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FRIDAY, May 2, 2014 Do You Know Health Care Cost in Retirement and IRS 2015 Limits for HSA? Read more on Page 18 Or Call: 713-771-2900.

Vol. 27 No. 18 Friday, May 2, 2014 Published Weekly from Houston 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

Dr. Ramesh Cherivirala supporters host Meet and Greet

14th Annual Baps Charities Health Fair

by Shobana Muratee

S

UGAR LAND – Early voting and its significance was greatly stressed upon by Sugar Land Council Member Harish Jajoo who spoke at the Meet and Greet event held on Sunday, April 27 at the Udipi Indian Restaurant in support of Dr. Ramesh Cherivirala, candidate running for Fort Bend ISD Trustee Position #1. Addressing the attendees, Naren Patel, Director Spirit of Texas Bank and entrepreneur commended Dr. Cherivirala for his courage. He recalled 20 plus years ago how the Indian Ameri-

Dr. Ramesh Cherivirala

The opening ceremony of the BAPS Charities Health fair on Saturday, April 26, 2014

A

L-R: Naren Patel, Counci Member, Harish Jajoo, Dr. Ramesh Cherivirala, Sonal Bhuchar, Dinesh Shah and campaign volunteer. can community had come together for the first time in support of their own candidate Harish Jajoo when he was then running for political office. “There are two places where we need to get into, the Board of Education and the Home Owners Association,” “get engaged in these segments of civic administration,” Patel said.

Council Member Jajoo also spoke in support of Dr. Cherivirala and his candidacy. This race, he said was almost countywide with the exception of Stafford. About the Trustee position, Jajoo said, “They determine rezoning, your taxes, students curriculum,

steady group of people began to flow in by 8:00 am for the 14th annual BAPS Charities Health fair on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford, Texas. One of the organizers, Dr. Keyur Patel, states “it’s amazing to see the multitude of specialists come here and offer their expertise.” Over 100 health care professionals like pediatricians, gynecologists, cardiologists, ophthalmologists, dentists and orthopedics were on hand for examinations and consultations. Saturday’s health fair drew in close to 1500 individuals that took advantage of variety of tests from free physical examinations, dental screenings, vision screenings and some at very nominal costs, such as an echocardiogram or an executive blood analysis. Continued on Page 5

Continued on Page 5

KP George for Fort Bend ISD Trustee Position #5 his greatest goal: coming to the land of opportunity and living the American Dream.

KP George grew up in a tiny village in South India. He began his education learning the local language, walking barefoot to get to school. Even as he did his homework in his straw hut by the light of a kerosene lamp and helped his parents farm before and after school, KP dreamed of achieving

His hard work propelled him out of the poverty of his hometown. He arrived in the U.S. in 1993 to work for a financial firm, and has since earned multiple financial certifications and licenses. KP currently owns and manages an independent financial planning practice with 6 other advisors.

Academies’ Booster Club in 2013, and currently serves as its president. He has also served local Indo-American groups at high levels, worked with the Sugar Land Rotary Club, and the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, and is also currently a member of the FBISD Parents Advisory Team and State Elections Policy & Affairs Team for TX Rep Rick Miller.

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OP-ED/COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS

VOICE OF ASIA 2

by Joe Mathews

L

ate in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 ďŹ lm Pulp Fiction, Marsellus Wallace — a criminal boss played by Ving Rhames — banishes prizeďŹ ghter Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) from Southern California. “You lost all your L.A. privileges,â€? Rhames says with lethal menace, and Willis leaves the Southland on his motorcycle.

   Publisher: Associate Publisher: Editor-in-Chief: Austin Correspondent: Print & Media Marketing: Marketing: Production: Office Manager:

Koshy Thomas Sherly Philip Shobana Muratee Sherine Thomas Jacob David Susan Pothanikat AR Vadlamani Priyan Mathew

If only it were that easy to kick Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling out of L.A. But, alas, Tarantino’s ďŹ lm is pure fantasy. There is simply no person, institution, or network in today’s Los Angeles with the clout to force powerful Angelenos to repent their sins — much less drive them out of town.

Columnists: Legal: Richard M. Alderman Legal: Sharlene Sharmila Richards Legal: Yasmin Kutty Medical: Sabina K. Cherian, MD Medical: Kesavan Shan, MD Research: Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Health Insurance: Sudhir Mathuria Astrology: Hardik Vyas

VoiceofAsiaOnline.com Online Editor:

The racism heard on the leaked tape of Sterling and his girlfriend may be news around the country, but Sterling’s discrimination against renters in his apartment buildings, and his anti-black, anti-Mexican and misogynist views, have been well-known facts of Los Angeles life for 30 years. Despite that, no one has sought to dislodge Sterling from his role as owner of a major sports franchise. And with his bigotry suddenly a national story, Sterling has become an outrageous example of the inability of L.A. to police itself, and its elite.

Shobana Muratee

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

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The consequences Sterling faces now all come from forces outside L.A.: from the commissioner of the National Basketball Association (who suspended him for life on Tuesday), from Sterling’s fellow team owners (who could force him to sell), and from corporations that sponsor pro basketball (and have disassociated themselves from the Clippers).

ONLINE .COM voiceofasiaonline.com Voice of Asia (USPS 010-215) (ISSN#10705058) is published every Friday (for a subscription rate of $30 per year) by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713774-5143. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Voice of Asia, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

Sterling banned by NBA, but never from L.A.: Column The NBA gave him the boot, but it will take more for his city to disown him. intervention. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca mismanaged the jail for years, but only resigned earlier this year after the federal government began investigating. When Dodgers owner Frank McCourt was sabotaging the team, it took the commissioner of baseball, in Milwaukee, to force the team’s sale. In the past generation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the school district’s special education program, and the Los Angeles Police Department have all required forms of federal receivership. When there is no outside intervention, deďŹ ance is usually a winning strategy. Consider Brian D’Arcy, head of the biggest union of L.A. Department of Water and Power (DWP) employees. For months, he has refused demands from city leaders and the media to turn over ďŹ nancial documents on two nonproďŹ ts that received $40 million from ratepayers — even as an elite commission on which he serves issued a report complaining about a lack of accountability in L.A. DeďŹ ance, it seems, is a close cousin of shamelessness. In Sterling’s case, it’s unclear whether other powerful Angelenos would have moved against him even if they could. For one thing, he’s got the kind of homegrown personal narrative — poor kid from the Eastside (Boyle Heights) who becomes a Westside titan (real estate) — that buys plenty of second chances here. And

Sterling bought protection by donating money to people and organizations across all lines of geography, cause, and ethnicity — thus incentivizing Los Angeles to ignore his racism. Among those who looked the other way was the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, which was about to give him a second lifetime achievement award when the recent news broke.

tween Sterling, 80, and his girlfriend, 31 — who says romance is dead? — was offensive and nonsensical. But Sterling did say one thing that hit close to home. When his girlfriend asked why he wouldn’t oppose racism, Sterling said: “We don’t evaluate what’s right and wrong. We live in a society. We live in a culture. We have to live within that culture.�

This particular moment exposes the underbelly of Southern California’s open culture. Weak institutions and leaders free people here to do as they please. But when someone powerful abuses this freedom to damage Los Angeles and its reputation, there’s no one able and willing to protect us.

For all the criticism of Sterling you hear now, he is undeniably the product of Los Angeles culture. He thrived here. Now, he deďŹ nes us.

The taped conversation be-

Joe Mathews writes the Connecting California column for Zocalo Public Square. Source: USA TODAY

Obituary India Culture Center Houston (ICC) Board of Directors and Board of Trustees, mourn the demise of Mr Dewan Ahmed, CPA.

Mr Ahmed had passionately and professionally served as CPA for ICC for over 25 years till 2003.

May his departed soul rest in peace and may the Almighty give strength to his family to cope this loss.

Thank goodness for these outsiders, because who in his home town would have had the juice to force him to sell the team? Prominent business leaders? L.A. corporate types are often more engaged globally than locally. City political leaders? L.A.’s charter keeps mayors and city council members from having too much power. (Ironically, the mayor of Sacramento, former pro basketball star Kevin Johnson, had more of a role than L.A.’s own mayor since he represented the players’ union on the Sterling matter.) The town’s newspapers or TV stations? They’ve mostly been shrinking in reach, ambition and staff.

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 conďŹ rmation 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. - The Publisher

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C OMMUNITY VOICE OF ASIA

VOICE OF ASIA 3

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

Second Front Page

Friday, May 2, 2014

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

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IMAGH launches South Asian Youth Alliance (SAYA)

Latafath Hussain, President of IMAGH, (4th from left) with the SAYA members and advisors also seen is Koshy Thomas (6th from left).

by Hafeeza Shaik

He said that he was grateful that the young people had taken a break from their studies for ongoing Finals to attend this event. Mr. Hussain was followed by an outstanding South Asian comedian, Dr. Sai Ranade. He conveyed a subtle message to the audience addressing the needs and cultural issues South Asians face in the Western world through his comedy and shared his journey of personal struggles after coming to America.

A

fter months of planning and anticipation, the South Asian Youth Alliance (SAYA) was launched on April 27th 2014 at the Turkish Raindrop Center. SAYA is the second organization under the Indian Muslims Association of Greater Houston (IMAGH) banner. (The first organization is Club 65, an association for Seniors in the community). The organization focuses on engaging young adults, between the ages of 16 and 25 to promote social, educational, and cultural responsibilities by becoming more involved in the community. It is the first organization run FOR and BY the young adults of the South Asian community. The event began with Mr. Latafath Hussain, President of IMAGH, welcoming the distinguished members of the community and to the many young adults to an informative and exciting afternoon.

The mission of SAYA was introduced by two outstanding young leaders, Irfana Hussain and Mohammed A. Khan, who have been collectively working with a dedicated team for several months. This team consists of Khushboo Bansal, Yan Digilov, Adeelah Nasser, Hafeeza Shaik, Joel Kurien, and Zain Hussain along with the Chairman, Dr. Moyeen Haque. The presentation was very informative and discussed the various activities that the organization has planned. The

main goal of SAYA is to create an interactive group of young adults of South Asian heritage to connect to similar individuals who have reached the pinnacle of success in the community. Ms. Hussain and Mr. Khan discussed the proposed activities which include a mentorship program, a networking program and a multimedia storytelling project. Mr. Rahil Jafry, a South Asian local entrepreneur presented a much anticipated speech which motivated everyone in the room to never stop learning and growing. He shared stories of his journey from Pakistan to Houston. He also talked about his illustrious elder brother Mr. Adil Jafry and how after losing everything to the Enron debacle, they went on to create a multi-million dollar company, TARA energy. He gave credit to the South Asian community, which believed in them, and the network of friends and family, who contributed

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with their money and advice. He expressed his gratitude to the community leaders, his teachers and the various mentors who helped them along the way. He also shared various business principles and suggested the most important lesson he learned was to never stop learning. “You must learn to learn, unlearn, and relearn.” After Rahil Jafri’s speech, the crowd was split into two groups: the young adults broke into a discussion group to talk more about SAYA’s objectives while the adults had a treat listening to Mr. Biki Mohindra. Col. Raj Bhalla, a Board of Advisor member of IMAGH, introduced Mr. Mohindra. Mr. Mohindra spoke about the challenges the young people face growing up in this country, and how we as parents, can help them meet those challenges and help them be-

come great leaders. Dr. Moyeen Haque, summed up the meeting and explained that SAYA was created to help the young adults of the South Asian community to connect back to their heritage and cultural roots as well as grow and succeed in their careers. The organization is there to help and reach out to every individual who would like to benefit from this group. If someone was unable to attend this great event and/or wants to join, then the next meeting is on May 17th at 11am at Platform Houston in Rice Village. Please do send an RSVP as free lunch will be served. For more information, please call Latafath Hussain at 713-269-6171 or Email: saya@imagh.org or find us on Facebook: www.facebook. com/SAYouthAlliance

