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VOICE OF ASIA The Largest Asian-American Newsweekly in Texas

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Vol. 32 No. 19 • Friday, May 18, 2018

Published Weekly from Houston

24 Pages (2 sections) 50 cents

St Joseph Medical Center's 5th Women’s Heart Health Luncheon - ‘Stayin’ Alive’

May 18, 2018 InFRIDAY, Section 2 l HEALTHLINE

Understanding How Living Benefits Help in Life Insurance Policy

l HOME & REAL ESTATE Housing confidence reaches record high as prices skyrocket



ESL teachers arrested in China may not have know they were law-breakers

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Save A Mother's 10th Annual Gala


by Shobana Muratee


OUSTON – St Joseph Medical Center auditorium lit up in bright red as guests gathered at the 5th Annual Women’s Heart Health Luncheon on Friday, May 11th in aid of Go Red for Women® Campaign. Annette Garber, Dir., Marketing and Public Relations, St Joseph Medical Center welcomed the gathering introduced Heidi Wolf, Chief Nursing Officer. “Having this event signifies that we are committed to the mission statement of providing passionate care for the communities we serve,” Wolf said in her opening remarks. She also mentioned that she was attending the event for the first time. Wolf, an experienced 23 years service as a nurse, encouraged everyone to “make sure they are regular with their heart health and checkups.” Wolf pointed out that much had changed in research from the time she was a student in nursing school and now. “The topics that I talked about in my research were on the effects of Continued on Page 4

Keynote Speaker Shabana Azmi cherring along with Veena Kaul, Dr. Ganju and others at SAM gala. (Photo credit: Bijay Dixit) by Shobana Muratee Jaime Benrey MD., cardiovascular and internal medicine physician was the Featured Speaker at the luncheon. (Photo by Shobana Muratee)

Noted physicist, ECG Sudarshan dies at 86


n this 21st Century, no mother should die giving birth to a of child,” said

Indo-American Charity Foundation Awards $35,000 in Scholarships to Senior HS Students


Sudarshan was India’s best known theoretical physicist, who was professor emeritus at University of Texas at Austin in the United States at the time of his death.









“He was a scintillating person filled with ideas,” Mukunda says of his former doctoral advisor. Urjit Yajnik, a professor of physics at IIT Bombay, who was supervised by Sudarshan in the 1980s, remembers him as a father-figure who was “difficult to work with because he was a man of strong opinions”.

women die in 1 week in India than one year occurrences in whole of Europe. Azmi lauded the efforts of SAM in reducing maternal mortality rate (MMR) by 90% in 2008 and reducing child mortality rate by 60% in the villages they serve.

“Experts estimate that 70% of these deaths are entirely preventable with very small interventions and with small precaution, which this can drastically reduce,” she said.

“You have managed to achieve amazing results,” she said referring to SAM’s program that costs 25 cents a year towards health improvements that dramatically reduced MMR.

The fund-raiser netted a record high of $96000 that evening. Pregnancy related deaths in India are alarming high. Every 10 minutes a woman dies in India from complications of pregnancy or childbirth. More

“I worked in the trenches with NGOs for the last 30 years. I know how difficult it is to stay afloat,” speaking of Continued on page 7

IANAGH celebrates Nurse's Day

India’s best known theoretical physicist ECG Sudarshan, challenged Albert Einstein’s theory that nothing with mass can travel faster than light. (Photo credit: HT) brilliant physicist and a scintillating man is how N. Mukunda, 79, a retired professor from Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), remembers his former teacher and long-time collaborator, Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan. The acclaimed Indian theoretical physicist died on Monday, aged 86.

the renowned actor and activist Shabana Azmi in her keynote address at the Save A Mother (SAM) Foundation’s 10th Annual Gala, held at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square on Sunday, May 6 evening.

The best time to catch up with Sudarshan, according to Yajnik, was on his home turf in Texas. Yajnik remembers driving up to his supervisor’s house to find him in his comfortable veshti (dhoti ), listening to Carnatic music, busy gardening. “These were free-for-all sessions,” Yajnik recalls, “we could tell him anything, disagree with him on anything.” What charmed both students was not just Sudarshan’s brilliance as a physicist but his wit, a combination that made him “unusual” . Despite the controversy about not receiving a Nobel for his substantial contributions to his field overshadowing his later years, the renowned physicist never lost his good humour.

Sugar Land Councilman Himesh Gandhi handing the scholarship award certificate to a senior high school student during the IACF Scholarship Award ceremony. (Photo credit: Roy Photography)

Sudarshan was born in Kottayam, Kerala in 1931. He

IANAGH President Accamma Kallel presenting a bouquet to Katherine Tart, Dean,UH College of Nursing.

Read report on Page 4

Read report on Page 3

Continued on page 10

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Freedom Of Expression: Under Threat

VOICE OF ASIA Publisher: Associate Publisher: Editor-in-Chief: Austin Correspondent: Marketing Director: Office Manager:

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

Contributors: Legal: Sharlene Sharmila Richards Mala Sharma Editor Online:

Shobana Muratee

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

It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or confirmation of any facts or allegations contained in letters to the editor. Moreover, Voice of Asia reserves the right to edit letters to the editor as necessary to correct errors of fact, punctuation, spelling and to comply with space constraints. Although paid advertisements may appear in Voice of Asia Group Publications in print, online, or in other electronic formats, the Voice of Asia Group does not endorse the advertised product, service, or company, nor any of the claims made by the advertisement. - The Publisher

Voice of Asia (USPS 010-215) (ISSN#10705058) is published every Friday (for a subscription rate of $50 per year) by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713774-5143. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Voice of Asia, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

Samina Salim, Ph.D. (AMU 1997) Associate Professor of Pharmacology, University of Houston, Texas. by Samina Salim


ndia, a complex, beautiful and enchanting land, a melting pot of innumerable cultures, religions, ethnicities and traditions. India, a society deeply rooted in tolerance, compassion and forbearance. India, a land where the legends of Akbar’s justice, Shahjahan’s love, Prithvi Raj’s valor, Chanakya’s wisdom, live in every household. India, a land which gave birth to the concept of ahinsa, a land of Kabir and Kalidas, a land of Sufis and Sadhus, the land of Gandhi and Ghaffaar, the land of Nehru and Azad, the land of

Nanak and Gautam. The list can be endless and the names more empowering. One cannot help but be proud of one’s secular Indian heritage. Having lived in a tolerant India, the news of the slow rise of fascism and intolerance seem almost incomprehensible yet, the facts are facts. We cannot run away from facts. A recent incident happened too close to home. I like many other Indians followed the pursuit to higher education and came to the US. An air of nostalgia breezes through the mind when reminded of the days spent at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in India. AMU, a public central university in India, was established in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, as Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College. It was in 1920 that the college became Aligarh Muslim University, the campus of which is situated in the Aligarh city in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). Ever since it’s inception, this University has been a beacon of education, freedom and equality, producing notable alumni,

including the President of India, Vice-President of India, Governors, Chief Ministers, Poets, Writers, Scientists, Sportsmen, Film and TV artists and many others. Recent US News and World Report puts AMU as one of the top two public universities in the country, with law, medicine and engineering programs as one of the top in the nation. On May 2, 2018, a group of thugs disguised as political activists supported by law enforcement officials barged into the University premises with the demands of removing the portrait of a former Indian political figure who later championed the two-state theory and was instrumental in the creation of Pakistan. This portrait was placed in the pre-independence era during the days of British rule, along with the portraits of other life members of the University AMU Students Union galleries. Traditionally, photographs of all life members are placed on the walls of the stu-

dent union office including that of Gandhi, Nehru, Azad, Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa to name only a few. Whether this portrait should or should not be there, is debatable, and should be debated by the present AMU student general body and due process should deliver the outcome. The issue is not so much the portrait, as none of the AMU students, present or past think much of the individual in question any way, the point is the following. It is alarming when fascist forces start to break-in the gates of academic institutions with the aim of robbing these institutions of their freedom. Their agenda is not promoting patriotism or strengthening nationalism but their goal is curbing freedom of expression, silencing discussions, hijacking debates, raping harmony, undermining justice and diminishing peace. Can we as a society afford it? The author, Samina Salim, can be contact at her Email:



or several years, there has been an increasing trend to attack successful Indian scientists or other successful Indian immigrants in various professions to destroy their reputation and credentials under false rumours, innuendo, and slander. The Indian community is generally very successful, more successful than the average American. The Indians are more hard working, more ambitious and often better educated than the local people. This success draws attention, sometimes even jealousy and resentment. The latest case in point is that of Dr. Inder Mohan Verma, a highly respected 70-year old scientist who had been a senior research staff member of the prestigious Salk Institute in San Diego, California, for the last forty years. Dr. Verma is no ordinary scientist. He is a

Attacks on Indian scientists: The case of Inder Verma member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of numerous awards and prizes from many academies. Furthermore, he is also the Editor-inChief of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the highly prestigious publication of the Academy. Dr. Verma's scientific achievements are of the highest order. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on gene therapy and cancer. Verma developed innovations in two tools—viral vectors and gene editing—to study pathways that underlie cancer, metabolism and other diseases. Verma was the first scientist to genetically engineer HIV-based tools to insert new genes into cells. These cells can then be returned to the body,

where they produce proteins whose absence causes disease. This retroviral vector technique is now a tool routinely used in molecular biology labs and clinical trials. Verma's research is revealing how the aberrant expression of normal cellular genes can causes tumors. In particular, he is finding out how inflammation in the body alters cellular pathways, resulting in cancers and other diseases.

his kindness in their relations. For one female colleague who was pregnant he raised her salary and helped her husband to find a job. This case is not alone. There are several other instances where a successful Indian scientist is discredited in some way, although professionally he may be highly successful. Reasons are easy to find; professional jealousy, an attempt to extract some money, or simply racist motives.

Following some vague accusations from some colleagues, Dr. Verma has been suspended and is likely to be terminated. The credentials of those who accused him, sometimes even going back to thirty years, are highly flimsy. Some other staff members even praised him for

Whatever the reasons may be, successful Indian scientists or doctors or those in other professions should take extra care to avoid false accusations. Dr. Krishna Dronamraju Foundation For Genetic Research, Email:

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

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Section 1

Community Email:

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

Tel: 713-774-5140

Indo-American Charity Foundation Awards $35,000 in Scholarships to Senior HS Students by Shobana Muratee

Elankil and Mahesh Wadhwa.


The Indo-American Charity Foundation has been serving the greater Houston area since 1988 through philanthropic endeavors focused on health, education, and human services. Through scholarships, the IACF supports the hardworking, vastly talented students aspiring to become health care professionals, entrepreneurs, and engineers. The IACF hopes to make a difference in the future of these bright students. For more on IACF visit

ndo American Charity Foundation (IACF) held its 2018 Annual Scholarship Award ceremony on Monday, May 7th at the Rodgers Memorial Auditorium, in Sugar Land. Thirty senior high school students received scholarships that day at a formal ceremony attended by over a hundred guests that included students, parents, teachers, IACF members, dignitaries and representatives of Fort Bend ISD, Alief ISD and SMSD. Thirty presenters, who are community leaders and longtime supporters of IACF were also in attendance. Among the elected officials were Himesh Gandhi, Councilman, City of Sugar Land, Ken Mathew, Councilman, City of Stafford, Neeta Sane, HCC Trustee, Xavier Herrera, Stafford MSD and others invited guests included Mohammad Tariq, EVP & Regional President, Texas, Crystal Cowling, staff, Alief ISD and Terry Shenaman, Fort Bend ISD.

Below is the list of the 30 students who received the IACF scholarship.

Senior High School students who received IACF scholarship. Photo credit: Roy Photography.

After light refreshments and registration guests were seated in the auditorium. Dr. Bela Thacker, IACF Director and emcee of event welcomed the gathering with a big cheer to the scholarship awardees. She along with Dr. Purvi Parikh, IACF Director announced the names of the recipients and presenters. Mahesh Wadhwa, IACF President gave a brief outline of IACF mission and the four principals that the Charity stands for: Philanthropy, Health, Education and General Welfare. He congratulated the recipients and encouraged them to continue being a part of IACF that goes by its motto: “We live here, we give here.” Presenters and Speakers: Councilman Himesh Gandhi, Councilman Ken Mathew, Mohammad Tariq and Xavier Herrera gave their congratula-

IACF Board of Directors with the presenters at the Scholarship Award ceremony. tory messages on the occasion. The scholarships awarded were based on selection by grade point average; SAT/ACT scores, personal essay, recommendation letters, and need to students that had applied. The prestigious ‘David Raj Memorial Award’ that IACF presents each year is given to a student pursuing a career in medicine.

This year it was awarded to Betsabe Mende, Marshall HS, FBISD and presented by Dr. Ramesh Cherivirala, past president of IACF following a brief introduction of person in whose name the scholarship was founded. Other recipients indicated their interests that ranged from medicine, biochemistry, animal science, business, political

science, public health, nutrition, engineering, liberal arts and so on. Scholarships ranged from $ 1000 to $ 2000. The IACF scholarship committee lead by Venkat Iyer and team members that included Bela Thacker, Nanda Vura, Rajesh Dikonda, Dr. Purvi Parikh, Shwetha Arora, Moshumi Chatterjee, Joseph

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FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

Indian American Nurses Association of Greater Houston (IANAGH) Celebrates Nurse's Day by Molly Mathew


ndian American Nurses Association Of Greater Houston’s (IANAGH) 24th Annual Nurses Day Celebration and Advance Nurse Practitioner (APN) Forum’s first anniversary was celebrated on April 28, 2018. Anumol Thomas and Molly Mathew were the emcees and led the program in the right direction. A special thank you to the sponsorships from Boston Scientific, Zoll Medicals, Lamar University, UT Arlington University and University of Houston College of Nursing’, Alamo Travels and Edwin NCELX center for all their support and contributions.

Sruthi Varghese and Sreya Varghese led the team as they sang the National Anthem of India and United States of America. Nurse’s prayer

Members of Indian American Nurses Association of Greater Houston’s (IANAGH).

Top: Mrs. Moani Thomas (2nd from left ) and other nurses who participated in Nurses Day celebrations. Left - Top: Keynote Speaker Mrs. Millie Toth from MD Anderson delivering her talk.

Guest Speaker Mr. Koshy Thomas, Publisher,Voice of Asia speaking on the occasion.

was led by Kavitha Rajan and Nurses pledge was recited by Claramma Mathews. The Nightingales held the lighted lamp in their hands to affirm the care,devotion ,knowledge symbolizing that light dispels the darkness. Dr. Afshar gave an educational talk on novel therapies in electrophysiology and

wireless pacemaker. It was an eye-opening session. Then the representatives from both Lamar University and UT Arlington School of Nursing explained to everyone about the importance of education and motivated everyone with their support. President Mrs. Accamma Kallel welcomed everyone

and presented the presidential address. Dr. Jessy Philip talked on APN forum reflection and the importance of forum activities. Mrs. Millie Toth from MD Anderson was the keynote speaker and gave inspiring highlights on the theme “Nurses Inspire, Innovate & Influence “. In one accord, everyone stated that

they are happy to be a nurse. Dr. Omana Simon and Sheela Mathews launched the new enhanced website. Dean Katherine Tart from University of Houston College of Nursing explained about the newly launched important event in the history of Indian nursing- The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Indian Nursing Council and University of Houston College of Nursing on graduate nursing education. Everyone enjoyed the colorful and beautiful dance by Reshma , Meri, Lea and Anumol and a melodious song by Susan George and Sreya Varughese. Secretary Virginia Alphonse read the report and continued the program while everyone still enjoyed the delicious food. Mr. Koshy Thomas, publisher and founder of Voice of Asia talked on “Those Who Walked Before Us’’. He appreciated all the service done by the nurses and their vital role in changing the status of Houston. Ms. Rose Jean, President of United Light of Hope talked about the Haiti mission Program which was inspiring and heartfelt and specially recognized all those who went for the Haiti mission trip. Mr. Mahesh Pillai From Dallas Chapter invited everyone for the oncoming National conference in October and encouraged everyone to attend. Educational scholarships were distributed by Mrs. Mary Thomas to five nursing 5 BSN Students, 3 from India and two from the U.S. New graduates in RN, BSN, MSN, NP, DNP, PhD level were recoganized . RN retirees were sincerely appreciated for all their dedication and service. Nursing Excellence Award in clinical category was given to Virginia Alphonse and nonclinical category-education was given to Kavitha Rajan. Dr. Nitha Mathews, Cissimol Vilson & Mr.Biju Ittan were recoganized for special achievement . A beautiful skit written and presented by Dr. Jessy Philip and team was very inspiring and meaningful . Cicimol Joseph said the vote of thanks and the Nurses day celebration was adjourned happily. It was definitely a memorable event in the folds of our mind.

St. Joseph Medical Center's 5th Women’s Heart Health Luncheon on ‘Stayin’ Alive’ low, avoid smoking, maintain healthy diet, maintain ideal weight, manage health conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, exercise regularly to help enlarge coronary arteries which increase good blood flow were some of Dr. Jaime pointers in preventing a heart attack.

Continued from Page 1 estrogens on women’s health as they age. And how that (estrogen) decreases how that may affect the risk factors that we may have of heart attacks,” she said speaking about her research project 25 years ago. “There isn’t a huge impact of estrogen levels on heart attacks. The impact that they are finding now is the lifestyle and how diet and exercise are bigger factors in cardio health, “she said. Featured Speaker, Jaime Benrey MD., cardiovascular and internal medicine physician specializing in cardiovascular diseases said, “Heart attack is the number one killer in women, it kills one in every 4 women, kills more than breast cancer.” He also stated that heart attacks are different for women and men and that 90% of women have more at risk than men. “An average heart beats 70 beats per minute 100, 000 per day, 36 million a year and 3 billion a lifetime, pumps 60cc of blood every heart beat,” he went on with the stats to explain how the heart works like a machine. “Let’s do the best we can to protect it.” Heart attacks are different from men and women, Dr. Jaime explained, “Women have much higher threshold of pain,” which is why the chest pain could go undetected. A woman must have at least 1 of 6 risks factors: diabetes, hypertensive, high cholesterol, family history, post menopause, smoking unhealthy dietary habits to be concerned of heart attack. Have regular checkups, keep the A1c levels

Maria “Tet” Ontoy, staff Nurse Educator explained Hands-Only CPR

A section of the audience. Photos by Shobana Mutaree.

Maria “Tet” Ontoy, staff Nurse Educator explained Hands-Only CPR with the help of a video and demonstration. Ontoy said, “pushing hard and pushing fast at 100-120 pushes per minute to the rhythm of Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive,” was the correct way to do a CPR. Nearly 350,000 heart attacks happen outside hospitals, she said and 90% who are outside of hospitals die, she said.

After a brief Q & A with Wolf, the event was concluded with Annette and Tracie Gibbs, the new Marketing Director giving away door prizes. Prizes that still had the diamond shaped logo of St. Joseph were like memorabilia as the logo has now changed following merger with Steward Health Care System LLC.

The weMED Wellness booth at the event.

A hand out with information on heart attack


Fort Bend View

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

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

Section 1


Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital offers ‘Beat the Pack’ program to give smokers a successful start on resolution to quit

Tel: 713-774-5140

New Commissioner Terry Gaul and re-elected Commissioner Carl Drozd sworn-in at special commission meeting May 14th

UGAR LAND – (May 2, 2018) — Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is offering the community a proven program to help people quit smoking. The complimentary program, called Beat the Pack®, was developed by Pfizer Inc. and is sponsored by Houston Methodist Sugar Land Respiratory Therapy Department and Cancer Center. The next four-week series is scheduled to start on July 3, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Houston Methodist Sugar Land’s Main Pavilion Conference Room A.


