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VOICE OF ASIA

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

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28 years dedicated service toCounties the community Serving Harris,ofFort Bend and Surrounding for 29 years Vol. 30 No. 18 Friday, May 5, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: voiceasia@aol.com


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FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

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

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Trump Promises Protections for Preexisting Conditions That May Not Be Delivered by GOP Bill Read on Page 18 or Call 832-806-1000

Vol. 30 No. 18 Friday, May 5, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: voiceasia@aol.com

20,000 Indians to return from Saudi Arabia via amnesty scheme by Daniel George|

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HENNAI: (TNN) | May 3, 2017) - Thousands of Indian workers stranded in Saudi Arabia after travelling there illegally and those who overstayed their visas, including a large number from Tamil Nadu, are ready to return to India under a 90 day amnesty period that the kingdom’s government has offered them. Speaking to TOI by telephone from Riyadh on Tuesday, Anil Nautiyal, counsellor (community welfare) at the Indian embassy, said 20,321 Indian nationals had applied till Monday evening to return home under the amnesty scheme. Around 1,500 blue collar workers from Tamil Nadu are among those who are using the amnesty to come back to the country . Most of the other workers who are availing of the scheme are from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Nautiyal said the Saudi Arabian gov-

Sri Meenakshi Pattabhishekam at Sri Meenakshi Temple

ernment had set up an exclusive centre in Riyadh for Indian nationals who want to exit the country. The Indian embassy had appealed to all Indians staying in Saudi Arabia illegally to take advantage of the amnesty that, unlike a similar offer in 2013 that was restricted to Riyadh and Jeddah, is available in 21 locations across the kingdom, he said. “The majority of applications we received were from blue collar workers wanting to return to India,” Nautiyal said. “The numbers are fewer than during the 2103 amnesty period but many families who overstayed now want to use the scheme to return.” “Volunteers are assisting embassy officials through the entire process,” he said. “We have put up tents in the embassy and consulate for the Indians who have applied to fly back to India.” Most applicants expressed relief at being able to return home.

“I have been through hell in the last four years, working for four different sponsors, most of whom did not pay me,” said P Murugavel a native of Kallakurichi taluk in Villupuram district, who is now returning home. “The working and living conditions were harsh. I am thankful for the amnesty offer and that I am returning home even though I’m empty-handed and do not know what the future holds for me.” Nautiyal said Saudi officials are giving out passes (one-way travel documents the authorities issue to Indian nationals to travel back home in the absence of passports) and exit visas free of charge to applicants. While they are facilitating the exit process, the applicants have to pay the flight cost. Saudi Arabian government had set up an exclusive centre in Riyadh for Indian nationals who want to exit the country.

India’s Srishti Kaur wins Miss Teen Universe pageant

Read report on page 10

Two dead at Texas college in apparent murder-suicide

W

ASHINGTON, | AFP | Wednesday 5/3/2017 - One person and a suspected shooter were killed Wednesday at a community college campus near Dallas in an apparent murdersuicide, according to local police. North Lake College in Irving, Texas locked down its campus following reports of an active shooter in the area at approximately 11:45 am local time (1645 GMT), according to local media. Approximately an hour later police found two bodies in a campus building. “We have what appears to be one victim deceased & the shooter has committed suicide,” the Irving Police Department announced on Twitter. “There appears to be no continuing threat but police will continue to search to make the campus safe.” Neither person has been publicly identified and the college said it would remain closed for the rest of the day.

Visit us Online www.voiceofasiaonline.com

Srishti Kaur of India is crowned Miss Teen Universe in Managua.

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ANAGUA, Nicaragua | AFP | - Srishti Kaur from India on Tuesday was crowned Miss Teen Universe 2017, beating out 25 other contestants from around the world in the annual beauty pageant. Samantha Pierre from Canada and Ary Trava from Mexico were the

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OP-ED/COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS

VOICE OF ASIA 4

The first 100 days presidential review mania - a media creation of no consequence

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

Shobana Muratee

All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the consent of the publisher. Voice of Asia assumes no liability resulting from action taken based on the information included herein. Published weekly by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713-7745143. Email for editorial submissions: voiceasia@aol. com; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions: ads@voiceofasiagroup.com

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.

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Chandra K. Mittal, Ph.D by Chandra K. Mittal, Ph.D.

L

ast week, till President Donald Trump reached his first 100 Days mark since taking over as the 45th US President, the American media was having a frenzy about his job performance at this “magical” time-point to predict the future trajectory of his term which will, incidentally, complete only in January 2021. Sounds ridiculous? Absolutely, because it is. But no matter how ridiculous, nutty or illogical the idea of evaluating a US President’s performance for the First 100 Days may be, the tradition continues with full fervor sucking enormous amount of media time and energy without much consequence or relevance except television ratings of the networks. The practice of 100 Days Presidential performance evaluation is not a Congressional or Constitutional mandate. It is just a media creation that came into existence purely by default in 1933, when media used it to gaze and highlight the progress Franklin D Roosevelt had made within his first 100 days of taking over the US Presidency from Herbert Hoover under most dire economic circumstance. The country was in the middle of the Great Depression with wide spread poverty and high unemployment. FDR quickly acted to reverse the situation by various legislative and executive measures, and was credited for bring the country out of the economic morass in a short span of 100 Days. This built public confi-

dence in FDR. But today nation does not face anything like what it did in the 1930s. Still some 84 years later, the tradition continues despite its irrelevance and poor predictive value. This was best illustrated by Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. In case of Carter, 1st 100 days showed great progress but then his term was marred with low economic growth, high interest rates and Iran hostage crisis denying him the 2nd term. Converse was true with President Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton, both of whom experienced shaky 1st 100 days but later created sustained economic growth, making them both the two-term popular Presidents. Similarly, President John F. Kennedy saw the humiliation of Bay of Pigs in 1961 during his first 100 days in office but later became a successful President with economic boom. This reflects the intellectual bankruptcy of the idea of evaluating a US President in the 1st 100 days. In 2017, however, the 100 Days performance mania assumed special significance because besides media, President Donald Trump also participated in this frenzy when he made tall claims during the election campaign and placed extraordinary emphasis on achieving certain national goals within 100 days if he were elected. This obviously gave extra fodder to the media, which felt compelled to scrutinize his performance much to his dislike. Media wants to literally hold him accountable for his political rhetoric. So, Donald Trump essentially become victim of his own deeds. Unfortu-

nately, this is not totally justified on the part of media since many of his election promises require Congressional approval, an inherently slow process, before these can be delivered. The institution of press and media is the creation of the United States Constitution under the provisions of the First Amendment Rights of free speech. It is a vital component of an open democratic society. Media works best and is most credible when it is objective, truthful and politically independent, not aligned to any political viewpoint. Unfortunately, however, today’s political polarization has seeped into the media polluting sanctity of this sacred institution. In many instances, it is biased and partisan. This is sad for US democracy. On the other side ideally, the President while being accessible to the media, should not entangle with it in any personalized or argumentative posture as it demeans the office. But that is not the case with President Donald Trump who, since the campaign stage, has openly continued to publicly admonish the media with insults and denigration, creating an adversarial relationship with it. He has a personal disdain for the media. So, now every time the President makes a policy move, the media overanalyzes it to criticize him. It is not willing to cut him any slack or show understanding because he has no experience of an elected political office. In short, Donald Trump has had no honeymoon with the press. As irrelevant and imperti-

nent as it is, ideally first 100 days’ mark into the Presidency should not be of much concern to the President. As Karl Rove, Senior Adviser to President Gorge W. Bush recently stated on a television program, they (i.e. President Bush) did not care or pay attention to the 100 Day mark in their term. In contrast, however, not to be undone by the media or be left behind in the public campaign to exhibit his achievements, President Trump was busy building up his resume with his Executive Orders, future action plans, Supreme Court appoint, etc. to trumpet his 100 days’ success to reassure his political base. Nobody has the crystal ball to predict the future including the present one based on first 100 days. Only thing that can be learned from this duration is the style, attitude and aptitude of the President towards the office. In case of President Trump, it shows he is transitioning from a business executive to public servant in the highest office in the land with goals that are distinct and different from the business world. In this role he could be better served if he did not personalize the office and treated it purely like an public institution with many stake holders including the media. In the end, the national and global circumstances shape the Presidency and not what a President did or did not do in the first 100 days of his term. Dr. Chandra Mittal is Professor at Houston Community College and Co-Founder of Indo-American Association (IAA). Contact: drckmittal@ yahoo.com: Twitter: @drchandramittal

Cartoon by Bob D’Amico

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COMMUNITY VOICE OF ASIA

VOICE OF ASIA 5

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Second Front Page

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Tel: 713-774-5140

Mar Chrysostom Birth Centenary Celebration and Ecumenical Fellowship

M

ar Chrysostom Birth Centenary Celebration and Ecumenical Fellowship held on Friday April 21, 2017 in E Hotel and Banquet Center, New Jersey.

www.voiceofasiaonline.com

AAPI praises contributions of its member, past Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy

Proceeds from this celebration will go to “meals on wheels” project in Kerala initiated by Chrysostom Thirumeni. Picture below- Rev. Dr. Philip Varghese, Rev. Denny Philip, Archbishop Mor Titus Yeldho Rt. Rev. Dr. Johncy Itty, Dr. Zachariah Mar Nicholovos Metropolitan, Rt. Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Philoxenos, Dr. Cleophus J. LaRue, Dr. John Lincoln, Ms. Sini Jacob, Ms. Kusumam Titus, Ms. Nirmala Abraham Pic on bottom right: Ms. Lynn Keerikattu (Diocesan Council Member 20172020, Immanuel Mar Thoma Church Houston), Mrs. Sini Jacob (Diocesan Council Member 2014-2017, Immanuel Mar Thoma Church Houston), Ms. Thara Mathews (Diocesan Council Member 2017-2020 Mar Thoma Church of Dallas, Farmers Branch).

Dr. Vivek Murthy Most Rev. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan.

doctors of Indian heritage is evident, as increasingly physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in the healthcare, academic, research and administrative positions across the nation. With their hard work, dedication, compassion, and skills, they have thus carved an enviable niche in the American medical community. AAPI’s role has come to be recognized as vital among members and among lawmakers. The surgeon general represents the Health and Human Services Secretary in addressing public health practice in the nation. Murthy, 39, was America’s youngest-ever top doctor, and is also the first surgeon general of IndianAmerican representing the next generation of Indian American physician. His ethics, quiet leadership style and impeccable credentials made him the smart choice for this position.

Dr. Murthy has attended several AAPI meetings and has always acknowledged the contributions of AAPI and the Indian community in his statement which he quoted as ,”I am proud of our community of Indian physicians for all the progress that we have made over the years, and I know that AAPI has been a critical force in making this process possible. The advice you shared and assistance you kindly offered were important pieces of this journey,”

Rt. Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Philoxenos speaking on the occasion.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Philoxenos.

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EW YORK, NY: April 23, 2017 “On behalf of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), I want to applaud the many contributions and initiatives of Dr. Vivek Murthy, our AAPI member, in the healthcare sector in very short span of about two years since he became US Surgeon General in 2014,” said Dr. Ajay Lodha, President of AAPI.

L-R: Lynn Keerikattu, Sini Jacob and Thara Mathews

Dr. Murthy, grand son of a farmer ,second generation Indian American physician ,said, he will always be grateful to

The growing influence of

“our country for welcoming my immigrant family nearly 40 years ago and giving me this opportunity to serve. Dr. Murthy played key role in bringing to the forefront many crucial health issues confronting the nation. In a landmark report on addiction released in November, said dependency on opioids and other substances must not be looked on as a “character flaw,” in the first publication from a surgeon general that has addressed drug and alcohol addiction. Murthy embarked on a three-month listening tour of the U.S. ahead of a ceremonial swearing in to listen to the people and professionals before taking on this important role. AAPI is shocked and saddened with his departure and wishes him well as he moves on to a new phase in life and is confident that his talents. skills, and experiences will be utilized effectively for the greater good of the nation.

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FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Independent Contractor or Employee?

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take the risk. However, in addition to potential federal tax-related consequences, misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor could lead to a plethora of other problems. Examples of potential violations are as follows:

www.peopleslawyer.net Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Social security is protected from creditor Q. I owe a lot of money. I own very little, and have no savings. I live on my social security payment. A credit card company is now suing me. Can it take any money from my social security payments when they are deposited into my bank account? I know wages are exempt and cannot be taken. What about social security? A. As you say, in Texas wages are generally exempt from the claims of creditors. This means that even if a creditor sues you, it may not garnish your wages to pay the debt. The major exceptions to this rule are debts for child support, student loans and certain taxes. Social security benefits also may not be garnished but this is based on federal law, not Texas law. The United States Code provides that social security payments directly deposited into your bank account are not subject to garnishment or attachment by a credit card company, even if it sues and gets a judgment against you. Q. I was going to sue a contractor in small claims court for doing faulty work. Before I had a chance to do anything, he filed suit against me for not paying the full amount. Do I still have the right to file my claim? A. You may still file your claim, but you do not file it as a separate lawsuit. You file what is called a “counterclaim” in the contractor’s lawsuit. The court then hears both claims and rules on them at the same time. Q. I just got a call from a debt collector saying that if I

did not promptly pay, he would take my tax refund before. My wife and I have been counting on this money to pay some other expenses. We have been paying the debt collector all we can afford. Can the debt collector do this? A. The debt collector cannot garnish your federal tax refund. Tax refunds may be taken by creditors in only very limited circumstances. For example, a refund may be taken for a debt owed to the federal government, a debt owed to a state, or a debt for past-due child support. Threatening to take your tax refund also probably violates state and federal debt collection laws. Under these laws, a debt collector is prohibited from making threats to take legal action he has no right to take. I suggest you let the debt collector know that you know your legal rights and continue to pay what you can afford. You also may want to speak with a consumer law attorney. Q. My father is 82 and would like to give me his truck. My sister says if he gives me his truck, she must be given equal value in cash. My father’s will states that all his property will be divided equally between his two children. My question is, what is my sister entitled to? A. Right now, your sister is not entitled to anything. A will is effective only upon death, and deals only with property in the estate at the time of death. Prior to his death, your father may distribute his property in whatever manner he wants. He has no legal obligation to distribute his property in accordance with the terms of his will. If he wants to favor one

child over another, he has a legal right to do so. This is true even though it means there will be less property to distribute after his death. And by the way, if he gives you the truck, you will still be entitled to your full share of his other property when the estate is distributed. Q. I have been laid-off. I found another job, but it is almost 35 miles from where I now live. Can I get out of my lease based on the change in employment? A. Unfortunately, unless your lease has a provision allowing you to terminate early if you lose your job, the answer is no. A lease is nothing more than a contract, and the terms of the agreement determine both parties’ rights. Although it may seem unfair to hold someone to a lease when they lose their job, become ill, marry, or have another good reason for leaving, the law does not recognize any of these events as an excuse to break a lease. In fact, it may be unfair to the landlord, who has committed his property for a period of time, to allow a tenant to break a lease for such an event. The bottom line is that if you leave early, you may owe rent for the period of time it remains unoccupied. I suggest you try to work something out with the landlord. He may be willing to accept one or two month’s rent to release you. Do you want to know more about your legal rights? Check out my website, www.peopleslawyer.net

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mall businesses frequently choose to classify some or all of their workers as independent contractors, thinking it’s an easy way to avoid taxes, and their workers get more money in their pocket in the shortterm because there are no immediate deductions. So everybody is happy, right? No. At least not the government. As most companies know, the IRS has a general checklist to determine whether it is appropriate to classify a worker as an independent contractor, yet they’re often still willing to

Notification Act in the event of mass layoffs or plant closings Although risking the misclassification may at first glance seem to be a risk worth taking, that is an incorrect assumption. The potential violations could be staggering, and all businesses should make sure they are properly classifying their workers. Disclaimer This article is for general information purposes and is not to be construed as specific legal advice. Bio Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney Nitin Sud represents employees, executives, and small businesses in a variety of labor and employment matters, including litigation in state and federal courts. For more information, visit www.sudemploymentlaw.com

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Historic Downtown Rosenberg ready for May family fun by Averil Gleason

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OSENBURG, May 3, 2017 - A fine summer festival of live music, art exhibits, the now-legend-

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

said. “There will be lots of fun and exciting activities, entertainment and special events in Rosenberg every weekend for the next few weeks.”