Read this report and more community stories at: www.VoiceofAsiaOnline.com

Members and Volunteers of SAYA at the registration on April 27, 2014


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 4

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

The People’s Lawyer www.peopleslawyer.net Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

“Upskirting” is illegal in Texas Q. I heard that the Massachusetts’s Supreme Court said taking a video under the skirt of a woman is not illegal. I don’t understand how a court can say this is legal. Is it legal in Texas? A. First, it is important to understand what the Massachusetts’s court said, and did not say. The court was not asked to simply rule whether the practice of “upskirting” is legal. The court was asked whether a state law intended to prohibit “Peeping Tom” voyeurism of completely or partially undressed people also applied to upskirting. The court held that the clear language of the statute did not apply to upskirting, and that the Peeping Tom statute, which required a completely or partially undressed person, was not violated. My opinion is that the Massachusetts’s legislature will quickly enact a new law that covers the practice of upskirting. Texas, on the other hand, has an improper photography statute that does apply to upskirting. The issues that arose in Massachusetts would not arise in Texas. Q. In 2006, my ex-husband was ordered to pay child support. He has continued to pay on time. Since that time, however, he has changed jobs and is making much more money. Shouldn’t he be paying me more for support? A. He probably should be paying you more, but until you get the order modified, he has the legal right to keep paying as originally ordered. Either party may go back to court to have a child support order modified whenever there is a substantial change in circumstances. A new job with a higher salary should entitle you to a larger payment. I recommend you speak with a family law attorney about modifying the order. Q. I rent an extra room in my home on a month-to-month basis. If a tenant does not pay his rent, am I allowed to lock him out of the house? A. Even though you are renting just one room, the law considers you a landlord and you are subject to the same laws as other residential landlords. Under the law, a landlord is not allowed to simply lock out a tenant who does not pay rent. A landlord may change the locks on a tenant’s door, however, the landlord must make a key available for the tenant to come and go, 24 hours a day. In other words, you cannot lock out your tenant. If your tenant will not move out voluntarily, you will have to file an eviction proceeding in justice court to have him evicted.

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Q. I am getting divorced. My husband has agrees to keep the house and make all the payments. What do I do to get my name taken off of the mortgage? A. You cannot just have your name taken off of the mortgage. The divorce is between you and your husband. The mortgage company is not a part of your divorce and is not bound by whatever you and your husband agree to. The only way to have your name removed is for the mortgage company to agree to remove it, or have your husband refinance the property in his name alone. Q. I owe a student loan from more than ten years ago. They now are telling me that if I don’t pay they will garnish my wages. How long do they have to collect? I thought there was no wage garnishment in Texas. A. Unfortunately for you, there are basically are no time limits within which government backed student loans must be collected. Even though the debt is ten years old, it may still be collected. Additionally, although wage garnishment is generally prohibited in Texas, wage garnishment for student loans is based on federal law that pre-empts Texas law. In other words, if you don’t pay, your wages will be garnished. Under the law you should be given an opportunity to make arrangements to pay before wage garnishment is used. I suggest you take advantage of this opportunity. Do you want to know more about your legal rights? Check out my website, www.peopleslawyer.net

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COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 5

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

14th Annual Baps Charities Health Fair Houston TCA Ugadhi Celebrations

– A Phenomenal Success

Over 1500 participants took advantage of multitude of test and screenings at the health fair Continued from Page 1 With all the tests that were offered, a one-on-one review was also made by each specialist. BAPS Medical Services member Dr. Jay Chavda says, “Taking all these tests mean nothing if the person does not know what to do next. The test is the ďŹ rst step for a healthier living and the consultation directs them for their future.â€? Along with the tests, visitors were able to participate in interactive health awareness seminars. Dr. Nalini Dave treated the audience with healthy and tasty smoothies using fruits and vegetables without any artiďŹ cial ingredients. Dr. Dave comments, “Integrative healthcare is a new and fast-evolving way of modern medical practice. It strives to strike a balance in the elements of life in order to achieve good health.â€? Other seminars such as cancer prevention, heart disease risk factors and yoga were presented to the visitors. BAPS Charities health fair was a great experience for each visitor from receiving

routine health checkups to educational seminars. BAPS Charities believes in striving to keep healthy individuals, families and communities. Texas Medical Association, president Dr. Stephen Brotherton said, “The scale of this health fair is tremendous and the doctors volunteering their Saturday is commendable.� Along with Dr. Brotherton other guest that were present at the health fair was Honorable Judge Robert Herbert of Fort Bend County, Dr. Elizabeth Torres, Harris County Medical Society President, Erin Asprec, CEO of Memorial Hermann SE, Monzer Hourani of Medistar, Dr. Michael Lyons, CEO of Bay Area Regional Medical Center and many others. In 2013, BAPS Charities organized 40 such events throughout North America. In total, 1,720 health care professionals from local communities treated nearly 12,000 participants across the nation. Throughout the year, BAPS Charities hosts medical fairs, walkathons, education and career development seminars, disaster relief operations, blood drives and much more.

Patel

About BAPS Charities: BAPS Charities is a 501(c) (3) registered nonproďŹ t international charity organization committed to sincerely serving the world by caring for individuals, families, and communities. It is afďŹ liated with BAPS as an independent charity and social services arm. The 55,000 BAPS volunteers networked in over 9,090 centers around the world provide over 12 million volunteer-hours of service annually. Among social service charities, BAPS Charities is a wellrespected and trusted name. It has amassed over 50 years of ďŹ rsthand experience in initiating, managing, and sustaining 160 humanitarian operations throughout the world in such diverse ďŹ elds as: medical services, environmental services, community services, tribal services, and disaster relief services. For additional information on BAPS Charities and its international and local philanthropic activities, please visit www. bapscharities.org

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TCA President Maruthi Reddy introduces his EC members: General Secretary, Treasurer, Mallikarjuna Rao Gattamneni,Cultural Secretaries, Jyothi Pakeru and Prasad Maragani,Web & Communications Secretary, Suman Mangu, Literary Coordinator, Pallavi Chilappagari, and Past President Ramesh Akarapu, Trustees Ram Cheruvu, Venkat Veerisetty, Durga Prasad Seloj and Government Agent, Kishore Dannapaneni not in any order. (not all are in the picture).

H

oustonTelugu Cultural Association (HTCA) celebrated “Ugadiâ€? (Telugu New Year) festival in a grand style on April 12th, 2014 at Sri Meenakshi Temple hall. It was a phenomenal program where more than 1300 people attended. Ugadhi event started at 3:30pm and went till 12 midnight with back to back cultural programs, dances, singing, and a grand musical concert by Tollywood playback singer Revanth and Paadutha Thiyaga fames Manisha Eerabathini & Adarsh Menon. There was a huge support from Telugu national organizations and local businesses set up their exhibits/ stalls at the event. NATA, ATA and Sri Meenakshi Temple have served as Grand Sponsors of the event. Other sponsors include New York Life, MathWizard, Mayuri Indian Restaurant, Abhiruchi Indian Restaurant and Shankara Eye Foundation. HTCA President, Maruthi Reddy invited all the sponsors on to the stage during the program, and recognized and thanked them for their continued support. The venue was decorated with grace and artistry with “Ganeshâ€? idol welcoming the Telugu Houstonians. TCA Executive Committee and TCA volunteers have worked hard to make the venue beautifully decorated reecting the Indian traditional colors and atmosphere. The background displays on the stage as backdrops during the cultural programs have created an elegant and dynamic atmosphere. Suman Mangu ensured the participants cultural programs reporting in the scheduled order. MallikArjun Ghattamneni and TCA volunteers ensured the smooth registration process at front desk. The highlights of the program are as follows. Houston TCA Ugadhi event started off with Deepa Prajwalanam by TCA Executive Committee followed by prayer song by Suman Mangu. As part of the main celebrations,

over 200 children participated to showcase their talent in classical, folk/ ďŹ lm singing and dance. The classical dances provided an exciting start to the great evening. Prasad Maragani and Jyothi Pakeru anchored the cultural events until the dinner. TCA President Maruthi Reddy thanked all sponsors and introduced 2014 TCA Executive committee members and trustees to community: Maruthi Reddy highlighted the vision for 2014 and new services added into TCA arena to provide services to Houston Telugu people: - Online TCA membership database - TCA One Call Service: Please contact TCA President (Maruthi Reddy at 832-2406749) if any emergency assistance needed - TCA Youth Wing: Encourage youth in the areas of their interest - TCA Matrimony Services: Highly conďŹ dential database will be maintained, please contact Mallik“Arjunâ€? Ghattamneni or Raj Rentala to register your details. Volunteers can contact Raj Rentala or Maruthi Reddy to be part of working teams of new services Scholarships to 3 students during summer TCA President Maruthi Reddy and TCA Executive Committee felicitated the most distinguished personnel in Houston to memorize their great achievements. A most exciting TCA Theme Song was released; 2014 TCA Executive committee members and trustees requested Vanguri Chitten Raju garu and Ram Cheruvu garu to release the “Houston TCA Theme Songâ€? to Telugu community. TCA theme song was dedicated to every Telugu person in Houston. Upon hearing the theme song; Houston TCA Executive committee members and trustees

thanked SP Balu garu, Bhuvana Chandra garu and Parthasarathy garu for the dedicated great service offered in ďŹ nalizing the song work in record time of 8 days. This is the respect Houston Telugu people earned with celebrities due to their affection and warm heart offered during when they visited us before. Maruthi Reddy thanked Ram Cheruvu for assisting with the concept of co-ordination and presented a TCA memento and thanked Vanguri Chitten Raju for the assistance provided with the song script. It was echoed by all that the TCA theme song will stay in the hearts of Houston Telugu people forever. A musical night with Revanth rocked the stage with favorite numbers and then audience was so excited and asked Revanth to sing their favorite songs and kids dancing crazy on stage. At one point, Revanth was surrounded by kids on stage and the hall was full of Antyakshari pearticipants and Revanth singing the songs for them. At this juncture, TCA President Maruthi Reddy thanked Revanth for the great show and recognized the support being received from AndhraMirchi and Radio Hangama radios and requested Prasad Kalva and Raj Rentala to present a TCA Memento to Revanth. Revanth continued with some more songs of favorite numbers requested by audience. Adarsh, Manisha, Suman Mangu and Houston Paaduthaa Thiyagaa 9th series Houston selectants sang duets and energetic songs. The time at this event was past mid night; still the people were having energy to stay and enjoy. TCA President Maruthi Reddy thanked Adarsh and Manish for the great show and recognized the support being received from TV9 and 6TV and requested Damodhara Reddy and Prasad Maragani to present a TCA Memento to Adarsh and Manisha. The Houston TCA Ugadhi celebrations concluded at 12:20 AM. By HTCA Exe. Committee.

