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FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

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Vol. 30 No. 27 Friday, July 7, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail:

Modi, Netanyahu seek to deepen ties on first visit by an Indian PM

Houston’s Indian Muslims host 8th Annual Eid Milan with great divertsity by Shobana Muratee OUSTONEid Milan, hosted annually by the Indian Muslims Association of Greater Houston (IMAGH), is one of the most largely-attended functions of the Indian Americans in Houston. This was IMAGH’s 8th Annual Eid Milan celebrated on Saturday, July 1 at the Marriot Westchase amidst a diverse audience of over 500 guests, both Muslims and non-Muslims. This year’s celebrations were heightened by the spirit of 4th of July, especially with the presence of men and women in uniform. Munir Ibrahim, president of IMAGH recognized officers of Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Department, firefighters - all men and women in service and in particular, “the face of Muslims who are serving in uniform,” he said. “There is constant talk of division, fragmentation, hatred, polarization, a racial, political and religious division. But there is more that unites us than divides us,” he said, adding that the values and ideals of IMAGH was to unite.


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) shakes hands with Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference in Jerusalem on July 5, 2017 (AFP Photo/Thomas COEX). by Mike Smith ERUSALEM, Undefined | AFP | Wednesday 7/5/2017 Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday on the first ever visit by an Indian premier to Israel as they sought to deepen ties beyond high-priced defence deals.


The two leaders presented a series of agreements between India and Israel for cooperation on satellite technology, water and agriculture, as well as the creation of a $40 million innovation fund. The agreements are part of efforts to extend relations in civilian areas between both countries, with Israel already selling India an average of $1 billion per year in military equipment.

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries announced Wednesday the signing of two contracts with Indian firms. Netanyahu and Modi have greeted each other warmly from the onset Tuesday of the Indian prime minister’s three-day visit, calling it “historic” and “groundbreaking”. “I have a feeling that today India and Israel are changing our world and maybe changing parts of the world,” Netanyahu said after talks with Modi in Jerusalem. He added that they had asked their staffs to put together concrete plans for further cooperation in a range of fields by the end of the year.

Chief Guest, Commissioner Jack Cagle said he was very impressed by the diversity of the gathering and the messages from the young and old. In his speech, he illustrated the importance of being united with the inspiring story of Darius the Great, the Persian king. “Instead of competing with each other we can cooperate with each other to bring about creative solutions for cooperative prosperity”. He was earlier introduced by Karun Sreeram, Chief, PWE, City of Houston. Among the dignitaries were the

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Members of the India Culture Center who received the Community Service Award from IMAGH. Photo credit: Quaid Tinwala,SMB Films & Images LLC

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cross the street from where I grew up was an old lady who lived hidden in a virtual forest of plants and trees surrounding her cassava patch. People were afraid to go in there. But not my grandmother, who was a frequent visitor. Our grandmother, our primary caregiver, was engaged with various traditional societies. So, growing up in Liberia, we met people who dressed differently, walked differently and ate differently. But we never accompanied our grandmother across the street. One day, our friends told us that the old lady across the street was actually a witch and that she ate children’s flesh. My sister and I decided that night that we had to tell this neighborhood gossip to our grandmother. The next morning our grandmother told us, “We’re going to visit the old lady across the street.” We cried and we begged her not to take us, but she looked at us sternly and said in no uncertain terms, “If you don’t come, I will give you the whooping of your lives.” We went. And we never stopped going until the old lady died. In my January 2015 address to the United Nations Security Council, I said, “We all live

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.

FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

It’s Time to Cross the Street that they represent. Our walls and borders –mental and physical – lead to extreme violence between us, leaving no room for humans to cross over, only fear and politics of division to take over.

in a world of extreme fear. A world where the joys of our lives have been taken from us. Today we live in a world where freedom of expression is challenged, freedom of speech is challenged. If you are a woman, depending on what part of the world you find yourself, bodily autonomy is a thing of the past. We seem to be going backward instead of forward.” On one singular day, it is alleged that 250 persons were beheaded in Iraq. In Europe there are 80 militia groups. In Asia, there are some 164 insurgent and militia groups. Each year sees hundreds of terror attacks around the world. We are slowly losing our common humanity. People are transformed from humans to objects of violence based on the groups

We have built many borders in our communities, schools—and sadly—religious institutions. The way many of us come to terms with extreme violence is to build our own walls between us and those who look different from us. Waves of fear and false assumptions flood into communities who’ve never interacted. What good things lie in those new and unknown spaces might just surprise us. I travel a great deal and based on how I dress, the way I look, and the country I find myself in, I find I’m often judged as a possible migrant. When people see a Muslim person, many will see a possible jihadist. People see young black men and they get afraid because in their mind, and based on the walls they’ve built, they see possible thugs. In Liberia, we have a saying: “A stranger who asks questions never loses his way.”

As young children, my sister and I feared an old lady because a community that was too ignorant to cross its invisible walls and borders had cooked up stories about her life, a life they knew nothing about. It took crossing the street from the comfort of our home to know that she was a mother with a daughter who was sick for many years and could barely walk. It took crossing the street for us to know that she had been cheated out of her property, and that living in behind her forested wall was her ultimate protest. It took crossing the street for us to know that she looked forward to having people visit her and that she would share her smallest meal, not thinking about where the next meal would come from. We would never have known any of this but for the wisdom of our grandmother, who gave us the best lesson anyone can give their children – that of the importance of humility and humanity. The challenge for each of us is to cross the street. What good things lie in those new and unknown spaces might just surprise us. (Ms. Gbowee is the 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate from Liberia)

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Gandhi sets up ambulance corps to help British


andhi was rescued from a bloodthirsty mob by the Durban police. He was escorted by the police to Rustomji’s house, where a doctor attended to his injuries.

attacking Gandhi. The Natal Government expressed its regret for the incident to Gandhi and assured him that the assailants would be punished. When Gandhi was called upon to identify the offenders, however, he would not do so. “I do not want to prosecute anyone,” he told the Natal Government. “I do not hold the assailants to blame. They were misled by false reports about me and I am sure that when the truth becomes known they will be sorry for their conduct.” Gandhi’s statement suddenly changed the atmosphere in Durban. The press declared Gandhi innocent and condemned his assailants. The Durban incident raised Gandhi’s prestige and won more sympathy abroad for the Indians in South Africa.

“They are sure to calm down when they realize their mistake,” he said. Late in the evening, another mob of white people surrounded the house. “We must have Gandhi,” angry voices demanded. The mob was getting more and more threatening. “Give us Gandhi or we will bum down the house,” they shouted. Gandhi knew that they might carry out their threat. To save his friend’s house, he slipped out in disguise, elud-

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

ing the crowd. Two days later a message came from London. Joseph Chamberlain, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, asked the Natal Government to prosecute every man guilty of

As the struggle in South Africa continued, a change was coming over Gandhi. He had begun with a life of ease and comfort, but this was shortlived. As he became more and more involved in public activities, his way of life became simpler. He started cutting down his expenses. He took to washing and ironing his own clothes, and he did it so badly at first that the other lawyers laughed at him. But soon he

became quite an expert at this and his collars were no less stiff and shiny than theirs. Gandhi once went to an English barber in Pretoria. The barber insolently refused to cut a ‘black’ man’s hair. Gandhi at once bought a pair of clippers and cut his own hair. He succeeded more or less in cutting the front part but spoilt the back. He looked very funny and his friends in the court laughed at him. “What’s wrong with your hair, Gandhi? Have rats been gnawing at it?” they asked. “No,” said Gandhi proudly, “I have cut my hair myself.” Then Gandhi tried changes in his food. He started taking uncooked food. He believed that if a man lived on fresh fruits and nuts he could master his passions and acquire spiritual strength. He made many experiments with his diet. He even came to the conclusion that fasting increased one’s will power. While he was thus experimenting with himself, the Boer war broke out. The Boers were South Africans of Dutch origin. They were fighting the British. Neither of these two white nations had treated the Indians well. Gandhi did not want to support either of them, but his familiarity with the British made him organize an Indian ambulance corps to help them. To his puzzled followers, he said: “India can achieve complete emancipation only through development within the British Empire. Therefore we must help the British.” The British won the war and the ambulance corps was disbanded. The newspapers in

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England praised the services rendered by the Indians. The relations between the Indians and the Europeans had now become more cordial, and the Indians believed that their grievances would soon be removed. It was now 1901 six years after Gandhi had brought his family to Durban. Now he felt that his future activity lay not in South Africa but in India. Also, friends in India were pressing him to return home. When he announced his decision to his co-workers, however, they again pressed him to stay on. After much discussion they agreed to let him go, but only if he would come back to South Africa if the Indians there needed his help. He agreed to this. There were farewell meetings and presentations of gifts. The gifts were so many and so valuable that Gandhi felt he should not accept them. The people who had presented them would not take them back. He then prepared a trust deed, and all the gifts were deposited with a bank to be used for the welfare of the Indian community. On his arrival in India, Gandhi went on a tour of the country. The annual meeting of the Indian National Congress was being held in Calcutta under the presidentship of Dinshaw Wacha. Gandhi attended the session. It was his first contact with the Congress which he was to lead so gloriously in the future. The Indian National Congress was the only organization which gave the people of India a chance to express their political views. It was an influential body, as many important Indians were members, but its de-

cisions had little affect on the Government. At the Calcutta session in 1901 Gandhi had an opportunity to meet Congress leaders like Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, Lokamanya B. G. Tilak, G. K. Gokhale, and others. He was not impressed with the way the Congress was functioning. He noticed a lack of unity among the delegates. Moreover, while they spoke English and affected the style of Westerners in their dress and talk, they did not seem to bother about essential things like good sanitary facilities in the camp. Gandhi wanted to teach them a lesson. On his own he quietly started cleaning the bathroom and urinals. No one volunteered to join him. “Why do you undertake an untouchable’s job?” they asked. “Because the caste people have made this an untouchable place,” replied Gandhi. From Calcutta Gandhi travelled round India by train. As he moved from place to place, he was shocked to see the life of the common people the famished, ignorant, and neglected masses. His heart was filled with sadness and anger. Gandhi settled down in Bombay and started practice as a lawyer. He did well, much better than he had expected. In December 1902, however, a cable reached him from South Africa requesting him to return as promised. Joseph Chamberlain, the Colonial Secretary, was arriving from London on a visit to Natal and the Transvaal, and the Natal Indian Congress wanted Gandhi to present their case to him. - To be continued



FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

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An Evening of Music A Survivor Activity

A new talent emerges on the Houston scene


‘REFLECTIONS’ CD by Gaura Karuna

Gaura Karuna in performance at Holi Color Festival


new voice on the music landscape of Houston has arrived and it deserves a listen from all the various community ears. Bridging styles and traditions both ancient and modern, Gaura Karuna has landed with a complete and mature recording for 2017. Who is he and why should we give his creative songs a good hearing? Well, it is such a unique blend of bhajans, hip-hop and smooth soulful songs that only the most cynical would not be seduced into opening up to ‘Reflections’, the debut recording by this Houston native son. After hearing a buzz around young Gaura, I purchased his CD and immediately was drawn into his world of sound and verse. Each song feels organic and personal. There is devotion, love and discovery on each track. Whether it love of a spiritual nature (“Guru”, “Nathdvara 2.0”, “Krishna Jenka”), devotion to a loved one (“Nothing To Say”, “Down”) or self-awareness (“Naam”, “Golden”), a message comes through. Gaura’s vision in song reaches out to the listener, pleading for a connection. So I reached out to get his story and find out more about this rising talent. “I was born in Houston and grew up singing and playing kirtan music. I learned to play guitar at 18 and started a couple bands from there. At the age of 20 I left America to study in Europe and while traveling I got into electronic music and taught myself how to produce, mix and master. “I’ve been writing songs for the past 8 years or so. I started off working with a DJ who would just give me CD’s full of beats to pick. After working with him for a while I felt like I needed to learn how to make my own music so that I

could give my songs the proper home. That decision has lead me to learning as many instruments as I can get my hands on. “I’ve always loved music and if I didn’t give music a real try I would always regret it. It would be way too easy for me to just check out, keep getting promoted, and live a passionless life. So I took the jump, for better or worse.” Who inspires you? “Bob Dylan, Kanye West, J Dilla, Stromae, Rick Rubin, and people who Do.” - How did it come about? “Reflections came from a lot of conversations about limits. I completed the whole project in 30 days from writing the songs, creating the beats, recording the parts, mixing, and then mastering. I’m the kind of person who talks a lot and am always saying I’m going to do this or that. It took sleepless nights, hours in front of the computer and a possibly unhealthy amount of caffeine but I finished the project in 26 days. I feel like it is the best music I have ever made and I really hope everyone gets the chance to enjoy it!” - Who else appears on the tracks? “I have some cool guest features on Reflections. First and foremost is my good friend Ramdas, we vibe together really well and he has one of the most unique voices I’ve had the pleasure of recording. I also have KevJumba from Youtube on there as well as Krishna Kishore of the Mayapuris and my good friend Nila Madhava.” - Where can we get your music?

ACAN strives to connect and support the cancer patients, cancer survivors and their care givers. Towards this goal, IACAN organizes periodic social activities that include among others fine arts, yoga, and gardening. These activities are envisioned to offer physical, emotional and religious support. Furthermore, IACAN believes that these activities assist in building a sense of community with opportunities to socialize and engage in sharing experiences among the peer groups. IACAN takes every step to make them feel at home, to know that they are not alone in their journey, and that they can count on IACAN in their time of needs. One such survivor activity – “An Evening of Music” was held at the Bhojan Restaurant on Saturday, June 24th, 2017.

The musicians, Mrs. Soumya Rege and Mr. Ravi Mukkamala enlightened the audience with their melodious voices while the instrumentalists, Mrs. Vimala Ahobila, and Mrs. Vasantha Narumanchi on veena accompanied by Naga Srinidhi Kuruvada on Mridangam, took the audience to a new level of enjoyment. Soumya started the program with a devotional bhajan and the evening proceeded with Hindi golden oldies songs. Her selections were melodious and romantic. The audiences were transported back to those good old days enthralled with nostalgia. Her choice of songs were special and the audience felt a sense of intimacy. The dancing by two of the audiences was the icing on the cake. Thank you Soumya for a wonderful performance and thank you Kanchan and Gaytri for bringing it all together.

“You can pick up physical copies on my website @ www. Hats off to Mrs. Vasantha or you can purchase on Itunes and stream Narumanchi and Mrs. Vimala on Spotify. Look for updates Ahobila for their fantastic veena on social media as well as my performance. The classical instrumental music touched the website.” soul and was a pleasurable expe(-Article by David Garvin)


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IACAN President Kumari Susarla addressing the gathering. Also seen are musicians who entertained the guests.

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Speaker,addressing the cancer survivors at the IACAN outreach event. rience. The ambiance changed into a peaceful and soothing one. Naga Srinidhi Kuruvada, the budding Mridangam player wowed the audience by keeping up with such seasoned veena players. Good luck to him and look forward to having him perform at our future events.

people who have overcome the obstacles and have beaten the odds. They go through the rigors of conventional medicine such as chemo, radiation, surgery etc. Social activities such as this music program have scientific rationale to of-

The last but not the least performance was by singer Ravi Mukkamala. He sang retro songs that we always had in our memories. His voice was strong and lovely and the audience were completely mesmerized with his songs. His last number, a Telugu song from movie Sivaranjani was the most appropriate one to end such a beautiful evening. No one wanted the music program to end but it was time for dinner. The food was sumptuous and everyone enjoyed the food and the company of friends.

fer therapeutic benefits in terms of easing the anxiety, stress, fatigue, insomnia and relief form a whole battery of side effects. For more informationon IACAN: or contact: iacannetwork@mail. com,phone: 713 370 3489.

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Someone can assist you in justice court

Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Q. I am 60 years old and my English is not very good. I usually get very nervous speaking to a group or to people I don’t know. I want to file a claim in justice court, but I am afraid I will not be able to communicate well with the judge. I know I can have a lawyer, but that will be expensive. I have a grown son who has said he will assist me, but I don’t know if that will be allowed. Can my son help me in court? A. Ordinarily, the only person who can assist another person in court is an attorney. Since 2013, however, the rules in justice court are a little more lenient. In justice court, a person may always be represented by an attorney, but in an eviction suit an individual may also be represented by an authorized agent. A corporation or other entity also may be represented by an employee, owner, officer or partner. Perhaps the most substantial change in the rules, however, is one that allows an individual representing himself to be assisted by a person who is not an attorney or agent. The court may, “for good cause,” allow an individual to be assisted by a family member or other individual who is not being compensated. This means that your son will be allowed to assist you in court, if the judge

approves it. Not speaking English well and being nervous seems to be a “good cause.” I suggest you file and then request the judge allow your son to assist you. Q. I know that a tenant is not liable for damage to a rent house or apartment that is “normal wear and tear.” Where can I find a clear guideline as to what is normal wear and tear? I rent a house that has slate tile on the porches. When my tenant moved in, he noted on the condition form that there were cracks in the slate. The tenant is now moving out, and some of the tile is completely broken. Is the tenant responsible for this damage? He says it is not his fault. A. There are no “clear guidelines” regarding normal wear and tear. “Normal” is the wear and tear that occurs when an ordinary tenant lives there. In other words, ordinary wear and tear is the type of damage that happens simply by living in the house. For example, a few small nail holes in the wall to hang pictures, faded curtains, or a stove that needs to be cleaned are the type of damage you would expect after a tenant has lived in an apartment. On the other hand, a wine stain or cigarette burn in the carpet, a hole in the wall, or an appliance broken due to misuse, are not the result of “ordinary” wear and tear.

