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FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

How to Fully Realize the Potential of Medicare Advantage

Read on Page 18 or Call 832-806-1000

Vol. 30 No. 23 Friday, June 9, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: voiceasia@aol.com

US envoy Haley in Jerusalem, vows to defend Israel at UN

‘Hare Krishna!’ wins Grand Jury’s Best Picture

ERUSALEM, Undefined | AFP | Wednesday 6/7/2017 - US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley hailed a “new day” for Israel at the global body Wednesday as she held talks with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem.

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Speaking ahead of a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin, Haley vowed to defend Israel at the United Nations. “I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time,” she said, according to Rivlin’s office. “We are not going to let that happen anymore.

‘Hare Krishna! The Mantra, The Movement and the Swami Who Started It All’ takes honors at the Illuminate Film Festival on June 5, 2017, it’s worldwide debut screening. Directors John Griesser (center), Jean Griesser and Lauren Ross celebrate, surrounded by the film’s producers and editor.

See story on this new documentary film on page 15 inside.

Debris found in sea after Myanmar military plane goes missing

“It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations,” she added. Asked about Haley’s remarks, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters “it would be interesting to see what parts of the UN she is referring to”. “For the secretary-general’s part, he has spoken out clearly that Israel should be treated as any other member-state in this organisation, with the same rights and responsibilities.” Rivlin thanked Haley for her protection of Israel, saying it marked a “new era.’ “Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag,” he said. In an earlier meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also welcomed Haley’s tough stance, according to his office. He said US President Donald Trump and Haley “have changed the discourse” at the UN. “Thank you for all your help and standing up for Israel,” he added. Trump came to power promising to lead the most pro-Israel US government in history, and Haley has been a stout defender of the country since her appointment.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (C) prays at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem’s Old City on June 7, 2017 (Photo: Gali Tibbon / AFP) On Tuesday in Geneva, Haley urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to reduce criticism of Israel and urged the body to throw out abusive regimes. US concerns about the UN rights body predate Trump’s election, and Washington has long denounced an agenda item dedicated exclusively to criticising Israel. It has also raised concerns about a nomination process that has seen authoritarian governments elected to one of the 47 rotating seats. Israel is the only country with a

dedicated rights council agenda item, known as Item 7. Israel and its allies have denounced the council for allowing majorityMuslim states to spearhead resolutions at every session denouncing abuses against the Palestinians. Referencing her speech, the first by an American UN ambassador to the Geneva-based council since its creation in 2006, Haley said on Wednesday she had put pressure on the body. “Hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel,” she said.

TiECON 2017 attracts global entrepreneurs in thousands to Silicon Valley With 60 percent increased attendance and 20 percent more women speakers than at any previous TiECON, this was the event’s most diverse year yet, according to Ram K. Reddy, president of TiE Silicon Valley.

A Shaanxi Y-8 transport aircraft is unloaded at Sittwe airport in Myanmar’s Rakhine state (AFP Photo/Ye Aung Thu) by Caroline HENSHAW / Hla-Hla HTAY ANGON, Myanmar | AFP | Wednesday 6/7/2017 - words Debris has been found in the sea near where a Myanmar military plane went missing with more than 100 soldiers and their families on board on Wednesday, a local official and air force source said.

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Navy ships and aircraft had been searching since the afternoon when the plane lost contact with air traffic

controllers. Most of those on board were thought to be women and children who were travelling from the southern city of Myeik to Yangon. “Now they have found pieces of the damaged plane in the sea 136 miles (218 km) away from Dawei city,” said Naing Lin Zaw, a tourism official in Myeik, citing the military and adding that they were still searching the sea.

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

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Legal: Richard M. Alderman Legal: Sharlene Sharmila Richards Legal: Nitin Sud Research: Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Health Insurance: Sudhir Mathuria Astrology: Hardik Vyas

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Shobana Muratee

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

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

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

THE STORY OF MAHATMA GANDHI Gandhi goes to England to study law

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fter passing his high school examination, Mohandas joined the Samaldas College at Bhavnagar. He did not find the classes interesting and returned home after the first ten days. A big surprise awaited him at home. His eldest brother and a family friend suggested that Mohandas should go to England to study and become a barrister. Mohandas was thrilled. Here was a chance to see the world. But his mother did not like the idea. She did not want her youngest son to stay away from her. There was also the problem of money and she feared that Mohandas would lose his caste if he crossed the ocean (an age-old taboo against overseas travel among the high

EDITORIAL

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ducation in the United States shouldn’t be a political matter.

Every child in this nation is deserving of a quality education in an institution capable of providing the resources they need to succeed. And yet, education has become a hot button issue, pitting educators against lawmakers and politicians. Students — and their parents — are caught in the middle. Some politicians, such as former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush, see educators as the obstacle to quality education. Bush recently told attendees of a national summit on school choice that teachers and the unions that represent them put their own economic interests ahead of school reform customized for students. He asserted that this “monolithic” and “homogenized” system was impeding progress and choice education initiatives. Such hyperbole doesn’t help anyone. Most teachers truly want

The family friend assured her that there would be no such difficulty and everything would be all right. But his mother was still opposed to the idea. “I

“No, mother,” said Mohandas. “I am no longer a child. I can look after myself.” He pleaded with her to allow him to go, and he took a vow not to eat meat, not to drink, and not to touch a woman. Putlibai at last gave in and allowed him to go to England. Mohandas was sorrowful when he left Rajkot for Bombay, because he had to leave

of ever-changing technology and burgeoning knowledge, it isn’t cheap. School-choice advocates and teachers should be able to agree on one thing — it’s paramount each child has a quality education available to them,

Cannes, however, makes you believe in your own luck and in the power of social media. I managed to sneak into a shared apartment on the strength of a Facebook post. If there’s another thing Cannes teaches you, it’s sharing. Unless you are on an invite or have booked a place years in advance, you have to be open to the idea of living in a chummery. Personal experience says that sharing with filmmakers is better than with fellow hacks because you won’t be getting ready and rushing out at the same time. Cannes also makes you overcome FOMO — the fear of missing out. Red carpet events and parties, press confer-

him feel proud of himself. He thought he looked very impressive. Mohandas was shy. He rarely left his cabin. He even ate by himself. He was not sure of all those unknown foods served on the ship. He thought they might contain meat and did not wish to break his vow to his mother never to eat meat. So he lived mainly on the snacks and sweets he had brought from home. On landing at Southampton he looked around and saw that all the people were in dark clothes, wearing bowler hats and carrying overcoats flung over their arms. Mohandas was embarrassed to find that he was the only one wearing white flannels.

no matter where they attain it. Perhaps with that ideal in mind, both sides can come together and work on a solution that actually achieves it instead of making the future of our children a political poker chip. (-The Herald Bulletin)

ences and simultaneous screenings in various sections — official and parallel — make it impossible for one person to be present everywhere, even if she may want to. And then there is the daily filing of copy. So, you learn to exercise choice and let go of one film for another, however heartbreaking that might be. Cannes is all about style. Even the ushers in their sharp suits, especially the ones at starry press conferences, look suitable enough to walk into any film role with their easy charm and impeccable ways. Cannes is where cinema can be at its most blinding, starry and rarefied but still not divorced from reality. (-The Hindu)

but went to sleep. His attempt to be an Englishman lasted about three months. Then he gave up the idea. He converted himself into a serious student. “I have changed my way of life,” he told a friend. “All this foolishness is at an end. I am living in one room and cooking my own food. Hereafter I shall devote all my time to study.” His meals were simple. He avoided expenditure on transport and went on foot everywhere in London. He started to keep an account of every penny he spent. Mohandas joined the London Vegetarian Society and soon found himself in its executive council. He wrote articles for the magazine Vegetarian.

boy shouted to his friends, ‘By Jove, fellows, we are in luck to have this chap sitting with us. That gives us an extra half bottle.” “You can have my share of roast, too,” Gandhi told them, looking quite content with his bread, boiled potatoes and cabbage. He was pleasantly surprised to find that his strange habits did not make him unpopular. The next time he went for the dinner, he had a pile of law books with him. He was taking the books to his room to study. “Gandhi,” said a student, “you are not really going through this stuff, are you?” He snatched up one of the fat volumes. “Look, you chaps,” he cried, “he is actually reading

Great Summer Project For children! Enter Mahatma Gandhi Week 2017 Essay, I-Tribute, Poster and Speech contests. Visit gandhilibrary.org 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

Mohandas never forgot his first morning on board. He felt most uncomfortable in his black suit, a white shirt, a stiff collar and a necktie. The stiff collar pinched him. It was quite a job to knot his tie properly. The tight, short coat also made him ill at ease. He thought that Indian attire was much more comfortable. Yet a glance in the mirror made

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Yes, parents have a right to seek a quality education for their child by utilizing a voucher at a private or charter school. But how do we expect for our public institutions to make any improvements if taxpayer money, always intended for public schools, is being siphoned away? Public education may be free, but in an era

I woke up to it late this year and had almost given up on travelling after seeing the 10-day package rates of some of the hotels adding up to the cost of an MIG flat in Delhi. Even hostels as far as Nice and Antibes can set you back by a month’s rent of a 3-BHK flat in south Bombay, what with prices shooting up by 500% in the film season.

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The teachers unions, including the Indiana State Teachers Association, provide for and protect these teachers in hopes of creating environments where students can thrive. But recent legislation has made it increasingly difficult to do so, whether through setting unattainable testing standards or by directing funds away from public schools through vouchers.

For a film journalist, Festival de Cannes is nothing short of a ‘Kumbh mela for cinema’ - colourful, bustling and a must-visit occasion. It can also get chaotic and overwhelming, particularly when you are on your first pilgrimage.

On September 4, 1888, Mohandas left Bombay to set sail for England. Dressed in western style, he stood on the deck as the ship slowly steamed out of the harbor.

caste Hindus).

what’s best for students. No one gets into education for the paycheck – or the headaches created by legislators who haven’t set foot in a classroom since grade school.

by Narata Joshi

behind his mother, his wife, and son Harilal, who was only a few months old.

Gandhi as a law student in London.

Quality education shouldn’t be a political issue

Starry at Cannes

know many reasons why it is dangerous for a Hindu to leave India,” she explained to him. “You will have to eat meat. They drink alcohol there and you will be tempted to drink it. Then you might fall into bad company and there are many other temptations which may spoil you.”

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

In London, he stayed at first at the Victoria Hotel. Dr. P. J. Mehta, a friend of the Gandhi family, was the first to meet him. Mohandas was impressed with Dr. Mehta’s silk top hat. Out of curiosity, he passed his hand over it and disturbed the pile of the silk. Dr. Mehta then gave him his first lesson in European manners. “Do not touch other people’s things,” he said. “Do not ask questions as we do in India when we meet someone for the first time. Do not talk loudly. Never address people as “sir” while speaking to them, as we do in India. Only servants and subordinates address their masters in that way.” Young Gandhi found everything around him strange. He was homesick. He almost starved until he discovered a vegetarian restaurant. Struggling to learn western manners and customs, he rented a suite of rooms. He bought well-tailored clothes and a top hat. He spent a lot of time before the mirror, parting his straight hair and fixing his tie. He took lessons in dancing, but soon gave it up as he had no sense of rhythm. He tried his hand at playing the violin, but failed. He took lessons in French and elocution,

The bar examination did not require much study and Gandhi had ample time to spare. Oxford or Cambridge was out of the question because it meant a long course and much expense. He therefore decided to appear for the London matriculation examination. It meant hard work, but he liked hard work. He passed in French, English, and chemistry but failed in Latin. He tried again, and this time passed in Latin too. Meanwhile, he progressed in his study of law and in November 1888 was admitted to the Inner Temple. It was the tradition of the Inns of Court for the students to dine together at least six times each year. The first time Gandhi dined with his fellow students, he was nervous. He was sure the boys would rib him for refusing meat and alcohol. When wine was offered, he said, “No, thank you.” The boy sitting next to him said, “I say, Gandhi, don’t you want your share? As a law student in London you pay for it, you know!” When Gandhi replied that he never touched wine, the

Roman law in Latin!” The students laughed. One of them said, “Let me tell you, Gandhi, I passed the last examination in Roman law by spending two weeks on a printed summary. Why do you slave at it like this?” Gandhi explained to his lighthearted friends that he worked so hard for sheer interest in the subject, and that he wanted to acquire knowledge for its own sake. After a short trip to France, he prepared for the final law examination. The results were soon declared. He had passed with high marks. On June 10, 1891, Gandhi was called to the bar. He was admitted as a barrister and the next day was formally enrolled in the High Court. The following day, June 12, he sailed for India. Gandhi’s three-year stay in England was eventful. Those were days of great intellectual activity, and there was tolerance for every school of thought. The country as a whole was a living university. As Gandhi sailed for home on the S.S. Assam, he felt that, next to India, he would rather live in England than any other place in the world. (To be continued)


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VOICE OF ASIA 3

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

Second Front Page

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3rd International Day of Yoga across Texas! The Woodlands, TX 77780). The event will be held on Saturday, June 24, and will be from

by Manu Shah

T

he Consulate General of India, Houston in partnership with several supporting organizations is gearing up to celebrate the spirit and power of yoga through several events scheduled across the state of Texas. June 21st will mark the Third International Day of Yoga (IDY) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and celebrated simultaneously in 155 countries around the world.

7- 9:15am. It will begin with live music and chanting by the Art of Living group, followed by Raja Yoga Meditation by Mark Ram. Besides group participation in yoga, including Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutation asana, there will be booths with information about yoga, yoga books for sale, and a free Indian-style breakfast. IDY will be observed in front of the stately State Capitol building in Austin on June 17 at 6:00 pm. (1100 Congress Ave. Austin, Texas 78701), in Dallas on 25th June, Sunday at 7:30 am at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza (1201 Hidden Ridge Dr., Irving, Texas, 75038) and in San Antonio on 17th June, Saturday at 8:00 am at Tripoint Center (3222, N. St. Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX, 78212).

In a statement, the Consul General remarked that yoga is what “we (India) export – wellbeing of mind and body – we do not export hatred or say that my religion is better than yours… what we say is that yoga is good for all.” Longtime Houstonian and Swayamsevak Sharad Amin who is responsible for the overall coordination of Houston’s yoga program stated that he “wanted to involve maximum number of yoga practitioners and followers and spread the awareness that yoga is not only an exercise but brings many benefits such as stress release, increased concentration and focused thinking.” The Indian Consulate of Houston has planned a series of events spread over a week in Houston, Woodlands (Houston), Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. IDY will be celebrated in Houston on June 21 at the Levy Park (3801 Eastside St, Houston Texas 77098).

International Yoga Day 2016 at the Discovery Green Park, Downtown Houston. Photo credit: Vijay Pallod Lawn activities will begin at 6:00pm. The guided group yoga will start at 6:35 after a brief message from the Consul General and will include restorative asana practice, wisdom, breathing and meditation. It will be led by the initiator of Pralay Yoga, one

of Houston’s leading yoga schools, Robert Boustany. He will be accompanied by well-known yoga teacher Lindsey Law and the Director of SVYASA Houston, Vishwarupa Nanjundappa. The event will conclude by 7:30 pm with a color powder dance

party. The Hindu Temple of the Woodlands “Education Youth and Service” (EYS) yoga group is also sponsoring the IDY in the very beautiful Town Green Park (2099 Lake Robbins Dr.,

Discover yoga if you’re a beginner or participate in a group session if you’re a practicing yogi. Join the global yoga movement and nations around the world as they gather to ignite the connection between the body, mind and soul. The event is free and open to all. Bring your yoga mats and do plan to arrive 20 minutes ahead to find a comfortable spot to roll out your mat. For more information, visit http:// yogadayoftexas.org/ or Sharad Amin 713-854-0633

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Class of 2017 Congratulations to the graduates of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Forum Class of 2017 sponsored by Classic Chevrolet. Under the direction of Division Co-Chairs Dustin Fessler and Barkley Peschel, the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce Leadership program celebrates its most recent

graduating class of outstanding leaders. Participants study the qualities that make a community leader, analyze leadership roles, and develop personal leadership styles and skills. The class of 2017 represents the 29th year that a group of impressive individuals participate in the rigorous program

of leadership development and community engagement through active learning, expert insight, and experiential activities. The class participants are selected each year from a wide spectrum of the area’s population. The class of 2017 completed the program in Galveston on May 26th, 2017.

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VOICE OF ASIA 4

YOUR IMMIGRATION LAWYER

The People’s Lawyer

by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer Email at srichardslaw@aol.com

www.peopleslawyer.net

How do I get a free copy of my credit report?

Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Q. I thought I could get a free copy of my credit report. I went to several websites, and most required a credit card and imposed a charge after a certain period of time. They also seemed to want to sell me other services. What is the best way to get my free report? A. First, let me compliment you on wanting to review your credit report. Inaccurate or incomplete credit reports may affect your mortgage rates, credit card approvals, apartment requests, or even your job application. Reviewing your credit report also helps you catch signs of identity theft early. Under federal law, you are entitled to a free report from each of the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax, once every twelve months. Although there are dozens of websites offering a “free” report, only one is authorized by federal law. That website is www.annualcreditreport.com. Because the three companies have very similar information in their reports, I suggest you get a copy from one of the three companies every four months, review it, and promptly report any errors or incomplete information. Q. How long does bad information stay on my credit report?

A. Negative information becomes “obsolete” after seven years (ten years for a bankruptcy) and generally is no longer reported. I should add that the time runs from when the information is first reported. Even if the account is sold or transferred to a new debt collector, the information is not “re-aged” and the seven years does not begin again. If you find obsolete information on your report, dispute it with the bureau and demand it be removed. Q. I have a common law marriage in Texas. My husband and I will soon be moving to another state. Will we still be married in that state? What if that state does not have common law marriage? A. As I have said many times before, a common law marriage is no different than any other form of marriage. Once you have a common law marriage you are married, just as if you had a formal ceremony in a church or before a justice of the peace. When you move to another state your status as being married remains intact. To make it easier to prove your marriage, however, you may want to file a Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage with the county clerk. Q. I have been married for two years. I’m now getting a divorce. There is no property or custody to fight over, but I

would like the wedding ring I gave my wife. It was very expensive and I am still paying for it. Do I need to get a lawyer to have her turn over the ring? A. In my opinion, you are not going to get the ring with or without a lawyer. Generally, the person who received the ring keeps it after a divorce. The ring is considered a gift to that person. Even if you are paying for it, it is the other person’s property. A lawyer may be able to help arrange a better divorce settlement, but you should weigh the costs of a lawyer against the value of the ring. Q. My mother died last year. I am the sole beneficiary of her estate. It is worth almost $1million. How much should I expect to pay in taxes? A. You will not have to pay anything in taxes. The taxes paid on money you inherit are called “estate” taxes, and they are paid by the estate of the deceased. Estate taxes may be imposed by the state or federal government. Texas does not have an estate tax and federal law has a very large “exclusion” before taxes are due. Under current law no federal estate taxes are due unless the estate is valued at more than $5.4 million. In other words, no taxes will be imposed on you or your mother’s estate.

