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FRIDAY, June 14, In Section 2 2019

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Nurses Day Celebration and Silver Jubilee Gala Night

Naushad Kermally wins Sugar Land City Council runoff race

Kermally with his wife Narmin addresses supporters at the victory celebration


UGAR LAND - After a hardfought three-man race in May where he took over 39% of the votes, Naushad Kermally, 47, was able to pull off an historic win in the runoff race for Sugar Land City Council. He will serve as the City of Sugar Land’s first Muslim City Councilmember in the newly re-drawn Sugar Land District 2. Kermally received 1,811 votes (57.26%) and his opponent Nabila Mansoor received 1,352 votes (42.74%). Kermally increased his voter base in the runoff and bested Mansoor in all of New Territory and Telfair. David Gornet, the third candidate in the May race threw his support to Kermally helping Kermally cross the finish line in first place.

A twenty-three year resident of Sugar Land, Kermally has a long history of service to the city through numerous organizations and volunteer activities. Kermally and his wife Narmin, are the parents of three children; two are enrolled in University and his youngest is in his final year at Clements High School. After a 10-year nursing career, Naushad Kermally transitioned professions and joined Prime Communications, a mobile technology startup company in Sugar Land. That company has since grown from its’ local roots to a national leader in the wireless industry where he currently Continued on Page 2

The Indian American Nurses Association of Greater Houston members during the Silver Jubilee on May 25th, 2019. by Virginia H Alphonso & Anumol Thomas


ICHMOND - The Indian American Nurses Association of Greater Houston (IANAGH) celebrated its Silver Jubilee on May 25th, 2019 at the Safari Ranch, in Richmond, Texas. There were about 150 attendees for the educational conference. The banquet hall was packed with about 500 guests who came together to support IANAGH. Nurses from all over the United States and India took part in this event. The

Karan Patel, White Sox Draft pick is a star... cricket player?


gala night was a well-organized event, which started with prayer, Nurses’ pledge, lamp lighting, recognition of past & present IANAGH presidents, and honoring of dignitaries and sponsors. The night was filled with breathtaking spectacular cultural programs, which kept the audience engaged from start to finish. The theme of the educational conference was “Journey of Leadership, Challenges to Championship”. It was a great opportunity to learn network and gain renewed motivation for nursing education. The educational conference

concluded with a panel discussion on Transformational Leadership led by nurses in leadership roles. The message of our IANAGH mission “Community of Nursing Excellence” and the vision “Facilitate professional growth, leadership and enhance social, cultural needs of our members through education and service” was concisely presented in the educational conference and the Gala night. Continued on Page 3

Padma Shri handed over to Dr Subhash Kak in US

OUSTON: (PTI) JUNE 04, 2019 - India’s Consul General, Dr. Anupam Ray, along with Deputy Consul General Surendra Adhana, handed over the citation and medal to Prof. Kak, who couldn’t travel to India for investiture ceremony in March. Subhash Kak, Regents Professor Emeritus in electrical and computer engineering at the prestigious Oklahoma State University, received Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, from Dr Ray on June 3 at Stillwater, Oklahoma in the USA

Karan Patel (Photo courtesy of Conference USA/Twitter)

by Scott Merkin


HICAGO, June 4, 2019 Karan Patel has made two trips to Chicago during his life.

The 22-year-old visited once to take part in a pre-Draft workout at Guaranteed Rate Field when he was a high school senior, and he came to the city a second time for a cricket Continued on Page 4

“I am very honoured to have been given the Padma Shri award. India is going through a renaissance and already the third largest world economy in PPP (purchasing parity power). It is great to be part of the astonishing transformation of India into a world power,” Prof. Subhash Kak (72), told PTI.

Continued on Page 2

Dr. Subhash Kak (left) with the award at Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo credit: Facebook/Surendra Adhana)


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Editor Online: Shobana Muratee All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the consent of the publisher. Voice of Asia assumes no liability resulting from action taken based on the information included herein. Published weekly by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713774-5140. Fax: 713-774-5143. Email for editorial submissions:; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions: 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 inVoice of Asia Group Publications in print, online, or in other electronic formats, theVoice of Asia Group does not endorse the advertised product, service, or company, nor any of the claims made by the advertisement. — The Publisher Voice of Asia (USPS 010-215) (ISSN#10705058) is published every Friday (for a subscription rate of $50 per year) by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713-774-5143. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Voice of Asia, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074.

Naushad Kermally wins Sugar Land City Council runoff race Continued from Page 1

ish line.

serves as the Executive Vice President.

To his opponents in this election, Kermally said “Nabila Mansoor, although you did not prevail this election cycle you ran a great campaign. Remember, there is still more work to be done. I look forward to seeing you moving forward without any hesitation or reservations. Stay strong and stay focused. David Gornet, thank you for your endorsement. I look forward to working with you in the future also.“

“My top priority is the safety of our residents. A safe and secure city translates into a quality of life people seek out and value. I will work to see that our law enforcement and fire officials are heard by council and we do our best to ensure they have the equipment they need and support their programs. Additionally, I place a high priority on vehicular mobility. Not only must our streets be well maintained, they must be strategically planned for the amount of traffic we see in and around our schools, retail shopping and entertainment areas. We have a great system of hike and bike trails around the city and a dog park to support our four-legged residents. I want to be the ear of the city of Sugar Land, so that I can be your mouth(voice) within the City of Sugar Land” At his celebration after the election, Kermally acknowledged his family, friends and supporters giving them credit for helping him cross the fin-

He continued “I love this City, it is the city which I call home and I love to Live, Work and Play in Sugar Land. I am excited that the voters of District 2 have spoken and I am delighted to serve as your next City Council Member for the City of Sugar Land. I could not have done this without the support of my loving family and my volunteer base. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people I can count on.” Mr. Kermally will be sworn into office during the City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 18th at 5:30. The public is invited to attend.

n Iraq, the United States imposed a war that resulted in 600,000 deaths and countless injuries.CreditCreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times There is a lot of debate these days about whether the United States owes its African-American citizens reparations for slavery. It does. But there is a far bigger bill that the United States and Europe have run up: what they owe to other countries for their colonial adventures, for the wars they imposed on them, for the inequality they have built into the world order, for the excess carbon they have dumped into the atmosphere. The creditor countries aren’t seriously suggesting that the West send sacks of gold bullion every year to India or Nigeria. Their people are asking for fairness: for the borders of the rich countries to be opened to goods and people, to Indian textiles as well as Nigerian doctors. In seeking to move, they are asking for immigration as reparations. Today, a quarter of a billion people are migrants. They are moving because the rich countries have stolen the future of the poor countries. Whether it is Iraqis and Syrians fleeing the effects of illegal American wars, or Africans seeking to work for their former European colonial masters, or Guatemalans and Hondurans trying to get into the country that peddles them guns and buys their drugs: They are coming here because we were there. Before you ask them to respect our borders, ask yourself: Has the West ever respected anyone’s borders? A vast majority of migrants move from a poor to a less poor country, not a rich one. Immigration quotas should be based on how much the host country has ruined other countries. Britain should have quotas for Indians and Nigerians; France for Malians and Tunisians; Belgium for very large numbers of Congolese.

Continued from Page 1 Prof. Kak, originally from Srinagar, completed his BE from Regional Engineering College, Srinagar (Presently National Institute of Technology, Srinagar) and Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in 1970.

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

Why Should Immigrants ‘Respect Our Borders’? The West Never Respected Theirs And when they come, they should be allowed to bring their families and stay — unlike the “guest workers” who were enticed to build up the postwar labor force of the colonizers and then asked to leave when their masters were done exploiting them. The Dominican Republic, where the United States propped up the dictator Rafael Trujillo for three decades, should be high on the American preference list. So should Iraq, upon which we imposed a war that resulted in 600,000 deaths. Justice now demands that we let in 600,000 Iraqis: for each death we caused there, someone should get a chance at a new life here. Some 12 million Africans were enslaved and carried across the Atlantic by European powers. Should not 12 million people from Africa be allowed to live in the countries enriched by the toil of their ancestors? Both will be better off: the African still suffering from what slavery has done to his country, and the host country that will again benefit from African labor, but this time without enormous pain and for a fair wage. Just as there is a carbon tax on polluting industries, there should be a “migration tax” on the nations who got rich while emitting greenhouse gases. The United States is responsible for one-third of the excess carbon in the atmosphere; Europe, another one-quarter. A hundred million refugees fleeing hurricanes and droughts will have to be resettled by the end of the century. The United States should take a third, and Europe another quarter. A huge bill would come to the West, but it is one it should look forward to paying. With-

out immigration, America’s economic growth would have been 15 percent lower from 1990 to 2014; Britain’s would have been a full 20 percent lower. Immigrants are 14 percent of the American population, but they started a quarter of all new businesses and since 2000 earned over a third of the American Nobel Prizes in chemistry, physics and medicine. Migrants are 3 percent of the world’s population but contribute 9 percent of its gross domestic product. Their taxes prop up the pension systems of the wealthy nations, which are not making enough babies of their own. If you want to help the poorest people in the world, the fastest way to do so is to ease barriers to migration. Migrants sent back $689 billion in remittances last year, which amounts to three times more than the direct gains from abolishing all trade barriers, four times more than all the foreign aid given by those governments and 100 times the amount of all debt relief. Are the rich countries obligated to take in any and all comers from the countries they have despoiled? There are serious arguments against open borders: that the United States is a lifeboat in an ocean of poor nations, and letting too many people in will sink the boat; that even if we owe reparations to people we have dispossessed, those reparations can come in the form of cash payments or resettlement in another territory. There are no serious arguments that demonstrate longterm economic damage to countries that accept immigrants, even in large numbers.

During the age of mass migration, a quarter of Europe moved to the United States, which went on to replace Europe at the pinnacle of wealth and power. A world with more open borders would have a brief spasm of mass movement, and then migration might actually decrease, because money and happiness would be more equitably spread around, and more people would stay home. To avoid paying the “migration tax,” the rich countries would have to stop propping up dictators, stop starting savage and unnecessary wars, restrain their multinational corporations from ripping off mineral wealth of poor countries and make sure that global trade is more equitable. Or else the migration bill from the devastated country would be prohibitive. What is good immigration policy for the United States is separate from what is just and moral for the peoples whose destiny America, past and present, has affected. It might make economic sense for the United States to let in more skilled Indians and fewer unskilled Latinos, but America owes them more, and it should open its doors more to its southern neighbors. History is what has happened and can never un-happen; history is happening right now. Attention needs to be paid. So does the bill. Suketu Mehta, is the author, most recently, of “This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto” and teaches journalism at New York University. - New York Times

Padma Shri handed over to Dr Subhash Kak in US

During 1975-1976, he was a visiting faculty at Imperial College, London, and a guest researcher at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill. In 1977, he was a visiting researcher at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay. In 1979, he joined Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, where he was the Donald C and Elaine T Delaune Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In 2007, he joined the Computer Science department at Oklahoma State University—Stillwater. He was featured as one of the pioneers of quantum learning in the journal Neuro Quantology edited by Cheryl Fricasso and Stanley Krippner. Prof. Kak had proposed an efficient three-layer feed-forward neural network architecture and developed four corner classification algorithms for training it. Despite being criticised for scalability issues; it invoked attention within the electronic hardware community. Prof. Kak has argued that there are limits to artificial intelligence and that it cannot equate the biological equivalent. On August 28, 2018, he was appointed a member of Indian Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). He is also an honorary

Surendra Adhana and Dr. Anupam Ray with Dr. Dr. Subhash Kak. (Photo credit: Facebook/Surendra Adhana) visiting professor of engineering at Jawaharlal Nehru University. His research focus has been on the fields of artificial intelligence, cryptography, neural networks and quantum information. He has developed new codes for computing and cryptography, worked on a variety of problems on data and network security, and he is the originator of one of the two methods of quantum cryptography. He retired from Oklahoma State University in January 2019. Nearly 50,000 nominations were received for the 2019

Padma awards and 112 awards were made out of which four, which included Prof. Kak, were in the area of science and engineering.

department head and OSURF Endowed Chair of Engineering in ECE.

Technology winners from outside India have included Bill Gates of Microsoft in 2015, John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco Systems in 2019, and Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe, in 2019.

Prof Kak has published on the history of science, the philosophy of science, ancient astronomy, and the history of mathematics. He is the author of 20 books some of which have been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Korean and Serbian.

“The award is well deserved and befitting to a scholar and gentleman who has made important contributions to the technological and mathematical areas of artificial intelligence and quantum computing,” said Jeffrey Young,

His many awards include British Council Fellow, National Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Delhi, and Science Academy Medal of the Indian National Science Academy.



Section 1

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FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

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Nurses Day Celebration and Silver Jubilee Gala Night

IANAGH members and members of the nurses faculty. Continued from page 1 The gala night started with traditional Indian style with “thalappoli and Shingarimelam" to welcome guests. Official Program started with a prayer song by Brigit Mathew. Anumol Thomas & Raina Rock served as vibrant Emcees for the program .Virginia Alphonso, secretary of IANAGH delivered the welcome speech & Accamma Kallel, President of IANAGH delivered the presidential address .Missouri city mayor Yolanda Ford was the chief guest. Honorable Fort Bend County Judge, KP George, Mr.Ashok Kumar, Consul,Consulate General of India, Houston, Dr. Durga Agrawal UH System Board of Regents and President, Dean Kathryn Tart from University of Houston College of Nursing. MS. Janet Leatherwood, Chief Nursing officer Methodist Sugar Land, Mr. Corey Russel, Director of nursing administration MD Anderson cancer center, Honorable County court judge Ms. Julie Mathew, Stafford city council member- Mr. Ken Mathew, Ms. Donna Stultz Associate Nursing Director, Michael E Debakey VA Medical

Center, Dr. Agnes Therady , President of National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) and Leena Eapen , Director Edwin health Institute were present during the event and delivered wonderful messages. IANAGH received proclamation from Congressman Pete Olson, honorable judge KP George, Missouri City Mayor Yolanda Ford , Houston Mayor Mr. Sylvester Turner and Stafford Mayor Mr.Leonard Scarcella. IANAGH presented Nursing excellence awards to outstanding APN & RN . Anumol Thomas, MSN,APRN,CCRN received the APN Excellence award and Aleyamma Baby , MSN,RN received the RN Excellence award. Award for outstanding community services were given to Mr. Koshy Thomas, CEO of Voice of Asia New Group, Mr.Simon Valacheril , Chief Editor,Nerkazhcha News Paper, Mrs. Rose Jean Gailles , Founder of United Light of Hope and Mr. John W Varghese , Founder of " Let Them Smile Again " charity foundation. IANAGH expressed sincere gratitude to all the sponsors: Diamond sponsor: Ms. Leena Daniel (Edwin

health care institute), Platinum sponsors: Mr. John W Varghese & Mr. George Eapen (Prompt insurance agency) & Mr. Allison Wen (Management of Safari Ranch). Gold sponsors: University of Houston college Nursing (Dr. Kathryn Tart), Dr. Surya P Raguth and Dr. Manjula Raguthu,(Ace pain management) & MEDWIN family Medicine and Rehabilitation and Dr. Babu Stephen : Indo American Press club Chairman. Silver Sponsors: Mr.Jiju Kulangara, Freedom Automotive & Collison & Dr.Harilal Nair, APRN World A Souvenir was released under the leadership of Raina Rock & Dr.Omana Simon which is a reflection of the IANAGH activities for the past 25 years ! Mr. Corey Russel, Director of nursing administration MD Anderson cancer center, released the souvenir.

The official ceremony was followed by a series of cultural programs. The highlight of the cultural program was a skit named “The Journey of a Nurse”, which was written and choreographed by Brigit Mathew. A young girl, Maria decides to become a nurse and

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Koshy Thomas , CEO ,Voice of Asia received the Award for Outstanding community Service from IANAGH from Mr. Ken Mathew, Councilman.

Scholarships of $500 each was given to 4 Indian and 2 US nursing students by Mr.Joseph C Joseph & Mary Thomas . New graduates in RN, BSN, MSN,NP, DNP, PhD level were recoganized .

Continued on Page 6

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Fort Bend County Judge, KP George presenting a plaque to Dr. Dean Tart. Also seen are IANAGH President, Accamma Kallel (far left) and Mary Thomas.


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Missouri City Mayor Missouri City Mayor Yolanda Ford addressing the gathering.




FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

India represented at the Houston Health Department’s Asian American and Pacific Islander month celebration were captured in amazement to a live classical dance performance far beyond their customary world of dance. This celebration was adorned with free Indian cuisine from Maharaja Bhog.

or the Houston Health Department (HHD) staffs it is one more year of celebrating with gusto the Asian American and Pacific Islander month. This annual celebration is Houston Health Dept.’s, Cultural and Linguistic Competency (CLC) group’s initiative to encourage staffs to explore Houston’s Asian diversity during the month of May. This year’s celebration titled “The Bold and the Beautiful” was hosted in two segments, with speakers and events on Wednesday May 8; and an incomparable artistic display of fashion hosted by the Houston Health Dept. staffs on Wednesday May 22, 2019. Varsha Vakil, an epidemiologist and a co-leader of the Cultural and Linguistic Competency, devoted months to set these events into motion highlighting the Asian American culture and applauding their commitment to reduce health disparity. Barbara Sudhoff-McGill is the Cultural and Linguistic Competency co-director and oversees the program’s execution at the Houston Health Dept.

The Executive Director of India House, Retired Colonel Vipin Kumar, did an outstanding job of sharing the abundant resources available for free at the renowned India House. Colonel Vipin Kumar successfully conveyed the health benefits with its utilization. Yoga and meditation classes are a big hit among Houstonians and its availability for free grasped the attention of the health-conscious Houston Health Dept. staffs. Computer classes for seniors and Hindi language classes to build linguistic competency was also well-received by the staffs. Colonel Vipin Kumar humbly announced the ease of accessing health care at India House to all irrespective of their race or ethnicity. Identifying avenues to access health care is the first step to diminish the gaps in health disparities. Combating health disparities is a priority to the Houston Health Dept.

The month-long celebration at the Houston Health Dept. concluded with the excitement of a fashion show that took center stage on Wednesday May 22nd. India’s elegant and exquisite fashion was presented by the Houston Health Dept. staffs by both Indians and non-Indians. Houston Health Dept. staff’s broadmindedness to welcome a diverse ethnic culture, cuisine and fashion without prejudice is noteworthy. The Cultural and Linguistic Competency endeavor is probably making an impact in a slow and subtle manner. The Asian American and Pacific Islander month celebration was a huge success at the Houston Health Dept.

