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Vol. 30 No. 25 Friday, June 23, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: voiceasia@aol.com

Consul General Kicks Off International Day of Yoga 2017

Trump softens H1-B stand before Modi visit

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ASHINGTON DC - In a move that could spell relief for several Indian IT professionals, President Donald Trump has indicated that he may ease restrictions on H1-B visa. This comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming

issue of H1-B visa is expected to take place. Ahead of the meeting, the American president on Monday discussed the H1-B visa program at the American Technology Council Rountable promising to welcome diligent people to the United States to ensure that diligent hardwork

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields (Photo: PTI / AFP)

visit to US. Modi is slated to meet Trump on June 25. A discussion on the

and skilled work force joins the US IT sector. Continued on page 11

Consul General of India in Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray seen with yoga teachers at the IDY kickoff at his residence. Photo by Shobana Muratee.

Successful Exits – A Panel Discussion by Local Entrepreneur

from Left to Right: Aruna Viswanathan - Panelist, Dr. Arun Pasrija - TiE Houston President, Ana Rojas Bastidas - TiE Houston Executive Director, Samina Farid - Panelist Dr. Sara Terheggen - Moderator, Ashish Gupta - Panelist. Read report on Page 3

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OUSTON – Consul General of India in Houston Dr. Anupam Ray had a formal kick off for the International Day of Yoga (IDY) that falls on June 21, 2017, at his resident on Briar Grove on Friday June 16, 2017. About 20 members comprising of heads of Indo-American organizations, local yoga teachers and practitioners and the media gathered to discuss the purpose and relevance of the International Day of Yoga and strategized outreach plans on making IDY a grand success. This is the 3rd year of observance since its inception in 2015. An international day for yoga was declared by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014 as a result of India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s proposal. This year, the event will be hosted by the Consulate General of India, Houston on Wednesday, June 21 at the Levy Park in Houston at 6PM. The yoga session will be led by Robert Boustany, guru and founder of the Pralaya yoga who has been teaching yoga for 45 years. Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray will give his opening remarks on the day. Lindsey Law (RYT 500) who teaches Prayala yoga and Vishwarupa N, Director VYASA will also conduct the sessions on that day. At the end of

the program, at 8:15 PM will be the color powder dance party that was hit last year at the Discovery Park. On Saturday, June 24 starting at 7AM, the Hindu Temple of Woodlands will be hosting the IDY in the Woodlands at the town Green Park, 2099 Lake Robbins Dr. The Woodlands, Texas. The events in Houston are being organized in association with Arya Samaj, iBAM Org, India House, Hindu Swyansevak Sangh, Brahma Kumaris, HTW-EYS, VYASA, ISHA Foundation, Art of Living Foundation, Hindus of Greater Houston, Ismaili Council, Prayala Yoga, Ekal Vidyalaya and Patanjali Yogpeeth. Speaking to the guests Consul General Dr. Ray said primary purpose of the meeting was to express the interest of the Government of India to promote yoga globally, “We have no other agenda in this, other than the fact that we want more and more people doing yoga.” “This is not going to be the last yoga day, there’s going to one next year and the year after. So everything that we do this year is actually a preparation for Yoga Day next year,” CG Dr. Ray added. However, the immediate purpose he said was to get to facilitate Continued on Page 3

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OP-ED/COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS International Day of Yoga VOICE OF ASIA N

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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

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THE STORY OF MAHATMA GANDHI

Gandhi gains in stature as honest lawyer

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t was late in the evening when the train pulled into Pretoria. Gandhi stayed at a hotel that night and moved into a lodge the next day. There he began to study the Abdulla lawsuit. Even while he was working on it, he found time to call a meeting of the Indians in Pretoria. This he did with the help of Tyeb Haji Khan Muhammad, Gandhi was not just preoccupied an influential Indian merchant. with his law practice but also gave Only a handful of Indians at- time to social issues, especially those tended. It was the first time relating to the way Indians were in South Africa. His first sucGandhi had addressed a meet- treated cess as a lawyer was not a crushing ing. “There is too much divi- victory over an opponent, but the sion among us,” he said. “Why triumph of good sense and humanity. should we be kept apart by differences in birth, family, caste, ties and our needs.” and religion? Let us form a The audience listened to him league, representing every group, and keep the Govern- with great interest. It was dement informed of our difficul- cided to hold regular meetings

EW DELHI | June 20, 2017 AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in collaboration with AYUSH ministry will soon come up with guidelines on yoga ‘asanas’ which are beneficial to combat certain ailments, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to focus on treatment of diseases through the ancient Indian spiritual discipline.

2017: AIIMS to come up with guidelines on yoga ‘asanas’ Not all yoga exercises are effective and suitable for all conditions.

Experts from Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana S-VYASA in Bengaluru in partnership with the Centre for Integrative Medicines and Research at AIIMS are conducting evidence-based research to develop a set of protocols for various diseases. “Not all yoga exercises are effective and suitable for all conditions. So we are doing evidence-based research to issue a detailed standard yoga protocol for prevention and treatment of different kinds of diseases,” said AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria on the eve of the International Day for Yoga (IDY). Dr. Guleria said with practice of yoga, drug requirements in several diseases can be lessened. He also said that AIIMS has embarked on a randomized study to assess the efficacy of yoga to control migraine attacks which leads to severe headache.

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resident Trump has not followed through on his campaign pledge to deport the so-called “Dreamers,” a departure from his otherwise hard-line stance against illegal immigrants, While that is welcome news, it remains unclear what will happen to those immigrants who entered the country illegally as children and hope to remain to continue building their lives. The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals of all the Indians in Pretoria. Meanwhile, Gandhi was entrusted with the task of translating into English all the correspondence between Dada, Abdulla & Co. and the rival party. After studying all the facts, he was convinced that his client’s claim was just. He knew, however, that if the case was taken to court it would drag on for a long time, so he called together representatives of both parties. “Why don’t you choose a good man, whom you both trust, to arbitrate between you?” he said. The parties listened to him with great attention. They were astonished at this new idea. This young man was not the kind of lawyer they were familiar with; they appreciated his stand and agreed to his suggestion. An arbitrator was appointed, and he gave his award in favor of Gandhi’s clients. Although they had won, Gandhi persuaded his clients to be lenient with their opponent. They agreed not to demand the money due all at once, but in easy installments spread over a long period. Both parties were happy over the settlement. Gandhi’s first success as a lawyer was not a crushing victory over an

There have been previous studies according to which yoga increases the chemical serotonin, which eases the tightening of the brain’s blood vessels thus relieving migraines. (Source: File photo) “We hypothesise that yoga can be an add-on therapy to reduce migraine attacks as the relaxation techniques are believed to have a positive impact on certain chemicals in the body and in the brain, which may also help migraine sufferers,” neu-

There have been previous studies according to which yoga increases the chemical serotonin, which eases the tightening of the brain’s blood vessels thus relieving migraines.

‘Dreamers’ status remains precarious (DACA) program will remain in place. On the same day, the fifth anniversary of the order establishing DACA, the Trump administration ended a sister program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). It would have given the same temporary protection to the parents of “Dreamers,” as well as others, but was never put in place because of court chal-

lenges.

opponent, but the triumph of good sense and humanity.

Gandhi being attacked. Mr. Coates warned the policeman.

In the Orange Free State, Indians had been deprived of all their rights by a law enacted in 1888. They could stay there only if they did menial work. Traders were sent away with nominal compensation. Under a law passed in 1886, Indians who wanted to live in the Transvaal were forced to pay an annual poll-tax of £ 3 per head. There they were not allowed to own land except in certain locations. They had no freedom to move about. If they wanted to go out of their houses after 9 p.m., they had to carry a permit with them. They were not allowed to use certain highways at all.

“This man is my friend and a distinguished lawyer,” he said. “If he brings a complaint against you, I shall be his witness.” Then he turned to his friend and said, “I am very sorry, Gandhi, that you have been so rudely assaulted.”

Gandhi felt humiliated at the way Indians were treated there. He thought it was his duty to defend their rights and remove their grievances. He often went out for an evening walk with an English friend, Mr. Coates, and he rarely reached home before 10 p.m. He had obtained a letter from the State Attorney allowing him to be out of doors at any time without police interference. One evening Gandhi was alone, walking at his usual brisk pace, when he was suddenly at-

“The future of the DACA program continues to be under review with the administration,” Jonathan Hoffman, assistant secretary for public affairs at Homeland Security said. While the “Dreamers” do not have legal status, a guarantee of citizenship or any permanent protection, DACA gives them

“You need not be sorry,” said Gandhi. “How is the poor man to know? All colored people are the same to him. I have made it a rule not to go to court in respect of any personal grievance.” “Just like you,” said Coates, who was still very angry at the policeman’s behavior. Coates turned again to the policeman and said, “You should tell an Indian politely what the regulations are - not knock him down.” “Never mind,” said Gandhi. “I have already forgiven him.” Now that the Abdulla case had been settled, Gandhi thought there was no need for him to stay on in South Africa. Towards the end of 1893 he went back to Durban to book his passage to India. Abdulla arranged a farewell party in his honor. While going through the

In another study, Dr. Guleria said that yoga was found to be as effective as standard pulmonary rehabilitation in improving dyspea, inflammatory markers and quality of life in patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. access to renewable, two-year work permits. Ending the program could lead to deportation of between 750,000 and 800,000 people whose identities are known by the federal government. It is time now for Congress to approve permanent protection for immigrants who as children were brought illegally into this country, and since have been lawful residents and productive members of their communities and keep the American dream of these young immigrants alive. (-New Hampshire Gazette)

will make our lot extremely difficult,” Gandhi said gravely. “It is the first nail in our coffin. It strikes at the very root of our self-respect.” The Indians now realized what was at stake; but they were unable to decide what to do. They requested Gandhi to postpone his departure and help them. He agreed to stay on for another month and organize resistance to the new bill. Late that night the Indians held a meeting in Abdulla Seth’s house under the presidency of Seth Haji Muhammad, the most influential Indian merchant there. They resolved to oppose the Franchise Bill with all their strength. Telegrams were sent to the Speaker of the Assembly and the Premier of Natal requesting them to postpone further discussion on the bill. The Speaker promptly replied that the discussion would be put off for two days. The Natal Indians then drew up a petition to the Legislative Assembly pleading against the bill. This was followed up by another petition to Lord Ripon, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies. This was signed by more than ten thousand Indians. Copies of the petition were circulated in South Af-

Great Summer Project For children! Enter Mahatma Gandhi Week 2017 Essay, I-Tribute, Poster and Speech contests. Visit gandhilibrary.org for registration and more information. All school going children can participate! These contests are being organized to create higher awareness of the inspiring life and work of Mahatma Gandhi to promote universal values of Truth, Non-Violence, Love and Service tacked and knocked down. He was injured. He struggled to his feet to face a police constable. “That will teach you to obey the law,” shouted the policeman. “No Indian has the right to walk past the President’s house. Didn’t you know that?” The policeman kicked him. “Gandhi, are you hurt?” asked a familiar, friendly voice. It was Mr. Coates. He happened to be passing that way when he saw

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newspapers that day, Gandhi was surprised to read that a bill was pending before the Natal Legislative Assembly which would deprive Indians of their right to elect members to the Assembly. He brought this to the notice of the people gathered there for the party. “What do we understand about such matters?” Abdulla Seth said. “We only understand things that affect our trade.” “This bill, if it passes into law,

rica, England, and India. There was much sympathy for the Natal Indians’ plight, but the campaign had started too late to stop the bill becoming law. However, the campaign did do some good. For the first time, the people of India came to know of the conditions in Natal. An even more important result was the new spirit that now awakened the Indians in South Africa. — To be continued


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Successful Exits – A Panel Consul General Kicks-off International Day of Yoga 2017 Discussion by Local Entrepreneur

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n Thursday, June 15, 2017 TiE Houston hosted Successful Exits: The Truth About Growth and Exits at the Westin Oaks Houston. Participants came to network and listen to three local Houstonians share their exiting success stories as well as valuable insight and advice. Before getting the panel started, TiE welcomed Chris Shiver of Adventure Headquarters who gave an update on his business venture and gave an insight of what his next set of goals are. Each TiE event includes an opportunity for TiE members to briefly discuss their business and what needs they might have. The goal is to be able to support the entrepreneur as a community no matter what stage they are in.

Continued from page 1 in getting to know each other so that a local organizations and studios can coordinate efforts to the extent possible. During the deliberation, a proposal to form a National Alliance of Yoga was made by Vijay Pallod representing Hindus of Greater Houston who is coordinating on the publicity efforts of IYD in Houston. The Consul General responded by saying that he would support all efforts that would promote yoga. Dr. Ray even urged yoga teaches and organizations to explore the social media and suggested on the lines of having a website, a depository of numbers, an electronic bulletin board, Face Book Page or Webpage to post your yoga events. He also offered the Consulate office’s resources in assisting their efforts through organizing periodic meetings; prepare films on yoga for promotional purposes and spreading the word. “The Embassy in Washington has 50,000 followers; the Ministry of External Affairs (India) has 5 million followers that promote 190 such events. And the buzz that it creates is extraordinary,” he said. There is no orthodoxy in doing it. Yoga is for everyone and can be practiced everywhere,” he stressed.

Koshy Thomas, Publisher, seen presenting the commemorative issue of HealthLine magazine to Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray.

TiE Houston President, Dr. Arun Pasrija, began the evening by welcoming all of our new

Dr. Pasrija introduced Sammy Haroon, a long time TiE Charter Member and the CEO of RBR Group. He then introduced the moderator for the evening, Dr. Sara Terheggen Dr. Terheggen is Corporate Partner at Morrison & Foerester specializing in corporate finance transaction and private equity fund formation. To date, she has advised on transactions with an aggregated value of approximately $100 billion. Numerous organizations have honored her with awards for professional and community leadership.

Vijay Pallod gave an update on the media outreach while Sharad Amin (HSS) listed a few guidelines for participating at the various events. A few video clips from last year IDY and PM Modi’s message were presented. On the occasion, Koshy Thomas, Publisher, Voice of Asia and HealthLine magazine presented a commemorative issue of HelathLine on International Day of Yoga to Consul General Ray featuring yoga advocates, teachers and organizations of Houston. “We are expanding Yoga Day year by year. The largest event last year was in Austin with 1200 people on the weekend,” Dr. Ray said. The following events are being organized in Texas to celebrate the International Day of Yoga. 1. Saturday, 17 June 2017 at Tripoint Event Center, San Antonio starting from 0900 hrs. 2. Saturday, 17 June 2017 at State Capitol, Austin starting from 1800 hrs. 3. Wednesday, 21 June 2017 at Levy Park, Houston starting from 1800 hrs. Concur-

Guests who attended the kick-off at Consul General’s residence seen with Consul General Dr. Ray and Dy. Consul General Surendra Adhana (far left). Photos by Shobana Muratee rent events in Austin and San Antonio. 4. Saturday, 24 June 2017 at Town Green Park, Woodlands starting from 0700 hrs. 5. Sunday, 25 June 2017 at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial of North Texas, Irving starting from 0800 hrs. Prominent among the guests were Dev Mahajan (Arya Samaj), Shekar Agarwal (Patanjali Yogpeeth), Mark Ram (Brahma Kumaris, Texas), Vijay Pallod and Tara Narasimhan (Hindus of Greater Houston), Sharad Amin (Hindu Swyansevak Sangh) Vishwarupa (VYASA

Houston), Col. Vipin Kumar (India House), Lindsey Law (RYT 500), Susan Willett (One Yoga Global), Daksha Shah, Sachin Chitlangia, Alka Mittal, and Rashmi Gupta (Hindu Temple of the Woodlands), Funny Engineer, Shanti, Gitesh Desai, Koshy Thomas (Voice of Asia) and a few others. A delicious homemade dinner was served after the meeting.

Sharad Amin (HSS) speaking about the IDY events in Houston.

