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Texas shooter sacked from job before killing seven: police
Two Indian teens selected for Nobel Peace Centre climate conference Ajay Prakash, 15, and Aman Sharma, 16 were selected to address the Oslo Pax conference in Oslo One of the two teenagers is a former child labourer
SLO, Norway | PTI |September 04, 2019 Two Indian teenagers have been selected to address a new annual peace and climate conference organised by the Nobel Peace Centre at the Norwegian capital to draw up a set of recommendations for the UN's Climate Action Summit later this month. Ajay Prakash, 15, and Aman Sharma, 16 were selected to address the Oslo Pax conference in Oslo whose final communique will be presented to the UN Secretary General António Guterres during the Climate Action Summit on September 23. While Sharma addressed the conference on Wednesday, Prakash will do it on Thursday. "I think it's really nice that I got access to such a big forum from where I raised my concerns on environment degradation, globally. It was an opportunity to spread the movement that we’ve been leading in India and around the world, while
Odessa Police Chief Micheal Gerke speaks during a press briefing on September 2, 2019 in Odessa, Texas. (Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images/AFP) Image courtesy: Nobel Peace Centre
joining forces with global young leaders,” Sharma, an avid wildlife photographer, said on the opportunity to speak at the Oslo Pax through video-conferencing from here. Similarly, Ajay Prakash, now a student of Class IX and formerly a child labourer who climbed up the education ladder following his grooming at the Bal Ashram a long term rehabilitation centre founded by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, will also address the conference. The Oslo Pax conference has been chaired by Christiana Figueres, a former UN diplomat who was a driving force behind the Paris Agreement of 2015.
DESSA, TX | AFP | Tuesday 9/2/2019 - A man who killed seven people in the US state of Texas was fired from his job prior to carrying out the shooting, law enforcement officials said on Monday. "Our suspect went to work at Journey Oilfield Services. He was there for a short time and was terminated by his employer," Michael Gerke, the Odessa police chief, told a news conference. Following the dismissal, both the suspect and his former employer called police to complain "because they had a disagreement over the firing," he said. The suspect -- identified the previous day as Seth Aaron Ator, 36 -- also called an FBI tip line but made no threats, Ger-
FBI special agent Christopher Combs also confirmed the firing, but said that it was not the spark for the Continued on Page 2
Media watch as local and federal law enforcement give a statement on September 2, 2019 in Odessa, Texas. Officials say the shooter is dead after he killed 7 people and injured 22 in the mass shooting that began with a traffic stop on August 31. (Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images/AFP)
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by Gerard J. Tellis, Opinion Contributor
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions: email@example.com. It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or confirmation of any facts or allegations contained in letters to the editor. Moreover, Voice of Asia reserves the right to edit letters to the editor as necessary to correct errors of fact, punctuation, spelling and to comply with space constraints. Although paid advertisements may appear 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.
Letter to the Editor Response "The World Can't Ignore Kashmir. We're all in Danger" by Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, gives- to be expected- one sided view of Kashmir from its beginning to the present. To begin with I want to ask Mr. Khan a simple question: when 200 million Muslims ( almost the same number as in Pakistan) in secular India are able to enjoy all the human rights, democratic rule and follow their religious practices without any hindrances and when in his own country they are unable to do so, what does he think Kashmir will get more by having autonomy? Did his country show any interest when thousands of Hindu Pandits were thrown out by Muslim fundamentalists who were instigated by his country’s insurgents? World community has realized that taking away autonomy of Kashmir is an internal matter of India and has no impact on Kashmiris. There are several such groups like Coorgies in Coorg, Gowda Sarswat Brahmins originally from Kashmir, live in different parts of India without losing their identity. He is arguing that despite his several efforts to invite Mr. Modi for peace talks, he has not shown interest. When his country sends terrorists regularly to Kashmir resulting in killing of innocent Kashmiris, which leader will be willing to come
to peace talk. Modi was ever ready if Mr. Khan had prepared proper ground by curtailing his jihadi terrorists. For similar reasons the US stopped his massive aid to Pakistan. Mr. Khan refers to Indianoccupied Kashmir when in fact it is Pakistan which is illegally occupying Kashmir. He seems to have forgotten that only after succession paper was signed by the Maharaja, India Kashmir became part of India like other princely states. Having failed to get the support from even his fellow Muslim countries, he is trying to threaten the world community by comparing Modi to Hitler and Mussolini, by giving the background leading to World War II and constantly referring to the possibility of nuclear war. India has already stated that it has no intention of going to war with Pakistan. Mr. Khan is predicting that when the curfew is lifted in Kashmir there will be bloodshed. If he is really serious in peace talk, by stopping all direct and indirect support to insurgents inside Kashmir, he can avoid such a dreadful situation. Inadvertently he is supporting the difficult and painful decision India is facing of continuing the curfew even after 25 days. - Bhamy Shenoy
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
The Paradox of Superstars
hat do Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Warren Buffett, Michael Phelps, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Serena Williams have in common? They are all superstars in various fields — invention, moviemaking, investing, Olympic gold medals, innovation, entrepreneurship and tennis grand slams. Their success reflects a fundamental generalization about human performance — that it’s not distributed normally. Rather, a few individuals are extremely successful (superstars) while the vast majority show zero success. The distribution of performance has a long right tail A free market rewards such success with outstanding riches. As a result, a few individuals become extremely wealthy while the vast majority have modest wealth. This outcome seems extremely unfair. Politicians have railed against such inequity. A CEO’s $100 billion estate versus his employee’s $10 hourly pay is a powerful trope. Yet it assumes that such wealth accrued through luck or inheritance. My extensive coauthored research in pioneering, startups, innovation and creativity suggests that such success flows from unusual talent, extreme effort, extraordinary risks and relentless persistence against failure. The explanation of luck is circular. It attributes success to the moment of success and ignores these prior factors. The explanation of inheritance ignores the fact that many of these superstars were immigrants or had humble starts. This is the paradox of extreme success: In any class of individuals with similar backgrounds, a few excel. While education enhances opportunity for all, equal education yields unequal results. Top universities recruit top students from high schools but still end up with a highly skewed distribution of performance with a few graduates who excel. Further, contrary to expectations, my and others’ research finds that, in the U.S., immigrants account for billiondollar startups as often as native-born citizens; outsiders routinely disrupt incumbents with new technologies; superstars do not beget superstars, at least in the same field. In sum, those un-endowed frequently upend those endowed. Thus, equal opportunities to perform create a few super stars, who win extreme rewards creating great inequity. Critics of the wealth of superstars seem to undervalue
Thomas Edison (Photo © Getty Images) not only their costs, risks and efforts but also the social benefits of their success. For example, Edison’s inventions of electricity, light bulb or phonographic record benefited millions of individuals. Steve Jobs’ iPhone created a revolution that has transformed multiple markets and has benefited billions, from rich brokers atop Wall Street to poor farmers in emerging markets. Measured against such benefits, the wealth of innovators is miniscule. Yet the outcome of extreme distribution of wealth is troubling. How to deal with the inequity? The solutions are neither simple nor clear. One simple solution is to ban all rewards for success. A society could live by the motto, “To each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities.” That principle was the foundation of the communist system of governments. The experiment was tried in the Soviet Union, pre 1978 Communist China, communist Eastern Europe and other countries. It failed. The reason is that it killed all incentive for effort, innovation and entrepreneurship. Sadly, some people in those nations became extremely wealthy. The reason is that the system rewarded politicians, bureaucrats or plain cheaters to game the laws and amass wealth. Instead of rewarding performance and effort, the system rewarded inefficient, costly opportunists and cheaters. A second solution is to limit or tax steeply the rewards of the successful. That experiment was also tried in socialist countries or some capitalist countries with tax rates in the 90 percent. That system did not work well because the wealthy found loopholes to avoid taxes. Rewards went to tax specialists, financial planners or plain cheaters who could game the tax code.
"When he showed up to work, he was already enraged."
A third solution is to have a system that rewards creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in an open and transparent system of rules. The current U.S. market approximates that system. It has resulted in a flowering of innovation, huge consumer benefits, creation of massive wealth, but also extreme distribution of wealth with a few highly successful winners. Critics claim that in the current high-tech environment, a winner-take-all, exaggerates these extremes. That is not correct.
The Saturday incident began when troopers tried to pull over a gold-colored passenger vehicle on the Interstate 20 highway.
Actually, new high-tech markets have created hundreds of thousands of new careers in which people can
Continued from Page 1 shooting, which took place on Saturday. "He showed up to work in a very distressed mental state, so it's not because he got fired," Combs told media.
That led to a frantic shootout spread out over several miles on roads between the cities of Midland and Odessa in the west of the state. The assailant died in a shootout with police outside an Odessa movie theater. The shooting, which came less than a month after a gunman killed 22 people in the Texas city of El Paso -- less than 300 miles (480 kilometers) west of Odessa -- has ignited fresh calls for steps to stem the US scourge of mass shootings.
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excel. These include design, hardware, software, mobile apps, e-tailing, blogging, social media and app-based services. In particular, the internet, digital economy and social media have democratized the entry of new firms, facilitating creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship as never before. My coauthored research on 2,000 years of world history suggests that no past or current nation has generated so much innovation, startups and wealth as the current U.S. Most of the technologies that have transformed modern society have emerged in the U.S. The tempo is increasing not decreasing. Yet, how to deal with the extreme wealth of superstars? The solution is not to deny, prevent or excessively tax such winners as in past experiments that failed. One potential solution is to incentivize such individuals to donate their wealth to public
causes through naming rights and tax breaks. Another is to challenge such individuals to donate their wealth to creating replicas of themselves. A third is for wealthy business owners to offer bonuses and stock options to all employees, not just to managers. A fourth is to incentivize owners to rationalize the pay differential between the highest and lowest paid employees. A free society will always have superstars who become super rich. The challenge is to spread the wealth without suppressing the opportunity to excel. Dr. Gerard J. Tellis is director of the Center for Global Innovation, Neely Chair of American Enterprise and professor at the USC Marshall School of Business, LA. His past coauthored books include, Will and Vision - The Hill
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FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
Second Front Page
Deep thoughts and delightful takeaways during an August Chinmaya Jnana Yajna man, worshiped as Ishvara, and adored as a Purnaavatar. However, the takeaways were focused on a fourth dimension of Bhagavan Krishna’s accomplishments as a glorious man who exemplified Dharma and executed it as the most charming CEO!
Swami Ramakrishnananda delivering discourse to the attendees by Padmashree Rao
OUSTON. Powerful presentations, effective examples, thought-provoking highlights, and practical pointers – all wrapped in simplicity and soulwarming light-heartedness marked the memorable Jnana Yajna conducted by Swami Ramakrishnananda (SRKji) in Chinmaya Prabha, Houston, in the week of Aug.18-23, 2019. That week just before Janmashtami will be treasured by everyone who attended; the thought progression outlined in the morning discourses captured the mind and intellect of Vedantic seekers and then steered them toward a glimpse of the unveiled beyond. Swami
Ramakrishnananda expertly unfolded the essence of Vedanta in a simple and crisp style as he presented 15 key thoughts of the Brahmasutra Adhyasa Bhasya written by Sri Adi Sankaracarya, an important introduction to Bhagavan Veda Vyasa’s 555 Brahma Sutras. Swamiji’s succinct style of gently guiding the audience to reflect on the theory of superimposition was in keeping with the aphoristic sutras. The images of a cold iron ball borrowing the molten heat of fire, a segment of rope appearing as a slithering snake, and the shimmer of cool mirage waters thrown forth by the blazing sun – soon, the classic examples used in Vedanta became easier to grasp. By the end of the week, everyone could marvel how life is just a play of mis-
taken projections when Truth gets covered by ignorance. And, such deep contemplation was delicious because of the sweet examples that Swamiji threw in the mix! Swamiji provided a different flavor of the timeless scriptures during his evening pravachans titled Krishna – The CEO. Selecting episodes from the itihasa of Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavatha Mahapurana, Swamiji turned into a delightful story-teller who captured hearts of young and old. The contemporary takeaways from those ancient episodes were truly invaluable. Even as he began showcasing the unforgettable ‘leelas’ of Sri Krishna, Swamiji importantly clarified how Bhagavan Krishna could be meditated upon as Brah-
Every evening became a happy case study as SRKji narrated an episode in the life of Sri Krishna and beautifully brought out the lessons to be learned from Krishna’s deft handling of challenging situations that are as much a part of daily life. The audience shook with laughter as Swamiji pointed out the clever efficiency of Krishna in using Jarasandha as his unsuspecting helper in the 18-attack series which wiped out a majority of asuras and accomplished Krishna’s purpose as an avatar! Equally amusing was the way Krishna navigated family issues using his charming communication skills with Balarama. Swamiji highlighted Sri Krishna’s presence of mind in the episode of Kalayavana and Muchukunda – when SRKji dramatized the episode using nicknames such as “Mucchu” and “Kicchu,” the audience almost rolled off their seats in uncontrolled glee. The way Lord Krishna chose the right people as his messengers in two different contexts; the balance of mind and sharpness of intellect he displayed when he was blamed and defamed; the ways he assigned tasks during the Rajasuya Yajna; involved even the enemies like Duryodhana and Karna; waited for the right time in Rukmini vivaha, comforted the Pandavas, and encouraged all to follow Dharma – the lessons shared were practical and empowering while also being most enjoyable. As the yajna concluded on Janmashtami evening, the joy of spiritual immersion in Vedanta as well as in Bhagavan’s smarana left all hearts inspired and full. Hari Om! For more information about Chinmaya Mission Houston, Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya and its activities visit www.chinmayahouston.org, www.saumyakasi.org or call temple 281 568 1690 or Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233.
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Pearland's 93-year-old mayor: 'When I get old, I'll start slowing down some'
Mayor Tom Reid during the with KTRK. Video grap. by Deborah Wrigley
"People would ask me, 'What do you build, Mayor?' I build cities," Reid alluded to his trade job as a mechanical engineer.
Tom Reid is turning 94 years
He has served more than 30 years as a member of the Pear-
EARLAND, Texas (KTRK) -- Pearland city hall has had a constant singular presence for the last 30-plus years - its mayor.
KTRK. Video grap. old in September. He holds the distinction of being among the oldest mayors in the country. Reid arrived in Pearland, looking for a home closer to Johnson Space Center, where he worked as a contractor. "I was in mission control during the lunar landing," he said. He was also in the Navy during World War II, serving in the Pacific Theatre.
land City Council, but most of the time as its mayor. "I don't feel like I'm 93," Reid said. "I feel more like 62. When I get old, I'll start slowing down some." Want to see more from the heart of your community? Check out your town's stories through ABC13's HTX+ Facebook page. Follow Deborah Wrigley on Twitter and Facebook.
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FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
Ginger: The Universal Remedy
he one thing we can all agree on is that you are what you eat. We throw around terms like gut instinct without regard to the ancient wisdom behind it. Only now is the science catching up to what we have known all along, that the brain in our stomach is calling the shots. When we aren’t digesting our food well, this is a clue that something isn’t working properly! 90% of Americans suffer from digestive issues and the pharmacy shelves are lined with solutions to the gas, bloating, pain, constipation and heartburn that a gut in distress will make you suffer. It is so important to be aware of not only what we eat, but how we eat it. A calm environment and mindful ingestion of food will curtail indigestion, but if we still suffer, the most Sattvic of spices is Ginger, or “Vishvabheshaja”, the universal remedy. Spices can not only enhance the taste of the food, they also improve digestion and have many therapeutic properties. Dry Ginger as a remedy Dried ginger is hotter and drier than fresh. Dried ginger combines well with a multitude of Ayurvedic spices such as turmeric, cayenne, cumin,
Ginger. iStock photo
coriander, fennel and Cinnamon. Substitute ¼ tsp. ginger power for one thin slice of fresh ginger. * Diarrhea – 1tsp. dry ginger + ½ tsp. Ghee (Clarified butter) +1tsp. Jaggery. Heat the mixture and lick it several times a day. * For digestion in kids – Boil a glass of milk and add pinch of ginger power. * For joint pain, constipation and nervous debility – Drink warm water mixed with 1tsp. ginger power and ½ tsp. of Turmeric. Fresh Ginger as a remedy * Fatigue after eating – This may be result of weak digestion. Ayurveda recommends eating
one-inch piece of fresh ginger with few drops of lemon juice and few pinches of salt on it before full meal. * For Cough and Cold – 1 tsp. of fresh ginger juice + 1 tsp. Honey. Take it 3 times a day. * Loss of Appetite – Put 5 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger in a glass jar. Cover ginger with lemon juice; add a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp. of Cumin seeds. Put jar in the sun for 2 days. Take ½ tsp. before meals. * Stomachache – Boil 1tsp. chopped ginger in 1 cup of water, add pinch of salt and drink. “Make the right choice! Don’t let your medicine be your food, let your food be your medicine” Source: Houston Ayurveda Center. houstonayurveda.com
Visit us @ voiceofasia.news THE STORY OF MAHATMA GANDHI
Gandhi. “Come, I shall take you to the spot.”