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

If the tile broke because of everyday use and foundation settling, it is ordinary wear and tear. On the other hand, if the tenants dropped a bowling ball or other heavy object on the tile and broke it, it is not. Bottom line—for the tenant to be responsible, the tenant must cause the damage by doing something a “normal tenant” would not have done. Q. I was on a month-tomonth tenancy. In January, my landlord and I agreed we would extend the agreement until October. Now the landlord says he wants me out next month. He says our oral agreement is not enforceable. A. Your landlord is correct that as a general rule, agreements dealing with land such as a sale or lease must be in writing to be enforceable. But there is a big exception for residential leases. In Texas, a residential lease for a year or less is enforceable even if it is not in writing. If you and your landlord have an agreement from January until October, it is enforceable. Of course, you will have to prove that the agreement exists. I suggest you speak to the landlord and let him know you are going to stick to your lease and you assume he will also. You also should suggest he do a little research about oral leases in Texas.

Do you want to know more about your legal rights? Check out my website,

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Q: I am a citizen of Turkey and I arrived in the United States as a B-1/B2 Visitor. I wish to invest in a business here in the United States. The business I am looking at investing is a small deli selling freshly made sandwiches, tacos, and other fast to produce foods. I wish to own the business 100 percent. I do not have $500,000.00 or more to invest. What kind of visa can I apply for? Please advise the general requirements for the visa. A: It is possible that you can apply for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. This is a nonimmigrant visa which is valid for two years and renewable every two years for an indefinite period of time provided that you continue to operate and direct the operations of the business in which you have invested and comply with the requirements for extension of the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. In order to apply for this visa, the following must be shown: The business must be wholly owned or at least 50% owned by the national of the Treaty country; the investor must hold the nationality of the treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty between the US and the investor’s country; the investment in the business must be ‘substantial’; the investment funds must come from legal sources and not through criminal activity; the funds must be ‘at risk’; the business cannot be marginal; the investor is there to solely develop and direct the operations of the business in which he has invested and the investor must have the intent to depart the US. In your case, Turkey is an E-2 Treaty country and owning the business 100 percent as a Turkish national will be acceptable. In terms of the investment amount, it has to be ‘substantial”. There is no set amount for what constitutes a ‘substantial’ investment. As a guideline, the relative/proportionality test is employed to determine if

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Answers to Your Questions about E-2 Treaty Investor Nonimmigrant Visa an investment is ‘substantial’. It is the amount of investment normally considered sufficient to ensure the likelihood of the business succeeding. The amount of investment will also depend on the type of business. Some businesses will require a higher investment amount that other businesses. The source of your investment can come from savings generated from previous employment, sales of assets, secured loans and even gifts. Non-marginality means that the business must not only generate present and future living for the investor and his or her family but also be capable of providing job opportunities for others. The intent to depart requirement will require that the investor make a statement about his intentions to depart the US. Q: For E-2 Visa, how do I show that my investment is from savings through employment? A: It depends on the country from which you come from. Some countries have tax returns which will show the income earned is from employment. For other countries, where tax returns are non-existent, you may have to obtain a letter of verification from your previous employer as to what your earnings were per month and for how long you worked at that job. You will also have to provide bank statements which show that your salary from the employment was credited to the account on a monthly basis. Q: How to show that the investment will be nonmarginal? A: You will provide a 5 year business plan which will show revenue, expenditure projections as well as employment projections. Q: My father wants to gift to me $80,000.00 for investing in an E-2 business. Can I use this money for investing? What do I need to provide to prove that the money is now legally mine? A: The E-2 Treaty Investor in such a case will be

required to obtain a letter from the giftor explaining the nature of the gift and that the giftor is not expecting anything back in return and will not have any interest in the E-2 business. The giftor will also have to prove how he or she came across the gifted funds and provide documentation to show the flow of the funds from him to the E-2 Treaty investor. Q: What kind of paperwork will need to be filed for obtaining E-2 Visa in the US? What is the Filing Fee? A: The new commercial enterprise will petition for the E-2 investor using Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. The petition will include all necessary paperwork about the nationality of the E-2 Treaty Investor documentation evidencing the source of funds and the tracing as to where those funds originated from, documentation evidencing the investment and that the investment is at risk, the 5 year business plan and proof that the enterprise is bona fide and operating. The Filing Fee is $460.00 and if Premium Processing is requested, add an additional $1,225.00. Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case. My Bio Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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FRIDAY, July 7, 2017


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Tel: 713-774-5140

Deputies in chopper find missing local man with Parkinson’s disease


ICHMOND A 79-year-old Fort Bend County man with Parkinson’s disease and Type 2 diabetes has been found. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office used a helicopter to locate Muhammad Shabbir earlier this morning in the Walnut Creek neighborhood, about a mile from the family’s home. Officials said EMS was checking Shabbir out. After being without his Parkinson’s medication for more than a day, Shabbir was unable to walk by the time deputies found him, according to his daughter-inlaw. Deputies found Shabbir in a pool of water, and that may have played a role in saving his life.

His daughterin-law said the water may have protected him from the sweltering July heat. Shabbir had been seen walking in his neighborhood on Monday night in the 1900 block of Gable Cove Ct. That is when his family said he disappeared. His family said they were Muhammad Shabbir i (Photo: FBCSO) concerned about his well being since he life and death for a man in his was not getting the proper condition. The family was offermedications, a true matter of ing a $1,000 reward. (-FBCSO)

t might just be a sweet coincidence, but there’s an exhibit that celebrates all things candy that is being held in Sugar Land.


‘Sweet: A Tasty Journey’ is a sugar-filled exhibit that you can find at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land. Visitors will light up as they walk through the exhibit and see a variety of some of their favorite candies from now and back when they were a child.

‘Sweet: A Tasty Journey’ is showing now at the Houston Natural Science Museum in Sugar Land, through Aug. 20.

PRIDE is ageless

Sugar Land resident child meets Prime Minister Modi


A visit to the SWEET exhibit at the museum in Sugar Land

Tickets for the exhibit are $16 for adults, $13 for children and $3 for museum members. 13016 University Blvd., Sugar Land, Texas 77479 Phone: (281) 313-2277

UGAR LAND - Surabhi, the daughter of Kartick Viswasanakaran and Hasita Kartick, was selected as one of the “Hindu Youth Achievers” to meet Indian PM Sri. Narendra Modi on Sunday, 25th June in Washington DC. She was one of the 15 youth selected across US, and one of the two from Texas. She received distinction for demonstrating as one of the kids who memorized and recited all the 700 slokas of Bhagavad Gita. Surabhi, a sophomore in Travis High School, FBISD has been learning Bhagavad Gita under the guidance of her guru Dharmatma Dr.S. Yegnasubramaniam, Chairman of Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation, USA from the age of 5 Surabhi Kartick and mother meeting Indian PM Narendra Modi duryears. She has been re- ing his Washington visit on June 25, 2017. citing the Gita in various local events and most recently participated in recognition to meet with the honor on behalf of all my felThe Houston Dharma & Yoga Prime Minister of India, Nar- low Bhagavad Gita aspirants. I Fest conducted under the aus- endra Modi. To quote her guru am thankful to my parents, my pices of the 150th Birthday Mani Mama, “Mere listening guru and the Houston commucelebrations of Swami Vive- to Bhagavad Gita does good to nity for encouraging me in this kananda. everyone. With practice it does endeavor”. T At age 12 she memorized wonders. In Surabhi’s case, we his certainly is a matter of 2 shatkams and offered her have witnessed a classic ex- pride - not only for the resident learning to her guru. She com- ample of how Sri Krishna has Sugar Land Indians, but for pleted memorization of all the blessed her.” the whole Indian community 700 slokas at age 14. CoinAt the event, the Prime Min- across US. Hopefully this will cidentally, she made a “Guru ister Modi appreciated her ef- encourage and motivate sevSamarpanam” (dedication to fort and asked her to keep up eral other kids to learn BhagaTeacher) of the Gita to her the good work. vad Gita and follow the Hindu Guru on Saturday, 24th June, When asked about the ac- way of life, especially the Guru just a day prior to the meet. complishment, Surabhi recalls Bhakti. Following her samarpanam, it as a moment of pride and (Report by Chandra Gannashe was informed about the honor and said “I accepted this varapu)

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FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

Grand Navagraha Homa at Nithyanandeshwara Hindu Temple Houston Aadheenam

Fort Bend’s Attorney, 1st to become Chair of the Board for the State Bar Of Texas

Rehan Alimohammad.

H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda.


OUSTON - For the very first time on North American soil, both the Navagraha Dosha Parihara Homa and the Rahu Ketu Puja have taken place on a large scale on June 3rd, 2017 at the Nithyanandeshwara Hindu Temple – Houston Aadheenam located at 14140 Westheimer Rd.

joyed a grand traditional feast following the prayers.

This was the first major event at the new Houston Hindu Temple after the grand opening only 3 months ago back in February of this year. During the opening, the temple was uniquely blessed and energized by H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda to be the Parihara Sthala for Navagraha Doshas (A sacred place that removes adverse effects of Nine planets).

The Navagraha Homa is a fire ritual performed to all the nine planets designed to remove all obstacles and negative influences in life. According to Vedic Scriptures, the nine planets influence each and every aspect of a human’s life and they have the power to change a person’s life in an instant. This Homa is performed by invoking all the nine grahas (planets) followed by performing the Navagraha Homa by offering nine type of daanyams (grains), flowers, colored vastra (cloth) & naivedhyas (food offering) to the grahas to receive the blessings of all the nine grahas.

The temple was flooded with more than 100 participating families and guests on site, and also included 37 online participants through video conferencing from 20 cities and 7 countries. The ritual was about 5 hours long, and all patrons en-

Segments of the elaborate traditional agamic rituals consisted of Navagraha Puja, Sarpa Shanti Puja, and Abhishekam (sacred bath) to Rahu and Ketu (Shadow Planets). At the end of the ceremonies, there were light rain showers at the

Devotees partaking in the Homa and puja. temple area, signifying cosmic blessings. These rituals are performed in succeeding fashion to appease the planets, and remove all obstacles and negativity in our lives. A Shivacharya, a Hindu priest from the sacred town of Thiruvannamalai, India conducted the rituals. HarPraveen, a participant from Vancouver, felt eternally grateful to be included in this ritual and was especially thankful to be able “to bring an authentic Homa of this magnitude and to experience it right in my home.” He profusely expressed his gratitude towards

the Houston volunteers who organized this massive event and coordinated with all online participants. The temple is 100% volunteer run and is inspired by His Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda, who is recognized as a living incarnation by millions across the world, and Mahamandaleshwar of the most ancient apex body of Hinduism, the Mahanirvani Akhada. Under the auspices of the worldwide governing body of Hinduism, Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP), the temple promotes the values of Hinduism and supports the spiritual needs of the local

Houston community. The temple offers many events including meditation workshops with His Holiness, yoga, demonstrations of Shaktis (spiritual powers) of the Third Eye, readings of the divine Akashic Records, and daily worship services. The temple will be having grand Gurupoornima celebrations this Saturday and Sunday, July 8 and 9. To view their website for a more detailed description of temple happenings, visit Devotees can also contact (832) 812-5916 or (704) 965-8966.

SUGAR LAND, TEXAS – July 1, 2017 – On June 22nd, Rehan Alimohammad, Partner of the law firm Wong Fleming, became the first attorney in Fort Bend to be sworn in as Chair of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors. He was sworn in by Justice Phil Johnson of the Texas Supreme Court during the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Dallas. He will serve as chair until June 2018. Alimohammad, of Sugar Land, was elected chair during the board’s April 21 meeting in Austin in a contested race against three other attorneys. The Texas Bar is the third largest in the country with over 100,000 attorney members. Alimohammad became the first attorney of Asian descent and the first immigration attorney to hold the position. He is a partner in the Texas office of Wong Fleming in charge of immigration law, and tax law. He has a preeminent rating on Martindale Hubbel directory of lawyers. He was listed as one of the Top Attorneys in Houston by Houstonia Magazine in 2013 and 2014 and has a 10.0 Superb rating on AVVO. For more information, please visit

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FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

Houston’s Indian Muslims host 8th Annual Eid Milan ...divertsity Continued from Page 1 representatives of all major religions, communities, and organizations - former Houston Mayor Annise Parker and former First Lady Kathy Hubbard, Deputy Consul General of India, Surendra Adana, former Ambassador to Qatar Chase Untermeyer and wife Diana, State Representatives Hubert Vo and Gene Wu, Consul General of Turkey Ferhat Alkan, Executive Director of IACCGH Jagdip Ahluwalia, Chairman of Wallis Bank Musa Dakri and Chairman of Rupani Foundation Nasru Rupani, to name a few. The event’s highlight was a its featured speaker Aziz Akbari; the 23 year old Indian American is the young Fremont’s Resident elected to Water District’s Board. He remains the youngest Muslim (he was only 19) to ever run for office in the history of the United States. “Do something, don’t waste your youth” his parents kept telling him after 9/11 and by that time, he already had a ‘solid resume of public service,’ he said in his inspiring speech. Two other young achievers: Umar Ibrahim for admission in Post Graduate work at MIT, Boston and Nabeel Ahmad for winning Fulbright Scholarship were recognized by the IMAGH on the occasion. Latafath Hussain, Past President of IMAGH (who the current president referred to as the ‘Godfather’ of IMAGH for his relentless service), said that he is humbled by the community’s response to this annual event. “Houston truly is a microcosm where tolerance and respect for all religions, communities and cultures is universal.” This year’s Special Guest Organization was Vedanta Society of Greater Houston and their spiritual leader, Swami Vedaswarupananda. Swamiji spoke of the Vedas but his simple explanation that the church, mosque and temple are all six letter words while the Bible, Koran and Geeta are all five letter words. When 5 is subtracted from 6 it results in 1 was his message of oneness.

Munir Ibrahim welcoming the gathering. Photos by Quaid Tinwala.

Deputy Consul General of India, Surendra Adana giving his message. Mother Theresa and others. Tayyeb Shipchandler, senior most member of the IMAGH, was the star of the play. Dr. Samina Salim was the Mistress of Ceremonies who kept the audience engaged with interesting couplets. She also made a presentation on “Why we celebrate Eid”. The program started with the recital from the Holy Koran by Ali Faruqui. This was followed by National Anthems of India and the United States sung by Sreedevi Patel and Abeezar Tyebji, respectively.

Speaker Aziz Akbari being honored by Abeezar Tyebji. He praised the contributions of Indian Muslims in India and in the US. Event Chair Arshad Martin, President and CEO, Paradigm Inc. thanked the various Committee members for making a memorable event. In his address, he mentioned how the Indian

Latafath Hussain, Pwith former Mayor Annise Parker

Muslims in the US were flourishing as entrepreneurs, professionals well as in public office, contributing to the country’s progress. The entertainment segment was provided by Keka and Jeet Kar with hit songs from Hindi films and a dance

by children choreographed by Keka Kar. Fatehali Chatur presented a skit written a directed by him that was applauded for its creativity and profound message brought forth by the apostles of peace: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln,

The IMAGH has under its fold the Club 65, and SAYA for the youth which receives mentorship from stalwarts like Col. Bhalla, Abeezar Tyebji, Latafath Hussain and a few others. “What truly makes our event such a great success is the commitment and dedication of our volunteers who span all the three organizations,” Hussain said about the wonderful event that concluded with a grand feast.

The IMAGH awarded India Culture Center (ICC) with the Community Service Award 2017. Falguni Gandhi, ICC president received the honors. Deputy Consul General Surendra Adana conveyed Eid greetings and mentioned the Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb, symbolic of blending the Hindu-Muslim values like the two great rivers.

A scene from the skit.

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

More than 30 years of experience as Priest in major temples including Sri Meenakshi Temple Pearland, TX. Can speak 5 languages (Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and English) Rituals Performed: Sreemantham, Punyahavachanam, Namakaranam, Annaprashanam, Vidyarambham, Choulam, Upanayanam, Wedding, Sathya narayana puja, and all kind of Homas (Havans) and more. I can drive to your place.

Visit us online www.

