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FRIDAY, April 25, 2014 Understand How Health Savings Account Can Help Save For Retirement, Read more on Page 20 Or Call: 713-771-2900.

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Punjabi Society of Houston Celebrates Menil Collection hosts ‘An Evening Vaisakhi With Glitz and Glam with Ramachandra Guha’ Book reading by author of Gandhi Before India

by Shobana Muratee OUSTON - In anticipation of its first international exhibition, ‘Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence’ to be held from October 2, 2014 to February 1, 2015, the Menil Collection held ‘An Evening with Ramchandra Guha’, author of Gandhi Before India on Monday, April 21. An impressive gathering of over 300 Houstonians and admirers of the award winning author and renowned historian got a refreshingly new account of the Gandhi’s life from his birth in 1869 through his two decades as a lawyer and community organizer in South Africa. Guha, recounting of his multiple-volume biology, took the audience on an awe-inspiring journey through his travels to England, South


L-R: Organizers and Co-host Jasmeeta Singh seen with Consul General Harish and Mrs Nandita Parvathaneni (center) being honored at the celebrations. by Manu Shah


OUSTON: Energetic dhol beats by Tamim welcomed the crowds that gathered outside the Cullen Performance Hall and set the tone for the high energy, high

spirited Vaisakhi 2014 program organized by the Punjabi Society of Houston on 19th April. The evening started with a short film which gave a historic perspective of Baisakhi - the most important festival

Ramchandra Guha’, author of Gandhi Before India on Monday, April 21, 2014 at the Menil Collection, Photos by Shobana M.

for Punjabis. Apart from giving thanks for the bounties of nature, it was also the time when Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru of the Sikh community Continued on Page 6

IACAN ‘Celebrates Life’ at its 5th Annual Gala by Shobana Muratee


mall by no measure, the Indian American Cancer Network (IACAN) has made giant strides in educating and supporting the community on how to deal with cancer, carrying on with its earnest vision to see that ‘no Indian American travels the cancer journey alone.’ This year’s gala was celebrated on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the Houston Marriott Westchase where close to 500 guests attended an estimated 85K was Continued on Page 5

L-R: Chitra Divakaruni, Roopa Gir, Dr. Mani, Ramachandra Guha, Sudha and Murthy Divakaruni.

L-R: Kanchan Kabad, Dr. V. K. Dorai, Dr. Hardeep Singh and Mrs. Singh. Photos by Bijay Dixit., Unique Images.

Bone marrow Donors who were honored at the gala.

Africa and Israel. The result, writes The Guardian newspaper, is “a work of vivid social history (and) fresh biography.” Josef Helfenstein, Director, The Menil Collection welcomed the gathering. Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee, an award winning author and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Houston introduced Guha and shared some of the finer aspects of the author that she had learnt during his short spell in Houston. Mr. Guha never wanted to be a writer, instead he wished to be a professional cricket player and goes by the name ‘failed cricketer’ in his twitter, Divakaruni humored. She also presented his wealth of accomplishments including the prestigious Padma Shree honor bestowed on him. The most profound statement he heard in the process of his prolific research on Gandhi in South Africa was when he was


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told, “You gave us a lawyer and we gave you back a Mahatma.” Guha in his reading mentioned Gandhi’s closest friends in South Africa, an English couple named Henry and Millie Polak. Henry was a radical Jew and Millie a Christian feminist. Gandhi was instrumental in getting them married and was greatly impacted by the whole drama. Guha also mentioned Tolstoy’s solid influence on Gandhi and the Mahatma’s philosophy in his later years. In conclusion, Guhu answered questions from audience and signed copies of his book. Later the guests were treated to a home-style Indian dinner with the author at the famous Indika Restaurant in Houston. Ramachandra Guha has taught at Yale and Stanford universities, the University of Oslo, the Indian Institute of Science and the London School of Economics. His books include a pioneering environmental history, an award-winning social history of

cricket and the award-winning India After Gandhi. He writes regularly on social and political issues for the British and Indian press, including columns in The Telegraph and the Hindustan Times, and his work has also appeared in The New York Times. He lives in Bangalore. The Menil Collections exhibition: ‘Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence’ is the first of its kind project to explore the resonance of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s (1867-1948) ethics of nonviolence, or satyagraha, in the visual arts. This exhibition presents approximately 130 works spanning several centuries and includes paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, sculptures, rare books, and films by artists from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The exhibition’s themes echo the expansive humanitarian concerns of the Menil Collection’s founders, John and Dominique de Menil.

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by Jules Kortenhorst and Jeremy Oppenheim hen mythological Cassandra spurned Apollo, he ew into a rage, punishing her with the gift of prophecy but the curse that no one would believe her. Predictably, she went insane. On this Earth Day, let’s leave Cassandra behind. Let’s not go insane because the specter of climate change is met with widespread disbelief, whether literal denial, questions of its severity or feelings of impotency in the face of such a daunting global challenge. Yes, a prevailing message of doom, gloom and helplessness has left many people feeling there is no option but to turn away. Nevertheless, there is hope. Market capitalism, for all its faults, offers promise. Far more so than national governments, it is fast, exible and adaptive. Now we must harness it to tackle the energy and climate challenges before us even faster. The solution to climate risk need not be simply about social sacriďŹ ce and austerity, but paradoxically can also be about market-fueled prosperity. But that won’t happen with the existing “industrialâ€? model, which creates wealth based on labor and capital, fueled by cheap energy and un-priced environmental resources and impacts. It must come from the emergence of a new model, one that decouples wealth creation from resource consumption. This model will be fueled by waves of innovation, such as new materials like the carbon ďŹ ber of BMW’s i3 and other cuttingedge vehicles, enabling radical fuel economy improvements and the end of autos’ oil addiction through affordable electric cars. Paired with new business models like car sharing and multi-modal transportation, we can share and better use these more efďŹ cient, cleaner assets, thus compounding energy and climate beneďŹ ts even while supporting a robust economy and sustained quality of life. Innovations like these will be disruptive to incumbents, especially as adoption grows to scale. But they offer immense opportunities by taking developed nations from 19th and 20th century


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

On Earth Day, ďŹ ght climate gloom and doom

Coal burning power plant in Germany in 2009. (Photo: Martin Meissner, AP 2009 photo) industrialization to 21st century prosperity and clean, streamlined energy use, while also enabling billions of consumers in developing countries to leapfrog the dirty and energy-consuming technologies and choices of the developed world. They likewise open up multitrillion dollar markets for those companies willing to invest in the new products and services these consumers will demand. As in previous economic transitions, human ingenuity allied to entrepreneurship and risk capital will drive the new models of wealth creation. These are the assets that will ultimately solve the climate change conundrum. Many non-governmental organizations have focused on promoting “classicâ€? technocratic solutions, such as energy efďŹ ciency standards and renewable energy subsidies. These are important, but they are not enough. We must think how capitalism, aided by the right set of policies and incen-

tives, can dramatically accelerate innovation and usher in a new age of hyper-efďŹ cient “circularâ€? production, consumption, and growth. This does not, however, let policy off the hook. Whether the deliberate phase out of incandescent light bulbs and the rise of LEDs, incentives and supportive policies that have enabled electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla to muscle their way into the automotive market, or net metering policies and renewable energy incentives that have helped drive the early adoption of rooftop solar, policies remain a critical piece of the puzzle. But supported by the right policies and incentives, markets and the power of capitalism can make change happen further faster. This is not some distant possible future; change and a brighter future are becoming a reality today. For example, thanks in part to energy efďŹ ciency gains and waves of technological and business model

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innovation, the United States has partially liberated its GDP from its energy consumption. Between 1950 and 2013, U.S. GDP grew by more than seven times, and yet the nation’s energy consumption per real dollar of GDP is less than half what it was. We are already on the road to wealth creation decoupled from production and consumption. Let us continue along that road with more determination and urgency than ever. Let’s re-invent our market economy in a way that harnesses its adaptive, quicksilver qualities for the changes we want to see in the world. Let’s move beyond Cassandra — and beyond the doom and gloom — to hope and solutions. Columnist Jules Kortenhorst is CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Jeremy Oppenheim is program director of New Climate Economy. Source: USA TODAY

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Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Rolls Out Red Carpet For Leading Physicians


UGAR LAND— (April 22, 2014)—At its eighth annual Doctor’s Day awards ceremony, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital literally rolled out the red carpet for their physicians, including seven leading physicians nominated and voted on by over 900 hospital employees. In honor of Doctor’s Day, hospital employees had the opportunity to participate in a “Thank a Doctor” campaign. They were able to thank a special doctor in honor of National Doctor’s Day and show their appreciation to a physician who has touched their life by writing him or her a short note. Many physicians received an envelope containing thank you notes and comment cards at the event. Seven physicians were recognized at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Doctor’s Day celebration and medical staff meeting. At the Oscars-style event in appreciation of physicians, secret envelopes revealed the winners. The physician winners then gave a small speech to recognize and thank those that voted and supported them throughout the year. Physicians in leading roles for 2014 were announced in seven categories: Female Physician of Excellence, Dr. Bushra Cheema, Oncologist; Male Physician of Excellence, Dr. Eddie Patton, Jr., Neurologist; Best Educator, Dr. Mauricio Reinoso, Pulmonologist; Most Respectful, Dr. Shiva Satish, Geriatrician; Most Supportive of Nursing, Dr. Timothy Oppermann, General Surgeon; Best Bedside Manner, Dr. Kumara Peddamatham, Gastroenterologist and Most Technologically Innovative, Dr. Vincent Phan, Orthopedic Upper Extremity Surgeon. “Our physicians bring a great deal of knowledge, skill and compassion to the

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Doctor’s Day Award Winners: Dr. Eddie Patton Jr., Dr. Shiva Satish, Dr. Bushra Cheema, Dr. Vincent Phan, Dr. Mauricio Reinoso and Dr. Timothy Oppermann (not pictured: Dr. Kumara Peddamatham)

Bhadresh Shah, M.D. and Shiva Satish, M.D.

Samir Joglekar, M.D.; Sandip Desai, M.D., Marcia Barham, Physician Liaison; and Scott Rivenes, M.D. residents in the Fort Bend community,” said Chris Siebenaler, CEO of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “The awards ceremony

and “Thank a Doctor” campaign are just a few ways for us to recognize the incredible work our physicians do.”

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“This means a great deal coming from my colleagues. I just want to thank our great team of nurses because it re-

ally takes all of us to provide excellent patient care,” said Oppermann. Satish stated, “I am very honored and grateful to receive the award for most respectful. It is a great feeling to know that my fellow physicians and nurses appreciate how I carry myself and provide for our patients.” It was an evening of celebration to truly express Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s gratitude and support towards their doctors. “Thank you so much for this award and making Houston Methodist Sugar

Land Hospital a great place to work. I look forward to continuing to work with you all,” said Cheema, winner for the Female Physician of Excellence award. Patton, the winner of the Male Physician of Excellence award agreed stating, “I really appreciate all the staff, nurses and fellow physicians, and I am humbled to receive this award. It is a privilege to call you my colleagues.” Doctor’s Day is a nationally recognized day of celebration held in March every year to honor the healing and lifesaving work of America’s physicians.




The People’s Lawyer

Answers to your Immigration Questions by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer: Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

You are either married or not married

Q. I was married seven years ago. After only one year of marriage my wife and I separated. I have not heard from her since. I now want to get married again. How do I finalize my separation so I can remarry? A, In Texas, there is no such thing as a legal separation. You are either married or you are not married. In your case, you are currently married and have been for the past seven years. If you want to marry someone else you need to first get a divorce from your current wife. I should point out that for the entire time you have been married, property either of you acquired is community property and may be divided in your divorce. I suggest you promptly speak with a family law attorney and find out the best way to proceed. Q. I own a large dog. Am I responsible if a kid climbs over my fence and is bitten? A. The owner of a dog is responsible for a dog bite only if the owner was negligent in protecting people from the dog. Negligence means not taking reasonable care. If you take reasonable steps to keep the dog properly fenced -in and a child climbs over the fence, in my opinion you have no responsibility. Q. My daughter had a baby and is living with the baby’s father. They never got married before the child was born. Are they now married? He says he isn’t. What rights does she have if he leaves? He is taking care of her and the baby but is threatening to leave her. A. Under the law, if he is the father of the child, she has the right to receive support for the child. She is entitled to child support regardless of whether they are married. You seem to believe, however, that because they are living together with a child they are married. That is not the law. For them to have a common law marriage based on living together, they must agree to be married and hold themselves out as married. If they are just “living together” and have not agreed to be married or held themselves out as married, they are not married. Q. I was sued. Can the creditor garnish my social security payments? A. No, under federal law social security is exempt from garnishment. I should add that a debt collector’s threat to garnish your social security payments would violate state and federal law. Q. I owe a lot of money to credit card companies. I am afraid they are going to sue me. All of my money is in my retirement plan and an IRA. Can they take this money if they sue me? A. As I have said before, after you are sued, a creditor can “garnish” money in a bank account. A creditor, however, may not garnish your retirement or IRA funds. Under Texas law, money in a retirement account or an IRA, including a Roth IRA, is “exempt” and may not be taken by your creditors. Q. I bought a car I can no longer afford. After two years I finally had to return it to the dealer. Am I still responsible for the remaining payments? Can I be sued? A. When a car is returned to a dealer, either voluntarily or through repossession, the dealer sells the car and applies the proceeds of the sale to your debt. You then owe the “deficiency,” that is the difference between how much you owed and how much was obtained from the sale. For example, let’s assume you owed $12,000 when you returned the car. After the car is returned, the dealer sells the car for $8,000. You now owe the “deficiency” of $4,000. The dealer may collect this as it would any other debt, including a lawsuit. Q. My father recently passed away. In his will he left me his home. He has owned the home for more than thirty years, and owned it before he married for the second time. Now his wife, my step-mom, says she has the right to live in the house and I cannot sell it. Is she right? A. Your stepmother is correct. As you seem to understand, the house was your father’s separate property and he has the right to will that property to whomever he wants. His wife has no ownership interest in the house. Because he left the house to you in his will you are the owner of the property. Your right to use or sell the property, however, is subject to your stepmother’s homestead right to stay in the house as long as she lives. The only way you will be able to sell the property is to get your step-mom to agree to move. Perhaps you can “buy out” her interest.

FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT SELF-PETITIONS FILED BY ABUSE OR BATTERED SPOUSES. Cont... Q: What is a self-petition for battered or abused spouse? Sharlene Sharmila Richards A: The spouse, child or parent of a US citizen or permanent resident who is subject to extreme cruelty or battery may file such a petition independently of the abusive spouse. Upon approval of the petition, the self-petitioner may obtain his or her permanent residence. Q: How do I prove that I suffered abuse or extreme cruelty in the hands of my spouse? A: Evidence of battery or extreme cruelty includes reports from police, medical personnel, school officials, social workers, clergy or other social services agencies. Other kinds of evidence may include an order of protection against the abuser, time spent seeking refuge in a battered women’s shelter, affidavits of friends, relatives or other witnesses, your own account of the abusive incidents which show a pattern of unacceptable behavior which may be considered as abuse if they are part of an overall pattern of violence; reports of psychologists, photographs of visible injuries, etc. Q: I wish to file a self-petition based on abuse or extreme cruelty. However, I was convicted of theft 4 years ago. A: For self-petitions, you only need to show you have good moral character for the three years preceding the filing of such petition. Please consult with an immigration attorney to properly evaluate your case. Q: My US Citizen husband had filed a permanent residence petition for me. However, immigration denied my adjustment case because they discovered that my husband was cheating on me during our marriage. I did not know that my husband was cheating on me. I married him because I loved him and his betrayal took so much out of me emotionally and mentally. We are now separated and have not divorced. Should I file a self-petition? A: You must be able to establish that your marriage to your husband was in good faith and that his actions constitute abuse and extreme cruelty towards you. I advise that you consult with an immigration attorney to discuss the merits of your self-petition case. Q: My US Citizen wife was already married to another person in a foreign country and she married me without informing me of that other marriage. I thought I was legally married to her for 6 months now. I just discovered this bigamy as we were preparing to file for my green card. I decided to leave her. A: Those who in good faith married their US Citizen or Permanent Resident spouse believing they were married but were in fact in a bigamous marriage are eligible to file such a selfpetition. You will need to show that you believed that she was free to marry you, that there was a marriage ceremony performed and that the requirements for a bona fide marriage were in fact met. Q: I am not working and my self- petition for battered spouse was approved. During the adjustment of status stage, is an affidavit of support required? A: You will be exempt from the affidavit of support requirement. Q: I was brought to the United States illegally as a child. I just divorced my US citizen spouse due to abuse. Can I still obtain permanent residence after my self-petition has been approved as I came here illegally? A: Entry without inspection is not a bar to adjusting status to permanent residence for battered or abused spouses. Q: My divorced was finalized 12 months ago and I like to self-petition based on abused spouse. Is there a deadline for such filing? A: Such petitions must be filed within 2 years of termination of the marriage and you must show a connection between the marriage termination and the battery or extreme cruelty. Q: My self-petition was approved but I have not applied to adjust status to permanent residence. I wish to remarry. Will this affect the validity of my self-petition for adjustment purposes? A: Remarriage will not affect the validity of the self-petition. Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case. My Bio Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

IACAN ‘Celebrates Life’ at its 5th Annual Gala Continued from Page 1 raised through donors, silent auction and a fun ďŹ lled balloon pop. The last ďŹ ve years, under an able leadership of experts, the IACAN was able to widen its scope to complete such trailblazing projects as the South Asian Health Need Assessment (SAHANA) undertaken in collaboration with M.D. Anderson Department of Health Minorities and Disparities. The result of which will be helpful not only to our community but all around the world to recognize that the needs of Indians in the form of statistical data. This year’s gala theme was ‘Celebrating Life’ and it was sensitively expressed by lighting of the lamp, symbolic of dispelling darkness by cancer survivors and singing of a song lead by Mrs. Kumud S Nilekani. Welcoming the gathering Kanchan Kabad, President IACAN, recaptured the various programs and activities since 2012. “We have strengthened our identity as to who we are and what we should do in the future,â€? she said. Reiterating IACAN’s mission which she said was ‘to increase awareness of cancer, to promote healthy lifestyles that reduce your risk for cancer, to encourage screening and early detection of cancer, and help deal with the diagnosis of cancer’. So far, 37 of such cases that reached out to IACAN were provided guidelines on how to get second opinions, nutrition, and coping. About 20 programs were organized during the year covering cancer prevention, tai chi, survivor support, survivor care through support group Kabad explained. As part of IACAN, social programs were held on the celebrations of Valentine’s Day, Diwali, Christmas, and ‘Look Good & Feel Better’ events. Other high priority programs include the Bone Marrow Drives, Spiritual Project, Nutrition Project Psychological Counseling and Outreach programs, which have all been doing exceptionally well with the help of dedicated volun-

Speaker Gabe Canales, founder of Blue Cure. Mrs. Kumud S Nilekani singing with the IACAN survivors Group. Photo credit: Bijay Dixit teers, Kabad said. Also, Event Co-Chairs Ash and Leena Shah were appreciated by Kabad for their support. Mistress of Ceremonies Latha Ramchand PhD, Dean at the Bauer College of Business, UH introduced Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker Hardeep Singh MD MPH, as chief of the Health Policy, Quality and Informatics program at the Houston Veterans Affair Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. For his groundbreaking multidisciplinary research, Dr. Singh was recently awarded the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research. He received the award of the White House in April 2014. In his keynote address, Dr. Singh touched upon some of the lesser known issues like ‘misdiagnosis’ and ‘missing a cancer diagnoses’. He illustrated this with a published article by JoNel Aleccia who wrote “Misdiagnosed: Docs’ Mistakes Affect 12 million a Year�. The article also mentions Dr. Singh stating that “of those misdiagnosis mistakes, about 6 million could potentially cause harm�. Referring to the Na-


tional Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) Dr. Singh stressed on the importance of asking questions like “What could be causing my problem?What else could it be? When will I get my test results and what should I do to follow up? “ Ask Me 3 is a patient education program designed to improve communication between patients and health care providers. It was an eye opener when he said that abnormal test results may not get to the patients. “A law has been passed that you can bypass your doctor to get your test results,â€? Dr. Singh explained. His views on technology especially in the medical ďŹ eld could be summed up by his statement, “If you think technology can ďŹ x health system, think again,â€? he said as a word of caution. “Too many electronic health record alerts may be leading doctors to skip them,â€? he further pointed out. Dr. Singh summed up with a strong reminder that, “No news is not good news.â€? Speaker Gabe Canales, founder and President of Blue Cure, a non-proďŹ t lifestyle movement educating men, young and old, about prostate cancer and chronic disease prevention and to offer support for those affected by prostate cancer spoke from his own experience as a cancer survivor aficted by prostate cancer an early age of 35 years in 2009 when he ‘accidentally stumbled upon it’. With no cancer history

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in the family, his case was very puzzling, but Canales coped with it with courage and today helps prevent it through his organization. “It’s the men’s side of pink,â€? he said and went on to quote the American Cancer Society according to which more than half of cancers is preventable. “Nine out of ten are environmentally triggered, and one out of ten is gene relatedâ€?. Canales said that currently he had 100,000 followers on his the Blue Cure page. Surprisingly, he also pointed out that 75% of those who engage on his Blue Cure FaceBook page were women. “They push us in so many ways. There is a cultural stigma, these matters will not allow us to seek the advice we deserve,â€? he pointed out. Cables was in high praise for the efforts of IACAN and said, “I see a need for such organizations.â€? As a contributing writer for the HufďŹ ngton Post and the Houston Chronicle, he said, “I want to put the greatest spotlight on such organizations.â€? On the occasion, the IACAN honored these bone marrow donors: Gayatri Rao, Abhilash Katta, Riddhi Patel, Harish Kapoor, and A Jayakumar whose stories were posted for all to read. Gayatri Rao gave an insight of her experience as a donor and encouraged everyone to experience that sense of gratiďŹ cation that she had. Each of their stories were very moving and equally inspiring.

HEB team that was the among the top sponsors of the gala

Gala Co-Chairs Ash and Leena Shah ‘Dancing Feat: the story of hope, faith, belief and love’ was beautifully portrayed by a group of dancers, directed and choreographed by guru Padmini Chari. Uma Mantravadi sang a few golden hits songs keeping the audience entertained. Concluding a thoroughly inspir-

ing and uplifting evening was a vote of thanks proposed by Lakshmi Naik who supports IACAN with her expertise in integrating psychological and medical aspects of cancer care. The sumptuous vegetarian dinner was catered by Narain’s Bombay Brasserie.



Punjabi Society of Houston Celebrates Vaisakhi With Glitz and Glam

Consul General P Harish and wife Nandita made a brief appearance and extended their Vaisakhi wishes to the community. The Consul General also complimented the “bhangra rajas and the gidda ranis” for their lively dance performances and recalled the contributions of the people of Punjab who gave their life for India and helped in nation building. Judge Ravi Sandill also remarked that the “cultural impact of the Sikh community is growing worldwide.”

One of the many colorful and vibrant dance performances at the Vaishaki celebrations Continued from Page 1 formed the Khalsa to fight oppression. Coordinator and cohost of the evening, Jasmeeta Singh welcomed the gathering. In a novel manner, she came down from the stage and picked cohost Prince Christy on “a trial basis.” She also appreciated the efforts of the planning committee and several members of the community who worked “day and night” to make this evening come together. She urged the audience to give an extra round of applause to Bhai Amar Singh “who got the sponsorships without which the event would not have been possible” and charmingly inveigled a promise from Grand Sponsor

ing that none of the dancers were dehydrated!” The cultural program kicked off with Gurkaran and his team synchronizing the music of the tabla, drums, guitar, sitar and the dhol to produce a wonderful instrumental number. Emcee DJ Prince urged the packed auditorium to “make some noise” and welcome groups of dancers like BOSS, Rockers, Rangla Punjab, Elite Bhangra, Punjabi Kaliyan and Bhangra Boltz to show their bhangra moves. Two graceful and lively gidda dances were performed by Gidhe Diyan Raniya and Majajanan Gidha. Composer, writer and sufi singer J.S.Paras entertained the gathering with several Punjabi

The stage also rocked with five adrenalin fueled Bhangra teams competing in a Bhangra competition. Decibel levels in the hall increased by several notches with the audience cheering wildly. Judging by the shouts of encouragement, the home team - Nishani Bhangra with their lithe energy and superb coordination seemed to be clear favorites. Apparently the judges concurred with the audience as they walked away with the first prize. The second prize went to Hurricane Bhangra, Miami while the third went to Texas Bhangra, Austin.

The glamor quotient of the evening was amped up with three fashion shows – Gajda Wajda Punjab, Tashan te Jashan and Virsa which interestingly featured Jasmeeta Singh, Conducting the show three generations. Tashan te Jashan was choreographed by Jasmeeta herself who joined the models towards the end and demonstrated her excellent dancing skills with a lively Punjabi folk number “Shona, Shona.” The evening’s performances continued till about midnight. Despite the late hour, energy levels showed no signs of abating which goes to prove what the Sikhs have been saying all along – Singh is always King!

Fashion show was one of the highlights of the event Sarbjit Singh to sponsor next year’s event too. Vasda Punjab was also thanked for “sponsoring the water bottles and ensur-

numbers like Sher-e-Punjab; Simran Kaur dedicated a beautiful song to her mother while young Ranveer hushed the au-

dience with a poignant 30 second speech explaining what it means to be a Sikh in Mae Haa Sardar.

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(Generous sponsors also included Anup Singh of Wingate Hotel, Gurminder Padda &family, Rai family of Ishpal Investments, Bawa Jewellers, Surjit Singh, Sandeep Singh, Pritam Singh Toor, Sukhwinder Singh of Church’s Chicken and Mr.and Mrs. Mangat. Grand media sponsor Rehan Siddiqu, Darshak Thakkar and Mahesh Mahbubani’s efforts were invaluable. Almas Tejani and Sari Sapne outfitted the models for the Tashan te Jashan fashion show while the jewelry was provided by Highness Collections).

FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

Nelson Mandela Peace Award bestowed on the charitable organization supported by Austin based Hindu temple

Vishaka Tripathi, President JKP Education received the award in Delhi n April 19, 2014


KP Education, a non-profit organization supported by Radha Madhav Dham Hindu Temple in Austin, has won the Nelson Mandela Peace Award for its contribution to the education of underprivileged girls in rural India. Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat (JKP) Education, located in Uttar Pradesh (UP), India, provides 100% free education, from kindergarten to postgraduate studies, to more than 5,000 girls living in impoverished rural areas. With 430 million children in India, every 6th child in the world originates from India. Unfortunately, girls in India are robbed of an education on account of poverty even today. School dropout rate among adolescent girls is as high as 63.5%. Through its initiatives, JKP Education attempts to correct this situation and give back the birthright of education to girls living in poor rural areas of UP, India. JKP Education’s President, Vishaka Tripathi, accepted the prestigious award in Delhi on April 19, 2014 from a member of Indian Parliament and former Minister of State of Home Affairs, Shripad Yesso Naik. G.S. Sachdeva, General Secretary of the Economic Growth Society of India, commented, “These awards have been instituted with the goal of honoring individuals and organizations that have made selfless contribution towards the growth of India”.

In addition to free education, students are provided transportation, uniforms, school bags, and other school-related items at no cost. “Our aim is to remove any obstacle to the girl’s education that is likely to be induced by poverty”, said Vishaka Tripathi. Swami Nikhilanand, a US based preacher of Radha Madhav Dham in speaking to supporters about the award remarked “Leading a spiritual life and helping the less fortunate go hand in hand. We are very happy about this recognition. These awards inspire us to strive ever more diligently towards helping our fellow human beings and expand our future charitable works.” The efforts of JKP Education have been recognized in the past as well. It has received Rajiv Gandhi Global Excellence Award (May, 2013), Naari Today Award of Jagran group (May, 2013), and Mother Teresa Excellence Award (September, 2013). Nestled in the beautiful Hill Country of Austin, on a 200 acre property, Radha Madhav Dham is one of the largest Hindu temples in America. In addition to contributing to several health and educational related charitable projects aimed at improving the quality of life for poor in India, Radha Madhav Dham also supports Shiksha, a non-profit Sunday school providing enriching educational experience in India’s Arts and Culture for children living in the Greater Austin Community.



FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

White House names Indian- Man charged with hate crime American Rajendra Singh: for attacking a Sikh professor “Solar Champion of Change” in New York


ASHINGTON: White House has named IndianAmerican professor Rajendra Singh as one of ten “Solar Champions of Change” who are taking the initiative to spur solar deployment across America. Rajendra Singh is D. Houser Banks Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of Clemson University’s Centre of Silicon Nanoelectronics in South Carolina. “Today, the White House is celebrating ten Solar Champions of Change who are driving policy changes at the local level to expand energy choices for Americans, grow jobs, and add new clean energy to the grid,” a White House announcement said The champions include community leaders helping to reduce permitting times, business owners looking for a cleaner energy source, or homebuilders

looking to offer new, renewable options for their customers, it said According to a Clemson University release Singh is leading the charge across the country to create jobs and economic opportunity in solar power and driving policy changes at the local level to further advance solar deployment. Singh devoted his doctoral thesis research to solar cells in 1973 during the Arab oil embargo and in the last 40 years he has served as a visionary leader to advance the technology of photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing. “The vision I had in 1980 is happening only now, 30 years later,” Singh said. “The economic crisis of 2008, followed by recession or low economic growth in developed economies and high growth in emerging economies, has changed the landscape of energy business all over the

world.” As part of the Climate Action Plan launched by President Barack Obama in 2013, the US has observed a record-breaking year for new solar installations, increasing almost 11-fold, which is enough to power more than 2.2 million American homes. Solar power now is a costcompetitive option that offers financial and environmental benefits and yields new economic opportunities for many Americans. To transform global electricity infrastructure, Singh is providing leadership to use photovoltaics as the source of local direct-current electricity in the US and emerging and underdeveloped economies. He is also actively involved with civic groups to bring legislation and regulations in South Carolina that will lead to the growth of solar-generated electricity, the university said.


EW YORK: A 20-yearold man, accused of pulling the beard of a Sikh professor in the US, has been arrested and charged with hate crime for the brutal assault during which the attackers called him “Osama” and “terrorist”. Christian Morales was arrested on Friday night and charged with aggravated harassment and committing a hate crime in connection with the attack on Prabhjot Singh, a professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Morales was produced in court yesterday. While the investigation is still ongoing, he is the only person in custody, the New York Police Department said. Singh, 31, was assaulted last September by a group of 20-30 young men while he was walking in the Harlem neighbourhood near here. The father of one had been “brutally attacked” and was rushed to the hospital with severe bruising, swelling, small puncture in his elbow and frac-

ture in his lower jaw. While in hospital, Singh had told the police that his assailants had taunted him and beat him, calling him “Osama” and “terrorist” as they pulled at his long beard. He was repeatedly punched in the face and head. Singh was returning from dinner, dropping his wife and one-year-old son at home before going for a walk. While being attacked, he saw one of the assailants put his arm inside his coat as if reaching for a gun. Addressing a press conference days after the attack, Singh had said he would want his attackers to visit the Gurudwara and interact with members of the community to better understand the Sikh faith. “If I could speak to my attackers, I would ask them if they had any questions, if they knew what they were doing. May be invite them to the Gurudwara where we worship, get to know who we are... Make sure they have an opportunity to move past this as well,” Singh had said. The New York police had re-

leased a surveillance video of the suspects believed to be involved in the attack. The grainy clip showed a group of young 15-20 suspects riding their bikes shortly before they encountered Singh as he walking with a friend. Singh, who has lived in the city for 10 years, had said he would not be deterred from his goal of engaging with communities to educate and uplift people to make them become better human beings. There is need to understand “who gave these kids the green light to hate.” “These sort of things are not who we are. This is not an America that I recognise,” he had said. In 2012, Singh had written an op-ed in the New York Times days after six Sikh persons were killed in a tragic shooting at a Wisconsin Gurudwara in August. “We must do away with a flawed and incomplete assumption of ‘mistaken identity’ regarding Sikhs; until we do, we will all be the ones who are mistaken,” he had written in the op-ed titled ‘How Hate Gets Counted.’

Sant Singh Chatwal pleads guilty of violating US electoral laws


Indian-American hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal today pleaded guilty at a court here to violating federal election laws by using straw donors to secretly funnel money to political campaigns.

EW YORK: IndianAmerican hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal today pleaded guilty at a court here of violating federal election laws by using straw donors to secretly funnel money to political campaigns and will pay a million dollars to the US as part of his plea agreement. “Chatwal admitted that he used straw donors to secretly funnel money to political campaigns so that he could gain access to the politicians, and he coerced another person to hide his crime,” said acting US Assistant Attorney General David O’Neil. Chatwal, 70, had raised at least USD 100,000 for for-

mer secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign against Barack Obama. He pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of New York to conspiring to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act (the ‘Election Act’) by making more than USD 180,000 in federal campaign donations to three candidates through straw donors who were reimbursed and to witness tampering. There is no allegation that the candidates participated in, or were aware of, Chatwal’s scheme, federal prosecutors said. As part of his plea agree-

ment with the government, he agreed to forfeit one million dollars to the US. “Chatwal went to great lengths to undermine both election laws and our system of justice. Today’s guilty plea shows our vigilance and determination to prosecute those who damage the integrity of elections by masking the true sources of campaign contributions,” O’Neil said. “Chatwal’s scheme sought to subvert the very purpose of the Election Act. Chatwal then rolled the dice to stymie the government’s investigation, thinking he could corruptly convince witnesses to his federal election crimes to stay silent. That gamble did

not pay off,” said US Attorney Loretta Lynch. The Washington Post said Chatwal faces a maximum of nearly six years in prison when he is sentenced on July 31. He is free on a USD 750,000 bond secured by property in Manhattan. A spokesman for Chatwal said he “deeply regrets his actions and accepts full responsibility for the consequences.” Chatwal was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2010 for his role in the historic IndiaUS civilian nuclear deal. He heads the chain of the upscale Hampshire Hotels. (PTI).



FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

Ashirwad Celebrates to Appreciate Happy:) Day 6


shirwad A Blessing Temple celebrated Happy:) Day 6 on Saturday 19th April, in Cinco Ranch High School, Katy. Happy:) Day is Ashirwad’s end of the year graduation and appreciation dinner. Highlights of the evening were Chief Teacher’s Commitment Award, SlokaThon, $loka-Bet, Vedic Fair 3 Appreciation, “Karma”, Play by Ashirwad Students, Annual Sloka Recital and Graduation Ceremony.

guidance of Geetha Ravula ji and Ashirwad team put together the highlight of the evening “Karma” a play in english depicting what is Karma. Students not only acted, but they were very enthusiastic to be involved in the play script, props, back stage logistics and DJ. Audience gave Karma, two thumbs up.

Happy Day 6 was invoked in traditional way by lighting of diyas by Ashirwad’s Chief Teacher and team. Geetha Ravula Ji, every year recognizes one Ashirwad Family by awarding them Chief Teacher’s commitment award for their consistent commitment to heritage. For 2014 it was awarded to Saanika Halpeti, Manisha Halapeti, Mahesh Halapeti, Siya Halapeti.

Geetha and Sri Ravula of Ashirwad A Blessing Temple want to thank Ashirwad Team comprising of Ravi Sethuraman, Sivapriya Ravishankar, Priya Muralidharan, Deepika Maharaj, Srimathi Kumar, Laxmi Hegde, Shagun Ahuja, Mahima Bhat, Manisha Halapeti, Mahesh Halapeti, Vivek Bhonsley, Bindu Rao, Sailesh Kaparaju, Suresh Arumilli, Vinod Conikee, Ashutosh Sapru, Sonali Sapru, Hari Nemmara.

Sloka-Thon 2014 was the signature event of the evening. The top 3 finalists competed live on stage by reciting in 3 minutes precisely as many Vishnu Saharanamam slokas as they can. Saanika Halapeti was the winner by reciting 48 slokas. 1st runner up was Rhea Bhat who was the winner in 2013 and 2nd runner up was Srinidhi Srikalyani. These year Ashirwad introduced $loka-Bet on Bhagwad Githa for their senior students. Divena

Happy:) Day concluded on a happy:) note, for every kid present received their graduation trophy which they will cherish for a long time to come.

Annika Ahuja receiving Clss Star Award from Ashirwad Chief Teacher Geetha Ravula for her consistent commitment to Ashirwad 2s class. Donthi and Rithika Ravishankar the joint winners recited flawlessly the slokas and explained the meaning of the slokas randomly drawn by the judges. Ashirwad recognized Vedic Fair 3 supporters Radha Sharma, Sachin Sharma, Sukhi Kohli of IACHF, How 2 Workshop experts Sangita Bhutada, Ravi Sethuraman, Praveena Kada-

kia, India Exhibit Presentation Competition below 10 winner Ruthvik Jonna, runner up Vishnu Nataraja, above 10 winner Divena Donthi, runner up Anika Ravishankar and cooking competition winner Manjari Guturu and runner up Renu Ahuja. Ashirwad students under the

BAPS Charities Mobilizes Local Communities for 14th Annual Walkathon Sloka-Thon: R-L: Geetha Ravula, Srinidhi Srikalyani (2nd Runner Up), Saanika Halapeti {Slokathon Winner}, Rhea Bhat (1st Runner up), Rithika Ravishankar ($loka-Bet Joint Winner), Divena Donthi ($loka-Bet Joint Winner) and Priya Muralidharan.

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FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

“Let us Learn to Live” - JVB Preksha Meditation Center conducts 14th Annual Family Retreat

Banga Sammelan 2014 held in Houston

Families that partook in the retreat

Lighting of the traditional lamp

by Shashank Jain JVB Preksha Meditation Center, Houston conducted a 3-day and 2-night Family Retreat Camp at calm and scenic 66-acre facility Camp Woodmen, Bellville, TX from April 18th through April 20th 2014. The camp registration achieved a new record and was full capacity at about 100 people from all around the state; Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and the Greater Houston area. This was the 14th Annual Family Camp conducted; the theme of this camp was “Let us Learn to Live”. Friday evening began with lively introductions which broke the ice between the participants, and also laid the foundation for making new friends. Samanijis Sanmati Pragyaji & Jayant Pragyaji, disciples of Acharya Mahashraman’s and currently stationed in Houston, led an interactive & learning program which included multiple lectures/presentations. Samani Sanmati Pragyaji initiated the programs with an ever interesting topic- “Let’s learn to live a wonderful life.” She urged the attendees to follow easy steps: Better Individual by being Peaceful, Purposeful and Confident; Better Social by having Values & Morals, Discipline and Unity; Better Professional by showing Creativity, Integrity and Charity; Better Religious by doing Prayer, Reading and Practice; and Better Spiritual with Quest, Belief and Balance. Samanijis used everyday examples in their presentations & delivered tips that can be utilized to transform one’s habits via different discourses. The audience appreciated situational examples that they could relate to their familial and daily lives; which led to thought provoking discussions and fructified ideas to overcome them. Participants relaxed and meditated during various meditation sessions during the course of the day with focus on relaxation, and color meditation. The retreat

had concurrent kids programs, where they focused on Learning, Yoga, Pranayam, and other creative activities conducted by Pankti Gala, Vinita Berry, Sarika Gandhi, Seema Jain and Rashu Jain. Some of the highlights of the children activities were interactive sessions on “How to Improve Focus” by Samanjis, Storytelling by Geeta Gala and “Top 10 values” conducted by Pramod Bengani. All participants, especially kids participated in a cultural eve on Saturday night, which included knowledge snippets presented by the kids. For the adults, 14 different teams were challenged to make presentations on pre-assigned topics for each team. Creativity peaked in each of the team skits, and the audience enjoyed the entertaining & fun presentations. Nitesh Jain emceed the program Daily early morning Yoga sessions by the lake, conducted by Upma Chauhan were literally an icing on the cake. Saturday morning also featured special laughter yoga programs for adults & kids by Jeetendra Tanna. Families also enjoyed the excellent recreational facilities at Camp Woodmen in the beautiful spring weather. Unlimited paddle boating & canoeing had long wait times and kids & adults had a wholesome time. All participants appreciated the great bouquet of programs, activities, and the way arrangements were handled professionally by the JVB team. Food arrangements, which were handled by Anju Bengani, were also highly talked about. The Annual camp concluded with

a two hour interactive session with Samanijis. Rajat Khater joined in and moderated a feedback session, & JVB President, Nikhil Jain, expressed his thanks to Samanijis, all attendees & volunteers for making this a memorable and successful event for one and all. Samaniji brought the event to a successful close by reciting mangal paath, with everybody taking the resolve to come back next year. Preksha Meditation is the practice of purifying our emotions, consciousness and realizing our own self. Mediation augurs attitudinal change, behavioral modification and integrated development of one’s personality. Started in 1970, Preksha Meditation is the result of the untiring efforts of Ganadhipati Tulsi and Acharya Mahapragya. Acharya Mahapragya researched and experimented for twenty years to rediscover the process of meditation, as was practiced by Bhagwan Mahavir. Preksha Meditation is for everyone, irrespective of his or her race, religion, language, color, gender and belief. Preksha Meditation has proved a panacea for transmutation of thoughts, development of favorable emotions, positive thoughts and towards increasing the efficiency of body & mind. JVB Preksha Meditation Center is home to a specially designed Preksha Dhyan ‘Pyramid’ Meditation Hall and is located at 14102 Schiller Rd, Houston, TX 77082. For more information and for current and upcoming programs please visit or call 281.596.9642.

