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FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
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Vol. 30 No. 29 Friday, July 28, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: email@example.com
Ram Nath Kovind sworn in as India’s president
EW DELHI, India | AFP | Ram Nath Kovind was sworn in as India’s president Tuesday, becoming just the second leader from the oppressed Dalit community to be elected head of state. A former lawyer and state governor, Kovind was elected to the largely ceremonial position last week with more than 65 percent of the vote by members of India’s parliament and state assemblies. Kovind, accompanied by his
community once known as “untouchables” and ranked among India’s poorest.
wife, paid respects early Tuesday at a memorial dedicated to India’s independence hero Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi.
ensuring justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, and I will always continue to follow this basic mantra.”
“I grew up in a mud house, in a small village. My journey has been a long one, and yet this journey is hardly mine alone. It is so telling of our nation and our society also,” Kovind said after taking the oath of office in parliament.
The 71-year-old was nominated by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in a move analysts say would help Prime Minister Narendra Modi tighten his grip on power and gain political capital ahead of his reelection bid in 2019.
“For all its problems, it (nation) follows that basic mantra given to us in the preamble of the constitution -- of
Kovind has said he will use his position to improve the lot of Dalits, a marginalised 200-million strong
“Our diversity is the core that makes us so unique... We are so different yet so similar and united,” Kovind said. 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. Kovind is the second Dalit president after K. R. Narayan, who held the post for five years from 1997. Ram Nath Kovind. AFP Photo
Sadhvi Ritambhara Devi receives $1.8m from Hindu donor
Indian state leader resigns in potential boost for Modi
Free “Back to School” talk at the India House
EW DELHI, India | AFP | 7/26/2017 - The leader of India’s eastern Bihar state resigned from his post on Wednesday in a surprise move widely expected to strengthen Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s grip on power.
Enlightens about upcoming unique Hindu museum during her visit to Houston
Have a teenager at home? Join Neha at her free “Back to School” talk at the India House for her one-time only event - and share it with your friends. Location: India House, 8888 W Bellfort Blvd, Houston, TX, 77031 Time: August 8:30pm
adhvi Ritambhara Devi’s oratory skills are legendary and a packed room of prominent Hindu leaders in Houston were witness to the full force of that power on July 22 at Keshav Smruti. Using equal measures of humor and gravity, she spoke about spirituality, her work with destitute children and women and her vision to build a Hindu museum to showcase Hinduism – a first of its kind in the world.
OF PEJMAN ICE MA A
Construction is already underway on a 12 acre plot and will utilize state
of the art, high tech innovations to exhibit and explain the tenets of Hinduism. Hindu philanthropist Braham Aggarwal of Florida announced a donation of ₹ 11 crores (approximately $1.8 million) for this unique project in Vrindavan whose opening is scheduled for 2020. Most people know of Sadhvi Ritambhara Devi as a fearless Hindu leader who made headlines with her fiery speeches during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. At that juncture, she could have easily opted for
Continued on Page 6
Read about Neha Gupta on Page 3
No restrictions on medical visas to India except Pakistan: Government
EW DELHI: (PTI) India has not imposed any restrictions on medical visas for foreign patients but in case of those from Pakistan, a recommendation letter from Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs is required for obtaining a visa, the Lok Sabha was informed today.
In a written reply, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said the government has issued more than a lakh of medical visas so far in this year. The government has not put any restrictions on medical visas for foreign patients, and requests for such visas for urgent medical cases are
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Didi Maa with Braham Aggarwal (right) of Florida who donated $1.8 million for a Hindu Musuem to be built in Vrindavan, India. Photo provided by organizers. by Manu Shah
Nitish Kumar, the popular chief minister of one of India’s most populous and impoverished states, told Nitish Kumar (centre), the leader of India’s eastern Bihar journalists that it state resigned from his post. AFP Photo. had become “impossible” for him to run the government in an alliance with is the main opposition in the state and a regional party led by Lalu Prasad observers predict that it could now form the next Bihar government in an Yadav, a controversial populist. alliance with Kumar’s party. “My resignation has been accepted. Yadav -- a former Bihar chief minThe governor has asked me to continue till other arrangements are made,” ister -- was earlier banished from India’s lower house in 2013 after he was Kumar said. convicted of defrauding a scheme to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) help farmers.
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OP-ED/COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS Read, debate with an open mind O VOICE OF ASIA
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FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
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It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or confirmation of any facts or allegations contained in letters to the editor. Moreover, Voice of Asia reserves the right to edit letters to the editor as necessary to correct errors of fact, punctuation, spelling and to comply with space constraints. Although paid advertisements may appear in Voice of Asia Group Publications in print, online, or in other electronic formats, the Voice of Asia Group does not endorse the advertised product, service, or company, nor any of the claims made by the advertisement. - The Publisher
ne of our reporters has a favorite question he likes to ask interviewees: What one thing do you believe everyone should have, regardless of cost?
The answers range from nobel (peace, financial security and happiness) to sweet, such as when a child lobbies for free ice cream for life or those magical objects called toys. One young lady’s answer was a best friend. There is one thing we wish everyone could have, and it’s free: an open mind. We know already that everyone has an opinion. The world we live in today is causing uncertainty, fear for the future and skepticism in many of us. Topics such as health care access, politics, abortion, homelessness, food insecurity, the judicial system, Medicaid, religion, property law, etc. are hot, bringing with them the power to tear friends,
But one thing people need to remember is, it’s OK if someone doesn’t agree with you.
neighbors and family members who have differing opinions apart. One of America’s best attributes is that we’re allowed to
have our own opinions. We’re allowed to express them. We don’t have to agree with the majority. We can do our own research, draw our own con-
Death of an editorial writer by Erik Sass
probably should have known who Joseph Rago was, but I’m not embarrassed to admit that before last week, I didn’t. Because that’s exactly what he wanted. If anyone can be called an editorial prodigy, the prolific editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal was it. Hired fresh out of college in 2005, by the time of his untimely death last week at 34, Rago had written an astonishing 1,353 pieces for the newspaper — about one every two days. His topics ranging from economics to national security to new drug approvals. And it wasn’t just the sheer volume of his output, however impressive. A conservative skeptic since at least his Dartmouth days, Rago’s editorials were masterpieces of “reported opinion,” weaving original journalism and his own encyclopedic knowledge. He did not just prove a point, but did it in a way that was a pleasure to read.
inform and persuade the reader about serious, often complicated subjects. Rago’s impact was something for writers twice his age to envy. At 28, he won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing for what will probably be his main legacy, a series of editorials published in 2010-2011 carefully unpicking the faulty assumptions and misleading rationales presented in favor of the Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare.” Drawing on conversations with members of Congress, government officials, insurance executives and others, Rago’s critiques helped shape political opposition to the law. They still
inform some of the central arguments against it. In awarding him the Pulitzer, the prize committee: “No matter where you fall in the debate of healthcare reform, the arguments advanced by Joseph Rago in his series of editorials in The Journal were impossible to ignore. Not paying attention to these editorials was not an option for policymakers.” On that note, the list of people paying tribute to Rago included Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who tweeted, “Joe Rago was a brilliant talent.” Fittingly, Rago’s last editorial for the WSJ once again addressed the epic subject of the American healthcare system.
It’s not OK to disparage someone if they don’t agree with you. It’s not OK to mock them, try to make them look a fool or insult them. If you truly want to change someone’s mind, going at them like a battering ram probably isn’t the most effective way. (-RiverTown Editorial Board)
This time, he launched a blistering attack against Republicans in Congress, for failing to repeal and replace the ACA as promised, after almost a decade of outspoken opposition and despite having majorities in both houses. According to those who knew him, the most remarkable thing about Rago wasn’t his prodigious talent, but his humility. The majority of his editorials were published without a personal byline, signed instead by “The Editorial Board.” While solving the riddles of monetization and profitability are key to their future survival, publishers must be confident enough to use those broader, if less tangible, metrics of success: intellectual impact, public enlightenment and the greater good.
His approach was the opposite of hectoring — using humor, anecdote and subtle rhetoric to
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THE STORY OF MAHATMA GANDHI
Gandhi invites untouchable family in ashram Gandhi went to Rajkot and Porbandar to meet his relatives and then went on to Shantiniketan. There Gandhi met poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore for the first time, as well as C. F. Andrews. Andrews, who came to India as an Anglican priest in 1904, was one of the very few people respected both within Indian nationalist circles and official British ones. A close friend of Gandhi, Tagore and other eminent Indians of the time, Andrews never ceased to champion the Indian cause for independence and, in a broader sense, the cause of all downtrodden peoples against oppression. Now read on. .. 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. “Do you think,” Andrews asked Gandhi, “that a time will come for satyagraha in India? If so, how soon will it be?” “It is difficult to say,” replied Gandhi. “For one year I am to do nothing. Gokhale made me promise that I would travel in India for one year to gain experience, and that I would express
“And then Gandhi came. He was like a powerful current of fresh air that made us stretch ourselves and take deep breaths, like a beam of light that pierced the darkness and removed the scales from our eyes, like a whirlwind that upset many things, but most of all the working of people’s minds.” — Jawaharlal Nehru no opinion until I had finished this period of probation. So I do not think there will be any occasion for satyagraha for five years.” After attending the shraddha ceremonies of Gokhale, Gandhi met the leaders of the Servants of India Society. Out of respect for Gokhale he would have joined the Society, but there was opposition from a certain sections of the members. Gandhi visited Rangoon, in Burma, for a short period and on his return he went to Hardwar during the time of the Kumbha Mela. About 1.7 million people attended the mela. Volunteer
corps from different organizations had gone to Hardwar to be of service to the big crowds that were flowing in. Gandhi was invited to go there with the Phoenix party with the Phoenix party to help the volunteers. The Phoenix group went there and Gandhi joined them. Gandhi was pained at the many happenings and shortcomings at the great religious fair. There was corruption, there was cheating and many other unsocial activities. Scant care was taken about sanitary arrangements. All this made Gandhi, feel very sad. He thought a great deal about the problem of how to improve the Indian character. In May 1915 an ashram was established in a village near Ahmedabad. The city was an ancient centre of handloom weaving and Gandhi thought the place was suited for the revival of the cottage industry of hand-spinning. Gandhi named the new institution Satyagraha Ashram. “Our creed is devotion to truth, and our business is the search for and insistence on truth,” he said. A simple uniform style of clothing was worn by all who were there. They took their food together in a common kitchen and strove to live as one family. Gandhi told the members: “If you want to serve the people, it is essential to observe the vows of truth, ahimsa, celibacy, non-stealing, non-possession, and control of the palate.”
One day Gandhi said to members of the ashram, “I have received an application from an untouchable family who want to join us here. I am replying to them that they are welcome.” This created quite a stir. An untouchable family in our midst!! Even Kasturbai had her misgivings. Gandhi’s mind was made up, however, and there could be no objection from anyone in the ashram. But the patrons of the ashram did not like the idea and they stopped funding the ashram. The ashram was suddenly faced with an acute financial crisis, but help came unexpectedly. A rich man came to the ashram and gave Gandhi Rs. 13,000 and urged him to continue running the ashram. In February 1916, Gandhi was invited to speak at the laying of the foundation-stone of the Banaras Hindu University. The Viceroy and many of the most important people of India were there. Gandhi, clad in a Kathiawadi long coat and a turban, rose to speak. The police arrangements, and also the pomp and luxury around him, hurt him deeply. Turning to the audience he said, “I want to think audibly and speak without reserve. His first words froze the audience. “It is a matter of deep humiliation and shame for us,” he said, “that I am compelled this evening under the shadow of this great college, in this sacred city, to address my countrymen in a
language that is foreign to me.” It was a bombshell. Nobody had ever dared to speak against the English language. The British officers, then friends, and the important Indians who had gathered there were seething in anger. But Gandhi went on, “His Highness the Maharaja who presided yesterday over our deliberations spoke about the poverty of India. But what did we witness? A most gorgeous show, an exhibition of jewellery... There is no salvation for India unless you strip yourselves of this jewellery and hold it in trust for your countrymen in India.” Gandhi gave a long speech, covering many topics. His speech was full of outspoken criticism. Mrs. Annie Besant, who was one of the organizers of the function, was horrified and urged Gandhi to sit down. But Gandhi went on. Some people went red with rage, but others listened to Gandhi with great interest. “Here at last is a man telling the truth,” they thought. “He is the man to raise India from the mire.” They applauded him and shouted joyfully. Gandhi turned to them and said, “No amount of speeches will ever make us fit for self-government. It is only our conduct that will make us deserve it. Gandhi told them that they should all be the kind of people able to take up the work of self-
government. Finally, Gandhi, the man who three times had supported the British in their war efforts, said, “If I found it necessary for the salvation of India that the English should retire, that they should be driven out, I would not hesitate to declare that they would have to go, and I hope I would be prepared to die in defence of that belief.” The people were amazed at Gandhi’s frankness. It was Gandhi’s first great political speech in India. Years later, Jawaharlal Nehru described what the coming of Gandhi meant to the Indian people. He said, “We seemed to be helpless in the grip of some allpowerful monster; our limbs were paralysed, our minds deadened. What could we do? How could we pull India out of this quagmire of poverty and defeatism which sucked her in... “And then Gandhi came. He was like a powerful current of fresh air that made us stretch ourselves and take deep breaths, like a beam of light that pierced the darkness and removed the scales from our eyes, like a whirlwind that upset many things, but most of all the working of people’s minds.’ Several conferences demanding home rule were held in India during the latter half of 1916. They marked a new wave of political life under the leadership of Tilak, Mrs. Besant, and Jinnah. - To be continued..
Great Summer Project For children! Enter Mahatma Gandhi Week 2017 Essay, I-Tribute, Poster and Speech contests. Visit gandhilibrary.org 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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clusions, decide what fits best into our value systems. We can share our opinions with the world via platforms such as letters to the editor, editorials such as this one, social media or even shouting from the street corner (though that is unpleasant in humid weather and might not be effective if you’re annoying your neighbors).
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FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Second Front Page
Ik Onkaar and Japji Sahib: A Chinmaya summer meditative yajna
“Meet Neha, The Queen of College Consulting”
by Padmashree Rao
OUSTON. In a city which cherishes the exploration into deep space, there will be an invaluable opportunity for contemplation into a deeper unifying Essence during the upcoming jnana yajna by Pujya Mukhya Swami Swaroopananda at Chinmaya Prabha, Houston.
It will be a meditative venture launched on the evening of August 11, 2017 (Friday) and it promises to soar high on as well as delve deep into the One Indivisible Truth that underlies all existence and experience.The text that charts this journey is from the Sikh scriptures and is fueled by the higher essential theme behind the diverse cultural traditions of India.With inspiration drawn from the key invocatory mantra “Ik Onkaar” that opens the vistas of the meditations of Japji Sahib, the yajna will make time and space sacred from the evening of August 11th to the morning of August 16, 2017. This unique Upanishadic exposition on the opening verse and chapter of the holy Guru Granth Sahib will be presented by Pujya Mukhya Swami Swaroop ananda, the global head of Chinmaya Mission. Having grown up in a home where religion and spirituality came alive through stories of saints and role models from the Indian epics and having been trained by the revered PujyaGurudev Swami Chinmayananda and Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda since 1984, Mukhya Swamiji easily blends inspired worship and love for Truth in his discourses. It will be the privilege of Chinmaya Mission Houston to welcome and host Mukhya Swamiji who now spearheads the worldwide Chinmaya Mission along side his roles as Chairman of the Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth Trust (University for Sanskrit and Indic Traditions) and Director of the Chinmaya International Residential School in Coimbatore, South India. Mukhya Swami Swaroopananda has tirelessly carried the message of the Chinmaya Guru Parampara ever since his monastic initiation in 1992 after his stud-
Neha Gupta (Photo: Paulius Staniunas)
Pujya Mukhya Swami Swaroopananda
ies at Sandeep any Mumbai that began in 1984. His ability to turn Vedantic wisdom into a practical tool for selfimprovement has touched thousands of lives around the world. A versatile author, Swamiji has brought out the timeless essence of important spiritual tenets in Ik Onkar, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and Sankat Mochan besides writing on contemporary topics such as Simplicity and Meditation, Storm to Perform, Avatar, Managing the Manager,and Journey into Health. Also an eloquent speaker, Mukhya Swamiji has shared the ancient scriptural wisdom to make modern day management meaningful through his ‘holistic management’ seminars for senior executives at corporate settings such as The Ford Motor Company, London Business School, and Harvard University. A self-development course he designed, Make It Happen, has been adopted to enhance human resource trainings in various corporate organizations in India and abroad. Beyond his titles and achievements, Mukhya Swami Swaroopananda is a compassionate and loving teacher
who can inspire young and old, skeptic and the faithful, with his captivating words and clear logic. His discourses on “Ik Onkaar” are powerful and have moved audiences around the world. His guidance using the meditations of Japji Sahib will move the listeners to the worshipful realm of the Indescribable Absolute we call by different names. ChinmayaPrabha Houston invites the public of Greater Houston to bask in the glory of these discourses. The program details are: Jnana Yajna – Ik Onkaar & Japji Sahib by Pujya Mukhya Swami Swaroopananda @ Chinmaya Prabha, 10353 Synott Road, Sugar Land. TX – 77498 Discourses: August 11 to 15 – 7:00 to 8:30 pm Meditation: August 12 to 16 – 7:00 to 8:00 am
For program details and more information on Chinmaya Mission Houston and its activities visit www.chinmayahouston.org or call Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059 or BharartSutaria 281-9330233.