Anti-Rowlatt stir and Jalianwala Bagh carnage
separate institution named Satyagraha Sabha was formed with headquarters in Bombay. There were agitations everywhere against the Rowlatt Committee’s report. But the government was determined to implement the Rowlatt recommendations and in 1919, the Rowlatt Bill was introduced. When the bill was debated in India’s Legislative Chamber, Gandhi attended as a visitor. Now read on. In spite of the well entrenched opposition from nationalists, the Rowlatt bill became law. At this time, Gandhi got an invitation from activists in Madras to visit the city. He went there, though still weak, along with Mahadev Desai. That was Gandhi’s first meeting with another stalwart of India’s freedom struggle, C. Rajagopalachari. A small conference of leaders was held and Gandhi explained to them the implications of the Rowalatt act. While these talks were being held news was received that the Rowlatt Bill had been published as an act. It was also in Madras that Gandhi first conceived the idea of an all-India hartaal (strike) as the beginning of the satyagraha movement. The leaders at once took up the suggestion and gave much publicity to the forthcoming action. The date was first
The crowd greeted Gandhi with frenzied joy. A huge procession started but the police barred its progress. A company of mounted police was ordered to charge the crowds. Piercing screams and cries from women and children filled the air as the horsemen plunged forward with lowered lances. People ran to escape the fury of the police.
fixed for March 30, 1919, but was later changed to April 6. The masses had received only short notice for the hartaal, but it turned out to be most successful. That was the first great awakening of India in her struggle towards independence. Gandhi left Madras and went to Bombay to join in the hartaal there on April 6. Meanwhile in Delhi, Lahore, and Amritsar, the hartaal had been observed on March 30. In Delhi the police did not allow free movement to the demonstrators and firing by police caused a number of casualties. Gandhi was requested to go to Delhi and he replied that he would do so after the hartaal in Bombay on April 6. In Bombay the hartaal was a great success. Not a wheel turned in any factory. Not one shop was open. All over India the hartaal was observed. Gandhi had asked the people again and again to be peaceful and not to be provoked to violence by the Government’s actions. In spite of this, violence broke out in many places. There were disturbances in Ahmedabad and also in the
Mahatma Gandhi Week in Houston Call 713785-3900 or visit www. mahatmagandhilibrary.org Punjab and he decided to go to these places to propagate nonviolence. On the way to the Punjab he was arrested at a wayside station called Palwal and sent back to Bombay. The news of his arrest inflamed the entire population of Bombay. There was an enormous crowd awaiting his arrival there. When he reached Bombay he was set free. The crowd was getting impatient. “Only you can control the crowds,” said a friend to
Gandhi was shocked by the police brutality. He went and met the Commissioner. The official was boiling with rage. “We, the police, know better than you the effect of your preaching on the people. If we had not taken drastic measures the situation would have gone out of our hands. I have no doubt about your intentions, but the people do not understand them. They only follow their natural instincts.” “The people are not violent by nature; they are peaceful,” said Gandhi. “You wanted to go to the Punjab,” said the Commissioner. “Do you know what is happening in Ahmedabad, the Punjab, and Delhi? You are responsible for all these disturbances.” Gandhi was pained to hear of the disturbances and said that he would certainly take the responsibility upon himself if he was convinced that it was his. Gandhi went to Ahmedabad. On the way he learned in detail about the happenings there.
Ahmedabad was under martial law. A police officer was waiting for him at the railway station to escort him to the Commissioner. This commissioner too was in a rage. Gandhi expressed his regret for the disturbances and promised complete cooperation in restoring peace. Gandhi then asked for permission to hold a public meeting on the grounds of the Sabarmati Ashram. The officer liked the idea. At the meeting Gandhi announced with great sorrow the suspension of civil disobedience. He said he would fast for three days as a penance and he appealed to all the people to fast for one day. He asked those who were guilty of violence to confess their guilt. He expressed his regret at having started civil disobedience too early without giving sufficient training to the people. “I have made a Himalayan miscalculation,” he said. Many people jeered at Gandhi for saying that. Many of his friends and followers were furious at his stopping satyagraha. Gandhi then started teaching people the true meaning of satyagraha and how it should be conducted. Through writing and speeches he wanted to drive home to the people the essence of his new creed. In the Punjab the situation was very critical. It was true that there were disturbances on the part of the people, but the measures adopted by the Gov-
ernment to check the disturbances were too severe. The leaders were trying to keep the people peaceful, but the stem measures of repression taken by the authorities had few parallels in history. In Amritsar the people were not allowed to move about freely. A proclamation was issued forbidding all gatherings and meetings. Only a few had the chance to know about the proclamation, however, because it was not announced widely, and it was made only in English. It was announced that a meeting was to be held in a garden called Jallianwala Bagh, to protest against the Government’s actions. General Dyer took no measures to prevent the meeting. He reached the place soon after the meeting began and he took with him armored cars and troops. Without giving any warning he ordered, “Fire till the bullets are finished.” The garden was surrounded by walls and buildings and had only one exit. At the first shot the exit was jammed and there was no hope of escape for the crowd. There were between eight and ten thousand people attending the meeting. The soldiers fired 1600 rounds into that unarmed mass of people. Once a park, Jallianwala Bagh was now a scene of the most brutal massacre of hundreds. — To be continued
Sponsored by Houston Arts Alliance in honor of Mahatma Gandhi Sesquicentennial Houston celebrations. Great Summer Project For children! Enter Mahatma Gandhi Week 2019 citywide contests: Essay, I-Tribute, Poster and Speech contests. Visit gandhilibrary.org for registration and more information. By participating in these contests not only will the children make good use of their vacation time, they will also learn universal values of Truth, Nonviolence, Love and Service by participating in these contests.
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FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
IACCGH-Shell series on 'Women Mean Business' News Executive Wendy Granato Named President and General features Susan Davenport and Meena Datt Manager of Houston's KTRK-TV
Keynote Speakers Susan Davenport (left) and Meena Datt. Photo credit: Bijay Dixit
cating, observing, understanding and listening to people. After her Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of Texas, Austin, she worked in the Austin Chamber of Commerce and helped shape up a technological community and infrastructure in the greater Austin area. Then she moved to Gainesville, Florida to help in economic development of the college city. Ms. Davenport emphasized the importance of serving others and serving the community. She also mentioned the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity and staying focused and open. Meena Datt, Radio Star, “if its Music, Its Meena from KXYZ 1320AM”,spoke about her journey she went through in her profession. After moving from India to Houston, with the help and support of her husband, she joined the radio station for
by Bhavna Kalyan
OUSTON - The Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) held it’s Women Mean Business series event of 2019 on the August 22nd at Double Tree Hilton, featuring Keynote Speakers Susan Davenport and Meena Datt. President Swapan Dhairyawan welcomed the gathering and spoke of the Chamber initiatives. He also spoke about the passionate and disciplined work of Susan Davenport who had also accompanied on the Mayor’s Trade Delegation last year. Her contribution in the Non profit world was remarkable. He also commended the work of Meena Datt who is an icon in the Indian American community and brings music and entertainment every weekend for the last innumerable decades. Past President and Program Chair Joya Shukla thanked sponsors SHELL for their generous support to Women Mean Business for the past seven years. She also introduced the keynote speakers and encouraged the audience to stay connected. Susan Davenport, Senior Vice Pres-
A Section of the audience. Photography by Bijay Dixit. AV by Krishna Sounds ident, Economic Development of the Greater Houston Partnership, spoke about her experience in India and how the GHP can help make Houston more livable and economically developed. A Native Texan, Ms. Davenport started her career as a Nurse, after graduating from University of Texas Medical Branch. She highlighted the importance of connecting, communi-
a weekend show. She spoke about her father who introduced her to the music and entertainment at a very early age. She believes she is an exception to the rule, as she did not have to struggle but she was focused on her goal. Her passion for music, according to her, has been one of her motivators to excel in her work and feel good and be happy.
by BWW News Desk, Aug. 7, 2019
ews executive Wendy Granato has been named the president and general manager of KTRK-TV, announced Wendy McMahon, president, ABC Owned Television Stations Group. In this new role, Ms. Granato has overall management responsibility for KTRK ABC13 and all of its ancillary businesses. As the vice president of News at KTRK ABC13 for five years, Ms. Granato cemented the station's status as Houston's leading source for local news and information, expanding coverage to serve audiences across broadcast, digital and social platforms. In charge of all editorial decisions and operations, she was responsible for the successful merger of broadcast and digital departments. During her tenure, KTRK ABC13 became the home of Houston's mostwatched local newscasts and the leader across all social media platforms in the market. She was instrumental in leading the station's Emmy ® Awardwinning coverage during historic events such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017, during which time KTRK was on the air nonstop for eight consecutive days. Ms. Granato also helped build many of the station's community outreach efforts with partners such as the Houston Marathon, the Houston Texans, Gow Media, VYPE High School
This was followed by a Q& A session, followed by Alyssa from Shell and President Swapan presenting a certificate and a token of appreciation to the speakers. The event concluded with Joya requesting Alyssa to announce the winner of the lucky draw Anju Sethi, who received a scarf designed by Avan Bathena of Avanne Scarves. For more information visit www.iaccgh.com
Wendy Granato. Image: Twitter. Sports Magazine and Voice of Asia News Group. "As our head of News in Houston, Wendy has done an incredible job upholding our commitment to quality journalism and the communities we serve while driving modernization across the organization," said Ms. McMahon. "I am incredibly excited to now have Wendy leading the way for us at KTRK ABC13, embracing change and innovation while maintaining a dynamic and vibrant culture." "Service to the Houston-area community is at the heart of everything we do here at KTRK ABC13, and I am beyond honored and proud to now serve in this new role," said Ms. Granato. "Providing accurate, timely and relevant local news and information on all platforms has never been more important or necessary, especially when keeping the safety and security of our viewers in mind, and sharing the positive stories from all our Houstonarea communities. I look forward to upholding the long-standing values and traditions of KTRK ABC13, and Continued on Page 6
VOICE OF ASIA 6
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
Book: The Forest of Enchantments JLF Houston returns for second edition from September 13-14, 2019 by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
eamwork Arts, producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival, often dubbed ‘the greatest literary show on Earth’, brings to Houston an iconic event where ideas and perspectives jostle with intellectual vigour. Houston, where skyscrapers and bayous meet, will welcome JLF Houston for its second edition at the Asia Society Texas Center, in collaboration with Inprint. The Festival opens on Friday evening, September 13 with events running all day on Saturday, September 14. With internationally acclaimed authors and thinkers taking part in a range of provocative panels and debates, at the core of the programming are thoughts and issues that resonate with our times and celebrate each other’s stories. Program highlights include opening and closing night musical performances and vigorous panel discussions. The audience will also have the opportunity to listen in on conversations about diverse topics such as mystics and mythology, migration and diaspora, women’s issues and concerns, America’s medical industry, astronomy, energy solutions, politics and much more. Participating writers include Bapsi Sidhwa (delivering the keynote address on opening night), Chandrahas Choudhury, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Daniela Arnold, Deborah D.E.E.P Mouton, Edward Carey, Lacy M. Johnson, Lawrence Wright, , Makarand R. Paranjape, Manisha Koirala, Mat Johnson, Mike Magee, Mira Jacob, Monique Truong, Namita Gokhale, Priyamvada Natarajan, Purushottam Agrawal, Sohaila Abdulali, Sunanda Vashisht, Susan Abulhawa, Tarfia Faizullah, Usha Akella, Vivek Virani and William Dalrymple, among others. The program covers a wide range of topics including: Black Holes and Cosmic Enigmas, An Investigation of America's Medical Industry, The American Model in the Middle East, Migrant Worlds (presented by Rice University), What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape, Kabir in Music and Poetry, and the Rise and Fall of the East India Company, plus some of our finest fiction writers and poets. Once again, Teamwork Arts and Inprint collaborated on programming JLF Houston. JLF Houston is held in association with Asia Society Texas Center, an educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the West, and Inprint, a literary arts nonprofit organization, supporting tomorrow’s leading writers, presenting today’s top authors from around the world, and engaging creative writers and readers of all ages and backgrounds in the Houston area. “JLF Houston stretches attendees’ viewpoints and perspectives and gives us all so much to consider about how
he Ramayana, one of the world's greatest epics, is also a tragic love story.
In this brilliant retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places Sita at the centre of the novel: this is Sita's version. The Forest of Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in the epic, often misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi, Surpanakha, Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal, infidelity and honor, it is also about women's struggle to re-
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The Forest of Enchantments U.S launch will be in Houston, on Saturday Sept 14, at theaipur Literature Festival, Houston, at Asia Society, at 10:45 a.m. The book was launched in India earlier this year by HarperCollins to great acclaim. Almost immediately, it became (and continues to be) a national bestseller.
tain autonomy in a world that privileges men, as Chitra transforms an ancient story into a gripping, contemporary battle of wills. While the Ramayana resonates even today, she makes it more relevant than ever, in
the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When does a woman need to stand up and say, 'Enough!'
ASTC 2019 JLF
we interact with the world and with our fellow human beings,” says Bonna Kol, president of Asia Society Texas Center. “Houston is a richly diverse city, which makes this region the ideal place to showcase a stimulating range of topics and a talented pool of authors.” “We work hard with our colleagues at Teamwork Arts to assemble an inclusive and engaging array of leading writers and scholars at JLF Houston who will stimulate the intellect and imagination of this extraordinary city,” says Rich Levy, executive director of Inprint. “It’s exciting to see JLF Houston take wing, and we are proud to be a part of it.” JLF Houston is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and is supported by the Consulate General of India in Houston. JLF Houston is a part of the larger umbrella of international JLF festivals in the USA, which also includes JLF New York on September 17-18 and ZEE JLF Colorado on September 2122. The Houston event will present a rich showcase of South Asia's literary and oral heritage while also featuring authors from around the world as well as local literary figures from Houston. Asia Society Texas Center is located in the heart of Houston's Museum District: 1370 Southmore Blvd, Houston, TX 77004. Tickets: Weekend pass, includes ticket to Friday evening keynote and reception, as well as Saturday's panels: $50; Saturday pass: $20; Student pass, Saturday only: $5 To purchase tickets, and see program and panel details and speaker's bios visit: Asia Society Texas Center https://asiasociety.org/texas/events/ jlf-houston For information about Asia Society Texas Center: Contact Joy Partain, JPartain@asiasociety.org
For information about Inprint: Contact Krupa Parikh, Krupa@inprinthouston.org For information about Teamwork Arts: Contact Vidushi Khera, email@example.com About Teamwork Arts Teamwork Arts is a highly versatile production company with roots in the performing arts, social action and the corporate world. For over 30 years, Teamwork Arts has taken India to the world and brought the world to India, presenting the finest of Indian performers, writers and visual artists in the cultural and art space in India and abroad. Every year, we produce 25 performing/visual arts and literary festivals in several countries including Australia, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the UK, and USA. About the Jaipur Literature Festival Described as the “greatest literary show on Earth,” the Jaipur Literature Festival is a sumptuous feast of ideas. The past decade has seen it transform into a global literary phenomenon, having hosted nearly 2,000 speakers and welcoming over a million book lovers from across India and the globe. Our core values remain unchanged: to serve as a democratic, non-aligned platform offering free and fair access. Every year, the Festival brings together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders, sports people, and entertainers on one stage to champion the freedom to express and engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue. Writers and Festival Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, alongside producers Teamwork Arts, invite speakers to take part in the five-day program set against the backdrop of Rajasthan’s stunning cultural heritage and the Diggi Palace in the state capital, Jaipur.