Another Time Soda Fountain, 800 Third St., will offer live music on two Fridays in May. Cody Ray Henry is scheduled to perform from 6-8 p.m. on

www.voiceofasiaonline.com

Missouri City’s Legacy of Leadership Mayor Owen delivers State of the City address by Jacob David

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ISSOURI CITY, TX - Mayor of Missouri City Allen Owen, the city’s 10th mayor, addressed a packed hall of professionals from every quarter of Houston, at the Quail Valley City Center, located on 2880 La Quinta, as Missouri City successfully completes 60 years, since its formal inception back in 1956. Sterling Carter, Chairman, Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, introduced the Mayor. In his opening remarks, the Mayor thanked his dedicated staff, about whom he stated, “my great team without which none of this would have been possible.” He thanked the city officials, commissioners, seven council members, the school board and local businesses. He credited the importance of a good school district with a strong leadership, which plays a very important part in the lives of students and the city’s economic development. Owen has served the city as Mayor since his election on May 7, 1994. The city was the All America City Award finalist in 2016. Mayor Allen Owen delivering his address. Photo (s) credit: City of Missouri City.

Continued on Page 8

Learning how cowboys and rodeo performers get the skills needed for roping (Photo: HDR Facebook) ary monthly Sidewalk Sale and a 5th anniversary celebration highlight Rosenberg Main Street Program’s festivities for the month of May. The Downtown Rosenberg Main Street Program is constantly working to create events catering to residents of the area, according to Main Street Program Manager Dan Kelleher. “Rosenberg Main Street Program is a coalition of volunteers who work in partnership to promote and improve downtown Rosenberg,” Kelleher

Kicking off the month of May, Historic Downtown Rosenberg is holding Kathy Golden’s contemporary art show, Portrait of Essence, at BR Vino, 1917 Ave. G. Thirty-two pieces of her whimsical realist art cover the walls of the restaurant. Seventy-five percent of the 32 pieces were painted specifically for the space based on the lighting and atmosphere of the restaurant, Golden shared. Golden’s work ranges from $198 to $600 and can be seen at BR Vino until July.

May 12, and Tommy Lawrence will play on May 19 from 6-8 p.m. Every Saturday night in May there will be live music at BR Vino, 1917 Ave. G, from 7:3010:30 p.m. And on May 20, BR Vino will have its fifth anniversary celebration. The event will take place from 7:30-10:30 p.m. On May 20, participating shops in downtown Rosenberg will hold their monthly Third Saturday Sidewalk Sale. Sales begin in the afternoon.

Mayor Owen with Grady Prestage, Mayor Allen Owen, Don Smith, Floyd Emery, Anthony Maroulis and Mike Berezin.

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Dulles Middle School Student Council presents International Festival

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ort Bend ISD (April 28, 2017) – Dulles Middle School held its first International Night on April 20, welcoming a large crowd of parents, students and community members to campus. The event celebrated the diversity of the student body and included performances, a Cultural Gallery Walk, and more. The event was organized by the DMS Student Council. The students expressed interest in organizing a celebration of the campus, and after considering how best to do that, it was decided that an international

festival would be best. With such a great reception from parents and the community, there is already talks of making the festival an annual event. With so many contributions from students – as leaders, cultural ambassadors and guests – the event was a great showcase for the Dulles Middle School community. “The beauty of the International Festival was that we could celebrate and embrace our school for who we are,� said Georgie Daniel, DMS teacher and Student Council sponsor.

Fort Bend ISD Athletics Dept. to host Scholarship Signing Ceremony

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ORT BEND ISD (May 1, 2017) – The Fort Bend ISD Athletics Department will be hosting a Scholarship Signing Ceremony on Friday, May 5, 2017 at 8 a.m. at the Wheeler Field House (16403 Lexington Dr., Sugar Land 77479). Any FBISD student athlete participating in a sport and signing a national letter of intent to further their education and continue their athletic career will be recognized during this ceremony. Family and friends are invited to attend. This event is also open to the media.

Missouri City’s Legacy of Leadership Continued from Page 7 The Mayor urged everyone to get out and vote in the coming elections to ensure a strong government in place to ensure the best in technology, infrastructure, prime bond rating, conservative operating budget, the planning of new commercial and residential developments, and the redevelopment of existing businesses, and the best possible use of available land in Missouri City. A Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) a Council appointed group, consisting of residents and consultant, Freese & Nichols has identified four zones for growth and development. These areas are: 1. Texas Parkway. 2. Cartwright Road. 3. FM 1092 4. Fort Bend Parkway. A video thanking the council members was played to honor Floyd Emery - Mayor Pro Tem, District D; Yolanda Ford, District A, Don Smith, District B; Anthony Maroulis, District C; Jerry Wyatt, At Large Position # 1; and Chris Preston At Large Position # 2; for their dedicated service. He then mentioned the various projects that were underway, creating economic growth and vibrancy in Missouri City.

Exhibits in the school hallway included an Egyptian table (above left). An informal parade through the school included Asian countries and students in traditional dress (Photos: Facebook/FBISD)

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

The City Hall re-development is underway to include a Visitor’s Center using funds from the Hotel Occupancy Tax. There are new development and redevelopment opportunities taking place in the city. Discount Tires is opening a new location on Texas Parkway to create jobs and serve the city’s residents. Gardner Capital Development is spending about $18 Million to build two senior housing facilities with 160 - 240 units, for mixed-use, near Texas Parkway and Turtle Creek Drive, for residents, ages 55 and older. Gala residence will be situated on 6 acres and Jubilee residence having 7.5 acres. Stripes has opened a new convenience store in Missouri City creating jobs and providing economic benefits to the city. Houston commu-

Mayor Allen Owen and Anthony Snipes City Manager for Missouri City. nity college has opened its new education center with 69,340 square feet at a budget of $21.5 Million. Park Eight Ninety has about 439,704 square feet of warehouse space to lease with tax incentives from Fort Bend and Missouri City. He thanked the following companies for donating food and water to the event: Ben E. Keith Foods responsible for creating 419 jobs, and Niagra Water Bottling that employs 165 people. Burger King and Dairy Queen fast food restaurants have renovated their buildings. The Mayor stated that the city Police and Fire Academy were hiring. The Mayor wanted citizens to recognize “Denim Day� which notes a matter of public safety to raise awareness about sexual violence. He congratulated Eugene Campbell, the new fire chief, who was unanimously approved by the council on September 6, 2016, and oversees 74 public safety officials. He also thanked the Municipal Court services. He said there has been a 14% property value increase and the property taxes help the city improve its infrastructure like pavements, roads, bridges, school zone safety, traffic operations, and the addition of new cameras to regulate signals and the flow of traffic. Mayor Allen Owen commended Anthony Snipes, City Manager, for his positive con-

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tribution to the city in the last two years. He is the seventh city manager to replace Ed Broussard. Anthony believes in Actions and Results, he said. He was grateful that Anthony had helped refinance the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s debt obligations of $72.66 Million, saving its residents a total of $10.76 Million in interest payments alone over the next 20 years. Anthony is also responsible for starting the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nuisance Abatement Teamâ&#x20AC;? with the help of members of Code Enforcement, Police officers, the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Development and Legal department, to measure outcomes on code enforcement initiatives. Overall, this would help residents to live peaceably and maintain attractive property values. The Mayor mentioned that there is a motion underway to separate the tie up of the Missouri City Hotel Occupancy Tax (H.O.T for short) from the city of Houston. Currently, they are intertwined, which puts a constraint on Missouri cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget, slowing down city development. Mayor Allen Owen closed on a high note that a job fair is being organized in Missouri City on June 7th which is a 2 days event. Local employers would be present. The bond issuance for $15.5 M for the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth and development has also been approved, he said. Lastly, the mayor said he was glad to be the mayor of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Show me Cityâ&#x20AC;?.

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Sri Guruvayurappan Temple’s 1st Anniversary celebrations feature ancient temple art forms From April 30 through May 13, 2017

Kathakali presentations Biju Pillai

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rathishta Anniversary Festival of Sri Guruvayurappan Temple, Houston is from April 30th through May 13, 2017 at 11620 Ormandy St. Temple observed Prathishta Anniversary day on Sunday, April 30 in presence of several hundreds of devotees. Numerous auspicious rituals were performed under the direction of Thantri Brahmasri Kariannur Divakaran Nambuthiri. Udayasthamana Pooja started Monday, May 1st and will continue till Thursday, the day festival formally starts with flag hoisting ceremony. The kodiettu (hoisting flag ceremony) is scheduled for late evening, Thursday, May 4 in presence of large number of devotees and dignitaries from Greater Houston area. Sri Guruvayurappan Temple at Houston has gained the reputation both as a prominent place of Sri Krishna worship and as a center where several ancient temple art forms are presented. One would find that the annual utsavam (festival) incorporates several key elements of the traditions established at the ancient famous Guruvayoor Temple of Kerala, India. Many attractions are included in this year’s festival. The astonishing percussionists of Pallavoor family (Sridharan and Sreekumar Marar) will present varieties of chenda melam all through the event. The distinct styles of melams include Chembada, Panchari,

Devotees at Sri Guruvayurappan Temple at Houston Thayambaka, Edakka vadyam etc. will capture your attention. Rendition of Ashtapadi (Sanskrit Hymns from Gita Govinda, written in 12th century) as a tradition, especially in Sri Krishna Temple is melodious and enjoyable. You will experience the special divine ambience in this unique edifice as you listen to this. A major attraction and special feature of this year’s celebrations is the presentation of Kathakali (Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 pm), the highly developed art form that was born and nurtured by the temples of Kerala. Naturally, themes of Kathakali are primarily extracted from Hindu mythology. Kathakali is globally acclaimed as one of the best art forms and it takes years of training to perform on stage. In the famous Guruvayoor temple, Kerala India, Kathakali offering and perfor-

mance in Utsavam time is well praised. This year Sri Guruvayurappan, temple Houston will witness the performance of a great epic art, Prahlada Charitham Kathakali. Mohini-Attam (will be performed on Friday May 12 at 8pm) is another art form mostly focused on themes pertinent to devotion and philosophical thinking. The grand Carnatic music recital by Vidwan Sri Sankaran Nambuthiri will be one of the major attractions as a grand finale on Saturday, May 13 at 7pm. The auspicious ritual, Aarattu is on the final day of the festival (evening of May 13). Every evening throughout the 10 days of festival, prominent art schools of Greater Houston will present their best. During the festival period, Consulate General of India, Houston in association with the Sri Guruvayurappan Temple of

Houston would be organizing a one-day consular camp on Saturday, May 6th from 10 am to 4 pm. Our Temple ground is literally experiencing a festive atmosphere with busy preparation for Utsavam events, auspicious rituals and ardent Sri Krishna Bhakathi. Annadhanam sponsorship and preparation is very popular and sacred tradition during Utsavam. Please call temple for annadhanam sponsorship. Special rituals include Kalashabhishekom, Sreebhoothabali, Udayasthamana pooja and Utsava Bali. Udayasthamana Pooja is one of the most popular offerings at the famous Guruvayoor Temple in India (sponsorship requires early booking). For more information please contact temple (713-729-8994) or visit: www.guruvayurappanhouston.org

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Real Estate Corner by Dilip Kapasi

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eal Estate is a great investment option as it can generate an ongoing income and over the years some worthy appreciation of the property. Even as it is not a liquid form of an investment, it is in many cases immune from relatively small ups and downs of the economy, perhaps a reason why it is called, a “Real” estate. The need for people to live in an affordable house will remain the same over the years. In any state of economy, a person or a family has this pressing need to live at some place. In most probable cases, only the ones who have risen above a certain mark in the economy can think of a second home for investment. In essence, real estate investment is one strategy to begin building wealth, but it needs to be carefully planned and managed. The tax implications for investment real estate are often different than those for the residential real estate. There are a number of ways you, a non-professional in the real estate business, or a real estate entrepreneur/ professional investor can increase his return on the real estate investment. An active investor may buy a property, make necessary repairs and/or improvements to the property and rent units at higher value, or sell it later for a better profit overall. It is not difficult to obtain a 8 to 12 percent return on money invested in a normal real estate market. Once some experience is obtained, an investor can go look for more properties. For the calculative mind, many online calculators are available such as www.calcxml dot com which take into account many factors involved in real estate income investment, such as commissions paid, market value of the property purchased, depre-

ciation, cash invested, debt amount, and other factors. One would like to see return as high as possible, but for do-yourself investors one can expect a return larger than 10 percent which can be significantly over the comparable other investment strategies such as the stock market, or ETFs. Real Estate investing has been an old time apparatus but one must be careful in weighing out the location, the rental potential, caretaking of units, and other factors such as travel, out of town relocation. Real estate investment groups are sort of like small mutual funds for rental properties. If you want to own a rental property, but don’t want the hassle of being a landlord, a real estate investment group may be the solution for you. A REIT, or Real Estate Investment Trust, is a company that owns or finances income-producing real estate. Modeled after mutual funds, REITs provide investors of all types regular income streams, diversification and long-term capital appreciation. WPC, PSB, LPT, WRE are few of the many REITs available in the market for the browsers to contact. However, for a simple minded real estate investor the best is to find his own investment opportunity through a realtor and work way up with his own experience. Many success stories have been in the record for investors where the investor has full control over the decisions as opposed to investing in REIT or like. Continued.. Dilip Kapasi is a licensed Real Estate Agent in Houston. Readers are encouraged to send emails to dilipmeena@yahoo.com for any questions. He can be reached at 832 606 4567.


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VOICE OF ASIA 10

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Sri Meenakshi Pattabhishekam at Sri Meenakshi Temple

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t was a beautiful Sri Meenakshi Pattabhishekam celebration at Sri Meenakshi Temple part of the ten day Chithirai Mahotsavam festival. Majestic Meenakshi looked divine and elegant on her Pattabhishekam day. The Main Temple was packed with audience. The procession with Poo Pallakku (Flower Palanquin) was a beautiful sight to watch. The weather cleared just for the Pattabhishekam from a thunderstorm setting to a nice enjoyable climate. The Pattabhiskeham is the coronation of goddess Sri Meenakshi . The legend begins with King Malayathuvaja and his Queen Kachana malai, rulers of the Pandian Kingdom. For many years the couple sought a child, performing poojas and giving offerings. One day during a homam, a little girl came out

of the fire and sat on the King’s lap. Her name was Meenakshi. She grew up and became a fierce ruler, conquering wherever she stepped foot. She was crowned Queen Meenakshi of the Pandya Kingdom during the ceremony we know today as the Pattabhishekam. After her ascendance to queen, she meets Lord Sundareswarar on the battlefield and falls in love with him, realizing that she is an avatar of Sakthi. In Madurai, Sri Meenakshi is crowned for six months from Chithirai to Avani, and Sri Sundareswarar is crowned for the other six months.

Pallakku, decorated with traditional jasmine and kanakambaram (crossandra) flowers. The weather was perfect, and it was a sight to behold. The celebration was done in a blissful and jovial setting with devotees singing and dancing. Smiles could be seen on everyone’s faces across the temple. With the traditional live Nadaswaram, it felt as if you were in the southern bank of the Vaigai river at Madurai Meenakshi temple. After the procession, Chairman thanked the staff and all the volunteers whose hard work helped bring the day together.

