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FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

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Read on Page 18 or Call 832-806-1000

Vol. 30 No. 3 Friday, January 20, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail:

Houston set to celebrate Lunar New Year by Shobana Muratee HOUSTON – On January 28, over a billion people in China and million others around the world will witness the grandiose of the Lunar New Year festivities ending on February 2, 2017. Asian culture is an integral part of Houston’s diversity where different Asian festivals are celebrated throughout the year. Traditional lanterns, Lion Dances, Kung Fu action displays, folk dances, music, and Chinese gastronomy delights are some of activities featured in Houston. Some of the popular places holding the Lunar New Year celebrations are as listed: Lucky Land Houston - Lunar celebrations on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 2 PM, the Lion Dance will be at 2 PM at 8625 Airline Drive, Houston, TX 77037. Other attractions include Kung Fu Master, Gold Coin Lucky Draw. Visit www.luckylandhouston. com for details.

Asia Chamber of Commerce Luncheon with Jan Hargrave

Kung Fu Masters at Lucky Land Houston. FaceBook pic. Children’s Museum of Houston Lunar New Year Bash on Saturday, January 28 at 1500 Binz St. 77004

Attractions include: Lion dancers boogie to the beat of the Continued on Page 7

Seven Katy ISD students earn highest ACT score


ATY - This year seven Katy ISD high school students earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. On average, less than .1 percent of all test takers earn the top score. Only 2,235 out of the nearly 2.1 million students who took the ACT in 2016 earned a composite score of 36. “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare,” said ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda, in a letter recognizing the students’ exceptional achievement. “While test scores are just one of multiple criteria that most colleges consider when making Samuel Shenoi admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”

Clio Sun

The following Katy ISD students earned a perfect score on the ACT: Luis Alfonso Pabon Madrid, 11th grade Dora Cecilia Gurfinkel, 12th grade Justin Zhang, 12th grade Russell Ku, 11th grade From Left to Right: ACC president Linda Toyota, Randy McKinney of R.W. McKinney Marketing and P.R. and Speaker Jan Hargrave. Photo credit: Roswitha Vogler / Photos by Rovo. by Shobana Muratee


OUSTON –The Asian Chamber of Commerce (ACC) hosted an invigorating business networking luncheon on Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 at the HESS Club on Westheimer featuring Jan Hargrave, a renowned forensic body language expert as the guest speaker.

Linda Toyota, ACC President, welcomed the gathering and introduced Randy McKinney, resident historian for Channel 11. McKinney spoke of his work on the history of football in Houston from 1889 to date which is scheduled to be aired. Toyota also introduced ACC’s new members

and recognized the long standing members of the Chamber. ACC’s Chairman Austin Zhao administered the pledge of allegiance to the incoming members. The event was sponsored by the Law Office of Kathryn Karam and Trademark insurance Agency LLC. The sponContinued on Page 3

Samuel Shenoi, 12 grade Richard Liu, 12th grade

Richard Liu

Justin Zhang

Clio Sun, 12th grade The ACT consists of tests in English, math, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1-36. Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness (-KatyISD) Russell Ku

Dora Cecilia Gurfinkel

Luis Alfonso Pabon Madrid

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by Matthew Dowd

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

Koshy Thomas Sherly Philip Shobana Muratee Sherine Thomas Jacob David Susan Pothanikat Priyan Mathew

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

Shobana Muratee

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

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

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n the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States, I am hopeful and pray leaders of all stripes, but especially Mr. Trump, conduct themselves in a manner that helps repair the serious divides, damage and brokenness in our body politic.

FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Short-sighted mudslinging leaves our democracy on life support to stop with the harmful shortterm tactics, and begin to heal the long-term body of our wonderful country. Here are five things he and they could do:

I also hope they look at the long-term interests of our democracy, and not the short-term advantages of political wins.

1. Use language that is inclusive and seeks unity rather than words that exclude others and divides.

Athletes through the ages have looked for advantages and done things to help them put themselves in the best possible position of winning a competition. They have come up with training regimens, diet and mental resources to give them an upper hand. But in the last few decades, some athletes have drifted into the use of steroids to gain that advantage.

2. Appeal to people’s best instincts and not the worst. Take people out of their fears and lead them courageously to a place of peace and compassion. 3. Put country over party. Stop with the partisanship and the

mode of following others like lemmings because they wear the same jersey. 4. Rebuild trust in our governmental institutions before you seek to create new programs or expand existing ones. Make us believe again in the ability for us to come together to solve problems. 5. Be the humble servant leaders America hungers for where we come together as citizens for a broader purpose -- serve the country, and then go home. This is just my start, and now

is the time for a new beginning. Mr. Trump you have been entrusted with the most important job in the world, and the majority of Americans are praying you can be a great leader, wishing for your success. Though we all can cheer when something is blown up, even a dysfunctional federal government, transformational leaders are those that build for the long term, not just win in the short term. Matthew Dowd is an ABC News analyst and special correspondent.

This use of steroids gave certain athletes an edge in the short term, making them faster, or stronger, or more aggressive and thus causing them to set records or win games under normal circumstances they would not be able to. But this short-term gain from steroids set them up for long-term damage to their bodies. The same has been true in our body politic for the last few years. The two political parties have conducted themselves in ways in the short term to get political advantage: not telling the truth, using spin to deflect on issues, leaving integrity behind, using ends to justify means, creating campaigns which attacked personally and relentlessly and putting party over country. Many won in the short term, and these tactics grew increasingly worse. And then in 2016, new records were set on doing whatever it takes -- stretching the bounds of “moral” means to get to the end of winning. And now we are in a place that we have no common set of facts, we can’t come together for the common good and the country seems tribal. These short-term tactics have caused serious damage to the organs of our body politic. They have damaged our ability to listen to one another. They have damaged the First Amendment and need for a vibrant press. They have damaged nearly every institution in Washington D.C., including our judiciary and our intelligence agencies. They have left the body broken and harmed, and our democracy on life support. As Trump prepares to give his first speech as the leader of America, I would suggest to him and others of both parties

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FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Second Front Page


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Indo Americans participate in Asia Chamber of Commerce ....con’d the 2017 Houston Marathon

ACC member Travis Middleton (left) volunteers for Speaker Jan Hargrave. Photo credit: Roswitha Vogler / Photos by Rovo. Continued from Page 1 2017 Houston Marathon. Indo American participants in Half Marathon with finisher medals. Left to Right – Ramesh Anand, Zarina Anand, Pankaj Desai, Riddhi Desai, Chintan Mehta, Sesh Bala


t was warm and muggy at 7 AM at start of the race. The temperature stayed in mid 60s and it was overcast and a bit windy most of the day. About 3 hours into the race it rained hard. The Houston Marathon organizers had warned the runners of these weather conditions and advised caution even to the extent of saying not to push for the personal best in timing. As it turned out, the weather did not affect performance and enthusiasm that badly. A determined group of Indo Americans were out in open space, running and walking, and making their presence felt at the 46th annual Houston Marathon on Sunday, Jan 15, 2017. The Chevron Houston Marathon is a world-class event happening right at our doorsteps; it attracts athletes from over 40 states in the US and many countries around the globe. The 2017 Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon featured 27,000 registered participants, 7,500

volunteers and over 200,000 spectators, making it the largest annual single-day sporting event in Houston. The 27,000 is split evenly between Full Marathon (26.2 miles) and Half Marathon (13.1 miles). The 5K race was held the previous day for better crowd control and management. The Marathon starts and ends at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. The guaranteed prize money for the Full Marathon first place was $45,000 and for the Half Marathon $20,000. It is the same amount for men and women. Of the 4 top purses, this year, 2 of the top prizes were won by Kenyans, one by an Ethiopian and one by an American. The Houston Marathon is also a charitable event; the runners and the organization raise money for many area charities. Each year the organizers make some changes. This year the route was the same as in 2016 except for the home stretch in downtown. The arrangements for the flow of such a large

number of runners at start and on finish inside the George R Brown Convention Center were outstanding. Security precautions were very visible. The organizers deserve high praise for the management of the race. A casual scanning and observation suggested the participation from the Indian American community this year has grown after being steady for a number of years! Facebook postings are on the rise. There were many young runners as well as veterans. There were quite a few Indo American volunteers at the water and Gatorade stations on the course. In particular there were many youngsters helping out as volunteers. The Houston Marathon is very popular but has limits on how many can sign up. Organizations like USA Fit and Fort Bend Fit will help getting trained. Email to learn more about Houston Marathon participation. The details are at the site

sors spoke briefly about their companies. Speaker Jan Hargrave, author and body language/ non-verbal communication expert and TV regular (on ABC, NBC news CBS and Fox), expounded on the adage “Actions speak louder than words,” with interesting anecdotes ebbing from her vast experience. “Research indicates that 55% of our communication is non-verbal, 38% comes from voice inflection, and 7% of a person’s communication does come from the words that they say,” she said. Hargrave - who is also an expert in jury selection - said that the way one sits, tilts the head, or crosses the legs are all indicative of what the person is thinking and behavior. Hargrave taught at the University of Houston for eight years. She also analyzed Bill Clinton’s body language when he testified for the Monica Lewinsky case and also recently the Republican and Democratic Party presidential candidates. She even did a body language analysis on Donald Trump and Barrack Obama when the two met for the first time. The highlight of her talk was the interactive session with the au-

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Toyota in her remarks said, “We meet different people and part of the membership is really for members to be our ambassadors.” For a minority business, it is very important to be certified, she stressed, quoting the example of some of the Chamber members who are now benefiting as vendors of Super Bowl LI.


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dience when she posed a few true or false questions to test their skills of observation and perception of body language. Hargrave later gave some valuable tips on gestures, among which the most common one she said was the ‘steeple’ gesture. “Steeple is the gesture is associated with level of confidence and ‘steepling’ is one the largest gestures of confidence that I can ever teach a group of people,” she said. “When someone is confident of what they are saying, the steeple gesture is at the chest level. When they are confident in what they are hearing the steeple gesture is typically at the lap level,” she explained. Also you can tell if a person is trained, when the gesture does not appear at an appropriate time.

This year, the ACC will be a part of major celebrations including the Rodeo celebrating the “Asian Night” on Thursday, March 23. She also announced that the Lunar Lantern Festival scheduled to be held in January 21-22, 2017 was pushed to April 29th and 30th. Asian Chamber of Commerce Upcoming Events Thursday, February 9, 2017 – Speaker, Mr. Shaolin Li, president, PetroChina and chair of The Houston Chapter of China General Chamber of Commerce-U.S.A. will speak at Hess Club – 11:15 am – 1 pm. Resister Thursday, March 23, 2017 - Asian Night at the Rodeo! Complimentary BBQ buffet and wine and beer in Chairman’s Club (private area). Register at www.asianchamber-hou. org/2017rodeo

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has offered a suite for the Chamber to appreciate its members Toyota said. “That’s the kind of partnership that we look at that they see value from just being involved with the Chamber. It’s about knowing who you are and how you are involved in the community,” she added.




FRIDAY, January 20, 2017


The People’s Lawyer

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

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Security deposit is not for the last month’s rent Q. My apartment lease was up in November. Since that time we have had a month-to-month agreement. I am now moving out. I gave proper notice. I am afraid my landlord will not return my security deposit. Can I require the landlord to use my security deposit for the last month’s rent? A. A security deposit is primarily designed to compensate the landlord for damage to the apartment. Under the Texas Security Deposit Law, assuming you gave proper notice and a forwarding address, a landlord must either return your security deposit, or give you written notice of why it is being withheld within 30 days of when you move out. A landlord who violates this law is considered to be acting in bad faith, and can owe the tenant three times the deposit plus $100. You cannot, however, require the landlord to use the deposit to cover the last month’s rent. In fact, if you do, the landlord has the right to sue you for three times the deposit plus another $100. My advice is to pay your rent, and if your security deposit is not properly returned, use the Texas Security Deposit Law. Q. I just found out the apartment unit next to mine was rented for substantially less than I pay. It is exactly the same apartment. Is this legal?

A. A landlord, just like any other business, can base the price on what the market will bear. As demand for apartments increases and supply stays the same, it is not unusual for rent to increase. On the other hand, if demand decreases or supply increases, a landlord may have to charge less to compete for tenants. As long as the landlord does not illegally discriminate, for example, by charging different rent based on things like, race, age, sex, or religion, he is free to charge every tenant a different rate. I suggest you speak with the landlord when your lease is about to end and make it clear you also expect a lower rent. Q. Am I entitled to a paid leave when I have a child? My employer has told me any leave will be without pay. A. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you may be entitled to up to 12 weeks leave, depending on the size the company and how long you have worked there. The law, however, does not require that the leave be with pay. All you may be legally entitled to is an unpaid leave. Q. I have been married for a short period of time. I’m now getting a divorce. There is no property or custody to fight over, but I would like the wedding ring I gave my wife. It was very expensive and I am still paying for it. Do I need to get a lawyer to have her turn over the ring?

A. In my opinion, if you wife objects, you probably are not going to get the ring, with or without a lawyer. Generally, the person who received the ring keeps it after a divorce. The ring is considered a gift to that person. Even if you are paying for it, it is your wife’s property. A lawyer may be able to help arrange a better divorce settlement, but you should weigh the costs of a lawyer against the value of the ring. You also should try to negotiate with your wife, who may not want to keep the ring after the divorce. Q. I want to make it clear that I do not wish to be kept alive by a machine. Can I write my own living will? Is there any special language I should use? A. As you seem to understand, the best way to insure that your wishes regarding the decision to be kept alive by life support are followed is to make sure you clearly spell out what you want to happen in the event you have a terminal condition. You can do this by a document you prepare, but I strongly suggest you use the form the state of Texas has prepared. An “Advanced Directive,” commonly called a living will, allows you to specify the treatment you would want in the event that you had a terminal condition. The document is a simple to understand form and is available free from my website below.