News Executive Wendy Granato named President... Continued from Page 5 forging ahead with ideas and innovations that will grow our business. I am equally as excited about working closely with OTV President Wendy McMahon and our powerhouse sister stations across the country to achieve our goals of excellence and service." Prior to serving as vice president of News at KTRK ABC13, Ms. Granato served as executive producer of special projects and executive producer of the daily talk show "Debra Duncan." Before joining KTRK, Ms. Granato was the news director for KNWS Houston. Earlier in her career, she was a news reporter and morning news anchor for KATC in Lafayette, Louisiana. She studied at the Manship School of Mass Communication where she received a degree in broadcast journalism from Louisiana State University.
The ABC Owned Television Stations Group includes WABC-TV New York, KABC-TV Los Angeles, WLSTV Chicago, WPVI-TV Philadelphia, KGO-TV San Francisco, KTRK-TV Houston, WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham and KFSN-TV Fresno. The eight owned stations reach 23% of all U.S. television households. The Stations Group also includes the Live Well Network, a broadcast programming service for digital channels in owned markets. The Group further expanded the stations' content portfolio and reach with the launch of the multiplatform, national lifestyle brand Localish, which is ABC's viral storytelling brand that brings out the good in America's cities. Created by and for millennials, Localish serves locally sourced stories that transcend city limits.
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VOICE OF ASIA 7
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
Buzbee vows to end city contracts awarded to political donors
Houston mayoral hopeful Tony Buzbee said his campaign has found evidence of contracts awarded to business owners who made political donations to or raised money for Mayor Sylvester Image: ABC13 Houston by Ted Oberg
OUSTON, Texas (KTRK) , Friday, August 23, 2019-- Mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee aimed his rhetorical cannon at Houston City Hall Friday, vowing to clean up what he called corruption in affirmative action contracts. Buzbee, who is challenging Mayor Sylvester Turner, says his team has been researching the city's Office of Business Opportunity and found contracts that were awarded to Minority or Women Owned Business enterprises whose owners have made political donations to or raised money for Turner. Buzbee called the office "broken," alleging "it doesn't work for the people it was put in place for." If elected, Buzbee said he would reform the office, telling reporters and supporters Friday afternoon, "If we can't fix this corruption, we can't fix this city." His first move towards that goal would be to end city contracting for any political donor.
"Any person or company who's donated to a city official, whether it be a candidate for mayor, a candidate for city council, a candidate for controller, you're not going to do city business for a year," Buzbee said. Buzbee claimed 71% of Turner donors do business with the City of Houston. "This program, with the help of this mayor, has been perverted and hijacked by people with political connections," Buzbee said. In June, mayoral candidate Bill King similarly proposed a ban on city business for anyone who donates more than $500 to candidates for city office. A King supported petition drive to put it on the ballot failed. King said he would take the proposal to city council if elected. In response to Buzbee's charge, the mayor's office wrote, "There is no corruption in the City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity or any other city function." A Turner campaign spokes-
person said, "The city has provided the facts to thoroughly discredit Mr. Buzbee's accusations. Once again, Mr. Buzbee has shown that he will say anything to get elected, regardless of the truth." In addition to the donation ban, Buzbee proposed Friday: Strenghtening contract disclosure rules so sub-contractors paid with city funds would have to be identified and stuck to. As it is now, the subcontractors on a proposal can be switched or fired once a contract is awarded. Banning changes in contract amounts for MWBE sub contractors. If a sub contractor is in for 10% of a contract at proposal, Buzbee says it should not be changed without council approval. Graduating larger companies from the MWBE program. Buzbee says the city's Office of Business Opportunity should be used to grow small businesses, and that millionaires should not benefit from the program.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announces revenue for fiscal 2019, August state sales tax collection
USTIN — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar today released totals for fiscal 2019 state revenues, in addition to announcing monthly state revenues for August. General revenue-related revenue was $57.87 billion, up 1.2 percent over fiscal 2018. Sales tax revenue for fiscal 2019 was $34.02 billion, up 6.5 percent from fiscal 2018.
Oil production tax revenue was $3.89 billion, up 14.6 percent over fiscal 2018. Natural gas production tax revenue was $1.69 billion, up 17.8 percent over fiscal 2018. All Funds tax collections were $59.38 billion, up 6.8 percent over fiscal 2018. All Funds revenue was $127.94 billion, up 6.5 percent over fiscal 2018. “Yearly revenues were in line
with our projections in the revised Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE) released in May,” Hegar said. “As expected, the economy and state revenues continued to grow modestly.” The Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) and State Highway Fund (SHF) both receive funding from oil and natural gas severance taxes. In November, the Comptroller’s office will deposit $1.67 billion in each of those funds, up from the $1.38 billion deposited in
each fund in November 2018. The ESF is projected to have a balance of $7.8 billion at the end of fiscal 2020. Hegar also said that state sales tax revenue totaled $2.99 billion in August, 4 percent more than in August 2018. “Moderate growth in August state sales tax revenue was led by remittances from the construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade sectors,” Hegar said. “Receipts from the
oil and gas mining and retail trade sectors remained at last year's levels, while receipts from the information services sector declined.” Total sales tax revenue for the three months ending in August 2019 was up 3.9 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Sales tax is the largest source of state funding for the state budget, accounting for 57 percent of all tax collections. In August 2019, Texas collected the following revenue from other major taxes: • motor vehicle sales and rental taxes — $488.3 million, up 0.3 percent from August 2018; • motor fuel taxes — $327.1 million, up 5.7 percent from August 2018;
• natural gas production taxes — $102.3 million, down 19.2 percent from August 2018; and • oil production taxes — $355.5 million, down 6.2 percent from August 2018. Texas has a state sales tax rate of 6.25%. Counties, cities, transit, and special purpose districts have the option to impose additional, local sales and use taxes. These tax rates can add up to 2% to the state sales tax,. For details on all monthly collections, visit the Comptroller's Monthly State Revenue Watch. For an extensive history of tax policy developments and fees since 1972, visit our updated Sources of Revenue publication.
VOICE OF ASIA 8
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
India seeks Russian investment in refining, petrochem
Issue of Pak Sikh girl resolved 'amicably' The family alleged kidnapping and forced conversion of the girl to Islam
EW DELHI: PTI, September 04, 2019 India on Wednesday invited Russian companies to invest in its oil refining and petrochemical projects as the two nations vowed to increase energy cooperation going beyond LNG supplies and stakes in Russian oil and gas fields. Indian state-owned firms have stakes in four sets of oil and gas fields in Russia and they will continue to look at investing in producing fields in the resourcerich nation, said a joint statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's annual bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok. "India-Russia hydrocarbon cooperation is a major pillar of India-Russia strategic partnership and has grown over the last two decades. Notably, the last five years have witnessed a major boost in cooperation in this area," the statement issued by the Indian government said. The two sides, it said, share common understanding that energy is crucial for the development of their people and economy and they recognised the importance of global energy markets that are stable, predictable and balanced giving due regard to the interests of producer and consumer countries. "Both sides affirmed their determination to deepen cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector, bilaterally and in third-country projects," it said. The two nations recognised the significance of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) supplied from Russia to India and agreed to strengthen LNG imports to India to promote India's bid to transform itself into a gas-based economy. "Russia will encourage it's public and private sector companies to participate in gas projects in India, particularly in the development of gas pipeline networks and city gas distribution infrastructure in India," it said. "India's private and public companies will explore the possibility of collaborating in LNG projects, including in the Arctic." State-owned firms will look at investing in Russian gas producer Novatek's Arctic LNG project. "India will look for further investment opportunities in producing oil and gas fields in Russia," the statement said. "The Indian side would invite further investment from Russian public and private sector entities into Indian refining, petrochemical and associated sectors." The two nations will work for identification of new projects of cooperation, it said. According to a joint statement issued by the Russian government earlier, the two nations signed on a roadmap for cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector with Moscow agreeing to look at supplying coking coal from its Far East and the two nations expanding energy partnership in hydro and thermal power. "With the signing of the roadmap for cooperation in hydrocarbons for 2019-24 during the Summit, both sides expect bilateral cooperation in this sector to touch new heights in the next five years," it said without giving details. As many as 15 MoUs were signed during the talks, according to a statement by ministry of external affairs. These included one between the ministry of energy of the Russian Federation and the ministry of petroleum and natural gas of India on the use of natural gas for transportation. Another one signed by the two sides was for "expansion of cooperation in the oil and gas sector," it said without giving details. Russian gas producer Novatek signed a pact with Petronet LNG Ltd for liquefied natural gas supply and joint development of downstream LNG business.
Muhammad Hassan and Jagjit Kaur get married leading to tension between Muslim and Sikh Community in Pakistan. (Image Credit: Social media) Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ( Reuters) "The leaders are determined to forge cooperation in geological exploration and joint development of oil and gas fields in Russia and India, including offshore fields. They will continue their work to develop the ways of delivering energy resources from Russia to India, including a long-term agreement for sourcing Russian crude oil, the possible use of the Northern Sea Route and a pipeline system," the joint statement issued by the Russian government said. The two leaders noted the prospects of Russia's Rosneftbacked Nayara Energy Ltd increasing the capacity in Vadinar oil refinery in Gujarat.
"India and Russia agreed to consider the prospects for expanding cooperation in hydro and thermal power, energy efficiency as well as for designing and constructing facilities that generate energy from non-conventional sources," it said. Also, the two leaders noted the immense potential of cooperation in the field of nonnuclear fuel and energy. "India and Russia welcome the success of interaction between JSC Rosneft Oil Company and Consortium of Oil and Gas Public Sector Undertakings in implementing the Vankorneft and Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha (oil and gas field) projects (in Russia),
the work of the Nayara Energy oil refinery, cooperation in extracting hydrocarbon resources over the last two decades as well as the timely delivery of liquefied natural gas under the agreement between Gazprom and GAIL India," the joint statement said. The two sides also "agreed to cooperate in supply of coking coal from Russian Far East to India," it said. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Coal India Ltd and Far East Investment and Export Agency to cooperate in coking coal mining projects implementation in the Russian Far East, MEA said.
he issue of the teenage Sikh girl, who was allegedly abducted and converted to Islam before being married to a Muslim man in Pakistan's Punjab province, has been "amicably" resolved between the two families, Provincial Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has claimed. The issue snowballed into a controversy after the family of the girl, Jagjit Kaur, in a video message that went viral on Friday, claimed that she was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. Her family says she is 18 years of age. An FIR was registered against six people in the case and one of the suspects named Arsalan, a friend of the prime accused Mohammad Hassan who married the Sikh girl, was arrested.
However, the girl, who is the daughter of a Sikh priest in Nankana Sahib, some 80 kms from Lahore, has maintained that she married Hassan of her locality with her own free will. She was shifted to Darul Aman (shelter home) on a court order. The girl had on Saturday also rejected Sarwar's plea to return to her family citing threat to her life. In a video tweet on Tuesday, Sarwar, along with the fathers of both Kaur and Hassan, said that the issue has been amicably resolved to the satisfaction of the families concerned. He thanked both the families for coming to the Governor's House on his request. Great news for Pakistani and Sikh communities across the world.
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VOICE OF ASIA 9
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
Getting out -- tariffs push some Jubilant crowds hail pope US manufacturers to exit China 'prophet of reconciliation' at
Africa tour start
by Bob Chiarito
HICAGO | AFP | Wednesday 9/4/2019 -As fresh US tariffs on Chinese imports kick in, Illinoisbased phone accessories manufacturer Ben Buttolph has been urgently moving production to other Asian countries despite the cost, inconvenience and deep uncertainty. Buttolph, chief finance officer at Xentris Wireless, expects that his company will never return to China after completing a move that he describes as "a kind of business 'head trauma'." "It's a huge inconvenience, it's a huge expense," he told AFP after Xentris set up in the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam since the trade war between the US and China erupted 18 months ago. But manufacturing in other developing nations comes with risks, he admitted. "Building up these supply chains took 30 years in China. China has a lot of infrastructure that some other countries don't yet have. "We are trying to have multiple locations certified for all of our products, so that if all of a sudden there's an issue with one of the locations, we just flip the switch." Reflecting on the impact of tariffs on China, he said: "We're never going to be in that position again -- diversification was one of the intentions we had." US President Donald Trump's plan to enact 15 percent tariffs on $300 billion in consumer goods imported from China has forced some manufacturers such as Xentris to shift production
by Catherine Marciano
The Port of Long Beach, California is not convinced it will see a big surge from China like last year since trade has been depressed Photo: AFP / Mark Ralston from the country, while others have absorbed the tariff or raised prices. The latest round of levies began on Sunday on about $112 billion worth of Chinese goods, according to an analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The remaining portion of the tariffs are set to take effect on December 15. - Never going back? "We are leaving China and we have no immediate or long-term plans to ever go back," Buttolph said, recalling how his company, which has 68 US employees, sought legal advice on the strategic outlook when the trade war began. "(Some companies) anticipated that this whole thing was going to blow over and that Xi Jinping and Donald Trump would cut a deal. Our assumption early on was based on advice that this is going to be an ongoing, longterm problem.
"Chances are that it will never be the same in China. There were a lot of folks in the consumer electronic space who may have dragged their feet in terms of setting up relationships and getting the supply chain moved." Richard Roberts, import logistics manager at California-based PacSun, a lifestyle clothing company, echoed the sentiment that production must move out of China -- even in the face of weaknesses in nations that offer a cheaper alternative. "The latest round of tariffs is making it almost impossible to import from China," said Roberts. "This calendar year we are planning to move up to 30 percent of what we produce in China to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan." PacSun, which has 10,000 employees, imports about 900 20foot containers a year, most of it from China.
British PM in limbo after MPs reject his Brexit plan, elections
APUTO, Mozambique | AFP | Pope Francis arrived in Mozambique on Wednesday as he kicked off a three-nation tour of African countries, expected to focus on those hard hit by poverty, conflict and natural disaster. Touching down just after 6:00 pm local time (1600 GMT) Francis was greeted on the tarmac by President Filipe Nyusi, a military band playing the national anthem and a display of traditional dance. The first pope to visit Mozambique since John Paul II in 1988, he was then whisked away in his popemobile, flanked by police bikes as crowds waved signs reading 'welcome to Mozambique Prophet of reconciliation" and danced in celebration. He stood in his popemobile and waved at the thousands of faithfuls who lined up along the fringes of the city' main streets as he made the five kilometre (three mile) route from the airport to the Nuncio's residence in the posh Sommerschield suburb, where he will stay during the visit. On Friday he will address a mass at the giant Zimpeto stadium in the seaside capital Maputo. The pope is expected to discuss the country's fragile peace process, the devastation caused by two back-to-back cyclones early this year, and the upcoming general election. The three-day visit to Mozambique comes a month after the government signed a historic peace treaty with the former rebel group Renamo, which is now the main opposition party. The 16-year civil war devastated the former Portuguese colony and Renamo has never completely disarmed. The pope may also address the issue of extremism in northern Mozambique where jihadist attacks have claimed more than 300 lives over two years. - 'Lasting peace' "I hope his visit will bring us effective and long lasting peace," said Arnaldo Menezes, a 25-year-old student, referring to the treaty with Renamo. "We don't want war anymore. I want to be able to travel freely across the country, even in the north," he said.
Johnson gestured angrily during clashes in parliament with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. (AFP Photo/Jessica Taylor) by Alice Ritchie
ONDON, United Kingdom | AFP | British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government was left in limbo on Wednesday after MPs voted to derail his Brexit plan and rejected his call for an early election to break the political deadlock. Just six weeks after taking office, Johnson lost his majority in the House of Commons as his own MPs joined opposition parties to stop him taking Britain out of the EU next month without a deal. On Wednesday evening, they approved a bill that could force Johnson to delay Brexit to January or even later if he cannot agree exit terms with Brussels in time. Johnson says he does not want a "no deal" exit on October 31 but says he must keep that option open in order to get an agreement. He said the bill, which was being debated in the upper House of Lords into the night, "destroys the ability of government to negotiate" -- and said he had no option to call an election to win a new mandate. "If I'm still prime minister after (the vote on) Tuesday October 15 then we will leave on October 31 with, I hope, a much better deal," he told MPs. - Labour rejects 'cynical' move But in yet another twist in the tortuous Brexit process, the opposition Labour Party re-
fused to vote for the election, which requires the backing of two-thirds of MPs. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that while he wanted an election, he would not support the prime minister's "cynical" call until the law blocking "no deal" was implemented. The default legal position is that Britain will leave the EU on October 31 unless it delays or asks to stay in the bloc. Corbyn said: "Let this bill pass, then gain royal assent, then we will back an election so we do not crash out with a no-deal exit from the European Union." Johnson accused Corbyn of being frightened of losing, but urged the opposition to reconsider over the next few days. For now, he is unable to pursue his Brexit plan -- the central focus of his leadership -- or call an election that might change the situation. Across the Atlantic, US President Donald Trump earlier offered his support, telling reporters: "Boris knows how to win. Don't worry about him. He's going to be OK." - 'Sham' negotiations Johnson took office in July, three years after the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU, promising to deliver Brexit whatever happens. He says he wants to renegotiate the divorce deal his predecessor Theresa May agreed with Brussels, while at the same time stepping up prepa-
rations for a disorderly exit. Johnson insisted his team was making "substantial progress". But the bloc has so far refused to reopen the text, and a senior EU source poured cold water on the idea that a deal could be struck at next month's Brussels summit. The European Commission says Britain has yet to come up with any alternative for the most controversial element of the current deal, the so-called "backstop" plan for the Irish border. Corbyn said the negotiations Johnson talked about "are a sham -- all he's doing is running down the clock". The European Commission also said the risk of a "no deal" exit has increased, a prospect many fear because of the economic damage risked by severing 46 years of UK-EU ties overnight. - 'Hand power to the EU' MPs only returned from their summer holiday on Tuesday but had to move fast as Johnson has controversially decided to suspend parliament next week until October 14. They first had to vote to make time in the Commons to debate their legislation, which they then forced through on Wednesday afternoon in only five hours with the support of rebel Conservatives. The bill would require the government to delay Brexit until January 31 unless it has agreed an exit deal or secured MPs' approval for "no deal" by October 19.