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The panelists for the evening were Samina Farid, Ashish Gupta, and TiE Houston’s Board Member and former President Aruna Viswanathan. Samina is a leading energy and technology entrepreneur and co-founder of Merrik, a global provider of software to the oil and gas industry. Her extensive experience in the energy industry spans over decades and includes managerial and executive positions. She successfully exited Merrick in 2014. The company was sold to P2 whom she served as an advisor. Ashish Gupta is a a serial entrepreneur, investor, and business mentor, with over 25 years of industry experience in IT, Education, Health Care and Real Estate. Ashish has founded, grown, and successfully exited three technology companies over 17 years. Aruna Viswanathan is the COO of the RBR Group, a firm that serves as an investment and commercialization office for Venture Capital and Private Equity offices. Previously, as Chief Underwriting Officer and Co-Founder for Clearspring Capital Group, Aruna was in-

volved with managing two funds that provided early stage growth financing across a broad range of industries. Several topics related to successfully exiting a business and related perspectives were discussed. Each panelist shared their unique insight. Samina Farid offered this advice when asked about, what strategies are important to consider when trying to lay the best foundation for a successful exit When forming the company and managing the company. She said “Consider why someone would want to buy you. At the same time keep in mind that a messy and risky business will drive away buyers so keep good, clean records, maintain legal protection over your assets and intellectual property, and keep your technology and products working well and up to date. Finally, consider and keep a list of potential buyers, stay aware of their needs and cultivate a relationship with them or at least get on their radar so they consider you when they start looking for an acquisition. “ In summary, the business owner must understand their key assets which are likely to be attractive to a potential buyer. These could include one of more of the following: • Unique product or services • Customer base • Repeatable process for delivering product/service • Recurring revenue base • Be scalable • Profitability in terms of revenue growth and/or margins • Human talent along with its unique company culture The entrepreneur should keep records and documentation to demonstrate the any/all of the above business assets to a potential buyer. These could include patents/copyrights, process documents, audited financials, customer contracts, etc. Professional help form accounting and legal professionals is recommended to go through the process of exiting a business. The entrepreneurs should be prepared to spend six to 12 months in the process of agreeing to valuation, due diligence including financials and legal documents at the same time ensuring running the business continues be important. Their next event: How to Launch a Successful Food Business is on Thursday, June 29, 2017. For more information please visit www.houston.tie. org.

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Landlord must make repairs

Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Q. My family and I haven’t been able to take a bath or shower in our apartment due to a cracked pipe. This is very unsanitary, and I also can’t use the bathroom. I shouldn’t have to pay rent because of this condition. Will I be evicted if I stop paying rent until the situation is fixed? A. If you just withhold rent, you can and probably will be evicted. Texas has a statute, however, that may help you. Under Texas law, regardless of what the lease says the landlord is required to repair problems that materially affect the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant and are not caused by the tenant, occupant, or a guest. To use this law, there re a few steps you must follow. First, assuming you are no current in your rent, give the landlord written notice of the problem. The notice should have the date, the type of problem, and your name and address. You can deliver it in person or send it by certified mail. Sending by certified mail is the recommend way to give notice. If you deliver it in person or send it by regular mail, you will need to give a second notice before taking any further steps. After you send the notice, you must wait a reasonable time for the landlord to repair the problem. The statute states that seven days is presumed reasonable, but with serious unsanitary conditions it could be much shorter.

If the landlord does not make the necessary repairs, you have several options. You may terminate the lease and move out without any further liability, you may sue in justice court for an order directing the landlord to make the repairs, and you may repair the problem and deduct the amount from you rent. In my opinion, if the landlord does not make the repairs after receiving your written notice, suing in justice court may be the best way to get the problem fixed. The court must hold a prompt hearing and by suing you avoid the practical problems that may arise if you withhold rent or terminate your lease. In most cases, however, once the landlord receives your written notice and knows you know your legal rights, repairs are promptly made. For more information, about your rights as a tenant, look at the “Landlord Tenant” material on my website in the “Legal Topics” section, www. peopleslawyer.net. Q. My mother recently passed away. We have a washer/dryer she bought for us. The creditor wants us to make the remaining payments. Do we have to pay? A. When a person dies, his or her estate is responsible for his or her debts. This means the creditor should collect from your mother’s estate. If there is no money in the estate to pay the bills, the relatives or heirs are not responsible for the debts of the estate. On the other hand, in some cases you may lose the property if

you do not continue to pay. If your mother gave the store what is called “a security interest” in the washer/dryer to secure payment, the store has the right to take the machines back if it is not paid. This means you either must agree to make the payments or give back the appliances. I suggest you speak with the seller and ask them why it believes you are responsible for your mother’s debt. Then review the documents to see if the store is correct. Q. I negotiated a great deal and signed a contract to buy a car. The next day, the dealer backed out and sold the car to someone else. Luckily, I was able to find the same car for the same price at another dealer. Now I want to sue the original seller who backed out of our deal. If I sue for breach of contract, how much can I sue for? A. In my opinion, you can’t sue for anything. The law does not punish people for breaching a contract. The measure of damages for a breach of contract is the difference between the contract price and what you ultimately paid. Because you purchased the same car for the same price, you have no damages. It may not be “fair” that he sold the car to someone else, and it is a breach of contract, but as far as the law is concerned his conduct did not cause you any damages. If you were forced to pay more for the car, the dealer would have been responsible for the increase in the price.

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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT RE-ENTRY PERMIT

Q: What is a Re-Entry Permit? A: A Permanent Resident who has travelled and remained abroad for a period of one year or more risks being denied admission to the United States as he or she would be deemed to have abandoned his or her permanent resident status. A Re-Entry Permit is a document which allows the U.S. Permanent Resident to re-enter the United States after being abroad for a period of one year but less than two years. Q: I am a Permanent Resident. I need to travel soon and I have to continue to be abroad for more than one year due to employment. Can I apply for the Re-Entry Permit when I am abroad? A: No. You must apply for the Re-Entry Permit and provide your Biometrics before departing the U.S. In special circumstances, you may request for the Biometrics to be expedited. In addition, you might be allowed to attend the Biometrics appointment earlier than scheduled. In the application, you may specifically request that the Re-Entry Permit be sent to a US Embassy, consulate or DHS office overseas for you to pick up. Q: What is the Form to use if I wish to apply for the Re-Entry Permit? How much is the Filing Fee? A: The Form to use is Form I-131 Application for Travel Document. The total Filing Fee including the $85.00 Biometrics Fee is $660.00. The biometrics fee of $85.00 is waived for those 13 years old or younger and for

those over 80 and older. Q: When should I file for a Re-Entry Permit? How long does it take for USCIS to process it? A: It is advisable to file your application for the re-entry permit no fewer than 60 days before the date of your intended travel. According to USCIS, it typically takes 90 days or more to process the ReEntry Permit. You do not have to be physically here when the document has been issued. Q: How many times can I apply for a Re-Entry Permit? A: Because a ReEntry Permit cannot be extended, you will need to apply for a new Re-Entry Permit when needed. However, the grant and period of the validity of subsequent Re-Entry Permits may be for the lesser period of one year. USCIS retains the discretion to approve a Re-Entry Permit for only one year instead of two. Q: My Re-Entry Permit is still valid for another 3 months but I need to do another extended travel beyond one year. Can I apply for another Re-Entry Permit? A: Yes, you may apply for a new Re-Entry permit. But since your present Re-Entry Permit is still valid, you will need to send that Re-Entry Permit in when you submit your application for a new ReEntry Permit. Q: If I stay abroad for more than one year on the Re-Entry Permit, will this affect my application for naturalization? A: Unfortunately, it will affect your application for naturalization. To be

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eligible for naturalization, one of the requirements are you need to have been continuously resident in the US for the past 5 years prior to applying for naturalization. The continuous presence requirement is broken if you are absent from the U.S. for a period of more than 180 days, but this can be rebutted. However, any absence of one year or more creates an irrebuttable presumption that your continuous residence has been broken. The Re-Entry Permit will help you preserve your permanent residency but will not help preserve your continuous residence. As such, if you remain abroad for more than one year on the re-entry permit, you will need to wait for four years and one day from the date of your return to the US before you can becomes eligible to file for naturalization. Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case. My Bio Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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VOICE OF ASIA 5

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Peers reminisce at Harish Jajoo’s retirement reception

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long with the Hurricane season, Houston sees the start of the Marathon Season. Local and National television stations have started advertising for signing up for the Houston Chevron Marathon. Participating in marathons is an exhilarating experience. There is no right age to start – folks in their 60s, who have never run in their lives have got themselves running shoes and participated and enjoyed the thrill of marathons. You can choose to run at any pace or even walk briskly. If you have watched old wild west movies where they show herds of cattle go through a street, the Houston Chevron Marathon, USA Fit Sugar Land Marathon, and many others are

Harish Jajoo and his wife Shashi Jajoo with Council member Amy Mitchell and friends Dr. Subodh Bhuchar, Sanchali Basu and others. by Sanchali Basu

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UGAR LAND - It was very nostalgic for everyone around, when peers, friends and relatives gathered for Harish Jajoo’s retirement reception at The Sugar Land Museum of Natural Science on Thursday, June 15. The Mayor and Members of City Council of The City of Sugar Land had arranged the reception honoring the retiring Council member of District Four. As attendees rolled in after work, they were warmly greeted at the door by Kayla Samek and scrumptious cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. As the crowd loosened and warmed up during the social hour, Harish, his

wife Shashi, son Sid and the rest of Harish’s family mingled and made everyone feel welcome. Emcee for the evening City Manager, Allen Bogard introduced the first speaker Council member Amy Mitchell. She thanked Harish for his continued valued and dedicated service to the city, highlighting all the major accomplishments during his tenure. Of special mention was the completion of the Smart Financial Center, the Brazos Park and Festival Site, implementation of Sugar Land’s fire based EMS and crime prevention cameras on major roads, sidewalk and pavement rehabilitation, completion of major roads University North and South and Dulles

Ave. He was also instrumental in attracting hundreds of jobs via recruitment and expansion of corporations like Nalco, TI, Fluor and expansion of Memorial and Methodist hospitals. He also oversaw UH Sugar Land transition to Tier 1 branch. Council member Mary Joyce echoed Mitchell’s sentiments and commended Harish on the passion with which he undertook to help the city. Current Mayor, Joe Zimmerman took the stage and congratulated Harish for his upcoming stint as a new grandfather. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. He invited other council members to join him in presenting Harish with a very apt memento of a rocking chair and a plaque of recognition on behalf

of The City of Sugar Land. Other council members also thanked Harish for his long ranged vision and bringing projects to fruition. Dr. Mazie Leftwich remarked about the trustworthy, respectful, patriotic attitude of service and his appreciation of diversity. Dr. Subodh Buchar, his personal physician joked about how he knows Mr. Jajoo inside and out (anatomically, physiologically etc.) and commended him on his growth over the years that he had known him and lauded the participation of Americans of Indian origin in mainstream US politics. Kolbe Curtice (his treasurer for the last six years) also delivered a great speech in Mr. Jajoo’s praise. Some other digniContinued on page 9

Ramesh Anand with his wife Zarina Anand at the Rhytm n Blues sponsored Marathon 2017 nothing different except, with one difference - - you are the part of the herd. The streets, as you walk/ run through have folks lined up to cheer you on – some places, you find fast music to keep you in pace; every short distance, a number of smiling and encouraging volunteers offer you water/ Gatorade and more . As you go through the finish line with your name being announced (this is not a race and you don’t need to be first), your feeling is nothing short of, as if you have won the Olympics.

A brief intro to Fort Bend Fit: Fort Bend Fit. Fort Bend Fit is a training program for walkers/ runners designed with the goal of completing 5Ks/10Ks, and Half and Full Marathons. Our coaches are devoted to getting you in the best shape of your life in a non-intimidating, fun, and safe environment. Upon joining, you will receive dayby-day training schedules, Saturday morning group runs, access to trained coaches, informational seminars and after earning mileage status (midseason), a Fort Bend Fit T-shirt.

I, along with my wife and daughter in law fell prey to the desire to run a marathon. At 62 and having never run in my life, this was obviously a wild dream. I was fortunate that a friend introduced me to Fort Bend Fit.

Ask anyone who has completed their goal of getting in shape or finishing a half or full marathon, and I’m sure they will tell you it has truly changed his/her life. You will feel more Continued on page 8


VOICE OF ASIA 6

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VOICE OF ASIA 7

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VOICE OF ASIA 8

Greater Houston Tamil School Graduation Day celebrations

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

Masonic Lodge award proclamation and plaque honoring the Sikh ‘Kirpan’ Announce the opening of Rajinder Bhalla Hall at the Lodge

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ICHMOND, TX - On Tuesday, June 13, at their regular meeting, Col. R. P.S. Bhalla D.V.M, M.S. (Ret) was honored at Morton Lodge No. 72 of Richmond, Texas. It was a complete and utter surprise to Col. Bhalla, having been informed that his presence was requested at a lodge meeting. A huge congregation was in attendance, which he assumed was for the occasion of eight high school seniors being awarded scholarships by the lodge. When the awarding was finished, the scholarship awardees and their parents left, but Col. Bhalla was asked to go upstairs to the Lodge Hall. There the lodge’s Worshipful Master and the Secretary of the Lodge brought a huge framed Memento and a copy of a Proclamation.

Students of the HTS performing on the Graduation day.

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reater Houston Tamil School (HTS) and its branches celebrated their Graduation Day on Saturday, May 27th, 2017 at Pearland Junior High West School. It was indeed a memorable event with more than 900 people in attendance. HTS has grown to become the biggest Indian language school in southern United States with 450 students. HTS is run entirely by volunteers who are driven by their love and passion towards the Tamil language. HTS has six branches in the greater Houston area - Pearland, Katy, Sugar Land, West Houston, West Katy, and Woodlands. The program started with the traditional Tamil Thai Vazhthu (Tamil Prayer) and the national anthem of USA, followed by a welcome address by HTS President Karu. Manickavasakam. While pointing out that HTS was the first Tamil School to achieve accreditation, he also announced with great pleasure that the efforts put in by the volunteers and board members were helping in the growth of the school at an accelerated pace. Innovative cultural programs were presented by the students. Katy started with the Tamil epic ‘Silappathikaram’ and an agriculture related program. Woodlands and West Katy brought entertainment aspect to the celebrations with their skit about a T.V show and a mashup of different songs, respectively. West Houston and Sugar Land schools presented thought provoking plays about water conservation, agriculture, cleanliness and sustainability. Finally, Pearland came up with a nice portrayal of different speaking styles at different locations of Tamil Nadu in a hilarious way.

Then the Worshipful Master gave a speech, referring to the sword as Kirpan and repeatedly said “Kirpan” to make sure he was pronouncing it correctly. Then he traced the history of Kirpan to Guru Gobind Singh and what exactly was meant by a Saint Soldier. Chief Guest, Professor. Vasu Renganathan,being honored with a memento by HTS ex-Treasurer Professor. R. Radhakrishnan. The Annual Report was presented by HTS Secretary Sangeetha Neelagandan. She pointed out the start of the sixth branch at West Katy and also the successful accreditation of Sugar Land and West Houston branches. The Financial Report was presented by the Treasurer Dhamu Narayanan. Advisory Council member Jagan Annamalai then informed the audience about the approval of Houston ISD to award high school LOTE credits to HTS students on a case by case basis and also about HTS efforts to get Texas Education Agency to create a high school course code for Tamil language. Advisory Council member Gopal Krishnan explained the rationale behind the recent formation of Greater Houston Tamil School Sangam. Muthu Natarajan then talked about upcoming Sangam events. The chief guest of the celebration was Professor. Vasu Renganathan, Dept. of South Asia Studies, University of Pennsylvania. He mentioned that he was thoroughly impressed by the performances of the kids. He also mentioned that the Houston Tamil com-

munity was taking the language to the next generation in a fantastic way and urged the community to continue their support. He released the HTS Malar which was received by Advisory Council member Gopal Krishnan. The chief guest was honored with a memento by our ex-Treasurer Professor. R. Radhakrishnan. The chief guest also awarded trophies to administrators, teachers and other volunteers. A video presentation by Joint Secretary Balaji Lakshmanan capturing poignant moments during the academic year got rapturous support from all the students. The much awaited student award ceremony followed. The students proudly came on to the stage and received their awards from their teachers. HTS Vice President Venkat Ponnusamy then thanked all the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the event a grand success. The celebrations concluded with a wonderful dinner catered by Annam. The proud parents and grandparents left the venue praising the efforts of the children and the volunteers.

HTS organizers and participants at the graduation ceremony.

