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Secretary Berry’s induction into Vice President Joe Biden Honors Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Texas Women’s Hall of Fame

Heritage Month at Opening Ceremony

2014 inductees: Secretary of State Nandita Berry is seen in the back row, second from right.

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USTIN, TX - Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday, May 6, inducted Secretary of State Nandita Berry and eight other outstanding Texas women into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, which celebrates accomplishments of those who have made significant contributions in areas such as business, education, philanthropy, military and public service. The ceremony took place on the Senate floor of the Texas State Capitol. “The Hall of Fame exhibit is a place where we honor trailblazers, pioneers and nonconformists who rose to the challenges around them,” Gov. Perry said.” Berry is Texas’ 109th Secretary of State and the first Indian-American to hold the office. She was appointed by Gov. Perry and sworn in on January 7, 2014. As secretary of state, Secretary Berry is one of six state officials who comprise the executive department of the state of Texas. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the secretary of state serves as the chief election officer, the governor’s liaison on border and Mexican affairs, and Texas’ chief protocol officer for state and international matters. Additionally, the office manages the business and public filings for Texas. Secretary Berry’s personal story embodies what is possible through hard work and determination in Texas. Arriving from India at the age of 21 with no more than $200 to her name, she worked diligently to earn her law degree and become one of the most accomplished attorneys in the state. Prior to becoming secretary of state, Secretary Berry specialized in technology transactions as senior counsel at Locke Lord LLP in Houston. She was formerly in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 company, where she handled corporate and securities matters. Berry has a long and distinguished record of civic service. She was vice chair of the University of Houston Board of Regents and sat on the boards of the Houston Zoo Inc., South

Asian Chamber of Commerce, Houston Area Women’s Center, and the Community Family Center of Houston. A graduate of Mt. Carmel College in Bangalore, India, Berry subsequently received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston. She earned a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. Texas Women’s Hall of Fame inductees are native or current Texas residents whose achievements have significant ties to the state. The women were nominated by their peers and selected by an independent panel of judges. 2014 inductees: Business: Hon. Nandita Berry, Houston Community Service: Joanne Herring, Houston Community Service: Deborah D. Tucker, Austin

Education: Dr. Ann Stuart, Denton Health: Lillie Biggins, Fort Worth Leadership: Texas First Lady Anita Perry, Haskell Military: Col. (Ret.) Kim Olson, Mineral Wells Public Service: Hon. Senfronia Thompson, Houston Public Service: Hon. Carolyn Wright, Dallas The Texas Women’s Hall of Fame was established in 1984, and more than 100 women have been inducted, including former first ladies, astronauts, entrepreneurs and Olympic athletes. The permanent exhibit honoring these women, which features biographies and photographs of inductees, was established by the Governor’s Commission for Women in 2003 at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.

Parents identified in New Territory shooting Couple’s son and daughter suffered gunshot wounds and are still in the hospital

Vice President Joe Biden addresses the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Opening Ceremony, at the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., May 6, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann).

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ASHINGTON, DC – Vice President Joe Biden, highlighting the achievements of generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), spoke at the opening ceremony for the 2014 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month today. The event was hosted by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the U.S. Department of the Interior. “We are honored to have Vice President Biden speak to the AAPI community at this historic moment in time,” said the Initiative’s Executive Director Kiran Ahuja. “AAPIs are

fast on the rise, and it’s important to both recognize the community’s great diversity and the importance of government and community working together to address the unique challenges we face.” Also highlighted in the program today were President Obama’s newest appointees to the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs that were ceremonially sworn in at the kickoff event. Sri Srinivasan, United States Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ceremonially swore in fourteen new and two returning Commissioners who will

serve as the eyes and ears of the AAPI community for the Obama Administration. The Commissioners are: Dr. Tung Nguyen (incoming Chair), Dr. Mark Ann Young Okada (incoming Vice Chair), Dr. N. Nina Ahmad, Michael Byun, Ravi Chaudhary, Lian Cheun, Billy Dec, Bill Imada, Kathy Ko Chin, Daphne Kwok, Dee Jay Mailer, Diane Narasaki, Shekar Narasimhan, Maulik Pancholy, Linda X. Phan, and Lorna May Ho Randlett. The Commission is charged with working to improve Continued on Page 11

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UGAR LAND, May 6, 2014 - A brother and sister shot at their Sugar Land area home remained hospitalized Tuesday at a Houston hospital, officials said. Their parents were killed in the shooting Monday at the home in the 4800 block of Russett, near the New Territory area southwest of Sugar Land. Authorities have characterized the shooting as a domestic incident and found a handgun inside the home. Authorities on Tuesday iden-

tified the couple as 46-year-old Karim Kamdar and his wife, 37-year-old Nikhat Kamdar. Their 15-year-old daughter managed to call 911 after the shooting, officials said. Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office deputies found her outside in the front yard. The bodies of her parents and her wounded 11-year-old brother were discovered inside the house. Investigators are waiting for lab analysis and autopsy results to determine who pulled the trigger.

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OP-ED/COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS

VOICE OF ASIA 2

by Koshy Thomas

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n a few months from now, we will be celebrating the 66th anniversary of India becoming a Socialist Democratic Republic.

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When our founding fathers were drafting the constitution, they had absolute authority to make India a Theocratic Hindu State, Hindustan, based on the religious population of the country. Instead, their wisdom and statesmanship dictated them to create a Socialist Democratic Republic – one that gave protection to all, including the so-called untouchables or Harijans, as well as women, and those in the religious minority, such as Christians and Muslims. This framework allowed all Indians to live in India without fear or prejudice.

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

These were halcyon days for India. It was a period when India was led by pure statesmen rather than politicians. Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Sardar Patel - the names

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by Vikram S Mehta t is a matter of conďŹ dence, credibility and trust. Whatever be the political hue of the next government and whoever its leader, the challenge will be to reinvigorate investor conďŹ dence in the political stewardship of the economy, restore the credibility of the executive and rebuild trust in the sanctity of policy and contracts. Else, the much-needed investment in infrastructure and manufacturing will not be forthcoming and the numbers of un- and underemployed will continue to mount. The social consequences will most likely limit the new government to one term. Corruption scandals have hogged the headlines, but arguably the most damaging effect on investor sentiment over the past several years has been the activism of the tax authorities and the twists and turns in the interpretation of policies and contracts. A y on the wall of the board rooms of Vodafone, Nokia, Microsoft, BP, Shell, Posco, Tesco, Walmart and many more would be struck by the paradoxical tenor of conversation. The directors would be in agreement about the potential of the country. All would accept that notwithstanding the slowdown in growth and the lacklustre leadership over the past three years, the fundamentals remain intact and India remains on track to be an economic giant. They would endorse the view that

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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 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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India in Crossroads

go on. Under the leadership of this diverse and dynamic group of men, India gained freedom from the tyranny of British. Freedom from the British, however, was only a ďŹ rst and small step in the arduous journey to becoming a uniďŹ ed nation. These men understood that becoming a nation involved more than rhetoric; it involved hard work, wisdom, and a mindset that embraced tolerance. Under the adept guidance of these men, India was no longer relegated to the status of snake charmers. India took a giant leap toward becoming a relevant and powerful player on the world stage. India is India today because of these visionary architects of the nation. India ďŹ nds itself once again at a crucial crossroads. How India’s leaders navigate this crossroads will determine its

future and the future of millions of Indians. Now Narendra Modi is preparing himself to be the next prime minister of India – one who holds the fate and future of 1.3 billion people in his hands. The wisdom that Mr. Modi demonstrates must be commensurate with the power that Mr. Modi wields. The paramount question that all Indians should reect upon is this: can Mr. Modi rise to the occasion and be a leader for all Indians? Can Mr. Modi juggle the competing interests and factions in a country as richly diverse as India? Can Mr. Modi resurrect the ideals of a uniďŹ ed India that marked the works of a Mahatma Gandhi or a Sardar Patel? In sum, Indians want to know: can Mr. Modi rise above religious, regional, and political factions and be a true statesman?

relative to opportunities elsewhere, India is an attractive destination and that it would be imprudent to push it off their agenda. That said, they would collectively hesitate to put their signature on further new investments, other than perhaps for amounts required to sustain existing activities. They would substantiate their hesitation by allusions to the arbitrariness of the tax charges on MNCs, the announcement by the BJP to reverse the UPA government’s policy on multi-brand retail, the unilateral tightening of contractual conditions that assured petroleum companies marketrelated prices for gas and the right to market it freely, the labyrinthine approval procedures that have bogged down major mining and power sector projects, the reluctance of the bureaucracy to take decisions for fear of attracting a vigilance enquiry and the long lead times in judicial decisions. The thread linking all such conversations would be the loss of conďŹ dence and trust in public institutions. Cornell Professor Eswar Prasad’s wonderfully written book, The Dollar Trap: How the US Dollar Tightened its Grip on Global Finance, brings into sharp relief the positive impact that conďŹ dence and trust in public institutions has had on the direction of capital ows in our globalised and connected world. And, by implication, the negative consequences of loss of conďŹ dence and trust. Prasad writes that, notwithstanding recurring bouts of ďŹ nancial crisis in America that should have led to an outow of capital, rising interest rates and a falling dollar, US treasury securities and dollar denominated assets have continued to be a favourite haven for investors. In September 2008, for instance, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, US ďŹ nancial markets went into a downward spiral, the credit

markets froze and Dow Jones was on the skids. Economic fundamentals suggested there would be a run on the dollar. What happened was just the opposite. There was a net inow of half a trillion dollars into US treasury securities, nearly all of it from private investors and the dollar rose in value against all other currencies. In July 2011, the government came within a day of declaring a technical default on its debt. The credit rating agency Standard and Poors did, in fact, downgrade US government debt from AAA to AA+ on August 2. There should have been a ight of capital away from dollar assets. Instead there was an inow of nearly $180 billion in August and September, and again mostly from the private sector. In December 2012, the economy once more headed towards a â€œďŹ scal cliffâ€?. The US Congress was at an impasse over the government’s borrowing limits. Economists wondered whether this would push the dollar off its perch and deliberated on the extent of the spike in interest rates. The dollar remained steady and the yield on US treasury bills continued to range around 2 per cent. Prasad’s message is that economic logic and fundamentals are not the only determinants of capital ows. There are “softerâ€? factors with strong explanatory force. Investors moved money into dollar assets, even though they at times received a negative real return, because they had conďŹ dence and trust in the fairness and transparency of US public institutions and because the dollar was the safest relative bet. As he put it, “if not the dollar what elseâ€?, in a market roiled by volatility., This message should be absorbed by the leaders of our new government. Private capital will not ow towards India until and unless conďŹ dence

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and trust in its public institutions have been restored. Investors did at one time regard India as a relatively “good betâ€? because of its strong fundamentals and the integrity of its institutions. They did fret about the bureaucracy, red tape and corruption, but they felt assured that once these entry hurdles had been scaled, the playing ďŹ eld would be kept even and that they would be treated fairly. Today, however, their views have altered. They are no longer conďŹ dent about contract sanctity and worry they may be subject to the exercise of discretionary and whimsical authority. The new government must change this perception. This will not be easy. It will require many policy changes and the executive will have to untangle projects from red tape. But more than that, it will require the new leadership to engage in a personal “charmâ€? offensive. Every company, irrespective of size, geography or ownership, is ultimately run by a small handful of people. It is this group that determines when, where and how the company’s money is to be spent. Their subjective predilections are a major determinant of investment decisions and often more important than sophisticated, process driven and quantitatively rigorous project analysis. A frictionless ďŹ rst step would be for the new prime minister to invite the top leadership of major companies involved in the sectors most important to us, like energy, infrastructure and mining, for a personal tete a tete with him and his key cabinet ofďŹ cials. His personal commitment to due process and the framework of law would go a long way to allay the “gutâ€? concerns of this corporate elite. (Indian Express). The writer is the chairman of Brookings India and senior fellow, Brookings Institution

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Mr. Modi on the combined strengths of all Indians. will need both, the wisdom of King Solomon and the wholehearted support of all Indians, to carry out his duties as prime minister successfully. Now is not the time for India to become distracted by its differences. Now is the time for India to propel forward itself forward.

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C OMMUNITY VOICE OF ASIA

VOICE OF ASIA 3

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

Second Front Page

Friday, May 9, 2014

Page 3

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Dr. Hardeep Singh receives research Alief ISD honors award from President Obama Sewa at Business Partner Appreciation Breakfast

Saroj Gupta (center) and Sewa AmeriCorps VISTAs, Alexis Angelo and Laura Frye with the plaque.

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n Tuesday, April 29th Sewa International was recognized by Alief Independent School District at their annual Business Partners Appreciation Breakfast. Sewa Houston president, Saroj Gupta, and Sewa AmeriCorps VISTAs, Alexis Angelo and Laura Frye, accepted a plaque in honor of “creating a bright future for Alief students” presented by AISD superintendent, H.D. Chambers. Sewa currently offers after-school tutorials to students in the Language Institute for Newcomers program (LINC) in Alief ISD. The LINC program is geared specifically towards high school students who have been in the United States for less than two years. Sewa partnered with AISD and LINC to provide further instruction in English development after school. The students Sewa serves in the LINC program come from a variety of backgrounds ranging from refugees to immigrants from all over the world. Many LINC students have received

minimal formal education upon arriving in the US so in addition to learning a new language and culture they must also learn the education system and expectations. In addition to offering after-school tutorials in Alief, Sewa also offers college readiness and future planning programs, summer academic support to students attending the Summer Language Institute, and summer immunization drives in partnership with the Texas Children’s Mobile Clinic. In the Fall of 2014 Sewa will launch a mentorship program aimed to further assist LINC students to better develop life skills. Sewa’s goal in AISD is to assist newly immigrated students in their academic pursuits, instill self-motivational skills, emphasize the importance of high school and higher education, and establish English fluency. To get involved with Sewa and programs impacting recent refugee and immigrant students please contact vista@ sewausa.org

Read these stories and more on www.VoiceofAsiaOnline.com

President Barack Obama joins Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipients for a group photo in the East Room of the White House, April 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon). Dr. Singh is just behind

President Obama and to the right.