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

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Q: Please explain the rule for 180 day automatic extension for employment authorization. A: Because of USCIS’s delay in adjudicating employment authorization applications within the required 90 day processing time, many individuals with expired Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) who had already filed to renew their expiring EAD have had to face termination in their employment due to the delays in receiving their renewed EAD. To remedy this situation, USCIS issued a new rule regarding EADs for certain categories which will become effective on January 17th, 2017. The rule allows these certain EAD holders to receive automatic extensions of their EAD up to 180 days provided they file a timely application to renew their EAD; the application to renew the EAD is based on the same employment authorization category as the expiring EAD and the holder remains eligible to apply for renewal of his or her employment authorization. This new rule also purports to amend the regulations for the Form I-9 process to allow for some flexibility for employers to be able to hire or retain individuals with expired EADs if the employee presents a receipt showing that he or she has satisfied the requirements for the 180 days automatic extension. Q: What are the categories of EADs that are covered under this new rule? A:

This rule extends

Q: Does this rule extend to H-4 qualifying spouses or L-2 spouses who have EADs? A:


Q: Does this rule apply to first time EAD applicants? A: No, it does not. It only applies to EAD renewals. Note that although USCIS has effectively eliminated the requirement that they will complete the processing of all Employment Authorization applications within 90 days, they will continue to strive to adjudicate all EAD within 90 days. Q: I am a Human Resource Manager and I am try-

ing to advise our employees to take advantage of this new 180 automatic extension rule for EADs. What is the recommended time the employees should apply for the renewal of the EAD to benefit from this rule? A: The best practice is to advise all employees to apply for the renewal of their expiring EADs 120 days before the expiration of their EAD. Q: Will this rule continue to remain in effect once President Elect Donald Trump takes to office on January 20th, 2017? A: As of time of publication of this article, we do not know whether this rule will continue to remain in effect after the change in administration. We will have to wait and see. 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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to the following EAD holder categories: aliens admitted as refugees and asylees; aliens granted withholding of removal; aliens admitted as parents or dependent children of aliens granted permanent residence under section 101(a) (27) (I) of the INA; aliens admitted as citizens of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau; aliens granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS); aliens who have pending asylum or withholding of removal applications; aliens who have filed applications for adjustment of status under section 245(a) of the INA; aliens who have pending applications for relief from removal such as suspension of deportation under Section 244 of the INA, cancellation of removal under 240A of the INA and special rule cancellation of removal under Section 309(f) (1) IIRAIRA; aliens who have pending legalization applications under the LIFE Act and under Sections 210 and 245A of the INA respectively and self-petitioning principal beneficiaries under approved VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) petition.


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Tel: 713-774-5140

FBISD Board approves new Clements High School Fine Arts presents award- district leaders during meeting Left: Principal Carla Patton, winning musical ‘HONK!’ Quail Valley Elementary


ORT BEND ISD (January 17, 2016) – The Clements High School Department of Fine Arts will present “HONK! The Musical” on January 19, 20, 21 and 23 at 7 p.m. in the Clements High School Auditorium located at 4200 Elkins Drive, Sugar Land 77479.

She served as a teacher and a Title I math and science instructional specialist for Klein ISD.

$12 for adults. “HONK!” is an award-winning musical appropriate for all ages. This heartwarming re-telling of the classic “Ugly Duckling” story is filled with sparkling wit, catchy tunes and delightful dances. Audiences will join Ugly on his adventure of self-discov-

Right: Associate Principal Felícia James, Austin High School She holds both a M.Ed, and Masters degree from the University of Houston.


ORT BEND ISD – During a recent Called Meeting, the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees announced Carla Patton as the new principal of Quail Valley Elementary, and Felícia James as associate principal for Austin High School. Carla Patton recently served as assistant principal at Drabek Elementary. Before coming to FBISD, she served as a teacher and a Title I math and science instructional specialist for Klein ISD.

Tickets will go on sale during lunch between January 16 – 19 for $5. On the night of the performances, tickets at the door will be $10 for students and

ery and meet a host of hilarious animals along the way, and learn that being different isn’t so bad. Set in the 1950s, this production is sure to dazzle.

“I genuinely believe in the mission of Quail Valley Elementary - to inspire and equip all students to create innovative solutions for life by becoming leaders of their own learning,” Patton shared. “I want them to know that their dreams can come true if they apply themselves and make the effort.” Patton holds a Masters in Educational Administration from Lamar University, and a

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Kansas. She has numerous awards and recognitions, including receiving a $16,498 grant for math literacy libraries and educator professional development. Felícia James, the new associate principal for Austin High School, recently served as assistant principal at AHS. Along with past administrative roles with FBISD since 2004, she has a wealth of leadership experience. She describes herself as a ‘learning leader’ who makes learning a priority for herself, all students and the community. James holds two Master’s degrees – an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston and an MA in Behavioral ScienceSociology from University of Houston-Clear Lake. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University.

Fort Bend Bush High School Theatre presents its spring musical, ‘Sister Act, the Musical’


ICMOND - Bush High School Theatre presents “Sister Act, the Musical” based on the major motion picture “Sister Act,” written by Joseph Howard. Performances will be held at 7 p.m. in the Bush High School Auditorium (6707 FM 1464 Road, Richmond, TX 77407), on the

following days: • Thursday, January 19 • Friday, January 20 • Saturday, January 21 • Friday, January 27 • Saturday, January 28 Tickets for all performances can be purchased through Ticketleap.

Austin High School Fine Arts presents ‘Into the Woods’


UGAR LAND - The Austin High School Department of Fine Arts will present Into the Woods on January 19, 20, 21 and 23 at 7:00 p.m. in the school’s auditorium (3434 Pheasant Creek Drive, Sugar Land 7749). James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece... and a rare modern classic. The Tony Awardwinning book and score are both enchanting and touching.

The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them. Tickets: or at the door.


FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

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1-877-331-8670 10148 HWY 6 S. SUGAR LAND, TX Offer for new and qualifying former customers only. Important Terms and Conditions: Qualification: Advertised price requires credit qualification and eAutoPay. Upfront activation and/or receiver upgrade fees may apply based on credit qualification. Offer ends 4/05/17. 2-Year Commitment: Early termination fee of $20/mo. remaining applies if you cancel early. $120 Savings Offer: Receive a monthly credit of $5 for the first 24 months. Requires subscription to International package and qualifying American or DishLATINO package (starting at $29.99/mo). NOT included in advertised price (and subject to change): Taxes & surcharges, add-on programming (including premium channels), Protection Plan, and transactional fees. Other: All packages, programming, features, and functionality are subject to change without notice. After 6 mos., you will be billed $8.99/mo. for Protection Plan unless you call to cancel. After 2 years, then-current everyday prices for all services apply. For business customers, additional monthly fees may apply. Free standard professional installation only. © 2017 DISH Network L.L.C. All rights reserved.



India Culture Center to Houston set celebrate host I-Fair ‘Our India’ to Lunar ........ Celebrating India’s 68th Republic Day I-Fair, India Culture Center’s (ICC) signature event is on Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 1Pm to 8PM at Stafford Center. The preparations for various segments like dance, skit, yoga for health, Antakshari, ‘Women who make India proud’, showcasing ‘Republic of Turkey’, live Quiz on ‘our India’, are almost in its final stages. These programs will certainly entertain the audience and will emotionally connect them to India . ICC will recognize and honor few outstanding individuals from the community by awarding them ‘Community Service Awards’.

Consul General of India will grace the occasion and will deliver his congratulatory speech. The commercial booths, as well as booths for religious, political and social organizations have all been allotted and will attract lot of attention. The food booths will provide variety of delicious food items at very affordable price. “This all is made available to the attendees just for $ 3.00 per person only. And an ‘Icing on the cake’ would be, quite a few gold coins to be won during the entire event on entry ticket raffle,” says Sanjay Sohoni, Event Chair.

UTMB, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas launch new affiliation


ALVESTON, Texas – The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas have signed a clinical affiliation agreement. This affiliation, effective Jan. 1, will build on the strengths of both organizations to provide the most advanced patient care for adult and pediatric patients in the Beaumont area and the surrounding region. Physicians, medical staff and executives from Baptist Hospitals and UTMB Health will work closely to increase quality and access to care for patients in need of multiple medical specialties and services. “Baptist is very pleased to partner with a world class academic medical center like UTMB,” said David Parmer, CEO of Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas. Patrick Shannon, Chief Operating Officer of BHSET, said that “Baptist and UTMB will initially provide pediatric surgical services in Beaumont with future expansion to other select

specialties.” The organizations also will explore using UTMB’s extensive telemedicine network to provide consultations in psychiatry and psychology, gynecologic oncology, pediatrics and pediatric ophthalmology. “We are excited to work with Baptist Hospitals to further strengthen this well-established network with access to UTMB’s highly-specialized tertiary and quaternary services, which will benefit an even greater number of residents with complex health care needs in the Beaumont area,” said Donna Sollenberger, executive vice president and CEO of the UTMB Health System. “When we were looking for partnership opportunities to help improve access in the region, Baptist Hospitals was a clear choice.” UTMB students, residents, nurses and health professionals also will benefit from increased training opportunities, while UTMB researchers will be able to extend the latest clinical trials to patients in the area.

Continued from Page 1 drums, other traditional dances, face painting and coloring, Lei making, Chinese lanterns and origami. Price of admission to the museum, performance is free. Visit The Children’s Museum of Houston is also celebrating Lunar New Year Wonder Week on January 19 – February 1 Attractions include: Calligraphy scrolls, lunar viewfinder, wolf survival, dragon fire lanterns, origami rooster, dragon puppets and various dance and music performances. Visit for details.

FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

The Sugar Gala – A Father/ Daughter Dance Set for Feb. 25


UGAR LAND, TX – Dads are invited to bring their sweeties out to enjoy an evening of dancing at the Imperial Park Recreation Center (IPRC) on Feb. 25, from 6-8 p.m. The Sugar Gala will be a special evening for dads and their sweet little girls to get dressed in their Sunday best and have some fun. The Sugar Gala – A Father/ Daughter Dance will include time for father/daughter dancing as well as a photo area for fun pictures. There will be

appetizers and refreshments served throughout the event as well as desserts. For dads who don’t have the energy to get out and dance with their little princess, a candy station lined with sweet goodies of all sorts will be available to get them energized. The gala is not limited to just dads and daughters. Uncles and grandpas may also bring their special little girls for a fun evening, so don’t hesitate to call and register.

The cost will be $10 per couple for IPRC members or $25 per couple for nonmembers. Each additional young lady is $5. Don’t wait, call and register today! The Imperial Park Recreation Center, 234 Matlage Way, is located next to Imperial Park and the Sugar Land Community Center. For more event information and table reservation, contact the IPRC at (281) 275-2885.

Chinese Community Center - Lunar New Year Festival on Saturday, January 28 at 9800 Town Park Dr. 77036 Attractions include: Bazaar vendors, 60 raffle prizes, dance and music performances, martial arts performances and Asian foods, arts and crafts. Free admission and parking, Visit

UH Day at

India House

An event for students interested in attending the University of Houston

Monday, January 30, 2017

Asia Society Texas - Lunar New Year Celebration on: Saturday, January 28 at 1370 Southmore Blvd. 77004. Ticketed performance by Hauxing Arts Group ($5 tickets), paper cutting, red envelopes, banners, kimono greeting cards and storytelling. Cost / More Information: Free, Visit Woodlands Children’s Museum - This year, join the fun from 10 a.m. 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 21st. The festivities will continue with art projects and games through the museums regular hours on Sunday. Traditional Lion Dancers, Chinese Folk Dancers and the Red Chinese Knots will be performing. The Conroe High School Chinese Club will teach Chinese calligraphy, and the College Park NHS Chinese Club will be helping with several art projects, games and more to celebrate. The event is free with paid admission, which is $6 for adults and children ages 1 and older.


Registration will begin at 6 p.m. Programming and Connections with the University of Houston - 6:30 p.m. India House Houston 8888 West Bellfort Avenue Houston, TX 77031 (713) 929-1900

Hear from current faculty, staff, and students on the college admission process, majors, scholarships, campus life and much more! Please RSVP by January 23 at For questions or special accommodations, please contact us at or (832) 842-9058



FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Dear Voice of Asia Readers,

Council Member, Dr. Steve Le – District F, Houston “I welcome my fellow Asians to the Year of the Rooster. People born in the Year of the Rooster are known for being forthright, diligent, and organized. As the only Asian Council Member in the city of Houston, I am honored to represent all Asians in our city. I wish you all a prosperous and healthy New Year. Thank you very much for your support and the opportunity to serve. For 2017, may you be forthright in forming new social and business relationships, diligent in building your family foundation, and love, organized in your goals for a better and brighter future!”



10 Interesting Facts about Chinese New Year


ditional solar calendar. While wintry weather prevails, ‘Start of Spring’ marks the end of the coldest part of winter, when the Chinese traditionally could look forward to the beginning of spring.