A section of the audience. Also seen are honored guests HPD officers,



Relief from pelvic floor disorders through physical therapy

FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

IDY 2017 in The Woodlands, a huge community success!


UGAR LAND – (July 3, 2017) — If you suffer from a pelvic floor disorder, you’re no doubt familiar with the pain and discomfort that can accompany it, along with the feelings of embarrassment or isolation that many patients report. You’re not alone. These disorders are more common than you think, and the good news is that pelvic floor therapy offered at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital can help manage and, in some cases, alleviate the symptoms of these debilitating conditions. Studies show that as many as one in four women suffer from a pelvic floor disorder. The most common problem is urinary incontinence, along with fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, sexual dysfunction and pelvic muscular issues. A well-designed pelvic health therapy program can reduce pain and give patients improved bladder control by identifying the problem muscles and increasing their strength and coordination through individualized exercise treatment. “A lot of patients are afraid to admit – even to their doctor – that they’re suffering from pain or incontinence, or they’re afraid they’ll need surgery,” said pelvic health specialist Sarah Macrowski, a board-certified physical therapist at Houston Methodist Sugar Land in the Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine building. “So they just live with their symptoms and find ways to manage them by using adult diapers or medication. Fortunately, we have a proven alternative for patients struggling with these problems. Our pelvic health therapy program is extremely effective in treating both pain and incontinence, and some patients even see improvements after one session.” Macrowski says that pelvic floor disorders have increased in both women and men in recent years. The number of American women with at least one pelvic floor disorder is expected to increase to 43.8 million in 2050, up from 28.1 million in 2010, and the number of women with urinary incontinence is expected to increase by 55 percent. Physical therapy treatments for pelvic floor disorders begin with an ex-

Sarah Macrowski, PT, DPT, OCS amination and review of the patient’s medical history, symptoms and how long they’ve been experiencing the problem. From there, Macrowski uses a variety of methods to train the patient to enhance their pelvic floor muscle function and coordinate these muscles with their abdominal muscles. Physical therapy typically involves one to two sessions a week for four to 12 weeks.

Participants at the International Day of Yoga at The Woodlands by Priya Subramanian


own Greene Park in The Woodlands has recently proved to be a very popular arena for several family-friendly festivals and celebrations in the area. On Saturday, June 24, the venue played host to a very unique experience for about 450 people gathered there as early as 6 am that morning! Under the beautiful blue skies and lush green

Enthused by the response to this event and with a vision to bring its goals of health and wellness to The Woodlands community, HTW coordinated with yoga studios throughout the Greater Houston area and successfully conducted its first community outreach event through IDY 2017.

jewelry had put up display and sale stalls. Several medical and charity organizations from the area held free medical check-ups and information sessions. A free Indian-style breakfast was made available to by Hyderabad Biryani Place of The Woodlands. The local H-E-B had generously donated water and fruit to all participants and volunteers.

The program commenced with opening prayers and meditation sessions by Brahmakumaris, a worldwide spiritual movement, and Art of Living

The event was possible through the tireless efforts of adult and youth vol-

“We want our patients to get the most out of their physical therapy, so we encourage them to take the lessons home and integrate these exercises in their day-to-day activities,” said Macrowski. “Pelvic floor exercises are great because you can do them while sitting at your desk, cooking in the kitchen or even lying in bed at night. I also encourage patients to make lifestyle changes that can ease stress on the bladder, such as avoiding irritants like caffeine and spicy or acidic foods. We work with the patient to develop an easy and effective treatment plan so they can begin seeing improvement and feel like they’re taking control of their lives again.” To schedule an appointment with Macrowski, call 281.275.0450. Visit to learn more about therapy services offered at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

Organizers, volunteers of the IDY at the Woodlands

environs of the park, this group of people was unified in an unforgettable experience – of bringing mind and together, body practicing the ancient and holistic art of yoga. This diverse group of people from The Woodlands and Greater Houston together areas, experienced and Incelebrated ternational Day of Yoga (IDY) 2017. The event sponsored was by the Consul General of India and hosted by the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands (HTW) InternaThe tional Day of Yoga (IDY) event has been recognized and declared by the United Nations, and is celebrated all over the world. It has been an annual Houston-wide celebration since 2015, with yoga congregations in downtown Houston the past few years.

unteers of the HTW, some of whom were at the venue at 4 a.m. for set-up. The rain, just a few minutes before the event started, and heavy downpour right after the event’s closure, did not dampen the spirit of this quiet and efficient group, that had meticulously planned the safety, security, parking, audio, photography and overall logistics, over the past few weeks. Some of the youth club members of the HTW had worked on setting up drones to record a live video feed of the event. Dr. Neeta Shukla, HTW’s overall coordinator of the event, lauded the support from the community in bringing an event of this nature to The Woodlands, and hopes to make it an annual outreach feature.

of The Woodlands. This was followed by short yoga demonstrations, sun salutations, relaxation and pranayama teaching by instructors from several yoga studios across Houston, including HTW’s own yoga teachers. Participants, ranging from small children to octogenarians, followed guided meditation and poses’ display with utmost discipline, and were transported into a zone of tranquility and bliss, amidst the beautiful atmosphere at Town Greene Park. Rainer and Aymara Lilienthal, of Spring TX, who attended the event, said they enjoyed every aspect of the event, but most of all, were impressed with how the event brought everyone together, in learning about body and mind wellness. “Something about this venue and doing the yoga in unison really stirred us, and we would love to come back to this event again,” they said. Lauren Thompson, a purchasing agent from downtown Houston, drove in early that morning along with friends. “I am really a very casual learner of yoga, but I attended the IDY event at LEVY park in Houston, earlier this week and loved it! When I heard about the event in The Woodlands, I knew I wanted to experience the joy of this form and sense of community again, and made it a point to come today,” she said.

The yoga programs at HTW are run by the Education, Youth and Services (EYS) wing. The EYS yoga group offers free classes at HTW’s premises (7601 S. Forest Gate Drive, Spring, TX 77382) several times a week. These are conducted by instructors certified by VYASA Houston (a satellite of the original VYASA Yoga Center in Bangalore, India). Many EYS yoga teachers are involved in community outreach programs for wellness and diabetes prevention throughout Houston, as well as in research projects with MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. All the instructors are volunteers and some also provide free instruction at Canopy, a cancer survivorship center at Memorial Hermann Hospital in The Woodlands. Picture caption credit Karan Sharma Some of the volunteers from the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands who helped to put the event together.

Apart from being enriched by the exercises and meditation, the event was designed to be a festival of sorts, and a wholesome family outing. Live music, chanting, yoga studio’s booths, and sale of yoga books were some attractions. Local vendors of organic groceries, health foods and hand-made

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FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

Wanted: Bank Robbery Duo

Indian-American arrested for shooting ex-wife, killing her husband

Up to $5,000 Cash Reward the gun is described as a black male, 20-25 years old, weighing approximately 185 pounds, 5’11”-6’ tall, sporting a mustache and goatee, and wearing a light blue/gray, button-down, long sleeve shirt, maroon baseball cap, khaki pants, and black shoes. The second suspect is described as a black male, 20-25 years old, weighing approximately 165 pounds, 5’10”5’11” tall, and wearing a black long-sleeve shirt, army green pants, a red baseball cap, and white shoes.


OUSTON - The FBI Violent Crime Task Force needs the public’s help in identifying and locating two suspects who robbed a southwest Houston bank on Monday. Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering a reward of up to $5,000 in cash for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the duo.

Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of these bank robbers. If you have any information, please call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 713222-TIPS (8477) or the FBI Houston Field Office at (713) 693-5000. Text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637) or visit www.crime-stoppers. org. Tips may also be submitted to Crime Stoppers through the Crime Stoppers of Houston app which can be downloaded at the app store for both iPhone and android devices. All tipsters remain anonymous.

MGL at VegFest Houston organized by Vegan Society of Peace

Sayantam Ghose, 41, has been arrested and charged with murder in the League City shootings (Photo: GCDAO)


OUSTON, July 1, 2017 - Sayantan Ghose, the IndianAmerican who allegedly shot at his ex-wife and her husband, leaving her injured while the latter dead at their home, has been arrested, police said.

party at the couple’s house. But at some point of time, they had an argument with him, leading to the shooting.

Bank surveillance photographs of the suspects are attached and can also be found on Twitter @FBIHouston and @miFBIHouston.

According to the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office, Ghose was detained at a border checkpoint near New Mexico yesterday.

The two men walked into the Woodforest Bank located inside of Walmart at 9700 Hillcroft on Monday, July 3, 2017 at approximately 10:30 a.m. They waited in line until a teller called them to the counter. While at the counter, one of the men displayed a note to the teller demanding cash and threatening to have a gun. The robber lifted his shirt and displayed a pistol tucked into his waistband. The teller, in fear for his life, gave the robber an undisclosed amount of cash. Both suspects left the bank and were last seen walking southbound through the store parking lot. No vehicle was observed and no one was physically injured.

Ghose, 41, has been arrested and charged with murder in the late Wednesday shootings.

In an affidavit, Amanda said, she called police shortly before 9 pm (local time). She told police that she was going to make a citizen arrest because her ex-husband, Ghose, was at her doorstep.

The suspect who displayed

His bond was set at $150,000. The shooting was reported around 9 pm (local time) at a house in the 700 block of Mayhill Ridge Lane, during an argument between Ghose and the two residents, police said.

MGL hosted booth at VegFest organized by Houston’s Vegan Society of Peace on Saturday, June 17, 2017. It was held at Stafford Center located at 10505 Cash Road, Stafford, TX 77477. The event was from 10 AM in the morning till 4 PM in the evening. The visitors were keen on learning more about Mahatma Gandhi. A large number of them signed up for the monthly newsletter. Thanks to the following volunteers for helping out: Dr. Barkat Charania, Mahesh Gandhi, Karam Gupta, Sita Kapadia, Atul Kothari, Akshay Prabhakar, Dr. Balakrishan Prabhakar, Nina Wani and Dr. Manish Wani.

According to the League City police, officers found the body of 43-year-old Clarence Wayne Harris II, who had been shot several times, lying in the driveway in front of the house. Police said Amanda Harris, 36, was also found suffering from a gunshot wound, and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. According to the police, Ghose was present during a

Amanda, who was shot at twice, was taken to a local hospital and is recovering, the police report said.

Amanda also alleged that Ghose had been stalking her for years. Apparently, she, and her husband, both had weapons on them. The police officer on the line heard her scream, “Get away from my gun!” and then additional screams and yelling in the background. Shots also began to fire off in the background. Ghose allegedly shot at Amanda’s husband, Wayne, after an argument broke out between them, in front of the house. The police said in a release that Ghose had already left the home before they could arrive. (-PTI)

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Hasan Minhaj on being an Indian-American Muslim comedian in the Trump Era omedian Hasan Minhaj is doing more with his stand-up act than just making people laugh. He’s representing a vision of America, “We’re at this crazy turning point for the country. We’re fighting, are we the nativist narrative or are we the immigrant narrative?”


In 2017, Minhaj has had a few big stages where he could discuss that question and make the case for the narrative he represents. He has his regular gig as a correspondent on “The Daily Show” and there was his performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Then last month he released his comedy special “Homecoming King” on Netflix.

rative? Are we the great marketplace of ideas? Come one, come all. Come with your ideas and may the best idea win. We don’t care what you look like, as long as you have the best idea and that’s why we’re America. The home of Apple, the home of Tesla, the home of, name whoever you want, who came from another part of the world, or another face or background, but bring your best ideas here, that’s what makes America great. “So I feel like I’m part of this generation of people who look slightly different or who have slightly different names, but we’re adding these amazing ideas to America. That to me is the narrative I’m fighting for. The things I’m fighting for are actually

First Indian-American woman rep pens July 4th op-ed on becoming a citizen


ASHINGTON DC Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the first Indian-American woman to serve in Congress, penned an op-ed Tuesday celebrating the 4th of July, and recalling her experience becoming a citizen. “I spent more than a dozen years on an alphabet soup of visas — F1, H1B and more — before I finally got my green card through marriage to an American,” Jayapal recalls in the New York Times. After detailing the journey of becoming an American, Jayapal wrote that she realized she wanted to stand up for other immigrants. “As I took my oath, I realized how lucky I was. I knew that my future had opened up, and that citizenship would offer me the chance to seek opportunity and to take part in our democracy,” she writes. “I became an immigrant, civil and human rights advocate, then the first South Asian elected to the Washington State Legislature and the only woman of color in the Washington State Senate, and then was elected in 2016 to

relevant in 2017. That’s what I wanted to do — have real, real stories that are based on events from my life. But then if you extrapolate them, that’s what 2017 Trump’s America is like.” Hasan Minhaj in his Netflix comedy special “Homecoming King.” (Netflix) The special is about Minhaj’s life as an Indian-American kid growing up in predominantly white Davis, California, and pursuing his dream of doing comedy, despite his parents wishes to the contrary. INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS: ON THE COMPETING NARRATIVES IN AMERICA TODAY: “The nativist narrative means there’s certain iconic “American” ideals. We are Norman Rockwell, We are Coca-Cola, We’re the Dallas Cowboys we’re Support The Troops. We are these things that you don’t mess with these foundational concepts. Or are we the immigrant nar-

American ideals.” ON WHAT INSPIRED HIM TO MAKE “HOMECOMING KING”: “On “The Daily Show,” we get so caught up in the day-to-day news cycle. A story breaks and then the piranhas in late night, we all jump to the headline and we dissect it, and then we have to move on to the next day. And one of the things that I wanted to do was to work on something that’s a little bit more evergreen. “The things that I talk about in the show – falling in love, not being able to be with somebody you care about because of variables that you can’t control – those themes are still so

ON CHALLENGING THE IDEA OF A POST-RACIAL AMERICA “A lot of times, we as a country don’t want to talk about these things because we’re living our day-today lives. So when you read [about] something like the Muslim ban, or [that] we’re going to build a wall, people are like, Look, man, I’m just trying to go to work, drop my kids off at school, and live my life. The story that I’m telling in “Homecoming King” about falling in love, these are things that happened to me — that actually happen everyday in our backyards and in our communities. “The reason why I think that the story is so powerful – and I think we’ve all experienced this, regardless of race, color, creed, or class or sexu-



FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

2 0 1 7

Photos by: Roy Photography

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (Photo: AFP/Getty Images) the United States Congress.” Jayapal goes on in her piece to warn that President Trump is creating a sense of fear around immigrants like herself. “President Trump has harnessed the fear and prejudice that have accompanied every wave of immigrants in United States history, and stoked those fears to further his own

ality – [is] we’ve all dealt with these doorstep moments where we’ve put ourselves on the line and we weren’t accepted because of something we can’t control. Now, for me, it was the color of my skin. But for other people it’s a myriad of other reasons. It was the first We’re going to go in a different direction moment, where you put your heart on the line and people say, Hey, because of variables you can’t control, we just have to do something different because, you know, if you’re seen with our daughter at prom, we’re going to take photos, what are people going to think? And that moment in my life captured so much. And I think it speaks to a lot of moments people are having now.” ON DECIDING TO PERFORM AT THE 2017 WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ DINNER: “A lot of times in life, it’s personal choices that you’re making, actively, and then there’s a myriad of forces

agenda,” she writes. “I call on the president and my fellow Americans to remember our history. What makes America great is our commitment to our values of inclusivity and opportunity for all.” “Immigration is about more than just who comes here and who is allowed to stay. It is about who we are as a country and what we are willing to stand up for.” (

and circumstances that are out of our control. And without even realizing it, you’re riding a wave of events that you have no control of. So, I am who I am. I’m Hasan Minhaj. I’m this this Indian-American Muslim comedian in America during the Trump Administration. “Now, a series of circumstances unfold where Donald Trump is the president, he pulls out of the event, the Administration has boycotted, all these variables happen. A bunch of comedians had passed on the gig because it’s too contentious. “There’s just a lot of, Will the event still happen? Is the event going to implode on itself? And then I get asked three weeks before the gig: “Do you want to do the dinner?” And I felt, Wow! What amazing timing and circumstances that, given the current administration, I would be asked to be the comedian to comment. I thought, This is a hell of an opportunity.” (-NPR)



