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March 30, InFRIDAY, Section 2 2018

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Vol. 31 No. 13 • Friday, March 30, 2018 UMBAI, India, March 26, - Governor Greg Abbott today visited JSW Group Global Headquarters in Mumbai, India, and signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to develop and augment the steel industry in Texas. With this agreement JSW Steel (USA) Inc. has agreed to consider an investment of $500 million in phases in developing its steel manufacturing infrastructure in Baytown, Texas. This investment will be used to expand the company's Plate & Pipe Mill unit. A Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant offer of $3.4 million has been extended to JSW Steel (USA) Inc.

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Governor Abbott closes landmark deal in India with JSW Group to develop local steel industry in Baytown

the U.S. market. It also provides JSW USA an opportunity to participate in USA’s infrastructure development and job creation priorities. Access to natural gas at extremely economical prices and the abundant availability of scrap steel in Texas make conditions very conducive for manufacturing through the Electric Arc Furnace route. JSW Steel (USA) Inc. wishes to create a world class fully integrated steel complex that will bring precision manufacturing of high quality steel plate and pipe to Texas, USA.” JSW USA operates one of the widest steel plate & pipe mills in North America. Strategically located in Baytown, Texas the unit services the needs of the energy, petrochemicals, defense and other heavy equipment industries in USA who need high quality carbon plate.

“JSW’s motto is ‘Better Everyday,’ and that’s the same approach we take in Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “The $500 million investment from JSW Steel to expand its operations in Texas shows what we can achieve when we work to be better every single day. Made in Texas is a powerful label, and I thank JSW for investing in our great state. We look forward to forging an even stronger partnership and continuing economic and job growth in the Lone Star State.” “The Memorandum signed by Greg Abbott and JSW USA is part of our long term strategy to enhance our U.S. footprint," said Mr. Parth Jindal of JSW Group. "It reiterates our commitment to stay invested and grow in


Texas Governor Greg Abbott (center) speaking to assembled business leaders and press at the JSW Group Global Headquarters in Mumbai. (Photo courtesy the Governor's office)

About JSW Steel: JSW Steel is a part of the diversified US$ 12 billion JSW Group, which has a presence in Steel, Energy, Infrastructure, Cement, Ventures and Sports. JSW Steel is the leading integrated steel company in India with an installed steel-making capacity of 18 MTPA. JSW Steel’s plant at Vijayanagar in Karnataka, is the largest single location steel producing facility in the country with a capacity of 12 MTPA. JSW Steel (USA) Inc is a subsidiary of JSW Steel Ltd. (Report from Austin, TX,

Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) recognizes Young Hindu Leaders March For Our Lives lands in Sugar Land

From left to right: Dr. Hansa Medley, Mr. Swapnil Agarwal, with awardees: Adhi Gopal, Arun Dev Kumar, Eesha Gulati, Akash Dhingra, Jiger Patel, Ayush Sharma. (Photo credit: Bijay Dixit) by Komal Luthra


OUSTON -On March 3, 2018, Hindus of Greater Houston hosted their 8th

Annual Hindu Youth Awards Fundraising Gala at ISKCON Houston. The event packed with large number of youth attendees from

prominent temples and organizations was chaired by Bhawna Luthra, accompanied by emcees Ratish Pillai, Komal Luthra, and Richa Dixit. Host

Clements High School, FBISD, student Elizabeth holds up her poster before the start of March for Lives in Sugar Land on Saturday, March 24. (Photo by Shobana Muratee)

Article and photos on page 5

Continued on Page 4

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FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

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his weekend, hundreds of thousands of young people participated in the “March for Our Lives” in Washington, D.C., the culmination of efforts by student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who had survived the recent shooting that claimed 17 lives.

As expected, many of the speakers at the march called on Congress to pass further guncontrol legislation. But the protest was different in tone from earlier rallies like the 2016 Women’s March. It was organized by, and deliberately focused on, the young. Despite the intense media coverage leading up to the event, the celebrity presence was muted (though George Clooney and Kim Kardashian both managed cameos). What wasn’t muted were the many pleas by march organizers for young people to register to vote and to use that voting power at the polls in the midterm elections in November. True, many marchers and speakers at the rally talked about their hopes for a coming “blue wave” of Democrats in the fall, but the fact that plenty of homemade signs advocated not gun control, but registering to vote, is notable. It would be easy to be cynical about the marchers and their slogans, and to assume that this will prove to be less a sustained movement than a brief protest moment. This seems to be the approach of the White House, whose only acknowledgement of the event was a generic statement praising the kids for exercising their First Amendment rights (President

kids at their peril

New York Times. “They plan to make sure they vote and they get others to register to vote.” A sophomore survivor of the shooting challenged the crowd in D.C. to register and vote to prove older generations wrong about youth activists. “They think we’re all talk and no action.”

Trump exercised his own right to avoid protesters by spending the weekend in Mar-a-Lago). What Trump should have done—and what conservatives, regardless of their views on guns, should do—is acknowledge the civic-mindedness of these marchers. Yes, there is plenty of hyperbole from both sides in the gun control debate, and there are plenty of reasons to wonder about the staying power or convictions of 17-year-olds who have spent the past few weeks in the glare of the media spotlight. It’s also true that some of the rhetoric from the marchers—on their signs and from the stage—was irresponsible and counterproductive. But rather than complain about their arguments, engage them. And rather than dismiss their concerns, address them. On a practical level, conser-

Will the marches Make a difference? by Patricia Murphy


sked whether the gun issue could swing an election toward a candidate who supports stricter gun laws the same way 1994 swung the pendulum in the opposite direction, gun safety groups say it’s already happening. They point to last year’s governor’s race in Virginia, where exit polls ranked guns as the No. 2 issue, and Democrat Ralph Northam, a former Army doctor, won by nearly 10 points after he spoke frequently about his response to the Virginia Tech shooting. Among voters who said gun issues were most important, Northam won 57 percent to 43 percent.

surprise victory in southwestern Pennsylvania, Democrat Conor Lamb didn’t stay away from the gun issue either, and

vatives need to reckon with some uncomfortable realities.

Political and civic engagement is crucial for a healthy democracy. Instead of mocking teenage marchers, why not use this moment as an opportunity to engage in critical self-reflection about why the Republican party—and the conservative message more broadly—has not managed to reach these future voters?

Many of this weekend’s marchers won’t be old enough to vote until the 2020 elections, but their older brothers and sisters have already made their political affiliations clear. A recent report from Pew found that 62 percent of registered millennial voters favored Democratic candidates for the upcoming midterm elections. Only 12 percent of millennials embrace mostly conservative positions, which Pew notes is the lowest of any generation. The post-millennial generation—which includes the middle-school and highschool-age kids at this weekend’s march—appear likely to continue this trend. “The mass shooting generation is nearing voting age,” a spokesman for the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety told the

Demographically and politically, conservatives are in a battle for the hearts and minds of these kids—and so far, conservatives are losing. You don’t have to agree with the marchers’ admittedly uninformed stance on guns or their naive embrace of their own celebrity status to acknowledge their accomplishment. Their willingness to drop everything and organize this march and advocate for greater youth participation in politics might or might not lead to action at the polls come November. But ignoring their rallying cry for civic engagement—or worse, condemning it—risks encouraging the kind of cynicism and apathy that conservatives have long argued is one of the greatest threats to democracy. (-Weekly Standard) Editorial Board)

even ran an ad touting his support for stricter background checks. The gun issue may or may not have won the race for him, but it didn’t lose the race for him in a district that had gone for President Trump by nearly 20 points a year earlier.

turn out and vote in enough force to cost members their seats is the biggest and most important wildcard question of 2018. Marches are where change can start, but elections are where the change happens. If change doesn’t happen after this year of marches and mobilization, it’s hard to imagine when it ever could.

Whether voters looking for more gun safety will register,

In the days leading up to his

K. V. Doraiswamy Bhattar 281-489-0464 or 281-948-8368

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


Section 1

Community Email:

FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

Tel: 713-774-5140

Rare Gomata Puja performed at Nithyanandeshwara Hindu Temple Houston Aadheenam desses.

During this puja, devotees offered various abhishekams (sacred bath), colored Vastra (cloth) and Naivedhyams (food offering) to receive blessings.


On this occasion, the Temple brought a Desi Cow from a local Goshala where the cow is raised, fed and cared for with love and compassion. This is one of the rarest pujas performed outside of India and was authentically performed as per the Shiva Agamas. During this puja, devotees offered various abhishekams (sacred bath), colored Vastra (cloth) and Naivedhyams (food offering) to receive blessings. Some of devotes who participated in this event saw an immediate breakthrough in their life. Many of the devotees and attendees of this ritual expressed a deep gratitude towards the temple for being able to witness, and be part of such an auspicious event here in the city of Houston, Texas. Priest seen performing Gomaatha Puja. “Go” meaning Cow and “Matha” meaning Mother

fter its Grand Opening and Kumbhabhishekam a year ago, the Nithyanandeshwara Hindu Temple Houston Aadheenam successfully celebrated its first temple anniversary from March 10th to March 13th, 2018.

The Nithyanandeshwara Hindu Temple Houston Aadheenam - inspired by His Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda, recognized as a living incarnation by millions, and Mahamandaleshwar of the most ancient apex body of Hinduism, the Mahanirvani Akhada, and under the auspices of the worldwide governing body of Hinduism, Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP), was founded to promote the values of Hinduism and to support the spiritual needs of the local Houston community.

The temple hosted a four day tightly packed schedule of events of which the highlight was the “GoMaatha Puja”, performed to honor the grace of the cow. In the Vedic Tradition, the Desi cow is revered and worshipped as “GoMaatha” - “Go” meaning Cow and “Matha” meaning Mother. By meditating on the Desi Cow, the one who provides the life sustaining milk, we receive all abundance and auspiciousness. According to the Hindu Scriptures, all Gods and Goddesses have their presence in the body of cow, and performing this Gomaatha Puja reaps the blessings of all Gods and God-

On Monday and Tuesday, Yaga Pujas were performed with Purnahuthi and Kalasabhishekam. The celebrations ended with Grand Meenakshi Thirukalyanam - celebrating the divine cosmic wedding of Goddess Meenakshi, and Lord Sadashiva Himself.

For More information about the Temple, please contact (832) 812-5916, (832) 6712633, or Visit www.

Devotees and guests partaking in the pooja along with the priests.

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Meenakshi Temple Society. Award winners were given the opportunity to share their personal experiences in developing into young serviceoriented leaders in the Houston community.

Dr. Hansa Medley will be passing over the charge to Girish Naik for next year’s Hindu Youth Award event. Continued from Page 1 ISKCON of Houston presented three beautiful cultural programs and also catered a delicious Satvik dinner through their Govinda’s Vegetarian Cuisine. After the traditional lamp lighting, the event commenced with prayer in silence as an Anjali for the Shankarachayra of Kanchi kamakoti Peetam “Swamy Jayendra Saraswati” who attained Siddhi on Tuesday Feb. 27, 2018. The seven outstanding young individuals who received the awards this year were Neelam Bhatt from

FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) recognizes Young Hindu Leaders emphasized the importance of being self-aware of the reasons for doing community service.

Awardee Akash Dhingra shared some inspiring words said “Look up at the sky, explore your dreams, and discover who you are”, while Eesha Gulati another awardee beautifully recited a Sanskrit shloka which meant “those who serve and bow to the elders are blessed with growth in four areas of life- longevity, fame, wisdom, and power”

Mr. Surendra Adhana, the Deputy Consul General of Houston, elaborated on the importance of having stability in one’s dreams to attain Sankalp. He also explained how Sankalp becomes Siddhi with hard work and perseverance.

Three special guests graced the occasion with their remarkable motivational speeches. HH Rtadhvaja Swami, who travels to inspire the youth, stressed on the importance of service and referred to it as “the future hope for society and progress in spiritual and material life.” He emphasized that “Humans are meant to understand our eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord and that can be done through the service attitude.” His elaborated a couple of abbreviations; GPA (God Point Av-

Lighting the lamps: L to R: Dr. Hansa Medley, Swami Rtatdvaja, Mrs. Kiran Bhutada, Jugal Malani, Gregerty Haan, Subhash Gupta, Joseph Emmett, Swapnil Agarwal, Sushma Mahajan.

HH. Swami Rtatdvaja addressing the youth. Also seen is Swapnil Agarwal seated next to him. BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Akash Dhingra from VHP of America, Arun Dev Kumar from Sewa International, Ayush Sharma from HSS, Jiger Patel from ISKCON of Houston, Eesha Gulati from Arya Samaj and Adhi Gopal from

erage) is determined by one’s Hindu Dharma and service and GPS (God Positioning System) understanding our position in relationship to God. Swapnil Agarwal, an enviably young and successful

ISKCON eYouth singing shlokas entrepreneur and the Founder & CEO of Nitya Capital in Houston, shared how Hinduism provided him with a sense of identity when he came to the

USA from India at the age of 15. Growing up, he had many questions about Hinduism, and while he is still finding answers and learning, he narrated

one that he learnt - “Karma”, which is doing good deeds without expecting results, and explained how he applies it to his business venture. He also

Sri Meenakshi Temple celebrated Ugadhi

Lord Venkateswara Abhishekam being performed.

On Sunday, March 18th, 2018 by Bhargavi Golla PEARLAND - Sri Meenakshi Temple celebrated Ugadhi with devotion and festive fervor on Sunday, March 18th. Ugadhi is the New Year's Day for the people of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Ugadhi

falls on "Chaitra Shudhdha Paadyami" or the first day of the bright half of the Indian month of Chaitra. This generally falls in late March or early April. The festival is called Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra.

Theertham and Prasadam being offered to the devotees by the priests.

Ugadhi is to celebrate the beginning of a sixty-year cycle, known as Samvatsara. All 60 Samvatsara are identified by their unique names. This year it is called Vilambi

Devotees listen to the discourse being delivered by the priest. Nama Samvatsaram. Richly adored is the deity Sri Padmavati

Ugadhi is celebrated to welcome the New Year, which ushers in a season of freshness

and brightness. Nature brims with sprightliness when the flowers blossom and mango buds bloom heralding the arrival of New Year. The festive

ceremonies of Ugadhi are observed in harmony with the joy and beauty of nature to mark the beginning of growth, affluence and prosperity for every-

Joseph Emmett, a HGH Board of Advisor, commending the youth for all their accomplishments says “Congratulations to the remarkable honorees at this year's youth awards put on by Hindus of Greater Houston! It was inspiring to hear their dedication to this profound tradition and lifestyle. HGH is doing a great job in maintaining this great Vedic culture in a world that sorely needs its viewpoint. Hari Om!" Nikhil Jaiswal, a previous Hindu Youth Award winner and an attendee this year described his experience saying “This year, the Hindu Youth Awards was a combination of jubilance, introspection, and inspiration for youth and adults around the community. From camp coordinators, to Hindi teachers, to full time volunteers, to immigrants helping in Harvey, the award recipients portrayed the vast contributions in which Hindu Youth are making a difference in - culture, education, disaster relief, etc.” Mr. Girish Naik, Past President of Hindus of Greater Houston announced that the Janmashtami celebrations, a signature event of HGH will be celebrated on 25Th August at the George Brown Convention Center. The event ended with Dr. Hansa Medley passing the baton to Mr. Girish Naik for the next year’s Hindu Youth Award event. Hindus of Greater Houston is proud to host this event every year to honor youth for their great accomplishments. Photographer: Bijay Dixit Videographer: Namananda Das, ISKCON Houston

one. The festival is celebrated by adorning the doorways with mango leaves, which signifies prosperity and general well being, new clothes and abundance of some mouthwatering traditional cuisines. As devotees gathered at the temple and it started with Venkateswara Abhishekam. MTS Chairman Padmini Ranganathan wished everyone a Happy Ugadhi and Ugadhi Subhakanshalu. Priests Sridharan Raghavan, Pavan Kumar Sri Bhashyam and Sriman Narayana performed the Abhishekam and was witnessed by hundreds of devotees. Many ardent devotees experienced the joys of chanting Vishnu Sahasranama (Sri Venkateswara Divine Names). During alankaram auspicious and traditional Panchanga Shravanam (astrology predictions for the upcoming year) was read in Telugu by Priest Sri Pavankumar and in Kannada by Priest Doraiswamy Bhattar. Priests performed Archana and Manthrapushpam followed by Aarathi at Sri Sundareswara, Meenakshi, Venkateswara and Padmavathi Sannidhis. The event then concluded with Theertham & Prasadam. Another most important ritual of Ugadhi is preparing Ugadhi Pachhadi. The Pachhadi has six different tastes assimilated in it – sweet, salty, bitter, tangy, spicy and sour. It is a symbolic reminder that one must expect all flavors of experiences in the coming year and make the most of them. This year the Ugadhi Pachhadi (Neem Pachhadi) was prepared by Sita Mutyala who has done this every year Ugadhi has been celebrated at MTS. Board member Bhargavi Golla announced that Sri Baskar Rao Mutyala started this festival celebration at Sri MTS several years ago, who left this as one of many memories with us. Mouthwatering festival lunch was prepared by food committee lead by Rani Chilukuri and served by many volunteers. There was a steady stream of devotees through out the day to pray and get blessings on this New Year’s Day.