Dr. Ramesh Cherivirala supporters..... Continued from Page 1 books etc.� Jajoo mention how he had watched Dr. Cherivirala ‘racing from one event to another’ meeting people, and said that he admired his energy and felt that he deserved all the support he can get. Stressing on early voting Jajoo said, “Most elections are decided on early votes,� and he couldn’t have put it better when he added, “Bad leaders are elected by good people who don’t vote.� Sonal Bhuchar, former President Fort Bend ISD gave some statistics to enlighten the voters on the importance of the Fort Bend ISD Trustee position. With a budget of half a billion dollars per year and 70,000 students and 73schools, it’s a really big job!� Fort bend county stretches to 171 sq. miles that is FBISD she said and there is no way you can he can reach and every corner. “Slates are not good,� she said, “Remember this is a non-partisan election and you don’t have to be a Democrat or a Republican, but just a voter.� “FBISD has 600 homeless children in their schools, which is hard to believe,� Bhuchar informed. “Ramesh has done a remarkable job in getting the

word out there. One other reminder was, “Don’t just call your Indian neighbors and friends call anybody among your acquaintances,� she said. Shah Companies CEO Dinesh Shah also spoke on the occasion encouraging members to vote for Dr. Cherivirala. “We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go,� Dr. Cherivirala, said as he thanked the guests for coming. He mentioned that the Indian Americans are known for supporting political candidates with their contributions but he said, “They know that we do not vote. I say this because there are 200,000 voters in FBISD and the maximum votes cast in an election is 8,000 (4%) and out of this 300 are IndoAmericans,� he pointed out. “We are doing everything but exercising our rights,� which is to vote he said. Dr. Cherivirala also requested the members to give him the names of people that they are contacting so he can tell from the list provided to him whether they have voted or not. This would help send a reminder to them asking them to cast their vote. In conclusion, he reinforced the fact that it was a non-partisan election and not ‘slate’ election. He expressed that it would be risky to

put the future of our children in the hands of one group of people ‘that think alike,’ he said. He later handed out information on the locations for early voting which is also available on his website www. rameshforfbisd.com Dr. Cherivirala is a partner at New York Life Insurance Company in its Sugar Land ofďŹ ce. As a partner his responsibilities include hiring, developing and supervising insurance agents and ďŹ nancial professionals. Dr. Cherivirala is an 11 year resident of Sugar Land. He is married with two children in Fort Bend schools. Cherivirala has been married for 20 years to his wife Anuradha. Dr. Cherivirala’s father is a retired teacher and his wife taught at HISD and FBISD as substitute teacher. Ramesh Cherivirala served in PTO organizations at Rita Drabek Elementary and Quail Valley Middle Schools as Treasurer and parliamentarian. He is the founding President of Dulles High School Math and Science Academy Booster Club and served the organization for two years. He has also helped other high schools to start their booster clubs. For details visit rameshforfbisd.com

www.


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 6

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

Chitram - A Fundraiser for the Hindu Temple of the Woodlands EYS program by Suveena Guglani Forty-six singers, 48 dancers, one stage. For over 1200 attendees at University of Houston’s Cullen Performance Hallon Saturday, April 26, 2014, CHITRAM was a journey into the richness and grandeur of everything that is India. Kanniks Kannikeswaran, once again managed to hold Houston spellbound as he captured the essence of Indian art and culture showcased with a variety of dance forms and the oldest dance form of all – Yoga. Leading dance schools and singing enthusiasts came together in a multimedia mega production simply titled Chitram – A portrait of India. CHITRAM is a production of Kanniks Kannikeswaran, noted composer, music educator and writer of with several stage productions to his credit. “The Magical Music Man from Madras,” as he is called is a pioneer of the Indian American choral movement and had Houston audiences mesmerized with his spectacular Shanti A Journey of Peace a few years ago. CHITRAM tells the story of Indian culture through styles of traditional dance and various other art forms, including Kanniks’ mesmerizing choral compositions. Artists from all over the city joined hands to take part in a production unlike any other. The choir alone comprised of 46 people and the dancers from various dance forms captivated the audience with the blend of the choral and visual excellence. The costumes, lighting, as well as the harmonious notes of the orchestra, all blended in perfectly as the rich culture began to unfold. The evening began with a soulful invocation rendered beautifully by Houston’s own songbird Mahalaxmi Krishnan. This was followed by the folk sounds of Indian dance as the Bihu Japi group, Mizoram dancers and Dandiya dancers tapped their way to the delight of the audiences. Following this was a serenely powerful depiction of Yoga set to the spiritually uplifiting score of Kanniks – “Chaitanyam”. The synchronized Yoga team was a powerful backdrop to the advanced Yogasanas showcased by Yogacharya Shriram Sarvotham.

Sonal Bhuchar introducing the Dr. Peter Han (3rd from left) a pioneer of the Venture program at HTW; Kanniks Kannikeswaran for his part in collaborating with HTW and training the choir for CHITRAM, Dr. Shriram Sarvotham for his part in the Yoga training for the show and Sunil Gopalakrishnan for the ongoing scripture classes; Photos by Navin Mediwala.

A

A shared love for beautiful Indian wear made Ekta and Yasmin join hands and start EKYAS – which offers trendy yet ethnic wear without a fancy price tag. Each piece is unique and designed by a well-known designer from Mumbai who refuses to compromise on com-

It is no mean feat to bring 48 dancers from leading Indian dance schools in Houston as well as 46 singers together onto one stage in such a grand manner, but Kanniks has managed to do so once again. Said choir team captain, Bhagyashree Dhavale that this was a “spiritually uplifting journey that would forever stay with her”. Emcee Sonal Bhuchar capably handled the introductions and gave a brief background of Chitram. Counsel General of India P. Harish said about Chitram and Kanniks: “ We have seen several cultural programs but none that matches the energy and positive vibes about India. It was better than

fort, cut, style and quality. Apart from gorgeous casualsto-party wear apparel, Voga Events also aims to make the shopping experience as delightful as possible. 12 select vendors will also be showcasing their wares such as costume jewelry by Tayashe Jewels, sarees, melt in your mouth chocolates, herbal beauty and health products, designer perfumes and much more. So drop by at the Sweetwater Country Club on May 3rd and indulge yourself! You’ll be glad you did.

Fort Bend Lawyers Care “Justice for All” Luncheon Featuring “Mattress Mack”

F

ort Bend Lawyers CARE (FBLC) is proud to announce its annual “Justice for All” (JFA) Luncheon honoring its dedicated volunteer lawyers, non-lawyer volunteers, sponsors, donors and strategic partners for their hard work, time and resources. FBLC provides civil legal aid and advocacy to low-income Fort Bend County residents, families, veterans and their spouses. The 2014 JFA Luncheon will be chaired by Jacqueline Baly. Sponsorship opportunities range from $750 to $5,000. This year’s generous presenting sponsor is once again The West Law Firm. Houston’s own Jim McIngvale of Gallery Furniture will be FBLC’s honored guest speaker. Jim’s personal story of building his business from the ground up is both interest-

community through volunteering.

Next, Odissi and Classical folk mesmerized the audiences to a mellifluous composition of nine Ragas. Kathak, a northern Indian dance form, was beautifully blended into the show depicting the assimilation of dance forms from various cultures, proving that India is truly a rich blend of many diverse cultures. The evening concluded with the Dance of Life-Thillana in the Bharata Natyam dance form as trained dancers brought Kanniks mellifluous compositions to life. Of particular note was the beautiful voice of Vidita Kanniks that added the soul to the compositions of Kanniks.

VOGA Events to hold Spring Bazaar at Sweetwater Country Club, Sugar Land fter an extremely successful launch at the Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake, Voga Events is hosting yet another exhibition in Sugarland at the Sweetwater Country Club on May 3rd.

Vidita Kanniks

ing and inspiring. The work that he does in Houston and the surrounding areas with charitable organizations is astounding. Proceeds from the “Justice for All” luncheon enable FBLC to fulfill its mission of serving the less fortunate citizens of our county with their legal needs. When: Tuesday, May 13th, 11:30 a.m. Where: Sweetwater Country Club Additional Information: For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tasha Hernandez at (281)239-0015 or send an email to tasha@fortbendlawyerscare. org. For more information on Fort Bend Lawyers CARE please visit www.fortbendlawyerscare.org.

Dr. Shriram Sarvotham showcasing yoga in a dance form. any professionally done shows. There should be more shows like this”. Chitram was a fundraiser for the Hindu Temple of the Woodlands – EYS program. HTWEYS is a comprehensive initiative to strengthen young minds through education and provide leadership training to youth and outreach to the surrounding community by the temple

members. The EYS program envisages a center which will have a Montessori School and a Sunday school where Hindu values, heritage and culture will be emphasized as well as ongoing classes for adults in Hindu philosophy and scriptures. According to Dr. Urmil Shukla, spokesperson for EYS, there is an opportunity and need to go beyond ritual worship and festival celebrations. We need to

strengthen the character of our youth; we have to make them proud, confident and contributing American Hindus. HTW-EYS already has a youth club which has a venture program to foster creativity and frequently holds day camps to develop faith and conviction in growing up Hindu in America. It also inculcates the idea of service and giving back to the

The S in EYS stands for service, said Shukla. Members take part in the clean our streets program, volunteer at senior care centers. A primary care free clinic is also in the works. These are lofty ideals, Shukla allowed, but attainable with cooperation of members who share in the vision. Also honored that night for their dedicated service to the EYS program, were four individuals who were recognized as faculty. They were Dr. Peter Han – a pioneer of the Venture program at HTW; Sunil Gopalakrishnan for the ongoing scripture classes; Kanniks Kannikeswaran for his part in collaborating with HTW and training the choir for CHITRAM as well as Dr. Shriram Sarvotham for his part in the Yoga training for the show. The evening left the audience with a sense of completion, yet wanting more. We look forward to Kanniks bringing many such shows to Houston. For more information about the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands and its activities, please visit www. woodlandshindutemple.org


DIASPORA

VOICE OF ASIA 7

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

Indian-Americans form 3rd largest Asian population in US WASHINGTON: (PTI) Indian-Americans numbering 3.34 million are the third largest Asian community in the US, after people from China and the Philippines, a report said. The Indian-American population shot up 76 per cent in the first 12 years of the 21st century, a report on demographics of the Asian-American population released by the Center for American Progress said. While the Chinese-Americans form the largest group of AsianAmerican population with 4.1 million (22 per cent), FilipinoAmericans are placed second with 3.59 million (19 per cent) followed by Indian-Americans with 3.34 million (18 per cent). Indian-Americans grew 76 per cent from 2000 to 2012, compared to Filipino-Americans who expanded by 52 per cent in the corresponding period. The top six groups - Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese - account for 85 per cent of all AsianAmerican residents. Japanese-Americans -- who were once in the top two AsianAmerican communities -- have seen a decline in population share. They form the smallest of the top six groups. “While this shows a fair amount of national origin concentration, it nevertheless represents a decline from 89 per cent for these top six groups in 2000, as smaller Asian Ameri-

can groups have grown disproportionately in the last decade,” the report said. As many as 56 per cent of the Asian-American population lives in the top five states of California, New York, Texas, New Jersey, and Hawaii. The largest concentration of Indian-Americans is in three States - California (19 per cent), New York (12 per cent) and New Jersey (10 per cent). Hindus (51 per cent) are in majority among Indian-American, followed by Christians (18 per cent), Muslims (10 per cent), Sikhs (5 per cent), Jains (2 per cent) and Buddhists (1 per cent). Some smaller groups such as Bangladeshi-Americans are growing at an exceptional rate -- 177 per cent between 2000 and 2010. If this rate is maintained, it will have a large impact on the future diversity of the Asian-American community, the report, by Karthick Ramakrishnan and Farah Ahmad, said. “Indeed, we might even see new forms of detailed origin identification. For example, it is possible that, as these South Asian populations grow and settle longer in the United States, we might see a new consolidated subgrouping of South Asians that is used fairly commonly among second-generation immigrants on many college campuses and increasingly among social service organisations,” the report said.

ONLINE .COM voiceofasiaonline.com


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 8

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

BITSAA International rings the opening bell at NASDQ

BITSIANs ring opening bell on the floor of NASDQ. (Photo:Courtesy of NASDQ. © Copyright 2013, “The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc”.)

B

ITSAA International, a global alumni association of Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences (BITS), Pilani, was invited by NASDQ, New York to ring the opening bell, a unique honor bestowed on any Indian educational institution, as a curtain raiser to it’s Golden Jubiliee celebrations held in Hyderabad. “The NASDQ opening bell ceremony is a wonderful recognition of the growing impact that alumni of India’s top Universities and BITS Pilani in particular are having on America as the leading innovators and job creators of tomorrow.” said Mr. Raju Reddy, Chairman, BITSAA, Advisor to Chairman, Hitachi ITSC global business. Distinguished BITS graduates (known as BITSians) who attended the ceremony were: Raju Reddy, Chairman of BITSAA International and Advisor to Hitachi ITSC global business, Prof. S.P. Kothari, Deputy Dean and the Gordon Y Billard, Professor of Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Prem Jain, co-founder of Insieme Networks, Atul Bhatnagar,

and largest industry-university partnerships. It has the distinction of being the only Indian institution to operate an off shore campus in Dubai, in addition to its three campuses in India, at Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad. The institute is one of the most selective in the world with less than 1.5% admission rate, administered through an online exam called BITSAT. For more information, visit www.bits-pilani.ac.in. About one fourth of the institute’s world wide alumni of 50,000 have come and settled in USA and several of them have established highly successful technology companies in Silicon Valley and many others became Senior Executives of multi-national companies in America. In recognition of their achievements, NASDQ has accorded BITSAA International the honor to ring the opening bell, a unique recognition rarely bestowed on an Indian alumni association. During the Golden Jubililee celebrations of BITS Pilani, a one- Million Dollar check (see photo) was presented by BIT-

BITSAA International presented One Million Dollar check to BITS PIlani at the BITS Global Conference held in Hyderabad,India.