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o make me realize the importance of education, my dad would tell me stories about his youth, such as when he had to walk through snow for miles just to get to the school,” shares Neha Gupta, a Houston-raised entrepreneur that is now helping teenagers from all over the states to get admitted into the colleges of their dreams. She then adds: “Now, I question how there was snow in Delhi, where he lived before moving to Texas. But his message skill sticks: there is nothing more important than education to make your dreams a reality.” In the past 10 years, Neha has helped over 14,000 students get into the colleges of their dreams. 95% of students who have followed Neha’s guidance have been admitted to top three colleges of their choice. If you have a teenager at home, you might be wondering if there is a formula that one can learn to achieve similar results. With such a success rate, Neha’s method could truly be called a formula, however, there is more to it than just a handful of tips proven by years of experi-
ence. When listening to Neha speaking on a stage, many parents around the country don’t just hear a tutor with some good advice for college admission. They hear a person who can look at their child and see the next President, the next Olympian, or the next rock star. This passion for education and uncovering students’ potential is rooted deeply in Gupta’s own story. As a daughter of immigrant parents and a first generation American, she has never been short of reminders of her parent’s hard work, sacrifice, and determination. “My parents moved to the US with $20 in their pocket. My dad would flip burgers and as a vegetarian. He would come home and cry. My mom worked as a bank teller and was constantly made fun of for her accent. At one point they moved their entire home and life to another part of the town just to send me to the best private school in Houston. They were willing to drive 1.5 hours there and back to drop me off at school.” “My parents have always seen education as my golden ticket, and today I know it truly is, not only for children of immigrants but also for any kid with a dream.” Today, as a successful en-
trepreneur, Gupta still carries that passion for education planted by her parent’s hard work and unshakable belief. This unbendable passion might just be the secret ingredient of Neha’s college admission formula. Her passion is a form of activism, a way to show anyone who is lucky to hear her speak, that every child and every dream matters. “My college counselor used to make me feel like I don’t matter. There was a point in time that I felt that because I am a woman, because I am a person of color, because I am a first generation American, because I am too young, my voice doesn’t matter. I’m here to tell parents and children around the country: you matter! You deserve to have the education that you dream of. And with the right preparation, nothing can stop you.” Have a teenager at home? Join Neha at her free “Back to School” talk at the India House for her one-time only event - and share it with your friends. Location: India House, 8888 W Bellfort Blvd, Houston, TX, 77031 Time: August 16, 6:30 8:30pm Admission: Free, to reserve your seats text YES to (832) 356-3943
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FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
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Texas now allows a Transfer On Death deed
Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center
Q. I was told that Texas now allows me to have a special type of deed that transfers title to my home after my death without probate. Is this true? What is it called? A. As of September 1, 2015, Texas allows an owner of real property to transfer the property to his or her beneficiaries by executing what is called a Transfer On Death (TOD) deed. This type of deed effectively avoids the need for probate to transfer the title to real property after death. Homeowners can now transfer real property after death without incurring legal fees or court costs. The TOD is similar to providing a beneficiary on a bank account. The deed also allows the owner to name a primary and an alternative beneficiary who will inherit the property upon the owner’s death. Because the deed does not take effect until death, the owner retains all ownership rights during his or her lifetime. The TOD deed also may be cancelled by filing a new TOD deed with a different beneficiary, or filing a notice of cancellation where the TOD deed was filed. To be effective, the TOD deed must meet all the formalities of a normal deed, must be signed and notarized. It them must be recorded before the transferor’s death. If you believe
that this deed is right for you, there is free information and forms for a TOD deed available from the Texas Legal Services Center. Visit texaslawhelp.org and search for “Transfer On Death deed.” Q. My apartment lease was up in January. Since that time we have had a month-to-month agreement. I am now moving out. I gave proper notice. I am afraid my landlord will not return my security deposit. Can I require the landlord to use my security deposit for the last month’s rent? A. A security deposit is designed to compensate the landlord for damage to the apartment. Under the Texas Security Deposit Law, assuming you gave proper notice and a forwarding address, a landlord must either return your security deposit, or give you written notice of why it is being withheld within 30 days of when you move out. A landlord who violates this law is considered to be acting in bad faith, and may owe the tenant three times the deposit plus $100. You cannot, however, require the landlord to use the deposit to cover the last month’s rent. In fact, if you do, the landlord has the right to sue you for three times the deposit plus another $100. My advice is to pay your rent, and if your security deposit is not properly returned, use the Texas Security Deposit Law.
Q. Is it legal for an apartment to rent to only “seniors” and prohibit children? Isn’t this discrimination? A. Under the Fair Housing Act, an apartment generally may not discriminate based on “family status,” and this includes refusing to rent to a family with children. Turning away a family because it had children would be unlawful discrimination. But there are exceptions in this law for “seniors only” apartments. The “62 and older” exemption is the most straightforward. To meet this exemption, every occupant at the property must be at least 62 years old. The “55 and older” exemption gives a landlord more leeway when renting apartments. Under this exemption, at least one occupant in at least 80% of the apartments must be at least 55 years old. In addition, the community must adhere to a policy that demonstrates intent to house people who are 55 or older. Q. If I owe creditors and they file a lawsuit against me, can they garnish or do anything with my 401k? A. In Texas, certain property is “exempt” and cannot be taken by creditors, even if they sue. Included within the list of exempt property are retirement funds, such as a 401k. In other words, the creditor could not garnish the money in that account.
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VOICE OF ASIA 5
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
FORT BEND VIEW
Sugar Land, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg and Meadows Place
Fort Bend Education Foundation join Sugar Land native helps keep one of the Kendra Scott to lauch fall collection Navy’s newest, most advanced aircraft flying
ort Bend Education Foundation Partners with Kendra Scott to celebrate their store opening in Sugar Land with the launch of their Fall Collection, benefiting the teachers and schools in FBISD. Join us Wednesday August 9, 2017, from 5-8 PM for the fall 2017 Launch Party, Kendra Scott Sugar Land, located at First Colony Mall, across from Black Walnut Cafe.
by Kayla Good,
HIDBEY ISLAND, Washington – A 2005 Kempner High School graduate and Sugar Land, Texas native is serving with a U.S. Navy electronic attack squadron that flies one of the Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced aircraft, the EA-18G Growler. Petty Officer 1st Class Dustin Livingston is an aviation ordnanceman with the “Top Gun” Naval Aviation Warfare Development Center (NAWDC) in Fallon, Nevada. Their squadron was sent on temporary detachment to Whidbey Island to provide ordnance training to the VAQ-135 electronic attack squadron.
The store will showcase the coveted Kendra Scott Color Bar™, offering shoppers a unique, interactive experience to create customized jewelry in minutes and leave with it in hand. The Color Bar™ features a touch screen display monitor, iPads and a kaleidoscope of gemstones and jewelry silhouettes in both gold and rhodium silver settings. The shelves will boast signature and seasonal jewelry collections in an array of rich hues that embody the Kendra Scott look. Specifically, the Kendra Scott Fall ‘17collectionwill take center stage and introduce local shoppers to the breathtaking style of Kendra Scott. The Kendra Scott Company was founded on the mantra “Family, Fashion, Philanthropy” and as the brand has grown, it continues to hold philanthropy as one of its core values, with a special passion for women and children’s causes. For the Kendra Scott Fall ’17 collection launch party, the first of its kind at the new location, they are excited to partner with Fort Bend
As an aviation ordnanceman, Livingston is responsible for uploading and downloading explosives onto the fighter jets. Pictured Left to Right, Kelli Hanson, store manager, Terri Wang, VP Fort Bend Education Foundation;Brenna Cosby, Executive Director, FBEF; Carol Evans, Events Coordinator FBEF and Hilary Wetmore; Community Relations Manager, Kendra Scott. Education Foundation and donate 20% of proceeds from 5 pm to 8 pm the evening of August 9th. “I am thrilled to soon call Sugar Land one of our new Kendra Scott homes! This community has an energy, friendliness and passion for giving that fits so well with our brand’s core values. I cannot wait to open our doors to this wonderful city.
“I look forward to connecting even more deeply and personally with our community here, and am excited to say that we’ll be giving back to local foundations in a big way.” The Kendra Scott Sugar Land store will join a number of upscale retailers and dining venues in the prestigious shopping center just in time for back-to-school shopping.
“My job is pretty fun because I get to play with stuff that blows up,” said Livingston. Taking off from and landing on Navy aircraft carriers, as well as supporting expeditionary land-based operations around the world, Growler crewmembers engage in electronic warfare, one of the most important components of modern air combat, according to Navy sources. The EA-18G Growler is the fourth major variant of the F/A-18 family of aircraft that combines the proven F/A18F Super Hornet platform with a sophisticated electron-
Petty Officer 1st Class Dustin Livingston ic warfare suite, complete with advanced receivers, jamming pods and satellite communications. The electronic warfare mission involves jamming enemy radar and communications systems to render air defenses ineffective. “I like being able to go on detachments which are short training operations that allow me to learn more about the job,” said Livingston. As a member of one of the Navy’s squadrons with the newest aircraft platforms, Livingston and other Naval Aviation Warfighting Development
Center sailors are proud to be part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times. “We’re in the warfighting business, and we’re here to win,” said Capt. Tabb Stringer, Commodore of Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “We operate the most advanced and capable electronic attack aircraft in the world and our sailors are the most highly trained, innovative, and critical thinking teammates I have ever worked with.” (US Navy)
VOICE OF ASIA 6
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Sadhvi Ritambhara Devi receives $1.8 m from Hindu donor Enlightens about upcoming unique Hindu museum during her visit to Houston
Sadhvi Ritambhara Devi speaking at the Keshav Smruti in Houston on July 22, 2017. (Photo by Vijay Pallod) Continued from Page 1 a successful political life but veered away to become Didi Maa to thousands of poor children and destitute women. Kranti (revolution) and karuna (compassion), she emphasizes,
can go together but clearly states that politics is not in her “swabhav” (nature). As a child, Nisha as she was named, was reflective and displayed a detachment from worldly things. During her sec-
Organizers of Sadhvi Ritambhara Devi ‘Didi Ma’ visit to Houston (Photo by Vijay Pallod) ond year of college, she went to an ashram in Haridwar to seek some of life’s answers. Three months later, she met her Guru – Mahamandaleshwar Swami Parmanand Guruji Maharaj and was given the name Sadhvi Ritambhara Devi.
Contrary to her image, Didi Maa as she is better known, is relaxed, approachable and ever smiling in person. That’s until she begins her discourse. A different kind of energy grips her as she leads the way in an uplifting bhajan and recites vers-
ASIE monthly seminar organized by and for Young Professionals
es from the Ramcharitra Manas. A forceful voice combined with a prodigious mastery over Hindi is used brilliantly and effectively to galvanize the gathering and ignite their inner being because “Ram Hame Bhi Ban Na Hai.” (We also need to become Ram.) “Hum kahan chuk gaye?” Where did we go wrong, she questions. Why has a rich ancient country like India come to this pitiful state? Why has Rashtra Bhakti been compromised? Why have we started ignoring the Upanishads and the Vedas? When did pretensions creep into religion? She called out to the gathering to revitalize Rashtra Bhakti and bring “God into every aspect of your life.”
L to R – Speakers with ASIE Board of Directors – VP Chetan Vyas, President Dinesh D. Shah, TejKour, Speaker Arun Singhal, Raj Mashruwala, Dr. Sulekh Jain, Sirish Madichetti, Archana Sharma, Secretary Gaju Patel and Chaitanya Gampa. (Photo Credit: Navin Mediwala)
merican Society of Indian Engineers and Architects (ASIE), a Houston based organization for engineers, architects, designers, and engineering technicians, held their monthly luncheon seminar at Mayuri Restaurant in Houston. The seminar was offered complementary by ASIE for all its members. Almost hundred members including majority young professionals attended. It was coordinated by ASIE young professional team under the leadership of ASIE Program Chair Archana Sharma and assisted by Chaitanya Gampa, Sirish Madichetti, and TejKour.
A, which was well received. The topic of the second part of the seminar was “Proud to be an Engineer and Architect.” It was presented by Dr. Sulekh Jain,MS, PhD, MBA. He is a former Executive with GE Combustion Engineering and Wyman –Golden Company, and has many years of engineering and management experience. He encouraged and admired young engineers and architects for choosing one of the noblest profession.
After the full delicious buffet lunch, Archana Sharma made a brief opening remarks about ASIE and presented the ASIE 2017 Monthly Calendar of past and upcoming Seminars. She added that 2017 is very busy year for seminars,not only once in a month but in several months we have planned two seminars for the benefit of members.
He touched upon the creation we see, practice or enjoy in our daily life is owing tothe engineers and architects. Then he also warned that sometime engineers can do humongous damage and kill hundreds of people due to the negligence and expanded with “Code of Conduct” and “Few Must” for an engineer. He finishedwith the remarks that Engineering has never been so much fun, but you are in it and making it happen and be proud of being one.
This seminar was introduced in two parts. The topic of the first part was “Entrepreneur Business Plan for Young Engineers and Architects” and it was presented by two speakers. TejKour introduced Mr. Arun Singhal, a retired engineer from Bechtel Corporation. He is an author of well-known published book “9 Habits of Project Leaders”. Mr. Singhal talked about Entrepreneurship and how to put technical thoughts into action for Creative Business of Engineering and Architects. He expanded with various topics of starting and running your own business. He introduced SCORE, a volunteer organization and a resource partner with the US Small Business Administration. The second speaker was Mr. Raj Mashruwala, a chemical engineer and Ex-Director of Corporate Strategic planning for ARCO Oil & Gas Company. He is a certified CFA and a SCORE (SBA) Mentor. Mr. Mashruwala conducted the Entrepreneurship topic with Q &
As a token of gratitude, the Certificate of Appreciation and ASIE Mug was presented to all three speakers by young professionals Jigar Desai, Nathan Seshadri, and Reddy Edulukuntafrom the audience. After the Vote of Thanks by Sirish Madichetti, the two hour program was concluded with a great feeling of appreciation by Young and Senior professionals. A Senior Engineer Chandrakant (Chad) Patel said, “The seminar about SCORE was very informative for not only those who want to be entrepreneurs but also for those who have been there and done that. Even those working in technical fields, SCORE can help expand their horizon via providing skills of entrepreneurship. Dr. Jain as always was phenomenal with his quotes and subtle messages and how about that simple but innovative equation like ‘Revenue-Profit = Expenses’.” He added, “Please continue having such highly informative and educational seminars. ASIE Board is do-
ing an excellent job in bringing such talent to ASIE members.” The young Engineer Jigar Desai also expressed that “It is really nice to see ASIE attracting a number of young and experienced professionals to each
of its events and contributing not only to the professional development of participants, but also in the development of the engineering community as a whole. I am proud to be a member of ASIE.”
Didi Maa runs a Vatsalya Gram or a Village of Maternal Love under the Param Shakti Peeth Trust in Vrindavan. She started with 22 children in 2 rooms and gradually expanded to include widows, abandoned women and the aged. The structure is based on a unique concept of making a Vatsalya family where 5 girls, 2 boys, a mother, aunt and a grandmother live like a family in an independent house. There are several such families housed there, which in essence, be-
comes a childrens’ home, a women shelter and an old age home all in one. There are 7 Vatsalya Grams in India today. The organization also runs an institute for children with special needs and the most notable endorsement for it comes from prominent Indo American and philanthropist Braham Aggarwal whose grandson is there and thriving in that environment. Be the “bridge,” she says in a message to Indo Americans here, to encourage the transfer of Swacchata (cleanliness) from the West to the East and piety from the East to the West. If this is done, she says, the world will be a “beautiful” place. The team effort of Emcee Gitesh Desai, Event Coordinator Achalesh Amar, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh Houston President Subhash Gupta, President of PSPA Shekar Reddy, Hindus of Greater Houston Vijay Pallod, VHPA Texas Chapter President Girish Naik, Youth Coordinator Vivek Sharda and many other volunteers was displayed in a smoothly organized event. The bhajan mandali with Vijaya Verma, Krishna Juneja and Amit Mishra added to the palpable energy of the evening. A book on RamQuest compiled by Om Prakash Gupta was also released by Didi Maa.
Errata: In our last week’s issue dated 07-21-2017, two pictures and captions on Page 11 were wronly placed in the story titled. ‘India votes for next president from lowest Dalit caste.’ The top picture should be that of Ram Nath Kovind instead of M. Venkaiah Naidu whose picture should be where Nirmala Sitharaman’s picture was. We deeply regret the error.
VOICE OF ASIA 7
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Houston Methodist Sugar Land HCC again honored with Hospital hand therapy residency National Procurement Award program certified by AOTA
OUSTON, July 25, 2017 – For the second consecutive year, the Houston Community College (HCC) Procurement Department has been honored with a prestigious award from the National Procurement Institute (NPI), Inc. The NPI has named HCC a recipient of the 2017 Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award. HCC is one of only four institutions of higher education in Texas to receive this award in 2017. Nationwide, only 25 colleges and universities have been so honored.
