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FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

28 years dedicated service toCounties the community Serving Harris,ofFort Bend and Surrounding for 29 years

Trump, Sanders, Schumer battle cuts to Medicare, Social Security

Read on Page 18 or Call 832-8061000

Vol. 30 No. 2 Friday, January 13, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail:

Trump warns US firms moving Portugal PM, Nisha Biswal among jobs offshore, singling out pharma 30 awardees in Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awards by Heather SCOTT


EW YORK, United States | AFP | 1/11/2017 President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday attacked US companies who ship jobs offshore, singling out the pharmaceutical industry for high drug prices and for manufacturing overseas. Trump said US companies relocating production offshore are “getting away with murder” and warned their products will be hit with hefty taxes if imported into the United States. “There will be a major border tax on these companies that are leaving and getting away with murder,” he told his first press conference since winning the November 8 presidential election. “The word is now out that when you want to move your plant to Mexico or some other place, and you want to fire all of your workers from Michigan and Ohio and all these places that I won, for good reason, it’s

by Sowmya Aji, ET Bureau an 10, 2017


US President-elect Donald Trump suggests setting up bidding procedures for the drug industry (AFP Photo/FRANCK FIFE). not going to happen that way anymore,” he said. “You are going to pay a very large border tax.” Shares of drugmakers plummeted as Trump singled out the massive industry, warning he would seek to cut prices by restructuring procedures for bidding on drugs. “Pharma. Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists, a

lot of power,” he said, making the industry the latest target of his frequent attacks on business Continued on page 11

ENGALURU: With just 10 days to go for US President Barack Obama stepping down from his post, Assistant Secretary of State (South and Central Asian affairs) Nisha Desai Biswal explained the secret of his friendship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi that has often puzzled pundits in both countries. Biswal, 48, a person of Indian origin, said in her acceptance speech after getting the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman from President Pranab Mukherjee at the valedictory event of the Continued on page 10

Both nations believe in freedom, democracy, tolerance and pluralism. In the laws that govern our countries, etched in our very souls,” Nisha Desai Biswal said.

India warns Amazon over alleged insults to flag

Pakistan court orders DNA tests in ‘tortured’ child maid case

Lunar Lantern Festival Update - Announcing Date Change To Accommodate Growing Interest NEW WEEKEND: April 29 -30, 2017 SAME LOCATION: POST HTX, 401 Franklin, formerly the Downtown Houston Post Office Dear Festival Partners & Vendors,

The wife (right) of a Pakistani judge, who with her husband allegedly tortured their 10-year-old maid, leaving the Supreme Court in Islamabad on Jan 6, 2017. PHOTO: AFP


SLAMABAD, Pakistan | AFP | 1/11/2017 - Pakistan’s Supreme Court Wednesday ordered DNA tests to identify the parents of a tenyear-old maid who was tortured, allegedly by her employers, in a case which has caused widespread shock. The child bears the marks of torture, a hospital board which examined her said earlier this

week in a report submitted in court Wednesday. However officials say she has given different versions of what happened to her. “We have to overcome her fear, only she can tell us the truth,” Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said in court. Continued on page 11

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj slammed Amazon in a series of tweets, calling the sale of doormats featuring the Indian flag on their Canadian website an “unacceptable” insult to India (AFP Photo/DAVID MCNEW).


EW DELHI, India | AFP | 1/11/2017 - India on Wednesday sought an apology from Amazon for selling “insulting” doormats featuring its national flag and threatened to bar foreigners working for the e-commerce giant from entering the country unless the products were withdrawn. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj slammed the company in a series of tweets, calling the sale of doormats featuring the

Indian flag on Amazon’s Canadian website an “unacceptable” insult to the country.

The row erupted after a Twitter user sent Swaraj a screengrab of the doormats on sale.

“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately,” Swaraj said on Twitter.

There was no immediate reaction from the global e-retailer, which also sells merchandise featuring the flags of other countries including Canada, the United States and Britain.

“If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official. We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier,” she said.

Amazon has made steady inroads in India, with plans to invest $5 billion in the country since entering the cut-throat, rapidly growing e-commerce market in 2013.

Thank you for your application to participate in and/or interest in the 2017 Lunar Lantern Festival. Response from sponsors and ticket buyers has been overwhelming! As a consequence, we have some great news and a new date - April 29 - 30th, 2017! Any vendor application and acceptance is still valid and our goal continues to focus on showcasing fine and diverse Asian cuisine, while also limiting the number of participating vendors to ensure a profitable event for everyone! Stay tuned via your email box, our website and facebook pages for updates and we’ll be in touch with more news as it comes. More details on Page 9

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What can President Donald Trump actually deliver?

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

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Columnists: Legal: Richard M. Alderman Legal: Sharlene Sharmila Richards Research: Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Health Insurance: Sudhir Mathuria Astrology: Hardik Vyas Editor Online:

Shobana Muratee

All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the consent of the publisher. Voice of Asia assumes no liability resulting from action taken based on the information included herein. Published weekly by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713-7745143. Email for editorial submissions:; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions: ads@ 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 confirmation of any facts or allegations contained in letters to the editor. Moreover, Voice of Asia reserves the right to edit letters to the editor as necessary to correct errors of fact, punctuation, spelling and to comply with space constraints. Although paid advertisements may appear in Voice of Asia Group Publications in print, online, or in other electronic formats, the Voice of Asia Group does not endorse the advertised product, service, or company, nor any of the claims made by the advertisement. - The Publisher

FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

The Challenges for the 45th US President

Chandra K. Mittal, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., FCP by Chandra K. Mittal, Ph.D. On January 20, 2017 once Donald Trump is “officially” sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, he will be tested for his KSAs, i.e. knowledge, skills and abilities to solve national problems, resolve international conflicts, and deliver on the tall election promises he made in the campaign. He will be scrutinized every step of the way by the media, the US Congress, government agencies, and the American public. He will be equally assessed by overseas friends and adversaries with interest for his impulses, instincts and reaction towards hotspots in the world. There is obviously high expectation from Donald Trump to fulfill his election promises as his loyalists and supporters look forward to a speedy reversal of their so called “miseries” accrued under the Obama Presidency, and their deliverance from the “bondage” as it were, of low personal incomes, unemployment or underemployment, unaffordable healthcare, assault on their sovereignty, illegal immigrants, and lack of their neighborhood security. Besides the domestic ills, President-Elect Trump also promised to fix all the “wrongs” overseas and radically change America’s direction or posture in foreign relations as it relates to international trade, relationships with friends and adversaries, environmental over-regulation, international security alliances, etc. He also boldly committed to withdrawing from the multinational “Iranian Nuclear Deal”, impose heavy tariffs on imports of foreign-manufactured goods from countries like China, Mexico, etc. On the immigration front, Donald Trump has repeatedly committed to building a wall on the US southern border

with Mexico, deport illegal aliens from the US, and severely restrict the immigration of foreigners into the US, most especially from the Islamic countries that are in the grip of terrorism and political instability. Simply put, President-Elect Donald Trump promised to Americans a “paradise” to get their vote. Now, past January 20th 2017, he will have to start redeeming his promises to the American people who, figuratively speaking, sold their all possessions to bet on Donald Trump, an inexperienced and unknown political entity. This was unprecedented in the two hundred forty year old history of the United States. But he sold himself to be the only person to save America from “all” political ills that sound it. While it is early and premature to start looking at the crystal ball to predict the future, some of the post-election rhetoric from President-Elect has nevertheless begun to mallow down, modify or reverse. Two significant examples of his vacillation are his changed stand on the Obamacare where he now proposes to continue with inclusion of preexisting conditions and allow parents to carry children on their policies till their 20s. The other being his much touted deportation of illegal aliens from the United States. Pre-election, this number was estimated to be about 12 Million. Now, he says it will be much less than that. It is quite likely this number may get completely eliminated in the future. On the domestic front, one of the major challenges of President-Elect Trump will be his ability to work in consonant with the US Congress to enable him to implement his agenda in harmony with the US Constitution. Mr. Trump himself has no previous experience in the formulation or implementation of public policy. So, he is likely to face major conflicts between his populistic promises and what can actually pass the Congressional muster. This disconnect between the two could make him lose face with the American people.

Similarly, his challenges in foreign trade and security alliances appear insurmountable. He promised to bring back manufacturing jobs from China, Mexico and other countries. For this to occur, he will have to retract and reverse existing trade agreements with these countries. This will cause major economic upheaval with global implication since today’s economy is widely integration. It is hard to imagine that such multidimensional trade agreements can be scrapped and reversed at a flick of the finger as Donald Trump made out to be before election. During the campaign Donald Trump also criticized and complained about security alliances with countries like Japan, South Korea, etc. costing American tax-payers too much with nothing in return. So, he promised to reverse these to reap financial benefits. But this may not be feasible to do for more than one reason. Countries generally operate on the “barter” philosophy in international security-relationships in the interest of long-term broader mutual benefit instead of direct financial benefit. For President Trump to undo the existing security alliances overseas could isolate America in the world. This may also compel partners to seek alternate alliances with other countries including adversaries jeopardizing American security. Thus, because of various limitations, conflicts and incompatibilities between governing realities and his election promises, President Trump will face major challenges in fully delivering them. But, as a political compulsion, he will have to find some winners on some substantive issues to preserve his credibility with the American people and build his legacy he as seems to have already embarked upon. Even before his inauguration there are some signs appearing on the horizon that he has begun to make good on some promises. For example, he has reportedly prevented the flight of some 800 American manufacturing jobs to Mexico. Similarly, he has reached out to

some foreign leaders including leaders of Japan, Israel, Taiwan, etc. to build constructive international relationships. But these are all symbolic moves for now. The actual heavy lifting awaits him to take the office, looks over the spreadsheet of America’s governing map, and engage in contentious national and international issues. What is more likely to occur is the watered-down version of several of his promises. In the domestic arena some of these likely to be reductions in personal and corporate tax cuts, modifications of some provisions of Obamacare (but no repeal), relaxation of environmental regulation to promote industry, increase in manufacturing jobs, targeted inner-city community development, improved border security on the US-Mexican border by physical barriers and better surveillance, deportation or incarceration of criminal aliens, and legalization (but not deportation) of non-criminal illegal aliens. On the foreign trade front he will negotiate China to extract additional concessions in bilateral trade but not eliminate it, renegotiate NAFTA to make it more favorable to US, and modify Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with higher bilateral emphasis. He may also increase economic incentives for US export industry. He will continue to maintain strong bonds with NATO and will seek an accommodation and balanced partnerships (not confrontation) with Russia and Middle East to maintain global peace and control terrorism. Given that politics is the art of impossible, these accomplishments would earn him a good report card from the American people, and would possibly constitute a significant step towards “Making America Great Again” - the sole purpose of Donald Trump to seek the highest office in the land, the Presidency of the United States. Dr. Chandra Mittal is Professor at Houston Community College and Co-Founder of Indo-American Association (IAA). Contact: drckmittal@ Twitter: @drchandramittal.

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FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

Second Front Page


Tel: 713-774-5140

2016 Brays Oaks Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast

DAYA presents “Unbroken Glass’ documentary screening at India House

India Culture Center, Houston elects 2017 EC

Poster Unbroken Glass Volunteers recognized l at the Brays Oaks Volunteer Appreciation breakfast.


OUSTON - December 9, 2016 - A great time was had by all at the Brays Oaks Volunteer Appreciation breakfast on Thursday, December 8. This annual event is hosted by the Brays Oaks District and SW Houston 2000 to thank individuals in our community for all of the volunteers efforts and good causes they support throughout the year.

This year Pablo Carrillo, Director of Area Operations for Fiesta, Greg Meyers, Board member for Houston ISD, Cheryl Riedl, Volunteer at Memorial Hermann SW, Reginald Lewis, President Richmond HOA and Super Neighborhood 41, Eddee Hestand, Chaplain with PACA, Mike Terry with Braes Interfaith Ministries and Sherri Cortez, volunteer with the Glenshire Subdivision were recognized for their efforts.

New HCC campus sparks rebirth in Brays Oaks District


OUSTON - December 8, 2016: The HCC Brays Oaks Campus on West Bellfort Avenue and Riceville School Road is a reality. More than 150 people packed the entrance of the 28,000 square-foot, LEED Silver Certified building to celebrate its official ribbon cutting. Attendees included HCC Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Adriana Tamez, District III; Trustee Dr. John P. Hansen, District VI; representatives from the offices of Congressman Al Green, (TX-9th District) and State Representative Dr. Alma Allen, District 131; State Representative Shawn Thierry, District 146; and members of the Houston City Council.

this project,” said Houston City Council Member Larry Green, District K. “This will be the campus that the community built.”

The City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department gave HCC a $700,000 Block grant to help fund the $12.4 million project.

Norman Mitchell had job creation in mind with his Bee Busy Wellness Center right next door. The Federally Qualified Health Center offers medical, dental and mental health services.

“We needed this campus in this area and there was nothing going to stop us from making sure we were partners in

The HCC Brays Oaks Campus will offer continuing education courses that support a curriculum of training in GED, ESL, information technology, and health education fast- track programs. “We want to help students transition into a 21st Century college education,” said Dr. Cesar Maldonado, HCC chancellor. “Academics are critical to student success, but finding careers with job opportunities is what is going to bring success to families.”

To learn more about programs offered at HCC visit


n February 12 at 11:00am, Daya will be hosting a special screening of Dinesh Sabu’s honest and thought-provoking documentary: Unbroken Glass at India House. In the film, Dinesh takes us on a journey to uncover his family’s silent history of mental illness. He confronts the history of having a schizophrenic mother who died by suicide and the trauma of these events. We are honored to welcome Dinesh to Houston to watch the film with us and conduct an open dialogue about our experiences with mental illness. You can find more details and purchase tickets on our website: http://www.dayahouston. org/unbroken-glass L-R: Saundarya Sohoni, Nisha Mirani, Falguni Gandhi, Sapna Shah and Rajiv Bhavsar

Unbroken Glass: When he was six, filmmaker Dinesh Sabu’s father died after a sudden diagnosis of stomach cancer. His mother committed suicide, the end of a fifteen-year struggle with schizophrenia. As time passed, his family pieced their lives together, rarely talking about these shattering events. But now Dinesh, the youngest of five siblings, wants to find out more about his parents’ story. But his desire to revisit the past and break the silence risks upsetting the carefully maintained balance he and his siblings have constructed over the past twenty years. Is reconstructing the past worth the cost of disrupting the present?


Falguni Gandhi as President, Nisha Mirani as Vice President, Sapna Shah as Secretary and Saundarya Sohoni as Treasurer. Rajiv Bhavsar as Immediate Past President will continue to be part of the Executive Committee. The Trustee Board was also selected at this meeting and the following are the now-- Parul Fernandes, Sangeeta Pasrija, Hasu Patel, Vijay Pallod, Lachhman Das, Col. Raj Bhalla and Charlie Patel. The Election Committee was ably handled by Girish Pandya, Jawahar Malhotra and Sam Merchant. The Board of Directors for 2017 are-- Dilip Dadhich, Pramod Bengani, Ajit Patel, Sangeeta Dua, Rafi Ansar, Hemant Patel, Nimish Sheth, Swapan Dhairyawan, Ina Patel, Kiran Shah. The next signature event of ICC is on January 21 Republic Day celebrations at Stafford Center.




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FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

The People’s Lawyer

nancy: Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Copying Texans logo is copyright violation Q. With all of the excitement surrounding the Texans getting into the playoffs, I notice some people are getting a Texans’ logo tattoo. Does the tattoo artist need to be licensed by the Texans to do this? Can the tattoo parlor be sued? A. As far as the law is concerned, a tattoo artist cannot copy the Texans’ logo without permission. The logo is protected by a copyright and cannot be copied without permission. If the Texans wanted to sue, they could. Whether they do, will depend on many factors outside of the law. It may not be good for team support to start suing. Q. Can my wages be garnished for child support imposed by another state? A. Wages usually can be garnished for out of state support obligations. Most states have agreements with Texas making it very easy to enforce a child support obligation from another state. Q. Three years ago, a credit card company filed a lawsuit against me, I answered the lawsuit. I heard nothing for almost two years, until I received a notice of hearing on a motion for summary judgment. Isn’t there a fouryear statute of limitations for lawsuits? Shouldn’t this case now be dismissed?

A. The statute of limitation is the legal time-period within which a lawsuit must be filed. A lawsuit filed after the statute has run can be dismissed. For credit card lawsuits, the statute of limitation is four years. In your case, however, the lawsuit was filed well within the statutory time limit. The statute of limitations applies to the date the lawsuit is filed, not when it is finally resolved. Q. I owe $1,500 to a creditor. I cannot afford to pay the full amount, so I sent a check for $1,000 clearly marked “accepted as payment in full.” They cashed the check. Now they say I still owe $500. I think the matter was settled when they cashed my check. Who is right? A. In my opinion, the credit card company is correct; you still owe $500. Paying someone with a check clearly marked “accepted as payment in full” to settle a debt may discharge the obligation, but only in limited situations. For a payment in full check to work, the check must be offered in “good faith” and the claim must be in dispute. In other words, it must be a good faith attempt to resolve a dispute about how much money is owed. Simply offering less than an agreed amount is not a good faith attempt to resolve a dispute. For example, if you and your mechanic have a dispute about

how much you owe for repairs, a payment in full check to resolve the dispute would satisfy your obligation. If the mechanic cashed your check, he would not be legally entitled to any additional money. On the other hand, if you owe a bank $1,500 and the amount is not in dispute, you may not merely offer $1,000 to settle the debt. Even if the check is marked “payment in full,” the bank may cash the check and then seek to recover the additional $500. Q. I remember reading about an organization at the University of Houston Law Center that can help with consumer problems. Can you please give me its name? A. The organization is the Texas Consumer Complaint Center, and in the past year it has helped more than 1,500 consumers resolve problems with businesses. The Texas CCC was founded by the Center for Consumer Law with an award from the Texas Attorney General’s office. It is staffed by attorneys and Law Center students, who handle all types of consumer complaints from debt collection and defective cars, to plumbing problems and landlord-tenant issues. If you have a problem and need help, go to www.TexasCCC. com.

Nitin Sud, Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney Both federal law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act) and Texas law (Texas Commission on Human Rights Act) prevent sex discrimination against employees. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 modified these laws to confirm that pregnancy discrimination is also a form of sex discrimination. Most employers are well aware that they should not terminate or otherwise discriminate against female employees on account of their pregnancy or birth of a child. However, employers often still violate the law, even unwittingly or with the perception that they are acting with good intentions. The following are common examples of situations that could result in liability for discriminating against an employee based on her preg-

• As specific examples, a federal appellate court has ruled that a statement from a manager that an employee would be “happier at home with her children” may be considered direct evidence of unlawful discrimination. Another federal appellate court has held that “an employer is not free to assume that a woman, because she is a woman, will necessarily be a poor worker because of family responsibilities.”

Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney Nitin Sud represents employees, executives, and small businesses in the following matters: Litigation in state and federal courts, Wrongful termination and employment discrimination claims, Overtime claims, Employment contracts, Severance agreements, Non-compete and non-solicitation matters. For more information, visit

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• Making stereotypical assumptions about a new mother’s alleged need to care for her child rather than work, or not understanding that she can both work and care for her child.

Ultimately, an employer should treat a pregnant employee just like it would any other employee, while still understanding she will require some time off (i.e. doctor visits or FMLA leave) to deal with the pregnancy and child birth. However, if she wants to come back after work shorly after giving birth and is able to perform her job duties, it is not the employer’s position to question her parenting decisions or challenge her ability to return to work.