The pope will also visit the large Indian Ocean island of Madagascar and its much
Francis is the first pope to visit Mozambique since John Paul II in 1988. AFP Photo. smaller and wealthier neighbour Mauritius -- both situated off the eastern coast of Africa. Mozambique and Madagascar are among the world's poorest countries and Francis' decision to visit is seen by commentators as an act of solidarity from a cleric who was a frequent presence in the shantytowns of Argentina and is now called the "pope of the poor". - 'I would probably faint!' The pontiff will only have time to visit Maputo while in Mozambique, much to the disappointment of those in the central city of Beira where Cyclone Idai killed at least 600 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless in March. "Although I am unable to go beyond the capital, my heart reaches out to all of you, with a special place for those of you who live in difficult situations," he said in a video message, adding: "You are all in my prayers."
The capital has been spruced up for the visit, with the government spending 300,000 euros ($330,000) for the trip, according to Foreign Minister Jose Pacheco, including repairs to Maputo's cathedral and city roads. Many locals appear happy to splurge on pope-branded regalia. Twenty-nine-year-old Catarina Simbine showed off a Pope-branded cloth known as a capulana. "Me and my fellow congregants from Santa Theresa de Calcutta took about six months preparing for his arrival," she told AFP. Beatrice Netu, 70, remembered welcoming the pope on his first visit to Mozambique as "one of the biggest privileges of my life". "I would not be able to handle it if the Pope came up to us and greeted us or touched my hand here where I am standing in the crowd, I would probably faint!"
Teen shoots, kills all five members of family
IAMI | AFP | 9/3/2019 A 14-year-old boy shot and killed all five members of his family in the US state of Alabama and then called police and confessed to the crime, local law enforcement said Tuesday.
Three of the victims were found dead at the scene, a house in Elkmont, Alabama, and the other two died later after being airlifted to a regional hospital.
The boy in custody was not identified, and there was no immediate word on a possible motive for the murders.
"The 14-year old caller was interviewed and confessed to shooting all five members of his family in the residence," Limestone County sheriff said
"He is currently assisting investigators in locating the weapon, a 9mm handgun that he said he tossed nearby," it said. The shootings occurred late Monday.
Gun violence is a prevalent feature in American life with more than 36,000 deaths a year -- about a third of them homicides -- according to statistics compiled by the Giffords Law Center, an advocacy group.
Iran's Rouhani orders lifting of all nuclear R&D limits by David Vujanovic
EHRAN, Iran | AFP | Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday ordered all limits on nuclear research and development to be lifted, the country's third step in scaling down its commitments to a 2015 deal with world powers. His announcement came shortly after the US hit the Islamic Republic with further sanctions, the latest in a series of punitive measures including an embargo on Iranian oil exports. Iran and three European countries -- Britain, France and Germany -- have been engaged in talks to reduce tensions and save the nuclear deal that has been unravelling since US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May last year. But late Wednesday, Rouhani made good on a declared intention to take another step away from the multilateral deal signed with the permanent five United Nations Security Council powers and Germany (P5+1). "I, as of now, announce the third step," he said on state television. "The atomic energy organisation (of Iran) is ordered to immediately start whatever
In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. is needed in the field of research and development, and abandon all the commitments that were in place regarding research and development," he said. He referred to "expansions in the field of research and development, centrifuges, different types of new centrifuges, and whatever we need for enrichment". Iran in July abandoned two other nuclear commitments: to keep its stockpile of enriched uranium below 300-kilogrammes, and a 3.67-percent cap on the purity of its uranium stocks. Rouhani had earlier on Wednesday told a cabinet meeting: "I don't think that... we will reach a deal".
But the Iranian president had also said Tehran and the European powers had been getting closer to an agreement on a way to resolve burning issues. "If we had 20 issues of disagreement with the Europeans in the past, today there are three issues," he said. French President Emmanuel Macron, meeting Trump last month in France, encouraged him to offer economic incentives for Tehran and dangled the possibility of a summit between the US and Iranian presidents. Trump made clear Wednesday that he was still interested in meeting Rouhani when the Iranian leader visits New York for the annual UN General Assembly.
VOICE OF ASIA 10
Countdown begins to the historic “Howdy, Modi!”event for India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi
India seeks to ease concerns on 'citizens register'
EW DELHI, India | AFP | 8/29/2019 - India's government sought Thursday to ease concerns about an imminent "citizens' register" in the state of Assam that has left several million people, mostly Muslims, fearful of becoming stateless.
were in India before 1971 -- a huge challenge for people in a state where illiteracy is rife and where many lack the necessary documentation.
A draft register last year left off more than four million people living in the north-eastern state, and India's Hindu nationalist government has indicated it wants to replicate the process nationwide.
Those rejected can then be declared foreigners and face being stripped of their Indian citizenship and rights, put in a detention camp and even deported.
"DO NOT BELIEVE RUMOURS ABOUT NRC," a spokesperson for the Indian home ministry tweeted in capital letters, referring to the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) due to be published on Saturday. "Non-inclusion of a person's name in NRC does NOT amount to his/her being declared a foreigner. Every individual left out from final NRC can appeal to Foreigners Tribunals, an increased number of which are being established," the tweet added. Assam is an isolated state of 33 million people in the northeast of India, largely cut off from the rest of the country by Bangladesh, which was formed after East Pakistan declared independence from Islamabad in 1971, sparking a brutal war. Hundreds of thousands of people fled to India during the fighting. Officials say those appealing against exclusion from the NRC need to be able to prove they or their forebears
How to book online appointment to get, update Aadhaar at Aadhaar Seva Kendra by Navneet Dubey
he Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has started Aadhaar Seva Kendras (ASKs) in some cities in the country. These centers will provide Aadhaar-related services like new enrolment, address update, name update, date of birth updates, etc. Currently, these services are provided by UIDAI in select banks, post offices, and in government offices. The UIDAI has started Aadhaar Seva Kendra services in Delhi, Chennai, Bhopal, Agra, Hisar, Vijayawada and Chandigarh. According to a UIDAI press release, Bhopal, Chennai, Patna and Guwahati ASKs are will most probably become operational by the first week of September 2019. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO, UIDAI said, "UIDAI is planning to open 114 such centres in 53 cities across the country for providing hassle-free Aadhaar enrolment and update services to the people with prior appointment. UIDAI intends to complete set up of all the 114 ASKs by the end of the year 2019." According to UIDAI's press release, the ASKs have 8 to 16 enrolment counters, 40 to 80 seated waiting areas and electronic token system besides other amenities. Any resident can take an online advance appointment and visit at her/his convenience. The functioning of ASKs is similar to Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) where you can book an online appointment to avail several passport related services. For availing various Aadhaar-related services, you need to first visit UIDAI's website. New Aadhar card applicants, as well as existing holders, can book appointments at an Aadhaar Seva Kendra for the following Aadhaar services: Fresh Aadhaar enrolment Name update Address update Mobile number update Email ID update Date of Birth update Gender update Biometric (photo + fingerprints + Iris) update. Visit UIDAI website for details
The roughly two million people who are expected to be left off the final register being published on Saturday will have 120 days to appeal.
A majority of those affected are Muslims, and critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) say this reflects its aim to serve only its co-religionists. In January the lower house passed legislation that stands to grant citizenship to people who moved to India from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan as recently as six years ago -- but not if they are Muslim. Home Minister Amit Shah, Modi's right-hand-man, has called for the ejection of "termites" from of India and said before the BJP's election victory in May that it would "run a countrywide campaign to send back the infiltrators".
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
On September 22 at Houston's NRG Stadium
rganizers in execution mode to welcome a historic crowd to the “Howdy, Modi!” event for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 22nd at NRG Stadium Over 50,000 registered; volunteers gearing up to cover logistics for the massive event September 3, 2019 – Houston: Volunteers for the Texas India Forum are in the final phase of planning to get ready for the massive crowd at the NRG Stadium for the “Howdy Modi” community summit on Sept 22 to welcome the visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There is excitement in the community to celebrate the success of Indian-Americans and make the event an occasion to remember. Positive energy permeated a recent meeting of community leaders as the event provided an opportunity to showcase the unity of the diverse Indian-American community and their intent to celebrate the accomplishments of the community here
in the US. The crowd turnout is expected to be the largest for any Indian Prime Minister to address in North America and the largest for a democratically elected foreign leader in America. More than 650 community organizations have signed up as Welcome Partners for the event. At a meeting of the leaders of those organizations over the weekend, it was stressed that after successfully launching the event and then registering over 50,000 attendees, the effort has now entered the third and critical phase of execution. In expectation for this, the Texas India Forum will be providing free parking onsite at the stadium for all attendees. All registration for the event has closed, though a waitlist is still open. Applicants are being vetted and the first batch of confirmations for members of the Welcome Partners has been sent out. Other attendees will be notified next. The event, titled “Shared
Dreams, Bright Future”, will focus on the success of IndianAmericans and their contribution to United States, as well as the strength of the US-India relationship. Their voices will be heard loud and clear. At the community leaders meeting, Jugal Malani, chairperson of the event, said “the event is on its way to a grand success thanks to the tremendous dedication of the volunteers and the financial contribution of the sponsors. The event has successfully moved from inviting PM Modi to come to Houston to planning and registration to now the execution phase. It has been a massive effort, covering myriad areas with attention to detail.” The cultural committee shared the ambitious plans for the cultural programs at the event. The stage performance will span 90 minutes and will involve multiple organizations and performers, all highlighting the community’s achievements and the talent and dedication of even the second and third generation Indian-Americans. There
are plans to have celebrations of India on the concourses and outside the stadium gates as spectators enter the event. It will be a colorful and wellplanned cultural extravaganza. “It is our community’s event, where the attendees should feel at home at every turn. The event will mark a watershed in the history of Indian-Americans in the country,” said Gitesh Desai, spokesperson for the event. For more information, please visit www.howdymodi.org. ABOUT THE TEXAS INDIA FORUM The Texas India Forum, Inc. (TIF) is a not-for-profit organization that encourages cooperation between the United States and India, advancing the shared values of democracy, inclusive economic development, and mutual respect. TIF brings together IndianAmerican organizations and institutions to encourage collaboration within the region and expand opportunities for engagement with India.
VOICE OF ASIA 11
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
Fort Bend View
Sugar Land, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg and Meadows Place
Kids, cars and careers at Ft. Bend Children's Discovery Center
"Hamid Lakhani was shot while on the job Saturday night during a robbery" - Police by Deborah Wrigley
UGAR LAND (KTRK) -- A Sugar Land convenience store clerk killed Saturday night on the job was identified as Hamid Lakhani. He was 63 years old. Police were called to the W B Food Mart at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in response to a robbery and shooting in progress. Customers found the clerk inside the store with a gunshot wound. He was taken by EMS to a hospital where he later died. According to police, three men were involved in the robbery and shooting. They fled the area afterward.
Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center. Screen grab: KTRK TV by Brhe Berry
UGAR LAND(KTRK) -- If you're driving down U.S. 90 in Sugar Land, right by the old sugar mill, you might miss the Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center. Mom Meryl Bazaman brings her 2-year-old toddler to the center several days a week. "We spend so much in gas money for entertainment. To just get out of the house and to give them these great opportunities, then to have something in our neighborhood, I mean, it's priceless for us," Bazaman said. At the center, it's never too
early for kids to start thinking about what they want to be when they grow up, or how to manage money. In the Mercedes Benz Kidtropolis, kids are handed a fake debit card with fake money. "Once that money runs out, just as adults know, we have to get a job and make more. So this is where they can learn they need to get a job, how they can save, and how to spend their money wisely," said Leti Luna, of Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center. As one of the center's many local business partners, Mercedes-Benz VP of marketing, Derek Brown, says it's impor-
tant kids recognize local businesses in their own play world. "Actually touch a physical Mercedes-Benz that's been cut in half and have a moment of engineering, that's really important to us to give them visual and physics resources to bring to life what may be happening in their heads," Brown said. The center is open from Tuesday to Saturday. Entry is just $12 for nonmembers ages 1 and above, or there is a membership option starting at $135 for unlimited entry for four people.
4 lanes of I-69 in Fort Bend Co. to open in November
O R T BEND, (KTRK) -- Fort Bend drivers, good news! TxDOT says there's going to be some relief soon if you travel through the I-69 widening project. Orange barrels have been a constant companion for drivers for years on I-69 through southern Fort Bend County. Although still only two lanes in each direction, the drive has moved onto a new pavement, as work continues
Screen grab: KTRK TV on outside lanes and frontage roads.
District 3 Town Hall meeting set for Sept. 16
UGAR LAND – City Council Member Stewart Jacobson, District 3, will be hosting a District Town Hall Meeting on Monday, Sept. 16, from 6-8 p.m., at the Clyde and Nancy Jacks Conference Center, 3232 Austin Parkway. Residents are invited to attend a meet and greet from 6-6:30 p.m. to speak with Jacobson. Presentations will begin at 6:30 p.m., and a question-andanswer session will follow.
Topics planned include: •
• the upcoming Nov. 5 general obligation bond election; and • engineering updates.
Visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/ myneighborhood to verify residential addresses in each City Council district and other information specific to neighborhoods.
In late July, the southbound frontage road opened at Reading Road, along with the Reading Road lanes under I-69. There are more big changes in store as the school year begins for Lamar Consolidated ISD. Crews are working to complete the northbound frontage road bridge between Reading Road and FM 762. The project broke ground in 2014 between State Highway 99 in Sugar Land and Reading Road in Rosenberg. The goal of the project is to widen I-69 to four lanes in each direction and add an HOV lane and continuous frontage roads in each direction. TxDOT says design and utility issues have pushed back the completion date for the highway, but all lanes should open in November and the entire project should be completed by January.
Fort Bend County Precinct 4 - Voter Registration Pilot Program
ort Bend County Precinct 4’s Libraries opened its doors to the first County Voter Registration event on Tuesday September 3rd. At the direction of Commissioner Ken R. DeMerchant the First Colony Branch Library and University Branch
Library partnered with the League of Women Voters of Fort Bend to serve as voter registration sites. Commissioner DeMerchant’s pilot program will enable voter registration access to Fort Bend County residents. Registration is available every first Tuesday and first Sat-
urday of each month from 10 AM to 2 PM at the First Colony Branch Library on 2121 Austin Parkway, Sugar Land, TX, and every first Wednesday and first Saturday of each Month from 10 AM to 4 PM at the University Branch Library on 14010 University Blvd. Sugar Land, TX.