Participants will meet once a week for four weeks with a trained facilitator from Houston Methodist Sugar Land who will provide tools, tips and support to help smokers create and follow through with a personalized “quit plan.” “Studies show that close to 70 percent of smokers in the U.S. want to quit,” Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital offers ‘Beat the Pack’ program to said Amy Sebastian-Deutsch, director give smokers a successful start on resolution to quit of oncology and infusion therapy services. “But it typically takes a smoker between six and 11 attempts at quitsupport needed, and it does so in an ting to finally succeed. Beat the Pack will be reduced by half. After 10 informative, friendly atmosphere that is a proven program that can greatly years of living without cigarettes, offers encouragement and camaraincrease those odds and make it easier the risk of heart attack or cancer is similar to that of someone who never derie.” to give up cigarettes for good.” smoked.” The four-week program will be offered Even long-term smokers can benefit each quarter in Main Pavilion Conferfrom quitting. “The health benefits In 2015, a thorough compilation ence Room A at Houston Methodist of quitting begin almost immedi- of more than 50 smoking cessation Sugar Land. Registration is required ately and continue indefinitely,” said studies that included more than and space is limited. For more inforSindhu Nair, M.D., a board-certified 25,000 participants found that commation or to register, visit houstonhematologist oncologist with Houston bining behavior support in a group and search for Methodist Oncology Partners at Sugar setting with medication provides the Beat the Pack, or call 281.205.4514. Land. “Within months, former smok- best results. ers will have improved circulation and Visit our Facebook page at reduced blood pressure, enhanced “It isn’t easy to quit, and certainly methodistsugarland for the latest oxygen flow, the return of taste and it is more difficult to do so by yournews, events and information. (-Houssmell and less coughing and colds. self,” said Sebastian-Deutsch. “Beat ton Methodist Sugar Land Hospital) After a year, their risk of heart disease the Pack provides all the tools and


ICHMOND , 05/15/2018 - Special City Commission meeting Monday, May 14th had Commissioner Carl Drozd taking oath of office representing Position 3 and Terry Gaul taking oath of office to be sworn in as new Commissioner for Position 1. Their terms begin officially with May 2018 monthly Commission meeting next week- May 21st. (-City of Richmond)

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FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

Enriching American Leader- Swami Vigyanandji promotes upcoming Second World Hindu ship Forum in Houston Congress in Chicago globally by Manu Shah


s dawn breaks, Swami Vigyanandji hops on to his bicycle and pedals to a park close by. He meditates and practices his asanas in the midst of nature, then laces up his shoes to alternately jog and walk for a good number of miles.

From L to R: Ashok Garg, Prabha Garg, Whitney Crane, Jim Crane and Jagdip Ahluwalia at the Joseph Jaworski Leadership Award Dinner by Manu Shah


hen IACCGH Past President Ashok Garg completed the American Leadership Forum (ALF) program recently, the first thought that crossed his mind was how beneficial this program would be for Indo American leaders. Summarizing his “unique and enriching” experience, he says he learned many things about himself, gained a clearer sense of who he is and how he fits in the larger picture of Houston and the surrounding community. He also believes that “we all have something to offer” and ALF helped him find and define what that was. Sanjay Ramabhadran, an alumni of the Program and IACCGH Past President also concurs. Indo American community leaders, he says, would benefit tremendously from connecting with the diverse leadership from across the Houston region. Two traits, according to him, are important in a leader: the ability to listen with “the explicit intent to understand rather than the itch to respond” and the consciousness of being a servant leader to serve others around you. His experience at ALF also

gave him an insight into different leadership styles. ALF, he adds, does a great job of deliberately engineering the class makeup so that the diverse leadership of Houston “gets to interact, work and learn from each other.” The takeaways from ALF are different for each member, emphasizes ALF Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter President Dan Snare. For some, the lessons are deeply personal with opportunities for introspection while others define the legacy they’d like to leave. Some glean invaluable lessons on listening, asking powerful questions, engaging with others around difficult conversations and across differences. ALF Vice President of Development Manisha Gandhi says her ALF experience “came at a career cross roads” and the experience helped bring clarity on what she wanted to contribute to the local community, made her a better listener and enhanced her leadership skills. ALF was started in 1980 by Joseph Jaworski, a lawyer who left a successful law practice to address a crisis of leadership in the country. The organization, which started in Houston, soon spread across the country and

presently has 8 active Chapters. The Houston Gulf Coast Chapter boasts of alumni such as Former Mayor Annise Parker, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and heads of diverse organizations. According to an independent study, after participating in ALF, Senior Fellows say they have greater confidence in their capacity as leaders, have a better understanding of the needs of the community, and how to gather resources to meet those needs. Its twenty day program includes a six-day wilderness experience in the mountains. Monthly sessions are held on topics such as dialogue, group emotional intelligence, appreciative inquiry, consensus building, core values and moral courage. Alumni and IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia and Dan Snare’s advice for those interested in joining the Program is to check out the website at and look through the membership directory to see who they know among Senior Fellows. They suggest meeting with the Senior Fellow(s) and express an interest in submitting their nomination.

Free Numerology & Vaastu Workshop at India House Saddguru Shri Foundation presents a one day workshop for those who seek to attune themselves with the knowledge of Numerology and Vaastu to sustain and thrive in this modern challenging era.

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FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm India House, 8888 West Bellfort Ave, Houston TX 77031

Interested Participants Please Register: Workshop will be conducted in Hindi


After a simple sattvic meal, this IIT Kharagpur graduate and renowned scholar of Indian scriptures is ready to put in a full day’s work. As Joint General Secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and founder of the World Hindu Congress, the World Hindu Economic Forum and the Hindu Emergency Aid and Relief Team (HEART), he needs all the focus and energy his morning routine gives him. Currently, Swamiji is busy campaigning for the Second World Hindu Congress to be held in Chicago from 7-9 September, 2018. The conference, which attracts prominent Hindus across the world, is the largest global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, introspect towards improvement and seek solutions to challenges facing the community. It coincides with the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s iconic address in Chicago’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 – a speech that prompted many Americans to explore Hindu spirituality. The conference will discuss 7 key issues: economics, education, media, politics, youth involvement, women participation and collaboration of Hindu organizations. Confirmed Keynote Speakers include Dr. Mohan Bhagwat, the Dalai Lama, Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Chinmaya Mission Worldwide Head Swami Swaroopananda.

Swami Vigyanandji. Photo credit: WHN we are highly educated, professionally and financially successful but we don’t highlight our achievements enough. We need to become more than a “dandiya, garba and bhangra society,” we need to create awareness about our sizeable contributions, be visible and exercise our influence at the global level.

du youth from Fiji to Finland and is impressed with their diligence and dedication. They are capable, talented and educated, he says, but need to be introduced to their rich heritage. His singular goal, he emphasizes, is to ignite this awareness among Hindus across the globe and conferences such as these are “only the beginning.”

Conferences such as this, he hopes, will remove the apathy that currently exists among a vast majority of Hindus, promote unity and dispel misconceptions about Hindu philosophy.

Urging Houstonians to attend, Houston Sampark Coordinator HSS Swapan Dhairyawan stated that “It is important for every proud Hindu to attend the WHC 2018 in September. The conference will reinforce the importance of maintaining our Hindu identity in North America while assimilating in mainstream America.” CEO of Star Pipes Products Ramesh Bhutada also added that it will give Hindus an opportunity to meet Hindu leaders from all over the world in different fields with relevance to Hindu Dharma while Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) President Partha Krishnaswamy stated ““Such a congregation with exemplary Hindu leaders and speakers from worldwide is an occasion not to be missed. HGH sincerely requests Houston Hindus to represent in large numbers so that our presence is well recognized.”

Why is this conference so important? Swamiji, who switches between chaste Hindi and English easily, explains that to “graduate to collective success”, we must encourage wealth creation, affordable quality education, promote a robust Hindu presence in mass media, cultivate future Hindu leaders, tap the unique strengths of Hindu women and encourage all Hindu organizations to work together. This, he states, is the only way to increase our sphere of influence and have a positive societal impact.

Born in a small village near Banaras, Swamiji’s sharp mind took him to IIT Kharagpur – India’s premier technology Institute. After his B. Tech, he didn’t take the predictable route of a lucrative job but dived into a 12 year study of Indian history, heritage, Vedanta, Panini’s Grammar and the Shastras. This proved to be a turning point in his life. The sheer richness of Hindu writings that were “compiled, protected, and transmitted through the most difficult times” by our ancestors motivated him to work at preserving this knowledge for successive generations. Swamiji reads a portion of the Gita every day and his favorite teaching from the scripture is aptly enough “never lose your focus.”

We are “unlike any other immigrant community”, he adds,

The global pracharak, as he is also known, works with Hin-

To learn about or participate in the 2018 World Hindu Congress, visit http:// whc.2018worldhinducongress. org

Renowned Spiritual Guru Saddguru Shri is a North star in the spiritual sky. His celestial Holiness, is a reputed astrology chronicler, with multiple well known media publications and will foresee events of the future on this planet. He has earned admiration because of his illustrious predictions. His sole aim is to spread knowledge among sincere seekers through his workshops. The seminar at India House will guide inspired individuals on the technique of Vaastu and Numerology. • 713-929-1900 • • • Disclaimer: India House is not liable for any opinion and advise given during the session




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FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

Save A Mother's 10th Annual Gala- IMPACTFUL! Continued from front page the challenges like compliance and merit regulations, constant scrutiny, and above it keeping the promises to the communities they are working,” Azmi said, praising SAM. She later told the story of a young village girl Lalima who had to struggle to earn a living and support her family. Education had no scope in her life. “For every such Lalima, there are thousands who watch life go by without a hope,” she said stressing the need to educate and empower women. Since the time SAM began in 20 villages ten years ago, the organization has expanded to 1100 villages in three states Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana. In 167 villages in the district of Gadag in north-

103 villages in Gadag district. Since then we have expanded to cover a total of 150 villages. We have also expanded this program to 50 new villages in Dharwad district. The Deshpande Foundation is our partner in these two districts.

ern Karnataka, there was not a single maternal death in 2017, and there was only one death in 2016, which compares to almost the high standards of developed countries. Ashish Ganju, President of SAM updated on SAM’s work and outcome in India. “I feel privilege that I have this platform to give back,” he said. “SAM is education about health care to families and their kids,” he said. SAM’s mission is to develop sustainable healthcare solutions for the poor, with maternal mortality reduction as a first step. SAM trained over 4,000 village health activists in over 800+ villages in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. In Karnataka, SAM completed one year of this program successfully in April 2013 in

Actor and activist Shabana Azmi with SAM president Veena Kaul (right). Photos credit Bijay Dixit.

SAM increased tuberculosis detection rates by a factor of 10 in fifty villages where the program has been launched. Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in India. SAM Foundation conducted it's first pilot TB control project in 25 villages (population 74000) in Amethi district of Uttar Pradesh, from March 2012 to July 2013. The learning from the first pilot was applied toa second pilot, conducted in different 44 villages (population 105,400) from December 2013 to Dec 2015. Dr Shiban Ganju of Chicago, founder of Save A Mother also spoke on the ocassion. Reflecting on the gala, Veena Kaul, President, SAM stated, “I am deeply honored and humbled by the constancy of amazing encouragement and support by our donors to culminate in a successful gala.” Kaul was instrumental in inviting Shabana Azmi from In-

Board of Director of Save A Mother, Houston Chapter.

Dr Shiban Ganju, founder of Save A Mother

dia to be the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker. Nat Krishnamurty (Nat Murthy) CEO of his own company in Houston, joined the organization five years ago and is serving on the board as Treasurer. He had this to say about the gala, “The success of our ten year celebrations, with a record $96000 raised, is due primarily to our energetic, dedicated and amazing board members, led by Veena Kaul president of SAM.” The evening entertainment was provided by stand-up comedian Raj Sharma, who started his comedy career in Dallas and soon began performing all over the country. Preity Bhagia was a delightful emcee who also assisted in the pledge drive along side Dr. Subodh Bhuchar. SAM’s work is drive by its motto “One life lost is one too many.” The Foundation is widening its scope to include other aspects of health like nutrition, maternal child health through clinics, manufacture sanitary napkins, sell contraceptive to list a few. To learn more about Save A Mother visit

SAM program in India. Image source SAM.

Ashish Ganju, President of SAM

Stand-up comedian Raj Sharma

Divine Meenakshi-Sundareswara Wedding at MTS

Heavily decked in jewels and flowers are deities Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Sundareswara by M.K.Sriram

the Ultimate!


The weather was just perfect for the occasion, with devotees attired in predominantly green (Meenakhsi’s favorite color) assembling at the Ganesh Temple in the morning. Many families had brought specially made Seer (savories and sweets), flower and fruits. The traditional live Nadaswaram and Thavil (South Indian musical pipe & drums) music filled the air created the perfect festive ambience throughout the ceremonies. After initial pujas to Lord Ganesha, the Seer Bakshanams were carried in a procession around the main temple and awaited the arrival of the Deities from the temple. A most

EARLAND, TX April 29th, 2018 is a day to remember for ever in the Houston Hindu religious platform. The Thirukalyanam (Holy Wedding) of Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Sundareswara (Siva) was celebrated with extraordinary festivities, joy and grandeur at the Sri Meenakshi Temple. This wedding was the finale for the ten-day Mahotsavam (Great Festival). This festival follows the tradition set by the world famous Meenakshi temple at Madurai. Year by year, this signature event of the Meenakshi temple has been getting grander and grander. This year’s festival has been

beautifully decorated Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Siva, accompanied by Lord Vishnu were brought in palanquins on the shoulders of ardent devotees and joined the procession to the Kalyana Mandapam. Priests performed the garland exchanges to the tune of the famous “Maalai Mattrinal” song played by the musicians. The Deities were then gently rocked on a swing decorated with flowers, while the ladies performed a ritual. The Deities were then carried to the main Mandapam. Oh, what a glorious sight it was to see the Deities seated in the most gorgeously decorated Mandapam! it instantly uplifted the hearts and minds of

Devotees go in a procession carrying the deities in a palanquin as part of the holy wedding ceremony.

the devotees. Many dedicated volunteers worked on stringing beautiful flower garlands. The priests performed important rituals such as Rakshabandanam and Kanyadaanam, with participation by all the sponsor families. Many families availed of the opportunity to offer Vasthrams (saris & dhothis) and Mangalyam for the wedding. The most auspicious climactic moment was the Mangalya Dharanam (tying of Mangalyam), and it was a truly indescribably divine moment that will always remain in the memory of the attendees. The grandest of processions followed with Meenakshi in the brilliant silver Ratham (chariot) and all Deities in

their respective Vahanas. Several ladies performed Kummi Dance in front of the Ratham. The devotees thoroughly enjoyed and merrily celebrated this joyous wedding procession. The final rituals were completed and the temple flag that was hoisted ten days ago, was brought down to mark the completion of the grand Mahotsavam. A sumptuously delicious sitdown lunch with traditional wedding items was served on banana leaves to about 2000 devotees. Scores of volunteers worked on cutting vegetables, helping with the cooking in the temple kitchen and serving. Chairman Mrs. Padmini Nathan along with temple board

members showed great sense of teamwork in the planning, execution and coordination with committees. Temple priests led by Sri Manicka Bhattar conceptualized and performed the pujas and homams so beautifully. The talented group of artisans led my Sri Ramanathan worked tirelessly day and night to put on the magnificent event. Special thanks to volunteer photographers Srini Sudarrajan, Lakshminarayana Setty and Milind Patil. The Cultural Program by High School graduating students was a treat to watch after the lunch. Video of the event can be found at: ).



FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

Arya Samaj of Greater Houston DAV Sanskriti School and Arya Yuva Mandal celebrates Annual Day


unday 13th May morning was filled with sheer joy for 125 children of the Sanskriti School, managed by Arya Samaj Houston. It was their Annual Day that was eagerly awaited, preceded by their strenuous practice. Their elders in the Arya Youth Mandal (AYM) were in attendance to bid farewell to seven graduating seniors, about to join reputed universities. They, with their parents and siblings were the Yajmaans in the morning Havan, followed by Acharyaji’s message that they can carry with them for lifetime. A large number of AYM youth were given the President’s Voluntary Service Certificate by the guest of honor Joseph and Christina Emmett, for the services they rendered within the Arya Samaj campus or outside. The graduating students displayed confidence as they narrated their long years of experience at the Arya Samaj. Once the Sanskriti school (the Sunday School of Arya Samaj Houston) children took over, it was non-stop showcasing of their skills they had earned in arguably very efficient manner, within bare two hours a week. Besides their learning of Hindi and Naitik Shiksha (Moral Instruction), they learn electives such as music (vocal and instrumental), Tabla (beginners and advanced), Yoga, dance, orchestra, Hindi R&W, Vedic Math, public speaking, etc​. The Annual Day began with a song by the vocal music group of children. The dance was found to be a new experiment with four groups performing together, culminating in a fusion signifying unity of the humanity in its diversity. Tabla players

​DAVSS Sunday School Cultural Song Performance - Maharishi Geet.

ASGH Graduation Guests: Joseph & Christina Emmett from Vedanta Institute Malibu, ASGH Shri Devinder Mahajan.

​DAVSS AYM Seniors Graduation, 2018. made it very interesting when the teachers’ phonetic sounds were replicated by tiny fingers of little children on their instruments. Orchestra was a special

ensemble by its teacher Aakash Gupta training five youngsters playing diverse instruments. It must have been an emotional moment for Aakash that he

Rice University and UT Austin at Jain Society of Houston by Parag Shah, Houston


OUSTON - On a beautiful and very pleasant sunny morning on Sunday April 15, Jain Society of Houston (JSH) hosted leading Jainism scholars from Rice University and University of Texas – Austin to share Jainism academic programs in their respective universities. The 90-minute presentation started with a warm welcome from the JSH President Mrs. Urvashi Jain followed by presentation and discussions. Ms. Chini Mehta and the Jain Pathshala team at JSH coordinated the entire program. This program and the presentations were unique because leading scholars of Jainism from two very prestigious universities in Texas came to JSH and shared their progress and future plans in Jain Studies. Both Drs. Maes and Prof. Davis, in their very passionate and impressive presentations told the audience why the teaching and study of Jainism is so important to the world.

created by 5 to 13 yo. Some of them were sold on the spot, proceeds donated to the Sanskriti School. The entire event was being live telecast via streaming and can be watched by anybody anytime on the youtube channel of Dayanand Arya Vedic Sanskriti School. Interspersed within the program was the annual report, presented by its director Dr. Kavita Vachaknavee. It kept away from the usual statistics and restricted to a long list of new developments in the year 2017-18. Even the list required three slides, endorsing the phenomenal advances Sanskriti School makes on a continual basis. It reflects in the record registration by this time of the year. Acharyaji’s message for the parents highlighted the need of harmony among the parents at home so that child develops holistically

would now leave for Harvard after so many years at the Sanskriti School, first as a little boy then as a youth and its fullfledged teacher. Yoga performers gave the message to stay healthy, so much important for the Indian community reporting serious health issues related to heart, diabetes, etc. Instrumental performance on keyboard by multiple players was a new feather in the cap as a new elective and was very well received. Every-

body patiently waited for the signature school song that sees all the children, teachers and volunteers on the stage, the glowing finale dedicated to the pioneering contributions of Maharshi Dayanand (1825-’83), the founder of Arya Samaj. Due to the shortage of time Hindi conversational skills and Naitik Shiksha component didn’t find place. A new addition was the Multimedia Art that was displayed outside, 20+ art work

under the love, warmth, and security provided by the parents. Patanjali Yoga Meditation holds the key in this regard to inculcate genuine and pure love, simultaneously washing away stress of the modern life. Write to davssgm@gmail. com for any query or call 832.874.3376. The new year in DAV Sanskriti School will begin from 19th August. Registration is now open and online at

Gita Conference Houston Saturday, May 26, 2018 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

UH Student Center South • 4455 University Blvd.

Ms. Chini Mehta, Dr. Donald Davis and Dr. Claire Maes reciting Navkaar mantra in Sanskrit. (Photo credit: Amisha Kapadia)

Mission: To bring awareness, spread eternal message and provide practical tools to all; specially the YOUNG ADULTS/MILLENNIALS who can empower their knowledge and leadership skills.