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• An employer preventing a pregnant employee from working in a particular job because it assumes the particular job may not be “safe” for the woman or her unborn child. If a pregnant woman wants to work in an alleged “risky” job (i.e. physically intensive, working with certain chemicals, radiation, etc.), it is not up to the employer to decide what is appropriate for her or her child’s health. As long as she is able to perform the essential job duties of the position, she should be permitted to continue working.

And one judge recently confirmed that a manager stating women “should stay home, be mothers, and take care of their children” gives rise to an inference of unlawful discrimination.

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Art museum kicks off 2017 with award gala


rt is the Sauce, The Ungala is KCAM’s first annual gala event and will be Friday, Jan. 6. This year, Contemporary Art Museum of Fort Bend will honor Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers by presenting him the Terri Payne Bieber Award for Arts Leadership. Artists, critics, curators, art lovers and collectors from all around the Houston metro area will be on-hand to support KCAM. Attire is art chic.


KCAM Museum thrives as an energetic contemporary art museum that brings social and cultural transformation to the greater Fort Bend area and neighboring regions creating a vibrant art community (Photo: Srini Sundarrajan) mentary valet parking.

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The event will begin at 7 p.m. at The Terrace, LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch, above Las Alamedas Restaurant Bar & Grill, 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. There will be compli-

Established in 2013, the KCAM Contemporary Art Museum Fort Bend is a not-forprofit institution in Katy, Texas, dedicated to presenting the contemporary art of our time to

The KCAM Contemporary Art Museum Fort Bend provides an interchange for visual arts of the present and recent past, presents new directions in art, strives to engage the public and encourages a greater understanding of contemporary art through education programs.

For local girl, Michelle Obama is an empowering example


iki Emordi is 8 and in the third grade in Richmond, Texas.

“She’s a bold woman,” said her mother, who also has two older girls and a son. “Any black girl can just see Michelle and know she can dream big. She says to these girls it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you look like, you can be anything that you want to be.”

“I really look up to her as a role model,” she said. Her parents are originally from Nigeria and her mother, Ngozi Emordi, teaches English as a second language. The feel-good initiatives of first lady Michelle Obama have served as both inspiration and eight years of teaching moments for many families. So what, exactly, do they think is her legacy over a period that spans much of the lifetime of today’s kids? “I think she stands for kindness in America,” said Alexis Shenkiryk, a 12-year-old in Del Mar, California. “She really encouraged me to try harder, and she promoted a lot of good things for everyone, not just certain people.” Alexis was jealous when her 24-year-old sister got to attend President Barack Obama’s 2008 inauguration. Over the years, said Shenkiryk’s mom, Rhonda Moret, the goodwill the first lady was able to pass on to her girls flowed from the White House. “We’re a biracial family,” Moret said. “We’ve had numerous conversations discussing how one’s race or background are truly irrelevant and how we should value one’s character above all else.”

In this March 9, 2012, file photo, First Lady Michelle Obama gives a high five during a stop with pre-schoolers at the Penacook Community Centervin Concord, N.H., as part of her Let’s Move initiative (Photo: Jim Cole) Inara Abernathy, a 17-year-old in Nashville, Tennessee, has absorbed many life lessons of her own from the first lady. “She’s strong and beautiful and she makes me feel beautiful, too,” Inara said. “I feel like I can accomplish things when I think about her.” - Then there’s bullying “I was bullied a lot when I was little and she taught me how when I got bullied to just don’t think about it,” Inara said. “Ignore them. Live your life and be happy.” Her dad is a retired Army colonel and the teen admires Mrs. Obama’s shout-out for military families. And when the first lady put in the White House garden, “it made me think about eating better food and losing weight,” Inara said. “Without her I’m not sure I would have done that.” Norfolk, Virginia, 10th-grader Kassidy Carey canvassed for Hillary Clinton and has volunteered to advocate for various social causes through the site She was too little to remember the president’s

Make the decision to help a child succeed by attending a one-hour mentor training on Jan. 11


Volunteer mentors devote 30-45 minutes a week to students at all levels to help them reach their full potential. The following FBISD schools are currently in need of adult mentors – Hunters Glen, Lantern Lane, Mission Glen, Mission West and Palmer Elementary Schools; Baines, Crockett and Hodges Bend Middle Schools; and

Jajoo, a licensed professional engineer and small business owner, gained prominence on council by working to lower property taxes, restrain spending, and improve public services. “I have lived in Sugar Land for 32 years. It is where I raised my family, built my life, and came to admire its people and to value their friendship,” Jajoo said. “As a member of City Council, I have always worked to be a clear voice for conservative principles and fiscal responsibility.” First elected to council in 2011, Jajoo has spearheaded efforts to promote planned growth, upgrade public safety services, develop new parks and bike paths, rehabilitated streets and sidewalks all while holding down taxes. He was among members who worked to raise the city’s homestead exemption tax rate from 7 to 10 percent, saving homeowners thousands of dollars. He has been most proud of completion of City’s world class performance venue -Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land as well as Festival Grounds and Brazos Park- all in District 4

January is National Mentoring Month ORT BEND ISD (January 9, 2017) – Parents and community members who have a desire to help equip and inspire students to be successful, in school and in life, are invited to join Fort Bend ISD’s Mentor Team.

Harish Jajoo to seek another term representing District 4 on Sugar Land City Council ugar Land Councilman Harish Jajoo today announced plans to seek reelection to a fourth term in District 4, pledging to remain an independent voice for the city’s residents.

Partners Of The Year include Whole Foods Market and the Willow Fork Drainage District.

Lesson learned, as far as Kiki is concerned. She is forever on the hunt for any news of Mrs. Obama, whether it’s about a fresh speech or fabulous outfit.

Ridge Point High School. Adults interested in serving as an FBISD mentor are invited to attend a one-time training on Wednesday, November 11, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., in the FBISD Administration Building Board Room (16431 Lexington Blvd., Sugar Land, 77479). If you want to make a positive influence in a child’s life, then consider joining FBISD’s Mentor Team. All mentors are required to complete a criminal history background application before volunteering on a campus. For more information, call (281) 634-1109.

first inauguration, but she loved watching the second one. She’s a regular first lady watcher. “Oh, I love her,” said Kassidy, who has already decided on law school when the time comes. “I just think she’s really well composed, and she’s an empowering person. “I really appreciate that the first lady tries to make young girls feel like more than just girls, you know,” she said. “She makes us feel like people who actually have opinions that matter and who can fight for what we believe in.” At 7, Jordan West of Rochester, New York, has already met her hero, Mrs. Obama, at a White House-hosted event. She helps her two older brothers run the family’s Champions of Change, a nonprofit they started to urge young people to become “change agents” in their communities. She recently spoke at another Washington event for girls. As for Kiki? Mrs. Obama, she said, “makes me want to be a better girl.” (-AP)

“Multifaceted holistic approach to Diabetes through Yoga” - An informative workshop by Dr. Sudha Rajan offered


iabetes continues to grow as a major health challenge across the world. Come join us to learn prevention and management of diabetes through Yogic life style change. This workshop is organized jointly by Sewa & JVB Preksha Meditation Center. Date : Saturday, Jan 28th @ 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM Venue : JVB, 14102 Schiller Road, Houston TX 77082

Sugar Land Councilman Harish Jajoo “My single goal for Sugar Land has been to see that progress and tradition receive equal attention as we build our city together,” Jajoo said. “Our community’s values are my values, and as Texans we all know that family and community come first in our lives. That has been my guiding principle on council.” While on council, Jajoo was elected President of the Texas Association of Mayors, Council Members and Commissioners (TAMCC). He also serves on the board of the Texas Mu-

nicipal League and was past president of the League’s Region 14. He has previously served on City’s Economic Development Committee, Intergovernmental Relations Committee and Compensation Committee. He was also a member of Transportation Policy Council under the Houston-Galveston Area Council for 5 years Jajoo and his wife Shashi have two sons, Sid and Rishi. The Jajoos reside in Sugar Land’s Commonwealth subdivision neighborhood.



Varicose and spider veins Are you ready to seek treatment?


UGAR LAND - Varicose veins can be unsightly and may cause discomfort or pain. In some cases, they can even lead to serious health problems. Understanding more about varicose veins can help you decide how to better deal with them. Ulises Baltazar, M.D., boardcertified vascular surgeon with Houston Methodist Cardiovascular Surgery Associates, answers some commonly asked questions. Q: What are varicose veins? A: They are enlarged veins that may be blue, red or fleshcolored and occur most often in the legs. They may appear twisted and bulging and may be raised above the surface of the skin. Q: What causes them?

resting may help ease pain and keep varicose veins from getting worse. • Compression stockings— Over-the-counter or prescription-strength compression stockings squeeze your legs, helping blood move more efficiently. • Sclerotherapy— A doctor injects a solution into the veins that scars and closes them. In a few weeks, the veins should fade away, but additional treatments may be required. This procedure may be used for small or mediumsize varicose veins. • Laser treatment— Very strong bursts of light are sent through the skin to the veins, making them slowly fade and disappear. This is usually only effective for small veins.

Dr. Ulises Baltazar, Vascular surgeon (Photo: HMCSA)

A: Varicose veins may be caused by weak, damaged, deformed or missing valves in the veins. Your leg muscles push blood back to the heart against gravity. Normally, valves in your veins keep your blood flowing forward to return it to your heart. But if the valves aren’t working properly, blood can leak back into the veins and pool there. When backed-up blood makes the veins bigger, they can become varicose. Q: How common are they? A: Varicose veins affect half of the 50 years and older population. They are more common among older people, people who are overweight or obese, those who sit or stand for long periods and women. Q: When should I see a health care provider about varicose veins? A: You should seek treatment if varicose veins cause pain or aching; a vein is red, swollen, very tender or warm to the touch; the skin on your calf and ankle becomes thick and changes color, or has sores; a varicose vein begins to bleed; or your symptoms interfere with your daily activities. Q: How are varicose veins treated? A: Varicose veins are treated in the following ways: • Self-care— Getting regular exercise that uses the legs; eating a low-salt, high-fiber diet; maintaining a healthy weight; and elevating your legs when

• Catheter-assisted procedures— A doctor threads a tiny tube called a catheter into a vein, then uses either radiofrequency or laser energy (heat) at the tip of the catheter to close off and seal the vein as the catheter is removed. This treatment is effective for large varicose veins. • Ambulatory phlebectomy— This is another surgical procedure that involves removing veins through small incisions, but only the parts of the leg that will be pricked are numbed with anesthesia. • Vein stripping— A long vein is surgically removed through small incisions; general anesthesia is often required. This procedure is usually reserved for very large veins. You don’t have to live with the discomfort and embarrassment of varicose veins. For an appointment with Ulises Baltazar, M.D. call 281.240.8400. VEIN SEMINAR Join Dr. Ulises Baltazar on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. for a vein seminar at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Brazos Pavilion Conference Center. He will be speaking about the causes, symptoms, risk factors, treatments and prevention of varicose and spider veins. Registration required. Register online at or call 281.274.7500.

Widening of FM-1463 to begin in 2019


ATY - Local residents who are anxiously awaiting the widening of FM-1463 will have to

cool their heels until 2019. That’s when TxDOT says the project to unsnarl traffic in the area will most likely com-

Sugar Land to Address 2016 Accomplishments, Vision for the Future Priorities during 2017 will include the annexation of Greatwood and New Territory on Dec. 12, 2017, tourism and property tax reduction. by Bryan Kirk


ugar Land will partner with the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce to present a State of the City Address focusing on the City’s 2016 accomplishments. The community is invited to attend the program to be held Jan. 19 at the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, 18111 Lexington Blvd. A breakfast buffet will be served from 7-8 a.m., and a dynamic presentation of 2016 Sugar Land achievements will follow from Mayor Joe Zimmerman and City Manager Allen Bogard. Some of these include the following: • Substantial completion of the plaza and the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land occurred in 2016. The Smart Financial Centre will be capable of hosting a wide range of performances, including national music and comedy artists, theatrical and family entertainment, as well as cultural and performing arts attractions. The project is expected to spur additional commercial and retail growth that will further establish Sugar Land as one of the strongest economies in the region. No general fund tax dollars were spent on the plaza or the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, which is projected to provide an annual benefit to the community of $26.1 million over 30 years. • The City purchased the 259acre Central Unit prison site. The property is largely north of

Weight Management Seminar planned A Slimmer You is in Sight


hen you have a lot of weight to lose, it can feel daunting. You lose 10 pounds and barely see a change in the mirror. You eat the exact amount of food you’ve been told to and end up hungry each night. Not only is obesity dangerous to your long-term health, so is the back and forth of yo-yo dieting — also known as weight cycling. “If diet and exercise alone have not resulted in permanent weight loss, bariatric surgery may be a powerful tool in your weight loss journey,” said Nabil Tariq, M.D., bariatric surgeon with Houston Methodist Surgical Associates. Join Dr. Nabil Tariq on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, Brazos Pavilion Conference Center, 16655 Southwest Frwy., Sugar Land, Texas 77479 to learn about your weight loss options and enjoy a healthy cooking demonstration. Registration required. To register, visit or call 281.274.7500.

mence. FM-1463 is one of the area’s most congested roadways. In 2013, about 16,000 vehicles per day passed through FM-1463 near I-10. That number had swelled to more than 20,000 vehicles per day in 2015. The scope of this study is a 6.7-mile section of Farm-toMarket (FM) 1463 from I-10 (W) to FM 1093 in Fort Bend County, TX. The current road is undivided with two 12-foot lanes. The proposed project is anticipated to improve traffic and mobility; project improvements include:

FM-1463 (between I-10 and FM-1093)

FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

Widen from two lanes to four to six lanes, add sidewalks on both sides, and construct a raised median. Approximately 20 acres of additional right of way would be needed for the proposed improvements but no displacements are anticipated. This study is a partnership between TxDOT and the Federal Highway Administration.

Above: Mayor and City Council of Sugar Land, who will be addressing the public at the new Smart Financial Centre, pictured below (Photo: City of Sugar Land) U.S. Highway 90A and west of the Sugar Land Regional Airport. The City intends to use the land for three purposes: a light industrial business park, a public safety training center and improvements to the Sugar Land Regional Airport, including a point of entry on the western side. The development of a light industrial business park is important for the creation and retention of primary jobs in the fields of manufacturing, research and development and corporate operations. Nearly half of the funds for the acquisition will be provided through a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. • Sugar Land annexed the 754-acre Cullinan Park after

signing historic agreements with the Cullinan Park Conservancy, the city of Houston and the Houston Parks Board. Future development of the property has long been targeted by the community and is consistent with the conservancy’s efforts to preserve the vast natural resources of the park. The City now operates and maintains the park, which includes enhanced security; trail cleanup; lawn maintenance; and new lighting systems, signage and entry gates. Future planned improvements include trails and boardwalks that allow greater access to existing lakes and wetlands areas, as well as locations for canoe and kayak launches into Oyster Creek.

• Sugar Land approved a plan for the redevelopment of the historical Imperial Sugar refinery site. Known as the Imperial Market, the 850,000-squarefoot, mixed-use lifestyle center will be the centerpiece of a new 720-acre master planned community known as Imperial. Imperial Market will be comprised of 258,000 square feet of upscale retail and restaurant space, 100,000 square feet of “A” quality office space, a luxury residential complex and a high-end boutique hotel. In addition, the Houston Children’s Museum has chosen Imperial Market as the new home of the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center. The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation will also locate at the site and is partnering with the City to construct a museum documenting all aspects of Sugar Land’s heritage. Priorities during 2017 will include the annexation of Greatwood and New Territory on Dec. 12, 2017; a focus on tourism and commercial sources to reduce property taxes, an effort that funds a high level of services for taxpayers while maintaining one of the state’s lowest property tax rates; preservation and celebration of Sugar Land’s history, such as efforts to create a museum that will include a diversity of exhibits documenting the contributions of all members of the community; and continued work to update Sugar Land’s Land Use Plan, a document that guides development within the City. Register for the State of the City Address at

Tire Universe leases large warehouse space in Missouri City


ISSOURI CITY, TEXAS — Tire Universe, a tire retailer, has signed a long-term lease for 42,430 square feet of industrial space at Gateway Southwest Industrial Park in Missouri City, a southwest suburb of Houston located in Fort Bend County. Situated within the 131,560square-foot Building 1, the fully outfitted space includes a 1,400-square-foot office component, nine dock doors and T-5 lighting. Sandy Kee of Kee Commercial Realty represented the tenant, while Ed Bane and Jon Michael of Bridge Commercial Real Estate represented the co-developers, Conor Commercial Real Estate, a member of The McShane Cos., and USAA Real Estate Co., in the deal.

Tire Universe will occupy 42,430 square feet of industrial space at Gateway Southwest Industrial Park in Missouri City, Texas (Photo:

Fort Bend ISD to host District Spelling Bee on February 4


ort Bend ISD will host its District Spelling Bee on Saturday, February 4, from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 12:00 p.m. at Fort Settlement Middle School Cafetorium (5440 Elkins Road, Sugar Land, TX 77479).

FBISD school winners in grades 3-8 will compete at the District Spelling Bee, and two champions will advance to the Houston PBS Spelling Bee, which will be Saturday, April 1, 2017. (



FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

Ekal School in Maharashtra: Houston Chapter President’s visit

Thinking digital to widen firm’s reach

Houston: Jan 12, 2017 – Have you ever wondered what it might be like to spend a day visiting with one of 55 plus thousand Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation Schools in the remote and tribal villages of India? Well, that was exactly what the new incoming president of the Ekal Houston local chapter, Mr. Pankaj Desai and his wife, Urmi Desai, accomplished during their recent visit to India. The Ekal School Mr. and Mrs. Desai visited is located about three hours from Mumbai in the Charanwadi village of the Palghar district, in Maharashtra. This trip was arranged by the Ekal Mumbai area lead, Mr. Anil Mansighka.

Kimberly - Clark’s Asia-Pacific chief embraces challenge of growing customer base online

Charanwadi is a small village, where Ekal School is run inside a local resident’s house. The ambiance there reminded Mr. Desai of a village school 50 plus years back in the village where his parents came from and where he attended a summer school in a similar environment. Upon arrival in Charanwadi, Desais were greeted with flowers and Aarti (Indian custom). About 30 kids neatly dressed in a uniform between ages 5 and 11 years were also part of the greeting team and expressed their formal “Pranaam”. Ekal local lead explained Ekal Model – Functional Literacy, Ethics & Value Education, Health Care, Village Development and Empowerment. The school teacher, as well as the local lead for all the area schools had the Bachelor of Arts degrees from local colleges. The real key is that the teachers were from the same area, who students can relate to and therefore dream of making a similar progression. While on the day of the visit, school session was conducted in the morning to accommodate the Desais visit, they are typically conducted in the evening (5:00 PM – 7:30 PM). School started with Gayatri Mantra and other religious and patriotic songs. There was a significant emphasis on allegiance to “Bharatmaata” and on ensuring India’s sovereignty. Most of the students participated in singing Sanskrit shlokas and Hindi patriotic prayers. They were very all disciplined and well behaved and had a great sense of community. This was followed by storytelling in Marathi (regional language) and Q&A. Good overall participation from Students was observed. Main emphasis of teaching was on language and vocabulary skills. Besides, in Math, students were taught basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. Many of them were getting it right the first time. In addition to studies, teachers and students played a game together, which was very interactive - students knew each other by name and had good fun playing. There was small break during which Desais distributed chocolate packs and some board games to students. One of the teachers had a great singing talent, she sang and kids clapped and danced in cir-

UH Day at

India House

by Wong Wei Han Sraitstimes, Jan 9, 2017 The secret formula for success at global consumer goods giant Kimberly-Clark is simple when it’s all said and done - offer quality products that improve consumers’ lives. But meeting this basic challenge is nowhere near enough for Mr Achal Agarwal, Asia-Pacific president of the firm behind household brands such as Huggies, Kotex and Kleenex.

