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VOICE OF ASIA voiceofasiaonline.com
28 years dedicated service toCounties the community Serving Harris,ofFort Bend and Surrounding for 29 years
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017 Judge blocks massive AetnaHumana merger and a federal judge is expected to block the Anthem-Cigna merger
Read on Page 18 or Call 832-806-1000
Vol. 30 No. 6 Friday, February 10, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: email@example.com • www.voiceofasiaonline.com
IACCGH hosts appreciation reception HCC announces the hiring of for Houston’s Indian American media Linda Toyota as Associate Vice
Chancellor of Communications
OUSTON - The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACCGH) held an Appreciation dinner reception on Thursday, February 2, at the Mayuri Indian Restaurant on Wertheimer. It was attended by a small group of media members representing newspaper, radio and TV for a relaxed get together and dinner. Jagdip Ahluwali, Executive Director, ICCGH welcomed the group and thanked them for their continued support. “We work together help the community grow and prosper, and without your support in getting the message out about some of the opportunities that exist, the success stories, and some the educational program that are available at no cost would not be possible.” “And in today’s world it is especially important when we have our leader talking down to the media, to continue to express our gratitude to our
O U S T O N [February 8, 2017] – Houston Community College Chancellor, Dr. Cesar Maldonado, announced the hiring of Linda Toyota as Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing. Toyota will assume her new role on February 27, 2017.
L-R: JAgdip Ahluwalia, Executive Director, IACCGH, Aku Patel, Swapan Dhaiy rawan, Ashok Garg, Joya Shukla, IACCGH outgoing president, Koshy Thomas, Publisher, Voice of Asia, his wife Moani Thomas and Shobana Muratee, Editor -in-Chief, Voice of Asia. Photo taken at the reception held on February brothers and sisters in the media,” he added. Joya Shukla, outgoing preside IACCGH also expressed her thanks for the support
to Chamber. Past President Ashok Garg, President Elect Swapan Dhairyawan and Director Aku Patel were presented on the oc-
casion. After dinner a formal presentation of the Certificate of Appreciation was made by the IACCGH team.
In his announcement, the Chancellor explained, “The communications function of the College is one of the most critical functions in the administration, and we welcome Linda to our team. We are honored to have a professional with strong expertise and deep relationships throughout our diverse community. We have transformed the inContinued on Page 10
“University Of Houston Day” at India House
Lunar New Year Houston - 2017
Dr. Renu Khator, President and Chancellor of UH System addressing the gathering at the India House. Photo by Bijay Dixit.
Phuong -Nga singer and Jimmy Nguyen with volunteers at the Lunar New Year Celebration in Houston . Read report on Page 13
UH Day at India House is where students get guidance at all levels to choose their career path future career from the numerous choices The event shad multiple informative booths, representing all the 13 colleges of UH to give general information about what each of the college can offer. Read report on page 9.
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VOICE OF ASIA Publisher: Associate Publisher: Editor-in-Chief: Austin Correspondent: Print & Media Marketing: Marketing Director: Office Manager:
Koshy Thomas Sherly Philip Shobana Muratee Sherine Thomas Jacob David Susan Pothanikat Priyan Mathew
Columnists: Legal: Richard M. Alderman Legal: Sharlene Sharmila Richards Research: Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Health Insurance: Sudhir Mathuria Astrology: Hardik Vyas
VoiceofAsiaOnline.com Editor Online:
by Bhamy Shenoy and Mallik Putcha. JFK Foundation has been giving awards since 1990 to celebrate individuals who choose the public interest over the partisanship, who do what is right rather than what is expedient. Though these awards are ordinarily given to living Americans, seven international awards have been given. Some of them are Ghana’s Kofi Annan, Ukraine’s Victor Yushchenko, People of Egypt and women of Liberia. In the global history, demonetization implemented by the Prime Minister of India on November 8th will go down as an epochal event for the reasons discussed below. The following statement was submitted to JFK foundation on January 31, 2017 to nominate PM Modi for this prestigious award. Those who want to support this nomination are urged to write to firstname.lastname@example.org and use social net works to spread the message.
All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the consent of the publisher. Voice of Asia assumes no liability resulting from action taken based on the information included herein. Published weekly by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713-7745143. Email for editorial submissions: email@example.com; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions: ads@ voiceofasiagroup.com
India’s Prime Minister Honorable Narendra Modi took an unexpected and audacious step on November 8, 2016, to combat widespread corruption in India, the largest democracy in the world, by implementing the demonetization of highdenomination paper currency. Demonetization was a simple
Voice of Asia (USPS 010-215) (ISSN#10705058) is published every Friday (for a subscription rate of $30 per year) by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713774-5143. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Voice of Asia, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074
Madhukar Prasad, Rajani Rayachoti, Prabha Sacheti and Vasu Rayachoti appeared on the Open Forum on Saturday 14-January to share the story of Seniors Forum – Hindu Temple of The Woodlands (HTW).
It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or confirmation of any facts or allegations contained in letters to the editor. Moreover, Voice of Asia reserves the right to edit letters to the editor as necessary to correct errors of fact, punctuation, spelling and to comply with space constraints. Although paid advertisements may appear in Voice of Asia Group Publications in print, online, or in other electronic formats, the Voice of Asia Group does not endorse the advertised product, service, or company, nor any of the claims made by the advertisement. - The Publisher
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The journey began in August of 2014 with the intent of providing a social forum for visiting parents, who often felt socially isolated and “imprisoned in a golden cage”. The first meeting comprised of 10-12 visiting parents and volunteers. Current strength of Seniors Forum- HTW (SF) is 60 which include: Visiting Parents, Resident Seniors and Volunteers who we fondly call “Sevaks”. The mission of this group has evolved from merely providing a social platform for visiting parents to serving four constituents: Seniors, Sevaks, Less fortunate of Montgomery County (MoCo) and HTW. More explicitly, the aim is to: (1) Enable the Seniors to live their lives fully with dignity and honor (Live Not Just Exist) (2) Provide a platform for the Sevaks to find meaning, joy and fulfillment by performing seva (service) (3) Care for the less fortunate of the community we call home and (4) Actively support HTW to achieve its Vision/Mission. The group meets twice every month. Key Activities include – Talks on health and wellness, financial/estate planning, spiritual and social, Talent shows comprised of singing, poetry, arts & crafts, Yoga & Meditation Sessions, Picnics, Day Trips/Cruises, and Weekly Bhajan Sessions. The selfless service of our Sevaks who support all Key Activities and other critical aspects of the program as well as the guest speakers who take time out of very busy schedule are invaluable for the success of the program.
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Profiles in Courage Award Nomination for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi strategy to bring 86% of the wealth stored in currency into the banking sector. By banning the use of these highervalued notes, those politicians and government officials who have accepted cash bribes and those business people who have freely dealt on a cash basis only, without paying taxes or providing receipts for their illegal transactions, were put in the position of losing their illgotten gains stored in currency (“black” money). Terrorists with fake currency also had to curtail their activities.
sector has added to the banks’ lending capacity. This may be why the World Bank endorsed Modi’s demonetization strategy. India has quickly begun to move from a 98% cash-transaction economy to a more transparent and formal cashless mode because of this strategy. This rapid digitization (with apps like PayTm, and similar types of e-wallets) will result in India becoming a more formal economy with less corruption and more revenue to the government.
Audacious step Great Political Risk The Indian people had to put up with the inconvenience of standing in long lines to either deposit their old notes or to obtain new notes. Despite the initial misgivings, no honest person lost money. However any one who deposited more than Rs. 2.5 lakhs will be prosecuted if they are unable to show proof of earnings. Demonetization has not proved a failure as some economists have claimed. Within 50 days, the banking sector was restored to normalcy and the flow of money into the banking
Never in the global history, has a country dared to experiment with demonetization to win the war against corruption. (Other demonetizations were driven by high inflation and currencies losing value.) Despite the likely protest not only from the opposition political parties—so aggressive that they did not allow functioning of the parliament for few days—and the likely chance of his party losing in the next election, Prime Minister Modi put the interests his country before his party. He took the
greatest political risk of his life—especially if the opposition succeeds in demonstrating demonetization as a failure. Some may compare this to the political risk, Senator Edmund G. Ross took while defeating the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson in the US history. This war against corruption was bound to have some collateral damage. Undoubtedly demonetization caused inconveniences to the poor and middle class. For those who had to spend for wedding celebrations, a cash shortage caused some problems. Some daily wage earners could not work for some time, and feeding their families became a problem. For the poor of India However compared to the regular lines the poor have had endure to collect their rightful entitlements of food and kerosene rations for over six decades, and their endless trips to government offices to get anything done in a corrupt and dysfunctional bureaucracy, the Continued on Page 3
Seniors Forum – HTW Coalition for the Homeless, and packing/delivering food at the Food Fair. The Group is also well represented in the Faiths Together Annual Thanksgiving program. The Forum passionately upholds HTW’s Vision and Mission. We make generous financial contributions, sponsor Annadanam, and participate in various HTW programs. Four of our Members serve on their Board and many volunteer at HTW events such as Diwali Mela and Holi. We are an extremely dynamic and vibrant group and have come a long way. But our journey is just beginning and have many more exciting opportunities ahead of us. The current issues we are addressing are: (1) Wellbeing of Seniors Living Alone: We have rolled out a program - Volunteer Support Network (VSN) to address this need. The program encourages Seniors living alone to establish a network of family and “buddies” who will stay in regular contact with them and respond during emergencies. (2) Senior Living Options: To assist Seniors who might face challenges living on their own, but would still like to live with dignity and honor, we plan to conduct workshops and dialogues about various options available to them. (3) Mentoring Youth: Recently we launched a collaborative program between Seniors and Youth where
wise hearts will meet energetic hands. Our members will mentor the youth in our community while the youth will help Seniors with technology such as computers, smart phones and social media. (4) Other Services: The Senior Forum is exploring avenues to make much needed services of IndoAmerican organizations such as Daya, IACAN more accessible
to our Woodlands community and neighboring areas. In closing, Seniors ForumHTW is steadfastly committed to serving our Seniors, our Sevaks, local community of MoCo and HTW. We are very excited about how far we have come and even more excited about the road ahead. --Madhukar Prasad
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Base of Mahatma Gandhi statue of the Photo by Ravi Iyer, a MBA student at UH Bauer College. Dear editor, While the Parks Dept. of the City of Houston is to be thanked for doing a good job of maintaining the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Herman Park, it is also our responsibility as a community to stay engaged and give them our feed back. The statue was gifted to the City of Houston by the Indo-
American community and installed in 2004 under the auspices of ICC. Due to unknown factors however, certain letters in the engravings on the bottom panels have virtually become illegible to read from a standing distance; and in my opinion, the time has come to restore the engravings.
Krishna Vavilala Houston
There is a very strong sense of identification with the local community. Members help the less fortunate by conducting Clothing/Household goods Drive for the Women’s Center, donating to the Food Drive of
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FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Second Front Page
Profiles in Courage Award Continued from Page 2 problems created by demonetization are manageable. Despite the exaggerated stories published by the media to highlight the problems, opposition by former Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, etc., the public has expressed overwhelming support for Modi’s strategy. Some have rightly criticized the way demonetization was implemented with such suddenness. Prime Minister Modi made sure that less than a handful of people knew of this initiative in advance. However if more elaborate pre-planning had been undertaken, there would have been fewer benefits. Some preparations made a year ago by the government did assist in the success—particularly the Jan Dhan, a mission to encourage people to open bank accounts. As a result, more than 80% of Indian families have such accounts. However the poor did not have the same inconveniences as claimed since they do not have money to deposit when they are not sure of their next meal. Just few days back before demonetization an act to appropriate any ill gotten wealth (those assets like real estate, gold etc by diverting black corrency) called “Benami Act” was passed by the government. This act was in cold storage for many years. Prime Minister Modi deserves to be recognized by the John F. Kennedy Foundation for his courageous and strategic act of demonetization to solve the malaise of corruption in the largest democracy in the world. This recognition would serve as a model to inspire leaders of developing countries to emulate him in the future. This year being the centennial, it is even more appropriate that the Awardee is being recognized for tackling a Himalayan problem in the largest democracy. Bhamy Shenoy, Retired ConocoPhillips Manager; 346-812- 2783; firstname.lastname@example.org Mallik Putcha, Retired NASA Contractor Systems Engineering and Project Management Specialist, Houston; 832-687-5000; mallikputcha@icloud. com
Mahatma Gandhi - Shraddhanjali 2017
ahatma Gandhi who spread the message of truth, non-violence, and global peace, died on January 30, 1948. Mahatma Gandhi Library (MGL) in collaboration with Unity of Houston (Unity) commemorated Shraddhanjali, a memorial service, on Saturday, February 4, at Unity of Houston, 2929 Unity Dr, Houston, TX . Mahatma Gandhi said “I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.” He was never afraid of death. Currently, the world is encountering several challenges including intolerance, impatience, and terrorism. Hence, it is essential to follow the ideas and principles of Mahatma Gandhi, especially truth and nonviolence, not only to achieve international peace and prosperity, but achieve the same within one’s own heart. MGL is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the universal values of truth, non-violence, love and service. The library was started almost twelve years ago by the vision and dedication of Atulbhai Kothari and today, with many dedicated volunteers, their worthy efforts continue. The Shraddhanjali program started at 3:00 pm with a gracious welcome by Rev Mindy Lawrence, Associate Minister at Unity. Rajan Chawla was a brilliant Master of Ceremony for the program, which initiated with an Invocation from Rev Michael Gott, Senior associate minister and choir director at Unity. The program started with a beautiful rendition of the bhajan Vaishnav Janato by the glittering voice of Smriti Srivastava and her group from Arya Samaj. The inspiring Unity choir singing John Lennon’s Imagine followed this. 7-year old Naresh Sathya, 2nd place winner of the annual MGL speech contest, delighted the audience with his speech, “Truth: My Story”. Mr. Kamal Haji then conducted the
Mahatma Gandhi Library and Unity of Houston jointly observed Shraddhanajli, Memorial Service, in collaboration with Arya Samaj Greater Houston, Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, The Ismaili Jamatkhana Center and Brahma Kumaris on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at Unity of Houston. It was the commemoration of the 69th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Ismaili Jamatkhana choir in their beautiful rendition of “Lab Pe Aati” bringing tears of joy in the eyes of many in the audience.