The award recognizes organizations that demonstrate excellence in public procurement through best purchasing practices with client departments and vendors. From Left to Right: Padmaja Deshpande, MSc, OTR, CHT; James Drury, MOT, OTR; Kristin Booher, MOT, OTR, CHT; Mathew Vilangattuseril, MOT, OTR; Peggy Boineau, MOT, OTR, BCPR, CHT; Michael Parkinson, MOT, OTR, CHT; Lilian Watson, MOT, OTR, CHT
UGAR LAND, July 25, 2017 - Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s hand therapy residency program – which trains occupational therapists from around the country in the most advanced hand-related treatments – has been named an approved residency site by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The designation makes Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s program the only AOTAapproved hand therapy residency program in Texas, and only the third to be credentialed nationally, along with the University of Michigan and Stanford University medical centers. “This recognition is the culmination of many hours of hard work by our team to demonstrate to the AOTA that we meet or exceed all the qualifications necessary,” said Peggy Boineau, a board-certified therapist and coordinator
of the program.“Our hospital is already seen as a leader in hand therapy training and this designation will strengthen our reputationfor excellence in training occupational therapists.” The hospital began offering the hand residencyin 2013, and the program has grown significantly since that time. The fast-paced environment at Houston Methodist Sugar Land is ideal for ensuring that residents see a broad range of patient types throughout the 12-month program. Participants work side-by-side with some of the area’s leading therapists and will spend clinic hours withorthopedic surgeonsto develop an understanding of current surgical and medical interventions, along with the rehabilitation implications. The program helps occupational therapists improve both their clinical reasoning skills and treatment approaches, and prepares par-
ticipants to sit for their certified specialist exam.“They leave here ready to make a difference in patients’ lives,” said Boineau. In addition to the hand therapy residency, Houston Methodist Sugar Land is the only facility in the U.S. with fully accredited orthopedic physical therapy, sports physical therapy and athletic training programs in one location. The hospital’s athletic training residency program is one of just five programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) in the country. To learn more about the hand therapy residency, go to houstonmethodist.org/handresidency. Visit Methodist Sugar Land’s Facebook page at fb.com/methodistsugarland for the latest news, events and information.
Dr. Cesar Maldonado, HCC Chancellor, said the college’s procurement team earned the award through hard work. “I congratulate the team members on their dedication to best practices,” Maldonado
Dr. Cesar Maldonado, HCC Chancellor (File photo) remarked. “Winning this award two years in-a-row is an outstanding achievement and demonstrates an ongoing commitment to best practices.” For Rogelio Anasagasti, Executive Director of Procurement, the award shows the HCC team has a high level of innovation, professionalism,
productivity, e-procurement and leadership. “This honor signifies that HCC is in alignment with the best public agencies in America,” said Mr. Anasagasti. To learn more about the HCC Procurement Department and its mission, visit, www.hccs. edu/procurement.
Sugar Land offices hit market
The Sugar Creek on the Lake (left) and 3 Sugar Creek (right) buildings are up for sale (Photo: HFF) UGAR LAND - Two office buildings in Sugar Land have hit the market, including one of the most recognizable buildings along the Southwest Freeway.
Commercial real estate firm HFF is marketing the properties. Sugar Creek on the Lake, a 515,152-squarefoot building at 14141 Southwest Freeway
between Sugar Creek Boulevard and Williams Trace, has a stepped design that goes from six to eight to 10 stories. Built for Kaneb Services in the early 1980s, the building recently got a new slate of tenants after previously serving as offices for Fluor Corp., Chevron and its predecessor Unocal Corp. Occupancy is at 90 percent. (Patch.com)
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VOICE OF ASIA 8
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Silver Medalist Dilip Desai wins at national Senior Olympics by Paru McGuire, President Club 65
ilip Desai of Sugar land won the silver medal in Table Tennis Men’s Doubles representing state of Texas in 2017, National Senior Games aka Senior Olympics, held in Birmingham AL. Dilip Desai and his partner Don Weems faced tough competition from USA and other countries. Other countries who participated in the National Senior games were Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad/Tobago, and US Virgin Island. Only the top three players from each state could participate in the tournament. Table Tennis has been a passion of Dilip since his school days.After graduating from college, his table
tennis practice was put on hold while he followed brighter ambitions, such as raising a family and pursuing his career. He returned to the table tennis arena in 2012 to relive his passion. He is the member of CCC (Chinese Cultural Club) and IPRC ( Imperial Park Recreation Center). He gets coaching at CCC and also practices with a robot at home. National Senior games are all about fitness, fun and fellowship. Participation in the games at the state level or at National level is more important and winning awards are the icing on the cake. He hopes that more and more people from India participate in these games and improve and enhance their physical and mental health and wellness.
All kinds of the games are available to participate, e.g. Archery, Badminton,Tennis, Cycling, Golf, Track and Field etc. For a complete list of the games and information about States Senior games, Schedule, Results etc. refer to website NSGA.COM. Each state will hold senior games in 2018 and one has to qualify in these games to represent his/her state in Albuquerque New Mexico Senior Olympic. Dilip is looking forward to participating in the next National Senior games to be played in Albuquerque New Mexico in 2019 and is striving for a gold medal this time. His recipe is 3D’s for success in life – Discipline, Dedication and Determination. Win or Lose, Dilip Desai is determined to compete well into his senior years.
Dilip Desai being awared his silver medal on the podium (Photo: Paru McGuire)
VOICE OF ASIA 9
Demonetization in India: An Economic Reform with Cultural Dilemma by Chandra K. Mittal, Ph.D.
he immediate aftermath of demonetization of Rupee 500 and 1000 Gandhi series notes in India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on November 8, 2016 created a big bang in the moral enclaves of India, which had been complaining about widespread corruption and scandals under the previous Congress rule for decades. Since India has about 86% of its currency in circulation to fuel its “cash-centric” economy, Modi and company considered change of currency to be the most effective way to root-out corruption from Indian society. A radical step many will never dare take in a country as large, historic, traditional, diverse, culturally complex, and economically strapped as India. The sole purpose of Prime Minister Modi to implement demonetization was to unearth the unaccounted money that has been fueling India’s underground economy for decades. Although nobody knows the exact size of this economy, it has been estimated to be almost as big as the official Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Furthermore, this number two economy has been closely integrated into the declared official economy, which presents its own challenges. The demonetization project is intended to cleanse the Indian economy of underground stream and modernize it, and integrate it into the world economies. Today, however, after 8 months since the demonetization big bang, its political echo seems to be rapidly subsiding, and is being replaced by voices of discontent among the Indian middle- and lowerclass. This hardest hit by the demonetization is the lower socio-economic group of India due to lack of employment opportunities. On the ground level, while the public response is mixed depending on the socio-economic status of the people, one reaction is common among all that in the near-term demonetization is hurting just about everybody, albeit for different reasons. Demonetization has indeed served as a double whammy. It has reduced business investments in small businesses that create most employment, as well as cut into consumption of goods. While the long-term impact of demonetization may be positive for India, in the near-term Indian economy is projected to grow in 5-6% range. And if one factors in the inflation, growth would be anemic affecting the weak segment to significant extent. Such statistics are also confirmed by national and international economic agencies. Another major front where demonetization is not doing its magic is the generation of the unaccounted (black) money through bribery and tax evasion by businesses.Socially and culturally it is a sensitive issue but at individual level bribes are the prime source of black (unaccounted) money, which then finds its way into real estate transactions, weddings, jewelry, etc. The taxevaded monies, on the other hand, generally fund political activity in India. The recent passage and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India is supposed to bypass multiple points of tax collection, and boost tax revenues to the public exchequer. Its ultimate intended impact is, however, yet to be realized at the national level. While the negative impact
of corruption and black money on a nation’s economy is well known, it is not easy to stop these with stroke of a pen without serious adverse economic and political consequence. Historically, black or unaccounted money has been around in India for almost as long as the country itself. Culturally, it is accepted by the society, and is tolerated by the establishment in the larger social and political interest.
quires a pivot in the international direction by becoming more transparent and accountable to the world. As an aspiring industrial economy India has to play by the global rules. It is perhaps this compulsion and necessity that has driven Narendra Modi to undertake the demonetization step. But given the fragmented nature of India economy, diverse social structures, and poverty, such reform is a major balancing act involving political risks.
After the independence of India in 1947, reportedly one left-leaning senior politicians from West Bengal urged Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to rein in on the black money in India. But Nehru, a history scholar and an astute politician, declined to do so citing that it was better for the black money to be invested in the economy to grow it. Nehru clearlyknew the political compulsions of India as a developing country. His priority was economic growth to meet country’s nearterm demands rather than be an idealist.
In order to forge ahead with modernization of Indian economy, integrate it into world economy, and be transparent, Prime Minister Modi will have to curb bribery culture at all levels including in the political sphere. This could be, however, politically hazardous for him. But, unless and until, he can accomplish these, chances of India joining the ranks of global modern economy will remain elusive, and it will linger on as a struggling developing country despite its promise to the contrary. .
In the modern times, however, given the nature of Indian economy, both in size and scope, it has tobecome more open and integrate into the world economy. So, it re-
Dr. Chandra Mittal is Professor at Houston Community College and Co-Founder of IndoAmerican Association (IAA). Contact: drckmittal@yahoo. com: Twitter: @drchandramittal
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Ria Money Transfer adds Tens of Thousands of Locations to Indian Network to Serve World’s Largest Diaspora Group • Ria launches partnerships with three of India’s leading cash remittance payout agents • Customers in India gain access to tens of thousands of new locations to receive remittances from friends and family in the United States • Partnerships provide Ria’s customers with a high-quality cash payout network in the top remittance receiving country in the world NEW YORK - Ria Money Transfer (“Ria”) the third largest money transfer company in the world and subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: EEFT) has signed direct partnership agreements with three of India’s leading cash remittance payout agents, Paul Merchants Limited, Weizmann Forex Limited and Transcorp International Limited.
Ria’s new principal agents are well-recognized in India and each have more than 15 years’ experience in the money transfer sector. With the addition of these agents, Ria will upgrade its cash payout network during the next 12 months by adding tens of thousands of high-quality retail and non-banking financial company (NBFC) locations across India. The robust and ubiquitous payout network will provide Ria with increased brand
recognition, while providing tremendous convenience and accessibility for beneficiaries to easily receive cash remittances. Speaking at a press event in New York, Juan Bianchi, CEO & President of Ria Money Transfer, said: “Indians make up the largest diaspora group globally and India is still the top receiving market for family remittances, receiving $62.7 billion (1) in 2016. “Today, Ria has one of the best services in the United States to send money to India. Millions of households are largely dependent on these transfers for family maintenance, savings and investment. We are proud to be the link that connects our customers in the US to their loved ones in rural and urban centers across India. We welcome our new partners to the Ria family.” Ria already has a strong network worldwide, including in top remittance sending countries such as the United States, where many Indians reside. In 2015, the United States was named the second top remittance sending country to India, responsible for facilitating $11.7 billion in transfers (2). In addition to cash pick-up, Ria also offers bank deposit services which offers customers the option to transfer money to any bank account in India online at www.ri-
amoneytransfer.com or via an agent location. In a recent report from the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide (3), Ria ranked first for sending $200 and $500 to India using the online service and in the top 10 for cash to account transfers through an agent location. These results reflect the company’s commitment to offering the most competitive rates and best service possible to the customers its serves. 1. World Bank Remittance Inflows, updated April 2016 2. World Bank Bilateral Remittance Matrix 2015 3. Remittance Prices Worldwide, data collected April 24, 2017 https://remittanceprices. worldbank.org/en/corridor/ United-States/India
About Ria Money Transfer Ria, a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: EEFT), is a global leader in money remittances. Ria offers fast, secure, affordable money transfers through a network of approximately 321,000 global agents spanning 146 countries and online at www.riamoneytransfer.com. The company is steadfast in its commitment to its customers and remains ingrained within the communities in which they live. For more information visit www.riafinancial.com and www.riamoneytransfer.com.
Houston Indo-Americans in to host India’s 71st Independence Day celebrations
ndia Culture Center Houston (ICC), is celebrating India’s 71st Independence Day on Sunday, August 20th, 2017 at the Stafford Center, 10505 Cash Rd, Stafford. TX 77477 from 1pm to 8pm. This year the theme is “Magnificent India”. The event attracts over 3000 people, is free, and the facility has ample free parking. As part of the celebration, an
NYC Vegetarian Food Festival
he 2nd annual Tri-State VegFest celebrates plant-based living, with food samples, cruelty-free vendors, speakers, yoga, and chef demonstrations. There’s something for everyone! VegFest is a dairy-free, meatless, plant-based food festival that showcases plant-based cuisine and cruelty-free products that are part of a vegan lifestyle – but ultimately the festival is all about food, community, and entertainment. VegFest is a celebration of the health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. There will be vegan food to sample and purchase, engaging speakers, exciting performers, and members from the local vegan community to answer questions and showcase what inspires them. As a participant, volunteer, or attendee, your presence assists us to achieve our mission in educating as many families and individuals as possible about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Sat, June 16, 2018 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT The New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center 97 Sunfield Avenue Edison, NJ 08837 NEW For 2018: - Larger Marketplace,- expanded variety food vendors, - Improved speaker and performance stage, Free Parking for all attendees! Children under 12 are FREE
exciting Souvenir “Tarang” will be published. The ICC Board requests community support through Sponsorship, Advertisement, and Booths at the Event. The Gold sponsorship is $2500 which entitles prime corporate
booth, logo on flyer and media, digital advertisement on screen, full page souvenir ad, and segment sponsorship for prizes. The Silver sponsorship is $1500 which entitles corporate booth, digital advertisement
on the screen, and full page souvenir ad. Booths are $600 (Corporate), $325 (Small Business), and $200 (Non-Profit). Digital advertisements are only $100. More Information is avail-
able on http://www.icchoustontx.org/ or call Event Chair Swapan 281-3820348 or President Dr Falguni Gandhi 281-8444604 Looking forward for your support & participation for the community event.
VOICE OF ASIA 10
The force is female: India’s women cops take a stand by Abhaya Srivastava
AIPUR, India | AFP - All-female police units are shaking up the male-dominated force in conservative northwest India, hitting the streets to combat sex crimes and a pervasive culture of silence around rape.
ence of female officers on the beat will encourage more women in Jaipur to report their abusers knowing they will find a sympathetic ear. “Women police are more empathetic and victims also feel more confident and are able to communicate
Kashmiri separatists held for ‘waging war’ against India
EW DELHI, India | AFP - An Indian court ordered Tuesday that seven Kashmiri separatists be held in police custody for allegedly funding militant groups and stoking unrest in the disputed Himalayan region. Federal agents swooped on the members of the “Hurriyat” (freedom) movement in raids across New Delhi and Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar on Monday.
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Building collapse kills seven in Mumbai Shiv Sena leader arrested on Wednesday UMBAI, India | AFP - At least seven people were crushed to death when a four-storey building collapsed in India’s financial capital of Mumbai Tuesday, the latest incident to highlight poor construction standards in the country.
Tanaji Kamble, a disaster management spokesman for Mumbai’s civic administrative body, told AFP.
Shiv Sena leader Sunil Shitap was arrested on Wednesday and charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder in connection with Tuesday’s building collapse that claimed 17 lives,
According to police and BMC, Shitap was the owner of a nursing home on the ground floor of the four-story dilapidated private building, Sai Darshan, in Ghat-
Building collapses are common in India, especially during the annual monsoon season which usually runs from late June to September.
The National Investigation Agency alleges the accused received money from Pakistan and funnelled it to militant groups agitating against Indian rule in the tense region.
openly before them,” she said.
The Kashmir valley has been reeling from street violence since the killing of a popular rebel leader by Indian forces last July.
At a park in Jaipur, constable Saroj Chodhuary dismounted from her scooter and approached a group of sari-clad women to introduce herself.
“We require time to question them for their role in violence,” Alok Mittal, a spokesman for the federal agency, told AFP.
Female officers patrol in so-called “anti-Romeo squads” (Photo: Chandan Khanna) One such squad in Jaipur has been patrolling bus stops, colleges and parks where women are vulnerable to sexual harassment. Women can face a barrage on India’s streets, enduring everything from lewd jokes and strangers following them -often dismissed as innocent “Eve teasing” -- to physical attacks and rape. “The message we want to send out is that we have zero tolerance towards crimes against women,” said Kamal Shekhawat, who heads the specialist Jaipur unit established in late May. India has a gruesome record on sex crimes, with nearly 40,000 rapes reported every year. But the real figure is thought to be much higher, with victims wary of how their complaints will be dealt with. India’s police force is overwhelmingly male -- women make up just seven percent of officers -- and activists complain that victims are often judged by their appearance, asked probing questions, or even blamed for provoking the crime. The shame attached to rape in India’s deeply patriarchal society, and fear of reprisal, means many sex crimes are not reported and offenders go unpunished.
“You can just make a call or even message on WhatsApp and we will be right there,” she said, clad in khaki uniform and white helmet as she passed around her details. “Your identity will not be revealed, so you can feel free to register your complaint. If someone makes cat calls or troubles you in any way, do let us know. Don’t take law in your own hands.”
A Delhi court on Tuesday remanded them in police custody for ten days, the Press Trust of India reported. Police allege the separatists used the cash to “wage war against India” by organising street rebellions against troops, burning schools and damaging public property. Those arrested include the son-inlaw of top separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani.
The women appear impressed by her authority -- Chodhuary and her colleagues are trained in martial arts and spent months learning the law -and relieved to know help was just a phone call away.
The Hurriyat -- an amalgam of political and religious parties fighting for Kashmir’s independence -- said the arrests were “revengeful, arbitrary and illegal” and called for mass strikes Tuesday.
Radha Jhabua, a 24-year-old mother, said she wanted to complain about a neighbour stalking her but her husband feared it would bring the family a bad name.
Geelani, as well as another top Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, were put under house arrest in Srinagar and other parts of the city were under curfew.
“He told me to keep quiet and wait for the man to change his ways. I am glad we can now just send a Whatsapp message to these sisters and they will take care of the rest,” she told AFP.
More than 100 protesters, mostly young men, have been killed since last year in clashes between troops and police and Kashmiris demanding independence from India.
Shekhawat hopes the visible pres-
Rescue operations underway at the site where two wings of a four-storey building collapsed in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar on July 25, 2017. The overnight death toll in the building crash here shot up to 17. (Photo: IANS) an official said.
kopar, which had 15 flats.
Shitap, who was detained on Tuesday night, was formally arrested early on Wednesday and slapped with various charges under the Indian Penal Code including “culpable homicide not amounting to murder”.
Preliminary investigation revealed that Shitap was allegedly carrying out illegal repairs and renovation of the nursing home to convert it into a guest house.