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OUSTON, 19th April 2014: Houston recently hosted a big extravaganza – kickoff for a prestigious mega-event in 2015. Since 1980 North American Bengali Conference (NABC or Banga Sammelan) has promoted the Bengali culture richness in USA and Canada. Tagore Society of Houston (TSH) will host its 35th version on July 10-12, 2015. TSH already erected a statue of Tagore in the heart of Texas and Houston’s energy corridor as the emblem of that vision. The conference will celebrate the diversity and spread the rich heritage of Tagore’s borderless culture. The kickoff event was well-attended and showed real passion to have a sparking event next year and also, leave a legacy for the future. It left the audience motivated by the message of respect for tradition and giving back and also, absolutely dazzled by the perfection of the execution of the event. 35th NABC 2015 was kicked off on Saturday, April 19th at Houston Durga Bari Society Sur Auditorium. Dr.Bishnupada Goswami, head priest, HDBS Inaugurated the event and lighted the lamp. TSH President Dr. Ruma Acharya gave

the welcome speech and signed the contract with Cultural Association of Bengal, President, Purna Bhattacharyya. Partha Sarathi Chatterjee, the General Secretary, explained the relevance of the theme and our mission “Celebrate your heritage; Embrace the change” and launched the theme song and video to thunderous applause. Highlight of the day was Swami Ishatmananda Minister in-charge, Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago, who addressed the gathering on Bengali - Past, Present & Future culture. In an awe-inspiring speech, he made us aware of so many nuances of our rich heritage but more importantly, called on us to truly make a difference – help humanity as our mission. His speech was a call to action similar to Swami Vivekananda’s “Arise and Awake – stop not till the goal is reached”. He extolled everyone to not only celebrate the culture in the few days of the conference but seriously contemplate building a strong foundation to help humanity. In his words, a country can progress only when everyone does it together and not a handful making tremendous wealth. Swamiji asked for wealth with conscience and not waste money and resources on

materialistic pleasures of life. Let’s utilize all of them to make a difference in people’s lives. The audience was spell-bound, gave a standing ovation but more importantly, was inspired to make a difference. NABC 2015 organizers are committed to have a longlasting outcome on the lives of the underprivileged – through education, entrepreneurship and welfare. The fruits of the conference must show in those results. The conference kicked off the “Go Green” initiative for Earth Day with enthusiastic participation of the youths. It will be a consistent effort throughout the conference. Dr. Sanku Bose, Co-President of NABC 2015, introduced the guests from all over USA. He was followed by Tapan Das, Co-President of NABC 2015 shared the vision statement, organization governance, high level plan. Mr. Das in his address shared that the NABC 2015 team is excited to host the prestigious 35th NABC –which will be designed around the theme “Celebrate your heritage; Embrace the change”, dedicated to celebrating our glorious Bengali culture and tradition while welcoming the exciting future.

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FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

Amazing Fitness Day at Meenakshi Temple: 5-K Walkathon and the inaugural Basketball tournament MTS 5-K Walkathon

MTS inaugural Basketball tournament

by Dr. Al Alagappan


he saying “Healthy body is important for a Healthy Mindâ€? is often heard; this theme was the background to Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS) Fitness day held on Aprill 20th. The day started with the second annual 5-K Walkathon event with around 200 people (adults and children) participated and this year it provided fund raising event to beneďŹ t the main temple renovation project (MTRP). The entire walking track was prepared within the MTS premises with the help of temple staff and few dedicated volunteers. Despite the April showers few days ago, the ground was mostly dry on the day and the organizers did a tremendous job getting the walking track prepared. It was a feast to the eyes to see the cheerful participants starting to gather from 7 am on a Sunday morning with their active sporting gear and walking shoes. The weather was perfect for the walk with a little bit of mist and fog in the beginning with the sun coming up at the right time. The event started off with a brief warm up and followed by Mrs. Hasitha’s demonstration of Sun salutation, then the aarthi inside the Ganesh temple performed by the temple priest, Parameshwaran Bhattar. The MTS Chairman, Dr. Vaduganathan and Mrs. Nacha Vaduganathan kicked off the event with the ribbon cutting ceremony. The kids ranging from 2-15 years participated in a shorter version of 3-K walk, and were thrilled to ďŹ nd several Easter eggs along the way. The youngest lot also participated in the coloring contest. All the adult participants completed the full 5-K which comprised of three full rounds on the track, while

Basketball players (with trophy ) and coaches at the tournament by Mahesh Iyer


5-K Walkathon where around 200 people participated at the Sri Meenakshi Temple some over enthusiastic participants completed ďŹ ve rounds. It was a serene atmosphere at the temple with the morning ragas playing in the back ground which made the walk even more enjoyable. Several volunteers distributed water, fruit juices and bananas to the participants. Free hats for the children and T shirts were sponsored by the event coordinators, Dr. Alagappan and Saro Alagappan. The chief guest for the event was kept as a secret till the end while everyone was guessing. The long time devotee as well as one of the generous donors of the previous MTS events and projects including the GTRP (Ganesh temple renovation project) Dr. Appan was duly recognized by the MTS Chairman. Dr.Appan distributed the door prizes as well the prizes for the oldest male and female participant which was given to Mr. Anantha and Mrs. Dhanam Thiagarajan, and to the youngest participant boy, Anirudh (3

1/2 years) and the youngest girl (2 1/2 years) Anisha from Katy . The event concluded with a hot sumptuous free breakfast provided by Food coordinator Jeyam Thiagarajan and Staff Sri Meenakshi temple. The fund raiser was a huge

The nail biting ďŹ nish between “A-Teamâ€? and “Alley-Oopsâ€?, kept the 100+ spectators on the edge of their seats. True sportsmanship prevailed when Kotesh Rao and Venkat Ramanathan, who respectively coached these two teams, shook hands and encouraged each other’s teams. All the team members exhibited





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Needless to say, the other two teams “Jay Hawksâ€? and “Clearlake Cobrasâ€? did put on a massive ďŹ ght. All games did end up being too close to call till the last few seconds. This kept the referees and scorekeepers on high alert throughout the games. It was indeed a welcome sight to see community wide participation for all aspects of the game. A long overdue tournament .... Well worth the efforts of keeping young adults within the temple going community ... And, what an awesome spirit. It was indeed an Amazing day at the Meenakshi Temple (


Mother’s Day



$BMMVT5PEBZUPHFUEFUBJMTBOEHFUTUBSUFE Deadline:.BZUI  UPTVCNJUNBUFSJBM ADD ON OPTIONS: r"EEBIFBSUĔPXFSCVUUFSĔZUFEEZCFBSJDPO M-O-T-H-E-R “M� is for the million things she gave me, “O� means only that she’s growing old, “T� is for the tears she shed to save me, “H� is for her heart of purest gold; “E� is for her eyes, with love-light shining, “R� means right, and right she’ll always be, A word that means the world to me. - Howard Johnson

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remarkable competitive spirit in the true sense of accomplished sportsmen. In the end, all the spectators concluded that the unforgettable sparkle in the eyes of the ďŹ nalists was totally worth the month long preparation leading up to the day long competition.

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Yoga in session: Surya Namaskar



success, thanks to the corporate and individual sponsors who supported this event. Looking at the over whelming enthusiasm among the participants, a permanent walking track at the MTS may soon become a reality to beneďŹ t the devotees.

hen the ďŹ rst MTS Spring Basketball tournament got off to an on-time start of 11:00 AM, it was simply a prelude to the precise execution of a well thought out event. Chairman Dr. Vadagunathan kicked off the event with a short speech which concluded thus: “may the best team winâ€?. There were 38 contestants spread over the greater Houston area, divided into 4 teams. Krishnan Swaminathan, the lead coordinator for the event, left no stone unturned as far as managing every step of the month long planning and execution process.




FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

Kashmir killings overshadow UK tourist recounts ‘hellish’ time next round of voting in India in Sri Lanka over Buddha tattoo

British tourist Naomi Coleman poses for a photograph after she was arrested at the country’s main international airport and later ordered with deportation for having a tattoo of the Buddha, in Colombo on April 22, 2014 (AFP Photo/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi) The bodies of the victims being carried by relatives. AFP photo by Penelope MACRAE NEW DELHI, A - Rebels shot dead two village heads and another man in Indian Kashmir, police said Tuesday, casting a shadow on the next round of India’s marathon general elections slated for later this week. The polls are being staggered in the disputed Muslim-majority region and across the subcontinent in a bid to ensure voter safety across the country of 1.25 billion people. Police blamed the region’s top insurgent group, Hizbul Mujahideen, for the separate attacks late Monday, which they said were an attempt to discourage locals from voting in polls to be held on Thursday. The attackers entered the home of one village head and shot him dead and killed another senior village official and his 24-yearold son about an hour later in the same area. Some dozen rebel groups have been fighting for more than two decades for Indian Kashmir’s independence or merger with Pakistan, in violence that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people. Security forces searched for

the killers as posters were pasted outside several mosques in the main bazaar town of Tral, apparently by the Hizbul Mujahideen, warning that “voting for tyrants will entail punishment.” Conciliatory remarks by Modi Separately, Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi tried to strike a conciliatory tone over the contentious issue of India’s Muslims late Tuesday, and to distance himself from inflammatory remarks by a one-time associate. Polls forecast Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will end a decade of sitting in opposition and emerge as the biggest party in the next parliament when the election results come May 16, and that he will be India’s next premier. Modi described Muslims as “brothers” in a television interview with India’s ABP news, and promised to “reach out to the entire population” if elected, addressing worries that a BJP government could jeopardise the secular foundations of Hindu-majority India. His comments came as former associate Praveen Togadia, head of the right-wing Vishwa Hindu

India concludes pact with US on tax evasion under FATCA


ew Delhi: India has concluded an ‘in substance’ agreement with the US to combat possible tax evasion by Americans through Indian financial entities. The ‘in substance’ agreement with India under Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was concluded on April 11, the US Treasury said. Market regulator Sebi plans to issue guidelines for market intermediaries in this regard this fiscal, sources said. The US said India has consented to Model 1 - Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) under FATCA. As per Model 1, financial entities will be required to report information on US account holders to the US IRS (internal revenue service) through CBDT. The FATCA requires the US government to sign IGAs with various countries, including India, where American individuals and companies may hold accounts and other assets. “Regulatory measures from SEBI and other regulators after the signing of this IGA would immensely help Indian financial institutions to cope up with this complex regulation,” said Amit Maheshwari, Partner Ashok Maheshwary & Associates. He said other regulators like RBI are also expected to issue guidelines to ensure compliance of FATCA. Signing of IGA coupled with

regulatory measures from SEBI would be helpful for Indian financial institutions and corporates to better comply with this significant legislation, experts said. Sebi was asked to examine the applicability of the FATCA provisions to all market intermediaries regulated by the capital markets regulator. This was examined by Sebi in coordination with the Finance Ministry. According to sources, necessary comments and suggestions have been provided to the Ministry and pursuant to the government directions, Sebi would issue appropriate guidelines in 2014-15 to market intermediaries on due diligence and reporting requirements with respect to FATCA. While FATCA became a law way back in 2010, the final regulations were issued for it in January 2013 and it is set to come into effect from July 1, 2014 after signing of IGAs with different countries. The law aims to check and impose withholding tax on illicit activities of some wealthy individuals who use offshore accounts to evade millions of dollars in taxes. A noncompliance with FATCA entails 30 percent withholding tax on certain US source payments. The US Treasury had released two formats of the IGA - Model 1 and Model 2. In Model 2, financial institutions will report information directly to the US IRS rather than their local jurisdictions.

Parishad (World Hindu Council), faces a police investigation after a video appeared to show him urging Hindus to evict Muslims from their neighbourhoods in western Gujarat state. Togadia insisted to reporters he was only advising how to resolve property rows with Muslims in the video. Muslims comprise 13 percent of India’s population making them the largest religious minority, and the 63-year-old Modi remains a deeply suspect figure among them. In 2002, just after Modi began his time as chief minister of Gujarat state, at least 1,000 people -- mostly Muslims -- were killed in religious riots. Modi has consistently denied he failed to act quickly to stem the violence and no tribunal has found him guilty of any wrongdoing. However a top aide was convicted for involvement. Expressing unease about a BJP victory, around 75 professors and other academics of Indian origin at some of Britain’s top universities said in an open letter to Britain’s Independent newspaper on Tuesday the idea of Modi in power “filled them with dread”. “We are deeply concerned at the implications of a Narendra Modi-led BJP government for democracy, pluralism and human rights in India,” the letter said. It followed a similar open letter earlier this month to Britain’s Guardian newspaper expressing “acute worry” at the prospect of a Modi victory, signed by novelist Salman Rushdie and sculptor Anish Kapoor among others.

COLOMBO, April 22, 2014 (AFP) - A 37-yearold British nurse recounted Tuesday her “hellish” experience in Sri Lanka after she was arrested and sent to a deportation centre for sporting a Buddha tattoo deemed offensive by authorities. Naomi Coleman was arrested at the country’s main international airport on Monday shortly after her arrival on a flight from neighbouring India and appeared before a magistrate who ordered her deportation, police said in a statement. “It is a terrible, hellish experience,” Coleman, a mental health nurse from Coventry in England, told AFP by telephone at the Sri Lankan deportation centre. “I am a practising Buddhist and meditate. That is why I have the tattoo -- not out of disrespect for Buddhism.” Earlier, pulling up her white t-shirt, Coleman displayed for an AFP photographer the tattoo of a meditating Buddha seated on a pink lotus flower on the upper part of her right arm. She said the tatoo had never created problems when she visited the country twice before or even in other Buddhist countries like Thailand and Cambodia. Coleman said that she was never told what charges were brought against her, but was held for six hours and harassed by police for

bribes. She paid 5,000 rupees ($38) for a lawyer, who did not help her, she added. “I cried. I am very afraid,” she told AFP. Sri Lanka, a majority Buddhist nation, is highly sensitive to perceived insults to the religion. Sri Lanka barred another British tourist from entering the island in March last year for showing “disrespect” to Buddhism by having a Buddha tattooed on his arm. In August 2012, three

French tourists were sentenced to six months in jail, which was suspended for five years, for kissing a Buddha statue in what the authorities considered a sign of disrespect. Sri Lanka prevented US rap star Akon from visiting in 2010 over one of his music videos which featured scantily clad women dancing in front of a Buddha statue. It was not immediately clear to which country the detained British woman would be deported or when she would be put on a flight.


FRIDAY, April 25, 2014


FRIDAY, April 25, 2014



FRIDAY, April 25, 2014



Vol. 27

No. 17

Friday, April 25, 2014 Section 2

Page 15

Email: Tel: 713-774-5140

Living with loss from the Bangladesh factory disaster by Shafiqul ALAM

forced to upgrade.


AVAR - Minu Akhter has not slept properly for a year. Every time there’s a noise, she wakes up fearing the roof will cave in. She can’t go to the upper floors of a building in case the staircase gives way.

