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FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

How Do I File an Appeal Under Medicare? Read on Page 18 or Call 832-806-1000

Vol. 30 No. 28 Friday, July 21, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail:

Ram Leela 2017 - Sri Houston Hindus offer prayers for Rama Katha Saram Amarnath Yatra victims and families

7 pilgrims were killed and 19 others injured during the terror attack in India

Lto R: Dr. Arun Verma, founder, Sri Sita Ram Foundation with Consul Gneral of India in Houston Dr. Anupam Ray and his wife Dr. Amit Goldberg Photos credit: Bijay Dixit

Indian Americans and Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) gathered at the India House on Thursday, July 13, to offer prayer. Photo by Shobana Muratee by Shobana Muratee


OUSTON - A heightened sense of anger and frustration, coupled with grief and compassion were witnessed at the re-

Guru Vedantam Ragahava in the lead role of Sri Ram and Vedantam Sharmi Padmaja portrayed the role of Sita. by Radhika Koppanur


TAFFORD, TX - Shri Sita Ram Foundation and Sri Rama Jaya Niketan presented the Kuchipudi Dance Ballet, Sri Rama Katha Saram, which was Directed by its able Director Guru Vedantam Ragahava of Vedantam Kalakshetram at the Stafford Center of Performing Arts on July 15, 2017. Stafford Civic Center’s lobby was beautifully adorned with golden pillars and arches, a golden temple with Lord Ram’s parivar was also present in their full Glory, welcoming fragrance of fresh flowers and cordial volunteers created a festive atmosphere to welcome the elegantly dressed dance enthusiasts to revel in the story of Lord Rama. Enthusiasm filled the air for an enthralling performance from the Continued on Page 8

cent Prayer Meeting held here following the recent barbaric terror-attack on the pilgrims of the Amarnath yatra, which took place on July 10, 2017 in India. The Houston Hindu community gathered at the India House on Thurs-

day, July 13 to offer prayers for the victims, the injured, and their families. Organized by Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) and supported by The India House, India Culture Center Continued on Page 3

HTW 6th Annual Hindu Mandir Priests’ Conference This year’s theme


riests from as far away as Minnesota and Massachusetts participated in the conference along with priests, community members, and youth from the Greater Houston area and elsewhere in Texas and the USA.

“Temple’s Role in Educating Our Youth in Spirituality.”

Priests attending the HMPC on July 15 at Hindu Temple of The Woodlands were honored. Photo by Vijay Pallod

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OP-ED/COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS Assault on net neutrality looks out for big biz I VOICE OF ASIA


FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

Koshy Thomas Sherly Philip Shobana Muratee Sherine Thomas Jacob David Susan Pothanikat Priyan Mathew


Legal: Richard M. Alderman Legal: Sharlene Sharmila Richards Legal: Nitin Sud 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: voiceasia@aol. com; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions:

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Monday was the last day for public comment on a plan, by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, to roll back net neutrality rules, and we’re here to tell you that the agency got an earful about what a dumb idea this is. The FCC received some 8 million comments, many from the businesses and organizations that would know best, such as the American Library Association, about what a threat it would be to the free exchange of information to allow internet providers to dictate who rules the online world. “Without net neutrality, the

by Kathleen Hunter Barack Obama’s first year in office ended with a successful Christmas Eve Senate vote on what was to become his signature health care law. Donald Trump’s might be capped with...nothing at all. After the drive to repeal Obamacare collapsed yesterday, Trump is more likely than ever to end 2017 without a single major legislative ac-

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f you like watching spinning dials on your computer or smart phone, you might be a fan of the Federal Communication Commission’s plan to erase “net neutrality” rules. But we suspect you are not. Most of us really don’t want to give cable companies and other internet service providers the power to censor or slow down the websites we visit.

incumbents who provide access to the Internet would be able to pick winners or losers in the market. They could impede traffic from our services in order to favor their own services or established competitors. Or they could impose new tolls on us, inhibiting consumer choice,” wrote a group of more than 1,000 startups, innovators, investors and entrepreneurial support organiza-

tions from all 50 states. “Protecting net neutrality is crucial to ensuring that the internet remains a central driver of economic growth and opportunity, job creation, education, free expression, and civic organizing for everyone,” wrote the American Library Association, Common Cause and 169 other public interest organizations. Without net neutrality rules, service providers could speed

up certain services that pay extra fees and slow down response times for everyone else. Studies show users begin to abandon a website if it doesn’t load within seconds. The power to slow down a website is the power to shunt some public speech and internet start-ups into an abyss from which they might never emerge. But the Trump administration is keen on rolling back Obamaera internet protections, listening more to enormous broadband companies like Verizon, who stand to make a financial killing if net neutrality rules are swept aside, than to ordinary internet users such as you. Reply comments are due to the FCC by Aug. 16, and the agency will make a decision at some point after that. We hope the commissioners pay close attention to the millions of objections to this very bad idea. (Chicago Sun Times Ed. Board)

Did Trump’s first year just end? complishment. A $1 trillion infrastructure plan is little more than a talking point. Lawmakers ignored Trump’s budget proposal. And Republicans who control Congress haven’t even given him money to build his border wall. Trump and his team are clearly finding the business of governance anything but simple.

And that’s before the permanent distraction of Russia is factored in — witness the flurry of excitement yesterday over a previously undisclosed conversation between Trump and President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a G-20 leaders dinner in Hamburg earlier this month. What next on the legislative

front? Repealing Obamacare was supposed to be relatively easy, especially compared with Trump’s other major first-year initiative — overhauling the federal tax code. The White House pledges that next time will be different. After the mess of repeal and replace, it needs to be. (-Bloomberg News)

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First victory for the Satyagraha experiment


here had been a recent court decision in South Africa holding that Indian marriages were not recognized by law. The women could not brook this attack on family ties. They openly broke the law and were imprisoned in large numbers. In the coal mines at Newcastle, in Natal, Indian workers went on strike protesting against the repression. The arrests, the deportation of passive resisters, and the untold sufferings of Indian families angered the people of India. A large amount of money was collected for the relief of the victims. Now read on: Many satyagrahis were beaten and flogged, and some were even killed. Gandhi, who felt intensely the humiliation his people suffered, took a triple vow of self-suffering. He decided to dress like a poor laborer, to walk barefoot, and to have only one meal a day, till the poll-tax and other injustices were abolished. Gandhi found the Government relentless. There was no solution in sight. He had to take further measures. In October 1913, Gandhi or-

Gandhi with Kasturbai in 1913 ganized a march of over 6,000 Indian workers from the Natal mining area into the Transvaal, although crossing into the Transvaal without a permit was not allowed by law Gandhi said, “We are going to march peacefully together across the border into the Transvaal. The Government will arrest us and put us in prison. We are to remain peaceful. This is the nonviolent way of protesting against the polltax, against the Government’s decision not to recognize our marriages, and against all the laws that are made against us. We are fighting for just causes, we will not

harm anyone.” He then cried out to the people, “Are you ready to face arrest and harsh treatment, remaining always nonviolent?” Roars of assent assured him of everyone’s support. They were ready to follow Gandhi anywhere. And so the march into the Transvaal began. Late in the evening Gandhi was roused from sleep by several uniformed men. “I know,” he said, “you have come to arrest me. I am ready.” Gandhi and many other Indians were jailed. The mines were cordoned off by barbed wire and converted into temporary jails. The satyagrahis were beaten and flogged to force them to go back to work, but without success. The authorities could not make them return to work. Gandhi had aroused in them the spirit of quiet, dignified resistance. Soon the movement of passive resistance, or satyagraha, spread all through Natal and the Transvaal. The Government did not know what to do, because none yielded to their cruel treatment. The prisons were overflowing. At last General Smuts was obliged to act. He appointed a Commission to study the situation. In December 1913 Gandhi was released, but he would not give up the struggle. Gandhi threatened Smuts that he would start another march if his demands were not met. That march, however, never took place. The Euro-

South African farmer sailed for England on July 18, 1914. On August 4, two days before he reached London, the first World War was declared. On arrival in London, Gandhi heard that Gokhale had gone to Paris for reasons of health. Communications were cut off between London and Paris because of the war. Gandhi was disappointed. He did not want to return to India without seeing Gokhale, so he stayed on in London. The war was on. What could Gandhi do in England? At the suggestion of some Indian friends, a meeting was called of the Indians in England. Gandhi expressed the view that Indians residing in England ought to do their bit in the war. English students had volunteered to serve in the army and Indians should do no less. There were objections to his views and many Indians were of the opinion that the war provided an opportunity to get freedom for India and that Indians should assert themselves and claim their rights. Gandhi felt that England’s difficulty should not be turned into India’s opportunity. He insisted on rendering all possible help to England. He organized an ambulance corps which, in spite of many difficulties, helped the British in their time of need. After some time Gokhale returned to England. Gandhi and Kallenbach went to see him often and they talked together

about the war and other matters. Then Gandhi had an attack of pleurisy and Gokhale and his friends were worried. Dr. Jivraj Mehta treated Gandhi but there was little relief. Gandhi was still ill when Gokhale returned to India. As the pleurisy still persisted, Gandhi was advised to go back to India as soon as possible. He accepted the advice and returned to India. Gandhi was back in India after 12 long years. A great reception awaited him in Bombay. Gandhi was overwhelmed by the great love shown to him by the people. Gokhale was in Poona and was in poor health, so Gandhi went to see him. Gandhi told Gokhale that his plan was to have an ashram where he could settle down with his Phoenix family. They had already reached India and were at Santiniketan. Gokhale approved of the idea and promised whatever help he could. Gandhi went to Rajkot and Porbandar to meet his relatives and then went on to Santiniketan. There Gandhi met poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore for the first time, as well as C. F. Andrews who was there too. During his short stay at Santiniketan Gandhi heard the sad news that Gokhale had passed away. He immediately left for Poona, C. F. Andrews accompanying him as far as Burdwan. — To be continued..

Great Summer Project For children! Enter Mahatma Gandhi Week 2017 Essay, I-Tribute, Poster and Speech contests. Visit for registration and more information. All school going children can participate! These contests are being organized to create higher awareness of the inspiring life and work of Mahatma Gandhi to promote universal values of Truth, Non-Violence, Love and Service

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pean employees of the railways in the Union went on strike, and this made the Government’s position extremely difficult. Gandhi decided to drop the idea of the march at such a critical time as he did not wish to embarrass the Government further. Gandhi ordered every Indian to go back to work, at least for the time being. His decision created a good impression on the Government and even General Smuts recognized this courtesy. The Inquiry Commission reported in favor of all the essential reforms demanded by the Indian leaders. The Indians’ Relief Bill was at last passed and signed by the Governor. It abolished the polltax on indentured workers, declared absolutely legal all Indian marriages, and removed penalties for crossing from one State to another. Gandhi had won. And so had the satyagraha movement. Gandhi had been active in South Africa for 21 years and had contributed much to the welfare of the Indians in South Africa. Gandhi now felt that his mission in South Africa was over and he wanted to return to India. At that time Gokhale was in England. He wanted Gandhi to meet him ill London before returning to India. Gandhi promised to do so. Gandhi announced his decision to Kasturbai. “You are going to London with me,” he said. “From England we will go back to India.” Gandhi, with Kasturbai and Hermann Kallenbach, the white

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Houston Hindus offer prayers for Amarnath Yatra victims...... of violence. Pandit left his home when he was six years old, and fears that his children will never be able to visit their ancestral home if this continues.

From left to right: Krishan Gupta, Arjun Luthra, Col Vipin Kumar, Greg, Sunanda Vashisht, Ramesh Shah, Rahul Pandit, Falguni Gandhi. Photo credit: Vijay Pallod Continued from Page 1 (ICC) and other major IndoAmerican organizations, the event had priests, community leaders and speakers in attendance. Welcoming the gathering, Partha Krishnaswamy, president HGH said the Hindus in Houston were very ‘concerned’ and ‘annoyed’ over the incident and, “we want to send a very strong message to the Government of India and leaders of the world that such dastardly attacks, such terrorism should not go unpunished. And safe havens around the world for terrorist should never be allowed and should be dealt with seriously by the leaders. We are here to offer prayer for those killed and injured and families of the victims,” he said reading out the names of the seven people killed (6 women and 1 man, all from Gujarat). 19 others were injured in a bus taking them to Amarnath, a holy place of for Hindus nestled in the Kashmir Valley. The attacks are suspected to be masterminded by Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani organization that sponsored 4 terrorists to carry out the heinous attacks. Krishnaswamy, who also served as the emcee, invited Pandit Pradip Pandya from Gauri Siddhivinayak Temple of Houston to offer prayers on the occasion. Ramesh Shah, offering his condolences on the occasion, said “Terrorism for us is not a new thing and has been going for years. At the same time we should be asking government of India and local government of Gujarat to have their spe-

said, it was his shraddanjali to the victims. “Those six mothers and one gentleman who passed away are to be made aware of the revenge that we are capable of extracting,” he said and implored the Houston Indian community to boycott Pakistani businesses locally as a message that we don’t appreciate such acts anymore.

cial forces, like they had for Akshardham temple attack, to bring them to justice.” Shah is a prominent community activist and the recipient of this year’s prestigious Pravasi Bhartiya Samman. “While the government is doing its part, we as individual and as a community can support by asking what we can do for the victims,” hehah said. Deputy Consul General of India in Houston, Surendra Adhana in his message said, “Unlike in the past, the community has come up in a big way and mobilized to ensure that the response of the US government is conveyed in no uncertain terms.” He recognized the efforts of some of members of the community including Durga Aggrawal, Abeezar Taybji, Jitin Agrawal, Ashok Moga from Texas, as well as a few others and said, “They all mobilized and came together to ensure that a bipartisan strong condemnation of this act it be conveyed to the global community. This is an unprecedented response but please do not stop here,” he urged. He also assured that the government of India will never bow down to such an act of cowardice. Sunanda Vashisht, a writer, columnist and founder of MyIndMaker, gave a vivid insight into the early risings of Islamist terrorism against Kashmiri Pandit families through her own experience as a child. “27 years ago when this barbarity started in the beautiful land of Jammu and Kashmir no one knew about it,” she said, taking the audience to the roots of what is now a full blow global

crisis. 9/11 had not happened; the West had not understood what Islamist terrorism was about. ” It was a time before social media when thousands were rendered homeless and many more killed, Vashisht recalled. She was 12 years old in 1990 when she heard firsthand the terrifying sounds and threats whilst at her grandfather’s house that she and her mother were visiting. What ensued that night is a nightmare she is still dealing with, she said. Barely equipped to fight, but sound enough to protect his family, her grandfather stood guard over them throughout the night with an old axe in one hand and a kitchen knife in the other, vowing to kill his family first before anyone could get to them. They all lived to see the sunrise but


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Rahul Pandit, another Kashmiri Pandit, offered his prayers to Lord Mahadev and spoke of His attributes as, “He who transcends all natural phenomenon as well as the absolute spirit.” Pandit also described the breathtaking beauty of Kashmir, the place of his ancestral home where today even the local officer is too scared to go back because of the chance

Sunanda Vashisht speaking at the Prayer Meeting. Photo by Shobana Muratee.


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Deputy Consul General of India in Houston, Surendra Adhana addressing the gathering. Photo credit: Vijay Pallod.

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everything had changed after that. Not many were fortunate; Vashisht’s uncle, a government employee, was shot dead. So far 52 pilgrims died in 18 years and the 27 years saga of ethnic cleansing continues. Vashisht expressed her serious concern for ‘erosion of history’ in these parts and deliberate attempt of replacing of ancient Hindu heritage by Islamic culture in Kashmir. There is dire need to spread the right information. Kashmir has been a ‘laboratory for Islamic terrorism’ for years. If they can be destroyed here, it will crush their influence elsewhere in the world, she stated. Speaker Pramod Burravali of Indic Book Club said he couldn’t help but speak about “Geopolitics and the continued efforts of Pakistan in ratcheting up of the situation.” In a way, he

Retd. Col. Vipin Kumar, India House Executive Director, offered his condolences and spoke about his time in Kashmir while serving in the Indian Army and posted in Anantnag. Other speakers were Falguni Gandhi, president ICC, Rev. Gregory Han, Director, Interfaith Relations, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston. Arjun Luthra, read the messages of various elected officials that included: Congressmen: Pete Olson, Ted Poe, John Culberson, Al Green, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna and Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee and Tulsi Gabbard. “This was a time of prayer, let us remember that we are bound by our common humanity, that though this pilgrimage is not mine, the victims are my spiritual kin.” He hoped that the yatra that ends of August 7 would be peaceful. In his vote of thanks organizer Achalesh Amar sent a strong message of solidarity to Hindu community at this hour of grief. His message was that Hindu lives matter and any atrocity committed anywhere in the world on any Hindu would be taken notice of.

In Loving Memory of Survived by his wife Mrs. Accamma Abraham Koshy (Kunjaccamma) of 50 years of marriage. Son: Ajit Abraham Koshy. Grandchildren: Anjali Ann and Andrew Daughter: Aasha Verghis and husband Jacob Verghis

Magalath Abraham Koshy May 19, 1933 – July 06, 2017

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FRIDAY, July 21, 2017


The People’s Lawyer

by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer Email at

Old debts may not be put back on your credit report

Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Q. I defaulted on a credit card ten years ago. I was never sued and I thought everything had gone away. I now have a collection agency threatening to again report the debt to the credit bureau because they are not the original creditor. I worked for seven years to maintain good credit. Will this now be put back on my credit report? A. This is called “re-aging” and the debt collector cannot do it. As you seem to understand, negative information stays on your report for seven years. After that, the information is considered “obsolete” and generally cannot be reported. The seven-years period, however, runs from the original debt. The fact the debt is sold or assigned to a debt collector does not start the clock running again. I suggest you let the debt collector know that you believe its threat to place the information back on your credit report violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This is the federal law that protects you against abusive, harassing and deception debt collection tactics. If it has been reported, contact the credit bureau and let them know this is all the same debt and you want it removed. For more information about debt collection and credit bureaus, look at the debt collection material on my website,

Q. I would like to know if the property manager of an apartment project can refuse to give the tenant the owner’s name if the tenant requests it. A. According to the Texas Property Code, the landlord or property manager must disclose the name and address of the holder of record title after you request it. If the information is not disclosed, you could be entitled to $100 plus one month’s rent in damages, as well as attorney’s fees and court costs. I suggest you send your request by certified mail. Q. We hired a contractor to remodel two of our bathrooms. We paid him everything except the labor, which was to be paid at the time of completion for both bathrooms. After four months he stopped coming because he said he had lost money on the job. He also didn’t do the work very well; the shower leaked and he left holes in our family room ceiling and some of the grout in one bathroom is coming up. We finally fired him and asked for a refund on the second restroom, which he hasn’t touched. After several weeks of waiting for our refund, he continues to make excuses for not bringing our money to us. What recourse do we have? A. You seem to understand the contractor’s failure to do the work breaches your contract and entitles you to damages. Your damages could

be a refund of what you paid for the work not completed. But it also should include any costs you will incur to get what he has not done properly repaired, or any increase in costs to get the work completed. In my opinion, the contractor’s failure to properly perform also violates what is known as the “warranty of good and workmanlike performance.” A breach this warranty gives you a claim under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, our state’s consumer protection law. You could be entitled to up to three times your damages plus attorney’s fees if you have to hire an attorney. Based on what you say, however, it seems like the contractor knows he owes you the money. As a first step to getting paid, I suggest a certified letter explaining that you know your rights under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and that you will file a claim in justice court or speak with an attorney if he does not promptly pay or make arrangements to pay what he owes you. Make it clear that you believe it is in everyone’s best interest to settle this matter amicably, and avoid any additional waste of time and money. Hopefully, he will pay. If he does not, contact the office of your local justice of the peace to find out how to file a claim in justice court, or, contact a local consumer law attorney.

