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Vol. 30 No. 7 Friday, February 17, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: •

PetroChina’s growth in Houston as told by its president Shaolin Li by Shobana Muratee


OUSTON – On Thursday February 9, the Asian Chamber of Commerce (ACC) luncheon, featured guest presenter Shaolin Li, President, PetroChina International (America), Inc. (PCIA) and Chairman, The Houston Chapter of China General Chamber of Commerce-USA to speak on ‘The Making of a Company: Petrochina.’ Based in Houston, Texas, PCIA primarily engages in the trading of crude oil, natural gas, petrochemicals, and refined petroleum products; as well as in operating an international shipping business. As part of PetroChina International’s growth strategy in the

India’s air pollution is now causing 1.1m deaths each year ndia’s rapidly worsening air pollution now rivals China in terms of related premature deaths every year, according to new research.


Western Hemisphere, PCIA was incorporated in 2003 and is based in Houston, Texas. “For the first three years we suffered loss had only three people (including me) in office,” Li spoke of the company’s humble beginnings and early struggles that included social, cultural and even language setbacks. In 2012, PCIA formed a 100% owned subsidiary, PCIC in Calgary as a base for Canadian business. In 2014 another PCIA subsidiary was established in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “As of today we have 165 people, among that 143 are local hire,” Li said speaking of the company’s philosophy to allow suitable people in suitable position to do

suitable things. Shaolin started his career in 1989 at the Dushanzi Refinery in Xianjiang, China, where in 1997 he was appointed as General Manager of the Import Export Division. In 2000, he was promoted to President of the PetroChina International Northwest China Corporation. Shaolin was elected as Chairman of The Houston Chapter of China General Chamber of Commerce in August, 2015. CGCC-Houston has expended from 39 members to 71 members over the past one and half year, and has now become the commercial service Continued on page 7

Shaolin Li President, PetroChina International (America), Inc. speaking at the ACC Luncheon on February 9, 2017. Photo by Shobana Muratee, VOA

Sri Meenakshi Temple Society’s grand celebration of Thaipoosam

Yo-Yo Ma and his ensemble wins Grammy

More than 800 devotees participated in the celebrations including “Kavadi”, “Paalkudam” and reciting the Skanda Shasti Kavasam providing a feast to the eyes and ears.

India’s air now rivals China’s as the world’s deadliest, according to a new study published Tuesday amid warnings that efforts to curb pollution from coal will not yield results any time soon. India’s notoriously poor air quality causes nearly 1.1 million premature deaths every year, almost on a par with China, concluded a joint report by two USbased health research institutes.

Sandeep Das


ello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma on Sunday won a Grammy with his Silk Road Ensemble for “Sing Me Home,” an exploration of the musical connections across Eurasia.

But whereas deaths linked to air pollution in China have steadied in recent years, the rate has soared in India where smog readings in major cities routinely eclipse safe exposure levels. India has recorded a nearly 50 percent increase in early deaths linked to fine airborne particles known as PM2.5 between 1990 and 2015, the report found. (-AFP)

The French-born Chinese American cellist had previously won an impressive 17 Grammys. Ma set up The Silk Road Ensemble to bring together musicians from the historic route that connected the Middle East and Asia, in hopes both of finding artistic commonalities and furthering the cause of intercultural understanding.


India puts record 104 satellites into orbit by Arun SANKAR

viously held by Russia.


“They have hit a century in space technology,” Modi said at an election rally in northern Uttar Pradesh state.

RIHARIKOTA, India | AFP | Wednesday 2/15/2017 - India successfully put a record 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit on Wednesday in the latest triumph for its famously frugal space programme. Celebrations erupted among scientists at the southern spaceport of Sriharikota as the head of India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced all the satellites had been ejected as planned. “My hearty congratulations to the ISRO team for this success,” the agency’s director Kiran Kumar told those gathered in an observatory to track the progress of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the scientists for achieving the feat which smashes a record pre-

The rocket took off at 9:28am (0358 GMT) and cruised at a speed of 27,000 kilometres (16,777 miles) per hour, ejecting all the 104 satellites into orbit in around 30 minutes, according to ISRO. The rocket’s main cargo was a 714 kilogram (1,574 pounds) satellite for Earth observation but it was also loaded with 103 smaller “nano satellites”, weighing a combined 664 kilograms. The smallest weighed only 1.1 kilogram. Nearly all of the nano satellites are from other countries, including Israel, Kazakhstan, Switzerland and 96 from the United States. Continued on Page 11

Onlookers watch the launch of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLVC37) at Sriharikota on Febuary 15, 2017 (AFP Photo/ARUN SANKAR)

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FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

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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

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apanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited President Donald Trump in Florida. While the two convened, North Korea launched a missile that landed in the waters between Korea and Japan. The missile presumably was capable of carrying a nuclear payload. Trump emphatically stated his support for America’s Japanese allies. He said the right things. The U.S. and others have been contending with North Korea’s nuclear ambitions for many years. The Bush and Obama administrations failed to restrain Pyongyang. Although reports depict a Communist Korea in dire straits, diplomacy with the communists always has been doomed. Deterrence must rely


f there is one lesson that all nations with successful ballistic missile programs have learned, from the dawn of the missile age until today, it is that practice makes perfect. Testing is essential, and no one succeeds without it. North Korea’s latest missile launch did not reach the intercontinental range that its leader Kim Jong Un had threatened on New Year’s Day, but the event did show that North Korea is steadily testing and harvesting the know-how. The United States needs a new and serious strategy to meet this challenge. The latest launch was a solidfuel missile, lofted in a high trajectory that flew 310 miles before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea. That’s a sufficient range to worry both Japan and South Korea, vital U.S. allies. The missile may be an adapted version of one known as the KN-11 that North Korea testfired from a submarine last year. North Korea is clearly making progress in the technology of solid-fuel missiles, which are quicker to launch and require less in the way of support facilities. The weekend test was carried out on land from a mobile launching vehicle with tanklike tracks; mobility could give the missile more capability to evade detection. As always with North Korea, there are important unknowns, such as whether the solid-fuel engines or designs are indigenous or somehow imported. Prudently, President Donald Trump refrained from a rash response of the kind he delivered in January, when he tweeted: “North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable

regime bring China and the U.S. together?

on massive retaliation. A Korean strike must invite Korea’s annihilation, the communists need to know. The struggle against ISIS and Islamic terrorism has dominated the Trump administration’s opening days. East Asia also is hot. Trump created a stir when he cuddled up to Taiwan. He subsequently reiterated his support for the traditional policy of one China that

has typified Sino-American relations through successive presidencies. Ronald Reagan confronted a similar dilemma. American conservatives long have preferred Taiwan to the Mainland, and have been right to. The Republic of China remains superior in every regard to Red China. Old China hands know this. The reputation of Chiang Kai-shek, the Generalissimo, continues to wax while the reputation of Mao Zedong

continues to wane. Relations with Beijing will pose peril. Red China’s flirtation with market-Leninism may have consigned the Cultural Revolution to the dustbins of history yet it has not transformed China into Denmark. A common cause between China and America regarding North Korea gives the two powers reason for concern but opportunity for hope. (-Richmond. com)

The U.S. needs a new strategy for North Korea of reaching parts of the U.S. It won’t happen!” There is nothing to be gained right now by drawing red lines. In a brief appearance before reporters late Saturday, Trump wisely emphasized the United States’ support for Japan while standing alongside Prime North Korea reportedly fired a ballistic missile early Sunday in what would Minister Shinzo be its first such test of the year Abe. The tone of their meeting, as Korea — as well as carrots to well as the recent phone call to This points toward negotiaend the North Korean threat. tion. President Xi Jinping of China, suggest Trump is attempting to These studies, and many Two recent studies — one soothe worries in Asia over his others, have emphasized how by the Council on Foreign Reisolationist campaign rhetoric. lations, the other by the Asia China is central to any such strategy. Trump, with his oftNow, Trump needs to focus Society and the University of touted dealmaking skills, enCalifornia at San Diego — on creating a strategy to deal joys a fresh chance to put the have suggested an approach with North Korea. On Monmatter high on the agenda with of pressuring North Korea to day he acknowledged it is “a China and tackle one of the freeze its nuclear and missile big, big problem” and vowed world’s most pressing security programs. The United States to deal with it “very strongly.” problems. He should waste no must be willing to use sticks — There is no plausible military time in doing so. (-Washington such as sanctions and deploysolution that does not risk a Post) ing missile defenses in South major war on the peninsula.

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FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

Second Front Page


Tel: 713-774-5140

40 years of Aradhana to saint and composer Sri Tyagaraja

Local musicians pay tribute to Sri Tyagaraja during the Annual Tyagaraja’s Utsava at MTS. (Photo (s) credit: Lakshmynarayana Setty). by Jay Murali


very January, leading Carnatic musicians gather in Thiruvaiyaru in South India to pay homage (Aradhana) to the famous 18th century Carnatic music composer Sri Tyagaraja at his shrine. This Aradhana is replicated by Carnatic music enthusiasts world over, Houston being no different. In fact Houston can be proud for having kept the tradition alive for 40 years under the banner Sri Meenakshi Temple and the Classical Arts Society and thanks to the leadership of late Srimathi Indu Krishnamurthi, Nalini Mukhupadhyay, Prabha Bala and the Classical Arts Society Board. Each year the Aaradhana offers a platform for over 100 children and adults to sing Tyagaraja’s songs in homage at a 2-day event. Some 500 to 600 people, parents and patrons, attend some or most of the Aradhana each year. 2017 is a milestone year; held on Jan 28-29, it is 40th year of the Houston Aradhana, 25th year of the Classical Arts Society and the 250th birth anniversary of Sri Tyagaraja himself! Jay Murali coordinated the event this year.

Sri Tyagaraja observed a daily Unchavritti (the practice of seeking alms), a self imposed austerity, part of his ascetic simplicity and steadfast devotion to Sri Rama. As a reminder of his austerity, the 2017 Houston Aaradhana started with a Unchavritti procession Continued on Page 9

Sri Meenakshi Temple Society’s grand celebration of Thaipoosam Held on Sunday February 12, 2017 by Kamala Raghavan


EARLAND - Thaipoosam was conducted at MTS on a grand scale on Sunday, February 12, 2017. More than 800 devo-

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tees participated in the celebrations including “Kavadi”, “Paalkudam” and reciting the Skanda Shasti Kavasam providing a feast to the eyes and ears. Thaipoosam is a festival celebrated mostly by the South Indian community on the full moon in the month of Thai (January/February) in many countries around the world including India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, South Africa, Guadeloupe, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, parts of the Caribbean, UK, and USA. The word Thaipoosam combines the name of the month, Thai, and the name of a star, Poosam which is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Mother Parvathi gave Lord Murugan a “Vel “ or spear to vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman. Lord Murugan also known affectionately as “Kandan”, “Velan (one with the spear)”, “Subramanyan”, “Azaghan (the handsome one”, and “Kumaran (the child)” is beloved deity in South India who was also a patron of the Tamil language. The

divine verses on Murugan, “Skanda Puranam” (the legend of Murugan), and “Thirupugazh” adhere to Shaiva principles. Murugan is the embodiment of Shiva’s light and wisdom, and devotees pray to him to overcome the obstacles they face. The festival is celebrated with devotees carrying the “Kavadi (decorated canopy)” on their shoulders, or a “paalkudam (pot of milk)” on their head in a procession to signify carrying a physical burden to implore for help from the God Murugan. The simplest kavadi is a semicircular decorated canopy supported by a wooden rod that is carried on the shoulders to the temple. At MTS, the celebration started at 9:00am at the Ganesh temple with more than 150 decorated “paalkudams” and 113 “kavadis” each. Volunteers spent countless hours preparing the beautiful kavadis and paalkudams during the previous day, as well as cutting vegetables and getting ready for the sumptuous lunch prepared by the kitchen staff under the able direction of Mrs. Rani Chilukuri. The priests performed sankalpam and Continued on Page 3



FRIDAY, February 17, 2017


The People’s Lawyer

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

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Who decides how my remains will be handled after death? Q. I recently prepared my will. That got me thinking about what happens to my body after I die. Who decides whether I will be buried or cremated, and where? A. The simple answer is that you can determine how your remains will be handled after your death. Many people know what they want to happen to their body when they die. You can leave detailed, written instructions for your family, or appoint an agent (such as your spouse) to make the decisions for you. You may include a statement or your wishes in your will or in a separate writing, such as a prepaid funeral contract. You may state whether you choose to be buried and where, or cremated and have your ashes scattered in a specific manner. If you do not indicate how you wish your remains to be handled, the decision will made by one of the following people, in order: 1. your surviving spouse; 2. any one of your surviving adult children; 3. either one of your surviving parents; 4. any one your adult siblings; 5. one or more of the duly qualified executors or administrators of your estate. Although the law will determine who makes the decision if you do not leave

instructions or an agent, the best way to makes things easy and less costly for your family is to make this decision yourself or appoint an agent, in advance. Q. I saw a house listed for sale. I was the first one to make an offer and I offered the seller the full listing price, exactly what he was asking. He refused to accept and said he wanted more money. Don’t we have a contract? Doesn’t he have to sell the house at the listing price? A. This is a very interesting question, and the answer may surprise you. Under the law, when a seller advertises a house for sale, he is merely inviting offers from prospective buyers. As a buyer, your “offer” to buy the house is just that, an “offer.” The seller may accept your offer or reject it. In other words, by putting the house on the market the seller is merely soliciting offers; he is not making an offer to sell. Whether the seller accepts your offer is not based on the listing price, it is based on the market. When there are many interested buyers, the listing price may be just the starting point for negotiations. My guess is the seller had several people make offers at the listing price, and now expects higher offers. Q. I just received a letter from a debt collector telling me that if I didn’t make arrangements to pay he

would take all the money in my bank account. The only money in that account is my Social Security check, which is all I have to live on. What can I do to protect myself? A. It is not necessary for you to do anything to protect yourself; Congress already has protected you. First, no one can take any money from your bank account without first suing you and getting a judgment against you. If he is threatening to garnish your bank account there may have already have been a lawsuit. More importantly, however, under federal law, your social security check is protected from your creditors even if they sued and won. A creditor cannot take Social Security funds when they are in the bank. I suggest you first tell the debt collector you want a copy of the judgment against you. Then, let him know all the money in your account comes from social security, and that you know your legal rights and you expect he will stop making unlawful threats. If the debt collector does not have a judgment, or continues to threaten to take the money in your bank account, he probably is violating both federal and state debt collection laws. My guess is he will stop threatening once he knows you know your rights. If he does not, contact a consumer law attorney.

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

Sharlene Sharmila Richards Attorney at Law

Q: I have heard that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have begun some targeted enforcement actions across the US to locate and remove certain individuals from the United States. Who are these groups of people? A: The Executive Order signed by President Trump on January 25th, 2017 titled ‘Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States’ gives ICE broad enforcement priorities and currently, it is clear that ICE is focused on three groups of individuals: Those with an outstanding order of removal; those who have reentered the US after a deportation even though they were not convicted of a re-entry offence and ‘criminal aliens’ or those with a criminal conviction. It is also important to be aware that other individuals who are found by ICE while in the process of conducting operations to pick up ‘identified individuals’ are also at risk of being detained as they fall within the broader enforcement priorities of the Executive Order. So for example, if ICE show up at your home to pick up your brother who has a criminal conviction or a prior removal order but your mother also lives in the home and her only immigration violation is she is undocumented, it is very likely that she too will be picked up as part of the operation. Q: I was arrested last month for assault and my lawyer says that most likely my case will be dismissed because my accuser had lied. I am very worried that I will also be targeted by ICE. I am not undocumented but I am a visa overstay. A: I like to point out that even though the enforce- E-mail:


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A: The Executive Order does not clearly define what the offences are. It says that those who have been charged with any offence or committed an act that could be a chargeable offence are subject to enforcement. As such, any conviction includes a felony, misdemeanor, DWI or DUI, and traffic violations such as driving without a driver license. Those who have been charged with crimes that have yet to be adjudicated and those who receive improper health benefits or use fake identity or fake social security cards could also eventually be targeted by ICE. Q: What do I do if ICE shows up at my home? A: If ICE shows up at your home, do not open the door. Ask if they have a signed warrant and verify that they do have one. Have ICE slip the warrant under your door or show through the window, if possible, so that you can look at it. If they do not have a signed warrant, ask them to leave. If they have a warrant, it is best to just comply and step out of the house. Do not sign anything provided to you by ICE. You have the right to remain silent and tell them you will need to speak to your immigration attorney and to inform a relative or friend of the situation. Remain calm at all

Q: How can we prepare to deal with being pick-up by ICE? A: It is best to consult with an immigration attorney in advance to know your rights and what forms of relief you may be eligible for in the event you are picked up by ICE. Ensure that you have documentary proof of having been present in the US for at least two years if you have been here for longer than that period of time. If you have children and other family members who depend on you for support, ensure that you have made arrangements for their needs to be taken care of if you are no longer able to be there. These may include giving power of attorney to a trusted individual to make important decisions for your children 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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Tel: 713-774-5140

City cleans up after storm: 40 homes damaged, no injuries Staff set to schedule extra solid waste pickup days, remove debris, and assist residents with paperwork for home repairs

ORT BEND ISD (February 14, 2017) - Each year, Fort Bend ISD’s Multilingual Services invites the District’s elementary and secondary principals to nominate their



UGAR LAND - Sugar Land police will target drunk driving and speed compliance March 4-21.