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Q: My B1/B2 visa was recently revoked through EVUS and I need to apply for a new B1/B2 visa. How do I go about doing this? A: To apply for a B-1B2 visa, please go to the online DS-160 visa application website at https:// ceac.state.gov/GenNIV/ Default.aspx. You will have to complete and submit the DS-160 application online. Do not forget to also have ready a passport sized photo in jpeg form to download to the application before you submit it. There is no fee to submit the online application but be prepared to pay a fee prior to your interview at the U.S. Consulate. Q: I am 42 years old, presently unemployed and divorced with three grown children. I like to visit the US for my brother’s wedding to his US Citizen fiancée in August. My parents already have their B1/B2 Visitor visas but I have not. How I can prepare so that I can receive the Visitor visa? A: Since the Visitor visa is for use for short visits to the US, you will need to demonstrate that you do intend to return to your home country at the end of your visit or after your brother’s wedding has taken place. The consular officer will evaluate factors such as whether you maintain a residence in your country, your family ties there, employment, age etc. to determine the likelihood of you returning to your home country. In addition, you will also have to show that you have sufficient funds to cover the expenses that you will incur during your stay in the US. As such, you will need to provide a bank statement showing the funds at your disposal or alternatively, provide an Affidavit of Support from a US Citizen or a US Permanent

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ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ON B1/B2 VISA APPLICATIONS, EXTENSIONS OR CHANGE OF STATUS Resident sponsor on Form I-134 Affidavit of Support. It is also recommended that your brother and his fiancée provide a letter of invitation to you and which has the details of the wedding, where you will be staying, when they expect you to arrive in the US. Also, be prepared to have your return ticket available to show the consular officer. Q: My wife and I arrived here in the US as visitors on B-2 visa and after spending time with our family and friends, we have decided we wish to remain in the US and are interested in exploring the possibility of investing in a business in the US. We have another month left on our authorized stay and have been here for 5 months already. We need a little more time to find the business to buy and to transfer our investment from our home country. A: It may be best to apply to either extend your B-2 stay for another 6 months or apply to change your B-2 stay to that of B-1 for business activities as the B-1 is the correct status to have if you are looking at investing in the US. The application form to use is Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. This Form can be found at www.uscis.gov. Q: What is the Filing Fee for Form I-539 Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status? A: The present filing fee is $370.00. Q: My husband came here to the US four months ago and he already filed for a change of status from B-2 Visitor to E-2 Treaty Investor. That petition is still pending. I am here in the US as a B-2 Visitor and I have another five months left on my authorized stay. What is the process for me to apply to change to E-2 Dependent? What documents do I need to submit

for the change of status as E-2 dependent? A: Since you still have another five months left on your B-2 authorized stay, you may either wait until your husband’s E-2 case has been approved and then apply for change of status to E-2 dependent. But in order to do this, your change of status application must be filed before the expiry of your authorized stay. Or you may go ahead and file for a change of status to E-2 now but be aware that the approval of your E-2 dependent status is conditioned upon the approval of your husband’s E-2 status. In terms of documents, you will need copy of the following: biographic page of your passport, your B-2 visa, I-94, your Marriage Certificate (if not in English, it must be accompanied by an accurate English translation) and either the receipt of the filing of your husband’s E-2 petition or the approval notice, whichever is applicable. Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case. My Bio Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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Southwestern National Bank celebrates 12 years serving Fort Bend community

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UGAR LAND - Southwestern National Bank – Sugar Land branch, located at 3508 Highway 6, Sugar Land, celebrated its 12th anniversary on May 25, 2017. Those in attendance to greet customers and extend the Bank’s appreciation for their business were President /CEO Gary Owens, Operations Officer Jenny Chien, Chairman of the Board, C.K. Lee, board member Hasu Patel, and Vice Chairman Ted Hsieh. Refreshments were served. Mr. Owens stated the bank looks forward to continued growth in the area and is very appreciative of the community’s continued support.

(Left to right) President /CEO Gary Owens, Operations Officer Jenny Chien, Chairman of the Board, C.K. Lee, board member Hasu Patel, and Vice Chairman Ted Hsieh (Photos: Southwestern National Bank)

Southwestern National Bank is a minority owned community bank headquartered at 6901 Corporate Drive, Houston, Texas. (Chinatown). The bank is centered in a dynamic Continued on page 6

www.voiceofasiaonline.com

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital opens clinic for adult congenital heart patients

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ouston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has opened a clinic for patients with adult congenital heart disease to expand services for Fort Bend and surrounding county residents. C. Huie Lin, M.D., an adult congenital interventional cardiologist and director of the Houston Methodist Adult Congenital Heart Program will see patients in Sugar Land every second Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. “Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart present at birth,” Lin said. “In many instances, congenital heart disease patients fall off the radar when they become adults. Thus, they do not receive the proper medical care for their condition.”

Dr. C. Huie Lin (Photo: HMSL)

Lin believes there are some 30,000 adult congenital heart patients in the Houston area and that number is expected to grow by five percent annually. He adds many adults with congenital heart disease are operated on at a very young age, and someremain unaware of their condition until they begin to experience shortness of breath, lightheadedness, palpitations or swelling as adults. Lin adds by working with our Sugar Land colleagues in primary care and cardiology, we developed this clinic to offer care to these patients closer to where they live and work.

Celebrating were (from left) Operations Officer Jenny Chien, Senior Vice President Operation Officer Joy Langston, Senior Vice President chief financial Officer Betsy Reese, Vice Chairman Ted Hsieh , Chairman of the Board, C.K. Lee , board member Hasu Patel ,President /CEO Gary Owens, Senior Vice President Commercial Lending Officer Selina Hsieh, Senior Vice President Lending Officer - Jack Kuo ,Public Relations Officer Ling Chuang, Senior Vice President Lending Officer -Jack Kuo, Senior Vice President Lending Officer – Catherine Liang.

“Because of their complex problems, adult congenital patients need to be seen by a specialist before these symptoms occur so they can maintain an active lifestyle and great quality of life,” said Lin, one of the only cardiologists in Houston who is board certified in adult congenital heart disease. “I have made it my life’s work to take care of these patients and to look for new and innovative ways to treat them. I am looking forward to working with our

colleagues and seeing patients in the new Sugar Land clinic.” To schedule an appointment with C. Huie Lin, M.D.call 713.441.2894. The clinic is located on the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital campus in Medical Office Building 3, Suite 410, 16605 Southwest Frwy., Sugar Land, TX 77479. Free valet parking is available at the Main Pavilion for your convenience. Dr. Lin will be available for cardiac clearance on Saturday, between 9 a.m. and noon on July 29 at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine where they will host student physicals at 16811 Southwest Frwy., Sugar Land, TX, 77479. The cost is $20 (cash only) for ages 12 through 18. Be sure to bring a completed UIL Physical Evaluation form, which can be printed from events.houstonmethodist.org/physicals-slalong with the Houston Methodist release form. For more information, emailathletictrainer@houstonmethodist.orgor call 281.275.0447.


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 6

Vasavi Jayanthi celebrated at Meenakshi Temple Society

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

New and expectant moms invited to Community Baby Shower

Community Baby Shower Committee

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Report by Saipranav Kurapati (Student, 7th grade in Katy, Texas)

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EARLAND - Sri Meenakshi Temple celebrated Vasavi Jayanthi on May 27th, 2017 in a grand manner, and I had the honour of telling the great story of Vasavi during the sit down lunch. Goddess Vasavi is famously known as the first to preach non-violence. According to one legend Vasavi is considered to be a manifestation of Parvati, who was born into a Community known as the Vaisya community. She was born as the daughter of a great king and was an ardent devotee of the lord Shiva and dedicated her life to him by remaining unmarried. As she was beautiful it was understood that someone would fall in love with her. It turns out that someone was a Prince and he wanted to marry her at once. Vasavi’s dedication to lord Shiva

caused her to refuse the offer. The enraged prince waged war on her kingdom. Vasavi being a preacher of non- violence, wanted to prevent bloodshed at any cost. She decided to end her life by sacrificing herself to agni, the god of fire. Along with her went 102 people who supported her views. These people’s families came to be the true Vaishyas and we are still here today to celebrate her dedication. A grand Pooja was held including an Homam, Purnahiti, Abishekam, Alankaram, and Aarathi . The event ended with a procession of devotees chanting the goddess’s praises and was a sight to cherish by all. We are the Vaishyas, and we have Sri Vasavi Mata to protect and guide us!

Southwestern National Bank celebrates ..... Continued from page 5 bustling business community that is highly diversified in its ethnicity and rich in culture. The bank has five branches located in Texas including the main location in Houston, and branches in Sugar Land, Plano, Richardson and Austin. The Bank is opening a second location in Richardson later in 2017. This privately owned community bank was founded on November 3, 1997. The Bank states on their website at www. swnbk.com, “We understand that our customers have individual needs that can best be served by the traditional

banking services that we provide. We cater to our customers’ needs in a customized and personalized way. We know we are not the only bank in the community deserving of your trust and confidence so we strive even harder to earn your business”. To better serve our community the staff speaks several languages including but not limited to: Hindi, Urdu, Taiwanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese. The Bank offers a wide arrange of products in order to meet all your financial needs. (Southwest National Bank is Member FDIC).

UGAR LAND – (June 1, 2017) — Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land invites new and expectant moms – along with their partners and babies – to its annual Community Baby Shower on Thursday, Aug. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature demonstrations on how to safely use baby carriers, presentations on the importance of safe sleeping practices, and a Sugar Land police officer will be on hand to speak about car seat safety. In addition, lactation consultants from the Childbirth Center will be available to talk one-on-one with moms and provide guidance and support. “This is a great opportunity for new moms to speak directly with someone

Timmer says new and expectant moms, their partners and babies are welcome to stop by any time during the shower, which will be held in the Brazos Pavilion Conference Center on the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital campus. Demonstrations will be repeated several times throughout the event, and light refreshments will be provided. Attendees can also participate in several drawings. “This is a fun event, but it’s also a great outreach program,” said Timmer. “Our goal is to celebrate new

and expectant moms, as well as help them master the techniques they need to know in order to care for their newborns. Sometimes a mom gets home from the hospital and realizes that she needs additional support or information, and we’re here to help.” Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital hosts its annual Community Baby Shower in recognition of World Breastfeeding Week. Visit events. houstonmethodist.org/babyshower-sl to register. For more information about Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land, visit houstonmethodist. org/childbirth-sl or call 281.274.7080. Visit our Facebook page at fb.com/ methodistsugarland for the latest news, events and information.

Sugar Land earns distinguished GFOA Budget Presentation Award

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ORT BEND - This year, the Government Finance Officers Association of U.S. and Canada (GFOA) has awarded Missouri City with the GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 32nd consecutive year. The international association noted that the award “reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.” To achieve this award, Missouri City has to meet nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation that are designed to assess how well a government entity’s budgets serves as a: Policy document, Financial plan, Operations guide, and Communications device Missouri City was rated “proficient” in all four categories, meeting all 14 mandatory criteria within each category, to receive this award. The GFOA services the needs of nearly 19,000 appointed and elected local, state and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. The Association produces

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publications, training programs, services and products designed to enhance the skills and performance of those responsible for government finance policy and management; the GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting. “Stewardship of public funds is a top City priority and staff’s excellent fiscal management helps us to be proactive in preparing to meet the financial challenges of today and tomorrow,” said City Manager Anthony J. Snipes. “This industry award is indicative of the Show Me City’s dedication to creating, implementing and following the best budget policies and procedures.” Another fiscal highlight we’re proud of is that “Moody’s Investors Service has also assigned an Aa2 rating to

Missouri City’s $15.2 million dollar General Obligation Bonds, Series 2017, which reflects the City’s sizeable and growing tax base, its healthy reserve levels maintained by solid financial performance and policies, and its above average – but manageable – debt burden,” Snipes said. According to Moody’s report, the City “will continue to experience growth given its location within the Houston metro area. Located about 20 miles southwest of downtown, the City’s tax base has experienced five consecutive years of growth to reach a sizeable $5.95 billion for fiscal year 2017.” As of Fiscal Year 2017, Missouri City’s values in their Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones totaled $497 million, which leaves a net base for City operations and debt service at $5.46 billion. (-City of Sugar Land)


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 7

Museum, Visitor Center construction to begin soon

Pictured (L-R) at a celebratory event are Councilmember Bridget Yeung; Nicholas; Councilmembers Amy Mitchell, Harish Jajoo and Steve R. Porter; Mayor Joe R. Zimmerman; First Assistant City Manager Steve Griffith; Councilmember and Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Board of Directors Treasurer Mary Joyce; Tourism and Destination Services Administrator Teresa Preza; and Assistant City Manager Jennifer May. UGAR LAND – The city of Sugar Land recently awarded a contract for the renovation of an historic building that will serve as a museum and visitor center. The city is partnering with the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation on the collaborative project.

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Work will soon begin on the buildout of the space and the creation of exhibits intended to document Sugar Land’s history and highlight the city’s expanding tourism attractions. The Sugar Land Heritage Museum and Visitor Center is expected to open by the end of 2017. Located on the second floor of a container warehouse that was once part of Imperial Sugar’s refinery operation, the facility will be centrally located within the planned Imperial Market, an entertainment-centric destination center that is expected to include upscale retail and restaurant space, class A office space, a luxury residential complex and a high-end boutique hotel. The Sugar Land Heritage Museum and the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, already operating at the site, are projected to attract more than 120,000 visitors each year. “The construction that will soon begin at the container warehouse marks an important milestone of a lengthy journey to open the doors of a museum and welcome our community to explore the history of our great city,” said City Manager Allen Bogard. “There was a great deal of uncertainty when Imperial Sugar shut

down its refinery operation in Sugar Land many years ago. A large part of our community worried about what would become of the most iconic structures in our city. As long as anyone can remember, the char house, the water tower and many of the structures on this site – including the container warehouse – have been important landmarks that have represented the special history of our city. “It has been our goal to not only ensure the preservation of these important structures, but also create a museum documenting the diversity of Sugar Land’s history.” On March 15, 2005, City Council approved a resolution outlining the City’s intent for the redevelopment of the Imperial Sugar property and the development of adjacent property owned by the Permanent School Fund. The resolution set forth a policy statement that defined the City’s objectives, which included historic preservation, aesthetic and architectural quality, community development and economic development. In June 2007, City Council approved the creation of the Imperial-Tract 3 Redevelopment Agreement that granted development rights in exchange for assurances of a quality project through the development process. The agreement included a requirement to preserve key historic structures identified by the city and included a museum to showcase Sugar Land’s history. An important milestone was the creation of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation. The foundation was cre-

ated as a community-based organization in March 2008 as an outcome of coordination between the city of Sugar Land, Imperial Sugar Company, Cherokee Investments and the Fort Bend Museum Association. The foundation was created to preserve and celebrate Sugar Land’s history. On June 16, 2009, City Council approved a funding contract with the Heritage Foundation to assist in meeting the operating needs to accomplish the objectives of its strategic plan. The funds for this contract were budgeted from hotel occupancy and tourism tax revenues, which are restricted for tourism initiatives such as historic preservation programs. Others such as the Kempner Foundation, George Foundation, Ecolab Foundation, Cherokee Investments, Johnson Development, Imperial Sugar, the Fort Bend Museum Association and community representatives have also contributed generous funding toward the success of the Heritage Foundation. Sugar Land’s investment in the museum is an important part of an effort to establish a cultural arts district in Sugar Land, one that builds on successful efforts such as the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land, the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, the expansion of public art and more. “We have received generous support from many in the community, including a recent donation of $150,000 from Larry Johnson, of Johnson Development,” said Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Board of Directors President Martin Nicholas.

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FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

Arjun Rampal joins CRY America for a great cause CRY America, Houston to host its 2nd Annual Dinner Gala on Sunday, June 11, 2017 for the cause of underprivileged children.

