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VOICE OF ASIA
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
Trump Picks Seema Verma To Run Medicare and Medicaid Read on Page 16 or Call 832-806-1000
28 years dedicated service toCounties the community Serving Harris,ofFort Bend and Surrounding for 29 years
Vol. 29 No. 48 Friday, December 2, 2016 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 20 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Indian man in US pleads guilty to Punjab attack conspiracy
Governor Nikki Haley - First Indian American pick for UN Ambassador
Local woman found deceased in condo fire
Shirley Sara Cherian (Photo:Twitter)
Balwinder Singh (Photo: Washoe County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
ouston police are awaiting autopsy results in the death of a woman found after a fire was extinguished at 2750 Holly Hall at about 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday (November 29).
ENO (PTI) - A 42-year-old Indian citizen in the US has pleaded guilty to planning terrorist attacks in India, including assassination of officials, by allegedly providing material support and resources to terrorists involved in the Khalistan movement aimed at creating an independent Sikh state. Balwinder Singh, a resident of Nevada, pleaded guilty before US District Judge Larry Hicks to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, knowing and intending that such support would be used to carry out terrorist attacks overseas, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary McCord said yesterday. Continued on Page 9
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley speaks during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention sponsored by the Federalist Society in Washington, DC on November 18, 2016. (Photo: AFP / Mandel Ngan)
ALM BEACH, FLA | AFP President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he will nominate South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican critic who once rebuked him for failing to disavow white supremacists, as US ambassador to the United Nations. An Asian-American with little previous foreign policy experience, Haley was the first woman to be picked
for Trump’s cabinet, injecting a measure of diversity in a group that until now has consisted solely of white men. “Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country,” Trump said in a statement. “She is also a proven dealmaker, and
we look to be making plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.” Trump’s transition team highlighted her travel abroad as governor to negotiate with international companies on behalf of her state. “The United States faces enormous challenges here at home and internaContinued on Page 9
ISKCON 50th Anniversary Gala and Tribute to George Harrison
temple, Govinda’s vegetarian restaurant, a new school and cultural center on West 34th Street, ISKCON’s “Food for Life” has served hundreds of thousands of meals to the needy over the last 45 years, working at various times with Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Social Services, SHAPE Community Center, SEARCH, Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, and since 2003, every Sunday volunteers prepare 600 sack lunches for Kids Meals.
50 years ago, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a 70-year old monk from India, founded ISKCON in New York City, and 45 years ago a young American, Visnujana Swami, hitch-hiked to Houston to start the first Krishna temple in Texas. Prabhupada brought bhakti yoga to the world, and today ISKCON has 600 temples, 65 eco-farms, 110 vegetarian restaurants and 9 hospitals, clinics or hospices.
The black-tie gala on Thursday. December 8th begins at 6:30 PM with a reception, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction showcasing the art of Kartik Trivedi &Thejas Rajaram, followed by a vegetarian dinner, remarks by special guests Dr. Helen Ebaugh, Dr Ravi Gupta, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, classical Indian dance and devotional music/kirtan.
In Houston, besides a beautiful state-of-the-art
Tickets for the George Harrison tribute on Friday, December 9th, featuring New York guitar-
The Houston Fire Department says the fire started shortly before 3:30am off Holly Hall and El Mundo, off Highway 288. Multiple condos were affected by heavy smoke, flames and water damage. One woman was rescued and we’re hearing others may have been taken to the hospital as well. One resident told us a man had burns on his face, hands and neck. The Houston Fire Department confirms one fire victim was taken to a hospital for treatment. One woman went out to her balcony, climbed out onto her roof, and waited for firefighters to help. She was rescued when firefighters carried her down a ladder.
Gala Thursday, Dec. 8th, 2016 (& festivities thru Sunday, Dec. 11th) OUSTON - A special 50th anniversary gala on Thursday, December 8th, the 2nd of its kind in the US, will mark a historical milestone in the global Vaishnava Hindu tradition. Held at 1320 West 34th St. Houston, 77018, Houston’s ISKCON 50 celebrates local artists and thanks its friends and partners in the community. As part two of the 4-day celebration, on Friday Dec. 9th, ISKCON 50 will offer a highly acclaimed musical tribute to George Harrison.
Shirley Cherian, 31, was found near a closet in a third floor apartment, fire officials said. Family members, friends and co-workers gathered at the complex after Cherian failed to show up for work Tuesday.
HPD Homicide Division Sergeant S. Murdock and Senior Police Officer B. Evans reported that HPD patrol officers and HFD emergency personnel responded to the Briarwick Condominium complex at the above address for a reported fire. Firefighters declared the fire under control a few minutes after 4am. The top floor of the three-level complex was heavily damaged. George Harrison (Photo: Dark Horse Records) ist & vocalist Godfrey Townsend and NY author Joshua Greene, including a vegan dinner at 6:30 PM, are $15 and can be purchased online (iskcon50galatx.com) as well as at the door. For info. on timings of these events and others on Sat. and Sun., Dec. 10-11, and to attend any of them, please contact email@example.com
HPD homicide and HFD Arson investigators responded to the scene and are conducting respective investigations into the incident. At this time, the cause of the fire has not been determined. Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600.
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VOICE OF ASIA 2
NOV. 30, 2016
VOICE OF ASIA Publisher: Associate Publisher: Editor-in-Chief: Austin Correspondent: Print & Media Marketing: Marketing: Office Manager:
Koshy Thomas Sherly Philip Shobana Muratee Sherine Thomas Jacob David Susan Pothanikat Priyan Mathew
Columnists: Legal: Richard M. Alderman Legal: Sharlene Sharmila Richards Research: Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Health Insurance: Sudhir Mathuria Astrology: Hardik Vyas
VoiceofAsiaOnline.com Editor Online:
All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the consent of the publisher. Voice of Asia assumes no liability resulting from action taken based on the information included herein. Published weekly by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713-774-5143. Email for editorial submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions: ads@ voiceofasiagroup.com Voice of Asia (USPS 010-215) (ISSN#10705058) is published every Friday (for a subscription rate of $30 per year) by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713774-5143. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Voice of Asia, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074 It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or 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
The New York Times
n picking Representative Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump has chosen as his secretary of health and human services a man intent on systematically weakening, if not demolishing, the nation’s health care safety net. Mr. Price, a Republican from Georgia, is a fierce opponent of the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health reform law, and beyond that, supports plans to slash Medicare and Medicaid, which cover tens of millions of elderly, disabled and low-income Americans. He is against a woman’s right to choose and has backed legislation to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding. Mr. Trump and many Republicans have talked vaguely about plans to repeal the health reform law but suggest they might keep some popular parts of the law. Mr. Price makes no such noises. The detailed legislation he introduced most recently in 2015 would destroy the reform law and is a good indication of his philosophy in managing the nation’s largest health programs: cut benby Jeremy TORDJMAN
ASHINGTON | AFP | 11/30/2016 - The Trump Organization, the business conglomerate run by President-elect Donald Trump, oversees vast luxury real estate assets and golf courses around the world, creating a complex web of potential conflicts of interest. Trump announced Wednesday that pending legal arrangements would take him “completely out of business operations” in a bid to address any such conflicts. - The roots of the empire The legend of his rise notwithstanding, Trump is not a self-made man. After World War II, Trump’s father Fred, the descendant of German immigrants, had already built a real estate business in New York in developing low and middle-income housing. Donald Trump took over in the 1970s, securing a $1 mil-
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FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
Tom Price, a Radical Choice for Health Secretary efits and leave millions with no health care at all. His bill would, among other things, roll back the federally financed expansion of Medicaid in 31 states and the District of Columbia, taking coverage away from 14 million poor people. It would severely cut federal subsidies that help individuals and families buy policies on government-run health exchanges. The reduced subsidies would make it hard, if not impossible, for millions to afford the coverage they have gotten since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. And the bill would no longer require insurers to cover addiction treatment, birth control, maternity care, prescription drugs and other essential medical services. As for coverage of pre-existing medical conditions — a key element of the current law, requiring insurers to sell plans to those with health problems — Mr. Price’s bill has that protection only for those who
maintained continuous health coverage with any insurer for the previous 18 months. This means that insurers would not be required to sell an affordable plan to anyone who did not have coverage for, say, a month while he or she was between jobs. Beyond his commitment to tearing apart the health care law, Mr. Price, who leads the House Budget Committee, published a budget proposal last year that would convert Medicaid into a block grant to state governments. This would reduce federal spending on the program by 34 percent by 2025, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Such a cut would inevitably cause states to offer fewer benefits and reduce the number of people covered, far beyond the 14 million who would lose their coverage if Medicaid expansion is rolled back Mr. Price also supports big changes to Medicare that could hurt older Americans by in-
creasing their health care costs. A plan backed by Mr. Price and the House speaker, Paul Ryan, would turn Medicare, which covers the cost of medical care for people over 65, into a program in which people would buy private insurance through what is known as premium support. The idea is to turn Medicare into a voucher program, designed to limit federal spending while forcing seniors to bear more of the cost. Given that most American families have little or no retirement savings, this would be disastrous. It also stands in stark contrast to Mr. Trump’s campaign promise not to “cut” Medicare and Social Security. It is impossible to know which parts of Mr. Price’s agenda will become priorities for the new administration. But we do know that he will now have a very powerful perch from which to advocate his radical positions. Courtesy: Board
The Trump Organization: A vast business with a few unknowns lion loan from his father and focusing the business instead on Manhattan luxury properties.
relations, which could create conflicts of interest once Trump takes control of US foreign affairs.
- Luxury properties, golf courses -
Trump’s empire also contains golf courses and luxury hotels in the United States and abroad. The most recent, the Trump International Hotel, opened in Washington in September just a stone’s throw from the White House.
Trump Tower, which today is the Trump Organization’s headquarters, opened in 1983 and was followed by a series of New York buildings and luxury properties. The company’s website lists more than 20 residential developments in the United States, mainly in Manhattan and Florida, but also including cities such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Prominent buildings emblazoned with the Trump name have also been built in India, Turkey and South Korea, countries with which the United States maintains diplomatic It is a cruel irony of a fastgrowing India that there are fewer and fewer girls as a ratio of total births, as a result of complex factors that include parental preference. New data from the Civil Registration System of the Registrar General of India point to the hardening of the pattern, with a fall in sex ratio at birth from 898 girls to 1,000 boys in 2013, to 887 a year later. This depressing trend is consistent with evidence from the Census figures of 2001 and 2011. What is shocking is that the overall data mask the horror of particular districts and panchayats falling well below the national ratio, especially in the zero-to-six years assessment category. The scourge has, in some cases, prompted the Supreme Court to take note of the situation, and the National Human Rights Commission to ask for an explanation from State governments. In the understanding of the Centre, which it has conveyed to Parliament, girls stand a poor chance at survival because there is a “socio-cultural mindset” that prefers sons, girls are seen as a burden, and family size has begun to shrink.
The company is no longer active in casinos, a sector that nearly ruined Trump in the 1990s, when he declared bankruptcy four times. The Trump name, used to market clothing lines and steaks, remains on some casinos, showing the difficulty that exists sometimes in separating Trumps brand from his actual assets. - Closely guarded secrets -
Because the Trump Organization is privately held, the company and three of Trump’s children, Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric, can keep its activities and investments relatively secret. The company does not disclose its ownership stake in properties, whether it holds only a minority interest or is merely leasing its name. The Trump Organization’s debts are also closely guarded. Trump’s personal fortune is also open to discussion. Forbes estimates it at $3.7 billion while the former reality TV star claims it is three times greater. Trump has steadfastly refused to publish his income tax returns, flouting a long established political tradition in the United States.
India’s missing girl children tection of girl children. Now that the scheme is set to enter its third year in January, there should be a speedy assessment of its working, particularly in districts with a poor sex ratio where it has been intensively implemented. A wider assessment needs to be made on why States such as Tamil Nadu with a strong social development foundation have slipped on sex ratio at birth (834), going by the CRS data for 2014. The cradle baby scheme was started in 1992 in Tamil Nadu to raise the survival chances of girl children by encouraging mothers to give them anonymously for adoption. Yet, the latest numbers, together with the persistence of the pro-
gramme after 24 years, and 260 babies being abandoned in just one centre over a six-year period, make it clear that national policy has achieved little in real terms. Clearly, there is a need to go beyond slogans and institute tangible schemes. Enforcement of the law that prohibits determination of the sex of the foetus must go hand in hand with massive social investments to protect both immediate and long-term prospects of girls — in the form of cash incentives through registration of births, a continuum of health care, early educational opportunities and social protection. Halfmeasures cannot produce a dramatic reversal of the shameful national record.
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The BJP-led government responded to the silent crisis with the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign, which focusses on the prevention of sex-selective abortions, creation of opportunities for education and pro-
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COMMUNITY VOICE OF ASIA
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
Second Front Page
Kerala Journalist and MLA receives Media Excellence Award in Houston
National Marrow Donor Program honors Houston’s Indian American Cancer Network (IACAN)
OUSTON (November 28, 2016) – The National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®, which operates the Be The Match Registry®, at the opening session of their 2016 Council Meeting on Friday, November 11th, 2016, held at Hilton Minneapolis presented the Indian American Cancer Network (IACAN) the 2016 Leadership Award. The Council Meeting was attended by over 1,150 attendees, including nearly 200 attendees from 36 different countries. On behalf of IACAN, Kumari Susarla, current President and Dr. V.K. Dorai, PhD, immediate past President received the award from Dr. Jeffery Chell, M.D., CEO of National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®. IACAN was recognized for its exceptional success in promoting bone marrow donor registration and donations through educational outreach and bone marrow drives among the South Asian community in the Greater Houston area. In 1996 before the conception of IACAN, P. G. Parameswaran, MD, a now former board member and joint secretary of IACAN, began hosting bone marrow donor drives for Hous-
Honoree Mrs. Veena George., Consul Mr. Joshi, and Members of India Press Club of North America, Houston
OUSTON - India Press Club of North America, Houston Chapter held its 6th Annual Media Excellence Award honoring the best media reporters and journalists from Kerala at a packed hall of the India House on November 19, 2016. This year’s recipient was Hon. Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Kerala, Mrs. Veena George. Before getting elected to Kerala Assembly she was a senior TV journalist in Kairali TV for 14 years. She was recognized for her work and integrity. Over the period of 14 years she interviewed hundreds of senior leaders without any political affiliation. Government of India selected Mrs. George to be a member in the 5-member delegation to the US to observe the election in 2012. This is the first time the presentation is held in North America. So far two awards were given to print journalism and four to TV journalism. This is the first time a woman journalist is receiving this pres-
ning. Anil Aranmula, Houston Chapter President introduced the guests and dignitaries.
demonetization of the currency. There was mixed feeling and opinion about the new currency policy in India.
After rendering the National Anthem of both countries Dr. George Kakkanat gave the welcome message. Mr. Sivam Muhamma president of IPCNA delivered the president‘s address. Hon. M.P Mr. Rajesh gave the Keynote speech. President-elect, Mr. Madhu Kottarakara gave the history and importance of the award.
After a long break and social hour the award program started around 7.00 in the eve-
Mrs. George released the souvenir along with Koshy Thomas, Publisher and CEO
Mrs. Veena George seen releasing souvenir with Koshy Thomas, Publisher & CEO, Voice of Asia. tigious award. The award was presented by Consul Mr. R.D. Joshi and Sivan Muhamma. Mrs. George was accompanied by her husband, their two children and Hon. Member of Parliament Mr. M.B. Rajesh from Palakat constituency.
