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FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Republicans voice growing doubts on U.S. healthcare bill’s fate Read on Page 18 or Call 832-806-1000

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RINAGAR/NEW DELHI, July 12 (PTI) The terror attack that killed seven Amarnath pilgrims in Kashmir is reprehensible, the Trump Administration has said as several lawmakers joined in to condemn the dastardly act. Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 19 others were injured in a terrorist attack in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday night. The bus, bearing Gujarat registration number, was on way from Baltal to Jammu when the attack took place. “We consider it to have been a terrorist attack in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in which seven religious pilgrims were killed. That’s of great concern to us,” the State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at a news conference. “These were civilians, they were killed as they were exercising their right to worship and that is, in large part, what makes this so reprehensible. That is a great concern to us and our thoughts and prayers go out to those people and to their families as well. Our prayers are with the victims and those who were affected,” she said. Meanwhile several US lawmak-

‘Deeply saddened’: US condemns attack on Amarnath pilgrims

Indian paramilitary soldiers frisk a Kashmiri civilian left and an Indian pilgrim, right, as others wait for their turn at a temporary checkpoint near the pilgrim base camp in Pahalgam, about 100 Kilometers south of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. As India’s government on Tuesday blamed separatist rebels for gunning down seven Hindu pilgrims and wounding more than a dozen in Kashmir before fleeing into the night, rebel groups in the disputed region condemned the rare, deadly attack on civilians and insisted they had no part in it. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

ers condemned the terrorist attack. “My thoughts and prayers to all of the Amarnath Yatra terror attack victims and their families. The attack is reprehensible and must be condemned,” said Congressman Will Hurd. “The terrorist attack on Amarnath Pilgrims is outrageous,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. “Religion is a fundamental right and human right #AmarnathYatra #ReligiousFreedom,” she tweeted. Congressman John Ratcliffe in his tweet, sent his prayers to the families of those killed in the “horrific terrorist” attack. Congressman Jim Costa said he is “Deeply saddened at the cowardly attack” on innocent Amarnath Yatra pilgrims. “My thoughts and prayers are with you,” he said. “The terrorist attack on AmarnathYatra is reprehensible and must be condemned,” tweeted Congressman Ted Poe. “Our hearts go out to the victims of the terrorist attack on #AmarnathYatra. We must stand united against these deplorable acts of terror,” said Congressman John Culberson. Hindus and pilgrims of every religion should be able to visit their holy places without fear of attacks by terrorists, said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Democrat files first impeachment article against Trump


ASHINGTON, | AFP | 7/12/2017 - A Democratic congressman on Wednesday became the first US lawmaker to formally file an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, but the effort is likely to stall in the Republican-controlled Congress. Democrat Brad Sherman of California followed through on a threat he made last month to seek to remove the president from office, filing a four-page resolution aimed at “impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.” Sherman in a statement said Trump’s apparent effort to quash a probe into his campaign’s ties to Russia and an

investigation of a senior aide amounted to obstruction of justice. “Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr. indicate that Trump’s campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia,” Sherman said. “It now seems likely that the president had something to hide when he tried to curtail the investigation of (now-fired) National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the wider Russian probe,” he added. “I believe his conversations with, and subsequent firing of, FBI Director James Comey constitute obstruction of justice.” The White House reacted with disdain when a reporter asked for reaction to Sherman’s

Friends. Family. Community.

move. “I think that is utterly and completely ridiculous and a political game at its worst,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. Sherman said his effort used language similar to that of the first article of impeachment issued against Richard Nixon, which passed the House Judiciary Committee on July 27, 1974. Nixon resigned from office 13 days later. So far a single lawmaker, Democrat Al Green, has signed on to the resolution. While a number of Republicans have rebuked Trump or expressed concern for various stumbles, there is no signal from either the House of Representatives or the Senate that their Republican leaders are prepared to begin impeachment proceedings.

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Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.) take questions about articles of impeachment for President Trump during a news conference on Capitol Hill on June 7. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

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FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

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

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

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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: voiceasia@aol. com; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions:

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.

ince the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, we have witnessed what seem like weekly protests against the president, his policies and his words. The self-dubbed “Resistance” movement has spoken loudly that the 45th president is an affront to women, to immigrants, to the LGBTQ community, to the environment, to foreign policy, to teachers, to the poor, to the ill, to just about everyone and everything.

As part of this movement, all things Trump carry equal weight. A tweet is no different than a State of the Union address. A campaign rally is the same as an official state visit. All signal the end of days, the very destruction of our union and all we have held dear for the past 241 years. But in waving the protest flags as high and as proudly as possible for each and every action, the Resistance is running a real risk of becoming a Chicken Little protest. Five months into Trump’s presidency, and little has changed. Most of the policies he campaigned on are far from becoming law, not because of the Resistance but because of the president’s own inability to move rhetoric into policy. Even the crown jewel – the repeal of ObamaCare – has hit a significant roadblock largely of the president’s political party’s own making. The effort, though, points to the real challenge to


If the left’s anti-Trump resistance movement continues at this pace, voters will tune it out. (Illustration: Lyne Lucien) the Resistance movement. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed that 40 percent of Americans want to keep ObamaCare. Another 40 percent want TrumpCare. And 20 percent have no opinion. Anyone who has worked in politics knows that it is a constant battle for that 20 percent (usually closer to 10 percent who reliably don’t know anything about everything). The Resistance will never speak to the 40 percent that will support everything that Trump does and says. But its words and actions currently only speak to the 40 percent that oppose Trump’s very right to exist, and they show no signs of expanding that

reach. And that becomes a real problem at the ballot box. We all hope that those who have no opinion are paying attention to the rhetoric and vitriol. But what happens if they really do? In the lead up to the 2020 presidential election, what happens when they look back and see that women’s rights are essentially the same under President Trump as they were under President Obama? What happens if the global warming needle hasn’t moved? What happens if the number of deportations hasn’t changed much? What happens when all the prophecies of potential horrors under President Trump fail to materialize?

And what happens if the absence of these actions occur as student test scores take a slight uptick, as the number of U.S. troops engaged in conflict declines, or as the economy continues to strengthen? What happens If there are no foreign terrorist attacks on U.S. soil during the President Trump era? Or if gas and grocery prices decline? What happens if, to answer the question famously posed by Ronald Reagan, those undecideds feel they personally are a little better off than they were a few years ago? More simply put, you can’t win over pocketbook issue voters with social issues. If those voters remain employed, and see jobs for their kids, they are OK. If they feel safe and don’t worry about their kids being sent off to a war halfway around the world, they seem doubly OK. And if their neighbors or fellow churchgoers are feeling the same way, then none feel the need to change horses midstream. That means the reelection of President Trump in 2020. If one cries that he political sky is falling one too many times, and all the undecideds see is a beautiful blue sky, the cries are tuned out. Forever. (-Opinon by Patrick Riccards / U.S. News and World Report)

‘Diversity’ is a euphemism. We should be careful how we use it

s Peter Capaldi departs “Doctor Who,” some hope his replacement will increase the show’s diversity. After “Wonder Woman” was released, some were disappointed that diverse Amazons didn’t receive more screen time. A recent study found that films with diverse casts do better than films with casts that are less diverse.

ginalized groups, “diversity” is a convenient term. It sounds positive and upbeat and inclusive. Diversity indicates more rather than less, additional options rather than fewer.

Whether critics are calling for more representation of women, people of color or other mar-

“Diversity” is also a euphemism. When critics from marginalized groups ask for more

diversity, they are actually asking the media, employers, schools and society in general not to discriminate against them. When it takes until 2017 to get to a female-led superhero film from Marvel or DC, that’s not a failure of diversity; that’s sexism. When 12 Doctors have

been cast since 1963 and they are all white men, that’s not a failure of diversity either; that’s racism (and sexism as well). A request for more diversity isn’t really a plea to embrace stimulating heterogeneity. It’s a plea to embrace minimal decency. (-LA Times)

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The beginning of Gandhi’s Spartan life-style


n 1906, an ordinance by the Transvaal government required all Indians — men women and children — to register themselves and obtain a personal certificate bearing their name and thumb impression. The Indians decided not to submit to this humiliating and insulting measure. They resolved to fight it. Gandhi saw here the need for passive resistance or satyagraha. He explained to the people his concept of satyagraha. First, he said, they must be prepared to observe absolute nonviolence. The authorities would take all measures to put down the agitation. They might use violence, arrest people and send them to jail, but all this must be faced without resistance “Merely disobeying the government’s laws will not be enough,” Gandhi told them. “You must have no hatred in your hearts and you must cast away all fear.” Now read on The Government ignored all Indian protests against the ordinance and it came into force. The Indians decided to disobey the provisions of the ‘Black Act.’ Hundreds of Indians were arrested, tried, and jailed. They all pleaded

Gandhi as a Satyagrahi in SouthAfrica ... he gave up his law practice, and vowed to dress like a poor laborer, to walk barefoot, and to have only one meal a day, till the injustices were abolished.

Great Summer Project For children! Enter Mahatma Gandhi Week 2017 Essay, I-Tribute, Poster and Speech contests. Visit for registration and more information. All school going children can participate! These contests are being organized to create higher awareness of the inspiring life and work of Mahatma Gandhi to promote universal values of Truth, Non-Violence, Love and Service guilty and went to jail without putting up any defence. Gandhi too was imprisoned. Then one day he was taken out of prison and sent to Pretoria to see General Smuts “This movement you have started,” Smuts said, “must stop at once. It is not in me to dislike Indians, but they must obey the law.” “I would rather die than submit to this law,” Gandhi replied. “It is meant to humiliate the Indians.” After some argument, however, they reached a compromise. Gandhi promised to end the satyagraha if the act was repealed and the prisoners released. Smuts agreed to do this provided the Indians would register of their own accord. On this agreement, they parted. Back in Johannesburg, Gandhi called a meeting of the Indians. “We must now register voluntarily to show that we do not intend to bring a single Indian to the Transvaal by fraud,” he said. “If we show our goodwill by prompt registration, General Smuts will see to it that the “Black Act” is repealed.” Most of the Indians agreed with Gandhi, but a Pathan named Mir Alam shouted at him: “It was you who told us that fingerprints were required only from criminals. It was you who said we must disobey the “Black Act.” How does all that fit into your attitude today?” Early the next morning Gandhi, with his fellow satyagrahis, set out for the

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registration office. But on the way Mir Alam attacked him with a heavy stick. Gandhi fell down unconscious. Mir Alam and his associates went on beating him until he was rescued by some friends. When Gandhi recovered consciousness, he found himself on a couch in the house of an Englishman whom he hardly knew. Struggling to sit up, Gandhi said in a weak voice, “Do not blame Mir Alam, for he did not understand.” Then he insisted that a clerk from the registration office should come to take his thumb impression and make out his certificate. In this way Gandhi was duly registered. Many Indians followed Gandhi by registering voluntarily. But General Smuts did not repeal the “Black Act.” The Indians, disappointed at the Government’s attitude, demanded a return of their applications for voluntary registration. The Transvaal government did not budge. Gandhi, who had by then recovered from his injuries, gave an ultimatum: If the Black Act is not repealed before a fixed date, the certificates collected by the Indians will be burnt. When he found that the Government ignored this threat, Gandhi started another satyagraha movement. A big bonfire was lit and more than two thousand certificates were burnt. Many Indians openly crossed the border into the Transvaal, where their presence was il-

legal. Gandhi and many of his compatriots were imprisoned several times in the course of the agitation. When Gandhi came out of jail for the third time, the Indians held a meeting and decided to send a deputation to England to acquaint the British Government with the real situation in South Africa. Gandhi and Seth Haji Habib were asked to go to London and present the grievances of the Indians. Accordingly they went, but the mission failed. They returned with grim determination to fight to the bitter end. Gandhi then made a big decision. He gave up his practice as a lawyer. He felt he could not go on earning his living by law when he was defying it. Hermann Kallenbach, a white farmer, was so impressed with the peaceful way of life at Phoenix that he offered Gandhi his own big farm near Johannesburg to start another colony. He suggested that all those who had lost their jobs and homes by their participation in the satyagraha could settle there. The new colony was established in 1910 and named “Tolstoy Farm” after the great Russian writer whom Gandhi much admired. Here people who were different in nationality, religion, and color lived together like one family. They worked hard and shared the fruits of their labor. Gandhi spent much of his time at Tolstoy Farm. He was engaged in teaching the children and in other con-

structive activities. Gandhi’s efforts to persuade General Smuts to change the attitude of the Government towards the Indians had failed. Meanwhile, the struggle continued against the Black Act and the poll-tax. And now hundreds of Indian women, including Kasturbai, joined the movement. There had been a recent court decision in South Africa holding that Indian marriages were not recognized by law. The women could not brook this attack on family ties. They openly broke the law and were imprisoned in large numbers. In the coal mines at Newcastle, in Natal, Indian workers went on strike protesting against the repression. The arrests, the deportation of passive resisters, and the untold sufferings of Indian families angered the people of India. A large amount of money was collected for the relief of the victims. Many satyagrahis were beaten and flogged, and some were even killed. Gandhi, who felt intensely the humiliation his people suffered, took a triple vow of self-suffering. He decided to dress like a poor laborer, to walk barefoot, and to have only one meal a day, till the poll-tax and other injustices were abolished. Gandhi found the Government relentless. There was no solution in sight. He had to take further measures. — To be continued.



FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

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IPS officer’s firsthand account of terrorists situation in India by Manu Shah


dditional Director General of Police, Dr. Ramesh spent a good portion of his career cracking down on militants, leading anti-terrorist attacks, flushing out infiltrators and most importantly instituting rehabilitation programs that helped the Government “get to the youth before the terrorists got to them.” At an event cohosted by the Indian Consulate and IACCGH, Dr. Ramesh opened up about his postings in hard core, volatile places like Kashmir and West Bengal and encounters with terrorists and militants in a career that spans almost 30 years. He had been invited as Keynote speaker at the India Global Conference in Denver and is visiting several cities including Houston to connect with the Indian diaspora here.Expressing his admiration and esteem for Dr. Ramesh, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray noted that “India has survived terrorism and emerged stronger for it and this is because of selfless and bold officers like Dr. Ramesh.” A native of Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Ramesh is a 1988 batch West Bengal cadre IPS officer. While in the police force, he chalked up an MBA from IIM Kolkata,two PhD’s and is presently working on his third Doctorate.He almost

lost his life in a counter insurgency encounter when a bomb exploded inches away from him but despite the heavy bleeding, continued to lead. He was awarded the Parakaram Award for his grit and bravery and such is his iron will and endurance that he can run nonstop for 25 kilometers. Inspired by his freedom fighter grandfather and a mother who fostered a spirit of public service, Dr. Ramesh joined the Indian Police Service and in his own way, says, he converted it to “Indian People Service.” Presently, he heads the investigative wing of the Human Rights Commission in W. Bengal or as he describes it “helps the common man stand up to the might of the Government.” In his postings in Kashmir and W. Bengal, Dr. Ramesh has seen and dealt with the many faces of terrorism. Terrorism, he stated, “ebbs and flows” and is dependent on good governance of the area and change in governments in neighboring countries.He explained that the borders primarily see“low intensity conflict” and despite reports to the contrary there is nothing to be alarmed about.” Having interrogated terrorists, Dr. Ramesh pinned extreme poverty as the cause that drove the youth to terrorism especially in areas like Mul-

Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray with Additional Director General of Police, Dr. Ramesh, (center), IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia and members of the Chamber. Picture taken at Consul Generl’s resident in Houston. tan. He also studied their psychology and realized that the majority of them are victims of depression and lack a sense of self-worth. Such individuals were targeted by terrorist recruiters and there was no going back for them as their families were threatened with dire consequences. The only

way out for a terrorist, according to Dr. Ramesh, was “death” – either by security forces or in a jihadi (religious) attack. One particular experience that stuck with him was of an 11 year old Kashmiri boy who was paid to throw a hand grenade at a CRPF camp. The boy was tracked down and sent to a

juvenile home but Dr. Ramesh sidestepped the judgement and sent him to a neighboring school “so he wouldn’t become a terrorist.” In a happy ending, the boy is today a police recruiter. During his postings, Dr. Ramesh also stepped up efforts to combat terrorist activities with

several rehabilitative steps such as recruitment programs by the Police Department, a Patrolling without Petrol for Peace Walk and job creation programs. Dr. Ramesh who considers freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad as “the greatest of all patriots” is no less one himself.