Charanwadi Ekal School in session

Mr Agarwal takes pride in an illustrious career in Asia’s consumer sector, spanning PepsiCo and Kimberly-Clark, which is behind household brands such as Huggies, Kotex and Kleenex. CNBC recently named him as the Asia business leader of the year, an honour he attributes to his team. ST Photo: WONG KWAI CHOW.

The consumer industry veteran knows that new battles for growth and market share are fought online.

Mr. and Mrs. Desai with local school staff and host family cle. There was lot of joy in the room. Toward the end, Desais were asked to interact with the students and teachers – mostly in the local language, Marathi. They all knew “Modiji’ by name but did not know about the big cities, Mumbai or New Delhi. When asked about their career aspirations, the most common responses were either a soldier or a policeman, with a handful aspiring to become either teachers or doctors. Desais were quite impressed with the kids and encouraged the teacher to buy even more learning gadgets for them. As the lunch break arrived, about noon time, Annamrita (Iskcon Project) Food truck had arrived and kids rushed to get their nutritious mid-day meal. Mr. and Mrs. Desai also visited a Gramothan project about 20 km from the school – nice vocational/technical training facility and compost project. Ekal runs nine such centers, with the one in Jharkhand being the most developed. A few local college students were there for training as well. As Desais completed an ISO 9001 Survey subsequent to their visits, they especially noted the following takeaways: • Ekal Schools are well run and students are learning, • Ekal has committed organization in the field to ensure success, • Ekal model works due to collaboration with many other local organizations, • Ekal model does promote Sustainability, • Use English charts and alphabets – posters were visible on the walls, • Use local community TV and other mediums (smart-

phones) to expedite learning and broaden their horizons, • Try to make students global citizens. “We truly enjoyed our day visit to the Ekal School in Charanwadi – seeing a real school in live action, the progress and more importantly, the enthusiasm in these tribal communities, were priceless! It does give a true sense of gratification and a renewed commitment to the Ekal mission”, Mr. Desai wrote in his trip report. Ekal Houston Chapter will be hosting its 2017 Annual Fundraiser on Sunday, May 7, at University of Houston Cullen Performance Hall. For more information about the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, please visit

“We are doing plenty of things that are completely new compared with just two, three years ago. We are selling a lot more through e-commerce, using our digital experience learnt in China and South Korea, where ecommerce is at the forefront of consumer markets,” Mr Agarwal told The Straits Times. “The quality of our products has to keep improving, so that a consumer, say, a mother, can enjoy her time with her baby because he’s comfortable and not crying all the time. That will continue to award us market share. “But these brand messages and user experience are no longer limited to TV or billboard advertisements. Consumers are having conversations online about our products all the time, so it’s important that our sales strategies and investments are directed towards digital capabilities that can allow us to have that constant engagement.” Such thinking led Mr Agarwal to launch the firm’s third digital innovation laboratory

Convert PIO cards to OCI cards, PM Narendra Modi tells overseas Indians PTI | Updated: Jan 08, 2017 BENGALURU: Government is working to put in place procedures for making descendants of the indentured labour living in Fiji and other countries eligible for OCI cards, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today. “Starting with Mauritius, we are working to put in place procedures so that descendants of Girmitiyas could become eligible for OCI Cards. We remain committed to addressing similar difficulties of PIOs in Fiji, Reunion Islands, Suriname, Guyana and other Caribbean States,” he said in his address at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here.

An event for students interested in attending the University of Houston

Monday, January 30, 2017

Girmityas are descendents of indentured Indian labourers who were brought to Fiji to work on sugarcane plantations in mid-1800s. The Prime Minister also urged the People of Indian Origin (PIO) to convert their cards into Overseas Citizen of India cards, reiterating the government’s decision to extend the deadline for these card conversions from December 31 last year to June 30, without any penalty. “From January 1 this year, beginning with Delhi and BenContinued on page 11

As part of the settlement agreement Akhil Reddy, Christopher Steven Villanueva, Trung Minh Tang, Mauricio Dardano, Gabriel Shahwan agreed to pay $250,000 each to resolve the governments’ claims against them individually.

India House Houston 8888 West Bellfort Avenue Houston, TX 77031 (713) 929-1900

Hear from current faculty, staff, and students on the college admission process, majors, scholarships, campus life and much more! Please RSVP by January 23 at For questions or special accommodations, please contact us at or (832) 842-9058

Meanwhile, growth plans are afoot in India, one of the group’s top emerging markets in the region. “We had a joint venture with Unilever, which handled our sales there, but it has decided to divest its stake,” said Mr Agarwal. “So one of the big things we’re seeing through right now is to build a sales and distribution force from the ground up in India, one of the emerging markets that I’m most excited about.” The New York-listed firm counts the Asia-Pacific as one of its most profitable regions, where it racked up revenue of about US$3.7 billion (S$5.3 billion) in 2015, out of the global total of US$18.6 billion. It is present in more than 30 Asia-Pacific countries, with the top developed ones such as South Korea and Australia contributing the bulk of sales. “But I believe developing markets like China, with 15 million babies, and India, with 25 million babies, will command increasing shares going forward,” said Mr Agarwal. Last year proved a busy one for Mr Agarwal - and highly fruitful as well. In November, he was named by CNBC as the Asia business leader of the year, an honour he attributed to his team. “Clearly, you are recognised as a good leader because of the good work of your team,” he said. “The quality of the people in our country teams across the Asia-Pacific is something I’m very proud of. But that’s not by chance. It’s something we have worked to have.” It is partly the result of Mr Agarwal’s insistence on developing a local leadership for each country. “This is a very strong belief for me. In China, we have a 100 per cent local leadership team. South Korea,

also 100 per cent. Singapore and Australia are almost at that level,” he said. “Having local talents leading our country teams is very important for consumer centricity. They are the ones who can understand the nuances of local consumer culture and give our business an edge.” At a more personal level, Mr Agarwal takes pride in an illustrious career in Asia’s consumer sector, spanning not only Kimberly-Clark but also PepsiCo, where he led the beverage business for a decade in the Greater China region as chief operating officer. The 57-year-old, born in Delhi, then headed PepsiCo’s beverage and snack business in sub-Saharan Africa before joining Kimberly- Clark in 2008. But China was where he made his mark. “When I first went to China, PepsiCo’s business there was still small. But we managed to gain share every single year. I’ve had the same success with Kimberly-Clark in China,” said Mr Agarwal. “That I’ve done it twice - being given a small business in a highly competitive market and growing it for scale and profitability - is perhaps the career achievement I’m personally most proud of.” He has also left his mark in Singapore, which he picked in 2012 to be Kimberly-Clark’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. This is where central decisions are made for the 8,000 people working for the firm across Asia. Kimberly-Clark upped the ante last June with a major expansion of its Tuas manufacturing plant, pushing the group’s total investment in Singapore to $400 million. “It’s an increasingly volatile world and I think having a strong presence in Singapore is important because that helps ‘de-risk’ our operations,” said Mr Agarwal. “It also helps that the country has good talents with strong digital capabilities.”

Indian-origin doctor in US to pay $250,000 in fraud case NEW YORK, January 10, 2017 (PTI): An Indian-origin dentist in the US is among five other physicians who have agreed to pay $250,000 for not rendering pediatric dental services and making false claims in a government funded program to help poor children.

Registration will begin at 6 p.m. Programming and Connections with the University of Houston - 6:30 p.m.

last May in Singapore - after Chicago and Tel Aviv. The lab is aimed at creating a platform for start-ups, technology firms and the academic community to explore innovations in the consumer goods industry, including around online shopping.

They are owners or part owners of MB2 and the dental practices included in this settlement, and practice dentistry in Texas. Frank Villanueva, MB2’s head of marketing, also will pay $100,000 to resolve his alleged personal liability, the US Justice Department said. “The settlement demonstrates our unwavering commitment to protect the Medicaid programme and the patients it serves from unscrupulous

providers,” said US Attorney Parker. “Providers who waste taxpayer dollars by billing for services that were not provided, or were otherwise improper, will be held accountable,” Parker said. As part of this settlement, MB2 have entered into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). This settlement resolves allegations that between January2009, and December 2014, MB2 and affiliated dental practices submitted claims to the Texas Medicaid Fee for Service Program for single-surface fillings in children that were not provided. Medicaid is funded jointly by the states and the federal government. The state of Texas paid for part of the Medicaid claims at issue and will receive approximately half of the settlement amount.

This settlement illustrates the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud and marks another achievement for the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) initiative, which was announced in May 2009 by the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Justice Department said. The partnership between the two departments has focused efforts to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid financial fraud through enhanced cooperation. One of the most powerful tools in this effort is the False Claims Act, it said. Since January 2009, the Justice Department has recovered a total of more than $ 31.8 billion through False Claims Act cases, with more than $ 19.3 billion of that amount recovered in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs.



Heavenly Gates open at the Vaikunta Ekadasi Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple

FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

Pioneer in minimally invasive heart surgery joins BCM and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center vasive cardiac surgery. Lamelas has developed techniques to facilitate minimally invasive approaches for repairing simple congenital cardiac defects, removal of cardiac tumors, aortic valve surgery, mitral valve surgery, double and triple valve surgery, as well as replacing the ascending aorta without splitting the sternum.

by M.K. Sriram


EARLAND - It was a great and divine start to 2017 for several hundred devotees who worshipped at Sri Meenakshi Temple on the very auspicious Vaikunta Ekadasi day that fell on Sunday, January 8th. The darshan of Lord Maha Vishnu on this day is most important to many devotees. “The Temple” is the place to visit on this day. The forecasters predicted a very cold morning, and cold it was with temperature at 24 deg. F early morning. But braving this cold, at least 50 devotees assembled at the sannidhi of Sri Venkateswara at the main temple at around 6 AM, to partake in the chanting of Thiruppavai. It was a truly divine experience. The early morning arthi was accompanied by the beats of the chenda drums, which is a very unique Kerala tradition. By 9 AM, the crowd had grown much larger filling the temple hall. The priests started the most sacred abhishekam of the Lord to the chanting of vedic hymns. The belief is that one’s ego and sins are all washed away when witnessing the abhishekam.

Dr. Joseph Lamelas. Photo credit: Baylor College of Medicine.

Vaikunta-Ekadasi Procession at Sri Meenakshi Temple Society, Pearland.

Lamelas, who has completed more than 14,000 cardiac surgical operations in his career, has played a significant role in advancing the field of minimally invasive cardiac surgery, as well as developing facilitating instruments. He has trained more than 700 physicians from around the world in this approach over the last 12 years.

The curtains were then drawn for the elaborate decoration (alankaram). This was the time when the temple hall was filled with Vishnu Nama, with the recital of Sahasranamam (1000 names of Lord Vishnu). When the curtains were opened, Lord Venkateswara appeared in his most magnificent and glorious form giving darshan to his beloved devotees. While the priests made final preparations, hundreds and hundreds of devotees lined up for the Vaikunta Swarga Dwara darshan outside the north temple door. This is the one time every year when the “Gates to Heaven” open and devotees have the blissful experience of having darshan of Maha Vishnu in his abode in heaven. As the doors opened at about 10:45 AM, there was rapturous chanting of Govinda Govinda and devotees entered the Lord’s abode. It was an indescribable sight to see the Lord with His consorts Bhoo Devi and Sri Devi adorned with dazzling alankarams seated on His Garuda vahana. Hun-

HOUSTON – (Jan. 9, 2017) – Dr. Joseph Lamelas, an internationally recognized expert in minimally invasive heart surgery, has joined the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine as associate chief of cardiac surgery in the division of cardiothoracic surgery. He will conduct surgeries at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, part of CHI St. Luke’s Health.

“Dr. Lamelas is a true pioneer in the field of minimally invasive valve surgery,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean at Baylor College of Medicine. “He will be a great addition to our impressive cardiothoracic team.”

Devotees in the main temple celebrate Vaikunta-Ekadasi dreds of devotees thronged through the heavenly gates to have darshan. Archana was performed simultaneously to the moola vigraha and the Utsava Murthies as the bhaktas basked in blissful delight with the Lord in their hearts. At around noon, the deities on the Garuda Vahanam were taken in a procession around the temple to the chanting of Purusha Sooktham and various other Vedic verses. It was truly amazing that there was a nonstop stream of ardent devotees walking through Swarga Dwaaram from 10:30 AM till late in the evening.

MTS Chairman Mr. S. Narayanan thanked Priests Sreedharan Raghavan, Pawan Kumar, Sriman Narayana and all the other priests, temple staff, Religious Activity Committee led by Sheila Sriram, Temple Board members and their families and volunteers for their phenomenal effort to make this a very fulfilling event. He particularly praised the efforts of the silpis, Mr. Ramanathan in particular for setting up and decorating the temple for this special event. This event was coordinated by Mrs. Bhargavi Golla, Mrs. Harini Sampath and Mrs Malathi Sundar.

Lamelas joins Baylor from Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, Fla., where he served as the chief of cardiac surgery for the past eight years. Lamelas has been in practice in Miami for more than 26 years.

“The procedures involve a small incision on the right side of the chest and do not involve opening the breast bone. Utilizing specialized equipment and instruments, access to and exposure of the heart chambers and valves are obtained,” said Lamelas. Minimally invasive valve surgery allows for a shorter stay in the hospital as well as a quicker return to a full and normal level of activity. Most valve surgery patients are candidates for this procedure. “The addition of Dr. Lamelas is an enormous asset to the department of surgery, Baylor College of Medicine and the Houston community,” said Dr. Joseph Coselli, vice-chair of surgery and chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. “His minimally invasive approach offers patients an important option that allows them to return to their daily lives faster.” “I’m proud to be able to continue my career at an institution that was there when cardiac surgery began and now be a part of its history,” said Lamelas. “It will help me disseminate my knowledge and experience in cardiac surgery. Lamelas, who was born in Cuba and came to the United States with his family at the age of 2, is also fluent in Spanish.

“As an internationally renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Lamelas brings an extraordinary mix of experience and talent that will be a true benefit to our cardiovascular program at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and the community,” said Gay Nord, president at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.

Lamelas is board certified in thoracic surgery and a member of the American Association of Thoracic Surgeons and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. He also is a fellow in the American Board of Surgery, American College of Cardiology, American College of Chest Physicians, and American College of Surgeons. Lamelas has lectured both nationally and internationally and his work in the field of minimally invasive valve surgery has been extensively published.

While he practices all facets of cardiac surgery, his main focus over the past 12 years has been minimally in-

He will see patients at the Baylor Clinic, 6620 Main St., suite 1325. For appointments, call 713-798-1300.


Innovative Learning


Harmony Public Schools is a network of high performing K-12 college-prepatory charter schools focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, with hands-on, personalized project-based instruction.

Apply Today & Enrich Your Child’s Future Now - Feb 10, 2017

enrollment period for THE 2017-18 school year

Each of our campuses offers high quality instruction to students in its area. Check with a campus near you for more details on applying for enrollment.

Find campuses near you by going to Submit a complete application form online or in person in order to be considered for admission. A lottery is conducted when the number of applicants exceeds a school’s maximum enrollment and a waiting list develops.


HOUSTON campuses

It is the policy of HPS not to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, or disability in its programs, services, or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, please contact Section 504/ADA Coordinator at (713) 343-3333 located at 9321 W. Sam Houston Pkwy S. Houston, TX 77099.

“Harmony Science Academy has given my children an enriched academic environment and structure that has encouraged their growth and maturity.” - Tim and Kathy, Harmony Parents



Lunar Lantern Festival Update! New Date - First Annual Lunar Lantern Festival - April 29 – 30, 2017 SAME HOURS: Saturday - NOON - 8 PM, Sunday NOON – 6 PM Same Location: Post HTX, 401 Franklin, formerly the Downtown Houston Post Office

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Welcomes Breast Surgeon, Dr. Sandra Templeton and the nurse navigator program at the Houston Methodist Breast Care Center at Sugar Land, which assists patients in scheduling and provides ongoing information and followup, improving their overall experience.

ANNOUNCING DATE CHANGE TO ACCOMMODATE GROWING INTEREST Response from sponsors and ticket buyers has been overwhelming! Consequently, we have some great news and a new date - April 29 - 30th, 2017! As news grew of the Lunar Lantern Festival, so has the level of interest, from not only the public, but existing and new partners. In response to the requests for participation from partners including, but not limited to, NASA, the Houston Rockets, Asian beer brands, high profile liquors, Houston’s consular corp, and of course, restaurants and chefs, we have decided to move the date of the festival from January 21 - 22, 2017 to April 29 -30, 2017. This later date will allow us to add even more layers of culture, culinary variety and programming and it will also serve as the citywide kick-off to Asian American Culture Month. The festival venue remains unchanged, indoors and amazing - the site of the old downtown Post Office - POST HTX, 401 Franklin. Also, the location for the recent Day For Night festival, this climate - controlled, indoor venue will provide a fabulous backdrop for lantern displays, performances and culinary creations. As previously shared, the Lunar Lantern Festival is a food festival at its core, goals of the Lunar Lantern Festival are to promote cultural awareness, highlight authentic and creative Asian-fusion cuisine, and expose the diversity of Houston’s Asian community, including celebrating their contributions to the business and art community. Lunar Lantern Festival’s weekend of activities includes Asian tasting menus, an international performance stage, roving performers, DJs, Asian cinema screenings, a magical lantern and lighting exhibit, as well as an immersive children’s creativity area. Sample some of the best Asian delicacies (many of which you won’t find in local restaurants) from vendors with dishes from

nearly every different Asian ethnicity such as Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mongolian, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, etc., plus one of the most dazzling lantern shows you have ever seen. Saturday and Sunday will each feature city-wide invitational eating contests – leave the hot dogs at home this go round though! On the menu for this weekend’s speed eating – bahn mi, dumplings, sushi, and super-sized bowls of pho. Food demonstrations by top Houston chefs will also be on display. Tickets purchased prior to the date change will all be honored and remain valid for the new April date. Tickets are currently available online via Extremetix. Only a limited number of GA and VIP tickets are available. VIP entry provides access to a reserved area with a private bar and complimentary food coupons. A portion of festival proceeds benefit the Houston Asian American Chamber of Commerce. A complete schedule of activities and performances will be available at the door or online at: Festival URLS: FACEBOOK: events/1598075583835501/ Festival website: http://www. Tickets: webtix/4440 Lunar Lantern Festival Community Partners include: • APAHA - Houston Royal Oaks Lions Club - Filipino American Caucus for Empowerment (FACE) • Asian Chamber of Commerce • Asian Real Estate Association of America - Houston Chapter • Asian Wives Club • Chinese Community Center • Gondo Company • Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce • Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce • Harry Gee - chair of Sister Cities of Houston. GHP board member • Indo-American Chamber of Commerce Greater Houston • Japan-America Society of Texas (JASH) • Japanese American Citizens League • National Hispanic Professional Organi-

“I am extremely pleased to be joining Houston Methodist Breast Surgery Partners,” said Templeton. “I truly believe that Houston Methodist Sugar Land is dedicated to providing Dr. Sandra Templeton, Breast Surgeon the best care possible for patients. Lifelong breast care is a founSUGAR LAND—(January dation of my practice, and 9, 2017) — Board-certified being a full-time physician surgeon Sandra Templeton, at Houston Methodist Sugar M.D., a longtime member of Land Hospital will allow me the Houston Methodist Sugar to continue to offer the most Land Hospital medical staff, advanced treatment options is joining Houston Method- and empower my patients by ist Breast Surgery Partners in providing a thorough underFebruary. standing of their diagnoses Templeton specializes in and treatment plans.” diseases and surgery of the Templeton is a fellow of breast and is a well-respect- the American College of Sured breast surgeon of Fort geons and has been a memBend County. Her clinical ber of the American Society expertise includes advanced of Breast Surgeons for more breast surgery techniques, than a decade. She is an nipple-sparing mastectomies, alumna of Baylor University skin-sparing mastectomies, and received her doctor of oncoplastic procedures and medicine degree from Baylor benign breast diseases to in- College of Medicine where clude high-risk patients. she taught before focusing on The affiliation with Houston her practice in Sugar Land. Methodist Sugar Land gives To schedule an appointpatients increased accessibil- ment with Templeton, call ity to the hospital’s outstand- 281.494.3000. Her office is ing breast cancer team of located on Houston Methspecialty radiologists, medi- odist Sugar Land Hospital’s cal oncologists and radiation campus, in Medical Office oncologists, and will enhance Building 3, suite 220. To communication and coordi- learn more about her pracnation with her patients’ care tice visit houstonmethodist. team. org/spg. For the latest news, Templeton’s patients will events and information visit also have improved access to our Facebook page at clinical trials, support groups methodistsugarland. zation • OCA-GH • Omega Phi Gamma • Philippine American Chamber of Commerce Texas • South Asian Chamber of Commerce • Southwest Management District • Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce • The Korean Chamber of Commerce of Houston • Thomas Nguyen, Owner of Peli Peli Franchise • Voice of Asia • Youngro Lee, CEO of NextSeed.