"I've come here for years," said Ken Smyers. "I always bought my lottery tickets here." He considered the clerk his
Screen grab: KTRK TV friend. "I always told him, 'God bless you and to be safe,'" Smyers said. Customers left flowers outside the door. The store re-
Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre named Finalist for 2019 TASB Superintendent of the Year Award
ORT BEND ISD (August 26, 2019) – Dr. Charles E. Dupre, Fort Bend ISD Superintendent of Schools, is among five public school administrators from across Texas selected as a state finalist for the annual Superintendent of the Year (SOTY) award. Sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the SOTY program has recognized exemplary superintendents for excellence and achievement in educational leadership since 1984. “We are extremely proud of Dr. Dupre on earning recognition as a 2019 TASB Superintendent of the Year Finalist,” said Jason Burdine, FBISD Board President. “This honor speaks highly of his capabilities, passion and drive in leading one of the largest public school districts in the state.” Dr. Dupre represents Region 4 as a 2019 finalist. Other finalists are Walter Jackson, Brenham ISD, Region 6; Tylor Chaplin, Burkburnett ISD, Region 9; Bruce Gearing, Dripping Springs ISD, Region 13; and Keith Bryant, Lubbock-Cooper ISD, Region 17. The state selection committee, which interviewed regional winners August 23-24 in Austin, targeted such topics as advocacy, community
mained closed on Sunday, with padlocked steel shutters over the entrance. Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call Crime Stoppers or Sugar Land police.
Dr. Charles E. Dupre, FBISD Superintendent of Schools
engagement, the superintendent’s work with the board, and the future of public education. Dupre has served as an administrator for 24 years and has led Fort Bend ISD for six years. The committee cited Dupre’s advocacy efforts and the encouragement he gives staff to speak up for the district and public education. The committee also noted his strategic alignment with his school board, his accessibility to staff, and the support he provides to help them face the challenges of serving the district’s nearly 77,000 students. Dupre received his bachelor’s degree from Harding University, his master’s degree from the University of Houston, and his doctorate from Lamar University. Candidates are chosen for their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving educational quality, ability to build effective employee relations, student performance, and commitment to public involvement in education. Superintendents from any of the state’s local school districts are eligible for nomination by their school boards. Local nominees are submitted to a regional selection committee, which chooses one nominee to send to the state selection committee.
Regional winners nominated by regional selection committees are: Carlos Guzman, Roma ISD, Region 1; Sharon McKinney, Port Aransas ISD, Region 2; Tina Herrington, Wharton ISD, Region 3; Cody Abshier, Liberty ISD, Region 5; Christopher Moran, Whitehouse ISD, Region 7; Paul Jones, Paris ISD, Region 8; Roosevelt Nivens, Community ISD, Region 10; John Ramos, Castleberry ISD, Region 11; Duane Hyde, Highland ISD, Region 14; Carlos Rios, San Felipe Del Rio CISD, Region 15; Tanya Larkin, Pampa ISD, Region 16; Leandro Gonzales, Jr., Grady ISD, Region 18; Evelyn Loeffler, Sierra Blanca ISD, Region 19; Lloyd Verstuyft, Southwest ISD, Region 20. The 2019 Superintendent of the Year will be announced September 21 at the TASA/ TASB Convention in Dallas. The districts of the winning superintendent and state finalists will receive an award from Balfour, program underwriter. TASB is a nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local public school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve approximately 5.3 million students.
VOICE OF ASIA 12
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
BOLLYWOOD - HOLLYWOOD Section 2
A beautiful era: Kichcha Sudeep on cinema crossing language barrier
Pakistan bans Indian films as part of new cultural policy toward New Delhi - Reports
OSCOW (Sputnik) - Pakistan is formulating a new cultural policy toward India, which will include banning screenings of Indian films, following New Delhi's move to revoke the special status of its Jammu and Kashmir state, local media reported, citing Pakistan's Information Ministry.
Sudeep will be seen playing the role of a boxer
UMBAI | PTI | September 02, 2019, -Kannada star Kichcha Sudeep, who is gearing up for the release of Pehlwaan, believes audiences are now willing to watch great content from across the globe. Lately, a lot of Bollywood and south film stars are working in Hindi or in south language films. Akshay Kumar was seen as a villain in Rajnikanth's 2.0, while Baahubali star Prabhas recently appeared in a multilingual film like Saaho. And Sudeep said this cultural exchange is good for cinema. "People here think South is so good (in making films) and we think what great films Bollywood is making. It is a beautiful phase where there is an exchange of ideas, thoughts. It is the beginning of a beautiful era," Sudeep, who turned 46 on Tuesday, said. "Viewers across the country and globe are welcoming content from different languages. Earlier there used to be a problem of skin and accent but today it is not there. People have grown. There is a difference in their mentality. Now there is no divide of borders," he added. In Kannada film industry, Sudeep is one of the biggest stars, but the actor said he never lets the fame get to his head and treats it like a motivation to work harder."I know my films got me here so my concentration is on doing great films and getting great scripts. I have no inhibitions. "My fans are there because of my work, because of the films that I did. They are my assets. Fans are there,
but they should not become my arrogance. My fans do guarantee me a good opening on the day my film releases. So the responsibility is more on me on doing quality work," he said.
The February 26 attack took place after a suicide bombing claimed by a militant group based in Pakistan killed 40 Indian troops on February 14 in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Pakistan then carried out its own raid over the de-facto border in Kashmir before the two nucleararmed countries stepped back from the brink of another conflict. India said that in the raid, its aircraft successfully attacked a training camp at Balakot and killed "a very large number" of "terrorists", but doubts have been raised about its efficacy. The new movie is set to be produced by Vivek Oberoi, who starred in a flattering biopic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the release of which was delayed so as not to interfere with this year's election.
The decision comes as Islamabad aims to sever some of its cultural ties with its neighbour following the recent developments in the Kashmir
"It was a big challenge for me. I had to eat diet food, everything was calculated and measured. I have three looks in the film - bulk, lean and the transformation, I was 84-85 kg, I had to come down to 73-74 kg." The actor said initially he was scared about how the audiences will react to his look as a boxer. "Even though people are observing or talking about my look in the film in a good way but in the beginning, I did feel a bit embarrassed. This is worst then being dressed, you need to be perfect. The embarrassment was scary. "Salman Khan has been into fitness for a long time and if he can feel like that in 'Sultan' then what I am? I did have my fears. I was scared initially," said Sudeep. Pehlwaan, directed by S Krishna, is slated to release in Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil on September 12. Sudeep will also be seen playing the antagonist in Salman Khan's upcoming film Dabangg 3.
It will also tell the story of handlebar-moustached Abhinandan Varthaman, an Indian pilot who was shot down in the raid and then handed over by Pakistan, becoming a national hero. "As a proud Indian, a patriot, and a member of the film fraternity, it's my duty to highlight what our armed forces are truly capable of," Oberoi was quoted as saying by Indian media. "This film is a powerful tool to underline the achievements of brave officers like Wing Commander Abhinandan, who went behind the enemy lines and did what makes every Indian proud of them," said Vivek. Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars over it. Earlier this month India stripped its part of the region's autonomy, sending tens of thousands of extra troops and imposing a lockdown and a communications blackout that on Friday entered its 19th day.
Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao to star in 'The White Tiger
region. Awan also said Pakistan's parliament unanimously condemned India's revocation of Article 370 and the government would utilize all means to extend its support to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier this week, the Indian government announced its decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, which granted the state a certain degree of autonomy for several decades, and split it into two union territories. This move prompted clashes on the Indian-Pakistani line of control and caused Islamabad to downgrade its diplomatic relations and suspend trade with its neighbour. The disputed Kashmir region, the southern part of which is where India's Jammu and Kashmir lies, has been the source of tensions between the two nations since the end of British rule in the region in 1947. After several armed conflicts, both sides agreed to a ceasefire in 2003. Since then, however, accusations of truce violations have been exchanged, with continued instability in the region leading to the emergence of various extremist groups.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Rajkummar Rao
riyanka Chopra Jonas and Rajkummar Rao will star in an adaptation of Arvind Adiga's Man Booker Prize-winning novel 'The White Tiger', Netflix announced on Tuesday. The streaming giant is producing 'The White Tiger' in association with Mukul Deora while Chopra Jonas will serve as executive producer. The film, which will also mark the debut of Adarsh Gourav, will be directed by Ramin Bahrani of Fahrenheit 451 and 99 Homes fame. Bahrani is also writing the screenplay. Filming for 'The White Tiger' will begin later this year in India. Adiga's book follows the extraordinary journey of a self-made man from tea-shop worker in a village to successful entrepreneur in a big city.
Murder, love and deceit become the ultimate price for ambition. "I'm so excited to work with Ramin Bahrani and Netflix to bring Aravind Adiga's poignant story to cinematic life. When I read the book, I was fascinated with the perspective of the narrative. The story's portrayal of raw ambition and the extent one will go to achieve one's goals is riveting. I look forward to filming this in India this fall, and also working along with Rajkummar Rao for the first time and the wonderful cast Ramin is putting together," Chopra Jonas said in a statement. Rao said, "It's an exciting time for actors today and I'm thrilled to be a part of such a world-class project. I've been an admirer of Ramin's work and am excited to see 'The White Tiger' come to life with Netflix!"
'Aadhaar' to premiere at Busan film festival
UMBAI | PTI | September 04, 2019 Viineet Kumar Singh-starrer Aadhaar will have its world premiere at the 24th edition of the Busan International Film Festival in October. The film, produced by Drishyam Films and Jio Studios, will be screened in the 'A Window on Asian Cinema' on October 6 at the prestigious festival, which runs from October 3 to 12. The Aadhaar scheme has got polarising reactions from different corners of civil and political society. The film, according to the makers, will look into these perspectives through the story of a common man as he gets caught in the bureaucratic red tape in the process of enrolling his name in the scheme. "We are proud that Aadhaar will have its World premiere at the 24th Busan International Film Festival. Our philosophy at Drishyam Films is to always work with filmmakers and
www. voiceofasia.news Read the latest articles and news on BOLLYWOOD /HOLLYWOOD & ENTERTAINMENT Visit : www. voiceofasia.news
Priyanka Chopra Jonas attends the 2019 Couture Council Award Luncheon honoring French iconic footwear designer Christian Louboutin at the David H. Koch Theater on September 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo: Angela Weiss / AFP)
Filming for 'The White Tiger' will begin later this year in India
In Pehlwaan, Sudeep will be seen playing the role of a boxer and Suneil Shetty features as his mentor. To get the toned body and fierce look, the actor underwent physical transformation. Citing example of Bollywood action stars like Tiger Shroff, Hrithik Roshan, Sudeep said, "Here you have very strong heroes. We are hardly ten per cent of what they are. This film is a big opportunity as an actor.
Bollywood to make movie on Pakistan air strikes EW DELHI, India | AFP | Friday 8/23/2019 - Bollywood is to make a movie on the "true story" of Indian air strikes on Pakistan this year, its producer said Friday, the latest patriotic film to hit the silver screen.
Indian movies will no longer be shown in movie theatres across the country, Pakistani Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said as quoted by the Geo TV news outlet.
Aadhaar poster. Twitter image partners who will take our vision of global storytelling to greater heights.
Films' founder Manish Mundra said in a statement in Mumbai.
"The film is uniquely relevant in today's climate and we are glad it's getting its due recognition," Drishyam
To celebrate the festival premiere, producers have also revealed the first look of the film on social media, which is slated to release later this year in India. Aadhaar marks National Award winning filmmaker Suman Ghosh's debut in Hindi cinema as a director. "I am honoured and extremely happy that my Hindi feature debut is making its world premiere at Busan, a festival that has always given our films a very warm reception. I am grateful to my wonderful cast and crew, and my producers Drishyam Films and Jio Studios for their unwavering support and courage so I could make the film I had envisioned," Ghosh said. The film boasts of a talented ensemble cast including veteran actors Raghubir Yadav, Saurabh Shukla and Sanjay Mishra among others.
VOICE OF ASIA 13
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
"I never was a goodie two-shoes"
HOLLYWOOD-BOLLYWOOD Section 2
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr's groping trial delayed
EW YORK | AFP | 9/3/2019 - Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr's trial over accusations he groped a woman in New York was adjourned Tuesday until next month after prosecutors asked for more time to prepare their case. The trial of the "Jerry Maguire" star was scheduled to start on Tuesday but a state criminal court judge granted a prosecution request that it be delayed until October 10. Gooding's lawyer Mark Heller told reporters after the short hearing that he was extremely confident the case would be dismissed, describing the allegations as "totally unfounded." "We are confident this will become a hallmark case for the #NotMe movement," he said, using a term he coined to refer to celebrities who are falsely accused of sexual offenses. Gooding, 51, is accused of grabbing the woman's breast without her consent in a Manhattan bar on a night out in June. He is charged with forcible touching and could face up to a year in prison if convicted. British actress Julie Andrews arrives on September 2, 2019 to attend a ceremony to receive a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the 76th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido. (AFP Photo)
Mary Poppins shocker: 'I swear a lot' admits Julie Andrews by Fiachra Gibbons
ary Poppins, cover your ears.
Hollywood legend Julie Andrews shocked the world Tuesday by confessing that she has something of a filthy mouth. "I do swear a lot. Mr Disney found out that quickly," the veteran actress revealed when a flywire she had been hoisted up on on the set of "Mary Poppins" broke sending her crashing to the ground "like a ton of bricks. "I think I said a few words he (Walt Disney) had not heard very often," she added. Andrews, now 83 but looking and sounding decades younger, insisted that she was "never a goodie two shoes" as she picked up a lifetime achievement award at the Venice film festival. Although she made her name and won an Oscar playing the prim English governess in the 1964 Disney classic, Andrews said that like her, the character had a hidden and far more mischievous inner life. "On the outside she is very proper... but look at the lining of her jackets and her skirts -- they are very colourful and wicked.
"She had another secret personality that was a little more playful," she said. Andrews' butter-wouldn't-melt image was further reinforced when she played Maria von Trapp the following year in "The Sound of Music", which tells the story of a novice nun who becomes a governess. But the actress admitted that she had found the story too schmaltzy when she saw the musical version of it on Broadway. "I thought it was too sentimental and saccharine and over the top. I mean, you have mountains and nuns and seven children, but all together!" she told reporters. "So I decided with the director Robert Wise that we would try to be as astringent as we possibly could. I think it made a big difference. "It is still a sweet and loving film, but we saved it from being too saccharine," she said. Andrew also disclosed that she was knocked flat several times during the shooting of the movie's iconic opening aerial panorama in a mountain meadow. She was repeatedly tossed over by the down-draft from the helicopter on which the camera was mounted.
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr., arrives for a court hearing in New York at which his trial for alleged groping incident was delayed until next month (AFP Photo/ Angela Weiss) Gooding won an Academy Award in 1997 for his performance as a football player in "Jerry Maguire."
He recently played OJ Simpson in "The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story."
Dark comic: Bill Hader on Barry and It: Chapter 2
OLLYWOOD - For one of the funniest men in the US, Bill Hader is definitely drawn to darkness. Critics agree that the Saturday Night Live alumnus steals the show in horror blockbuster It: Chapter 2, out this Friday, while his acclaimed HBO hitman comedy Barry is tipped to win multiple Emmys once again next month. In both, the in-demand star steers the mood rapidly from terrifying brutality to hilarity and back again, often several times within a single scene. “I’ve always been weirdly interested in violence . . . people’s inherent violence, which is kind of what Barry is about,” says Hader, who created and co-wrote the show, as well as directing several episodes.
Bill Hader attends the Premiere of Warner Bros Pictures’ It: Chapter 2 at Regency Village Theatre on August 26 in Westwood, California. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP Photo)
“It’s about a guy saying, ‘Well I can quit this’ and realising ‘Oh, no, this is in me, and maybe it’s in most people’.”
through a fence and hit a tree, and spun around . . . I did something to my foot and I hurt my neck,” said Hader.
The acclaimed series sees Hader’s former US Marine-turned-hitman pursue his target into a Hollywood acting class, where he quickly enrolls. Its second season – which earned a whopping 17 Emmy nominations – follows Barry’s bid to swap contract killings for casting calls, an ambition which is constantly thwarted by his own inner turmoil and an assortment of larger-than-life mobsters. “You have to have some levity because that’s just life,” says Hader. “If there’s no humor in it then I don’t feel like it’s very realistic, because life is very funny, you know? Life doesn’t make a lot of sense.” It is a lesson Hader learned as a teenager growing up in Oklahoma when he was in a bad car accident – but remembers laughing with his sister on the way to hospital. “I and
was 16, we went
“And then this drunk guy who was walking home just started directing traffic around us – it was just super surreal . . . He was yelling at people and then when the cops came he took off running.” “On the way to the hospital my sister and I were just like: ‘Who the hell was that guy?’” ‘A mask’ Those intense contradictions underline much of Hader’s career. As a hugely popular cast member for eight years on SNL he famously suffered severe anxiety live on air, even as he reduced audiences to stitches. Having spent years as a Hollywood production assistant on Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson films before joining the venerated comedy show, Hader’s profile rose substantially following his scene-stealing role as a police officer in Superbad alongside regular collaborator Seth Rogen. Since leaving SNL in 2013 his star has risen further, becoming one of the most sought-after funnymen in Hollywood, and lending his voice to mainstream hits such as Toy Story 4 and Finding Dory. But in It: Chapter 2, Hader – a lifelong Stephen King fan – enjoyed flexing his dramatic muscles as well as bringing many of the laughs.