During the lunch time there was a seminar about “News Media and Democracy”. Mr. Rajesh and Ms. George took the initiative to discuss about the Indian politics, but people took time to discuss about the
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She was thankful for all the arrangements and recognizing her 14 years of work. Felicitations were received from Consul Mr. RD Joshi, Ken Mathew, City Council Member, Stafford City, Abraham Eapen, President MAGH, G.K Pillai, Raju Pallathu, Mathew Varghese, Paul Karukapapalli, Krishna Kishore, Aniyan George, Vinod Kondoor and P.P. Cherian. The guests were treated with a Kerala style dinner.
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VOICE OF ASIA 4
The People’s Lawyer
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
Panchchaturam - A dance presentation on Nava Vidha Bhakti
www.peopleslawyer.net Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center
A few holiday shopping questions Q. May a store limit how many items I can purchase? I tried to buy ten of an item that was advertised in a “Black Friday sale,” but the store said the sale was limited to one per customer. Is this legal? A. Start by reading the advertisement. If the advertisement limits quantities, the limitation is enforceable. The harder question is whether the store may limit quantity when nothing is said in the ad. In my opinion, the store may limit a customer to a “reasonable” quantity. If it is a deep discount sale, such as the one you mentioned, a limit of one per person seems reasonable, and what most people would expect. Q. Does a store have to honor the price in its advertisement? I went and they said they ran out. Can I force them to give me a rain check? A. Under the law, an advertisement must either disclose that only a limited number of the item are available, or the store must have enough to meet “reasonable demand.” If the store had sufficient quantity to meet the reasonable demand, there is no requirement in the law that any business must give you a “rain check.” I suggest you read the ad to see if the quantity was limited. If it was,
than that is all they must sell. If nothing was said about quantity, speak with a manager if you feel the store did not have a reasonable supply of the product. Many stores will provide a rain check even if they are not legally obligated to do so. Q. Does a store have the right to limit who may park in its lot? Isn’t a parking lot public property? Can I be towed for parking in the lot of one store and shopping somewhere else? A. First, as a general rule, a parking lot is not public property. Nearly all parking lots, or parking facilities as the law refers to them, are private property, and the owner of the facility may limit who may park in the parking facility. In fact, you should assume that parking facilities are built for customers of the owner. Whether you may be towed, however, is a different question. Although a store or shopping area may limit who may use its parking facility, it must follow state law to have the right to tow violators. Under state law, a parking facility must place the proper signs before it may tow a car. Among other things, the signs must be conspicuously visible to and facing the driver who enters the lot; and, located
at each entrance to the lot. The signs must also contain the international symbol for towing vehicles; describe who may and who may not park; and, contain a current phone number that is answered 24 hours a day to enable the owner to locate the car. If the parking facility has the proper signage, and you park where you shouldn’t, you may be towed. If you are towed, you will owe a substantial fee to the towing company. The bottom line is that a parking lot owner may limit who is permitted to park in the lot. It may only tow wrongdoers, however, if there is proper signage, and may owe substantial damages if it wrongfully tows. Q. If you loan someone money and there is no type of legally binding agreement, only verbal, what type of action can be taken to retrieve funds? A. You seem to think that there is no “legally binding agreement” because it is not in writing. If you loaned the person money and he agreed to pay you back, you have a “legally binding agreement,” even if it is oral. You can file a claim in justice court to collect. Of course, you will have to prove you loaned the money. If you win injustice court, you also recover the costs of filing the lawsuit.
Panchchaturam - performers by Vidvatha Sridhar and Tara Narasimhan
anchchaturam was a breathtaking production conceptualized, researched and choreographed by Smt. Priya Murle that explained the role of bhakthi or devotion in attaining mukthi (salvation). The program highlighted the nine forms of devotion or Nava-Vidha bhakthi that an individual can practice in order break bonds with materialistic world. This concept, as explained in the Bhagavatham was performed by Nadanamamani Smt. Priya Murle, Kalaimamani Sasirekha Balasubramaniam, Yuva Kala Bharathi recipients Preethi Ramaprasad, T.M. Sridevi, Aishwarya Ananth Karthik and Yuva Kala Vipanchee Deepthi Ravichandran. The event was presented by Silambam Houston and Bharathi Kalai Manram along with Classical Arts Society of Houston, Meenkashi Temple Society and Telugu Cultural Association. The program began with introductory remarks from Mr. Tupil Narasimhan, President of Bharathi Kalai Manram wherein he invited Founder and Artistic Director
of Silambam Houston, Dr. Lavanya Rajagopalan to address the gathering. This program was truly special to her since all the dancers including herself were associated with Shree Bharatalaya school of dance, founded by Padmashri Smt. Sudharani Raghupathy which is based in Chennai. It is interesting to note that the production itself was named Panch-chaturam, an interesting mathematical puzzle title indicating the combination of 5 (Panch) and 4 (Chaturam) instead of directly being coined after the number 9. This is because, out of the 9 forms of bhakthi, 5 of them directly involve the individual in the act of devotion – Shravanam – listening to the Lord’s virtues and glories, Keerthanam – singing the praise of God, Smaranam - meditating upon Him, Vandanam – salutation, Archanam – worshiping the Lord. The other 4 forms of bhakthi involve a relationship with the divine. Those include, Dasyam – servitude for the Lord, Sakyam – friendship with Him, Pada sevanam – service at the feet of the Lord and finally Aatmanivedanam – complete surren-
der. Thus, the production not only brought out different hues of devotion but also allowed for everyone in the audience to understand more about the role of dharma and devotion in our lives. Presented in a unique format marked by new features and extraordinary choreography, the program kept the audience in a trance of devotion through the divine music, and dance numbers, strung together with blissful devotional messages in Harikatha format by Smt. Sasirekha Balasubramanian, clad in traditional Tamil Iyengar Madisaar. She elaborately explained the significance of every form of bhakthi and combined it with apt Hindu mythological stories from the Bhagvatham which was eventually depicted by the talented dancers. Her apt impromptu dialogues with a pleasant touch of humor in both Tamil and English were a unique and rare artistic addition thoroughly enjoyed by everyone in the audience. As she explained the role of Keerthanam, she narrated the story of Marathi potter Gora Kumbar who was an ardent Continued on Page 8
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VOICE OF ASIA
VOICE OF ASIA 5
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
FORT BEND VIEW Email: email@example.com
Masked person robs woman Fort Bend ISD police implement body-camera program of gold necklace in Aliana
ort Bend County Sheriff’s Office deputies are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person who stole a woman’s necklace in Fort Bend County.
wearing a full mask, a white tank top and black skinny jeans. The accused robber left the subdivision in a dark-colored SUV on Ardk-
ICHMOND (FBISD News) - Seven years ago, David Rider made a goal when he became chief of police of the Fort Bend ISD department to build positive relationships with the community.
In November, Rider outfitted his 55 officers with body cameras as a way to increase accountability of his department. The Taser Axon cameras will cost the David Rider, chief of police for the Fort Bend ISD police. department $245,000 for a five-year contract that includes access to cloud-based video-evidence storage in case of malfunction. The money for the cameras came out of and 57 cameras – one for each officer plus two spares the school district’s general fund.
Fort Bend ISD seeks community feedback on Draft 2017-18 School Calendar Preliminary draft includes shorter holiday breaks due to late August start date Screengrab of security camera on victim’s front porch showing robber grabbing gold neclace. (Photo: KPRC.com) A woman said she was crouched near the front door of her house in the 10900 block of Tay Grove Place in the Richmond area at 9:40 p.m. Nov. 2 when a person approached her, grabbed her and ripped a necklace off her neck. The person shoved the victim against the brick wall of the home and left the scene, police said. The person was wearing a disguise, so it is hard to tell from the surveillance video if it was a man or a woman. The accused robber is described as being tall and heavyset. He or she was
inglas Drive. “It is a shame that a resident can’t be standing on her own front porch without worrying about a thug coming up and assaulting her and stealing her belongings,” said Sheriff Troy E. Nehls. “If you have any information about this crime, don’t hesitate to call the Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers TIPS line.” Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers, 281-342-TIPS (8477).
Sugar Land Town Square holiday festivities planned
et in the holiday spirit with free holiday events happening this weekend at Sugar Land Town Square! Friday, Dec. 2, 6:30 - 8:30pm and Saturday, Dec. 3, 6 - 8pm HOLIDAYS IN THE PLAZA in con-
cert with your favorite holiday tunes! Saturday, Dec. 3, 11am - 1pm
FORT BEND RAINBOW ROOM’S HOLIDAY CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
The kids will experience inflatables and story time with a life-size Elf on the Shelf! Toy donations will accepted.
ORT BEND ISD (November 29, 2016) – The public is invited to weigh in on Fort Bend ISD’s draft 2017-18 School Calendar, which is now available to view on the District’s website, www.fortbendisd. com. Members of the community are able to provide feedback by participating in an online survey that will remain open through December 11.
Due to state law, the 2017-18 school year cannot begin earlier than Monday, August 28. In order to meet the required 75,600 minutes and provide adequate days for delivering instruction without extending the school year, FBISD must decrease the number of holidays for students and staff as compared to the 2016-17 calendar.
The draft calendar includes 175 student instruction days balanced with needed breaks, and reflects a continuation of a 187-day contract for teachers. It was drafted based on several discussions among the FBISD Calendar Committee (formed of parents, teachers, principals and District administrators). The committee is currently considering a calendar option that includes a 3-day Thanksgiving Break (November 22-24) and a Winter Break from December 22-January 3, with students returning to school on January 4.
and provides a common Spring Break (March 12-16) that is shared among most other local school districts. The calendar also includes additional instructional minutes to account for two bad-weather makeup days, should FBISD need to cancel school due to inclement weather.
The calendar also includes the traditional Fort Bend County Fair Day on September 22, two student holidays (October 30 and February 19),
The draft calendar, list of highlights, and link to the survey can be found on the FBISD website.
Missouri City Council Members approve strategic code enforcement ordinances
forcement officers to wear body cameras and to issue a notice to appear in Missouri City Municipal Court to any person who violates a city ordinance.
The first ordinance allows code en-
This notice will require recipients to appear on the date indicated, and recipients will be asked to provide personal identifiers such as name, ad-
ISSOURI CITY, TX -- City Council Members recently approved a pair of code enforcement ordinances that are related policies and procedures, and will help officers in the field by streamlining the violation reporting process.
Following community feedback, the calendar committee will reconvene to review community response and develop its final recommendation. The FBISD administration plans to submit the calendar to the Board of Trustees at its January 23 board meeting.
dress, date of birth and a driver’s license. If an individual fails to appear, an arrest warrant can be issued. “With Code Enforcement Officers now able to issue Notices to Appear and issue the notice directly to the violator, we will employ body-worn cameras, such as the ones our officers use, for the purposes of safety, to record for whom the notice is written, and provide further identification in the field,” Police Chief Mike Berezin stated.
VOICE OF ASIA 6
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Earns Sixth Consecutive “A” Grade for Patient Safety
UGAR LAND – (Dec. 1, 2016) – Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital received its sixth consecutive “A” for patient safety in the Fall 2016 Hospital Safety Score ratings program. The Hospital Safety Score is an elite designation from The Leapfrog Group that sets the highest standards for patient safety in the United States.
“Protecting patients from harm is the most important charge for any hospital,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We recognize and appreciate ‘A’ hospitals’ vigilance and continued dedication to keeping their patients safe.” Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s ongoing patient safety efforts include the development of detailed protocols and best practices focusing on a wide-range of safety risks, along with in-depth training, ongoing communication and regularly scheduled audits, to ensure that staff members are aware of — and are following — proper safety processes.
Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses performance measures from a broad range of government and industry organizations, including the American Hospital Association, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others.
“Patient safety is central to our mission, and we are proud of our results,” said Chris Siebenaler, CEO at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “Our success depends on the daily actions of our physicians, nurses, technicians and other staff members, and our ‘A’ grade from the Hospital Safety Score survey shows that we are making a significant difference in keeping our patients safe while under our care.”
More than 2,600 U.S. hospitals are rated twice each year on 30 measures of publicly available safety data. Surveyed hospitals receive a letter grade based on how well they protect patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections while in the hospital. Grades are calculated by top patient safety experts, are peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. Houston Methodist Sugar Land was one of 844 hospitals nationwide — less than one-third of those surveyed — to earn an “A” grade in the Fall 2016 survey results.
(L-R) Anna Floyd; Maria Socci, RN; Monica Salinas, RN; Jackie Trotter, RN; Ann Prather, RN; Chris Siebenaler, CEO; Damon Smith, RN; Pauletta Blackstock, RN; Diane McGraw, RN, Quality Director; Tanuja Parmar, RN; and Brooke Taylor, RN
For more information about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, visit houstonmethodist.org/sugarland or call 281.274.7500 for a physical referral. Visit our Facebook page at fb.com/methodistsugarland for the latest news, events and information.
St. Thomas Cathedral in Stafford serves Thanksgiving Lunch to the needy
TAFFORD, TX - St. Thomas Mission, the out-reach ministry of St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, Stafford, Texas under the south-west diocese of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church gave Thanksgiving Lunch to needy and less fortunate people in and around Stafford on Thanksgiving Day November 24, 2016. Diocesan Metropolitan His Grace Alexios Mar Eusebius inaugurated the event with prayer. Mayor Pro Tem, City of Stafford, Ken Mathew and Rev. Fr. Joel Mathew also spoke during the event.
In his inauguration prayer, His Grace Alexis Mar Eusebius Thirumeni emphasized the importance of great commission of Lord Jesus Christ in the church and sharing of our spiritual and physical blessing with others. Rev. Fr. Joel Mathew introduced St. Thomas Mission and its purpose in the Church Ken Mathew congratulated the coordinators of the event. Parish Vicar Rev. Gheevarghis Aroopala Cor Episcopa. Rev. Fr Mamman Mathew and parish members were present to witness the event. His Grace Alexis Mar Eusebius Thirumeni, Parish Vicar Rev Gheevarghis Aroopala Cor Episcopa. Rev. Fr. Mamman Mathew and members of the parish.
India House Cricket Tournament
Guests enjoying Thanksgiving lunch
Winners: Houston Oilers Cricket Club (HOCC) Team by Ravi Ozarker
ndia House has organized more than 200 professional cricket games in the year 2016! Starting their first cricketing session a year ago with a humble 6 teams, the progressions has been phenomenal, from 6 to 8 to 12 to 16 Teams in One Year. Cricket is increasingly becoming a professional sport in Houston Area. Not only is it a sport for Houstonians but is a way to socialize and chill after a hectic work week. All this started back in Jan 2016 with 6 teams participating in “Houston Sunday Cricket League Tournament (HSCLT) which ended on 7th Feb 2016. In the next tournament, ten best teams in Houston were selected to participate in the “India House Cricket Tournament” (IHCT). The India House Houston Premier League Winter 2016-17, started on October 16th, would be the fourth tournament organized in this year on one of the best cricket grounds in Houston with 16 best Houston based cricket clubs participat-
ing in this professional taped ball cricket tournament. Sanjay Aggarwal, coordinator of the India House Houston Premier League Winter Tournament says that along with India
House Management, he shares big dreams for the future of this ground and cricket talent in the City of Houston. Five members General Body Group for IHCT has been con-
stituted for decision making and dispute resolutions, the members being: Sanjay Aggarwal (IHCC), Vijay Ahire (RWCC) , Gopi Kishan (GCC), Sourabh Malhotra (NGCC), Ravi Ozarker (NGCC) & Col Vipin Kumar (Executive Director, India House) IHCT Tournament final played between Grady Thunders (formerly GCC) vs Cliff
HOCC Man of the Match receiving trophy from Dr. Virendra Mathur as Col Vipin Kumar looks on. Jumpers Cricket Club (CJCC) on 21st May 2016 turned out to be a cliff hanger. CJCC lost by 6 runs required on the last ball. About 60 matches were organized in the IHCT.
