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FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

Bill to Lift Vision, Dental and Hearing Restrictions under Medicare Read on Page 18 or Call 832-806-1000

Vol. 30 No. 5 Friday, February 3, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: •

Experience Super Bowl LI, as Houston gears up for the big day! each team to support hunger relief. The event is on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. at the University of Houston. Enjoy food from top chefs around the country while mingling with Hall of Fame NFL Players and celebrities. The Band Perry is also performing during the event. For tickets and details visit

Special Correspondent


OUSTON – The Bayou City has set the stage for Super Bowl LI with magnificent visuals and everything bigger to stand by its reputation, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” The NRG Stadium will host the New England Patriots squaring off against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, February 5th, when America’s most-awaited sporting spectacular will kick off here in Houston. Among the highlights is the NFL Experience Driven by Genesis at the George R. Brown Convention Center that runs from Wednesday, February 1 – Super Bowl Sunday, February 5, 2017. Fans will get the chance to participate in NFL-themed games and activities: Super Bowl LI – pro football’s interactive theme park offering participatory games, youth football clinics, merchandise from NFL Shop presented by Visa and autograph sessions from NFL players and Legends. NFL Experience will also feature personalized digital photos, 40-yard dash and vertical jump against NFL players on LED screens, a virtual reality experience, an enhanced Super Bowl rings display and a new NFL Draft set. Tickets at the entrances are $35 for adults and $25 for children ages 12 and younger. USAA and NFL

Houston’s Ramesh Shah is Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017 honoree Facilitations on Feb 18th at India House.

The NRG Stadium, home to the NFL’s Houston Texans and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, seats about 72,000 fans but more than one million people are expected to flood the city for some component of the Super Bowl experience. The stadium will be illuminated by 65,000 LED lights for the big event on Feb. 5. Houston Metropolis is a home to over two million out of the 25 million people that live in Texas; making it the fourth most populated city in America.

One the many exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Picture taken during the NFL Experience Driven by Genesis on January 27, 2017. Photo by Shobana Muratee. are offering all current and former military members a $15 discount for tickets. The discount is only valid for tickets bought at the box office with a valid military ID. Tickets are avail-

able for purchase on Ticketmaster. com/NFLExperience, by calling 866. TIX.4NFL (849.4635) or at the box office two hours prior to doors opening from Feb. 1 – Feb. 5, 2017.

There are many other events surrounding Super Bowl like the Taste of the NFL: Thirty-two of the nation’s top chefs from each NFL city pair up with current and former players from

HSS USA holds Yogathon at Sugar Land Square

Although Houston Texans aren’t playing, but this city still benefits; fans are expected to spend around $350 million while visiting the city this week. Even if you don’t have a ticket to the big game in Houston on Sunday, you can still join in on the festivities going on in and around the Bayou City the whole week leading up to Super Bowl LI.

NFL: Ex-president George H.W. Bush to toss Super Bowl coin


OUSTON - 1 Former US President George H.W. Bush will conduct the coin toss at this weekend’s Super Bowl just days after being released from a Texas hospital after recovering from pneumonia, it was confirmed Wednesday. National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that the 41st president, age 92, and his wife Barbara, 91, were eager to attend the showpiece in Houston. “I approached them back in December. They were very enthusiastic about wanting to participate and we’re honored to have them,” Goodell said.

Ramesh Shah | Global Coordinator, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, US


aving travelled across India, the US, and Europe in a bid to create awareness about remote parts of India, including tribal belts, Ramesh Shah established Ekal Vidyalaya. Shah also established Gujarati Samaj of Houston in 1978.He was actively involved in Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation since 1999 as a volunteer, board member, chairman, and now an advisor.

“I think you all know that both of them had a little bit of a setback recently, healthwise, but I’ve heard from both of them and they are excited and anxious to be here. I think it’ll be a great way to start the game.”

Over 100 participated at the Yoga for Health, Health for Humanity Yogathon” at Sugar Land Town Square on Sunday, January 29, 2017. Photo by Shobana Muratee. Read report on Page 5

Bush senior was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on January 14 suffering from bacterial pneumonia. He was released from hospital on Monday.

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FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

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 Editor Online:

Shobana Muratee

All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the consent of the publisher. Voice of Asia assumes no liability resulting from action taken based on the information included herein. Published weekly by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713-7745143. Email for editorial submissions:; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions: ads@ Voice of Asia (USPS 010-215) (ISSN#10705058) is published every Friday (for a subscription rate of $30 per year) by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713774-5143. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Voice of Asia, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074

It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or 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

PET of the WEEK I need a loving home

hen Simon Tam founded his rock band and named it The Slants, the AsianAmerican musician was trying to “reappropriate” an ethnic slur and turn it into something positive.

A 1st Amendment right

Many people may find the name offensive, and they have plenty of options. They can vote with their feet and deny The Slants an audience. Or launch a boycott. Or go to appearances and protest. That’s the beauty of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. The antidote to speech you find offensive is more speech. But what the federal government did in 2011, when it found the name “disparaging,” is offensive to this constitutional guarantee. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied Tam trademark protection, citing a law that bars the government from approving trademarks that “may disparage ... persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs or national symbols.” Tam challenged the decision. And this month, after a long trip through the lower courts, the case landed at the Supreme Court, which will likely decide the case this spring. A trademark is a valuable commodity, giving the holder the exclusive right to use the name and legal power to sue others who infringe on that right. No matter what the Patent and Trademark Office thinks of the name, government bureaucrats shouldn’t be in the business of deciding what is and isn’t disparaging to some group, or of protecting certain groups from getting their feelings hurt, which is essentially what the patent law allows. Deny trademark of hateful names: Opposing view Popular, inoffensive speech seldom needs protection. The beauty of the First Amendment in a free society is that it protects unpopular or offensive speech, particularly from government regulation. The Supreme Court has said as much many times over many years. The government tried to get around such strong affirmations of freedom of speech by arguing that a trademark denial does not restrict free speech. The Slants can still use the name. It merely places “a reasonable limit on access to a government program,” Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart argued for the government. Several justices didn’t buy that defense. Justice Samuel Alito said the government was “stretching the concept of a government program past the breaking point,” noting that the government provides many services, such as fire protection, and could not choose to provide them only to some groups. Justice Elena Kagan said the denial sounds like “a fairly classic case of viewpoint discrimination,” which is flatly unconstitutional. And Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg questioned the law’s vagueness and inconsistent application, pointing out that the patent office had both approved and rejected trademarks for the term “hebe.” Other trademarks, surely offensive to some, have been approved, including Yellowman, Retardipedia and Crippled Old Biker Bastards. It’s all too arbitrary to pass constitutional muster. The court’s decision will affect other trademarks, some far more infamous and controversial. In 2015, a federal trial judge in Washington upheld the patent office’s cancellation of the trademark of the Washington Redskins football team. That appeal is pending at a federal appeals court. Native Americans and many others find the team’s name deplorable, including Tam and The Slants, whose website says “redskin” represents “a long history of oppression.” They can loudly protest, just as others can celebrate the name — all without government interference.

The Slants, of Portland Ore.(Photo: The Slants) denies a valuable benefit based on its arbitrary determination of offensiveness, everyone loses one of the Constitution’s most cherished guarantees.

Source: USA Today Editorial Board, Jan. 31, 2017

Remembering Kalpana Chawla “The girl who dreamt of stars” of Colorado. In 1988, Kalpana started working with the NASA Ames Research Center in the area of computational fluid dynamics.


Kalpana’s first space mission on November 19, 1997 - on Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87made her the first Indianorigin woman and the second Indian, after Rakesh Sharma, to go to space. One of Kalpana’s tasks was to release the Spartan satellite.

ebuary 1st is t h e death anniversary of the first India-born woman astronaut Kalpana Chawla. In the year 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-107 was re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the space shuttle burnt and disintegrated into pieces killing all the crew members on board. One of them was Kalpana Chawla. Born in March 17, 1962, in Karnal, Haryana, Chawla finished her schooling from the city after which she got a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh. In 1982, she moved to the United States and pursued a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, and later in 1988 she got a PhD in the same from the University

It was her second space mission in 2003, aboard STS-107, that proved to be fatal for her and the six other crew members. On February 1, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas during its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, just 16 minutes before landing. The last communication that Kalpana’s family received from her was, “Our mission is successful and we are all fine here.” Though Kalpana failed to re-enter into earth’s atmosphere, but she became an inspiration to millions of people. (-ANI)

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FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

Second Front Page


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Indian Consulate celebrates India’s 68th Republic Day, hosts reception by Shobana Muratee HOUSTON - In a formal ceremony held on January 26th morning at the Indian Consulate Office located on 4300 Scotland St, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray hoisted the India’s tricolor flag in honor of India’s 68th Republic Day. He was joined by his wife Dr. Amit Goldberg, former Consul General of Houston Rinzing Wangdi and wife Pema Wangdi, the newly appointed Deputy Consul Surendra Adhana, India Americans, friends of India and consular staff in the celebration. Consul General Dr. Ray welcomed the gathering and read the speech of the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee when he addressed the nation on the eve of the 68th Republic Day in New Delhi. President Mukerjee speaks of In-

Speakers with Consul General and his wife Dr. Amit Goldberg.

Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray addressing the gathering on at Office of Indian Consulate in Houston on January 26th, 2017. Also seen is Deputy Consul Surendra Adhana.

Pandit Suman Ghosh and his students perform at the event. of the now burning issue, sung by renowned classical musician he says, “Demonetiza- Pandit Suman Ghosh and his students. tion, while immobilizing Dr. Ray introduced eminent speakers black money and fight- of the evening among who were Hon. ing corruption, may have Ed Emmett, Harris County Judge, led to temporary slow- who gave his message on the occadown of economic activ- sion. He was followed by speakers ity. As more and more Bhavesh (Bob) V Patel, Chairman and transactions become CEO, LyondellBasell, Dr. John Mencashless, it will improve delsohn, MD Anderson, and Ashok the transparency of the Belani, Schlumberger. Vice Mayoreconomy.” (Read full Protem, Jerry Davis read the message Former Consul General of Houston Rinzing Wangdi and wife Pema Wangdi text of the speech: http:// from Mayor of Houston, Sylvester seen with Dr. Amit Goldberg, wife of Consul General Dr. Ray. Turner. speeches-detail.). dia’s pluralism and social, cultural, in the race for space, and the tenth The evening’s entertainment segOn the evening was ment with dance and music was courlinguistic and religious diversity as largest industrial power. From a net a dinner reception held tesy Dr. Ratna Kumar, Director, Anjali being India’s greatest strengths. He food grains importing country, India at the residence of the School of Performing Arts and Pandit describes India’s growth as, “We are is now a leading exporter of food Bhavesh (Bob) V Patel, speaking on the ocassion as today the fastest growing amongst the commodities.” Consul General Dr. Ray looks on. Consulate FB Pics Consul General Dr. Ray Ghosh. where prominent leadmajor economies of the world. We are Deputy Consul Surendra Adhana, India’s advancement in the areas ers, elected officials and the second largest reservoir of sci“Innovation, more so inclusive inno- other dignitaries gathered to join in the proposed a Vote of Thanks after which entific and technical manpower, the of innovative technology is a force the guests were treated to an authentic third largest army, the sixth member to reckon, nevertheless according to vation, will have to become a way of Republic Day celebrations. National Indian dinner. of the nuclear club, the sixth member President Mukerjee, Education will life,” he says in his address. Speaking Anthems of India and the USA were have to keep pace with technology.

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FRIDAY, February 3, 2017


The People’s Lawyer

Answers to your Immigration Questions by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer Email at Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Oral lease for a year or less is enforceable 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.

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

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Q: What does Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration do? A: On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order on immigration which caught many people by surprise and caused pandemonium to international travelers to the US and at our US airports. To summarize, the Executive Order has the effect of suspending the Refugee Program for 120 days including banning all Syrian refugees indefinitely; banning entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants from 7 majority Muslim countries - Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia for 90 days (except now, Lawful Permanent Residents will be allowed admission to the US under ‘a case by case basis’); to include enhanced interviews of non-immigrants who would normally come under the Visa Waiver Program but who have travelled to any of the 7 countries and a proclamation that all related agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security to come up with a uniform screening standards for immigrants to the US to identify fraud and malicious intent or to evaluate the likelihood of becoming a positive contributing member of society. Q: I am a US Citizen but I have travelled to Iraq and Syria because of my previous job with an aid agency. Will I be denied entry to the US if I try to return from my trip next week? A: The Executive Order only applies to non-US Citizens whether natural born or naturalized. However, according to a White House official, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP)



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will have discretionary authority to question you if you are coming from one of the seven countries covered by the Executive Order. Q: I am a Green Card holder. I obtained my Green Card through the Diversity Visa Program and I am a Syrian Passport holder. If I travel now, can I return to the US? A: The White House has clarified that the Executive Order will not affect the entry of Permanent Resident or Green Card holders to the United States. In addition, John Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security stated that under the Executive Order, the entry of Permanent Residents is deemed to be in the national interest. It does appear that the Customs and Border Protection agents are admitting Green Card holders to the US but on a ‘case by case’ basis and it is unclear what kind of questioning these individuals are subjected to. If you do travel, be prepared to undergo some degree of questioning to determine whether admitting you to the US will constitute a threat to our national security. Q: I have petitioned for my parents who are Iranian citizens. The case has completed processing and ready for visa issuance. How long will they have to wait to come as Permanent Residents? A: Under the Executive Order, your parents will not be able to receive their Immigrant Visas for at least 90 days. It is unclear with this 90 day ban whether it will cause a serious backlog of cases at the US Consulate and result in your parents waiting even longer for their Immigrant Visas. Q: Does this Executive Order affect foreigners who hold dual nationalities with one of the seven affected countries? My sister has a Canadian

passport and is an Iraqi citizen too. A: It is presently still unclear how the Executive Order will affect all individuals with dual nationalities. But there is clarification from the Canadian Government that Canadian citizens who travel with their Canadian Passport should not encounter any problems. Q: Will President Trump extend the list of countries in the Executive Order to include others? A: It is unclear at this time whether other countries could be included. But the Executive Order does state that the Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment. Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.

