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FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

28 years dedicated service toCounties the community Serving Harris,ofFort Bend and Surrounding for 30 years Vol. 30 No. 32 Friday, August 18, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail:



shton Gray Development (AGD) has launched a long overdue project to meet the demand of Houston’s vast (and growing) retired Indian population for an upscale, gated community complete with all amenities. The plan layout is already completed and the first phase for the Aliana location is almost sold out. AGD is in the business of luxury home building and Taj Residences will be no exception. Shaun Vembutty, Founding President of AGD upcoming development gives an overview of his passion behind the project that’s gaining popularity.

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017


Retirement Housing Facility in Aliana A welcomed addition for residents

Shaun Vembutty with his wife Sumi going over some details of the Taj Residences project

Taj Residences had been in the works for several years but the actual launch happened only after it was determined

Unlike other community projects that in Florida and other states, Taj Residences is completely different because the concept is single-family homes and not rows of attached condos. Among many other things, this provides the residents their own outdoor space and privacy. Fewer houses lend to a more open and spaced out community, which the builders feel is very important. Taj Residences is exclusive to residents of Houston and Vembutty says he’s “Absolutely not,” expanding the project to other cities. “Although we have been approached numerous times to collaborate on similar projects outside of Houston, we have always refused. It is difficult to successfully implement a development project outside of your local market, and we want to be able to properly manage the common facilities to the satisfaction of the residents,” says Vembutty.

Shaun Vembutty was born and brought up in Chennai, India and came to the U.S. in 1997 where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science at LSU, Baton Rouge. After graduating, he went into IT and started his own consulting firm for a few years, and later transitioned into real estate. Since then, he has been involved in real estate development in Houston for close to a decade now. His companies, Ashton Gray Homes and Ashton Gray Development are primarily centered around the development of luxury spec homes between $2-7 million. In addition to home building, they are also involved with several commercial projects from hotel development to retail shopping centers.

About the Retirement Community Project

and developed two similar retirement projects in India, which are still operational to this day.”

that it was financially viable including the right investors whose backing is crucial in the execution of a project of such magnitude. All of the company’s

development projects are funded with a combination of their own capital and that of their investors. “We have established long-term relationships with

several banking partners like Post Oak Bank, Preferred Bank, etc. as well,” says Vembutty. “This project is close to my heart as I personally designed

Vembutty lives in Sugar Land with his wife Sumi and their 11-year-old daughter, Adhvikha. Although real estate takes up most of his time, he says he remains involved in their Non-Profit organization in India, Sharanalayam, which cares for approximately 200 orphaned children. Sharanalayam also supports adults and children suffering from HIV and mental illness. “We recently opened a school for children with Autism called Third Eye, which has been a major milestone for us,” he says.




28 years dedicated service toCounties the community Serving Harris,ofFort Bend and Surrounding for 30 years

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

Medicare Appeals Level 4: Review by Medicare Appeals Council Read on Page 18 or Call 832-806-1000

Vol. 30 No. 32 Friday, August 18, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail:

Iyer heads $2.1m grant for UH Biotech Program to expand nationally

India’s Consul General in Houston praises US veterans on India’s Independence Day HOUSTON (August 16, 2017) PTI Lauding the contributions of US veterans, a top Indian diplomat here said the Indian community is grateful to them as they could enjoy freedom because of them. “We, as a nation, admire what America stands for and salute the best in America - the US veterans,” ConsulGeneral of India in Houston, Anupam Ray, said.

At an event attended by Indian and US veterans at his residence after the Independence Day celebrations at the consulate yesterday, Ray hailed the veterans as “the pillars of the society”. “The Indian community here has found a very hospitable ground and has done extremely well. They feel grateful to America and want to give back to the society,” he said. Continued on Page 5

Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray hoists the Indian flag at the Indian Consulate as guests UH president Renu Khator, Durga Agrawal,Abeezar Tyebji Jiten Agrawal and ¬ Amit Bhandari stand by. Photo credit: Indian Consulate

Indian Tricolor flies high at India House, Houston Rupa Iyer is principal investigator on a $2.1 million National Science Foundation grant and founding director of the biotechnology program in the UH College of Technology

by Shobana Muratee HOUSTON- Over a 100 Indian American gathered on the lawns of India House community center on West Bellfort at 10:30 am to participate in India’s 71st Independence Day celebrations. India House, Executive Director Vipin Kumar started the program announcing a few house rules prior to flag honoring. Trustee, Durga Agrawal welcomed the gathering and shared his experiences of such a celebration in India where he grew up, citing some anecdotes. Children and seniors braved the scorching sun as they prepared to hoist the flag. First, the US flag was hoisted by Dr. Virender Mathur, India House flowed by the India tricolor flag, hosted by Jugal Malani, India House president as Kruthi Bhat sang the national anthems of the two countries. The Texas flag and the India House flag were also hoisted on the occasion.


OUSTON - An innovative approach integrating classroom instruction and research at the University of Houston will be spread to five colleges and universities around the country with a $2.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Rupa Iyer, principal investigator on the grant and founding director of the biotechnology program in the UH College of Technology, will implement the key components of the UH biotech program, including an environmental sampling research module, at five institutions: Rochester Institute of Technology, Southern Utah University, Louisiana Tech University, Prairie View A&M University and Alvin Community College. She said the goal is to demonstrate that it works across the spectrum of higher education – two-year and fouryear programs, private and public. The grant is the largest research grant ever Continued on Page 9

The guest moved to the building where the program continued with patriotic songs sung by Hemant Bhavsar and Dr. Rucha Sheth. Dr. Mathur read the highlights of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s India’s 71st Independence Day speech that was captured in ten points. Jugal Malani read the India’s President, Ram Nath Kovind’s Address to the nation on the eve of India’s 71st Independence Day. Sam Merchant representing Congressman Al Green presented India House officials with the Congressional Certificate on the occasion. Indian Americans gather at the India House on West Bellfort, Houston to celebrate India’s 71st Independence Day. Photo credit: Shobana Muratee.

The guests were treated to refreshments catered by Café India and Deep Foods.

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OP-ED/COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS India’s President’s address on the P VOICE OF ASIA Eve of India’s 71st Independence Day


FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

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resident Ram Nath Kovind on Monday addressed the nation on the eve of the 71st Independence Day. In his address, Kovind talked about importance of education and technology. He also talked about new India and said there are some obvious parameters like a house for every family, better roads and telecom, a modern railway network for every individual. “Technology is important for rapid growth and development, it has to be used to eradicate poverty. There should be no place for poverty in new India”, Kovind said. Dear Fellow Citizens engaged in the task of nation building

My greetings to you as we complete 70 years of our Independence. Our country will be celebrating its 71st Independence Day tomorrow. On the eve of this anniversary I extend my good wishes to all of you. On August 15, 1947, we became a free nation. Sovereignty and the responsibility for our destiny moved from the British crown to the people of India. Some have called this process a “transfer of power”. It was much more than that. It was the culmination of a dream for our country – a

dream seen by our forefathers and freedom fighters. We were free to imagine and build our nation anew. It is crucial to understand that this dream for a free India was rooted in our ordinary villages, in the well-being of our poor and underprivileged, and in the all-round development of our country. For this we owe so much to the countless freedom fighters who made great sacrifices to bring us here. Chennamma, the Rani of Kittur. Lakshmibai of Jhansi. Matangini Hazra, the heroine and martyr of the Quit India Movement. There are so many examples. Matangini Hazra was an elderly woman, into her 70s. She was shot by the colonial police in Tamluk, in Bengal, while leading a peaceful protest march. She died with “Vande Mataram” on her lips and with the hope of a free India in her heart. Freedom fighters like Sardar Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, Birsa Munda and thousands of others gave their lives for us. We

President Ram Nath Kovind addressing the nation on the eve of the 71st Independence Day (Photo: Door Darshan) can never forget them. From the earliest days of our freedom struggle, we were blessed with a galaxy of revolutionary leaders who guided our country. They spoke of not just political freedom. Mahatma Gandhi emphasised the moral character of India and of Indian society. The principles that Gandhiji spoke about are relevant even today. Gandhiji was not alone in this nationwide struggle for free-

dom and reform. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose exhorted our people, saying: “Give me blood and I will give you freedom”. At his word, millions of Indians joined the freedom movement under his leadership and gave their all. Nehruji emphasised that India’s age-old heritage and traditions – so dear to us – could co-exist with technology and a quest to modernise our society. Please read the address in entirety online. Visit

It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or confirmation of any facts or allegations contained in letters to the editor. Moreover, Voice of Asia reserves the right to edit letters to the editor as necessary to correct errors of fact, punctuation, spelling and to comply with space constraints.

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Anti-Rowlatt stir and Jalianwala Bagh carnage


separate institution named Satyagraha Sabha was formed with headquarters in Bombay. There were agitations everywhere against the Rowlatt Committee’s report. But the government was determined to implement the Rowlatt recommendations and in 1919, the Rowlatt Bill was introduced. When the bill was debated in India’s Legislative Chamber, Gandhi attended as a visitor. Now read on.

most successful. That was the first great awakening of India in her struggle towards independence. Gandhi left Madras and went to Bombay to join in the hartaal there on April 6. Meanwhile in Delhi, Lahore, and Amritsar, the hartaal had been observed on March 30. In Delhi the police did not allow free movement to the demonstrators and firing by police caused a number of casualties. Gandhi was requested to go to Delhi and he replied that he would do so after the hartaal in Bombay on April 6. In Bombay the hartaal was a great success. Not a wheel turned in any factory. Not one shop was open.

In spite of the well entrenched opposition from nationalists, the Rowlatt bill became law. At this time, Gandhi got an invitation from activists in Madras to visit the city. He went there, though still weak, along with Mahadev Desai. That was Gandhi’s first meeting with another stalwart of India’s freedom struggle, C. Rajagopalachari. A small conference of leaders was held and Gandhi explained to them the implications of the Rowalatt act. While these talks were being held news was received that the Rowlatt Bill had been published as an act.

Great Summer Project For children! Enter Mahatma Gandhi Week 2017 Essay, I-Tribute, Poster and Speech contests. Visit for registration and more information. All school going children can participate! These contests are being organized to create higher awareness of the inspiring life and work of Mahatma Gandhi to promote universal values of Truth, Non-Violence, Love and Service

It was also in Madras that Gandhi first conceived the idea of an all-India hartaal (strike) as the beginning of the satyagraha movement. The leaders at once took up the suggestion and gave much publicity to the forthcoming action. The date was first fixed for March 30, 1919, but was later changed to April 6. The masses had received only short notice for the hartaal, but it turned out to be

All over India the hartaal was observed. Gandhi had asked the people again and again to be peaceful and not to be provoked to violence by the Government’s actions. In spite of this, violence broke out in many places. There were disturbances in Ahmedabad and also in the Punjab and he decided to go to these places to propagate nonviolence. On the way to the Punjab he was arrested at a wayside station called Palwal and sent back to Bombay. The news of his arrest inflamed the entire population of Bombay. There was an enormous crowd awaiting his arrival there. When he reached Bombay he was set free.

The crowd was getting impatient. “Only you can control the crowds,” said a friend to Gandhi. “Come, I shall take you to the spot.” The crowd greeted Gandhi with frenzied joy. A huge procession started but the police barred its progress. A company of mounted police was ordered to charge the crowds. Piercing screams and cries from women and children filled the air as the horsemen plunged forward with lowered lances. People ran to escape the fury of the police. Gandhi was shocked by the police brutality. He went and met the Commissioner. The official was boiling with rage. “We, the police, know better than you the effect of your preaching on the people. If we had not taken drastic measures the situation would have gone out of our hands. I have no doubt about your intentions, but the people do not understand them. They only follow their natural instincts.” “The people are not violent by nature; they are peaceful,” said Gandhi. “You wanted to go to the Punjab,” said the Commissioner. “Do you know what is happening in Ahmedabad, the Punjab, and Delhi? You are responsible for all these disturbances.” Gandhi was pained to hear of the disturbances and said that he would certainly take the responsibility upon himself if he was convinced that it was his.

Gandhi went to Ahmedabad. On the way he learned in detail about the happenings there. Ahmedabad was under martial law. A police officer was waiting for him at the railway station to escort him to the Commissioner. This commissioner too was in a rage. Gandhi expressed his regret for the disturbances and promised complete cooperation in restoring peace. Gandhi then asked for permission to hold a public meeting on the grounds of the Sabarmati Ashram. The officer liked the idea. At the meeting Gandhi announced with great sorrow the suspension of civil disobedience. He said he would fast for three days as a penance and he appealed to all the people to fast for one day. He asked those who were guilty of violence to confess their guilt. He expressed his regret at having started civil disobedience too early without giving sufficient training to the people. “I have made a Himalayan miscalculation,” he said. Many people jeered at Gandhi for saying that. Many of his friends and followers were furious at his stopping satyagraha. Gandhi then started teaching people the true meaning of satyagraha and how it should be conducted. Through writing and speeches he wanted to drive home to the people the essence of his new creed. In the Punjab the situation was very critical. It was true

that there were disturbances on the part of the people, but the measures adopted by the Government to check the disturbances were too severe. The leaders were trying to keep the people peaceful, but the stem measures of repression taken by the authorities had few parallels in history. In Amritsar the people were not allowed to move about freely. A proclamation was issued forbidding all gatherings and meetings. Only a few had the chance to know about the proclamation, however, because it was not announced widely, and it was made only in English. It was announced that a meeting was to be held in a garden called Jallianwala Bagh, to protest against the Government’s actions. General Dyer took no measures to prevent the meeting. He reached the place soon after the meeting began and he took with him armored cars and troops. Without giving any warning he ordered, “Fire till the bullets are finished.” The garden was surrounded by walls and buildings and had only one exit. At the first shot the exit was jammed and there was no hope of escape for the crowd. There were between eight and ten thousand people attending the meeting. The soldiers fired 1600 rounds into that unarmed mass of people. Once a park, Jallianwala Bagh was now a scene of the most brutal massacre of hundreds.

— To be continued

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India’s Consul General.....praises US veterans on India’s Independence Day Continued from Page 3

the Indian-American community, and representatives of Senator John Cornyn, congressman Pete Sessions, congressman Ted Poe, congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and congressman Kevin Brady.

Ray said the best way to facilitate the Indian community to contribute to the US was to connect them with veterans, “because this is how Indians who have come here have enjoyed their freedom, the opportunities that America gives and this is how they can say ‘Thank You’ to those people who made that possible.” He said he hopes that “this is the beginning of a long relationship.” “The Indian community here represents the best of India...The community continues to build its credentials as one that gives back both to India and to the US,” he told PTI. The event was attended by congressman Al Green, members of

The leaders had sent their congratulations to the “largest democracy in the world” on 70 years of its independence.

Consulate General of India building, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Houston, Gurudwara sahib of SW houston 14600 Lindita drive Houston and Sri Meenakshi Temple lit up on the occasion of 70 years of India’s Independence.

said. Hundreds of Indian-Americans yesterday celebrated the Independence Day with patriotic fervour, saluting the high- fluttering tricolour and singing the national anthem. Many illuminated their houses in the tricolour.

Green praised the thriving Indian community as productive and “very much in touch with India.”

The BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Houston was draped in tri-colour lights to celebrate India’s 71st Independence Day.

“It means something for me to be here on behalf of the constituents that I represent who happen to be Indian Americans. It is equally great to see so many members of the military being honored here today,” Green

In the run up to the Independence Day celebrations, a colourful parade was organised in Dallas. Other programmes, inluding a fair by the India Culture Centre, are scheduled thorough the week.

Asian Chamber of Commerce Hosts Lunch with former Mayor Annise Parker On Thursday, August 10, the Asian Chamber of Commerce hosted a luncheon with former Mayor of Houston Annise Parker as Keynote Speaker. Austin Zhao Board Chair welcomed the gathering and gave an overview of the Chamber. Alice Chen Past Board Chair/ Board Member introduced Keynote Speaker Annise Parker who spoke on “Immigrants, Refugees and The Role of Cities.” Parker served three terms as Mayor of Houston and was a member

of President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, chaired the U.S. Conference of Mayors Criminal and Social Justice Committee, on the steering committee of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a Department of Homeland Security Secretary’s Advisory Council member, and on the board of the Houston Galveston Area Council. She is a past Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She worked for 20 years in oil and gas prior to entering politics.

ACC’s upcoming luncheons are on Thursday, September 14, 2017 featuring Entrepreneur Panel by Shell and on Thursday, October 12, 2017 featuring Darrin Hall, United Airlines. For details visit asianchamber Picture on the right: Former Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker with the board members of the Asian Chamber of Commerce, where she spoke about the burgeoning growth and expansion of modern metros and how it influences people immigrating to the United States.