Vipin Kumar with HHD’s Barbara Sudhoff-McGill (far left), Varsha Vakil and Deputy Chief Policy Officer Judy Harris

HHD staffs display exquisite fashion of India.

The Cultural and Linguistic Competency team comprises of several co-leaders working yearlong to acquaint staffs with the cultural and linguistic diversity in Houston. May is the month of highlighting Asian American and Pacific Islanders, their contribution to the community and to appreciate the roles they assume to make a difference. Vadtal Dham - Houston’s Ina Patel charmed the Houston Health Dept. staffs with a galore of health benefits to the routinely used Indian spices. Ina Patel added the heat of personal zing to describe the benefits offering a realistic approach for those reluctant to use the herbal spice blend common in an Indian kitchen. The May 8th event also included a noteworthy dance performance by the Kalaangan - Odissi School of Dance, spearheaded by the talented Supradipta Dutta. Houston Health Dept. staffs

Supradipta Dutta performing

Consul General of India hosts Iftar dinner in Houston

Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray addressing the gathering Photos from India in USA (Consulate General of India, Houston). May 31.

HOUSTON - Consulate General of India, Houston hosted Iftar dinner on Friday, May 31 Elected officials, OFM and Representatives of Major Indian Associations and community leaders in Houston attended Iftar⁠ ⁠ event. Among those attending were representatives from Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA, IMAGH, Bohra, Ismaili, Christian community and Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH).

A section of the gathering at the Iftar Dinner. Photos from India in USA (Consulate General of India, Houston). May 31.

Karan Patel, White Sox Draft pick is a star... cricket player? Continued from Page 1 tournament. That’s right, the seventh round selection by the White Sox in the 2019 MLB Draft is not only a standout pitcher from the University of Texas-San Antonio, but also a successful cricket player. “It comes from my dad [Kuldeep],” said Patel, shortly after being selected by the White Sox. “He grew up playing. He made the national team for the USA and just growing up, he always had me around. “Slowly I got into it, and then as high school came around, I took it more seriously and got my first opportunity in 2012 to represent the Under-19 USA team. Got another chance in '15 and a third chance in '16.”

Patel started off in cricket as a bowler, which is the pitcher. He became more of a batsman as time went on, and worked his way into being a twoway player. Pitching will be the only focus on Patel’s agenda once he joins the White Sox. “He’s got a good arm,” said White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler of Patel. “He’s 90-94 [mph]. It’s loose. It’s easy.” “When I was in high school, I went out to the workout out there at U.S. Cellular Field,” Patel said. “I saw the field and thought, ‘Wow this could be home.’ Four years later, I’m finally getting the chance.” White Sox area scout Chris Walker

kept in touch with Patel over his collegiate years and actually told Patel halfway through his senior season the White Sox were interested in drafting him. He earned 2019 first-team allconference recognition in Conference USA, posting a 2.84 ERA and striking out 104 batters in 92 innings. According to the UTSA website, Patel became the first pitcher in the 28-year history of the program to record 100 strikeouts in a season. And playing cricket has actually assisted Patel’s baseball development, despite the fact that when throwing the ball in cricket, you have to keep a round arm and can’t bend your elbow. “It helps my arm slot and my ability to spin the ball,” Patel said. “And I mean, I got into better shape over the last two years. I just slowly figured out

Get your Community News Online who I am and what kind of pitcher I was. Not doing stuff outside of what I can do.” – MLB News

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkinand Facebook and listen to his podcast.


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Pompeo to boost ties with Modi on India dead and 500 injured. Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, "will express America's solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka as they stand united against the despicable Easter Sunday attacks" and also look at further opportunities with the Indian Ocean nation, Ortagus said. Pompeo will later join President Donald Trump at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka and on his visit to South Korea, Ortagus said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces his visit to India as he briefs reporters at the State Department. (AFP Photo/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)


ASHINGTON | AFP | 6/10/2019 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday he would visit India this month to forge closer relations with re-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pompeo told reporters that he would outline areas for new cooperation with Modi's India during a speech Wednesday in Washington ahead of his trip to New Delhi. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, speaking after Pompeo, said the top US diplomat could leave for Delhi on June 24. "Prime Minister Modi's recent election victory provides an excellent opportunity for him to implement his vision of a strong and prosperous India that plays a leading role on the global stage," she said. Pompeo will work with Modi to "broaden our partnership" in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region

-- a growing catchphrase from Washington amid high tensions between the United States and China. Modi, a Hindu nationalist who won a convincing new mandate in the world's largest elections, has supported growing cooperation with the United States, especially on defense. But trade tensions have also been rising between the two countries, with President Donald Trump's administration forcing energy-hungry India to stop buying oil from Iran and Venezuela. Complaining of closed markets, Trump has also removed India from the Generalized System of Preferences, a key trading preference under which India exported $5.6 billion in goods to the United States in 2017. Pompeo will also visit Sri Lanka in the aftermath of coordinated Easter Sunday attacks against three hotels and three churches, which left 258 people


Speaking at a Washington forum, Khosrowshahi said Uber remains focused on growth over the next several years but that he sees a road to profitability for the ride-hailing giant. "We got caught up in a bit of a market swirl, and there's nothing you can do about that," Khosrowshahi said in an onstage interview sponsored by the Economic Club of Washington.

Tel: 713-774-5140

Wracked by an opioid scandal, Insys files for bankruptcy


EW YORK, | AFP | 6/10/2019 - American drug maker Insys announced on Monday it was filing for bankruptcy and will sell its assets as it faces legal and financial fallout from its role in the opioid crisis. The Arizona-based company last week agreed to pay $225 million to settle criminal and civil probes into the marketing of an addictive opioid painkiller. Insys' founder and four other

Uber hurt by political 'market swirl' after IPO ASHINGTON | AFP | 6/11/2019 Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said Tuesday the company's slump following its share offering last month was due to a "market swirl" over tariffs that won't affect its long-term performance.

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

change the long-term outlook for Uber, which he said is moving beyond ride-sharing into electric bikes and scooters, meal deliveries and has a longterm project on flying taxis. "If we work on creating a great enterprise, the market will take care of itself," he said. Khosrowshahi said Uber is aiming for a slice of a global transportation market worth some $16 trillion, allowing significant opportunities. "We think it's time to lean forward," he said. "The business itself can be quite profitable -- we're confident of that -- but the next two, three, four years are going to be about growth."

Khosrowshahi said the record drop after the initial public offering was likely due to trade frictions stemming from President Donald Trump's tariffs announced on China.

Khosrowshahi's appearance coincided with the debut of the Uber Elevate summit in Washington discussing Uber's plans to create a network of flying taxis in some markets by 2023.

The rocky debut does not

Asked about Uber's plans for

John Kapoor, the billionaire founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc., leaves the federal courthouse in Boston March 13.(Reuters Photo) former executives were also convicted last month of engaging in systematic bribery of doctors to prescribe the powerful opioid Subsys unnecessarily and at higher-thanrecommended dosages. The company said in a statement Monday it intends to continue operations as it seeks bankruptcy protection, but will sell "substantially all" of its assets under court supervision to pay the settlement. "After conducting a thorough review of available strategic alternatives, we determined that a court-supervised sale process is the best course of action to maximize the val-

autonomous vehicles, he said he does not expect self-driving taxis for at least 15 years but that some automation will be integrated sooner. Khosrowshahi said there may be some self-driving vehicles for the "easiest" trips within five years.

ue of our assets and address our legacy legal challenges in a fair and transparent manner," CEO Andrew Long said in a statement. Beyond its settlement with the Justice Department, the company faces millions in legal costs. In court filings on Monday, the company valued its assets at between $100 million and $500 million. The court documents also show founder John Kapoor retains a 63 percent stake in the company. Sentencing for Kapoor is set for September. Shares in the company fell nearly 57 percent from Friday's close to 74.5 cents on the Nasdaq shortly after 1500 GMT. Prior to the scandal, shares in January 2018 reached as high $13.38. The company says it plans to honor employee wages and to continue operating as normal while paying vendors and suppliers in full.



Local cancer survivors find hope and inspiration at annual Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital celebration

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

Nurses Day Celebration...

Guests received a traditional welcome at the IANAGH gala. Continued from Page 3

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Cancer Survivors Day Celebration 2019


UGAR LAND — (June 6, 2019) — Over 300 cancer survivors, caregivers and guests joined staff and physicians from Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital on May 31 to celebrate the 32nd annual National Cancer Survivors Day® at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. The sunflower-themed celebration, titled “Find Your Sunshine,” featured a massage therapy and relaxation room, resource fair with over 40 vendors, photo booth and brunch. KHOU 11 news anchor, Shern-Min Chow, returned for her third year to serve as the emcee. “This event brings together some of our community’s most inspiring people,” said Amy SebastianDeutsch, director of oncology ser-

vices. “These survivors and their caregivers have demonstrated incredible strength and resilience, and we are proud to celebrate their lives and encourage them to find sunshine and hope.” Several departments at Houston Methodist Sugar Land and Sienna Women’s League volunteered at the event to show support of this annual celebration of life. Attendees enjoyed the chance to celebrate with those who provide health care and support services to local survivors and caregivers. The Houston Methodist Sugar Land Sunshine Squad (comprised of employees) invited guests to participate in a wellness activity with a dance to the 1980s tune “Walking on Sunshine.” During

brunch, Conor Cunneen, author and two-time cancer survivor, encouraged the crowd to focus on the positive and find what helps brighten their days. According to the National Cancer Institute, there are currently more than 16.9 million cancer survivors in the U.S. today. National Cancer Survivors Day events held around the country allow survivors to come together and celebrate life. Visit cancer-sl to learn more about the Houston Methodist Cancer Center at Sugar Land or call 281.274.7500 to find a doctor in your area. Visit our Facebook page at methodistsugarland for the latest news, events and information.

India House in partnership with Consulate General of India, Houston invites you to celebrate

begins her journey from Kerala all the way to the United States in pursuit of her dream. Her experiences at different destinations during her journey brings forth captivating classical dance performances. An array of professionally trained dancers along with actors stunned the audience with their charm.The amazing part was most of the participants were nurses and through their performances they once more showed their might. The cultural program was orchestrated very well and kept the audience engaged through the Gala night. If so Mohiniyattam by Gopika Ba-

budas, Kuchipudi done by Reshma Vilson, Dandiya by Nisha Mathews & group, Kathak by Dr. Reenu Varghese & group, Bollywood by Alvina &group, skit by Merlin Thomas & group & Hip Hop by Clintone Alphonso ,Roji Mathew & group . There was a lot of planning and hard work done by the Advisory, executive, governing and the jubilee committee. Each person played a great role in making this event successful. The future promises to be an exciting time, as new trends and technologies drive innovation and opportunities for growth in the Nursing profession and the IANAGH!

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital welcomes rheumatologist Mohammed Bari, M.D.


UGAR LAND— (June 7, 2019) — Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is pleased to welcome rheumatologist Mohammed Bari, M.D. He will begin seeing patients July 1. Bari will join Angela McCain, M.D., and Latifa Fakoya, M.D., at Houston Methodist Rheumatology Associates in Medical Office Building 2 on the Houston Methodist Sugar Land campus. Bari grew up in Sugar Land and is excited to give back to his community by providing the highest standard of evidence-based care, in a personalized manner.

Yoga for Harmony & Peace

Please bring your yoga mat. T-shirts sponsored by Durga & Sushila Agrawal.

Thursday, June 20, 2019 11:00 am - 12:00 pm India House, 8888 West Bellfort Ave., Houston, TX 77031

Industrial expansion reflects Sugar Land’s position as economic powerhouse


UGAR LAND, TX – Two new warehouses totaling more than 315,000 square feet will be built in the Sugar Land Business Park due to an agreement approved by the City Council with Sugar Land Industrial Properties, LLC. The buildings will be located on 17.86 acres in the City’s master-planned industrial park, home to companies such as Schlumberger, Boise Cascade, Accredo Packaging and QuVa Pharma. “The city of Sugar Land’s industrial sector is tremendously important to our diversified economy and primary employment base,” said Economic Development Director Elizabeth Huff. “The extremely low vacancy rate within the business park is a testament to the success of our business park – and a reflection of a critical need for new light industrial space in our market in order to continue to grow our economy.” The developers behind the project, Johnson Development Associates, have a history of working with class “A” tenants such as Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot, Rite Aid, Nestle Waters and Pepsi Bottling and have devel-

oped more than 22 million square feet of industrial space. “Johnson Development Associates, Inc., part of The Johnson Group, is excited to announce our planned investment in the city of Sugar Land,” said Industrial Division Regional Director Andy Halligan. “Coupled with Sugar Land’s pro-business environment and strategic location, this development will provide a great option for companies that require new, highly functional Class-A industrial space.” The Office of Economic Development is proactive in capitalizing on opportunities to expand, construct or relocate businesses to the city to ensure Sugar Land remains an economic powerhouse within the Houston region. These proactive efforts ensure a strong economy, support quality services for Sugar Land residents and allow the city to maintain the second lowest tax rate in the state among cities of similar size. “Our position as a financial leader and economic powerhouse is not just about attracting new and expanding primary employment in our community but about improving the quality of life,” said Huff.

He earned his medical degree from St. George’s University Medical School in Grenada, West Indies, before completing his residency in Internal Medicine at New York University - Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, New York. He completed his fellowship in rheumatology at Albany Medical Center, also in New York. “We are excited to have Dr. Bari return home and join us at Houston Methodist Rheumatology Associates,” said McCain. “He shares our passion for helping patients understand and manage their arthritis and related con-

Dr. Mohammed Bari, Rheumatology ditions to ensure they can continue to live healthy, active lives.” To make an appointment at Houston Methodist Rheumatology Associates in Sugar Land, call 281.201.5938. To learn more about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, visit or our Facebook page at for the latest news, events and information.



FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

5th International Day of Yoga Pratham President, Asha - Events Across Texas Dhume honored


OUSTON - At the Board meeting on May 29, Pratham Houston President Asha Dhume was presented a plaque by Pratham CFO and Pratham National Board member, Mr. Swatantra Jain in recognition of her hard work, commitment and dedication to the cause of Pratham and for the upliftment of the underprivileged children of India.

Organizers of International Day of Yoga in Houston (photo from last year) Photo credit: John Tran

by Manu Shah he Consulate General of India, Houston in collaboration with Friends of Yoga, is organizing several events across Texas to celebrate the 5th International Day of Yoga. This ancient Indian practice received unprecedented global attention four years ago when the United Nations recognized June 21st as the International Day of Yoga. An initiative of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who himself starts his morning with yoga, the first IDY in 2015 saw people turning out in huge numbers stretching and breathing mindfully at public parks, convention centers and open spaces. Yoga’s soaring popularity can be seen from the crowds that join in the celebration every year. From serious yoga practitioners to curious beginners, each successive IDY has been drawing bigger crowds and garnering greater interest. As with every year, this year too will feature a lineup of common yoga practices, relaxation techniques and guided meditation by well-known yoga instructors. An added attraction is an Indian Vegetarian Food Festival which will be held at select places to mark the 150th year of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, Houston will celebrate IDY on Friday, June 21 on the lush green lawns of Midtown Park (2811, Travis St, Houston Texas 77006). The event will begin at 6:00 pm with a demonstration of some of the more difficult yoga postures (asanas) and a cultural program. After brief remarks from the Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray, the guided group yoga (Asanas or Postures), Relaxation, Pranayama and Meditation will be led by different yoga experts. The event will wrap up at 7:30 pm with a color powder dance party or Holi as it is known in India. (RSVP at Coordinator of Houston’s yoga events and a firm believer in yoga for optimum health, Sharad Amin expressed his appreciation for the cooperation from Houston’s yoga community in celebrating IDY for the past four years. Yoga is a precious gift given by Indian sages to humanity, he noted, and emphasized the importance of practicing yoga for good health every day. “Each one should teach one” the health benefits of yoga as it is key to “being and well-being,” he added. The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands will host the event on Saturday June 22 from 7:30 -10am at the Town Green Park. (2099 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77380). Opening remarks will be made by Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray followed by yoga practices from participating yoga studios, Surya Namaskars or the Sun Salutation practice by HTW Yoga Group and the 35 minute yoga protocol set by the Government of India led by renowned yoga instructors Sriram Sarvotam and his wife Ekaterina Jeleva. The morning will conclude with a guided meditation session.


The Consulate General of India, Houston has also planned a series of events in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. IDY will be observed in front of the stately State Capitol building in Austin on Saturday June 15 at 6:00 pm (1100 Congress Ave. Austin, Texas 78701), in Dallas on 22nd June, Saturday at 8:00 am at the Mahatma Gandhi Memo-

rial Plaza (1201 Hidden Ridge Dr., Irving, Texas, 75038) and in San Antonio on 21st June, Friday at 6:00 pm at the Riverwalk Mall (San Antonio, TX – 78205). In addition to these main events, multiple events are being organized at churches, temples, community centers, Arya Samaj Greater Houston, Brahma Kumaris, India House, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh Shakas (HSS), Jamatkhanas and Patanjali Yogpeeth USA Trust between 15th and 23rd June. Please visit the following links for more information: Website : Facebook : https://www. Twitter : yogadayoftexas

The events are free and open to all. Bring your yoga mats and plan to arrive 20 minutes ahead to find a comfortable spot. (The events are being organized in association with The Art of Living Foundation, Arya Samaj Greater Houston, Brahma Kumaris Texas, Ekal Vidyalaya, Hindus of Greater Houston, Hindus Swayamsevak Sangh, Hindu Temple of the Woodlands, His Highness Aga Khan Council for the Southwestern United States, IMAGH, India House, IDoYoga, Isha Foundation, JK Yog, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial of North Texas, Midtown Houston, Patanjali Yogapeeth USA Trust, Pralaya Yoga, Sahaj Yoga, Sewa International, Youniversoul Fest, Vyasa USA, Yoga Studios, Yoga Friends and volunteers.)

The entire Board recognized the outstanding work that Asha Dhume has done as chapter President raising a record $4.5 million at the annual gala on April 20th. This amount is the highest raised among all Indian- American charities in Houston and also nationally across all Pratham chapters in the US. The dazzling “sold out” gala celebrated 20 years of Pratham USA and honored Pratham USA Founder, Vijay Goradia. The recognition of Asha was truly special as several past Pratham Houston Presidents were attendees at the Board meeting - Anil Shah, Swatantra Jain, Marie Goradia and Ash Shah. Asha Dhume thanked the entire Board for this recognition bestowed upon her and acknowledged the support of all donors who have contributed generously to the cause of Pratham over the years. Please save the dates for the Pratham Holiday Luncheon on Friday, December 6, 2019 at the Junior League of Houston and the Pratham Houston Gala on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at Hilton Americas.