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


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HSS USA holds Yogathon at Sugar Land Square


TAFFORD - The seventh annual Sugar Land Home & Garden Show was held to great success on the Jan. 28-29 weekend at the Stafford Centre. Families, young couples and senior “emptynesters” were informed, entertained and treated to a variety of vendors, products, food and drink to satisfy those with even a small amount of disposal income and interest in lifestyle improvements.

Yoga instructress and young yoga enthusiasts demonstrate the steps of Surya Namaskar on the steps of the City Hall, City of Sugar Land. Photo by Shobana Muratee. by Shobana Muratee


The hour long event started Continued on Page 10

“With more than 200 home improvement contractors from the local market, the show had something for everyone,” said Tony Wood, president of Texwood Shows Inc., producer of the Sugar Land Home & Garden Show. The Thermador Live Cooking Stage presented by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, featured Chef Michelle Morris (pictured, right), Ferguson Enterprises’ in-house chef, who cooked up some treats four times each day using the latest Thermador induction cooktop and steam oven appliances. A Sherwin-Williams certified color consultant took the stage each day of the show to demonstrate the company’s ColorSnap Selection System, and Cambria, a leading designer of quartz surfaces displayed samples of its natural quartz countertops. Homeowners who desired to take outdoor living and decorating up a notch had an opportunity to get some inspiration from Belgard Hardscapes’ semitruck full of ideas or posed their literal and figurative “green” home questions to experts. Fort Bend master gardeners were on hand throughout the show to answer questions and share gardening tips.

L-R: Jamie Pilloff, Dy. Con. General Surendra Adhana, Sugar Land City Manager, Allen Bogard, Sugar Land Mayor ProTem, Himesh Gandhi, Ramesh Gupta and Shakar Agrawal, Photo by Shobana Muratee.

Sugar Land Home & Garden Show - Annual helpful success

Health for Humanity Yogathon concludes

UGAR LAND - The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) held its tenth annual “Yoga for Health, Health for Humanity Yogathon” at Sugar Land Town Square on Sunday, January 29, 2017. The event started with a formal lighting of lamp by Chief Guest Himesh Gandhi, Sugar Land Mayor ProTem who was joined by Deputy Consul General Surendra Adhana, Sugar Land City Manager, Allen Bogard, Shakar Agrawal, and Jamie Pilloff of Awakened Yoga Studio in Sugar Land.

FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

Those attending the Home & Garden Show were able to continue their day of discovery with a Brew & Vinos VIP Craft Beer & Wine Event and local food trucks for lunch selections. - (Photos and reporting by Shobana Muratee)


FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

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Hightower High School’s Theatre presents Schoolhouse Rock


ORT BEND ISD - The Theatre Department at Hightower High School will present Schoolhouse Rock on February 3 and 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the school’s auditorium (3333 Hurricane Lane, Missouri City 77459). In addition, the group will offer a morning performance on February 1 at 9:00 a.m. Schoolhouse Rock is an adaptation of the musical educational television show that first debuted in the 1970s and will feature popular songs such as, Conjunction Junction and Just

Dr. Sindhu Nair, hematologist oncologist; Dr. Ali Mahmood, colorectal surgeon


UGAR LAND— (January 30, 2017) – Colorectal cancer has many known risk factors — some are lifestyle related and within your control, such as diet and weight. Others, such as family history and age, are beyond your control. Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean that a diagnosis of colorectal cancer is inevitable. However, for people with one rare risk factor, developing colorectal cancer is a near certainty. In less than one percent of all colorectal patients, cancer occurs as a direct result of a condition called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).

screening colonoscopies very early, sometimes as early as age 10 or 12,” Nair said.

FAP, caused by an inherited genetic mutation, is diagnosed when someone develops more than 100 polyps in their colon. Polyps found in the colon are typically benign soft tissue growths, which, in some cases, become cancerous. People with FAP often develop polyps in their mid-teens, and more than 95 percent of people with FAP will have multiple polyps by age 35.

Surgeons like Mahmood help guide patients through proctocolectomy surgery and recovery. Patients may still need yearly monitoring of their lower intestinal tract if some rectal tissue remains, or every one to four years if all rectal tissue has been removed.

“This disease can lead to a significant risk for developing of early-onset colorectal cancer,” said Sindhu Nair, M.D., a board-certified hematologist oncologist with Houston Methodist Oncology Partners. “In fact, the high number of polyps involved in classic FAP means that without treatment, people with this condition have nearly a 100 percent chance of developing colorectal cancer.” Nair says early detection is important for preventing the onset of colorectal cancer. When someone is diagnosed with FAP, it’s recommended that close family members (siblings, children, etc.) undergo genetic testing to determine if they have the condition. This is particularly important for children, who can most benefit from preventive treatment. “We start

Treatment often includes a yearly colonoscopy once polyps have been found, but in many cases, these screenings aren’t effective in controlling the high number of polyps. “With FAP, we actually recommend a total proctocolectomy, which is basically the entire removal of the colon,” said Ali Mahmood, M.D., board-certified colorectal surgeon with Houston Methodist Surgical Associates. “This is because we know the risk of developing colon cancer is going to be very high.”

For more information about genetic testing for FAP, or to schedule an appointment with Sindhu Nair, M.D., or Ali Mahmood, M.D., call 281.274.7500. For the latest news, events and information, visit our Facebook page at Land. COLORECTAL CANCER SEMINAR Join Ali Mahmood, M.D., colorectal surgeon, and Leka Gajula, M.D., gastroenterologist, to learn more about colorectal cancer — the second leading cause of cancer death for men and women in the United States — and take home a free screening kit. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 16, in the Brazos Pavilion Conference Center on the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital campus. Registration required. Register at or call 281.274.7500.

FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

a Bill. Presale tickets may be purchased during lunch the week prior to the performance for $4 (adults) and $3 (students). Tickets purchased at the door will cost $6 (adults) and $5 (students). Kids four and under are free. Those who wish to attend the matinee on February 1, should RSVP to For more information, call (281) 634-5311. You can also follow the HHS Theatre Department on Twitter @HHSCanesTheatre.

Super Bowl to Bring Tourists to Sugar Land; City Prepares


UGAR LAND - Sugar Land is preparing for a unique opportunity to showcase the city to an international audience as visitors arrive for Super Bowl weekend. With approximately 400 reservations (which translates to 200 aircraft on the ground) received by GlobalSelect at Sugar Land Regional Airport, visitors from throughout the world will arrive this week at the airport known as the “Luxury Gateway to Houston” before filling area hotels, eating at restaurants, shopping at local stores and visiting the City’s entertainment venues. SLRA accommodates the largest business jets and annually serves more than 100 Fortune 500 companies. Its close proximity to the Houston/Gulf Coast region, as well as onsite U.S. Customs service, minimizes the travel time for busy regional and international cor-

porate executives and contributes to the economic strength of the region. The capacity crowd expected in Sugar Land this week will fuel the City’s growing tourism efforts, providing an important source of revenue that supports the high level of services residents expect while also maintaining one of the state’s lowest tax rates. Many businesses are planning Super Bowl activities, including the recently announced Maxim party at the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, which will include both indoor and outdoor activities for ticketed attendees at the private event that will necessitate the closure of a section of Lexington Boulevard immediately adjacent to the venue. Residents may notice the arrival of large trucks at the venue during the days leading up to the Super Bowl.

Applications for FBISD’s Technical Education Center accepted through Feb. 17


ORT BEND ISD (January 20, 2017) – Current Fort Bend ISD high school students in grades 10 and 11 are invited to apply for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at the Technical Education Center. Applications are currently being excepted for programs offered during the 2017-18 school year. Students interested in taking courses in Automotive, Computer Technology, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Fire Fighting, Hospitality and Tourism or Welding are invited to apply. The deadline to submit applications is February 17 at 3:00 p.m. Click here to access the online application. (Students must use their District computer login and password to access the application.) The Technical Education Center will also host an Open House on Wednesday, February 1, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., for students


who are interested in enrolling in programs during the 2017-18 school year. The Center is located at 540 Dulles Ave, Sugar Land, 77478 (behind Dulles High School). For more information visit the website at www.fortbendisd. com/tec or call 281-634-5671.

Susamma Chandapillai, 84 years

Mrs. Susamma Chandapillai (84 years) Perangattu, Kozhuvallur, Chengannur has been taken to heavenly abode on January 29, 2017 at 4pm. She is survived by her husband and two sons and grandchildren. She is also the sister in law of Koshy Thomas, Publisher of Voice of Asia.

Classical music of India performance at Cinco Ranch Branch Library

CRB - Indian Music Society of Houston - Varad Gaikwad


ort Bend County Libraries’ Cinco Ranch Branch Library will present a performance of classical music from India, on Saturday, February 18, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, in the Meeting Room of the library, located at 2620 Commercial Center Blvd in Katy. Sangeeta Panse, Varad Gaikwad, and Govind Shetty – members of the Indian Music Society of Houston – will perform classical Indian music on

the sitar, tabla, and flute. Established in 1992, the Indian Music Society of Houston is a nonprofit organization consisting of individuals who are committed to preserving and promoting the myriad of centuries-old classical Indian music. The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Cinco Ranch Branch Library at 281395-1311, or the library system’s Public Information Office at 281-633-4734.

Nonprofit tries again after homes for abused women blocked


ast summer, the Fort Bend Women’s Center seemed to be on secure footing in its effort to build an affordable housing development in the Richmond area. Future residents of the 104-unit development would include women who had survived domestic violence, along with their children. The

women’s center was struggling to find safe, affordable units for its clients elsewhere in Fort Bend County, so it decided to build a new facility. But residents of Long Meadow Farms, a master-planned community near the site, responded with alarm when they learned about the project and blocked it.

The Center has not given up. They found another site, about four miles north of the first one, and once again has land under contract to purchase. They are applying again for tax credits, awarded every summer by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. (



India’s 68th Republic Day celebration at India House

FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

Malayali Radio on 1590 AM Sundays from 2-4pm CST

Malayali Radio Team: Back row (Left to Right):Viju Varghese (Partner), Smitha Abraham (RJ), Lida Thomas (Partner), Himi Haridas (RJ), Mini Pillai (Partner), Anu Resmi (RJ), Reshma Kuriakose (RJ), Lloyd Daniel (Partner) Front Row (Left to Right): Diya Varghese (RJ), Pavitha Paul (RJ), Divya Joseph (RJ).

Indian Americans and friends of India assemble on the lawns of India House during the flag honoring ceremony celebrating India’s 68th Republic Day on January 26, 2017. Photo credit: Bijay Dixit


Kruthi Bhat and Keerthana Bhat singing U.S National Anthem. All Pics by Bijay Dixit.

ndian diaspora and friends of India gathered at India House on Jan 26th to celebrate India’s 68th Republic day. Flags of United States, India, Texas and India House were hoisted in the premises of India House, O.P. Jindal Center. The United States flag was hoisted by Dr. Virendra Mathur, one of the Trustees of India House. The Indian, Texas and India House flags were hoisted by Board Members of India House, Kul Bhushan Uppal, Nagraj Eleswarapu and Devi Prasad Rungta respectively. People from different cultures and ethnicities had gathered on the occasion and together they embodied the patriotic spirit

Dr. Virendra Mathur reading President of India’s message

of independent India. The U.S National Anthem was sung by Kruthi Bhat and Keerthana Bhat sisters, and everyone present proudly joined them in singing the National Anthem of India. The attendees were then invited to the banquet hall for a brief formal ceremony. After Dr. Virendra Mathur read out President of India’s message, a couple of Indian patriotic songs were sung by Hemant Bhavsar and Rucha Sheth that led us to a nostalgic trip down the memory lane, reminding us of the courageous spirit and sacrifices of our freedom fighters. The fellowship continued, as all present enjoyed light refreshment courtesy Café India, Sugar Land.

Congressman Al Green speaking on the occasion .

Lighting Ceremony Picture (Left to Right): George Kolacherri (South Indian Chamber), Ken Mathew, Mayor Pro Tem - City of Stafford, Koshy Thomas, CEO, Voice of Asia, Dr. Shyju Zachariah (UGM), Lida Thomas (OKCC President). Malayali Radio on 1590 AM, first aired on 01-02-2017. The program airs on Sundays from 2-4pm CST. Various RJ’s present a combination of live music, talk show, and current events. Their first show was about “Nostalgia” where callers shared their memories from back in India. It is started by four partners: Lida Thomas,Viju Varghese, Mini Pillai and Lloyd Daniel.

Col. Vipin Kumar, Exe. Dir. India House welcoming the gathering.



Three organizations jointly present workshop on Diabetes and Yoga by Nikhil Jain


OUSTON - Sewa International along with JVB Preksha Meditation Center and VYASA organized a free community workshop “Multifaceted holistic approach to Diabetes through Yoga” on January 28th. It was attended by over 100 people and was conducted by Dr. Sudha Rajan who has been practicing in the Clear Lake area for the past 30 years.

FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

Houston Tamizhar festival and support for Jallikattu

These SDM yoga camp have been extremely successful with over 100+ participants already have attended these in Houston during the past 1 year. The ten-day camp included daily yoga routine, lectures from doctors and specialist on diabetes, stress, food habits, and, how to manage better. Sewa & VYASA will conduct the next set of camps in Katy, Sugar Land, West Houston &

The camp started with JVB President & host Seema Jain Dr. Sudha Rajan welcoming the participants and informing them about JVB and its activities. Thereafter Sachin Dabir of Sewa & Jayachandran Chandrasekaran of VYASA informing everyone about the activities of their respective organization. It was heartfelt to see three of the active community organization joining A section of the audience. forces to bring a machine to train patients on Cypress simultaneously, from this free program for the community mem- slower breathing, thereby re- Feb 24th to March 5th. These camps are free of charge, they bers and the community mem- ducing blood pressure. bers turning out in number. Brief information was pro- have a deposit which is refundvided to participants about ed once participants complete Dr. Sudha Rajan gave a preall the sessions. For those who sentation on yoga therapy as a the Stop Diabetes Movements want to know more & register (SDM) Yoga camp, which have treatment protocol for diabefor these SDM Diabetes Yoga tes, a global pandemic. She been conducted in Houston camp, please contact info-sdm@ area since 2014. They provide outlined eight major causative or (713)834-4909 defects in the human system— holistic approach to managing / (281) 546-8202. The last day Diabetes. Several of the particiand how yoga therapy adto register for the camp is Febdresses each of these defects. pants registered for the upcom- ruary 15th, 2017. ing SDM camps on site itself. Dr. Rajan stressed that lifestyle changes in diet, exercise and A big thank you to Dr. Rajan the deep relaxation of major and all the volunteers of these Sewa USA is 501 (c) (3) Hinorgans through yoga can arrest 3 organizations starting with du faith-based non-profit, charipre-diabetes or even reverse di- Seema Jain, Gaurav Jhaveri, table organization. abetes. Chronic stress, she said, Deepesh Jain, Ritu Jain, Anuja All donations (cash, cars, from the demands of modern Deshpande, Vibhuti Shah, Nailife causes serious, deleteri- na Patel, Noopur Sapatnekar, clothes, securities, etc.) are ous effects in the human body. Sachin Dabir, Jay Chandraseka- tax-deductible. (Tax Id# 20However, yoga therapy is an ran & Roshmi Dalal for putting 0638718). effective treatment for stress, things together. The workshop Sewa serves humanity regarddiabetes or not. The audience ended with nutritious snacks & less of race, religion, color, genwas surprised to learn that Is- tea served to everyone. der or nationality. raeli scientists had developed

Greater Houston Tamil School students and teachers.


OUSTON: Greater Houston Tamil School branches celebrated the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu known as “Thai Pongal” and “Uzhavar Thiruvizha” with a lot of joy and zeal. “Pongal” festival usually falls in the middle of January. This year it fell on Saturday, January 14th. All our branch schools celebrated the festival on the same weekend or a week later. Sugar Land branch kicked off the celebrations with students performing traditional folk songs, kollywood songs, debates, quizzes and free form performances highlighting the cultural significance and history. Woodlands branch celebrated on January 15th at the Woodlands Hindu temple. The students created a theme “Watch Pongal celebration as a TV show”. It was very creative and the students performed similar to how the TV channels schedule programs on the festival day. Students staged programs like Today’s news, soap opera, dance competition and debates. After the programs, students were given prizes for their Thirukkural recital competition and for their performances during the celebrations.

Westheimer branch celebrated the festival on January 21st at the school campus. The students performed Tamil Nadu folk songs and participated in kolam (rangoli) competitions, sugarcane eating competition and individual performances. The highlight of the celebrations was the portrayal, by the parents, of the different styles of Pongal that are native to the different regions of Tamil Nadu. Pearland branch celebrated on January 21st at the neighborhood club house. The students came in traditional dress and put up a gorgeous fashion show showcasing the traditional dresses worn by the people of Tamil Nadu. The parents showed all the students how the Pongal is cooked during the festival in India under the sunlight with sugarcanes tied and kept in the shape of a pyramid and chanting “Pongalo Pongal” in the traditional way. After lunch a debate was organized by the students on the topic “Is it easy to keep the Tamil tradition and language in a foreign land?” Students did a fantastic job by arguing for and against. The creativity of the students was also on display in the form of dance, karaoke singing and drama.

The branches at Katy and West Katy also observed Pongal with the traditional display of sugarcanes and sharing of delicious sweet Pongal. Both the branches are organizing a combined, grand “Muthamizh Vizha” on February 4th at Keiko Davidson Elementary school. In Support of “Jallikattu” Greater Houston Tamil School and its branches also came out in support of the traditional sport played during the Pongal time called “Jallikattu”. As a first step, HTS along with other Tamils in the Houston area gave a petition to Consulate General of India. On Thursday, January 19th, we along with other Tamils in Houston area gathered in front of the Indian Consulate and did a peaceful demonstration. As we all know, Tamil language is one of the oldest language in the world. To preserve the language and to enlighten the future generations we are supporting an initiative that will create a Tamil linguistic chair position at the world famous Harvard University. As part of this initiative we are planning to have a fundraiser during our annual program in May For details please visit

Planting the Seeds of Creativity G




• Piano • Voice • Guitar • Violin • Flute • Cello

• Improvisation • Yoga • Musical Theatre


• Ear Training • Sight Singing • Music Theory

Summer Camps: Musical Theatre for Children Session I- June 5-16 | Session II- June 19-30 Century Choir July 5- 28th

Music Ensembles July 31- August 11th

For more information: (713) 702-3167 3527 Highway 6, Suite 220, Sugar Land, Texas 77478 “Planting the seeds of creativity”

Our goal is to provide an environment for students of all ages, interests and abilities to explore the interdisciplinary world of the fine arts. Whether one wants to study an instrument, sing, or act, our school offers comprehensive programming through private lessons, group master classes, workshops, and performances. Staffed with highly trained professionals who motivate and inspire, students receive the highest quality of instruction. Studies have proven that learning an instrument or a fine arts discipline encourages mind and body coordination, builds memory and concentration, and teaches the individual patience. At Century Fine Arts, we set the stage for students to unearth their creative gifts and to paint the most beautiful picture on the canvas of their lives.



FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

IACCGH features prominent women executive in the Business of Medicine by Manu Shah

balance, cultural competency to transitioning into leadership positions.


woman powered leadership panel dispensed some compelling work/life advice at the IACCGH Business of Medicine Women’s Executive Leadership Panel on January 17th at the Hess Club. Sponsored by CHI St. Luke’s Health, the event saw an unprecedented turnout of over 150 members and guests with representatives from CHI St Luke’s Health, MD Anderson, Memorial Hermann, Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor and Kindred Healthcare. Eminent Indo-American Doctors such as the President of the Indian Doctors Association Dr. Manish Gandhi, National Treasurer of AAPI Dr. Manju Sachdeva, Cardiologists Dr. Randeep Suneja and Dr. Harish Chandna and Obama honoree Dr. Hardeep Singh

Some inspiring takeaways from the evening: • Face to face networking not only helps further careers but benefits the organization in the sharing of best practices. • Support top performers in finding their niche, • Ask for feedback and act constructively on it. • Talk to your boss/colleagues about moving up the ranks • Diversity in the workplace helps a team make better decisions. Moderator Indira Vishnampet with panelists Janice Lamy, Jenny Sarpalius, Lorie Shoemaker and Gay Nord (Photo credit: Bijay Dixit)

• For a work life balance, set boundaries and develop high performance teams. Moderator Indira Vishnampet wrapped up the event by thanking the panelists for their time and revealed that it took “6 months to work out the dates for the event.” Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray and his wife Dr. Amit Goldberg Ray, a renowned oncologist were also present. In his address, the CG welcomed the association between the Chamber and CHI St Luke’s and described Healthcare as the “next bridge” (after IT) between India and Houston. He also stated that a country can aspire to greatness only if its citizens are healthy and treat women on an equal footing and India would like to follow in the footsteps of the US in this aspect. The Consul General also did the honors of presenting plaques of appreciation to the panelists.

Sanjay Ram, Jagdip Ahluwalia, Indira Vishnampet, Janice Lamy, Jenny Sarpalius, Gay Nord, Lorie Shoemaker, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray, Dr. Amit Goldberg Ray, Joya Shukla, Aku Patel (Photo credit: Bijay Dixit) were among the attendees. Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia welcomed the gathering of “leaders and decision makers” and brought attention to the “different things IACCGH is to different people” from young entrepreneurs to professionals to businesses. Immediate Past President Joya Shukla, who chairs

the Healthcare Series, highlighted the strong inroads made in the medical community in 2016 by launching the Business of Medicine Series Senior VP at Xtivia and Board Chair CHI St Luke’s Sugar Land Indira Vishnampet, who played a key role in helping the launch of this Series, moderated the panel moving briskly with

Scintillating Gazals Night - A presentation of IHA and ICC International Hindi Association, Houston Chapter (IHA) and India Culture Center (ICC) proudly presents on Friday February 10, 2017, an evening filled of joy, entertainment and love by our own Houstonian Nausha Asrar and Archana Panda from California. This wonderful duo of poets will take you to a new height with their soft, passionate and absorbing Ghazals. In addition to this there will be interac-

KP George announces Re-Election bid for FBISD Board, Position 5

tive games and prizes to be won on Valentine’s weekend. To top it all we have a melodious singer who will take the audience to another level with his soulful Bollywood Ghazals. To make it more memorable this all comes with complimentary wine, sumptuous dinner and take away pictures at the program.

IACCGH Upcoming events: February 13th, a Distinguished Lecture with Keynote by Ambassador Rinzing Wangdi at the Consulate General of India

the panelists from Baylor Hospital President Gay Nord, VP, Marketing and Communications Janice Lamy, VP and CFO Jenny Sarpalius and VP and Chief Nursing Officer Lorie Shoemaker.

February 19th: A free seminar on American Tax Laws as applicable to taxpayers who own/control overseas assets, Obamacare and what’s next, Outsourcing, Retirement planning and other relevant tax laws at India House.

The panelists addressed issues ranging from the importance of networking, facing gender bias, work life

Please visit for more details and registration).

Also, when you attend this program you are furthering the cause of Hindi in America as this is a fund-raising event for IHA and proceeds from this program will be entirely used for ‘Prasar’ and ‘Prachar’ of Hindi at the newly started classes at VVM.

KP George


UGAR LAND, January 19, 2017 - During George’s term, FBISD Board of Trustees launched and/or approved Comprehensive District Rezoning, a Facilities Master Plan, and a $484 million bond program which was approved by 75% of the voters with no tax increase. In addition to funding and constructing six (6) new schools, the bond program includes funds to modernize older schools, implement a Districtwide Technology Plan, and update the transportation department to include the purchase of new buses. FBISD Board of Trustees approved the new Career and Technology Education (CTE) Center which will prepare students who plan to enter the workforce immediately after high school or those who will begin their careers while attending college. The new CTE center will provide training and education based on the needs of employers here in the greater Houston area. George and his family have resided in Fort Bend ISD for 17 years and he considers himself to be lucky to live and raise his three children in one of the most diverse school districts in the U.S. He is a Certified Financial Planner and has his own practice in the Sugar Land area. In 2015, he was selected to be a part of Leadership TASB, a prestigious, year-long leadership program that gives the attendees an opportunity to visit and learn from some of the unique school districts across the state of Texas. After successful completion of the program, he earned the title “The Master Trustee”. Website:

Congrats! Mathew Varghese

We are sure you will not miss this wonderful opportunity to enjoy and at the same time enhance the cause of ‘Hindi’ language. Contact 281-3830348 for more information.

HSS USA holds Yogathon ... Open Letter I will always be active in civic affairs in Sugar Land. That will not change. What will change is the nature of my role. I have decided to forego a fourth and final term on City Council. It was not an easy decision, but for my family and me it was the right decision. I have always sought to be an honest and independent voice for the people of Sugar Land - someone responsive to my constituents and always ready to serve. Harish Jajoo Dear Friend,

Yoga teachers were honored Surya Namaskar Yajna, HSS Health for Humanity Yogathon held at Sugar Land Square on January 29, 2017. Also seen are Deputy Consul General Surendra Adhana and Himesh Gandhi, Sugar Land Mayor ProTem. Photo credit: Indian Consulate Face Book. Continued from Page 5 at 10 AM was attended by over 100 yoga enthusiast and community members: young in the ages 10-15 years and seniors in age groups of 70-80 years who participated in the Surya Namaskar Yajna (SNY) or Salutation to Sun involving a series of 12 yogic postures, The Sunday event that was free for all was part of the 16-day Yogathon that started January 14 (coinciding with Makar Sankranti) to January 29, 2017 and aims to create awareness about Yoga and its advantages in achieving a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Anant Samdhani was SNY event coordinator. The HSS-USA initiated this health awareness project in 2006. Since its inception, participants from 40 states actively took part via various Yoga Centers. Community organizations, schools and colleges regardless of individual faiths and beliefs, have participated and collectively performed over four million Surya Namaskars. On the morning, physicians: Dr. Neeta and Dr. Daksha Shah spoke of the benefits of yoga while Dr. Karuna read the disclaimer for those participating. Well know yoga experts who were in attendance to motivate the

participants and demonstrate Surya Namaskar that integrates simple Yoga postures in 10-steps that, along with easy breathing technique, can provide immense health benefits to both the body and the mind. Chief Guest Himesh Gandhi, Deputy Consul General Surendra Adhana were joined by Yoga proponent and teacher Shakar Agrawal and other community leaders, Yoga students, and individuals in doing the Surya Namaskar. The program concluded with felicitations of yoga experts by the Deputy Consul General.

Over the past few weeks my family and I sat down to talk. Much of the discussion centered on the things that really matter in life. Community, friends and career all came up as topics, but the discussion always came back to one word: family. Duties on City Council, coupled with my recent campaign for Mayor, have taken most of my free time. These are hours and days well spent, because they were devoted to the city I have come to call my home. Service to others has been a guiding principle in my life. Yet, there comes a time to put family first. My son has started his own business, and I want to be there to help. My wife Shashi has been a gracious and patient partner in my civic endeavors, while maintaining her own full-time career. I would like to spend more family time with her.