Bollywood Actor Arjun Rampal; Master of Ceremonies CRY America, Houston to host its 2nd Annual Dinner Gala on Sunday, June 11, 2017 for the cause of underprivileged children. CRY, Child Rights and You America Inc (CRY America), a 501c3 non-profit that works to restore the rights of underprivileged children, especially in India, will host its 2nd Houston Gala Diner on Sunday, 11th June, 2017 at the Sweetwater Country Club in Sugarland, TX. The Dinner will be attended by celebrity guests model and Bollywood Actor Arjun Rampal; Master of Ceremonies Rashi Vats (FOX TV) & Pooja Lodhia (ABC TV); Houston Texans Cheerleaders and performances by Malika Ghei and Bollywood Shake. Proceeds from the dinner will go towards ensuring that thousands of underprivileged children have the basic rights to live, learn, grow and play. One of the Projects featured this year will be from Chittoor Distt in Andhra Pradesh. CRY America supports over 70 projects in India including Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh to name a few. CRY America’s unforgettable evening of dinner, silent and live auction, music and dancing will enable better childhoods for thousands of children deprived of education, healthcare and protection. The evening will include an exclusive auction of a Guitar autographed by all members of the Rolling Stones, a Beatles Album

signed by Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, picture autographed by all the actors that played James Bond, bat autographed by Indian Captain Sourav Ganguly and other designer items. Local event sponsors include Vantive Inc, Amir Dodhiya of New York Life & Volterra Energy. Ruchika Dias of Bollywood Shake would be choreographing the dances, Sage Productions is sponsoring DJ & Light services for the event and photography is by Murali Santhana. Media support provided by Meena Datt Radio, Dabang, Masala Radio, Indo American News & Voice of Asia. To purchase dinner tickets, tables, or sponsorships visit http://www.america.cry.org/ cry_america_dinner/pledge2017/ houston/details.html About CRY America: CRY, Child Rights and You America Inc (CRY America) is a 501c3 non-profit driven by its vision of a just world in which all children have equal opportunities to develop to their full potential and realize their dreams. With the support of over 21,000 donors and 2,000 volunteers, CRY America has impacted the lives of 668,832 children living across 3000 villages and slums through support to 70 Projects in India and USA. For more information: visit http://america.cry.org or write to support@cryamerica.org For more information: visit http://america.cry.org or write to support@cryamerica.org


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 8

Hindu Sangathan Divas (Hindu Unity Day) organized in Houston by HSS by Charudatta Malusare

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he Houston chapter of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) held its twelfth annual Hindu Sangathan Divas conference on Saturday, June 3, at the Houston Durga Bari Society (HDBS) in Houston, Texas. This event was attended by over 165 participants from over 49 Hindu organizations from the greater Houston area. Hindu Sangathan Divas offered representatives of Houston area Hindu organizations the opportunity to network with each other with the goal of synergizing the work of different Hindu organizations, exchange ideas, share material and resources. The event began with the meaningful Sangh Geet “Chale Nirantar Sadhana”, which set the perfect tone and aligned all minds with the agenda. Arun Sharma referred to the different Hindu organizations as blooming flowers of different colors and fragrance, and “Hindu Identity” as the string which strings the flowers together to form a beautiful garland, “Hindu Society”. After an introductory session, representatives attended one of three parallel breakout sessions, covering “Synergiz-

A section of the audience at the event. Photos by: Madhukar Adi. ing Seva Activities amongst Hindu Organizations”, “American Hindu Identity and Awareness”, and “Creating Second Generation Hindu Youth Leadership”. Each breakout session included a presentation from an experienced panel member from Hindu organizations actively working in the respective area followed by group discussion. The first group outlined the importance of Sewa as serving society selflessly. The seva efforts should ultimately lead to empowerment of the society by taking the role of “Sevak” than “Seva Seeker”. This can be achieved by increased networking between organizations, sharing platform with

each other, appreciation of the efforts of other groups and complimenting them with their own efforts. The emphasis was made to put up the framework structure for togetherness, to unite such organizations under one umbrella to take up the causes of natural calamities or crises, to serve better and faster. The second group expressed their thoughtful views on the significance of proudly projecting our Hindu identity in the mainstream community. Greater clarity and proactive approach is needed and this can be done by Hindu involvement in governance, inviting politicians to our cultural events such as Diwali, Holi, Garba celebrations. HSS is organizing Guru

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

“Graduate donates proceeds to Harvard Tamil Chair

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large gathering of well wishers celebrated Akilan Gopal’s graduation in Houston on Sunday June 4th 2017. His parents Mala Gopal and Dr. T. Gopal made elaborate arrangements at their home in the Clear Lake area. Akilan donated the gifts received to Tamil Chair Inc. (Boston). The goal of the Tamil Chair Inc. is to create an endowed academic unit in the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University to further grow the prestige, scholarship, and outreach of the Tamil language within the international community. Sam Kannappan and Vetriselvan thanked Akilan and hoped many more youngsters will follow Akilan and support the noble cause. Dr. Vaduganthan, S. Narayanan, Anantha and Padma spoke of their experience with Akilan. Vandana and Raksha Bandhan which are gaining popularity in mainstream community such as the police , teachers and fire fighting departments. The broader and inclusive meaning of “Hindu” should reflect in our behaviour than mere words. All Hindu organizations need to unite on protecting and projecting “American Hindu” identity and increasing awareness. The third group brainstormed the topic of creating second generation youth leadership. The young individuals participating expressed that this can be achieved by giving autonomy, nourishing their curiosity, developing common interest areas and respecting suggestions. The youth camps conducted by youth can be a great engaging tool and create a sense of responsibility. It was recommended that support groups for youth be formed to communicate their challenges

Representatives and members of HSS in Houston.

Akilan Gopal being recognized for his contribution to Tamil Chair Inc. Seen with Akilanare his parents and Sam Kannapan

and take guidance during the leadership transition process. The creation of a Hindu Youth forum database as a platform for sharing ideas and organising Hindu Youth leadership conferences will be a step closer to achieving this goal. All groups assembled back and a summary of each session was presented to the audience. Arun Kankani, keynote speaker thanked all attendees for their enthusiastic participation. He urged all organizations to understand the massive change happening globally over the last two decades and align with Hindu Ethos, Values, and Cultures. He outlined our collective approach to be “Think Globally, Act Locally”. “Hindu Dharma” resonates where diversity is valued and multiple perspectives are promoted however, our Hindu identity as a whole should be distinct, protected and promoted proudly.

This broader understanding will lead to the ultimate goal of Sangha where the entire society will be transformed, safeguarding our own Hindu dharma. The keynote speech was followed by Sangh Prarthana and Durga Arati. The atmosphere was so enchanting and divine that everyone felt empowered with the blessings of Durga Devi. This event was made successful with the lively participation of many community leaders, including youth, HSS volunteers. Special efforts and warm hospitality by HDBS members made the event more enjoyable. HSS conducts a structured values education program through its 150 chapters nationwide to develop strong character and teamwork and leadership skills to organize a dynamic and flourishing Hindu-American community.

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VOICE OF ASIA 9

Donald Trump appoints Amul Thapar as Judge on the US Court of Appeals

Houston and India strengthening US - India relations

Pranay Varada of Texas wins 2017 National Geographic Bee, Dr. Durga Agrawal meets with the Petroleum Minister of India Scholarship uring his world tour

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ASHINGTON, DC - Pranay Varada of Irving, Texas, a 14-year-old at DeWitt Perry Middle School, took top honors at the 29th annual National Geographic Bee held today at National Geographic headquarters in DC.

Thapar has served as the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky and as an Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of Ohio and the District of Columbia (Photo: PTI)

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ASHINGTON, DC (PTI)- : Amul Thapar, an IndianAmerican legal luminary, has been appointed a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by President Donald Trump, the White House has said. Before his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Thapar served on the District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Thapar, 48, was confirmed last week by the Senate 52-44 in a vote on party lines. The son of Indian-American immigrants, Thapar was the Nation’s first Article III judge of South Asian descent.

from Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Thapar began his legal career in private practice, after clerkships with Judge S Arthur Spiegel of the District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and Judge Nathaniel R Jones of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He received his BS from Boston College in 1991 and his JD from the University of California, Berkeley. Thapar is a member of The South Asian Bar Association of North America’s (SABA) National Advisory Council, and has served as a keynote for the Annual Convention and for many of our chapters.

In addition to his career on Federal bench, Thapar has served as the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky and as an Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of Ohio and the District of Columbia.

SABA awarded him it’s Pioneer Award in 2010.

Trump has nominated 10 judges to lower courts, including Thapar, who is Trump’s first judicial nominee to be confirmed by the Senate, apart

Thapar received his undergraduate degree from Boston College and his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

He has also taught at the University of Virginia School of Law, Vanderbilt Law School, and the Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law.

Pranay Varada, winner In addition to earning the title of National Geographic Bee champion, Pranay received a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. He will also travel (along with one parent or guardian), all expenses paid, on a Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour ll. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Second- and third-place finishers will receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively. The second-place winner and recipient of a $25,000 college scholarship was 14year-old Thomas Wright of Mequon, Wisconsin, an eighth-grader at University School of Milwaukee. Third place and a $10,000 college scholarship went to Veda Bhattaram of Pine Brook, New Jersey, a 13-year-old

Bodies of drowned Indian techie, son being taken to home from US

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EW YORK (PTI) The mortal remains of a 31-year-old Indian software engineer and his threeyear-old son who drowned last week in a tragic incident in Michigan are being taken to India for last rites.

Surepalli, from Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur, is survived by 29-year-old wife Bindu.

A post by Ajay Kande on the fundraiser page said the autopsies had been conducted by authorities and the mortal remains were handed to a funeral home to prepare for travel to India. All formalities have been

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in May 2017, Dr. Durga Agrawal, a prominent Houstonian met with the India’s Petroleum Minister of State, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi. Dr. Agrawal thanked Mr. Pradhan for his support to Oil India’s commercial agreement with the University of Houston. He requested Mr. Pradhan to expedite a similar agreement between the University of Houston and ONGC. Dr. Agrawal apprised Mr. Pradhan of his recent meeting with Prime Minister Mr. Modi. Dr. Agrawal had suggested Government of India to implement a program similar to Texas DNP (Doctorate of nursing) program in India. Program is being actively considered by the Indian government. Mr. Pradhan is keen to implement this program in his state of Orissa. Dr. Agrawal mentioned about their trip around the world-Kyoto, Myanmar, Jerusalem, Ethiopia etc. where ancient religious places (1200-1500 years old) are huge tourist attractions. He suggested that Mr. Pradhan should speak to PM Modi about developing Kedarnath (Shiva temple which was built by Panseventh-grader at Robert R. Lazar Middle School. During an intense sixquestion tiebreaker round to determine the champion, Thomas took the lead only to be challenged by Pranay. Each Bee contestant is given one opportunity to challenge the answer to be determined by the judges. The question was “Mu Gia Pass, a strategic pass and a key point of entry to the Ho Chi Minh Trail, lies in what mountain range?” The judges decided to accept both answers: Annam and Annamite. The sixth and final question, which clinched the win for Pranay, was: “What large mountain system that stretches more than 1,200 miles separates the Taklimakan Desert from the Tibetan Plateau?” Answer: “Kunlun Mountains” Fifty-four state and territory winners took part in the preliminary rounds of the 2017 National Geographic Bee on Monday, May 15. The top 10 finishers in the preliminary rounds met in this morning’s final round.

Nagaraju Surepalli and his son Ananth Surepalli were found unresponsive last Tuesday in a pool at the Glens of Northville apartment complex in Michigan’s Novi, according to Novi Police Chief David Molloy.

His friends and associates had started an online fundraiser to help raise finances for the funeral and taking the bodies back to India. Over $181,000 had been raised through the fundraiser.

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

Nagaraju Surepalli and his son Ananth Surepalli were found unresponsive last Tuesday (Photo: gofundme.com) completed at the funeral home and necessary clearances received from the Indian Consulate to fly the bodies to India. Kande said it is estimated that the bodies of Surepalli and his son will reach India by

The seven other finalists, who each won $500, were Nicholas Monahan of McCall, Idaho; Anish Susarla of Leesburg, Virginia; Lucas Eggers of Rochester, Minnesota; Rohan Kanchana of Hockessin, Delaware; Max Garon of the District of Columbia; Ahilan Eraniyan of San Ramon, California; and Abhinav Govindaraju of Bedford, New Hampshire.

Tuesday.

tricycle.

Novi police said Surepalli and his son were playing poolside on May 30 when the child inadvertently fell into the deep end of the pool while riding his

The father jumped into water, five-feet deep, to rescue his son and became a victim himself as neither were experienced swimmers.

Dr. Agrawal and Dharmendra Pradhan, Petroleum Minister davas over 5000 years ago), Badrinath, Gangotri, Kashi temple etc. to showcase India to the tourists to show them how rich our Indian ancient culture and civilization is. He assured to follow up. Dr. Agrawal also told Mr. Pradhan about a proposal for the India Studies Program that aims to bring scholars from US and India to educate and to have discourse that prepares Americans for India’s strength and future as world economic power. Mr. Pradhan had visited Houston recently and discussed Ujjwala Plus Yojna, the extension of Ujjwala Yojna (PMUY – Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna), a flagship scheme of PM Modi with Mr. Jiten Agarwal and Dr. Durga Agrawal. Under this scheme, Modi’s government’s endeavor is to ensure that free gas connection is provided to about five crore (50 Million) poor families over the next three years. According to surveys, cooking in firewood leads to inhaling smoke which is equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes. Over a million peo-

ple die of indoor air pollution India and it is second biggest killer after high blood pressure in India, as per the recent report by Hindustan Times. On behalf of Indian American community in Houston, Mr. Jiten Agarwal has floated a nonprofit organization to support the Modi’s government’s Ujjwala Plus scheme to provide liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections to those certified below-poverty line families that have not received benefit under the government’s existing Ujjwala Yojna. Individuals and businesses will be able to make voluntary donations for the Ujjwala Plus scheme which will be used to provide LPG connections to people belonging to the poorest of poor people who were left out of the existing scheme. 100% of the funds donated will reach beneficiaries without any administrative fees or overheads in between. Dr. Durga Agrawal is a founder trustee of India House, regent at University of Houston, and a well-established businessman in Houston.

NRIs to adopt 500 villages in India

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ASHINGTON (PTI) - Non-resident Indians (NRIs) living in the US will adopt 500 villages in India as part of their effort to develop the rural areas of the county. A formal announcement in this regard would be made during the Big Ideas for Better India conference in Silicon Valley on July 1. Organised by the Overseas Volunteer for Better India (OVBI), spiritual leader Ravi Shankar will give keynote address at the event which is expected to be attended by over 1,000 influential NRI leaders, a statement said yesterday. These 500 villages have been

selected based on the highest farmers suicide rates, high unemployment rates and need immediate support, said OVBI president Satej Chaudhary. “We are bringing together geoscientists, agricultural experts and entrepreneurs to help double the income of farmers by 2022,” he said. The event will address the most challenging problems being faced by India in agriculture, governance and human trafficking. Last year OVBI had organised a water summit and successfully connected many specialists from USA with the Art of Living ground team working on the river rejuvenation projects.

The pool did not staff a lifeguard and they were the only occupants in the pool area. The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted a post-mortem examination this

morning and ruled the incident an accidental drowning. Police said the family had been in the US for approximately three years on an H-1B non-immigrant work visa.

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VOICE OF ASIA 10

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

Laughter in Hindi - IAH and Bhangra and Bollywood at the ICC host 10th Annual Hasya Houston Health Department Kavi Sammellan

Mr. Stephen Williams (HHD Director) with staff and on the right ISKCON volunteers showcasing yoga and henna Hasya Kavis from India with IHA and ICC members. Photos by Sanjay Sohoni

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he Houston Health Department’s (HHD), celebration of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders month activities are organized by the Cultural and Linguistic Competency’s (CLC) group. Varsha Vakil is one of the CLC leaders and for the past couple of years has successfully hosted cultural events at the HHD to help employees gain a positive experience of the vibrant Asian culture.

by Shobana Muratee

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OUSTON – Hindi is a user friendly language spoken by over a billion people in India and around the world. Even tourists who go to India find themselves attempting to speak the language just to get familiar with the locals. In Houston, the International Hindi Association (IHA) local chapter aims topreserve and promote the Hindi language globally through art forms and literature. The Hasya Kavi Sammellan, an annual event, collaborated jointly by India Culture Center (ICC) is IHA’s signature event to showcased poets from India and a few local as well. Their 10th Annual Hasya Kavi Sammellan was celebrated on Friday, May 26th at India House. Hasya and Vyang kavis: Padmashri Sunil Jogi, Gajendra Solanki and Sudeep Bhola who were the featured artists presented poems to a packed audience of 320 plus enthusiasts and supporters. The artists are touring North America under the IHA banner and covered 22 cities in 40 days. Throughout they were received by packed auditoriums the highest being in Atlanta with over 500 people. At india house, the program commenced at 7pm with a social hour and tasty hors d’oeuvres catered by Madras Pavilion. By 7.55 pm guests were seated when IHA National President Swapan Dhairyawan and IHA Director Sangeeta Pasrija welcomed the gathering and introduced the artists. The traditional lamp was lit by Saroj Upadhyaya and Pallavi Dhairyawan to give the show an suspicious start. Children from Vallabh Priti Seva Samaj (VPSS) presented a Hindi prayer. Six children from VPSS were recognized for having completed 12 weeks of Hindi learning program taught by IHA Houston Chapter teacher (shikshika) Sangeeta Gupte who was also recognized with shawl and certificate. Teaching Hindi and spreading knowledge of communicative Hindi at non- Hindi speaking temples and organizations was a IHA goal for IHA in 2017. IHA Houston Chapter President Dr K D Upadhyaya spoke about the just cause for

Children from VPSS singing a prayer song in Hindi

The CLC group presents diverse cultural programs and activities to the HHD staff to promote cultural awareness. On Wed. May 24, 2017, *Unity in Diversity – The Majestic Asia* was celebrated with passion by the HHD staff. The Asian regions presented at the

spreading Rajbhasha Hindi and IHA efforts. He thanked the sponsors, volunteers, IHA team, India House, media and community at large. ICC President Falguni Gandhi spoke about the close interaction and activities with Partnering organizations Poetry in motion. Hasya kavi presenting his poem.

Rajiv Bhavsar a dedicated team player in IHA was recognized for selfless service to

event were China, South Asia, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. The event included presentations, dances and ethnic cuisine.

rectors and Bureau Chiefs. All cultural and language barriers melted away with the warmth and camaraderie exhibited by the Asian event hosts.

A delicious Indian vegetarian platter from Govinda’s restaurant included mouth-watering samosas that were a big hit among employees. Deep Foods and Drinks provided coconut water, mango, lychee and guava drinks. ISKCON Houston’s volunteers applied henna tattoos to staff both men and women who eagerly waited in line for their turn. A yoga session was held by ISKCON Houston’s Outreach Director Shobha Ramachandran. The director of the health department Mr. Stephen Williams attended the event along with Deputy Di-

The South Asian event preparation was started more than a month ago. A Bollywood dance medley was presented by talented staff Vinuthna Yetukuri, Angelica Harvey, Rakhee Sardar and Angela Gala-Gonzalez. An energetic Bhangra folk performance was presented by Thomas Johnson and Anand Gupta who kept practicing until the last minute before entering the auditorium. Staff participation from different cultural backgrounds created an innate palpable enthusiasm among other employees who wanted to signup for next year’s activities.

IHA for last 10 years continuously.

audience in spits. The two and half hour program had a fitting finale by poet Sunil Jogi. Kavis were felicitated followed by group photos. The event sponsors included:Discount Power, Deep Food, Wallis State Bank, Madras Pavillion and Anand Chauhan and his wife Dr. Ashima Chauhan. For more information www. icchoustontx.org and www. hindi.org

Swapan Dhairyawan spoke about upcoming 18th National Convention in Dallas in September which would be featuring noted famous poet Surendra Sharma. Kavis Gajendra Solanki set the mood for a fun-filled evening that was continued by poet Sudeep Bhola who had the

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Rajiv Bhavsar being honored for his support to IHA.

Shikshika Sangeeta Gupte recognized for her services to IHA.

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ASIA/US

VOICE OF ASIA 11

No downturn in IT sector, reports are wrong, jobs will come: Minister RS Prasad

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

India committed to Paris climate deal: minister

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EW DEHLI | AFP - India’s environment minister Friday said his country is committed to the Paris climate accord irrespective of the position of other nations, after the US announced plans to pull out of the global pact. “As far as the Paris accord is concerned... our government is committed irrespective of the stand of anyone, anywhere in the world,” Harsh Vardhan told reporters.