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The People’s Lawyer

It is legal for a dog to ride in the back of a pickup

Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Q. Is it legal for someone to allow a dog to ride in the back of an open pickup? It seems so dangerous. A. Although many people would agree with you that it is dangerous for a dog to ride in the back of a pickup, it is not illegal. There are, however, laws regarding when children may ride in the bed of a pickup. Under Texas law, children under the age of 18 may not ride in the back of a pickup truck, except under certain circumstances. For example, children may ride in the back of the pickup if the truck is the only family vehicle available, or if the truck is being used in parades, hay rides or on beaches. It is also permissible for anyone to be a passenger in the cargo area of a pickup truck when the vehicle is being used in the case of an emergency or is used in farm operations. Q. I bought a motorcycle that keeps breaking down. I know there is a “lemon law” for cars, but what about a motorcycle? A. The Texas Lemon Law applies to new “vehicles,” including cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles motor homes and towable recreational vehicles that develop problems covered by a written factory warranty. For more information about the lemon law or to file a complaint, contact the

Department of Motor Vehicles at: (888) DMV-GOTX or (888) 368-4689 Q. The other day I bought something at a store for $20. I paid for it with a check. Unfortunately, I don’t balance my checkbook as well as I should, and the check bounced. The store contacted me and told me I owed $20 for the check and $35 for a bounced check fee. When I went to pay, the clerk showed me a sign over the cash register that said “All Returned Checks Will Be Charged $35.” Is this legal? A.A store does have the legal right to charge a fee when a check you gave it bounces. But the law limits the amount of that fee. Based on what you say, the store acted unlawfully. Under the law, a store may charge you a bounced check fee, but only up to $30. The store properly posted the required notice that it would charge a fee for returned checks. Because the amount is more than $30, however, the store acted unlawfully. You should let the store know you know the law, and you may want to file a complaint with the Texas Department of banking, http://www.dob.texas. gov/. Q. I have a common law marriage. Does a common law wife have the same

rights to her husband’s property as a wife by a formal church wedding? A. As I have said many times before, a common law marriage basically is no different in legal effect than any other form of marriage. Whether you are married in a church, by a Justice of the Peace, or through a common law agreement, you are married. The parties to a common law marriage have the same legal rights and responsibilities as any other married couple. If your spouse dies or you are divorced, the property you acquired during the marriage will be considered “community property,” and will be divided, as it would be in any other marriage. Q. If you loan someone money and they don’t pay you back, what type of action can be taken to retrieve funds? Can I just take some of his property? A. You cannot just take property from someone who owes you money. The only way to legally enforce any loan is through a lawsuit. Without a separate agreement, such as a mortgage on a house or a security agreement for a car, you have no legal right to take any property. If the amount is $10,000 or less, you can file a claim in justice court to collect. Check out the material on small claims in justice court on my website, below.

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

IFest elocution contest


his year, during celebration of India’s 71st Independence Day on August 20th at the Stafford Center, India Culture Center will be recognizing children of INDOAMERICAN heritage for their Elocution skills. This provides unique opportunity and platform for children to show-off their oratory skills to a large Indo-american audience. Please encourage your children to participate and win awards. Prizes will be awarded to the BEST Speaker and runner up in 2 distinct age groups of 6-10 and 11-14 Participants have four different topics to

choose from, 1. Describe your American Hero, 2. What does “Independence” mean to You, 3. The most interesting historical place in America which I have visited, and 4. How would you celebrate “ Independence Day” in America. Participants must register for the event by July31st. For additional information, you may call Parul Fernandes at 713-662-3506 or Pramod Bengani 281-615-9079. Judges decision is final. For more information visit

Houston Hindus to hold prayer meeting for pilgrims killed in Amarnath Yatra


n Thursday, July 13, the Hindu community of Houston and other Indo-American organizations will be holding a prayer meeting at the India House from 6 PM to 7:30 PM to express their solidarity and support to the victims of the recent terror attack on Amarnath Yatra pilgrims where seven devotees including five women have been killed and 14 other others injured. For information contact Sharad Amin 713-854-0633


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Sugar Land, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg and Meadows Place


Tel: 713-774-5140

IACF is more than a ‘Big Brother’ to Houston’s Charities

Dr. Vanitha Pothuri, IACF President by Shobana Muratee


UGAR LAND – The IndoAmerican Charity Foundation (IACF) has been aiding and assisting numerous charities in the Greater Houston areas for nearly three decades since its inception in 1988. This year, the Foundation awarded $65,000 to 25 charitable organizations. The grants were given at a formal ceremony held on June 29, at Madras Pavilion in Sugar Land. The 2017 Grants recipients included: Indian American Cancer Network (IACAN), Literacy Advance, Indian Doctors Charity Clinic (IDCC), PEACE - (Parent Engagement for Active Child Enrichment), KNOW Autism Foundation, Indian Senior Citizens Association (ISCA), AVANCE Houston Inc., Youth Leadership Development Program (YLDP), iEducate USA, SEARCH – Homeless Service, Asians Against Domestic Abuse, Casa de Esperanza, REACH Unlimited, Child Advocates of Fort Bend, Turning Point Center Women’s Center, Daya, Family to Family Network, Mahatma Gandhi Library, Ovarcome, PAIR - (Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees), Child Advocates Inc., Sewa International, St. Mary of the Purification School, the Faces of the Village Inc., and YMCA Camp Cullen. IACF’s Funds Distribution Commitee led by Prem Cholia, Director and assisted by Alpa Shah, Dr. Ratna Kumar, and Mahesh Wadwa put to-

IACF Board of Director with representative of organizations receiving IACF grants and presenters. Photos by Roy photography.

Representatives of a charity organization. gether the list of the charitables, selected from the applications received and those that serve one or more of the 4 pillars; education, family welfare, general giving and healthcare that IACF supports. On the occasion, twenty-seven presenters handed out the checks to the awardees. Representatives of the charities spoke briefly about their organization and how the funds would be utilized. One of the representa-

Child Advocates of Fort Bend tives, Myra Johnson expressing her thoughts said, “In a time when we hear of so much division and antagonism and prejudgement, last night I was introduced to a group who believes that no matter what your ethnic background or country of origin is, and what society says or does, that we all must give where we live and enrich the soil in which we are currently planted, for the betterment of everyone.

Dr. Ratna Kumar

I was honored to be a presenter for the IndoAmerican Charity Foundation Awards Ceremony. Grants were issued to over 30 non-profits that are improving the lives and futures of not only Indian and Asian families, but families of all ethnicities, all over Houston. Great event Vanitha R Pothuri thanks for thinking of me.” Welcoming the guests and representatives of the recipient charities,

Dr. Vanitha Pothuri, IACF President said it was a proudest moment for IACF that lives by its motto, “We Live Here, We Give Here.” Last year, 21 charities received IACF grants and this year 4 more were added to the deserving list. Director Dr. Ratna Kumar as the Mistress of ceremonies was very interactive with the audience throughout. IACF president– elect Mahesh Wadwa proposed a vote of thanks recognizing the effects of the grants committee, IACF directors, and volunteers. He also praised the work of the organizations that were awarded grants for their work and promised IACF’s continued commitment to them. The event concluded with dinner catered by Madras Pavilion. Visit www.indoamericancharityfoundation. org for more informtion on iACF and its upcoming events.



Eight Fort Bend ISD students named 2017 Texas National State Karate Champions State win advances students to USA National Championships and Team Trials

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

FBISD’s Small Business Enterprise Program to host monthly workshop, July 26


ort Bend ISD’s Small Business Enterprise Program will be hosting its monthly workshop Wednesday, July 26, 2017 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the FBISD Triplex (550 Julie Rivers Drive, Sugar Land 77478). Contractors, subcontractors and other interested business partners are invited to attend the workshop in order to learn more about construction and non-construction projects included in Phase 3 of the 2014 Bond Program, which will go out for a bid next month.

Houston Authority Will Norwood, City of Houston Ida Benson, U.S. Small Business Administration Gaye Spears-Madison, U.S. Small Business Administration Financial Aspects Anthony Lopez, Liftfund Irene Paul, Woodforest National Bank Derrick Rideaux, Wells Fargo Bank Zafar Khan, Wallis State Bank Jimmie Jones II, BB&T Networking Houston Minority Supplier Development Council (HMSDC) Milton Thibodeaux, Greater Hous-

Pictured (first row, from left) are: Tyler Lopez, Jayden Goodman, Nalika Nana, Christina Korman, Sensei Cassie PhamKorman; and (back row) James Goodman, Jr., Sensei Nizar Albagdadi, Kaito Sengoku, Sensei Ramon Veras, Rylan Garza, Elaina Lan, Charlize Lopez and Sensei Andres Sanabria (Phorto: FBISD)


ight Fort Bend ISD students helped form a 16-member athletic team that competed at the 2017 Texas National State Karate Championship and Qualifier in May, with individual members placing in the top three positions of their divisions. They were among 290 athletes from throughout the state to enter the competition, regarded as the largest and most prestigious karate tournament in Texas. The FBISD athletes were among those, age 4-60, to compete in various divisions of Kata (the essence and foundation of karate that focuses on form), Kumite (face-to-face combat that incorporates attack and defense techniques) and Kobudo (the weapon systems of Martial Arts). FBISD students earning top awards were: Charlize Lopez, 5th grade, Settlers Way Elementary (Gold, Kata and Kobudo Kata) Tyler Lopez, 1st grade, Sullivan El-

ementary (Gold, Kata and Kobudo) Nalika Nana, 2nd grade, Oyster Creek Elementary (Gold, Kata and Kumite) James Goodman, Jr., 5th grade, Palmer Elementary (Gold, Kata; Bronze, Kobudo and Kumite) Elaina Lan, 8th grade, Quail Valley Middle School (Silver, Kata) Jayden Goodman, 3rd grade, Palmer Elementary (Silver, Kobudo; Bronze, Kata) Akira Santoso, 4th grade, Commonwealth Elementary (Silver, Kata; Bronze, Kumite) Kaito Sengoku, 4th grade, Austin Parkway Elementary (Bronze, Kumite and Kobudo) Other team members to receive awards include: Devashish Akhare (Bronze, Kumite), Christina Korman, (Gold, Kobudo; Silver, Kata); Rylan Garza (Gold, Kobudo; Bronze, Kata), Sensei Andres Sanabria (Gold, Kumite; Bronze, Kata), Sensei Cassie Pham-Korman (Gold, Kata and Ko-

budo), Sensei Rommel Gargoles (Silver, Kata; Bronze, Kobudo) and Sensei TJ Lopez (Gold, Kata). Also competing was Sensei Clarissa Villanueva. The winners of the competition, all of whom are aspiring Olympians, will represent Texas at the 2017 USA National Championships and Team Trials, to be held July 19-23 in Greenville, South Carolina. With karate being one of the five new sports confirmed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, these winners are all aspiring to compete as U.S. Olympians at the event. All of the athletes mentioned trained at the Traditional Karate Center under the instruction of Sensei Ramon Veras (Chief Instructor), Sensei Nizar Albagdadi (Senior Instructor), Sensei Nathan Work (Senior Instructor), Sensei Cassie Korman, Sensei Pedro Gutierrez and Sensei Andres Sanabria.

July’s meeting agenda:

ton Procurement Forum

General Contractor/Subcontractor

Goldman Sachs, 1,000 Small Businesses

“Who-What-How” – Satterfield & Pontikes

Special Guest: Laurence Rice from KYND 1520AM The Rice Business Report

“Why Cooperatives” – TIPS, Lyndsey Sawyer “Are You Covered?” – J. Archer Insurance Group, Richard Miles Upcoming Phase 3 2014 Bond Projects/ Additional Construction & Non-construction Business Opportunities Diana Mack-Henry, Design & Construction Gaurav Agarwal, Jacobs Engineering SBE Certification Process Monique Pettaway, Metro Transit Authority Priscilla




You can register for the workshop on our website. If you’re a vendor interested in getting an exhibit booth, please fill out the SBE Workshop Vendor Booth Form and submit it to our office. The Small Business Enterprise Program was adopted by the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees following voter approval of the $484 million bond program. Learn more on our website or contact Jeanette Boleware, FBISD Small Business Enterprise Program Coordinator at (281) 327-7697 or the Small Business Office Team at (281) 327-7195.

CRY America Gala Dinner Sunday, June 11, 2017 Sweetwater Country Club, Sugar Land

Photos by Murali Santhana

“Thanks to all the CRY Dinner event sponsors and the volunteers for your support. While keeping our goal in mind and creating awareness about children’s issues, and raising funds to address those issues we have more upcoming events coming up in 2017.”



The CRY Rang Tarang is scheduled on Sept. 16th at India House. A Musical Night Event showcasing a wide range of talents from live music, kids dance and comedy. Dinner will also be served. The CRY Walkathon is scheduled on October 14th at Lost Creek Park For sponsorship and volunteers please contact: Patrick Bocco - 617-959-1273 lMousumi Banerjee - 832-841-5727 l Dharam Bali - 832-341-1142



Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital honored with Mission: Lifeline Achievement Award

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Gano, Roberts named 2017 Teachers of the Year

Diana Gano and Amanda Roberts


earland ISD teachers Diana Gano and Amanda Roberts strive to make positive impacts in students’ lives when they walk into their classrooms each year. Thanks to their dedication to students, Alexander Middle School’s Roberts and Dawson High School’s Gano are the Pearland ISD 2017 Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year. Kelly Ward, Emergency Department Director; B. Keith Ellis, M.D., Medical Director of the Chest Pain Center; Scott Rivenes, M.D., Medical Director of the Emergency Department; Vicky Fox, Operating Room Medical Director (Photo: HMSL Hospital)


UGAR LAND – (July11, 2017) - Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has received the Mission: Lifeline® Silver Receiving Quality Achievement award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks. Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication. The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call and continuing through hospital treatment. “Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients who suffer a heart attack, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that goal through nationally respect-

ed clinical guidelines,” said B. Keith Ellis, M.D., Medical Director of the Chest Pain Center at Houston Methodist Sugar Land. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our team.” In addition to receiving the Mission: Lifeline Silver Receiving award, Houston Methodist Sugar Land has also been recognized as a recipient of Mission: Lifeline’s Silver-Plus award, which recognizes that the hospital has reached an achievement score of 75 percent or greater for treating STEMI transfer patients from other facilities within 120 minutes. “We commend Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to the highest quality of care for their heart attack patients,” said James G. Jollis, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group. “Achieving this award means the hospital has met specific reporting and achievement measures for the treatment of their patients who suffer heart attacks, and we applaud them for their commitment to quality and timely care.” Houston Methodist Sugar Land earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance

for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients by providing emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries when needed. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for 12 consecutive months to receive this award. For more information about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, visit or call 281.274.7500 to find a doctor in your area. Visit our Facebook page at for the latest news, events and information. About Mission: Lifeline The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for STEMI patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit

Fort Bend ISD Students recognized for Service on Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council


ORT BEND ISD (July 11, 2017) – Four Fort Bend ISD students are among more than 80 young leaders – representing 50 public, charter and private schools from across the state – to create and lead service projects as members of Education in Action’s 2016-2017 Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. Before entering the 9th grade, the council members participated in a weeklong Lone Star Leadership Academy summer camp that gave them an opportunity to explore significant Texas sites, improve their leadership abilities, gain self-confidence and independence, and develop new friendships. As graduates of the program, they accepted an invitation to join Education in Action’s alumni program, the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council, to receive leadership training during the school year. In addition to completing leadership skillbuilding lessons, the students exercised their leadership skills by identifying a need in their community, and creating and leading at least two others in a service project of their choosing.

Aniruddh S., 2nd year member. Project: Art Dreams

Recognized for their service were FBISD students: Emma Lee, Clements High School 9th grader – Shared Dreams Holiday Cheer project

Emma L., 3rd year member, Project: Shared Dreams: Holiday Cheer.

Charlize Lopez, Settlers Way Elementary 5th grader – Warm Coats, Warm Hearts project

Madison Taylor, Clements High School senior – Stuff(ed) for Kids project

Aniruddh Sriram, Dulles High School 9th grader – Art Dreams project

Each of the students received a certificate of merit for their dedication to devel-

oping their leadership skills and service to their community. To learn about their service projects, view the Education in Action newsletter on website:

Elementary Winner: Amanda Roberts - Roberts wanted to become a teacher after having great role models such as her parents and teachers, who valued education and supported her in her studies. “Through their encouragement and mentoring, I gained confidence to follow my dreams,” she said. “I decided that I wanted to be that type of individual, the one who helps others reach their goals.” To make sure her students learn the material, Roberts continuously evaluates student performance formally and informally, research new instructional strategies, collaborate with colleagues and participate in book studies and various educational workshops. “All of these allow me to develop new learning experiences for my students,” she said. Roberts holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Texas A&M University. Secondary Winner: Diana Gano

Gano worked as a chemical engineer doing research and development for 10 years and decided to change careers to make a bigger impact on lives. She went back to school to get a degree in education with a focus in secondary science. “I worked for a large international company and my day-to-day work rarely impacted the company’s bottom line and I wanted to do something ‘useful,’” she said. “Teaching had never been my plan, but it turns out that it was really meant to be because I love what I do and I’m never bored. Being a teacher means she can help students get excited about science and encourage a generation to become doctors, engineers and researchers. “I show them what’s possible and help them see how exciting and interesting science can be so that they can go out there and make new discoveries,” Gano said. While Gano’s students learn every day in the classroom, she continues to learn herself. If lessons don’t work, she’ll find ways to change it. She reads journals and keeps up with several teacher websites to look for new labs, demos, lessons and ways to teach concepts. “By keeping myself interested and excited about science, I hope to impart that to my students in the classroom,” she said.



FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

The Ideal Temperature of Prabhupada Swami documentary sells out 5 Houston screenings Drinking Water 3 screenings this weekend added July 14, 15 at 14 Pews


steaming cup of tea on a winter day or an ice-cold glass of water in the summer may sound refreshing, but do these hot and cold treats actually have a positive or negative impact on the body? Sadhguru discusses the ideal temperatures for water and water-containing foods to be consumed, as well as the best heating methods. Q: You have shared how treatment of water, including its transport, influences its behavior in the body. How does this apply when microwaving water or water-containing foods? In general, what is the best way to heat water? Sadhguru: What I have noticed is, in the United States, everyone drinks water with three-fourths of the glass filled with ice cubes! Usually, water is always served with ice in the United States. But Indians – I mean Indians as in India – always order water without ice when they go to a restaurant. There are a lot of jokes about this, and there is even a blog that takes its name from this. In the yogic culture, if you are on the path of inner transformation, you want totransform your system to another dimension of possibility. If that is so, then you only drink water which is within four degrees centigrade of your body’s normal temperature, i.e. between 32 and 40 degrees centigrade. This is the best way to consume water. If you are a student – if you only want to absorb knowledge and are not looking for transformation – then you must drink within eight degrees centigrade of the body’s temperature. So the water temperature should be between 28 and 44 degrees centigrade. If you are a householder who is not interested in any transformation or learning, you just want to manage your children and wife or husband, then you can drink water that is within twelve degrees centigrade of the body temperature. Water that is at a temperature beyond this is not considered conducive for anyone. This may be an unpopular thing to say, but it is important that whatever you consume is not too far away from the body temperature. Consuming water or any substance which is very far from the body temperature

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, founder of Isha Foundation. will disturb the way the water within the system behaves. I know the ice-cream lovers and ice-cream companies might not like it, but I am just telling you the ideal conditions. If you want to live in the ideal range and be conscious of it, then wherever possible, staying within that temperature range is a good idea. The Best Way to Heat Water The other part of your question was about how to heat water. The best way would be to heat with the sun’s own energies because that is the fundamental form. It is very easy to set up an element which is heated by a small solar panel somewhere above your house. Solar heaters are available these days. If that is not possible, wood fire would be the next option. If that is not possible, then come the petroleum products. It is not the best way, but it is better than using your microwave. A microwave does not heat the water evenly. It just heats individual molecules of water all over the place. If you heat something with a microwave, then you should at least keep it outside for 15 to 20 minutes, so that the water in whatever food item you have heated up has time to readjust itself to its normal pattern. Another aspect is that if the surface of the container you use to microwave is very smooth – generally, glass or porcelain containers can be very smooth – the water can get superheated. That is, it can cross hundred degrees centigrade and still not become steam because air bubbles cannot form in it. When the surface is too smooth, air bubbles

cannot form there. Because of that, you may have superheated water, which can be dangerous. Spiritual leader and founder of Isha Foundation, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, was conferred thePadma Vibhushan award by the Government of India on 13thApril 2017. Sadhguru is a contemporary yogirooted asstrongly in worldly and pragmatic matters as he isin inner experience and wisdom. He hasserved as a delegate to theUnitedNationsMillenniumPeace Summit and the World Peace Congress and has been a regularspeaker atthe World Economic Forum in Davos. He has also been a speaker at the Australian Leadership Retreat, Tallberg Forum, World Presidents’Organization, TED, Tuck School of Business and the BritishHouse of Lords. Isha Foundation is a non-religious, non-profit organization with over 200 centers worldwide and over onemillion volunteers. Isha Foundation will be conducting a 4-day Inner Engineering Program in Houston, Texas from July 27-30, 2017. This 4-day program offers the rare opportunity to experience life transforming wisdom from an Isha Teacher trained by Sadhguru. Inner Engineering– a practical approach forinnertransformation in a fast-paced world. The course designed by Sadhguru presents simple, yet powerful tools for an individual to experience life on a deeper level with more awareness, energy, and productivity. Tolearnmore ortoregister visitwww.InnerEngineering. com/Total or email houston@ or (832) 408-0663

11 migrant workers die in Saudi house fire Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | AFP | Wednesday 7/12/2017 Eleven migrant labourers died of asphyxiation in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday in a fire that engulfed the windowless house they shared, Saudi authorities said. “Firefighters put out a blaze in an old house lacking windows for ventilation. Eleven people died of asphyxiation,

and six others were injured” in the southern province of Najran, the civil defence said in a tweet. The casualties all hailed from India and Bangladesh, it said. Nine million foreigners work in the kingdom, many of them from South Asia, according to the last official figures released in 2015.

Rights groups have called on Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to end the widespread kafala -- or sponsorship -- system, which severely restricts the rights of migrant labourers. These workers cannot leave the country or switch jobs without written permission from their current employer under kafala, and employers often confiscate their passports and travel documents

Indian-Americans, Israeli-Americans pledge to work together 1WASHINGTON: (PTI | Jul 8, 2017) A group of IndianAmericans and Israeli-Americans in the Silicon Valley have pledged to work together to advance relationship between the two countries, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to the Jewish state. “There is a genuine feeling that India and Israel will be leading the world toward a better future,” Diane Fisher, the community relations direc-

tor of American Jewish Federation of Bay Area, said at an event on ‘Indo-Israel Relations’ organised by the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) in the Silicon Valley on Thursday. Marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel could not be more highlighted than with the current visit of Prime Minister Modi in Israel, said Revital Malca, deputy counsel general of Israel in San Francisco. “Our strategic partnership

with Israel spans from agriculture to military technologies, it should increasingly include human capital investment. Silicon Valley is ideally placed to be frontline of this join effort,” said Rohit Rashith, deputy indian consul general in San Francisco. In his comments, Saumitra Gokhale, international coordinator of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, drew the attention to similarities in history of both the countries being ancient yet continuing cultures and being democratic nations.

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by Staff Reporter his past weekend saw all five screenings of the new documentary film titled, ‘Hare Krishna! The Mantra, The Movement and the Swami who started it all’ in the Houston Heights venue 14 Pews.


To behold the miraculous journey of Srila Prabhupada, founder and spiritual emissary of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), is to witness a dream fulfilled; an epic nothing short of the divine. This dynamic new film directed by John Griesser and codirected by Jean Griesser (who had a Q&A after each showing) and Lauren Rossattempts to chronicle his extraordinary life and succeeds—not only as a first-rate biopic but also as a profound examination of America and the world during a turbulent 1960’s and 1970’s. Through vivid documentary footage and thoughtful, probing interviews with former devotees and scholars, a portrait of Prabhupada emerges. At once intimate and complex, the charismatic Prabhupada comes alive, particularly his immense capacity for devotion. “In the 12 years that he was alive,” the credits at the film’s

(L-R) Host for the Houston screenings Dr. Hansa Medley, Q&A interviewer Kevin Wu and Co-director/Co-writer Jean Griesser following the first screening on July 7, 2017 at 14 Pews. (Photo: Shobana Muratee) end inform us, “he circled the globe 14 times, established 108 temples on 6 continents [and] saw 60-millions of his books distributed in 25 languages.” Whether you are a person of faith, a devotee, a skeptic, atheist, agnostic, or student, the film will amaze you. It is an insightful, enduring portrait about one of the most important figures of

the twentieth century whose message of Krishna consciousness continues to reverberate in today’s fragile world. Tickets for the July 14 7pmshowing, and the Saturday July 15 4pm, and 7pm screenings are available only online at the website with limited seating. No further screenings are scheduled for Houston.



FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

GOPIO Connecticut Honors Five Indian American Achievers at its 11th Annual Awards Banquet active participants in the local community through involvement in community events and local politics, and by providing services to the Indian community at large here in Connecticut. This lofty goal of providing services and a political voice to the local Indian population has evolved into an exemplary community service organization thanks to the tremendous support of our local Indian community.” Describing some of the programs GOPIO-CT initiates, Bhat said, GOPIO members serve in local soup kitchens, do walkathons to support cancer patients, and jointly celebrate Diwali and India’s Independence Day with the members of multiple Indian groups in our community. “This year we want to take our mission a step further and become the voice of Indian Americans living in Connecticut. This lofty goal is not easy to reach without your support. Please become a member of GOPI-CT and make our goals come true,” she said.

GOPIO-CT 2017 awardees, scholarship recipients with GOPIO Officials and dignitaries. Photo

“This country is the greatest nation in the history of the world because of our diversity,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Stamford, CT: July 9, 2017) “This country is the greatest nation in the history of the world because of our diversity,” Richard Blumenthal, the senior United States Senator from Connecticut, told a packed audience at the 11th annual Gala and awards nite organized by The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)-Connecticut Chapter in the Ballroom at The Hilton Hotel in Stamford, CT on Saturday, July 8th, 2017. “We have become a great nation because of your contributions. We have welcomed talent, energy and dedication. There is no greater example of this than our relationship with India; two great democracies on earth. Our nation faces biggest challenge to rule of law today than ever before.” The sold out and much anticipated event was attended by

GOPIO-CT President Anita Bhat, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Rep. Jim Himes, Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, Deputy Consul General of India Parmita Tripathi and GOPIO International Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham over 250 guests from across the state of Connecticut, including community leaders, elected officials, and honorees and their families. The gala included a cocktail reception, dinner, music, live DJ and dances by participants, eloquent speeches, touching life-stories and inspiring narratives on the lives

of the five distinguished honorees. The program was compered by Gayatri Mahesh. Prominent among those who had attended and spoke at the annual gala included, Congressman Jim Himes, Stamford Mayor David Martin, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, Con-

necticut State Senators Tony Hwang and Toni Boucher and CT State Assemblymen Dr. Prasad . In her presidential address, Anita Bhat described the mission and vision of GOPIO-CT under her leadership. “Our mission at GOPIO-CT is to be

Congressman Jim Himes, who represents Connecticut’s 4th District in the United States House of Representatives, said he was delighted to be at the event to honor the accomplishments of so many talented individuals. Congressman Jim Himes, in his felicitations, “This is the largest ever dinner you I have ever attended of GOPIO. We are experiencing one of the backsliding moments in the history of the where the core strength of this nation, the immigrants, are being threatened. There is no bigger rebuttal than the people in this room. You are scientists, educators, engineers, entreprenros, community activists, philanthropists, who represent

the success and contributions of immigrants to the country” Riva Gaangulay Das, Consul General of India, in her address, “The Indo-US relationship has been strengthened by who you are; your accomplishments. Though you are only 1% of the US population, you have excelled in education, income level, economic standing and contributions to the society, you are the model for all other immigrant communities.” Describing the partnership as strategic, she pointed out to the fast growing and maturing of collaboration between the two nations. Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President of GOPIO International who is also a Trustee of GOPIO-CT, chairman of the Awards Committee, said, “The evening is a celebration – a celebration not just of the accomplishments of our awardees, but also a tribute to a strong and vibrant IndianAmerican community in Connecticut.” “You are the community. You are not part of the community,” Mayor David Martin told the Indian Americans. Pointing to the historic nature of the upcoming general elections in November, Mayor Martin urged the members to register and vote, and thus become ensure that your voices are heard.” Mayor Harry Rilling said, “I am honored to be here to celebrate among friends and am thankful for the warm welcome the Indian community has always extended to me and my family.” He also congratulated GOPIO-CT for its 11 years of service and bringing the Indian community together.

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Indian-American Viral Patel invents dryer that requires no heat by a Special Correspondant

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Indian-American develops handheld device for cervical cancer screening


OUSTON: Waiting an hour for your clothes to dry can feel tedious when you need something in a rush. But IndianAmerican research and development associate Viral Patel and his team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have developed a dryer that could make doing laundry much quicker. Called the ultrasonic dryer, it’s expected to be up to five times more energy efficient than most conventional dryers and able dry a large load of clothes in about half the time. “It is a completely new approach. Instead of evaporation, it’s technically performing mechanical extraction of the moisture within the fabric,” Mr Patel told Knoxville News Sentinel. Mr Patel said that traditional dryers generally use straight-forward technology: as air gets sucked in from the surrounding area, it travels through a heater or gas burner and into the drum where the clothes tumble around allowing the heat to absorb the moisture with the air leaving the dryer. However, the ultrasonic dryer uses piezoelectric transducers to remove moisture: when high frequency volt-

Nimmi Ramanujam and her team of reseacrhers at Duke University in North Carolina say the “pocket colposcope”, which can connect to a laptop or mobile phone, could even lead to women being able to self-screen (Photo: Duke Univ.) Viral Patel developed a dryer that could make doing laundry much quicker. age is applied to the transducers, they vibrate at a high frequency causing trapped water to leave the fabric without heat. Basically, the dryer shakes the water out of the clothes, speeding up the process. Mr Patel mentioned that GE Appliances is in the process of developing an agreement with the researchers to proceed toward commercialisation. “We’re trying to develop the tech-

nology that has efficiency greater than or equal to the state of the art but with a competitive cost, so it can be sold on the US market” because “if you walk into a big box store and you want a dryer, normally the first things consumers look for is how much it costs” and not energy efficiency. “GE brings the expertise in that area, which we do not have,” he added, stating that it will take at least two to five years before the ultrasonic dryers can be available in the market.

Former Indian Ambassador to the US Naresh Chandra dies


EW DELHI ( PTI),| JUL 10, 2017 - Former Indian Ambassador to the US Naresh Chandra died at a hospital in Goa today. He was 82.

Chandra had been a diabetic and had suffered a cardiac arrest. He said that the writer Dr. Maria Couto from Aldona (North Goa) had referred the ailing Mr. Chandra for treatment.

He passed away around 10 PM due to multiple organ failure at Manipal Hospitals in Goa, a hospital official said.

Chandra had served as the Cabinet Secretary from 1990-92 and was the Indian Ambassador to the US from 1996 to 2001.

His office confirmed that Chandra was admitted to the hospital on Friday. “He was admitted to the hospital on Friday evening with complaints of fever and vomiting,” said Dr. Shekhar Salkar, head of Clinical Services at Manipal Hospital, and added that Mr.

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Ambassador Chandra was awarded India’s second highest civil awards, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2007. (File photo)



OUSTON (PTI) - An Indian-American professor and her team have developed a new handheld, low-cost device that will soon check cervical cancer without using a painful speculum. Nimmi Ramanujam and her team of reseacrhers at Duke University in North Carolina say the “pocket colposcope”, which can connect to a laptop or mobile phone, could even lead to women being able to selfscreen. Ms Ramanujam has developed the “all-in-one device” which resembles a pocket-sized tampon. Her team asked 15 volunteers to try the new integrated design and more than 80 per cent said they were able to get a good image. According to Ms Ramanujam, “The mortality rate of cervical cancer should absolutely be zero per cent because we have all the tools to see and treat it. But it isn’t. That is in part because women do not receive screening or do not follow up on a positive screening to have colposcopy performed at a referral clinic.

professionals to see the cervix), as well as a highly trained professional to administer the test. The device, developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health, has a colposcope design that resembles a pocket-sized tampon with lights and a camera at one end. It also includes an inserter through which the colposcope can be inserted to make the entire procedure speculum free. “We’ve applied for additional funding from the NIH to continue these efforts,” Ramanujam said, while noting that the team is working on regulatory clearance for the device, which they hope to receive by the end of 2017. Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated when it’s found early. It is usually found at a very early stage through a Pap test.

“We need to bring colposcopy to women so that we can reduce this complicated string of actions into a single touch point.”

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, with more than 500,000 new cases occurring annually worldwide. In the United States, physicians diagnose more than 10,000 cases each year.

Ms Ramanujam said that current standard practices for cervical cancer screening require a speculum (a metal device designed to spread the vaginal walls apart), a colposcope (a magnified telescopic device and camera designed to enable medical

While more than 4,000 American women die of the disease each year, the mortality rate has dropped more than 50 per cent in the past four decades, largely due to the advent of well-organised screening and diagnostic programs.




ASHINGTON (AFP) - One of four men arrested for sending thousands of dollars to the late Al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki pleaded guilty Monday to supporting terrorists and plotting to kill the US judge in the case.

Indian man pleads guilty to financing Al-Qaeda propagandist al-Awlaki Neither he nor other members of the group ever met with meet Awlaki. The four were arrested in 2015 for providing material support to terrorists. A year later, Yahya Farooq Mohammad was also charged with offering an undercover FBI agent $15,000 to kidnap and kill US District Judge Jack Zouhary.

Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 39, is one of two India-born brothers who came to the United States to study engineering in Ohio but formed a small cell to support jihadist activities, the indictment said. He and his brother, Ibrahim Mohammad, joined with two US citizens, brothers Asif Ahmed Salim, and Sultane Room Salim, to raise funds for Awlaki, a US-born imam who was killed in a 2011 US drone strike in Yemen. A leader of Al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch, Awlaki is cred-

An Indian national pleader guilty of providing material support to al-Qaeda. (Representational image) ited with inspiring hundreds of supporters to join the jihadist cause. Yahya Farooq Mohammad

traveled to Yemen in July 2009 where he handed over $22,000 to a courier for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

In a plea deal, Mohammad is expected to receive a prison sentence of 17 and a half years. The other three charged in the case have pleaded not guilty. “Conspiring to have a judge killed is not the way to avoid being prosecuted,” said FBI special agent Stephen Anthony.