Photo credit: Jia Zhong.

Immanuel Mar Thoma Church Senior Fellowship Meeting

A group of seniors of Immanuel Mar Thoma Church Houston with His Grace Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma, the Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church . Every month the seniors get together for a prayer and fellowship at the church. His Grace presided over the meeting during his visit to the United States. Next Senior fellowship meeting is on September 30th. Photo credit: Johnson Varghese


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The People’s Lawyer

by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer Email at

Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Q. Is it legal for me to act as an “agent” for a company from outside the US? The company will have their customers mail checks to me in my name, I cash the checks, keep a percentage of the original, and wire the remainder to company? This sounds like a great opportunity. A. It does sound like a great opportunity, and as my father used to say, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.” As far as I know, there is nothing illegal about representing a company from outside of the U.S. for the purpose of collecting payments. In this case, however, my opinion is that this offer is a scam. Without going into the details, what will happen is the checks you receive and “cash” eventually will bounce after you have forwarded your money to the company. You will then have to return all the money you received from the bank. The bottom line is you will be out a lot of money. My advice is to ignore all of these get rich quick, work-at-home, schemes. Q. Can you be turned in to a collection agency for a bill if you are at least paying something on it, say $5? A. If you are not paying the full amount due on a debt the debt is considered in default and can be sent to collection. Sometimes

Be careful of deals that sound too good to be true speaking with the creditor and explaining why you are not paying the full amount and when you will be able to pay can delay collection efforts. Q. Who is liable for golf ball damage to auto when driving near a golf course? Thank You. A. Interesting question. For anyone to be liable, they must be “negligent.” In other words, they did not act as a reasonable person would in the same circumstances. For example, the golf course could be responsible if it did not have sufficient protection for passing cars. If every similar course had a 20-foot fence, and it had no fence of a ten-foot fence, it could be considered negligent, and responsible for damage caused by a golf ball. The golfer could also be responsible if he or she did not act reasonable. For example, if the golfer had hit the ball in the street before, and did not take responsible steps to aim the ball away from the road, the golfer could be considered negligent. In many case, however, no one may be responsible because it was simply an accident. If this was just an accident—the golfer and the golf course both acted reasonably—nether would be liable and you would have to pay for the damage. This is why it is so important we all have full-coverage automobile insurance.

Q. I have lived in the same apartment for 6 years. I am a good tenant and always pay my rent on time. Can my landlord just refuse to renew my lease with no explanation? I have been told he doesn’t like me. A. As a general rule, either the landlord or the tenant can chose not to renew a lease with no explanation. For example, if you wanted to move, you could just tell the landlord “I’m not renewing my lease.” If he asked why, you could say “none of your business.” Similarly, the landlord can decide not to renew your lease and require you to move. There is nothing stopping a landlord from not renewing a lease because “he doesn’t like” the tenant. A landlord, however, cannot refuse to renew a lease based on race, sex, age or religion. This would be unlawful discrimination. Q. Someone who owes me money just died. Am I out of luck? Do his children have to pay? A. When someone dies, his or her children are not liable unless the child had agreed to pay the debt. You may not, however, be out of luck. After a person dies, his or her estate is responsible for the debts. You should file a claim with the executor or administrator of the estate. If there are any assets in the estate, they can be used to pay the money you are owed.

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Q: What is Texas SB4? How it will affect residents of Texas? A: Texas has passed a law designed to ban sanctuary city policies. The law known as Senate Bill 4 (SB4) was passed on May 7th, 2017 and will go into effect on September 1st, 2017. SB4 permits law enforcement officials to question the immigration status of individuals who are arrested or detained. It also requires law enforcement agencies having custody of the individual to comply with any federal immigration detainers to cooperate to hand over those individuals to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Q: Under SB4, do I need to be arrested first before the police can question me and ask me for my immigration status? I am a US Citizen and my wife is an H-1B visa holder. If we are stopped how do we show our immigration status? Do I have to carry my US Passport everywhere? Does my wife have to carry her H-1B approval notices with her? Do we have to carry our Marriage Certificate too? A: The law is designed to allow local law enforcement officers to request the immigration status of not just who have been arrested and in police custody but of all persons who have been detained which in theory encompasses those who have been stopped for simple offences like jaywalking. As a US Citizen, you need not carry your US Passport everywhere. You wife who has H-1B status also need not carry her H-1B approval notices everywhere. If you have been stopped, first and foremost, you have the right to remain silent and to not answer any questions. You may ask whether you are free to leave and if the officer says, yes, you may leave the scene. However, if you are detained and not free to

leave, you must identify yourself and tell the officer your name, address and your date of birth because it is a crime to refuse to answer or to lie about your identity. For this, you just need to present your valid Texas Driver License. If the police require that you show proof of your registration and car insurance, you must also show it to them to avoid getting a citation or getting arrested. Q: I am undocumented and my Driver License expired many years ago. What do I have to do to prevent being arrested while driving? Can the police search my car as well? A: I advise that you minimize the risk of being stopped by the police while driving. Ensure that you do not break the law like speeding, beating the red light etc. and make sure your car is in good working order. The police can only stop someone if there is reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed or has been committed. If you still end up being stopped and detained, be aware that it is a criminal offence to decline to give your name, address and date of birth. If your Driver License has expired, it is advisable to have another form of photo identification at least such as a Passport or other legal forms of photo identification. It is important to remember that it is in the discretion of the officer at the time to proceed to ask about your immigration status, so it is best that you try to cooperate with the police in any way possible to avoid any questioning about your immigration status. Know your rights about remaining silent and when the police can and cannot search your car. You can say no to the police request to search your car but note that if they believe your car has evidence of criminal activity, they may search it without your consent. Q: What do I do if questioned about my immigration

status by local police or campus police? A: It is important to note under SB4, police officers including university or campus police can ask you about your immigration status if detained or arrested. You still have the right to remain silent. But if you valid status such H-1B, F-1 student, tourist etc. you must disclose your immigration status only if asked by federal immigration officers. Local police and campus police are not federal immigration officers. It is also important to not misrepresent that you are a US Citizen if you are not or provide false information about your immigration status. Q: I heard that under SB4, victims of crime and witnesses have to also be careful about reporting or witnessing crimes if they have no papers. A: Yes, that is correct. Under SB4, the police can inquire into the immigration status of victims of crime and witnesses alike if the officer determines that it is necessary to conduct further investigation of the crime. Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.

My Bio Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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FRIDAY, August 18, 2017


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


Tel: 713-774-5140

Have diabetes? Join us for a diabetes education seminar


UGAR LAND – (August 8, 2017) — If you have diabetes, it’s important to work with your health care providers to stay on top of your health. “With proactive lifestyle measures, regular health care and medication, you can limit complications from diabetes and live a long and healthy life,” said Christine Fisher, M.S.N, R.N., C.D.E., an inpatient diabetes educator with Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “You’ll need to keep your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control.” The following steps can help you stay healthy: • Follow a meal plan developed with your doctor or dietitian and exercise for at least 30 minutes most days • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight • Take prescribed •



Don’t smoke

• Visit an eye-care professional yearly for a complete


ORT BEND - On this auspicious morning of August 12, 2017, just after 8 am, the audience in Chinmaya Smrti hall were witness to a most profound and moving Diksha ceremony.

Couple cycling (Stock photo) eye exam

• Keep feet clean and dry; check for sores, blisters or problems every day; and treat cuts immediately

Center. Topics of discussion will be identifying risks, methods of diagnosis and management to minimize the risk of complications. Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit or call 281.274.7500.

If you think you might have or are at risk for diabetes, we encourage you to join us for our diabetes education seminar at 6 p.m. on Oct. 12 in our Brazos Pavilion Conference

To schedule an appointment online with one of our primary care physicians, visit or call 713.394.6639 for a physician in your area.

• See your dentist twice a year for exams and cleanings. Brush and floss every day

UGAR LAND - Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman met with Governor Greg Abbott last week as part of ongoing efforts to ensure the city is able to meet the expectations of its citizens to provide a safe community and quality city services.

came in response to a letter signed by 17 Texas mayors on July 17. The group stated that some items on the governor’s call “directly impede the ability of Texas cities to provide vital services that reflect the priorities of local residents.”

Throughout the regular and special legislative sessions, Sugar Land’s elected leaders and representatives have testified on a variety of proposed bills that would restrict the city’s ability to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens.

Current proposals in the special legislative session that would restrict the city’s ability to preserve Sugar Land’s quality of life include the following items requested by the governor:

“The goal of the city’s legislative program is to ensure that proposed legislation does not diminish our ability to make responsible business decisions or erode our ability to respond to the needs of our citizens,” said Zimmerman. “We believe that Sugar Land City Council will represent the best interests of our citizens much better than a state government that is not involved in the day-to-day lives of our citizens.” Zimmerman joined four mayors from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex at the Texas capitol to urge Abbott to respect the opinions and needs of their shared constituents. The visit marked the third of three planned meetings between Abbott and mayors from across the state who are concerned about Abbott’s special session agenda. The mayoral meetings

“Legislation reforming Mayor Joe Zimmerman the laws governing ad safe and make the city’s ordivalorem property taxes. Legislation using population nance less effective. The city growth and inflation to estab- of Sugar Land ordinance was lish a spending limit for politi- approved after a year-long public input process through which cal subdivisions.” residents expressed support for Imposing statewide caps on the city to pursue such a procity revenues will not provide gram. meaningful tax relief because “Legislation protecting the it does not address solutions for the broken public school financ- private property rights of land ing system, which represents owners from political subdivithe largest portion of residents’ sion rules, regulations, or orditax bills. Revenue and spending nances that interfere with, decaps can have unintended con- lay, or restrict private property sequences on funding for public owners’ ability to use or enjoy safety, economic development their property.” and infrastructure. Restricting city regulation of “Legislation preempting lo- trees and vegetation would limit cal regulation of the use of the city’s ability to create linehand-held mobile communica- of-sight buffers between commercial and residential property tion devices while driving.” owners. Preempting the city’s recently More details may be found adopted hands-free ordinance would make Sugar Land’s online at streets and intersections less (-City of Sugar Land) Brian Mertz, M.S. CEO “Helping India Caregivers Help Others” “We are a caregiver information and advocacy website that all Indian Americans could use”

Caregiver Associations, Caregiver Support Groups, Caregiver Information & Publications, blogs, Caregiver Training, Online Caregiver Certification Programs, Training Centers, Institutes, Councils, Non-Profit Organizations, Medical Supply Companies, Assistive Technologies, Home Health Care Agencies, Caregiver Entrepreneur Assistance and Caregiver Cancer Support, Overseas Caregiver Opportunities and more.

Aditi Deshmukh, a child of Chinmaya Balavihar Houston, born to two blessed parents, Jay and Rohini Deshmukh, and raised with a great love for spirituality, received her Brahmacarini Diksa from Pujya Mukhya Swami Swaroopanandaji, the global head of Chinmaya Mission who is presently at Houston for an awe-inspiring jnana yajna on “Ik Onkaar.” Giving her the new name of Brni. Shweta Chaitanya chosen by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda, Mukhya Swamiji inspired her to brilliant purity of purpose as her new name suggests. He blessed her to carry the message of the scriptures (pravacana) and reminded her to be steadfast in her self-study (swadhyaya). Aditi’s spiritual journey began from childhood at Balavihar nurtured by the loving guidance of the Acaryas, Sri Gaurangbhai and Smt. Darshanaben. After graduating from University of Texas, Austin, she followed a deeper calling and completed her Vedanta Course at Sandeepany, Mumbai, under the great tutelage of Swami Bodhatmananda. Just a few months back, Aditi finished her secular commitment of earning a post-graduate degree from Columbia University. The decision became very firm in her mind about dedicating herself to uninterrupted

Photo by: Rajesh Thatte Chinmaya sadhana. Her transformational journey found its first momentous milestone this morning when she offered herself to the Chinmaya monastic order and donned her yellow clothes. Overwhelmed by the sheer and sublime power of the Chinmaya Guru Parampara that has transformed an earnest and inspired Aditi into a serene and dedicated Brahmacarini Shweta Chaitanya, the audience was overjoyed, moved, proud, and also humbled by

the uplifting ceremony. There were eyes moist with tears of joy and hearts full with a sense of great love. The entire Chinmaya family of Houston is honored to be part of her noble journey and pray for the new Brahmacarini’s spiritual fulfillment. Hari Om! For more information on Chinmaya Mission Houston and its activities visit www. or Jay Deshmukh 832-541-0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233

SL requests feedback on prop tax


ublic hearings on the proposed 2017 tax rate are scheduled at , at Sugar Land City Hall, 2700 Town Center Blvd. North on Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m. and Sept. 5 at 6 p.m.

The proposed budget was filed with City Council on July 18, and City Council has since held a series of budget workshops that continue through Aug. 31. The proposed budget, which builds on decades of financial strength, and workshop schedule are available at

Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees Launch Leadership Academy

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IndiaCSS can provide information to India caregivers regarding the following topics:

Young devotee takes Diksha at Chinmaya Prabha by Padmashree Rao

Sugar Land Mayor meets with Governor to preserve quality of life for residents



IndiaCSS can assist India caregivers who are experiencing the following issues: • Dementia • Elder Care • Caregiver Burnout Visit us at: Member, IACCGH


ORT BEND, August 15, 2017 – The Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees announces the launch of the FBISD Board Leadership Academy, and will name participants in late September. The six-session course is designed for community members who want to learn more about FBISD and get a behindthe-scenes look at the systems and processes utilized in the day-to-day operations of the District.

“We are thrilled to announce the FBISD Board Leadership Academy. This is just one more part of the Board’s commitment to enhancing community engagement, by providing community members a deepdive perspective of the District, as well as giving them the tools they need to advocate for our students,” said Kristin Tassin, FBISD Board President. “This inaugural class will be selected by invitation to ensure we have representation from across the

District, crossing all interest areas, and is made up of highly-motivated stakeholders who have expressed interest in getting more involved. In subsequent years, we plan to have an open-nomination selection process.” Between October and April, participants will attend four evening training sessions, as well as a half-day opening retreat and a day-trip to the Capitol in January 2018. (-FBISD)



Elkins High School band named finalist at TMEA Honors Band Competition


ORT BEND ISD – Congratulations to the Elkins High School Honors Band on its recent success at the Texas Music Educators’ Association (TMEA) Honor Band Competition, held in July. The EHS Honors Band, directed by Chad Collins, was named an Honor Band Finalist after earning 12th place at the competition that welcomed

more than 250 Class 5A Texas bands. This is the band’s first time in the school’s history to place at the state level competition. TMEA hosts the Honor Band Competition every other year for Class 5A bands throughout the state. Participating bands record and submit their best work for judging at the regional level, with an opportunity to advance to area and state levels.

The EHS Honors Band began recording its entry in April following vigorous practices held before, during and after school. Their program included “Scossa Elettrica” (The Electric Shock) by Giacomo Puccini, “Candide Suite” by Leonard Bernstein and “Donna Diana Overture” by Emil von Reznicek.

for their age and on par with college-level material,” said Collins. “We submitted the recording of our performances

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

to the regional competition, which was held June 8. Our band was one of only two in Region 13 to move on to area, which includes the entire Houston area.” Based on its exemplary recording, the Elkins Honors Band earned first place at the area contest in June and re-

ceived the honor of representing Houston at the state level. On July 20, TMEA announced Elkins as a State Honor Band Finalist after the band ranked 12th among competing bands. The Elkins band joins three other FBISD bands (including Clements, Dulles and Ridge Point) selected as finalists.

