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VOICE OF ASIA 1

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VOICE OF ASIA

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Trump Doubles Down on Controversial Pledge to Leave Medicare, Social Security untouched

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Vol. 30 No. 9 Friday, March 3, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: voiceasia@aol.com

Neighborhood Centers celebrates 110th anniversary, announcing new agency name Chevron to invest 1 million dollars for first Fab Lab in the Houston Region

H

OUSTON - Thursday, February 16th – Houston’s largest community development organization is celebrating 110 years with a new name. More than 900 local and regional leaders joined the annual Heart of Gold luncheon celebration at Hilton Americas Hotel where the organization announced their new name, BakerRipley. This year marks the 110th anniversary of the agency’s founding by Mrs. Alice Graham Baker and 77 years of partnership with the Daniel and Edith Foundation. The name BakerRipley reflects an organizational merger of the two entities. The name was chosen to honor the five generations of Bakers who have proudly carried on the legacy of Mrs. Alice Graham Baker, who led twelve women in founding the Houston Settlement Association. The name also memorializes Daniel and Edith Ripley and honors The Daniel and Edith Ripley Foundation, whose numerous contributions have helped to shape the course of our organization and its impact on generations of Houstonians.

White House condemns ‘racially motivated’ attack on Indians

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ASHINGTON | AFP | 2/28/2017 - The White House on Tuesday condemned a shooting attack in a Kansas bar that left one Indian man dead and another wounded as an apparent act of “racially motivated hatred.” After criticism that Donald Trump had not spoken about the attack -which happened a week ago -- the White House said president did indeed condemn the attack. “As more facts come to light and it begins to look like this was an act of racially motivated hatred, I want to reiterate the president condemns these or any other racially or religiously motivated attacks in the strongest terms” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. Continued on Page 10

TOP: Srinivas Kuchibhotla (left) and Alok Madasani in happy times. ABOVE: Sunayana Dumala (C), the wife of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was shot dead in Kansas, is consoled by family members at his funeral in Hyderabad on February 28, 2017 (AFP Photo/NOAH SEELAM).

Maha Sivaratri at Saumyakasi Sivalaya

Honorees Polly and Murry Bowden at the annual Heart of Gold luncheon. Photo credit: Neighborhood Centers Inc.

The linga-shaped temple located at Chinmaya Mission Houston (CMH)

Each year, the celebration also honors individuals with the Alice Graham Baker Award for making a difference in Houston communities. This year, BakerRipley hon- Angela Blanchard, President and CEO of Neighborored Murry and Polly hood Centers Inc., with Manisha Gandhi, Director, Bowden for investing Resource Development. Photo by Shobana Muratee. in individuals working hard for a better life. The Bowden’s leadership and support embody the spirit of Alice Graham helped Neighborhood Centers raise Baker, and they not only lead the way 20 million dollars to build Economic but make it possible for others to walk Opportunity Centers East, expected to alongside them making our region is open to the community in 2018. Their welcoming place for all. life long respect for others and comContinued on Page 11 mitment to the Houston community

Thousands of devotees attended Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya to experience bliss, offer their prayers to Lord Siva and to receive His blessings. Photo credit: Rajesh Thatte

Read report on Page 3

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OP-ED/COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS

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Kansas City Shooting of Indians: Not Political Conspiracy but Act of a Deranged Xenophobe

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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.

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

of the shooter but an accidental victim, who heroically had intervened to save the lives of the fellow patrons at the bar and got injured. Dr. Chandra Mittal B.S., M.S., Ph.D., FCP

But for the evening shooting of Indians at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 was perhaps turning out to be yet another “uneventful” normal routine day in this suburb of Kansas City. However, the sudden act of gun violence by the US Navy veteran, Adam Purinton, 51, broke the peace of the community and added a sad chapter in its history. The victims were regular patrons of the business, and were probably having the after-work happy hour drink at the joint before heading home to be with their families.

As sad, traumatic, and personally tragic as the incident is for the families of the victims, it has shaken the Indian American community at the core with unprecedented fear and apprehensions about socio-political climate in the United States. While the reaction to the violence has been universal condemnation, there are perceptions among IndoAmerican which range from speculations of some type of political conspiracy to an outright hate against them which might have led to this violence. But such perceptions and apprehensions are completely unfounded and lack reliable data or evidence. Nor are they consistent with any sociopolitical pattern suggestive of anti-Indian bias in America.

Unfortunately, all that ended the moment Adam Purinton decided to return to the bar after he was reportedly escorted out earlier, and opened fire hitting three unarmed men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, Alok Madasani, both 32, and Ian Grillot, 24. Srinivas Kuchibhotla succumbed to the injuries and died on reaching the hospital, whereas Madasani and Grillot suffered serious gun-shot wounds but did survive. Grillot, a White man was not the intended target

Yet, the incidence cannot be ignored as it has seriously impacted the psyche of large number of Indian in the United States. This is especially true with the American high technology community that is principally composed of many migrant Indians who are recent arrivals in the United States and work for many high-tech companies. The two victims, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, both were employees of Garmin, the

by Chandra K. Mittal, Ph.D.

GPS-Navigation System manufacturer in Kansas. Regardless of logic, the Kansas City killing of the Indian engineer has exacerbated the preexisting fear among many in the Indian high-tech crowd who have been already on the “edge” since 2015 when Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the US presidency with his fiery anti-immigrant rhetoric. And now that he is indeed the President of the United States, even an isolated and random incidence of violence (such as the Kansas City) against an Indian is giving credence to the antiimmigrant conspiracy theory. Unfortunately, giving legs to such the farfetched and outlandish ideas of anti-India conspiracy are also the statements of Adam Purinton himself in the aftermath of the shooting. Per the media reports, Purinton inquired from two of the victims about their visa status in the United States and yelled at them to “get out of my country” before opening fire. He also bragged to a restaurant owner in Clinton, Missouri some 70 miles away where he was arrested, about shooting “two Middle Eastern Men” at the bar. So, this left no doubt about his motivation, intentions and purpose behind shooting. It is highly inappropriate, irresponsible and unfortunate that many media outlets in the

THIS WEEK

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For their part, the Trump administration through Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary rejected and condemned this act of violence a day or two after the incidence. But that did not satisfy many including some Indians, who still held the Trump administration somewhat culpable, though indirectly, for the acts of Purinton. They wanted to hear directly from President Donald Trump, which finally came on the night of February 28th when President opened his national address to the Joint Session of US Congress with specific reference to Indian’s killing and rejected all raciallymotivated violence against all groups in the United States. Leaving aside the commotions, emotions, and the politics surrounding all such violent acts it is easy to lose objectivity and perspective. Unfortunately, it is easy to arrive at a self-serving conclusions and conspiracy theories from such situations. However, the fact is there is absolutely no evidence to support that Trump administration was in any way linked with the violence Adam Purinton perpetrated against the Indians. It was patently an isolated act by a deranged White man who was swayed by xenophobic sentiments and bore personal bias against the non-White people of foreign origin. He is probably a disturbed individual who felt deficient and deprived in America. Such circumstances may have driven him to commit the crimes that police called the pre-mediated Firstdegree murder. Dr. Chandra Mittal is Professor at Houston Community College, Houston, and Co-Founder of Indo-American Association, Houston. He can be contact at drckmittal@yahoo.com.

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United States and abroad including some reputed national newspapers who exploited the incidence and mischaracterized it. They used this personal tragedy of the victims to push their own anti-Trump political agenda. One such shameful article bore the headline…… ..”Terrorism in Trump Land”, essentially implying as if the Trump administration was promoting and encouraging such anti-India violence. Some even saw a linkage between the Kansas City violence to Trump’s Executive Orders directed at controlling illegal immigration into the United States.

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FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Second Front Page

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Tel: 713-774-5140

Maha Sivaratri at Saumyakasi Sivalaya

www.voiceofasiaonline.com

Get the Facts – Stroke vs. Heart Attack Seminar High blood pressure: The condition weakens and narrows blood vessels in the brain and increases stroke risk by two to four times. “To lower your risk, exercise regularly, eat a healthy, low-sodium diet and take blood pressure medication as prescribed to help maintain a healthy blood pressure,” said Tran

The priest, Sri Ganesh, Sri Radhuram and Sri Harish performed the abhisekam in complete harmony with his chanting of the Rudram. (Photos by Rajesh Thatte) by Satchitananda UGAR LAND - Siva means auspiciousness. On February 24th 2017, as Houston celebrated Mahasivaratri, a day that is most auspicious to Siva, thousands of devotees of the Houston Indian American community had one venue on their minds and calendar – Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya. In that iconic linga-shaped temple located within the premises of Chinmaya Mission Houston (CMH), a perfect trifecta of festivities, devotion, and spirituality uplifted every devotee. The special day and sacred night was marked by incessant Vaidika chants led by the temple priest Sri Ganesh Sathyanarayanaji as an almost unending stream of devotees filed through the temple. As the evening progressed, the crowds grew stronger in numbers. The festivities began around 9am when the Utsava Murti was worshiped with Ksirabhiseka. The Mahanyasa Purvaka Rudrabhiseka, performed to the Vaidika chants of Sri Rudram, highlighted the glories of Lord Siva. True to the declaration that Sri Rudram bestows happiness on both chanter and listener, everyone was moved to a state of bliss in that divine atmosphere. Even the basement of the temple got transformed into a mini Kailas, thanks to the wonder-

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Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty performing the Ksirabhiseka to the Utsava Linga. All the devotees had an opportunity to offer abhisekam to the Utsava Linga.

ful artistic seva of CMH volunteers. Devotees of all ages – infants to the aged – waited sincerely in a long winding line to perform their personal Ksirabhiseka to the Lord’s idol placed there. This intimate experience made bhakti flow from the hearts of all, like the Ganges that flowed from the mini Kailas. Invoking more auspiciousness, the evening’s Laghunyasa purvaka Ekadasa Rudrabhiseka made all hearts reverberate to the continuous chants of Vaidika hymns. The Sivalingashaped temple glowed with beauty, both from the bright il- Maha Mrtyunjaya Homam offered by a multitude of devotees for lumination as well as mesmer- the health and spiritual prosperity of the world at large. izing aura. Devotees were able to watch the Rudrabhiseka on a shana Aunty and their relentless dren. Chanting of the “Om couple of giant screens and lis- service to the Hindu commu- Tryambakam …” mantra conten to the chants of Sri Rudram nity for decades, the Bhakti of fers not only longevity but also as they made their way inside the devotees was perhaps out- cleanses our vasanas and burns the temple. matched only by selfless service our sins. With that spiritually The final hour before midnight - the nishkama seva bhava of significant Homa, the space in Chinmaya Smrti was made frasaw a silent meditation elevating the CMH volunteers. the bhaktas present to another CMH once again lived up to grant with collective prayers for realm. The silence experienced the teachings of Pujya Gurude- spiritual purity. was so surreal that it can only va by blending all the elements As the festivities of a most be experienced by participation, of essential Sanatana Dharma memorable CMH annual wornot described. – Bhakti, Karma, Jnana and ship comes to a close, there is one thing that those who did Through all the blessings of Dhyana Yogas. that night, one could feel the The celebrations continued on not participate can do besides silent presence of Pujya Gu- Sunday 26th with two sessions waiting. For more information rudeva, Swami Chinmayananda of hundreds of families per- on Chinmaya Mission Housand witness some key teachings forming the Mahamrtyunjaya ton, Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya from his commentaries come Homa. Families participated in and its activities visit www. alive. With the leadership, love, chanting the Maha-mrtyunjaya chinmayahouston.org, www. vision, and caring of Acaryas Sri mantra along with their chil- saumyakasi.org or call temple 281 568 1690. Gaurang Uncle and Smt. Dar-

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UGAR LAND— (February 28, 2017) — As with most things in life, a little awareness can go a long way. This is especially true when it comes to your health. “It may not get as much attention as other serious diseases, but stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the primary cause of serious long-term disability for Americans,” said Larry Tran, M.D., a board-certified neurologist with the Neuroscience & Spine Center at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. A stroke occurs when blood flow in the brain is interrupted and brain cells die. There are two main types of stroke: • An ischemic stroke results when an artery in the brain becomes blocked by a blood clot • A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel in the brain that bursts It’s not just older adults who are at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about a third of strokes occur in people under the age of 65. So no matter your age, it’s never too early to learn what you can do to prevent stroke. Preventable Risk Factors

Obesity: “Due to its strong association with other conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, reduce your risk by cutting your calorie intake, limiting foods high in cholesterol, saturated and trans fats, and increasing physical activity,” Tran said. Smoking: The chemicals in tobacco smoke damage your cells, thicken your blood and increase the plaque in your arteries, increasing the likelihood of blood clots. “The more you smoke, the greater your risk,” warned Tran. “Counseling, nicotine patches and/or medicine can help you quit.” To evaluate your risk with Dr. Larry Tran, or another specialist at our Neuroscience & Spine Center, call 281.274.7979 for a physician referral. Visit our Facebook page at fb.com/methodistsugarland for the latest news, events and information. STROKE VS. HEART ATTACK SEMINAR Join us at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Brazos Pavilion Conference Center to learn how your brain and heart are connected. Neurologist Dr. Larry Tran and cardiologist Dr. B. Keith Ellis will discuss stroke and heart attack risk factors, symptoms and prevention. Registration is required. Register online at events.houstonmethodist.org/sl-stroke or call 281.274.7500.


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 4

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

YOUR IMMIGRATION LAWYER

The People’s Lawyer

by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer Email at srichardslaw@aol.com

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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT H-1B SPECIALTY OCCUPATION VISA

Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

You can sue in justice court for damage caused by a fender bender Q. I had a small “fenderbender” with another motorist. Neither of us wanted to report the accident to our insurance company, so he just agreed to pay my repair bill. Now he won’t pay. The damage to my car is only a couple of hundred dollars. What can I do? A. First, in my opinion, even if you believe you are going to settle a matter without involving the insurance companies, you should exchange insurance information. Texas law requires automobile insurance and you should make sure the other driver has it. You also can never be sure of the full extent of the damage caused by a “fender bender.” Assuming you don’t want to get your insurance company involved, this may be a good case for justice court. I suggest you send him a certified letter demanding that he pay as he promised. Let him know that if you cannot settle the matter, you will consider a claim in justice court. If you do not resolve the dispute, file a petition with the appropriate court, usually the one in the precinct where he lives. Remember, you may sue in justice court for as much as $10,000. Q. I have a friend who has not paid her rent and has been give notice to get out of her apartment. She wants to know what will happen next. She is desperately trying to find a new place to live. She is afraid

the landlord is just going to throw her out. A. If your friend has not paid rent the landlord has the right to evict her from the apartment. To evict her, however, the landlord must go to court, give your friend an opportunity to have a hearing before a judge, and then have the eviction handled by the constable. The landlord does not have the right to just “throw her out” or lock her out of the apartment. The legal process may take a few weeks, and she will first be give notice of when the eviction hearing will take place. My suggestion is for your friend to let the landlord she is going to move as soon as possible, and to definitely be out before the constable takes her property. For more information about how the eviction process works, look at the landlord/tenant section on my website, www. peopleslawyer.net. Q. I share a backyard fence with my neighbor. The socalled “good” side of the fence faces my neighbor’s property. My neighbor installed the fence about 15 years ago. Now the fence is beginning to lean. My neighbor claims the weed-eater used by my lawn service company is cutting the fence posts causing the fence to lean. Who is responsible for repairing or replacing the fence? A. If in fact your lawn service company has caused the fence to lean, it would be responsible for the costs of repair. In my opinion, how-

ever, it is unlikely that a weed-eater has caused this problem. It may be that the fence is just old and needs to be replaced. If that is the case, if the neighbor wants to fix the fence he is probably responsible for the costs. Unless you have home-owners’ or civic association rules requiring that neighbors split the costs of a fence, the owner of the fence is responsible to maintain it. If it needs to be replaced he can replace it or just tear it down. There is no legal obligation of a neighbor to contribute to the cost of repairing or replacing the fence. In most cases, however, neighbors voluntarily agree to share the costs. In my opinion, the neighborly thing to do is share some of the expenses of repairing or replacing the fence. If you cannot afford to do this or simply do not want to, I do not believe your neighbor can force you help out with the costs. Q. Can I be arrested for not paying my credit card bill? A. No! There is no debtor’s prison in Texas. If you don’t pay the money you owe you may be sued, but you cannot be put in jail. In fact, any threat to throw you in jail for not paying your bills violates both federal and state debt collection law. For more information about what may happen if you don’t pay your bills, look at the debt collection on my website below.