1. The date varies!

3. Every Chinese New Year starts a new animal’s zodiac year.

hinese New Year (Spring Festival) is a major holiday in not just China but also other countries in Asia. Here are 10 interesting facts about this important and popular holiday. The date for Chinese New Year changes each year. It always falls between January 21 and February 20, determined by the Chinese lunar calendar. Chinese New Year 2017 is on Saturday January 28. See why on our page for Chinese New Year Dates. 2. The holiday is oddly called “Spring Festival”. Though in winter, Chinese call their New Year holidays ‘Spring Festival’ (chūnjié / chwnn-jyeah/), because ‘Start of Spring’ (4–18 February) is the first of the terms in the tra-

Chinese zodiac years: A very old custom is to name the years by one of 12 animals in their zodiac cycle. For example, 2017 is a year of the Rooster. Many Chinese still believe in astrology and other New Year superstitions. People focus on priorities: making amends, reconciling with people, avoiding offence, and re-establishing old ties. They buy and wear new clothes, give gifts, and clean house. 4. It is a festival for 1/5 of the

• Lauren Rouhana • Minnie Tsai • Amber Gracia • Hannah Young

world’s population. It’s China’s winter vacation week, like between Christmas and New Year’s Day other countries. Schools in China get about a month off, and universities even more. China, Hong Kong and Macau, and nine other Asian countries have public holidays. • China: 1.3 billion in China get three days of public holiday. • Indonesia: 250 million people in Indonesia get one day of public holiday.


• Philippines: 100 million get one day of public holiday.


• Vietnam: 90 million people get at least three days of public holi-

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FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR TO OUR READERS! Best Wishes to the Community and Businesses, from Voice of Asia newsweekly

Photos credit: Jacob David



TiE Houston’s 2017 President takes charge Entrepreneur and TiE Charter Member Dr. Arun Pasrija, CEO of CHR Solutions to Lead Local Chapter of Global Entrepreneurship Organization


OUSTON: The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Houston Chapter whose mission is to foster entrepreneurship announces today that Dr. Arun Pasrija, Cofounder and CEO of CHR Solutions is the new President of TiE Houston effective January 1st, 2017. He succeeds John S. Reale, Jr., Co-founder and CEO of Station Houston, Inc. who remains on TiE Houston’s Board of Directors. “I am proud to take on this role to continue the progress made under JR and Aruna Viswanathan’s leadership”, stated Dr. Pasrija. “I hope to build on TiE’s strong foundation to strengthen Houston’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. One of my goals will be to bring value of TiE global network to Houston. I look forward to working with our dedicated membership base across our local and global organization, working collaboratively with other like-minded organizations and welcome new members to help us fulfill our mission.” Dr. Arun Pasrija is the CEO and Co-Founder of CHR Solutions, a billing software, IT services, and telecom engineering company headquartered in Houston, Texas. Prior to co-founding CHR Solutions, Dr. Pasrija has had more than 15 years of broad experience at AT&T/Lucent and L-3 Communications in

“Leader.” Says Reale, “That’s the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Arun. His commitment to the organization, its members and the community has been consistent and exemplary throughout the

TiE’s first networking social of 2017 at Ciao Bello on Thursday, January 19, 2017 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Come meet our new President and Executive Director as well as our special guest from TiE Global, Vijay Menon.

About TiE-Houston

Ana Rojas Bastidas years. I am excited for TiE’s future and our ability to continue our support the growth of our local startup and entrepreneurship community.” TiE Houston is also pleased to announce Ana Rojas Bastidas as the new Executive Director of the chapter. She is a recent transplant to Houston from South Florida. She had been volunteering for TiE Houston for last six months. With 12 years of corporate experience in human resources, recruitment, and training,

10 Interesting Facts .... days, but the holidays sometimes extends for an entire week by taking away weekends, as in China.

• Taiwan: 24 million people get four days of public holiday generally. •

Brunei: One day of public holiday.

Singapore: Two days of public holiday.

• Hong Kong: Three days of public holidays, extending to four days if the holidays fall on a Sunday. • Macau: Three days of public holiday, extending to four days if the holidays fall on a Sunday. 5. Billions of red envelopes are exchanged. These red envelopes with cash are given out from older to younger, from bosses to employees, and from leaders to underlings. It is a special New Year’s bonus. Read more on How to Give Chinese New Year Lucky Money (Red Envelopes) 6. It’s big in London and HK. 500 thousand people converged for Chinese New Year in London’s Chinatown, Trafalgar Square, and central London streets in 2015. In Hong Kong, a big holiday custom is horse racing: The most popular races of all in the city happens on the third day of the Spring Festival holidays when 100,000 excited fans crowd into Sha Tin Racecourse. The spectators watch a grand opening show, a featured lion dance, and a variety of cultural performances and entertainment. 7. 4% of the world’s population are on the move. 200 million Mainland Chinese travel long distances for these holidays, and it is estimated that there are 3.5 billion journeys in China. For comparison, less than 100 million people travel more than 50 miles during the Christmas holidays in the US according to the American Automobile Association. Tens of millions of people travel in other countries too. 8. There is the world’s biggest annual fireworks usage. No single hour in any other country sees as many tons of fireworks lighted as in China around the midnight beginning Chinese New Year. China produces about 90% of the world’s fireworks! Fireworks are used to scare evil spirits: Most mainland Chinese believe that the flash and bang of firecrackers and fireworks scare away demons and evil ghosts. Read more on the Why Chinese New Year Must Have Firecrackers>> 9. The Lantern Festival once ended 16 days of festivities. Traditionally, the 16 days from New Year’s Eve until the Lantern Festival each had a special celebration activity. The Lantern Festival: In the evening of 15th day of the first lunar month, on the night of the full moon, families gather for dinner and go out and see fireworks and light lanterns. Lanterns are put up for decoration, let loose to fly, and floated in rivers. 10. “Xinnian Kuaile” means “Happy New Year”. Xīnnián kuàilè!. That’s pronounced “sshin-nyen kwhy-luh”, by the way.

TiE-Houston is an active and engaged community of seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, corporate executives and individuals interested in growing the next generation of entrepreneurs. With over 60 Charter Members and an active General Member base, TiE Houston is actively engaged in the local community working collaboratively with local startup incubators, accelerators, universities, and co-networking spaces to co-host workshops and events targeted at the broader community. TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) is the world’s largest entrepreneur network. Established in 1992 in Silicon Valley, the organization now spans 61 chapters in 20 countries, and has contributed to over $200 billion in economic growth worldwide. The organization provides mentoring, funding, advice and education to high-growth start-ups.

Dr. Muddassir Siddiqi.


OUSTON [January 13, 2017] – Houston Community College (HCC) names Dr. Muddassir Siddiqi as the next President of Central College. He has a proven record of success as a leader, innovator, and champion for higher education and workforce development. Dr. Siddiqi is scheduled to begin his duties at Houston Community College Feb. 1. “Dr. Siddiqi shares our bold vision for elevating Houston Community College to new heights in student success,” says Dr. Cesar Maldonado, Chancellor of Houston Community College. “He brings a wealth of experience in fields that align with the Houston region’s workforce priorities. His experience in instructional and workforce development is a great addition to support the strategic priorities of HCC of improving student success.” Siddiqi comes to HCC from Morton College in Cicero, Illinois, where he served as Provost and Chief Academic Officer. He was instrumental in leading a major restructuring of academic and student service organizations through a robust, collaborative process, leading to enhancements to the student experience and success. He also led the addition of many new transfer agreements in workforce programs including Health Information Technology, Patient Care

In addition to his expansive career experience and professional certifications, Siddiqi is a member of many education-related associations, including: American Council on Education, Association for Institutional Research, Instructional Technology Council, National Association of Student Affairs in Higher Education, and is a college representative for the Fulbright Scholar Program. “The selection of Dr. Siddiqi came on the heels of a comprehensive national search and extensive vetting by our selection committee,” Maldonado says. “Our goal was to find the best candidate who could both meet the needs our students and take an active role in the transformation process taking place at HCC. I am confident Dr. Siddiqi will exceed all our expectations.” About HCC Houston Community College (HCC) is composed of 14 Centers of Excellence and numerous satellite centers that serve the diverse communities in the Greater Houston area by preparing individuals to live and work in an increasingly international and technological society. HCC is one of the country’s largest singly-accredited, open-admission, community colleges offering associate degrees, certificates, workforce training, and lifelong learning opportunities. To learn more, visit


Continued from page 8

• North Korea: 24 million people get three days of public holiday.

Siddiqi received his Ed.D. in Adult Education and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University in 2015; a Master of Business Administration from Northern Alabama University in 2011; and a Master in Industrial Technology from Illinois Institute of Technology in 2004.

Networking Opportunities with TiE-Houston

Follow TiE Houston via Twitter @ TiEHSTN and via Facebook @tie. houston

• Malaysia: 30 million people get two day of public holiday.

Technician, Supply Chain Management, Music Production, and Fire Science Technology. Under his tenure as Chief Academic Officer, he initiated a transition program for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and signed partnership agreements with numerous universities for dual-degree and transfer programs.

“The energy of the Houston entrepreneurial community is boundless and I feel so fortunate to be able to use my talents and experience to help drive that force here with TiE Houston with support from TiE global. I am looking forward to planning and participating in all the initiatives we have planned for 2017 and beyond.” says Rojas.

For more information about TiE Houston, please visit or email to admin@houston.

• South Korea: 50 million people get three days of public holiday.

Siddiqi named next president of HCC Central College

she is ready and excited to take on this new role.

various executive-level roles in both domestic and international markets. His entrepreneurial success in building CHR solutions has been recognized by being a finalist for the ‘Gulf Coast Region E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year’ for five different times. Dr. Pasrija has been a TiE Houston Charter Member since 2001, on its board for the last 5 years, and actively involved with TiE global community attending several TiE Global retreats in past few years. Dr. Arun Pasrija

FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

(Since not all Emails and/or home addresses are available, hence this announcement in the local news media ) At the General Body Meeting held on 8 Jan 2017 the Board President, Bal Sareen announced the following time line for the upcoming election. 1. Receiving the Self Verification Forms 22 January 2017 (Date extended) 2. Members list on Temple Notice Board 10 February 2017 3. Election Commissioner to invite Nominations 10 February 2017 4. Last Date to receive Nominations 24 February 2017 5. Election to be held at the Temple 11:00AM to 3:00PM on 26 March 2017 In the recent weeks, Bal Sareen, HWS Temporary Board President has announced to the HWS devotees that HWS plans to have elections in MARCH 2017 so that a regular Board and Executive Committee is in place to effectively operate the Hindu Worship Society in accordance with the current constitution and good operating practices based on an initial input from the Temporary Board to use systems that are based on the lessons learned from the past operations. Ms.Usha Mehra has kindly agreed to serve as an ELECTION COMMISSIONER to insure elections are conducted within the HWS Constitution guidelines and in a fair and congenial environment. As a first step to commence the election process, the Temporary Board is communicating with all HWS devotees and well wishers to confirm their Membership Status by completing the membership verification form provided below : Hindu Worship Society Membership Declaration Form (Self-attestation process) Name: _______________________________________________________________________ Address: _____________________________________________________________________ E-mail Address: _______________________________________________________________ Phone Number: Home: ________________________ Mobile: ________________________ I am a life member / Or / General Member Since: _______________________________ Signature_____________________________ Date____________ HWS Constitution Article 4 Membership 1.

Membership in the society is open to any Hindu of 18 Years of age, the term “Hindu” shall apply to anyone who was born into the Hindu faith or who has adopted the Hindu Faith 2. Life membership is open to those who pay life membership fee. Life membership is not transferable 3. Associate or corporate membership shall be open to anyone who respects and supports the objectives. Associates and corporate members shall have no voting rights 4. Members who have paid annual or lifetime dues and fees shall be entitled as set forth in this constitution, to vote on the elecion or ratification of members of the executive committee and of the board, on the acquisition and disposition of the major assets of the society, on the merger and its principal terms and any amendment of those terms, on any resolution to dissolve the society, and on any amendments to this constitution. The voting rights shall be in effect after two months of continuous membership in good standing. 5. All members shall be required to abide by this constitution and to promote the welfare and the interest of the society 6. All members shall pay annual or lifetime dues as set by the general body at the beginning of each year the amount for life time membership may be increased but shall not be decreased. For the first year the amount due for life time membership shall be $1,000 which may be paid over a twenty four month period. Only after the full amount has been paid shall member become a life member. 7. The annual membership dues shall be for January 1 through December 31. General Membership is currently $100 per year. 8. Each verification Form is for TWO votes (Member and Spouse) The membership verification form indicates the requirements for LIFE MEMBERS and GENERAL MEMBERS. While all the life members are voting members, General Members for years 2015 and 2016 are eligible to vote. The completed and signed forms may be sent in any of the following proposed methods : a. Scan and return by Email if preferred to : b. Mail the form to : Bhawani Shankar Shastri Ji C/O Hindu Worship Society 2223 Wirtcrest Road, Houston, Texas 77055 c. If visiting the Temple please deposit the forms in a sealed envelope in locked box specifically kept for the completed Membership Verification Forms d. Forms in sealed envelopes can be handed over to the Election Commissioner Ms. Usha Mehra. Kindly complete and return this form to any of the methods described above your earliest possible, preferably before 22 January 2017. (You can also return the completed form and leave it in the locked box kept in the temple hall for this purpose) After the Membership verification process has been completed Members will receive communications from the Election Commissioner providing general guidelines and will also seek nominations for a variety of positions to serve the Hindu Worship Society of Houston.


FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Peaceful coexistence even with strong religious temperaments - Remembering Sri Ramanujacharya Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji is in Sugar Land 27th - 29th January. Visit: ne great figure to closely follow is Sri Ramanujacharya. When did he live? What did he do? How did he accomplish the extraordinary feats that he did ? So what if it is his 1000th birth anniversary this year? Why should be follow or even care about him now? Who should follow him now? How is he relevant to us today ? What has he got to do with the proper revival of not just our cultural heritage but also of our human heritage?