“The literature our Honors Band performed was advanced

Solar Eclipse timings in Houston A viewer’s guide to seeing the eclipse in real-time Elkins High School Honors Band, directed by Chad Collins (Photo: FBISD)

Aug 21st, 2017 Monday Partial Eclipse Begin 10:46:50 am Full Eclipse Begin 11:48:34 am Maximum Eclipse 1:25:35 pm Full Eclipse End 3:02:33 pm Partial Eclipse End 4:04:21 pm


otal Solar eclipse will be visible in USA, therefore we have to follow certain things given in the Hindu scriptures regarding eclipse. THINGS TO DO DURING ECLIPSE: Any prayers, mantra chanting, Hom-Havan

multi time good results. But you can not give bath or abhishek to God’s idols or perform puja during eclipse. There are specific mantras and prayers which done at the time of the eclipse brings miraculous effects in one’s life. THINGS TO AVOID DURING ECLIPSE :

Pregnant woman and sick person should be more careful and & should not look at the eclipse. Also going out should be avoided during eclipse. cooked food should must be avoided. Eating ofcooked food should be avoided. Any cooked food must be kept covered in airtight containers or else you need to through it away. at the Any cooked food must be kept covered in airtight containers or else you need to throw it away. Eating only fruits is highly recommended. Prepared by: Astrologer Hardik Vyas

FBISD co-sponsors Family Fun Festival and Fun Run


UGAR LAND – Fort Bend ISD is partnering with Advocates of Healthy Minds for a Family Fun Festival and Fun Run. The event will take place at Constellation Field (1 Stadium Dr., Sugar Land 77498) on Saturday, August 26, 2017 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for children (children under the age of 3 get in free). You can purchase tickets at Con-

stellation Field or online. You can also sign up for the 5K Fun Run at www.signmeup. com/119569. The race starts at 7 a.m. for adults and 7:30 a.m. for kids. Aside from the race, there will be music, food, games and much more for the entire family to enjoy. FBISD students and local artists will also be showcasing their artwork. Advocates of Healthy Minds is a new non-profit agency

that provides mental health awareness and resources to Fort Bend families. FBISD is partnering with the agency for “Step Up, Speak Up,” a new mental health awareness and bully prevention campaign. This initiative will be led by students and will provide them with different venues, including video, art and poetry, to share how mental health and bullying has impacted them, and how they overcame their challenges.



2017 Home Elevation Grants


he City of Houston, in partnership with the Texas Water Development Board, will submit a grant application on behalf of interested homeowners to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant. This grant will request funds for elevation of flood-prone homes. Who Is Elgible? Homeowners



flood insurance from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. The flood insurance must be effective at the time the grant application is submitted and be maintained throughout the grant process. The cost to raise your home must be less than the estimated amount of future flood claim payments.

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

Community invited to support “Crusin’ Back to School” supply drive, August 19


ORT BEND ISD (August 11, 2017) – Blue Ridge Elementary and Willowridge High School invites the community to support the “Crusin’ Back to School” supply drive on Saturday, Au-

gust 19, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Home Depot (14440 Hillcroft, Houston, 77085). The event is a joint effort of Uzumaki, Houston Mopar Syndicate and Space City LX SCLX to assist families and teachers in prepar-

ing for the new school year. Community members are asked to support the event by donating pencils, markers, crayons, highlighters, composition and spiral notebooks, wide rule notebook paper,

backpacks, glue sticks, rulers, scissors, folders and erasers and other grade appropriate school supplies. For more information, contact Kathy Alvarez at (713) 367-7595.

The deadline for homeowners to submit their information to the City of Houston is Friday, August 25, 2017 at 5 pm.

Iyer heads $2.1m grant, .... awarded to a College of Technology faculty member.

to an actual startup, as she and other project advisors consider commercializing the database and collected bacteria samples.

Iyer, who also is associate dean of research and graduate studies at the College of Technology, started the biotech program at UH after realizing universities weren’t adequately preparing biology students for a field that had become far more interdisciplinary. “We were not training our students to be the future scientists and innovators,” she said.

Students collect soil samples and process them for bacterial strains, logging the results on a map. So far, Iyer said, more than 60 bacterial strains have been identified from locations around Houston, including 12 never before identified; those are now part of a database compiled by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

The program incorporates an intense focus on undergraduate research and an understanding of industry needs with traditional academic instruction. It officially began with fewer than 10 students in 2009; it will have more than 600 students this fall.

The map and soil sample collection will be expanded as the new programs come online in New York, Utah, Louisiana and elsewhere in Texas. Students will contribute and mine the data they collect to enhance their STEM skills; the expanded database will provide a platform for national and global research collaborations between students, faculty, governmental agencies and biotech companies.

Continued from Page 3

The UH biotechnology program was the first in the country to be accredited, earning accreditation from the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering in 2015. The research component, which includes a unit on environmental sampling, testing and the creation of a crowdsourced soil microbiome database, has been recognized for its commercial potential. Iyer said she approached creating the program “like a startup,” raising funding from the National Science Foundation and the Texas Workforce Commission and collaborating with industry to develop the degree. Ultimately, it may lead

That information, and the bacteria samples, could be used in a variety of ways, Iyer said. While the research component is important in enhancing academic skills, “the research is valuable in itself,” she said. “The students have found bacteria that degrade toxins, hydrocarbons and antibiotics, and that could be potential solutions to cleaning up toxic waste, for enhanced oil recovery and remediation. This has applications in health, energy and the environment.”

Catch up on MATTERS that concern you



Gauri Siddhivinayak Temple of Houston

Gauri Siddhivinayak Temple of Houston

5645 Hillcroft Ave, Suit # 701, Houston TX 77036

5645 Hillcroft Ave, Suit # 701, Houston TX 77036

We are pleased to invite you for your gracious presence on the auspicious occasion of

We are pleased to invite you for your gracious presence on the auspicious occasion of

Ganesh Stapana Chaturthi Mahapuja of Shri Siddhivinayak

Shree Maha Mrutyunjay Maha Puja and Maha Yang for Shravan Mass

On Friday, August 25, 2017

On Sunday August 20, 2017


Everyday Pooja Starts at 5:00 PM


Maha Aarti 7:00 PM


Prasad will be served after Aarti


Volunteers and sponsors needed

Devotees who desire to sit in Pooja may call Pandit Shri Pradip Pandya @ 832-466-9868 E-mail:-,

l l l

Pooja Starts at 3:00 PM Purnahuti at 6:30 PM (Nariyel offering) Mahaprasad will be served after Aarti

l Maha Yang at 6:00PM l Maha Aarti 7:30 PM l Volunteers and sponsors needed

Devotees who desire to sit in Pooja may call Pandit Shri Pradip Pandya @ 832-466-9868 E-mail:-,

Please see our website at

Please see our website at

Or visit us at

Or visit us at

The Gauri Siddhivinayak Mandir of Houston is a Non-Profit 501(C) organization. All Donations are tax Deductible.5645 Hillcroft Ave, Suit #701 Houston, TX 77036

The Gauri Siddhivinayak Mandir of Houston is a Non-Profit 501(C) organization. All Donations are tax Deductible.5645 Hillcroft Ave, Suit #701 Houston, TX 77036



Modi says India will fight foreign threats by Annie BANERJI


EW DELHI, India | AFP | Tuesday 8/15/2017 - India is strong enough to defend its borders against any threat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an Independence Day speech as the nation faces a frontier showdown with China and aggravated tensions with Pakistan. “Security is our top priority,” Modi told thousands packed into the landmark Red Fort in New Delhi on Tuesday as India marked the 70th anniversary of the end of British colonial rule. “Be it the sea or the borders, cyber or space -- in all spheres, India is capable and we are strong enough to overcome those who try to act against our country,” the Hindu nationalist leader declared. Modi, who wore a Rajasthani turban with a long flowing orange train, toned down his comments from three previous Independence Day speeches and did not mention the targets of his warning. But his remarks came as a dispute between India and China over a strategic Himalayan plateau enters a third month on Wednesday. Hundreds of soldiers are reported to be facing off against each other at Doklam.

Incredible India: Unity In Diversity

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers his address during the country’s 71st Independence Day celebrations, which marks the 70th anniversary of the end of British colonial rule, at the historic Red Fort in New Delhi on August 15, 2017. AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH SINGH tion to the standoff. The dispute started on June 16 when Chinese troops started to build a road on territory that it disputes with Bhutan. India troops moved in to stop the construction as India is a close ally of Bhutan.

“Our security forces have always shown their capabilities whenever on duty. Whether it is terrorism or infiltrators, our security personnel have always been ready for sacrifice.”

India is also mired in conflict in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, where it has disputed sovereignty with Pakistan since their bitter split in 1947.

India carried out what it called “surgical strikes” in Pakistan in September last year after insurgents attacked an army base on the Indian side of the Kashmir border, killing 18 soldiers.

The giant neighbours share a long history of mistrust and went to war in 1962 over the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

India accuses Pakistan of sending “terrorists” across the border to fight security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir.

“When the surgical strike was carried out, the world came to know about the power that India possesses,” Modi said in his speech.

China’s state-controlled media has repeatedly warned that a conflict could break out over Doklam.

Modi, who said he spoke with US President Donald Trump on the eve of the speech, said: “The concern for national security is a natural one in an independent India.

He added that “bullets and abuses” cannot bring peace in Kashmir -where there are an estimated 500,000 Indian troops -- but also accused Kashmiri separatists of “scheming”.

India has urged a diplomatic solu-

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

Pakistan marks 70 years of independence with fireworks, huge flag, air show

Classical dances representing 15 Indian States will be showcased at the Miller Theatre in Houston on August 19, 2017.


ncredible India is being presented by Indian Performing Arts, Samskriti at the Miller Outdoor Theatre on the 19th of August, 2017 at 8.15pm. This popular event is presented in association with the Consulate General of India in Houston and funded by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board. In a message Hon.Dr. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India in Houston says, “Samskriti does an amazing job of keeping our culture alive. The Indian diaspora in Houston is a very successful one which represents the best of India in many ways. It is a matter of great importance that it retains the links with its heritage and anything that is done in that direction is something we wish to encourage. And that is why we are happy to support Samskriti and what better occasion than the 70th anniversary of our Independance. The Indian government is proud to be associated with this organization and whatever we can do we will continue to do.”

The portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah is seen at the India-Pakistan Wagah border post amidst celebrations and dancing on Independence Day (Photo: AFP)


SLAMABAD, Pakistan | AFP - Pakistan Monday celebrated 70 years of independence from British India with a patriotic display including a giant flag and a show of airpower, as the military’s top brass vowed to wipe out terrorists days after a deadly blast. Celebrations began at the stroke of midnight with firework shows in major cities. At the highly symbolic Wagah eastern border crossing with India, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa raised a massive national flag on a 400 foot (122-metre) pole as crowds chanted patriotic slogans. Following the chest-thumping performance Bajwa said the country was making progress and promised to “go after each and every terrorist in Pakistan”. “We have made a few mistakes in the past, but we are on the road to development under the guidance of our constitution,” he added. A powerful bomb targeted a military vehicle in the restive capital of Balochistan province late Saturday, killing 14 people including several troops. The military later said the blast, claimed by the Islamic State group, was intended to mar independence day celebrations. Pakistan also faces fresh political turmoil after the Supreme Court last month sacked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif following an investigation into corruption allegations against his family. In Islamabad his newly-elected successor Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, along with top generals and foreign dignitaries, presided over a 31-gun salute and flag-raising ceremony to mark the holiday. “The independence that we got 70 years ago was the fruit of the exemplary struggle of our ancestors,” said Abbasi in an address to the nation. “Thousands of Muslims have made sacrifices for our future and the future

of our children.” Further south in Karachi the day began with a changing of the guard at the mausoleum of the country’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, where politicians and military commanders laid floral wreaths. The skies above the capital were later streaked with multicoloured smoke as the air force hosted Pakistan’s largest air show to date. Fighter jets crisscrossed over the leafy capital in aerobatic manoeuvres as thousands packed shoulder-toshoulder applauded from a park below. Planes from close allies Saudi Arabia and Turkey also took part. In Lahore students cruised through the eastern city’s streets on motorbikes waving flags and screaming “Long live Pakistan!” Up north in the Swat valley near the restive border with Afghanistan celebrations were more subdued, with events at schools cancelled due to “prevailing law and order” issues. In nearby Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Christians held special services at a church and freed doves to mark the holiday. “Four years back my father and brother died in this church in a suicide attack, but I am still here praying for my beloved country,” schoolteacher Neelam Anwar told AFP.

Rathna Kumar, Artistic Director, Samskriti and curator of the show says that the theme for this year is Unity through Diversity.

There is an interesting line up of programs that will take the spectators on a virtual dawn to dusk trip from Kasmir to Kanyakumari. The Programme will commence with Suryanamaskaram and Yogasanams performed by the students of the Narasimhacharis from Chennai, India. The classical dance ensembles are the Houston branch of Aruna Mohanty’s Odissi Academy, Shivangini School of Kathak and Anjali Center for Performing Arts. There is also Kalari, a martial art of Kerala and a multilingual thematic presentation on national, religious and cultural integration with representation of 15 Indian States through their culture and language. The dance will be enhanced with visuals of natural and architectural splendor associated with each place. The recurrent theme is that we speak different languages and have different religious beliefs but remain united through our deep rooted love for the Motherland. The central theme of Unity through Diversity will bring together all the dancers on the stage for the soul stirring finale, Vande Mataram, the glorious salutation to Mother India. This event is FREE to the public, and so is the parking. For information or for tickets to the covered area, visit, or call Artistic Director Rathna Kumar at (832) 275-9658.


FRIDAY, August 18, 2017







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Manchester attack ‘hero’ in court for ‘theft from victims’


ONDON, United Kingdom | AFP - A homeless man hailed as a hero for coming to the aid of victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack in May appeared in court on Wednesday charged with stealing from two of them.

Parker denied the charges. His story had touched hearts amid national mourning following the attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group. A crowdfunding campaign for Park-

Chris Parker, 33, was interviewed by British media in the aftermath of the attack in which 22 people were killed, saying he had been begging outside the concert arena when the bomb went off.

Pauline Healey, whose 14-year-old granddaughter was killed in the blast set off by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, was injured in the attack. Her daughter was also seriously wounded. Parker is also accused of stealing a mobile phone from a teenage girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at the scene of the explosion. Prosecutor Ben Southam said Parker had provided “some limited assistance” to injured people but “equally” took the opportunity to steal from them.


The military usually stays out of the political fray, but it has been especially keen to distance itself from the weekend’s neo-Nazi demonstrations because some demonstrators were sporting US military clothes or insignia.

“The Army doesn’t tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks. It’s against our Values and everything we’ve stood for since 1775,” Milley wrote.

“There was people lying on the floor everywhere,” he recounted, adding that a woman had died in his arms and he had come to the rescue of a little girl whose mother had been killed.

The police said Parker “has been charged with two counts of theft”, and at his preliminary hearing on Wednesday, prosecutors said he stole a purse, containing bank cards, from a grandmother.

ASHINGTON | AFP | Wednesday 8/16/2017 US military leaders have been denouncing racism and intolerance since a white supremacist rally in Virginia -- with condemnation mounting after President Donald Trump said counter-protesters also were to blame for the violence.

On Wednesday General Mark Milley, who is chief of staff of the Army, took to Twitter to reinforce his service’s values.

“It knocked me to the floor and then I got up and instead of running away my gut instinct was to run back and try and help,” he said.

But Greater Manchester Police have accused him of stealing from the victims.

US military leaders condemn racism after deadly protests

In comments that were warmly embraced by David Duke, a former “grand wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump on Tuesday said the “alt-left” was partly responsible for the deadly violence in Charlottesville, and said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the protest.

A tearful Parker told the Press Association news agency at the time: “I heard a bang and within a split second I saw a white flash, then smoke and then I heard screaming.”

Marine Commandant General Robert Neller also sent a message after Trump’s comments.

er raised more than £50,000 (55,000 euros, $64,000), though the money was never handed over to him. One donor even offered to house Parker temporarily, and his estranged mother had contacted her local newspaper after the bombing, asking her son to make contact. The bomb went off just after the end of a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande, a teen and pre-teen favourite. Manchester Arena producers said Wednesday that they would re-open on September 9 for the first time since the attack, with a charity concert that will include Noel Gallagher from the Manchester band Oasis. James Allen, GM of the arena, said: “May’s events will never be forgotten, but they will not stop us from coming together to enjoy live music.”

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

“No place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC. Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act,” he wrote. Admiral John Richardson, who heads the Navy, had issued a statement Saturday calling the events in Charlottesville “shameful.” “The Navy will forever stand against intolerance and hatred,” he said. Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein later tweeted a message saying he supported his fellow military leaders. “I stand with my fellow service chiefs in saying we’re always stronger together-it’s who we are as #Airmen,” Goldfein wrote. And Pentagon chief Jim Mattis on Monday said he was “very saddened” by what had happened in Charlottes-

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis said he was “very saddened” by what had happened in Charlottesville (File photo) ville.

ciation with the man.

Images of Swastika-waving neoNazis circulated globally from the protests.

“Our WWII Airborne forefathers jumped into Europe to defeat Nazism. We know who we are. We know our legacy,” the 82nd wrote on Twitter, creating a chain of comments in which the relatives of those who fought in World War II posted photographs or the gravestones of loved ones who battled Nazis.