Do you want to know more about your legal rights? Check out my website,

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: I own a forprofit Bharatanatyam (Indian Classical) dance school and I wish to bring a Bharatanatyam dance teacher to teach this art form and to perform at several venues to promote the art form. What kind of visa should we apply for the teacher and performer? A: Yourschool may petition for a P-3 visa for the Indian Classical dance teacher and performer. The P-3 visa classification is applicable to individuals who are coming temporarily to the US to perform, teach or coach as artist or entertainers, individually or part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique. Q: My organization wishes to bring in a group of Nigerian traditional musicians to tour and perform for 3 months.We also like to bring in lighting technician to assist with the presentation of their performance. Can all of these individuals come to the US with a P-3 visa? Can we just file one petition to cover all the musicians and the lighting technician? A: The musicians who will be performing a culturally unique art form will come on P-3 visas. For the lighting technician, if he is essential support personnel whose services constitute an integral part of the performance of the P-3 musicians and provides support services which cannot be readily performed by a US worker, he will also be eligible for P-3 classification. In such a case, your organization will have to file two separate petitions – one

A: The P-3 visa is for the duration of the performance or tour but may not exceed a period of one year. Q: What documents are needed for a P-3 visa petition? What Form do we need to use to request for P-3 classification? A: You will need to provide documentation that the group’s performance is culturally unique, proof of the artiste’s abilities in the claimed culturally unique form of art as evidenced by published reviews, release of CDs and DVDs etc., a consultation letter from an appropriate labor union about the cultural uniqueness of the art form, a contract or agreement between the sponsor/petitioner and the artiste to provide services such as coaching, performing etc., and an itinerary or schedule of performance.The petition is filed on Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker together with the O and P Supplement to Form I-129. Q: I have been on the P-3 visa for the past two months. I will be completing my tour within 6 weeksand my P-3 visa will expire by then. Another organization wishes to engage my culturally unique services for another 6 weeks. What does the new sponsor need to do in order for me to provide my services to them? A: The new sponsor will need to file a new I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to request for a change

Q: Can the spouse and minor children of a P-3 visa holder obtain a dependent visa? A: Yes. The spouse and minor children of a P-3 visa holder can apply for the P-4 dependent visa. Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.

My Bio Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. E-mail:

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More than 30 years of experience as Priest in major temples including Sri Meenakshi Temple Pearland, TX. Can speak 5 languages (Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and English) Rituals Performed: Sreemantham, Punyahavachanam, Namakaranam, Annaprashanam, Vidyarambham, Choulam, Upanayanam, Wedding, Sathya narayana puja, and all kind of Homas (Havans) and more. I can drive to your place.

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FRIDAY, July 21, 2017


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


Tel: 713-774-5140

Fort Bend ISD adopts three legislative resolutions ahead of the TX 85th Special Session


UGAR LAND - In the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustee’s continuing efforts to protect the future of Texas public education, the Board unanimously approved and adopted three legislative resolutions at the July 17, 2017 Regular Board Meeting. These resolutions were adopted ahead of the July 18th Texas 85th Legislative First Called Session, which begins today and will address a number of issues that will affect FBISD and districts across the state. The three resolutions as adopted by the FBISD Board of Trustees address: - Constitutional Support of Public Schools - Teacher Compensation - School Finance Reform “Our state leaders are claiming to support Texas teachers and students, but they are being disingenuous,” said FBISD Board of Trustees President

Kristin Tassin. “After a failed attempt to pass vouchers in the regular session and divert money away from public schools, our Lieutenant Governor is now proposing a pay raise for teachers in an effort to force his agenda. These pay raises are something that many districts, including FBISD, have already approved, despite the fact they we will have less money from the state. While all of us are for higher salaries for our teachers, without state money to pay for the mandate, this is nothing more than big government control of our local funds,” said Tassin. These resolutions further help to reinforce FBISD’s Core Beliefs and Commitments, Mission, Vision, District Goals and Priorities, and the Profile of a Graduate, which have all been approved by the Board, and define all decision-making efforts in order to benefit each child in Fort Bend ISD. “As a Board, we are doing

our part to move the District forward and help students succeed. I am proud to work alongside my fellow trustees, who will not be intimidated by the strong-arm tactics demonstrated by those in Austin,” said Tassin. The Texas 85th Legislative Regular Session ended in May, but Governor Greg Abbott called for a special 30-day session which begins July 18 to address some 20 issues such as the “bathroom bill,” school vouchers and school finance reform. In October, FBISD adopted five resolutions in advance of the regular session. Fort Bend ISD will be following the developments of the special session and will be providing updates on the Legislative Priorities page on our website. The District also encourages parents to contact our congressional and state legislators to voice your opinions on this important battle to protect the students and teachers in Texas. (-FBISD)

Fatal shooting in busy Katy shopping center shocks many ATY, July 16, 2017 One person was killed after a shooting in the parking lot of the Shops at Bella Terra shopping center in the Richmond area, according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.


Deputies said the victim, a man in his 20s, was shot. He then drove to the Buffalo Wild Wings in the center, went inside, told people he was hit, then collapsed. He died after he was taken to Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, according to deputies.

“There is a substantial amount of drugs inside the vehicle. There’s a handgun inside the vehicle, and so I think this could be some type of narcotics transaction that obviously went bad. But you bring guns and drugs into the mix, you’re dealing with fire,” Nehls said. There were more than a dozen shell casings in the parking lot, according to deputies.

Local resident and witness Nicole Tootoo explains what she saw to the media outside the crime scene (above) at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant. (Images: KPRC) Witnesses at Sushi Hana said they heard at least 10 gunshots. “We were just sitting at the table and it sounded like black cats (firecrackers) were going off. We weren’t sure what was going on, then people were quiet in the restaurant,” witness

Nicole Tootoo said. Some bullets appeared to hit the tires of vehicles, but no one else was injured. The shooter is still on the run. Deputies said the shopping center is safe and secure. (-KPRC)

Taiwan students tour SL gov’t facilities

n the first six months of 2017, FBCSO worked 407 cases of residential burglary, compared to 841 in the first six months of 2012, according to information from the sheriff’s office.


The solve rate also went up from four percent in 2012 to 20 percent in the first half of 2017. The decrease in the number of incidents comes even as Fort Bend County has exploded in population, growing from just over 650,000 people in 2013 to more than 741,000 in 2016, according to the Fort Bend Economic Development Council. Nehls believes the trend illustrates his delivery on his campaign promises to improve the sheriff’s office’s response to residential burglaries, explained Maj. Chad Norvell, FBCSO administration bureau commander. “(Residential burglary) is a very intimate crime,” Norvell said. “It’s very personal for people … you want your kids to feel safe at home.” The low crime rate has also contributed to local economic development, according to Jeffrey Wiley, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council. “The continued and enhanced effort by the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, local municipal police departments and local governmental leaders to keep our community safe not only makes our families and businesses more safe but increases the attractiveness of communities in Fort Bend County,” Wiley said. “The reputation of a community with respect to safety and crime incidents is like a magnet; safe places attract and unsafe places repel.”

The shooting happened around 7:30 p.m. Friday near the Sushi Hana restaurant in the center at the 99 Grand Parkway, south of the Westpark Tollway.

Sheriff Troy Nehls said he believes the shooting was the result of a drug deal, since deputies found a gun and drugs in the victim’s car.

FB sheriff cuts residential burglary rate in half in 5 years

The steady decline in residential burglaries over the past five years can be linked to some procedural changes that Nehls made when he took office in 2013, Norvell said. He said that the sheriff’s office previously had more of a “country club atmosphere,” with detectives generally working a daytime and Monday-Thursday work week. Nehls implemented varied work shifts that put a detective on duty nights and weekends. “So they’re available to go out to scenes, as they should,” Norvell said. “The sheriff puts a lot of emphasis on ‘get out of your office and go shake the bushes. Be aggressive.’” (-Patch News)

The city of Sugar Land hosted top college students visiting from Taiwan on July 11 at City Hall. They learned about local government and what makes Sugar Land a special place to live and work. (Photo: Facebook/SugarLandTXGovt)

Fort Bend Cares raises more than $194,000 for area non-profits ICHMOND - Thanks to Fort Bend Cares, 31 nonprofits are better able to improve the lives of disadvantaged children in Fort Bend County, on Thursday, June 8, at Safari Texas Ranch.


they have helped us raise has the biggest and most positive impact on disadvantaged children in Fort Bend county as possible,” said Grants Committee Chairperson Patty Ward. “Those serving on the Grants Commit-

Representatives from Fort Bend Cares 2017 grant recipients and Fort Bend Cares Board of Trustees (Photo: Mary Fare) With the help of event sponsors and other donors, Fort Bend Cares distributed more than $176,000 to these community organizations. Awards ranged from $2,000 to $10,560. An additional $28,000, $18,000 raised through Paddles Up at Fort Bend Cares annual Road Trip event and $10,000 matched by Fairmount Santrol, was given to Texana Center for an infant and special needs playground. More than 40 Fort Bend Cares Grants Committee volunteers performed a thorough review of grant applications from 42 local nonprofits before making their recommendations to the Board of Trustees. Reviews included site visits, meeting with staff, determining the number of children impacted, and identifying whether the organization meets a physical, emotional, or educational need. “Fort Bend Cares supporters entrust us to evaluate grant applicants to ensure the money

tee take this responsibility very seriously.” New grant recipients this year include Clothed by Faith, to purchase new socks and underwear for disadvantaged children and youth in Fort Bend County, and Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, for Open Doors passes which give full access to the Discovery Center to lowincome families who cannot afford the price of admission. Fort Bend Cares co-founders, Dr. Bob McClendon and Jim Rice, awarded East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry (EFBHNM) the Founders Grant. EFBHNM provides nutritious food items to families in temporary financial crises. Fort Bend Cares raises funds for grants through a variety of events and individual donations. Its primary fundraising event, “Road Trip,” is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, at Fluor in Sugar Land. (-Patch News)

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FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

Public Works and Engineering Director Karun Sreerama placed on administrative leave

Students of Wave Global show off their certificates

One of the fastest growing counties in the United States of America experienced something much bigger this week. WAVE Global LLC, www.waveinternationalgroup.organ organization founded on the core belief that everyone in the world has at least 10 times more potential than what gets realized or unleashed during their lifetime. The untapped or dormant potential stays so because education systems in most parts of the world lean towards grading and rating systems to measure effectiveness. This approach keeps focus only on the information required for grades. This grading based approach potentially deprives the world of creativity, clarity, innovation, new inventions, new discoveries because our future generation is too busy trying to secure higher grades instead of unleashing their higher possibilities. WAVE Global LLC believes academic excellence and professional success can be easily attained if we shift our approach from the current input based learning system that focuses only on certain subjects & topics to an outcome focused learn-

Karun Sreerama was appointed Houston public works director in March. (Photo: Melissa Phillip)


OUSTON - On July 12, 2017, Mayor Turner issued a statement stateing, “I am placing city Public Works and Engineering Director Karun Sreerama on administrative leave with pay, effective today, while I review the entire matter stemming from a federal grand jury indictment naming him as the victim of a bribery scheme.

Students during a session.

ing that helps bring about the qualities we seek from our future generations, such as confidence, courage, courtesy, fairness, accountability, Love, and Peace. WAVE framework (Wisdom Anchored Values Education) was developed by its founder, Mr. Mohan Naidu after more than 20 years of experience implementing it in his personal and professional life as a successful manage-

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ment consultant in AsiaPacific, Europe, and NorthAmerica. WAVE Global LLC workshops teaches three fundamental things; Learning to learn, Minding the mind, and thinking how to think. Participants learn the art of learning, how to control the mind’s wandering nature and get it to stay focused, and how to apply memory techniques, critical, creative, analytical, lateral,

out-of-box thinking for decision making with clarity. The Memory & Mind Science workshop ‘Program your Brain & Mind for Success’ organized in Atlanta (Suwanee), GA last week has shown mesmerizing results. 39 participants including children & teens (7yrs to 17 yrs.) attended the 5 day workshop camp last week in Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Suwanee.

“Because I was not aware of the federal case until this week, which is when the indictment was revealed, I am taking this action so that I may thoroughly review the information to make sure there are no further related implications for the city and him. It is against everyone’s best interest for a public servant to have to operate under a cloud, as Mr. Sreerama and I have discussed in a brief telephone

call. I continue to have confidence in Karun and look forward to his return. “During the leave, PW&E Deputy Director Carol Haddock will serve as interim director, a position she has held previously.” The PWE Director’s temporarily administrative leave was made following revelations that he made unlawful payments to a Houston Community College trustee now awaiting sentencing on a federal bribery charge. Karun Sreerama paid $77,143 to longtime HCC trustee Chris Oliver in three installments between late 2010 and mid-2013, when Sreerama owned a private engineering firm. Federal authorities say Oliver was leveraging his power to influence the awarding of HCC business contracts.

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FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

Sri Meenakshi Temple Annual Dinner Indian Language Books for Pearland Library -Prahara SumpurnamAs requested by Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, Indian Americans plan to donate books to Pearland library.

Recepients from L-R:Vyas Ramankulangara, Shruti Narayanan, Avinash Nair, Tejas Murali, Avinash Kotecha, Preeti Kannan. Photos by Setty by: S. Narayanan

Prahara Sumpurnam”, the Sri Meenakshi Temple annual dinner was held on Sunday, July 9th. Fundraising was done for the Corner Temple Renovation Project, the third phase of the religious renovation project at MTS. The decorations including beautiful temple golu figurines were mesmerizing. The social hour began with a silent auction, as well as an awe inspiring magic act that entertained the guests. The devotees enjoyed the social hour so much that it was a feat to move everyone into the Youth Center for the program. The program started auspiciously with the priest’s invocation and was then handed over to the two vibrant masters of ceremony, Anu Narayanan and Haripriya Sundar, who did a wonderful job keeping the program enjoyable and on time. Chairman Narayanan welcomed everyone and talked about the phenomenal fundraising success so far, including having raised over 1.3 Million dollars for the project with more donations forthcoming. Honorable Pearland Mayor Tom Reid discussed the long-term growth of the Temple and associated the growth with the

city of Pearland. The Mayor was proud to say he is an honorary member of the Temple family. Divyaa Unni’s Sreepadam School of Arts performed a captivating Ganesha dance as the audience watched with pin drop silence. Secretary Prasad thanked everyone on the fundraising committee for their outstanding job. Dr. Appan, one of the co-chairs of the fundraising committee, spoke about the amazing success MTS has had in raising money. Over the last six years we have done three major projects without any loans as the devotees have continuously supported the Temple. Dr. Appan also emphasized the many young devotees donating to the project, highlighting the importance of this for the future growth of the Temple.

The construction committee chair AVN Reddy gave a brief description of the project and provided a detailed report about the construction progress. Vinod Kaila joined with AVN and acknowledged all the construction com-

This year we had a unique and entertaining magic show by David Hira. David amazed everyone with his magic to the point that the audience could not believe what they were seeing. He connected his childhood story and showed us that anything can be done if we believe in it. All in all, the magic show, which was done for the first time at the annual dinner, was a big hit.

Secretary Prasad thanked everyone who helped for the annual dinner. The event was a huge success, including fundraising, a beautiful program, and a delicious dinner. The guests had a marvelous time.

Divya Jain Preeti Kannan Avinash Kotecha Ambhika Maharaj Tejas Murali Avinash Nair Shruti Narayanan Vyas Ramankulangara Shil Shukla

Guest at the Annual Dinner.

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Treasurer Sasi announced the amount of total funds raised and thanked all the donors for their contributions. The second dance for Lord Siva by the students was unbelievably good. Dr. Kamala Raghavan then announced all of the scholarship winners and Mayor Tom Reed and Frost Bank Chairman Mike Clements distributed the scholarships to the 14 students. The names of the recipients is given at the end of this article. To conclude the program Sreepadam students showcased a

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beautiful performance about Goddess Devi. The sit-down family style dinner catered by Udupi was served sharp at 8:30 pm and enjoyed by all the guests. Chairman Narayanan thanked the Board and Advisory Council for their support for the project and hard work for the Temple.

Peyton Green

August 26, 2017

We thank you for your support!

mittee members.

Tanuj Girish


Signature: __________________________

For more information contact Sam Kannappan at 281-484-2270, email:

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On the first round, we are providing books in Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil and English. Children & adult

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Honorable Mr. Surendra Adhana, Deputy Consul General of India will present books to the library at 3 pm Monday July 31, 2017 at Tom Reid Library, 3522 Liberty drive, Pearland, TX 77581 (in front of city hall) 281652-1677.

books. CD, DVDs, audio books will also be included. Music CD’s or religious books are not needed. Book titles to be covered: History of India, Art, Culture, travel, yoga, meditation & alternate medicine. We request you to be a sponsor of books in one of the languages to cover the price and shipping or volunteer to catalogue and prepare one page writeup about each book.

One Year $30 Two Years $55 Five Years $100 Best Value!!!

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FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

Ram Leela 2017 - Sri Rama Katha Saram

Dr. Arun Verma presenting a gift to Mayor Scarcella, City of Stafford.

The grand coronation of Lord SriRam in Ayodhya - scene from Ram Leela, Ram Katha Saram. Photos credit Bijay Dixit. Continued from Page 1 Gurus Vedantam Raghava, Vedantam Sharmi Padmaja and the students of Vedantam Kalakshetram. Stafford Civic Center was slowly filling up with the connoisseurs of dance. There was an unexpected power outage at 3:15 pm just before the show was to begin . This neither deterred the audience nor the artists at the back stage, as they remained motivated to perform with the inspiration drawn from the Guru. The Council General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray and his lovely wife along with Mayor of Stafford, Mr. Leonard Scarcella and Council Member Ken Mathews patiently waited along with all the respected audience for the program to begin, an act of graciousness and respect. The enthusiasm persisted as the auditorium filled with Bhajans setting up a devotional – serene ambience to dwell in the Kuchipudi dance ballet, Sri Rama Katha Saram till the power was restored at 5:30 p.m. As the ballet began, the auditorium was in a mesmerizing silence. The invocatory dances set a great stage for what was to come next. As the dancers rhythmically dedicated the program to Lord Hanuman, the audience were elegantly transported into the Treta Yuga. In the prelude to Sri Rama Katha Saram as each avatara of Sri Maha Vishnu was presented by the young nimble dancers, the audience was filled with zeal, as each avatara

was depicted to perfection in graceful Kuchipudi art form. The audience received the introduction of every character of Sri Rama Katha with a long applause of joy and excitement. The beauty of Lord Rama, Maa Sita and Laxmana stole the show and the audience was ecstatic. Supranakha failed to entice Lord Rama and Lakshmna but appealingly enchanted the audience and a female demon never seemed so beautiful. The ballet was at peak as the agile and deceptive golden deer was luring Maa Sita and as she crossed the Lakshmana Rekha to give alms to deceitful Ravana. The audience was enthralled as Lord Hanuman jumped from the tree, chanted Sri Rama Nama with great fervor and devotion as Lord emerged on the stage . The battle between Sugriv and Bali looked very real on stage, with both actors drenched with sweat. Later the Vanara Sena built the bridge to Lanka. Each scene invoked varied emotions in the audience. Each scene was accompanied by the thunderous clapping and various sounds of appreciation by the audience. The ferocious battle between Lord Rama and Ravana in rhythmic Kuchipudi must have never seemed more foot tapping with a great background score. At the falling action of Ravan in the ballet, as Ayodhya danced with joy, there was a great feel in the audience that they were the citizens of Ayodhya and rejoiced as Sri Rama was coroneted and the chanting

of Rama Nama filled the auditorium. The final scene of Pattabhishekam left the audience in euphoria that will last for long and will make the audience long for similar productions of Ram Leela, Ram Katha Saram. The music and the lyrics accentuated the performance of each dancer as they depicted the character in the ballet with a great perfection and dedication that made the audience transform into citizens of Ayodhya. The well-crafted props elaborated each scene and was a visual treat to the audience. The colors of the costumes and the perfection in makeup were brought out beautifully with uncompromising lighting and sound system. Once the program started it cascaded without a hitch with the help of the backstage crew. At the conclusion of the show, the audience was begging for more and gave a standing ovation for several minutes, and cheered as the names of actors associated with each character were announced. Just about everyone in the audience heralded the show as one of the best ever presented in Houston Ram Leela 2017 was a par excellence production which indeed will be remembered as the one which raised the bar for Excellence several notches up.

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Sita encounters Ravan, scene from Ram Leela, Ram Katha Saram.

Battle between Sugriv and Bali, scene from Ram Leela, Ram Katha Saram.



FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

Hindu Temple of The Woodlands (HTW) hosts 6th Annual Hindu Mandir Priests’ Conference by Beth Kulkarni

tongue” at home by parents so that communication with priests might be in an Indian language.A number of temples, including HTW, also offer language classes for children and youth.


HE WOODLANDS Hindu Temple of The Woodlands (HTW) on July 14 and 15, 2017 hosted the 6th Annual Hindu Mandir Priests’ Conference at its beautiful temple in its far northern suburb of Greater Houston. Priests from as far away as Minnesota and Massachusetts participated in the conference along with priests, community members, and youth from the Greater Houston area and elsewhere in Texas and the USA. The conference was initiated six years ago by World Hindu Council of America (VHP-A) as a part of the Hindu Mandir Executive Conference. This year’s theme was “Temple’s Role in Educating Our Youth in Spirituality”. The vision of the conference was to promote the sustainability and advancement of Sanatana Dharma by making Hindu modes of worship meaningful and relevant for the younger generation of Hindus.

Teaching the basics of Sanatana Dharma and its practices by parents and well as in various temple classes was also emphasized by a number of attendees and implemented in many temples. Many of the priests insert a few sentences in English about the various steps of the rituals as they were performed, feeling it was beneficial to all devotees, not just to the youth. Hindus of Greater Houston gives check to Hindu Temple of The Woodlands in support of 6th Annual Hindu Mandir Priests’ Conference: From left Vijay Pallod, HGH director; Mukesh Mittal, President of HTW; Beth Kulkarni, founding member of HGH and HTW; Jagan Allam, Chairperson, HTW; Girish Naik, former chair of HGH and director.

To help the priests attending the conference to better understand the needs of the children, teens, and young adults, a number of local youth volunteers had the opportunity to ask questions of the priests in an open session, as well as provide suggestions as to how their needs can be better met by the priests and the mandirs. The youth wanted to know what importance the precise dates and times for various events had and what the consequences for not following those were. Others wondered why they should wear traditional Hindu dress when visiting the temple. In response to a question about whether daily prayer is important, one of the priests, stating that it was important, also indicated that even taking

All the attendees appreciated the hospitality of the host temple.One of the attendees“complained” that the food was so tasty he over-ate! Others were very impressed that the temple volunteers prepared all the food and did not have it catered. The opportunity to prepare the food while chatting and enjoying the comradery was an added benefit for the volunteers themselves.

Dr. Urmil Shukla Honoring KV Doraiswamy Bhattar at HMEC July 15, 2017 two or three minutes for prayer before leaving home and starting the daily routine would be beneficial. Several of the attendees men-

tioned the fact that many of the priests are not proficient in English is an impediment for priests and youth to communicate directly. A number felt it was ap-

Other sessions of the conference provided opportunity for the priests to learn about the challenges found in variousmandirs and ways in which the challenges were met. The priests, other attendees, and youth all benefited from their interactions and proposals by some of the speakers including representatives of VHP of America and Hindu University of America who are jointly developing an online chaplaincy certification program.

propriate for temples to provide opportunities for priests to learn English while others were of the view that also the children should be taught their “mother

Other volunteers helped with logistics, program planning and scheduling, overnight hosting of the priests, and more. HTW has become known as a temple with a very strong volunteer base and a commitment to service to the

community. Both the planned chanting by the priests as a group at the beginning of the conference and Saturday morning, as well as the spontaneous group chanting, gave a very special atmosphere to the conference. One of the community workers who attended mentioned how great it was to be in the presence of all the priests from the various temples receiving blessings from them all on his birthday! A special feature of the conference was the honoring of the priests with twenty or more years of experience as priests in America with the Archaka Bhushana Award. In addition, all the presenters and all the priests attending were recognized. The conference’s success was due in large part to the cooperative efforts of the World Hindu Council of America (VHP America) and HTW. Volunteer leadership and interest of the priests and community members, including youth, helped make it a success that other temples and communities will strive to emulate. The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands was pleasedtohost this conference. Hindus of Greater Houston, sponsors of the first community-wide Krishna Janmashtami celebration in North America, generously donated to HTW to help meet the expenses of the conference. Jagan Allam, Chairperson, and Mukesh Mittal, President, gratefully accepted the check. The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands is located at 7601 S Forestgate Drive, just off Woodlands Parkway, in The Woodlands (Spring), TX 77382. More information is on the temple’s website,

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Indian gov’t denies visa certificate to doctor for US research


UMBAI: Dashing a medical graduate’s hopes of continuing as a post-doctoral scholar in the US, the Union health ministry denied him the permission necessary for his visa, citing an acute shortage of doctors in India.

Dr Sunil Noothi (Photo: Facebook) The refusal, the second such for Dr Sunil Noothi, comes despite the Bombay HC pulling up the ministry for its unreasonable decision. The decision is likely to have repercussions on thousands of other research scholars who wish to study in the US, said doctors. The first refusal came in 2015. In its June 28 denial this year, the Centre said India has 6.9 lakh doctors and needs 4 lakh more by 2022. Allowing Noothi, 39, to go abroad would be against public interest, it said. It would violate its policy to stop issuing a No Obligation to Return to India (NORI) certificate since 2011 to doctors aged under 65, the ministry said. A NORI certificate is a US government requirement to waive its obligatory two-year home residency to J1 visa holders. In 2014, the Centre set

out a policy to ensure doctors return to India after their training or higher studies in the US. It banned issuance of NORI except to doctors over 65. The HC had clearly said the central policy against issuing a NORI cannot be made applicable to Dr Noothi, who is a research scholar, not a medical practitioner. Last December, the HC bench at Aurangabad directed the health ministry to reconsider its decision after Dr Noothi challenged the denial of a NORI certificate to him. Noothi’s counsel Rahul Totala said it was a test case, the first such individual challenge in the country filed against the ban on NORI. The Central Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors had also moved the Aurangabad bench in 2015 to challenge the anti-NORI policy introduced in 2014 as “retrograde’’. The petition was admitted for hearing by the HC and is pending. Totala said Dr Noothi had never practised medicine since his MBBS degree in 2002 and intends to only do research. Totala had assailed the ministry’s move as “discriminatory, highhanded and arbitrary’’. But S B Deshpande, additional solicitor general, had argued that there was a rise in Indian doctors migrating to the US. “There is acute shortage of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and health workers in India,’’ he said. (-TOI)

Indian-American doctor couple killed in plane crash in US


OUSTON (PTI) - In a tragic incident, an Indianorigin psychiatrist couple were killed when their private plane crashed in the US state of Ohio, police officials said on Wednesday. Umamaheswara Kalapatapu, 63, and his wife Sitha-Gita Kalapatapu, 61, both of Logansport, were killed in the crash, according to a media

release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The Piper Archer PA-28 piloted by Umamaheswara is believed to have crashed sometime between 10:36am and 12:30pm on Saturday, July 8, the release said. The release goes on to report that Ohio State Highway Patrol Aviation with assistance from the Civil Air Pa-

India looks to capitalize on growing popularity of yoga in the U.S. by Emma Beyer


OLUMBIA, Mo. • Traditional Indian music fills a two-room yoga studio. Dozens of colored mats rest on the floor, facing a shrine. On the wall is a framed picture of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, the father of modern yoga, near a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh. The teacher at AlleyCat Yoga calls out positions — tree pose, child pose, warrior pose — as students bend their bodies in rhythmic motions to quiet their frazzled minds. Class ends with a final unison, “Namaste.” More than 8,000 miles away, a handful of men and women roll out mats inside the Mystic Yoga Cafe in Kolkata, India. Here, the room resembles a dance studio, with simple decor and full-length mirrors covering the front wall. There is no music, no special chanting. Stifling temperatures above 100 degrees don’t deter participants, who attend mostly for fitness or weight loss. These disparate scenes may be the opposite of what many expect. While yogis in the United States are increasingly reconnecting with yoga’s spiritual roots, many in India are influenced by America’s commercialized approach to the practice and are becoming more consumer-focused themselves. Yoga reflects a reality of globalization — the exchange of ideas that shape cultures across our connected world, now more than ever.

Sudeshna Sen, a 24 year old student at St. Xavier College in Maidan, Kolkata practices yoga in front of the Victoria Memorial. Sen has been a yoga practactitioner for three years, attending a Power Yoga class in the city (Photos: Lisa Gomes) demand for yoga trainers catering to Westernized natives and international tourists, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India.

cal and spiritual practices such as dynamic breathing and mantra chanting to awaken the conscious. Kessler offers Kundalini, as well as gong healing and other more spiritual classes.

In 2016, the study reported that Americans spent $16 billion on yoga

“(Kundalini) is much more spiritual than what has happened to yoga as it’s

Such exchanges help drive a booming yoga industry. More than 36 million U.S. practitioners spent $2.5 billion on yoga classes in 2016, according to the Yoga in America Study conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance. In the St. Louis area alone, there are nearly 50 yoga studios offering classes of all kinds. In India, the number of yoga practitioners soared 30 percent last year, prompting a 35 percent increase in trol located the crash scene in an abandoned retention pond near the village of Beverly in southeastern Ohio. Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt Garic Warner said in an interview on Monday that the crash occurred about 3 miles northwest of Beverly. Searchers found the wreckage Saturday afternoon. There was no word on what caused the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. The Kalapatapus were psychiatrists and owned Raj Clinics, with offices in Logansport, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Lafayette and Kokomo. “They were generous to a fault, extremely hardworking and dedicated to their patients,” employee Heather Geisler said of the Kalapatapus. Umamaheswara Kalapatapu was a talented photographer while SithaGita was a gifted musician and “fantastic cook,” Geisler said. Umamaheswara received multiple state, national and international awards and recognition for his photography and had been a certified professional photographer by the Professional Photographers of America since 2005, according to Pharos-Tribune archives.

Umamaheswara Kalapatapu and Sitha-Gita Kalapatapu (Photo: Facebook)

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

“They were just two people that were so full of life. It’s hard to imagine that they’re not there anymore. They were wonderful people, absolutely wonderful. Two of the kindest people I’ve ever known and I’m going to miss them,” Geisler said.

Indian-American to head White House regulatory affairs office

A group of men and women strike a pose at the Mistic Yoga Cafe in Kolkata.

Some yoga instructors say this consumerism can be a good thing.

been mainstreamed,” said SiriAtma Kaur, a Kundalini teacher at Urban Breath Yoga in St. Louis. “It’s 16 times as powerful as other forms of yoga in getting into upper states of consciousness and achieving balance. The formulas are so powerful, you radiate. You look different.”

“Do I like looking cute in my yoga pants? You bet. Do we capitalize on that? Yes, we live in America,” said Kathy Kessler, a yoga teacher at Halcyon Spa & Salon in Augusta. “But because it’s become commercialized, so many people were exposed to it that weren’t before. If someone comes to the mat, they’re going to evolve and understand the therapeutic benefits of it.”

Instead of trendy yoga pants embellished with bright colors and bold patterns, Kaur said Kundalini practitioners opt for plain white clothing made of cotton, wool or silk to “brighten their aura” and prevent static electricity from altering their personal electric charges. The attire is topped with a headscarf to keep the Kundalini energy, awakened during yoga, from escaping through the top of the head.

classes, clothing and accessories. Businesses profited from consumers’ interest in yoga — perhaps none more so than yoga retail giant Lululemon, which charges up to $128 for a pair of yoga pants.

Yet many U.S. yoga practitioners are looking to the past to recapture that centuries-old spirituality at the core of the practice. “One huge aspect of yoga is breathing and meditating, and I do that as much as possible throughout my week,” said Lucille Sherman, a recent University of Missouri graduate who has been practicing yoga since childhood. “Yoga helps me center myself. I’m a better person when I practice. “It reminds me to sit still and take in life as it is, just for a moment,” she said. Types of yoga that reconnect Americans with the deeper side of the practice are gaining momentum. These include Kundalini, which blends physi-


he India Association of Buffalo, New York tried out the county’s first and only cricket pitch Sunday afternoon. Until then, the group’s 35 teams had played on parking lots near schools and apartment complexes. But roughly seven months after approaching the county about adding a dedicated field for the


One such tool is the ringing of the disharmonious gong, which helps students reset and balance their minds. Another is the Japji, or Song of the Soul, recited by the ancient sikhs that allows yogis to explore the depths of their souls. people,” the trainer said. “When people feel and see the change, they will automatically adopt it.” (-St. Louis PostDispatch)

Growing Indian-American population embraces new NY cricket pitch by Samantha Christmann

ASHINGTON (PTI) Indian-American lawyer Neomi Rao has been confirmed by the US Senate to lead the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Thanks to pop star practitioners such as Katy Perry’s ex-husband, Russell Brand, Kundalini communities are active on the U.S. coasts. Recruiting members in St. Louis is tougher, but any American looking to reconnect with yoga’s traditional roots can find several tools in Kundalini practice, Kaur said.

popular game, members were already bowling their first balls and running between the wickets. “The Erie County parks are for everybody. There are hundreds of cricket players that now have a safe place to play and this is going to open up the sport for others,” said Mark C. Poloncarz, county executive. (-Buffalo News)

Mainly on party lines, the Senate confirmed Rao by a vote of 54-41 as the head of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). In this position she would lead White House office overseeing regulations. The Senate confirmation of Rao, 44, a former clerk for conservative Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas, comes at a time when the Senate is bitterly divided on party lines and the Opposition Democrats have blocked several nominations. Rao’s confirmation was welcomed by top American lawmakers. “As regulatory czar for federal policymaking, Director Rao will play an instrumental role in helping the President fulfill his promise to roll back unnecessary red tape and unleash the full potential of the American economy,” said Senator Orrin Hatch, senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Photo: AFP Hatch said he looks forward to working with Rao to ensure that federal rules and regulations are narrowly tailored to address pressing public health and safety concerns while also leaving plenty of room for job creators and entrepreneurs to expand and flourish. Rao worked on Senator’s staff several years ago. Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of

the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, applauded Senate for confirming Rao’s nomination. “We can all agree that federal regulations should achieve their aim without imposing unnecessary costs on the country’s economy and job creators. I look forward to working with Professor Rao to reduce the burden of regulations “

Cricket Bowler Murthy Ganapathy throws a ball in a match at a baseball field that has been converted into a cricket field (John Hickey/Buffalo News)



US-China citizen given 10 yrs for espionage in Iran: media


EHRAN, Iran | AFP - A Chinese American accused of “infiltration” in Iran has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, local media reported on Sunday.

Namazi and his 80-year-old father Baquer, a former UNICEF official, were given 10 years in prison for “espionage and collaboration with the American government”.

The man was identified as Xiyue Wang, a 37-year-old researcher at Princeton University, according to Mizanonline, the official news agency of Iran’s judiciary.

Washington has repeatedly called for their release and also for Tehran’s cooperation in the case of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007.

Wang, who was born in Beijing according to the report, was arrested on August 8, 2016 while trying to leave the country.

The news comes amid tensions between the two countries as President Donald Trump and Congress have taken increasingly harsh positions against Tehran.

Mizanonline said he was part of “an infiltration project” aimed at gathering “highly confidential articles” for several US and British institutions, including Princeton, the US State Department, Harvard’s Kennedy School and the British Institute for Persian Studies. “Before his arrest he was able to digitally archive 4,500 pages of the country’s documents, while under covert surveillance,” said Mizanonline. The confidential documents were said to be taken from “research and cultural archives” and “the libraries of some state organisations”. Mizanonline published an excerpt from a British Institute of Persian Studies annual report, in which Wang thanked its librarian for helping him make contact with academics in Iran. The report claimed this as “proof” Wang was on a covert mission, although the quote shows Wang was openly trying to work with academics to access a number of official archives in Tehran and Mashhad. The US State Department later issued a statement confirming it was “aware of reports regarding Xiyue Wang, a US citizen detained in Iran” -phrasing that is normally read as a confirmation. - ‘Unjustly detained’ It added: “We continue to use all the means at our disposal to advocate for US citizens who need our assistance overseas especially for the release of any unjustly detained US citizens held overseas. “We call for the immediate release of all US citizens unjustly detained in Iran so they can return to their families.‎” In January, Tehran’s chief prosecutor said as many as 70 “spies” were serving sentences in the city’s prisons, but the identities of only a handful have been made public. Most are thought to be Iranians who hold another passport from Europe or the United States. In October, US-Iranian business consultant Siamak

Sri Lanka university faces animal cruelty charge


OLOMBO, Sri Lanka | AFP - A Sri Lankan university was fending off allegations of animal cruelty Monday after being accused of inhumanely killing dozens of cats and dogs in a mass cull on campus. Tranquiliser darts were used to sedate the stray animals at the prestigious University of Moratuwa but many died from the dose, activists said. “This is cruel and brutal treatment of animals and we want action taken against those responsible,” animal rights activist Wibodha Ambeygoda told AFP. She said university authorities removed paralysed animals from the campus and dumped them 20 kilometres (12 miles) away to die. A spokesman for the university said a private company was contracted to cull the stray animals from the campus. Sri Lanka has strict flora and fauna laws, and cruelty to animals is punishable with up to five years in jail. Six people were jailed in March last year after posting photos online showing them skinning a sea eagle alive.

between Iran and world powers including the United States that lifted some sanctions in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear programme. In mid-June, the American Senate backed new sanctions against Iran, denouncing the Islamic republic’s “continued support of terrorism”. The bill must be passed by the House of Representatives. The new restrictions impose mandatory sanctions on people involved with Iran’s ballistic missile programme and those that transact with them.

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

U.S. not making comprehensive changes to H-1B visa program


EW DELHI (PTI) | Jul 17, 2017 - The US has not made any ‘comprehensive changes’ in its work visa programmes, including H-1B visas, so far despite India taking up the issue with the American government from time to time, Parliament was informed on Monday. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the problems being faced by the IT industry have been raised by India with the US government from time to time at various levels.

(WTO), she said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. “The US has not made any comprehensive changes to the work visa programmes including H-1B visas so far,” she said. The minister also said India has made continuous efforts to raise concerns pertaining to IT and ITeS industries in different bilateral meetings including in the Trade Policy Forum. Indian IT industry has raised concerns over the proposed changes in the US visa regime.

Any changes may result in higher operational costs and shortage of skilled workers for the $110 billion Indian outsourcing industry. Indian IT sector, which contributes 9.3 per cent to the country’s GDP, is one of the largest private sector employers at 3.7 million people. The US contributes nearly 62 per cent of the exports, while EU is the second largest market for Indian IT services exporters contributing approximately 28 per cent.

India has also taken up the matter on US visa fee hike in the dispute settlement body of the World Trade Organization

India votes for next president from lowest Pope Francis unlikely to visit Dalit caste

Trump has promised to tear up the 2015 nuclear deal struck

Iran has vowed to respond with “reciprocal and adequate measures”.

India in 2017: church official


EW DELHI, India | AFP - Pope Francis is unlikely to visit India and Bangladesh this year as widely expected, a senior church official said Tuesday, with the high-profile visit postponed due to schedule clashes with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Pope had announced last year that he would “almost certainly” travel to South Asia in 2017 but no dates were officially confirmed. A senior Indian church official told AFP the delay came about because the government in New Delhi had been unable to provide the Vatican with dates suitable for the papal visit.

“It takes a year to prepare for Pope’s visit and we don’t have enough time left. There was no clarity on the schedule,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

world leaders had proven “a little bit of a difficult situation”.

“It’s unlikely he will visit this year.”

It would be the second papal visit postponed this year, after the Vatican announced in late May it was delaying a trip to South Sudan for security reasons.

India’s foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Bagley said he was unaware of the matter. Another church official said the visit had been postponed to the early months of 2018. India’s Cardinal Oswald Gracias told the US-based National Catholic Reporter that discussions with the Modi government about a papal visit had taken longer than expected. Finding a time that aligned with Modi’s schedule hosting

“We have to find a good spot where we can give the Holy Father his due importance and respect,” the cardinal said.

There are roughly 28 million Christians in India, the thirdlargest religion in the nation of 1.3 billion behind Islam and Hinduism. Pope John Paul II was the last pontiff to visit India, and he made the journey twice. The late Pope first visited India in February 1986, followed by a return journey in 1999.