“the living Gandhi.” It is one thing to admire Gandhi but Living Gandhi not only admires but also practices Gandhi.
The Ismaeli Jamatkhana & Center was recognized with a plaque of appreciation to their President, Mr. Murad Ajani, by Atulbhai Kothari, trustee og MGL
The program continued with the adorable children from DAV Sanskirti School and DAV Montessori of Arya Samaj Houston led by Smriti Srivastava, as they sang beautiful bhajans “Hum Ko Man Ki Shakti Dena and “Chhodo Kal Ki Baate.”
Dr. Sulekh Jain then informed the audience of the upcoming 150th year anniversary of Gandhi Jayanti, his birthday, and encouraged all to start getting involved with upcoming Sesquicentennial celebrations. High school student Jai Sehgal presented his awe-inspiring 1st place winning entry in iTribute multimedia presentation entitled “Life of Simplicity.” The keynote speaker for the program was Rev. Gregory Han of Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston who gave in depth understanding of
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Sam Merchant then read out proclamation by Congressman Al Green, a great follower of Mahatma Gandhi. The audience was then treated to a wonderful dance by the students of Arya Samaj DAVSS, choreographed by Ms Dolly titled Pride of Bharat (India). Dr. Hansa Raval, the spiritual leader of Houston’s Brahma Kumaris gave her personal insights on how to conquer the world and life using Gandhiji’s principles.
Dr. Manish Wani, on behalf of the MGL board of trustees, gave a brief presentation of an exciting opportunity for the city of Houston to bring the Eternal Gandhi Museum from Delhi, India. The audience was then once again treated to the amazing voices of the Unity choir, singing Every Praise. The program concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. Manish Wani, Board member of the Mahatma Gandhi Library. The crowd was encouraged to visit the Gandhi Darshan Exhibit on display and the MGL booth. There was melodious instrumental music in the background while all enjoyed refreshments. The Shraddhanjali program at Unity Houston commemorating Mahatma Gandhi’s life was truly inspirational and proved to keep the legacy of peace, truth, non-violence and love alive, penetrating the hearts of all in attendance.
VOICE OF ASIA 4
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Associational Disability Discrimination in Employment
The People’s Lawyer www.peopleslawyer.net
with a disability. The employer decides not to hire the applicant because of its belief that her need to care for her child will have a negative impact on his work attendance or performance.
Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center
Telephone calls may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Q. Is an oral lease valid? I want to move early but my landlord says we have a valid lease for a year. A. An oral lease for a year or less is just as enforceable as a written lease. Of course, the person who is trying to enforce the lease must prove the oral agreement. Maybe you can get the landlord to agree to terminate the lease early by forfeiting the security deposit or paying a month’s rent. If the landlord does not agree to terminate the lease, you may owe damages for moving out early.
Q. Can I name my husband as executor of my will if he is also going to be the beneficiary? A. This is a very common question from people who are preparing a will. A person who is a beneficiary may also serve as executor. In fact, it is common for a spouse to be both a beneficiary and executor. Almost anyone may serve as the executor of a will. Basically, the only people who may not serve as executors are minors, incompetents, convicted felons, and others a court finds unsuitable.
Q. My boy friend and I bought a house two years ago. We recently broke up and he kept the house. He has been late on the mortgage payment, and the bank is now calling me. How do I get my name off this loan? A. As you have discovered, signing a loan with another person can have serious legal consequences. Whether it is buying a house or co-signing for a car, the simple answer is that you can’t get your name removed from the loan unless the other person refinances in his own name or the lender agrees to release you. The fact that you are no longer together is between you and your boy friend. It does not affect your liability to the bank.
Q. About fifteen years ago I did business with a company and never paid my bills. I was shocked to find out that they still refuse to deal with me until I pay the old debt. My credit is now excellent and I pay all my bills. Isn’t there some sort of limitations period for collecting a debt? A. There are limitation periods for any type of legal action. For example, most debts cannot be enforced after four years. There also are limits on how long such information may be reported on your credit report. In most cases, after seven years the information becomes obsolete and cannot be reported. There are no limitations, however, on how long you
“owe” a debt. In fact, until it is paid or discharged in bankruptcy, the money is owed. If the person to whom you owe the money does not want to deal with you until the debt is paid, he has a legal right to do so. It may seem “shocking” to you, but it is obviously a matter of some importance to the person to whom you owe money. Q. I buy lottery tickets every week. If I win the lottery does my spouse have any interest in the money I win? A. Assuming you purchased the ticket with money you earned while you were married, the lottery winnings would be considered community property, jointly owned by you and your spouse. The only exception would be if you have a premarital agreement saying otherwise. Q. What is a Power of Attorney for Health Care? A. This is a document that allows you to designate another person to make medical decisions regarding your health care in the event you are unable to do so. For a free copy of a Medical Power of Attorney for Health Care, check out the “Legal Topics” section my website below.
Nitin Sud, Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney
An employee voll unteers at a homeless shelter known for providing services to people with HIV/AIDS. The employer finds out about this and fires the employee either because it is concerned about its “image” of having an employee working with people with HIV/AIDS or because it has an irrational fear that the employee may contract or spread HIV/AIDS.
ost employers and employees are aware that the Americans with Disabilities Act prevents discrimination and harassment against employees who have a disability. However, a lesser known issue is that the law (specifically 42 U.S.C. § 12112(b) (4)) prevents discrimination against employees (and job applicants) based on their relationship or association with an individual with a disability. This is known as associational disability discrimination, and the ramifications are just as severe as directly discriminating against an employee with a disability.
A current employee l disclosed to her employer that her sister and mother have breast cancer. The employer decides to terminate her because it is concerned that the employee will have to take off too much time from work either because she will get breast cancer herself or will have to take care of her sister or mother. An employer prol vides health insurance to its full time employees and dependents. It is considering one of its part-time employees for an open full time position. The employer learns that this individual has a spouse with a disability. The employer determines that providing insurance to his spouse will lead to increased health insurance
The following are examples of situations that would likely result in a violation of the law based on associational disability discrimination: An employer is l interviewing job applicants. One of the job applicants discloses that she has a child
costs and decides not to offer him the job based on this reason. Although there is no obligation for an employer to provide accommodations to employees who are only associated with a person with a disability, employees still cannot be subject to unlawful harassment based on such an association. Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney Nitin Sud represents employees, executives, and small businesses in the following matters: Litigation in state and federal courts, Wrongful termination and employment discrimination claims, Overtime claims, Employment contracts, Severance agreements, Non-compete and non-solicitation matters. For more information, visit www.sudemploymentlaw.com Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney Nitin Sud represents employees, executives, and small businesses in the following matters: Litigation in state and federal courts, Wrongful termination and employment discrimination claims, Overtime claims, Employment contracts, Severance agreements, Non-compete and non-solicitation matters. For more information, visit www.sudemploymentlaw.com
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FORT BEND VIEW
Sugar Land, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg and Meadows Place
Letter spewing hate left on Fort Bend home by Deborah Wriggly, KTRK
family in the Riverstone community in Fort Bend awoke to a flyer left at their home in the middle of the night. The opening sentence was “Our new President, Donald J Trump is God’s gift to the white nation.” It went on to say “we need to get rid of Muslims, Indians, and Jews,” telling them to “get out
of Texas and go back to where you came from.” The family, described as Asian by family friend Tony Wadawhan, is too frightened to report it to police, much less discuss it publicly. They don’t know if they were specifically targeted, or if their house was selected at random. “It is literally spewing in word form hate for everybody who isn’t white Anglo Saxon,” he said. “That’s basically what this letter says.” It is the second incident this week of hate-based incidents.
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Several homes in Sienna Plantation, which neighbors Riverstone, had swatiskas spray painted on fences and the side of a house. That was reported to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating. Recently, recruitment posters were removed from several Texas universities, including Rice. They had been put up by a white nationalist group. The regional Anti Defamation League office is seeing an uptick in reports of racially offensive leaflets and fliers in the first month of this year. In January 2016, it received about ten reports. This year, the number doubled. “Perhaps it’s more people reporting what they see,” said ADL associate director Dena Marks. “Or there’s something in the current rhetorical climate that makes people want to put this language out and we really need to fight against that.” Andre Brumfield, who lives in Missouri City, has his own opinion. “They’ve always been around. The only difference they feel comfortable in letting it come out because of the hate that’s being spread in the world.”
Fort Bend ISD celebrates National School Counseling Week
ort Bend ISD joins other districts across the nation to recognize the hard work and efforts of our counselors during National School Counseling Week, February 6 – 10.
FBISD’s Counseling and Postsecondary Readiness Department works corroboratively to inspire and equip our students for futures beyond what they can imagine. The Counseling Division provides opportunities and support for all students in their educational, career, and social environments. Professional school counselors are available at all FBISD campuses to provide services for all students in the areas of: Guidance Curriculum, Responsive Services, Individual Planning and System Support. The Postsecondary Readiness advisors work in conjunction with the counselors in order to prepare students for post-secondary success, by providing them with assistance in college and career exploration, career assessments, postsecondary planning, and financial aid assistance. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. This year’s theme is “School Counseling: Helping Students Realize Their Potential,” and will focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within the school system across the United States. We caught up with counselors from throughout the District to ask them what drives them to do what they do. “Throughout my career as a drama teacher for Stafford High School and Garcia Middle School, many students came to talk to me about their problems. So many entrusted me with their concerns and leaned on me for support that I felt called to become a counselor. It was such a difficult decision because I had recently been named a Finalist for FBISD Secondary Teacher of the Year and had a passion for teaching, but I couldn’t ignore the pull in my heart to work with students on a different level. This is my 12th year as a counselor and 22nd year in education and I have never regretted my decision.” -Nicole Chelly, Counselor, Bowie Middle School “I do what I do purely because it’s what I was I put here to do. Empowering young people to be their best version of themselves is the ultimate reward. I try to be that person I needed as a kid. Someone who believes in them when maybe they can’t believe in themselves. It’s my job to show them their greatness!” - Rachel George, Counselor, Bush High School “When I was a teacher, I found myself spending lots of time with my students talking through issues they were having. I realized that was my favorite time of the day, so I started looking into school counseling. I love what I do. It’s so rewarding to work with children who get excited about guidance lessons and Lunch Bunch.” - Pippa Day, Counselor, Cornerstone Elementary. (-FBISD.com)
SLPD to perform child safety seat inspections ugar Land police officers will conduct child seat safety inspections at Babies R Us, 15555 Southwest Freeway, on Feb. 18, from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Sugar Land Police Department has taken aggressive steps to protect children by not only actively enforcing child restraint laws, but also training individuals in the area on proper installation of child safety seats. “Our child safety seat technicians have passed a National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration certification course, and each are very willing to help ensure your child seat is properly installed,” said Officer Laruen Stockholm, of the Sugar Land Police Department Crime Prevention Division. “Locally, we estimate as many as 95 percent are improperly installed. We’ll help you properly secure your child seats at the March for Babies kickoff event.” For more information, contact Stockholm at (281) 2752956 fom Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Police investigating bank robbery
ugar Land police are looking for two gunmen who robbed EastWest Bank, 15144 Southwest Freeway, on Feb. 1. The men entered the bank armed with handguns at about 2:20 p.m. One remained in the lobby while the other jumped a counter, pointed his gun at an employee and demanded money. They left with an undisclosed amount of money in an older blue, hatchback-style vehicle. There were no injuries.
The men were about 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall. The man in the lobby was wearing a mask, a blue cap, a grey hoodie with writing, blue jeans and black shoes. The other man was wearing a mask, a baseball cap, a blue and white plaid shirt, grey pants and white shoes. Anyone with information should call the Sugar Land Police Department at (281) 275-2540 or Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers at (281) 342TIPS (8477).