He was presented before a magistrate and remanded in police custody till August 2. Rescuers pulled a dozen others out of the rubble alive, some seriously injured, after the structure gave way midmorning in the northern suburb of Ghatkopar, officials said. “The death toll is now seven. We think around 15 may still be trapped and rescue operations are ongoing,”
He reportedly demolished a supporting main pillar of the residential building which could have weakened the old structure and led to its sudden collapse on Tuesday morning. The building residents and neighbours said they had repeatedly warned Shitap against making any structural changes but he ignored their pleas. So far, 28 persons have been rescued, but a few more were still feared trapped under the rubble
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Trump says transgender people barred from US military
ASHINGTON | AFP | Wednesday 7/26/2017 - President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that transgender people may not serve "in any capacity" in the US military, citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" their presence would cause. In late June, Pentagon chief Jim Mattis delayed for six months a plan put in place under Barack Obama's administration to start accepting transgender recruits. An estimated 2,500 to 7,000 transgender people are among the 1.3 million active duty service members. "After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military," Trump tweeted. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you."
Muslim worshippers to continue boycott of alAqsa mosque
ERUSALEM - Muslim worshippers in Jerusalem appear likely to maintain a boycott on the compound housing al-Aqsa mosque, with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, saying he will maintain a freeze on coordination with Israel even after it dismantled controversial metal detectors that triggered more than a week of violent conflict. “Unless all measures go back to what they were before 14 July, there will not be any changes,” Abbas said in a speech before a meeting with the Palestinian leadership. Security was increased after the 14 July attack at the compound in which two Israeli police officers were killed by three Israeli Arab gunmen, who later died in a shootout. Fresh clashes broke out after the second evening prayers had finished late on Tuesday, with police using volleys of stun grenades to clear the streets, further undermining hopes of a peaceful resolution to the crisis. The protests, during which worshippers have prayed in the streets around the compound, come amid concern that Israel is still seeking to impose enhanced security measures at the site, despite the removal of the devices. Noisy crowds gathered outside the compound for evening prayers in an atmosphere that veered between celebration, empowerment and defiance. The tensions came as clerics said they needed more time to study the proposed Israeli measures, which Palestinian and other critics say are in breach of the status quo governing the compound known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif and revered by Jews as the Temple Mount. “We need to know all the details before we decide to pray inside the compound,” said Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, the city’s top Muslim cleric. Jordan, which is custodian of the site under the status quo, echoed the message on Tuesday saying it wanted a return to security conditions before 14 July. The move to install the metal detectors after that attack set off widespread protests and deadly Israeli - Palestinian violence over the past week. However, in a late night announcement in the early hours of Tuesday, Israel said it would replace the metal detectors with other security arrangements based on “advanced technology”. The crisis over the religious site that has occurred over the last 10 days has also revealed how in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict religious tensions are increasingly coming to the fore.
The issue of transgender rights in America has been increasingly in the spotlight in recent months, especially over how states regulate the use of public restrooms. The Trump administration faced protests earlier this year after it reversed Obama-era federal protections that urged schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity, not the gender on their birth certificate. Last month, the Pentagon said the five armed service branches could delay accepting transgender recruits until January 1 as they "review their accession plans and provide input on the impact to the readiness and lethality of our forces," spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement. Last week, White explained that the different services were not in agreement on when to accept transgender recruits. "The service chiefs all had to give their what needed-to-bedone timeframes" for integrating transgender troops, she told reporters. "Different services had dif-
ferent takes. Some asked for time... there were all kinds of different recommendations." Perhaps the most famous transgender US soldier is former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who served seven years in prison for one of the largest dumps of classified documents in US history. Manning, who served as Bradley Manning, was initially sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 for leaking more than 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks three years earlier. She twice tried to take her own life last year alone, before then-president Obama commuted her sentence just days before he left office in January. Manning walked free in May. During her incarceration at the Fort Leavenworth military prison, Manning battled for -and won -- the right to begin hormone treatment to begin transitioning toward her female identity. Manning, who is still employed by the army and retains its insurance coverage, has become an icon for transgender activists.
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Cambodian project aims to send orphanage children home by Janelle Retka and Chhorn Phearun
ATTAMBANG CITY, Cambodia | AFP – Though they live in orphanages, an estimated 13,000 children in facilities across Cambodia have at least one living parent. As part of a sea change in government policy in a country with a checkered history with orphanages, officials in Battambang province on Tuesday kicked off a pilot program that aims to return children to their families. The pilot will require the province’s 35 orphanages to work alongside provincial and local-level officials and social workers to reduce their populations by 30 percent—440 children in total—by the end of next year, officials said. “Every child has the right to grow up with a family and, if that’s not possible, in a community,” said Bruce Grant, chief of Unicef Cambodia’s child welfare program, during a kick-off event at Battambang Provincial Hall. “Residential care should be the option of last resort for the shortest period of time.” The pilot is part of a governmental push to regulate Cam-
An orphan girl as photographed in black and white by Son Truong (Photo: Courtesy National Geographic) bodia’s sprawling and disorganized orphanage system that began in 2015 with a drive to register and map orphanages across the country. It is the first step aimed at moving the system away from institutionalized care toward communityand family-based care, though some question the risks that children could face in returning to households they once left, often for good reason, and the support that will be avail-
able. The policy calls on orphanage staff to assess the families of every child living at their centers to determine whether they could be safely united with a living parent or extended family member, Mr. Grant said. It also asks “that you don’t open new beds or you don’t extend your services,” he told a room full of orphanage staff.
VOICE OF ASIA 12
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Work force investment pays off!
Sri Lanka finalises $1.12bn port deal with China
Experiment in India shows how much companies have to gain by investing in their employees by Achyuta Adhvaryu, Lavanya Garg, Namrata Kala, and Anant Nyshadham
The cabinet gave final approval to sell a 70 percent stake in Hambantota port for $1.12 billion to state-owned China Merchants Port Holdings, minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters. The Chinese will manage the port operations and the Sri Lankans the port security, the minister said. That, he added, should allay fears that the port could be misused by the Chinese. Hambantota port straddles the world’s busiest east-west international shipping lane across the Indian Ocean and some nations have raised concerns that it could become a military hub for the Chinese. “Security of the port will not be given to anyone else. It will be handled 100 percent by Sri Lankans,” Samarasinghe said. He said foreign naval vessels could call at Hambantota as they did at the main port in the capital Colombo. “We will not provide special treatment to any country. We want to maintain good relations with all and we don’t want to antagonise anyone,” Samarasinghe said. “We don’t envisage giving special treatment to any one country like during the previous regime,” he said reof speech is a ferring to aLack 2014 incident when two Chinese submarines called at Colombo -- the only time any foreign subma-
Treated workers were also more valuable employees: They were more productive by seven percentage points post-training, and the average complexity of the sewing operations to which they were assigned rose con-
potential to both increase the skill sets of workers and be profitable for firms. Nearly 60,000 workers across 12 countries (including over 26,000 in India) have already been trained in life skills through PACE, which former President Bill Clinton referred to in Time as an idea that is changing the world. Furthermore, results of the study have contributed to Gap Inc.’s goal of reaching 1 million women and adolescent girls in the program by 2020.
Image: Adobe Stock
or many low-wage workers in India, basic skills training can be the difference between economic empowerment and persistent poverty. It may seem that the employers of such low-wage workers — who focus mainly on keeping costs down in order to survive in a relentlessly competitive industry — would have no incentive to provide such training or resources for personal development. But our research suggests that a better way to manage low-wage workers in developing economies is to invest in them, which is good for both worker welfare and the company’s bottom line.
expected a promotion within the next six months.
With an increased focus on soft skills training, in both India and the U.S., the results rines had stopped there. of our study provide a rigorous evidence base The call angered neighbouring InIn July 2013 we implemented a ranfor benefits from govdia, which considers Sri Lanka to be domized controlled trial in five factory ernment collaboration within its sphere of influence and has units in Bangalore operated by Shahi with the private secbeen suspicious of China’s increasing Exports Pvt. Ltd., India’s biggest gartor to reach scale. For interest in investing in the island’s in- ment export firm. The trial covered example, the Indian frastructure, including its sea and air 2,703 workers who initially expressed government’s efforts to ports. interest in the program and involved Jacob Sanchez train 10 million youth The previous government took a $8 the administering of the Personal AdDiagnosed with autism by 2020 in areas such as vancement and Career Enhancement billion loan from the Chinese to build financial and digital litthe port -- a commercial failure which (PACE) training, a life skills course eracy, entrepreneurship, for female garment workers designed does not even generate enough revand soft skills can be enue to pay staff salaries -- and other by Gap, Inc. PACE teaches commusignificantly bolstered nication, time management, decision infrastructure. by the involvement of making, problem solving, and finanthe private sector, given The new government, which came to cial literacy through weekly group power in January 2015, has been try- sessions in the workplace. siderably. Moreover, treated workers’ the potential for business returns deming to renegotiate the terms of the loan. retention was three percentage points onstrated in this experiment. Workers within and across produc- higher during the program, as PACE Our study confirms that a firm’s inSamarasinghe said Hambantota tion lines were randomized into treatport needed a fresh capital injection ment (PACE training) and control (no training was akin to an in-kind transfer vestments in its workers can improve worker welfare while contributing of $600 million to make it viable, but PACE training) groups. We measured from the firm to the workers. Colombo could not afford the invest- the impacts of soft skills training on Nine months after program comple- measurably to the bottom line. This ment and was banking on the Chinese workplace outcomes such as reten- tion, we calculated the net rate of re- dual benefit can be seen directly in the to turn around the business. tion, productivity, and salary, using the turn to the company’s investment in lives of the workers themselves. For example, Prabha, a 43-year-old widow Sri Lanka was among the first coun- firm’s administrative data along with PACE training for workers at roughly from Bihar, was psychologically dis250%. The high return to the program changes in knowledge, behaviors, and tries to recognize the People’s Retressed and economically constrained public of China. Sri Lanka’s relations personality traits of workers. We then can be explained by the fact that the after the death of her husband. She modest cumulative costs stopped accomputed return on investment by with the People’s Republic of China signed on as a low-level machine opbecame stronger; since then, the two combining our impact estimates with cruing after program completion, erator at a Bangalore factory in 2012, while the benefits (mostly from prodata on programmatic costs. The excountries have regularly exchanged but working in the formal sector for high-level visits resulting in a variety periment was designed to determine ductivity increases) continued to rise. the first time was fraught with chalThat is, total costs peaked at $90,285 both whether workers benefit from the of agreements. China has provided lenges. She often felt too intimidated Economic, Military and Technical as- training and whether it pays for firms after 11 months, while the gains con- to address her supervisors if she entinued to grow (up to $321,145 at 20 to invest in such training for their sistance to Sri Lanka. months from the start of training). countered a problem with her work, workers. China cooperation with Sri Lanka Additionally, there was a significant and would bring family members PACE-trained workers displayed spillover effect, with untrained work- along when she had to ask for time has reached high economic points with substantial investment from China in higher self-regard and sociability. ers on the same production lines as off. Today she exudes confidence on Sri Lankan infrastructural expansion, They were more likely to save for their trainees being 6.5 percentage points the factory floor, participates in group including the noted project in the Sri children’s education and use state- more productive than control workers discussions at work, thinks positively, Lankan port in Hambantota. China and sponsored health care and pension and working 7.8 days more over the and saves for retirement. She attrischemes. were 15 percentage duration of the program. butes these changes to the PACE trainSri Lanka share a Learn close military sign of also autism. the others at They autismspeaks.org/signs. ing, and her work reflects this transforrelation, with China supplying a range points more likely to request training Our study begins to build the case mation. She is happier now. And her of modern armaments to the Sri Lanka in technical skills, and 7.7 percentage points more likely to report that they that programs like PACE have the managers are, too. (-HBR.ORG) Armed Forces.
Photo taken on Feb 10, 2015 shows a general view of Sri Lanka’s deep sea harbour port facilities at Hambantota. (Photo: AFP/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi) OLOMBO, Sri Lanka | AFP - Sri Lanka’s government Tuesday approved the sale to China of a majority stake in a lossmaking but strategically-sited deep sea port for more than a billion dollars, the ports minister said.
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NY museum honors Kermit the Frog and his creator Jim Henson BY Thomas Urbain EW YORK | AFP - Jim Henson, the relentless innovator who gave the world Kermit the Frog and “The Muppet Show,” is getting a permanent tribute in New York, nearly 30 years after his death.
When Henson came to see puppetry as a serious art form, inspired partly by a trip to Europe in 1958, puppets at that time in America were for children, said Barbara Miller, curator of “The Jim Henson Exhibition.” “The work and the projects that he developed -- they were always fighting against this notion that puppets are just for
by Sebastien Berger
leader Kim Jong-Un.
YONGYANG, North Korea | AFP - The Westerners lined up on Sunday before giant statues of North Korea’s founder Kim IlSung and his son and successor Kim Jong-Il and, on command from their guide, bowed deeply.
The move comes amid heightened tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile ambitions -– it launched a rocket earlier this month which specialists say could reach Alaska or Hawaii -– and after the death of US student Otto Warmbier, who had been imprisoned for more than a year by Pyongyang.
Not only did he create “The Muppet Show” and several of Kermit’s contemporaries, he gave birth to Elmo, Big Bird, Bert and Ernie of “Sesame Street” fame, “Fraggle Rock” and movies “Dark Crystal” (1982) and “Labyrinth” (1986).
The exhibition brings together more than 300 objects, among them a Kermit the Frog, and more than 180 items bequeathed to the museum by the Henson family.
Last chance to see North Korea for US tourists
It is a ritual that the Trump administration intends to stop US tourists performing, with Washington due to impose a ban this week on its citizens holidaying in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as the North is officially known.
If rarely seen on camera, Henson lived and breathed television, hooking adult Americans on puppets, turning puppetry into prime-time entertainment and for 25 years gave life to Kermit, the world’s most famous puppet.
On Saturday, the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens opens a permanent exhibition exploring Henson’s work, challenging visitors to look beyond his most famous creations at the astonishingly breadth of his career.
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
The original Kermit, mid-conversation (Photo: AFP) kids,” she said. “’The Muppet Show’ was obviously the most successful way that he broke that barrier. It was programmed as prime time on Sunday nights. It was family hour so it was everybody.” Merging comedy, fantasy, poetry, music and song, it was a surprising blend of weekly US television show which ran from 1976 to 1981, defined a generation and inspired eight feature-length films from 1979 to 2014. - ‘Innovate’ But
walked away when the show was still in its prime, although he continued to give voice and movement to Kermit until his sudden death from pneumonia aged 53 in 1990. “He was worried he was going to start repeating himself. The last thing my dad would want is that Kermit just keeps doing the same thing,” son Brian explained in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Warmbier was convicted of crimes against the state and sentenced to 15 years’ hard labour for trying to steal a propaganda poster from a Pyongyang hotel. He was sent home in June in a mysterious coma that proved fatal soon afterwards. Most tourists to North Korea are motivated by curiosity and the desire to experience a different destination. The iconic 20-metre-high (66feet) statues at Mansu hill look out over Pyongyang and groups of North Koreans in suits and ties arrive regularly to pay their respects. Passing traffic is obliged to slow down. As the tourists reached the platform speakers played “We miss our general”, about Kim Jong-Il, the father of current
“My dad’s number one thing was don’t repeat yourself. Innovate. Do something new.” Henson demonstrated that innovation time and again
Incense burning curbed in Taiwan, protests arise
with short, Oscar-nominated 1965 surrealist film “Time Piece,” then with “Dark Crystal”, “Fraggle Rock” and “Labyrinth” starring Davie Bowie. Each time, he created a new universe made possible by advances in technology. The purpose of the exhibition is not only to showcase his work but to illustrate “how things happened and what
AIPEI, Taiwan | AFP - The sound of clanging cymbals and blaring horns filled downtown Taipei on Sunday as thousands marched in a colourful Taoist procession, protesting a government call to cut back on the burning of incense sticks.
“President Kim Il-Sung liberated our country and built a people’s paradise on this land,” they were told. Call centre manager Kyle Myers, 28, from Ireland, said he wanted “to go somewhere very different from what I’m used to” for his first trip to Asia, “to see something that not a lot of people from back home have seen”. The mounting tensions in the year since he booked the tour had made him nervous, he said, but he added: “I don’t see the threat here for tourists as long as they behave themselves and they follow the rules of the country.” Some of the visitors -- who paid from 1,850 euros ($2,157) for the tour -- expressed enthusiasm. Australian IT manager Pallavi Phadke, 43, was among those who placed a bouquet before the statues. It was “a sign of respect”, she told AFP. “It’s the same as covering your head when you go to a mosque or removing your shoes when you go to a temple. “The people seem happy, they certainly don’t appear to be oppressed or anything,” she said. “They’re very proud of their country, they’re proud of their history and it’s nice to watch them be patriotic.” Many disagree, with the United Nations, multiple Western governments and independent groups accusing Pyongyang of widespread human rights violations.
Taoism and Buddhism are the predominant faiths in Taiwan, each with millions of followers and with worship centring around temple visits and festival events. “It is very important. Our religion is upheld by the burning of incense,” said a 58-year-old man surnamed Cheng, who travelled from a temple in southern Tainan city to protest. While some devotees knelt and bowed as Taoist statutes passed by, others engaged in more violent forms of worship. One topless man was seen with blood dripping down his face after whacking himself with a serrated stick. But Joyce Wu, 34, was unfazed as she watched, saying it was a common ritual in ru-
It is “entirely possible that money spent by tourists in the DPRK” goes to fund its weapons programmes, it adds. The ban will go into force 30 days after it is formally declared, said department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, and “US passports will be invalid for travel to, through and in North Korea”. The vast majority of tourists to North Korea are from China, its sole major ally and key provider of trade and aid. Americans make up around 20 percent of the 4,000 to 5,000 Western tourists who go to the country each year, according to Simon Cockerell of Koryo Tours, the leader in the niche market, which brought Sunday’s visitors to Pyongyang. Warmbier’s death had already hammered the market, he said, with bookings down 50 percent since then.
