectomy can also be a life-saving operation, depending on the reason, so women who are considering it should consult closely with their doctors, she added.

“It makes perfect sense if you think about it. It’s all connected. Once you disconnect it, it is like cutting a telephone line in a

“It should be decided with your doctor, spelling out the risks and benefits, so the patient really understands.”

Commentators welcomed the paper’s contribution to the knowledge base. “This is beautiful work, which puts our finger on the molecular basis for the link between alcohol and increased cancer risk and stem cells. Very important,” said Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz of the University of Cambridge.

Since the study was observational in nature, it stops short of proving cause-and-effect, but raises interesting questions for further research, according to Mitchell Kramer, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Huntington Hospital in New York. In the meantime, any women thinking about the surgery “should consider alternatives to hysterectomy,” including treatment with medicines or less invasive procedures, he told AFP in an email.


HEALTH

VOICE OF ASIA 17

No, it’s not too late to get a flu shot by Karen Kaplan s it too late to get a flu shot? We know you’ve been busy making plans for the holidays, scrambling to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, spending time in airports and on road trips to see family and friends.

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But the holiday season is over and it’s time to get back to reality. The flu season is most certainly upon us. And you need to deal with it.

During the last week of 2017, “influenza activity increased sharply in the United States,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outpatient visits to doctors and other medical professionals by people suffering from influenza-like illnesses were above normal baseline levels in every region of the country, the CDC reported. And among the 54 jurisdictions in the flu surveillance system (every state plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), 50 reported “regional” or “widespread” flu activity at the end of last year. Texas is one of 26 states with “high” flu activity, the CDC says. So far this flu season, at least 3,927 people have been sent to the hospital with laboratoryconfirmed cases of influenza. One child was confirmed to have died of the flu during the last week of 2017. The most recent statistics that include adults were from the week that ended Dec. 16, when 6.7% of deaths reported to the National Center for Health Statistics were attributed to influenza and

pneumonia.

used.”

The good news, according to health experts, is that it’s not too late to reduce your risk by getting a flu shot.

You may have heard that the flu that’s doing the most damage this year is an H3N2 strain, and that it is less vulnerable to the vaccine. That’s true. But public health experts still say that an imperfect flu shot is better than no flu shot.

The CDC recommends a flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months, unless you have a specific medical reason to skip it (such as an allergy to the vaccine). Only shots are advised this year. The FluMist nasal vac-

And since the flu season could last well into March or April, there’s still plenty of time for it to make a difference. The flu may not sound like a big deal, but if you’ve ever had it, you know it can make you feel miserable. If you’re lucky, you may have mild symptoms like a cough and a runny nose. But you can also wind up with a bad fever, chills and more serious complications like pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus infections.

cine offered in the past has not been very effective against H1N1 strains in recent years, so the CDC says it “should not be

If you’ve heard that the flu shot might actually give you the flu, rest assured that’s impossible. The vaccine is made from an inactivated virus. It’s able to prompt your immune system to make antibodies against the flu, so it’s ready in case you encounter the real the thing. But the shot itself can’t infect you. (-LA Times)

Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu. 1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick Keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. 2. Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others. 3. Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. 4. Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. 5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Avoid Romaine lettuce for now, Consumer Reports says by Trish Calvo

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ver the past seven weeks, 58 people in the U.S. and Canada have become ill from a dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria, likely from eating romaine lettuce. In the U.S., the infections have occurred in 13 states (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington state). Five people in the U.S. have been hospitalized and one has died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There has also been one death in Canada. Canadian health authorities identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in Canada, and are advising people in the country’s eastern provinces to consider eating other types of salad greens until further notice. In the U.S., government health officials are investigating the outbreaks, but have stopped short of recommending people avoid romaine lettuce or any other food. This strain of E. coli (0157:H7) produces a toxin that in some cases can lead to serious illness, kidney failure, and even death. That’s why Consumer Reports’ food safety experts are advising that consumers stop eating romaine lettuce until the cause of the outbreak is identified and the offending product is removed from store shelves. “Even though we can’t say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the U.S., a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that lettuce is almost always consumed raw,” says James Rogers, Ph.D., director of Food Safety and Research at Consumer Reports. While anyone can get sick if they are infected with E. coli 0157:H7, young children, the