India’s ageing trains get green makeover with solar panels


EW DELHI, India | AFP - India has added solar panels to the roof of a train in a national first as it tries to reduce its massive carbon footprint and modernise its vast colonial-era rail network.

Each train drawing on this


EW DELHI, India | AFP - Indian lawmakers voted Monday for a new president certain to come from the bottom of the Hindu caste system, in an election seen as strengthening Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s grip on power. Ninety-nine percent of the 4,896 legislators nationwide voted in the poll, according to officials, in what Modi termed a “historic” election to choose the titular head of state.

His main rival is Meira Kumar, the nominee of the Congress-led opposition and also a Dalit.

The train has begun journeys around the capital New Delhi, helping move just some of the 23 million passengers who use India’s rail network every day.

Batteries charged by the solar panels during the day take over if there is no sunlight, Saxena added. Only as a last resort, if the batteries perish, would diesel be used.

by Abhaya Srivastava

Ram Nath Kovind, the candidate of Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a former lawyer and state governor from the Dalit community, is certain to win.

The lighting, fans and information displays inside the train -- once powered by diesel -- will run off the sun’s energy after the panels were fitted to the carriage.

“We will be inducting at least four other solar-powered trains in the next six months,” Anil Kumar Saxena, Indian railways spokesperson, told AFP on Wednesday.

Ram Nath Kovind is certain to win (Photo: AFP)

Each train drawing on this green energy is expected to save around 21,000 litres of diesel every year (File photo) green energy is expected to save around 21,000 litres of diesel every year, helping reduce India’s enormous reliance on fossil fuels and huge output of carbon emissions.

means of long-distance travel in the huge country.

Built by India’s former British colonial rulers, the railway system is one of the world’s largest and is still the main

Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to revive it after coming to power in May 2014.

But the BJP, which won a landslide in a general election in 2014, has for the first time assembled enough electoral college votes across the country to push through its presidential candidate. Congress has traditionally dominated the post. “There is no rocket science,

na Gandhi -- grandson of India’s iconic freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi. Naidu is a cabinet member in the Modi government and is likely to triumph over Gandhi in the August 5 elections. India’s current two-time vicepresident Mohammad Hamid Ansari retires in August and the next titular vice-president will be chosen by an election similar to the Monday’s presidential polls. - Dalit attack “Every political party has kept in mind the dignity of this election.” India’s prime minister wields executive power, but the president can send back some parliamentary bills for reconsideration and also plays a guiding role in the process of forming governments. Analysts said the election of Kovind, 71, would help Modi tighten his grip on power and accrue political capital by sending an important message to the Dalits, a long-disdained electoral group once known as “untouchables”. Dalits, who number around

But years of financial neglect and a populist policy of subsidising fares have hit the network hard.

South Korea investigating ‘abduction’ of North Korean defector and TV star


EOUL, South Korea | AFP - South Korean authorities are investigating whether North Korea had a hand in the sudden disappearance of a television personality who has emerged as the star of a new propaganda video.

Information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu has been finalised as the ruling NDA candidate for vice-presidential poll and the announcement will be made on Monday evening, party sources said (Photo: AFP) Ram Nath Kovind will win today,” Praful Patel, a leader of the small opposition Nationalist Congress Party, conceded as he cast his vote. Counting of votes and the result will be announced on Thursday.

Jeon Hye-sung, who fled the North in 2014 and became a popular guest on South Korean television programmes, is thought to have left the South in the last few months. In a video posted on YouTube at the weekend, a woman who appeared to be Jeon denounced the South and disowned her previous criticism of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea).

Jeon Hye-sung during a press interview (Photo: AFP)

“I viciously slandered and spoke ill of the DPRK as I was told to,” she says in the video posted by the North Koreancontrolled channel Uriminzokkiri.

“I went to the South, led by fantasy that I could eat well and make a lot of money,” she added, according to a translation by the Korea Times. “Now

Modi was among the first to vote, using a specially approved violet ink pen. The election commission barred the use of personal pens to ensure clean voting.

I’m in the motherland, staying with my parents in Anju, South Pyongan province.” Continued on next page

“The presidential poll this time is historic. Probably for the first time no party has made any undignified or unwarranted comment on the rival candidate,” Modi tweeted on the eve of the poll. The polling day ended with the right-wing party announcing its senior leader Venkaiah Naidu as its vice-presidential candidate, pitting him against Congress backed Gopal Krish-

200 million in the nation of 1.3 billion, are among India’s poorest communities and relegated to the margins of society. Despite legal protection, discrimination is rife and Dalits are routinely denied access to education and other advancement opportunities. On the day of the vote, media reported the case of a Dalit labourer allegedly beaten to death by upper-caste attackers, highlighting the plight of the “untouchable” caste. Modi’s rivals have protested at Kovind’s nomination, citing his association with the radical right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological power behind the BJP. The opposition nominee Kumar, the daughter of freedom fighter Babu Jagjivan Ram, was a diplomat before entering politics in 1985 and became India’s first woman speaker in 2009.



Turkey leaks secret locations of U.S. troops in Syria by Roy Gutman


STANBUL, Turkey - In the latest display of Turkish anger at U.S. policy in Syria, the state news agency has divulged the locations of 10 U.S. military bases and outposts in northern Syria where the U.S. is leading an operation

North Korean defector... Continued from pervious page The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency confirmed officers were investigating how the woman, known as Lim Ji-hyun in her previous television appearances, re-entered North Korea and whether it was voluntary or an abduction. Jeon, aged in her mid-20s, could have been the target of a North Korea abduction, the conservative South Korean politician Cheong Yang-seog said. He suspected Jeon might have disappeared in April when she travelled to China for “shopping and business” on a South Korean passport. “If it was a ‘voluntary abduction’, one would normally take care of her assets and property, but [Jeon] left them behind,” Cheong said in comments reported by UPI. The Korea Times cited unnamed North Korean defectors as speculating that she may have been abducted on the China-North Korean border while trying to help her relatives escape. Jeon rose to prominence in South Korea as a result of her appearances on a cable network talk show known as Moranbong Club and a reality programme called South Korean Men and North Korean Women.

to destroy the so-called Islamic State in its self-styled capital of Raqqa. The list published by the Anadolu news agency points to a U.S. presence from one end to the other of the Kurdish selfadministration region—a dis-

She thanked her fans in April for arranging a birthday party, saying it was “possibly the happiest birthday of my life” and the affection “pushes me to live with more courage”, the JoongAng Ilbo reported. Robert Kelly, an associate professor of international relations at Pusan National University in South Korea, said people who defect from North Korea often shunned the limelight for fear of what might the authorities might do to family members back home. “I’ve also heard rumours, though, that they tracked down and threatened her family,” he told the Guardian. “As I understand it, that is a big reason why defectors shun publicity if they make it to the South, or even return to the North.” Casey Lartigue, the Seoulbased international director of Teach North Korean Refugees, which helps educate people who fled the country, cautioned against a rush to conclusions in Jeon’s case. Many refugees trying to adapt to their new lives in South Korea reported that they missed their relatives in the North, he said. “North Korea is a country that makes leaving an all-ornothing decision – not only to you but also to your family,” Lartigue said. “What I wish is that people would remember to put the burden on the North Korean government.” North Korea faces more international scrutiny over its human rights record as a new report on Wednesday reveals details of public executions and identifies possible mass burial and cremation sites.

tance of more than 200 miles. The Anadolu news agency even listed the number of U.S. troops in several locations and in two instances stipulated the presence of French special forces. Turkey has openly criticized the Trump administration—and the Obama administration before it—for relying in the battle against ISIS on a militia led by Kurds affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK. A separatist movement now at war with Turkey, the PKK has been listed by the U.S., EU, and Turkey as a terror organization. To avoid the appearance of allying with such a group, the U.S. military set up the Syrian Democratic Forces, which have a large component of Arab recruits. But they are led by officers from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian affiliate of the PKK. Although Turkey’s powerful president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, regularly vents his anger at the U.S., it is still highly unusual for a NATO ally to reveal details of a U.S. military deployment during active operations in a war zone. But the U.S. operation in Syria is in many respects an unusual case. Not only is the United States acting against the express wishes of NATO ally Turkey, which says its national security is directly endangered, it’s also operating without the permission of the Assad regime. After a meeting Monday evening, Turkey’s National Security Council charged that weapons provided to the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia had come into the possession of the PKK. “This shows that both are the same organization,” it said, adding that other countries were using a “double standard” for terror groups. (-The Daily Beast)

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

‘Happy’ Afghan girls compete at robotics meet after US visa woes by Issam Ahmed


ASHINGTON DC | AFP - Huddled around a small table in the halls of a cavernous Washington concert hall, a group of Afghan teenage girls tweak gears and sprockets on their radio-controlled robot, hoping to best the competition. But the six proud nerds from war-torn Afghanistan’s western province of Herat almost didn’t make it to the US capital for the chance to take on other high school students from around the world. Twice denied US visas until a late intervention by President Donald Trump’s administration, they are now hoping to set an example for girls in their ultra-conservative country.

Unlike their counterparts from wealthier countries, the Afghans had unique problems they had to contend with such as a lack of some basic equipment (Photos: AFP)

Even in a venue crowded with hundreds of teens, the Afghans were difficult to miss on Monday in their bright blue Tshirts paired with white hijabs -- and trailed wherever they go by a throng of journalists. “Robotics is a field that is part of my life. I’m so happy to be here and participate against the other teams,” 15-year-old Lida Azizi told AFP, adding she was a “bit nervous” about taking part in her first competition. “I’m happy to come and represent Afghanistan,” chimed in 14-year-old Fatema Qaderyan. The plight of the Afghan team had made headlines around the world after it appeared to underscore the negative consequences of stricter visa policies for Muslim countries under Trump. The US leader recently succeeded in passing a limited version of a long-touted travel ban -- temporarily barring visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen without a “bona fide” US connection and all refugees -- pending a hearing by the Supreme Court. Afghanistan was not on the

Twice denied US visas until a late intervention by President Donald Trump’s administration, an Afghan robotics team competing in Washington is hoping to set an example for girls in their ultraconservative country list, but critics contended the frequency of such refusals undermined the administration’s pledge to empower women. A team from Gambia was also temporarily barred. Eventually, however, all 163 teams -- including those from Iran, Sudan and a team of Syrian refugees -- were granted visas. - Unique challenges On Monday, teams from around the world jostled into Washington’s historic DAR Constitution Hall, excited to

test their skills on laser-lit stages as a sportscaster provided live commentary. Between rounds, some traded tips and tricks on modifications to make the most of their kitbuilt devices. “We up-cycled material and used trash,” said Azizi, explaining how the team created a simple suction device using a Coca-Cola bottle. They also lacked match preparation, added Roya Mahboob, an Afghan tech entrepreneur who helped organize the visit.

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Section 2

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017



Some 66,000 “H-2B” visas were allocated for this summer, and resorts from Maine to Florida along the US east coast have complained they don’t have enough.

ism industry officials said.

by Roland Jackson

DHS blamed the lateness of the move on Congress’s slow action to approve a fiscal 2017 budget, finalized only in May. But they said the increase was part of Trump’s “America First” effort to strengthen US industry. In June seven senators representing states with important summer vacation destinations asked DHS to double the number of H-2B visas. Resorts, hotels, restaurants and other service-sector businesses say they depend on the foreign workers because it is harder to recruit young Americans for the jobs paying $10-$15 an hour for up to four months in the summer.

On Monday the Department of Homeland Security said it would allow another 15,000 workers this fiscal year, but only for businesses “likely to suffer irreparable harm” without them.

Josh Bass, president of the Currituck Chamber of Commerce, which covers the northern section of North Carolina’s popular Outer Banks Atlantic seashore, said the shortage of H-2B visas had made things for difficult for local businesses, and caused at least one to shut down.

Given the 30-60 day processing time, the move is unlikely to help many, tour-

The increase is positive, he said, but “it’s probably too late for this summer.”


ONDON, United Kingdom | AFP 7/18/2017 - Global stock markets and the dollar sank Tuesday on worries about President Donald Trump’s agenda after proposed health care reforms collapsed in Congress, raising concerns about prospects for his tax reform. “European equities are suffering under a weaker dollar after the Republican healthcare bill once again failed to achieve US congressional approval, denting hopes of Trump stimulus and adding to poor US data that has cut the odds of a September rate hike,” said Accendo analyst Mike van Dulken. The pound retreated on official data showing annual British inflation unexpectedly slowed to 2.6 percent in June, dimming the prospect of a Bank of England interest rate hike any time soon. Since Trump’s election victory in November, the dollar has soared along with global markets on hopes his bigspending, tax-cutting policies would fire up the world’s top economy and

The top stressor for workers is not what you think by Rose Leadem


rom long hours to bad bosses, a number of issues can arise in the workplace. However, out of them all, most workers find that having unclear goals is their biggest source of stress. Polling more than 10,000 men and women in the technology industry, job website Comparably uncovered the top stressors for people at work. Above having a long commute, difficult co-workers, a bad manager or long hours, the majority of workers said “unclear goals” was the most stressful aspect of their careers.

Tel: 713-774-5140

Global stocks fall on Trump health care reform setback

US boosts seasonal worker visas halfway through summer season ASHINGTON | AFP 7/17/2017 - The Trump administration announced Monday an increase in seasonal worker visas that US resorts depend on, but the move halfway through the summer is unlikely to alleviate a nationwide shortage. Holiday vacation destinations around the United States -- including President Donald Trump’s own Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida -- depend on tens of thousands of temporary workers in the summer and winter, many of them young people from eastern Europe and Asia.

Here’s what workers think is more stressful than having a bad boss, difficult co-workers or a long commute neering, marketing and legal, as well as both men and women, “unclear goals” was the most popular response for the primary source of work stress. Although, for people ages 61 to 65, goals were less of a priority -- in fact, having unclear goals matched having a bad manager, both receiving 31 percent of the vote of this older cohort.

People early on in their careers are also the most stressed about defining their goals -- 44 percent of workers in the first, second or third year of work say unclear goals are top stressors. Stress is not an illness – it is a state. However, if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged, mental and physical illness may develop. Well-designed, organised and managed work is generally good for us but when insufficient attention to job design, work organisation and management has taken place. (-Fortune)

US dollar dives after healthcare reforms collapse in the Senate (Graphic: AFP) fan inflation.

Hardman in London.

“The Republicans have fallen short But seemingly never-ending crises have hobbled his presidency from the of the votes required to pass the legisstart, with opposition to Trump’s con- lation in the Senate. It is a significant troversial health care reforms -- cru- blow to the Trump administration and cial to freeing up cash -- raising ques- will further dampen expectations over tions about his ability to push through their ability to pass current plans for Jacob Sanchez tax reform in a timely other big-ticket measures. Diagnosed withcomprehensive autism manner.” “The US dollar dived overnight as Donald Trump could not get enough votes from his own party in order to bring in the healthcare reforms he wanted,” said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

The dollar also came under pressure as traders eye the Federal Reserve’s timetable for raising interest rates, while Trump struggles and inflation remains subdued.

While Republicans have 52 of the Senate’s 100 seats, the opposition to the bill from two members last week was followed Monday by two more. Their decision means the bill has no chance of even getting a vote unless Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell makes significant changes to woo sceptics.

Recent remarks from Fed boss Janet Yellen indicating the bank will concentrate on prices have tempered rate expectations in recent weeks.

“The US dollar sell-off has intensified further overnight following the announcement from McConnell that efforts to repeal and immediately replace Obamacare will not be successful,” said MUFG currency analyst Lee

While ECB chief Mario Draghi is not yet expected to announce any tightening measures, there is speculation the central bank will begin winding down its stimulus programme as the eurozone economy improves.

In fact, 42 percent of workers admitted to being stressed by this goal ambiguity, with “commute” and “bad manager” tying for second, each with irfares in India are likely to increase by around 16 percent of the votes. And it looks 8.7% next year amiRd increasing domestic delike the last thing people are worried mand, says a report. about are long hours (12 percent), To the contrary, workers between 31 after having difficult co-workers (14 The Global Travel Forecast report has been prepared and 35 and workers with master’s deatGlobal percent). Lack of speech is a sign of autism. Learn the others by the Business Travel Association and Carlson grees had the highest number of parWagonlit Travel. Across every department within the ticipants (45 percent) agreeing that untech industry, including admin, engi- clear goals was the most stressful area.

Air fares in India may rise over 8% in 2018


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The Indian woman defying body stereotypes through yoga

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

Pakistan court lifts ban on Indian TV shows


slamabad, Pakistan | AFP A Pakistani court on Tuesday lifted a ban on TV channels airing Indian shows, which had been imposed by media regulators, lawyers said. The state-run media authority imposed the ban on radio and television networks airing Indian content last October amid heightened tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours over the disputed Kashmir region. Lahore High Court chief justice Mansoor Ali Shah set aside the ban, calling it “unreasonable restrictions,” Asma Jehangir, a lawyer who challenged the ban, told AFP.

Singh, who works for a TV channel in India’s financial capital, soon realised there were limitations to group classes and sought the instruction she needed from videos online (AFP Photo/Indranil Mukherjee )


UMBAI | AFP - A plus-sized Indian woman is challenging body stereotypes and defying internet trolls with a series of yoga videos that are proving a hit on social media. Dolly Singh, 34, has gained something of a fan following online for promoting body positivity by showing that size is no barrier to mastering complex yoga moves. “To say ‘You can’t do this because you have so much weight,’ I don’t believe that,” Singh tells AFP after completing her morning stretch in a Mumbai park. Four years ago a doctor advised her to lose weight following an ankle sprain. Singh, who is 4 feet 11 inches (150 cm), weighed almost 90 kilograms (198 pounds) at the time. She got a trainer and embraced the “whole frenzy of losing weight” but grew bored of running so she signed up for something she’d never done before -- yoga. “The first class I was thinking ‘Can I really do this because I have a big body?’ After two or three class I realised people were looking at me and thinking ‘Oh my god she can do

this’. My body had a certain kind of stamina, of flexibility.” Singh, who works for a TV channel in India’s financial capital, soon realised there were limitations to group classes and sought the instruction she needed from videos online. “We all have different bodies and if my teacher doesn’t have a belly, how will they know what the problems are of having a big belly,” she explains, laughing. “I’m a big busted person and if the teacher isn’t how are they going to understand that when I’m doing a Halasana (plough pose) I’m almost choking to death!” Singh started filming herself to monitor her progress and then began posting clips of her yoga poses on Instagram. - ‘Online trolls’ -

watching them. “There’s an idea of not showing your body if you’re big bodied. You’re supposed to hide everything because its not appealing or it’s not something people like to see but that’s just something that’s been sold to us,” she insists. The response hasn’t all been positive however. Singh says she has been the victim of body shaming online. “Indian men have not been encouraging at all. There are a lot of people who write very nasty comments. They would say something like ‘You’re just a fat blob, you look just like an elephant or bear, or you’re unfit or it’s because you’re eating so much food. “I completely ignore these things. You can’t fight internet trolls. I don’t know these people so why should it bother me?”

Soon she was inundated with messages, mainly from foreigners at first but then from Indian women saying that Singh was an inspiration to them.

Singh, who currently weighs 73 kg, says she will continue trying to sell “a more positive body image” and “challenge notions of fitness and beauty”.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by some people saying they would feel alienated in a room full of perfect yoga bodies, how they would feel that everyone is

“I’m not aiming to have this thin figure but I am aiming to have a beautiful flow and make my body strong through yoga,” she says, smiling.

Saudi police question woman who wore miniskirt in video


IYADH, Saudi Arabia | AFP - Saudi police said Tuesday they were questioning a woman who appeared in an online video in a miniskirt and crop top walking through a historic site in the ultraconservative kingdom.

countries have fought two wars over the region.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full and the

There have since been repeated outbreaks of firing across the frontier, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries including among civilians.

Tensions reached dangerous levels last September, with both sides blaming one another for cross-border raids.

Cardinal choler over copyright of Mother Teresa’s sari


OME, Italy | AFP The famous white sari with three blue borders worn by saint Mother Teresa has been copyrighted by nuns, and one of the Vatican’s top cardinals is not pleased.

“It certainly does not honour the saint’s memory,” Saraiva Martins said. Panorama added that the news had upset many at the Vatican to the point that Pope Francis may be moved to speak out.