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: Visa?

A: The H-1B visa is a visa for foreign skilled professionals who wish to work in the US on a temporary basis in a ‘specialty occupation’. A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a US Bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. In addition to that, the Bachelor’s degree must relate to the intended field of occupation. In some cases, relevant work experience may be used as a substitute for the required bachelor’s degree if the individual does not possess such a Degree. Q: When can the sponsor file for H-1B cap subject visa for the 2018 Fiscal Year? A: The earliest filing date for the 2018 H-1B cap subject H-1B petitions is April 1st, 2017. For this year, since April 1st, 2017 is a Saturday, USCIS has announced that it will begin accepting H-1B cap petitions starting Monday, April 3rd, 2017. Q: Can I just apply for the H-1B visa myself as I do not have a job offer from any employer? A: No. You will need to have a job offer from an employer who will then petition for the visa on your behalf. The job offer must be for a position which normally requires the minimum a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent for the position. Q: What is the H-1B visa cap? Are all H-1B Visas subject to the cap? A:

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What is the H-1B

The

H-1B

cap

refers to the yearly numerical limit set by Congress for the number of foreign workers that can be granted H-1B visas. For each fiscal year, the quota for H-1B visas has been set at 65,000 (regular cap). Another 20,000 visas are set aside for foreign nationals who possess an advanced degree which includes a US Master’s degree or higher (advanced degree cap). If you are applying for the H-1B visa for the first time, you will be subject to this numerical limitation of 65,000 visas unless you come within the advanced degree cap or your petitioning employer is categorized as a cap exempt organization. In the past few years, the cap or quota was reached within the first week after the April 1st filing date. For example, in the 2017 Fiscal Year, USCIS reported that it received about 236,000 H-1B petitions. Because it was so oversubscribed, a lottery or random selection process was used to select from the petitions that were received. Q: What kinds of petitions are cap exempt from the annual 65,000 H-1B visa cap? A: If you already have the H-1B visa and you are just applying to extend the period of validity for the visa, or you’re a changing H-1B employers, you are exempt from the quota. Institutions of higher education or those that are related or affiliated nonprofit entities as well as nonprofit research organizations or governmental research organizations are all cap exempt. Further, if you have an advanced degree, there are an additional 20,000 visas available. Q: What happens if my petition was not selected by the random selection process?

A: USCIS will return the petition package together with the filing fees. Your employer has the option refile the H-1B petition for you for the next fiscal year (FY 2019). Q: What are the current changes to the H-1B visa? A: There are several bills introduced in Congress in 2017 which contain various proposals among others, to increase the minimum salary requirement to over $100,000 per year from the current salary of $60,000 and to eliminate the Master’s Degree exemption. These bills have not been passed in Congress yet. As such, at time of this publication, the H-1B program remains the same with no changes. Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case. My Bio Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@ aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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Car burglar suspect caught

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ICHMOND - A Fort Bend car burglary suspect was arrested Monday after he was allegedly caught driving around with his spoils from the night before. Deputies with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office say they found an assortment of unique items in the suspect’s vehicle. Several spare tires, a suitcase and various bags can be seen piled high in the back

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

suspicious person call in the Grand Mission subdivision. The reporting person gave investigators a photo of the truck. “The deputy found Patrick Gifford in the vehicle and he appeared to be intoxicated,” the sheriff’s office said in a release. “Attention was then immediately drawn to the extensive amount of property inside the passenger compartment as well as the bed of the truck.”

Tel: 713-774-5140

Office space market stays strong in Sugar Land, Fort Bend area

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ocal economic development officials call the office market in Fort Bend, with emphasis on the city of Sugar Land, one of the strongest in Texas, citing diversity of development and the influence of young entrepreneurs as key factors. “The good thing is we’re very successful in filling up existing office space,” said Jeff Wiley, president/CEO of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council . “The bad side is there’s very little to market at this point in time.” According to the Sugar Land 4B Corp. annual report for the year ending Sept. 20, 2016: “Schlumberger continues its plan to consolidate the company’s U.S. headquarters to the City of Sugar Land as part of its long-term resource management and consolidation strategy Robert Lung, Sugar Land Economic Development assistant director, said the city’s 3.4 million sq. feet of Class A office space is 96 percent occupied, which he called very strong indeed. Fort Bend County with 4.1 million square feet of Class A office space has only 9.8 percent vacant.

Fort Bend car burglary suspect, Patrick Gifford, was arrested Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 after he was allegedly caught driving around with his spoils from the night before (Photo: Fort Bend Sheriff’s Office) of the pickup truck, while the car’s seats hold more bags, pill bottles and what appears to be a children’s lunchbox.

Gifford was charged with vehicle burglary and theft of property and may be charged with possession of body armor by a felon.

Investigators said they also found a police officer’s traffic vest, body armor and red and blue lights, which had gone missing on Sunday night. The equipment was returned to the officer.

Residents of Fort Bend County’s Pecan Grove, Waterside or Long Meadow Farms neighborhoods are asked to call investigators if they have been a victim of a vehicle burglary and have not reported it.

Suspect Patrick Gifford, 21, was found in the car at about 7:54 a.m. Monday, after deputies received a

Those wishing to make a report may contact Det. Hartfield at 281341-4699 (-Patch.com)

www.voiceofasiaonline.com

Sugar Land also has a little more than 4 million sq. feet of Class B space which is 9 percent vacant and 440,000 square feet of Class C space which has a 7.5 percent vacancy rate. Lung attributes the low vacancy rates to the city’s varied economic base. “We are a lot more diverse and not tied to one industry,” Lung said. That diversification softened the blow felt by other office markets in the Houston area when the price of oil crashed. He lists companies that call Sugar Land home as including Houston Methodist Sugar Land with 2,100 employees, United Health with more than 1,200 employees and Tramontina USA with roughly 800 employees. Both he and Wiley cite amenities as important to companies that want to locate in Fort Bend and Sugar Land.

Lung points to Sugar Land’s Constellation Field and the Smart Financial Centre as quality of life aspects that are a big draw for companies looking at the region. “That’s helped us a lot,” he added. Wiley said, “What goes on in the Fort Bend market is influenced by young millennials who want to work, shop and play in the same location.” That conclusion is based on conversations with developers and their representatives. “Millennials tend not to have same generational habits as generations before them did,” said Wiley, like buying a first house which is what his generation grew up with. “These guys are about experience, amenities and everything being available. Corporations want to locate where they can keep that talent.” Developments companies look for a mixed-used environment that not only has office space but attractive restaurants and retail. “That mixed-use component hopefully positions those developments to attract a range of consumers and office tenants,” said Wiley. “Sugar Land is being helped by the Smart Financial Centre,” he said. “Talk with restaurants on concert nights.” Wiley added, “Every developer looks at what worked in the past and how to refine the model for the future. Retail is changing and so is the mix of employees and what they desire in a location.” Sugar Land Town Square sent out a January news release in which it announced “This highly amenitized mixeduse development’s Class A office space starts the new year 95.6 percent leased following 2016’s robust period of lease renewals and new tenant signings. A recent market report stated that the overall East Fort Bend County/Sugar Land market is the second strongest Class A office market out of 23 submarkets. “It was our strongest leasing year ever,

including lease transactions of some 210,000 square feet,” said Don Janssen, a principal with Planned Community Developers, which manages Sugar Land Town Square. “This means that more than 37 percent of our total office space experienced some type of lease transaction. “The old real estate mantra of location, location, location is being somewhat replaced by a new one…amenities, amenities, amenities!, continued Janssen in the news release. “Millennials absolutely love the idea of stepping out into a lively setting where they can grab a bite, enjoy a cup of coffee or hang out after work,” he said. “We have been extremely pleased with the performance of Sugar Land Town Square since we acquired it in 2013,” said Fernando Urrutia, vice president of Asset Management at Lionstone Investments. “As a mixed-use property, it has been able to excel despite less than ideal market conditions.” Another percentage of which Lung is proud is the increase in the number of jobs. “We feel like we’ve become an economic powerhouse with our employment of 64,600 plus jobs in the city,” said Lung. “That’s more than a 40 percent increase in jobs since 2012.” Topping Fort Bend Economic Development Council’s list of major private employers are Fluor Corp., Methodist Sugar Land Hospital and Schlumberger Technology Corp., all of which are located in Sugar Land. Much of the office development has been recent and on the east side of Fort Bend County, but Wiley sees increased potential along the Grand Parkway and I-69 as the latter highway is extended to the county line. “We’ve got developers who will be in a position to be successful,” he said. Among project sites he lists are LaCenterra, Parkway Lakes, Aliana, the Boardwalk in Katy and the former Texas Instruments site in Stafford. (-Patch. com)


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FRIDAY, March 3, 2017


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FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Fort Bend ISD Board Student Leadership group visit Austin, see state government in action

From left to right: During the day, students in the FBISD Student Leadership program heard from Representative John Zerwas, Representative Phil Stephenson, and Representative Alma Allen.

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ORT BEND ISD - The start of the 85th Texas Legislative Session is an exciting and busy time for not only elected officials, but also the many advocates and leaders from across the state. As Fort Bend ISD student leaders visited Austin recently, the halls of the State Capitol were filled with people, rushing from one meeting to another. The priorities and goals set here will affect the lives of millions of Texans for the next two years. This was one of the theme of the day for students in the Board’s Student Leadership program, to see what they have learned in their classrooms and seen on television in real life. For the first part of the day, the students, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Charles Dupre and several members of the Board – President Kristin Tassin, Vice President Jason Burdine and Trustee KP George – met with several lawmakers representing Fort Bend County in the Texas House. Representative John Zerwas (District 28) and Representative Phil Stephenson (District 85) shared how they became interested in politics and how what they do in their professional lives influences their work in government. For Representative Zerwas, a physician, the primary priorities are health care, public safety and education.

“I congratulate you for participating in this leadership course,” he said to the students. “Texas is highly invested in making sure you get a good education. I believe that is how we define what the future of Texas looks like.” Wroe Jackson, the Chief of Staff for Texas Senator Joan Huffman (District 17), met next with the students and shared with them about his work as a legislator staffer. As an attorney, Jackson works mainly on issues of criminal justice, voting rights and elections for Senator Huffman. He also helps to meet with constituents and visitors to her office. He, along with the other staff members, work to make sure that the senator is prepared for business when bills have to be debated and votes have to be taken. “She has to find a way to get the information that she needs to be an informed decision maker, and that’s where staff comes in,” he said. Jackson informed the students they soon could be working with legislators, encouraging them to look into internships when they begin college. He explained these internships can help the students further their growth in leadership and give

them an insight into politics, if they choose to go in that direction. During lunch, students heard from Dr. Charles Dupre, Board President Kristen Tassin and Representative Alma Allen (District 131) about what they can do now, as student leaders, to prepare for their adult lives as engaged citizens. Board President Tassin shared what school boards do, and how they function like municipal and state government bodies, setting the priorities and policies for school districts. She and Representative Allen encouraged the students to think about what they can do now, as students in high school, to get involved in the democratic process. “I want you to think about in what way can you give back because everything that you do is going to matter,” said Board President Tassin. “There are a lot of ways to advocate.” As leaders from the District and from the state government spoke to the students, they all shared how what they do at various levels of public service affects the lives of the students, their families and all the residents of Fort Bend County. And as the day concluded, Dr. Dupre made sure to let the students know that they could be speaking to students one day as

elected officials and leaders.

ence in the world, and you need to be well prepared as voting

“It takes you to make a differ-

citizens,” he said. “It’s never too early to begin.”

Fort Bend ISD Fort Bend ISD to hold “All students head to Star Talent Draft” job fair state competitions ORT BEND ISD (Feb. teachers, campus administrain Academic De22, 2017) – Fort Bend tors, paraprofessionals, auxilis seeking quali- iary support and central office cathlon, and DECA fied andISDexperienced individu- staff. Individuals interested

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FORT BEND ISD - Hundreds of Fort Bend ISD high school students will take their talent on the road this weekend, participating in the Academic Decathlon and DECA state competitions. Four teams from the District will be competing in the Academic Decathlon: Clements, Dulles and Ridge Point high schools in the “Large Schools” group, and Elkins High School in the “Medium Schools” group. The Academic Decathlon is a ten-event competition that assesses students’ knowledge of a chosen theme area. Subjects include art, music, literature and science, and events include an essay, a speech and a multiple-choice challenge known as the Super Quiz™. This year’s theme is World War II.

als to join its winning team, and currently has openings for

Also, more than 300 students from the District will be competing in state competition for DECA this weekend, representing the following high schools: Austin, Bush, Clements, Dulles, Elkins, Ridge Point and Travis. The students advanced from District competition, held at Ridge Point High School in January. DECA is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing students’ knowledge of business, preparing them for careers in hospitality, finance, management and marketing. Students compete in different event categories that assess their ability to craft business plans, manage hospitality and tourism projects and much more.

in applying for any of these positions are invited to attend FBISD’s 2017 “All Star Talent Draft” Job Fair on Saturday, April 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Constellation Stadium (1 Stadium Drive, Sugar Land 77479). FBISD school and department administrators will be onsite to interview applicants and make offers of employment. Applicants are asked to bring multiple copies of their resume and dress in business casual attire for the event. Please keep in mind that this is an “adultsonly” event; no children are allowed. Registration ends March 23 at 4:30 p.m. Registration will also be open at Constellation Field on the day of the event. To register, visit Fort Bend ISD website’s Job Fair webpage: http://www.fortbendisd.com/ Page/13139.


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Peaceful Protest to Help Secure the Release of Ms. Xuejiao Han

Historical Drama on Sri Ramanujacharya on March 4 written by Mr. Chandramouli, a prolific writer who has written numerous plays of various genres for Meenakshi Theaters for over 8 years. The 35+ cast drama will feature several Meenakshi Theaters veteran actors as well as a few debut performers from the Houston community.

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OUSTON – Falun Gong practitioners and supporters will gather in front of the Chinese Consulate in Houston, March 2, 2017, to peacefully appeal to the Chinese Consulate that Ms. Xuejiao Han, a Falun Gong practitioner, be immediately released. Ms. Han is a relative of Ms. Li Lianrong, a U.S. citizen and a fellow Texan. All trace of Ms. Han was lost on February 17, 2017 after she had been abducted by police. A little later, it was learnt that Ms. Han would have been transferred to the Chengjiaoqiao police station but despite numerous attempts by family members in China, they have not even been allowed to visit with her. Thus, her current and actual status and exact situation is completely unknown. Since July 1999, Falun Gong practitioners in China have been subject to systematic arrests, imprisonment and torture. More shockingly, accumulating evidence has revealed that the Chinese Communist regime has been pillaging organs from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience for its lucrative organ-transplant enterprise. The latest independent report from June 2016 putting the estimated number of China’s organ transplants between 60,000 and 100,000 per year comes in stark contrast with China’s official number of 10,000 transplants annually. This tragic case further demonstrates that despite China’s official statements, persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is raging on. The Chinese government must be forthcoming with information as to Ms. Han’s exact situation, allowing her family members to visit with her and release her. Press Conference:12:30PM-1:30PM Peaceful protest: 1:30PM – 2:30PM Date: March 2, 2017 Place: Chinese Consulate at 3417 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006 The Event is open to the public.

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OUSTON - “Sri Ramanuja”, a historical stage play on the great Vaishnava Acharya commemorating 1000 years of his birth, will be presented by Houston’s Meenakshi Theaters on Saturday March 4th, in support of Global Organization for Divinity/Namadwaar. The play will be staged at Marie Spence Flickinger Fine Arts Center, Building 15, San Jacinto College South, 13735 Beamer Road, Houston TX 77089. Social hour, refreshments and seating will begin at 3:30 PM. India is a land that has given birth to great philosophers who have helped nurture rich spirituality, culture and better social awareness and upliftment of the human race. Sri Ramanuja was one such great saint, philosopher, theologian and leader. Born in 1017 AD in southern India, Sri Ramanuja struggled through many challenges and personal losses in his 120 years of life, and yet stayed firm in his desire to seek right knowledge and in his deep, unswerving faith and devotion to the Lord. The drama is directed by Dr. Kas Saranathan, a cardiologist and passionate veteran director and actor, whose Meenakshi Theaters has been producing theatrical plays in Houston for the last 30 years. The script for this presentation has been researched and

The play will be in Tamil language, but as it depicts the life events of a great saint who has touched the lives of people all over India and the world, it can be appreciated by all devotees. A booklet with information on saint’s life will also be given to all attendees. All are invited to come and watch “Sri Ramanuja” and obtain Sri Ramanuja’s blessings.