Judging from many standing ovations and comments, the presentations were very well received by the community members and several of them requested that such kinds of programs be held often. The program ended with mangal Arti and a delightful Vegan lunch sponsored by Vinay and Sanmati Deshmane. Both universities have introductory and post-graduate classes in Jainism providing a unique exposure of Jainism to Jains and non-Jains. Dr. Sonia Ryang who is a Social Anthropologist and a Director of the Chao Center at Rice University presented under the topic of “Building Jain Studies at Rice University. Dr. Brianne Donaldson is a Bhagwan Mahavir and Chao Family Post-Doctoral Fellow in Jain Studies at Rice established in 2016. Dr. Donaldson is continuing her research in Jainism while teaching very popular subject – classes are oversubscribed and closed within a day of open registration! The presentation covered the uniqueness of this program at Rice University where the fellowship is setup as a partnership between the Chao Family Foundation and the Houston Jain community sharing yearly expenses of the fellowship program. This

Dr Sulekh Jain and Dr. Donald Davis discussing UT Jainism studies program. (Photo credit: Amisha Kapadia)

is an exceptional opportunity for community’s involvement with a shared responsibility. Dr. Claire Maes and Prof.. Donald Davis from UT Austin presented “Teaching and Scholarly Activities in Jainism at UT Austin”. Dr. Maes and Prof. Davis are Master in Sanskrit language and deeply passionate about Jainism. The Jainism program at UT Austin has been around for number of years being popular with students. Few Jainism students also made the 2-hour journey from Austin to share their experience with the community. The presentation concluded with an overview of the JSH ‘Pathshala’ program that is preserving Jain values and culture through children. This year’s enrollment exceeded 200 students rang-

ing in age from toddlers to adults. This amazing program is a result of countless hours spent by dedicated volunteers of the Jain Society if Houston. Rice U and UT Austin are just 2 of over several dozen similar programs at universities worldwide. Initial dialog has started for a possibility of a similar program at University of Houston. Establishment of such programs at the universities worldwide is responsibility of JAINA Academic Liaison Committee led by our Houston’s own Dr. Sulekh C. Jain. JAINA (Federation of Jain Associations in North America) is an umbrella organization that preserves and shares Jain Dharma and the Jain Way of Life.

Registration Required:


Guruma Geeteshwari

Joseph Emmett

Brahmacharini Shweta

Satya Kalra

Free and Open to Public



Empowering Children’s Dreams: Cry America’s Gala Dinner with Abhay Deol


OUSTON (May 14, 2018) - CRY, Child Rights & You America [CRY America], a 501c3 non-profit that works towards ensuring underprivileged children their basic rights, hosted their 3rd Gala Dinner in Houston on May 4 at the Sweetwater Country Club in Sugar Land. Speakers included Celebrity Abhay Deol who appealed to the guests to support the cause of underprivileged children with a sense of urgency, Shefali Sunderlal, President of CRY America who spoke about the work of CRY and supported Projects and Dr. Rolee Singh, Director of Dr. Shambhunath Singh Research Foundation (SSRF) who came all the way from Varanasi to share her work on issues of child marriage and child trafficking. The evening was supported by prominent guests from the greater Houston area, including, Paul & Manmeet Likhari, Juuhi & Prakash Ahuja, Anand & Ashima Chauhan, Lalita & Nidhi Trehan, Gobind & Narain Kamnani, Rick & Tanya Pal, Swapnil & Deepika Agarwal, Tina Pariani, Dharam Bali, Santosh & Seema Karande, Hasu Patel, Geeta & Bala Balachandran, Amit Jain & Asheeth Yagnik, and Dina & Samir Patel. Apart from raising awareness for the cause, the evening included dinner, cocktails, auctions, entertainment, music and dancing. CRY America thanks the entertainers, Oliver Rajamani & the Flamenco dancers for their performances which lit up the

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

UH Business Prof. Saleha Khumawala selected as Piper Professor aleha Khumawala, Robert Grinaker Professor of Accounting at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business, has been selected as a Piper Professor for superior teaching at the college level in Texas. Khumawala is just the 12th UH faculty member to receive the prestigious honor in the award’s 60year history.


The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, a Texas-based nonprofit organization founded in 1950 to support charitable, scientific and educational undertakings, selects 10 honorees from across the state each year.

Abhay Deol, (center) with Patrick Bocco CRY America Fundraising Manager and Dharam Bali, CRY Director in Houston. (All photos courtesy

This seasoned educator does much more than just teach accounting and

business to students. She is an innovative leader in the classroom, connecting those principles to each student’s goals and dreams, then weaves in her own passion for entrepreneurship and service. She is the founding director of the SURE™ (Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship) Program, which embeds service learning with a measurable social impact. Class members include UH students, current or prospective entrepreneurs from under-resourced communities and corporate executives who serve as mentors. Since the one-of-a-kind program started in 2012, more than 630 entrepreneurs from 60 Houston zip codes have been trained, while more than 115 businesses have been launched or expanded. Khumawala works tirelessly to cover the program expenses through grants and awards. Just last fall, the SURE™ Program received the Governor’s Volunteer Award for Higher Education Community Impact.

evening! The MC for the evening was Rashi Vats, Auctioneer was Subodh Bhuchar and the Sound-DJ services provided pro-bono by SAGE Productions.

ernment bodies to ensure children have quality education, healthcare, and protection from child labor, child marriage and issues which hinder their development.

Auction items generously donated by Indian artists Vaikuntam, Solanki, Dinkar Jadhav were featured, along with fashion ensembles by Abu JaniSandeep Khosla, Deepali Shah, Surili Goyal,; Jewelry donated by Rosentique, Sia, Aquamarine and memoribilia autographed by Barack Obama, Adele and the Apollo 11 Astronauts.

Shefali Sunderlal said, “YOU are an integral part of CRY and your support allows us to ensure that thousands of children are able to go to sleep educated, healthy and protected." She also thanked the media for helping CRY spread the message to new audiences. She appealed to people to join CRY America as donors and volunteers and visit for more information.

“This is a tremendous recognition that illustrates the amount of teaching and various opportunities that I have been afforded throughout my career,” said Khumawala. “I could not have done this without the support I have received from my family, particularly my husband, my colleagues and my students. I am truly indebted to each and every one of them.” Khumawala grew up in India during the 1950s, where her father was a tradesman and her mother worked as a tailor. It was then that she developed a passion for education. “Their lack of education was the main reason that I and my siblings’ education was paramount in our family. For nearly five decades, teaching has been my calling,” she said.

CRY America Houston Directors

A section of the audience at the CRY annual gala in Houston

Saleha Khumawala

Millions of children are denied their rights to education, healthcare and forced into child labor, child marriage and abuse on a daily basis. CRY America works with grass-root Projects, communities and local gov-

For more information on the CRY Gala Dinner in Houston contact Patrick Bocco: or call 617-959-1273.



Fleeing conflict, elephants help Myanmar villagers to safety

India's Congress bids to block Modi party in key state

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

India flyover collapse takes 18 lives in Varanasi

by Abhaya Srivastava EW DELHI | AFP - India's opposition Congress party suffered an electoral setback Tuesday in one of the last major states which it governs and scrambled to build a coalition to stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party taking over.



ANAI, Myanmar | AFP - Mahouts and their elephants help sick, young and elderly villagers displaced by conflict cross a chest-deep river in Myanmar's remote Kachin state, where thousands of people recently completed a trek through dense jungle to safety. The people of Awng Lawt in Kachin state were forced from their homes by escalating fighting between rebels from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Myanmar's military earlier this year. It is a grinding conflict that plays out away from the more prominent global headlines generated by violence in the country's west, where the army has driven out some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims since August to fierce international condemnation. For three days, the villagers took shelter in their paddy fields as the sound of gunfire and fighter jets came ever closer. But as shells started to fall among their homes, village leaders ordered an evacuation to IDP camps dozens of kilometres away. The slowest and most vulnerable could only manage to hack through the jungle un-

dergrowth for three or four hours a day. On May 2, after nearly a month and with food running out, they reached the river where some local elephant owners came to their aid. Remarkable footage shows Kachin villagers in bright traditional headdresses hoisting youngsters onto the backs of several of the giant creatures to cross the waterway. "We had some elderly, sick and blind people," said one villager, preferring not to give his name. "So we asked the mahouts for help to carry those people." Working elephants are widely used in the rough terrain of Kachin state, including by rebel groups fighting Myanmar's army, which is equipped with helicopters and fighter jets. Most of the villagers are now in camps but, as the fighting rages, they do not know how long it will be before they can return home. Myanmar has been mired in almost continuous conflict with ethnic insurgent groups for more than 70 years. More than 100,000 people have been displaced by the violence in and around Kachin state, according to the latest UN figures.

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won most seats in Karnataka but fell short of a clear majority in the state of 60 million people, which includes the wealthy global IT hub of Bangalore. The result is being closely watched before a national election next year. The BJP won 95 seats and was leading in nine others, according to the latest Election Commission of India figures. Modi's party needs 113 seats to secure a majority and complete the humiliation of Congress, which was tipped to win 78 seats -- a huge fall from 122 in the previous assembly. Congress was planning to strike an alliance with the regional Janata Dal (Secular), which finished third with 37 seats. "That's the best way to keep the BJP out of power," incumbent Congress chief minister Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bangalore. A Congress-Janata Dal alliance would have a majority in the 224-member assembly. The BJP accused Congress of betraying voters to salvage its "pathetic defeat" and claimed it could still form the government.

Police search scandal-tainted Malaysian ex-premier's home by M. Jegathesan UALA LUMPUR, Malaysia | AFP | Thursday 5/16/2018 - Malaysian police searched the home of scandal-tainted former premier Najib Razak on Thursday as the new government probes a massive graft scandal after sweeping to power in historic elections.


"We have no indication yet if police will make any arrest." Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor, deeply unpopular due to her reported love of costly overseas shopping trips, was known to have a vast collection of designer clothes and handbags. The search came just hours after politician Anwar Ibrahim -- a key figure in the alliance that swept to power, who had been thrown in jail under Najib's rule -- was released, triggering euphoric scenes. It is an ominous sign for Najib, whose all-powerful ruling coalition was ousted after governing Malaysia for six decades. The unexpected result has been blamed in large part on public anger over the scandal involving the fund, called 1MDB. Najib established 1MDB and

Rescue workers rushed to the site in Varanasi city where an unknown number of people were still feared trapped under the debris, in the latest of a string of deadly construction accidents in India. "Eighteen bodies have been recovered so far by our teams. Seven teams of the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) are engaged in rescue operation which is underway," an official in the disaster control room told AFP. TV footage showed mangled vehicles trapped under heavy cement girders with huge crowds gathered around. A witness said a section of the flyover, which was still under construction, collapsed onto the street, crushing buses and cars. "I was near the flyover when it collapsed. At least four cars, an auto-rickshaw and a minibus were crushed under it," the witness told reporters in Varanasi, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Yajnik remembers a man who was caught between India and the US.

Najib Razak, former Malaysian PM (Photo: Bloomberg) is accused of deep involvement in the looting -- charges he has repeatedly denied. Nearly $700 million had appeared in his personal bank accounts while billions more are unaccounted for. - 'Justice is coming' Mahathir, who ruled from 1981 to 2003, came out of retirement to spearhead the antiNajib campaign and has found himself back in the country's top post. He has ordered that Najib, his wife, and others linked to 1MDB be barred from leaving Malaysia pending investigations. As word of the police presence circulated on social media, scores of journalists and citizens gathered at Najib's home, where they remained into the early hours. Mimie Lai, 45, said she came to "see what happens to the ex-prime minister and all the scandals... involving him and his wife." "I feel that finally justice is coming, somebody heard... what the people are praying for," she said, adding that Malaysians wanted an end to widespread corruption that set

in under the longtime ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. In the hours before the raid, Najib went to a mosque for special prayers ahead of the Islamic holy month Ramadan, which begins Thursday in Malaysia.

he Varanasi district magistrate has ordered an inquiry into the collapse of an under-construction flyover that claimed 18 lives on Tuesday. District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra sought a report in three days and named Upper District Magistrate Manoj Kumar Rai as the investigating officer.


Locals and rescue teams gather near crushed vehicles after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed in Varanasi on Tuesday. PTI Locals and rescue teams gather near crushed vehicles after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed in Varanasi on Tuesday. PTI The government agency building the flyover submitted its internal report. Speaking with Firstpost, Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation (UPSBC) project manager KR Sudan — who has been suspended over the incident — confirmed this development but said he could not reveal the contents of the report. Sudan insisted nothing was wrong with the casting of the support beam (called girder) but said there could be issues with its interlocking. (-FirstPost) Enforcement of safety rules in India is weak and substandard materials are often used in construction. In 2016, some 26 people died in eastern Kolkata city after a 100-metre section of a flyover crashed down onto the street. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who won parliamentary

ECG Sudarshan, physicist who proposed faster than light theory, dies at 86 studied at CMS College in his hometown before attending the University of Madras and later the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. He later studied and taught at the University of Rochester and then at the University of Texas at Austin, where he taught for over 40 years.

Najib's lawyer said officers had searched the ex-leader's home and an apartment for over six hours as part of an investigation into money-laundering, but no arrests were made.

"The police just took some handbags and some clothes," lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal told AFP, adding that Najib had cooperated with the officers.


UCKNOW India | AFP | Tuesday 5/15/2018 At least 18 people died Tuesday after a flyover collapsed in northern India, crushing vehicles and passengers under tonnes of concrete, a rescue official said.

Continued from front page

At least a dozen police vehicles converged on Najib's family compound in the capital Kuala Lumpur in the early hours, with a number of officers entering the home, an AFP journalist saw.

The new government, headed by 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad who secured a stunning election victory last week, has vowed to probe allegations Najib oversaw the looting of a sovereign wealth fund.

Alledgedly there was pressure on the UPSBC to finish the construction of the flyover. (AFP photo)

Though Sudarshan left India to pursue his own doctoral studies at the University of Rochester under Robert Eugene Marshak in 1955, he never lost touch with India, visiting a few times every year, according to Mukunda. Sudarshan set up the Centre for Theoretical Studies at the IISc in Bangalore in 1972. Initially a place of multidisciplinary studies, it soon gave rise to three specialized centres: Centre High Energy Physics, the Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and the Centre for Ecological Sciences. The weak interaction in el-

ementary particles based on research that Sudarshan did in 1957 is one of his two contributions that Mukunda believes are most important. “Sudarshan and Robert Marshak made crucial step in this long story lasting from 1934 to 1967-68, when a final understanding on the question emerged,” Mukunda said. In 1979, three scientists who brought the line of development to its conclusion were awarded the Nobel: Sheldon Lee Glashow, Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg. “Everybody knew of their contribution, nobody denies it,” Mukunda said of the scientific community. But wider renown and prestige that comes with the Nobel eluded Sudarshan his entire life. His later work in quantum optics done around 1963 was another notable contribution seminal in many ways, Mukunda said. It became the basis for the Glauber–Sudarshan P representation. However, only Roy J. Glauber was awarded the Nobel in 2005 “for his contribution to the quantum

Anwar's release captivated the nation, with ecstatic supporters and journalists mobbing him and shouts of "Reformasi" (Reform) -- his rallying cry -- ringing out as his motorcade raced through the streets.

"The UP (Uttar Pradesh) government is monitoring the situation very closely and is working on the ground to assist the affected," he tweeted. The state government has set up a three-member panel to investigate the deadly collapse.

theory of optical coherence.” Sudarshan was deeply disappointed at being passed over. “He believed he was not judged and treated fairly,” Mukunda said. But he was also a man who “was never at a loss for words.” In 2007, speaking to the Hindustan Times he said: “The 2005 Nobel prize for Physics was awarded for my work, but I wasn’t the one to get it. Each one of the discoveries that this Nobel was given for work based on my research.” He was honoured with several other prestigious awards like ICTP Dirac Medal, Padma Vibhushan (2007), Padma Bhushan, Majorana Prize, TWAS Prize, Bose Award (1977) and C V Raman Award (1970). The disappointment over the Nobel didn’t dim the eminent physicist’s sense of humour. At a social dinner in Bangalore with many non-scientist celebrities, Sudarshan recounted to Mukunda with amusement how he was mistaken for an actual Nobel prize winner. Someone across the table pointed to him and asked a neighbour: “Who is that bearded person there?” The reply: “Don’t you know? He is the world famous physicist Chandrasekhar from the University of Chicago who won the Nobel Prize for his work on liquid crystals!” Despite overhearing the conversation, Sudarshan did not correct the mistake. MAJOR TIONS:

The 70-year-old declared a "new dawn for Malaysia" and insisted he had buried the hatchet with old foe Mahathir, with whom he had joined forces to oust Najib.


1) Quantum theory for tachyons: Particles that could possibly move faster than light, which challenged Einstein’s assertion that nothing with mass can travel faster than the speed of light. The theory was never fully developed.

His case has gripped Malaysia for two decades. He fell out dramatically with then ally Mahathir in the late 1990s and was thrown in jail on muchquestioned charges of sodomy and corruption. He was released after six years and helped to unite a hapless opposition but was thrown in prison again in 2015 in what critics said was another effort to neutralise him as a political threat.

elections in Varanasi, said he was extremely saddened by the loss of lives in his constituency.

2) V-A theory of the weak force: A theory about weak interaction between subatomic particles. This weak nuclear force fundamentally preferred one handedness over the other.

Dr. Sudarshan (right) with Dr. Bhamathy Sudarshan (File photo)

3) Glauber–Sudarshan P representation: A quantum mechanical description of photons to explain the quantum properties of light. (-The Hindustan Times)



FRIDAY, May 18, 2018



Nassar sex abuse victims, US university reach $500m settlement

Buttler 'right player at right time' insists Smith

by Nova Safo


ONDON, United Kingdom | AFP - Ed Smith was adamant that Jos Buttler would prove to be the "right player at the right time" after recalling the talented batsman to Test duty in his first squad announcement as England's new national selector.


HICAGO | AFP | Wednesday 5/16/2018 - The Michigan university where serial sex abuser Larry Nassar practiced medicine announced Wednesday it has agreed to a $500 million settlement with hundreds of former victims of the ex-USA Gymnastics doctor. The agreement with attorneys representing 332 women and girls was a "global settlement," Michigan State University (MSU) said. It resolved claims against faculty and staff employed at the school who were also implicated in the wide-ranging scandal. But it did not address claims against USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee, star gymnastics coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi, and others, nor did it end a criminal probe of the university's actions with regard to Nassar's behavior. The 54-year-old Nassar was sentenced in January to spend his life behind bars after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting women and girls over a two-decade period under the guise of medical treatment. The assaults took place in multiple locations, including at an MSU sports medicine clinic and the famed Texas training facility where the Karolyis coached elite gymnasts. Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney have all identified themselves as victims of Nassar's abuse. "It is the sincere hope of all of the survivors that the legacy of this settlement will be far reaching institutional reform that will end the threat of sexual assault in sports, schools and throughout our society," attorney John Manly, who represents many of the victims, said

Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to molesting women and girls under the guise of treatment and was caught with child pornography. (AFP) in a statement. The settlement is in two parts, with $425 million paid to current claimants and $75 million set aside in a trust fund for any future claims. It includes no confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements. Rachael Denhollander, the first to publicly accuse Nassar, said she was grateful for the settlement. She vowed to advocate for legal changes and structural reforms at the key institutions involved. "The litigation phase is over, but the fight for change and accountability, the fight to give survivors a voice and protect the next generation, has only just begun," she said in a statement. - Criminal probe continues The Nassar scandal is the biggest in US Olympic history and has had far-reaching ripple effects -- ending careers at USA Gymnastics, the Olympic committee and at Michigan State University. Some 200 victims testified during live-streamed sentencing hearings in January and February about the resulting emotional and physical scars they have endured. The powerful accounts led

to a cascade of consequences -- from multiple resignations at the sports governing bodies involved and at the university, to several investigations being launched. The criminal probe into the university's role in the scandal is being conducted by special counsel Bill Forsyth on behalf of Michigan's top law enforcement office. "It is very important to see resolution on the civil side, and I hope this provides some sense of relief and closure for the survivors. That being said, my investigation is still open and ongoing," Forsyth said in a statement. The US Department of Education is also investigating the public university's handling of reports of Nassar's abuse. A key question for many victims has been who knew about Nassar's behavior and who could have stopped him earlier. With a stellar reputation as the doctor to Olympic champions, Nassar had evaded scrutiny several times since the late 1990s by insisting his abuse was actually cutting-edge treatment that was misunderstood by some patients. USA Gymnastics reported Nassar to the FBI in July 2015,

Buttler was included in a 12-man squad along with uncapped spinner Dom Bess for the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's next week. This was despite Buttler having last played Test cricket some 18 months ago. But Smith is confident Buttler's recent good form in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League can be carried into the Test arena. Buttler has endured a frustrating 18-match Test career since making his debut four years ago. In part this has been as a result of being viewed as both a wicket-keeper and a batsman. But Smith wants Jonny Bairstow to retain the Test gloves. Buttler is now set to play as a specialist number seven batsman in an England order where captain Joe Root will move up to three and Bairstow five against a Pakistan side who beat Test newcomers Ireland by five wickets at Malahide on Monday.