After the Pattabhishekam, Chairman Narayanan was presented the symbolic scepter for the procession around the Main Temple to commemorate Meenakshi’s crowning. Meenakshi was then carried by devotees in the stunning Poo

Devotees are ready to witness the finale of Chithirai Mahotsavam Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Thirukalyanam on Sunday May 7th. Report by Arun Narayanan, Photo Srini Sundarrajan & Lakshminarayan Setty

Sri Meenakshi taken in a procession with Poo Pallakku (Flower Palanquin)

Sparsh Hospice -India’s first Palliative Care Centre hosts fundraiser in Houston on May 13 cians are trustees of Sparsh Palliative Care Services: Dr. Arunima Mamidi, an ID specialist in NJ, Dr. Praveen Kollipara, an Oncologist in Fort Wayne and Dr. Aruna Venkatesh an Endocrinologist in San Antonio.

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parsh Hospice, a nonprofit based in Hyderabad, India is hosting an awareness and fund raising event on May 13th from 5-8 PM at the Woodlands temple hall, Houston, according to the spokesperson Dr. M. Subrahmanyam. He further said that Sparsh is the first ‘Palliative Care Centre” which takes care of terminally ill patients, in the 2 states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, India, catering to a population of 60 million. According to WHO (world health organization) statistics, India has 1 million new cases of cancer diagnosed each year, of which about 650,000 are at an advanced stage needing palliative care. Hospice and Palliative care is not well known and very underdeveloped in India. Sparsh Hospice was started to

5 Fund raising events were conducted on behalf of Sparsh Palliative Care Services, in US in 2014, across several locations including New Jersey, Baton Rouge, Cincinnati, Detroit and Chicago and helped raise $ 30,000.

A patient being attended to at Sparsh Hospice in Hyderabad, address this situation. Further, it was reveled that a non-profit “Sparsh Palliative Care Services” was registered in New Jersey, in the year 2014,

to help generate much needed funding for the activities of the Hospice in India. This nonprofit has also got a 501-c-3 exemption. 3 US based Physi-

The spokesperson further revealed that the local Government in the city of Hyderabad has allotted 1.2 acres of land to build a 50 bed Hospice, which will involve a cost of $ 800,000. To raise funds for this building, the trustees are organizing 4 fund-raisers: Boston (6th May), New Jersey (7th May), Dallas

An attendant with the patient at Sparsh Hospice in Hyderabad, (12th May) and Houston on 13th May. They have appealed to all citizens to contribute liberally to this cause, which is very underserved in India.

For any other information the contact Trustee is Lax Gopisetty, whose e mail id is: lax_gopisetty@gmail. com. His cell number is: 571 888 6010. Sparsh web site is: www.sparshhospice.org

JVB Preksha Meditation Center’s 17th Annual Family Camp centered on “Path of Prosperity” by Seema Jain

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VB Preksha Meditation Center, Houston conducted its 17th Annual 3-day and 2-night Family Retreat Camp in calm and scenic surroundings of Radha Madhav Dham, Austin TX from April 14th through April 16th under spiritual guidance of Samani Bhavit Pragnaji, Samani Ratna Pragyaji (from Orlando center), Samani Kanchan Pragyaji and Samani Pranav Pragyaji (from Houston center). Over 125 campers from all over Austin, San Antonio, Virginia, Orlando, Tulsa and the Greater Houston area attended to nurture their soul through powerful discourses, yoga, and meditation and relaxation techniques. JVB Board member, Alok Jain and JVB president, Seema Jain welcomed the camp attendees while Cultural team coordinator, Mukta Jain moderated the Introduction session. The early mornings on Saturday and Sunday started with reciting of Bhaktambar stotra and meditation session conducted by Samani Kanchan Pragyaji and an hour long special form of Yoga called Iyengar Yoga was conducted by Upma Chauhan. Samani Bhavit Pragnaji led a powerful lecture series on “Power of knowledge and Power of forgiveness” where she explained how attitude helps to thrive and destroy the relationships and how true knowledge and learning to forgive people can create happiness and bliss in one’s life. In both the lectures, she delivered tips that can be utilized to transform one’s attitude via different meditation techniques. Samani Kanchan Pragyaji delivered commanding lectures on “Purposeful Life through Prosperity” and “Be light to fly” She drew the focus of attendees towards spiritual prosperity which is the real asset of the soul. The retreat had concurrent kids programs for ages 2-18yrs. which were divided into three age groups. Some of the highlights of the children activities were interactive discourses for the elementary kids & youth group by Samaniji Ratna pragyaji and Samani Pranav Paragyaji on “Get the magnet Right, Be Genius, start your day in Right way, are you Choreogra-

pher of your life & How to enrich brain power”. Both the Samanijis encouraged kids to develop positive attitude in their lives. The role of Meditation in your life by Alok Jain, “Spiritual vs. Material Prosperity” by Pramod Bengani were targeted especially for youth to help them create a balance with the spiritual side of this materialistic world. An interesting Jain Cricket game quiz and a cultural evening with the theme “My dream your dream” was organized for youth and adult attendees. Sachin Jain, Sudhir Dhaga, Mayank Jain, Nitesh Jain and Ajay Khater played the perfect host of these activities. Camp pictures were captured by JVB team member, Jigar Dedhia. Food arrangements were handled by Anjuji Bengani, Mukta Jain and Chetana Baradia. Nikhil Jain moderated a feedback session & JVB board member, Pramod Over 125 campers from Austin, San Antonio, Virginia, Orlando, Tulsa and the Greater Houston area. Bengani gave thanks to Samanijis, all atJVB Preksha Meditation ‘Pyramid’ Meditation Hall visit www.JVBHouston.org. tendees and volunteers for making this a Center is home to a specialand is located at 14102 SchilYou can reach Samanijis at memorable and successful event for one and all. Samaniji brought ly designed Preksha Dhyan ler Rd, Houston, TX 77082. 281.596.9642 or call Seema the event to a successful close by reciting mangal path, with everyFor more information, please Jain @ 281.575.0575. body taking the resolve to come back next year.


DIASPORA

VOICE OF ASIA 11

Indian-American doctors to push for visa reforms

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AAPI is the largest organisation representing Indian-American doctors in the country. “There is an ongoing physician shortage, which affects the quality of care provided to American patients. There are patients who face lengthy delays in various specialities. This situation will only get worse in the years ahead,” said Dr Sampat Shivangi, chair of AAPI Legislative Affairs. The legislation that was introduced in previous sessions

nfosys, the Indian IT services company that stands to be one of the biggest losers from a US visa crackdown, plans to hire 10,000 Americans in the next two years, according to the company’s chief executive.

I

of Congress would add 15,000 residency slots, training up to 45,000 more physicians, he said. “By adding more residency positions today, Congress can train more physicians to treat patients in the future,” Shivangi said. Noting that AAPI is opposed to all hate crimes against the Indian-American community, he said the organisation recently sent a letter to Kansas legislators calling on them to pass a hate crimes law named in honour of Srinivas Kuchibhotla. More than 20 US lawmakers are likely to attend the reception organised by AAPI on

May 3. According to an AAPI white paper, its members would like to see the green card backlog addressed, which has adversely impacted the Indian-American community. Noting that many IndianAmericans have to wait for years to get their applications approved due to the backlog, the white paper said bipartisan legislation has been introduced, which has been cosponsored by 173 members of Congress. ‘The Fairness for HighSkilled Immigrants Act of 2017’ (HR 392) will address many of the concerns facing the Indian American community, it said.

AAPI Legislative Day on May 3rd

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ASHINGTON, DC: (April 28, 2017) The growing influence of doctors of Indian heritage is evident, as increasingly physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in the healthcare, academic, research and administrative positions across the nation. With their hard work, dedication, compassion, and skills, they have thus carved an enviable niche in the American medical community. AAPI’s role has come to be recognized as vital among members and among lawmakers. In this context, and the nation is back on debating reforming of the Healthcare system in the nation, AAPI’s legislative day, comes to be a vital part of AAPI’s growing influence and having its united voice heard in the corridors of power. “We are excited to announce that our next Legislative Day is on Wednesday, May 3rd in Washington, DC,” said Dr. Ajay Lodha, President of AAPI. “Our daytime program begins at 10:30 am and will include lunch in the U.S. House of Representatives (B-338 Rayburn Building). We will conclude in the afternoon, giving participants the opportunity to meet their own Congressman on their own time. That evening, we are planning for a reception and dinner with several dignitaries at the Indian Embassy,” summarized, Dr. Lodha. Describing that AAPI is a non-political umbrella organization which has nearly 90 local chapters, specialty societies and alumni organizations. Almost 10%-12% of medical students entering US schools are of Indian origin. AAPI represents the interests of over 60,000 physicians and 25,000 medical students and residents of Indian heritage in the United States, Dr. Lodha, a prominent physician with decades of service to the country, said, “The mission AAPI, the largest ethnic organization of physicians, is to provide a forum to facilitate and enable Indian American physicians to excel at inpatient care, teaching and research, and to pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs. The new Executive Committee is working hard to ensure active participation of young physicians, increasing membership, and enabling AAPI’s voice to be heard in the corridors of power, and thus taking AAPI to new heights.” There are many issues affecting our community. An important debate is ongoing in Congress about repealing the Affordable Care Act. Now is the time to ensure our voices are heard on these vital issues. The formal program will be released in the future. For now, we are asking all AAPI members to make the appropriate travel plans to be in attendance on May 3. Additionally, those with good contacts with their own congressman, should reach out to his/her office and ask them to join us at our program in the Rayburn

Infosys to hire 10,000 US workers instead after Trump crackdown H-1B visa program holders will miss out

ASHINGTON, D.C. (PTI - Influential IndianAmerican doctors will meet in Washington on Wednesday to push for legislative reforms to address the shortage of physicians in the US and speak against the recent surge in hate crimes against the community. The annual American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Legislative Day at the US Capitol will also focus on green card backlog and issues related to health care reforms.

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Building, banquet room B-338, between 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. If your congressman would like to speak, we can arrange their participation. According to Dr. Lodha, AAPI’s legislative initiatives for 2016-17 include, addressing Physician Shortage, and urged the Congress to increase Residency Positions across USA. “Our nation is currently experiencing a physician shortage, which will be exacerbated by retiring baby boomers. The result of such a shortage may affect thousands of patients’ access to a physician, and ultimately the health care they need. The only way to address this future crisis is to increase the number of residency positions available for future physicians to get trained, so that our nation can effectively manage the need for increased patient care. Increasing the size of medical school classes is not enough. There must be a simultaneous increase in the size of residency positions to train these future doctors. As Congress capped the number of residency positions in 1997, it is time for Congress to act NOW to remedy this critical situation. AAPI believes that ALL Americans have the right to see a physician,” Dr. Lodha said. AAPI has appealed to the US Congress to increase the size of entering Medical School classes, Dr. Lodha said. Pointing out that from 1980-2005, while medical school enrollment remained flat, the U.S. population increased by more than 70 million people. Because the percentage of babyboomer generation doctors (55 and older) rose from 27 percent to 34 percent during this time, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts that America will need 90,000 physicians by 2020, Dr. Lodha said, the number of physicians needed by 2025 according to the AAMC will reach a staggering 130,000. One way to address this shortage is to increase medical school class sizes to meet this future health care need. This issue is vital as it pertains to health care reform, as more physicians will be needed to provide quality health care to our nation’s uninsured patients. Dr. Lodha has urged the newly elected President and his administration to enact Medical Liability Reform. “AAPI supports a healthy doctor-patient environment by curbing aggressive litigation targeting physicians,” Dr. Lodha said. Such lawsuits have had a chilling effect and driven up the cost of health care, through extra testing and the practice of defensive medicine. In the 112th Congress, The “Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011,” (H.R. 5) limited the conditions for lawsuits and punitive damages for health care liability claims. It established a statute of limitations and limited noneconomic damages to $250,000. AAPI signed a coalition letter led by the American Medical Association to the Deficit Reduction Committee, which noted that

the Congressional Budget Office estimated the cost savings from implementing medical liability reform, including limits on noneconomic damages, to be $62.4 billion over 10 years. Fewer physicians today practice in areas such as obstetrics and gynecology, surgery and emergency medicine, due to increased lawsuits and increasing malpractice insurance premiums. AAPI supports federal and state legislation that places effective caps on non-economic damages, limits the use of jointand-several liability, provides physicians with flexibility to negotiate settlements with medical insurers and further limits the statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims, Dr. Lodha said. Endorsing President Trump’s call, Dr. Lodha said, AAPI supports the modification of the Affordable Care Act. “We believe that the current ACA could be improved upon greatly. To merely repeal the ACA would result in 20 million losing their

News of the hiring spree, due to be announced on Tuesday, is likely to be seen as a win for the White House as it tries to push companies into creating more US jobs. The administration announced a review of the H-1B

visa programme a fortnight ago, aimed at stemming the flow of low-cost workers brought in by companies such as Infosys. Vishal Sikka, chief executive of Infosys, acknowledged that the local hiring push came when companies such as his were under pressure to recruit more Americans. “Yes it does coincide,” he said. “I understand the visa regulations and so forth.” However, he said the main reason for the spurt in local hiring

reflected the changing nature of the work his company performed. New technologies such as artificial intelligence were evolving the company’s business, putting more emphasis on local hires who could work closely with customers, he said. “You need a strong sense of locality in the work we do.” News of the recruitment plan was due to be announced at an event with Eric Holcomb, Indiana governor, on Tuesday. It would include 2,000 new jobs in the state. (-Financial Times)

Indian American Congressman seeks action to combat hate crimes

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ASHINGTON, D.C. – Indian American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has urged Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to use his complete authority in combating hate crimes against religious minorities in the US. Krishnamoorthi made the appeal in a letter signed by 68 others. The Congressman’s letter comes after Kelly in a Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus meeting said that there was a need for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to focus more on white supremacist organisations and hate groups, the American Bazaar Online reported on Tuesday. “I was heartened to hear Secretary Kelly’s recognition of the threat posed by hate groups and other forces of intolerance,” Krishnamoorthi said. “This letter urges the Secretary to act on that knowledge and use the resources of his departhealth insurance coverage and that would be problematic to say the least. A more reformed system with emphasis on free-market while retaining the provisions protecting consumers with pre-existing conditions would be ideal.” According to Dr. Lodha, AAPI opposes MACRA and

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi ment to combat both hate crimes and their root causes.” He wrote in the letter that many Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, and other religious minorities in the US are living under the fear for their safety and

requested him to protect their interests. Krishnamoorthi said the time has arrived to take decisive action to put an end to the hate crimes, and asked Kelly to assure the US people their basic rights to live freely in the country. (IANS)

MIPS. These systems detract from the care of patients by adding an excessive amount of paper work.

ward to seeing you on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, May 3rd for our Legislative Day,” Dr. Lodha added.