One man, who was photographed making a Nazi salute, wore a baseball cap bearing the logo of the 82nd Airborne Division. The legendary military unit was quick to distance itself from any asso-

Transgender ‘bathroom bill’ collapses in Texas USTIN | AFP - Rights activists celebrated Wednesday the collapse of legislation to restrict transgender people’s use of bathrooms in Texas, but proponents on both sides of the bitter divide warned the battle was far from over.


The bill, which would have required transgender people to use bathrooms matching their birth gender, roiled the ruling Republican Party for months in the second most populous US state and was seen as reflecting a wider national cultural rift. Supporters said the bill was merely designed to protect women and children from sexual predators, while opponents argued that the legislation was discriminatory and would have made the Lone Star state a national pariah. Although the bill had been approved by one of the state’s two legislative chambers last month, it was effective-

ly killed late Tuesday when a special session of the state’s House of Representatives broke up without debating the measure. The bill’s collapse came after the speaker of the house -- a moderate Republican who opposed the legislation -- refused to allot time for lawmakers to discuss it. The chamber is not scheduled to meet again until 2019 when it reconvenes after elections. But both backers of the bill and some of its fiercest opponents agreed that the issue was likely to flare up again. “Obviously I’m very pleased ... but we’re cautious, because this will come up again in our next legislature,” Lisa Scheps, one of the leaders of the Transgender Education Network of Texas, told AFP.




Section 2



China’s debt on a ‘dangerous trajectory’: IMF


EIJING, China | AFP Tuesday 8/15/2017 - China’s massive debt is on a “dangerous” path, raising the risk of a sharp slowdown in growth, the IMF warned on Tuesday, urging Beijing to speed up structural reforms. The International Monetary Fund, which has repeatedly warned China over its ballooning debt, said in a new report that the world’s second largest economy must turn toward a sustainable growth path. “International experience suggests that China’s credit growth is on a dangerous trajectory, with increasing risks of

a disruptive adjustment and/or a marked growth slowdown,” IMF experts wrote. While the country’s nearterm growth outlook firmed up, it is at the cost of “further large and continuous increases in private and public debt, and thus increasing downside risks in the medium term,” the report said. The IMF maintained its forecast of 6.7 percent growth for this year, but the report warned that the country’s debt load could soar from around 235 percent of gross domestic product last year to more than 290 percent in 2022.

Debt-fuelled investment in infrastructure and real estate has underpinned China’s growth for years but Beijing has launched a crackdown over fears of a potential financial crisis. The IMF recommended that Beijing press on with reforms to further boost consumption. “China has the potential to sustain strong growth over the medium term,” the report said. “But to do this safely requires accelerating reforms to rebalance towards less creditintensive growth, while using still-sizeable buffers to smooth the transition.”

Foxconn comes to terms with 80 per cent Snapdeal loss by Biswarup Gooptu


EW DELHI, Aug 15 - FIH Mobile, the Hong Kong-listed unit of Foxconn Technology Solutions, has written down 80% of its $200-million investment in Indian online marketplace Snapdeal. The company recognised an impairment loss of $160 million related to its investment in Gurgaon-based Jasper Infotech, which owns and operates Snapdeal, FIH Mobile said in a regulatory filing for the sixmonth period ended June 30. Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world’s largest contract manufacturer that’s better known as Foxconn Technology Solutions, owns about 64% of FIH Mobile.

Bank Group, collapsed last month after Snapdeal’s founders announced they would not agree to the buyout and would continue as an independent entity. Additionally, other minority stakeholders in Snapdeal refused to sign off on the deal. FIH Mobile, along with China’s Alibaba Group and SoftBank, however, were in favour of the

transaction going through. FIH Mobile led a $500-million equity financing round in Snapdeal two years ago, a transaction that valued the ecommerce company at about $5 billion, making it, at the time, one of the most-valued consumer internet companies to have emerged out of the Indian startup ecosystem. (-Economic Times)

Tel: 713-774-5140

Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston Gala features LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel


he Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) will be hosting its 18th Annual Gala on August 26 and will be attended by .Houston’s top business leaders, elected officials, Consul General of India Dr. Anupam Ray, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell will be the Keynote Speaker. Created in 1999, the Chamber promotes business growth, job creation in Houston and facilitates bilateral trade between Houston and India. Founding Secretary, Jagdip Ahluwalia, who currently serves as Executive Director, described the Gala as “part update, part thank you and part honoring the men and women who have achieved success not only for themselves but for the community they live in.” President Allen Richards announced the 2018 Honorees selected for their diverse and exceptional achievements in entrepreneurship, impacting economic growth in Houston and Humanitarian Service. The honorees include:

Janiece Longoria, Chairman, Port of Houston for her outstanding contribution in positioning the Port as a globally competitive port and a key economic driver for the Greater Houston and gulf coast region. Dr. Marie Goradia to be honored with the “Impact on Humanity Award” for her forceful advocacy for the cause of education of underprivileged children in India via Pratham USA and her support of Bob Patel many deserving causes in healthcare. Bal Sareen, CEO, Brask, Inc Property Management, compaJacob Sanchez for his entrepreneurial Diagnosedsuccess with autism nies that buy and manage propas a leading manufacturer of erties. shell and heat exchangers in The event, to be held at the Texas. Hilton Americas in downtown Swapnil Agarwal, for Young Entrepreneur of the Year, as Founder and Managing Principal of Nitya Capital and Karya

Houston, starts at 6 pm. For more information, call 713.624.7131

Costco fined $19m+ for U.S. business inventories selling fake Tiffany rings post biggest gain in seven months


ASHINGTON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. business inventories recorded their biggest increase in seven months in June as retailers accumulated stock at a brisk clip amid signs of a pickup in domestic demand.

Retail inventories gained 0.6 percent in June as announced in an advance report last month. Retail inventories rose 0.6 percent in May.

by Kate Taylor


ASHINGTON, Aug 15 A federal judge ruled that Costco owes jewelry company Tiffany & Co. $19.4 million after the budget retailer sold counterfeit diamond engagement rings using the Tiffany name.

In May, FIH Mobile “identified an impairment indicator from a recent proposed acquisition of JIP in the market, from Motor vehicle inventories On Monday, a US district which the estimated value of increased 0.7 percent as previJIP is significantly below its ously reported after surging 1.2 judge ruled that the $8.25 million in damages a jury ordered carrying value,” it said, referpercent in May. Costco to pay in October 2016 ring to ecommerce firm FlipThe Commerce Department Retail inventories excluding was an insufficient punishment. kart’s proposed takeover of said on Tuesday that business autos,the which go into cal- Judge Laura Taylor Swain deis a signrose of autism. others atthe Snapdeal. Lack of speech inventories 0.5 percentLearn culation of GDP, increased 0.5 The anticipated acquisition, after an unrevised 0.3 percent percent as reported last month. which was orchestrated by increase in May. They rose 0.2 percent in May. Flipkart’s largest stakeholder, Inventories are a key compoInventory investment had a neutral impact on the second Japanese conglomerate Soft- nent of gross domestic product. quarter’s 2.6 percent annualized growth pace after chopping off 1.46 percentage points at the start of the year.

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Business sales rose 0.3 percent in June after edging up 0.1 percent in May. At June’s sales pace, it would take 1.38 months for businesses to clear shelves, up from 1.37 months in May. The inventories-to-sales ratio for motor vehicles was unchanged at 2.25 months in June. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani)

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termined that Tiffany deserves an additional $11.1 million plus interest from the retailer,

bringing the total to $19.4 million. Costco made an estimated $3.7 million in profits selling items marketed as “Tiffany” engagement rings. While Costco argued that a “Tiffanyset” ring is an understood industry term, Swain determined that selling items simply as “Tiffany” rings was an infringement on Tiffany’s trademark. Costco was also banned from selling rings or other items as “Tiffany” products in marketing and in-store labels, unless the budget retailer clarified that Tiffany is a descriptive word — not the brand itself — with a modifier such as “set,” “style,” or “setting.”

Costco said that it plans to appeal the decision, saying that the ruling is the product of

“multiple errors in pretrial, trial, and post-trial rulings.” “Tiffany & Co. did not claim in the lawsuit that it lost a single sale to Costco as a result of any sign,” the company said in a statement. “From a purchaser list of approximately 2,500, Tiffany identified fewer than 10 who said that they had misunderstood Costco’s signage. This was not a case about counterfeiting in the common understanding of that word — Costco was not selling imitation Tiffany & Co. rings.” Costco has sold “Tiffany” rings since before 2007. Tiffany filed the lawsuit against Costco on Valentine’s Day 2013. (-Business Insider)

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‘Partition is not over’: Pakistani Hindus find little refuge in India

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

Chinese teen internet addict dies after rehab


EIJING, China | AFP - A Chinese teen has died after spending less than 48 hours at a centre that treats internet addicts, shining a spotlight on the controversial facilities that seek to unlatch people from their screens. The first country to declare internet addiction a clinical disorder, China is estimated to be home to millions of primarily young men who spend hours online. The parents of Li Ao, 18, had tried everything they could think of to cure his internet addiction: showing him the ropes of the family business, encouraging him to join the military and taking him on trips around the country. More than 15 million people were uprooted following India’s independence from Britain in 1947, which triggered months of violence in which at least a million people were killed for their faith (AFP Photo / Chandan Khanna) by Jalees Andrabi


ODHPUR, India | AFP - For decades, Jogdas dreamed of moving to India to escape the persecution he suffered as a Hindu in Muslim Pakistan. But the reality of life over the border is a far cry from those dreams. Seventy years after partition unleashed the largest mass migration in human history, Hindus are still moving from Pakistan to India, where tens of thousands languish in makeshift camps near the border with no legal right to work. Many have no choice but to toil illegally in the stone quarries near where they live because their movements are strictly controlled by the authorities, suspicious of anyone from across the border. It is not the welcome most of them expected in Hindu-majority India. “No job, no house, no money, no food. There, we were working in the fields, we were farmers. But here people like us are forced to break rocks to earn a living,” said 81-year-old Jogdas, who goes by just one name. “For us the partition is still not over. Hindus are still trying

to come back to their country. And when they come here, they have nothing,” he told AFP from the camp on the outskirts of the western city of Jodhpur where he lives. More than 15 million people were uprooted following India’s independence from Britain in 1947, which triggered months of violence in which at least a million people were killed for their faith. Amid the bloody chaos, Hindus and Sikhs fled the newly formed Pakistan, as Muslims moved in the opposite direction. Despite the exodus, Hindus remain one of Pakistan’s largest religious minorities. Estimates vary, but they are believed to account for around 1.6 percent of the population of roughly 200 million. Many say they face discrimination and even risk abduction, rape and forced marriage. “Soon after partition, the harassment started,” said Jogdas, whose family had only moved to what is now Pakistan a few months before partition to escape a devastating drought. “There was not even a single day when we could live in peace. I wanted to come back

to live with my Hindu brothers.” - ‘We are alone’ Most of the migrants to India come from Pakistan’s Sindh province, taking a four-hour train journey through the Thar desert to Jodhpur in the arid western state of Rajasthan. That they share the culture, food and language of Rajasthan should make it easy for them to assimilate in their adopted homeland. In reality, they live in isolated camps, far from local communities and are treated with suspicion by authorities. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has said it wants to make it easier for persecuted adherents of the faith to find refuge in India. Last year it changed the rules to allow immigrants to apply for citizenship in the state where they live, rather than having to go through the central government. Hindus from Pakistan qualify for a fast track to citizenship after seven years in the country. But bureaucratic delays have meant the process of getting it can take longer to complete.

Harry Potter’s real-life house from the movie is up for sale

But after none of these methods produced results, they decided to pay 22,800 yuan ($3,414) for 180 days of “closed, isolated special education” at the rehab centre. The school had promised to use a combination of psychological treatment methods and military training, Li’s parents told state channel CCTV on Sunday.

Internet and electronic device addiction rehab clinics are springing up all over China (File photo) “Now I just want the authorities to investigate and expose the truth of my son’s death,” said Li Tao. The school’s management and four instructors have been taken into police custody,

While the cause of Li’s death remains unknown, his father Li Tao and mother Liu Dongmei told CCTV that the school called them just a day and a half after they had dropped off their son to say that the younger Li was in the emergency room. By the time they arrived at the hospital, Li had already been moved to the morgue, where his parents found his body covered with scars. “The teachers at the centre told us that their teaching style was very nurturing. They said they never beat kids or used corporal punishment,” Liu Dongmei recalled to CCTV. “But when I saw my son’s body there were bruises all over his arms and legs.” According to CCTV, the school, located near the provincial capital of Hefei, was unlicensed and had already been directed several times by the local government to halt its operations.

Above: Two boys attend a military-style boot camp in Jinan, China. Hundreds of young people (mostly male) are enrolled in the rehabilitation center for the treatment of addiction to technology - mostly online gaming. Attendees range in age from 8 to as old as 30 and spend 2-6 months there. (Photo: Lorenzo Maccatto/BBC News)

while the 20 students remaining at the centre have all been picked up by their parents. The investigation is ongoing, CCTV reported. AFP could not reach the local public security bureau for comment.

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f you can’t move to Hogwarts, consider this enchanting alternative.

This historic home for sale in Lavenham, England is attracting lots of attention, since Harry Potter fans will recognize it as Harry’s childhood home in the first “Deathly Hallows” movie. With an asking price of nearly $1.3 million, the property is one pricey piece of HP lore ― and British history, too.

In real life, the 3,165-squarefoot, Medieval- and Tudorstyle stunner features six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a reception hall, drawing room, kitchen and more. Turns out this place was famous long before associating with the Boy Wizard: Beginning in Medieval times, it belonged to the de Vere family, the second wealthiest family after the king, according to the realtors. The façade features

In a bid to curb gaming marathons on its popular “King of Glory” mobile online multiplayer battle game, internet giant Tencent last month started restricting daily playing times for children.

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In the movie, the home was part of Godric’s Hollow, where Voldemort killed Harry’s parents. Its exterior appeared in the film “with a Christmas tree in the window, with lights on and music emanating,” according to its listing with the real estate firm Carter Jonas.

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China introduced draft legislation this February that bans the use of electroshock therapy and beatings at internet addiction treatment centres. The law would also prevent minors from playing online games be-

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‘Gift from God’ Elvis is semidivine, 40 years after death

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

Under The Wave

by Jennie Matthew


EMPHIS | AFP Pilgrims come all day every day, filing past in silence, fighting back tears as they place mementos at Elvis Presley’s gravesite, pausing to reflect, take pictures or say a prayer. More than 600,000 fans visit each year, paying tribute to the icon of popular culture, the once rebellious sex symbol turned family entertainer of whom John Lennon said “before Elvis there was nothing.”

A unusual surfing shot - after being swallowed by a wave in Fiji (Photograph by Rodney Bursiel)

Belgium’s giant omelette festival defies tainted egg scandal

Forty years after his tragic death aged 42, floral tributes from around the world still line the Meditation Garden, where the king of rock ‘n’ roll is buried at his Graceland home in Memphis.


RUSSELS, Belgium | AFP - You cannot make a giant omelette without breaking thousands of eggs, health scare or not, and the small Belgian town of Malmedy is determined its annual festival is going ahead come what may.