Fort Bend View


FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

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

Section 1


Tel: 713-774-5140

March For Our Lives brings out the passionate students and adults in Riverstone, Sugar Land and Missouri City by a Staff Reporter


ORT BEND - 15,000 Houstonians marched though downtown Houston on Saturday, March 24th but more locally, the residents of Sugar Land, Missouri City and the Riverstone community also turned out for a protest march. Lead by students of Fort Bend High Schools and Junior High Schools (with help and organizing support by Facebook group Riverstonians Together), a crowd estimated at over 1500 gathered at 10am in Sugar Land Memorial Park

and after practing a few motivational chants, set out towards the Smart Financial Centre a mile away. Police vehicles were a discreet, watchful presence for the crowd as they wound up the sidewalk towards the freeway next to the Centre, ensuring a safe crossing at the traffic light. An hour after it began, the marchers were gathered in front of the building, with students and supporters speaking words of encouragement and stories of harrowing feelings of fear at active shooter drills. Chants of "Never again" and

"Enough is enough" rose and fell spontaneously. The Interfaith Council of Fort Bend were there to speak of their pleasure in supporting the voices of the day. And a number of teachers walked up to the microphone to relate how amazed they were at the youth's passion and their own feelings towards the subject of school gun violence. Many young folks stressed the importance of the ballot box, voter registration and making their voices heard in the political arena in the upcoming 2018 elections.

Elkins High School students lead the March For Our Lives rally and provided the inspiration for everyone. (Photos: Shobana Muratee)

Vijay from Riverstone led the chants.

Homemade signs were everywhere.

The protesters marched from the park to the Smart Financial Centre, Sugar Land.



FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

HMSLH celebrates 20 years of serving the community


UGAR LAND – (March 27, 2018) — Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital opened in March 1998 with 22 beds and 160 employees- But it soon became evident that the rapidly growing community needed more. Today, Houston Methodist Sugar Land has more than 300 beds and more than 2,200 employees. “The strategy at the time was to offer a few services locally and provide a gateway to Methodist in the medical center,” said CEO Chris Siebenaler. “But it became clear early on that our community had higher expectations. People in Fort Bend wanted a full-service hospital close to home, one that could provide the same level of care as hospitals in the medical center.” Since then, Houston Methodist Sugar Land has continued to expand its physical footprint and the range and breadth of its offerings. “As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, Houston Methodist Sugar Land has become part of the community, providing the highest quality health care across a wide range of specialties,” Siebenaler said. “The hospital has achieved multiple Fort Bend County medical firsts, and developed centers of excellence – cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, neurosciences and women’s services which are well-established leaders, performing the most complex, sophisticated procedures and treating patients from across Fort Bend and surrounding counties.” The hospital’s campus now includes three patient towers

IACF invites you to join and say “I Walk – I Care” Photo caption: Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital that hold 347 medical, surgical and intensive care beds along with 27 operating rooms; a stand-alone orthopedics and sports medicine facility and Cancer Center; comprehensive Heart & Vascular Center, Neuroscience & Spine Center and Breast Care Center; an expanding Childbirth Center and three medical office buildings. The growth of the hospital mirrors the rapid population growth in Fort Bend. In 1998, the county was home to around 332,000 people. Twenty years later, that population has more than doubled. As a result, in its first year, the hospital treated fewer than 7,000 patients. In 2017, more than 225,000 patients were treated at Houston Methodist Sugar Land. “Our growth is driven by the needs of our community,” Siebenaler said. “As the population has grown and changed,

and our service area has expanded, we’ve continued to invest in facilities, technology and people to ensure that we are providing the types of services and level of care that are needed. That will never change.” In 2017 Houston Methodist Sugar Land received official designation as a Magnet® hospital from the American Nurses Credentialing Center—the highest and most respected national recognition for nursing excellence. Only 7 percent of U.S. hospitals are Magnet certified, and Houston Methodist Sugar Land is the only Magnet hospital in Fort Bend. “What sets us apart from other hospitals are our I CARE values – integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence,” Siebenaler said. “Those I CARE values define our behaviors and how we care for people every day – our patients, families and even each

other Siebenaler said that the hospital’s milestone anniversary is both an opportunity to celebrate and a springboard for new ideas. For example, one focus is identifying unique ways to increase the amount of care delivered outside of the traditional hospital setting. “Medicine is always evolving and we’re going to evolve with it,” Siebenaler said. “We’ll continue to get better at what we do and improve our ability to provide the most up-to-date care and technology possible. It’s exciting to think about what the next 20 years may bring.” For more information about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, visit or call 281.274.7500 to find a doctor in your area. Visit our Facebook page at for the latest news, events and information.

Presidential Service Award presented to Sugar Land Prep student, Safiyya Patanam

Safiyya and all she has done for the community. We know we will see great things from her in the future! Way to go, Safiyya!

by Matisen Turk Edited by Aly Mathews


urricane Harvey brought unprecedented flooding and destruction to the city of Houston. Sugar Land Preparatory Academy’s 9th grader Safiyya Patanam saw this as a chance to make a difference in the lives of those affected. To help with Harvey relief, Safiyya cleaned up debris, gutted houses, packed toiletries, and distributed bedding, clothes, and food for refugee families. This was made possible by Safiyya’s constant involvement with the Islamic Circle of North America, a nonprofit organization that provides disaster relief to those in need. In addition to engaging in Harvey assistance, Safiyya’s numerous philanthropic activities include tutoring a refugee family from Afghanistan, organizing the ICNA South Central Regional Convention, and helping out at her mosque during carnivals and events. It’s not unusual to find Safiyya and her family giving back to their community; they are deeply involved in ICNA Relief Houston and regularly participate in charity events. Referring to her tutoring of the kids from Afghanistan, Safiyya says that seeing the children progress in their studies is an overall humbling


UGAR LAND – The Indo-American Charity Foundation (IACF) will have its signature Walk-a-Thon: “I WalkI Care” at Lost Creek Park in Sugar Land on April 7, 2018 at 7:30 a.m. Joining IACF are the Indian Doctor’s Association (IDA) and the Indian Doctor’s Charity Clinic (IDCC) in a combined effort to raise health awareness and funds to support the IDCC which provides free medical services to the uninsured and underprivileged communities in Houston and benefits the numerous other charities that IACF supports. Registration for the walk is free and open to all online at Details about the walk and sponsorship are also available on the IACF website. To become a sponsor, please email IACF President, Mahesh Wadhwa at or call Mousumi Banerjee at 832841-5727. Participants will be provided with breakfast and beverages at the end of the walk. IACF is a non-profit (501c) organization in Houston recognized for its

charitable services in the areas of health, education, and human services in the Greater Houston Area. Driven by its motto “We live here, we give here,” the organization commemorates 30 years this year and will continue to expand its scope of activities to serve the communities here. During hurricane Harvey, IACF members volunteered at various centers and raised funds at its Annual gala making a donation of $200,000 to the Houston Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. To learn more about IACF and to become a volunteer, visit Event: “I Walk I Care” Walkathon When: Saturday, April 7th, 2018 starting at 7:30AM Where: Lost Creek Park, 3703 Lost Creek Blvd, Sugar Land, TX 77479 Registration: Free How to: online at www. Sponsors: Please contact Mousumi Banerjee at 832841-5727

Bush High School’s NJROTC places First Overall in 2018 NJROTC Texas State Championship Event

Bush High School’s Navy JROTC cadets Safiyya Patanam and satisfying experience that gives her a great sense of pride. In recognition of her hard work, Safiyya recently received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. This award is given to honor volunteers who have dedicated them-

selves to multiple hours of service. So far, Safiyya has volunteered a total of 124 hours. Safiyya continues to tutor the refugee family and help with ICNA Relief packing and distributing events. Sugar Land Prep is very proud of

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ORT BEND ISD (March 27, 2018) – 2nd Place – Armed Exhibition Drill, comBush High School’s Navy JROTC ca- manded by Cadet Steven Nguyen dets participated in the 2018 NJROTC Texas State Academics, Physical Fitness, Per- Additionally, the following Bush NJROTC sonnel Inspection, and Military Drill Cham- cadets are being recognized for their accompionships. Held at Texas A&M University in plishments at the state championships: College Station, the event welcomed cadets Cadet Stanley Akujor, 5th in Academics and from the top NJROTC programs in the state. 5th in Cadence Sit-ups After competing in various divisions the Cadet Oscar Santos, 1st with 324 sit-ups Bush “Bronco” NJROTC Battalion, com- and 3rd with 72 push-ups manded by Cadet Commander Beatriz Socorro-Fuentes, placed First Overall and earned Cadet Fernando Carrasco, 2nd with 314 sit- several top awards. Bush also made competi- ups tion history in the Time Cadence Count Sit-up division with seven of the eight male cadets Cadet Oscar Gonzalez and Cadet Hat Tran, completing a combined total of 3,108 sit-ups. tied for 3rd with 312 sit-ups Their record performance is a first in the 25 Cadet Johnny Perez, 4th with 295 sit-ups year history of the state championship, and six Cadet Gene Rodil, 2nd with 74 push-ups of the cadets are being recognized at state. Cadet Steven Nguyen, 3rd in Academics Bush also earned the following awards: 1st Place Overall – Physical Fitness, Cadet Michelle Cardenas, 2nd with 38 commanded by Cadet Ivan Pardillo and push-ups Cadet Aresha Sheikh Cadet Goodness Nzere, 4th with 36 pus-ups 1st Place – Cadence Sit-ups Cadet Necita Lacaben and Cadet Ifeatu Oba 1st Place – Cadence Push-ups si,tied for 5th with 35 push-ups 1st Place Overall – Drill Cadet Matthew Bardalez, named the 1st Place – Armed Regulation Drill,

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“Number 1” Armed Commander in the State

Cadet Beatriz Socorro-Fuentes, named the 2nd Place – Unit Inspection, commanded by “Number 2” Unarmed Commander in the state Cadet Beatriz Socorro-Fuentes The cadet cadre thanks Miss Ferguson, 2nd Place – Unarmed Exhibition Drill, com Coach Robertson, Coach Daniela Chavez and manded by Cadet Beatriz Socorro BHS Principal Dr. Cecilia Crear for their con2nd Place – Color Guard, commanded by tinuous support and making a difference at the state competition. Cadet Saint Anthony Martinez-Bakre



Immigrants at center of partisan brawl over US census



ashington's plan to ask about citizenship during the US census drew sharp rebukes from Democrats on Tuesday, setting the stage for a bruising partisan brawl with electoral implications.

But Democrats said the move will lead to the undercounting of legal immigrants, distorting the US electoral balance. California sued to block the move. Only US citizens are allowed to register to vote. But Trump has long claimed that millions of illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 presidential election, without providing proof. The US Constitution mandates a count of its population every decade, with the next estimate coming in 2020. The estimate is used for many purposes, including apportioning congressional seats and allocating federal funds for schools, hospitals and other programs. The Census Bureau, part of the Commerce Department, has not asked about citizenship in the 10-year survey since 1950. The Department said the 10year census question will mirror a query used on an annual census survey, which asks: "Is this person a citizen of the United States?" It further queries whether the person was born in the US, in a US territory like Puerto Rico, to a parent overseas, or is naturalized and, if so, the date of naturalization.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced a plan to ask about citizenship during the US national census, but Democrats have concerns (AFP Photo/SAUL LOEB) laws, and allocation of federal funds," Ross said in a memo. "These are foundational elements of our democracy, and it is therefore incumbent upon the department and the Census Bureau to make every effort to provide a complete and accurate decennial census." - 'Fear and distrust' But the decision drew immediate rebukes from leading Democrats, including Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "This detrimental change will inject fear and distrust into vulnerable communities, and cause traditionally undercounted communities to be even further under-represented, financially excluded and left behind," Pelosi said. Pelosi also castigated Trump for disregarding the views of earlier Census Bureau directors from both parties who objected to the question, and to recent census staff research that pointed to worries in immigrant communities that census takers will pass data to immigration officials.

Ross defended the decision as a common-sense move.

On Tuesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit against the move, saying on Twitter that "California simply has too much to lose."

The 10-year census is "relied on for a myriad of important government decisions, including apportionment of congressional seats among states, enforcement of voting rights

"Field representatives conducting surveys and other experiments are already reporting widespread and unprecedented fear among test respondents," said Arturo Vargas, executive

director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. "Adding a question on citizenship at this time would only seek to fan the flames of fear and distrust in the census, further risking depressed response rates." If minority populations do not participate in the survey out of fear for themselves or their relatives, that could result in a large undercounting of those populations.


Jackson's stock with Trump rose after he pronounced in January that the 71-year-old president was in "excellent" health. After releasing the results from Trump's physical, Jackson said "he has incredible genes and that's the way God made him."

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and the President earlier this year. (File photo) "I am pleased to announce that I intend to nominate highly respected Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, MD, as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs," said Trump, who has also replaced his secretary of state and national security advisor in the last month. "I am thankful for Dr. David Shulkin's service to our country and to our GREAT VETERANS!" he said on Twitter. Pentagon official Robert Wilkie would serve as interim department chief until Jackson receives Congressional approval, the president added. Shulkin's sacking had been widely predicted after he was accused of spending $122,000 on a nine-day trip to Europe with his wife, which included sightseeing at castles and taking in professional tennis matches. He was one of the few senior officials in the Trump administration who had also served during the presidency of Barack Obama.

Shulkin's departure caps a dizzying month of changes to the Trump cabinet, most notably the sacking of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state on March 13. Trump's top economic advisor Gary Cohn also exited the White House after the president announced plans to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, a policy Cohn did not endorse. And National Security Advisor HR McMaster was axed only six days ago, replaced by the hardline Fox News pundit and former UN ambassador John Bolton. The Department of Veterans Affairs is the second-largest federal agency after the Pentagon, employing 360,000 people. The 58-year-old Shulkin had served as undersecretary of veterans affairs for health under Obama. He previously worked as chief medical officer of the

Russia hit back that it was the only country working to turn the ceasefire into a reality on the ground in Syria, where government forces have recaptured nearly all of Eastern Ghouta in a fierce month-long offensive. "This should be a day of shame for every member of this council," said Haley. She said 1,600 people had "died on our watch" in Eastern Ghouta since the council unanimously adopted a ceasefire resolution on February 24 after intense negotiations with Russia, President Bashar alAssad's ally. Syrians continued to be taken on buses out of Eastern Gh-

US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council Monday that the US would intervene in the conflict if the UN failed to implement the ceasefire that was announced February 24. (AFP/ File photo)

That in turn could have political implications by under-representing Democratic-leaning cities where many immigrants live. Stanford sociologist Matthew Snipp said the implications on political representation could be especially serious in Texas, California and Arizona where the Hispanic population is particularly robust. Those backing the decision included a trio of Republican Senators, Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who had lobbied for the move and praised the decision. "It is imperative that the data gathered in the census is reliable, given the wide-ranging impacts it will have on US policy," Cruz said. "A question on citizenship is a reasonable, commonsense addition to the census." The 2010 census estimated the US population at 308.8 million. Experts now estimate the US has 327 million people.

Trump ousts Veterans Affairs chief, taps WH doctor to replace him ASHINGTON | AFP | Wednesday 3/28/2018 - US President Donald Trump shook up his cabinet once again on Wednesday, sacking embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and nominating White House doctor Ronny Jackson as his successor.