They have also contributed $15 million to a $40-million Donor Trust Fund backed by the ILO to compensate the injured and the dependents of the deceased. The first batch of 580 workers received their first cheques last month and the remaining 3,100 are set to be paid from the first anniversary of the disaster.

Since the collapse of Rana Plaza garment factory complex just outside the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, the 23year-old has struggled to control her emotions. Every time she thinks of her boyfriend, tears roll down her cheeks.

“The injured will be paid between $700 and $25,000 depending on the gravity of their injury,” said Roy Ramesh, local head of global labour group IndustriALL. “All of them will be fully paid by end of this year.”

When the nine-storey building failed almost 12 months ago, Akhter was cutting clothing to make trousers at the doomed Phantom Apparels factory which had an order from an Italian retailer, she remembers.

The government has also paid compensation to more than 900 families of the dead workers and scores of amputated labourers.

On that morning, April 24, 2013, her boyfriend of five years Shahin was on the other side of the aisle on the fourth floor of the complex. They smiled as they started the day’s gruelling 11hour shift. “Suddenly there was a loud noise and smoke shrouded our floor. All my colleagues were running for safety. In that moment I saw Shahin waiting for me so that we would run for safety together,” she said. Almost two weeks later, as she lay in a hospital bed recovering from a fractured skull and a damaged ear, Akhter heard that Shahin’s body had been pulled from the twisted wreckage. He was one of the 1,138 people killed. Another 2,000 people were injured. “For days I could not believe he had died. We had so many plans. We had even gone to a marriage register’s office to get married, only to decide we should wait for our families’ consent,” she said. She was lucky to survive. Rescuers dragged her out of the rubble by tying a rope to her legs. She spent around 50 hours lying among bodies under the pan-caked floors of the building. - Nightmare not over As Bangladesh and the world marks one year since the country’s worst industrial disaster, some things have changed for the better in the industry, but the psychological wounds inflicted on survivors remain fresh. In a community room metres from the flattened building site where Rana Plaza once stood, Akhter attends a counselling group run by therapists. She is one among 20 victims being treated for grief and insecurity by the therapists hired by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and British charity ActionAid.

- Unaccounted cost But cases abound of victims excluded from the compensation package, others whose injuries mean they will never work again, and still more whose suffering cannot be computed in lost earnings. Bangladesh survivors of the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse perform a drama during a counselling session in Saver on the outskirts of Dhaka on April 13, 2014 “It’s the fourth batch of Rana Plaza victims we’re counselling. And almost every one we’ve talked to suffers from varying degree of trauma,” said lead therapist Obaidul Islam Munna.

He saved the lives of three but before he could reach the fourth, a huge beam fell on him, leaving him paralysed in all four limbs and facing a life-time in bed as a tetra-plegic.

“Most can’t sleep in the night. They can’t stand small noise. One girl even passed out the moment we used a loudspeaker. Many suffer from memory loss and smell bodies or see dead workers lying next to them. “Some simply can’t enter a multistoried building,” Munna explained.

Because he was not a worker at the factory he is not eligible for compensation.

- Pledges to improve Outside in the garment factories, some of the cheapest and most productive in the world, the tragedy of Rana Plaza has led to a sustained focus on improving working conditions that campaigners had decried for years. The government has hiked minimum wages for the four million mostly women workers in the sector by 77 percent to $68 dollars a month and eased laws enabling the formation of trade unions. It has upgraded its moribund factory inspection agency and announced the hiring of at least 200 new inspectors to try to prevent another major collapse or deadly fires which regularly kill workers. Trade union leader Baharine Sultan said the improvements were due

File photo showing a relative reacting after identifying the body of a loved one killed in last year’s Rana Plaza factory collapse to intense international pressure from labour groups, the global media and Western retailers that have long benefitted from Bangladesh’s cheap labour. “But we have still a long way to go. Our workers are still paid some of the lowest wages on earth. They toil 10-12 H-1B, TN, L, E, Visas, PERM Labor, EB-2, I-140, Green Card, Appeals, F-1, OPT

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Yunus Ali Sardar, 44, a poor farmer from the country’s west, was near Rana Plaza at the time of the accident and ran in to pull out trapped workers. 10148 Hwy 6, South Sugar Land, TX 77498

hours a day.... Union activists still face intimidation and sometimes physical assault,” he said. Western retailers, fearing more bad publicity, have launched a massive inspection drive to weed out dangerous factories. More than a dozen plants have been shut and scores of others

“Most of my savings are gone and I had to pull out my eldest daughter from school,” he said from his bed at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) hospital.

For her part, Akhter is desperately trying to forget the disaster while remembering her deceased partner. “I did not marry Shahin because I wanted to contribute to my poor family. I am grateful to Allah that I’ve survived. Now I will stand on my own,” she said.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Young Life Section 2

Page 17


US college entrance test, the SAT, gets a revamp

Some educators, however, wonder aloud if the SAT is worthwhile. by Robert MACPHERSON WASHINGTON (AFP) - Getting into college in the United States will no longer hinge so much on a high school student’s grasp of arcane vocabulary or obtuse mathematical formulas. Changes to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) unveiled Wednesday are intended to breathe new vigor into the 88-year-old college entrance exam at a time when some critics are challenging its value. “The changes to the SAT will distinguish it from any current admission exam,” said the College Board, the New York-based non-profit that oversees the test. To take effect in March 2016, the revamped SAT will spare candidates the need to memorize words like “punctilious” or “lachrymose.” Instead, they’ll be expected to interpret more common “high utility” words in the context in which they appear. For example, they might be asked if “intense” -- as in, “a more intense

clustering of jobs ... in a smaller number of bigger cities” -- means emotional, concentrated (the correct answer), brilliant or determined. Math and algebra questions will focus on solving real-life scenarios, such as figuring out from a numerical table which age group had the biggest turnout in percentage terms in the 2012 US presidential election. “They’re trying to make the test serve as a better measure of critical thinking skills,” Jonathan Burdick, vice provost and dean of college admission at the University of Rochester in New York state, told AFP. - Still multiple choice The SAT remains multiple choice, but there will be four choices rather than five, and no points lost for wrong answers. An essay portion, requiring students to analyze a given argument within 50 minutes, will become optional -- though many universities prefer to see it completed. The changes come as the SAT, taken by 1.66 million students in the United States and abroad last year,

FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

Tel: 713-774-5140

Miss America defends suspended teen

fends off its 55year-old rival, the American College Testing (ACT) assessment, which claims 1.8 million test-takers. Money is a factor. The SAT, which is more common in the Northeast and Western states, costs $51 a test, while fees for the ACT, taken mainly in the Midwest and South, start at $36.50. Both tests cost more for those living abroad, but waivers are offered for children from lower-income households. For those who can afford it, a $4.5 billion “test prep” industry stands ready to tutor youngsters, either with after-school and weekend classes in strip malls or in one-on-one sessions that can cost as much as $500 an hour. Some educators, however, wonder aloud if the SAT is worthwhile. “The SAT will remain a weak predictor of undergraduate success,” said Bob Schaeffer of FairTest, an advocacy group, in a statement upon release of the revamped test. “The exam will still under-predict the performance of females, students whose home language is not English, and older applicants” while wealthy families that can afford tutoring will still enjoy an advantage, he said. - Grades a better indicator? One study, published in February, looked at 123,000 students at 33 universities and found that a student’s average grades during high school were as good if not better an indicator of success in college than a test

Nina Davuluri won the Miss America contest in 2013. Photo: Getty Images


iss America is asking a Pennsylvania school district to reconsider

score. “My hope is that this study will be a first step in examining what happens when you admit tens of thousands of students without looking at their SAT scores,” its lead author William Hiss told NPR public radio. “And the answer is, if they have good high school grades, they’re almost certainly going to be fine,” said Hiss, former dean of admissions at Bates College in Maine. Out of the nearly 2,500 four-year public and private universities in the United States, more than 800 no longer use either the SAT or ACT to admit bachelor degree candidates, FairTest says. “The SAT itself is not as centrally important to colleges or collegebound students as it used to be,” Burdick said. “And this change reflects -- as much as anything -- the Coke versus Pepsi-level fight between SAT and ACT for global market share.”

the punishment of a high school senior who asked her to be his prom date during the questionand-answer portion of an assembly. The York Dispatch newspaper reported on Sunday that Nina Davuluri posted a statement on the Miss America Organization’s Facebook page saying she contacted Central York High School to ask officials to rethink the three-day in-school suspension issued to 18year-old Patrick Farves. Davuluri says her travel schedule will prevent her attending the dance with Farves. School officials knew Farves intended to ask her to prom and warned him not to do it. Fellow students cheered afterward, but Farves was suspended for misbehaving. He apologised for disrupting Thursday’s event. Davuluri was there to talk about the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths studies.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Section 2 Page 18


FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

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Rani Mukerji weds Aditya Chetan Bhagat — hitting Chopra: The perfect Bol- the right notes with Bollylywood romance wood

2 States poster

Rani Mukerji and YRF head Aditya Chopra


fter five years of clandestine meetings, denying reports of dating each other and hiding from shutter bugs actress Rani Mukerji and YRF head Aditya Chopra finally tied the knot in Italy. The reclusive Aditya is rarely spotted at social gatherings, while Rani had intentionally kept the relationship under wraps for years. Reports of Rani dating Aditya emerged in 2009, just about the same time when it was rumoured that his marriage with childhood sweetheart Payal Khanna was on the rocks. Khanna, an interior decorator by profession, was very close to Aditya’s parents Pamela and Yash Chopra. Some reports claim that Rani was the reason that the marriage came apart, but they were never confirmed. Yash and Pamela Chopra were reportedly against Aditya’s relationship with Rani in the beginning, but eventually came around. Aditya divorced Payal in 2009. The divorce was reportedly settled outside the court and is said to be one of the most expensive divorce settlements in the history of Bollywood. While Aditya always stayed out the media glare, in the years that followed Rani’s appearances in the media reduced

considerably. The actress, who in the span of last five years appeared only in four films (No One Killed Jessica, Talaash, Aiyyaa and Bombay Talkies) often dodged questions about Chopra. However, a confirmation of sorts, of her being in a relationship came around 2012, when the actress confirmed during a chat show hosted by Simi Garewal that she is “absolutely in love”. The two were spotted together on a few occasions that same year. Rani Mukheji celebrated the Diwali of 2011 in Adityauday — the Chopra residence, creating a brouhaha in tabloids The actress was spotted in a purple lehenga lighting crackers with Chopra. They were also spotted having dinner together in a Juhu restaurant by paparazzi. When Yash Chopra passed away in 2011, it became even more evident that Rani had already become a part of the Chopra household. Tears rolling down her eyes, Rani stood along with the Chopra family during the last rites and funeral. While no one confirmed anything, in 2013 reports emerged that Aditya had popped the question in a private party. Rani was also spotted with a huge rock on her ring finger only furthering

speculation, but again with little confirmation from either of the families. Then it became a guessing game about when the two would finally get married. Mukherji’s cousin Kajol, during an episode of Koffee With Karan confessed that she was also curious to know when her cousin would be tying the knot, perhaps only another indication about how private the couple had kept their relationship. While Kajol clearly wasn’t in the know it seems Chopra’s younger brother — Uday knew a lot. However, he preferred to keep mum. “I would not like to comment on that. I have no intentions of getting my head chopped off.” Uday said when asked about his brother’s relationship with Rani. It was Shatrughan Sinha who only fanned rumors when he addressed Rani as Rani Chopra during the unveiling of Yash Chopra’s statue. While rumors of a February 2014 wedding for the couple spread like wild fire, the date came and went without any announcement resulting in a natural death for the rumours. However, with YRF issuing a press release announcing the couple’s marriage after five long years of rumours, it finally ends all the speculation around the couple. For now.

With awards, Bollywood shows growing imprint in US by Shaun TANDON ASHINGTON Bollywood this week throws its premier awards event for the first time in the United States, which has quietly become the leading overseas market for India’s prolific film industry. The International Indian Film Academy on Wednesday kicks off four days of festivities in Tampa culminating in an awards ceremony Saturday that will bring out Bollywood’s glitterati and Hollywood legend John Travolta. While Bollywood is known for its extravagant song-anddance routines, its expansion into the United States has been more understated. Indian films are increasingly shown in mainstream US cinemas which set aside specific screens and times. The United States has topped Britain in recent years as the largest overseas market for Bollywood, fueled by demand from the three million-strong Indian American community and the growing ease of distributing movies through the digital format. “Dhoom 3,” the latest installment of a thriller series which is nominated for best picture at the Tampa awards,


e churns out bestsellers, which tempt filmmakers to lend them to big screen adaptations. The success ratio of Hindi movies inspired by Chetan Bhagat`s books has so far been high, and with the promising response to ‘2 States’, he seems to be cementing his space in the Bollywood circuit, Zee News reports. “My readers` silent support is my biggest strength. Today you displayed it to the nation. Thank you for the phenomenal opening. `2 States`,” Bhagat had posted on Friday, the day when ‘2 States’ hit the screens to houseful theatres across India. The movie is based on his bestseller 2 States: The Story Of My Marriage about a couple coming from two different Indian states. It was an instant hit in 2009. Said to be inspired by the real-life story of the north Indian author and his wife who is from Tamil Nadu, the book found a connect with youth and elders alike. Now, the movie seems to be working its magic with viewers of all age groups and managed an opening day collection of over Rs 12 crore - “commendable”, according to trade analysts.

are Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, two of the most talented actors from the young lot. Like several youngsters their age, the two actors also have their memories attached to the book.

waltz with Bollywood seems to be just getting better with every novel that`s turned into a movie.

While Alia had read it before it was getting made into a film and found it to be “beautiful”, Arjun has said that the bestseller occupies a space on his late mother Mona Shourie Kapoor`s bookshelf until date.

Two managed to paint a successful box office story – ‘3 idiots’ (based on Five Point Someone) and ‘Kai Po Che!’ (based on The 3 Mistakes Of My Life), while ‘Hello’, inspired by his One Night @ the Call Center did not get a great reception.