President Asha Dhume was presented a plaque by Pratham CFO and Pratham National Board member, Mr. Swatantra Jain ABOUT PRATHAM Established in the slums of Mumbai in 1995, Pratham is now one of India's largest nongovernmental education organizations, having affected the lives of more than 60 million underprivileged children in the past two decades. To achieve its mission of "every child in school and learning well," Pratham develops practical solutions to address gaps in the education system and works in

collaboration with India's governments, communities, educators, and industry to increase learning outcomes and influence education policy. Pratham USA is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization with a consistent four-star rating from Charity Navigator that seeks to raise awareness and mobilize financial resources for our work in India. For more information, visit



India to evacuate 300,000 from cyclone


HMEDABAD, India | AFP | 6/11/2019 - Almost 300,000 people are set to be evacuated in the western Indian state of Gujarat out of the path of a severe cyclonic storm due in two days, authorities said Tuesday.

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

Famed Indian climber nearly died on peak where team was lost

"The weather department's latest bulletin forecasts that cyclone Vayu will make landfall... early in the morning on June 13," senior state official JN Singh told reporters. "We have identified 2.91 lakh (291,000) people living in lowlying areas of 10 coastal districts who will be evacuated by Wednesday afternoon," Singh said after an emergency meeting. "All schools and colleges in the coastal districts of Saurashtra and Kutch would remain close on June 12 and June 13 as a precautionary measure," he said. He added that 67 shelter homes have been set up to accommodate the displaced people. Vayu, currently a cyclonic storm in the Arabian Sea, is set to intensify and make landfall in Gujarat on Thursday packing winds gusting up to 135 kilo-

Members of India's 6th National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) load lifesaving gear onto a truck at an NDRF camp in Chiloda (also called Naroda), near Ahmedabad before cyclone Vayu's expected landfall. (AFP Photo) metres (85 miles) per hour and heavy rains, forecasters say. It is likely to damage thatched houses, blow away rooftops and metal sheets, disrupt power and communication lines and cause major damage to roads and crops, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said. The weather system, current-

ly barrelling northwestwards parallel to the Indian coast, was also expected to draw moisture away from India's much-needed annual monsoon rains. The monsoon hit the southwestern state of Kerala last week but was several days late. Almost half of India -- in-

Sri Lanka MPs defy president to resume Easter attack probe by Amal Jayasinghe


In what appeared to be a titfor-tat move, Sirisena did not call the routine weekly cabinet meeting to discuss the day-today running of the administration. The opposition Sri Lanka People's Front said the standoff between the president and the cabinet, controlled by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's party, meant the government was at a standstill. "The current standoff effectively means that there is no government in Sri Lanka from today," Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLPF) leader Gamini Lakshman Peiris told reporters in Colombo. There was no immediate word either from the president or the prime minister on why the scheduled cabinet meeting was not held. Sirisena had militantly opposed public questioning of military, police and intelligence officials, saying it would compromise national security. The PSC maintains that witnesses were free to give evidence in camera. President Sirisena last week asked his coalition cabinet to stop the hearings, which have already revealed senior officials directly under him had ignored

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, has been a vocal critic of the government's apparent failure to share nearspecific intelligence [Danish Siddiqui/Reuters] repeated intelligence warnings. Sirisena sacked his intelligence chief over the weekend after he told the hearing that the April 21 attacks could have been avoided if police had been allowed to arrest the ringleader as early as last year. An Islamic State-inspired local jihadist group has been blamed for the suicide attacks against three churches and three luxury hotels. Among the dead were 45 foreign nationals, while nearly 500 people were injured. - Church reopens One of the badly damaged churches, St. Anthony's, was scheduled to reopen for regular services Wednesday, church officials said in a sign of normality returning to the otherwise tense capital. Two of the luxury hotels which were attacked have reopened, while the ShangriLa was also due to reopen on Wednesday. Since the attacks, the country has been under a state of emergency which gives sweeping powers to the police and security forces to arrest and detain suspects for long periods of time. Sirisena has insisted that as

minister of defence and law and order he was unaware of precise intelligence warnings from India over the attacks. He sacked his defence ministry secretary, Hemasiri Fernando, and suspended police chief Pujith Jayasundara after blaming them for the catastrophic security failure. Both have denied responsibility while the police chief has mounted a legal challenge against his suspension. Jayasundara has testified before the PSC. Sirisena said he will not allow any current public servants to testify before the hearing, but parliament warned Sunday that any official refusing its summons could face up to 10 years in jail. It was not immediately clear if the PSC had asked any official to testify since Sirisena's remarks on Friday. The president also ordered live broadcasts of the PSC proceedings to be halted. New Delhi said it shared detailed information about the Sri Lanka attack with Colombo as early as April 4 -- two and a half weeks before the bombings -- following information gleaned from a jihadist in Indian custody.


AJO, India | AFP | Tuesday 6/11/2019 - The black softshell turtle is officially extinct in the wild, but a centuries-old Indian temple and its natureloving caretaker are helping the creature make a tentative comeback. The northeastern state of Assam was once rich in freshwater turtles, but habitat loss and over-exploitation -- they were once a popular local food -- have massively depleted their population. The black softshell turtle was declared extinct in the wild in 2002 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, while the Indian softshell turtle and the

Indian peacock softshell turtle are classified as vulnerable.

In January his organisation's first batch of 35 turtle hatch-

The mutilated body of the Hindu girl was found on a rubbish dump last Sunday in the Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh state. The fact that her alleged killers were from India's minority Muslim community has stoked tensions with the majority Hindu population in the Tappal area where she lived. Right-wing Hindu groups, including those backing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have led the protests in Tappal, urging authorities to mete out "instant justice" to the perpetrators. A prominent leader of the far-right Vishwa Hindu Parishad group was stopped by police from visiting the girl's family on Monday, and on Sunday members of another radical group gathered to demand the death penalty for the accused. The groups also tried to organise a "grand assembly" but police thwarted their attempt. "We have clamped section 144 (prohibiting unlawful assembly) and internet has been suspended in Tappal," district magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh told AFP on Tuesday. "Additional police forces have been deployed as a precautionary measure. The situation is normal as of now." Police were also clamping down on those sharing fake

lings, including 16 black softshells hand-reared at the temple, was released into a nearby wildlife sanctuary. A key figure is the caretaker of the temple pond, Pranab Malakar, who long before

But all the while, the pond of the Hayagriva Madhav temple in the Hajo pilgrimage centre has provided a safe haven, thanks to the sacred status of turtles protecting them from harm.


EW DELHI, (AP) 6/7/2019 - To Manmohan Singh Kohli,

social media posts which were likely to "inflame communal passions", the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Despite police reporting the child is not believed to have been sexually assaulted, unverified social media posts have claimed otherwise -- tapping into deep-seated anger about sexual violence against children in the country. The Times of India daily reported on Tuesday that a Muslim family in a minibus in the area was allegedly attacked on Sunday by men on motorcycles and only escaped because a Hindu woman was travelling with them. "They beat me, my daughter who wore a veil and our driver," Shafi Mohammad Abbasi, one of the seven members of the Muslim family, told the newspaper. "Pooja (the Hindu woman) stepped out and boldly confronted the attackers." Critics accuse Modi and his Hindu nationalist BJP of sowing divisions nationally between religious communities in India, around 170 million of whose 1.3 billion people are Muslims. Under Modi, in power since 2014 and re-elected last month, several cities with names rooted in India's Islamic Mughul past have been re-named and hardliners are hopeful that his second term will see more progress towards Hindu hegemony. A string of lynchings of Muslims by Hindu mobs over so-called cow protection -- a sacred animal for many Hindus -- and other hate crimes has sown fear and despair in what is the world's secondlargest Muslim population.

environmentalists became involved took a keen interest in the turtles' wellbeing. "I used to take care of them as I like them. Later, after I became associated with Good Earth, it became my responsibility," he said. "No one harms them here as they are incarnations of Lord Vishnu (a Hindu deity). I was born and grew up here. We have been seeing the turtles since our childhood. People respect them," he said.

"There are plenty of turtles in the temple pond," said Jayaditya Purkayastha, from conservation group Good Earth.

Malakar collects eggs laid by the turtles on the sandy banks of the pond -- a new concrete bank had to be demolished a few years ago -and gingerly puts them into an incubator.

The group has teamed up with the temple authorities in a breeding programme. "The population of the turtle in Assam has gone down by a great extent. So we thought we needed to intervene and do something to save the species from extinction," he told AFP.

by Emily Schmall

Indian town on edge after murder of two-year-old girl EW DELHI, India | AFP | Tuesday 6/11/2019 - Indian authorities Tuesday deployed hundreds of police and suspended the internet in a northern town following the brutal murder of a twoyear-old girl over a $144 loan owed by her family.

Indian temple helps nurture 'extinct' turtle back to life by Anup Sharma

The summer has been particularly harsh with temperatures rising above 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in the northern state of Rajasthan.


OLOMBO, Sri Lanka | AFP | Tuesday 6/11/2019 - Sri Lanka's parliament Tuesday defied President Maithripala Sirisena and resumed investigations into security lapses surrounding the Easter suicide bombings that killed 258 people, officials said, as a political crisis in the country deepened. The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) began hearing testimony from Muslim leaders who claimed they repeatedly alerted the authorities to dangerous radicalisation, a parliamentary official said.

cluding more than 500 million people -- is facing drought-like conditions because of deficient pre-monsoon rainfall, according to IMD.

In this Tuesday, June 4, 2019, photo, Legendary Indian mountaineer Manmohan Singh Kohli, 88, poses for a photograph for during an interview with Associated Press in New Delhi, India. Kohli led the first Indian team to summit Mount Everest, helped the CIA plant spy equipment in the Himalayas to monitor China and survived an avalanche and a 3,000-foot fall on Nanda Devi East, where a British mountaineer-led expedition went missing in late May.(AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Assam state was once rich in freshwater turtles, but habitat loss and over-exploitation have massively depleted their population (AFP Photo/Biju Boro)

The project has been so successful that Good Earth has identified 18 other temple ponds in the area which could also be used for similar initiatives.

who led the first Indian team to the peak of Mount Everest, modern mountaineering bears little resemblance to the expeditions he headed decades ago. Operators' tight schedules and climbers' lack of experience has added risks, diminished the adventure and resulted in more casualties, says the 88-yearold retired navy captain. With Everest becoming a bucket-list item that more and more people pursue, serious climbers are looking to less popular peaks to prove their skill. That may have inspired an expedition that went missing in the Indian Himalayas to try an uncharted summit in a less traversed area. The eight members of the multinational team led by a veteran British mountaineer are presumed dead in an avalanche. After Kohli led nine Indian climbers to the top of Everest in 1965, he became a celebrity. He joined India's state-owned airline to travel around the world to speak about the endeavor, which, at the time, had only been attempted by a handful of people. Fifty years later, a bustling commercial climbing industry has sprung up in Nepal, pushing down costs and providing services — like porters from the ethnic Sherpa community who carry oxygen tanks, fix ropes and pitch tents. It's turned what once was a rare and incredible feat into "high-altitude tourism," said Kohli, who nearly died on Everest in an unsuccessful ascent in 1962. "The adventure part of climbing has disappeared," he said. The government of Nepal issued 381 Everest permits this year, a record number that resulted in climbers getting caught in "climbing jams" on the world's highest peak. Nepal estimates 700 climbers including Sherpas were on the mountain this May. The crowding caused delays in the so-called "death zone" from Camp 4 to the peak where, because of the altitude, climbers have just hours to reach the top before they are at risk of a pulmonary edema, when the lungs fill with liquid. Eleven climbers died this season, the biggest death toll on Everest in four years. "There are crowds there, so many teams going, that feeling of being lonely and planning your own adventure, that instinct has disappeared," Kohli said in an interview. British mountaineer Martin Moran took his doomed expedition to notoriously technical and avalanche-prone Nanda Devi East, a 7,434-meter (24,390-foot) peak which, along with its slightly higher twin Nanda Devi Main, rises from the center of a ring of icy peaks in the Kumaon Himalayas range. Manmohan Kohli tried and failed to summit Nanda Devi East, including an attempt in 1964 before he took the successful expedition of nine mountaineers to the top of Everest. During the 1964 expedition, Kohli survived two avalanches and two precipitous falls. "I had many narrow escapes like that, but just by good experience and good decision-making, we survived everywhere," he said. "Nobody ever died on my team."



North Korean leader's brother was CIA informant, reports Wall St Journal

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

Chinese cartoonist slams Twitter for refusing Tiananmen emoji


EOUL, South Korea | AFP | Tuesday 6/11/2019 - Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who was killed in Malaysia in 2017, was a CIA informant, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Citing "a person knowledgeable about the matter", the paper said Kim Jong Nam had met with CIA operatives several times. Kim Jong Nam, who was once seen as heir apparent to the North's leadership, died after having his face smeared with the outlawed VX nerve agent as he waited at Kuala Lumpur airport. According to the Journal's source there was a "nexus" between Kim Jong Nam and the CIA, but the paper said many details of his connection with the intelligence agency were unclear. The source said Kim Jong Nam travelled to Malaysia in February 2017 to meet his CIA contact, but that may not have been the only purpose of his trip.

An immigration officer escorts Kim Jong Nam, son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, getting off a bus to board an ANA905 (All Nippon Airways) airplane at Narita airport near Tokyo on May 4, 2001. (Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP - Getty Images) Once seen as leader Kim Jong Il's natural successor, Kim Jong Nam apparently fell from grace after being deported from Japan in 2001 for trying to enter on a forged passport to visit Disneyland.

lived outside of North Korea for many years and had no known power base in Pyongyang, was unlikely to be able to provide details of the secretive country's inner workings," the Journal said.

Kim Jong Nam died after being attacked at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13, 2017 in a Cold Warstyle assassination that shocked the world. Two young women, one Vietnamese and one Indonesian, were arrested and charged with the murder. They insisted they were tricked by North Korean agents into carrying out the hit and had thought it was a reality TV show prank. Malaysian prosecutors eventually dropped the murder charges against them and Indonesian Siti Aisyah was released in March this year while her Vietnamese co-accused Doan Thi Huong was freed in May. South Korea has accused the North of ordering the hit, which Pyongyang denies.

Since then he had been living in virtual exile, mainly in the southern Chinese enclave of Macau. He had spoken to Japanese and other overseas media with surprising candour on various occasions and 2011 he told a Japanese newspaper that he opposed the idea of the North's dynastic power transfer. "Several former US officials said the half brother, who had

The report comes amid a deadlock in talks between the United States and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons. Kim Jong Un met US President Donald Trump for a historic first summit in Singapore last year but their second meeting in Hanoi in February this year collapsed when they failed to agree a deal on denuclearisation.

High heels 'necessary', Japan minister says after petition


The movement was launched by actress and freelance writer Yumi Ishikawa and quickly won support from thousands of people online.


ONG KONG, China | AFP | Thursday 6/6/2019 - Chinese artist Badiucao, whose anonymous political satire infuriated Beijing, on Thursday announced a protest campaign against Twitter for what he says is pandering to China, after the platform's refusal to create a special tank man emoji to mark the 30th Tiananmen anniversary. This is the second time the social media giant has come under fire in the last week over its handling of China-related content, after it apologised for mistakenly suspending accounts critical of the government -- just days ahead of the anniversary of the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The 33-year-old Badiucao, who has been compared to Banksy, said he reached out to Twitter ahead of the anniversary and offered to create a custom emoji -- based on the famous image of a man standing in front of a column of tanks during the crackdown -- that would appear next to the hashtag #Tiananmen30. Such emojis have been deployed on Twitter to mark a variety of special occasions and events, from the premieres of Hollywood blockbusters to national elections.

"I was a bit confused," Ba-

The remark came when Takumi Nemoto was asked to comment on a petition by a group of women who want the government to ban workplaces from requiring female jobseekers and employees to wear high heels.

The petition was submitted to the labour ministry on Tuesday, and the campaign has been dubbed #KuToo, a play on words from the Japanese word "kutsu" -- meaning shoes -- and "kutsuu" -- meaning "pain", and a reference to the global #MeToo movement against sexual abuse.

by Alice Philipson

But the platform -- which is blocked in China -- told Badiucao it would not be able to collaborate with him on the anniversary because "emojis are limited resources at Twitter," according to an email exchange the artist shared with AFP.

OKYO, Japan | AFP | Wednesday 6/5/2019 - Japan's health and labour minister has defended workplaces that require women to wear high heels to work, arguing it is "necessary and appropriate" after a petition was filed against the practice.

"It is socially accepted as something that falls with the realm of being occupationally necessary and appropriate," Nemoto told a legislative committee on Wednesday.

Chinese dissident cartoonist Badiucao says the social networking site Twitter is pandering to China (AFP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)

The remark came in response to a petition asking the government to ban workplaces from requiring female jobseekers and employees to wear high heels (AFP Photo/Toshifumi Kitamura) Campaigners say wearing high heels is seen as nearobligatory when job hunting or working at many Japanese companies. Some campaigners describe high heels as akin to modern foot-binding while others have urged a broader loosening of dress codes in the Japanese workplace, where business suits for men are ubiquitous.

In 2015, the director of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival apologised after a controversy blew up over women being denied access to the red carpet for not wearing high heels. But Cannes kept the dress code, despite a protest by Hollywood superstar Julia Roberts who went barefoot the next year.

diucao told AFP. "How come they are a limited resource? I asked them if they had not enough graphic designers... or if it was a financial issue. I wasn't satisfied with their explanation." While Twitter said in that email that it was glad to be a platform for conversations about Tiananmen, Badiucao said the firm declined to work with him in order to avoid the wrath of Chinese authorities. China's ruling Communist Party is highly sensitive to criticism, and discussion of the 1989 pro-democracy protests and their brutal suppression at Tiananmen Square on June 4 is strictly taboo. Ahead of the anniversary every year, authorities clamp down on activists and further tighten internet censorship to prevent any mention of the event. - 'Very problematic' Badiucao, who lives in exile in Australia, said that while Twitter does not work in China, companies from the country advertise on the platform. He told AFP in a recent interview that he and his family have been under threat ever since he was forced to cancel a highly anticipated show in Hong Kong last year, allegedly due to pressure from Chinese authorities. "I think working with me is very problematic (for Twitter)," he said. "They are thinking about the Chinese market, they want these advertisements from businesses for the company. So somehow they compromise their principles of free speech."