Other tourists were more sceptical. Mark Hill, a writer and editor from Calgary in Canada, compared the statues to “a very grim Mount Rushmore”.
“It’s would-be customers’ perceptions that anybody can make a mistake,” he told AFP. “And almost everyone in their lives has made some mistake and of course they don’t want the consequences of that mistake to be so devastating.”
the creative processes were,” Miller said.
States and the world over the next five years.
“I wanted people coming in with an idea of who Jim Henson is and leaving with a more complex idea of who he is and maybe more questions than they had when they came in,” she explained.
“We know ‘The Muppets,’ we know the characters on ‘Sesame Street,’ maybe a couple of other things -- but one of the goals is to really deepen our understanding of Jim Henson as an artist, as a creative thinker, as an experimental filmmaker,” said Miller.
A traveling version of the exhibition is on view at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle and will travel the United
“And really see a bigger picture of him as a creator.”
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Taipei police said more than 10,000 people took part in the protest.
But opponents of the call argue that the rituals are a crucial element of their religious traditions.
For years the US State Department has warned its citizens against travelling to North Korea, telling them that they are “ at serious risk of arrest and longterm detention under North Korea’s system of law enforcement”, which “imposes unduly harsh sentences for actions that would not be considered crimes in the United States”, including showing disrespect to the country’s leaders and proselytising.
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About 100 temples took part in the demonstration, where performers carried statues of Taoist gods on their shoulders while others danced in largerthan-life costumes.
Officials have been pushing to curb the practice of burning incense sticks and paper money along with lighting firecrackers to combat pollution on the island.
“It’s all very impressive and also a little disquieting,” he said.
Worshippers dressed in costumes react during a religion parade against the government’s policy to cut down paper burnings in an attempt to improve air quality in Taipei (Photo: Youtube/AFP) ral areas of Taiwan where she grew up. “Gods can only feel our worship if we burn incense,” she said. “I grew up in a rural village, how come I’m healthy and not sick? I think cars and factories cause more of a pollution problem,” Wu told AFP. The fervour erupted after rumours circulated that the government was aiming to impose a ban on the burning of incense sticks. But the interior ministry issued a statement last week saying they have no intention of banning the practice, but are encouraging alternative measures. “Taking into account both the spirit of tradition as well as contemporary values of environmental protection, we’ve called on religious groups to take appropriate measures to reduce potential pollution,” it
said. During a nine-day Taoist pilgrimage in central Taiwan last year, government monitors found levels of harmful microscopic PM2.5 particles reached more than 60 times the World Health Organization’s recommended levels along the route. Environmental groups have also warned that hazardous chemicals, such as benzene and methylbenzene, are released from burning incense and paper money. Some temples have already taken it upon themselves to go green. The popular Taoist Hsing Tian Kong temple in Taipei has banned incense-burning, requesting worshippers to bring their hands together to pray instead. And another temple in central Changhua city has resorted to playing recordings of firecrackers.
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FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Gifts to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth BOOK REVIEW - Lonely Planet’s II go on display new guide to volunteering by Edouard Guihaire / Clement Boutin
For people who see travel as more than a selfie opportunity Review by Gary Jones
ONDON | AFP - Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is putting gifts received from world leaders on display at Buckingham Palace, with the eclectic collection including presents from the likes of Nelson Mandela and John F. Kennedy. A remarkable array of over 200 gifts will go on display from Saturday, providing an intriguing reminder of the globetrotting lifestyle and international encounters of the 91-year-old sovereign.“One of the most universal aspects of the Queen’s meetings with other heads of state, both at home and abroad, is the exchange of gifts,” said Sally Goodsir, assistant curator of the new “Royal Gifts” exhibition.
A framed and signed photo of former US President John F. Kennedy, that was presented to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is displayed at Buckingham Palace in London on July 20, 2017, to promote the forthcoming ‘Royal Gifts’ exhibition
The guide, published this month, replaces the third printing that was almost four years old. (The original came along 10 years ago, in June 2007.) It’s brimming with know-how and inspirational first-hand accounts for the altruistic adventurer planning a short or long-term volunteer stint, whether they be a fresh-faced gap-year student or a guilt-ridden ex-banker, a trail-hardened loner, a lovedup couple or even an intrepid family with rug rats in tow.
Since her accession to the throne in 1952, Elizabeth has travelled more than 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometres) around the world and taken part in 89 state visits abroad. At the same time, she has welcomed more than 100 leaders to Britain for formal state visits. - Signed ‘Kennedy’ “The exchange is a gesture of goodwill and these gifts are representative of traditional skills or of cultural significance and speak of a nation of culture’s history and traditions,” explains Goodsir. Although hugely diverse, these symbols of friendship have often involved an exchange of signed photographs. These include one from US President John F. Kennedy in 1961, who along with his wife Jackie was invited to dine at Buckingham Palace while on an unofficial visit to London. The gifts on display also include a handwritten note of Kennedy’s “high esteem” for his royal host. Thirty-five years later, the queen met with another great figure of the 20th century when she welcomed Nelson Mandela for a state visit. The then South African president offered the monarch a silk scarf depicting bushmen hunting a herd of eland in his country’s Eastern Cape region. Next to the scarf stands a surprising portrait of Elizabeth, created by weaving dyed banana leaves together, which was given by Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame in 2006. - Kangaroos and horses Below the majestic chandeliers of Buckingham Palace’s ballroom gifts from Asia are on display, including a lacquer box with the image of a heron worked in silver on the lid. It was a present from Japan’s Emperor Showa to Elizabeth for her coronation in 1953. “Emperor Showa’s subsequent state visit to the UK in the 1970s was the first time a Japanese emperor had left Japan to pay a visit to any country outside,” says Goodsir. The queen has also received a number of living animals -- a crocodile from the Gambia in
onely Planet travel guides were essential packing when this reviewer left the UK to explore Asia in pre-internet 1990 (and then never really left). Unfortunately, the books often proved out of date. That shouldn’t be the case with the new edition of the publisher’s Volunteer: A Traveller’s Guide to Making a Difference Around the World, a book aimed at readers “looking for a more meaningful travel experience” than taking selfies in front of things for their Instagram.
The Honorary BAFTA Award which was awarded to actor Kenneth Branagh and presesnted to the Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in April 2013, is seen at Buckingham Palace in London on July 20, 2017, to promote the forthcoming ‘Royal Gifts’ exhibition 1961, an elephant from Cameroon in 1972, and six Australian kangaroos in 1977 -- all of which have found homes in London zoo. Around 20 horses have also been given, as well as a porcelain one from French President Francois Hollande which was presented during Elizabeth’s state visit to France in 2014. The gift which made the longest journey before ending up in Buckingham Palace was presented by Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to carry
out a space walk from the International Space Station. Peake wore a British flag badge during the space walk in 2016 and gave it to the monarch earlier this year. Also on display, in a tribute to Princess Diana to mark the 20th anniversary since her death, are a number of her personal items including a briefcase and ballet shoes. Diana, the first wife of Britain’s heir to the throne Prince Charles, died in a Paris car crash on August, 31, 1997.
Hip hop in China bounces back
he Rap of China show has been viewed more than 700 million times in its first month, but some in the underground community say it’s commercialising the genre. Two years after the Chinese government cracked down on hip hop, the genre is witnessing a resurgence across the country, led by a televised competition show, The Rap of China. The show, produced by China’s major on-demand video platform iQiyi, released its first episode on June 24. Within the first four hours, the show had been viewed online more than 100 million times and to date it has received more than 700 million views. While hip hop first appeared in China in the early 1990s, the genre has largely stayed underground. Over the
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years, it has been a frequent target of censors. The genre has been hit hard since the administration of President Xi Jinping took office in 2013, with the Ministry of Culture blacklisting more than 120 songs, including many Chinese hip hop classics. During the 2015 sweep, members of hip hop band In3, which had 17 songs banned, were held in custody for five days. The three Beijing-based rappers were reportedly hooded, handcuffed and arrested by police officers on a plane when they returned from playing an underground show in another city. But now the genre is experiencing a rebirth in China thanks to a new generation of rappers who focus more on hedonism rather than political messages. (-South China Morning News)
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Hong Kong volunteers from Project Little Dream build a school in Cambodia. Photo: Courtesy of Project Little Dream From Cambodia and Colombia to Benin and beyond, Volunteer covers everything from environmental, wildlifeconservation and sustainable agriculture initiatives to much-needed construction, emergency relief, archaeological and education projects. Real-world opportunities run the gamut from tagging sea turtles in Thailand and teaching previously nomadic children in Tibet to organic farming in Togo. “Do you want to give back to the communities you visit,
Fourth edition of Volunteer: A Traveller’s Guide to Making a Difference Around the World tells would-be do-gooders the questions to ask before they turn altruistic adventurer, and is packed with advice - some of it rather obvious (Photo: Sanipani Muni school) make a genuine connection with locals, meet like-minded travellers and build your skills?” the guide asks. “International volunteering opens up all these opportunities and this book has all the advice you need to get there.”
That said, Volunteer does not pretend that all in the world of earnest do-gooders is joy and warm-glow light, and instructs readers also to ask tough questions before making the jump: will the host community or country genuinely benefit from my volunteering? Is it better to volunteer or to just donate money? Will volunteering take a job away from a local?
One gripe (pertinent considering that Lonely Planet has always claimed its readers to be smarter than the rest, and at least “know how to get their luggage off the carousel”) is that substantial chunks of the chapters titled “Practicalities” and “Tying Up Loose Ends” chapters are given over to stating the blindingly obvious.
While Lonely Planet’s original 2007 Volunteer guide boldly trumpeted that 190 volunteer organisations were reviewed within its 192 pages, by the second edition (released August 2010; 272 pages) that number had fallen to 170. The third edition (August 2013; also 272 pages) detailed 159 such operations. This new and up-to-date volume promises just 111 reviewed organisations over 320 pages. Opportunities to volunteer include tagging sea turtles and teaching nomads’ children in
The suggestion is that the publisher has become more discerning over time, and is only including organisations that have longevity, experience and a realistic approach on their side.
In the second decade of the 21st century, does anyone really need to be instructed on how to buy an air ticket online, or that we can stay in touch with folks back home with the likes of Skype, WeChat and social media? Or that if you are going away for a long time, it’s probably best to cancel any newspaper or magazine subscriptions? Or that lightweight clothing is most suitable for hot climates? And so on. The publisher’s argument could be that too much advance info is better than too little. (3.5 Stars)
VOICE OF ASIA 16
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FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Young India celebrating its roots through fashion
Anti-freezing technology wins NASA iTech prize by Jeannie Kever, HPMedia
OUSTON, July 24, 2017 Hadi Ghasemi, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston, has received the NASA iTech prize for X-factor Innovations.
EW DEHLI - People are reviving original and traditional weaves of which some like buta, jaal and shikargarh are back in fashion with brides opting for such trends, say designers Akshay Gupta and Anika Dhawan Gupta of the brand Bageecha “As I mentioned, young people are slowly beginning to celebrate their roots and take pride in their ancestry,” Dhawan told.
Ghasemi was one of three winners at NASA’s second iTech Forum, held earlier this month at the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Virginia. The forum was seeking ideas that may lead to products with the potential to benefit NASA and the nation.
my grandfather to my father, I’ve been told of stories across 100 years of creating beautiful woven silks right from the heart of Banaras. “I realised that this market today is untapped and people have moved away from this beautiful product. With the help of my wife, Anika Dhawan, who also happens to own Rani Pink, one of the leading wedding de-
Ghasemi was recognized for his discovery of an adaptive biologically inspired anti-icing material that can be applied to any surface. His material, chosen among entries from more than 130 organizations across the United States, was inspired by a species of wood frog, which can tolerate freezing of more than half their body fluids. The new material mimics the resilient amphibian. The newly created adaptive surface works like a pair of glasses that change to sunglasses when you walk outdoors. In this case, the material performs normally at ambient temperatures but becomes an anti-icing sur-
Hadi Ghasemi created a biologically inspired anti-icing material (Photo: UH) face when exposed to extreme cold.
ing the disruptive technology.
“It is an honor to launch our journey with NASA on implementation of this technology in the aerospace industry, power transmission systems, and ground and offshore infrastructures,” Ghasemi said, adding that he wanted to acknowledge the work of Ph.D. student Peyman Irajizad in develop-
Potential applications range from the aircraft industry – planes can encounter freezing rain or super-cooled water droplets while flying, leading to a buildup of ice and potentially, a crash – to the power industry, where icing can cause power poles, towers and transmission lines to collapse.
Sony YAY! partners with India Kids Fashion Week for 5th edition ony YAY! the newest offering from Sony Pictures Networks India, has partnered with India Kids Fashion Week as the official kids channel partner.
As part of the partnership, Sony YAY! will air the Mumbai and Delhi shows that are scheduled for 29th and 30th July at Radisson Blu, Dwarka, New Delhi and 12th and 13th August at the Lalit, Mumbai. In addition, the toons from the channel’s original offerings - Guru Aur Bhole will also engage and walk the ramp with the kids at the fashion show. Since its inception, Sony YAY! has been trying to connect with its target audience (age group 2-14 years) through various initiatives. The channel aims to give the kids a good laugh and huge doses of unadulterated entertainment in an environment that allows them to be themselves without any worry, which is in line with the objective of India Kids Fashion Week as well. The platform seeks to create a significant mark on the international kids fashion industry while providing a platform for nurturing individual identities of young designers with the potential to be future leaders and role models.
Traditional saris are having a revival (Photo: Fabindia) IKFW, an initiative of Event Capital (A Laqshya Media Group Company) and Craftworld Events, has made a glorious impact on the nation’s fashion week calendar and aims to be bigger and better, fostering qualitative opportunities for both designers to showcase their creativity and kids to showcase their innate awesomeness in its 5th edition. Speaking on this occasion, Manoj Mahla, Director, Craftworld Events said, “We are glad to partner with Sony YAY!. The channel came as
a natural fit for India Kids Fashion Week. Together we aim to make IKFW bigger and better this year.” Also commenting on this association, Leena Lele Dutta, Business Head, Sony YAY! added, “India Kids Fashion Week is the biggest platform for kids fashion industry. We are glad to be associated with them. Our constant endeavour has been to reach out to kids all across the nation and we are always on the lookout for partners who can help us achieve this. Our aim is to be the
The designers, who recently launched their latest store in New Delhi, say that their aim is to capture the exuberance of the city and history of Banaras and intends to hold on to its traditional designing roots with a vision to cater to the changing world.
cor companies in India, I decided to start Bageecha.
“I grew up inspired by what my family does and our heritage and lineage always stood out for me. From
My business acumen along with her creative approach lends to the younger touch of Bageecha,” said Gupta. The brand’s Aumtum/Winter 2017 line consists of classic motifs, and intricate fine patterns in brighter and younger colours. (-The Hans India)
unlimited happiness destination for kids and together, with India Kids Fashion Week, we want to give the
kids an opportunity for them to be themselves.” (-Courtesy: BusinessWeek India)
Young people trust less, but still happy, study shows
EW YORK | AFP -Young people’s trust in key figures such as politicians and religious leaders has fallen sharply over the past five years but they remain largely happy, a global study said Thursday. Viacom, the US media company behind youth-oriented channels such as MTV and Nickelodeon as well as Hollywood studio Paramount, surveyed 28,600 people online in 30 major countries about a wide range of views. In a time of turbulent politics and religious conflict, just nine percent of respondents described themselves as trustful of religious leaders and a mere two percent said the same of their countries’ politicians. Since the last survey in 2012, trust for religious leaders has tumbled 33 percentage points and the figure for politicians fell 25 points among peo-
ple age 30 and younger in the 27 countries that were polled both years. Views, however, varied sharply among countries, with trust in religious leaders reaching a high of 32 percent in Nigeria. The Viacom survey, dubbed “The Next Normal,” found that the percentage of people who said they were happy overall was virtually unchanged at 76 percent. “The overwhelming theme that’s come out of this is that the human is a very resilient animal,” said Christian Kurz, Viacom’s senior vice president for global consumer strategies.
ensuring time for vacation and enjoyment, while in 2012 more people focused on money. Kurz said he sensed a shift in attitudes in the wake of the global economic crisis, with many people feeling powerless. “If you don’t really have a choice, then you focus on the things that you do have control over -- and the people you spend time with, you have control over,” Kurz said. “What we’re seeing now is that that’s becoming even more important,” he said.
Asked to define happiness, most people in both 2012 and 2017 pointed to spending time with family and friends.
Coming from the parent company of MTV, the survey also offered quirky insights on music culture.
But next in importance in 2017 -- especially in developed countries -- was
The study found that three-quarters of Indians said they occasionally
Young people’s trust in key figures such as politicians and religious leaders has fallen sharply over the past five years but they remain largely happy, a global study said (Photo: AFP) danced alone in their rooms to music, while the Japanese came in last
with 27 percent admitting to solitary moves.
VOICE OF ASIA 17
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
BOLLYWOOD - HOLLYWOOD
Cat Stevens channels Sufi poet for new folk album
“Male actors are better valued than us in Hindi cinema” nushka Sharma, who is currently gearing up for the release of her movie Jab Harry Met Sejal spoke about the gender bias that exists in Bollywood. In an interview with a tabloid, Anushka candidly spoke about the differential treatment that male actors and female actors get in Hindi cinema.