There is a tremendous burden to report all of these measures. “To raise our voices together and to have our voices heard on Capitol, Hill, we look for-

For more information on AAPI and its programs and initiatives, please visit: www. aapiusa.org


US/ WORLD

VOICE OF ASIA 12

US visa exemption rules in Republican crosshairs

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Indian woman at dye works

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ASHINGTON, | AFP | 5/3/2017 Congressional Republicans sounded an alarm Wednesday over rules allowing millions of Europeans to travel to the United States without a visa, warning that jihadists could exploit weak links in the program. The Islamic State and AlQaeda extremist groups “have incurred great losses in Syria and Iraq,” Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told a hearing on the security of the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

May is Elder Abuse Prevention Month

Adult Protective Services urges Texans to get involved to stop self-neglect

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he Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) works to protect the unprotected, and that includes the elderly members of our communities. May is Elder Abuse Prevention Month in Texas, and it’s the perfect time to check on elderly friends and neighbors. Do you have an elderly neighbor who can no longer keep up their home, isn’t taking care of his or herself, or needs medical care? You may be the only person who knows or cares. “Abuse may get the headlines, but one of the most common situations we encounter is self-neglect,” said Kez Wold, DFPS associate commissioner for Adult Protective Services (APS). “Sometimes when people become ill or depressed, they quit trying or simply can’t care for themselves without some help. That’s when someone needs to make a call to the Texas Abuse Hotline.” State law requires anyone who suspects adult abuse, neglect or financial exploitation to report it to the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or online at TxAbuseHotline.org. Callers can remain anonymous. Learn how to recognize adult abuse, neglect and exploitation at EveryonesBusiness.org In May, APS is joining with community, civic and professional groups to raise awareness and understanding about abuse, neglect and exploitation through conferences, presentations and other events. Learn about events in your area at EveryonesBusiness.org and please share them with your friends, neighbors and colleagues. Last year, APS investigated the situations of 83,534 people who were living at home and found that 51,608 of them suffered one or more forms of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Self-neglect was at least one factor for most of those people. APS’ job is to investigate these situations and connect people with the services in their communities they need. Adult Protective Services Facts and Figures APS is a program of DFPS and a part of the Texas Health and Human Services system. The mission of APS is to protect adults, who are elderly or have disabilities, from abuse, neglect and exploitation. APS does this by investigating allegations and by providing or arranging for services to alleviate or prevent further mistreatment. APS serves Texas residents who are 65 years or older or who are 18 to 64 and have a disability. There are 3.3 million Texas residents who are 65 or older and more than 1.7 million people with a disability who are ages 18-64. More information is available in the Department of Family and Protective Services Annual Report and Data Book on the DFPS website (dfps.state. tx.us).

Millions of travelers from 38 wealthy countries are currently allowed to come to the United States for 90 days without having to go through a lengthy visa process. “Yet as the territory under their control shrinks, we are seeing an exodus of foreign fighters returning to their homelands,” he said.

through the Visa Waiver Program,” said Gallagher, who heads the Task Force on Denying Terrorists Entry to the United States.

House Republican Mike Gallagher pointed to deadly attacks in Paris, Brussels, Nice and Berlin as examples of why the US should increase its vigilance.

“While there are numerous benefits to our country that stem from our welcoming immigration system -- like tourism, trade, and business -- we should never cease to examine our processes through the lens of a terrorist in search of potential gaps.”

“The majority of these attackers were European citizens with valid passports, so it is easy to imagine any one of them gaining access to this country through a valid visa or

Millions of travelers from 38 wealthy countries, including 30 European nations, currently

A woman is setting printed fabric on the ground to dry in Sanganer, India. (Photo: Jose Vilchez) benefit from the exemption, which allows them to come to the United States for 90 days without having to go through a lengthy visa process. Only a simple Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) form need be filled out online beforehand. But since the attacks that

bloodied France in 2015, committed by or with the help of jihadists bearing French or Belgian passports, many lawmakers see the exemption as a dangerous security flaw. In December 2015, a few weeks after the Paris attacks, Congress tightened VWP rules, banning people from using the exemption if they had traveled

after March 2011 to any of seven countries deemed to be risks: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also barred citizens from VWP countries who had dual nationalities from Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria -- for example a Frenchman with Syrian citizenship -- from taking advantage of the exemption.


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VOICE OF ASIA 13

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Twitter, Bloomberg team up for streaming news channel

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by Sreeradha Dasgupta Basu

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UMBAI/NEW DELHI: What do the heads of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top tech institutes think about the debate around employability of Indian engineering graduates, an issue that rears its head every now and then?

The new streaming channel â&#x20AC;&#x153;will combine the vast global editorial and newsgathering capabilities of Bloomberg with the digital power of Twitter,â&#x20AC;? a joint statement. Michael Bloomberg, the founder of the financial news and information service and a former New York mayor, joined Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey at a New York media conference to make the announcement.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s global news consumer wants and needs more than whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s currently available,â&#x20AC;? said Justin Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media, in a statement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With this new network, we are setting out to reinvent the digital breaking news experience.â&#x20AC;? Smith told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the tie-up, that the new network would â&#x20AC;&#x153;be focused on the most important news for an intelligent audience around the globe and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be broader in focus than our existing network.â&#x20AC;? Twitter chief operating officer Anthony Noto said in a statement, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Twitterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s speed and vast global network of content and commentary combined with the high quality, editorial rigor of Bloomberg is a unique and powerful combination.â&#x20AC;?

Twitter, Bloomberg team up for streaming news channel (Photo: AFP) Financial details of the new venture were not disclosed. Twitter shares jumped 6.4 percent on the news to close at $17.53, the highest since February. The service could help Twitter expand its user base, which has been growing at a slower pace than its social media rivals. Twitter has been seeking to broaden its appeal beyond its core user base of celebrities, politicians and journalists, ramping up efforts in video and live sports. But in its quarterly results last week, Twitter reported a drop in revenue, despite boosting its monthly user base to 328 million, up 14 percent from a year ago. Twitter, which has never reported a profit, said its net loss narrowed to $62 million from $80 million a year earlier.

Wipro launches new brand identity by Jochelle Mendonca

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ipro said it had launched a new brand identity to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;underscore its commitment to tranformation and evolving client expectations.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

Twitter already offers some live video news through a partnership with the streaming application Cheddar. It had rights last year to stream some National Football League games, but lost that for the upcoming season to Amazon. But, San Francisco-based Twitter late Monday announced a dozen new collaborations to bring original programming, live sports matches and more to the one-to-many messaging service. Twitter streamed more than 800 hours of premium video content last quarter, Noto said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We could not be prouder of the success we have achieved so quickly since launching live streaming premium content,â&#x20AC;? Noto said in a release. Content to be aired on Twitter due to new alliances included US women?s basketball games, select Live Nation music concerts, and a BuzzFeed news program.

resourcefulness, optimism and a connected world.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;The new brand identity marks our journey of transformation in the digital world. Our brand refresh signals an even closer engagement with clients, greater innovation, and a deeper impact on their business.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our brand identity is a visual expression of what we do and mean, for our clients. And this is directly energized by our Values. The Values are our core and our beacon, the bedrock of our culture. Our rearticulated values connect and resonate deeply with the new, vibrant, brand identity,â&#x20AC;? Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro, said in a statement. he company said the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;styling of the brand mark gives it a sense of fluidity,

Tel: 713-774-5140

IIT top bosses raise concerns over Indian engineersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; employability

ASHINGTON (AFP) Twitter is launching a 24hour streaming news channel in partnership with the Bloomberg Media, in a major expansion of the social media firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s video operations, the two firms announced Monday.

The streaming channel set to launch later this year will include user-generated content from Twitter which will be verified by Bloomberg editors, along with live video reporting from journalists at the news organization.

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is contemporary, reflecting the diversity and aspirations of our employees,â&#x20AC;? Abidali Neemuchwala, CEO of Wipro, said. (-Economic Times) The new brand identity marks Wiproâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s journey of transformation in the digital world.

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There is indeed a real concern about employability because of the large number of engineering graduates that India produces every year, outdated curriculum, poor teaching infrastructure and shortage of good faculty, particularly in institutes lower down the order, said IIT directors that ET spoke to. But they termed numbers thrown up by some surveys â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a recent one said as much as 95% of engineering graduates were unfit for programming jobs â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as exaggerated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The country is producing as many as 10 lakh engineers a year. There needs to be a serious review,â&#x20AC;? said Indranil Manna, director at IIT-Kanpur. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Do we really need so many engineers? Are there that many jobs?â&#x20AC;? The onus of bringing out quality engineers lies not on the students, most of who come into the system with the intention to learn, but on the institutes, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need good teachers, good labs and infrastructure. That is not available in a majority of the institutes beyond a few at the top â&#x20AC;Ś Blame the system which has allowed so many institutes of questionable quality to mushroom.â&#x20AC;? V Ramgopal Rao, director of IIT Delhi, agreed that there was an overproduction of engineers, which needed to be addressed. But saying an overwhelming majority of them is unemployable is an exaggeration, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our job is to produce graduates who are broadbased and who can be trained for a given job. Not to be so narrowly focused that they can only do one kind of job. We must strengthen our ITI and polytechnic diploma education by incorporating a significant hands-on training component,â&#x20AC;? Rao suggested. Even today, a large chunk of Indian parents keep pushing their children to gravitate towards engineering. A handful of high-performers from top IITs do get eye-popping salaries, but it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hunky-dory for most fresh graduates from institutes not in the top few. Many end up doing jobs that are unrelated to engineering. A few years ago, a McKinsey report said just a quarter of engineers in India were employable. Of late, some other studies put it less than 20%. More recently, a survey by employability assessment firm Aspiring Minds said 95% of Indian engineers canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t code.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no doubt that this (debate over employability) is not applicable to IITs, NITs, some notable CFTIs such as the IIITs, IIEST, IIST, etc. Some leading state universities including Jadavpur University and Anna University colleges are imparting very high-quality education as are private institutes such as BITS, VIT, Amity and SRM, among others,â&#x20AC;? said Gautam Biswas, director at IIT-Guwahati. But there are concerns about some colleges and institutes that are unable to raise the standard, he added. The main problems, said Biswas, were inappropriate curriculum, poor syllabi, inadequate laboratory infrastructure and a shortage of quality human resources for teaching. Attention should be focused on all these areas while institutes without adequate teaching support may seek help from industry experts through special seminar or lectures, he suggested. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even in IITs, soft skills are to be enhanced. The programing skill, knowledge on Big Data analytics and Internet of Things are to be introduced at second-year level for all branches,â&#x20AC;? Biswas added. No student is ready to immediately join industry straight off campus, said IIT-Bombay director Devang Khakhar. People need to go through training programmes, and often soft skills including English speaking can be picked up on the job. On the surveys on employability, he said the findings needed to be taken with a pinch of salt. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If the situation was that dire, so many IT companies wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be recruiting in such large numbers.â&#x20AC;? IIT-Kanpur alumnus Vipin Agarwal, a co-founder of OnlineTyari, called academic training given at universities as largely theoretical and dated which doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t offer relevant job-necessary skills to the students. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While the AICTE and IIT systems have ensured that the students do complete â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;industrial trainingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; as a prerequisite to complete their university studies, a more holistic cultural and mindset change is required in society,â&#x20AC;? he added. Narayanan Ramaswamy, partner and head of education and skill development at KPMG in India, said that the engineer employability debate needed to be looked at from a macro perspective. The real problem is whether what is being taught is correlating to current industry requirements, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t attack the students. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re barking up the wrong tree then,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Academia has been myopic. But industry isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t taking the effort either to tell academia how things have changed and what they now want.â&#x20AC;? (-Economic Times)

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LIFESTYLE

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Alphabet’s Verily to embark on healthmapping study

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AN FRANCISCO | AFP - Alphabet’s life sciences unit Verily on Wednesday announced a study to track people for years, right down to their genetics, in a quest for insights into staying healthy.

studies including a multi-year study to identify patterns in the progression of Parkinson’s disease, according to a blog post by Verily team members. Environmental, genetic, and molecular information will be included in

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Entrepreneur First free condom store launched in India in a bid deals for millionaires’ to reduce cases of HIV, AIDS playground by Graham Huband

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leneagles Hotel is known the world over as a millionaires’ playground.

The five star resort was host venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup and was the backdrop to the G8 summit of world leaders – an event that brought US President George W. Bush and Russian Presidident Vladimir Putin to Perthshire.

Verily’s new Study Watch Verily Life Sciences partnered with Duke University School of Medicine and Stanford Medicine for the Project Baseline study intended to collect broad health data from approximately 10,000 participants over the course of at least four years. People in the study will make routine clinic visits, complete surveys, and use wrist-worn devices packed with sensors to gather biological data. “The Project Baseline study has the opportunity to significantly influence our current body of knowledge by better understanding the indicators of wellness,” American Heart Association chief executive Nancy Brown said in a statement. “The outcome of this study could inspire a new generation of tools that are geared towards disease prevention versus just diagnosis and treatment.” Last week, Verily unveiled a wristworn “Study Watch” designed to gather complex health data in clinical studies. Study Watch is meant for research and will be put to work in several

data collected in the baseline study as part of a “journey to comprehensively map human health,” according to Verily. “Currently, most of what we see as treating physicians are short snapshots in time of an individual and primarily after they are already ill,” said Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, chair of radiology at Stanford Medicine and director of the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection. “By focusing on the health of a broad population, we can eventually have a meaningful impact on the well-being of patients around the world.” Verily was part of the Google X laboratory known for big-vision projects such as self-driving cars and internet service delivered by high-altitude balloons, but was spun into an independent unit at Google-parent Alphabet in mid-2015. Verily works on diabetes with the French pharmaceutical group Sanofi and has another partnership in bioelectronic medicine with the British firm GlaxoSmithKline.

Indian doctors defend 500kg Egyptian’s weight loss amid row

Throughout that period the hotel was owned and operated by drinks giant Diageo, but there is now a new name above the door. Sharan Pasricha, the chief executive of Ennismore Capital, pulled off one of the biggest corporate coups in recent Scottish history when he took control of Gleneagles in 2015 in a multi-million pound deal. Ennismore already ran the Hoxton chain of boutique hotels, but the purchase of Gleneagles was a stand out moment for the Ennismore team. Mr Pasricha will be at his Scottish hideaway hotel on Thursday, May 4, where he will address more than 200 business leaders gathered for the 2017 Entrepreneurial Scotland summit. The conference – which The Courier is media partner to – is themed around the scaling up of existing companies. “It really is very humbling to be invited to speak at Entrepreneurial Scotland and to tell a little bit of my story, of the challenges around entrepreneurship and of the pitfalls and opportunities I have encountered,” Mr Pasricha said. “With Gleneagles I had the privilege of going there half a dozen times or so as a guest and I was a huge supporter of the brand from a guest perspective. “When I go into hotels my routine is to sit at the bar and think ‘what if I had the opportunity to run this hotel, what would I do?’ and I had done that routine with Gleneagles. “Diageo decided to sell the business in 2015 and, as a hotel owner and operator, when you hear a brand and business like Gleneagles is up for sale then you want to learn more about it. “We were in the right place at the right time and, as we are longterm owners and investors, our primary focus is to invest in the brand and its people.”

Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, who was once believed to be the world’s heaviest woman, has suffered several strokes and faced a series of other serious ailments owing to her weight (Photo: AFP /Indranil Mukherjee). ndian doctors on Tuesday angrily rejected claims that they had lied about the amount of weight an Egyptian once believed to be the world’s heaviest woman had lost following surgery.

can’t lie,” Lakdawala said, suggesting that Selim had only raised complaints after doctors suggested that Abd El Aty could soon leave India, where she has been receiving treatment free of charge, to return to Egypt.

The sister of Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty alleged that her sibling, who previously weighed 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds), had not shed half her weight as specialists at a Mumbai hospital had claimed.

Abd El Aty’s family say that as a child she was diagnosed with elephantiasis, a condition that causes the limbs and other body parts to swell, leaving her almost immobile.