AFP asked Twitter about Chinese entities advertising on the platform, but the firm did not provide any details. A source at Twitter familiar with the matter told AFP that the company did not have time to put out a special emoji for the Tiananmen anniversary, and that such emojis are typically prepared months ahead of the event. The source also pointed to widespread discussion about Tiananmen on Twitter, and special collections of tweets curated by the firm on the occasion. - 2020 anniversary Badiucao, whose subversive pieces often mock Chinese President Xi Jinping, said his protest campaign will begin Friday. He hopes Twitter users will post selfies next to his -- or their own -- Tiananmen emoji designs with the hashtag #Tiananmen31 for next year's anniversary. "Now I gave Twitter a whole year to do it," he said. "Let's see what excuse they come up with." This is not the first time Twitter has faced criticism over special emojis. In 2016, Donald Trump's campaign accused Twitter of unfairly restricting its content, in particular refusing a special emoji with a hashtag attacking Hillary Clinton, Trump's opponent in the race for the White House. Weeks later, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was a glaring absence at a meeting between then president-elect Trump and a number of top tech executives.



FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

G20 won't produce 'definitive' US-China deal: Official

US House also seeks to block Trump arms sales to Saudi Arabia

ASHINGTON | AFP | Tuesday 6/11/2019 - The Group of 20 summit later this month could lead to progress towards a trade deal with China but is not the venue for a "definitive agreement," US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday.

ASHINGTON | AFP | Tuesday 6/11/2019 -US House of Representatives lawmakers introduced a bipartisan measure Wednesday to block President Donald Trump's weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, after his administration announced it was bypassing Congress to transfer arms to the kingdom and other allies.


A day after President Donald Trump threatened to hit China with a new round of tariffs "immediately" if President Xi Jinping fails to meet with him in Tokyo, Ross defended Washington's aggressive tariff strategy.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to immediately impose a new round of tariffs on China if the country's President Xi Jinping fails to meet with him at the G20 summit in Osaka. (AFP/File)

Talks between Washington and Beijing broke down last month after Trump accused China of reneging on commitments and after the United States took aim against China's tech behemoth Huawei.

"At the G20, at most, it will be a 40,000-foot level, some sort of agreement on a path forward," Ross told CNBC. "It's certainly not going to be a definitive agreement."

The countries have hit each other steep tariffs on more than $360 billion in bilateral trade, rattling financial markets and business confidence.

"Even shooting wars end in negotiation."

The impasse has raised expectations that Xi and Trump might jumpstart the talks in Osaka on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit. However Ross tamped down expectations for a final agreement which "is going to be thousands of pages."

But he said there eventually will be a deal.

Trump last month started the process to impose 25 percent tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods but on Monday threatened to impose the taxes immediately if Xi does not show up for a planned meeting in Osaka. Ross said financial markets overreacted to the various tariff

threats, including those against Mexico that had been due to take effect on Monday, and said the tariff battles are producing good outcomes. "I think what people have to learn to do, judge this administration by results. Don't judge it by interim sound bites," he said. In a twitter screed Tuesday, Trump hammered home that point: "Tariffs are a great negotiating tool, a great revenue producers and, most importantly, a powerful way to get... Companies to come to the U.S.A and to get companies that have left us for other lands to come back home."

Sajid Javid says Boris Johnson is 'yesterday's news' at campaign launch Home secretary portrays himself as outsider who could be a new kind of Tory leader


During a speech in which he regularly took aim at Johnson, albeit often obliquely, Javid said the Tories would not win an election “by galvanising a narrow base, a base that, let’s be honest, is getting narrower all the time”. Saying the party and country had to tackle much more than just Brexit, Javid said: “At this moment, as we face the challenges that are unlike any that we have faced before, this calls for a new kind of leadership from a new kind of leader. “A leader is not just for Christmas, or just for Brexit. We can’t risk going with someone who feels like the shortterm, comfort-zone choice.” Voters, he added, did not want to see “the same old insiders with the same old school ties”. Javid was more explicit in a subsequent question-andanswer session with journalists, in which he was asked to describe how he differed from Johnson, the former foreign secretary, who launched his campaign earlier in the day. “I’d say I’m a change candidate. Boris Johnson is yesterday’s news,” Javid said. “He’s been around in politics for a while, he’s achieved a lot, and he’s still got a big role to play. “But I think that if we are trying to connect with the next generation and move forward as a country, then I think it’s time for the next generation, with a bold new agenda.” The speech, like Javid’s campaign video, drew heavily on his background as the son of parents who moved to the UK from Pakistan, describing facing racism and other barriers, including jibes that the four children he has with his white British wife would be “halfcaste”. Javid said: “They are full British and they are playing their role in modern Britain.” He was introduced by Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, who endorsed him. “We have to speak the language of modern Britain, and if we want people’s votes, we have to show that we share their values, their hopes, their

The lower chamber's pushback against the White House comes a week after US senators across the political spectrum also moved to prevent the $8.1 billion sale. The Trump administration antagonized lawmakers by announcing last month it would use emergency powers to defy Congress and provide munitions, aircraft, maintenance and other military components to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. The White House argued that an increasing threat from Iran was the primary reason for circumventing the required congressional review of the 22 arms transfers, saying a freeze on sales by Congress could affect the Arab allies' operational abilities. But lawmakers have remained angry with the kingdom eight months after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident who had written critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and was killed in Turkey by agents from Riyadh. Lawmakers including Trump loyalists have expressed concern that US weapons might be

US President Donald Trump (R) is seen holding a defense sales chart with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, a country to which US lawmakers have expressed concern about selling weapons that might be used against Yemeni civilians (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan) used against civilians in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition engaged in the brutal war there.

was justified because of the "uptick of the threat streams" from Iran.

House Democrat Ted Lieu introduced the resolution to block the sales, co-sponsored by Republican Justin Amash.

Washington should be "sending a message of deterrence to Tehran," and "sending a message to our partners to reassure them that we are with them shoulder to shoulder," assistant secretary of state for military affairs Clarke Cooper told the hearing.

"There is no emergency. It's phony, it's made up, and it's an abuse of the law," House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel told a hearing Wednesday, as he blasted the administration for seeking to "cut Congress out of the picture." Michael McCaul, the panel's top Republican, called use of the emergency powers "unfortunate," noting that some of the arms sales hardly appear urgent because they "will not be ready for delivery for over a year." A US diplomat countered that the emergency declaration

Last week, Republican senators including Trump supporter Lindsey Graham joined Democrats to introduce 22 resolutions to block each of the sales. No date has been set for the votes in either chamber. Should any of the resolutions be adopted, Trump would likely block them with a veto. Congress requires a twothirds majority in both chambers to override a veto

In Tehran, Japan's Abe urges Iran to play 'constructive role'

ONDON - Sajid Javid has described Boris Johnson as “yesterday’s news” as he made his formal pitch for the Conservative leadership, with a speech touting himself as a new kind of leader who could better connect the party to modern Britain. The home secretary, the last of 10 would-be successors to Theresa May to launch their campaigns, ahead of a first round of voting by MPs on Thursday, likened himself to Ruth Davidson and Benjamin Disraeli as an outsider who could move the party forwards.



The home secretary said that the rise in knife crime and violence made him fear for the safety of his children. (Photo: Jhonathan Brady/PA) dreams, their aspirations,” she told the crowd.

his idea of one-nation conservatism.

“They have to be able to look at the leader of our country and see something of themselves.”

In contrast, in another apparent reference to Johnson, he said some other candidates wanted to “double down” on divisions. “We are at a crossroads and we must stop our country going down the wrong direction,” the home secretary said.

In response, Javid likened himself to Davidson, who has revived her party. “The Scottish Conservatives threw out central casting and they elected somebody totally different. Someone who made people look at our party again,” he said. “The change that she’s brought to Holyrood is the change I will bring to Westminster.” Saying he could attract younger and more diverse voters to the Tories, Javid also compared himself to Disraeli, who he called another “outsider”, saying he wanted to adopt

On policies, Javid promised a £100bn national infrastructure fund, based outside London; more funding for schools, colleges and the NHS; and an extra 20,000 police officers. There were no costings or details of how this would be funded. Javid said he would be happy for the Conservatives to initiate an external inquiry into Islamo-

EHRAN, Iran | AFP | Wednesday 6/12/2019 - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged Tehran to play a "constructive role" for Middle East peace Wednesday during a rare diplomatic mission to the Islamic republic aimed at defusing US-Iran tensions. Iran has been locked in a bitter standoff with the United States since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal in May last year. Washington has since reimposed crippling unilateral sanc-

phobia in the party, a declaration that was swiftly endorsed by the Muslim Council of Britain. The home secretary said he did not believe there was a “particular issue” with Islamophobia in the Conservative party. But he said he would be happy for an investigation to take place, because “we have nothing to hide”. Harun Khan, the MCB’s secretary general, said: “We wel-

tions -- which have forced Tokyo to halt its once-substantial purchases of Iranian oil -- and launched a military buildup in the Gulf. "It is essential that Iran plays a constructive role in building solid peace and stability in the Middle East," Abe told a joint news conference in Tehran with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. "Today, tension is rising in the Middle East. Some experts point out that the conflict might be triggered accidentally," said Abe.

come this important first step and hope that these words will be followed by action.” Khan said he hoped other Tory leadership candidates would agree with Javid’s position. The MCB, an umbrella group of Muslim Organisations, has been pressing for an inquiry since Zac Goldsmith’s controversial London mayoral campaign, which sought to mobilise anti-Muslim sentiment against Labour’s Sadiq Khan.

An armed clash "must be avoided by all means", the premier stressed. He added that Japan "wishes to play an utmost role in its capacity to ease the tension. This is the one single thought that brought me to Iran." Addressing the same news conference, Rouhani said he expected a "very positive change" in the Middle East and the world if the United States stops its economic pressure on Iran through sanctions. "If there are some tensions, (their) roots stem from America's economic war against Iran. Whenever it stops we will witness a very positive change in the region and the world," Rouhani said. "We will not initiate a conflict in the region, even against the US, but if a war starts against us we will then give a crushing response," the Iranian president added. Abe began his visit to Iran, the first by a Japanese PM in 41 years, with the stated aim of defusing tensions between Tehran and Washington.


Fort Bend View

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

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


Fort Bend Couty DA joins group condemning ‘criminalizing’ abortion


lected in November as Fort Bend County’s first-ever African-American district attorney, progressive Democrat Brian Middleton is among 42 elected prosecutors nationwide banding together to speak out against increasingly restrictive abortion laws in some states. On Friday, the group Fair and Just Prosecution issued a news release with the headline: “Elected Prosecutors Use their Discretion and Refuse to Criminalize Abortion Decisions.” Texas, while not as restrictive as some other states, also criminalizes abortion in some instances. Abortion is legal in Texas up to 20 weeks, with exceptions for special circumstances after that point. Does Middleton’s stance conflict with Texas law? Not in his view. Middleton said Friday that he identifies as “pro-choice” but does intend to follow Texas Law, which he said makes sense. “What they’re saying is that you won’t prosecute illegal abortions,” Channel 2 investigative reporter Joel Eisenbaum said, referring to the news release. “What it says is that we as district attorneys, that our resources should not be used in that manner and it refers to legislation in other states, which does criminalize abortion,” Middleton said. How do other state laws compare? Middleton said that state abortion laws should jive with the historic Roe v Wade decision in 1973. In his view, Texas meets that standard, but some other states, including Alabama, do not. “There’s a point where I think it should be unlawful. If you’re terminating a pregnancy that is far enough along, then yes, I think that would be improper,” Middleton said. Prosecution of abortion doctors is exceedingly rare in Texas. Middleton said if the situation arose, he would make such decisions on a “case by case” basis. States that have already passed abortion laws On May 14, Alabama legislators passed a bill banning abortions with very limited exceptions: “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly” and if the woman has an ectopic pregnancy. An amendment to exempt rape and incest victims failed to pass. The law calls for doctors who perform abortions to be treated as felons and face up to 99 years in prison. Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed it into law on May 15, saying the law “stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.” But she acknowledged that political considerations played a role in the bill’s passage. “Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973,” she said. “The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.” Aside from Alabama, multiple states have passed so-called “heartbeat” bills that ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women even know that

they are pregnant. Louisiana lawmakers passed a “heartbeat bill” on May 29, with no exceptions for rape or incest. It went to the desk of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who has said he would sign it. The bill would allow for abortions preventing a pregnant woman’s death or “serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” Abortions on “medically futile” fetuses that would not survive past birth also are not subject to restrictions. The bill would require an ultrasound prior to an abortion and subject doctors who perform abortions after a heartbeat is detected with a $1,000 fine or up to two years in prison. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a “heartbeat” bill in March. Exceptions are to prevent a woman’s death or her serious risk of impairment. “The heartbeat has been the universal hallmark of life since man’s very beginning,” Bryant said in an address before signing the bill. A federal judge on May 24 issued a preliminary injunction that blocks the law from taking effect in July. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed into a heartbeat bill in April, a day after the state House and Senate passed the law. Similar legislation was vetoed by former Gov. John Kasich before he left office. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill May 7 that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The American Civil Liberties Union has said it will challenge the law in court. Current Georgia law allows women to undergo abortion procedures up to their 20th week of pregnancy. The new law would generally ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected and takes effect on January 1, 2020. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed into law a bill that prohibits abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. It includes exceptions for what it defines as medical emergencies, such as cases when the mother’s life is at risk or she is facing serious permanent injury, but not for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest. Kentucky passed a “heartbeat” bill in March, but a federal judge stopped it from being enforced. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill in March that bans abortions after 18 weeks into a pregnancy -- six weeks before the standard set by Roe v. Wade -- except in medical emergencies and in cases of rape or incest. Utah similarly passed a law that bans abortion after 18 weeks gestation, but the law was blocked by a federal judge in April, CNN affiliate KSL reported. The state and defendants agreed to the injunction and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, a defendant in the case, said he won’t enforce the law, KSL reported. In Iowa, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed “heartbeat” legislation in May 2018, but a state judge struck down the law this January. The judge wrote in his decision that defenders didn’t identify a compelling reason for the ban. Reynolds said she was disappointed by the decision but decided not to appeal the judge’s decision because she saw “no path to successfully appeal the district court’s decision or to get this lawsuit before the US Supreme Court.” - KPRC

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Tel: 713-774-5140

Ramesh Cherivirala selected as member of the Nautilus Group®


UGAR LAND, April 2019 – Ramesh Cherivirala has been selected for membership in The Nautilus Group®, a service of New York Life. The Nautilus Group is a planning resource comprised of financial professionals experienced in taxes, law, life insurance, accounting, and charitable giving. Dr. Cherivirala’s access to this exclusive resource enables his clients and their other financial advisors to benefit from the group’s collective experience and insightful solutions as they apply to the protection, accumulation and distribution of wealth to individuals, families and business owners throughout the country. Ramesh is well known to the Houston community for his philanthropic contributions and community services through several organizations in different roles. His education and certifications include Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry, LUTCF (Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow) designation from American College and passed Series 6, Series 66, Series 63, Series 7 and Series 24 examinations through FINRA (Financial Industry Regulating Authority). Dr. Cherivirala, has been associated with New York Life since September 2001. He is currently serving his clients as licensed insurance agent, registered representative of NYLIFE securities and Financial Adviser with Eagle Strategies, LLC, a registered investment advisor, a wholly owned subsidiary of New York Life. Ramesh has earned several sales recognitions within the company. He is a member of National Association of Insurance and Financial Professionals (NAIFA) since 2002. He is also a member (2005, 16, 17, 18 and 19) of the


Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), a premier association of financial professionals, recognized globally as a standard of excellence in life insurance sales performance in insurance and financial services industry. He was named as the Chairman’s council agent, ranked in the top three percent of New York Life’s elite sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. He lives in Sugar Land with his wife, Anuradha, daughter, Spoorthi and Son, Sushain. New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has received the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded to any US life insurer by A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).** Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York Life Investments*** provides institu-

tional asset management and retirement plan services. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as retail mutual funds. Please visit New York Life’s website at for more information. The Nautilus Group® is a service of New York Life Insurance Company. The Nautilus Group, its member agents and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice; clients are urged to seek and rely upon the advice of their own professional advisors before implementing any planning strategies. *Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/1/18. For methodology, please see http:// **Individual third-party ratings reports as of 7/30/18. ***New York Life Investments is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC.

Fort Bend County ranks the richest of Texas counties

ort Bend County was ranked the richest county in Texas in a Wall St. 24/7 analysis of the most affluent regions in all 50 states. The country recorded a median household income of $93,645 annually, based on 2017 U.S. Census Bureau data. That compares to a statewide median household income of $57,051 per year, according to the analysis. Fort Bend’s poverty rate was pegged at 8.1 percent, and its October 2018 jobless rate stood at 3.6 percent. Each state’s richest jurisdiction has a median annual household income that outpaces the national average of $57,652, according to Wall St. 24/7. And in 43 states, the richest counties were located in metropolitan areas with high concentrations of well-paying jobs, the analysis concluded. The percentage of those with bach-

elor’s degrees in the richest counties was higher than that of the state as a whole in 46 states, according to the study. The four exceptions involved

the wealthiest counties in North Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada and Montana – all resource-rich regions. - Content Exchange


FRIDAY, June 14, 2019



Girish Karnad remembered: The smartest, most talented


ollywood, | AFP | Friday 6/7/2019 - Actor Denzel Washington was honored by Hollywood Thursday for a pioneering career spanning five decades and two Oscars that opened the door for a generation of black movie stars. Director and frequent collaborator Spike Lee presented the 64-year-old with the American Film Institute (AFI) Life Achievement award -- billed as “the highest honor for a career in film” -- at a gala event at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Hollywood’s small elite of A-list black leading men paid tribute to Washington’s trailblazing career -- fellow Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Jamie Foxx and Mahershala Ali took to the stage, as did “Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan.