On Tuesday thousands, if not tens of thousands, are expected to attend this year’s candlelight vigil to mark the anniversary of Elvis’ death. Lisa Bseiso will be one of them. She had what she calls a “very spiritual, deep encounter” with Presley’s spirit when she first visited Graceland with her husband in August 2014. “He was sitting in a chair,” remembers the 36-year-old daughter of a Palestinian father and Colombian mother, born and raised in Qatar. “He had tears coming down his eyes and he said ‘Don’t forget me, spread my legacy in your part of the world,’” she recalls. So she went home and set up The Official Elvis Presley Fan Club of Qatar, which she now plans to expand to Dubai, Bahrain and Kuwait. - ‘Quasi-messianic’ “He’s a gift from God to all of us,” she tells AFP at Graceland, where she is visiting with her Palestinian-Jordanian husband, Colombian mother and friends. “God took him back home, but he’s still here.” A life-long fan, listening to his music helped her recover from a car accident in 1999 that left her in a coma for two weeks, she says. The idea that Presley’s spirit lives on is central to his fans of all ages, from all countries, who find his music soothing in times of trouble and are moved by his rags-to-riches story and legendary generosity. Presley is far more than just another poster child for the

Portrait on black velvet (Artist: Melara/DeviantArt) American dream or even a man whose looks matched the Greek definition of classical beauty, says British author Ted Harrison. “The Elvis known today is not the real Elvis, but a mythological figure millions can relate to in their own way,” says the author of “The Death and Resurrection of Elvis Presley.” “For some fans he also now fills a spiritual and religious vacuum in modern secular society. He is given a semidivine, quasi-messianic status and mystical stories are told about his life.” Thousands have shrines to Presley in their homes, consider visits to Graceland a pilgrimage, write prayers on the wall outside and some even go so far as to confuse him with Jesus, Harrison says. - ‘God stamped him’ Bseiso does not elevate Presley to the status of prophet or Biblical figure, but has found in him a higher calling as she seeks to spread his music and challenge stereotypes about Arabs or the Middle East. “I think when he was born God stamped him to be able to influence people and touch

people,” she said. “His music talks to you... it has a spiritual meaning in his words.” A 10-minute drive from Graceland, the guide at Sun Studio tells fans they are on “sacred and hallowed” ground in the basement studio where Presley recorded his first song “That’s All Right” in 1954. Ecstatic fans jostle to stand on the exact spot where he stood, and cradle and croon into the microphone he used, manically snapping photographs and tingling with delight. “It’s heaven!” sighs Daniela Soto-Cuadra, a 42-yearold lawyer and mother of two from Chile, getting married at Graceland on Monday to a man she’s been dating only a month. “I actually have goose bumps,” says Tessa Bruns, 40, an anesthetist from Wisconsin bursting with happiness under her baseball cap. “Being a somewhat religious person and a Catholic,” she says, “I would say Elvis is a religion, the blues, the rhythm, his legacy.” So what would she have told Presley had she ever met him? “I would say I think I worship the ground you walk on.”

Book gives voice to Vietnam’s strangled anger over war by Fiachra Gibbons

so much.”


- ‘Humanising the Vietnamese’ -

ARIS, France | AFP When Americans debate the Vietnam War, what the Vietnamese thought rarely gets a mention. Not any more. “The Sympathizer,” by Vietnamese-American academic Viet Thanh Nguyen, has ended that silence.

Having tried to “humanise” ordinary Vietnamese people in his acclaimed short stories, Nguyen chose to unleash their strangled anger towards the Americans, French colonialism and their own leaders in his novel.

An excoriating tragi-comic novel, a bestseller in the US, it not only dismantles the Hollywood myth of the conflict but turns it inside out.

Just to live, “I had turned my anger down to a pilot light”, said Nguyen. “I turned it up for ‘The Sympathizer’, and that was unnerving for many Americans.

Told from the perspective of an American-educated Viet Cong double agent, its sweeping arc -- and bravura takedown of the legendary film “Apocalypse Now” -- won Nguyen the 2016 Pulitzer and a pile of other top prizes.

“We Asians are supposed to be the model minority. We are the nice people. We are not supposed to get upset.

The judges of the Dublin Literary Award -- one of the few it didn’t win -- described it as “the masterpiece on Vietnam that the world has been waiting for”. Nguyen, who escaped his homeland in his mother’s arms after the fall of Saigon in 1975, is not the type to have his head turned by critics comparing his debut novel to such classics as “Catch 22” and “The Invisible Man”. “All Vietnamese people are apparently proud of me now even if they haven’t read the book, or whether they agree with it. The Pulitzer trumps everything,” he told AFP in Paris, where he is working on a new book. “I’m happy that they’re proud. I’m glad I can give them something, yet I find it a little bit sad that they feel their experiences are so little known that the validation of a literary prize matters

“I have had some hate mail from veterans, which is OK. I’m trying to force everybody to reconsider everything they know about the Vietnam War.” But Nguyen, who grew up between a refugee camp and the shop his parents slaved to set up in California, is an equal opportunities satirist. While he eviscerates a barelydisguised Francis Ford Coppola on the Philippine set of his iconic film, the Vietnamese do not emerge smelling of roses either. “If I had only criticised the communists or the Americans I would have been fine,” Nguyen said. For his Vietnamese characters are not only human “they are also inhuman, capable of doing terrible things. Some terrible things happen in the book, as they did in Vietnam. Nothing I wrote about did not happen. - ‘Everybody did wrong’ “Everybody did something wrong, everybody deserves to be offended.”

Nguyen said he was “anxious” about how the Vietnamese translation would be received. “I wonder even how my own family will react to this depiction of Vietnamese complexity and contradictions,” he said. That it has taken this long for a Vietnamese writer to take on the war and its legacy is no surprise to him. “Vietnamese people do anything to avoid conflict. There is a very big temptation not to talk about the war. The Communist Party control the narrative and if you try to get another perspective in there you are censored or exiled.” In America, Vietnamese writers are up against Hollywood, he said, “the unofficial propaganda of the United States. These movies cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Are you going to go up in front of that with your puny little novel?” Americans also “like to think that they know something about Vietnam. But it is only ever their experiences we see,” he insisted. So Nguyen, a professor of English and ethnicity, decided to turn US attitudes on race to his advantage. “As a minority you are expected to write about your ‘minority experience’. So I decided to give them that, but done my way, a way neither Americans nor Vietnamese people have seen before.” His big challenge was to find a character who could cross the lines. And in coming up with an ambivalent Communist mole in the South Vietnamese army, the unwanted son of a French colonial Catholic priest and his maid, Nguyen found his man.

Ten thousand hen’s eggs will be used for the traditional event in the town near the German border despite a scandal sweeping Europe involving eggs tainted with the insecticide fipronil. “I did not have any problem finding enough eggs, but the week has indeed been a bit different,” Benedicte Mathy, president of the local branch of the World Giant Omelette Brotherhood, told AFP Friday. Belgium and the Netherlands are at the centre of the crisis that has so far seen tainted eggs found in 15 EU countries, Switzerland and Hong Kong, with millions of eggs removed from supermarket shelves. Mathy, who has organised the annual Giant Omelette festival in Malmedy for more than 20 years, insists every precaution has been taken in collecting the eggs used.

Malmedy’s festival dates back to the 1990s (Photo: AFP) “We have largely organised our own supplies, about 8,000 eggs which come from a farm some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from here so we know the quality,” she said by telephone. The rest come from two supermarket chains sponsoring the event who are aware no risks can be taken given the publicity the event generates, especially this year, she said. “The main thing is that we can reassure the public that the eggs are safe.” A record 7,000 visitors came

to Malmedy last year for the festival, held every August 15, heartily tucking into the omelette cooked in a giant skillet in the town square. For this year, Mathy says local people have been supportive and noted that Malmedy’s festival dates back to the 1990s when Belgium was hit with a similar scandal -- over chicken and eggs contaminated with dioxin, a known carcinogen. “People have confidence in us. One cannot organise a festival like ours without taking precautions,” she said.


Young Life

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

Section 2 Email:

UH undergrads to receive support for research

Tel: 713-774-5140

30 children die in India hospital over two days


U C KNOW, India | AFP - More than 30 children have died at a government-run hospital in northern India over 48 hours, police said Friday, allegedly due to lack of oxygen supply to the wards housing the sick.

$500K Mellon Foundation Grant aims to strengthen scholarship in the humanities (File photo) By Chris Stipes


he University of Houston has received a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish an undergraduate research program in the humanities. In addition to supporting new and innovative programs and opportunities at the undergraduate level, the Mellon Foundation grant is expected to increase the number of underrepresented and other students who enter doctoral programs at the university and other Tier One institutions. The Mellon Research Scholars Program at the University of Houston will support the undergraduate research initiatives of 60 underrepresented and other undergraduate juniors and seniors. The Mellon Scholars will work one-on-one with faculty mentors outside the classroom on independent research projects. The program is designed to help students

develop critical thinking and writing skills and will also provide professional development opportunities, enhancing competitiveness for top graduate schools, national and international scholarships, and eventual job placement. “I am grateful to the Mellon Foundation for their tremendous commitment to our diverse student body,” said Eloise Dunn Brice, vice chancellor/vice president for university advancement. “Expanding undergraduate research is key to our mission as a Carnegiedesignated Tier One research university, and this gift will actively support underrepresented students in the humanities.” The gift is a part of the University’s “Here, We Go” Campaign, contributing to its $1 billion goal. It further enhances the efforts of the Honors College, which is ranked among the top ten honors programs and colleges in the nation in the latest edition of “Inside

Honors.” “I’m excited because this funding will lighten the financial load and open doors for students who otherwise might not consider an advanced degree or a career in higher education,” said Karen Weber, assistant dean of co-curricular programs in the Honors College. Weber and Stuart Long, associate dean of undergraduate research and associate dean of the Honors College, developed the proposal for the grant and as the principal investigators will oversee the three-year program, which starts in spring 2018. The program includes faculty-led seminars and a monthly discussion series, an intensive preparatory graduate school workshop, and a full-time summer mentored research experience leading into a thesis or capstone course to be completed during the senior year. “It makes the university a

The children were admitted at the Baba Raghav Das Hospital in Gorakhpur district of northern Uttar Pradesh, Children and family members at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in GoraIndia’s most pop- khpur, India, on Saturday (Photo: Credit European Pressphoto Agency) ulated state ruled by the right-wing dues running into millions of average 10-11 kids die daily. Bharatiya Janata Party. rupees. A team has been set up to look “The hospital has said that 23 City magistrate V K Sriv- into the matter.” children died on Thursday and State-run hospitals in India 11 today. At the moment we astava however denied the alonly have this information,” legations and said the hospital are often stretched to breaking senior police superintendent had enough oxygen cylinders point, with patients facing long delays for even minor treatSatyarth Aniruddha Pankaj told in stock. AFP by phone. “The deaths were not due to ment and forced to share beds. As a result, Indians avoid the “The matter is being investi- lack of oxygen as is being reported. The supply was stopped state-run system if they can, gated.” yesterday (Thursday) but the with many flocking to private Multiple local media reports hospital has enough cylinders clinics and hospitals. said the children died after the in stock,” he told AFP. But a consultation with a pricompany which was supplying “Many acute cases are re- vate GP can cost 1,000 rupees oxygen stopped the service, apparently over non-payment of ferred to the hospital and on an ($15), a huge sum for millions living on less than $2 a day. real center for undergraduate humanities education, which is something close to my heart as an English teacher,” said William Monroe, dean of the Honors College. “There’s been a justifiable emphasis on STEM in recent years, but the humanities have kind of fallen off the radar. The Mellon grant refocuses attention on those impor-

tant disciplines.” The $500,000 grant is one of two recent gifts from the Mellon Foundation to the University of Houston in 2017; the foundation also made a $54,000 pledge to fund a Planning Grant for Digital Humanities Research Center for U.S. Latina/o Studies.

Opposition politicians instantly seized on the deaths, calling the government insensitive. “The state government is responsible for the deaths,” said Raj Babbar, a leading opposition figure. “How can there be shortage of oxygen?” “This is not a tragedy. It’s a massacre,” said Kailash Satyarthi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

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FRIDAY, August 18, 2017


Section 2


Bollywood film spotlights India’s toilet shortage

Tel: 713-774-5140

Bangladesh film star turns Islamic preacher


HAKA, Bangladesh | AFP A Bangladeshi film star who became an Islamic preacher said Wednesday he wants to use his fame to draw young people in the Muslim-majority nation to the faith. Ananta Jalil is the latest actor to take up the practice after 22-year-old Naznin Akter Happy, whose decision to become an ultra-conservative Islamic preacher was the subject of a best-selling book. Thousands of fans turned out late last month to watch 39-year-old Jalil preach in the capital Dhaka. Photos of him wearing an Islamic turban and

long robe went viral on social media. He told AFP that he had joined the Tablighi Jamaat -- a Sunni Muslim evangelical movement that boasts millions of adherents in Bangladesh -- after a pilgrimage to Mecca earlier this year. “The main reason Allah gave us life... sent us to the earth is to worship Him. I learnt it there,” he said by phone on Wednesday. “If I can preach Islam to the young generation, they’ll abide by Allah and the traditions of the prophet and they’ll say prayers five times a day.”

Indian film industry hails chief censor’s exit Akshay Kumar (L) and Bhumi Pednekar star in ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ (‘Toilet: A Love Story’) which is inspired by the true-life tale of one man’s battle to build toilets in his village in rural India by Udita Jhunjhunwala


UMBAI | AFP - Bollywood may be famous for its blingy song and dance numbers, but a new movie released Friday deals with a distinctly less glamorous subject -- India’s chronic lack of toilets. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made building more toilets a key priority in the country of 1.25 billion people, around half of whom still have to go into the fields to answer the call of nature. Campaigners estimate that nearly 200,000 infants die every year due to infections spread through open defecation, which they say also puts women at risk of sexual assault. “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” (“Toilet: A love story”) is inspired by the true-life tale of one man’s battle to build toilets in his village in rural India. He wanted to win back his new wife, whose refusal to live in a house without a toilet won her plaudits in India. Script writers Siddharth Singh and Garima Wahal told AFP they hoped the movie, featuring one of Bollywood’s biggest stars Akshay Kumar, would have a “tangible impact” on Indian society. “This happened in a village in Madhya Pradesh, and we thought that was a strong statement,” said Singh, referring to one of India’s most rural states. The writers said they came across numerous stories of women being assaulted when they went into the fields late at night in the process of researching the movie.

“But defecating in the open is not only unhealthy it is also dangerous,” said Garima. “While we were doing our research we heard of three incidents of molestation. Crimes against women have increased owing to their vulnerability when they are out in the fields, alone in the dark, with their ‘pants down’ as it were.” Garima said it was hypocritical for Indian society to insist that women cover up on the one hand, while on the other forcing them to “expose themselves owing to a lack of sanitary and bathroom facilities”. Kumar, one of the world’s highest paid actors with an income of $31.5 million according to a Forbes ranking published last year, recently released a “Toilet Anthem” to promote the cause. “While mankind has progressed far enough to journey to Mars and scale Mount Everest, 54 percent of India defecates in the open,” says the song. Modi has called for every household in India to have a toilet. Last year, he announced that his government had already built more than 20 million toilets since coming to power in 2014. Around two-thirds of homes in the village that the movie is based on now have toilets, according to media reports. “Our script was ready in 2014 and we felt we should get it going while it is still a hot topic. It’s especially important to get people in rural areas to watch this film,” said Garima.

UMBAI | AFP - India’s film industry on Monday welcomed the departure of the country’s chief film censor, who had stoked controversy by axing James Bond’s kissing scenes and briefly blocking the release of a movie for being too “lady-oriented”.


The government said late Friday it was replacing Pahlaj Nihalani as chief of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) with Prasoon Joshi, an award-winning screenwriter. No reason was given, but many in India’s vibrant film industry felt the censorship board’s demands for cuts and other changes were stifling creative freedoms. “Film-makers faced a huge problem with Nihalani’s one-man show and attitude towards censorship, which left no room for negotiations or debates,” said film-maker Ashok Pandit, who served on the CBFC’s panel under Nihalani. “This attitude affected many movies and film-makers in the last three years and I am happy with the ministry’s decision to replace him with a much more reasonable chief,” he told AFP. Nihalani said he had received no word from the government and had only heard through media reports that he was being replaced.

Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani is being replaced (Photo: AFP)

Four arrested in India for leaking ‘Game of Thrones’ episode


UMBAI | AFP - Four people have been arrested in India for leaking an episode from HBO’s “Game of Thrones” television series before it was aired in the country, police said Monday. Already the most pirated show in TV history, the popular fantasy drama -- which tells the story of noble families vying for the Iron Throne -- has been plagued by leaks in recent weeks following the premiere of the seventh season. After receiving a complaint for a company “we investigated the case and have arrested four individuals for

unauthorised publication of the fourth episode from season seven,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Akbar Pathan told AFP. He said the four -- accused of criminal breach of trust and computer-related offences -- would be detained until August 21 amid an investigation. The case was filed by a Mumbaibased company responsible for storing and processing the TV episodes for an app, local media said. The four arrested were company employees who possessed official credentials giving them access to the epi-

sodes, the reports added. Game of Thrones has more Emmy Awards than any narrative show in history and airs in 170 countries, with viewership figures shattering records across the world. As well as being a hit globally, it has a massive fan base in South Asia. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss last year announced the shortened run of seven and six episodes for the final two seasons and confirmed the summer return for season seven, a departure from the usual April premieres.

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FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

Voice of Asia

Section 2

Drink to your health?

HEALTHY Why is your lower back so prone to injury?