MTV expands safe sex drama to India, Egypt

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Indian man tries to open plane’s emergency door in midair


EW DELHI, India | AFP | Tuesday 7/11/2017 - An Indian man tried to open an emergency exit door on a packed AirAsia flight in midair, injuring fellow passengers and crew members who rushed to restrain him as the plane prepared to land, the airline said. Following the incident Aftab Ahmed, 32, was detained and handed over to airport security in eastern Ranchi city late Monday. “AirAsia would like to confirm that the airline encountered an unruly passenger onboard (a) flight... from New Delhi to Ranchi on July 10,” an airline spokesperson said in a statement. “Upon landing at Ranchi, the unruly passenger was handed over to the CISF (Central Indian Security Force) for further investigation,” it added.


EW YORK CITY | AFP - “MTV Shuga,” the youth culture network’s drama on sexual behavior that has won an audience across subSaharan Africa, will expand with editions in India and Egypt, it announced Tuesday. The Indian edition, the first outside of Africa, will be called “MTV Nishedh” after the Hindi word for “taboo” and address issues of local significance including HIV/AIDS and child sexual exploitation, MTV said.

However officials did not comment on the status of the detained passenger, the exact sequence of events or his possible motives.

The Egyptian version, to be shot in Arabic and whose title was not immediately announced, will be the first “MTV Shuga” in a language other than English and take on subjects such as contraception, child marriage and female genital mutilation, which is commonplace in Egypt.

A Press Trust of India report said that Ahmed is a resident of Ranchi, the capital of India’s Jharkhand state.

MTV said the two new editions will begin airing in 2020. The network also announced two new seasons of its main “MTV Shuga” that will air from 2018, both to be shot in Nigeria with subjects to include family planning. “By going global with ‘MTV Shuga’ and bringing this format to new countries, we are committed to challenging misconceptions and inspiring our audiences to talk openly and honestly about their sexual health, while also mobilizing them to take action to access the services they need,” said Georgia Arnold, MTV International’s senior vice president for social responsibility. She made the announcement in

Women are oil industry’s great ‘untapped reserve’: study


STANBUL, Turkey | AFP Wednesday 7/12/2017 Women are “chronically” under-represented in the oil and gas industry andthe sector is losing out by failing to draw on their skills, a study said onWednesday. Women account for just 22 percent of workers in the oil and gas sector,said the joint study by the World Petroleum Council and Boston ConsultingGroup entitled “Untapped Reserves: Promoting Gender Balance in Oil andGas”. But on average, women represent 38 percent of the workforce in major oil producing nations, it said. Only one percent of the industry’s CEOs are female. “Oil and gas companies are failing to fully leverage a potentially sizeable and critical pool of talent,” said the report, released on the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. “Women have been chronically under-represented in the industry historically and remain so today,” it said, saying the proportion of women was lower than in any other sector. The report to a certain extent confirmed stereotypes of the sector as a male-dominated, macho industry, with women almost completely absent from top positions. It said that although men and women start out on an equal footing, women rarely reach the top of an organisation in the sector. Those who are employed are also working largely in office roles and not technical jobs, which in this industry is a prerequisite for taking a top job. The study said the combined effects could ultimately weigh heavily on oil and gas companies’ ability to increase capital productivity. “The industry could boost women’s representation steadily and materially over time and reap a host of benefits including improved organisational performance, creativity, decision making and morale,” it said.

“A man tried to open the emergency door... minutes before landing,” the report said. This file photo shows Georgia Arnold and Given Stuurman as they attend the Staying Alive Foundation and Viacom panel discussion on the issues raised in MTV Shuga Down South at the NCTA Theatre in Washington DC (Photo: AFP)

a statement during an international conference in London on family planning. MTV -- founded as a music network but which has expand-

“He also allegedly injured a few passengers and crew members when they attempted to stop him.” Monday’s incident came two months after India announced plans to create a national no-fly list of unruly passengers, following cases of controversial politicians abusing flight staff. The civil aviation ministry proposed banning passengers based on three categories of unruly behaviour -- ranging from lewd comments and sexual harassment to damaging aircraft and murderous assault. Depending on the severity of disruption, a passenger could be placed on the no-fly list for anything from three months to an unlimited period. Ravindra Gaikwad, a lawmaker from western Maharashtra state, made national headlines in March by repeatedly striking a steward on an Air India flight. In February, a passenger of an Indigo flight, India’s largest budget airline, opened an emergency door just before take-off in Mumbai. And in 2016, a drunken German tourist pulled a similar stunt after his flight landed in Mumbai, reportedly telling authorities he did it “just for fun”. ed to focus more broadly on youth culture -- launched “MTV Shuga” in 2009 to encourage healthy sexual behavior, with the series offered for free to other broadcasters.



FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Trump administration delays Obama-era ‘startup visa’ rule The Trump administration has delayed implementation of an Obama-era rule that would have made it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to enter the US for building their startups. The International Entrepreneur Rule, scheduled to come into effect on July 17, has been delayed until March 14 next year, according to a notice of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted on Fed-

eral Register’s website. The notice reads, “This delay will provide DHS with an opportunity to obtain comments from the public regarding a proposal to rescind the rule” in light of President (Donald) Trump’s executive order from earlier this year on immigration enforcement”. The rule, which was proposed by former president

(Barack) Obama’s DHS last year, would have given the agency the authority to grant entrepreneurs “parole” on a case-by-case basis to enter the US for up to 30 months, with the possibility of an extension. In July, nearly 80 groups urged the White House in a letter to keep the rule, arguing that it would strengthen startup creation. However, the rule is being delayed for reconsid-

eration in light of a January 25 executive order on immigration and border security. The order declared that the secretary of Homeland Security “shall take appropriate action to ensure that parole authority... is exercised in all circumstances only when an individual demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit derived from such parole”.

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FRIDAY, July 14, 2017



ASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress on Wednesday, July 12 that the central bank expects to keep raising a key interest rate at a gradual pace and also plans to start trimming its massive bond holdings this year.

by Shobana Muratee

Yellen made no reference in her prepared remarks to what many investors see as one of the biggest unknowns at the moment: whether Trump will ask Yellen to remain as Fed leader when her current term ends next February. Yellen so far has deflected questions about whether she would accept a second four-term term as chairman if

On Wednesday, Yellen spoke to Congress about monetary policy and the state of the economy. (AFP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) In her semiannual testimony on the economy, Yellen took note of a number of encouraging factors, including strong job gains and rising household wealth that she said should fuel economic growth over the next two years. She blamed a recent slowdown in inflation on temporary factors. But she says Fed officials are watching developments closely to make sure that annual price gains move back toward the Fed's 2 percent target. Many economists believe the Fed, which has raised rates three times since December, will hike rates one more time this year. In her prepared testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, Yellen repeated the message she has been sending all year: the economy has improved enough that it no longer needs the extraordinary support the central bank began providing in 2008 in the wake of a severe financial crisis and the deepest recession since the 1930s. She noted that since the depths of the recession, unemployment is now down to 4.4 percent, near a 16-year low. And while the economy started the year with a sluggish growth rate of just 1.4 percent, it has regained momentum in recent months, helped by strong job gains, a revival of business investment and a strengthening of overseas economies. But Yellen cautioned that "considerable uncertainty always attends the economic outlook." Those include whether inflation will indeed pick up, as well as questions about how much of President Donald Trump's economic program will make it through Congress. She noted that while the global economy appears stronger, "a number of our trading partners continue to confront economic challenges." "At present, I see roughly equal odds that the U.S. economy's performance will be somewhat stronger or somewhat less strong than we currently project," she said.

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Trump asked her to remain. She also did not mention the potential impact of Trump's other Fed nominations on central bank interest rate decisions and its approach to its other job, regulating the nation's largest banks. During last year's presidential campaign, Trump was critical of the central bank for its low-rate policies, which he said were helping Democrats, and for its efforts to enact tougher regulations on banks in response to the 2008 financial crisis. On Monday, the administration announced that it had chosen Randal Quarles, a Treasury Department official under two Republican presidents, to serve as vice chairman for supervision, the Fed's top bank regulatory post. Including the post Quarles would fill, the Fed has three vacancies on the seven-member board. All of Trump's nominations will require Senate approval. The Fed slashed its key policy rate to a record low near zero in December 2008 to combat the worst economic downturn since the 1930s — and kept it there for seven years until nudging it up modestly in December 2015. It then left the rate unchanged for another year until raising it again in December of last year, followed by increases in March and June this year. Even so, the rate remains in a still-low range between 1 percent and 1.25 percent. At its June meeting, the Fed signaled that it expected to begin shrinking its $4.5 trillion balance sheet later this year, a step that could put gradual upward pressure on longer-term rates for such items as home mortgages. In her testimony Wednesday, Yellen repeated the Fed's plans to increase the level of bonds that will be sold off each month at a gradual rate to give markets time to adjust. In June, the Fed announced that it planned to begin reducing its holdings by $10 billion per month.


old and diamond jewelers are getting ready the for brightest and the most joyous Hindu festival of the year, Diwali - Festival of Lights, which falls in November. Traditionally, the season is considered auspicious for buying gold and regardless how high the prices reach, shoppers are galore. For the Kamnani brothers, Gobind and Narain Kamnani - owners of India Jewelers on Hillcroft in Houston, it will be a bittersweet season not having their mother Leela Devi Kamnani, who passed away in 2016 on Diwali day. Although Narain is older to Gobind by three years, the brothers are alike in many ways - both have an astute sense for fine diamonds and jewelry, both are computer engineers from University of Houston and both share the same passion for art collectables. Their inspiration was their father Raj Kumar Bhagwan Kamnani, a true pioneer for introducing Indian fine arts to Houston, opening his first store in the Galleria in 1971 under the auspices Best of India Inc. He later opened a second store of gold and diamond jewelry, also in the Galleria. In 1990, India Jewelers was opened on Hillcroft, famously known as ‘Little India’, and for the last 27 years has expanded its clientele beyond the Bayou City. Gobind and Narain took a keen interest in their father’s business even as they were pursuing engineering as their profession. Perhaps this had something to do with their origin in India. Growing in Jaipur, the heart and soul of jewelry industry, the brothers were very deeply influenced by the industry despite the fact that nobody in their family was in the jewelry business. In fact, their father Bhagwan Kamnani was a telephone operator in India with five children: three sons Surender, Narain and Gobind and two daughters Dhanwanti and Mohini . When the family came to the USA in 1985, the boys worked at their father’s store and intuitively picked up the nuances of the trade. “We never like engineering, simply because we couldn’t talk to the machines. And although we know computers, we would not go back to programming,” Gobind said in an exclusive interview with Voice of Asia. For years, their routine would be to work until 9 PM at their father’s store, after which they would go to a warehouse where a small group of four designer jewelers would take classes for seven students every night from 9-11 PM. “Jewelry was my passion and hobby and when we bought this store my hobby became my profession. And that’s the best thing that can happen to you.” Gobind was only 21 and Narain 23, and both were not married when they started India Jewelers. India Jewelers is not just a family business but a home away from home for the brothers and their family, who are equally passionate about what they do. When he is not attending to his clients, Gobind is deeply immersed in his creations. His latest, a 14-karat gold and diamond-studded model of the vintage 1908 Ford convertible, is breathtakingly perfect. It is complete

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Gobind Kamnani, Narain Kamnani at their store India Jewelers on Hillcroft. with sapphire seats, an engine, and even a hood that opens. “Diamonds are my favorite to design,” says Gobind, and is confident that he can create any design in diamonds, however intricate. There’s no doubt that the man is a perfectionist. Gobind and Narain have great taste when it comes to collectables, which keeps them driven to bring home 14 karat gold and diamond studded minature vintage the rarest treasures. Travel car designed by Gobind. was a regular feature in their lives, although it has says about his rare pieces. Sometimes, slowed down considerable, as most of they go the extra mile to seek out spethe work can now be done by comput- cific items for their clients. Service ers and online. Asked how many coun- and quality has been their motto and tries they had covered, Narain said it being unique is their gift. “We look would be easier to answer how many at jewelry as a piece of art, not as an they had not. Over the years, their col- ornament and created something diflection has grown to include ancient ferent from others,” Narain says about gold coins, shipwreck memorabilia, his business. Together, they want to original paintings by renowned artists, keep their father’s philosophy of mixand much more. “We have things for ing art with jewelry and both agree people who have everything,” Gobind that they complement each other.

Lapis Lazuli Table NOTE: India Jewelers is commemorating their forty years of business in Houston and want to share this experience with their customers by offering a million dollar inventory reduction sale. Going on now at India Jewelers is the ‘Forty for Forty’ sale which is 40% off all diamonds jewelry and 40% off all fine art until the end of July 2017. (see page 12 for details).

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Custom-made clothes for all within reach says top designer

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Three cups of coffee a day keep the doctor away

by Fiachra Gibbons by Kerry Sheridan


ARIS, France | AFP | Wednesday - Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato claimed Wednesday that he has cracked a digital technique which could revolutionise fashion with mass madeto-measure clothes.


IAMI, FL | AFP Coffee addicts and aficionados often say drinking the bitter liquid makes life worth living, but the habit may also help them live longer, according to two major international studies Monday.

“We can design every type and shape of garment to be a precise fit to the wearer’s figure,” he told AFP after showing his digitally created haute couture collection in Paris.

Experts cautioned, however, that the US and European reports, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, failed to show that coffee was truly the reason that many drinkers appeared to have longer lives.

The 31-year-old wunderkind has been working for six months on a new 3D clothesmaking technique using traditional materials like cotton, nylon and wool. He said that in future clothes will be infinitely adaptable “and will grow with you” -easily expandable with the wearer’s waistline -- and able to incorporate wearable devices. “We want to create a world where everyone can have tailor-made garments,” said Nakazato, who was admitted as a guest member of the elite club of Paris haute couture designers last year.

Models present some creations by Yuima Nakazato during the 2017-2018 fall/winter Haute Couture collection in Paris on July 5, 2017 (AFP Photos/Francois Guillot)

Tailor-made clothes, particularly haute couture, are out of reach of all but the world’s richest people.

Dior’s classic Bar suit as well as jeans and a leather jacket -were built up with digitallycut squares of fabric.

But Nakazato argued that his technology could bring clothes that fit perfectly within the reach of all.

Rather than a fitting, the wearer is first scanned before numbered squares of digitally cut fabrics are riveted together to form a perfectly fitting piece.

“I think that in future mass customisation is possible” because his team had removed the major constraint “of using needles and thread”. Nakazato said the “unit constructed textile” technique he has developed in Japan with engineers, 3D designers and sculptors “can adjust a garment to be a precise fit to the wearer’s figure.” “With this system we are now able to build all silhouettes imaginable. It is like creating a garment from a dress pattern but with even more flexibility,” he added. - Clothes that fit perfectly Nakazato told AFP that the nine designs he showed in Paris -- which included evening dresses and a version of

He said his 1950s-themed show was a taster of what might be possible. During that decade “haute couture brought back elegance and luxury to the minds of people fatigued by the war, and mass-produced jeans became the world’s first truly universal attire,” he added. Technology now offered the possibility of putting those two things together, he argued. Nakazato said the major breakthrough was finding a way to use everyday fabrics like cotton, nylons and wool “which are difficult to control in digital fabrication. That was the most difficult part.

But in the end we succeeded.” While the young designer admitted that his work was very much at the experimental stage, he insisted that “future mass customisation is possible”. “There is still a lot of work by hand” in putting the clothes together, Nakazato said. “It is like technology and craftsmanship put together.” Aesthetically his digital creations had a long way to go to reach the crafted perfection of classic haute couture, he admitted, which must be made by hand. “But this is a long-term project, and we hope you enjoy watching the evolution each season. It is part of the journey,” he added. Retro 1950s fashion has been a major theme on the Paris haute couture catwalk this week; French designer Jean Paul Gaultier and Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli both reachedback visually for the look.

Rather, the studies were observational in nature, meaning they showed an association between coffeedrinking and a propensity toward longevity, but stopped short of proving cause and effect. The first study, led by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and Imperial College London, examined more than half a million people across 10 countries in Europe. Those who drank about three cups a day tended to live longer than non-coffee drinkers, said the study, which researchers described as the largest analysis of the effects of coffee-drinking in a European population. “We found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically for circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases,” said lead author Marc Gunter of the IARC, formerly at Imperial’s School of Public Health. “Importantly, these results were similar across all of the 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs.” The second study included more than 180,000 participants of various ethnic backgrounds in the United States. It found benefits to longevity whether the coffee was caffeinated or decaffeinated.

Coffee drinkers had a lower risk of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory and kidney disease. Those who drank one cup a day were 12 percent less likely to die compared to those who didn’t drink coffee.

fatal in high doses. A report from the IARC last year that said drinking very hot beverages -- coffee, tea or otherwise -- is one probable cause of cancer of the esophagus, the tube that runs from the throat to the stomach. - Experts urge caution -

Those who drank two or three cups per day saw an even higher 18 percent reduced risk of death.