“Films led by female actors do not open to remarkable numbers. A lot of us are trying to change that with the kind of work we do.” She further added, “Who said that the industry was fair? Talking of the gender divide won’t make it go away. Male actors are better valued than us in Hindi cinema. As an actor, what I can do is choose roles that send out a message [of empowerment]. As a producer, I am trying to foster a new value system that makes content king in the long run.” Recently in an interview with us, the actress also spoke about the sexism that has existed in the society. Admitted Sharma, “Men can work as long as they want to even when they’ve aged. They’re still amazing and cool. And I have no problem with that. But why is that women are only okay when they’re “young and desirable”? There’s a sexual connotation attached.” Anushka’s Jab Harry Met Sejal opposite Shah Rukh Khan is all set to release on August 4 (-Pinkvilla)
Cat Stevens channels Sufi poet for new folk album (Photo: AFP)
“See What Love Did To Me,” released on Thursday, is the first single off “The Laughing Apple,” which will come out September 15 and mark Stevens’s fourth album since he ended a three-decade retreat from music following his conversion to Islam. The song is dominated by the gentle and joyous folk guitar that characterized the English artist’s hits in the 1970s such as “Wild World,” “Father and Son” and “Peace Train.” Yet Stevens, who also goes by the name Yusuf, adds in global influences. An African lute subtly accompanies his guitar around the chorus, while a bridge halfway through the song reaches into the synthesized string orchestrations of Bollywood. Stevens sings of love as he looks at the miracles of nature and the force of
the divine. “I was a blindfolded bumble-bee / And now I see what God did for me / He made me see life flowery,” Stevens sings. In a statement, Stevens said the lyrics were inspired by verses from Yunus Emre, one of the classic poets from Islam’s mystical movement of Sufism. Emre, who was born in the 13th century, had a formative influence on the development of Turkish, choosing to write in the language rather than in Farsi or Arabic, which were more common for Sufis. Born in London to a Greek Cypriot father and Swedish mother, Stevens won a wide international following in the early 1970s but said he felt a need for a greater spiritual path. Stevens, who turns 69 on Friday, converted in 1977 and changed his name to Yusuf Islam. He gave few concerts for the next three decades before returning with an album in 2006.
Bieber not welcome thanks to ‘bad behaviour’: Beijing authorities
EW YORK | AFP - Cat Stevens has channeled the Sufi poet Yunus Emre for a song about divine love as he announced his latest album since his return to Western folk pop.
Madhubala to join Bollywood brigade at Madame Tussauds
ONDON (PTI) - Yesteryear actress Madhubala is the latest celebrity to join the Bollywood brigade at Madame Tussauds, which is scheduled to open later this year. The actress’ wax figure will be styled based on her iconic character Anarkali from the classic film ‘Mughal-E- Azam’.
Madhubala, one of the leading actresses from Hindi cinema’s golden era, appeared in classics like ‘Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi’, ‘Mr. & Mrs. ‘55’, ‘Kala Paani’, and ‘Howrah Bridge’, during her brief lifetime, becoming one of the highly regarded personalities in the industry. “We are glad to have the figure of Madhubala at Madame Tussauds Delhi. She continues to rule the hearts of billions of fans in the nation.”
Sunny and Bobby Deol find themselves accidentally infamous
“We are sure that her magnetic beauty will attract her fans to click a selfie and relive a special moment with her and be transported back to the golden era of cinema,” Anshul Jain, said. The Justin Bieber world tour is plotting stops all over Asia. Mainland China, however, will not be one of them (Photo: AFP) EIJING, China | AFP - Justin Bieber is not welcome to perform in China because of his “bad behaviour”, Beijing authorities have said, after the pop idol angered many Chinese in 2014 by visiting a controversial Japanese war shrine The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture revealed it was not a “Belieber” when it said the 23-year-old Canadian, who last played in the country in 2013, had a lot of growing up to do if he wanted to return.
anese war dead, including convicted World War II war criminals.
The statement came after Chinese fans posted comments on the agency’s website demanding to know when their heart-throb would be allowed to perform in China again.
But some have never forgiven him.
It is “inappropriate to introduce bad behaviour into the performing arts” it said, calling the performer out for his antics and urging him to turn over a new leaf. “We hope Justin Bieber can improve his words and deeds in the process of growing up and become a singer people really like.” The singer recently helped hit single “Despacito”, originally released by Luis Fonsi in January before Bieber came out with a remix two months later, achieve 4.6 billion streams, according to the Universal Music Group. The Beijing cultural bureau did not specifically mention Bieber’s 2014 visit to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, which honours millions of mostly Jap-
The shrine is seen across Asia as a symbol of Japan’s perceived lack of penitence for its past imperialist aggression, under which China in particular suffered heavily. Shortly after his trip, the singer behind the hit song “Sorry” issued an apology to scandalised Chinese fans, saying he was “mislead to think the shrines were only a place of prayer”. “Anyone who knows and then visits the Yasukuni Shrine is annoying,” a user called Qiao Ating wrote on China’s Twitter-like Weibo website on Friday. Another Weibo post agreed: “It’s good he’s not coming. He is a bad boy.” Fan Jiayi, a jewellery designer in Shanghai, told AFP she supported the authorities’ stance, saying: “I do not think the government would reject him unless there was a big problem.” Bieber is due to perform in Hong Kong in September as part of his “Purpose Tour”. Big-name Western acts have in the past been banned from performing in mainland China over political gestures. Maroon 5 cancelled a concert in 2015 after authorities refused permis-
Madhubala’s beauty was recognized globally when she was featured in one of the popular American Magazine’s in 1952. To honour her, a commemorative postage stamp featuring Madhubala was issued in 2008. Other Bollywood stars who will have their wax figures at museum to be housed in the iconic Regal Building, include Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, along with singers Shreya Ghoshal and Asha Bhonsle.
sion because a band member had met the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing views as a separatist threat. Later the same year American rock group Bon Jovi -- who have included imagery of the Dalai Lama in a show -- abruptly scrapped two dates in Beijing and Shanghai. Chinese officials have been especially sensitive about live concerts since Icelandic singer Bjork chanted “Tibet! Tibet!” during a performance of her song “Declare Independence” in Shanghai in 2008. China says its troops “liberated” Tibet in 1951, but many Tibetans accuse Beijing of religious repression and eroding their culture.
‘Poster Boys’: Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, and Shreyas Talpade’s film, in a still from the film, promises to be a laugh riot (Photo: YouTube)
hreyas Talpade is making his directorial debut in Bollywood with the remake of Marathi film ‘Poshter Boyz’ which he had produced himself. The remake is titled ‘Poster Boys’ which stars Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, and Shreyas in pivotal roles. The trailer which came out on Monday afternoon is a laugh riot as all the three maverick actors gear up to tickle your funny bone with their impeccable comic timing. The plot of the film revolves around the actors as they accidentally become the
face of a vasectomy advertisement, how subsequently these three men try to get rid of their ‘poster boy’ image, and all the drama that happens after it which affects their personal as well as social relationships. In order to get their lives back on track by getting rid of their poster boys image, the story takes you on a humorous journey. Inspired by a real life incident about three coolies who found their pictures on a vasectomy poster, ‘Poster Boys’ is scheduled to release on September 8, 2017. (-Courtesy: TOI)
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VOICE OF ASIA 18
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
HEALTHY LIVING VOICE OF ASIA
Healthy lifestyle can add up to 7 years to lifespan, study finds
OSTOCK, Germany - Living a healthy lifestyle can add up to seven years to your life expectancy, a new study finds. Researchers in Germany and the U.S. analyzed data on over 14,000 elderly Americans from the Health and Retirement Study, hoping to find whether the absence of three risk factors— smoking, obesity, and alcohol consumption— was linked to increased health and lifespan. The researchers found that those who didn’t smoke and weren’t obese lived four to five years longer than the general population, while those who also drank in moderation could expect to live up to seven additional years.
showed that a healthy lifestyle, which costs nothing, is enough to enable individuals to enjoy a very long and healthy life,” says researcher Mikko Myrskylä, director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, in a press release. This study is the first to look at these
In addition to living longer, these individuals were expected to be disability-free in their later years. These findings are notable in that individuals who lack all three risk factors would project to live longer than the famously long-lived Japanese. “Improvements in medical technology are often thought to be the gatekeeper to healthier, longer life. We
risk factors simultaneously, as opposed to individually. Interestingly, each risk factor was associated with different health outcomes on an individual basis. Smoking, for example, was linked to early mortality, but not an increase in years being disabled. Meanwhile, excessive alcohol consumption was linked to both a de-
creased lifespan and quality of health. On the same note, the researchers found that healthy, non-smoking men who didn’t drink in excess lived about 11 years longer on average than men who were overweight, drank frequently, and smoked. Similarly, that gap jumped up to 12 years in women.
A new study finds that people who practice healthy lifestyle habits have a significantly longer life expectancy, adding about seven years to their lifespan. (File photo)
“Our results show how important it is to focus on prevention,” emphasizes Myrskylä. “Those who avoid risky health behaviours are achieving very long and healthy lives. Effective policy interventions targeting health behaviors could help larger fractions of the population to achieve the health benefits observed in this study.”
For the study, people who smoked less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime were considered never-smokers, and those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher were listed as obese. Consuming 14 drinks or less per week would classify a person as a moderate drinker. The study’s findings were published this month in the journal Health Affairs. (-StudyFinds.org)
Even a slight drop in US measles vaccinations could triple cases by Jean-Louis Santini
ASHINGTON DC | AFP - Even a slight drop in the number of children receiving measles vaccinations could triple the number of cases of the disease, according to a US study released on Monday. With the rise of the “anti-vaxxer” movement in the United States, researchers warned in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics of a disproportionate rise in measles, mumps and rubella among children. Scientists from Stanford University School of Medicine in California were studying the effects of a growing reluctance by parents to give their children MMR shots because of fears it might cause autism.
“We found that a five percent decline in MMR vaccine coverage in US children would result in a threefold increase in national measles cases in this age group,” the researchers said. They also pointed to a hefty price tag for such reluctance, noting that just an additional 150 cases of the common childhood disease could cost the public sector $2.1 million. The report cited fears of autism promoted by websites and celebrities for driving the hesitancy among parents to have their children inoculated at an early age, despite the fact that it said the claims were unfounded. The study said that while many US parents believe there is little chance of their children contracting the illness, “our study conclusions find that
measles still poses a substantial threat for large outbreaks in children... especially under scenarios with further decline in vaccine coverage.” “Furthermore, the safety of MMR and other vaccines is well established in the scientific literature, including the finding that MMR vaccination has no association with the development of autism,” it said. Most states allow exemptions on the grounds of religious belief, and 18 states also allow it on the basis of personal conviction. “The routine vaccination of children is declining in Texas and other areas of the United States where they allow for personal belief and other nonmedical exemptions to childhood vaccination requirements,” the JAMA Pediatrics report said.
Filing an Appeal if You Have Original Medicare Appeals Level 1: Company handling Medicare claims redetermination If you want to file an appeal, start by looking at your “Medicare Summary Notice” (MSN). It shows all your services and supplies that providers and suppliers billed to Medicare during a 3-month period, what Medicare paid, and what you may owe the provider. The MSN also shows if Medicare has fully or partially denied your medical claim (this is the initial determination, which is made by the company that handles bills for Medicare). Read the MSN carefully. If you disagree with a Medicare coverage or payment decision, you can appeal the decision. The MSN contains information about your appeal rights. You’ll get a MSN in the mail every 3 months, and you must file your appeal within 120 days of the date you get the MSN. You can also track your Medicare claims or view electronic MSNs by visit MyMedicare. gov. Claims will generally be available within 24 hours after processing. There are 3 ways to file an appeal: 1. Fill out a “Redetermination Request Form [PDF, 100 KB]” and send it to the Medicare contractor at the address listed on the MSN. 2. Follow the instructions for sending an appeal. You must send your request for redetermination to the company that handles claims for Medicare (their address is listed in the “Appeals Information” section of the MSN.) • Circle the item(s) and/or services you disagree with on the MSN. • Explain in writing why you disagree with the decision or write it on a separate piece of paper, along with your Medicare number, and attach it to the MSN. • Include your name, address, phone number, and Medicare number on the MSN and sign it. • Include any other information you have about your appeal with the MSN. Ask your doctor, other health care provider, or supplier for any information that may help your case. 3. Send a written request to the company that handles claims for Medicare (their address is listed in the “Appeals Information” section of the MSN.) Your request must include: • Your name and Medicare number. • The specific item(s) and/or
Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway, Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com
service(s) for which you’re requesting a redetermination and the specific date(s) of service. • An explanation of why you don’t agree with the initial determination. • Your signature. If you’ve appointed a representative, include the name and signature of your representative. 4. You can submit additional information or evidence after the redetermination request has been filed. But, it may take longer than 60 days for the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) to make a decision. If you submit additional information or evidence after filing the request for redetermination, the contractor will get an extra 14 calendar days to make a decision for each decision. 5. You’ll generally get a decision from the MAC (either in a letter or an MSN) called a “Medicare Redetermination Notice” within 60 days after they get your request. 6. If you disagree with this decision, you have 180 days after you get the notice to request a reconsideration by a Qualified Independent Contractor (QIC).Write your Medicare number on all documents you submit with your appeal request. Write your Medicare number on all documents you submit with your appeal request.Keep a copy of everything you send to Medicare as part of your appeal. To choose right Medicare Supplement plan, Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug plan, contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.
Walking the dog, all the way to Exercise for brain health better health by Catherine Roberts
ou have many good reasons to become more physically active: Doing so can boost mood, help maintain a healthy weight, and keep muscles strong. Now a growing body of evidence suggests that workouts may have brain benefits as well.
UESDAY, July 25, 2017 Your dog may be more than your furry companion -- new research suggests it may also be an effective personal trainer. The study found that dog walking gives a significant boost to older adults’ exercise levels year-round.
Much of the research on brain health and exercise is focused on aerobics. Yet a recent analysis from the University of Canberra in Australia found that certain nonaerobic activities can also help improve brain function in people over 50.
Researchers looked at more than 3,000 older adults in England. Dog owners who walked their pooch got an average of 30 minutes more physical activity a day than other participants.
“We found that dog walkers were much more physically active and spent less time sitting overall. We expected this, but when we looked at how the amount of physical activity participants undertook each day varied by weather conditions, we were really surprised at the size of the differences between those who walked dogs and the rest of the study participants,” said study lead author Yu-Tzu Wu, of the University of Cambridge. And, project leader Andy Jones said, “We were amazed to find that dog walkers were on average more physically active and spent less time sitting on the coldest, wettest and darkest days than non-dog owners were on long, sunny and warm summer days.” He is a professor at Norwich School of Medicine, at the University of East Anglia. “The size of the difference we ob-
Image: Adobe Stock
The dog walking-linked boost in activity was especially noticeable in the winter when days are shorter, colder and wetter, the study authors said.
served between these groups was much larger than we typically find for interventions, such as group physical activity sessions that are often used to help people remain active,” Jones added in a university news release. The researchers noted that owning a dog is not a good idea for all older adults due to the demands of looking after a pet, but said their findings suggest new ideas to increase physical activity. “Physical
typically try and support people to be active by focusing on the benefits to themselves, but dog walking is also driven by the needs of the animal. Being driven by something other than our own needs might be a really potent motivator and we need to find ways of tapping into it when designing exercise interventions in the future,” Jones said. The findings were published July 24 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. (-HealthDay News)
“Even when people did have some level of decline already, they were actually able to improve their cognitive function,” says the study’s author, Joseph Northey, a Ph.D. candidate in sport and exercise science. We reviewed the most recent research to find tips on optimizing your exercise routine to help improve your brain health and keep your mind sharp. - Take a Brisk Walk If you don’t exercise now, it’s easy to start. Just walk out your door and keep going. It’s fine to start small. Build up from 10 minutes walking a day until you get to at least 30, says Elissa Burton, Ph.D., a research fellow in the school of physiotherapy and exercise science at Curtin University in Australia. And if you can, pick up your pace. Getting your heart rate up will maximize the benefits to your brain, according to Helen Macpherson, Ph.D., a dementia research fellow at Deakin University in Australia. That means
you should be exercising at an intensity where you start to find it difficult to have a conversation. - Do More Than the Minimum The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults get 150 minutes of this sort of moderately intense aerobic exercise each week, which is five 30-minute workouts. But the biggest boost in brain health in the Canberra study was linked to exercise sessions of 45 to 60 minutes. So try consolidating some workouts into a longer session. Or gradually work up to 45 to 60 minutes, five days per week. - Try Tai Chi This Chinese martial art, which consists of slow, rhythmic movements, was one of several types of exercise tied to improved cognitive functioning in the recent Canberra study. Plus it’s low-impact, which can be good for people who haven’t been active in awhile, Northey says. It’s also easy on your joints. To learn the proper technique, it’s best to seek out a local class, Northey says. You can find instructors near you who are certified by the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association. - Resistance Training Can Help, Too Resistance training, exercise that causes muscles to contract, is meant to strengthen, but it may also help protect against cognitive decline. And you don’t need weights or other equipment, Northey says. The CDC recommends resistance training at least twice per week. (-Consumer Reports)
SCIENCE & TECH
VOICE OF ASIA 19
UH researcher working to make security cameras “smarter”
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
‘Mystery’ signal from space is solved. It’s not aliens
Video analytics project will help cameras send alert at first sign of a threat by Jeannie Kever
OUSTON, July 20, 2017 Security cameras deployed across the nation – at transit stops, sporting events and other places where people gather – can provide valuable clues to law enforcement investigating trouble after the fact. A University of Houston researcher is developing a system that would allow the cameras to recognize and send an alert at the first sign of a threat to public safety. Shishir Shah, professor of computer science at UH, received a $1.57 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program to pursue research using video analytics to develop “smart” camera security systems that can automatically alert first responders to relevant issues and emergencies. NIST is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Shah works in image analysis and “computer vision,” a field related to artificial intelligence that deals with analyzing large numbers of images to extract data which can be used to guide real-world decisions. He will collaborate with the city of Houston, working with Julie Stroup, program director of the Public Safety Video Initiative, to ensure the work addresses the needs of public safety/ homeland security personnel and other first responders. The video initiative was started in 2007 by Dennis Storemski, director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security. There are currently more than 850 city-owned cameras in public spaces, and the office collaborates and shares video with other regional public safety agencies. Shah’s lab, the Quantitative Imaging Laboratory, has a network of cameras set up in and around a classroom building on the UH campus. There are thousands more spread across the city’s public spaces.