H.E.B helps Texans get a healthy start on the New Year with seventh annual Slim Down Showdown contest


AN ANTONIO H.E.B. has named 28 community members and Partners (employees) from across Texas to participate in the seventh annual 2016 Slim Down Showdown presented by Nestle, Johnson & Johnson and Perfect Fit Meals. The Showdown is a 12-week contest designed to provide contestants with the education and tools they need to live a healthier lifestyle, and the chance to win cash prizes totaling $40,000. The 28 Partner and community contestants will embark on a 12-week life-changing journey together. At the conclusion of the contest, one female and one male contestant from each group will walk away with a $10,000

grand prize. Now in its seventh year, the H.E.B. Slim Down Showdown has 183 alumni who have lost more than 6,229 pounds during the contest alone. Though only 28 are selected for the competition, anyone can follow along from home, where they can access workouts and recipes, and read contestants’ blogs for inspiration. H.E.B. is also hosting “Resolution Solutions” throughout all stores Jan. 4 - 17 to provide smart solutions for helping customers keep their healthy New Year’s resolutions. Customers will find various health tips throughout the store and delicious recipes that are less than $5 per


The Houston Health Department (HHD) and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) will sponsor “From Research to the Real World: Sharing Science Symposium” from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 31 at

the Cooley Center, 1941 East Rd., Houston, TX 77054. “It is important to have spaces where health professionals, community organizations and the general public can exchange information,” said Marlene McNeese, HHD’s bureau chief for HIV/ STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention. The symposium leads into the National Black HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day, an observance dedicated to mobilizing the African-American

Deadline to file applications for place on the ballot for May 6, 2017 Fort Bend ISD Board Election is Feb. 17 at 5:00 p.m. FBISD Board of Trustee Positions 1, 4 and 5 are open for election FORT BEND ISD – Individuals who are seeking to run for the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustee Position 1, 4, or 5 seat may file applications for a place on the ballot beginning Wednesday, January 18, 2017 through Friday, February 17, 2017. Individuals must file applications in person at the FBISD Administration Building Superintendent’s office (16431 Lexington Blvd., Sugar Land 77479) during regular business hours, Monday – Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. On February 17, 2017, the deadline to file an application for a place on the ballot is extended to 5:00 p.m. Candidate election applications may be picked up beginning on Wednesday, January 11, 2017. Voters in Fort Bend ISD will go to the polls on Saturday, May 6 to elect trustees for three positions: •Position 1 – Candidate must reside within the west side of the District. •Position 4 – Candidate may reside anywhere in District for this “at-large” position. •Position 5 – Candidate must reside within the east side of the District. More information can be found on the Board Elections webpage. For information about Fort Bend County elections, please go to the Fort Bend County Elections/ Voter Registration webpage.

Annual Tyagaraja Aradhana Annual Tyagaraja Aradhana on Jan 28-29, 2017, a traditional annual homage to one of The Trinity of Carnatic Music’s revered saintly composers. The event - held at Meenakshi Temple Kalyana Mantapam under the auspices of The Classical Arts Society of Houston (CAS) - will feature: l Unchavritti on Saturday, Jan 28 at 8:45 AM from the main temple foyer - Tyagaraja’s beloved Sri Rama will be taken in a procession with group singing of Divyanaama Kirtanams l Group rendering of Sri Tyagaraja’s Pancharatnams (five gems) with orchestra l Individual performances, dances, mini concerts and special programs l Discourses on select compositions of Tyagaraja with interactive learning of simple kritis l Grand Finale concert by Houston-based youth on Jan 29 at 4 pm 2017 marks the 40th Anniversary of Tyagaraja Aradhana in Houston by The Classical Arts Society of Houston. Interludes will reminisce yesteryear highlights & recognitions. Sign up for individual or group performance at http://www. go/8050b4ea8ae2eab9open3 Event is FREE and all are welcome! Light Refreshments provided. Background on CAS at Your tax deductible donations are most appreciated.


40th Sadguru Sri Thyagaraja Aradhana

serving, under 400 calories and take less than 30 minutes to make.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

“The Slim Down Showdown contest is a transformative experience for those selected, but our goal at H.E.B. is to impact millions of Texans, not just those selected for the official contest. That’s why we choose contestants who are open to sharing their journey. We want their success to inspire others in their communities and across the state,” said Monica Garza, Health Promotion Manager at H.E.B.. “Our effort to reach millions is also why we hire dietitians to work directly with Partners and Customers in our stores and it’s why we focus on developing innovative, healthy products.”

(8.30 am to 7.30 pm, MTS Kalyana Mantapam)

Jargon Banned: Symposium to present Houston’s latest HIV research in way everyone can understand ouston experts will present the latest local HIV research findings in an easy-to-understand format at a free symposium targeting community leaders, organizations, health professionals, planning groups and the general public.

FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

community around education, involvement, testing and treatment initiatives aimed at stopping the HIV epidemic. The observance is set for Feb. 7. Registration is available online at science or by calling 832393-5010. Participants will receive free boxed lunches during registration from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. The symposium will include networking opportunities.

Unchavritti Pacharatnams Individual sangeetha seva Dance/Special Program/Mini Concert

Sunday, January 29, 2017 (10.00 AM to 5.30 pm, MTS Kalyana Mantapam)

Lec-dem & Interactive Learning Individual sangeetha seva Dance/Special Program/Mini Concert Grand Finale Concert


281-242-4914 713-231-4340



FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

Embassy of India Celebrates US would ‘not necessarily’ shoot down NKorean missile: Pentagon Pravasi Bharatiya Divas


ASHINGTON, | AFP | 1/10/2017 - The US military would not necessarily shoot down a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile, should the country’s leader try to test one, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said in a New Year’s speech that the country was “in the final stages of test-launching the intercontinental ballistic missile.” Carter, whose two-year run as Pentagon chief will come to an end when President Barack Obama leaves office January 20 and Donald Trump is inaugurated, said in his final news conference that it might make sense to watch such a test without taking action.

Ambassador Hon. Sarna addressing the gathering


ASHINGTON, DC- January 9, 2017 - Embassy of India Washington DC celebrated Pravasi Bhartiya Divas on January 9, 2017. The event was attended by a large number of guests from the Indian-American community, including representatives from business, politics, administration, professionals, media, etc,. Welcoming the guests, Ambassador Sarna extended his warm greetings to the audience on this proud occasion that commemorates the return of

the one of the greatest Pravasis - Mahatma Gandhi and celebrates the success and contributions of Overseas Indians to the countries they call home while yet retaining their connect with India. The video message of the Hon’ble Prime Minister on the occasion was shared with the gathering. The program included a panel discussion on the subject “Indian Diaspora - Past trends and way forward”. The panelists were Mr. Manpreet Anand Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of South

and Central Asian Affairs, Mr. Puneet Ahluwalia,10th district Representative on the Virginia Republican State Central Committee, Ms. Sonal Shah, an economist and entrepreneur who is the founding executive director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University and Ms. Suhag Shukla, Esq., Executive Director and Legal Counsel and co-founder of HinduAmerican Foundation (HAF). The discussion saw enthusiastic participation from the audience in the Q&A session.

Chinese president to headline Davos meet: WEF Health Organization in Geneva and the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne. His visit comes as China seeks opportunities to reshape the rules for global trade, anticipating a more isolated United States under President-elect Donald Trump, who will take office on the last day of the forum on January 20. - Trump transition team represented -

China’s President Xi Jinping will be the first Chinese leader to ever attend the World Economic Forum (Photo: AFP/Fred Dufour)


ENEVA, Switzerland |- Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to be the star attraction at this year’s Davos forum, taking place next week at a time of rising populism and uncertainty around the globe. This year’s World Economic Forum, held in the luxury Swiss ski resort of Davos, should be seen as a call for “responsible and responsive leadership,” WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab told AFP as the organisation unveiled the programme for its 47th edition. The five-day event kicks off Monday and is expected to draw a record 3,000 political and business elites to Davos -considered the highest-altitude town in Europe, situated at 1,550 metres (5,085 feet) above sea level -- which usually counts just 12,000 inhabitants. Schwab, 78, said he hoped the eclectic gathering could brainstorm on how to address “the root causes” of the widespread

anxiety seen in the world today. “Why the people are angry, and why they are not satisfied,” he said, insisting on the need for “responsibility which needs courage and which needs decision-making and which needs action orientation.” “We will have in Davos numerous initiatives ... which together may make positive contributions, not only to economic development, but also to social, more inclusive progress,” he said. As for the main highlights of this year’s forum, Schwab said “the main interest probably will be with the unique Chinese delegation, which will be in Davos under the leadership of the president Xi Jinping.” Xi will be the first Chinese leader to ever attend the forum. He is set to pay a state visit to Switzerland from January 1518, during which time he will also visit the UN’s European headquarters and the World

Portugal PM, Nisha Biswal among ..... Continued from page 1 three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru: “Seeds for the chemistry between Barack Obama and Narendra Modi were sown much earlier. Obama had the cultural influences of his Indian-origin roommate in college, while Modi, as a young boy, travelled across the towns and cities of the USA. It led to a truly global partnership.” Modi has visited the US twice since he became PM and was welcomed very warmly with hugs by Obama in the White House on both occasions. Obama also honoured Modi’s invitation and participated in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi in January 2015. Biswal, speaking on behalf

of 30 awardees of very diverse backgrounds that included one PM, four MPs and people working in community service, medicine, arts and culture and business, also outlined her own efforts at improving the India-US relationship during the Obama administration. “I have sought to deepen the ties. I have kept the interests of my country, US and also worked for India. The wonderful thing is that the interests of two countries converge. Both believe in freedom, democracy, tolerance and pluralism. In the laws that govern our countries, etched in our very souls,” she said.

The Davos line-up will include outgoing US Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, along side a representative of Trump’s transition team, Anthony Scaramucci. Schwab said he expected the US transition to be one of the hottest topics of discussion at the forum, adding that there would certainly also “be great interest given to the question of Brexit and the future of Europe.” Davos this year will also feature the new UN chief Antonio Guterres, as well as ministers representing 70 countries, including all of the G20 nations.

“If the missile is threatening it will be intercepted. If it is not threatening, we won’t necessarily do so,” he said. “It may be more to our advantage to first of all save our interceptor inventory, and second to gather intelligence from the flight,” he added. In 2016, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and

People watch a television news broadcast at a railway station in Seoul on Jan 1, 2017 showing North Korean leader Kim Jongun’s New Year’s speech (AFP/JUNG Yeon-je) numerous missile launches in its quest to develop a nuclear weapons system capable of hitting the US mainland. Analysts are divided over how close Pyongyang is to realizing its full nuclear ambitions, especially since it has never successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The Pentagon last week said it was confident in its capabilities to defend against a missile attack by North Korea.

For its part, South Korea plans to deploy a US missile defense system -- despite opposition from China -- to protect against any threats from the North. President-elect Trump has named retired Marine Corps general James Mattis as defense secretary. Mattis needs a special congressional waiver from a law that bars generals from serving as defense secretary for seven years after leaving active duty. He retired in 2013.

Legendary cartoon artist of ‘Bambi’ fame Tyrus Wong dies at 106


ASHINGTON – Legendary animation artist Tyrus Wong, whose evocative sketches were used to create Disney’s groundbreaking “Bambi” cartoon, has died at the age of 106, the company said. “Tyrus Wong had a gift for evoking incredible feeling in his art with simple, gestural composition,” said a statement released by the company, where he spent a brief few years before decamping to nearby rival Warner Brothers. “Though Tyrus worked at The Walt Disney Studios only three years, between 1938 and 1941, his influence on the artistic composition of the animated feature Bambi cannot be overstated,” Disney said. “Born in Canton, China in 1910, Wong and his father immigrated to America leaving behind his mother and sister, whom they never saw again,” according to an homage on Disney’s website. As a young child, Wong’s father nurtured his love of art by having him practice calligraphy and painting. Wong later attended the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (now the Otis College of Art and Design) on a full scholarship. He took a position at Disney in 1938, an “inbetweener,”

Tyrus Wong’s sketches were used to create Disney’s groundbreaking ‘Bambi’ cartoon (Photo: AFP/Disney) working on the visual continuity of animations and drawing hundreds of sketches of Mickey Mouse. When he heard that the studio was in pre-production on the feature film “Bambi,” he painted several pictures of a deer in a forest. The sketches captured the attention of Walt Disney and

became the template for the film’s visual style, according to the Disney website, which said Wong’s work influences films to this day, inspiring and leading contemporary animators. After his stint at Disney, Wong worked for the next 26 years as a concept and story artist at Warner Brothers, until he retired in 1968.



New UN chief seeks ‘whole new approach’ to prevent war

European court rules Muslim girls must attend mixed-sex swim classes by Amanda Hoover

by Carole LANDRY



URICH - January 10, 2017 —Muslim girls in Switzerland will not receive exemptions from mixed-sex swim classes on the basis of religion, a European court has ruled. The ruling comes at a time when many European nations find their contemporary customs at odds with those of conservative Muslim immigrants. In some cases, burkas have been banned from schools or even the public sector entirely, with lawmakers arguing that the attire raises safety concerns. Others have criticized such measures as anti-Muslim pushback against new citizens in an attempt to shift their way of life or discourage more Muslims from immigrating. As many immigrants struggle to find a comfortable balance between preserving their original culture and fitting into a new one, debates on interference with religious freedom and the role of the state remain. The case was brought by a Turkish-born couple who received fines in Switzerland for keeping their daughters out of mixed-gender, mandatory public-school swimming lessons, citing restrictions stemming from their Muslim faith. Weighing religious freedom against a need to integrate children into the nation’s “customs and mores,” the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg announced the ruling in favor of Switzerland on Tuesday. “The children’s interest in attending swimming lessons was not just to learn to swim, but above all to take part in that activity with all the other pupils,

NITED NATIONS, United States, AFP | - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for a “whole new approach” to prevent war, vowing to boost the world body’s mediation capacity to tackle global conflicts. Making his first address to the Security Council since taking office, Guterres said too much time and too many resources were being spent on responding to crises rather than preventing them. Authorities had also offered flexible arrangements to the parents, saying that the girls could wear burkinis if they chose (File Photo) with no exception on account of the children’s origin or their parents’ religious or philosophical convictions,” the court said in a statement regarding its decision. A Swiss law allows parents of children who have reached puberty to pull them from the mixed-sex lessons, but this recent case did not meet that requirement. The authorities had also offered flexible arrangements to the parents, saying that the girls could wear burkinis if they chose, according to the statement. Similar cases have arisen elsewhere in the country and in Germany, where judges have ruled that girls must attend school-sponsored swim lessons but allowed them to wear burkinis. Like in the Swiss case, a goal of protecting foreign-born children from “social exclusion” was upheld by requiring that the students participate in the co-ed curriculum.

The parents were fined nearly €1,300 for “breach of parental duty” in 2010. While the court noted that the rules and decision affirming them constituted an “interference” with the family’s religion, it ruled that the case did not meet the bar for violating freedom of religion, and that the law would be beneficial for the girls if they complied with the special accommodations offered to them. “The Court accordingly found that by giving precedence to the children’s obligation to follow the full school curriculum and their successful integration over the applicants’ private interest in obtaining an exemption from mixed swimming lessons for their daughters on religious grounds, the domestic authorities had not exceeded the considerable margin of appreciation afforded to them in the present case, which concerned compulsory education,” the statement said. (-Christian Science Monitor)

Sundance festival adds Trump documentary to line-up


OS ANGELES - A documentary offering an intimate behind-thescenes look at Donald Trump’s shock presidential election victory has been added to the Sundance Film Festival line-up, TV executives said on Tuesday. “Trumped: Inside the Greatest Political Upset of All Time” premieres on January 27 and is produced by the crew behind US cable network Showtime’s “The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth,” which followed the presidential race over 26 weekly episodes. “With an incredible treasure trove of never-before-seen

Convert PIO cards to OCI ... Continued from Page 7 galuru, we have set up special counters at immigration points for OCI cardholders. We want it to become a symbol of global migration, achievements and aspirations of the diaspora,” he said. Observing that there are over 30 million overseas Indians living abroad, he said they were not just respected for their numbers, but for the contributions they have made to the societies they live in. “The NRIs and PIOs have made outstanding contributions to their chosen fields. They are role models for immigrants from other backgrounds and countries ... They take our values and culture wherever they go. The Indian diaspora have contributed their best towards progress in that country,” Modi said. He said the remittance of close to 69 billion dollars annually by overseas Indians made an invaluable contribution to the Indian economy. Talking about brain drain, Modi government said his government was taking steps to convert brain drain into brain gain. “When people spoke of brain drain, it was believed that the brighter people went abroad seeking employment opportunities ... but I was asking people that whoever are left behind in India, are they dumb? It is our endeavour to convert that brain drain into brain gain,” he said.

FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

footage secured during the making of ‘The Circus,’ the documentary will follow the rise of Donald Trump, from the primaries through the debates, to the dramatic election night results.” Trump is notoriously thinskinned about media coverage, often publicly berating news organizations or individual journalists over stories or television packages he deems to be unfavorable. A new edition of CNN’s book about the election due to be published on Inauguration Day features a cover portrait of the president-elect by veteran

presidential photographer David Hume Kennerly. “@CNN just released a book called Unprecedented which explores the 2016 race & victory. Hope it does well but used worst cover photo of me!” he tweeted on January 2. A second Sundance screening of “Trumped” is planned for January 28, before its release on Showtime on February 3. The Sundance festival opens on January 19, the day before Trump’s inauguration, and will screen 120 feature-length films over 10 days in Park City, Salt Lake City and the Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah.