Jos Buttler (Photo: Getty Images) Hampshire on Monday.

game," Smith added.

"The way we wanted to structure the side was to get the key run scorers in those positions -- Joe at three, Jonny at five," said Smith.

Vince, a shock recall for England's eventual 4-0 Ashes series loss in Australia, made 83 in the first innings at Brisbane in November and ended his southern hemisphere tour with 76 against New Zealand in Christchurch last month.

Buttler has yet to hit any great heights in Test cricket but former England batsman Smith said: "We feel it's the right thing, at the right time with the right player. It was a very strong feeling that we wanted to invest opportunity in Jos.

Number three was a spot occupied by James Vince but he has now been dropped by England despite making an unbeaten double century for

"His overall Test record, he averages 31, to some extent that's beside the point -- because he's evolved since then, he's become an even better player in the short form of the

"James Vince playing well is a terrific player to watch," he said Smith, "However, and this is what I said to him...he has not produced the runs he should have done."

but he continued to see patients at the university until a newspaper exposed him in September 2016.

The state criminal inquiry into the university has so far yielded charges against William Strampel, the former dean of the MSU medical college

where Nassar practiced.



Now there’s a new screening that can catch lung cancer early and could save lives. Talk to your doctor or learn more at

But he also repeatedly got out when well-set and the 40-year-old Smith,who played three Tests for England in 2003, remains among those yet to be convinced by Vince.

Strampel faces several charges, including criminal sexual conduct and willful neglect of duty.



UN Human Rights Council to meet after Gaza killings

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

Trump says some migrants are 'animals'


ASHINGTON | AFP | Wednesday 5/16/2018 - US President Donald Trump described some migrants as "animals" Wednesday, in a charged discussion about the border wall and law enforcement. "We have people coming in to the country, or trying to come in," Trump told California Republicans visiting the White House, "we are taking people out of the country." "You wouldn't believe how bad these people are, these aren't people, these are animals and we're taking them out of the country." Trump's remarks came after comments on migration and law enforcement, so-called "sanctuary cities" for immigrants, and the MS-13 gang.

A Palestinian woman documents the situation at the border with Israel as mass demonstrations continue on May 14, 2018 in Gaza. (Photo:B.Platt/Getty Images)


ENEVA, Switzerland | AFP The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold a special session on Friday to discuss "the deteriorating human rights situation" in the Palestinian Territories, after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians.

Observer states Bahrain, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kuwait, Maldives, Oman, Tajikistan and Turkey have also lent their support.

"The special session is being convened per an official request submitted this evening by Palestine and the United Arab Emirates," on behalf of the rights council's Arab Group and has so far received support from 26 states, a spokesman for the Genevabased body said Tuesday.

The UN Human Rights Council's announcement came as Israel faces mounting international pressure amid calls for an independent probe into the 60 Palestinian deaths.

Friday's special session will begin at 0800 GMT Friday in Geneva to consider “the deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” the spokesman said in a statement. The support of at least a third of the 47 members of the UN Rights Body -- 16 or more nations -- is required to call such a session. The initiative has already received support from Angola, Burundi, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela

It will be the 28th special session of the council. The most recent one was held last year to discuss the situation in Myanmar.

Protests and sporadic violence flared again on the Gaza border on Tuesday, though they were far fewer in number than the previous day, with two Palestinians killed by Israeli fire, Gaza's health ministry said. The killings overshadowed the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, relocated from Tel Aviv in fulfilment of a campaign promise by US President Donald Trump, whose daughter Ivanka attended the inaugural ceremony. The UN Security Council in New York held an emergency meeting Tuesday on the violence in Gaza, with Kuwait preparing a draft resolution to protect Palestinian civilians and the United States defending ally Israel's use of "restraint".


Trump has often painted members of MS13 -- a gang that originated in the United States but with roots in El Salvador -- as "vicious" and "killers". He has often conflated the gang with immigrants in general. His most recent comment -- loaded with echoes of Nazi language about Jews -- was swiftly condemned by Democrats.

President Donald Trump looks on during a meeting with the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in the Oval Office (Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images) "Immigrants are human beings. Not animals, not criminals, not drug dealers, not rapists. They are human beings," said Colorado Congressman Jared Polis. California Governor Jerry Brown said "Trump is lying on immigration,

lying about crime and lying about the laws of California." "Flying in a dozen Republican politicians to flatter him and praise his reckless policies changes nothing. We, the citizens of the fifth largest economy in the world, are not impressed," he said.

Muslims look to new moon for start of Ramadan, but few saw it this year by Kristin E. Holmes


or the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims, planning for the opening day of Ramadan, the holy month of prayer and fasting, isn’t as easy as consulting a calendar. Every year, the start date is determined by a scientific prediction of when the slender crescent of the new moon will appear in the evening sky. According to the astronomical calculation for 2018 — in Islam, the year 1439 — the observance was to begin Tuesday at sunset, with the first fasting day on Wednesday. Many Muslims, however, insist on seeing it with their own eyes before they believe it.

If and when the moon appears, they spread the word to their local community of 10,000 Muslims that Ramadan has arrived. “The Prophet Muhammad said when you spot the moon, you start the month,” said Brother Amin Abdul Aziz, 70, a member for more than 35 years of the moon-sighting committee for the Majlis Ash Shura of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, an advisory council of area imams and mosques. “So we are following the moon in our town, our time zone.” This year, though, science and the moon-sighters didn’t see eye-to-eye. On Tuesday evening in Philadelphia, lightning and drenching rains kept the committee from venturing out at all. “There were no moons avail-

able,” Aziz lamented. The problem, however, spanned the globe, as Tuesday was a bust in most Muslim population centers. Storm clouds and dust shrouded the moon even in Saudi Arabia, home to Mecca, the faith’s holiest site. There was no choice but to quickly reset the holiday start for Wednesday evening, with the fast beginning on Thursday. It was the last possible moment for Ramadan to begin. On the Islamic calendar, months are either 29 or 30 days, Aziz explained. The last day of Sha’ban, the month prior to Ramadan, began either Monday or Tuesday evening. With no moon-sighting on Tuesday, Ramadan had to start on Wednesday evening. (

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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Businesses vie for protection at hearing on Trump’s China tariffs Illustration by Kelly Caminero


The hearings, which will run over three days, are an opportunity for the Trade Representative to get feedback on President Trump’s plan to impose $50 billion in tariffs on China for unfair trade practices under Section 301 of the trade law. Many businesses that could benefit from the tariffs, such as representatives from American steel companies, were on hand to make the case that their industries deserved protection in the form of import taxes, which would make competing foreign products more expensive. “We think the impact would be very positive,” said Tim Brightbill, speaking on behalf of SolarWorld Americas, before adding: “USTR may want to consider additional remedies as well, in addition to tariffs.” “I support the duties by the United States government firmly,” said George Carlisle of AlterSciences, an IT startup. Owen Herrnstadt, of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, told the committee that tariffs on aerospace parts that failed to make Trump’s list would be helpful to his industry. But other executives came to protest the potentially negative impacts of tariffs on their busi-

nesses, spelling out scenarios of gloom and doom should the government follow through on threats to impose the import taxes. “We would be severely impacted if [Section] 301 tariffs were enacted,” said George Tuttle III of Sanden International, which builds automotive air conditioning. The tariffs would affect his supply chain, he said, by adding $3.5 million in duty payments to the cost of their components. The process of finding new suppliers would also be lengthy and time-consuming, he added, saying that it could take years to find, vet, test and approve new supply lines. “At this point we have locked in contracts,” he said. “The company will have to eat the additional duties, and that’s going to affect their staffing levels.” All told, he predicted, tariffs would force the company to lay off 39 people initially and delay or cancel planned investments. The suggested trade actions have put businesses in a bind. Many are frustrated that China engages in unfair trade practic-

es, particularly when it comes to intellectual property theft. But they also harbor concerns that imposing punitive tariffs would spark a trade war, send prices soaring and disrupt business, without guaranteeing any results. “Enabling a retaliatory trade war will only advantage China’s growing industry at the expense of American production,” said Edward Brzytwa of the American Chemistry Council. “Our preferred pathway to solving these problems is constructive, thorough, and sustained negotiations focused on pragmatic solutions to the challenges of China’s mercantilist policies,” he added. Indeed, negotiations between the U.S. and China on how to address some of the trade difficulties, which failed to yield concrete results last week, continued this week. The outcome of the negotiations is far from certain, and may not please all the companies with a stake in the results. President Trump turned heads when he tweeted support for Chinese company ZTE. (-AP)

China’s Alibaba buys Pakistan e-commerce firm Daraz


HANGHAI, China | AFP - Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba said Wednesday it had purchased leading Pakistani online retailer Daraz, continuing its overseas expansion by gaining a foothold in the growing South Asian consumer market. The move came after Alibaba announced in March a doubling of its investment in Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada. China is seeking closer economic ties with Asian neighbours including Pakistan

through its Belt and Road initiative, a strategy to increase trade links that is led primarily by infrastructure projects. Daraz, founded in 2012, was purchased from Rocket Internet, a Berlin-based incubator of online startups. Its key markets are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Nepal, claiming 30,000 sellers and 500 brands on its platform, according to a statement by Alibaba. Products available on Daraz include consumer electronics, household goods, beauty, fashion, sports equipment and

Section 2 Tel: 713-774-5140

China’s Jiangsu to build biomedical center in Houston

by Niv Elis merican companies took turns Tuesday beseeching the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to protect them from potential tariffs on China.

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

groceries, it said. Daraz said the acquisition would help further growth in its main markets, adding that they were home to 460 million people, 60 percent of whom were under the age of 35.


hina’s Jiangsu Province is to establish a biomedical innovation center in Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, Liu Qing, President of Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute told Xinhua on Tuesday. Liu made the remarks on the sideline of the two-day U.S.China Innovation and Investment Summit, which kicked off

in Houston on Monday. More than 500 participants from China and the United States, including entrepreneurs and investors, are meeting face-to-face in Houston during the conference. As the honorary guest city of this year’s summit, Suzhou, a city in east China’s Jiangsu Province, has actively participated in the event, hoping to attract more U.S. entrepreneurs

to the city. In recent years, Suzhou has made great efforts to implement innovation-driven developing strategy and improve the environment of innovation and entrepreneurship. In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Liu said Suzhou is very serious about working with Houston in economic growth and development. Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute plan to establish a China-U.S. Biomedical Innovation Center inside the Texas Medical Center in Houston. (-Xinhuanet)

For many high-octane professionals, retirement is not an option By Robert Weisman


im Roosevelt stepped down as Tufts Health Plan’s chief executive when he was 70, about five years beyond what people used to think of as the traditional retirement age. Two-and-a-half years later, his schedule looks nothing like that of an easygoing retiree. Roosevelt, now 72, has resumed practicing law, as a health care attorney for Verrill Dana. He consults for Tufts on strategy and public affairs. And he volunteers for the state and national Democratic parties. All told, he logs 40-hour weeks — a breeze in comparison with the 80 that he regularly clocked during his CEO days. Roosevelt says his wife, Ann, who works 30 hours a week as a volunteer for environmental groups and as president of the Cambridge Water Board, did the math. “She said, ‘You’re a quarter-time with Tufts, a third with the law firm, and the rest with the Democrats, so you’re back to 100 percent,’ ” he recounted. “I said, ‘Yeah, but before it was 200 percent.’ ”

For many high-octane professionals like Roosevelt, retirement is a dirty word. While their hair may be thinning and they’re carving out time for one or more of the three Gs — golf, gardening, and grandchildren — they’re aiming to downshift rather than to hit the brakes, continuing to work, but at a somewhat less feverish pace. Losing the professional identity that they spent a lifetime creating is unimaginable. Among those still going full tilt into their late 60s or 70s, there are jokes about “flunking retirement.” Consultants who advise captains of commerce and academia on retirement say some give little thought to what they’ll do on the morning after — so they keep working. “You can only play so much golf,” said John Wood, 64, vice chairman at the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles in New York, who has no plans to retire anytime soon. Some companies hire him to recruit candidates in their 60s who have had successful careers and can step into executive roles during crucial transition periods. Gloria Larson, 68, who will step down in June as Bentley University’s president, already has lined up her next

act. In late August, she’ll become president in residence at Harvard Graduate Education, helping to mentor master’s degree candidates. Larson will continue to lead the Massachusetts Conference for Women and sit on the boards of several companies and charities. “We’re the Peter Pan generation,” Larson said, referring to the boy in Sir James Barrie’s play who doesn’t grow older. “It’s anathema to say the word ‘retirement’ to baby boomers.” Bill Lee, 68, a partner at WilmerHale in Boston, skirted his law firm’s mandatory retirement age of 65 when its management committee granted him a waiver. Lee also teaches at Harvard Law School and serves as senior fellow of the Harvard Corporation, one of the university’s governing boards, where he recently led the school’s search for a new president. Last month, he was in California consulting with Apple Inc., which he represents in its long-running patent litigation with Samsung. “When I walk into the office in the morning, people say, ‘How are things?’ ” Lee said. “I say, ‘Great. I’m past mandatory retirement age, and they ” haven’t locked the doors.’  (-Boston Globe)

Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has also been investing in research into advanced technologies such as driverless cars and artificial intelligence. The New York-listed firm added 98 million active consumers over the year ended March 31, to a total of 552 million using its e-commerce marketplaces.

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FRIDAY, May 18, 2018



Cannes film festival vows parity push for women Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (File Photo)

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan blasts her team after her Instagram debut falls flat!


day before making her 17th appearance at the Festival De Cannes, Former Miss World and Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s PR team confirmed her debut on Instagram. Her representatives posted a screenshot of the actress’ official account on their Instagram page with the caption “Official Instagram handle of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan announced –”

(From left) Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux, Khadja Nin, Ava Duvernay, Cate Blanchett, Agnes Varda and Celine Sciamma walk the Cannes red carpet in protest of the lack of female filmmakers honored throughout the history of the festival, May 12, 2018. (AFP Photo)


ANNES, France - The world’s top festival also promised to be more transparent in its selection process after facing years of criticism over the lack of women directors in its main competition. Hollywood stars including Kristen Stewart, Salma Hayek and Cate Blanchett -- who heads the Cannes jury this year -- led a protest of actresses, producers and women directors on the red carpet Saturday calling for equality in the industry. Only 82 female directors have competed for the top Palme d’Or prize since 1946 compared with nearly 1,700 male directors. And only one has won it -- Jane Campion for “The Piano” in 1993. This year only three out of the 21 directors in the running are women. But Cannes director Thierry Fremaux and the heads of the parallel Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week sections promised Monday to make their selection committees transparent “to rule out any suspicion of a lack of diversity or parity” between the sexes. They urged other international film festivals to follow suit.


“Aishwarya is upset with the way her

Jake Gyllenhaal to play Leonard Bernstein

Pressing for a fresh probe, he claimed that the 54-year-old actor did not drink and “she was insured for an amount of Rs 250 crore with an Oman-based Insurance company” and there was a policy condition which said that the insured sum can be realised by the nominee if the insured dies in Dubai.


He was the composer behind “West Side Story” and “On the Waterfront,” collecting more than a dozen Grammy Awards over a 40-year period. Now Leonard Bernstein’s life will be arranged for cinema with Jake Gyllenhaal of “Brokeback Mountain” and “Nightcrawler” in the lead role. The project is based on Humphrey Burton’s 1994 biography and adapted for the screen by Michael Mitnick, a writer and editor on HBO’s 1970s NYC music scene drama “Vinyl.”

Chief Justice Dipak Misra did not accept the submission of senior advocate Vikas Singh that the Delhi High Court was wrong in dismissing the plea and holding that the authorities in Dubai have already looked into the incident.

Aish is totally justified in blasting her team as she was anyway never interested in joining social media. A lot of persuasion had gone into convincing her to come on Instagram. A star of her stature definitely deserved a more thunderous response. But contrary to everyone’s expectations, her account couldn’t even cross 18 K followers even after six hours of going live on May 11. It currently stands at 52.3K, which is still less considering her popularity worldwide. (-dnaindia)

and D Y Chandrachud. “There is no way a 5 feet 7 inch person can drown in a 5 feet 1-inch bathtub. There is some mystery in it. It ought to be probed. This country wants to know as to what happened in the Dubai hotel. She was a celebrity,” the lawyer said.

ary Fukunaga of “True Detective” fame is directing Jake Gyllenhaal in a film about the life of 20th century composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein.

SC dismisses plea for independent probe into Sridevi’s ‘mysterious’ death he Indian Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking an independent probe into the alleged “mysterious” death of veteran Bollywood star Sridevi at a Dubai hotel on February 24 this year. A bench headed by

While the news of course sent her fans into a tizzy, it ended up becoming a nightmare for her team. If reports are to be believed then Aishwarya is mighty upset with her team for the shabby execution of her much-awaited Instagram debut.

social media debut happened. This is not what she expected. In 6 hours her profile has not even crossed 20,000 followers, which is very unlikely, given her popularity. She is also upset that there is no blue tick on her profile, making people wonder about the authenticity of the profile,” a source close to the actress told Pinkvilla.

US actor Jake Gyllenhaal. (AFP Photo / Robyn Beck) Born in 1918, Leonard Bernstein conducted the New York Philharmonic from 1958 to 1969, the first American-born conductor to do so.

of his homosexuality. Following her 1977 diagnosis of terminal cancer, Bernstein moved back in with her until her death in 1978.

Married to Chilean actress Felicia Montealegre, they separated in 1976 as he made public acknowledgment

He continued to conduct and compose until his 1990 passing at the age of 72. (- Relax news)

Singh, representing Uttar Pradeshbased petitioner Sunil Singh, drew parallel with Special CBI Judge B H Loya death case. “In Judge Loya’s case, a natural death was converted into a mysterious death, while in this case a mysterious death is treated as a natural death.