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“I was indeed touched not by their gesture but the way they studied the philosophy of our tenth Guru and put that into their thinking for choosing an appropriate memento for me,” Col. Bhalla explained. “Further icing on the cake was that they had unanimously, in a meeting when I was not even present, passed a proclamation to name the Masonic Lodge Hall, where our regular meetings are held, as Rajinder Bhalla Hall.” They plan to have a formal naming ceremony at later date when the media will also be present. Earlier in 2013 Masonic Lodge awarded Bhalla with the

Worshipful Master Tom Cassidy presents the award to Dr. Raj Bhalla D.V.M, M.S. (Ret). Golden Trowel Award, which is given each year to one outstanding mason of the Lodge. “Community Service that we owe, is satisfying, interesting, appreciated and at the same time a learning experience,” Col. Bhalla explained in humility and service. The proclaimation reads: “The Lodge presented a shadow box with a kirpan, an antique Masonic plaque, and a suitably engraved dedication which reads: “To our Beloved Brother Rajinder Pal Singh Bhalla “Your dedication to the Craft, your kind heart and your generous spirit will live forever in

our hearts. “Morton Lodge No. 72, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Richmond, Texas, June 2017. “At the same time a proclamation was read naming the lodge hall ‘Rajinder Bhalla Hall’. A public dedication will be scheduled.” Dr. Bhalla was raised a Master Mason in North Star Lodge No. 21 in India in 1964 and served as Master of Paumanok-Port Washington Lodge No. 855 in New York. He was awarded the Golden Trowel by Morton Lodge in 2015, the highest honor a Texas lodge can bestow on one of its members.


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 9

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

Houston Methodist Breast Surgery Foundation of India Studies Partners welcomes Dr. Amelia Tower friend, collaborator retires

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UGAR LAND, June 19, 2017 - Boardcertified and fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist Dr. Amelia Tower has joined Dr. Sandra Templeton with Houston Methodist Breast Surgery Partners.

by Somer Newland

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OUSTON - On May 31, 2017, Judith Hiott, Chief of the Houston Area Library Automated Network (HALAN), a staunch supporter of the Foundation for India Studies (FIS) retired after 27 years of service with the City of Houston. Judith was honored at a retirement celebration at the beautiful Julia Ideson Building, home of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. The party was attended by many of Judith’s current colleagues, including Deputy Director of HPL Administration, Mr. Roosevelt Weeks, as well as many she has worked with in various capacities over the years. Laughter and tears were shared as her friends and colleagues recalled memories of working with Judith.

Tower specializes in the treatment of both benign and malignant breast diseases and is dedicated to using the most innovative and state-ofthe-art surgical techniques to create a fully individualized treatment plan for each patient. Houston Methodist Breast Surgery Partners physicians are board-certified surgeons who work with the hospital’s leading radiologists, radiation oncologists, reconstructive surgeons, oncologists and pathologists to support patients through all phases of their treatment. “Dr. Tower brings a strong background in the diagnosis and treatment of breast diseases as well as a compassionate approach to patient care,” said Sandra Templeton, M.D., breast surgeon with Houston Methodist Breast Surgery Partners. “We are pleased to have her join our practice and strengthen our ability to serve patients from Fort Bend and surrounding areas.” “I am honored and excited to join Houston Methodist Breast Surgery Partners,”

Jajoo retires... Continued from page 5 taries in attendance were James Patterson - Fort Bend County Commissioner, Justin Joyce Justice of Peace of FB County, Jimmy Thompson - Former Mayor of Sugar Land, Carol McCutcheon, Incoming Council Member District 4 in Sugar

Dr. Sandra Templeton and Dr. Amelia Tower Tower said. “I believe in a comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment approach for my patients, and that philosophy is completely supported by not only the practice but also the hospital. Houston Methodist Sugar Land is leading the fight against breast disease in Fort Bend, and I’m proud to be a part of that effort.” Tower joins Houston Meth-

Land and Ken Mathew- Mayor Pro Tem of City of Stafford Finally, Mr. Jajoo and family were invited to be recognized and Harish thanked everyone of the very well attended audience. He was overwhelmed by the love, encouragement and support he received from his family, peers, friends and wellwishers. All clamored to pose for pictures with the dynamic duo of Harish and Shashi and they pleasantly obliged.

odist from Fort Worth, where she served as assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. There, she established an interdisciplinary breast health and cancer program at a local hospital, providing academic-based care in a community setting. She also initiated a new breast surgical oncology program while working with resident and student education. Over the years, Tower has written several academic publications and presented her breast cancer research at national conferences. Call 281.494.3000 to schedule an appointment with Tower. Her office is located on Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Campus in Medical Office Building 3. Visit houstonmethodist.org/ spg to learn more about the practice. Visit our Facebook page at fb.com/methodistsugarland for the latest news,

FIS’s collaboration with HPL started way back in January 2007 in a special project called “World Languages Book Collection” then headed by Ms.Hiott. The project collected several hundred books Judith Hiott, receiving her recognition from Krishna Vavilala of from 5 Indian languages Hindi, Foundation for India Studies (Photo credit: Somer Newland) Urdu, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu, which were procured from and had been HPL’s primary tion, FIS was represented by India. They are available at contact for the Indo-American Board Member Mr. Kulwant HPL’s Central Library for the Oral History Project which Bhatia and Chairman, Mr. has seen completion of over Krishna Vavilala who spoke public to borrow. 53 video interviews till now. of Judith’s sincerity and supThe ties with HPL grew They are digitally archived in port to FIS over the years and stronger and in March 2011 HPL’s Houston Metropolitan wished her the very best as Ms. Hiott spearheaded HPL’s Research Center. she begins a new chapter in partnership agreement with FIS At the retirement celebra- her life.

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VOICE OF ASIA 10

Ram Leela 2017 Kuchipudi dance ballet - Part I

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

International Day of Yoga celebrations at The Woodlands temple on June 24, 2017

Thousands participated in the International Day of Yoga (IDY) at the Discovery Green Park in 2016, organized by the Indian Consulate and Indo-American organizations of Houston (Photo credit Vijay Pallod) Characters from the ballet Ramayana: Sri Ram, wife Sita, brothers Lakshman, Bharat and Sugriva and his trusted follower Hanuman, by Sudesh Pillutla & Sangeeta Pillutla

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am Leela comes early to Houston this year. Shri Sita Ram Foundation has been presenting this play twice a year for several years to promote our Vedic culture and moral values exemplified by Ram in Ramayana. This year the play is in the form of a Kuchipudi dance ballet which shall be presented at the Stafford Center on Cash Road on the 15th July 2017.

Top: A scene from Ram Leela - the ballet. Sita and the golden deer.

Sri Rama Katha Saram (Kuchipudi Dance Ballet) On July 15th 2017 the stage at Stafford Civic Center will come alive with the¬¬ characters from the beloved Ramayana. This story, authored by our revered rishi Valmiki, is a beacon for mankind on the principles of life and ideal living. While being entertaining, the Ramayana contains numerous lessons to be learnt and internalized. Valmiki weaves the plot around the young prince ‘Rama’, who, starting from a young age, is a paragon of virtue. With colorful human characters and a myriad of species, the Ramayana is the oldest and most retold epic. In every art form Rama Katha or Rama story is captivating and entertaining. This time the story is being told, with much flourish, thru the classical Indian dance genre of Kuchipudi. The storytelling tradition is central¬ to the Kuchipudi art form. Props, costumes, and various back drops have come customized from India to bring the essence of the culture to the shores of Texas. This extravaganza will have the central emotions of the human experience – love, jealousy, duty, and sorrow bringing tears and wild shouts of joy alternately. No story of Rama is ever complete without the Vanaras and their tremendous energy. Please come prepared to dodge

Left: Vanaras - the building Rama’s bridge while battling the Asuras in Lanka.

the desire to join the Vanaras while they build Rama’s bridge or fight the Asuras in Lanka. Kuchipudi dance is derived from Bharata Muni’s Natya Sastra. Legend has it that Sage Siddendra Yogi founded, codified and popularized this particular dance tradition and brought it to the small village of Kuchipudi in Andhra Pradesh for which the dance came to be named. Since then, the families hailing from the village of Kuchipudi, the families of Vedantam, Bhagavatula, Pasumarthi, Josyula, Vempati, Mahankali, Chinta and others have brought this classical art form to high international repute. Guru Vedantam Raghava, a descendent of one of the original custodian families of this art has established the Vedantam Kalaskhetram School of dance in the Greater Houston area to impart the art to the students in the Houston area with the same rigor and tradition

that has always been central to the art. Guru Raghava learnt this art from his father Vedantam Rattaih Sarma, uncle Pasumarthi Ramalinga Sastry and the legendary Vempati Chinna Satyam. In addition to teaching the dance form, Vedantam Kalakshetram also produces highly professional Kuchipudi dance dramas in the Houston area and other cities in Texas. Over the last few years, the students of Vedantam Kalakshtram have brought Bhakta Prahlada, Chandalika, Bhama Kalapam and Kalyana Srinivasam dance dramas to Houston. This next dance drama, Rama Katha Saram, will be yet another wonderful treat for the Houston audience. For more information, please go to www.ShriSitaRam.org or www.sriramajaya.org

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he Hindu Temple of The Woodlands (HTW) invites you to the celebration of ‘International Day of Yoga 2017’. This free event will be held at Town Green Park in The Woodlands on Saturday, June 24, 2017 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The International Day of Yoga (IDY) event has been recognized and declared by the United Nations, and is celebrated all over the world. It has been an annual Houston-wide celebration since 2015 and HTW is indeed very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to bring it to The Woodlands community this year. The event is sponsored by the Consul General of India for Houston. In organizing this event for The Woodlands community, HTW is coordinating with yoga studios throughout the Greater Houston area, for a showcase of their offerings after the main event. These

will include a variety of information booths as well as short yoga and meditation sessions. The yoga programs are run by the Education, Youth and Services (EYS) wing of HTW. The EYS yoga group offers free classes at HTW’s premises (7601 S. Forest Gate Drive, Spring, TX 77382) several times a week. These are conducted by instructors certified by VYASA Houston (a satellite of the original VYASA Yoga Center in Bangalore, India). Many EYS yoga teachers are involved in community outreach programs for wellness and diabetes prevention throughout Houston, as well as in research projects with MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. All the instructors are volunteers and some also provide free instruction at Canopy, a cancer survivorship center at Memorial Hermann Hospital in The Woodlands. Many of the instructors, including this year’s overall coordinator, Dr.

Neeta Shukla, attended last year’s IDY at Discovery Green in downtown Houston. They felt enthused to host this event in The Woodlands, given the community support and HTW’s overall commitment to promoting health and wellness. Established in 2005 with land purchased in the same year, Hindu Temple of The Woodlands is home to Ganesha, Shiva, Balaji, MahaLakshmi and Radha Krishna. It is located at South Forestgate and Woodlands Parkway. It is one of the most beautiful temple sites in the area. Future developments for the temple are yagna facilities, classroom and library space, a large lobby and a kitchen. HTW has an active educational program and has celebrated a number of festivals. Community service is also a part of the temple’s mission. Parking options added to http://yogadayoftexas.org/ find-an-event/

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- To be continued in the next issue of Voice of Asia

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Second Bangladesh official charged in NY in eight days EW YORK | AFP - A 50-year-old economist working for the UN Secretariat on Tuesday became the second official from Bangladesh charged in New York in eight days with allegedly mistreating a domestic worker.

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40 hours a week and was paid substantially less, prosecutors said. Rashid is charged on three counts of fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. The sentences per charge range

In December 2013, India’s deputy consul general, Devyani Khobragade, was arrested and strip-searched in New York on charges of mistreating her servant in what sparked a bitter row between India and the United States.

In a contract drawn up with the maid, he promised to pay her $290 a week or $7.25 an hour. But when she worked for him from January to October 2013, she worked more than

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OUSTON - IndianAmerican Rishi Shah, who quit college 10 years back to pursue entrepreneurial dreams, has become tech’s newest billionaire. And his business partner, Shradha Agarwal, is close behind.

Shah grew up in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, the son of a doctor who emigrated from India; his mother managed his father’s medical practice. The initial idea for a company providing content to doctor’s offices was inspired, Shah says in an interview to local media, by his sister.

Rashid allegedly took “cruel advantage of his position of power, grossly overworking his domestic worker” and paying her “well below” what he reported to the US government and UN, said acting US attorney for Manhattan, Joon Kim.

To secure her visa, Rashid allegedly promised to the US State Department that he would pay her $420 a week or $10.50 an hour, and that she would not work longer than eight hours a day, five days a week.

Indian-American entrepreneur latest self-made billionaire in Chicago

Their windfall came with a $600 million infusion of venture capital into Outcome Health, the Chicago health care tech company they founded in 2006. It’s now valued at $5.6 billion.

Hamidur Rashid was arrested on Tuesday and was due to answer fraud and theft charges before a federal magistrate, accused of overworking and underpaying his Bangladeshi maid, and committing visa fraud.

He obtained her visa “through lies” and “allegedly set up a sham bank account to spend for himself the wages he purported to pay her,” said Kim.

Hamidur Rashid is accused of fraud in connection with a Bangledeshi domestic worker he hired. (Photo: Alec Tabak) from two to 15 years. On June 12, Bangladesh’s deputy consul general in New York appeared before a court in Queens, charged with labor trafficking and assault for allegedly forcing a household helper to work 18 hours a day without pay from 2012-16. Md Shaheldul Islam, 45, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

US authorities accused her of paying a domestic worker a fraction of the minimum wage and for lying about the employee’s salary in a visa application. She denied the charge and subsequently returned to India, but was later stripped of her foreign ministry post for making unauthorized statements to the media.

Indian, Chinese yoga enthusiasts practice asanas at Great Wall

“My sister has type 1 diabetes,” Shah says. “If she gets on an insulin pump and she is able to achieve better blood sugar control and she is checking her blood sugar more effectively, the device manufacturer wins, the insulin manufacturer wins, the blood glucometer wins, the doctor wins, but the payor wins most of all. And she wins personally.” He attended Northwestern University as a transfer student, where he met a woman named Shradha Agarwal, now Outcome’s president. Originally working on a campus magazine, they eventually founded a company called ContextMedia, out of Northwestern in 2008, funding it by taking loans that have over the years reached a combined $325 million instead of giving up equity. Knocking on doctor’s office doors around the Chicago area, the two found little appetite for their idea. Some doctors didn’t see the value in digital education in their offices; others who did wanted to see revenue to feel comfortable committing to such a fledgling product. Without signing them, however, the entrepreneurs had no revenue with which to placate them. They eked out $1 million in revenue that first year. “Then we were off

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh takes part in a mass yoga session, a day ahead of the International Yoga Day, at The Great Wall of China, in Beijing. (Photo: PTI) by KJM Varma EIJING (PTI) A large number of Chinese yoga enthusiasts today participated in a colourful yoga event at China’s iconic Great Wall on the eve of International Yoga Day which is being celebrated all over the Communist nation.

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and Yogi Yoga, a popular yoga school.

gift to the world.

The event is a cultural milestone, marking the first time yoga has been performed atop the Great Wall by a joint Indian and Chinese group of yogis, the embassy said in a statement.

Charge d’Affaires of the Indian Embassy Amit Narang and CPAFFC Vice-President Lin Yi hailed the event for taking forward India-China friendly cultural exchanges and yoga for bringing wellness to humanity.

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh took part in the event and practiced the yoga postures for a while.

Singh, who wrapped up his visit to Beijing to attend the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting, took time out on his way to the airport to join the event.

The event was jointly organised by Embassy of India, Beijing Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC)

In a brief speech, Singh talked about the goodness of yoga and quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as saying that yoga was Indian civilisation’s

Around 200 Chinese and Indian participants then carried out the Common Yoga Protocol, followed by a spectacular display of advanced yoga poses by 20 young Indian yoga ambassadors from the Morarji Desai Institute in India, who are specially visiting China for International Day of Yoga celebrations.