BITSIANS in Times Square,N.Y. (Photo:Courtesy of NASDQ. © Copyright 2013, “The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc”.)

CEO of Cambium Networks, Preetish Nijhawan, co-founder of Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM), , Viggy Mokkarala, Executive Vice President, Envestnet, Inc. (NYSE:ENV), Nasir Memon, Professor and Department Chairman, Computer Sciences and Engineering, NYU, Shashikant Khandelwal, cofounder and CTO of TheFind, and 40 other BITS alumni spanning the fields of health care,academia and finance, BITS,Pilani which was founded 50 years ago in association with Ford Foundation and MIT by late G.D.Birla, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi in India’s freedom struggle, has become a premiere private institute of Technology in India offering quality education with world-class curriculum

SAA International to BITS Pilani. This money will support ongoing projects like: enhancing the quality of education (Embryo, OLAB), promoting entrepreneurship (NVC, BITS Spark, BITS2Startup), enhancing rural education and employability (Atmanirbhara), networking the campuses (BITSConnect, BITSConnect2.0) and supporting professional development of alumni & students (BITS2MSPHD,BITS2IAS, BITS2BSCHOOL, BITSAA Miles). For details of these projects, contact Kalyan Krishnamani, VP, Communications,kalyan@ bitsaa.org, tel.+1 408 658 9276. For further information about BITSAA International, Houston Chapter. call Mr. Krishna Vavilala,Tel. 713795-5169.

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COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 10

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FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

Studio Mudra School of Dance hosts 2014 Annual School Recital

T

he Studio Mudra School of Dance held its 2014 Annual School Recital at the Jewish Community Center Kaplan Theatre on April 19, 2014. The hallmark of the program was a dance drama coined “Dashavatara” by Guru Rashmi Shashi and her senior students. This beautifully choreographed dance drama depicted the ten avataras of Lord Vishnu taken in different yugas, portraying the destruction of evil against righteousness. In this magnificent performance, Guru Rashmi portrayed all the ten different avataras, while her students played the supporting role. The theatre was filled-up to its capacity to witness an evening of enthralling dance performances by all the school students. The meticulously chosen back drops, exquisite props, splendid lighting and colorful costumes enhanced the performances to an even higher level. Below attached are glimpses of performances captured during this event. Guru Rashmi, the artistic director of the school specializes in teaching Kalakshetra style of bharatanatyam, folk and other contemporary danc-

Guru Rashmi Shashi, founder of the Studio Mudra School of Dance performing on April 19, 2014 es of India. She also has a number of dance productions to her credit across the USA and India, such as the Rama-

yana and Varsneya Vilasa, an astapadi by poet Jayadeva. Guru Rashmi can be reached at studiomudra9@gmail.com

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VOICE OF ASIA 11

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014


VOICE OF ASIA 12

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014


VOICE OF ASIA 13

LIFESTYLE

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

  

ONLINE .COM voiceofasiaonline.com

Vol. 27

No. 18

Friday, May 2, 2014 Section 2

Page 13

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com Tel: 713-774-5140

Jimmy Choo finds right fit with sole couture line - Interview by Harumi OZAWA UKUSHIMA, - Haute couture shoemaker Jimmy Choo says he is happy to focus on his own exclusive footwear line, amid reports the famous brand bearing his name -- but with which he is no longer associated -- could be set for a flotation worth $1.7 billion. The London-based designer revealed he is on good terms with the people in charge of the pret-a-porter label and occasionally meets with the chief executive. “We have an agreement. I still carry on my couture, they still carry on the Jimmy Choo ready to wear,” he said in an interview with AFP. “Now and then when I am in London, I will call the CEO (Pierre Denis) and have a tea with him and talk about what we’re doing. “I think that’s why it’s an important friendship. You know we still carry on, still support each other.” Having earlier established himself as a bespoke shoemaker in London, Malaysia-born Choo founded the brand in 1996 with British socialite Tamara Mellon. It became a household name after repeatedly featuring on high profile TV shows including “Sex and the City”, and was worn by celebrities and royalty, including Britain’s Princess Diana. Jimmy Choo has since developed into a luxury fashion brand encompassing shoes, handbags, leather goods, scarves, eye wear and fragrances. - Souring ties In 2001, with ties between him and Mellon souring, Choo sold his stake in Jimmy Choo Ltd., which now straddles the globe, with operations in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia. The company’s present owner, Swissbased luxury goods group Labelux, is reportedly looking at raising capital for the group, with a London listing being considered that could value the business at a billion pounds ($1.7 billion), according to the Financial Times. Mellon told American television last year that she had been the creative brains behind the partnership and claimed that Choo -- who she dismissed as merely “a cobbler” -- had never even lifted a pencil to design a shoe. Her former business partner did not comment on her claims, but said profit could not be the sole driving force behind a successful business. “Knowing how to respect people, that’s what is very important... If you

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Malaysian designer Jimmy Choo holds his one-off set of shoes using materials from Japan’s Fukushima area on April 18, 2014 (AFP Photo/Toshifumi Kitamura).

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A Jimmy Choo shoe is displayed at Saks Fifth Avenue on September 21, 2012 in New York City (AFP Photo/Stephen Lovekin)

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aback by the hit response. Visitors are treated to a free cup of coffee: the cat’achino decorated with a foam kitten face being the most popular -- and a snack such as a muffin or slice of pound cake. Seven of the cats were adopted on the first day and organizers are confident that all the cats and may be more will go to new homes when the cafe closes at 7pm on Sunday. Medical student Julie Schoonover, 24, loves cats but her roommate is allergic. So she’s back at the cafe for a second day, dragging along two friends to share in the magic. - Purring with pleasure -

Already popular in Japan, Taiwan, parts of Asia and Europe, New York and North America are late to the cat-cafe game. But organizers have been taken

“Pure joy,” she beamed as she sat back on a sofa, her jeans covered in white, long-hair fur from one of the 10 cats she has spent the last two days stroking.

love each other, you will be successful. It may not make a lot of money but it will make a lot of love, and that’s very important to the world, to society. Choo said any enterprise needed to involve teamwork if it was to succeed. “Imagine, if you and I start a partnership,... if you don’t make a team and don’t know to love each other to promote the company, it wouldn’t be successful.” - ‘Anyone can design’ Since parting ways, Choo has forged ahead with an exclusive couture line catering to deep-pocketed clients, including Madonna and US First Lady Michelle Obama. He said he is happy with the way

things are because it allows him to focus on quality and on creating a legacy he believes matters. “I have no worries about finance, but what I want to do for the rest of my life is that I want to give back to students,” Choo said. “I would like people to remember me, how I was the student learning from the father, learning from the school. I am working in the industry and giving back to the industry.” Choo was speaking to AFP in Fukushima at the launch of a one-off range of shoes made using materials and techniques native to the area, which is still suffering the effects of the tsunami-sparked nuclear disaster of 2011, in a bid to boost the profile of local artisans.


VOICE OF ASIA 14

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014


Young Life

VOICE OF ASIA 15

Friday, May 2, 2014

Section 2

Page 15

APAHA to Award Scholarships to Asian Pacific Americans Committed to Excellence & Community Service are to obtain advanced degrees in Political Science and Economics and to work in the fields of politics and government. Jinchen is a senior at Bellaire high school. She demonstrates outstanding leadership skills as one of the creators of the Smart Solutions Summit at Rice University, and serving as Executive Chair of the Red Cross Youth Service Council. Ms. Zou aspires to study global affairs and economics, and hopes to work in the field of international politics. The event will take place on May 9th, 2014 at the Omni Houston Hotel, 4 Riverway, Houston, TX 77056. It will begin at 6:30pm; concludes at 8:30pm.

H

ouston – The Asian Pacific American Heritage Association (APAHA) scholarships will be awarded at its 22nd annual Award Gala at the Omni Houston Hotel on May 9, 2014 beginning at 6:30pm. Since 2012, APAHA has recognized high school seniors for their academic excellence, and commitment to civic & community duties. It has been investing in Asian/Pacific American youths to foster their dedication to higher education; to encourage their sense of duty to the betterment of their communities. The minimum scholarship award will be $1,000. Recipients of APAHA scholarships will be honored guests at the APAHA Award Gala. The 2014 awardees are Ms. Mishi Jain and Ms. Jinchen Zou. A senior at Elkins high school, Mishi’s accomplishments include serving as the Class President and as founder of the first National Social Studies Honor Society in Texas; her aspirations

For more information on APAHA scholarship, please contact Ms. Mirrat Noon at mirrat@sbcglobal. net.

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

Tel: 713-774-5140

Local Girl has a chance to be Miss Teen Texas Sugar Land, Texas (April 26, 2014) Ms. Jahnvi Besherdas ( a student at Stephen F Austin High School) has been chosen as a State Finalist in the National American Miss Texas pageant to be help on June 15th. at the beautiful Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston, Texas. The newly crowned Miss Teen Texas will 16th. receive a $1,000 cash award , a trip to Disneyland in California to represent the state of the Texas in the national pageant as well as other prizes.

Rana, Indian Spices and Snacks by Mr. B. Patel, C2 Education by Nile Nguyen, Keller Williams Agent – Lupita Deeal, Willalon Callis Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontists, Hope Tree Home Loan Agent JoAnn Cooper and New York Life Agent Jayshree Patel. National American Miss is dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging young leaders. Each year, the pageant awards thousands in scholarships and prizes to recognize and assist in the development of young ladies nationwide. All activities are age-appropriate and family-oriented. The focus of this organization is to create future leaders and to equip them with real-world skills to make their dreams a reality. For more information about this outstanding youth program visit www.namiss. com. To schedule an interview with Miss Jahnvi Besherdas, please contact Gemini Besherdas at geminidivyesh@hotmail.com or 832407-2697.

Miss Besherdas activities include being an active member of the National Honor Society, the activities director of the French Club and a member of Naach Houston – a Bollywood Dance studio. She also enjoys playing bingo and crafting with the elderly at an assisted living center where she is known as the “Queen of Hearts”. This is not only for her amiable personality but for her drive to become a surgeon one day. Miss Besherdas is sponsored Jahnvi Besherdas by Envy Couture by Anil

About the Asian Pacific Heritage Month The Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month originated in 1978 when the United States Congress passed a law. This law directed President Jimmy Carter to issue a proclamation designating a week-long celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage. In response to Congress’ request to expand the Asian Pacific American Heritage Week, President George H.W. Bush signed into law in 1992 designating the month of May as the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. In the following decades, Presidents have annually issued proclamations designating the month of May as the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

ONLINE .COM voiceofasiaonline.com About Asian Pacific American Heritage Association (APAHA) APAHA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It was formed in 1992

to promote Asian Pacific American accomplishments and heritage through education, celebration, and raising cultural awareness. To make positive contributions to the Asian Pacific and the Greater Houston communities,

APAHA has collaborated with public and private entities to provide ongoing educational, cultural, and scholarship programs. For more information about APAHA, please visit www.apaha.org, or email ed@apaha.org.