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t was announced in January that Dr. Hardeep Singh was one of the recipients of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He has now traveled to Washington, D.C. for the award presentation and a meeting with President Obama at the White House, an experience he described as humbling and inspirational. “It was a great honor to be invited to the White House and to receive such a prestigious award,” said Singh, associate professor of medicine at Baylor and chief of the Health Policy, Quality and Informatics Program at the Houston VA Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their careers. Singh received the award for his groundbreaking multidisciplinary research on missed and delayed diagnoses and patient safety improvement in electronic health record-based clinical settings. Singh traveled to the nation’s capital for the award events first attended the award presentation ceremony on the morning of April 14. Held at the U.S.

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Department of Agriculture, the awards were presented by John Holdren, chief science and technology officer at the White House along with a representative from the government agency who nominated the awardee. For Singh, that was Dr. Robert Jesse, who is deputy undersecretary for health in the Department of Veteran Affairs. The 102 honorees represent diverse scientific disciplines, including healthcare, oceanography, energy, geology and space science, among others, and Singh relished the opportunity to interact with many of the award recipients. “The President emphasized the importance of nurturing scientists in all disciplines as well as having diversity among scientists. He was quite inspirational in terms of promoting science and encouraged us to remain on the frontiers of science and to keep pushing the boundaries of innovation and technology.” said Singh about his meeting with the President. Singh’s work has received a lot of attention recently. His latest study on misdiagnosis was recently published and has been featured widely in the news, including on NBC Nightly News.

Dr. Hardeep Singh at the White House “Getting the recognition through the Presidential Award and in the media has been great for our work. This type of research has been difficult to do and remained underemphasized until now, even though it’s important to do for improving patient care, clinical practice and health policy. I’m glad to see it in the public eye.” (Courtesy: BCM Office of Communications).


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 4

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

Lemon law applies to most vehicles Q. Does the Texas lemon Law apply to a motorcycle? A. The Texas Lemon law gives you the right to relief if a new vehicle you purchase is not repaired within a reasonable number of attempts. The law applies to cars, trucks, motorcycles, motor homes and all terrain vehicles. For more information or to file a complaint, visit, https:// txdmv.gov/motorists/consumer-protection/lemon-law, or call (888) 368-4689. Q. About ten years ago I did business with a company and never paid my bills. I was shocked to find out that they still refuse to deal with me until I pay. Isn’t there some sort of limitations period for collecting a debt? A. There are limitation periods for any type of legal action. For example, the statute of limitations bars a lawsuit for a debt after four years. There also are limits on how long such information may be reported on your credit report. In most cases, after seven years the information becomes obsolete and cannot be reported. There are no limitations, however, on how long you “owe” a debt. In fact, until it is paid, the money is owed. If the person to whom you owe the money does not want to deal with you until the debt is paid, he has a legal right to do so. It may seem “shocking” to you, but it is obviously a matter of some importance to the person to whom you owe the money. Q. I know someone who never got divorced and now lives with his common law wife. How can someone have a common law marriage if they are already married? A. You cannot have two wives! A common law marriage is no different from any other form of marriage. You may be married to only one person. Until you get a divorce, you cannot have another marriage, common law or otherwise. Q. If you loan someone money and there is no type of legally binding agreement, only verbal, what type of action can be taken to retrieve funds? A. In most cases, when you loan someone money, he or she signs a promissory note, acknowledging the loan and promising to repay it. You seem to think that there is no “legally binding agreement,” however, because you do not have anything in writing. If you loaned the person money and he agreed to pay you back, you have a “legally binding agreement,” even if it is oral. It would be easier to collect if you had a signed writing, but it is not necessary. You can file a claim in Justice Court to collect, but you will have to prove the loan and promise to repay. Q. I want to make it clear that I do not wish to be kept alive by a machine. Can I write my own living will? Is there any special language I should use? A. As you seem to understand, the best way to insure that your wishes regarding the decision to be kept alive by life support is to make sure you clearly spell out what you want to happen in the event you have a terminal condition. You can do this by a document you prepare, but I strongly suggest you use the form the state of Texas has prepared. An “Advanced Directive,” commonly called a living will, allows you to specify the treatment you would want in the event that you had a terminal condition and death was imminent. The document is a simple to understand form, and is available free from my website below. For a free copy of a living will or more information about your legal rights, check out my website, www.peopleslawyer.net

IMMIGRATION

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

YOUR IMMIGRATION LAWYER Answers to your Immigration Questions by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer: email at srichardslaw@aol.com

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT PETITION TO REMOVE CONDITIONS ON RESIDENCE Sharlene Sharmila Richards Q: I was recently granted conditional residence based on marriage to a US Citizen. My Resident Card is valid for only two years. Please explain what this status is? A: Marriage now results in what is termed conditional residence status unless it is more than 2 years old at the time of granting the permanent residence status. You and your spouse are required to file a joint petition to remove the condition on residence within 90 days of the second anniversary of the grant of the conditional residence and before the end of the two year period (meaning before the expiry of your conditional residence). Q: What happens after the condition on my permanent residence has been removed? A: Your residence becomes permanent. You will receive a new Permanent Resident Card. Q: What form do I use to file the petition to remove the condition on my residence? A: The form to use is Form I-751 Petition To Remove Conditions on Residence. The present filing fee including biometrics is $590. You may obtain this Form from USCIS’s website at www.uscis.gov. If you need assistance with the petition, please contact an immigration attorney for advice. Q: I have children who obtained the conditional residence at the same time as I did. Do I have to file separate petitions for each of my children? A: The child who received his or her conditional residence at the same time or within 90 days of the parent’s conditional residence need not file a separate petition. You will have to include your children in your petition. If the child received his or her conditional residence status more than 90 days after his or her parent, then that child must file a separate petition. Q: My wife obtained her Immigrant Visa from the US Consulate in India and on the visa it states it is a Conditional Residence visa (CR1). By the time my wife traveled to the United States to join me, our marriage was already more than 2 years old. The card she received was valid for only two years. What is my wife’s correct status? A: Your wife is not a conditional resident but a permanent resident. Since the card issued appears to be in error, please contact USCIS to report this error. You may be required to file Form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card to request that USCIS correct the error on your existing card. For errors on the part of USCIS, no filing fee for the Form I-90 is needed. Submit the necessary documentation to show that at the time of your wife’s admission to the United States, your marriage was more than two years old. Q: My husband does not want to file the Joint Petition with me as we are planning on divorcing. What do I do? A: You can request a waiver of the joint filing requirement due to divorce. However, you may not request for the waiver on the I-751 until the divorce has been finalized. It is best to consult with an immigration attorney to properly advise you of the matter since untimely filings of the I-751 could result in the applicant being placed in removal proceedings. Q: What documents are needed for the I-751 Petition to be approved? A: You and your spouse will need to submit documents evidencing good faith marriage. Ideally, the documents are those that were acquired after the conditional residence was granted and covers the entire period of the conditional residence. This can include joint bank account statements, joint Federal Tax Returns, birth certificates of children, lease of joint tenancy or joint ownership of assets etc. Q: Can I travel during the time my petition to remove the condition is pending? My Conditional Resident Card has already expired. A: After filing the joint petition, you will be issued an I-751 Receipt Notice which also confirms that your conditional residence status is extended for a period of one year. During this one year extension, you are authorized for employment and also travel, provided your conditional residence has not already been terminated. Q: What is termination of conditional residence? A: Termination of conditional residence happens if USCIS has affirmatively terminated the status prior to its two year expiration or has adjudicated the petition to find that it was not valid. Failure to timely file the I-751 petition or to appear for a scheduled interview may also result in termination of conditional residence status. A conditional resident whose status has been terminated will be placed in removal proceedings. Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case. Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@ aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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VOICE OF ASIA 5

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

7th Annual Hasya Kavi Sammellan hosted by India Culture Center and International Hindi Association OBITUARY

Mrs. Aleyamma Varghese, affectionately known as Ammini, was called home by her Savior on May 1, 2014. Ammini was born on May 6, 1943 to the late Koruthu and Aleyamma Eapen in Kottapurthu House, Niranam, Kerala, India. She was full of spirit and had an exceptionally positive outlook on life. Ammini was dedicated to her family, friends and community. She is survived by her husband Abraham (Kunjumon), daughter Meenu, son Manoj, daugher-in-law Vinitha, and granddaughter Lenna. Her laughter, love and unparalleled zest for life will be tremendously missed.

Funeral Service was on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 at Immanuel Mar Thoma Church, 12803 Sugar Ridge Blvd., Stafford, TX 77477. Interment at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery, 12800 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077

Presidents and Directors of host organizations: ICC and IHA with the artists.

H

OUSTON - The India Culture Center, (ICC) Houston in collaboration with the International Hindi Association (IHA) hosted the 7th Annual Hasya Kavi Sammellan event at India House on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014.

On Mother’s Day

Indian poets Pradeep Chaubey from Gwalior, Sarvesh Asthana from Lucknow and Aalok Srivastava from Vidisha recited their collection of Hasya Kavita to audience of more than 325 people who were thoroughly entertained Event Coordinator Nisha Mirani, ICC Director welcomed the audience. Charlie Patel , ICC President also extended a warm welcome to the visiting poets and the guests. Patel gave a brief insight of ICC activities and its signature eventstwo of which: Leaders Conference he announced would be held on June 7th and India’s Independence Day celebration on August 16th. The IHA Houston Chapter President Swapan Dhairyawan updated ICC- IHA partnership on events like the National Adhiveshan, Kavita ki Shaam and Holi ke Hindi Bol. He also announced that an additional event would be added in September. Dhairyawan spoke about “Gunjan�, online newsletter and Hindi speaking community engagement.

To our Dearest Mom Veena,

Happy Mother’s Day. We appreciate, love and care about you in a very special way. We both are very fortunate that we are blessed to have a mother like you. You are the kindest and most nurturing mom. You are a gift from God, that He blessed us with. God bless you always, Love, Dhiren and Zoe.

Happy Mother’s Day Poets recite their collection of poems. He later thanked sponsors and supporters namely Mass Mutual, MD & Associates, Wallis State Bank, Paradise Gifts, Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America, Madras Pavilion. Darshak/ Mona Thakkar for Sound & PA and India House for the facility. He also thanked the media for the coverage and the core Committee of IHA and all Volunteers for their support.

The Sutrasanchalan was done by Sarvesh Asthana.

At the start of the program, Dhairyawan, invited Nita Mehta and Bacchuben Bhavsar to Deep Prajvalan (light the lamp).

“We found the Houston audience most amiable and socially connected,� commented Sarvesh Asthana

Dr K D Upadhyaya gave a humorous and authoritative introductions of the three poets.

Tasty refreshments & kadak chai was served by Madras Pavilion The Program ended on time at 8.05pm. This was the 10th program for the poets who are on the whirlwind trip to USA and covering the 16 Chapters of IHA on the National level.

For more information about future events visit www.icchouston.org or call 2813820348

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VOICE OF ASIA 6

S

ri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha celebrated its first Akshay Tritiya and Chandan Yatra festival on May 1st and May 2nd at its Temple in northwest Houston. The importance of this day is explained by Srila Narayana Maharaja, the founder of the temple, as follows - “Akshaya means ‘not perishable.’ Any endeavor started on this day will be successful. If you sincerely take a spiritual vow today, your bhakti will be very successful. On Aksaya-tritiya the universe was created by Brahma, so today is the first day of Creation. Also, Brahma created barley, which is like a medicine, and which is the root of all the corn and other foodstuffs. Barley is given today to Krishna. Today the doors of Bhadri-narayana are opened, and a festival is observed in Puri to initiate the construction of Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha (chariot)”. The parent organization of the temple, Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was also established on this day in 1941.

COMMUNITY

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

Akshaya Tritiya and Chandan Yatra celebrated at Gaudiya Matha Temple at the temple. With the Vedic chanting and the blowing of the sacred conch shell, the temple room was filled with transcendental presence of Lord Jagannatha and Sri Radha Govindaji. OCC President and priest, Dr. Debananda Pati recited mantras to invoke heavenly permission of the Lord for the OCC Rath construction and passed the symbol to Mr. Madhab Maharana, the original builder of the Houston Rath in 2008. He then explained the importance of this day.

This day also marks the start of Chandan Yatra. As it starts getting very hot in India, the devotees apply chandan (sandalwood paste) to the Lord to keep Him cool. Temple devotees in Houston also worked tirelessly for hundreds of hours to make the sandalwood paste by rubbing the sandalwood sticks while chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. On May 1st, the Deity of Lord Krishna (Sri Govindaji) was completely embalmed with sandalwood paste and decorated with beautiful colors and flowers. Throughout the evening hundreds of people came to the temple and were mesmerized by this special darshan of Sri Govindaji. On May 2nd, Orissa Culture Center (OCC) along with Sri Sita Rama Foundation celebrated the Akshya Trititya with the Gaudiya Matha devotees

After the conclusion of all the rituals, Sandhya Aarti was performed with great love and devotion by over 300 devotees gathered in the temple. After this everyone recited Sri Jagannatha Astakam and Sri Dasavatara Stotram as Pushpanjali was offered to Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra Devi. On behalf of the temple, Tarun Krishna Prabhu thanked everyone and on behalf of OCC, Dr. Samal offered his gratitude and invited everybody for joining the 2014 Snana Purnima (June 14, 2014), and the Rath Yatra (June 29, 2014). The festival was concluded with a delicious vegetarian prasadam feast that was sponsored by OCC and prepared by the temple devotees. The devotees and guests pitched in to clean the temple room and the kitchen following in the footsteps of Puri Gajapati, who brooms the road in front of the Lord’s chariot. Undoubtedly, cleaning the Lord’s temple is the most sacred, blissful and rewarding job! The presiding Deities at the temple are: Sri Radha Govindaji; Sri Gaura Nitai and Sri Sita Rama Laksmana Hanuman. There are six regular aaratis every day. Visitors are warmly welcomed and are especially invited to our Sunday services (5 – 7 PM). Gurukula classes for children in grades K-12 is at 5:45. You will find traditional Vedic teachings, worship and values in an American setting.