Trump softens H1-B stand before Modi visit Continued from page 1

PM Modi’s visit to the US comes against the backdrop of concerns among Indian IT professionals and outsourcing firms over the H1-B visa regime amid the Trump administration’s focus to undertake immigration reform. H1-B - the most controversial temporary work visa issued by the United States, is tipped to come up during the Modi-Trump summit. For Indian IT companies, the due diligence on H1-B visas has never been this hard in all the years the visa has existed ( since 1990); for the Trump administration, the White House-led backlash against the H1-B visa is just what the doctor ordered to keep Trump’s white voters angry and charged up. It’s another matter entirely that Trump’s base - white, working class voters - are largely not techie types - yet the fiery rhetoric against

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

H1-B works well to confirm (their) long held biases against immigrants (fact check - the H1-B is a non immigrant visa). While the overarching view among policy wonks is that H1-B remains big enough to figure in the summit meeting, some say no. “I’ll be surprised if H1-B comes up in this meeting. This is more for face to face connect and to check out Trump, really,” says Dr. Sanjaya Baru, media adviser in former PM Manmohan Singh’s government. Yet, if H1-B does surface, these are the pain points scrubbed of jargon. Gaming the H1-B lottery - where some companies flood the system with 1000s of applications and get away with a lion’s share of allotted H1-Bs. Wages being paid to H1-B workers - Critics, including the White House claim that almost 80% of H1-B work-

ers are being paid less than median salary and therefore stealing jobs from Americans who pass up these low paying jobs. Qualifications and skills - Critics argue that bulk of H1-B workers have baseline qualifications or sometimes not even that. Priority should be given to Masters degree holders. (Already 20,000 H1-B visas per year are allotted to those who have a Masters’ degree from American colleges.) Loopholes are being plugged, it’s easier than ever to report fraud and abuse and in the nearly three decades since it came into force, the H1-B visa has never been skewered as it is now. The assault is being carried out via three flanks - the Justice Department, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and Department of Homeland Security. (-AFP/FirstPost)

Outcome Health CEO Rishi Shah is now worth $3.6 billion and has a plan to put his health content in 70% of doctor’s offices in the U.S (Credit: Steve Becker Photography) to the races,” says Shah, doubling most years since. “We had to build a profitable business, or at least a break-even business, from scratch,” says Shah. “We had no margin of error.” Outcome Health is not only the newest unicorn company, having earned the honor just last week, but it is also already valued in the top 30 on the list of roughly 200 non-public companies worth $1 billion. CEO Rishi Shah, 31 and president Shradha Agarwal founded ContextMedia in 2006 while the two were at Northwestern University. The company began to sell its video monitor services to physicians and hospitals without any outside investment. Over the next decade, the company grew and big-time investors noticed, but Shah and Agarwal passed up offers in order to scale organically and retain ownership. In January, the company changed its name to Outcome Health as it slowly pushed towards its first major round of funding. According to Crain’s, the company took in more than $130 million in revenue last year and posted an operating profit margin of roughly 40%. Outcome Health doubled its revenue in each of the last two years Health doubled its revenue in each of the last two years, and it also grew with its

acquisition of AccentHealth last November. Today, Outcome Health helps both patients and doctors by providing touch screen monitors to hospitals and health care offices around the country. The company installs large, interactive video boards that allow physicians to better explain a patient’s current health care needs or problems through the use of video, graphics and interactive visual aids. Outcome Health also utilises specialised software to assist physicians and patients for everything from treatment decisions to medical warning signs. Outcome tries to maximise how both doctors and patients spend their time, which helps unclog those stereotypically crowded waiting rooms. According to one of the company’s online testimonials, Neil Baum, a New Orleans-based urologist, cut the time it takes him to explain a common urological procedure from 12 minutes to less than five minutes through the use of Outcome Health’s Digital Anatomy Board. Outcome Health often provides its services to medical providers for free. The company makes most of its money from insurance providers, drug makers, health care marketers and pharmaceutical companies. (-Chicago Sun Times)


VOICE OF ASIA 12

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017


VOICE OF ASIA 13

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Tel: 713-774-5140

Vice Media to push global expansion with new funds

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EW YORK - Vice Media’s latest capital infusion of $450 million will help accelerate its global expansion to some 80 markets by next year for the youthfocused media group.

nounced Monday the investment from equity fund group TPG, saying the funds would help “build out its content portfolio and delivery capabilities in the United States and internationally.�

-- known in the trade as “over the top� or OTT -that could deliver video on demand, in the manner of Netflix, and a direct-toconsumer offering.

The New York-based outlet an-

The investment boosts Vice’s valua-

Vice has cultivated a “bad boy� image as it has expanded rapidly in the US and abroad, now operating in 30 markets.

6 signs it’s time to quit your 9-to-5 desk job

The statement said Vice would “continue its aggressive international expansion and deliver programming into 80 territories� by early 2018.

Vice media founder and CEO Shane Smith (R), seen in 2016 with French banker Matthieu Pigasse. The youth-focused media group plans to expand to 80 markets by early next year with following a new investment round tion to some $5.7 billion, according to media reports. The new funds “will allow us to build up the largest millennial video library in the world -- enabling Vice to widen our offering to include news, Lady browsing on her laptop. Photo source: (c) jcomp - Fotolia.com

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growing number of workers are moving away from typical 9-to-5 desk jobs and are reaping the benefits of being their own bosses or becoming independent contractors. How do you know if that lifestyle is for you?

4. You want to be your own boss and set your own goals. Being a traditional employee often means meeting someone else’s benchmarks. Being an independent contractor means setting your own goals and defining your own success.

Here are six reasons you may not be meant to be stuck at your desk for eight hours a day.

5. You like having extra cash on hand to enjoy life. Vacations, cars, gadgets – the higher your earning potential, the more money you will have to spend on all of life’s little extras.

1. You enjoy working flexible hours. While most traditional jobs have specific hours, being an independent contractor means you get to set your own schedule. Whether you use your free time to spend time with family, enjoy favorite hobbies, hit the gym or travel the world, setting your own hours means greater flexibility where work/ life balance is concerned. Plus, if you have a home office, you can also kiss that commute goodbye, giving you more time to work and play. 2. You want the ability to work wherLack of speech is a ever you want. Not everyone relishes watercooler talk. If four walls have you down, traditional office culture may not be for you. Whether it’s the beach, a cafÊ, or your couch, skip the chitchat and other office distractions and set up shop in whatever location inspires you to do your best work. 3. You like having uncapped potential for growth and salary. Even for those accustomed to annual raises, most traditional jobs come with limits to career growth and salary potential. Rather than being at the mercy of such salary caps, consider contracting positions with opportunities for swift, exponential growth.

6. You desire a career that challenges and motivates you. Many jobs can seem like drudgery. For a self-starter wanting to be challenged and motivated, forging one’s own path can be much more fulfilling.

Known for its edgy reporting and online videos, Vice operates a popular YouTube channel and also produces news programming for Time Warner’s HBO.

It also has partnerships with British-based Sky, France’s Canal+, Times of India, Moby Group in Afghanistan, Canada’s Rogers and others.

food, music, fashion, art, travel, gaming, lifestyle, scripted and feature films,� founder and chief executive Vice has received investments from Shane Smith said in a statement. Jacob Sanchez Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Disney and Diagnosed with autism Smith said Vice would be work- the Murdoch family’s 21st Century ing on a standalone video platform Fox, among others.

A&M steps up with plans for Houston biz data center

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n old World War II Air Force base northwest of Houston is being prepped for the site of a new data center that would cater to Bayou City businesses. Texas A&M University System is looking for developers to build the about 30-acre data center on its 2,000-acre RELLIS campus, according to a release. The plans come after the University of Texas recently canceled plans for its data science campus in the Houston area. Texas A&M University System has been considering a data center since 2013, but the land and power supply wasn’t readily available, System Chancellor John Sharp said in the release.

For all these reasons, many people are seeking opportunities that give them greater control of their hours and earnings, from starting a new busi“After the creation of the RELLIS ness from scratch, to working with The is dubbed “RELLIS,� national as consultants and otherscampus sign ofbrands autism. Learn the at autismspeaks.org/signs. sales representatives. For example, an acronym for respect, excellence, Aflac benefits advisors work with the leadership, loyalty, integrity and selfsupport of a strong national brand but less service, Texas A&M’s six core Texas A&M will develop the site of a former air base in Bryan. The university have the ability to customize a per- values) campus last year, several system hopes to recruit a private partner for a data center. Businesses could companies approached us about the sonal brand. Aflac advisors are indestore their data clear of the hurricane zone but still close to major cities possibility of a public-private partpendent agents and are not employees nership to build it,� Sharp said in the of Aflac, so they are compensated for and research in engineering, infratheir field. performance through commissions, release. structure, transportation and cyberrenewals, stocks and bonuses. To learn The Texas A&M data center, which Administrators began considering security. more about Aflac, which herein means could include classroom space, aims a data center in 2013 as the market’s American Family Life Assurance to also support companies in Austin, growth was clear. The campus will also host an eduCompany of Columbus and American Dallas, Houston and Bryan-College cation center for qualified students But Texas A&M didn’t have a lo- who weren’t accepted to Texas A&M Family Life Assurance Company of Station. cation for the project until last year, in College Station. New York, visit Aflac.com. College budget experts say the when the system announced it would The location is prime for businesses If you are looking for an opportunity method can lead to faster develop- develop the land at the site of a forthat want their data stored clear of the ment and less risk for universities as mer air base in Bryan. with the potential for growth, it may hurricane zone but still close to major they try to build out their campuses, be time to start your own business. The system pitched the property as cities. (-Houston Business Journal) as service providers are experts in (StatePoint) a leading spot for product innovation

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FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

The Jain monks of Udaipur Headbanging is no good, says X Japan drummer after surgery

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OKYO | AFP -The frenzied drummer who is the force behind rockers X Japan declared headbanging to be “no good” on Tuesday as he sported a neck brace at his first press conference since emergency surgery. Yoshiki, who is known for such intense drumming that he sometimes collapses on stage, shocked fans last month when he announced he would need an urgent operation to implant an artificial cervical disc.

Photograph by Serge Bouvet “The monk on left is Ajit Ratna. he’s 45 years old. Few years before he was chemical engineer. He asked me to follow them barefoot because I was too slow with my walking shoes. Every morning they honored several temples. I had to remove my shoes to go back to the Jain sanctuaries and then out, I had to run to catch them.”

One smart novice monk! Ahmedabad boy, Varshil Shah - who scored 99.9 percentile in Class 12 - becomes novice Jain monk

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7-year-old Varshil Shah, who comes from a middle-class family, took diksha (religious ceremony that marks the initiation of Jain monks and nuns) on June 8.

His family follows Jainism and his father Jigarbhai is an income-tax official. Varshil’s father and his mother, Amiben Shah are happy with his decision. The couple also have a daughter Jainini.

The ceremony was held in Gandhinagar. “The result is as per expectations, but to attain and maintain peace, I think renouncing the world is the only way,” his uncle said. Varshil was among the toppers in Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, which was announced on May 27.

Varshal Shah following his diksha ceremony (Photo: The Hindu)

The family is said to closely follows the Jain principle of Jivdaya (compassion for all living beings) and things like use of electricity is restricted in the Shah household. (-TheHindu)

Yoga with goats craze takes off in US

On Tuesday Yoshiki appeared at a Tokyo press conference in sunglasses, black leather outfit -- and the neck brace. “I’ve thought about it and I have to say that headbanging is no good,” he said, drawing laughter from fans. “I may sound weird saying it at this point.” But the career rocker immediately appeared to walk back his no-banging pledge. “I may end up headbanging again, unless there is a law banning it.” The frail 51-year-old -whose group was one of the biggest acts in Japanese music history with fanatical fan followings in the 1980s and 1990s -- cancelled all his immediate activities before and after the operation at a hospital in Los Angeles, where he lives. A neurosurgeon in Japan had told the rocker he had such severe neck damage that it would have forced a professional rugby player to retire, his management said in May. “I’m not well. It hurts a lot,” he said Tuesday. “I had an artificial cervical disc inserted but it isn’t used to my body yet, maybe.” The performer, whose full name is Yoshiki Hayashi, had suffered bone fractures since childhood but pursued such an aggressive brand of heavy metal drumming that he would often writhe in pain on the floor by the end of shows. X Japan, combining the power of arena metal with the glam androgyny of David Bowie, won legions of devoted fans ranging from screaming teenage girls to Japan’s former prime minister Junichiro Koi-

X Japan drummer Yoshiki appears in a neck brace after emergency surgery. (Photo: AFP) zumi to US rockers Kiss. Yoshiki, who is also a classical pianist, said he plans to play the piano instead of drums at X Japan concerts next month. In January Yoshiki played the piano at New York’s Carnegie Hall with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, but he had already lost feeling in his left hand. “It feels as if tens of thou-

sands of volts of electricity are running through my hand,” he said Tuesday. But he kept performing since that show, including at an X Japan concert in March at Wembley Arena in London. “Many US artists have become legends after they died. But I want to be an artist who inspires people by keeping on going and staying alive,” he said.

Medical marijuana woos four-legged fans

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t’s early morning, just after breakfast, and sixyear-old Cayley is wide awake, eagerly anticipating her daily dose of cannabis. The black labrador, tail wagging, laps up the liquid tincture owner Brett Hartmann squirts into her mouth, a remedy he uses morning and evening to help alleviate Cayley’s anxiety. “Ever since I started her on CBD (cannabidiol -- a marijuana extract), her separation anxiety has disappeared,” says Hartmann, 30, of his pet, a service dog he acquired while in college because he had epilepsy. Hartmann, who lives near Los Angeles, said he turned to medical marijuana for Cayley after he no longer needed her to accompany him everywhere, having himself overcome his epilepsy with the help of the drug. “I just allowed her to retire and... I don’t think she handled the transition too well,” Hartmann, who also has his ageing

dachshund on cannabis, said. “But CBD has really helped.” With the multi-billion dollar medical and recreational marijuana industry for humans blossoming in the United States, so is a new customer base -- animals. “We are seeing about 20 percent growth every single month,” said Alison Ettel, founder of Treat Well, a company in California that specializes in non-psychoactive medical cannabis products for animals and humans. She said owners of animals -from dogs, cats, lizards, turtles, alpacas, horses to farm animals -- are increasingly turning to cannabis to help treat ailments ranging from cancer and heart murmurs to arthritis and ear infections. “We probably get at least one to five cancer patients a day and the results we’re seeing are just blowing my mind,” she said, claiming the drug can help improve life expectancy. (-AFP)

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Students during a “Goat Yoga” class organized by Lavenderwood Farm in Thousand Oaks, Californi (Photo: Mark Ralston) by Jocelyne ZABLIT

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OS ANGELES - Adonna Ebrahimi is stretched out on her yoga mat, struggling to maintain a cobra pose -- and her composure -- as a couple of baby goats do a balancing act on her back. Welcome to “Goat Yoga,” the latest fitness craze sweeping the United States, where young and old are lining up for the popular classes that leave participants not only saying “namaste” but also in stitches. The new workouts taking place on farms across the country involve Nigerian Dwarf goats -- miniature goats of West African origin -- roaming about as yogis practice their exercise routines. “At first, it was a bit scary because I didn’t know the goats were going to jump on my back,” Ebrahimi, 53, said on a recent afternoon after completing her first “Goat Yoga” class outside Los Angeles. “But then they were there and you felt the warmth of the animal and you’re on the straw, in the sun, with the trees and the blue skies around you, and it

just felt so calming and peaceful.”

mals at a farm show in Wisconsin this summer.

Some 20 people and 15 goats -- 11 kids and four moms -- took part in the class that was organized outdoors in a pen covered with straw.

“We didn’t know how it was going to go but it’s taken off, we’re booked solid,” she said.

As yoga instructor Meridith Lana encouraged participants to “exhale,” “pull your navel to your spine” or “watch your posture,” the sound of bleating reverberated in the background, the nimble animals skipping about, jumping on people’s backs, munching on their hair or a beard and licking their faces. A few also answered the call of nature. - Priceless therapy “They’re adorable and they’re friendly,” said Lana after the class. “They do eat your hair, they do leave you presents on your mat but it’s all in fun. “The therapy you get here is priceless.” Danette McReynolds, whose family owns the goats, said she decided to host the classes to raise money for her 16-year-old daughter and a friend who are planning to showcase the ani-

“People love it. They decompress, they cuddle the goats and relax.” Lana said interacting with the goats is an experience similar to playing with a pet, which has clinically been proven to relieve stress and improve well-being. “The happiness the goats bring is great,” she said. “All animals are therapeutic but there is something about these goats that is just incredible. “You can be in a child’s pose position and the next thing you know, you don’t want to get up because there is a goat on your back. “If there’s anything these goats allow you to be it’s conscious.” Several of her students said while the goats did admittedly get in the way of the yoga stretches and poses, they were a welcome distraction that had everyone giggling and vowing to come back for more.