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“Today Eman weighs 171 kilos,” Muffazal Lakdawala, the doctor leading Abd El Aty’s treatment, told AFP, adding that the claim made by her sister Shaimaa Selim in a social media video post was “complete hogwash”. In videos provided last week by Saifee Hospital, where the 37-year-old had bariatric surgery last month, a visibly slimmer Abd El Aty could be seen sitting up and smiling while listening to music. In an accompanying statement doctors said the woman, who had not left her home in Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria for two decades until she arrived in India’s commercial capital in February, had lost 250 kilos. But in a video posted on Facebook and reported widely by Indian media on Tuesday, Selim accuses the hospital of lying, saying her sister had not lost as much weight as doctors had claimed. “The pictures don’t lie, the pictures

The Egyptian has suffered several strokes and faced a series of other serious ailments owing to her weight including diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension and sleep deprivation. She is unable to speak properly and is partially paralysed. Abd El Aty arrived in Mumbai on February 11 on a specially modified plane. Doctors put her on a special liquid diet to get her weight down to a low enough level for doctors to perform bariatric surgery, essentially a stomach-shrinking bypass procedure carried out on those wanting to lose excessive weight. Lakdawala said that Abd El Aty was due to have a CT scan on Tuesday to determine the cause of her right-sided paralysis and regular convulsions. He added that there was not much more he could do for her in terms of further weight loss and she would need to see a specialist neurologist to help with her other ailments (-AFP)

A global charity on Wednesday launched a free condom store in India to try to reduce new cases of HIV/AIDS in a country with the world’s third highest number (Photo: AFP)

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EW DEHLI (AFP) - A global charity on Wednesday launched a free condom store in India to try to reduce new cases of HIV/AIDS in a country with the world’s third highest number.

“Condoms are the cheapest and the best way to prevent HIV infection so we were very upset about it (funding cuts),” she told AFP.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) said the initiative was the first of its kind.

India’s AIDS programme has largely been successful but in 2014 the central government cut its share of funding, leading to a shortage of condoms and anti-retroviral drugs.

It said organisations and individuals could place orders by phone or email to get a supply delivered to their doorstep, sidestepping any social taboos and quality issues.

The government later restored the funding but vulnerable communities continue to be at risk of infection, as well as facing a stigma in a largely conservative society.

In India 2.1 million people are infected with HIV according to the United Nations, although the rate of infection is falling.

Last month parliament passed the HIV/AIDS (Prevention and Control) bill, 15 years after it was introduced in the legislature, to safeguard the rights of sufferers and protect them from discrimination.

Condoms can be bought cheaply but sex workers and other vulnerable groups hesitate to purchase them from stores because of deep-rooted social taboos. The government also distributes condoms for free through its health centres but activists say stocks are often unavailable or of poor quality. “The funding for condoms is bad, it’s being cut around the world. We were getting desperate requests and it’s then we realised India needs its own condom store,” said Terri Ford, chief of global advocacy and policy at AHF.

“Imagine, one bill was on the table for 15 years,” said Ford. “We feel very frustrated. We work with governments all over the world but there’s nothing like Indian bureaucracy. “Slow bureaucracy is actually killing people. So many people are dying because of lack of timely testing and treatment,” Ford said. “India wants to be a global player in the world economy but if you can’t even ensure basic healthcare to your people you can’t become one.”

State Department issues Europe travel alert

Other speaker at the Entrepreneurial Scotland summit include Scale-Up Institute chair Sherry Coutu, Jess Butcher of Blippar and Spark Energy founder Chris Gauld. (-The Courier)

iPhone 8 anticipation as sales slump

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pple faces more pressure than ever to deliver with its highly anticipated nextgeneration iPhone, as the company reported Tuesday that it sold fewer iPhones than analysts had expected in the company’s second quarter. Those looking forward to the new phone may have held off on buying a new device until the fall, analysts said. The softer-than-expected sales come as Apple faces increased competition for the device that makes up the majority of Apple’s profits. Apple sold 50 million iPhones in the past quarter, 1 million less than in the same period last year. Analysts had expected Apple to sell 52 million units. The company reported $52.9 billion in revenue, slightly below analyst estimates. On an earnings call, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said that Apple did not correctly estimate how popular the iPhone 7 Plus would be compared with the iPhone 7, which caused some supply problems. (-Washington Post)

Police secure the Champs Elysees Avenue after one policeman was killed and another wounded in a shooting incident in Paris, April 20, 2017 (File photo)

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ASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for what it called the “continued threat of terrorist attacks throughout Europe.” The alert, which expires September 1, cites recent incidents in France, Russia, Sweden and Britain that the State Department says show the ability of Islamic state, al-Qaida or others to carry out attacks. “U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning,” the alert says. This is the fourth travel alert for Europe in the last year. There were only four months since March of 2016 when the State Department wasn’t advising Americans to be careful because of the threat of terrorist attacks in Europe. The most recent one went out last November, to encompass the Christmas holidays and skiing season, and expired in February. The latest one cites incidents attrib-

uted to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in France, Russia, Sweden and Britain. It does not mention any specific intelligence suggesting the State Department believes an attack is about to happen, but expresses a general concern about the potential for more attacks. “U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning,” the alert states before listing potential targets that are pretty much anywhere people gather: tourist locales, transportation hubs, markets and shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions and airports. U.S. citizens traveling to Europe are urged to check the websites of the U.S. embassies and consulates for security messages, keep in touch with friends and family so they know your whereabouts and check local media for updates at the destination. (-Voice of America News)


LEISURE

VOICE OF ASIA 15

Who is Hasan Minhaj? 4 facts about Muslim Indian-American comedian who roasted Trump

Indian brides get wooden paddles to beat drunk husbands EW DELHI, AFP - An Indian state minister has given hundreds of wooden bats to newly-wed brides, urging them to use the paddle as a weapon if their husbands turn alcoholic or abusive.

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Gopal Bhargava gave the bats -- which are used to get dirt out of clothes in traditional laundries -- to nearly 700 brides at a mass wedding organised by the government of central Madhya Pradesh state on Saturday. The nearly foot-long paddles are emblazoned with messages that read: “For beating drunkards” and “Police won’t intervene”.

Hasan Minhaj is a first-generation immigrant whose parents were from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh (Photo: Reuters) ASHINGTON, D.C. - Donald Trump might have given the White House Correspondents’ Dinner a miss but his presence was felt through out the event. A first-generation Muslim Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj, whose parents are from the town of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh brutally mocked the US President. Minhaj was at his scathing best as he mocked the Commander-in-Chief at the White House Correspondents’ dinner. He joked about Obama’s supposed Muslim identity, Trump’s links to Russia and what it means to be an immigrant in America.

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Sample this: “We’ve got to address the elephant that’s not in the room. The leader of our country is not there. And that’s because he lives in Moscow. It’s a very long flight. As for the other guy, I think he’s in Pennsylvania because he can’t take a joke.” And added: “No one wanted to do this, so of course it lands in the hands of an immigrant”. Other humorous quips included how he watched House of Cards to relax after stressful news from the White House and he received a standing ovation when he said: “Only in America can a first-generation Indian-American Muslim kid get on a stage and make fun of the President.” Minhaj is a senior correspondent with The Daily Show on Comedy Central and his parents emigrated from Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh to Davis, California. Here are four things you need to know about Minhaj: 1) He had a unique immigrant experience in America

Living as a brown kid in what he calls ‘Anytown America’ shaped his outlook and gave him a typical suburban experience which included racist encounters. He said that when he told a girl in first grade he had a crush, the girl said he was the colour of ‘poop’. When a white girl asked him to come to prom, his father gave him the typical brown dad response and threatened to ‘break his face’ but he snuck out in a suit only to find that his date’s family had arranged a white boy. His date’s mother told him: “‘See, we have a lot of family back in Ohio, and we’re going to be taking a lot of pictures tonight, and they’re going to see them. And we don’t know if it would be a good fit for us. Do you need a ride home? Mr. Reed can give you a ride home.’ And I said, ‘No, I’m OK. I have my bike.’ And I biked home and I snuck back into my room and I just played Mario Kart for the rest of the night.” In fact, his prom experience helped him create a routine and people loved it because they could feel the pain. 2) He has penned a letter to Muslims urging them to support LGBT rights Along with Reza Aslam, after the US Supreme Court recognised same-sex marriage, he wrote an open letter to Muslims asking that they should support the move. They wrote that Muslims across the world should support same-sex marriage and fight for the rights of gays and lesbians. “ Think about the way people look at your hijabi sister or your bearded brother when they walk through the mall. Think about the grumbles

and stares you get at airports. Think about the vitriol that’s spewed on you by your own elected political leaders. That’s how your LGBT brothers and sisters feel every day of their lives. Are you okay with that?” 3) He had the most typical immigrant experience when he came back to India Minaj also had the typical immigrant experience when he visited relatives back in India who went ballistic over the things Americans take for granted in the first world. He said he felt like a rapper who had made it as his relatives went crazy over Gushers, Fruit Roll-ups and Oreo biscuits. 4) He blasted a roomful of Congressmen over gun laws. Not that Minhaj is a greenhorn when it comes to taking on politicians and last year at the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, he eviscerated a roomful of Congressmen for their inaction over gun laws. Speaking about the Orlando night club shooting, he said: “What we saw in Orlando was one the ugliest cocktails of the problems we still see here in America; a cocktail of homophobia, xenophobia, lack of access to mental health care, and sheer lack of political will. “We look to you guys as our leaders. You make almost $200,000 a year to write rules to make our society better. Not tweet, not tell us about your thoughts and prayers.” He went on to point out how NRA has given $3.7 million to Congress, and asked if a Kickstarter could raise $4 million would Congress take that to save lives? (-Reuters)

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Bhargava told the brides to reason with their husbands first, adding that they should “let the wooden paddles do the talking” if their spouses refuse to listen. Bhargava told AFP he wanted to draw attention to the plight of rural women who face domestic abuse from their alcoholic husbands. “Women say whenever their husbands get drunk they become violent. Their savings are taken away and splurged on li-

quor,” he said. “There is no intent to provoke women or instigate them to violence but the bat is to prevent violence.” The minister has ordered nearly 10,000 bats for distribution to newly-wed women. Many Indian states have launched a crackdown on liquor in recent years, either banning or restricting its sale in a bid to curb alcohol-fuelled violence. Last year, the government of Tamil Nadu state vowed to introduce prohibition as part of its campaign to win re-election. The pledge was popular with women voters, who blame alcohol for much of the state’s domestic and sexual violence, and for depleting the income of poor families.

An Indian bride holds a paddle gifted to her by Madhya Pradesh state minister Gopal Bhargava (Facebook / Gopal Bhargava)

Experts have expressed caution, pointing to a possible rise in the production of illegal and often deadly moonshine. The neighbouring southern state of Kerala introduced a ban

on alcohol sales in most hotels from 2014. Eastern Bihar state imposed a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol last year while western Gujarat state has practised prohibition for decades.

Friends with benefits? The dos and don’ts by Hemchhaya De t’s perfectly fine if you prefer being ‘friends with benefits’ with a person you are attracted to. But to ensure that such an arrangement is indeed a bed of roses, you need to keep in mind certain dos and don’ts. Here are some:

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Stay friends It’s said that sex complicates matters. But if you have opted for a friends with benefits option, do follow the basic friendship rules. Be open and communicate whatever there is on your mind with the person you are intimate

with. Friendship, and not just sex, should be the foundation. Think of the pitfalls Such an arrangement may not always work out. So prepare yourself well - what if you develop strong feelings at any point, how are you going to deal with it? Ask yourself if you could handle pain if it fails. Don’t live in denial When you are opting for a nostrings-attached arrangement, do make sure that you are comfortable yourself with the option. Don’t keep your feelings and anxieties bottled up inside.

You may be emotionally unavailable If you become more comfortable being in such a relationship, you may lose interest in having any committed long term relationship. Do have a clear idea about your relationship goals in life. Keep options open Don’t think that you can remain friends with benefits with someone forever. Things might change and you should be ready to move on. If things don’t work out the way you planned it, do look for an exit route. (-Femina)


VOICE OF ASIA 16

Section 2

Young Life

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Rice radio celebrates 50 years with the Mayapuris

Indigenous youth took center stage at People’s Climate March

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Tel: 713-774-5140

More exercise for kids could save US billions on health: study

by Cherri Foytlin

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ASHINGTON D.C. - On Saturday, over 200,000 people marched through the streets of Washington, D.C. in response to the Trump administration’s recent environmental policies and their possible affects upon climate change. That number included hundreds of indigenous youth who felt it was their responsibility to be present and heard.

The Mayapuris with KTRU Rice radio team (in tshirts)

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he Mayapuris with Rice radio’s Varsha Vakil, George Barrow, Sal Tijerina and the ODS team Among Houstonians KTRU Rice radio is branded for its eclectic music flair. On Saturday, April 22, 2017, during its annual Outdoor Show (ODS) KTRU celebrated its 50 years by hosting the Indian kirtan group - the Mayapuris. The Mayapuris was one of the groups to perform live at the ODS among the finely selected line-up which ran from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. With their numerous KTRU encounters and past on-air live interviews conducted on the Navrang Show by Varsha Vakil, the Mayapuris felt at home during their recent visit to Rice University. Vishwambhar (Vish) Sheth, the lead singer of the group joyfully announced the Mayapuris fame among

KTRU listeners since their music has played on KTRU airwaves for nearly a decade. Vish warmly informed the crowd that their newly released single *Nityananda* from the album The Nine Islands was already on KTRU playlist. Varsha Vakil, the Navrang Show director, had seen the Mayapuris perform live on several occasions, but during the KTRU ODS she was mesmerized by their intoxicating singing which took the young KTRU audience into their stride. The powerful chanting of the gripping mantras along with the mridangam beats got the audience on their feet to dance to the rhythm choreographed by Vish. This musical escapade was unique in every way to the KTRU crowd and it left the pack ecstatic and desiring for more. Kishore (Kish) who effortlessly captivates the crowd with

the peaceful sound of his bansuri cast a spell on the audience and danced merrily with them to transform the atmosphere to an ethereal mood. This distinctive musical experience sparks the joy of life in any mundane lifestyle. Varsha describes “it was surreal to witness that music has no boundaries and in its purest form it can bring immense joy to its listeners no matter where they are from or their preference in a music genre.” Vrinda Devi of the Mayapuris added her essence to the singing and made the mantra experience palpable. ISKCON of Houston was one of the KTRU ODS 2017 sponsors. ISKCON of Houston has continuously showed their support towards Rice radio and sponsored their events in the past. Varsha offered her sincere gratitude to the ISKCON team for their tireless efforts and continuous support.

Parents of US student held in North Korea: ‘We need to talk about our son’ INCINNATI, Ohio Cindy and Fred Warmbier haven’t spoken to their son Otto in over a year.

Monday suggested he’d meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but only “under the right circumstances.”

He is trapped in North Korea, accused of committing hostile acts against the Kim Jong Un regime.

When asked about those comments, Fred Warmbier said he and his wife were encouraged by the President’s willingness to sit down and improve the relationship with North Korea.

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They have had no word or indication about how he’s doing since March 3, 2016, and they say that with tensions on the rise, it’s now time to speak. “With tensions as high as they are, we felt that we needed to talk about Otto and put a face on the person,” Cindy Warmbier said. Rhetoric between the US and North Korea has been heating up in recent weeks, after a number of North Korean missile tests and the deployment of US warships to the region. Amid calls to calm tensions -- not least from the Pope -- US President Donald Trump on

“Anything he can do towards improving that, and also including Otto in the solution and making Otto part of the solution, I think is good for Otto and honestly I think is going to be good for our country,” he said. Otto Warmbier, one of three Americans currently in detention in North Korea, was arrested in January 2016 while he was about to leave Pyongyang. His parents say their son, a 22-year-old student at the University of Virginia, had been on a tour of the country.