The minister’s statement comes against the backdrop of media reports that IT firms in India were in the midst of the industry’s largest retrenchment drive due to US President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies (Photo: PTI)

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OCHI, India (PTI), Monday, June 1 - Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday dismissed the reports of a downturn in the Indian IT sector as “completely wrong” and said a good number of people will get jobs in the current fiscal.

And the STPI (Software Technology Parks of India) helping entrepreneurs to export (services) worth about Rs 3.5 lakh crore,” he told a press conference in Kochi.

Noting that the IT industry worth Rs 9 lakh crore today employs about 40 lakh people directly and 1.4 crore indirectly, the IT minister said firms like TCS and Infosys have said they would recruit thousands of professionals in the current fiscal.

“I asked Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata sons... he has said TCS alone has appointed 2.5 lakh IT professionals in the last three years. And they are going to appoint 20,000 new graduates in 2017-18,” the minister said.

“Coming to the IT sector, a lot of things being told about downturn. It is completely wrong. I want to deny it,” the minister said.

Prasad said he also met recently Infosys COO Pravin Rao, who too completely dismissed the media reports on massive jobs cut.

The minister’s statement comes against the backdrop of media reports that IT firms in India were in the midst of the industry’s largest retrenchment drive due to US President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies. “Coming to the IT sector, a lot of things being told about downturn. It is completely wrong. I want to deny it. The export of Indian IT companies outside is close to Rs 7.4 lakh crore.

He said 6 lakh appointments have taken place in the last three years of the Narendra Modi-led government.

“Rao said last year Infosys appointed 20,000 people and this year they are going to appoint 20,000 more,” he said. Prasad claimed that retrenchment of 100-200 people had happened in the sector on performance ground. The minister said the Indian digital economy was going to become $1 trillion in the coming 5 to 7 years.

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord and accused China and India of benefitting from the deal at the expense of the US. His announcement triggered a furious backlash from global leaders, including the Chinese premier who said Beijing “will steadfastly” implement the Paris climate pact. During a visit to Russia Friday Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated his country’s commitment to reduce emissions. “Paris or no Paris, our conviction and our traditions say that we cannot snatch the rights of our future generations,” said Modi while on stage with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the St Petersburg economic forum. The prime minister, however, refused to directly comment on Trump’s

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ASHINGTON | AFP, June 6, 2017 - Four Indians and one Pakistani have pleaded guilty to the charges for their role in a massive telephone impersonation fraud and money laundering scheme in the US perpetrated by India-based call centres, the US Department of

Inspections will be held at marriage halls, convention centres and hotels and other venues of the wedding ceremony.

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HIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Kerala (PTI) Jun 6, 2017 Wedding ceremonies in Kerala are all set to become ‘green’, with the state government coming out with a green-protocol to make the auspicious occasions more nature-friendly. With the implementation of the protocol, plastic and other non-degradable articles including disposable glasses and plates and thermocol decorations will be kept at bay from marriage functions.

Inspections will be held at marriage halls, convention centres and hotels and other venues of the wedding ceremony in this regard and action would be taken if the protocol is violated, they said. ‘Suchitwa Mission’, the state nodal agency for sanitation, has already launched the initiative in Kannur, Ernakulam, Kollam and Alappuzha on a pilot basis. CV Joy, Director (Operations), Suchitwa Mission, said the greenprotocol was launched as part of the government’s anti-plastic drive and Green-Kerala Mission. “The core objective of the initiative

With the effective implementation of green protocol, the amount of plastic could be reduced in the long run. (Representational Image) is to reduce the use of plastic in daily life. Plastic articles including glasses and plates are used in large numbers during functions, especially marriage ceremonies in the state,” he told PTI. With the effective implementation of green protocol, the amount of plastic could be reduced in the long run. “We can reuse, recycle and reduce plastic. But, even if we reuse such non-degradable articles, there will not be much decline in its presence. So, reducing its use is the more effective way to achieve our plastic-free society goal,” he said. The Mission has joined hands with district administration, panchayat authorities and socio-cultural and re-

decision to ditch the Paris agreement. India, which accounts for 4.1 percent of global emissions but is the world’s third largest carbon-emitting country, has not agreed to cap or cut its emissions outright like other countries. Instead Delhi says it will increase its use of green energy and reduce its emissions relative to its gross domestic product by up to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels -- meaning emissions will continue to grow but at a slower rate. India has long insisted that it needs to keep burning cheap and plentiful coal to cut crippling blackouts and

bring electricity to millions of poor residents living off the grid. In his speech Trump repeatedly painted the pact as a deal that failed to “put America first” and was too lenient on economic rivals China, India and Europe. China and the US, the world’s first and second biggest polluters, respectively, are together responsible for some 40 percent of the world’s emissions. India is investing billions in clean energy infrastructure to cut down on emissions as it battles choking pollution.

4 Indians, 1 Pakistani plead guilty in ‘massive’ US call centre scam

Kerala government implements ‘green protocol’ for weddings

Instead of this, people would be persuaded to use tumblers, plates and other utensils made of glass and environment-friendly metals, officials sources here said.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 2, 2017. (AP Photo)

ligious outfit for the green-protocol initiative. The cooperation of the owners of marriage halls and convention centres has also been sought, he said. “We are planning the protocol as a sort of awareness drive. Though we have legal backing, we are trying to implement it with the support of the marriage parties and the owners of wedding halls. Mutual understanding is essential for its success,” he said. Special squads, comprising officials of Suchitwa Mission and revenue department, have been formed to carry out inspections in wedding halls and videograph the ceremony.

Justice has said. The Internal Revenue Service has long warned taxpayers not to be lured in by aggressive callers who phone cold and claim to be IRS agents seeking to collect outstanding taxes.

defraud American victims using information obtained from data brokers and other sources. Call center operators threatened victims with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay sums allegedly owed the government.

On Monday, the agency got some help from Justice Department prosecutors who— working with inspectors general at the Treasury and Homeland Security departments— secured guilty pleas from five call-center scammers based in India or the United States.

“Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money,” Justice said in a release. “Upon payment, the call centers would immediately” use email or text messaging or the WhatsApp encrypted software to tap a netThe guilty work of “runners” pleas to money based in the Unitlaundering and ed States to liquiconspiracy date and launder made before a the fraudulently Texas district obtained funds. judge during the They would also period of May exploit the vic26 to June 6 intims’ personally volved Rajub- Scam mastermind Sagar Thakkar identifiable inforhai Patel, 32, an mation. Indian national most recently residing The investigation results were anin Willowbrook, Ill.; Viraj Patel, 33, an nounced by acting Assistant Attorney Indian national most recently residing in Anaheim, Calif; Dilipkumar Ambal General Kenneth Blanco of Justice’s Patel, 53, an Indian national most re- Criminal Division, acting U.S. Atcently residing in Corona, Calif.; and torney Abe Martinez of the Southern Fahad Ali, 25, a Pakistani national and District of Texas and Executive Assopermanent U.S. resident most recently ciate Director Peter Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s residing in Dyer, Ind. Homeland Security Investigations. Additionally, Hardik Patel, 31, an They cooperated with Treasury InspecIndian national most recently resid- tor General for Tax Administration Ining in Arlington Heights, Ill., pleaded spector General J. Russell George and guilty to wire fraud conspiracy. Sen- Homeland Security IG John Roth. tences are pending. The Federal Communications ComFour other members of the conspir- mission, the State Department’s Dipacy operation pleaded guilty in April lomatic Security Service, the Small and May. Business Administration and Interpol According to admissions made with helped crack the case. Local law enthe plea agreements, the five men and forcement in Texas and Illinois were co-conspirators beginning in Septem- also instrumental, along with U.S. ber 2013 ran a complex scheme in attorneys in Alabama, Arizona, Caliwhich individuals from call centers fornia, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Illocated in Ahmedabad, India, imper- linois, Nevada and New Jersey. sonated officials from the IRS and Justice recommended that others U.S. Citizenship and Immigration who believe they are victims of such Services. scams contact the Federal Trade ComThe scheme was a ruse designed to mission using its website.

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VOICE OF ASIA 12

12 killed in rare militant attack in Tehran, ISIS makes claim Iran’s Revolutionary Guards say US, Saudi Arabia ‘involved’

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

London Mayor Khan: Put away the red carpet before Trump gets here by Gabby Kaufman

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EHRAN, Iran | AFP | Wednesday 6/7/2017 - Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday vowed revenge for twin attacks by the Islamic State group in Tehran, and said Washington and Riyadh were “involved”.

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ondon Mayor Sadiq Khan said Monday the United Kingdom shouldn’t “roll out the red carpet” during President Trump’s upcoming state visit, as the war of words between the two leaders keeps escalating.

“The Revolutionary Guards have always proven that they will never allow the blood of innocents to be spilt without revenge,” they said in a statement.

In an interview with Britain’s Channel 4 News, Khan was asked if he thought Trump’s visit to the U.K., tentatively planned for the fall, should be

“This terrorist action, coming one week after the meeting of the president of the United States with the leader of the one of the region’s reactionary governments (Saudi Arabia)... shows they are involved in this savage action.”

enforcement presence in London after the attacks. Khan’s spokesman responded with an acerbic, dismissive statement pointing out the mayor “has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks.” Monday, Trump said drawing attention to the intended context was a “pathetic excuse.” The London attacks exacerbated

Separately, the deputy chief of the Guards’ Intelligence Service, Mohammad Hossein Nejat, told the Fars news agency that the men who attacked the parliament building in Tehran were aged between 20 and 25. “(They) went to the parliament as visitors. The guards became suspicious of their bags and when they wanted to search them, shooting began and they killed the security guard,” he said. “The US and Saudi regime had ordered their stooges to do this.” He said the men spoke Arabic in the video released by IS from inside the building, but that their nationality was not yet known. Twelve people were killed and more than 40 injured in the attacks on Tehran’s parliament complex and the shrine of revolutionary founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The raids on two of Iran’s most highly-protected sites will jolt Rouhani, who positions himself as a reformer, and his political rivals among the hardline clerics and the Revolutionary Guards, who are responsible for national security. In an appeal for unity, Rouhani’s chief of staff, Hamid Aboutalebi, took to Twitter to praise the security services. “If this attacks had happened in any other city in Europe or in the world, it would have left many casualties. Applause to the power and firmness of our revolutionary guards, Basij, police

This image appears to show a child being lowered from a window of Iran’s parliament building (Photo: EPA News) and security forces,” he wrote. Two senior government officials, who asked not to be named, said the blasts might prompt a blame game and exacerbate political in-fighting. “They (hardliners) are very angry and will use every opportunity to grow in strength to isolate Rouhani,” said one of the officials. The other said the attacks, and speculation over who backed them, would push Iran toward “a harsher regional policy”. The Intelligence Ministry called on people to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement. “Some cowardly terrorists infiltrated one of the buildings of parliament. They were confronted. It was not a major issue. Our security forces have taken necessary steps,” parliament speaker Ali Larijani said in a session broadcast live by state TV. Attacks are rare in Tehran and other major cities though two Sunni militant groups, Jaish al-Adl and Jundallah, have been waging a deadly insurgency, mostly in more remote areas, for almost a decade.

Iran’s restive Sistan and Baluchestan province, in the southeast on the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, is home to the Balouch minority and has long been a hotbed of Sunni insurgents fighting the Shi’ite-led Islamic Republic. Last year Iranian authorities said they had foiled a plot by Sunni militants to bomb targets in Tehran and other cities during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is visiting Turkey to discuss the Qatar crisis, told reporters that the attacks will “strengthen resolve of the Iranian nation against terrorism”. Islamic State has lambasted “heretic” Shi’ite Iran for helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments battle Islamic State, which considers Shi’ites to be infidels. The video released by Islamic State’s news agency Amaq included an audio track of a man saying: “Oh God, thank you. [Gunshots]. Do you think we will leave? No! We will remain, God willing.

A British election campaign that few expected ends in a way that no one could have predicted by Griff Witte

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ONDON — Britain’s seven-week sprint to an election that few expected began in April with forecasts of a landslide victory for the Conservatives, and a Margaret Thatcher-esque grip on power as far as the political eye could see for Prime Minister Theresa May. It ended Wednesday in a way that no one could have predicted — with a rattled May being heckled during one of her few and characteristically awkward attempts to meet voters, while her once-hapless opponent, Jeremy Corbyn, spoke to large and adoring crowds that were earning him comparisons to Winston Churchill. In between, the campaign was interrupted by two masscasualty terrorist attacks, and May’s seemingly insurmount-

able lead dwindled, in at least some polls, to a few points. As the nation prepares to vote Thursday, few believe that the far-left Corbyn could actually win. If he did gain the keys to Downing Street, it would rival, and perhaps top, 2016’s Brexit vote or President Trump’s November victory for most implausible political outcome of the past 12 months. But even a win for May, if it’s insufficiently convincing, could leave her seriously damaged within her own party and hobbled going into all-important negotiations with European leaders that will determine whether the country’s European Union exit is the success she has promised or a grievous mistake. “She’ll still win the election, but she’ll be weaker for it,” said Steven Fielding, a political-sci-

Help Save Rishab!

ence professor at the University of Nottingham. “Jeremy Corbyn will lose the election, but he’ll be stronger for it.” The irony of that outcome, if it comes to pass, will be heightened by the fact that May didn’t need to hold the vote in the first place. With another election not due until 2020, May had repeatedly vowed to wait until then to face the voters after coming to power last year via a selection by her fellow Tory lawmakers.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, pauses as he speaks to reporters, June 6, 2017. (Photo: Raphael Satter/AP) canceled in the wake of inflammatory comments he has made about immigration and Khan following Saturday’s deadly terrorist attacks. Though he declined to answer directly, Khan nonetheless responded pointedly, drawing a sharp contrast between Trump’s policies and the U.K.’s. “My position remains the same,” Khan began. “I don’t think we should be rolling out the red carpet to the president of the U.S.A. in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for.” “I think one of the things, when you have a special relationship, is no different to when you’ve got a close mate,” he continued. “You stand with them in times of adversity, but you call them out when they’re wrong. And there are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong.” After Khan’s city was attacked Saturday, Trump posted a tweet that misconstrued the London mayor’s appeal for calm as downplaying the seriousness of the terror threat. In reality, Khan’s remark to the BBC was in reference to the heightened law

majority, giving her the sort of one-woman authority that even Thatcher would have envied. May would need that sort of endorsement, she insisted in her pitch to voters, so she could stand up to her European counterparts with the knowledge that the country was behind her. Only a strong majority, she argued, would give her leverage to drive the best possible bargain for Britain in the contentious talks to come.

the long-standing tension between Khan and Trump. When Khan, a Muslim, won the mayoralty in May 2016, Trump had already proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States. Khan said he intended to visit the U.S. before the following January, “in case” of a Trump victory in the election. On the other hand, Trump told The New York Times “there will always be exceptions” to the ban and he was “happy” Khan won. “If he does a great job, it will really — you lead by example, always lead by example,” Trump said. “If he does a good job and, frankly, if he does a great job, that would be a terrific thing.” Khan rejected a BBC reporter’s suggestion that he could be an “exception” to Trump’s proposed Muslim ban. He added he hoped Hillary Clinton “trounces” Trump in the election, provoking a counterattack by the candidate: “I think they were very rude statements and, frankly, tell him I will remember those statements. They are very nasty statements.” (-Yahoo! News/AFP)

Debris found in sea after Myanmar military plane... Continued from Page 1

But the temptation of her party’s more than 20-point lead over Corbyn’s Labour Party proved too great, and the normally cautious May gambled in April by calling an early vote.

Polls showing that voters admired her resolute and no-nonsense persona — she vowed to be a “bloody difficult woman” in the E.U. talks — suggested she would get what she sought.

An air force source confirmed to AFP that a navy search and rescue ship had found debris in the sea an hour’s flight south of Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial capital. The commander in chief’s office said the plane lost contact at about 1:35 pm (07:05 GMT) off Myanmar’s southern coast.

At the time, the decision was hailed by observers as a masterstroke — one that could grow her slender parliamentary edge into a historically large

But as the campaign has worn on, voters appear to be less convinced that they want to hand her such sweeping control. (-Washington Post)

A spokesman from the military’s information team said two-thirds of passengers on board were women and children.

A PLEA FOR HELP!

“High fever, water in lungs, water around the heart, shortness of breath when I lie down, lung fungal infection, surgery due on Monday for the infection, kidneys about to fail, surgery not possible if kidneys aren’t stable, Wbc - 0, liver functions high, more chemo due after surgery. The next few days will be fun! Let’s do this!” - Rishab Gambhir, Facebook Post. Rishab Gambhir, a 23 years old young man was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (a kind of blood cancer) three years ago and is currently undergoing treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center for relapse of his disease. The treatment which includes chemotherapy, has lowered Rishab’s white blood counts(WBC) to zero. He has also developed a fungal infection. To fight off this infection, he needs WBC, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. He needs WBC transfusion continuously. I would request each and every one of you to please make an appointment with the MD Anderson blood bank and donate WBC. Appointment can be made over the phone by calling 713-792-7777. Please provide patient’s name: Rishab Gambhir, medical record number--1063014. You can also contact Rishab’s father Rajiv Gambhir @ 832-5763042 or Vishnu @ 832-788-1840.

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“Some were on their way for medical checkups and to attend school,” the colonel in Naypyidaw told AFP, refusing to confirm what rescuers had found and adding the search was ongoing. There was conflicting information about the number of people on board. Giving an updated figure, the commander in chief’s office said 106 passengers were on board -- soldiers and family members -- along with 14 crew. Several navy ships and air force planes were sent to search for the aircraft, which was flying at an altitude of more than 18,000 feet (5,486 metres). It is monsoon season in Myanmar but there were no reports of bad weather at the time the plane went missing. - Military air woes The plane was a Y-8F-200 four-engine turboprop, a Chinese-made model still commonly used by Myanmar’s military for transporting cargo. The former military junta bought many of the aircraft

from Myanmar’s giant neighbour during their 50 years of isolated rule, when they were squeezed by Western sanctions. A former executive at the aviation ministry said many of the aircraft in Myanmar’s fleet were old and decrepit. “Myanmar air force has (a) very bad safety performance,” he said, asking to remain nameless. However the army said the missing plane was delivered in March last year and had logged 809 flying hours. Soldiers guarding the military base at Yangon airport refused to speak to AFP journalists. Myanmar’s military fleet has a chequered recent history of plane crashes. A five strong crew died when an air force plane burst into flames soon after taking off from the capital Naypyidaw in February last year. Three army officers were also killed in June when their Mi-2 helicopter crashed into a hillside and burst into flames in south-central Bago. A surge in demand for air travel as Myanmar opens up has stretched the impoverished country’s aviation infrastructure, in particular in remote airports. Commercial jets have also suffered frequent incidents. The worst in recent years was in 2012 when an Air Bagan jet crash-landed in thick fog and burst into flames short of the runway at Heho airport, killing one passenger and a motorcyclist on the ground.