As an American, the institutions of self-governance matter deeply to me, and I will always have an interest in civic life. While my role will change, my commitment will always remain. In the coming days, citizens will select a new council member for District 4. Let us hope that Sugar Land will continue a path that places common sense, fair play, diversity, and a respect for values in the forefront. We must always understand that American tradition calls for the people to choose their leaders and, as I have said so many times before, democracy works best when those leaders listen. Thank you for all you have done for me and my family in the past, and I shall always value our continuing friendship. Warmly, Harish Jajoo, P.E.



India IT sector fears new US H-1B visa bill for skilled workers

Indian origin mother ‘told to prove lactation’ at Frankfurt airport by Tessa Wong, BBC News

seven-month-old baby, said she was exploring the possibility of taking formal legal action.


INGAPORE - A woman has filed a complaint with German police alleging she was told to squeeze her breast at airport security to prove she was lactating.

Indians get around 85% of H-1B visas, mostly in the IT industry. (AFP Photo)


EW DEHLI, AFP, January 31, 2017- India is concerned that a new US bill designed to limit the number of highly skilled workers entering will heavily impact the country’s IT industry.

all IT companies with H-1B visa holders equally,” Shivendra Singh, vice-president and head of global trade development of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), told the BBC.

The bill introduced to the US House of Representatives proposes doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to $130,000 from $60,000.

“If the objective is to protect American workers, then this bill will defeat that objective. Companies that are not dependant on H-1B visas will continue to bring in skilled workers on lower wages which will nullify the whole objective of saving US jobs.”

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, introducing the bill, said it would stop companies “replacing” American workers. India’s foreign ministry said it had expressed concern to the US. “India’s interests and concerns have been conveyed both to the US administration and the US Congress at senior levels,” a statement from the ministry said. Indian media organisations have described the move as a big setback to the IT industry. The proposed new legislation mainly targets companies based in the US that bring in foreign employees on the visa quota. A senior official from India’s IT body told the BBC that the bill was “disappointing”. “The new bill does not treat

Amar Ambani, the head of research of India Infoline, said that if the bill were implemented, it would be “horrible” news for India’s IT sector. “More than 50% of their revenues come from that market. And this comes at a time when India’s IT sector is already facing challenges to improve their margins and profitability,” he told the BBC. The H-1B has a cap of 65,000 visas each financial year, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Around 85% go to Indians, many of whom work in the IT industry. The phrase H-1B is the top trend on Twitter in India.

VAJRA scheme for overseas scientists & researchers


EW DEHLI, AFP, January 25, 2017 During Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2017, Prime Minister has announced a scheme ‘Visiting Advance Joint Research (VAJRA) Faculty’ for active scientists and researchers working with overseas academic / research / industrial organizations to undertake high quality research in public funded Indian institutions & universities. The VAJRA provides an unique opportunity for accomplished researchers worldwide to col-

laborate with talented Indian researchers and to engage in research with the fastest growing major economy. The salient features of the VAJRA scheme include (i) opportunities as an adjunct / visiting faculty for a period of 1 to 3 months per year to undertake high quality research ; (ii) a payment of lump-sum amount of US$ 15,000 in the first month of residency in a year and US$ 10,000/- per month in the other two months to cover their travel and honorarium.

Hundreds die eating lychee


ATNA, AFP - Hundreds of have died in Indian state of Bihar due to a mysterious disease because they ate lychee, according to scientists. According to details, hundreds of kids have died in Muzaffarpur district of Indian state of Bihar during the last two decades. A team of Indian and American scientists has claimed that the disease, locally known as ‘Chamki’, spreads by eating lychee which contains a chemical called Hypoglycin A.

During the year 2014 alone, 390 kids had been hospitalised for this disease and 122 out of them succumbed to the disease according to BBC. The scientists believe that this disease is caused by eating lychee early in the morning with an empty stomach. The research that continued for about three years has been published in science magazine Lancet Global and the study reached the conclusion by taking the extracts from the blood and urine samples of those admitted to the hospitals for this disease.

FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

“While I do respect the need to do security checks on items that may seem suspicious, to outrage a person’s modesty is definitely crossing the line.”

Gayathiri Bose told the BBC she was “humiliated” by the experience and would explore formal legal action.

Gayathiri Bose (BBC Photo)

She said police at Frankfurt Airport were suspicious because she was carrying a breast pump but travelling without her baby.

that this is not the way to treat someone. I said ‘Do you know what you just did to me, you made me show my breast.’

German police denied she had been asked to prove her ability to breastfeed. They had earlier declined to comment on the specific allegations but said such measures were “clearly” not part of routine procedure.

‘This is not normal’

“The officer just said, ‘Okay it is over now, please go’. She was totally nonchalant, she didn’t seem very remorseful or empathetic.” Ms Bose, a manager at a transport company who has a three-year-old child and a

A Frankfurt airport police spokesman confirmed that Ms Bose had been stopped for checks and her breast pump checked as a possible suspected explosive. But he denied that Ms Bose had been asked to squeeze her breast by their female officer. “The federal police has been aware of the allegation since Friday. The investigation revealed that a necessary followup was carried out by the policewoman, who is a mother

of two children herself,” said a police statement. “We deny the allegation that the passenger was asked to prove her ability to breastfeed.” Aviation expert Ellis Taylor from aviation publication Flightglobal said asking a mother to show she was lactating was “pretty ridiculous”. “This is not normal. There are some people representing authority who do overstep the mark, but that to me sounds unprecedented and quite frankly very humiliating.” He said the usual protocol in such a situation would involve an X-ray, followed by a check for traces of explosives on the item. Officers may also ask the passenger to switch on the breast pump to show it works. “But to hold an interrogation to demonstrate the passenger has a need for this device is bizarre. What if it were a man transporting the device? He would not be able to show he’s lactating,” said Mr Taylor. (-BBC World News)

‘Where is your baby?’ Ms Bose, who was travelling alone, said she was on her way to board a flight to Paris last Thursday when she was stopped at the security screening station. The 33-year-old Singaporean said that after her carry-on bag, which contained her breast pump, went through the X-ray machine, she was taken aside for questioning. “[They had] an incredulous tone. ‘You are breastfeeding? Then where is your baby? Your baby is in Singapore?’,” she said. Ms Bose said the officers did not seem to believe her when she insisted the device was a breast pump. They kept her passport and she was then led to a room by a female police officer for further questioning, she said. Inside the room, the police officer asked her to prove she was lactating, claimed Ms Bose. “She asked me to open up my blouse and show her my breast. She then asked how come I didn’t have anything attached to my breast, if I was lactating and expressing breastmilk,” said Ms Bose. “And I said, there is no such thing that is [permanently] attached, we usually place the pump to our nipple and the machine does the job. “She wanted me to show her by hand-expressing a little.” Ms Bose said she complied and squeezed her breast. “I was just in shock, I was going through the motions. I was all by myself as well, and wasn’t sure what would happen to me if they decided to make trouble for me.” “It was only when I came out of the room that I began to slowly understand what had just happened. I just started to cry, I was terribly upset.” She said officials then tested and cleared the pump before returning her passport, and she was allowed to board her plane to Paris. Ms Bose asked for the name of the female officer, who wrote it on a piece of paper. Ms Bose said the incident, which lasted for nearly 45 minutes, was “humiliating” and “very traumatising”. “When they finally cleared me of the matter, I told them



FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

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Section 2


The fascinating history of Valentine’s Day From pagan ritual to greeting-card bonanza by Alexandra Owens


alentine’s Day hasn’t always been associated with romance. Before the ubiquitous candy hearts, roses, and softly lit dinners, there were beheadings, martyred saints, and pagan rituals. We take a look

February 14 around 278 A.D. His crime? Valentine continued to perform marriage ceremonies in secret after Claudius II outlawed unions to encourage men to join the army. Supposedly, Valentine signed a farewell note before he was beheaded, “From Your Valentine.” MAKING IT OFFICIAL In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as the First Feast Day of Saint Valentine. Whether this was purely a move to honor a Saint—or a strategic effort to Christianize the unsavory pagan Lupercalia—is still a subject of debate. COURTLY LOVE

at the history and traditions that made February 14 the love-fest it is today. ROMAN BEGINNINGS While the exact origins of Valentine’s Day remain murky, some historians consider the Ancient Roman feast Lupercalia, held from February 13 to 15, the holiday’s earliest iteration. During the festivities, Roman priests sacrificed a goat and a dog, using strips of the animals’ hides dipped in blood to whip women in the belief that it would make them more fertile.

It’s fitting that a great poet would be the first to link Valentine’s Day to love and romance. In the 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules,” Geoffrey Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” Others, including William Shakespeare, followed suite—and not long after, exchanging handmade cards and tokens became popular in England. The oldest known Valentine, dating back to 1415, was sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. MASS MARKET

Celebrating Valentine’s Day steadily gained The ritual also included a matchmaking ses- in popularity through the 19th century—espesion, with bachelors selecting the names of their cially once the greeting-card industry was in “sweethearts” from an urn. full swing thanks to the Industrial Revolution’s WILL THE REAL SAINT VALENTINE printing press and cheaper postage. Esther A. Howland (known as “Mother of the Valentine”) PLEASE STAND UP? There have been at least three different mar- began selling the first mass-produced cards in tyred Saint Valentines recognized by the Catho- America in the 1840s and Hallmark Cards enlic Church, making it tricky to identify the real- tered the scene in 1913. Today, the Greeting life man behind the holiday. However, popular Card Association estimates that loved ones send legend holds that the Roman Emperor Claudius approximately 145 million cards around the II executed one, Saint Valentine of Terni, on world every year.

FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

Tel: 713-774-5140

Don’t wish to offer myself on a platter - Kangana Ranaut


angana Ranaut never shies away from speaking her mind. She has a strong opinion about Indian actors who are trying to find their feet in Hollywood.

fall prey to.” “It would be stupid for anyone to make the move to the West now. Their theatre business is

Kangana said, “I was dragged to court for being who I am. I was restricted to a relationship that was (carried out) behind closed doors and I fought it fair and

Never one to play it safe, Kangana Ranaut, bashing Indian patriarchy, has said that ‘Intimidating women aren’t worth having sex with’. In an interview with Mid Day, the Rangoon actor said that Indian films mirror the majority’s views. The newspaper quoted her as saying that she has “faith in the bada$$ generation of girls” and that she feels “bold, stubborn women, who are achievers, are desirable only to those who Kangana Ranaut poses during an interview (HT Photo) are strong and assured. (For some men) it’s frightening to crashing because of the influx of square. People (can) talk rubhandle a woman who can speak digital media. Asia, on the other bish, but they can’t decide how her mind. Thankfully, that’s not hand, is where Hollywood was I lead my life. I felt stigmatised. true of everyone. Courage is of- 15 years ago. It is a lucrative time I would wake up to (media refor entertainment here. These are ports) of hideous mails, which I ten endearing and rare.” baits that I won’t fall prey to.”, hadn’t written. Kangana also spoke about the she said. recent trend which saw Indian She admitted to feeling beMaking a reference to her 2016 trayed, especially when the ”beactors like Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra taking up public war of words with Hrithik trayal” came from ”someone I Hollywood projects. She dis- Roshan, with whom she was al- once shared a beautiful equation missed it as ”baits that I won’t legedly in a secret relationship, (with).” (



FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

Miss France crowned Miss Universe in Philippines

Why you’ll want to get TSA PreCheck (if you don’t have it already)


ANILA, Philippines (AP) — A 23-year-old dental student from France won the Miss Universe crown Monday in a pageant held in the Philippines, saying her triumph will make the beauty contest more popular in Europe and help her efforts to put more underprivileged children in school.

by Cailey Rizzo


he Transportation Security Administration announced that it is going to start getting more selective about who can pass through the PreCheck expedited security line.

in a variety of ways. Some passengers are vetted, risk-assessed, and allowed to pass through expedited screening on a flight-by-flight basis. When normal lines become too congested, the TSA sometimes allows

Iris Mittenaere from Lille city in northern France buried her face in her hands in shock and joy as the outgoing winner from the Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, crowned her and the crowd erupted in cheers at the packed Mall of Asia Arena by Manila Bay. Miss Haiti, Raquel Pelissier, a 25year-old survivor of the devastating 2010 earthquake that destroyed her hometown, was named first runnerup, while Miss Colombia, 23-year-old industrial designer and photographer Andrea Tovar, was second runner-up. As he closed the ceremony, the host, American comedian Steve Harvey, quipped, “I got it right,” referring to his mistaken announcement of Miss Colombia as the winner in last year’s pageant in Las Vegas. He was roundly criticized for the embarrassing error. “One thing I learned in life, when you make a mistake, you gotta keep on moving forward man, that’s all,” Harvey said. In her farewell remarks as outgoing winner, a smiling Wurtzbach thanked Harvey for making her “the most popular Miss Universe.” Harvey, laughing, thanked her for making him the “most famous” Miss Universe host. Mittenaere’s victory was the first by a French contestant in more than 60 years. “I think France and Europe really need a Miss Universe” after failing to win the crown for so long, she said at a post-pageant news conference when she was asked how her countrymen would receive her victory. The contest has not been as popular in France as in other countries, she said, but “French people will love it now and every year they will be watching Miss Universe.” “I’m very proud to bring this crown to Europe,” she said. Mittenaere said her victory would

Iris Mittenaere of France is crowned the new Miss Universe 2016 by 2015 Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach in coronation Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, at the Mall of Asia in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. Photo: IMG Universe, LLC also help cheer French people following terrorist attacks in recent years. “We need good news in France and I think this is very good news,” she said in response to a question from The Associated Press. Mittenaere said she would focus during her reign on helping all children, especially girls, attend school. Pellissier said surviving Haiti’s quake, which officials in her country estimated killed more than 300,000 people and displaced more than 1.5 million others, and her pageant success underscored her rise from adversity because she “chose to be a very positive person and learned a great lesson from it.” “If I am here today, it is because I am living my dreams,” said Pelissier, who is studying for a master’s degree in optometry research. She had to raise funds to compete in the pageant after her sponsors pulled out to help victims of Hurricane Matthew, which devastated parts of Haiti in October. Eighty-six candidates vied in this year’s pageant, which was formerly owned by Donald Trump. A highlight was the national cos-

tume competition won by 24-yearold Myanmar model Htet Htet Htun, who carried a backdrop depicting her country’s traditional puppet theatre. At center stage, she stood before the frame and mimicked a stringed puppet to the crowd’s delight. Judges initially selected a dozen candidates, with a 13th picked through online balloting which drew 100 million votes worldwide.