Whether 16 or 60, people of different sensibilities, generations and ideas are flocking to the theatres to watch the movie, about two states, different cultures and families and one love story. Even celebrities have loved it. Commenting on the movie, megastar Amitabh Bachchan has said, “`2 States`. I like. All aspects just so correct – writing, directing, music and performances.” Actor Vivek Oberoi Tweeted, “In my opinion Chetan Bhagat is by far the most successful contemporary Indian writer of our times! His individual fan following is epic. He has an incredible ability to communicate, especially with the youth.”

‘2 States’ is the fourth out of his five works to get a film version.

Nevertheless, following the success of ‘Kai Po Che!’ last year, it was only natural for viewers and readers to have high expectations from the Abhishek Varman-directed ‘2 States’. In times when remakes and sequels are swarming the Bollywood scenario, Bhagat is among the few new-age authors whose books have been constantly picked by filmmakers for the big screen. It works in his interest too!

Cast on screen in the roles

No wonder then that Bhagat`s

Bhagat, in a recent interview, said, “I like to reach more Indians and movies help me do so. The bigger the audience I have, the more likely they are to read my non-fiction columns on national issues or be interested in my views.”

Khan movie,” Pandya said, referring to two stars whose films are considered relatively high-brow in Bollywood. - Seeking a wider audience Pandya, who also manages the website boxofficeguru. com, said that India was the only foreign country with a self-sustaining film industry in the United States, as European, Latin American or other international movies rely on Hollywood or art-house distributors to select and distribute them. “India is the only one that, 12 months a year, has films that come in and play in theaters here in the US,” Pandya

said. In addition to Bollywood films, which are in Hindi, US cinemas regularly screen movies in other Indian languages such as Tamil and Telugu. Despite the growth, no Bollywood film has won over mainstream US audiences and the annual awards -- always held outside of India to show the industry’s global reach -had shied away from the potentially massive market. In hopes of crossing over to a non-South Asian audience, the International Indian Film Academy will kick off its Tampa weekend with a public party Wednesday in a park

aimed at introducing US audiences to India’s culture and film. Prominent Indian actress Vidya Balan, who will appear at the awards, saw hope in her experience serving last year on the Cannes Film Festival jury. She said she shared DVDs of Indian movies with her cojurors, who included directors Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee, and that they quickly realized that Indian cinema offered more than formulaic songs and dances. “People are slowing waking up to the reality that there is something universal in Indian films,” she told AFP.


The actor will receive the ‘Most Popular All time International star in India’ honor.

broke US records for Indian cinema after it was released last year. Set largely in Chicago, “Dhoom 3” grossed more than $8 million in the United States and Canada, roughly on par with “Before Midnight,” the second sequel to the US romantic classic “Before Sunrise.” Indian cinema’s growth can easily fly beneath the radar in the United States, which has by far the world’s largest box office and is thoroughly dominated by domestic fare. India, in turn, has the largest output of films at more than 1,100 a year. But Gitesh Pandya, a USbased consultant for Bolly-

wood studios, said that Indian cinema had innate advantages as it has a consistent audience of Indian Americans who are often well-educated and generally do not need expensive promotional campaigns to woo them to the movies. Indian films that just five years ago would have opened at 80 to 85 screens in the United States now start in more than 200 theaters including in smaller cities where cinemas are happy to fill seats however they can, Pandya said. “It’s incredible growth. Theaters that five years ago would never think about playing one of these movies are now anxious to get the latest Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir


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Friday, April 25, 2014

Section 2

Page 20


Gross: Just Low Blood Sugar & Heartdirty is beat in People With Diabetes how our money? Study found abnormal rhythms when blood sugar dipped at night in people with type 2 disease by Serena Gordon (April 22, 2014 , HealthDay News). ow blood sugar levels -- known as hypoglycemia -- in people with diabetes may cause potentially dangerous changes in heart rate, according to a small new study. This study’s findings may help explain why a large-scale study found that very tight control of blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes led to higher-than-expected death rates. It may also help explain why some otherwise healthy people with type 1 diabetes die during their sleep -- sometimes called “dead-inbed syndrome” -- without an apparent cause, researchers say. “We found that hypoglycemia was fairly common and that nocturnal episodes in particular were generally marked by a pattern whereby glucose levels dropped to low levels for some hours during which patients slept,” said Dr. Simon Heller, senior study author and a professor of clinical diabetes and honorary consultant physician at the University of Sheffield, in England. “These periods of hypoglycemia were associated with a high risk of marked slow heart rates [bradycardia] accompanied by [abnormal] beats. We have therefore identified a mechanism which might contribute to increased mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes and high cardiovascular risk during intensive insulin therapy,” Heller said. Low blood sugar levels are not uncommon in people with diabetes, a disease that can produce dangerously high blood sugar levels. That’s because the very treatments that can help prevent high blood sugar levels -- and the serious complications that accompany long-term high blood sugar levels -- can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low. Although some oral diabetes medications can cause low blood sugar levels, the most common treatment to drop blood sugar levels too low is insulin. Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps usher sugar into cells to be used as fuel. “Your body needs fuel to survive and run properly,” said Dr. Simon Fisher, an associate professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology at Washington University in St. Louis. “During hypoglycemia, the body is low on energy. When hypoglycemia is more severe, the brain [which runs on sugar] can get confused and stop functioning. If the blood sugar gets low enough, hypoglycemia can be


fatal.” Fisher is also a co-author of an editorial accompanying the study in the May issue of Diabetes. Low blood sugar is a wellrecognized problem for people with type 1 diabetes, who must take multiple daily injections of insulin because their bodies no longer produce the hormone, according to study author Heller. But, low blood sugar generally isn’t considered to be as significant a problem in type 2 diabetes, noted Heller, who added that the researchers were somewhat surprised to see that people with type 2 diabetes had low blood sugar levels about 10 percent of the time. The study included 25 people with type 2 diabetes who had a known risk of heart disease. Their average age was 64 years. They were all being treated with insulin, and had been on insulin therapy for at least four years. All of the study volunteers were monitored with a continuous glucose monitor for five days, as well as a 12-lead Holter monitor that captured heart activity. Both of these devices are portable, which allowed the study volunteers to carry on with normal daily activities. Overall, the researchers recorded 1,258 hours of time with normal blood sugar levels, 65 hours with high blood sugar levels and 134 hours of low blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar was defined as a blood sugar of less than 63 milligrams per deciliter. These low blood sugar levels often went unrecognized, according to the study. The risk of a slow heart rate was eight times higher when blood sugar was low at night compared to when it was normal. Slow heart rates didn’t occur during the day, according to the study. Other types of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias) were also significantly higher at night when blood sugar was low compared to when blood sugar was normal. No irregular heartbeats occurred when low blood sugar symptoms were felt by the study participants. “This study noted that spontaneous insulin-induced episodes of hypoglycemia were associated with asymptomatic mild heart arrhythmias. We have performed similar studies in animals, and noted similar arrhythmias during insulin-induced hypoglycemia,” Fisher said. “However, in animal studies, when blood sugar became severely low, more severe abnormal cardiac rhythms

-- in other words, fatal heart rhythms -- were noted. So, based on existing animal and human data, we speculate that severe hypoglycemia-induced arrhythmias may contribute to sudden death in patients with insulin-treated diabetes,” Fisher said. He continued, “Nocturnal hypoglycemia is a major problem. People are less likely to wake up and treat their hypoglycemia at night. They’re less likely to appreciate the normal warning symptoms of hypoglycemia because the entire sympathetic response is relatively blunted at night.” While the study found an association between low blood sugar levels and abnormal heart rhythms in people with type 2 diabetes, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Another expert said the new findings highlight the dangers of hypoglycemia. “This study suggests that the deeper the hypoglycemia, the more abnormal the heart rhythms. There seems to be some real scientific plausibility that recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia can cause abnormal disturbances of the heart. Each episode of hypoglycemia may have some element of risk,” said Dr. John Anderson, the immediate past president of the American Diabetes Association. “It may be that tight control of blood sugar might not be as important as safe control of blood sugar. Avoiding severe hypoglycemia should be a primary goal of therapy, especially for those who have a lot of risk for heart disease. That’s why the American Diabetes Association said in 2012 that glycemic goals should be individualized. And, if you have to use insulin, avoiding those 3 a.m. hypoglycemias may be even more important,” Anderson said. In addition to changing target blood sugar goals, Anderson and Fisher both said that the use of a continuous glucose monitor with alarms could also help people avoid low blood sugar levels in the middle of the night. “[Continuous glucose monitoring] isn’t thought of as much for the type 2 population. But, there are a lot of people with type 2 diabetes on insulin who have cardiovascular disease. This might be a prudent use of [continuous glucose monitoring],” Anderson said. Fisher agreed, noting, “Technology -- like [continuous glucose monitors] and insulin pumps -- may be able to decrease the number of hypoglycemic episodes while still allowing patients to maintain tight glycemic control.”

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FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

Dollar bills. Courtesy: MGNOnline


EW YORK — When you think about it, you can imagine the germs we pass along to each other on our dollar bills. But new research sheds information about that very thing that might gross you out. In the first comprehensive study of the DNA found on a set of dollar bills collected in New York, researchers at New York University’s Dirty Money Project discovered that currency is a medium of exchange for thousands of different bacteria as cash passes from person to person. That’s according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. 3,000 bacteria on $1 bills By analyzing genetic material on $1 bills, the NYU researchers identified 3,000 types of bacteria in all—many times more than in previous studies that examined samples under a microscope. However, they could identify only about 20 percent of the nonhuman DNA they found because so many microorganisms haven’t yet been cataloged in genetic data banks. Easily the most abundant species they found is one that causes acne. Others were linked to gastric ulcers, pneumonia, food poisoning and staph infections, the researchers reported. Some carried genes responsible for antibiotic resistance. “It was quite amazing to us,” said Jane Carlton, director of genome sequencing at NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology where the science took place. “We actually found that microbes grow on money.” Their unpublished research offers a glimpse into the international problem of dirty money. From rupees to euros, paper money is one of the most frequently passed items in the world. Hygienists have long worried that it could become a source of contagion. “A body-temperature wallet is a petri dish,” said Philippe Etienne, managing director of Innovia Security Pty Ltd., which makes special bank-note paper for 23 countries. Read more about this story in the Wall Street Journal Facts about the dollar bill It’s made of 25 percent linen and 75 percent cotton It remains in circulation 18-21 months before it wears out Almost half, 48 percent, of all notes printed by Bureau of Engraving and Printing are $1 bills. (Courtesy Fox 31).

READ These Articles & More on Health. VISIT

Tel: 713-774-5140

Understanding HAS and Using It for Retirement Savings What exactly is an HSA and how can one be established? An HSA is a trust created exclusively for the purpose of paying qualified medical expenses of an account beneficiary. HSAs are available to any employer or individual for an account beneficiary who has high deductible health insurance coverage. An eligible individual or an employer may establish an HSA with a qualified HSA custodian or trustee. No permission or authorization is needed from the IRS to set up an HSA. Contributions to an HSA generally may be made either by an individual, by an individual’s employer, or by both. If contributions are made by an individual taxpayer, they are deductible from income. If contributions are made by an employer, they are excluded from employee income. Although an HSA is similar to an IRA in some respects, a taxpayer cannot use an IRA as an HSA, nor can a taxpayer combine an IRA with an HSA. An HSA itself is exempt from income tax as long as it remains an HSA. Contributions may be made through a cafeteria plan under IRC Section 125. Distributions from HSAs are not includable in gross income if they are used exclusively to pay qualified medical expenses. Distributions used for other purposes are includable in gross income and may be subject to a penalty, with some exceptions. An employer’s contributions to an HSA are not considered part of a group health plan subject to COBRA continuation coverage requirements. Therefore, a plan is not required to make COBRA continuation coverage available with respect to an HSA. The IRS has stated that a levy to satisfy a tax liability under IRC Section 6331 extends to a taxpayer’s interest in an HSA. A taxpayer is liable for the additional 10 percent tax (20 percent after Dec. 31, 2010, under PPACA 2010) on the amount of the levy unless, at the time of the levy, the taxpayer had attained the age of sixty-five or was disabled. Health care can be the most financially draining item during retirement — yet it’s a fact of life most employees don’t adequately plan for. It is estimated that a couple in retirement will spend approximately $220,000 on health expenses according to Fidelity Investments. That’s a huge burden and one that people should start planning for early. Empowering employees to save money for future health care needs is one way that employers can leverage benefits to help employees plan ahead. Enter health savings accounts, which have the potential of making a huge difference as a valuable supplement to standard retirement savings. You can help your employees understand the value of an HSA by comparing it to a 401(k), but for health care. With an HSA, employees use pre-tax dollars to fund an employee-owned banking or investment account. Less known facts about the HSA include that it can be drawn from without a penalty for eligible health care expenses as soon as it’s funded,

Sudhir Mathuria

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and investment earnings are tax-free. With only a 401(k), medical expenses can deplete retirement savings quickly; especially considering the average person has little more than $60,000 saved for retirement. And when emergencies arise pre-retirement, pulling money out of a retirement account early can cost a lot when it’s tax time. An HSA has the potential to eliminate both of these pains and position the employer as a company that takes care of its employees. Designed specifically to pay for health care expenses — now or later — there are no tax penalties if HSA money is used for eligible expenses prior to retirement. HSA funds can be used both for planned and unplanned medical expenses and you don’t lose any unused dollars. Any “extra” money can grow tax-deferred year over year which is why using an HSA to compliment other retirement plans allows employees to keep more money and build a health nest egg to support a comfortable post-career life. When employees turn 65, they become eligible for Medicare and can continue to use their existing HSA to pay for their medical expenses. More importantly, an HSA essentially transforms into an IRA. This means that the health nest egg employees have built over the years can also be used for everyday expenses and there are no tax penalties. There are, of course, rules surrounding who can use HSAs. They are available only to those who have a qualifying highdeductible health plan. And HSAs are not available to those with impermissible coverage like TRICARE, are receiving VA benefits, or in combination with your or a spouse’s flexible spending account, unless they are specifically designed to be compatible with a health savings account. Health savings accounts are becoming more popular; according to AHIP, nearly 15.5 million Americans are covered by HSA eligible insurance plans, up more than 15 percent from last year. And with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ramping up, HSAs are expected to continue to gain in popularity. Not only are HSAs a smart move in tax savings for both employers and employees now, they’re one way employers can leverage benefits to help employees plan for the long term.