“This was unfortunate,” the senior lawyer told the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar

“No. Sorry,” the bench said while dismissing the plea. The appeal was filed by Singh challenging the Delhi High Court’s March 9 order refusing to entertain his PIL for a probe into the death of veteran Bollywood actor Sridevi. Singh, who claims to have acted in and directed a few movies and runs cinemas and visual-effect studios, had said that he was in Dubai on a family vacation from February 20 to February 26 when he came to know of Sridevi’s death. The actor had died on February 24 due to accidental drowning in a bathtub. (-dnaindia)

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Young Life

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

Young people are drawn to Somali-American author encourages cryptocurrency. But what about the risks? youth to be true to selves by Ken Gordon

by Anna Balney



s a young Somali immigrant growing up in Houston, Mariam Mohamed searched libraries in vain for a book that included someone who looked like her.

ike many bitcoin investors, Ray Russell heard about cryptocurrencies from a friend who made money. Investing in crypto sounded easier than how he was earning money — reselling highend clothes on ebay. He started with a $6,000 investment to buy part of a bitcoin last December when it was priced around $15,000. Five months, and some additional investments later, he now owns eight bitcoins, worth about $70,000. The thing that sets him apart as an investor? Ray Russell is a 17-year-old high-school junior from Maryland. There’s still a huge debate over whether crypto is the way of the future, or a passing fad. Even as some legendary investors are calling out crypto as “rat poison” and “trading turds,” other mainstream investors are expanding and doubling down on the asset. Young people are increasingly drawn to cryptocurrencies as a way to make easy money. But their inexperience with investing makes them even more vulnerable to an already high-risk investment. Consequently, regulators, financial educators and parents are struggling to keep up with a dynamic and evolving investment that they may fear more than they understand. - Mom, what is bitcoin? When Ray first asked his mother, Mia Russell, what she knew about bitcoin, she told him diplomatically: it’s an intangible asset, but there’s a lot of risk and we don’t know how it’s going to work. “I wanted to say, ‘What in the world?! This is crazy!’ “ said Russell, a finance professional. “But I know that won’t be productive.” Still, she’s concerned. The elder Russell noticed by looking over her son’s accounts (to which she has access) that money was going out to CoinBase, a cryptocurrency exchange. And money was coming in. “I would say, ‘How does he have more money in his checking account than I do?’” she said. And Mia Russell is no rube: she’s worked in finance for more than 20 years. She’s taught university level courses on personal finance and now works with a national financial institution creating money

“I decided that if I can’t beat them, I’ll join them and write my own,” Mohamed said.

(Photo: Gtlv / Shutterstock) management programs.


But ask her about distributed ledger technology, and she’s a little out of her depth. When Ray talks about bitcoin, she says she feels like all her real world experience and academic training can’t provide him the answers he needs.

Donley said that cryptocurrency concerns are one of the leading areas of questions and complaints at his agency’s consumer-facing site, His office is actively looking at ways to meet investors where they are with reliable information.

“I chuckle because I am relatively knowledgeable in this space and I’m challenged,” she says. “My son will joke. ‘You don’t even know about this and you have a PhD!’” Ray says most of his knowledge has come not from adults, but from friends, websites, YouTube videos and a massive online open course on crypto. “A lot of adults feel like bitcoin is a fraud,” he says. “And people keep telling me to sell before I lose all my money. But once you make that much money and people are telling you it’s a scam, it’s like: ‘How? I already made so much.’” 17-year-old Ray Russell has made thousands investing in cryptocurrency. But his mom, Mia Russell, has concerns about the risks. - Understanding the risks Young people, as digital natives, have inherent advantages when it comes to understanding cryptocurrency. But do they understand the very grown-up underlying risk? “When you talk to investors who have been in the market a long time, they understand that along with the potential for high reward almost always comes the possibility of high risk,” said Owen Donley III, chief counsel, office of investor education and advocacy at the Securities and Exchange Commission. “My concern is that young people may not have gotten that message. They certainly haven’t lived that message. And it is hard especially when it is competing against a loud get-rich-quick media en-

Financial educators, like Ray’s mom, are also working to keep up with crypto and have concerns about its appeal among young people. “The money is his. It’s not like that money is tied up with anything important like college savings or retirement,” said Mia Russell (who required him to put $2,500 in a Roth IRA first). “But when money so easily comes into his hands, what’s the consequence of that later on? I want him to value earning it and saving in some way.” She says some of the young people she’s taught view investing as a way to pay off their debt, and she sees them being pulled to crypto as a quick payday, one that could go really badly and cost a lot in taxes. “They are already delaying purchasing a home, marriage and other life milestones,” she says. “What if you are investing in something so speculative? How do you build on that?” For his part, Ray has learned some lessons by losing money in investments. But overall, he’s not too concerned about the risks. 17-year-old Ray Russell has made thousands trading Cryptocurrency. But his mom, Mia Russell, has concerns about the risks. “Honestly the only concern is that I’m actually wrong and bitcoin does go down and I lose money,” he says. “If that happens, I just have to figure out when’s a good time to get out.” (-CNNMoney)

Young adults feel stress of long-term care, poll finds by Emily Swanson


ASHINGTON — Most young adults haven’t given much thought to their own needs as they get older, but a significant number are already providing long-term care for older loved ones, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. And while those who have caregiving experience put in fewer hours than their older counterparts, they’re more likely to feel stressed out by the experience. According to the poll, a third of American adults under age 40 have already provided care for an older relative or friend, and another third expect to be called upon to do so within the next five years. - YOUNG CAREGIVERS According to the survey, 17 percent of young adults are currently providing long-term care to an older loved one, and another 19 percent have done so in the past. Three-quarters of younger caregivers spend less than 10 hours a week providing care, compared to most caregivers over age 40 who provide at least 10 hours of unpaid care a week. But despite putting in fewer hours of unpaid work, younger caregivers are more likely than older caregivers to

say their care responsibilities are at least moderately stressful, 80 percent to 67 percent. At the same time, most caregivers — younger and older — say they’re getting most or all of the support they need, with young caregivers especially likely to say they receive that support from family members. Younger caregivers are also more likely than older ones to rely at least in part on social media for the support they need, 45 percent to 25 percent. - FEELING UNPREPARED In addition to the 35 percent who already have experience providing care, another 34 percent of adults under 40 expect to become caregivers at some point in the next five years. Younger prospective caregivers are more likely than those age 40 and older to say they feel unprepared to take on that role, 53 percent to 37 percent. Still, most say they expect to share caregiving responsibilities rather than take them on alone. Among all young adults, less than half say they’ve done any planning for the potential care of an older relative. - LACKING CONFIDENCE IN GOVERNMENT Most young adults have little confidence that government safety-net programs will be there for them as they get older, and they’re not too sure about

their own financial situation, either. Only 16 percent of younger adults are very confident that they’ll have the financial resources to deal with their own care needs when they get older. At the same time, only about 1 in 10 expect Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid to provide at least the same level of benefits when they need them, and majorities say they have little to no confidence in that being the case. Although about 7 in 10 Americans will need some type of long-term care as they get older, just 22 percent of young adults think it’s very likely that they’ll need those types of services themselves someday. And those under age 40 are more likely than older adults to underestimate the percentage of Americans age 65 and older who will need care, 64 percent to 54 percent. The long-term care poll was conducted March 13 to April 5 by NORC, with funding from the SCAN Foundation. It involved interviews in English and Spanish with 1,945 adults, including 423 adults under 40 and 1,522 adults age 40 and older. Interviews were conducted online or by phone among members of NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. (-AP News)

About 20 years later, Mohamed shared her story and presented her book, “Ayeeyo’s Golden Rule,” to a group of Somali-American children who are experiencing the issues of isolation and discrimination that she once did. Mohamed, a fourth-grade teacher who lives in Minneapolis, was brought to Columbus as the inaugural children’s book author-in-residence of the nonprofit Somali Community Access Network, which promotes education and literacy in the Somali community in Columbus (which numbers about 35,000). Her three-day itinerary included visits to four Columbus elementary schools and a public appearance Thursday afternoon at the Northern Lights branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library on the Northeast Side. There, about 50 kids and parents listened to Mohamed, 28, discuss the teasing and bullying that she experienced after her family moved to the United States in 1995. She recalled how, as a 9-yearold, she changed out of her hijab and into shorts and a T-shirt on the bus to school. “I was sick and tired of kids making fun of me,” Mohamed said. “But that didn’t stop the bullying, and now I regret it. I wished I’d stayed true to who I am. “And you should be proud of who you are, too.” Anita Waters, director of development for the Somali Community Access Network, often called SomaliCAN, said Mariam Mohamed’s visit was funded by grants from the Kiwanis Club of Columbus ($1,900) and

Mariam Mohamed, a fourth-grade teacher and author of “ Ayeeyo’s Golden Rule,” a children’s book about a Somali-American child being bullied (Photo: Tom Dash) the Schildhouse Founders Fund ($500). The goal is introduce Somali authors to the schools, said Jibril Mohamed, executive director of SomaliCAN, who is unrelated to Mariam. “Kids can read these books and see things from the perspective of a Somali,” he said. “We want to promote understanding and a welcoming environment so our kids can be successful.” Mariam Mohamed earned a bachelor’s degree in urban education in 2015 from Metro State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She currently is working on a master’s in education at Metro State. In “Ayeeyo’s Golden Rule,” which is partly autobiographical, a young girl heeds the advice of her grandmother (“ayeeyo” in Somali) to always be humble and kind. The girl uses that advice when teased at her American school. “Books teach lessons and morals,” Mohamed said, “and if the children in the book don’t look like you, you may think, ’It’s something that doesn’t apply to me, so what do I care?″ Also on Thursday, the author visited Eakin Elementary, a Hilltop-area school where, Principal Theresa Eraybar said, more than half of the 290 students have Somali heritage.

Eraybar said she was thrilled with Mohamed’s presentation, praising her as a good role model. “For me, it was important to have someone come in who was a young Somali refugee and who was able to make the transition to the States and become a successful professional,” Eraybar said. “And her book really speaks to what my children go through.” The library session reinforced the comparable experiences. “It’s similar to what I see in school sometimes,” said Yasir Ali, 11, who attends Focus Learning Academy, a charter school. “I see people try to hide themselves, and they try to change.” Besides presenting her book (which was self-published last year), Mohamed made a point of encouraging children in the audience to write and perhaps become authors themselves someday. She might have been successful in inspiring at least one youngster. “At first, I wasn’t very much interested in writing, but now I am,” said Ahmed Ahmed, 9, a third-grader at Cesar Chavez College Preparatory School, also a charter school. “I’ll try to write about someone’s life.” (-Columbus Dispatch)

You could recoup the cost of college in under 3 years if you’re willing to do one thing by Shawn M. Carter


ore than 44 million Americans have taken out student loans to pay for school and their debt now totals $1.4 trillion. The average debt for 20-year-olds is $22,135 while for 30-year-olds, it’s $34,033. And loans are about to get more expensive. In an interview with CNBC, student loan expert Mark Kantrowitz estimated that the annual interest rate on federal Stafford loans for undergraduates could hit more than 5 percent by the 2018-2019 academic year. For grad students, interest could reach 6 percent or higher in the same time frame. If you want a college degree but want to minimize your debt, you could apply for scholarships and grants. You could consider working for a company like Starbucks that offers tuition assistance to employees. And if you’ve already graduated, you could look into forgiveness options, lower payment plans and prepare to throw yourself at your loans for a few years and prioritize getting them paid off ASAP. If you’re still deciding on a school, though, you could also try a different strategy: Be strategic about what state you choose for college and be ready to stay and work there after you complete your degree.

The average debt for 20-year-olds is $22,135 while for 30-yearolds, it’s $34,033. And loans are about to get more expensive. (-File photo) • Wyoming

This is what college graduates need to hear This is what college graduates need to hear

• New Mexico • Arkansas • Texas • Georgia “These findings show that a college degree is still a good bet that pays off,” Elyssa Kirkham, lead researcher on the study, tells Student Loan Hero. “A bachelor’s degree results in annual wages that are $19,356 higher, on average, and most college graduates break even on their investment within 3.7 years.” Here is the breakdown for our state:

Student Loan Hero conducted a study that analyzed the state-by-state return on investment of a college degree five years after graduation and finds that students who attend college and land a job in certain states can recoup the cost of their degrees more quickly than in others.

High school graduate salary: $27,232

In the following five states, students who attend college and land a local job can recoup the cost of their degrees in less than three years:

5-year ROI of a bachelor’s degree: 114.18 percent

College $51,701



Pay difference with college degree: $24,469 Cost of a bachelor’s degree: $57,121

Years to break even on cost of degree: 2.33

She continues: “In the 10 states with the highest ROIs for a bachelor’s degree, the initial expense of college is low compared to the pay bump that usually follows graduation.” Seven states have negative ROIs after five years. Among them are Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. In Vermont, the lowest-ranked state, the average graduate is $75,000 in debt five years after graduation. Overall, “whether your college degree pays off comes down to how well you limit your initial costs and debt and how much you maximize your earning potential after graduating,” says Kirkham. “Fortunately, today’s college students are increasingly focused on minimizing college costs and debt. Knowing the ROI of a degree in their state can help college students make important decisions, such as whether to attend an in-state college or how much debt to take on.” (-Money/CNBC)



Section 2


Supreme Court makes sports betting a possibility nationwide by Jessica Gresko


he Supreme Court on Monday gave its goahead for states to allow gambling on sports across the nation, striking down a federal law that barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. The justices voted 6-3 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 1992 law that forbade state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game. Many states have hoped their cut of legalized sports gam-

bling could help solve budget problems. Stock prices for casino operators and equipment makers surged after the ruling was announced. The ruling, in a case from New Jersey, creates an opening to bring an activity out of the shadows that many Americans already see as a mainstream hobby. The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans illegally wager about $150 billion on sports each year, and one research firm estimated before the ruling that if the Supreme Court were to strike down the law, 32 states would likely offer sports betting within five years. Justice Samuel Alito wrote

for the court, “The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not.” Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Ginsburg wrote for the three that when a portion of a law violates the Constitution, the court “ordinarily engages in a salvage rather than a demolition operation.” (-Chicago Tribune)

Trump disclosure of Cohen payment raises new legal questions


EW YORK - President Donald Trump made no mention in his financial disclosure report Wednesday of a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged affair, but said in a footnote that he “fully reimbursed” his personal attorney for as much $250,000 for unspecified “expenses.” The head of the nation’s ethics office questioned why Trump didn’t include this in last year’s disclosure and passed along his concerns to federal prosecutors. “I am providing both reports to you because you may find the disclosure relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing,” Office of Government Ethics Acting Director David Apol wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Apol wrote that he considers Trump’s payment to Cohen as a payment on a loan, and that it was required to be disclosed in Trump’s June 2017 disclosure. Ethics experts said that if that money was a loan and knowingly and willfully not disclosed, Trump could be in violation of ethics laws, a violation for which others have been prosecuted. “This is a big deal and unprecedented. No President has been previously subject to any referral by (Office of Government Ethics) to DOJ as a result of having failed to report an item on their public financial disclosure report,” said Virginia Canter, a former ethics official in the Clinton and Obama

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

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Irish teachers held in China may not have known they were breaking law Teaching English in China can be tricky affair due to unregulated agencies by Clifford Coonan


UBLIN, Ireland - The two Irish women who are currently being detained in China may not have known they were breaking the law.

and normally schools are fined 10,000 yuan (€1,300) per ille-

ployed by third-party agencies that earn commission on the teachers. They often register the teachers on business or tourist visas

The two women, one from Co Kildare and the other from Co Offaly were on working visas and teaching in Beijing schools. They both took on an extra job teaching in a private school, which was not licensed. It is understood these women did not believe there was any issue with the private school and had taken the jobs in good faith. Teaching English in China can be a tricky affair as many of the employers are unregulated agencies who fail to complete the required documents for their teachers, leaving them stranded as illegal workers. It is a regular occurrence for police to raid language schools and detain the foreign teachers,

Local representative Fiona O’Loughlin said the two women “have not had the opportunity to call home or speak to their parents. gal foreign worker. One Irish teacher told of being held for 18 hours last year, despite having a legal visa, possibly because of some separate conflict between the owner of her school and the authorities. However, to hold foreigners for nearly a week with minimal consular access is very unusual. A large number of Englishlanguage teachers are em-

rather than work visas, which foreigners require to legally earn money in China. These visas are issued by the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA). Many foreign teachers do not know they are breaking the law. Foreigners in China are then forced to make six-month visa runs to Hong Kong to renew their tourist or business visas. (-Irish Times)

Need to differentiate between legal, illegal immigration: India The adult film personality known as Stormy Daniels. (Photo: CBS) White Houses who is now with the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. How Trump dealt with the Stormy Daniels payment in his disclosure has been closely watched, particularly after his attorney Rudy Giuliani gave interviews earlier this month saying the president had repaid Cohen, a payment that had not shown up in Trump’s report last year. In a footnote in tiny type on page 45 of his 92-page disclosure, Trump said he reimbursed Cohen for “expenses” ranging from $100,001 to $250,000. The report said the president did not have to disclose the payment but was doing so “in the interest of transparency.” Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti tweeted, “Mr. Trump’s disclosure today conclusively proves that the American people were deceived.” ... “This was NOT an accident and it

was not isolated. Cover-ups should always matter.” The footnote appears in a report giving the first extended look at Trump’s income from his properties since he became president. The report shows he took in $75 million from his Miami golf course and resort last year, $25 million at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and $15 million from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. All those 12-month figures are down from the president’s previous report, but that earlier one covered about 14 months so it is not comparable. When Trump took office, he refused to fully divest from his global business, instead putting his assets in a trust controlled by his two sons and a senior executive. Trump can take back control of the trust at any time and he’s allowed to withdraw cash from it as he pleases. (-Associated Press)

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EW DELHI, May 16, 2018 (Press Trust of India) - India has asked the UN to focus on how to differentiate between legal and illegal migration as it risks hurting immigrants who follow the law and may benefit criminal human trafficking networks. India’s Deputy Permanent Representative Tanmaya Lal, addressing an intergovernmental conference to adopt a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration at UN General Assembly, said that migration has become a complex and divisive issue, and may imply different things to different groups at different times. He said that the global compact on migration, which is being negotiated, was more focussed on illegal immigration in some countries. “This is unfortunate since this negative narrative is not at all helpful and, in fact, hurts the genuine interests and concerns of regular, legal migrants whose ongoing contribution to both their host and origin coun-

tries is well-documented but risks being ignored,” he told UN General Assembly. “Undoubtedly, there is also a small percentage of illegal or undocumented migrants across countries. In many instances, such illegal migration is based on criminal networks engaged inhuman trafficking,” he said at a session of the intergovernmental negotiations on the global compact on migration that is to be adopted in December in Marrakesh, Morocco. At the same time, Lal said it needs to be stressed and made clear that this category of migrants cannot be treated at par under national laws with the legal migrants. A number of organisations, some international leaders and, even, some of the UN bodies had made attempts to remove distinctions between legal and illegal immigrants and refugees. “Any such attempts to blur any sort of distinction of legal status between regular and the numerically far fewer irregular

migrants can only disadvantage the larger interests of regular migrants and even incentivise irregular migration. Surely, that is not our intention here?” he added. Asserting that a more humane treatment of irregular migrants was essential, Lal said: “it was also important to not let the focus on regular migrants and their contributions be diluted in the Global Compact that we are working on”. He urged the member States to “rework” and “rearrange” the narrative in the draft Global Compact to highlight the overwhelmingly positive contribution of international migration upfront in the document and adequate space in the text be provided. “The current draft provides much greater attention than necessary to the discussion on what rights the irregular migrants should be entitled to. It must, instead, focus more on how to facilitate regular migration. This needs to be corrected,” Lal said.


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FRIDAY,May May18, 18,2018 2018 FRIDAY,

Understanding How Living Benefits Help in Life Insurance Policy

Section 2

MAY is Older Americans Health Month

Genes linked with sunburn, skin cancer risk


ARIS, France | AFP - Certain genes can determine which people are more at risk of getting sunburnt, and possibly develop skin cancer as a result, scientists said Tuesday.

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Understanding how living benefits help in life insurance policy

In a trawl of the genetics of nearly 180,000 people of European ancestry in Britain, Australia, the Netherlands and United States, researchers found 20 sunburn genes.

iving benefits are generally associated with permanent (cash value) life insurance policies.But even term life insurance policies can be purchased with one or more riders, which will pay you money while you’re still alive—under certain circumstances. Those circumstances all have to do with illness:

Eight of the genes had been associated with skin cancer in previous research, according to findings published in the journal Nature Communications.