UN faces 'day of shame' over failed Syria truce: Haley NITED NATIONS, United States | AFP | 3/27/2018 - US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday rebuked the UN Security Council over Syria, saying the failure of a 30-day ceasefire should be a "day of shame" for council members.

by Delphine Touitou

President Donald Trump's plan was announced late Monday by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who said an accurate count allows for proper enforcement of the Voting Rights Act -- aimed at prohibiting racial discrimination at the polls -- among other advantages.

FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

University of health system.


Syrians sit in the street with their belongings as they wait to be evacuated from Arbin in Eastern Ghouta on March 27, 2018 outa on Tuesday in an evacuation the West sees as a strategy of starve-and-siege, directed against civilians to force a surrender of armed groups. "After years of enduring siege and starvation, residents are surrendering Eastern Ghouta," an enclave on the outskirts of Damascus, said Haley. "History will not be kind when it judges the effectiveness of this council in relieving the suffering of the Syrian people."

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the departures were voluntary and that Moscow's forces were providing food, shelter and medical aid to those in need. "Perhaps it is not to the liking of some, but in fact we are the sole member to undertake concrete measures to implement Resolution 2401," said Nebenzia. France expressed concern with the fate of 55,000 civilians held in nine camps administered by the Syrian government near Eastern Ghouta,

without access to water or electricity. "Their fate has not improved. Their hell has just moved a few kilometers (miles) away," said French Ambassador Francois Delattre. UN aid agencies continue to be denied access to Eastern Ghouta. Sweden and Kuwait, which drafted the ceasefire resolution, maintain that it remains in force and are urging action to ensure the truce finally takes hold across the country.



FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

Sri Lanka president cuts PM's Pakistan's first transgender duties in power struggle news anchor makes headlines



OLOMBO, Sri Lanka | AFP | Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Wednesday reduced the responsibilities of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as a power struggle worsened within their uneasy coalition.

AHORE, Pakistan | AFP | - A Pakistani TV channel has put the country's first transgender news anchor on the air, a watershed cultural moment for the marginalised community in the deeply conservative country. Marvia Malik, a former model who appeared on the Lahorebased private broadcaster Kohenoor for the first time last Friday, told AFP she has received "unprecedented love and support" since landing the job.

Sirisena took away the central bank, the policy-making National Operations Room and several other institutions from the control of Wickremesinghe, who had held them since coming to power in January 2015. The changes were published in a government gazette notice issued Wednesday which transferred the responsibilities to Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera. There was no official explanation for why the Central Bank of Sri Lanka had been taken away from the prime minister's control. In 2015 a central bank governor appointed by Wickremesinghe, Arjuna Mahendran, was accused of insider trading. Sirisena appointed a special inquiry which cleared Wickremesinghe of any wrongdoing. But Mahendran was held responsible for passing sensitive information to his bonddealer son-in-law Arjun Aloysius to make $75 million in undue profits. Sirisena joined hands with Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) to oust strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse in January 2015 after a decade in power. But since then their alliance has fractured, with Sirisena clashing with free-market champion Wickremesinghe over economic policy. Relations worsened further after their coalition did badly in local government elections last month. The president blamed the premier for their electoral set-

Wickremesinghe: stripped of several responsibilities as a power struggle worsens backs. Earlier this year, Sirisena publicly lambasted Wickremesinghe and his UNP, saying they had mismanaged the economy. Sirisena said the current government was also more corrupt than the former regime they toppled together. A section within Sirisena's party supports a no-confidence move against Wickremesinghe slated for April 4. However, the UNP is the largest single party in the 225-member assembly and

commands a comfortable majority with the help of allies. The premier could be brought down only if Sirisena can unite his own fractured Sri Lanka Freedom Party and engineer defections from Wickremesinghe's UNP. Tensions between the coalition partners have also escalated over Sirisena's attempts to extend his presidential term by one more year till 2021, a move that was rejected by the Supreme Court earlier this year.

"My family never accepted or owned me," she said, adding that the rift drove her to seek a better future in Lahore, Pakistan's cultural capital. "Here I received unprecedented love and support from everyone that I never got from my own family," she said, adding that the positive response only escalated once she went on air for the daily broadcast. Transgenders -- also known in Pakistan as "khawajasiras", an umbrella term denoting a third sex that includes transsexuals, transvestites and eunuchs -- have long fought for their rights in the patriarchal Islamic country.

Pakistan's first transgender news anchor Marvia Malik reads the news on air In 2009 Pakistan became one of the first countries in the world to legally recognise a third sex. Last year the first transgender passport was issued, while several have also run in elections. But they live daily as pariahs, often reduced to begging and prostitution, subjected to extortion and discrimination or targeted for violence. Malik, who declined to confirm her age to AFP but is reportedly around 21, said she hoped to use her platform to

China urges US to 'stop economic intimidation' over tariffs


EIJING, China | AFP | - China on Monday lashed out at US "economic intimidation" following President Donald Trump's announcement of new import tariffs, but said it was open to negotiations to resolve trade frictions. The two countries have traded threats and heated rhetoric in recent days, ratcheting up fears that the world's two biggest economies are heading towards a damaging trade war.

Trump said last Thursday that the United States would impose new tariffs on some $60 billion of Chinese imports over the "theft" of intellectual property, rattling global financial markets. Vice President Mike Pence boasted the measures mean that the "era of economic surrender is over". Asked about the remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a

press briefing on Monday that "it would have been more appropriate to say that it's time to stop the US's economic intimidation and hegemony". Beijing has not stood idle. On Friday, it unveiled a list of $3 billion worth of US goods, including pork, fruits and wine, that could be targeted with tariffs in retaliation for steel and aluminium tariffs -- if negotiations fail. "We also have the confidence

and the capacity to safeguard our legitimate and legal interests, whatever the circumstances," Hua said. "Now the ball is in the US court." - Trade negotiations While the two sides have traded barbs in public, US and Chinese officials have begun behind-the-scenes negotiations to improve American access to the Asian country's huge market, according to the Wall Street Journal.

urge people to treat one another as human beings first, without discrimination. A journalism graduate from Punjab University, she said she hopes eventually to enter politics herself or form a non-governmental organisation aimed at promoting gender rights. If she becomes "financially sound", she added, she may even seek to establish her own TV channel. Many transgenders in Pakistan earn their living as dancers at weddings or parties and, sometimes, in more clandestine ways. Her employers at Kohenoor admitted that Malik had stunned them while interviewing for the job by turning a question around on them. "She asked, 'Would you want to see me a beggar, a sex worker or dancing at the cultural festivals, or give me a respectable job in your channel?'" news director Bilal Ashraf told AFP. "Her question stunned us really, and we had no reply." It forced them to "devise a policy to welcome, accept and own everyone in our channel without any discrimination," he said, adding: "We don't bother with where our channel will stand in the ratings by doing this."



Where are India's dollar millionaires fleeing? by Ishani Duttagupta


uchir Sharma, head of emerging markets and chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, said at an event in Delhi recently that the highest number of millionaires leaving their country of origin was from India. His comment was based on a survey carried out by NW Wealth, which found 23,000 millionaires have left India since 2014. In 2017, it was 7,000. So why and where are these Indian millionaires going? Bob Dhillon, Canadian-Indian real estate magnate and chief executive officer of Mainstreet Equity Corp, sees this as the third wave of migration from India — after poor and marginal farmers from Punjab moved to western countries over a century ago and, later, professionals left India in search of better working and living conditions. The US, not surprisingly, is a big draw for high net worth Indians, looking to tap international markets and pursue entrepreneurial dreams. “The US EB-5 investment route to a faster green card is popular because it is secure and less expensive than citizenship process in many other countries. It is also a route to a green card for many families, to provide education in the US for their children, or for professionals stuck in long H-1B queues,” says Brennan Sim, senior vicepresident of EB5 United, a firm offering immigration services. Ishaan Khanna, who recently got a green card through the EB-5 route, is an example. Having graduated in information systems from the US, he opted for the EB-5 programme to get a green card faster. “My parents run a business in India and they put in the money for my application. I don’t see them moving to the US. But, for me, the green card has opened up a host of opportunities.”

“For young and well-heeled Indian business persons and professionals,” says Dhillon, “Canada is a favourite destination because the fabric of this country is changing. Canada offers better quality of life in terms of education, health and infrastructure. People of Indian origin here are doing well in different walks of life.” Mumbai-based lawyer Poorvi Chothani finds a lot of interest among wealthy Indian parents in their 40s to move to western countries “to make a better life for their children . Many Indians who have lived and worked abroad find it difficult to return to India because of lifestyle issues, she adds. Mark I Davies, global managing partner of Davies & Associates, a global law firm, says some Indians who get fasttrack permanent residency in countries such as Portugal or Grenada may be using these as a stepping stone to immigrate to the US, Canada or the UK. “The US provides the best opportunities for Indians who are entrepreneurial,” he adds. While the US and the UK remain popular for Indian HNIs, there are a few surprises too: US PR Route: EB-5 or Employment-based Immigrant Investor Program. Requirement: Have to invest in a new commercial enterprise that will create full-time positions for at least 10 qualifying employees The minimum qualifying investment is $1 million in the US; and $500,000 if in targeted employment areas. Advantages: It takes about a year and a half for an EB-5 applicant to get a conditional green card; six months to receive approval for an I-526 petition Considering the long queues for green cards for highly skilled professionals, this is a fast-track solution Indian high net worth families

explore it as an option for their children’s higher education in the US. UK PR Route: Tier-1 (Investor) visa. Requirement: Access to at least £2,000,000 in investment.

FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

Anish Kapoor’s monumental Cloud Column installed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

CANADA PR Route: British Columbia Entrepreneur Program. Requirement: Candidates have to open a qualifying new business in the province, or significantly expand an existing one, to qualify for expedited Canadian permanent residency. This is part of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program. Personal net worth of at least C$600,000. Minimum C$200,000.



Creation of at least one new job. Advantages: Quality of life in Canada, including healthcare, education and infrastructure Large Indian diaspora and multicultural society. PORTUGAL Golden Resident Permit Programme. proRequirement: The gramme yields a residency permit in Portugal to non-EU investors who provide proof that investment funds originate from abroad, who have no criminal record and the whose property is not frozen within the boundaries of the EU Applicants have to acquire property valued at €500,000 or more or €350,000 or more for properties more than 30 years old or located in urban regeneration areas designated for refurbishing. Advantages: Unlike many residency and citizenship programmes around the world, the investment doesn’t have to be in any specific government-recognised development. It could be in real estate, commercial or residential It provides an entry into the EU for businesses and is a simple and easy route to permanent residency.

Anish Kapoor’sCloud Column being installed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. MFAH photo First of two public sculptures to be installed on the site of the museum’s Steven Holl-designed Glassell School of Art and its Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza, by Deborah Nevins & Associates The plaza and school open to the public on Sunday, May 20


OUSTON—Tuesday, March 27, 2018— Today, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, completed the two day installation of Cloud Column, by Anish Kapoor, a recently acquired public sculpture for the Museum’s redeveloped campus. Cloud Column has been sited on the plaza of the Glassell School of Art, which opens to the public on May 20. Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Column, conceived in the late 1990s and realized in 2006, is a singular work within a decadeslong engagement with what the artist has called “defining space.” The oblong form’s concave “front” faces the Glassell School of Art, inverting the structure, its surroundings and

the viewer in its reflection. Unlike nearly all of Kapoor’s related sculptures, Cloud Column’s stainless-steel surface has been hand-worked, evoking the human touch, commented MFAH Director Gary Tinterow. “I have admired Anish Kapoor’s work for more than 20 years. When we had the opportunity several years ago to acquire this precursor to Chicago’s Cloud Gate, I could only imagine that it would be as extraordinary for this city as Anish’s work has been for Chicago. Its elegant form and the subtle humanity of its handworked surface will fully animate this new gathering place for Houston.” The installation process began early Monday morning. Protected by a steel cage, the sculpture was trucked along the freeway for seven miles on a flat-bed trailer, on its side, from the Museum’s off-site art-storage facility to the construction site of the new Glassell School and plaza. There, a 650-ton crane had been delivered and assembled overnight. In less than half an hour, crews attached the sculpture – at 21,000 pounds, in a 6,000-pound steel crate –to

that crane and another one by straps, hoisted it up, still on its side, then righted it vertically, and lowered, hovering, over its slab. For the next five hours, members of the installation crew worked beneath the sculpture and stationed themselves at its top to establish the exact positioning. Riggers then bolted it into place. In the morning, a team of five removed the dozens of bars of the cage by hand, with a crane engaged to pull away the larger ones. Following that, a single member of Kapoor’s London installation team, perched on a cherry-picker, began buffing the stainless-steel surface to its signature sheen, a process that takes up to six hours. The Glassell School of Art and Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza of the MFAH open to the public on Sunday, May 20, the first phase in the Museum’s campus-redevelopment project. A second public sculpture, Eduardo Chillida’s 1966 Song of Strength, will be installed on the plaza, opposite the Kapoor, in mid-April. The entire campus will be completed in early 2020.

Source: ET Bureau

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FRIDAY, March 30, 2018


Smith, Warner banned for year Top prospect Ronald Acuna over cricket cheating scandal rejects Braves' $30 million contract offer


tlanta Braves top prospect Ronald Acuna recently rejected a $30 million contract extension offer from the team, a source told ESPN Deportes. The deal would have been in the range of five to six years, the source. Acuna, who is widely considered baseball's top overall prospect, will start this season in the minor leagues, allowing the Braves to gain an extra year of contractual control over the outfield phenom. It is unclear if Acuna turned down the extension offer before or after Atlanta reassigned him to minor league camp March 19.

Australia's David Warner (left) and Steve Smith have both been banned from top-level cricket for 12 months (AFP Photo/William West, Indranil Mukherjee) by David Legge


OHANNESBURG, South Africa | AFP | 3/28/2018 - Disgraced skipper Steve Smith and vicecaptain David Warner were Wednesday banned from playing cricket for Australia for a year over a cheating scandal that has rocked the sport and dragged their side's reputation through the mud. Both players have also been ejected from this year's Indian Premier League (IPL), losing contracts worth nearly $2 million each. Cricket Australia (CA) said Smith and Warner had been suspended from "all international and domestic cricket" while opening batsman Cameron Bancroft has been banned for nine months over the balltampering incident during the third Test in South Africa.

CA said in a statement that Bancroft, 25, who has played just eight Tests, had attempted to "artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper". The aim would have been to generate more swing for Australia's bowlers. Smith -- the world's number one Test batsman -- was charged with knowledge of the potential plan but Warner was charged with developing the plan and instructing Bancroft to carry it out. The CA statement said Smith and Bancroft would not be considered for team leadership positions until a minimum of 12 months after the end of their suspensions, but Warner will be barred from such positions in the future. Cricket Australia told AFP the players could still play at club level in Australia or in

other countries. All three players will also be required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket. - 'Sanctions' Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: "I am satisfied that the sanctions in this case properly reflect a balance between the need to protect the integrity and reputation of the game." Smith, Warner and Bancroft have been sent home from South Africa but coach Darren Lehmann remains in charge because Cricket Australia says he was unaware of the plot to tamper with the ball. It is a dramatic fall from grace for Smith, who has been hailed by many as the best batsman since Australia's Don Bradman, widely recognised as the finest

The Philadelphia Phillies made a similar move with top prospect Scott Kingery on Sunday, signing the infielder to a six-year contract reportedly worth $24 million. The deal runs through 2023 and includes three team options, meaning the Phillies could have Kingery under contractual control until after the 2026 season, when he will be 32. Kingery's contract gives him the most guaranteed money ever for an amateur drafted player who has never played in the major leagues. Acuna also has not played in the majors, although he was Atlanta's best player this year in spring training and is coming off an outstanding 2017 season in the minors. player in history. The 28-year-old averages more than 61 in 64 Tests with 23 centuries, putting him in the top bracket of players. The scandal will also hit the players hard in the pocket, with Smith and Warner losing their contracts in the IPL, Smith with

Acuna is widely considered baseball's top overall prospect. The Braves will have to keep Acuna, 20, in the minors until April 13 to limit his service time for 2018 and prevent him from becoming a free agent until 2024. Acuna, who was Atlanta's best player this spring, would have hit free agency a year earlier had he made the Braves' Opening Day roster. Ronald Acuna batted .432, the best in the Grapefruit League, with four home runs this spring for the Braves. Jasen Vinlove/ USA TODAY Sports Although the move was expected, Acuna batted .432 with four home runs, 11 RBIs and four stolen bases in 16 spring training games. He also had 19 hits, a .519 on-base percentage and a .727 slugging percentage the Rajasthan Royals and Warner for Sunrisers Hyderabad. But Australian great Shane Warne said the players had been harshly treated and the punishment does not fit the crime, referring to a "tornado of hysteria" in a post on Facebook.

in spring training. Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said last week that the team wanted Acuna to get more "development time" in the minors. The Venezuelan outfielder batted .325 with 21 homers, 82 RBIs and 44 stolen bases across three minor league levels in the Braves' system last year. Acuna also was named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League last year, becoming the youngest player in league history to receive the award. He recently was rated as baseball's No. 1 overall prospect by ESPN's Keith Law, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus.(-ESPN)

"Their opposing captain in this series, South Africa's Faf du Plessis, has been charged with the offence twice and opening bowler Vernon Philander once," he wrote. "The list of players who have been charged with ball-tampering is long and contains some of the biggest names in the game."