elderly, and anyone who has a condition (such as cancer or diabetes) that weakens the immune system are at greater risk. “People in these groups should be particularly vigilant about avoiding romaine lettuce,” says Rogers. - What is being done? The CDC announced last week in a press release that, along with the FDA, it is investigating the E. coli infections in the U.S. According to the agency, the type of E. coli making people sick is genetically similar to the bacteria involved in the Canadian outbreak. Still, the agency says it does not have enough information to recommend people in the U.S. avoid a particular food. “There is not enough epidemiologic evidence at this time to indicate a specific source of the illnesses in the United States,” says Brittany Behm, MPH, a CDC spokesperson. “Although some sick people reported eating romaine lettuce, preliminary data available at this time shows they were not more likely than healthy people to have eaten romaine, based on a CDC food consumption survey.” Health officials, Behm says, take action when there is clear and convincing information linking illness to a contaminated food. “The FDA should follow the lead of the Canadian government and immediately warn the public about this risk,“ says Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports. “The available data strongly suggest that romaine lettuce is the source of the U.S. outbreak,” she says. “If so, and people aren’t warned, more may get sick.” Under the Food Safety Modernization Act, the FDA has the authority to recall a hazardous

food if a company fails to do so, but in this case health authorities have not yet identified the specific source of the outbreak. However, nothing prohibits health authorities from issuing a general warning in situations like this one with romaine lettuce. And even if there was a product to recall, Halloran notes that it may take awhile before there is any company or FDA action. According to a report released in December by the Inspector General’s office at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the FDA has at times been slow to secure recalls, which may be voluntary or mandatory. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement that the report raised some “signficant concerns” and that while the FDA has addressed many of the issues raised in the report, “we still have more work to do.” “FDA needs to act promptly to protect consumers’ health. People could eat a lot of potentially contaminated romaine while waiting for a company recall or for the CDC and FDA to identify the specific source of the outbreak and order a mandatory recall of the affected products,” Halloran explains. Outbreaks of toxin-producing E. coli are more typically linked to beef (the bacteria can get into the meat during slaughter and processing), especially ground beef, but infections from produce are not unheard of. Leafy greens, including romaine lettuce, were the cause of outbreaks from E. coli 0157:H7 in 2006, 2011, 2012, and 2013. “Vegetables can be contaminated if animal feces are in the field or in irrigation or washing water,” says Rogers, “The bacteria can also be transmitted if a person who is carrying the bacteria doesn’t wash his or her hands after using the bathroom and then processes or prepares food.” (-Yahoo! News)

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

2017 saw big strides made in diabetes care

by Serena Gordon

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ASHINGTON, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 This past year was a busy, productive one for diabetes research and care. “2017 was a year of progress in our

understanding of diabetes and its complications, the tools available to help people manage their diabetes, and attention to the economic and accessibility challenges faced by people with diabetes,” said Dr. William Cefalu, chief scientific and medical officer for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Strides were made in: - Artificial pancreas tech Probably the biggest and most anticipated news of 2017 was the rollout of the so-called artificial pancreas. Created by Medtronic, the device combines an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitor and a computer algorithm that measures blood sugar levels and then delivers insulin automatically when those levels rise. Insulin delivery is also temporarily suspended if blood sugar levels drop too low. The device isn’t completely automated yet. People with diabetes still need to know how to count the carbohydrates in their food and enter that information into their insulin pump. And the device still requires people with diabetes to check their blood sugar several times a day and enter that information into the machine -- this is known as “calibrating.” The hope is that future versions of the device won’t require these steps. Aaron Kowalski, chief mission officer for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), said, “We’ve waited a long time to see these systems come to market, and while it’s not yet perfect, it has opened the door, and there’s definitely a benefit.” He added that a number of other insulin pump manufacturers and independent companies are working on their own artificial pancreas systems. “Competition is really important and helps drive innovation. The next few years will hold promise,” Kowalski added. - Improving heart health Heart disease is a significant concern for people with diabetes. New research suggested that long-term use of metformin could reduce the risk of heart disease in people with type 1 diabetes. Other medications have been linked to a

reduced risk of heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes. These include Jardiance, Invokana and Victoza.

nancy complications. But this also puts them at risk of developing dangerously low blood sugar levels.