“Holy Mother Teresa of Calcutta is a universal symbol, beloved by believers (and) unbelievers,” said Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, 85, an ex-prefect of the powerful Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The white sari, now worn by nuns belonging to the Missionaries of Charity throughout the world, is a symbol of purity, while the three blue borders represent poverty, chastity and obedience.

“It is absurd that taxes will now have to be paid on her sari. It’s the first time I have heard anything like it,” he was quoted as saying by the online version of the Italian weekly Panorama, which hits shop shelves Thursday.

Mother Teresa won the Mother Teresa portrait (File photo) 1979 Nobel Peace Prize and was revered around the world by the trademarks registry in In- as a beacon for the Christian dia on the day the revered Cath- values of self-sacrifice and olic nun was raised to sainthood charity. in September last year. She spent all her adult life in It means those using images India, first teaching, then tendof the sari -- in anything from ing to the dying poor for debooks and films to calenders -- cades before her death in 1997. will have to pay.

The sari was reportedly recognised as an Intellectual Property of the Missionaries of Charity

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Astrologer Hardik Vyas, a famous young face in Vedic Astrology from India is available in Houston. Call for guidance on Health, Wealth, Education, Career, Business, Property, Love & Passion, Marriage & Compatibility, HoroscopeMaking, Child Problem, Luck & Fortune, Peace & Prosperity, Karma & Economical Sources.

Women in Saudi Arabia are required to wear long black abaya robes and cover their hair in public (AFP Photo/Fayez Nureldine)

Saudi media, including the main dailies Sabq and Okaz, on Tuesday quoted a spokesman for police in Riyadh as saying the woman was being questioned and had confessed to visiting the site with her male guardian.


The case has now been referred to the public prosecutor’s office, which will decide whether to prosecute the wom-

In a series of tit-for-tat moves in the entertainment industry, Pakistan last year suspended

screening of all Indian movies until tensions calmed, while Hindu nationalists in India have threatened violence at cinemas showing films with Pakistani actors.


The videos have since been uploaded to YouTube and tweeted by different users.

The woman denied that she had uploaded the clips and that the Snapchat account was hers, the spokesman said.

An official from the regulatory authority confirmed to AFP that the court “set aside the ban” and allowed the channels to air Indian TV shows.

In a series of tit-for-tat moves in the entertainment industry, Pakistan last year suspended screening of all Indian movies while Hindu nationalists in India had threatened violence at cinemas showing films with Pakistani actors (Photo: AFP)

Astrologer, Vaastu & Gem Stone Consultant

A series of videos, initially posted over the weekend to the Snapchat account of “Model Khulood”, show a young woman in a high-waisted miniskirt walking through a fort in Ushaiqer, outside the capital Riyadh, playing with sand in the dunes and turning towards the camera for a close-up, her long hair uncovered.

Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system mandates accompaniment by or written permission from a male relative -- usually a father, husband or brother -for women to study, work or travel.

Jehangir, acting for petitioner Leo Communication, the parent organisation of TV channel Filmazia, had requested the court to set aside the ban as in violation of the rules and beyond the powers of the regulatory authority.

The local government of Riyadh had issued a memo saying authorities were searching for the woman who had been “walking around... in indecent clothing”. The snaps have sparked heated debate, with social media users in the region and beyond weighing in on questions of gender and rights in the kingdom, where women are required to wear long black abaya robes and cover their hair in public. Many have come to the defence of the young woman, pointing out the privileges afforded to Western women by Saudi authorities. US First Lady Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump, daughter of the

president, did not cover their hair when they visited Saudi Arabia in May. “If it were Trump’s daughter, we would have braced ourselves for the flood of compliments and love poems,” read one tweet. “Problem solved,” tweeted Shahd bint Fahd alongside a picture of the model with Ivanka Trump’s face superimposed over the original. Others expressed outrage and derided those speaking out in support of the model. “These are the demands of the liberal ignorant community: a naked woman, a co-ed movie theatre, and music and dance. That’s progress to them! Not health care and not education,” read one tweet.

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FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

China’s ‘invisible village’ where local What to do if an airline residents live in subterranean caves - a loses your luggage lifestyle they have kept for 4,000 years by Cailey Rizzo

he very first step to finding a bag that doesn’t show up at the baggage claim is to let the airline know it is missing ASAP. It may be helpful to have a couple pictures of luggage on your phone to show airport staff. Regardless, be sure to know a bag’s brand, size and color before takeoff. Airlines will use this information when hunting down luggage.

Travelers should enquire about airline policy for lost luggage as they may be entitled to compensation. In instances where a bag is lost for more than 24 hours, airlines may be required to compensate travelers with a clothing allowance.

Travelers should be sure to hold onto their claim check (usually a sticker stuck on the back of a boarding pass) as that little barcode could be vital in confirming a bag’s identity.

Prevent your bag from getting lost. But of course, the best way to deal with a lost bag is to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. Travelers who are particularly anxious about losing luggage can opt to buy a smart suitcase like Raden or Bluesmart that can track itself through the airport via an app. It’s also possible to buy a GPS tracker to stick inside any old suitcase and turn it into a smart suitcase.


Cave dwelling courtyards in Shanzhou District of Sanmenxia City, central China’s Henan Province, July 13, 2017 (Source: Xinhua)


centuries-old tradition in central China has seen indigenous people living underground in ancient ‘pit yards’ which will soon be open to the public. The series of subterranean dwellings amount to nearly 10,000 homes in Sanmenxia city, Henan, according to a report by People’s Daily Online. The courtyard homes, called Yaodongs, have had six generations living under their roofs for over 200 years and are currently under conservation. However the tradition itself in China is thought to date back over 4,000 years and have

housed thousands of residents in the hills. The origins of Yaodongs can be traced back to Bronze Age, when people lived in dwellings within deep pits and they became widely popular during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Today, the homesteads are much more modernised and many of them are equipped with electricity and other utilities. The local government of Henan has announced that it is protecting the sites and plans to turn them into tourist attractions for curious visitors. Amazing



images of the site have been published online, showing the remarkable prism-like homesteads in all their glory, carved out of the sediment of huge loess land pits. The specific size and shape of the Yaodong varies depending on its location and over 30 million Chinese people live in such dwellings to this day. The structures also boast the features including earthquakeresistance, sound-proofing and are even energy-efficient. More importantly, there are wide wells that prevent floods and storms to ensure safety. (-Source: Xinhua)

‘Gangnam Style’ dethroned as top YouTube video “See You Again” intersperses scenes from the film with Wiz Khalifa rapping and Charlie Puth singing as they overlook a sandy coast. The song was a tribute to Paul Walker, an actor in “The Fast and Furious” film franchise who died in a car wreck. Psy’s triumph was all the more striking due to Psy performing at the Asia MTV Awards in 2012 (Image: YouTube) the overwhelming dominance of English-lanEW YORK - “GangPsy, who until “Gangnam nam Style,” the Style” was little known out- guage music on global charts. quirky South Korean side of South Korea, found an In a new example, “Despavideo that spawned a global avid fan base with the video’s cito” -- a Spanish-language dance craze and went so viral equestrian-style dance moves reggaeton song by Puerto Riit nearly broke YouTube, has set to its infectious pop beat. can star Luis Fonsi and rapper finally been dethroned as the The video became the first Daddy Yankee -- has reigned most watched video. to reach one billion views on for nine weeks at the top of the After four and a half years YouTube and caused the site’s US Billboard singles chart. as YouTube’s most seen video, engineers to scramble to make The “Despacito” video is al“Gangnam Style” slipped late changes when it topped 2.1 bil- ready the fifth most-watched Monday to number two, re- lion views, previously thought on YouTube at 2.486 billion placed by “See You Again” by to be the maximum possible. views even though it was reWiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. As of early Tuesday US time, leased just this year. “Gangnam Style,” a satirical “Gangnam Style” had 2.895 A total of 68 clips have take on the nouveau riche resi- billion views on YouTube, a passed the one billion view dents of the Seoul district by notch under “See You Again,” mark on YouTube, all but three the same name, surprised even which was featured in the 2015 of them music videos. (-Yaits singer, Psy, with its sudden action movie “Furious 7.” hoo! News) global ascent in 2012.


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Anybody dealing with a lost bag should stay in constant contact with their airline until they are reunited with their suitcase, Richie Copelovitch of iFLY Luggage advises. “Don’t let them forget about you. Do it nicely,” Copelovitch

For those who lost their toiletries while in transit, airlines usually have small amenity kits with toothpaste, deodorant and soap to hand out.

Passengers should also know that how you fly matters. Airlines Qatar and Delta have both implemented their own tracking technology inside of luggage stickers that allows passengers to track their bags until the very moment they are reunited. Delta is also the U.S. carrier least likely to lose luggage. Don’t forget the ID tags. And there are also some more old school tricks. Travelers should make sure every piece of luggage they’re checking has an identification tag with their name and contact information. After handing over a bag to the airline counter, travelers should ensure that the luggage sticker has both their correct name and final destination (mistakes can happen). Copelovitch also advised that fliers avoid traveling with luggage that’s overweight or broken. (-Travel+Leisure)

Texas ATM spits out pleas for help


ASHINGTON - When an ATM at a bank in Texas started spitting out handwritten notes calling for help, rather than tens and twenties, bemused police thought they must be the victim of a prank.

inside for hours, having left his cell phone and the device needed to open the door on the outside.

But the officers duly investigated the cash dispenser at a waterfront Bank of America office in Corpus Christi, after clients said they had received perplexing notes saying “please help.”

Unable to contact the outside world, the desperate contractor had started writing pleas for help on pieces of paper and pushing them through the dispenser to customers expecting to receive cash, not supplications.

Far from a candid camera-style hoax, the officers were amazed when a little voice came out of the machine, The Washington Post reported Friday. When they kicked down the door leading to the ATM’s service room, they found that a repair man who had been called to fix the lock had been stuck

“You can’t just turn the knob and exit,” police spokesman Lieutenant John Hooper told the Post.

One of the notes read, “Please help. I’m stuck in here, and I don’t have my phone. Please call my boss” -- with a phone number included. Police freed the worker, without releasing his name or the company he worked for. (-AFP)


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Tibetan student selfimmolates in India


EW DELHI, India | AFP - A Tibetan student has self-immolated in India after shouting “freedom”, police said Saturday, injuring himself critically.

head of the Tibetan Youth Congress activist group in Varanasi, as saying Choeying shouted “Victory to Tibet”. Police said they are still investi-


EW DELHI, India | AFP Comic and UN ambassador Lilly Singh has called on the Indian government to be more tolerant of satire after a popular comedy group was slapped with criminal charges over allegations that they insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The child of Indian migrants, Singh has more than 11 million YouTube followers and is one of the channel’s biggest earners. The 28-year-old has made her name with video rants, making fun of imaginary Punjabi parents and antisexism sketches that take on themes such as “Why bras are horrible” and “If boys got their periods”.

Last week Indian comedy group All India Bakchod were put under investigation for defamation and publishing obscene material online after a social media post poking fun at Modi.

The student set himself on fire on Friday at the Central University for Tibetan Studies in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh state. Self-immolation has regularly been used as a protest against China’s actions in Tibet. But Indian police said they are also investigating the 20-year-old’s recent exam failures as being a possible cause for his actions. “We are not entirely clear about the reasons but eyewitnesses told us that he shouted ‘freedom’ before running out, dousing himself with kerosene and setting himself on fire,” Sanjay Tripathi, a Varanasi police spokesman, told AFP. “There were some Tibetan representatives at the institution at the time. But the institute authorities have also told us that they had announced exam results a day earlier and he had failed two exams,” Tripathi added. The International Campaign for Tibet identified the student as Tenzin Choeying. It quoted Chime Namgyal,

gating and will take statements from Choeying and his family. “The boy is recovering at the hospital. He can speak but has around 50 percent burns,” Tripathi said. China says its troops “liberated” Tibet in 1951, but many Tibetans accuse the government of religious repression and eroding their culture. China rejects the accusations and accuses the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader who lives in exile in the Indian hill town of Dharamshala, of inciting self-immolations in a bid to split Tibet from the rest of the nation. A young farmer self-immolated in southwest China in March, the first Tibetan to set themselves on fire in 2017. The Tibetan government in exile in India said he was the 146th Tibetan to self-immolate since 2009. Choeying is the not the first Tibetan to set himself on fire in India. A Tibetan exile set himself alight and died two days later in New Delhi in 2012.

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UN envoy Lilly Singh calls on India to show comic tolerance

“If you watch something and it makes you laugh, great. If it doesn’t, that comedy isn’t wrong. It’s just not suitable for you,” the Canadian internet sensation recently told AFP on the sidelines of a trip to New Delhi as a UN goodwill ambassador.

Tibetan student Tenzin Choeying is shown in an undated photo (Photo: RFA)

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

Tendulkar and famous Indian movie singer Lata Mangeshkar. Free speech advocates allege that there is a growing climate of intolerance under Hindu nationalist leader Modi, with online trolls feeling empowered to target social media users who express

The troupe posted a photograph of a Modi look-alike alongside an image of the real prime minister’s face superimposed with a dog’s features using a Snapchat filter. The post went viral, but sparked a backlash from Modi supporters. AIB later deleted the post. “Comedy is very subjective... and the best thing you can do is promote what you love, don’t bash what you hate,” said Singh, who met students in the Indian capital and in Madhya Pradesh state as a UNICEF ambassador. “Comedy is the best way to express views.”

Lilly Singh, YouTube sensation (Photo: Smashbox Cosmetics) In 2015 AIB fell foul of authorities when they were at the centre of an obscenity investigation over some sexually explicit jokes in a comedy “roast” show featuring several Bollywood stars. Last year Mumbai police asked YouTube and Facebook to block an AIB video mocking cricket great Sachin

different points of view from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. This week the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) refused to certify a documentary film featuring Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen unless some words, including “cow” and “Hindu India”, are beeped out.

Mastering manners at Switzerland’s last finishing school by Nina Larson


ight women sit primly around an elaborately set table making pleasant small-talk about the weather, as immaculately starched waiting staff stand at the ready. But as one of the servers steps forward holding a silver soup tureen with whitegloved hands, an instructor helps her adjust the angle of the bowl to make sure the ladle is facing the diner. And a second tutor whispers in the ear of another diner to lower her elbow as she brings the spoon to her mouth. The women are not at a fancy restaurant or a high-end social club, but at Switzerland’s last finishing school, learning to master good manners, strict etiquette and how to avoid a fatal faux pas. “I realise now that I have been mixing the French style of eating with the British style,” said Institut Villa Pierrefeu student Heba, asking that her last name not be given. With some embarrassment, the 34-year-old Egyptian national explained that she had placed her knife on her plate even though she had not used it during her meal -- a no-no in French dining etiquette.

Students studying (Photo: StatePoint)


chool can be a stressful place, from finding a seat at lunch to making new friends, but don’t let supplies be one of those stressors. Make life just a bit easier with the right supplies, so students have more time to focus on the important things. To help reduce stress, consider the following tips and tricks. Lighten the Load Students are always on the go -- shuttling to and from school, attending rehearsals, practices and other extracurricular activities, and moving about from class to class. Managing mobility is crucial toward alleviating physical stress.

to find, and padded sections for holding and protecting technology. Stay Organized Being organized can reduce so many headaches. Yet somehow, it’s all too easy to let backpacks, lockers and even bedroom floors get messy. Use effective organizational tools to ensure assignments aren’t misplaced in the shuffle. For example, the Five Star Storage & Organization Divider features mesh storage pockets that are great for smaller school supplies; plus, it can snap into a notebook or be stored in a binder for easy organization of important papers. Write it Down

Use multifunctional tools that can help them carry less, such as the Five Star Flex Hybrid NoteBinder. It acts like a notebook and works like a binder with flexible, durable rings that open and close, allowing students to add, remove or re-sort their papers. Carrying less means less to worry about. Further lighten the load by carrying only what is needed. Pack backpacks the night before to avoid bringing textbooks or binders that won’t be used. Another tip is to look for a backpack that features ergonomic straps to help distribute weight evenly and reduce physical stress. A backpack that has this feature is the Five Star Expandable Backpack; not only that, it also has expanding compartments offering extra room when needed. Other things to look for are pockets to help keep small supplies organized and easy

Write down assignments as soon as they are given. Being proactive will make sure there are no surprises. A planner is great for accessing information anytime, however you may want to display this crucial information on a wall calendar or planner at home as well. Remain Balanced Beyond selecting smart gear, students can help ensure a successful school year by making room in their schedules for activities that help reduce stress, whether that’s listening to music, going for a run or spending time with friends. Find a few systems that help keep mental and physical stress low, and work hard to keep them in place throughout the year. (StatePoint).

Heba is among 30 students from 14 different countries taking an intensive Pierrefeu summer course, lasting either three or six weeks, and offering classes like international business etiquette, floral art and staff management. - Not all princesses The students are a diverse crowd, according to Viviane Neri, who took the reins of the school in 1972 -- nearly two decades after her mother founded it. “Obviously we have daughters of presidents and princesses, but those are definitely not the majority,” she said, her warm smile offsetting the strictness of her impeccable attire. “We also have people who save money to finance their stay because... they realise that this will give them extra knowledge that very few people have,” she said. It is not cheap. Depending on the formula chosen, a six-week course, with exams and board at the school’s majestic manor houses, can cost close to 30,000 Swiss francs ($31,000, 27,000 euros). The current students, aged between 18 and 50 and ranging from professional businesswomen, to doctors and housewives, do not reveal their last names to each other to ensure equal treatment. Half a century ago, the students at Institut Villa Pierrefeu, which overlooks the picturesque town of Montreux, were among thousands attending a plethora of finishing schools dotting the hills around Lake Geneva.

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A clear shift in attitudes towards the need for good manners noted (Photo: AFP) Back then it was common for girls and young women from wealthy, upper-class families to attend so-called “charm schools” to polish their manners and social graces. Britain’s late Princess Diana was among the famous alumni of since shuttered finishing schools in this area. - ‘Ashamed, post-1968’ But today, Pierrefeu is the only one left, after the industry was decimated by the 1968 student revolution and rise of feminism. “There was a huge dip in attendance right after the student revolution,” Neri said, adding that “the few who came said they were going to a languages school. They were ashamed.” Neri attributes her school’s longevity to its broad international focus and its rigorous efforts to keep the course material, including textbooks available only to Pierrefeu students, constantly up-to-date. The students learn and practise the proper etiquette and protocol of 20 different countries, as well as cultural taboos to be avoided. “Cultural differences you are not aware of can create conflicts for very silly reasons,” Neri said, pointing out for instance that in Japan it is rude to blow your nose in public, while in Germany it is rude not to. She suggested that many journalists could use a Pierrefeu course to avoid “embarrassing” articles like those criticising US First Lady Melania Trump for not covering her head during a recent trip to Saudi Arabia. “She doesn’t have to because it is not compulsory for non-Muslims who come to Saudi Arabia. That’s protocol,” she said. The students seem to enjoy delving into such details, although some expressed surprise at the intensity of the course. “I don’t know if, when you hear finishing school, you take it as seriously as I think we all do now,” said Taylor, a 34-year-old American student, who also refrained from giving her last name. “It is very rigorous,... very comprehensive,” she said, adding that she felt she was “becoming educated here in a very

rounded way.” - ‘Not about snobbism’ Unlike the post-1968 generation, she and others said they proudly boasted of attending the school. Former student Nadine Abou Zahr, 46, said she had been sceptical when she first heard about the school while attending university nearby two decades ago. But the French-Lebanese former fashion magazine editor, who declined to reveal her current occupation, told AFP in an email that she could not be more delighted with her experience. “Learning good manners in my opinion is not about snobbism or superficiality. It’s about respect, for yourself and others,” she said. The course is not about creating “dramatic” career or life changes, she said, but, rather, designed to broaden cultural horizons and teach the importance of paying attention to detail. - Etiquette roaring back? Neri said she had noted a clear shift in attitudes towards the need for good manners. “I think people, after two generations of no etiquette, realise that it is so much easier when people share the same codes,” she said. The shift has led Neri, along with her son and would-be successor, Philippe, to explore a range of expansion options. Three years ago they opened shorter seminars to men. They are also looking into reinstating a full school year and online courses. At the same time, Neri is working to clear up common misunderstandings about what finishing schools actually represent. Far from seeing girls walking gingerly with books balanced on their heads, or being focused on how to find a husband, her finishing school provides for in-depth learning and opening-up of the mind, she said. “I always say we don’t finish them (the students), we start them,” Neri said. “We open their eyes to the diversity there is.”