FRIDAY, March 30, 2018



FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in collaboration with the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur, India. Lead Underwriters: Nidhika and Pershant Mehta Additional generous support for this exhibition is provided by Medha and Shashank Karve; Sushila and Dr. Durga D. Agrawal; National Endowment for the Arts; The E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; Eddie and Chinhui Allen; Milton D. Rosenau, Jr. and Dr. Ellen R. Gritz; Paul and Manmeet Likhari; Mr. and Mrs. H. Bruce Sallee; Vivian L. Smith Foundation; Anne and Albert Chao; Jag and Pinder Gill; Dr. and Mrs. Srinivasa Madhavan; Usha and Kumara Peddamatham; Dr. Mani and Anuradha Subramanian; Rama and Geetha Rau Yelundur; Mr. and Mrs. Sundaresan Bala; Monjula and Ravi Chidambaram; Kathy and Marty Goossen; Shantha Raghuthaman; and Miwa S. Sakashita and Dr. John R. Stroehlein. The accompanying catalogue is generously supported by Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

µ˙The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


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FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

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Making Hanmi Bank your ‘Bank of Choice’ by Shobana Muratee HOUSTON - The growing success of Hanmi Bank, a Los Angeles-based subsidiary of Hanmi Financial Corp, is attributed mainly to the multi-ethnic communities it caters to across California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington. And when Mohammad Tariq took charge as the Executive Vice President and Regional President of Texas for Hanmi Bank nearly three years ago on Oct. 27, 2014, he knew exactly where to begin – at the core of the community. “Tariq has a proven track record of generating profitable growth in his previous positions at MetroBank, N.A., serving customers in the Korean, Chinese, South Asian and mainstream communities in Texas,” said Chong Guk Kum, President, CEO of Hanmi Bank in a statement. In an exclusive interview with Voice of Asia Tariq shared his journey with banking. “I got into banking 20 years ago dealing with many different communities as a Chief Lending Officer at MetroBank, N.A. (now East West Bank), the largest Asian ethnic community bank in Texas. He saw to the loan production growth, commercial lending strategies, and marketing plans for the Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas. “That was a huge undertaking because of my desire to be a part of certain communities that we cater,” he said. After MetroBank, Tariq was Executive Vice President and Chief Loan Officer at Golden Bank, N.A. He received his graduate banking education from the University of Pennsylvania’s Stoni-

er School of Banking and holds a Leadership certification from the Wharton School of Business. His credits his success to his keen sense of understanding his customers. “I feel like a banker has a defined path to deal with his company and see what the needs are of the customers,” he said. “Also, the ability to make yourself available is a key factor.” Speaking of the challenges, Tariq said, “Every time there’s a merger, you are blending two different cultures. Each company has its own ritual. When our bank purchased this local bank (United Central Bank), there were two different cultures that I deal with, one from a California owned bank and another from a Texas small community bank. We added lots of training programs to identify obstacles and were able to mitigate them.” Hanmi Bank was very supportive of the community during Hurricane Harvey and saw an opportunity to give back. Tariq was instrumental in Hanmi Bank donating $10,000 to Sewa International, a non-profit organization in Houston. The banking industry is very competitive and aggressive, and many people prefer mainstream banking because they claim to be more accessible, Tariq pointed out. “We are a community bank at $5 billion. We tell them (customers) that we are a phone call away.”

make sure that our customer will make our bank their bank of choice, rather than just a transactional bank,” Tariq said.

He went on to explained how he is committed to being accessible by personally attending to customers when his loan officers and branch managers are unavailable. “Because time is an asset to their businesses, we want to

In Texas, Hanmi Bank has three branches in the Houston area, five in Dallas and one in Austin. Tariq’s portfolio includes other areas as well. Dallas, he said, has very capable managers which has helped him focus more in

Mohammad Tariq | EVP & Regional President, Texas. Photo provided by Hanmi Bank. Houston and Austin areas to bring in the best talent. When Hanmi Bank announced its presence in Houston as the new community bank, it wasn’t just another community bank but a leader among communities. In January 2018, Hanmi Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:HAFC) the parent company for the bank, re-

ported net income for the 2017 fourth quarter of $11.5 million or $0.36 per diluted share, compared with $14.9 million, or $0.46 per diluted share for the 2017 third quarter and $14.4 million, or $0.45 per diluted share for the 2016 fourth quarter. Globe NewsWire reports for the 2017 year, net income was $54.7 million, or $1.69 per diluted share, compared with $56.5 million, or $1.75 per diluted share, for 2016.

Indian billionaire proposes funding Facebook rival Anand Mahindra, whose Mahindra Group business empire spans everything from cars to real estate, sparked a flurry of brainstorming as Facebook reels from a scandal over the misuse of its user data.

Anand Mahindra is offering to help fund a rival to Facebook (AFP Photo/ Indranil Mukherjee )


EW DELHI, India | AFP | Wednesday 3/28/2018 An Indian billionaire who promised to help fund a rival to

Facebook said Wednesday he had been “overwhelmed” with the response as the world grapples with concerns about data privacy.

The social media giant has been under pressure to explain how data on up to 50 million users was allegedly taken from Facebook and used in political campaigns. Mahindra earlier this week urged India’s tech entrepreneurs to devise “our own social networking company” and

offered seed funding to startups to get the better ideas rolling. The invitation provoked a flood of proposals, even from his own chief digital officer Jaspreet Bindra who was tempted by his boss’s offer. “To say I’m overwhelmed by the

responses to my call for social network startup proposals would be an understatement!” Mahindra posted on Twitter on Wednesday. “The good thing is that it’s clear there’s an explosion in entrepreneurial energies in this country. Let the games begin!”

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Eternal noodles: Obama ‘bun cha’ table encased in Vietnam


Pedestrian’s death raises concerns over driverless cars by Pierre Donadieu

by Jenny Vaughn


ANOI, Vietnam | AFP - The table where former US president Barack Obama famously slurped noodles in downtown Hanoi has been preserved -- chopsticks and all -- under a glass box for eternity, in a move that has attracted legions of bemused diners to the once low-key eatery.

ARIS, France | AFP Self-driving cars were once the fixtures of futuristic cartoons and sci-fi films.

Bun Cha Huong Lien restaurant, since dubbed “bun cha Obama”, shot to stardom in 2016 when the then-US leader took a break from official duties on a Hanoi visit to enjoy a $3 bowl of pork noodles with fried spring rolls with globetrotting chef Anthony Bourdain.

Some of the issues at stake have become even more pressing since the first ever fatal self-driving car crash involving a pedestrian occurred at the weekend in the United States.


Now customers are thronging to the hotspot for a taste of that famous evening. “I’m very happy to sit near the table where President Obama once sat because I love Obama very much,” office worker Tran Dinh Ha told AFP during the busy lunch rush. Pictures of Obama and Bourdain’s budding bromance over dinner -- filmed for the chef’s CNN series “Parts Unknown” -- quickly went viral, and now plaster the walls of the simple joint in Hanoi’s leafy Old Quarter.

Now, as they start to hit the road in the real world, thorny questions are mushrooming over their safety, and around the legal and ethical challenges they pose.

Business has boomed ever since the presidential pork dinner happened at this table, now being shown off at the restaurant. Business has boomed ever since the presidential pork dinner. But the owner insists she isn’t dining out on the Obama fame and has resisted offers from customers wanting to buy the table, instead freezing the dinnertime tableau for posterity. “I think it’s appropriate to preserve the memory of Mr Obama,” owner Nguyen Thi Lien told AFP, as amused tourists snapped selfies with the encased table, set with clean bowls, plates, chopsticks and condiment jars. Lien wouldn’t say whether

the dishes on display are the ones used by Bourdain and Obama, who she described as “modest and friendly”. The transparent box is a form of preservation, and reverence, familiar to Hanoians: Vietnam’s much-praised revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh is embalmed and encased in glass at his mausoleum in central Hanoi. Still, not all of Lien’s customers welcomed the stunt with open arms. “Not sure how I feel about this,” Bourdain said on Instagram under a photo of the table at which he apparently once sat.

Finns find key to being world’s happiest despite ups and downs by Camille Bas-Wohlert


ELSINKI, Finland | AFP - Finns have long been perceived as taciturn and introverted people in a country known for its dark, cold winters and high suicide rate. Today, they are also considered the world’s happiest. In the just released 2018 UN World Happiness Report, Finland took the top spot followed by its Scandinavian neighbours and Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. “When we heard about it, we thought it was a mistake,” laughed Ulla-Maija Rouhiainen, a 64-year-old retiree living in Helsinki. The UN report found that Finland and the other countries at the top of the rankings all performed well on key issues that support well-being: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity. Finns’ happiness, as often seen in acclaimed Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki’s emotionless films, is based on the fact that their basic needs are being met. For philosopher Frank Martela, life satisfaction depends on how well a country’s institutions function, social equality, freedom, lack of corruption, trust in government and in each other. Finland excels in each of these areas. Wage gaps are nar-

FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

row, and the annual median salary in 2015 was 25,694 euros ($31,575). That compares to 21,970 euros in France and to 7,352 euros in Latvia the same year. Along with Norway, Finland is the only European country to have succeeded in cutting the number of homeless people between 2014 and 2016, according to a study by the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) published earlier this week. - Quality of life Overall, Finns daily lives are generally harmonious. They have an efficient healthcare system, flexible working hours and generous parental leave, making it possible to balance work and family life. Neither the heavy tax burden, which pays for efficient public services, nor the centre-right government’s austerity measures, aimed at boosting economic recovery after years of slump, are questioned. And they trust their welfare state: 81 percent of Finns have confidence in the education system compared to an OECD average of 67 percent. And 75 percent trust the judicial system compared to the international organisation’s average of 55 percent. After spending 18 years abroad, Finland’s social welfare model drew Henrika Tonder, her French husband and their children back to the

country. “You can achieve a life balance between work and personal life where people finish work between 4 and 5 pm, which still leaves us time to do things for ourselves and to spend time with our families,” she told AFP. In a nation where few people go to church, saunas, one of the most popular leisure activities, have replaced mass. The 5.5 million Finns indulge in the steamy relaxation at least once a week. “When you’re in a sauna, you feel really happy,” says 68-year-old Teri Kauranen, warming herself after a chilly dip in the sea.

Here are some of the concerns: - Which laws apply? The UN Convention on Road Traffic, which establishes standard traffic rules for state parties, was updated in 2016 to allow driverless vehicles, so long as their operators can take control and deactivate their systems at all times. In several countries, driverless vehicles have taken the road, albeit on a test basis. The US House of Representatives in September approved legislation aimed at clearing the path for the introduction of self-driving vehicles by requiring consistent regulations across the 50 states. But the fatal accident on Sunday in Arizona, involving a self-driving vehicle operated by ride-sharing giant Uber, has raised concerns that the driverless car industry may be moving too fast. - Who is liable? In France, the operator of a driverless vehicle is liable for criminal prosecution in case of an accident, according to legal expert Alain Bensoussan. “However, the company that obtained permission to put the car on the road might be liable under civil law,” he told AFP. To date, that possibility has

In several countries, driverless vehicles have taken the road, albeit on a test basis. (Photo: Uber/File photo) not been tested. The first deadly self-driving car accident, which involved a Tesla and was reported in mid2016, happened because the driver kept his hands off the wheel for extended periods of time despite automated warnings not to do so. - What about insurance? Car insurance will have to change change with the advent of fully autonomous vehicles. According to Paris-based consultant Denis Bicheron, one of the ideas being floated is the introduction of a recording device that registers who was driving at the time of the accident -- a human being or a computer. - What are the ethical concerns? Some of the ethical questions raging over the place of artificial intelligence in society are just as pertinent with driverless cars. For example, in the scenario where the life of a pedestrian and the safety of the vehicle’s passengers are at risk, what should the car be programmed to do? Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a “Moral Machine”, an online simulator that generates moral dilemmas and allows users to explore some of the conun-

drums that may arise for driverless vehicles. “The choice of algorithms must be ... transparent,” Bensoussan said, describing the issue of ethical dilemmas for driverless cars as “a real challenge for democracy”. - Baby steps Even before the Arizona accident it was clear that other drivers and pedestrians weren’t entirely comfortable with selfdriving vehicles. A study by the EY consultancy in Germany last September found that only 26 percent said they would be willing to climb inside one tomorrow. And some 45 percent expressed concern about “uncertainty about liability” if something goes wrong. A March 2017 report by the AAA auto association found that Americans were also worried, with 54 percent saying they weren’t comfortable sharing the road with driverless cars. Still, automakers appear set to press ahead with their plans. “When it comes to autonomous driving, safety is our absolute priority. This year, we will double the size of our autonomous test fleet, to around 80 vehicles,” BMW chief executive Harald Krueger said in a statement Wednesday.

30 under 30 Asia 2018: The social entrepreneurs bringing positive change to Asia

“When it’s snowing I guess it might be hard to think that Finnish people might be the happiest in the world,” Frank Martela says with a grin. Yet tough times require resilience, and Finns are known for their stoic attitude towards life, attributed to their cultural concept “sisu”: the ability to stand strong against adversity and recover from disaster. If the UN definition of happiness ignored the main indicators and was based on measuring positive emotions, then Finland “would not reach the top ten,” according to Frank Martela. The nation’s suicide rate (14.1 per 100,000 in 2014), consumption of alcohol and anti-depressants remains high.

The Lives and The Times I & II 30 Under 30 Asia honorees and cofounders of Greensole, Ramesh Dhami and Shriyans Bhandari.

Literary Fiction Works by AMIT VERMA With over 13,000 “Likes” and followers on Facebook alone, and outstanding reviews in print and online, The Lives and The Times I & II are slated to be among the influential works of this decade!

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by Rana Wehbe


UMBAI, India With an average age of just 25 -- and 3 honorees under 21 -- this year’s social entrepreneurs who made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia list are proving that when it comes to social responsibility, the young are leading the way. Be it poverty, lack of access to education, poor record on women’s rights or the environmental impact, these inspiring millennials are tackling big issues and finding innovative and sustainable solutions to make a positive change in the region. Indians Shriyans Bhandari, 23, and Ramesh Dhami, 22, are two social entrepreneurs. As athletes, the pair met while training for marathons in Mumbai’s Priyadarshini Park. While discussing their concerns about the environmental impact of

discarding a dozen pairs of running shoes a year, they discovered that more than one billion underprivileged people have no access to footwear. This inspired them to start Greensole as an attempt to address these issues. Founded at the end of 2013, the Mumbai-based social enterprise takes used sneakers, which would otherwise end up in a landfill site, and converts them into sandals that are then donated to hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries across India -- especially school children from poor backgrounds. “Donating shoes has helped improve the attendance in ru-

ral schools, indirectly impacting education in villages,” says Bhandari So far, Greensole has tied up with more than 40 corporations, each sponsoring $3 per pair to get donated, covering its manufacturing cost with a small margin that enables them to make 100,000 pairs a year. They’re expecting to double that number in 2018 and use their retail revenue to fund more donation drives and skills development centers. “Our relationship with the beneficiaries doesn’t end at giving them footwear, it starts there,” adds Bhandari. (-Forbes)


FRIDAY, March 30, 2018



Bollywood’s Padukone says India ‘long way’ from ending mental illness stigma


EW DELHI, India | AFP Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone called Friday for bolder efforts by Indians to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. “We have a long way to go,” said the A-lister, who went public about her struggle with depression in 2015 and won praise for her campaign to spark public discourse on mental health in a country that has traditionally considered such illnesses taboo. The 32-year-old, who starred in the hits “Padmaavat” and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” opposite Vin Diesel, founded the Live Laugh Love Foundation to create awareness about mental health. The charity on Friday launched the results of a survey it conducted in eight Indian cities, including New Delhi and Mumbai, which showed nearly half of Indians held prejudices

against people with mental illnesses.

long way to go.”