China-India border dispute heats up, Bhutan involved


EIJING - Amid the ongoing Indo-China border standoff, a government-run Chinese media outlet published an article Wednesday, and reminded India of the 1962 war between the two countries. It also talked about “teaching New Delhi a bitter lesson.” The editorial said India would suffer greater losses than it did in 1962, if it incited conflict. Referring to a comment by India’s Defense Minister Arun Jaitely, the report said, “Jaitley is right that the India of 2017 is different from that of 1962 — India will suffer greater losses than in 1962 if it incites military conflicts.” The current border standoff between the two countries in a disputed region in Bhutan has continued for more than 20 days. The controversy began when India opposed China’s plan to extend a border road through a disputed plateau which Bhutan recognizes as Doklam, while China claims it’s a part of its Donglang region. Commenting on the standoff, the editorial in the daily further said, “We firmly believe that the face-off in the Donglang area will end up with the Indian troops in retreat. The Indian military can choose to return to its territory with dignity, or be kicked out of the area by Chinese soldiers.” The two nations fought a brief but bitter war in 1962. Border disputes in several areas like Aksai Chin, Depsang Plains and some areas in the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, have remained unresolved following the war. The Depsang Plains are located on the border of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and the disputed zone of Aksai Chin. On the other hand, India and Bhutan have historically maintained strong relations. Indian Army is involved in training Royal Bhutan Army, while Bhutan co-operates closely

with India in determining its foreign policy. India has expressed concern that the road, if completed, would make it easier for China to access India’s northeastern states. In the event of a conflict, India fears this would help China cut off its northeast from the rest of the country. The foreign ministry of India issued a statement June 30 saying the construction “would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India,” BBC reported. However, according to the Chinese officials, Indian border guards have obstructed “normal activities” on the Chinese side by opposing the road construction. Reports suggest both India and China rushed their troops to the region as the standoff began. China also retaliated by stopping 57 Indian pilgrims, who were on their way to the Manas Sarovar Lake — a Hindu pilgrim site in Tibet via the Nathu La pass in India’s northeastern state of Sikkim. Both the countries have signed a formal agreement to allow the pilgrims to visit the holy site. In a formal statement issued June 29, Bhutan also accused

China of constructing a road “inside Bhutanese territory” and called it a “direct violation” of its territorial treaty obligations. China, which does not have formal diplomatic ties with Bhutan, denied the allegations about violating any treaties. “Doklam has been a part of China since ancient times. It does not belong to Bhutan, still less India,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spoesperson Lu Kang said Wedneday. “In order to cover up the illegal entry by Indian troops into the Chinese territory, Indian side wants to infringe upon Bhutan’s sovereignty and they try to confuse right from wrong. This is futile. We have no objection to normal bilateral relations between India and Bhutan but are firmly opposed to the Indian side infringing on Chinese territory using Bhutan as an excuse,” said Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesperson Geng Shuang. As of now, there is no push and shove at the border although tensions are high. Both countries have said they would use official diplomatic channels to find a solution to the dispute. (-International Business Times)

Modi, Netanyahu seek to deepen ties..... Continued from Page 1

- Big-ticket defence deals -

Modi said the discussions extended beyond bilateral projects to “how our cooperation can help the cause of global peace and stability.” The Indian premier also said they “agreed to do much more together to protect our strategic interests and also cooperate to combat growing radicalisation and terrorism, including in cyberspace.” Modi’s visit marks 25 years since India and Israel established diplomatic relations.

Netanyahu and other officials gave him a red carpet welcome at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv as he began his visit on Tuesday. Israel, constantly searching for allies at the United Nations and for new business partners, has portrayed the visit as a major diplomatic victory. Israeli analysts have noted that Modi is not scheduled to travel to Ramallah to meet Palestinian leaders during his three-day stay, as is common for visiting dignitaries.

FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

North Korea launched new kind of missile: US sources by Barbara Starr and Jeremy Herb, CNN


ASHINGTON DC, Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - The two-stage missile launched Tuesday by North Korea will be classified by US intelligence as a brand-new missile that has not been seen before, US officials told CNN. The first stage of the missile is believed to be a KN-17 liquid fueled missile, which is well-known to US intelligence and has been previously launched by North Korea. Ahead of Tuesday’s missile test, US satellites had seen evidence the KN-17 missile was being prepared for launch. But at some point prior to launch, the North Koreans attached a second stage atop that missile. The focus now is on the capability of that second stage, and how it technically contributed to making Pyongyang’s latest test its first ever intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch. CNN has reported that the second stage had a separate 30-second burn cycle, which

South Korea’s Hyunmoo-II Missile System (L) and the U.S. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (R) fire missiles on July 5 in response to North Korea’s ICBM test (Photo: Handout/Getty Images) allowed the missile to travel the extra distance to classify it as an ICBM. The imagery showing a KN17 is in part what led the US to initially believe it was a shorter-range missile. North Korea announced Tuesday it had successfully tested an ICBM for the first time, which Pyongyang claimed could “reach anywhere in the world.” North Korean state media

Modi did however meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in New Delhi in May.

build a “new maintenance centre in India for selected advanced air defence systems.”

India has traditionally voiced its support for Palestinian statehood, long shunning ties with Israel.

IAI said it also signed an agreement “for industrial cooperation in the production of composite aero-structures” with India’s Wipro Enterprises.

But the frost has thawed in recent years, with India seeking closer defence ties -- particularly as it moves away from relying on traditional ally Russia for its military hardware. India is the world’s biggest importer of defence equipment, and Israel has become one of its major suppliers. Israel Aerospace Industries on Wednesday said it agreed with the Kalyani Group to

In April IAI said India would buy nearly $2 billion worth of weapons technology from Israel, making it the military exporting giant’s largest ever defence contract. The deal will see IAI provide India with an advanced defence system of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology, it had said. The Hindu nationalist makes

said the missile reached an altitude of more than 2,800 kilometers (1,741 miles), before it splashed down in the sea off the Korean Peninsula 930 kilometers (578 miles) from the launch site. The US and South Korea announced they had conducted a joint exercise in response to the launch, a demonstration that South Korea said was “intended as a strong warning against North Korean provocation.” the trip after his visit last week to Washington, where he and US President Donald Trump embraced each other as friends, vowing to work more closely on combatting terrorism, the war in Afghanistan and defence cooperation. While ties with some US allies have been strained by Trump’s complaints that Washington has been the loser in trade agreements, Modi appeared sensitive to his host’s emphasis on transactional diplomacy. Modi has seemed to find similar common ground with Netanyahu, Israel’s longtime right-wing prime minister who hosted Trump in May.

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FRIDAY, July 7, 2017


Arrests over China ‘straddling bus’ project


EIJING - Police in the capitol city have arrested 32 people for illegal fundraising linked to a scrapped project to create a “straddling bus” to beat traffic jams.

Tel: 713-774-5140

2 Indian-Americans honored with Great Immigrants Award

ey into the project, but allegations in the Chinese media had said it had been a way of luring them into buying financial products. Doubts about the bus - a 22m-long

EW YORK: Indian-Americans, Adobe chief Shantanu Narayen and former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, are among 38 immigrants honoured this year for their role in helping advance the country’s society, culture and economy.


Shantanu Narayen and Vivek Murthy were honoured with the prestigious ‘Great Immigrants’ annual award on US’s Independence Day on July 4. 39-year-old Vivek Murthy was born in the UK and is a Harvard and Yale alumnus, he was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2014, becoming the first-ever Indian-American to occupy the post and also the youngest ever surgeon general of the country. After a grand demostration, the straddling bus is rotting away in a shed at its testing site in Qinhuangdao, with only a couple of security guards for company. Apparently, the bus hasn’t moved in months. (Photo: New China News) The futuristic idea to lift commuters above congestion quickly attracted international attention when it was launched last year - but was finally scrapped last month. There had been growing speculation that it was no more than an investment scam. In a statement, police said they were working to recover investors’ assets.

electric vehicle standing nearly 5m high and 8m wide - began to emerge when all tests were halted shortly after the first test run. Many doubted the vehicle would be able to manage curves or fit under footbridges and critics asked how it would turn corners, whether it was strong enough to bear its own and passengers’ weight and how long its battery would last.

China has seen a series of scams where online platforms offer big returns on money invested into startups, an area mostly ignored by the country’s state-run banks.

Others noticed that the model used in the test run was the same as the one presented when the idea was first floated in 2010, suggesting no technical progress had been made.

Among those arrested was Bai Zhiming, the 47-year-old CEO of the Transit Elevated Bus Company (TEB) who is also the founder of peer-to-peer financing company Huaying Kailai Asset Management.

There was also confusion about whether the bus had been approved by the authorities - but the Financial Times newspaper reported that the government of Qinhuangdao in Hebei province, where the TEB was based, had said it would invest $1.5bn (£1.2bn) in the project.

The other 31 were Huaying Kailai employees. Investors had reportedly been offered returns of 12% if they put mon-

Last month Chinese media reported that the Qinhuangdao test site had been demolished. (-BBC News)

However, Mr Murthy was dismissed this year in April by the Trump administration. 55-year-old Shantanu Narayen a native of Hyderabad has an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering, a master’s degree in computer science, and an MBA from UC Berkeley. He is a board member of Pfizer and USIndia Business Council (USIBC). He was among a select group of CEOs who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington for a roundtable during the leader’s visit for first bilateral meeting with President Donald Trump this week. Among other honorees include Canadian-origin social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, who has been awarded the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, PayPal co-founder of Ukrainian origin Max Levchin, Iranian-origin philanthropist and entrepreneur Hushang Ansary. Each year since 2006, the corporation has recognised the contributions of naturalised citizens, and for 2017, the honorees represent more than 30 different countries of origin, a wide range of personal immigration stories, and a highlevel of professional leadership

The honorees were recognised with a full-page public service announcement in The New York Times (Photo: NYT) in numerous fields.

ternational peace, the advancement “Our annual tribute to ‘Great Im- of education and knowledge, and a migrants’ demonstrates the richness strong democracy. (-PTI) of talent, skills, and achievements that immigrants from around the world bring to every sphere of American Jacob Sanchez society,” said Vartan Gregorian, presiDiagnosed with autism dent of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “This campaign reminds us of the debt the United States owes to generations of immigrants who become citizens and contribute to the progress of this country. Today, we celebrate and thank them,” he said. The honorees were recognised with a full-page public service announcement in The New York Times and an online public awareness initiative. The Carnegie Corporation of New York was established in 1911 by Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the corporation’s agenda focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: in-

Former Tata Finance MD commits suicide

EW DELHI, PTI - Former Tata Finance Managing Director Dilip Pendse allegedly committed suicide in Mumbai on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.


Police reported that he committed suicide at his ground floor office of a building named ‘Royal Breeze’. Pendse was staying at the first floor of the same building. Police found a suicide note where he has quoted ‘personal reasons’ as the reason. The former Tata group executive had been saddled by controversy since long. On June 22, Sebi had barred Pendse and three other entities from the capital market for manipulations at the time of the firm’s right issue in 2001.

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RBI to issue Rs 200 notes Lack of speechmonths is a sign of autism. Learn the others at in coming by the scrapping of high-denomination bills last year.


EW DEHLI - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expected to introduce Rs 200 notes in the coming months to ease pressure on lower-denomination currencies that are in short supply. The new notes of Rs 200 should be out before the end of 2017 and will greatly help in narrowing the demand and supply gap in smaller-denomination currency bills, sources said. They also said that there is no immediate plan to re- introduce Rs 1,000 notes. Soon, a notification may be issued by the Reserve Bank of India with regard to issuance of new Rs 200 bills.

This exercise of printing Rs 200 denomination notes is being undertaken to further improve the currency situation in the country, sources said, adding the problem people are facing due to high-value Rs 2,000 notes would also be taken care of with the circulation of Rs 200 notes. The central bank had reportedly decided to bring in Rs 200 notes in March after consulting the finance ministry, they said. The notes are going through multiple checks for security and quality at government printing presses. The shortage of currency notes was trigged

In a surprise announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced scrapping of old notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, wiping out over 85% of the cash in circulation. The move was aimed at checking black money, counterfeit notes and terror financing. (-LiveMint)

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CNN HEROES How hotel soap can save lives by Meghan Dunn, CNN


ITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) - For many Cambodians, a bar of soap is a luxury they cannot afford.

In 2014, as a college student, Samir Lakhani saw the issue firsthand while volunteering in a Cambodian village.

A Guatemalan child holds bars of soap Clean the World (PHOTO CREDIT: Sharon Radisch for Photographers Without Borders) liquid soap. So far, more than 650,000 people have benefited from the group’s soap and hygiene edu-

stopped stocking soap. The last reason is, very simply, because many Cambodians don’t really understand where illness and disease come from, they don’t really take the appropriate steps towards mitigating those effects. And that includes use of bar soap. CNN: Eco-Soap Bank’s work is based in Cambodia and largely run by Cambodians. What are the benefits of being in the same country you’re serving? Lakhani: (It) has a ton of benefits, the first one being able to very quickly respond to outbreaks, such a cholera and impetigo and other things like that. Almost immediately, we’re able to use our stockpile of soap and critically address whatever crisis is present. Another overlooked benefit is the opportunity to be able to hire local deserving employees who can immensely benefit from steady employment from our program. CNN: What’s it like for the women you hire?

Samir Lakhani saw that many rural villages did not have access to soap or hygiene education. His organization, Eco-Soap Bank, has since donated more than 186,000 bars of soap and helped more than 650,000 Cambodians in need. (PHOTO CREDIT: Sharon Radisch for Photographers Without Borders) “I remember quite vividly a mother bathing her newborn in a basin filled with laundry powder and water,” said Lakhani, now 24. “It’s an image I’ll never get out of my mind.” Lakhani was staying in a hotel in Cambodia, and he realized that one solution to the problem was being thrown away: barely-used bars of soap. So, he figured out a way to save this soap and give it a second life.

‘Everybody has a voice’: Festival finds the universal in choirs by Shaun Tandon


EW YORK | AFP - The human voice is the most basic of all musical instruments. But when singers come together as choirs, quality standards vary widely around the world. A festival in Washington is bringing together top-tier choirs from a dozen countries in a bid to show music’s universality -- how the joy of singing together transcends cultures.

Yet children living in rural areas are vulnerable to disease simply because they are unable to wash their hands. According to UNICEF, diarrheal diseases alone account for one in five deaths of Cambodian children age 5 and younger, largely due to poor hygiene practices.

FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

cation. “What I love most is that we are killing three birds with one stone,” Lakhani said. “We are keeping waste out of landfills, employing locals and spreading soap all over the country.” CNN’s Meghan Dunn spoke with Lakhani about his work. Below is an edited version of their conversation. CNN: Why is it difficult for

Lakhani: Our soap recyclers are all local women who were striving to find some source of reliable, predictable incomes. They face immense hardship. And unless someone is willing to invest in their future, it’s hard to crawl out of that. The women that we employ currently have been able to provide for their entire families, pay down debt and resume education for their children. We believe very firmly in the intellectual capabilities of our staff members. We provide them with free daily English classes and other business skills training. And the second type of employee can work from home or they can work from their own

But the festival is also part of an effort to boost training for choral music, which can be rudimentary in many countries. The Serenade! Washington DC Choral Festival is the brainchild of Neeta Helms, president of Classical Movements, a company that runs international tours for major music ensembles. Helms, who launched the festival in 2011, said she had been struck by an explosion of global interest in choral music -- largely outside the Western canon. “I’m not on a mission to change the world through choral singing -- although I think that sometimes we end up doing that. I’ve seen a need and I’ve seen I can help,” she said. “Everybody has a voice -well, almost everybody -- and almost every culture has this huge tradition of songs and sounds and rhythms and folk tunes,” she said. The latest Serenade festival, which runs eight days through July 4, is part of celebrations for the centennial of the birth of slain US president John F. Kennedy. With free concerts at the Kennedy Center and other sites across the Washington area, the festival features choirs from countries with strong connections to Kennedy or the Peace Corps, the international volunteer program his administration created.

of used soap that should be redirected to the people who need it. We’re looking at seven countries to expand to. We’ve scratched the surface. Especially when you see it firsthand,

Neeta Helms, president and founder of Classical Movements, poses with the Madras Youth Choir from Chennai, India, ahead of the Serenade! choral festival in Washington (Photo: © AFP / by Shaun Tandon) Performers include Mongolian folk group Egschiglen; the Madras Youth Choir, formed by celebrated South Indian film composer M.B. Sreenivasan, and Spain’s L’Escolania de Montserrat, considered the world’s oldest boys choir -which has ties to cellist Pablo Casals, who was famously invited to the Kennedy White House. Choirs also come from Kenya, Zimbabwe, China, Northern Ireland, Panama, Bulgaria and Latvia -- which Kennedy visited while a Harvard student. - Refining oral traditions Helms, who was born in India, said she saw a particular demand in the billion-plus country where many people without means can instantly sing along to Bollywood hits yet have nowhere to train. Classical Movements has started a fellowship to send established choir directors to India as instructors. As part of the festival, the company also has commissioned original works from around the world. Members of choirs especially need to master harmony -- coming together as a whole by singing different, and often fewer, lines. “I always say that Pavarotti would have been terrible in a

you just realize you really have a lot to do. I did not expect to be so effective by such an early age, especially without the previous professional training (to run a nonprofit). If you have one

choir. His voice would have stuck out,” she said. Choirs at the Serenade festival vary sharply in their traditions. The Mongolians sing from their throats while the Africans often have rich vibratos and, compared with Europeans, dance and move much more when they sing. With choral music often passed down by oral tradition, it can carry more freedom than, say, Western orchestral music, which emphasizes precision. But Helms said it was also critical to transcribe choral music. “That’s how things spread. That’s how literature has spread -- the printing press was created,” she said. “Someone has to take all those folk tunes that are in people’s heads, or some records of them, and put them down on paper so that people can figure them out.” But whatever the course of education, Helms said she was impressed by seeing choirs bond -- uniting in music without regard to race, gender, religion or other barriers. “We are firm believers that in this small way we are changing the world bit by bit,” she said with a laugh, “no matter who is in power in that country or our country.”

part drive and maybe one part naivety or foolishness, you can do anything. Want to get involved? Check out the Eco-Soap Bank website and see how to help.