Starting next month, the TSA will “significantly reduce access to TSA PreCheck expedited screening for non-enrolled travelers,” an agency spokesperson told Travel + Leisure in an email. This doesn’t mean that passengers who have not enrolled in PreCheck will never be allowed through again—it just means that these passengers will not receive free access as often as they may be used to. Limiting passengers allowed through PreCheck signals a “natural progression” in the program, the agency said. In the future, they will only allow enrolled or pre-vetted passengers (or those screened by K9s) through the line. Passengers not enrolled in PreCheck have previously been ushered through

The contest was widely followed by Filipinos, known for their fascination with beauty contests, but their country came under the spotlight at a tough time. A deadly government crackdown on illegal drugs is underway and a major offensive against Muslim extremists in the south prompted extra tight security for the pageant.

travelers without a Known Traveler Number to pass through PreCheck. However the agency does not predict that tightening limits for PreCheck will affect line lengths at airports. The announcement comes after the TSA added 11 more airlines to the program. A total of 30 airlines now participate in the program. So far 12 million people have registered for TSA PreCheck, which falls behind the agency’s goal of enrolling 25 million people by 2019. “TSA strongly recommends that frequent flyers (three or more round trips per year) enroll in a DHS trusted traveler program such as TSA PreCheck Application Program or Global Entry to obtain access to expedited screening when going through airport security.” (-Travel+Leisure)

Voice of Asia would love to celebrate

Valentine’s Day with YOU!

Asian Contestants

If you or someone you know, is celebrating their wedding anniversary in February, please send us their wedding picture or recent picture so that we may feature it.

Miss India Roshmitha Harimurthy Age: 22 Miss Sri LankaJayathi De Silva Age: 26

Email your couples photo and text (30 words) to:

Miss Philippines Maxine Medina Age: 26

Youngest Astrologer of North America Miss Japan

Astrologer, Vaastu & Gem Stone Consultant

Sari Nakazawa Age: 23

“HARDIK VYAS” 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.

Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Htun Age: 24

Miss Singapore

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.

Cheryl Chou Age: 20


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Bangladesh treats first case of ‘tree girl’ syndrome


HAKA, Bangladesh | AFP - A young Bangladeshi girl with bark-like warts growing on her face could be the first female ever afflicted by so-called “tree man syndrome”, doctors studying the rare condition said Tuesday.

But as the growths spread rapidly he grew concerned and brought Khatun from their village to the capital Dhaka for treatment.

milder form of the disease, and it was hoped she would make a quicker recovery than those in the more advanced stages.

“We are very poor. My daughter lost her mother when she was only

The hospital has been treating one man with a serious case of the disease for the better part of a year, conducting 16 surgical procedures to remove giant warts from his hands and legs.

Ten-year-old Sahana Khatun has the tell-tale gnarled growths sprouting from her chin, ear and nose, but doctors at Dhaka’s Medical College Hospital are still conducting tests to establish if she has the unusual skin disorder. Less than half a dozen people worldwide have epidermodysplasia verruciformis but none so far have been women, said Samanta Lal Sen, the head of the hospital’s burn and plastic surgery unit.

Huge growths weighing five kilogrammes (11 pounds) each had consumed the hands of 27-year-old Abul Bajandar, the first recorded Bangladeshi to be suffering from the disease.

Sahana Khatun (Photo: AFP)

“We believe she is the first woman,” Sen told AFP. Her father, a poor labourer from Bangladesh’s rural north, said he didn’t worry too much when the first warts appeared on his daughter’s face about four months ago.

six. I really hope that the doctors will remove the barks from my beautiful daughter’s face,” her father Mohammad Shahjahan told AFP. Another of Khatun’s doctors said the young patient was displaying a


The agreement will see Daimler build and operate self-driving Mercedes-Benz cars for use by Uber, but the statement revealed no financial details. “As the inventor of the automobile, Daimler aims to be a leader in autonomous driving -– one of

Concept for self-driving Mercedes(Photo: Daimler AG) the most fascinating aspects of reinventing mobility,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in the statement.

the promise of creating cities that are safer, cleaner and more accessible,” Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick said.

San Francisco-based Uber has invested heavily in self-driving car technology in recent years, and is currently piloting the use of autonomous vehicles on roads in the United States.

“But we can’t get to that future alone. That’s why we’re opening up the Uber platform to auto manufacturers like Daimler.”

But it has no car-building experience, prompting it to seek partnerships. “Self-driving technology holds


ONDON | AFP - Smoking cost the world economy more than US$1.4 trillion (1.3 trillion euros) in 2012, and sucked up a twentieth of health care spending, a study said Tuesday. The killer habit consumed the equivalent of nearly two per cent of global economic output or GDP, according to experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the American Cancer Society, with almost 40 per cent of the burden falling on develop-

among working age adults aged 30-69 - with the highest proportion in Europe and the Americas.” Almost 40 per cent of the global economic cost was borne by low- and middle-income countries - a quarter by Brazil, Russia, India and China. China consumes over a third of the world’s cigarettes and has a sixth of the global smoking death toll. The researchers said the real cost was likely much higher.

Doctors told AFP last month that for the first time in a decade, Bajandar had been able to touch his wife and daughter, and was almost ready to leave the ward.

RANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany | AFP | - German auto giant Daimler on Tuesday said it had struck a partnership with Uber to supply self-driving cars for the US ride-hailing company.

“Under the terms of the cooperation, Daimler plans to introduce self-driving vehicles... on Uber’s global ridesharing network in the coming years,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Smoking costs $1.4 trillion in health care and lost labor, study finds

His plight has captured national attention and the interest of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who promised the patient would receive treatment free of charge.

Daimler to supply self-driving cars for Uber

The tie-up comes as both carmakers and ridesharing firms are jockeying to establish themselves as leading players in the burgeoning world of autonomous driving, seen as the future of the auto industry.

FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

Uber is already working with Sweden-based Volvo Cars to develop self-driving cars for sale by 2021. In a world first, a self-driving truck built by Uber’s Otto unit successfully delivered a beer shipment in October.

File Photo: AFP ing countries. These included a US$422 billion price tag for treatment and hospitalisation, as well as indirect costs from labour lost to illness and death.

They did not include data on the health and economic harm caused by second-hand smoke inhalation, or by smokeless forms of tobacco use, such as chewing.

“Smoking imposes a heavy economic burden throughout the world, particularly in Europe and North America, where the tobacco epidemic is most advanced,” said the study published in the journal Tobacco Control.

Second-hand smoke, the team wrote, was responsible for an estimated six million deaths per year.

“These findings highlight the urgent need for countries to implement stronger tobacco control measures to address these costs.”

And smokeless use, particularly in southeast Asia, may account for as much as 30 per cent of medical expenditure attributed to tobacco.

The authors say the study is the first ever to include low- and middle-income countries in a more accurate estimate of the tobacco epidemic’s total, global cost.

Curbing the habit globally would go a long way towards achieving one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals - to cut premature deaths from non-infectious diseases by a third by 2030.

Most previous work has focused on rich nations. The team used data from 152 countries representing 97 per cent of the world’s smokers in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. They included UN and World Bank data on illness and death attributable to smoking, national employment rates and national GDP. In 2012, they found, “diseases caused by smoking accounted for 12 per cent (2.1 million) of all deaths

“Their inclusion would thus have a measurable impact on our estimate of the economic cost of smoking.”

Tobacco use is “one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced,” according to the WHO, which says taxes are the most costeffective deterrent. Yet “only 33 countries, with 10 per cent of the world’s population, have introduced taxes on tobacco products so that more than 75 per cent of the retail price is tax,” the WHO says on its website. “Tobacco tax revenues are on average 269 times higher than spending on tobacco control, based on available data.”

Russia’s nuclear giant pushes into wind energy Dino rib yields evidence of OSCOW, Russia | AFP Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom said Tuesday that it was joining with a Dutch company to create a wind turbine venture, hoping to tap a domestic market worth billions of euros each year.


The Russian government wants wind energy to generate two percent of the country’s electricity output by 2024, and Rosatom already has a contract to build 26 wind farms in the south of the country.

Member, IACCGH

It had been looking for a foreign partner, and said it had joined with Lagerwey, a Dutch turbine specialist.

• • • •

Rosatom’s deputy chief, Kirill Komarov, said the goal was not only to build turbines, but to shape regulations for the sector and train specialists. The venture aims for initial capacity of 610 megawatts between 2018 and 2020.

oldest soft tissue remains


ARIS, France | AFP - The rib of a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur that lived 195 million years ago has yielded what may be the oldest remains of soft tissue ever recovered, scientists said Tuesday.

Rosatom estimates that wind generation could eventually produce 3.6 gigawatts a year for annual revenue of some 200 billion rubles (3.1 billion euros, $3.3 billion).

The find promises a chance to extract rare clues about the biology and evolution of long-extinct animals, a team wrote in the journal Nature Communications.

The agency operates 10 nuclear plants in Russia, and has built several dozen others in Russia and for export.

Such information is mostly missing from preserved hard skeletons, which form the bulk of the fossil record.

“We have shown the presence of protein preserved in a 195 million-year“We are a caregiver old dinosaur, at least 120 milinformation and lion years older advocacy website that than any other all Texans could use” similar discovery,” study coSENIORS FOCUSED WEBSITE author Robert Reisz of the Brian Mertz TXCSS RESOURCE DIRECTORY University of CEO UPCOMING CAREGIVER EVENTS Toronto MisADVERTISE IN OUR RESOURCE DIRECTORY sissauga, told AFP.

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“These proteins are the building blocks of animal soft tissues, and it’s exciting to understand how they have been preserved,” he added.

and concluded they were “probably remnants of the blood vessels that supplied blood to the bone cells in the living dinosaur.” Most previous studies had extracted organic remains by dissolving away other parts of the fossil, the team said. With the synchrotron method, this is not necessary, and even older remains may be uncovered without damaging dinosaur bones in future.

Lufengosaurus, a common dinosaur in the Early Jurassic period (Illustration: Science Daily) Reisz and a team scanned a rib bone of Lufengosaurus, a common dinosaur in the Early Jurassic period. Fully grown, these lizards measured about eight metres (26 feet).

Does it bring us any closer to recovering DNA from which dinosaurs may one day be cloned? “No, that is still fantasy,” said Reisz. The previous oldest find of suspected red blood cells and collagen fibres was reported in 2013, in dinosaurs that lived about 75 million years ago.

The researchers used a photon beam at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center in Taiwan to examine the insides of the bone, specifically its chemical contents.

Proteins and other organic remains usually decay soon after an animal dies. During fossilisation, the space they occupied within bone is filled by mineral deposits carried by groundwater.

They found evidence of collagen proteins within tiny canals in the rib

Finding fossilised soft tissue is very rare indeed.

Young Life


Section 2


Students stranded worldwide by Trump order


EW YORK CITY Saira Rafiee boarded a plane in Tehran this weekend on her way to New York. She had been visiting family in Iran and needed to get back to the U.S. in time for classes at City University of New York’s Graduate Center, where she is a Ph.D. student in political science. But, as a result of President Trump’s executive order restricting the travel of citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Iran, Rafiee says she was detained in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and, after nearly 18

ter who has cancer probably for the last time, but had to cancel her trip because of this order. A dear friend of mine, a Columbia Ph.D. student, went to Canada on Friday to be with his fiancée for the weekend, and is not able to go back to his studies and work, back to his scholarly life. I know many students who are outside the US, doing fieldwork for their dissertation, and have no clue whether they can finish their studies after studying for many years...”

holds a U.S. Green Card and was in Dubai awaiting a visa to continue his field research in Kabul, Afghanistan. But, as a result of the executive order, he’s worried he cannot return to the U.S. Nor can he stay in Dubai for more than 15 days. And, because of his previous work as a human rights activist, he says he can’t safely return to his home country of Iran. “It’s very ambiguous,” Abdi told NPR Ed via Skype. “I am essentially stateless.”

Allan Wernick, a law professor who runs an immigration resource center at CUNY, calls the situation a “crisis,” not-

Undergraduates have also been affected by the new restrictions, including Niki Mossafer Rahmati, an MIT engineering student and member of the sorority, Sigma Kappa. She was leaving her parents in Iran, headed back to the U.S. for the start of the semester, when she was detained in Qatar. Like Rafiee, Rahmati was ultimately returned to Iran and described the experience on Facebook:

Patricia Lu and Claudia Chen (Photo: Christina Couch) hours, sent back to Tehran. Rafiee did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment, but she posted publicly on Facebook: “...I have no clue whether I would ever be able to go back to the school I like so much, or to see my dear friends there. But my story isn’t as painful and terrifying as many other stories I have heard these days. I know an Iranian student in the US, who was planning to go back to Iran to see her sis-

ing that CUNY has more than 100 students from the affected countries who are here on student visas. “I refer to CUNY as the most immigrant-friendly university in the country,” he says, with as many as 40 to 50 percent of the university’s half a million students immigrants or the children of immigrants. Throughout the weekend, similar stories emerged from other U.S. universities. Mohammed Abdi, an anthropology Ph.D. student at Yale,

“...My inbox is flooded with messages and emails of love and support. I am truly speechless, grateful and proud to [be a] part of the MIT community. I have never been subjected to any form of religious or racial discrimination at MIT. Our community is extremely diverse, inclusive, supportive and accepting of individuals and their backgrounds. But I cannot believe all this love is coming from the same country that banned me from entering its borders just a couple of hours ago...” The number of students detained at airports in the United States was not immediately known, but Narges Bayani, a graduate student at New York University, was released on Sunday after being held for several hours at John F. Kennedy International Airport. “I am in awe and absolute admiration of the solidarity of the Ameri-

can people in response to such inhumane and discriminatory regulations. It feels like a sweet personal victory over hate,” she posted on Facebook. Universities and academic organizations largely condemned the travel ban and vowed to assist their students in returning to the U.S. David Elwell, director of MIT’s International Students Office, told MIT’s student newspaper that his office was “deeply disturbed” by the new policy.