Winter Fest - Rosenberg Railroad Museum Winter experience, play in the snow, at the Railroad Museum at 1921 Avenue F, Rosenberg, Texas on Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 10am - 5pm. Enjoy hands on crafts, face painting Garden Railroad and Museum Open House. Don’t forget to take your sweater and gloves! For details visit www.rosenbergRRmuseum.org
VOICE OF ASIA 6
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
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FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Sri Ramanujacharya’s Teachings Exemplified on his Shasrabdi Celebrating Millennial Birth Year (1017-2017)
60th birth day of Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji celebrated with great gusto and devotion . Photo by Krishna Giri. by Shobana Muratee HOUSTON – Glorious tributes were made to the 11th century philosopher, teacher and an apostle of equality, Sri Ramanujacharya on his 1000 birth year celebrations in Houston. HH Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji, revered as the guardian of the Vedas, who upholds Acharya Ramanuja’s philosophy in his teachings said, that the greatness of a nation is not in its roads and buildings or industrial strength but lays in the value of its culture. “A culture that is worth accepting, which is ancient and useful to man, and the nation where it is practiced is adored by the world.” “Bharat (India)
embodies such culture,” he said, “We call it sampradaya.” Elaboration on it, he said when something rich and valuable (property) is passed on to the next generation without ‘pollution’, ‘corruption’ or ‘reduction’ it is called sampradaya. Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji was speaking at a recent fundraiser on Friday, January 27 at the India House for the project “Statue of Equality” – a monumental statute of Sri Ramanujacharya, towering 216 feet made of five metals (panchaloha), tallest sitting statue, soon to be installed in Hyderabad, southern India. Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji exemplified the contribu-
HH Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji, speaking at the fundraiser for “Statue of Equality” at the India House on Friday, January 27, 2017. Photo by Shobana Muratee
Katy children performing a skit on Sri Ramanujacharya. Photo credit: Krishna Giri.
Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji offering prayers with the devotees as Dr. Chary lights the lamp. Photo credit: Krishna Giri.
tions of Sri Sankaracharya and Sri Ramanujacharya to the sampradaya which he described as ‘intellectual property’, the kind that we need more of. Both Acaryas upheld the values of the Vedas and enrichment of the world and mankind their scholarly contributions. Both Acharyas were born on the same day (fifth day called punchami), same month (Vaishaka), same fortnight, under the same star (Ardra) only 300 years apart Swamiji said. Sri Sankaracharya who was born earlier, lived for short period of 32 years but was able to reestablish the Vedic tradition in the land. Sri Ramanujacharya lived for 120 years during which time he brought about great social change by making the temple authorities to allow the oppressed and downtrodden people into temples. Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji said that the Acharya made it distinct that the Creator of the world is impartial and that He never rejects any one and imparted the “Narayana mantra’ to all. Sri Ramanujacharya propounded the theory that one gets honor not by caste but based on his spiritual knowledge and practice only. Continued on Page 8
Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji is greeted by the devotees at Sri Ashtalakshmi temple. Photo credit: Krishna Giri.
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Houston’s Community Leader Receives Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award ly to bring the community together, raise n January 2017, Houstonian Ramesh money and recruit volunteers. He has a Shah received the Pravasi Bharatimagnetism that attracts others to set high ya Samman Award from President standards and meet them! Pranab Mukherjee, the highest honor conferred on overseas Indians by the GovernService is a part of his family. Ramesh ment of India in recognition of achieveBhai grew up in Gabat, a small Gujarat ments both in India and abroad. The village, and remembers his father paying PBSA is a lifetime achievement award for a pipeline from the river that would assist the farmers to irrigate their crops. for Ramesh Bhai who has been actively While it was good for his father’s grain engaged in the Indian community since business, Ramesh Bhai remembers that he moved to the United States in 1970. his father personally cared for the farmRamesh Bhai been involved in Houston ers and village people just on a human with the setting up of non-profits: Gujarati level. Samaj, the India Culture Center and supporting many others. As his nephew Sarin For many, Ramesh Bhai is a favorite Shah says: “He has the energy of a twentyfriend and neighbor. He is the first persomething and is full of life and light. He son they call in a difficult situation. He has been a community resource in times has inspired me and many others to do of emergencies – helping the community more with our lives.” navigate difficulties in immigration, acRamesh Bhai is best known for his work cidents, and family crisis. He has blockwith Ekal Vidyalaya – working to provide walked for political campaigns around education to the millions in tribal India the US and in India. And he is willing to with little access to education. Ekal Vidyfight for justice. In 2010, Ramesh Bhai alaya originally operated from his home. drafted a petition to the Indian Overseas He is now the global coordinator for Ekal Ramesh Shah receiving the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award Ministry and led the silent hunger strike Vidyalaya where he travels worldwide from President of India Pranab Mukherjee. to protest the unfairness of the renunto advocate Ekal’s mission ranging from ciation certificate rollout. His religion Denmark to New Zealand. Additionally, duty. Also, there is a great joy in working tois pure service: “I do not care for liberahe and his wife Kokila Ben spend 3-4 months gether to build something for others. And we tion or for devotion; I would rather go to a hundred every year in India visiting Ekal Vidyalaya always made sure we stayed a commoner and thousand hells “doing good to others (silently) like the schools. This has become a family effort with paid our dues first before asking from others.” spring” – this is my religion.” (Swami Vivekananda). his brother Dr. Hasmukh Shah who runs a “I realized right away that here is a dedicated, His wife Kokila shares in the award as she has pre-medical internship initiative and Gramothan program with Ekal villages in Ranchi. selfless person fully devoted to the causes of opened her heart and home to take care of hundreds of Additionally, with his other brother Dinesh, Community. I had the privilege of serving with people in Ramesh Bhai’s gallant service adventures. Ramesh Bhai is also active in Hindu Swayam Ramesh twice on ICC Board.” said Kulbhushan He has inspired his children and many other young Uppal, former president and trustee of ICC who people to selflessly serve locally and in India. Sevak Sangh. is currently serving as India House trustee. Don’t be fooled by this service devotion, Ramesh Ramesh Bhai was one of the co-founders Ramesh Bhai was one of the leaders behind Bhai was also an avid movie goer. Those that have and the first president of the Gujarati Samaj of Houston. In fact, he is currently fundraising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic speech played antakshari with Ramesh Bhai know that he for the community center. When asked why he and community reception at Madison Square has watched his share of movies in college and has a stepped up to start the Gujarati Samaj, Ramesh Garden in September 2014. His behind the wicked memory for old songs. Bhai said, “When there was a need, I did my scenes efforts are legendary; he worked tireless-
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Sri Ramanujacharya Continued from pafe 7 been a better opportune time then now when the world is so fragmented on race, religion, color and caste, to raise awareness of the great saint, Sri Ramanujacharya. And there cannot be a better champion of his cause than Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji whose resonate Acharya’s philosophy of equality in his teachings. Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji discourses are profound yet made simple with anecdotes for people from all walks of life to understand the most complex of Vedic principles. That weekend at the Sri Ashtalakshmi temple (A L T), devotees celebrated Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji visit to commemorate the 1000th birth year celebrations of Sri Ramanujachary and also had a grand belated 60th birthday celebrations for Swamiji (actual birthday was on Deepavali day). Swamiji visited some devotees in the Woodlands on Saturday and spent wonderful time with devotees at Sreeman Vedala Srinivasji’s residence. He also visited a couple of devotees on his way back back to the temple. The function started with a grand music recital by Bhatt, the prajna children from ALT and children from Katy presented a skit on Sri Ramanujachary. Swamiji gave a wonderful pravachanam (discourse) after which the program was concluded with a sumptuous dinner made by Sreenivascharya Swamiji. Sunday started with teerthagosgti and also pravachanam by Swamiji on “Power of Silence.” following which, shildren who were interested children had Samoohica Upanayanam and that was followed by samoohica samasryyanam. Fund raising for the ‘Statue of Equality’ was held for a short period. Swamiji left for India later on.
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FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
“University of Houston Day” at India House
Left -Right: Col Vipin, Dr. Suresh Khator, Dr. Renu Khator, Mr. Nagraj Eleswarapu. Photo courtesy Bijay Dixit.
University of Houston students and faculty.
n Monday, January 30, 2017 enthusiastic youngsters, most of them with parents or other family members came to attend the University of Houston Day at India House, to figure out how to navigate towards their future career. Together, India House and University of Houston, under the leadership of President Dr. Renu Khator, who is also the Chancellor of UH System, organized this special UH Day at India House to guide students at all levels to select the correct path to carve their future career and head in the right direction to crystallize their educational goals. The event started with social hour and visit to multiple informative booths, representing all the 13 colleges of UH to give general information about what each of the college can offer. The attendees, about 250, were treated to delicious welcome dinner catered by Café India, Sugarland. Mr. Nagraj Eleswarapu, V.P. Operations, India House welcomed and spoke about the partnership of the two institutions, both with a mission to serve the Greater Houston community at large and help each individual to attain their full potential. Col.Vipin Kumar, Executive Director, India House presented programs and activities of India House through a video. He introduced Dr. Richard Walker, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, UH. Dr. Walker introduced students to the UH programs with emphasis on enhancing student success and their learning experience; by integrating and providing both curricular and
Dr. Richard Walker, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services introduced students to the UH programs to students. Photo by Bijay Dixit. extra-curricular opportunities to the students and by building a strong campus and community collaborations to prepare them for life experiences. Dr. Renu Khator took the stage and enlightened students and their families about University of Houston’s illustrious achievements. She called University of Houston the “Power House”, Tier One public research institution with the vibrant and ethnically diverse community. She gave a very inspiring and enthusiastic welcoming speech and her passion and personal involvement was obvious when she mentioned that the freshmen will not be surprised when she will show up any day in their first semester in their class, as she is always interested in every student. She was very proud of the fact that UH had become a truly residential University and students need not commute for hours through the crowded streets. She emphasized on developing skilled
Southwestern National Bank Scholarship Program $1,000 Scholarship Awards About The Southwestern National Bank Scholarship Program Southwestern National Bank Scholarship Program is funded by Southwestern National Bank to recognize and assist outstanding high school graduates reduce the financial burden for college. Southwestern National Bank Scholars are selected on the basis of their financial need, academic achievement, and community involvement. Each year a total of $5,000.00 will be awarded to five selected scholars. Each scholar will be awarded $1,000.00.
dation from the teachers, counselors, and/or other advisors 5. A two-page typed essay stating why you should be awarded a scholarship. Please include: • Financial need for this scholarship for educational purposes • Personal and academic achievements. Give specific examples • Academic plans and career goals. Give specific examples • Past and current involvement, as well as future plans, towards making a difference in your community
Eligibility 1. Demonstrates financial need for college tuition, book & supplies and expenses 2. U.S. high school graduating seniors 3. Has a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (un-weighted) 4. Will enroll in an accredited U.S. college full-time for the entire academic year 2016/2017
Application Process & Award Announcement 1. Please send your application package to Southwestern National Bank, Attentio Scholarship Program-Ling Chuang, 6901 Corporate Drive, Houston, Texas 77036 2. Applications and all supporting documents must be received by April 30, 2017 for application to be considered 3. An interview may be part of the application process for all semi-finalists 4. Scholarships for the 2017 Scholarship program will be announced by mail in May 2017.
Documents Required (To be considered, all of the following documents must be submitted) 1. A completed Southwestern National Bank Scholarship Application Form 2. An official high school transcript 3. Copies of the most recent document(s) demonstrating the financial need (Family’s 1040 Income Tax Return Form, qualification for School Free/ Reduced Lunch Program, etc) 4. Two letters of recommen-
Please Contact Us For scholarship application and information, please contact the scholarship coordinator by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
workforce and future leaders within Houston. With strong local support and industry strength with energy, healthcare, and arts, students are encouraged to develop their skills in a global environment. She thanked India House and Indo-American Community
Jeff Fuller, Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions spoke about the Colleges. Photo by Bijay Dixit.
for their support. After that, Jeff Fuller, Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions spoke in great detail about each College and the facilities and scope of learning and the future prospects after graduating from the particular College. Once the formal pro-
gram concluded, every student was encouraged to spend some time to meet the Departmental Faculty and Staff to learn about various financial and residential choices and opportunities. The students and their families were delighted to have this opportunity at UH DAY and
thanked profusely the organizers India House and UH Faculty and Staff. They truly felt that they benefitted immensely from this yearly event held at India House. For details of current activities and program at India House please visit www.indiahouseinc.org.
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BAPS Celebrates Indian American Culture at the Texas Capitol Building in Austin, TX
Hosted by BAPS, at the historic Texas State Capitol on February 1, 2017, prominent Indian Americans from across Texas gathered to celebrate Indian American Culture with sponsor State Representative Matt Rinaldi (District 115). USTIN - A prominent Hindu organization in local communities across Texas, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) hosted a celebration of Indian American Culture at the historic Texas State Capitol in Austin on February 1, 2017. The celebration was sponsored by State Representative Matt Rinaldi of House District 115, who represents a BAPS mandir (house of wor-
ship) in Irving, TX. On the morning of February 1, 2017, a group of BAPS representatives were recognized during the 85th Legislative Regular Session where a resolution commemorating this first-ever event was read. The resolution also noted the myriad of contributions by Indian Americans to the Lone Star State and lauded BAPS’ commitment to commu-
HCC announces ... Continued from Page 1 stitution in so many ways, and I’m excited to create a structure to more effectively share our success stories.” Toyota will work with the administration to increase the understanding of the College as it continues its transformation initiative to benefit students and the entire community. As a former community college student, Toyota will be instrumental to the college’s efforts to connect with our students as well. Toyota will provide leadership to the College’s communication’s function and will assume the oversight of all marketing communications for the District. Because of her background, she will play a role in supporting the Chancellor in building community-wide understanding and support for the College and its key strategic initiatives, including the multiyear transformation project in its second full year. “As a product of community college, I understand the vital importance of what we do for so many. I will work tirelessly in helping the Chancellor and the Trustees move our mission forward. I also look forward to continuing to build the College’s many important relationships across Houston and the state,” stated Toyota.