How to struggle Infertility


ou may be doing all you can to increase your odds, but part – or all – of your struggle with infertility might be to blame on your guy. In approximately 40 percent of couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause to infertility, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Fox News reported. So what causes male infertility? During ejaculation, a man releases millions of sperm, yet only a few actually make it to the egg. A hormonal imbalance is a common, reversible cause of male infertility, as testosterone is important for sperm development and maturity. Additionally, male infertility can be genetic or caused by an infection, injury, or medical condition. Another common and reversible problem is a varicocele, which occurs in about 40 percent of infertile men. A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins that wraps around the testicles and affects sperm development. According to a recent study in the journal Fertility and Sterility, men with high phthalate levels—

chemicals found in plastics and personal care items—were more likely than women to experience infertility and had a 20 percent reduction in fertility. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, and experts believe these chemicals interfere with how sperm is made. Studies also show stress may be another cause of infertility, because high levels of the stress hormone cortisol block the hormones responsible for creating sperm. But medical conditions and toxins aside, experts say diet is perhaps the number one cause of male infertility. If you’re trying to get pregnant, here are some ways your guy can improve his fertility. 1. See a urologist A urologist can determine if a physical or hormonal problem exists. If a hormone problem is found, medication works 90 percent of the time to improve levels – although sperm production may vary. 2. Eat healthy Nix processed foods, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and choose organic, because pesticides can affect sperm quality, production and

cause inflammation. Good foods for fertility include shellfish, nuts, and sunflower seeds. 3. Lose weight Being overweight or obese can affect fertility, and a recent Harvard School of Public Health study found that exercise – weightlifting in particular – can improve sperm count. 4. Deal with gastrointestinal problems Heartburn, gas, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome may mean your guy isn’t absorbing enough nutrients, which can affect sperm production. So it’s important to see a doctor who can determine what’s going on. 5. Quit smoking and drink less One more reason to quit: Studies show smoking affects sperm production. Alcohol and caffeine have also been linked with infertility. 6. Try to be patient It takes three months for your man to make new sperm, so the interventions we start today are only likely going to pay off in four, five, or six months. Source: Medicine



FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

Izumo and Juno: Spermegg secret unscrambled

Japan firm offers glowing finger for those phoning home

ARIS, April 17, 2014 (AFP) - Scientists said Wednesday they had made the long-sought discovery of how sperm latches onto an egg in the very first spark of reproduction, the outcome of a near decade-long hunt.

OKYO, April 17, 2014 (AFP) - If you thought a finger that glows when you phone home was strictly the preserve of extraterrestrials, think again: a Japanese firm has unveiled nails that light up when you make a call.


The find opens up avenues for new contraception or treating infertility, they said. When a sperm meets an egg, they fuse to form a single-cell entity called a zygote, which divides to produce an embryo. In 2005, Japanese researchers reported they had found a molecule jutting from the membrane of mammalian sperm that docks onto the surface of the egg. They called it Izumo, after a Japanese marriage shrine. That unleashed the search for the receptor on the surface of the egg, which has been elusive, until now. Reporting in the journal Nature, researchers at Britain’s Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute said the mechanism is contained in a protein on the egg’s membrane, under a thin external coat called the zona pellucida. The protein has been dubbed Juno, after the Roman goddess of fertility and marriage. “We have solved a longstanding mystery in biology by identifying the molecules displayed on all sperm and egg,” said lead researcher Gavin Wright. “Without this essential interaction, fertilisation just cannot happen. We may be able to use this discovery to improve fertility treatments and develop new contraceptives.” If defects in Juno prove to be a cause of infertility, a simple genetic test could advise couples seeking to have a baby, the researchers hope. Instead of going through long, costly and stressful attempts at assisted fertility treatment in which sperm try to fuse with an egg in a lab dish, they

could then try a single-sperm injection directly into the egg. The team made the breakthrough using clues provided by Izumo itself. They created an artificial version of Izumo and used it to scan for a counterpart molecule on the membrane of a mouse egg, so identifying Juno. - Fertility key The scientists then genetically engineered mice whose eggs had no Juno. The mice were infertile, and in lab dishes, Junodeficient eggs did not fuse with normal sperm. Further studies found that Juno was also present on the eggs of humans, possums and pigs. “The Izumo-Juno pairing is the first known essential interaction for sperm-egg recognition in any organism,” said Wright’s colleague, Enrica Bianchi. About 30 to 40 minutes after Juno and Izumo meet up, the surface of the egg undergoes a remarkable biochemical change. Juno is ejected from the


ASHINGTON, April 18, 2014 (AFP) - For the first time, US researchers have cloned embryonic stem cells from adult cells, a breakthrough on the path towards helping doctors treat a host of diseases. The embryonic stem cells -which were created by fusing an adult skin cell with an egg cell that had been stripped of genetic material -- were genetically identical to the donors. The hope is that cloned embryonic stem cells, which are capable of transforming into any other type of cell in the body, could be used in patientspecific regenerative therapy to repair or replace an individual’s organs damaged by diseases including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

membrane, thus preventing additional sperm from binding and creating a zygote with too many chromosomes, which would lead to dangerous defects in the offspring. In a commentary also carried by Nature, biologist Paul Wassarman of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, said it was unclear whether the Izumo-Juno interaction was the only factor in the fusion of egg and sperm. Allan Pacey, a fertility researcher at Britain’s University of Sheffield, who was not involved in the research, said he suspected a dysfunctioning Juno, or lack of it, was unlikely to be a major cause of infertility in couples. “Perhaps the most likely application is whether scientists could devise drugs or vaccines that could block the way this protein works or how the sperm protein Izumo interacts with it,” he said in remarks carried by the Science Media Centre. “This could lead to a new and novel non-hormonal contraceptive for both humans and other species of mammals.”


Unlike “E.T.” in the 1982 Steven Spielberg film, modern-day Japanese fashionistas need only pick up their Android-powered smartphone to set their finger glowing. Building on the immense popularity of manicure art -where intricate patterns and small gem-like stones are stuck on the nail -- toy company Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. has developed a micro-thin LED sticker. The “LumiDecoNail” uses a technology called Near Field Communication, in which small amounts of power are transferred very short distances, to communicate with a smartphone. It also flashes whenever the wearer uses an electronic mon-

Picture taken on April 16, 2014 shows toy company Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. “LumiDecoNail” stick-on fingernails with LED and tiny antenna at the company’s photo exhibition in Tokyo (AFP Photo/ Yoshikazu Tsuno). ey card such as a train pass. The product will go on sale in Japan next week, with a set of 16 nail stickers -- one of which contains the LED -- costing 1,200 yen ($12) and marketed mainly at young people, said company spokeswoman Misayo Aruga.

“I am now wearing it on the middle finger of my right hand. It blinks whenever I pass through train gates, which lifts my heart a bit,” she said. The company will consider marketing the cosmetic product overseas after seeing how consumers in Japan react.

US scientists make embryonic stem cells from adult skin

One advantage of this approach is that it does not use fertilized embryos to obtain stem cells, a technique that raises major ethical issues because the embryo is destroyed.

can develop into different types, the study said.

But critics, including the Catholic Church, believe it presents a slippery slope that could lead to cloning of human beings, a suggestion scientists deny.

The team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of the Massachusetts-based company Advanced Cell Technology, used a technique that had succeeded last year with infant skin cells. But Lanza’s team, funded in part by the South Korean government, used cells from a 35year-old man and a 75-year-old man. This is a significant step forward, the researchers wrote in the study published Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell. “For many cell types, reprogramming is more difficult for adult cells than for fetal/infant

cells, presumably at least in part because (they are) ... further removed from the pluripotent state” in which the cells

Yet adults are more likely than infants to need regenerative therapy, the authors wrote, noting that “the incidence of many diseases that could be treated with pluripotent cell derivatives increases with age.”

Since the birth of Dolly the sheep in 1996 in the United Kingdom, the first cloned animal, researchers have cloned some 20 species including goats and rabbits, but never monkeys or primates whose biology and reproduction is more complex. Years of research on monkey cells using the same technique have not successfully produced any monkey clones.


FRIDAY, April 25, 2014



FRIDAY, April 25, 2014


Friday, April 25, 2014 by Peter J. Henning (DealBook) uch like the game of telephone, the final recipient of inside information may know little about who started the process or how many steps it took before arriving. When prosecutors want to pursue charges against the recipients of confidential information — the “tippees” — the issue is often how far down the chain they can go before they can no longer prove a violation. How much knowledge a defendant must have is often crucial in white-collar crime cases because the issue is rarely about what the person did, but what was intended. Figuring out what a recipient has to know has become a central issue in the appeal of Anthony Chiasson and Todd Newman, two former hedge fund managers who were way down on the chain of inside information about two technology companies, Dell and Nvidia. But they were still convicted. Their appeal was heard on Tuesday. Mr. Chiasson and Mr. Newman got information about upcoming company earnings that was traceable to insiders. But they never dealt directly with the sources of the information. Instead, the information was passed through a phalanx of analysts before finally reaching them. In the parlance of insider trading, they were “remote tippees,” well removed from the original tippers. A recipient can still be held responsible for insider trading as long as the government shows that person knew the tipper breached a duty of trust and confidence to the source of the information by passing it along to someone who would profit by trading on it. To prove that breach, the Supreme Court stated in Dirks v. S.E.C., “The test is whether the insider personally will benefit, directly or indirectly, from his disclosure.


Section 2

Page 24


Tel: 713-774-5140

Testing the Limits of Inside Information Cases

Two hedge fund traders, Todd Newman, left, and Anthony Chiasson, were convicted of trafficking in secret information about technology companies. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters). Absent some personal gain, there has been no breach of duty to stockholders.” Referred to as the quid pro quo requirement, the benefit received by the tipper can be monetary or just the warm feeling generated by making a gift to family or friends. It can even be a more ephemeral benefit like enhancing one’s reputation in the eyes of the recipient. If this all sounds rather opaque, that’s because the law of insider trading has been developed piecemeal by the courts over the past 40 years. There is no specific statute outlining the elements of the violation. Instead, it is considered a species of securities fraud. So judges have been left to define its contours. The Dirks opinion is the cornerstone for holding a recipient liable, but that decision is hardly a model of clarity. That case

even involved a rare — and perhaps unique — situation before the Supreme Court because the federal government argued against itself, with the Securities and Exchange Commission coming out in favor of finding a violation while the Justice Department opposed it. The case arose from the collapse of the insurance and mutual fund firm Equity Funding Corporation of America in 1973, the largest Wall Street fraud until Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme came to light in 2008. A corporate officer told Raymond L. Dirks, a brokerage firm analyst, about accounting fraud at the company. Mr. Dirks spoke to various company employees who corroborated the charges, and as a result of his inquiries, regulators eventually began their own investigations. Rather than being celebrated by the S.E.C. as a whistle-

blower, however, the agency filed civil insider trading charges because Mr. Dirks shared information about the fraud with investors, who then sold their shares before it became public. The issue before the Supreme Court was whether Mr. Dirks could be held liable as a tippee for passing along information from a company insider. The court rejected the S.E.C.’s argument that anyone who received confidential information violates the law just by trading while in possession of it. Instead, the justices found that tipping is a violation “only when the insider has breached his fiduciary duty to the shareholders by disclosing the information to the tippee and the tippee knows or should know that there has been a breach.” The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan is considering the issue of tippee liability. It

heard oral arguments in Mr. Chiasson and Mr. Newman’s case on Tuesday The crucial issue is how much knowledge the government must prove for someone who is not a first-level tippee dealing directly with the source but is instead at least one step removed from the original disclosure. The Supreme Court did not have to address that issue because Mr. Dirks dealt directly with the insider. So the question in that case was whether there was any breach of a duty in the disclosure. Lawyers for Mr. Chiasson and Mr. Newman argue that the government must show that the two men knew the tipper received a personal benefit from dispensing the information, not just that the information was confidential. Not surprisingly, the government disagrees, arguing in its brief that it only needs to prove “knowledge of enough facts to distinguish conduct that is likely culpable from conduct that is entirely innocent.” The panel of judges hearing the appeal appeared to be skeptical of the government’s argument that only a minimal degree of knowledge needs to be proven to hold a recipient liable. Proving knowledge is always difficult in a criminal case because a jury cannot read a defendant’s mind. So it is usually a matter of evaluating circumstantial evidence to come up with a plausible understanding of what the person knew at the time. Prosecutors can also try to prove knowledge by arguing that a defendant was willfully blind to what was going on, asking a court to give the “ostrich instruction” that allows a jury to infer knowledge from conduct intended to avoid learning the truth. The appeals court has been

friendly to the government’s arguments in the most recent wave of insider trading cases, upholding all the convictions that have come before it. But the court did allow Mr.. Chiasson and Mr. Newman to remain free on bail while their case is on appeal, and the questioning during the oral arguments showed that the defendants have a good chance at a new trial and an outside chance at an acquittal. The challenge for Mr. Chiasson and Mr. Newman is persuading the appeals court to recognize a higher threshold of knowledge that could lead to a reversal of their convictions and a new trial. Requiring proof of specific knowledge about the benefit the tipper received would make it harder for the government to make its case, giving “remote tippees” another avenue to fight charges. The problem is that courts are often loath to give defendants too many ways to claim ignorance because that can encourage manipulating the system by creating plausible deniability. One defendant who could benefit from a decision imposing a heightened knowledge requirement is Michael S. Steinberg, a former portfolio manager at SAC Capital Advisors who was convicted of insider trading in December. He was also a remote tippee. The case could even present the Supreme Court with an opportunity to clarify the parameters of tippee liability, an issue it has not taken up since the Dirks decision in 1983. As insider trading cases have involved increasingly sophisticated groups who pass around information, there is a need for some additional guidance on what the government must prove to hold traders liable. Peter J. Henning, a professor at Wayne State University Law School, is a co-author of “Securities Crimes (2d edition).” Twitter: @peterjhenning

Delhi ranked 21st in shopping centre development

IRS Gave $1 Million in Bonuses to Employees Who Didn’t Pay Taxes

ELHI - NCR ranks 21st in the global list of cities with maximum shopping centre space under construction in 2014, according to property consultant CBRE.

by David Winograd. (Time). he IRS paid $1 million in bonuses to employees who owed back taxes and another $1.8 million in bonuses to workers facing disciplinary problems like drug use, threats of violence and unemployment benefits fraud The federal agency in charge of tax collection has been awarding bonuses to employees who have not been paying their taxes on time, according to a new report by J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The report reveals that Internal Revenue Service gave a total of $1 million in bonuses to 1,150 workers who owed back taxes between October 201o and December 2012. The IRS paid out an additional $1.8 million in bonuses to workers facing other kinds of disciplinary problems over the same period, including improper use of government credit cards, drug use, threats of violence and unemployment benefits fraud, according to the Associated Press.