The book “A short biography of Sri Ramanujacharya Swamy” offers wonderful insights to these questions. Sri Ramanujacharya lived from AD 1017 – 1137 and travelled the length and breadth of the country, tirelessly spreading his mission of equality of all of us before the Lord and giving out of means of upliftment for all those interested irrespective of caste, creed or anything else and giving purpose to lives, addressing the secular and spiritual, immanent and transcendental aspects of existence. It is Sri Ramanujaacharya that added ‘love’ and ‘personality’ to the Supreme One and elaborated on His auspicious qualities and showed how He is ours to love and to cherish. Sri Ramanujacharya did not let religion be a mere ritual or philosophical abstraction but unleashed its cohesive force to bring all together. He showed us how we are all interrelated and how we should care for each other. He showed how a king should care for the society and how the society should be centered around the Lord and how the temple should guide the king and the subjects. Sri Ramanujacharya was a human being who saw what human potential could accomplish. Thus , it is no wonder how much he was able to accomplish in his long life. He successfully fought against oppression, untouchability, intolerance instead of merely being passive or simply blaming others or outsourcing the resistance to someone else. Sri Ramanujacharya is still relevant to our lives. After all, there is still oppression, intolerance, and injustice in the world. He gave us ways to confront problems and resolve issues, whether they be materialistic or spiritual. He showed us how we have to reform our own ways instead of attacking another’s ways. For all this and more, the least we could do for his 1000th birth anniversary is to at least acknowledge what he has done for us, the beacon of light that he has been and still is to fight against inequality and injustice anywhere. After all, what he has been fighting for are not just for a particular culture but for values that all cultures across time and place treasure. He stands not just for one particular sect or tradition but for all human heritage transcending all temporal and geographical limits.


FRIDAY, January 20, 2017



Vol. 30 No. 3


Section 2


FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Tel: 713-774-5140

Chinese New Year 2017 How to Celebrate and What the Year of the Rooster will mean

But for people born in a rooster year - 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 - it is set to be an unlucky time because tradition denotes that the year of your birth makes for an unlucky 12 months. Roosters are the tenth sign in the zodiac and are seen as confident, honest and hardworking. They also enjoy being around people but can be seen as attention seekers.

The Year of the Rooster - a statue in Malaysia seems to crow (Photo: AFP) by Mikey Smith


t’s almost lunar New Year, which will see revellers across the world get ready for two weeks of celebrations to welcome in 12 months of the Rooster The start of the lunar year is getting ever closer, and millions across the world are preparing to gather with family, get out the firecrackers and celebrate Chinese New Year. This January denotes the beginning of the Year of the Rooster, defined by the Chinese zodiac cycle. The day is traditionally marked with the giving of gifts and celebrations with family, as well as looking to what the sign of the Rooster will mean for the year ahead. Here’s everything you need to know about Chinese New Year: When is Chinese New Year and why does the date change every year? The Year of the Rooster will begin on January 28, 2017. Celebrations will begin on January 27, New Year’s Eve, and typically last around two weeks, making this the longest holiday in the Chinese calendar.

This year the festivities are set to end on February 2.

How is Chinese New Year celebrated?

Chinese New Year takes place on a different date every year, because it is based on the lunar calendar.

Chinese New Year is celebrated with the ringing of bells, the lighting of firecrackers and watching traditional lion dances.

In this calendar a month is two days shorter than in the solar calendar so to make up for it an extra month is added every few years.

In China New Year’s Eve is seen as an important date, with families gathering together for a reunion dinner. Firecrackers are then let off to signal the end of last year and the beginning of next.

The lunar calendar means the celebration always falls on a different date - unlike the January 1 New Year we are used to, based on the Gregorian calendar.

On New Year’s Day, families gather, clean their houses and sweep away bad-fortune.

But Chinese New Year always falls between the end of January and mid-February.

Red envelopes stuffed with “lucky money” are given to children, along with written wishes for their kids to grow up healthy.

Each year is denoted by a different symbol from the Chinese 12 year animal zodiac, with this year being matched to the tenth sign. Last year was the Year of the Goat.

However Chinese New Year has also been touched by the digital age, with red envelope apps where people can exchange cyber money - being launched.

What animal represents this year? The Chinese calendar attaches different animals from the zodiac to each lunar year in a cycle of 12 years. This year is the Year of the Rooster.

Chinese New Year celebrations in Disneyland

Red lanterns are seen on the buildings in Jianhe County, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, Jan. 15, 2017. (Photo: Xinhua/Yang Wenbin).


isney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, hosts a Lunar New Year celebration from Jan. 20 through Feb. 5. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be costumed for the occasion, greeting guests and offering photo opportunities alongside other Disney characters like Mulan and Mulan’s dragon sidekick Mushu.

Live performances at Disney California Adventure will include Chinese acrobats, danc-

People also decorate their houses with red paper cutouts, banners and special New Year paintings during the festive period. This year is also likely to see Rooster themed decorations. (-Courtesy: MIRROR)

ers and musicians in colorful costumes, activities and crafts themed on the holiday and

three new marketplaces offering food inspired by Asian cuisine. (



FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

US company recalls boots that To usher in the Year of the Rooster, a leave swastika imprints Chinese factory is selling giant inflatable chickens resembling Donald Trump


EIJING (AFP) - A Chinese factory is hatching giant inflatable chickens resembling Donald Trump to usher in the Year of the Rooster. The 5-meter fowls sport the tinctive golden mane of the president-elect and mimic his nature hand gestures with their “wings.”

disUS sigtiny

Cartoon figures of animals from the Chinese zodiac are ubiquitous around Chinese New Year at the end of this month. The balloon factory is selling its presidential birds for as much as 14,400 yuan ($2,080) on Chinese shopping site Taobao for a 10-meter version.

A woman takes a selfie in front of a sculpture of a rooster that local media say bears resemblance to US President-elect Donald Trump, outside a shopping mall in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China Dec. 30, 2016. The balloons being sold for the Year of the Rooster were modeled after the sculpture (Photo: Jon Woo/Reuters)

“I saw his image on the news and he has a lot of personality, and since Year of the Rooster is coming up I mixed these two elements together to make a Chinese chicken,” factory owner Wei Qing told AFP.

This Chinese New Year, More People Than Ever Expected To Travel Outside Of The Country

“It is so funny, so we designed it and tried to sell it and it turned out to be popular.” The cartoon balloon appeared to be based on a sculpture designed by US artist Casey Latiolais, which was unveiled at a shopping mall last month in Taiyuan, capital of the northern province of Shanxi. Wei said he was not aware that the American designer had created the original, but added that “there are some differences in the facial expression. And that one is glass. Ours is inflatable.” Trump has captured the Chinese imagination and riled its authorities, threatening to get tough on trade practices he says are unfair after taking office on Jan. 20. He also angered China by taking a phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, breaking with decades of US diplomatic practice. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Friday, Trump said the “One China” policy was up for negotiation. China’s foreign ministry, in response, said “One China” was the foundation of China-U.S. ties and was non-negotiable.

by Wolfgang Georg Arlt FORBES


anuary 28 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, and this year’s calendar allows for a possible ten-day break. While the holiday used to be a period of family reunions and big feasts, many Chinese are now choosing to escape the winter pollution and the vastly overstretched domestic travel infrastructure by taking an outbound trip instead. Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency, recently released its “2017 Spring Festival Tourism Big Data Report,” forecasting that this year’s holiday season will be the “hottest ever” and is expected to surpass last year’s total of six million outbound trips. According to Ctrip, the top 10 overseas destinations for Chinese New Year tourists in 2017 are: Thailand, Japan, the United States, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The report also claims that this year has seen much smaller increases in package tour prices compared to previous years, with plenty of last-minute offers still available due to a wider range of available deals as well as increased time flexibility. (This year’s Spring

Festival Golden Week public holidays will last from Friday, January 27 to Thursday, February 2, and people may elect to take an extra day off on Friday, January 3 to extend their holidays.) With increases of around 15%, trips to Thailand saw the largest rises in price, while the strong U.S. dollar saw trips to the U.S. and the Philippines become approximately 10% more expensive. Nevertheless, trips to Japan and many destinations have stayed almost stable. The prices for package tours to countries that saw plummeting visitor numbers in 2016--such as Egypt, Turkey and Italy--are being reduced by up to 30%. The first Golden Week tours begin on January 23, peaking on January 25, with many travelers aiming to leave the country before the “Golden Week Travel Madness” begins. This year 2.98 billion trips (up from 2.91 billion last year) are expected to take place within one week in China, mobility on a level never seen before in the history of mankind. Positive forecasts for outbound trips are supported by the continued easing of visa requirements for many destinations, increased flight numbers and relatively low-cost package

Polar Fox boots manufactured by Conal International Trading Inc which left imprints of swastikas (Photo: Reddit)


OS ANGELES (AFP) - A California-based company that sells footwear has recalled a model of military-style boots after a customer pointed out the soles leave swastika imprints. Conal International Trading Inc. pulled the Polar Fox boots this week and issued an apology after a Reddit user on Monday posted an image of the imprint that went viral. “We would like to issue our sincerest apologies to our customers and to anyone who was offended by the swastika imprint that the boots left behind,” the company said in a statement. “The design was not intentional and was a mistake made by our manufacturers in China.” The company added that it “does not promote hate or discrimination of any kind.” The man behind the picture posted on Reddit wrote in a caption: “There

tours, with tour operators hoping to lure back some of the increasing number of independent travelers. With the opportunity to travel for ten days or more, long-haul destinations like the U.S. and Australia can expect large numbers of Chinese visitors this year. Additionally, countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Morocco will benefit from recently relaxed visa requirements. A visa for UAE can new be obtained after arrival at the airport without prior application, and Morocco even waived the need for a visa completely.

was an angle I didn’t get to see when ordering my new work boots.” His photo, viewed more than three million times, prompted a flurry of snarky comments. “Very comfortable. Nein out of ten,” one person wrote. “I love them too, they really put me in mein kampfort zone,” another wrote, while a third said “Heily recommended.” Another person quipped: “Good for marching into Poland.” The military combat boots were sold on Amazon, which removed the listing on Thursday. The Jewish Anti-Defamation League said in a statement that it had contacted the footwear company after learning about the boots and was informed that they were manufactured in Asia, “a culture which views the swastika as a Buddhist symbol.” In the ancient Sanskrit language, the swastiska means “wellbeing” and was used as a symbol of good fortune before it was adopted by the Nazis. “The League reiterated to the company that the swastika serves as the most significant symbol of white supremacy and anti-Semitism, and whether intentional or not, the use of the symbol on the boot is deeply offensive,” the statement said. Many have also pointed out another apparently unintended association with Nazi Germany: The boots share a name with a World War II military operation -- Polarfuchs, or Polar Fox -- in which German and Finnish soldiers captured the Salla area of central Finland from the Soviets.

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Obama just made the case for his clean energy legacy by Brian Kahn


esearchers cracking open the latest edition of the journal Science will find an author in the table of contents whose name is usually attached to executive orders. On Monday, President Obama published a piece that lays out his legacy on clean energy and what he thinks comes next. This the first time Science has published a sitting president. By laying out his views in one of the world’s leading academic journals, Obama is signaling that he believes factbased analysis matters more than ever. He sees the world as at a tipping point and that a clean energy revolution is already underway. “Putting near-term politics aside, the mounting economic and scientific evidence leave me confident that trends toward a clean-energy economy that have emerged during my presidency will continue and that the economic opportunity for our country to harness that trend will only grow,” Obama wrote. As evidence of the inevitability of clean energy, he cites the growing signs that carbon emissions are decoupling from economic growth, global momentum from the Paris Agreement and other quarters, and the increasing power of market forces driving toward clean energy. Those signs have become

clearer in recent months. Google announced that it will purchase the equivalent of 100 percent of its energy use from renewables, divestments from fossil fuels hit a record high, and countries around the world have doubled down on the Paris Agreement despite uncertainty about what comes next from the U.S.

While Science garners far fewer eyeballs than a major news outlet like the New York Times, it does offer something unique. It’s one of the premier academic journals in the world, and being published there indicates a commitment to rigorous analysis (though it also should be noted the piece is not a peer review study).

China has also signaled that it will put $361 billion into clean energy by 2020, creating 13 million new jobs; globally, investment in renewables hit a record high in 2015.

Obama only references Trump once — and in a neutral manner, saying he has “the opportunity” to lay out his own policy course — but publishing in Science draws a sharp contrast to the President-elect’s apparent disdain for experts and the climate science denialism that’s a fixture for many of his cabinet nominees and transition leaders.

The incoming Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress are likely to be hostile to climate action, but Obama suggests in Science that any change of course in federal policy will be akin to a bump in the road rather than a roadblock (of course, a bump in the road could still exacerbate suffering for millions, particularly the world’s poorest). Aside from the analysis, where it’s published in is also an important benchmark. Meagan Phelan, executive director of the Science press package team, said other world leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan have written in Science, but “this is the first Science Policy Forum by a sitting U.S. president.”

The Science article is the third Obama-authored piece to show up in the past week in academic journals (the other two can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine and Harvard Law Review covering healthcare and criminal justice reform, respectively). Obama also authored an article in August 2016 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to defend his healthcare policies. This is the first time, however, that he has written extensively about climate change and energy. Taken together, his journal publications are an implicit argument that rigorous analysis has a strong place in setting policy. (-Climate Central)

FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Researchers develop lithium ion battery with built-in fire extinguisher


hat happened to Samsung and its Galaxy Note 7 can be considered a wake-up call for battery makers and consumers alike, or at least it should be. Despite whatever safety precautions Samsung took to ensure its Galaxy Note 7 would function properly, the batteries inside were prone to overheating and catching fire, which led to a global recall. It’s an issue that has affected other electronic makers in the past, but maybe one that can be prevented in the future. To that end, a group of researchers from Stanford University developed a lithium-ion battery with a built-in fire extinguisher. “Although the energy densities of batteries continue to increase, safety problems (for example, fires and explosions) associated with the use of highly flammable liquid organic electrolytes remain a big issue, significantly hindering further practical applications of the next generation of high-energy batteries. We have fabricated a novel “smart” nonwoven electrospun separator with thermaltriggered flame-retardant properties for lithium-ion batteries,” the researchers state in their paper.

adaptive material (38) in the battery, we do not have to make a trade-off between the electrolyte non-flammability and the electrochemical performance of the battery,” the researchers added.