IHCL - General Body Group Meeting on 15th Sep. 2016 at India House Library
Next tournament, “India House Cricket Club League Tournaments” (IHCCL) was played with 12 teams participating in it. The tournament saw centuries scored, innings score of 250 runs in 18 overs, hattricks and 5 wickets in an innings by a bowler. With Gopi’s help all the scores were displayed online for public viewing on India House’s state-ofart website. Final was played between Cliff Jumpers (CJCC)
vs. Houston Oilers Cricket Club (HOCC) on 15 Oct 2016 with HOCC emerging as winner. Live Commentary was given by DJ Andy. Dr. Virendra Mathur was the chief guest of the award ceremony and announced that he would like to take these competitive tournaments to the next level. He also pointed out that winning these tournaments is going to be more and more difficult but teams and players will improve their game if they play with the best teams. Awards were given out by Dr. Virendra Mathur, Colonel Vipin Kumar, Sanjay Aggarwal, Saurabh Malhotra, Megha Ozarker, Vijay Ahire, and Ravi Ozarker.
VOICE OF ASIA 7
Trump nominates second Indian-American woman to top administration post
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
‘Many Indian Americans likely in Trump govt’
state’s hospital association, developing the federal waiver, supporting federal negotiations and leading the implementation of the programme, including the operational design. For more than 20 years, she has worked extensively on a variety of policy and strategic projects involving Medicaid, insurance, and public health, working with Governors’ offices, state medicaid agencies, state health departments, state departments of insurance, as well as the federal government, private companies and foundations. Seema Verma, president and founder of SVC Inc., gets into an elevator as she arrives at Trump Tower on November 22, 2016 in New York City. (AFP).
ASHINGTON, DC, PTI, Nov. 29, 2016 US President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated a second Indian-American woman to a top administration position, putting her in charge of a federal agency within the health department as part of a “dream team” which he said would transform America’s healthcare system. “I am pleased to nominate (Dr) Seema Verma to serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,” Trump said in a statement. The announcement came along with Trump’s nomination of Congressman Tom Price as his Health and Human Services Secretary. A leading expert in the country on Medicare and Medicaid, Verma would serve as Administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “She has decades of experience advising on Medicare and Medicaid policy and helping states navigate our complicated systems. Together, Chairman Price and Seema Verma are the dream team that will transform our healthcare system for the benefit of all Americans,” Trump said. “I am honoured to be nominated by President-elect Trump today,” said Verma, who met Trump in New York last week. “I look forward to helping him tackle our nation’s daunting healthcare problems in a responsible and sustainable way,” she said. Her nomination comes days after Indian-American Nikki Haley was named as US envoy to the United Nations by Trump. Haley had scripted
history by becoming the first-ever Indian-American to be appointed to a cabinet-level post in any US administration. Verma currently is the President, CEO and founder of SVC, Inc, a national health policy consulting company. Based in Indianapolis, Verma has supported Indiana through development of the historic programme since its inception in 2007, from development of the enabling legislation, negotiating the financing plan with the
“Verma has extensive experience redesigning Medicaid programmes in several states. Verma is the architect of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), the nation’s first consumer directed Medicaid programme under Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana and then-Governor Pence’s HIP 2.0 waiver proposal,” said the presidential transition team. Verma received her Master’s degree in Public Health, with a concentration in health policy and management from Johns Hopkins University, and her Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from the University of Maryland. She served as the state of Indiana’s health reform lead following the passage of Obamacare in 2010
Kamala Harris contender for 2020 Presidency run
ASHINGTON, PTI | Nov 28, 2016 - Kamala Harris, the first Indian-American to be elected to the US Senate, is a potential Democratic presidential candidate for 2020 elections, a leading American newspaper said today. Harris, 51, whose mother was from Chennai and father from Jamaica, is one among the six leaders, whom The Washington Post said are the top contenders to bag the party’s nomination for the 2020 presidential elections. Interestingly four of these are women. The other three being outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama, Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York. Other two potential Democratic presidential candidates according to the US daily are Senator Cory Booker
Harmeet Dhillon, a member of the Republican National Committee said. Image source: //twitter.com/pnjaban by Lalit K Jha
ASHINGTON, DC (PTI) Several Indian Americans are being considered for positions in the Trump administration as they all qualify on merit and ethnicity is not an issue, the highest ranking Indian-origin politician in the Republican party has said. “I know of several Indian Americans in consideration for positions. I am not at liberty to mention their names, but there are many people under consideration for positions in a Trump administration,” Harmeet Dhillon, a member of the Republican National Committee, told PTI. President-elect Donald Trump has already created history by nominating Nikki Haley, Republican governor of South Carolina, for the Cabinet-level position of US Ambassador to the UN. If confirmed by the Senate, Haley would be the first Indian American to serve in the cabinet of a presidential administration.
Kamala Harris, AG of California from New Jersey and Governor John Hickenlooper from Colorado. “Harris will not officially become a US senator from California for more than a month, but she is already regarded as national-candidate material in four years,” Washington Post columnist Chris Cillizza wrote.
Chandigarh-born Dhillon, who opened the second night of the Republican Convention in Cleveland in July by delivering a Sikh prayer, said unlike the Democrats, the Republican party recognises people based on merit and not ethnicity. “The new administration is going to place people according to merit. I do not think they have any particular goal of placing Indian Americans versus
other ethnic groups. I think they would be looking to put the best people in the position. I am sure in that process many qualified Indian Americans would become part of the administration,” she said. San Francisco-based Dhillon, 47, an experienced lawyer of repute, said she would also be willing to consider a senior position in the administration. “If I am asked to serve in a senior capacity, I will certainly consider it. Of course, the focus right now is on Cabinet level appointment at this time,” she said. Dhillon said she is encouraged by the top picks so far by president-elect Trump. “(The RNC Chairman) Reince Priebus (who has been picked as White House Chief of Staff) is certainly somebody who I know personally and respect. He is going to be the president’s right hand man. His choices are solid. Many of the people who I have seen coming in and out with the president-elect are really outstanding people,” she said. “I think, his main challenge is out of many, many great qualified Americans going to help, which one does he pick,” Dhillon said. On the view that the Democratic party believes in “politics of racial identity...women, black or Indian,” Dhillon asserted that this is not the case with Republicans.
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VOICE OF ASIA 8
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
Panchchaturam.... The Elegancy of Kaishika Dwadashi Sangeetharchana enthralls MTS Devotees Continued from Page 4
mong the periodic rituals Sri Meenakshi Temple conducts on special auspicious days, the annual Kaishika Dwadashi Sangeetharchana particularly fascinates many devotees. Many Hindu families look forward to attend this unique event due to the cultural and religious significance of this day to visit the temple. Kaisika Dwadasi is observed on the Shukla Paksha Dwadasi (or the 12th day) during the waxing phase of the moon as per traditional Hindu calendar (usually falls in November). This year it was on Saturday, the November 26.
demon. The demon threatens to kill Nambaduvan. However, Nambaduvan convinces the demon that since he is on his way to offer prayers to the Lord, he will definitely become his prey after his return from the worship place. The devotee offers prayers by singing a keerthanam in Kaishika Raga and returns back to offer his body to be devoured as food to the demon. See-
manifestation of Lord Vishnu. He used to chant the Lord’s name in such ecstasy that he didn’t notice his new-born child crawling into the mud pit and accidently stomped over him, thereby killing him. However, Lord Vittala, touched by Gora’s devotion gave back his child’s life. Sasirekha explained Sakyam by quoting examples like gopis and Krishna, Sundaramoorthy Thumbiyar and Shiva and Sudhama and Lord Krishna that involved viewing God as their friend. This was aptly depicted by the dancers as they portayed dandiya dance between the gopis and Krishna and presented a brief version of the Sudhama Charitra. During the harikatha, the narrator also touched upon the popular story of Gajendra Moksham, where the elephant Gajendra, gets his leg caught by a crocodile as he is bathing in the river. Contrary to popular notion, Gajendra cries out to Lord Vishnu not because he is afraid of losing his life but rather because he is upset that he might not be able offer his daily Archanam of flowers to the Lord. One of the main highlights of the program was the depiction of an abridged version of the Ramayana by the dancers. Highlighting Dasyam – the dancers showed how Hanuman served Lord Rama as he helps in rescuing Sita from Ravana. It was remarkable to see how the merely 5 dancers
Kaisika Dwadasi participants
The magnificent main temple provided the perfect spiritual ambience for conducting of this event. Formal worship of Sriman Narayana (Sri Venkateswara) and the rendition of devotional songs by the musicians simultaneously took place during the event. It is believed that attending a session of Nama Sankeerthanam rekindles bhakthi in the devotees simultaneously offering pleasant feeling. The basis of the format of Kaishika Dwadashi celebration reemphasized the message given in a highly revered story on Nambaduvan in Kaishika Puranam. This Puranam reiterates that the world exists on promises and their fulfillment. The story of Nambaduvan describes the greatest virtues of those devoted and committed to the service to the Lord. The ardent devotees of Sriman Narayana will never err or sin in life. There cannot be a better example than that of the legendary Nambaduvan. Nambaduvan was an ardent devotee of Lord Mahavishnu who hails from an oppressed class happens to meet a Brahma-rakshas (demon). The demon was actually a Brahmin who was by curse turned to a
Kaisika Dwadesi Participants with MTS priest ing the truthfulness of the devotee, the demon leaves him and gets back to his original form getting out of the curse. The truthful Nambaduvan attains salvation. Kaishika Dwadashi is observed as a mark of respect to the keertanam rendered by the devotee in Kaishika Raga. This legend is mentioned in Varaha puranam. While the priest Sri Sridharan Raghavan led the ritualistic part of the event, the music rendition was performed by dozens of Houston’s Carnatic musi-
cians. The meticulous planning of the program was done by Vidushi Rajarajeswari Bhat. Several leading musicians also joined the group rendition. Particularly remarkable was to see young children participating in the rendition. Musicians of all levels of training customarily meet and sing on Kaishika Dwadashi day in praise of the Lord, especially the Raga Kaishika in praise of Sri Venkateswara. The musicians selected a variety of devotional compo-
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sitions in a variety of ragas. The event lasted for more than two hours including the aradhana in between the songs. The opening song in Mohanam (swagatham Krishna) spread a pleasant atmosphere which lasted throughout the event. It was followed by a Tyagaraja composition in raga Saraswathi (Anuragamule ). Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar’s composition in Mangala kaishiki (Bhargavi) that followed was elegant and melodious. This was followed by Annamacharya krithi (Nigama nigama) in Hindolam.
Tyagaraja’s majestic pancharatna krithi (Sachinchine) were sung superbly well and drew much attention. Several krithis that followed (Hamsanandi, Kurinji etc) were well delivered to make the event very special. During the concluding rituals, the reverberating Veda manthras elicited an extraordinarily blissful experience in all the devotees assembled. The team of scholarly priests and the talented musicians deserve great appreciation for making this event very enjoyable.
skillfully executed the grand epic in a short duration, completely interwoven in a masterpiece of choreography into the Hanuman Chalisa. That episode alone received thunderous applause from the audience. The production came to an end with the depiction of Aatma Nivedhanam, wherein it was explained how the Lord plays the role of father, mother, friend, guru and every relationship in an individual’s life. Kamban Natalwar had wanted to offer the Lord something that He himself didn’t have and after much deliberation he decided that the only thing the Lord didn’t have was ignorance and therefore, he humbly asked him to take away ignorance from mankind and bless them with the light of knowledge. He asks the Lord to teach him how to break bonds and engage in bhakthi. This conclusion was extremely apt to the theme of Nava-vidha Bhakthi – Breaking Bonds. The production ended on a high note with another astounding truth in the sloka Akashath pathitham Thoyam Yatha gatchathi Sagaram, Sarva Deva Namaskaram Keshavam Prathi gatchathi. “Like water that descends from the skies and flows into the seas, offerings to all Gods, reach the Supreme Deity alone”. The production was truly remarkable and inspiring in multiple ways. With brilliant choreography and music – the best seen in recent times - the dancers and narrator captured everyone’s attention for the entire 2 hours. At the end, Mr. Tupil Narasiman invited MTS chairman, Mr. Narayanan and MTS secretary Mr.GN Prasad to address the gathering. Both had extremely high words about the event and they stated how MTS was the perfect venue for this program. The artists were felicitated by popular Houstonians, Mrs. Rajam Appan, Mrs. Anuradha Subramanian, Mrs. Kuzhali Arcot, Mrs. Ranjana Narasiman, Mrs. Prema Prasad, Dr. Lavanya Rajagopalan and Mrs. Anusha Venkataramani. The event was well attended with more than 300 people.
VOICE OF ASIA 9
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
The young Taiwan fraudsters US fast-food workers lead targeted by Beijing day of protest for $15/hour
AIPEI (AFP) - Taiwanese fraud rings based all over the world have for years swindled billions of dollars from members of the public through phone scams -- now they are the target of an angry China. As relations sour between Taipei and Beijing, China has insisted that Taiwanese scammers caught abroad are deported to the mainland. While Taipei has called the move “abduction”, Beijing says it is justified because the majority of the phone fraud victims are mainland Chinese. In several swoops since April, around 200 Taiwanese fraud suspects have been deported to China from countries including Armenia, Cambodia and Kenya, according to Taiwanese authorities. The latest incident came on Tuesday when 21 fraud suspects were deported “against their will” to China by Malaysia, Taiwan’s foreign affairs ministry said. Previously, suspects would usually have been deported back to Taiwan as part of informal arrangements between crimefighting agencies in China, Taiwan and countries where the fraudsters are operating. Beijing still sees self-ruling Taiwan as part of its territory and the new wave of deportations are widely seen as a move to pressurise China-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen -- relations between the two sides have grown increasingly frosty since she won the presidency in January. “Taiwan and China used to
jointly investigate fraud cases but it is getting more difficult with the change of ruling party in Taiwan,” said lawmaker Hsu Shu-hua of the opposition Kuomintang, who has proposed tougher fraud laws.
fraudsters further afield, says Chan Chih-wen, an anti-fraud specialist at Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).
Crimefighters say the current lack of cross-strait cooperation is making it more difficult to tackle the burgeoning networks.
While cross-strait politics may now make them harder to catch, some observers say malaise among Taiwanese youth is also to blame.
The crime rings involve thousands of citizens from Taiwan and China. This year more than 10,600 phone fraud cases were recorded up to October, with numbers almost doubling over the past two years due to smartphone app fraud.
With a stagnating economy many young people in Taiwan are disillusioned about a lack of jobs.