Some property, homes and traffic signals in the area, above and below, sustained damage when heavy rains and winds blew through the City today. Image courtesy of Missouri City


At this time, the rains and wind have subsided and all traffic conditions have normalized in the City. As many as 40 homes in the Brightwater subdivision reported minor roof damage, downed fences, and escaped pets. Very few power outages are reported in the City;

no injuries have been reported in any jurisdiction. The City’s municipal solid waste and recycling provider, WCA Waste Corp., is assessing collection needs and will schedule additional pickup days this week for areas impacted by the weather. Public Works crews are removing debris from area streets and Inspections and Permits staff will assist homeowners with completing and filing necessary paperwork needed for repairs. Travelers in the Fort Bend County area should remain cautious of the significant impacts to structures along the Murphy Road/Greenbriar Drive cor-

ridor, emergency management officials advise. The officials also advise motorists to drive with caution and avoid walking along streets with damage until proper cleanup is complete. Residents who have missing pets may contact the City’s Animal Control division at 281.403.8707 or visit the Animal Shelter facility behind the City Hall complex, 1919 Scanlin Rd. For updates, please watch the City website:, like us on Facebook— fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter and Instagram—@ MissouriCityTX, and watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse).

FBISD Names 2017 Bilingual and ESL Teachers of the Year

SLPD to target highway safety during Spring Break

ISSOURI CITY, (Feb. 14, 2017) Heavy rains and winds struck the area today, causing some property damage and one traffic lane closure. The severe weather damaged traffic signals at the following intersections: Lexington Boulevard and Murphy Road; and Lexington Boulevard and Brightwater Drive. A downed tree at 4100 Lexington briefly caused one traffic lane to be closed as well.

FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

The “Spring Break Wave” enforcement is funded by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) through a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant. The STEP grant is administered through H-GAC and provides overtime funds for enhanced DWI holiday enforcement that builds on a yearround speed compliance initiative. Holidays traditionally result in more accidents caused by excessive speed and the consumption of alcohol. “Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs often results in poor decisions, erratic driving behaviors and excessive speeds that lead to traumatic accidents,” said Sgt. Daryl Stroud, of SLPD’s traffic division. “You are putting your life and the lives of others at risk.” Convicted first-time DWI offenders face penalties that include fines up to $2,000, six months in jail and loss of driver’s licenses for up to a year.

Lili Dibai outstanding Bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers to compete in the Houston Area Association for Bilingual Education (HAABE) Teacher of the Year Awards Competition. Representing FBISD in the competition this year are: Rosa Villeda, FBISD 2017 Bilingual Teacher of the Year – Goodman Elementary Rose Villeda Kennette Bardell, FBISD 2017 Elementary ESL Teacher of the Year – Ridgemont Elementary Lili Dibai, FBISD 2017 Secondary ESL Teacher of the Year – Sugar Land Middle School As District winners, they will be honored at the HAABE Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 6, 2017 and will advance to the Houston-area competition. Kennette Bardell



FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

Four FBISD Schools compete in the 2016-17 TASB Student Video Contest View all four FBISD videos to help school earn a chance to win great prizes

Cultural Kite Festival Set for March 4 UGAR LAND, TX ¬– Vibrant kites will once again fill the sky at the ninth annual Cultural Kite Festival hosted in partnership with Republic Services on Saturday, March 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the new Brazos River Park and Festival Site. The new location and premier partnership promises an array of festive activities and entertainment throughout the event.


Activities will include a giant, interactive 65 foot obstacle course, two 24 foot rock walls, amusement rides, face painting, henna tattoos and much more for the entire family to enjoy. Throughout the event, children will be able to create their own kites at the kite-making workshop, enjoy kite-flying lessons and participate in several kite competitions for all ages. There is no cost to enter the kite competition. Registration may be completed at or onsite at the times listed below. First- , second- and third-place trophies will be awarded for each category. Category Reg. Time Contest Time Winners Announced Largest Kite 10 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 11 a.m. Smallest Kite 11 a.m. 11:30 a.m. Noon Most Unique Kite Noon 12:30 p.m. 1 p.m. Highest Flying Kite 1 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2 p.m. Chalk Art 10 a.m. through event 2 p.m. Other entertainment includes walk-around characters and stilt walkers who will also roam the park enticing the crowd with their visual artistry and movement. The cultural performance stage sponsored by Primeway Federal Credit Union will come to life with cultural performances from local area groups. All activities and entertainment are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be sold by local onsite food vendors.

ORT BEND ISD (February 14, 2017) – Four Fort Bend ISD schools – Palmer Elementary, Bowie and McAuliffe Middle Schools and Travis High School – are competing in the 2016-17 TASB Student Video Contest, sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards.


TASB invited all Texas students at the elementary and secondary level to enter the contest by submitting short videos (30 seconds to two minutes in length) they created using the theme, “Texas Public Schools Rock!” The purpose of the videos is to share students’ ideas about what makes their schools great. To convey their messages, students were allowed to use live people, still photos and animation. Winning entries will be named in three categories: elementary, middle/junior and high. The first place winner in each category wins $5,000 and second place, $2,500. There will also be a People’s Choice winner (with no monetary award) based on the selections made by visitors to the TASB website. You can support our FBISD

Link to view all four FBISD videos: Services/Communications-and-PR/Student-Video/Contest2017.aspx schools in the People’s Choice contest by visiting the TASB website and viewing the videos. The more views a video receives, the greater the chances

are of winning. (Videos must be viewed in their entirety to count towards a vote.) The People’s Choice contest ends on Saturday, February 18.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers — seminars offered SUGAR LAND—(February 3, 2017)—A caregiver is someone who has taken on the very selfless role of caring for a loved one. Many times, the caregiver has the great responsibility of making sure their loved one’s basic needs are met, which requires work and dedication. By taking care of his or her own needs, the caregiver will be able to better care for those who depend on them. Powerful Tools for Caregivers® is an educational program to help family and friends caring for older adults with long-term health conditions. The free seminar consists of six classes, each of which focuses on different tools that will help guide the caregiver through the caregiving journey. You will learn about setting goals, staying motivated and dealing with feelings of anger, guilt and depression, giving you the increased confidence and ability to cope with the demands of caregiving. This six-week course begins Monday, Feb. 20 and runs through Monday, March 27. Classes are held every Monday from 2:30–4:30 p.m. in the Brazos Pavilion Chapel, first floor, at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. Registration is required. To register, contact or 281.274.7164. Seating is limited.

In addition to the new location change, public parking will be available at the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, 18111 Lexington Blvd. Shuttle services will be provided for the general public and will run continuously between the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land and the Sugar Land Festival Site from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Limited handicap parking will be available at the park. The city of Sugar Land, Republic Services and all other sponsors are extremely excited to host this event for the entire Sugar Land community. “Republic Services will not only make way for additional enhancements needed for the new site but they will also sponsor all of their equipment that will be used to make this event possible,” says Sugar Land’s Event Coordinator Shondra Holmes. For more information about the event, contact Sugar Land Parks and Recreation Department at (281) 275-2885 or visit for a complete listing of events. Don’t forget to like the Sugar Land Parks and Recreation Facebook page at for more event information.

The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce has elected new members to its board of directors, including a new chairman. From left, standing, are: Ben Swan, treasurer; Mike Dobert, pastchair; Rehan Alimohammad, legal counsel, and Keri Schmidt, president/CEO. Seated: Malisha Patel, chair-elect; Dr. Sterling Carter, chairman and Keri Curtis Schmidt, CCE, IOM (Photo: Randy Koslovsky)

• Tel: 713-783-1480 • 713-783-1481 5651 Hillcroft, Houston, TX 77036

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FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

PetroChina’s growth in Houston ..... Award winning Chef Vikas Khanna is Guest of Honor at 4th India House Annual Gala

Continued from Page 1

organization for Chinese and US companies in Houston and eight other states in the Southern US. He holds an Executive MBA from the National University of Singapore. He also has a degree in American and British Literature from the Foreign Studies University in Xian, China.

On the occasion, Linda Toyota, president ACC announced that she would be vacating her position as president of the Chamber to assume her new role as HCC’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing on February 27, 2017. Toyota, who has served as the chamber’s president since October 2011, has 20 years of leadership experience. Among her notable non-profit positions, Toyota served as the Sr. Vice President of Development for the Houston Technology Center and the Development Officer for the Holocaust Museum Houston. In her farewell address, she

urged the ACC members to continue the great work they have been doing to make an impact in the mainstream as Asian community. Make your voice heard was her message. Toyota also requested that members take advantage of the Asian Night at the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo

On Tuesday, March 14, 2017 from 6PM- 9:30PM. Private networking in the Chairman’s Club includes a complete BBQ buffet and open bar and group seating for the Meghan Trainor performance for $100. There are also $25 lodge seats available which do not include the private reception. You can purchase your tickets at www.asianchamber-hou. organ/2017Rodeo.

Linda Toyota receives a token of appreciation from Austin Zhao on hursday February 9.

ACC’s upcoming event is on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Your Future: Your New Business - A business summit for new business owners or those interested in starting a business.

Chef Vikas Khanna with former presidents Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton

Houston Community College West Loop Campus, Auditorium 5601 West Loop South Houston, TX 77087

Three times Michelin starred Indian chef, and Top 10 Chefs of the world in 2017, Vikas Khanna is Guest of Honor at the 14th India House Annual Gala

Key note Speaker: Dr. Stephen Klineberg Founding Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research; Professor of Sociology, Rice University

India House, Houston will hold its 14th annual Gala on Saturday, March 25th, 2017 at J W Marriott Galleria in Houston, TX. Three times award winning Michelin starred Indian chef and top 10 chefs of the world in 2017, Vikas Khanna will be a “Guest of Honor” at the Gala. Other “Guests of Honor” are India Ambassador to USA Mr. Navtej Sarna and USA Ambassador to India, Mr. Richard Verma. Vikas Khanna is one of the most recognized faces of India in USA. He is a restaurateur, philanthropist, cookbook writer, filmmaker, humanitarian, three times Michelin starred Indian chef, top 10 chefs in the world, and the judge of Master Chef India Season 2, 3, 4, 5 and Master Chef Junior Ceremonies. He is a goodwill ambassador of Smile Foundation. He was honored with the Rising Star Chef Award by Star Chefs for his role in shaping the future of American Cuisine. Hi-Blitz Magazine named Vikas in their “50 Most Beautiful List” and People Magazine named him in the list of “Sexiest Man Alive”

Asian Chamber of Commerce Directors, Ambassadors with Linda Toyota and guest speaker Shaolin Li.

He has also received a proclamation

from the Council of the City of New York for his outstanding contribution to the city, and was chosen New Yorker of the Week. He was featured as the consultant chef on the Gordon Ramsay TV show Kitchen Nightmares on Fox and appeared as a judge and Indian-cuisine specialist on the two-part season finale of Hell’s Kitchen. Vikas Khanna was the guest chef in the episode “The India Show” on The Martha Stewart Show telecast. He has authored several books, including “The Spice Story of India” and “Modern Indian Cooking”, and “Flavors First”. His cookbooks won several awards including Benjamin Franklin and Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The annual Gala is the main fundraising event of the India House, with all proceeds going to the day to day community programs and expansion of India House. I am looking forward to contributing to India House, said the Chef Vikas Khanna. We invite Houstonians to come and support India House and its annual fundraising event, said Dr. Virendra Mathur and Dr. Durga Agrawal, founder trustees of India House. This year’s India House Gala event will feature an evening of networking, entertainment, and dinner. For further details, please visit www.

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AARP launches campaign urging opposition to “Age Tax” Congressional proposal would charge older Americans thousands of dollars more for health insurance


ASHINGTON, DC -AARP today launched a campaign against the “age tax,” a proposed unfair penalty on older adults that would line the pockets of big insurance companies, allowing them to charge older Americans over $3,000 more than they currently pay per year. AARP launched a new series of advertising that will also appear in numerous Congressional districts when members of Congress return home for President’s Day week. “AARP urges Congress and the administration to reject the proposed ‘age tax’ bill,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. “This so called “age rating” proposal is Washington speak for an unfair tax increase that only helps insurance companies.

AARP will fight to hold our elected officials accountable for taxing older American families with a burden they don’t deserve and can’t afford.” In its current form, the age tax legislation, HR 708, would penalize middle class American families by changing current law to allow health insurance companies to charge older Americans up to five times more in insurance premiums than other people, a large increase from current law which already allows companies to charge three times more. This proposal would have a severe impact on Americans aged 50-64 who have not yet become eligible for Medicare, and who may also have children under age 26 on their health insurance plans.

Public Policy Institute, Impact of Changing the Age Rating Limit for Health Insurance Premiums, also more specifically shows that changing the 3:1 limit on age rating to 5:1 would significantly raise premiums by as much as $3200 for older adults. AARP’s latest efforts come in addition to their continued advocacy of members of Congress and the Trump administration about the age tax. AARP continues to meet with members of Congress and urge them to oppose the age tax, laying out in detail the negative impact in letters this month and in December. The ads also come as an addition to AARP’s Medicare campaign, which takes on “premium support,” a proposal that would harm Medicare beneficiaries by turning the successful program into a private voucher program.

A report released by AARP’s

Nickelodeon’s Jack Griffo headlines festival’s list of celebrity stars


OUSTON – Tickets will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday,February 8 for the 29th Annual McDonald’s Houston Children’s Festival, returning to downtown Houston April 1-2. This year, the festival is proud to announce its new website. Visit to purchase your tickets, and online buyers will receive a $2 discount off the regular ticket price of $12. The upgraded website provides more detail regarding the entertainment schedule, games and interactive activities, food and beverage as well as information on Child Advocates, the beneficiary of the festival. This year’s festival will also feature the three-time nominee for the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award “Favorite TV actor,” Jack Griffo. Known for starring in the Nickelodeon series The Thundermans, where he plays Max Thunderman, the twin brother who strives to become a supervillain. Griffo first made appearances as an extra in 2011 on the television series Kickin’ It and Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures. He followed-up with several guest appearances on television series such as See Dad Run and

Jessie. Griffo will be at the festival on Sunday, April 2, in the McDonald’s Dream Discovery Zone located in Sam Houston Park. He will appear on the McDonald’s stage from 1:30 – 3:00 pm for two public Q&A sessions, as well a public autograph session where general admission ticket buyers will have the opportunity to receive an autographed photo. To enhance your experience, the festival will offer a limited number of “Backstage Passes” that will allow you to “go backstage” to meet and take a photo with Griffo. These Backstage Passes will go on sale at 10:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2017, online at Festival Director Tony Terwilliger said, “We are proud to announce our featured celebrity Jack Griffo, and we encourage everyone to visit our new website to see all the exciting activities that we have planned for year’s event. Buy your tickets now, and get ready for a weekend full of family fun!” What: The McDonald’s Houston Children’s Festival presented by Baker Hughes is the largest children’s festival in the United States and will be cele-

brating its 29th year. The Festival has raised over $5.4 million dollars over the past 28 years for Child Advocates, Inc. Where: Downtown Houston in the area surrounding City Hall, Houston Public Library Plaza, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park.