“Cardiovascular disease is the most deadly and expensive complication of diabetes, and a number of recent studies have shown that certain medications also have a strong protective effect against cardiovascular disease in people at high risk for it,” Cefalu said.

Women using CGM spent more time in “target” range than women who didn’t. That means their blood sugar was neither too high nor too low for longer periods of time.

- Competition in the continuous glucose monitor (CGM) market The artificial pancreas wasn’t the only innovation in diabetes technology in 2017. Another continuous glucose monitoring device (CGM) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Made by Abbott and called the Libre, this device has been in use in Europe for several years. The major difference in the Libre is that you have to request the blood sugar information. Other devices on the market -- from Dexcom and Medtronic -- send blood sugar information collected by a tiny sensor wire inserted under the skin to a receiver every five minutes or so. The Libre also uses a tiny sensor wire inserted under the skin, but the person with diabetes has to request the information be sent to the receiver. In addition, the Libre also doesn’t require any fingerstick calibration as other devices on the market do. “Some people find the constant information provided by continuous glucose monitors to be stressful. With the Libre, you ask when you want the information. It’s also a little bit flatter than other CGMs, and it comes in at a much lower price point,” Kowalski explained. Improving blood sugar levels in pregnant women with type 1 diabetes One of the most promising uses of CGM technology became evident with the publication of the results of an international study of women with type 1 diabetes who wore the devices during pregnancy. Women with type 1 diabetes have to manage their blood sugar levels very tightly during pregnancy, because high blood sugar levels are associated with birth defects and other preg-

“This study helped show that mothers and babies do better when the mother [with type 1 diabetes] has a CGM,” Kowalski said. The study was published in The Lancet. - Insulin speed Novo Nordisk received FDA approval for a new insulin called Fiasp. This insulin starts working in about 2.5 minutes. Currently, Novolog, another product from Novo Nordisk, takes approximately five to 10 minutes to start working. That difference may not seem like much, but unless people with diabetes who are dependent on insulin inject at least five to 10 minutes before they eat, their blood sugar levels may spike too high after eating. It’s not always possible or even safe to pre-inject insulin. For example, in a restaurant, you have no way of knowing when your food might arrive, and if you pre-inject and your food is late, you can have a dangerously low blood sugar level. The shorter time it takes Fiasp to work could help prevent spikes in blood sugar after eating, which ultimately leads to better diabetes control. - Awareness of costs and increased coverage The cost of insulin has come under sharp scrutiny recently because the cost of some insulin has tripled in about a decade. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) first brought the issue up during the 2016 presidential campaign. The ADA started a campaign called “Make Insulin Affordable” and is working with members of Congress to bring more attention to the issue. This was also the first year that people on Medicare with diabetes could get coverage for all CGMs. Initially, Medicare only offered coverage for the Dexcom CGM, but on Jan. 4 the agency announced that it would also cover the Libre CGM. (- HealthDay)

Addictive gaming to be recognized as disease: WHO

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ENEVA, Switzerland | AFP - “Gaming disorder” will be recognised as a disease later this year following expert consensus over the addictive risks associated with playing electronic games, the World Health Organization said Friday. The disorder will be listed in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), to be published in June, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva. WHO is leading the process of updating ICD-11, which includes input from global health practitioners. The current working definition of the disorder is “a pattern of gaming behaviour, that can be digital gaming or video gaming, characterised by impaired control over gaming, increased priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests,” Jasarevic said. Other symptoms include “the continuation and escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.

Gaming disorder now offically recognized as a disease (File photo) The provisional guidelines say that an individual should demonstrate an abnormal fixation on gaming for at least a year before being diagnosed with the disorder, which will be classified as an “addictive behaviour”, Jasarevic said. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the condition disproportionately effects younger people more connected to the ever-expanding online gaming world. But the WHO spokesman cautioned that it was premature to speculate on the scope of the problem.