Girish Karnad | PTI


UMBAI, PTI (10-06-2019) Political leaders, theatre personalities and the artists from the entertainment sphere on Monday condoled the death of Girish Karnad, saying they will miss the brilliance of the iconic playwrightactor-director and his immense contribution to arts and culture. Karnad, 81, died on Monday after prolonged illness at his Bengaluru residence. He was a progressive voice that championed the freedom of expression. He worked across industries - Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and Marathi. President Ram Nath Kovind called Karnad’s death an irreparable loss to the world of Indian theatre. “Sad to hear of the passing of Girish Karnad, writer, actor and doyen of Indian theatre. Our cultural world is poorer today. My condolences to his family and to the many who followed his work #PresidentKovind,” the tweet by the president read. Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Karnad for speaking up about causes dear to him. “Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. His works will continue being popular in the years to come. Saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace,” the tweet by the PM read. Politician and CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also condoled Karnad’s death. “Heartfelt condolences on passing away of one of modern India’s treasures, Girish Karnad. A writer, dramatist, director and actor par excellence. He stood out for his commitment to social upliftment, equality and secularism. It is a huge personal loss too,” Yechury tweeted. South star-turned-politician Kamal Haasan lauded the rich legacy of the veteran writer and director. “Mr Girish Karnad, His scripts both awe and inspire me. He has left behind many inspired fans who are writers. Their works perhaps will make his loss partly bearable,” Haasan tweeted. Chandrashekhar Kambar, president, Sahitya Akademi said he lost a “very intimate friend” in Karnad. “He was my colleague. We wrote plays in a very competent manner. He came all the way from Bombay and acted in my play ‘Jokumaraswamy’. When he got the Jnanpith Award I celebrated, when I got one he celebrated. I’m very sad,” Kambar told PTI. Choreographer-actor Prabhu Dheva recalls working with him in his 1984 film “Kadhlan” directed by S Shankar. “He was such a nice person, intelligent and incredibly humble. He was so talented, (he was) the smartest. I still remember shooting the film with him. I remember meeting him often at airports. He always surprised me with his humility,” Prabhu Dheva told PTI. Actor Sonam Kapoor wrote on Twitter, “Rest in peace. I loved his work.” The influence of Karnad’s work was massive and spread across a genera-

tion of artists from veteran star Kamal Haasan to the younger, Bollywood actor Ali Fazal said. “One of my first big production at the Doon School was #GirishKarnad’s ‘Hayavadana’. A masterpiece that I got to perform. I remember it so vividly. An extraordinary man. He will be remembered for his unique sense of style and persona. In writing in acting and in life,” Fazal wrote on Twitter. Actor Tisca Chopra recalled how conversations with Karnad on theatre and writing have had a huge impact on her life. “Deeply saddened at the passing of #GirishKarnad... He was kind to let me rent his house in #Bandra when I first came to Mumbai. Spent many evenings chatting with him about theatre and writing... Those chats had a deep impact on my choices at work.. #RIP dear friend. You will be missed,” she tweeted. Actor Shruti Haasan also took to Twitter and wrote, “May you rest in peace Girish Karnad sir. Your talent humour and sharp intellect will be missed.” Actor Siddharth tweeted, “Rest in peace, great sir. #GirishKarnad.” Though he started off his career in cinema as an actor, he is best known as a writer and thinker.

“You paved the way. You showed us the path. But what’s truly monumental is that your influence, your reach, transcends race without ever denying it,” said Ali. He added: “We are here because we stand on the shoulders of a giant.” “There is no ‘Black Panther’ without Denzel Washington,” said Boseman,

Denzel Washington (right, with his wife Pauletta and two of their four children, Malcolm and Katia) is one of only four black stars to win a best actor Oscar (AFP Photo/Frederic J. BROWN)

‘Giant’ Denzel Washington celebrated by Hollywood referring to Marvel Studios’ first film to focus on a black superhero. Predominantly white Hollywood has been heavily criticized for its diversity problem, notably in the #OscarsSoWhite campaign surrounding the 2016 Academy Awards. Washington is one of only four black stars to win a best actor Oscar. He won a best supporting actor Os-



OSCOW | AFP | In the early days of Russia’s internet, hippies founded the first telecoms venture with Americans, an astrophysicist ran the country’s most visited website and providers punished hackers by kneecapping them with baseball bats. The heady time, which coincided with the 1991 break up of the Soviet Union, is the subject of a new documentary that looks back at a very different era as the Kremlin clamps down on internet freedom in present-day Russia. Setting the tone, footage from 1990 shows American Joel Shatz and his Soviet partner Joseph Goldin -- the duo behind the first Soviet-American telecoms venture -- driving a ballistic

Russian journalist, documentary filmmaker Andrei Loshak speaks during an interview with AFP in Moscow on May 31, 2019. (AFP/Yuri Kadobnov).


UMBAI | June 10, 2019 - ZEE5, the OTT digital platform of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., announced a strategic partnership with Israeli cloud platform Applicaster for developing and managing it's app.

Andrei Loshak, a former television reporter, tracks the main personalities behind the Russia-based internet, known as Runet, for the documentary “Holy War. The history of Runet,” to be screened Sunday at Moscow’s Beat Film Festival.

Although Russia now dominates headlines with ever-tougher legislation restricting internet use, in the 1990s “the internet developed completely freely,” Loshak says. Russia has benefited enormously: internet access is cheap and homegrown platforms are more popular than US-based corporations like Google and Facebook.

Speaking about the partnership, Tarun Katial, CEO, ZEE5 India said, “India is the world’s fourth largest app market and one of the most crowded one for OTT players. Today we have become the first to harness the capabilities of Israeli tech start-ups and their expertise in the mobile entertainment space.”

“The internet was the place where everything developed as it can develop when the government does not intervene,” he says.

Rajneel Kumar, Business Head- Expansion Projects & Head of Products, ZEE5 India with Jonathan Laor, Co-Founder and CEO, Applicaster at the Indian Embassy in Tel-Aviv, Israel to sign the MoU between the two companies. tegrate the best of breed components necessary to deliver an industry leading user experience to their 61.5 million monthly active users.”

www. Read the latest articles and news on BOLLYWOOD /HOLLYWOOD & ENTERTAINMENT Visit : www.

missile transporter carrying clowns to Red Square after convincing the traffic police that the performance had been approved “by the highest authorities”.

His travels take him back and forth across the Atlantic to film the current lives of early internet savants, website editors and trolls, who are now Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, cannabis investors and pro-Kremlin politicians.

The collaboration was inked in the presence of Pavan Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to Israel. Applicaster in Tel Aviv, Israel will focus on redesigning the entire interface of the ZEE5 app given the evolving trends and preferences of the new-age OTT viewer. It will also enhance the features and functionality of ZEE5’s offering to ensure a rich, seamless viewing experience to the viewers.

Applicaster Co-Founder and CEO, Jonathan Laor said, " Applicaster is thrilled to be chosen as ZEE5’s partner of choice in realizing their desire to minimize development time and in-

One of cinema’s most versatile actors, Washington has received acclaim for both cerebral, nuanced roles and action parts in movies such as “Man on Fire,” “American Gangster” and “Remember the Titans.”

From hippies to hackers: new film tracks saga of Russia’s internet

Zee5 partners with Israeli firm Applicaster to improve viewer experience

ZEE5 has partnered about 14-15 Israeli tech start ups for sprucing up various aspects including the content recommendation engine.

car for American Civil War epic “Glory” (1989) and a best actor statuette for his bad cop character in Antoine Fuqua’s crime thriller “Training Day” (2001).

Applicaster has also developed and enhanced applications for global brands like DirectTV and Televisa.

In one clip, Russian President Vladimir Putin is shown meeting internet entrepreneurs in 1999 and telling them that the Internet is a “promising initiative” that he would not touch. “And in fact, he did not touch the internet for 15 years,” Loshak says, adding: “Thanks for that, curiously.” However, a raft of new laws clamping down on internet use were passed following mass anti-government demonstrations in 2011-12 and Moscow’s rift with the West after its annexation of Crimea in 2014. New restrictions of online content are proposed weekly, while internet companies are now required to store personal data in Russia and comply with security services. Many websites and services deemed dangerous for law and order are blocked, from professional social network LinkedIn to the Telegram messaging app -- though the blocks are easily circumvented for the moment. In March, Putin signed laws making it a crime to publish “fake news” or show “disrespect towards authorities” on social media.



Section 2


Scientists seek out limit to human endurance by Ivan Couronne


ASHINGTON | AFP | Thursday 6/6/2019 - US scientists who studied the performance of myriad athletes -- including adventurous souls who spent five long months running across the United States -- have come up with an estimate of the absolute physiological boundary of human endurance. The conclusions are pretty technical but the study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances highlights one feature in particular that makes people unique among primates: their physical endurance is indeed extraordinary. It is probably something we inherited from hunter-gatherers over the course of two million years, the researchers say. In a nutshell, when it comes to pushing one’s body to the limit, humans run circles around monkeys. The limit to human endurance is measured in multiples of something called basal metabolism, which is the minimum energy, counted in calories, that is expended by the body to keep itself going for one minute. And the limit to human endurance is about 2.5 times this basal metabolism, says the team, led by Herman Pontzer, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University. In athletic events defined as short -- races that last anywhere from hours to weeks, such as a

triathlon, a marathon or the Tour de France -- people can crank their metabolism up to five or even 10 times their resting metabolic rate. But there comes a point in which performance will fall back down to about three times that rate, these scientists say. It is simply impossible for humans to stay above that level for more than a few weeks. To arrive at this figure the team followed five men and one woman who are considered extreme runners.

basal total metabolic rate. “That’s about 4,000 calories a day,” he said. - Crazy humans Die-hards who ran across America drank eight liters of water a day in the first week and burned up 6,000 calories per day. But they kept losing weight all the way through to the end of the race and never reached a state of equilibrium. “You cannot really take in more than 4,000 calories a day,” said Pontzer. “You can burn more than that, but you’re losing weight every day. So that’s not really sustainable forever. You can do it for a couple of days, a couple of weeks, but you can’t do it forever.”

From January to June of 2015 they took part in the Race Across the USA -- 4,957 km (3,080 miles) from Los Angeles to Washington, DC. That’s the equivalent of doing a marathon a day, OUSTON | AFP | Friday 6/7/2019 six days a - NASA said Friday it will open week, for 20 up the International Space Station weeks. for tourism and other business ventures as of next year, as it seeks to financially disengage “All of from the orbiting research lab. those people are los“NASA is opening the International Space ing weight. They’re burning away His team says the limit to their fuel faster than they can human endurance is probably put it back in,” Pontzer said. linked to people’s digestive ac“What point do I hit where I tivity, rather than their muscles can finally put as many calories or heart, because this was the back in as I burn each day?” least common denominator in The answer, Pontzer said, is all of the sports that were stud2.5 BMR -- which stands for ied.


Demand for gas grew 4.6 percent last year -- the fastest rate since 2010 -- and gas accounted for nearly half of the total increase in worldwide energy consumption, according to the IEA’s annual report on the fuel. The surge in natural gas, which while cleaner than coal remains a fossil fuel that contributes to manmade emissions, was put down to ballooning production in the US and an insatiable demand for alternatives to coal in China. “In 2018, natural gas played a major role in a remarkable year for energy,” the IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol said. “Global energy consumption rose at its fastest pace this decade, with natural gas accounting for 45 percent of the increase, more than any other fuel.” The IEA, the global authority on energy, said that gas had helped play a role in reducing air pollution and limiting the rise of greenhouse gas emissions. But environment and energy sector analysts said the gas boom could have dire effects on Earth’s climate, as scientific warnings of the need to slash fossil fuel use grow ever stronger.


new service from Walmart will bring groceries straight from the store to your refrigerator. All that’s needed is trust. As part of Walmart’s new InHome Delivery service, the retailer’s workers will deliver groceries right into a home or garage refrigerator, the company said Friday. Customers don’t have to be home during deliveries. Walmart customers will be able to select the InHome option and a delivery date when ordering groceries online. An employee will then pick up the items at the store, deliver them

Walmart’s InHome Delivery brings groceries straight to your fridge.

To offer access to the home, customers will need to have a smart device that allows onetime entry. As Station to commercial opportunities and for concerns marketing these opportunities as we’ve nevover having er done before,” NASA chief financial offistrangers in cer Jeff DeWit said in New York. the home, Wa l m a r t There will be up to two short private astrosaid employnaut missions per year, said Robyn Gatens, ees will be deputy director of the ISS. equipped with a wearable camera to the house and place items that can be viewed live or acthat require cold storage in the cessed at a later time. Deliverrefrigerator, Walmart said. ies will be made by employees

students strike from school to take part in climate protests.

“When it comes to gas, the IEA horse has blinkers on and is heading straight over the cliff of climate disaster,” Lorne Stockman, senior research analyst at Oil Change International, told AFP. “Gas is not clean, cheap or necessary.” - ‘Disastrous year for climate’ The 2015 Paris climate deal saw nations commit to limit global temperature rises to “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 Farenheit) and to a safer cap of 1.5C if possible. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year said that the best way to keep to 1.5C would be to slash natural gas consumption by a quarter by 2030 and 74 percent by mid-century. Gas consumption is forecast to grow at an average rate of 1.6 percent each year until at least 2024, the IEA said. Murray Worthy, senior oil and gas campaigner at Global Witness, said growth forecasts for natural gas were poles apart from the emissions scenarios laid out by the IPCC. “A golden year for natural gas means it’s been a disastrous year for the climate,” he told AFP. Gas is often painted as a “transition fuel” between oil and coal to renewables, as much of the necessary infrastructure already exists and supply is plentiful. Farhana Yamin, a climate change lawyer and co-ordinator at the Extinction Rebellion pressure group which in April held a string of unprecedented protests in London, said the

who’ve worked at the local store for at least a year. InHome Delivery will launch in three cities this fall: Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Missouri, and Vero Beach, Florida. The retailer hasn’t yet disclosed how much the delivery service will cost. In 2017, Amazon unveiled its in-home, in-car, and in-garage delivery for packages called Amazon Key. This past April saw a big increase in the number of cities where the service is available, and Amazon plans to offer more services that require access such as home cleaning, dog walking and repairs. Walmart didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Car firms call on Trump to keep emission limits

Trump’s administration last year proposed to roll back fuel efficiency standards introduced under former president Barack Obama, sparking warnings of a

“To act on your conscience means that you fight for what

Gas surges globally as green groups cry foul


Walmart will stock your fridge with groceries while you’re not home



ARIS, France | AFP | Friday 6/7/2019 - 2018 was a “golden year” for natural gas with demand surging worldwide, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Friday, prompting concern from environmental groups over the climate impact of the world’s new favourite fuel.

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ASHINGTON AFP | Friday 6/7/2019 More than a dozen car manufacturers, including Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen have officially asked US President Donald Trump not to relax emission limits, to avoid a fragmentation of the car market, US media reported.

TOCKHOLM, Sweden | AFP | Friday 6/7/2019 - Sweden’s teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg was Friday awarded a prestigious Amnesty International prize for mobilising world public opinion on the looming peril of global warming.

by Patrick Galey

NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg gets Amnesty prize

The 16-year-old issued a statement declaring it “a huge honour to receive Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award,” saying it was recognition for everybody inspired by her “Fridays for Future” movement that has seen

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

IEA report was “deeply concerning”. “Given that this polluting fuel can never be ‘clean’ and is a key driver of climate chaos, the assertion that it can be part of the path to cleaner energy is highly misleading,” she told AFP. - ‘No future in fossil fuels’ The consumption swell last year was largely down to China, where domestic gas use exploded 18.1 percent as the government looks to wean itself off coal. This was helped by a yearon-year jump in US gas production of 11.5 percent, its highest growth rate since 1951. But there are signs the industry is cooling off. The IEA report notes low prices due to oversupply and weak investor interest.

you think is right,” she said. To AFPTV, she said “it’s amazing to get recognition like this”. Thunberg, a fierce campaigner with a gift for public speaking, has become a figurehead for young climate activists internationally. International organisations often invite her to climate change events in an effort to put a human face on the fight to curb carbon emissions.



In a letter sent to the White House and revealed by the New York Times on Thursday, the firms called for a compromise between the Trump administration -- looking to support the car industry by relaxing emission limits -- and the country’s most populous state.

The head of Amnesty International, Kumi Naidoo, lauded Thunberg’s work in a statement announcing the prize from his organisation.

A move to water down controls could see California and more than a dozen other states take the matter to court. Manufacturers fear a divided and complicated US car market would result, in which companies would have trouble making decisions on pricing and what cars to sell.

“Every young person taking part in ‘Fridays for Future’ embodies what it means to act on your conscience. They remind us that we are more powerful than we know and that we all have a role to play in protecting human rights against climate catastrophe,” he said.

It is a nightmare for manufacturers who warn in the letter to the White House against “an

extended period of litigation and instability.” When Trump became president, manufacturers encouraged him to make emission limits, put in place by the Obama administration, less onerous. Now though they are concerned at the zeal shown by the White House to go about weakening them. A similar letter was also sent to the governor of California, also calling for compromise. But that state and the White House are at each other’s throats over a number of issues -- those touching on climate change and the environment in particular. Discussions held between the two parties aimed at finding common ground were halted in February by the White House.

Sharlene Sharmila Richards Attorney at Law E-mail:

But green groups took issue with the IEA’s characterisation of gas as aiding air pollution and limiting climate change.

“In a world where millions of lives and livelihoods are already being destroyed by rising global temperatures, there is no future in fossil fuel growth.”

legal fight with California and other states that favor more aggressive environmental policies.

Last week, she appeared alongside actor/former politician Arnold Schwarzenegger at a conference in Austria discussing ways to tackle climate change.

The IEA told AFP that gas consumption in 2018 prevented the burning of around 60 million tonnes of coal, which produces around 40 percent greater emissions.

“Continued investment and reliance on fossil fuels and exploiting the last remaining dirtiest reserves of oil and gas is putting us all at risk of catastrophic climate change,” said Harjeet Singh, of the pressure group ActionAid.

The Trump administration’s decision to try to weaken President Barack Obama’s landmark 2012 agreement to increase fuel efficiency and decrease global warming emissions from automobiles would freeze the average fuel economy after 2021 at about 37 miles per gallon; the Obama-era rule would have required automakers to hit an average of about 54 miles per gallon by 2025. The Trump plan would also revoke a waiver that the federal government granted to California, which allows the state to set stricter standards because of its particular air pollution problems.

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College students begin 4,000-mile bike ride to deliver hope for cancer research by Britni R. McAshan June 6, 2019


ere days into their roughly 70-day, 4,000-mile journey to Alaska, dozens of civically-minded University of Texas at Austin students participating in the Texas 4000 ride made a quick stop in Houston on June 5, 2019 to present checks to Texas Children’s Hospital and the University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Center Hospital to support cancer-related programs and research at each institution.

During 70-day journey to Alaska, riders will deliver checks to 13 cancer institutions

During the Texas 4000 journey, the riders split into three groups to make their way to Anchorage through the Sierras, the Rockies and the Ozarks. Bailey and his team on the Ozarks route will travel through Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota before crossing the international border into Canada before making their way through Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon.