Experts who were not involved in the latest studies urged caution in interpreting the results.

“We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association,” said lead author Veronica Setiawan, an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California.

For instance, the European study excluded people who had cancer, heart disease or diabetes, meaning it took a measure of people over 35 who were already generally healthy.

“If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you’re not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start.” - A revered drink Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Some 2.25 billion cups are consumed every day. Many prior studies have hailed the benefits of coffeedrinking, saying the beverage imparts anti-oxidants, may improve liver function and reduce inflammation. But coffee may carry risks for some people, and pregnant woman and children are urged to avoid caffeine, which can be

It also asked about coffee consumption just once, at the beginning, and did not update this figure over the span of the study, which included an average follow-up time of 16 years. Finally, it found signs of a link between women who drank large amounts of coffee and a higher risk of cancer death, but downplayed this finding, saying it “may be spurious.” The “conclusions will not lead me to start drinking coffee or to recommend people drink more coffee as a way to lessen their risks for heart disease,” said Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow.

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Running of the bulls festival kicks off in Spain by Ander Gillenea


AMPLONA, Spain | AFP | A wine-soaked sea of revellers dressed in red and white packed into a Pamplona square on Thursday to kick off Spain’s most famous street party, the San Fermin bullrunning festival.

eval times and features religious processions, folk dancing, concerts and round-the-clock drinking. But the highlight is a bracing daily test of courage against a thundering pack of half-tonne fighting bulls through the city’s cobbled streets. Each day at 8:00 am hundreds of

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Modi visit holds special meaning for Indian Jews in Israel by Jonah Mandel


AMLA, Israel | AFP - At a curry house in central Israel, a poster welcoming Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets patrons even before they encounter the rich scent of spices wafting from the kitchen. Modi’s three-day visit beginning Tuesday -- the first ever of an Indian premier to Israel -- is a landmark moment for the Jewish state, a country seeking the friendship of powerful allies and customers for its advanced military equipment. But for members of the small Jewish Indian community in Israel, the trip is a cause of genuine excitement and a unique opportunity to increase their visibility. “There’s not a single (Indian) household that’s not talking about it. This is all people are talking about,” said Elazar Ashtivker, owner of the Maharaja restaurant in the city of Ramla, south of Tel Aviv. “It’s historic,” he said.

Cebada Gago’s fighting bulls jump over a runner on the first day of the San Fermin bull run festival in Pamplona, northern Spain. (Photo: AFP Staff) At noon, a shout of “viva San Fermin!” from the balcony of city hall and the lighting of a firework rocket known as the “chupinazo” gave the official start to nine days of bedlam. “It’s the best, there are no words to explain this,” Paula Remirez, one of two volunteers from local charity DYA Navarra who were elected to ignite the “chupinazo” this year, told public television TVE. Fun-seekers from around the world

The fast-talking 33-year-old’s parents, who were born in India, opened the restaurant in its first incarnation in the 1980s because they felt “the community was in decline”. Initially, the restaurant served the Indian community nearly exclusively.

people race with six bulls, charging along a winding, 848.6-metre (more than half a mile) course through narrow streets to the city’s bull ring, where the animals are killed in a bullfight or corrida.

But in the 1990s the trend of Israelis travelling to Asia after completing their military service became wildly popular, and many returned home with a taste for the Maharaja’s spicy delicacies.

The bravest -- or most foolhardy -run as close as possible to the tips of the horns while trying to avoid being gored.

The restaurant serves what Ashtivker calls “mainstream Indian food” but also sells peppers, vegetables and imported spices.

The first bull run, which traditionally draws the largest number of par-

The wording on the poster is in the colours of the Indian flag and invites members of the Indian community, in Hebrew and English, to a July 5 meeting with Modi in Tel Aviv. “There’s a lot of excitement,” Ashtivker said. “Everyone has signed up and everyone is going.” “If you looked for Indians in Israel on the 5th you won’t find any. They’ll all be at the convention centre,” he said with a laugh. - ‘Invisible Jews’ -

squeezed into the square, dressed in traditional white outfits and red neck scarves. They cheered, danced and sprayed each other with sangria and cheap wine, turning white shirts to pink, and passed large yellow inflatable balls over their heads as scores looked down from apartment balconies. Pamplona has stepped up its campaign against cases of sexual assault at the festival after a 18-year-old woman was alleged to have been raped last year by five men from Seville, who also recorded the attack. The men, who are in custody awaiting trial, include a recent graduate of Spain’s Guardia Civil police force as well as a member of the armed forces. Municipal officials have plastered the city with signs showing an open hand with the slogan: “Pamplona free of sexual aggressions”.

ticipants, is on Friday. - Protest Fifteen people have been killed in the bull runs since modern day records started in 1911, the latest death occurring in 2009. Most injuries are not caused by bull horns but by runners falling, or being knocked over or trampled by the animals. Last year 87 people were injured during the festival’s eight runs, including 12 who were gored by bulls. About 100 semi-naked animal rights activists called for an end to bullfighting on Wednesday by throwing red powder into the air in central Pamplona ahead of the start of the fiesta. Many wore plastic horns and wrote “Stop Bullfights” on their torsos in various languages.

“When a woman says no, it is no, When a woman is paralysed and does not say anything, it is no,” Laura Berro, the Pamplona city councillor in charge of equality issues, told TVE.

The festival is taking place against a background of high tension across Europe, hit by a recent string of terror attacks, and 3,500 police have been mobilised for the event.

The festival, immortalised in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises”, dates back to medi-

Concrete barriers to prevent vehicle access to festive areas and bag searches were also in place.

Estimates put the number of Jews of Indian origin in Israel at about 100,000, according to Eliaz Dandeker, a historian and author documenting the community. Even those of Indian origin born in Israel maintain a “deep connection” to their ancestral homeland, said Dandeker, including through music, cinema, food and cultural events. Events in Israel have featured appearances by Indian actors. Jews made their way to India over the course of the last 3,000 years, and by and large have not suffered religious and racist persecu-

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Elazar Ashtivker, owner of a curry house in the Israeli city of Ramla, puts the finishing touches to an Indian dish on July 2, 2017 (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana) tion in the country.

the era’s “melting pot” ideal.

They began coming to Israel en masse in the late 1940s and early 1950s for religious and other reasons.

“There’s more openness today” to Indian culture, the 34-year-old Dandeker said. “The younger generations want to know more.”

Many of them settled in rural communities to become farmers, while others moved to peripheral towns throughout the country. In the first years following the cre-

Modi’s visit and its potential to generate interest among Israelis in Indian culture. “We expect it to help advance our

Shaul Divekar, an Indian who emigrated to Israel as a child, holds a poster announcing the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Jewish state (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana) ation of the state of Israel in 1948, many Indian immigrants abandoned their names and traditions as part of

community,” said Ashtivker, the restaurateur. “We’re a small community here and don’t really stand out.”

Young Life


Section 2 Email:

Rajkummar Rao named ‘Influential Young Indian’


ollywood star Ranveer Singh, acclaimed actor Rajkummar Rao, badminton ace P.V. Sindhu and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma have been named in a list of the 50 Most Influential Young Indians of 2017 by GQ India magazine.

Tel: 713-774-5140

Meet India’s water warrior


eing a 16-year-old in India usually means having to worry about tuitions and textbooks with the looming threat of board exams. But Sankalp Sharma is busy taking responsibility for a much larger threat that affects the country, the world and humanity at large. He is grappling with India’s water crisis and is chosen to represent India at the UN Youth Assembly Conference in New York, which will explore sustainable ways to manage climate change and the world’s water crisis. He is now raising funds to help sponsor his trip to the US, on the crowdfunding platform and has raised ₹92,301 till date and has nine more days left for the campaign.

The GQ Power List was celebrated here on Friday evening with the announcement of 50 most influential Indians under the age of 40 from a diverse range of backgrounds and professions - business and entrepreneurship, politics, fashion, design, media, food and drink, entertainment, sports, and real estate to name a few. “This year, our list includes individuals who have built companies and assembled fortunes - and none of them is older than 40,” said Che Kurrien, Editor, GQ India. Some of the Other names to feature in the list include Akash Ambani, Alankrita Shrivastava, Amrita Pandey, Nitesh Kripalani, Aneeth Arora, Prabhas, Prabhat Choudhary, Radhika

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Acclaimed actor Rajkummar Rao on Instagram Apte, Diljit Dosanjh, Sanjay Garg, Kanan Gill, Vir Das and Zorawar Kalra. (-IANS)

The teens escaping the mafia through therapy by Ella Ide OME, Italy | AFP - He faced jail for smuggling Kalashnikovs, but the teenage heir to a powerful mafia clan in Italy was instead removed from his family and given a chance to break free of the criminal underworld.


teenagers in one respect: the changes in their bodies and brains are still underway”. Though each case is different, all at first are “emotionally rigid” and traumatised after having seen relatives killed or taken away in the middle of the night in police raids.

This is not the first time he is representing India at a global forum on climate change. He was invited as the youngest member of the Climate Reality Project Training in Houston, Texas under the leadership of Al Gore in 2015.

Sankalp Sharma aims to put India at the forefront of water conservation and sustainable development

“It took months of hard work to get into the programme. Before applying I signed up as a volunteer, conducting several activities including signing petitions. It was a big step for me, because I had no hope of being selected. I was just 15 then,” recalls Sankalp, a student of Bengaluru’s Frank Anthony School.

Meanwhile the NGO Walk for Water also offered him the position of state head for Karnataka, after which he organised a Grand Water Conservation Walk in Bengaluru, which was attended by over 1,500 walkers.

“My interest in water conservation sparked off as part of my extra-curricular programmes, mainly the Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA), where we took up projects for environmental conservation such as waste segregation. Teachers also spoke to us on climate change and I started questioning why people were worried about it. After a point my teachers couldn’t answer my questions. Then I took to Google and YouTube for answers until I finally stumbled upon a talk by Al Gore. He was able to answer many of my questions,” states the young man. That was when he joined the Climate Reality Project as a volunteer. When he came back, he started giving presentations in schools, colleges, corporate organisations and the Indian Army, while meeting ‘influenc-

ers’ including Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupati, Sunil Gavaskar, and VVS Lakshman — who could help create awareness on climate change.

“Women who live in villages have walked the distance of the equator just to collect water. We have several states fighting over water and the crisis is only worsening day-by-day. When I first came to Bengaluru in 2004, water scarcity was not a problem. Today, it is a leading issue in most cities. It is only when a problem spills out of villages into cities that people start working towards it,” he observes. He also points out, in his pitch on, that the next world war, if there is to be one, will be fought over water. He believes there is hope. “I got to know that the Chilean solar market is one of the best in their world, they exceeded their solar energy targets by 1,300%. China has halted the construction of some coal mines,” he adds. “I made a global network of friends today. So whenever I am working on a project, I tell my friends — from Pakistan to Africa and the US — so

Table tennis youth challenges abound UMBAI | AFP - “I’ve told my parents, next year you will watch me playing in the Ultimate Table Tennis League.”


The mafia lifestyle seduces many in Calabria, a region with crippling unemployment (AFP Photo/Mario Laporta) Help came from psychologist Enrico Interdonato, 33, who volunteers with a project that tries to free youngsters from the notoriously ruthless ‘Ndrangheta in Calabria by placing them in care in secret locations across Italy. The programme, called “Liberi di Scegliere” (Freedom to Choose), aims to show teens they can forge a life outside the criminal underworld without feeling they have betrayed those they love. “They’re raised as princes destined to inherit a dynasty, the embodiment of their town’s criminal history,” Interdonato told AFP. “Their fathers are almost always in prison or dead, their cousins or brothers are in jail. In the closed societies of small Calabrian towns everyone knows them and they feel it’s their duty to live up to the family name,” he said. “At risk” minors are removed from their families by the juvenile court in the southern city of Reggio Calabria and given a chance to finish their education. Those who want it also get help finding work once they turn 18. The first challenge Interdonato faces is convincing the youngsters not to see it as a punishment but an opportunity to find themselves in a place where their family names -- renowned at home -- hold no power over them. They also have to be convinced of the ills of a lifestyle which seduces many in a region with crippling unemployment. “Being heir to a mafia clan means obligations but it also means privileges, having access to significant economic and social power,” he said. - ‘Traumatised’ They may wear designer clothes and command the fear or respect of locals, but “they are still the same as other

Tanmay Rane is gearing up for a new challenge. The 17-year-old paddler from Lower Parel, the corporate hub of western Mumbai, wants to break into the newly launched India’s first ever professional league for Table Tennis. He’s promised his parents who are thrilled with the launch of the league. It’s an uphill task, Tanmay

Once a relationship is forged, Interdonato takes them along to meetings organised by the Addiopizzo association, a grassroots movement of victims of mafia extortion who have joined forces to denounce their tormentors.

knows that. He’s ranked 10th in the juniors and inside top 50 in the youth but the announcement of the league has instilled motivation to work harder and reach the pinnacle. Tanmay won’t be there playing with the best this season but he will be there at the NSCI arena in Mumbai, one of the three UTT venues, to watch top paddlers in close quarters and learn For a sport that has craved for recognition for years and years, the launch of this franchise-based league has

He is now planning to take up larger projects that will tackle the restoration of lakes and the refurbishment of rainwater harvesting systems. He says there are simple things that even children can do at home that will go a long way in saving water. “One study that I came across said that all if Indians closed their taps while brushing their teeth, instead of letting the water run, we could save one billion litres of water.” It has not been easy for Sankalp to get people to understand the urgency of the situation. “It’s not easy to make people understand they can’t take me for granted because of my age. The other main challenge is denial. A lot of people, are denying the importance of climate change.” But his age has other advantages. “When I give presentations to children they they love it, simply because it is by one of them. I feel I can influence not just the present but also the future generation and make them aware that their actions can go a long way in protecting the environment.” (-Harshini Vakkalanka/The Hindu)

brought in hope, positivity and motivation. It’s the prospect of rubbing shoulders alongside top ranked foreign players and coaches that has excited everyone. But most importantly it might prove to be a crucial step towards building a bright future. The league features 10 top ranked youth players in the country (five boys and five girls) among the 24 Indians and the three week-participation in the league could prove to be a crucial learning experience for the youngsters. Former India captain and eight-time national champion Kamlesh Mehta who is the director of ESPL that will host the league explains the move behind inclusion of youth players. “Our aim is that in 2024, our players should be on the Olympic podium.”

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“Just as police infiltrate the mafia, we infiltrate the anti-mafia!” he quips.


“These are people traditionally considered the enemy of the mafia, so the kids get a chance to see the human face of their ‘enemy’, and see what their world does to them.”



The encounters can be “very emotional”, he says. “In one case a victim living under police escort ended up befriending one of the lads and offered him a job.”

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Interdonato, who sees the minors once or twice a week, says the aim is not to get the youngsters to turn on their families -- though the mothers of some children sent away do just that, becoming police informants. “No one wants the blood ties to be cut or for youngsters to hate their fathers. We say: ‘You must love your father, but you must choose your future for yourself.’”

there is a global initiative. We, in Bengaluru, have already restored more than 12,000 dry bore wells. We have an online initiative where citizens can adopt a village or a family and help with water conservation.”

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Section 2

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017



Mubarakan Family Selfie

Indian cinemas shut in tax protest


EW DELHI | AFP - More than 1,000 cinemas in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu have closed in protest at a hike in taxes after the government introduced a nationwide levy.

“The tax rate on tickets is 58 percent, the highest in the country,” Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners and Distributors Association President Abhirami Ramanathan told AFP. “It is a burden on movie-goers and

starring Anil and Arjun Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, Athiya Shetty


EW DELHI | AFP - Do you take a selfie before heading for any event? Well, even Arjun Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz and Athiya Shetty are heading for the trailer launch but have stopped to take a selfie. However, it looks like a wedding selfie as they all are completely decked-up and flaunting their brightest smiles. So, whose wedding is it? They will reveal that at the trailer launch, which was released on June 20. Sharing the picture on Twitter, Anil Kapoor wrote, “I don’t know how we managed to fit in this much crazy in one frame, but there you go!” while Ileana wrote, “The family that clicks a selfie together, stays together!”