Mitch Daniels, the former Republican governor of Indiana and current president of Purdue University, said the executive order is “a bad idea, poorly implemented” and he called on Trump to “promptly revoke and rethink it.” Alongside their educational mission and the welfare of students and faculty, many U.S. institutions of higher learning have significant revenue at stake if the United States becomes less welcoming to international students. According to the Institute of International Education, more than a million international students attend U.S. institutions, and because of their status, they do not receive most federal or state financial aid. This includes an estimated 17,000 students from the countries currently covered by the travel ban: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. (-National Public Radio Online)


But the best thing Brady got asked came courtesy of a young fan who approached the podium on Trent Dilfer’s shoulders. Brady caught the young man’s eye and he delivered his question, a pretty good one. “Many people say you’re their hero, but who’s your hero?” It’s the sort of thing that you only get to see at media day

but don’t expect to actually see because the answer ultimately caught Brady off guard. He repeated the question before getting choked up while talking about his father. “Who’s my hero? That’s a great question. Well, I think my dad is my hero. Because he’s someone I look up to every day. And, uh ...

“My dad.” What makes this exchange particularly interesting is that Brady and his dad have been in the news a lot lately. Brady actually banned his dad from speaking to the media after the elder Brady decided to take a blowtorch to the NFL

Own your brown skin, so your kids can too

through their behaviors. “The way to protect children, truly, is having the right conversations early on, rather than pushing them outside the dining room walls. We need to be check our own biases, conditioning, and habits, in order to aid positive sense of pride and self-discovery in the parenting process.”

Jyoti Gupta


hildren don’t miss a thing. And what they fail to see, they sense. It’s not surprising how many have well-formed descriptions, and judgements regarding skin color early in their lives.

Jyoti Gupta, who’s working on the book alongside parents and educators, asks “Why is it that we maintain high standards in all aspects of parenting, except teaching children to love their bodies, especially their brown skin.”

Colo(u)rism Project Tote bags

Several parents are facing colorist, racist, or casteist attitudes today. The reason most parents avoid discussing this topic at home is to protect their children from the realities of the big bad world. But they easily forget, that they have no control over the media, or things other people pass on

To learn more about the book, or to preorder a copy, please visit and go to The Book. The crowdfunding campaign is currently running, and ends February 11th. For feedback, questions, sponsorships, and speaking engagements, please call (929) 255-4552.

Of course Brady was asked about his supermodel wife. Turns out she gave him a gift and some advice. Tom Brady at the press meet (Photo: AFP) and Roger Goodell over the decision by everyone involved to suspend Brady four games over Deflategate. Many believe that while Brady asked his dad to take it

down a notch, he’s perfectly fine with the message his dad is sending out there because it’s how he feels as well. But Brady’s going to take the high road instead of getting aggressive, at least before the Super

Gupta, who founded The Colo(u)rism Project, an initiative that raises awareness of colourism, the practice of discrimination that targets people with dark skin, hopes this childled activity book will create opportunities to have the right conversations with children, before ideas begin to set in and

A new initiative is trying to create positive conversations, and easier access to a topic considered taboo by many. A new parent-and-child activity book, My Skin Colour, My Media and I introduces skin color to children in a healthy way.


[long pause as Brady gets choked up]

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Culture mean many things, including your brown skin

Yale’s president, Peter Salovey, said in a prepared statement: “American institutions of higher learning are united in their distress on behalf of our international students and faculty, and in their reliance on our communities’ most fundamental values of accessibility and open dialogue. Our educational mission and the welfare of our community members are directly at stake. National security is of the utmost importance, but we are steadfast in asserting that this goal can be achieved while maintaining respect for core academic — and American — values.”

A young fan asked Tom Brady the best question at Super Bowl media night OUSTON - There were many questions for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during his hour-long podium session at Super Bowl LI in Houston. Some of them were related to Roger Goodell and the NFL. One involved Julian Edelman and a cheeseburger.

FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

“I’ve been very blessed to find her. Wonderful woman, wonderful partner. She does everything. She gave me this (necklace) for protection, and she’d be really happy that I’m wearing it because she doesn’t like anyone hitting me. “She always says, ‘Throw the

take shape.

ball really fast, really fast.’ So that’s what I try to do.” Asked by NFL Network’s Willie McGinest whether he was still bothered by the suspension, Brady said he had “moved on.” There’s much more of this to unpack over the next week. But just know that Brady’s emotions are running pretty high at the moment. He knows what all of this means and how much all of it matters. (AFP/USA Today)

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Section 2


Antonio Banderas hospitalized in U.K.

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Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Naga Chaitanya - Engaged!

Suffered chest pains while working out Antonio Banderas was hospitalized in the U.K. earlier this month after suffering chest pains.

He wrote in Spanish: “Enjoying nature after a little fright. Enjoying nature after a startle. Kisses.”

The 56-year-old actor was rushed to St. Peter’s Hospital in Surrey, outside of London, on January 19 and discharged, a hospital spokesperson tells the press media.

Banderas posed alongside his girlfriend, Nicole Kimpel, in the shot. The lovebirds wore sunglasses as they stood in front of trees and vibrant green grass. (

His rep says, “We can confirm that last Thursday Antonio was admitted to hospital after having experienced chest pain while exercising. However, Antonio was released that same day after doctors performed a check-up which confirmed his good health.” Contrary to some reports, the episode was not a “major health scare,” according to the rep. On Monday, Banderas alluded to the hospital visit in an Instagram photo.

Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Naga Chaitanya are the perfect lovebirds of Tollywood (Credits: Instagram/PTI)


ctress Samantha Ruth Prabhu and actor Naga Chaitanya are now engaged. It was an only family event and looked no less than a dream. Naga Chaitanya and Samantha Ruth Prabhu first co-starred in 2010 film Ye Maaya Chesave.

Antonio Banderas (File photo)

Baahubali 2’s special effects’ head has this major revelation to make

They’ve also made Telugu film Manam (released as Thrayam in Tamil) and Autonagar Suriyain 2014. The film had three generations of the legendary ANR family. This included Akkineni Nageswarao Rao himself, which made it his last film. In fact, it was the only movie where we saw ANR,

Nagarjuna, Naga Chaitanya and Akhil together on screen. Naga Chaitanya’s father Nagarjuna Akkineni and brother Akhil Akkineni shared pictures from the ceremony on social media. Akhil got engaged in December 2016 and his fiancee Shriya Bhupal was also on the guests list. Samantha, 29, looked spectacular in a saridesigned by Koecsh by Kresha Bajaj while Naga Chaitanya, 30, wore a suit. Meanwhile, Samantha’s best pals Shriya Saran and sports star Jwala Gutta also wished the couple. “Congratulations beautiful @Samanthaprabhu2 so happy for you.” tweeted Shriya. (Source: IndianExpress)

Vishal Dadlani files for divorce


ishal Dadlani said he and wife Priyali had been living separately for years “We humbly ask for dignity and privacy,” said Vishal Dadlani Caption: Composer Vishal Dadlani has revealed that he and estranged wife Priyali are filing for divorce, reports Miss Malini.

Anuskha Shetty and Prabhas from new Baahubali 2 poster. Baahubali: The Beginning, in fact, banked heavily on VFX that led to the film bagging a National Award for Best Special Effects.


s the time is nigh for the release of the much-awaited second part of Rajamouli’s magnum opus Baahubali, VFX supervisor for the film R C Kamalakannan on Sunday shared his experience about working on the visuals and CGI used. “It is 15 months since taking over the reins of ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’ visual effects. It’s amazing that almost all major VFX studios in our country following one pipeline, working towards one common goal. Racing towards the release, with post-production happening at more than 33 studios across the world. Opportunity to share and learn simultaneously. Life can’t be more satisfying,” said R C Kamalakannan in a statement. The fact the ‘life is good’ phrase reveals Baahubali fans can expect some great special effects in the film. Baahubali redefined the visual grammar in the cinematic landscape in the recent times. Baahubali: The Beginning, in fact, banked heavily on VFX

that led to the film bagging a National Award for Best Special Effects. VFX designer V Srinivas Mohan had won the award for his work of the prequel. However, in 2015 itself there was a change of plan for the sequel where Kamalakannan was brought aboard the team. He is also a multiple National Award winner who worked for blockbuster films like Eega and Magadheera. Though the reason for the change was not known, the buzz is that Srinivas has to be replaced since he signed up to work with Shankar and Rajinikanth for the VFX in 2.0. Meanwhile, Rana Daggubati, the baddie in Baahubali: The Conclusion, had also said that the sequel will have a lot more of action sequences and visuals, grander than those shown in the first part. The film is slated for a release on April 28 this year. However, there was a slight delay in the release of the trailer, which will be the only clue to let us find out how good the visuals are.

Dangal collects Rs 385 crore, Aamir Khan is ‘touched’ and ‘humbled’


amir Khan’s sports biopic Dangal, which released on December 23 continues to rule the box office. Breaking all records, the film has so far collected Rs 385 crore. Aamir, who features as a Haryani wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat said that he is “touched and humbled” by Dangal’s success. “I am touched and humbled by the warmth and love that our film has got. The reaction to Dangal has been very moving,” news agency IANS quoted Aamir as saying. Directed by Nitesh Tiwari, Dangal collected Rs 1.19 crore in its sixth weekend, thus taking its cu-

mulative total to Rs 385.06 crore. Overseas, Aamir’s film has collected Rs 202.88 crore. In the USA alone, the film has collected in $12.3 million. Dangal portrays the journey of Mahavir Singh Phogat, who trains his daughters, Geeta and Babita Phogat to become wrestlers. Geeta fulfils his father’s dream by winning a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games while Babita clinches to silver. Earlier this month, Dangal fetched Aamir Khan the Filmfare Best Actor Award and Nitesh was named the Best Director.

The 43-yearold singer and composer said the couple have spent years apart and asked for privacy in a statement: “After several years of living separately, Priyali and I are officially filing for divorce. This is the only statement either of us wishes to make, as this is a private and personal matter, and we hope it will be respected as such. Over our time apart, we have become perhaps greater friends than we have ever been before. Both our families are extremely close, to us and to each other, and of course, this will remain so. Our private lives have always been extremely personal to us, so we humbly ask for dignity and privacy in this regard.” 2016 seemed jinxed for many Bollywood couples with highprofile splits like Farhan AkhtarAdhuna Bhabani, and the streak of celeb divorces and breakups continues this year. Earlier this month, actress Nandita Das ended her seven-year marriage.

har Ravjiani have scored films like Sultan, Befikre and Chennai Express. Recently, Vishal and Shekhar were accused of plagiarism for the Befikre song Nasche Si Chadh Gayi. However, the duo rubbished the charges. “Haven’t copied a tune in 17

years. Not about to start now. Bizarre and uncanny coincidence, but anything I say will sound defensive, so I’m not even going to try. There is no doubt, the melodies of both first lines are exactly the same,” Vishal wrote in reply to a Facebook post by a blog, reported news agency PTI.










Vishal Dadlani and his composing partner Shek-

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FRIDAY, February 3, 2017


Section 2


Plan for 12 months of healthy living in 2017 by Gini Hoffman


t’s been a few weeks since you set your goal to improve your health in 2017, and it is going great – or maybe not so much. Whether or not you’ve made any progress, it is never too late to refocus on your health.

dance of fruits and vegetables. And local farmer’s markets are full of seasonal options. Strive to fill your plate with additional greens and less carbohydrates, sugars and fats. If you have questions about healthful eating, a di-

Get started by breaking down your goal into smaller, more achievable objectives.

Here are some ideas about where to begin: Start with your heart in February: Before making any changes to your lifestyle, it’s essential to get a baseline. This gives you both a reference point for your end goal and important information about your health, helping you tailor your new routine. Many companies and insurances offer health risk assessments at reduced costs. These can (and should) include body fat index, blood pressure, cholesterol screening and lifestyle questionnaires that assess your risk factors. Your physician can do a check-up that includes these items as well. Bottoms up in March: March is National Colon and Rectal Cancer Awareness Month. Begin the month by striving to eat more fiber and less fatty meat. Both actions have shown a correlation with cancer reduction, including colon cancer. If you are over 40 or have risk factors, talk to your health care provider about scheduling a colonoscopy. Spring into April group fitness: Join a group class, find a workout partner or talk to your workplace about group fitness incentives. Staying accountable to a workout partner has been shown to improve fitness levels and keep participants active longer. Now that warm weather is on its way, it is also a great time to set reachable workout goals. If you prefer the guidance of a professional, join a fitness center and meet with a personal trainer. Graduate your plate in May: The warmer weather also brings an abun-

etitian can give you guidance. Many insurance plans even cover consultations. Avoid the June burn: Kick off the summer months with a skin cancer check at your physician’s office. While in the sun, be sure to cover up with a hat and long-sleeved clothing, and use at least SPF 30 sunscreen. Make a splash in July: Set the intention to cool off with at least 64 ounces of water per day. Staying hydrated can reduce the risk of heatstroke, and some studies have shown water intake helps with weight loss. Replenishing your fluids also helps you feel fuller longer. Get into a routine in August: The school year is starting, and many families are getting back on a schedule. Now is a great time to do a self-check. How is your health regimen going? Are you exercising as much as you pledged in the spring? Have you cut out a lot of calorie-laden and sugardense foods? It is still not too late.