“Stress Reduction through Yoga” Workshop Held at Baker Ripley Neighborhood center by Sewa by Anuja Deshpande


ewa team recently conducted yoga workshop “Stress Reduction through Yoga” at Baker Ripley Neighborhood Center on 4th of February, 2017. Most of the members at Baker Ripley center come from low income families and encounter tremendous amount of stress in their daily life. This everyday stress takes a toll on their health and eventually affects the quality of life. Therefore, it is essential that the community members should have access to low cost health care options. To address this issue, Sewa started an initiative in 2016 by name of Yoga for Sewa. Under this initiative, the “Stress Reduction through Yoga” Workshop is designed for people who have to deal with difficult situations in daily life. The workshop started with warm up exercises, followed by sun salutations to bring up the heart rate, followed by yoga postures to help reduce stress, and breathing practice at the end to calm down the mind. The workshop was highly successful with attendance of 15+ participants and with interest to make this a regular session at the community center. Sewa team, that designed and

FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

FIS scores partnership with SAADA


OUSTON - Philadelphia-based South Asian American Digital Archives (SAADA), a nonprofit 501(c3) organization has sought partnership with Houston based Foundation for India Studies (FIS) to create a more inclusive voice to South Asian Americans at the national level by documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent Indian immigrants’ unique and diverse experiences. SAADA’s existing partnerships with Asian Indian Heritage Project, Cleveland; the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, India Association of Minnesota and Minnesota Historical Society have already brought in 3000 unique depositories all of which were digitized in accordance with the U.S. Library of Congress technical preservation standards and are made freely accessible to the public through SAADA’s website: “Our aim is to digitally preserve, and provide free access to the history of the South Asian American community. We would welcome a partnership implemented the workshop include, Yoga therapist Ms. Hasita Kartick, coordinator Ms. Anuja Deshpande, project coordinator Kavita Tewary, and volunteer/translator Ms. Camila Escobar. Sewa team is working tirelessly to arrange these free workshops for low income communities in order to serve

with the Foundation for India Studies and Houston Public Library to bring a greater national awareness to your oral history interviews by including hyperlinks to these interviews from our archives.” said Mr. Samip Mallick, Executive Director of SAADA. Krishna Vavilala, FIS Founder, Chairman, acknowledged that this latest partnership with SAADA will further enhance institutional interest in the FIS projects. Last year, Baylor University’s Institute of Oral History,Waco had entered into similar partnership to consult on preservation of the rich tapestry of Indian Immigrant stories. The Houston Public Library, a working partner of FIS will provide SAADA with hyperlinks of the Indo-American Oral History interviews which are presently preserved in the digital archives of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center,an archival branch of the Houston Public Library. For more information,visit”.or call 713-795-5169. people who cannot afford high end yoga studios or expensive health care options. If you or your community center is interested in conducting “Stress Reduction through Yoga” Workshop, call (281)546 8202 or reach us at For more information, houston/houston-overview.

Thaipoosam Cont. from page 3 puja for the paalkudams and kavadis, and handed them to the devotees to take them around in a procession to the kalyana mandapam. The procession was accompanied by the incomparable “Chenda melam” performed by young MTS devotees. Many youngsters carried the kavadis eagerly, showing that our tradition continues proudly. At the kalyana mandapam the priests did the Abhishekam, Alankaram, and Upacharam for Lord Murugan with Deivayanai and Valli Devis, while the devotees recited “Kanda Shasti Kavasam” and bhajans. The grand finale of the event with a strong divine ambience was the Aarti by the priests. Volunteers distributed the milk from the “Abhishekam” and “Prasadam” bags with coco-

nuts. The “Utsava Murthi” of Lord Murugan along with his consorts Deivayanai and Valli were taken on a procession on the silver chariot or “Ratham” to the main temple for the final Aarthi. Prasadam and “Aan-

nadhanam (lunch)” were provided by the temple to all the devotees. The event was coordinated flawlessly by Dr. T.A. Dorairajan, Malar Narayanan and Muthuraman Solayappan. Chairman thanked the priests

Sri. Manicka Bhattar, Sri. Kalyana Sundaram, and Sri Balaji Sethuraman along with the temple staff and countless volunteers who made the event a pleasure for the devotees, and deserve everyone’s gratitude.



FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

The Hindu Temple of the Sri Meenakshi Temple Society Woodlands hosts Tech-Day celebrated Thai Sukravara Deepa Puja on Friday February 3, 2017

by Beth Kulkarni, (with input from Vasu Rayachoti.)

by Kamala Raghavan


EARLAND Thai Sukravara Deepa Pooja was conducted at MTS on Friday, February 3, 2017 in a grand manner. More than 150 devotees participated in lighting the lamp and reciting the slokas which was a feast to the eyes. The Fridays in the month of Thai is very special for women in performing this pooja. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi showers her blessing on those who worship her on Friday of the auspicious month of Thai and she will help one to achieve what one needs.


he WOODLANDS - The EYS (Education Youth Service) Venture Club of the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands held its Technology Day at the temple on Sunday, February 12, 2017 from 2:30 to 5:00 pm. The program was primarily for the youth of the temple and surrounding community and their parents. Nearly a hundred interested persons attended and participated. The keynote speaker was Mr. Subroto Mukerji, CEO of HP Enterprises. He encouraged the youth to plan ahead and develop their abilities and flexibility to change careers as needed. He noted that

Students giving their presentations

A section of the audience at the Tech-Day. in The Woodlands lifelong learning is a must, with new occupations developing at an increasingly fast rate.

including programming and use of drones and use of digital automation for various tasks.

Dr. C. (Vipu) Vipulananda, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was the main speaker. He gave a very interesting presentation on major research he and his colleagues and students have been doing on developing “smart concrete”. The university owns several patents based on this research and the licensing on these has been sought after for use in various manners both in the USA and internationally. A second topic he covered was nanotechnology. He told of how his lab has produced nano-particles specially for various applications, including in medicine and pharmacology.

Speakers, demonstrators, and members of the audience all found the program both educational and inspiring. The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands is located at 7601 S Forestgate Dr, just off Woodlands Parkway, in The Woodlands (Spring), TX 77382. Established in 2005 and inaugurated in 2010, it serves the religious, cultural, educational, and social needs of the surrounding community, as well as providing services and opportunities to serve others to all age groups. More information is on the temple’s website,

Several young students gave presentations and others participated in demonstrations of some of the projects the Venture Club members have been participating


to the accompaniment of devotees singing Tyagaraja’s Utsava Sampradaya kritis followed later by the rendition of Pancharatna Kirthanas (five gems) led by Rajarajeshwary Bhat. Prabha Bala then emceed a reminiscent discourse on the past 40 years, inviting the pioneering members of the Houston community to be recognized on stage, invoking precious memories. Mayor Tom Reid of Pearland graced the occasion and spoke in recognition of the milestone. Open to the public, the Aradhana had over 100 pre-registered participants offering their individual songs interspersed with special programs and mini-concerts. Rathna Kumar and Padmini Chari, appearing together after many years, danced to popular krithis sung by Anuradha Subramanian, an established Carnatic music teacher. Partha Krishnamurthy conducted an interactive session, engaging the audience to learn and sing a Tyagaraja

Cont. from page 3

composition. A unique item, Guru Shantilal Shah’s students performed a tabla ensemble in Hindustani tradition. The grand finale was titled “Padmaragamalika,” a garland of 40 gemlike compositions in 40 ragas orchestrated by Rajarajeshwary Bhat, sung by a 40-member choir of the Krishna Gana Sudha Academy. So, what began with a 40year reminiscence of a rich tradition by the old, concluded with passing of the baton to the Houston youth to carry the torch, rekindle the flame and keep Sri Tygaraja’s gift of music for generations to come. The Aradhana auspiciously concluded with a Mangalam composed by the musical prodigy, late Sri M. Balamuralikrishna, another commemorative tribute to a legend. There will be events throughout this momentous year in the classical music scene in Houston!

All Fridays of the month “Thai” during Utharayana (when the Sun moves to the Northern hemisphere), is considered very auspicious for the three goddesses- Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. Three beautifully decorated traditional lamps symbolizing the 3 Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi were lit by the priests invoking Sri Meenakshi in the three forms. This unique puja is performed by the individual sponsor family under the guidance of the priests. MTS provided the lamps and all the puja materials. The individual lighting of the lamps symbolizes the invoking of the Goddess in our hearts and signifies that the Light of bhakti, peace, knowledge and prosperity engulfs us and destroys the darkness of ignorance and weakness. Ladies wearing colorful saris were seated in neatly laid out rows in the main

Goddess Lakshmi is adorned for the pooja.

Meenakshi Pancharathna composed by Adi Shankara, with the grand finale event of Deepa Aradhana. The large gathering of devotees were mesmerized by the priests’ recitation of melodious verses in both Sanskit and Tamil, and thrilled by the devotion filled event. Overall, it was a very well organized event and it was performed very traditionally by the priests Sri Balaji Sethuraman, Sri Kalyana Sundaram, Sri Sreedharan Raghavan, Sri Pawankumar Sri Bhashyam, and Sri Sriman Narayana Charyalu. The attendance by over 150 devotees in spite of the rescheduling of the pooja due to the lunar eclipse on following Friday is a testament to the abundant devotion in the MTS community. The

Women devotees performing the Thai Sukravara Deepa Pooja. Temple and performed the puja with great devotion. The highlights of the puja were the kumkum

archana with the chanting of Sri Lalitha Sahasranama Naamavali, followed by Devi Stuthi and

beautiful event was coordinated by Smt. Nachal Sethuraman and Smt. Saro Alagappan.



TiE Global selects eight US women mentors for All-India Entrepreneurship Program Program to be funded by US State Department


UNNYVALE, California - TiE Global (TiE Inc.) has selected eight US-based women entrepreneurs to travel to India to lead week-long workshops for 125 emerging women entrepreneurs. A first-of-its-kind program, the All-India Road Show on Women’s Economic Empowerment through Entrepreneurship (AIRSWEEE), seeks to educate and inspire women in small cities in India about entrepreneurship as a viable and rewarding career path. The US mentors, Ms. Seema Chaturvedi, Ms. Holly Flanagan, Ms. Komal Goyal, Ms. Trista Walker, Ms. Ann Bennett, Ms. Kanchana Raman, Ms. Kristine Quine and Ms. Gurinder Singh, bring subjectmatter expertise from diverse industries and backgrounds. The mentors, from cities across the US including Santa Clara, CA, Denver, CO, Philadelphia, PA, Miami, FL, Detroit

MI, and New York, NY, were selected for their proven track records in launching successful businesses and for their passion promote entrepreneurship. Each mentor contributed a unique business capability in developing program’s comprehensive curriculum. The workshop will equip aspiring women leaders with the knowledge and essential tools to unleash their ideas to create value and opportunity.

and experiences to inspire a new generation of women entrepreneurs.” Mr. Vijay Menon, Executive Director of TiE Global observed, “TiE Global is uniquely positioned to leverage its vast global network to support the efforts of the US mentors to accomplish the mission of Project AIRSWEE and create the multiplier effect.”

On-the-ground efforts will be supported by India-based leaders including Ms. Rita Aggarwal, Ms. Archana Surana, Ms. Zankhana Kaur, Ms. Suili Mukherjee, Ms. Hemalatha Annamalai, and Ms. Shravya Reddy.

TiE Global, with funding from the US Mission in India, US Department of State, will conduct workshops in five cities in India from February 21, 2017 to March 9, 2017. The cities include Coimbatore, Warangal, Jaipur, Nagpur and Durgapur.

Commenting on the project launch, Ms. Seema Chaturvedi, Chairwoman of Project AIRSWEEE, noted, “We were overwhelmed by the phenomenal response from women leaders interested in paying it forward by sharing their time

TiE Global is a not-forprofit organization with the mission of fostering entrepreneurship globally with nearly 12,500 members, including over 2,600 charter members in 63 affiliate chapters across 19 countries. (-Source: BUSINESSWIRE)

Drug addict who shot dead Telangana youth in USA arrested by Nikhil Agarwal


youth hailing from Telangana was shot dead in America’s California by a drug addict who was arrested later on by the police. The incident happened last morning, according to Indian time, when 26-year-old Mamidala Vamshi Chander Reddy was returning after completing his part-time shift at a local store in Milpitas city of Santa Clara County. Vamshi had gone to California in 2013 and completed his MS in Silicon Valley University. While he was looking for a job in software industry in US he recently took a part-time assignment at a local store. “Vamshi’s friends called me

on Saturday saying my son is missing and that an incident has taken place wherein a person was shot at. They later informed me that it was Vamshi who got killed,” Vamshi’s father Sanjeeva Reddy told reporters today. “His friends told me that Vamshi was shot dead by a carjacker who was trying to take away car of a woman at gun point in the parking garage of the apartment,” Sanjeeva said. He said Vamshi spoke to him over phone just two days back. “He was worried about finding a software job there. I asked him to come back and find a job here. We wanted to get him married. He said he would come back home soon but we did not expect such a thing to happen to him,” Sanjeeva said

while fighting back tears. He appealed state and central governments to bring back Vamshi’s body without delay. Local MLA Aroori Ramesh visited the grieving family and consoled them. He assured to extend all possible help to bring back Vamshi’s mortal remains. “I have got report from our consulate in San Francisco. The report says Vamshi was killed by a drug addict on Friday evening at Milpitas,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted later on. “The culprit has been arrested,” she stated, adding that the consulate was in touch with the victim’s family and assured all help and assistance. (-IndiaToday)

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FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

H1B visas help American firms remain competitive: Indian Ambassador to US Indian tech companies have invested $2 billion in four years and paid $20 billion in taxes to the US


ASHINGTON, PTI - H1B visas, soughtafter by Indian IT professionals, help make U.S. firms competitive globally and contribute to generating jobs locally, India’s envoy said in Washington, amid reports the Trump administration plans to cut down the scheme. “The H1B scheme has been crucial in making US companies competitive globally in increasing their client base, in increasing their innovation. And it is the Indian tech industry, which has actually been creating jobs here (in the U.S.),” Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna told CNN on Monday. “There are reports and analysis by very respected houses, which say that over 400,000 jobs have been directly and indirectly supported in the U.S.,” he said, adding that Indian tech companies have invested USD 2 billion in four years and paid USD 20 billion in taxes. H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows American firms to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical

expertise. The tech companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year. “Out of every 100, H-1B visas have resulted in support to 183 jobs in the U.S…. This is very important because the U.S. companies – nine out of the 15 top tech companies in India are American companies,” Sarna said. “This is a relationship which is symbiotic and which has a potential of becoming even stronger for both countries,” he added. India is one of the top sources for international workers in the American tech industry, accounting for a major chunk of all H-1B visas. And any move by Trump, who has vowed to put an “America First” policy, will have an adverse impact in India. However, those demanding a revision of the policy say the programme hurts American interests. In an op-ed piece in ‘Fortune’ magazine, Senator Chuck Grassley argued that the flaws in H1B programme hurt American workers, American innovation, and even H1B workers, who are in many cases “benched” without work or pay for long periods. Grassley is

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and co-author of H1B and L1 Visa Reform Act of 2017. Earlier this year, Grassley introduced the bipartisan legislation with Senator Dick Durbin to tackle these problems and return the programme to its original intent: filling gaps in America’s skilled labour market. Schumer said his Bill explicitly prohibits companies from replacing qualified American workers with H1B workers. It also requires companies to post job openings and make good faith efforts to hire qualified American workers before seeking H1B visas. “Companies would also be prohibited from laying off American workers 180 days prior to and following the hiring of an H1B worker. These provisions ensure that qualified American workers are considered for jobs first,” he said. “To ensure that limited number of annual H1B visas go to the best and brightest workers, our bill prioritises petitions, starting with foreign nationals who received advance science and engineering degrees right here in the US,” he said.

Six Indian players have been selected for the NFL training camp


ANAJI, India, ANI Raju Vasudev Haldankar, a Goan footballer, who had never taken flown in an airplane in his life, will now have a chance to take a dream flight to the United States. The 22-year-old, who came to Sesa Football Academy and played for Salgaocar, now turns out for a club in Calangute, where football is a way of life. He emerged as the big winner in the National Finals of the ?Million Dollar Kick? Season 1, and will now proceed to the US for training and hopefully a career

in NFL as a kicker. The Grand Finals of the ?Million Dollar Kick India - Season 1? was the culmination of City Try Outs in Delhi, Goa, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Shillong, Dehradun and Lucknow. Apart from a trip to US for training and a chance to make in to the big league, Haldankar also received a prize money of 5,000 dollars (equivalent of just over Rs. 3.3 lakhs) besides gifts from Oakley eyewear and Jio phones. Haldankar won the National Finals at the Siri Fort Sports Com-

plex, where it all began a month ago, with a neat 55-yard kick. The first and second runner-up were Dylan D?Costa, who was earlier a wildcard from South Goa Try Out, and Gnanendrasinh Jhala, winner of the Ahmedabad Try Out. Representing a diverse background, Haldankar is a regular footballer with a local club; Gnanendrasinh Jhala, 30, works at the AG Office in Rajkot and Dylan D?Costa is a 17-year-old student in Goa and keen football player.

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32 confirmed dead in Taiwan bus crash tragedy


AIPEI, Taiwan | AFP | Wednesday 2/15/2017 - A Taiwan bus reported to have been taking local tourists home from visiting seasonal cherry blossoms veered off a highway Monday night with 32 known dead, the national fire department said.

The bus was left flipped over on the side of the road. Victims were laid out at the scene covered in white cloths, an AFP reporter at the crash site said.

Local media said the passengers had been returning from a trip to a farm in central Taichung when the bus came off the road in eastern Taipei.

It comes after another bus crash outside Taipei in July last year killed 25 Chinese tourists on board.