Toyota brings more than 20 years of leadership experience to HCC. Prior to HCC, she was the President of the Asian Chamber of Commerce. Among her notable non-profit positions, Toyota served as the Sr. Vice President of Development for the Houston Technology Center and the Development Officer for the Holocaust Museum Houston. She currently serves on the boards of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas, Better Business Bureau Education Foundation, Plaza Specialty Hospital and advisory boards of U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Texas Advisory Council and LiftFund. She serves on the 2017 Super Bowl LI Community Council and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Committee. Toyota holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Houston and a B.S. in Management. She received her Certificate in Non-Profit Executive Management from the University Of Houston Graduate School Of Social Work. Toyota also received an Honorary Associates in Arts from Houston Community College in 2016 for her continuous contribution to education and to the community.
nity service in Texas and across the nation. Throughout the day, BAPS members from across Texas met with their respective State Representatives and Senators to share background on the Hindu faith and on the Indian American community’s history and growth. All told, BAPS members met with over fifty State Representatives and Senators to engage them and their respective staff in an active dialogue about issues important to the Indian American community. “This event is not only a chance for Indian Americans to learn about government, but also for their government to learn about Indian culture and to provide a learning experience for senators and representatives,” said Representative Rinaldi , as he and fifteen other Texas State Senators and Representatives joined dozens of prominent community leaders to celebrate IndianAmerican Culture in Texas. Throughout the celebration, speakers shared their thoughts on the diverse contributions of Indian Americans to the economic and cultural fabric of Texas. “We value what BAPS has done for our community, from its Walkathon to its Health Fair...BAPS works tirelessly to make Irving Texas and our District a better place,” remarked Representative Rinaldi. “I am honored to be here this evening. I know firsthand from my work and relationship with BAPS about what a great job it does and how it impacts thousands of lives across the state. We are proud to call BAPS a friend,” remarked Mr. Chris Wallace, President of the Texas Association of Business. His remarks highlighted the importance of nurturing and advancing the relationship between the growing population of over 275,000 Indian Americans in Texas and state government. Read more on www.voiceofasiaonline.com
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
VOICE OF ASIA 11
Current Trends in Nursing Practice and Pharmacology Saturday, April 1, 2017 at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center 2002 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030-4298
Continuing Education: This CNE activity has been jointly provided By The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing collaboratively with Indian American Nurses Association of Greater Houston (IANAGH). This activity provides 6.25 contact hours.
Planning Committee: Chairperson Nitha Mathew Joseph, PhD, RN Co- Chairperson Simi R. Varghese, DNP, FNP-BC, RN Committee Members: Accamma Kallel, MSN, RN, CCRN, ANP-C Joseph. C. Joseph, RN Aley Samuel, MSN, RN-BC Virginia Alphonso, MSN, RN, OCN
Registration: To register, please fill in the information below: Name and Title: Mailing Address Email: Current Employer: Month & Date of Birth: Phone Number: Cost: $25 for members $35 for non- members (Non-refundable fee) Please make check to IANAGH Mailing Address: Joseph. C. Joseph 1303 Forest Hollow Drive Missouri city, Texas-77459 (Registration fee covers seminar with contact hours, breakfast and lunch).
Registration Deadline: March 1, 2017 Note: In order to receive contact hours for this activity, you must sign-in, be present for the entire day and complete the evaluation form.
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
VOICE OF ASIA 12
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
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Vol. 30 No. 5
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Lunar New Year Houston - 2017
Year of the Fire Rooster by Shobana Muratee
OUSTON’s diversity is depicted in the various festivals that are celebrated throughout by the locals. The Lunar New Year festival is one of the largest events in Texas. Large gathering of Asians: Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipinos and many others were seen at the many events that were being held since January 28 to February 5, 2017. This year, Lunar New Year Houston, a nonprofit project of TexAsia /Houston’s Asian American Festival Association, that has been organizing their signature event since their inception in 1980, held the festivities on February, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 from 10:30 AM - 6:00 PM at the spacious Viet Hoa Center at Beltway Plaza, SW Houston. Each year, the event draws record crowds of over 50,000 people over the 2-days. On the same weekend the City of Houston hosted the Super Bowl 51 which caused a slight drop in the crowds from previous years. 2017 is the Year of the Fire Rooster. This year, the lucky colors are gold, brown and yellow which are associated with 2017’s animal – the rooster. It was a spectacular watching a 100 dazzling Lions and Dragons roaring and prancing around the Lucky Red Firecrackers and dancing to giant drums and gongs as they ushered in the New Year at the Viet Hoa Center. Children were excited to put money into the mouths of the dragons and lions as they passed them. It has been the tradition of Lunar New Year Houston to preserve the authenticity and hold the celebrations it in the same way it was being done in ancient times. On each day of the event, 200 children under 12 were gifted with Red Envelops (as part of the tradition), informed Glenda Joe, community leader and the driving force behind Lunar New Year Houston. She also said that about 40,000 people attended the celebration over the weekend. About a 100 volunteers worked to make it a success. Non-stop Dance and Music, Food, Booths and KidZone and a host of performers showcasing Lion Dancers, Dragon Dancers and Martial Arts displaying the exhilarating Vovinam styles of Vietnam and soaring Shaolin Kung Fu traditions of China, imparted a variety, vibrancy and culture to the two-day extravaganza. Visit LunarNewYearHouston.com for more on the event.
Son Long Lion Dance Linh Son SW Temple perform at Lunar New Year Houston event on days Sat. Feb. 4 and Sun. 5, 2017. Photo by Shobana Muratee
A young boy tries to offer money to dancing Lion
Glenda Joe, (center) with volunteers Peter Kwok and Doan Thanh who emceed.
Lions and Dragons dodge the red fire crackers at the Viet Hoa Center during the Lunar New Year celebrations. Phot by Shobana Muratee.
Korean-American ladies dressed in traditional outfits during the celebrations.
Join Dr. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India, Houston & India House, Houston in honoring “Pride of Houston” Ramesh for receiving the 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from President of India Hon. Pranab Mukherjee.
Saturday, February 18th 2017 | 3 to 5 pm | At India House To attend please register at www.indiahouseinc.org/events ( Light Refreshments will be served )
www.indiahouseinc.org | 713-929-1900 | email@example.com | 8888 West Bellfort, Houston, TX 77031
VOICE OF ASIA 14
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Best Places For Rekindling The Romance This Valentine’s Day 60 other feature films for its towering sea cliffs and cascading waterfalls. If anything, the hikes will get the heart pumping and increase blood flow.
ou can’t remember the last time you made any flirtatious overtures to your partner. You don’t recall the last time you had a conversation that didn’t involve the kids or talk of paying the bills.
For the tried and true: Paris Yes, it’s predictable and cliché. But in a survey carried out by Expedia and market research group GfK last year, 69 percent of the 1,000 US respondents named Paris the most romantic destination in the world. The City of Light also snagged the title of sexiest city in the world, and the place where singletons would most want to spend their Valentine’s Day. Indeed if there’s one city in the world where you can indulge in unapologetically public displays of affection, it’s here. In fact, one French writer wrote a book about it: “Best Places to Kiss in Paris.” Best not forget your lip balm.
As maligned as it can be among greeting card haters, Valentine’s Day can serve as a yearly wake-up call to reignite the spark with a romantic getaway. Whether you’re the type of couple who fell in love over a mindblowing coq au vin in Paris, or the type in need of a serious beach holiday, here are a few travel ideas for the heart-shaped holiday this year. For the burnt out couple: A stay at “the world’s most romantic resort” in the Maldives Life has come at you like a speed train with no brakes over the last few years, between the kids, jobs and everything in between. A self-imposed time-out can help rekindle the romance, especially when taken at the Baros Maldives, which was named the world’s leading romantic destination at the World Travel Awards in December, also known as the ‘Oscars’ of the travel world. This remote, island getaway is only accessible by boat and offers a paradisiacal setting of over-water villas against turquoise waters. Packages include “Essence of Romance” featuring champagne, couples massages and candle-lit baths, and “Renewal of Vowels,” with photographer, bouquet
For the singleton: Miami
Last year, 69 percent of the 1,000 US respondents named Paris the most romantic destination in the world. Survey by Expedia and market research group. GfK AFPPhoto. and wedding cake. For the nature-loving couple: Kauai, Hawaii Editors of National Geographic
Celebrating 95th Birthday on Valentine’s Day
Great Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day (SPM Wire) Whether you’ve been happily married for years or are single and ready to mingle, Valentine’s Day is for everyone. Here are three different ways to celebrate. • Cook at home. Reservations can be hard to come by on Valentine’s Day, and special holiday menus may not always offer the greatest value. Beat the crowds and the upselling, and cook-up something special with your date. Pick up a bottle of champagne and you’re set.
Susanna Joseph Pothanikat was born on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th. She will be 95 this year. Happy Birthday!
• Go out with your friends. Not all love is romantic. Show your friends you appreciate them with a gift exchange, party or night out on the town.
North America’s mahogany forest, or the floor of a Canyon and lush landscapes seductive, you’ll want to look into Kauai, which has been featured in the Jurassic movie franchise and
magazine chose the dramatic wilderness of Kauai, Hawaii as one of their 21 must-see places for 2017. If you and your partner are nature lovers who find the idea of hiking trails through
• Host a charity night. Rethink how you spend the holiday entirely. A charity night can bring people together and help spread love to the entire community. Don’t let your relationship status tell you whether or not to have fun this Valentine’s Day. There are so many ways to mark the occasion.
Because Valentine’s Day doesn’t just belong to couples. Whether it be to celebrate your singledom, or put an end to that status once and for all, readers of Travel + Leisure suggest heading to Miami, which topped the magazine’s list of America’s best cities for singles. Along with gorgeous locals, the city pulses with nightclubs, cocktail lounges, champagne bars and celebrity hotspots. Throw in some Miami heat and you’ve got the perfect cocktail for seduction. - AFP Relax News
HappyValentine’s Day I loved you first: but afterwards your love
She Walks in Beauty
I loved you first: but afterwards your love Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove. Which owes the other most? my love was long, And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong; I loved and guessed at you, you construed me And loved me for what might or might not be – Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes; Thus mellowed to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o’er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express, How pure, how dear their dwellingplace.
For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’ With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done, For one is both and both are one in love: Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’ Both have the strength and both the length thereof, Both of us, of the love which makes us one.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!
- Christina Rossetti
- Lord Byron
Youngest Astrologer of North America Astrologer, Vaastu & Gem Stone Consultant
Taraben Patel, 78 and her husband Manibhai Patel who celebrated turned 87 on January 28, 2017. Sharing a moment with members of Indian Senior Citizens Association, Houston.
Astrologer Hardik Vyas, a famous young face in Vedic Astrology from India is available in Houston. Call for guidance on Health, Wealth, Education, Career, Business, Property, Love & Passion, Marriage & Compatibility, HoroscopeMaking, Child Problem, Luck & Fortune, Peace & Prosperity, Karma & Economical Sources.
Vaastushastra, the ancient science of land. Fix and appointment for personal visit to your home, plot, business/ofﬁce, shop, factory, and hotel. To gain peace of mind and prosperity, by doing little changes as per Vaastu Shastra. Simple, Easy, Scientiﬁc & Affordable solutions/remedies to overcome problems in your Horoscope and Vaastu.
12V Kindly Note: Astrology & VaastuShastra are 11
Science of Nature, not related with any religion, caste, or community. It is an Occult Science and gift of nature for the welfare of people to get proper advice.
We Speak in English, Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi languages. Listen to me live on Sound Asia 10.50AM Radio
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • Ph: 832-298-9950 Damodaran and Prasanna Pillai celebrate their 40th Wedding Anniversary on February 7, 2017.