Temple priest conducting the ceremony. TOP: Deities of Sri Krishna and Radha Rani

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Devotees apply chandan (sandalwood paste to the Lord to keep Him cool.

Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha temple is located at 16628 Kieth Harrow Blvd off Hwy 6 between I-10 and 290. For more information, please visit www.sggm.org or call (832) 464-4686.

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DIASPORA

VOICE OF ASIA 7

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

Overseas Indians travel home Britain confers top honour on to support Modi Indian tycoon Ratan Tata by Pamposh RAINA

N

EW DELHI, May 5, 2014 (AFP) - Adapa V. Prasad, a 60-yearold entrepreneur from Washington DC, has been risking Maoist violence in central India for the sake of the man he wants to see become the next prime minister, Narendra Modi. Travelling door-to-door in tribal areas of Chhattisgarh state, a hotbed of left-wing extremism, he has been asking people to vote for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “India is going down the drain under the present Congress government. I cannot see that happen,” said Prasad, an American of Indian origin who left his homeland 25 years ago and has spent about $2,000 to travel back for polling. Echoing others who are fired up by Modi’s strident nationalism and development agenda, he sees the controversial 63year-old as a means to create pride in the poverty-wracked country. “The impetus to come here (India) is to bring Modi as the prime minister. We don’t want our country to be seen as a weak country,” said Prasad, who spent his younger days in Chhattisgarh but has never campaigned there before. He serves as a vice-president with the international network of the Hindu nationalist party, Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) in the United States. A Delhi-based BJP leader coordinating international outreach efforts estimated that more than 4,000 non-resident Indians from over 30 countries have travelled to India to work for the party since January. “I received calls from many young people living abroad,” said Vijay Jolly, global convenor for BJP’s overseas affairs. “I have not seen such a phenomenon before,” said Jolly, a former legislator who has been with the party for more than

three decades.

814 million voters.

He explained that despite living abroad, overseas Indians yearned for progress in their motherland after allegations of corruption and weak leadership marred Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s two terms in office.

The staggered election, which began on April 7, will finish with results on May 16 with the BJP forecast to emerge as the biggest party in parliament.

The high-octane social media campaign of the BJP coupled with regular online interactions with its overseas members and the charisma of Modi has drawn these supporters to India, Jolly said. As well as organising events locally in their home countries, returning BJP supporters have helped with a formidable grassroots campaign by the party, which can also count on rightwing Hindu groups to provide volunteers. By contrast, at the headquarters of the Congress party in New Delhi, members were reluctant to share any details of help from the diaspora. Emails to different chapters of the party’s international arm, Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC), yielded just one response. “Unfortunately the person appointed by AICC (All India Congress Committee) to head INOC has totally failed in organising support for the party in US at this critical election,” read the email from an anonymous party member.

The party, which was born in 1980, has run the federal government only once, between 1998 and 2004, unlike Congress, which has ruled the country for more than five decades since India’s independence from Britain in 1947. Sanjay Srivastava, who left India eight years ago to work as a manager with a telecom company in Nigeria, sees Modi as a harbinger of change. He cast his ballot in his hometown of Ranchi, capital of mineral-rich eastern Jharkhand state, which has among the worst human development indicators in India. “I feel there is no hope here. There is no development here,” said 37-year-old Srivastava. But he is confident that Modi, chief minister of the thriving western state of Gujarat since 2001, could transform his home state. “Jharkhand has poor amenities, bad roads, poor electricity. The success model of Gujarat should be replicated here,” he said.

In this handout photograph released by the British High Commission, British High Commissioner to India James Bevan (L) presents the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) on behalf of The Queen to Ratan Tata (R), Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, in New Delhi.

N

EW DELHI, May 5, 2014 (AFP) - Indian tycoon Ratan Tata has received an honorary knighthood from Britain in recognition of his company’s heavy British investments and philanthropy, an embassy statement said Monday. Tata, who retired in 2012 as head of the giant tea-to-steel Tata group, was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire. The award is one of Britain’s

“We are all disappointed! This is the problem with our party leaders and they are out of touch with the grassroots!” it added. - ‘No hope here’ Following legislation passed in 2010, Indian passport-holders who are living abroad are able to vote as long they sign up and register.

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highest civilian honours, the British High Commission (embassy) said in a statement. “Tata is the only Indian national to be given this particular award since India became a republic in 1950,” the High Commission added. Under Ratan Tata, 76, the group bought Britain’s Corus Group, a steelmaker, for $11.3 billion in 2007 as the Mumbai-based business house spread its global wings.

A year later, the conglomerate bought British luxury icons Jaguar and Land Rover for $2.3 billion as it vaulted into the premium global car market. Tata has become Britain’s largest manufacturing employer. Ratan Tata, who is now Tata Group chairman emeritus and one of India’s most respected businessmen, was presented the award by British High Commissioner to India, Sir James Bevan, on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 8

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

North South Foundation – Promoting Excellence in Education

H

ouston Chapter of North South Foundation (NSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in education, involved in implementing educational programs for children in North America and India, has conducted on 5th and 26th of April this year several contests for children at Lone Star College – University Park campus in North-West Houston. This year, the organization is proudly celebrating its 25th anniversary. It all started with a humble beginning by Dr. Ratnam Chitturi, a native of Chicago, IL, who dedicated his life for the noble cause. Money generated through contests, workshops, online coaching and from donations is given as scholarships to economically disadvantaged, but deserving children for their education in India. The competitions in US is open to children of Indian origin. In Houston, it is the 22nd year of conducting the educational contests that include Spelling Bee, Vocabulary Bee, Math Bee, Science Bee, Geography

nam Chitturi, a new program called Universal Values has been started and several Houston based children participated. As part of the awards ceremony on 26-Apr, these children and on-line coaches have been recognized. As grand sponsors of the event, American Telugu Association (ATA) has supported the regional contests both financially and at every step of theway. Sri Narender Cheemerla and Sri Bangar Reddy of ATA have given away medals, trophies and certificates for the winners. The event has also been sponsored by India Cultural Center (ICC). Sri Charlie Patel, President of ICC, speaking at the awards ceremony on 26th of Apr recalled ICC’s sustaining support for the promotion of education taken up by NSF for the past several years. In addition to the above two organizations, Biriyani Pot, Mirchi Masala, Andhra Mirchi Radio and Radio Hangama have sponsored the event. The team consisting of Sai Rachakonda, Chapter Coordinator for Houston, Vijai Ku-

Winner of the Spelling Bee contest

Winner of the Spelling Bee contest Bee, Public Speaking, and Essay Writing. On both the days, a total of 194 children participated with 361 contest registrations. This is the highest number of registrations so far in the past several years. Vast beautiful premises and excellent facilities of Lone Star College have provided a suitable and appropriate venue for the contests. This is the second year in a row Lone Star College have sponsored the event and provided their facilities. The organization is solely run by volunteers and close to 40 volunteers including some youth have dedicated their time and energy in successfully conducting the contests this year. In addition to conducting the contests Houston Chapter has organized workshops for Math and Spelling in the month of January. NSF volunteers also conducted on-line coaching for math counts, SAT, and Spelling Bee. Recently with the encouragement of the founder Dr. Rat-

mar, Technical Coordinator, the other members of the Houston team Neetha Chada and Sridhar Dadi, thanked all the volunteers, sponsors, the Lone Star College who provided excellent venue for the contests, Krishna Sounds (Darshak Thakkar) for providing the sound system, and the parents of children who participated in the contests for their contribution towards promoting educational excellence. The Foundation believes that this world can be a better place to live if the children of today are better prepared to be good citizens of tomorrow. Toward this end, the Foundation encourages children to endeavor to become the best they can be, by giving their best. Further, while it is self-evident that all humans are created equal, it is education that is paramount to actually realizing the rights of equality including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the Founding Fathers of this Nation envisaged more than two hundred years ago.

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COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 9

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

Chithirai Thiruvizha at Sri Meenakshi Temple her in the art of warfare as she would be the heir to the throne. In time, Meenakshi proved herself a mighty warrior, met and chose Lord Sundareswarar as her husband and later married him. Hence Meenakshi Pattabhishekam is celebrated with great joy and it is also believed that this is a transformation of power from Lord Sundareswarar to Goddess Meenakshi who will reign as Queen for four months, and later in the Tamil month of Aavani (August / September) the power reverts back to the Lord. To see the Goddess adorned with her crown (a replica of the diamond crown given to Madurai Meenakshi by Appaji Rayar of Krishnadevaraya’s times) and scepter was a rare sight. In ancient times the scepter was received by priests as representatives of Meenakshi. However in modern times the Chairman of the board of Trustees of Sri Meenakshi temple receives the Scepter. At Pearland’s Sri Meenakshi temple, this honor is given to the current Chairman of the board Dr. P. Vaduganathan, who accompanied the procession with his wife Nach. An added jewel to the crown

Goddess being taken in a procession along with the other utsava Murthis around the Main temple. by Ponni Sivaraman

C

hithirai Thiruvizha (Festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Chithirai) is an annual celebration in Madurai, India during the month of April / May. It is one of the longest celebrations of the world and lasts for nearly a month. Following that tradition, Sri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland Texas, also commenced

its 12 day celebration on May 1st 2014, with Vigneswara and Vasthusanthi poojas. On May 2nd, (day 2) Sri Manicka Sundara Bhattar hoisted a flag bearing an image of Nandi on the Dwajastambam or kodimaram, declaring the festival officially open; the flag will stay hoisted until the end of the festival. Day 3 was the much awaited Meenakshi Pattabhishekam or

was this year’s Poo (Flower) Pallaku (organized with volunteers led by Roopa Balakrishnan & Dhanam Thiagarajan), which was an unbelievable creation in which the Goddess was taken in a procession along with the other utsava Murthis around the Main temple praharam. A large number of devotees chanting slokas and songs joined the procession. Live Nadaswaram and Thavil music in the procession added to the spiritual vibration already emitting from a gorgeous sunset background. The Mahotsavam event took 12 months of planning,1500 labor hours, 5000 red and white carnations and over 50 volunteers to help decorate the pallaku and to make the event a grand success. MTS provided dinner for all devotees (coordinated by Jeyam Thiagarajan); the Mahotsavam continues to have an excellent variety of cultural programs (coordinated by Mala Gopal). Special thanks to the event coordinators, S. Balakrishnan and C. Vijayarajan, and Religious activities committee’s M. Sriram, Sasidaran Pillai and RAC chair S. Narayanan with all volunteers for the wonderful organization of the event for the devotees enjoyment.

the Coronation of the Queen. Hundreds of Devotees gathered at the temple on a beautiful breezy evening of May 3rd, and were speechless spectators to the glorious crowning of the Goddess as the Empress. Legend has it, that Meenakshi was born (rose from the yaga Agni) to Madurai King Malayathuvaja Pandian and his queen Kanchanamalai. Celestial voices instructed the royal couple to raise her as a son and train

The 12 day celebration commenced on May 1st 2014, with Vigneswara and Vasthusanthi poojas.

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SOUTH ASIA

VOICE OF ASIA 10

India urges calm after at least 32 Muslims killed by Zarir Hussain

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UWAHATI, (AFP) - The Indian government appealed for calm on Sunday after at least 32 Muslims were shot dead in the northeastern state of Assam in attacks targeting women and children and blamed on tribal separatists. As more than 5,000 soldiers and police patrolled the restive tea-growing region, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the killings appeared aimed at provoking a “full fledged” communal conflict. Police blame indigenous Bodo tribesmen for the violence on Thursday and Friday nights in the region, where Muslims have long been accused of grabbing land after migrating from across the Bangladesh border. “The objective of this (separatist) group seems to be aimed at starting a full fledged communal conflagration,” Shinde said in a statement, adding the violence was targeted at women and children. “The public leaders of both Bodo and (the) minority community must see to it that things do not deteriorate,” the minister said, urging the region to maintain “peace and calm”. The violence comes during the final stretch of the country’s mammoth general election, which has seen religious and ethnic tensions flare and deadly attacks staged elsewhere in the country including by Maoist rebels. Hindu nationalist hardliner Narendra Modi and his opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are expected to defeat the ruling Congress party after a decade in power.