Astronomers detected strange signals that seemed to be coming from a dwarf star about 11 light-years away, but have now determiend that the signals are interference from a distant geostationary satellite (Photo: AFP/File) Computer science professor Shishir Shah is working to develop “smart” cameras that can alert first responders at the first sign of trouble. It’s not practical to have people watch the feeds from all those cameras in real time, he said, both because there is too much video footage to make it cost-effective and because nothing of note happens most of the time, raising the risk that people will miss the few seconds of meaningful information. Instead, the project will seek to build mathematical models that reflect how people act or behave and, based on that, predict deviations from the norm. “The long term plan is to try and move the needle in smart cameras, cameras that have some intelligence about what they are recording and how that can be used,” Shah said. It will start with what he describes as “lower levels of intelligence,” including teaching the cameras to send an alert when something prevents optimal operation – a smudged or covered lens, a mechanical problem and even an external obstruction, such as a tree sprouting leaves that blocks the view.
Mid-level intelligence will involve things like recognizing when a vehicle is traveling the wrong way on a oneway street. More complex programs would determine whether people’s behavior has deviated from the norm, incorporating variables including the laws of gravity – people don’t walk on the ceiling – and such social norms as where people stand and walk. That has to account for situational and cultural cues, Shah said, noting that walking on the grass might be aberrant in some situations but normal at a backyard barbecue, and people of different cultural backgrounds have different ideas about personal space. Those are things that people watching a video feed automatically use to analyze what they are seeing. “How do we get cameras to that level of intelligence, which people bring to interpreting what is happening in a scene?” Shah asked. “For now, that analysis is really still dependent on people.”
by Kerry Sheridan
IAMI | AFP - Astronomers have finally solved the mystery of peculiar signals coming from a nearby star, a story that sparked intense public speculation this week that perhaps, finally, alien life had been found. It hasn’t. The signal, which has been formally named “Weird!” was interference from a distant satellite. Of course, astronomers said all along that extra-terrestrials were quite far at the bottom of the list of possibilities for the signals detected from Ross 128, a dim star known as a red dwarf some 11 light-years away. To experts, the true mystery was that they couldn’t figure out if the bursts were unusual stellar activity, emissions from other background objects, or interference from satellite communications. “However, many people were more interested in the signals as potential proof of transmissions from an extraterrestrial intelligent civilization,” wrote Abel Mendez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at
the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo in a blog post Friday, revealing the true nature of the signals. After further fueling speculation by summoning the world experts in the hunt for life elsewhere in the universe -- The SETI Berkeley Research Center at the University of California -the team issued its conclusion. “We are now confident about the source of the Weird! Signal,” Mendez wrote. “The best explanation is that the signals are transmissions from one or more geostationary satellites.” The signals only appeared around Ross 128 because it is located “close to the celestial equator where many geostationary satellites are placed,” Mendez added. He also released the results of an informal survey that he had posted on his website, asking people to weigh in on what they thought the source of the signals was, and whether or not they were scientists well versed in the matter. “Nearly 800 people participated in
Full Moons and Their Spiritual Effects on Humans - Part III (Final) night is a golden opportunity for the negative forcesto cause distress to man. Negative forces take advantage of the rise in Raja-Tama to amass black energy that is used to orchestrate events.
Dr. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Rice University, Houston, TX.
ffect based on illumi - nation or phase of the moon
On new moon day, the nonilluminated, i.e. dark side of the Moon faces towards Earth. Darkness emanates Raja-Tama predominant frequencies. Hence compared to when the illuminated side faces Earth, more subtle basic Raja-Tama predominant frequencies are transmitted towards Earth.Alternatively, on a full moon day there is a decrease in the Raja-Tama because of the increased illumination. However on a full moon day as the moon frequencies are more active, a heightened activity of the mind is observed. Depending on the types of impressions from the sub-conscious mind that are activated, the heightened activity can range from heightened random thoughts to heightened mind activity of specific thoughts. It is also possible to awaken thoughts about Spirituality that lie inert in the sub-conscious mind of a spiritual person by taking advantage of the heightened mind activity and by increasing spiritual practice on a full moon day. Consequences of increased effect of full moon and new moon on humans On new moon days, when the Raja-Tama spreading negative energies are heightened, people engaged in occult rituals and predominantly rājasik and tāmasik people are strongly influenced and receive black energy for their Raja-Tama activities. As it is a day conducive for negative activities, it is considered an inauspicious day for any positive activities. As the Raja-Tamafrom the moon affects the mind, the incidence of Raja-Tama tendencies like running away, suicide or possession by negative forces is highest on new moon. Especially during the night, as the otherwise naturally available purification by the Absolute Cosmic Fire Principle (Tējtattva) through the Sun being absent, new moon
On a full moon night, as the illuminated side of the moon faces Earth, minimal subtle basic RajaTama is transmitted on this night compared to other nights. Hence on this night minimal Raja-Tama energy is available for negative forces, Raja-Tama predominant people or practitioners of occult rituals. Spiritual research has further revealed that there are some finer differences between the effect of new moon and full moon on man. Overall the distressing ef-
fect of the moon on man is more on new moon than on full moon. The adverse effect of full moon is more on the physical or gross body whereas that of new moon is more on the mind. The effect of full moon is more apparent whereas the effect on new moon is more intangible (subtle). As the effect of new moon is not apparent to the person, it is even more dangerous. This is because as he is not aware of the distress, no step is taken to overcome it. Between new moon and full moon the effects of new moon are less noticeable to us. However the negative effect is more on new moon. The reason for this is that on new moon the effect on man is more at a subtle-level as
opposed to the full moon where one is aware of the increase in thoughts. What can we do to protect ourselves from any harmful effects? Since the harmful effect of the new and full moon is due to a spiritual reason, only spiritual remedies or spiritual practice can help in giving protection. At a worldly level, it is best to avoid taking important decisions or buying-selling on these days as negative forces can affect through these media. Increase the quantity and quality of spiritual practice from 2 days prior to and continue for 2 days after full moon and new moon days. It is also beneficial to chant Name
of God as per religion. During the waning phase of the moon, i.e. the period between full moon day and new moon day, as the size of the moon progressively reduces, the subtle basic RajaTama frequencies emanating from it progressively rise. This is because the darker side of the moon progressively increases. Hence to protect oneself from the adverse influence of this enhanced Raja-Tama, it is important that we step up our spiritual practice during this period.During the waxing phase of the moon, we should at least try to stabilize the increased efforts we had put in, in the earlier fortnight. This is so that we can again renew our efforts at enhanced spiritual practice in the next waning phase of the moon.
Cheap 3D printed prosthetics could be game changer for Nepal ATHMANDU, Nepal | AFP - Ram’s new hand was manufactured on a 3D printer in Nepal’s capital for just $30, an innovation that could be a game changer for many in the impoverished Himalayan country. Once a farmer, Ram lost his hands and toes within a few years of contracting leprosy, forcing the father-of-three to turn to begging in a desperate bid to feed his family.
who lost both limbs after being electrocuted by hanging power
ity to make hands at the moment -- a leg requires a more
so it (3D printing) lowers the cost dramatically for a func-
Rockwell -- who flits between Nepal and the US, where he is part of the tech team behind the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert -- brought a 3D printer to Kathmandu after a powerful earthquake struck the country in 2015. Soon, he began printing new hands for those in need: a girl
The whole group’s consensus was that the signals were most likely coming from some story of stellar activity, or some kind of astronomical phenomenon. Most people discounted the possibility of radio interference or instrumental failures, saying these were least likely. This, Mendez explained, was hardly a scientific approach to the question. “This is interesting since in the absence of solid information about the signal, most astronomers would think that these were probably the most likely explanation,” Mendez wrote. Furthermore, about one quarter of respondents said “the most likely explanation of the signal was that of a communication with an Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI),” he added. “These results reflect the still high expectations the public maintains on the possibility of contacting ETI.” Still, all was not lost in these last few weeks of speculation and tumult. “The Planetary Habitability Laboratory of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo made many new friends from this experience,” Mendez said, adding it had been a “great experience of open science.” “The lesson here is that we all need to continue exploring and sharing results openly. Some people prefer to only learn about the successes, but others prefer science in real-time, no matter the end result.”
That’s where he was spotted by US-born Matthew Rockwell, the founder of Disaster Hack, a non-profit technology startup that is making functional prosthetic hands for those who couldn’t otherwise afford them. Disaster Hack makes its money doing tech consulting and teaching people to code, while running altruistic ventures on the side like teaching Nepalis IT skills and manufacturing low-cost, basic prosthetics.
this informal survey (including more than 60 astronomers),” he wrote.
20 different parts. Rockwell hopes the mostly volunteer-run project will sow the seeds for something bigger. He has now trained 20 prosthetists at hospitals in Nepal in 3D printing, and signed a deal with Kathmandu’s largest university to set up the country’s first biomedical 3D printing lab. Disaster Hack founder Matthew Rockwell (R) attaches a 3D printed prosthetic hand to leprosy sufferer Ram’s arm in Kathmandu (Photo: Gopen Rai/AFP) lines, a construction worker whose hand was crushed beyond repair. “We’ve only distributed to five so far but we have a list that keeps on growing,” said Rockwell, sitting in a cramped office in Kathmandu, the 3D printer whirling behind him. Rockwell only has the capac-
heavy-duty printer -- but he has identified more than 7,000 people in Nepal who could benefit from Disaster Hack’s creations. “A traditional prosthesis costs anywhere between $1000 to $3000 to $5000,” Rockwell explained. “Now we’re able to produce prostheses for right around $30
tional prosthesis.” Rockwell hopes to bring down the cost even further by recycling plastic bottle tops to make the wire that feeds the printer. The 3D printed hands being manufactured by Disaster Hack take nearly a full day to print, and are comprised of roughly
Meanwhile for Ram, a new hand could mean a chance to give up begging. “What should I say, I have nothing to eat. If I stay here I make 100 rupees ($0.97), 50 rupees,” he said from his daily spot on the corner of a busy intersection. He lifted the new prosthetic hand, and as he slowly contracted the plastic fingers to make a fist, a smile spread across his face.
BEAUTY & FASHION
VOICE OF ASIA 20
The latest beauty trend to hit the US: snail slime for your face? by Christine Jenkins
nail slime. On your face. All for the sake of beauty.
And, hopefully, a handsome profit for U.S. retailers looking to push it along with other South Korean beauty trends into the mainstream — if people can get over the “ick” factor. Korean consumers are on a constant hunt for innovative products and unusual natural ingredients. Now, the decade-old craze is making its way to everyday consumers in the U.S., as Kbeauty products jump from niche websites and slide onto the shelves at Target, CVS and Ulta Beauty stores. The retailers earlier this year announced expansions of the merchandise. “People used to talk about French skincare,” said Sarah Chung, the head of Landing International Inc. which partnered on Ulta’s Korean collection. “We don’t really call it that anymore. Right now we say it’s K-beauty, but it’s really just great skincare.”
according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While Koreans put snail slime on the map, it’s Chileans who get the credit for discovering its apparent benefits. The Bascunan family started selling snails for food — escargots — to French wholesalers in the 1980s. The business wasn’t a great success, but it made an unexpected discovery while harvesting the animals. The secretion filtrate seemed to heal cuts and grazes caused by handling the metal cages containing the snails. “South Korean consumers are always looking to the next innovation and snail slime when introduced was wellreceived,” said David Tyrrell, a global skincare analyst at Mintel Group. “It was new, arguably exotic and recognized by consumers to readily moisturize the skin and produce anti-aging related benefits.”
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
India Couture Week 2017 Setting the stage on fire!
ollywood has always been taking an integral part of India Couture Week, which is organised by Fashion Design Council of India in Delhi. However, India Couture Week 2017, is going to be the star lit. Actor Arjun Rampal fulfilled expectatons and walked the runway at Rohit Bal’s couture showcase at Bikaner House on Monday. Well, this is not the first time that one of the hottest hunks of Bollywood Arjun would be playing the fashion muse for Bal, who is known for his Kashmir-inspired couture (see photo editorial shot of Arjun below, in a Bal creation). Apart from Arjun, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha actress Bhumi Pednekar will walked for designer Reynu Taandon on Wednesday. She is showcasing a collection called Cyan, high on peacock blues and monsoon motifs.
The use of filtrate has actually begun to wane in South Korea as the (Photo: Instagram/athiyashetty) However, Mubarakan star Athiya Shetty (above) seems to be very much glad as she turned as a showstopper on Wednesday too for the designer duo Shyamal & Bhumika. Shyamal and Bhumika will be showcasing on the couture runway in Delhi for the first time. Talking about Athiya, the designer duo told to Hindustan Times, “Since it’s our first show at the India Couture Week, we couldn’t think of anyone better than the beautiful Athiya Shetty. She is a superstar who’s creating magic on and off the screen and she pulls of our designs beautifully.”
Target is selling the products in about 850 stores and said they represent about 25 percent of its total premium offerings. Ulta said it expanded its offerings with a prestige collection in March and CVS began rolling K-Beauty HQ at 2,100 stores in April. Target and CVS both partnered with Alicia Yoon, the founder of K-beauty retail platform Peach & Lily. While none of the three stores provided sales data, CVS said the launch had been “very successful” and it’s gotten positive customer feedback on the collection’s innovation, high quality and accessibility. The timing couldn’t be better for South Korean cosmetic companies. Exports to the U.S. already increased by about half in 2016 from a year earlier to $300 million while the country’s total exports declined, according to the Korea International Trade Association. Brands are getting more aggressive about their international expansion as sales to Chinese shoppers suffer amid strained ties between the two countries. South Korea’s biggest beauty company, Amorepacific Corp., already has five brands in the U.S. and is poised to start selling a sixth, innisfree, targeting Millennials with cheaper products, Amorepacific said in an email. Revenue at the group largely comes from South Korea, with 71 percent as of last year, and 19 percent from China,
On Thursday (July 27) actor Dia Mirza will walk for designer Anju Modi. Modi is showcasing a collection which is inspired by the miniature art of Kishangarh.
novelty wears off. The fascination for natural ingredients remains in line with “hanbang,”or traditional Korean herbal medicine — some 69 percent of facial skincare launches in South Korea last year featured botanical claims, including fermented tea, black olives and volcanic ash, according to Mintel. While there’s “strong” potential for Korean brands to continue the transition to mainstream stores from specialty retail, the products need to be priced to encourage first-time buyers, Tyrrell said. The treatments may be more expensive than drugstore brands such as L’Oreal and are similar to premium offerings like La Roche-Posay. Target is stocking the $33 Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Essential Moisturizer, which is 40 percent slime extract. At CVS, you’ll find the $24.99 Elisha Coy Skin Repairing Snail Cream with 91 percent snail secretion filtrate, as well as products like the $6.99 Saem Saemmul Wrapping Tint — which consumer are supposed to apply and peel to reveal a long lasting “lip tattoo.” Ulta offers a $9.50 kit to sample brands with a mineral face peel that will ball up as you rub it into your face, and a cleansing “sherbert” made with fermented organic grains. There is realization by mainstream retailers that K-beauty cosmetic products can add to the bottom line,(Bloomberg)
The stunning Shilpa Shetty Kundra will walk for designer Monisha Jaising who will be showcasing an Opera-inspired collection on Friday. Well, talking about Shilpa, Jaising told to Hindustan Times, “As soon as I met Shilpa, it immediately struck me that she is the only one to do justice to the showstopper ensemble. Not only is she stunningly beautiful, but also one of the fittest actresses in the industry.”
On Saturday, actor Aditi Rao Hydari will walk for her close friend and designer Gaurav Gupta. He says about Aditi to Hindustan Times that “Aditi is a very close friend and we love each other. Since the beginning of her career, she has been very close to me and the brand. She often comes to my factory in Noida and has picked up several outfits since the time she started out. She is just so beautiful inside out and sophisticated yet has an edge to her which a lot of people don’t see, which resonates with the brand.” And on Sunday, Actor Huma Member - American Immigration Lawyer’s Association since 1989. Qureshi will ATTORNEY AND COUNSELORS AT LAW be a part of the designer Rina 56 Sugar Creek Center Blvd., Suite 100, Sugar Land, TX 77478 Dhaka’s show which will be a runway-less viewing, and the jewellery-in• Over 30 years of Immigration Law Practice. spired creations also have a heart. • Family law cases, employment cases and select (-Free Press criminal matters. Journal)
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VOICE OF ASIA 21
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Houston Dynamo’s Alex named to MLS Team of the Week
Favourites India seek winning start against battered Sri Lanka by Vishaal Loganathan
OLUMBO, Sri Lanka - The Galle International Stadium stands as a serene setting amongst an otherwise busy hub. The Galle Railway station and the bus stand adjacent to it make it an especially busy part of the city. Nestled cozily opposite the stations, the Galle International Stadium with the Fort and the sea in the background presents a more soothing sight. The serenity will be somewhat disturbed when Sri Lanka host India for the first of the three-Test series, with both teams eyeing totally different eventual goals. India, the noisy neighbours, keen on making more as they tour the world. Sri Lanka, the generous hosts, hoping against dwindling hope and battling a dangerous decline.