VOICE OF ASIA 15
HEALTH, SC & TECH
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Fragrances that Cure - PART 1 using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being. Aromatherapy may promote relaxation and help relieve stress. It has also been used to help treat a wide range of physical and mental conditions, including burns, infections, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee, Rice University, Houston TX
by Meenakshi Bhattacharjee History Hippocrates, the father of modern western medicine, is believed to have recommended that the way to total health was to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day. The Babylonians added essential oil to the mortar with which they built their temples. The Egyptians used essential oil as part of their personnel hygiene and their priests used these same aromatic substances for embalming and for treating manias, depression, and nervousness. The Arabian Avicenna who lived in 10th century Constantinople wrote over 100 books. The first was on the benefits rose water, which had been brought back from the east during the crusades. Rose water went on to become popular in medieval Arab cooking. In past centuries the healing arts were passed down through generations of families. Much of this knowledge was lost once modern medicine took over the healthcare of individuals. In the 1970s, with a renewed interest in alternative health remedies, people began to look to the past for answers to their healthcare needs and aromatherapy was one of those answers. What is Aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is the practice of
What are Essential oils (EO’s)? EO’s that are used in aromatherapy are the volatile lipid (oil) soluble portion of the fluids of a plant containing odiferous compounds pro-
duced by steam distillation of vegetable plant matter. Plant matter can be any part of a botanical species including stems, branches, fruits, flowers, seeds, roots, bark, needles, leaves, etc. During the distillation process, the vapors are condensed, collected, and separated from the condensation water. The residual water, containing traces of oil constituents, is called a “floral water” or “hydrosol,” and has therapeutic applications of its
own. EO’s are mixtures of hundreds of compounds. For example, it has been found that orange oil (Citrus sinensis) contains 34 alcohols, 30 esters, 20 aldehydes, 14 ketones, 10 carboxylic acids, and 36 varieties of terpenes, including mono-, sesqui- , di- and tetraterpenes. And this is not a complete analysis. In fact, no EO’s has ever been completely analyzed to reveal its every constituent. While many people believed in the efficacy of essential oils because of their own or someone else’s experience, others wanted a scientific basis to explain how essential oils work. Using modern scientific methods to
test their efficacy, it is now known that some essential oils can benefit mood while others can be antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory. It has further been determined that when used medicinally, essential oils enter and leave the body with great efficiency leaving no toxins behind. Unlike chemical drugs, essential oils do not stay in the body; they are excreted through urine, feces, perspiration and exhalation.
The type of essential oil that should be used: Only the highest quality essential oils have the capacity to promote healing. The plants that are used as the raw material for essential oils must be healthy and clean. The processing methods must preserve the natural qualities of the essential oil. The essential oil that results must be 100% natural and 100% pure. Nothing should be added and nothing should be removed from the essential oil after it is processed. How do essential oils affect the body? The inhaled aroma from these “essential” oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing. When essential oils are applied to people, they do
the same thing, carrying oxygen into cells and carrying waste products out. In fact, essential oils are one of nature’s best body cleansers. They can cleanse our cellular receptor sites of pharmaceutical drugs, petrochemicals, and other disruptors of intercellular communication. They can also chelate heavy metals and other toxins, helping to remove and flush them through the liver, colon, sweat, lungs, and kidneys. They can also increase our ability to absorb vitamins and other nutrients. A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is gaining momentum. It is used for a variety of applications, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function. There are a wide number of essential oils available, each with its own healing properties.
More on essential oils and aromatherapy next week
Researchers unveil advances Genes point to who develops in cancer diagnostics lung disease, study finds
ARIS, France | AFP - Scientists unveiled a test Monday for detecting pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms, in less than a drop of blood. The diagnostic method is fast, cheap and ultra-sensitive, and can be adapted to test for other diseases whose fingerprints are detectible in blood, they wrote in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. A team in the United States and China identified a protein dubbed EphA2 found in pancreatic tumours. They then developed a test to detect its presence in as little as 0.001 millilitres of blood plasma -- the liquid component of blood, in which the cells are suspended. Cancer of the pancreas is a particularly aggressive type. Symptoms generally appear at a very late stage, which means diagnosis happens only after the cancer has already spread to other organs. In the absence of an effective treatment, some 80 percent of people die within a year of diagnosis. “Pancreatic cancer is one type of cancer we desperately need an early blood biomarker for,” said study co-author Tony Hu of Arizona State University. Existing tests to detect cancer markers in blood require large samples, and are time-consuming and costly, the researchers said. Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas — an organ in your abdomen that lies horizontally behind the lower part of your stomach. Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis, even when diagnosed early. Pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, which is a major reason why it’s a leading cause of cancer death.
In a pilot study, the new test was correct more than 85 percent of the time in distinguishing pancreatic cancer patients from healthy people and people suffering from pancreatitis -- a noncancerous inflammation. This was more accurate than existing plasma tests, wrote the team. The results need to be validated in larger studies, but the discovery “has the potential to improve the early detection, treatment and monitoring of pancreatic cancer and of other cancers and infections,” said a Nature media summary. According to Hu, licensing of the test may take two or three years. In a study in the sister journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, researchers announced a breakthrough in diagnosing brain tumours with a portable scanner. Usually after a tumour is removed, it has to be frozen, stained and then examined in a pathology lab. Only then can the surgeon measure the operation’s success and the patient’s prognosis. Analysis may require anything from tens of minutes to hours, said a Nature statement. Now, US-based scientists have developed a portable system “to provide fast analysis of fresh brain tumour samples in the operating room,” it said. It uses Raman spectroscopy, which recognises the telltale fingerprints of different molecules. The images obtained closely resemble those of the traditional, stained samples, and can be used to classify tumours with a similar level of accuracy, said the researchers. Further research is needed to determine how effective the technology would be in a real operating room.
by Mariëtte Le Roux
ARIS, France | AFP - Scientists unveiled a trove of newly-discovered gene variants on Monday to help predict who will most likely develop a killer lung disease, both among smokers and nonsmokers. The world’s biggest probe of the genetics of lung health yielded 43 new gene variants linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a major cause of death. COPD is a bundle of incurable lung ailments, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. People with the wrong genetic makeup who also smoke are especially at risk, a team of scientists wrote in the journal Nature Genetics. “As a result of this work, we can now better predict who will develop COPD -- opening up the possibility of using this information in prevention,” said Martin Tobin from the University of Leicester, one of the leaders of the research team. “This genetic information guides future treatments including the development of new drugs.” According to a 2015 study in the Journal of Global Health, there were an estimated 384 million COPD cases globally in 2010. It claimed about
2.9 million lives that year, making it the fourth most common cause of death -- predicted to reach third place by 2030.
“The breakthrough advance could help defuse a ‘ticking time bomb’ for serious lung disease, with over a billion smokers worldwide at risk,” it added in a statement.
About 90 precent of COPD deaths occur in low– and middle–income countries, and some 40 percent of deaths are attributable to smoking.
Genes are sections of DNA carrying codes for building the proteins an organism needs to function.
Despite it being a strong risk factor, not all people who smoke develop COPD, and not all people who do develop it are smokers.
Sometimes the same gene varies from one person to the next, accounting for distinct features such as straight or curly hair, eye colour, and vulnerability to diseases.
This is largely due to genetic differences, said the research team. By nearly doubling the number of genetic variants associated with lung disease, they discovered that people in the highest genetic risk group had a 3.7 higher chance of developing COPD than those in the lowest.
“Given how common COPD is, we know surprisingly little about the reasons why one individual develops the condition whilst another does not,” said fellow research leader Ian Hall from the University of Nottingham.
As many as 72 out of 100 smokers in the genetic high-risk group will develop lung disease, the team said.
“The study of genetic variation between individuals provides a powerful way to understand these mechanisms which underlie disease risk, which in turn will provide a stimulus for drug development.”
“By quitting smoking in early adulthood, COPD could be prevented in five out of ten people” at high genetic risk, said the University of Leicester.
More than 100 scientists trawling through the genetic signatures of 350,000 people from 13 countries
VOICE OF ASIA 16
With Johnny Cash on his t-shirt, this Iraqi student makes it to U.S. during pause in Trump travel ban by Lorraine Ali
aybe they’ll have ‘La La Land’ on the in-flight entertainment,” Abdullah said on Saturday a few hours before he was set to leave Jordan on a plane bound for Los Angeles. “If you don’t like it,” I joked, “don’t tell anyone. They won’t let you into America.”
of Abdullah’s plight tried to keep abreast of the rapidly changing news. On Thursday, the situation looked bad. He should stay in Jordan for now, the lawyer advised. On Friday: Good news. A Boston judge issued a tempo-
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
world told us as much. “I’m going to miss school,” he said last week when things looked their most grim. “Do you think I should start applying to study in England or Canada? I’ll have to start all over again.” And then there was the Me-
“So many rules,” he said, laughing to ease his nerves. “I can’t keep up.” It was true, the part about so many rules. The fate of Abdullah’s trip, and his future as a student in the U.S., was changing by the hour thanks to the confusion sown by President Trump’s executive order on travel and the multiple rulings against it.
customs form. “And if you’re detained for questioning, be cooperative and polite,” she said, “but tell them you also have a lawyer waiting outside at the arrival gate.” As my family, the lawyer and some dedicated friends stood at the international arrival gate at LAX, we overheard an immigration attorney explaining to an Iranian man near us that the woman he was waiting for, a student-visa holder, had been pulled for a secondary interview. Within the hour, he miraculously appeared. For the first time since I’ve known him, my young and easygoing nephew appeared worn and nervous. He was sweating and poker faced when he walked out the automatic doors and up the ramp with his luggage. It wasn’t until he saw us in the crowd that he seemed to realize the ordeal was over.
Screams and tears and hugs, cheers from strangers, cameras flashing, reporters asking questions. He’d made it through, Abdullah Al-Rifaie is greeted by family at LAX on Sunday during a court no questions asked. The months of vetting he’d Abdullah Al-Rifaie, stay of the Trump administration’s executive order banning travel from seven gone through to get his 19, has lived in Southern Muslim-majority countries. (Photo: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times) American visa apparentCalifornia for the last year ly meant something again. and a half, attending classes on rary restraining order against tallica factor. a student visa. He left Los An- the travel ban. Visa holders My pop-culture-obsessed When we were finally outside geles in December on winter from other countries on the list nephew had already missed and walking to the car, he ex— Iran, Yemen — are getting break to renew his visa — to seeing his favorite metal band haled. follow the rules. But in the few in, we’re told, he should get by two days when he left in here now while he can! “Oh my God,” he said. “I weeks it took for him to sucDecember and, if the ban held, cessfully get his paperwork proBut later on Friday, things had he’d miss them again when can’t believe I’m finally here.” cessed in Jordan, Trump signed changed again. Hold up, Abdul- they play L.A. next week. “It’s It was then he unzipped his the executive order restricting lah was told. Valid visa holders like someone’s trying to keep sweat jacket, revealing the imtravel from seven majority- are still being detained at U.S. us apart,” he said. age on his T-shirt: Johnny Cash Muslim countries, including airports and sent back to where flipping the bird. Early Saturday morning it the one that issued Abdullah’s they came from. Stay put. looked as if the most recent “Dude!” my husband said. passport, Iraq. This cycle of hope and doom, restraining order on the travel “What if they’d pulled you into The order had an immediate hope and doom, repeated itself ban was being honored at most secondary questioning, and affect on the travel plans of in what seemed like a pro- U.S. airports. Abdullah decided asked you to take off your jackAbdullah and many far more longed and cruel game of emo- to fly in on the return ticket to et. What would you say?” desperate than him — refugees tional ping pong. Even if Ab- LAX he’d booked almost a “Oh, I didn’t even think about and asylum seekers whose lives dullah had gone to the airport, year ago. that,” Abdullah said. “I guess I were in danger in their home there was a slim-to-zero chance His lawyer advised him to countries. the airline would let him on a keep in touch with her every leg would just tell them the truth,” he said at last. “I’m a huge My sisters, my mom and an U.S.-bound plane. Footage of of the flight. Once he landed, Johnny Cash fan.” (-Latimes. attorney who offered her ser- Yemeni and Syrian nationals she instructed him to not sign com) vices pro bono when she heard stranded at airports all over the anything other than the routine
Start-up fever grips young tech-savvy Indians n the basement of a Bangalore building, hundreds of young Indians sit in neat rows of desks typing furiously, all dreaming of becoming the new Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.
A quarter of a century after liberalisation kick-started India’s economic transformation, a new generation of young people are capitalising on their parents’ hard-won financial security to try their luck in the risky business of tech start-ups. “It’s really picking up,” said Aneesh Durg, a young Indianorigin student from Chicago who came to the southern tech hub of Bangalore to help develop a device that helps blind people read written text. “It’s actually not what I expected it to be. I thought that they would be a little bit behind, but they are actually working just as hard and there’s really cool stuff coming out of India these days.” More and more young people in the country of 1.25 billion people are opting to go it alone, in stark contrast to previous generations that valued the stability of employment above all else. India now has some 4,750 tech start-ups—the highest number in the world after the United States and Britain, which it is fast catching up. Success stories include Flipkart, Amazon’s rival in India, and online supermarket Big Basket. From robots and mobile apps to smart kitchens and a cocktailmaking machine the cavernous Bangalore office, which houses one of India’s biggest start-up incubators, is a veritable ideas factory. Every meeting room bears a photo of a successful technology entrepreneur. Vikram Rastogi is a robotics expert who set up a small
incubator named Hacklab after visiting the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014. “I saw the kind of hardware work they were doing. We could also do the same kind of hardware work in India, it’s just that people do not pursue it much further,” he explains. “So I thought let me start with something in India and try to make global product out of it,” Rastogi adds. The engineering graduate is currently working on ways to enable drones to operate as part of a fleet in order to harness more information, an application that could be used to gather data over large areas such as the vast farms of Australia or Brazil. But the path to building the next Google or Apple is not always smooth. “When I started this we had a lot of people who came to us with start-up ideas,” Rastogi says, but he admits that some give up over time often due to family pressure to get a salaried job. Sylvia Veeraraghavan is one of the millions who have migrated to Bangalore for work since the 1990s. When she moved there, the city was becoming a outsourcing hub for Western technology companies seeking a cheap and well educated workforce through companies such as Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro. She believes the rising prosperity of India’s middle class has given young people the freedom to experiment. “They are not constricted, or restricted, having to take up a job, or finding their next meal,” she said. “They can be innovative, they can be imaginative.” (-Phys.org)
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VOICE OF ASIA 17
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Shyamalan’s ‘Split’ again rules N. America
Celebrities who set the Lakmé Fashion Week ramp on fire!