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©Sharon Radisch for Photographers Without Borders 2016 While still attending the University of Pittsburgh, Lakhani started the Eco-Soap Bank. The nonprofit recycles discarded bars of soap from hotels in Cambodia and distributes it to people in need. While there are similar programs that recycle hotel soap, Lakhani’s focus in Cambodia is unique. Today, the organization has four recycling centers across the country, providing jobs to 35 local women. The used bars are sanitized and remolded into new bars or melted down into

rural Cambodians to access soap? Samir Lakhani: First is affordability. If you’re earning only $1.50 every single day, you’re not going to spend $1 of your daily wage on an imported bar of luxury soap. They’re going to prioritize feeding their families. And if they can afford soap, they will pick the least expensive option, which is usually detergent, which is so harmful and toxic on the skin. The second reason is access. The demand is so low, shopkeepers and local markets have

store. We give them a free supply of our soap to sell, generate incomes for them and their families, and also generally promote hygiene in the community. CNN: What does the future look like for Eco-Soap Bank? Lakhani: Lack of hygiene is not something that’s unique only to Cambodia. It’s seen across the developing world. The developing world is also home to some of the busiest tourism centers in the world. We can assume that they’re producing equally large amounts

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Painted huts offer DR Congo village a tourism lifeline by Agnes Bun

cause of its mining activities.

AKWATSHA, DR Congo | AFP - There’s no electricity and only 500 residents in the Congolese village of Makwatsha, but a longstanding tradition by its womenfolk has turned it almost by accident into a star attraction for Chinese tourists.


Most want to fit in a tour or buy souvenirs during their free time, boosting tourism and sales.

The outside walls of the huts are decorated with paintings of local life, flowers and butterflies, making “the village of the women painters” a draw also for tourists from France and Belgium.

To attract more travellers, the tour operator has launched a festival of painting at Makwatsha, teaming up with tourism and hotel schools and local media to showcase the women’s work once a year.

“For the colour, we use only the earth,” says Prosperine Mwelma, 60, dressed in a bright blue and yellow wrap and holding a paint brush.

He’s also planning a trip to China this year to negotiate a tourism contract with a private company looking to send its employees on holiday to

China, together with Belgium and France, are the main sources for the trickle of tourists -- about 100 each year -- who venture to this remote corner of DR Congo.

Meet the new last word in English: zyzzyva


ONDON | AFP - Eating a tasty meal with chana dal or doenjang washed down with a gin daisy could well foster a nice feeling of hygge. Just hope you don’t find any zyzzyva on your plate. If you need to look up any of those words, the unofficial custodian of the English language now has the answers. In its latest update, the Oxford English Dictionary identified more than 600 words, phrases and senses that have entered common parlance. They include “zyzzyva”, a genus of tropical weevils native to South America. The word replaces zythum -- an ancient Egyptian malt beer -as the OED’s final entry. The name was apparently coined by the US entomologist Thomas Lincoln Casey, who described it in a 1922 work, the OED said. “In any case, zyzzyva owes much of its currency in English to its notoriety as the last entry in various dictionaries, the ranks of which now include the OED,” it said.

A tourist photo of a hand-painted hut in Makwatsha, DR Congo. (AFP photo) “We dig to find the pink colour,” she says, her hands covered with the village’s ochre clay soil.


The murals of daily village life, painted by the women during the dry season and using only natural pigments, caught the eye of the director of the local French cultural institute when he passed through on holiday -and he decided to let the world know.

“The Congo has a bad image overseas due to insecurity, war,” says Maly, dressed impeccably in a suit despite the heat.

Not only did he contact a local travel agency to try to put the village on the tourism map but he also organised for some of the women to be invited to Paris in 2014 to exhibit their paintings. For the Paris trip the villagers painted their works onto canvas and sold eight of them for a total of $60,000 (52,600 euros). “On our own, we couldn’t have done it,” says Jean-Pierre Kabaso, chief of the village some 40 kilometres ( 25 miles) south of Lubumbashi, the capital of Haut-Katanga province in the southeast of Democratic Republic of Congo. Now on tourist itineraries, the village’s painting tradition could become an important source of income in the future, the 52-year-old chief says. When tourists come to the village on a day trip, they walk around, see the huts, discover how the villagers collect clay nearby to make the colours and are able to talk to them. “There are other projects in the works, including plans for an exhibition in Washington,” Kabaso says. - Lone tour agency -

But it’s a tough job selling tours to DR Congo.

For the past several years, DR Congo has been mired in a political crisis, which has worsened since President Joseph Kabila refused to step aside when his mandate expired in December. Elections are supposed to take place by the end of this year. And in several regions, armed militias battle against government troops, creating a plague of violence that makes foreign visitors fearful of venturing into the huge central African nation -- around two-thirds the size of western Europe. “The Congo is vast,” says Maly, arguing that size is an advantage. “If there is war in the north, that’s thousands of kilometres from here! In Israel, there are attacks, bombs, but nevertheless thousands go there for tourism,” he says. - Green stone crocodiles In Lubumbashi’s old town, another artistic venture can be found in ateliers where, to the deafening sound of electric saws, workers sculpt statues out of malachite -- the green mineral found throughout the region. Green stone statues of rhinos, lions or even larger animals are coveted by the Chinese tourists.

In Lubumbashi, the only tour operator in the region sits in the dark in his office -- there’s electricity here but many power cuts.

“They come with their orders for big pieces like crocodiles several metres long that they take back to China,” proudly says Stanis Chansa, who has been a sculptor for 45 years.

Isaac Sumba Maly, who runs the Palma Okapi Tours travel agency, says he is preparing for a visit by Chinese tourists.

The intrepid travellers who do manage the journey to Haut-Katanga leave an impression on local residents.

The Chinese have been coming to DR Congo in increasing numbers for business, especially to Katanga province where Lubumbashi is located, be-

“The international tourists often make the Congolese realise the beauty of their homeland,” says Eric Monga, a local official.

The quarterly update includes “post-truth”, previously announced by the OED as its word of the year for 2016 following Britain’s Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s presidential victory. “Brexit” itself also made into the dictionary last year, meeting the OED’s criterion that a new word, phrase or sense of a word must have featured in a variety of printed sources over several years. Other new senses this time include “thing”, as in “a genuine or established phenomenon or practice”, often used when you’re incredulous about something. The OED said the earliest citation of this new sense was from a 2000 episode of the US TV drama “The West Wing”: “Did you know that ‘leaf peeping’ was a thing?’” Just in time for this year’s Wimbledon tournament are 50 new terms relating to tennis, such as “forced error”, “chip and charge” and “career slam”. Further additions to the English lexicon are chana dal, the Hindi phrase for chickpeas, and doenjang, a paste made from fermented soya beans used in Korean cookery. A gin daisy is a cocktail made with gin, lemon juice and (usually) grenadine. Drink enough gin daisies and you may well be overcome by hygge, the Danish term for “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being”.

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Silicone Sally: Japan men find true love with sex dolls by Alastair Himmer


OKYO | AFP - When the spark went out of Masayuki Ozaki’s marriage, he found an unusual outlet to plug the romantic void -- a silicone sex doll he swears is the love of his life. The life-size dummy, called Mayu, shares his bed under the same roof as Ozaki’s wife and teenage daughter in Tokyo, an arrangement that triggered angry rows before a delicate truce was finally declared. “After my wife gave birth we stopped having sex and I felt a deep sense of loneliness,” the 45-year-old physiotherapist told AFP in an interview. “But the moment I saw Mayu in the showroom, it was love at first sight,” blushed Ozaki, who takes his doll on dates in a wheelchair and dresses her in wigs, sexy clothes and jewellery. “My wife was furious when I first brought Mayu home. These days she puts up with it, reluctantly,” he added. “When my daughter realised it wasn’t a giant Barbie doll, she freaked out and said it was gross -- but now she’s old enough to share Mayu’s clothes.” Ozaki is one of an increasing number of Japanese men turning to rubber romance in a country that’s lost its mojo. He also admits to being turned off by human relationships. “Japanese women are cold-hearted,” he said while on a seaside stroll with his silicone squeeze. “They’re very selfish. Men want someone to listen to them without grumbling when they get home from work,” Ozaki added. “Whatever problems I have, Mayu is always there waiting for me. I love her to bits and want to be with her forever. “I can’t imagine going back to a human being. I want to be buried with her and take her to heaven.” - Removable head Around 2,000 of the life-like dolls -- which cost from $6,000 and come with adjustable fingers, removable head and genitals -- are sold each year in Japan, according to industry insiders.

“Technology has come a long way since those nasty inflatable dolls in the 1970s,” noted Hideo Tsuchiya, managing director of doll maker Orient Industry. “They look incredibly real now and it feels like you’re touching human skin. More men are buying them because they feel they can actually communicate with the dolls,” he explained. Popular with disabled customers and widowers, as well as mannequin fetishists, some men use dolls to avoid heartache. “Human beings are so demanding,” insisted 62-year-old Senji Nakajima, who tenderly bathes his rubber girlfriend Saori, has framed photos of her on his wall and even takes her skiing and surfing. “People always want something from you -- like money or commitment,” he complained. “My heart flutters when I come home to Saori,” added the married father-of-two as he picnicked with his plastic partner. “She never betrays me, she makes my worries melt away.” Nakajima’s relationship with Saori has divided his family, but the Tokyoborn businessman refuses to give her up. “My son accepts it, my daughter can’t,” said Nakajima, whose wife has banned Saori from the family home. “I’ll never date a real woman again -- they’re heartless,” he insisted back at his cluttered Tokyo apartment, sandwiched between two dolls from previous dalliances and a headless rubber torso. Reconciliation with his estranged wife is unlikely, admits Nakajima. “I wouldn’t be able to take a bath with Saori, or snuggle up with her and watch TV,” he said, slipping the doll into some racy purple lingerie. “I don’t want to destroy what I have with her.” - ‘To me, she’s human’ While the pillow talk is decidedly one-way, Nakajima believes he has discovered true love, saying: “I’d never cheat on her, even with a prostitute, because to me she’s human.”


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FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

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Indian teen pirouettes from Local Teens are National Mumbai slum to US ballet Champions in Public Forum Debate by Vishal Manve


UMBAI, India | AFP - A teenager from a Mumbai slum is closer to fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer after being accepted into a prestigious school in New York. Amiruddin Shah, the 16-year-old son of a welder, will enrol at the American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (JKO) in August, less than three years after taking up the dance.

Shah had been dancing at weddings and other functions since the age of six and was proficient in backflips and cartwheels but little did he know that his visit to Danceworx Performing Arts Academy would change his life. It was there, the following year, that he caught the attention of IsraeliAmerican ballet master Yehuda Maor, who immediately spotted Shah’s natural talent and persuaded him to ditch hip hop and join his class instead. Maor put Shah through a rigor-


he National Debate & Speech Tournament has been held across the country since 1931, and today is one of the largest academic competitions in the world. Each year, more than 7,000 High school and Middle School students compete in a week-long competition to determine the national champion in a range of Speech and Debate events. The 2017 National Speech & Debate Tournament “Memories made in the Magic City” was held in Birmingham, Alabama. Houston ISD’s Lanier Middle continued its long history of Speech and Debate performances and had over 40+ students that qualified for the National Tournament in 2017 under coach Franz Hill. Lanier Middle School finished in the Top 5 schools nationally for Speech as well as Debate. They also received the Overall School of Excellence award recognizing the Top 3 schools nationally. Lanier Middle School’s Omar Busaidy and Vedanth Ramabhadran finished as the National Champions in the Public Forum debate event beating a team from Atlanta. They finished the Preliminary Rounds as the Top Seed and also took the Top 2 spots for individual speaker points in their event - an overall dominant performance. 2 out of the 4 semi finalist teams were from Lanier Middle School including the team of Andrew Sun and David Tang. 3 out of the 4 teams from Lanier made it to the Knockout rounds.80 teams from around the country participated in the Public Forum debate at the national tournament

L-R: Coach Franz Hill, Omar Busaidy, Vedanth Ramabhadran

Amiruddin Shah, the 16-year-old son of a welder, will enrol at the American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (JKO) in August, less than three years after taking up the dance (Photo: AFP/ Vishal Manve) “I come from a poor family who didn’t know anything about ballet or America but they are very supportive and I am really excited to be going,” Shah told AFP.

ous training regime and the Indian quickly mastered complex moves such as the pirouette and the pointe, when the dancer balances on their tiptoes.

The youngster had never heard of ballet when one day in 2013 he left his family’s cramped shanty to sign up for hip hop classes at a dance centre offering lessons for underprivileged children.

“Somehow his body learned this classical language with such ease that in the two and a half years I’ve been training him he achieved the level of a professional dancer that takes nineten years to achieve,” Maor said.

Teen prodigy awes with record Japanese chess streak


OKYO, Japan | AFP - Japan on Tuesday was transfixed by a 14-year-old prodigy who smashed the record for consecutive wins in a chess-like board game called shogi.

ers vying to capture their opponent’s king. Unlike chess, captured pieces can be reused. Fujii’s stunning victory comes af-

Junior high school student Sota Fujii notched up his 29th straight win late Monday, earning him rockstar media coverage with his face splashed across every major newspaper and the stunning feat topping newscasts.

National Champions in all Speech / Debate events - 3rd from Left Vedanth Ramabhadran, 4th from Left Omar Busaidy debating the topic - “In East Africa, the United States federal government should prioritize its counterterrorism efforts over its humanitarian assistance.” During the regular Middle School tournament season in Houston, Omar and Vedanth won 7 of the 9 tournaments and finished 2nd in the other two. They intend to continue their debate experience at Bellaire High School next year.

The proud parents, Busaidys live in Bellaire and Ramabhadrans live in the Energy Corridor. “I started participating in debate tournaments because I went to a camp and really liked it. While I started with Public Forum (PF) debate and I enjoyed Impromptu and Extemporaneous speaking as well. After making it to nationals in the 7th grade for PF, I decided to focus on PF debate in the 8th grade. That paid off and Omar and

I were able to do well in multiple tournaments. “We are thrilled that we won nationals and topped the speaker points. We are happy that we were able to continue the Lanier legacy. We couldn’t have done this without Coach Hill and the Lanier alumni coaches. The Lanier debate team was a constant source of encouragement for us. “ VEDANTH RAMABHADRAN, 8th Grader at Lanier Middle School.

2017 Manousso Mediation and Arbitration Scholarship Recipient awarded


OUSTON - Bowen Mei, a new affordable dispute resolution (ADR) professional, is a rising senior at Stephen F. Austin HS in Fort Bend ISD. His extracurricular activities include the Chess Club, Computer Association, and Model United Nations chapter, as well as playing badminton and basketball recreationally.

Japanese media described the gruelling 11-hour match as “extraordinary” and “historic,” while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also celebrated the win by Fujii, who trains against a computer.

His future plan is to attend college at UT in Austin or Rice University as a computer science major.

The wunderkind only debuted on the pro shogi tour in December and has not been beaten since. Shogi player Sota Fujii, who has extended his winning “I really couldn’t streak to 29, in the first round of the Ryuo championimagine I would ships in Tokyo on Monday (Photo: AFP) win 29 straight,” he said after defeating a 19-year-old op- ter Google’s computer programme AlphaGo beat the world’s top-ranked ponent. player in the ancient Chinese board “I’m delighted and very surprised,” game Go last month. he added. AlphaGo took the first encounter in In his first match in December, Fua three-game series against Chinese jii defeated a now 77-year-old who world number one Ke Jie in a highset the previous record for the youngly anticipated match, a year after it est-ever professional decades earlier. trounced South Korean grandmaster The game, which is usually played Lee Se-Dol -- the first time a comatop a wood block set on a tatami-mat puter programme beat a top player in flooring, is similar to chess with play- a full contest.

Dr. Barbara Sunderland Manousso, the CEO and Founder of Manousso Mediation and Arbitration, LLC, and her team select a student annually to train as a mediator and arbitrator to complement their career path with conflict management skills and solutions. For the past eight years that this scholarship recognition has been given, recipients have found the training in conflict management skills a resume enhancer for their High school student Bowen Mei with his scholarship recognition. college and graduate school applications. Being t mediators and arAugus | y l u J June | bitrators have set STEAM: $350 * their applications 5 Days a Week apart from the 9:30 to 4:30 other applicants and has secured Orchestra: $150 * Science | Technology STEAM Orchestra Art & Craft Taekwondo their academic 3 Days a Week Engineering | Arts | Math Mon to Fri Mon to Fri Mon, Wed, & Fri Mon to Fri 10:00 to 12:00 programs.