This project is supported by a City of Pearland cultural arts grant through the Pearland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The weekend of Mar 4th and 5th will also mark the 7th anniversary celebrations of Houston Namadwaar Prayer House. Events at Namadwaar on Sunday Mar 5th include Mahamantra kirtan, commemorative address by HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji’s disciple from India, a Hari Katha on Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by Smt. Uma Ranganathan and “Walk with a Doc” community 1K walk/run sponsored by Texas Medical Association. Contact 281-402-6585 for more information.

by Shobana Muratee

statement said.

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HGH previously brought the public’s attention to the fraudulent activities of Annamalai Annamalai, also known as Dr. Commander Selvam and Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar, who is now serving a 27-year sentence in federal prison in the State of Georgia.

In the wake of this event, the Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) released a cautionary statement warning the public about the Swami Nithyananda. “The so-called Swami behind the temple, Nithyananda, was charged in a criminal proceeding in the State of Karnataka, India. He and his organizations were also previously defendants in two civil suits in federal court in the State of California, on claims of fraud, women abuse and racketeering,” the

OBITUARY

There are different seating levels at $20, $50 and $100 per ticket. Donor/ VIP passes with preferred seating are offered for donors $250, $500, $1000 and above. Proceeds will go towards the construction and remodeling of Global Organization for Divinity’s prayer house, Namadwaar. To buy tickets online visit www.godivinity. org or call 281-402-6585.

New temple in Houston comes scrutiny OUSTON - The newly opened temple, Nithyanandeswara Hindu Temple, Houston Aadheenam is inspired by Paramahamsa Nithyananda who is recognized “as a living incarnation by millions, and Mahamandaleshwar of the most ancient apex body of Hinduism, the Mahanirvani Akhada,” according to the organization. The inauguration was held on the auspicious day of Maha Shivratri, Friday, Feb 24 on Westheimer Road.

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

“HGH will continue its efforts to create awareness to protect the interests of the Houston-area Hindu-American community,” the statement added. Voice of Asia followed up with the organization and was able to speak with Ma ShivaJnana, in charge of administration of the Nithyanandeshwara Hindu Temple Houston. She said that everything there is to know about HH Paramahamsa Nithyananda is on the website www.nithyananda.org and www.nithyanandatruth.org In a press release on the grand opening of the temple, a response to Voice of Asia was included. Please read the report on page 9 in this issue.

Susanna Joseph Pothanikat, 95

Susanna Joseph Pothanikat died on Sunday, February 19th, 2017 at 3:45 pm in Kothamangalam, Kerala. She was 95. She is survived by 11 children and 27 grandchildren. Funeral was on Monday, February 20 at 3:45 pm in Kothamangalam.

OBITUARY

Mariamma Thomas, 76

Mariamma Thomas, 76 years old, passed away in Houston on February 14, 2017. The wake service will be on 2/17/17 at Trinity Marthoma Church from 5-9 PM. Funeral was on Saturday, February 18 at 10 AM.


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VOICE OF ASIA 9

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Grand Opening of the Nithyandeshwara Hindu Temple - Houston Aadheenam

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OUSTON, February 24th 2017 - The Nithyanandeshwara Hindu Temple, Houston Aadheenam - inspired by His Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda, recognized as a living incarnation by millions, and Mahamandaleshwar of the most ancient apex body of Hinduism, the Mahanirvani Akhada, and under the auspices of the worldwide governing body of Hinduism, Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP) - was inaugurated on the auspicious day of Maha Shivratri, Feb 24th 2017 at 14140 Westheimer Road in Houston, Texas, located east of Highway 6. The Houston Aadheenam is one of 40 Nithyananda temples worldwide established as centers for Santana Hindu Dharma. The Houston Aadheenam was founded to promote the values of Hinduism and to support the spiritual needs of the local Houston community. More specifically, the temple aims to practice and uphold the ancient Vedic truths based on the following five pillars of enlightenment: Yoga, Bhakti (Devotion), Dhyana (Meditation), Jnana (Knowledge), and Seva (Selfless Service): • Yoga: The temple has ordained Yogacharyas who conduct free yoga classes every weekend, paying homage to the Father of Yoga, Sadashiva. • Bhakti: The temple’s presiding deity is Lord

Shiva, Sri Kalahasteswara, which radiates Vayu energy (Air Energy). The temple has some of the most magnificent deities in North America such as the largest 9-foot Shiva Linga, Lord Venkateshwara, Ram Parivar, RadhaKrishna, Sri Ganesha, Lord Subramanya, Navagrahas and other Hindu deities. • Dhyana: The temple hosts many powerful meditation courses—ranging from daily meditation instruction, to weekend workshops. The temple also hosts many advanced meditation programs taught directly by H.H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda through live, 2-way video connection such as Manifest Leadership and Wealth Consciousness workshop series. • Jnana: H.H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda delivers daily satsang discourse on a variety of scriptures such as the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Shiva Sutras, Jain Sutras and Brahma Sutras which are seen live at the temples and hundreds satsang centers across the world, viewed by millions. Viewers can tune in daily at www. Nithyananda.tv (or) youtube.com/nithyanandatv. • Seva: The temple is 100% volunteer-run, including the presence of Hindu sannyasis (Hindu Monk). The temples provide many opportunities for seva or “selfless ser-

ShivaAcharyas performing Agamic rituals during the opening ceremony.

Paramahamsa Nithyananda vice” and serves free sattvic/vegetarian meals every day in the temple as part of the temple’s religious philosophy. Temple volunteers will be conducting free health screenings, blood drives and bone marrow drives for the community H.H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda consecrated the deities at the temple through the Prana Prathishta (sacred energizing) process. In his live message on the Grand Opening day from Bengaluru, India, telecast to millions of viewers worldwide, His Holiness blessed that the Temple will help remove all the effects of Doshas from the Navagrahas (embodiment of the nine planetary energies) of the visitors of the Temple. The grand opening ceremonies culminated with an extraordinary display of Shaktis ‘Shaktis’ or powers of Sadashiva as revealed in Veda-Agamas, the Source scriptures (Sri Netra Tantram, Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, Upanishads, and more) and powerfully revived by H.H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda. During the demonstration, one visitor asked ‘Why the need for such

Read the latest Asian & South Asian News Visit us online www. voiceofasiaonline.com

powers? What is the purpose?’ Sri Mahant Sri Nithya Shivajnana Ananda explained, “His Holiness is sharing the science of Shaktis such as Third Eye Awakening, Remote Scanning, Body Scanning, Akashic Readings etc, along with the science of Mandalas and Spiritual Alchemy products such as the Jnana Anjana and Sadashiva Garbha, to help raise the consciousness of humanity at large and reestablish the relevance of Sanatana Hindu Dharma to the world. When these powers - available to all human beings - express within us, we naturally drop all self-doubt, selfhatred and self-denial. We realize our true and extraordinary potential – the so-called ‘negativities and conflicts’ in the outer world simply lose their relevance. The Maha Kumbhabhishekam and all the Vedic rituals were performed by Shiva Acharyas as per the Shiva Agamas, coming from all over the world. Visitors at the Grand Opening were overjoyed with the darshans of the life size deities, their stunning alankaram combined with the authentic performance of the Vedic rituals on all 6 days of continu-

ous celebrations. Many expressed how they could literally feel the blissful and peaceful energy of the temple’s space. Visitors from all over Texas participated in the opening ceremonies including ThiruVilakku Puja, Sri Meenakshi Thirukalyan- Artists from Kalabharati School of Arts and Music performing Veena. am, Sri Venkateshwara Thirukalyanam, Carnatic Shivajnana Ananda has grateful to be a part of this songs, traditional Indian this to say, “We are aware auspicious temple opendances, the playing of tradi- that there are a few nega- ing and are truly excited tional musical instruments tive elements with per- to share it with world. We like Veena, Miruthangam, sonal vested interests gen- are confident about rerecital of Vedas and chant- erating false allegations viving authentic Santana ing of vedic mantras like against our temple. While Hindu Dharma in all its Rudram, Chamakam & Sri it’s unfortunate, that such glory, bringing to life all people would use slander the shaktis as described Sukthams. and defamatory statements originally in the VedagMore information on the to attempt divide the Hous- amas, by Sadashiva Himtemple events and other ton Hindu community, we self. If anyone has any information is available know their efforts are in questions, they can reach at www.vedictemple- vain. We believe the com- us at events@vedictemhouston.org and www. munity is intelligent and plehouston.org” nithyananda.org know how to process such Report by Mahant Voice of Asia newsweek- false information. We are Ma.SriNithya ShivaJnana ly made some inquires in fact overwhelmed by Ananda about the allegations re- the community support to Photo Credit: Nithyanangarding the temple and make this temple openParamahamsa Nithyanan- ing a grand success. We deshwara Hindu Temple da. Sri Mahant Sri Nithya remain undeterred and are Houston.


DIASPORA

VOICE OF ASIA 10

India demands ‘strongest action’ from US after Kansas killing

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EW DEHLI| AFP | Sunday 2/26/2017 India demanded the “strongest action” from the US government Sunday after an Indian expatriate was killed and another wounded in a suspected hate crime in the midwestern state of Kan-

bad where the victims’ families live. “They will dent the image of USA. So the US President, administration and civil societies should unequivocally respond and condemn such incidents.”

ceased were very good friends and had known each other for at least six or seven years in the US.

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Indian-origin woman neurosurgeon picked for NASA space mission

Continued from Page 1

“It is unthinkable that they have been separated like this,” Reddy added.

“They have no place in our country.”

The shooting has made headlines in the Indian media, amid concern that the hardline immigration policies of President Donald Trump may have created the climate for such an attack.

Sanders said the president may raise the issue during his maiden address to Congress later Tuesday. The comments came as grieving family and friends in Hyderabad mourned 32-yearold engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was shot dead by a US Navy veteran.

The Indian community in the United States reached out over the weekend in solidarity with the victims. “There’s no place for senseless violence & bigotry in our society,” tweeted Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, one of the most prominent Americans of Indian descent. Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s wife Sunayana Dumala at his funeral in Hyderabad on Tuesday. (HT photo)

“My heart is with the victims & families of the horrific shooting in Kansas.”

sas.

A GoFundMe online fundraiser page was quickly set up after the shooting, and as of Sunday had collected more than $600,000 -- much of it in small contributions of $5 and $10.

Indians at home and in the United States have expressed shock at the shooting of the two young engineers by a drunk white man who allegedly screamed “Get out of my country!” The two men, who had been living in the US for the last few years, were targeted at a bar in Olathe, a suburb of Kansas City, late Wednesday. “USA should respond to this incident. American President and people of America, they should come out openly to condemn such actions... and then take strongest action,” Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying. Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Reddy Madasani, 32, wounded in the attack. Both worked as aviation systems engineers for GPS manufacturer Garmin. “These kind of incidents involving racial discrimination are shameful,” Naidu said in the southern city of Hydera-

US authorities late Wednesday detained 51-year-old Adam Purinton at a restaurant after he claimed he had killed two Middle Easterners. He has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated firstdegree murder and is being held on a $2 million bond. The FBI is trying to determine if the shooting was a hate crime. Madasani has now been released from hospital and his parents were due to leave for the United States late Sunday. His father Jagan Mohan Reddy, a chief engineer with the Telangana state government, told AFP they would spend at least a week in the US before “taking stock of what to do (next)”. “They lost a dear friend (Kuchibhotla) in the attack but somehow, by God’s grace, my son survived,” Reddy said. He said his son and the de-

The money is to help with the funeral expenses “and other ongoing grief / recovery support costs” for Kuchibhotla’s widow Sunayana Dumala. Dumala told a press conference Friday she was initially concerned about racism in the United States. “We’ve read many times in newspapers of some kind of shooting happening,” she said, according to the Kansas City Star. “And we always wondered, how safe?” Dumala credited her late husband’s spirit of optimism for the fact that they emigrated and she eventually found a job. There are believed to be some 300,000 residents of Indian descent living in the United States.

White House condemns ‘racially motivated’ attack on Indians

If everything goes as per plan, Dr. Shawna Pandya (32) may join the league of Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.

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UMBAI: An Indian-origin neurosurgeon currently based in Canada has been shortlisted by NASA for its 2018 space mission under the Citizen Science Astronaut (CSA) programme. If everything goes as per plan, Dr. Shawna Pandya (32) may join the league of Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams. Dr. Pandya, who was born in Canada, is a general physician with the Alberta University Hospital. She has her roots in Mumbai, where her grandmother currently lives in Mahalaxmi area. Pandya, who is in Mumbai holding talks with medical professionals, was shortlisted after securing top score in the CSA programme. Besides having passion to become a doctor and astronaut since her childhood, she is also an opera singer, an international champion in taekwon-do and has also done her training in Muay Thai with a Navy SEAL, as per her bio-data. “I am being trained as a citizen scientist and there are some 120 who would be part

of the space mission. The experiments in bio-medicine and medical science along with physiological, health, and environmental observations in Microgravity (PHEnOM) are also part of it. The work is distributed among the participants. “I am also in the team working for a project called Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere (PoSSUM), which will study the effects of climate change,” she said. The mission is expected to start by early 2018 and there has been talks going on with various companies regarding the mission and necessary arrangements for the same. “There has been a lot of support from my family, including my mother. They were well aware of my dreams since childhood and now also they are supporting to my journey,” she said. Dr. Pandya completed her B.Sc in neuroscience at University of Alberta, followed by M.Sc. in space sciences at International The mission is expected to start by early 2018 and there has been talks going on with various companies regarding the mission and necessary arrangements for the same.

A second Indian engineer was injured by the white man, who allegedly screamed “Get out of my country” as he opened fire at a bar in Olathe. The shooting has made headlines in India and the United States, amid concerns that the hardline immigration policies of Trump may have created the climate for such an attack. That allegation has been described as “offensive” by White House staff. The Times of India said in an editorial Monday that the shooting had shocked the Indian community in the US and urged Trump to “make it clear that such hate is not acceptable in his America.”

“There has been a lot of support from my family, including my mother. They were well aware of my dreams since childhood and now also they are supporting to my journey,” she said. Dr. Pandya completed her B.Sc in neuroscience at University of Alberta, followed by M.Sc. in space sciences at International Space University. Thereafter, she did her MD in Medicine from University of Alberta. She then applied for medical school as well as for the space programme at the same time.

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COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 11

GOPIO condemns the hate crime on US Indians in the strongest terms

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he Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has condemned the recent shooting death of Indian American Srinivas Kuchibhotla of Kansas. GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham said that the “apparent hate crime” is vicious and GOPIO stands together with the victims’ families at their time of distress.

The 32-year-old Indian engineer Kuchibhotla, who was working in aviation systems for Olathe-based Garmin Ltd, died after he was shot by navy veteran Adam Purinton who, according to witnesses, yelled “get out of my country” and “terrorist” at a bar on the night of February 22nd, 2017 before opening fire. Kuchibhotla’s colleague Alok Madasani, also an engineer from Hyderabad, was critically injured in the attack. Another bar patron, 24-year old Ian Grillot, who had tried to apprehend the gunman, was also injured in the shoot-

ing and reportedly put his life in risk to save the Indians. “Our thoughts are with the victims and families shaken by the shooting in Kansas and we do not have place for senseless acts of violence in our country,’ said GOPIO President Niraj Baxi. GOPIO news release stated that any act of violence fueled by hatred, xenophobia and prejudice cannot be tolerated. The local and federal law enforcement must investigate the shooting as a hate crime. “The FBI and other state agencies must initiate quick legal proceedings against the murderer and the incident must be treated as a hate crime,” said GOPIO Vice President Ram Gadhavi. We also want White House to issue a statement against such senseless violence against immigrants who are legally in America and contribute to the economy of

our country,” said Dr. Rajeev Mehta, GOPIO’s International Coordinator for North America. GOPIO has also urged the community to sign the petition to the White House https://petitions.whitehouse. gov/petition/indian-engineers-target-hate-crime. GOPIO Chapters have also planned Candlelight Vigils around the US. One such vigil has been planned in Riverside, Southern California by GOPIO-Inland Empire Chapter on March 5th. GOPIO, with its many chapters in the USA and other parts of the world, has been working for the welfare of Diaspora Indians since 1989. It has taken up issues of the Indian Diaspora and has been promoting its interest and that of Indian around the world. Contact: GOPIO International, Tel: 203-329-8010, gopio@optonline.net.