The Tamil film industry, featuring stars such as Rajinikanth (L), is India’s second biggest after Mumbai-based Bollywood (Photo: AFP) Movie theatres in the southern state darkened their screens from Monday, saying a state tax of 30 percent on tickets on top of the new national tax of 28 percent will deter cinema-goers and encourage piracy. The government introduced a new goods and service tax (GST) on Saturday in India’s biggest-ever fiscal reform. It intends to replace more than a dozen national and state levies with a single unified tax code. But as part of negotiations to get states to accept the GST, the government agreed some could impose additional local levies. Tamil Nadu has targeted cinema tickets.

defeats the objective of the new tax regime,” he said. Ramanathan added that the taxes would encourage people to illegally download films. The association accepts the new GST but says cinemas cannot afford the state duty as well. The Tamil film industry is India’s second biggest after Mumbai-based Bollywood, and the state accounts for a huge chunk of the $2.1 billion annual box office earnings across the country. Tamil film industry representatives say the taxes could affect the livelihoods of nearly one million people

Will not screen Indu Sarkar for any political party: Bhandarkar


UMBAI, Jul 7 (PTI) Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar has turned down Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam’s demand to screen his upcoming film “Indu Sarkar” before it is screened for the censor board. “Indu Sarkar” is based on Emergency and in a letter addressed to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani, Nirupam had shared his concern over the portrayal of party veterans like Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and other senior leaders of Indian National Congress in the film. “There is no question of showing the film to Congress or any political party, till the time the censor hasn’t passed the film. It is my prerogative whom I should show or not show my film. Nobody can force me to show them the film.


Priya Singh Paul

Anees has previously directed movies like Singh is Kinng, No Problem and Welcome, the last two also starring Anil Kapoor. Mubarakan is produced by Sony Pictures Networks Productions with Ashwin Varde and Cine1 Studios. Releases July 28.

Rahman was born into a Hindu family. However, in his 20s, he converted to Islam and adopted Sufism as the philosophy of life. “Islam is an ocean, you know, it has different sects. More than 70. So I follow the Sufi kind of philosophy which is about love,” Rahman said. “I am what I am because of the philosophy I’m following, my family is following. And of course, many things are happening, and I feel it’s mostly political.”

Photo: Paradigm Talent Agency “If you take an orchestra, you have the underprivileged and the privileged, playing together. We have different races playing together. We have dif-

Neha Dhupia to bring season two of ‘No Filter Neha’ soon

“Art has no boundaries but these kind of things put pressure on a filmmaker. It’s just bullying tactics. My wife and daughter are worried about this whole thing,” he claimed.

ferent religions playing together. But one sound comes out,” he said. “You work towards one harmony.” (-Images/ Dawn)

ing to be a long wait…” The actress says the credit for show’s success goes to the audience and celebrities who were very frank. “The guests who agreed to come on my first season, weren’t aware of anything except that they had to come and sit and talk to me in a locked room for one hour. It was a battle of wits and I’m glad that I lost to each one of them.”

Neha says it is difficult and unfair for her to choose who was the best guest on her show and says everyone “came with different stories.” “Kangana and Sonam, people I didn’t know I just Her latest show ‘No Filter Neha’ saw a host of Bollywood celebrities bare their called them and they heart out, and actress Neha Dhupia says season two is definitely on cards. (Photo: showed up, which is amazing. Arjun (KaPTI) poor) wasonly in the country for ten hours UMBAI - Her latest show The audio-chat show is hosted by in four months, and he made time for No Filter Neha saw a host Neha where she asks interesting ques- me. Ranbir, Karan, Farah were just an of Bollywood celebrities tions to Bollywood celebrities. When open book. “There was Kareena. She bare their heart out, and actress Neha asked if she is planning to come back spoke about everything. We discussed Dhupia says season two is definitely with season two, Neha told PTI, “Yes, baby names as well. So I have to say on cards. if everything goes as planned, there’s that all in all it’s hard to point one perdefinitely a season 2. And it’s not go- son down.” (-PTI)


She is fighting a legal battle for access to her birth certificate and adoption papers, but said she decided to make her claim public after watching a trailer for the upcoming “Indu Sarkar”.

ty. I just want to establish my identity and protect my family name which is being sullied.”

The movie deals with the controversial state of emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in 1975, a period of deep unrest which saw civil liberties being suspended across the country.

She had two sons -- Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi, whose widow Sonia currently heads the opposition Congress Party.

“I am not ashamed, I am not afraid. I am not after power, wealth or proper-

The earlier posters of Mubarakan confirmed that Arjun Kapoor will be seen in a double role, while Anil and one of Arjun’s characters will don a Sardar look. This is also the first time Anil will share screen with his nephew



Nevertheless, Rahman says he has a lot more to achieve and hopes his music would keep bringing people together.

Priya Singh Paul, 48, told a press conference on Monday she had been adopted as a baby and only told after she grew up that her biological father was Indira’s eldest son Sanjay, who died in a plane crash in 1980.

“The film is 70 percent fiction and 30 percent fact. I can’t stay quiet if somebody points a finger at my father or grandmother,” said Paul in New Delhi.

the trailer to my media friends and my worldwide audience on June 20.”

Indira Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India.

Paul says her mother married Sanjay Gandhi in secret because she was underage and was later made to give her up for adoption. She was brought up by a wealthy couple who did not know her identity but started making enquiries when a family friend told her that she de-


scar-winning music maestro A. R. Rahman is currently celebrating his 25 years in the music industry. Currently performing in London, Rahman told Reuters in an interview that much of the success he has had is because of his religious beliefs.

The filmmaker said his movie, slated to release on July 28, does not talk about any individual and uses Emergency just as the backdrop.

Bhandarkar said political pressure does affect him and his family is worried about the whole matter.

The family that clicks a selfie together, stays together!

AR Rahman reflects on life and Sufism as he completes 25 yrs in music industry

“I would tell Congress people to come and watch the film in theatres before making such comments on a film which hasn’t even released, or cleared by the censor board.”

Indian woman claims to be Indira Gandhi’s granddaughter EW DEHLI | AFP - An Indian woman who claims to be the secret granddaughter of the murdered former prime minister Indira Gandhi has gone to court to block a new Bollywood movie that she says shows the dynasty in a bad light.

The trailer of Mubarakan has been granted a U/A certificate and director Anees Bazmee is most excited about launching it on June 20. Anees said in a statement, “When I make movies, I ensure that it is loved not only by the kids, but even the youth and senior citizens. I am extremely thrilled to show

The 50-year-old soft-spoken artist has a long list of accolades, including two Oscars, two Grammys and a Golden Globe. The ever-so-humble Mozart of Madras has over 160 film soundtracks to his name, including the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire and high-grossing films like Lagaan and Taal.

“Some people sent me legal notices... Jagdish Tytler wrote a letter that he wants his portrayal in good faith. Mr Nirupam also wrote that he wants to see the film,” Bhandarkar said.

Tel: 713-774-5140

scended from the powerful political family. Her lawyer Tanveer Nizam said they would seek the court’s permission to conduct a DNA test. Madhur Bhandarkar’s film “Indu Sarkar” is slated for release later this month.

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FRIDAY, July 14, 2017


Section 2


Sleep disturbances linked to Alzheimer’s risk by Matt Smith


ere’s another reason to get a good night’s sleep: Interrupting a deep phase of sleep appears to cause more of the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease to collect in your brain, a new study from researchers at Washington University concludes. The findings, published Monday in the research journal Brain, suggest that even a short-term disruption could lead to higher levels of beta amyloid, a protein that forms plaques associated with Alzheimer’s. Longer stretches may also lead to higher levels of another protein known as tau, which forms tangles that can damage brain cells, the researchers report. Brain cells release fewer amyloid proteins during good sleep, and a growing body of research points toward a relationship between poor sleep and Alzheimer’s. But doctors and scientists are still trying to understand that connection, and the new study marks the first time researchers have linked problems with a specific phase of sleep to more amyloid proteins, says Yo-El Ju, MD, a neurologist and sleep medicine doctor at Washington University. “Certainly, it seems like people who have poor sleep or sleep disorders are at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” Ju says. “But also, the brain changes of Alzheimer’s disease seem to worsen sleep.” - More Disturbances, More AmyloidJu and her colleagues set out to identify how sleep disturbances could lead to a higher long-term risk of Alzheimer’s, and identify which part of sleep was most related to lower levels of beta amyloid. The researchers wrote a computer program designed to disrupt slowwave sleep -- a deep, dreamless, refreshing slumber -- in a group of 17 volunteers, then measured their levels of beta amyloid. They gave the patients earphones to wear as they fell asleep in a controlled environment.

A computer followed a readout of the brainwaves of the sleeping people. Once they fell into slow-wave sleep, the computer beeped at half of them, growing louder until the participants were knocked out of that restful phase.

“Our goal was not to wake them up,” Ju says. “We wanted them to continue to sleep, just in lighter stages of sleep.” Researchers repeated the experiment about a month later but switched the groups. After each night, doctors gave the participants, who ranged from 35 to 65, a spinal tap to collect samples of their cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds the brain. Tests on those samples showed nine participants had higher levels of beta amyloid after sleep disruptions, and the increases were greater in those whose sleep was more disturbed. “When we did not let their brain cells rest by giving them all those beeps, then they continued to produce as much amyloid as in lighter sleep or wakefulness,” Ju says. In addition, participants wore devices on their wrists to help measure their sleep at home during the days before the procedure. People whose devices pointed to worse sleep had higher levels of tau proteins, the study reports. “These were normal, healthy, young or middle-aged people,” Ju says. “They have no sleep disorders. Even in this very healthy population, we see variations in their sleep at home that does affect tau and amyloid levels.” - ‘Impressive’ Findings Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that gets worse over time. It robs people of their memories and mental abilities.

Although beta amyloid and tau are associated with the disease, not everyone who has these proteins in their brain gets Alzheimer’s. More than 5 million people are now battling the illness in the United States, and it has become the sixthleading cause of death. The cost of caring for Alzheimer’s patients is expected to top $250 billion this year. Previous studies in animals have pointed toward a link between slowwave sleep and higher amyloid levels, says Adam Spira, PhD, a clinical psychologist who studies sleep, aging, and Alzheimer’s at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The new study shows the same sort of results in humans, but more studies are needed to figure out the mechanism behind those results, he says. “It’ll be interesting to see whether disruption of other specific sleep stages leads to smaller increases or no increases,” Spira says. The new study includes “several impressive findings,” says Miranda Lim, MD, PhD, who studies sleep and neurological disorders at Oregon Health & Science University. Most studies have looked only at associations between Alzheimer’s and sleep, but the experiment by Ju and her colleagues tested how one specific stage of sleep affected amyloid levels, says Lim, who was not involved with the study. “Sleep research is at the forefront of our understanding of the pathology, progression, and potential therapeutic approaches to Alzheimer’s disease right now,” she says. “As sleep is a fundamental biological process that varies over the lifespan of the individual, understanding how sleep modulates toxic buildup of proteins relevant to neurological diseases will be instrumental to implementing future therapies, for both the directly sleep-related therapies as well as in enhancing other drug targets.”

Smelling food may make you fatter, says science by Ewan Sargent


akeries pumping the smell of muffins and cinnamon rolls out to the footpath to lure you in might be also making you fatter than you should be.

sense of smell had been temporarily switched off. The researchers tested three groups of mice. One had normal smell ability. The second had its sense of smell dis-

The normal mice nearly doubled in size. The mice that couldn’t smell only gained 10 per cent more. The supersmellers got even fatter than the normal mice.

Same goes for that wonderful fish and chip shop hot fat smell that draws you in from the car park.

Researchers at University of California Berkley discovered that smelling food before eating it could increase weight gain independently of how much fat is in the food. In other words, if you eat the same food after smelling it and after not smelling it, you’ll get fatter after smelling it.

It was a watershed moment, not just for the company but for the entire industry, which sold itself on its ability to sharpen cognitive functioning and stave off mental decline. (Criticism had been brewing for awhile: In 2014, more than 70 scientists penned an


ASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans expressed increasing pessimism on Sunday about the prospects for the healthcare bill in the U.S. Senate aimed at rolling back Obamacare as lawmakers prepared to return from a weeklong recess. One prominent Republican lawmaker, Senator John McCain, said he thought the Republican bill would probably fail. “My view is that it’s probably going to be dead,” McCain, said on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” adding that Republicans, who narrowly control the chamber, would likely need to work with Democrats on a healthcare bill. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to put pressure on Republicans to stay the course. “For years, even as a “civilian,” I listened as Republicans pushed the Repeal and Replace of Obama Care. Now they finally have their chance!” he tweeted. The Senate bill, which faces unified Democratic opposition, has been further imperiled during the recess, when Republican senators have had to return to their states and face constituents strongly opposed to the measure. Senators return to Washington on Monday. The Senate bill keeps intact much of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, former Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, popularly known as Obamacare, but strips away most of its funding. It repeals most Obamacare taxes, overhauls the law’s tax credits and ends its Medicaid expansion. It also goes beyond repealing Obamacare by cutting funding for the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled beginning in 2025. At least 10 Republican senators have opposed the bill in its current form, but many more have criticized the legislation or said they are undecided. Republican Senator Bill Cassidy said on Sunday the draft bill was undergoing a “serious rewrite.” “Clearly, the draft plan is dead,” he said on Fox News. “Is the serious rewrite plan dead? I don’t know. I’ve not seen the serious rewrite plan.” Critics have derided the bill as a giveaway to wealthy Americans who would see some tax increases rolled back. Opponents also warn that the legislation would cause millions of poor and sick Americans to lose healthcare coverage.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said on Fox News on Sun-

abled temporarily, and the third were a group of “super smellers”. All groups were fed the same high-fat “Burger King diet”.

Brain games don’t work


Republicans voice growing doubts on U.S. healthcare bill’s fate

Cruz: Failure ‘Not an Option’

The scientists suggest this might indicate a link between a sense of smell and metabolism. The results were published in Cell Metabolism.

ast year started on a $2 million sour note for brain-training game company Lumosity. That’s the amount the company, which advertised itself via assertions its products could improve memory, focus, even reverse symptoms of Alzheimer’s, agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission over charges that these claims were unsubstantiated.


The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which assesses the impact of legislation, estimated 22 million people would lose health insurance over the next decade under the Senate bill. In a separate report, it found the proposal would cut government spending on Medicaid by 35 percent come 2036.

That’s the startling suggestion in just-published research on mice that looked at the link between weight gain and smell.

Mice fed the same high-fat diet showed big differences in weight gain depending on whether or not their

Tel: 713-774-5140

open letter stating there was “little evidence” brain-games could accomplish what they purported to do.) Since its run-in with the FTC, Lumosity’s claims have been significantly dialed back. The use to describe its online products as “a personal trainer for your brain” able to improve “performance with the science of neuroplasticity, but in a way that just feels like games.” Today, that messaging is gone, replaced by a few caveats: “We need to do more research to determine the connection between improved assessment scores and everyday tasks in participants’ lives,” the company’s website reads.

Researchers speculate that smells might help tell the body what to do with calories. If you can’t smell the food, your body may burn it rather Well, more research is in and the results aren’t good for Lumosity or its competitors. The paper, published in the Journal of Neuroscience on Monday, found no evidence that playing brain games (specifically, Lumosity brain games) translated into improvements in cognitive functioning or decision making. In the study, 64 participants played Lumosity games for 30 minutes a day for ten weeks. Another 64 played webbased video games, while a third group served as a no contact control. Before and after the ten weeks, all received brain scans and completed a cognitive exam, as well as a test designed to assess decision making and risk tolerance (for example, whether they were more likely to choose a smaller reward now or a larger reward later).

than store it as fat. One of the researchers, Andrew Dillin, says if the smell-metabolism link can be validated in humans it might be possible to make a drug that doesn’t interfere with smell, but still blocks that metabolism link. Such a drug would help weight loss by revving up a body’s fat-burning

Related: ‘Brain Game’-Maker Lumosity Forges Ahead After Reaching a $2 Million Settlement for Deceiving Consumers

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

day that Trump expected Congress to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare before lawmakers leave Washington for their August recess. A spokesman for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Senate leadership was continuing to work with Republican senators and the CBO on the legislation, but did not comment on McCain’s remarks or the bill’s future. Republican Senator Ted Cruz said on Sunday that failure to pass the bill was “not an option” and that the Senate effort must focus on lowering premiums. He pointed to an amendment he offered that is being scored by the CBO. Cruz’s amendment would allow insurers to offer plans that do not comply with Obamacare’s mandate that they charge sick and healthy people the same rates and cover a set of essential health benefits, such as maternity care and prescription drugs, as long as they also offer plans that do comply with the regulations. Cruz’s amendment has drawn support from conservative senators and groups, who say the amendment will help lower premiums. But moderate Republicans and outside critics say it will erode protections for people with pre-existing conditions and make their insurance unaffordable. McConnell has said he plans to hold a vote on the legislation, which needs the support of at least 50 of the Senate’s 52 Republicans, before a six-week recess that begins on July 29. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed its version of a bill overhauling healthcare in May. Yet McConnell himself voiced doubts on the Senate bill’s prospects last week, telling a luncheon in his home state of Kentucky that if Republicans fail to pass a repeal of Obamacare, they may need to work with Democrats to shore up private health insurance markets to keep them from collapsing To choose right Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage Plan or Prescription drug plan contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.

systems. It might also help improve what can be done for people who have lost their sense of smell through ageing or diseases like Parkinson’s. But the researchers say one reason for caution is when the sympathetic nervous system gets more active, humans also produce more hormone noradrenaline – and that can trigger a heart attack. (

All three groups showed some improvement on cognitive measures when assessed after the ten weeks (

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Full Moons and Their Spiritual Effects on Humans - Part I Americans followed the same traditions and implemented the same names and significance across the board to aspects of life. While there is a large similarity between American tribes and nations, they are not all the same. The Cherokee Nation held different names in part because they governed over the lands of the south from what we know as Virginia south to Florida.