Three out of five of the 3,556 people interviewed for the study referred to the mentally ill using terms like “retard”, “crazy”, or “stupid”.

More than 50 million Indians suffered from depression and over 30 million from anxiety disorders in 2015, a World Health Organization (WHO) study released last year said.

While a little more than half expressed some fear towards mentally unhealthy people -- with many preferring they be ostracised -- over threefourths showed sympathy. Fifty-one percent said they would seek professional help if they suffered from a mental illness, signalling a shift in the fear and shame usually attached with it in India. “What gives us immense satisfaction is... knowing that the stigma built around mental illness over the years is now slowly reducing,” Padukone said in New Delhi. “We have come a long way in the last three years, there is increased... awareness, but I still think we have a

In December, India’s president warned that the country of 1.3 billion people faces “a possible mental health epidemic” while releasing a report that found 10 percent Indians suffered from at least one mental illness. India has the highest number of suicides in South Asia after Sri Lanka, according to the WHO. “(We need) to contribute towards building a more caring and inclusive society where those suffering from mental illnesses have a society that they can trust and rely on,” Padukone said.

Deepika Padukone’s never-before seen royal look in ‘Bajirao Mastani’ (Image credit: Youtube)

Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar in Forbes top 100 paid celebrities

“India needs it and the world needs it now more than ever before.”

Hollywood femme-fatale Hedy Lamarr’s amazing double life by Frankie Taggart


OS ANGELES | AFP - Once proclaimed “the most beautiful woman in the world,” Hedy Lamarr is remembered as the silver screen siren who scandalized show business in a 1930s nude scene.


ollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar have made their way to Forbes list of top paid celebrities for 2017.

The raven-haired actress, who died at the turn of the millennium at age 86, wrote in her memoirs that “any girl can be glamorous: all you have to do is stand still and look stupid.” In reality, as a new PBS documentary reveals, Lamarr’s sultry beauty stood in the way of her getting the credit she deserved as an ingenious scientist and engineer whose inventions helped revolutionize modern communications. Lamarr never publicly talked about her life outside the movies, and her family thought her story had died with her, but in 2016, never-beforeheard tapes of the actress telling her own life story emerged. “People have the idea that I’m sort of a stupid thing. I never knew I looked good to begin with, because my mother wanted a boy named Georg,” she says on one of the tapes. “Unfortunately I didn’t become that and she wasn’t too thrilled about it. I was different, I guess. Maybe I came from a different planet, who knows? But whatever it is, inventions are easy for me to do.” Combining the recordings with intimate reflections from her children, closest friends, family and admirers, “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” explores Lamarr’s true legacy as a technological trailblazer. The film, co-executive produced by Oscar winner Susan Sarandon,

The list shows the top hundred highest paid celebrities in film, music, literature and sports, from all over the world and Bollywood makes its entry to the list with Shah Rukh Khan with $38 million. From the Asian entertainers, Jackie Chan was the first on this year’s list Austrian-born actress Hedy Lamarr, shown in an undated photo, was a Hollywood star whose sultry beauty stood in the way of her getting the credit she deserved as an ingenious scientist and engineer (AFP Photo/HO) attempts to shine a light on the atmosphere that created the disconnect between her brilliance and beauty. - Sultry temptress An Austrian Jewish emigrant who invented a covert communications system to try to help defeat the Nazis, Lamarr was ignored and told to sell kisses for war bonds instead. It was only toward the end of her life that tech pioneers discovered that it was her concept that is now used as the basis for secure WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth technologies. In 2016, former Forbes journalist Fleming Meeks discovered several

tapes of a 1990 phone interview with Lamarr, providing a rare insight into her private thoughts.

at number 39, followed by Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and then Akshay Kumar at number 65, 71 and 80 respectively. Forbes releases a list of the highest paid celebrities each year. Rapper turned producer Diddy topped 2017’s list followed by singer Beyonce and then author J.K. Rowling. The list also includes recently reunited rock band Guns N’ Roses and athlete Christiano Ronaldo. Here’s hoping Pakistanis makes it on the list next year. (-Dawn)

The trailer for Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds is out now The film showcases family relationships not bonded by blood but by love, say producers ships not bonded by blood but by love,” said Sujay Kutty, Business Head of Zee Studios, which is co-producing the film.

“Oh my God, she was the bestlooking movie star that ever lived. She became my inspiration,” veteran filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the documentary.

“This trailer will give audiences a glimpse of these beautiful emotions through two very talented new faces,” Kutty added.


uman relationships, emotions and family form the base of every Majid Majidi film.

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by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer Email at

Things You Should Be Aware Of During A Divorce:


Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: What is a K-1 visa? What are the requirements to apply for that visa? A: The K-1 or Fiance(e) is a non-immigrant visa which allows the foreign citizen fiancé(e) of a US Citizen to legally come to the United States to marry. The foreign fiance(e) will enter the US to marry the US Citizen petitioner within 90 days of his or her entry. Generally, the US Citizen petitioner and his or her fiancé(e) must have met in person at least one time in the last 2 years prior to filing the petition for the K-1 visa. They must both also be legally free to enter into the marriage and remain unmarried until the fiancé(e) arrives here in the United States to marry. Q; Can a Permanent Resident petition for the K-1 visa for his fiancé? A: No. Only US Citizens can petition for their fiancé(e). Q: What is the process for filing for a K-1 visa? How does my fiancé then obtain permanent residence? A: The petition is filed on Form I-129 F. Once the petition is approved, your fiancé will need to file the non-immigrant visa application to obtain the visa. He will then be asked to attend an interview at the US Consulate. After the interview, he will be issued the K-1 visa. Upon his entry the United States with the K-1 visa, you and your fiancé must marry within the allotted 90 day period. After the marriage has taken place, he will then need to file his adjustment application with

USCIS in order to become a permanent resident. Q: My fiancée was previously married and has three minor children. Can her children come with her to the United States with the K-1 visa? Can they subsequently become permanent residents? A: Your fiancée will be the K-1 visa holder and the children will come on the K-2 visa. When you and the K-1 visa holder marry, the K-1 visa holder and her derivatives will then apply for adjustment of status to permanent residents. Q: My sister came to the United States with the K-1 visa. After one month of being here, she changed her mind about marrying to the K-1 visa Petitioner. She wishes to marry someone else who is a also a US Citizen. Can she do that? Or can she apply to change status to F-1 student? A: The K-1 visa which she received is for her to come here to the US to marry the individual who petitioned for her, not to marry someone else. Her K-1 status will automatically expire after 90 days and she will need to leave the United States at the end of the 90 day period if she does not marry the K-1 visa petitioner. The other person to whom she wishes to now marry can then petition for a new K-1 visa for her to come to the United States. A K-1 visa holder is also barred from changing to any other non-immigrant status while in the US. Q: Can my fianceé who has the K-1 visa work or study in the United States? A: After admission to the United States on the K-1

visa, your fianceé can immediately apply for employment authorization (EAD) which is valid for only 90 days after admission. After the marriage, your fianceé can then file for extended work authorization concurrently with the application to adjust status as a permanent resident. Your fianceé will also be permitted to attend school. Q: When I petition for the K-1 visa for my fiancée, do I need to provide an affidavit of support? A: Yes. You will need to submit Form I-134 Affidavit of Support to the US consulate at the time of your fiancee’s interview for the K-1 visa.

Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case. My Bio Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713623-8088 or by email at to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

Tel: 713-774-5140

Mala Sharma

1. Do not post party pictures or pictures that tarnish your character. During a divorce, everything you do is critically scrutinized and may be interpreted negatively against you. A judge and opposing party will heavily analyze each action. It would be wise to stay in your best light, especially during this time. It would also help to stay away from the wrong crowd or anyone with a criminal history. 2. Do not buy a house or other major asset as this could complicate divorce proceedings. Texas is a community property state with regards to Family Law. Thus, any

asset or debt acquired during the day of marriage to day of divorce is considered community property unless strictly specified otherwise. Further, do not conceal or attempt to squander any other assets as this is grounds for an unequal distribution of property. 3. Do not tell your children derogatory things about your spouse. This can only haunt you in the future. 4. Do not threaten anyone or cause bodily injury. Divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster and having a highly qualified attorney is essential to protecting what is in your best interest and the best interest of the children from the beginning. Each case is unique in its own way and has to be taken care of as such. We understand that your family is very important to you, so we will help you

find solutions to your family law matters. About the Author Mala Sharma has been practicing family law and personal injury with her family at the Law Offices of Sharma & Associates, founded in 1997. Mala is President Emeritus of the Houston Northwest Bar Association, Board member of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association and South Asian Bar Association. She is also a member of the Houston Bar Association. Disclaimer: This material is available for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

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Doctor’s own diagnosis drives quest for a cancer cure “I was a surgeon who couldn’t operate, and I was interested in oncology but I wasn’t an internal medicine doctor,” he said. So he went back to school to train as an internal medicine doctor and oncologist, a process that took four years.

Christian Hinrichs, who leads experimental trials at the US National Cancer Institute, is himself a cancer survivor. by Kerry SHERIDAN


ETHESDA, United States | AFP | Christian Hinrichs knew his life had forever changed the day he thought he was pouring milk into a glass, but heard it splashing on the floor instead. It was 2005, and the young cancer surgeon had just undergone the removal of his right eye because of a rare cancer, called ocular melanoma, which affects six in a million people. Prior to the operation, his doctors had been optimistic that he’d make a full recovery and be able to return to practicing surgery. “But the reality for me personally was after I lost the eye, it really threw

by Marlowe Hood


EW YORK, NY | AFP Feeling lonely contributes less to the risk of cardiovascular disease than recent research suggests, scientists said Tuesday, but social isolation really does up the odds of dying after a heart attack or stroke.

Going back to being a medical resident -- while married with a one-yearold son at home -- was “a huge drop down the ladder,” he recalled. But he was more driven than ever to

find another way to beat cancer, when surgery, chemotherapy and radiation failed. For Hinrichs, the fight was now personal. “If the cancer ever came back in me at a site distant from the eye, I would be in that group of incurable patients,” he said, explaining that his cancer would then be considered metastatic, and fatal. The odds of a recurrence, for his type of cancer, were about 50 percent.

off my depth perception,” said Hinrichs. “I knew I couldn’t operate anymore. So I decided not to.”

Dr. Christian Hinrichs, an investigator at the National Cancer Institute, speaks about his research in immunotherapy for HPV+ cancers, in his lab at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP)

Are lonely hearts prone to cardiovascular disease?

“He told me on day one,” about his experience with cancer, said NCI researcher Lindsey Draper, who works in Hinrichs’ lab and is testing a nextgeneration T-cell therapy that arose from an earlier HPV trial. “I think he wanted me to understand his sense of urgency in pushing this research forward.”

“He knows that I am on pins and needles and don’t sleep. So he will take a quick look and shoot me a thumbs up,” she said, describing their rapport as “more family than doctorpatient.”

But even after dodgy lifestyle habits are taken into consideration, social isolation -- time actually spent alone -- boosted the risk of dying by about thirty percent in people who suffered a stroke or heart attack, according to the study, published in Heart, a medical journal.

For his part, Hinrichs decided to stop getting follow-up MRI and CT scans about five years after his eye was removed. A long-time Presbyterian, he says his faith carries him through times of uncertainty.

“Social isolation, but not loneliness ... remained as an independent risk factor for mortality,” the researchers, led by Christian Hakulinen, a professor at the University of Helsinki, concluded.

“To the best of our knowledge, our study is the largest on the topic,” they wrote.

Colleagues describe Hinrichs as blunt, honest and direct, traits that may have been sharpened by his cancer ordeal.

One of them, Aricca Wallace, who has been cancer-free since 2012, said he helps her manage her fear each time she goes for follow-up scans. She even has a word for it: “scanxiety.”

Likewise the supposed impact of feeling friendless on premature death.

For the new study, Hakulinen and his team drew from the so-called Biobank cohort, in which 479,054 people aged 40 to 69 were monitored for seven years.

Many of the trials he runs at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the nation’s top research hospital, are considered “first-in-human,” aimed at testing an experimental treatment in people for the first time.

Hinrichs sometimes tells patients about his back story if they ask how he got into this field, or if he thinks it will help them somehow.

The alleged link between loneliness and heart disease essentially disappears once other well-known risk factors -- smoking, drinking, poor diet, lack of exercise -- are factored in, according to a study that monitored nearly 480,000 men and women in Britain for seven years.

Earlier efforts to tease out the influence of a solitary existence on cardiovascular disease and heart-related mortality had produced mixed results, in part due to the relatively small number of people covered.

Two women who participated in one of his early clinical trials against cervical cancer have been disease-free for five years, and are now considered cured.

Most patients aren’t cured. But some see their cancers disappear in months. And that can lead to new treatments which may one day reach the broader public.

Even before his own diagnosis, he’d decided to focus on cancer surgery.

But after his eye was removed, he felt like a “square peg” that didn’t fit anywhere.

Hinrichs, now 46, is an investigator at the National Cancer Institute, and leads experimental trials aimed at training the body’s T-cells to eradicate cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

They typically enroll one or two dozen patients with advanced cancers that have stopped responding to every other treatment.

At the time, Hinrichs was 33, and had spent 13 years in training and in the operating theater.

He also had an interest in cancer research, particularly the burgeoning field of adoptive T-cell therapy, which involved genetically engineering the immune cells to recognize and attack cancer.

- ‘Scanxiety’ -

When it comes to his particular cancer, “the statistics are really of limited value, anyway,” he added.

Researchers studied social isolation and heart disease risk The participants provided detailed information on their ethnic background, education level, income and lifestyle, as well as any history of depression. They were also asked to gauge their levels of loneliness -- a subjective feeling -- and social isolation, which measures the amount of time spent alone or in the company of others. Nearly 10 percent of the respondents

qualified as socially isolated, six percent as lonely, and one percent were both. The researchers cross-checked this personal data with the people who suffered first-time strokes or heart attacks, as well as those who died. But once health-wrecking lifestyle habits were accounted for, only the link with social isolation remained.

Earlier research has shown that people who live alone die younger, succumb more quickly when they get cancer, and are generally in poorer health. A study from last November covering more than 800,000 people from a dozen nations found that walking through life alone also increases the chances of dementia, by about 40 percent.

So he presses on, designing trials that are intended to cure advanced cancer with a single infusion of billions of super-charged T-cells that will take aim at tumors wherever they lie in the body. Hinrichs thinks pursuing any other work would be unsatisfying. “Cancer patients don’t want researchers to be focused on things that slow down the cancer or may have relatively minor effects,” he said. “What they really want is for their cancers to go away.”



FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

300 million hepatitis B sufferers but only one in 20 treated: study


ARIS, France | AFP | Monday 3/26/2018 - Some 300 million people worldwide are living with the deadly hepatitis B virus (HBV), but only one in 20 received adequate treatment, researchers reported Tuesday. For expectant mothers carrying the virus -- which can be transmitted to their children -that percentage drops to one in 100, they reported in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology medical journal. If left untreated, HBV can cause serious diseases of the liver, including cancer. An estimated 600,000 people die every year from hepatitis-B related liver diseases, making HBV a bigger killer than malaria. A test for HBV has been available since the early 1970s, but only one in ten sufferers worldwide have been diagnosed. The virus is highly contagious via infected blood or other body fluids, and is mainly

transmitted from mothers to their infants, or between children. There is no cure, but antiviral drugs have proven effective in coping with symptoms. A vaccine against HBV became available in the early 1980s. Since 1992, the World Health Organization has recommended a first dose within 24 hours of birth, but only half of newborns are vaccinated that quickly. “Most mother-to-child transmission occurs within days of birth, so the birth dose is vital,” said lead investigator Homie Razavi, a virologist at the Center for Disease Analysis outside Denver, Colorado. “All children need to receive this life-saving vaccine at birth, not just half of them,” he said. Of the 16 countries that account for more than 80 percent of infections among five-yearolds, only China has scaled up vaccines-at-birth to 90 percent. Half of these nations have yet

to put such a policy in place. To compile these statistics, Razavi and his team analysed data from 435 studies and canvassed the work of more than 600 national experts. They concluded that 292 million individuals were living with HBV in 2016, or nearly four percent of the global population. The virus is most common in east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where prevalence is as high as 12 percent in the Central African Republic. China, India, Nigeria, Indonesia and the Philippines account for nearly 60 percent of all infections. “This study details the inadequate focus and expenditure on HBV treatment,” Geoffrey Dusheiko of UCL Medical School and Kosh Agarwal from King’s College Hospital wrote in a comment. “There is a need to raise awareness of HBV to the same level as that of HIV.”