The researchers added a popular flame retardant called triphenyl phosphate to the plastic fibers that separate the positive and negative electrodes. Should the battery reach around 150C, the plastic fibers would begin to melt and release the triphenyl phosphate so that it could put out any potential fire. The researchers said they chose tri-

This proved an effective method. In tests, battery fires were put out in as little as 0.4 seconds. Testing also showed that battery performance was not negatively affected. The downside is that small amounts of flame retardant diffused through the polymer capsule into the elec-

A group of researchers from Stanford University developed a lithium-ion battery with a flame redardant-infused fibers. phenyl phosphate because it is popularly used, cheap, and efficient.

trolyte after charging and discharging the lithium battery a few hundred times.

“Moreover, the air pollution level after combustion is much lower than that when halogen-based flame retardants are used. With this smart and

While further testing is needed, this is a promising technology that could prevent personal and property damage. (

Read more on Health, Science & Tech Visit us online... Visit: www.

The global chain that produces your fish the Chinese coastal provinces of Liaoning and Shandong into global centres for fish processing. But globalised fish farming leaves a mighty carbon footprint and has other impacts, many of which are unseen for the consumer.

The following story is part of a series that AFP is running on the historic shifts caused by trade globalisation. The series is linked to the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president and to the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Don Staniford, an activist and director of the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, called the fish industry’s production and transportation chain “madness”.

by Isabel Malsang


ARIS, France | AFP - That smoked salmon you bought for the New Year’s festivities has a story to tell.

- Environmental cost “The iconic image of Scottish salmon -- a wild salmon leaping out of the river -- has gone. The Scottish salmon farming industry is dominated, 60-70 percent, by Norwegian companies,” he said.

The salmon may have been raised in Scotland -- but it probably began life as roe in Norway. Harvested at a coastal farm, the fish may have been sent to Poland to be smoked. It may even have travelled halfway around the world to China to be sliced. It eventually arrived, wrapped in that tempting package, in your supermarket.

The biggest such company, Marine Harvest, is the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon, some 420,000 tonnes in 2015. Scottish salmon farms import eggs from Norway, the fish food from Chile and then send the fish to Poland -- “because it’s cheaper” -- for smoking, said Staniford.

Globalisation has changed the world in many ways, but fish farming is one of the starkest examples of its benefits and hidden costs. The nexus of the world fish-farming trade is China -- the biggest exporter of fish products, the biggest producer of farmed fish and a major importer as well. With battalions of lost-cost workers, linked to markets by a network of ocean-going refrigerated ships, China is the go-to place for labour-intensive fish processing. In just a few clicks on Alibaba, the Chinese online trading hub, you can buy three tonnes of Norwegian filleted mackerel shipped from the port city of Qingdao for delivery within 45 days.

“Consumers don’t realise that cheap supermarket salmon comes with a huge social and environment cost,” he added.

That smoked salmon you bought for the New Year’s festivities may have been raised in Scotland, but it probably began life as roe in Norway (AFP Photo/Robert Sullivan) “There is a significant amount of bulk frozen fish sent to China just for filleting,” said a source from an association of importers in an EU country.

“The temperature of the fish is brought up to enable the filleting but the fish are not completely defrosted.” The practice has helped transform

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One such problem is that integrated markets, with the free flow of fish and fish products across borders, may spread disease and new bugs. Antibiotic-resistant diseases or parasites such as sea lice require bulk slaughter on giant fish farms, pushing up prices. Chile, the world’s second-largest producer behind Norway, suffered the ravages of an algae bloom in early 2016, resulting in high mortality, reducing its expected production by 30 percent.

Despite such setbacks, the economic potential remains enormous. According to Allied Market Research, the global aquaculture market will be worth $242-billion (228 billion euros) in 2022, compared to $169-billion in 2015. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and World Bank go further and say that by 2030 two-thirds of the seafood on people’s plates will come from aquaculture farms. - Employment mirrors changes The tipping point may have come in 2014. Only 81.5 million tonnes of fish were netted at sea -- down from a historic peak of 86.4 million tonnes, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). For the first time, more farmed fish were consumed than wild fish. On a broader employment level, fishing and aquaculture account for an estimated 56.6 million jobs across the globe. But a breakdown of the numbers again underlines change. Those involved in catching fish has fallen from 83 percent in 1990 to 67 percent in 2014 -- with the corresponding numbers in aquaculture almost doubling. The evolution of the industry has also been driven by overfishing, with fewer wild fish now being caught, leading to a concentration of large multinational fisheries. “We are seeing a new phenomenon of deals that have consolidated the sector in Europe and the world,” said Francois Chartier, an economic specialist at Greenpeace.


Section 2

Young Life



Folic acid, a form of vitamin B-9, is important in the early days of pregnancy. It reduces the risk for birth defects of a baby’s brain and spine known as neural tube defects.

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Drumming for a new year

US panel recommends folic acid supplements for young women omen who may get pregnant - whether planned or unplanned - should take a daily folic acid supplement to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

case the Task Force was able to reaffirm the previous recommendation that any women who can get pregnant should take folic acid supplements to prevent neural tube defects.” The supplement should contain 0.4 to 0.8 milligrams (mg) of folic acid, the Task Force said in its final recommendation, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “There are multi-vitamins that have the right amount of folic acid in them,

Drummers pose after performing "A Flourish of Hundreds Drums" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on January 18, 2017. In the event, a total of 388 drummers performed together the 24 Festive Drums, a popular performance in Malaysia in which groups of drummers beat 24 drums that represent 24 solar terms in the lunar calendar (Photo: Lim Huey Teng / AP)

Annual report examines state of college student mental heath Photo: AFP/File photo Many different foods, including leafy dark-green vegetables and fortified grain products, contain B-9 in the form of folate, but dietary intake usually doesn’t provide enough to reach the daily recommended amount.

but you can also get supplements without the other components in there,” said Kemper, who is a pediatrician at Duke University Medical School in Durham, North Carolina.

The Task Force, which is a panel backed by the U.S. government, had similarly recommended in 2009 that women of childbearing age take folic acid supplements.

The recommendation applies to all women who may get pregnant, he said, because the vitamin is most important for the earliest days of pregnancy, “oftentimes before a women know she’s pregnant.”

“The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force regularly looks at its previous recommendations to make sure the science still supports the previous Task Force recommendation,” Dr. Alex Kemper, a member of the Task Force, told Reuters Health. “In this

Neural tube defects affected about 11 to 12 children per 10,000 births before the U.S. started pushing supplementation, Kemper told Reuters Health. The rate is currently about 6 to 7 cases per 10,000 births. (-Reuters Health)

Young victims of the opioid epidemic


pioid overdoses have claimed more than 300,000 lives in the last 15 years, including some 33,000 in 2015 alone. But those numbers do not tell the full horror of this epidemic, which has devastated the lives of countless children whose parents have succumbed to addiction to prescription painkillers and other opiates. In one terrible case last month, a Pennsylvania couple died of apparent overdoses, and their baby perished from starvation a few days later.

federal and state child welfare spending fell by 5 percent between 2004 and 2014, according to a report published in October by Child Trends, a research organization. In Texas, conditions have gotten so bad that officials have assigned dozens of foster care children to sleep in state offices and other temporary shelters. Two court-appointed monitors proposed an overhaul of the Texas system in November. A bipartisan bill that would have


espite increased demand for counseling centers on college campuses, students aren’t necessarily getting sicker. Instead, it’s likely student mental health needs across the country have increased due to national prevention and awareness efforts over the past decade. “The results we are seeing are the outcomes we would expect to see from suicide prevention efforts over the last decade,” said Ben Locke, executive director of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State. “We’ve been asked if students are sicker today, and this doesn’t seem to be supported by the data. Over the last six years, the rate at which students report prior mental health treatment has not increased, but with communities being primed to say ‘that’s a problem, let’s find you help,’ more students are being referred.” In response to growing demand, university counseling centers also have experienced operational changes over the last six years. They are providing 28 percent more “rapid-access” service hours per

client and 7.6 percent fewer “routine” service hours per client. With more resources going into “rapid-access” services -- first-time and emergency appointments -- counseling centers’ routine treatment capacities are likely being impacted, especially when funding is flat. “Counseling centers always make sure to provide emergency services in a short time period -- that’s our priority,” said Locke, who also directs Penn State’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services. Moving forward, he said, counseling centers need to ensure students in need -- not just those experiencing a crisis -- get follow-up treatment to heal. Locke compared the scenario to other forms of health care. “If you have strep throat, and go into a health center, they won’t tell you to come back in two weeks because they’re fully booked,”

he said, “and they won’t give you a half prescription; you’ll get a full prescription for the medication you need.” These are some of the findings in the 2016 Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH) Annual Report -- the largest and most comprehensive report on college students seeking mental health treatment to date. A sample of other findings include: Counseling centers are evaluating and managing increasing numbers of students who may also represent “threatto-self.” Trends in students’ thoughts or actions related to harming others continue to be infrequent. Anxiety and depression continue to be the most common presenting concerns for college students as identified by counseling center staff. (-ScienceDaily. com)

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changes. If repeal isn’t followed by a replacement law that provides equivalent coverage, many parents with drug and alcohol problems won’t get access to addiction treatment. President-

More commonly, children are rescued or removed from the custody of their parents by local child welfare officials or relatives. After declining for several years, the number of

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Illustration by Lilli Carre children in foster care jumped 8 percent nationally, to 428,000, between fiscal years 2012 and 2015, the most recent data available. Experts say opioid abuse accounts for a lot of that increase. Officials cited parental substance abuse as a reason for removing children from families in 32.2 percent of cases in 2015, up from 28.5 percent in 2012. But these numbers very likely understate the problem, because local officials often fail to report drug and alcohol abuse and list most cases under the broad category of “parental neglect.” One group, Generations United, estimates that 2.5 million children now live with relatives or family friends rather than their parents. Yet federal, state and local officials have done far too little to address the problem. Years of budget cutbacks have left many states with too few caseworkers and too few foster families to deal with the crisis. Total

given states matching funds for mental health, addiction treatment and other assistance to parents didn’t make it through the Senate, though it had passed the House. The measure was supported by groups like the Children’s Defense Fund and the American Academy of Pediatrics. It would have reduced funding for foster care in group homes, settings that many experts say are far worse for children than placements in foster families. But some senators who were worried about the concerns of group home operators opposed that cut and prevented a vote on the bill. Another major threat to children of the opioid epidemic is the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. More than 20 million people have gained access to mental health and substance abuse treatment because the 2010 law expanded Medicaid and provided subsidies to help people buy insurance policies on health ex-

elect Donald Trump pledged during the campaign to end the opioid epidemic. But repealing the health care law is likely to exacerbate the crisis. There was a big spike in foster care cases during the crackcocaine epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s. The government was far too slow to act then, and it is in danger of being dangerously behind the curve again. ( - N


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FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Bollywood -Hollywood

Section 2


xXx: Deepika Padukone gives Vin Diesel a very desi welcome

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I have not played by Bollywood rules: Shruti Haasan

Vin Diesel (center) and Deepika Padukone charmed all at the premier of their new film, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, at PVR Cinema, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, Mumbai on January 12, 2017. (Prodip Guha/HT PHOTO)

Robert De Niro pens letter to Meryl Streep praising Golden Globes speech “It Needed to Be Said”


“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if you kick us all out, you’ll have nothing to watch except for football and mixed martial arts, which are not arts,” she said. Streep also noted that one “performance” stood out this year: that of Trump when he publicly mocked The New York Times’ Serge Kovaleski, a disabled reporter. “There was nothing good about it, but it did its job,” she said. “It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out my head because it wasn’t in a movie; it was in real life. That instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in a public platform, it filters down into everyone’s life because it gives permission for others to do the same.

When asked if Bollywood directors haven’t tapped her full potential yet, Shruti says, “I do feel that but I also think you can’t say ‘it’s because of this or that’. I think predominantly I’ve focused more on the South than Bollywood. I’ll be honest about it.” “But in Hindi films, be it D-Day, Welcome Back, there is nothing in common. Even in South, my trajectory has been like that because I am a person who needs change. If it’s something interesting, something which I’ve never done, I’ll do it.” Shruti explains that to do more Bollywood films one has to spend a lot of time in Mumbai.

The actress then went on to win critical acclaim for her role in the 2011 Telugu film Anaganaga O Dheerudu followed by her Tamil debut 7aum Arivu the same year. “I made my debut in Hindi but it took that turn, for whatever reasons. It really wasn’t planned. Whenever I’ve worked here, I’ve enjoyed it. But it (Bollywood) is a different mindset, the different set of rules. I’ve never played by those rules,” Shruti told PTI.

Robert De Niro wrote a letter to Meryl Streep on the heels of her passionate speech at last week’s Golden Globes, praising her for her anti-Donald Trump, pro-immigration remarks.

Streep, the recipient of this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award at last Sunday’s Golden Globes, gave a passionate speech upon accepting her honor that many in Hollywood applauded.