Health hacks for simple living and eating


o you want to make 2017 your healthiest year yet? Wellness blogger Caryn Sullivan has a few healthy hacks to get you started. “A healthy hack is a simple and clever way to make your life easier when you want to focus on health,” Sullivan explained. Her healthy hack number one? Make smoothies in bulk.

Refocus on your food intake and your exercise output, just in time for a new school year. It’s worth a shot in September: The vaccinations you received in childhood may not still be protecting you, so make sure you are up-to-date. It is important to get a yearly flu vaccine and to stay updated on vaccines like tetanus, shingles, pneumonia and others – particularly as you age. Many workplaces and community centers offer vaccination clinics. Check with your health care provider for vaccinations you may need. Think pink (and blue) in October: It is no cliché. If you are over 40, or have risk factors, scheduling a mammogram could truly be the best thing you do for your health in 2017. If you are male and over the age of 50, consider instead getting your prostate gland examined. These aren’t the only important screenings for adults, however. The Centers for Disease Control has a full list of preventative care suggestions, which includes screenings, on its website. If your schedule is overwhelming, don’t let that prevent your good health. There are many convenient options out there for screenings, including mobile and community center screening days.

You might begin by setting an intention for each month. You can always expand from there. Remember, good health is about more than exercising or eating vegetables.

“Whenever people ask me what’s the easiest thing that I can do to be healthier, I always say, add fruits and vegetables to every meal, and a really easy way to add fruits and vegetables at your meal or during your day, is by drinking a smoothie,” Sullivan said. She recommends making a big batch and then freezing it in mason jars. “So you can grab them as you go in the morning, throw them in your purse, drink them in the afternoon as an af-

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Quit in November: Do you have any lingering habits that may be bad for your health? If you smoke, consider quitting. And if you were or are a heavy smoker, consider also getting a lung screening. This simple screening can detect, cancer and other concerns early, when they are most treatable. If smoking isn’t your habit, take a look at your health and consider quitting (or reducing) alcohol, calorie or fat intake. De-stress in December: The holidays can be full of stressors, so take some time for yourself. Focus on exercise and healthful versions of your favorite indulgences to keep the stress at bay. And while you are at it, treat yourself to a massage, tai chi or yoga session. Congratulations! You’ve made it through a year of wellness. Even small steps, like achieving one or two monthly goals, can have a great impact on your health. In 2017, treat yourself well, and find joy in good choices. (-AFP/The Virginia Pilot) ternoon snack, or you can pull them out the night before, and then in the morning they should be ready to go so you can eat,” Sullivan explained. Her next healthy hack is to create three healthy meals using just one ingredient. “One thing I love is farro,” she said. “It’s delicious, it takes ten minutes to make so it’s easy.” Meal number one is a farro risotto with sautéed vegetables. “And then the next day I may put it in some chicken broth, and then maybe throw in a few beans so there you have a soup,” she explained.

Bill to Lift Vision, Dental and Hearing Restrictions under Medicare Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) led 123 of her fellow House Members in introducing the Seniors Have Eyes, Ears and Teeth Act, a bill to allow seniors covered by Medicare to access basic healthcare necessities such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dental care. This bill removes the restrictions currently in place prohibiting Medicare from offering these important health services. “I am introducing this bill because our seniors should have the gifts of hearing, vision, and oral health,” said Congresswoman Roybal-Allard. “Few bills are ever introduced with the overwhelming support that we have seen for the Seniors Have Eyes, Ears and Teeth Act, and the reason is clear: many seniors are in desperate need of hearing services, dental care, vision exams, and essential devices like hearing aids and eyeglasses. These seniors need us to stand up for them. If we pass this bill, we can lift Medicare’s exclusion of these vital services, and help our seniors enjoy their golden years in good health and with peace of mind.” Since its implementation in 1965, Medicare has excluded coverage for hearing aids and related audiology services, routine dental care and routine eye exams and eyeglasses, despite the large numbers of older Americans who need such items and services. • Hearing loss affects more than 40% of people over 60 years old, more than 60% of those over 70 years old, and almost 80% of those over 80 years old. It is increasingly well-documented that untreated hearing loss often leads to a variety of serious health problems and injuries, including higher risk of dementia and falls. • Individuals older than 70 years account for approximately 80% of the 2.8 million Americans with low vision (defined as vision loss, other than blindness, not correctable with refraction, medication or surgery). Sensory impairments, such as vision loss, not only diminish quality of life but increase the risk of costly On day three, top a salad with farro and freshly cut veggies. “Our lives are so busy and so if you can simplify healthy eating, then it’s going to actually fit into your lifestyle,” Sullivan said. Her next healthy hack? Freeze fruit for a sweet treat. “You feel like you’re popping a piece of candy, and it’s a frozen organic grape,” she explained. “I also really like pineapple.” Healthy hack number five is to make the most out of that lemon. “Lemon has disinfectant properties, and I often times use it as a sponge,”

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health outcomes such as disability, depression, cognitive impairment, and dementia. • Nearly 70% of older Americans currently have no form of dental insurance. Data shows that neglect of oral health may result in the deterioration of overall physical health, and lack of access to even routine dental exams and cleanings can exacerbate serious and complicated overall health problems that increase with age. Unfortunately, paying for these services out-of-pocket is a hardship for the more than half of Medicare beneficiaries who live on incomes below $24,150 per year. • Only one in five Americans currently diagnosed with hearing issues uses a hearing aid, the costs of which can range from $1,000 to $6,000. The vast majority of those who could benefit from a hearing aid cite financial barriers to obtaining them as the reason for not using one. • Routine eye exams can range in cost from $50 to $300 or more, and the average cost for a pair of prescription glasses is $196. • Lack of dental insurance is a major access barrier to dental care for older adults. To enroll in right healthcare plan contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.

Sullivan explained. You can also create your own DIY cleaner by mixing lemon juice, vinegar, water and essential oil. “You can use it for any of your counter tops, you can use it for various areas of the house to disinfect, you also could spray it throughout the house to make it smell good,” she said. The next healthy hack is to use coconut oil from head to toe. “Coconut oil is that one ingredient so you’ve got no chemicals no toxins, just this truly natural ingredient,” Sullivan explained.Not only is it good at removing makeup, but coconut oil can also be used as a skin moisturizer.

Hilaria Baldwin preaching what she practices: happy, healthy life


n her new book, “The Living Clearly Method: 5 Principles for a Fit Body, Healthy Mind & Joyful Life” (Rodale Books), the longtime yoga instructor, wife of actor Alec Baldwin, and mom to three young children guides you through her principles for achieving said happiness. And they go hand-in-hand with a healthy lifestyle and good fitness. But to achieve this better being, there must also be clarity — an overall balance in one’s life. “I’ve worked hard to make it through the blurry parts of my life, and I’ve fought for the happiness that I’ve found,” Baldwin writes at the beginning of her book. That phrase sets the tone for all the follows, as she writes about her journey to find clarity in every aspect of her being. “I don’t have the ability to do work out every day,” the 33-year-old Baldwin admits. (She still drops in on her popular Yoga Vida studio in New York’s tony Union Station to instruct a

class or two, and teaches private yoga lessons to a sizable roster of clients.) “I used to be able to do it every day, but now I have three little babies. My obligation is to them first. So I multitask as much as possible. I’m actually in the gym right now [during our early morning phone interview], lifting weights,” she says, sounding not-atall out of breath. “If I don’t do it now, I won’t be able to do it the rest of the day.” Born in Mallorca, Spain, Baldwin spent her early childhood in Europe and Boston studying Latin dance and ballet, later competing in ballroom dance as a teen in New York City. She went on to major in art history and dance and New York University, and began studying and soon teaching yoga in earnest in the mid-2000s. She met Alec Baldwin in 2011; they were married a year later. But it was in 2009 that a devastating fall on a sidewalk severed her leg bone from her hip, surgery and yearlong recovery changed the course of her life,

discovering her yoga practices. As for ultimately finding clarity, Baldwin says it’s pretty basic, though we might not always choose to see it or strive for it. Getting your body and your mind in synch with each other, eating right and just moving every day helps you achieve that centeredness. “You just start feeling good,” she said. “When you’re doing right in your life, it’s as simple as just feeling happy.”

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FRIDAY, February 3, 2017




Section 2


FRIDAY, February 3, 2017


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The Effects of Oil Prices on the World and a Local Community Will the “Glory Days” of Oil Ever Return? tal Resources stretch as high as 40 billion barrels. By 2014, the U.S. energy boom, supercharged by the revolution in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, had made North Dakota’s economy the fastest-growing in the nation. Its unemployment rate was lowest among states. Its gross domestic product of roughly $50 billion that year was more than double 2002 levels.

Houston India Conference launches “Make in India – The Inside Story” on March 24-25, 2017

The Law of Supply and Demand or “Where there is a Boom, there is Likely to be a Bust” Seshadri Nonavinakere


ouston India conference is hosting first of the series conference on March 24th – 25th in Houston, TX. The topic of 2017 conference is “Make in India – The Inside Story”. The conference is organized by Consulate General of India in Houston, India House, Asia Society Texas Center, Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston, US India Skills and Education Council, University of Houston, and World Affairs Council of Dallas/ Ft Worth. Texas has a large concentration of constituencies interested in doing business with India. The GDP of Texas at US$ 1.7 trillion would make it the 10th largest economy in the world if it was an independent nation. Texas is home to 54 (or 11%) of Fortune 500 companies. Houston alone does an annual trade of around $3.2 billion with India. There is a strong presence of Indians in Industry, businesses, educational, medical and research institutes that Houston is renowned for. Houston India Conference is designed to bring together the various constituencies that have an interest in India, and discuss with them the latest developments and the best practices of doing business in India. USA and India are true global partners -- both in strengthening econo-

mies and strong democracies. That’s why President Obama visited India twice while in office, while PM Modi visited USA four times in last two years. Soft Bank of Japan committed to investing $10 billion into India over the next several years. Domino’s Pizza stated that they sell more pies in India than any other country other than the United States. Boeing has been building long-term partnerships with Indian companies that are helping create the indigenous aerospace and defense infrastructure envisioned through “Make in India.” Dennis Swanson, Vice President, Boeing Defense, Space & Security in India said in an interview with Economic Times, “India is one of the most important markets for Boeing internationally.” While some companies will do very well in India, some do not. Dallasbased Mary Kay exited from India after six years in 2003 while Amway and L’Oreal thrived in the same market. Keeping above in mind, the central focus of the Houston India conference is to provide a collaboration platform and share today’s India story with the audience in Texas who are interested in investing in India, by the people who are playing an important role in shaping up the modern. This conference will not only bring together individuals and organizations in Texas or India

that have an interest in collaborating but will also catalyze the emergence of a major network in Texas interested in doing business in India. The conference on March 24th, 2017 will be based around a number of panels with carefully chosen speakers. Finale of the conference will be at India House annual gala event on March 25th, 2017. “We have speakers who have expanded brands in India, journalists, foreign policy experts, and movers and shakers who are writing story of today’s India. This event presents a chance to learn lessons from them on what it takes to do business in India and with India. We expect the audience to include top businessmen; active investors and money managers; a collection of business school and public policy school deans; and local government leadership”, said Dr. Anupam Ray, the Consulate General of India. Delegate attendance at the Houston India Conference is by invitation only, limited to qualified titles (usually Chairman, Vice Chairman, CEO and President from global headquarters) and is at the discretion of the Houston India Conference organizers. For further information, please visit http://www.houstonindiaconference. com

Tech firms unite to challenge Trump immigration order


ASHINGTON | AFP - A broad coalition of US technology firms has begun planning a joint legal strategy challenging President Donald Trump’s executive order barring refugees and many Muslims from American soil, sources say. More than 20 firms from the sector were expected to attend a meeting to discuss legal options on the ban, which was expected to have a large impact on Silicon Valley and other tech firms which employ thousands of immigrants. “It’s still very early, but the strategy would probably be similar to the San Bernardino iPhone briefs,” said one tech sector employee familiar with talks on condition of anonymity. The source was referring to the coalition which fought a US government order which would have forced Apple to weaken iPhone security to inspect a handset used by one of the shooters in a deadly attack in Southern California in December 2015. Participating in the talks were Google parent Alphabet, Netflix, Airbnb and Twitter, the source indi-

“It sends a global message,” said Thomas Cooke, a professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, “that America is not a good place for doing business.” And brain drain is entirely possible, Cooke said. Engineers, scientists, doctors and researchers may well take their work to countries that are less openly hostile toward immigration. Even in Silicon Valley, long seen as the mecca for software engineers, some foreign-born workers have started to question whether it’s worth jumping over immigration hurdles to stay. Soroush Pour, a software engineer who is a citizen of Iran and Australia and has lived in the U.S for seven years on a visa, booked a trip to visit Australia in February to attend a wedding. Over the weekend, he was advised by immigration attorneys to avoid traveling outside the U.S.

cated. Other firms invited or participating include Adobe Systems, Dropbox, Etsy, Mozilla, Pinterest, Reddit, Salesforce, Yelp, SpaceX and Zynga, according to the source. The talks included “several” member companies of a Washingtonbased technology policy association, according to a separate source. Trump’s order has provoked widespread outrage, including from technology firms, with executives from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and Netflix expressing concerns over the ban. The executive order, signed Friday, suspends the arrival of refugees for at least 120 days, and for the next three months bars visas for travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Civil rights and faith groups, activists and Democratic politicians have promised to fight the order, which caused chaos and confusion for affected travelers and sparked protests at several U.S. airports throughout Saturday.