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Section 2



Warner Bros., Tolkien Estate settle $80 Million ‘Hobbit’ lawsuit

The five-year battle focused on a decades-old contract and newer exploitations. (Photo: Warner Bros Productions) fter five years of litigation, Warner Bros. and the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien have announced in court that they have amicably resolved a fight over the digital exploitation of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

tion of a 1969 contract and 2010 regrant caused the studio to miss out on millions in Hobbit licensing and decreased exposure to the Jackson films. Warners contended that digital exploitations was both customary and within its scope of rights.

The Tolkien Estate and book publisher HarperCollins filed a $80 million lawsuit in 2012 alleging that Warners, its New Line subsidiary and Rings/Hobbit rightsholder Saul Zaentz Co. infringed copyright and breached contract by overstepping their authority. The plaintiffs claimed that a decades-old rights agreement entitled the studio to create only “tangible” merchandise based on the books, not other digital exploitations that the estate called highly offensive.

Those counterclaims became the subject of a side fight over whether Warners could sue for being sued. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that Warner Bros. had properly asserted contract claims.


The lawsuit brought the two sides into a new battle. Previously, New Line and the Tolkien Estate had fought over profit participation, coming to a deal in 2009 pegged as being worth more than $100 million. As Warner Bros. readied a Peter Jackson big-screen adaptation of The Hobbit, the Tolkien Estate began investigating digital exploitations when its attorney received a spam e-mail about the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Online Slot Game. The subsequent complaint filed in court talked about irreparable harm to Tolkien’s legacy and reputation from the prospect of everything from online games to housing developments. In reaction, Warner Bros. filed counterclaims, alleging that repudia-

Meanwhile, the two sides engaged in brutally detailed discovery with Tolkien heirs and others giving depositions about how the Rings/Hobbit business operates. There were witnesses also appearing about the intent of the 1969 agreement. For the last couple of years, not much has publicly happened in the dispute. Both sides were due to file summary judgment motions in anticipation of a potential trial. That’s been avoided with the sorcery of dealmaking. Terms haven’t been publicly disclosed, though the forthcoming release of games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War are likely indication of a mutually agreeable working relationship.


UMBAI | AFP - Bollywood star Aamir Khan’s hit wrestling movie “Dangal” has become the first Indian film to make 20 billion rupees, analysts said Wednesday, as it takes China’s cinemas by storm.

Aamir Khan

The Hindi movie’s record-breaking run has set a new and previously unthought of box office benchmark for Bollywood films abroad while also highlighting the value of the Chinese audience to Indian filmmakers. “Dangal has crossed the 2,000 crore mark (20 billion rupees or $310 million) which has never been done before,” Indian film trade analyst Ramesh Bala told AFP, pointing out that previous top Bollywood grosser “PK” made just $120 million. “Even 1,000 crore was a distant dream just a few months back. The bar has now been set very high,” he added. “Dangal”, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, is based on the true story of wrestling coach Mahavir Singh Phogat, who defies the odds by raising his daughters Geeta and Babita Phogat to become champion wrestlers. Geeta won a gold medal for India at the 2010 Commonwealth Games while her sister topped the podium at the same event in 2014. “Dangal” is a Hindi word used to describe a wrestling competition. The movie was released in India on December 23 last year and quickly became the highest-grossing Bollywood

film of all time, beating the 2014 science fiction film “PK”, which also stars Khan.

viewers, who have alone contributed around $190 million to “Dangal’s” takings, said Bala.

Gender discrimination and strict parenting are among the film’s themes. The issues appear to have struck an emotional response with Chinese

“’Dangal’ has become the highestgrossing non-Hollywood foreign film released in China,” the analyst added. (-AFP/File photo)

Revealed: Why Arjun Rampal’s ‘Daddy’ release has been postponed


t has been announced that the makers of Arjun Rampal’s ‘Daddy’ have been postponed the release of the film to September 8. The film, which had an initial release date of July 21, will now be released in September, because of an appeal that took everyone by surprise. Geeta Gawli, the daughter of gangster-politician Arun Gawli, on whom the film is based, met Arjun and requested him to push the release of the film to a time when her father will be out on parole.

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Talking about her meeting with Arjun, Geeta says, “I am really excited to show the film to everyone and I felt it would be special and auspicious to have the film released when my daddy was out on parole. I am really hoping that he gets parole at the time. I want the world to see the film and know the real daddy who has been our pillar of strength for so many years. I wanted them to release the film in September instead.” Geeta adds, “To see Daddy in person and on screen is very different. We cannot wait for the movie and are overwhelmed by the trailer. Arjun and Ashim have shown every aspect of our father’s life in this movie. We have no words to describe what we are going through. Over the last 3 years, Arjun has really understood my father and I really respect that he has kept his feelings in mind and made this movie while staying true to the ups and downs that he has endured in his life.”

Photo: AMC high plains drma set in rural Texas, AMC’s Preacher has us wondering: is t this the most underrated show on television right now?


Full of gritty yet meditative set pieces that remind us of a mix of two other AMC shows, namely Mad Men and Breaking Bad, Preacher tells the story of a fallen man in search of redemption and the Texas town where angels and vampires drift through like tumbleweed.

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Bollywood’s ‘Dangal’ sets new benchmarks for success abroad

In a statement delivered after publication of this story, a Warner Bros. spokesperson says, “The parties are pleased that they have amicably resolved this matter and look forward to working together in the future.” (-The Hollywood Reporter)

The noir, southern Gothic supernatural backdrop serves to highlight, rather than obscure, the more earthly dramas of the show’s characters. Based on the classic Vertigo comic book series of the same name, Preacher realization is clear: a brand of smart, beautiful and bleakly hilarious Gothic. A kind of violent “whiskey Gothic” perfectly suited to the sins, both cosmic and local, of Annville, Texas. Starring Dominic Cooper and Oscar nominee Ruth Negga, Preacher’s second season is starting now. Season One is out on DVD/Blu-ray. (-Spy News)

FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

Arjun Rampal has delayed the film’s release (Photo: Karta Entertainment)

‘Daddy’ was the first Indian film to be launched at the Google headquarters and is one the most anticipated releases of 2017. The film starring Arjun Rampal in the lead role as Arun Gawli has been directed by Ashim Ahluwalia. (-TOI)


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Section 2


Scientists find protein that regulates skin cancer spread through body


ARIS, France | AFP | Wednesday 6/28/2017 - Scientists have pinpointed a cancer protein which controls the disease’s spread from the skin to other organs, and proposed Wednesday that blocking it may be an effective treatment.


Dubbed MIDKINE, the protein is secreted by melanomas -- the most serious type of skin cancer -- before travelling to a different part of the mouse body to kickstart cancer formation, they said. In subsequent observations in humans, high levels of MIDKINE in the lymph nodes of skin cancer patients were predictive of “significantly worse” outcomes, the team reported in the science journal Nature.

In a new study, scientists have found a new protein, dubbed MIDKINE, secreted by melanomas that can kickstart cancer formation (AFP Photo/Lillian Suwanrumpha)

This was the case even if there were no tumour cells in the lymph nodes.

The new study offers a possible answer. “When these tumours are aggressive, they act at a distance much earlier than previously thought,” said the authors.

Early detection is important in melanoma. After it starts spreading, patient prognosis is usually poor. It was long thought that melanoma prepares the organs it intends to colonise by activating the growth of fluidtransporting lymph vessels -- first in and around the primary tumour, then the surrounding lymph nodes, and so on. However, removing lymph nodes next to a melanoma tumour does not prevent metastases, meaning there is “something missing” in our under-

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Working with mice genetically engineered to develop human skin cancers, the team discovered that the protein plays a key role promoting -- or inhibiting -- metastasis, the spread of cancer from one area or organ to another.

“In MIDKINE we have found a possible strategy that merits consideration for drug development,” said Marisol Soengas of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid, a coauthor of the study.

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standing of the spread mechanism, said the researchers.

MIDKINE travelled directly to the

new cancer site irrespective of lymph vessel formation around the original tumour. The work, they concluded, “might open a door to diagnostic and therapeutic strategies that aim to deal with metastases before they have a chance to arise.”

New study links common pesticide to bee deaths by Jean-Louis Santini


ASHINGTON | AFP | Friday, June 30, 2017 -Two of the most extensive field studies conducted to date in Europe and Canada have confirmed the hypothesis that neonicotinoid insecticides are harmful to bees and other pollinating species.

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The results, published Thursday in the US journal Science, also reveal that local environments can mitigate the impact of the pesticide, which is widely used in farming despite being dubbed a “bee killer.”

The chemical -- which acts on the nervous system of insects -- had a “largely negative” effect on the pollinating insects that are essential to Call Today! many crops. It their 281-888-2705 reduced reproductive success and boosted mortality rates, according to the research that was part funded by the German chemicals company Bayer and Switzerland’s Syngenta.

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“In the light of this new study, continuing to claim that use of neonicotinoids in farming does not harm bees is no longer a tenable position,” said David Goulson, a biology professor at Britain’s University of Sussex who did not participate in the study. The first experiment, conducted over a total of 2,000 hectares (5000 acres) in Great Britain, Germany and Hungary exposed three bee species to winter oilseed rape crops with seeds coatings containing either clothianidin from Bayer CropScience or Syngenta’s thiamethoxam. The coatings were temporarily banned by the European Union in 2013 due to concerns regarding their impact on bee health, though there are now plans to ban them completely in fields but not in greenhouses. The researchers found exposure to the pesticide reduced winter survival

The 2018 Social Security cost-ofliving adjustment (COLA) will not be announced until October, but inflation trends point toward an increase of about 2 percent, according to a recent forecast by the Senior Citizens League. That would be a welcome change compared with the 0.3 percent bump in 2017, and 2016 when no COLA was made. COLAs are determined by an automatic formula tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPIW). From 2013 to 2015, the annual increases have ranged around 1.5 percent. For a retiree receiving the average monthly Social Security benefit of $1,360, a 2 percent raise would translate to an increase of $27.20. But for most beneficiaries, Medicare Part B premiums are deducted from Social Security. And the impact of the Part B premium on net benefits next year will vary due to what is known as the “hold harmless” provision governing Social Security. By law, the dollar amount of Part B premium increases cannot exceed the dollar amount of the COLA — a feature that ensures net Social Security benefits do not fall. The hold harmless provision applies to the 70 percent of the Medicare population enrolled in both programs. Those not held harmless include anyone delaying their filing for Social Security benefits, but others affected include some federal and state government retirees. Affluent seniors who pay high-income Medicare premium surcharges also are not protected. The stingy COLAs of the past two years are rare, and now they have set the table for an equally unusual situation for 2018. The recent flat COLAs meant that nonprotected Medicare enrollees shouldered most of the burden of rising Part B premiums; the premiums for this group jumped sharply in 2016 and 2017. This year, they are paying $134 per month, while protected beneficiaries are paying an average of $109. But a generous 2018 COLA will spread higher Part B program costs across the entire Medicare population. That means nonprotected enrollees will see their premiums fall, while the protected group will pay more. Consider an example where the standard Part B premium falls to $125. That above-mentioned average Social Security beneficiary (receiving $1,360 monthly) now faces a $16 increase in her monthly Part B premium, reducing the COLA from $27.20 to $11.20. If the recipient were receiving $2,000 a month

rates in Hungary, where the colony population fell by 24 percent and in Britain where survival rates were “very low.” Germany did not see a dramatic decline, which lead author Ben Woodcock put down to the availability of alternative flowering resources. All three countries saw a decline in reproduction rates, linked to residual neonicotinoid in nests. The second study conducted in Canada showed that worker bees and queens exposed to the insecticide died earlier, while the overall health of colonies was also weakened.

Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway, Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900

it would be a net monthly COLA of $24, instead of $40. COLA falls behind Setting aside the hold-harmless math, the COLA formula is not keeping seniors even with rising inflation. The Senior Citizens League’s annual study of changes in key costs impacting seniors found that Social Security beneficiaries have lost nearly one-third of their buying power since 2000, and they have lost 7 percent just over the past 12 months. Health care premiums and out-ofpocket costs loom large, accounting for five of the top 10 items in the study. “Retirees are either spending down their savings to cover the gaps, or simply going without,” said Mary Johnson, the group’s Social Security and Medicare policy consultant. Rising health care costs threaten to erode net Social Security benefits dramatically over time, according to Healthview Services, a maker of health cost projection software. A Healthview report issued last week projects that health care inflation will rise an average of 5.47 percent annually for the foreseeable future. That is more than double the annual projected Social Security COLAs. A couple turning 65 this year receiving average Social Security benefits will pay 59 percent of lifetime Social Security benefits for health care; the same couple age 55 this year can expect to pay out 92 percent when they reach Medicare age. The health care cost trend underscores the value of working longer. Staying on the job reduces the number of years of Medicare premium payments, and creates opportunities to boost Social Security income — and COLAs — through delayed claiming. Planning experts also suggest that retirees keep part of their portfolio in stocks past retirement age to beat inflation. To select right Medicare Plan, or Individual or Group healthcare plan, contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.

Worker bees exposed to the treated pollen during their first nine days had their lifespans cut short by 23 percent, were unable to maintain a healthy laying queen and had poor hygiene. The researchers were surprised to learn the contaminated pollen the honeybees collected did not belong to corn or soybean plants originally treated by the insecticides. This indicates that neonicotinoids, which are water soluble, spill over from agricultural fields into the surrounding environment, where they are taken up by other plants that are very attractive to bees.

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Blood doping McDonald’s shuts 41 Delhi restaurants doesn’t work Le Roux over expired licenses by Mariëtte ARIS, France | AFP |


EW DEHLI, India | AFP - McDonald’s India said on Thursday it has temporarily Ad 41 restaurants in Delhi due to expired licenses in a major blow to the brand’s ambitions in the fast-growing Indian market. The American fast-food giant said it has temporarily suspended operations at 41 of its 55 McDonald’s restaurants across the Indian capital after they failed to renew their eating house licenses -- a police registration to operate a place of public entertainment. The decision follows a longrunning legal dispute between Connaught Plaza Restaurants Private Limited (CPRL), an Indian franchisee firm that runs the restaurants in Delhi, and McDonald’s, according to local media reports. “The Eating House Licenses of a number of McDonald’s restaurants in Delhi have expired... Pending this, CRPL is temporarily suspending the operations of the affected restaurants,” McDonald’s said in a statement, without providing further details.

15 percent a year, according to Delhi-based consulting firm Technopak. The country of 1.2 billion -- with a young population, increasing disposable incomes and a changing lifestyle that encourages eating out -- is an attractive market for foreign fast-food firms. “The market potential is huge but to set up and run restaurants in India is very difficult,” said Saloni Nangia, president of Technopak. On average, restaurants require up to 50 licenses to operate -- a number that shoots up if the business wants to serve liquor, Nangia said. India ranks 130 in World Bank’s ease of doing business index. McDonald’s in India is facing intense competition as global fast-food and cafe chains flock to the South Asian giant in a market beset with obstacles. “It’s a body blow for the brand,” Ashita Aggarwal, a Mumbai-based marketing expert, was quoted by the Economic Times newspaper.

More than 1,500 employees will reportedly lose their jobs but McDonald’s told AFP that its franchisee “is retaining the employees of affected restaurants and will pay them their salary during the period of suspension”.

McDonald’s has had previous problems in India.

Once the required licenses are obtained and renewed by CPRL, the affected restaurants will resume operations, the statement said.

A picture showed a tiny lizard amidst golden-brown fries in the chain’s iconic red carton.

The fast-food restaurant market in India is worth some $1.5 billion and growing at around

In March, a pregnant woman complained of finding a lizard in the french fries she bought at her local McDonald’s restaurant in eastern India.

Food safety standards are often lax in India where it is difficult to build a watertight supply chain due to a shortage of infrastructure and resources.

Deadly diet: Thai doctors battle cancercausing fish dish by Sally Mairs


ALASIN, Thailand | AFP - It wasn’t until he got to medical school that Narong Khuntikeo finally discovered what caused the liver cancer that took both of his parents’ lives: their lunch. Like millions of Thais across the rural northeast, his family regularly ate koi pla -- a local dish made of raw fish ground with spices and lime.

this because they die quietly, like leaves falling from a tree.” After seeing hundreds of hopeless late-stage cases on the operating table, Narong is now marshalling scientists, doctors and anthropologists to attack the “silent killer” at source. They are fanning out across Isaan provinces to screen villagers for the liver fluke and warn them of the perils of koi pla and other risky fermented fish dishes.

The pungent meal is quick, cheap and tasty, but the fish is also a favourite feast for parasites that can cause a lethal liver cancer killing up to 20,000 Thais annually.