Newfound ‘organ’ could be the biggest in your body by Jacqueline Howard


o be or not to be an organ: That is the question.

Researchers have detailed the structure and distribution of spaces in your body that they say represent a newfound human organ, and this “organ” just might be your body’s biggest -- but not all experts are convinced. It’s the part of the body known as the interstitium, a name for widespread, fluid-filled spaces within and between tissues all over your body, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports on Tuesday. Doctors and scientists have known about interstitial tissue and interstitial fluid, but the study provides fresh insights into a previously unrecognized feature of human anatomy -and the researchers are raising the idea of calling the interstitium an “organ.” “Initially, we were just thinking it’s an interesting tissue, but when you actually delve into how people define organs, it sort of runs around one or two ideas: that it has a unitary structure or that it’s a tissue with a unitary structure, or it’s a tissue with a unitary function,” said Dr. Neil Theise, professor of pathology at NYU Langone Health in New York, who was a co-senior author of the study. “This has both,” he said of the interstitium. “This structure is the same wherever you look at it, and so are the functions that we’re starting to elucidate.” Additionally, “I think it’s bigger than the skin,” he said. The skin, comprising roughly 16% of your body mass, is thought to be your largest organ. As for the interstitium, “my estimate is that 20% of the volume of the body is this, which is equivalent to about 10 liters in a young adult.”


Solving the dilemma of not enough hearts

n the not-too-distant future, Dr. Jennifer Cowger envisions a cardiac transplant landscape where more donations are encouraged and utilized, genetically engineered organs can be created in a laboratory, and improved mechanical devices eliminate the need for an actual human heart. But in the meantime, there’s a shortage. “We’ve come a long way, but there is still a definite mismatch between supply and demand,” said Cowger, a cardiologist and transplant specialist who directs the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. “If you have a patient listed today for transplant, the average wait is going to be 1½ to two years. It’s nothing like on Grey’s Anatomy, where a heart somehow shows up right away.” In 2017, there were 3,244 heart transplants in the United States, according to the federal Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

The mesentery: A ‘new’ organ you didn’t know you had - ‘Once you see it, you can’t unsee it’ For the study, Theise and his colleagues used a powerful microscope with a technique called confocal laser endomicroscopy to examine and analyze healthy living tissue samples from human bile ducts. The samples were taken from 13 patients undergoing pancreatic surgeries at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York. The samples were infused with a fluorescent liquid, allowing the researchers to see every detail. They wrote in the study that they observed spaces where fluid accumulates. Those spaces appeared to be pre-lymphatic, meaning they appeared to drain into lymph nodes. Traditionally, when such tissue samples are examined under a microscope, the tissues are dehydrated and look like dense layers, Theise said. So the interstitium could have gone previously unnoticed because it was collapsed due to dehydration. “Now, it’s clear that by looking in the living tissue at the microscopic level with this new confocal laser endomicroscopy ... that space is fully expanded and filled with fluid,” he said. “Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.”


Theise described encountering this new view of the interstitium as a moment of “quiet awe.” The interstitium is seen here beneath the top layer of skin but is also in tissue layers lining the gut, lungs and urinary systems, as well as those surrounding blood vessels and the fascia between muscles. The interstitium is seen here beneath the top layer of skin but is also in tissue layers lining the gut, lungs and urinary systems, as well as those surrounding blood vessels and the fascia between muscles. More research is needed to better understand the true function of the interstitium, how it impacts other parts of the body and the disagreements over its organ status. After all, “I would think of this as a new component that is common among a variety of organs, rather than a new organ in and of itself,” said Dr. Michael Nathanson, professor of medicine and cell biology and chief of the section of digestive diseases at Yale University School of Medicine. “It would be analogous to discovering blood vessels for the first time, in that they are in every organ but they aren’t an organ themselves,” Nathanson said.

Get it mailed to you!

“That’s an all-time record, but there continue to be close to 4,000 people on the waiting list,” said Dr. Matthias Peltz, surgical director of cardiac transplantation at UT Southwestern in Dallas. In a Journal of the American College of Cardiology article last year, Cowger summarized the transplant dilemma and the possible means of addressing it. Among her points: — The gap between supply and demand is growing partly because mechanical circulatory support (MCS for short) – devices to help the heart pump blood through the body – is improving, helping potential heart recipients survive longer. — Improvement is needed in MCS technology that will enable people with heart failure to live longer, so they won’t require transplants. — The pool of potential do-

nors must be expanded by persuading more people and families of the deceased to donate organs, and by utilizing hearts now considered not to meet transplant standards. Those are all significant challenges, Cowger said. Some countries, such as Spain and France, have an optout donation system, she said, whereby people are considered potential donors unless they request otherwise. The United States generally follows an opt-in format, asking people to declare their willingness to donate organs through such avenues as online registries, legal documents or a notation on their driver’s license. Cowger said she doubts this country would ever adopt an opt-out system because of ethical, societal and religious factors. Various campaigns to encourage organ donation have improved the situation in recent years, but there is still much to do: Federal data show 95 percent of Americans favor organ donation, but nearly half have not acted to have their wishes carried out. “It’s a shame to think people are going to die when they could be saved,” said John Godwin, who received a new heart in 2013 after suffering a near-fatal heart attack. “In the Army they give you medals for saving somebody’s life. Here all you have to do is check a box or click a button.” Godwin, the city manager of Paris, Texas, became a crusader for organ donation, writing a book about his experience and speaking frequently around the state. When he meets families of donors, he said, “All of them say they’re so glad they did this. This is the one single positive thing that came out of their [family member’s] death. If everybody could hear that, a lot more people would sign up.” But even with increased donation, there are medical obstacles. Because donor hearts

need to meet a higher standard than other organs, Peltz said, only about 30 percent of hearts offered for transplant are accepted. “If a kidney transplant doesn’t work, the patient goes back on dialysis,” he said. “If the heart does not work as we hope it will, no matter what we do, [some] of those patients will die.” Cowger said researchers are working in several areas to utilize more hearts, including studying whether hearts from older donors can still be viable. New devices being developed to transport donor hearts perform a process called perfusion preservation, allowing them to remain outside a body longer, transported much farther – and not wasted because no suitable recipient is nearby. “The way we preserve hearts hasn’t really changed much in decades,” said Peltz, whose research focuses on improving that. “We flush it with solutions and put it in an ice cooler. We can recover more organs if we just improve the way they are stored.” Some heart problems are unavoidable. Godwin had no risk factors – “I wasn’t smoking cigarettes and eating donuts all day long,” he joked – before an undiagnosed disease caused his heart attack. But both doctors said prevention is a key element in the supply-and-demand equation as well. “Maybe in a few decades they can be engineering organs in a laboratory to reduce the shortage, and better mechanical devices might make the need for transplants obsolete,” Cowger said. “In the interim, the best solution is preventative medicine: reducing risk factors for coronary disease so fewer people will develop heart failure.” - American Heart Association News

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Marijuana may aid in alcohol and drug addiction recovery


by Emily Price


AN DIEGO, Californina - Marijuana may be useful in combating alcoholism and curbing cocaine cravings. A recent study published in Neuropsychopharmacology found that a substance found in cannabis called cannabidiol, or CBD, can help prevent relapses in drug and alcohol patients, especially when those patients are re-entering stress-filled environments. In the study, scientists from the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego gave rats a daily dose of alcohol or cocaine, leading to them exhibiting addiction-like behaviors including impulsivity and anxiety. After the mice were addicted, the researchers injected a CBD gel into the rat’s skin. Over time, the rats injected with CBD showed reduced

Severely elevated cholesterol often goes untreated any patients with dangerously high cholesterol or a genetic predisposition to it don’t take statin drugs that can lower cholesterol, a U.S. study sggests.


Cannibididiol, found in marijuana, can help prevent relapes. (Photo: File) signs of relapse into addiction, even when they were exposed to stress or the cues researched had used to get them to take the drugs in the first place.

of Sciences also found CBD to help in treating nausea and other side effects from chemotherapy as well as muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis.

CBD is already being used on humans to help treat pain as well as psychiatric and neurological disorders. A study last year by the National Academy

Cannabis is legal in 29 states for medical use, and 9 states for recreational use. However, it is illegal under federal law. (-Fortune)

Statins were being taken by just 52 percent of adults with what’s known as familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic disorder that causes extremely high cholesterol and an increased risk of early cardiovascular disease. And only 38 percent of adults with non-genetic severe dyslipidemia took statins. “All of these adults should be on a statin,” lead study author Dr. Emily Bucholz of Boston Children’s Hospital said by email. Heart specialists recommend that people take statins when they have levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) - the bad kind of cholesterol that builds up in blood vessels and can lead to blood clots and heart attacks – of at least 190 milligrams per deciliter of blood. Commonly prescribed statins include atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor) and rosuvastatin (Crestor). For the study, researchers examined survey data collected from 1999 to 2014 from U.S. adults age 20 and over. Overall, less than 1 percent of adults had a family history of severely elevated cholesterol, and about 6.6 percent had the condition themselves, researchers report in Circulation.

Dr. Zarir Udwadia with a patient. Photographs by Shampa Kabi.

When Dr. Udwadia, an acclaimed pulmonologist, wrote in a medical journal in 2012 about a virtually untreatable form of TB, the ordinary Indian did not know who he was. But the letter set off a frenzy in the medical community and eventually made him one of India’s best known doctors, and a man who reminded the country of its growing epidemic of TB and drug-resistant TB (DR TB) - a type of tuberculosis which is unresponsive to at least two of the first line of anti-TB drugs. India is the global TB epicentre - the country records 2.8 million new tuberculosis cases annually, of which more than 100,000 are multi-drug resistant (MDR), according to the World Health Organization. The disease kills 400,000 Indians every year, and costs the government around $24 bn (£19.2bn) annually. Living with drug-resistant tuberculosis in India The Indian companies battling drug-resistant superbugs Why is TB diagnosis a challenge? “Because India continues to rely heavily on outdated diagnostic techniques, some of which miss about 50% of all TB cases,” says Dr Udwadia, who is based in the western city of Mumbai, India’s financial capital. He believes India needs to adopt newer technologies such as the GeneXpert, a molecular test that detects the presence of TB bacteria. “We need to scale up the GeneXpert and make it the first test for everyone like they do in South Africa.” Dr. Udwadia is often termed the miracle worker or the saviour by his patients. The most critical patients, often those with virtually no hope, and their families, crowd his free clinic, waiting with files of records and X-rays. Many wait overnight hoping to be seen by him. Even though the government

Viagra turns 20: chronicle of a global success

by Lisa Rappaport

A day in the life of India’s ‘tuberculosis warrior’

On world tuberculosis (TB) day, public health specialist Chapal Mehra describes the work of Dr. Zarir Udwadia, who has been working tirelessly to fight the disease in its often untreatable forms.

FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

once found his findings questionable, it has more recently discovered in him an enabling critic who is helping India’s fight against the deadly infection. “TB is much more than just a medical affliction caused by a specific bacterium,” says Dr Udwadia. “It is a strange, terrible and fascinating entity. Every death from TB is an avoidable tragedy. It is our task to reverse the tide.” Though treatable, TB kills an Indian every minute and is an engine of poverty, debt and suffering. It remains India’s severest health crisis- one which needs urgent action. “Normal TB is really easy to treat, four drugs over six months at a cost of $5 will almost always cure you,” says Dr Udwadia. But, he adds, if patients are given the wrong drugs or incorrect doses, or are irregular with their medication, the TB bacteria becomes resistant to the drugs. This drug-resistant TB takes far longer - up to two years - and thousands of dollars to treat. It requires many more drugs - 250 injections and 15,000 pills, to be precise. “When stacked up [the pills] equal a 30-storey tower,” says Dr Udwadia. And the drugs that are toxic can have severe side effects, he adds. “They can make you deaf, blind, give you kidney failure and leave you psychotic.” Drug-resistant TB Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) is caused by a bacteria that is resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampin, the two most potent TB drugs. Extensively drug resistant TB (XDR TB) is a rare type of MDR TB that is resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, plus any fluoroquinolone and at least one of three injectable secondline drugs, such as amikacin, kanamycin, or capreomycin). “Every now and then, I come across patients who are virtually untreatable,” he says. Dr Udwadia describes MDRTB, which is resistant to multiple drugs, as a “ticking time bomb” that could reverse the progress India has made so far

in its battle against the infection. “In our crowded communities, each MDR patient infects 10-20 others with the same deadly strain ensuring the epidemic amplifies relentlessly.” He recalls one of his patients, Salma, a poor woman who lived in Dharavi, a sprawling slum that lies at the heart of Mumbai. Nearly a million people are estimated to live in an unending stretch of narrow lanes, open sewers and cramped homes. It is “an incubator of TB by virtue of its poverty and overcrowding”, according to Dr. Udwadia. Salma, he says, had spent five years trying to cure herself of her TB infection. She had travelled for more than 1500km (932 miles), visited at least four government TB clinics, seen 12 private physicians and received multiple drugs in various combinations. “What could be more soul destroying than taking five years of treatment but finding yourself getting worse, not better?” asks Dr. Udwadia. Salma, who was resistant to every single TB drug, died four days after a surgery. “So who killed Salma? Who let her down? We did! drug-resistant TB is a collective indictment of us all.”

Older adults, people with insurance, and patients diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes were more likely to take statins for dangerously elevated cholesterol or a family genetic risk for the condition, the study found. Young people, and patients without insurance or a regular source of care, were less likely to take statins. Statin use did increase among high-risk patients during the study period. The proportion of people with severely elevated cholesterol taking statins increased from 29 percent to 48 percent during the study, mirroring an overall trend for statin use in the general population. Only about 30 percent of patients took high-intensity statins - higher doses recommended for people at the greatest risk for health problems associated with dangerously high cholesterol levels. (-Reuters)

Twenty years ago, a little blue pill called Viagra became a sudden smash hit, selling in the billions worldwide (AFP Photo/HO) by Olivier Thibault


aunched in the United States 20 years ago, Viagra has sold in the billions and become an unexpected source of revenue for its maker Pfizer, as well as copycats worldwide. From its serendipitous discovery to its many counterfeit versions, here is a look back at how the world embraced the little blue pill that treats impotence. - Discovered by chance At the start of the 1990s, teams at Pfizer experiment with a new drug called Sildenafil used to treat angina. It proves powerless in calming thoracic pain brought on by such a condition, but the drug has an unexpected side-effect on men: it causes an erection. The majority of the male volunteers in the experiments also report a significantly improved sex life. Pfizer changes tack, focusing instead on researching male impotence, a problem that affects a third of men over 40. Up to this point the treatment for erectile disfunction has been poor: only impractical and inefficient options exist, such as mini-suppositories inserted into the urethra or injections in the penis. On March 27, 1998 the US Food and Drug Administration agency (FDA) gives the green light for the new treatment and in April the little blue pill called Viagra hits US stores. - Overnight hit, global demand Success is immediate: 150,000 prescriptions are written in the US in the first two weeks of the drug going on sale. And even before its release outside the country, Viagra generates worldwide attention. It turns up on black markets in Israel, Poland and Saudi Arabia at prices five times its legal US cost of around 10 dollars (eight euros). After officially launching in Europe in September 1998, Viagra fast becomes a cash cow for Pfizer.