VOICE OF ASIA 13

voiceofasiaonline.com Section 2

Business VOICE OF ASIA

VOA

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Tel: 713-774-5140

GE, Baker Hughes announce TiECON 2017 attracts global entrepreneurs executive leadership team in thousands to Silicon Valley for combined co. cess Solutions business unit, will become president and CEO of turbomachinery and process solutions for the new company.

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s Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. and Bostonbased General Electric Co. near the closing of their megadeal, the companies have released a list of executives who will lead the newly combined energy company.

• Harry Elsinga, currently vice president of human resources for GE Oil & Gas, will become chief human resources officer of the new company. • Jennifer Hartsock, currently chief information officer for GE Oil & Gas, will become CIO of the new company. • Matthias Heilmann, currently head of GE Oil & Gas’ digital solutions business, will become president and CEO of digital solutions for the new company. • Jack Hinton, currently vice president of health, safety and environment (HSE) for Baker Hughes, will become Chief HSE Officer for the new company.

Baker Hughes’ Belgacem Chariag The deal to combine Baker Hughes with GE Oil & Gas, which is based in London but has regional headquarters in Houston, could close around the end of June or early July. The combined entity will be called Baker Hughes, a GE Company, and will have dual headquarters in Houston and London.

• Nicola Jannis, currently head of business development at GE Oil & Gas, will become chief business development officer at the new company. • Derek Mathieson, currently Baker Hughes’ chief commercial officer, will become chief marketing and technology officer for the new company.

As previously announced, Lorenzo Simonelli, the president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas, will be CEO of the new company, and Brian Worrell, CFO of GE Oil & Gas, will become CFO of the new company.

• Jody Markopoulos, currently vice president of operations at GE Oil & Gas, will become chief engineering and supply chain officer for the new company.

The rest of the combined leadership team will consist of nine execs from GE Oil & Gas and four from Baker Hughes:

• Will Marsh, currently vice president and general counsel of Baker Hughes, will become chief legal officer for the new company.

• Maria Claudia Borras, currently GE Oil & Gas’ chief commercial officer, will become president and CEO of oilfield services of the new company. • Belgacem Chariag, currently Baker Hughes’ president of global operations, will become chief global operations officer of the new company.

• Neil Saunders, currently GE Oil & Gas’ president and CEO of subsea systems and drilling, will become president and CEO of oilfield equipment for the new company.

Lackcurrently of speech is a • Rod Christie, head of GE Oil & Gas’ Turbomachinery & Pro-

by Emily Hubbell (Special to Voice of Asia)

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ANTA CLARA, Calif. - Entrepreneurs are the demographic that will solve the world’s biggest problems. However, tackling these challenges requires global collaboration. That was the undeniable theme at TiECON 2017, a two-day event held on May 5 and May 6, that drew thousands of entrepreneurs, startups and investors to the heart of Silicon Valley last month. TiECON is the signature event of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). With 60 percent increased attendance and 20 percent more women speakers than at any previous TiECON, this was the event’s most diverse year yet, according to Ram K. Reddy, president of TiE Silicon Valley. This year’s attendees represented 31 countries around the world and more than 800 startups, including many who traveled from Asia to attend. “The scene in India is changing dramatically on multiple fronts. The amount of people the country is adding to its population is leaps and bounds, and that creates pressure on the infrastructure to provide more jobs. The only way to do it is the fostering of entrepreneurship. To succeed we need to work across global ecosystems,� said Jay Krishnan, chief executive officer of Hyderabad-based T-Hub, the fastest growing startup incubator in India and sponsor for TieCON 2017.

Jay Krishnan, event sponsor and CEO of Hyderabad-based T-Hub, gives a keynote during the TiECON launch party. (Photos by Jatin Das Gupta)

Jacob Sanchez Diagnosed with autism

India-based entrepreneur Hemanth Satyanarayana, founder of Imaginate, tries out his startup’s virtual reality technology.

There are currently 19,000 startups in India, with financial technology (fintech) and consumer Internet ranking as the top focuses, according to the Indian Finance Ministry’s Economic Survey 2015-16. These startups have created more than 80,000 jobs in the country—and that number is only expected to continue skyrocketing. However, Indian startups still lag behind in number of exits, and this is one reason why startups see global collaboration as key to their success.

“No one startup can solve every • Uwem Ukpong, who currently leads problem in the world. By being at a overall integration planning for GE platform like TieCON, I can interact Oil & Gas, will become chief in- with startups that are solving different sign of autism. the others at autismspeaks.org/signs. tegration officer for Learn the combined company. (-HBJ) Continued on Page 14 TiE presents its Top 50 Start-Up Awards during a ceremony at TiECON 2017.

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LIFESTYLE

VOICE OF ASIA 14

Myanmar’s edible bird nest a hit

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

Skin cure fad driving Myanmar elephant poaching surge: WWF

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OKPYIN, Myanmar | AFP The cries of amorous swiftlets echo around the dark room, an unlikely gold mine for traders in southern Myanmar who are cashing in on rising demand for the edible nests from China’s growing middle class. Dozens of buildings dedicated to the tiny birds have sprung up around Bokpyin in recent years, their grey concrete structures towering over the humbler wooden and brick homes of the town’s human inhabitants. Every morning and evening the air is filled with high-pitched twitterings blasted from loudspeakers that draw thousands of the swallow-like birds home to roost. Edible birds nests have become one of the main industries in the town, traditionally known for producing the chewable stimulant betel nut as well as rubber and palm oil.

A woman eats a bird nest dessert in the NestCha restaurant in Shanghai May 23, 2017. (Photo: AFP)

Meet the Chinese diehard skinny-dippers who defy country’s modest tradition

A vendor (L) attempting to sell a chunk of dried elephant skin and an ivory tusk at a traditional medicine shop in the sprawling grounds of Golden Rock pagoda in Mount Kyaikhteeyoe, a major religious pilgrimage site for Myanmar Buddhists. Myanmar’s wild elephants are being poached in record numbers due to surging demand demand for their hide for traditional medicine, WWF said on June 5, 2017, warning the species is facing a “crisis” (Photo: AFP)

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ANGON, Myanmar | AFP Myanmar’s wild elephants are being poached in record numbers with at least 20 killed this year due to surging demand for their hide, WWF said Monday, warning the species is facing a “crisis”. Hunters are increasingly targeting mothers and calves, using poisoned arrows to inflict a slow and agonising death before stripping them of their skin, the wildlife group said. The group is going against the nation’s traditional aversion to nudity (Photo: AFP)

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EIJING, China | AFP - The water might be chilly but dozens of naked men happily relax in an outdoor pool in a Beijing suburb making the most of the sunshine.

close down the places where they swim.

“This is a paradise for Chinese nudists,” says 18-year-old Zhen, displaying a tiger tattoo on his chest.

“People have been bathing naked here for 20 years -- we don’t pay attention to them anymore,” says an 84-year-old resident. Locals previously lodged complaints with authorities, but it remains a popular nudist spot.

The small pond next to a high-voltage power line and shabby brick building is the only nudist bathing spot near the Chinese capital -- and one of few in the entire country. China has a tradition of modesty -- pornography is forbidden, nudity in films is strictly limited and plunging necklines are a rare sight. Diehard skinny-dippers attract lots of attention and prudish authorities often

But nudists from all walks of life and regions defy social norms to gather near a residential area in the town of Fangshan.

Xiao Li says he comes to the pond to “relieve pressure” from a busy job in the chemicals industry. “We don’t bother anyone but we obviously have to respect the residents,” he explains as he shampoos his hair. Behind him tanned men in their 50s

smoke and play cards around an old wooden table, making a cheerful racket, while young people jump from a platform into the 16-degree Celsius (60 Fahrenheit) water. While women are welcome to take a dip with the men, they have not dared. Taboos surrounding female nudity are still very strong, the men explain. - ‘Perverted’ -

problems, and share our expertise and gain from theirs,” said Ravi Teja, founder of startup Ayasta Technologies and one of 200 startups in the T-Hub network. In Singapore, another emerging global startup ecosystem, there has been a dramatic increase in collaboration with Indian, Chinese and U.S. startups, said Woon Yong Lim, Regional Head of Marketing & Communications for TieCON exhibitor Extra Space Asia Group. “Everyone is converging together in today’s ecosystem. We no longer work in silos, and here in Singapore we’re in the business of bringing people

Silicon Valley has long been the world leader in startup and technology. However, two of the five fastest growing startup ecosystems are in Texas— Dallas and Austin. According to Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Houston’s startup pipeline is 2,284 percent bigger today than it was 15 years ago, but the city’s future as a startup hub will depend on the quality of deal flow coming from its accelerators, incubators, and hubs. “Today there are a bunch of

“The sex ratio was already screwed up so any more pressure on young or breeding females will have serious, serious implications.”

Under Chinese law, anyone caught “voluntarily exposing their body in a public place” can be placed under administrative detention for 10 days.

Elephant skin has become one of the latest animal products to be touted by some as having medical properties, although there is no scientific support for those claims.

things that are being solved (in established tech markets like Silicon Valley) that are of really no use to the world. And that’s where I believe Tier II ecosystems play a key role, because they’re not simply chasing valuation,” Krishna said. TiE was founded in 1992 by a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, executives and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region. The organization, whose mission is to foster entrepreneurship through mentorship, networking, education, incubation and funding, currently has 13,000 members in 61 chapters across 18 countries. View the full TiECON keynotes at virtual.tiecon.org

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“If the current trend continues then you’re going to lose the wild elephant population (in these areas) in the next 1-2 years,” he told AFP.

But their numbers have dwindled as Myanmar has emerged as a key hub in the $20 billion a year global wildlife trafficking trade. Myanmar’s government said in January that elephant poaching has jumped tenfold in recent years, driven by growing demand for skin and body parts used in traditional medicine. AFP reporters who visited a wildlife market hidden behind Myanmar’s famed “Golden Rock” pilgrimage site earlier this year saw chunks of the hide on sale for a few dollars a square inch. Vendors promised that a paste made of its ash and coconut oil would cure eczema, while ground up elephant teeth would smooth and whiten skin. But experts say the majority of elephant products go to feed neighbouring China’s inexhaustible taste for exotic animals. Much of the trade runs through the country’s lawless eastern periphery, controlled by a sophisticated criminal network who are thought to be armed and funded by powerful “kingpins” in China.

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Global wildlife law enforcement specialist Rohit Singh said poaching at the Bago Yoma and the Irrawaddy Delta sites, both in the south, had reached crisis point.

The rudimentary facilities include some plastic chairs, a rusty wire for a clothes line and two red brick shacks, with a sign reading “Bathing Forbidden” written in white chalk.

TiECON 2017 .... Continued from Page 13

At least 20 elephant corpses have been found stripped of their skin in two sites the wildlife NGO monitors so far in 2017 -- more than are usually killed in a whole year.

WWF estimates there are 1,4002,000 elephants roaming wild in Myanmar, thought to be the secondlargest population in Southeast Asia after Thailand.

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LEISURE

VOICE OF ASIA 15

Dutch teacher wins ‘night at the museum’ dream prize

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

HARE KRISHNA! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami who started it all - Showing July 8, 2017 in Houston -

“Srila Prabhupada has already had an amazing effect on the world. There’s no way of measuring it. One day I just realized, God, this man is amazing!” - George Harrison EDONA, Arizona – A World Premiere of the film HARE KRISHNA! debuted on May 3rd at the ILLUMINATE Film Festival in Sedona, with showing in theaters starting in the middle of June. The venue 14 Pews in the Houston Heights will host a July 8th screening.

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in 2013.

very well hidden,” he added.

1965: America is in turmoil. Unprecedented introspection and questioning of societal norms roil the country. Prabhupada, an unassuming 70-yearold Swami from India, arrives in New York City alone and without support or money. He carries only the ancient scriptures he has translated, and the firm faith in his teacher’s request: “offer spiritual wisdom to the people of the world!”

But it was the first time anyone was allowed to spend the night guarded only by the company of 17th century Dutch militia watchmen depicted in Rembrandt’s best-known painting.

Kasper said he used the opportunity to “take some selfies and walk around in pants and socks in completely empty rooms,” before enjoying a gazpacho soup and a cheek of beef, prepared by top chef Joris Bijdendijk of the Michelin-star RIJKS restaurant.

Hare Krishna! is the true story of an unexpected, prolific, and controversial revolutionary. Using never-before-seen archival verite, Prabhupada’s own recorded words, and interviews with his early followers, the film takes the audience behind-the-scenes of a cultural movement born in the artistic and intellectual scene of New York’s Bowery, the hippie mecca of Haight Ashbury, and the Beatle mania of London, to meet the Swami who started it all.

Kasper -- who said he was not in particular a fan of Rembrandt’s works -- admitted he had looked at the painting “with new eyes.”

Prabhupada’s vibration is found in every frame. In the film, we get sense of 1960s, American-hippy naiveté through Prabhupada’s 19th century, Colonial Indian sensibilities. We also understand the decidedly enlightened arc, immutable faith, and selfless contributions of an elevated spiritual being who arrived in Manhattan on a mission from his master with a few Sanskrit texts and not much else. In little more than a decade of his time remaining, he propelled Krishna Consciousness into the global mainstream and synthesized a vast library of sacred Sanskrit wisdom texts to their essence.

Lucky Stefan Kasper lying on a bed in front of the painting “The Night Watch” by Dutch painter Rembrandt at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum (Photo: RIJKSMUSEUM/AFP)

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HE HAGUE, Netherlands | AFP - Amsterdam’s famous Rijksmuseum this week welcomed its 10-millionth visitor, handing the winner a one-time dream prize: spending a night alone in the company of Rembrandt’s masterpiece the “Night Watch”. “I’ve slept two metres (6.5 feet) from the Night Watch. It’s magic, I still can’t believe it,” said Stefan Kasper on Friday, a Dutch school teacher and artist who bought the lucky ticket. Museum director Taco Dibbits said he was delighted at the high visitor numbers, following a decade-long renovation that saw its doors reopened

Kasper won his golden ticket Thursday while on an outing with students from the Montessori College in Aerdenhout just outside the Dutch capital. The star-struck Kaspers told AFP he was completely left alone for the night and that the museum rolled out the red carpet for him. “There were no guards, or they were

“I discovered characters that I have never seen before. They came to life in front of me. It’s an experience that is forever etched in my memory,” he said.

Can a ‘period emoji’ address the taboo of menstruation?

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‘period emoji’ on mobile devices could help break the taboo of menstruation, according to an international child rights group, which is pushing for an icon to help highlight the stigma that girls experience when they menstruate. Menstruation is still taboo in many countries around the world, where it’s often considered embarrassing or shameful. Women refer to periods using some 5,000 euphemisms, such as “on the rag” and “Bloody Mary”, a 2016 survey of 90,000 people in 190 countries found. “Girls and women have told us about the embarrassment and shame they suffer when it’s their period. We need to make it easier to talk about something that is part of everyday life,” said Danny Vannucchi, Plan International’s campaigns manager. While there are symbols for avocado, a telescope, and even a unicorn, menstruation is not represented as an ‘emoji’, a small icon on smartphones and tablets commonly used to express emotions or physical things. But that is something Plan International wants to change. The charity last week launched five ‘period emojis’ and invited the public to vote for their preferred icon. As of Monday,

Plan International has launched five ‘period emojis’ to highlight the stigma that girls experience when they menstruate. more than 15,000 people had voted, it said.

false belief that menstruation is dirty and shameful,” he said.

The winning design will be submitted to coding consortium Unicode for consideration, which distributes emojis across mobile devices.

“These taboos can have a damaging impact on the lives of girls and adolescents, from missing school because they face bullying or unfair treatment, to causing infections due to a lack of menstrual hygiene education and products.”

“We’re not saying that an emoji would solve all of these problems, but it will start a conversation, and raise awareness of the challenges women and girls face worldwide – and that can only be a good thing,” Vannucchi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. He said issues related to reproduction and the sexual health of girls are often considered “dirty”, so girls are forced to keep quiet about menstruation which adds to the taboo. “It’s completely normal, but in many settings there is still a

On any given day more than 800 million women between 15 and 49 have their period. However, globally 1.25 billion women do not have access to a toilet during menstruation, according to the charity WaterAid. The United Nations estimates that due to a lack of facilities, one in 10 girls in Africa will miss school during their period and will eventually drop out of school as a result. (-Reuters)

US hotel chain warns travel ban hitting tourism

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EW YORK CITY, NY | AFP - The US tourism industry faces the possibility of another “lost decade” of foreign visitors due to President Donald Trump’s travel ban, a leading hotel executive said Monday. Jonathan Tisch, chief executive of Loews Hotel & Co., warned that policies viewed as hostile to foreign visitors could damage the US industry, much as a visa crackdown and other policies after 9/11 led to the loss of billions of dollars in revenues from overseas travelers. “When it comes to a business as competitive as travel, we need to remember that words matter. Perceptions matter,” Tisch said at a hospitality conference hosted by New York University.

“In other words, it’s important to balance security measures designed to keep out people who mean us harm ...with words and actions assuring legitimate travelers that we welcome them and their business.” The remarks came as Trump doubled down on his controversial campaign to revive a ban on travelers from seven predominately Muslim countries, saying the measure was needed in the wake of the London attacks. The measure has been blocked in US courts. Tisch’s remarks have been echoed by other leading hoteliers in recent months. Hilton chief executive Christopher Nassetta, in an interview with CNBC on Monday, called for a “balanced” approach to

foreign tourism that recognizes that the vast majority of visitors to the US want to come for the right reasons. Tisch said it was still too soon to have hard data on the exact impact of Trump’s proposed ban, but one of Loews’ hotels in Miami has had groups cancel because they had attendees from a travel ban country. He also cited cases of Emirates airline cutting flights to some US cities and projections of steep cutbacks in foreign travel to New York City. “This is mostly anecdotal evidence,” he said. “We all hope the data on travel to the US remains positive. But no one can deny the tremendous uncertainty people feel about traveling to the US right now.”