His character, the trash-talking Richie Tozier, is struggling with a secret which is hinted to be his repressed homosexuality – something which he seeks to deflect by regularly cracking jokes. “I liked that Andy and I talked about just giving the character something to play . . . it’s all kind of a mask,” says Hader, referring to director Andy Muschietti. In a separate interview with AFP, Muschietti praised Hader’s “phenomenal” performance, while also describing him as “one of the funniest guys on Earth”. But Hader says he wants to focus more in the future on his directing and writing, with writing on season three of Barry due to begin later this month. The show will continue for “as long as we’re enjoying it”, he says, but admits he is uncertain of its future direction. In 2006, Hader married writerdirector Maggie Carey. They have three daughters together, born in October 2009, July 2012,and November 2014.Hader and Carey announced their separation in 2017. Hader filed for divorce in December 2017. The uncontested divorce reached a settlement on March 1, 2018 and they were restored to single persons on June 23, 2018. Hader is an avid reader who has said, “I didn't really go to college, which is probably why I enjoy reading the classics.”
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FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
Splendora ISD using kindness and compassion to improve grades
Palestinian student makes it to Harvard after initial US refusal
ASHINGTON | AFP | Tuesday 9/3/2019 - A Palestinian teenager has succeeded in entering the United States and starting classes Tuesday at Harvard University after US authorities' initial refusal to let him enter at the airport triggered wide condemnation. Amideast, a Washingtonbased group that supports international education, said Ismail Ajjawi arrived Monday at Boston's Logan International Airport, where he had earlier been questioned for eight hours and sent back to Lebanon. "The last 10 days have been difficult and anxiety filled, but we are most grateful for the thousands of messages of support and particularly the work of Amideast," his family said in a statement, requesting privacy as the freshman starts his studies.
by Katherine Marchand
PLENDORA, Texas (KTRK) -- Kids are usually excited to go back to school, but one district is trying to make sure they stay excited all year long.
Ismail Ajjawi is in his freshman year at Harvard University. and searched his laptop and phone when he flew into Logan airport on August 23.
ously barred Ismail, with the Customs and Border Protection agency only saying that he was "deemed inadmissible" during the airport check.
Ismail said that an officer "started screaming at me" about political postings on his social media pages even though they were written by his friends and not by him.
"We are pleased that Ismail's Harvard dream will come true after all," said Theodore Kattouf, the group's president and CEO.
President Donald Trump has made a tough line on immigration a signature issue, vowing during his campaign to bar all Muslims from entering the United States and once taking office tightening restrictions on visas.
As the case gathered wide media attention, Amideast said that Harvard pressed Ismail's case and that the US embassy in Beirut reissued a visa that allowed him to travel back to the United States.
"Ismail is a bright young man whose hard work, intelligence and drive enabled him to overcome the challenges that Palestinian refugee youth continue to face in order to earn a scholarship," he said.
Amideast described Ismail as one of the top students in Lebanon and said he would travel two hours each way from his home in Tyre to Beirut to take part in a US-backed program for promising students.
US authorities said legal reasons prevented them from explaining why they previ-
The 17-year-old said that an officer asked about his religion
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Broussard says referrals to the front office are down 10%. And after one year of the program at Peach Creek Elementary, referrals dropped by 50%. "It has completely transformed our school," said Duana Brashear, principal of Peach
"I saw a fifth-grader stand at the door of the high school and shake hands with everybody walking in, even adults," said Harper. "Younger kids will bring that atmosphere into the high school." The district's goal is to build relationships that start early and continue to grow for years to come.
Reverend Dan Reehil contacted exorcists in Rome and the US, who recommended removing the fantasy novels from St. Edward Catholic School's library in Tennessee.
Launched in 1997, the series of books spins an epic tale of good and evil focused on the adventures of the eponymous bespectacled young wizard as he struggles against the dark wizard Lord Voldemort.
ing evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text," the reverend said in an email obtained by local media.
Teachers also begin every day with an exercise called "good things," a chance for kids to share and set a positive tone for the day.
Senior Cory Harper says campus culture has become more positive but believes the transformation will be a slower process at the high school level.
Catholic school priest bans 'Harry Potter' books on exorcist advice. (Photo: Getty Images)
Although the school used to stock the books, it will not offer them to pupils in its newly opened library, Hammel said.
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"I signed it. My cousin signed it. My brother signed it," said Almaguer.
So far, Splendora High School has not seen the same improvements. In fact, the discipline rate went up last year.
nessean that Reehil had "canonical authority to make such decisions."
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Fourth-grader Yaritza Almaguer made a social contract for her own family.
Creek Elementary. "It's our ability to connect with kids every single day."
ASHINGTON | AFP | Tuesday 9/3/2019 - Exorcists advised a Nashville school priest to ban the Harry Potter books, over fears the popular children's novels could be used to summon spirits.
"The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjur-
We’ve Moved To
Teachers and staff use different techniques to create meaningful connections with students and help them develop positive relationships with each other.
contract, a list of behaviors they want to demonstrate every day, and they hold each other accountable if they don't.
Catholic school priest bans 'Harry Potter' books on exorcist advice
THOMAS R. HUTSON
"There was a lot more bullying before, and now it's a lot better," said fifth-grader Drew Grahlfs.
Screengrabs courtesy KTRK TV Channel 13)
THOMAS P. FISCHER
The elementary and high school levels just started last year.
JAMES W. PARKER
Splendora Junior High was the first campus to implement the initiative two years ago.
Each class creates a social
CHIRANJAYA “ CHIRO” NANAYAKKARA
It's called Capturing Kids' Hearts.
"It made a huge impact in turnaround, discipline, grades and just the way we treat each other," Splendora Junior High principal Kent Broussard said. "Teachers and students greet each other, hugs, and highfives."
Willy, Nanayakkara & Associates
Splendora ISD launched a program that drives home the message of kindness and compassion.
Harvard, one of the world's most prestigious universities, confirmed that Ismail had arrived on campus to begin the academic term that opened Tuesday.
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Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, told the newspaper The Ten-
A global success, the Potter series by British author J.K. Rowling has been repeatedly banned from schools in the US and Britain, mostly for allegedly promoting satanic values or black magic.
Read more Young Life stories. Visit us online : voiceofasia.news
VOICE OF ASIA 15
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
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Stop adding THC to e-cigarettes: US health authorities
ASHINGTON | AFP | Friday 8/30/2019 - Americans who use e-cigarettes should avoid adding substances like cannabis and buying products off the street -- or consider refraining altogether -- while authorities investigate hundreds of cases of severe lung disease among vapers, health officials said Friday. A total of 215 possible cases of pulmonary illness associated with vaping from 25 states are currently being probed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in an update. The first death was reported last week, but most patients have recovered fully. "CDC recommends that, while the investigation is ongoing, Americans who use e-cigarettes and are concerned about these specific, potential risks of illness should consider refraining from their use, and should not buy them off the street or modify them or add substances in ways not intended by the manufacturer," the agency said. It singled out "e-cigarette products with THC or other cannabinoids" as a common modification. Starting from late June, patients have reported symptoms including breathing difficulty and chest pain before they were hospitalized and placed on ventilators. Some experienced vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Though many of the cases appear similar, and many of the users reported adding THC, the CDC says it is too soon to say whether they have a common cause, and has not identified any
A total of 215 possible cases of pulmonary illness associated with vaping from 25 states are currently being probed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in an update (AFP Photo) substance -- either black market nicotine products or cannabinoids -- that is causing it. E-cigarettes have been available in the US since 2006, and are sometimes used as an aid to quit smoking traditional tobacco products like cigarettes. Their use among adolescents has skyrocketed in recent years: some 3.6 million middle and high school students used vaping products in 2018, an increase of 1.5 million on the year before. E-cigarette users don't get exposed
to the estimated 7,000 chemical constituents present in combustible cigarettes, and vaping is generally believed to be safer than smoking. The vapor could however could contain traces of metals, and the liquids are sometimes flavored with diacetyl, which is used in microwave popcorn but has been linked in industrial settings to a serious but relatively rare lung disease. A CDC official said last week it was possible therefore that such cases had arisen before the current investigation and were only being registered.
voiceofasia.news For Latest on Health News
In US, 84% of donor kidneys rejected at least once, says study
ASHINGTON | AFP | 8/30/2019 - When a patient dies waiting for a kidney in the United States, they're generally considered the unfortunate victim of a growing donor shortage. But the reality is more troubling: in the vast majority of such cases, patients had multiple opportunities to receive a transplant, but the organs were declined by their transplant team.
The new analysis found that for each patient who received a kidney from 2008 to 2015, their medical team rejected a median of 17 organs
or the first time in a decade, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today launched a modernized and redesigned Medicare Plan Finder. The Medicare Plan Finder, the most used tool on Medicare.gov, allows users to shop and compare Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. There are more than 60 million people with Medicare coverage. The updated Medicare Plan Finder also provides them and their caregivers with a personalized experience through a mobile friendly and easy-to-read design that will help them learn about different options and select coverage that best meets their health needs. The new Plan Finder walks users through the Medicare Advantage and Part D enrollment process from start to finish and allows people to view and compare many of the supplemental benefits that Medicare Advantage plans offer.
These changes are part of the Trump Administration’s eMedicare initiative – which expands and improves on current Medicare consumer service options. CMS is improving our online Medicare tools to meet the needs of a growing number of tech savvy beneficiaries. The online tools do not replace Medicare’s traditional customer service options. People with Medicare will continue to have access to paper copies of the Medicare & You handbook and be able get help over the phone using 1-800-MEDICARE. The redesigned Medicare Plan Finder will make it easier for beneficiaries to see these changes and to: • Compare pricing between Original Medicare, Medicare prescription drug plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies;
A new analysis found that the medical team of each patient who received a kidney between 2008 - 2015 rejected a median average of 17 organs (AFP Photo/ Pierre-Philippe Marcou) before finally accepting one. The teams of patients who died while waiting received a median average of 16 offers that they turned down. Overall, 10 candidates with at least
one previous offer died each day during the study period. "What's more problematic is that people are saying no without talking to the patients," said Mohan. When a potential donor dies, their kidney is removed and offered to dialysis patients on a waiting list. It is sent to the patient's hospital, which is given one hour to respond. Most of the time, hospitals will reject the offer in the hope that another of a
Sudhir Mathuria HEALTHLIFE 360 713-771-2900 Medicare beneficiaries. Other new tools launched under the initiative that seeks to deliver personalized and customized information that Medicare beneficiaries prefer include: • The “What’s Covered” app that tells people what’s covered and what’s not in Original Medicare. • A price transparency tool that lets consumers compare Medicare payments and copayments of certain procedures performed in both hospital outpatient departments and ambulatory surgical centers. • Interactive online decision support to help people better understand and evaluate their Medicare coverage options and costs between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage;
• Compare coverage options on their smartphones and tablets;
• An online service that lets people quickly see how different coverage choices will affect their estimated out-of-pocket costs;
• Compare up to three drug plans or three Medicare Advantage plans side-by-side;
• Webchat option in Medicare Plan Finder helps people get on-the-spot support; and
• Get plan costs and benefits, including which Medicare Advantage plans offer extra benefits;
• Easy-to-use surveys across Medicare.gov so consumers can continue to offer feedback about their online experiences.
• Build a personal drug list and find Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage that best meets their needs.
"What we found is 84 percent of kidneys in the US get turned down at least one time, which is crazy," Sumit Mohan, lead author of a study published Friday in the influential JAMA Network Open journal, told AFP. It comes on the heels of another paper this week that found the US rejects about 3,500 kidneys each year because of the donors' advanced age, even though 60 percent of these would be used in France where they prolong life and are useful especially for older recipients.
Medicare Plan Finder gets an upgrade for the first time in a decade
CMS has been offering in-person and online training on the new Plan Finder throughout the summer and we plan to offer an additional webinar session in September. We are also producing several other tools to aid with learning the new Plan Finder, including videos and tip sheets. Approximately 10,000 people join Medicare each day. Today’s announcement builds on the e-Medicare initiative that first launched in 2018 to deliver simple tools and information to current and future
Medicare Open Enrollment is the time for people with Medicare to review their health coverage. It begins on October 15, 2019, and ends December 7, 2019. Medicare health and drug plan costs and covered benefits can change from year to year, so people with Medicare should look at their coverage choices and decide on the options that best fit their health needs. Source: CMS To choose right Medicare Supplement Plan, Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage Plan contact Sudhir Mathuria at 713-771-2900.
higher quality score comes along.
certification depends on this.
For Mohan and his colleagues, the excessive focus on this score is a problem, because patients would be more inclined to accept a kidney with a lower score if it means being able to get off dialysis, a procedure that requires multiple hospital visits per week and has an average life expectancy of 5-10 years.
But "it's always better to get a transplant than to die, obviously, getting a low quality kidney transplant will also have been better than dying," said Mohan.
This cautious approach could be explained in part by hospitals' desire to maintain a high one year survival rate for transplant patients, because their
"People want to get off dialysis, they don't care whether they get the best quality kidney or the second best quality," he said.
He argues that a simple rule change would hugely improve acceptance rates: informing patients when a kidney is refused on their behalf.
VOICE OF ASIA 16
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
Hormone therapies slightly increase breast cancer risk, even a decade later: study by Marlowe Hood
therapy for less than one year."
ARIS, France | AFP | Thursday 8/29/2019 - Hormone therapy to relieve menopause symptoms slightly increases the risk of breast cancer, according to a largescale study published Friday in The Lancet. Other research has established a similar link, but the new study is the first to show that the risk remains elevated even ten years after treatment has stopped. It also quantifies for the first time the level of risk associated with different types of menopause hormone therapy, or MHT.
The topical use of vaginal oestrogens, applied as a cream, is also relatively risk-free, she added. - Halved abruptly Women tend to begin MHT at the start of menopause when ovarian function ceases, causing oestrogen levels to fall substantially. At the same time, progesterone levels fall to near zero. As a consequence, many women experience uncomfortable "hot flushes" that can be alleviated by replacing the naturally depleted hormones.
The chance that a women between 50 and 69 who has never undergone MHT will contract breast cancer is about 6.3 in a 100.
Regulatory bodies in Europe and the United States recommend that MHT be reduced to the shortest time needed, but usage has tended to average at least five years.
By comparison, a woman in that age bracket who takes oestrogen and, intermittently, progestagen for five years stands a 7.7 in 100 chance of getting the disease.
In North America and Europe, MHT increased rapidly during the 1990s, halved abruptly in the early 2000s, and then stabilised about ten years ago.
If -- in the same scenario -- progestagen use is daily, the risk goes up again: 8.3 in 100.
"Our new findings indicate that some increased risk persists even after stopping use of MHT," said co-author Valerie Beral, a professor at the University of Oxford.
Finally, an oestrogen-only regimen is closest to the no-hormones baseline, with a 6.8 out of 100 risk. More prolonged use carries even higher risk, said co-author Gillian Reeves from the University of Oxford. "Use of MHT for 10 years results in about twice the excess breast cancer risk compared to five years of use," she said in a statement. "But there appears to be little risk from use of menopausal hormone
Beral and colleagues examined data from 58 previous studies around the world from 1992 to 2018 that recorded MHT use. Within the data set, 108,647 women subsequently developed breast cancer, at an average age of 65. Researchers were then able to look for statistical links between cancer rates, on the one hand, and type along with duration of treatment, on the other.