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by Seshadri Nonavinakere


ack when most of world fretted over the seemingly endless rise in the price of gas, OPEC and other oil rich countries basked in the “glory days of oil.” M King Hubbard, a Shell Oil Geologist, forecasted in 1956 that oil would reach its peak in the mid 1960s. “Although derided by most in the industry he was correct. He was the first to assert that oil discovery, and therefore production, would follow a bell shaped curve over its life. After his success in forecasting the US peak, this analysis became known as the Hubbert’s Peak.

If you look at any historical oil price chart, you could have easily predicted what would happen next, but when you are riding a financial windfall, it’s difficult to believe it will ever end. Beginning in 2014, the residents of Williston, North Dakota -- smack dab in the middle of the boom – learned first-hand how the laws of supply and demand really work. Oil prices fell below $40 per barrel in mid-2015 driven by oversupply and a worldwide economic slow-down that reduced demand. Suddenly the boom towns of Williston and others looked like ghost towns and their once thriving economies were in a tail spin. Fast Forward to 2017

A few short years later as a result of the attacks on September 11 and the 2008 financial crisis, oil prices truly went out of sight, hitting their inflation-adjusted highest price in history to date of $139.05 per barrel in June of 2008. There were forces at work that Mr. Hubbard may not have foreseen but perhaps should have. When the price of any commodity goes “out of control” people look for alternatives and if they look long and hard enough they are likely to find answers. Once the price of oil went over $100 per barrel, it suddenly became financially feasible to introduce alternative means of extracting oil and to revisit once abandoned wells with ways to reclaim oil that had previously seemed inaccessible due to the high cost of digging deeper. An Oil Boom Emerges Existing companies, start-ups, an unlikely state and many small cities suddenly found themselves living through a modern day reincarnation of the gold rush of the early nineteenth century. From the time of the first discovery in 1848 to the end of the period in 1852, over $2 billion of gold was extracted from mines and the population increased from 1,000 to 100,000. The first commodity-driven boom resulted in a mass migration to the west coast. Since its discovery in 1951, the Bakken Shale reserve in the north central United States has been the primary catalyst behind a commodity boom that looked like it would transform another state. Once the oil industry figured out how to extract natural gas and oil from the formation, North Dakota in the late 1990s and early 2000s looked like California in the 1890s on an even broader scale. “The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated the Bakken Shale Formation could yield 4.3 billion barrels of oil and estimates from Continen-

Is there another boom on the horizon? World economies are stabilizing, there is a new pro-business and pro-oil administration in Washington and most importantly, oil prices are approaching the magic $60 per barrel level again. According to Lynn Helms, director of North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources, the state is gearing up for another boom. Oil companies based in the Bakken Shale have fine-tuned their extraction and production methods so they can compete with the new reality of oil prices in the 60s rather than in the 100s, where they first entered the market. Now, for a Bit of Global Perspective Sure, the U.S. is less dependent on foreign oil and yes, Williston has a place in the world economy, but when you realize who really controls the world’s oil wealth, we would be well-advised to pay attention to how OPEC and others who depend so heavily on oil revenues are reacting to the recent decline and resurgence in oil prices. For those who look beyond the price of gas at their local pump, this is a very intriguing commentary on the law of supply and demand on a global basis. The oil rich members of OPEC really need the price to stay above $50 to maintain their economies but they know that a return to the $100 per barrel days will open the flood gates for alternative methods of extraction (fracking et al). The frackers need the price to maintain over $55 to make their play profitable, so barring any unforeseen developments, it is likely that a push and pull between $50 and $65 may go on for quite some time. The author, Seshadri Nonavinakere, is associated with and works in the Oil & Gas Industry for the last 20 years around the world. He is also a Finance Analyst, has experience in Mining Operations, and IT Training.





FRIDAY, February 3, 2017


Lewis Hamilton India squad for Bangladesh Bundesliga gamble on youth sends transfer record challenges fans Test to design race Here is the announced squad: EW DEHLI | AFP - India’s tumbling selectors named a 16-mem-


ERLIN, Germany | AFP - German clubs shattered Bundesliga winter transfer spending records in January, forking out close to 100 million euros ($107.6 million) and largely gambling on the potential of youngsters like Leon Bailey and Alexander Isak. Promising Jamaican teenager Bailey joined Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday for a reported 12 million euros ($12.8 million), while Swede Isak -- dubbed the ‘next Zlatan Ibrahimovic’ -- turned down Real Madrid to sign for Borussia Dortmund.

The 2009 Bundesliga champions drafted in five new faces -- including French winger Paul-Georges Ntep -after offloading Germany international Julian Draxler to Paris Saint-Germain for around 40 million.



riple Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has challenged fans to design his race helmet for the new season starting in March.

But despite the record outlay, the country’s richest club Bayern Munich have largely stayed silent with no new arrivals this month.

The Mercedes driver launched the competition on Instagram on Thursday, asking: ‘Do you want to design my racing helmet for the upcoming F1 season?

However, the defending champions did complete a double swoop for Hoffenheim pair Niklas Suele and Sebastian Rudy, who will join the league leaders at the start of next season.

“I will meet the winner personally at one of the tracks to present them with the prize of a full size signed replica helmet. I’m on the look out for a dope new layout that evolves my current theme and features the candy apple red in my existing design. I’ll be picking the design that I feel is the most stylish, inspiring, iconic and eye-catching. To enter, simply post your designs on your public Instagram account.’” Hamilton, the clear pre-season favourite following the surprise retirement of German team mate and world champion Nico Rosberg last month, has changed his helmet design several times over the years.

20-year-old Riechedly Bazoer has joined Wolfsburg from Ajax for 12 million euros (Photo: Alexander Isak/AFP) France’s Dayot Upamecano swapped Red Bull Salzburg for RB Leipzig for a reported 10 million euros, yet the trio are all in their teens and untested in Europe’s top leagues. The previous record set during the 2014/15 season saw Bundesliga sides pay out around 65 million euros, but that mark has been obliterated with several hours still to go before the deadline. Throw 20-year-old Riechedly Bazoer, who joined Wolfsburg from Ajax for 12 million euros, and new Hamburg signing Walace, 21, into the mix and the focus on investment in youth is undeniable. Wolfsburg have spent the most of any club by stumping up 33 million euros to try and salvage a disastrous season.

Under Formula One’s regulations, a driver’s helmet design must be substantially the same for the entire season -- to ensure drivers can be distinguished easily -- but one special version is allowed at a race of his choosing. (-AFP)


ber squad on Tuesday for the one-off Test against Bangladesh beginning in Hyderabad on February 9. Fit-again wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha was included in the squad while left-handed batsman Abhinav Mukund returned to the Test fold after a five-year gap.

Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Abhinav Mukund, Hardik Pandya

England fall short in the final over to lose second Twenty20 international in India India beat England by five runs in the second Twenty20 international in Nagpur


AGPUR, India - England lost the second Twenty20 international in thrilling but controversial style when India grabbed a five run victory in front of 45,000 ecstatic supporters. England were unable to score the eight runs they needed off the final over to overtake India’s 144 for eight when Moeen Ali could not hit Jasprit

of that final over even though he had inside edged Bumrah onto his pad. It was the third questionable decision from the same umpire who had earlier turned down two lbw shouts to reprieve Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh that were both shown to be out on replay. There is no Decision Review System in Twenty20 cricket and that cost Eng-


“Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young will not leave Manchester United”


ayne Rooney and Ashley Young are staying at Manchester United for the rest of the season, Jose Mourinho has confirmed. Rooney has been linked with a move to China, where the transfer window does not close until February 28, while Young has attracted interest from West Ham, West Brom and Watford ahead of Tuesday’s 11pm deadline for Premier League clubs.

But Mourinho insisted that both players will stay at Old Trafford until at least the end of the season because he cannot afford to let more players go following the departures of Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay. Asked if Rooney is staying amid reports that he is in discussions over a three-year contract in the Chinese Super League worth £140m over three years, Mourinho said: ‘Yes. We don’t have players in.’ (-AFP)

Photo: Reuters Bumrah’s final ball for six. But their was controversy because local umpire Chettithody Shamshuddin gave Joe Root lbw to the first ball

land dear, with this series now going to a decider in Bengaluru on Wednesday and England still waiting for their first limited-overs series win in India since 1984.



FRIDAY, February 3, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of February 3, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE

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


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

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

Reevaluate your past, try to bring out your best qualities, set aside your insecurities. Communications & understanding will increase greatly. Conversations with neighbors or siblings could test your patience, remember, you are not required to fix all the problems you hear about. Decide how far you’re willing to go and stick to it. A reunion with family, or with those who feel like family, seems appropriate. You might want to invite them to your place, where you can entertain with style and grace.

You will have careful, cautious and conscientious workmanship in everything you do. You might do well to tiptoe around someone who is irritable. You haven’t done anything wrong, you simply may be working with some very vulnerable people right now. You may be surprised by what you hear. Rather than defend yourself, face the truth with a readiness to make changes. Even if you try to get off to a quick start, chances are you’ll need to slow down to deal with delays and obstacles.

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

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

Changes in life can help you to appreciate others feelings & emotional insecurities. As long as you are sure of your position, you should prevail. Look to your dreams for a clue to what you might need to change. You may get caught up in details when this is really a good time to enjoy art, beauty, love, and recreation. There is, though, that stubborn person who just wants to keep doing things the old way. You may need to be extra persuasive in order to get their support. It will help you to clarify the choices you’re making now.

You need to be more compassionate towards loved ones & learn to enjoy the simple treasures you possess. You might be feeling financially pinched, don’t let that shut down your plans for a good time. The company you keep could lift your spirits and remind you that fun doesn’t have to be expensive. One of the most useful activities is simply to share your thoughts with someone you trust. You could use a sounding board, someone to respond to your ideas. We all need feedback sometimes.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Loved ones will lend much support to your needs. It’s better to be a little pushy than to be forgotten. Your ability to work through complex situations can come in very handy. You need to eliminate distractions and get straight to the heart of the matter. You push a just a little, but you get a powerful reaction. Money will become much more plentiful and easier to come by. It’s a good time to ask for a raise in pay or pay off any outstanding loan. You can improve your credit standing.

Take time to smell the flowers, you’ll be glad you did that. Enjoy the beautiful nature. Mother nature loves you & gives you a message, “Always be happy & enjoy each moment of your life”. Petty jobs demand your time and attention. Don’t worry, this is not permanent. In fact, you may find yourself in a much more sociable mood. Give yourself the right to try some different approaches. A bossy person may shake your self-image. You needn’t copy someone else’s model to be successful yourself. Open the doors & be yourself.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July It’s Time to show, how mature you really are. You’ll be able to take care of current business. A partner could change directions without telling you. If you have any doubts about where you stand, make sure that you ask the right questions and insist on getting answers. Cooperation doesn’t work unless you have all the information. Mind reading is not to be expected. Remember, though, that words alone do not tell the whole story. Pay attention to tone of voice, rhythm, and body language to understand how someone really feels.

Keep recent promise to continue so that will make yourself fit, will benefit you both physically & emotionally. You could be easily irritated by small matters & may not appreciate others criticizing your methods. Try not to turn this into arguments. There are, after all, many ways to approach a problem. Wisdom is about the willingness to take in, with an open mind, the views of others. You’ll be ready to break loose by the weekend. Go do something different! If you need the space, go have a good time by yourself and leave others out of it.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August People will in need for your time & attention. Be sure to spend some quality time with those who really matter to you. Keep some moments for yourself & reflect how funny life can change. If you push hard, you’ll get a lot of resistance. If you use humor and playfulness, you’ll have a much better chance at getting cooperation when you most need it. A friend or colleague may reveal a secret or you may have some information yourself. In either case, discretion is the key. Just because you know something doesn’t mean you have to say it.

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Share yourself & your confidence level will increase. Investigate new possibilities in matters of business & trading. Use your productive time to organize others, lead the way to the top. You may be pleasantly surprised with other’s reactions. Something complicated may come to light. Don’t cover it up, instead clean it up. Problems are sometimes opportunities to show how competent you are and could lead to a more efficient system. You may have to keep hammering away to get your point across.


An intense conversation could be important to you. You may find yourself in the public eye. Objectivity is needed for you to make the best decision. The better choice should become very clear to you. A simple observation can provoke a strong response. You’ll need to have emotional contact with others. You may want to discontinue old friendships and begin new ones with individuals who share your ideals and who you can trust. Information has power when it’s used in the right situation.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March Push yourself to listen to other’s problems & try to make compromises for them. If your co-workers are compatible, you’ll be able to produce great results. If your relationships are less than ideal, this is probably as good a time as any to resolve those difficulties. Keep a smile on your face and you’ll be amazed at what you can get away with. This approach is one that enables you to be strong while appearing gentle. Some intense debate could prove engaging late in the week. Humor, again, is the key to having your say without damaging your relationship. Avoid exaggeration.


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MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE WEEK Turn a Coworker’s Negative Feedback into an Improved Relationship No one likes getting negative feedback — especially from a peer — but demonizing your coworker who was honest with you won’t get you anywhere. After all, they took the time to give you feedback because they care about you and your success. So enlist their help. Schedule a time to follow up on what they told you. It doesn’t have to be right away, especially if you’re still thinking through how to better improve your behavior. But once you’re ready, reach out. Sit down together, tell them that you are intent on improving, and explain how you will measure success. Ask them for their input on your plan and whether they have any suggestions for specific actions you can take. Not only will they be there to support you along the way, but they’ll also be more invested in your improvement — and your relationship. Source: Adapted from “Using Harsh Feedback to Fuel Your Career,” by William Treseder


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Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper February 03 2017  

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

Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper February 03 2017  

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