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VOICE OF ASIA 16

Friday, May 2, 2014

BOLLYWOOD MASALA Section 2 Page 16

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

Tel: 713-774-5140

IIFA 2014: Who won what Deepika Padukone continues winning streak and ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ scoops top awards

Deepika Padukone bags Best Actress award.

Farhan Akhtar gets IIFA’s Best Actor. Seen with Shbana Azmi

Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra with Hollywood’s John Travolta trying his famous dance moves at the IIFA 2014 TAMPA, FL- Bollywood star Deepika Padukone continued her winning streak by taking home the Best Actress at this year’s International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards held in Tampa in Florida on Saturday night. It was almost a foregone conclusion since her roles in three blockbusters were nominated. She won the Best Actress statuette for her role as a south Indian village belle in 2013 hit film Chennai Express, also starring Shah Rukh Khan.

Rishi Kapoor for D Day

Another big winner of the night was Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, the biopic on the Indian runner Milkha Singh played by Farhan Akhtar. It scooped major awards, including Best Actor, Best Director and Best Story.

Videocon Entertainer Of The Year: Deepika Padukone

“It’s such a big honour to recieve the award in front of Milkhaji,” said Akhtar pointing to the film’s subject who was also present at the awards ceremony. “Thank you for sharing your story with me,” said Akhtar. Here are the other big winners of the night: Best Film: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Best Actress: Deepika Padukone for Chennai Express Best Actor: Farhan Akhtar for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Best Director: Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Best performance in a negative role:

Best performance in a comic role: Arshad Warsi for Jolly LLB Best Supporting (male): Aditya Roy Kapur for Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Best Supporting actor (female): Divya Dutta for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Best Story: Prasoon Joshi for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Woman Of Substance presented by Star Plus: Priyanka Chopra

Best Lyrics: Mithoon for Tum Hi Ho, Aashiqui 2 Best singer (male): Arijit Singh, Tum Hi Ho from Aashiqui 2 Best singer (female): Shreya Gho-

Star Promotion CEO Rajendra Singh (4th from left) seen with Bollywood stars L-R: Anupam Kher, Anil Kapoor, singer Shankar Mahadevan and a friend. shal, Sun Raha Hai from Aashiqui 2 Best debut (male): Dhanush for Raanjhanaa Best debut (female): Vaani Kapoor for Shuddh Desi Romance.

Houston’s Rajendra Singh, CEO of Star Promotion Inc. at IIFA

S

tar Promotions, the well known Houston’s entertainment company that hosted IIFA’s promo in the bayou city earlier in March was part of the mega show in Tampa. Its founder and CEO Rajendra Singh got to meet with most of top stars of Bollywood and Hollywood. He has a long standing association with actors like Anil Kapoor and Anupam

Kher whom he got to meet at the IIFA. During the IFFA promotion in Houston Sing expressed to the IIFA directors that they should seriously consider hosting the future event in this diverse city of Houston. Sing continues to bring quality entertainment programs to Houston for more than two decades.

Rajendra Singh and son with Bollywood finest comedians at IIFA 2014.

Malayalam films won’t release till ban on Mohanlal-starrer lifted: FEFKA Kochi, Apr 28, 2014, PTI: Film Employees Federation of Kerala, a union of film technicians and directors, today warned that if the ban on Mohanlal starrer ‘Mr Fraud’, scheduled to be released on May 8 was not lifted, no Malayalam films would be exhibited in theatres in the state. The decision was taken at an emergency general body meeting of FEFKA here, film director and FEFKA president Sibi Malayil told reporters.

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Since the ban was imposed “unilaterally” by Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation, FEFKA has decided not to hold talks with the theatre owners, he said. Speakers at the meeting criticised the theatre owners decision to impose the ban on the film by B Unnikrishnan, FEFKA General Gecretary. Film directors Joshy, Kamal, Ranji Panickker, dubbing artist Bhagyalaksmy were among those who participated in the meeting, he said.


LEISURE

VOICE OF ASIA 17

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

“Dance India Dance L’il Masters North Asia Society Presents! America Edition Opens Auditions!” Yashodhara and Sarpa Sutra

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EW YORK, NY– (April 17, 2014) For the first time in the United States and Canada, ZEE TV brings you Dance India Dance L’il Masters in partnership with Arya International. Dancers ages 5-13 can audition in different cities nationwide to compete against the best of the best Little Masters from North America. There are two ways you can audition in North America. Digital auditions are being accepted via the ZEE Dil Se website where you can seamlessly record and upload up to a 2-minute audition video. Submitting audition videos has never been easier! All you have to do is visit www.zeedilse.com/ auditions and follow the simple instructions. Interested contestants can also attend studio auditions that will be held at different participating Arya Dance School Studios across 12 cities. Visit the Arya Dance Academy website

for more details: www.aryaintl. com

Columbia, MD: May 3rd 5:00pm

12 Finalists will be chosen to participate in the Dance India Dance L’il Masters North America Edition Finale on May 30th in New York City.

Chicago, IL: Saturday, May 3rd 5:30pm

Los Angeles, CA: Wednesday, April 30th 5:00pm Edison, NJ : Thursday, May 1st 6:00pm Manhattan, NY: Friday, May 2nd 5:30pm Toronto, Canada: Saturday, May 3rd 11:00am Parsippany, NJ: May 3rd 5:00pm

Saturday,

Saturday,

Fremont, CA: Sunday, May 4th 12:30pm Vancouver, Canada: Sunday, May 4th 1:00pm Burlington, MA: May 4th 2:00pm

Sunday,

Marietta, GA: Sunday, May 4th 7:00pm Dallas, TX: Monday, May 5th 5:30pm For eligibility and terms & conditions, login to: www.zeedilse.com/auditions

Yashodhara: Saturday, May 3, 7:30 pm

Gautama Buddha, the Shakya prince, became a world leader. Yashodhara, his wife, remains in the shadows. This dance theatre production illuminates her plight—a single mother deserted by her husband. Using Hindi, Pali, and English narration, this experimental, multi-genre production fuses the classical and contemporary to showcase the diversity of India’s living traditions and cultures. TICKETS: Members $15, Nonmembers $25. For details www.asiasociety.org

Indian art exhibition opens in Kathmandu

I

ndian Ambassador Ranjit Rae today inaugurated an exhibition here showcasing paintings by six noted artists from India. The exhibition, organised by Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and B P Koirala India-Nepal Foundation, was opened at Patan Museum in Patan Durbar Square in Kathmandu. The exhibition showcases paintings by six noted artists from India - Laxman Aelay, Sudip Roy, Nagesh Goud, Asit Kumar Patnaik, Anand Panchal and Meghna Agarwal. The six artists arrived in Nepal a week ago and took part in the four-days long Art Camp held at the lawns of Indian Embassy from April 24-27. The artworks they created have now been displayed at the the ‘Ex-

hibition of Indian Art in Nepal’. “I have always had a deep desire to promote exchange activities between Indian art and Nepali art, which share many similarities,” said Ambassador Rae. He extended gratitude to all six artists from India A scenic view of Kathmandu for visiting Nepal and making the exhibition possible. Nepal Foundation. “B P Koirala India-Nepal FounToday’s exhibition is one of dation has always looked out for opportunities to bring together the first exhibitions on Indian art people of Nepal and India through being held in Patan Museum,” various cultural exchange pro- he said. The exhibition will run grammes,” said Abhay Kumar, through Thursday. (Press Trust of Secretary of B P Koirala India- India)

Sarpa Sutra: Sunday, May 4, 2:00 pm

Sarpa Sutra (SerpentSpeak) brings together theater, dance, and music in an allegorical revenge cycle that mirrors our lives and times. Urged by the fire god Agni, superhero Arjuna destroys the Khandava forest, destroying serpent king Takshaka’s wife and the entire kingdom. Takshaka in turn kills Arjuna’s grandson, Parikshit. In a colossal sacrifice, Parikshit’s grandson Janamejaya destroys the whole race of snakes. TICKETS: Members $15, Nonmembers $25. For details www.asiasociety.org

www.slidelloil.com

VOA © 2014

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HEALTHY LIVING   HEALTH 

VOICE OF ASIA 18

Friday, May 2, 2014

Section 2

Page 18

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

Diabetes research: good news for caffeine addicts?

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ARIS, April 24, 2014 (AFP) - People who boosted their coffee intake by “moderate to large” doses in a US-based study had a lower risk for adult-onset diabetes than those with stable consumption, researchers said Friday. An analysis of studies that tracked the diet and lifestyles of more than 120,000 health sector workers, showed that those who increased their daily caffeine dose by about 1.5 cups a day over a four-year period had an 11-percent lower chance in the subsequent four years of developing type 2 diabetes, the team found. This was in comparison to those whose intake remained constant. “Furthermore, those who had moderate to large decreases in intake (about two cups a day) had an 18 percent higher risk,” a research team in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

“Changes in coffee consumption habit appear to affect diabetes risk in a relatively short amount of time,” concluded the team led by Shilpa Bhupathiraju of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Those with the highest coffee consumption, three cups or more per day, had the lowest risk of type 2 diabetes -- 37 percent lower than those who consumed a cup or less per day, said the paper, backing other studies that linked coffee to lower diabetes risk. The findings were based on monitoring more than 95,000 women enrolled in two nurses’ health studies in the United States, and nearly 28,000 male participants in a separate health professionals’ study. It measured their consumption patterns for four years, and then looked at subsequent diagnoses of type 2 diabetes. The outcome may reflect a “true change in risk”, but may also be explained by people cutting out coffee after being diag-

nosed with conditions like high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol associated with risk for type 2 diabetes, said the study authors -- one of whom had received funding from coffeevending company Nestec for a different study. Experts who analysed the new research for the Science Media Centre, said the team had merely evaluated potential short-term benefits and provided no evidence that long-term coffee intake lowered diabetes risk. The research measured changes in consumption rather than absolute intake, said the analysts. “No recommendations for coffee intake can be derived from this paper,” said a summary, adding the statistical analysis of the data was “potentially misleading”. The researchers had found that neither changes in consumption of tea, nor of decaffeinated coffee, was associated with risk of type 2 diabetes -- a high blood sugar disease often linked to obesity.

Antibiotic resistance giving killer diseases free rein: WHO by Jonathan FOWLER

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ENEVA, April 30, 2014 (AFP) - The rise of superbugs, stoked by misuse of antibiotics and poor hospital hygiene, is enabling long-treatable diseases to once again become killers, the World Health Organization warned on Wednesday. In a hard-hitting study of antimicrobial resistance -- when bacteria adapt so that existing drugs no longer curb them -- the UN health agency said the problem was a global emergency. “Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” warned Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security. “Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating,” he said. The unprecedented report gathered data from 114 countries, and focused on seven different bacteria responsible for diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhoea. Even so-called “last resort” antibiotics are losing their ability to fight such bacteria, with half of the patients showing resistance in some countries, the report said. “The capacity to treat serious infections is really becoming less in all parts of the world,” Fukuda said, stressing that “antimicrobial resistance is not a just future issue, ... but very much an issue today.” Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the scale of the crisis was frighteningly

clear on the ground. “We see horrendous rates of antibiotic resistance wherever we look in our field operations,” said Jennifer Cohn, an MSF medical director. -

- Spectre of E.Coli, gonorrhoea

Among the report’s key findings were the global spread of resistance to carbapenem antibiotics -- the last resort treatment for life-threatening infections caused by the common intestinal bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae. Known as K. pneumoniae, it is a major cause of hospital-acquired infections such as pneumonia and sepsis, often hitting newborns and intensive-care patients. Resistance to one of the most widely used antibacterial medicines for the treatment of urinary tract infections caused by E. coli -- fluoroquinolones, is also widespread. There was hardly any resistance when the drugs were introduced in the 1980s, but it now affects half of patients in many part of the world, the WHO said. The problem is a particular concern in Africa, the Americas, South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Resistance to third-generation cephalosporins -- the last resort for tackling gonorrhoea, which infects more than a million people every day -- has been confirmed in Austria, Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, Norway, South Africa, Slovenia and Sweden. Another case in point is MRSA -- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- which has grabbed headlines due to a rash of outbreaks at hospitals. Patients with MRSA are 64 percent more likely to die than those with a non-resistant form of the bug, the WHO said. In parts of the Americas, re-

sistance to MRSA treatment had reached 90 percent, while levels of 60 percent were seen in Europe, the study found. - “Shot in the dark” Resistance also raises health costs because of longer hospital stays and more intensive care. “We rely upon these medicines to protect people when they are most vulnerable,” Fukuda said, pointing to the importance of having working antibiotics to protect babies born prematurely, people going through cancer treatments or undergoing routine surgery. “We anticipate to see more deaths,” he said. Efforts to tackle the problem have lagged behind its growth, the WHO said, flagging weak or totally absent monitoring in many countries. MSF’s Cohn echoed that. “Countries need to improve their surveillance of antimicrobial resistance, as otherwise our actions are just a shot in the dark,” she said. The WHO urged policymakers to strengthen resistance tracking and laboratory capacity, and to tighten regulation and promote appropriate drug use. They should also do more to stop infection in the first place, with better hygiene measures, access to clean water, infection control in health-care facilities, and vaccination, to reduce the need for antibiotics, it said. Health workers and pharmacists should only prescribe antibiotics when truly needed, and the medical industry should step up efforts to ensure the sector stays ahead of emerging resistance, the WHO said. Patients, meanwhile, should only use antibiotics when prescribed by a doctor, complete their treatment even if they feel better and not use leftover drugs, it added.