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These rolled Ice Cream Tacos are dessert masterpieces

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

Close your legs please: Madrid bus manspreading ban starts

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ADRID, Spain | AFP - Commuters on Madrid’s buses have long been banned from putting their feet on seats or smoking, but from this week a new prohibition is in place, targeting male passengers: no “manspreading�.

by Andrea Romano nspired by the unique flavor combinations that you’d find in a boba tea shop, Sweet Cup ice cream shop owner Kenny Tran brought that creativity into creating Los Angeles’ fastest rising dessert trend: rolled ice cream tacos.

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Based on his knowledge of making boba, Tran started innovating the already huge craze of rolled ice cream in Garden Grove, California. As with all great summer treats, Orange County is where it all begins.

The practice of men sitting in public transport with their legs wide apart, taking up more than one seat, has long been an irritant and the term “manspreading� appeared in 2014 in New York following a campaign against it there.

While rolled ice cream can be enjoyed any day of the week, Sweet Cup has been serving its particular rolled ice cream tacos only on, when else, Taco Tuesday.

Madrid authorities started putting up signs In Madrid, buses have since banning the practice of ‘manspreading’. Thursday been kitted out with (Twitter: Ayutamiento Madrid). stickers banning the habit, time her neighbour manspread on the which appears next to signs tellseat next to her, she “kicked him�. ing passengers to use their phones in moderation and keep things tidy. “I told him: ‘the seat you have is big enough for you’.� The anti-manspreading pictogramme shows a man sitting with his The sticker comes as the campaign legs and arms out wide on blue seats, #MadridSinManspreading (“Madrid a red bar sign cutting across. Without Manspreading�) rages on Twitter, launched by the “Women “Respect other people’s space,� it Fighting� feminist collective. reads. “It’s not a question of bad education The stickers are due to be rolled out but that we women have been taught in 2,000 buses belonging to Madrid’s to sit with our legs closed -- as if we Municipal Transport Company. had to hold something between our Melisa Garcia, a 30-year-old from knees,� the collective writes in an onMadrid, thinks it’s a good idea. line petition on Change.org that has garnered close to 700 signatures. “It’s a total lack of respect and education,� she says, adding the last It adds that men, on the other hand,

Believe us, they are worth the weekly wait. Tran infuses each taco-vention with interesting and exciting flavor combinations like strawberry shortcake and s’mores, but also super trendy flavors like matcha and a luxe coconut charcoal taco with edible gold. And yes, unicorn lovers can also savor a rainbow flavored taco aptly named “Rainbow Road.� It has sour straws and sprinkles and the fact that it sounds like it’s from “My Little Pony� only makes it all the better. (Report: Travel+Leisure/Photo: Sweet Cup)

Hooray for... Kumawood! Ghana’s fastest filmmakers be on-set from first light until midnight, said Aboagye. “When you come to Kumawood you get the real definition of ‘time is money’. Because the longer you stay on location the more expensive the production becomes,� said Aboagye. Accra Film School Executive Director Rex-Anthony Annan said some Ghanaians are often embarrassed to admit to liking the films, as they are seen as “low standard�.

Actors perform during the shooting of the last scene in a Kumawood film on May 22, 2017 in Mampong (Photo: AFP) by Stacey KNOTT

producer James Aboagye said.

UMASI, Ghana | AFP - India has its Bollywood and Nigeria, Nollywood. Even New Zealand has a Wellywood. In Ghana, films made in Kumasi and the surrounding region go by a similar shorthand -- Kumawood.

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“At that time, the only producer in Kumasi here said that if this is the way they are treating us, then we will stay in Kumasi and create Kumawood,� he told AFP.

The cultural heart of Ghana is about five hours’ drive from the more cosmopolitan coastal capital, Accra, and it was rivalry between the two that played a key role in developing Kumasi’s burgeoning film industry.

Four years ago, it wasn’t unusual for Kumawood to churn out up to 12 films a week, on a shoestring budget of only 30,000-50,000 cedi ($6,860$11,440, 6,100-10,160 euros) each.

Smarting from a jibe nearly a decade ago, Kumawood defiantly built itself up after a teasing by Accra-based counterparts about not being real filmmakers,

That included the filming, as well as the cost of releasing the movie and the production of the DVDs.

And so it did, with some success.

But power shortages cut that back to a more modest four -- still an astonishing figure considering the months, if not years, it takes to make some Hollywood blockbusters. - ‘Time is money’ Kumasi, Ghana’s second city, is known for its rich, cultural heritage and is home to the country’s most-revered royal family. Films are shot on location around the central city and the surrounding area. Dialogue is in Twi -- an Akan dialect spoken by most Ghanaians -- and is often unscripted. Crews shooting a featurelength film within a week can

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But they are hugely popular and regularly shown on long-distance bus trips across the country. “The fact they are in the local dialect you can relate with it more,� said 22-yearold Eunice Larbie, as she waited for the bus to Accra in Kumasi. Watching Kumawood films with strangers on the journey brings people together, she added.

“have been given a sense of hierarchy and territoriality, as if the space belonged to them.� Robert Durou, a 75-year-old retiree, backed the campaign. “Before... people were more respectful of others,� he lamented. David Correa Clares, meanwhile, admitted he has been guilty of manspreading in the past. “People have at times told me it bothered them and I sat respectfully and that was it... But I don’t think you need a rule or a pictogramme to say ‘you must sit in this way’,� the 19year-old said. That’s what the conservatives who lead the Madrid region -- and manage the subway -- think, estimating that the rules of “one seat per person� are clear enough.


VOICE OF ASIA 16

Section 2

Young Life

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Girlfriend convicted in texting suicide trial by Jennie Matthew

N

EW YORK | AFP - A 20-year-old US woman was convicted of involuntary manslaughter Friday for ordering her teenage boyfriend to follow through on his longplanned suicide and for failing to save him from harm.

were in a “long-term texting relationship” and had met in person only a handful of times. The judge agreed that Roy had been “struggling” and

wanton and reckless conduct by Miss Carter, creating a situation where there is a high degree of likelihood that substantial harm would result to Mr Roy,” the judge said.

Mother of dead teen speaks out

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Tel: 713-774-5140

HCC Arts and Design Programs awarded distinguished NASAD accreditation “The instructional leaders of the programs and program coordinators were the driving force and motivation for seeking this accreditation. It’s important to acknowledge their persistence and determination to improve programs while concurrently building a newly found identity as an art and design unit,” said Ronk.

In subsequent text messages to friends, Carter admitted to hearing him coughing and the loud noise of the motor, the judge noted.

Michelle Carter broke down in tears Prosecuand sobbed into tors told the a tissue during trial that the the 20-minute defendant juvenile court stayed on the hearing in Mastelephone lissachusetts, tening to her which is likely Michelle Carter and (inset) Conrad Roy (Photo: AFP) boyfriend as to break new ground in a state that has no law “took significant action” him- he died in the truck. against encouraging someone self, such as extensive research, “She called no one,” Moniz securing a generator, water said, despite knowing where to commit suicide. Conrad Roy, 18, was found pump, parking his vehicle in an he was and having his family’s dead from carbon monoxide unnoticeable area and starting telephone numbers. “And finally, she did not issue a simple poisoning in his pickup truck in the pump. additional instruction: ‘get out - ‘No action’ a parking lot in July 2014. of the truck’.” “However he breaks that The trial heard that Carter The judge rejected a theory of and Roy exchanged hundreds chain of self-causation by exitof text messages in which the ing the vehicle, he takes himself involuntary intoxication raised by psychiatrist Peter Breggin, a y o u n g defense witwoman, ness who who was 17 testified at the time, that Carturged him er’s own to follow medication through on would have his plan to hindered kill himichelle Carter was found guilty of the involuntary manher state of self, to slaughter of her boyfriend Conrad Roy III. Now, the vicmind. conceal it tim’s mother is speaking out. Lynn Roy spoke to CBS’ 48 from his Hours about the conviction of her son’s former girlfriend. Conrad parents and Roy’s fa“I think she needs to be held responsible for her actions ’cause she lie to his ther, who knew exactly what she was doing,” she said. “She knew exactly what mother. has the she was doing and what she said.” same name B u t Lynn also said that she doesn’t think Carter has a “conscience.” as his son, J u d g e welcomed Lawrence “I don’t believe she has a conscience,” she continued. “The fact the verdict, Moniz said that she would say to him, ‘Your family will get over you.’ How is and thanked it was her that even - I will never get over him.” the judge instruction When asked how she would describe what Carter did, Lynn was b e f o r e to Roy to unable to find the words, saying, “I cannot. Only she can.” bursting get back into sobs. into the The New York Times reported that Roy’s father, Conrad Roy Jr., vehicle -also made a brief statement after the trial. “This has during a been a very “This has been a very tough time for our family and we’d like to telephone tough time process this verdict that we’re happy with,” he said. call after for our famhe stepped ily,” he told out -- and reporters. her failure to sound the alarm out of the toxic environment,” “In reality there are no winMoniz said. that was crucial to the convicners here today,” prosecuting tion. He did the same thing during attorney Katie Rayburn said. Failure to take reasonable previous attempts on his life, “Two families have been steps to alleviate the risk to an- pausing to tell someone -- first other “can result in a charge of a parent and then a friend who torn apart and will be affected by this for years to come. With manslaughter,” he noted in his got him help. decision. But it was different when he that being said, we fervently hope that today’s guilty verdict told Carter, in July 2014. “This court, having reviewed will bring some measure of justhe evidence and applied the “Instructing Mr Roy to get tice to the friends and family of law thereto, now finds you back into the truck constitutes Conrad Roy.” guilty on the indictment charging you with the involuntary manslaughter of the person Conrad Roy,” Moniz told the packed court room.

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

Seven HCC art and design programs collaborated on this initiative: arts, interior design, digital communication, fashion design, fashion merchandising, digital gaming and simula-

H

OUSTON [June 20, 2017] – The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) awarded Houston Community College (HCC) institutional accreditation May 23. HCC is one of only 28 community colleges in the United States and one of only three community colleges within Texas accredited by NASAD. “Many institutions aspire to accreditation, and it is deeply rewarding that we have been able to obtain it,” said Dr. Colleen Reilly, HCC Dean of Center of Excellence for Visual and Performing Arts. “Our collective efforts as an art and design unit will breed artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation among our faculty. Students will thrive in an environment that reflects the highest standards for facilities and curriculum defined by the professional consensus of art and design disciplines.” For HCC students, the accreditation also means smoother transfers to four-year institutions and academic value added since HCC is held accountable to strict standards by NASAD. The NASAD is one of the oldest third-party accrediting bodies in the U.S. and one of the few recognized by the Department of Education. The NASAD Commission voted to award institutional accreditation to HCC as an associate membership particularly for its art and design programs.

For HCC students, the accreditation also means smoother transfers to four-year institutions and academic value added “Achieving this status is a strong statement about the quality of our programs, and it makes us the only NASAD accredited institution in the Houston region,” said Corey Ackelmire, HCC Center of Excellence for Visual and Performing Arts instructor and program coordinator.

tion for artists and filmmaking. Instructional leaders worked across program-specific disciplines, academic and workforce programs, and four Centers of Excellence: Visual and Performing Arts, Consumer Arts and Sciences, Digital and Information Technology, and Media Arts and Technology.

The NASAD commission conducted a comprehensive review of HCC’s art and design programs consisting of numerous essential evaluations and site-visit documents. The accreditation is an important part of the school’s strategic plan and has been in progress for nearly four years, according to Thom Ronk, HCC manager of curriculum support and instructional assessment who lead the team through the rigorous application process.

“HCC is taking its place among a community of leaders in the art and design field,” said Reilly. “Our collaboration across Centers of Excellence has created a forum to advance art and design as a vital contributor to the educational experience at HCC, and our inclusion in NASAD will provide our programs the opportunity to engage national conversations about art and design education.”

HCC partners with OpenStax to provide students free textbooks

Carter, who waived her right to a jury trial, faces up to 20 years in prison. She will remain on bail until sentencing on August 3 in Taunton, south of Boston. In the closely-watched case, legal experts had questioned whether Carter’s actions were enough to secure a conviction under involuntary manslaughter. The defense argued that Roy had been on a path to suicide “for years” and sought to minimize Carter’s role in her boyfriend’s life, saying the pair

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OUSTON, June 19, 2017 – Houston Community College (HCC) is one of 11 schools in the country chosen to participate in the 2017-2018 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program. OpenStax, Rice University’s nonprofit textbook and technology initiative, supports the use of free, peer-reviewed textbooks on campus. The high cost of traditional textbooks hampers many students’ ability to attend college and their ability to continue and complete coursework. According to studies by the National Association of College Stores and the College Board, traditional textbooks cost between $600 and $1,400 per student each year.

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Open educational resources (OER), including the free, peerreviewed textbooks offered by OpenStax, eliminate cost barriers for students and allow unrestricted, immediate access to learning materials, increasing the likelihood that students will complete their courses successfully.

“HCC is committed to eliminating barriers to student success and finding ways to reduce high textbook costs for students, while still providing high-quality educational content,” says Dr. Stephen Levey, HCC associate vice chancellor for academic instruction.

“Z” standing for zero-cost for textbooks, will target approximately 75-100 college-ready students. The Associate of Arts in Business Administration and General Studies are included in the pilot program. OpenStax textbooks will be used as part of the program.

OER from OpenStax are comparable to print textbooks that can cost $200 or more and are available for free online and in PDF. They are also available at very low cost in print formats. “OpenStax is thrilled to partner with our neighbors at Houston Community College,” says OpenStax managing director Daniel Williamson. “Our peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks are an ideal starting point for institutions like HCC that are ready to increase student access to free, high quality learning materials.”

HCC was approved to participate in this strategic partnership with OpenStax after a rigorous application process, which included demonstrating a willingness to drive the adoption of OER. As an institutional partner, HCC receives individualized consulting from OpenStax and will join a cohort of schools also advocating widespread use of OER. Last year’s institutional partner schools had a 55 percent increase in the number of students using OER, saving an additional $1.7 million in the coming academic year.

This new partnership begins as HCC prepares to offer its first zero-cost textbook degree program starting in the fall 2017 semester. The “Z-Degree,” the

Students interested in signing up for HCC Z-Degree program orientations should visit http:// hccs.edu/zdegree. (-Report and photo: HCCS.edu)


VOICE OF ASIA 17

Bollywood Masala

Section 2

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

First Look: Zhang Yimou’s martial arts drama ‘Shadow’ HANGHAI, China After the costly, and ultimately disappointing, monster-packed Hollywood tentpole The Great Wall, Chinese cinema legend Zhang Yimou appears to be returning to more tried and tested material — beautifully crafted martial arts period drama.

S

Tel: 713-774-5140

Amyra Dastur: Haven’t put Bollywood in backseat

A

ctress Amyra Dastur said she wants to balance work between Bollywood and south as she loves both the industries. “I want to balance both (Bollywood and southern film industry) of them. Everything is becoming way more global. We have seen a lot of south remakes in Bollywood and they are making Bollywood remakes in south as well. In fact, a lot of producers are making bilingual films,” Amyra said.

Village Roadshow Pictures Asia offered Asian film fans a sneak peek of Zhang’s much anticipated next project, Shadow, at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

She added, “I think both the industries are really going to merge, and they have already started merging. So, I haven’t put Bollywood in the backseat. I had to give up two south projects to complete ‘Kung Fu Yoga’. I had put south in the back for a little bit... I love everything about both the industries.”

The images released feature four of the film’s stars, Deng Chao, Sun Li, Zheng Kai, Guan Xiaotong, engaged in moments of poignant drama and artful combat (Qianyuan Wang, not pictured, is also attached .) Little is officially known about the film’s plot so far, but Chinese media has reported that the film is set during China’s Three Kingdom’s era (AD 220–280). Zhang and Wei Li share writing credits. Zhang’s long-running collaborator is lensing the picture. Unlike The Great Wall, the film will be

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

told entirely in Zhang’s native Mandarin. Shadow is co-produced by Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and Le Vision Pictures.