“I’m more inspired by the weirdest movies that you would see.” - M Night Shyamalan, director of “Split” (Photo: Universal Pictures)
OS ANGELES | AFP -“Split,” the M Night Shyamalan thriller about a man with multiple personalities who locks three teenage girls in an underground bunker, held onto the top spot in the North American box office for a third weekend, industry estimates showed Sunday.
comes back to life as different dogs searching for meaning. It took in $10.8 million in its second week.
The movie -- by the director of the classic horror film “Sixth Sense” -stars James McAvoy as a man with 23 personalities who preys on young girls. It earned an estimated $14.6 million in ticket sales over a three-day weekend in which sales were slowed by football’s Super Bowl, Exhibitor Relations reported.
In fourth place was “Hidden Figures,” Fox’s true-life story of three black women mathematicians who helped NASA put the first men in space. The comedy-drama, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, took in $10.1 million in its seventh week, for a healthy cumulative total of $119.4 million.
The cumulative North American total for the film, made on a low $9 million budget, is now $98.7 million. With mostly positive reviews, Forbes magazine has called it “the first outright sensation of 2017.”
“La La Land,” Lionsgate’s nostalgic tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals, held on to fifth place in its ninth week, with revenue of $7.5 million. Behind the acting, dancing and singing of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, the film has garnered a boatload of accolades and is a strong favorite at the Oscars.
In second spot was the Paramount feature “Rings,” which scored $13 million in its first weekend. The film, the latest in a horror franchise that began in 2002 with the money-making “Ring,” tells the story of a videotape that kills those who watch it. Third spot went to “A Dog’s Purpose,” Universal’s family-friendly flick about a canine who continually
Some animal lovers had called for a boycott of the film after video footage showed an apparently terrified German shepherd being forced into rushing water on the set.
Rounding out the Top 10 are: “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” ($4.5 million), “Sing” ($4 million), “Lion” ($4 million), “The Space Between Us” ($3.8 million), “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” ($3.5 million)
The heartthrob Rahul Khanna walked for Narendra Kumar.
A host of Bollywood stars joined India’s top designers in Mumbai for the recently concluded Lakmé Fashion Week, one of the biggest events on India’s fashion calendar. Tarun Tahiliani, Narendra Kumar, Anita Dongre, and Ritu Kumar were among the designers unveiling their latest creations. There was a change of venue this year, with the show – which started on Wednesday and ran until Sunday – moving to Jio Garden in Bandra, in the north of Mumbai, an area known for its trendy restaurants and plush offices.
Raees banned in Pakistan for showing muslims in bad light AHORE (PTI) - Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees has been banned in Pakistan after the Censor Board found the content unsuitable for screening in the country. The content and theme was found to be objectionable as it shows muslims in bad light and undermines Islam.
“The portrayal of Muslims is negative and the film’s content undermines Islam, and a specific religious
sect, portraying Muslims as criminals, wanted persons and terrorists” an official source in the censor board said.
Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil were the first two movies to release in the country after the ban last year.
The distributors of Raees, Hum Films had last week submitted the film to the censor board for clearance to release in the Pakistani cinema halls after the government allowed screening of Hindi films last week.
“Raees will not release in Pakistan according to a decision taken by the censor board today. It shows Muslims in very negative light and could lead to reactions from different sects and it is unsuitable for public screening” a source told PTI.
Indian judges cut Bollywood scenes poking fun at lawyers UMBAI (AFP) - An Indian court has ordered filmmakers to cut four scenes from a forthcoming Bollywood movie after ruling that they show lawyers in a bad light, media reports said on Tuesday. India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had cleared comedy-drama “Jolly LLB 2”, which stars Akshay Kumar, for release but the Bombay High Court intervened, the Press Trust of India reported. The case is an unusual twist on censorship in the country, where courts have instructed India’s censorship board to reinstate scenes that it has deleted -- not the other way round. “We had no objection with the film and gave it a certificate. It’s a movie for entertainment and is fiction,” CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani told AFP, adding that he was waiting to receive the court’s order. “Jolly LLB 2” tells the story of an awkward lawyer played by Kumar, who takes on a high-profile case in a satirical look at India’s legal system. Advocate Ajay Kumar Waghmare filed a petition claiming that certain shots mocked lawyers and disrespected India’s judicial system. He called for them to be cut and for “LLB” (a legal degree) to be dropped from the movie’s title. The Press Trust of India reported late on
Malaika Arora Khan walked for Divya Reddy, she wore a bright yellow lehenga from the collection.
akmé Fashion Week did not disappoint when it came to adding a touch of Bollywood glitz to the ramp. Among the celebrity showstoppers taking to catwalk was Vaani Kapoor, star of hit movie Befikre, who walked the runway for designer Ritu Kumar in an ornate, black-zipped biker’s jacket teamed with a printed maxi skirt and a sheer net body suit. Rahul Khanna walked for Narendra Kumar in a black jacket embroidered with elaborate floral patterns, paired with fitted trousers. Amyra Dastur, Karisma Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Bipasha Basu and Tabu were among the other Bollywood stars who strutted down the catwalk. Dubai fast-fashion brand Splash showed off its latest collection on the third day of LFW. Romanian TV presenter Iulia Vantur, who is rumoured to be dating Bollywood actor Salman Khan, was the showstopper, wearing a short, beigeand-black, e mbellished dress.
Monday that Mumbai’s top court had agreed with the petition and ruled that the film, due for release on Friday, could only be screened if four cuts were made. Newspapers said these included one showing a scared judge hiding behind a chair and another in which Kumar’s character is seen jumping on a dais as he instructs his client to throw a shoe at the judge. The movie also apparently shows lawyers playing cards and dancing in court, according to The Hindu newspaper. The Bombay High Court’s stance is a far cry from its ruling of June last year when it overturned 12 cuts that the CBFC had made to
Robin Chaurasiya, who founded the non-governmental organisation Kranti, which has helped the young women to rebuild their lives and organised the show, said she was proud of them after the event. “People have prejudices about sex workers, but we also have prejudices about the fashion industry and I think for them to be able to perform in this space and have that applause and appreciation really does wonderful things for their self-confidence,” she said. The grand finale Anita Dongre, the Indian designer often referred to as “the queen of pret”, brought her latest creations to the stage for the grand finale at the spectacular outdoor setting of Bandra Fort, under the moonlight and against the backdrop of the Arabian Sea.
“Everyone has made this very special for me,” she said.
The models showed off Dongre’s nature-inspired designs among palm trees and tropical plants, sporting woven-cotton, silk and embroidery in whites and gold.
Karishma Tanna also walked for Splash, wearing a sequinned greenand-blue dress, while Sooraj Pancholi wore a black suit.
The collection, called Alchemy, was based on the theme of “liquid gold”, reflecting Lakmé’s new Argan oil lipsticks.
Raza Beig, the brand’s chief executive, said he was “very excited to showcase our collection to our Indian audience”.
“This season was extra-special for me since it was my first finale,” said Dongre.
A social cause Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar plays the character of Jagdish Mishra in comedy-drama ‘Jolly LLB 2’ (AFP Photo/-)
The women delivered a theatrical performance to tell their stories.
In a first for LFW, young women who had been rescued and rehabilitated from Mumbai’s red-light district, all between the ages of 18 and 22, showed off the designs of Mandeep Nagi at LFW.
Kareena Kapoor Khan, who gave birth to her first child last month, was the showstopper for Dongre. She wore a white dress, with an elegant long jacket in a light shade of gold.
Kapoor Khan said her husband, ac“Udta Punjab”, a film depicting drug tor and producer Saif Ali Khan, was addiction. It told the film board not to be “over-sensitive”. “The show was really nice,” said at home looking after their son, while Pinky Sheikh, 19, who took part in the she was at the show. India’s censors have a long history “He’s very supportive,” she said. of barring movies and cutting scenes, event. She was trafficked into the sex (-TheTheatrical.ae) including those deemed too racy or industry as a child. capable of causing religious offence, and filmmakers CME, CHMS accuse them of intolerance. Your Luxury Real Estate Specialist In 2015 the Providing 15 Years of Exceptional Service CBFC blocked the to the Greater Houston Community! release of a tonedBuying or Selling? down version of We offer Complimentary Market Analysis “Fifty Shades of & Staging Advice. Grey” and deemed two James Bond • Cell: 713-254-3737 kissing scenes un• Sandiya.Venturato@cbunited.com suitable for an Indian audience. Coldwell Banker United, Realtors/Memorial, 10497 Town & Country Way, Suite 800, Houston, TX 77024
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VOICE OF ASIA 18
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
HEALTHY LIVING VOICE OF ASIA
Can miracle berry change way you perceive healthy foods? by Avinash Ramsadeen There is a fruit found in Ghana, West Africa, which has very unique properties that can alter your perception of certain foods. The fruit is called the miracle berry, and it has a glycoprotein in it called miraculin which attaches itself to the taste receptors on your tongue and converts foods that are acidic or sour tasting into something sweet.
“A lot of people do not like foods that are really natural and are very healthy,” Asare told Fox News. The berry has been used in West Africa since at least the 18th century, when European explorer the Chevalier des Marchais provided an account of its use there. Marchais, who was searching West Africa for many different fruits in a 1725 excursion, noticed that local people picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals. In the 1970s in the USA, an attempt was made to commercialize the fruit for its ability to turn unsweet foods into sweet foods without a caloric penalty, but ended in failure when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified the berry as a food additive. There were controversial circum-
The so-called miriacle fruit (Photo: Hamale Lyman/Wikipedia) stances with accusations that the project was sabotaged and the research files stolen by the sugar industry to prevent loss of business caused by a drop in demand for sugar. However, the FDA has denied receiving any pressure from the sugar industry. Arguments similar to the ones used for this classification were used for the FDA’s regulation on stevia now labeled as a “dietary supplement” instead of a “sweetener”. While the miracle berry can turn some fruits that are sour and high in acidity like healthy grapefruits into sweet treats without adding sugar, Asare also believes it can help reverse one of the side effects of chemotherapy that leave a metallic taste in the patient’s mouth.
Is the gym the best place to exercise? by Luisa Dillner LONDON - The most popular New Year resolution in almost every survey is “exercise more” – which often translates into joining a gym. According to the 2016 State of the UK Fitness Industry report, one in seven people in the UK are members. But are they more likely to be fit?
gym members exercise more, and are healthier than non-members, Schroeder says this has not previously been explicitly shown. “This study adds actual objective measures of people at a health club compared with non-mem-
Since the fruit is highly perishable, Asare developed a dissolving tablet called MiraBurst that has a longer shelf-life. To use it, you simply put the tablet on your tongue, swirl it around and let it dissolve. The berry takes affect almost immediately and lasts for about 90 minutes. Dr. Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe is an internist at New York University Langone Medical Center and she said that there have only been a few pilot studies on the berry’s effectiveness, and that more research must to be done to see if it can indeed help those who would like to use it for medical purposes. As always, be sure to consult your physician before trying any new supplements. (-Fox News) risk factors. You can get broadly the same benefit wherever you exercise. This study shows a gym membership makes it more likely you’ll do so, but other research shows that exercising outside has other benefits. Outdoor activity can boost your vitamin D levels, reduce tension and depression, and make you feel more revitalised and positive about life – especially if you run through a forest.