If Hare Krishna! film director John Griesser’s goal was to reintroduce the world to the magic of Prabhupada, he hit his mark. Hare Krishna! is the second coming of Prabhupada. Griesser draws the viewer into to the magic of the Hare Krishna movement through an artfully crafted, seamless, multimedia medley, drawing from a wealth of existing archival elements including photographs, film, and video interviews combined with recreations, reenactments, and graphics to achieve a cinematic flow that takes you out of the theatre and into the moment.


VOICE OF ASIA 16

Section 2

Young Life

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

STEM students turn Trump’s climate decisions into national call to action by Lisa Stiffler s leaders including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Microsoft president Brad Smith, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and many others have vowed to fight climate change, students at Tesla STEM High School in Redmond, Wash. are doing the same.

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FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

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Spelling Bee Winner!

To cut electricity usage, the students did outreach to the teachers and asked them to sign pledges to turn off their classroom lights during planning periods and lunch; all of them agreed. Students at Tesla STEM High School are diverting food and organic waste from the landfill to a composting facility to reduce their school’s carbon foot-

12 year old Ananya Vinay of Fresno, CA. won the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee by spelling the word “marocain”, at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center June 1, 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland. Close to 300 spellers are competing in the annual spelling contest for the top honor this year.(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP)

Feeding young minds: The importance of school lunches by Jane E. Brody Students from Schools Under 2C participated in Seattle’s People’s Climate March in April. Back row (left to right): Marysia Smith, Lucy Gregersen, Shruti Kompella, Midori Komi, Fred Qin; Front row (left to right): Rayan Krishnan, Anne Lee (Schools Under 2C Photo) The teens created Schools Under 2C, a student-led organization that aims to reduce planet-warming carbon emissions at their school and others worldwide.

print. Back row (left to right): Thomas Dulski, Isaac Perrin; Front row (left to right): Yogitha Sunkara, Bryn AllesinaMcGrory, Anne Lee, Fred Qin (Schools Under 2C Photo)

“What we really hope to do is to prove that kids across the country care about climate change and together we can form a powerful network,” said Anne Lee, the group’s president and a junior at the Redmond high school.

The King County Green Schools Program helped the students set up a system to send food and other organic waste to a compost facility instead of the landfill. They created and hung informational posters about composting and stationed volunteers near trash cans to help students learn to sort their waste. More than half of their trash is now being diverted to compost, .

Lee and others launched Schools Under 2C in November when it was becoming clear that the Trump administration was likely to abandon the goals set in the Paris Climate Accord. Last week, Trump formally declared his intention to withdraw from the global agreement signed by 196 nations. The U.S. had committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. “Even if our nation wouldn’t follow through,” said Lee, “we would take action.” Already 20 schools in Washington have signed the group’s pledge and the organization is working with students in Texas and Australia. About 80 students at Tesla STEM are involved in Schools Under 2C. The Paris Accord aims to prevent the planet from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) on average compared to preindustrial temperatures. By staying at or below a 2-degree increase, the hope is that some of the most dire effects of climate change can be avoided, though the planet is already suffering from rising sea levels, unusual weather events and ocean acidification, among other impacts. The students watched the press conference when Trump announce his decision on the Paris Accord. “It felt heartbreaking and lonely,” said Ben Zabback, a senior at Tesla STEM and director of their composting efforts. To figure out their school’s carbon footprint and reduction target, the students worked with a faculty advisor, Mike Town, and McKinstry, a Seattle-based company that tracks energy consumption at Tesla STEM and other schools in the Lake Washington School District and elsewhere. The students focused on school operations that they could influence, Town said. They calculated that the school produces about 4-5 tons of greenhouse gases each month from electricity use and waste sent to landfills, so they would need to shave a little more than 1 ton from their output to meet the Paris goals.

These two changes alone have cut around 2 tons of carbon emissions. “We’re trying to prove that it’s not that difficult. Behavioral changes can make a really large difference,” said Fred Qin, a junior at Tesla STEM and compliance director for Schools Under 2C. The students also wanted to target transportation emissions for students going to and from school. Sophomore Rayan Krishnan is working on an app that will allow students to track their mode of transit each way. They’ll earn points for greener options — riding the bus or a bike, walking and carpooling. They’ll be eligible for rewards like Starbucks coffee cards or free cones at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. The app is in beta testing and should be ready for schoolwide use in the fall, Krishnan said. The students are partnering with the city of Redmond and local businesses on the effort. Students interested joining the effort can sign the carbon reduction pledge and will receive a copy of Schools Under 2C’s launch kit. It contains tools and tips on how to reduce their school’s greenhouse gas emissions, and a carbon calculator for measuring their output. When complete, the transportation app would also be transferrable to students elsewhere. Lauren Fruge, a McKinstry’s manager, is part of the Lake Washington School District’s resource conservation management team. She said that accurately calculating emissions can be tricky for students, but that many districts are eager to reduce their carbon footprint and that there are programs available to help. But even if other schools and students can’t precisely figure out and reduce their emissions, the most important objective of Schools Under 2C is providing accurate information about climate issues and helping students consider the impact of the choices they make about transportation and energy use. It’s about empowerment. (-GeekWire)

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arding Senior High, a public school in St. Paul, Minn., has long been known as a 90-90-90 school: 90 percent of students are minorities, nearly 90 percent come from poor or struggling families and, until recently, 90 percent graduate (now about 80 percent) to go on to college or a career.

funds to prompt them to participate. Alas, in the fiscal-year 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill, the House included waivers allowing schools that had a six-month net loss of revenue for any reason to opt out of providing the healthier meals outlined in the 2010 act, Dr. Jennifer Woo Baidal, a

“While this effect is modest in magnitude, the relatively low cost of healthy vendors when compared to in-house meal preparation makes this a very cost-effective way to raise test scores,” the researchers concluded. In Minnesota, where 10 percent of households are considered “food inse-

Impressive statistics, to be sure. But perhaps most amazing about this school is that it recognizes and acts on the critical contribution that adequate food and good nutrition make to academic success. Accordingly, it provides three balanced meals a day to all its students, some of whom might otherwise have little else to eat on school days. For those who can’t get to school in time for early breakfast, a substitute meal is offered after first period, to be eaten during the second period. Every student can pick up dinner at the end of the school day, and those who play sports after school can take the dinner with them to practices and games. To Jennifer Funkhauser, a French teacher at Harding and hands-on participant in the meal program, making sure the students are well fed is paramount to their ability to succeed academically. Ms. Funkhauser and the staff at Harding are well aware of the many studies showing that children who are hungry or malnourished have a hard time learning. After she noticed that some youngsters were uncomfortable eating with hundreds of others in a large, noisy lunchroom, Ms. Funkhauser created a more private, quieter “lunch bunch” option for them. The attitude and atmosphere at Harding are in stark contrast to the humiliating lunchroom experiences suffered by students at some schools, where youngsters are sometimes shamed in front of their classmates and their meals confiscated and dumped in the garbage when parents have an unpaid lunch bill. Current problems with school lunch go far beyond shaming innocent children. After major improvements championed by the Obama administration in the nutritional value of school meals were already underway, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives and now the Trump administration have begun to undermine them. In 2010, spurred by the advocacy of Michelle Obama, Congress enacted the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, revamping the nation’s school lunch program to increase servings of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, provide age-appropriate calories, remove dangerous trans fats and limit levels of sodium. Schools were given incentives in the form of meal reimbursement

Illustration: Paul Rodgers

pediatrician affiliated with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. Now, just days into his tenure as Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, former governor of Georgia, rolled back the timetable by at least three years for reducing the high levels of salt in school lunches. The rollback will also allow schools to serve refined grains and 1-percent fat flavored milk, instead of nonfat. Will progress on vegetables and fruits, calories and other fats be next on the chopping block? Get the best of Well, with the latest on health, fitness and nutrition, plus exclusive commentary by Tara ParkerPope, delivered to your inbox every week. Providing adequate amounts of nutritious food in schools is more important than many realize. “Students who eat regular, healthy meals are less likely to be tired, are more attentive in class, and retain more information,” Sean Patrick Corcoran, associate professor of economics and education policy at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, told The Atlantic. In fact, well-designed studies have demonstrated that “students at schools that contract with a healthy school lunch vendor score higher” on statewide achievement tests, Michael L. Anderson of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues reported in April. They showed a 4-percentile improvement in test scores above those achieved in schools with less healthy meals.

cure” and one child in six risks hunger, Wilder Research reported in 2014 that improved school nutrition is a “major component of Minnesota’s Statewide Health Improvement Program.” The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, in St. Paul, described studies showing that simply providing free breakfast can result in better school attendance, improved behavior and concentration and better academic performance. Clearly, an expansive food program at schools like Harding Senior High bears replication nationwide, not cutbacks. “Nutrition can affect learning through three channels: physical development (e.g., sight), cognition (e.g., concentration, memory), and behavior (e.g., hyperactivity),” the Berkeley team wrote. For example, they explained, diets high in trans and saturated fats have a negative impact on learning and memory, reducing substances in the body that support cognitive processing and increasing the risk of neurological dysfunction. Schools have complained that children don’t like the healthier meals and are more likely to throw the food away. However, an analysis of three large studies by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that under the improved nutrition rules, food waste actually declined in 12 Connecticut schools; children consumed more fruits and vegetables in eight elementary schools in southeast Texas; and in four elementary schools studied by the Harvard School of Public Health, children ate more of their entree and vegetable servings and more children took a serving of fruit. (-The Atlantic)


VOICE OF ASIA 17

Section 2

Bollywood Masala

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

Manisha Koirala pitches for giving major roles for 40 plus actresses

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

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Priyanka dresses down critics over meet with PM chat

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EW DEHLI | AFP - Superstar Priyanka Chopra hit back at critics Wednesday for trying to shame her over a dress she wore during a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The actress was accused of “disrespecting” the prime minister by wearing a kneelength dress revealing her lower legs during an audience with Modi in Berlin. Chopra was attacked on social media by critics who found the outfit unsuitable for the occasion, with many offended the 34-year-old star had not chosen to wear Indian attire.

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EW DELHI, June 2 (UNI) After having enthralled cinelovers with her beauty and her performances in several Bollywood films in the 90s, Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala is now ready to make a comeback on the silver screen after a long gap with the film ‘Dear Maya’. As the 90s Bollywood diva gets ready to make a comeback to the silver screen with the flim ‘Dear Maya’, she has piqued curiosity of movie lovers with her amazing transformation for her role of an aged person. In the teaser of the film, which was shared by the actress on the social media, Manisha looks unrecognisable as an old lady with a wrinkled face. The teaser shows a woman (Manisha) standing by the window. With her wrinkled face, she comes across as aged. The video, whose title reads ‘Manisha Koirala never seen before’, has gone viral and piqued curiosity of cinegoers. Written and directed by Sunaina Bhatnagar and

produced by Sandeep Leyzell and Shobhna Yadav under the banner of Bake My Cake Films, ‘Dear Maya’ marks Manisha’s comeback to films after a long gap. The trailer of the film is set to be unveiled tomorrow. One of the top Bollywood actresses along with Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi, Manisha Koirala established a niche for herself with films like ‘Bombay’, ‘Yalgaar’, ‘Mann’, ‘Dil Se’, ‘Khamoshi’, ‘1942 a love story’ and ‘Saudagar’. Among her other much-awaited films are the Rajkumar Hirani-directed Sanjay Dutt’s biopic, where the actress play role of Nargis, Sanjay Dutt’s mother. The role of Sanjay Dutt is being played by Ranbir Kapoor. The film also stars Dia Mirza as Manyata Dutt, Paresh Rawal as Sunil Dutt, Sonam Kapoor as Dutt’s former lover and Anushka Sharma.

Sri Lankan film on aftermath of civil war screened in Cannes festival and kill you. “ The movie starts with the parents of Ratnam, and goes on to interview his uncle, who had joined one of the Tamil rebel groups during the civil war.

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ANNES, France (UNI) - India has missed out from the official selection of the ongoing Cannes film festival, but neighbouring Sri Lanka, a minnow in the global film industry, has reasons to cheer. A movie from Sri Lanka was screened in the 70th edition of the prestigious festival earlier this week, giving a much-needed fillip to independent filmmaking in the island nation. ‘Demons in Paradise’ directed by Jude Ratnam, is part of the special screenings category in Cannes. Ratnam, who is of Tamil origin, looks into his own family to tell the story of what happened during the long civil war in his country. It took him 10 years to make the 94-minute flick in Tamil. “I was five, when my family escaped from Colombo as the conflict began,” said Ratnam after the screening of ‘Demons in Paradise’. Three decades later, the firsttime filmmaker follows the traces of violence left by the 26-year-long war. “My first impression of the conflict was the words of my mother to me: Never speak Tamil, because they will come

“I never left the country, barring one occasion when I accompanied my father as a young boy, when he went to India once,” says Ratnam, who worked for six years with human rights organisations in Sri Lanka.

VOA Voice of Asia

But the star of the hit American spy thriller “Quantico” was unapologetic, hitting back with a photo showing her and her mother wearing short dresses with the caption “legs for days.... #itsthegenes”. The former Miss World describes herself as a “strong-willed feminist.”

Was such a lovely coincidence to be in #berlin at the same time as the Prime Minister. Thank you Narendra Modi Sir for taking the time from your packed schedule to meet me this morning. - TWITTER /Priyanka Chopra

Adnan Siddiqui and Sajal Aly shine alongside Sri Devi in ‘Mom’

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he trailer does not give away the plot (And we are thankful for that) but it gives insight to the background of the story. Sri Devi and Adnan Siddiqui play a married couple and Sajal Aly plays their rebellious elder daughter. The trailer reveals that the Sajal Aly is not the biological daughter of Sri Devi and that causes some detachment and distance between the two. However, the movie seems to be way more than a slice of life drama and rather a thriller. We are getting strong Taken vibes but with a female Sri Devi and Adnan Siddiqui play a married couple and Sajal Aly plays lead. Sri Devi is one of the few female their rebellious elder daughter. actors who has lead a movie and we can’t wait for her to do this again. We’re sad we didn’t get to see more of Adnan Siddiqui but he pairs well with Sri Devi and we love the short scene where they are at the dinner table with their children. Sajal Aly also seems to be into her character. We predict the two Pakistani actors will be able to hold their own alongside Sri Devi, who looks amazing in this trailer. The trailer does well to get its audience pumped for the movie. We can’t wait to watch Mom and are expecting it to be as thrilling as this trailer.

Sajal Aly plays the rebellious daughter

“The civil war is all that I have ever known,” says the director, who provides an insider’s view into the civil war. The film documents the memories of many former Tamil rebels, who go on to analyse why the several rebel group members were killing each other. ‘Demons in Paradise’ contains conversations with Ratnam’s Sinhalese neighbouring family in Colombo, who hid them in their own home to protect them from Sinhalese attackers. “I am confident that my film will not only be relevant to Sri Lanka, but also to most of the countries grappling with the questions of the ‘other’, the ‘outside’ and the ‘foreigners’,” says Ratnam. “The film is more introspective and critical of the Tamil struggle,” says Ratnam. “The actual shooting happened only for 31 days, but it took me 10 years to make the film,” he adds. The Cannes film festival this year has no entries from India, barring a student short film from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, and a film project from Assam in the Cannes film market.

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VOICE OF ASIA 18

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

HEALTHY LIVING VOICE OF ASIA

Section 2

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QIAGEN expands biomarker content portfolio to support greater use of molecular diagnostics

GOP Senators weigh taxing employerhealth plans

Option to add new biomarkers for microsatellite instability (MSI) and mismatch repair (MMR) to QIAGEN’s NGS panels

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ERMANTOWN, Maryland, Saturday, June 3, 2017 – QIAGEN (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced it has received a worldwide license from The Johns Hopkins University for biomarkers that have been shown to play key roles in identifying patients who could benefit from novel immune-oncology (I-O) therapies in cancer treatment. The agreement involves rights to genetic biomarkers to assess microsatellite instability (MSI) and mismatch repair (MMR) in all sample and cell types, and will enable QIAGEN – subject to its exercising certain option rights – to commercialize molecular testing solutions using next-generation sequencing to assess MSI and MMR status. Levels of MSI and MMR, along with tumor mutation burden (TMB), are important in identifying cancer patients who could benefit from certain types of I-O therapies, which offer a novel way to treat cancer by using drugs to target the body’s immune system to help fight cancer. QIAGEN reached this agreement prior to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approving in May 2017 an I-O therapy to treat advanced solid tumors with MSI and MMR deficiencies, marking the first time that the FDA has cleared a cancer drug for use not tied to the site of a tumor. The Johns Hopkins University has been at the forefront of research in linking MMR defects to cancer. “QIAGEN is constantly seeking out novel approaches to strengthen our portfolio of Sample to Insight solutions to support cancer research and better outcomes for patients, and the addition of these biomarkers are expected to play an increasingly im-

portant role in decision-making on the use of immuno-oncology therapies,” said Jonathan Arnold, Vice President and Head of Partner for Precision Diagnostics at QIAGEN. “We will evaluate all our technological options to offer MSI / MMR and TMB testing, including QIAseq panels that can be processed on our NGS platform. Working closely with our partners in the pharmaceutical industry, we intend to commercialize companion diagnostics and complementary diagnostics that will further strengthen QIAGEN’s global leadership in this area.”

How to Fully Realize the Potential of Medicare Advantage

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he House Ways and Means subcommittee on health will host a hearing this week on promoting integrated and coordinated care for Medicare beneficiaries. The committee will review how Medicare Advantage, the program of competing private health plans, is providing services for senior and disabled citizens.

By Stephanie Armour

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enate Republicans set on reworking the Affordable Care Act are considering taxing employer-sponsored health insurance plans, a move that would meet stiff resistance from companies and potentially raise taxes on millions of people who get coverage on the job.

This wide-ranging program includes, among other things, Special Needs Plans (SNPs) and other models for improving care delivery for our most vulnerable seniors and people living with disabilities.

The move could raise billions in revenue that could be used to help stabilize the fragile individual insurance market. But it could be politically risky, since it could expand the impact of GOP health proposals from Medicaid recipients and those who buy insurance on their own to the roughly 177 million people who get coverage through their employers.

QIAGEN is at the forefront globally in developing Personalized Healthcare assays using genomic insights along the patient care continuum, especially to guide the selection of medicines for cancer and other diseases as well as for disease monitoring. QIAGEN already offers a portfolio of Personalized Healthcare assays covering about 30 biomarkers, spanning a variety of automation platforms and biological sample types. Furthermore, QIAGEN is working with partners on ways for its QuantiFERON Monitor (QFM), a novel diagnostic for monitoring immune function, to be used as part of the diagnostic review of patients being considered or treated with I-O therapies. QFM measures the cell-mediated immune response and can provide important information on the strength of the immune system in an immunosuppressed patient.