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Neighborhood Centers Celebrates 110th ...

A section of the audience at the event. Photo credit Neighborhood Centers Continued from page 1 In total, the event successfully raised more than 1 million dollars. Proceeds from Heart of Gold support BakerRipley’s mission to connect hard working families to opportunities that support their educational, financial and civic aspirations. BakerRipley also announced a major initiative that will help create future leaders and innovators in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). One of the agency’s long standing partners, Chevron, plans to invest 1 million dollars to open the first Fab Lab in the region. The Fab Lab will be part of BakerRipley’s Economic

Opportunity Center in East Aldine, expected to open in 2018, and it will consist of a suite of digital fabrication tools, computers and 3-D printers. Students and adults will be able to develop critical thinking, problem solving and analytical skills they will need to compete in the global marketplace. East Aldine is a community of entrepreneurs and this Fab Lab will give them the tools they need to grow their businesses and build lasting financial foundation for this community. About Neighborhood Centers Neighborhood Centers Inc. brings resources, education and connection to nearly 600,000 people throughout Texas each year.

For more than a century, Neighborhood Centers has offered innovative solutions to help low-income families in emerging neighborhoods get a foothold in the region’s economy. The organization works with residents in more than 70 service locations to help them discover the strengths and skills necessary to become productive, prosperous and self-sufficient. Building on the strengths of individuals and communities, Neighborhood Centers is transforming them. FOR GOOD. Neighborhood Centers Inc. is a United Way Agency. For more information, visit www.neighborhood-centers. org

Golden Moon Festival – Gaura Purnima 2017 On Sunday, March 12th at ISKCON of Houston

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aura Purnima is a festival that celebrates the divine appearance of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadwipa, India. Gaura Purnima means “Golden Full Moon”. The name signifies that Lord Chaitanya took birth at time of full moon and He blesses everyone with the moonlike rays of His teachings. Lord Chaitanya is nondifferent than Lord Krishna appearing as His own devotees. He spread the congregation chanting of Holy Name and taught that one can gain enlightenment by simply chanting ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare’. “Caitanya Mahaprabhu was born in Mayapur in the town of Nadia just after sunset, in February 1486. The moon was eclipsed at the time of His birth, and the people of Nadia were then engaged, as was usual on such occasions, in bathing in the Bhagirathi with loud cheers of “Haribol.” His father, Jagannatha Misra, and His mother, Saci-devi, a model good woman, both descended from ‘brahmana’ stock originally residing in Sylhet. His mother’s father, Pandita Nilambara Cakravarti, a renowned astrologer, foretold that the child would be a great personage in time; and he, therefore, gave him the name Visvambhara. The ladies of the neighborhood styled him Gaurahari on account of His golden complexion, and His mother called Him Nimai on account of the ‘nimba’ tree near which He was born. Beautiful as the Lord was, everyone heartily loved to see Him every day.” - Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur Devotees across the world celebrate Gaura Purnima by fasting till dusk, chanting the Holy Name of Lord Krishna, performing abhishek of Lord Chaitanya and offering a variety of foodstuff to the Lord. Our festival at ISKCON of Houston will immerse you in beautiful kirtan, abhishek of Gaura Nitai and of course wonderful feast after you chant and dance to build your appetite and love for Lord Chaitanya. Program starts at 5 PM and will include a special class to glorify Mahaprabhu. Come join us! Location: 1320 West 34th St., Houston, TX 77018 For more information, please contact us at (713) 686-4482. Visit us on the web at www.iskconhouston. org.


VOICE OF ASIA 12

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VOICE OF ASIA 13

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Business

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India still world’s fastest growing economy EW DELHI | AFP | Tuesday 2/28/2017 - India defied expectations today to remain the world’s fastest growing major economy, despite the notes ban and its aftershock.

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GDP or gross domestic product growth however fell to 7 per cent in the October-December quarter, from 7.4 in the previous quarter, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise decision on November 8 to scrap 500 and 1,000-rupee notes or around 86 per cent of the currency then in circulation, putting economic activity on the skids in a predominantly cash-reliant economy. China was number 2 with its economy growing at 6.8 per cent in the December quarter. Meanwhile, the CSO has also marginally revised upwards the GDP estimates for the first and the second quarters to 7.2 per cent and 7.4 per cent. It was feared that demonetisation effected in the middle of the third quarter (November 9, 2016) would have adverse bearing on various segments of the economy. The Reserve Bank of India and other agencies like IMF and OECD had lowered GDP projections arguing that the note ban would have shortterm impact on the Indian economy. In a statement, the CSO said Real GDP or Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant (2011 12) prices in 2016-17 is likely to attain a level of Rs 121.65 lakh crore, as against the first revised estimate of GDP for 2015-16 of Rs 113.58 lakh crore, released in January 2017. “The growth in GDP during 2016-

17 is estimated at 7.1 per cent as compared to the growth rate of 7.9 per cent in 2015-16,” it said.

at basic prices in 2016-17 is 6.7 per cent against 7.8 per cent in 2015-16,” the release said.

Real GVA (Gross Value Added) is anticipated to increase from Rs 104.70 lakh crore in 2015-16 to Rs 111.68 lakh crore in 2016-17.

The ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’ sector is likely to show 4.4 per cent growth in its GVA during 201617, as against the previous year’s growth of 0.8 per cent.

“Anticipated growth of real GVA

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Azevedo, 59, was unopposed in the contest to lead the 164-member WTO, a body that for the first time since its founding in 1995 must deal with a US administration openly hostile to free trade. Speaking to reporters following his formal re-election, Azevedo said the WTO was “stronger today than it was in 2013”, when his first four-year term began. He pointed to last week’s ratification

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Demonetization Demystified Free Seminar at India House on Managing Your Currency, Wealth and Taxes

US confirms disappointing growth in 2016

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ASHINGTON, United States | AFP | Tuesday 2/28/2017 - The US Commerce Department on Tuesday confirmed a picture of sluggish growth in 2016, with the world’s largest economy growing at its slowest pace in five years. The updated figures left prior estimates unchanged. Official data showed consumers had spent slightly more than originally believed but this was offset by downward revisions in government spending and business fixed investment. The figures come as President Donald Trump prepares to address a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, with the world waiting for details on the new administration’s economic policy agenda. US gross domestic product grew by 1.6 percent in 2016, down from 2.6 percent in 2015 and the slowest pace recorded since 2011. The final quarter of the year saw the economy expand by 1.9 percent, with falling exports helping bring the growth rate down from the third

quarter’s considerably stronger 3.5 percent. Analysts had been expecting an upward revision to 2.1 percent for the fourth quarter. Trump made economic revival a touchstone of his campaign and has pledged to return to four percent annual growth but he now faces the challenge of delivering on such promises. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week pulled back from Trump’s growth targets, telling CNBC television network the new administration’s expansionary policies should lead to three percent growth by the end of 2018. Jim O’Sullivan of High Frequency Economics said the news was pure disappointment, noting that the fourth quarter had been below average. “Through the volatility, the trend has been a little better than two percent, he wrote in a client note. “While weak by past standards, growth has been strong enough to bring down the unemployment rate.”

of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, the WTO’s first-ever multilateral deal to come into force. But the steady flow of protectionist rhetoric from US President Donald Trump’s administration has triggered concern about the WTO’s chances of further progress. “Clearly, these are challenging times for the multi-lateral trading system”, Azevedo said, without mentioning Trump directly. “The threat of protectionism cannot be ignored.” - Trade makes ‘America great’ Azevedo, a Brazilian, again faced a series of questions about Trump, who during the campaign called the WTO

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OUSTON: Demonetization is the latest of financial dilemmas facing NRIs, who hold Indian currency, bank accounts, real estate and other assets in India. How do you get answers from impartial experts, who are not trying to sell you additional financial products? India House, in association with NRI Tax & Wealth Advisory and Share Our Secrets (SOS) Mentorship Program, is pleased to host a free seminar at 7 PM on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 on India’s demonetization and issues related to managing your currency, wealth and taxes, with clear insights on potential gains or losses and tax penalties in India and the United States. The seminar will include a presentation by Ranvir “Biki” Mohindra, who has published a series of articles on the effects of demonetization and

NRI tax and wealth issues based on his expert knowledge and experience in managing NRI tax and wealth portfolios. In addition, a panel of experts will relate their personal experiences with demonetization and discuss related financial issues of interest of NonResident Indians and Overseas Citizens of India. Topics discussed at the free seminar will include:  Understanding the twin financial revolution in India  Successes and failures of Demonetization  Who are the victims of Demonetization?  Why are FBAR and FATCA important to your financial health?  Retiring in India—A shattered dream due to changes in tax laws.

Register for the Free Seminar

Re-elected WTO chief warns of ‘challenging times’ ENEVA, Switzerland | AFP | Tuesday 2/28/2017 - World Trade Organization chief Roberto Azevedo secured a second term Tuesday pledging to build on recent successes despite the “challenging times” confronting global trade.

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

WHAT : Seminar on Managing Your Currency, Wealth and Taxes WHERE: India House, 8888 West Bellfort, Houston, TX 77031 WHEN : Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 7 PM to 9 PM

“a disaster” and threatened to withdraw US membership. Trump’s nominee for trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, has also said Washington could ignore WTO rules in order to redress what he considers trade imbalances, notably ones he claims favour China. “I am not going to comment on the trade policy of any country when the US Trade Representative has not been confirmed”, Azevedo told reporters, in reference to Lighthizer not yet having won the approval of Congress. He also sought to downplay the widely-debated prospect of economic conflict between the US and China, the world’s two biggest economies, with tensions also rising between the

Networking: 6:30 PM to 7 PM. Light refreshments will be served. To register for the free seminar, please contact Mani Subramanian (kohur@aol.com), Vishnu Muralidharan (askvishnu@gmail.com) or Pramod Kulkarni (pramodhk2000@gmail.com) Washington and the European Union. “We should not be talking ourselves into a trade war”, Azevedo said. “I hope we can avoid anything that even remotely resembles that.” In an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper published Tuesday, Azevedo was quoted as saying that “without trade, American will never be ‘great again’” -- a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan. WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell

told AFP that quote was prompted by a request from Bild asking Azevedo to suggest a tweet he would like to send to Trump. Trump has so far not followed through on several of his trade-related pledges, like immediately re-negotiating that the North American Free Trade Agreement. He has, however, scrapped the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was negotiated but not signed during Barack Obama’s tenure.

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LIFESTYLE

VOICE OF ASIA 14

When does Lent 2017 start and what is Ash Wednesday? by Juliet Eysenck

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sh Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent in the Christian calendar, has been observed by Britons for centuries. Its exact date changes every year, because it is determined by when Easter falls. But it is always the day after Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, and it always falls in February or March. This year, it is on Wednesday, March 1. In January last year, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, suggested that Easter should fall on the same date each year. The

Some Christians will fast only on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday. However, many people, even those who do not go to church, choose to give up a particular vice, such as their favourite food, alcohol or smoking for the period of Lent. Instead of giving up chocolate, fizzy drinks or chips, many others use Lent as a period of time to help others. Hundreds of people take part in the Lenten Positive Acts Challenge, as another way to show praise for God.

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Along the Ghats

Christian churches hold special services at which worshippers are blessed on the forehead with a cross of ashes as a symbol of death and penance. The minister or priest will then say: “Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return”, or a similar phrase. Sometimes, the mark is left on the forehead to show that they carry the sign of the cross into the world. At other services, the ashes are washed off as a sign that the worshipper has been cleansed of their sins. The ashes used at services on Ash Wednesday are made by

‘Life in the Ghats’, a photo by Abhishek Murmu

Three Spanish architects win the Pritzker Prize

A churchgoer receives a cross of ashes painted on her forehead from a priest during Ash Wednesday Mass at Westminster Cathedral (Photos: Getty Images) plan, which would schedule the Christian festival on the same Sunday each year, was welcomed by parents and schools but angered some traditionalists. At present, Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox around March 21. This means it can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25. Archbishop Welby said that Easter should most likely be fixed for the second or third Sunday of April. What is Lent? Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, a period of 40 days (excluding Sundays) which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Christians who observe Lent use it as a time for prayer and penance. By observing Lent, Christians are remembering the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who withdrew into the wilderness and fasted for 40 days before his crucifixion. Traditionally, pancakes are eaten on the day before Ash Wednesday to use up rich, indulgent foods like eggs and milk before the 40-day fasting season of Lent begins. This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 16. The English word Lent is a shortened form of the Old English word ‘lenten’, meaning ‘spring’. Why do people give things up for Lent? Some people fast for the whole period of Lent, as a reflection of Jesus’s sacrifice in the Judean desert.

Barcelona, Spain | AFP | Wednesday 3/1/2017 - by Mar-

Participants perform one positive act for each of the days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. These ‘positive acts’ can include calling up someone who is alone, donating to a worth cause, clearing up after dinner and letting someone go ahead of you in a supermarket queue.

One of the group’s most celebrated buildings is the Soulages Museum in Rodez, France. ianne BARRIAUX / Daniel BOSQUE

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hree relatively unknown Spanish architects -- Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta -- on Wednesday won the prestigious Pritzker Prize for modern works that are deeply rooted in their local surroundings.

- Fasting in other religions When is Ash Wednesday 2017? Ash Wednesday,

Every year, which marks the start of Lent in the Christian calmany of the endar, has been observed by Britons for centuries. world’s 1.6 bil- Its exact date changes every year, because it is lion Muslims determined by when Easter falls. observe Ramadan, the annual burning palm crosses that were period of fasting, prayer and giving to char- blessed the previous year. ity. How else is Ash Wednesday Muslims believe that the observed? Prophet Mohammed received In Ashbourne, Derbyshire, the final part of a series of players usually spend Ash revelations from God, which Wednesday concluding the anbecame the Koran, during the nual Royal Shrovetide football ninth month of the Islamic cal- match. endar, the month of Ramadan. The two-day event, which Followers mark this, the ho- kicks off on Shrove Tuesday, liest month of the year, with a pits the Up’ards against the period of self-denial and puri- Down’ards in an attempt to fication. Those observing the score in goals set three miles fast must abstain from all food apart in the Peak District town. or drink – as well as smoking Royal Shrovetide Football and sex – between sunrise and has been played in Ashbourne sundown for a month. almost every year since the 17th How do Christians mark Ash Century. In southern Germany, Wednesday? it is traditional for people to

The choice was seen as a move away from the celebrity architects that have dominated the field in favour of a trio of professionals who have worked together for 30 years in their hometown of Olot in Catalonia. Nestled deep in the countryside of Spain’s northeast, Olot is surrounded by beech trees, marshes and volcanoes -- a dramatic natural landscape that has long inspired their work. In a globalised world, the prize announcement said, peowash their wallets in fountains to bring good fortune on Ash Wednesday. It is said that anyone who washes their wallet will never see it empty. In Iceland, children dress up in costumes on Ash Wednesday and sing in shops in return for sweets and treats. Traditionally, children collected ash into small bags and then were challenged to pin them onto other people’s clothing without them noticing. (Report by The Telegraph, telegraph.co.uk)

ple increasingly fear “we will lose our local values, our local art, and our local customs”. “Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta tell us that it may be possible to have both... our roots firmly in place and our arms outstretched to the rest of the world,” it said. Among their most celebrated buildings are the La Lira Theatre public space in Spain and the Soulages Museum in Rodez in southwestern France. “Their vocabulary is metal,” especially weathered Cor-Ten steel, which has been deployed at some of their best-known works, said Francis Rambert, who directs the French Architecture Institute at the Chaillot museum in Paris. But light also plays a fundamental role in their creations, Rambert said, referring in particular to Les Cols, a restaurant in Olot where the rooms have glass walls on all sides, while still providing a sense of intimacy. “You feel as if you are alone,” he said. It is only the second time that the Pritzker Prize has gone to Spanish architects, and the first time that it has been shared by a trio. “It is a great joy and a great responsibility. We are thrilled that this year, three professionals, who work closely together in everything we do, are recognised,” Pigem said. “Sometimes, it feels as if you

have to choose between the local and the global. With us, everyone can understand that you can be closely tied to the local while being open to the world.” - Inspired by home nature The winners’ firm, RCR Arquitectes, has completed projects in Belgium, France and as far as Dubai, but the bulk of their work has been in Spain, much of it in Catalonia, a fiercely autonomous region where many want independence. “Their works range from public and private spaces to cultural venues and educational institutions, and their ability to intensely relate the environment specific to each site is a testament to their process and deep integrity,” said Tom Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the prize. Pigem and Vilalta, who are a couple, graduated from the Valles School of Architecture near Barcelona in 1987. They partnered with Aranda -- who was also just out of university -- to set up shop in Olot. “Olot, it’s our little world,” Vilalta told AFP in 2014 when the Soulages Museum was inaugurated. Influenced by the modern Barcelona designs that burst into the limelight during the 1992 Olympic Games, they also cite painters like Mark Rothko and Pierre Soulages, and Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida as sources of inspiration.