Dr. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Rice University, Houston, TX.


ach full moon holds a little extra special meaning to those who work with magic. It represents the universe in brilliant glory, wholeness or completeness. But as with each phase of the moon, each cycle of the full moon also contains its own special energy. Aligning your intentions with these energies can also enhance your magical work. Ages ago, cultures around the world kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. Today we have the advantage of aligning our energies with the cultures we’re drawn to, or to the perspective our tradition follows. So if you’re of a European tradition, or Norse or Native American tradition; you can pick and choose the name set that you feel most connected to. There are many reasons for different name sets. Cultures, regions of the world, differences in weather, the timing of seasonal changes (such as winter arriving earlier in the north than in the south) and so on. While names from the Farmer’s Almanac were largely in use in England and the Celtic lands, these are not the only names in use in those areas. Many people think all Native

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year. Here is the Farmers Almanac’s list of the full Moon names. Many human cultures have given names to the full moon throughout the year. Different full moon names can be found among the Indian, Chinese, Celtic, Old English, and New Guinea cultures, to name a few. In addition, Native American tribes often used moon phases and cycles to keep track of the seasons and gave a unique name to each recurring full moon. The full moon names were used to identify the entire month during which each occurred. The names given below aren’t the only ones that have been used. Every full moon, with one exception, had variations on its name among various Algonquin tribes, not to mention other tribes throughout North America. But the names below are the most common. Some of the variations are also mentioned. Full Wolf Moon – Janu-

ary: Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. In January snow gathers deep in the woods and the howling of wolves can be heard echoing in the cold still air so the name Wolf Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon or the Moon after Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon. Full Snow Moon – February: Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult. Full Worm Moon – March: As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter. Full Pink Moon – April: this name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn. -To Be Continued

Earth’s mass extinction underway: Scientists


any scientists say it’s abundantly clear that Earth is entering its sixth mass-extinction event, meaning three-quarters of all species could disappear in the coming centuries. That’s terrifying, especially since humans are contributing to this shift. But that’s not even the full picture of the “biological annihilation” people are inflicting on the natural world, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Gerardo Ceballos, an ecology professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and his co-authors, including well-known Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich, cite striking new evidence that populations of species we thought were common are suffering in unseen ways. “What is at stake is really the state of humanity,” Ceballos told CNN. Their key findings: Nearly one-third of the 27,600 landbased mammal, bird, amphibian and reptile species studied are shrinking in terms of their numbers and territorial range. The researchers called that an “extremely high degree of population decay.”

The scientists also looked at a well-studied group of 177 mammal species and found that all of them had lost at least 30% of their territory between 1900 and 2015; more than 40% of those species “experienced severe population declines,” meaning they lost at least 80% of their geographic range during that time. Looking at the extinction crisis not only in terms of species that are on the brink but also those whose populations and ranges are shrinking helps show that “Earth’s sixth mass extinction is more severe” than previously thought, the authors write. They say a major extinction event is “ongoing.” “It’s the most comprehensive study of this sort to date that I’m aware of,” said Anthony Barnosky, executive director of the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve at Stanford University, who was not involved in the study. Its value, Barnosky said, is that it makes visible a phenomenon typically unseen by scientists and the public: that even populations of relatively common species are crashing. “We’ve got this stuff going on that we can’t really see because we’re not constantly counting numbers of individuals,” he said. “But when you

realize that we’ve wiped out 50% of the Earth’s wildlife in the last 40 years, it doesn’t take complicated math to figure out that, if we keep cutting by half every 40 years, pretty soon there’s going to be nothing left.” Meanwhile, as this research shows, entire populations of other plants and animals are crashing, even if they’re not yet on the brink of extinction. Some of these are well-known. Consider the African elephant. “On the one hand, you can say, ‘All right, we still have around 400,000 elephants in Africa, and that seems like a really big number,’ “ Barnosky said. “But then, if you step back, that’s cut by more than half of what their populations were in the early part of last century. There were well over 1 million elephants (then). Twenty years. No more African elephants. Think about that. “The good news is, we still have time,” he said. “These results show it is time to act. The window of opportunity is small, but we can still do something to save species and populations.” Otherwise, “biological annihilation” continues. (-CNN)

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Samsung confirms launch of refurbished Galaxy Note 7s


EOUL, South Korea | AFP - Samsung Electronics said Sunday it would start selling a refurbished version of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone this week after an embarrassing recall over exploding batteries rocked the tech giant last year. The recall of millions of Galaxy Note 7 devices cost the world’s largest smartphone maker billions of dollars in lost profits and hammered its global reputation. The refurbished device, made of recalled, unsealed Note 7 handsets and unused components are outfitted with new batteries, Samsung said in a statement. The limited-edition phone -- the Galaxy Note Fan Edition (FE) -- hit shelves in South Korea on July 7, Samsung said, adding it would only sell 400,000 units at home. The firm said it would decide later whether to release the refurbished edition elsewhere, which is priced at 699,000 won ($611) domestically, far lower than the previous version that was nearly $1,000. About three million Galaxy Note 7 handsets were returned

About three million Galaxy Note 7 handsets were returned to the firm last year (Photo: Android Central) to the firm last year, but campaign groups including Greenpeace have expressed concern that discarding the phones could harm the environment. “The latest launch of the Galaxy Note FE... has a significant meaning as an environmentfriendly project that minimised the waste of resources,” Samsung said in a statement.

The recall -- the largest-ever by the South Korean tech giant -- was deeply embarrassing for Samsung, but it has just launched a new flagship device, the Galaxy S8, to positive reviews and strong orders. In April Samsung posted its biggest quarterly net profit in more than three years, although the company has come under pressure on wider fronts.

The new Audi A8 luxury sedan is a high-tech beast that can drive itself by Andrew J. Hawkins


udi just unveiled its new A8 luxury sedan in Barcelona, and as you would expect from the German automaker, this car is brimming with high-tech features. There’s a brand-new infotainment system, fully active electric suspension, and a mild hybrid engine. But at the top of the list is Audi’s claim that the A8 is the first production vehicle with Level 3 autonomy, which would make it one of the most highly automated cars on the road when it goes on sale next year. Moreover, Audi is the latest carmaker to double down on self-driving software in the race to bring a fully autonomous vehicle to market. In Audi’s parlance, the A8’s autonomous features translate as the “AI traffic jam pilot,” meaning the car can take control of the driving in slow-moving traffic at up to 60 kilometers per hour. The system is activated by a button on the center console, and it can take over acceleration, braking, steering, and starting from a dead-stop, all without the driver paying attention. Let that sink in for a second. Using a combination of LIDAR (another first for a production car, Audi claims), a front-facing camera, radar, and ultrasonic sensors, Audi says the A8 is capable of driving all by itself at speeds of up to 37 mph. There are a couple caveats, obviously. The traffic jam pilot only works on highways with a physical barrier separating oncoming traffic, and the use of the system is subject to the laws of whichever jurisdiction you’re driving through. So bone up on the rules of the road before pressing that button. This would put Audi far ahead of competitors like Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and Cadillac, which all have semiautonomous driving assist systems on the market, but also all require some level of driver attention and engagement with the steering wheel. Audi is saying that drivers can take their hands off the steering wheel “permanently” while the traf-

fic jam pilot is engaged, which is sure to raise concerns from regulators and safety advocates. Automakers and tech companies are currently debating among themselves about how much autonomy the driving public can currently handle, and the release of the A8 is sure to send those talks into the stratosphere. Audi says it is rolling out this feature “gradually,” but isn’t going into much detail about what that means. The automaker, which is owned by Volkswagen, says it will be adopting “a step-by-step approach to the introduction of the traffic jam pilot in production

ray of laser scanners embedded in the parking garage that communicated to the car over Wi-Fi, keeping it abreast of its precise location and any obstructions nearby. The A8’s ability to self-park in a setting without embedded sensors communicating with the car speaks to how much progress Audi has made with this feature. Another interesting feature is the A8’s 48-volt active, electromechanical suspension platform. Depending on the driver’s wishes and the driving situation, it is capable of

Audi claims the A8 is the first production car to reach Level 3 autonomy (Photo: Audi USA) models.” I assume that means you shouldn’t expect to flip on the highly automated system as soon as you drive out of the dealership. Audi likely wants to avoid a situation like what Tesla confronted when it first rolled out its semi-autonomous Autopilot system, where drivers uploaded videos of themselves sitting in the backseat while their cars drove themselves. That said, Audi is actively encouraging its drivers to test out the A8’s new self-parking feature from outside the vehicle. Using the MyAudi smartphone app, drivers can remotely summon or park their car while watching a live display on their device using the A8’s 360-degree camera. “The driver need not be sitting in the car,” Audi says. Audi showed off a version of its self-parking feature back in 2013 at CES. Back then, an Audi A7 was guided by an ar-

raising or lowering each wheel separately with electric actuators. This becomes extremely handy in a crash situation. In combination with front-facing camera, the car can be raised “with lighting speed if there is an impending lateral collision,” Audi says, reducing the potential consequences of the accident for all occupants. Audi’s new MMI infotainment system features multiple touchscreens with haptic feedback that physically and audibly click when touched. Drivers can also use voice control to get directions or select a particular song. Audi powers its infotainment systems with Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, as well as 4G LTE and Wi-Fi. Simply put, the A8 is a big step forward in advanced driving technology, and it’s sure to be a strong competitor for Tesla Model S and Mercedes S-Class vehicles in the luxury market. (-The Verge)



Swoon-worthy honeymoon destinations that won’t break the bank

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Meet Ana Khouri, 2017 Accessories ANDAM prize winner

by Emily Cappiello


ARIS (AFP) - With an exclusive presentation scheduled for Wednesday at the Ritz hotel during Paris Haute Couture week, the Brazilian-born jewelry star is on the rise, and has been known to name her sculptural white and yellow gold creations like old friends.


hen it comes to deciding where to spend their first days as a married couple, many newlyweds want to go all out. However, after planning an expensive wedding, another splurge may not be in the cards.

arts, Ana’s creative story began in Sao Paulo at the Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado. It was in art school that she first began designing and hanging pieces from nude models. It was then that Khouri started thinking critically about sculpture, and more precisely about how she could make pieces that

Fret not, frugal lovebirds: there are luxurious honeymoons to be had all over the world, even on a budget. Here are some places to escape to that won’t prompt your first big married fight when the credit card bills arrive back home. Belize Honeymooners love Belize, a gorgeous slice of Central America that serves up beach paradise with a side of tropical forest. Belize City, the nation’s largest urban area, is perfect for active couples, who can go kayaking or snorkeling and visit the nearby Mayan sites Xunantunich and Cahal Pech or the jaguar preserve. Belize is also home to many allinclusive resorts, which will save money on food and drinks. Xanadu Island Resort, located at Ambergris Caye overlooking the second largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea, offers an array of complementary activities, such as kayaking, bird watching, paddle boarding, and bicycle rentals. And if you want to stretch your dollar into a really luxurious stay, you can even rent your own private island off the coast for less than $500.

BELIZE a dose of history while watching the city lights come alive. Bermuda A short trip from the East Coast, Bermuda treats honeymooners like royalty. Stay at The Reefs Resort & Club, which has four restaurants and bars, two tennis courts, and complimentary kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkel gear. Up the ante with the resort’s hon-

Photo: Belize Travel Boarda plush bedding with Italian linens, separate showers, and oversized soaking tubs – many with views of Castle Harbour or Harrington Sound. Jamaica No matter what part of Jamaica you plan on visiting, there is likely an all-inclusive resort to fit your needs. With several Sandals-branded resorts around the island, many other hotels have followed suit, offering food and

Photo: Bermud Tourism Assoc.

Cuba With affordable, quick flights to choose from and many sights still untouched by tourism, Cuba is a unique, budget-friendly honeymoon experience. Find yourself a deal on an Airbnb in Vedado, a mostly-residential neighborhood just a 10-minute drive from Old Havana where old mansions and authentic eateries abound. The retro cars and architecture are just some of the ways Cuba will leave you charmed. Explore Old Havana, where you can learn how the country’s iconic rum is made at Havana Club, and have lunch at the top of La Torre, where the ham and cheese sandwich is second only to the view. End the night with a traditional cannon ceremony at El Morro Castle, where you’ll get

Rosewood Tucker’s Point, located on a private pink-sand beach, has

drinks included in your honeymoon stay. These savings can allow you to splurge on other sources of entertainment, like horseback rides through the surf or waterfall climbs, ensuring your honeymoon will be made up of happy memories you will reflect on for years to come. (-Travel+Leisure)

This over-the-top wedding cost $10 Million!

One look at Ana Khouri’s jewelry and it is plain to see that sculpture was the first love of the designer who picked up a special ANDAM accessories prize last week for young talent. Interestingly proportioned, often off-kilter or mismatched earrings, rings, and precision cut jewels -- all demonstrate a particular attention to detail and an affinity with geometry. Her limited edition pieces look to the work of Calder, Serra and Bourgeois for guidance. For US-based Khouri, who launched her namesake line in 2006, designing jewelry is an art; it is about the myriad ways that a piece can take shape on the wearer, and the balance the work creates with the body.

BERMUDA eymoon package, which also includes an ocean view room for five nights, a welcome Rum Swizzle, Champagne, and chocolate-covered strawberries upon arrival, a 60-minute couples’ massage, and a romantic dinner on the beach.

Ana Khouri and one of her earcuff creations (Photo: AFP)

Her intimate approach to jewelry design is further illustrated in her penchant for naming her jewel pieces as if they were old friends. Her approach is borne of the belief that jewelry, more than any other item, has the ability to create deep connection with the wearer, hence the names of her styles -Claire, Ophelia, Francesca, Lourdes, Gina, Norah... Born to an engineer father and pianist/teacher mother who is said to have passed on her passion for the

Osmanova’s beaded dress from the designer Zuhair Murad was extra glitzy and off-the-shoulder. The train was big. Like, really big. (Photos: Instagram/paraskevova)

The event was arguably even more lavish than the Academy Awards, with $500,000 (£386,500) worth of flowers, violinists, dance performances, red-carpet dresses, performances from Lady Gaga and Jason Derulo, and even stars on the floor featuring the names of guests. A report from the Russian website KP said: “It’s hard to imagine, but if someone decides to outdo this celebration — then, apparently, the wedding will have to be celebrated on Mars.” Guests were treated to a stunning scene of violinists when they walked into the venue. The couple said their vows under an incredible arch, covered in white roses and painted gold.

The decor — and the outfits — were incredibly lavish, with pink, purple, and red flowers (cost - $500k) bursting out of the room. The ceilings were sparkling.

According to The Sun, “guests were showered with lavish presents” even before the ceremony began, with “special waiters” delivering briefcases to them the night before that “had been made to look like those which transport the golden Oscar statues.” Ballet dancers performed as the couple made their entrance and had their first dance. The bride changed into another dress that was more form-fitting. Every detail was carefully put together, down to the petal-lined table settings. The cherry on top: Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance. Jason Derulo also sang. The performances alone reportedly cost the couple $2 million.

A year on, Ana Khouri will reveal her latest jewel creations with another exclusive presentation on Wednesday at the Ritz Hotel, during Paris Haute Couture week.

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The 10-tier wedding cake was cream and gold with white sugar flowers.

Osmanova is often spotted traveling around the world and doing photo shoots. (

Her acclaimed ‘Dichotomy’ collection, which she presented last year in Paris, features stunning diamondencrusted white and yellow drop and curved slide earrings.



For the happy couple, the extravagance won’t stop here. They live a pretty high-flying life. Avdolyan lives in a $13 million mansion in Beverly Hills, according to The Daily Mail.

It was only after completing her studies that Ana returned to Sao Paulo to set up her own design studio. In the 11 years since then Khouri has gained steadily in reputation. Her designs have been worn by Michelle Pfeiffer, Katy Perry, Emma Watson, Zoe Kravitz and Lily James. She currently works in New York where she has been based since 2012.

Member - American Immigration Lawyer’s Association since 1989.


The couple appear to have stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel, made famous by films like “Pretty Woman.”

Khouri spent part of her formative years in New York where she graduated from the Gemological Institute of America and Parsons, before traveling to London to study at Central Saint Martins.

Willy, Nanayakkara & Associates


Lolita Osmanova, the 22-yearold daughter of the Russian energy oligarch Eldar Osmanov, married 29-year-old Gaspar Avdolyan, the son of the telecoms millionaire Albert Avdolyan (worth $750 million), at the Dolby Theatre — the venue that hosts the Oscars.

“Sculpture to me is as much a visual pleasure as it is a tactile experience,” reveals the designer.

Immigration Law

by Alison Millington he son and daughter of two of the richest families in Russia were married in a $10 million ceremony in LA this weekend — and once you see the photos, you’ll be surprised it didn’t cost more.