Sales worldwide rise more than 30 percent in 1999 and 2000, quickly leaping over the annual billion-dollar mark. It’s a surprise even for the pharmaceutical company, which had projected revenue of about 100 million dollars a year. - Fakes everywhere Ad campaigns by former US presidential candidate Bob Dole in 1999 and football legend Pele in 2002 boost the notoriety of the drug, which is said to start having an effect about 27 minutes after ingestion. Soon fakes start turning up, with counterfeit Viagra made in Thailand or India available online just a few weeks after it first went on the market. The scammers realise the pill is a potential goldmine and Viagra quickly becomes the most counterfeited drug. Seizures of fake pills at customs proliferate. A Pfizer poll in 2011 shows 80 percent of Viagra randomly bought online is fake. The unlicenced versions can contain toxic products such as pesticides, plaster or ink for printers. - Not just for the bedroom As fake versions of the drug spread, so too do alternative uses. A British study in 1999 shows a small but significant use of the pill among young partygoers. And in 2012 a US study estimates that up to eight percent of young Americans use Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, such as Cialis or Levitra, to aid sexual performance. Generic forms of Viagra are made available in Europe from 2013, and in the US from late 2017. The drug is also experimented with in sports doping. However the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decides not to add Viagra to its list of banned substances: Sildenafil, it concludes, only has doping effects in high altitude. Sources: AFP, Pfizer, scientific publications from the British Medical Journal and Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Read up on what’s changing in the Health world

In the last year alone, Dr Udwadia says, 10 million people across the globe have got sick with TB, two million have died of it and about 150,000 patients of drug-resistant TB in India are desperate for a cure. “All they get is delays, disruptions and disillusion,” he says. Referring to India’s launch of its first bullet train project in September 2017, he adds, “forget your bullet trains, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and just help our patients get on this one. “Give us the new drugs we need to treat, give us the labs and tests to diagnose early, give us more funds, not more cuts in the TB budget, and give us social change, because TB is the perfect expression of an imperfect civilisation.” SOURCE: BBC News

Voice of Asia brings you the latest in medicine, medical technology, nutrition, pharmacy, and other health related articles. Also visit



5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Children volunteering at a park clean up. Photo source: (c)


pril 22 is Earth Day, an annual opportunity to celebrate the natural world and get involved in short- and long-term efforts to protect the environment. Here are five ways to celebrate. 1. Volunteer. Many neighborhoods and communities around the country host volunteer clean-ups to honor Earth Day. Find one in your area or organize your own: gather some friends, some sturdy garbage bags and pairs of work gloves, and head out to a park or the shore of a local waterway for a clean-up. 2. Enjoy nature. Get outside and enjoy nature. Even if you aren’t an experienced hiker, there are plenty of tools to make getting outdoors easy, such as wearable tech, which can support your adventure. One option is Casio’s ProTrek PRW3510Y-8, which has triple sensor technology, including a

Scientists to publish first-ever land health report

This 2016 file photo shows a palm field suffering from desertification near Morocco’s southeastern oasis town of Erfoud by Mariëtte Le Roux

compass, thermometer, altimeter and barometer, allowing you to track your surroundings as you explore them. Featuring Tough Solar Power, it can be charged by sunlight or florescent light, making it an ecofriendly choice. 3. Plant a tree. Trees provide shade and food for people and a habitat for birds and other wildlife. What’s more, they produce oxygen for people to inhale, as well as sequester CO2. Trees also reduce polluting runoff by intercepting water. In short, we need trees! Celebrate Earth Day by planting one. Each year, you can watch it mature and grow. 4. Reduce waste. The land and ocean have become saturated with plastics and other trash. Get into the habit of reducing waste by recycling and reusing items as much as possible. Take a look at the footprint you create with your plastic consumption and find ways

to improve your habits. Bring a reusable bag to the grocery store. Buying a drink? Don’t use a straw. Getting takeout? Ask the restaurant to hold the plastic silverware. 5. Update your technologies. Outdated tech often contains harmful elements that can hurt the environment, such as lead paint or mercury. Check out newer models that meet international standards like The Minamata Convention on Mercury. For example, Casio Lampfree Projectors combine a laser, a fluorescent element and LED light to deliver a hybrid light source that lasts up to 20,000 hours while sustaining a high brightness. Because these projectors are mercury-free, it removes the need to replace hazardous and expensive bulbs. This Earth Day, celebrate a healthy planet with environmental stewardship at-home and in your community. (StatePoint)

The 30 Under 30 Innovators Working Towards A Sustainable Future For Asia

FRIDAY, March 30, 2018


EDELLÍN, Colombia | AFP - Scientists will publish the first-ever analysis Monday of the global state of land and its ability to sustain a fastgrowing human population that relies on it for 95 percent of all food. The diagnosis is likely to be dire, providing a comprehensive overview of what other reports have already warned: unsustainable farming, mining, factory production, and climate change is pushing Earth to breaking point, leading to human conflict and mass human migration. “Land degradation... affects many parts of the world and it affects many people in the world today,” Robert Watson, chairman of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), told AFP. “It has adverse effects on things such as food production, such as quality of water, livelihoods are affected by land degradation, people often have to migrate as lands degrade,” he said ahead of the report’s release in Medellin, Colombia. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, 95 percent of human food comes directly or indirectly from Earth’s soil. “With a global population

that is projected to exceed nine billion by 2050, compounded by competition for land and water resources and the impact of climate change, our current and future food security hinges on our ability to increase yields and food quality using the soils that are already under production today,” it said in a 2015 report. According to Watson, land degradation is commonly caused when humans convert natural land for extractive purposes. - ‘We can act’ -

The end product covers the entirety of Earth’s land, as well as the lakes and rivers it supports. IPBES executive secretary Anne Larigauderie told AFP the report was compiled at the request of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. “They needed rather urgently a report on land degradation because they have not had in the history of their convention... a scientific report as a basis for taking action and documenting the state of land degradation,” she said.

“It could be the conversion of a forest into agricultural land... it could be converting a mangrove system into a shrimp farm, it could be converting natural grassland.”

On Friday, the 129-member IPBES brought out four mammoth reports on the state of plant and animal species in all the world apart from Antarctica and the open oceans.

In January, a study in Nature Climate Change warned that more than a quarter of Earth’s land surface will become “significantly” drier even if humanity manages to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) -- the goal espoused in the Paris Agreement.

They concluded biodiversity was in decline in all regions, and warned human well-being was at risk as a result.

Aridification hastens land degradation and desertification, and the loss of plants and trees crucial for absorbing Earthwarming carbon dioxide.

Though not prescriptive, it contains recommendations for government policy-making.

The IPBES assessment took 100 volunteer scientists from around the globe three years to compile, analyzing all the available scientific data.

The land report, which cost about $1 million (810,000 euros) to prepare, was approved by government envoys at an IPBES meeting in Medellin this week.

“One of our goals will be to underline the fact that we can act, and that governments have a series of tools at their disposal to have an impact,” said Larigauderie.

Rahul Gayam, cofounder of Gayam Motor Works.

Rana Wehbe ustainability and clean energy are high on the agenda for this year’s 30 Under 30 Asia list honorees. With increasing awareness among millennials of environmental issues -thanks to visionary entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, their poster child for responsible entrepreneurship -- Asia’s own emerging visionaries are building businesses and looking for innovative ways to address problems like climate change. Their efforts are desperately needed. A recent report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) found that the Asia Pacific region consumes more than half of the global energy supply, and in 2014 was responsible for 55% of global emissions from fuel combustion. Drawing a direct inspiration from Musk, whom he named as dream mentor in our survey (see graphic below) -- is Rahul Gayam, who is operating


in the electric vehicles space. His company, Gayam Motor Works, leverages IoT, cloud connectivity and in-house battery pack manufacturing to make electric vehicles -such as auto rickshaws and bikes. What makes their vehicles appealing is the ability to “swap a depleted battery pack with a fully charged one on less than 1 minute,” which according to Gayam gives an additional 100km (62 miles) of range and makes it as easy to use as regular gas-powered vehicles for urban mobility. The company has also partnered with the Smart Cities Project to launch their clean energy vehicles in India’s Andhra Pradesh, with plans to scale up to 10 major cities this year. Natalie Lung Renewable energy Answering a growing need for energy in the region -- fueled in large part by population growth -- is 29-year-old Anjal Niraula. Growing up

in Nepal where almost 30% of people live without electricity, the general manager of Gham Power is working with solar microgrids to provide a reliable electricity source to people who need it. So far, the private company has installed 2.5MW of solar microgrids across more than 2,000 projects, helping people to avoid using less environmentally-friendly fuels such as diesel and kerosene. Malaysia’s Vinesh Sinha is another entrepreneur trying to innovate in the renewable energy sector. His company, FatHopes Energy, turns waste oils from the food industry in the country into biofuels that he sells to companies globally. “Our alternative to diesel is much cleaner as it has no tail pipe emissions as well as providing more complete burning which results in higher efficiency and lower fuel consumption,” he explains. Sinha believes that the best way to impact world is to

Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia honoree Vinesh Sinha, founder & managing director of FatHopes Energy.

develop profitable business models that thieve on environmentally and sociallyresponsible initiatives, which is what he’s doing through FatHopes. In Azerbaijan, one of our youngest listees, 15-year-old Reyhan Jamalova, is also doing her part. She has invented a product called “Rainergy,” which is designed to harvest rainwater as a source of electricity. A rising star already, Jamalova has won accolades for her invention and was the youngest attendee of the 8th Global Entrepreneurship Summit held in India in November 2017. Waste reduction This year’s 30 Under 30 Asia honorees are also concerned about the impact of waste on the environment. After working with an environmental NGO and

discovering how dire waste disposal had become in India, Ashutosh Srivastava and Pranav Manocha cofounded We-Convert with the aim of changing the way people recycle. Together they designed and manufactured SmartBins, which detect and separate waste using algorithms, artificial intelligence and robotics. “Over 85% of the workforce at the NGO were working under huge pile of garbage without proper gears to manually separate valuables such as plastics, glass, paper waste out of general waste,” says Srivastava. “That made us wonder: ‘How can we make use of technology to solve country’s one of the biggest yet undermined issue?’” We-convert also incentivizes the public by rewarding their waste disposal with discounts and deals. To date, their SmartBins have recycled

more than 10,000 kilograms of waste from more than 30 locations in India. Another entrepreneur combating waste is Andrew Almack, the India-based Canadian entrepreneur who established Plastics for Change. Using mobile technology, Almack has created an ethical sourcing platform that allows waste collectors to negotiate pricing with middlemen in advance who buy plastic to be recycled and sold on. This ensures that socially-marginalized individuals receive a fair price. Almack, who also cofounded three other social enterprises in waste management, believes that his “human-centric approach to waste management is accelerating the development of recycling infrastructure and addressing the root cause of ocean plastic in developing regions.” Source: FORBES


Young Life

FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

Students talk about what’s next for Indian-origin American Idol Contestant their movement Alyssa Raghunandan impresses judges

Illustration by LA Johnson/NPR)

Their gun-safety campaign is just beginning, they say by Elsa Bolt Alyssa Raghunandan on American Idol Season 16 (Image courtesy - YouTube)


EMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Around the world, millions of people called for change this weekend during the “March for Our Lives.”


he 15-year-old wooed the singing reality show’s judges Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan through her rendition of ‘Almost is never enough by Ariana Grande. It helped her win the coveted ticket to Hollywood, read a statement. Watching her perform,

On “This Week in South Florida,” a group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who participated in the marches in both Washington, D.C., and Parkland explained the change they want to see and what’s next for their movement. “We’re not fighting for gun control, we’re fighting for gun safety,” said student Casey Sherman. “The second you say ‘control,’ it makes people automatically jump to conclusions. They think you want to take away their guns.... I think that’s really important for people to understand that we just want to promote safety.” The students stressed in the current politically polarized culture, it’s more important than ever to find common ground with people who disagree with you. “We fail to recognize that we want the same thing,” student Tyah-Amoy Roberts said. “No one wants children to die. At the end of the day, how do we get these children to stop dying?”

Perry, who married comedian-actor Russell Brand in Rajasthan, India, in 2010, commented: “I full-body felt what you were singing, I am a believer in you. You’re top 10.” The show, which is currently being shot in the US, will soon be making its Indian television premiere on

Zee Cafe. Alyssa’s story on the show also featured her father Dennis Raghunandan, a single parent whom Alyssa considers her best friend. She said her father was there for every audition and every performance through her budding music career.

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Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin show their support at the March For Our Lives on Saturday afternoon (March 24) in Los Angeles. The models were seen taking in the speeches at the rally in downtown L.A. and joining other celebs like fellow model Kaia Gerber and friend Jaden Smith. Kendall was seen wearing a jacket that had a drawing of Trump on the back along with the words, “God save us… He ain’t my president.” “Standing with you all today! Let’s do this!!!” Hailey wrote on her Instagram story. Kaia was seen holding a sign that read, “One child is worth more than all the guns on Earth.” Her parents’ best friend George Clooney is one of the celebs who helped make the march happen!

Keep shouting, don’t become anesthetized, pope tells young people File photo.


ATICAN CITY Pope Francis, starting Holy Week services leading to Easter, urged young people on Sunday to keep shouting and not allow the older generations to silence their voices or anesthetize their idealism. Francis spoke a day after hundreds of thousands of young Americans and their supporters answered a call to action from survivors of last month’s Florida high school massacre and rallied across the United States to demand tighter gun laws. He did not mention the demonstrations. Catholic News Service (CNS) said Gabriella Zuniga, 16, and her sister Valentina, 15, both students from Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 people were killed in February, attended the service with their parents. CNS posted a photo of the two holding up signs in St. Peter’s Square, with one reading, “Protect Our Children, Not Our Guns.” The 81-year-old Francis led a long and solemn Palm Sunday service before tens of thousands in the square, many of them young people there for the Catholic Church’s World Day of Youth. Carrying a woven palm branch known as a “palmurello,” Francis led a procession in front of the largest church in Christendom to commemorate the day the Bible says Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was hailed as a savior, only to be crucified five days later. Drawing on biblical parallels, Francis urged the young people in the crowd not to let themselves be manipulated. “The temptation to silence

War of words over DR Congo’s humanitarian crisis as children die by Marthe BOSUANDOLE

young people has always existed,” Francis said in the homily of a Mass. “There are many ways to silence young people and make them invisible. Many ways to anesthetize them, to make them keep quiet, ask nothing, question nothing. There are many ways to sedate them, to keep them from getting involved, to make their dreams flat and dreary, petty and plaintive,” he said. “Dear young people, you have it in you to shout,” he told young people, urging them to be like the people who welcomed Jesus with palms rather than those who shouted for his crucifixion only days later. “It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?”

The young people in the crowd shouted, “Yes!” While Francis did not mention Saturday’s marches in the United States, he has often condemned weapons manufacturing and mass shootings. Palm Sunday marked the start of a hectic week of activities for the pope. On Holy Thursday he is due to preside at two services, including one in which he will wash the feet of 12 inmates in a Rome jail to commemorate Jesus’ gesture of humility toward his apostles the night before he died. On Good Friday, he is due to lead a Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession at Rome’s Colosseum. On Saturday night he leads a Easter vigil service and on Easter Sunday he delivers his twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message. (-Reporting by Philip Pullella/Reuters)

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ANANGA, DR Congo | AFP - A war of words has broken out between the United Nations and the DR Congo government which is shunning a donor conference in Geneva to raise $1.7 billion to tackle a humanitarian crisis that Kinshasa says has been vastly exaggerated by aid workers. Prime Minister Jose Makila on Friday said the UN had overreacted and that aid bodies and NGOs in the country were propagating a “bad image of the Democratic Republic of Congo throughout the world”. “The Democratic Republic of Congo declines to participate in the Geneva conference” on April 13, he said. The United Nations has declared the humanitarian crisis in the DR Congo to be a Level 3, the UN’s highest-level emergency. “While recognising that the country is facing an emergency situation ... the activation of the top-level humanitarian emergency acts as a brake” for development and discourages investors, Makila said. At least 13.1 million Congolese are in need of humanitarian aid, including 7.7 million who are severely food insecure, the UN Security Council said Thursday in a unanimous statement.

The UN children’s agency had sounded the alarm at the end of last year saying 400,000 children risked dying in the central diamond-rich Kasai region, which has been ravaged by conflict.

a properly nourished child,” said Marie-Louise Misenga, a nurse at the centre.

At least 3,000 people have died and about 1.4 million have been displaced.

“My granddaughter is facing death. She’s very sick and she’s not eating or going to school,” wailed Angele, the grandmother of nine-year-old Aimee.