Catherine Pang and Village Roadshow’s Ellen Eliasoph produce. (-Hollywood Reporter Online/Photos: Village Roadshow Pictures)

Amyra forayed in Bollywood in 2013 with ‘Issaq’, went on to do Tamil film ‘Anegan’, Hindi film ‘Mr. X’, Sino-Indian co-production ‘Kung Fu Yoga’. She will also team up with Tridha Choudhury, Sundeep Kishan in a new yet-untitled Telugu coming-ofage romantic drama. “Both the industries are actually pretty much the same. So, I am not keeping anything on the back burner.” (-IANS)

‘Jumanji’ sequel features tribute to Robin Williams Father’s Day celebrates New York stye W

hile much of the target audience for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle may not have been old (or, indeed, alive) enough to have seen the 1995 original on the big screen, Sony Pictures’ upcoming sequel will ensure that the first’s biggest star won’t be forgotten.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at a photo call held on the sidelines of CineEurope in Barcelona, Jack Black — who had just moments earlier straddled an animatronic crocodile for the benefit of the cameras — explained that the late great Robin Williams still had a role to play, with the new film featuring a tribute to him. “We’re exploring this jungle and trying to conquer the game; it’s life or death,” he said. “But while we’re there, we find clues left behind by [Williams’ character Alan Parrish]. He built up a full-blown jungle house, similar to a Swiss Family Robinson situation. It’s like he’s there helping us without actually being there.”

F

ather’s Day Sunday was a big day for the Khan family as it marked the launch of a restaurant in Bandra designed by Shah Rukh Khan’s wife Gauri Khan. The proud hubby and daughter Suhana Khan played perfect hosts at the party and the latter completely stole the show with her presence.

Robin Williams in Jumanji as character Alan Parrish (File photo)

Akshay Kumar who is all set for the release of his upcoming film ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ took to Twitter on the occasion of Father’s Day to share an adorable picture with his son Aarav.

Captioning the picture, “Every day is a #FathersDay if you have a son like that #MakingMemories #blessed”, the Khiladi Kumar of Bollywood expressed his love for his son. Akshay surely gives us some father-son goals with this picture. Directed by Shree Narayan Singh, ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ also stars Bhumi Pednekar in a pivotal role. Akshay will also be seen in ‘Padman’ alongside Sonam Kapoor and in ‘2.0’ wherein he would be opposite Rajnikanth.

Black also explained one key difference between Jumanji and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. “[In the original] you never got to see the inside world,” he said. “But this one takes place primarily inside the jungle of Jumanji. That’s the coolest part of the film — we’re able to transport the audience to that secret and wondrous land, with the danger and the beauty. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is due for release Dec. 20.

Teen Choice Awards 2017:

Deepika Padukone to go head to head with Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot

Deepika Padukone and Gal Gadot. Images from Facebook eepika Padukone, who made her Hollywood debut with xXx: Return of Xander Cage as Serena Unger, has now been nominated for it at the Teen’s Choice Awards 2017 in the Choice Action Actress category.

D

She has been nominated alongside Gal Gadot, who recently starred in Wonder Wom-

an and received much critical acclaim for it. Padukone will also compete with Kaya Scodelario of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Michelle Rodriguez of The Fate of The Furious, as well as her xXx co-stars Nina Dobrev and Ruby Rose.

Sandiya Venturato

xXx: Return of Xander Cage has received five nominations under various categories, followed by The Fate of The Furious and Power Rangers, both of which have garnered four each. Priyanka Chopra, however, has not been nominated but her co-star Dwayne Johnson has bagged three nominations. Leading the nominations race is TV show Pretty Little Liars with its name in seven categories.

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VOICE OF ASIA 18

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

HEALTHY LIVING VOICE OF ASIA

Section 2

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

New antibiotic Tobacco use among US students dropped potentially big sharply in 2016: study in fighting drug-

resistant bacteria

W

ASHINGTON | AFP Scientists have discovered a new antibiotic that is highly effective against bacteria resistant to known antimicrobials, which was found in a soil sample taken in Italy. Named “pseudouridimycin,” or PUM, the new antibiotic is produced by a microbe found in the soil. It has killed a wide range of bacteria in laboratory tests and cured mice infected with scarlet fever.

US government data shows that 11.3 percent of high school students and 4.3 percent of middle school students smoked electronic cigarettes in 2016

W

ASHINGTON | AFP - Tobacco use among American middle and high school students -- especially electronic cigarette use -- declined sharply in 2016 from the year before following several years of strong growth, according to a study out Thursday. The number of students who said they had used a tobacco product in the past 30 days was 3.9 million in 2016, down from 4.7 million in 2015, a 17 percent drop, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data showed. The tobacco users made up 20.2 percent of high school students and 7.2 percent of middle school students. The decline mostly reflected a 26.7 percent drop in the use of electronic cigarettes, the most popular tobacco product among the students surveyed. There were 2.2 million young ecigarette users in 2016, down from 3 million in 2015. They comprised 11.3 percent of high school and 4.3 percent

of middle school students. E-cigarettes and hookah usage had grown sharply from 2011 to 2014. The other forms of tobacco used by students include cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco and bidis. “Far too many young people are still using tobacco products, so we must continue to prioritize proven strategies to protect our youth from this preventable health risk,” CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat said in a statement. Tobacco prevention and control strategies from all levels of government likely contributed to the reduction in usage, the authors of the report said, but stressed that continued surveillance was needed to determine if the trend continues. “While these latest numbers are encouraging, it is critical that we work to ensure this downward trend continues over the long term across all tobacco products,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.

Details of the discovery were published on Thursday in the US scientific journal Cell. Pseudouridimycin neutralizes an enzyme called polymerase that is essential to virtually all functions of every organism. However, it acts differently than rifampicin, a class of antibiotics used to target the same enzyme. Its mechanism means the new antibiotic is 10 times less likely to trigger drug resistance than those currently on the market. PUM killed 20 species of bacteria in experiments, proving especially effective against streptococci and staphylococci, several of which are resistant to multiple antibiotics. Clinical trials with PUM could begin within three years and the new antibiotic could be released on the market in the next 10 years, researchers at New Jersey’s Rutgers-New Brunswick University and the Italian biotechnology company Naicons said. The discovery showed again that bacteria found in the soil are the best source of new antibiotics, the scientists said.

Mother’s obesity boosts risk for major birth defects: study

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ARIS | AFP - Children of obese women are more likely to be afflicted by major birth defects, including malformations of the heart and genitals, according to a study published on Thursday. The fatter the mother, the higher the risk, it found. “We found that risks of major congenital malformations in offspring progressively increase with maternal overweight and severity of obesity,” researchers wrote in The BMJ medical journal. “Thus, efforts should be made to encourage women of reproductive age to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to obtain a normal body weight before conception.” According to research published last year, the number of women aged 18 and older classified as severely obese, doubled from about 50 million to 100 million in just 10 years from 2000. It warned that if current trends continue, one in five women will be obese, and one in 10 severely obese, by 2025. People are divided into weight categories based on their Body Mass Index (BMI) -- a ratio of weight-toheight squared. Under the World Health Organization (WHO) standard, a BMI of 18.524.9 is normal, 25-29.9 overweight, 30-34.9 moderately obese, 35-39.9 severely obese, and anything over 40 morbidly obese. For the new study, researchers used data on more than 1.2 million births registered in Sweden from 2001 to 2014. They gathered information on major congenital malformations, also known as birth defects, and compared this to the BMI of the mother at the time she gave birth. Just over 43,500 of the children studied had a major malformation, the researchers found. The most common was a heart defect, followed by malformation of the genital organs, the limbs, the urinary system, the eye, digestive system, facial clefts and nervous system defects of the spine or brain. Among the offspring of mothers of normal weight, as well as underweight ones, the rate of congenital malfor-

Among the offspring of mothers of normal weight, as well as underweight ones, the rate of congenital malformation was about 3.4 percent, new research found. mation was about 3.4 percent, the researchers found. This rose to 3.5 percent for children of overweight women, 3.8 percent for obese ones, 4.2 percent in the severely obese category and 4.7 percent for the morbidly obese. The risk was higher for boys than for girls. The study took into account other potential risk factors such as maternal

smoking or drinking, socio-economic status, diabetes, the use anti-epileptic drugs, and vitamin deficiency. The findings “underline the importance of having a maternal BMI in the normal range before pregnancy,” the study authors said. Losing weight after conception would likely be too late, they said, as embryonic organ formation occurs within the first eight weeks.

Aspirin increases bleeding risk in older stroke patients

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ARIS | AFP - Long-term, daily use of aspirin to prevent blood clots in very elderly patients leads to an increased risk of serious or fatal internal bleeding, researchers announced on Wednesday. Heartburn medication would allows people 75 years and older to keep the preventative benefits of aspirin while avoiding its dangerous side-effects, they reported in the medical journal The Lancet. Even among people with no history of heart problems or stroke, the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding goes up with age for aspirin users, other research has shown.

Roughly half of all adults 75 and over in the US and Europe take small daily doses of aspirin -- ranging from 75 to 150 milligrams -- or other clot-inhibiting drugs. A normal dose for a headache is 325 to 600 mg.

Tel: 713-774-5140

Did You Really Pay for Your Medicare Benefits?

L

ast summer, Barack Obama riled a lot of entrepreneurs when he got carried away at a campaign event and told any American who had built up a successful enterprise, “you didn’t build that.” An even greater backlash awaits any politician who dares to tell Medicare recipients, “You didn’t pay for that”—for there are far more seniors than entrepreneurs in our country.

Time after time during Election, seniors and near-seniors reacted to the slightest mention of Medicare reform with indignation and the emphatic insistence, “Don’t you dare touch Medicare; I’ve paid for it!” There is only one problem with that statement: In a mathematical sense, it isn’t true. The amount that American workers have paid and are paying into Medicare isn’t enough to fund all the benefits that are being paid out to seniors under Medicare. The trustees of Medicare have stated that the promises they have made exceed their projected revenues by tens of trillions of dollars. Senator Tom Coburn (a physician in private life) has estimated that the average American couple contributes approximately $110,000 to Medicare over their working careers and receives over $330,000 of Medicare benefits. On Feb. 20, USA Today cited Urban Institute data pegging those same figures at $88,000 and $387,000, respectively. There are differing estimates of the size of the gap, but clearly Medicare suffers from an unsustainable funding deficit. (Just to be clear: Every insurance program has participants who receive far more in benefits than they paid in, but that is possible only because some participants die before they collect. In other words, in a sound insurance program, the average payout will not exceed the average contributions plus earnings on invested funds—but there are none in the pay-as-you-go Medicare program). Let me hasten to say that I have sympathy for those who make the “I paid for it” case. Through decades of their working lives, millions of seniors paid into the system and were promised that Medicare would be there for them starting at age 65. These citizens played by the rules, acted in good faith, and held up their end of the bargain. The problem is that the politicians in Washington have not acted in good faith. Instead, they have committed a gigantic fraud by underfunding the program. The fact of the matter is that we’ve been swindled, and the anger and sense of pending betrayal that many seniors feel is understandable. At the same time, we, the people, need to accept some responsibility for this sorry state of affairs. Certainly, the members of Congress and presidents who allowed the imbalance between Medicare income and expenditures to get so out of whack are ethically culpable. Still, “we the people” share some responsibility for the Medicare fiasco. The mistake was naïveté and gullibility. One of our endearing national characteristics is our readiness to take people at their word. Millions of decent Americans would never defraud or deceive

Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway, Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com

their neighbor, and so they assume that others won’t deceive them. We can see now what an enormous mistake it was to trust politicians’ promises. This brings to mind a sequence in the slapstick, farcical movie, “Animal House,” in which a freshman pledge in Delta house, Flounder, let some upperclassmen in the fraternity talk him into letting them use his brother’s brand-new Lincoln for a road trip. The frat brothers, predictably, trashed the car. As Flounder wept in regret, the suave, smooth-talking senior, Otter, put his arm around Flounder’s shoulder and explained the facts of life to him: “You [goof]ed up; you trusted us.” (“Goof” replaces the original R-rated verb.) “We the people” have goofed up big time, trusting a government bureaucracy to oversee something as important as our health care. Regrets and recriminations aside, the question now is: Where do we go from here? What are our options? The only way that the oncoming flood of baby boomers will be able to receive all the Medicare benefits that they were promised would be to either increase payments into the system or reduce disbursements from it. We already have seen how volatile, contentious, and divisive the political strife over Medicare has been. Sadly, it is likely to get much worse. Generations will be arrayed against generations. On the one side, gray-haired Americans will demand that the promises made to them, and for which they upheld their end of the bargain, be kept. The progressives have played a masterful political game, for while their socialistic hearts lust to take control of even more of Americans’ wealth, they will have huge numbers of average Americans who think of themselves as anything but socialists egging them on and supporting them in their quest to absorb and appropriate more property. The great American middle class, which has the most to lose when Big Government supplants the private sector, will be energetically demanding some of the very policies that will crush the life out of the economy. To choose right Medicare plan for you, contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.

these recommendations involved mostly patients younger than 75 who had taken aspirin for only a couple years.

medical records for more than 3,000 patients who had had a stroke or heart attack, and taken daily aspirin or its equivalent for many years.

As a result, how much the risk of bleeding might rise with age was largely unknown.

Half the patients were 75 or older at the start of the period covered by the study.

To find out more, Peter Rothwell from the University of Oxford led a team of researchers in examining

Over the following decade, 314 patients were admitted to hospital for bleeding.

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Lifelong treatment with such medications is especially recommended for patients who have suffered a heart attack or stroke.

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SCIENCE & TECH

VOICE OF ASIA 19

Researchers reveal the multi-dimensional universe of the brain

T

he human brain is a convoluted labyrinth of passages in constant flux – routes are being created, strengthened, and deconstructed on a daily basis. On top of this, there are billions of neurons communicating with each other all day, every day via these ever-changing passages. At their junctions, there are synapses – about 1 quadrillion of them. If this all sounds complicated enough, then add a mindboggling 11 dimensions to the mix.

there are, and the greater the dimension of the object. “We found a world that we had never imagined,” said neuroscientist Henry Markram, director of Blue Brain Project, in a statement, “there are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In

Get ready, this new research is set to be a headtwister. The study, published in Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, uses algebraic topology to reveal the multidimensional architecture of the brain. This branch of mathematics harnesses abstract algebra to study topological spaces, such as spheres, knots, and tori. The team from Blue Brain Project primarily focused on “cliques” and “cavities” to paint a picture of the structures and spaces within the brain. When neurons form a clique, they connect to every other neuron in the group in a way that forms a precise geometric object. The more neurons there are in a clique, the more connections

some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.” The purpose of such work is to try to peel back the relatively flat representation of the brain we have and reveal the multidimensional internal workings of the brain. When the team then added a stimulus into the virtual brain, progressively higher dimensional cliques assembled and enclosed holes, or cavities. Much of these developments,

however, were ephemeral. Co-author Ran Levi paints it in a simpler fashion: “The appearance of high-dimensional cavities when the brain is processing information means that the neurons in the network react to stimuli in an extremely organized manner. It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multidimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.” The team did their best to verify their findings by testing the results on real brain tissue. They state that their virtual discoveries were biologically relevant and suggest that the brain constantly rewires itself during development to construct a highdimensional structure. It is key to note that the objects in this study are not more than three dimensions outside the space of this model, it’s just that the mathematics used to describe the intricacy can have more dimensions. (-IFLScience)

Elon Musk claims Mars colony dreams critical to avoid ‘Doomsday’ event by Charlie Osborne

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paceX CEO Elon Musk has claimed that building a self-sustaining colony on Mars is necessary to our future survival as a species. Musk’s blueprint, titled “Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species,” outlines the executive’s vision for making the human race a multi-planetary, space-faring society. The paper, a summary of Musk’s presentation at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara last year, suggests that a future Doomsday event will force us to look at other planets to stave off extinction. Out of all the options currently open to us, Venus is a cooking pot of pressure and acid, Mercury is too close to the sun and the planet’s moons are difficult to reach, and our own moon is small and has no atmosphere. Musk argues that Mars, despite the distance, is the best option -- especially if we are able to warm the planet up to thicken the atmosphere and access the planet’s frozen oceans. With a day and night cycle similar to our own planet, we may also be able to cultivate plants as the atmosphere is primarily CO2, nitrogen, argon, and a few trace elements.