Standing up on behalf of China’s women by Luo Siling


he day after President Trump’s inauguration, hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets for the Women’s

March on Washington. Among them were Lu Pin and more than 20 other Chinese feminists who live in the United States and belong to the Chinese Feminism Collective, a new nongovernmental organization to

Investigators said the driver of that bus intentionally set fire to it in a suicide bid before it careered into a crash barrier.

India..104 satellites into orbit Continued from Page 1 Eighty-eight of them are from Planet Inc - a San Francisco-based Earth imagery company - and weigh 4.5 kilogram each. Only three satellites belonged to India. Scientists sat transfixed as they watched the progress of the rocket on monitors until the last payload was ejected, and then began punching the air in triumph and hugging each other. This was PSLV’s 39th successful mission, known as India’s space workhorse. - World record “support feminist activities that are facing sustained political pressure in China.” Using a WeChat account, they sent reports from the Washington march back to China.

Chinese feminists who took part in the Women’s March on Washington last month. They held signs in Chinese as well as in English in front of the Trump International Hotel. (Photo credit: Mengwen Cao)




Grief in blast aftermath

Television reports said that most of the passengers on the bus were elderly.

The national fire department said 32 victims “showed no signs of life” and 16 were being treated The mangled wreak of a tour bus which killed 32 (Photo: EPA) in hospital.


FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

Ms. Lu, 45, a former journalist at the state-run China Women’s News and founder of the influential online platform Women’s Voices, had come to New York from Beijing on March 5, 2015, to attend a meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Back in China,

People mourn the death of a family member who was killed in a deadly bomb blast Monday, during a funeral in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Markets and businesses were closed across much of Pakistan’s Punjab province Tuesday in mourning for over a dozen people killed in the suicide bombing claimed by a breakaway Taliban faction. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary) The launch means India now holds the record for launching the most satellites in one go, surpassing Russia which launched 39 satellites in a single mission in June 2014. And it is another feather in the cap for ISRO which sent an unmanned rocket to orbit Mars in 2013 at a cost of just $73 million, compared with NASA’s Maven Mars mission which had a $671 million price tag. ISRO is also mulling the idea of missions to Jupiter and Venus. The business of putting commercial satellites into space for a fee is growing as phone, Internet and other companies, as well as countries, seek greater and more high-tech communications.

creating a cheap alternative solution. Experts say much of its credibility stems from India’s successful launch of the Mars orbiter, which gave it an edge over its rivals in the space race. “India is proving to be a very viable option because of the cost and the reliability factor,” said Ajay Lele, a senior fellow at the Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. “India has been doing these launches successfully and has established itself as a very reliable player.” Mathieu J Weiss, a liaison officer for France’s CNES national space agency who is currently in India, said ISRO had pulled off a major feat.

India has carved out a reputation as a reliable low-cost option, relying in part on its famed skill of “jugaad” --

“It’s a great technical challenge to launch so many satellites at once into orbit on the right trajectory so that they don’t make contact with each other,” he told AFP.

over the following two days, five women who would become known as the Feminist Five were detained as they planned a public awareness campaign about sexual harassment on public transportation.

purpose was to publicize the case of the Feminist Five and enlist international support, but since the release of the five women, it has continued to be a place to share news and organize political action.

Ms. Lu had worked closely with the women, and when she heard that the police had visited her Beijing apartment, she decided to stay in the United States.

After a woman was attacked at the Yitel Hotel in Beijing in 2016, there were more than a billion views on a related Weibo page, generating widespread concern for women’s security. To me, this demonstrates the broad support for the feminist cause. (

She helped set up a Facebook page, Free Chinese Feminists. Its initial




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FRIDAY, February 17, 2017



Vol. 30 No. 7


Section 2


FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

Tel: 713-774-5140

New York Fashion Week Vaishali S amazes audience the second time

“I’m thrilled to be showcasing my collection in New York. The area of Indian handwoven textiles is very vast, so this time, I’m presenting a beautiful blend of different textiles from different states in India. The collection showcases a unique harmony of contemporary silhouettes, rooted culture and global appeal,” the designer said in a statement.

India-born designer to showcase collection at NYFW Premal Badiani says her Indian collection could open an avenue for Indian textile makers

Described as a unique harmony of contemporary silhouettes, rooted culture and global appeal, the collection will include jackets, drapes, tunics and long dresses. The colour story contains black and white, blue and brown and a hint of gold.

Vaishali S chose Reshma Qureshi as a showstopper for her Spring/Summer 2017 collection. fter giving new hope to acid attack survivors by choosing Reshma Qureshi as a showstopper for her Spring/Summer 2017 collection, Indian designer Vaishali S is set to showcase her new line ‘Chaatak’ in association with Coolpad at New


York Fashion Week (NYFW) on Friday. It will be the second time on the NYFW runway for Vaishali S, who will unveil her Autumn/Winter 2017 collection at the gala.

Vaishali S’s collection will be presented amongst other illustrious names such as Zac Posen, Oscar De La Renta, Carolina Herrera, Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs, the statement read further. Known for her craft of utilizing lesser-known and diverse weaves of India imaginatively, the designer’s new line uses a mix of Khadi, Merino Wool along with other weaves of India. An interesting aspect within the runway collection includes special garments with pockets allocated to place the C1 Coolpad phone. Also, the entire campaign shoot and imagery for the new collection will be presented by using the phone — merging fashion with technology. The collection will also be showcased using jewellery pieces by homegrown label, Brand Mission Pluto. The jewellery is known for sustainability and an inclusive art form, heralding a new wave of recycled fashion. Materials used are scotch brite, washer pipes, plumber pipes, mop heads and A/C Filter foam. NYFW will start on Thursday and will conclude on February 17 in New York. (-UPI)

Above: Designer Vaishali Shadangule (center) worked with 400 Assamese female weavers to put together her exclusive collection ‘Ru-Ba-Ru’ for Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013. Her collection was an ode to these talented weavers that she has worked with for months. Right: A Premal Badiani sari creation for last year’s Lakmé Fashion Week presentation.

Badiani’s latest collection ‘Root Cause’ is based on soft and fluid silhouettes. ndia-born US-based designer Premal Badiani will showcase Indian fashion at New York Fashion Week. She says it could open an avenue for Indian textile makers.

a seasonal choice but needs to be done all year round, she added.

Badiani’s latest collection ‘Root Cause’ is based on soft and fluid silhouettes in warm shades of maroon. The earthy undertones of the fabric are further complemented with the green and gold embroidery that endorses ‘green awareness’.

The designer feels showcasing this line at the New York Fashion Week will bring more opportunities to Indian textile makers.


“The inspiration behind this collection is to bring awareness of the human impact on environment and to promote social responsibility by adopting sustainable fashion as a lifestyle choice,” Badiani said in a statement. “The primary fabric used is made from natural cellulosic fibres and produced from wood pulp, a natural renewable resource,” she said. This highlights the brand’s philosophy of environmental awareness that believes caring about the planet is not

“Through this collection, the brand wants to promote sustainable fashion in the luxury market,” Badiani said.

“This opportunity will open an avenue not only for me and other designers, but also for the entire community of Indian textile makers and handloom weavers to get their craft noticed and acknowledged in the international fashion industry,” said Badiani. Her label Premal Badiani has creations which are marked by layering, embellishments, intricate draping and attention to details. Her show at the New York Fashion Week is on Tuesday. Another Indian name to showcase at the gala is Vaishali Shadangule. (-UPI)



Princess Diana documentary in the works

FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

Image of ‘hatred of our times’ wins World Press Photo award by Sophie Mignon

a world which has been made rotten by the dishonest and corrupt, in order to try to do some good.”


HE HAGUE, Netherlands | AFP - Brandishing a gun, his face contorted with rage, the shocking image of an off-duty Turkish policeman assassinating the Russian envoy to Turkey Monday won the prestigious World Press Photo Award.

He said he was sorry for the death of the envoy, whom he described as a “natural, kind, sincere man” whose death was a direct consequence of the “Syrian catastrophe.”

Judges praised the courage and bravery of Burhan Ozbilici, a photographer for Associated Press, who stood his ground as 22-year-old policeman Mevlut Mert Altintas pumped nine bullets into ambassador Andrei Karlov at the opening of an Ankara exhibition.

“This photo marked an important moment in the history of Turkey, especially in its relations with Russia,” said Ozbilici, who has worked for AP since 1989.

Altintas shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) and “Don’t forget Aleppo” as he opened fire, vowing that those responsible for events in Syria would be held accountable.

Princess Diana’s visit to Taj Mahal in Agra on February 11 1992 (File Photo)


rincess Diana is getting the documentary treatment. The two-night, four-part event will air in August to coincide with the 20th anniversary of her death. A new four-hour telecast looking at the life of the late princess will air in August on ABC, it was announced Monday. Made in partnership with People magazine, the project will air over two nights and coincide with the 20th anniversary of her death. Princess Diana died Aug. 31, 1997, at the age of 36 from injuries sustained in a car crash. The documentary will include interviews with those who knew her best as well as leading Diana experts, which will be interwoven with archival footage of the Princess of Wales, who later became known as “the People’s Princess.” The broadcast will also examine how Diana and her legacy have remained relevant in the years since her tragic passing. Emmy winner Maura Mandt will executive produce the project, which will be produced for ABC by Time Inc. Productions. Time Inc. will also handle international distribution. The two-night special is the latest venture into television for Time Inc., joining People Magazine Investigates for Investigation Discovery; Netflix’s The Mars Generation, PBS’ Beyond a Year in Space, The Making

of SI Swimsuit 2017 for DirecTV Now; and Puppy Bowl: Where Are They Now on Animal Planet. “Princess Diana has appeared on the cover of People 57 times — more than anyone in the history of the People brand,” said People’s Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle. “Our audience has an insatiable appetite for news about the royal family; in fact, they are just as fascinated today as they were when Lady Diana was first introduced to the world back in 1981.” ABC has found success with similar news-driven unscripted fare, most recently with last month’s ABC News special, Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brothers. “Even 20 years after her untimely death, Princess Diana’s legacy continues to impact our world,” said Robert Mills, ABC’s senior vp alternate series, specials and late night. “Our special will honor her memory and all the good that she did in her tragically brief life. Our partners at People are perfect to tell this story as they’ve extensively covered her life throughout the years.” Born Diana Spencer, she came into the public eye when she married Charles, Prince of Wales, the son of Queen Elizabeth, in 1981. The couple divorced in 1996 and she left behind two children, Prince William and Prince Harry.

“From the moment I heard the shots I knew this was a historic moment, very serious,” Ozbilici told AFP. “I knew I had to do my job. As a journalist, I couldn’t just run away to save my skin.” The vivid photo was to go viral around the world, and has been viewed some 18 million times.

- ‘Edge of abyss’ Jury members agreed his photo captured an important moment.

Photo: Burhan Ozbilici

The judges from the World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam acknowledged they had had a tough job to choose the 2017 winner from more than 80,400 images submitted by 5,034 photographers from 125 countries. “It was a very, very difficult decision, but in the end we felt that the picture of the year was an explosive image that really spoke to the hatred of our times,” said jury member Mary Calvert. Agence France-Presse also scooped three awards. Manila-based photographer Noel Celis took third place in the General News category for his photo of inmates trying to sleep in an overpopulated prison in the city. Syrian snappers Abd Doumany and Ameer Alhalbi won second prize in the Spot News category for their pictures of children caught up in the bombardments of Aleppo and Douma. It is the second year in the row that Doumany’s work has been honoured by the World Press Photo foundation.

Top: World Press Photo awarded its top honor to Burhan Ozbilici’s image of a man with a gun standing over the slain Russian ambassador in Ankara in December. Above: Burhan Ozbilici and Managing Director of the World Press Photo Foundation Lars Boering, speak on stage during the announcement of the World Press Photo prizes, (Photo: AFP)

“It’s not easy for these photographers, for these Syrians. It’s taking terrible risks. They are young guys telling their stories from hell basically,” jury president, British photographer Stuart

Ozbilici, who covered the failed coup bid in Turkey and has carried out missions in Syria, Libya and Egypt, said he always tried to be ready for difficult tests, “to have the courage to confront

Franklin, told AFP.

“Right now I see the world marching towards the edge of an abyss,” said jury member Joao Silva, referring to Altintas as a man who had “clearly reached a breaking point. It is the face of hatred.”

Join Dr. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India, Houston & India House, Houston in honoring “Pride of Houston” Ramesh for receiving the 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from President of India Hon. Pranab Mukherjee.

Eiffel Tower to be shielded by 2.5-metre glass security walls


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Travel to the US has slumped following US election


A glass wall will replace metal fences around the Eiffel Tower.AFP Photo.

by Fabienne Faur ARIS, France - The Eiffel Tower, the symbol of Paris, will soon be protected by bulletproof glass walls 2.5 metres (eight feet) high, part of a plan to prevent attacks at the monument, the city said Thursday. The walls costing some 20 million euros ($21.4 million) will be erected this autumn at the northern and southern ends of the monument area, city hall said in a statement. On the western and eastern sides, “inelegant temporary” barriers that were thrown up around the 324-metre (1,063foot) tower during the Euro 2016 football tournament in France last year will be replaced by ornate fencing. “The terror threat remains high in Paris, and the most vulnerable sites, starting with the Eiffel Tower, must be the object of special security measures,” deputy mayor Jean-Francois Martins told a press conference.


The glass walls will prevent individuals or vehicles storming the site visited by six million people each year, he added. Some councillors quoted by Le Parisien newspaper said they feared the walls would turn the iconic tower into a “fortress”. They could turn off tourists who simply want to have their pictures snapped under the tower without visiting the venerable Iron Lady. Martins said that visitors will continue to have access to the foot of the tower -- after undergoing security checks -- free of charge. Removing the unsightly barriers currently in place would give both visitors and locals alike “a nicer view of the monument”, he said. Architects will help design the walls so that they blend in with the river, which borders the tower to the north, and with the Champ de Mars park to the south, he added.

- Olympic bid Security has been boosted around French tourist sites, transport hubs and places of worship after a string of jihadist attacks that claimed 238 lives around the country between January 2015 and July 2016. The continuing nature of the threat was brought home last week by an attack on troops patrolling outside the Louvre museum. The suspect, a 29-year-old Egyptian who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest), was shot in the stomach after slightly injuring a soldier with a machete. The assault came on the day France launched its formal bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, lighting up the Eiffel Tower in the blue, white and red national colours. The tower, which was inaugurated for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, will undergo a major upgrade as part of the bid.

ASHINGTON | AFP Travel bookings to the United States fell 6.5 percent in late January compared to last year in the wake of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, according to a report.

The travel restrictions apparently deterred travelers from outside the seven Muslim-majority countries hit by the ban, according to data from ForwardKeys, a travel analysis firm.

January 28 to February 4 were down 80 percent from the same period of 2016, the report said. But bookings from Western Europe and the Asia Pacific region each fell about 14 percent, while those from

dustry (it earns foreign currency), this is not good news for the US economy.” While he cautioned that the data represents just an eight-day snapshot, the report said the period represents the first consistently long run of declines from the corresponding year-earlier period since before the presidential election in November.

Northern Europe were down 6.6 percent. (The data excludes China and Hong Kong due to the Chinese New Year holiday impact.)

The executive order, signed January 27 and suspended by the courts since February 3, blocked the arrival of travelers and refugees from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Sudan.

“The data forces a compelling conclusion that Donald Trump’s travel ban immediately caused a significant drop in bookings to the USA and an immediate impact on future travel,” ForwardKeys CEO Olivier Jager said in the report.

Arrivals from those countries from

“As inbound travel is an export in-

In addition, total international bookings for travel to the United States for the coming three months have slowed amid the continuing immigration controversy. While they are currently 2.3 percent ahead of last year, they had been running 3.4 percent ahead just eight days earlier, the report said.