Marlon Bailey, a 2019 Texas 4000 rider and graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin studying for a doctorate in counseling psychology, is riding the Ozarks route this summer to give back to the community. “Anytime you can do something good, you should,” Bailey said. “This was an opportunity to do something really big and really good. We all have people in our lives who have been affected by cancer so to be able to do something about it is a worthwhile opportunity.”

“We go the opposite way first so it seems counter-intuitive at first, but it is actually the part of the country that is most affected by cancer so to have the opportunity to bring hope (to) there is worthwhile,” Bailey said.

Tthe Ozark riders delivered a $50,000 check to support work involving circulating tumor cells by Shulin Li, Ph.D., a professor of pediatrics research at MD Anderson. “Only people who have cancer carry tumor cells in their blood. Some tumors shed off into the blood and that is how tumor metastasis occurs. We have developed the technology to capture tumor cells from the blood to validate whether a patient truly has a tumor cell,” Li said. “I am very grateful to the Texas 4000 riders and the donations they have made to my lab. Their donations are going to generate a tremendous impact down the road to improve our patients’ lives.” The students also presented a $25,000 check to the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers to support weekend-long bereavement

Texas 4000 riders present a $50,000 check to Shulin Li, Ph.D., to continue his research in circulating tumor cells on June 5, 2019. Photo credit: University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Center Hospital retreats for Spanish-speaking families. “Our bereavement camps are for families who have lost a child to cancer and they really give these families a chance to heal,” said ZoAnn Dreyer, M.D., co-director of the Long Term Survivor Program at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. “We have specialists who come in, other families who have experienced

a loss and in the past, and we have had English-speaking camps. But, because such a large portion of our population are purely Spanish speaking, this is such a huge gift for us to be able to give our Spanish-speaking families.” The Texas 4000 riders gift enabled child-life specialists at Texas Children’s to purchase equipment that facilitates translation at the bereavement

Drawing the pain: Sketch therapy for C. Africa’s war-torn children

They draw armed men. Armoured vehicles. And they use red. Lots of red.

“Drawing helps children to express what they are feeling. It shows what children cannot say out loud,” Nouria Meniko says. “Sometimes, some of them start crying as soon as they start drawing.” - Years of violence The town of Kaga Bandoro housing the camp is a case study for the instability and violence that plagues the CAR. Some 330 kilometres (about 200 miles) north of the capital Bangui, the town lies on a strategic junction of routes used by nomadic cattle-herders. For five relentless years, Kaga Bandoro was in the hands of armed groups -- militias who control four-fifths of the troubled country. Typically claiming to defend specific ethnic groups or religions, the militias fight for resources and carry out extortion and acts of violence. In a nationwide population of 4.5 million, thousands have lost

Texas 4000 was started in 2004 by two University of Texas at Austin

“This seems almost small—dedicating my summer—but it is so small in the grand scheme of the fight against cancer,” Bailey said. “People are dedicating their lives to curing cancer, so this is the least I could do.” For more on Texas 4000 visit: www.

Uganda woman leads teens in fight for safer cities



The 43-year-old Congolese runs a Red Cross programme at the displaced people’s camp to identify and help kids suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The local institutions among 13 organizations across North America—12 in the United States and one in Canada—to receive grant money at stops along the longest annual charity bike ride in the world.

ANCOUVER, Canada | AFP | 6/7/2019 -Two years ago, Faridah’s world changed -- she and a friend were attacked by drug addicts on a poorly lit street in the Ugandan capital Kampala, their hometown. Faridah escaped, but her friend was raped and killed.

AGA BANDORO, Central African Republic | AFP | Friday 6/6/2019 - The scratching of crayons on paper fills the air as the children at Lazare camp in war-ravaged Central African Republic draw scenes from daily life.

“Their problem is that they suffer daily exposure to violence,” she says.


The Sierra route takes riders through West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Nevada, then heads north up the California, Oregon and Washington coasts into British Columbia and the Yukon before reaching Alaska. Riders on the Rockies route travel through North Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana. The route then heads into the Canadian provinces and territories of Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon before reaching Alaska.

by Alia Dharssi

by Florent Vergnes

In a makeshift tent, glasses perched on her nose and her feet in the dust, psychologist Mamie Nouria Meniko pores over the creations -- an indicator of the children’s mental health, and a much-needed outlet.

students—Chris Condit, a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor, and Mandy Condi—to fight cancer by raising funds to donate to cancer research organizations. Each year, a new group of UT students volunteer not only ride the 4,000 miles, but also participate in an immersive, 18-month communitybased program.

Children at the Lazare camp in Central African Republic are encouraged to draw as a form of therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (AFP Photo/FLORENT VERGNES) their lives, nearly 650,000 have fled their homes and another 575,000 have left the country, according to UN figures as of December last year.

armed group.

Many children have seen beatings, rape or murder. Some have seen their homes invaded, their parents humiliated, hurt, abducted or killed.

“When I feel bad, I do these exercises and I think of a nice meal,” says Florine, whose name has been changed to protect her identity.

In Kaga Bandoro, relative calm returned last month with the arrival of the armed forces after the government and 14 warlords signed a peace pact in February -- the eighth in a series of treaties. For now at least, the militiamen are confined to their base, although sporadic violence continues on the outskirts of town. - Troubled kids The Red Cross programme has enabled Nouria Meniko to identify 233 children aged five to 15 who bear symptoms of PTSD. Seated on a mat, she asks a group of six children: “Who had a bad dream last night?” Three hands are raised. Holding her little sister on her lap, 10-year-old Florine confides her nightmare. “My mother and father came to pick me up but I told them I couldn’t come,” she says. Her parents were killed in 2013 by the Seleka, a mainly Muslim

To help the children manage their trauma, the psychologist teaches them breathing and relaxation techniques.

- Dead father To her right sits 12-year-old Herve, attending his third therapy session. Herve’s drawings always show the same things: pickup trucks with machine guns mounted on the back. A body in a river. A hand in a well. A house on fire, with his dad inside. “I have to draw to get the images out of my head and be able to sleep,” he says. Herve’s mother, widowed by the Seleka in 2013, says the sessions have helped the boy and her relationship with him. “Before, he used to cry all night. This week, he’s only woken up five times.” The therapy also helps parents understand why a child may be craving attention or behaving aggressively. “Before, when he didn’t obey me and did something silly, I used to hit him,” Herve’s mother admits.

But since that difficult night, her neighborhood has transformed. The local government installed street lights and signs and cleared clogged drains, and the unwelcome catcalls from motorcycle taxi drivers have nearly ceased. “I don’t want my girl to grow up and experience what I experienced -- being called names when accessing the streets,” Faridah, a 20-year-old mother of two who asked to be identified only by her first name, told AFP at Women Deliver, a major conference in Vancouver on gender equality. Enter Safer Cities, a program run by child rights charity Plan International that mobilizes adolescents to advocate for girls’ safety in 10 cities around the world. In Hanoi, authorities and teens are working to improve bus safety for girls who need to use public transport. In New Delhi, 96 percent of teenage girls surveyed by Plan International say they don’t feel safe. “Safer cities for girls are safer cities for all,” said Alexander Munive, global head of gender equality and inclusion at Plan International. In Kampala, Faridah took action after her friend’s death. “I felt like my world had come to an end,” she said in a speech at the Vancouver conference, which wrapped up on Thursday. - Community action When Plan International asked 156 girls in Kampala about safety in 2012, 80 percent of them said they felt “very unsafe” or “unsafe” in public spaces, including mar-

This Plan International photo released by Safer Cities shows 19 year-old Faridah in Kampala (AFP Photo/HO) kets, roads, recreational areas and public transport.

wear jackets advocating for girls’ safety.

They said they especially feared rape, theft and harassment.

“You cannot do anything on this without the community,” said Munive, who noted that social pressure from neighborhood residents was also a major factor in getting the drivers on board.

Safer Cities -- which works in partnership with UN-HABITAT and Women in Cities International -- tackles this problem by discussing girls’ rights with groups of teenage girls and boys. They then ask them to document safety problems in their community. Faridah, a group leader for the program, and other teens walk around their neighborhood with pens and paper, as well as a smartphone app, to map the problem spots. They then share their findings with their families, communities and government to advocate for improvements. Faridah and other teens met with city officials and convinced them to install the street lights and closed-circuit television cameras -- simple security measures so that girls would feel safer. The group also had meetings with motorcycle taxi drivers and told them how vulnerable the teens felt when they were whistled and hollered at, she explained. Result: many drivers changed their behavior. Some now even

Initially, residents of her neighborhood were not inclined to help, Faridah says. But the mapping exercise, along with other awareness activities led by the teens, changed the game. Now, locals step in and defend girls when they see harassment. “I’m becoming more popular,” said Faridah, who has become something of a local celebrity thanks to her Safer Cities work. “Even people I don’t know recognize me, so I don’t feel challenged in public spaces.” Safer Cities currently operates in Alexandria, Asuncion, Cairo, Hanoi, Honiara, Kampala, Lima, Melbourne, Nairobi and New Delhi. The organization hopes to eventually expand the program to 20 cities. The whole experience has boosted Faridah’s confidence -- she says she now feels safe at home, and has returned to school with a scholarship after dropping out pregnant at age 15.


FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

June is National Safety Month

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

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Light exposure during sleep linked to weight gain in women: study

Understanding the Extra Help with Your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

ASHINGTON | AFP 6/10/2019 - Women who sleep with the television or a light on in the bedroom may be more likely to gain weight, according to a new study published Monday.

nyone who has Medicare can get Medicare prescription drug coverage. But people with limited resources and income may be able to get Extra Help with the costs such as monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments — related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,900 per year. Many people qualify for these big savings and don’t even know it. To find out if you qualify, Social Security will need to know the value of your savings, investments, real estate (other than your home), and your income. Social Security will need information about you and your spouse, if you are married and living together. To help Social Security determine if you are eligible for Extra Help, you will need to file an Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (Form SSA-1020).



The research, which was published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, relied on a survey of almost 44,000 US women, with a follow-up five years later. The women were classified according to their level of exposure to artificial light at night (ALAN) which came from a variety of sources, from small nightlights or clock radios to light shining in from the street to televisions or room lights. Continued on Page 16

A new study has linked sleeping with the light or TV on and weight gain [Photo: Getty]

Texas raises age to purchase tobacco to 21 by Marina Pitofsky - 06/10/19 -


exas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Friday signed a bill into law raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the state from 18 to 21, ABC News 13 KTRK reported. Texas joins more than a dozen states that have raised the age to purchase tobacco to 21, including California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Arkansas and Virginia, according to the American Lung Association. The law goes into effect Sept. 1 and it exempts members of the military. Violations will result in a Class C misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500, ABC News 13 reported. Texas state Rep. John Zerwas (R), who is also a physician, said reducing tobacco use in Texas will pay “tremendous dividends by preventing diseases that cost the most to treat.” “As a physician, the health-related importance of this proposed legislation can’t be denied,” Zerwas said in a March press release. “As chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, I’d also like to point out that Tobacco 21 isn’t just responsible public health policy, but it’s also fiscally responsible for the State of Texas.”

© Getty Images Zerwas said smoking costs the state $8.85 billion annually in direct health care costs. The bill’s advocates argue 95 percent of people who smoke start before the age of 21, according to the Food and Drug Administration. “Delaying the age when young people first begin to use tobacco – the leading cause of preventable death – will reduce the risk they will develop a deadly addiction,” Shelby Massey told NBC’s KXAN. The regulation comes as e-cigarettes and vaping have become increasingly

popular among American teens and young adults. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) introduced bipartisan legislation last month to raise the federal minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21, despite their states’ tobacco industries. “We’re proud of our past, and we’re proud of who we are, but Kentucky farmers don’t want their children to get hooked on tobacco products while they’re in middle or high school any more than any parents anywhere want that to happen,” McConnell said on the Senate floor May 20.

WHO alarmed at STD spread in the era of dating apps by Nina LARSON


ENEVA, Switzerland | AFP | 6/6/2019 - The World Health Organization expressed alarm Thursday at the lack of progress on curbing sexually transmitted diseases, while one of its experts warned of complacency as dating apps are spurring sexual activity. The UN health agency said in a fresh report that every day globally there were more than one million new cases of treatable sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or infections (STI).

A WHO expert on sexually transmitted infections, Teodora Wi, separately told journalists there were concerns that condom use may be declining as people have lost their fear of contracting HIV in step with the emergence of available and effective antiviral treatments. People are “more complacent about protection,” she said, adding that this was dangerous at a time when “sex is becoming more accessible (through things like) dating apps”. Peter Salama, WHO’s executive director of Universal Health Coverage, said in a statement that “we’re seeing a concerning lack of progress in stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections worldwide”. He called it “a wake-up call” for authorities to ensure that everybody had access to services to prevent and treat STIs. WHO’s new report shows that in 2016, some 127 million people between the ages of 15 and 49 were

What does not count as a resource? • Your primary residence; • Your personal possessions; • Your vehicle(s); • Resources you couldn’t easily convert to cash, such as jewelry or home furnishings; • Property you need for self-support, such as rental property or land you use to grow produce for home consumption; • Non-business property essential to your self-support; • Life insurance policies; • Burial expenses; • Interest earned on money you plan to use for burial expenses; and • Certain other money you are holding is not counted for nine months, such as: —Retroactive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments; —Housing assistance; —Tax advances and refunds related to earned income tax credits and child tax credits; —Compensation you receive as a crime victim; and — Relocation assistance from a state or local government. What is the income limit? To qualify for Extra Help, your annual income must be limited to $18,735 for an individual or $25,365 for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you may still be able to get some help. Some examples where your income may be higher and you can still get Extra Help include if you or your spouse: • Support other family members who live with you; • Have earnings from work; or • Live in Alaska or Hawaii. What doesn’t count as income? Not all cash payments count as income. For example, we don’t count: • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps); • Housing assistance; • Home energy

orrhoea and syphilis can also be transmitted during pregnancy and childbirth.

WHO found that there were more than 376 million new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and syphilis registered around the world in 2016 -- the latest year for which data is available. That is basically the same number as WHO reported in its previous study, based on data from 2012.

Resources and income What is the resource limit? To qualify for Extra Help, your resources must be limited to $14,390 for an individual or $28,720 for a married couple living together. Resources include the value of the things you own. Some examples are: • Real estate (other than your primary residence) • Bank accounts including checking, savings and certificates of deposit • Stocks • Bonds, including U.S. Savings Bonds • Mutual funds • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) • Cash at home or anywhere else

Because people seldom show early symptoms, they often do not know right away when they have been infected (AFP Photo/TORSTEN BLACKWOOD) infected with chlamydia globally, while 87 million contracted gonorrhoea, and 6.3 million contracted syphilis. In addition, some 156 million were infected with trichomoniasis -- a parasital disease commonly known as “trich”. - ‘Hidden epidemic’ “On average, approximately one in 25 people globally have at least one of these STIs,” the UN health agency said. But since they seldom display symptoms early on, people often do not know they have been infected and need treatment, allowing the diseases to continue to spread. “We consider this a hidden epidemic, a silent epidemic, a dangerous epidemic,” Melanie Taylor, another WHO expert on sexually transmitted infections and author of the report, told a journalists in a conference call.

If left untreated, STIs can lead to serious and chronic conditions, including neurological and cardiovascular disease, infertility, stillbirths and increased risk of contracting HIV. Syphilis alone caused some 200,000 stillbirths and newborn deaths in 2016, making one of the leading cause of baby loss globally, second only to malaria, Taylor said. STIs spread mainly through unprotected sexual contact, but some like chlamydia, gon-

Given the hidden nature of the epidemic, WHO said it was important for people who are sexually active to get screened for STIs, and especially recommended that pregnant women be systematically screened for syphilis, as well as HIV. Correct condom use was one of the most effective methods for protecting against STI transmission. WHO also stressed the importance of comprehensive sexual education

Sudhir Mathuria HEALTHLIFE 360 713-771-2900 assistance; • Medical treatment and drugs; • Disaster assistance; • Earned income tax credit payments; • Assistance from others to pay your household expenses; • Victim’s compensation payments; and • Scholarships and education grants. Applying for Extra Help How do I apply? Applying for Extra Help is easy. Just complete Social Security’s Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (Form SSA-1020). Here’s how: • Apply online at www.socialsecurity. gov/extrahelp; or • To apply over the phone or to request an application; or • Apply at your local Social Security office. After you apply, Social Security will review your application and send a letter to you to let you know if you qualify for Extra Help. After you qualify, you can choose a Medicare prescription drug plan. If you do not select a plan, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will do it for you. The sooner you join a plan, the sooner you begin receiving benefits. If you aren’t eligible for Extra Help, you still may be able to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan. Late Enrollment Penalty Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Penalty: If you don’t enroll in a Medicare drug plan when you’re first eligible, you may pay a late enrollment penalty if you join a plan later. You’ll have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage. However, you won’t pay a penalty if you get Extra Help or other eligible prescription drug plan coverage. NOTE: The Medicare prescription drug plan late enrollment penalty is different than the Medicare Part B late enrollment penalty. If you don’t enroll in Part B when you’re first eligible for it, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B coverage. Also, you may have to wait to enroll, which will delay Part B coverage. Source: CMS To select suitable Medicare Prescription Drug plan, Medicare Supplement Plan or Medicare Advantage Plan contact.. Sudhir Mathuria at 713771-2900.

and easy access to STI screening as well as treatment. The UN health agency meanwhile warned that, while all bacterial STIs have until now be easy to treat using antibiotics, drug shortages and growing antimicrobial resistance were threatening those treatments. Shortages in the global supply of benzathine penicillin has recently made it more complicated to treat syphilis, while increasing resistance to the antibiotics used to treat gonorrhoea “may lead eventually to the disease being impossible to treat”, WHO warned.



Millions of heart disease, stroke deaths linked to not eating enough fruits, vegetables


Low fruit intake resulted in nearly 1.8 million cardiovascular deaths in 2010, while low vegetable intake resulted in one million deaths, researchers said. Overall, the toll of suboptimal fruit intake was almost double that of vegetables. The impacts were most acute in countries with the lowest average intakes of fruits and vegetables. “Fruits and vegetables are a modifiable component of the diet that can impact preventable deaths globally,” said Victoria Miller, a postdoctoral researcher at Tufts University in the US. “Our findings indicate the need for population-based efforts to increase fruit and vegetable consumption throughout the world,” Miller said. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of fibre, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and phenolics, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Fresh fruits and vegetables also improve the health and diversity of good bacteria in the digestive tract. People who eat more of these foods also are less likely to be overweight or obese, lowering their risk of cardiovascular disease. “Global nutrition priorities have traditionally focused on providing sufficient calories, vitamin supplementation and reducing additives like salt and sugar,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, from the Tufts University. “These findings indicate a need to expand the focus to increasing availability and consumption of protective foods like fruits, vegetables and legumes -- a positive message with tremendous potential for improving global health,”

Quarter of pesticides used in US are banned in EU


ASHINGTON | PTI | 1006-2019 Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption may account for millions of deaths from heart disease and strokes each year across the globe, a study has found. The study estimated that roughly one in seven cardiovascular deaths could be attributed to not eating enough fruit and one in 12 cardiovascular deaths could be attributed to not eating enough vegetables.