The entrepreneur says one million people sent safely to the planet can help us avoid extinction -- and has outlined how to do it. “It would be quite fun to be on Mars because you would have gravity that is about 37 percent of that of Earth, so you would be able to lift heavy things and bound around, furthermore, the day is remarkably close to that of Earth,” Musk says. “We just need to change the populations because currently, we have seven billion people on Earth and none on Mars.” The cost of such travel, however, must come into the equation. It is estimated that sending a single person to Mars could cost up to $10 billion at the moment, but if you want to create a self-sustaining community, very few people could afford such an expense to join the project. Therefore, Musk wants to eventually reduce the cost to the average price of a house in the US -- roughly $200,000 -- but in order to reach this goal and slash the expense by five million percent, a number of steps will need to be taken. Musk says that the so-called “interplanetary spaceship” used to get to Mars would need to

launch with fuel tanks that are basically empty in order to refuel while in space to keep costs down. It will also be necessary to make the tankers and rockets reusable at least for a few return trips and to create propellant on Mars rather than make constant trips back and from Earth for fuel. The executive says that due to Mars’ atmosphere and elements already available, it is possible to produce the methane and oxygen required. Kerosene will not work without oil reserves on the planet and methane is cheap enough. “It would be pretty absurd to try to build a city on Mars if your spaceships just stayed on Mars and did not go back to Earth,” Musk writes. “You would have a massive graveyard of ships; you have to do something with them.” The Raptor engine and rocket booster, used in the spaceship, are some of the most challenging elements of the Mars vision. (-ZDNet.com)

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

Colorado seeks to ban smartphone sales to children by Lucinda Shen

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larmed by the number of preteens typing away on smartphones?

So is a Denver-area anesthesiologist and dad of five, Tim Farnum, who is helming a proposal in Colorado to establish legal limits on smartphone sales to those under the age of 13, according to the Washington Post. If passed, it would be the first U.S. state with legal limits on smartphone sales to children. Under the ballot initiative proposal, selling a smartphone to a preteen or younger minor would incur a written warning, while a second offense would be met with a $500 fine. Each future incident would then result in the fine doubling each time. The proposal still needs about 300,000 voter signatures to make it onto the 2018 ballot, according to the Denver Post.Farnum was inspired to start the organization that submitted the proposal, Parents Against Underage Smartphones, after he noticed his children becoming moody, quiet, and reclusive on their phones, the Post reports. “There were some real problems,” Farnum, 49, told The Washington Post. “If you tell them to watch the screen time, all of a sudden the fangs come out.” As he tells it, his once energetic and outgoing boys became moody, quiet and reclusive. They never left their bedrooms, and when he tried to take away the phones, one of Farnum’s sons launched into a temper tantrum that the dad described as equivalent to the withdrawals of a crack addict.

In February, he formed the nonprofit PAUS (Parents Against Underage Smartphones) with a few other medical professionals and began drafting a ballot initiative that, if passed, would make Colorado the first state in the nation to establish legal limits on smartphones sales to children. Farnum’s proposal, ballot initiative no. 29, would make it illegal for cellphone providers to sell smartphones to children under the age of 13. The ban would require retailers to ask customers the age of the primary user of the smartphone and submit monthly adherence reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The department would be responsible for creating a website portal for the reports and would investigate violations and collect penalties. The first violation would incur a written warning. A second would produce a $500 fine, and the amount would double with each subsequent incident.

So Farnum started researching the side effects of screen time on kids and found statistics that astonished him. Too much technology too soon can impair brain development, hinder social skills and trigger an unhealthy reliance on the neurotransmitter dopamine, a high similar to what drug and alcohol addicts feel.

The initiative has garnered “overwhelming” support from parents and grandparents who worry that too much technology can stunt imaginations and appreciation for the outdoors, he claims. But Farnum also faces opposition from others, including some lawmakers, who believe that it’s a parental responsibility, not one for government.

Farnum read it all, then said he thought to himself: “Someone has got to do something.”

“Frankly, I think it should remain a family matter,” Colorado state Sen. John Kefalas (D-Fort

Collins) told the Coloradan. “I know there have been different proposals out there regarding the Internet and putting filters on websites that might put kids at risk. I think ultimately, this comes down to parents … making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk.” Farnum told The Post he understands the pushback from those who see this as a parental responsibility and a law as an encroachment on parental power, but said his group sees premature smartphone access as a danger equivalent to smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or watching pornography. “We have age restrictions on all those things because they’re harmful to kids,” Farnum said. “This is no different, in my opinion.” The proposal also distinguishes smartphones from other cellular devices like standard flip phones that cannot access the Internet, because many parents just want to be able to contact their children for safety reasons. Though the goal is to curb what Farnum described as the corporate interest of cellphone companies and app makers from latching onto the younger generations, he admitted that there is also an educational component his crusade. Many parents don’t know the dangers of excessive technology usage, he said, or the permanent damage it can do to their children. (-Fortune)

Anti-diabetes drug also ‘lessens kidney, heart disease’ risk

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ASHINGTON | AFP - An anti-diabetic drug that lowers blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetes sufferers also significantly cuts the risk of cardiovascular and kidney disease, according to a study published Monday.

too,” said the group’s Bruce Neal.

the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease.

“We found it also reduced blood pressure and led to weight loss.

“Both patients and physicians should be tremendously reassured by the results,” said coauthor Vlado Perkovic, executive director of The George Institute Australia. “It not only reduces the risk of heart disease, it also provides real protection against kidney decline, which affects many people with diabetes.”

The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, came in a clinical trial of more than 10,000 patients in 30 countries, using canagliflozin. It found the drug reduced the overall risk of cardiovascular disease by 14 percent and reduced the risk of heart failure hospitalization by 33 percent. It was also shown to have a significant impact -- 40 percent less -- on the progression of a serious kidney decline. The George Institute for Global Health study has major implications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, which affects around 450 million people worldwide, the authors said. “Coronary heart disease is the biggest killer by far for people with type 2 diabetes. Our findings suggest not only does canagliflozin significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, it also has many other benefits

However, a significant downside of using the drug was that it doubled the risk of amputation of a toe, foot or leg. “Type 2 diabetes is growing rapidly all over the world and we need drugs that not only deal with glucose levels, but also protect many millions of people from the very real risks of stroke and heart attack.” The study was presented at the American Diabetes Association Conference in San Diego. The findings were cited as particularly relevant to Australia where around 65 percent of cardiovascular deaths occur in people with diabetes or prediabetes, and diabetes is also

Diabetes can cause a narrowing of blood vessels between the knee and the toes, causing a decrease in oxygen circulation that prevents healing. Canagliflozin works by blocking the body’s reabsorption of sugar or glucose. This results in more glucose being released in urine and a drop in glucose levels. Most other diabetes drugs work by managing insulin levels. Neal added: “We don’t know why there was an increased risk of amputation, and further work is needed in this area.”

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VOICE OF ASIA 20

BEAUTY & FASHION

Tanning drug for the paleskinned being tested

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ASHINGTON | AFP - After 10 years of research, scientists have come up with a drug that could help people tan without exposure to the sun, potentially reducing the risk of skin cancer.

approaches just did not work,� said David Fisher, chief of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, a professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, and one of the authors of the study.

The drug stimulates cells that produce the pigment that absorbs ultraviolet light, the researchers said in the US journal Cell Reports published on Tuesday. They stressed that further tests are needed to safeguard against potential side-effects in humans.

“But 10 years later, we have come up with a solution. It’s a different class of compounds, that work by targeting a different enzyme that converges on the same pathway that leads to pigmentation,� he said.

Applied as a cream to the skin, the drug allowed red-haired mice to develop a deep tan. Like their pale-skinned human counterparts, the mice are particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of the sun’s ultra-violet rays. The original breakthrough in mice was announced more than a decade ago, in a study published in the British journal Nature in 2006. But it has taken scientists that much time to work out how to make much thicker human skin absorb the substance. The initial report revealed that a substance called forskolin gave redhaired mice a deep tan without exposure to UV light. But because human skin is relatively hairless compared to animals’, it has evolved to be much tougher in order to protect against heat, cold and other environmental factors, and the topical substance could not penetrate it effectively. “Human skin is a very good barrier and is a formidable penetration challenge. Therefore, other topical

The scientists tested the substance on samples of human skin kept in laboratories and found that it darkened in proportion to the dosage applied. The tan lasted several days. In animal tests, red-haired mice became “almost jet black in a day or two with a strong enough dose,� the researchers observed. When the dosage was removed, normal skin regeneration meant the color faded within a week or so. “We believe the potential importance of this work is towards a novel strategy for skin cancer prevention,� Fisher said. “Skin is the most common organ in our bodies to be afflicted with cancer, and the majority of cases are thought to be associated with UV radiation,� he said. The long-term aim would be to create a cream that develops a tan without exposure to sunlight but which also absorbs harmful UV rays like traditional sun screens.

Amazon is knitting together a tale of fashion domination

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mazon is going all out to woo brands and customers alike to its fashion category, a strategy that already seems to be working well for the e-commerce site. Amazon has one goal in India – absolute e-tail domination. To achieve that it needs to first win the fashion category. The powers that be in the global e-commerce major know this well and have been working hard to make Amazon very fashionable indeed. Why is that, you ask? It is because of an illuminating statistic – one out of almost three new customers come to Amazon’s India site to buy fashion. No wonder, then, that Amazon considers it a magnet category. In fact, during the recently concluded ‘Great Indian Sale’ apparel was the single largest category on the platform, ahead of mobile phones, the traditional top seller. And fashion was the second largest category for new customer acquisition during the sale. That is big news in e-commerce as mobile phones continue to be the biggest category for the industry. In 2016, the share of mobile phones was at around 48 percent of gross online retail sales, while fashion accounted for around 20-22 percent, according to research and consulting firm Red Seer. Fashion is also a high-margin, high repeat purchase rate category, unlike mobile phones, which offer low mar-

gins, and customers replace their phone only after around a year. Amazon in the US had a late start in fashion, launching the category only in 2006. “There is a big difference in the way we look at fashion in India compared to how we do it in the US where we were first selling only books and then slowly started adding other categories,� says Arun Sirdeshmukh, Head of Fashion, Amazon India. This focus right from when Amazon launched in India in 2013 has shown results. According to data from Counterpoint Research, fashion was Amazon India’s fastest growing category, with 78 percent growth in 2016 over the previous year, while Flipkart’s growth in this category stood at 15 percent. However, Flipkart has had a headstart over Amazon in this category, with the homegrown e-commerce major selling fashion products on its own platform and through subsidiaries—Myntra and Jabong. Flipkart, together with Myntra and Jabong, claims to have a 75 percent share in online fashion retail. Amazon disputes that, but has declined to share absolute numbers. So what has Amazon done to ensure rapid growth in this category? Amazon has focussed on getting entire ranges of as many brands on its site as possible. Arun, who earlier cofounded fashion site Fashionara, shares that Amazon India hosts 15,000 brands and over two million products. In 2016

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

Fashion designers should be in sync with global trends, says Rocky S

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opular designer Rocky S says it is important for the Indian fashion industry to evolve to ensure that designs are “in line with global trends�.

‘It is the duty of a designer to evolve and ensure that their designs are wearable, accessible and are in line with global trends’ - Rocky S

“As social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have gained ground as hubs for fashion content, more and more consumers have become instantaneously aware of global fashion trends,â€? Rocky said via an email from Mumbai. The designer, who has styled celebrities including Paris Hilton, Beyonce and Priyanka Chopra, added: “Moreover, so many international brands are now easily available in India too. So designers have had to evolve to ensure that our designs are wearable, accessible and are in line with global trends.â€? Rocky, who was a jury member of a contest Designer of the Year, an initiative by Shoppers Stop to provide a platform to budding fashion designers, has designed for over 350 movies including Kaho Naa‌ Pyaar Hai, Krrish and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham‌ He is also on board for upcoming Tamil science-fiction actioner 2.0, which stars megastar Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar. The designer, who roped in Prateik Babbar and Elli Avram as faces of his new collection for RS jeans, says “Bollywood and fashion go hand in handâ€?. He said: “Film stars are major fashion influencers and their style statements are highly coveted. In fact, several brands have collaborated with Bollywood stars to launch fashion lines and collections which have been very successful and created a lot of buzz among consumers. “So yes, there is a huge impact and the relationship between fashion and Bollywood is a mutually beneficial one.â€? (-The Indian Express)

Bipasha Basu photo shoot for Rocky S Collection. Rocky S is an Indian fashion designer. His brand goes by the name ‘Rocky S’. He is one of the only Indian fashion designers with a fragrance Rocky S Noir Femme and Rocky s Noir Pour Hommes (Photo: Pinterest)

Amazon Fashion inked deals with over 150 top fashion brands, including Aeropostale, Emporio Armani, Armani Exchange and Versus by Versace. This year, the company bagged exclusive partnerships with US brands GAP and Under Armour, among others. Amazon also has entered into partnerships with Indian designers including Tarun Tahiliani, Monisha Jaysingh and Manish Arora. This is in sharp contrast to what’s happening with its parent site in US.

with our brands.�

While Amazon globally has ambitions to become an elite fashion destination, top design houses have stayed away as it is still seen as a mass retail platform. In October 2016, during an earnings conference call with investors, LVMH’s (which owns Louis Vuitton) CFO Jean-Jacques Guiony said: “We believe the business of Amazon does not fit with LVMH, full stop, and it does not fit

“This is because online retail still caters to the top end of the Indian consumer spectrum and designers want a share of this wallet. For global brands Amazon is a known platform. Arun says details like the way the site catalogues products and interacts with customer matter to a brand. He adds, “We provide space for a brand – the

Brand Page – where they can tell the brand’s story. We want to romance the customer with that story. Otherwise they are just buying an item. We work with the brands, and get them directly involved with our editorial teams with content writers, photographers, stylists etc. We write on our blog about fashion and what is trending. So we weave the brand’s story into the content for the customer.� (-YourStory.com)

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VOICE OF ASIA 21

Soccer

Perez tackles Ronaldo problem lorentino Pérez’s first task after being reelected unopposed as Real Madrid president on Monday will be to appease superstar Cristiano Ronaldo amid speculation the four-time world player of the year wants to leave.

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There has been speculation that Ronaldo is trying to put pressure on Real so that they will bear some of the burden of an eventual fine, as Barcelona did for Lionel Messi. Among the clubs reported to be in-

“As no other candidature was put forward to the board ... it is proclaimed that Mr Florentino Pérez Rodríguez is president of Real Madrid,” the Spanish and European champions said in a statement. The 70-year-old construction magnate’s third term in charge of Europe’s most successful Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (File photo) club spanning 15 years – 2000-2006 and since 2009 – terested in Ronaldo is former club will be rubber stamped at a ceremony Manchester United for a fee which at the Santiago-Bernabéu Stadium could hit 200 million euros, with a later on Monday. possible get-out clause of one billion And among the first issues he will euros. have to deal with is superstar Ronaldo Since extending his contract in No– who he bought in 2009 from Manvember until 2021, Ronaldo is accordchester United for a record 94 million ing to Forbes the highest paid sports euros. star in the world with $93 million Ronaldo is threatening to leave earned in 2016-2017. Spain after running into problems with Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Mutax authorities. nich and Chelsea are also reported to The frenzy of speculation began be interested. soon after Ronaldo was accused last Under Perez, Real Madrid have won week of a 14.7 million euro tax evathree Champions League titles in four sion through offshore companies. seasons. The club – which also won The Portuguese international is cur- La Liga last season – leads the way in rently in Russia competing for the Eu- the elite European competition with ropean champions in the Confedera- 12 trophies. tions Cup. Perez’s opponents have criticised reAnd according to Spanish sports forms in the club statutes which have daily Marca, Ronaldo has told his toughened criteria for aspiring canditeammates: “I’m leaving Real. I have dates. made a decision. There is no turning Candidates must now have been back.” a member of Real for over 20 years, Portuguese sports daily A Bola also compared to the old requirement of 10 claimed that Perez had already been years, and have a personal fortune of informed of the 32-year-old’s deci- over 75 million euros. (-AFP) sion.