The Congress is right to focus on seniors with special needs. In Medicare Advantage, this population is helped by three different types of SNPs: dual-eligible, or D-SNPs (qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid), chronic condition, and institutional.

A number of lawmakers are open to the idea, including Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah), GOP aides said, but there is no consensus yet on whether it should be included in the draft bill being written during this week’s congressional recess. Under longstanding tax law, compensation in the form of health insurance isn’t treated as income for workers. That means employers can deduct the cost and the value isn’t subject to payroll taxes or individual income taxes. It is a system that economists say distorts the market in favor of generous insurance packages, but like other tax breaks, it has proven popular and difficult to dislodge. (-WSJ.com)

QIAGEN also currently has more than 20 master collaboration agreements with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide under which QIAGEN develops companion diagnostics assays to guide the use of therapies for treatment of cancers as well as other diseases.

Tel: 713-774-5140

Access to these plans remains high. Enrollment in these plans grew by 7 percent in 2016 alone and has grown from 0.9 million in May 2007 to 2.2 million in April 2016. The current SNP authority is set to expire at the end of 2018.

defined-benefit program, Medicare Advantage is a far more flexible defined-contribution program, meaning that the government makes a per capita contribution to the plans that seniors choose.

A key benefit of many Medicare Advantage plans is the provision of care coordination.

These competing health plans offer a broader and richer range of medical services than traditional Medicare, including various preventive services, as well as care coordination and case management for persons with chronic illness.

The care coordination helps patients access what they need and, for those senior and disabled citizens who are financed by both Medicare and Medicaid (dual-eligible), the coordination between Medicare and Medicaid can provide more efficient care delivery at lower costs. One care model out of Arizona concluded that it kept enrollees out of the hospital and produced fewer readmissions than traditional Medicare coverage. If more widely adopted, this sort of care coordination could be especially helpful for patients facing multiple chronic conditions. This is significant because chronic illness is the biggest single driver of medical costs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about half of people in the United States had one or more chronic health conditions as of 2012, and that if these conditions were properly managed, the superior care delivery could reduce health care costs for Medicare and Medicaid by up to $125.5 billion. Not surprisingly, the Senate Finance Committee recently reported out the CHRONIC Care Act, a bipartisan bill that will help Medicare beneficiaries facing chronic illness. The intensifying congressional scrutiny on the potential of Medicare Advantage is especially well-timed. Medicare Advantage is the senior’s alternative to traditional Medicare, and it has been rapidly growing. Today, Medicare Advantage accounts for almost one-third of the entire Medicare population. The reason: Medicare Advantage gives seniors better options than traditional Medicare.

Photo: AFP

UNHCR seeks $18m to help Central American kids trying for US protection

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UATEMALA CITY, Guatemala | AFP | Thursday 6/1/2017 - The UN refugee agency has launched a campaign to raise $18 million for thousands of unaccompanied Central American children trying to get to the United States. The “Children on the Run” campaign seeks funds from country and institutional donors as well as the public, with the principal aim of providing safe places for the minors, the head of the UNHCR for the Americas, Renata Dubini, said in a statement. Central America is now the main source of undocumented migrants

Consider the most important. Unlike traditional Medicare, which is a

seeking to enter the United States.

were held by authorities in 2016.

Most are fleeing gangs and poverty in the so-called Northern Triangle made up of violence-wracked El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Asylum applications in Mexico soared 152 percent last year, and more than 1,000 percent since 2011, Dubini said.

Children are especially vulnerable, with boys recruited by gangs as foot soldiers and girls at risk of sexual violence. UNHCR estimates that 182,400 migrants fled the Northern Triangle last year, an increase of ten times what was seen five years ago. Many make it only as far as Mexico. In that country, more than 16,000 unaccompanied children

Asylum applications in the relatively more stable Central American nations of Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama have also increased. The States

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Medicare Advantage, as documented by The Heritage Foundation, has other attractive features as well. It provides a broad range of personal choice. In 2015, for example, 99 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries had access to Medicare Advantage plans, and could typically choose from among 18 health plans. Unlike traditional Medicare, all Medicare Advantage plans provide protection from the financial devastation of catastrophic illness. Not surprisingly, beneficiary satisfaction is higher than that of enrollees in traditional Medicare. For beneficiaries and taxpayers alike, Medicare Advantage is economically efficient. According to Heritage analysis reports, Medicare Advantage plans deliver care at costs routinely lower than traditional Medicare costs. Medicare Advantage has demonstrated the capacity of private plans to create innovative products for senior and disabled citizens, including those with chronic and complex medical conditions. Congress should build upon this progress, expand Medicare Advantage’s platform for new payment and delivery models, and encourage the participation of health plans that hold promise of improving medical outcomes while reducing costs.

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VOICE OF ASIA 19

Coinbase tipped at $1b valuation as demand for cryptocurrency soars

World pledges to save ‘Mother Earth’ despite Trump’s snub to climate pact by Thomas Escritt and Philip Blenkinsop

by Brittany A. Roston

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oinbase, a Bitcoin exchange, is in talks for what could end up being the largest funding round ever for such a company, according to sources. The company is tipped in talks with possible investors for a funding round that may see Coinbase valued at more than one billion dollars, a new milestone for the cryptocurrency market if it proves true. What is spurring such massive figures? The similarly massive — and growing — demand for Bitcoin and other cryptocoins. Information about the alleged talks comes from the Wall Street Journal, which reports that it got word from people familiar with the matter. Per those sources, Coinbase has experienced a big uptick in trading and traffic over the last several weeks, something spurred by Bitcoin’s renewed — and record — valuation. As we previously reported, Bitcoin’s value climbed back to the thousanddollar mark in January, then quickly eclipsed it, blowing past its previous record high. Critics downplayed the news, saying the uprise in value was a bubble that would soon pop (and that remains a possibility), but that didn’t stop people from buying Bitcoin. By March, the value of a single Bitcoin had exceeded the value of an ounce of gold for the first time, and investors both big and small took note. Coinbase’s jump in traffic and trading is no doubt spurred heavily by the increased valuation, though the company was already dabbling in massive numbers by the turn of the year. Back in January, Coinbase announced that it had raised $75 million in funding from multiple big-name financial institutions, among them being USAA Bank and the NYSE.

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Coinbase has experienced a big uptick in trading and traffic over the last several weeks (File photo) Why are people flocking to Bitcoin and currencies like it over more traditional currency investments, such as gold and silver? That’s a tricky question to answer; indeed, there are multiple reasons people are spending their paper money on digital rather than metal, and some of them are more appealing to certain groups than others. Bitcoin brings with it a promise of anonymity that is mostly unrivaled in the financial world, though that is slowly changing as the cryptocurrency grows in popularity. Such digital monies aren’t unfamiliar in the dark net markets, being a staple of Silk Road clones and other online stores where illicit goods flow. The currency isn’t limited to underground worlds, though, having become a viable payment option for a slew of companies and vendors, including Dell and Microsoft. As the digital currency’s novelty wears off and its value grows, others are eyeing Bitcoin as a potential way to make money, as a bet against fiat currencies that may fluctuate more heavily or precious metals that, relatively speaking, aren’t seeing the same big jump in value. The fixed and highly transparent Bitcoin supply is one major element of appeal on the investment level, giving it a solid edge over gold and silver and

other valuable items that don’t have such a solid and predictable rarity. While gold, as an example, is a rare item, Bitcoin is more rare and quite a bit safer, at least from a fluctuation point of view. With certain other potential investments, the risk of overproduction or other inflationary issues remains, whereas with Bitcoin there’s a bottom of the barrel and everyone knows where it lies. Bitcoin is created in such a way that its value can be preserved, whereas gold is more volatile, and knowing this is comforting. Of course, there are many reasons you may want to hold off on cryptocurrency investments, and they’re good ones. We’ve already seen some digital currencies rise and fall, including most recently Dogecoin with all its related drama, and there’s the ever-present short-term volatility investors have to contend with. On top of that, cryptocurrencies require a bit of tech savviness that some feel ill-prepared to offer, and likewise it is difficult to liquidate Bitcoin relative to other investments. The fact stands, though, that many are choosing to buy their own bits of Bitcoin in the hopes that its value will grow, and many have already won big on these bets. (-SlashGear)

Toyota-backed flying car to carry 2020 Olympics torch bearer by JC Torres

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OKYO (APR) - Even while most car makers are still settling down on the self-driving car trend, Japanese automaker Toyota is already settings its eyes on the skies. And waters as well. Yes, Toyota is getting into the flying car craze that is slowly coming out of the woodwork. And although it’s very late to the game, it has set for itself a rather ambitious goal: carrying the torch for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Given its first outdoor test flight, it’s going to need all the help it can get. Toyota isn’t developing this “Sky Drive” flying car directly. Instead, it has invested 42.5 million JPY ($386,000) in a startup Cartivator Resource Management to do the heavy lifting. Cartivator’s end game is to have a car that seamlessly transitions from drive to flight. Judging by its first test over the weekend, it has a long way to go. The current prototype is not only bare, consisting only of an aluminum frame skeleton built around eight propellers.

ERLIN/BRUSSELS - China and Europe pledged on Friday to unite to save what German Chancellor Angela Merkel called “our Mother Earth”, standing firmly against President Donald Trump’s decision to take the United States out of the Paris climate change pact. Trump’s move was “a big mistake”, said Donald Tusk, one of the European Union’s top officials. Other countries, including India, signaled their commitment to the accord. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that while the United States should have remained in the 2015 deal, he would not judge Trump. Trump announced the withdrawal on Thursday, tapping into his “America First” campaign theme. He said participating in the pact would undermine the U.S. economy, wipe out jobs, weaken national sovereignty and put his country at a permanent disadvantage. Members of his administration, including Vice President Mike Pence and Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, said on Friday that the Paris deal put an extraordinary burden on the United States. “It was a transfer of wealth from the most powerful economy in the world to other countries around the planet”, Pence said on television. There was a mix of dismay and anger across the world. France said it would work with U.S. states and cities to keep up the fight against climate change. The governors of New York, California and Washington State have announced creation of a “climate alliance” committed to the Paris goals. Germany’s powerful car industry said Europe would need to reassess its environmental standards to remain competitive after the “regrettable” U.S. decision. The World Meteorological Organization estimated that U.S. withdrawal from the emissions-cutting accord could add 0.3 degrees Celsius to global temperatures by the end of the century in a worst-case scenario. Germany’s Merkel, a pastor’s

The Japanese research team manages flight on it’s first prototype (Photo: Toyota Japan) It can barely fly at all. “Hover” is a more accurate description, with the vehicle staying afloat a few feet above ground and only for a few seconds. It has basketballs on its underside to serve as cushion, though that proved to be ineffective after a few crashes. This isn’t Toyota’s only foray into unconventional transportation. Although it has had a few boats under its name for two decades now, it has only recently revealed its concept for a “luxury yacht”. Blending design cues from luxury Lexus

line as well as the smooth and shiny curves of dolphins, the boat is envisioned to ferry the affluent across resort waters.

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

daughter who is usually intensely private about her faith, said the accord was needed “to preserve our Creation”. “To everyone for whom the future of our planet is important, I say let’s continue going down this path so we’re successful for our Mother Earth”, she said to applause from lawmakers. In Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron turned Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan on its head, saying in a rare Englishlanguage statement that it was time to “make the planet great again”. - China and Europe together At a long-planned meeting on Friday between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and European Union officials in Brussels, the leaders pledged full implementation of the Paris deal. They committed to cutting fossil fuels use, developing more green technology and raising funds to help poorer countries reduce emissions. China, the world’s largest polluter, has emerged as Europe’s unlikely partner in this and other areas as Trump has isolated the United States on many issues. Tusk said Europe was “stepping up our cooperation on climate change with China... We are convinced that yesterday’s decision by the United States to leave the Paris Agreement is a big mistake.” Earlier, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “There is no reverse gear to energy transition. There is no backsliding on the Paris Agreement”. - Warm words The vast majority of scientists believe global warming is mainly the result of human activities including power generation, transport, agriculture and industry. A small group of skeptics, some of them in the White House, believe the Paris pact threatened business. Trump once called climate change a hoax. Pruitt declined to tell reporters at the White House whether Trump now believes it is real and threatens the country. Pruitt’s own view, he said, is that human activity

contributes to climate change, but measuring how much is “very challenging”. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp, had supported staying in the pact. He said the United States will continue efforts to reduce its emissions. “It was a policy decision and I think it’s important that everyone recognize the United States has a terrific record on reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions,” Tillerson told reporters. A number of figures from U.S. industry expressed their dismay at Trump’s move. Jeff Immelt, chief executive officer of U.S. conglomerate General Electric, tweeted: “Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.” Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk, and Walt Disney (DIS.N) CEO Robert Iger said they would leave White House advisory councils after Trump’s move. German industry associations warned that Trump’s decision would harm the global economy and lead to market distortions. Germany’s DIHK Chambers of Commerce and VDMA engineering industry group said U.S. companies could gain short-term advantages by Trump’s decision. “Climate protection can be pushed forward in an effective and competition-friendly way only by all states,” said DIHK President Eric Schweitzer. Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, said on television the withdrawal would help keep U.S. energy markets competitive, allowing for a potential for coal. But coal industry officials have said the sector hopes only to slow the economic bleeding that has come with a glut of cheaper and natural gas. On Thursday, the Sierra Club, an environmental group, was scathing about Trump’s endorsement of what he regards as clean coal. It tweeted: “Clean coal, you can find that next to the unicorns and leprechauns.” (Additional reporting by Susan Heavey, Yeganeh Torbati and Mohammad Zargham in Washington) (-Reuters)

Parents’ nasty split harms kids’ health for decades: study

These are just two of the latest examples of how Toyota is diversifying its portfolio. As a company that started out as a family looming business, Toyota has changed its core product a few times before finally settling down on the automaking business. Now Toyota dips its fingers in fuel cells, robotics, and even artificial intelligence. And, of course, flying cars. (-GearSlash)

Blockchain seen as tool in food safety

Those whose parents had separated and had not spoken to each other for years were three times as likely to get sick (Photo: AFP/File)

by Luc Olinga

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EW YORK, AFP | 6/4/2017 - The food industry is turning to the same technology used by virtual currencies to strengthen food safety and inventory management by tracking meats and crops from farm to table. Working with IBM, retail giant Wal-Mart Stores is testing the technology system on mangos in the United States and pork in China.

IAMI | AFP | Monday 6/5/2017 - When children live through a contentious divorce or separation by their parents, the fallout appears to harm their health for decades, even into adulthood, researchers said Monday.

shown that adults whose parents separated during childhood have an increased risk for poorer health.

The study involved 201 healthy adults who agreed to be quarantined, exposed to a virus that causes the common cold, and monitored for five days.

“Early life stressful experiences do something to our physiology and inflammatory processes that increase risk for poorer health and chronic illness,” said Michael Murphy, a psychology postdoctoral research associate at Carnegie Mellon University.

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Wal-Mart Stores is testing blockchain, the underlying technology behind virtual currency bitcoin, on mangos (Photo: AFP/File)

Blockchain, the underlying technology behind virtual currency bitcoin, is a digital system that allows counter parties to transact using individual codes for goods.

The technology enables different parties in the supply chain to share details such as the date an animal was slaughtered or the weather conditions at harvest time.

“I see a lot of potential to create what I call a digital and transparent food system,” said Wal-Mart food safety vice president Frank Yiannas.

Data can be stored through a photograph on a smartphone that is transmitted onto a dedicated platform.

The system also can also counter fraud and mistaken deliveries, champions of the technology say. “The advantage of blockchain is that the ledger is immediately updated and all the parties have access to the latest information,” said Bill Fearnley, Jr. an expert at market intelligence firm IDC.

Those whose parents had separated and had not spoken to each other for years were three times as likely to get sick, compared to those whose parents had separated but had stayed in touch as the children grew. Previous

research

has

The latest study showed that this higher risk of illness is due, at least in part, to heightened inflammation in response to a viral infection, the report said.

“This work is a step forward in our understanding of how family stress during childhood may influence a child’s susceptibility to disease 20-40 years later.”

The study also showed that the adult children of parents who had separated but stayed in touch were no more likely to get sick than the adult children of intact families. “Our results target the immune system as an important carrier of the long-term negative impact of early family conflict,” said Sheldon Cohen, a co-author and professor of psychology. “They also suggest that all divorces are not equal, with continued communication between parents buffering deleterious effects of separation on the health trajectories of the children.” The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.


CULTURE

VOICE OF ASIA 20

100 Muslims break fast, offer prayers near Trump Tower

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

Muslims around the world attended prayers during the first Friday of Ramadan

Muslims pray at Fifth Avenue (Photo:AFP) EW YORK: (AFP) A crowd of Muslims broke Ramazan fast and offered prayers on Thursday outside the Trump Tower in protest against the US president’s Islamophobic rhetoric.

Fatoumata Waggeh, a 26 year-old Muslim-American woman with Gambian roots, said she had come to denounce the negative “rhetoric they are spreading about Muslims�, and to show solidarity.

About 100 Muslims showed up for the iftar event, which was organised by immigrant defence groups. A similar number of non-Muslim supporters also attended.

Maggie Glass, a 31-year-old New Yorker active with a Jewish refugee association, said she was there “to support all our Muslim neighbours and friends.

Participants sat on the edge of the avenue and shared a meal that included rice, chicken and pizza.

“I just thought it was an opportunity for us to come together as a community, to show that we are united.� Event organiser Linda Sarsour said she was satisfied with the turnout.

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Police monitored the group closely, as they do with all groups near the building. Trump Tower in Manhattan is home to the Trump Organisation, the heart of President Donald Trump’s business empire. First Lady Melania Trump lives there with the couple’s youngest son, Baron.

She didn’t mind that unlike previous US presidents, Trump had not invited Muslims to the White House to mark Iftar. “To be honest with you, even if they did, I would ask Muslims not to endorse an administration that is acting so divisively,� she said.

Hundreds join in Jerusalem ‘SlutWalk’

Pakistani residents offer Friday prayers at a mosque during the first Friday of Ramadan in Peshawar (Photo: Abdul Majeed / AFP) Right: Men hold their palms together after Friday prayers along a road during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Karachi, Pakistan (Photo: Akhtar Soomro / Reuters)

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amadan is the 9th month of the Muslim calendar year. It is considered the most holy and spiritual months of all 12 months. During Ramadan all Muslims are bound to fast during the day from before sunrise to just after sunset. During this time Muslims are not permitted to drink liquids, eat ay kind of food whatsoever and also prohibited to show affection to their spouses during the day i.e. kiss etc. In Pakistan this month is celebrated with numerous prayers and rituals. Men specially in the late evening visit mosques and perform a special long prayer of 20 Rakaa known as Taraveeh, while women pray the same at home.