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

ASHINGTON | AFP | Friday 6/6/2019 - More than a quarter of the total volume of pesticides used in US agriculture are banned in the European Union, and 3 percent and 2 percent are banned in China and Brazil respectively, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Environmental Health.

study author Nathan Donley, a scientist at the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, said of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was created in 1970 and swiftly implemented pesticide regulations. “A lot of Americans are still in that mindset that we have a regulatory agency that’s very functional and very

The landmark health study in The Lancet calls on people to double their consumption of vegetables, fruits and nuts (AFP Photo/Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS) said Mozaffarian. Based on dietary guidelines and studies of cardiovascular risk factors, the researchers defined optimal fruit intake as 300 grammes per day, equivalent to roughly two small apples. ‘ Optimal intake of vegetables, including legumes, was defined as 400 grammes per day, equivalent to about three cups of raw carrots. The researchers estimated average national intakes of fruit and vegetables from diet surveys and food availability data representing 113 countries (about 82 per cent of the world’s population), then combined this information with data on causes of death in each country and data on the cardiovascular risk associated with inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption. Based on data from 2010, the scientists estimated that suboptimal fruit consumption results in nearly 1.3 million deaths from stroke and more than 520,000 deaths from coronary heart disease worldwide each year. Suboptimal vegetable consumption was estimated to result in about 200,000 deaths from stroke and more

than 800,000 deaths from coronary heart disease. The impact of inadequate fruit and vegetable intake was greatest in countries with the lowest fruit and vegetable consumption. Countries in South Asia, East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa had low fruit intake and high rates of associated stroke deaths. Countries in Central Asia and Oceania had low vegetable intake and high rates of associated coronary heart disease. In the US, suboptimal vegetable intake may account for 82,000 cardiovascular deaths while suboptimal fruit intake accounted for 57,000 deaths. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the US and worldwide. By age group, suboptimal fruit and vegetable intake had the greatest perceived proportional impact on cardiovascular disease deaths among younger adults. By gender, suboptimal fruit and vegetable intake had the greatest proportional impact on cardiovascular disease deaths in men, likely because women tend to eat more fruits and vegetables, Miller noted.

Are you a bathroom mapper with IBS-D? What to know about it


bdominal pain? Diarrhea? An estimated 16 million Americans live with a type of irritable bowel syndrome called IBS-D (the D stands for diarrhea), and it affects both men and women almost equally. However, only 30 percent of individuals consult a physician about their symptoms.

Photo: Researchers studied herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, and found that of 374 active ingredients authorized for agricultural use in the US in 2016, 72 of them were banned in the EU. Two products in particular were banned in the EU, Brazil and China, including paraquat, an herbicide which the US Centers for Disease Control calls “highly poisonous,” which has been banned in Europe since 2007. Phorate, a neurotoxic insecticide, is banned in the EU, Brazil and China, but allowed in the US, though the state of New York has prohibited spraying it aerially. On the other hand, the US has banned only two or three pesticides that are allowed in the EU, Brazil and China, which the study points out are among the largest agricultural producers in the world, along with the US. “(The US) originally had a regulatory agency that was very good, and banned a lot of pesticides, like DDT,”

protective,” he said. “A lot of Americans just don’t know how far the US has fallen behind.” The EPA’s weaknesses are not an issue of Democratic or Republican political power, according to Donley -- the study ended in 2016, the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency, and doesn’t include information about the agency under President Donald Trump, whose administration has significantly diminished its regulatory ambitions. It is the EPA’s pesticide division that is to blame, Donley said, lamenting the influence of powerful agriculture and pesticide lobbies on Congress, which decides the EPA’s budget. “I think it is that the industry has captured the decision makers,” he said. “When the EPA makes decisions that the agricultural industry doesn’t like, they put themselves in a position where, you know ... (a) politically tough spot.”

In fluke experiment, espresso quells rare genetic disease

Why is that? “People who experience symptoms of IBS-D can feel like their symptoms are not severe enough to seek medical attention or that there isn’t anything doctors can do to help,” says Dr. Howard Franklin, vice president of medical affairs and strategy at Salix Pharmaceuticals. “But doctors want to hear about everything you are feeling so they can determine the underlying cause of your discomfort and help you find a treatment plan that is right for you.” - A closer look at IBS-D Symptoms of IBS-D, which are different in everyone, include stomach pain and cramping, frequent diarrhea, gas, bloating and an urgency to use the bathroom. Many people experience feeling frustrated, missing out on activities because of symptoms and avoiding situations where there is no bathroom nearby. IBS-D can be diagnosed based on symptom history, including: • Abdominal pain at least one day a week during the last three months • More than 25 percent of bowel movements are loose or watery (diarrhea), and less than 25 percent are hard or lumpy (constipation) • Symptoms started at least six months ago - What could be the cause? While the exact cause of IBS-D is unknown, and people may have IBS for more than one reason, an imbalance in the usual numbers and proportions of normally healthy bacteria in the digestive system (the gut microbiota) has been found in many people with IBS-D. The microbiota help digest and absorb food and work with the immune system as a barrier against other microorganisms that can cause disease. “One study of 109 patients with IBS showed that 73 percent had an imbalance in their gut microbiota, compared with only 16 percent of healthy people,” says Dr. Franklin. “Other potential reasons may include previous gastrointestinal infection or food poisoning, communication problems between the brain and digestive system, a family history of IBS and other causes.” - Treatment options -

Photo Source: (c) ryanking999 / There is currently no cure, but there are treatments that can help with the symptoms of IBS-D. Lifestyle changes, such as eliminating certain foods and increasing exercise, could help. “Studies have shown that between 50 and 70 percent of patients failed to respond to either fiber or antispasmodics as a treatment therapy,” says Dr. Franklin. “There are different types of prescription treatments for IBS-D. If one isn’t working, it’s important that

patients ask their healthcare professional about trying a different medicine to find what treatment is right for them.” For more information, visit If you’re experiencing symptoms of IBS-D, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about all of them. This is the first step toward helping find a treatment plan and getting relief. - StatePoint

Light exposure during sleep ... continued from Page 15 One of the key findings was that women who slept with a television or a light on in the room were 17 percent more likely to have gained five kilograms (11 pounds) or more during the study period. The correlation remained strong even after controlling for factors like sleep duration, diet, and physical activity. Although the authors cautioned they could not definitely draw a causal link, they said their findings added to a growing body of evidence that supports sleeping in a dark room. “Public health strategies to decrease obesity might consider interventions aimed at reducing ALAN while sleeping,” wrote Dale Sandler and YongMoon Mark Park of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in North Carolina and coauthors. They suggested that the light may be suppressing production of melatonin, thereby disruption circadian rhythm and eating patterns. Other possibilities were that light

acts as a “chronic stressor” disrupting the release of stress hormones such as glucocorticoids that play a part in regulating food intake, or that there may be another mechanism at work that affects metabolism directly. The authors acknowledged several limitations including that the data was self-reported and they did not know how intense various light sources were. High light exposure may also “reflect a constellation of measures of socioeconomic disadvantage and unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, all of which could contribute to weight gain and obesity.” Commenting on the paper, Malcolm von Schantz, a professor of Chronobiology at the University of Surrey in Britain said: “What is novel with this paper is that it is a longitudinal study comparing the weight of the same individuals at baseline and more than five years later.” He added: “These new findings won’t change the advice to maintain good sleep hygiene, and avoid light and electronic distractions in the bedroom, but they add further strength to the case for this advice.”

A family’s accidental test proved the efficacy of caffeine as a treatment for dyskinesia, a family of disorders characterized by violent, involuntary muscle movements. | REUTERS.

by Paul Ricard / Marlowe Hood


ARIS, France | AFP | 6/10/2019 - A lot of people say they cannot live without coffee, but for one 11-year-old boy living in France, that may be literally true. When his parents accidently bought decaffeinated capsules recently, a rare genetic muscular disorder -- which they knew could be held in check by two shots of espresso per day -- flared up, provoking uncontrollable and painful muscle spasms. Four days of agony, anguish and doctor’s visits followed before his parents realised their mistake. Once they boy started drinking the caffeinated brew again, the symptoms subsided. “It’s one of those amazing cases of serendipity that dot the history of medicine,” said Emmanuel FlamandRoze, a doctor at Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris and lead author of a study published Tuesday about the disease afflicting his patient. Unwittingly, Flamand-Roze told AFP, the parents had carried out what scientists called a double-blind placebo experiment -- the most rigorous test possible to see if a drug or treatment actually works. The “double blind” part means that neither the patient nor the persons carrying out the experiment know whether the medicine is the real thing of a inert fake. In this case, the accidental test

proved the efficacy of caffeine as a treatment of dyskinesia -- a family of disorders characterised by violent, involuntary muscle movements -caused by a mutation in the ADCY5 gene. - One in a million “The arms, legs and face all move wildly,” Flamand-Roze explained. “This child couldn’t ride a bike, walk home from school, write with a pencil -- a seizure-like crisis could strike at any time.” ADCY5-related dyskinesia is a roughly one-in-a-million disease, and there is no known cure. The gene in its normal state provides instructions for making an enzyme that helps to regulate muscle contraction. The mutation disrupts that process, and caffeine helps to restore it. Doctors had long known that strong coffee helps quell the muscle spasms, but the condition is so rare that there are not enough patients to conduct an experiment in which one group take the “medicine”, and another imbibes a look-alike -- in this case, a taste-alike -- placebo. Such an experiment would, in any case, probably raise ethical issues, since researchers would know ahead of time that the placebo group would likely suffer severe discomfort. The condition is also known as facial myokymia.



FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

US’s Grand Canyon offers awe-inspiring beauty but sometimes deadly risk by Sébastien Duval


RAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK , United States | AFP | 6/6/2019 - Attention, Grand Canyon visitors -- watch your step before attempting a selfie from the edge of the vertiginously deep and perilously steep US landmark. The national park surrounding the enormous canyon -- the second-most visited US national park, after the Great Smoky Mountains in the country’s southeast -- has experienced a distressing surge in fatal accidents, with at least four visitors dying in as many weeks in March and April. The views that draw millions to the park in the high Arizona desert are stunning, to be sure, both in their rich earth hues and in the sheer immensity of the gap cleaved over eons by the unceasing Colorado River as it winds sinuously through the canyon bottom. But the views can also distract or disorient visitors -- some of whom take risks despite park rangers’ constant warnings -and the result can be fatal. The body of a Japanese tourist was the first one found this spring, located in a wooded area some distance from the rocky cliffs.

pants of a park ranger. “That’s sense.”


But at the park’s Mather Point, which offers especially scenic views not far from the visitor center on the canyon’s South Rim, the message does not always get through. This natural vista point, the most heavily visited in the park, may be the spot in the US most often captured in visitors’ selfies. From here to the canyon’s North Rim is a distance of 10 miles (16 kilometers). There are protective barriers. But not far away, a young woman ventures to the very edge of the cliff. “We can see well enough from here,” British tourist Kathryn Kelly sniffs dismissively, looking at the risk-taking woman. “I don’t see the point stepping closer to the edge.” “I heard of a man who died trying to take a selfie, and I’m struggling to feel sorry for him,” Kelly said. “It’s a kind of natural selection.” - Heat, suicides, snakebites Of the dozen people who, on average, die each year in the

Then came three fatal falls, including that of a fifty-something tourist from Hong Kong who toppled over the edge while snapping photos. The park has placed protective barriers at some popular vista points, but “we don’t want to put barriers everywhere,” park spokeswoman Kris Fister told AFP. “The specialness about parks is not being enclosed.” “You don’t have a barrier between you and this amazing place,” she added, “but you have to pay attention.” “We tell people to stay on the designated trails and walkways and to keep a safe distance from the rim” -- and of course, to pay attention when taking pictures, said Fister, dressed in the gray military-style shirt and khaki



canyon, relatively few fall to their deaths, according to park service statistics. Most deaths are linked to the dramatic change in altitude and to dehydration in the crushing summer heat faced by hikers -- despite the frequent warning signs that say things like “Don’t become a statistic” and “Down is optional, up is mandatory.” But for those who make it to the bottom of the canyon, near the turbulent, muddy waters of the Colorado, Phantom Ranch offers a welcome oasis, a place to rest and spend the night after long, draining hours of hiking. Among the books on a shelf in the ranch’s dining room is one that lists every death registered in the park: “Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon.” Falls, flash flooding, drowning, storms, snakes, suicides, even murders ... there are as many ways to die in the Grand Canyon as there are ways to photograph (and of course Instagram) it. Jim Stanley, a 71-year-old from Michigan, read the book before taking on this dangerous wonder of nature, where nearly seven million visitors are expected this year for the 100th anniversary of Grand Canyon’s

Posted signs warn tourists and hikers of the dangers of hiking in the Grand Canyon on May 14, 2019. The Grand Canyon experienced an unusual number of accidental deaths this spring. (AFP/Sébastien Duval) classification as a national park. “I haven’t been discouraged; I’m now aware of the risks,” he said, his hiking pants proudly held up by a pair of suspenders in the red, white and blue of the American flag. “Too many people take the Grand Canyon for granted,”

he added. “But it’s not Disneyland.”

a sort of earthbound Bermuda Triangle vibe.

There has always been an element of mystery, or mysticism, surrounding the park and its awe-inspiring landscape. The numerous accidental deaths in its vast territory through the years have even given rise to

Two airplanes once collided above the canyon, claiming 128 lives in what, at the time, was the worst commercial aviation accident in US history. That was in 1956, long before the advent of the selfie.

NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020

EW YORK | AFP | Friday 6/7/2019 NASA said Friday it will open up the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism as it seeks to financially disengage from the orbiting research lab. Price tag? Tens of millions of dollars for a round trip ticket and $35,000 a night. “NASA is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities

as we’ve never done before,” NASA chief financial officer Jeff DeWit said in an announcement made at the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York. There will be up to two short private astronaut missions per year, said Robyn Gatens, deputy director of the ISS. The missions will be for stays of up to 30 days. As many as a dozen private astronauts could visit the ISS per year, NASA said. These travelers would be fer-

Mystery surrounds American deaths in Dominican Republic

Private astronauts will be permitted up to 30 days’ travel to the ISS. ried to the orbiter exclusively by the two US companies currently developing transport vehicles for NASA: SpaceX, with its Crew Dragon capsule, and Boeing, which is building one called Starliner.

2009. Since 2011, Russian Soyuz rockets have been the only way to get to the space station. And they have transported only space agency astronauts, in addition to Russian cosmonauts.

space economy in the hope of seeing the private sector take over the ISS, which the United States hopes to stop financing in the late 2020s. “We want to be there as a tenant, not as the landlord,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in April.

These companies would There are usually three to six choose the clients -- who will crew members on the ISS at not have to be US citizens -- and bill for the trip to the ISS, which will be the most expensive part of the adAn Aristocratic Party venture: around $58 million for a roundtrip ticket. Democratic Price That is the average rate the companies will bill NASA for taking the space adventurers up to the ISS.

Aerial view of Punta Cana, in the east of the Dominican Republic (AFP Photo/Erika Santelices)


ASHINGTON | AFP | 6/11/2019 US authorities are scrambling to get to the bottom of a rash of deaths of US tourists in the Dominican Republic, with the number of reported fatalities over the past year now rising to six. Three people whose deaths have been confirmed all arrived on May 25 in San Pedro de Macoris, a seaside resort in the south of the Caribbean country, Dominican authorities said. Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, booked a room with her husband at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville hotel. She lost consciousness on the day of her arrival after going out on the balcony. She could not be revived by her husband or hotel medical staff. Cynthia Day, 49, and Edward Holmes, 63, stayed in an adjacent hotel, Grand Bahia Principe La Romana. The couple from Maryland was found dead on May 30 in their room by hotel staff. According to the Dominican Prosecutor’s Office, the three victims died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema. Schaup-Werner also had a heart

attack. - A pattern? News of the deaths has drawn attention to earlier deaths of American tourists at island resorts that received no publicity at the time -- some now suspect -- may have been part of a pattern. The sister of Yvette Monique Short told a Philadelphia television station that the 51-year-old died last June at the Bahia Principe after having a drink from the minibar in her room. Two other deaths that have recently come to light occurred more than a year apart at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in the resort town of Punta Cana. Robert Wallace, a 67-yearold from California, died there April 14, after drinking a Scotch from his minibar and falling ill, his niece Chloe Arnold told Fox News. “He started feeling very sick, he had blood in his urine and stool right afterward,” she said. David Harrison, 45, had died at the same hotel in July 2018. His widow, Dawn McCoy, initially accepted that he succumbed to a heart attack, as she was told, but now questions it.

“When all these people started passing, I stopped and thought to myself, ‘How can all these people have the same cause of death as David?’ “ she told The Washington Post. Steven Bullock, a lawyer for Day’s family, said autopsies and tests will be performed on Day and Holmes in the US. Asked about contacts with Dominican police and authorities, Bullock said “it has been very, very difficult. We haven’t heard enough and that’s part of the problem. “We don’t seem to be getting anything (from police). We have some reporters on the ground that are assisting us in gathering information that might be available,” he told AFP. Meanwhile, Colorado couple Kaylynn Knull and Tom Schwander told CNN that they suffered from headaches, abdominal cramps and diarrhea after encountering a strong smell of chemicals in the La Romana hotel in June 2018. According to tests done on their return home, they could have been exposed to pesticides used against ants and cockroaches.

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Neither Dragon nor Starliner are ready. Their transport capsules are supposed to be ready in late 2019 but the timetable depends on the results of a series of tests. So the private missions will have to wait until 2020 at the earliest.

For More Information Call

Sasidharan Nair

The tourists will pay NASA for their use of the station, for food, water and use of the life support system.

832 225 2989

That will run about $35,000 per night per astronaut, said DeWit.