“We are not now saying that children risk dying, but we are saying that children are already dying,” UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac told AFP. UNICEF has only been able to care for 65,000 children diagnosed with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), the most acute form which can lead to death, Boulierac said. “That’s far too few. “This is not the time to discuss strategies,” he said. “If we act now, we can save lives.” An AFP team visited Kananga, one of the main cities in Kasai this week and found an overwhelming number of children with SAM at the Saints Martyrs health centre where in a matter of minutes, eight out of 10 children were diagnosed with the condition. - ‘Catastrophic situation’ The other two had chronic malnutrition which stunts mental and physical development. “Children with SAM are nine times more prone to dying than

Bibomba, aged about seven, sat patiently in front of the centre next to a 17-year-old boy. Both had skeletal figures.

At Tshikapa, another town in Kasai, eight children died of malnutrition in a few days at the Eben Ezer church where 200 displaced families are being housed and receive support from British charity Oxfam. “I was shocked to see the reality. The situation is catastrophic,” said Ghislain Mumbere, an engineer who had come from Kinshasa to clean up local sources of drinking water. Greater Kasai, grouping provinces created in 2015 in a change of internal borders, exploded into violence in September 2016, after soldiers killed a local traditional leader known as the Kamwina Nsapu. Fighting between security forces and Kamwina Nsapu loyalists has since killed more than 3,000 people and displaced 1.4 million, according to the Roman Catholic church. Successive harvests have been destroyed.







FRIDAY, March 30, 2018


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You can probably do more exercise than you’re willing to admit. Don’t fall prey to hypochondria. You may scare yourself by thinking that the slightest symptom could be something awful.

21 April to 20 May Although everything in your world seems quite stable right now, you can’t help but feel a bit antsy. You’re restless without really knowing why. There may be an idea, vision, or dream within you.

21 May to 20 June Your dreams are important to you and right now you are frustrated because these dreams seem to be standing still. They may even be moving backward. Don’t get down on yourself for this.

21 June to 22 July It’s time to increase your awareness of your body and your relationship to it. The Universe suggests to take the time to learn to love your body, in the way that feels best for you. Money is tight.

23 July to 22 August Concerning home and family matters, you appear to be attracting good things your way. Lucky Jupiter in this sector can be perfect for thinking outside the box and researching options that could bring a new beginning.

23 August to 22 Sept This week you’re filled with great ideas to get ahead financially. There’s a new sensitivity to your communication and a temporary hold on your social activities, so you can get all your ducks in a row. It sets the stage for a new job or position.

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23 September to 22 Oct Your partner may have had enough of your royal nature, and feel like being alone today. You have a chance to show how much you care by allowing them time to themselves.

23 October to 21 Nov If you’re troubled with a sore throat, it’s likely due to something minor. But if you’re worried, you may want to visit your health professional. The Universe is boosting your energy level.

22 November to 21 Dec You are eager to have fun and more willing to take a risk, whether by initiating a romance or going on an adventure. While cost could be an issue, be willing to pay extra money.

22 December to 20 Jan Your problem is that, try as you might, you have no talent for lying. You may be encouraged to attempt to play with words concerning a certain subject.

21 January to 19 Feb You could get a message from a former lover or college pal inviting you to get back in touch. Don’t turn down this invitation, because it might work out better than you think. Be careful that you don’t give out mixed signals.

20 February to 20 Mar Financing your health may be something of a problem now. You need to do something about it. If you don’t join a gym because you can’t afford it, think of some other ways to exercise. You could hike, bike, swim, dance, or jog.



1. Inscribed pillar

1. *Swim, swam, ____

6. Strike caller

2. Not to be mentioned

9. MADD member, colloquially

3. Prima donnas’ problems 4. Catfish’s cousin

13. Conestoga vehicle

5. Deciduous horn

14. Salt in cocina

6. UPS competitor

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40. Be dependent

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38. Wedding cake layer

52. Nod

42. Funny

53. Opposite of riches 55. Fleur-de-____ 57. *Wearable device 61. Rhinitis or dermatitis 65. Top scout 66. Grade A item in grocery store 68. Actress Davis 69. Alley tom 70. Ciao in the U.S. 71. Finish 72. *Competitive group 73. Ambulance crew 74. *Time between sets, pl.

45. Ankara country 49. Greek letters on campus 51. *____Sneakers, senior workout programs 54. Freshwater diving bird 56. Rive Droite and Rive Gauche separator 57. T in SAT 58. *Resting heart ____ 59. Site of Taj Mahal 60. Chowder mollusc 61. Def Leppard’s “Rock of ____” 62. Singer Stewart and actor Steiger 63. Overabundance 64. Puppy barks 67. *Fitness venue




Job Posting – Multimedia Account Executive KTRK-TV ABC13 Houston, the ABC-TV Owned Television Station is hiring a Multimedia Account Executive. The Multimedia Account Executive will be responsible for generating revenue across all ABC13 properties and platforms including digital and social. Additional responsibilities would include achieving revenue goals for new business, and increasing station revenue/share on existing accounts.Responsibilities Manage agency & client relationships through day-to-day contact Look for opportunities to develop and monetize solutions for clients, and ensure clients receive superior service Understand client objectives and develop solutions through Marketing thatmeets or exceeds customer needs Negotiate and manage deals across multiple ABC13 properties, including TV, Digital and Social Media platformsBasic Qualifications Media sales experience Demonstrated & sustained track record of revenue growth & superior client interactions Detail-oriented, reliable, self-starter  Excellent computer skills, especially Microsoft Office; Excel, Word, Powerpoint  Exceptional communication, negotiation & presentation skills a must Capacity to work and analyze numeric data including research data Able to multi-task in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment Strength in and a track record of prospecting, generating proposals and closing new business Ability to understand brand & marketing objectives Qualifications Knowledge of and/or experience with Digital/Social advertising strongly recommended Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experienceTo be considered all interested applicants must apply on-line at by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Please Reference Job ID: 538327BRFemale/Minority/Veteran/ Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity No Telephone Calls Please

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Job Posting – Temporary News Producer We are looking for an experienced, dynamic, creative television news producer to join our team on a temporary basis this spring. Must be available from late April until mid-July. There is no guarantee this will lead to a permanent producer position, but this is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door of one of the best local news stations in the country. You must have hands-on experience producing or working as an associate producer for a live newscast. Knowledge of ENPS and desktop editing a plus. Must be able to perform efficiently in a fast-paced, high-energy environment. Should be able to demonstrate excellent news judgement and strong writing skills. To be considered all interested applicants must apply online at disneycareers. com, reference job # 532614BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references. Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender IdentityNo Telephone Calls Please



FRIDAY, March 30, 2018

Home&Real Estate US new home sales slow in February

Stronger job growth points to improvement in local market



OUSTON - Local real estate markets are benefitting from stronger than expected job growth indicated by newly revised economic statistics from the Texas Workforce Commission, according to Houstonbased Deal Sikes & Associates, one of the state’s leading real estate valuation and counseling firms.

Are your home furnishings good for the planet and your family? ore consumers are interested in selecting products that are good for the planet and their families, than ever before. While many understand what organic food is, confusion still exists when it comes to home furnishings. Simply put, what you bring into your home directly impacts the health and welfare of your family in terms of exposure to chemicals of concern, indoor air quality and comfort.


With the deluge of products claiming to be environmentally sustainable, it’s important to know what to look for when furnishing your home. Here are some considerations to bear in mind. • Does it contain harmful chemicals? While the EPA has phased out the use of some of the most potentially harmful chemicals, some chemical variations continue to be used in upholstery and fabrics. To get a sense of what’s good and what may be bad, consult resources like the U.S. EPA’s Chemicals of Concern List and the Living Future Institute’s Red List. Remember that while some degree of chemical treatment may be needed to make fabrics fire-retardant or stain-repellent, in many instances, green manufacturers employ minimal chemistry or have found natural solutions to achieve these results. • Am I considering all the op-

tions? Fortunately, top fabric and furniture manufacturers have developed more sustainable alternatives. For example, Milliken & Company recently launched Breathe by Milliken, an eco-elegant collection of fluorine-free performance fabrics available in both natural and recycled polyester fibers. Furniture retailers are offering sustainably-sourced, locallymade, and organic furniture and fabric options, while big box retailers like Target have developed sustainability scoring requirements on products to help educate and empower consumers. • Where does it come from? A sofa made from natural materials may not be a truly green choice. Consider the supply chain, too. Are natural raw materials sustainably grown and harvested? Are they made by companies with reputations for environmental stewardship according to green manufacturing principles? • What’s it made of? Select natural fibers or materials like cotton or wood whenever possible. However, if you prefer man-made fibers, ask about items made from recycled or post-consumer materials. For example, Breathe by Milliken polyester fabrics are made from recycled plastic, and each sofa upholstered in this fabric diverts 90-150 plastic bottles from landfills. • How long will it last? Dura-

A brave new world

of furniture design

bility is sustainability. Whether wood, molded plastic or fabric, quality household items will remain in use, rather than in the landfill. • What happens when I’m done with it? Opt for materials that consist of recycled or reused materials and/or those that biodegrade or can be easily recycled. • Have green claims been validated? “Greenwashing,” or making untrue or inaccurate sustainability claims, is a pervasive problem across a range of industries. Opt for brands with third-party certifications. For example, products achieving GREENGUARD Gold certification have been screened to ensure they don’t contain any of the more than 10,000 chemicals commonly known to pollute the air we breathe. Earning this certification means these fabrics meet the world’s most rigorous chemical emission standards, improving indoor air quality and overall health. The Sustainable Furnishings Council is another excellent consumer resource. For more information on sustainable interiors, visit Your home is your refuge. Knowing the facts about what you choose to put into it can allow you to feel better -- literally and in terms of your environmental impact. - (StatePoint)

3D-printed chairs designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, Ross Lovegrove and Daniel Widrig make up the first collection of new Spanish brand Nagami. Nagami will make its official debut at this year’s Milan design week with four 3D-printed chairs. The collection’s name, Brave New World, is based on the 1930s dystopian novel of the same title by Aldous Huxley. It includes two chairs, Bow and Rise, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (shown left), a stool by British designer Ross Lovegrove called Robotica TM, and the Peeler chair by London architect and designer Daniel Widrig. “We design products that until now were just waiting for the right technology to come to life: not only objects that you can hold, but also that you can feel and experience as part of your environment,” said Nagami founders Manuel Jimenez García, Miki Jimenez García and Ignacio Viguera.

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“Our thesis on housing for 2018 is that there is a shortage of new housing stock relative to desired household formation, which will keep pushing up housing activity,” the company said in a briefing note.

ASHINGTON | AFP - Sales of new US homes weakened further in February, hitting the slowest sales pace in four months as home buying retreated in the fire-stricken West, according to government data released Friday.

In the South, the largest region by volume, sales rose nine percent, and the Northeast saw a 19.4 percent gain, but this was not enough to offset declines 17.6 percent in the West and 3.7 percent in the Midwest.

Meanwhile the supply of new single-family houses available for sale rose and prices moderated, pointing to some easing in what has been an exceedingly tight market.

“Builders are seeking smaller sites for Inner Loop residential and boutique retail. In suburban areas, developers are actively acquiring land for industrial, distribution, retail and residential projects. Houston’s economic growth and jobs gains support this broad trend for stronger real estate values in the year ahead. ”

Meanwhile, the stock of new homes on the market rose two percent to 305,000 units, the highest level since the height of the housing crisis in March 2009.

Total sales of newly constructed houses fell a token 0.6 percent from January to an annual rate of 618,000 units, seasonally adjusted, largely in line with economists’ expectations, Commerce Department data showed.

The slower sales pace also meant the supply increased 1.7 percent to 5.9 months, the highest since August.

The dip brought the sales pace to its slowest pace since October and marked the third monthly decline in a row.

In revised annual statistics, the state commission recently reported 62,900 jobs were created in Houston in 2017, significantly more than the workforce commission’s original estimate of 46,000 jobs.

The median sales price edged 0.6 percent higher to $326,800 but the average sales price fell slightly to $376,700, suggesting falling prices at the higher end of the market.

However, the sales rate was still 0.5 percent higher than February of last year. Officials warn, however, that the sales figures are highly volatile and the February numbers were well within broad margins of error.

“The improvements in the Houston economy provide a brisk tailwind for real estate in southeast Texas,” said Matthew Deal, principal of Deal Sikes & Associates. “Residential demand has strengthened. We see solid activity in both multifamily and single-family housing in Houston.”

Analysts say the pace of construction has not kept up with strong demand in the current economic expansion, producing an very tight housing market and rising prices.

RDQ Economics said given the statistical insignificance of the decline, the February numbers did not appear to break the gradual upward trend that began seven years ago.

Multifamily rental rates and occupancy rates increased last year, Deal said. “Multifamily construction will be increasing in 2018 as the market responds to the uptick in demand,” Deal said. “Apartment communities that were not inundated during the hurricane flooding last year are attracting investors who are willing to pay more for properties with a high-and-dry track record.”

But rising interest rates and changes to property tax deductions enacted in December are set to make homes even less affordable, weighing on demand.

Uber co-founder Kalanick shifts gears to real estate startup

All sectors of Houston’s real estate markets are showing improvement in 2018 as the region’s economic growth has returned, said Mark Sikes, principal of Deal Sikes & Associates.

Travis Kalanick use by online restaurant or retail businesses.


AN FRANCISCO | AFP - Uber co-founder and ousted chief Travis Kalanick is shifting gears to take charge of a startup devoted to giving shops or parking lots new purpose as venues for internet-age businesses.

“Home sales and singlefamily construction are strong. We expect to see strengthening residential prices in 2018,” Sikes said. “Across the board, the demand for land is healthy.

Kalanick said on Tuesday that he would take over as chief at CSS after the deal closes, and even invited people to apply for jobs at the 15-person startup. “Congrats to @travisk on his new venture -- the serial entrepreneur goes serial fast,” Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi said in a tweet to Kalanick.

The first “big bet” made by Kalanick’s freshly-launched investment fund called 10100 is $150 million investment to take a controlling interest in City Storage Systems, he said in a tweet from his verified account late Tuesday.

“Builders are seeking smaller sites for Inner Loop residential and boutique retail. In suburban areas, developers are actively acquiring land for industrial, distribution, retail and residential projects. Houston’s economic growth and jobs gains support this broad trend for stronger real estate values in the year ahead.

Khosrowshahi noted that CloudKitchens is among partners in an UberEats service delivering food from restaurants.

Kalanick described CSS as a holding company that buys distressed properties such as shops or parking lots and converts them into homes for internetage businesses.

“The office market has been the weakest sector of Houston’s commercial real estate market,” Sikes said. “Over the last year, investors have been acquiring significant office properties. In the long-term, many of these investments will deliver strong returns as the market improves and values increase.” (-BUSINESS WIRE)

Kalanick was reported to have sold more than a billion dollars worth of his stake in Uber to SoftBank early this year when the Japanese telecoms and tech titan bought into US ride-share firm.

“There are over $10 trillion in these real estate assets that will need to be repurposed for the digital era in the coming years,” Kalanick said, adding that he will become chief executive at the startup.

Uber is seeking to move past a series of scandals and missteps and reform its board structure as it gears up for a 2019 public share offering. Kalanick was ousted as CEO in June of last year, but retains a seat on Uber’s board.

CSS has CloudKitchens and CloudRetail operations aimed at repurposing real estate for

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Licensed and Certified Home, Mold, Termite and Energy Inspector serving Houston and surrounding metro areas. Infrared Certified & Licensed Drone Pilot

Amandeep (Andy) Punia

Certified Professional Inspector, TREC #22380


Call for Buyers, Sellers, Warranty, Maintenance New Construction, Pool & Spa, Septic System Phase, TERMITE & MOLD inspections We speak Punjabi, Hindi & English

Conditions apply, see website for more details

7457 Harwin Dr, Ste 364, Houston, TX

Auto, Home, Commercial, Flood, Umbrella, Workers Comp Insurance AN INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENCY


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“Helping individuals and business owners finding the right coverage without breaking the bank. You worked hard for it, let us help you insure it, the smart way.”

Office (281) 310-5899 | Direct (832) 368-2773 6065 Hillcroft St., Ste 214 Houston, TX 77081

Voice of Asia E-paper March 30, 2018  

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

Voice of Asia E-paper March 30, 2018  

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