Thousands of families have fled their homes since masked gunmen went on the rampage in Baksa and neighbouring Kokrajhar district, shooting Muslims dead including children as young as 18 months as they slept. Shinde put the death toll at 32. But a senior police official said two more bodies were discovered on Sunday while a teenager died of her injuries overnight Saturday, taking the number killed to 35. “Two dead bodies were recovered from a riverbank a few kilometres away from Narayanguri while another teenage girl injured in the attack succumbed to her injuries in a hospital,” the officer told AFP on condition of anonymity. Some 4,000 Central Armed Police Force officers and 1,500 soldiers have already been deployed, with another 1,000 police on their way, Shinde’s statement said. Despite the tight security, Muslim community leader Ibrahim Ali told AFP families have fled their homes, some of which have been razed, adding that “a sense of fear and panic looms large”. “More than 5,000 people have fled their homes in the two districts and are taking shelter in safe areas,” said Abdur Rahim, leader of the All Minority Students Union. - History of clashes The victims are Muslims whose migrant community has long been locked in land disputes with Bodos that have spilled over into violence in the remote state that borders Bhutan and Bangladesh. Local media reported that Bodos targeted the community

India police clear top Modi aide over killings

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EW DELHI, May 7, 2014 (AFP) - Indian police on Wednesday cleared a top aide of prime ministerial frontrunner Narendra Modi of involvement in the 2004 shooting to death of four people, but he still faces allegations over other killings, a report said. The federal Central Bureau of Investigation told a court in western Gujarat state there was “not sufficient evidence” to charge Amit Shah over the killings of four people including 19-year-old teenager Ishrat Jahan, the Press Trust of India said. Police at the time had alleged the four, gunned down on a highway on the edge of Gujarat’s main city of Ahmedabad, were terrorists plotting to kill Modi -- the Hindu nationalist chief minister of the state. Shah has been serving as the leading strategist for Modi’s opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the pivotal state of Uttar Pradesh during India’s marathon general election which has entered its final stages. Shah has insisted he is innocent of involvement in any killings. Human rights activists have said the four were victims of a so-called “fake encounter” -or a staged gun battle. The father of one of the victims had sought the arraignment of Shah whom he accused of conspiring with police to organise the killings

while he was state home minister. The case was one of several allegations faced by Shah. who has been named in a preliminary police probe as a suspect in the 2005 killings of a Muslim man who was also accused by Gujarat police of plotting to assassinate Modi. His wife was also shot dead by Gujarat police. Police alleged that terrorists wanted to kill Modi in revenge for the deaths of at least 1,000 people, mainly Muslims, in riots that swept the state in 2002. Shah also faces an inquiry for alleged illegal snooping in 2013 on a female architect in Gujarat. Shah is widely expected to take a senior role in a Modi government if, as polls forecast, the BJP defeats the ruling Congress party in the election A CBI spokesman confirmed to AFP it had filed a court affidavit but would not disclose its contents. “There was absolutely no evidence against Amit Shah in this (2004) case,” BJP spokeswoman Nirmala Sitharaman told AFP. Extra-judicial killings are nothing new in India, with a number of cases having come to light in recent years in restive Indian-administered Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority region. There are also many cases in other parts of India.

as punishment for failing to support their candidate in the multi-phase election. Voting in Assam ended on April 24.

Modi, frontrunner for prime minister, said last week illegal immigrants from Bangladesh should pack their bags if he came to power at the polls, whose results are to be announced on May 16. A political row has flared over the attacks, with Congress accusing the BJP of creating a “communal atmosphere” during the election. The BJP in turn accused Congress, in power at state level in Assam, of failing to maintain law and order. Muslims in Baksa refused on Sunday to bury 18 of those killed, in a protest against authorities whom they accuse of failing to protect them. Police blame the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, one of several banned rebel groups demanding a separate homeland, for the attacks. The front has denied being behind the violence. Seventeen people were killed in clashes in the same region in January and thousands of others fled their homes. In 2012 ethnic clashes in the same area claimed about 100 lives and displaced more than 400,000 people.

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

US FBI agent arrested with bullets at Pakistan airport KARACHI, May 7, 2014 (AFP) - An American FBI agent arrested in Pakistan for trying to board a plane while carrying pistol ammunition has been remanded in police custody until the weekend, officials said. The man was held at Karachi airport Monday when security staff found 15 bullets for a 9mm handgun during routine checks for a flight to Islamabad. Sources close to the case said Wednesday he was an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, while the Washington Post described him as an FBI staffer on temporary assignment in Pakistan to help local authorities investigate corruption. The Airport Security Force detained the man before handing him over to police. They filed an initial case against him for carrying illegal ammunition, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail. A court on Tuesday remanded the man in police custody until Saturday for further enquiries. “The American failed to provide any legal permission for carrying bullets,” senior police officer Rao Anwar told AFP. Local television stations showed brief footage of the

In this photograph taken on May 6, 2014 Pakistani policemen escort an alleged US FBI agent under arrest as they leave the local court in Karachi (AFP Photo/) man in custody, shackled to a police officer, but coverage of the incident so far has been muted by the standards of Pakistan’s media.

United States’ often-fraught relationship with Pakistan, which has improved markedly since almost collapsing in 2011 amid a series of crises.

US officials in Pakistan confirmed that an American had been arrested.

The fatal shooting of two men by CIA contractor Raymond Davis in the eastern city of Lahore in January 2011 sparked a diplomatic crisis between the two “war on terror” allies.

“We are aware of the situation that has been reported and we are coordinating with the Pakistani authorities to resolve the matter,” a US embassy spokeswoman said. The incident comes at a time of relative tranquility in the

A Pakistani court eventually freed Raymond Davis following the payment of $2 million in blood money to the families of the dead men.


WORLD/US

VOICE OF ASIA 11

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

US changes visa rules to keep foreign talent WASHINGTON, May 7, 2014 (AFP) - The United States said Tuesday it will soon start issuing work visas to the spouses of some foreign workers as part of a drive to retain highly skilled people. The change will affect the spouses of people with socalled H-1B visas, a limitedterm working visa that employees obtain when they are sponsored by their companies.

technology hub has for years been pushing for changes in immigration rules. But a more ambitious immigration reform, which would go beyond a mere administrative tweak and for example

raise the total number of visas available for foreign workers, has been stuck in Congress for nearly a year. “By sensibly improving these rules, we can help ensure that the most talented foreign in-

novators conduct their breakthrough research right here at home,” said Bruce Mehlamn, head of the Technology CEO Council, a business group bringing together major tech firms like IBM, Dell and Intel.

“Of course these administrative improvements cannot substitute for the bipartisan, common-sense immigration reforms that Congress alone can advance,” he added. This administrative change

comes with further easing of restrictions for researchers seeking a green card. It will take effect after a period allowing for public comment after the change is published in the Federal Register.

As it stands now, their spouses only get a “dependent” H-4 visa which allows them to live in the US but not to work. When spouses cannot work foreign families tend not to settle in the United States, depriving it of many workers highly skilled in science and technology. Under the changes, spouses of people with H-1B visas who have applied for permanent residency ‘green cards’ can also apply for permission to work. “The proposals announced today will encourage highly skilled, specially trained individuals to remain in the United States and continue to support US businesses and the growth of the US economy,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “The fact is, we must do more to retain and attract world-class talent to the United States and these regulations put us on a path to doing that,” said US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. Silicon Valley welcomed the news. The US information

Vice President Joe Biden Honors Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at ...... Continued from Page 1 the quality of life for AAPIs through increased participation in and access to federal programs. The members will advise the President on innovative ways to engage AAPIs across the country and to improve their health, education, environment, and well-being. For detailed bios on the new commissioners, please visit here. Additionally, during the ceremony, the outgoing Commissioners were thanked for their efforts with the release of a report highlighting its accomplishments. “We look forward to following in their footsteps of the outgoing Commission to help open the government’s doors to the community,” said Dr. Nguyen. “We’re excited to have such a passionate, talented group of individuals in this new Commission to lead this important work ahead.” This year, the theme for AAPI Heritage Month is “I Am Beyond,” led by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. The phrase captures the aspirations of the American spirit and how Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have always sought to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity in America. During the opening ceremony, there was also a panel discussion on the “I Am Beyond” theme and its implications by Pancholy, Okada, activist and journalist Helen Zia, and Executive Director of the National Korean American Service & Education Forum DJ Yoon. “The theme ‘I Am Beyond’ recognizes how Asian Pacific Americans have a rich, complex and inspirational American story,” said Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Director Konrad Ng. “Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is an opportunity to enrich our appreciation of the American story and America’s Asian Pacific heritage.” The AAPI Heritage Month celebration will continue throughout the month of May, with events happening nationwide, highlighting the community’s many contributions to the arts, sciences, government, military, commerce, and education.

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FRIDAY, May 9, 2014


VOICE OF ASIA 13

LIFESTYLE

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

  

ONLINE .COM voiceofasiaonline.com

Vol. 27

No. 19

Friday, May 9, 2014 Section 2

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Jack Ma: English teacher Life-changer or death sentence? Madrid’s electric bikes turned Internet visionary

Alibaba founder Jack Ma gives a speech in Hangzhou, eastern China’s Zhejiang province on May 10, 2013 (AFP Photo/Peter Parks)

A girl takes a “Bicing” bike - part of a shared bicycle scheme - for a ride on July 18, 2007, in Barcelona

by Roland LLOYD PARRY ADRID - Politicians say Madrid’s shared electric bicycle scheme, due to launch this month, can change the lives of citizens -- but others warn it will put their lives in danger. The Spanish capital is seeking to match rival Barcelona, as well as Paris and London, by providing hundreds of bicycles for public hire -- with the added feature of electric motors to help riders up slopes. The self-service stands that will hold the 1,500 electric bicycles started appearing around the centre of the Spanish capital this week, but the planned May 1 start has been pushed back to an unconfirmed date. Taxi driver Juan Gutierrez, 54, said he heard about the project just a week before the stands started going up. He shook his head at the thought of sharing the narrow streets with more bicycles. “People in Madrid value their lives too much to get on a bicycle here. It is very dangerous,” he said. “If the car that knocks you down doesn’t kill you, then the one behind it will.” Across the road, passerby Antonio Martin, 78, looked curiously at a new stand, one of 120 being set up in the

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first phase of the “BiciMad” project. “I think it’s great, for the environment and for traffic and everything,” he said. “Above all, when the weather is nice, this will be fantastic.” The city hall has launched an “awareness campaign” ahead of the bicycle deployment, and Madrid’s conservative Popular Party Mayor Ana Botella has conceded that adjustments will be necessary. “Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists have to make an effort to share public space for the benefit of all and mutually respect one another,” the mayor said in April. - Many bikes, little riding Pascual Berrone, from Madrid’s IESE business school, meanwhile, said Spaniards are keen to get on their bikes but do appear reluctant to ride in Madrid due to safety concerns. Sales of bicycles in Spain recently surpassed those of cars, he said -- but in central Madrid very few people use their bikes because of a lack of joinedup, dedicated cycle lanes and other infrastructure. “There are places it is quite easy to ride a bike, but other areas where it is extremely dangerous. It is often scary to ride a bicycle in Madrid,” he said. The “BiciMad” service follows similar schemes in Spanish cities such as

Barcelona, as well as Paris’s “Velibs” and London’s so-called “Boris bikes”. Built and installed by Spanish Basque firm BonoPark under a 25million-euro ($35 million) contract, the Madrid bikes will have electric motors that help propel them when pedalled. It remained to be confirmed how much users would have to pay to hire them. The city hall said bicycle use in Madrid increased by 17 percent from 2012 to 2013. Madrid currently has just over 300 kilometres (186 miles) of cycle lanes and has promised 70 kilometres more. - Few believed in dream “For years, riding bicycles in the centre of Madrid has been a dream that few people believed in,” said Mayor Botella last month. “Today it is a real alternative to using a private vehicle, a possibility that complements public transport.” The city hall believes the bike-share scheme “will change driving habits and improve the coexistence between the different forms of transport”. In the meantime, it said police have been cracking down on bike-related traffic violations. Officers have sanctioned dozens of cyclists and hundreds of drivers over recent weeks.

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SHANGHAI - After being knocked back by US venture capitalists in 1999, cash-strapped Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma persuaded friends to give him $60,000 to start an e-commerce firm called Alibaba. Fifteen years later the company is an Internet giant and Ma, a former English teacher, is among the topmost ranks of China’s super-rich with wealth estimated at $8.4 billion by Forbes magazine. On Tuesday, Alibaba filed documents for a US stock listing, widely expected to be one of the largest offerings in history. Analysts say the offer could raise around $15 billion, putting it on par with Facebook’s $16 billion IPO in 2012. Alibaba Group includes Tmall.com for business-to-consumer transactions and Taobao, China’s most popular online consumer marketplace with hundreds of millions of products and services listed. Ma, now 49, gave up his university teaching job after discovering the Internet. Seeing an opportunity for small businesses to buy and sell their goods online, he started Alibaba, initially running the company out of his apartment in the eastern city of Hangzhou. “The first time I used the Internet, I touched on the keyboard and I find ‘well, this is something I believe, it is something that is going to change the world and change China’,” Ma once told CNN. Ma has inspired strong devotion among his employees and users, drawing comparisons with late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs -- although he practises a more open management style.

A devotee of t’ai chi, he has made references to Chinese martial arts in both business strategy and corporate culture. Porter Erisman, a former Alibaba employee who made a documentary about the firm, “Crocodile in the Yangtze”, said: “What Silicon Valley is known for, he embodies a lot of that with Chinese characteristics -- that spirit of openness, risk-taking, innovation.” Ma graduated from the Hangzhou Teachers’ Institute with a major in English-language education, and went on to teach at another university in the city, where Alibaba is still headquartered. Chinese state media have burnished his rags-to-riches story, saying his parents were poorly educated and his father depended on a monthly retirement allowance of just $40 to support the family. Ma’s success was evident after Alibaba’s Taobao bested eBay in China, forcing the US auction site to largely withdraw from the country in 2006. Although he stepped down as Alibaba’s chief executive last year, Ma remains active within the company, providing strategic direction as chairman. In characteristic language, he threw down a challenge to the world’s global Internet giants in a memo sent to the company’s more than 20,000 employees as it filed for the IPO. “Fifteen years ago, Alibaba’s 18 founders were determined to set up a global Internet company originated by Chinese people, with hopes it would become one of the world’s top 10 Internet companies, a company which will exist for 102 years,” he said -- a lifespan which would mean it lives across three different centuries.