That does not include internet, which will cost $50 per gigabyte. - ‘Tenant, not landlord’ The space station does not belong to NASA. It was built along with Russia starting in 1998, and other countries participate in the mission and send up astronauts. But the United States has paid for and controls most of the modules that make it up. The new space tourists to the ISS will not be the first: US businessman Dennis Tito had that honor in 2001. He paid Russia around $20 million for the trip. Others followed in his footsteps, the last being Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte in

525 Dulles Ave, Stafford, TX 77477 any given time. Right now it is home to three Americans, two Russians and a Canadian. Russia plans to resume tourist flights in late 2021. The policy change announced Friday includes the opening of parts of the ISS to private sector companies for commercial and marketing activity. This would include startups developing techiques for building materials in conditions of weightlessness. Fiber optic cables, for example, are of extraordinary quality when manufactured in microgravity. The idea is to develop the

The agency wants to free up funds for a return to the moon mission called Artemis in 2024 and for sending the first humans to Mars, perhaps in the 2030s. But it remains unclear if commercial activity in earth orbit is profitable because it is still so expensive to get up there in the first place. In the end, NASA appears to have changed its stance in order to meet its huge budget needs. When Russia announced it was taking Tito to the space station, NASA was at first opposed to such a mission. And it ended up sending the Russians a bill for his stay on the ISS.




FRIDAY, June 14, 2019





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Week of June 14, 2019 21 March to 20 April The earthy Virgo moon gets your week off to a grounded start. Putting your life in order now will help make space for the perfect person once you find them. The foggy Jupiter-Neptune square over the weekend could bring embarrassment over a situation you might have misunderstood. Unrequited love can be painful, but it isn’t the end of the world.

21 April to 20 May Friends at work are your best resources now, although a confrontation could trigger a change of direction or even a full-blown transformation. This is a great time for marketing, networking, or seeking educational opportunities. Hard work and attention to detail bring the best results. This is “power-suit” time.

21 May to 20 June If you want a study in balance, look to your sign. It’s no accident that you make excellent hosts. Currently your career life opposes your home life. Both want all of your time, and something’s gotta give. Changing your home life to accommodate your work life by turning a spare room into an office, for example, makes your work hours much more productive.

21 June to 22 July You have energy directed toward groups, politics, and self-employment. You have all the friends and contacts you need to begin a new venture, whether product, service, or project at your current job. You could find that there are times when you feel ready for anything and other times when your energy seems to dip. Pace yourself.

23 July to 22 August It’s easy to be hopeful during the sun-Jupiter opposition at the beginning of the week because your luck seems to be changing for the better. Isn’t it nice when everything just falls into place?! Adventure awaits while the moon is in fiery Sagittarius over the weekend, but every moment doesn’t need to be thought out beforehand. Being spontaneous creates excitement.

23 August to 22 Sept This period begins with a bang! Your desire for recognition is likely to be quite strong. You can react badly if you don’t feel appreciated. Try to stay upbeat. Do your best to treat others as you expect to be treated. You will want to power through pesky details. Keep a close watch on job-related financial matters.

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23 September to 22 Oct Looking at your house of significant relationships, all is well on that front, but it wouldn’t hurt to go over shared finances to make sure you’re both on the same page with saving and debt repayments. Meanwhile, your communication sector is begging the question, how can you use your communication skills to bring in more money?

23 October to 21 Nov Don’t get angry and force your blood pressure up. There could be delays, frustration, and confusion. If you stay calm, you’ll save your body a lot of unnecessary problems. If other family members have coughs or colds, you could catch one. Start taking vitamin C and zinc. It may help. Get out and show what you can do.

22 November to 21 Dec The sun is in moody Cancer and Jupiter is in your easygoing sign during their opposition at the start of the week, which reminds you not to take your luck for granted. Even if the start of a relationship seems effortless, there’s still work to be done. You’ll be tempted to give an ex another chance, but don’t overlook red flags.

22 December to 20 Jan Your desire for personal freedom is likely to be quite strong. This can make you seem irresponsible in the eyes of bosses or more structure-loving co-workers. Try to find some sort of balance that works for all. Remember that blunt speech can make you appear unnecessarily impatient or even belligerent.

21 January to 19 Feb You have an opportunity to dramatically increase your money-earning skills this week, if you’re careful. The caveat is due to the confrontation in your monetary affairs. You have lots of chances to bring in more, but there’s also a focus on debt. This struggle needn’t become ugly. Rather than cut up all your credit cards in a fit of pique, look to balance what comes in with what goes out.

20 February to 20 Mar Keep to a fairly pure diet by cutting out the junk food and caffeine for a while. You might be prone to overindulgence, so at least go for the things that are good for you. You need to channel your available energy. The worst thing to do is sit at home. Even if you have a health problem, try to stay as active as you can.



1. ‘70s hairdo

1. *Bonfire residue

5. Used for Chinese cooking

2. Mess up

8. Part of URL

3. Capital of Latvia

11. *____-and-slide

4. Porto, to many English-speaking tourists

12. Cone-shaped quarters 13. Formerly known as dropsy 15. “Les Misérables” author 16. Hissy fit

5. Painful expression 6. Poppy product 7. *In need of a breeze

17. Sink hole

8. Like Beethoven

18. *It varies widely in different regions

9. Fail to mention 10. *A farmer’s ____

20. One from the Magi

12. Sleeping sickness vector

21. Native American emblem

13. Hoover’s middle name

22. Lavatory, abbr.

14. *Blast from past in movie watching

23. Like #21 or #37 in this crossword

19. ____-boots

26. Borrower’s warranty

22. Car nut

29. Geological time period

23. Bald eagle’s nest

30. Experienced sailor

24. Do like ivy

33. Wraths

25. Yogurt-based dip

35. Turning abstract into real

26. Cobbler’s concern

37. Zippo

27. Nonsense

38. Carl Jung’s inner self

28. Red Sea nation

39. It’s considered abominable

31. Actress Hathaway

40. Ticks off

32. Mammoth site, e.g.

42. Mightier than sword?

34. *Summer castle material

43. *Popular July 4th event

36. *Light bearer

45. Climb Kilimanjaro, e.g.

38. Very, in music

47. Bigheadedness

40. Big fuss

48. Hawaiian veranda

41. Kidnapper’s demand

50. Vegetarian’s protein source

44. Fits of shivering

52. *It won’t last long in the heat

46. *Noisy insect

55. Canada’s favorite tree

48. El Pollo ____, pl.

56. UN civil aviation agency

49. Not together

57. Another spelling for #54 Down, sing.

50. Off-limits

59. Listens to #19 Down

52. Conifer

60. Accepted behavior 61. Copenhagen native 62. Flower precursor 63. D.C. time 64. Church part

51. Newspaper piece 53. Like 2016 54. Ages and ages 55. Flash dancers 58. Born, in society pages


on Page 20



FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

Corrosion and Materials Engineer

Sales Engineer Sales Engineer South Texas Stainless Supply, Inc

Corrosion and Materials Engineer

24 Months of employment experience required

Trinity Bridge, LLC.

36 Months of employment experience required

League City, Texas 77573

Houston, Texas 77583

Perform plant Damage Mechanisms Reviews; develop Integrity Operating Windows (IOW); develop Corrosion Control Documents (CCDs); perform corrosion/materials reviews in Risk

Sell stainless steel tubing, tube fittings, and valves and provide technical customer

Based Inspection studies; provide data management using Microsoft Access and Excel tools

service for products sold to oil and gas industry. Possess knowledge of oil and gas

for understanding of operating process equipment, including heat exchangers, drums, piping,

industry standards and codes. Assist company in developing tubing, fittings, and valves

towers and reactors. Strong computer, communication and organizational skills required. A

to customer specifications. Negotiate sales contracts. Write and develop technical specifications for product development. Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering Required. Please email resumes to

Backyard party ideas for kids


hrowing a backyard bash for kids? Here are a few festive ideas for a day of fun: • Decathlon: You don’t need a ton of space to host an exciting backyard decathlon that kids will love to compete in, as each event can be as simple or involved as you like. A few competitive ideas include cornhole, pop quiz trivia, the long jump, hula hooping and a bean bag toss. After the competition is over, officiate an awards ceremony, offering small, fun prizes to the winner of each event. Be sure to have a mix of events that focuses on speed, precision and even brain power. • Musical Fun: Singalongs are not just for campfires. With a portable, digital keyboard,

such as the CT-X700, you can play kid-friendly hits outdoors for a surefire way to keep everyone entertained. With 100 built-in songs, 600 tones and 195 rhythms, and a classcompliant USB-MIDI port that connects to most devices with no drivers or installation needed, the musical possibilities are endless. You can also use the set-up to play freeze dance, musical chairs and other games. • Carnival: DIY-ing a little carnival in your backyard can be easy. Ideas to consider include setting up a face painting station or temporary tattoo station, making a plastic ball pit in an inflatable pool and serving classic carnival treats, such as cotton candy, pretzels, fries and hot dogs. To help everyone remember the fun, make

a board with face cutouts and a funny design for the perfect photo-ops! • Movie Night: After a day in the sun, bring out some comfy seating for a movie night under the stars. Look for an easy-to-use set-up so there’s no down-time. For example, the Casio LampFree SLIM line of projectors are compact and easy to bring outdoors, and because they are mercury-free, they are safe around children. Complete the experience with popcorn, s’mores and other fan favorites.

three (3) years of experience in oil refineries and/or petrochemical process company as a Metallurgical Engineer, Materials Engineer or Corrosion and Materials Engineer. Send resumes to info

When you find some time, READ!

Accounting Assistant


ax Consulting Firm’s accepting resumes from qualified entry level accounting graduate for “Accounting Assistant” Position. The position challenge to all aggressive accounting graduates who would like to apply their accounting knowledge. Please forward your resume for review to: P. O. Box 36770, Houston, TX 77236-6770.

READ DAILY! PHOTO SOURCE: (c) seventyfour /

minimum of a BS degree in Materials or Metallurgical Engineering required. A minimum of

15 - 30 minutes of reading daily helps your brain focus better. Grab a novel! A Community message from Voice of Asia Group


Stay in touch with your community. Visit:Voiceofasia.News


Creating the perfect party for kids in your backyard requires a bit of ingenuity and a few supplies. But there are plenty of fun ways to celebrate -- both in daylight and under the stars. -StatePoint

Theme: SUMMER FUN from Page 20


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World’s best sommelier used to think wine ‘stank’ by Ben Simon


URICH, Switzerland | AFP | Friday 6/7/2019 - Just 10 years before he was crowned the world’s best sommelier after winning a rigorous global competition against dozens of elite beverage connoisseurs, Marc Almert thought wine “stank.” “Both (my parents) always tried to

cards, really, really learn and dig deep, and that just takes a lot of hours,” he said. But winning the ASI title required more than encyclopedic knowledge of wines, spirits and beer. Finalists also have to demonstrate graceful service skills in multiple scenarios, including one where a table

Marc Almert (pictured) won the world’s best sommelier competition in March but said that just a decade earlier he had thought that wine “stank.” (Photo: AFP?Fabrice Coffrini) motivate me to taste the wines at home when I was coming of age -- so 16, 17 -- and I always refused,” said Almert, the slight, genteel sommelier at the two-Michelin-starred Pavillon restaurant in Zurich’s ultra-luxe Baur au Lac hotel. “To me (wine) stank and it didn’t taste nice and I didn’t want to drink anything at the parties with school friends. People were having beer and spirits and I thought it was disgusting... That was my honest opinion,” he told AFP. In March, the 27-year-old won the title awarded by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) after a multi-round competition involving national and regional qualifiers that tests knowledge, tasting and service of all beverages typically served in a restaurant. The contest happens every three years, making Almert -- from Cologne, Germany -- the 16th winner in its fivedecade history. That he earned such an honour a decade after finding alcohol broadly repulsive is a testament to both Almert’s tenacious work ethic as well as shifts in an industry that is increasingly drawing younger talent. - ‘Fastidious obsession’ Bianca Bosker, author of the 2017 book “Cork Dork”, told AFP that becoming a world-class sommelier “requires fastidious obsession in the extreme.” In her book, she described the sommeliers she profiled as “the most masochistic hedonists (she’d) ever met,” with an all-consuming regime of tasting and studying that, in at least one case, appeared to destroy a marriage. Almert did not immediately reveal any hedonistic traits, but he did make clear that becoming a world-class sommelier required unrelenting determination. “There is no big secret about it. You just need to hit the books, do your flash

declares its meal should only be paired with white wines -- even if a dish seemingly cries out for a full-bodied red. Almert said his school experience in improvisational theatre taught him how to cope “when your voice starts shaking.” But he also mentioned another factor that helped him relax on stage during the finals in Antwerp. “To me, it was clear I had no chance, because there were two great colleagues next to me, one of which was a very seasoned and very well trained sommelier... “That was what made me so calm. I had no pressure.” - ‘Failed chefs’ Bosker, whose book details the history of sommeliers, told AFP it was “an incredibly old profession” mentioned in the Bible but which, in more modern times, was hardly a prestigious position on the restaurant floor. “There were times when sommeliers were failed chefs who were booted from the kitchen to the cellar,” she said. But that is changing rapidly. Bosker said that one of the most striking changes in the industry is that “more people are coming to it at a younger age than ever before.” “People are really coming to the job of a sommelier as a career. It is not just a temporary stopover.” She also noted that more women are breaking into an industry that has always been male-dominated, injecting it with even more new talent. Indeed, the second place finisher at the world’s best contest was Nina Hojgaard Jensen of Denmark. - Not a ‘pop star’ Almert dismissed the suggestion that the newly-crowned world’s best sommelier should be the main attraction at Pavillon.

Sobhita Dhulipala talks about her success on the internet and the road ahead

by Shweta Chaudhri


t’s a good time to be alive—the internet happened, and digital streaming took over the real world with binge-worthy content across a plethora of web platforms. As a result of this new ecosystem, great talent has come into spotlight—one in particular is the 27-year-old Sobhita Dhulipala. 2019 has been a good year for the actor who played the lead in Amazon Prime Original Made in Heaven. Created by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, the web-series had Dhulipala play Tara Khanna, a wedding planner who marries rich and moves through the complexities presented in her life. Her nuanced portrayal of a layered character that is flawed, yet vulnerable (and relatable in some ways) is what got her the recognition she rightfully deserves. With movies like Raman Raghav 2.0 (her debut film in 2016), Chef, Kaalakaandi and most recently a Telugu spy thriller (Goodachari) under her belt, Dhulipala’s career graph represents a striking evolution that has taken place in a short period of time. While she took the pageant route, unbeknownst of the outcome (and winning Miss India title in 2013), it wasn’t until her first audition that she realised where her true strengths lie. Perhaps the reason why she makes a fitting addition to the newly acclaimed treasure chest of actors is because she chooses to present herself as a blank canvas, ready to immerse herself in the now—an attribute that could be credited to her upbringing in Vishakhapatnam, completely detached from films. While most actors grow up consuming films for meals, Dhulipala’s childhood was more about the written word and less about cinema. Dhulipala has the makings of a disruptor, irrespective of the content medium she opts for.

by Rachel Mcarthur


UBAI: June 12, 2019 - Since introducing a special delivery service tailored to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in 2017, shopping with the e-commerce giant ASOS has become a breeze. With delivery provided via Aramex, shoppers can order without having to pay delivery charges (though there is a minimum spend) and items can be returned for free too. All you have to do is arrange for a drop-off or pick-up via the website. Now, the online retailer is getting closer to shoppers in the region — and the rest of the world — by embracing modest fashion in its offerings. Only last month it was announced that ASOS had partnered with the Verona Collection, with Muslim model and mental health advocate Asha Mohamud showcasing the collection. “Catch me rocking my hijab on @asos — NEW MODEST COLLECTION,” the BritishSomali beauty wrote on Instagram at the time of launch. Founded by Lisa Vogl and Alaa Ammuss, the Verona Collection began small, after which they managed to find investment from British entrepreneur and philanthropist Hassan Mawji to up.


Mental health advocate and model Asha Mohamud. Mawji, who acts as the Verona Collection’s director, said that the ASOS partnership marked “a big milestone for the modest fashion industry. We’re excited about the opportunities this opens up.”

ashion brand Monki is opening up the conversation around mental health with its latest collection. The label, which is part of the Swedish H&M Group, has teamed up with the non-profit organization Mental Health Europe for a second time in a bid to encourage discussion about the topic.

The modest fashion label forms part of the special ASOS Ramadan Edit, currently online, that features a range of clothing and accessories brands. We absolutely love the embroidered midaxi dress in pink by Hope & Ivy ($188), as well as the ASOS edition blouson sleeve satin jumpsuit ($139). Other fab finds include a Monki printed midi skater dress ($50), and a floral printed prairie dress by Y.A.S ($94).

The collaboration comprises a series of three short films based on different emotions, spanning feeling happy, feeling sad and feeling everything simultaneously. The videos, which offer practical tips aimed at improving mental well-being, are accompanied by four limited-edition t-shirts emblazoned with the statement ‘Embrace your feels’ and a longer message focusing on self-care. The shirts will launch in Monki stores worldwide and online from mid-May.

Mental health is becoming an in-

From indulging in introspection of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to gardening for digital detox, the actor takes us through her life journey, on and off-camera.

Online giant ASOS shows off its colorful Ramadan edit

Monki’s new fashion collection focuses on mental health awareness

“Empowering young women is at the core of everything we do at Monki,” said Jennie Dahlin Hansson, Managing Director, Monki, in a statement. “We are very proud to continue our collaboration with Mental Health Europe, and hope to encourage our community to express themselves and their feelings without fear.”

FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

Founded in 2000, British e-tailer ASOS sells thousands of brands, but takes its sources seriously. “We have 168 suppliers who use 713 factories around the world,” it states on the website. “We’re serious about making sure every single person in that supply chain is safe at work, respected and earns a living wage. We set high ethical standards and support our suppliers to help them meet them.” Monki has teamed up with the non-profit organization Mental Health Europe creasingly mainstream topic of conversation among fashion and beauty brands. Earlier this year, the cosmetics giant Revlon also joined the conversation when it teamed up with super-

model Adwoa Aboah’s ‘Gurls Talk’ platform to launch three self-care ‘Revlon X Gurls Talk’ makeup kits. AFP Relax News

Meanwhile, it’s one of the few sites in the region to supports a range of sizes and body types, stating: “Our audience is wonderfully unique. And we do everything we can to help you find your fit, offering our ASOS brands in more than 30 sizes.

Satin jumpsuit “It’s super-important for us to promote a healthy body image — we’re not about conforming to any stereotypes — so we work with more than 200 models to represent our audience.” - Arab News

Profile for VoiceOf Asia

VOA Epaper 06/14/19  

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

VOA Epaper 06/14/19  

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