UMBAI (PTI - She made her debut with a Hindi film and went to do several South Indian movies but actress Shruti Haasan says she does not play by the rules of Bollywood. Imran Khan starrer Luck marked her first big screen appearance in 2009, which did not do well at the box office.

have so much respect for you that you did it while the world was celebrating your achievements,” the actor wrote in the letter to his longtime friend and four-time co-star. “I share your sentiments about punks and bullies. Enough is enough.”

“What you said was great,” De Niro wrote in the letter, which was posted online by People and confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter. “It needed to be said, and you said it beautifully. I have so much respect for you that you did it while the world was celebrating your achievements. I share your sentiments about punks and bullies. Enough is enough.”

Shruti Haasan (File Photo)

“Mumbai is also kind of place which I’ve realised is, it is a lot more important to be here as much as you can. Which I never am, at any place, at any point. If you go to South they’re like ‘but you are always in Mumbai’. “When I go to Hyderabad they’re like ‘You are always in Chennai’. I always wanted to be Pan-India and these are the fallbacks of being one.”

Post her Bollywood debut, the 30-yearold actress did do more Hindi films like Ramaiya Vastavaiya, D-Day and Gabbar Is Back but says she has predominantly focused more on South Indian films. Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro (File Photo) “Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence,” she continued. “When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.” After stressing the importance for the press to stand up to Trump — “We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. ... We’re going to need them going forward and they’re going to need us to safeguard the truth,” she said of journalists — Streep concluded her speech by quoting Carrie Fisher: “As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, ‘Take your broken heart, make it into art.’” For his part, Trump quickly responded to Streep’s comments in a brief phone interview with The New York Times, describing the actress as a “Hillary lover.” He said that he had not seen the speech and had not watched the awards show. Trump added that he was “not surprised” that the “liberal movie people” slammed him during the broadcast. In the early hours of Monday, Trump continued to lash out, this time taking to Twitter. Across three tweets, he

described the multiple Oscarwinner as “one of most overrated actresses in Hollywood,” saying she was a “Hillary flunk who lost big” and that she had “attacked” him without merit over claims he had ridiculed a disabled reporter. Longtime pals Streep and De Niro have starred in four films together, starting with 1974’s The Deer Hunter and most recently in 2004’s First Man. Watch her Golden Globes speech above, and read De Niro’s full letter to the actress below.


Meryl – What you said was great. It needed to be said, and you said it beautifully. I have so much respect for you that you did it while the world was celebrating your achievements. I share your sentiments about punks and bullies. Enough is enough. You, with your elegance and intelligence, have a powerful voice — one that inspires others to speak up as they should so their voices will be heard too. It is so important that we ALL speak up. We love you. Bob









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Section 2


Some students develop an appetite for healthier school meals by Bryan Thompson


chool lunch has long been a target of jokes. Those jokes turned to complaints from students and parents alike in 2012 when new nutrition standards mandated by Congress, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, took effect. Since it was established 70 years ago, the national school lunch program has required the federally assisted meals to be nutritionally balanced. The revisions that went into effect in 2012 were the first major changes in 15 years. Based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, they were intended to help stem the growing problem of childhood obesity. The new rules, championed by Michelle Obama and other nutrition advocates, mandated a greater emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains — and less salt, saturated fat and trans fats. They also emphasized portion sizes and calorie counts designed to maintain a healthy weight.

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act required schools to cut calories from meals while adding more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. (File photo by Grant Gerlock, NET News/Harvest Public Media) to give teens the calories they need to pay attention in the classroom and push themselves in sports — even after some start the day with chores on the farm.

In response, students at Wallace County High School in Sharon Springs, Kansas, produced a music video parody that quickly went viral. The video portrayed student athletes collapsing from hunger.

“We serve them enough here that, if they take everything off of our main line, and then they have access to the fresh vegetables and the fruit and stuff off the garden bar, they shouldn’t be hungry,” she says.

Elaine Fischer heads the school nutrition program in the small northwest Kansas town. She sympathizes with the students’ complaints, but only to a point. Fischer plans meals carefully

The students must have come to the same conclusion, Fischer says, because the controversy has died. An influential group of conservative lawmakers in the U.S. House say they

want the Donald Trump administration to lead a repeal of many of the nutrition rules, but Trump’s post-inauguration plans remain to be seen. Three hours to the south, at Liberal (Kansas) High School, students haven’t produced any protest videos. But they’re also not ready to give their cafeteria a five-star rating. During a recent lunch period, the hot lunch included five chicken nuggets, a serving of potatoes and gravy, a whole wheat roll and milk. But the cafeteria also offered a salad bar stocked with a colorful variety of fresh vegetables and a fruit salad. (

Trump vows ‘insurance for everybody’ in Obamacare replacement plan by Amy Goldstein and Robert Costa


EW YORK (CNN) - President-elect Donald Trump said in a weekend interview that he is nearing completion of a plan to replace President Obama’s signature health-care law with the goal of “insurance for everybody,” while also vowing to force drug companies to negotiate directly with the government on prices in Medicare and Medicaid. Trump declined to reveal specifics in the telephone interview late Saturday with The Washington Post, but any proposals from the incoming president would almost certainly dominate the Republican effort to overhaul federal health policy as he prepares to work with his party’s congressional majorities. Trump’s plan is likely to face questions from the right, after years of GOP opposition to further expansion of government involvement in the health-care system, and from those on the left, who see his ideas as disruptive to changes brought by the Affordable Care Act that have extended coverage to tens of millions of Americans.

costs have always been in conflict, and it remains unclear how the plan that the incoming administration is designing — or ones that will emerge on Capitol Hill — would address that tension. In general, congressional GOP plans to replace Obamacare have tended to try to constrain costs by reducing government requirements, such as the medical services that must be provided under health plans sold through the law’s marketplaces and through states’ Medicaid programs. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and other Republicans have been talking lately about providing “universal access” to health insurance, instead of universal insurance coverage. Trump said he expects Republicans in Congress to move quickly and in unison in the coming weeks on other priorities as well, including enacting sweeping tax cuts and beginning the building of a wall along the Mexican border. Trump warned Republicans that if the party splinters or slows his agenda, he is ready to use the power of the presidency — and Twitter — to usher his legislation to passage.

In addition to his replacement plan for the ACA, also known as Obamacare, Trump said he will target pharmaceutical companies over drug prices.

“The Congress can’t get cold feet because the people will not let that happen,” Trump said during the interview with The Post.

“They’re politically protected, but not anymore,” he said of pharmaceutical companies.

Trump said his plan for replacing most aspects of Obama’s health-care law is all but finished. Although he was coy about its details — “lower numbers, much lower deductibles” — he said he is ready to unveil it alongside Ryan and

The objectives of broadening access to insurance and lowering health-care

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “It’s very much formulated down to the final strokes. We haven’t put it in quite yet but we’re going to be doing it soon,” Trump said. He noted that he is waiting for his nominee for secretary of health and human services, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), to be confirmed. That decision rests with the Senate Finance Committee, which hasn’t scheduled a hearing. Trump’s declaration that his replacement plan is ready comes after many Republicans — moderates and conservatives — expressed anxiety last week about the party’s lack of a formal proposal as they held votes on repealing the law. Once his plan is made public, Trump said, he is confident that it could get enough votes to pass in both chambers. He declined to discuss how he would court wary Democrats. So far, Republicans have taken the first steps toward repealing the law through budget reconciliation, a process by which only a simple majority is needed in the Senate. The process would enable them to dismantle aspects of the law that involve federal spending. The plan that Trump is preparing will come after the House has taken more than 60 votes in recent years to kill all or parts of the ACA to adopt more conservative health-care policies, which tend to rely more heavily on the private sector. “I think we will get approval. I won’t tell you how, but we will get approval.

Tel: 713-774-5140

My Medigap (Medicare Supplement) Rate Went Up – Now What?! Medigap Insurance, just like any other insurance, has pesky rate increases that no one likes. Clients always ask us whether their Medigap rate will go up, and the answer truthfully is YES. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not trustworthy. Most Medigap policies have a rate increase once a year, usually on your policy anniversary. Some carriers increase on your birthday month instead. Over the last few years though, we’ve seen occasions though where a Medigap rate stayed level from one year to the next. We’ve even seen the rare rate decrease. Unfortunately, while those are wonderful when they happen, they are not the norm. Rates generally do go up over time, and that’s because of inflation. Medicare supplement insurance policies like these are subject to inflation just like everything else in America. The cost of healthcare is rising, so the insurance companies must adjust annually to reflect that. Medicare itself also usually increases the deductibles from year to year, and many Medigap plans cover those things. Your policy will be covering bigger deductibles when that happens, so it results in increases to your monthly premium. So what can you do to keep those Medigap rates in check over the years? I’ve got some tips to share with you. Get Quotes from Other Medigap Carriers If you really like the benefits that your current policy provides, then the first thing to check is whether any other Medigap insurance carriers are offering that same plan for less. Medigap plans are standardized by plan letter. So if you have a Plan F, and you switch to another carrier offering Plan F, you can feel 100% confident that your benefits will remain exactly the same. Medigap plans also do not have networks, so changing your Medigap company does not affect your access to your doctors in any way. You will still be able to see any provider in the nation that participates in MediYou see what’s happened in the House in recent weeks,” Trump said, referencing his tweet during a House Republican move to gut their independent ethics office, which along with widespread constituent outrage was cited by some members as a reason the gambit failed. As he has developed a replacement package, Trump said he has paid attention to critics who say that repealing Obamacare would put coverage at risk for more than 20 million Americans covered under the law’s insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion. “We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” People

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

care. The only difference is that after Medicare pays its primary share, it will be sending on the remainder of that bill to a different Medigap insurance company to cover the rest of any benefits owed on your behalf. This makes it so easy to shop Medigap rates. Here at Health Life 360, we have a quoting software that instantly compares all of the Medigap carriers in any zip code, and lets us see at a glance whether any other company has lower rates in your area. I’ve found it to be extremely helpful in not only finding the lowest rates, but in also allowing my staff to search for Medigap rate trends among the carriers. If we see a very competitive rate, but the increase history feature of our software tells us that this carrier has had double-digit rate increases of 10% or more every year, then we look for a carrier with a similar competitive rate but lower increase history. There’s no crystal ball here – we can never be certain what any carrier’s rates will change to the next year. However, we can do our best to make some educated guesses based on the history, and that’s helpful. To choose right Medigap plan, Medicare Advantage Plan, or any health care plan contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.

covered under the law “can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better.” Republican leaders have said that they will not strand people who gained insurance under the ACA without coverage. But it remains unclear from either Trump’s comments in the interview or recent remarks by GOP leaders on Capitol Hill how they intend to accomplish that. Timing could be difficult as Trump puts an emphasis on speed. Obama’s law took more than 14 months of debate and hundreds of hearings. To urge lawmakers on, Trump plans to attend a congressional Republican retreat in Philadelphia this month.

Wearables show what healthy means for you, then tell if you’re not


here’s been plenty of hope and buzz in the recent years that wearable technology will upend healthcare as we know it. Commercial devices strapped to our persons will— makers promise—empower individuals to monitor and control their own health, plus they’ll help guide the care people receive by medical professionals. But so far, there’s been a rather noticeable gap between the data we collect on our little devices and better health and healthcare for most. Does your doctor really care about or know what to do with your Fitbit data? Is your Apple Watch making you healthier? Often, when people use wearables, “they get all excited for about three months, and then they stop looking at them,” precision medicine expert Michael Snyder of Stanford told Ars. Snyder and colleagues think they can change that, though—making wearables finally work for our health in the process. Using current, commercially available wearables with simple sensors—such as those that measure skin temperature, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels— Snyder and his team translated basic

physiological data into a personalized baseline of what “healthy” looks like for each individual wearer. Then they correlated deviations from that baseline with different disease states. Their method successfully detected oncoming infections and could predict progression toward diabetes in study volunteers. The findings, published Monday in PLOS Biology, suggest that wearables could provide highly individualized and sensitive monitoring of a wearer’s health—something of value to doctors that they currently just can’t get otherwise, Snyder argues. “When you’re healthy, you probably go to the doctor once a year, or every two years,” Snyder explains. And you get a battery of tests in those infrequent visits—your weight, temperature, blood pressure, etc. Those aren’t necessarily enough to know what’s normal for you. Maybe you get nervous in doctors’ offices or you’re just having an “off” day. A wearable that monitors you all the time, on the other hand, could tell. Snyder likens his vision for wearables to sensors in your car’s engine—and the little check engine light that comes on when something is out of sorts.

This isn’t a wholly new idea, of course. But the sticking point is being able to take data that we can measure with wearables and translating them to helpful medical information. To do this, the team recruited around 60 people, including Snyder himself, to wear a variety of wearables. Snyder is a monitoring enthusiast, and he even wore seven wearables at one point (he insists this wouldn’t be necessary for other consumers). In future, just look if your “check human light” is on... (

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FRIDAY, January 20, 2017




Section 2


China’s Xi says globalisation here to stay by Jitendra Joshi


AVOS, Switzerland | AFP - China’s President Xi Jinping warned Tuesday against scapegoating globalisation for the world’s ills or retreating behind protectionist walls, days before Donald Trump takes office.

warned: “No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.” Trump has repeatedly accused China of carrying out trade policies that have led to massive US job losses. He has threatened to slap tariffs of up to 45 percent on Chinese goods.


Peter Lacy, a global managing director at Accenture Strategy, told AFP. - Perils and parties Conscious of the sour public mood in the West, organisers are billing the Davos meet as “A call for responsive and responsible leadership”, and top business executives agree that they must not appear oblivious to the anger of ordinary people.