Pets effect seniors’ lifestyles, poll reveals Study shows 82% wouldn’t leave pets for senior home
Probe into suspicious deaths at US veterans' hospital
ASHINGTON | AFP | Friday 8/30/2019 - US officials are investigating the suspicious deaths of more than 10 patients at a government hospital for military veterans in West Virginia, two of which have been ruled homicides after autopsies revealed unexplained insulin injections. The inspector general for the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Michael Missal, said his office was working with federal law enforcement to "investigate the allegations of potential wrongdoing resulting in patient deaths at the Louis A Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia." "People at VA have been what looks like the victim of a crime," VA Secretary Robert Wilkie told Fox News, adding he hoped the investigation would be wrapped up quickly. One of West Virginia's US senators, Democrat Joe Manchin, said his office was made aware of the probe in July 2018, after doctors reported that eight patients had unusually low blood sugar levels for no apparent medical reason. Manchin said the probe was focusing on a "person of interest" who no longer has contact with patients at the hospital. This past winter, autopsies on at least two patients in their 80s who died one day apart in April 2018 showed that they had been given insulin injections they did not need. Their deaths were then ruled homicides, local media reported. Insulin is used to treat diabetes but is dangerous for people who are not suffering from the condition, as it reduces blood sugar levels and, if improperly administered, could lead to a coma or even death.
Cancer now 'leading cause of death' in rich countries
ARIS, France | AFP | Tuesday 9/3/2019 - Cancer has become the leading cause of death in rich nations, overtaking heart disease, according to the results of two landmark, decade-long global surveys of health trends released Tuesday.
of decade. It determined that people in poorer nations were on average 2.5 times more likely to die from heart disease than those in richer ones.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of mortality among middleaged adults globally, accounting for more than 40 percent of deaths, the
A second study, also by researchers in Canada, and looking at data from
It conversely found that non-infectious diseases such as cancer and pneumonia were less common in low-income states than in richer ones.
*1. GLOBOCAN 2012: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012. // 2. World Health Organization. Cancer. // 3. Global Oncology Trend Report: A Review of 2015 and Outlook to 2020
data showed. It was thought to have been responsible for around 17.7 million deaths in 2017. But in richer countries, cancer now kills more people than heart disease, according to the twin studies published in The Lancet medical journal. "The world is witnessing a new epidemiologic transition among the different categories of non-communicable diseases, with cardiovascular disease no longer the leading cause of death in high-income countries," said Gilles Deganais, emeritus professor at Laval University, in Quebec. He said his team's study showed that cancer was the second most common cause of death globally in 2017, accounting for just over a quarter (26 percent) of all deaths. Deganais said that as heart disease rates fell globally, cancer could become the leading cause of death worldwide "within just a few decades". The study followed more than 160,000 adults, in high-, middle-, and low-income countries over the course
patients in the same 21 countries, found that so-called "modifiable risk factors" accounted for 70 percent of heart disease cases globally. These included diet, behavioural and socioeconomic factors, they said. Metabolic risk factors -- high cholesterol, obesity or diabetes -- caused more than 40 percent of all heart disease, and were by far the biggest determinant of disease in richer nations. But there was also a strong link between heart disease in developing countries and household air pollution, poor diet and low education levels. "A change in tack is required to alleviate the disproportionately high impact of cardiovascular disease in low- and middle-income countries," said Salim Yusuf, professor of medicine at McMaster University. "Governments in these countries need to start investing a greater portion of their gross domestic product in preventing and managing noncommunicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, rather than focusing largely on infectious diseases."
Red, red wine... it could be good for your digestive system by Issam Ahmed
ASHINGTON | AFP | Wednesday 8/28/2019 - Time to raise a glass to better gut health? Scientists at King's College London have found that red wine drinkers have a greater diversity of bacteria in their digestive tracts, a marker of gastrointestinal wellbeing, than those who drink other alcohol.
A pet can offer much needed companionship. (Photo: iStock) By Nick Blank
LAY COUNTY, Florida – A pet’s companionship with seniors cannot be overstated, according to local Home Instead Senior Care franchise owner Betsy Miller. Caregivers interact, walk or care for a pet in ways seniors can’t in Home Instead’s national Pets & Seniors program. Miller said she wanted to educate people about the effect pets have on seniors. About 70% of seniors said their pet determined where they lived and 82% percent said they wouldn’t leave their pet for a senior home, a Home Instead survey said. Home Instead Gerontologist and Caregiver Advocate Lakelyn Hogan said pets became like family for most people. “For many, their pets provide a source of comfort and help to keep the client at ease or reduce their anxiety,” Hogan said in an agency press release. “Pets also act as a companion and constant friend.” Animals are a source of affection and assist combating loneliness, Miller said. When seniors can’t take pets to nursing homes, Miller said
some family members might not realize pets play an important role in the physical and mental health of seniors. “It’s about providing our clients an ability to keep and not have to give up their dog. It’s really hard for someone to deal with that on top of maybe a loss of a loved one or leaving their home they’ve lived in for many years,” Miller said. “We’re spreading resources, knowledge and education,” she said. “They have a sense of happiness for a moment. (Seniors) forget about their aches and pains for a bit and smile.” Miller said the Pets & Seniors service reaches between 200-250 families a year. She runs the franchise, based in Orange Park, with her husband Christian. It serves Baker, Duval and Nassau counties. “We aren’t the only ones understanding the importance of this. Haven Hospice and Community Hospice & Palliative Care, if someone gets sick, they have volunteers who can take care of dogs until people are available to come home,” Miller said. “There are a lot of people helping seniors with supporting their pet ownership and the importance of how they help bring happiness and joy.”
Their paper, published in the journal Gastroenterology on Wednesday, explored the effects of beer, cider, wine and spirits on the population of microorganisms in the gut -- the "microbiome" -- and other health indicators in 916 female twins in the UK. Red wine was linked to the greatest positive impact on gut health -- and it was also associated with lower levels of obesity and "bad" cholesterol. There were no such associations for beer, cider or spirits, but a minor effect linked to white wine. Lead author Caroline Le Roy told AFP that while there had been some previous research on animals and in lab experiments that showed red wine expanded gut microbiota, there had never been a large human study. "The more diversity there is, the better it is for us in some ways. You will be more able to fight disease and produce more metabolites from food," she told AFP. An imbalance between "good" and "bad" microbes can lead to adverse outcomes like reduced immunity, weight gain and high cholesterol. The team even noted a slight reduction in the hormone insulin, too much of which can lead to diabetes, but suspect that effect is not mediated by the gut microbia and something else may be at play. - 'Alcohol still bad' One of the major drawbacks of socalled "association" studies based on observations about populations is that they do not demonstrate causation, and a one-off finding that appears to show a positive correlation can be the result of luck. The higher standard randomized clinical trials, in which researchers closely control the inputs given to
subjects, are generally used to test new medicine but rarely applied to studies related to human diet, partly because of ethical concerns. The researchers therefore tested and replicated their findings in two more groups -- in the US and in the Netherlands -- each of about 1,000 people, and a final set of twins in Britain. Recruiting twins had the benefit of removing potential outside factors (known as "confounders") such as genetic predisposition and early socioeconomic background. The team suspect polyphenols, micronutrients found in grape skin, were responsible for the greater GM diversity. That conclusion is seemingly supported by the fact that white wine was also linked to a positive association with GM diversity, although to a far lesser extent. White wine has similar alcohol content to red, but with six to seven times less concentration in polyphenols. Nik Sharma, a neuroscientist at the University College London, who was not involved with the work, cautioned that more research is still required, "perhaps using mouse models to es-
tablish the nature of the relationship and to further explore the underlying mechanisms." But he added that "the work is robust" and the use of twins added weight to its conclusions, as did the replication of its findings across other groups. While that might seem positive, Le Roy urged people to avoid hitting the bottle, especially if they are nondrinkers. Alcohol is responsible for more than 200 medical conditions, according to the World Health Organization, from mental and behavioral disorders to liver cirrhosis, some cancers and heart disease. "Potentially drinking one glass of red wine every two weeks is enough to have a beneficial effect, which is quite a good message because obviously alcohol is still bad for us," said Le Roy, adding that several fruits, vegetables, nuts and even chocolate are also rich in polyphenols. Blueberries and red onions are among these healthier alternatives. "You don't have to drink red wine and you don't have to start drinking red wine if you don't drink it," she concluded.
ART & CULTURE
VOICE OF ASIA 17
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
K-Pop and Kimchi: Tokyo's 'Little Seoul' shrugs off spat
Kashmir trims its big fat weddings after Indian lockdown
Visitors to Tokyo's "little Seoul" are often seeking the latest K-pop sensations. (Photo: AFP)
Even Kashmir's usually buoyant wedding industry is buckling under the strain of India's decision to scrap the region's autonomy and impose a lockdown (AFP Photo/Tauseef Mustafa)
by Karyn Nishimura
OKYO, Japan | AFP | Tuesday 9/2/2019 - In the "little Seoul" area of Tokyo, Japanese shoppers flock to get their fix of K-pop and Korean face cream, seemingly shrugging off a deep freeze in Japan-South Korean ties. Visitors to Shin-Okubo could be forgiven for thinking they had stumbled into a district in Seoul, with rows of restaurants serving kimchi and music shops selling the latest K-pop hits from BTS or Wanna One. And in contrast to South Korea where anger over a deterioration in bilateral ties has sparked consumer boycotts of Japanese goods, it seems it takes more than a political spat to put off avid fans of Korean products. "I love everything, K-pop, the food, the clothes. I would also like the two countries to make up," said Anna Kaneko, a 19-year-old student making one of her regular trips to ShinOkubo with a friend. The latest row is deeply
rooted in the bloody history between the two, particularly Tokyo's occupation of the peninsula as a colony, during which hundreds of thousands were forced to come to Japan as labour and women forced into brothels as wartime sex slaves. Koreans remaining in Japan after Tokyo's defeat in World War II suffered discrimination and hardship and several exist to this day in a grey zone in terms of citizenship. The diplomatic friction has culminated in tit-for-tat trade restrictions and the scrapping of a military informationsharing pact between the two -- alarming the United States which has security treaties with both. Bae Cheo-leun, who runs an organisation bringing together South Koreans in Japan, admitted that a few years ago "hate speech" against Koreans could be heard in the streets around Shin-Okubo but this has not been the case during the most recent row. "There was a law brought in to prevent it which has proved
effective, even though there is no real punishment," Bae told AFP. "The young Japanese Kpop fans who come to this district have a deep love for South Korean culture," added Bae, who accuses politicians on both sides of whipping up "nationalist sentiment." - 'NO Japan protests Kim Heun-hee, a Korean teacher who also runs a cultural cafe in Shin-Okubo, pointed to a difference in attitude between South Koreans living in Japan and those based in their homeland. "The feeling in South Korea is very severe against Japan now, so some people think it must be dangerous for South Koreans to be in Japan," said Kim. "On the other hand, Japanese people in Shin-Okubo don't want to talk about South Korea so much. Japanese people don't have much interest in politics but many people also seem to be reluctant to respond heatedly to the political difficulties."
BOOKS Final 'Girl With Dragon Tattoo' novel hits shelves
TOCKHOLM, Sweden | AFP | Wednesday 8/27/2019 - It is only right that a best-selling novel series about an unstoppable computer-hacker assassin should go out with a bang. In "The Girl Who Lived Twice", hitting bookstore shelves in 30-odd countries this month, Swedish crime writer Stieg Larsson's antiheroine Lisbeth Salander is back for a high-paced final instalment of the "Millennium" saga. The last in the series -- which kicked off in 2005 with "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" -- is a tale of political scandal, death, power games, and lashings of Nordic noir. It wraps up a six-part, best-selling social commentary on contemporary Sweden, the threat of technology to individual liberties, and violence against women. For the finale, Salander is in Moscow to settle a long-running feud with evil twin sister Camilla, before becoming embroiled in a cat-andmouse chase with Russian gangsters. Her sidekick is Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who calls on Salander to help trace the identity of a homeless man whose last words pointed to damaging secrets at the highest levels of government. It is this kind of psychological suspense which helped the "Millenium" series sell about 100 million copies around the globe. The series was created by Stieg Larsson, a Swedish investigative journalist who specialised in covering far-right politics. But his fame came posthumously. He died at the age of 50 from a heart attack in 2004, a year before the release of the first book in the series, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", followed by "The Girl Who Played with Fire" (2006) and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" (2007). - 'For me, it's over' And with the series' rise to fame came a battle
over its future -- and the novelist's estate. After the first three novels were published, another Swede, David Lagercrantz was commissioned to finish the saga.
by Jalees Andrabi
RINAGAR, India | AFP | Tuesday 9/3/2019 - After a year-long countdown, Arshi Nisar's wedding plans are in tatters, with the Kashmiri bride-to-be fearing for her guests' safety as an Indian security and communications clampdown on the Himalayan valley leaves residents on edge. The marketing manager had originally planned a three-day extravaganza, including a special make-up session, music, and a huge canopy to accommodate more than 700 guests invited to partake in the traditional 10-to-15 course Kashmiri feast known as wazwan. But like thousands of families in the troubled region, Nisar has resigned herself to an austere event, with no more than 40 guests in attendance -if they are able to venture out of their homes. "I grew up dreaming about a grand wedding but there is not much to celebrate because of the situation," the 29-year-old told AFP. "Now we have decided on a very simple ceremony but I am still worried (about) how my in-laws and my family will move around in these tense times." India's decision in early August to scrap Kashmir's autonomy and impose a ban on phone
and internet communications has left the region reeling, cutting off its eight-million-strong population from the outside world. Hundreds of clashes between government forces and protesters have erupted since the order, leaving more than 100 injured. Authorities have eased the security restrictions in parts of the valley but tensions still run high amid a complete shutdown of businesses, public transport and educational institutions. Government forces use steel barricades and coils of barbed wire to block roads while protesters stop private vehicles from using the roads, forcing many to remain at home. Already in the grip of a decades-long insurgency against Indian rule, the heavily militarised region is no stranger to security crackdowns. But this time, even the usually buoyant wedding industry -- a major driver of Kashmir's economy -- is buckling under the strain, with hundreds of notices appearing in newspapers and on television in recent weeks, postponing or cancelling ceremonies. - 'Heartbreak' In a status-conscious society famed for its hospitality, weddings have long served as a showcase for wealth and gener-
osity, with guest lists regularly topping 1,500 and costs running upwards of $30,000. "Families save for years or decades to splurge on weddings," Bilal, who wanted to be identified only by his first name, told AFP. Parents start preparing for their child's marriage almost immediately after birth, he said. So when only 15 percent of the invited guests turned up for his brother's wedding last month, "it was a heartbreak for the family," he said. For others consumed by wedding preparations, the communications clampdown has made it near impossible to contact suppliers and event managers. Days before his sister Tehmina's wedding, Muntazir, who declined to give his last name, is struggling to procure everything from a wedding bed to jewellery and clothing for her trousseau. "I had placed an order for a bed and given clothes for stitching to the tailor. Both the stores are closed and there is no way to contact them," the 41-year-old told AFP. Even hiring cooks and butchers was a challenge because of the communication blackout, he said. "Weddings are a once in a lifetime event," he said.
Straight outta Karachi: Pakistan's surprise hip hop hub
While Larsson's father and brother gave their blessing, his longtime partner Eva Gabrielsson vehemently opposed Lagercrantz -- the son of an intellectual from a well-off area -- as a choice to continue the left-wing militant's work. The couple were not married and Larsson left no will, so his estate went to his brother and father. Books number four and five in the series, "The Girl in the Spider's Web" (2015) and "The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye" (2017) went on to sell 14 million copies. "For me, it's over," Lagercrantz told AFP. "But Lisbeth is immortal. She will live on in one way or another, in TV, cinema or in other books". As for the legal battle, the author -- who also counts a biography of Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic among his works -- has no regrets. "With hindsight, I'm glad I carried on (Larsson's works). It allowed people to discover (his) novels and (his) political activism," he said. Larsson, who wrote for Swedish anti-racist magazine Expo and lived under constant threat from neo-Nazi groups "realised the dangers of the far-right before everyone else", Lagercrantz said. But despite calling "The Girl Who Lived Twice" his "best book in the series" in an interview with its Swedish publisher Norstedts, Lagercrantz's final instalment has received lukewarm reviews. The Washington Post describes his prose as "borderline stilted and with major and minor plot turns that make little sense", whereas for The Guardian, Salander has become "just another all-purpose kick-ass heroine".
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Eight-year-old rapper Waqas Baloch (centre) gestures as he performs in Lyari, one of Pakistanâ€™s most dangerous neighbourhoods, in Karachi. (AFP Photo) by David Stout
ARACHI, Pakistan | AFP | Thursday 8/29/2019 - Haunted by gang violence and poverty for decades, Lyari was once considered one of Pakistan's most dangerous areas, but those grim realities also inspired a generation of artists and spawned a burgeoning hip hop scene. With its close proximity to the sea and history of smuggling, the largely ethnic Balochi neighbourhood in Karachi stands apart for its history of violence and lawlessness -even by Pakistan's standards. When Karachi served as a major transport hub during the Afghan jihad against the Soviets, Lyari was hit hard by the influx of weapons and drugs -and the surge in brutality such black market businesses bring.