Scammers have been hacking into popular messaging app Line posing as the user’s friends to access phone account details, or asking them to buy gift cards. Fraudsters also make phone calls to victims, posing as police officers to request credit card information which is then used to make purchases, or pretending to be prosecutors demanding access to accounts implicated in money-laundering. Some victims transfer their entire accounts over to the fake law enforcers who say they need to ringfence the money while an investigation is under way. China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has accused the swindlers of causing more than $1.5 billion in losses annually on the mainland. Historic crackdowns when relations were better between China and Taiwan have forced
EW YORK | AFP Workers from fastfood chains, airports and other service industries rallied in US cities Tuesday as part of a nationwide day of disruption to demand union rights and a minimum wage of $15 an hour.
Since 2011, more than 2,000 Taiwanese fraud suspects have been arrested in 15 countries.
Zhang Xue-hai, head of a civil group assisting jailed Taiwanese nationals in Thailand, said his cases are young people duped into joining fraud rings, which then confiscate their passports and mobile phones. “They are twenty-somethings who can’t find work after graduating. They were introduced by friends and went to Thailand thinking they were getting normal jobs,” said Zhang of the Taiwan Association for Legal Aid. One young Taiwanese suspect deported from Kenya to Beijing in April said he had simply done it for the money. “I just want to help my child to live a better life,” said Liu Tai-ting, 27, in a confession aired on Taiwanese television. He said he made around $8,000 in Kenya and wired the money to his ex-wife. Legal experts say scammers often receive sentences of under a year when apprehended in Taiwan. The profit far outweighs the punishment and they will do it again and again.
Workers joining in included cabin cleaners, luggage handlers and other staff at O’Hare, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale airports. However, flights were not expected to be disrupted.
Workers at Denver International Airport. (Photo: Corinna Lander)
Bangladesh turns back refugee boats
HAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh border guards admitted to turning back multiple boats packed with refugees fleeing violence in northern Rakhine State yesterday, despite appeals by the country’s opposition to provide shelter to the Muslim minority. Thousands of desperate Muslim residents who self-identify as Rohingya have flooded over the border into Bangladesh in the last week, bringing with them claims of gang rape, torture and murder at the hands of security forces, allegations the Myanmar government denies. Eight boats attempting to cross the Naf River separating
Rakhine State from southern Bangladesh were pushed back yesterday after six were refused entry on November 27, the head of the border guards in the Bangladeshi frontier town of Teknaf, Colonel Abuzar Al Zahid, told AFP. “There were 12 to 13 Rohingya in each of the boats,” Col Zahid said. Dhaka says thousands more are massed on the border, but has refused urgent international appeals to let them in, instead calling on Myanmar to do more to stop people from fleeing. In the past two weeks, Bangladeshi border guards have prevented more than 1000
Women enter Indian shrine Nikki Haley after legal battle Continued from page 1
tionally, and I am honored that the President-elect has asked me to join his team,” Haley said in a statement, accepting the offer.
UMBAI | AFP | Tuesday 11/29/2016 - Dozens of women entered the inner sanctum of a historic mosque in India on Tuesday after winning a bitter legal battle for a ban on female worshippers to be lifted. The Haji Ali Dargah trust agreed last month to lift the ban on women entering the landmark mausoleum off the coast of Mumbai after a group of women campaigners launched a legal case. The trustees put the ban in place in 2011 arguing that allowing them near the tomb of a revered saint was a “grievous sin” in Islam.
The daughter of Indian immigrants, the 44-year-old politician is a rising star in the Republican Party’s right wing. She has been governor of South Carolina since 2011. - Former fierce critic -
Amongst the most famous landmarks in India, the Haji Ali Dargah is frequented by devotees from all communities. (Photo: Maharashtra Tourism)
“We are very happy the ban against women’s entry into the shrine was lifted,” she told AFP. “Credit must be given where due and the trustees ensured our visit to the inner sanctum of the mosque was peaceful... We even had chai (tea) with them after the visit.” Haji Ali Dargah is one of Mumbai’s most recognisable landmarks and receives tens of thousands of not only Muslims but Hindu devotees and sightseeing tourists every week. The mosque is located on an islet accessible via a causeway at low tide. It was built in memory of a wealthy Muslim who gave up his worldly possessions and went on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The whitewashed structure occupies an area of a marble courtyard contains the central shrine. The tomb within the mosque is covered by a brocaded red and green chaddar (tomb cover sheet). It is supported by an exquisite silver frame, supported by marble pillars. The main hall has pillars embellished with artistic mirror work Women in India have been intensifying their campaigns to be allowed to enter a string of Hindu temples and other religious sites. Hundreds of women staged a protest march to a temple in Maharashtra state in January, leading the high court in Mumbai to strike down a ban against women entering a shrine there. Around 80 percent of India’s 1.2 billion population is Hindu, but the country is also home to large numbers of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists.
Haley’s nomination comes after a divisive election campaign in which Trump harshly attacked Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, threatened a ban on Muslims and faced accusations of sexual harassment and assault from a series of women. She was fiercely critical of Trump during the campaign, calling him “everything a governor doesn’t want in a president” in February. She supported Senator Marco Rubio during the Republican primary race before endorsing Senator Ted Cruz.
Campaigner Noorjehan Niaz called it a “victory for women’s rights” and said it would set a strong precedent for similar cases.
Indian activists take part in a protest against a ban on women entering its inner sanctum of the Haji Ali mosque, in Mumbai on January 28, 2016. (Photo: Punit Paranjpe / AFP)
On the eve of the Super Tuesday primaries in March, she called Trump out for not
Indian Teens win International prize for making a robot to solve India’s waste problem by Sonam Joshi
obots are now used for everything from complicated surgeries to helping customers with banking and even making a pizza. Now, they could even help us take out and recycle trash more efficiently. A team of teenage students from Gurgaon has won the second position at the 13th World Robot Olympiad for designing a robot that can collect recyclable waste from homes. This was the first time that India hosted the World Robot Olympiad, an international competition for students between the ages of 9 and 25, which was held over the weekend in Greater Noida.
repudiating the white supremacists backing his campaign, recalling the 2015 massacre of nine black churchgoers by a white supremacist gunman in Charleston, South Carolina. “I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK. That is not a part of our party. That is not who we are.” She also denounced Trump’s promise to ban Muslims from entering the United States as “un-American.” Trump called her “very, very weak” on immigration. However, Haley said she voted for Trump in the election, describing him as “a friend and supporter before he ran for president.” - Foreign policy challenge A former state representative, Haley is the daughter of Sikh immigrants from India who ran
This year’s competition focused the use of robots for reducing, managing and recycling waste under the theme of ‘Rap the Scrap’. Over 463 teams from 51 countries participated in the 13th edition of the World Robot Olympiad, representing countries such as China, Russia, Syria, Iran, Ghana and Taiwan. The three award-winning
Their robot identifies and
segregates different kinds of waste and transfers it into the garbage bin, making recycling much easier. “Instead of going in for a complicated design, we opted for simple and compact design,” Mayanger said. We also concentrated on accuracy and consistency rather than speed.” Their robot had to solve a pre-defined challenge, which involved sensing and picking up colourful blocks, denoting different kinds of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, and then dropping them in a bin with the matching
Late on November 27, Bangladesh’s main opposition leader Khaleda Zia joined a growing chorus of groups in the Muslim majority country calling for those fleeing to be given shelter. According to the UN, at least 30,000 have been internally displaced in Rakhine State. Many have tried to reach Bangladesh over the last month despite border patrols, in order to seek refuge among the Rohingya population that already lives on the Bangladesh side.
a clothing business. She rose to prominence after the former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed her in a Republican primary during her campaign for governor in 2010, part of an effort to tap female candidates from the extreme-right Tea Party movement. She later won widespread praise for backing the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state house after the 2015 killings. The flag, which Haley had previously supported, is associated with slavery and opposition to civil rights reform. Haley faces a tough challenge at the United Nations during a time of international uncertainty over Trump’s promises to scale back Washington’s central role in global security. Haley’s nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.
Continued from page 1 “Singh attempted to provide material support and resources to terrorists to create violence and disruption abroad,” McCord said.
tember and December 2013, Singh conspired with others to support terrorist attacks in India as part of a movement to create an independent Sikh state from Punjab.
“Identifying, thwarting and holding accountable individuals who pursue international terrorism is a top priority of the Department of Justice,” she said.
Singh communicated with co-conspirators by telephone to discuss these plans and agreed to provide material support by facilitating a co-conspirator’s travel to and within South Asia, providing funding and materials necessary to carry out an overseas attack.
He faces the statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Three award-winning student engineers from India are between the ages of 14 and 15. Jainil Ajmera, Prakhar Mittal and Abhimanyu Deb Singh began working on the project six months ago.
Muslim Rohingya, including many women and children, from entering the country by boat, officials told AFP.
Indian man in US pleads guilty to Punjab attack conspiracy
A citizen of India and permanent US resident, Singh went by the aliases of “Jhaji”, “Happy” and “Baljit Singh” and has been detained and charged since his arrest in December 2013.
student engineers from India are between the ages of 14 and 15. Jainil Ajmera, Prakhar Mittal and Abhimanyu Deb Singh began working on the project six months ago and named their team, High Voltage. All three are members of the Gurgaon-based Robo Genius Academy and were mentored by their teacher Varun Mayanger. The High Voltage team won the second prize in the Junior High category by completing their task in the fastest time and with the highest score.
Some 40 people were arrested near a McDonald’s near downtown Los Angeles early Tuesday after they refused police orders to clear an intersection.
According to the court filed documents and admissions made in connection with the plea agreement, between Sepcolour. The participating robots needed to sense the colour and the location of the bins, which kept on changing. High Voltage’s robot was designed using Lego Mindstorms, a robotics tool set for making LEGO robots.”Aside from the technical aspects, the challenges require you to think of solving the problem,” Ajmera said. “You don’t have to stop to working on the idea after this, because it might just change the world.” (-HuffingtonPost.com)
In October 2013, Singh and the co-conspirators agreed that one of them would travel to India in 2013 and carry out likely assassination or maiming of an Indian government official. The final target would be determined after the co-conspirator arrived in South Asia. Singh purchased two sets of night-vision goggles, gave them to a co-conspirator who was going to carry out the planned attack. In December 2013, the coconspirator attempted to board a flight from the San Francisco International Airport to Thailand in order to carry out the attack, but was prohibited by the US law enforcement from boarding the flight. As a result, the planned terror attack was never executed. After this, Singh and his coconspirators continued to discuss and plan terror attack in India until he was arrested.
VOICE OF ASIA 10
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
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Designer Rashid wants to fix the world, for his mom nary objects which have a real impact on daily lives -- like the family car.
Six things about Victoria’s Secret you were too afraid to ask...
“It is such a simple, simple thing. Like getting out of a car. In 1967 Citroen makes a car where the seat rotated: you get in, you rotate, right? It’s so comfortable.” But not so today. “I mean my mother, who is 85, she can’t get in or out of a car.” Rashid, sporting pink jeans, a pink jumper and florescent pink nails for his appearance as guest speaker at the university, says he was inspired to become a designer by his father. He was born in Cairo to an Egyptian artist and a British mother and lived in several countries during his youth. Furniture and party dresses “When I was two years old, we lived in Rome. My father was a set designer for Cinecitta,” the historic film studio in the Italian capital. “I had a father who was an artist, a painter, but he didn’t stop there. He would every night make furniture for the home because he had very little money, so he would make his own furniture,” says the heavily-tattooed designer. “Some days he would wake up and make sketches of my mother, design a dress, take the fabric, cut it, sew it and that night go to a party, and my mother’s wearing the dress. “So imagine if you’re a five-yearold child and you see this. I think you’d become a designer.” The neon-lover, whose work can be found in more than 20 permanent collections including at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, shrugs off critics who say he should stick to home furnishings rather than delving into real estate.
Designer Karim Rahid, surrounded by his watch and vase designs. (Photo: gorenje.com) to, it’s a disaster: the location of the bathroom, the lights,” he tells AFP at Rome’s University of Fine Arts (RUFA)
“Architects can design products, but for some reason product designers can’t design buildings. Why not?” he asks.
“The world is a mess, it doesn’t work,” the 56-year-old groans as he reflects on his path to global fame and how he can give something back to the woman who raised him.
The man dubbed by Time magazine in 2001 as the “the most famous industrial designer in all the Americas” has designed everything from manhole covers to buildings, and prides himself among other things on having reclaimed the colour pink for men.
“I’ve said, for me, designing a mobile phone is more difficult than making a building. And everybody got very upset!”
“We throw function out of the door. I don’t know why. Every hotel I go
But for all his prolificness, he is still frustrated by the poor design of ordi-
OME (AFP) - CanadianAmerican industrial designer Karim Rashid is on a mission to change the world and it is not for money or even greater fame, it’s for his mother.
Rashid designed his first hotel in Athens in 2001, then did another in Berlin in 2008, before being courted by New York developers. His projects for HAP (social housing) investments in the United States proved controversial and had to be toned down, but he shrugs it off. “For me it’s not even architecture. It’s like looking at building as industrial design,” he says.
Model Lindsay Ellingson walks the runway wearing the 3-D corset, Bustle arm and headpeice made using Swarovski Crystals at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. (Photo:Bryan Bedder for Swarovski/AFP) by Aurélie Mayembo
ARIS | AFP - The US lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret is holding its hugely hyped annual fashion show in Paris for the first time Wednesday, where Lady Gaga will sing. The brand has already flown in its “angels” -- including supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner -- in what it called the “world’s most glamorous airplane” for the starstudded event. Here is everything you need to know about the blingiest event on the underwear calendar: - Victoria who? Victoria’s Secret may be a household name in the US, but it is almost totally unknown in France, the country that invented lingerie.
It was the brainchild of Californian Roy Raymond who was so embarrassed about trying to buy lingerie for his wife that he set up a mail order company to save his blushes. - Making a show Victoria’s Secret marketing centres on an annual star-studded fashion show and musical extravaganza. Now in its 21st year, it will be shown in 190 countries from December 5. - The perfect body The brand has regularly faced criticism for presenting women with an unrealistic body imagine. In 2014 it caused a social media storm with its slogan “The perfect Body” for its new line of Body bras. Faced with the anger, it changed the slogan to “The Body for every body”. - Why Paris?
- Who are the angels? Each year the brand assembles some of the most glamorous lingerie models for its show, with Lily Aldridge, Alessandra Ambrosio and Martha Hunt often featuring in its cast of “angels”. - What’s the secret?
Industry analyst Yves Marin of consultants Wavestone said choosing Paris as it venue shows “they want to invest in the continent because apart from Britain, they are not really present in Europe.”
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Travel improvements needed right now by Christopher Elliott
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
10 Secrets of Machu Picchu
If you travel, it’s hard to escape the web of lies spun around each product and service. “Review sites are easily bamboozled,” says Tom Sheehan, who runs a tour company based in Gainesville, Fla. “Competitors can sign up under multiple pseudonyms and write scathing reviews about their competition. Dissatisfied customers embellish the issues to seek revenge on the property they feel let them down.” Simply put, many user-generated review sites are compromised.
o one likes to be wrong, especially when you write the best darned travel column in American journalism. So when a flight attendant flagged an inaccuracy in one of my recent stories, my heart skipped a beat.
“I just wanted to tell you it’s against the law to photograph a working flight attendant and also against the law to video any working crew member at any time,” she wrote. “Thank you for correcting this information.”
How to fix it: If these enormous travel sites took just one extra step to verify that a reviewer stayed at a hotel — a photo of a receipt might do it — it would dramatically cut the amount of fake reviews.