Photo: © AFP
OUSTON (AFP) - Dynamo midfielder Alex received an award for his latest masterful performance. After getting three assists in the Dynamo’s 3-1 win over D.C. United – the team’s first on the road – Alex has been named to the MLS Team of the Week. It is his third such honor this season. He also was named to the Team of the Week in back-to-back weeks in May. He regained a share of the league lead with 10 assists this year.
Alex is the first Dynamo player to have three assists in one game since Brad Davis on April 10, 2011. Davis holds the club record with 16 assists in one season and had more than 10 in one season six times. Alex’s first assist Saturday came on a corner kick serve that led to Andrew Wenger’s header in the sixth minute. The second came when he flicked the ball through traffic to Mauro Manotas close to the goal. The third came when he used a back heel to free Wenger for a final cross to Memo Rodriguez.
Cowboys cut Lucky Whitehead after reported arrest
that they will be world beaters outside the comforts of their home. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, look a battered team already. There have been changes aplenty in recent times, and an injury to their newly-appointed captain, Dinesh Chandimal, has only wreaked more havoc. The coaching set up has been rejigged, and the team could still be feeling the after-effects of nearly being beaten by Zimbabwe at home - something that was averted by a record fourth innings chase. The last time the two teams met at
Galle, a landmark Test was unravelled. India were beaten after looking like they would romp home in style. It turned out to be an eye-opener, as Virat Kohli put it, and helped India fix their faults and become the side they are now. Sri Lanka rejoiced the win, but soon lost their talisman Kumar Sangakkara to retirement and have fought to stay significant in the cricketing world ever since. The calmness would be a soothing balm to both teams, with a lot riding on how this series turns out. (-AP)
India’s first individual Olympic medal up for auction for funds
he Dallas Cowboys have cut wide receiver Lucky Whitehead on the same day police in Virginia announced he is facing misdemeanor petty larceny charges stemming from an arrest in June.
Just a little less than one year to the day, India had stepped out at Antigua against the West Indies and kickstarted a stunning run of Tests. They had a new coach and the start to the new season was emphatic. That narrative continued almost unabated for the rest of the season. Now the team steps out at a more familiar and closer-to-home ground at Galle. Again, they have a new coach and will hope the start to the season will be equally emphatic. They come into the series as massive favourites, ranked the number one side in the world, and hoping to etch in
Despite not having Vijay and Rahul for the opening Test, India start as favourites. (Photo: © AFP)
store in Woodbridge, Virginia. Police responded to a call made by a convenience store employee, who said Whitehead ran out of the store without paying for some merchandise. Police located Whitehead in the
UMBAI: The family of Khashaba Jadhav, who won India’s first individual Olympic medal, has put it up for auction to garner funds for building a wrestling academy named after him. “The decision to auction the bronze medal is a painful one but we are left with few options as the state government has reneged on its promise to build the academy,” Ranjit Jadhav, son of the famous wrestler, said on Tuesday. “In 2009, at a wrestling event in Jalgaon, then state sports minister Dilip Deshmukh had announced that the government would set up a nationallevel wrestling academy, named after my late father, in Satara district,” Ranjit said. “After eight years, nothing has materialised. In December 2013, Rs 1.58 crore were sanctioned for the project. But the project has failed to take shape,” he said. In the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, Khashaba Jadhav, then 27, went on
to create history by becoming the first Indian to win an Olympic medal (bronze) in an individual sport. The hockey team led by Balbir Singh had won India its first gold in the 1948 London Olympics.
“My father was an introvert and never marketed his achievements. He was alive till 1984 but the government didn’t felicitate him with an Arjuna Award, which came his way 16 years after his death. Why can’t we honour accomplished people when they are alive?” asked Ranjit.
SOCCER Whitehead’s agent claims he was not in the area at the time of the crime. (Photo: Sports Illustrated) However, Whitehead’s agent, Dave Rich, told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Monday that his client was not in Virginia at the time of the reported incident. Furthermore, Rapoport reported on Inside Training Camp Live that Rich told him Whitehead flew from Dallas/Fort Worth Interational Airport to Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. roughly seven hours after his reported arrest in Virginia on June 22. Whitehead told Cowboys coach Jason Garrett on Monday that he wasn’t involved in the alleged incident, Rapoport reported. “It sounds like [the Cowboys] didn’t buy it or they simply decided -- as can be the case with players who aren’t a lock to make the team -- it was not worth it to wait and see was he telling the truth and was he not,” Rapoport said on Inside Training Camp Live. “But this would explain why Whitehead, his agent and the Cowboys had no idea about the arrest or the hearing that he missed until earlier today when it was reported. “There are a lot of questions, including how did police identify him as the person on the scene when he was in a different state? ... A lot of questions here, but from my understanding, I would think the Cowboys can cut him whenever they want. But he certainly would have an issue with the police if what the agent is telling me is true -- if the police did error in claiming that Whitehead was arrested.” Prince William County police told NFL.com a man identified as Whitehead was arrested on June 22 around 1:30 a.m. ET after being accused of shoplifting less than $200 worth of merchandise from a convenience
parking lot and arrested him a short time later. He was then issued a court summons upon release, police stated. Whitehead failed to show up for his scheduled arraignment on July 6 and a warrant was issued for his arrest, per Prince William County General Court records. He has another court hearing scheduled for August 10. When asked about the arrest by reporters after training camp practice Monday, Whitehead responded, “I didn’t even know about that.” Garrett said he learned about Whitehead’s arrest while on the practice field Monday and met with him briefly. The coach elaborated on the organization’s decision to cut Whitehead after practice. “As we gathered more information on that particular situation and conversations we had with Lucky about that particular situation and we put into context with his career with us over the last year or so, we just felt like the best decision for the Dallas Cowboys was to release them,” Garrett told reporters. “We felt like that’s good for us going forward and hopefully it’ll be good for him going forward. A little bit of a wake-up call to handle these situations the right way. “When you have someone in your program, in this environment, in this structure, and they don’t grow and develop and they make the same mistakes over and over again, it’s time to move on.” Last season, Whitehead recorded three catches for 48 yards for the Cowboys. It remains to be seen if another team will pick up Whitehead as he tries to find another home heading into what would be his third NFL season. (-NFL.com)
Real Madrid reach Mbappe deal with Monaco: report
ADRID | AFP - Real Madrid have reached agreement to sign Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for a world record 180 million euros ($210m, £160m), Spanish media reported on Tuesday. Sports daily Marca, citing sources close to the negotiations, said the teenage striker is expected to joining Real “in the next few days” on a sixyear deal. French newspapers Le Parisien and Nice Matin said Monaco had denied the report. But Marca insisted that Real are set to pay between 150-160m euros with add-ons of between 20 and 30m, dwarfing the current world transfer record of 105m Manchester United paid to lure Paul Pogba from Juventus last year. Real are looking to fill the void left by Alvaro Morata who joined English Premier League champions Chelsea last Friday. If he does arrive at Zinedine Zidane’s European champions the 18-year-old will be on a net annual salary of “seven million” euros, Marca said. Mbappe, under contract at Monaco until 2019, has been wooed by some of Europes’ top clubs, including Monaco’s arch Ligue rivals Paris SaintGermain.
Mbappe has been wooed by some of Europes’ top clubs in Europe (Photo: The Independent) contact with Kylian Mbappe and his entourage without our authorisation,” Monaco said on their website.
Champions League outings and 15 in Ligue 1 as he exploded onto the scene in the second half of last season.
Last week Monaco issued a warning to the likes of Real and PSG to lay off their starlet.
The club said they wanted to remind these clubs that such actions are contrary to French and international regulations.
“Top European football clubs made
Mbappe scored six goals in 10
On Monday Monaco lost full-back Benjamin Mendy to Manchester City in a world record 52 million (58 million euros, $67 million) deal for a defender.
VOICE OF ASIA 22
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Your Horoscope for the Week of July 28, 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
You will be the decision maker. People will trust your wordings & will have faith in your work. Your goodwill will enhance & others will simply follow you. A show of strength with the team work will improve your standing in your work. People with attitude problems shouldn’t even come into the equation, stay clear of them. Your dilemma is that everybody wants a piece of you. There’s usually a reason for everything that you do, but your creativity may be driven more out of necessity than talent.
Focus your energy, exhibit your generous nature & understand other’s feelings. Your rewards will far outweigh the effort. You’ll be able to achieve success, if you trust your gut feelings & remain loyal to your friends & family. Be sure to spend some quality time with those who really matter to you. Your alliances need strengthening, spread your positive influence. If you join forces with others, you’ll be able to produce great results. Try to reflect on positive influences rather than the negative ones.
Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May
Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov
Your impeccable charm will help you to handle your responsibilities with strong authority and creative style. Important details may be overlooked by those who do not care. You need to oversee everything of any importance. Pace yourself so that you don’t get too tired or run down. Since you may not get the time to play that you wanted, find ways to enjoy whatever it is that you have to do. Even if you don’t accomplish much, at least you’ll have a good time doing it. By week’s end, your life will feel totally relaxed & peace.
Your independent nature will help you to achieve your separate place. Outspoken talking should be avoided at any cost or it may backfire & bring you un success. You will be able to handle everything with confidence & better organizing skills. But verbal confrontation should be avoided, things may hurt your ego but working with patience only will keep you on track. You have the ability to listen, as well as help others to see things clearer. It’s better to take feedback sometimes. Once you let your feelings out, you should be able to enjoy a good time.
Sagittarius (BH,F,DH,TH) 22 Nov to 21 Dec
Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June More religious & spiritual thinking will rule you. Suddenly there will be thinking to connect yourself to the infinite, getting connected to the roots or back to basic or the multi dimentional universe. You will enjoy just you within you. This state of mind will make everything very easy for you, as you will see whole world with a different prospective. You need a break away from extreme solutions to dealing with simple problems. Stay confident in who you are and you’ll be ensured a smoother ride.
New thinking with positive ideas will lead you. Your mind is very active and sharp, and your reasoning power is good, so this is a good time to do mental work. It is easy for you to talk about your feelings now and also to listen sensitively to not only what others are saying but also what they are feeling. This is an excellent time to discuss your feelings and clear the air of any grievances you may be holding on to from the past. Your communication with women is especially good at this time.
Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan
Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Ego clash with higher authority or senior’s should be avoided. You will get very good recognition for your hard works, which will boost your self confidence. You may need to fulfill a family obligation that you almost forgot about. You’ll realize that your personal relationships need more attention than you’re giving them. Everybody will want to be your friend, but your words may hurt your cause. You’ll have to work on being more understanding without losing your winning edge.
New dimension will be visible on horizon. You will feel a zeal of new self confidence building up from the bottom of your heart. You will pay attention on your home & homely matters, that may include home decorating or remodeling or cleaning as well. You will plan buy new vehicle in coming months, as your thinking is very progressive this time. Motherly love will remind you to reconnect with your parents. You may spend your weekend with your parents or will have telephonic conversation if they are far.
Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb
Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August You’ll receive an unexpected gift. New friendship or new connection will come to your support. Normally it takes time for you to get involved with new person but this time you will realize that someone is serious to be helpful to you. You need to use your intellect and philosophy to find your answers. You may be asking a question that has no answer. To you, you are stating the obvious, but for others you will be opening previously locked doors. Dialogue is the first step to understanding more about others.
You will enjoy relaxed moments & that will help you to spend time to plan for your own or your children’s education prospect. There will be a passion of learning something new whether to helpful in your work or just for improving your knowledge base. Your spouse will demand your attention & you will have no choice but to spare some time for happy moments. Your better communication skill will create balance in all aspects of your life. Your co-workers or your employee may ask for your advice on their personal issues.
Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March
Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Use your mind for thinking instead of feeling sorry later on. Love speaks to you and through you, you just have to listen. Mixed emotions are the starting point for a moving experience. Try to be more productive, stay focused and ignore the words of those who are jealous of you. Even though there are many things that you can’t control, you need to show your courage and begin to have more fun. Your vision of the future will encourage those who think the same way as you do. There’s power in apologizing to someone who needs your attention.
It will be time to check everything in detail. Take care daily business in practical way and make your life more stable and secure. It would be beneficial to consult experts on your goals and long-range plans and to put your affairs in order. Eliminating waste and inefficiency is important to you now. There is much activity; you move rapidly from one thing to another and a hectic, somewhat stressful pace is likely. Many expectations from family members will come on surface, You will be happily contribute to need of others, Of course that brings cheers to you.
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Air Conditioning Refrigeration Services Frost Air, LLC - Residential & Commercial
• Freon Change • Upgrade to High Efficiency TRANE units with 30% discount. • Ductless A/C Installation • Commercial Walk-in cooler, Freezer. • Highly Rated.
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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
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We cater from 10 people to 800 people for all occasions. We deliver to your venue.
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Madhuram Mirch Masala 10758 FM 1960 West Houston, TX 77070 281.955.9878 216.338.3940 (cell)
If you invest just $2 a day
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VOICE OF ASIA 23
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
For Classified Advertising Call 713-774-5140
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.
www.voiceofasiaonline.com Ask about our Website Advertising opportunities
Call Aruna at: 832-282-3914 Job Posting – Part-Time Multimedia Content Contributor Are you a news junkie who scans the headlines before getting out bed? Are you tied to your twitter feed throughout the day? KTRK-TV, the ABC owned station located in Houston, TX is accepting applications for a part-time content contributor for both broadcast and digital. This is a great opportunity for someone looking to advance their career as a multi-mediajournalist. This is a combined position involving news photography and assignment desk duties, along with contributions to digital platforms. Must be willing to work overnights, weekends, and holidays. The ideal candidate has news photography experience and experience gathering information and writing news stories - along with a good understanding of social media trends and apps. College degree preferred.
Job Posting – Part Time Associate Producer If writing is your passion – here’s your chance to work for a station that has taken producing to a higher level. KTRK-TV, the ABC owned station in Houston, TX is accepting applications for a part-time Associate Producer. The person hired for this position will write and edit stories for our broadcasts and produce news cut-ins. You will also produce content for our digital platforms and social media. If you can write in active voice, understand how detail can add color to a story, and havethe ability to sift through information to find the most interesting lead – we want to hear from you. Strong writing, video editing and social media skills a must. Applicants must be willing to work overnights, weekends and holidays.
To be considered all interested candidates must apply online at disneycareers.com, ref job # 475365BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references. Equal Opportunity Employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity
To be considered applicants must apply online at disneycareers.com, reference job #475364BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references. In addition, please mail writing samples to: Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Equal Opportunity Employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/ Gender Identity
No Phone Calls Please
No Telephone Calls Please
PET of the WEEK I need a loving home
Houston Community College Request for Proposals (RFP) Project Portfolio Management Application (PPM)
TESLA - ID#A006856
Project No. 17-68
Shelter staff named me TESLA. I am a female, white and black Dalmatian and Border Collie. The shelter staff think I am about 4 months old. I have been at the shelter since Jul 17, 2017. For more information about this pet, call: City of Sugar Land Animal Services at (281) 275-2364
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. Documents can be obtained at: www.hccs.edu/procurement.
Job Posting – Web Producer – Part Time KTRK-TV is looking for a part time digital producer who can do it all to be part of the team leading the charge to take our digital efforts to the next level. The ideal candidate will have three years’ experience working in major market televisionor print news internet operation, the ability to shoot and edit video and working experience of Photoshop. Additionally have proven social media expertise and must be flexible with work schedule which may vary depending on station needs and projects. Candidate must be able to handle many projects simultaneously. Candidate must be a self-starter and have a ‘Do It Now’ mentality to excel in our fast-paced environment. We are a 24/7 news operation, so digital producers must be willing to work any day or shift, as needed. To be considered interested applicants must apply on-line at www.disneycareers.com byuploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Please reference Job Requisition # 473782BR. Equal Opportunity Employer –Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity No Telephone Calls Please
Sales/Research Engineer Sales/Research Engineer SET Laboratories, Inc. Stafford, TX 77477
Fifteen (15) months of employment experience required
Perform equipment maintenance, engineering design, drafting, and quality control before each corrosion test in high pressure and temperature vessels per ASTM G31, G111, G170 and G184. Run electrochemical testing using specialized Gamry systems per ASTM G59, G100, G150. Run specialized flow loops tests. Must be knowledgeable of safety requirements for using compressed gases such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide and toxic hydrogen sulfide and sour testing equipment. Apply specialized engineering principles, standards and practices for customized research and project development. Develop and present proposals per customer requirements. Respond to technical clarifications from clients. B.S. in Mechanical engineering required or related field. 15 months experience required as mechanical engineer or related field. Familiarity with corrosion testing, ASTM and NACE standards specific to corrosion testing, and ASME standards for pressure vessels. Knowledge of Gamry systems electrochemistry and its specialized software including AutoCad. Email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
VISIT US ONLINE www.voiceofasiaonline.com MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE WEEK To Improve Your Focus, Stop Responding to Client Emails Right Away
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When an email from a client or customer comes in, it’s easy to put aside whatever you’re working on to respond right away. But although being responsive to customers is important, constantly checking and sending emails can hurt your productivity. If it’s not possible to divert these kinds of emails to a customer service rep, set up a realistic response window for yourself. Try replying to emails once every four hours or at the end of the business day. If you’re worried that your clients will feel ignored, put up an autoresponse to tell them when you’ll be checking email and to instruct them to call if they have an urgent issue. That way, you can use your largely uninterrupted workday to focus on getting projects done, not managing your inbox. Source: www.hbr.org HBR.COM
VOICE OF ASIA 24
FRIDAY, July 28, 2017
Published on Jul 27, 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...