Heavily armed gangs and political hit squads exerted iron-fisted control over large swathes of Lyari, squashing economic growth while residents battled with the fallout, including rampant drug abuse and poverty. "Lyari was a notorious place because of the gangs and the war. It was almost impossible for outsiders to even think about entering," explains resident and new rapper Mohammad Omar. But in recent years, the gangs have been brought to heel following a heavy-handed operation by paramilitary forces that kicked off in 2013 and saw the streets turned into virtual war zones. In the battle for Lyari, gangs infamously used rocket propelled grenades and assault rifles to fight security forces,
with the crossfire shuttering schools and businesses and also keeping kids off the streets. "Children used to cry listening to the fierce gunfire," says Omar, adding: "The poor people were the victims of those gang wars. We witnessed all those things." - 'Showing reality' But the worst of the violence has abated, and an increase in security has led to flowering creativity. The embattled neighbourhood now clings fiercely to its reputation for producing top footballers, iron-chinned boxers, and most recently socially conscious rappers. The rise of hip hop in Lyari mirrors the genre's own birth decades ago in New York's Bronx borough.
VOICE OF ASIA 18
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
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Week of September 6, 2019 21 March to 20 April With both the sun and chatty Mercury linking to Mars, you could be quite forceful about how you express yourself. At the same time, links to jovial Jupiter hint that you might come across as preachy unless you can tone this down.
21 April to 20 May Leisure and pleasure activities could be very much on your mind this week and over the coming weeks and something you can indulge to your heart’s content. This can be one of the better times for learning a skill or hobby that involves fine detail.
21 May to 20 June This may be the time you consider trying something like feng shui to get the energies in your home balanced and flowing. You may find that clearing away clutter from certain rooms and putting chimes, plants, or pieces of artwork in the right places can enhance the feel of your home.
21 June to 22 July What’s on your mind? It seems it could be rather a lot with four planets in your sector of talk and thought over this and coming weeks. This can be an excellent time to get organized, get ahead with administrative tasks, and remember to book those doctor appointments.
23 July to 22 August You could be quite proactive about sorting out any lingering issues. This is the time to get advice from financial experts who can help you streamline your affairs so you can take back control and regain your peace of mind. If you need to take a break to wind down, do so. You’ll feel the benefit and recharge in the process.
23 August to 22 Sept Accommodating other people’s needs may not be easy, particularly if you’re set on a certain course. Nevertheless, you likely can’t escape their demands, so you might need to compromise to keep the peace. This could also be the case with friends or a romantic partner.
23 September to 22 Oct This week and the coming weeks could see you involved in an annual phase in which the cosmos is encouraging you to take a back seat. This isn’t a time to put yourself forward. Rather, it’s an opportunity to take stock, and find closure on certain issues.
23 October to 21 Nov Your social life could be keeping you on your toes. You may find yourself attending more events at this time than you have in some while. And you could be inclined to get involved in group or community projects or work as part of a team.
22 November to 21 Dec You could find yourself busy with all kinds of opportunities. And whether you run your own business or work for another, this can be a time when the workload is greater than usual. Try to prioritize if you can.
22 December to 20 Jan You could feel an urge to move out of your comfort zone and explore new ideas and opportunities. With a powerful focus on your sector of travel and far horizons, this may be one of those times when a vacation isn’t a luxury but a necessity.
21 January to 19 Feb Still waters run deep this week, with four planets emphasizing a more intense zone of your chart. This is the time to deal with those skeletons that are rattling around in the closet, including issues that are causing regret or emotional pain. Obviously, you won’t be able to deal with them all at once!
20 February to 20 Mar There will be plenty of interactions, conversations, and social activity over this week and coming weeks. With a full house in your relationship zone, it might seem like everyone on your contact list is showing up on your doorstep or calling you.
ACROSS 1. Tax evader's fear 6. "You betcha!" 9. Fill to satisfaction 13. Crocus, pl. 14. Reef dweller 15. Freeze off 16. Buzz Aldrin's first name 17. Wildebeest 18. Reduced, often paired with down 19. *____ back 21. *#1 NFL pick in 2019 23. Precedes whiz 24. Bald eagle's nest 25. Summer sandwich? 28. Past tense of reave 30. Bee's favorite drink 35. German currency 37. Shower with affection 39. Africa's horned herbivore 40. Battery fluid 41. Bad-tempered 43. All over again 44. Ticked off 46. Cut with a beam 47. Rip or pull 48. Pico de gallo and such 50. Abe's coin 52. Hog haven 53. Refuses to 55. Likewise 57. *Team gathering 60. *Common play on 3rd and long 64. Committee of judges 65. One of the five W's 67. Ranee's wrap 68. Sheep-like 69. Auction set 70. Romanov's edict 71. Type of message 72. Aye-aye 73. *Worn atop thigh pads
DOWN 1. Maple tree and laptop brand 2. Pakistani language 3. *First ____! 4. Cupcake topper 5. Smaller than tiny 6. Safecracker 7. Poetic "even" 8. On D'Artagnan's hat 9. Practice in the ring 10. Certain sensation 11. *NFL Primetime and NFL Draft host Wingo 12. *Type of zone 15. More spry 20. Must-haves 22. Funerary vase 24. What opposites do? 25. *Soldier Field's team 26. "____ di Lammermoor" 27. Do-re-do-re-do-re-dore, e.g. 29. *Blindside block, e.g. 31. Burn to a crisp 32. Fork prongs 33. Beside, archaic 34. *"All my ____ friends are coming over tonight..." 36. Words from Wordsworth, pl. 38. Other than what is 42. Gossipmonger 45. Waste time 49. La precursor 51. *A game that could go either way 54. Very recently 56. Port city in Japan 57. Possess 58. Windows alternative 59. *Football Hall of Famer Richard 60. Cooking vessels 61. Turkmenistan's neighbor 62. Egg holder 63. #23 Across, pl. 64. Winner's take 66. Gardening tool
SOLUTION: FOOTBALL on Page 19
VOICE OF ASIA 19
CRIME Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office
tiple incidents of violent behavior involving the victim. “Derrick Blakes demonstrated a flagrant disregard for the law and law enforcement,” said Carr. “Thanks to the jury’s verdict and the judge’s sentence, the victim was able to get the peace and justice deserved.”
errick Damon Blakes was sentenced to 5 years in prison on August 23, 2019 after a jury convicted him of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in May. The 30-year-old Louisiana man appeared before 400th District Court Judge Maggie Perez-Jaramillo during a hearing to determine his punishment. According to Assistant District Attorney Stacie Carr, Blakes assaulted his partner with a large kitchen knife at a home in the Richmond area on September 30, 2017, before barricading himself in the
Derrick Damon Blakes home to avoid an arrest by law enforcement. When the Sheriff’s Office responded, Blakes refused to exit the home and fought the deputies that eventually subdued him. During the punishment hearing, the State presented evidence of Blakes’ prior criminal history and mul-
FRIDAY, September 06, 2019
Houston Community College Request for Proposals (RFP-C) Parking Lot & Parking Garage Cleaning Services Project No. 19-65
Houston Community College Request for Proposals (RFP) CHARTER TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, R o o m N o . 11 B 0 1 , Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Monday, September 30, 2019. Documents can be o b t a i n e d a t : w w w. hccs.edu/about-hcc/ procurement/
Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002)
Project No. 19-66
until 2:00PM (local time) on September 30, 2019. Documents can be obtained at: www. hccs.edu/about-hcc/ procurement/
When you find some time, READ!
READ DAILY! 15 - 30 minutes of reading daily helps your brain focus better. Grab a novel! A Community message from Voice of Asia Group
Email Obituaries to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline for publication: Tuesdays by 5pm.
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Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in this case is a second-degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Because a weapon was used to commit the crime, Blakes must serve at least half of his sentence before he can be considered for parole. Assistant District Attorneys Stacie Carr and Christian Ludwig prosecuted the case.
Theme: FOOTBALL from Page 18
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Home&Real Estate NBA star Chris Paul lists Houston house for $8.3 M The modern Mediterranean mansion boasts antique farmhouse oak beams and French imported clay roof tiles
Students build a tiny prefab cabin in the woods for less than $14K In Finland, two students with little experience but a lot of gumption design a minimalist home in the woods and build most of it—from the roofing to the stovepipes—on their own. by Lucy Wang
n 2012, while enjoying a break from school on a fishing trip in rural Finland, Timm Bergmann and Jonas Becker hit on an intriguing idea. Why not put their design education to the test and design and build a lakeside cabin?
NBA star Chris Paul listed his Houston home on Friday. (Composite: Compass; Hannah Foslien / Getty)
asketball star Chris Paul listed his 10,000-square-foot home in Houston on Friday for $8.3 million, listing records show.
house, firepit and courtyard, which is lined with olive trees and a koi pond, according to the listing and listing photos.
Listing photos show a combination of Modernist- and Mediterraneanstyle design, with a geometric main house boasting two Texas limestoneclad masses connected by a glassenclosed structure accompanied by a limestone-edge pool, and a pool house with French imported clay roof tiles and 200-year-old farmhouse oak beams.
Dee Dee Guggenheim Howes of Compass, who declined comment, has the listing.
The mansion comprises nine bathrooms and five bedrooms, four of which have en-suite bathrooms and private terraces. The rest of the house’s square footage is spread over a library, study, game room and theater, according to the listing. Interior architectural details include a double-sided marble fireplace connecting the living room and dining room and a full-wall 750-bottle temperature-controlled wine case in the dining room, according to listing photos. French doors lead from the living room to the pool and pool
Records show that in 2018 the property was on the market for $6.9 million when Mr. Paul bought it through a trust bearing his initials, CEP, that year, although the final closing price is unclear. Mr. Paul seems to have a taste for Mediterrean-style real estate, having previously owned a Bel Air, California, estate in the same style and selling it for $8.7 million in 2017. Mr. Paul could not be reached for comment. Mr. Paul, 34, was traded by the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder in July. Over his 14-year NBA career, he has also played for the New Orleans Hornets and the Los Angeles Clippers. He won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2005 and two Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. - Manion Global
Flood the market: What to do with Houston’s perpetually flooded homes
manda and Drew Heyen spent 16 years in their small ranch home on Chantilly Lane in Houston’s Central Northwest neighborhood. In that period, their house flooded nine times — more than once every two years. At first, they tried to live with the frequent inundations. They raised their furniture on cinder blocks and installed an industrial kitchen sink with no cabinetry. After the eighth flood, in early August 2017, they decided to make plans to move. A storm had passed, leaving a couple inches of water in their home. Amanda was hauling debris to the front lawn the next day when she turned to her husband. “I don’t want to live here anymore,” she said. But they couldn’t get out before flood nine, Hurricane Harvey, arrived two weeks later. The Heyens bounced between motel rooms and friends’ houses for weeks. They returned home more than a month later to find that mold was growing on parts of the walls and that sections of the roof had caved in. “The computer room didn’t have a ceiling,” Drew said. The Heyens eventually repaired the house and moved back in, but the two were determined to unload the house as soon as possible. When Drew talked to prospective buyers, he recalls fielding some offers in the $50,000 range — nearly half of the roughly $90,000 he and his wife had spent on the house sixteen years earlier. The Heyens found themselves with a difficult choice: They could take a major loss on the home. Or they could file flood-insurance paperwork, repair the house for the ninth time and hope for a higher appraisal later, knowing full well that their home was likely to take on more water than more value. Floods cause more deaths and property damage in the United States than any other type of natural disaster. As climate change accelerates, they are getting worse and a growing number of Americans are signing up to have local governments “buy out” their disaster-prone houses, often with money from grants awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Among cities with populations over
500,000, Houston leads the pack on buyouts made possible with FEMA funds. Harris County, home to the Houston metro area, has bought nearly 2,400 homes as of this past June. Next on the list were Nashville, Charlotte, and Louisville — but Houston has bought thousands more houses than each of the runners up. FEMA calls these transactions a “win-win” because they rescue distressed homeowners and allow oft-waterlogged residences to be knocked down and converted into wetlands, prairies, and other rain-absorbing infrastructure. But buyouts come with problems. Local officials are primarily reliant on FEMA disaster payouts that arrive after events like big storms. However, to get federal funding, buyout programs need to be 100-percent voluntary, meaning homeowners must want out. But not everyone is so eager to sell as the Heyens, which means counties often acquire a patchwork of homes, as opposed to blocks at a time. Critics, including real-estate agents, accuse local officials of doling out cash haphazardly. And a study released earlier this this year by The Nature Conservancy and Texas A&M University zeroed in on Houston’s buyouts, pointing out risks inherent in Harris County’s uncoordinated pattern of home acquisitions. The Heyens’ story captures many of the problems with Houston’s current system. The family first considered signing up for the voluntary home buyout program administered by Harris County Flood Control District after their house flooded for the fourth time in 2007. But for years, the money just wasn’t there; there were too many other Houstonians with homes in deep floodplains who faced more dangerous risks from inundations. But it doesn’t take a flood of Biblical proportions to make people want out of their houses. Home like the Heyens’ exist in a soggy in-between — too flood-prone to accrue value but not dangerous enough to merit immediate rescue. But as a growing body of research shows, keeping these homes around doesn’t just subject families to a frequent aquatic nuisance, it can increase flood risks for the entire city. Continued next week...
"We wanted to test our knowledge of the first years in university and thought it would be a great chance," explain Bergmann and Becker, who solidified their design/build vision over a few beers in the sauna later that night. When they started, the duo were in their third year of undergrad— Bergmann pursuing architecture, and Becker studying urban design. The young designers leased a small lakeside site where the forest opened into a glade so as to avoid cutting down trees for site prep. With no electricity, running water, or even road access, the land was "untouched," says Bergmann, adding that their desire to respect the natural landscape influenced the design. "It was important to us to not dominate nature." A commitment to sustainable ideals, a tiny budget, and the site’s swampy conditions shaped the design of the minimalist and prefabricated timber cabin, which serves as a nature-connected retreat away from city stresses. Since the site lacked vehicular access, the designers focused first on building a 650-foot-long elevated pathway through the swamp and the forest to the nearest road. To stabilize the building on swampy soil, they built a foundation using concrete-filled steel pipes anchored into bedrock—the most eco-friendly solution they could implement without compromising the building’s durability. "We see the cabin as an observer of the fantastic landscape," says the duo, who hid the cabin behind the first tree line. "The house can be erased without any harm to nature. Therefore, we explicitly banned the use of a concrete foundation for construction of the house." They also decided to use offsite prefabrication. Fortunately, Bergmann’s grandparents’ farm was close by and they used the old barn as their construction hall. They prefabricated all 17 frames out of locally produced wood, selected for its low cost, sustainability, and forgiving nature. The designers used locally produced recycled newspaper for insulation, and covered it with 18-millimeter pine plywood sheets. Since each modular frame would have to be carried over the wooden walkway, they made sure each unit weighed less than 220 pounds. "The assembling and building part took five months, but we had also our studies, work, and life in Germany," note the duo, who spent three summer vacations to finish the cabin. Friends from Germany would occasionally visit to help with construction, which earned them lifelong rights to use the cabin for
Dubbed Small but Fine, the 280-square-foot cabin connects with the outdoors and features a minimal footprint. Not pictured is a detached outhouse with a composting toilet. (Photo: Lucy Wang) holidays. "As we built everything ourselves, we not only cut costs, but we were also able to make changes along the way. As a result, we extended the terrace, built the roof ourselves—contrary to the initial plan—and made the stovepipes ourselves," says Bergmann. "Sitting on the roof, pulling a stovepipe through the ceiling, and then sealing the roof—that’s something else. We wanted to experience these processes instead of just planning them in theory." Their bootstrap mentality and the minimalist design—there is no electricity or running water—helped the pair stay within a budget of just $13,449—the majority of which was spent on the double-glazed windows
and timber materials. Following in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, the 280-square-foot cabin serves as a space to reflect, exercise self-reliance, and live simply with nature. "We wanted to show that a house does not have to be big," explains Bergmann. "Building something beautiful does not have to be expensive," adds Becker. The cabin not only received building permission and approval, but also meets fire regulations. "We think that luxury can always be found in detail and small architecture when it provides for the needs of the people living there," say the duo, who have since founded Studio Politaire. \ - Dwell.com