Uh-oh. For years, I’ve advised travelers to take pictures and videos when something goes wrong, including on a plane. Was I incorrect?
4. Keep your word It seems so simple: Quote a rate, and that’s what you charge. No “resort” fee, no extras, no surprises. Howard Zoufaly, a business consultant from Broomfield, Colo., says hotels don’t always honor their commitments. One property, which offered “free” breakfast, recently made him pay. The reason? He stayed on a weekend. “It was false advertising,” he says. “Consumers can’t depend on the travel industry to keep their word.”
I’ll have the answer in a second. But fixing errors — that’s actually a worthy topic. The holiday travel season is near, and while a lot of folks are on the road, I know I’m not the only one asking: How do you fix what’s wrong about travel? Make no mistake, the industry is broken. Badly. More than 17% of respondents to a new Aspect Software survey said they’d stopped doing business with a travel company in 2016 because of poor customer service, a 45% increase from last year. It’s a trend that Joe Gagnon, Aspect’s chief customer strategy officer, calls “alarming.” If it continues, the industry will soon overtake the telecom and cable industry as a leader in bad customer service.
How to fix it: Do what you say. How hard can that be? 5. Treat us like humans If you’ve flown in an economy class airline seat lately, then you know exactly what I mean. It’s cramped, and often the service is degrading. Kevin Farris, an account manager for a pharmaceutical company in Philadelphia, wonders why airlines can’t offer a humane amount of personal space. “I just want to sit comfortably,” he says. In an industry built on hospitality, no one should ever be treated like that.
But the damage can be repaired. Here’s how: 1. Eliminate ridiculous fees There seems to be no escape from the fees and surcharges. Though some are technically avoidable, most are not. Travel companies used to apologize for them, but recently, as the profits began to pour in, they’ve gone silent. “Stop with the nickel-and-dime fees already,” says Louis Altman, a frequent traveler who runs a telecommunication company in Portsmouth, N.H. “Why do I need to pay to pick a seat? Why do I need to pay to bring my stuff with me? I know fees are a massive profit center, but ugh — stop it!”
How to fix it: How about federally mandated minimum seat standards in economy class? Wouldn’t it be great if one newspaper column could end customer-unfriendly fees and make the industry fairer, more honest — even more humane? In the meantime, I’m happy to fix my own mistakes. I asked my flight attendant friend to send me a copy of the law that said you can’t photograph employees. She checked and discovered she was incorrect. There’s no such law. Phew.
How to fix it: Travel companies could start including these “unbundled” amenities if they wanted to. They just don’t want to. 2. End the status games
Who’s already fixed — and who isn’t?
If you think the division of the classes is unAmerican, try flying. The cabin is clearly and unapologetically divided between haves and have-nots. “I’d like to eliminate the class system the airlines use based on status,” says Angela Berardino, a frequent flier who works for a communication agency in Denver. “The drama and stress it causes to secure a seat, to line up to board — it honestly makes travel much, much more stressful. And I’m someone who has status on multiple legacy carriers.”
Hotels. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), Hilton and Marriott rank highest with scores of 81 and 80 out of 100, respectively — and are the least in need of fix. The most: Wyndham (70) and Motel 6 (65). Airlines. JetBlue and Southwest are tied with a score of 80 out of 100. The lowest: Allegiant (65) and Spirit (62). Chain restaurants. Looking for good food and service? The ACSI recommends Cracker Barrel (83), Texas Roadhouse (82) or LongHorn Steakhouse (82). Chili’s and Denny’s get the bottom scores of 75 and 74, respectively. (-USAToday.com)
How to fix it: Maybe it’s time to scrap the loyalty programs that efficiently separate the elite customers from the rest. 3. No more lies
Youngest Astrologer of North America Astrologer, Vaastu & Gem Stone Consultant
The mountain range was “never meant to be discovered.” (Photo: Justin Setterfield)
iking the Incan Trail to the ancient stronghold of Machu Picchu sits at the top of many travelers’ wish lists. Travel+Leisure reports...
The sacred citadel—which sits perched high up in the Andes Mountains—was “discovered” (as much as an outsider can discover a local historic site) in 1911 by an Indiana Jones-type Yale professor named Hiram Bingham. He was lead to the ancient city, which was built around the 1450s, by a local boy and was understandably stunned by the beauty and grandeur of the abandoned site. Bingham shared the existence of Machu Picchu to the modern world in the April 1913 issue of National Geographic and since then the spectacular archaeological site has attracted visitors, researchers, and explorers from around the world determined to unravel the mystery of the site—or simply to bask in its ancient splendor. Despite the fact that the city is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site and scientists have been studying the sacred mountain retreat for decades, there are still many secrets about Machu Picchu and the people who built it. Before you head out on your own Peruvian adventure, here are a few secrets of the sacred site. If anything, these make for great hiking buddy banter. It was never supposed to be discovered. The Incans were worried (for good reason) that the Spanish would discover and loot Machu Picchu. To prevent that probable ransacking, less than a hundred years after they built the city in 1532, the Incans abandoned it, burning the forest on the way out so the re-growth would hide the trails up the mountain. The plan worked and the Spanish never discovered Machu Picchu and it was hidden to outsiders until Hiram Bingham visited in 1911. Bingham actually discovered the wrong city. According to National Geographic, who funded some of Bingham’s later explorations, when the explorer was brought to Machu Picchu, he thought he had discovered a different city altogether. Bingham believed that his local guides had led him to the so-called Lost City of the Incas, Vilcabamba, the Inca stronghold where the rulers waged a years-long battle against Spanish conquistadors.
It took 50 years of arguing until Bingham was proved wrong, by an explorer named Gene Savoy, who in 1964, proved that the real lost city of the Inca was Espiritu Pampa, west of Machu Picchu. Bingham thought Machu Picchu was home to a bunch of woman called the ‘Virgins of the Sun.’ The explorer may have been good at paying off trail guides, but he had no idea what he discovered. Bingham not only believed that he had discovered Vilcabama, but he also believed that Machu Picchu was the mythical Tampu-tocco, the birthplace of the Inca forefathers. His fallback theory was that Machu Picchu was a sacred convent filled with chosen women known as the ‘’virgins of the sun,’’ and presided over by priests who worshiped the sun god. This delightful theory turned out, sadly, not to be true. Machu Picchu may have been the original resort town. According to a group of archaeologists, Machu Picchu was built as a retreat for the royal family. Research conducted by John Rowe, Richard Burger, and Lucy Salazar reveals that Incan ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, who it is believe built Machu Picchu, may have envisioned the city as a peaceful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city in Cuzco. There’s a good chance it was an incredibly diverse city. Andean civilization expert Brian Bauer told National Geographic, that there is a great deal of archaeological evidence that the Inca weren’t the only people to live at Machu Picchu. While the village didn’t have a marketplace, archaeologists have uncovered ceramics from people across the region indicating that people from a variety of backgrounds lived in—or at least passed through—the city. The Inca were master stonemasons. The massive structure of Machu Picchu was built without using wheels, iron tools, or even mortar. Instead, according to National Geographic, the rocks were cut to fit together perfectly, using a method called “ashlar masonry.” It was a
clever move, too. Peru is prone to earthquakes and the lack of mortar has helped the structures remain standing despite the fact that Machu Picchu was built on two fault lines. Much of the city’s infrastructure is hidden. While the majestic mountain city towers over the surrounding valley, much of the city’s architectural wonders are underground. According to Australia’s News, as much as 60 percent of the Inca construction is veiled under the terraced hills as part of the network of foundation walls and drainage systems that wind beneath the city. There are at least two hidden temples. The Temple of the Moon and the Cave of the Sun are easy to miss. Visiting the Temple of the Moon requires climbing a ladder for an hour up the side of the Huayna Picchu mountain, according to the News. At the top is a small, but stunning temple built into the cliff wall. Intimachay, or the “Cave of the Sun,” is tucked below Machu Picchu’s main site, which causes many tourists to miss it. The cave was a sacred space, which may have been designed to make the most of the rising sun during the December solstice as part of the Incan wintertime ritual, Capac Raymi. It may have been part of a pilgrimage route. While early explorers thought that Machu Picchu was a secluded citadel, modern archaeologists believe that the site was part of an ancient pilgrimage route. Unfortunately, due to the arrival of the Spanish, the pilgrimage trail was never finished, according to National Geographic. While the reasons for the route are lost to the past, archaeo-astronomer Giulio Magli believes the journey to Machu Picchu may have been related to the first Incas who traveled from Lake Titicaca.. There are still archeological discoveries being made.In 2014, Explorer Thierry Jamin found a previously undiscovered door at Machu Picchu, which he believes holds the royal burial chamber of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the Inca ruler that built Machu Picchu. The Peruvian government, though, won’t let him open the chamber as it could cause irreparable damage to the site (also, perhaps, they’ve seen The Mummy).
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1.4 billion jobs depend on pollinator: report
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has worst coral die-off ever
YDNEY (AFP) - A mass bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef this year killed more corals than ever before, scientists said Tuesday, sounding the alarm over the delicate ecosystem.
by Mariëtte Le Roux
ARIS | AFP - About 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops depend on pollinators, researchers said Monday warning of a dire threat to human welfare if the falls in bee and butterfly numbers are not halted.
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
draining them of their colour. Algae are vital to the coral, which uses the organic products of photosynthesis to help it grow. The loss of algae makes the host vulnerable to disease and
warned earlier this year that if greenhouse gas levels keep rising, similar events would be the new normal, occurring every two years by the mid-2030s. Given reefs need so long to recover from severe bleaching, it said “we are likely to lose
“World food supplies and jobs are at risk unless urgent action is taken to stop global declines of pollinators,” said a statement from the University of Reading, whose researchers took part in the global review. Animal pollination directly affects about three-quarters of important crop types, including most fruits, seeds and nuts and high-value products such as coffee, cocoa and oilseed rape. Pollinators added some $235-577 billion (222-545 billion euros) to crop output per year, said the team. “Agriculture employs 1.4 billion people, approximately one-third of the world’s economically active labour force,” said the review published in the journal Nature. “This is particularly important to the world’s poorest rural communities, 70 percent of whom rely on agriculture as the main source of income and employment.” Most pollinators are insects such as bees, butterflies, moths, wasps and beetles, but others include birds, bats and lizards while some crops are pollinated by wind. The team said crops which depend on animal pollinators are crucial for balanced human diets, providing micronutrients such as vitamins A and C, calcium, fluoride and folic acid.
There are some 20,000 species of bees responsible for fertilising more than 90 percent of the world’s 107 major crops. (File photo) “Pollinator losses could therefore result in a substantial rise in the global rate of preventable diseases,” the researchers wrote.
There are some 20,000 species of bees responsible for fertilising more than 90 percent of the world’s 107 major crops.
“This could result in about 1.4 million additional deaths per year and approximately 29 million lost years of healthy life,” the researchers wrote.
Bee populations have been hit in Europe, North America and elsewhere by a mysterious phenomenon called “colony collapse disorder”, which has been blamed on mites, a virus or fungus, pesticides, or a combination of factors.
- Busy bees Wild plants are also at risk -more than 90 percent of tropical flowering plant species rely on animal pollination, said the team. Almost one in five vertebrate pollinators, mostly birds and bats, are threatened with extinction. And among bees -- the most numerous pollinators by far -- about nine percent were catalogued as threatened, with a similar percentage for butterflies. The true number for bees may be much higher, given the lack of data on many species, said the report.
The authors of the review called for measures to protect pollinators against farming’s worst side-effects. These could include using natural pest predators instead of pesticides, planting strips of flowers between crops, rotating crops to include flowering plants, and restoring native wild flower habitats to house pollinator communities. Manmade infrastructure such as power lines, railway banks and even motorways could be adapted to provide flowering and nesting spots for pollinators, the team wrote. (Physic.org)
Study finds no link between pregnancy flu, autism risk
IAMI | AFP - Researchers found no link between influenza in pregnant women and the risk of her child developing autism after birth, a US study said Monday. Some earlier research has pointed to maternal infections as a possible cause of the neuro-developmental disorder, though other studies have not found any such link. The findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics involved more than 196,000
children born in California from 2000 to 2010.
second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
More than 3,100 children in the group had autism, which is believed to have genetic and environmental triggers but its causes remain poorly understood.
“There was a suggestion of increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with maternal vaccination in the first trimester,” said the study, which went on to explain that this finding “was not statistically significant” after researchers adjusted for other risk factors.
The study, led by Ousseny Zerbo of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, found no association between a higher risk of autism and influenza infection while pregnant. Nor did it find any link between autism and vaccination against the flu during the
Consumers’ poor cyber hygiene costs them billions
ILICON VALLEY - The fact that cybercrime impacts hundreds of millions of people, has cost its victims more than $100 billion and most people know of the danger has done little to limit the general complacency and unsafe behavior still prevalent among internet users. Symantec’s 2016 Cyber Security Insights Report noted that the vast majority of consumers realize dangers exists, most still act in an unsafe manner when it comes to operating online. This has resulted in 689 million people in 17 separate countries being victimized at a cost to them of $128 billion. This includes not learning to spot a phishing email, connecting to unsafe public networks or have the false belief that their connected device
is somehow safe from cybercriminals. “Unfortunately, many consumers are not motivated to take even simple steps to stay safe online. Seventy-six percent of consumers they must actively protect their information online, but they still share passwords and engage in other risky behaviors,” the report stated. A subset of the general population is even more likely to be victimized by cybercrime. Symantec noted that millennials are the most common victim with 40 percent having suffered an attack in the last year. As would be expected poor security habits were the primary reason with 35 percent of millennials saying they would be willing to share their passwords. The primary reason millenni-
The researchers said that at this time no “changes in vaccine policy or practice,” are recommended but “additional studies are warranted.” als are so susceptible is due to the amount of time they spend online and the fact that many have the incorrect notion that cybercriminals simply won’t bother attacking their device, Kevin Haley, Norton’s director of security, told SC Media via email. Despite consumer’s lackadaisical attitude toward protecting their data, in some ways their actions are no better than corporate workers, many of whom have been trained to have excellent cyber hygiene. That is being susceptible to phishing attacks. The report found about 40 percent cannot detect or have to guess whether an email is part of a phishing attack. Making poor choices resulting in being compromised is a theme throughout the report. When using public WiFi 61 percent said they had entered financial information into their device and 39 percent reported having read out loud credit and debit card numbers while speaking into their phone. (SCMagazine.com)
For most of its life, the reef was the world’s largest living structure, and the only one visible from space. (Illustration: Andrew Holder) The 2,300-kilometre (1,400mile) long reef -- the world’s biggest -- suffered its most severe bleaching in recorded history, due to warming sea temperatures during March and April, with the northern third bearing the brunt. Follow-up underwater surveys, backing earlier aerial studies, have revealed a 700kilometre stretch of reefs in the less-accessible north lost two-thirds of shallow-water corals in the past eight to nine months. “Most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in the northern, most-pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef,” said Terry Hughes, head of the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. “This region escaped with minor damage in two earlier bleaching events in 1998 and 2002, but this time around it has been badly affected.” Further south over the vast central and southern regions, including major tourist areas around Cairns and the Whitsunday Islands, there was a much lower toll. - Fossil fuels Bleaching occurs when abnormal environmental conditions, such as warmer sea temperatures, cause corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae,
means it will eventually die. However, coral can recover if the water temperature drops and the algae are able to recolonise them. Environmentalists blame the burning of fossil fuels for global warming and repeated calls Tuesday for Australia to abandon coal mining to help prevent further bleaching disasters. “This is the devastating price we are paying for the Australian government propping up the coal industry,” said Greenpeace Australia reef campaigner Shani Tager. “A credible plan to protect the reef must address climate change and start with a ban on new coal mines.” Canberra insists it is doing more than ever to safeguard the reef, which is also under pressure from farming run-off, development and the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, committing more than Aus$2.0 billion (US$1.50 billion) over the next decade. - Vibrant color Scientists estimate the northern region, which teems with marine life, will take at least 10-15 years to regain lost corals, but are concerned that a fourth major bleaching event may occur before that, hampering the recovery. The
large parts of the Great Barrier Reef in just a couple of decades”. That study noted climate change had added 1.0 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming to ocean temperatures off the Queensland coast in March, when corals were first seen turning white. There had been fears that the bleaching would badly hurt the tourism industry but Andrew Baird, who led teams of divers to re-survey the reefs in October and November, said the more accessible parts had not suffered as badly. “The good news is the southern two-thirds of the reef has escaped with minor damage,” he said. “On average, six percent of bleached corals died in the central region in 2016, and only one percent in the south. The corals have now regained their vibrant colour, and these reefs are in good condition.” Tourism on the World Heritage-listed reef employs 70,000 people and generates Aus$5 billion in income each year. Australia last year narrowly avoided UNESCO putting the site on its endangered list and must report to the World Heritage committee by December 1 on the progress being made to rescue the reef.