The solution A study last week in the journal Plos One found that gym members were 14 times more aerobically active than people who didn’t belong to any health club. Gym members, on average, did six hours more exercise a week, and this activity did make them fitter than non-members. They had lower heartrates, smaller waists and higher levels of cardiovascular fitness as measured by heart strength, lung function and muscle mass. They also spent less time sitting down every day than non-gym members. The results were similar for men and women. The study included 405 people between the ages of 30 to 64, and the general characteristics of those who were gym members were similar to those who were not. The lead author, Elizabeth C Schroeder of the department of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois, says that gym members were also more likely than non-members – even those who did exercise – to do resistance training which strengthens muscles, reduces blood pressure and can increase metabolic rates. While it might seem obvious that
orget New Year’s Day, the biggest diet start date—for men —is the day after the Super Bowl, according to some nutrition companies. According to a survey by Nutrisystem, one in four NFL fans pack on an average of 10 pounds during football season. And the diet company says at the official end of the season, men typically are ready to get rid of the excess. “The Big Game is like New Year’s and many men’s resolutions do not start until the football season has officially come to a close. We see about double the men’s orders on Super Monday,” says Dawn Zier, CEO of Nutrisystem. Former NFL quarterback and spokesman for Nutrisystem Dan Marino says he always resets around this
federal judge on Monday blocked the proposed $37 billion merger between insurance giants Aetna and Humana, striking a victory for antitrust measures taken under the Obama administration. The lawsuit, brought in July on behalf of the Justice Department, said the merger would reduce competition and limit patients’ coverage options and the kind of care they receive. U.S. District Judge John Bates, who issued the decision, agreed. “The proposed merger is likely to substantially lessen competition in the sale of individual Medicare Advantage plans in 364 counties identified in the Complaint and in the sale of individual commercial insurance on the public exchanges in three counties in Florida identified in the Complaint,” he wrote in court documents. Aetna and Humana cited their intent on July 2, 2015, to merge in order to make changes to Medicare Advantage, which covers seniors and people with disabilities. The merger would also have impacted people who get insurance from their employer and those who buy private plans through the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s health care law. Last year, Aetna exited many of the exchanges that sold these plans, which had the effect of raising premiums and limiting patient choice. If the merger with Humana were to go forward, the Justice Department argued, many people who buy Medicare Advantage plans would only have one insurer to choose from, and many employers would go from having four plans to three. Aetna and Human have the option to appeal, and if the merger does not go forward the terms of the agreement state that Aetna will owe Humana a $1 billion breakup fee. “We are reviewing the opinion now and giving serious consideration to an appeal after putting forward a compelling case,” says
Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com
T.J. Crawford, Aetna spokesman. Another challenge brought by the Justice Department is pending on a merger between Anthem and Cigna, a deal valued at $54 billion that would mark the largest health insurance deal in U.S. history. On the other hand, A federal judge is expected to block a proposed deal between health insurer Anthem and Cigna , the New York Post reported, citing sources. Anthem, which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance plans in 14 U.S. states, is trying to buy smaller rival Cigna. The government sued seven months ago to stop the deal, saying it was anti-competitive. Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has not yet issued an opinion on the case. The trial began late last year, and Cigna said it ended on Jan. 4. Anthem is preparing for an appeal of any ruling that doesn’t go its way and insiders expect Jackson to rule against the deal, the Post reported. For most suitable Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage Plan OR Medicare Drug plan contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.
Hidden ingredients in herbal supplements could cause serious risks
ONDON - Many herbal supplements contain hidden pharmaceutical ingredients that could be causing serious health risks, according to a team of experts from Queen’s University Belfast, Kingston University London and LGC. Gym-goers are more likely to do resistance training than non-members (File photo) bers, which has not been measured prior [to now],” she says. However, the study is only designed to show a link between gym membership and more exercise – it may be that active people are just more likely to join gyms. People in the study who exercised as much as gym members had similar reductions in cardiovascular
Men flock to diet companies after Super Bowl by Jade Scipioni, Fox Business
Judge blocks massive Aetna-Humana merger and a federal judge is expected to block the Anthem-Cigna merger
The actual scientific name for the fruit is Synsepalum dulcificum, and in West Africa, where the species originates, the locals call it agbayun. Upon learning about this fruit, Dr. Emmanuel Asare, a former internistturned-plastic surgeon, who is from Ghana, realized that he could harness the fruit’s potential for good. He thought about those who are struggling with their diet and even those who are undergoing chemotherapy and figured the miracle berry could help them.
time of the year because “it’s easier to stick with it.” “It seems that once [the] Super Bowl is over, many men are ready to get their diet started because for the last five months they’ve been chowing down on wings, beer and pizza every Sunday as they watch the games,” he says. “And with only 16 weeks until summer and the distraction of Sunday football in the past, it’s easier to start a diet.” And, it’s not just football season overall, the Big Game is also a massive calorie killer on its own. According to the USDA, Super Bowl Sunday is the second highest day of food consumption in the United States, after Thanksgiving. Additionally, the Calorie Control Council reports that while Americans are watching Super Bowl 51, they will eat an estimated 30 million pounds of snacks—and not par-
Outdoor exercise is also rated as more enjoyable and less of an effort than going to the gym. The first five minutes of outdoor exercise are particularly effective at making people feel good. But Schroeder says that a gym may also encourage greater exercise because it can be social and fun. (-The Guardian) ticularly healthy ones either. To top it off, a 2013 study from Psychological Science found that fans of the losing team tend to load up on saturated fats and sugars, whereas fans of the winning team opt for healthier choices. Monty Sharma, CEO of Jenny Craig, a diet plan initially aimed at women, has also seen opportunity in the male category in recent years. In 2011, the company launched “Jen Works for Men,” and in January of this year, they released a new male-focused campaign centered around a military veteran’s personal story. “In terms of Super Bowl Sunday itself, we never push out advertising that day as it is not a day that is typically focused on weight loss. However, the days following the Super Bowl tend to be a time when people get back on track with their New Year’s Resolutions and weight loss goals. Going on a diet doesn’t have to mean you give up the things you love. It’s just about making smarter choices along the way,” he says.
Emeritus Professor Duncan Burns, a forensically experienced analytical chemist from the Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute for Global Food Security, has been working with a team of specialists on a peerreviewed paper to examine the detection of illegal ingredients in the supplements. The experts included Dr Michael Walker from the Government Chemist Programme at LGC and Professor Declan Naughton from Kingston University. The research found that over-thecounter supplements - commonly advertised to treat obesity and erectile dysfunction problems - are labelled as fully herbal but often include potentially dangerous pharmaceutical ingredients, which are not listed on the label. Professor Burns from Queen’s University, who is working to advance knowledge in this area, explained: “Our review looked at research from right across the globe and questioned the purity of herbal food supplements. We have found that these supplements are often not what customers think they are - they are being deceived into thinking they are getting health benefits from a natural product when actually they are taking a hidden drug. “These products are unlicensed medicines and many people are consuming large quantities without knowing the interactions with other supplements or medicines they may be taking. This is very dangerous and there can be severe side effects.”
The survey raises serious questions about the safety of slimming supplements containing Sibutramine. Sibutramine was licensed as the medicine Reductil until 2010, when it was withdrawn across Europe and the US due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes associated with the use of the drug. Tadalfil and sulfoaildenafil were among the most frequently undeclared ingredients in products for erectile dysfunction. When taken with other medicines containing nitrates, they can lower blood pressure drastically and cause serious health problems. Professor Burns noted: “This is a real issue as people suffering from conditions like diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension are frequently prescribed nitrate containing medicines. If they are also taking a herbal supplement to treat erectile dysfunction, they could become very ill. “People who take these products will not be aware they have taken these substances and so when they visit their doctor they may not declare this and it can be difficult to determine what is causing the side effects. It is a very dangerous situation.” Professor Declan Naughton explained: “This work highlights the vital role research and, in particular, techniques like datamining, can play in informing regulators about current trends in supplement contamination. This is very important to ensure effective testing strategies and, ultimately, to help keep the public safe.” Dr Michael Walker commented: “The laboratory tests we describe in our paper will assist regulators to tackle this problem proactively to protect consumers and responsible businesses.” (-News-medical.net)
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Super Bowl ads caught in political whirlwind by Rob Lever
ASHINGTON | AFP - The ads appearing during the Super Bowl on Sunday weren’t supposed to be political -- but some brands wanted to make a statement, and others may have been just caught in the crossfire. In the biggest US sporting event of the year which is also a huge event for marketing, political overtones were part of the story, intended or not. The Super Bowl was played amid a heated debate following President Donald Trump’s order to block all refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations, and a clash of views over open borders and multiculturalism. Some companies may have been swept up in the desire to make a statement of principle. But marketing professor Larry Chiagouris of Pace University said it was a risky strategy. “The people who buy these products come from all political persuasions,” he said. “No brand can afford to alienate any of them.” Northwestern University marketing professor Tim Calkins said some of the ads aimed to show a theme of “inclusiveness.” “While many brands were lighthearted and product focused, there were others that embraced a theme of inclusiveness, including Google, Airbnb and Budweiser,” said Calkins, who is co-director of the school’s ad rating project. Some notable spots: - Airbnb The home-sharing giant injected a surprise political message into a television spot, highlighting multiculturalism and the hashtag #WeAccept. The 30-second Airbnb spot showed a series of faces of people from different races, genders and ages with a running line of text saying “No matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong.” On Twitter, Airbnb founder and chief executive Brian Chesky also an-
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Joyalukkas opened 3rd Showroom in USA at Chicago
nounced the group would donate $4 million over four years to the International Rescue Committee to assist refugees. It provoked considerable reaction on Twitter, both positive and negative. - Budweiser immigration story Budweiser, the US beer brand from Anheuser-Busch InBev, told the story of the journey of founder Adolphus Busch, a German immigrant. While the company had said it did not intend to make a political statement, the ad nonetheless drew praise from critics of Trump’s immigration plan, but also calls for a boycott. - 84 Lumber journey A spot from home improvement retailer 84 Lumber showed the journey of a mother and daughter who appeared to be traveling in the Mexican desert seeking to reach the United States, and invited viewers to watch the full ad online. On YouTube, the five-minute film described as “too controversial for TV” showed the pair arriving at a large wall, unable to cross. At the end of the spot, viewers saw the message “The will to succeed is always welcome here.” The retailer had to revise its spot for television after it was rejected for being overtly political. - Winners and losers According to analysis of social media activity by iSpotTV, the Budweiser immigration ad had the most impact, followed by a Netflix ad for its “Stranger Things” series, a spot with a sexy Mr. Clean, and a whimsical Justin Bieber ad for T-Mobile. Coca-Cola’s ad featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in different languages and featuring images of people of various ages and cultures was among those generating the most “positive tweets,” according to the TD America Ad Challenge. A ranking by Northwestern University marketing students put at the top a spot in which a female homemaker drools over a muscle-bound Mr.
Inaugurated by Honorable USA Congressman Raja Krishnamurthy in the Presence of Bishop Jacob Angadiyath; Aniyan George, KCCNA President; Francy P V, General Manager Joyalukkas USA Operations and other dignitaries. HICAGO, February 4, 2017: Multi-awarded global jewellery retail chain Joyalukkas started 2017 strong with the opening of its third showroom in the USA in West Devon 2642, Chicago on 4th February 2017 at 11:00 AM. The Showroom was inaugurated by Honorable USA Congressman Raja Krishnamurthy in the Presence of Bishop Jacob Angadiyath;
Mr. Aniyan George, KCCNA President; Mr. Francy PV, General Manager Joyalukkas USA operations along with local VIPs and dignitaries. The opening of the Chicago showroom is part of the Group’s aggressive expansion plans, following a month after the opening of showrooms in Houston and New Jersey. Entering new markets and strengthening the Group’s positioning in its current 11 countries of operation are also in store for 2017.
Joyalukkas has earned the moniker “world’s favourite jeweller” by offering world-class products coupled with the highest standards of customer service wherever they operate. “Opening showrooms in the USA is a dream come true for all of us at Joyalukkas Group,” said Mr. Joy Alukkas, Chairman and Managing Director of Joyalukkas Group. “Chicago is an exciting location and we are looking forward to providing the quality of jewellery and service Joyalukkas is known for to the cosmopolitan mix of customers here. The response to the opening our showroom in West Devon was heartwarming and we strive to return this great reception with great value and quality service for all customers.” Customers visiting the Joyalukkas Chicago showroom can also avail the inaugural offers. They can enjoy a Free 2 gram gold coin on purchase
“Mr. Clean drew on its brand equity, making its position clear in a modern way,” said professor Derek Rucker. “Conversely, 84 Lumber scored at the bottom of our ad review. This spot took a long time to get to the message -- and even then, it wasn’t clear what the message actually was.” Michigan State University marketing students rated as the best ad a message from Honda with several celebrities speaking from their school yearbook photos.
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The worst was from the American Petroleum Institute, said professor Robert Kolt: “No one wants to hear about big oil during the game.”
of diamond, polki & pearl jewellery worth $2000 or more. While those purchasing gold & precious jewellery worth $1000 and more will also get a quarter gram gold coin for Free. The Joyalukkas, Chicago showroom show cases a mix of traditional, ethno contemporary and international designs that have won of hearts and following of customers around the world in exclusive Joyalukkas brands, such as Veda Temple Jewellery, Pride Diamonds, Eleganza Polki Diamonds, Masaaki Pearls, Zenina Turkish Jewellery, Li’l Joy Kids Jewellery, the Apurva Antique collection & Ratna Precious Stone Jewellery, along with exquisite pieces in gold, diamond, precious stones, platinum and pearl. About Joyalukkas Group: Joyalukkas Group is a multi-billion dollar global conglomerate, with varied business interests. The group operates its various business operations across USA, UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, UK and India. The group businesses include Jewellery, Money Exchange, Fashion & Silks, Luxury Air Charters, Malls and Realty. Joyalukkas employs over 8,000 professionals across the world, and is one of the most awarded and recognized Jewellery retail chains in the world.