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VOICE OF ASIA 15

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Indic Book Club comes to America

Galle Beauty

ndic Book Club, a global, multi city, horizontal network of Academics, Authors, Artists & Activists nurtured by Indic Academy, made its debut on the USA soil in Houston on Sunday, Feb 19th 2017. On a serene evening, over 30 Houstonian Intellectuals and activists gathered at Bhojan restaurant, where Dr Pankaj Jain delivered an eye opening talk on “Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities”.

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Dr. Jain’s talk was moderated by Ms. Sunanda Vashisht, Co-Founder of “MyIndMakers” (www.myind.net). The talk began with an introduction to FISI by its USA National Coordinator Achalesh Amar, who spoke about the need for Intellectual Renaissance rooted in Indic traditions. Achalesh exhorted the audience “Let us all reignite our passion in defense of the motherland as its glory is even higher than the Heavens - Janani Janmbhumisch Swargaatapi Gariyasi”. This was followed by a brief introduction of Indic Book Club by Pramod Kumar Buravalli, Founder of MyIndMakers and Global Coordinator for IBC. Pramod explained how the motto of Indic Book Club “READ WRITE RE” can be translated to action “By Reading the work of Indic authors and intellectuals; we can rekindle the Writing skills amongst us as we write books after due research and in due course this will help revive and reclaim our rightful position in the world”. Dr. Pankaj Jain (http://philosophy. unt.edu/people/faculty/pankaj-jain) is currently the Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at University of North Texas’s College of Arts and Sciences. He began his talk with the history of the Bishnoi Community in South Asia and the genesis of the “Swadhyaya Movement”. Dr. Jain engaged the audience with a distinct sense of humor, peppered his talk with many North Indian colloquial terms related to Nature Worship and mentioned the history of socio-cultural movements such as Chipko. Dr Jain also talked about Krutibhakti and how it is deeply embedded in Indic traditions. He beautifully explained “We need to move from Upbhog (consumption) to Upasana (worship) for the long term sustenance of ecology, as demonstrated by Swadhyaya movement”. At the culmination, Ms. Sunanda Vashisht engaged the audience in a lively Q & A session. The talk was beamed live on Facebook and questions were asked all the way from Singapore! Kavita Tewary who listened to the talk observed “For me this lecture was a beautiful reminder of how rich our dharma and culture is, a strong rejoinder that we are just custodians of this planet (and not the owners). It is time to re-connect with the roots”. “Indic Book Club (IBC) is a horizontal network of Indic intellectuals from

Moderator and Co-Founder, Sunanda Vashisht, Co-Founder of “MyIndMakersand Speaker Dr Pankaj Jain at the Book Club launch

Once a pit stop on the Spice Route for rowdy sailors, Galle, Sri Lanka is an easy, hour-long drive from Colombo. It’s well worth a visit, to see its 17th-century fort (and UNESCO World Heritage site). Vintage cars sit by washed-out walls, giving the city a Havana-like feel; a Moorish bazaar scene plays out on the streets with merchants plying gems and jewelry; myriad vantage points offer views of a blustery sea and melting sunsets. On scenic Koggala Lake, a hilltop eco-resort has just begun to welcome visitors. (Photo courtesy of TravelandLeisure.com)

China selfie-app leader seeks to ‘beautify the world’

Pramod Burraval, founder of MyIndMaker diverse backgrounds, who are keen on discovering their civilizational identity and using this understanding to better engage with the current global challenges. Each IBC chapter hosts regular talks by eminent speakers from various domains by bringing together an audience of such intellectuals. We are excited with the launch of a IBC chapter at Houston. After the establishment of 8 chapters in India, this will be our first global foray. We are thankful to our association with Friends of India Society International and Myindmakers for helping us with this launch and enabling a foothold in America. We look forward to expanding our presence with more chapters in active collaboration with them.” Hari Kiran Vadlamani, Founder of IBC quipped via skype. The Friends of India Society of International (FISI) brings together friends of India worldwide to safeguard the interests of India and people of Indian origin. FISI was founded in 1975 to safeguard Indian democratic institutions and ideals in the aftermath of

“emergency rule.” The FISI is now an international association of the friends of India – drawn from among the Indian diaspora and the public in which the Indian diaspora resides. FISI under the leadership of Rajiv Varma as International Coordinator, seeks to help India to meet all challenges by advancing an accurate picture of India and the Indian diaspora, their achievements and contributions to world civilization and the global family. Indic Book Club is a global, multi city, horizontal network of Academics, Authors, Artists & Activists nurtured by Indic Academy. Indic Academy, a Trust established in 2016 in Hyderabad, India is partnering with Friends of India Society (FISI) to launch Indic Book Clubs across cities in the Americas. More details about Dr. Jain’s concluded talk, upcoming talks in Houston can be found at (https://www.facebook.com/Indicbookclub/) or contact Achalesh Amar @ 713 357 8216 or Pramod Kumar Buravalli @ 832 795 9495.

Hungry for revenues, Meitu launched its own phones designed primarily for selfie-taking (Photo: Johannes Eisele/ AFP) ment at Peking University.

by Albee Zhang

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HANGHAI, China | AFP Meitu initially provided photo-editing software for PCs, introducing its first selfie app in 2013. Its IPO prospectus said Meitu apps process half of the pictures posted on Chinese social media and were used to alter around six billion photos last October. Its half-dozen applications, including one for altering video, are regularly among the top photo-app downloads in countries as diverse as China, Russia, Japan, India and Malaysia. - Business makeover Chinese internet giants like Tencent and Alibaba have struggled to replicate their domestic dominance overseas. But Meitu said it had 430 million overseas users as of October last year, compared to around 500 million claimed by Instagram. Yet profits remain elusive. Meitu lost 2.2 billion yuan ($320 million) in the first half of last year. “Meitu’s big problem has always been that it came up with this killer app -- and the usage is unbelievable. It’s crazy. But they never had a clear business model underneath it,” said Jeffrey Towson, professor of invest-

Mumbai’s original inhabitants fear world’s tallest statue by Peter Hutchison UMBAI | AFP - A fitting tribute to a local legend or a grotesque misuse of money? The decision to build the world’s tallest statue just off Mumbai’s coast has divided the city. But the traditional Koli community, who depend on fishing for their livelihoods, fear they will be worst hit by the construction, warning that it threatens their centuries-old existence. India will spend 36 billion rupees ($530 million) on the controversial memorial to 17th century Hindu warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone in December. At 190 metres it will be twice the height of America’s Statue of Liberty and almost 40 metres taller than the world’s current tallest memorial -- a statue of Buddha in China. The Koli fishing community, Mumbai’s original inhabitants and whose goddess “Mumbadevi” lends her name to the city, say the decision to build it on a rocky outcrop a couple of kilometres off the coast will sound the death knell for their traditional way of life. “The breeding ground for fish will be completely destroyed,” Krishna Tandel tells AFP, unfurling a net at Machhimar Nagar bay, which is tucked behind the high-rises of Mumbai’s southern financial district. The project has divided India’s commercial capital and highlights a political obsession with statues in the country as parties seek to appeal to regional identities with ever greater effigies of historical figures.

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Supporters say the memorial is a fitting tribute to someone many locals consider a hero of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital. Shivaji fought the Muslim Mughal empire, is revered by the Maratha caste and trumpeted by Hindu nationalist politicians. Opponents insist it is a gross waste of money which would be better spent on improving health, education and infrastructure in the teeming metropolis of more than 20 million people. - Environmental destruction A petition on the change.org website opposing the bronze statue, which will depict Shivaji brandishing a sword while charging on a horse, has received almost 43,000 signatures. Some 2,000 fishermen, many of whom live in shanties surrounding Machhimar Nagar, operate 350 boats out of the picturesque cove, catching a melange of fish to sell at markets and feed their families. Residents say disruption caused by construction will decimate their fishing stocks -- including pomfret, Bombay mackerel, seer fish, prawns, and crabs -- while heavy traffic ferrying tourists from three terminals will block access to the sea and disrupt wave patterns. “We have been fishing for generations. It is our business and now our livelihoods are at stake,” 32-year-old Tandel says, demanding the statue be built on land. Environmentalists agree that the project, which is due to be completed by 2021, will cause immense harm to a vibrant marine ecosystem. “There’s a huge diversity of fish,

fauna and invertebrates there. Fish catches, sewage, and tidal currents will change,” wildlife biologist Anand Pendharkar told AFP. “It’s going to affect the food base of the city, it’s going to affect the economy. There is going to be a huge amount of damage.” Critics question why Mumbai needs such a lavish statute when the city already has several smaller Shivaji memorials. The city’s airport, main train station and museum are named after the Hindu hero while there is also a Shivaji Park. IndiaSpend, a non-profit data journalism website, estimates that a microirrigation project could provide water to thousands of farmers in the droughtprone state for the cost of building the statue. For the same sum, dozens of decaying Shivajiera forts could be restored instead, it says.

Meitu did not respond to requests for comment. Hungry for revenues, it launched its own phones designed for selfie-taking in 2013. It sold just 646,446 in the first 10 months of last year, however, a tiny amount in China’s massive market. Phone sales nevertheless still make up more than 95 percent of Meitu revenue. It now promises to build an online “ecosystem” of apps and devices based on selfie-processing, which could include selling advertising space -- as Instagram does --and launching a fashion-focused e-commerce platform. “Our mission is to make the world more beautiful. Our wish is to build a beauty ecosystem,” the IPO prospectus said. Its shares have risen 16 percent since they debuted, closing Tuesday at HK$9.86. Deloitte’s Chou said investors were ignoring Meitu’s current losses in hopes it can pull off the planned business makeover. He explained: “For tech companies, the future is more important than the past.”

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VOICE OF ASIA 16

Section 2

Young Life

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

“Look out for shirts wrapped around windshield wipers”

current academic year were in university. (Between 2010 and 2014, the average was two.)

by Amanda Erickson

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he two boys put on their school uniforms, left home and then killed themselves.

Experts say, too, that young children spend too much time online. “This generation grew up with the Internet. Although they are more connected, they also tend to look only at things they like. They might not understand complicated or different views on an issue. For anyone who sees things not fitting their taste, they could simply ‘unfriend’ them,” Lee Sing, a professor of psychiatry at Chinese University, told the South China Morning Post.

A 15-year-old leapt to his death at Times Square in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay; days before, he told his parents that he was unhappy at school. This month, at least five students in Hong Kong took their own lives. Another was stopped by authorities. She told her family that school pressures were just too overwhelming. She is 12.

Hong Kong’s education system is famously cutthroat, and experts compare it to a pressure cooker. The government’s Territory-wide System Assessment system tests students regularly starting in third grade. Schools are judged on their kids’ scores. Students are forced to compete for limited spots in the country’s university system. At a hearing on the territory’s education

Police stand guard at the lobby of the building where a suicide took place. (Photo: Edward Wong/SCMP) system, one fourth-grader compared going to school to going to prison. “In the classroom, I was not allowed to move, drink water, eat, go to the toilet, or talk,” Chan Yu-ling said at the hearing. “The teachers spent little time teaching. We spent most of our time doing mock exams.” Cheung Siu-chung, a secondary school history teacher and member of the Hong Kong Professional Teaching Union, told Quartz that the suicides are “the accumulative effect of the education system.” “Under this education system, students are evaluated like stocks, and

teachers are like fund managers who need to boost the stocks,” he said. “How can you expect students to not feel pressure?” Children are now starting university earlier, thanks to a 2012 shift in the education system that sends students to college a year earlier. “Students are entering university at a younger age. They might not be mature and prepared enough to deal with challenges and lack the closer network present in secondary school, for example,” one expert told the South China Morning Post. Ten of the 22 students who committed suicide since the start of the

Less time with family, too, might be contributing to the problem. One expert noted that in most families, both parents work outside the home, leaving them with less time to spend with their families. The Hong Kong Education Bureau is taking action. It announced new measures to combat the problem, including improved student counseling in schools, more seminars to alert teachers and parents to warning signs and a committee to research long-term fixes. Right now, most secondary schools have at least one social worker. But most secondary schools have more than 1,000 students, so their ability to interact oneon-one with children is limited. (-Washington Post)

SPECIAL REPORT

More young women are getting heart attacks — here’s why by Julie Revelant

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n the morning of December 15, 2016, 37-year-old Christine Wayne woke up feeling tired and more rundown than usual. Although she had a cold that week, she thought she should feel better. The Stamford, Connecticut, woman stayed home from work and rested, but decided to keep her dinner plans with a friend even though she didn’t feel right. “Suck it up. You can figure this out, it’ll be fine,” she told herself. While taking a shower, she suddenly had a cough that felt odd to her. “It felt less like a surface-level cough—it felt deeper,” she said. “From there, everything was very slow motion. I was so tired with every movement. It was exhausting.” Wayne stepped out of the shower, felt lightheaded and then vomited. She knew something wasn’t right, but she didn’t know what to do. She thought about calling 9-1-1, but she worried about causing a scene in her apartment building and wondered how much the co-pay for the ambulance would be. She thought maybe it was anxiety or something was wrong with her lungs. “Not once did I think heart attack,” Wayne said. She ended up calling 9-1-1 and paramedics took her to the hospital. When she arrived, Wayne said she started to feel hot. “That’s when my memory stopped and that’s when my heart stopped for the first time,” she said. In the hospital, a team of doctors desperately tried to resuscitate her but her heart stopped again. “Between 7:04 and 7:20 [p.m.], they didn’t know if I was going to make it,” she said. Not only did Wayne suffer a heart attack, but she went into cardiac arrest four times. Doctors put two stents in her heart to open up a blocked artery and she remained in the hospital for eight days as family and friends gathered around her, praying and wishing her a speedy recovery. “I’ve always thought about [a heart attack] as something way off in the future—as something that would happen to my parents, not me,” she said. Why do young women get heart disease?

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Teen’s warning goes viral

What’s behind the student suicides sweeping Hong Kong?

It’s the latest in a rash of suicides by students in Hong Kong. Thirty-five students took their own lives in 2016; one was just 11 years old. Between 2010 and 2014, Hong Kong saw an average of 23 student suicides a year, according to the University of Hong Kong’s Center for Suicide Research and Prevention.