India continues to see a wave of new shopping mall development despite some developers pushing back completion dates due to financing issues, CBRE said in a statement. “New Delhi is ranked 21, Hyderabad 23, and Bangalore 31, among global cities with maximum shopping centre space under construction in 2014,” the consultant said, quoting from CBRE Research’s latest report ‘Global Viewpoint’. It said 39 million square metres of shopping space is under construction across the world’s major cities, and out of that, India accounts for nearly 1.5 million square metres. Around 5,00,000 square metres of new retail space is under construction in New Delhi. The largest two projects - DLF Mall of India (204,385 sq. metre) and Logix City Centre Mall (1,11,483 sq. metre) - are both located in Noida.

Delhi-NCR ranks 21st in the global list of cities with the maximum shopping centre space under construction in 2014, according to property consultant CBRE. Reuters “Globally, a total of 39 million sq meter of shopping centre space is currently under construction across the world’s major cities, representing a three million sq metre increase from 2013,” CBRE said. “Most of this development activity for shopping centre space around the world is focused in China.”

Among tier-II cities, Hyderabad is the most active market with a current supply pipeline (4,83,000 sq. metre), which is three times greater than its existing stock.

According to the report, more than half of the shopping centre space under construction in the 180 countries surveyed is taking place within China’s borders.

Chennai was ranked 15th in the global list of most active shopping centre development markets in 2013.

Shanghai takes the first position with 3.3 million sq. metres of space under construction, which is more than the com-

bined space under construction in the total 86 European cities, excluding those in Russia and Turkey. Just behind Shanghai is Chengdu with 3.2 million sq. metres, followed by Shenzhen and Tianjin with 2.7 million sq. metres and 2.5 million sq. metres under construction, respectively. “Strong economic growth in many Asian markets has been attracting an increasing number of cross-border retailers. Even though China remains by far the most active market for shopping centre development, the tier I and II cities of India are also among the most active globally,” CBRE South Asia CMD Anshuman Magazine

said. “Unfortunately, however, there continues to exist a dearth of quality shopping space in many of our market places. Along with the large-scale urbanisation of our leading cities and a burgeoning middle class population, it is this that has been driving shopping center development forward,” he added. This is the third year that CBRE has measured the level of shopping centre development in the world’s 180 major cities. The survey was based on new centres of over 20,000 sq. metres and excluded retail warehousing and factory outlet centres. (Courtesy: PTI).

George said the bonuses don’t violate federal rules but are inconsistent with the agency’s mission to enforce tax regulations. “These awards are designed to recognize and reward IRS employees for a job well done, and that is appropriate, because the IRS should encourage good performance,” George said in a press release. “However, while not prohibited, providing awards to employees who have been disciplined for failing to pay federal taxes appears to create a conflict with the IRS’s charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administration.” Despite the apparent contradiction highlighted by bonus program, the employees of the Treasury Department, which includes the IRS, still have better tax compliance than other federal agencies. Just 1.1 percent of Treasury workers owed back taxes in 2011, compared to 3.2 percent of federal workers overall, the AP reports. The tax delinquency rate for the general public was 8.2 percent that year.

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India’s children suffer discrimination in classroom: report

FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

States can ignore race in university admissions: US top court by Chantal VALERY ASHINGTON,The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that states can disregard race as a factor in university admissions, in a fresh blow to a legacy of the 1960s civil rights movement. The 6-2 ruling upheld the constitutionality of a measure passed by referendum in Michigan that disallowed so-called afďŹ rmative action in college admissions. Effectively favoring voter initiatives over the courts, the decision was expected to have repercussions far beyond Michigan -- governors of Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and West Virginia had supported Michigan’s appeal. The ruling was the latest to chip away at a practice used to promote racial and ethnic diversity of university student bodies while countering the effects of racial discrimination. It also continued a conservative trend in court rulings on civil rights issues. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act requiring certain states to get federal approval before changing their voting laws. On Tuesday, liberal justice Stephen Breyer voted with the conservative majority, and the fourth member of the court’s liberal wing, Justice Elena Kagan, had recused herself. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that the case was “not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it.â€? “There is no authority in the constitution of the United


Indian children sits inside a school classroom in Gopalpur, on October 14, 2013. Photo By Dibyangshu Sarkar


EW DELHI, (AFP) Some Indian teachers force children from lower castes and minority religions to clean toilets and sit separately from their classmates as part of “persistentâ€? discrimination in classrooms, a rights group said Tuesday. Human Rights Watch said pupils from marginalised communities often dropped out of school and started working as labourers rather than face continued humiliation at the hands of teachers and principals. The 77-page study on schools was compiled through interviews with more than 160 teachers, principals, parents and students in four states which have large populations of low-caste poor, indigenous tribals and Muslims. “India’s immense project to educate all its children risks falling victim to deeply rooted discrimination by teachers and other school staff against the poor and marginalised,â€? said the report’s author Jayshree Bajoria. “Instead of encouraging children from at-risk communities who are often the ďŹ rst in their families to ever step inside a classroom, teachers often neglect or even mistreat them,â€? she said. Children from Muslim com-

munities were among those often made to sit at the back of classrooms or in separate rooms. They were called derogatory names, were denied leadership roles and were served food last, the report said. The report comes as a mammoth general election is underway which is likely to vault Hindu nationalist hardliner Narendra Modi and his party to power after a decade of centre-left Congress party rule. Some children said they were segregated and neglected because they were considered dirty, while Muslim students said they were called “mullahs�, a term for an Islamic cleric, instead of by their names. India’s parliament passed landmark legislation in 2009 that guarantees state schooling for children aged six to 14 and enrolments have reached more than 90 percent nationally. But HRW said the law does not contain punishments for those who discriminate in the classroom. Most education authorities have failed to establish proper mechanisms to monitor and track children, who were at risk of dropping out, and acting to ensure they were able to remain in school, the report said.

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The Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Michigan’s AfďŹ rmative Action Ban

States or in this court’s precedents for the judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters,â€? he said. - ‘Unique obstacles’ In 2006, Michigan voters approved a measure prohibiting the state’s public universities and schools from “discriminating against or granting preferential treatment for any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.â€? Known as Proposition 2, the measure was struck down by an appeals court, and the case reached the Supreme Court. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who credits afďŹ rmative action for her own rise to Princeton University despite her Puerto Rican family’s limited circumstances, wrote an impassioned dissent. Sotomayor argued that the constitution guarantees “that the majority may not win by stacking the political process against minority groups permanently, forcing the minority alone to surmount unique obstacles in pursuit of its goals.â€? By permitting a majority of voters to do just that in Michigan, she contended, “the court ends the debate over racesensitive admissions policies in Michigan in a manner that contravenes constitutional protections long recognized in our precedents.â€? The Michigan case comes on the heels of a high court decision last year concerning afďŹ rmative action at the University of Texas. In that case, justices elected not to rule on the constitutionality of using race and ethnic-

ity in admissions, instructing a lower court to take another look at the sensitive matter. - Court challenges AfďŹ rmative action was ďŹ rst introduced in the early 1960s to combat racial discrimination in government hiring, but has since been the subject of numerous court challenges. In 2003, the court ruled that universities could consider factors such as race and sex in admissions but ruled out as unconstitutional a strict point system such as that used by the University of Michigan Law School. Sotomayor warned of the broader implications of Tuesday’s ruling in her dissenting opinion. “Today’s decision eviscerates an important strand of our equal protection jurisprudence,â€? she said. “For members of historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights, the decision can hardly bolster hope for a vision of democracy that preserves for all the right to participate meaningfully and equally in self-government,â€?

she said. Civil rights groups also expressed disappointment. “This case is ultimately about whether students of color in Michigan are allowed to compete on the same playing ďŹ eld as all other students. Today, the Supreme Court said they are not,â€? said Leticia Smith-Evans of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, said the ruling “places roadblocks on the critical efforts to ensure that our public universities are places where a fair and equal exchange of ideas from a variety of perspectives and viewpoints is encouraged, not compromised.â€? Justice Kennedy acknowledged that debate on issues such as racial preferences “all too often may shade into rancor.â€? “But that does not justify removing certain court-determined issues from the voters’ reach,â€? he said. “Democracy does not presume that some subjects are either too divisive or too profound for public debate.â€?

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FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

Your Horoscope for the Week of April 25, 2014 by Hardik Vyas, Astrologer Cell : 832-298-9950

As per Indian Vedic Astrology the Moon sign is considered, in which every Rashi has control over certain letters, which are initials of your name. Whereas in Western system of Sun Sign, all the people born in one month belong to the same sign. For example, every year approximately around 21 of March to 20th April, the Sun is moving in the Aries Constellation. So all the people born in that month belong to the Sign of Aries. If you were born in between those two dates then you are a Aries born.


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

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

Your emotional attitude and the confusion, may cause to others around you. Go after your goals. You can make money if you produce services or goods that make domestic chores easier. Get together with friends and you will find out something about someone from your past. You’ll be angry about financial matters that concern joint accounts or outrageous contributions. If your mate can’t control their spending habits, limit credit card privileges. Be honest with yourself and your family. Don’t take on too much or make promises to family members that you know you can’t keep.

Your ability to sit back, observe and proceed to follow your own best interests. Try not to become too involved in other people’s private doings. Don’t confide in your peers. Your reluctance to do what they want will lead to discord and a possible loss of friendship. Don’t be too quick to follow the crowd. You can make sound financial investments if you act fast. You can make financial gains if you are realistic about your assets. Real estate investments can be bought or sold. Transfer money to the investment offering the best returns.

Scorpio (N,Y)23 Oct to 21 Nov

Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May It is important to Use your ability to clear up small but important details. You will feel much more comfortable in social settings if you know your work is up to date. Get your body moving. Join a club or buy a good work-out tape. It’s time to take control of your life and your appearance. Use your discipline to achieve the image you want. You’ll want to spend too much on entertainment. Safe investments will be your salvation. Spend quality time with someone you love. It’s time to let your true feelings be known.

The tension will mount and the information you receive will be informative. Limitations are likely if you’ve been difficult to get along with, lately. By week’s end, pleasurable activities should be on your dance card. Your relatives will be more helpful than you ever thought possible. Sit back and listen. The information you receive will be informative and eye-opening regarding your current situation. Talk to individuals who are already in that position. You can gain an inside look at the pitfalls of being your own boss.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Keep an open mind and go with the flow. You can turn your ideas into cash if you are willing to work hard. People will be interested in supporting your efforts. Don’t misinterpret their interest in you. Don’t let your independent nature hold you back from asking for some needed help. Your intuition will lead you in the right direction, don’t be afraid to start something new. Lady Luck is in your corner. You can raise the value of your home if you do some renovations. Get the whole family to pitch in and help, but don’t take on jobs that require an expert.

Your need to be an observer, not a disturber. Accept the inevitable and prepare yourself to make the necessary adjustments. Expect delays if you are not organized and ready to roll. Keep your thoughts to yourself. Don’t believe everything you hear. Stick to what you know and focus on getting ahead. Partners won’t be too eager to help you. Don’t take on more than you can handle. You’d be best to spend some quiet time catching up on the little things you never find time to do. Don’t feel obligated to take care of everyone else.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Take actions, now. Don’t hesitate to be a little aggressive. It may put a spark back into your personal life. Changes at work may set you off, causing upset on the home front if you aren’t careful. You mustn’t dwell on situations that don’t involve your loved ones. Don’t leave things to the last minute and then worry about the outcome. You’ll be upset if someone has borrowed something that belongs to you without asking first. Try not to lose your cool, but make your point known. You may find the tables turned at a later date.

Take time to organize your financial situation and look over your personal papers. Real estate deals will turn out to be lucrative. Develop one of your unique ideas, talk to those who might be able to contribute to your efforts. You need to present your work if you want to prosper. Confusion about money or a joint venture will leave you feeling upset. Attend a lecture, greater self-awareness will be the result of the knowledge you receive. Don’t stretch the truth, you may get blamed for something you didn’t do.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August

You need to move after your goals. Don’t let anyone stand in the way of your success. Do your own research and don’t leave anything to chance. Follow through with your plans and don’t overlook any details. Check your options and re-evaluate your motives. You’re too generous with others. Revamp your finances, you’ll have to be creative in order to keep your current lifestyle. You’ll be the center of attention. You can gain popularity if you attend functions that are related to your chosen field.

Deal with overindulgent individuals, Your colleagues may cause frustration if they appear to be working against you. Don’t allow them get away with a “poor me” attitude with you. Leadership can be yours if you put additional work into organizations you belong to. You may have to spread yourself a little thin, but it will be worth it in the long run. Stress will cause fatigue. You can achieve much if you are willing to direct your attention toward your hobbies or self-improvement projects.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Use your own initiative, Waiting for others will be a waste of time. Extravagance and time will work against you. Positive action to alleviate concerns about aging can be dealt with through a fitness program. You’ll feel better about yourself if you make changes. Don’t make unrealistic promises. Join groups. You will meet people who will listen to your ideas and contribute as well. You’ll have no difficulty borrowing money or possessions. Sudden changes in your financial picture and position in life are apt to happen if you have executed your intentions carefully.


Believe in yourself and your work. Do so and others will follow you. You’ll meet some new interesting people, present your ideas to them. You’ll be surprised at the positive response you receive. Joint financial ventures may turn sour, salvage what you can. Don’t spend too much on entertainment or gambling. You’ll have to curb some of your habits. You’ll need the extra cash if you overextended yourself. More money can be yours if you are willing to go after a higher-paying job that requires more responsibilities.





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FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

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FRIDAY, April 25, 2014

Voice of Asia April 25 2014  

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

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