“Gaming disorder is a relatively new concept and epidemiological data at the population level are yet to be generated”, he said. Despite the lack of hard data, “health experts basically agree that there is an issue” and that official inclusion in the ICD is the next appropriate step, Jasarevic said. “There are people who are asking for help”, he added, noting that formal recognition of the condition will help spur further research and resources committed to combatting the problem.


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Your Horoscope for the Week of JANUARY 12, 2018 Aries (A,L,E) 21 March to 20 April At this time you shower loved ones with your care and concern. You will want them to know that they can depend upon you. There is a mutual feeling of loyalty and respect within your relationships. You feel a sense of importance when you provide others with support and nourishment. You feel quite relaxed and carefree, and this would be a splendid time for a vacation. Laziness, self-indulgence, are possible right now. You need to cut down somewhere, and only you know where.

Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May See you feeling very lucky and you are likely to be extravagant with your money. Material benefits are, likely at this time. Beware of depending too much on Lady Luck. Numerous phone calls, letters, meetings, errands, or discussions bring you into contact with others. This is a good time to brainstorm with others. This is also a time when you are drawn to working on areas of self-improvement. You might recognize the importance of taking better care of your health.

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June

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Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July The warmth and good will you generate now is likely to be a benefit to you now and later on. Exciting or sudden circumstances may bring you greater independence in your work or career pursuits at this time. If you are unemployed, opportunity can arise for employment. You are very much in favor and may even enjoy an encouraging talk with a superior. It should make you feel more confident about your future and much more secure about in your position, right where you are.

A time to reach out to people and to get others’ input or counsel. Listen to your mate or a friend who can enlighten you at this time. A dedicated approach to your workrelated matters may benefit you at this time. You can put your nose to the grindstone. You may find your interests turning to matters of work and professional endeavors. You may feel an increased sense of responsibility. Calm your tensions in one of two ways. Discuss the situation with a trustworthy friend or get a strenuous physical workout.

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September A good time to take advantage of opportunities which offer greater success and prosperity in your vocation. You may be blessed with recognition for your work efforts. Social activities can be primary concerns for you at this time. You find pleasure and enjoyment when you are intensely and emotionally involved in something meaningful. You may want to take time to look at & appreciate others intentions. You’ve got plenty of things you would like to do, but it is vital to be selective. If you attempt them all, you will scatter your forces.

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

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Your surplus of positive healing energy radiates within you, giving you beneficial moments when you find it easier to relieve yourself of personal or emotional upsets. You may feel relief by bringing certain issues out in the open at this time. This is a good time to search for the resources to resolve them. Support from close friends, family, and the women in your life gives you confidence now. This is a good time to mend fences and solve problems in your home life.

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August

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Begins with a good time to distinguish yourself from others and make your abilities widely known to the people who count. Let others know of any new ideas. Take this time to reinforce your view of yourself and foster positive feelings. Reflecting on and acknowledging your good qualities will help your self-esteem. The work you do now is money in the bank for future freedom, maybe even that long-desired trip you’ve wished for some time.

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov Existing love relationships are benefited through faithfulness, warmth, and devotion. You may find a safe haven to distract you from any unpleasant issues in your life. Also your ability to study, to concentrate and to think deeply about serious matters is much better than usual. This is a good time to organize your affairs. It is important not to focus on work while talking with your mate. Instead, talk of romantic times the two of you have shared and enjoyed. Turn on your charm.

Sagittarius (BH,F,DH,TH) 22 Nov to 21 Dec The craving for sweetness and comfort in the form of loving affection or food is strong now. This is a good time to baby yourself and also to spend time with the people. This is a time when short trips, excursions, errands, etc. are interfered with. You will have to adjust your plans or appointments to accommodate an inconvenience. Those around you may react giddily to sudden changes, you will be able to keep your head. Use this to your best advantage.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan Your intuition is very sharp at this time. Your psychological insight is excellent, and you can better understand what motivates others and what their needs are. Your ability to write and speak with feeling and sensitivity is greatly increased. You are now able to find the right words that capture a subtle feeling. You may have to be the one who changes their mind, both with a sunny disposition and possibly a logical explanation of why you do things the way you do.

Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb If you are married or involved in a love relationship, a deepening of the relationship is likely at this time. You gain an even greater appreciation of each other. If you are involved in a new relationship, it will deepen and feel more permanent. It will take on the quality. This relationship will grow into good one. On other fronts, don’t try to force issues or come to any definite conclusions now and don’t sign any contracts which require too much compromise on. You can be a star and a standout at work.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March The fact you are more sensitive to ethics and also to the feelings and needs of others. It is easy for you to give generously of yourself. Conversations and sharing plans and ideas with others are very fruitful now. You understand what others are telling you. Relationship harmony is accented. Your mate is understanding, supportive and affectionate. Show that you are available to play & have fun together. A sudden inspiration may hit. It may have to do with furthering your education levels.

Prepared By, Hardik Vyas : Astrologer, Vaastu & Gem Stone Consultant Cell : 832-298-9950, Web : www.toaskfuture.com

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VOICE OF ASIA 19

ANNOUNCEMENT

READ OUR HEALTHY LIVING SECTION We are very happy to see that our effort since the last 4 years, to educate

and empower Seniors, Women and Children has made an impact on the community. Due to its popularity and demand we are now expanding our section on HEALTHY LIVING to include timely articles by medical professionals and introduce new product and services. Our upcoming issues will cover safe living for our Seniors in their own dream houses, by upgrading them to be senior friendly, or find help at Assisted Living and other Senior care facilities. Do not miss valuable information by missing Voice of Asia. You can have Voice of Asia home delivered for $30.00 for 52 issues. Cost of Home delivery to read in the privacy of your home is just “Fifty Cents per week”

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Have something to sell or looking for the right employee? Try our Classified Ads! Call 713-774-5140

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

Have something to sell or looking for the right employee? Try our Classified Ads! Call 713-7745140

ACCOUNTANT NEEDED Accountant Needed. Experience is a MUST! l Book Keeping l Payroll l Quick Books Reconciliation l Month End Closing If interested, please send resume to: atif@usinsurancefundings.com

Announcement Dr. Dipika Ambani will be relocating to a brand new office on February 1, 2018 The new office will be located at: 7400 Fannin Street, Suite 840 Houston, TX 77054 713-272-7600 Electrical Equipment Bid Houston First Corporation requests bids from electrical equipment sellers to provide and deliver fused switches, step down transformers and distribution switchboard as part of the Wortham Theater recovery project. Please visit: https://www.houstonfirst.com/do-business for full details.

January is Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Month Talk to your doctor about your risk and how to lower your chances of getting diabetes

8 1 0 l 2 a i c e p S x a T 018 - April 13, 2018 2 , 5 y r a Janu

Attention: CPA’s and Tax Consultants Share Your Wealth of Knowledge

1. Thousands of youth are becoming first-time filers.

2. Every day hundreds of people are retiring. 3. Tax laws are set change alot next year. This is your opportunity to reach new customers!

Voice of Asia the largest circulated Asian newsweekly is having a 15 week, Tax Special starting January 5 - April 13, 2018. Special Discount to those who provide Free or Discounted Tax preparation

Advertise for as low as $2 a day, the price of a cup of coffee. One client will pay for the cost of advertising. Retain clients for life.

Call: 713-774-5140 to get started! Email: ads@voiceofasiagroup.com

6213 Skyline Drive, Suite 2100 Houston, Texas 77057

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VOICE OF ASIA 20

FRIDAY, January 12, 2018

Voice of Asia E-paper January 12, 2018  

Voice of Asia Newspaper is based in Houston since 1987. We reach South Asian and Asian American families in Houston and surrounding cities i...

Voice of Asia E-paper January 12, 2018  

Voice of Asia Newspaper is based in Houston since 1987. We reach South Asian and Asian American families in Houston and surrounding cities i...

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