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Why you should root for the Houston Texans


by Adam Rank hat you need to know so you don’t sound stupid

The Texans are the youngest franchise -- No. 32 -- and it almost didn’t happen. The NFL needed an extra team after the Cleveland Browns rejoined for the 1999 season, pushing the total to 31 teams. The league conditionally awarded the 32nd franchise to Los Angeles, which was without a team after the Rams and Raiders left. Living out here in Southern California, the news of a brand new expansion team was met with overwhelming apathy. I mean, I was excited; I was an intern for NFL Publishing at the time. But the guy running the PR campaign for the Houston franchise, Chip Namias, was right when he told me I was the only guy in L.A. who cared. Unsurprisingly, L.A. couldn’t get its poop together, and Bob McNair was ready to pounce. Thus, the Texans were born. People in L.A. would instead go on to enjoy a Lakers threepeat, so we were fine.

the team since 2013. And right now, you might be thinking, “I don’t remember Ludwig Mayfair. Was he some FCS star who played his college ball at Azusa Pacific or something?” No, that’s actually me combining two Instagram filters to make one name. But it does sound like a quarterback, no? Try that tonight when you’re out with your friends -- just say something like, “You know, it’s a shame Ludwig Mayfair didn’t get a chance to shine in this league. He could have really been something.” It will be extra meta if you can capture this and post it on Instagram. Oh, and since we’re talking about quarterbacks, I need to address this ... Turn for Watt


J.J. Watt. He’s everywhere. He’s in commercials. He starred in movies like “Bad Moms.” (No worries, dude -- it’s not like I’ve dedicated my life to the entertainment field and have never been given a chance to act in a movie with Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell). He’s even stolen touchdowns from your fantasy team. Say it with me, “That! Helps! No! One!”

It took about a decade, but the Texans have become one of the most consistent teams in the NFL. They have secured a winning record in five of the last six seasons, reaching the playoffs four times in this span. The defense has seemingly always been legit. The quarterback position has been, well, under construction. But the Texans are coming off a second consecutive AFC South title and they could be even better this season.

And don’t take that as any kind of knock on J.J. Because he’s pretty [deity]damn good, and he’s earned most of it. (Seriously, I would just like to read for a role.) I personally love him. Mostly because he likes jalapenos on his pizza. I know it seems bizarre that I would have that knowledge, but I was doing a podcast here once, and J.J. was the guest. His time as a pizza boy in Wisconsin was brought up, and we bonded over the most amazing pizza topping ever. Really, you should try it.

They have a franchise quarterback ... I think

He’s also a great football player. So much so that the haters are already nitpicking his every move. I mean, there’s probably some jerk out there right now upset that he got a role in “Bad Moms” or whatnot. Oh, wait ... But look, all of that shows you he’s made it. And even though he missed most of last year, he’s going to be out there dominating on the field. (

Over the last four years, the Texans have gone through quarterbacks like a millennial swiping through Instagram filters. Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden, Tom Savage, Ludwig Mayfair and Brock Osweiler all started games for

Matthews vows to ‘turn brain off’ in crazy sprints by Barnaby Chesterman


UITS-SAINT-GEORGES, France | AFP - Australian Michael Matthews says the only way to tackle a Tour de France sprint finish is to “turn your brain off” and not worry about crashes. Two of the three flat stages in the first six Tour stages featured crashes that saw the likes of reigning champion Chris Froome taken down and losing some skin to the unforgiving tarmac.

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

how much risk people are taking,” said Matthews, who’s known as ‘Bling’ for his flashy taste and lifestyle. “In the end it’s sprinting, it’s always going to be like this, it’s always been like this. “If you want to be there you’ve got to take risk and I’ve got to do the same if I want to be up with these guys.” - Spectacular crash The crash involving Cavendish and Sagan wasn’t the only high profile pile

High drama for Team India coach selection UMBAI - On Tuesday evening, after several news channels ‘broke’ the news that Ravi Shastri had been appointed Indian cricket team’s new head coach, the Board of Control for Cricket in India quickly confirmed that it was a false alarm.


Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI’s acting secretary, said the Cricket Advisory Committee was still deliberating on the coach and “until they apprise us of the decision, I cannot comment on this matter.” On Monday, the high-profile CAC, that has Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar as members, interviewed five candidates for the head coach’s job at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai. Ravi Shastri, Virender Sehwag, Lalchand Rajput, Tom Moody and Richard Pybus were shortlisted to present their vision for the Indian cricket team going forward. Only Sehwag and Rajput appeared in person. Although the selection process was over, the CAC refused to divulge a name saying that it needed to consult the Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli, first. “There is no hurry,” said Sourav Ganguly, a key member of the CAC, adding that “everyone should be on the same page.” The need of a new coach arose because Kohli and Anil Kumble were not on the same page. Kumble, who was appointed for a year by the CAC in June 2016, didn’t have the best of times in the Indian dressing room. Although Kohli denied any ‘rift’ with Kumble, their relationship appeared very cold during the recent ICC

After reports on Tuesday evening that Ravi Shastri (pictured above) has been selected as the new coach of the Indian cricket team, the BCCI denied such reports but said that they will soon announce the name once the Committee of Administrators (CoA) comprising of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman talk for one final time. (Photo: Hindustan Times) Champions Trophy in UK.

coach again.

After he learnt from the BCCI that Kohli had reservations with his ‘style’, Kumble said the ‘partnership with Kohli was untenable’ and withdrew from the race for the coach’s job. Earlier, Kumble was offered an extension by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators but “only if he wanted”.

“Ravi was the one who started the turnaround in 2014, the work ethic changed under him. He is the right choice for the coach,” said Sunil Gavaskar to NDTV on Tuesday. “Ravi is 100% committed. His professionalism is worth seeing,” Gavaskar added.

Shastri, who was Team India director from 2014-16, applied for the post when the BCCI opened applications for a second time. Given his good relationship with Kohli and senior players like Shikhar Dhawan, the former all-rounder and TV commentator was the odds-on favourite to become head

Historic series win for Zimbabwe ikandar Raza starred with the bat and ball to help Zimbabwe edge out Sri Lanka by three wickets and clinch a historic series victory in the fifth one-day International on Monday.


Taking the series 3-2 in Hambantota, the 11th-ranked Zimbabwe registered its maiden series win in Sri Lanka and first overseas triumph in eight years. Off-spinner Raza claimed three wickets to restrict the host to 203 for eight after Zimbabwe elected to field. He then anchored a tense chase with an unbeaten 27 as the visitors won with 71 balls to spare. Zimbabwe opener Hamilton Masakadza top-scored with a fluent 73 before rookie off-spinner Akila Dananjaya struck back with four wickets to rattle the Zimbabwe middle-order. The visitors slipped from 137 for one to 175 for seven but Raza and skipper Graeme Cremer (11 not out) hung on for an unbeaten 29-run stand as the perennial underdogs erupted in celebrations. “Happy that Sikandar came to the

But it remains to be seen whether the CAC, that had rejected Shastri for Kumble last year, agrees with Gavaskar’s views and gives Kohli the coach he always wanted. India travel to Sri Lanka for three Tests, five ODIs and one T20 international. The first Test starts in Galle on June 26. (-Hindustan Times)

win. “This win is very special, fans must be jumping around back home. We knew we’re playing good enough cricket to put them under pressure.” Earlier, Sri Lanka suffered from a lack of partnerships but opener Danushka Gunathilaka (52) and Asela Gunaratne (59 not out) hit gritty half-centuries to steady the home side. The hosts slipped to 153 for eight in the 42nd over before Gunaratne and Dushmantha Chameera (18 not out) put on an unbeaten 50-run stand for the ninth wicket.

The scores: Sri Lanka 203 for eight in 50 overs (Gu52, Match to remember: Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza, left, not nathilaka only restricted Sri Lanka with his bowling but combined with Gunaratne 59 skipper Graeme Cremer, right, to take his team to a series win n.o.; Raza three for 21) lost to (Photo: The Hindu) Zimbabwe 204 party. It turned around very quickly for seven in 38.1 overs (Masakadza but happy we pulled it off in the end,” 73, Mire 43, Musakanda 37; Dananan elated Cremer said following their jaya four for 47). (-The Hindu)

Wimbleton 2017

Rafael Nadal rues missed opportunities after losing to Gilles Muller


ONDON - Rafael Nadal struggled to hide his disappointment after his attempt to reclaim the Wimbledon crown he last won seven years ago fell apart at the hands of Gilles Muller on Monday. Australia’s Michael Matthews (Center) (AFP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure) On Tuesday, there were two crashes in the final kilometre, with Briton Mark Cavendish knocked out of the Tour with a broken shoulder blade after being elbowed into the metal barriers by Peter Sagan, who was disqualified. There have been a few near misses too, notably featuring French rivals Arnaud Demare and Nacer Bouhanni. But Matthews says you have to simply flip up the blinkers, turn off your thoughts and just pedal as hard as possible. “Stop thinking!” he said when asked what a sprinter needs to do. “You’ve got to turn your brain off and go for it, especially with what happened the other day with two crashes in the final. “You can’t think that’s going to happen again, you’ve just got to switch off.” Some have suggested that sprinters are getting wilder and taking more risks, but Matthews disagrees and insists it’s all just part of the job. “It’s really hard to see on the TV

up in recent memory. Cavendish crashed out of the 2014 Tour on the first stage in his native England in the sprint finish. He broke his collarbone that time and brought down Australian Simon Gerrans, who also fractured his collarbone and had to quit the Tour. Perhaps the most famous crash of all at the Tour was the sprint finish on the final stage at Paris’s Champs Elysees in 1991, when Uzbek Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, who was wearing the green sprinters’ points jersey he was sure to win if he crossed the finish line, clipped the barriers as he burrowed forwards, head down, and went flying spectacularly over his own handlebars. He did manage to get up and finish unaided to claim his first of three green jerseys in four years, but that spectacular crash lives long in the memory. Sagan won the green jersey in each of the last five years but now he’s out of the Tour, Matthews is one of a number of riders in the running to have a tilt at winning it this year.

The 31-year-old Spaniard had rolled back the years in reaching the fourth round and seemed in the mood, and form, for a serious title assault at the All England Club just weeks after winning the French Open for a 10th time. But left-handed Luxembourger Muller, seeded 16th, had other ideas though and edged an epic fifth-set 15-13 after Nadal had staved off four match points in a thrilling climax. Magnanimous as ever, 15-times grand slam champion Nadal made no excuses, admitting Muller was the better player, but said he had wasted a golden opportunity to go all the way. “I had my chances, and he had some mistakes, but not enough,” Nadal, who returned to form at the start of the year when reaching the Australian Open final, told reporters. “Is true most of the time in the fifth set he played more aggressive and he played better than me. “I played well for moments, but I was a lot of times fighting against the score, too many times in the fifth,” added the former world number one. “Finally, the normal thing when you are in the situation too many times,

Spain’s Rafael Nadal waves as he walks off the court after losing his fourth round match against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller at Wimbledon 2017.(Reuters) is finally you lose. That’s what happened. “It’s not the result that I was expecting. I played better than other years, true. At the same time I was ready for important things, so I lost an opportunity.” Until Monday, Nadal had not lost a set in grand slam play since losing January’s Melbourne Park final to Roger Federer. However, this was not to be his day. He thumped his head on a ceiling while limbering up in a corridor before the start of play, appeared to turn his ankle slightly in the third set and was blinded by the sinking sun glinting

against part of the Court One structure deep in the fifth set as he desperately tried to fight Muller off. Ultimately, he paid for losing the first two sets 6-3 6-4 and while he hit back impressively to win the next two by the same margin, he was unable to complete what would have been only his fourth recovery from two sets down. “When you play against these kind of players, you cannot have mistakes with yourself. That’s what I did. I did twice, in the first and in the second. That cost me two sets,” he said. “In the fifth, he had more chances than me. So maybe he deserve it a little more than me.” (-Reuters)



FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of July 14, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE

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


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

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

There is a chance of some gainful contact with influential people, which may figure big in your future success. It may be a new relationship or perhaps it is business progress that is at issue. Whatever your situation, put some feeling into the encounter to show that this is not just another meeting. Be sure to follow up, whether the issue is personal or professional. You’ll be glad you did it. You are intensely curious about something. You may have heard rumors & now is the time to check them out.

You will be ruled by extreme sensitivity to whatever environment you find yourself in. As you pick up the vibes, be sure to separate what’s real from what is simply your imagination. What is definitely true you are, is that your mate is eager to see you and should be in an excellent frame of mind. Give him or her your best, too. Don’t harp on small things. Isn’t it great to feel totally at ease? Your work should go well, but soon, you will be ready for a change of pace. If there is someone around whom you would like to get to know better, be sure to invite them.

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

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

Your ideas will lead your ambition & your honest approach. You may surprise everyone by becoming a bit of a chatterbox. Try to confine what you say to the work at hand. Not everyone has to know your personal business. You may be called on to supervise some people. If you are not used to being the boss, you could learn much through this experience. One cardinal rule is not to expect of anyone else what you would not expect of yourself.

Your public or professional image will shine, as you will get recognition for your good work. Though your ambition may be keen, others could be in the same frame of mind as you. If an obvious power play on someone’s part disturbs you, act as if it has nothing to do with you. It doesn’t, really. The problem is that you may have seen it coming, and now that it has come to a head, you find yourself annoyed. Just keep moving steadily along. Do not push for any unscheduled meetings or conversations. You could lose it without meaning to.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June This is the time of change, use your dynamic skills to renovate, remodel or just redecorate, Make the atmosphere more pleasant for entertaining family and friends. You could experience a special emotional fulfillment from cooperation on the job. Your optimism is justified as some projects involving property bring great financial success. Be sure you don’t put a rotten apple in the barrel, however, just because you don’t know your own power. Screen other investors carefully and put a high value on your own abilities.

Having to let go of something or someone. It will be clear to you, however, that the usefulness or viability of what you give up, has gone. You’ll be in the mood for romance, with someone new, someone old, or with that very special person who is always there for you. No tears or regrets, just be glad that whatever it was is now over. Because you are in overdrive, an emotional explosion could be a decisive and constructive action on a longterm work project that you are now determined to bring to a head and complete.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July You will start thinking differently, as relatively small matter that you would normally pass off as “things happen”. But this one will send you to the edge. One cause may be a recent, rather impractical move on the part of your mate or partner. Though you may be tempted to pick up the phone and tell them off, you are likely to be far too busy to start conflict. Save your venting for a quieter time, when you could let the state of your checkbook tell the story. . You must admit, however, that their intention was in both your interests, so don’t stay upset.

The magnetism of your personality & Alone it could be a force to be reckoned with, however you’ll be sharp in the job arena. A long hoped for raise could come through, or at least an acknowledgement by a boss or other higher-up that you are worth more. You are also in a mood to improvise. Your spur-of-the-moment creations really fill the bill. You’ll feel like celebrating. You may have a dream place in mind, but you are not going to find it without putting in some long hours of research.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August You will get ready for the new project related to your work. You could quickly get all the background information you need. If it isn’t work that occupies you, it may be a hunt for bargains in the house and property market. You may be a bit anxious about the thought of a big move, remembering past experiences. With plenty of lead-time and advance planning, it needn’t be the chore it appears to be right now. Could it be that you are in denial about some aspect of your life? If so, that area could be your career.

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September You may have slight headache, it’s time to check the numbers of your eye glasses. Your temperament should be controlled in A.M. hours. At times, you may feel like it’s all work and no rewards. The glitch that occurs may have to do with future plans for travel or just plain having fun. As for that hard work, regard it as money in the bank, because there may be a raise in your future. Try to negotiate the best deal you can.


You may feel, A bit of a conflict over your various responsibilities. A big project at work could keep you working after hours and your mate may not be too pleased at a break in the normal schedule. Perhaps they may not be as adaptable as you are. Smooth things out, try not to talk about money concerns, if possible. Better days are ahead. You are sharp as a tack, but try not to be too sharp. Watch what you say to co-workers, because you may offend someone.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March Don’t allow your mood to be dependent on your surroundings or events occur this week. You may find it very difficult to concentrate. Changes may be afoot on the home scene. Do your best to stay on an even course, plan to spend some time unwinding. In this situation, the best way to nurture yourself is to nurture others. You will be able to speak tenderly. Sharp words should not be exchanged. You may also get a call from a friend who needs some emotional or financial support or guidance.



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Research has shown that reflection boosts productivity. Yet few of us make time to reflect. Why? For one, figuring out where to begin can be difficult. Start by identifying a few important questions that you want to address. Here are some possibilities: “What am I avoiding?” “How am I helping my colleagues achieve their goals?” “How am I not helping, or even hindering, their progress?” Then choose a reflection process that works for you. You can sit, walk, bike, or stand (alone or with a partner) while writing, talking, or thinking. Next — and this is important — schedule time on your calendar to do it. Start small. If an hour of reflection seems like too much, try 10 minutes. Just be still. Think. Consider multiple perspectives. Look at the opposite side of what you believe. You don’t have to like or agree with where your thoughts take you — just examine your thinking. Adapted from “Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It),” by Jennifer Porter - HBR.COM

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FRIDAY, July 14, 2017

Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper July 14 2017  

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

Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper July 14 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...