LEISURE

VOICE OF ASIA 14

Gratuities ‘not expected’ as some US restaurants forgo tips by Juliette MICHEL

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FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

Obamacare a punchline at Washington press dinner

EW YORK - In the United States, customers are expected to add an extra 10 to 20 percent to their tab at the end of a meal, but some restaurants are forgoing these tips. Leaving a gratuity is de rigueur when dining out because pay for restaurant servers is so low. While the US federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, wait staff can legally be paid as little as $2.13 in some places. In New York, one of the most expensive US cities, salaries for waiters start at $5.00 per hour. For wait staff, tips help bolster pay in line with other restaurant workers who don’t receive gratuities. However there is a new trend: Riki Restaurant in New York is one of a number of establishments eliminating tips by taking the unusual step of paying their staff higher wages. “Riki Restaurant is now a non-tipping establishment,” read notices at the popular Japanese eatery. “Tipping is not required nor expected.” - Protection from customers’ whims The no-tip policy is being adopted especially by some upscale restaurants where clients are less price sensitive, said Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. But a downside of the no-tipping policy is indeed that the sticker shock that patrons sometimes suffer when perusing menus that have tips already factored into the prices “It makes a restaurant look more expensive than a restaurant that has 15 percent lower prices, but expects tips,” said Lynn, who specializes a professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. in issues related to marketing and consumer behavior. Folding tips into the meal tab has the benefit however of protecting waiters from being shortchanged by the occasional tight-fisted diner. Gabriel Frem, owner of the upscale Brand 158 restaurant in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, also sees his establishment’s no-tipping policy as a way to protect staff from the whims of diners. “We interview and hire our employees, not the guest, and we expect to pay them, and be responsible for their

People in New York on May 1, 2014 walk in front of Japanese restaurant Riki, which has a non-tipping policy (AFP Photo/Emmanuel Dunand)

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2014 (AFP) - President Barack Obama cracked jokes about the government’s disastrous health care policy rollout and mocked political opponents at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner late Saturday.

actions,” he said. “If they do great, we keep them, and if they don’t, we let them go. We don’t want their pay to be “at the mercy of a guest’s random calculation, based on unpredictable factors.”

The annual dinner, filled with insider jokes and elbow jabs masquerading as humor, brings Washington journalists together with celebrities and power brokers for a meal with the president and first lady.

- Tips vary wildly As it turns out, tipping can vary wildly from guest to guest -- and not always because of the quality of the table service. Some patrons withhold tips because they feel the server was not sufficiently cheerful (“I don’t like her smile.”) Others do so because they didn’t particularly care for the food -- even if a meal’s preparation is not under the control of the wait staff.

President Obama during White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

A menu in front of Japanese restaurant Riki, in New York on May 1, 2014 sets out the restaurant’s non-tipping policy.

It’s also a problem, Frem said, if workers don’t know how much income they can count on from week to week. “We want to ensure that they can pay their bills,” he said. Some managers say greater pay security in tip-less restaurant reduces turnover and improves morale. The tipless restaurant is still a long way from becoming the norm, but some New Yorkers are beginning to warm to the idea. “At first, I really thought that if a waiter was rude, I would want my dis-

content to be reflected in their tip,” said Noel Warren, a young New Yorker who dines out at least twice a week. “But then I thought, why would a waiter be disrespectful in the first place? Probably because he or she has lost faith that customers are going to tip well -- so why put in any effort?” Warren mused that it might in fact be fairer to take the decision about tips out of the fickle hands of restaurant patrons -- which might even improve the table service that patrons. “If they were properly compensated for their work, they might treat their customers better,” Warren said.

“In 2008, my slogan was ‘Yes We Can.’ In 2013, my slogan was Control+Alt+Delete,” the president joked, a reference to the technical problems on HealthCare.gov, the website created for his signature health care overhaul. “On the plus side,” he said, “they did turn the launch of HealthCare.gov into one of the year’s biggest movies.” A poster of the Disney movie “Frozen” then flashed on the screen. There was also a technical problem with a video segment that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, blamed for the HealthCare.gov debacle, showed up to “fix.” - Obama ribs cable news Cable TV news networks were also a target of the president’s wit. Obama said that he was happy to be at the dinner, but was “a little jet lagged” after returning from his trip to Malaysia. “The lengths we have to travel to get CNN coverage,” he quipped. The reference was to CNN’s blanket

coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines airplane that for a time pushed all other news off their airwaves. He mocked MSNBC’s low viewership, then took a jab at Fox News. “Let’s face it, Fox, you’ll miss me when I’m gone. It’ll be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya,” he said. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton is widely seen as the frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race, though she has been coy about her intention to run. While CNN and MSNBC carried the event live, Fox aired a special on the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Conservatives have long blamed Obama officials, including Clinton, for mishandling the debacle. - Obama mocked for Guantanamo The featured speaker, TV comedian Joel McHale, did not spare the president. He praised Obama’s performance, then said that his favorite presidential joke “was when you said you would close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. That was classic. That was hilarious.” Obama promised to shut down the controversial “war on terror” prison at a US naval base in Cuba when he took office in January 2009, but the site is still open. Most of McHale’s jokes however were at the expense of the corpulent governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, who was at the dinner.


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Young Life Section 2

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Tel: 713-774-5140

Asians outperform white students Rise in Type 1, 2 diabetes among US because they try harder: study youths: study

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ASHINGTON, May 5, 2014 (AFP) Asian-American schoolchildren tend to outperform their white counterparts in school because they try harder, according to a US study out Monday. The findings were based on an analysis of records from two separate surveys tracking several thousand whites and Asians in the United States from kindergarten through high school. Scientists at Queens College of New York, the University of Michigan and Peking University in Beijing looked at grades, test scores, teacher ratings, family income and education level, immigration status and other factors.

“Asian-Americans enter school with no discernible academic advantage over whites,” said the study, noting that “advantage grows over time.” By fifth grade, or age 10-11, Asian-Americans “significantly outperform whites,” and the peak difference is reached by grade 10, or age 15-16.

“Overall, these results suggest that the growing achievement gap can be attributed to a widening gap in academic effort rather than to differences in cognitive ability.” Asian-Americans tend to be motivated by cultural teachings that instill the notion that effort is

more important than inborn ability, researchers said.

They also endure “greater parental pressures to succeed than in the case of comparable white peers.” The notion of a hard-working Asian student who is destined to succeed may be a stereotype, but it may actually work to the benefit of Asian-American youths, the researchers said. “These positive stereotypes may help bolster Asian-American achievement just as negative stereotypes have been shown to hinder the achievement of African-American youth,” said the article.

Asian-Americans’ higher degree of success comes at a price, however. Whether their family lineage traces back to the Philippines, South Asia, Southeast Asia or East Asia, these children report fewer positive feelings about themselves and say they spend less time with friends than whites, the study found. “They also have more conflict with both parents than comparable white peers,” it said. The research was published in the May 5 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed journal.

4th Annual McDonald’s Education Workshop 2014 Hosted by Southern News Group and Sharpstown International School

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outhern News Group, publisher of the Southern Chinese News newspaper, the International Trade Center and ITV International Television 55.5 is proud to be partnering with McDonald’s Corporation to present the fourth in a series of Education Workshops designed to support the effective pursuit of higher education by Asian Americans. The Houston event will be hosted by Southern News Group and the Sharpstown International School, 8330 Triola Lane, Houston, Texas on Saturday, May 17, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Admission is free to all students and their parents. Free gifts will also be given out. Admission is free. Speakers this year include Lana Sveda, the Educational Manger of the College Board, Austin, Texas., Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Dave Yatto, a graduate of West Point Military

Academy and Andrew Sumpter, the Freshman Admission Counselor from the University of Houston, a Carnegie-Designated Tier One Public Research University. Expert seminars on the following topics will be presented: Finding the right college for YOU, Effective college application strategies, Scholarships and Financial Aid, Your road to the Ivy League ,Your guide to West Point Military Academy, How to improve your SAT/ACT scores, Learning the secrets and tips to winning scholarships and winning the biggest financial aid packages, Writing a winning college essay, How parents can help their children prepare for top colleges, Submitting a Letter of recommendation and many more additional topics. At the college workshops this year, McDonald’s is bring-

ing the following activities which integrate achievement moments and messages to inspire success: 1. Maze game 2. Wheel of education 3. Photo taking activity 4. Meet and greet a well-recognized Asian role model, The Fung Brothers Featured Entertainment The Fung Brothers will be the featured entertainment for the event. The Fung Brothers (David & Andrew) grew up in the Seattle area and always had a huge passion for comedy, hip-hop, and food. After graduating from The University of Washington, the brothers decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in stand-up comedy as a duo. After making a few funny rap songs about food and putting the music videos on YouTube, people started to take notice – viewers across the world appreciated the subtle blend

of the equal parts: rapper, comedian, and foodie. They now have garnered over 200,000 subscribers and have been featured on Travel Channel’s All You Can Meat, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR and Angry Asian Man. They have also partnered with companies like McDonald’s, Comcast, Coco-Cola, 99 Ranch Market, and many more. Currently, the Fung Brothers are self-producing YouTube videos, performing stand-up comedy at colleges across the nation and making an impact in the community. Speaking about the importance of this event to the community, Southern News Group Chairman Wea H. Lee said that, “We feel that partnering with McDonald’s in this effort will be very important to the young people in the Houston community who will be able

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2014 (AFP) - Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are rising significantly among young people in the United States, according to new research that warns of a growing epidemic in American youth.

Type 2 diabetes is more common, and occurs when blood sugar levels are too high and the body doesn’t make insulin well enough. It can be controlled through healthy diet, exercise and medications.

Type 1 diabetes rose 21 percent among children and teenagers from between 2001 and 2009, said the study in based on three million children and adolescents.

The population studied came doctor-diagnosed cases from five centers in California, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington state, and included some American Indian reservations in Arizona and New Mexico.

Type 2 diabetes increased 30 percent over the same period, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Saturday. Type 1 diabetes appears most often in children and is a disorder in which the pancreas does not make insulin, leading to too much glucose in the blood. Those with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin for the rest of their lives. to attend these series of special education events and make the important choices and decisions that can impact the rest of their lives.” Participating universities this year include the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, University of Houston, West Point Military Academy, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at San Antonio, Southern Methodist University, TexasTech University, University of St. Thomas, University of Houston, Downtown, University of North Texas at Dallas, University of Dallas and Prairie View A&M University. Preregistration is encouraged. To register, please email to angela@scdaily.com, or call 281-983-8160. Admission is FREE and parents of Middle and High School Students are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Type 1 diabetes was studied in youths aged 0 to 19, and Type 2 in those aged 10-19. Researchers said more study is needed to determine the reasons for the rise. Previous studies have found similar rises of Type 1 diabetes, and some scientists have projected that the population with this disease would nearly triple -from 179,387 in 2010 to 587,477 in 2050. The JAMA study also found that type 1 diabetes was on the rise among minority youths as well as whites. “The increase in prevalence among US minorities documented herein is of concern, given that minority youth are more likely to have poor glycemic control, known to be associated with the serious complications of type 1 diabetes.” The study also projected that type 2 diabetes would increase four-fold -- from 22,820 in 2010 to 84,131 in 2050. These increases “are important because such youth with diabetes will enter adulthood with several years of disease duration, difficulty in treatment, an increased risk of early complications,” the study said, cautioning that the disease could be even more common in generations to come.

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FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

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Hit-and-run case: 3 witPriyanka wants to sing nesses identify Salman as for Bollywood films driver, 1 alleges threat

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UMBAI: In a setback to Bollywood actor Salman Khan, three witnesses in the 2002 hitand-run case today identified him in a sessions court saying they had seen him getting down from the car which had met with an accident in suburban Bandra on September 28, 2002. The witnesses were among the injured who were run over by the car when they were sleeping on a footpath near American Express Bakery on that day. The court is conducting the re-trial of this case after the charges of culpable homicide were added recently. While one witness said he saw the actor getting down from the front door on the right hand side, the other said he had seen Salman getting down from the driver’s seat. Another witness said the actor had got down from the vehicle but did not remember from which side he got down. One person was killed and four people were injured in the incident after which police booked Salman in this case on the charge of rash and negligent driving and other charges. Recently, he was charged with an additional charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder which attracts a ten-year sentence. The three witnesses who deposed today were Manu Khan, Mohammed Kalim Iqbal Pathan and Muslim Shaikh. All of them were workers of the Bakery which was hit by the car. The prosecution has alleged the Toyota Land Cruiser involved in the incident was driven by Salman who was under the influence of liquor. So far, four witnesses have deposed in the re-trial. One among them is a panch witness and the other three are eye witnesses. The prosecution led by Jagannath Kenjralkar would examine another three witnesses on 19 May. All the witnesses told Judge D W Deshpande that they saw the actor getting down from the car. He was held by the people who were shouting “nichey utro” (get down). Salman was held by the people but another person, who also got down from the vehicle, said he was a policeman and hence they released the actor who