But changing eating habits is no easy task in a region where love for Isaan’s famously chililaden cuisine runs deep.

Most hail from northeast, a large, poor region known as Isaan that has dined on koi pla for generations and now has the highest reported instance of the Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) -bile duct cancer -- in the world.

Many villagers are shocked to hear that a beloved dish passed down for generations is a danger rather than a comfort.

One of the major causes of CCA is a parasitic flatworm -- or fluke -- which is native to the Mekong region and found in many freshwater fish. Once eaten, the worms can embed undetected in the bile ducts for years causing inflammation that can, over time, trigger the aggressive cancer, according to the World Health Organization. “It’s a very big health burden around here... it affects families, education and socioeconomic development,” said Narong, who went on to become a liver surgeon to battle the scourge. “But nobody knows about

- Karma and convenience -

Others are wedded to the convenience of a thrifty lunch they can whip up using fish caught in the ponds that border their rice paddies. “I used to come here and just catch the fish in the pond... it’s so easy to eat raw,” said Boonliang Konghakot, a farmer from Khon Kaen province, licking his lips as he sprinkled seasonings into a bowl of the finelychopped fish’s pink flesh. Since learning of the cancer link he has started frying the mixture to kill off the parasite -a method doctors recommend. Yet not everyone is as easily swayed, according to Narong and his team. Many villagers complain that cooking the dish gives it a sour taste


Thursday 6/29/2017 - Use of the EPO hormone to boost athletic performance did nothing for amateur cyclists in a road-race trial, according to a study Friday that questioned whether blood doping is worth the risk. While they gained a bit of power on stationary bikes in lab tests, cyclists given erythropoietin (EPO) did not perform better in a real race than peers given a dummy-dose, Dutch researchers said on the eve of the annual Tour de France cycling race. Any effect of EPO was “undetectable in a real-life cycling race,” the team concluded in the journal The Lancet Haematology. “Claims of great effects in popular literature cannot be substantiated, and therefore these results might reduce the incentive for athletes to use” EPO doping. EPO is a hormone naturally produced by the human body to stimulate production of red blood cells which carry oxygen to the muscles. Injecting EPO is a form of “blood doping” popular among bikers and runners, but thickens the blood and heightens the risk of heart disease, stroke and blood clots. EPO doping has been banned since the 1990s, but is thought to be widely use among professional athletes. Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to taking it. The authors of the new study could not use professional cyclists in their trial, as this could have exposed the athletes to a ban for using a prohibited substance. Instead, they enrolled 48 welltrained but non-professional male cyclists aged 18 to 50. Over eight weeks, half were given weekly shots of rHuEPO -- a synthetic drug form of the hormone -- and the other half a placebo salt-water solution. The participants did not know who got which. Doses were similar to those used by professional cyclists, the researchers said. They put the group through a series of performance tests -two in the lab on exercise bikes, the third on the road 12 days after the last dose. Red blood cell concentrations and performance -- including power output and oxygen consumption -- were higher in the rHuEPO recipients than the placebo group in the high-intensity lab test, they found. But these differences largely disappeared in the lab-based test of endurance. On the road, a 21.5-kilometre (13.4-mile) race up Mont Ventoux -- known as the hardest of the Tour de France climbs -power output, oxygen consumption and race time did not differ between the doped and placebo cyclists. No negative health effects were reported during the trial, though the rHuEPO group had higher levels of blood molecules that may boost the risk of thrombosis, said the research team. Now, “the question remains whether our data can be applied to professional cyclists.” Commenting on the study, EPO expert Michel Audran of France’s AFLD anti-doping agency, said the result may be explained by the absence of a placebo effect. This happens when a patient given a dummy drug in an experimental trial starts feeling better because they believe the treatment to be the real thing.

FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

The Importance of Honey Bees


his photo was taken at the hives at Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, MA. CCMNH Beekeeper, George Muhlebach is educating KidSummer Extreme Science students on the importance of honey bees as pollinators and how they impact the food that human beings put on their table every day. Photo courtesy National Geographic and T. Izzo

Microsoft could lay off ‘thousands’ as it focuses more on cloud services by Nick Statt


EDMOND, Washinhgton - Microsoft reorganized its global sales force today to heighten its focus on selling cloud services instead of standalone pieces of software, according to The Wall Street Journal. The reorganization, just the latest in a series of structural changes the company has undergone since former CEO Steve Ballmer resigned and Satya Nadella took over in 2014, won’t immediately result in layoffs. Yet the WSJ reports that thousands of jobs could be cut down the line as a result of the sales shuffle. This doesn’t appear like it will have a huge impact on how Microsoft does business on a day-to-day basis. Since the appointment of Nadella, the former head of Microsoft’s cloud division, the company has put more and more resources toward building out its Azure cloud computing platform and selling software subscriptions to businesses. This is all part

of a steady shift away from one-time software licenses for products like Windows and Office. Microsoft is still playing catch up against Amazon, with the massive success of its AWS business, and now trying to stave off competition from Google and its growing cloud division. Microsoft says it will now focus on two distinct areas: big enterprise customers, and then small to medium-sized busi-

nesses. It’s not exactly clear what changes are in the pipeline, but an email from Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s executive vice president of worldwide commercial business, says sales reorganization is designed to “align the right resources for the right customer at the right time.” The magnitude of the potential layoffs is unclear, but the WSJ says they will likely occur in offices all around the globe.

Tesla confirms its massmarket Model 3 sedan will enter production this month esla’s first mass-market electric car, the Tesla Model 3, is set to enter production after passing “all regulatory requirements,” according to CEO Elon Musk.


The company cofounder took to Twitter earlier today to reveal that the first car is expected off the conveyor belt this coming Friday, followed by 30 vehicles on July 28 and an anticipated “exponential” growth in production in the months that follow. Musk added that he expects Tesla will be able to produce 20,000 Model 3 cars per month from December. Tesla first unveiled the Model 3 last March, and anticipation for the company’s new “affordable” electric car reached fever pitch in the buildup to launch. Musk revealed that 180,000 people had committed a $1,000 deposit to get on the buying list on the first day of preorders last year, with an anticipated average price of $42,000. That represents the equivalent of around $7.5 billion in sales if each person followed through on their intent to buy.

Founded in 2003, Tesla rose to prominence with the Roadster, which was one of the earliest all-electric sports cars to land en masse in the U.S., in 2008. Tesla has produced a handful of electric vehicles since, with the Model S emerging as one of the best-selling plug-in electric cars. However, at $76,000, it isn’t aimed at the mass market. This is something Tesla hopes to change with the Model 3, with versions of the vehicle starting at $35,000. Earlier this year, Tesla had to explain why Model S own-

ers shouldn’t trade in their car for a Model 3, after confusion emerged among Tesla fans who thought that the Model 3 was the company’s latest and greatest car. The price alone should perhaps have indicated that the Model 3 was aimed at a different market segment — but Tesla had to spell things out. “While Model 3 will be our newest car, it isn’t ‘Version 3’ or the next generation Tesla,” it said. “Our higher priced premium models still include the most advanced technology and the best driving experience we have to offer.” (-VentureBeat)



FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

Designer Anita Dongre gets ready Upset Hindus urge Texas athletic apparel to test the international market as firm to withdraw Lord she launches her store in New York Ganesha leggings by Neeraja Murthy


pset Hindus are urging Pharr (Texas) based athletic clothing company “Miami Fitwear” for immediate withdrawal of leggings carrying images of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha; calling it highly inappropriate.

t is a big step for designer Anita Dongre as she gets set to go global and launch her two stores in New York. While the first store to be launched on July 5 will showcase her sustainable line ‘Grassroots’, the second store will take around twomonths time and display her label Anita Dongre.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn one’s legs. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

As she gets ready to test the international market, she confesses to being nervous. “Yes I am quite nervous and there are butterflies in the stomach,” she states over the phone and admits to working overtime to meet the deadline.


Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Miami Fitwear and its CEO to also offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing “True Wisdom” Ganesha leggings. Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed noted. Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deities was disturbing to the Hindus world over. Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers, Zed added. Miami Fitwear; whose products include leggings, capris, pants; describes itself as “an athleisure and lifestyle company” and claims to “handcraft every legging”. Raquel Ponce is

the founder of Miami Fitwear, which it states, “is all about making you feel good”. “True Wisdom” Ganesha leggings are priced at $98 and its description includes: “We hope our handdrawn Ganesha leggings help you remember how beautifully strong and wise you are when you decided to use your energy in a positive way.” In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. There are about three million Hindus in USA. (-AFP)

During Eid, tradition rules the roost

She has made many trips to Hyderabad and has many pleasant memories associated with the city. “I have had many clients from Hyderabad who have come to Bombay to shop for my designs,” she says and recalls one of her trips to the Falaknuma Palace. “I was mesmerised by the architectural marvels of the Palace. It is one of the most luxurious destinations in India. From the Venetian chandeliers to the 100-seater dining hall and the carved rosewood furniture – everything is awe-inspiring.” The Mumbai-based designer has made quite a name with her labels AND, Global Desi and Grassroots. “Grassroots has the eco-friendly and sustainable clothing and I hope New Yorkers will like these handcrafted clothes,” she enthuses. Her second store with bridal designs will bring in a distinct taste. “I believe that fashion opens many dreams,” she states and points out the aim is to take designs closer to international customers. “There are many women, working professionals who do not have so much time to travel. We hope to save their time,” she smiles New York is a significant market for the designer. “I have always loved the multicultural vibe of New York City and its inherent sense of fashion. This makes it the perfect platform to pres-

Designer Anita Dongre (inset) with one of her 2017 sari creations (Photo: The Bridal Box) ent the finesse of India craftsmanship. Thankfully the numbers from online sales reinforce this belief.” She is aware of the competition but plans to carve a niche for the brand. “The silhouettes of the garments are global but the weaves and handcrafts are Indian, it’s hard for me to point to somebody who does the same thing.”

Although all her energies are focussed on the New York store, she has plans to expand. “There is a mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness as this is a big step for us. That said, Dubai is definitely on the roadmap,” she concludes. (-The Hindu)

6 Natural Remedies for Gorgeous Skin and Hair Hit the kitchen next time you want flawless skin or luscious locks by Melanie Rud Chadwick

microorganisms that are an essential part of healthy skin.) Apply a little bit straight onto your face, as you would a mask, or combine with a bit of raw honey for even more complexion-enhancing benefits. Either way, be sure you’re using a plain, full-fat variety; the fattier the yogurt, the more hydrating it will be.


f you’re anything like us, there’s probably no shortage of hair- and skin-saving products to be found in your medicine cabinet, but the secret to complexion perfection and stellar strands may just be hiding in your kitchen, not your bathroom. Ahead, six natural ingredients -- plus easy, DIY recipes -- that can help solve any and every beauty woe.

Green Tea It’s tea time. Loaded with protective antioxidants, this healthy beverage can do double-duty as a refreshing face mist. Brew it stronger than you would if you were drinking it, using either two tea bags or letting it steep longer, then store in the fridge in a spray bottle, where it will keep for a few days. “The soothing and antiinflammatory properties make this a perfect skin spritz to use after a day in the sun or a hard workout,” says Hart.

Raw Honey Celebrations continue in many Muslim families thanks to the wedding season which follows Ramzan (Photo: G. Ramakrishna) by Neeraja Murthy


ome Ramzan and Hyderabad dons a festive look. For the Muslim community, the shopping frenzy and celebratory mood is set to continue during the wedding season that begins in July. For Sabeeha Anjum of Mehdipatnam, this year’s Id-ul-Fitr is a special one as she gets ready for a family wedding. Think wedding and traditional jewellery takes centrestage. The stars of a Muslim wedding are the stunning Lacha karan phool, Chaandbali, Tirmani, Satlada, Jugni, Jhumar and the royal Nizami haar, all part of the traditional jewellery collection. Naheed Quraishi got married 27 years ago but the memories of her wedding day are still fresh in her mind. Decked up in the traditional Hyderabadi jewellery, her classic look earned her many compliments. The tradition continued when her daughter Haneen got married last September (in the photos along with her husband Faraaz.) Adorned with traditional jewels, the young bride was the cynosure of all eyes. “Whatever may be fashionable, brides like to dress up in traditional Hyderabadi jewellery,” points out Naheed. While girls like to experiment with diamonds for their Walima (reception), they prefer wearing traditional gold on the wedding day. At Jawaharatul Osman Jewellers in Abids, a couple looks dazed by the dazzle of the traditional pieces. The jewellery store exudes a royal feeling accompanied by warmth. Azhar Abdul Lateef shares that the store has completed 50 years. “My grandfather Osman Ahmed Jowahari used to make and supply jewellery for the Nizam,” he recalls. The store was initially at Zamrud Mahal and moved

to its present location 18 years ago. Interestingly, while Azhar’s paternal grandfather is the oldest jeweller of Hyderabad, his maternal grandfather is the oldest jeweller of Mumbai. His father, 65-year-old Abdul Latif Osman handles the administrative aspect, his mother looks after the designing department. Although the designs are fixed, some change pearls with emerald drops or ruby drops in almas (uncut diamonds) sets. “These traditional designs have been continuing for decades. For every Hyderabadi bride, Lacha karan phool (choker and earring set), Satlada (seven-stringed layered necklace) and Phanas ke kade are compulsory. Iske bina Hyderabad ki shaadi tho adhuri hai,” he smiles. Naheed reveals Hyderabadis follow the custom of wearing traditional jewellery; those who can’t afford gold and real gems opt for artificial jewellery of the same designs. Azhar expects jewellery sales to pick up in a few days. “NRIs from Middle East have holidays after Ramzan and weddings are planned so that the relatives can attend them. Most of the weddings happen in July and August and then there is a break, before picking up in November,” he elaborates. Wedding jewellery isn’t all about brides. Naheed says men too flaunt jewellery with grace. Azhar observes the Nizam kith and kin would dress up royally. “There are the sherwani buttons and a five or seven-layered chain made of basra moti.” Hyderabad’s milieu has changed over the years but when it comes to wedding jewellery, tradition clearly rules. (-The Hindu)

An exfoliant, hydrator, and acnefighter in-one, this sweet ingredient is a major multi-tasker. The key is to use it in its raw form, explains Jolene Hart, health coach and author of the “Eat Pretty” book series. “Unlike processed honey, it hasn’t been heated to kill the living components, which include enzymes, pollen, and propolis,” she says. Hart suggests applying a teaspoon or two on clean, damp skin for 15 minutes. “Its antibacterial properties fight blemishes, and it also loosens dead cells and draws moisture to the skin, leaving you with an amazingly soft complexion and fewer breakouts,” she says. Sweet, indeed.


Many people tout the health benefits of drinking ACV, but it also works wonders when used topically, both on skin and strands. “Diluted apple cider vinegar is a great astringent that can help restore or maintain your skin’s naturally acidic pH,” says Hart. Just mix with water, and dab on using a cotton ball or pad, as you would a toner.

Apple Cider Vinegar For your hair, it makes a great clarifying treatment, ideal for removing excess product build-up and residue. Try this easy recipe, courtesy of Alexis Wolfer, founder of TheBeautyBean. com and author of “The Recipe for Radiance”. Combine the juice of three lemons, half a cup of apple cider vinegar and three cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Mist onto dry hair until it’s fully saturated, then massage in for three to five minutes before shampooing and conditioning as usual.

Yogurt “Plain yogurt contains a small amount of lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates the skin, along with probiotics that feed the microbiome on your skin’s surface,” explains Hart. (FYI, the microbiome is made up of bacteria and

Morning beauty ritual for your face Some people love using ice cubes on their face every morning to freshen and rejuvenate the skin. This ritual is great, but it can be a little harsh, especially for sensitive and redness prone skin. So, here is an alternative way to do it: simply wipe your face in the morning with cold raw milk. You can also mix the milk with cucumber juice and wipe your face with it using a cotton ball. Rinse your face with cold water once you are done. Not only it will instantly freshen your face, but also, it will help cleanse your skin and improve your skin tone, leaving your face extremely soft, glowing and fresh.

The beloved ingredient is more than just a delicious topping for toast or dip for chips. Loaded with healthy fats, it’s choice for hydrating both your strands and your scalp. Use it in Wolfer’s simple hair mask recipe, which uses half of a ripe avocado, half a cup of fullfat sour cream, and a teaspoon lemon juice. (Is it just us or does that sound very delicious?) Mash the avocado until smooth before mixing with the sour cream and lemon juice. Slather the mixture directly onto your scalp, pop on a shower cap and let it sit for 20 minutes before shampooing and conditioning. Along with all those fats in the avocado, lactic and citric acids in the sour cream and lemon juice gently exfoliate your scalp, creating the ideal environment for healthy hair growth.