North Korea charged him with committing a “hostile act” against the state, alleging he was encouraged to do so by a member of a church in his home state of Ohio, a secretive university organization and even the CIA. The proof was security footage showing him removing a political banner from a hotel. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor after the March 2016 trial, which reportedly lasted less than an hour. North Korea released a video of Otto asking for mercy after the sentencing, but his father says he can’t watch it. “It hurts my spirit. My vision of Otto is before he left on this trip. We were in the TV room and my easy chair broke and I had to crawl underneath this dirty chair and next thing I know his head is next to mine, and we’re looking at each other and we’re smiling and there’s

“I’ve come to the march so I can stand up and show people that the youth have a voice to protect our water and the world we live in,” explained 22-yearold Morgan Brings Plenty of the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation. “We only have one earth. We should make her better, not worse. Our world is showing that she is sick. We should protect her. If we protect the mni (water), it’s a start,” she added. The youth began the day by gathering with their elders near the reflecting pool, just as the sun began to rise above the Capitol Building. With ceremonial sage burning, attendees began to speak and sing a greeting to the day, while offering prayers of protection for water and earth. The ceremony, which welcomed the spirits from the four directions, officially opened the People’s Climate March, a massive show of resistance on a day that also marked Trump’s 100th day in office. Within a few hours, the youth would be braving record heat, to take the lead of the 1.5 mile march, which covered eight city blocks and ended near the Washington monument. As participants made their way along the route, gigantic banners, puppets and signs could be seen above the crowd. “Water is Life,” “Native Nations Rise,” “Defend the Sacred,” and “Respect the Rights of Mother Earth,” were some of the messages. As the convoy reached the White House, the crowd sang and native drum lines took to the front. Merlejohn Lone Eagle, from Bridger, South Dakota, was among them. Although he is only 13, Merlejohn is already an experienced pipeline fighter. He said he worked with youth in his community to send videos to President Obama showing their opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. He was overjoyed in the fall of 2015 when Obama rejected the pipeline. But he couldn’t celebrate for long. “We thought we were

love. “So when I look at this picture of Otto in handcuffs being forced to do these things, it’s too painful ... I’m focused on the future and bringing Otto home,” Fred Warmbier said.

Researchers say encouraging kids to exercise pays big dividends as they grow up. (Photo: AFP/File photo)

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iami, | AFP | 5/1/2017 - Increasing the number of young children who exercise for just under a half hour a few times a week could save tens of billions in medical costs over their lifetimes, researchers said Monday. Currently, just 32 percent of US children aged eight to 11 get enough exercise, said the report in the journal Health Affairs. The minimum guideline of 25 minutes a day, three days a week, was established by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. But if even just half of children exercised that much, the nation could avoid $21.9 billion in medical costs and lost wages over the course of their lifetimes, said the report by researchers at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. And if 100 percent of all kids in that age range did, $62.3 billion could be averted and 1.2 million fewer youths would be overweight or obese. “Physical activity not only makes kids feel better and helps them develop healthy habits, it’s also good for the nation’s bottom line,” said lead author Bruce Lee, executive director of JHU’s Global Obesity Prevention Center. “Our findings show that encouraging exercise and investing in physical activity such as school recess and youth sports leagues when kids are young pays big dividends as they grow up.” - Obesity rates About one in six US youths aged two to 19 are overweight

or obese, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC defines being “overweight” as having a body mass index -- a ratio calculated using measures of height to weight -that is between 25 and 30. Being “obese” means having a BMI higher than 30. The normal BMI range is 18.5-24.9. More than one in three US adults are obese (36.5 percent), raising their risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other life threatening conditions such as certain cancers. Research has shown that youths who are overweight by age 18 are far more likely than normal-weight peers to be overweight as adults. The study also looked at the possibility of no change, with just under a third of kids aged 8-11 continuing to meet the three-times-a-week exercise guideline. “Maintaining the current level of physical activity would result in 8.1 million of these youths being overweight or obese by 2020,” said the study, anticipating “$2.8 trillion in additional medical costs and lost wages over their lifetimes.” The lifetime medical costs for a person who is overweight average $62,331, while lost wages average $93,075, according to the study. For people who are obese, the costs are even higher. “As the prevalence of childhood obesity grows, so will the value of increasing physical activity,” said Lee. “We need to encourage kids to be active, to reduce screen time and get them running around again.”

done until we heard about DAPL,” said Merlejohn. He and his family spent several months going back and forth to Standing Rock and he spent part of last school year going to the Oceti Sakowin Camp School while working with

other water protectors to defeat the pipeline.

Detained Americans are often used as bargaining chips in negotiations with the United States. The two other Americans in custody are Tony Kim -- and Kim Dong Chul.

earlier this year, while Kim Dong Chul says he was arrested in 2015.

Kim Sang Duk was detained

Then in January, President Trump not only approved the Dakota Access pipeline, but overturned President Obama’s directive, moving forward with the KXL as well. (-Alternet)

The Warmbiers hope that with a new President in the White House they’ll be able to secure their son’s release. (-CNN)


VOICE OF ASIA 17

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FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Bollywood -Hollywood

Section 2

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

Shah Rukh Khan taking TED to India TV

Tel: 713-774-5140

Veteran Bollywood actor Khanna dies aged 70

ANCOUVER, Canada | AFP - Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan charmed a TED Conference crowd Thursday, sharing his life and playfully portraying himself as an aging movie star grappling with the changes around him. Khan’s talk on the TED stage came just months before a version of the big-idea-sharing event makes a television debut in India, where he will play the role of curator Chris Anderson. In a rare display, scores of fans staked out the convention center where TED was taking place, some of them pressing against windows to watch Kahn’s appearance being streamed to television screens. “For years, I’ve been a huge fan of TED Talks,” Khan said, referring to the conference’s freely shared videos in which brilliant and accomplished people dive concisely into captivating concepts. “There are so many people in India who would like to come out with their ideas and thoughts, and speak them in Hindi.” TED curator Anderson described TED Talks India as the organization’s most ambitious television project to date, and expected it to reach tens of millions of people when episodes begin airing later this year.

Indian film superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s talk on the TED stage came just months before a version of the big-idea-sharing event makes a television debut in India (Photo courtesy: The Quint) TED collaborated with media giant Star India on the project. “The country is teeming with imagination and innovation,” Anderson said in a blog post. “We believe this series will tap into that spirit and bring insight and inspiration to many new minds.” In a TED video likely to go viral when it is released online, 51-yearold Khan reminisced about growing up in a time when the word ‘apple’ brought to mind fruit, not a worldchanging company co-founded by the late Steve Jobs.

He spoke of his career rocketing and the arrival of an internet age where social media was so rampant that he felt “humanity, like me, was becoming an over-exposed prima donna.”

Indian Bollywood film actor Vinod Khanna was praised for his roles playing angry young men in the 1970s.

“I sell dreams and I peddle love to millions of people back home in India who assume that I am the best lover in the world,” Khan said as he opened his talk. “It has to be you who creates a world that is its own best lover, that should be the future you,” he said in closing, referring to the conference theme.

Shah Rukh Khan has a ‘FAN’ moment, meets one of his ‘favourite stars’ - Warren Beatty!

Amitabh Bachchan recalls the first time he met Vinod Khanna when he was shooting for Man Ka Meet and Amitabh was looking for a job.

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cclaimed Indian actor Vinod Khanna, who starred in dozens of hit Bollywood movies including “Amar Akbar Anthony” and “Mere Apne”, died aged 70 from cancer Thursday, a Mumbai hospital said.

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hah Rukh Khan has been having a good week. After continuing his successful stint as the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, the actor hopped down to the States to make a speech at TED Talks, being the first member of the Indian film industry to speak at the prestigious platform. Khan wowed his audiences with his speech, receiving great reviews and even a standing ovation. But his week just keeps on getting better.

Tributes poured in from the world of Hindi cinema for the award-winning actor, who was lauded for his roles playing angry young men in the 1970s.

During his trip to LA, Khan eventually managed to run into Hollywood icon Warren Beatty. The starstruck Khan couldn’t help but share a picture with his favourite actor, captioning the post on Twitter, “After

Khanna was also an MP in the northern state of Punjab. a whirlwind travelling spree spent a quiet evening with friends in LA & met one of my fav stars…Warren Beatty.” Both Khan and Beatty have been in the news this past year for different reasons. Khan, coming off of one successful movie after another, and Beatty, coming off of probably the biggest Oscar faux pas in history, after incorrectly announcing La La Land as the Best Picture winner with Faye Dunaway. But this incident didn’t seem to deter Khan, who still managed to enjoy his fanboy moment. On the work front, Khan is currently working on Imtiaz Ali’s tentatively titled film, Rahnuma, with Anushka Sharma. (-In.style Yahoo! News)

“Veteran actor and Member of Parliament Mr. Vinod Khanna, who was admitted to the Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital breathed his last at 11.20 am due to advanced bladder carcinoma,” it said. Khanna made his acting debut in 1968 in “Man Ka Meet” but is best remembered for his performances in “Mera Gaon Mera Desh”, “Mere Apne”, “Achanak” and “Amar Akbar Anthony”, where he appeared alongside superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor.

“Remembering the good times with you, Vinod. Thank you for being my friend,” Kapoor wrote on Twitter. “#VinodKhanna will always remain the coolest and most good looking actor to grace the Indian screens. The industry has lost a legend today,” tweeted actor Varun Dhawan. Actor Akshay Kumar posted: “Sad to learn about the passing away of #VinodKhanna Sir, one of the most charismatic actors...truly end of an era. Condolences to the family.” Khanna received plaudits for his performance as an angry anti-hero in “Mere Apne” and as a violent villain in “Mera Gaon Mera Desh”, aggressive roles that bucked the trend of polite, romantic leads favoured by Bollywood directors. Khanna won a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award in 1975 for his role in “Haath Ki Safai”. In 1999 he was given a lifetime achievement award. He last appeared on the silver screen in the 2015 film “Dilwale”. (-AFP)

SS Rajamouli confirms meeting Aamir Khan, spills beans about Mahabharata hile SS Rajamouli‘s next movie Baahubali: The Conclusion is set to release in a fortnight, fans are already speculating about his next project.

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In an earlier report, Bollywoodlife broke how SS Rajamouli was set to make Mahabharata with Amitabh Bachchan, Mohanlal and Aamir Khan. As per reports, the project was to go on floors in 2018. It was to be made on a budget of a whopping Rs 400 crore in three langauges – Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. What’s more, the director was keen on collaborating with Rajinikanth, Mohanlal and Aamir Khan for this mega budget trilogy. Now Rajamouli spills the

beans on Mahabharat, and also confirms meeting Aamir Khan. “I want to do Mahabharata and I have said that many times but definitely not immediately after Baahubali. Mahabharat is such an epic that I need to up my craftsmanship to handle such a subject. Yeah I met Aamir ji once quite sometime back, We spoke about Mahabharata. I know that he’s very much interested in doing the film. But as I said, at present I am not thinking anything beyond Baahubali. Mahabharata is definitely not after this.” From the looks of it, he hasn’t completely denied it, so we remain optimistic. (-In.style Yahoo! News)

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VOICE OF ASIA 18

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

HEALTHY LIVING VOICE OF ASIA

Section 2

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Plant-based diets for diabetics improves quality of life and mood by Michael Greger, M.D.

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lant-based diets not only appear to guard against getting diabetes in the first place, they may successfully treat the disease better than the diabetic diets patients typically are placed on, controlling both weight and cholesterol.

Cardiovascular risk is what kills diabetics the most. They’re more likely to get strokes, more likely to suffer heart failure. In fact, “[d]iabetes has been proposed as a coronary heart disease risk equivalent, which means diabetic patients without a history of coronary disease have an equivalent risk to that of nondiabetic individuals with confirmed heart disease.” A newer study used a technique to actually measure insulin sensitivity. It improved on both diets in the first three months, but then the vegetarian

Trump Promises Protections for Preexisting Conditions That May Not Be Delivered by GOP Bill

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he president spoke Sunday about the hot-button topic, saying he “mandated” that coverage for preexisting conditions will be in the Republican health care bill. But while the current version of the proposed legislation says “access” is guaranteed for people with preexisting conditions, it is silent on a key point: whether such access must be affordable.

Diets based on whole plant foods can result in significant weight loss without limiting portion size or counting calories, because plant foods tend to be so calorically dilute. In my video below, you can see the volume of 100 calories of broccoli, tomatoes, and strawberries compared to 100 calories of chicken, cheese, or fish. People just can’t seem to eat enough of the plant foods to compensate for the calorie deficit, so they lose weight eating whole plant foods. Most importantly, a plant-based diet works better. A plant-based diet beat out the conventional American Diabetes Association diet in a head-to-head, randomized, controlled clinical trial, without restricting portions and without calorie- or carb-counting. A review of all such studies found that those following plant-based diets experience improved reductions in blood sugars, body weight, and cardiovascular risk, compared with those on diets including animal products.

Tel: 713-774-5140

The New York Times: Pushing For Vote On Health Care Bill, Trump Seems Unclear On Its Details

Photo credit: Raw by Kristina diet pulled ahead. The researchers also found that the LDL cholesterol fell significantly in the vegetarian group. Indeed, that’s what we see when people are put on plant-based diets: Cholesterol comes down so much it can actually reverse the atherosclerosis progression—that is, reverse the progression of heart disease. We know about the beneficial effect of a vegetarian diet on controlling weight, blood sugars, cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, and oxidative stress compared to conventional diabetic diets, but what about quality of life and mood. How did people feel after making such a dramatic change in their diets? In a randomized, controlled trial, study subjects were assigned either to a plant-based diet group or a control group. The plant-based group ate vegetables, grains, beans, fruits, and nuts with animal products limited to a maximum of one daily portion of lowfat yogurt. The control group followed an official diabetes diet. Quality of life improved on both diets in the first three months, but,

within six months, the plant-based group clearly pulled ahead. The same results were seen with depression scores: They dropped in both groups in the first three months, but started to rebound in the control group. The bottom line is that the more plant-based diet “led to a greater improvement in quality of life and mood. Patients consuming a vegetarian diet also felt less constrained than those consuming the conventional diet.” People actually felt the conventional diabetic diet was more restrictive than the plant-based diet. Disinhibition decreased with a vegetarian diet, meaning those eating vegetarian were less likely to binge, and the subjects in the vegetarian group tended to feel less hungry. All of this helps with sustainability in the long term, which is, of course, critical for any dietary change. So, not only do plant-based diets appear to work better, but they may be easier to stick to. And, with the improvement in mood, patients may exhibit desired improvements not only in physical, but also in mental, health. (-Care2.com/PETA)

Six held as illegal kidney trade racket uncovered in Lahore

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AHORE: Investigators have uncovered an illegal kidney donation racket and arrested six people, including two doctors, after raiding a house where unauthorised surgeries were reportedly underway, a senior official told AFP Monday.

“A team comprising seven officials raided a house in Lahore and caught four people red-handed illegally transplanting kidneys to two Oman nationals,” Jamil Ahmad Mayo, Deputy Director of the Federal Investigation Agency, told AFP.

TOP: Two Omanis among those arrested had paid Rs7million each for a kidney. (Photo:: AFP/ File photo)

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CNN: Trump: GOP Health Care Bill ‘Guarantees’ Coverage For PreExisting Conditions President Donald Trump says the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act “guarantees” coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions -- a claim that could undercut the legislation the White House is currently pushing on Capitol Hill. (Bradner, 4/30) USA Today: Trump Dominates The 101st Day With Tweets, Tough Talk About Health Care Trump maintained there is yet another version of the American Health Care Act, House Republicans’ plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, and blamed obstruction by Democrats for Congress’ failure to pass the legislation before his 100th day in Congress, although Republicans control both chambers of Congress. Trump also maintained that “preexisting conditions are in the bill. I mandated it.” Coverage with people with existing medical conditions has to be included, he continued, because “Obamacare is dead.” (O’Donnell, 4/30) The Wall Street Journal: Trump Issues Health ‘Guarantee,’ Sidesteps Affordability Concerns

Authorities say the gang was involved in selling kidneys to international clients, particularly from wealthy Gulf nations.