Powdered alcohol for US market hits label snag

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ASHINGTON, April 22, 2014 (AFP) - A powder that would give new meaning to mixed drinks may take time to hit the US market, the company said Tuesday after regulators found a labeling problem. Palcohol -- a powdered alcohol product -- is made by an Arizona company called Lipsmark and will come in six varieties of single-drink pouches, the company website says. It would be the first such product available for sale in the United States, though powdered alcohol has already been approved in Japan and some European countries. However, after Lipsmark reported Monday it was on track for release in the fall, it later said that it learned of a “discrepancy” from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. “We were contacted yesterday about the discrepancy,” a spokeswoman told AFP in an email on Tuesday, adding that the issue did not mean approval for Palcohol had been withdrawn. “Palcohol was approved and is still approved,” she said. “We will continue moving forward with the product.” The spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the nature of the discrepancy but referred AFP to a statement online which said it related to “how much powder is in the bag.” The company added there was “a mutual agreement for us to surrender the labels,” and that new labels would be submitted. Any approval date for those is unknown. A spokesman for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau did not immediately respond to AFP requests for comment. The half-dozen powder products are made so that they can be combined with water to create a shot of rum or vodka, or with cola or orange juice for a mixer. Palcohol also plans to release cocktail formulations, including Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Margarita and Lemon Drop. The company said the product will be sold to people of legal drinking age and could even be sprinkled on food. A patent for the mixture is pending. In response to consumer inquiries about whether the product could be snorted, Lipsmark said it would take a half cup of powder to equal one drink. “Don’t do it! It is not a responsible or smart way to use the product,” the website urged.

Dr. Deepshikha Sharda

I

t is well known that being overweight puts you at increased risk for health problems. These health problems include, though are not limited to, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. Traditionally, physicians have measured weight or BMI (Body Mass Index) to evaluate obesity and the related health risks. However, recent studies

implications. Shedding a few pounds around the midsection can improve not only your waist circumference and BMI but your overall health. Speak to your doctor about measuring your waist circumference to identify whether you need to reduce your waist size. Remember to always consult your physician before beginning an exercise regimen. Dr. Sharda is a family medicine physician with Houston Methodist Primary Care Group. To schedule an appointment, call 281.208.3322 or go to houstonmethodist.org/primary care.

Tel: 713-774-5140

Facts about Health Care Costs in Retirement Anyone who is planning for retirement is confronted by two important considerations: How can I guarantee income for as long as I live, and how can I afford quality health care for the rest of my life? This column will focus on the second issue: health care costs in retirement. The implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has made planning for health care costs more difficult. PPACA isn’t a cure for runaway costs, nor will it ever insure everyone who is uninsured. That was never its purpose. This Act is nothing new; it requires cost shifting to succeed. We are shifting health care costs from one group of people to another. Young people will pay more so old people can afford coverage. But that information suffers without a clear definition of who is old. Old is people ages 50 to 64. Why is that important? There are three main reasons: • Cost shifting: Massive cost shifting is beginning to impact people on Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. Retirees were promised that PPACA wouldn’t touch Medicare; but that isn’t true. Medicare reimbursements have been reduced dramatically. Medicare Supplement premiums will increase, because they will have to pay more. Medicare Advantage will be decimated. Plans with no premiums will need to add premiums, co-pays will increase dramatically, and stop loss maximums will soar. That means more out-ofpocket costs for retirees. Most retirees will face a lower standard of living unless they can find additional money to fund health care costs. • Fewer doctors: Doctors are leaving the Medicare system in droves. Many no longer accept Medicare, leaving retirees with fewer choices. Most retirees’ quality of life will decline if they cannot afford to get access to the health care provider they prefer. • Higher premiums: Premiums will be an especially difficult challenge. Here are two examples. What would the cost consideration be for a couple who want to retire at age 60? What would their premiums and out-ofpocket costs be from age 60 until age 65, when they would be eligible for Medicare? If our clients pay low premiums, then they have enormous deductibles. If they pay high premiums, then the deductibles are lower. Either way, costs can range from $10,000 to $30,000 per year for that couple until age 65. Thus, retiring at age 60 would require between $50,000 and $150,000 for just those five extra years. For retirees over 65, it gets better, but not by much. And with the cost shifting impacting Medicare recipients, it will be even more

Sudhir Mathuria

Contact: Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6650 Southwest Freeway Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com

difficult to plan for those health care costs. Furthermore, these costs will be dramatically higher a decade from now. Fidelity Investments provides an annual estimate of what seniors can expect to pay for health care during their retirement. The number is currently $220,000 per couple — and Fidelity used a low inflation rate to arrive at that figure! This information is really disconcerting, because half of Americans arrive at retirement with nothing saved. Seventy-five percent have saved less than $28,000, and even for that top quarter, the average amount saved is $147,000. How can retirees expect to live quality lives for 20 years with so little money, much less handle the enormous health costs they face?

IRS announces 2015 HSA limits Maximum contributions to health savings accounts will jump slightly next year, the Internal Revenue Service announced. It will increase $50 for individuals and $100 for families. The agency said the maximum 2015 HSA contribution will be $3,350 for individuals with self-only coverage, up from $3,300 this year. For those with family coverage, the maximum contribution will be $6,650, up from $6,550. Maximum contributions to health savings accounts will jump slightly next year, the Internal Revenue Service announced. It will increase $50 for individuals and $100 for families. The agency said the maximum 2015 HSA contribution will be $3,350 for individuals with self-only coverage, up from $3,300 this year. For those with family coverage, the maximum contribution will be $6,650, up from $6,550. HSA contribution limits are updated annually to reflect cost-of-living adjustments. For Health and Wealth planning and right advice contact Sudhir Mathuria

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Waist Circumference and Your Health Risk have indicated it is not just being overweight but where your fat distribution is that significantly increases your chance for heart disease and diabetes. This information may be the key to decreasing the incidence of health complications in many South Asians. Fat distribution around the stomach is referred to as “central obesity.” Emerging studies show that central obesity is believed to be a better predictor of cardiovascular risk. Since South Asians are at increased risk for gaining weight around the midsection, it is important for this community to be aware of this research and its health

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

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VOICE OF ASIA 19

HEALTH, TECH & SCIENCE

Microsoft sets Xbox launch for China

US warns on use of awed Microsoft browser

available. Under the new rules, foreign ďŹ rms will be allowed to make machines in the free trade-zone (FTZ) and sell the equipment into the domestic market after passing inspection by cultural authorities. The State Council has “temporarilyâ€? suspended a regulation introduced in June 2000 when the government said games had an adverse effect on the mental health of young people. Microsoft will work with BesTV, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group in a joint venture, called E-Home Entertainment.

An adverstising gate presenting the new XBox One game console is pictured in a store in Paris on November 22, 2013 (AFP Photo/Marion Ruszniewski)

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AN FRANCISCO, April 30, 2014 (AFP) Microsoft said Wednesday it would launch the Xbox One in China in September, the ďŹ rst game console to be announced after Beijing lifted a ban on the devices. “Today marks a monumental day for Xbox, as together with our partner BesTV New Media Co., we announced we

will bring Xbox One to China in September of this year,â€? said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president at Microsoft for the Xbox division. “This is a historic moment in our partnership as we work toward the ďŹ rst ofďŹ cial Xbox launch in China. Xbox One will also be the ďŹ rst system of its kind to launch in China.â€?

Boost for stem cell therapy in heart failure

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ARIS, April 30, 2014 (AFP) - Muscle cells grown from human embryonic stem cells boosted damaged monkey hearts in lab experiments, said a study Wednesday that holds promise for therapies to replace tissue in heart failure patients. Scientists in the United States and Australia used human embryonic stem cells to cultivate billions of heart muscle cells which they transplanted into injured macaque hearts, according to research ďŹ ndings published in the journal Nature. “The human grafts remuscularised about 40 percent of the damaged region,â€? of the hearts of monkeys used in the experiment, study co-author Charles Murry of the University of Washington’s Center for Cardiovascular Biology, told AFP. “We showed that the human heart muscle is fed by blood vessels from the heart’s native circulation. Importantly, we ďŹ nd that the human heart muscle integrated with the monkey’s heart and beat in synchrony, up to 240 beats per minute.â€?

Embryonic stem cells -neutral, primitive cells that can develop into most of the specialised tissue cells of the body -- are viewed as a potential source for rebuilding organs damaged by disease or accident. “The study represents an important step towards the possibility of cardiac muscle cell transplantation as a viable clinical therapy for heart failure,â€? said a Nature summary. Murry said this was the most human heart muscle that any team has managed to grow in a damaged heart. Monkeys are the closest models of human heart disease, and he said there was “no reason to thinkâ€? the technique would not work in humans. However, the muscle grafts caused rhythm disturbances in the monkeys -- a complication that needs to be ďŹ xed. “I do think we are getting close to being ready to try this therapy in human patients in carefully controlled clinical trials,â€? Murry said.

Chinese authorities announced in January they had formally authorized game consoles made in a new Shanghai free-trade zone to be sold in the country, potentially opening its lucrative market. The move effectively lifts a ban imposed in 2000 on console sales; imports have been ofďŹ cially blocked, but illicit machines are already widely

“Our joint venture is committed to providing opportunities for creators to unleash their imaginations for games, online education and ďŹ tness experiences for China and beyond,â€? said Mehdi. “As part of our partnership, E-Home Entertainment is investing to establish an innovation program that will enable creators and developers to build, publish, and sell their games on Xbox One in China and in other markets where Xbox is available.â€?

Google stops scanning Gmail messages for ads in Apps for Education by Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service oogle will no longer scan the email messages of students and other school staff who use its Google Apps for Education suite, exempting about 30 million users from the chronically controversial practice for Gmail advertising. Apps for Education is used by students at all levels, from kindergarten to university, so a portion of the user base is made up of minors. “We’ve permanently removed all ads scanning in Gmail for Apps for Education, which means Google cannot collect or use student data in Apps for Education services for advertising purposes,� wrote Bram Bout, director of Google for Education, in a blog post. Google rivals like Microsoft, as well as privacy advocates, have long criticized the company for scanning Gmail messages and serving ads to users based on the content of the emails. The company is also facing at least one lawsuit challenging the practice. In the case “Google Inc. Gmail Litigation,� number 5:13-md-002430 being heard in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, several plaintiffs allege that by scanning the content of their Gmail messages, Google

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The government’s Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) said in a statement that it was aware of “active exploitationâ€? of the security aw in versions six through 11 of the agship Explorer browser. The agency, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, urged computer users to take protective actions and “consider employing an alternative Web browser until an ofďŹ cial update is available.â€? The security aw is of particular concern for computers running Windows XP, an older version of the operating system for which Microsoft has said it will no longer issue security

updates. Microsoft said Saturday that an attacker who successfully exploits the vulnerability could take control of the computer. Cybersecurity ďŹ rm FireEye, which took credit for identifying the aw, said hackers were exploiting the bug in a campaign nicknamed “Operation Clandestine Fox.â€? Roger Kay, analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, said the aw affects multiple versions of the browser “but is most dangerous for XP users, since that OS is no longer being maintained.â€? “While it’s still possible that Microsoft will relent and ďŹ x XP one more time, users should not count on it,â€? Kay said. “And even if Microsoft does throw this group a lifeline one more time, inevitably the day will come when the software giant will no longer bail them out.â€?