Rule-makers to consider reducing games to 60min

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orld football’s rule-makers are to consider a proposal to reduce each half of a game to 30 minutes in a bid to prevent time-wasting. The International Football Association Board (Ifab) has outlined a raft of radical proposed changes to the rules of the game in a new strategy document titled Play Fair! Adopting two halves of 30 minutes with the clock stopped when the ball goes out of play is one of dozens of ideas put forward by Ifab in an attempt to make football more attractive. Ifab says the Fair Play! document has three aims – to improve player behaviour and increase respect, to increase playing time and to increase fairness and attractiveness. “Many people are very frustrated that a typical 90-minute match has fewer than 60 minutes of effective (actual) playing time (EPT) i.e. when the ball is in play,” Ifab said in the document. “The strategy proposes measures to reduce time-wasting and ‘speed up’ the game.” Ifab said some of the proposals could be implemented immediately and require no law changes, while some are “ready for testing/experiments” and some are “for discussion”. Among the ideas up for discussion is that of a player being allowed to pass to themselves at a free-kick, corner and goalkick, a stadium clock which stops and starts along with the referee’s watch, and allowing a goalkick to be taken even if the ball is moving. Other ideas up “for discussion” include referees blowing for half-time or full-time only when the ball goes out

of play, and a penalty kick being either scored or missed/saved, with players not allowed to follow up to score, in order to stop encroachment into the penalty area. Plans which need no law changes mostly apply to Ifab’s bid to combat time-wasting. The document says match officials should be stricter on the rule which allows goalkeepers to hold the ball for six seconds. Ifab suggests match officials should be stricter on time-keeping, stopping their watch from a penalty being awarded to the spot-kick being taken, from a goal being scored until the match resumes from the kick-off, and from the signal of a substitution to play restarting. The proposals already being tested include the idea of only allowing captains to speak to referees to prevent match officials being mobbed. This is being trialled at the Confederations Cup in Russia, which started on Saturday. Another proposal already being tested is a change to the order of penalty kicks in shootouts, known as ABBA. Instead of teams taking alternate penalties, the new system involves team A taking the first kick, then team B taking two, then team A taking two. “The ‘first’ kick in kicks from the penalty mark has a built-in advantage primarily because there is greater mental pressure on the second kicker (in each round) who often faces instant elimination if they miss their kick (especially once the first four kicks for each team have been completed),” the document says. (-Press Association / The Guardian).

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

Cricket

Into the heart of Bangladesh’s rise by Mohammad Isam ive players have formed the core of the Bangladesh team. Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah play different roles in the team. In addition to leadership roles, they hold the batting and bowling together. They also deal with the ever-growing expectations, provide a hand on a rookie player’s shoulder, decide what their jersey’s colour scheme should be, and where the team dinner will be held.

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In essence, these five players have a whole lot of responsibilities in the team, but they are mainly judged by their own performances. Tamim and Mushfiqur had stepped up against England and Australia in the Champions Trophy, but there was greater pressure on Mahmudullah, Mashrafe, and Shakib ahead of the must-win match against New Zealand in Cardiff. They soaked up the pressure and delivered. Mashrafe led superbly before Mahmudullah and Shakib lifted the team from 33 for 4 with a 224-run partnership - the highest for Bangladesh for any wicket in ODIs. Both Mahmudullah and Shakib hit centuries to lead Bangladesh to a memorable win. Having suffered several injuries, Mashrafe isn’t the bowler he was. He predominantly plays as a captain, but continues to prove his critics wrong. He bowled important spells in Cardiff and showed why he is Bangladesh’s second-highest wicket-taker since the 2015 World Cup. In fact, he is the second-highest wicket-taker among active players in ODIs, after Lasith Malinga. Mahmudullah, too, doesn’t quite get the treatment he deserves. His place in the team is perennially questioned: when he does well, popular opinion

Mashrafe Mortaza, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah have lifted Bangladesh from the depths of gloom and doom while setting examples for the next generation (Photo: AP) is that he could have batted higher and when he doesn’t do well, he gets dropped hastily. Both Mashrafe and Mahmudullah have learnt to handle such questions. Shakib, on the other hand, is a certainty in the XI. He is Bangladesh’s best cricketer, the world’s best allrounder, and one of the most experienced middle-order batsmen in ODIs. In fact, he is one of only four batsmen to have batted at No. 5 for more than 100 innings in ODIs. He hardly goes out of form but even when he suffers a dip, Shakib himself is the last person to get worried. Before the match against New Zealand, he had not scored an ODI hundred since 2014 or hadn’t won a Man-ofthe-Match award since September last year. But he understands his game so well that he habitually senses that a big innings is around the corner. Most coaches and captains continue to back him. Shakib’s batting, though, has suffered due to his continuous presence as

a lower-order batsman in T20 leagues. It might have increased his range of shots, but has dented his overall approach. Sometimes, he tends to enforce his high-profile image. Looking to get on top of the opposition bowling when they are in control is risky, and Shakib has achieved it with mixed results. Against New Zealand, he rode out the tough period when the ball was still swinging, before opening up and putting the bad balls away. He sensed that Kane Williamson wouldn’t have much firepower in the slog overs and took advantage of it. He had contributed with the ball as well. He did not try to overwhelm the batsmen; instead he kept asking questions with his length and finished with 0 for 52. Having played ten years at the highest level, Shakib has resisted himself from one of the striking traits of Bangladeshi personality: talking. He lets his bat and bowl do that job. They don’t call him Mr. Cool for nothing. (-ESPN)

Pakistan celebrate big win over formidable India ARACHI, June 19, 017 - A sense of euphoria has gripped Pakistan after they upstaged a strong Indian side in the Champions Trophy final at the Oval.

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“I am just happy to see that this victory has been possible with a young and inexperienced side and a new captain. What is noteworthy is that the younger players have put up their

The Prime Minister led the country in congratulating the team while President Mamnoon Hussain, Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also appreciated the stunning win.

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif said while Pakistan deserved to win the final because they played a more energetic and inspired match, India remained a top side. “I thought Muhammad Aamir’s spell was the dif-

“The Pakistan team has done us proud and played very well to win the final. Congratulations to the team for winning the Champions Trophy,” the Prime Minister said in a video message. Massive traffic jams were witnessed on Sunday night as people came out on the roads in their cars and motorcycles, waving Pakistani flags and raising slogans, celebrating the stunning win. Young boys and girls, wearing the Pakistan jersey, danced to the beats of dhol while others distributed sweets. Some even resorted to firing in the air to express their delight. Around six people were reported injured after being hit by stray bullets in different parts of Karachi. Former captain Imran Khan said it was only a cricket game but he was happy to see the heart shown by the young team. “To come back from such a massive defeat to India in the first match and go on to win the final, that too against India, I think Sarfaraz and his team deserve a lot of credit and praise,” Imran said. Former Test captains and players who at the start of the tournament were skeptical about the national team’s chances of even making the final also praised the brave and fighting captaincy skills of Sarfaraz.

Fakhar Zaman’s rise as aggressive opener down to consistent PSL showings (Photo: AP) hands. I cannot express in words just how much this victory means for Pakistan cricket,” former captain Misbahul-Haq said.

ference between the two sides. To dismiss three top in-form batsmen on a good batting track was an outstanding spell,” he said.

Former great Javed Miandad said he had been very impressed by the captaincy of Sarfaraz. “The way the team fought back and the energy the youngsters brought, I am so happy to see this happen. After a long time we have got to see our team beat India in a big ICC event,” Miandad said.

Latif also expressed his dismay over the tweets by former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag and other Indian personalities before the match. “I was disappointed over the language and words used by them. It is a cricket match and should be treated like this. I would again call for resumption of bilateral cricket ties between the two countries,” he said.

“India has a very good side and they came under pressure today. I don’t think they were prepared to see such a charged-up and changed Pakistan side after the way they had beaten us in the first match. They came under pressure and they cracked,” he added.

Latif, however, praised the sporting spirit of Indian captain Virat Kohli. “Kohli had cautioned his team that this Pakistan team was on a winning wave and his words at the prize distribution were very sporting,” he said. (-PTI)

Bollywood’s Shah Rukh Khan buys South Africa T20 franchise London, United Kingdom | AFP | by Julian GUYER Indian movie star Shah Rukh Khan added a third Twenty20 franchise team to his collection when he was named as one of the owners in the new eightteam South African Global League on Monday. The Bollywood leading man expanded his established Knight Riders Brand with the purchase of the Cape Town franchise to add to the teams he already owns in Kolkata and Trinidad. There was a further link to the Indian Premier League, the lucrative Twenty20 competition that has sparked similar tournaments in the Caribbean, Australia, Bangladesh and Pakistan too. GMR Sports, the holding company that controls the IPL Delhi Daredevils, purchased the Johannesburg franchise.

Two Pakistan Super League owners, Fawad Rana of the Lahore Qalandar and Javed Afridi of the Peshawar Zalmi, have bought franchises in Durban and Benoni respectively.

The South Africa marquee players are Hashim Amla (Durban), Quinton de Kock (Benoni), AB de Villiers (Pretoria), Faf du Plessis (Stellenbosch), JP Duminy (Cape Town), David Miller (Bloemfontein), Kagiso Rabada (Johannesburg) and Imran Tahir (Port Elizabeth).

Meanwhile Hong Kong businessman Sushil Kumar bought the Bloemfontein franchise, with Dubai’s Ajay Sethi taking up the Port Elizabeth franchise.

Meanwhile the likes of South Africa-born England batsman Kevin Pietersen and former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum are also set to be two of the eight ‘international marquee’ players involved.

Two of the franchises will be South African owned, with businessman Osman Osman now in charge of the Pretoria franchise and Brimstone, an investment company, now having the Stellenbosch franchise as part of its portfolio. Shah himself was not present at the launch in London, a location that meant the South Africa marquee players attached to each of the eight teams could attend, with the Proteas currently on tour in England. “We are thrilled by the international

Shah Rukh Khan is the co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. Reuters

They, together with the current England ‘white-ball’ captain Eoin Morgan and fellow batsman Jason Roy, as well as Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard (all West Indies) plus Sri Lanka paceman Lasith Malinga are all set to enter into a mini-draft with the highest bidding franchise owner having first pick and the rest following the same process.


HOROSCOPE

VOICE OF ASIA 22

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of June 23, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE

by Hardik Vyas, Astrologer Cell : 832-298-9950

ONLINE WWW.VOICEOFASIAONLINE.COM

Aries (A,L,E) 21 March to 20 April

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

Logic, may have nothing to do with reality. Let events wash over you now, and explain it all later on in any way that makes sense. Don’t go around sticking out your neck if blame is waiting to fall. The walls have ears and possibly no sympathy. Ordinarily you’re the first to help others, but you may not be able to do so now. You need to be treated with respect. Insist on receiving the whole story, rather than have something dumped on you without warning. Once feelings are realized, they are easier to accept.

You’ll have plenty of ideas, but you must be careful not to take on too much. Less is best this week. Arguments will evolve if you are overly opinionated. Secret information will aid you and hard work will pay off. Your concern with financial security will prompt you to find out more about investments. You’ll meet interesting new people if you attend events. If you focus on what’s really important to you, success will follow. If you recognize your limitations and ask for assistance, you will do much better than even you anticipated.

Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

Keep discussions on track, allow others to express their views. Listen to them very carefully. Try to create an atmosphere of trust. Someone else may get all the glory, but you’ll learn an invaluable lesson, that will take you on to even greater triumph. You’ll find ordinarily annoying people are surprisingly easy to get along with. Harmonic vibrations will mount to passionate trembles. By week’s end, you might find yourself in the arms of the most unlikely person imaginable. Get all the information before jumping into action.

You’ll feel magnetized and ready to take on any professional or personal obstacles that stands in your way. Plan to do something special with the family. Obstacles may stand in your way. Ignore people who are trying to lead you astray. You can learn a lot if you are more open-minded. Give others the benefit of the doubt. You’ll be able to overcome anything if you stand tall and prepare to push ahead. The harder you strive for perfection, the better you will do. Trusting others may prove to be costly.

Sagittarius (BH,F,DH,TH) 22 Nov to 21 Dec

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June You may feel upset, but patience is what will bring you results. You need to look at the situation from different perspectives. Interactions with others could be less than rewarding. Even well-intentioned people will seem as if they’re trying to interfere. Mind your own business and advance in solitude. Even the quirky loner is not without some kind of support system. Heal your wounds by accepting the things that you cannot change & changing the things that you can.

You’ll be everywhere at once, moving so quickly, that people might miss you, if they blink. It’s important for you to have your personal touch on everything. If you immerse yourself, your senses will take you for the ride of a lifetime. You still have a long way to go. Enjoy the trip as you move ahead tasting and experiencing everything from a new perspective. Try to include as many other people as possible in your plans. They’ll appreciate the security you offer in organizing projects.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July It’s difficult to stay focused, your current fixation on details may have you spinning your wheels. Try to stay on course despite the temptation to run around in circles. The fact that you’re suddenly very popular does nothing to help with your focus. Other people’s tics and quirks might prove to be especially annoying to you. There is no polite way to explain what’s bothering you. This is not about being rude, this is about being professional in your relations with others. Beware of fast talkers with big schemes.

The energy you feel will help you to reach your goals. It’s vital that you don’t promise the world to everyone. While this could help for the present, it may create complications for the future. Little mistakes are easier to correct before their consequences grow too big. You’re still at the stage where you can have fun with this. You’ll gain exceptional mental clarity & be able to learn concepts fast. The world is forever changing and so should you if you want to stay in control of your destiny.

Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August The next few days will find you walking with a brisk stride and snapping your fingers. If whatever you’re experiencing isn’t quite reality, it’ll seem just as good as the real thing. No walls will be able to contain your excitement. No limitations will seem to apply. You can accomplish just about any goal you try, this week. A little humility wouldn’t hurt, although no one really minds if your hat size gets a little larger. Your new elevation will make you more perceptive and attract others to your outlook.

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Think clearly about all of your options and play the waiting game. You shouldn’t rush any big decisions, this week. Time will be on your side. The longer you wait to decide, the better. It will be hard for you to pass on some of the projects being offered, but if you set attainable goals, you will receive much greater rewards in the end. Social events will lead to romantic opportunities. Disagreements will erupt when discussing financial matters. You need to feel free to come and go as you please. You must follow your creative pursuits.

BD

Meditation, plants and pets will reconnect you with your role in the physical world. Try to organize you time to fit everything in without too much stress. Give a little, take a little. Compromise will become your theme. Once you have your priorities straight, you’ll be able to start to look at new perspectives & opinions. By week’s end, you may want to invite friends over or plan a little casual celebration. Find yourself a healthy regime of stress reducing exercise and healthier eating and you’ll be able to think and work more effectively.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March Be flexible and patience, that will help you tolerate an insufferable situation. Being stubborn will only fan the flames. The reason for your anger will become apparent once you listen to your heart. Once your plans are firmly in place, progress will begin to happen. You’ll be given every opportunity to grow as a person. Stop looking ahead so far and try to lose yourself in the heat of the moment. Your imagination is highly amusing, but perhaps not very trustworthy. Snooping and gossip can be deliciously harmful.

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FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

Boost Your Productivity by Going on a News Diet

Shelter staff named me JOBEE. I am a neutered male, brown and white Boxer mix. The shelter staff think I am about 2 years and 8 months old. I have been at the shelter since Jun 06, 2017. For more information about this pet, call: City of Sugar Land Animal Services at (281) 275-2364

When you need to get something done in a hurry, it can seem daunting to find the time. Where will you possibly find those extra hours? One way to give yourself additional time is to go on a news diet. Don’t just tune out the news — cut yourself off completely. Turn off any news feeds on your computer. Block news websites and stop notifications on your laptop and phone. And delete your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn apps. Even try to avoid walking by newsstands on your way to work. It’s amazing how many hours consuming news media can take up: If you spend two hours a day thinking about or looking at the news, this hiatus will give you back 14 hours per week to maximize your available time and sharpen your focus. Of course, the news diet should be temporary. We all need to stay informed about what’s going on, so only opt out of the news cycle for short periods of time while you’re trying to get something done. Source: Adapted from “3 Ways to Get More Done Right Now,” by Kabir Sehgal Harvard Business Review WWW.HBR.ORG

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VOICE OF ASIA 24

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017

Voice of Asia Newsweekly June 23 2017  

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