But addressing a hall packed “The advantages of gloIn what amounted to a rewrit- with government leaders, cap- balisation are more clear in ing of the globemerging al economic markets than order, led for in developed decades by the countries. We United States, have to listen, Xi used his to help people debut speech that are conat the World cerned,” SerEconomic Fogio Ermotti, rum in Davos chief executo insist that tive of Swiss globalisation banking giwas irreversant UBS, told ible despite a AFP. populist backA World lash in the China’s President Xi Jinping delivered a speech on the openEconomic West. ing day of the World Economic Forum, on January 17, 2017 in Forum study There is “no Davos. (AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini) said that withpoint in blamin advanced ing economic economies, globalisation for the world’s tains of industry, stars of en- median per capita income fell problems”, he said, saying that tertainment and agenda-setting on average 2.4 percent over the process was not at the root thinkers, Xi issued a rebuke to the past five years, helping to of the Syrian refugee situation such thinking. explain why disaffection is so “Pursuing protectionism is high across the West. or the 2008 financial crisis. Globalisation should be “more just locking oneself in a dark And the scale of the chasm inclusive, more sustainable”, he room. While wind and rain between the richest and poormay be kept outside, so are added, adding that currently est was laid bare by an Oxfam existing global institutions are light and air,” he said. report that said eight men own It is simply “not possible” the same wealth as the poorest “inadequate” and should be more “representative”. to reverse the flow of global half of the world’s population. Xi’s keynote address kicked capital, technology, goods Other research presented off four days of networking and and people, Xi added, insist- by the consultancy Edelman ing China was committed to partying by the global elite in found public confidence in the Swiss ski resort, in a week “opening up” and defend- institutions including in goving globalisation’s gains for that climaxes as Trump takes ernments, business, the media office after a campaign that emerging economies. and NGOs slumping across the blamed China and globalisation The message was music to rich world. for the loss of millions of US the ears of the globetrotting The sense that the world is at factory jobs. Davos crowd. a turning point is apparent in The Republican property ty“It was a clear call from the topics of debate at Davos, coon’s signal pledge is to “Make President Xi that he is prepared across hundreds of different American Great Again” but Xi to take the lead on free trade,” panels.

3 solid retirement strategies for business owners by Meghan Totka


hen nearly 50 percent of the population is unprepared for a major life event, we have a problem. That’s exactly the picture that a TD Bank survey paints for us regarding business owners and retirement: 47 percent don’t have a plan in place. Here’s why this is critical: You don’t get a “do-over” when it’s time to retire. That’s probably why business owners—especially Baby Boomers—have a retirement plan that is simply to never retire. If you own a business, there are several areas that can work together to provide you an income that will maintain your standard of living when you decide to retire. Let’s break it down into three major groups: The value of your business The value of your investments The value of your house Diversification plays an important role in almost every financial strategy, and if your retirement plan includes strategies in each of the three categories I listed above, your retirement plans will be well diversified.

FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Diversification helps “cover your bases” when one area of the economy starts to underperform. Going back to my list, if you work on only two of those three areas, you’re a bit less safe, and if you only do one, you’re really skating on thin ice. Let’s look at each category and go over important tactics and tools you have at your disposal: 1. Cash in on the value of your business. It’s natural for you to see the company you have built as “money in the bank” and to plan on using that money to fund your retirement. However, it’s very important to start grooming your business early if you want to get the maximum value for it come retirement time. 2. Establish an investment account. Most of us know something about the alphabet soup of government-sanctioned retirement savings accounts: IRAs (traditional and Roth) and 401(k)s. But there are some other twists for small business owners. These include the SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) IRA, the SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for

Employees) IRA, and the selfemployed 401(k). 3. Cash in the value of your house. Many business owners who haven’t consciously opened a separate retirement account are fortunate to have built up substantial equity in their homes over the years. However, before I go on to explain how wonderful this is, we need a quick reality check. When the housing bubble burst back in 2008, many families who were depending on their home equity to fund their retirement years suffered huge setbacks and had to postpone their retirements. There are a couple of good ways you can use the equity in your home to help fund your retirement. One is taking out a reverse mortgage. Generally speaking, to do this you need a good amount of equity in your property—the more equity you have, the more cash to you each month. These are some of the best retirement options for business owners. All of them require planning, and while better late than never is true, better earlier than later is wiser. (-Forbes)

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Skincare deal gives fresh face to L’Oreal in US by Juliette MICHEL


ARIS, France | AFP French cosmetics giant L’Oreal said Tuesday it had agreed to buy three leading skincare brands from Valeant for $1.3 billion in a move set to give its US offering a facelift. The acquisition expands the group’s presence in the United States and builds on its purchase last summer of the US brand IT Cosmetics for $1.2 billion. The cash deal will see L’Oreal acquiring the CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi brands from the Quebec-based pharmaceutical firm in a purchase it said would nearly double the US sales of its active cosmetics division which focuses on aesthetic dermatology. “The acquisition of CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi strongly complement L’Oreal’s brand portfolio,” said Frederic Roze, president and chief executive of L’Oreal USA in a statement. “These three brands, built on strong relationships with health professionals and widely distributed, will nearly double the revenue of our Active Cosmetics Division in the US and will help us satisfy the growing demand for active skincare at accessible prices.” The Active division includes dermocosmetic brands such as La Roche-Posay, Vichy and SkinCeuticals. - A growing US footprint Founded in 2005, CeraVe offers a range of skincare products including cleansers, moisturisers and sunscreens as well as a baby line. It is one of the fastest growing skincare brands in the US with an average growth over the past two years of over 20 percent, L’Oreal said. Its sales have enjoyed “a favourable dynamic” driven by

L’Oreal is to acquire the CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi brands from Valeant in a purchase it said would nearly double the US sales of its active cosmetics division which focuses on aesthetic dermatology (Photo:© AFP/File) consumers looking for products endorsed by health professionals for their effectiveness for sensitive skin, Active division president Brigitte Liberman told AFP. Predominantly sold in the US, the brand’s dynamism and its potential on the international market justified the high price paid by L’Oreal, she said. AcneFree provides acne treatments and Ambi offers products for multicultural consumers. The acquisition expands the firm’s footprint in the United States where the demand for beauty products is flourishing: in the first nine months of 2016, L’Oreal’s North American sales grew 5.4 percent compared with just 0.1 in western Europe. Over the years, North America has become L’Oreal’s most important division, accounting for 27 percent of its overall sales. - Valeant efforts on debt The sale comes after a difficult year for the Canadian firm, which grew from a small pharmaceutical company to a global giant in the span of a decade mainly due to a growth strategy based on acquisitions.

The former Wall Street darling has come under fire for steep price hikes on drugs and is currently under investigation in the US over alleged accounts manipulation, with former senior executives being probed for fraud. Its market capitalization has collapsed from more than $90 billion in the summer of 2015 to a current value of $5.2 billion. The embattled drugmaker is also struggling to offload a heavy burden of long-term debt, which stood at just over $30 billion at the end of the third quarter, with Valeant saying the sale would help it “permanently repay term loan debt”. The move comes a day after the drugmaker said it had agreed to sell its Dendreon cancer business to Chinese conglomerate Sanpower for $820 million. Ahead of the open in New York, Valeant shares rose sharply in pre-market trading, gaining around 12 percent while in Paris, L’Oreal fell to 0.67 percent to 170.20 in early afternoon trade in line with general market sentiment.

General Motors plans at least $1bn in fresh U.S. investment Auto maker’s move is expected to create more than 1,000 new jobs By Mike Colias ETROIT, Jan. 16, 2017 - General Motors Co. this week will announce plans to invest at least $1 billion across several U.S. factories, two people familiar with the plan said, a move aimed at underlining its commitment to U.S. manufacturing jobs in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the auto maker’s imports from Mexico.


GM’s announcement could come as early as Tuesday, the people briefed on the plan said. The company will cite a number of new jobs in excess of 1,000 stemming from the investment but doesn’t plan to specify which of its factories are in line for more work, one person said. A GM spokesman declined to comment. The Trump transition team didn’t immediately return a request for comment. The move comes days after

Mr. Trump publicly ratcheted up pressure on the nation’s largest auto maker. During his press conference last week, the president-elect thanked Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for recently announced U.S. investment plans that are expected to create a combined 2,700 jobs. He then turned up the heat on GM to follow suit.

In the interview, Mr. Glidden said GM has added 25,000 jobs over the last four years. Of those, just 6,000 were factory workers—the type of jobs Mr. Trump typically references in his comments on trade— and the rest were engineering, information technology and other white-collar jobs. About 15,000 of those were shifted from overseas, he said.

“I hope that General Motors will be following. And I think they will be,” Mr. Trump said.

“There is a bigger story here that relates to employment in the United States,” Mr. Glidden said. As the auto industry pursues self-driving cars and other new realms of mobility, “those will be areas that continue to be centered here in the United States and areas of further employment.”

In an interview Monday, GM general counsel Craig Glidden declined to confirm specifics of the announcement but said any investment the company might disclose has been long planned and isn’t a response to pressure from Mr. Trump. “This is something we’ve been undertaking for some period of time,” he said. “It’s really getting our story told in a way that is I think complete and fulsome.”

GM’s announcement would follow a familiar pattern of auto makers publicly outlining U.S. investment and jobcreation plans in the wake of Mr. Trump’s criticism of imports while insisting they would have moved ahead with them anyway. (




New Zealand beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets


ELLINGTON (AFP) New Zealand pulled off a remarkable seven-wicket win in the first Test against Bangladesh in Wellington on Monday.

that he had been taken for checks as a precaution. Television reported the wicketkeeper was talking and had told them to tell his family in Bangladesh he was okay.

Captain Kane Williamson scored an unbeaten 104 and Ross Taylor 60 as they easily cut down their 217-run target in the final session of play.

He as since been examined and was released soon after.

Bangladesh finished their second innings on 160 for nine with captain Mushfiqur Rahim retired hurt. Rahim, who was wearing a helmet, slowly went to the ground then rolled over onto his back and was immediately at-

Mushfiqur, who scored 159 in the first innings, was on 13 when he left the field. Play was held up for about 15 minutes. Bangladesh collapsed in their second innings to 160 for nine, leaving New Zealand needing 217 runs from

Super Bowl Attendence expected to surpass previous Houston record from 2004

a minimum of 57 overs for an unlikely victory after the visitors scored 595 for eight declared in their first innings.

The 29-year-old Mushfiqur Rahim, who was deemed fit enough to bat on the final day of the first Test after X-rays cleared him of broken fingers, was moving his arms and legs as he responded to treatment following the incident in the first session.

Imrul Kayes, who retired hurt on 24 on Sunday after he suffered a hip injury, came back at the fall of the seventh wicket but he could barely move and added 12 runs before Subashis Roy was bowled for a duck by Trent Boult.

Team-mate Tamim Iqbal told reporters that Mushfiqur was fine and

Sabbir Rahman top-scored with 50.

West Indies cancels Pakistan tour over security fears ARACHI (AFP) 1/15/2017 - Pakistan s hopes of hosting international cricket matches suffered another setback on Saturday after the West Indies refused to compete in a short two Twenty20 match series in the South Asia nation over security fears.


No major team has toured Pakistan since a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. They play their “home” series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had proposed holding a two-match series in the spring after hosting the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Lahore on March 9.

However PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said the potential tour had been axed. “The West Indies Board have conveyed to us verbally that the thing is off,” Khan told AFP. “The West Indies players union is not willing, so at the moment they have refused.” Pakistan did host Zimbabwe for three Twenty20s and as many oneday internationals in May-June 2015. But that failed to convince the bigger teams to resume tours. Cricket officials in Pakistan are now hoping the successful staging of the PSL final in Lahore will encourage foreign teams to consider competing again in the country.

F1’s Valtteri Bottas to team with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2017


Thursday night, we’re getting a better idea of how many people will come to town for the event compared to the last time Houston hosted the Super Bowl.

“It’s good for the city, it’s going to bring a lot of business to people downtown,” said Ivan Perez, who works at Tejas Grill & Sports Bar.

tended to by medical staff from both teams before paramedics with an onsite ambulance rushed onto the field.


OUSTON - Super Bowl 51 is coming up fast. There are only 23 days left until the big game comes to Houston.

The banners are going up, barricades are coming out and already people are coming to capture the Super Bowl experience.

Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh captain, is stretchered off after being hit in the face by the ball during the first Test against New Zealand in Wellington

FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Wondering what standing in the crowds will feel like? Just ask Perez, who’s been working for more than a decade in the restaurant business downtown and remembers what it was like when Houston hosted the Super Bowl in 2004. “It was a madhouse, people everywhere, it almost seems like New Year’s Day in New York City,” he said. In 2004, the NFL Experience inside the George R. Brown Convention Center brought in around 200,000 people. This time around, Super Bowl Live is expected to draw, over a 10day stretch, 1 million people. The top five places expected to see those crowds are Discovery Green, Club Nomadic near the Washington Avenue corridor, Midtown because of its bars and nightlife, Galleria area hotels and -- on game day -- NRG Stadium. “We are going to have all kinds of options, steaks, burgers, Tex-Mex,” said Adam Monroe, with Hearsay On The Green. Many restaurants are expanding their menus and their hours. “There’s going to be a lot of people, so bring your patience for sure,” Monroe said. However, no matter how big the crowds for Perez, a proud local Houstonian working the Super Bowl, it’s a chance for our city to shine. “I’m excited... I can’t wait, to be honest with you,” Perez said. Both restaurants told us they’re bringing in more drinks and food. They’re also planning on employees working plenty of overtime to make sure those crowds are entertained. (-KHOU)

Valtteri Bottas switches from Williams to Mercedes for the 2017 F1 season. (Photo: Mercedes AMG F1 team) TUTTGART, Germany (AFP) - Mercedes has confirmed the long-awaited news that Valtteri Bottas will partner Lewis Hamilton at the team this year, ending the Finn’s four-year stay at Williams, and completing the squad’s 2017 driver line-up.