1. If You are terminally ill. You can receive a portion of your death benefit in advance, for help with medical expenses, one final around-the-world fling, or whatever.

And in at least one region of the genome, “we have found evidence to suggest that the gene involved in melanoma risk... acts through increasing susceptibility to sunburns,” co-author Mario Falchi of King’s College London told AFP.

2. If You are chronically ill. Frequently you’re considered chronically ill if you can’t perform several of the six activities of daily living, such as getting out of bed, feeding yourself, bathing, and so forth. You can receive a portion of your death benefit in advance, in situations like this.

Sun exposure is critical for the body’s production of vitamin D, which keeps bones, teeth, and muscles healthy, and which scientists say may help stave off chronic diseases, even cancer. But too much can be painful in the short-term, and dangerous for your health. The new study, which claims to be the largest to date into the genetics of sunburn, helps explain why people


In a trawl of the genetics of nearly 180,000 people of European ancestry in Britain, Australia, the Netherlands and United States, researchers found 20 sunburn genes. (Photo: AFP) with the same skin tone can have such different reactions to exposure to sunlight -- some burn red while others tan brown. It may also begin to explain factors in skin cancer risk. “It is necessary to explore these genes in more detail, to understand the mechanism by which they contribute to propensity to burn,” said Falchi.

In future, the research may help identify people at risk, through genetic testing. “People tend to ‘forget’ that sunburns are quite dangerous,” said Falchi. “Given the rise in incidence in skin cancer, we hope that knowing there is a genetic link between sunburn and skin cancer may help in encouraging people to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

Making simple diet changes could ease symptoms of osteoarthritis


new UK study has revealed how making simple dietary changes and exercising could help to relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis.

One of the key findings from the analysis is that taking a supplement of one gram of fish oil a day could help reduce patients’ pain, thanks to the essential fatty acids found in the oil which reduces inflammation in joints. The team also found that the supplement could help improve cardiovascular health. Adding foods rich in vitamin K to the diet, such as kale, spinach and parsley, was also found to be beneficial. As the vitamin is needed for vitamin-K-dependent (VKD) proteins which are found in bone and

That means, for example, that if you have a $100,000 death benefit, and you receive $75,000 prior to your death because you qualified under one of these riders, when you actually do pass away, the insurance company will pay only the remaining $25,000. They’ve already paid $75,000; they won’t pay that again.

How Living Benefits Help in Permanent Life Insurance First the good news: the same types of accelerated benefit living benefits available for most term life insurance policies are also available for most permanent life insurance policies.

Eighteen percent of women and 9.6 percent of men aged 60 years and over are known to have been diagnosed with the condition, although many think the true number of those affected may in fact be much higher.

However, the new research has revealed that making certain diet and lifestyle changes could also help those afflicted by osteoarthritis.

These are called accelerated benefit riders. They affect only when the insurance company pays the money. They don’t affect how much is paid.

Now, let’s go beyond term life insurance, to see what living benefits are available on the other broad type of life insurance, permanent life insurance.

Carried out by researchers at the University of Surrey, the new analysis is the largest and most up to date of its kind. The team looked at 68 studies to assess the relationship between nutrition and the risk or progression of osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of arthritis in the world.

There is currently no effective treatment for the painful condition and no known cure, and sufferers are able to use only painkillers to treat symptoms.

3. You’re critically ill. That could mean you’ve been diagnosed with a heart attack, stroke, cancer, end stage renal failure, major organ transplant, or some other pretty grim illness. Again, you can get some or all of your death benefit early—in time to be of some use to you

cartilage, a sufficient intake can help promote bone growth and repair, and decrease the risk of osteoarthritis. In addition to diet, the analysis also showed that weight loss eased symptoms in those who were overweight or obese. Obesity increases strain on joints and can cause low-grade, systemic inflammation in the body, both of which worsen the condition.

regular exercise are necessary to keep joints healthy; you can’t have healthy joints with just one, you need both,” said study co-author Ali Mobasheri.

The team found that reducing calorie intake and introducing a combination of strengthening, flexibility and aerobic exercises was an effective way to reduce pain in overweight patients.

“Lifestyle should also be considered when attempting to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis. Patients can’t expect miracles with dietary interventions if they are overweight and drink or smoke heavily. Evidence shows that smoking and heavy drinking negatively affects body energy metabolism and inflammatory markers in the liver which may promote inflammation and disease in the body,” continued Mobasheri.

Making lifestyle changes can also benefit all sufferers with osteoarthritis as a healthier lifestyle helps reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, with high blood cholesterol known to be associated with the condition.

The results can be found online in the journal Rheumatology. (–Relaxnews)

“A combination of good diet and

Now for the even better news: Many permanent life insurance policies offer living benefits that go far beyond what’s available with term insurance. In some cases, these benefits do not subtract from the death benefit, as accelerated benefits do. They’re in addition to whatever death benefit is paid upon your passing. Permanent life insurance policies can do this because they build equity, called “cash value,” that accumulates over time. This accumulation of cash value, along with tax advantages available with a permanent life insurance policy, allows you to enjoy “living benefits,” including: • Guaranteed, tax-deferred growth. With a permanent life insurance policy of the whole life variety, your cash value is guaranteed to grow and to never decline in value. It contributes

Sudhir Mathuria HEALTHLIFE 360 713-771-2900

to your financial security with stable yet consistent growth that supports your financial goals. • Collateral for policy loans. The cash value you accumulate is an asset on your balance sheet. You may borrow money against your life insurance policy, using the cash value and death benefit as collateral, at any time and for any reason. Some examples of reasons Bank On Yourself policy owners have borrowed money (Note: you’re not required to explain why you want the loan, but owners like to brag to us!) include: • Purchase a home • Invest in a business or commercial property • Handle a financial emergency • Provide a steady stream of supplemental income in retirement Flexible funds for retirement. You can use your permanent life insurance cash value to supplement your retirement income without the requirements and limitations that apply to 401(k) and IRA retirement accounts. You have several choices, including receiving your dividends in cash, surrendering paid-up additions that you purchased along the way, or taking a policy loan (all of which may have tax consequences or affect the death benefit). • College savings. Life insurance cash value is one of the few assets not considered in federal college financial aid calculations. Families with college-age children who have permanent life insurance policies not only can use the policy’s cash value (via policy loans) to pay college tuition and housing expenses, but also might benefit from greater financial aid opportunities, compared with families with a similarly-sized 529 Plan. For complete review and individual or family planning contact Sudhir Mathuria 713-771-2900. Read complete report online:www.voiceofasiaonline. com•


Could acupuncture help relieve dental anxiety?



arried out by researchers at the University of York, the team reviewed six trials with a total of 800 patients to assess the effect of the traditional Chinese treatment on dental anxiety.


From their sample, the researchers found that 94 percent of the patients diagnosed with lung cancer were smokers or ex-smokers.

Symptoms include nausea, difficulty breathing, and dizziness, which can occur at the thought of going to the dentist, during an examination, and following treatment.

In addition, 21 percent of the lung cancer cases occurred in those under the age of 55, and 36 percent of cases occurred in those who had smoked less than 20 cigarettes a day for less than 20 years, suggesting that it is not just older heavy smokers who at risk. are

For the review the researchers measured dental anxiety using a point scale and compared the anxiety levels between patients who received acupuncture and those who did not.

Hugh MacPherson, professor of Acupuncture at the University of York commented on the findings saying, “There is increasing scientific interest in the effectiveness of acupuncture either as a standalone treatment or as an accompanying treatment to more traditional medications.” However, he noted that no conclusions can be drawn yet,

Are you at risk of lung cancer? New study finds risk factors include more than just heavy smoking

arried out by researchers from the University of Crete, Greece and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway, together the team looked at survey responses from 65,000 Norwegians aged between 20 and 100 to identify the strongest risk factors.

The condition affects up to an estimated 30% of adults worldwide and can be brought on by a variety of fears including being afraid of needles, experiencing pain, or experiencing side effects from anesthetic.

They found that receiving acupuncture decreased anxiety by eight points, a reduction big enough to be considered clinically relevant, suggesting that acupuncture could potentially be an effective treatment for dental anxiety.

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

New research suggests that acupuncture could be explored as a potential way to relieve anxiety in those who fear going to the dentist. (Photo: Jacob Wackerhausen / adding that, “These are interesting findings, but we need more trials that measure the impact of acupuncture on anxiety before going to the dentist, during treatment and after treatment. “If acupuncture is to be integrated into dental practices, or for use in other cases of extreme anxiety, then there needs to be more high quality research that demonstrates that it can have a lasting impact on the patient. Early indications

look positive, but there is still more work to be done.” Previous research has also suggested that acupuncture could be effective in treating a variety of other conditions including period pain, chronic pain, hot flashes associated with the menopause, and aid weight loss. The results can be found published online in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine. (–Relaxnews)

The researchers then used the results to pinpoint which individuals among smokers and ex-smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer. Five contributing risk factors for lung cancer are already well known, including increasing age, pack-years (based on how many years you’ve smoked 20 cigarettes daily), how many cigarettes you’ve smoked daily (a few cigarettes a day for many years is more harmful than many cigarettes for a few years), how long it’s been since you quit smoking (the risk decreases over time), and body mass index (the lower the BMI the higher the risk).

New research has revealed some of the key risk factors for lung cancer. (Photo: Wavebreakmedia / The team also found two new factors, including a periodical daily cough and how many hours a day you’re exposed to smoke indoors, both of which increase the risk of lung cancer. The next step was to use these seven factors to see if lung cancer could be predicted without the need of a CT scan, an expensive screening method for lung cancer which exposes patients to small doses of radiation, which over time can be harmful. The researchers found that in a sample of 45,000 individuals who had all answered the same questionnaires and been followed for up to 20 years, they could predict with nearly 88 percent accuracy who would develop lung cancer first. “The method can reduce the number of people exposed to

radiation from unnecessary CT scans, and maximise identification of persons with true risk,” says Oluf Dimitri Røe, one of the studies authors. “It is also the first model that can accurately predict lung cancer in light smokers, younger people, and people who quit smoking many years before.” The researchers also created a risk calculator using the seven factors, named the HUNT Lung Cancer Risk Model, which allows those concerned to calculate their own personal risk of developing lung cancer within 6 years and within 16 years. The calculator is available to use online. The results can be found published online in The Lancet-affiliated journal EBioMedicine. (– Relaxnews)

Celebrating good health during Older Americans Month An aspirin a day linked to a • Get some exercise. Regular exercise can help older adults stay independent and prevent many health problems that come with age. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer exercise programs designed specifically for older adults at no extra cost. If your plan has a program like this, make sure to take advantage of it.

higher risk of melanoma in men Carried out by researchers at Northwestern University, the study looked at medical records from 195,140 patients aged 18-89, who had no prior history of melanoma.

• Have some fun! Be sure to make time for activities you enjoy and seek out others who also enjoy them. The social interaction is good for you.

PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Halfpoint/


he contributions of older Americans are celebrated each May during Older Americans’ Month. This year’s theme, “Engage at Every Age,” emphasizes that you are never too old to enrich your physical and emotional well-bEing. To encourage happy, healthy and productive golden years when older adults are able to pursue their hobbies and passions, consider these tips from Cigna-HealthSpring, one of the nation’s largest providers of Medicare plans. • Get an annual exam. Annual visits are critical for identifying potential health issues early, as well as maintaining a relationship with your primary care physician. During this visit, your doctor can establish a plan based on your age, gender and health status for the vaccinations and health screenings you need, such as mammograms, cholesterol screenings and colorectal cancer screenings. Medicare and Medicare Advantage cover certain types of annual exams at no extra cost. Check with your plan for details. • Take medications as prescribed. Your drugs were prescribed for a reason. It is important to adhere to your medication regime and take medications as prescribed. Some drugs can cause harmful interactions, so make sure your doctor knows everything you take, including over-thecounter drugs. • If you smoke, stop. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S. It’s never too late to quit, and the benefits of doing

so are almost immediate, according to the American Cancer Society. Keep in mind that

parts of Medicare cover smoking cessation counseling and prescription medications.

“We are constantly inspired by stories of older adults reinventing themselves later in life in meaningful ways, from running marathons to mentoring young people to painting for the very first time,” said Brian Evanko, president of Cigna-HealthSpring. “The key that unlocks all of this is maintaining your physical and emotional health and well-being through the years.” - (StatePoint).

Deadly falls rise 31 percent in 10 yrs among US seniors by Kerry Sheridan


AMPA | AFP - People age 65 and older are falling at an increasing rate across the United States, with deadly tumbles among the elderly rising by nearly a third since 2007, US health officials said Thursday.

“Deaths from falling among older adults increased from about 18,000 in 2007 to almost 30,000 in 2016,” said the report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The rate of deaths from falls increased by an average of three percent per year from 2007–2016, amounting to an overall 31 percent increase in that time span. That statistic is “striking,” said Gisele Wolf-Klein, director of geriatric education at Northwell Health, a hospital network in New York. Doctors should screen all older adults for fall risk, “and


ORTLAND, Oregan Carried out by researchers at Northwestern University, the study looked at medical records from 195,140 patients aged 18-89, who had no prior history of melanoma. From

this base, 1,187 of the patients were aspirin exposed, with the researchers only including patients who had been taking aspirin daily for at least one year at a dose of 81 or 325 mg. All patients were followed for at least five years to see if melanoma occurred over time. The team found that from the 1,187 aspirin-exposed patients, 2.19 percent had a subsequent diagnosis for melanoma, compared to 0.86 percent of those in aspirin-unexposed patients. However, when the researchers looked at the groups by gender, they found that men exposed to aspirin had nearly double the risk of melanoma than the men who were unexposed.

The reason for the rise remains unclear, but may include reliance on medications, and obstacles like stairs and winter ice. Experts say many falls are preventable and yet they are the leading cause of accidental injury death among the elderly.

New research suggests there may be a link between taking a daily aspirin and an increased risk of melanoma in men. (Photo: ilbusca /

Exposed women, however, did not have an increased risk. Senior study author Dr. Beatrice Nardone commented that Both men and women faced a mounting fall rate in the past decade, according to the CDC report, with the largest increase seen among people 85 and older. (AFP Photo) select appropriate interventions, such as home safety, adjustment in medications, improving vision, and recommending sturdy footwear, as well as physical exercise and Tai-Chi,” said Wolf-Klein, who was not involved in the study. - Largest increase among those over 85 Both men and women faced a mounting fall rate in the past decade, according to the CDC report. The largest increase was seen among people 85 and older.

pital in New York, who sees many patients over the age of 65 come in for urgent care after falling.

“If deaths from falls continue to increase at this rate, the US can expect 59,000 older adult fall deaths in 2030,” it said.

“One of the real factors here is the continued increase in the number of people on blood thinners,” he told AFP.

About one in four US residents 65 and older report falling each year.

Seniors increasingly take blood thinners to treat chronic diseases like atrial fibrillation or deep venous thrombosis, but these drugs may raise the risk of bleeding.

Fall-related emergency department visits number about three million annually in the United States. “These results aren’t surprising at all,” said Brahim Ardolic, chair of the department of emergency medicine at Staten Island University Hos-

“This risk is highest when an elderly person falls down and hits their head,” he explained. “The patient on blood thinners can have major complications in that situation like

she was surprised by the findings, as aspirin has previously been found to reduce risk of gastric, colon, prostate and breast cancer. “Given the widespread use of aspirin and the potential clinical impact of the link to melanoma, patients and health care providers need to be aware of the possibility of increased risk for men,” says Nardone, however she stressed, “This does not mean men should stop aspirin therapy to lower the risk of heart attack.” She advises that health care practitioners speak to patients about the importance of staying safe in the sun, avoiding tanning beds, and visiting a dermatologist for skin checks to help reduce the risk of skin cancers. With regards to the differences seen between men and women, Nardone commented that although there are many potential explanations, one reason men may be more vulnerable could be because they have a lower amount of protective enzymes compared to females. (- Relaxnews)

subdural and bleeding.”


Ways to reduce the risk of falling include keeping floors dry in the bathroom and kitchen, where most falls occur. Navigating stairs and winter ice can also be perilous. “Just because you always slept upstairs is not a good reason to continue once the stairs become daunting,” Ardolic said. “The good news about these injuries from falls is that many are avoidable,” he added. “Awareness of your environment and of your parents’ and grandparents’ environment goes a long way.”



Are we winning the war on cancer? What to know

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

Salmonella outbreak that prompted egg recall sickens more people



ew cancer cases and deaths are both predicted to rise over the next two decades, according to the latest World Cancer Report. Despite billions of dollars of investment in research, survival gains for the most common forms of cancer are still measured in additional months of life, not years.

ore people are becoming sick from a salmonella outbreak that prompted a massive egg recall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says at least 35 people across nine states have been infected by the bacteria. Hospitals treated 11 victims.

If it turns out you have recalled eggs, the CDC says do not eat them. Either throw them away or return them for a refund. How long should you cook your eggs? Eating raw or undercooked eggs increases the risk of illness. The FDA

Can cancer be cured? Some experts say the answer is yes, but that it will require reversing course on the way it’s researched and treated. “Integrative medicine may allow us to win the war on cancer if done intelligently,” says Sylvie Beljanski, author of the new breakthrough book “Winning the War on Cancer: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure,” which reveals the discoveries of her late father’s suppressed research -- Dr. Mirko Beljanski, a biologist-biochemist at the Pasteur Institute who spent over 40 years studying the environmental impact on DNA replication and transcription. “When my father started to rethink the origin of cancer and to develop molecules able to selectively block cancerous cell multiplication without killing healthy cells, he ran into major opposition,” remarks Beljanski. “The conventional oncology community ostracized him, despite the fact that his theories were aimed at complementing chemotherapy and radiation, not replacing them.” Beljanski, founder of The Beljanski Foundation (, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering her father’s research, says that in order to beat cancer, the following ideas and processes need to be adopted: • Patent Law Review. There is a need for powerful drugs, but

Photo source: (c) Minerva Studio / there is also a need for a gentler, holistic approach. Under the current status quo, pharmaceutical companies are rewarded for creating synthetic and highly toxic drugs when elements of nature could be used safely and effectively in many instances, say experts. • Funding for Alternative Science Research. “My father had the idea that if nature came up with carcinogens, nature had also come up with anti-carcinogens. He discovered two of them: the bark of a tree from the Amazon rainforest and an extract from a bush in West Africa. Research confirmed their efficacy on a large array of cancers and their ability to work in synergy with chemotherapy,” says Beljanski. • Law Reform. Law reform that would allow legitimate dietary supplements to promote and highlight their benefits would help educate consumers. Furthermore, insurance companies should cover supplements, she urges. • Government Audit. The government should conduct an audit of its success and failures in funding cancer prevention and

treatment research. • Data Sharing. “As long as pharmaceutical companies’ quest for innovation is solely driven by intellectual property rights, they will keep failing in the war on cancer,” says Beljanski, who advocates for a shared, centralized database and open collaboration from the best scientists, doctors and researchers. • Prevention and Education. In the long-run, the smartest approach is prevention. Citizens must continue to become informed, active consumers, taking the initiative to read labels, avoid junk food and addictive substances, relieve stress, exercise and eat balanced meals. “The mindbody connection is strong and individuals have the power to create a healthier life for themselves,” says Beljanski. More information on cancer and Beljanski’s new book, is available at All of the author’s proceeds are being donated to help fund anticancer research. While the war on cancer will be long and hard-fought, experts say that a shifted approach to prevention, treatment and research will ultimately mean lives saved. (StatePoint).

WHO urges global ban on trans fats

(Photo: The American Egg Board) A dozen more cases of salmonella traced to eggs have been reported since the CDC first announced the outbreak nearly a month ago, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner. The Food and Drug Administration has linked the outbreak to Rose Acre Farms and the company’s facility in North Carolina.

recommends cooking eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny. Casseroles, quiches, soufflés and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160° F. Use a food thermometer to be sure, because the length of cooking time may vary.