Photos: Sombre Salman leaves court after hearing Report: Hitand-run case: Witness alleges threat, files complaint by Sachin Gokhale/Firstpost ran away from the spot, they said. Salman, sporting a French beard, dressed in blue jeans and a full-sleeve shirt, was sitting in the dock while his two sisters Alvira and Arpita sat on a bench in a jam-packed court room. Lawyers, law students and members of general public had gathered in large numbers in the court to have a glimpse of the film star. At one stage, the judge told the people to move away so that Salman was able to see and hear the witnesses tendering evidence in the court. This brought a smile to the actor’s face. According to the prosecution, the actor had run over his Toyota Land Cruiser on a group of persons sleeping on a footpath outside a bakery in suburban Bandra, killing one and injuring four others, on 28 September, 2002. On December 5 last year, the court had ordered a fresh trial on the ground that the witnesses had not been examined in the context of aggravated charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which was invoked against the actor midway through the case. The actor had earlier been tried by a magistrate for a lesser offence of causing death by negligence, which entailed an imprisonment of two years. The case, dragging on for over a decade, had taken a twist earlier this year when the magistrate, after examining 17 wit-

nesses, held that the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was made out against Salman and referred the matter to a sessions court, as cases under this offence are tried by a higher court. Witness gets threat call to quit, court orders probe: One of the key witnesses has allegedly received “threat” calls asking him to accept Rs five lakh for “staying away” from the case, police said today. The witness, Muslim Shaikh, received two phone calls on Sunday night from an unidentified person who asked him to accept Rs five lakh and keep away from the case, a police officer told PTI. The incident was brought to the notice of the court trying the hit-and-run case, which in turn asked cops to conduct inquiry and submit a report before it on May 19. “The unidentified caller told the witness that ‘paanch lakh le lo aur bhag jao’ (take Rs five lakh and run away),” said a police officer. However, even after Shaikh disconnected the call, he got another call in which the person repeated the offer, following which Shaikh disconnected the phone call again. The caller rang him up again but Shaikh did not attend the phone call, the officer added. “Preliminary inquiry suggested the unidentified caller could (be) a lawyer,” police sources said while refusing to divulge details. (With inputs from PTI)

•Birthday • Anniversary • Wedding • Thanksgiving • House Warming • New Born Baby • Office Promotion • Love / Romance • Sympathy • Funerals • Seasons • Valentine’s Day

Priyanka Chopra

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UMBAI: Actressturned-singer Priyanka Chopra says she would love to do Hindi playback singing in her own films. “I do plan to do that in my next few films. I would love to do playback singing. All my singles are in English and I would love to sing in Hindi as well. We are trying to work something out and you will soon hear it. I have always believed to push the envelope and try to do something different,” Priyanka said.

ciding on which song should we go with. There were some really great songs but I felt an instant connect with this song. It’s a special song for me, since its a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s ballad that has been done by several great artistes in the past. I remember singing this song when I was a kid,” Priyanka said. Through this single, Priyanka did not want to portray a depressed and sad girl but rather someone who has moved on from a broken relationship. “When we are

young we had a favourite song for every situation. This song was my heartbreak song. This is one of the songs which gives a vibe that I am in pain but I will still survive it. “When we a see a video of any heartbreak songs, we normally see that the girl is always depressed and sad but when we decided to shoot the video, I decided that it should be about a girl who is talking about her freedom and moving on rather than crying over a broken relationship,” she said. Courtesy: PTI

Ask her if she is happy with the way her singing career is shaping up, Priyanka says, “I never thought I would become a singer but music was something that I have known even before I came into films. I really loved music and singing. I would often accompany my father when he performed on stage and he would always dedicate a song to me. I grew up with a lot of music.” Priyanka released her third single ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’. This is her third single as a singer after ‘In My City’ and ‘Exotic’ with Pitbull. She says the song is inspired by Bonnie Rait’s classic track of the same name, which released in 1991. While Rait’s version was a soft love ballad, Priyanka’s cover version is an electronic number fused with fast-paced and pop beats. The video of the song explores moments from a one-sided romantic relationship, which is on the rocks. “I wanted the third song to be a solo single and we were de-

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ENTERTAINMENT

VOICE OF ASIA 17

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

22nd annual Naya Andaz Dance Competition held in Tristate area of NY, NJ & CT

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947 Production & Entertainment Inc. organized its premiere and increasingly popular 22nd annual Naya Andaz Dance Competition on Saturday April 26th 2014 at prestigious state theatre, New Brunswick, New Jersey. This has been the most successful dance competition in the Tristate area of NY, NJ & CT with unique distinction of state theatre since its inception. This sold out event drew many youngsters to exhibit their talents and also to display their likings of Bollywood trend in music and dance. The well known award winning choreographer of Slum dog Millionaire from Bollywood – Mr.Longinous Fernandez was the chief guest and chief judge of highly competitive event. Mr. Paul Singh acted as the master of ceremony. The dance competition had 2 categories –Junior & Senior and in each one of them 8 groups participated. Groups were chosen by a very proficient Naya Andaz team from pre auditions. Naya Andaz team is primarily consisted of Mr.Piraan Erachshaw , Mr.Rahul Dholakia, Mr.Sandeep Patel, Mr. Albert Jasani and Raju Sethi along with 40 dedicated, energetic committed members. The success of Naya Andaz 2014 competition is largely attributed to high standards at performance test, excellent use of state of art technology, superb stage decoration, earning respect from highly talented and accomplished choreographers of the participating groups. Extreme craziness amongst children to be a part of this premiere event, incredible sponsors and of course the continued love and support from appreciative audience as well as parents of the participants. SPONSORS : Zee TV, SAL Hospital, AVS TV, TV Asia, T.K.Travel, Indus American Bank, Aaj Tak, Chowpattty Kwik Mortagage, Aap Ka Colors TV, Royal Albert’s Palace, India Abroad, Air India and Kohinoor Foods The program began with a traditional lamp lighting ceremony performed by chief guest Longinus Fernandez and organizers. A complimentary devotional dance on Ganesha presented by 100+ participants from Kalashri school of Dance headed by famous

Pakistan’s parliament votes to lift ban on YouTube by Gohar ABBAS ISLAMABAD- Pakistan’s parliament on Tuesday voted unanimously to lift a ban on YouTube, in a non-binding resolution that was nonetheless welcomed by free speech campaigners as an important symbolic move. The video-sharing website has been blocked in Pakistan since September 2012 over its hosting of the “Innocence of Muslims” movie that sparked furious protests around the world. A US appeals court in February ordered Google, which owns YouTube, to remove the film after a lawsuit brought by an actress who says she was tricked into appearing in it, but the Pakistani ban remains in place. Shazia Marri, a lawmaker from the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) who put forward the resolution, said students and researchers were suffering as a result of the blackout.

Performers at the Naya Andaz Dance Competition founder and choreographer Bina Menon. Various groups in both Junior and senior categories with incredible variety in choreography, costumes, song selection and co-ordination has impressed the audience and chief judge. After the intermission organizers recognized and honored prominent sponsors. Before the announcement of result, Piraan, Rahul, Sandeep and Albert welcome the audience & participants and thanked them for their continued generous support. Mr.H.R Shah Chairman & CEO of TV Asia presented trophy to Chief Judge Fernandez, Emcee Paul Singh was also honored. Nisha Mathur a veteran TV Anchor complimented supplemented in entire presentation of this fabulous show. Following is the list of winners at Naya Andaz 2014 dance competition in junior & senior categories. NAYA ANDAZ WINNERS 2014 Best Costume: 1. Best Costume – Junior Category : Kalashri School of Arts 2. Best Costume – Senior Category: Arya Dance Academy & Nritya Creations 3. Best Costume – Elite Category: Kalashri School of Arts

People’s Choice Awards (People Who Voted on Naya Andaz App) 1. People’s Choice – Junior Category: Navrang Dance Academy 2. People’s Choice – Senior Category: Satrangi School of Fusion 3. People’s Choice – Elite Category: Navrang Dance Academy 3rd Prize: 1.3rd Prize – Junior Category: Nritya Creations 2. 3rd Prize – Senior Category: Satrangi School of Fusion 3. 3rd Prize – Elite Category: Mudavis Performing Arts 2nd Prize: 1. 2nd Prize – Junior Category: Arya Dance Academy 2. 2nd Prize – Senior Category: Kalanjali School of Dance 3. 2nd Prize – Elite Category: Kavi School of Dance 1st Prize: 1. 1st Prize – Junior Category: Kalashri School of Arts 2. 1st Prize – Senior Category: Arya Dance Academy Nritya Creations 3. 1st Prize – Elite Category: Ka-

lashri School of Arts

“We have been disconnected from the world by the ban on YouTube,” she said.

Naya Andaz team contemplates to expand its presentation in different states to promote and popularize our rich cultural heritage and also show case young talents

The deputy speaker of the house Murtaza Javed Abbasi later read out the resolution and all the lawmakers voted in its favour.

About Naya Andaz NAYA ANDAZ is the brainchild of 1947 Production & Entertainment, Inc., a U.S. based production house. Both the show and the company have continually grown with each other. The years of continuous enthusiasm and zeal is reflected in the quality of the show, which has bettered with each year.. The venues have been chosen and are ready to welcome brilliance, Ticket Sales have broken records, Stage Management has been detailed with perfection, Artist Management and the Televising of the show with the unconditional support of our sponsors, has cemented and pillared our growth and foundation. The zeal of our company is mercurial and with overwhelming response over the years, we aspire for zenith. For further info please visit www. nayaandaz.net Or call 732-316-1947 From NAYA ANDAZ Team

“The house resolves that government may take immediate steps for opening of YouTube,” he said. Responding to the resolution, state health minister Saira Afzal Tarar said the government was in favour of lifting the ban but it was in the hands of the courts. “YouTube has been banned on the orders of Supreme Court and there is another case regarding the ban in Lahore High Court and the matter is sub judice. However the house can suggest names to form a committee to work on the issue,” she said. - ‘Double standard’ After the vote, Marri told AFP it was time for Pakistan to give up what she termed its “double standard”. “The Pakistani Taliban launches their website and the (government) does not take action against it, but it maintains a ban on YouTube,” she said.

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HEALTHY LIVING

VOICE OF ASIA 18

Friday, May 9, 2014

  HEALTH  Section 2

Page 18

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

Young blood: elixir of youth? by Mariette LE ROUX

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ARIS, May 4, 2014 (AFP) - Young blood may hold the longsought cure for the decline of the ageing brain, according to research which showed injections of juvenile mouse blood boosting learning and memory in older rodents, scientists said Sunday. Multiple blood transfusions from three-month-old mice, the equivalent age of 20 to 30 years old in humans, yielded improvements in the brain structure and function of 18-month-old rodents -- about 56 to 69 in human years, a team wrote in the journal Nature Medicine. “I think there is definitely something special within young

blood that can improve many aspects of ageing,” study co-author Saul Villeda of the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco told AFP. “I think it is most warranted to now extend studies to ageing humans.” Villeda and a team tested the older mice before and after the injections to compare their results in tests of learning and memory, governed by the hippocampus region of the brain. One test measured their ability to remember cues indicating the position of hidden platforms in water, similar to having to recall physical landmarks to remember where you left your car in a parking lot -- a function that declines with age.

“Old mice administered young plasma could locate the hidden platform easier,” Villeda told AFP by email. The team also found changes in the structure of the brain -- an increase in the number of sites where neurons make connections. “Our data demonstrate that exposure to young blood counteracts ageing at the molecular, structural, functional and cognitive levels in the aged hippocampus,” the study said. It was not clear how long the benefits last. - Don’t try at home The team claimed to be the first to show an effect of young blood on cognition, though oth-

Easter Lilies: More than flowers for the Alter

Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee, Rice University, Houston. by Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee

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or many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life—the spiritual essence of Easter. Gracing millions of homes and churches, the flowers embody joy, hope and life. In the U.S.,this gorgeous, fragrant Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum) plant is synonymous with spring and the Easter holiday season and deco-

rations, but these plants are more than just sweet smelling flowers. Lilium longiflorum has been used for generations by herbalists for medical uses. Easter lilies have outstanding healing power, rivaling even the traditional Aloe Vera plant. Easter lilies are in the same family as onions and garlic and all fragrant lilies of the Lilium species have medicinal properties. This white-flowered plant is actually one of several species of the Lilium genus that are respected as a homeopathic medicine. Not only can this plant purportedly ease symptoms of a cold while helping to keep the lungs clear as an expectorant, but it also is re-

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

puted to ease the mind as a mild sedative that could promote sleep. Research in the 21st century is starting to show that the plant has anti-cancer properties too. This plant is included in many herbal remedy encyclopedias, like the Atlas of Medicinal Plants and the Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Recently studies have discovered the potential anti-cancerous properties of Lilium longiflorum. According to the research, the plant’s bulbs hold steroids and other compounds that have proven to be deleterious to leukemia and breast cancer cells. In recent years, the research appears to be focused on how this anticancer activity works as well as on isolating the particular compounds responsible for the activity. Make a bottle of Easter lily tincture to keep on hand for use for the following home remedies additionally.

er studies have demonstrated rejuvenating effects on adult stem cells. For anyone tempted to experiment on their own, Villeda stressed the studies should be extended to humans in “a controlled” way. “We still don’t know what doses or regimens might be needed,” he said. “Studies to look for any potential risks are still under way and will be a consideration in moving forward in humans.” Ageing is associated with a progressive decline in cognitive function and physical changes in the brain. In humans and in mice, the hippocampus is particularly vulnerable to ageing. “Considering the increase in the proportion of elderly humans, it is important to identify a means for maintaining cognitive integrity by protecting against, or even counteracting, the ageing process,” said the study. Antiseptic and Anti-inflammatory Easter Lily:The petals of the Easter lily flower are rich in aromatic anti-microbial oils, which make them an excellent antiseptic for minor cuts and scrapes. Lily petals are also rich in mucilage, which is a slimy complex sugar known to suppress inflammation and promote healing. The slimy complex sugar is much like that found in a fresh Aloe Vera leaf. Spray Easter lily tincture on minor cuts, scrapes and abrasions to prevent infection and speed healing. For Splinter Removal:Easter lily tincture can remove a splinter without a fuss. Spray the tincture, which is made from lily petals and alcohol softens the skin around the splinter and draws out the fluid from the tissue surrounding the splinter. As the tissue fluid flows to the skin’s surface, so does the embedded splinter.

Tel: 713-774-5140

Three Key Changes Proposed For Medicare Part D Drug Plan This article was produced by Kaiser Health News with support from The SCAN Foundation.