Experts say Internet Explorers users may be at risk

A

marillo, TX -- If you use the browser Internet Explorer-hackers may already be in your computer.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is advising Americans not to use the Internet Explorer web browser until a ďŹ x is found-- after ďŹ nding a security aw over the weekend. The bug has already been used by hackers to attack some U.SU.S.nancial ďŹ rms and cyber- security software. “Stop using Internet Explorer and start using Chrome or Firefox.â€? says Julie Korinek, Marketing Manager at CatMan-Du That’s the advice experts are giving to anyone who uses Internet Explorer... Especially businesses. Its a bug called “zero dayâ€? a technique hackers use to trick you into visiting a site that will sweep your computer and give them total control to everything you do... From access to your e-mails to credit cards you may use to shop online.

knowledge.

“Its basically like remoting into your computer almost but you know maliciously and what they’ll do, they can just see what you’re doing and they can see you buying things and putting your credit card information into the computer-- almost like sitting in front of it. Whatever is on your screen, they can see it.â€? says Julie Korinek Hackers use Adobe ash ďŹ les to corrupt the victims computer... So users can avoid that by turning off Adobe ash. And rather than directly reaching out to the victim, hackers inject their code to a “normal, everyday websiteâ€? that the victim visits-- the code is then hidden on the site and infects their computers. The bug affects all versions of internet explorer 6 through 11. Microsoft says you may be directed to a website by a link in an e-mail or instant message.

And the tricky part...you don’t have to click on anything.

The e-mail may appear to come from someone you know and the website may look like a website you normally visit.

The bug leaves a “drive by install� which means malware can be installed without your

So just be careful and make sure to always upgrade regularly.

Astrologer, Vaastu & Gem Stone Consultant

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Astrologer Hardik Vyas, a famous young face in Vedic Astrology from India is available in Houston. Call for guidance on Health, Wealth, Education, Career, Business, Property, Love & Passion, Marriage & Compatibility, HoroscopeMaking, Child Problem, Luck & Fortune, Peace & Prosperity, Karma & Economical Sources.

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violated wiretapping laws and breached their privacy. Google is also removing the option for Apps for Education administrators to allow ads to be shown to their users. Until now, ads were turned off by default, but admins could turn on this feature at their discretion. “We’re also making similar changes for all our Google Apps customers, including Business, Government and for legacy users of the free version, and we’ll provide an update when the rollout is complete,â€? he wrote. Another change announced Wednesday impacts Apps for Education users who were running AdSense ads on sites and pages they created using the suite’s Google Sites Web builder service. These users will retain the ability to display those existing ads on their websites but they will no longer be able to edit or add new AdSense ads to existing sites or to new pages, according to Google. Google will hold a Hangout on Air session on Thursday at 9 a.m. U.S. PaciďŹ c Time to discuss this announcement. Participants will include Bout, Jonathan Rochelle, director of Product Management for Docs and Drive, and Apps for Education customer Hank Thiele, CTO for Maine Township High School District 207 in Park Ridge, Illinois.

W

ASHINGTON, April 28, 2014 (AFP) - A US government cybersecurity watchdog warned computer users Monday against using a version of the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser with a security hole that could allow hackers in.

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VOICE OF ASIA 20

BUSINESS

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

  

Friday, May 2, 2014

Section 2

Page 20

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

Tel: 713-774-5140

Toyota moving its US Central Bancorp Shareholders Approve Merger with Hanmi Financial Corporation headquarters from Cali-

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OS ANGELES (April 17, 2014) – Hanmi Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: HAFC) (“Hanmi”), the holding company for Hanmi Bank, announced today that shareholders of Central Bancorp, Inc. (“CBI”), parent of Texas-based United Central Bank, overwhelmingly approved the merger with Hanmi. Of Central Bancorp’s eligible voting shares, 88% were represented at CBI’s special meeting of shareholders and 100% of those shareholders voted in favor of the merger.

communities of California, with 27 full-service branch offices in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Diego counties, and loan production offices in Texas and Washington State. Hanmi Bank specializes in commercial, SBA and trade finance lending, and is a recognized community leader. Hanmi Bank’s mission is to provide a full range of quality products and premier services to its customers and to maximize stockholder value.

“We are very pleased that CBI shareholders have voted to join Hanmi,” said C. G. Kum, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hanmi. “We believe the combination of our banks will create a strong franchise that will become one of the premier community banks serving not only Korean Americans, but also many other ethnic communities as well.”

Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Garland, Texas, United Central Bank, a whollyowned subsidiary of Central Bancorp, Inc., serves multi-ethnic communities in Texas, Illinois, Virginia, California, New York and New Jersey through 23 banking offices. Additional information on Central Bancorp, Inc. and United Central Bank may be found on its website: www.unitedcentralbank. com.

As of December 31, 2013, CBI had approximately $1.42 billion in assets, $0.64 billion in gross loans and $1.25 billion in deposits, and 23 branches across six states (Texas, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and California). Under the terms of the agreement, the total merger consideration payable to CBI common stockholders is $50 million in cash, subject to potential purchase price adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2014. Excluding one-time merger expenses, the transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to 2014 earnings and significantly accretive to 2015 earnings and beyond; and is expected to generate an internal rate of return in excess of 20% for Hanmi shareholders. About Hanmi Financial Corporation Headquartered in Los Angeles, Hanmi Bank, a whollyowned subsidiary of Hanmi Financial Corporation, provides services to the multi-ethnic

About Central Bancorp, Inc.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including those identified by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “target,” “forecast,” and other words and terms of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, expectations, projections, goals, forecasts, assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Hanmi Financial Corporation cautions readers that any forward-looking statement is not a guarantee of future performance and that actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statement. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about

the benefits of the proposed merger involving Hanmi Financial Corporation and Central Bancorp, including future financial and operating results, Hanmi Financial Corporation’s or Central Bancorp’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, the expected timing of completion of the transaction, and other statements that are not historical facts. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: the ability to obtain the requisite Central Bancorp shareholder approvals; the risk that Hanmi Financial Corporation or Central Bancorp may be unable to obtain governmental and regulatory approvals required for the merger, or required governmental and regulatory approvals may delay the merger or result in the imposition of conditions that could cause the parties to abandon the merger; the risk that a condition to closing of the merger may not be satisfied; the timing to consummate the proposed merger; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; the risk that the cost savings and any other synergies from the merger may not be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected; disruption from the transaction making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees or suppliers; the diversion of management time on mergerrelated issues; general worldwide economic conditions and related uncertainties; the effect of changes in governmental regulations; and other factors we discuss or refer to in the “Risk Factors” section of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Each forwardlooking statement speaks only as of the date of the particular statement and neither Hanmi Financial Corporation nor Central Bancorp undertakes any

obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Contact Information: Mark (Shick) Yoon, CFA CPA CVA EVP & CFO 213-427-5636 marky@hanmi.com Investor Relations Contact: The Cereghino Group 206-388-5788 www.stockvalues.com

fornia to Texas in 2017 T

ORRANCE, Calif. (AP) -- Toyota is moving its U.S. headquarters from California to Texas to get closer to its Midwest assembly plants and improve communication between units now spread over several states.

Toyota will break ground this year on a new environmentallyfriendly headquarters in Plano, Texas, about 25 miles north of Dallas. Small groups of employees will start moving to temporary office space there this year, but most will not

move until late 2016 or early 2017 when a new headquarters is completed. The new campus will bring together approximately 4,000 employees from sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing and finance. That includes 2,000 employees at the current headquarters in Torrance, Calif.; 1,000 employees at Toyota Financial Services, which is also in California; and 1,000 employees from Toyota’s engineering and manufacturing center in Erlanger, Ky.

India irked by EU mango ban

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EW DELHI, - India’s leading export promotion agency criticised a European ban on mango imports as unjustified on Tuesday and appealed to Brussels to overturn its decision. The 28-member European Union imposed the ban, to take effect May 1, on import of the highly prized Alphonso mangoes, known as the “king of fruits”, and four vegetables after finding unwanted pests such as “non-European fruit flies” in consignments. “Now all consignments are undergoing certification and testing to address the concerns,” Rafiq Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), a government-affiliated organisation, told AFP. “We ask the EU to look into the matter -- we have taken care of the issues. Now they should lift the ban,” Ahmed said. The EU ban affects 16 million tonnes of mangoes. India, the world’s largest exporter, sells up to 70,000 tonnes of various mangoe varieties globally. But exporters said other buyers in the Gulf and the AsiaPacific region are looking at buying the Indian mangoes. An Indian commerce minis-

try official told AFP that New Delhi has already raised the issue with Brussels and will do so again. The Brussels-based Europe India Chamber of Commerce (EICC) separately issued a statement saying the ban could derail slow-moving free trade talks between India underway since 2007. “There was no scientific justification for the ban,” said Sunil Prasad, EICC secretarygeneral, calling the move “misguided”. The EU plant health care committee announced plans last month for the ban after 207 Indian consignments of fruits and vegetables were found to be contaminated by pests. Among the vegetables banned are bitter gourd and eggplant. The EU said it acted to tackle what it called “significant shortcomings in the phytosanitary certification system.” It noted a high number of consignments arriving with “pests, mainly insects, like non-European fruit flies”. Though the prohibited goods account for under five percent of total fresh fruits and vegetables imported into the EU from India, introduction of new pests could threaten EU agriculture,

the committee said. The ban, due to run from May 1 to December 2015, has enraged some in Britain, a key market for Indian growers where London’s mayor Boris Johnson supported the firstever Indian mango festival in Trafalgar Square last year. Indian-origin lawmaker Keith Vaz called the ban “Euro-nonsense and bureaucracy gone mad.” “Indian mangoes have been imported to Britain for centuries,” Vaz said, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. The EU ban has led to a mango surplus in Indian markets, driving down prices to fruit lovers’ delight but agricultural officials are dismayed. “The export ban will definitely affect farmers and prices... and cause a supply glut,” Miling Joshi, an official at the Mango & Cashew Board told AFP. But Rajiv Tevtiya, founder of e-commerce supply company Greencart in Mumbai, said farmers producing the finest quality Alphonsos would not lose out. “Indian exporters now are getting good orders from New Zealand and the Gulf,” Tevtiya told AFP.