Facebook Express Wi-fi goes live in India
UMBAI - Facebook has launched a scheme to bring internet access to underserved locations in India. Express Wi-fi offers software to local entrepreneurs to allow them to work with service providers and share their internet connection with the public for a fee. Users have access to a variety of services, including news and weather reports. One critic of Facebook’s previous plans was more receptive to this one. “I think it’s a great initiative, we need more companies providing access to the internet in India,” said Nikhil Pahwa, editor and publisher of MediaNama, an Indian news site. “So long as they don’t only provide access to certain websites or under certain conditions, then this is a great thing.”
Mr Pahwa had previously criticised Facebook’s proposal to bring more limited internet access to regions where getting online can be next to impossible. He helped organise the Save the Internet campaign in India. In February, India’s telecoms regulation blocked Facebook’s Free Basics internet service app due to the restricted nature of the service provided. The app offered access to only a limited number of websites. It was opposed on principles of net neutrality, with protestors arguing that data providers should not favour some online services over others. - Different plan The new system makes no mention of limitations on the sites accessible. “Express Wi-fi empowers local entrepreneurs to help provide quality internet access
to their neighbours and make a steady income,” its website states. “India has mobile connectivity but it’s never going to meet the demand,” said Mr Pahwa. “In India, you have slow internet and slower internet. There is no such thing as high speed. Mobile access is usually the most expensive sort of internet access, so it’s not ideal.” It is likely Indians will still use their mobile devices to access the internet, but by using Express Wi-fi, the hope is that it will be faster and cheaper to do so. Facebook says it will expand Express Wi-fi to other regions “soon”. The details of the cost of accessing the internet under the scheme and where exactly in India the service is available were not immediately made clear by Facebook. (BBC.com)
VOICE OF ASIA 14
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
‘Lion’ unleashes 8-year-old star Sunny Pawar
OS ANGELES — Sunny Pawar has had a long day after jetting from New York to L.A. But the 8-year-old star of the awardscontending film Lion is brighteyed and smiling as he greets a journalist in a hotel lobby after a nap. He gives a polite handshake before taking a seat. “This is all good fun,” says Pawar, speaking in his native Hindi through a translator. “But my head is spinning a little.” Audiences will understand that feeling after seeing Pawar’s emotional performance in Lion, which opened in select theaters over the weekend and expands its release Dec. 9. The power of Pawar’s portrayal is all the more mind-boggling given that the first-time actor was just 6 when he was discovered. Pawar carries Lion’s first half as young Saroo Brierley, separated from his family on a moving train. In the true story, Saroo ended up alone on the dangerous streets of Calcutta. Dev Patel is drawing raves (and talk of a best-supporting-actor Oscar nomination) playing the adult Saroo as a university student searching for his childhood home in India after being adopted by Australian parents. “But Sunny’s performance is the big surprise of Lion — he holds the whole first half of the film down. It’s nothing short of amazing for a child actor,” says Tom O’Neil, editor of awards site GoldDerby.com. “The fact is, Sunny really connects with viewers. He really delivers.” Even finding Sunny was a small miracle, as he was attending a school for disadvantaged children in Mumbai. His father says Sunny was a natural mimic at home but never had serious
The three Saroos of ‘Lion’: The real Saroo Brierley (from left), Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel. (Photo: Dan MacMedan) acting dreams or training. “For fun, he’d watch the television and ape the songs while dancing at home,” Dilip Pawar says through a translator. Lion director Garth Davis put out an India-wide casting call; Pawar tried out and was one of 2,000 children short-listed for the role of Saroo. When Pawar made the top 100, Davis just knew: “This was the kid I dreamed about in the story. It was like I had already met him.” Pawar, working through a translator and hand signals on set, learned to convey deep emotions. “We were able to build scenes as you would with an adult actor,” Davis says. “Sunny was a revelation.”
Candy Crush in the makeup trailer. You’d be reminded, ‘My God, this is a little boy.’ “ After dealing with a delayed visa to enter the USA, Pawar had an emotional reunion with Patel and Lion’s crew to promote the film. Pawar will be a force with his unscripted answers on topics ranging from moviemaking perks (“Lots of chocolate”) to autographs requests (“I’ve signed six already”). O’Neil compares Pawar’s appeal to young Jacob Tremblay’s charm offensive for Room in last year’s awards race.
Co-star Patel was impressed by the depths his “adorable” counterpart shows.
Pawar plans to continue acting, appearing in the 2017 drama Love Sonia (with Demi Moore and Freida Pinto). He is already relishing the awards run, especially putting on a black tie for the Governors Awards this month.
“You would watch him growing into this confident actor,” Patel says. “Then you’d see Sunny with an iPad playing
“The night was fun,” Pawar says. “I especially liked running up and down the steps on the red carpet.” (-USA Today)
Nathan Kuravackal wins National STEM Video Game Challenge his grandparents grew up and Milford Sound, a fjord in New Zealand near the area where his family’s recent exchange students visited them from. When he’s not practicing martial arts, Nathan enjoys reading, playing puzzle and adventure games, and performing piano and clarinet with the jazz band. Nathan hopes to attend MIT when he’s older, and dreams of becoming an architect or engineer. He’s looking forward to turning Can’t Catch Me! into a playable game in the coming year as he teaches himself Unity. “I want to include real sounds like Master Shon’s voice, my friend’s evil laugh, and fighting sounds from the Taekwondo studio,” says Nathan, who plans to publish his game in the App Store once complete.
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Why schools have become a battleground in Turkey Turkey’s education system has long been shaped by secular tradition. But July’s coup attempt has given President Erdogan new license to remold an institution he sees as central to his goal of further Islamizing Turkish society and the state. by Scott Peterson
STANBUL — When Turkey’s teachers returned to school in September, they found their numbers decimated by expulsions, more than half their textbooks gone, and some 2,250 educational institutions sealed with police tape. Schools have emerged as a critical battleground in Turkey, after a failed coup attempt on July 15 prompted sweeping purges of, by one estimate, 125,000 individuals from the police, armed forces, judiciary, and other ministries; more than 46,000 people have been arrested. Educators have borne the brunt of the crackdown, accounting for nearly half of those arrested, expelled, or suspended. For teachers, that has created a palpable sense of fear for the future. For students, it has meant a scramble amid uncertainty, dealing with new teachers and curricula, or joining the crush in search of new schools after their own schools were closed. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), critics say, are sharply escalating a fight that has been simmering for years. His goals are twofold: to block opposition voices in the name of fighting “terrorism,” removing anyone who could derail his vision of one society united in a common path and under the leadership of an all-
by Katy Svehaug November 14, 2016 ith only one level to go before receiving his black belt, 11year-old Nathan Kuravackal drew on his extensive training in Taekwondo to create Can’t Catch Me!, winner of the Nat Geo Explore Game Design Document Middle School category in the 2016 National STEM Video Game Challenge. The Tacoma, Washington native was inspired by his instructor Master Shon to create a puzzle-based game with a ninja as the main character. In Can’t Catch Me!, players travel through real-world destinations avoiding obstacles, battling enemies, and solving puzzles. “I picked locations that I had some personal connection to,” Nathan explains, featuring settings like Kerala, India where
A girl rides a merry-go-round at the Christmas market, Frankfurt, Germany. (Photograph: Michael Probst/AFP)
Can’t Catch Me by Nathan Kuravackal is the winner of the Nat Geo Explore game design document/middle school category
Uber claims credit for falling numbers of young drivers by James Titcomb (The Telegraph)
ONDON - Uber has claimed the credit for falling numbers of young drivers, pointing to figures suggesting that the taxi-booking app is one of the key reasons people have give up their cars. Data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency showed that the number of driving licences held by under-25s has fallen by 6.2pc in the last four years, from 2.89m in November 2012 to 2.71m in March. Among 16-30-year-olds, driving licences have fallen by 73kin the last four years, despite licences across all age groups rising. The decline has coincided with the rise of Uber, which markets itself as an alternative to car ownership and is mostly used by young city-dwellers. The app, which lets users hail a private hire car from their smartphone, has been attacked by critics for adding to congestion in the capital and encouraging people to take cars instead of public transport. Although the fall in young drivers across the UK could also be down to squeezed incomes or more under-25s living in cities, Uber pointed to YouGov research, carried out on behalf of the company, that suggested the app had played a part. “These figures suggest apps like Uber are starting to have an impact on car ownership,” Uber’s UK boss Jo Bertram said. “Ditching your own car can be good for our city as well as your wallet. When people can get around and connect with public transport without needing their own car there’s less need for parking spaces.”
powerful executive president. And he wants to finally push aside anyone associated with a key ally-turned-enemy, the reclusive cleric Fethullah Gülen, whose followers have gained positions of influence throughout the country’s institutions. The ultimate aim is to squeeze nearly a century of secular tradition out of the system and further Islamize society and the state, critics say. A central means to that end is Turkey’s
A girl holds a portrait of 20-year-old Ozgecan Aslan, who was murdered after she resisted an alleged attempt to rape her in the southern city of Mersin, during a demonstration against Aslan’s murder in Ankara. (AFP Photo / Adem Altan) education system, with its profound role in imprinting Mr. Erdoğan’s vision on a rising generation. “It is a project to transform society, in a way the ruling party wants ... to gravitate toward an identity of Sunni Islam, just a very specific definition,” says Turgut Yokuş, director of Istanbul (Turkey) Branch No. 2 of the secular teachers union Eğitim Sen. “We have many ethnic groups in Turkey, many cultures, many languages, many beliefs,” says Mr. Yokuş, whose union has been targeted. “Turkey is a mosaic, and AKP wants one religion, one language, one congregation – one kind of people. They are crushing this diversity.” Hundreds of educators agree, echoing such views during a recent protest in Istanbul. “We are facing a period worse than the coup,” Tahsin Yeşildere, head of the Association of University Instructors, told Reuters. “In our country, which is being turned into a one-man regime through the state of emergency, all those in opposition resisting this trend have become targets. Sitting squarely in Erdoğan’s sights are disciples of Mr. Gülen, a charismatic Turkish cleric who once strongly supported the
Islamist-rooted AKP and now is a fierce opponent. Turkey accuses him of masterminding the coup attempt from the United States, using loyalists secretly seeded for decades into every pillar of the bureaucracy and armed forces. The “cleansing,” as officials call it, has been breathtaking to many. But other tactics have raised eyebrows as well. Math books with equations that use the letters F and G – the initials of Gülen’s name – have been withdrawn for fear they include coded messages. So have more than 80 percent of high-quality science textbooks, teachers say, which were printed by Gülencontrolled publishing houses. There is even debate about changing the universal qwerty keyboard, for “ergonomic” reasons, because the letters F and G stand together. And Turkish drivers can apply to have “FG” removed from license plates. “This work is done in paranoia. The national income is being squandered [on it],” chided Çetin Osman Budak, an economist and lawmaker from the main opposition party. He said 13,000 tons of textbooks had been scrapped, and the Ministry of National Education says 58 out of 300 government- issued textbooks will be rewritten to remove “terrorist propaganda.”
VOICE OF ASIA 15
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
Doctor Strange crosses $600M
Shilpa’s literary faux pas sparks Twitter meme
ollywood actress Shilpa Shetty shot to fame when she won Big Brother in 2007, but on Monday she unwittingly betrayed her ignorance of George Orwell’s work when she said Indian schoolchildren should read Animal Farm to learn how to care for animals.
teach the little ones to love and care for animals”. Shetty, 41, is one of Bollywood’s most talked-about and photographed figures despite not having broken through in any major film roles.
Far from being a cuddly children’s book the 1945 novella is a dystopian satire on twentieth-century dictatorship. The star’s literary faux pas quickly sparked a new meme in India, where Twitter users came up with hundreds of alternative suggestions under the hashtag #ShilpaShettyReviews.
She won fame when she was subjected to allegedly racist taunts on Britain’s “Celebrity Big Brother” reality television series, named after the fictional character in George Orwell’s Nineteen EightyFour.
“Fifty Shades of Grey is an amazing coloring book. Children will love it #ShilpaShettyReviews” tweeted Vishal Purohit. “Nineteen Eighty Four is a book about discos, cocaine and lava lamps #ShilpaShettyReviews” posted Navin Noronha under the hashtag, which was the number one trending topic in India.
MCU’s biggest single character by Nancy Tartaglione
isney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange passed into the $600M+ dimension this weekend with a total $616M worldwide through Sunday. The Marvel Cinematic Universe effort is paying off after ticket sales worries before release, since star Benedict Cumberbatch had never led a blockbuster before. This was the 5th offshore total for the Sorcerer Supreme and added $9.8M at the international box office ($410.9M cume to date), plus $13.4M for the domestic 3-day ($205.1M cume to date). That thrusts the Cumberbatch-starrer into the Top 10 of 2016 domestically, overseas and globally. The film has also now become the biggest single-character introduction in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In further milestones, the Scott Derrickson-directed pic is the 9th MCU title to cross the $600M mark, and Disney’s 5th 2016 movie to do so. Japan, meanwhile, is still to come with a January 27 release. Earlier this month, Disney reached $6B in global box office, a first for the studio and aided by the spellbinding Stephen Strange. Compared to his stable mates, Doctor Strange has now surpassed the worldwide lifetime cumes of The Incredible Hulk ($263M), Captain America: The First Avenger ($371M), Thor ($449M), Ant-Man ($520M) and Iron Man ($585M). Domestically, the surgeon has levitated over the lifetimes of The Incredible Hulk ($135M), Cap 1 ($177M), Ant-Man ($180M) and Thor ($181M). It’s about to also pass Thor: The Dark World ($206.4M). Internationally, the film is bigger than The Incredible Hulk ($129M), Cap 1 ($194M), Iron Man ($266M), Thor ($268M), Iron Man 2 ($310M) and AntMan ($339M). Doctor Strange has also surpassed the lifetime cume of 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse at all three levels ($155M/$388M/$544M). He’s been particularly handsy in Asia with China as the No. 1 market at $109.6M, followed by Korea at $40.9M. The UK ($27.5M), Russia ($21.9M) and Brazil ($20.9M) round out the Top 5. This session’s only new opening was Argentina with a $1M No. 1 start ahead of a national holiday tomorrow.