It depends on how much drinking you do, study shows by Melissa Healy


his just in, and it’s definitive (for now): People who drink alcohol in moderation — especially older people, women and nonLatino white people — are less likely to die of any cause than are teetotalers or people who consume heavy doses of alcohol either on occasion or in an average week. In follow-up periods that hovered around eight years, moderate drinkers were no less likely than alcohol abstainers to die of cancer. But they were roughly a quarter less likely to die of heart disease or stroke than were people who never consumed alcohol. Heavy drinkers fared slightly worse than moderate drinkers and never-drinkers in their likelihood of dying of any cause during the studies’ follow-up periods. But it wasn’t the risk of heart failure or heart attack that heavy drinkers drove up: it was cancer. Heavy drinkers’ odds of dying from cancer were roughly 45% higher than were the cancer-death odds of moderate drinkers. In a meta-analysis — essentially an aggregation of studies reflecting the experience of 333,247 adults — researchers confirmed a long suspected (but much disputed) relationship between drinking and death: that, for most, consuming a little alcohol, even everyday, is better than drinking none. But throwing back too much is way worse than sipping just the right amount. And what’s the just-right amount of alcohol for health? Moderate drinkers are defined as men who consume, on average, no more than 14 servings of alcohol per week or women whose average consumption of alcohol is seven servings or fewer of alcohol per week. Here’s what constitutes a serving (you might be surprised). Binge drinking once a week

Surya Raguthu, M.D, ABIPP, ABPMR, CIME by Dr. Surya Raguthu


or more (typically, drinking four or more servings of alcohol in two hours or less for women, or five or more for men) increased drinkers’ odds of dying during the study periods by about 16%, largely by driving cancer rates up. Alcohol consumption bedevils doctors, public health experts and patients alike, what with all the stigma, sanctimony, lying and uncertainty that surrounds this most common of vices. Patients lie about how much they drink. Unless they see clear signs of alcoholinduced damage in a patient, a physicians are hard-pressed to guess. And claims and counterclaims abound about alcohol’s impact on health. The World Health Organization, citing alcohol’s link to cancer, recommends against any consumption of alcohol at all. That may be reasonable, given that 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9% of global deaths in 2012, were attributed to alcohol consumption. But it may overlook the fact that, for those who can do so in moderation, alcohol consumption may positively influence health — and cardiovascular health in particular. How alcohol influences health at different doses is also not well understood. Some research suggests that a modest

intake of alcohol may reduce blood pressure, improve the function of blood vessels and — in the case of wine consumption at least — may introduce plant-based chemicals that scavenge toxins. Aside from driving up risks of accidents and violence, excessive alcohol consumption may nudge cancer risk, especially for breast, colorectal and oral cancers, up by increasing inflammatory processes, changing hormonal balances, or suppressing immunity. The newest research, published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, does find some key differences by gender, ethnicity and age. Heavy drinking drove up rates of all-cause mortality, and of cancer mortality, in men. But the same effect was not seen in women. Non-Latino whites appeared to benefit from moderate alcohol consumption. But nonLatino blacks did not. The protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption was more pronounced in people 60 and older than among people 40 to 59. And among younger adults — those 18 to 39 — moderate alcohol consumption didn’t drive down death rates at all.

Potential stem cell therapy may help promote hair growth


cientists have discovered a new way to activate the stem cells in the hair follicle, an advance that may pave the way for novel drugs to promote hair growth. Hair follicle stem cells are long-lived cells in the hair follicle; they are present in the skin and produce hair throughout a person’s lifetime. They are “quiescent,” meaning they

are normally inactive, but they quickly activate during a new hair cycle, which is when new hair growth occurs. The quiescence of hair follicle stem cells is regulated by many factors. In certain cases they fail to activate, which is what causes hair loss. Researchers from University of California, Los Angeles in

the US found that hair follicle stem cell metabolism is different from other cells of the skin. Cellular metabolism involves the breakdown of the nutrients needed for cells to divide, make energy and respond to their environment. The process of metabolism uses enzymes that alter these nutrients to produce “metabolites.” Continued on next page

he lower back is subject to injury while lifting a heavy object, twisting, or a sudden movement—any of which can cause muscles or ligaments to stretch or develop microscopic tears. Over time, poor posture or repetitive stress can also lease to muscle strain or other soft tissue problems. And while a muscle strain sounds simple, in the lower back the pain from a simple strain can be severe. Pulled Back Muscle and Lower Back Strain The lumbar spine has 5 motion segments. Most twisting and bending is divided among those segments, although the majority of the motion takes place in the lowest two segments, called L4-L5 and L5S1. The structures in these two lowest segments are the most likely to wear down over time or be injured. Despite growing research efforts, non-specific low back pain (LBP) remains a major public health burden throughout the industrialized world. Epidemiological data indicate a point prevalence ranging

from 19 % to 27 % and a lifetime prevalence of about 60 %. Although a rapid decrease in pain and incapacity often occurs within the month following the onset of symptoms, most patients still experience LBP and related disability 1 year after.

performed to assist in isolating the source of pain. In addition to its diagnostic function, this type of injection for pain management can also be used as a treatment for a far lateral disc herniation (a disc that ruptures outside the spinal canal).

A lot of studies have attempted to identify the risk factors for the occurrence of LBP, notably, to be able to propose preventive interventions. Supposed risk factors for the onset or chronicity of LBP can be categorized into several categories, i.e., individual (e.g., genetic predisposition, gender, age, weight, height, body mass index, physical activity, spine mobility and smoking, etc. psychosocial factors (e.g., stress, anxiety, depression, pain behavior, etc. which are sometimes related to the work activity (e.g., work monotony, etc. and occupational factors (e.g., lifting, bending and twisting, prolonged static posture, whole body vibration). Whereas the presence of a previous episode of LBP is recognized to be a powerful risk factor for a new one , literature reviews have reported only no, low, or conflicting evidence of a relation between LBP and the other supposed risk factors.

Selective Nerve Root Block (SNRB) for Diagnosis and Back Pain Management

One of the treatments Lumbar selective nerve root block. When a nerve root becomes compressed and inflamed, it can produce back and/or leg pain. Occasionally, an imaging study (e.g. MRI) may not clearly show which nerve is causing the pain and an SNRB injection is

In an SNRB, the nerve is approached at the level where it exits the foramen (the hole between the vertebral bodies). The injection is done both with a steroid (an antiinflammatory medication) and lidocaine (a numbing agent). Fluoroscopy (live X-ray) is used to ensure the medication is delivered to the correct location. If the patient’s pain goes away after the injection, it can be inferred that the back pain generator is the specific nerve root that has just been injected. Following the injection, the steroid also helps reduce inflammation around the nerve root. Dr. Surya Raguthu, M.D, ABIPP, ABPMR, CIME, has 15 years of experience in Pain Management and excels in Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitative Medicine. His mission is to enhance the health and wellbeing of seniors, adults, and children in our communities to help them lead a quality life. His motto is “Live Pain Free.” Please visit for details.


Medicare Appeals Level 4: Review by Medicare Appeals Council


o request that the Medicare Appeals Council (Appeals Council) review the ALJ’s decision in your case, follow the directions in the ALJ’s hearing decision you got in level 3. You must send your request to the address listed in the ALJ’s hearing decision. You can file a request for Appeals Council review in 1 of 2 ways: 1. Fill out a “Request for Review of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Medicare Decision/Dismissal” form 2. Submit a written request to the Appeals Council that includes: • Your name and Medicare number. If you’ve appointed a representative, include the name of your representative. • The specific item(s) and/or service(s) and specific date(s) of service you’re appealing. See your MSN or your ALJ hearing decision for this information. • A statement identifying the parts of the ALJ’s decision with which you disagree and an explanation of why you disagree. • The date of the ALJ decision. • Your signature. If you’ve appointed a representative, include the signature of your representative. • If you’re requesting that your case be moved from the ALJ to the Appeals Council because the ALJ hasn’t issued a timely decision, include the hearing office in which the request for hearing is pending. 3. If the Appeals Council doesn’t issue a timely decision, you can ask the Appeals Council to move your case to the next level of appeal. 4. If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision in level 4, you have 60 days after you get the decision to request judicial review by a federal district court. Appeals Level 5: Federal district court judicial review To get a judicial review in federal district court, the amount of your case must meet a minimum dollar amount. For 2017, the mini-

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mum dollar amount is $1,560. You may be able to combine claims to meet this dollar amount. Follow the directions in the MAC’s decision letter you got in level 4 to file a complaint. Making a Special Needs Plan coverage decision appeal Your Medicare Special Needs Plan (SNP) must tell you in writing how to appeal. After you file an appeal, the plan will review its original decision. If your plan doesn’t decide in your favor, the appeal is reviewed by an independent organization that works for Medicare, not for the plan. Can someone file an appeal for me? Contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) if you need help filing an appeal. Or, you can appoint a representative to help you. Your representative can be a family member, friend, advocate, attorney, doctor or someone else who will act on your behalf. (To Be Continued) To choose right Medicare Supplement plan, Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug plan, contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.


FRIDAY, August 18, 2017



Almonds may help boost cholesterol clean-up crew Researchers find that eating almonds regularly may help improve HDL cholesterol levels, functionality byKatie Bohn


NIVERSITY PARK, Pa. Eating almonds on a regular basis may help boost levels of HDL cholesterol while simultaneously improving the way it removes cholesterol from the body, according to researchers.

released into circulation,” Kris-Etherton said. “It’s like a garbage bag that

“We were able to show that there were more larger particles in response

In a study, researchers compared the levels and function of high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) in people who ate almonds every day, to the HDL levels and function of the same group of people when they ate a muffin instead. The researchers found that while participants were on the almond diet, their HDL levels and functionality improved. Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State, said the study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, builds on previous research on the effects of almonds on cholesterol-lowering diets. “There’s a lot of research out there that shows a diet that includes almonds lowers low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease,” Kris-Etherton said. “But not as much was known about how almonds affect HDL cholesterol, which is considered good cholesterol and helps lower your risk of heart disease.” The researchers wanted to see if almonds could not just increase the levels but also improve the function of HDL cholesterol, which works by gathering cholesterol from tissues, like the arteries, and helping to transport it out of the body. “HDL is very small when it gets

Hair growth... As hair follicle stem cells consume the nutrient glucose – a form of sugar – from the bloodstream, they process the glucose to eventually produce a metabolite called pyruvate. The cells then can either send pyruvate to their mitochondria – the part of the cell that creates energy – or can convert pyruvate into another metabolite called lactate. “Our observations about hair follicle stem cell metabolism prompted us to examine whether genetically diminishing the entry of pyruvate into the mitochondria would force hair follicle stem cells to make more lactate, and if that would activate the cells and grow hair more quickly,” said Heather Christofk, an associate professor at UCLA.

Researchers at Penn State have found that almonds may help improve function of HDL cholesterol (Image: Patrick Mansell) slowly gets bigger and more spherical as it gathers cholesterol from cells and tissues before depositing them in the liver to be broken down.” Depending on how much cholesterol it has collected, HDL cholesterol is categorized into five “subpopulations,” which range from the very small preβ-1 to the larger, more mature α-1. The researchers hoped that eating almonds would result in more α-1 particles, which would signal improved HDL function. In the controlled-feeding study, 48 men and women with elevated LDL cholesterol participated in two six-week diet periods. In both, their diets were identical except for the daily snack. On the almond diet, participants received 43 grams — about a handful — of almonds a day. During the control period, they received a banana muffin instead. At the end of each diet period, the researchers measured the levels and function of each participant’s HDL cholesterol. The researchers then compared the results to the participants’ baseline measurements taken at the beginning of the study. The researchers found that compared to the control diet, the almond diet increased α-1 HDL — when the particles are at their largest size and most mature stage — by 19 percent. Additionally, the almond diet improved HDL function by 6.4 percent, in participants of normal weight.

to consuming the almonds compared to not consuming almonds,” KrisEtherton said. “That would translate to the smaller particles doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They’re going to tissues and pulling out cholesterol, getting bigger, and taking that cholesterol to the liver for removal from the body.” An increase in this particular HDL subpopulation is meaningful, KrisEtherton explained, because the particles have been shown to decrease overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

Blausen Medical Communications Holds the Largest Library of 3D Medical Animations


OUSTON, TX - Houstonbased Blausen Medical Communications, Inc., is the developer and owner of the world’s largest library of 3D medical animations. Known for their high standard of excellence in scientific and medical accuracy, Blausen creates masterpieces that explain difficult concepts with exceptional clarity. To see these scientific and medical animations, visit their website Bruce Blausen, Founder & CEO, earned a Master of Arts in Medical and Biological Illustration from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 1991, he founded Blausen Medical after recognizing the growing commercial and educational need for more accessible methods of illustrating and animating medical processes and functions. Today, Blausen Medical makes its extensive library content, consisting of over 1,800 topics, available for multiple platforms. The awardwinning animation library is now viewed in every country in the world and has been translated in over 21 languages. Blausen’s latest endeavor includes developing educational Virtual Reality (VR) apps using the extensive stock library. The Blausen team consists of highly-skilled individuals with diverse backgrounds and years of experience in their respective fields of biomedical visualization, 3D anima-

“If people incorporate almonds into their diet, they should expect multiple benefits, including ones that can improve heart health,” Kris-Etherton said. “They’re not a cure-all, but when eaten in moderation — and especially when eaten instead of a food of lower nutritional value — they’re a great addition to an already healthy diet.” Claire Berryman, postdoctoral fellow at U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, and Jennifer Fleming, instructor in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State, also worked on the study. The Almond Board of California supported this study. (


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tion, business and healthcare. Clients include leading multinational organizations in numerous markets such as pharmaceutical, healthcare, higher education, medical device manufacturing, publishing and many others. Blausen’s company and its products have received over 30 honors, including the 2013 Platinum Award for Best Interactive Site and Gold Award for Best Mobile Communications in the eHealthcare Leadership Awards. Blausen Medical has also been honored with numerous Web Health Awards and with an ABBY Award from the Adaptive Business Leaders Organization, for developing innovations that reduce the cost of quality healthcare. In 2014, Mr. Blausen was a recipient of the prestigious Penn State Alumni Fellow Award.

Wrap your arms around the pain — free joint pain seminar

Kris-Etherton said that while almonds will not eliminate the risk of heart disease, they may be a smart choice for a healthy snack. She added that in addition to their heart-healthy benefits, almonds also provide a dose of good fats, vitamin E and fiber.

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Tel: 713-774-5140

D. Dean Dominy III, M.D.


UGAR LAND – (August 3, 2017) — You may not give your arms — wrists, elbows and shoulders — much thought, until a stiff, aching joint makes activities like carrying groceries or buckling a child into a car seat nearly impossible. The upper extremities are extremely complex. As a result, they have many functions that allow us to perform daily activities, do our jobs, and participate in sporting events. “Problems from overuse can creep up over time, or injuries can occur after a burst of activity,” said D. Dean Dominy III, M.D., board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, fellowship trained in hand and upper extremity. “Tendons and other structures can become swollen or inflamed, causing tendonitis or bursitis. Sometimes these structures can even tear, either from an acute injury or chronic attrition.” Repetitive motion, aging and arthritis can also contribute to pain as surrounding tissues begin to wear down. There are common conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, rotator cuff tear and arthritis that cause pain, stiffness or discomfort and restrict range of motion. “You should have these conditions treated early to prevent more serious problems later,” said Dominy. “For

instance, if pain is preventing you from using your wrist, elbow or shoulder to its full extent, you can develop conditions that restrict your range of motion even more.” Consider some of the following measures you can take to avoid pain and injury: • Exercise and stretch regularly to keep your muscles and joints strong • Don’t carry heavy shoulder bags. If you must lug heavy contents, use a backpack • Listen to mom’s advice: standing up straight promotes good posture, preventing future problems • Take regular breaks at work if your job involves repetitive motion or sitting at a computer all day. Briefly stretching your back, wrists, elbows and shoulders during the work day can help, too • If activity causes soreness or stiffness, give your muscles and joints adequate rest before engaging in the activity again • Ease into a sport you’ve been away from for a time. Tennis players, swimmers and ballplayers have the highest risk of shoulder, elbow and wrist injuries To schedule an appointment online with Dr. Dominy, visit or call 281.690.4678. Visit our Facebook page at for the latest news, events and information. FREE JOINT PAIN SEMINAR Is chronic joint pain slowing you down? Join D. Dean Dominy III, M.D., for a free seminar at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28 at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Brazos Pavilion Conference Center. From diagnosis to rehabilitation, Dominy will discuss the latest medical advances for upper extremity joint pain to help you get back to the active life you enjoy. Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit events. or call 281.274.7500.