Section 2



FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

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Bollywood superstars dazzle at India film awards

Kaay Re Rascalaa teaser is hilarious!

Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt and actor Saif Ali Khan dance on stage during the 18th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Festival at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Photo: AFP)

Child actor Nihar Gite in Giridharan Swamy’s Kaay Re Rascalaa is a delight.

by Jennie Matthew ast Rutherford, | AFP - India’s biggest Bollywood stars led a triumphant celebration of dance, music and fashion at the International Indian Film Academy awards Saturday, cheered by thousands of ecstatic fans just outside New York.


The five-hour show at an American football stadium in New Jersey, where the glittering Manhattan skyline was visible from the parking lot, was a riot of color, glitz and stunning dance routines. Best picture went to “Neerja,” a thriller based on the true story of a purser who helped save the lives of more than 350 passengers when Libyan-backed hijackers stormed Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi in 1986. The hijackers killed the purser and she posthumously became the youngest person to receive India’s highest civilian award for bravery. “Udta Punjab,” a gritty crime drama spotlighting the huge problem of drug abuse among young people in Punjab, scooped Shahid Kapoor best actor and Alia Bhatt best actress in a leading role. The movie angered politicians in the state and the filmmakers took India’s censor board to court over a number of cuts it tried to make. The trio of serious-minded films winning major awards was rounded out by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury taking home the award for best director for “Pink,” about sexual violence against women. The culmination of a three-day celebration of Indian cinema, the 18th edition of the awards ceremony was held just outside New York at the American football MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford,

New Jersey. - ‘Seduce more hearts’ The awards, which some have likened to the Oscars of Bollywood, is India’s biggest media event and one of the world’s most-watched annual entertainment shows, with an audience of nearly 800 million people. Held in a different city overseas each year to showcase what is the most prolific film industry in the world and the soft power of India, the 2017 event comes with Indian film on the up in North America. From a Donald Trump impersonator named Ronald Grump, to a closing song and dance routine from Bollywood bad boy Salman Khan, which had love-struck women screaming in delight, and signature Bollywood formation numbers with eye-popping costumes galore, it was a festive night. Thousands of delighted fans, dressed to the nines in evening gowns, cocktail dresses, saris and jewel-encrusted shalwar kameez, shrieked with delight, declared love for stars and laughed at the jokes of funny men hosts, actor Saif Ali Khan and producer-director Karan Johar. There was glamor from winner Alia Bhatt in a crystal-studded strapless ballgown and Katrina Kaif who shimmered in a lime-green bra top, spray-on black pants and silver tassels through an upbeat dance. Actress Shilpa Shetty, who won fame for being subjected to alleged racist taunts and winning Britain’s “Celebrity Big Brother” in 2007, looked statuesque in shimmering one-shoulder peach lashed to the thigh. The ceremony honored double-Oscar

US firms are making big bets on Bollywood by Seema Mody & Ritika Shah


ndia’s multibillion-dollar entertainment industry is quickly gaining a global audience, and it’s not just because of the song and dance. In hopes of expanding more in the West, for the first time ever, the IIFA awards show, dubbed the Indian Oscars, is being hosted in New York City this weekend. But U.S. producers have already been paying attention to the robust growth in Bollywood — a colloquial term used to refer to Indian cinema. In terms of revenue, the industry has gross box-office realizations of $2.1 billion. That is expected to grow at 11 percent compounded annual growth rate reaching $3.7 billion by 2020, according to research published by Deloitte India in 2016. For years Sony, Disney, Fox and Viacom, among others, have been investing in Bollywood while also finding ways to partner with local Indian studios.

“Bollywood, as we call it, is larger than Hollywood and brings out so much more content, so if you want to play in India you really have to play with local partners to be able to get access to that content and that talent. I think it’s just a no-brainer,” said Anjula Acharia, partner at Trinity Ventures and manager to “Quantico” star Priyanka Chopra. U.S. content makers are also getting in on the action. “Netflix and Hulu and Amazon, whoever’s entering the market, realizes that local content is king and people want content that is localized and resonates with them,” said Acharia. Amazon Prime Video this past week unveiled their first Indian web series, “Inside Edge,” featuring prominent Bollywood stars including Richa Chadda and Vivek Oberoi. Amazon’s move is seen as a way to produce short digital series while at the same time leveraging India’s popular talent. “A shift happened in television where the urban TV-watching audience got left behind with the kind of

winner movie composer A.R. Rahman and treated the audience to a snippet of Hollywood production “The Black Prince” about Queen Victoria and the Last King of Punjab, Maharajah Duleep Singh, which goes on release in the US next week. Indian film is growing in North America, thanks to a thriving Indian economy, an increasing and affluent South Asian diaspora, and growing popularity among Afghans, Arabs, Russians and Caribbean immigrants. - ‘Watch this film’ But if there were few non-South Asians in sight Saturday, Bollywood heroes walking the green carpet welcomed the ceremony as a chance to further the industry internationally. “Many others get exposed to this, that way we will seduce more hearts for Indian films,” said Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover.

For the last couple of years adolescent love stories had become the staple diet of Marathi cinema. But before that Marathi cinema’s popular genre has always been comedy. And ‘Kaay Re Rascalaa’ brings back that lost flavour of Marathi cinema. Along with

The city of Mumbai seems to play an important role in this comedy of errors. The music of this film too has been loved by the audiences. The ‘Kohinoor’ song from this film has already gone viral. The film is directed by Giridharan Swamy and the film is set to release soon. (-TNN)

Athiya Shetty: ‘biggest disadvantage’ of belonging to a Bollywood family

“So I think it’s a huge change and hopefully one day we’ll have one single industry,” Sood added. IIFA selected gender equality as its cause of the year, despite a film industry often criticized for depicting women as meek and subjecting characters to aggressive methods of wooing by dominant male leads. “Pink” not only won the best director award but also saw actress Taapsee Pannu, win the IIFA woman of the year award. content that was being produced,” said Chadda. “Now with Amazon’s entry, we have better content for the urban Indian, the educated Indian, the global Indian, who travels, who knows what to watch and who has exposure to series of the West.” Chaddha also said that a web series like the one she worked on with Amazon — which focuses on the corruption behind cricket — has allowed actors like herself to experiment outside the traditional Bollywood movie storyline. “With the current level of censorship in Bollywood films it’s very difficult to make original content or anything experimental or creative. Language is a big issue, characters can’t smoke on screen. If they do, there’s a ticker. Things like that. So, with a digital medium a lot of censorship has not happened – yet. So we have freedom there. And people are exploiting it for however long they can because censorship is a huge issue and it always clashes with creativity,” she said. (-CNBC)

ctress Athiya Shetty being second generation actors in Bollywood has its own advantages and disadvantages, reports news agency IANS. Athiya, daughter of actor Suniel Shetty, was launched by Salman Khan in Hero (2015).


She said that though “we get the first opportunity easily” but without talent “our career cannot last long.” She told IANS: “There are advantages and disadvantages of being a star child. You see, I get a lot of love and appreciation from the elders of the film industry as well as from the

media fraternity by default because of the goodwill that my father has earned. People waited for my debut. But at the same time, the biggest disadvantage of a star child is facing criticism of nepotism.” Athiya is awaiting the release of Mubarakan (releasing on July 28). “We get the first opportunity easily, but we are in a profession where without talent and most importantly without audiences’ appreciation, our career cannot last long,” said Athiya, when asked about the nepotism in Bollywood. (-NDTV)


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the lead actors Gaurav Ghatnekar and Bhagyashree Mote there’s a brigade of Marathi actors that include Supriya Pathare, Kamlakar Satpute, Nagesh Bhosale and Nikhil Ratnaparkhi, informs a website

Sonu Sood, who stars in action-adventure flick “Kung Fu Yoga” with Jackie Chan, said “all the actors are coming to Bollywood to do Indian movies and all the Indian Bollywood actors are going international.”

Your OB-GYN of Choice: Dr. Rachna Bhala, M.D Methodist Sugar Land

fter her first production, ‘Ventilator’ in Marathi Priyanka Chopra’s second Marathi production ‘Kaay Re Rascalaa’ has been highly awaited. The teaser of this mad comedy was recently revealed on social media. Coldwell Banker United, Realtors/Memorial, 10497 Town & Country Way, Suite 800, Houston, TX 77024 Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC.


FRIDAY, July 21, 2017


Section 2


Could artificial sweeteners raise your odds for obesity? by Dennis Thompson rtificial sweeteners may be less helpful than many believe in helping people lose weight and avoid health problems associated with extra pounds, a new evidence review suggests.


Aspartame, saccharin, sucralose and other artificial sweeteners did not lead to any significant weight loss in more than 1,000 participants in seven clinical trials, said lead researcher Meghan Azad. Clinical trials are considered the “gold standard” of medical research, added Azad, an assistant professor of pediatrics with the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. At the same time, the combined data from 30 observational studies involving more than 400,000 participants showed that artificial sweeteners are associated with obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart health problems. Observational studies cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship, however. These results are “kind of the opposite of what these products are intended for,” Azad said. “It should make people think and question whether they really need to be eating these artificial sweeteners.” However, it’s possible this evidence review is blaming artificial sweeteners for health problems attributable to an otherwise poor diet or other unhealthy lifestyle choices, countered the Calorie Control Council. The group represents the low- and reduced-calorie food and beverage industry.

Products won’t lead to significant weight loss and are even tied to weight gain, research review finds (Image: Adobe Stock) BMI is a measurement of body fat, based on height and weight. At the same time, the 30 observational studies showed that over an average follow-up of 10 years, people regularly using artificial sweeteners tended to develop health problems associated with excess weight. “Right now, sugar is so much in the spotlight as the bad guy causing obesity, causing diabetes,” Azad said. “Everyone is told don’t eat sugar, period. So a reasonable assumption is, ‘OK, I’ll use a sugar substitute.’ This says maybe don’t make that immediate substitution before we have evidence.” Theories about why artificial sweeteners might not help weight loss tend to revolve around two schools of thought, Azad said. One school holds that the sweeteners might influence dieters’ behavior in unhealthy ways.

Such strategies should address not only dietary preferences, but also physical activity and medical considerations, Rankin added.

The other school holds that artificial sweeteners might influence the body itself in some as-yet-unknown way, Azad said. The sweeteners could alter the way that gut microbes function in the digestion of food, or possibly change the body’s metabolism over time by sending repeated false signals that something sweet has been ingested.

The combined seven clinical trials showed that artificial sweeteners had no impact on a person’s body mass index (BMI), the researchers reported.

For example, a person drinking a no-calorie soda might feel free to eat calorie-laden foods, Azad noted. Artificial sweeteners also might sharpen the person’s sweet tooth, making them more likely to indulge in sugary foods.

However, Azad agreed there are limitations in the studies linking artificial sweeteners to health problems.

“Really, the take-home message for this study is we need more research, because there isn’t a lot of evidence on the long-term effects,” she said. Lauri Wright is an assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics with the University of North Florida. She said the studies may have neglected other things that influence weight, such as exercise or overall diet. “I don’t think in dietetics practice we ever figure that switching to sugar substitutes is going to give you a significant weight loss alone,” said Wright, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It’s many factors together that make up a healthy diet and lifestyle. Just drinking diet soda instead of regular soda for most people isn’t going to do the trick,” she added. In addition, many people start using artificial sweeteners because they are already overweight and may already have developed diabetes. “Those kind of factors confound what we are seeing in these observational studies,” Wright said. There’s no evidence that artificial sweeteners alter the way the body processes sugar, she noted, and some research has shown that sugar substitutes do not make a person crave sweets more. “I do not tell my patients to stay away from diet sodas,” Wright said. “I feel like they’ve been well-tested, and I don’t worry about normal consumption.” The study was published July 17 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. (-HealthDay)

Small improvements to eating habits may prolong life: study


IAMI | AFP |- It’s hard to eat right all the time, but making small improvements by choosing healthier foods now and then may significantly boost one’s chances of living longer, said a US study Wednesday. The report in the New England Journal of Medicine is the first to show that improving diet quality over at least a dozen years is associated with lower total and cardiovascular mortality.


How Do I File an Appeal Under Medicare?


“Low-calorie sweeteners are a tool to help provide sweet taste without calories, to address one aspect of calorie intake,” council president Robert Rankin said in a statement. “Taste preferences are an important component of dietary habits, but successful weight management requires a wellrounded strategy.”

For their review, Azad and her colleagues weeded through more than 11,000 published studies, narrowing their review down to seven clinical trials and 30 long-term studies.

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Researchers at Harvard University tracked dietary changes in a population of nearly 74,000 health professionals who logged their eating habits every four years. Researchers used a system of dietquality scores to assess how much diets had improved. For instance, a 20-percentile increase in scores could “be achieved by swapping out just one serving of red or processed meat for one daily serving

of nuts or legumes,” said a summary of the research. Over the 12-year span, those who ate a little better than they did at the start -- primarily by consuming more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish -- saw an eight to 17 percent lower risk of dying prematurely in the next 12 years. Those whose diets got worse over time saw a higher risk of dying in the next 12 years of follow-up, on the order of a six to 12 percent increase. “Our results highlight the long-term health benefits of improving diet quality with an emphasis on overall dietary patterns rather than on individual foods or nutrients,” said senior author Frank Hu, professor and chair of the Harvard Chan School Department of Nutrition. “A healthy eating pattern can be adopted according to individuals’ food and cultural preferences and health conditions,” he added. “There is no one-size-fitsall diet.”

hat’s an appeal? An appeal is the action you can take if you disagree with a coverage or payment decision made by Medicare, your Medicare health plan, or your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. You can appeal if Medicare or your plan denies one of these: • Your request for a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug that you think you should be able to get • Your request for payment for a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug you already got • Your request to change the amount you must pay for a health care service, supply, item or prescription drug. You can also appeal if Medicare or your plan stops providing or paying for all or part of a service, supply, item, or prescription drug you think you still need. If you decide to appeal If you decide to appeal, ask your doctor, health care provider, or supplier for any information that may help your case. See your plan materials, or contact your plan for details about your appeal rights. Generally, you can find your plan’s contact information on your plan membership card. Or, you can get your plan’s contact information from a Personalized Search (under General Search), or search by plan name. The appeals process has 5 levels. If you disagree with the decision made at any level of the process, you can generally go to the next level. At each level, you’ll be given instructions in the decision letter on how to move to the next level of appeal. • Original Medicare appeals Filing an appeal if you have Original Medicare Level 1: Redetermination by the company that handles claims for Medicare Level 2: Reconsideration by a Qualified Independent Contractor QIC Level 3: Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Level 4: Review by the Medicare Appeals Council (Appeals Council) Level 5: Judicial review by a federal district court Medicare Advantage Plan (Health plan) Appeals If you disagree with your plan’s initial decision, you can file an appeal. The appeals process has 5 levels. If you disagree with the decision made at any level of the process, you can generally go to the next level. At each level, you’ll get instructions in the decision letter on how to move to

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

the next level of appeal. • Level 1: Reconsideration from your plan • Level 2: Review by an Independent Review Entity (IRE) • Level 3: Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) • Level 4: Review by the Medicare Appeals Council (Appeals Council) • Level 5: Judicial review by a federal district court Medicare prescription drug coverage appeals Your Medicare drug plan will send you a written decision. If you disagree with this decision, you have the right to appeal. Level 1: Redetermination from your plan Level 2: Review by an Independent Review Entity (IRE) Level 3: Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Level 4: Review by the Medicare Appeals Council (Appeals Council) Level 5: Judicial review by a federal district court Special Needs Plan coverage decision appeal Your Medicare Special Needs Plan (SNP) must tell you in writing how to appeal. After you file an appeal, the plan will review its original decision. If your plan doesn’t decide in your favor, the appeal is reviewed by an independent organization that works for Medicare, not for the plan. (To Be Continued) To choose right Medicare Supplement plan, Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug plan, contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.

Modest weight gain in adulthood boosts disease risk: study


IAMI | AFP - Most adults gain weight as they age, but adding as little as 11 pounds (five kilograms) by middle age may substantially raise the risk of major illnesses, US researchers said Tuesday. Harvard University scientists found that even modest weight gain in adulthood “was associated with a significantly elevated incidence of a composite measure of major chronic diseases, consisting of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and nontraumatic death,” said the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Our study is the first of its kind to systematically examine the association of weight gain from early to middle adulthood with major health risks later in life,” said senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard University. “The findings indicate that even a modest amount of weight gain may have important health consequences.” The study was based on survey data from more than 92,000 people, tracked from 1976 until 2012. Participants self-reported their estimated weight gains, beginning from age 18 in women and age 21 in men, through 55, an age researchers described as “middle adulthood.”

Most people gained weight over that span. Women added an average of 22 pounds (10 kilos) and men about 19 pounds (8.6 kilos). But compared to people who maintained their weight within five pounds of their young adult selves, those who bulked up faced significant increases in health problems, from heart disease to unhealthy aging, said the report. “Each five-kilogram (11-pound) weight gain was associated with a 30 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes,” it said. Other risks included a 14 percent increased risk of high blood pressure and eight percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Weight-gainers also saw a six percent increased risk of obesity-related cancer. Those who had never smoked saw a five percent increased risk of dying prematurely. Overall, each 11 pound weight gain was linked to a 17 percent lower chance of achieving healthy aging. “Higher amounts of weight gain were associated with greater risk of chronic diseases,” added the report. Researchers said they hope their findings help doctors and patients better understand the health consequences of gaining weight over time.



Full Moons and Their Spiritual Effects on Humans - Part II is actually the Harvest Moon, which is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering. Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Harvest Moon – October: This full Moon is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood

Iran front pages mourn trailblazing female mathematician

ferred to as the Frosty Moon. The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon – December: During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

Dr. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Rice University, Houston, TX.


Full Sturgeon Moon – August: The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon. Full Corn Moon or Full Harvest Moon – September: This full moon’s name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon


here are only two types of companies, it is commonly said: those that have been hacked, and those that just don’t know it yet. IBM Corp. wants to get rid of both. The Armonk, N.Y., computing giant said Monday that it has achieved a breakthrough in security technology that will enable all businesses to encrypt their customer data on a massive scale — turning most if not all of their digital information into gibberish that is illegible to thieves with its new mainframe. “The last generation of mainframes did encryption very well and very fast, but not in bulk,” Ross Mauri, general manager of IBM’s mainframe


hether it be Bitcoin or Ethereum, every cryptocurrency has suffered massive losses over the past several days. Prices have dropped to as low as 64 percent, bringing the entire cryptocurrency market cap down to $70 billion from $110 billion. Bitcoin, is down about 36 percent from its high (it’s currently trading around $1,894). Investors are finding it hard to hold onto cryptocurrencies at such a low price — especially amateur investors who bought

Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the coveted Fields Medal, died aged 40 on Saturday in a US hospital after the breast cancer she had been battling for four years spread to her bone marrow.