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Heart disease is the number one killer among women and in recent years, there has been more awareness around the issue, especially with initiatives like Go Red For Women. Coronary heart disease is often seen as something that affects middle-age or older women, yet more young women than ever before are at risk and they have no idea, experts say. “Heart disease is not even on the radar screen of young women,” said Dr. Holly S. Andersen, a cardiologist in New York City and director of education and outreach for the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute and Scientific Advisor for the Women’s Heart Alliance. Andersen said that in women between ages 29 and 45, both heart disease and stroke are on the rise. Although it’s not clear why there has been an uptick, experts say it likely has a lot to do with the fact that risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are also increasing. Most people with obesity also have insulin resistance, a syndrome that leads to prediabetes, diabetes and coronary heart disease, said Dr. Steven R. Gundry, a cardiologist in Palm Springs, California. Not surprisingly, an unhealthy diet plays a role, especially one that includes too much meat, sugar and processed, packaged foods. Antibiotics found in meat, pesticides and gluten all alter the body’s microbiome and healthy gut bacteria and in turn can lead to heart disease. In fact, there is a clear link between environmental toxins such as dioxins, PCBs, and pesticides to atherosclerosis, according to a 2011 study out of Sweden. “Women have been taught that estrogen protects them from heart disease, but that’s just simply not the case anymore,” Gundry said. Stress may also play a role in heart disease risk and millennials, Generation Xers and women are the most stressed, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association. Pregnancy and childbirth also put a lot of stress on the body, because women have extra blood volume and a higher risk for blood clots. Another condition that’s common in the postpartum period and happens almost exclusively in women is spontaneous coro-

nary artery dissection (SCAD), which causes an artery to tear and can lead to a heart attack, Andersen said. Women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy, gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, are all at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease later in life.

when they know in their gut something is wrong. “It’s ok to call 9-1-1,” Wayne said. “If I didn’t, I would have died in my apartment.”

The symptoms of a heart attack often look different in women than in men.

Women may also have shortness of breath, indigestion, sweating, experience an overwhelming sense of doom or simply feel different.

by Stephanie Hallett

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f you were getting into your car late at night and saw a shirt wrapped around your windshield wiper blade, what would you do? It happened to one Flint, Michigan teenager, who immediately drove away — but her warning to others about the incident has quickly gone viral.

that they contacted Hardacre after seeing her post, but that they haven’t received any similar reports. “Nothing like this has ever happened before,” Flint Township Police Detective Sergeant Brad Wangler said. “There have been no other incidences like this. It’s kind of unknown as to what or why or who [did this].”

Ashley Hardacre, 19, wrote on Facebook earlier this month that after leaving her mall job late one night and getting into her car, she noticed a flannel shirt on her windshield. She tried to get it off with her wipers, but it was wrapped tightly around one of the blades. Sensing something was wrong — and seeing two cars parked nearby, one that was running — she says she drove away with the shirt still attached to her car.

Before deleting it, Hardacre’s Facebook post had more than 106,000 shares, 15,000 likes, and nearly 9,000 comments.

“I had seen posts lately about people finding things under their windshield wipers in the Burton/Flint area as an attempt to get girls out of their cars and distracted,” she wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post. “Luckily I knew better than to remove the shirt with cars around me, so I drove over to a place where I was safe and quickly rolled down my window and got the shirt off.”

Surveillance footage at the mall confirmed the men were at the mall that day.

Local police told CBS News

“I posted about the incident to inform others that it can happen to anyone and that they shouldn’t fall for it,” Hardacre told CBS. “A lot of people think it is fake or it won’t happen to them. But you can never be too safe.”Flint Township police said they interviewed two males in regards to the incident.

The males told police they didn’t know putting an item on a vehicle could be construed as a human trafficking tactic. Surveillance footage also shows the men leaving the parking lot more than one hour before the woman approached her vehicle, police said. (-Daily News)

Planting the Seeds of Creativity

- Know the signs -

Although women often experience chest pain, 40 percent of those who have a heart attack do not. Pain in the back, arm or jaw can also be signs.

Michigan teen warns about a possible ‘kidnapping tactic’.

G

ENING - MARCH P O D 2017 N A R

“Most women know that something is wrong,” Andersen said. Since most women are used to putting everyone else before themselves, they may brush off their symptoms as something else, neglect to call their doctors or go to the emergency room. “All too often…women don’t call 9-1-1, they don’t act. And they often have more damage than they should or they die,” Andersen said. “Even women who believe they’re having heart attacks are not as likely to act and that’s a mistake.” - What women need to know Experts agree that when it comes to heart disease, prevention is key because “80 percent of this disease is preventable,” Andersen said. All women should keep track of their family histories and talk to their doctors about their risk for a heart attack. Screening tools like the coronary calcium scan and the carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) test are available, although they’re not covered by insurance. Of course, a healthy diet, regular exercise, sleep and stress reduction are all important too. The future is still unknown. Her doctors are currently trying to find out why she had a heart attack, especially because she doesn’t have any of the traditional risk factors. As she continues her journey to optimal health, Wayne is committed to raising awareness about heart disease in young women. She wants to motivate women to put their health first and avoid talking themselves out of how they feel, even

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VOICE OF ASIA 17

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Bollywood -Hollywood

Section 2

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

Oscars Snubs: ‘Lion,’ ‘Hidden Figures,’‘Hell or High Water’ shut out Meanwhile, ‘Arrival’ only won one award, for best sound editing, after being up for eight Oscars

Well, there was a surprise with the best picture winner, but it wasn’t that Hidden Figures won. That film just last month won the SAG Awards’ equivalent of best picture — outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture — over best picture Oscar winner Moonlight and almost-winner La La Land, which wasn’t nominated for the ensemble award. Also going home empty-handed after this year’s Oscars were Lion, up for six awards; Hell or High Water, nominated for four; Jackie, up for three; and twotime nominees Deepwater Horizon, Florence Foster Jenkins, Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, Passengers and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Dev Patel (‘Lion’) brought his mother to the Oscars this year. (Photo: AFP)

Meanwhile, Arrival only won one award, for best sound editing, after receiving eight nominations, tied with Moonlight, which won three awards, for the second-most nominations this year.

OUSTON – Feb 19, 2017 – Lake Camp Productions and Next Actor Studio today announced that A Curry on an American Plate, the latest film from multiple award-winning filmmaker San Banarje, will be screened on March 5 at the University of Houston Theatre.

ed, with Bud joining in the role of the Indian protagonist of the film as well as an executive producer of the film.

The film, starring Hollywood actors Rick Fox, Charlie O’Connell, Disney Spain’s Andrea Guasch and Houston-based actors of Indian descent Bud Patel, Meera Nandlal, Christian Bhalla and Prateek Karkal in lead and principal roles, will be screening in different film festivals before an official release.

personal and financial choices. He is unable to pay his child support on time, he has several collection agencies after him, his restaurant is not profitable and his landlord Mark Berger (Mike Gassaway) has to chase him for rent every month. Exhausted by this monthly cat and mouse game, Mark gives KG 30 days to buy the property or leave the premise. To pick up their business and attract customers, a desperate KG and his restaurant staff add live performance to their menu along with other drastic changes, most of which backfire.

A Curry on an American Plate was conceived in 2007 by the film’s director San Banarje as a three-story feature about a section of the East Indian community in USA, that’s usually not shown in mainstream cinema.

In terms of individual awards, Denzel Washington lost out on the best actor award a number of pundits expected him to win, particularly after he nabbed the SAG Award for best actor, which predicted the winner in the equivalent Oscar category for the past 13 years in a row. Casey Affleck instead took that prize. There’s also a reason why it didn’t seem too shocking when La La Land was initially (and mistakenly) announced as the best picture winner — many pundits had the film as the likely winner of the Oscars’ top prize. It received 14 nominations and the previous films that received that many (All About Eve and Titanic) also won the top prize, and La La Land had previously won top prizes at the Golden Globes, BAFTA, Critic’s Choice and Producers Guild Awards. (-Hollywood Reporter)

‘A Curry On An American Plate’ to be screened to a limited audience

H

H

idden Figures went into Sunday night’s Oscars up for three awards, including the top prize of best picture, where some suspected the film about AfricanAmerican women working at NASA could pull off an upset.

However, in the coming years, the auteur got busy with other productions, including the highly acclaimed thrillers Bodhisattva and The Nowhere Son, both starring the Dadasaheb Phalke winner Soumitra Chatterjee (the muse of Academy Award winner Satyajit Ray), the recently released The Shadow Behind You among others, and the idea of this comedy was pushed to the backburner.

Sunny Pawar (‘Lion’) looking daper, while Priyanka Chopra shared a light moment with Dwayne Johnson (Photos: Reuters)

Salman Khan and Iulia Vantur grace Mahesh Manjrekar movie music launch

Salman Khan & rumored girlfriend Iulia Vantur at Mahesh Manjrekar’s music album ‘Rubik’s Cube’ launch (Photo source: YouTube)

Kareena, Saif and Karisma party with birthday boy Randhir Kapoor in style Happy Birthday! Kapoor family came together to celebrate Randhir Kapoor’s 70th birthday.

It was a family affair, in celebration of 70 years young! (Photos: Instagram)

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In 2015, upon meeting Houston theatre actor and emcee Bud Patel, who expressed an interest in film production, the project was restart-

A Curry on an American Plate is a bitter-sweet saga of a dying Indian restaurant whose owner K.G. Patel (Bud Patel) is in dire straits with his

The screenplay is written by San Banarje and Trisha Ray and the director of cinematographer is San Banarje. The production companies involved are Kavish Kruti Production, Lake Camp Productions and Next Actor Studio. For more information about the film, follow the Twitter page https://www.twitter.com/curryfilm/ and Facebook page : https://www. facebook.com/curryfilm/ For additional information about the film, go to the film’s IMDb or to http://www.lakecampproductions. com 



VOICE OF ASIA 18

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

HEALTHY LIVING VOICE OF ASIA

Section 2

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Here’s how much less sleep women get once they have kids

resident Trump delivered his first speech Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress, discussing his budget blueprint for the coming fiscal year which includes a $54 billion increase in defense spending, a large cut in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency-- and “no changes” to Social Security and Medicare. As of January, 66 million Americans were receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income payments, or both, according to the program’s website. As of 2015, there were 55.5 million Medicare beneficiaries, according to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

or moms with kids at home, it’s not in your head: You are getting less sleep than your husband.

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A new study finds that less than half of women who have children in the house get enough sleep, while men report that their sleep isn’t affected by having kids in the house. In the study, researcher Kelly Sullivan, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Georgia Southern University, wanted to understand the factors that affect adults’ sleep.

Sullivan analyzed data on sleep from the 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual telephone survey conducted across the country. Nearly 3,000 men and 3,000 women were included in the analysis. The people in the survey reported how much sleep they got, on average, each night. Between seven and nine hours a night was considered an optimum amount of sleep, and less than six hours a night was considered insufficient, according to the study. In addition, the people reported how many days in the previous month they felt unrested. The researchers compared people’s reports of their sleep with a number of factors known to affect sleep, in-

Photo: Ariwasabi | Shutterstock.com cluding the number of children in the house, people’s exercise levels and whether they also reported snoring. For women ages 45 and under, the only factor that affected their sleep was having children in the house, Sullivan found. Each kid increased a woman’s risk of getting insufficient sleep by 46 percent, she found. In addition, 48 percent of women in this age group with kids reported getting at least seven hours of sleep a night on average, compared with 62 percent of women of the same age who did not have kids in the house. For men ages 45 and under, however, kids had no effect on the amount of sleep they got each night, according to the study. Rather, education seemed to make a difference. Men who had less than a high school education were

more likely to report insufficient sleep than men who had graduated from college. In addition, men who reported snoring were less likely to get enough sleep, Sullivan found. Having kids in the house also affected the number of days in the past month that women reported feeling unrested, but kids’ presence in the house had no effect on this number among the men, the study found. A previous study, published in 2016, found that more women than men reported having difficulty falling asleep and more difficulty staying asleep. The study abstract was published on Feb. 26 by the American Academy of Neurology. The full findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in Boston in April. (-LiveScience.com)

‘One Part Plant’ is all about plant-based eating, but don’t call it a diet book by Joseph Hernan

with the possibility of a hysterectomy.

t’s important to me that you know this isn’t a diet book,” writes author Jessica Murnane in her introduction to her cookbook, “One Part Plant” (Harper Wave, $27.99).

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“I thought that the surgery was my only option,” she says, “but then a friend shared with me a website explaining that a plant-based diet could help with the pain from endo.”

Murnane’s book, instead, is what all cookbooks should be, a collection of enjoyable recipes meant to get you in the kitchen. Except that’s not 100 percent true, because Murnane does have a bit of an agenda: She wants you to eat better, one plant at a time.

“Food should be nurturing,” she says. “You see people drinking kale smoothies, and you beat yourself up because maybe you’ll never be like them.

Her book, as its title suggests, advocates for a plant-based diet, but don’t let that description deter you from cracking the spine. “The book is not about what you can’t eat,” says Murnane, who will be in Chicago in March to promote the book. “I’m trying to get people to try something different, not deprive them of anything. “I’m not trying to shame anyone,” she says. “I’m not here telling people to quit cheese forever — just maybe eat more vegetables.” Murnane is the first to tell you that up until a few years ago, she wasn’t really that into food or healthy eating, whatever that meant. As she writes on her website, her “major food groups were Sour Patch Kids, Diet Coke, and Whatever Lean Cuisine Had the Most Cheese.” But then she was diagnosed with

Trump Doubles Down on Controversial Pledge to Leave Medicare, Social Security untouched

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by Sara G. Miller

“It’s important to learn what is keeping people from getting the rest they need so we can help them work toward better health,” Sullivan said in a statement. “Getting enough sleep is a key component of overall health and can impact the heart, mind and weight,” she said.

Tel: 713-774-5140

endometriosis, a painful reproductive system disorder that has few treatment options and no cures (Dunham also has it). In fact, it took a number of doctors to successfully determine the cause of her debilitating pain. After a number of surgeries and a cocktail of painkillers, therapy, yoga and even alternative medicines, she was faced

The book itself is vibrant — dishes pop off the page. The variety of foods, too, is impressive. It’s not just salads here. Murnane’s tacos (made with creamy butternut squash and lentils) look worthy of any taqueria. Perhaps most impressively, none of the recipes look outright “healthy” in the way that many so-called diet books do. But ultimately, she’s not here to convert you — just encourage you to try going one part plant, one meal at a time.

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Meanwhile, the annual Social Security Trustees Report shows that by 2034, under current funding levels, Social Security will only be able to pay about 79% of promised benefits to recipients. After 2035, if left unchanged, the program will be able to deliver just 77% of benefits. The Trustees Report estimates Medicare “Part A,” or hospital insurance, will be officially bankrupt by 2028. While Trump is following through on his campaign promise to leave entitlements untouched, his decision is likely to provoke ire among some fiscal budget watchers. “It is utterly irresponsible to continue ducking the need for entitlement reform,” Michael Tanner, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, told FOX Business. “Medicare and Social Security alone constitute 38 percent of federal spending, and that percentage will only grow larger in the future. The unfunded liabilities of those two programs exceed $80 trillion.” While Tanner says Trump is “playing to his base” by leaving entitlements unreformed, it could put him at odds with GOP leadership. During an interview with Fox News in November, House Speaker Paul Ryan said “Obamacare rewrote Medicare, rewrote Medicaid, so if you’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare, you have to address those issues as well.” In fact, Paul Ryan’s “Better Way” healthcare policy package included sweeping Medicare reforms, going so far as to propose overhauling the entire system into a “premium support” model; a fixed input for each beneficiary to purchase private insurance.

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

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who formerly chaired the House Budget Committee, said in November Republicans could use the budgetary process of reconciliation to begin reforming Medicare by summer, prior to being tapped for his new role. During a press conference Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did acknowledge that the budget process is a “back-andforth” dialogue, and changes will be made to the initial proposal. However multiple administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, have clearly articulated that entitlements are non-negotiable. “We are not touching [Social Security and Medicare] now. So don’t expect to see that as part of this budget,” Mnuchin told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday. Tanner said while both programs are in desperate need of reform, he believes it is possible to leave the benefits for current recipients in place, but he says the government must start reducing benefits for younger workers in order for the programs to survive. To choose right Medicare Supplemental Plan, Medicare Advantage Plan OR Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.