Last month, the company voluntarily recalled over 206 million eggs due to potential contamination. The recalled eggs were distributed between January 11 and April 12 to grocery chains and restaurants in at least nine states. The eggs were sold under multiple brand names, including Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, Food Lion, Glenview, Great Value, Nelms, Sunshine Farms, Publix, and Sunups.

“You have to cook an egg solid, that means the yolks and the whites are cooked through,” Werner explained on CBSN. “Don’t reheat your eggs.”

The FDA reported during an inspection of Rose Acre Farms beginning in March finding more than a dozen rodents. They also say employees touched dirty equipment and their bodies without washing their hands.

Never leave cooked eggs or egg dishes out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours (or for more than 1 hour if the temperature is above 90° F). Bacteria grow quickly at warm temperatures.

In a statement, Rose Acre Farms says it’s “not only corrected deficiencies at the farm” but “also taken steps to ensure the farm meets or exceeds the standards of the FDA and USDA.” To see if the eggs you purchased might be recalled, visit to see the specific list of products.

Industrially-produced trans-fatty acids, like margarine and some hardened vegetable fats, are popular among food producers because they are cheap and typically have a long shelf life. (Photo: gopixa /


EW YORK - The World Health Organization on Monday unveiled a new plan to eliminate the use of trans fats, calling for the gains made against the harmful acids in richer countries to be spread worldwide. Industrially-produced transfatty acids, likeang food producers because they are cheap and typically have a long shelf life. But given their link to cardiovascular disease, trans fats have also been blamed for more than 500,000 deaths annually, according to WHO figures. The head of the United Nations health agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that while wealthier nations have

made strides in banning trans fats, “we need to extend those efforts globally.” WHO noted in a press release that controls against trans fats are weaker in low and middle income countries. “The bottom line here is that this the beginning of the end for industrially produced trans fats,” said Tom Frieden, who heads the Resolve to Save Lives advocacy group, which has partnered with WHO on the push to eliminate the products. Frieden told reporters that New York City’s success in banning trans fats from restaurants a decade ago proved that they “can be eliminated without changing the taste, availability or cost of great food.”

The strategy to eliminate trans fats, dubbed REPLACE, calls for a broad awareness and advocacy campaign as well as legislative action worldwide “to eliminate industrially-produced trans fats.”

For recipes that call for eggs to remain raw or undercooked, such as Caesar salad dressing, use eggs that have been specially treated to destroy salmonella, or buy pasteurized egg products.

The FDA also urges consumers to wash their hands with hot, soapy water before and after handling raw eggs and raw egg-containing foods. And be sure to thoroughly clean food preparation surfaces and utensils that may have come in contact eggs to reduce the risk of spreading salmonella. (-CBS Newa)

Read up on what’s changing in the world of health

Tedros said curbing the use of trans fats would be a centrepiece of WHO’s efforts to cut deaths from noncommunicable diseases by a third before 2030, which is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Asked if WHO was readying for a wider fights against other drivers of noncommunicable diseases, including products like processed sugar, Tedros said the answer was “a big yes.”

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The challenge of space gardening One giant ‘leaf’ for mankind

Toxic water fears in Pakistan region infamous for deformities by Masroor Gilani


OT ASSADULLAH, Pakistan | AFP - Basharat Ali was 15 when his legs began to falter, a condition doctors have blamed on polluted water in a Pakistani region infamous for the deformities that afflict many of its people. Too weak to carry his own schoolbag, he was taken to hospital, where doctors said water laden with toxic levels of arsenic, fluoride, minerals and various metals was to blame. “It was a big blow to me as I had to quit my studies to get treatment,” Ali told AFP on the rooftop of his house some 45 kilometres (28 miles) from Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s largest province Punjab. From there Ali’s view takes in some of the plastic, chemical, pharmaceutical and wire manufacturing factories nearby. They are widely blamed for contaminating the water local residents have to drink.

the deformities, said Dr Khalid Jamil Akhtar, a private clinician who has been visiting the area for the provincial government. Arsenic, he said, can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach problems, while also affecting the liver, lungs, kidneys and eventually the entire gastrointestinal tract. Polluted water could also result in neuropathy -- a nerve dysfunction that can lead to deformity-causing numbness or weakness in the limbs. Dr Akhtar said most of the patients he saw were suffering from neuropathy, primarily caused by “contaminated water, by the toxins of the factories in the area” -- though he added that some cases could be caused by genetics, without giving a breakdown. Arsenic -- typically found in groundwater contaminated by untreated industrial, municipal and agricultural waste -- in particular is a source of increased concern.

According to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 90 percent of factories in and around the city dump their waste untreated in open pits or discharge untreated water in streams.

A study conducted by Swiss expert Joel Podgorski using 1,200 groundwater samples throughout Pakistan said that up to 60 million people were at risk of arsenic poisoning.

Local media first reported on the problems in Ali’s village well over a decade ago, prompting teams from Lahore’s government hospital and water officials to make several visits.

The study, published last year, identified high concentrations of arsenic along the Indus River and its tributaries, with “hot spots” around the populated areas of Lahore and the southern city of Hyderabad.

New wells have been dug since, but they only provide more water polluted with arsenic. Meanwhile Ali and other residents of the area have paid a heavy price, with activists saying 200 other children have suffered bone and dental deformities since 2000. “Now these children are grown men and women, but they remain hidden in their houses. They are not getting any marriage proposals because people say that their bones are deformed,” he says. Ali, now 32, remains frail, his teeth yellowed and decaying. His is permanently disabled, with one leg shorter than the other, and has difficulty walking. His village Kot Assadullah and neighbouring Kalalanwala, to which it is joined, now have a reputation.

The Pakistan Council of Research in Water (PCRWR) disputes the findings, arguing that the sample size was too small, but agrees there is an arsenic problem. “We have done tests on up to 60,000 samples from Lahore to lower Sindh under a study being carried out since 1999 and have found arsenic at many places,” said Lubna Bukhari, head of water quality for the PCRWR. It also says that water monitoring projects carried out since 2012 show that between 69 and 85 percent of Pakistan’s total water is contaminated or otherwise unfit for human consumption. “We even found arsenic in bottled water,” said Bukhari. - Looming water scarcity -

“People from other villages can recognise us and say ‘You are from Kalalanwala’,” said 26-year old Muhammad Mukhtiar, who tends a shop in the village.

The problem is given extra urgency by Pakistan’s looming water scarcity crisis, with the country on track to become the most water-stressed country in the region by 2040, according to the UN.

When AFP visited recently men, women and children carrying cans and bottles were queueing at a new solarpowered water filtration plant paid for by a charity.

But there is no national strategy for cleaning up what water there is and much less for conserving it, with environmental matters left in the hands of provincial authorities.

A government-funded filtered water plant is also currently under construction, but residents say neither will be enough.

Twenty years have already passed since deformities started appearing in Kalalanwala, and little change has taken place.

Punjab officials declined AFP’s repeated requests for comment.

There, a 25-year-old labourer named Naveed said his legs became deformed when he was three years old.

Chemicals and toxins including arsenic have been found in the village’s drinking water and are causing

“I don’t have any hope as we are poor and nobody listens to us,” Naveed said.

- What’s in the water? -

by Kerry Sheridan


IAMI | AFP - It’s not easy having a green thumb in space.

Without gravity, seeds can float away. Water doesn’t pour, but globs up and may drown the roots. And artificial lights and fans must be rigged just right to replicate the sun and wind. But NASA has decided that gardening in space will be crucial for the next generation of explorers, who need to feed themselves on missions to the Moon or Mars that may last months or years. Necessary nutrients, like vitamins C and K, break down over time in freeze-dried foods. Without them, astronauts are increasingly vulnerable to infections, poor blood clotting, cancer and heart disease. So the US space agency has turned to professional botanists and novice gardeners -- high school students, in fact -- to help them practice. “There are tens of thousands of edible plants on Earth that would presumably be useful, and it becomes a big problem to choose which of those plants are the best for producing food for astronauts,” explained Carl Lewis, director of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, which is leading the effort. “And that is where we come in.” - Useful foibles The Miami-based garden has identified 106 plant varieties that might do well in space, including hardy cabbages and leafy lettuces. They have enlisted 15,000 student botanists from 150 schools to grow plants in space-like conditions in their own classrooms.

Tomatoes growing in an LED-lighted box, similar to what astronauts use to grow lettuce on the International Space Station, at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami on April 25, 2018. (Photo: AFP) ect, said NASA plant scientist Gioia Massa. “If you have a plant that does well in all that variability, chances are that plant will do well in space,” she told AFP. - New textures Astronauts living at the space station, 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth have encountered their share of failures while gardening in orbit, too. The first portable growing box for space, equipped with LED lights, called Veggie, was tested at the orbiting outpost in 2014. Some of the lettuce didn’t germinate, and some died of drought. But astronauts kept trying, and finally took their first bite of NASA-approved space-grown lettuce in 2015.


Previous studies of stellar dynamics indicated a large number of stellar mass black holes – suns with five to 30 times the mass of the Sun – could be expected to migrate inward over the galaxy’s multi-billion-year history. The Chandra observations represent the first observational evidence supporting that scenario. Chuck Hailey of Columbia University in New York led a team of researchers using Chandra to search for X-ray binaries within about 12 light years of Sgr A*. An X-ray binary is a system in which a black hole or neutron star pulls gas away from a companion. The gas is accelerated and heated to millions of degrees, emitting X-rays before plunging into the black hole. Looking for X-ray binaries with similar signatures to those closer to Earth, the team identified 14 within three lightyears of the galactic center. Two of those likely contain neutron stars and were eliminated from the analysis. In the image above, the remaining dozen are highlighted by red circles. The white circles indicate binaries containing white dwarf stars. Because only the brightest X-ray binaries containing stellar mass black holes can be seen from Earth’s vast distance, the Chandra detections sug-

Under a system Massa described as akin to hydroponics but not exactly the same, space plants also have to germinate from a plant pillow with only a small amount of dirt, do well under LED lights, and be microbially fairly clean, because it is hard to wash vegetables in space. Some of the student-tested crops are expected to launch in coming months, including dragoon lettuce and extra dwarf pak choi. By next year, tomatoes could be on the menu.

Using trays rigged with lights that mimic the grow boxes used in space, students must tend to the plants and record data on their progress, which eventually gets shared with NASA.

The food being grown is only occasionally harvested, and amounts to just a leaf or two per astronaut, but it’s worth it, said NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold, during a live video downlink with students at Fairchild last month.

NASA is looking into the possibility of robotic space gardening, to automate the process so crew can focus on other tasks.

“We’re not using typical gardening equipment,” said Rhys Campo, a 17-year-old high school student who tried her hand at growing red romaine lettuce this year. “We have setups that are a lot more high-tech.” Still, some plants get overwatered, some classrooms are hotter or colder than others, and holiday breaks may leave the grow boxes unattended. In Campo’s class, the lettuce dried up, and students were unable to taste it. Such foibles have turned out to be an unexpected but useful part of the proj-

“The textures of food are all kind of very similar,” he said of the freezedried fare available on board the ISS. “When we are able to harvest our own lettuce here, just having a different texture to enjoy is a really nice diversion from the standard menu.” - The ideal space veggie -

- Connection to Earth -

But many astronauts say they like tending to plants, because it helps them maintain a connection to Earth. “The psychological benefits can be important for astronauts,” said NASA research scientist Trent Smith. Besides -- as many gardeners know -- having a plot dry up or be devoured by mold isn’t the end of world.

Plants don’t need gravity in order to grow. They just orient themselves to the light.

“The thing that the students learn is that making mistakes is okay,” said JoLynne Woodmansee, a teacher at BIOTech High School in Miami.

According to Massa, a good space plant has to be compact and produce a lot of edible food.

“The whole process of science is all about building. You can’t learn something new without making a mistake.”

Self-navigating AI learns to take shortcuts: study

cessing -- everything from recognising objects to playing complicated board games -- spatial navigation has remained a challenge. It requires the recalculation of one’s position, after each step taken, in relation to the starting point and destination -- even when travelling a neverbefore-taken route. Navigation is considered a complex behavioural task, and in animals is partly controlled by a sort of onboard GPS driven by “grid cells” in the brain’s hippocampus region. These cells have been observed firing in a regular pattern as mammals explore a new environment. In a new study published in the journal Nature, AI researchers said they had developed a “deep neural network”, or computer “brain”, which they trained to navigate towards a goal in a virtual maze.

And that’s not all.

The authors of a paper in the 5 April issue of the journal Nature say they cannot rule out the possibility that spinning neutron stars – millisecond pulsars – represent about half of the dozen directly observed candidates, but they “strongly” favour the black hole explanation based on the observed X-ray signatures.

“That is something plants aren’t adjusted to,” said Massa. “On Earth it is about 400 ppm.”

Now, there are two Veggie grow boxes at the ISS, along with a third, called the Advanced Plant Habitat.

gest a much higher number of undetected black holes binaries, possibly up to a thousand or more, near the heart of the galaxy. A theoretical analysis by Aleksey Generozov and colleagues at Columbia found that stellar mass black holes without companions should be even more numerous. Their calculations show 10,000 to 40,000 such black holes could be congregating near Sgr A*.

Plants also have to do well in a spaceship like the ISS, which has a temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit (22 Celsius), 40 percent relative humidity, and high carbon dioxide -some 3,000 parts per million.

The four-year project is about midway through, and is paid for by a $1.24 million grant from NASA.

Stellar mass black holes swarm in Milky Way’s core he Chandra X-ray Observatory has found direct evidence for up to 10 stellar-mass black holes and, by statistical extension, thousands more lurking within a few lightyears of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

When shortcuts were introduced, by opening a previously blocked opening for example, the AI automatically took the shorter route. While artificial intelligence (AI) programmes have recently made great strides in imitating human brain processing -- everything from recognising objects to playing complicated board games -- spatial navigation has remained a challenge (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-Je). by Mariëtte Le Roux

cuts, outperforming a flesh-and-blood expert, its developers said Wednesday.

- ‘Super-human’ Furthermore, the computer “brain” generated navigational grids strikingly similar to those observed in the brains of foraging mammals, said the team.

While artificial intelligence (AI) programmes have recently made great strides in imitating human brain pro-

The programme “performed at a super-human level, exceeding the ability of a professional game player,” three of the study authors said in a press statement.

Here’s how the sun will bring fiery death to all life on Earth

It “exhibited the type of flexible navigation normally associated with animals, taking novel routes and shortcuts when they became available.”


ARIS, France | AFP | A computer programme modelled on the human brain learnt to navigate a virtual maze and take short-

n Earth, human beings battle against threats such as climate change – but in five billion years’ time, none of it will matter.

The only thing that might (possibly) survive the inferno is the rocky core of our planet, which might end up orbiting the cold, dead remains of the sun.

International astronomers used the ALMA radio telescope to study the star L2 Puppis, which is now dying in the final stages of its evolution

A study this week revealed how our sun will turn into a planetary nebula in its death throes – but long before that, things will get pretty dire on Earth.

Scientists have had a sneak preview of our inevitable doom, by looking at L2 Puppis – a star which, five billion years ago, was very like our Sun is now.

‘Five billion years from now, the Sun will have grown into a red giant star, more than a hundred times larger than its current size,’ Professor Leen Decin from the KU Leuven Institute of Astronomy said in a statement.


In about five billion years, the sun will expand to 100 times the size it is now, engulfing the surface of our planet in fire. Anything, or anyone, that remains on the surface will die.

Our solar system is 4.6 billion years old, while L2 Puppis is ten billion years old, offering a glimpse of what will happen to Earth in the far distant future.

After another two billion years, the sun will have lost a huge amount of mass through stellar wind – turning into a tiny white dwarf.

Most of the researchers are attached to DeepMind, the British AI company that also created AlphaGo, the selftrained computer that beat human champions at the Chinese board game “Go” said to require intuition rather than brute processing power to prevail. The team said their work was “an important step in understanding the fundamental computational purpose of grid cells in the brain”. The discoverers of grid cells were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2014.


FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

Home&Real Estate Median prices for Houston homes skyrocket by David Garvin


OUSTON - Real estate values are as hot as a Houston summer! And that’s a good thing if you are considering selling your home. Median prices on Houston homes are reaching record highs despite Hurricane Harvey, according to a new report from the Houston Association of Realtors. “We have some fantastic news about our real estate market in Houston; we have rebound since last month. Home sales are up 7%, the median price point from homes is $240,000, and our average sale price has increased to $305,000,” reports HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer. Local realtor Jose Medrano said the market has increased in prices because there was a shortage of homes available after the historic floods. “There are a lot of investors that are coming in and buying up these homes

and fixing them up and flipping them,” Medrano said. Despite Harvey setting back Houstonians who were affected by the floods, Medrano said it’s the perfect time to buy. “The people that actually were affected by it, they’re selling at a lower price, and just looking to buy a home to move in and not have to worry about it again so that is why prices have gone up.” Realtor Burrell-VanWormer urges Houston home shoppers to be patient because it may take a while to find what you’re looking for. “Buyers be patient and make sure that you were pre-approved when you’re out looking for homes with your realtors,” he advises. “We are still in a sellers market right now because of our inventory [but understand] that there is the right home out there for you. It will just require a little more patience in this market.”

Indian architecture laureate Doshi has no plans to slow down country’s polluted cities, Doshi said more must be done for the poor. “In India, whatever you do, it is always less. India is transforming fast and we need to do a large number of things which have to be ecologically sustainable and that would empower the people.” Highlighting the shortage of housing, schools and health centres, Doshi said: “We need to create affordability, sustainability in terms of local culture and affect people’s lives.”

Weaving traditional and modern design {A look at interior design in a Dallas home}


ARK CITIES, DALLAS Armed with paint swatches, designer Denise McGaha first visited Gail and Ron Berlin’s home in Dallas’ Park Cities area for only a color consultation. “The living room color wasn’t working,” she remembers. “It was pink, with a lavender cast.” All five samples she brought, however, clicked, as did personalities, and one thing led to another: a wholehouse tweaking helmed by McGaha. The residence had originally attracted the Berlins—empty nesters with three grown children and eight grandchildren— with its neoclassical architecture, setback siting on the lot and framing with 75-year-old oak trees. However, the couple were seeking a balance between her newfound modern preferences and his longstanding traditional tendencies while creating a backdrop for their collection of fine art and antiques. The home they found had many elaborate elements that just needed to be simplified and streamlined to fit their aesthetic. “There was nothing missing as much as it was a little overdone,” Gail says. - House Details Style: Modern (Interior Design: Denise McGaha, Denise McGaha Interiors) Their trust in McGaha’s vision led to key decisions that pleasantly surprised the couple, producing some outstanding design elements throughout. In the living room, for instance, the elaborate dimensional plaster ceiling originally featured a dark stain, forming a visually heavy canopy. “I was going to take down the whole ceiling,” Gail recalls. “Denise talked us into painting it a lighter shade, in the same color as the walls, because she liked the design and texture.”

Photography: STEPHEN KARLISCH Art drives the palette in a Dallas home that interweaves modern elements with traditional furnishings. wood veneer, creating a rich textural backdrop. Likewise, McGaha planned a salon-style grouping for some of the Berlins’ exquisite traditional paintings in various sizes and themes, all unified by carved gilt frames. The arrangement was an adventure for the clients, who had previously opted for gallery-style displays of their fine art.

Balkrishna Doshi (Photo: Courtesy of VSF)


he 90-year-old told AFP he had no plans of slowing down as he received well-wishers at his home in the western city of Ahmedabad, a day after becoming India’s first winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize. “If I as an architect am not able to do something for my people and provide them with what they need, then I should say my job is incomplete,” said the pioneer of low-cost housing. In a career lasting almost 70 years, Doshi trained with Swiss-Franco icon Le Corbusier and became known for the Aranya Low Cost Housing project, which accommodates 80,000 people with houses and courtyards linked by a maze of pathways in the city of Indore. He also oversaw the School of Architecture in Ahmedabad and the Indian Institute of Management, the country’s top business school in Bangalore. Doshi, who now works mainly as a consultant, mixes modernism with

The Aranya project accommodates “families within a range of poorto-modest incomes” in 6,500 homes ranging from one room to spacious houses. The deposit to buy a home is based on a family’s average income.