Israeli activists chant slogans, as they carry placards, during the 6th annual ‘Slut Walk’ through central Jerusalem on June 2, 2017 (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon) ERUSALEM | AFP - Hundreds of young Israelis, many wearing just bras and shorts, staged a “SlutWalk� through central Jerusalem on Friday to defend women’s right to dress as they want without being assaulted.

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“No, that means no,� they chanted as the marchers, mostly women but also some men, made their way along Jaffa Road and near religiously conservative Ultra-Orthodox Jewish areas such as Mahane Yehuda where women cover up in long robes. The annual march, held with a police escort, passed off without incident. Margaret, 23, told AFP she was

there to show that “all women and all men have the right to wear what they want... and that nobody has the right to touch or attack them for that�. With bleached hair, a boyish haircut and several piercings on her face, 18-year-old Katie said such action was “very important� in a country like Israel where an ex-president, Moshe Katsav, is serving a sevenyear jail term for rape. Taking part alongside his girlfriend was Erez, sporting a beard and a dress. Apart from a show of solidarity, he wanted “to make it loud and clear that the responsibility for sorting out this question lies not with women,

In March 2015, a girl was killed and six other people wounded when an UltraOrthodox Jew attacked a Gay Pride parade in the Holy City. The SlutWalk movement was sparked in Canada in 2011 after a police officer caused outrage during a speech to university students by stating that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised�.

Vaibhav Singh introduces India’s first craft gin

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o, you are part of the Vaibhav fan club,� chuckles Riyaaz Amlani, restaurateur. We’ve been discussing the business of restaurants in the country, increasingly difficult to engage in (that’s another story).

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Cheaper gins, made by a method called coldcompounding, simply infuse artificial flavouring into any odourless, colourless spirit. Greater Than hopes to address the gap in the market. (-The Hindu)

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Partner at Perch, a coffee, wine (and now cocktail-centric) bar in Delhi, Singh is far more than the regular restaurateur. His brand, with two outlets in

This month, Singh, in partnership with Anand Virmani (who trained in wine marketing in Dijon, France, and helped do the wine list at Perch), will launch India’s first craft gin. Two years in the planning, the project has been kept tightly under wraps. Greater Than (>) is being produced in Goa and is a London dry gin with about seven to eight botanicals from all over the world: Bulgaria (juniper berries), Morocco (orange peel) and so on. It is gin intended for regular bar use, pegged at ₚ700 - ₚ900 a bottle in different markets. “At this price, it will hit the sweet

spot in the spirits business,� says Virmani, explaining how it will be cheaper than the handful of quality-but-imported options that ginquaffers in the metros have.

The bazaars are open late and usually have a break during the evening prayers.

Willy, Nanayakkara & Associates

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The conversation has moved to bars and, inevitably, to India’s foremost “bar guy�, universally acknowledged in the industry as Mr Nice — loved by his ever-growing base of millennial customers, but so media-avoidant that you may not have heard of him at all! For someone at the top of his game, it is surprising that Vaibhav Singh should feature so seldom in pop lists of F&B people in India. But then that’s why you are reading this.

the capital and more in the offing in cities like Mumbai, is perhaps the trendiest bar-space in the country. But he is also at the centre of a web of beverage businesses, making him the most exciting bar entrepreneur to watch in the next few years. Gin features big time in his scheme of things.

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SPORT

VOICE OF ASIA 21

Soccer

Real Madrid target Hernandez questioned over alleged sexual assault

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

Polo

Prince Harry rounds off Singapore visit with polo

AFP/File Photo

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ADRID, Spain | AFP French defender Theo Hernandez, who has been tipped to sign for Real Madrid, has been questioned in relation to an alleged sexual assault during a holiday in southern Spain, police sources said Monday. “There was a complaint of a sexual assault which is being investigated,� the source said, adding that nobody had been arrested. Online newspaper El Espanol earlier reported that the alleged incident involving the 19-year-old full-back, who currently belongs to Atletico Madrid, occurred in the car park outside a nightclub in the popular holiday resort of Marbella. The report claimed that the couple had sexual relations in a car and that Hernandez refused to stop when asked by the woman, leading to an altercation between the two. El Espanol said that police noticed “contradictions� in the woman’s complaint, but Spanish press reported that Hernandez had been questioned at a police station in Marbella before be-

ing let go. “He is free, there is nothing for the moment. They are investigating, nothing more,� the player’s agent Manuel Garcia Quilon told AFP. Hernandez, who has enjoyed an excellent season on loan at Alaves, is the subject of interest from Spanish and European champions Real, who are said to be ready to sign the player for 24 million euros ($26 million). He had been named in the France under-21 squad for a get-together this week but refused the call, “without explanation� according to coach Sylvain Ripoll. Born in Marseille but raised in Spain, sports daily Marca has indicated the player wants to play international football for Spain. His elder brother Lucas Hernandez, 21, plays for Atletico and in February was ordered to do 31 days of community service alongside his ex-girlfriend following a case of domestic violence.

Britain’s Prince Harry (2nd L), joined by Scottish actresss Karen Gillan (C), holds up the winning trophy with his teammates after taking part in the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup in Singapore on June 5, 2017

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ritain’s Prince Harry rounded off a two-day visit to Singapore with a charity polo match Monday. Some 300 well-heeled guests and celebrities -- including Karen Gillan of “Doctor Who� and “Downton Abbey� star Joanne Froggatt -- watched the match at the historic Singapore Polo Club in aid of the prince’s charity, Sentebale.

The charity, founded in 2006 by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, supports children and young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana. HIV and mental health are issues close to the prince’s heart following the efforts of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Harry, his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate have started Heads Together, a campaign intended

to remove the stigma surrounding mental health problems. The fifth in line to the throne on Sunday attended a reception where he met staff and volunteers of a local AIDS charity, Action For AIDS. The prince also visited the Jamiyah Children’s Home where he took part in an “iftar�, the breaking of fast during the Muslim month of Ramadan. (-Daily Mail)

Cricket

Wahab Riaz declared unfit for remaining Champions Trophy matches

He was also ordered not to contact the woman for a period of six months.

Gulf crisis could hit Qatar 2022 by David Harding

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URICH, Switzerland | AFP The diplomatic crisis sweeping the Gulf could invigorate a campaign by critics of Qatar to strip Doha of the 2022 World Cup, experts said Monday. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen were among those to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on the grounds that Doha supported extremist groups “that aim to destabilise the region�. One of the areas that could feel the impact is Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup, football’s biggest tournament, in five years’ time. “This is a massive escalation in pressure on Qatar,� said Kristian Ulrichsen, a Gulf analyst with the Baker Institute at Rice University in Houston. “I think it will really have an impact if it lasts any time.� Since being controversially chosen by FIFA in 2010 as the host, Qatar has maintained that it is a politically secure nation despite its location in a volatile region. Doha has also emphasised that the tournament serves the entire Gulf, and not just the tiny gas-rich emirate. But current events may challenge those notions, Ulrichsen said. “One of its pitches (to secure the World Cup) was that Qatar is one of the most stable countries in the Middle East,� he told AFP. - ‘Looking over their shoulder’ With that potentially called into question -- and the fact that there are other countries which could host the event at little notice -- organisers may be getting anxious, Ulrichsen said. “Qatar will know that there are alternatives, so they will be looking over their shoulder,� he said. Suggestions have been made previously that the United States, one of the countries that lost the race for the 2022 competition to Qatar, could take over hosting duties if necessary.

The crisis that erupted on Monday came only a few weeks after US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia to cement ties with Riyadh and called for Muslim countries to unite against extremism. In a brief statement sent to AFP, football’s governing body FIFA said it was “in regular contact� with Qatar 2022 organisers and had “no further comments for the time being�. Simon Chadwick, professor of sports enterprise at Britain’s Salford University, said the diplomatic crisis “raises an important issue of risk assessment and contingency planning� for the World Cup. “The closer we get to 2022, the more Qatar becomes exposed. In terms of reputation and embarrassment, this is a big issue for Qatar,� he said. “As a country, Qatar likes to hedge, in regional terms it hedges and I think it’s being forced by countries and organisations to stop that. I think there’s an awful lot to be resolved in five years.� - Sponsorship deal cancelled Already the first sporting victim of the crisis has been claimed. Saudi football club Al-Ahli said just hours after the cut in diplomatic ties that it would end its financial association with Qatar Airways, taking to Twitter to announce “the termination of the sponsorship contract between the club and Qatar Airways�. A three-year sponsorship deal, worth an estimated $16 million a season (14 million euros) with the Doha-based carrier was originally signed in October 2014 and renewed in May this year. As part of the deal, Al-Ahli played FC Barcelona, previously sponsored by the airline, in a high-profile friendly in December last year. Another potential early victim could be this year’s Gulf Cup of Nations, scheduled to take place in December in Doha. Qatar had stepped in as host when Kuwait was stopped from hosting following its ban from FIFA.

India’s Yuvraj Singh goes to Wahab Riaz who is injured during Pakistan’s opening Champions Trophy (Photo: Reuters) by Abdul Ghaffar

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acer Wahab Riaz, who had to leave the field during Pakistan’s opening Champions Trophy clash against India after an ankle injury, has been ruled unfit for the rest of the tournament, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement on Monday. However, fast bowler Muhammad Amir, who also left the field after developing a cramp during Sunday’s match, has been declared fit for the remaining matches, official sources told DawnNews. “A scan has confirmed that Wahab Riaz suffered a deltoid ligament complex after an eversion injury mechanism whilst bowling during the India vs Pakistan match on June 4,� said the PCB press release. “Wahab will not be able to continue to play in remaining games of the Champions Trophy,� the statement said, adding that it will take minimum two weeks for the player to recover from his injury. PCB has sent an official request for Wahab’s replacement to the ICC Technical Committee, it said. The fast bowler is likely to be replaced by Mohammad Abbas. On Sunday, one of the most eagerly awaited matches of the tournament proved a damp squib in the end as India utterly dominated every aspect of a stop-start, rain-interrupted 124-run victory at Edgbaston. Pakistan

won

the toss but nothing else went right for them as they dropped catches, persisted with bowlers who bled runs and folded inside 34 overs with the bat. Apart from the manner of their surrender, Pakistan are also fretting on the fitness of fast bowlers Amir and Wahab. Amir bowled 8.1 overs before developing severe cramp and leaving the field, while Wahab, who conceded 87 runs in 8.4 wicketless overs in the most expensive spell of five-plus overs in tournam e n t h i s t o r y, hobbled off after twisting

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an ankle. “I don’t know why they’re cramping,� coach Mickey Arthur said Monday. “That’s something that I need to take up with the medical team.� Wahab had suffered a slight injury on his left knee prior to the start of the tournament, saying it was “nothing serious�. (-Dawn)

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HOROSCOPE

VOICE OF ASIA 22

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of June 9, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE

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

ONLINE WWW.VOICEOFASIAONLINE.COM

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

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

Week will start with smooth ride & then it will become little rough. You are too emotional always, this is the time to keep your emotions aside. You need to think practical & be practical. Don’t take decision in Rush, think twice before you act or commit any important thing. Change in job is visible but analyze all the factors before going for it. Keep an eye on your finances, you have to be conservative or you need to look for short term loan. Support from your spouse will be great help to move ahead where you stop.

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

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

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

Your message will come across in a way that encourages others want to join in. You know just which emotions to draw out of others and when to do it. You could combine valid points of view to provide a dynamic effort. Supporters will rally for your cause. Look upward and forward. Doubts should not be considered an option. Teamwork is easy for you and it could prove to be very profitable, in the long run. You’ll come out ahead no matter where you start from. By week’s end, you may get tired of being patient.

A show of strength will improve your standing in the community. Choose the honorable road. You may need to go out on a limb, but you’ll have strong support from those in authority. You may need to fulfill a family obligation that you almost forgot about. You’ll realize that your personal relationships need more attention than you’re giving them. You’ll have to work on being more understanding without losing your winning edge. Weekends may be difficult to pass, you will be wanting to do some pending work but will not know where to start.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June People with good attitudes are much easier to be around. So, just be yourself and others will be ready to walk with you. Your impeccable charm will help you to handle your responsibilities with strong authority and creative style. Important details may be overlooked by those who do not care. You need to oversee everything of any importance. Pace yourself so that you don’t get too tired or run down. Since you may not get the time to play that you wanted, find ways to enjoy whatever it is that you have to do.

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

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July You always work hard but lately you’ve been very lax in matters of importance. Everyone is a specialist or is in need of one. Prove that you know more than your history suggests. Save time and money by drawing on the resources that you already possess. If this strategy has worked for you in the past, then it will probably work again. Strike a happy medium with authorities who are being too rigid about your boundaries. An apology, a smile or a hug will get you what you want. Things are changing quickly so get with the program.

Your creativity may be driven more out of necessity than talent. If you want to try to turn this situation around, you’d better start now. Use the raw materials you have on hand to demonstrate your idea of art and beauty. You’ll have no choice but to be yourself when you journey on this new adventure. By week’s end, the mysteries will start to wear thin and expose the harsh reality that really exists. You may have to temporarily withdraw from your profession in order to handle this personal matter.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August ometimes, you may be too quick to re-act, but this week, you’re right to take a stance. Others are the same as always, but your perception of them will change radically. Be aware that your words and your actions will affect them greatly. You can probably talk your way out it, but everybody is watching to see the outcome. Stay calm and your confidence level will rise. Everybody wants security, but their concepts may be different than yours. Your job is to find some common ground and then to start from there.

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September You need to find your voice and figure out how to use it to your best advantage. Before moving ahead on your own, think about ways to unite others. Human emotions cannot rule you, this time. You must try to look at things on a more intellectual plane. Try your best to stay clear of those who try to bring you down to their level. You need to look beyond the immediate to understand how the bigger picture works. Everyone needs to feel secure, some may rely on luck but you have your own strategy in place.

BD

Recent events have made your temper flare and you need to re-organize and consolidate your energy. Even though you feel agitated, you’re very social and very capable. Once the meetings are over, transform your home into a refuge from the real world for a while. Step back and realize that things aren’t quite as bad as you thought. Your positive flow has actually put you in a better position than you were before. You may have to act before you think you are ready to do so. Trust your intuition and don’t allow others to intimidate you.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March There is a way to benefit from excitement you feel. You have a great network of allies that can provide you with some solid support. Partnerships will bring you more resources than if you try to go it alone. Listen to reason rather than emotion. If you start to promote your own ideas others will find it hard to deny your requests. By week’s end, you should try to slow down your pace a little so you don’t forget certain details that are important to you. You’ll need a cool and level head while others are losing theirs.

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Office Supervisor Mature, dependable person needed to handle the Rent Receipts received for an Apartment complex, located in the North near Greenspoint mall. Immediate hire. No experience needed. Will train.

Call Aruna at: 832-282-3914 Houston First Request For Proposal HR Benefits Broker RFP Convention and Cultural Services, Inc. is pleased to issue this Request for Proposals (“RFP�) from experienced benefit-plan brokers capable of effectively managing benefit plan costs while simultaneously meeting the needs of its employees. RFP documents are available online at www.houstonfirst.com/do-business. Questions should be submitted by email to bids@ houstonfirst.com.

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PET of the WEEK

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

Name Change I, RAHUL, son of “Suryamani Prasad� residing at “2345 Bering Drive, APT# 235, Houston, Texas- 77057� have changed my name to “RAHUL SURYAMANI PRASAD� (Given Name, Middle Name, Sur Name).

Houston Community College Request for 4XDOLÂżFDWLRQV 5)4  (PHUJHQF\ 0HGLFDO6HUYLFHV 'LUHFWRU6HUYLFHV

Buying a Home: How to Know How High to Go

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I need a loving home

BORIS - ID#A000852

Before you start shopping, learn how much you can borrow. PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Rido Fotolia.com

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hopping for a home? Before you begin your search, it’s important to figure out what you can comfortably afford.

Shelter staff named me BORIS. I am a male, brown tabby Domestic Longhair and Maine Coon. The shelter staff think I am about 2 years and 9 months old. I have been at the shelter since May 10, 2017. For more information about this pet, call: City of Sugar Land Animal Services at (281) 275-2364

“The interesting thing about homebuying is that it isn’t a one-size-fits-all process,� says Mike Dawson, Vice President of SingleFamily at Freddie Mac. “After all, it’s your budget and these are your housing needs. Doing your homework to figure out what those needs are is the critical first step.� Before you start shopping, learn how much you can borrow. Free online resources, such as Freddie Mac’s “How Much You Can Afford� calculator, found at calculators.freddiemac.com, can help you get a handle on this figure during the preliminary stages of your search. This estimate is based on income, fixed monthly payments such as auto loans and student loans, and the terms of the loan you plan to take out. You may also consider

speaking to a lender at this stage. If you qualify for a loan, he or she will provide you with a pre-approval letter stating how much home you can afford and the maximum amount you are qualified to borrow. Having this letter can help show the seller that you are a committed and qualified buyer. Keep in mind that the amount your lender is willing to lend is not always how much you should borrow. You should borrow only what you feel you can comfortably repay through monthly mortgage payments. Wait to take this step until you are actually on the hunt, as preapprovals are usually good for only a limited time. When determining your budget, consider the length of your loan and the type of loan you want. Do you want to pay back the money that you borrow over 15 years or 30 years? The longer your loan term, the smaller your monthly payments, but you’ll pay more interest over time. The type of mortgage loan is important, too. With a fixed-rate loan, the interest rate stays the same through the life of your

loan, as will your monthly payments. While this can offer some peace of mind, it’s important to know that such loans tend to have higher interest rates because the lender isn’t protected against a rise in its costs over the course of your loan. On an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) however, the interest rate may reset every one, three or five years based on the movement of a specific index and the terms of the loan. Homebuyers may have low interest rates when they first take out their mortgage loans, but the rates may increase over the loan term. If your rate changes at a reset, then your monthly payment will change too. For a full run-down on all things homebuying, visit myhome.freddiemac.com. One of the most important aspects of homebuying is getting a handle on how much home you can afford. Do your research before you begin house-hunting, so you can be well-informed throughout the process. (StatePoint)

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VOICE OF ASIA 24

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017

Voice of Asia Newsweekly e-paper June 9 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...