Indian doctors prepare ‘world’s heaviest woman’ for surgery

FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

American Heart Association announces ‘Take Avocado to Heart’ recipe contest Participants could take up to $1000, publishing of winning recipe


Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty weighs around 1,100 lbs and had not left her house in more than two decades until recently. (File Photo/AFP)


UMBAI | AFP | Monday 2/13/2017 - Indian doctors put an Egyptian believed to be the world’s heaviest woman on a special liquid diet Monday as they prepared her for an emergency weight-loss operation. Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty weighs around 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds) and had not left her house in more than two decades until arriving in Mumbai at the weekend for bariatric surgery. Doctors said the 37-year-old would be fed only liquid supplements for the next 25 days to help her lose the 50 kilogrammes required before they can begin operating. “Only after all the diseases related to obesity are brought under control and Eman loses weight will we conduct the surgery,” Dr Muffazal Lakdawala told reporters, adding the procedure would take two and a half hours. The specialist weight-loss surgeon said he and his team at Mumbai’s Saifee hospital hoped the surgery would help Abd El Aty shed another 150 kilogrammes. It would allow her to sit up and feed herself, something not possible in her present state. Following the surgery she will spend five months being closely monitored by the Indian specialists and receiving physiotherapy to exercise her muscles before returning to Egypt. Lakdawala said if the initial treatment was successful then doctors could use surgery to

bring Abd El Aty’s weight down to under 100 kilogrammes in a couple of years’ time. The Egyptian, who hails from the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, was flown to India’s commercial capital in a specially modified Airbus on Saturday for treatment. Abd El Aty’s sister had approached Lakdawala in October, saying her sibling needed urgent medical attention. Her family told the doctor that as a child she was diagnosed with elephantiasis, a condition that causes the limbs and other body parts to swell, leaving her almost immobile. Abd El Aty has suffered a stroke and faced a series of other serious ailments owing to her weight including diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension and sleep deprivation. Her request for an Indian visa was initially denied, but she was granted passage after tweeting a plea for help directly to India’s foreign minister, who intervened. Abd El Aty had a long wait as no airlines were willing to fly her due to her health complications. Bariatric surgery is a stomach-shrinking bypass procedure carried out on those wanting to lose excessive weight. It is increasingly common in India, which has a growing problem with obesity, particularly in urban areas. India is a major destination for medical tourists seeking quality services and no waiting lists at a fraction of the cost of western countries.

AI deconstructs phone sales pitches By Peter Suciu, TechNews

1.3 seconds.

aaS solutions firm Gong last week released the findings of a study on sales phone conversations, including an analysis of gender speaking patterns.

Women had a higher degree of success in progressing deals, with a 54 percent probability of reaching the next milestone, while men registered a 49 percent probability, the data indicated.

Women delivered slightly longer sales monologues, averaging about 9-12 seconds longer than those their male counterparts gave, but men generally spoke faster, the study found.

To carry out the research, Gong used artificial intelligence and machine learning technology that was developed to recognize sales conversation patterns.


Men tended to speak at a faster pace, averaging about 2.88 words per second compared to the average 2.79 seconds for women, the study found. Men also paused longer -- averaging about 1.5 seconds compared to women’s

The technology is designed to help companies increase sales win rates, decrease the length of the sales cycle and drive more revenue, the company said. Using AI to examine speech patterns used during a sales call

ALLAS – The American Heart Association and Fresh Avocados – Love One Today® are kicking off February’s American Heart Month with a first-of-its-kind Take Avocado to Heart recipe contest. Because avocados are a nutritious and versatile fruit that can be part of a heart-healthy diet, the two organizations are searching for easy, healthy and original avocado recipes to be judged in three different categories: 1) Appetizer 2) Entrées and 3) Desserts/Smoothies. A first ($1,000), second ($500) and third place ($250) winner will be awarded for each category for a total of 9 prizes. Winners will also have their recipe published on the American Heart Association’s new, online Recipe Hub and promoted through social media. A minimum of one avocado per recipe is required. Judging will be based on originality, ease of preparation and fit within the American Heart Association’s nutrition criteria. Fresh avocados are a hearthealthy fruit[1] that provide naturally good fats and are cholesterol- and sodium-free. Good fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, do not raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and can also help with absorption of nutrients. In addition, replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats, like those found in fresh avocados, may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Avocados are

one way to meet the American Heart Association’s recommendation for daily fruit and vegetable consumption. The Take Avocado to Heart recipe contest is in support of the American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good movement, helping to motivate, inspire and educate consumers to live healthier lives. “Dietary fats are essential to heart health in that they give your body energy and help your body absorb key nutrients,“ said Chef Hamlet Garcia, AHA spokesperson. “Avocados, in moderation, are one of the best foods you can eat to maintain a healthy diet and help keep your risk for heart disease at bay.” “American Heart Month is an ideal time to remind and inspire Americans that simple steps can transform diets and overall health,” said Emiliano Escobedo, Executive Director of the Hass Avocado Board. “The Take Avocado to Heart recipe contest encourages consumers to have some fun in the kitchen with avocados in an effort to do good for their heart and body.” Participants must submit their recipe online at avocadorecipecontest from Feb. 9 through February 27. Terms and conditions do apply. Must be 18 years or older and a U.S. resident. Only one recipe submission per person is allowed. Winners will be announced on March 29 via email and social media.

India puts record 104 satellites into orbit EW DEHLI | AFP India successfully put a record 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit on Wednesday in the latest triumph for its famously frugal space programme.

The rocket took off at 9:28am (0358 GMT) and cruised at a speed of 27,000 kilometres (16,777 miles) per hour, ejecting all the 104 satellites into orbit in around 30 minutes, according to ISRO.

Celebrations erupted among scientists at the southern spaceport of Sriharikota as the head of India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced all the satellites had been ejected as planned.

The rocket’s main cargo was a 714 kilogram (1,574 pounds) satellite for Earth observation but it was also loaded with 103 smaller “nano satellites”, weighing a combined 664 kilograms. The smallest weighed only 1.1 kilogram.


“My hearty congratulations to the ISRO team for this success,” the agency’s director Kiran Kumar told those gathered in an observatory to track the progress of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the scientists for achieving the feat which smashes a record previously held by Russia. “They have hit a century in space technology,” Modi said at an election rally in northern Uttar Pradesh state. can reduce the guesswork involved in improving sales conversations, according to Gong. Its cloud-based AI software is designed in particular to improve the performance and productivity of B2B sales teams by tracking details in sales conversations -but this is just part of what Gong

Nearly all of the nano satellites are from other countries, including Israel, Kazakhstan, Switzerland and 96 from the United States. Eighty-eight of them are from Planet Inc - a San Franciscobased Earth imagery company - and weigh 4.5 kilogram each. Scientists sat transfixed as they watched the progress of the rocket on monitors until the last payload was ejected, and then began punching the air in triumph and hugging each other. can provide to sales teams. Gong’s AI package combines natural language processing tools with machine learning to analyze, categorize and even quantify sales conservations that can be used to determine what is working -- and more importantly, it can be an important tool.

Meenakshi Bhattacharjee

This therapy is used in a wide range of settings from individuals to hospitals and health spas and to treat a variety of conditions. In general it seems to relieve pain, improve moods and promote a sense of relaxation. In fact several EO’s like lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon, sandalwood and others have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress and depression. Several clinical studies suggest that when EO’s (particularly rose, lavender and frankincense)were used by qualified midwives by which pregnant women felt less anxiety and fear and had a stronger sense of well- being and therefore needed less pain medications during delivery. Many women reported less nausea and vomiting during labor. Massage therapy with EO’s combined with medication may benefit people with depression. The scent is thought to stimulate positive emotions in the brain but the benefit seem to be related to the relaxation caused by the scent and massage. In one study Neroli oil helped to reduce blood pressure and pre procedure anxiety among people undergoing a colonoscopy. Preliminary studies have shown that the chemicals in EO’s have shown anti- bacterial and anti- fungal properties. Some evidence suggests that citrus oil may strengthen the immune system and peppermint oil may help in digestion. Fennel, aniseed, sage, and celery sage have estrogen like compounds which help to relieve symptoms of pre- menstrual syndrome and menopause. Other conditions in which aromatherapy may be helpful are hair loss; agitation related to dementia; anxiety; constipation; insomnia; pain of rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, headaches; itching; and psoriasis. Should anyone avoid aromatherapy? Pregnant women, people with severe asthma and people with a history of allergies should only use EO’s under the guidance of a trained professional with full knowledge of your physician. People with high blood pressure should avoid stimulating EO’s. People with estrogen dependent tumors should not use oils with estrogen like compounds. People receiving chemotherapy should talk to their doctor before starting aromatherapy. Is there anything to watch out for? Most tropical and inhaled EO’s are generally considered safe. One should never take EO’s by mouth unless under the guidance of a trained professional with full knowledge of your physician. Some oils may be toxic. Rarely aromatherapy can induce side effects such as rash, asthma, headaches, liver and nerve damage as well as harm to the fetus. Some oil can irritate the skin, so avoid using near the eyes. Also before use water or base massage oil should be mixed to the EO’s in such cases. EO’s are highly volatile and flammable so they should never be used near an open flame. So next time you want to relax check out this amazing therapy and see how it calms you through its fragrance.

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Fragrances that Cure - PART II by Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Mode of action of essential oils: EO’s act as plant hormones, regulating plant functions and orchestrating the production of vitamins and enzymes. They act as messengers and supervisors within the plant that help coordinate and initiate vital plant activities. EO’s can also do the same when applied to humans. They can act as neurotransmitters, peptides, steroids, hormones, enzymes, vitamins, and other messagecarrying molecules (called ligands) which intelligently assist our bodily functions and help to restore or maintain wellness. Homeostasis is that state where every vital biological process within a living organism is functioning as it should. It is a state of perfect wellness. EO’s always work toward restoring and maintaining balance and homeostasis, first in the plants who create them, and then in the humans who apply them. To say that an essential oil works toward balance and homeostasis means that the same oil can work in different directions depending on the needs of the plant or person. Oregano oil (Origanum vulgare) will kill hostile microbes while nurturing those that are friendly. Angelica oil (Angelica archangelica) can stimulate a uterus to contract or to relax depending on the need. Myrtle oil (Myrtus communis) is an adaptigen that can stimulate an increase or a decrease in thyroid activity depending on a person’s condition. Pharmaceutical drugs are incapable of such intelligent discriminations and act only in preprogrammed directions. How does Aromatherapy work? Researchers do not know the exact method aromatherapy works. They believe that our sense of smell may play a role. The smell receptor in the nose communicates with parts of the brain (amygdala and hippocampus) that serve as store houses of emotions and memories. When we breathe in essential oil molecules they stimulate the above mentioned parts of the brain and influence physical, mental and emotional health. It is believed that the EO molecules may interact with the hormones and enzymes in the blood. What is aromatherapy good for?

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Section 2

Young Life


A spate of student suicides is forcing Hong Kong to confront its cutthroat school system “Going to school was like going to prison.” han Yu-ling, a fourth suicide. Last year, Singapore’s grade primary school teenage suicide rate reached a student in Hong 15-year high. In India, a village Kong, gave a powerful testi- known as the country’s test mony (video) last month when prep capital has seen dozens of the city’s legislature convened suicides in recent years. a special session to address In Hong Kong, the spate of the rising number of student suicides has led the government suicides, which has called at- to establish a Committee on tention to the cutthroat local school system. “In the classroom, I was not allowed to move, drink water, eat, go to the toilet, or talk,” said Chan, whose parents eventually removed her from the local school system and placed her in an international school. “The teachers spent little time teaching. We spent most of our time doing mock exams.” All work and no fun (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) Since the 2015 school year began, Hong Kong Prevention of Student Suicides students have been taking their last year. After reviewing 71 lives with alarming frequency. suicidal cases (pdf, p.15) over Thirty-five students commit- the past three years, the comted suicide in 2016. This month mittee in November called for a alone, three students leaped to review of the education system their deaths in a little over a (p.102). A local concern group week’s time, two of the cases of psychologists last year urged students to sign a “no-suicide within 24 hours of each other. contract” proposed by the govThe toll of academic stress ernment, which asked students on students’ mental health is to “promise not to harm myself a common story throughout or commit suicide.” Asia, where families place high Cheung Siu-chung, a secondvalue on grades, education systems are often centered around ary school history teacher and exams, and in some countries member of the Hong Kong Protest scores alone can determine fessional Teaching Union, said whether students are admitted that the rash of suicides “is the to university. In South Korea, accumulative effect of the eduthe leading cause of death for cation system.” those between 15 and 24 is “Under this education sys-


FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

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Dartmouth student’s yoga program helps injured brains heal

tem, students are evaluated like stocks, and teachers are like fund managers who need to boost the stocks,” he says. “How can you expect students to not feel pressure?” Hong Kong’s emphasis on testing starts from an early age for students in the local school system. The government-led Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA), a system closely

Kyla Donnelly Pearce participates in a session at Mighty Yoga in Lebanon, N.H. (Photo: VNews)

connected to local school performance evaluations, is embedded through the primary and secondary school system. Starting in the third grade of primary school, students take the first TSA, which tests them on subjects of math, English, and Chinese. In post-secondary school, students take the Diploma of Secondary Education Examination to compete for a limited number of spots at eight Hong Kong universities. The heavily score-driven culture has raised wrath among parents. In 2015, nearly 40,000 (link in Chinese) parents signed a petition urging the government to cancel the TSA for third graders. (

by David Corriveau


ANOVER, N.H. (AP) - For almost 20 years after hitting her head on an overhanging shelf at work, Mary Nelsen struggled to remember little things, to read, to rise out of her chair, to just move through the world and engage with other people.


“My brain felt like a bowl of chips and dip when I was done,” Nelsen said recently, during a telephone interview from her home in Canaan. “Or like hitting the perfect wave when you’re surfing or body surfing. You feel loved. You want to love yourself.”

So when she learned in 2014 that a master’s degree student at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI) was recruiting patients with brain injuries for a study of how practicing gentle yoga regularly might help them cope, the then-50-yearold Nelsen decided to try.

Nelsen loved the feeling enough to continue attending one of the weekly yoga sessions that evolved from the pilot program of yoga therapy for patients with acquired brain injury (ABI).

By the end of her first session of focused breathing, meditation and easing into poses with study leader and certified yoga instructor Kyla Donnelly Pearce, which included sharing her experiences with other patients, Nelsen found herself thinking about her favorite

In a study of the program, which the British medical journal Brain Injury published in December, Pearce and her team concluded that “yoga interventions have the potential to benefit multiple aspects of ABI survivors’ quality of life and contribute to rehabilitation goals, including a positive sense of self, psychological

well-being and community integration.” Alex Korb, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at UCLA who studies how yoga affects stress and the brain. He shares with Psychology Today that “the specific thoughts you have may differ, but the brain regions involved and the physiological response will be the same. The physiological stress response means an increase in heart rate, breathing rate, muscle tension, and elevation of cortisol and other stress hormones. “Our current response to stress feels natural and hard to combat, because they are habits that most likely were picked up when you were young, witnessing your parents’ responses to stress. We have absorbed these same habits. Our brain currently knows how to react to stress, love, challenge, and struggle. It is referred to as “our response factor.” (

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FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

Bollywood -Hollywood

Section 2


Pakistanis condemn ban on Bollywood blockbuster ‘Raees’

Satellite rights for Dhoni biopic sold for Rs. 55cr? by Subhash K. Jha


f money talks, then here’s what it says about cricketer M S Dhoni: he is a bigger superstar than even Salman Khan.

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Never expected this position - Nani

Proof of this lies in the fact that satellite rights for the Dhoni biopic (MS Dhoni: The Untold Story) have been sold for a higher price than Salman starrers. An inside source in the know, spills the beans on the staggering financial arrangements that eventuated in the making of the Dhoni biopic.

Fans dismissed the concerns, with many arguing that art can be about politics but politics should have no place in art. AFP Photo. “This ban on #Raees is an example SLAMABAD, Pakistan | AFP of the kind of absurdities Pakistan’s | - Pakistan’s ban on Bollywood moral crusaders and grovelling buthriller “Raees” sparked a social reaucrats can attain on their own,” media backlash Wednesday, after the tweeted Pakistani film maker and jourfilm featuring Indian superstar Shah nalist Hasan Zaidi. Rukh Khan was denounced for por-


traying Muslims as “terrorists”.

The government decision to bar the 2017 action film came after Pakistani cinemas lifted their own ban on Indian films. Bollywood movies and Khan in particular are immensely popular in Pakistan and the film also stars a leading Pakistani actress, Mahira Khan. But the industry has become a political battleground amid heightened tensions between the nuclear-armed states in the disputed Kashmir region. The film “portrays Muslims as terrorists and violent people”, Mubahsar Hassan, chairman of the Pakistan Film Censor Board, told AFP. A second official complained about the comparison between Muslims and Hindus. “This film gave a message that all Muslims do bad things and are involved in crimes while Hindus are gentlemen and they stop them from the dirty work,” he told AFP on condition of anonymity. But fans dismissed the concerns, with many arguing that art can be about politics but politics should have no place in art.

“Ban on Indian movie Raees is a ban on #Mahira for her barely acting debut. Why Pak censor boards hate Mahira so much?” said writer Haji S Pasha. Some, however, backed the censors. Yasmeen Ali, a lawyer and univeristy professor, wrote: “I support the ban on #Raees owing to showing muslims of a particular sect of Islam conducting heinous crimes & being terrorists”. Pakistani cinemas last October announced a ban on Indian films following strained relations between Islamabad and Delhi, lifting it only last month. For its part, the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association banned Pakistani actors and technicians from working on Bollywood sets after last year’s tensions. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from Britain seven decades ago, two of them over Kashmir.