Bottas, 27, was set to remain with Williams into 2017, alongside Lance Stroll, but Nico Rosberg’s shock decision to retire as World Champion opened a vacancy at Mercedes. Mercedes courted several drivers but eventually settled on Bottas, with Felipe Massa having confirmed that he will stay on at Williams for an additional season. “It’s very exciting times for me,” he said. “I think it’s going to take a while to understand that this is really happening. It’s definitely another dream come true, to race in another team with such great history - especially in the recent years, which have been so impressive. “I’m really proud to become a part of that and grateful to everyone at Mercedes for trusting my skills and giving me this opportunity. “I’ve had a really warm welcome so far. Of course, I have a lot more people to meet and new faces to remember. But initially everything has felt very good. I’m really impressed with the facilities and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone better. “My first experience with Mercedes power was in F3 back in 2009 and, of course, I know the Power Unit well from the last three years with Williams. But there are a lot of new things to learn with the car and also with how the team operates at the factory, in testing and at the races.” Bottas has previously spent the en-

tirety of his Formula 1 career with Williams, having joined as its development driver in 2010. Bottas went on to claim the GP3 title in 2011 and spent a season conducting practice runs in 2012, prior to graduating to a race seat the following year. Williams endured a troublesome campaign as it grappled with the Coanda exhaust layout, but Bottas impressed against Pastor Maldonado, taking third on the grid during a damp qualifying session at Montréal, before logging eighth in the United States, the team’s highest result of the year. Bottas was joined by Massa for 2014 and Williams propelled itself up the grid courtesy of a switch to Mercedes power units and an aerodynamically efficient FW36. Bottas claimed his first podium in Austria and followed it up with another four rostrum finishes, including successive second places in Britain and Germany, placing fourth in the standings. Williams remained the third-best team in 2015 but a more static pecking order meant Bottas was only able to take two podiums, in Canada and Mexico, finishing fifth overall. Williams began 2016 harbouring ambitions of challenging for second in the standings but slumped to fifth, its predicament exacerbated by midseason upgrades failing to deliver expected progress. Bottas climbed onto the podium just once, in Canada, and slipped to eighth in the standings. The Finn will partner three-time World Champion Hamilton at Mercedes, the Briton having relinquished his crown to Rosberg after missing out in the Abu Dhabi finale.


Restoring an atmosphere Kedar Jadhav’s transition looks complete for Manchester United From Ranji hotshot to ODI dependable

by Somshuvra Laha Every Ranji Trophy produces a highest run-scorer. But how many do you remember? The 2013-14 season had witnessed two Maharashtra batsmen rule the run-scoring charts -- Kedar Jadhav topping it with 1,223 runs and Harshad Khadiwale with 1,004 runs. Kedar Jadhav was an attacking batsman who had earlier bagged contracts of Delhi Daredevils and Kochi Tuskers Kerala but was already 28 by then. Khadiwale, then 25, instead was considered a batsman to look out for.

Kedar Jadhav walks back to the pavilion after scoring a century in the first one-day Not someone to give up international between India and England in Pune on Sunday. (Photo: AFP) easily though, Kedar Jadhav kept popping up on different team lists before finally back into the game. I think it was and you will understand how to do making his debut against Sri Lanka one of the best calculative innings it again and again. I’m glad I was in Ranchi in 2014. He dropped off I’ve seen, striking at 150 was out- out there with him, to keep pushing the radar before again featuring in standing. And all clean shots, he him,” said Kohli. three ODIs against Zimbabwe next didn’t slog the ball once. He was Having shared the IPL dressing year. Kedar Jadhav finally left a brilliant and that’s why we back him room with Kedar Jadhav last year, mark there by scoring an unbeaten to play at No. 6,” said Virat Kohli. Kohli now perhaps knows him bet105. But it preceded another unre- A serious contender in ODI team - ter than anybody. So when he was markable series in Harare next year where Jadhav didn’t even get to bat That Kedar Jadhav was seriously seen pushing Jadhav for a two on in any of the three ODIs. considered to be part of India’s ODI Sunday, it was based on the conviction that Jadhav could keep up In a bumpy journey that started plans was apparent when he played with him. It led to cramps but that’s from Ranchi and traversed Ha- all five ODIs against New Zealand where Kohli’s vocal tonic came to rare twice without giving much in October last year. He had the fruition. stability to his career, Kedar Jad- chance to give India a 2-0 lead in “Only when he was getting hav’s 120 on Sunday should fi- Delhi but failed to finish a thrilling nally remove suspicions about run-chase. By the time he was dis- cramps, he was thinking about that. his limited-overs capability. missed in Pune, Jadhav had ensured I told him to get the focus back on “The kind of shots he played was India were in a position from where the game and take his mind off it. Push a little harder for the team,” unbelievable. He told me it was in- they couldn’t have lost. stinctive, but such was his talent. “He was disappointed in the last said Kohli. It was outstanding --- just to have series against New Zealand when Push hard he did. In front of a another guy that was willing to be- he couldn’t get us across the line,” home crowd chanting his name, in lieve we can win from any situation Kohli said later, after the game. front of misty-eyed parents, Kedar was such a boost for me as well,” “Then he was again playing really Jadhav completed the transition said India captain Virat Kohli after well. I told him that the best place from being one of those Ranji TroSunday’s three-wicket win against you can learn is out there in the phy top scorers churned out every England at Pune. middle. No point sitting outside and year to a player India could now “He put a lot of pressure on the thinking what you could have done. depend on in the most trying situaspinners, so they couldn’t come So just push yourself a little more tions. (-AFP/Hindustan Times)


ANCHESTER, England — In the last five minutes of a nerve-shredding 1-1 draw on Sunday, as his team swarmed forward and Liverpool seemed to tilt and teeter, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho got what he wanted. He had asked his club’s fans — so frequently accused of sitting on their hands, waiting to be entertained — to create a “special atmosphere” for the visit of Liverpool. “My invitation is not to come to the theater,” he said a few days before the arrival of Liverpool, United’s fiercest, bitterest rival in the Premier League. “Come to play with us.” Demanding more of your fans is something like crossing the Rubicon. They pay substantial sums of money to support your team — their team — and sacrifice substantial amounts of time, too. They do not, as a rule, respond kindly to being told they are not meeting expectations. Mourinho knows that well: In 2014, he tried the same move with Chelsea after a particularly quiet game at home against Queens Park Rangers. A few days later, at a Champions League game in Slovenia, the 642 Chelsea followers who had made the long journey spoke for thousands more when they informed Mourinho, on the touchline, that they did not take requests. “We’ll sing when we want” was one of the more genteel offerings that evening. That Mourinho risked repeating the trick last week suggests that he knew that little separated the current incarnations of England’s two most successful clubs, that every slight advantage had to be sought, any source of help called in. For a while, it seemed as if the effort might backfire. With Liverpool leading, the home crowd at Old Trafford started to simmer with resentment. Much of the frustration seemed to focus on Paul Pogba, who was enduring the sort of afternoon that the world’s most expensive player is apparently

not permitted. And then Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalized, and all of that acid, anxiety and discontent turned to belief and hope. The stands seemed to shake with noise — guttural, heartfelt, desperate. It might not have led to a winning goal, but it left an impression. “It was really loud when they scored the goal,” said Juergen Klopp, the Liverpool manager. Mourinho had gotten what he wanted. Old Trafford had found its voice. Atmosphere, though, should not be mistaken for aura. That is what has been missing from this stadium for three years, and what Mourinho has been expected to restore. He knows that, of course. As he said a couple of days before this game, there is no such thing as an “intimidating” atmosphere in elite sports, no matter how loud, no matter how frenzied. The players are too singleminded, too experienced, for that. There is, though, such a thing as an intimidating venue, a place that can overwhelm even the hardest heart and the coolest mind. That is what Old Trafford used to be, when United — owned by the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, since 2005 —was in its pomp. Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes — managers themselves now and alumni of Sir Alex Ferguson’s first great United team — use the same phrase to describe the sensation. “Teams,” they have said, “were beaten in the tunnel.” The recollections of visiting players suggest that impression is not rooted in arrogance. Robbie Earle, who came here a number of times during his peripatetic playing career, confessed that his primary concern when facing United at its peak had been to “get out of here without a hiding.” “It was never acknowledged, but not many people would complain if they could walk away from Ferguson’s Old Trafford having lost by one or two goals,” he said. (-TampaBay. com)



FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of January 20, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE

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


Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

Aries (A,L,E) 21 March to 20 April Special feelings about traditions, relationships & a new interest in financial opportunities will surface. You can start your own traditions, make plans, include everybody close to your heart. The support will give you the confidence you lack. Try to remove excess stress wherever possible, your loved ones will notice the difference, if you do. You’re not a great fan of detail but you need to focus your time properly.

You may find yourself in the public eye. A simple observation can provoke a strong response. You’ll need to have emotional contact with others. Even though your friends tend to show off their assets, you must keep a close eye on your budget. Best not to discuss your future plans with one who lacks your vision & imagination. Don’t allow them to dampen your enthusiasm. Someone with whom you have almost nothing in common may come to your aid. Utilize your ability to analyze data in order to meet deadlines, schedules.

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

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

Channel your energy into making money. Debates will bring distance between you and your friends. You will be tempted to overspend, so leave money in the bank. You will gain respect and close deals by being your charming self. Don’t let anyone take you for granted. Don’t spend more than you can afford to part with. Organize activities that will include friends. You are bored with some of the connections you’ve made & need to re-evaluate things. Take part in competitive sports or games.

You know when & how to listen to the problems facing family members. Your experience and know-how will help them get back on track. Those experiences will provide insight and awareness that will come in handy in your day-to-day life. Satisfaction will be your reward. Financial investments will also be lucrative. You can persuade others to support your plans for the future. You will not be in a position to proposition others. Consider your personal needs before your professional ones.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June You certainly are a master when it comes to learning the things that interest you, but a daydreamer when forced to listen to boring, tedious chatter. You are quick to respond and always willing to help others. You will be upset with those who don’t pull their weight, remain cool but don’t allow yourself to be used. You are used to giving your all and will be ready to blow up if you are forced to deal with lazy and inconsiderate individuals. Get sound financial advice, your cautious nature will help you to make the right choices.

Your willingness to confide in others could get you in a little trouble. Think twice before sharing information. You may not think it’s very important, but it could be to someone else. Use discretion, and avoid saying too much. You sometimes feel like you have to do a balancing act. It’s okay to feel the security you have in your relationships, just be aware of deceit. Take this attitude wherever you go. Set your goals & focus on them full force. Help will arrive from existing networks.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Do the best you can and try to enlist some help from other friends or relatives. Helping others will be rewarding to you. Uncertainties regarding finances may upset you. Take a stab at doing your own thing or take time off to discover what you really want to do. Don’t take on other people’s problems. Make suggestions and get on with your own life. By week’s end, things will start to turn in your favor. Past partners may re-surface, causing you some confusion. You will have to give some thought to the reason you broke up in the past.

A realization that you need the love & attention of others. You’re disciplined enough to accomplish anything you want. Problems with spouse may be alarming at home front, it’s time to make first priority to family & home. You should do things that involve family reunions. Get yourself into projects that will enhance your appearance and help you change your self-image. Be careful not to manipulate a situation to your own liking. Your emotions are frenzied.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Take the plunge and get involved in a joint venture. Avoid detail-oriented tasks, try to work with others as much as possible. Try a little idea-generation and offer your assistance to colleagues. Don’t say things that may come back to haunt you. Personal problems will play on your mind. You must be willing to move on and let go of the past if you wish to get over the unpleasantness you’ve experienced. Your overhead may be causing undue stress that you can do without.

A misunderstanding at this time may have big repercussions, which you would love to set right if only you could understand exactly what is going on! Being stubborn will only work against you. You will be in a position to help others. Give advice but hold back if they want cash. Get on with your life. New attitudes will develop through the company you keep. Take your time before making decisions. Re-direct any jangling nerves into some physical exercise if possible.

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

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Take care of all the fine details and you will receive the praise you are looking for. You should lay your cards on the table and let those you care about know where you stand. You can get ahead financially, however the emotional side of your life may be more difficult. You’ll be able to organize functions at work and earn the admiration of higher ups. A raise or promotion may be in order. You may even meet someone who interests you more than just as a friend.


You could feel overwhelmed or overly sensitive, unable to make a move, but you can rise to fly again, perhaps higher than ever before. Positive flow from elderly person will set you into motion. Your motives could be challenged by those in authority, As Your rewards are long overdue. You will be able to achieve success, if you trust your gut feelings & remain loyal to your principles. Your universal appeal will help you dazzle even the dullest audience. A reunion with family, or with those who feel like family, seems appropriate. Entertaining will allow you to network your ideas, prospects.


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Project No. 17-38 Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 12:00PM (local time) on Wednesday, February 7, 2017. Documents can be obtained at:

FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Job Opening

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Looking for a full-time ARRT Certified X-ray Technician for a portable X-ray company. Candidate should have a clean driving record, should be able to perform X-ray at nursing homes, assisted living, private homes. Must have knowledge of basic computer skills. Should have intermediate knowledge of the Houston TX area. Preferably Ultrasound Tech certified, Medical Marketer with good rapport in Nursing home and Rehabilitation, Assisted Living, Home Physicians. If required, should be willing to work long hours, nights, weekends and some holidays. Compensation based on experience level. Please email resume to:

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FRIDAY, January 20, 2017

Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper January 20 2017  

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

Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper January 20 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...