Some criticised the move then and on Sunday many chose to publish Mirzakhani’s picture without a hijab -- perhaps easier to justify for authorities after her death. Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many years ago, native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean for the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes. Full Beaver Moon – November: This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also re-

The Spiritual Effects of Full Moon on Humans Over the decades there have been many scientific reports for and against the effect of the moon on human behavior. The reports analyzed heightened mind activity, increased visits to general or psychiatric emergency departments and people complaining of higher levels of physical and mental distress. The frequencies emanating from the Moon affect the frequencies of the mental body, i.e. mind of human beings. By ‘mind’ we mean our feelings, emotions and desires. The mind consists of the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Within the sub-conscious mind we have a number of impressions that are embedded that decide our basic nature and personality. We are however not aware of the thoughts or impressions in our sub-conscious mind. These impressions get collected over a number of lifetimes. To be continued

business, said in an interview. Mauri estimates that only 4% of data stolen since 2013 was ever encrypted. As the number of data breaches affecting U.S. entities steadily grows — resulting in the leakage every year of millions of people’s personal information — IBM argues that universal encryption could be the answer to the epidemic of hacking. The key, according to IBM officials, is an update to the computer chips driving the powerful mainframe servers that house corporate or institutional information and process millions of transactions a day worldwide, such as ATM withdrawals and credit card payments and flight reservations.

of turning legible information into coded gobbledygook, is already commonly used among certain email providers and storage services. But because of the enormous computational power needed to quickly encrypt and decrypt information as it passes from one entity to another, many businesses use encryption only selectively if at all. A December report by the security firm Sophos found that while three out of four organizations routinely encrypt customer data or billing information, far more do not encrypt their intellectual property or HR records. Sixty percent of organizations also leave work files created by employees unencrypted, the study found. (-Washington Post)

Cryptography, the science

Why cryptocurrency prices are in free fall by Anupam Varshney

In some cases newspapers even broke with tradition and portrayed Mirzakhani without her hair covered by a hijab -mandatory for women in public since the Islamic republic’s 1979 revolution.

When she won the Fields Medal -- the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for mathematics -- in 2014, newspapers used every means possible to avoid showing her hair, including publishing old images of her in Iran with covered hair or drawing her picture with an improvised head scarf.

To battle hackers, IBM wants to encrypt the world by Brian Fung


EHRAN, Iran | AFP - Iranian media have hailed trailblazing Iran-born mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani following her death from cancer, with her image blazoned across newspaper front pages on Sunday.

Mirzakhani was born and studied in Iran before leaving to pursue her career in the United States.

ull Flower Moon – May In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time, thus the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon. Full Strawberry Moon – June: This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June, so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry! The Full Buck Moon – July: July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

them at a much higher price. Here are a few possible causes for the recent price tumble: August 1st is looming. The infamous crypto “civil war” is around the corner. The debate on whether or not to increase the Bitcoin block size has been going on for a few of years now, with disagreement between the miners and nodes. This particular concern is making investors nervous, and some are liquidating their BTC into fiat, which could be the cause for this free fall. Post-ICO “startups” are cashing out. Nearly $700 million

was raised in total last month through ICOs on the Ethereum platform. Needless to say, most of these so-called startups are not worth the money they have raised. For instance, the BAT ICO raised $25 million in less than a minute, Cosmos raised $16 million, Status raised $95 million, and Bancor raised $153 million. One thing these companies are good at is marketing and writing fancy white papers. We’re seeing market manipulation and amateur panicking The cryptocurrency market is as unregulated as it can get. (-VentureBeat)

Hamshahri, a centrist newspaper owned by the municipality of Tehran, and reformist economic daily Donyaye Eghtesad both used full-blown portraits of her without a hijab. “The Queen of Mathematics’ Eternal Departure,” Donyaye Eghtesad’s headline read. The reformist Shargh daily published a photo of her wearing a hat -- under the headline “The Queen of Numbers Land” -- while some others used designs and photo editing to fade

Maryam Mirzakhani’s front page coverage in Tehran’s Hamshahri her signature short hair into a black backdrop. - ‘Truly devastated’ Only ultraconservative newspapers Resalat and Keyhan did not feature Mirzakhani’s picture on the front page, with the latter covering her story in an inside page with a picture of her wearing hijab. There was an outpouring of grief from Iranians over her passing, not least because she represented a more globalised and positive image of the country than usually depicted. “Her work and her scientific achievements are clearly beyond my understanding but from the little knowledge I have, I can see how immense her intelligence and works are,” said Nima Zaare, a Tehran-based artist who drew a portrait of Mirzakhani following her Fields Medal win. “Normally I don’t do portraits, but I was greatly hon-

oured to draw such a genius. I was truly devastated when I heard the news of her death yesterday,” he added. Messages of grief also poured in on social media, including from senior officials. President Hassan Rouhani was among the first to react following news of her death, posting a recent picture of Mirzakhani on Instagram without her head covered. Writing in Shargh about Mirzakhani, reformist figure Azar Mansouri urged Rouhani to pick female ministers to his new cabinet which will be formed in the coming weeks, following his re-election in May. “Appreciating the likes of Mirzakhani” is only possible by “establishing equal opportunities for them,” she wrote. Rouhani currently has three female deputies but no woman ministers.

Consumers are ready to embrace ‘futuristic’ payment tech by Richard Adhikari



Thirty-two percent trusted facial recognition for securing electronic payments;

s many as 80 percent of U.S. residents support frictionless payment methods and technologies, suggests a survey of 1,000 consumers Viewpost published this week. Among its other findings:

Thirty-one percent considered retinal scanning as a viable payment authentication technology; and

pose. Influencers can sell directly to their viewers through various social media Grow your business with social media management services from Deluxe! channels with Primo’s solution. Merchants and retailers using its payment infrastructure

Nearly 51 percent of survey participants were paid electronically through direct deposit; Eighty-three percent of respondents believed paper checks would be eliminated completely within the next 20 years, and one-third expected their demise in just five years; Only 11 percent thought companies would continue to use paper-based billing; Fifty-four percent believed companies would use automatic billing via customers’ bank accounts or credit cards;

Many consumers expect advanced technologies to keep them safe as well as allow shopping convience. (Image: Adobe Stock)

Fifty-two percent believed payments would be made via mobile apps; and

Eighteen percent expected to be using voice technologies to make payments by 2027.

Twenty-one percent saw bitcoin becoming a viable currency within the next 10 years.

- Tomorrow’s Payment Tech -

“New technologies in the payment arena continue to bring more digitization and simplification, great security, and collaboration, as well as notification and faster availability of funds,” said Pat McMonagle, director of payment operations at Viewpoint. “For example, a payment through the Zelle network is much faster and more secure than a paper check,” he told CRM Buyer. - Keeping Payments Secure The advent of faster payments has led to an increase in security and controls to reduce the probability of payment fraud, McMonagle said. Based on the survey results, many consumers expect advanced technologies to keep them safe: Fifty percent of respondents believed fingerprint technology would be used for payment authentication within the next 10 years; Thirty-five percent saw facial recognition becoming a key payment authentication technology within the next 10

Virtual payments make business travel more efficient, compliant and fraud-resistant, according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Virtual payments can replace corporate travel cards, the firm suggests in a recent white paper. They provide more security than travel cards as they can’t be lost, stolen, cloned or misused. They also can help companies manage costs. Virtual payment transactions use a unique ID, so it’s easy to identify and track a transaction. All required reporting is captured as the virtual card is created, so reconciliation is not a problem. Virtual card settings can limit transactions to those that are compliant with company policy. Carlson Wagonlit’s virtual payment offering connects to 26 banking partners worldwide, and the number of virtual cards it has created has gone up by 35 percent in the past 12 months. Contactless payments can be made not only using cards, but also with wearables such as wristbands or rings, according to Gemalto, which offers a range of products for the pur-

dynamically generate unique Primo QR tags that influencers can embed in photos and videos. Consumers can view and purchase items directly from their mobile devices. That’s a good thing, as mobile payments will experience a 20.3 percent compound annual growth rate through 2021, Forrester analyst Shaurya Priya has predicted. - The Opportunity in Voice A chatbot engine that sits on a user’s device and doesn’t have to access the cloud is the approach taken by Sensory. “This embedded [artificial intelligence] chatbot solution runs completely on devices utilizing the applications processor within a smartphone or tablet, for example,” noted Bernie Brafman, Sensory’s VP of business development. “It runs at the [operating system] level on the applications processor,” he told CRM Buyer. “No back-end servers are required.” Chatbots “are expected to be a multibillion-dollar industry in the next few years,” Brafman noted. Sensory targets apps and kiosks for financial services, retail, healthcare, and the travel and hospitality markets, among others. (-ECT News)



Surf epic is escapist bestseller for Trump’s America by Fiachra Gibbons


ARIS, France | AFP - William Finnegan tested the patience of his publisher in the 20 years it took him to write his remarkable memoir of his lifelong obsession with surfing, “Barbarian Days”. “I gave up a couple of times, but she always believed,” the laconic American writer told AFP. Her zen attitude paid off. The book has been heaped with awards including a Pulitzer prize and become a runaway bestseller, with former president Barack Obama among its many fans. The New York Times called it a classic, the “finest surf book ever” -- and up there with Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild” as an account of what happens when “ideas of freedom and purity take hold of a young mind and fling his body out into the far reaches of the world”. Finnegan’s youthful odyssey “as a weird frontier guy” in search of the perfect wave took him from the Los Angeles suburbs to the jungles of Java and apartheid South Africa, surviving on his wits and the kindness of strangers. Sports Illustrated, not normally prone to literary eulogising, declared

that “reading this guy... on waves and water is like reading Hemingway on bullfighting, William Burroughs on controlled substances and Updike on adultery.” Such praise surprised no one more than Finnegan, who spent his childhood between the beaches of California and Hawaii, where his father worked as a producer and union fixer twisting arms to get television series like “Hawaii Five-O” made. “I had visions of people throwing the book across the room because they couldn’t bear another description of a wave,” he told AFP. “But people who’d never surfed in their lives told me they completely went with it.” - ‘Surfing was my secret’ Still more were taken with his limpid style and lightly worn sea lore, such as how ancient Polynesian mariners navigated not only by the stars but by dipping their testicles in the briny. “Strange but Finnegan insists.



Now 65, the distinguished war correspondent and New Yorker magazine journalist had kept quiet about his surfing side “until well into middle age”, knowing that his years as a surf bum --

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

‘Naked’ Ambition

a species not renowned for their intellectual acuity -- might sit awkwardly with his writerly ambitions. “Most people didn’t know I surfed. It was a huge part of my life but it wasn’t how I saw myself. It was a secret.” Beyond this coming-out narrative, the book is also a reminder of how free and easy life could be in midcentury America, where children were not wrapped in the same shackles of parental concern they are now. “It was a historical moment where the kids were off on their bikes all day long and nobody ever thought twice about it,” Finnegan said. - ‘Lost boy’ “I had hitchhiked the length of California by the time I was 15. I was doing the same thing on the East Coast at 16 and I first came to Europe on my own at 17. “My parents didn’t know where I was for months on end.” Finnegan said he was lucky to be in the right place at the right time to ride the wave of 1960s liberation to the full. “I had lots of adventures and I survived. Not everybody came through so smoothly between drugs and gen-

Enzō-ji, Buddhist temple, the site of a Hadaka Matsuri (commonly known outside Japan as the “Naked Man” Festival) each year. “This is a bizarre festival that has been handed down for one thousand years at Yanaizu Town, Fukushima Pref, Japan” - Photographer Teruo Araya eral risk taking,” he said. “It would never have happened 10 years later, and these days you can forget it. People just don’t let their kids out of their sight.”

That said, Finnegan admitted that “a lot of my compulsions were driven by a lost boy feeling. I left my family too young. I kept trying to reconstitute my family elsewhere.”

Riding on Mughal glory, Ahmedabad makes it to world heritage list has been hailed as the most beautiful and imposing structure in the world, the intricate carvings of latticework windows at Rani Sipri’s Mosque commissioned by Mahmud Begda’s queen mesmerize visitors.

by Mahesh Trivedi


historical city in India, notorious for bloody communal riots until only a few years ago, has finally covered itself with glory. Founded by Mughal emperor Ahmad Shah on the banks of the Sabarmati river in 1411, the 5.5-square-kilometre walled city of Ahmedabad dotted with some 2,600 heritage sites in its 500odd narrow labyrinthine lanes and bylanes has just been accorded the status of a world heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Though Ahmedabad, the largest city in Prime Minister’s home state of Gujarat, witnessed violent Hindu-Muslim clashes in 2002 when Narendra Modi himself was the chief minister, it is not for nothing that the Paris-based agency has bestowed the rare honor on this former Manchester of the East. Freedom struggle After all, as India’s permanent UNESCO representative Ruchira Kamboj tweeted soon after the prestigious inscription, Ahmedabad was preferred over Delhi and Mumbai – which until last year were also in the race for the coveted tag – because it

Architectural marvels

The 606-year-old city, which was the capital of regional Mughal viceroys, boasts of countless historical monuments (File photo) has stood for peace and was a landmark city where Mahatma Gandhi began India’s freedom struggle and lived from 1915 to 1930.

ornamented buttresses, numberless age-old ‘havelis’ or traditional but majestic.

The 606-year-old city, which was the capital or headquarters of the regional Mughal viceroys, for over 550 years also boasts countless historical monuments of mellow honey-colored sandstone and white-marbled Hindu and Jain temples with elegant carvings.

It also boasts of multi-storied wooden mansions built by wealthy merchants, mosques and mausoleums depicting the Indo-Islamic architecture, and ‘pols’ or gated streets lined with bird feeders, public wells and shrines of a bygone era whose rich architectural heritage must be seen to be believed.

The first Indian world heritage city has 12 fascinating ‘darwazas’ or gateways with triple arches and highly-

If the yellow-sandstone Jumma Masjid with 15 domes of different elevations supported by 260 pillars

“Rani No Hajiro tomb complex of Ahmad Shah’s queens, Sidi Saiyed Masjid famous for silver filigree work, Rani Rupmati’s Mosque with ornate balconies and perforated stone screens as well as mysterious Shaking Minarets are all architectural marvels”, points out Iqbal Khan, a heritage researcher and Gujarat High Court advocate who has fought many a legal battle for preservation of the city’s one-of-a-kind monuments. No wonder, heritage walks are being organized regularly by House of MG and the local civic body for citizens and tourists to take them around the walled city for a glimpse of its syncretic past and to experience the vibrant living culture. Indeed, culture vultures among foreigners as well as students and holidaymakers from outside Gujarat even prefer to stay for a few days in Heritage House and other well-maintained “havelis” instead of far-off expensive hotels. “We treat them as our family mem-

bers, offering modern amenities, teaching our cooking techniques, accompanying them to shopping, taking them around the walled city and celebrating Gujarati festivals with them”, says Jagdep Mehta, whose award-winning, eye-catching, multi-storied mansion attracts guests around the year. UNESCO conditions Well, UNESCO officials will review the situation in 2019 and could withdraw the world heritage city tag if Ahmedabad now bursting at the seams with seven million citizens does not meet the conditions laid down by them. Abhay Mangaldas, convener of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage and founder-director of House of MG, rightly feels that the civic body should rise to the occasion and swiftly implement its ambitious conservation plans to live up to the expectations of tourists. But, as heritage lover and famed cricketer Manprit Juneja said, Ahmedabad has now joined Paris, Vienna, Cairo, Brussels, Rome and Edinburgh and, therefore, citizens should also do their bit by actively participating in the heritage protection movement. (-Al-Arabiya)



FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

NBA Basketball

Adventure Sports

Top rookies, surprises and disappointments in summer league

How is Dahi Handi an adventure sport? High court asks Maharashtra gov’t


ho stood out the most at NBA summer league this year? What are the biggest


1. Who was the best rookie you saw at summer league? Tim MacMahon, Lonzo Ball, at least once he started wearing shoes from legitimate brands. Sure, his inconsistent, funky jumper caused me to make bad Lonzo Carter-Williams jokes, especially in the wake of his 2-for-15 summer debut. But, man, what a magical distributor. Precious few players possess the vision that Ball has, and he consistently delivers pinpoint passes, even from 70 feet away. Honorable mention: Dallas Mavericks highlight machine Dennis Smith Jr. Chris Herring, FiveThirtyEight/ It’s hard to contextualize “best” because these games don’t really matter, and so many people got hurt or were forced to rest at times. But I enjoyed watching Smith the most. His athleticism is obviously off the charts, but beyond that, his game is smooth, he has good vision and he’s a good finisher around the basket with both hands. Austin Tedesco, Smith’s pick-and-roll work was masterful -distributing out of the Bulls’ many traps with just one turnover in his first game, then carving up the Suns’ switches in the next -- and the best thing about his athleticism is how selectively he unleashes it. You can already see how many aspects of Smith’s game will translate to real NBA competition. It’s too bad he can’t play in the triangle. 2. Who was the best veteran you saw at summer league? MacMahon: Brandon Ingram looked like a No. 2 overall pick entering his second season is supposed to look against summer league competition, but he played only one game. As a result, I’ll go with Troy Williams, who lit it up for the Houston Rockets after splitting his rookie season between Houston and the Memphis Grizzlies. Williams is a wing with NBA athleticism, and he showed scoring ability (22.0 PPG) that was a bit surprising. Herring: Golden State’s Patrick McCaw. We get so used to players like McCaw simply fitting in and keeping things rolling when he comes in for or plays alongside a roster full of AllStars. But it’s pretty eye-opening to see him dominate rookies and other young guys when given the chance to lead instead. Tedesco: Ingram’s 31 minutes. He

earned the annual “he’s too good for summer league” title in about two quarters, which is huge for the Lakers after he was pretty meh as a rookie. The way he forcefully used his size with confidence really stood out. Don’t forget that Ingram is younger than Josh Jackson and Lauri Markkanen and hardly older than Lonzo Ball, De’Aaron Fox and Jonathan Isaac. He still has star potential. 3. Who was the biggest surprise at summer league? MacMahon: Ball wasn’t the only Lakers rookie who lit it up in Las Vegas. Kyle Kuzma, the 27th overall pick, was spectacular throughout the summer league. He’s a skilled 6-foot-9 guy who certainly benefited from playing with Ball, which could be the case for years. Herring: Kuzma, who finished summer league with a 30-point, 10-rebound performance and championship game MVP honors, looked far more like a lottery pick than a late-first-round one. He has impressive range for a big, runs the floor in transition (important when your teammate is Ball) and can move his feet on defense. Tedesco: John Collins already looks like he’ll become a pretty good stretch-4 -- and maybe even stretch-5 -- after hiding most of those skills at Wake Forest. More than half of his college shot attempts were at the rim, and he attempted only one 3! He didn’t really test his ability from deep range at summer league, but he made some nice plays out to the elbows, and I think he can extend further. At No. 19, that’s a steal for Atlanta. 4. Who was the biggest disappointment at summer league? MacMahon: The Phoenix Suns’ sophomore lottery picks. Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss both shot worse than 40 percent from the floor and didn’t exactly dominate the glass (each averaged 6.0 rebounds per game) as Phoenix went 2-4. That isn’t exactly reason to believe that the Suns’ rebuilding project can be fast-tracked. Herring: The Chicago Bulls. Give the team credit for finally deciding not to straddle the line of mediocrity anymore. But if summer league is any indication, this coming season could be downright painful. Cameron Payne, Kris Dunn, Denzel Valentine and first-round pick Lauri Markkanen, who figure to see considerable time this season, all shot 35 percent or worse in Vegas. Valentine and Markkanen combined for a brutal 2-for-25 showing in one game.MacMahon: Summer league play tends to be hard on the eyes, but the large crowds in Vegas got a lot of entertainment bang for the buck this year. (-ESPN)

UMBAI - The Bombay High Court today asked the Maharashtra government to clarify the grounds for classifying Dahi Handi as an adventure sport in 2015 and permitting minors to participate in the festival.


A division bench of Justices R M Savant and Sadhana Jadhav raised the query while hearing a petition seeking contempt action against BJP leader Ashish Shelar and others for flouting conditions and restrictions laid down by the high court for the Dahi Handi festival in 2015. Apart from Mr Shelar, the petition also sought contempt action against former Mumbai BJP’s youth wing president Ganesh Pandey and the then principal secretary of the state government. The petitioner today informed the bench that after the high court laid down the restrictions in its order in 2015, the state government issued a resolution on August 11 the same year declaring Dahi Handi as an adventure sport. In its 2015 order, the high court had said the human pyramids formed during the festival shall not exceed the height of 20 feet and no minor shall be permitted to participate in its formation.