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VOICE OF ASIA 21

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

Commuter anger rises over Antarctica, a dream destination for tourists Mumbai’s deadly trains by VITORIA VELEZ

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RESIDENT FREI BASE - As the sun sets, the cloudy sky melds with the glaring white of the frozen terrain. Tourists trudging in single file line marvel over blue glaciers in Antarctica, a hip new vacation destination. The group paid a small fortune -$3,000 per head -- for a quick fivehour visit to the frozen continent, arriving by plane. “Coming to Antarctica was a dream for me and my wife,” American John Reiss, 81, said as he stood beside his wife Sharon, 73. “We signed up a couple years ago, but we couldn’t get on it, so we went on a waiting list. This year we signed an year in advance and we made it.” The couple boarded a cruise ship in Florida, where they live, to head to Punta Arenas in the south of Chile, where they caught a two-hour flight to Antarctica. - Penguin colonies -

Train commuters in Mumbai. Photo ciurtesy Dunya news by Aditya PHATAK

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UMBAI - Cricket-mad teenager Dhaval Lodaya was on his way to a temple when his Mumbai train derailed and he bled to death -- becoming one of the ten people who die every day on the city’s rail network. Known as the lifeline of India’s congested financial capital, the lowfare trains have become a dangerous gamble for the millions of commuters who use them daily, with 3,506 deaths recorded last year alone. In a city that has grown around its rail system, built by the British 160 years ago, many today are killed crossing the tracks, some have heart attacks in the overcrowded carriages, or fall from doors of moving trains and hit trackside poles. On journeys ferrying commuters from outlying suburbs to the business districts, scores are charred to death each year while travelling on coach roofs as high-voltage electricity courses through overhead wires, say activists. So although 17-year-old Lodaya’s death on March 20 was far from rare, it was a tipping point for some Mumbai residents who -- spurred on by his family and friends -- marched in their hundreds to nearby train stations in anger at railway authorities. “We lost the light of our family. We told the authorities that they had forced us to protest and they should remedy the situation,” Lodaya’s father told AFP at his modest family apartment in Mumbai, where the teenager’s picture sits on a small television. - ‘Justice for Dhaval’ When Lodaya’s train derailed north of the city, an ambulance took more than an hour to reach the spot and railway police failed to move the boy to safety, his father alleges. Rail officials told him traffic-clogged roads caused the delays. A Facebook page titled “Justice for Dhaval Lodaya”, set up by friends to keep a tab on the promised investigation into his death, has received nearly 30,000 “likes” pledging support. Despite the dangers facing passengers, a leading activist says lucrative returns from the Mumbai rail network,

which carries 7.5 million passengers daily, offer little incentive for reform by the state-owned Indian Railways. Samir Zaveri, who became a rail safety campaigner after losing both his legs in a fall from a Mumbai train two decades ago, said corruption and mismanagement are main reasons for the current state of the rail system. “Mumbai is the cash cow of Indian Railways. So even though the authorities may cry about the paucity of funds, the fact is that Mumbai is a lucrative posting” for Indian Railways officials, he said. Zaveri accused officials of bribing their way into posts in Mumbai and shaking down station vendors. “Indulging in corruption and not improvement of services is the focus,” he told AFP. A senior Mumbai railway official, declining to be named, said approval had been given for automatic doors on all local coaches to prevent people falling, but that these would be difficult to fit while keeping trains on schedule. “The (safety) problem is known, but the solution is problematic,” he said, declining to say whether his colleagues were involved in corruption. Improving India’s notoriously bad infrastructure, from its roads and railways to its unreliable power supply, is seen as key to kickstarting slowing economic growth. Both major parties currently contesting national elections have pledged to tackle the problem. But complex politics and constraints on land in Mumbai have led to ambitious past projects being delayed by years and failing to significantly combat congestion. Transport experts have criticised a partly-finished monorail project, so far only stretching for 8.8 kilometres (5.5 miles) in the city’s east, for overshooting its deadline and budget, while a long-awaited and expensive Metro rail project is yet to open. - Mumbai ‘out of focus’ Despite Mumbai’s wealth, the city is part of the much larger, mostly rural, Maharashtra state, whose legislators are mostly more interested in their hinterland constituencies, said Uttara Sahasrabuddhe, professor in civics and

politics at the University of Mumbai. “Issues of Mumbai remain out of focus,” she said. India’s ruling Congress party, which has dominated Maharashtra for most of its history, created new agencies to wrest control of spending after it lost power over Mumbai’s municipal corporation to a local rival in the 1990s, Sahasrabuddhe explained. Hence Mumbai’s own representatives “can do little more than plead with the Congress-led state government about city spending,” she added. One such agency, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority or MMRDA, points to other factors causing delays. “The biggest issue in Mumbai is securing land rights to start building your project. Land is so scarce that nobody budges even an inch,” Dilip Kawathkar, MMRDA spokesman, told AFP. Mumbai has two recent transport success stories: a swanky new international airport terminal and a “Sea Link” toll bridge connecting the city’s north and south -- but critics say they benefit just a wealthy fraction of the city. As public transport options for the masses fail to improve, more and more residents are piling on to the roads on motorbikes and in cars. “In a city which is so short on space, the focus should be on stopping more cars from getting on to the road. We seem to be consciously doing the opposite,” said local transport expert Ashok Datar. “It is like we are planning for disaster.”

The tourists visited the island of King George, in the South Shetlands archipelago and the neighboring Russian station of Bellingshausen with its out-of-place Orthodox church. They also saw the small Chilean hamlet of Villa Las Estrellas home to just 64 people and colonies of penguins. Another option is to tour Half Moon Island, a habitat of seals and penguins that is home to the Argentine base of Teniente Camara. There they can sip a hot cup of coffee, send a postcard and get their passport stamped with a picture of a krill, a kind of small shrimp that is the symbol of the base. “It was a fantastic experience. The first thing that makes this trip special is being able to visit such a well-preserved, untouched continent,” said Canadian Maureen Malone, 69. “The second is being able to see the penguins. Everybody loves the pen-

guins. Also, I was able to see around the bases, see how the different countries are sharing the region.” Tourism is one of the few economic activities allowed by the Treaty of the Antarctic and the Madrid Protocol, which bans mineral extraction on the white continent. - Landing on frozen sea The Antarctic draws more than 30,000 tourists per year, from November to March, when there is no problem landing on the frozen sea. Most arrive on ships that cross Drake Passage in the Southern Ocean, which has some of the world’s worst weather, setting off from Ushuaia in southern Argentina and from Punta Arenas. “Ninety percent of the tourists from around the world who come to Antarctica leave from Ushuaia. The cruises last an average of 11 days. The cheapest ones cost $5,000. The most expensive, which last 15 days and go to the South Pole, cost $12,000,” Brazilian Gunnar Hagelberg, owner of Antarctica Expeditions, told AFP. More than 35,350 people will have visited Antarctica by the end of this year -- 1,000 more than last season and 8,000 more than in 2011-2012, according to the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators. “We carry from 120 to 130 people per season. We have seen a 15 to 20 percent increase in the number of tourists who want to see the continent,” said Nicolas Paulsen, deputy commercial director of the Chilean airline Dap, which offers logistical and tourist flights. Paulsen said tourism in Antarctica is rising three percent more per year than tourism to Chile, which is up seven percent. Most visitors come from the United States, Australia, China, Russia and, more and more, from Brazil. “Antarctica is vital for us. It affects the climate, the sea currents. Tourism is important because the more people get to know it, the more they will want to protect it,” said Paulsen.


HOROSCOPE

VOICE OF ASIA 22

FRIDAY, May 2, 2014

Your Horoscope for the Week of May 2, 2014 by Hardik Vyas, Astrologer Cell : 832-298-9950

As per Indian Vedic Astrology the Moon sign is considered, in which every Rashi has control over certain letters, which are initials of your name. Whereas in Western system of Sun Sign, all the people born in one month belong to the same sign. For example, every year approximately around 21 of March to 20th April, the Sun is moving in the Aries Constellation. So all the people born in that month belong to the Sign of Aries. If you were born in between those two dates then you are a Aries born.

READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE ONLINE WWW.VOICEOFASIAONLINE.COM

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

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

You’ll know exactly how to deal with high prices or depleted resources. Emotion and intuition spread their warm, reasonable vibes wherever you go. Keep one hand firmly on your priorities before they wander off into the haze. Consolidate your assets while they’re still clearly defined. Personal problems are indicated for and MAY be clashes. Tread very lightly as how they are ‘addressed and handled TODAY’ may determine IF they resolve quickly or ‘stick around’ for minutes, days, weeks or months!

Hunger, that great equalizer, centers you again. Optimism keeps you afloat even when others sink into silence. Find new excitement with enlightened visitors or a hot date. You laugh at those poor souls who lack your cosmic advantages, but beware - a rival may soon steal your thunder. After this running start, buckle down to some serious work on. Surely you know the right people to make this happen. Reward follows punishment. Problems are plentiful but your patience remains firm.

Scorpio (N,Y)23 Oct to 21 Nov

Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May You are being out of step and possibly out of control. Hang on for the burst of astrological fire that warms and clarifies you later in the week. Unless you can escape, there won’t be another break in the action until late in the week. You’re refreshed and ready for the next phase by week’s end, which means that you won’t panic when you hit your wall. Expect a few days of not getting your way. Turn your newfound creativity toward practical ends in the final days of this month, when you understand that you want power to help others instead of power for its own sake.

The radical solution to help you through all the work that others cheerfully heap on your head. Keep turning on the charm, which could steer you straight out of trouble. Talk your way out of anything serious by the, unless it’s a seriously fantastic invitation for the coming weekend. A pointed remark could deflate your balloon, but keep your head above the clouds and you may witness a rare phenomenon. Be quiet about your discovery, when your perspective is met with little sympathy.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June A graceful apology returns some of your losses. The fire is back in your eyes, and you won’t stand for anyone’s dirty tricks. Expect to work straight through the weekend, when playtime finally hits. Stay close to home, because your skills may be required onsite. An early conclusion frees you to do personal work, but you’re back in battle against a problem revived by the Taurus mate or close acquaintance. You may get into a bit of messy fun, because a real or symbolic parent wags a moralistic finger at you, urging you to clean up your act.

Rest mind and body with lighter work or none at all. But you can’t seem to slow down, you’re in demand and overbooked. Be careful of excessive work or play, because apparently endless resources could bottom out. But water signs regenerate quickly. The weekend finds you buoyant, focused, and ready to mentor/advisor anyone who needs your help. By early the next week, the joy is gone but the engine keeps running. Rewards come when the powers that be hand you the keys and walk away.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July The need for patience, understanding and compassion always comes ‘easier’ for you but it may feel ‘strained’ this week well into and then you ‘catch a natural break’ and members seem to back off and STOP challenging you. Most of the time, they are likely to be totally unaware, with the exception and may be ‘needling you’ or it feels that way. Stay calm and give them a ‘small warning.’

You want to be the life of the party and mastermind of all the jokes. Don’t fret, satisfaction returns on the weekend. Spend the weekend giving as well as taking. You’re watching the clock, which only slows time down. Expect Monday and Tuesday to crawl by in a tangle of little headaches and petty intrigues. Mid-week brings new spark to your legendary fire, and then it’s all about you. An attack of conscience or a bout of soul searching leads you to forsake pure fun for some greater purpose.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Remember that growth without change is a joke. Your immediate future should be secured, and you’ll have time for fun. But the week finds you impatient at the slowing trend that the stars bring to your fast-paced world. Be ready to spend the end of the week either in search of your personal grail or chasing a wild goose. As you go down to the wire, you’ll probably question whether your quest was worth all the effort.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Success and pleasure as you whirl through unfinished business with style and warmth. Savor your accomplishments. For two intense days, you’re all seeing and all knowing. Some of what you’ve learned has immediate applications, and some can be set aside for future use. Your ally in all that’s logical and practical, bails you out this week. Some tacks on a big question mark and hints at a surprising answer. Do you have ‘record’ capacity? You can always blow it away later if you don’t need it.

QR

Growth, changing hopefully into a rhythm that suits you, because you’ll be stuck there all week. This week is about relationships, whether you’re starting or ending one. Resolve this thing ASAP, or long term plans must change. Fortunately, the stars bring and fresh energy to you. Gamblers and opportunists gleefully forget what has gone before. Cash out and leave the building by week’s end, when Lady Luck pulls another mood change. If you’re reasonable, the last days of the week are free from failed experiments.

Confidence and skill rise sharply with an invention or a final debt payment. This trend peaks gloriously. After that, any return to normal life may disappoint. You could be staring out the window again with daydreams of flying. Be careful about your wishes, because around the middle of the week you may actually get some of them. Beware of new distractions ongoing around you, when good looks and intense opinions might pull you into the orbit of some stronger heavenly body.

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Voice of Asia May 2 2014