RECIPE: Frozen Fruit Pops A great summer treat for all the kids (from ‘One Part Plant’, 2017) Makes 10 pops - 3 cups unsweetened coconut water (I used coconut water with pulp for extra texture) - 1 peach - Handful cheeries, pit removed - 1/2 cup blueberries Pour enough water into each popsicle mold to fill it halfway. Drop fruit into each pop mold. Use more coconut water if needed to fill to the top, but the fruit should do the trick. Insert sticks carefully, make sure not to smash the fruit. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours until hardened. When you’re ready to eat, pull out the tray and run it under warm water to loosen the popsicles. (-Copyright: Jessica Murnane/HarpersWave Publishers)


HEALTH, SC & TECH

VOICE OF ASIA 19

New ‘StarWars’-like planet discovered by Terry Frederickson

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ASHINGTON, AFP, February 27, 2017 – Astronomers have discovered the largest planet outside our solar system orbiting two stars, at a distance that would make it potentially habitable for people, scientists announced Monday. A team of NASA astronomers that made the discovery using the Kepler space telescope revealed the findings at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in San Diego, California. The gaseous planet – dubbed Kepler-1647 b – is the size of Jupiter and has a wide orbit, revolving around its two stars in 1,107 days, or around three years. The discovery is the eleventh of its kind since 2005. Planets that orbit two stars – known as circumbinary planets – are sometimes called “Tatooines,” after the similar fictional planet in the movie Star Wars where Luke Skywalker was raised. Kepler-1647 b is further from its two stars than any other known circumbinary planet, placing it in an orbit that “puts

This artist’s conception shows a hypothetical planet with two moons orbiting in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star (Photo: NASA/D. Aguilar/AFP) the planet within the so-called habitable zone,” a statement from San Diego State University (SDSU) said.

slightly larger and the other slightly smaller, according to a research paper set to appear in The Astrophysical Journal.

In theory, that would make the planet neither too hot nor too cold for human habitation, and water could exist in liquid form.

Located near the Cygnus constellation, the planet lies some 3,700 light-years away from the Earth (a light-year is the equivalent of around 5.9 billion miles, or 9.5 billion kilometers).

However, Kepler-1647 b is gaseous like Jupiter, making the possibility life could exist there unlikely. Still, any large moons orbiting the planet could possibly host life. At 4.4 billion years old, Kepler-1647 b is roughly the same age as the Earth. Its stars are also similar to the Sun, one

Researchers are able to detect planets outside the solar system – called exoplanets – when they pass in front of their stars, causing “slight dips in brightness,” the researchers said. Scientists required several years to collect and analyse additional data before they could confirm the planet’s discovery.

Colorectal cancer in US millennials rises sharply Study finds young adults now 4 times more likely to develop the disease than in 1970s

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IAMI, AFP, February 28, 2017 - Rates of colon and rectal cancer in millennials are rising sharply in the US, according to new research, prompting concern that poor diets and sedentary lifestyles are contributing to a resurgence of the deadly disease. Overall rates of colorectal cancer have been falling for decades due to a jump in screening for people over 50 but there has been a marked increase in younger people developing the illness, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers at the American Cancer Society conducted a retrospective analysis of almost half a million patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 1974 and 2013 and found that people in their twenties today have a much higher risk of developing the illness than in previous generations. Someone in their twenties who was born in the 1990s is four times more likely to develop rectal cancer and twice as likely to suffer from colon cancer than a twenty-something in the 1970s, according to the study. “It is very sobering, very concerning,” said Rebecca Siegel, who led the research for the ACS. “These are people in the most productive periods of their

lives, and they are often diagnosed much later, so there is a substantial risk of mortality.” “If you look at the age-specific risk for people in their twenties, it was declining in the first half of the 20th century, but thereafter the risk has increased in every subsequent generation,” she said, adding that the colorectal cancer risk for this age group was now at levels not seen since the late 1800s. The disease is still far less common in twenty-somethings than in older people, with about 1 case in every 100,000 people, but Ms Siegel said the rising incidence could point to higher rates in the future. “Trends in young age groups are a bellwether for future disease burden,” she said. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the US and the second leading cause in men, according to the ACS. It is expected to cause about 50,260 deaths during 2017. The authors of the study said more research was needed to explain why colorectal cancer rates were rising in younger people, but noted a correlation with higher rates of obesity in the US. “It is not surprising that the timing of the obesity epidemic parallels the rise in colorectal cancer because many behaviours thought to drive weight gain,

such as unhealthy dietary patterns and sedentary lifestyles independently increase colorectal cancer risk,” the authors wrote. Ms Siegel added: “Educational campaigns are needed to alert clinicians and the general public about this increase to help reduce delays in diagnosis — which are so prevalent in young people — but also to encourage healthier eating and more active lifestyles to try to reverse this trend.” Increasing rates of colorectal cancer in millennials are part of a broader trend, whereby the prevalence of the disease has been falling in baby boomers aged over 55 but increasing in Generation X people aged 54 and below. The opposing trends have closed a previously wide gap in the risk for people in their early 50s compared with those in their late 50S. In the early 1990s, adults aged 50 to 54 were half as likely to develop colorectal cancer as those between 55 and 59. But by 2013, they were just as likely to develop rectal cancer and only 12 per cent less likely to suffer from colon cancer. “This new study would favour a closer look at whether screening should be done earlier,” said Dr John Kisiel, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

NASA takes solar power generation to a whole new level To have unlimited solar power, we need to collect solar energy from where the sun never sets – outer space

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ossil fuel reserves are finite, all but gone and it’s only a matter of before they run out. But as world population continues to grow, reliance on fossil fuels to power up our civilization continues to grow with it. What’s more, now it’s gotten to the point where fossil fuels are vanishing at a rapid rate – crude oil reserves are deteriorating at the massive clip of 4 billion tonnes a year – and new reserves are not only getting harder to find, but producing more is simply becoming extra-hazardous to our planet. And considering that experts are forecasting our power needs to double by 2100, there’s no question about it — if we don’t find some other way to meet our energy demands, we’re in a whole lot of trouble. This is where renewable energy comes in. There’s geothermal power, hydroelectric power, solar power and wind power. Among the four, it’s solar power that holds the most promise. Supposedly, the energy that the sun can provide in just an hour is more than the total energy that humans can consume in a year. Which means the sun is

more than capable of providing our energy needs. We just have to figure out how to tap into that almost infinite energy. The main problem with the sun though is that it doesn’t shine all the time. And that poses a challenge because we can only tap into its power when it’s out. Or so we thought. Until researchers from NASA and the Pentagon came up with the brilliant idea of capturing the sun’s power from outside our atmosphere, in other words, directly from outer space. By positioning solar panels in space instead of on the Earth’s surface, trapping of solar power will have no more limitations — there’s no night time to consider, not even clouds covering the sun. As an added bonus, solar energy can be trapped in its entirety — without dust, water vapor or the Earth’s ozone layer absorbing some of its power. And because absorption of energy is continuous, there won’t be any need to store it for later use, which also means none of it would be wasted as storing typically results in up to 50% energy loss. There have been many proposals on how to make space-

based solar power work. Most involve equipping a spacecraft with mirrors to reflect sunlight into a device that converts it into either laser or microwave energy, before being transmitted down to Earth at harmless intensity levels. The energy is collected by receiving stations, then re-converted to electricity. There are those who oppose the idea because of the high cost it will entail. On the other hand, there are also those who believe that the benefits will be worth much more than what it will cost. Just think — it’s unlimited clean global power supply vs. possible wars caused by an oil crisis and worldwide catastrophe resulting from accelerated global warming. Besides, the concept is reasonably doable because we already have the technology and even the functional pieces needed to get things off the ground. One of the most notable proponents is Paul Jaffe — spacecraft engineer at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. During the pioneer Diplomacy, Development, and Defense (D3) Innovation Summit Pitch Challenge conducted by the Department of Defense last spring, he took

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Social marketing grows up by Denis Pombriant

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or an article that lands on the social marketer like a proverbial ton of bricks, check out “What’s the Value of a Like?” in the MarchApril issue of the Harvard Business Review. “Social media doesn’t work the way many marketers think it does. The mere act of endorsing a brand does not affect a customer’s behavior or lead to increased purchasing, nor does it spur purchasing by friends,” concluded authors Leslie K. John, Daniel Mochon, Oliver Emrich, and Janet Schwartz in their report on four years of experiments, 23 in all, that engaged 18,000 people.

Image: TweetAngels)

If that’s all you read, you might believe that everything we’ve thought and acted upon involving social media marketing was wrong. However, it’s not -- though the research clearly signals that we have to adjust our thinking.

CMOs showed that 87 percent couldn’t document how social created new customers. When a number like this gets this large, what often follows is disenchantment, which vendors understandably want to avoid.

Before there was experimental data to support various contentions, it made perfect sense to believe that the likes and endorsements posted to friends on social media would drive more business.

Social likes and endorsements might be good to have, but successful brands still understand that their marketing job isn’t done simply because a friend liked something, the research shows.

After all, didn’t we all subscribe to the idea that a disgruntled customer would tell many more people about a brand’s shortcomings than a happy customer would sing its praises? Didn’t we all accept that a social megaphone could be a brand disaster if not handled properly?

Such a friend still needs convincing, so social’s value here is more like teeing up the opportunity for more conventional marketing. Interestingly, the authors conclude that the social set up is a good precursor for good old advertising.

Yes, and yes, we did all that. It’s not wrong, at least not totally, but there are two ways to see this as the authors point out. It’s possible that getting people to follow a brand on social media makes them buy more. However, it’s also possible that those who already have positive feelings toward a brand are more likely to follow it in the first place, and that’s why they spend more than non-followers. Teasing this apart is important, because millions of dollars in marketing budgets hang in the balance. Also, according to the same article, a survey of

- First Hype, Then Data In this vignette, we can observe the latter stages of social marketing’s hype cycle. The technology arrived with great fanfare, a stampede of people bought it, and it promptly failed to perform up to inflated expectations -- that’s a pure hype cycle. The good news is that toward the end of a hype cycle, things settle down as real-world data helps us understand the best uses for new technologies. That’s what this report tells me. It sets social down in a continuum of marketing tools, and it approaches and demonstrates how it can best work in that milieu.

As a practical matter, the focus now is most directly on customer loyalty. It’s nice to get incremental new business with an assist from social marketing, but the effect is most dramatically about loyalty, for the simple reason that the hidden message of the study is the need for active engagement. Active outreach by a brand to get and keep customers involved long after the original purchase is what drives the likes. A like from a one-time buyer says something about a product, but likes coming in from customers over time indicates engagement and loyalty. Even customers who aren’t actively buying more can retain a positive impression of a brand and that drives recommendations. The research seems a little light on engagement and loyalty, and I hope the authors revisit this topic and write more. For many, the relationship between engagement and loyalty is still a mystery. The article doesn’t separate ideas about initial and subsequent sales, which would help, but it should. Most markets today have gone way past their exponential growth phases, and social media marketing easily can be the difference between zero-sum markets and retaining some of the vibrancy that comes with product exploration and adoption. This is worth internalizing. (-TechNewsOnline)

How red berries reduce inflammation

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erries in general are lower in sugar than most fruit and contain large quantities in inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Blueberries and dark-coloured berries especially, due to their high levels of the antioxidant quercetin, and are especially anti-inflammatory. Members of the interleukin17 (IL-17) family of proinflammatory cytokines are important in the immune response to infections; however, excessive IL-17 signaling is associated with autoimmune inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Through a screen of small molecules, Liu et al. found that cyanidin, a flavonoid found in red berries and other fruits, bound home four out of seven awards for his space-based solar power plan. According to his presentation, development of his plan will be completed by 2021 at the cost of $350 million. Ultimately, the result will be a $10 billion in-orbit power plant that’s capable of powering over 150,000 homes. The cost may not be appealing at this time. But as the technology improves and becomes more efficient, it is expected to become

to the IL-17 receptor (IL-17RA) in a manner that blocked the binding of IL-17A. In several mouse models of inflammatory disease, cyanidin alleviated inflammation induced by T cells that produce IL-17A. Together, these data suggest that cyanidin should be further developed as a small-molecule inhibitor of IL-17A–dependent inflammatory diseases. Whether it’s aches and pains, stiffness, headaches, indigestion, stomachaches, yeast imbalances, viruses, low energy, weight gain, or free-radical damage, it often goes back to two things: acidity and inflammation. To understand how acidity plays a role in producing bodily more competitive. And even if it doesn’t, people may not necessarily shy away from it. Especially now that the effects of global warming are clearly evident, more consumers may be willing to pay a higher price for electricity if the tradeoff will be saving our environment and the continued survival of our planet. Aside from Jaffe, another advocate of space-based solar power is Gary Spirnak — CEO

inflammation, you first have to understand pH, or the measure of a solution’s acidity or alkalinity from 0 to 14, 0 being the most acidic, and 14 being the most alkaline. Our bodies need a very specific pH balance to function and maintain homeostasis. Our grocery stores and diets are overrun with highly acidic foods. Caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, sugars, refined flours, pasteurised dairy, and animal protein are all highly acidic forming in the body, and if you are eating these on a regular basis, chances are you may experience at least some sort of chronic symptom of inflammation. Even natural processes of the body produce acidic byproducts. (-Popsugar.com) of California-based energy startup company Solaren. In line with their mission to ‘design, develop, launch, and operate the world’s first Space Solar Power plants’, they have been busy seeking out investors. Looking forward, let’s hope that the technology will be as effective as hypothesized. And that it can be launched in time to still be of help in solving the world’s energy crisis. (-WallStreetPit.com)


VOICE OF ASIA 20

BEAUTY & FASHION

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Sabyasachi debuts his spring 2017 couture collection

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‘The Udaipur Collection’ is, as the name suggests, inspired by Rajasthani royalty. A bold royal statement for the stately prince or princess in search of beauty, elegance and charm. (All photos courtesty Sabyasachi Mukherjee / Instagram)

The millennial knows no beauty boundaries — she reinvents the traditional red lip, colours outside the lines and strikes the perfect balance

abyasachi Mukherjee, with his curated old-world aesthetic that we have all come to find endearingly charming, somehow manages to pack a punch every season. There are never-before seen versions of florals, the intricate embroidery is more interesting than when you last saw it and brides simply can’t get enough of the design label. There are references to maharanis, palaces, stately luncheons, rose gardens, gulaal, The Sheesh Mahal and more.

between edge and elegance... Actress Pooja Hegde plays our millennial muse accompanied by celebrity make-up artist Elton Fernandez’s expertise.

Glitter Bug If, growing up, glitter was your go-to, this sophisticated update will make your heart sing. All you need is a matte red lipstick, some loose red glitter, a clear gloss, scotch tape (to lift away rogue flecks) and a steady hand. Swipe on the colour, layer glitter on top and swear off eating and drinking. This lip is worth it.

Out Of The Blue The new way to wear eyeliner— forget everything you know about it. Ditch boring black, embrace bold blue. And don’t get hung up on the shape either—too perfect is too retro. It’s like painting on your personality with a brush stroke. Leave the rest of the face alone. (Photos: Sushant Chhabria)

Santhigram School of Ayurveda and Massage Grand Opening Santhigram Wellness Kerala Ayurved launches Training School in North Brunswick, New Jersey

art of positive health to overcome fatigue, strengthen the nervous system, improve eyesight, nourish the body, increase longevity, normalize sleep, instill flexibility and maintain good health overall.

and holistic treatment modalities. An Ayurvedic Nutrition & Cooking Course is also available for those who want to learn the art of making healthy and nutritious food, that they can recommend to their clients.

In addition, Santhigram School of Ayurveda and Massage offers various certification courses that will enable students to enrich their massage therapy practice to become an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant, an Ayurvedic Massage & Panchakarma Therapist or an Ayurvedic Wellness Spa Therapist. These additional courses give students the opportunity to learn Ayurveda therapies in depth and become a specialist in both western and eastern massage

Santhigram School of Ayurveda and Massage is owned by the Santhigram Group, a company committed to providing authentic Kerala specific Ayurvedic and Holistic treatments which help to alleviate several chronic ailments and improve overall health.

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anthigram School of Ayurveda and Massage is open for students interested in learning traditional massage techniques and the ancient art of Ayurvedic therapeutic massage and bodywork. This unprecedented, 500-hour program offers a one-of-a-kind curriculum that blends eastern and western massage modalities. It is the only massage therapy program in the United States that offers an integrated course of study that includes instruction in traditional western therapies such as Swedish massage, sports massage, and the ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda, “the science of life”, that supports the balance of body, mind and spirit. The program is approved by the New Jersey Department of Education and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Upon successful completion of this program students can earn a massage therapy license (LMT). Internships and job opportunities with Santhigram Wellness, in various locations nationwide, will be available for students who successfully complete the massage program and

meet the criteria for employment. This program gives aspiring massage therapists the opportunity to differentiate their practice and offer

clients many therapeutic benefits of massage and Ayurvedic bodywork. By combining Ayurveda with western massage modalities, students learn the

For more information about this exclusive course of study, call Santhigram School of Ayurveda and Massage at 1-888-537-2987 or visit www. santhigramschool.com.