From India’s freedom struggle to international fashion weeks - artistic journey of Indian handlooms


EW DELHI, August 14,2017 (ANI) - Right from playing a key role in India?s Freedom struggle to making India a treasure chest of fashion, Indian Handlooms have been an integral part of Indian culture and economics.

out their livelihood. Handloom day on August 7 every year, the initiative from Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, is an acknowledgement of this ?Hand

Indian Handlooms have made a deep impact on the Fashion trends. Some of the leading Indian designers like Ritu Kumar, Sabyasachi Mukerjee, Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani, Anamika Khanna, Anju Modi extensively incorporate handloom weaves and art work in their collections.

India, under colonial rule for a little above two hundred years attained its freedom in 1947. And the non-cooperation movement by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920 was a major milestone. He urged Indians to wear handwoven Khadi. Since then, Handlooms have formed an integral part of our Freedom struggle. Handlooms are the spirit of the nation ? the vibrancy and vividness in their display reflecting the ethos of India, its rich culture and the underlying chord of unity within the diversity. Weavers, artisans and other ancillary craftsmen are the backbone of the Indian handloom industry which demonstrates the richness and diversity of Indian culture. With over 4.3 million people directly involved in the production, the handloom industry is the second-largest employment provider for the rural population in India after agriculture. Indian handloom products are known for their unique designs and finesse. The trend is to mix old designs with new techniques and create original products. The industry has strong infrastructure, with about 2.4 million looms of varied designs and construction, indicating significant production capacity. Remuneratively handlooms fetch much less as compared to power looms and govt. policies and schemes started favouring this sector and neglected the other. This caused a temporary setback and numbers in the workforce started dwindling seeking fresher pastures to eke

During 2015-16, export of fabrics stood at USD 35.34 million, floor coverings stood at USD 125.27 million, clothing accessories stood at USD 25.54 million, and made-ups stood at USD 173.88 million.

Starting from fabric, right down to designs and motifs, they have given the handloom that fresh boost that has elevated it from a traditional weave to a fashion fabric.

of the Loom? or the weaving community?s contribution to the nation?s economy and the preservation of India?s rich heritage. As a move it has many prohandloom initiatives afresh and given the much needed shot in the arm that promises better things to come for this troubled sector. As per the official figures from the Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC), the contribution of Handloom sector in Indian exports is quite significant and worthy of applause. The export of handloom products from India stood at USD 360.02 million in FY2015-16. In 2015-16, the US was the major importer of Indian handloom products, with estimated purchases of USD 106.13 million, followed by the UK and UAE at USD 22.42 million and USD 19.42 million, respectively. Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Japan, Netherlands, and Australia were some other export destinations.

But more heartening is it to see the spread of the handloom in fashion clothing overseas. Some of the biggest designer brands have incorporated designs, patterns, styles, and sometimes even the fabric itself from the Indian range of clothing. The Hermes Spring-Summer 2008 collection of colorful India-inspired fusion garments include draped sari dresses, tunics, long jackets, reinterpreted ribbon-edged saris, Jodhpurs and safari suits. McQueen Fall 2008 is inspired by Indian royal costumes and jewellery for this collection. Knee-length draped sari dresses with paisley work at the borders, a voluminous white dress with a red shrug with gathered effect, use of India?s national bird peacock as a motif and the use of maangtikas. Dior Resort 2008 is a tribute to the Indian colour palette and experiments with shades such as bright greens and pinks in this collection, the use of paisley, temple motifs, embroidery on silk and chiffon to create pencil pants, skirts and dresses is fascinating.

‘Fair Trade’ fashion clicks with compassion statement


air-trade fashion and the plant-based movement tackle similar challenges to create a more ethical world. On July 29, models, influencers, philanthropists, and media congregated at the CTRL Collective in Los Angeles for the third-annual Fair Trade Fashion Show. The 100-percent vegan event—which was co-hosted by non-profit organization Free the Slaves and online ethical boutique Bead & Reel—was held to inform the community, inspire action, and raise funds toward eliminating corruption in the fashion industry. Prior to the show, guests snacked on homemade bread and vegan cheese from Plant Alchemy and raw flatbreads from Au Lac. Besides nibbling on all the vegan eats and admiring the gorgeous cruelty-free outfits that graced the runway, we actually learned a few things. Here are five similarities we never noticed between the fashion and food industries. 1. Food and fashion make a bold statement As consumers, we have a voice, and what we choose to purchase makes a statement within that industry. If we continue to purchase “fast fashion” items, we are reinforcing an industry that relies heavily on sweatshops as a means to cheap, efficient production. The same is true for fast food

A look back at reverence for Krishna in works of Urdu poets In pre-Partition India, Muslims too celebrated Janmashtami by Sharjeel Imam and Saquib Salim


n the India of 2017, a Muslim celebrating Holi, Diwali, Janmashtami or Shivratri is newsworthy since these are thought to be ‘festivals of Hindus’ and Ram; Krishna and Shiva are ‘Hindu Gods’ with whom Muslims could have no affiliation. For most of us born after the tragic Partition of 1947 or the later demolition of Babri Mosque in 1992, this might seem fictitious but there was a time when devout Muslims revered Ram, Krishna and Shiva and celebrated Janmashtami and Dussehra. Urdu poetry has a special place for Krishna and he is often described as someone who represents love and beauty. Poets like Insha Allah Khan ‘Insha’, Iqbal, Ibn-e-Insha, Parveen Shakir are a few to use his imagery to represent love, romance and beauty. For them, Krishna was not only a metaphor of beauty but a figure who should be respected and revered. One of the earliest Urdu poets from 18th century Insha Allah Khan ‘Insha’ writes; “Saanvle tan pe ghazab dhaj hai basanti shaal kii Jii mai hai kah baithiye ab Jai Kanahayya laal kii” (Yellow shawl looks majestic on sultry body At this moment, my heart wants to say victory to dear Kanhayya) In present India ‘Jai Kanhayya laal ki’ (victory to the dear Kanhayya) is a phrase that seems reserved for Hindus which Muslims are not supposed to use. The orthodox element within Islam can brand any Muslim for blasphemy for using this very phrase. However, Insha is not the only Muslim Urdu poets who have revered Krishna. The most interesting example among poets, who have written about Krishna, is Hafeez Jalandhari. His reverence towards the Hindu god is noteworthy because, of the current Indians and Pakistani Muslims he is the most unlikely to hail a ‘Hindu God’. Hafeez memorised Quran and was counted among one of the orthodox Muslims among the Urdu poets of early and midtwentieth century. He was an active member of Muslim League that campaigned for Pakistan as a separate state. After 1947, he joined the Pakistani armed forces and participated in the attack on Kashmir in 1948, where he was wounded too. National anthem of Pakistan as well as the state anthem of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) have been written by him. Such a person, for the present generation, is least likely to be perceived as a secular and someone who could be respectful towards a ‘Hindu God’. When Indian national movement was on and Hafeez was also fighting for the independence, though as a member of the Muslim League, he wrote a poem Krishn Kanhayya in praise of Krishna. It was no simple eulogy. The poet hopes that Krishna will come back as a saviour of the country. At the very outset, Hafeez draws the attention of readers towards the grandeur of Krishna using the words;

by Tanya Flink

5 ways fashion and food make a bold statement (Photo: YouTube) and animal agriculture—if you buy the product, you support the corruption. Choosing what we put on and into our bodies are powerful decisions, and we can second-handedly contribute to the status quo or create change toward a more ethical and humane world. 2. The consumer is removed from the product If people saw their hamburgers or their t-shirts being made, they would more than likely be convinced to go vegan and purchase fair-trade products. Similar to the animal-agriculture industry, shoppers do not see the atrocities that go into the creation of their clothing. They do not see the tedious, 14-hour work days that result in mere dollars per day, nor do they see the cramped cages and blatant suffering that occurs daily in the animal-product business. If they did, perhaps they’d go

vegan on the spot. 3. “Local” doesn’t mean “humane” Consumers are often comforted by a tag that says “Made in the USA.” The same comforting justification can be said for animal products that are produced locally—think of the “happy cows come from California” slogan and the “California-raised” Foster Farms chickens. Unfortunately, the Golden State does not have the shiny reputation as these advertisements might suggest. According to the EcoSessions panel moderator Kestrel Jenkins, Los Angeles is the nation’s sweatshop capital. We often think of worker abuse as a developingworld issue; however, these injustices occur everywhere, and the United States is a major contributor. In terms of the animal industry, those “hormonefree” Foster Farms chickens

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

The entrance to a temple in Karachi, Pakistan (File photo) He goes on to write;

Ban ho gaye viraan

Ye paikar-e-tanviir

Barbad gulistaan

Ye Krishn ki tasviir

Sakhiyaan hain pareshan

(This manifestation of light This portrait of Krishna)

Jamuna ka kinara

It is important here to note that among common Muslims Prophet Muhammad is supposed to be a manifestation of light. By using the same metaphor for Krishna, Hafeez in a way reiterates the age-old belief of a section of Islamic scholars, that Krishna was a righteous prophet sent to the people of the subcontinent. During the course of the poem he stresses over his belief again by saying;

Tufaan hai khamosh

Ye nar hai ya nuur (Is he human or light) Again, the same belief that common Muslims hold for Prophet Muhammad reflects here for Krishna that he is not a human made of flesh but was light/splendour. The most important part of this poem comes when he urges Krishna as the king of India to get the nation out of the bondages of slavery. It shows his faith in Krishna. Sab ahl-e-khusumat Hain dar pae izzat Ye raaj dulare Buzdil hue saare (All the people of litigation are going towards gates of honour. These dear ones of the kingship Have become cowards) Aa ja mere kale Bharat ke ujaale Daaman mai chupa le (Come O my black light of India, cover us in your clothes) Hafeez, in these lines, while on one hand blamed Indians who held offices under British for the slavery, he also urges Krishna (here he addresses him as ‘Bharat ke kaale’) to come and save us from the ignominy of foreign rule. In the poem, he stresses the need of advice from Krishna to his Arjun so that he can defeat Duryodhan. Of course, Duryodhan for him in this poem is British government. It shows his immense faith in the teachings of Geeta to fight the evil using violence only when needed. On another occasions, Krishna remains that symbol of love. At the end of it, he pleads before Krishna about the state of the country and asks him to save it.

Ai dekhne walo

Pariyon mai hai gulfaam

Is husn ko dekho

Radha ke liye shyaam

Is raaz ko samjho

Balraam ka bhayya

(O you who is watching, look at this beauty. Try to understand this secret) have sparked numerous lawsuits and investigations relating to food poisoning and animal cruelty. The hidden history includes an 18-month outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella in 2014 that affected more than 600 people, as well as live-shackling slaughter methods and animal-cruelty charges against its Fresno, CA employees. 4. Food and clothing are devalued in Western society Basic needs such as food and clothing have become a simple commodity in Western society, and their accessibility through fast food and fast fashion devalues these products. According to Business Insider, the average American spends 12.5

Mathura ka basayya Bindra mai kanahayya percent of their disposable income on food, and Forbes calculates a mere 3.5 percent on clothing. Consumers are often turned away from Fair Trade brands due to sticker shock, just as many may scoff at menu prices at a vegan restaurant or the cost of fresh produce at a farmers’ market. The fair-trade industry faces the challenge of communicating the true cost of fashion, just as the plant-based movement must convince skeptics of the true cost of food production. We must take into consideration the cost of materials/ingredients, labor, and the impact on the environment to determine the real value of our everyday purchases. 5. We cannot buy a revolution

Sunsaan hai sara Maujon mai nahi josh Lau tujh se lagi hai Hasrat hi yahi hai Ai hind ke raja Ek baar phir aa ja Dukh dard mita ja (Among angels, he is rose faced. He is dark for Radha, brother of Balram. Famous one from Mathura, Kanahayya in Brinda; forests have gone deserted, gardens ruined. Female friends are depressed. Border of Yamuna is entirely desolated. Storm is silent; waves have no passion. Expectation is from you, desire is only this much O King of India Once again come back Annihilate pain and sufferings) Here it must be kept in mind that Hafiz obviously wasn’t expecting Krishna to come back but he believed that for a free and better India, people needed to follow the teachings of Krishna. That Hafeez can revere the teachings of Krishna and praise him publicly, even though he was one of the most orthodox Muslim poets of his times, shows how much times have changed. For him, it was as normal as writing about Prophet Muhammad or any other Quranic prophet. Hate for another religion obviously did not touch the devout Muslim poet’s art. This Janmashtami, we hope that Indians stop branding each other’s icons as Hindus or Muslims. We need to adopt good teachings from our ancestors while also developing modern thought in the process. To look at philosophies through communal prism has harmed this country more than anything else. To conclude, here’s a couplet from Muhammad Iqbal, another famous Urdu poet, with a wish that religious bigotry ends from our society this Janmashtami. Ye Aaya-e-Nau, Jail Se Nazil Huwi Mujh Par Gita Mein Hai Quran To Quran Mein Geeta (This new ‘verse’ was revealed to me from the jail that the Quran is in the Gita and the Gita is in the Quran) The authors are research scholars of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University and freelance political commentators on Indian politics with a special interest in Muslim politics (-Source: Firstpost) Purchasing Fair Trade and plant-based products is a step in the right direction, but we cannot be complacent. Panelist Hoda Katebi reminded the audience, “A ‘no’ is just as powerful—or more so—than a ‘yes.’” The panelists at the show urged the attendees to shop the runway and spread the word of Fair Trade fashion. When someone compliments your outfit, capitalize on the opportunity to bring up Fair Trade. The same tip can be used in regards to food. Allow someone to sample a delicious vegan product or recipe, then inform them that it is crueltyfree. These small actions will not begin a revolution on their own, and shifting perspectives and practices will take time.



Golf: ‘I feel like the sky’s the limit’ - Justin Thomas

ALLEKELE, Sri Lanka | AFP - Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal declared the Test series which ended Monday in a whitewash by India to be the worst of his career, after the hosts were brushed aside by an innings and 171 runs.


HARLOTTE, North Carolina - When Justin Thomas shot a historic nine-under 63 in the third round of this year’s US Open, he finally looked poised to crack the big time. Heading into the final round at Erin Hills in June, the American was one shot off the lead but would eventually fade to finish in a tie for ninth.

India defeated Sri Lanka inside three days in the third and final Test, dismissing the beleaguered islanders for 181 during their follow-on in an extended second session in Pallekele.

At Quail Hollow on Sunday, Thomas made no mistake, conquering the notorious “Green Mile” with a final round of 68 to win the 99th PGA Championship by two shots.

Thomas, who took up the game at the age of two, grew up surrounded by golfing mentors. His father Mike has been head professional at Harmony Landing Golf Club in Kentucky since 1990, and his grandfather, Paul, was club pro at Zanesville Country Club in Ohio -- once playing alongside Arnold Palmer in a PGA Tour Champions event. Thomas remembers attending the 2000 PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club near his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.


OS ANGELES | AFP One year after refusing to stand for a rendition of the US national anthem in a pointed protest at racism and police brutality, Colin Kaepernick finds himself frozen out of the NFL. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback convulsed America’s most popular sport last year with his decision to sit through the playing of the Stars and Stripes, triggering a raging national debate about race and patriotism. Initially, when Kaepernick chose to remain seated for the anthem during a pre-season game against the Houston Texans on August 14, and again against Denver six days later, the 29-year-old’s protest went unnoticed. Yet an un upswell of outrage erupted after he sat again during a game against Green Bay, and by the time he elected to take a knee during the anthem against San Diego on September 1, a foaming tsunami of opprobrium was heading his way. Legions of critics, including future US President Donald Trump, branded the athlete a traitor unworthy of US citizen-

my career,” he told reporters.

Chandimal, 27, was appointed Test captain after Angelo Mathews stood down last month in the wake of a humiliating one-day series loss to Zimbabwe.

Back then, aged just seven, Thomas watched Tiger Woods secure his fifth major title, and also took home an autograph from Jack Nicklaus.

get a bigger mantelpiece.

Seventeen years on, Thomas has now joined golf’s elite.

“Any time he can put a ball on the rack it’s great,” Thomas said. “They don’t come quite as frequent as they did when I was a junior golfer ... so to add the first major is great.

“I’ve just put so many hours of work in. So much of my life I’ve dedicated to golf, aspiring to win my first major championship. To be able to do so aged 24 is awesome.”

“(Winning the PGA) almost deserves its own rack, being the first major. It’s such a big win, not only for us and my team, but for my career. I’m just so happy we could all share it together.”

Winning the final major of 2017 caps a memorable season for Thomas who has now won four titles this year. In January, he also became the youngestever player to shoot 59 -- en route to victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

With more that $7 million prize money banked this season and now ranked sixth in the world, Thomas is hoping his biggest win to date can launch his career into a new orbit in the years ahead.