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he Obama administration is proposing several changes to the Medicare drug program, also known as Part D. They range from new limits on the number of plans insurers could offer consumers to new rules about what drugs those plans must cover. The plan also would prohibit exclusion of pharmacies from a plan’s “preferred pharmacy network” as long as they agree to the plan’s terms and conditions. Here’s a quick look at those proposals: --Reductions in Required Drug Coverage: The proposal would remove special protections for some classes of drugs, which require insurers to provide access to the vast majority of drugs in that class. Currently, Medicare has six protected drug categories. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services plans to eliminate two of those, starting in 2015 with antidepressant drugs and those that help suppress the immune system. Antipsychotic drugs may lose protected status in 2016. CMS says that safeguards in current law will ensure that patients get the drugs they need, and point out that 140 other classes of drugs are offered through the prescription drug program, even though they are not covered by protected status. CMS also says that special status hurts the prescription plans’ ability to negotiate discounts with drug makers. --Limits in Number of Plans Offered: CMS is proposing to allow insurers to offer no more than two prescription drug

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plans – one basic plan and one enhanced – in the same service area. The health law’s ongoing closing of the Part D “doughnut hole,” the gap in coverage where seniors pay discounted price before the plan’s catastrophic cap kicks in, “has reduced the need for plans offering enhanced benefits,” according to CMS. The agency says that each region of the country now has nearly three dozen plans and reducing that would help give beneficiaries more clarity about the differences among plans. Critics counter that having more plans on the market boosts competition, increases plan innovation and keeps prices low. An analysis from Avalere Health found that the proposal would require that 39 percent of all enhanced plans be eliminated by 2016. “Interfering in a well-functioning market system simply to reduce choices – not to eliminate poor choices, is not good policy,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the conservative American Action Forum, told the congressional panel. Holtz-Eakin was head of the Congressional Budget Office when Congress passed the drug benefit in 2003.


VOICE OF ASIA 19

HEALTH, TECH & SCIENCE

Maternal deaths falling, but not fast enough: WHO by Nina LARSON

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ENEVA, May 6, 2014 (AFP) - Global maternal deaths have fallen sharply in recent decades, but women in sub-Saharan Africa are still by far the most likely to perish while pregnant, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

The WHO report emphasises that the dangers of childbearing are still felt far more acutely in the developing world, and in sub-Saharan Africa especially, than in wealthy countries. While a woman in Chad faces a one in 15 risk of dying during pregnancy and childbirth

- US mortality rates jump Most countries however are unlikely to meet that target by next year, Temmerman said, calling for far more investment in care for expecting mothers. Expanding family planning and access to contraception is also vital to help avoid unwanted pregnancies, especially among teens, at far greater risk of complications. The new WHO report provides a startling new overview of the reasons women die during pregnancy and childbirth. It shows that 28 percent of the deaths are linked to pre-existing medical conditions, like diabetes, malaria, HIV or obesity, exacerbated by pregnancy. Severe bleeding, mainly during and after childbirth, is the second leading cause,accounting for 27 percent of the deaths, the report shows. “Integrated care for women with conditions like diabetes and obesity will reduce deaths and prevent long-lasting health problems,” Temmerman said. A number of wealthy countries have seen an increase in maternal mortality rates, with the rate in the United States for instance jumping 136 percent to 28 deaths for 100,000 live births last year.

WHO figures on maternal maternity during pregnancy or childbirth.

Fresh WHO statistics show the number of maternal deaths worldwide fell to 289,000 last year, down 45 percent from 1990, when an estimated 523,000 women died during pregnancy or childbirth. While this marks a big step forward, the UN’s health agency stressed it was far from good enough. “There is still one woman dying every one and a half to two minutes somewhere in the world ... because she is trying to give life,” said Marleen Temmerman, who heads the WHO’s department of reproductive health and co-authored the report. “That is like having two airplanes crashing every day,” she told reporters in Geneva, insisting “this should be much higher on the agenda”.

during her lifetime, the risk is more than 1,000 times smaller for a woman in Finland, the statistics show. African nations are heavily represented among the 10 countries that account for around 60 percent of all maternal deaths globally, including Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Kenya. Several African nations meanwhile also figure among those who had succeeded in slashing their maternal mortality rates the most in the past 23 years, WHO said. Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea and Eritrea were among a select group of only 11 countries, mainly in Asia, that have reduced maternal deaths by over 75 percent since 1990, thus reaching the Millennium Development Goal target ahead of the 2015 deadline.

In Canada, the number of deaths also shot up 81 percent to 11 deaths for 100,000 live births in 2013. The report did not provide an explanation for the hikes, but WHO scientist Colin Mathers stressed such countries had started off with low numbers so the statistical changes were not as significant, and were likely largely explained by improved reporting methods for maternal deaths. Temmerman hinted though that women waiting longer and having children in wealthy nations might explain some increases in maternal deaths. “Older age in pregnant women contributes to a higher risk for diabetes, and more hypertension-related problems,” she said, pointing out that “there are issues with being pregnant too young, but also being pregnant too old.”

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

Google Debuts Classroom, An Education Platform For TeacherStudent Communication

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oogle is tackling the persistent need in education for better software with Classroom, a new tool launching in beta preview to help teachers make, collect and track student assignments, and to help them better communicate with their classes.

you’d do those things manually. Basically, Google has taken a process that many were already using and streamlined it to make it more useful. Google has a huge advantage over other startups trying to do the same as a result; there’s an immense built-in existing population of users to get onboard.

The Classroom app is part of Google’s Apps for Education lineup of products, and it uses Docs, Drive and Gmail to make assignment creation and tracking easier than when

It also incorporates class communication tools, letting teachers make announcements, ask questions and field student responses in real-time. Plus the whole thing’s free for schools,

and Google also won’t even use the data that moves through the platform or display ads in Classroom, either, in accordance with its new policy announced last week. So far, Google is keeping Classroom invite-only, with educators invited to apply to the preview program for access. They’ll open the gates to that first group of pilot testers in around a month’s time, and Google expects to release it widely by September – in time for the next school year.

Obama warns of wide climate impact on US by Tangi QUEMENER

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ASHINGTON The White House called Tuesday for urgent action to combat climate change, saying in a major report that human-caused warming is already having a serious impact across the United States. A four-year study by leading scientists -- accompanied by a user-friendly website at www. globalchange.gov -- warns of the risks of rising sea levels, droughts, fires and pest outbreaks if the world does not tackle the repercussions of greenhouse gas emissions. President Barack Obama’s assistant on science and technology, John Holdren, said the report showed that climate change is “not a distant threat.” In fact, the National Climate Assessment marks the “loudest and clearest alarm bell to date,” he told reporters. Obama has repeatedly vowed to make climate change a priority, promising during his victorious 2008 election campaign to make the United States a leader in addressing the problem. But he has failed to persuade Congress to take significant action, with industry-friendly lawmakers staunchly opposed to any restrictions on pollution. Obama instead is moving forward with actions on his own, such as tightening standards for carbon emissions by power plants. To accompany the report -authored by hundreds of scientists from both the private and public sectors -- Obama planned to give televised interviews to meteorologists around the country. - A wide impact The assessment warned of

drought in the largest US state of California, prairie fires in Oklahoma and rising ocean levels on the East Coast, particularly in Florida. Sea-level rise is also eating away at low-lying areas such as Mississippi. The report cited a locally sponsored study as saying that coastal areas in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas could face annual losses of $23 billion by 2030, with about half of those costs related to climate change. The impact of global warming is unevenly distributed across US territory, with spectacular effects in Alaska, which researchers said has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the country. “Arctic summer sea ice is receding faster than previously projected and is expected to virtually disappear before midcentury,” the report said. “This is altering marine ecosystems and leading to greater ship access, offshore development opportunity and increased community vulnerability to coastal erosion.” It warned that rising permafrost temperatures would cause drier landscapes, more wildfire, changes to wildlife habitat and greater infrastructure maintenance costs. Roads and other facilities vital to the US economy are also under threat from rising water levels or more intense tropical storms, the report said. It said that State Highway 1 in Louisiana -- the only road linking New Orleans to the strategic oil hub of Port Fourchon -- is sinking as sea levels rise. A 90-day shutdown of the highway due to floods or storms would cost the nation some $7.8 billion, it said. - Republican hostility -

The study said that evidence of the planet’s warming was “unambiguous” and that the scale of climate change over the past half-century can only be explained by human activity, in particular the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- a Nobel Prize-winning scientific group led by the United Nations -- said the world had a 15-year window to come up with affordable action to avoid the worst effects of climate change. But Republican lawmakers, who control the House of Representatives, quickly denounced the study. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, said that the US priority should be on economic hardship. Obama will “get loud cheers from liberal elites -- from the kind of people who leave a giant carbon footprint and then lecture everybody else about low-flow toilets,” said McConnell, whose state of Kentucky is a major coal producer. “Even if we were to enact the kind of national energy regulations the president seems to want so badly, it would be unlikely to meaningfully impact global emissions anyway unless other major industrial nations do the same.” China has surpassed the US as the largest carbon emitter. It has invested heavily in solar and other renewable energy to reduce the intensity of its carbon pollution but has said it is unrealistic for it to curb its emissions in absolute terms. Senator Ed Markey, a member of Obama’s Democratic Party active on environmental issues, said the report showed that climate change has become a “clear and present danger” that requires action.

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VOICE OF ASIA 20

BUSINESS

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

  

Friday, May 9, 2014

Section 2

Page 20

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

Alibaba founder eyes US listing - and next challenge by Bill SAVADOVE

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HANGHAI, (AFP) The outspoken founder of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, Jack Ma, threw down a challenge to the world’s global Internet giants as his firm moves towards a huge US stock offer.

Analysts estimate the stock offer could value Alibaba from $100 billion to $200 billion or even more. “Fifteen years ago, Alibaba’s 18 founders were determined to set up a global Internet company originated by Chinese people, with hopes it would become one of the world’s top ten Internet companies, a company which will exist for 102 years,” said Ma -- a lifespan stretching into three different centuries.

GM recalls 56,000 Saturns over faulty cable

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EW YORK - General Motors said Tuesday it was recalling more than 56,000 Saturns for problematic gear shift cables which it warned could break, preventing drivers from shifting gears. GM’s newest recall, coming as the company faces lawsuits over faulty ignition problems in millions of cars, affects 2007 and 2008 Saturn Aura mid-sized sedans with automatic transmissions.

In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday minutes before Alibaba filed documents to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for its initial public offering (IPO), Ma described the listing as a “filling station” on the way to future development. The listing plans indicate Alibaba will raise at least $1 billion, but analysts say the offer could raise around $15 billion, putting it on par with Facebook’s $16 billion IPO in 2012.

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GM said the transmission shift cable in the cars “may fracture at any time,” preventing

a driver from changing gears and opening up the possibility of accidents. GM will replace the cables free of charge. The largest US automaker is facing lawsuits potentially costing it billions of dollars over problem ignitions installed in millions of vehicles in the 2000s. Despite knowing about the problem as early as 2001, GM only acted on it this year after dozens and possibly hundreds of accidents tied to the problem left at least 13 dead.

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Picture taken on February 27, 2014 shows Alibaba founder Jack Ma delivering a speech on an agreement signing ceremony in Haikou, in southern China’s Hainan province and services listed -- estimated to hold more than 90 percent of the online market for consumer-to-consumer transactions. A diminutive former English teacher, Ma set up Alibaba in 1999, convincing friends to fund him with $60,000 and picking a recognisable name with the aim of helping small firms “search for treasure” -the meaning of “taobao” -- by selling through the Internet.

Alibaba declined to confirm the authenticity of the memo, but it was widely quoted by Chinese state media on Wednesday. Alibaba has more than 20,000 employees.

Ma, who holds an 8.9 percent stake in Alibaba before the listing, stepped down as Alibaba’s chief executive officer last year but remains chairman, providing strategic direction.

The group includes Tmall. com for business-to-consumer transactions and Taobao, China’s most popular online consumer marketplace with hundreds of millions of products

Alibaba is often described as China’s version of Amazon or eBay, since it has elements of both those firms but suited to the domestic market. This includes putting less emphasis

on online auctions -- which are shunned by budget-conscious Chinese consumers -- and setting up a homegrown online payments system. It took on eBay in China over a decade ago, essentially forcing the US company to retreat. -

- ‘Unparalleled ruthlessness’

Analysts said it remains to be seen if Alibaba can grow its international business -- though the very size of the Chinese market, with its more than 600 million Internet users, gives it enormous stature. “It’s a very strong player in China, a little weak on mobile initiatives, very strong in payments,” said Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with Global Equities Research. “It may be a little premature to extrapolate

the success of Alibaba outside China.” Ma warned there was no room for complacency after the listing. “Lying behind the massive allure of the capital market, there is unparalleled ruthlessness and pressure,” Ma said. He also delivered an unusual message to future shareholders, underlining his belief that a “customers come first” policy will create value.

ONLINE .COM voiceofasiaonline.com VISIT & SUBSCRIBE TODAY! respect and protection for the benefit of all,” he added. Alibaba has engaged in some public clashes in its 15-year history.

“After listing, we will still maintain the principle of ‘customers first, employees second and shareholders third’,” Ma said.

Originally exploring a Hong Kong offer instead of the United States, talks between Alibaba and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for the listing broke down last year, in part because the territory’s listing rules prevented Ma and senior management from retaining some control over the board of directors.

“We believe no matter how difficult the decision, in the past or still in the future, maintaining principles is the greatest

Ma has made no secret of tensions with major investor Yahoo, a relationship which has foundered as Alibaba has

grown. Yahoo now holds around a 23 percent share in Alibaba but is expected to sell down that stake through the IPO. The US firm originally bought 40 percent of Alibaba in 2005 for $1 billion and stands to reap a hefty profit from the investment. The Alibaba founder dismayed Yahoo and another investor in the company, Japan’s SoftBank, when he spun off third-party payments platform Alipay into a company he mostly owns, which Ma said was necessary to conform to Chinese regulations. The dispute was resolved through negotiations in 2011.