SPORT

VOICE OF ASIA 21

Commonwealth Games location in doubt

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OHANNESBURG, South Africa | AFP | Tuesday 2/28/2017 - South Africa’s sports minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday that host city Durban may not be able to hold the 2022 Commonwealth Games due to financial pressures. “I don’t want to raise your expectations and say everything looks good‚ it doesn’t. We are unable to agree on the fundamentals,” Mbalula told South African media at a press conference in Cape Town. Despite successfully bidding for the Games, South Africa has been unable to come to agreement with the Commonwealth Games Federation over paying

for the tournament. “It does not look like we will find each other,” said Mbalula, who added that a final decision was expected from the federation when it meets shortly. “We have given it our best shot, but we cannot live beyond our means,” he said. “There is a possibility that it might not come in our direction at the end of the day.” A spokesman for the ministry confirmed to AFP that South Africa would not host the Games at any cost, adding that he hoped an agreement would be reached by the end of March. Both the 1995 rugby World

Cup and the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa are seen as milestones in the country’s efforts to promote national unity since the apartheid era.

According to authorities, a budget of 6.4 billion rand ($492 million, 465 million euros) has already been set aside for the Games, in a country battling high unemployment and poor growth.

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In what is the most significant modernization in generations, the USGA and R&A on Wednesday unveiled 30 proposed changes designed to make more consistent, fair and straightforward rules that are easier to understand and apply. The changes span a wide range of issues – from grounding a club in a penalty area, to determining if a ball moved, to repairing damage on greens, to relaxing dropping procedures. It’s the culmination of a fiveyear process – well before the high-profile major drama last June – that should reduce the prevalence of penalty traps, armchair rules officials and slow-motion, high-def examinations. The governing bodies usually revise the rules every four years, but this new edition will be implemented a year earlier, on Jan. 1, 2019. They alerted the major pro tours about the proposed changes at the beginning of this year. “We have looked at every rule to try to find ways of making them more intuitive and straightforward, and we believe we have identified a number of significant improvements,” said David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of rules and

India’s cricket board has 14 days to respond to Broad’s report. An ICC team will review the response and study footage before ruling whether the pitch was substandard. ICC Match Referee Chris Broad has rated the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium pitch as ‘poor’ in his report (Photo: AP)

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une’s debut as a test venue last week proved far from memorable with the pitch used for India’s first test against Australia incurring a “poor” rating from match referee Chris Broad. As if India’s 333-run defeat

Modi lauded the champions and obliged them by signing bats, which will now become a part of the cherished memorabilia (Photo: ANI) part of the cherished memorabilia. He also graced them with pictures and selfies. This gesture by Narendra Modi should go a long way in boosting their confidence for their future endeavours. We salute this noble deed from Modi for the specially-abled cricket-

ers who have brought joy to millions of Indian cricket fans. This form of cricket started in 1996 and since then, it has gained immense popularity worldwide. In fact, the first T20 World Cup for the visually impaired took place in 2012 and it was held in Bengaluru. (-PTI)

equipment standards. “It is important that the rules continue to evolve and remain in tune with the way the modern game is played, but we have been careful not to change the game’s longstanding principles and character.” Determining whether a player caused his ball to move had been a hot topic before last year’s U.S. Open, but the issue received even more scrutiny when the USGA ruled that Dustin Johnson was “more likely than not,” or 51 percent certain, to have caused his ball to move slightly on Oakmont’s super-fast greens. The ensuing chaos (and one-shot penalty after the round) didn’t affect the outcome, but afterward players and fans blasted the USGA for issuing what was perceived as an unfair ruling. Now, under proposed Rule 9.2, there is a new standard: A player will be penalized only when it is known, or virtually certain (at least 95 percent), that he caused the ball to move, which should eliminate many of the questionable calls. Once cleared, a player will be allowed to replace the ball on its estimated original spot. One of the most radical proposals is that a player will be allowed to ground his club everywhere except a bunker. By allowing a player to touch the ground with his club and

move loose impediments in the penalty area, Proposed Rule 17 would eliminate the unintentional infraction that could be detected only after replay, such as when Carl Pettersson, standing in a lateral water hazard, brushed a leaf with his backswing at the 2012 PGA Championship. The next rulebook will feature the term “penalty area,” not “hazard.” The rule change that could most significantly affect weekto-week competition is that players now will be allowed to repair any damage on the greens, including spike marks. Previously, players were allowed to fix only ball marks in their lines. In 2013, European Tour player Simon Dyson was embroiled in a cheating scandal after he tapped down a spike mark during an event. He claimed that he wasn’t trying to gain a competitive advantage, but he still was placed on probation. Now, under Rule 13.1b(1), players could try to create as smooth a surface as possible to roll their putts. There will also be a new reasonable judgment standard, Rule 1.3a(2), in regard to estimating a line, drop or distance. With the new rule, a player would need only to do “all that could reasonably be expected under the circumstances” to accurately measure the spot. A recent example: Tiger Woods’

inside three days was not bad enough for the hosts, the bonedry track at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium fell foul of the Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The punishment for a first “poor” rating for any venue ranges from warning to a maximum of US$15,000 ($20,700) fine with a directive for appropriate corrective action. The second test between India and Australia will be played on a “sporting” pitch which will be fair to both teams, organisers in Bengaluru have said. (-Reuters)

National anthem row: J&K’s Parvez Rasool opens up on chewing-gum controversy

O

USGA, R&A reveal proposed changes to Rules of Golf

T

The home side’s ploy backfired as the tourists’ spinners claimed 17 of the 20 Indian wickets to put them 1-0 up in the four-match series and snap India’s 19-test unbeaten streak.

by Somshuvra Laha

Golf

he Rules of Golf are undergoing a drastic makeover.

Pune dustbowl earns ‘poor’ rating from ICC referee

The Games -- which were awarded to Durban in 2015 -had been earmarked to start on July 18, the late Nelson Mandela’s birthday.

t is known that our current Prime Minister is very much aware and has a nose for news. From wishing the Olympics team last year to congratulating the Indian team after they defeated England, Narendra Modi has shown his presence, which is good. Indian visually impaired team recently won the 2017 T20 World Cup— the most prestigious cricket event for the specially-abled— by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan by 9 wickets in the finals.

Modi lauded the champions and obliged them by signing bats, which will now become a

Cricket

The Commonwealth Games in Durban, on the east coast, would be the first to be held in Africa.

Victorious T20 Indian blind cricket team meet PM Narendra Modi

Their achievement, despite fighting the odds, meant that PM Modi was content and a seemingly happy leader who hailed the team in his monthly radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’. He wanted to meet the personally and congratulate them and invited them over in New Delhi at his home.

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

ver a month after being criticised for chewing gum when the national anthem was played before a T20 between India and England, Jammu & Kashmir cricketer Parvez Rasool has finally opened up on the incident, saying cricketers shouldn’t be dragged into ‘unnecessary’ politics. Rasool, the first cricketer from Jammu & Kashmir to be picked for a senior India squad, was handed his T20I debut in Kanpur last month. He was heavily criticised when a video showed Rasool chewing gum when the controversial drop en route to a victory at the 2013 Players. After finding the water off the 14th tee, Woods discussed where his ball crossed the hazard with his fellow playing competitor, Casey Wittenberg, and his caddie. The group agreed that the ball hooked into the water farther down the fairway, even though video replays suggested it was closer to the tee box. Woods was not penalized, but the PGA Tour felt compelled to issue a statement about the incident. Under the new rule, which relies on the integrity of the player, Woods would still be absolved. Some of the other proposed changes: • Instead of dropping a ball at shoulder height, players can release the ball at any height

Our New Issue of

national anthem was played before the match. The video went viral, with many people asking whether Rasool deserved to be playing for India if he can’t respect the national anthem. In an interview to ETV, Rasool finally opened up on the issue. “Let cricketers play cricket and don’t involve them into politics unnecessarily. I try to keep my focus on the game and don’t let these controversies affect me,” Rasool was quoted as saying. Rasool didn’t forget to mention how difficult it is

above one inch. • Caddies cannot stand behind a player and help with alignment while the player takes a stance. • A player won’t be penalized if his ball accidently deflects off him.

for cricketers from his state to get noticed. This kind of a controversy, according to Rasool, only makes it more disheartening. “It is already very difficult for cricketers from our region to make it into the national team and when these things happen, it is very disheartening. One has to remain tough and should not give importance to such controversies,” he further added. Rasool, a spinner-allrounder, has played only one T20I and one ODI, against Bangladesh in Dhaka, in 2014. (-Hindustan Times)

measure distances, except when prohibited by a local rule. • Committees are encouraged to mark more hazards with red stakes, not yellow, to allow lateral relief.

• In an attempt Our New pace Issue of to improve of play at the recreational

• The search time for lost balls is three minutes, not five. • Players can move loose impediments in a bunker. • Damaged clubs can be used in competition, even if the equipment was damaged in a fit of rage. • Players are entitled to free relief from an embedded lie anywhere (save for the bunker), unless limited to the fairway by a local rule. • Rangefinders can be used to

level, the governing bodies are encouraging ready golf; allowing putts to be holed with the flagstick in; and recommending an alternative form of stroke play with a double-par maximum score. If all of the proposals are approved, the total number of rules would be reduced from 34 to 24. The USGA and R&A will accept feedback on these proposed changes for the next six months. The new rules will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. (-GolfChannel.com)

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HOROSCOPE

VOICE OF ASIA 22

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

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

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

ONLINE WWW.VOICEOFASIAONLINE.COM

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

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

The fact you are more sensitive to ethics and also to the feelings and needs of others. It is easy for you to give generously of yourself. Conversations and sharing plans and ideas with others are very fruitful now. You understand what others are telling you. Relationship harmony is accented. Your mate is understanding, supportive and affectionate. Show that you are available to play & have fun together. A sudden inspiration may hit. It may have to do with furthering your education levels.

A good time to take advantage of opportunities which offer greater success and prosperity in your vocation. You may be blessed with recognition for your work efforts. Social activities can be primary concerns for you at this time. You find pleasure and enjoyment when you are intensely and emotionally involved in something meaningful. You may want to take time to look at & appreciate others intentions. You’ve got plenty of things you would like to do, but it is vital to be selective. If you attempt them all, you will scatter your forces.

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

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

If you are married or involved in a love relationship, a deepening of the relationship is likely at this time. You gain an even greater appreciation of each other. If you are involved in a new relationship, it will deepen and feel more permanent. It will take on the quality. This relationship will grow into good one. On other fronts, don’t try to force issues or come to any definite conclusions now and don’t sign any contracts which require too much compromise on. You can be a star and a standout at work.

A time to reach out to people and to get others’ input or counsel. Listen to your mate or a friend who can enlighten you at this time. A dedicated approach to your workrelated matters may benefit you at this time. You can put your nose to the grindstone. You may find your interests turning to matters of work and professional endeavors. You may feel an increased sense of responsibility. Calm your tensions in one of two ways. Discuss the situation with a trustworthy friend or get a strenuous physical workout.

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

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Your intuition is very sharp at this time. Your psychological insight is excellent, and you can better understand what motivates others and what their needs are. Your ability to write and speak with feeling and sensitivity is greatly increased. You are now able to find the right words that capture a subtle feeling. You may have to be the one who changes their mind, both with a sunny disposition and possibly a logical explanation of why you do things the way you do.

The warmth and good will you generate now is likely to be a benefit to you now and later on. Exciting or sudden circumstances may bring you greater independence in your work or career pursuits at this time. If you are unemployed, opportunity can arise for employment. You are very much in favor and may even enjoy an encouraging talk with a superior. It should make you feel more confident about your future and much more secure about in your position, right where you are.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July The craving for sweetness and comfort in the form of loving affection or food is strong now. This is a good time to baby yourself and also to spend time with the people. This is a time when short trips, excursions, errands, etc. are interfered with. You will have to adjust your plans or appointments to accommodate an inconvenience. Those around you may react giddily to sudden changes, you will be able to keep your head. Use this to your best advantage.

A surplus of positive healing energy radiates within you, giving you beneficial moments when you find it easier to relieve yourself of personal or emotional upsets. You may feel relief by bringing certain issues out in the open at this time. This is a good time to search for the resources to resolve them. Support from close friends, family, and the women in your life gives you confidence now. This is a good time to mend fences and solve problems in your home life.

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

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Existing love relationships are benefited through faithfulness, warmth, and devotion. You may find a safe haven to distract you from any unpleasant issues in your life. Also your ability to study, to concentrate and to think deeply about serious matters is much better than usual. This is a good time to organize your affairs. It is important not to focus on work while talking with your mate. Instead, talk of romantic times the two of you have shared and enjoyed. Turn on your charm.

See you feeling very lucky and you are likely to be extravagant with your money. Material benefits are, likely at this time. Beware of depending too much on Lady Luck. Numerous phone calls, letters, meetings, errands, or discussions bring you into contact with others. This is a good time to brainstorm with others. This is also a time when you are drawn to working on areas of self-improvement. You might recognize the importance of taking better care of your health.

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

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Begins with a good time to distinguish yourself from others and make your abilities widely known to the people who count. Let others know of any new ideas. Take this time to reinforce your view of yourself and foster positive feelings. Reflecting on and acknowledging your good qualities will help your self-esteem. The work you do now is money in the bank for future freedom, maybe even that long-desired trip you’ve wished for some time.

BD

At this time you shower loved ones with your care and concern. You will want them to know that they can depend upon you. There is a mutual feeling of loyalty and respect within your relationships. You feel a sense of importance when you provide others with support and nourishment. You feel quite relaxed and carefree, and this would be a splendid time for a vacation. Laziness, self-indulgence, are possible right now. You need to cut down somewhere, and only you know where.

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CLASSIFIEDS

VOICE OF ASIA 23

SALES/NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Gulf Pacific Rice Co., is looking for a highly motivated individual for OUTSIDE SALES / NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT for our Specialty feed & Pet food markets. We need a self-starter who can help us expand our business nationally with our conventional and organic rice ingredients. The main responsibility will be to develop new business by establishing contact, meeting with potential buyers, showing the products we offer and closing the sale. We want to establish long term relationships with our customers and build customer loyalty. Position located in Houston, TX with travel outside Houston as new business is established. Food ingredient sales experience and Bi-lingual Spanish a big plus! Salary/compensation commensurate with experience. Generous benefits package including 401 K, medical, dental, vacation and holidays‌plus, paid travel and cell phone expenses. Please send resumes to Deborah Shriver, H.R. Manager at dshriver@gulfpac.com.

Houston Community College Request for Proposals (/RFP) Media Arts and Technology Center of Excellence Project No. RFP 17-39

Houston Community College Request for Proposals (/RFP) Child Development Laboratory School

Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Thursday, March 31, 2017.

Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Thursday, March 30, 2017.

Documents can be obtained at: www.hccs.edu/procurement.

Documents can be obtained at: www.hccs.edu/procurement.

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Project No. RFP 17-46

For Classified Advertising Call 713-774-5140 Ask about our Website Advertising opportunities

News Photographer/Live Truck Operator - Temporary KTRK-TV, the ABC O&O located in Houston, TX, has an opening for a temporary News Photographer/Live Truck Operator. Candidates should have a minimum three years experience in all facets of television news photography including lighting, audio and editing, and show exceptional knowledge and creativity in these areas. Applicants should have a good eye for QHZVSKRWRJUDSK\EHDEOHWRZRUNLQWKHÂżHOGXQVXSHUYLVHGRUZLWKYDULRXV reporters and be able to work in deadline situations. The ideal candidate will have experience or be able to operate a microwave live truck and must be able to lift and carry 30 lbs. of equipment. All interested applicants must apply on-line at www.disneycareers.com by XSORDGLQJDUHVXPHÂżOHFRYHUOHWWHUDQGOLVWRIUHIHUHQFHV5HIHUHQFHJob ID: 428912BR on all materials submitted. Equal Opportunity Employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity No Telephone Calls Please.

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VOICE OF ASIA 24

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017

Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper March 3 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...