Thomas’ father always keeps the ball as a memento when his son wins a tournament and, at this rate, he’s going to have to

“I feel like the sky’s the limit,” he says. “I can do a lot of great things but none of them will happen if I don’t continue to work hard. (Photo/report: CNN)

Football: One year after anthem protest, Kaepernick frozen out of NFL by Rob Woollard

Dinesh Chandimal

For Sri Lanka it was their second successive innings defeat and another blow for a side beset by injury woes and leadership changes.

Chants of “let’s go JT!” rang around the spectators at the 18th green before Thomas’ proud father emerged from the crowd to hug his son -- golf’s newest major champion.

“It was the probably as close I’m going to get sharing that with him.”

Cricket: India drubbing worst of career, says Chandimal


by Henry Young

“It was very special,” Thomas told CNN Sport, reflecting on their warm embrace. “I’m not too much of an emotional person. I get excited, I get down, but in terms of crying it hasn’t really happened to me in the past.”

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

ship. “Maybe he should find a country that works better for him,” Trump remarked. At the other end of the spectrum, Kaepernick’s defenders hailed the quarterback as an American hero, a civil rights icon willing to risk a lucrative career by drawing attention to the rights of oppressed minorities.

“Toughest series no doubt in

Fears that Kaepernick may be placing his own career in jeopardy through his political activism appear to have been well-founded: 12 months on from his first protest, the quarterback is in the wilderness. In a sport where competent quarterbacks are prized more than any other players, Kaepernick’s unemployment is strikingly anomalous.

Kaepernick’s continued isolation has prompted some players, such as Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin, to revise their opinions.

It was only four years ago that Kaepernick shined in a thrilling Super Bowl comeback with the 49ers, coming within a whisker of overturning a 22-point deficit against the Baltimore Ravens while passing for more than 300 yards.

“My original position was I thought that the situation last year with him taking a knee didn’t have anything to do with it,” Baldwin said. “After viewing what’s going on, I’ve got to take that back. I definitely think that the league, the owners are trying to send a message of, ‘Stay in between the lines.’ It’s frustrating because you want to have guys who are willing to speak out about things that they believe in, whether you agree with it or not.”

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“Credit goes to India. They have played outstandingly well in the series... losing within two and half days you cannot give any excuses.”

Sri Lanka, who swept Australia 3-0 at home last year, struggled during this series as key players were ruled out with injuries.

Sri Lanka replied with just 135 in their first innings to India’s 487, putting the world’s top Test team in firm control as early as day two.

Mainstay Rangana Herath was absent in the final Test, while injuries kept all-rounder Asela Gunaratne and paceman Nuwan Pradeep on the bench.

Soccer: Ronaldo faces 5 game ban for referee push


ADRID | AFP - could face a four to 12-game ban for pushing referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea after being shown a controversial red card in Real Madrid’s 3-1 Spanish Super Cup, first leg win at Barcelona. Madrid intend to appeal the second yellow card shown to the World Player of the Year for diving eight minutes from time when he went down inside the area under pressure from Samuel Umtiti, in a bid to free Ronaldo to play in Wednesday’s second leg. Ronaldo received his first yellow card for removing his shirt

in celebration at firing Madrid into a 2-1 lead. “We will see if we can do something so that he is available on Wednesday,” said Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane. However, Ronaldo’s reaction to the 10th red card of his career could see him miss the start of the La Liga The aggregious push (Photo: YouTube) season after the referee deal. reported he had been pushed. Plans to replace him with LivThe defeat heaps further pressure on Barcelona, which re- erpool’s Philippe Coutinho or cently lost star Brazilian striker Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Neymar to Paris St Germain in Dembele have so far proved a mega-money, record-breaking fruitless.

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The fact that the Los Angeles Rams hired Dan Orlovsky as a back-up, a 33-year-old journeyman most famous for going 0-16 with the Detroit Lions in 2008, is evidence, for some, that Kaepernick is being blackballed by the sport. That viewpoint was given further momentum by reports that Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh -- the brother of Kaepernick’s former 49ers coach Jim and general manager Ozzie Newsome were keen to sign the player but had met resistance from team owner Steve Bisciotti.

But while free agent Kaepernick has failed to find a team willing to pick him up, dozens of less accomplished practitioners have found themselves being offered contracts.

But the thrashing by India on home soil was a low for the veteran of 39 Test matches.

“We were not able to take the games to five days. There have been four-day Tests and threeday Tests. Worst series ever.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya set up the win with his blistering 96-ball 108, cracking his maiden century in just his third Test appearance.



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FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of August 18, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE

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


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

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

Channel your energy through shortcuts. You’ve done it all before, so now all you have to do is re-call your magic and make it appear. Your every desire will peak the passion meter. Beware of a fair weathered friend who may be trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Ask for proof and insist on honesty. Base your decisions on what you know for sure. Putting things into a more positive perspective will help you to see things clearer. The current status is different from the way it was, so get with the new program or you’ll be left behind.

Friends that will require for your attention, Listen to them, but try not to get sidetracked by their requests. Help them if you can, but don’t put a priority over your own plans. Express your inner thoughts & feelings to someone close to you. They will be able to help you deal with a subject that’s very close to your heart. Strength, which begins with courage and you happen to have lots of that. Don’t allow others to press your emotional buttons.

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

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

Feel as if things have been going well, but you may feel as if something important is missing. You need to focus your energy into a new plan or project in order to reach your immediate goals. Don’t go searching for anything in particular, as your solution will present itself to you. Learn to try to let things come to you, rather than chasing rainbows. Express your appreciation to those who have helped you. You’re on your own path this week, so prepare for the solitude. Higher Authority will not be denied, so get back to your work.

Promises may have been broken, but you need to conserve your energy for more positive use. You’ll feel frustrated by other’s neglect for your feelings. Express yourself clearly & directly. If you speak your mind calmly, you’ll make your point. You will not cause any hurt feelings if you are honest to your words & commitment. Your thoughts will become clearer as the week winds down. Make plans to escape reality & enjoy a little bit of free time to play. Old friends know you better than anyone.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Work hard & run fast is your slogan. Count your blessings instead of finding fault with others. New ideas will become an interesting change from your everyday routine. Your initial effort to gather information may be scattered, but something that you experience, this week, will spark you to discover new ways to achieve your goals. Answers will come more easily than usual. Write down your thoughts, ideas & concepts. Study other things that tie into your ideas. Others will be amazed by your ability to see past the immediate and see success.

When someone wants you or your opinion, you can lend them an ear, but you can’t solve their problems for them. Be clear on that. Now is the time for you to take charge of your own destiny. Look into courses to help you to reach these new goals. Your ability to communicate on many levels will help you to gain support. You will be able to accomplish many things, but first you must make the effort to investigate new techniques & procedures. A little week-end get away may be just what you need. It may even change your outlook to the future.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Listen to your intuitive feelings. You may need to experiment with different ways to achieve your goals. You’re all about big ideas and big events. Try your best to get you priorities straight. You need to find something to help you to relax & relieve the stress you feel. Things are temporary, not written in stone. You can generate ideas with the best of them, but you should know your limits. Utilize experts who can bridge the gaps in your knowledge. You are very much the peacemaker these days. You’ll feel emotionally rejuvenated.

Accept the past and move forward towards the future. There may be too many things to decide on at once. Take your direction from honor and a sense of purpose. You’ll have to work step by step to achieve more realistic improvements in your life. Someone may be happy with the situation as it is but you are not. Take your time, read, write & express your thoughts in words. If you can open your mind & your heart to someone who shares your goals, you’ll find that there are no restrictions on you.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Excel in everything you do. Cash in on a fresh start by opening your mind and learning about people. Things will come more easily to you once you do. You won’t require any permission for the truly important things. Someone will offer your name to those in charge. Your confidence level will rise and others will be able to see things from your perspective. Be patient with those who still can’t see the view. You may be asked to express your ideas to a larger audience. Perhaps taking up a craft will help you to relax.

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Accept your role and assume that last minute changes are for the best. You need to plan your approach, carefully. Take the time you need to present yourself & your ideas. If you think more positively, you’ll be able to handle any situation thrown your way. Once you get started, you’ll be able to influence others greatly to your way of thinking. You’re understandable as well as interesting. By week’s end, make plans for a get together with friends & family. It’ll be just what you need. Invite others to spend time with you.


Your creative side will be awakened to a higher level. Discover the new powers you possess. You may have felt restrained lately, but you’ll soon feel like you could climb mountains. Patience will be required, but more important is focus. Find the team that you can best work with. Spread out into new physical or mental space. You’d much rather start something new than committing yourself to tired old business. This is the perfect time for you to find a new approach to use to gain needed support.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March Fresh energy covered with wisdom will enable you to figure out things more easily than before. Listen to information and develop ideas. The old routine is getting your spirit down. You don’t know whether to embrace or run away from them. Overwhelming feelings put you back in touch with who you really are. You are ready for a different kind of interaction. You know that you can accomplish much when you are working as part of the team. Pursue new avenues of interest that spark your creative side.



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Make Sure Everyone Feels Included in Your Next Meeting

Project No. 17-66

Meetings aren’t just about delivering results. You also want participants to leave feeling connected, valued, and fulfilled. Give everyone a turn to speak, and be aware of who has and hasn’t spoken and whether someone is dominating the conversation. Think through who needs to be part of the discussion for each topic ahead of time. Ask yourself: Who would be great at starting the conversation? Who is affected by the outcomes and therefore needs to be asked for their view? Who is most likely to have a different view? Who are the old hands who might sense whether we are making a mistake or missing something? You don’t need to set up strict rules, but modeling an inclusive style of conversation will make people more likely to notice who hasn’t spoken yet. Call on people who have not had a chance to participate. Make sure it feels and sounds like an invitation, not a way of controlling the conversation.

Project No. 17-63

Project No. 17-67

Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Thursday, August 31, 2017.

Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

Documents can be obtained at:

FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

Documents can be obtained at:

Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Documents can be obtained at: www.hccs. edu/procurement.

Job Posting - AP Trainee KTRK-TV, the ABC owned station located in Houston, TX is accepting applications for an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER TRAINEE. This is a one-year training position. The AP Trainee will gain valuable experience in writing, graphic development and other aspects of producing a television newscast.

Jones Plaza Re-Design Project - RFQ Houston First Corporation (“HFC”) is pleased to issue this Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) from experienced urban design firms, landscape architects or architects capable of creating an inspired, iconic, accessible and welcoming design for the reconstruction of Jones Plaza -- a significant 1.5-acre urban block in the heart of the Theater District in Downtown Houston. Documents are available online at do-business. Questions should be submitted by email to

Candidates must be willing to work overnights and weekends. College degree preferred. Preference will be given to those with previous television news experience and those with a strong desire to pursue a career as a television newscast producer. Being a journalist is not just a job, it is a way of life. Only serious candidates should apply. This is a one year training position. There is no guarantee that the trainee will be promoted to a full time staff position at the end of the training program. For consideration all interested applicants must apply on-line at: Applicants must upload cover letter, resume and references. In addition, please send writing samples to: Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Please Reference Job ID: 478475BR on ALL materials submitted. Equal Opportunity Employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity



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FRIDAY, August 18, 2017

Indian-American fined $40k for filing false visa applications

Film-maker Taran Singh Brar on his Trump chicken at White House

Rohit Saksena allegedly filed 45 fraudulent visa applications claiming that his company was hiring foreign workers to provide professional services to a California-based company.

n Indian American activist placed a giant inflatable rooster bearing a striking resemblance to President Donald Trump near the White House to protest his “weak” and “ineffective” leadership.


ASHINGTON (PTI), August 11 - An Indian-American businessman from New Hampshire has been fined USD 40,000 and put on three years of probation by a federal court on charges of filing false H-1B visa applications, a US attorney has said. The businessman, Rohit Saksena, had previously pleaded guilty to making false statements to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to court documents. Mr Saksena, 42, president and chief executive officer of Saks IT Group LLC, a company based in Manchester, New Hampshire, allegedly filed 45 fraudulent visa applications, claiming that his company was hiring foreign workers to provide professional


Taran Singh Brar, a documentary filmmaker, installed the 30-foot “Chicken Don” balloon between the official residence of the president and the Washington Monument Aug. 9, the Washington Examiner reported.

He supported those applications with bogus independent contractor agreements between his IT group and the other company with sham work orders that purported to show that the foreign workers would provide professional services for the Cali- Rohit Saksena (Photo: UPI) fornia company, it claimed. “Some of the false visa appli- nied. cations resulted in foreign workers receiving H-1B visas. Many of the fraudulent applications were denied once Saksena’s deception came to light,” the de-

A USA Today report cited Brar as saying that he obtained all the necessary permits for the installation from the National Parks Service and the U.S. Secret Service. The angry-looking chicken has golden-orange hair and hand gestures in Trump’s style. “We are out here to criticize our president for being weak and ineffective as a leader,” Brar said in the footage posted on Twitter,

Girl sues school over gender identity

It was reported that Indian American Rohit Saksena, has close ties to the non-profit Rose Community Development (CDC), based in Montana, which contracted the work to him. Saksena previously pleaded guilty on May 1, 2017, to making false statements to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

services to a California-based company. However, the California company had not entered into a contract with Saks IT Group and had no vacancies for foreign workers. Mr Saksena knew that foreign workers would not be employed, acting US attorney John J Farley said yesterday. Mr Saksena filed visa applications that falsely claimed jobs awaited the foreign workers at the California company, the US Justice Department said.

Assistant United States Attorney Mark S. Zuckerman, the prosecutor of the case said, “It’s a serious crime, because, you want to protect the integrity of these programs. Ultimately, they depend on people being honest.” partment said. Agreements between the California company and Saks IT Group. He also furnished a bogus Work Orders that claimed the foreign worker would offer professional services for the California company. Even though some of the applications filed by Saksena were approved by USCIS, ending in the foreign workers receiving H1B visas, the applications that came to its notice after the indictment of Saksena were de-

adding that Trump also “seems afraid” to release his tax returns. “He seems afraid to stand up to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and now he’s playing a game of chicken with North Korea.” (-UPI)

“It’s a very important program. A lot of industries, frankly, rely on it. And when it gets subverted like this, it makes it that much more difficult to administer,” Zuckerman added. The official website of Saks IT Group said it is an IT consulting firm specialized in staff augmentation/staff selection, solution development, and software development. It said the company connects highly qualified industry professionals to leading companies.

The school didn’t allow Indian-American Nikki Brar to wear the school’s girls’ uniform, use the girls’ bathroom, or be called a ‘she’ saying the move would create an imbalance in the environment.


OS ANGELES - An eight-year-old IndianAmerican transgender girl and her family are suing a private school in California for forcing her to dress as a boy and preventing the child from expressing her preferred gender identity. Nikki Brar, who was designated male at birth, was a student at Heritage Oak Private Education in Yorba Linda. The lawsuit alleges that the school violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday. The school didn’t allow Nikki Brar to wear the school’s girls’ uniform, use the girls’ bathroom, or be called a “she”. It said that the move would “create an imbalance in our environment”, the report said. The lawsuit alleged that Nikki Brar experienced social isolation. The girls would not play with her because she had to dress like a boy, and she found

the boys’ games too rough. Boys would bully the youngster, calling her “a loser”, it said. Nikki left the school in February 2017.

crimination policy specifically for transgender students, and demanded that the school teach lessons on transgender identity in the classroom.

The suit is noteworthy because it is “the first (transgender rights) case to use a state antidiscrimination law as one of the grounds for relief,” said Mark Rosenbaum, Director of the pro bono Public Counsel Opportunity Under Law.

The child’s mother, Priya Shah, said the family thought long and hard before filing the lawsuit. “It honours our child’s commitment to being who she is despite adversity,” she said.

“In light of the Trump administration’s inaction on taking a stand against discrimination against trans individuals... this is a terribly important case,” he told the the Los Angeles Times. Nikki Brar’s parents filed the suit against the school, its Executive Director Phyllis Cygan and the school’s parent group, Nobel Learning Communities. They seek damages for “emotional distress and discrimination” as well as more than $10,000 for school tuition and fees. They also asked Heritage Oak school to write a non-dis-

“It is our small contribution towards ensuring that other transgender and gender expansive children do not go through the same hardship and trauma.” The school’s parent group Nobel Learning Communities released a statement following the lawsuit, saying: “We believed it was extremely important to respond... to decide when and how to inform and educate our entire elementary school community... about the midyear change of gender identity expression of a young child..” Nikki Brar is expected to join a public school in Orange County later this year, the report said. (-Indo-Asian News Service)



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Voice of Asia Newsweekly August 18 2017  

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

Voice of Asia Newsweekly August 18 2017  

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