Says the source, “Dhoni was given Rs. 45 crores for the movie-making rights to his life and access to personal information, documents and pictures, plus Dhoni’s availability for marketing and promotion of the film. In contrast, Sushant Singh Rajput was paid a mere Rs. 2 crores to play Dhoni. In fact Dhoni’s business manager Arun Pandey received much more money than Sushant. Pandey got Rs. 5 crores.” This very reliable source places the complete budget of Dhoni: The Untold Story at Rs. 104 crores, and adds that the cost of making the film has already been recovered before the film’s release. Another Rs. 20 crores have been recovered through various on-screen endorsements by Sushant Singh Rajput of products that Dhoni endorses. (


YDERABAD - Natural star Nani, who has completed a double hat-trick with the success of his latest release ‘Nenu Local’, has thanked Telugu movie lovers for receiving his films so well. Via a video byte, Nani said that he was a bit disappointed earlier as for the first time he wasn’t in India on the day of his film’s release. ‘You have however made the film a great success and placed me at a position which I hadn’t thought of achieving even in my dreams,’ said the elated actor.

Hrithik Roshan on the success of Kaabil


ollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan has said the success of his most recent release ‘Kaabil’, makes him happy for his father and producer Rakesh Roshan. “‘Kaabil’ getting 200 more screens in the second week is a sign from the universe that one must just focus on good work and leave the rest to God. This is a huge victory. I want to thank all the ‘Kaabil’ fans for mak-

The talented actor cited the busy shooting schedules of his new film for his late response to thank everyone for making ‘Nenu Local’ a big hit. Nani added that the responsibility on his shoulders has gone higher and he promised that he would work double hard in order to meet the expectations of Telugu audiences on him and his films. He is currently shooting for debutante Siva’s film in the US. He will next act in the direction of Venu Sriram for a project to be produced by Dil Raju. (

has changed on a personal level.

ing this happen” “It is unprecedented and I feel especially happy for my father who remains one of the few active and successful non-corporatised producers in our film industry. My gratitude to all the forces who made this happen,” Hrithik said. Talking about the clash affecting the personal relationship between him and Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik said nothing

“It’s not between me and Shah Rukh on a personal level. We are just actors and our equation remains fine. Having said that, if there are two good films made, they shouldn’t clash, it’s unfair” “The only people who suffer as a result of it are the audience. It’s not feasible for them to watch both movies. It’s an expensive affair. At the end of the day, the industry too loses on about `100 crore worth of money. Every film should to be allowed to do their best. Such a clash is not healthy.” (-Indicine)

The Pakistani censor board officials said other Bollywood films such as “Kabil” and “Ae Dil hai Mushkil” can still be shown as they do not contain objectionable content.

SHOCK! Disha Patani revealed that people used to find her ugly '^/ŶƚĞƌŶĂƟŽŶĂůĚƵĐĂƟŽŶ /ĨLJŽƵŚĂǀĞĨƌŝĞŶĚƐŽƌƌĞůĂƟǀĞƐǁŚŽĂƌĞƉůĂŶŶŝŶŐƚŽƐƚƵĚLJŝŶŵĞƌŝĐĂ͕ĂůůƵƐ͊ '^͞tŽƌƌLJ&ƌĞĞ͟/ŶƚĞƌŶĂƟŽŶĂů^ƚƵĚĞŶƚ^ĞƌǀŝĐĞĂŶĚDĂŶĂŐĞŵĞŶƚ^LJƐƚĞŵ͘ ŶĚͲƚŽͲĞŶĚ͕ŽŶĞͲƐƚŽƉĐŽŵƉůĞƚĞƐĞƌǀŝĐĞ͘zŽƵǁŝůůƌĞĐĞŝǀĞĂĐŽŵŵŝƐƐŝŽŶ͕ƚŽŽ͘


isha Patani has made a revelation that most of us self-doubting Internet kids would, at first, find shocking and then seconds later, comforting. Recently, while in a conversation with YouTuber Hanee Chavan, the actress spoke about her insecurities as a teenager, “People used to find me ugly… I used to be a very shy kid.” She went on to reveal her dream of becoming an Air Force Pilot, and ending up in Bollywood by fluke. Her advice to teenagers? “You have to believe

in yourself. You have to get up and fight your inhibitions.” During the conversation, Disha revealed that she is not studying anymore and disclosed about how she was always the unlucky girl. She added that nothing lucky has ever happened to her but has worked hard to achieve her dreams. Sending a message to the teenagers of today, she asked them to believe in themselves and urged women to learn self-defence and not be dependent on anyone. (









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FRIDAY, February 17, 2017


Section 2


Heart Month 2017: Here’s how you can make your diet heart-healthy

- Unsaturated fats Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated “good” fats can help boost heart health. Add in monounsaturated fats, for example olive oil, rapeseed oil, almonds, unsalted cashews and avocado, or polyunsaturated fats, such as sunflower oil and vegetable oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds and oily fish. However remember that all fats and oils — including the healthier ones — are high in calories, so even unsaturated fats should only be used in small amounts. - Fibre and protein “Fibre is important for gastrointestinal motility, blood sugar control and lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol,” Rivers said. “Fibre is great for appetite control because it can fill you up and keep you feeling fuller for longer.”

Including plenty of vegetables in your diet is one way you can help to boost your heart health (Photo: Shutterstock)


ith February declared Heart Month, many countries and organisations around the world are encouraging all to start good habits now that will help improve our heart health not just for February but for life. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease is the leading global cause of death, with 2,200 Americans dying each day from heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that a poor diet is one of the most influential lifestyle choices that put people at a higher risk for heart disease, and a nutritious, balanced diet is a major factor in combating the most common type of heart disease, coronary artery disease, which results from a build-up in coronary arteries. Thankfully though diet can be easily modified, with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) also adding that even if already have a heart condition, a healthy diet can still benefit your heart and overall health. Here we round up some expert advice from the AHA, CDC, and BHF on how everyone can maintain and enjoy a heart-healthy diet. - Fruit and vegetables Aim for at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day for a well-

balanced diet. Try to vary the types of fruit and vegetables you eat; Carleton Rivers, MS, RDN, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Health Professions and program director of the UAB Dietetic Internship advises, “Choose vegetables that have a rich colour like dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and zucchini.” “Just be sure not to substitute fresh fruits with 100 percent fruit juice or dried fruit,” she adds, which can be higher in sugar and lower in fibre than fresh fruit. However although fresh is great, the BHF notes that frozen and tinned also count. And as a guide a portion is around a handful (80g or 3oz) of fruit or veg, for example 4 broccoli florets, 1 pear, 3 heaped tablespoons of carrots, and 7-8 strawberries. - Saturated fat Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which can increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Try to reduce your intake of fatty cuts of beef, lamb, and pork and poultry skin, and dairy products such as lard, cream, butter, and cheese.

Is shrimp healthy? by Meher Mirza


hrimp has insinuated its way into kitchens around the world. There’s delicately-spiced potted shrimp and creamy retro favourite - shrimp cocktail - for the British. In Brazil, shrimp is stuffed into the bellies of rissoles and pastels, and tossed into stews. Shrimp finds its way into New Orleans’ jambalaya and sits on a bed of creamy grits in South Carolina. In China, tiny dried shrimp that are flake-thin are tossed into sauces and stir fries to pump up the umami flavour. In Spain, little curls of shrimp transform into gambas al ajillo and paella. Closer to home, Kerala produces a delectable shrimp pickle, whereas my Chennai-born friend whips up a vividly-flavoured shrimp kuzhambu, and in Pondicherry I found kadugu yerra, a tangy, coconut shrimp Meanwhile, in Goa, a friend’s mother married two unusual ingredients shrimp and okra - to make a glorious dinner dish (and next day, a balcao!). Parsis make shrimp patio, which is a sort of spicy gravy accompaniment to dal and rice. That’s just skimming the surface -- if I dig deeper, a plethora of shrimp recipes will rise to the surface. Obviously, the world loves shrimp. According to the World Wildlife Organisation, it’s one of the most valuable traded marine products in the world today - around six million tons is consumed annually! Most shrimp farming happens in China, followed by Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Brazil, Ecuador and Bangladesh, and is imported by the USA, Europe, Japan etc. There’s no doubt that shrimps are a rather healthy choice, in and of itself. For one, they have very high levels of dietary protein A large part of the edible parts of shrimp contains water. Of the remaining portion, nearly 80% is protein. That makes it about 19 grams of protein per 100 grams of shrimp, which is a nice, comfortable amount for people with a protein deficiency (some studies say that’s most of us in India). This is a number that holds true for both farmed and wild shrimp.

In an article written by J. Syama Dayal, A. G. Ponniah, H. Imran Khan, E. P. Madhu Babu, K. Ambasankar and K. P. Kumarguru Vasagam, (all of whom were part of the Central Institute of Brackish-water Aquaculture in Chennai, at the time of publishing), the authors extol the health virtues of shrimp. Not only is it tremendously protein-rich, it has a high fullness factor (3.3 with a maximum of 5), which means eating a little will fill us up quickly. Plus, its lipid content is fairly low while it is rich in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and selenium. So far, so good. - The Cholesterol Controversy The biggest millstone around the shrimp’s neck is that it is considered a cholesterol bomb. The authors of this paper however, cite various studies that appear to depict that there is “no sound scientific evidence to support this assumption, in particular, the relation between shrimp cholesterol level and occurrence of cardiovascular disease”. This is backed up by a study conducted by D Mozaffarian and J. H. Wu, on Omega 3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease, in 2011. Equally convincing is that in the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released by the Agriculture and Health and Human Services Departments last year, shrimp has been included as part of a healthy diet, in part, thanks to its lowfat properties. Of course, this does not mean that you throw caution to the wind and buy up your fishmonger’s entire shrimp stock. Shrimp should be considered as part of an overall healthy diet that is rich in vegetable, fruit, whole grain, low-fat dairy and protein that contains relatively low amounts of saturated fat (poultry, beans, soy, nuts, seeds etc). The US dietary guidelines suggest eating two or three servings per week, of a wide variety of low-mercury seafood. And it goes without saying that people with already existing cardiovascular problems and diabetics (or those at a risk for these things), should be frugal with their shrimp consumption. But for the rest of us who are largely healthy, shrimp seems to have been given the green light.

Whole, fresh fruit and vegetables are good sources of fiber, as are whole grains such as brown rice, wild rice, whole oats, and wholegrain barley, and legumes, beans and peas. Protein is also needed as part of a balanced diet to build and maintain muscles and can be found in a variety of sources such as lean meats cooked using a low-fat method, such as baking. - Salt Eating too much salt can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, which in turn can increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Try seasoning your food with herbs and spices for extra flavour to reduce your salt intake. - Alcohol Stick to the recommended guidelines and remember, everything in moderation. Although the AHA, CDC, and BHF all encourage a heart-healthy diet, Rivers says a “cheat day” is OK occasionally and a little bit of what you like rather than depriving yourself entirely will help you stick to a nutritious eating plan. Your favourite piece of chocolate or guacamole and tortilla chips are what Rivers recommends as two heart-healthy treats to have on “cheat days,” adding that, “The occasional bite of dark chocolate or a nice glass of pinot noir is a perfect reward for your efforts to sustain your heart health.” ( - Is shrimp clean? If you source your shrimps from a clean source, then you can rest easy that it is a nutritious food. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Shrimp is widely known to be a repository of environmental pollutants that are present in the water around it. Our seas are pumped with contaminants and shrimp absorb these and therefore, we, in turn, consume the tainted shrimp. Farmed shrimp are not much safer because they tend to be fed antibiotics and chemicals etc. We should be aware that not all seafood undergoes stringent checks, making us susceptible to illness. - The Environmental Impact Of course, there are more things to consider when buying shrimp, and the biggest among these is the environmental impact. Firstly, shrimp’s popularity has led to it being over fished, with many species being close to extinction. Since shrimp is food for dolphins and other marine animals, those creatures are at risk, as well. Shrimp aquaculture is also not without its problems. Since shrimp feed on plants and fish, massive amounts of fish are being depleted. Another frightening problem is that it has led to massive depletion of mangroves, since a large amount of shrimp farming is done in those areas. The more shrimp we eat, the more mangroves get destroyed. Why should we care? Not just because these unique ecosystems

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White House Says Medicare Should Leverage Its Buying Power to Pull Down Drug Prices


rug companies could be forgiven if they’re confused about whether President Donald Trump thinks the government should get involved in negotiating the price of prescription drugs for Medicare patients.

Just a few days before Trump was sworn in he said the pharmaceutical industry was “getting away with murder” in the way it prices medicine, and he promised to take the industry on. It was a promise he’d made repeatedly on the campaign trail. “We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly,” he said in a news conference in early January. “We’re going to start bidding and we’re going to save billions of dollars over a period of time.” But last week, Trump appeared to walk that vow back when he met with the leaders of several giant pharmaceutical companies at the White House. “I’ll oppose anything that makes it harder for smaller, younger companies to take the risk of bringing a product to a vibrantly competitive market,” he said, sitting around a table in the Roosevelt Room, flanked by leaders of five large drug makers. “That includes price fixing by the biggest dog in the market – Medicare — which is what’s happening.” So on Tuesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer cleared up the confusion, for now at least. Spicer went on to say that the U.S. should be doing what other countries do — bring the government’s purchasing power to bear to get a better deal on medicine prices. “So his commitment is to make sure that he does what he can,” Spicer said, “and, I think rather successfully, use his skills as a businessman to drive them down.” Current U.S. law prohibits Medicare officials from interfering in the negotiations between drug makers and the insurance companies that administer Medicare’s prescription drug plans. Medicare accounts for about 29 percent of all spending on prescription medicines in the U.S. each year. So, would bringing Medicare’s huge purchasing power to bear in talks over prescription drug prices actually reduce those prices? The only government report that looks at the issue is a 2007 Congressional Budget Office study that concluded that it would have

a “negligible effect” on prices. Dr. Walid Gellad, director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at University of Pittsburgh disagrees. “There’s a reason why the pharmaceutical industry does not want Medicare negotiation to happen,” Gellad told NPR. “And the obvious reason is because it will lower prices.” If Medicare, for example, said it would pay for only one of the two major Hepatitis C medications on the market today — drugs that cost upwards of $40,000 for a course of treatment — Gellad estimates the drug makers would cut the price by at least $10,000 to win the government’s business. That sort of negotiating is already allowed at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “If Medicare were to get the same prices for drugs as in the VA you’d have billions, tens of billions of dollars of savings,” Gellad told NPR. The Medicare prescription drug program was created in 2003; the program’s drug coverage is handled exclusively by private insurance companies. There is no direct government pharmacy coverage. That means each insurer negotiates prices for medications separately. If one insurance company strikes a deal regarding one drug, another company may negotiate a better price for a competing medication. To choose right Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D Drug plan OR Medicare Advantage Plan, contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.

(such as those of the Sunderbans) are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and should be protected, if only for that. But also because their annihilation leads to surrounding areas becoming more and more susceptible to storms, hurricanes and cyclones. Entire vil-

lages and towns are obliterated, and as a result, more and more people. Still, some tentative steps are being taken to make shrimp farming sustainable, but we have a long way to go yet. But that’s a story for another day. (

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



FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

US fashion world asks: Where are all the minority designers?

Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day gets chilly reception in parts of Asia

by Laura Bonilla


EW YORK CITY | AFP | Thursday 2/8/2017 - As New York Fashion Week opens, a glaring near-absence stands out: why are there so few black models and designers at the pinnacle of the industry? For that matter, is there such a thing as black fashion, and should black designers feel the weight and responsibility of their history and heritage? A symposium held by the Fashion Institute of Technology this week and a major exhibit open until May have launched the debate on a more public scale. The events seek to celebrate dozens of black designers who, the FIT says, are often under-recognized and under-represented. African American designers account for just one percent of those covered by, the main website for following fashion weeks around the world, said Ariele Elia, co-curator of the Black Fashion Designers exhibit at FIT. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Discrimination still occurs in the fashion industry, both with designers and models,â&#x20AC;? Elia told an auditorium filled with academics, students and designers. - â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;A sad thingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; But many say they are tired of being seen as â&#x20AC;&#x153;black designersâ&#x20AC;? and want to be considered designers -- period. Some say they do not even think about race when it comes to thinking up beautiful, innovative clothing for men and women. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sad thingâ&#x20AC;? that there are not more black designers at New York Fashion Week, which opens Thursday, but it is even more surprising that there are so many men and so few women, designer Carly Cushnie, of the Cushnie et Ochs fashion line, told AFP. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am not sure what the real reason is for it,â&#x20AC;? said Cushnie, who hails from London and is of Jamaican heritage. Her partner, Michelle Ochs, grew up in America and has Filipina and German roots. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been more talk about it in recent years than there ever has been. So I am hopeful that that will change,â&#x20AC;? said Cushnie, 32, who will show her latest collection during NYFW.

Franceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Olivier Rousteing is one of the most famous black designers anywhere in the world today (Photo credit: Derek Kettela) Cushnie shot to fame when then first lady Michelle Obama wore one of her designs -- a forest-green crepe dress -- for a Christmas event in 2011. Franceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Olivier Rousteing, whose contribution to the exhibit is a gown drawing on the hand-woven raffia used in Cuban chairs, is one of the most famous black designers anywhere in the world today. But he is more the exception that the rule, said Elia. When he was named creative director at Balmain at age 26, Rousteing said, the fashion world was stunned not by his age but rather by the color of his skin. The FIT exhibit looks back at dozens of black designers, such as Obama favorite Tracy Reese, Stephen Burrows and Willi Smith. It highlights in particular Ann Lowe, who is considered Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first black designer at the haute couture level. It was she who designed the dress Jackie Kennedy wore at her wedding in 1953. Lowe managed to study fashion in New York but she was in the only black student at her school and her classmates refused to sit next to her. She had to charge less for her designs than her white peers did. Lowe died poor and forgotten at the age of 82. But the first first lady to choose a black designer was actually Mary Lincoln, around 1860. Elizabeth Keckly, a slave, was her designer and

confidante. - Diverse styles And just as some black designers opt not even to think about race, others delve into the roots of the American South or African tribes. Some, such as Kerby Jean-Raymond, a New York born designer for the Pyer Moss line, are activists. He has created clothing inspired by Ota Benga, a Congolese man displayed in a cage in the Bronx Zoo in the late 1800s, the Black Lives Matter movement, and blacks killed recently in police shootings. The US designer Patrick Kelly, who died of AIDS at age 35 after being wildly successful in Paris in the 1980s, drew heavily on his southern roots and dealt with race and racism with a touch of humor that raised eyebrows. For instance, he would give his aristocratic clients brooches in the form of shiny black babies to wear on their lapel. And his logo was a golliwog -- a black rag doll that became a symbol of racial stereotyping. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more of us than the one percent,â&#x20AC;? said Alphonso McClendon, author of the book â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fashion and Jazzâ&#x20AC;? and assistant professor of fashion design at Drexel University in Philadelphia. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was designing for somebody else for 12 years. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get the credit because we design under someone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name. We have to look at the totality, not only the African American designers that have their own house with their name,â&#x20AC;? he added.

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Pakistani men protest against Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day celebrations in Karachi on Feb. 12, 2017 (Photo: Rizwan Tabassum/AFP)


McClendon expressed hope that racial diversity in the fashion world will increase via online sales, especially for smaller designers who will not need to rely on contacts and big-name fashion magazine editors in order to succeed.


SLAMABAD, Pakistan | AFP | Monday 2/13/2017 - A Pakistani court has banned public celebrations of Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day in the capital Islamabad while Indonesian students plan to spurn the event, as the festival of love gets a chilly reception in parts of Asia. Lonely hearts looking for romance in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore were warned to beware of the growth in online love scams, while grumpy protesters in Japan rallied in recent days for an end to public smooching. Mondayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision by the Islamabad high court was the latest attempt by authorities in the conservative Muslim country to out- law a celebration seen by many as a vulgar and indecent Western import. The annual occasion is increasingly popular among young Pakistanis, many of whom seize the chance to honour romance by giving cards, chocolates and gifts to their sweethearts. The court issued the order after a petitioner declared love was being used as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;coverâ&#x20AC;? to spread â&#x20AC;&#x153;immorality, nudity and indecency... which is against our rich traditions and valuesâ&#x20AC;?. The ruling, seen by AFP and greeted with approval by Islamist parties, also called for the electronic and print media to stop promoting Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day. Meanwhile in Muslim-majority Indonesia, a group of school students in the city of Surabaya denounced the romantic day as a Western celebration that encourages casual sex and staged a protest. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Say no to Valentine!â&#x20AC;? chanted the students, who were aged between 13 and 15 and included many girls wearing headscarves. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This protest was organised as we have seen on television that Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day tends to be associated with free sex,â&#x20AC;? said Pandu Satria,

organiser of the demonstration. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That makes us afraid.â&#x20AC;? Several cities across the country also banned people from celebrating. In Malaysia, where Islam is also the dominant religion, a group called The National Muslim Youth Association urged females to avoid using emoticons and an excessive amount of fragrance in a pre-Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day message. - â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Smooching is terrorism!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Days earlier in Japan, a group of Marxist protesters known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kakuhidoâ&#x20AC;?, or the Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women find Unattractive, also called for an end to public displays of love, claiming it hurts their feelings. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our aim is to crush this love capitalism,â&#x20AC;? the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s public relations chief Takayuki Akimoto told AFP. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People like us who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seek value in love are being oppressed by society,â&#x20AC;? he added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a conspiracy by people who think unattractive guys are inferior, or losers -- like cuddling in public, it makes us feel bad. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unforgivable.â&#x20AC;? Authorities in Malaysia, Australia and Singapore also warned of a growth in online scams cheating lonely people out of their savings. Romance scams cost Australians more money than any other form of cheating, with those aged over 45 more likely to be stung, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Romance scammers are getting increasingly manipulative so if you are going online this Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day to look for love, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s absolutely vital that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re able to recognise the warning signs,â&#x20AC;? ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said in a statement.



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Tata Motors’ consolidated Toshiba chairman US pharma sector resigns over $6.3 billion demands keeping India Q3 net profit plunges, nuclear business loss in patent violator list slumps shocking 96%


UMBAI | AFP | Tuesday 2/14/2017 India’s largest carmaker Tata Motors Tuesday reported a 96 percent fall in quarterly profits, due to a cash ban which hit domestic business and weak sales at its luxury Jaguar Land Rover unit. Consolidated net profit for the three months ending December fell to 1.12 billion rupees ($16.73 million) from 29.53 billion rupees a year earlier, the Mumbai-based company said. An Indian pharmacist pulls out a box of medicines from a shelf at a drug store at the Victoria Hospital in Bangalore (Photo: AFP)


ASHINGTON, PTI - America’s pharma sector has asked US Trade Representative (USTR) to continue to keep India on its priority watch list (PWL) which includes countries that are alleged violators of US patent laws, claiming that the environment on the ground remains “challenging” in India. Among the key issues of concern for the US pharma sector in India are unpredictable IP environment, high tariffs and taxes on medicines, regulatory data protection failure, discriminatory and non-transparent market access policies and unpredictable environment for clinical research. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in a submission requested US Trade Representative (USTR) to continue to keep India on the Priority Watch List in the 2017 Special 301 Report. “Further, we urge USTR to provide an opportunity for a meaningful assessment of India’s IP regime through an Outof-Cycle Review, so that the US government can evaluate progress on these important issues and dedicate the required bilateral attention necessary to translate India’s commitments into substantive and real policy change that addresses the IP and market access barriers confronted by US businesses in India,” PhRMA said in the Indian section of its submission. Continued attention to IP and market access barriers in India has sent a strong signal of the importance of these issues to the bilateral relationship, has fueled constructive industry-government dialogue, and has been critical in pre-

venting further deterioration of the innovation environment in that country, it said. Nevertheless, many of the same issues remain and no meaningful action has been taken to address the unpredictability in IP protection and enforcement that remains, it said. In its submission to USTR’s Special 301 Review, PhArma said it supports the Indian Government’s efforts to create a stronger business, innovation and healthcare environment through the “Make in India” initiative, the new National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy and the forthcoming National Health Policy. “These efforts can advance improved access to healthcare for Indian patients, while driving economic growth by enhancing India’s global competitiveness and improving ease of doing business. However, despite some positive signs, PhRMA’s members remain concerned about the challenging policy environment in India,” PhARMA said in its submission to US Trade Representatives last week. Pharmaceutical innovators, it said saw positive signs from the Indian Government in 2016. However, these signals have not yet been translated into real policy and practical change. “To research, develop and deliver new treatments and cures to patients, biopharmaceutical innovators must be able to secure and effectively enforce intellectual property (IP) rights,” the report said, adding that with the right policies put in place, India could one day become a globally-competitive leader in life sciences and biomedical development.

Here are some mindblowing stats about Apple’s incredible run by Amanda Diaz, CNBC pple‘s run from the bottom to a recordhigh closing has been nothing short of incredible.


Apple closed on Monday at $133.29 a share, surpassing its record closing high price of $133, set in February 2015. The stock is up more than 15 percent in 2017, gaining nearly $100 billion in market cap in just six weeks. It’s also just points away from a split adjusted price of $1,000 a share. Perhaps what’s even more impressive is the move from its 52-week low in May. The stock has rallied nearly 50 percent and gained more than $200 billion in market cap in just nine months. For context, that market cap gain from the low is larger than the total market cap of 488 companies in the S&P 500, including Visa, Pfizer and Verizon. It’s $1 billion less than Wal-Mart, and it’s bigger than American Express, Mondelez and Netflix combined. Even as the stock has come so far, many on Wall Street still consider the tech darling undervalued. In a note Monday, UBS said Apple’s services business was underappreciated by the market, and estimated that if its services were valued similarly to that of PayPal, the stock could rise another 10 percent. Goldman Sachs also pub-

lished a note Monday raising its price target on the stock to $150, citing growing confidence in the outlook for the iPhone 8 cycle in the second half of the year. “I still think there’s room to run, and we’ve seen that with Wall Street analysts. We’ve seen that target price keep moving up, along with the stock. And so it’s still trading about 5 percent below the consensus target price,” Erin Gibbs told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Monday. “One of the things we’re still seeing is really higher expectations for growth for not only this year but for the following fiscal year,” said the equity chief investment officer at S&P Global. “There’s a lot of positive news about their augmented reality technology, and so I think this is a still a stock to hold.” According to Ari Wald of Oppenheimer, the charts are setting up for an even sweeter rally. “The charts are bullish. They argue for a sustainable breakout here, and that the stock should be bought,” he said Monday on “Trading Nation.” Wald pointed to a rising 200day moving average and a striking similarity to a previous trend for his bullishness. “The first thing you’ll note is that it has a rising 200-day moving average. So that’s indicative of the stock’s bullish trend that

Revenue fell 4.3 percent to 685.41 billion rupees. The company’s commercial vehicles business saw a “demand shrinkage” owing to the Indian government’s shock move in November to withdraw high-value ban-

knotes from circulation, it said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization drive removed around 86 percent of India’s cash at a stroke, triggering massive queues outside banks and a cash shortage that has hit businesses across the country. “The segment witnessed major pressure with a fall of nine percent year-on-year” in sales, the company said. Its Jaguar Land Rover business saw “lower wholesale volumes and relatively weaker product mix... and overall higher marketing expenses,” the company said in its statement. Shares in Tata Motors, part of the sprawling teato-steel conglomerate, fell 7.3 percent on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Americans are spending less on Valentine’s Day by Daniel B. Kline erhaps this year the heart-shaped box of chocolates from the pharmacy was good enough.


That, or something like it, may be what some less-thanromantic folks may be thinking as Valentine’s Day approaches. After a decade of increased spending on one of the bigger retail occasions of the year, we could see a decline this year according to an annual survey Opens a New Window. from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Consumers in the United States are expected to spend an average of $136.57, down from last year’s record-high of $146.84. Total spending will also fall, according to the NRF, dropping from $19.7 billion (also a record) in 2016 to $18.2 billion this year. “Valentine’s Day continues to be a popular gift-giving occasion even if consumers are being more frugal this year,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said. “This is one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care regardless of their budget. Consumers will find that retailers recognize that their customers are looking for the best deals and will offer good bargains just as they did during the holiday season.”. - What (and for whom) are people buying? While people generally think of Valentine’s Day as a romantic holiday, not all spending goes toward significant others. The NRF found that consumers plan to spend an average of $85.21 on their significant other/spouse, $26.59 on other family members (such as children or parents), $6.56 on children’s classmates/teachers, $6.51 on friends, $4.27 on co-workers, and $4.44 on pets.

Toshiba shares have lost around 50 per cent since late December

another $2 billion will be spent on flowers. After that clothing ($1.9 billion), candy ($1.7 billion), gift cards ($1.4 billion), and greeting cards ($1 billion). The NRF also noted that experience-based gifts like tickets to a concert or sporting event, a gym membership, or an outdoor adventure have become increasingly popular. That’s an area that appears likely to create some disappointment as the survey found that 40% of consumers want a gift from this category, but only 24% plan to give one. - Where are people buying? The study, which was put together from a survey of 7,591 consumers found that despite the growth of online shopping physical stores remain the most popular sources for Valentines Day gifts. The NRF found that 35% of consumers plan to shop at department stores, while 32% will visit discount stores, 27% will shop online,18% will use specialty stores, the same as will buy from florists, and 15% will meet their holiday needs at local small businesses. “While fewer are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, millions of shoppers will still make room in their budgets to spoil their loved ones,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “Consumers can expect promotions on everything from flowers to datenight dinner packages in the coming days, leaving plenty of ideas for those looking to spoil their Valentines.” (

Toshiba Corp incoming chairman Shigenori Shiga attends a news conference at the company headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: Reuters/Issei Kato)


OKYO | AFP | Tuesday 2/14/2017 - The chairman of Japanese multinational conglomerate Toshiba resigned on Tuesday after the company warned it was set to book multi-billiondollar losses, according to AFP. Toshiba said that it was postponing the full release of an earnings report that was expected to include billions of dollars in losses tied to its troubled US nuclear power business, sending shares down more than 8 per cent on the day. Toshiba’s record-breaking shares drop wipes $6.5bn off company’s value Hours later, the company issued a forecast that said it was

on track to report a net loss of 390bn yen ($3.4bn; £2.73bn) in the current fiscal year to March, prompting chairman Shigenori Shiga to step down. The company first flagged up the risk of a multibillion-dollar write-off in late December. That warning at the time wiped more than $6bn (£4.9bn) off Toshiba’ market value in just three days marking one of the worst-ever share declines for a major Japanese company. For the April-December 2015 period, Toshiba reported a net loss of 479bn yen largely as a result of a profit-padding scandal, in which bosses for years systematically pushed subordinates to cover up weak financial results, according to AFP.

Professional investors are getting fired up for economic ‘boom’ by Jeff Cox, CNBC he tumult surrounding President Donald Trump’s first weeks in office has not bothered professional investors, whose confidence is surging that both the economy and stock market are in for robust times ahead.


Optimism that the global economy is in a “boom” period has multiplied by orders of magnitude, according to one measure in the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Fund Manager Survey. Some 23 percent believe the economy will see above-trend growth and inflation in the next 12 months, which BofAML in-

terprets as “boom” sentiment. At this time last year, that number was just 1 percent. A net 59 percent believe global growth overall is heading higher. The trend complements another reading in which 18 percent believe the economy is in a “Goldilocks” period, meaning growth is not so fast that it will spur aggressive policy action, but not so slow that it points to a looming recession. That indicator was at 6 percent a year ago. Moreover, the number of pros who see “secular stagnation” — a prolonged period of fundamentally slow growth — is at just 43 percent, compared to 88 percent last year, the survey showed.

Overall spending has fallen in part because less people are celebrating the holiday. In 2007 the NRF found that 63% of Americans planned to spend money on the romantic holiday while only 54% will this year. Of those who are buying, nearly 20% of Valentine’s Day gift-givers will spend money on jewelry with $4.3 billion being spent in that category which tops all others. That’s followed by the $3.8 billion that will go toward an evening out while

it’s possessed for a couple of months now,” he said. “Another reason why we think it goes higher is just the similarities to how this stock traded back in the second half of 2013, into 2014; that after a year of decline, you can see in that prior period, that the 200day started to push higher, pull back to that 200-day, great buying opportunities, and then that final inflection which really marked the sustainable turn. We’re seeing very similar price action.”