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After two false starts on President Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump administration officials are pressing the House to vote on a revised version of the Republican repeal bill this week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday, administration officials said. And on Sunday, Mr. Trump insisted that the Republican health legislation would not allow discrimination against people with pre-existing medical conditions, an assertion contradicted by numerous health policy experts as well as the American Medical Association. (Pear, 5/1)

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Interviewer John Dickerson repeatedly asked Mr. Trump if the Republican plan—being negotiated among GOP lawmakers in the House— would guarantee coverage to people in every state, regardless of their medical history. Mr. Trump said that it would, but he didn’t directly address the possibility that some states could opt to charge more to people with such pre-existing conditions, the current sticking point in negotiations between GOP centrists and conservatives. (Radnofsky, 4/30) The Hill: Trump Says Coverage Of Pre-Existing Conditions Will Be In Healthcare Plan He said the GOP’s new healthcare bill is “much different than it was a little while ago.” “This bill has evolved. And we didn’t have a failure on the bill,” he said. “You know, it was reported like a failure. Now, the one thing I wouldn’t have done again

Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway, Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com is put a timeline. That’s why on the second iteration, I didn’t put a timeline,” he continued. (Savransky, 4/30) The Associated Press Fact Checker: Are Trump’s Health-Plan Protections Real? President Donald Trump is promising that the latest Republican health care legislation will cover people with pre-existing conditions “beautifully.” Such reassurance is not to be found in the bill that’s been under review. (Woodward and Drinkard, 5/1) The Associated Press: Fears Of Losing Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Under GOP From cancer to addiction, doctors and patient groups are warning that the latest Republican health care bill would gut hard-won protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Some GOP moderates who may seal the legislation’s fate are echoing those concerns. In a strongly worded statement this week, the American Medical Association said the Republican protections “may be illusory.” The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said the plan could take the nation back to a “patchwork system” that pushes costs on people with life-threatening conditions. (Alonso-Zaldivar and Fram, 4/28) The Hill: Trump: I Won’t Touch ‘Concept Of Medicare’ President Trump during an interview that aired Sunday said he will not touch the “concept of Medicare.” “I’m not going to touch it, because I said it,” the president said during an interview on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” “Now, waste, fraud and abuse, I’m going to touch. If there’s something in Medicare that’s been abused, I will touch that.” (Savransky, 4/30) Politico: Trump In Tweets: ‘New Healthcare Plan Is On Its Way’ President Donald Trump isn’t giving up on a new plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. In Sunday morning tweets, Trump said a new health care plan is on its way, adding: “Obamacare is dead.” (Morin, 4/30)

To Select right Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.


SCIENCE & TECH

VOICE OF ASIA 19

Only a superweapon can kill superbacteria, and humanity finally found it A genetic solution

by Will Nicol n 1945, in New Mexico, the researchers of the Manhattan Project performed the first detonation of a nuclear weapon; it bathed the desert with light, and cast a pall over the world for decades after. In 2016, the Southwest saw another harbinger of destruction.

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“Bacteria will develop resistance to any one antibiotic or antimicrobial given enough time,” says Dr. Bruce Geller, a professor of microbiology at Oregon State University. “Because they’ve had a 4 billion year head start in the evolution of mechanisms to adapt to changing en-

Photo credit: Shutterstock As a 2017 Center for Disease Control (CDC) report explained, a woman died in a Nevada hospital after contracting an infection from carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). This “super bacteria” was resistant to all 26 antibiotics available in the United States. Although the Nevada case may have been a wake-up call for some in the United States, for years now, researchers have been watching the crisis grow worldwide. In 2014, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the Assistant Director for Health Security at the World Health Organization (WHO), warned of the already present danger, saying “Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.” The CDC estimates that there are more than 23,000 deaths in the United States each year due to antibiotic resistant bacteria. India — where the Nevada woman was traveling when she sustained her fatal injury — has the highest rate of resistance to E. Coli in the world, according to the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy. In China, resistance to the drug colistin is spreading. This is particularly troubling, as colistin is already considered a last resort; it is an old drug which can cause kidney damage, and physicians only pulled it out of retirement because modern drugs have become steadily less effective. Antibiotic resistance will continue to spread, and it represents one of the great health crises of our time. Thankfully, there are researchers working to stop it.

vironments, they’re very, very good at getting around any antimicrobial they might encounter.” For years, biologists like Geller have been playing evolutionary whack-a-mole with bacteria. Although researchers are armed with the collective knowledge of the scientific community, bacteria have the cunning flexibility of nature. For every tool humans use against them, bacteria develop a countermeasure. While antibiotics were a revolution in medicine, the moment we first employed them, bacteria began to reshape themselves. Geller is exploring a unique approach: rather than developing yet another way to kill bacteria — to which they will eventually become resistant — why not make them vulnerable to already existing antibiotics again? To this end, Geller’s weapons of choice are synthetic molecules called peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers — PPMOs, for short. As you may have guessed from the outrageously long name, PPMOs are fairly complex; to understand how they work, you first need to wrap your head around how antibiotics work, and how bacteria have learned to fight them off. How bacteria and antibiotics function Bacteria are microscopic, singlecelled organisms that come in a variety of shapes. Like other singlecelled organisms, bacteria cells have a cell wall surrounding them; in bacteria specifically, these walls contain a substance called peptidoglycan, and this can be essential to the use of antibiotics. (-Digital Trends)

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

How and when did Saturn get those magnificent rings? The planet’s rings are coy when it comes to revealing their age, but astronomers are getting closer by Nola Taylor Redd

explanation.

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“If Saturn’s rings are young, then a (hypothetical) observer looking at our solar system would not have seen them if looking, say, one billion years ago,” said Francis Nimmo, a planetary scientist who studies the origins of icy worlds at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

assini, the little spacecraft that could, is going out in a blaze. For the next four months, the most sophisticated probe ever made will dance precariously between the Saturn and her icy rings, capturing spectacular images of this never-explored region. In this grand finale to its 20-year journey, Cassini will draw new attention to the origins of what are already the most glamorous—and mystifying—set of rings in the solar system.

Perhaps other worlds also have short-lived rings, whose brief appearances in the long lens of spacetime make them difficult to spot from

At some point in Saturn’s history, a disk of dust and gas around the moon coalesced into the incredible rings we see today. Some of the moons that dart in and out of those rings may have formed from the same material, meaning that dating those moons could help us zero in on the age of Saturn’s rings. But according to the new research, three of those inner moons are older than scientists had had hypothesized—hinting at an ancient origin for the rings as well. “It is a very cool puzzle, because everything is linked,” said Edgard Rivera-Valentin, at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Rather than tackle the ages of all of the moons and rings, Rivera-Valentin is slowly working his way through the challenge, step-by-step. “I’m trying to cut out one piece” of the puzzle, he says. Recently, Rivera-Valentin used new computer models to examine the collisional history of the Saturn’s moons Iapetus and Rhea, and found that they had formed early on in the 4.6-billion-year life of the solar system. His findings, which he presented at the Lunar and Planetary Sciences conference in Texas in March, support the idea that Saturn’s rings are older than we thought. In addition to being intriguing in their own right, Saturn’s rings and moons may offer hints for those hunting ringed planets outside our own solar system. So far, only one ringed exoplanet has been identified—which seems strange, given that all four gas giants in our own system boast rings. If Saturn’s moons and rings are young, that could provide an

Photo credit: NASA/JPL Earth. In that case, just as someone beyond the solar system would have a limited opportunity to spy rings around Saturn, human observers would be similarly limited in their ability to spot ringed exoworlds. Long-lived moons and rings, on the other hand, could mean that such worlds are common and could be hiding in plain sight—either lost in decades of data, or stymied by technological limitations. When it comes to calculating the ages of other worlds, scientists rely heavily on craters. By linking impact scars to periods of heavy bombardment in the solar system, they can roughly estimate how old the surface is, which provides an upper limit on the world itself. Previous research has suggested that Saturn’s rings and moons are just 100 million years old, making them relatively young in the life of the solar system. The problem is, how the solar system behaved in the past is a subject of ongoing debate. In 2005, a new theory emerged that had Uranus and Neptune dancing with one another, slinging icy debris inward towards the rest of the planets. But according to Rivera-Valentin’s research, this rain of material (known as the Late Heavy Bombardment) would have totally destroyed Saturn’s youngest moon, Mimas. Rivera-Valentin decided to work the problem from the other end. In the past, he’d worked with a student to calculate how much debris slammed into Iapetus, which he says should be the oldest moon under any model.

“However, smokers with this same variation had only a five percent lower risk of coronary

have formed 100 million years ago, I can at least say no, that’s probably not the case,” Rivera-Valentin said. However, models suggesting Rhea formed around the time of the Late Heavy Bombardment all work with the moon’s cratering history. By striking down one of the supports for younger rings, Rivera-Valentin’s research has helped build the case that Saturn’s satellites have a far older origin. - Turning back the clock Since the cratering history method is so dependent on our understanding of how the solar system evolved, Nimmo decided to take a different tactic to pursue the ages of the moon. His studies revealed that the moon must be at least a few hundred million years old, ruling out the models that set it at only 100 million years. “You can sort of wind the clock back and see where they were at earlier times,” Nimmo said. Previous research on the subject put Mimas right next to Saturn only half a billion years ago, suggesting that it could have been young. However, that research assumed that the moons behaved the same way in the past that they do today. If Saturn’s rings are old, that should mean they exist around other exoplanets. So why has only one world been identified so far? According to Kenworthy, that’s due in part to time. Spotting a gas giant far enough from its sun to hold onto icy rings requires about 10 years worth of data, information that has only recently been compiled. (-Smithsonian Magazine)

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The findings point to a genetic explanation for how smoking can lead to the plaque buildup that stiffens arteries and causes heart disease, said the report in the journal Circulation.

“A change in a single DNA ‘letter’ on chromosome 15, near the gene that expresses an enzyme (ADAMTS7) produced in blood vessels, was associated with a 12 percent reduction in heart risk in nonsmokers,” said the report.

“So the model that said they could

Youngest Astrologer of North America

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ASHINGTON, | AFP |- People who smoke cigarettes may boost their risk of clogged heart arteries by weakening a gene that is otherwise protective of these important blood vessels, US researchers said Monday.

Researchers pooled genetic data on more than 140,000 people from more than two dozen earlier studies, with a particular focus on regions of the genome that have been previously associated with a higher risk of plaque buildup in the heart’s arteries.

That could be because the amount of material hitting the moon was smaller than previously calculated. Or, it could be because Rhea formed much later than Iapetus, perhaps soon after the Late Heavy Bombardment that took place 3.9 billion years ago. But based on crater counts, Rhea’s scars mean it can’t be quite as young as some models predicted.

For astronomers, the most enduring mystery about these rings is their age. Although long considered ancient, in recent years their decrepitude has come under debate, with evidence suggesting a more youthful formation. Now new research supports the idea that Saturn’s rings are billions—rather than millions—of years old.

Smoking weakens a gene that protects arteries: study

“This has been one of the first big steps towards solving the complex puzzle of geneenvironment interactions that lead to coronary heart disease,” said co-author Danish Saleheen, assistant professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

By using a similar technique to figure out how much material scarred another moon, Rhea, he found that the satellite was bombarded far less than Iapetus.

Cigarette smoking can lead to plaque buildup in the heart (AFP Photo/Johannes Eisele) heart disease -- reducing by over half the protective effect of this genetic variation.” Follow-up lab studies showed that in cells that line arteries of the human heart, the production of the enzyme ADAMTS7 dropped significantly when the cells contained this single-letter DNA variant. - Inhibiting an enzyme Another experiment showed when coronary artery-lining cells were exposed to the liquid extract of cigarette smoke, the cells’ production of ADAMTS7 more than doubled. If researchers can find other ways to inhibit this enzyme, they might be able to help smokers and others at heightened risk of coronary heart disease, said co-author Muredach Reilly, director of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Columbia University Medical

Center. Cigarette smoking is known to cause about one in five cases of coronary heart disease, and is linked to approximately 1.6 million deaths worldwide each year. “Through these large-scale genetic studies, we’re beginning to understand the genetic variations that drive risk in response to certain environmental exposures or lifestyle behaviors,” said Reilly. “Not everyone reacts the same to the same exposures or behaviors. For example, some people who don’t exercise develop diabetes while others do not,” he added. “So, instead of saying there are rules for everybody, we can specify which interventions will be especially beneficial for specific populations or individuals and focus our health resources more efficiently.”

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VOICE OF ASIA 20

CULTURE

Feast of Color

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

The real history of Cinco de Mayo (it’s not a celebration of Mexico’s independence)

Before you make those margaritas, let’s be clear on what we’re actually celebrating, shall we? by Reader’s Digest Editors any people celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the U.S. as a time for being with friends and having fun without understanding the real significance behind the history of this Mexican holiday.

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Participants throw colored dyes at one another in celebration of Holi, a springtime Hindu festival that honors love and friendship. (Photo: Migz Nthigah)

In a Kolkata market, the flower men wear their wares

Spain would not get involved with this. Six-thousand French troops went up against 2,000 Mexicans in the town of Puebla on the fifth of May, 1862. Mexico was victorious, but Napoleon III later returned with more forces and installed Arch

dance, and food to remain focused on regaining the country and retaining their heritage. Mexico finally won their independence in 1867 when Arch Duke Maximillian was overthrown. Arch Duke Maxi-

First off, contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not in honorThe Real History of Cinco de Mayo (It’s Not a Celebration of Mexico’s Independence) of Mexico’s independence. It actually commemorates a battle on the fifth of May that was an unexpected victory of the Mexican army over the French forces. Mexico was attacked by foreign troops because President Benito Juarez defaulted on his payments to European nations after war had depleted the country’s ability to pay. They endured three wars which put their country in debt. In 1821 they fought for their independence from Spain, 1846-1848 they fought against America, and in 1857 they began their own civil war. When Mexico decided to default on its loans, France, Britain and Spain sent troops to demand repayment. But Napoleon III had other plans to take the country and install a French monarch. Britain and

Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—is a holiday commemorating the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (18611867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations (Photo: Business Insider) Duke Maximillian to rule. “Cinco de Mayo” became the rallying cry for the fight against the French occupation. They celebrated each year with song,

millian was executed in 1867. The bullet-riddled shirt that the ruler fell in is on display for all to see in Mexico City to commemorate the moment of victory. (-Source: history.com)

Asia Society Texas hosts ASIAFEST 2017 for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

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OUSTON Asia Society Houston will celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with AsiaFest, Asia Society Texas Center’s annual family event featuring community performances, fusion cuisine, creative activities, local vendors, and more!