Natalie Portman stands up for women
atalie Portman - like many actresses - is concentrating on trying to find scripts with strong female leads, and wishing that more of them were like the films of the 1950s and 60s, which “had strong female roles all the time.” “Even if they’ll make the occasional sexist comment, they still have a central woman character who has a personality... Now I feel like movies are all about white men, and then you get
a couple that happen to be about women,” she explained. The politically conscious actress is currently focusing her energy on an upcoming film in which she’ll play a jurist “whose legacy may now hang, in part, on whether she can stay on the high court long enough to outlast Trump,” writes reporter Boris Kachka. Thanks to Portman’s insistence, the film will be helmed by a female director. (-Vanity Fair)
Shetty’s comments appeared in a Times of India newspaper article about a new school syllabus for English literature. Welcoming new additions such as Harry Potter, she said it was important to cultivate children’s imagination -- and added that “Animal Farm should be included as it will
Couple claims Dhanush as their biological son; court summons actor by Sheela Das
HENNAI - An elderly couple form Madhurai has filed a petition claiming that Tamil actor Dhanush is their biological son and has sought a monthly maintenance of Rs 65,000 from the actor. Based on the petition, the court has summoned Dhanush to appear before it on January 12. Kathiresan, 60 and Meenakshi, 55 moved the Judicial Magistrate Court in Melur on November 7 and produced Dhanush’s birth certificate and some childhood photographs as evidence. They claimed that Dhanush’s real name was Kaliselvan, and he was born at the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai. The couple’s allegations have obviously created a storm in the Tamil film industry. A report in Free Press Journal quoted the couple as saying, “We named him Kalaichelvan and enrolled him in a school in Melur. When he completed class X, we got him admitted in class XI in a school in Sivaganga district. But he dropped out and moved to Chennai and changed his name to Dhanush K Raja and entered the world of cinema.” They realised that Dhanush was their son after watching him in his movies. The couple alleged that they tried to meet Dhanush several times, but were denied permission.
God gifted Psychic Neeti
To g e t h e r with her husband she owns a stake in the Indian Premier League cricket team Rajasthan Royals. (-AFP)
Shilpa Shetty (File Photo)
Amitabh Bachchan starrer ‘Pink’ to have special screening at UN
indi cinema megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s film Pink, which dealt with crime against women, has been invited for a special screening at the United Nations head quarters in New York.
Amitabh Bachchan (Photo courtesy NH STUDIOZ) The 73-year-old actor, who plays a lawyer in the film, took to Twitter to make the announcement. “’PINK’ invited for a special screening of the film at UN Head Quarters, in New York .. by Assistant Secretary General .. honoured,” Bachchan posted. Directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, the movie also starred Taapsee Pannu, Andrea Tariang and Kirti Kulhari in lead roles. It released on September 16. (-PTI) Dhanush became a household name after his song ‘Kolaveri Di’ from Tamil film ‘3’ went viral in 2012. He also made his Bollywood debut with 2013 film ‘Raanjhanaa’ opposite Sonam
Kapoor. He is the younger son of producer Kasthuri Raja and son-in-law if megastar Rajinikanth and is married to the ‘Kabali’ actor’s elder daughter, filmmaker Aishwarya.
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VOICE OF ASIA 16
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
HEALTHY LIVING VOICE OF ASIA
10 signs of stress for Alzheimer’s caregivers
oved ones who care for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can face real stress that often goes unrecognized and untreated. “It’s normal to need a break from caregiving duties,” said Leslie Gregory, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter. “No one can do it all by themselves. Consider taking advantage of respite care or help from family and friends to spend time doing something you enjoy.” November is National Family Caregivers Month and National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.
But caregiving can be physically, emotionally and financially draining. The Alzheimer’s Association has found that 59% of family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias rated their emotional stress as high or very high.
Music therapist Heather Davidson (L) greets Kathy McCullough (R) as she leads a drum circle with patients with Alzheimer’s disease at the Copper Ridge Care Center in Sykesville, Maryland. (Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP) Anxiety about the future and facing another day. What happens when he needs more care than I can provide? Depression that breaks your spirit and affects your ability to cope. I just don’t care anymore.
The Georgia Chapter has an early stage support group and “A Time To Talk” peer telephone support group to help.
Exhaustion that makes it nearly impossible to complete necessary daily tasks. I’m too tired for this.
Here are 10 signs of caregiver stress:
Sleeplessness caused by a neverending list of concerns. What if she wanders out of the house or falls and hurts herself?
Denial about the disease and its effect on the person who has been diagnosed. I know Mom is going to get better. Anger at the person with Alzheimer’s or frustration that he or she can’t do the things they used to be able to do. He knows how to get dressed — he’s just being stubborn. Social withdrawal from friends and activities that used to make you feel good. I don’t care about visiting with the neighbors anymore.
Irritability that leads to moodiness and triggers negative responses and actions. Leave me alone! Lack of concentration that makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks. I was so busy, I forgot my appointment. Health problems that begin to take a mental and physical toll. I can’t remember the last time I felt good. To help caregivers cope, the Alzheimer’s Association has a list of 10
Eli Lilly Alzheimer’s drug fails in clinical trial
IAMI - AFP - An experimental drug to fight Alzheimer’s disease, called solanezumab, failed in a major clinical trial, the US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly said Wednesday, as experts called the results “disappointing.” “Solanezumab did not meet the primary endpoint in the EXPEDITION 3 clinical trial, a phase 3 study of solanezumab in people with mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease,” said a statement. Those treated with the drug “did not experience a statistically significant slowing in cognitive decline compared to patients treated with placebo.” Eli Lilly said it will abandon attempts to get regulatory approval for the drug as a treatment for mild dementia. “The results of the solanezumab EXPEDITION 3 trial were not what we had hoped for and we are disappointed for the millions of people waiting for a potential disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease,” said John Lechleiter, the company’s chief executive officer. Eli Lilly had said in July that intermediate results were promising. “After positive news last summer we had high hopes for this drug to become
Trump Picks Seema Verma To Run Medicare and Medicaid President-elect Donald Trump unveiled two big health care decisions Tuesday.
by Jennifer Leslie, WXIA
In Georgia, there are more than a half million people providing care to 130,000 people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
the first to slow down Alzheimer’s disease,” said Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society. “It’s extremely disappointing to learn that it hasn’t delivered a meaningful change for people living with dementia, when the need is clearly so great.” Alzheimer’s Research UK’s David Reynolds said it has been nearly 15 years since a drug for Alzheimer’s made it to market. “Sadly, over 99 percent of clinical trials for new Alzheimer’s drugs have failed since then,” he wrote in a blog post. “To be successful in clinical trials, new Alzheimer’s drugs need to show benefits for memory and thinking that outweigh any effect of a placebo or ‘dummy’ treatment,” he added. “Sadly, no drug has yet overcome this hurdle and solanezumab has also fallen short.” None of the treatments available have been able to stop dementia. The World Health Organization says 36 million people worldwide suffer from dementia. The number of cases is expected to reach more than 65 million by 2030, and triple to 115 million by 2050.
ways to manage stress and be a healthier caregiver. “Contact your state’s Chapter of Alzheimer’s Association office to locate dementia care resources in your area.” Gregory added.
Marijuana doctors get new business buzz in California by Peter Hecht (The Sacramento Bee)
n the weeks since Californians voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the phones have been ringing more intensely and the flow of walk-in patients has picked up at 420 Med Evaluations, a midtown Sacramento clinic specializing in medicinal pot referrals. The passage of Proposition 64 on Nov. 8 instantly allowed adults 21 and older to consume marijuana, regardless of medical need. Along with that, went the thinking, people seeking pot for pleasurable pursuit no longer had to endure the inconvenience of going to a doctor and citing a physical ailment to get a medical recommendation to legally light up a joint. But the cannabis hopefuls showing up at marijuana dispensaries got a bummer of a realization: Marijuana stores won’t be selling recreational weed anytime soon. Proposition 64 will be phased in over the next year, as state officials and willing local governments set up regulations for retail sales. Estimates are that retail licenses could be available by mid-2017 – or maybe as late as Jan. 1, 2018. The upshot? Instead of business plummeting for pot doctors in the wake of legalization, some medical cannabis clinics are noticing an uptick in business as consumers realize they still need a physician’s recommendation to browse dispensary shelves of glistening marijuana buds, honey-hued concentrates and pot-infused brownies. “It’s been a crazy spike,” said Jill Beaver, office manager for 420 Med Evaluations, whose physicians have been giving out marijuana recommendations for eight years. “Normally, this is the slow season for us. But we’re averaging 50 to 60 patients a week.”
He picked Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services and tapped Seema Verma, a health care consultant, to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That’s the part of HHS that oversees Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and has a budget of just under a trillion dollarsin 2016. Verma comes to the job with extensive Medicaid experience. Her consulting firm, SVC, Inc., worked closely with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to design Indiana’s Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. The expansion, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, went into effect early last year, and Verma’s involvement in it may prove important as Congress and the Trump administration, including the Vice-president elect, make decisions on the future of Obamacare. Indiana’s unique Medicaid expansion was designed to appeal to conservatives. HIP 2.0 asks covered people to make a small monthly payment to access health insurance. A missed payment can result in six-month lockout from insurance coverage. Those provisions aren’t allowed under traditional Medicaid, but Indiana got a federal waiver to implement them. Other Republican-led states, such as Iowa, Ohio and Kentucky, have contracted with Verma’s firm to help submit their own Medicaid expansion proposals to the federal government that also include conservative provisions such as asking recipients to pay for some of their care, requiring them to work or to be actively looking for work. Susan Jo Thomas, who heads the Indiana insurance advocacy group Covering Kids and Families, says Verma’s contributions to HIP 2.0 made Medicaid expansion possible in a Republican state. “She understood that in order to get expansion in this state, it’s more about what is palatable, what can get approved,” she says. Nearly 410,000 people are members of HIP 2.0, according to the latest data from the state. But the Indiana approach has its critics. David Machledt, a policy analyst with the National Health Law Program, argues that provisions like denying coverage for a certain period of time or charging copays reduce participation. “Early evaluations show that a lot of people don’t understand this plan and don’t understand the incentives in it,” he says. That means people end up not getting the health care they need. Nevertheless, Machledt says, if
lenges for cannabis doctors. To keep clients, many medical pot clinics are planning to rebrand to broader holistic services. Some also are counting on new consumers wanting a physician’s guidance before trying pot, even as a
Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com
Medicaid expansion continues, Trump’s pick of Verma pick to head CMS could mean that proposals like Indiana’s may be more likely to be approved. Policy analyst Joan Alker, with the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, finds it worrisome. “It is a good thing that she has experience with Medicaid and it is a positive that Gov. Pence worked with Ms. Verma to advance a version of Medicaid expansion,” she says. “But I think if you look at the totality of the Trump administration’s picks today — Congressman Price as well as Ms. Verma — this represents potentially a very damaging and chaotic restructuring of the Medicaid program.” Price has advocated severely cutting Medicaid funding, and Alker worries that cuts and more stringent requirements under Verma would mean people will lose the health insurance. “The Healthy Indiana Plan has occurred in the context of generous federal funding,” she says. “And I think some of that is on deck to go away.” But Verma may be a smart pick, says Indiana Rep. Charlie Brown, the ranking Democrat in the state’s public health committee. “She is a smooth operator, and very, very persuasive,” he says. Brown worked in opposition to Verma in crafting the Healthy Indiana Plan, but said she was effective across party lines at incorporating the Pence administration’s wishes. “She’s very resourceful and intelligent,” says Brown. “But the question now becomes, ‘What will be her marching orders as they relate to Medicare and Medicaid?’ “ To pick right plan, contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.
recreational experiment. California’s medical marijuana law, passed in 1996, provides people a legal defense for using pot if they have a doctor’s recommendation.
In the long term, legalization of recreational marijuana is expected to pose chal-
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OPEC May Give Trump Energy Goals a Boost
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
Fearing tighter U.S. visa regime, Indian IT firms rush to hire, acquire
Agreement to cut production could lead to higher global oil prices by Russell Gold
onald Trump says he plans to make America energy independent. He may receive an unintended boost this week in the form of an oil production cut by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which could raise crude prices. Mr. Trump has pledged to slash regulations he sees as impediments to U.S. fossil-fuel industries. But, the U.S. has moved closer to energy independence in recent years. Oil imports are down and exports of natural gas and diesel are up. Overall, the net amount of energy brought into the country fell to 11.2% of domestic need in 2015 from 30.1% in 2006, according to Gregor Macdonald, an independent energy analyst. Energy experts say the biggest barrier to additional increased domestic oil production today is the low price of crude, not red tape. While the President-elect has certain extraordinary levers he could try to use to raise oil prices—including restricting imports of crude from countries such as Saudi Arabia— the actions could prove politically controversial, and likely to drive up prices at the pump, something politicians are historically loath to do. However, OPEC, which declined to curtail its output to put a floor on prices two years ago, is now trying to reach an agreement this week in Vienna to cut production as a way to address a continuing imbalance between supply and demand. That may be a boon for Mr. Trump and U.S. oil and gas producers, who helped create the global glut by using advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to unlock new supplies. Oil companies would be able to clean up damaged balance sheets, and increase the pace of drilling, if an OPEC production cut leads global prices to tick up over $50 a barrel and stabilize. In a YouTube video last week detailing his plans for his first 100 days in office, Mr. Trump promised to roll back regulations on energy. “I will cancel job-killing re-
strictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of highpaying jobs,” he said. While industry officials applaud such measures, many say they need higher prices to kick production into another gear. “To get the full blown benefit of all the reserves out there, you need a higher and stable price,” says Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Many people close to the incoming president view Saudi Arabia, a key OPEC member, with distrust. One of Mr. Trump’s key energy advisers is Harold Hamm, the chairman and chief executive of Continental Resources Inc. Mr. Trump has praised him as an “amazing friend” and a valuable guide on energy issues. In an interview earlier in November following Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Hamm suggested a new relationship with America’s overseas oil suppliers.
Although total energy independence may be difficult, if not impossible, for the U.S. to achieve, the country is closer to that goal today than it has ever been since the early 1970s.
“Some of the countries, Saudi Arabia in particular, have been treated too kindly, because of the large supply of oil,” Mr. Hamm said. “I don’t think that may be the case in the future.”
In August 2008, the U.S. produced five million barrels a day of crude oil. Eight years later, production was at 8.7 million barrels, according to the latest monthly tally from the Energy Information Administration.
Nonetheless, a coordinated agreement by OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, to tighten supplies to oversupplied oil markets could provide a windfall for independent oil and gas producers such as Mr. Hamm, and generate momentum for Mr. Trump’s energy-independence plans.
That is down from a peak of 9.6 million barrels daily in April 2015, as domestic oil production has fallen in recent months and imports have risen because lower global oil prices led U.S. producers to idle drilling rigs and cut production budgets. Still, the strength of American oil production gives Mr. Trump more room to maneuver, and more ability to adopt a foreign policy that challenges Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC. The U.S. boom “offers a grand opportunity to strengthen our ties with our allies and friends and gives us commercial leverage,” said Kathleen Harnett White, a former environmental regulator in Texas who is now a policy fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Austin. Mr. Trump and his advisers have railed against OPEC. “He is operating from this widespread view, formed in the 1970s, that OPEC is manipulating the price of oil to the detriment of the U.S.,” says Robert McNally, president of energyadvisory firm the Rapidan Group and a former National Security Council adviser for energy under President George W. Bush.