Other changes, although less unorthodox, were equally impactful. In the kitchen, McGaha added wood doors to previously all-glass upper cabinets to conceal storage, leaving glass for emphasis on the cabinets near the range. She also painted the island base a soft blush shade, a subtle but effective relief from the all-white cabinetry. Elsewhere—namely in a powder room just off the kitchen as well as in the master bedroom—McGaha artfully integrated wallcoverings for textural interest and pattern. “My design aesthetic involves multiple layers in spaces,” she says, “and I love to start with wallpaper.”

Indian architects hailed the win for Doshi. “This is very good news for Indian architects because he is our godfather. We are very proud,” Alok Ranjan, Jaipur-based professor and member of the Indian Institute of Architects, told AFP. “What stands out about his work is that it is for all strata of society... not only for the elite group but also for the middle and low income groups,” he said. The international Pritzker prize, established by Chicago’s Pritzker family in 1979, bestows laureates with $100,000 along with a bronze medallion. The Pritzker jury said Doshi “constantly demonstrates that all good architecture and urban planning must

Photography: STEPHEN KARLISCH A circa-1800s carousel horse in the family room of a Dallas residence overlooks a Hickory Chair 1911 Collection sofa wearing Perennials fabric from David Sutherland. Nearby, Lee Jofa material covers Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair benches. Modern History’s Midtown cocktail table sits atop a Turkish rug from Renaissance Collection. To complement the ceiling update, McGaha also replaced the room’s original white-marble mantel—detailed with urns, emerald cabochons and gold accents—with an elegant substitute from her Denise McGaha for Materials Marketing collection. “I chose black Nero marble to create balance with the multiple windows in the space and to weight the plasterwork ceiling,” the designer explains.

“We were uncertain it would allow each painting its own authenticity,” Gail remembers. “However, Denise said, ‘Trust me. We’ll hang them, and if you don’t like it we’ll change it.’ ” McGaha laid out the grid in just 20 minutes, the design more than pleasing her clients. “I’d never seen anyone arrange art like that,” the wife says. “When we saw the result, we were captivated.”

Across the foyer and into the dining room, attention turned to the walls. Mirrored fretwork came down in favor of more sedate paneled wainscoting, and the designer added a wallcovering in a charcoal-hued leaf-pattern

McGaha’s idea to hang a 19th-century French gilt mirror on an antiqued mirror pane on a wall in the breakfast area also required some friendly persuasion. “I was reluctant,” Gail admits. However, the clients once again

Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology by Balkrishna Doshi. (Photo: Courtesy of VSF) functionality to produce what he calls a “holistic habitat” that puts India’s army of poor before profit. “My projects have been participatory in nature and relevant to the people for which it was designed,” he told AFP. “It was not like we have land and we just constructed a building like real estate developers do today.” - ‘Godfather’ of design With India’s economy booming and pressure mounting for homes in the

not only unite purpose and structure but must take into account climate, site, technique, and craft, along with a deep understanding and appreciation of the context in the broadest sense”. “Projects must go beyond the functional to connect with the human spirit through poetic and philosophical underpinnings.” The award is the latest accolade bestowed on Doshi, who has also won prizes in France and India. A major draw at lectures, the celebrated architect was the keynote

trusted their designer, whose risktaking paid o . “The change made a huge di erence,” the wife says of the double-mirror feature, which now serves as a dramatic focal point within view of the front entrance. A similarly unorthodox suggestion involved placing a piece of art above the oval tub in the master bathroom. “The rug, seating and art make the space feel more like a bathing room,” McGaha explains. The art installation itself— on a glass wall separating the bath and the shower space—proved challenging. However, through the owners’ company, Berlin Interests—which handled construction on this project post-purchase—the team successfully hung the painting using a special wire- cable system.

speaker at last year’s Asian Congress of Architects. “The hall was packed, bursting at the seams with over 1,200 people just to get a glimpse and hear him,” fellow architect Ranjan recalled.

When it came to furnishings, “Gail wanted classic, clean lines and more architectural pieces that could blend with important antiques in their collection,” McGaha says. Seating throughout, such as the family room sofa in smooth velvet, has simple lines while accommodating heavy use. Even antique pieces seem refreshed and updated in the context of their new modernized surroundings. “The homeowners want guests to feel at ease,” the designer says, noting the couple appreciate quality and detail but find beauty in the understated. The Berlins gained their grandchildren’s offcial stamp of approval after tackling the backyard. Now, with a pool area and landscaping, Gail enjoys filling the home with fresh flower cuttings while “the grandkids frequently enjoy the hot tub,” she says. “That’s just the way it’s supposed to be.” With her home complete and McGaha’s paint swatches led away, Gail is working her way through another set of colors: She has taken up watercolor painting. “I thought I would try to learn, and I have a good time with it,” she says. “Color is mesmerizing.” (--Elaine Markoutsas/LUXESOURCE)

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Week of MAY 18, 2018 21 March to 20 April Figure out easier ways to do what you already do. People may want you to do it for them, too, and they’re ready to be generous. Interact with a lot of people and maybe get involved.

21 April to 20 May Appreciate what is working right, and see who really is on your side. You might be surprised by how many people have your back. You have insights now and can find solutions and options that are overlooked.

21 May to 20 June Have an insight that gives you a firmer foundation and greater happiness and self-confidence when you decide to more fully engage with the world. Entertain and be entertained.

21 June to 22 July Be safe and sensible and still have a great time with the crowd. Time may be short, and you may not get to do everything, but you can try. Be prepared for a burst of popularity. People will find you more attractive no matter how you feel.

23 July to 22 August Create an avenue for advancement that benefits everyone, including you. You have great family support even if it’s unspoken. Indulge your inner child and curiosity a bit more. You can learn a lot now no matter how things turn out.

23 August to 22 Sept Become more grounded and spend more time on practical, pleasant issues. Home and work life should get smoother. No matter what is happening around you, you won’t overlook or underestimate everything that’s going right.

23 September to 22 Oct Without intending it or making elaborate plans, you stand to gain greatly in some material way. Reconcile with an older friend or family member and maybe gain a new mentor. Let your inner child come a little closer to the surface.

23 October to 21 Nov A special someone could think that you’re the answer to all their prayers - or problems. You’ll know who (and which) it is. eel lucky and be smart. You can improve your cash flow and be more in the black now.

22 November to 21 Dec Be at your wisest and most discriminating when choosing when and how to be generous. eliminate some small physical annoyance. The effort will be minor, but the results will look like magic.

22 December to 20 Jan There may be plenty of suggestions and opinions, but now is the time to do what makes you happy. Carve out some quality private time and feel good about what you’re doing and the sacrifices you’re making.

21 January to 19 Feb Solve a domestic problem or revamp your home environment. Spot what change you want to make, or playfully experiment and see instant improvement. Get out and socialize. No gathering is too large.

20 February to 20 Mar Be honest and feel good about how things are going. Enjoy your favorite people and local pleasures. There may be a lot of exotic temptations now, but they will still be there later. Focus on career moves or social interactions.



1. Meat jelly dish

1. Nile reptile

6. *Sierra Nevada country

2. Type of outbuilding

9. Cut the crop

3. Toothy freshwater fish

13. Bake an egg

4. Jordan Spieth’s 3-9

14. Cattle prod

5. Floorboard sounds

15. Notre-Dame sounds 16. Orange type of tea 17. Hula dancer’s necklace 18. Door fasteners 19. *North American Cordillera’s highest peak 21. *Himalayan peak 23. *Type of resort 24. Monetary unit of Xi Jinping’s country 25. Nothing alternative 28. Big rig 30. Bloody Mary juice 35. Byproduct of combing wool 37. Hermes and Apollo 39. Whitman’s famous flower reference 40. Small European freshwater fish 41. “This ____ ____” on a box

6. Tangerine-grapefruit hybrid 7. Sigma Alpha Epsilon 8. Farewell in France 9. ____-view mirror 10. Alleviate 11. *Strictly European mountain range 12. “____, over here!” 15. ____ red, in a chemistry lab 20. City in Belgium 22. Giant pot 24. “Fiddler on the Roof” language, originally 25. *World’s longest mountain system 26. Averse 27. Chinese fruit 29. *____ Blanc 31. One thousandth of a liter, pl.

43. Country dance formation

32. Spy’s cover

44. ____ vs. pathos

33. Argentine dance

46. Swing seat? 47. Long adventure story 48. Japanese warriors’ religion 50. Red Cross supplies 52. Duke of Cambridge to Prince of Wales

34. *____ Ridge, word’s longest underwater range 36. Kings of ____ band 38. “Why not?” 42. Jeopardy 45. “Tide” target 49. Mine deposit

53. Foot curve

51. Pergolas

55. Boiling blood

54. Move like ivy

57. *Highest mountain in Cascade Range 61. *Highest peak in Russia 64. “____ ____ a high note” 65. Increase 67. Shrek and Fiona 69. Deals 70. Just one of #61 Down 71. Annie Oakley’s show 72. What Simon does 73. “Swan Lake” steps 74. Lumberjack’s leftover

56. Cereal killer 57. Cold War enemies 58. Dwarf buffalo 59. Lazily 60. Rejections 61. Unagi, pl. 62. Pakistani language 63. Give an impression 66. *Mauna ___, Hawaii’s highest peak 68. Oreo to milk




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Beat-the-heat tips for summer

Theme: MOUNTAINS AND RANGES from PAGE 22 PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Dudarev Mikhail/

Staying cool in hot weather can be easier with these top tips. Bottom’s Up Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to regulate your body temperature. While it certainly helps to carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go, you don’t have to stick to plain water in order to quench your thirst. Summer is all about fresh fruit and vegetables like cucumber, watermelon, berries and pineapples. Add slices of these juicy summer favorites to a pitcher of water, or simply make a fruit salad or smoothie. Eat Cool Foods Want to keep both your home

and yourself cooler? On the hottest days of summer, skip laboring over a hot stove or opening and closing a blazing oven. Instead, opt for light, cook-free meals. Gazpacho, creative salads, lettuce wraps, summer rolls, hummus and grape leaves are all great options for lunch and dinner, as are sweet or savory yogurt and cottage cheese parfaits for breakfast.

for all your summer water activities. Use the altimeter, barometer, and compass, along with a full-color map display, to explore lakes, rivers and ocean vistas. Before you head out, download apps, such as MySwimPro for swimming, Glassy for surfing and Fishbrain for fishing, to enhance your summer sport activities. Dress Right

Take a Dip Getting cool by spending time in and around water? Before hitting the pool, beach or lake, be sure your tech is designed to handle all your outdoor fun. To get equipped, consider rugged wearable timepieces, like the WSDF20 Pro Trek Smart Outdoor Watch, which is 50-meter water-resistant and a good choice


On sweltering days, sweat less by selecting breathable, natural fibers for outfits and linens. Avoid polyester and other synthetics whenever possible. Loose, flowing garments are ideal choices for beating both heat and humidity. This summer, stay cool with the right gear and habits. (StatePoint).

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FRIDAY, May 18, 2018

Cannes 2018: the best jewelry spotted on the red carpet


he traditional red carpet at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes is all about glamorous gowns, polished hair and makeup, and standout jewelry. This is the time for luxury jewelry firms to decorate the necks, hands and ears of some of the most beautiful women on the planet. Let’s take a look at the spectacular jewelry seen so far at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. (-Relaxnews)

Beautifully coordinated with Léa Seydoux’s dress, Boucheron’s ‘Lierre de Paris’ asymmetric diamond and white gold pendant earrings lit up the red carpet. Cannes, May 8, 2018. (Photo: Loic Venance / AFP)

Women motorcyclists ditch the side saddle in Pakistan Jury president Cate Blanchett wore orchid-shaped earrings from Chopard’s Red Carpet Collection for the first red carpet at the 71st Cannes Film Festival, May 8, 2018. (Photo: Alberto Pizzoli / AFP)

Stamps and nerves: royal wedding news digest


ONDON - With just four days to go before the Windsor Castle wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, doubts about her father’s attendance following a paparazzi scandal have thrown a spanner

monumental effort to make it to the church on time: smashing the record for cycling the entire Pan-American Highway. Dean Stott, 41, was making the


erched proudly on their brand new pink motorcycles, the recruits take to the road, the latest batch of women to demolish boundaries set for them by men in Pakistan. It is not uncommon to see women on motorcycles in Pakistan -- but usually they are sat in the dangerous side-saddle position behind a male driver and, often, several other passengers. A woman straddling a bike to drive it herself is another thing entirely, an image that is still taboo in many parts of the deeply conservative Muslim country, where gender discrimination is routine. But as part of a wave of women’s empowerment movements, the government of Punjab province is running “Women on Wheels”, a campaign that has trained scores of women to ride motorbikes in the last two years while raising awareness of gender-based violence and street harassment. The importance of the issue is underscored by recent studies showing that some 75 percent of Pakistani women do not participate in the labour market, mainly due to a lack of transport. “The aim is to basically empower women for their mobility because economic independence and economic

A handout image obtained from Britain’s Royal Mail shows a stamp depicting an official engagement photograph of Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle. (Photo: HO / Royal Mail / AFP) in the works. Thomas Markle is too unwell and embarrassed to walk his daughter down the aisle on Saturday, according to US celebrity news site, after allegedly staging photos of himself for money. That has not stopped meticulous planning for the nuptials, however. The Royal Mail is printing celebratory stamps and a friend of Harry’s has smashed a cycling record to get to the church on time. Here is a round-up of the latest news: - Stamp of approval The Royal Mail has produced a set of special stamps showing two engagement portraits of Harry and his bride to be. The two pictures used are from the official engagement pictures taken by photographer Alexi Lubomirski at Frogmore House, where the couple’s evening reception will be held. Lubomirski will also take the official wedding pictures. The first class stamp shows the couple sitting together holding hands on the steps. The £1.55 stamp is a more informal monochrome image showing Markle with her arm through Harry’s as they stroll through the grounds. “The couple approved our selection,” said Philip Parker, the Royal Mail’s stamp strategy supremo. “We wanted to use the black-andwhite image, which is the slightly more informal picture, because we felt it gave a nice balance to the two images.” Queen Elizabeth II then gave her formal approval, as she must do for every new stamp design. The stamps go on sale on Saturday. - Bicycle race One of Harry’s mates has made a

journey from the tip of Argentina to Alaska when he got his invite. He had to sacrifice his rest days and press on in order to make it back to Britain for the wedding. The ex-special force soldier completed the 14,000-mile challenge in 99 days, 12 hours and 56 minutes, slashing 17 days off the previous record, finishing on Saturday. - Night in scandal hotel Markle and her mother Doria Ragland are spending the night before the wedding at the Cliveden House Hotel, the place where one of Britain’s biggest-ever sex scandals began. In 1961, John Profumo, then Britain’s war secretary, spotted 19-yearold Christine Keeler swimming naked in an outdoor pool. They had an affair and Profumo was forced to quit following lurid disclosures and claims that she was also fraternising with a Soviet defence attache at the height of the Cold War, triggering fears that Britain’s security was being compromised. - Engagement: party Harry and his new bride will not be going on honeymoon straight away and their first official engagement as a married couple will be a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

“So we are giving 3,000 bikes, we have trained over 3,500 girls in all of Punjab and this is going to go on until we reach a target of around 10,000 plus.” On Sunday the latest batch of dozens of new riders set out to challenge perceptions in Lahore. “We’re becoming... independent,” rider Nageena Waseem said, adding

that their new skills will allow them to do “everything which we want. Otherwise we were dependent on another person.” Activist Nighat Dad said the women were “reclaiming these spaces”, adding that it was a “big big win for women today”. “Today is a good day for us,” agreed another rider, Tallat Shaheen. “The purpose (is) to bring these girls together... (so) that they be independent and can feel confident and can go and work alongside men.” (-AFP)

It’s the size of a grain of rice but could hold the key to many aspects of your life.


t’s the size of a grain of rice but could hold the key to many aspects of your life.

A tiny microchip inserted under the skin can replace the need to carry keys, credit cards and train tickets. That might sound like an Orwellian nightmare to some but in Sweden it is a welcome reality for a growing number who favours convenience over concerns of potential personal data violations. The small implants were first used in 2015 in Sweden -- initially confidentially -- and several other countries. Swedes have gone on to be very active in microchipping, with scant debate about issues surrounding its use, in a country keen on new technology and where the sharing of personal information is held up as a sign of a transparent society. Twenty-eight year-old Ulrika Celsing is one of 3,000 Swedes to have injected a microchip into her hand to try out a new way of life. To enter her workplace, the media agency Mindshare, she simply waves her hand on a small box and types in a code before the doors open. “It was fun to try something new and to see what one could use it for to make life easier in the future,” she told AFP. In the past year, the chip has turned into a kind of electronic handbag and has even replaced her gym card, she said.

“The event will celebrate the Prince of Wales’ patronages and military affiliations as well as others involved in charities supported by the prince,” said Clarence House, Charles’s official residence.

If she wanted to, she could also use it to book train tickets.


empowerment depends on mobility,” Salman Sufi, director general of the Punjab strategic reforms unit, said.

Microchips get under the skin of technophile Swedes

They will attend the bash marking his father Prince Charles’s 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration on Tuesday.

Cadets and emergency services personnel who were first responders at the May 2017 Manchester terror attack will also attend. (-Relaxnews)

It is not uncommon to see women on motorcycles in Pakistan -- but usually they are perched in the dangerous side saddle position behind a male driver. (AFP Photo)

Sweden’s SJ national railway company has won over some 130 users to its microchip reservation service in a year. Conductors scan passengers’ hands after they book tickets online and register them on their chip. - Information sharing Sweden has a track record on the sharing of personal information, which may have helped ease the microchip’s acceptance among the Nordic country’s 10 million-strong population. Citizens have long accepted the sharing of their personal details, reg-

A man implants a chip with a help of a syringe during a chip implant event in Epicenter, a technological hub in Stockholm. (Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP) istered by the social security system, with other administrative bodies, while people can find out each others’ salaries through a quick phone call to the tax authority.

However, for Ben Libberton, a microbiologist working for MAX IV Laboratory in the southern city of Lund which provides X-rays for research, the danger is real.

The implants use Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, also used in credit cards, and are “passive”, which means they hold data that can be read by other devices but cannot read information themselves.

The chip implants could cause “infections or reactions of the immune system”, he warned.

Although still small, they have the capacity to hold train tickets, entry pass codes as well as access certain vending machines and printers, promoters say. - ‘Might need to re-think’ When Celsing’s innovatively minded media company organised an event where employees could get the implants, she followed the crowd. She said she felt nothing but a slight sting when the syringe inserted the chip into her left hand, which she now uses on an almost daily basis and does not fear hacking or possible surveillance. “I don’t think our current technology is enough to get chip hacked,” she says. “But I may think about this again in the future. I could always take it out then,” she adds.

But the biggest risk, he added, was around the data contained in the chip. “At the moment, the data collected and shared by implants is small, but it’s likely that this will increase,” the researcher said. The real question, he added, is what data is collected and who shares it. “If a chip can one day detect a medical problem, who finds out and when?” he asked. Libberton worried that “the more data is stored in a single place as could happen with a chip, the more risk it could be used against us.” - ‘Comfortable with technology’ But Jowan Osterlund, a piercings specialist and self-proclaimed champion of chip implantation, brushes off fears of data misuse and conspiracy theories. He advocates the opposite view, arguing that if we carried all our personal data on us, we would have better control of their use. (-AFP)

Voice of Asia E-paper May 18, 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 May 18, 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...