Pyramid-building to break an earthen pot filled with curd (Photo: AP) Under the resolution, the government permitted minors above the age of 11 years to participate in the festival but with a letter from their parents. Referring to the resolution, Justice Jadhav today said, “Is Dahi Handi an adventure sport? Are our orders being flouted under the garb of it being an adventure sport? How can minors take part in such adventure sports? Explain it to us.” The bench directed the government to respond to its queries and posted the

matter for further hearing on August 4. The court also noted that political leaders like Ashish Shelar, who is head of the Dahi Handi Samiti set up by the state government in February 2015, should abstain from organising or even attending such festivals where court orders are being flouted. The Samiti was set up following a direction from the HC and its mandate was to implement the court’s guidelines during the Dahi Handi festivities. (-PTI)


Mumbai teens Joshi, Ananya win Dutch Open UMBAI, Jul 17 - Mumbai’s Neel Joshi and Ananya Dabke bagged the under-15 boys and girls titles respectively in the Dutch Open Junior Squash Championship in Amsterdam, netherlands, according to information received here.


Top seed Joshi beat 5/8 seed Khalil Alhassan of England 9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 in the boys final, while Dabke, seeded down the order at 9/12, scripted a shock 11-7, 11-4, 12-10 win over second seed Serena Daniel of the US in the corresponding girls title round. Ananya sailed past Sofia Arseniev of the US in the opening round. Then, in a spectacular giant-killing run the Indian went on to scalp 5/8 seed Franka Vidovic of Croatia 11-2, 11-4, 11-6 in the pre-quarter-finals, 3/4 seed Maia Pannell of England 115, 11-1, 11-7 in the quarter-finals and top seed Chukwu Chinyere of Hungary11-5, 12-14, 11-7, 11-8 in the semifinals. Two other Indians did well to reach the girls under-15 quarter-finals where another Mumbai girl Aishwarya Khubchandani fell to England’s Torrie Malik in straight games, while Yoshna Singh went down to Daniel 14-12, 11-9, 12-14, 11-13, 4-11 in a gripping contest. Cologne Cup winner Joshi, who earned a first round bye, warmed up with straight sets wins over belgium’s Bjarne Schaillee, Yaseen Elsebaie of Egypt and compatriot Shreeman Raghavan. In the semi-finals that featured three Indians, he beat compatriot Arnaav Sareen 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, after trailing 1-2, and finally overcame Alhassan who prevented an an all-India final with a 11-9, 11-9, 12-10 win over Kanhav Nanavati in the other semi-final. (-Outlook Sports)

Mumbai’s Neel Joshi (Left) and Ananya Dabke (Right) bagged the under-15 boys and girls titles in squash championships.


Wallabies to wear indigenousthemed jersey


YDNEY, Australia | AFP The Wallabies will wear an indigenous-themed jersey for the first time when they face New Zealand later this year to commemorate the role Aborigines have played in rugby. The shirt, designed by a Sydney art-

their goals in rugby and in life.” Fourteen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players have donned the Wallabies shirt, including the likes of Mark Ella, Lloyd Walker, Wendell Sailor, and Saia Faingaa. “Having an indigenous jersey is a


Chelsea announce Alvaro Morata deal with Real Madrid ONDON, July 19 - Chelsea have agreed terms with Real Madrid for the signing of striker Alvaro Morata, the Premier League club have announced.


The deal is now subject to agreeing personal terms with the player and passing a medical, according to the club. The Spain international played last season at the Bernabeu after spending two years with Juventus.

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Morata, who had been wanted by a number of Europe’s top clubs including Manchester United and AC Milan, scored 15 goals in 26 La Liga games, mostly as a reserve last season. United had originally been favourites to land Morata, but turned to Romelu Lukaku after failing to come close enough to Real’s reported £75 million asking price. That left the way clear for Chelsea to step up their bid for the Spanish star. Morata jetted out for the club’s preseason tour to the U.S., from which he is now expected to return (-ESPN)

“I am a very proud Indigenous man.” - Kurtley Beale (Photo: AFP/Getty) ist and unveiled Monday by Kurtley Beale, symbolises indigenous and non-indigenous communities coming together as one.

real statement for Australian rugby and shows what we stand for,” said Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver.

“As a current indigenous Wallaby, I hope that by wearing this jersey I can do my family and my people proud,” said Beale.

“We are committed to making rugby a game for all, and a key part of this includes making rugby more accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

“There are heaps of young indigenous kids out there who are really talented at rugby, and I hope this jersey helps inspire them to strive to reach

It will be worn by the team when they face the All Blacks on October 21 in the final Bledisloe Cup match.



FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of July 21, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE

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


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

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

Your work may get delayed if you are not going to use sweet approach. Your imagination can help you come up with some high profit ideas. Even you still have things to learn. Taking part in a class or workshop is one way to help this happen. Make sure all of your personal papers & data are in order. Pay close attention to detail & prioritize your work. don’t delay on serious issues. If you see the challenge as a puzzle, you’ll be able to put the pieces together. Doubt does not mean no, it simply means that you have to work harder to succeed.

Use valuable virtues to get you through others’ moods. Those around you may start the week with enthusiasm, then lose their way in the process. You can get others to do things for you if you use your charm. Dealing with “wishy-washy” people may test your patience. Try to keep your workload to a normal level, no more long hours. You need your rest, even if you see yourself as too tough to quit. Soothing music or easy reading can make you more comfortable. Enough to capture others attention. Use your imagination to get others to follow your lead.

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

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

It may be impossible to accomplish anything if you try to do it alone. Bring your leadership qualities to the surface & help organize your mutual efforts. Arguments with family or friends may really set you off. Try hard not to instigate unnecessary friction with anyone. It would be best for you to stay put & avoid conversations that are controversial to start with. Follow your basic instincts & you’ll do very well. Exercise your rights & don’t fear the unknown. Discovery must become your passion.

The sense of getting back to basics will rule out. You need to have a conversation with one who wants to hang on to your generous hospitality, forever. Some uncertainty may cause you to take time to make decisions. Your ability to work through complex situations can come in very handy. You need to eliminate distractions and get straight to the heart of the matter. When you do something for yourself your energy flows more freely. By week’s end you’ll be ready to enjoy yourself.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June You will be able to do much more than the rest of others. You’ll be able to tap into this part of your psyche with little effort. Your perspective will allow you to notice the big patterns that often may be lost in the shuffle of day-to-day life. Children & loved ones may be on your mind more. Try to get more involved in organizations that help children who are experiencing difficulties. You have much to offer & will gain greatly by the experience. Realize that everyone you influence can help build your confidence & effectiveness.

Your intuition will communicate with you from the bottom of your heart. An intense conversation could be important to you. Reevaluate your past, try to bring out your best qualities, set aside your insecurities. Communications & understanding will increase greatly. Plan outings with family or friends with fun filled conversation. Your knowledge & good sense will help more than you expect. Competition could help your team, especially if you approach it in a positive manner. The goal is not to beat the other person, but only to motivate.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Your involvement with family situation could prove to be very interesting. You may want to watch what you say, though. Your words could be misinterpreted. Your intuitive insights and healing energies can be used positively to help others. Take the time to let your others know how much you really care. You’ll be able to see the bigger picture and understand that you’ll be enjoying a change of venue, very soon.

Stressful domestic matters, Just be with you self & spend time by yourself if at all possible. Your usual cool may not be evident and your emotions could be extreme. Erratic behavior may cause isolation. Allow others to do their own thing. When communicating with children, try to put yourself in their position. It’ll help you take a fresher perspective on the whole situation. You’ll experience a growing awareness of who you are and what you need. By the end of the week, you should have a much clearer sense of where you stand.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Your job may demand that you pay attention to every detail. You prefer to deal with the big picture. A close friend or partner could get on your nerves now. They may be worried about a minor matter that frustrates you. Don’t allow your emotions to make decisions for you. It may cause trouble to control your actions or re-actions. Your emotional well-being will depend on how well you deal with a recent family situation. Don’t take on more responsibilities than you can handle. You may need to learn to let others do things for you.

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September New dynamic cycle of change that is about ready to begin. Unpredictable events may disrupt your routine greatly. You may find it hard to get a clear response from a coworker, mate. You need the information & you need it now, but somehow it may not be forthcoming. Try asking again, with finer delicacy. It may just be that, there’s more here than meets the eye. An act of kindness or gesture of caring can melt the resistance and get you what you want. Your generosity could also put you in the poorhouse. Try not to give others too much.


Your life will become too busy. Try not to sweep your problems under the rug. Expect disagreements with others if financial irresponsibility has left you in a tight spot. The key might be to set limitations on each other’s spending habits. Perhaps you were supposed to take care of this situation long time ago. Slow down and deal with it now. Then you’ll get this problem behind you forever. If you want to make long term plans, make sure you share them with those who will be affected. They’ll appreciate your consideration.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March You don’t have to accept whatever comes your way, but neither should you reject innovation as a matter of course. You may also have the gift of being able to push others in the direction you want them to go. You understand how to use the energy of the team, and this enables you to stretch a dollar with great success. Take some time out to do things with children. You may just find they really need more than you imagined. Try not to lose your patience; support will work better than criticism. Your creative energies may also be strong. Your imagination flourishes to produce beauty and art.



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Indus Home Remodeling • Kitchen • Bathroom • Painting • Flooring • Countertops • Cabinets • Fence • Sprinklers Ph: 832-298-9852 •

Restaurants India’s Restaurant & Catering for special parties and corporate events. Preferred Wine list, Authentic vegetarian & non-vegetarian dishes, finest Indian cuisine with chef’s special dishes


Ph: 713-266-0131/ 0805

B&J Auto Care & Sales

We cater from 10 people to 800 people for all occasions. We deliver to your venue.

Auto repair (Collision repair (all insurance), Mechanical (Brakes, Oil change, • Used Car Sales Engine and Transmission) • Used & New Tires Blessy 281-323-9315 • Great Service • 3242 5th St , Stafford TX - 77477

Madhuram Mirch Masala 10758 FM 1960 West Houston, TX 77070 281.955.9878 216.338.3940 (cell)

Amazing Opportunity!

If you invest just $2 a day

Specializing in North Indian Cuisine, office & Corporate catering


Newsweekly 10,000 copies weekly. 520,000 copies annually. Reach over 2 million readers. Get your business seen. Visit us online: To know more about Print advertising call us.

Medical Magazine Distributed to 500 locations. Get your business seen. To know more about Print Advertising, call us. Visit us online:

E-blast Send out Specials, Sales and Promote your Events. Reach 11,000+ people. We are here to help get your business branded. Call 713-774-5140.

Web / Digital Advertising Reach out locally through Web banners, Video advertisements, classifieds online, product advertorials, news press releases, social media promotions to increase visibility for your business.


Place classifieds of any nature. Employment, Job Wanted, Car for Sale, Garage Sale, Business for Sale. We also offer them online. Call: 713-774-5140.

“Word of mouth has a limited reach”

It’s time to advertise your business cost-effectively.

(Less than the price of a cup of coffee)


you can reach over 2 million potential customers!


To advertise, call: Phone: 713-774-5140



Job Posting: Assignment Desk Intern KTRK-TV, the ABC Owned station located in Houston, TX is accepting applications for assignment desk interns for the upcoming summer semester. Internships are available to undergrads currently enrolled college students in their junior or senior year pursuing careers in the television/media field and must receive college credit for the internship. The successful applicant will be responsible for assisting the assignment desk, which includes but is not limited to making beat-checks, answering phones, monitoring police and fire radios, getting information and developing stories. The candidate should be detail-oriented and able to handle many different responsibilities at the same time. The ideal intern knows how to multi-task and set priorities. Good news judgment and strong communication skills are essential, along with strong writing skills. The candidate should have a good working knowledge with the use of social media for news gathering. Must be willing to work evenings and weekends. To be considered you must apply online at, Job Req. #472771BR. Please upload a cover letter, your resume outlining other internships, degrees earned, work experience, related clubs and organizations, current major course of study, expected graduation date and extracurricular activities. Applicants must be currently enrolled in college and will be required to supply written verification of eligibility to receive academic credit for the internship at the start of the internship. Equal Opportunity Employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

JOB POSTING – ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Are you a rising-star newscast producer who’s ready to move up to a top 10 market? Here is your chance to work for one of the best companies in the country dedicated to covering local news. KTRK-TV, the ABC owned and operated station in Houston, TX islooking for an associate producer. The person hired for this position will line produce a section of our weekend morning newscasts and have opportunities to fill-in producing other newscasts as well. Applicants must have experience as a line-producer. You must be comfortable with thelast technology, breaking news, and know how to command a control room. You’ll need to demonstrate a good understanding of social media and how it can be used to reach viewers and create content. Candidates must be able or willing to learn both non-linear editing and writing & posting for our digital platforms. Applicants must be willing to work overnights, weekends, and holidays. To be considered all interested applicants must apply online at, reference job # 473412BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references. Equal Opportunity Employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender IdentityNo Telephone Calls Please

JOB POSTING – Community Affairs Intern

Job Posting – News Edit Internship

KTRK-TV, the ABC Owned station located in Houston, TX is accepting applications for a paid COMMUNITY AFFAIRS INTERNSHIP for the upcoming semester. Internships are available to currently enrolled undergraduate college students in their junior or senior year pursuing careers in the television/media field and must receive college credit for the internship. The internship program is designed to provide students with an on-site educational experience that complements their academic studies. Interns will have an opportunity to observe and participate in the daily work and operations of a major market, television station. As an intern you will attend help in the production of community affairs shows, including scheduling of guests, help gathering and editing video, assist with community drives, forums and outreach. Each area requires significant planning, scheduling and execution. Applicants must be currently enrolled in college and supply written verification of eligibility to receive academic credit for the internship at the start of the internship. Additionally, applicants must be able to work on a daily basis and the hours may vary depending on scheduling and may include some weekend and early morning and evening hours. To be considered you must apply online at, Job Req. #472768BR. Please upload a cover letter, your resume outlining other internships, degrees earned, work experience, related clubs and organizations, current major course of study, expected graduation date and extracurricular activities. Applicants must be currently enrolled in college and will be required to supply written verification of eligibility to receive academic credit for the internship at the start of the internship.

KTRK-TV, the ABC Owned station located in Houston, TX is accepting applications for a paid NEWS EDIT INTERNSHIP for the upcoming semester. Internships are available to currently-enrolled college students in their junior or senior year who are pursuing careers in the television/media field and must receive college credit for the internship. The internship program is designed to provide students with an on-site educational experience that complements their academic studies by using a “real world” hands-on environment. News Editing Interns will have an opportunity to observe, participate, and contribute in the daily work and operations of a major market, television station. As a News/Technical Intern you will primarily assist in editing for air-- being creative and precise, while also learning the ins and outs of working behind the scenes for live newscasts. Interns will work under the direct supervision of the Digital Media Coordinator and other staff members. Additionally, applicants must be able to work at least two days per week between the hours of 2PM and 10PM. Applicants must be currently enrolled in college and will be required to supply written verification of eligibility to receive academic credit for the internship at the start of the internship. To be considered you must apply online at, Job Req. #472774BR. Please upload a cover letter, your resume outlining other internships, degrees earned, work experience, related clubs and organizations, current major course of study, expected graduation date and extracurricular activities. Applicants must be currently enrolled in college and will be required to supply written verification of eligibility to receive academic credit for the internship at the start of the internship. Equal Opportunity Employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Equal Opportunity Employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Quality Institute of America, Inc. (QIA) Houston, Texas 77061

Bachelor’s degree required Two years of experience

Analyze users’ needs, design, test, develop software; Review and manage software development assignments in an Agile environment; Recommend software upgrades for customers’ programs and systems; Collaborate with other computer specialists to implement design in Microsoft.NET platform with C#, ADO.NET, ASP.NET, MVC, Entity Framework, Integration knowledge using SharePoint and API/Web Service, JavaScript, JQuery, OPENXML SDK, Microsoft SQL and Microsoft certification in .Net. Formulate system requirements, based upon customer needs; Create and maintain an issues list, executive status reports and notify customers and colleagues. A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science/Engineering/Information Systems or related field required. At least 2 years of experience in software development required. In-depth knowledge of HTML5 / CSS3 & Bootstrap and experience in writing Stored Procedures and Functions using SQL Server 2008 or newer required. Experience in Quality Management System Software is preferred but not required. Email resumes to

Office Supervisor Mature, dependable person needed to handle the Rent Receipts received for an Apartment complex, located in the North near Greenspoint mall. Immediate hire. No experience needed. Will train.

Call Aruna at: 832-282-3914 Available Weekend Business Help Professionally skilled person with 15 years of experience. Available for Business, Office Liaison, Payroll, Quick Books Accounting, Legal / Administrative Work.

Available during Weekends Only! Contact:

AC/Commercial Refrigeration Technician

AC/Commercial Refrigeration, 5 years experience Great pay, we provide company truck. Please call 713-224-3333 for an interview.

MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE WEEK Don’t Skirt Important Issues During Your Next Meeting Too many meetings drag on without participants discussing the real problems that need to be addressed. People talk around the important issues during the meeting and actually address them before or after it — which renders the meeting a waste of time and makes you, the meeting organizer, look bad. Combat this risk by explicitly asking that issues be discussed in the meeting, not outside of it. Be specific about the meeting’s topic, letting everyone know ahead of time what you expect their contributions to be. State the meeting’s purpose in the agenda, and reiterate it when the meeting begins, explaining that all problems should be raised in the room. While some people may resist your directness, calling out difficult issues at the start of a meeting will increase the likelihood of candid discussions rather than hallway gossip. Adapted from “The Right Way to Start a Meeting,” by Liane Davey - HBR.COM

Job Posting: Programming and Production Intern KTRK-TV, the ABC Owned station located in Houston, TX is accepting applications for a multimedia programming and production intern for the upcoming summer semester. . Internships are available to undergrads currently enrolled college students in their junior or senior year pursuing careers in the television/media field and must receive college credit for the internship. The intern will assist Producers, Directors and Photojournalists with executing all aspects of the broadcast and digital story-telling process and will be expected to assist producers and directors with original content weekly for broadcast and digital platforms. Applicants must be comfortable juggling multiple projects at once and needs to be a strong researcher, writer, and communicator. Responsibilities will include working on a variety of programming, and digital projects. Opportunity to assist on producing/shooting live and taped field stories, studio newscast production, and live special event programs. To be considered interested applicants must apply online at, Job Req. #472770BR. Please upload a cover letter, your resume outlining other internships, degrees earned, work experience, related clubs and organizations, current major course of study, expected graduation date and extracurricular activities. Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity No Telephone Calls Please

Job Posting – Executive Producer, News & Digital KTRK-TV, Houston’s leading news organization, is looking for an Executive Producerwith a proven track record in broadcast and digital. This person must be a strong team-leader, effective communicator, with a ‘can do’ attitude. Consistently able to solveproblems, turn visions into reality, meet deadlines, and work well under pressure,especially in breaking news situations. Must have exceptional news judgement. Will be required to do some hands-onproducing, writing, and publishing for all digital platforms. Needs to be passionate aboutthe news. Quick at identifying, promoting and executing great content. Must beorganized, efficient, and capable of juggling multiple projects and staffers. Candidates should have at least 5 years producing experience in a major market, andsome managerial experience. Will be supervising and motivating a diverse group ofbroadcast and digital employees, as well as mentoring and coaching less experiencedstaff. Must be willing to work overnights, early mornings, weekends and/or holidays. To be considered all interested applicants must apply online at, reference job # 473413BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references. Equal Opportunity Employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity No Telephone Calls Please

Houston Community College Request for Proposals (RFP) Project Portfolio Management Application (PPM) Project No. 17-68

Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Thursday, August 10, 2017.


Maximus Risk Management LLC Houston, Texas 77027 2 years of experience needed, Bachelor’s degree required Manage onsite and offsite construction projects, schedule the projects’ deliverables and estimate costs, monitor compliance with building and safety regulations; supervise the selection of tools, materials and equipment and track inventory; meet contractual conditions of performance, review progress and prepare reports, negotiate terms of agreements, draft contracts and obtain permits and licenses, analyze, manage, troubleshoot design conflicts, mitigate risks, ensure quality construction standards and the use of proper construction techniques. Experience in residential design, developing all phases of architectural plans, coordinating engineering and additional services needed to achieve the full set of construction documents, understanding 2D & 3D plans and proficiency in AutoCAD and Revit is required. A Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, Construction Management, or a related field required. At least 2 years of experience as an architect, architectural consultant, construction manager or related field required. Email resumes to:

Documents can be obtained at:

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FRIDAY, July 21, 2017

Voice of Asia e Newsweekly July 21 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 July 21 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...