“People are paying too high a price,” he said. “We need a whole new approach.” The ex-prime minister of Portugal and former head of the UN refugee agency took over from Ban Ki-moon on January 1 with a promise to shake up the world body. But Guterres is confronted with a deeply divided Security Council that has notably been unable to take decisive action to end the nearly sixyear war in Syria, where more than 310,000 people have been killed. The rules-based international order “is under grave threat,” he said, describing the UN response to global crises as “fragmented.” Guterres announced plans to launch an initiative to enhance mediation as part of his commitment to a “surge in diplomacy for peace,” but he did not offer details. - Peace first The 67-year-old diplomatin-chief is expected to have a more hands-on approach than his predecessor Ban who left most of the mediation efforts to his special envoys. He encouraged the Security Council to invoke article six of the UN charter, which allows it to investigate disputes and lay out procedures for a settlement. “Too many prevention opportunities have been lost because

Antonio Guterres took over from Ban Ki-moon on January 1 with a promise to boost efforts to tackle global crises (AFP Photo/ Jewel Samad). member states mistrusted each other’s motives, and because of concerns over national sovereignty,” said Guterres. “Today, we need to demonstrate leadership, and strengthen the credibility and authority of the United Nations, by putting peace first,” he said, renewing his pledge to make 2017 “a year for peace.” Complicating Guterres’s plan to revitalize UN diplomacy is the question mark hanging over the foreign policy of the incoming US administration under President-elect Donald Trump. Trump has dismissed the world body as “just a club for people to get together and have a good time.” Guterres spoke with the incoming US leader by phone last week and the conversation was described by a UN spokesman as “very positive.” Later this week, Guterres will make his first foray abroad as UN chief, heading to Geneva to shore up Cyprus peace talks. He returns to Geneva next week to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose support for the United Nations has been steadily growing. - Russia-US clash In one of her final addresses to the council, US Ambassador Samantha Power listed many of the conflicts raging worldwide -- in Syria, South Sudan,

Continued from Page 7 The incident has highlighted rampant child labour in the country and the lack of protection for them. The girl was reportedly employed by a district judge in Islamabad and initially told police she had fallen down the stairs and burnt her hands by accident, media reported.

But in a later statement she said she was beaten and her hands were burned on the stove by the judge’s wife, according to reports citing police. After social media images showing injuries to the girl’s face and hands went viral, the top court intervened last week and ordered a full investigation. With the case making headlines across Pakistan, four different claimants have now told the court the child is their

Continued from Page 7

ter attacks and been forced to respond.

since the November election which have included the auto and aerospace industries.

Pharmaceutical companies were hit Wednesday: Mylan fell 3.4 percent, Pfizer dropped 2.6 percent, and Bristol-Myers declined 4.5 percent.

To address high prices, “the other thing we have to do is create new bidding procedures for the drug industry,” he said. The United States is “the largest buyer of drugs in the world” but does not bid properly, he said. With the changes to bidding procedures, which he did not specify, “We’re going to save billions of dollars.” Trump claimed credit for recent announcements by auto makers Ford and Fiat-Chrysler of plans to boost investments in the United States, and in the case for Ford, cancelling a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico. Those decisions came after Trump’s repeated attacks via Twitter, threatening to impose stiff import tariffs on any vehicles the companies produce in Mexico for export to the US market. “I appreciate that from Ford. I appreciate it very much from Fiat-Chrysler,” he said. “I hope that General Motors will be following. And I think they will be. I think a lot of people will be following.” Companies repeatedly have seen their share prices drop in the face of Trump’s Twit-

“It is obvious that we as a council can do better,” said Power, who will end her term as US envoy when the new Trump administration takes over on January 20. She hit out at Russia, accusing Moscow of “trampling” over Ukraine’s sovereignty in clear violation of the UN charter, and criticizing the military campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Russia has resorted to its veto power six times to block action by the council on Syria. Russia’s envoy shot back, accusing the United States of bringing chaos to the Middle East with the invasion of Iraq, the campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria and by “destroying” the state in Libya. “The outgoing administration of President (Barack) Obama is desperately looking for those that it can blame for their failure,” said Ambassador Vitaly Churkin. French junior minister Matthias Fekl recalled France’s proposal to restrict the use of the veto by council powers in conflicts that pose a risk of mass atrocities. “This council must be able to act when it is necessary,” said Fekl.

Pakistan court orders DNA ....

Trump warns US firms....

“Our drug industry has been disastrous. They’re leaving left and right. They supply our drugs but they don’t make them here, to a large extent,” Trump said.

Yemen, Libya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Nigeria and Mali.

But Trump said he is working with business leaders to attract investment and create jobs. “We’re going to create jobs. I said that I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created. And I mean that.”


Judges Wednesday ordered police to conduct DNA tests to identify her real mother and father, and help police complete their investigation. “We must find the truth of why this unfortunate incident took place,” the Chief Justice said. He ordered the child, who was present in court, to be taken to a government-sponsored orphanage. Current official figures detailing the precise scale of child labour in Pakistan are not available. According to Human Rights Watch, about 13 percent of children aged 10 to 14 in Pakistan are working.

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Lunar New Year Special issue by Voice of Asia Newsweekly

OUR SPECIAL issue, dated January 20, 2017 is for the Lunar New year.

Voice of Asia is the largest, one and only Asian newsweekly in English, published in Houston, since 1987. Place your Special Greetings in this issue. To call us for more details: 713-774-5140 For advertisements, insert special greetings, email us at: To send articles, email us at: Deadline: January 16, 2017 @ 4 PM

Year of the Rooster 2017


FRIDAY, January 13, 2017


Vol. 30 No. 2



Section 2


Hair salon? Library? Novel time for Ivory Coast women

FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

Tel: 713-774-5140

Transgender model to feature in India’s fashion show for first time

by Evelyne Aka


DZOPÉ , Ivory Coast (AFP) - As many African women spend much of their spare time in hair salons, Ivory Coast’s chief librarian, also a woman, came up with a brainwave scheme to help them read and learn to read. Crammed on shelves between hair extensions, untangling creams and straightening lotions, a total 23 hair salons now offer customers a range of books on loan from the National Library.

Anjali Lama, who is from Nepal, will model for several leading designers at the show running from February 1-5 in Mumbai. (Photo source: Facebook)

“Libraries are practically non-existent in Hairdressers style the hair of a client reading a book from a mini-library in a salon in Abidjan our suburbs and the (AFP Photo/Sia) ones that do exist get very few visitors, and rarely women,” said children’s books and also essays about books for their clients, she adds. chief librarian Chantal Adjiman, who women’s or children’s rights into boxIn Abidjan’s well-heeled district launched the project in 2012. es. of Cocody, 66-year-old salon owner With little time on their hands beOutside one of the hair salons, located Justine Inagohi says she immediately tween work and childcare, most wom- in a market, a young woman sits read- agreed to sign onto the scheme. en simply do not have the opportunity ing on a bench oblivious to the noise or “Women gossip under the dryers, I’d to seek out books. the banter of the traders nearby. rather they did something more educaSo the library decided it was best “I’ve got no money to buy books so I tional,” she said. to take books to one of their “regular often come here just to read,” she said. Inagohi has even set up a reading meeting-places”. Inside the salon, where a woman un- corner for children, used both by chil“Ivorian women are charmers,” said der a hood hair dryer thumbs a novel, dren accompanying their mothers and Adjiman. “They can spend more than owner Benedicte Ouguehi says the those who live in her own building. an hour and a half in a hair salon.” presence of the books has attracted The presence of the books, whether At the National Library building, new customers. they be for children or for adults, gives where 1,750 books have been set aside Even hairdressers working out in women who cannot read and write the for the hair salons, staff pack novels, the open come by the salon to borrow incentive to learn, and even men are beginning to turn up in women’s hair salons to borrow them, said librarian Adjiman. “Ivorians love reading but have no access to books,” she said.


UMBAI (AFP) - A transgender model will walk the ramp at one of India’s premier fashion events next month for the first time, a sign of greater acceptance of a community that is ostrazised despite recent laws ensuring their protection and more opportunities. Anjali Lama, who is from Nepal, first auditioned for the Lakmé Fashion Week last year but was rejected, she said. She will model for several leading designers at the show running from February 1-5 in Mumbai. “It wasn’t easy for me in the early days when there was so much rejection and discrimination,” says Lama, 32. “Now I am getting an overwhelming response from the fashion industry after being selected, and other transgender people tell me they are proud of me.” Born Nabin Waiba Tamang, Lama said she took the name Anjali, a common name in India and Nepal, after a transgender friend suggested it. Lama joined a modelling academy in Kathmandu, but did not come out to her family. When someone from her village found out Lama was living as a transgender woman and told her family, they cut ties with her and told her

that she had let them down. “My mother, to some extent, was more accepting but there really wasn’t much awareness then,” Lama said. “There is more awareness and acceptance now in Nepal, and that has helped more people like me to come out,” she said. Nepal emerged from a decade of conflict against Maoist rebels in 2006 after which it began to acknowledge the rights of the country’s LGBT community. In 2007, the country’s Supreme Court ruled that citizens were entitled to select their gender identity. Nepal granted protections to LGBT people in its new Constitution and began issuing passports with a third gender category in 2015, one of only a handful of countries to do so. Still, discrimination and abuse persist, and jobs are hard to come by. In India, transgender people are eligible for quotas in jobs and educational institutions. They are even getting a boost from Bollywood films, with a pop band of transgender women featuring on the soundtrack of a Hindi movie last year.



by Kerry SHERIDAN IAMI, | AFP | 1/9/2017 People who exercise mainly on the weekends may reap significant health and survival benefits, on par with people who work out more regularly, researchers said.


FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

Weekend exercise may be as good as daily workouts: study

University of Sydney. “However, for optimal health benefits from physical activity it is always advisable to meet and exceed the physical activity recommendations.”

Currently, experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.

The study stopped short of proving cause and effect, because it was based on people who filled out health surveys in Britain, and relied on their self-reported exercise intensity and duration.

But no consensus has been reached on just how often a person needs to exercise, and whether activities should be done daily or condensed into shorter periods.

Researchers also cautioned that since 90 percent of the respondents were white, the benefits of weekend exercise might not be generalizable to the entire population.

The findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine showed that people who pack all of their exercise into one or two days of the week -- often referred to as “weekend warriors” -- appear to lower their risk of dying about as much as people who exercise three times a week or more.

On average, weekend warriors tended to be men and averaged 300 minutes of weekly exercise in one or two days, said the study. The types of exercise people did included gardening, walking, cycling, running and organized sports. By far, most of the survey respondents were inactive -- nearly 63 percent. Another 22 percent were insufficiently active. Just 3.7 percent were weekend warriors, and 11 percent were regular exercisers.

The study looked at survey responses from nearly 64,000 people, and grouped them in four categories: inactive, insufficiently active, weekend warrior and regularly active.

Their age was 40 and up, and they were followed for an average of nine years.

All three groups of people who got exercise fared better than people who were inactive. Comparing weekend warriors to inactive adults, researchers found that those who exercised just one or two days a week saw about a 30 percent lower risk of dying. The risk of cardiovascular death for weekend warriors was 40 percent lower and the risk of cancer death was 18 percent lower than among inactive adults. Similar effects were seen among in-

Experts recommend that people do 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (AFP Photo/Loic Venance). sufficiently active people who got less than the recommended amount, and regularly active people who exercised three or more days per week. Compared with the inactive participants, the risk of dying of any cause among insufficiently active participants was 31 percent lower, and 35

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percent lower in regularly active participants. The risks of dying from heart disease or cancer among insufficient exercisers and regular exercisers were also quite similar -- each within a few percentage points -- to the weekend warriors’ reduced risk.

“It is very encouraging news that being physically active on just one or two occasions per week is associated with a lower risk of death, even among people who do some activity but don’t quite meet recommended exercise levels,” said senior author Emmanuel Stamatakis, associate professor at the

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Despite the study’s limitations, its authors described their findings as “statistically powerful,” and said it backed up previous research by Harvard University that tracked 580 people and found a lower death risk among weekend warriors compared to sedentary men. Experts say physical exercise boosts health by lowering cholesterol, controlling weight gain, improving sleep patterns and reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

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Raees’ Tribute Song ‘Laila Main Laila’ Released! Qurbani track featuring Zeenat Aman and Feroz Khan (1980). Although the song officially releases today, Sunny teased fans with a sneak peek on her social media channel earlier this week. We see Sunny in her Laila ensemble — a peacock blue Arabic inspired lehenga-choli, volumised wavy hair, maang-teeka and a waist-belt to accessorise her Arabian Nights look. The energetic dance performance in Laila Main Laila feels in sync with the spirit of the film. While Sunny captioned her photo with a succinct: “Proud to be part of ‘Laila Main Laila’ (in) Raees... the journey has just begun”, Shah Rukh Khan and Raees director Rahul Dholakia were quick to re-tweet her post. “Absolutely awesome,” tweeted SRK. “Ram Sampath and the ebullient Sunny Leone are bringing back a blast from the past.”

tire empire from scratch, making him the single most powerful man in the state. However, his downfall will be crossing paths with the no-nonsense police officer Majumdar, whose sole reason for existence is the elimination of crime. What ensues next is a tumultuous battle between the two, forming a key defining element of the film’s narrative. Directed by Rahul Dholakia, the film also stars Nawazuddin

Siddiqui, Atul Kulkarni, and Mahira Khan. RAEES is an Excel Entertainment Production, co-produced by Red Chillies Entertainment and Excel Entertainment. It releases in cinemas worldwide on 25th January 2017 and in the UK by Zee Studios International.

Indian author Roy announces second novel after 20-year gap

Zeenat Aman was the epitome of grace and class when she brought Laila to audiences. The new rendition of the track is a gesture by the producers of the film, Red Chillies Entertainment and Excel Entertainment, along with the cast and crew of thanking those behind the original track for such an iconic song. Laila Main Laila is intrinsic to the film’s narrative and helps to take the film forward. It creates just the right amount of drama, thrill and intrigue in the plot.

Sunny Leone (File photo)


etting the mercury levels rising, sensational actress Sunny Leone exploded on to our screens on December 21, 2016 - in full

bling and bang with the scintillating dance number from Shah Rukh Khan’s forthcoming film RAEES — ‘Laila Main Laila’, a tribute to the original

Since RAEES is set in the early 1980’s to 1990’s Gujarat, India, the track fits in beautifully with the timeframe of the film, creating the appropriate backdrop to take audiences back to the 80s vibe. Interestingly, one of the background dancers in the original song, Bulbul, also shot for the new version of the song! Since Sunny was introduced to Bollywood, she has connected most to the 70’s and 80’s music era, with Laila Main Laila being her firm favourite. RAEES is a fictitious story of a man named Raees (Shah Rukh Khan) and how his relationships and meteoric rise helped him build an en-

Prize-winning author and activist Arundhati Roy during an interview in New Delhi in this June 8, 2016 file photo. (Photo: Quartz)


UMBAI, (AFP) Oct 4 — Indian author Arundhati Roy announced yesterday that her second novel will be published in 2017 — 20 years after she won the Booker Prize for her debut one. Roy, an activist and outspoken government critic, said through her publishers that The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness would be released next year. “I am glad to report that the mad souls (even the wicked ones) in The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness have found a way into the world, and that I have found my publishers,” Roy said in a statement. Her literary agent David Godwin said: “Only Arundhati could have written this novel. Utterly original. It has been 20 years in the making. And well worth the wait.” The 54-year-old has published a range of nonfiction works including about her time in India’s jungles researching the country’s Maoists who

are fighting for land rights. But this will be her first novel since The God of Small Things, published in 1997 about twins growing up in the southern state of Kerala which earned her the prestigious prize. One of India’s most famous and polarising authors, Roy faced arrest for sedition for challenging India’s right to rule over the disputed Kashmir region in 2010. Roy also criticises the United States as a global empire established through violence, rails against Western multinationals and decries the excesses of capitalism. She recently featured on the cover of Elle magazine, saying she wanted to break the myth of the typical Indian beauty. “I’m a black woman. Most of us are. Ninety per cent of us are. This obsession that Indians have with white skin and straight hair makes me sick,” she told the magazine.



FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

Highlights of 2017 Consumer India’s PM Modi tells scientists to leverage disruptive technologies Electronics Show


AS VEGAS, | AFP | 1/8/2017 - Here are some key highlights of the 2017 International Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Sunday: - Alexa everywhere Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa was the surprise star of the show, with dozens of new products and services integrating the voice-accessed machine smarts into appliances, TVs, speakers, lamps, cars and more. Analysts said the gains for Alexa could help unify a fragmented market for connected devices, and bring artificial intelligence to more people, from young to old.

The Smart Foam Diaper Changing Pad from Hatch Baby, combining a traditional diaper changing pad with a built-in, wireless smart scale, allowing for easy tracking of the infant’s health metrics, is on display at the 2017 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Jan. 8, 2017. (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/ AFP/Getty Images). Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 104th Indian Science Congress programme at Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday (Photo: PTI)

- Robots with character Robots showed off new skills and “personality.” Hanson Robotics unveiled its life-like “Professor Einstein,” which has realistic facial expressions and can engage in informative conversations such as lessons in math and science. Other robots acquired intelligence from the internet cloud, giving them the ability to chat person-style and tend to monitoring homes or other tasks. A robot from Taiwan played chess -- moving pieces against human opponents -- to showcase how able it was at making sense of what it “sees.” - Cars get more autonomy (and faster) The secretive electric car startup Faraday Future, backed by a Chinese billion, showed its first production car, the FF91, aimed at taking on Tesla. The company showed how fast it can accelerate -- getting to 60 mph (100 kph) in 2.39 seconds -- and began taking pre-orders for 2018. The other major car-makers were not idling, instead showcasing moves toward autonomous driving, electric power, and better connections -- including integrating with smart home systems. - Thinner, smarter TVs LG Electronics showed off a “wallpaper” thin television, while rivals Sony and Samsung unveiled technology for more realistic displays. A push was on to entice people with 4K ultra-rich screens. Sales of televisions globally have been slipping, a seeming result of viewers turning to smartphones, tablets, and computers for video, according to the US Consumer Technology Association trade group behind CES. Those who do buy televisions, however, are expected to prefer high-definition models.

The LG Signature OLED TV W at the LG press conference at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (Photo: CES). - Smartphones not disappearing -

public venues so more people could give it a try.

CES featured a surprising number of smartphone launches, including one from Taiwan’s Asus that can use Google’s Project Tango 3D technology and virtual and augmented reality.

Vive is up against PlayStation VR and Facebook-owned Oculus Rift. Each company has been wooing software developers and refining its hardware to better entice users.

This came as the industry prepared to mark the 10th anniversary of the launch of the iPhone on January 9 and with some participants noting that much of the industry revolves around the smartphone.

Emerging technologies for fitness, health and improving life for the handicapped flourished, including those harnessing brainwaves for the physically disabled; helping the visually impaired with “artificial vision,” and getting insightful data on sports endeavors.