What Shell could unload next as part of its $30B divestiture program
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden is trying to pay down debt as part of the company’s $50 billion purchase of BG Group last year. (Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP) by Claire Poole
oyal Dutch Shell plc has been on a divestiture spree after its debt-laden $50 billion purchase of BG Group plc last year, the latest being its sale of some of its oil and gas properties in the North Sea to private equitybacked Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. for $3.8 billion as well as its stake in a Thailand field to Kuwait Petroleum Corp. for $900 million. The sales -- which follow the recent unloading of assets in Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia -- are nudging it toward 40% of the $30 billion divestiture goal it hopes to reach by the end of next year. What could be next?
There’s been talk that the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant has been in discussions to sell its Gabon assets to the Carlyle Group or Perenco for around $700 million. There have also been rumors that the company might shed its interest in a liquefied natural gas export plant in Malaysia, which could bring in more than $1 billion. Shell confirmed in December it was talking about selling its stake in German refinery PCK to Varo Energy, a joint venture between Carlyle and oil trading giant Vitol, although it didn’t disclose potential terms. Shell could also do some trimming in North America. Analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities see its properties in East Texas’ and
northwest Louisiana’s Haynesville Shale -- where buyer interest has picked up -- as a disposal candidate, a sale that could potentially generate $750 million in proceeds. They also eye potential in the company’s undeveloped acreage in Canada’s Duvernay shale play that they value at $1.2 billion. The company already sold $1 billion worth of properties in western Canada this past fall. Analysts at Piper Jaffray unit Simmons & Co. International said the value Shell received for this latest set of divestitures in the North Sea and Thailand “appears reasonable” in this commodity environment and that the company is showing nice momentum on the asset sales front. (Forbes.com)
VOICE OF ASIA 21
Sports world mourns â€˜true warriorâ€™ van der Westhuizen
FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
unfairly blamed for Englandâ€™s elimination from the 1998 World Cup, but fought back to become England captain.
Leaked emails tarnish golden-boy Beckham by Tom Williams
French side Paris Saint-Germain.
Reports of an extra-marital affair in April 2004 were dismissed and did not tarnish Beckhamâ€™s image as a loving husband to pop star turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham and father to their four children.
He continues to carry out charity work and fronts several advertising campaigns.
Beckham received an OBE from the queen in 2003, a lower honour than a knighthood.
He has faced problems finding a stadium deal for the football club he plans to launch in Miami, but Major League Soccer chiefs confirmed recently that the team remains in line to become the leagueâ€™s 24th franchise.
His wife also received an OBE in the 2017 New Year Honours list despite her label being threatened with closure after failing to file company accounts.
ONDON | AFP - David Beckhamâ€™s squeaky-clean image as a British cultural icon has taken a battering following the leaking of expletive-strewn emails in which he apparently raged about not receiving a knighthood. The former England football captain is said to have sworn in emails to his PR team after being told he would not be made â€œSir Davidâ€? by Queen Elizabeth II because of concerns about his tax affairs. A spokesman for the 41-year-old said the emails, released by the Football Leaks website, were â€œhacked and doctoredâ€? to give a â€œdeliberately inaccurate pictureâ€?.
He has managed to shake off previous scandals, both on and off the pitch. He became a national pariah after his dismissal against Argentina was
She was criticised in British tabloid newspapers for telling her family she would be receiving the award before the official announcement. Beckhamâ€™s global celebrity turned him into a one-man marketing phenomenon with a glut of lucrative endorsements.
But there has been a backlash against Beckham from sections of Britainâ€™s tabloid media. Mondayâ€™s Daily Mail spoke of the â€œShame of Saint Becksâ€?, with a columnist pronouncing him â€œa foul-mouthed, determined egotistâ€? who had used charity work as part of an â€œincreasingly desperateâ€? bid for a knighthood.
Legendary Springbok scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen (Photo: AFP)
ARIS, France | AFP - Reactions to the death Monday of legendary Springbok scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen at the age of 45 following a long battle with motor neurone disease: â€œJoost will be remembered as one of the greatest Springboks -â€“ not only of his generation, but of all time. He also became an inspiration and hero to many fellow sufferers of this terrible disease as well as to those unaffected. We all marvelled at his bravery, his fortitude and his uncomplaining acceptance of this terrible burden.â€? - Mark Alexander, president of SA Rugby â€œRIP Joost van der Westhuizen. An incredible player and fighter to the end. The first of the new age 9s.â€? - Former Ireland captain Brian Oâ€™Driscoll â€œIn a team talk I can still remember his eyes looking right through you with so much determination. He had this spar-
kling personality, you could still see it in his eyes even those last years.â€? - Morne du Plessis, manager of 1995 World Cupwinning Springbok team â€œVery very sad to hear this, he was the ultimate player and competitor, thoughts with his family.â€? - Englandâ€™s 2003 World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward
Reports which emerged on Friday said the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star refused to put his own money into his humanitarian 7 Fund and tried to obtain reimbursement from the UN childrenâ€™s agency UNICEF for expenses met by his sponsors. Outspoken television host Piers Morgan told his 5.47 million Twitter followers the revelations were â€œsickeningâ€? and exposed Beckham as a â€œfraudâ€?.
â€œRugby has lost a true warrior today.â€? - Former England international Will Greenwood
Beckham has not spoken publicly since the story broke, although he was pictured cradling his five-year-old daughter Harper on the Instagram account of his son, Brooklyn.
â€œA great friend has left us with an incredible legacy in rugby. â€? - Ex-England scrum-half Matt Dawson
Cynics said even that was a crass attempt to show his best, fatherly side at a time of bad headlines.
â€œSouth Africa has lost a legend and one of the best rugby players that the country has ever produced. On behalf of the government and the people of South Africa, our heartfelt condolences to Mr van der Westhuizenâ€™s family. May his soul rest in peace.â€? - Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa
- Miami project For a man who takes such care of his public image, it is likely to be a deeply distressing situation. Beckham has maintained a high profile since retiring from the game in May 2013 following a brief stint with
Bangladeshâ€™s Imrul ruled out of historic India Test
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HAKA | AFP - Bangladesh suffered a blow before their maiden Test match in India when opening batsman Imrul Kayes was ruled out Monday due to injury.
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â€œImrul pulled his thigh muscle while fielding today during the two-day warmup match against the India A team,â€? said chief selector Minhajul Abedin. â€œHe suffered the same injury in New Zealand, so we thought it appropriate that he did not continue.â€? Uncapped batsman Mosaddek Hossain has been called in as a replacement. Imrul did not bat during the two-day match against India A, which ended in a draw.
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It was the only warm-up fixture before the Test in Hyderabad, the first to be played by Bangladesh on Indian soil since the tourists gained full Test status 17 years ago.
Batsman Imrul Kayes (File photo)
Soumya Sarkar is expected to open the innings along with Tamim Iqbal when the one-off
Imrul will return to the side for next monthâ€™s tour of Sri Lanka provided he is declared
match gets underway on February 9.
India started well with Gill and his opening partner Hi-
In reply, England lost three quick wickets in the first four
Brief Scores: India U-19 382 for 9 in 50 overs (Shubman Gill 160, Prithvi Shaw 105, Henry Brooks 2 for 58) beat England U-19 152 in 37.4 overs (Ollie Pope 59, Will Jacks 44, Kamlesh Nagarkoti 4 for 31, Vivekanand Tiwari 3 for 20) by 230 runs.
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Gill consumed 120 balls for his innings, which was laced with 23 hits to the fence and one over it while Shawâ€™s knock came off 89 deliveries and included 12 fours and two sixes, which helped India post a huge 382/9.
Riding on centuries from opener Shubman Gill (160) and one-down Prithvi Shaw (105), India posted a mammoth 382/9 after being sent in to bat and later restricted the visitors to a paltry 152 in just 37.4 overs.
overs to be reeling at 16/3 and could not recover from the early blows. Medium pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti (4/31), Vivekanand Tiwari (3/20) and Shivam Mavi (2/18) broke the backbone of the visitors, as just three of their batsman managed to get to double-digit scores.
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manshu Rana (33) raising a stand of 83 before left-arm spinner Liam Patterson-White managed to get the breakthrough. Mumbai batsman Shaw then joined the 17-yearold Punjab righthander in the middle and the duo raised a 231-run second-wicket stand, to leave the visitors clueless.
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UMBAI - The Indian Under-19 cricket team took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series, after crushing England by 230 runs in the fourth match at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.
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He and Tamim Iqbal have forged what is by far Bangladeshâ€™s most successful opening partnership.
India U19 demolish England U19 by 230 runs
David Beckham (Photo: AFP)
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FRIDAY, February 10, 2017
Your Horoscope for the Week of February 10, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE
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Aries (A,L,E) 21 March to 20 April
Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct
Unexpected short trips may be necessary. Sit back and relax, close friends may shed some light on your situation. Your insightful, trend setting way of putting things together will be admired by others. Participation in family outings or social activities will bring you added popularity and respect. New friendships or romantic connections will be stimulating, even intense. You’ll be able to make travel arrangements by week’s end. You can make a difference at work if you let others in on your unique and speedy way of doing things.
Your best partners are the people who always know what you mean. Bring your greatest asset to the forefront, Your Confidence. It’s time to make some choices. Reach out and draw someone new into your circle. A hint of strength is far better than an actual display. You’re sure to get people’s attention. You’ll be the master of your own destiny, so take hold of your life and decide what will make you happy. It’s time to stand your ground and follow your heart. Don’t let anyone push you into making a decision you’re not ready to make.
Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May
Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov
You can make headway early in the week, if you put your mind to it. You will be offered an opportunity to work some magic. Problems that older relatives face will become part of your life. Try to do what you can to help, but allow others to lessen your load. You don’t have to let their troubles disrupt your personal life. By week’s end, your excitement will overtake your serious side. You’ll become a master at the art of change. Your focus should be on freeing yourself for making plans for the holidays.
You’ll feel vital and in control. Leadership is a big plus for you. Your words may be quoted. Your actions may have an effect on others, but it doesn’t all go to your head. Study your opponent or objective from a distance. You may find you need an altogether different approach. Be cautious in how you use your resources, don’t be hasty. Your willingness to listen is enough for someone who wants your attention. It’s too easy to take sides during an overheard dispute.
Sagittarius (BH,F,DH,TH) 22 Nov to 21 Dec
Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Somehow, lately it has felt as if you’ve been wasting your time. You’re now ready to give everything that you have to get what you want. Potential is everything this week. Many people are making promises, reaffirming their faith in you. You’re ready to act in ultimately successful ways. You need to start enjoying life a little more. Although you’d rather hold the answer in your hands, envisioning it helps you find it more easily. You’d prefer not to cause problems, but you know the fallout is unavoidable.
You’ll be attracted by the differences that you see in strangers communication skills. You need to make your points but you also need to listen to other’s perspectives. Don’t over react to criticism. Events push you into an activity that you like. You’re happy to work hard at something that you love. Settle down and work on your future goals. Look at yourself in the mirror and discover who you really are and how much you have to offer. It’s time to believe in yourself and to raise your self-confidence.
Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan
Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July This is a good time to set new goals and break bad habits. Emotional difficulties are likely, control your reactions to incompetence. Choose conservative investments and forget about becoming an overnight millionaire. Consider attending lectures to broaden your awareness of your professional goals and direction. Travel will help you to understand those from different cultural backgrounds better. Look into vacation spots that will provide warm weather and recreational activities for the whole family.
You’ll remain unchanged, however the differences lies in how you present yourself to the world. Give a little, take a little. If someone else wants to run the show, don’t object to it. You could find yourself facing a choice when you least expect one. Talk to people who matter. Use a little creativity to show that you are dependable, stable and willing to do whatever you can to help. You’re a lively contributor and a giving individual who will gain respect and approval from those in authority. Don’t forget to attend to your inner needs.
Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb
Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August The real world is strange enough without making things worse. Don’t trust anyone who won’t look you in the eye. You have to disconnect your emotions from a difficult situation. Once you do, your energy will increase. Use your resources to find new ways to complete your tasks. This is a time for accomplishment. You are a champion for those who need an advocate. You can make the impossible look easy. The services that you perform now are sure to earn you points.
You can be compassionate when it comes to the way you feel about others. Your dedication and determination will help you master whatever you set out to do. It’s all about support. Whether you’re lending a receptive ear or turning to trusted friends for backup, all agree on what is important. Setbacks will only make you stronger. Once again, you’re on the winning end of some grand strategy. Diplomacy will benefit from your golden touch. As long as there are creative people involved, you’ll be ready to have fun and enjoy their conversation and company.
Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March
Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September The energy you feel will help you to reach your goals. Express yourself with passion and you may discover new ways to impress your style. This is the time to turn on the charm and attract interest both professionally and personally. You will hold the attention of those with whom you come in contact. Set your goals high, push yourself to the limit, and you will surpass your wildest dreams. The fact that you’re suddenly very popular doesn’t help with your focus. It’s important that you don’t promise the world to everyone and don’t neglect your mate.
Socializing will bring you in contact with world of possibilities. Get out and have fun. Help someone by taking care of their duties or problems, you’ll be glad you did. Romance will unfold through work-related events. Opportunities to advance are evident, but you must keep your emotions well hidden if you wish to accomplish your objectives. You can make progress at work by refraining from idle chatter or disagreeing with your boss. Focus on your own projects. Try some of the new products you’ve been buying that promise to make you look and feel better.
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