FOOD

VOICE OF ASIA 21

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

Myth And Mystery of Carbs And Starch; Let Us Sort Out Confusion

Dr. Barkat Charania M.B; B. S.; F.R.C.S. by Dr. Barkat Charania I have met many people confused over the terms carbohydrate and starch because they seem to mean different from different experts. Let the truth be told, some “experts” do use these terms in loose and confusing way. It is important that we understand the real meaning of these terms because all over the world the basic foods like wheat, rice, corn, potato and beans contain starch. Our ancestors have used such starch as major ingredient of their diet for many thousands of years. Starch was the major source of their energy (calories) requirement to stay alive, progress and propagate. Let us try to simplify this in an easy way and remove the confusion and misunderstanding about these terms. Let us start with the following two statements: 1. All starches are carbohydrates, but not all carbohydrates are starch. This is because starch is only one of the group amongst the carbohydrates. 2. Carbohydrates are a term used for three following groups of foods that are derived from plants. These groups are: • Sugars • Starch • Cellulose Let us elaborate on these three groups: Sugars: Sugars may be a single molecule like glucose, fructose, mannose etc. with the above formula C6H12O6. They are called monosaccharide (mono means one and saccharide means sugar). When two molecules of sug-

ars combine, they are called disaccharides (di means two). A very well known disaccharide that we use in our daily life is our table sugar or sucrose (one glucose and one fructose molecule), lactose (as we drink in milk) or maltose (obtained from softening of grains to derive malt from it). Only two animal sources in our diet contain sugars, honey and milk. No other animal products contain sugar or starch. An important implication of sugars on our health and illness is the fact that sugars get quickly absorbed into blood spiking up the blood sugar level (BSL). This in turn stimulates pancreas to secrete the insulin to reduce the BSL. It also increases the triglycerides levels and is the first step to our developing insulin resistance, and hence diabetes and obesity. Starch: These are collection and joining of 300 to 1000 glucose molecules. It is polysaccharides (poly means many). Plants store energy in this form. The starch units are much smaller than cellulose. (In animal the glycogen is equivalent to starch for storage of energy in liver and muscles). In humans the starch is broken down into glucose units by enzymes. The time taken for this conversion varies on the quantity and strength of such enzymes present. Wheat, rice, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and legumes are full of starch. They generally do not allow growth of pathogenic bacteria. Vegetables have starch

in them but not very much. If we were to all fulfill our calorie (energy) requirements from green and leafy vegetables, we will need to eat them in large quantities, which is not practicable. For example if you were to get all your energy from broccoli or cauliflower, perhaps you will need to eat them all day to fulfill your calorific needs. But the same vegetables are filled to the brim with micronutrients, i.e. vitamins and minerals, which do not provide energy but are important to extract energy from starch acting as catalysts. Starch contains low amount of fats, from 1 to 8% of their calories. Some experts propose absolutely “No oil” in the diet, which is based on this. They consider such fat content in plant based food is more than adequate for human requirements. As another advantage, starch contains anything from 6 to 28% protein. Hence person eating balanced plant based diet will have more than enough fats and protein both. Most important of all is that starchy food contains a lots of micronutrients, all vitamins and minerals in abundance. These are catalyst and ensure proper utilization of the calories that we consume. Most starch containing foods also contain cellulose and hence fiber. This has important implications on our health. Starchy food containing fiber will have a lower glycemic index and will raise the BSL slowly. Hence all

the subsequent chain of event will be slowed down and people eating starch (and not sugar) are less likely to develop diabetes, obesity and their complication including coronary artery disease. Cellulose: This is the main content of the cell wall in plant structure. It contains as many as 1500 glucose units chained together. Cows can digest cellulose from grass and termite can digest cellulose from wood, neither of which humans can digest because of absence of enzymes to do that. Though humans generally cannot digest cellulose, we require cellulose to derive fiber from it, which is an important ingredient in our diet to help us stay healthy. Fiber is available in two forms, soluble and insoluble. The soluble fiber helps in fermentation of food and transports the cholesterol out of our body. The insoluble fiber increases the bulk of stool, forms the consistency of stool and help in continence. Through these effects we are saved from many gut diseases. Energy from Carbohydrates: We can group the carbohydrates into three groups based on its starch and energy contents: High starch content from grains and beans Mid starch contents from fruits in form of sugars Low starch content from vegetables High starch sources: Staple diets like wheat, rice, corn, potatoes and beans legumes are full of starch. These have been sources of the energy for our ancestors for thousands of years. Aside from energy, starch also provides us fiber that is important for our digestive health. Mid starch sources: These are fruits and some vegetables: They do not contain much starch but contain sugars (simpler form of carbohydrates). However, some of them like Apricots, Figs, and Avocados etc. contain large amount of cellulose and hence contain relatively larger amount of fiber, a healthful ingredient of our diet. Low starch contents: Vegeta-

bles have starch in them but not very much. Instead they have a lot of cellulose, which is not digestible by humans and hence not a large energy source but provider of a lot of fiber. If we were to fulfill our calorie (energy) requirements from green and leafy vegetables, we will need to eat them in large quantities, which is not practicable. For example if you were to get all your energy from broccoli or cauliflower, perhaps you will need to eat them all day to make up your calorific needs. But the same vegetables are filled to the brim with micronutrients, i.e. vitamins and minerals, which do not provide energy but are important to extract energy from starch acting as catalysts. Conclusions: 1. Let us take some real life examples; honey is sugar and hence carbohydrate but NOT starch. Grapes and many fruits are sugars and hence carbohydrates but they are not a good source of starch. 2. Our daily bread is carbohydrate and is also a starch. You may have noticed that if you chew a piece of bread in mouth for longer, it starts tasting sweet because more and more glucose units are broken from starch by the enzyme ptylin in our saliva. 3. Many food’s carbohydrates are refined, their cellulose is removed and hence mostly left as sugars without fiber. For example the refined wheat flour has no fiber left in it and is almost glucose, ready to be absorbed into blood by the action of saliva. 4. We dot not get any starch or fiber from animal products like meat, fowl, fish or poultry. We do not get any fiber from simple sugar at all though they are plant origin but they are processed to remove all fiber. Proteins also contain very little fiber. 5. Hence our effort should concentrate on eating good variety of starch, which contains a lot of fiber and also contains enough proteins and fats. Because starch comes from plants, we need to stay on plant based vegetarian diet to stay healthy. 6. We all need to understand how raw starch protect us from

diabetes, obesity and coronary artery diseases. This may only be understood by the fact that processed starch, which is essentially all glucose has immediate profound effect on BSL. This causes a chain of events of increased insulin, triglycerides, insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity. 7. There are lot of studies to justify conclusion that if we include more than 50 grams of fiber in our plant based diet, we may be able to prevent many modern diseases of our digestive tract including cancer. I hope the concept about carbohydrate, sugars and cellulose that contains beneficial fiber is now clear. Bottom line is that we obtain good energy from starch with the benefit of fiber for our digestive tract health. Summary: Green leaf vegetable Carbohydrates: These are best carbs because they contain higher concentration of micronutrients and a lot of fiber. However, these provide only a few calories (energy), which will need to be acquired mostly from starch and some from protein and fat. However, it is claimed that balanced plant based meal provides all proteins and fats along with required calories. Starch (carbohydrates) from grains and beans: These provide more than two third of our energy needs, even in diabetics. These generally contain calories that are released slowly. These provide energy, fiber and micronutrients. Simple sugar (carbohydrates): These are table sugar, glucose and fructose in drinks from added sugar. These get quickly absorbed, increase BSL and start chain reaction of insulin secretion and its sequelae. These do not have any micronutrients or fiber (except in fruits) and are considered “empty” calories. Author’s note: My articles are based on facts from research articles. After practicing allopathic medicine for over three decades, I am now convinced that we can prevent and revert many diseases by eating right foods and nutrition applying simple logic and common sense. I have concluded that this when used with a little exercise, correction of our life style and maintaining an ideal body weight is the key to good health. www.drcharania.org


HOROSCOPE

VOICE OF ASIA 22

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

Your Horoscope for the Week of May 9, 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.

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

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

Before moving ahead on your own, think about ways to unite others. Human emotions Recent events have put your emotional and physical well being out of whack. Static energy cannot rule you, this time. You must try to look at things on an a more intellectual plane. will only cause you to short out your battery. Simple pleasures will be needed in order to Try your best to stay clear of those who try to bring you down to their level. You need to help you to relax. Strong words will only bring strong re-actions. Realize that tempers may look beyond the immediate to understand how the bigger picture works. Everyone needs to feel secure, be short in those sensitive areas. You need a break from away from extreme solutions to some may rely on luck but you have your own strategy in place. dealing with simple problems. Stay confident in who you are and you’ll be ensured a smoother ride. A compromise on your part will restart stalled talks.

Scorpio (N,Y)23 Oct to 21 Nov

Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May Sometimes, you may be too quick to re-act, but this week, you’re right to take a stance. Others are the same as always, but your perception of them will change radically. Be aware that your words and your actions will affect them greatly. You can probably talk your way out it, but everybody is watching to see the outcome. Stay calm and your confidence level will rise. Everybody wants security, but their concepts may be different than yours.

Get back to your basic needs and wants. Your dilemma is that everybody wants a piece of you. There’s usually a reason for everything that you do, but your creativity may be driven more out of necessity than talent. If you want to try to turn this situation around, you’d better start now. Use the raw materials you have on hand to demonstrate your idea of art and beauty. You’ll have no choice but to be yourself when you journey on this new adventure.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Your positive flow has actually put you in a better position than you were before. You may have to act before you think you are ready to do so. Trust your intuition and don’t allow others to intimidate you. Friendships and love relationships will flourish once you decide to speak strongly from your heart. Your wishes and dreams will thrive on the new secure place you’ve found within yourself.

Your motivation and positive reinforcement, will feel moved into proclaiming an alliance between yourself and your peers. Your message will come across in a way that encourages others want to join in. You know just which emotions to draw out of others and when to do it. You could combine valid points of view to provide a dynamic effort. Supporters will rally for your cause. Look upward and forward. Doubts should not be considered an option. Teamwork is easy for you and it could prove to be very profitable.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Someone who you’ve recently pushed away will try to return into your life. Everybody will want to be your friend, but your words may hurt your cause. You’ll have to work on being more understanding without losing your winning edge. The week end’s activities will provide you with food, friends and good conversations. The rest you get will help you to replenish your energy and improve your perspective.

Bide your time, Others want answers right away, but you should take some time to analyze the whole picture. If you try to push the process faster, something will hit the fan. Unfounded suspicions and accusations will only make others more uncomfortable. It’s better to keep quiet than to be negative. A surprise will shake things up and provide you with some answers. Try to be as discreet as possible. You’re ready to accept the news but not everybody is.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August

Although you usually work hard, lately you’ve been very lax in matters of importance. Everyone is a specialist or is in need of one. Prove that you know more than your history suggests. Save time and money by drawing on the resources that you already possess. If this strategy has worked for you in the past, then it will probably work again. Strike a happy medium with authorities who are being too rigid about your boundaries.

Put your ideas into motion. In order to accomplish your immediate goals, you must reach out and try new ways to get the job done. If you want to see results, you should know who can help. Maybe there really is a way to benefit from this power surge you feel. You have a great network of allies that can provide you with some solid support. Several unreasonable requests may be brought to you. Try to hide any displeasure or disapproval.

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

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Partnerships, which will bring you more resources than if you try to go it alone. Listen to reason rather than emotion. If you start to promote your own ideas others will find it hard to deny your requests. By week’s end, you should try to slow down your pace a little so you don’t forget certain details that are important to you. You’ll need a cool and level head while others are losing theirs. A secret will be revealed in time, so you’d better learn to wait. Know your limits and try to work within them. Open the pressure valve in your head and try to relax

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The warmth you feel inside will spark your professional life. Get out there and enjoy all that life has to give. Look past others misgivings in order to take advantage of their expertise. You may not understand all the workings of a new technology, but you can figure out how to use it for your own purpose. Check your list and make sure you cover all the bases. Others will be ready to open up to you and to share all of what they have, both spiritually and physically.

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VOICE OF ASIA 23

CLASSIFIEDS

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

Seeking a Motivated Team Player Who works well in a small, fast paced company environment. Responsibilities can include order taking, order dispatch, data entry, invoicing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and providing support to other roles. At least 2 years of accounting experience in a company environment or a 4-year college degree, accounting degree preferred, but not required. Please send your resume to:

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Houston Community College Notice of Procurement Opportunities

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Associate Producer If writing is your passion – here’s your chance to work for a station that has taken producing to a higher level. If you know how to write in active voice, understand how details can add color to a story, and can sift through information to find the most interesting lead – we want to hear from you. KTRK-TV, the ABC O&O station in Houston, TX is accepting applications for an Associate Producer. The person hired for this position will write stories and edit video – with the goal of becoming a fill-in line producer as well. If you’re a producer in a smaller market, this is an opportunity you won’t want to pass up. Applicants must have at least two years of experience working as a line producer. ENPS /Aurora/Ignite experience a plus - as is good understanding of social media and how it can be used to reach viewers and create content. Candidates must be able and willing to learn both non-linear editing and writing for our digital platforms. Applicants must be willing to work overnights, weekends and holidays. All Interested applicants must apply online at disneycareers.com, ref job #186415BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references. In addition, please mail writing samples and a DVD of or link to your latest newscast to: Robin Freese, Executive Producer, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Reference Equal Opportunity Employer – Female /Minority/ Veteran/ Disability. No Telephone Calls.

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VOICE OF ASIA 24

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014

Voice of Asia May 9 2014  

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