New mid-range handsets were unveiled by South Korea’s LG, China’s ZTE and Huawei, which also revealed its ambition for a greater share of the US market by launching its flagship large-screen handset. - Virtual reality While not appearing ready for prime time, virtual reality sought its stride at the show. Show floor space devoted to virtual reality abounded with companies diving into the market with headsets, content, or tools for better creating or delivering immersive experiences. Taiwan-based HTC announced initiatives aimed at getting developers to create more VR experiences and unveiled plans for arcades in

- Better bodies -

BrainRobotics, a Massachusetts-based startup, showed its prosthesis that can be controlled by residual muscle strength of an amputee with better efficiency than similar devices, and which may eventually be controlled by brainwaves. - Hoverboards are back Those quirky skateboard-like personal transporters made it back to CES, a year after most disappeared due to a federal raid of devices with potentially explosive batteries. Hoverboard Technologies founder Robert Bigler unveiled his single-wheeled GeoBlade, proclaiming it to be the future of personal urban transport, and Swagtron released its “offroad” hoverboard.

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The prime minister said college teachers with background in research can be connected to the neighbouring universities and R&D institutions. “Outreach activities from the institutions of eminence to schools, colleges and polytechnics will activate the latent Science and Technology manpower from the educational institutions in your neighbourhoods.”

Modi also exhorted scientists to keep an eye on the rise of disruptive technologies and leverage them for the country’s growth, as he pledged government’s commitment to supporting different scientific streams with emphasis on innovations.

“Seeding the power of ideas and innovation in schoolchildren will broaden the base of our innovation pyramid and secure the future of our nation. As a step in this direction, Ministry of Science & Technology is initiating a programme focused on students of classes six to ten,” Modi said, adding, “The programme will scout, mentor, reward and showcase ten lakh top innovative ideas focused on local needs from five lakh schools.”


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IRUPATI, India - (PTI) Jan, 03 2017 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday advocated scientific social responsibility (SSR) for leading scientific institutions on the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to promote scientific excellence in all stakeholders, including educational institutions.

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Noting that the rapid rise of Cyber Physical Systems has the potential to pose unprecedented challenges and stresses to India’s demographic dividend, Modi emphasised on the need to develop an inter-ministerial mission in this area to secure the nation by creating basic R&D infrastructure, man power and skills. “On the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility, the concept of Scientific Social Responsibility needs to be inculcated to connect our leading institutions to all stakeholders, including schools and colleges. We must create an environment for sharing of ideas and resources,” the prime minister said in his inaugural address at the 104th session of the Indian Science Congress in Tirupati. Noting that the brightest and best in every corner of India should have the opportunity to excel in science, Modi said this will ensure that our youth get high-end training exposure to the best of science and technology to make them job-ready in a competitive world. “To this end, I would exhort the National Laboratories to connect with schools and colleges to develop appropriate training programmes. This will also help with the effective use and maintenance of our vast scientific and technological infrastructure. “Laboratories, Research Institutions and Universities in each major city region, should be interlinked to function on a hub and spoke model. The hubs will share major infrastructure, drive our national science missions and be the engines that link discovery to application,” he said.

Referring to the rise of disruptive technologies, Modi said there is equally a need for the scientists to keep an eye on them and be prepared to leverage them for growth. “One important area that needs to be addressed is the rapid global rise of CyberPhysical Systems. This has the potential to pose unprecedented challenges and stresses to our demographic dividend. But we can turn it into a huge opportunity by research,training and skilling in (fields like) robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data analysis, deep learning, quantum communication and Internet-of-Things.” Modi emphasised on the need to develop and exploit these technologies in services and manufacturing sectors, in agriculture, water, energy and traffic management; health, environment, infrastructure and Geo Information Systems; security; financial systems and in combating crime. Noting that tomorrow’s experts will come from investments made today in our people and infrastructure, Modi said his government is committed to supporting different streams of scientific knowledge; ranging from fundamental science to applied science with emphasis on innovations. “We are leveraging strategic international partnerships and collaborations based on the principles of mutuality, parity

Yahoo to change name to Altaba Move comes after $4.8bn sale to Verizon by Deepa Seetharaman and Maria Armental ahoo Inc. said it will whittle down its board after completing its deal with Verizon Communications Inc., and several longtime directors, including Chief Executive Marissa Mayer and cofounder David Filo, will step down as directors.


After the sale of its core internet business, the company will change its name to Altaba Inc. from RemainCo, Yahoo said in a regulatory filing. Altaba’s remaining assets include Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Yahoo Japan. The name is a combination of the words “alternate” and “Alibaba,” a person familiar with

the matter said. Eric Brandt, who joined Yahoo’s board last March and is the former chief financial officer of Broadcom Corp., will become chairman of Altaba, according to the filing. He will be joined by four other directors who are currently on Yahoo’s board, including Thomas McInerney, who was part of the independent committee of Yahoo directors running the auction process last year. The moves would happen after the closing of the roughly $4.8 billion sale to Verizon, which has been endangered by two huge hacks of Yahoo’s user data. In the filing, Yahoo said Verizon could terminate its purchase of Yahoo or renegotiate the terms because of the hacks. (

and reciprocity, to make Indian Science globally competitive. We are also placing special emphasis on building strong relationships with our neighbouring countries and multilateral fora such as BRICS,” he said. Modi said the Technology Vision 2035 document released in last years Science Congress, is now developing into a detailed roadmap for twelve key technology sectors and even the NITI Aayog is evolving a holistic science and technology vision for the country. The prime minister also emphasised on ease of doing science, and said Indias ability to execute large transformational national missions required effective partnerships, which can only be ensured by getting out of deep rooted silos and adopting a collaborative approach. “Our ministries, our scientists, R&D institutions, industries, start-ups, universities and IITs, all should work together seamlessly. In particular, our infrastructure and socio-economic ministries must make appropriate use of science and technology. Another empowering factor for scientific delivery is the Ease of Doing Science. If we want science to deliver, we must not constrain it,” Modi said. Asserting that building a strong science and technology infrastructure accessible to academia, start-ups, industry and R&D labs tops is a priority of the government, Modi said it was important to address issues like the problems of ease of access, maintenance, redundancy and duplication of expensive equipment in scientific institutions. Modi said establishing professionally managed large regional centers with high value scientific equipment in PPP mode should also be examined. He said Indian institutions could consider inviting outstanding scientists from abroad including NRIs for long term research associations and should also involve foreign and NRI PhD students in post-doctoral research in our projects. By 2030 India will be among the top three countries in science and technology and will be among the most attractive destinations for the best talent in the world. The wheels we set in motion today will achieve this goal, Modi said, adding that SCOPUS database indicates that India now ranks sixth in the world with respect to scientific publications, growing at a rate of about fourteen percent as against the world average growth rate of about four percent. Science must meet the rising aspirations of our people, he said, asserting that problems of urban-rural divide and work for inclusive development, economic growth and employment generation must be addressed through it. Seeking to make science and technology a strong tool of inclusive development and betterment of the weakest and poorest segments of our society, he said ministries, scientists, R&D institutions, industries, start-ups, universities and IITs, all should work together seamlessly. “In particular, our infrastructure and socio-economic ministries must make appropriate use of science and technology,” he said.


Section 2

Young Life

FRIDAY, January 13, 2017


Surgery for obese teens works longterm: study

Tel: 713-774-5140

A new way to punish young cybercriminals “Make them wear a wifi jammer”


ARIS, France | AFP | 1/6/2017 - Gastric bypass surgery helps “severely obese” teenagers shed weight and keep it off for years, according to research published on Friday.


ONDON - Cybercriminals do stuff online, so punish them by taking away their internet access. It’s as simple as taking a crowbar from a burglar. Or is it? Some outside-the-box thinking by a top cop this week has triggered a debate among cybersecurity types about young offending and punishment.

In two studies, one in the United States and the other in Sweden, young people who underwent the procedure were about thirty percent lighter five to 12 years after the operation, scientists found.

itself would be very difficult because of how radio works, it could be easily circumvented by using a cable.” Darren Martyn, an Irish convicted hacker turned security researcher (he was part of the LulzSec group), adds: “This would cause huge disruption to anyone within jamming range of the ‘tagged’ person.”

Negative side effects, including vitamin deficiences and the need in some cases for follow-up surgery, were minor compared to health gains, scientists reported in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, a medical journal. There were 58 patients in the US cohort, and 81 in the Swedish one. In the US study, led by Thomas Inge of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, eight years after the operation the number of teenagers with diabetes had dropped from 16 to two percent, and those with high cholesterol fell from 86 to 38 percent. The share with chronic high blood pressure also declined, by two thirds. Yet most of the patients remained at least “very obese”, and only one stabilised at a normal weight. Healthy weight is determined with the body-mass index (BMI), one’s weight in kilogrammes divided by the

A patient is classified as being “severe obese” if they have a body-mass index (BMI) of 40+ (AFP Photo/Vanderlei Almeida) square of one’s height in meters. A BMI of 25 to 30 indicates being overweight, while above 30 means one is obese. The range of normal weight is 18.5 to 24.9. “Very obese” corresponds to a BMI over 35, while “severe obesity” is 40 or over. Gastric bypass involves reducing the stomach to below three percent of its natural volume, then connecting a new gastric pouch that bypasses the stomach and goes straight to the intestine.

In the Swedish study, led by Torsten Olbers of the University of Gothenburg, young patients undergoing the surgery were compared with obese teenagers who did not. Five years later, the gastric bypass group were on average 28 percent lighter, while the other group had only shed a couple of percentage points from their body mass. In the United States, there are about 4.6 million children and teenagers classified as “severely obese”.

It’s America’s minority youth that deserve both parties’ attention by William H. Frey


he political winds since November have set up 2017 as the year of the white working class. Republicans are beholden to the group for voting them into the Congress and the White House. Democrats are worried they will lose them again unless they retool their message. News organizations, pundits, and scholars of all stripes are frantically trying to understand leftbehind voting blocs of older, rural, blue collar whites and those spotlighted in J.D. Vance’s best-selling “Hill-

ing phenomenon now plaguing Japan, Italy, and other “older” countries is the youthful infusion of workers provided by racial minorities, especially the fast growing populations of Hispanic and Asian Americans. The 2020 Census will show that more than half of Americans under age 18 are racial minorities. Going forward these groups along with African Americans will provide all of the nation’s child population gains as well as all future gains in its labor force. For this reason, significant investments in the next multiracial genera-

“Significant investments in the next multiracial generations need to be made” (Photo: File/AFP) billy Elegy.” Yet, this near single-minded focus misses a crucial point: America’s white population is rapidly aging. As a result, the nation’s future—both economic and political—is increasingly dependent on young people of color. When white Americans see that minority children make up ever greater shares of young people in schools and playgrounds, they rarely understand the reason. It is, in large part, because the nation’s white youth are declining in number and have been for more than a decade. Between 2000 and 2015, the United States has seen an absolute loss of 6.8 million white men and women who are younger than age 20, a decline of 14 percent. At the same time, the total U.S. population grew by 14 percent. The decline of white youth is a national phenomenon, occurring in 47 states and in nearly 90 percent of the nation’s 3100 counties—especially those in the Rust Belt and Appalachia. Census projections reveal that, for decades to come, more young whites will be passing age 20 than will be born or will immigrate. And as the white population ages, there will be proportionately fewer white women of child bearing age. The main reason we are not facing the declining labor force/extreme ag-

tions need to be made. This is not only to assist their own well-being, but also to create a future labor force whose members can contribute to the nation’s economic well-being, and whose taxes will contribute to Social Security and Medicare relied upon by aging white baby boomers. Getting older whites to understand this demographic reality will be a tall order especially if the Trump administration continues to play to the fears of much of its white workingclass base, which does not see today’s highly diverse younger generation as “their” children and grandchildren. Whites who grew up in a less diverse America are uncomfortable and sometimes hostile to demographic change. A 2015 PRRI survey shows that older working class whites think that, compared with the 1950s, America’s culture and way of life have changed for the worse and that immigrants today are a burden. Younger whites and racial minorities believe the opposite. Yet if today’s multicultural youth are to contribute to a growing economy, there is much work to do. Too many minority children attend underresourced, segregated schools and do not have the guidance or finances to attend two and four year colleges that are pathways to middle class jobs. Four year college enrollment for Hispanics and blacks, while rising, stands well below that of whites. Income in-

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equality has hit minority youth particularly hard, as seen in continued high child poverty levels; and can only exacerbate the nation’s inequality in the future. Trends such as these make it clear that major public interventions are necessary to improve the wellbeing of the next generation. Rather than inflaming this generational divide for political gains, leaders at all levels of government need to emphasize how investments in today’s young minorities and their families— their education, job training, medical care, and housing—will ensure the nation’s future economic and demographic sustainability. To accomplish this, the Trump administration needs to take a broader view of America’s future than Trump did during the campaign. From a business perspective, he can make the case to the Republican controlled Congress and to the nation that the investment in our largely minority next generation would bring a substantial return in our economic growth, as the white population ages. To older and middle-aged whites, the “message” that leaders of both parties need to emphasize is their generational co-dependency with younger minorities. While the younger generation would benefit from greater investments in their well-being today, the aging generation will receive support in the form of contributions to Social Security and Medicare as that generation enters the labor force and pays taxes. Perhaps even more important, taking this stand would go a long way toward healing the sharp racial and generational divide that the nation now faces. William H. Frey is Senior Fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institute.

Ankit Fadia, a self-styled “hacker expert”, has become wellknown for his public tales of flouting web security, although some doubt his expertise (File Photo/AFP) Chief Supt Gavin Thomas, the president of the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales, suggested in an interview that wifi jammers – devices worn on the ankle or wrist to block the internet – could serve as a smarter punishment for cybercrimes than prison. “We have got to stop using 19th-century punishments to deal with 21st-century crimes,” he said. Few would dispute that, but there are some issues with jammers. First, they are illegal under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006, so we’d need to work on that. Second, they wouldn’t work. “Although we desperately need alternatives to prison, using wifi jammers is both technically infeasible and unreliable,” says Cal Leeming, who went to prison for hacking as a teenager and is now a security consultant. “Even if you did manage to implement it without breaking nearby connectivity, which in

Legal and technical hurdles notwithstanding, would an enforced screen break – a digital grounding of the sort increasingly issued by parents – help solve the broader problem? Prof Mary Aiken, a cyber-psychologist at University College Dublin, is sceptical. If the criminal justice system is struggling to keep pace with tech, the lag in education is the graver threat, she says. “It is going to be very difficult if not impossible to prosecute our way out of problems such as youth hacking,” she explains. “What is required is a fundamental re-evaluation of the impact of technology on developing youth.” In Youth Pathways into Cybercrime (pdf), a report published in October by Middlesex University, Aiken and her colleagues recommend not thwarting the digital skills of these young people, but giving them safer outlets. (-Guardian)

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Bollywood -Hollywood

Section 2


Khan's 'Dangal' becomes highestgrossing Bollywood movie


UMBAI (AFP) Indian movie star Aamir Khan’s latest blockbuster “Dangal” has become the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, smashing his own record, trade analysts and producers said on Monday.

“This is our ninth film with


EW YORK - There were two big movie awards events the week in New York ahead of the Golden Globes, which were on Sunday. Though there weren’t many surprises — their winners were announced well in advance — the events shared a similar theme, which could be called Films Can Heal, Especially Now.

Actor Aamir Khan’s wrestling drama has made 3.45 billion rupees ($50.59 million) in just three weeks, according to (AFP/File photo) Aamir Khan and with ‘Dangal’ we’ve broken our own record

erything was going to be O.K., “because movies like this are being made.” Not surprisingly, comedians serving as presenters got in on the act, too. Before giving Ezra Edelman the best documentary award for “O.J.: Made in America” on Tuesday, Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” asked, “Who would’ve thought after O.J.,

Casey Affleck, attending the National Board of Review awards at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP) The New York Film Critics Circle awards were handed out Tuesday, at Tao Downtown, where presenters and winners took to the stage in front of the restaurant’s giant, multi-limbed statue of the goddess Quan Yin. The National Board of Review awards took place Wednesday night at Cipriani 42nd Street in its Italian Renaissance ballroom. For those keeping score, the events had a few winners in common, including Casey Affleck for best actor, Kenneth Lonergan for best screenplay (both for “Manchester by the Sea”) and Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) for best director At the outset of the Critics Circle ceremony, David Edelstein, the night’s host and New York magazine’s chief film critic, said that while some might pooh-pooh the importance of Hollywood offerings these days, “this year we have movies that will guide us through the grief and confusion 2016 has brought.” The next night, presenting Mr. Affleck with his award at Cipriani’s, the actress Edie Falco said, “In times like this we need performances like Casey’s.” She added that ev-

Solid Gold!

Khan, 51, gained a lot of weight to play the role of Mahavir before quickly losing 25 kilograms to appear as a younger version of the coach elsewhere in the film.

Casey Affleck turns the tables on film critics by Carla Buckley

“Dangal”, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, is based on the true story of wrestling coach Mahavir Singh Phogat who raised his daughters Geeta and Babita Phogat to become champion wrestlers. Geeta won a gold medal for India at the 2010 Commonwealth Games while her sister topped the podium at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. “Dangal” is a Hindi word used to describe a wrestling competition.

The wrestling drama, which is based on the true story of an Indian coach who trained his two daughters to become champion grapplers, has made 3.45 billion rupees ($50.59 million) in just three weeks, according to That is more than the previous top grosser -- Khan’s science fiction film “PK”, which amassed 3.40 billion rupees during its entire run in 2014.

India, told AFP via email.

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Americans would find themselves in a place where they have to deal with ramifications of a bad decision based on fame and race?” The next night, Mr. Edelman was presented with another best documentary award, this time from Seth Meyers, who noted how civilized it was to announce awards in advance. “It’s very traumatic to learn who won a thing the night of,” he said. But for attendees, perhaps the most delicious comments came from Mr. Affleck in his acceptance speech at the Critics Circle awards Tuesday. Turning the tables, Mr. Affleck read some excoriating reviews of his work. Among them: — “It’s looking like whenever you see Casey Affleck in a movie’s credits, you can expect a standard genre B picture slowed down and tarted up.” — “Affleck, though likable, doesn’t have a lot of variety and resorts to chewing gum to give his character throughlines.” (-New York Times)

of ‘PK’,” Amrita Pandey, vicepresident of studios at Disney

The movie was released on December 23 and was India’s second hit wrestling film of 2016. “Sultan”, starring Salman Khan, came out in July, made 3.15 billion rupees and sits third on the all-time grossing list.