There is no question that the U.S. has the capacity to ramp up production, if prices support it. There is a sea of oil, in particular, in West Texas’ Permian Basin. The U.S. Geological Survey recently estimated that the area’s Wolfcamp Shale held 20 billion barrels of oil. That is three times the size of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, and the largest continuous oil accumulation ever assessed in the U.S. At present, operators in the Permian Basin produce about two million barrels a day. Bud Brigham, founder of Brigham Resources LLC, said production could double or triple within a few years. “It has legs and it has depth,” he said. If that were to happen, the U.S. would tilt even further from being an importer to an exporter nation. In 2008, U.S. oilmen such as Mr. Brigham were just beginning to figure out how to apply hydraulic fracturing technology to the Bakken Shale, the first steps in what has turned into a domestic oil renaissance in the U.S.
Fiat heir arrested in US for faking own kidnapping
E W YORK | AFP | One of the heirs to the Fiat automobile fortune, Lapo Elkann, has been arrested in New York for allegedly faking his own kidnapping, police said Tuesday, amid reports that he was trying to pay for a weekend of debauchery. According to several US media outlets, Elkann, the grandson of legendary Fiat founder Gianni Agnelli, tried to make his family believe he had been kidnapped when he ran out of money during a two-day bender of sex and drugs.
Employees of Indian software company Infosys walk past Infosys logos at their campus in the Electronic City area in Bangalore in this September 4, 2012 file photo. by Sankalp Phartiyal and Euan Rocha
ENGALURU, INDIA - Anticipating a more protectionist U.S. technology visa programme under a Donald Trump administration, India’s $150 billion IT services sector will speed up acquisitions in the United States and recruit more heavily from college campuses there. Indian companies including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro have long used H1-B skilled worker visas to fly computer engineers to the U.S., their largest overseas market, temporarily to service clients. Staff from those three companies accounted for around 86,000 new H1-B workers in 2005-14. The U.S. currently issues close to that number of H1-B visas each year. President-elect Trump’s campaign rhetoric, and his pick for Attorney General of Senator Jeff Sessions, a long-time critic of the visa programme, have many expecting a tighter regime. “The world over, there’s a lot of protectionism coming in and push back on immigration. Unfortunately, people are confusing immigration with a highskilled temporary workforce, because we are really a temporary workforce,” said Pravin Rao, chief operating officer at Infosys, India’s second-largest information technology firm. While few expect a complete shutdown of skilled worker visas as Indian engineers are an established part of the fabric of Silicon Valley, and U.S. businesses depend on their cheaper IT and software solutions, any changes are likely to push up costs. And a more restrictive pro-
gramme would likely mean Indian IT firms sending fewer developers and engineers to the United States, and increasing campus recruitment there. “We have to accelerate hiring of locals if they are available, and start recruiting freshers from universities there,” said Infosys’ Rao, noting a shift from the traditional model of recruiting mainly experienced people in the U.S. “Now we have to get into a model where we will recruit freshers, train them and gradually deploy them, and this will increase our costs,” he said, noting Infosys typically recruits 500-700 people each quarter in the U.S. and Europe, around 80 percent of whom are locals. ACQUISITIONS Trump’s election win and Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union are headwinds for India’s IT sector, as clients such as big U.S. and British banks and insurers hold off on spending while the dust settles. In India’s IT hub of Bengaluru and the financial capital Mumbai, executives expect a Trump administration to raise the minimum wage for foreign workers, pressuring already squeezed margins. Buying U.S. companies would help Indian IT firms build their local headcount, increase their on-the-ground presence in key markets and help counter any protectionist regulations. Indian software services companies have invested more than $2 billion in the United States in the past five years. North America accounts for more than half of the sector’s revenue. “We have to accelerate acquisitions,” said Rao at Infosys,
which in the past two years has bought companies including U.S.-based Noah Consulting and Kallidus Technologies. Jatin Dalal, Wipro’s chief financial officer, said his growth strategy is to buy companies that offer something beyond what Wipro already does, or new, disruptive firms - such as Appirio, a U.S. cloud services firm. The chief executive of Tech Mahindra, C.P. Gurnani, said his firm, which two years ago bought network services management firm Lightbridge Communications Corp, is on the look-out for more U.S. acquisitions, particularly in healthcare and fintech - financial technology firms that are disrupting traditional banking services. OFFSHORING & AUTOMATION In a broader shift from labour intensive onsite projects, Indian IT firms are also turning to higher-tech services such as automation, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) platforms. With better technology and faster networks, IT firms are encouraging Western clients to adopt more virtual services. Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka says he has focused on automation and AI as growth drivers since 2014. “The AI platform is 5-6 percent of our revenues,” he told Reuters. “Three years ago, it was zero.” More automation would mean fewer onshore developers. “The ‘Plan B’ would be to accelerate the trend ... to reduce their reliance on people and increase their focus on delivering automation, leveraging the cloud for their clients,” said Partha Iyengar, Gartner’s head of research in India.
China puts brakes on overseas spending spree
EIJING, China | AFP | Beijing is tightening screening on Chinese companies’ overseas investments, according to the government and reports, after a recordsetting shopping spree raised concerns of capital flight and reckless spending.
Industrialist Lapo Elkann is shown Sept. 4, 2015, ahead of the qualifying session at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza before the Italian Formula One Grand Prix. Lapo Elkann was arrested in New York last weekend for faking his own kidnapping with an escort, multiple news sources report on Nov. 29, 2016. (Photo: Andreas Solaro, AFP/Getty Images).
The 39-year-old Italian playboy reportedly spent that time with a transgender prostitute, with whom he consumed a cocktail of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine before running low on funds, the reports said. He reportedly came up with the plan to ask his family for $10,000 in ransom to pay for more drugs, US media said. The family alerted police, who arrested Elkann after determining his claims to be false. Elkann was ordered to appear in a New York court in January for falsely reporting an
incident before being released, police said, without confirming whether Elkann was found with a prostitute or whether drugs were involved. Police did not give the specific date for his next court appearance. Elkann’s brother John took over the helm of the Agnelli empire in May 2008 by becoming the head of the company that manages the family’s holdings. The Agnelli family controls about a 30 percent stake in Fiat, and 44 percent of the voting rights. Elkann made headlines in
2005 when he slipped into a coma after a drug overdose -also reportedly in the company of a prostitute. On Wednesday, Elkann posted a photo of himself on his Instagram account -- dressed in a bright red suit, he said he would be traveling “for business and creative projects around the world in the next few days.”
Authorities will “combine facilitating foreign investment with guarding against investment risks” by scrutinising proposed deals, said a statement posted on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planner, without giving details. New restrictions will ban most deals over $10 billion and curb investments of more than $1 billion in sectors unrelated to a company’s core business, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
But US media said that upon his arrival in New York, he sought out a prostitute.
State-owned companies will be barred from spending more than $1 billion on overseas property and the rules will last until September 2017, it added.
Elkann briefly held a job in Fiat’s marketing department, but then moved on to other projects. He is one of the founders of the eyewear brand Italia Independent.
Chinese firms have been on a multi-billion-dollar spending spree this year, culminating in state-owned ChemChina’s $43 billion bid for Swiss seed giant Syngenta.
Property-to-entertainment conglomerate Wanda Group bought Hollywood studio Legendary for $3.5 billion, appliance giant Midea took over leading German robotics firm Kuka for $5 billion, and insurer-turned-hotelier Anbang paid $6.5 billion for 16 luxury properties from hedge fund Blackstone. The tightening comes after authorities long urged private and state-owned enterprises to “go abroad” to buy foreign brands, technologies and resources in search of better returns and technological know-how. But increasing capital outflows from China have raised concerns with the yuan currency weakening against the dollar, hitting a nearly eight-year low this month. China has spent hundreds of billions of dollars from its vast foreign exchange reserves, the world’s largest, in its efforts to keep the yuan from falling too rapidly. Chinese investment in non-financial firms surged 53 percent year-on-year to $146 billion from January to October this year, government data showed. But while China has gone on a buying spree, foreign partners in
the US and EU have complained of a lack of reciprocal access to Chinese industries, with many sectors off-limits or restricted to outside investment. Among them are telecommunications, media, energy, and legal and financial services. And such spending -- often fuelled by cheap credit from state-owned banks -- has raised questions in Beijing about the viability of some trophy assets. In September a commerce ministry representative told reporters that “some companies went with overseas takeovers blindly. We found some firms did not make sufficient research into basics such as the purpose and necessity of overseas M&As. “Some ... rushed to expand while some were driven by irrational reasons to simply follow the craze or show off.” An editorial in Tuesday’s state-run China Daily newspaper said the rules targeted “outflows disguised as foreign investment”. While Chinese investing abroad was a “natural development”, it cautioned that rushing overseas at a time of uncertainty was irrational, adding: “Risky overseas investments could threaten financial stability.”
VOICE OF ASIA 18
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
Your Horoscope for the Week of December 2, 2016 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE
by Hardik Vyas, Astrologer Cell : 832-298-9950
Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct
Aries (A,L,E) 21 March to 20 April Realize that tempers may be short in sensitive areas of life. You need a break from away from extreme solutions to dealing with simple problems. Stay confident in who you are and you’ll be ensured a smoother ride. Being in between jobs or relationships can make you feel very isolated. A compromise on your part will restart stalled talks. By combining your resources, you’ll be able to find the perfect kind of operation. Your love life has suffered lately and now you need to start melting the heart that you love.
Human emotions cannot rule you, this time. You must try to look at things on an a more intellectual plane. Try your best to stay clear of those who try to bring you down to their level. You need to look beyond the immediate to understand how the bigger picture works. Everyone needs to feel secure, some may rely on luck but you have your own strategy in place. In order to succeed, you must first expand your reach beyond here and now. Each step you take now will be bold and relevant. You know what must happen, but your patience is wearing thin.
Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May
Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov
Step back and realize that things aren’t quite as bad as you thought. Your positive flow has actually put you in a better position than you were before. You may have to act before you think you are ready to do so. Trust your intuition and don’t allow others to intimidate you. Friendships and love relationships will flourish once you decide to speak strongly from your heart. Your wishes and dreams will thrive on the new secure place you’ve found within yourself.
Save time and money by drawing on the resources that you already possess. If this strategy has worked for you in the past, then it will probably work again. Strike a happy medium with authorities who are being too rigid about your boundaries. An apology, a smile or a hug will get you what you want. Things are changing quickly and you need to get with the program. True friendships will be able to withstand the upcoming changes. By week’s end you’ll feel in control once again.
Sagittarius (BH,F,DH,TH) 22 Nov to 21 Dec
Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June You know just which emotions to draw out of others and when to do it. You could combine valid points of view to provide a dynamic effort. Supporters will rally for your cause. Look upward and forward. Doubts should not be considered an option. Teamwork is easy for you and it could prove to be very profitable, in the long run. You’ll come out ahead no matter where you start from. By week’s end, you may get tired of being patient. Selfishness will try to rear it’s ugly head, unless you get what’s rightfully yours.
The warmth you feel inside will spark your passion for life. Get out there and enjoy all that life has to give. Look past others misgivings in order to take advantage of their expertise. You may not understand all the workings of a new technology, but you can figure out how to use it for your own purpose. Check your list and make sure you cover all the bases. Others will be ready to open up to you and to share all of what they have, both spiritually and physically. In time, you’ll do well, but don’t expect the cash to flow immediately.
Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan
Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July There’s usually a reason for everything that you do, but your creativity may be driven more out of necessity than talent. If you want to try to turn this situation around, you’d better start now. Use the raw materials you have on hand to demonstrate your idea of art and beauty. You’ll have no choice but to be yourself when you journey on this new adventure. By week’s end, the mysteries will start to wear thin and expose the harsh reality that really exists. You may have to temporarily withdraw from your profession in order to handle this personal matter.
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. Someone who you’ve recently pushed away will try to return into your life. 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. The week end’s activities will provide you with food, friends and good conversations.
Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb
Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Others are the same as always, but your perception of them will change radically. Be aware that your words and your actions will affect them greatly. You can probably talk your way out it, but everybody is watching to see the outcome. Stay calm and your confidence level will rise. Everybody wants security, but their concepts may be different than yours. Your job is to find some common ground and then to start from there. Call for a truce and really listen to others’ opinions. Seek the help of those who want to be productive instead of destructive.
You have a great network of allies that can provide you with some solid support. Partnerships will bring you more resources than if you try to go it alone. Listen to reason rather than emotion. If you start to promote your own ideas others will find it hard to deny your requests. By week’s end, you should try to slow down your pace a little so you don’t forget certain details that are important to you. You’ll need a cool and level head while others are losing theirs. A secret will be revealed in time, so you’d better learn to wait.
Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March
Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September If you try to push the process faster, something will hit the fan. Unfounded suspicions and accusations will only make others more uncomfortable. It’s better to keep quiet than to be negative. A surprise will shake things up and provide you with some answers. Try to be as discreet as possible. You’re ready to accept the news but not everybody is. If you expect the circumstances to change, you’ll be ahead of the competition. By week’s end, you should take a couple of days to just lay low and wait.
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 stirred up into a romantic flurry. Wish on a star, it may just come true.
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VOICE OF ASIA 19
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE WEEK Three Good Reasons to Admit You’ve Failed
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Voice of Asia Newsweekly has been in Houston since 1987
1. newsWe reports in Englishand by covering the event. forWrite 29 years. are expanding we are looking for (300 500 words) required some evenings & weekends. serious, dedicated people with a true ﬂair for covering 2. Take clear photographs of newsworthy people and newsworthy places. events. If you are the person, or you know someone would the perfect ﬁt, give us aincall today. 3. We are who looking for be reporters to cover events different South Asian communities like Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil Hindi, Calland us Malayalam. at 713-774-5140 to attend an interview.
As a leader, admitting failure is critical. Many people try to shrug off missteps as things that happen to everyone. Although doing so might seem harmless, there are many good reasons why you should admit you’ve messed up. Here are three: To connect with your employees. While it’s true that employees won’t want to discuss their own failures, they are more likely to connect with leaders who admit to theirs. Even if the specific failure isn’t applicable to staff, simply talking about it helps you connect. To learn. Failure is only positive when you learn something important from it and make the necessary adjustments. If you don’t do this, you cannot learn from outside perspectives and you’re more likely to stay in denial. To tolerate mistakes in others. As much as leaders openly say that failure must happen for innovation to be present, many get upset at staff who fail or struggle. That attitude shuts up staff, closes down experimentation, and obliterates creativity. Set an example that failure is OK. Source: Adapted from “Don’t Be a Hypocrite About Failure,” by Justin Brady WWW.HBR.ORG
Owning a camera is a plus. Must be computer savvy. Voice of Asia Newsweekly has been in Houston since 1987 for 29 years. We are expanding and we are looking for serious, dedicated people with a true ﬂair for covering newsworthy events. If you are the person, or you know someone who would be the perfect ﬁt, give us a call today. Call us at 713-774-5140 to attend an interview.
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VOICE OF ASIA 20
FRIDAY, December 2, 2016
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Published on Dec 1, 2016
Voice of Asia Newspaper is based in Houston since 1987. We reach South Asian and Asian American families in Houston and surrounding cities i...