Bananas Quit monkeying around with eye cream and grab a few bananas instead (sorry, we couldn’t resist). Rich in potassium, a mineral that helps cells retain moisture, bananas may help hydrate the thin skin around your eyes, notes Wolfer. Blend up a quarter of a banana with a quarter of a peeled cucumber and a tablespoon of raw honey, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Apply a thin layer of the cooled mixture under your eyes for 15 minutes before rinsing; the potassium in the bananas, along with the hydrating honey and cucumber, make this megamoisturizing and a great way to plump away fine lines around your peepers, fast. (Article courtesy Total Beauty)




Football, showbiz stars to dance at Messi’s wedding by Paula Bustamante

there too.


Messi, 30, has reportedly asked chefs to cook Argentine delicacies such as roast gizzards and sausages.

OSARIO, Argentina | AFP Football and showbiz stars gathered on Friday for the celebrity “wedding of the century” in Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi’s Argentine hometown as he prepared to marry his childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo. Pop star Shakira and her husband, Messi’s teammate Gerard Pique, were expected among the 260 guests, according to sources close to the event and local media, which dubbed it the biggest wedding in decades in the city of Rosario.

Uruguayan pop bands Rombai and Marama plus singer Karina, Aguero’s wife, will perform at the reception. It is not known whether the guests will also get a song from Shakira, the Colombian diva famous for “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever.” - Guards and reporters Organizers say 157 journalists have been accredited to cover the bash, but


Ravi Shastri is the frontrunner to be Team India coach: Sunil Gavaskar The cricket legend feels Ravi Shastri is the favourite for the high-profile job by Sharmistha Chaudhuri


avi Shastri is the frontrunner to be the next Team India coach feels cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar. Shastri, the India team director from 2014-16, formally applied for the head coach post on Monday after Sachin Tendulkar requested him to. “Ravi (Shastri) actually was the one where the turnaround actually started for the Indian cricket team back in 2014. After India lost in England, the BCCI asked him to come in as a team director... suddenly there was a change in the team’s fortunes over a period of time. Now that he’s applied, he’s probably the man who is going to get the job,” Gavaskar told NDTV. According to NDTV sources, the Indian team wants Shastri to return which makes him the favourite for the job. The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) will hold the interviews for the job on July 10 in Mumbai. The members of the CAC are Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. The deadline for applications is July 9. Apart from Shastri, some of the other applicants are Virender Sehwag, Lalchand Rajput, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Dodda Ganesh.

The bride shared this photo taken by wedding photographer Andrés Preumayr on her Instagram account (Photo: Instagram/antoroccuzzo88) They will join old friends of the couple and footballers including his Barcelona strike partners Neymar and Luis Suarez. Suarez and other soccer stars were watched by curious locals as they stepped off private jets on Thursday in the northern port city where the couple met as children. Former Barca and current Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas was also expected, as well as Argentina and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero. The public relations company organizing the event warned in a statement that the ceremony will be “strictly private.”

have been warned they will have no access to guests. Security will be handled by a private team of Israeli specialists used by Messi for all his excursions. Messi and Roccuzzo live in Barcelona where he plays, but still return regularly to Rosario for vacations. The couple met as children. He moved to Spain when he was 13 to join FC Barcelona, but they kept in touch. “They are the love of each other’s lives,” Messi’s childhood friend Diego Vallejos told AFP. - ‘Leo and Anto’ -

Television crews and reporters gathered at the wedding venue hoping for a glimpse of the couple or at least some of their guests.

The couple have reportedly spent the past two weeks in Rosario with family, but have kept out of sight of reporters who have invaded the city.

The party will be a respite for Messi from his legal woes. A Spanish court last month rejected his appeal against a conviction for tax fraud.

Rumors circulated of bachelor and bachelorette parties, but the only evidence that emerged was a photo, posted by ex-Barca goalkeeper Jose Pinto, of Messi enjoying a barbecue with a few friends.

Brunette bride Roccuzzo, 29, will wear a dress by Rosa Clara -- a Spanish designer who has dressed actress Eva Longoria and Spain’s Queen Letizia. - Roast gizzards The wedding is scheduled at 2200 GMT in the City Center casino, which stands right next to a crime-ridden slum run by drug gangs. The civil wedding ceremony and party will all take place inside the venue, and the guests will be lodged

Some friends of Roccuzzo have shared pictures of her relaxing with relatives. On the eve of the wedding, a festive atmosphere reigned in the Las Heras neighborhood where Messi grew up. “We will celebrate,” said Damian Lugoni, 27, a local sausage sandwich vendor. “I wish good luck to Leo and Anto, who is just as simple and nice as him.”


Tennis: Venus Williams faces lawsuit over deadly crash

Attorney Michael Steinger told ABC television’s “Good Morning America” that the family of Jerome Barson would file a wrongful death suit against Williams following the June 9 crash in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

“At this point we are attempting to both preserve the evidence and gain access to evidence,” Steinger told the program. “There were video cameras placed at guard houses where Ms. Williams lives, police have refused after multiple requests to turn those over to us, and we would like to see visual portrayal of the accident on those videos,” he added. According to details of a Palm Beach Gardens police report, Williams’ 2010 Toyota Sequoia SUV was in collision with a 2016 Hyundai Accent driven by Barson’s wife, Linda Barson. The police report described Williams as being “at fault” in the incident. The accident remains under investigation and she has not been charged with an offence. A statement from Williams’ attorney Malcolm Cunningham on Thursday

“There’s (Virender) Sehwag, (Tom) Moody who has done a wonderful job with the Sunrisers Hyderabad (in the Indian Premier League)... yes there are candidates who are around but Ravi has the experience. Ravi has been with the team before, he seems comfortable

Gavaskar believes the CAC will pick someone the India team is comfortable with (Photo: AFP) with the team,” Gavaskar said. “I would imagine the CAC would go back to a person the team feels comfortable with and give him the job,” the former India captain added. During Shastri’s tenure as team director, India won the Test series in Sri Lanka after a gap of 22 years and also outplayed South Africa 3-0 in a fourTest home series before clinching the Asia Cup. It later came out that Shastri desperately wanted to continue his association with the Indian team, but the CAC chose Anil Kumble as head coach ahead of Shastri.

after Kumble stepped down from the role once the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 concluded. In a statement, Kumble said that the relation between Virat Kohli and himself had become ‘untenable’ and that the captain had reservations with his style. The Indian team is currently in the West Indies, playing a five-match ODI series. They lead 2-1 after a shock 11run loss in the fourth ODI on Sunday. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s slow halfcentury was a factor in the loss but not the only factor. “Stop blaming MSD. It was a team batting failure,” Gavaskar added. (-NDTV)

The head coach position lies vacant

ICC Women’s World Cup 2017

Ekta Bisht, India’s spin queen who kills the opposition softly by Prasenjit Dey rom being the first woman cricketer from Uttarakhand to represent India to becoming the leader of India’s spin attack in a span of just six years, Ekta Bisht’s journey has been one to remember. Since making her debut for India in an ODI against Australia at Chesterfield in 2011, Bisht has grown from strength to strength. And with her memorable spell of 5/18 against archrivals Pakistan on Sunday, she firmly established her credentials as India’s spin Queen.


When you are defending a total as low as 170 in ODI cricket, you need your bowling spearheads to step up. Bisht did exactly that as she broke the backbone of Pakistan batting line-up by claiming the wickets of three toporder batswomen - Ayesha Zafar (1), Sidra Nawaz (0) and Iram Javed (0) within the first eight overs of the innings. With the three strikes Pakistan were left gasping for breath as they were reduced to 14/4 inside first eight overs. Not just that, when India needed to wrap things up quickly, skipper Mithali Raj again summoned the 31-yearold to go scythe through the tail and Bisht obliged with the wickets of Nashra Sandhu (1) and Diana Baig (0) off back-to-back deliveries in the

India’s Ekta Bisht celebrates taking the wicket of Pakistan’s Diana Baig (Photo: Reuters) 29th over to reduce Pakistan to 51/9 from 51/7. And when she finished her spell, the scorecard displayed impressive figures of 10-2-18-5. When she was also adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’ for her superb bowling efforts, it seemed that her career had finally come full circle. Statistics of 68 wickets in 43 ODI matches at an average of 19.04 and

economy rate of 3.30 tells the story about Bisht’s consistency since she made her debut. The numbers are pretty similar in T20Is also in which she has clinched 45 wickets in 36 matches at an impressive average and economy rate of 14.84 and 5.37 respectively. India Women are on a roll in the ongoing Women’s World Cup with three wins in three matches. (-FirstPost)


Ramkumar Ramanathan achieves career best ranking, becomes India’s No 1


IAMI | AFP - The family of a man who died in a car crash involving Venus Williams plan to sue the tennis superstar, a lawyer said Friday.

Barson, who suffered head injuries in the accident, died two weeks later on June 22.

FRIDAY, July 7, 2017


NTALYA, Turkey | AFP - Helped by his sublime effort during the Antalya Open in Turkey where he beat World No 8 Dominic Thiem, Ramkumar Ramanathan has climbed to World No 184 in the latest ATP Rankings released on Monday. Venus Williams during a press conference after the incident (Photo: AFP) said the incident was an “unfortunate accident.” “Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light,” Cunningham said. “The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was traveling at 5 mph when Mrs. Barson crashed into her. Authorities did not issue Ms. Williams with any citations or traffic violations. This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.” Cunningham said Williams entered an intersection on a green light that turned red during her turn but became stuck in the intersection because of traffic. The police report said Williams was deemed at fault for blocking the right of way of the other vehicle.

In the tournament where he went through the qualifying rounds to beat Rogerio Dutra Silva and then Thiem, Ramkumar was rewarded for his impressive run with him jumping 38 places. He lost in the quarterfinals against veteran on tour Marcus Baghdatis 7-6, 3-6, 6-7 after saving match points. The passage into the quarterfinals, then at World No 222, earned Ramkumar 57 points which helped him to World No 184 in the ATP charts. The progress also makes him India’s World No 1 player to take over from Yuki Bhambri who has had an injury affected season. His place has been taken by Bhambri (222), Prajnesh Gunneswaran (259), N Sriram Balaji (291) and Sumit Nagal (342), who jumped 27 places. In men’s doubles, Rohan Bopanna remained the highest-ranked Indian at number 21, followed by Purav Raja (57), Divij Sharan (57), Leander Paes

Ramanathan’s previous best ranking was World No 196 (File Photo) (62) and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (90). In the women’s rankings, Sania Mirza remained at number seven in the doubles and Ankita Raina was highestranked singles player at number 274. Karman Kaur Thandi was next best at 413. Overall, Andy Murray continues to lead the charts despite a poor 2017. Close on his heels are Rafael Nadal, number 2, Stan Wawrinka, number 3, and Novak Djokovic, number 4, and all three will have a shot at Murray’s number one crowd at Wimbledon

which began on Monday. In the WTA rankings, Angelique Kerber is the top player with Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Serena Williams, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Wozniacki, Johanna Konta, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Dominika Cibulkova and Agnieszka Radwanska making up the top-10. Ramkumar Ramanathan was born in Chennai in 1994, plays right handed (double handed backhand) and is one of the few Indian players to have an ATP Top 10 win,. (-India Express)



FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of July 7, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE

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


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

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

Your Involvement with influential people or any other group is likely to be a focus at this time. You may be asked to take responsibility or even a leadership role or to contribute and participate more fully than you have in the past. You will enjoy being part of a team or group effort now. Being part of a community or circle of friends and building your social network is important to you at this time. This will defiantly turn out rewardable in coming days. You have to maintain balance at your home front too.

You getting what you really want and moving toward achieving the things which are important to you may involve surrendering something or eliminating something from your life at this time. Perhaps an attitude, a situation, or an attachment that has been impeding you is now released. You feel free to concentrate on the things that are most important to you now. Major, long-term changes can be successfully begun now - a lifestyle change or a regimen of self-improvement, for instance.

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

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

Your serious mind and you are able to concentrate on work that requires patience, attention to detail, and precision. Practical concerns dominate. It is a good time to learn practical skills, do your taxes, organize your files, and take care of business. You’ll want to avoid light social conversation that distract you from your work. Friendships and cooperative endeavors flourish now. You will achieve a harmonious balance of giving and receiving and of talking and listening, and any social or joint activity will benefit.

You will be more concentrated and focused on your work is which very good now. This is a time to attend to details, take care of practical business, and to make your life more stable and secure. It would be beneficial to consult advisors on investments and long-range plans and to put your affairs in order. Eliminating waste and inefficiency is important to you now. There is much activity; you move rapidly from one thing to another and a hectic, somewhat stressful pace is likely.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Your mind will be very creative & you will be eager to discuss your thoughts and plans with others at this time and you may have a very fruitful brainstorming session, a spirited debate, or a very active meeting with others in which things really get accomplished. You are verbally assertive and can present your own plan or idea quite convincingly. Good time to make new friends, meet new people. Your creativity will flow along with communication with other people.

Your interactions with others and with the outside world in general which can be confusing, and discouraging. It seems that whatever you try to do goes nowhere or gets lost in a haze of misunderstanding. Taking time off, working quietly, or doing something primarily for the benefit of others without concern for personal gain is favored at this time. At this time, you’re likely to feel that you cannot make your desires or influence felt, and that things go awry when you try to assert yourself, make an impact, or get things done in a forthright way.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Unusual ventures, unexpected events which create the need for considerable adjustment on your part are indicated now. Whatever agenda you had planned is apt to be spontaneously disregarded for what may well be a better alternative. However, you are prone to be more than a little reckless now, so be certain you are not jeopardizing those areas of your life which are your support structure and which in fact enable you to experiment and do some of the things you want to do.

Your thinking, ideas & opinion will mismatch with others in day to day life. You may have to speak your mind in a way that challenges or unnerves someone else. However, your mind is very active and sharp, and your reasoning power is good, so this is a good time to do mental work. It is easy for you to talk about your feelings now and also to listen sensitively to not only what others are saying but also what they are feeling. This is an excellent time to discuss your feelings and clear the air of any grievances you may be holding onto.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August You have to take care of yourself. Good health should be your first priority at this time or it may create hurdle in your progress. The flow of money will be normal & regular. The money due from others may get delayed. But only, proper budget planning will make smooth financial flow. Spouse & family members will be supportive & co-operative. You will have to give some time regarding children’s education issues, which you may not be able to delay.

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Little disappointments with friends or people in general are likely. You are hypersensitive and need much affection & support but are feeling shy asking for it. Others’ callousness, clumsiness, or heartlessness affect you more than usual, and you are rather unrealistic in your hopes and expectations of them. You may also be overly adaptable and accommodating in your relationships at this time, enabling others to continue in their bad habits or to take advantage of your unconditional support.


Your work will demand more of your time & attention. You are foreseeing so many opportunities in your path ahead & you want to prepare yourself for that sweet fruit. You will be so much occupied in your work life that you may accidently ignore paying attention at home front but your spouse will totally be in your support. Co-operation from spouse will make you more stronger, you will be able to focus on your goals & targets. Old friends or relatives will try to get in touch.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March It will be difficult to balance needs for freedom and independence with needs for love and companionship. People or things which might offend your senses at other times now uplift your appreciation and interest. This will not be a boring time if you can help it! But it is apt to be a tense time if you are not communicating right with your spouse. Concentrate while driving & pay attention on your speed limits. Avoid stock market or any gambling related activities, otherwise you may lose money. Although you can do long term investment planning with experts advice & guidance.



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FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

JOB POSTING – METEOROLOGIST KTRK-TV the ABC Owned station in Houston, TX is looking for a meteorologist with a strong on-air presence, commanding, authoritative delivery, who knows how to turn weather data into relevant information for viewers. Candidates must have experience covering severe weather on live TV and you must have a meteorology degree and accredited weather seals. We want someone who strives to present an innovative weathercast on broadcast and digital platforms. You must be comfortable with the very latest in weather tools and technology. Candidates need to be willing to work any day, any shift. Be prepared to show examples of how you embrace new technologies and new digital platforms, including social media, to connect with and inform viewers. We want someone who wants to be involved in the community, is passionate about their work, and enjoys being part of a team. A minimum of 3 years in a medium or large TV market is a must. To be considered all interested applicants must apply online at, reference job # 469981BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references. Equal Opportunity Employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity No Telephone Calls Please

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Just as we tend to recognize that skills like creativity, analysis, or writing can come much easier to some than to others, ease with planning is something that we’re either born with or we’re not. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t develop those skills by actively building neuro-connections in our brain through persistent practice. As a time management coach, I’ve intuitively picked up on the importance of this truth. I’ve seen clients who have never been able to plan effectively in their entire lives develop this skill simply by looking for help, keeping at it, and pushing through the struggle — essentially, building resilience. If you find planning extremely difficult, you likely don’t have natural brain dominance in the back-left part of your brain. To find out what part of your brain dominates, do the self-assessment in the book Thriving in Mind or participate in the more formal Benziger Thinking Styles Assessment. Learning this can help you better understand what works for you and then use that to adjust your habits. - HBR.COM

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FRIDAY, July 7, 2017

Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper July 7 2017  

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

Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper July 7 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...