TV diversity wins big at the Golden Globes by Madeline Berg


t this year’s Golden Globes ceremony, TV’s biggest winner wasn’t a cult Netflix show (say, Stranger Things) or multi-season HBO behemoth (Game of Thrones comes to mind), but the diversity across all winners, in terms of both content and actors. “This is for all of the women, women of color and colorful people whose stories, ideas (and) thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important,” said Tracee Ellis Ross, accepting her award for Best Actress in a Television Comedy or Musical at Sunday night’s ceremony. “I think our industry can be at the forefront of making sure that the diversity of stories is told. It’s not just people of color; it’s all different ages and shapes and sizes,” added Ross, the first African American to win this award since Debbie Allen did in 1982. In addition to Ross’ win for her role in Black-ish, Donald Glover won as both the star and creator of Atlanta. The People v. O.J. Simpson, by Namrata Joshi


he performance that made viewers take note of the late Om Puri and implanted him in the viewers’ consciousness most strongly and everlastingly was the one in which he barely spoke save that last, haunting scream of anguish. With underprivileged, victimised tribal Lahanya Bhiku, the role he became one with in Nihalani’s Aakrosh (1980). He essayed the trauma of an untouchable shoemaker in Satyajit Ray’s TV film Sadgati (1981). Or the desperation of the poor land tiller in Shyam Bengal’s Arohan (1982). One the earliest memorable roles was that of the cop in Rajkumar Santoshi’s Ghayal (1990) and again in Rajiv Rai’s Gupt (1997). Then he towered in the climactic moments of Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala (1987), as Abu Mian the guard of the spice of the factory, who gives refuge to Sonbai and is the only man standing with the women against the arrogant subedar and

a story entangled in race in America, won for Best Limited Series or TV Motion Picture, and the show’s Sarah Paulson won for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie. Blackness and African American culture play prominent roles in all three of these series. In Atlanta, Glover “wanted to show white people, [they] don’t know everything about black culture,” he told New York Magazine last year. He did that through an exclusively black writing staff (almost unheard of in TV and film) and an authentic portrayal of the distinctions and parallels of intra and inter-racial relations. The show had one of the biggest cable comedy premieres of 2016, and ratings only grew, causing an almost immediate renewal by FX. “I really just want to thank Atlanta and all the black folks in Atlanta just for being alive and being amazing people,” Glover said in his acceptance speech for the Best Series, Comedy or Musical award. “I couldn’t be here without Atlanta.” (-Forbes)

At Golden Globes 2017, Priyanka Chopra’s solid gold appearance wowed the crowds. (Photo: AFP)


OS ANGELES - The world is divided on Priyanka Chopra’s look at the Golden Globes. While some termed it solid gold, E! Online had this to say about her, “Priyanka Chopra is usually a red carpet star. For the Golden Globes, the Quantico star showed up dipped in gold, yet her dress left much to be desired in its fit and styling of the sequins.” We think what she was wearing (we like, mostly) was just the half of it. She presented an award at the ceremony and to none other than Billy Bob Thornton for his bravura performance in TV series, Goliath, and that is the big win of the day. At the 74th Golden Globe Awards, she presented the award along with JD Morgan. And guess what Priyanka had to say about her appearance, “The bad guys do have all the fun. Representing #Baywatch at the #GoldenGlobes!”

Om Puri The face of the common man

The 34-year-old actress has made a successful international debut with American show Quantico and also stars in the movie adaptation of Baywatch which releases next year. Other presenters at Golden Globes include Reese Witherspoon, Brie Larson, Anna Kendrick, Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio. The award was hosted by Jimmy Fallon. But before we saw her at the stage as one of the presenters at the Golden Globes Awards came the red carpet. Dressed in a gilded Ralph Lauren gown, Priyanka posed with her infectious smile. Earlier, Priyanka, who also presented at Oscar awards, confirmed the news by re-tweeting a post on the official Twitter account of the Golden Globe Awards, which read, “We’re also pleased to announce Timothy Olyphant, Justin Theroux, and @priyankachopra as presenters for the 74th Golden Globe Awards.” (-Indian Express) East Is East (1999) where he is the conservative Pakistani father unable to deal with the generation gap and cultural rift with his half-British kids. Last, but not the least, Puri was at the head of the quality content on television, in the glory days of Doordarshan, be it the sprawling Partition epic Tamas, Bharat Ek Khoj, Yatra, or the betel-chewing netaji in Kakkaji Kahin.

Om Puri was the face of the common man (1950-2017) the submissive village. He was the powerful Sanatan in Maachis (1996) the pivot on which rested Gulzar’s problematising of the insurgency in Punjab, on how innocent youth were forced to turn “terrorists” at the altar of the “system”. In Ismail Merchant’s In Custo-

dy (1993) he is the Hindi professor who loves Urdu poetry. He acted alongside Jack Nicholson in Mike Nichols’ Wolf (1994). Two smaller but significant turns were in Udayan Prasad’s My Son, The Fanatic (1994) where he is the liberal father of a hardliner son, and Damien O’Donnell’s

Friends remember him as a caring person and a dogged nurturer to his son Ishaan who has a visual impairment. Last few years, though, had not been great. The explicit revelations in the book, Unlikely Hero: The Story of Om Puri, by his second wife Nandita Puri broke him and the marriage as well. There was also a concomitant, unfortunate personal dissolution. After all, it was Puri walking the talk on what he has been the best on screen — the face of the common man. (


FRIDAY, January 13, 2017


Section 2


US health authorities: eating peanuts as baby prevents peanut allergy


ASHINGTON | AFP | 1/5/2017 - US health authorities recommended Thursday feeding infants foods containing peanuts as a way to prevent an allergy to them. The guidelines were issued by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) on the basis of a clinical study sponsored by the same organization.

peanut allergy is a growing public health problem for which there is no treatment. The allergy generally develops in childhood and persists through adulthood. The allergic reactions can be severe and life-threatening. Around two percent of children in America have peanut allergy, according to a 2010 study. That is four times more than in 1999.

The study showed that eating peanut-containing foods from the age of four months to five years reduces by 81 percent the risk of peanut allergy among infants deemed at high risk because they already had severe eczema, egg allergy or both.

“Living with peanut allergy requires constant vigilance. Preventing the development of peanut allergy will improve and save lives and lower health care costs,” said NIAID director Anthony Fauci.

The NIAID, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, said that

“We expect that widespread implementation of these guidelines by health care providers will prevent the

development of peanut allergy in many susceptible children and ultimately reduce the prevalence of peanut allergy in the United States,” Fauci said. Under the new guidelines, peanuts should be introduced into the diets of high-risk infants between the ages of four and six months. For infants with mild or moderate risk of developing peanut allergy, the timeframe is about six months of age. There is no timeframe for infants without eczema or any food allergy. All infants should begin eating solid foods before peanuts are introduced. The new approach was welcomed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Seventeen years ago, it published recommendations that children should not be fed peanuts before age three.

Bangladesh ‘Tree Man’ sees hope after 16 surgeries


HAKA, Bangladesh | AFP | 1/5/2017 - A Bangladeshi father dubbed the “tree man” because of the bark-like warts that once covered his body will soon be able to leave hospital after groundbreaking treatment for one of the world’s rarest diseases.

After the surgeries: Bangladeshi man Abul Bajandar is looking forward to being able to hold his daughter after some 16 surgeries to remove warts from his body (AFP Photo/Munir Uz Zaman)

“We operated on him at least 16 times to remove the warts. The hands and feet are now almost fine. He will be discharged within next 30 days after a couple of minor surgeries to perfect the shape of his hands,” Sen said.

Bajandar, who comes from a poor village in the southern coastal district of Khulna, became a celebrity after his condition was widely covered in local and international media.


The Affordable Care Act -- vast and often misunderstood -- contains a multitude of components which, taken in sum, are aimed at sharply reducing the number of uninsured Americans while slowing the rapid growth in the nation’s health care spending.

He met his wife Halima Khatun before he contracted the disease, but it had taken hold by the time they married, against her parents’ wishes.

Bajandar initially thought the warts were harmless, but they eventually covered his hands and feet, forcing him to stop working.

All three have lived in the hospital since he was admitted for the first surgery nearly a year ago.

Now he plans to set up a small business using donations received from well-wishers across the world.

“He is probably the most loved and longest-staying patient in this hospital,” said duty doctor Nurun Nahar.

“I was so worried about raising my daughter,” he said. “I hope the curse won’t return again.”

- Not public health insurance Obamacare did not create a public insurance program. It is a legal framework that imposed obligations on private insurers -- and individuals -- in order to better regulate the market and expand coverage. Only two US federal health insurance programs exist: Medicaid, for the lowest-income families and individuals; and Medicare, for those over 65. Most other Americans are insured in the private sector, usually through their employer. - For insurers Under Obamacare, insurance com-

panies are barred from determining coverage premiums based on medical history or gender, as they did previously. Nor can they refuse to insure patients who are too costly, or impose annual dollar limits on health benefits, practices that had driven some Americans with serious illnesses to financial ruin. The reforms also require insurers to cover costs for hospital admissions, emergency room visits or preventive care such as diabetes screening and some vaccines. Another popular provision: Chil-

“We are a caregiver information and advocacy website that all Texans could use” Member, IACCGH

veto any such legislation from Congress, or that he will not veto such legislation, which would be an admission that his promises to protect these programs during the campaign became null, void and false once Congress ratified the Electoral College vote for president. Trump will probably stick with his election year promises to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for several reasons. First, Trump has a long history of supporting entitlement programs, and at times has spoken favorably about what seemed to be single-payer healthcare, using words that sounded like Sanders today. Second, Trump is well aware that GOP attempts to cut these programs could powerfully backfire in the 2018 midterm elections, because these are highly popular and effective programs.

The story in The Hill about the Priebus comments supporting entitlement programs included an earlier quote from Trump that will warm the hearts of liberals and put fear in the hearts of some conservatives and Republicans who want to cut entitlement programs and will be running in tough races in the 2018 midterm elections.

Democrats will gleefully note, as I do here, that Trump during the campaign specifically separated himself from other Republicans. When he told Daily Signal that he would not support cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid “like every other Republican,” he was allying himself with liberal leaders such as Sanders and Democratic leaders such as Schumer against current Republican leaders and members of Congress who want to enact the cuts that Sanders, Schumer and other Democrats firmly oppose. To choose right Medicare or Obamacare Plan contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.

Bangladeshi man Abul Bajandar, widely known as ‘Tree Man’, before the sugerirs. (AFP Photo/Sam Jahan).

What is Obamacare? ASHINGTON | AFP | 1/5/2017 - Presidentelect Donald Trump and his Republican allies have vowed a swift repeal of President Barack Obama’s landmark reforms known as Obamacare, a 2010 law which has had a dramatic impact on America’s health care system.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), along with other progressive voices in the Senate and House, has similarly vowed to oppose and defeat these ill-considered GOP attacks against these programs that are sacrosanct for liberals, Democrats and the few moderate Republicans who remain in Congress.

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

Sanders, Schumer and other Democrats will surely call on Trump to announce that he will veto any legislation that passes the Republican House and Republican Senate. Trump will have no choice except to state he will

Only last year an Indonesian man died of the rare genetic condition.

“Now I feel so much better, I can hold my daughter in my lap and play with her. I can’t wait to go back home.”

Sen. Charles Schumer (DN.Y.), the Senate minority leader who leads Democrats in the Senate, has vowed to vehemently and aggressively oppose GOP attacks against these economically crucial and politically popular programs.

Trump had indeed said the following to The Daily Signal: “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”

Sen believes Bajandar could become the first person to be cured of the disease, provided the warts do not grow back.

“I never thought I would ever be able to hold my kid with my hands,” he said, showing a bandaged hand.

One of the time-honored dreams of Republicans in Congress has been to cut historically Democratic programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Many Republicans would simply cut benefits for these programs and hurt the poor and middleclass citizens they serve, a position that has repeatedly damaged GOP candidates in national elections over many years.

As The Hill and others reported, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told the CBS Sunday talk show “Face the Nation” that Trump promised during the campaign not to meddle with Social Security and Medicare and intends to keep that promise.

The 27-year-old former rickshaw driver is one of only four people in the world ever to be diagnosed with epidermodysplasia verruciformis, an extremely rare genetic condition dubbed “tree-man disease” that left him unable to hold his three-year-old daughter.

Speaking from his bed at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, which has been treating him free of charge, Bajandar said the pain of his condition had been “unbearable”.

Trump, Sanders, Schumer battle cuts to Medicare, Social Security

It now appears that Presidentelect Donald Trump will side with Schumer, Sanders and Democrats in both houses of Congress in opposing GOP plans to attack and cut these vital entitlement programs.

Abul Bajandar has undergone at least 16 operations to remove five kilos (11 pounds) of growths from his hands and feet since his condition came to doctors’ attention a year ago.

“Bajandar’s cure was a remarkable milestone in the history of medical science,” said Samanta Lal Sen, plastic surgery coordinator at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

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dren can remain on their parents’ insurance plans up to age 26. - For the insured In exchange, the law requires all Americans to be insured, or pay a penalty. In 2017 that fine, known as the individual mandate, is at least $695 per adult. With millions more contributing to the system, the argument goes, premiums paid by healthy enrollees offset the costs of the sickest Americans. But the forced participation is an obligation strongly denounced by conservatives, who claim that it infringes on individual freedom.

have been problems getting enough young people to sign up. As a result, standard premiums will increase this year by an average of 25 percent. Republicans including Trump point to the premium hikes as proof the law has failed. - Medicaid expansion Obamacare has also boosted federal aid to states so they can expand the eligibility criteria for Medicaid, the government insurance program that covers the nation’s poorest. Many Republican governors, opposed to the law, refused these expansion funds. - Results -

- The process For people whose employer does not provide insurance, the government has created online marketplaces, or “exchanges,” where individuals can sign up for ACA-compliant private insurance in each state. Depending on a person’s income, tax subsidies can reduce the insurance costs. But fewer insurers are participating in these exchanges, which have proven less profitable than expected for insurance companies, and there

Since Obamacare took effect, 20 million people have gained health coverage, according to the White House. The number of people without insurance fell from 16 percent in 2010 to a historic low of 8.9 percent in 2016. Growth in health care spending has slowed. But for the more than 10 million people who are expected to be insured in 2017 via the Obamacare exchanges, prices continue to rise unabated.


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FRIDAY, January 13, 2017



Section 2



McDonald’s sells China operations for $2.08bn


EIJING : (AFP) - US fastfood giant McDonald’s will sell a controlling stake in its China and Hong Kong business for up to US$2.08 billion to a consortium including state-owned Citic and the Carlyle Group, it was announced on Monday.

Its China business also suffered a blow in 2014 after a food safety scandal involving one of its meat suppliers.

The deal is part of an international turnaround plan as McDonald’s struggles with sluggish growth at home.

It will focus on growth in China’s smaller regional cities and plans to open more than 1,500 restaurants in the mainland and Hong Kong over the next five years.

Citic Ltd, Citic Capital Holdings, Carlyle Group and McDonald’s will form a company that will act as franchisee for the chain’s business in mainland China and Hong Kong for 20 years, the companies said in a joint statement. Citic is a vast Chinese state-owned conglomerate with interests in businesses ranging from energy and manufacturing to real estate. It said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that the purchase would deepen its exposure to China’s consumer sector, “which is poised to be the main driver of China’s economy for decades to come�. The burger chain last year announced plans to sell its over 2,600 restaurants in China and Hong Kong, after sales took a hit as tensions in the South China Sea hit earnings by US companies in the country.

Citic and Citic Capital will have a stake of 52%, Carlyle will take 28% and McDonald’s will retain 20% of the new company.

The burger chain has been overhauling its global structure under chief executive Steve Easterbrook to compensate for slower growth in markets such as France and the US, its largest market. The global restructuring plan calls for refranchising 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2018, with the long-term goal of franchising 95% of its outlets. The new company will focus on menu innovation and enhanced restaurant convenience, and McDonald’s existing management team will continue to lead the business, the statement said. McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in mainland China in 1990 and currently employs over 120,000 people, it said, adding that the fast-food chain is the country’s second-largest.

Pakistan’s textile sector struggles to bounce back


AISALABAD : (AFP) - As Pakistan slowly emerges from a long-term power crisis, its once booming textile sector is scrambling to find its feet – but high energy costs and a decade lost to competitors mean recovery is far from assured. Energy production was severely depressed for more than 10 years due to chronic under-investment, inefficiencies in the power network and an inability to collect sufficient revenue to cover costs. The result was crippling for manufacturers and in particular the

FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

textile sector, which employs 30% of the working population. Pakistan is the world’s fourth-largest cotton producing country but interminable power and gas cuts have stopped exporters from producing their orders on time. Many have watched helplessly as their clients have instead turned to Vietnam or Bangladesh. A third of the production capacity of the sector had disappeared, thousands of factories had closed, and most of the others are running below full capacity

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Trump has economic grace period, despite uncertainties by Jeremy Tordjman


ASHINGTON (AFP) Donald Trump has not yet taken office, but he is already boasting that his election has restored confidence in the American economy, and saved jobs.

companies confident in the future doubled in one month, while household confidence reached its highest level in 15 years. “Thank you Donald!� the president-

launched his tweet against the company, again for building a plant in Mexico. But the optimism of the American business community is also ex-

With a series of tweets, he has singled out several major companies and demanded they bring factories back to the United States to boost manufacturing and employment. Several quickly complied. American carmaker Ford canceled construction of a plant in Mexico to instead invest in the United States and create 700 jobs, citing a “vote of confidence� in the economic agenda of the incoming president. In December, it was the American manufacturer of air conditioners Carrier that backed off a planned transfer of 1,000 jobs to the Mexico, after a deal with Trump -- and for $7 million in tax cuts. “You’ve been seeing what’s been happening over the last couple of weeks. And we haven’t gotten there yet. We haven’t gotten there yet,� declared Trump, who won the White House on the promise of bringing jobs and manufacturing back to the United States. His election also created euphoria in US stock markets. The Dow Jones index has set multiple records since the November 8 election, coming close to the 20,000-point milestone and proving wrong the many who predicted a market crash if Trump were elected. “Before there was any chance that he would be elected, no one paid much attention to his program, which is what companies want: a lot of deregulation and tax cuts,� analyst Aparna Mathur, of the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, told AFP. - ‘Thank you Donald!’ Several economic indicators also reflect this renewed sense of optimism. A December Philadelphia Fed survey showed the proportion of

Photo illustration: POLITICO Graphics

elect said in a self-congratulatory tweet. His unprecedented strategy of tweeting his complaints against major companies -- including General Motors, Ford and Toyota -- and issuing threats if they don’t invest in the United States, could prove to be worthwhile. “In a way, he’s still continuing his campaign by reaching out to companies and giving the sense that he really cares about jobs,� said Mathur, who nonetheless is convinced Trump will have to switch to a more conventional approach once he is installed in the White House. CEOs also seem to be getting the message. “We are pragmatic, we will adapt to any situation,� said the chief of the Renault-Nissan alliance, Carlos Ghosn, speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Toyota chief Akio Toyoda said, “If you look over the long term, we are oriented in the same direction,� according to a Wall Street Journal article published shortly before Trump

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Azharuddin files nomination for Hyderabad Cricket Association top job


YDERABAD (PTI) - Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin on Tuesday filed his nomination papers for Hyderabad Cricket Association president’s post after incumbent Arshad Ayub quit office following the Supreme Court verdict on Lodha committee reforms.

India players are entitled to. In fact, the BCCI wrote a strongly-worded letter to DDCA during the last Ranji season when Azharuddin was spotted sitting outside the boundary line chatting to Vidarbha players which match referee of the day took cognisance. “Yes, I was informed that Azhar

One of the longest serving Indian captain with the distinction of leading India in three successive World Cups (1992, 1996, 1999), Azharuddin was banned for life by the BCCI for his alleged involvement in the matchfixing scandal that was unearthed in 2000.