Story and Photographs by Ken Hermann

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few years ago I was on an assignment in India. I had a day off, so I went to the Mullick Ghat flower market in Kolkata. It’s one of the largest floral wholesalers in Asia—a huge warren of stalls, more than a century old, with some 2,000 vendors setting up every day. Seasonal flowers arrive on trucks early each morning. The crazy, hectic atmosphere fascinated me. But more than anything, I was drawn to the way the male sellers carried their flowers. They were macho men, but they held their petals in an almost ladylike way. One guy looked like he was wearing a floral dress. Intrigued by this masculine-feminine contrast, I went back two years later to shoot a series of portraits. Flowers are used for everything

in India, from festivals and parties to religious rituals. The variety is enormous: brightly hued hibiscuses, vivid crimson roses, jasmine bouquets, fragrant lotus and magnolia flowers. But I decided to photograph only the species that I saw the vendors carrying. I originally thought about including both sexes in this series, but the women I asked told me they were reluctant to have their pictures taken. So I focused exclusively on the male vendors. A lot of these guys speak only Bengali. Some are there illegally; gaining their trust was a challenge. But after a few days my assistant and I connected with one of them—a local guy who speaks Bengali and Hindi. His help made it easier for us to get permission and access. The market was too congested

Commencing on Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 10am - 6pm at their Houston location, This free event will be the public highlight of the society’s spring programs. During the day, food Entertaining dancers from last year’s event (Photo :Jeff Fantich) trucks representing the Bayou City’s culinary Consulate General of Japan, rts Association, diversity will be lined up along Bollywood Dance by US Desi In celebration of AsiaFest and Southmore Boulevard. They Gals, Iranian Youth Dancers Asian Pacific American Heriwill include: Friohana Shave by Iranian Culture Foundation, tage Month, enjoy 20% off all Ice, Ripe Cuisine, D’Lish Escrima Martial Art Demon- memberships purchased May Curbside, Offbeat Eatz, Wok- stration by Bahala Na Martial 13 through May 15! Sign-up ker Texas Ranger, It’s A Wrap, Arts. by visiting Visitor & Member The Grove Donut Truck, and \ Services. Tila’s Tacos. The Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater (Indoors) Visit http://asiasociety.org/ Festival Lawn Stage (Out- will feature: Taiwanese Pup- texas/events/asiafest-2017 for doors) will showcase Avantica pet Show by The Taiwanese upcoming details and a flyer for Academy of Odissi Dance, Tai Heritage Society, Viet Wave the family-friendly, free event. Chi Demonstration with Hen- Music, Chinese Dance by J&H derson Smith, Korean Folk Dance School, Bollywood Per1370 Southmore Boulevard, Dance and Tae Kwon Do Dem- formance by Infused Perform- Houston, TX 77004. For inforonstration from The Korean Art ing Arts, Chinese Dance by the mation, call 713-496-9901 or Company, Kamishibai by the Oriental Arts Education Center visit asiasociety.org/houston. to frame the kind of clean pictures I like, so I photographed the men along the Hugli River, a tributary of the Ganges. I took my pictures from 12 to 3 p.m., to capture the moody mixture of sunlight and smog. I also used a studio filter to soften the harsh midday light. Over the course of eight days I photographed about 55 vendors. Most of the portraits took 10 or 15 minutes. That doesn’t sound like much, but it was so hot it felt as if we were burning. At the end of each day’s shoot, I had to go back to my hotel to change all my clothes. I was literally covered with sweat.

These stoic, masculine men put on a macho face when they get their picture taken. But you can see that they carry their flowers—their livelihood—in a very gentle way.

My work is an attempt to get beyond stereotypes. Some people think that everyone in India is poor and miserable. This project—a series of beautiful images made in a rough, unlikely environment—is my way of showing otherwise. (This story appears in the May 2017 issue of National Geographic)


SPORT

VOICE OF ASIA 21

Soccer

Fringe players prove worth in star-obsessed Real Madrid C.F.

J

ames Rodriguez scored twice while Alvaro Motata, Isco, Lucas Vazquez and Casemiro got a goal each as Real Madrid thrashed Deportivo La Coruna 6-2 on

Except for James and Asensio, none of the others had appeared in Real Madrid’s 2-3 loss to Barcelona last Sunday starting debates that Zinedine Zindane isn’t giving them

eryone is capable of. I’m delighted for him after the work he’s put in. He always delivers when called upon.”

Wednesdsay night. Real Madrid had gone into the game without their BBC (Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo) combination with Bale out injured, Ronaldo left out of the travelling squad and Benzema subjected to the bench. Just like it has been the case almost all season, Morata, Isco, James, Asensio and Vazquez rose to the occasion and grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

enough chances. The brilliance of Isco: Isco was the stand-out player of the night with his creativity and skills creating havoc in the Deportivo box. Isco scored towards the end of the match in the 77th minute and for all his hard work, he deserved that. Isco has now scored and assisted 12 goals in his last 12 starts for Real Madrid. Zidane said about Isco after the game, “He does things that not ev-

Just like it was seen in Real Madrid’s last night game against Deportivo, every time Madrid were losing the ball, they were tracing back and collectively worked to get the ball back. Bale, Benzema and Cristiano have been the decisive elements of Real Madrid’s success over the years but with the influx of new talent and Bernabeu crowd also willing to see home grown players get more playing time, it may be wise to start pushing forward the younger crop of players. The question remains... Is is time to dismantle the famed BBC? (-IndiaToday)

Badminton

China, Taiwan and Japan strike gold at Asia Championships

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UHAN, China ,AFP - Rio Olympic gold medallist Chen Long beat his Chinese team-mate Lin Dan in the men’s singles final on Sunday (Apr 30) to win his first Badminton Asia Championship and boost his claims for a berth at the world championships. The 28-year-old Chen had not won a tournament since last year’s Olympics but ended his barren run in timely fashion when he came from behind to beat Lin 21-23, 21-11, 21-10 in Sunday’s final at the Wuhan Sports Centre Gymnasium. It was his first win at the Asian Championships, one of the few major tournaments to have eluded him, after he finished on the podium six times previously. The victory may also help his prospects of competing at this year’s world championships in Glasgow, where he would be gunning for a third successive title if selected He is currently ranked ninth in the world but there are three Chinese men ahead of him, including Lin. Under the qualifying rules for the world championships, countries can only enter four athletes if they are ranked in the top eight. With the qualifying deadline having just expired, China can only enter three players in the men’s singles but the selections are up to the Chinese federation, who are not bound to follow the rankings and so could opt for Chen. Lin, 33, beat Malaysia’s current world number one Lee Chong Wei in Saturday’s semifinals. But Sunday’s loss ended the bid by the 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion for a record-equalling fifth Asian title, which would match the feat of Ye Zhaoying who won five women’s crowns in the 1990s. Tai Tzu-ying provided Tai-

Cricket

Robin Uthappa-Siddarth Kaul clash in IPL Yuvraj Singh plays ‘peacemaker’

first 15 balls. Gambhir did start well, with a couple of boundaries in the first over, but fell to Siddarth Kaul while trying to hit him for a big one. It went high up in their air before Rashid Khan comfortably held on to it while the batsmen crossed over.

This season, what has been working for Real Madrid without the BBC combination has been the fluidity in their game. Without the BBC, the nonstarry Galacticos display better connection, more selflessness and enhanced work rate. Another factor that favours the dismantling of the BBC is the cover the younger brigade provide at the back. Be it Morata or Vazquez, they put their bodies at the back and provide more solidity in the midfield and defence.

Alvaro Morata, Isco Alarcon (above right), James Rodriguez, Asensio and Lucas Vazquez grabbed the opportunity of Depotivo clash with both hands (Photo: Reuters)

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Yuvraj Singh had a word with Robin Uthappa after the batsman got into a clash with Siddarth Kaul in the 2017 Indian Premier League clash between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders (Photo: IPL)

T

he game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2017 Indian Premier League saw Yuvraj Singh play the role of a peacemaker after Robin Uthappa had a minor altercation with Siddarth Kaul after the batsman smashed a boundary. Sunrisers Hyderabad rode on the brilliance of captain David Warner’s record ton as they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 48 runs at the Uppal Stadi-

um in Hyderabad on Sunday. However, while his century was a brilliant endorsement for the gentleman’s game, there was a sour point during the Kolkata Knight Riders’ innings. Although the incident was not a huge one, it left a bad taste. It was in the third over during Kolkata Knight Riders’ chase. The team were already struck with a double whammy of losing captain Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine cheaply in the

Uthappa held the key in the chase and he started brightly by striking his first boundary between mid-on and the midwicket region. However, as he reached the non-striker’s end, Uthappa seemed to give a gentle push to Kaul who could only raise his hands in disbelief. The wicketkeeper-batsman could also be seen saying a few words to Kaul, to which the latter did not reply. Yuvraj Singh, who was present at the time of the incident, could be seen vividly shaking his head in disbelief to the unsporting gesture while trudging back to his fielding position. However, when rain halted play, he could also be seen walking up to Uthappa, having an arm around him and trying to play the peacemaker’s role while trying to remind the batsman how a senior like him should be treating a youngster like Kaul. (-HT)

Tennis

Sport to increase number of drugs tests

T

ennis’ governing bodies have agreed to increase the volume of drugs testing in the sport by more than 60 per cent, starting from May 1. The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme - a joint initiative from the ATP, WTA, Grand Slam Board and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) - announced the changes on Friday.

China’s Chen Long (C) celebrates on the podium after winning the men’s singles final against compatriot Lin Dan (L) at the 2017 Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan, in central China’s Hubei province (Photo: AFP) wan with its first Badminton Asian champion when she won Sunday’s women?s singles final. The current world number one took the gold when she beat Japanese teenager Akane Yamaguchi 18-21, 21-11, 21-

18. Japan’s Olympic champions Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi successfully defended their Asian women’s doubles title as expected, while China won the men’s and mixed doubles finals.

Football

Foreman selected by Houston Texans

T

he Houston Texans selected former Texas running back D’Onta Foreman in the third round with the 89th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He was the third player drafted out of the Big 12 and the seventh running back selected in at the event in Philadelphia. The 2016 Doak Walker Award winner was one of two running backs to eclipse the 2,000-yard rushing mark last season. Foreman’s breakout year also featured 15 touchdowns and 11 games of at least 120 yards — including two 250-yard performances. After his historic junior campaign, Foreman declared for the NFL Draft but missed the NFL Combine in early March as a result of

a stress fracture in his foot. Foreman revealed to NFL Network before the draft that his infant son died less than two months after he was born last season. “I was just overwhelmed with everything that I’ve been through,” Foreman said. “Everything that I’ve worked so hard for.” The Texas City native will remain in the Lone Star State to begin his NFL career. He adds depth at the running back position for the Texans, who finished eighth in rushing yards per game during the 2016 NFL season. Foreman will likely start his NFL career learning behind veteran halfback Lamar Miller, who has

The news comes in the week Maria Sharapova returned from a 15-month doping ban after failing a drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open. Sharapova tested positive for meldonium, which she claimed she had been taking for health reasons for years and had not realised it had been added to WADA’s prohibited list at the start of 2016. Andy Murray and Roger Federer have both been outspoken in their belief that there should be more stringent antidoping measures within the sport, and Friday’s release outlined the details of the alterations.

ranked fifth in total rushing since 2014. “It was just so crazy because just this whole weekend I’ve just been seeing Texans logos everywhere,” Foreman said. “And for whatever reason I just told my family that I feel like I’m going to be drafted by the Texans.” (-DailyTexanOnline)

The news comes in the week Maria Sharapova returned from a 15-month doping ban after failing a drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open (Photo: Getty Images) “The changes will see a significant increase in the volume of testing up to an annual total of 8,000 samples (from 4,899 in 2016),” it read. “This will include the collection of more urine and blood samples both in-competition and out-of-competition across more events, thus providing greater coverage of professional tennis. “The number of players included in the International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP) will increase to approximately 250, with all players subject to testing under the Athlete Biological Passport programme. “More samples (up to 50 per cent for top-ranked players) will be placed into long-term storage, allowing reanalysis of

those samples, such as when new or more sensitive detection methods become available. “To fund these changes, the annual budget for the Programme will be increased by over 50 per cent to approximately $4.5million in 2017 (excluding administration costs).” ITF president David Haggerty said: “On behalf of the partners in the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, we welcome this strengthening of the sport’s anti-doping efforts. “Protecting the integrity of tennis is an ongoing priority of the governing bodies of tennis to ensure that tennis is and remains a clean sport, and these enhancements will make a positive contribution to achieving that priority.”


HOROSCOPE

VOICE OF ASIA 22

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of May 5, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE

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

ONLINE WWW.VOICEOFASIAONLINE.COM

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

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

You will have to use your multi-tasking ability,even though you have a limit. There appears to be a conflict between your devotion to personal work and devotion to professional work. You need to cut down somewhere, and only you know where. Try to enjoy a short trip out of town with your family & just Chill n Relax, feel the peace away from stress. You have to read carefully & go through all the aspects, if you are signing a deal or making an important decision.

Practical concerns, What needs to get done will get done, because you are in a frame of mind to deal directly. Don’t fret about the fact that your personal independence may be a bit limited now. The work you do now is money in the bank for future freedom, maybe even that long-desired trip you’ve wished for some time. Good time for a sit down planning chat. Get out those maps and schedules. It’s not too soon to start thinking about that trip of a lifetime. You could meet a fascinating person who is destined to become part of your life.

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

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

Anyone who communicate with you will find you not only wonderful company, but a great team mate as well. You exude good feelings and you are sensitive to the needs of others. This general atmosphere spills over into your personal life. You will bring new zeal of happiness among your relatives, who really need your advice & consultation, to gain path of success in their life. You will feel the need of new earning opportunities. You will start doing research on how to expand your earning scope. You will also take suggestion from experts & seniors.

Distractions & your need to concentrate on your goals will lead you. What you have to do seems not only tedious, but also somehow irrelevant. In a way, this is a blessing, because it opens you up to operating in a new, rather unconventional manner. People will notice and applaud your ingenuity. Relations with the most important people in your life are, for the most part, positive. It is important not to focus on work while talking with your mate.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June You could be unhealthily focused on what you consider the inadequacies of your home environment. Don’t despair, do something! Even small cosmetic changes could make a huge difference, especially in your attitude. If someone else has to approve, approach him or her with a positive outlook. Give good reasons why your plan will benefit everyone. Wherever you land at week’s end, you will find yourself surrounded by agreeable people who share your mood. Join in the revelry, but avoid excesses of any kind.

Mood swings that may have you full of optimism one moment, but frustrated at unexpected setbacks the next. Don’t get knocked off your feet if someone throws you a curveball. You are certainly able to keep up your excellent batting average. Those around you may react giddily to sudden changes, you will be able to keep your head. Use this to your best advantage. In your partnered life, expect both peace and harmony to reign. Your mate will be a godsend. Don’t be tempted to fall into your more usual slapdash way of doing things.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Sweet harmony in your professional & personal life. You and your partner will find yourselves getting along about everything. You are very much in favor and may even enjoy an encouraging talk with a superior. It should make you feel more confident about your future and much more secure about in your position, right where you are. Store up the compliments and feed on them during any rough days in the future. You may lack cooperation from work associates.

You will be able to foresee beyond horizon, You’ll have plenty of spirit, more than one person may appear to want. Don’t allow them to knock you off your course. It may be superiors who find fault. Fortunately you can take it with good grace and simply keep on trucking. You may find that mates or partners suddenly want to change the rules. Your partner may be reacting to a simple attack of nerves. You may have to be the one who changes their mind, both with a sunny disposition and possibly a logical explanation why you did it.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Improvements and ideas about how they could be accomplished. The problem may be getting to the right people, with the right information, and you may be frustrated. Keep on digging and you will find what you are looking for. In the meantime, it is vital not to make any rash moves or uneducated guesses. Calm your tensions in one of two ways. Discuss the situation with a trustworthy friend or get a strenuous physical workout. The biggest blessing you may have is a new willingness for others to share responsibility for household concerns.

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Your overall financial situation, as well as your long-term goals are visible now. You’ve got plenty of things you would like to do, but it is vital to be selective. If you attempt them all, you will scatter your forces. Take it one day at a time. Your relationships should move forward into a more promising territory. You may want to take time to look at & appreciate others intentions. Make sure to include your financial partner, who will not be critical, even if you are the one who has fallen into a spending pattern that’s hurting the big picture.

BD

You could have the greatest time, with or without that crowd of people you always love to have around you. For best results, make it just the for you. You can be a star and a standout at work. It’s not unusual for you to come up with new, more productive and easier ways to do things, but now you may just astonish higher-ups with your creativeness. The good stuff doesn’t stop at the office door, either. Moonlight and roses may be part of the menu. For some, it will involve a new romance. Look forward to the thrill of getting to know somebody new.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March You need to make up your mind to make it done. It is highly possible that you will prove something of great success.A sudden inspiration may hit. It may have to do with furthering your education levels. There is no question that information is power these days. If you feel stuck on your rung of the ladder, a course or a second degree could help you climb much faster. Flirting may not be your strongest point, but you could have a silver tongue and know exactly just what to say and when to say it. It appears that your spouse interest will agree with your decision, and even join you in your efforts towards success .

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CLASSIFIEDS

VOICE OF ASIA 23

Our New Issue

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

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VOICE OF ASIA 24

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017

Voice of Asia e paper May 5 2017  

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