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FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

President Mukherjee congrats on Blind World Cup win


EW DELHI President Pranab Mukherjee has congratulated the Indian cricket team for winning the T-20 Blind World Cup as he called their victory a special source of inspiration for all differently abled people. Mukherjee wrote a letter to the team Captain Ajay Kumar Reddy and said: “I write to convey my hearty congratulations to you and your team for the spectacular victory in the T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind-2017. I also convey my compliments to your coach, Patrick Rajkumar. “Your success is a matter of great pride for the nation. This victory is the result of grit and determination displayed by the team.” The President said their win “will be a source of inspiration to both sportspersons as well as all differently abled people who aspire for success in sports.” “Please convey my felicitations to all members of your team. I wish your coach, you and every member of your team continued success in the future,” he said. (-Times of India)


th grader, 13-year old Indian boy Aditya Bhatia, living in Katy, TX has successfully created a fusion of Sports and Technology. He has launched a unique Mobile/Tablet App to promote Real, Team Sports all over the world. The app “SportsConnect”, already having hundreds of users, is available for free download in Google Play store for Android and App Store for iOS users. Having software and Inventor DNA from his father Sanjay Bhatia (who has 3 patents filed and 8 copyright software products) Aditya is India born, US settled and one of the youngest to file for patent/copyright/ trademark and launch app in both stores. The response is over whelming so far with hundreds of downloads in four weeks since launch. 17 big and medium newspapers in India already published about his achievement in last 4 weeks. If you grew up playing team sports like Cricket, Soccer, Tennis, or Kabaddi in your childhood, but think you will never get those days again, you may soon have different opinion. This Houston- based NRI teenager has designed a unique app which can poten-

Aditya Bhatai is one of the youngest to file for patent/copyright/ trademark and launch an app in both Android and iOS stores. tially change the sports world and can bring the good old days of team sports back again. This unique free app “SportsConnect” is there to help people see on their smart phone, connect and play real team sports in their community/neighborhood at your convenient time and location. The app has many cool features include hosting games, inviting friends/contacts thru free texting, searching games by area/favorite sports and joining online, inviting friends to play,

send notifications in case of change in plans, seeing games on Calendars and setting alerts. A player can even rate the host to keep fake/bad people out. The unique 2 step checks at signing up ensure the validity of phone number and email address. SportsConnect is available in Google play store and on Apple App store (with name – “The SportsConnect” and is free of cost. Download and sign up takes about a minute and hosting and playing is super easy and self-intuitive.

We needs Test experience says Bangladesh captain


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“The more Tests we play, the better we will become as a unit,” Rahim told reporters after their loss.


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Ninth-ranked Bangladesh have won just three of their 44 away Tests since gaining fiveday status in 2000, but Rahim believes the team is improving with every passing year.


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Chasing a daunting target of 459, Bangladesh’s lower-order put up some resistance but the team was bowled out for 250 in an extended afternoon session on the final day of the Test in Hyderabad. Mahmudullah (64) shrugged off poor form to register his 13th Test 50 while young spinner Mehedi Hasan made a gutsy 61-ball 23 to delay the inevitable against the world’s number one Test side.

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YDERABAD, India | AFP | Monday 2/13/2017 - Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim said Monday his side desperately needed more Test experience to be competitive against top teams after their 208-run thumping in their first five-day game on Indian soil.

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“We have been playing a little better than in the last five years, so hopefully we will step up and the boys will improve with experience.”

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Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja claimed four wickets each to see off Bangladesh, who started the day on 103 for three.

“If you look at our bowling line-up, apart from Shakib (Al


NBA: Love seeks second opinion on knee injury


OS ANGELES, AFP 2/13/2017 - Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love is to seek a second opinion on his left knee after undergoing a scan at the weekend, coach Tyronn Lue said Monday. Love, 28, underwent a scan on the knee on Sunday after experiencing pain in the joint

evaluated (Tuesday) and see how he feels.” Love is averaging 20.0 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists for the Cavaliers, who have won five of their past six games and improved to 37-16, the best record in the Eastern Conference and fourth-best in the league overall. Channing Frye is likely to re-

Kevin Love (File Photo / AFP) during Saturday’s 125-109 win over Denver. The four-time NBA All-Star had already been ruled out of Tuesday’s road game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. But Lue said Love now faced a further examination on Tuesday to assess his injury. “Always concerned when guys are going down,” Lue said. “And we’re already limited as it is. Definitely concerned, but gotta see how he feels. Just, get

place Love in the starting lineup for the Cavaliers, who could opt to bench Love through the break for next Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game. Cleveland will visit Minnesota on Valentine’s Day and play host to Indiana on Wednesday but after that will not play again until February 23 when New York visits. Love was named a reserve for the Eastern Conference in the annual All-Star matchup to be played at New Orleans.


Lance Armstrong to head to court in US suit


ASHINGTON | AFP | Monday 2/13/2017 - A judge on Monday cleared the way for the doping-disgraced cycling icon Lance Armstrong to go to court, saying the US authorities’ allegations against him merited trial. The US Justice Department is seeking nearly $100 million in damages from Armstrong, charging that he cheated the government when the US Postal Service sponsored the team he led. The decision by US District Judge Christopher Cooper, in Washington, DC, comes as a major blow to Armstrong, who had requested the case be thrown out. He claims the lawsuits were unfounded and that the US Postal Service benefited from his lucrative sponsorship deal. Cooper overruled that argument in his 37-page decision, arguing that the issue of injury suffered by the United States must be decided by a jury.

The US Postal Service paid more than $32 million to Tailwind Sports Corporation, the now-defunct Lance Armstrong cycling team. Former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis filed suit in 2010 for fraud and was subsequently joined by the government under the Misrepresentation Act, which authorizes individuals to sue a person or company for misleading the federal government. Armstrong in October 2012 was stripped of his seven victories (1999-2005) in the Tour de France after the American Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) accused him of actively taking part in one of the most sophisticated doping programs ever seen in sports. After years of denials and despite his suspension for life, Armstrong in January 2013 finally acknowledged to American television host Oprah Winfrey that he took part in doping.

Hasan) there is hardly a player who has played more than 1012 Tests,” Rahim said, pointing to his side’s lack of experience.

Where Kohli averages above 50 in all the three formats, Bangladesh boasts only Shakib Al Hasan, who averages above 40 in just Tests.

“It doesn’t matter how many runs you score, but it’s important to restrict the opposition batting.”

Rahim said a player like Kohli would have prevented Bangladesh from needing to field seven batsmen on the final day.

Rahim also lamented the absence of a quality batsman like Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper whose blazing 204 helped the home side amass a crushing 687-6 declared in the first innings.

“Four (batsmen) would have been enough to draw a match, but unfortunately we don’t have a Virat Kohli in our team,” he said.


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FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of February 17, 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

Use your time wisely and spend it with children who need your guidance. It’ll really help you to feel the magic again. Your impeccable charm will help you to handle your responsibilities with strong authority and creative style. Important details may be overlooked by those who do not care. You need to oversee everything of any importance. Pace yourself so that you don’t get too tired or run down. Since you may not get the time to play that you wanted, find ways to enjoy whatever it is that you have to do.

Your independent spirit should help you find the perfect place for you to enjoy what you do. A little risk-taking could be good for you. Open the doors & be yourself. Take pride in how you handle your time with organization & confidence. Secrets will be revealed & your views and ideas should be brought out into the open. You have the ability to listen, as well as help others to see things clearer. We all need feedback sometimes. Once you let your feelings out, you should be able to enjoy a good time of love and play.

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

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

You will stick to your aims & goals. You will not give up, till you get success. Your strategy & planning with lots of patience will bring you best results, slow & steady wins the race, that will be your mantra for success. Your confidence will improve due to support you will receive from all around, this will bring new charm in your life. You will start seeing the world in a different way. Work related small travels will eat up most of your time, do not ignore traffic timings or your schedule will be disturbed.

Focus your energy, exhibit your generous nature & understand other’s feelings. Your rewards will far outweigh the effort. You’ll be able to achieve success, if you trust your gut feelings & remain loyal to your ideas. Be sure to spend some quality time with those who really matter to you. Your alliances need strengthening, spread your positive influence. If you join forces with others, you’ll be able to produce great results. Try to reflect on positive influences rather than the negative ones.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Some issues related to your home or family related, will come over surface. You need to reserve special time to focus on these issues. It will be very good time for students in education & enrollment in new course as well. After the most busy week, you will have the right for relaxation. The week end’s activities will provide you with food, friends and good conversations. The rest you get will help you to replenish your energy and improve your perspective.

It seems that whatever you try to do goes nowhere or gets lost in a haze of misunderstanding. This is not a good time to try to toot your own horn or attempt to get personal recognition for your efforts. Taking time off, working quietly, or doing something primarily for the benefit of others without concern for personal gain is favored at this time. At this time, you’re likely to feel that you cannot make your desires or influence felt, and that things go awry when you try to assert yourself, make an impact, or get things done in a forthright way.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July You need a break from away extreme solutions of dealing with simple problems. Stay confident in who you are and you’ll be ensured a smoother ride. Being in between jobs or relationships can make you feel very isolated. A compromise on your part will restart stalled talks. By combining your resources, you’ll be able to find the perfect kind of operation. Your love life has suffered lately and now you need to start melting the heart that you love. You need to understand one golden rule that caring & respect brings people together.

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

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Love speaks to you and through you, you just have to listen. Mixed emotions are the starting point for a moving experience. Try to be more productive, stay focused and ignore the words of those who are jealous of you. Even though there are many things that you can’t control, you need to show your courage and begin to have more fun. Your vision of the future will encourage those who think the same way as you do. There’s power in apologizing to someone who needs your attention.

This is a time to attend to details, take care of practical business, and to make your life more stable and secure. It would be beneficial to consult advisors on investments and longrange plans and to put your affairs in order. Eliminating, waste and inefficiency is important to you now. There is much activity; you move rapidly from one thing to another and a hectic, somewhat stressful pace is likely. Many errands, phone calls, letters which require a response, and other “busywork” is on the agenda.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Your timing will be perfect, your style impeccable, but your anger will be counterproductive to your objectives. Others may need to vent their emotions, but it won’t help your situation at all. You need to use your intellect and philosophy to find your answers. You may be asking a question that has no answer. To you, you are stating the obvious, but for others you will be opening previously locked doors. Dialogue is the first step to understanding more about others. You’ll receive an unexpected gift.


You are hypersensitive and need much affection, tenderness, and love, but are not actively asking for it. Others’ mean behavior will affect you more than usual, and you are rather unrealistic in your hopes and expectations of them. You need to learn art of relaxation, Be calm & Be patience, let the week pass away then everything will be back to normal. Avoid spicy food, you may get some acidity problems & headache this week. Divert your recent aggression in your work, it will really help you to achieve your goals.


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Job Posting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; News Edit Internship KTRK-TV, the ABC Owned station located in Houston, TX is accepting applications for a paid NEWS EDITING INTERNSHIP for the upcoming semester. Internships are available to currently-enrolled college students in WKHLUMXQLRURUVHQLRU\HDUZKRDUHSXUVXLQJFDUHHUVLQWKHWHOHYLVLRQPHGLDÂżHOGDQGPXVWUHFHLYHFROOHJHFUHGLW for the internship. The internship program is designed to provide students with an on-site educational experience that complements their academic studies by using a â&#x20AC;&#x153;real worldâ&#x20AC;? hands-on environment. News Editing Interns will have an opportunity to observe, participate, and contribute in the daily work and operations of a major market, television station. As a News/Technical Intern you will primarily assist in editing for air-- being creative and precise, while also learning the ins and outs of working behind the scenes for live newscasts. Interns will work under the direct supervision of the Digital Media Coordinator and other staff members. Additionally, applicants must be able to work at least two days per week between the hours of 2PM and 10PM. Applicants must be currently enrolled in FROOHJHDQGZLOOEHUHTXLUHGWRVXSSO\ZULWWHQYHULÂżFDWLRQRIHOLJLELOLW\WRUHFHLYHDFDGHPLFFUHGLWIRUWKHLQWHUQVKLS at the start of the internship. To be considered you must apply online at, Job Req. #425271BR. Please upload a cover letter, your resume outlining other internships, degrees earned, work experience, related clubs and organizations, current major course of study, expected graduation date and extracurricular activities. Applicants PXVWEHFXUUHQWO\HQUROOHGLQFROOHJHDQGZLOOEHUHTXLUHGWRVXSSO\ZULWWHQYHULÂżFDWLRQRIHOLJLELOLW\WRUHFHLYH academic credit for the internship at the start of the internship. Equal Opportunity Employer â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.

Job Posting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Community Affairs Intern KTRK-TV, the ABC Owned station located in Houston, TX is accepting applications for a paid COMMUNITY AFFAIRS INTERNSHIP for the upcoming semester. Internships are available to currently enrolled undergraduDWHFROOHJHVWXGHQWVLQWKHLUMXQLRURUVHQLRU\HDUSXUVXLQJFDUHHUVLQWKHWHOHYLVLRQPHGLDÂżHOGDQGPXVWUHFHLYH college credit for the internship. The internship program is designed to provide students with an on-site educational experience that complements their academic studies. Interns will have an opportunity to observe and participate in the daily work and operations of a major market, television station. As an intern you will attend help in the production of community affairs shows, including scheduling of guests, help gathering and editing video, assist with community drives, forums and outreach. Each area requires sigQLÂżFDQWSODQQLQJVFKHGXOLQJDQGH[HFXWLRQ$SSOLFDQWVPXVWEHFXUUHQWO\HQUROOHGLQFROOHJHDQGVXSSO\ZULWWHQ YHULÂżFDWLRQRIHOLJLELOLW\WRUHFHLYHDFDGHPLFFUHGLWIRUWKHLQWHUQVKLSDWWKHVWDUWRIWKHLQWHUQVKLS$GGLWLRQDOO\ applicants must be able to work at least one day per week and the hours may vary depending on scheduling and may include some weekend and early morning and evening hours. To be considered you must apply online at, Job Req. #425267BR. Please upload a cover letter, your resume outlining other internships, degrees earned, work experience, related clubs and organizations, current major course of study, expected graduation date and extracurricular activities. Applicants PXVWEHFXUUHQWO\HQUROOHGLQFROOHJHDQGZLOOEHUHTXLUHGWRVXSSO\ZULWWHQYHULÂżFDWLRQRIHOLJLELOLW\WRUHFHLYH academic credit for the internship at the start of the internship. Equal Opportunity Employer â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity. No Telephone Calls.

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FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

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Job Available Texas Geotechnical Consultants Civil Engineer - entry level, degree or diploma holder. Fax resume to: 281-407-6350 or email:

Job Posting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Assignment Desk Intern KTRK-TV, the ABC Owned station located in Houston, TX is accepting applications for assignment desk interns for the upcoming summer semester. Internships are available to undergrads currently enrolled FROOHJH VWXGHQWV LQ WKHLU MXQLRU RU VHQLRU \HDU SXUVXLQJ FDUHHUV LQ WKH WHOHYLVLRQPHGLD ÂżHOG DQG PXVW receive college credit for the internship. The successful applicant will be responsible for assisting the assignment desk, which includes but is not OLPLWHGWRPDNLQJEHDWFKHFNVDQVZHULQJSKRQHVPRQLWRULQJSROLFHDQGÂżUHUDGLRVJHWWLQJLQIRUPDWLRQ and developing stories. The candidate should be detail-oriented and able to handle many different responsibilities at the same time. The ideal intern knows how to multi-task and set priorities. Good news judgment and strong communication skills are essential, along with strong writing skills. The candidate should have a good working knowledge with the use of social media for news gathering. Must be willing to work evenings and weekends. To be considered you must apply online at, Job Req. #425688BR. Please upload a cover letter, your resume outlining other internships, degrees earned, work experience, related clubs and organizations, current major course of study, expected graduation date and extracurricular acWLYLWLHV$SSOLFDQWVPXVWEHFXUUHQWO\HQUROOHGLQFROOHJHDQGZLOOEHUHTXLUHGWRVXSSO\ZULWWHQYHULÂżFDWLRQ of eligibility to receive academic credit for the internship at the start of the internship. Equal Opportunity Employer â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity. No Telephone Calls.


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Working with a Colleague Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Jerk You know that colleague: the one who is cooperative and nice when your boss is in the room, but completely changes their behavior the minute youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re alone. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tempting to rat the person out to your boss or to call out the inconsistent behavior. But for the sake of your career, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play their game. Bad-mouthing the person to other colleagues or rolling your eyes when they speak will only make you look bad. Source: Adapted from â&#x20AC;&#x153;How to Handle a Colleague Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Jerk When the Boss Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Around,â&#x20AC;? by Amy Jen Su


Are you a newscast producer whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ready to move up to a top 10 market? Here is your chance to work for one of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best broadcasting companies that is dedicated to covering local news. KTRK-TV, the ABC O&O station in Houston, TX is accepting applications for an Associate Producer. The person hired for this position will line produce a section of our weekend mornLQJQHZVFDVWVDQGKDYHRSSRUWXQLW\WRÂżOOLQRQRWKHUQHZVFDVWVDVZHOO Applicants must have experience working as a line producer. This is a newsroom that embraces new technology. ENPS /Aurora/Ignite experience a plus â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as is good understanding of social media and how it can be used to reach viewers and create content. Candidates must be able and willing to learn both non-linear editing and writing for our digital platforms. Applicants must be willing to work overnights, weekends and holidays. To be considered interested applicants must apply online at, ref job #403168BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references. In addition, please mail writing samples and a DVD of or link to your latest newscast to: Robin Freese, Executive Producer, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Reference job #425266BR Equal Opportunity Employer â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity. No Telephone Calls.


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FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper February 17 2017  
Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper February 17 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...