Mohammad Azharuddin (center) has vowed to bring up “Problem with more Hyderabad players into the Indian team. (PTI / File Hyderabad was Photo) that cricket was not focus. My basic intention is to see that cricket in came with his supporters to file nomiHyderabad flourishes. I really want nation for HCA elections. He had an to do well for cricket. We cannot run order from a lower court which allows the HCA on the whims and fancies of him to contest election. Normally, individuals,” Azharuddin said after fil- HCA elections are held on last Sunday of May but Azhar has got an order ing his nomination. which says it would be held on Janu“I want to improve cricket at the dis- ary 17,” HCA Secretary John Manoj trict level because lot of hardworking told PTI. players come from districts. We have One of the finest batsmen of his time, produced so many great players but a touch artist, Azharuddin played 99 now we don’t have players in the Indian team. My intention is to work hard Tests for India scoring over 6000 runs and 24 hundreds. Azhar was an MP for the game of cricket,” he added. from Moradabad during UPA II but Azharuddin fought a long legal lost elections in 2014. He had, a few battle and got a favourable order by years back, shown interest in entering Andhra High Court back in 2011 but the Badminton Association of India BCCI never officially lifted his ban. (BAI) administration but later pulled He never got the pension that former out.


Yuki Bhambri can enter the World’s top-50: Zeeshan Ali, Davis Cup coach

Yuki Bhambri made a solid comeback to tennis after suffering a tennis elbow in 2016 that kept him out for six months (Photo: PTI)


HENNAI (PTI) - Yuki Bhambri is a player who has the potential to be in the top50 in the world. In the past due to bad luck with injuries, he has not enjoyed the fruits of being in the top-100 for a longer period of time. Yuki has the attitude and the capability to be back in the top 100 where he belongs should he remain fit. Postinjury that kept Yuki out for most part of 2016, he has been doing well. Coming to the Chennai Open, two tough qualifying rounds and a win in the main draw will give him the confidence that he needs as he heads for the upcoming Australian Open. I had not expected Ramkumar (Ramanathan) to lose 1-6, 1-6 to Yuki since we know Ram has played some of his best tennis in the past in front of his home crowd in Chennai. Yuki played smart, had a game plan and stuck to it. He put a lot of pressure on Ram and came to the net eight to 10 times in the first three games of the match itself. That set the tone for his approach to this match. He was going to attack at every opportunity and try to keep the points short. He executed his game plan very well. This could be a very important year for Yuki. It’s a great way to start 2017. In the next six months or so, we

should see him jump in the rankings. If he can get into bigger tournaments by using his protected ranking and do well, we will see him earn more ATP points which in turn will improve his rankings. An important quality of a top-class player is that he has a Plan ‘B’. It was a surprise to me to see that Ramkumar did not attempt anything different when the first set got over in less than 20 minutes. Coming to the net or playing more aggressively rather than staying 20 feet behind the baseline might have given Ram a chance to get into the match. He was very defensive from the first point itself. There might have been some pressure playing against another Indian but that could also have been approached in a positive manner. He had a lot to prove going into this match and to me it looked like the pressure might have taken its toll. Playing this sort of defensive tennis is definitely not going to help him move forward. He needs to sit back and analyse where he went wrong. We have seen Ram play some really good tennis matches. He is a fighter and has the potential to do much better than what he has been doing in the last few years.

Virat Kohli no longer Adidas brand ambassador


EW DELHI (PTI) - German sportswear brand Adidas AG has not renewed its threeyear endorsement contract with Virat Kohli—a surprise given that the Indian cricket captain is at the top of his game. “It was an amicable decision made by both parties,” a person familiar with the development said on condition of anonymity. In early 2014, Kohli signed a deal worth Rs30 crore with Adidas. The deal was up for renewal last month.

Adidas, on its part, said it will continue its association with cricket. “The association with Virat Kohli added a lot of value and helped strengthen the Adidas brand in the past few years, and we wish him well for his future. Needless to say, Adidas will continue to support cricket through its assets such as Rohit Sharma, K.L. Rahul and many other next-gen athletes. We will also continue to drive our key categories such as running, football, training and originals with even more focus and investments,” an Adidas India spokesperson said in an emailed response.


FRIDAY, January 13, 2017


Ronaldo crowned FIFA Billings, Roy give best men’s player England winning start to tour by Prakash Govindasreenivasan


UMBAI (AFP) - Sam Billings’s innings-reviving 93 paved the way for England’s winning start to their limitedovers tour of India despite Kuldeep Yadav’s commendable five-wicket haul in the first warm-up game at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday (January 10). A strong opening stand between Jason Roy (62) and Alex Hales (40) laid down the marker for England’s run chase, but it was Billings’s partnerships with Jos Buttler and, more importantly, Liam Dawson that ensured they fully negated Kuldeep’s exploits and completed a threewicket win. The rumours of the warm-up game being a closed-door affair owing to security payment issue was swiftly put to bed as the crowd began to trickle through an hour before the start of play, in anticipation of watching stalwarts MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh ply their trade for India A. The chants for the celebrated pair began right from the pre-match practice session, but had to be kept on hold as Mandeep Singh and Shikhar Dhawan kick-started India A’s innings after Eoin Morgan opted to field. David Willey and Chris Woakes made good use of the bounce and carry on offer early on to stifle the Indian openers at the start. Mandeep and Shikhar Dhawan bided their time on what appeared to be a track on the slower side. The latter, eyeing a comeback to the top of the limitedovers line-up, got going with a typical drive through covers off a full delivery from Woakes in the fifth over. Willey got a delivery to swing sharply into the right-handed Mandeep and knock back his stumps, as the right-handed opener failed to account for the movement and missed while trying to play a straight drive. The wicket gave way for massive shouts of ‘Dhoni.. Dhoni’, albeit without reason, as Ambati Rayudu walked out to bat at No. 3. Rayudu and Dhawan nurdled around cautiously at the start of their 111-run partnership. For the thousands that had flocked the stadium, it was a drab affair, considering the home side were motoring along at a little more than three runs an over. For the likes of Dhawan, however, the game was about taking the opportunity and putting himself in the reckoning to start the ODI series as one of the openers. The southpaw did just that with a fluent half-century, which he brought up in the 27th over. When he fell, for a 48-ball 56, in came Yuvraj, who was also welcome with much adulation from beyond the boundary. The left-hander struggled to read Adil Rashid at the start and was stung by the barrage of short-pitched bowling, but England’s erring length gave him the opportunity to settle down and make an impactful contribution. While the crowd cheered every run that came off Yuvraj’s willow, Rayudu at the other end was silently adding to his tally. The 31-year-old, who last featured for India in June 2016 on tour of Zimbabwe, maintained a brisk scoring rate all through his innings. In the 41st over, Yuvraj got to his half-century, off just 41 balls, with his sixth boundary of the innings. In the same over, Rayudu completed his century and signalled to his dressing room that he was ready to make way for Dhoni by retiring out. The dwindling atmosphere at the Brabourne stadium picked up momentum as the captain made his way out to the middle. The Dhoni-Yuvraj combine would’ve made for a pulsating end to the Indian innings, but Yuvraj was consumed by a short delivery from Jake Ball for a 48-ball 56 in the 45th over. A brief break in play ensued when an intruder ran onto the pitch and towards Dhoni, shook hands with him, touched his feet and got escorted by policemen while the fans cheered him on. India A 304/5 in 50 overs (Ambati Rayudu 100, MS Dhoni 68*, Yuvraj Singh 56; David Willey 2-55, Jake Ball 2-61) v England 307/7 in 48.5 overs (Sam Billings 93, Jason Roy 62; Kuldeep Yadav 5-60) by 3 wickets. At present, Kohli endorses 17 brands. On Monday, smartphone maker Gionee said that it had signed on the cricketer. Other brands Kohli endorses include Swiss luxury watch maker Tissot, men’s ethnic clothing brand Manyavar, Punjab National Bank, MRF Tyres, Colgate’s SuperFlexi Toothbrush and real estate developer Nitesh Estates. Kohli’s batting exploits and neversay-die attitude on the field have not just endeared him to fans of cricket, but also made the 28-year-old a marketer’s darling. In 2016, Kohli was head and broad shoulders above his peers. In 41 innings across the three formats, he made 2,595 runs, at an incredible average of 86.5. Kohli crossed 50 on 20 occasions. Seven of them were hundreds.

Real Madrid and Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo speaks on stage after winning the The Best FIFA Men’s Player of 2016 Award during The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony, on January 9, 2017 in Zurich (AFP Photo/Fabrice COFFRINI)


URICH, Switzerland | AFP | 1/9/2017 - Cristiano Ronaldo was named FIFA’s best men’s footballer of 2016 on Monday, the latest prize after a glittering year for the Portugal and Real Madrid star. Ronaldo bested France’s Antoine Greizmann and long-time Barcelona rival Lionel Messi of Argentina for the honour. Ronaldo had already won the Ballon d’Or after his third Champions League title, thanks in major part to his 16 goals in 12 games, as well as triumphing with Portugal at Euro 2016 -- the country’s first major prize.

“2016 was the best year of my career,” Ronaldo said after being handed the prize from FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “It was a year that was magnificent at a personal level and at a sports level,” he added on the stage in Zurich. The honour makes Ronaldo the first man to win the FIFA “Best” men’s player distinction. World football’s governing body has launched the new award series after ending its six-year collaboration with France Football magazine for the Ballon d’Or.

FIFA World Cup expands to 48 teams


URICH, Switzerland | AFP | 1/10/2017 FIFA’s ruling council today unanimously approved an expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams in 2026, in a major coup for the body’s president Gianni Infantino. In a bid to widen the game’s global appeal and enrich its coffers, the FIFA panel endorsed a format with 16 groups of three nations, a tweet from FIFA’s official account said. The move represents the first major change to the World Cup format since the tournament was boosted from 24 to 32 teams for the 1998 tournament in France. Infantino took charge of scandaltainted FIFA 11 months ago with a vow to repair the damage done at the end of Sepp Blatter’s tenure by growing football across the globe. Enlarging the World Cup, the planet’s top sporting competition, was the centrepiece of that plan. The controversial proposal faced tough criticism in some of football’s key camps, including warnings that it would dilute the quality of play and overburden already exhausted play-

ers. But Infantino had in recent weeks voiced confidence that his flagship project would be approved. The FIFA chief has noted that a bigger tournament would beef up FIFA’s coffers. And a confidential FIFA report seen by AFP projects a 48-team tournament would bring a cash boost of $640 million (605 million euros) above projected revenues for next year’s finals in Russia. But Infantino has also argued that more World Cup berths would help serve football’s interest by boosting “inclusion” in the “biggest social and sporting event”. Among those who seemed convinced by that argument was Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, who on Monday said a 48-team format “will give more possibilities to countries that have never reached that level of competition”. Africa and Asia could be the big winners with a rise in their number of places -- currently at five for Africa and between four and five for Asia.


Sourav Ganguly receives death threat

Sourav Ganguly (AFP) ourav Ganguly confirmed on Monday that he has received an anonymous death threat on January‎ 7. Ganguly, who is the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), said he has informed the police in Kolkata but has not lodged a formal complaint.


Sourav Ganguly said the threat pertained to his visit to Midnapore‎ where he is due to attend a felicitation by the Midnapore University on January 19. Ganguly said he has also informed the police in Midnapore and the university authorities. Asked whether he would go to Midnapore now, Ganguly said he hasn’t yet decided. Talking to the press, Ganguly said, “Yes I’ve received the letter on January 7 and I’ve informed this to the po-

lice and the organisers. ‎Let’s see, nothing has been decided yet but it will be a live show programme and you all will come to know if I go there.” Sourav Ganguly spoke to reporters after a working committee meeting of the CAB called to discuss implementing the Lodha Commission’s recommendations. The CAB, it was learnt, has sought clarity on the appointment of some of its current office-bearers and will call a Special General Meeting on getting it. PTI reports that the letter was addresses to his mother Nirupa. The letter said: ‎”Your son is hereby warned not to attend the programme. If he dares to come here, you will not see him again,” PTI quoted a source as saying.



FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of January 13, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE

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


Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

Aries (A,L,E) 21 March to 20 April Week will start with illumination in your professional life. You will be able to see clear picture & active actions in your life. Many doors of success will open for you. Your past efforts will bring results in present time. You need to be more compassionate towards loved ones & learn to enjoy the simple treasures you possess. You might be feeling financially pinched, don’t let that shut down your plans for a good time.

You can’t continue to wear your emotions on your sleeve. Recent chain of events need to be addressed. Keep recent promise to continue to keep yourself fit, will benefit you both physically & emotionally. You could be easily irritated by small matters & may not appreciate others criticizing your methods. Try not to turn this into a war. There are, after all, many ways to approach a problem. Wisdom is about the willingness to take in, with an open mind, the views of others. You’ll be ready to break loose by the weekend. Go do something different!

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

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

Health will improve but you don’t need to be careless. Eat Healthy, think healthy & stay healthy Should be your mantra. You may find yourself in a much more sociable mood. Give yourself the right to try some different approaches, bold and direct, demure and indirect. A bossy person may shake your self-image. You needn’t copy someone else’s model to be successful yourself. Open the doors & be yourself. If you prepare properly, this could be a great adventure. You have to stretch if you want to keep an exciting relationship.

The attention you receive will be encouraging rather than distracting. Your judgments could play a big role in others lives. A high level of confidence will announce to others that you’re ready to get down to business. Communicate your intentions clearly from the very beginning. The secret to your success will lie in finding a compatible partner to bounce off of. If you continue to argue on every point, then you may need to look elsewhere.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Push yourself to listen to other’s problems & try to make compromises for them. If your co-workers are compatible, you’ll be able to produce great results. If your relationships are less than ideal, this is probably as good a time as any to resolve those difficulties. Keep a smile on your face and you’ll be amazed at what you can get away with. This approach is one that enables you to be strong while appearing gentle. Some intense debate could prove engaging late in the week.

Small changes that may ultimately give you the freedom you seek. Changes in life can help you to appreciate others feelings & emotional insecurities. As long as you are sure of your position, you should prevail. Look to your dreams for a clue to what you might need to change. You may get caught up in details when this is really a good time to enjoy art, nature’s beauty, love, and recreation. There is, though stubborn nature in you which just wants to keep doing things the old way.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July If possible, try to get an extension on your work deadlines. Hasty actions could be worse for you than not acting at all. If you have more time, try to devote it to getting it right. Someone close to you may disappoint you. There’s no point in pretending to be objective, but at least you can be fair with your feelings. Partners in an intense friendship have many ways to communicate. Once you’re able to express your feelings, you’ll be able to forgive then move on. Get out and find new projects that interest you.

You will do well along with someone who is irritable. You don’t need to judge anything but need to understand that you simply may be working with some very vulnerable people right now. You may be surprised by what you hear. Rather than defend yourself, face the facts with a readiness to make changes. Even if you try to get off to a quick start, chances are you’ll need to slow down to deal with delays and obstacles. Events this week may become a starting point for personal & professional successes. Don’t panic.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Your skills are a valuable asset to any team on which you’re a player. Hold off on making your report final until you have listened to others concerns. There will also be changes in your domestic affairs. A chance meeting will be the start of a fresh new dealings. Spend some quality time & realize how special you feel. Your entire outlook will be transformed. Gatherings may be heated, refuse to take sides in family disagreements. It’ll only cause you to make bad feelings. Don’t allow negative comments you hear to discourage your progress.

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Share yourself & your confidence level will increase. Investigate new possibilities in matters of business & trading. Use your productive time to organize others, lead the way to the top. You may be pleasantly surprised with other’s reactions. Something complicated may come to light. Don’t cover it up, instead clean it up. Problems are sometimes opportunities to show how competent you are and could lead to a more efficient system. You may have to keep hammering away to get your point across.


Time, schedules and your ability to have discipline in your life. This is the way to achieve your immediate goals. Talk to a trusted friend about their experiences. Keep distance between your personal life and your social life. Your excess energy might put you in danger of saying or doing something inappropriate. Others may not be in a mood to have their limitations challenged. Romance your opponent until they are firmly in your camp. The closer you get to someone, the less your differences matter. Allow room for variation.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March New partnership or friendship will be come to surface in few days, which will be beneficial in future. Exhibit the benefits of the new venture. Peers may try to question your motives, respond with positive financial data. Collect & study the facts, you may be tested to remember, later. Don’t be too ready to accuse someone without knowing the facts, but you probably shouldn’t trust everything you hear. If you are selling something, you are likely to close the deals and get top gains. A good, solid understanding of yourself and your own needs is very helpful at this time. Petty jobs demand your time and attention.


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Gulf Rice Milling, Inc., a leader in rice milling and rice packaging and distribution, has an exciting opportunity for a self-motivated individual looking to be part of a company that is experiencing tremendous growth. Gulf Rice is looking for a PRODUCTION PLANNING MANAGER to help implement our company’s high standards by managing the production scheduling, warehouse and shipping departments. This position is located in Houston, TX. The main job responsibilities are as follows: Organize the production scheduling process to maximize output and lower labor costs while maintaining a high on-time service. Implement a new schedule that considers machine capacities and material availability. Improve inventory accuracy to reduce machine downtime Ensure efficient and accurate shipping of finished goods. Work closely with Production, Sales and Purchasing Departments. The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering, preferable and a big plus, or other Operations and Supply Chain majors Minimum 5 years of experience managing a Production Planning Dept. High MS Excel proficiency Preferably bi-lingual English/Spanish Our employees enjoy a competitive salary and benefits package that includes Medical Insurance, 401K Plan, Vision, Dental, Sick Time, Paid Vacation and Holidays. Please send resumes to Deborah Shriver, H.R. Manager at Please visit our company website at to find out more about our capabilities, our technologies & innovations and our commitment to quality & food safety.

KTRK-TV, the ABC owned station located in Houston, TX is looking for a part-time digital content producer for our web department.

HARVEST RICE, INC NOW HIRING HARVEST RICE, INC., a family owned rice milling and packaging operation, with facilities located in McGehee, AR, and in Otwell (near Jonesboro), AR, is looking to build a community of employees who value loyalty, dedication & hard work. We are looking for the right candidates to help us expand our family of employees. The positions needed are as follows: ADMINISTRATIVE / OFFICE / TRANSPORTATION for both locations SKILLED LABOR, i.e., PACKAGING, MANUAL, MACHINE OPERATORS – McGehee, AR location

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MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE WEEK Draw a Picture of Your Business Model Growing companies face a predictable problem: Over time, the business becomes too complex for its own good. To untangle this complexity, forget overengineered PowerPoint presentations or lengthy reports. Turn to pen and paper, and draw a picture of your business model. What does it look like at its most basic level? Make clear in your drawing what really matters to the business. Focus on the key outcomes, whether theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re instore sales or revenue from secondary products. Then think through and write down what causes those things to happen. With this picture in front of your team, dive into the implications for what the organization should be focusing on â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and, more important, what it could stop doing. If a unit canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t clearly show a link between what they do every day and the outcomes they hope to drive, resolve to eliminate it. The simplicity of a hand-drawn model can also help to separate out responsibilities, streamline communication, and determine decisions more quickly. Source: Adapted from â&#x20AC;&#x153;To Reduce Complexity in Your Company, Start with Pen and Paper,â&#x20AC;? by Rita McGrath WWW.HBR.ORG

Harvest Rice, Inc. is family owned and operated for over 25 years and we value employer / employee relationships, so in addition to our competitive compensation & benefits package, we will consider offering assistance with relocation and schooling, depending on the circumstance.

For Classified Advertising Call 713-774-5140

Anyone interested in this unique opportunity, please send resumes to Deborah Shriver, H.R. Manager at: dshriver@ Please visit our company website at to find out more about our capabilities, our technologies & innovations and our commitment to quality & food safety.

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FRIDAY, January 13, 2017





December 10 Blueridge Park 5600 Court Road Houston, TX 77053

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Voice of Asia e-Newsweekly January 13 2017  

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

Voice of Asia e-Newsweekly January 13 2017  

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