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VOICE OF ASIA
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
28 years dedicated service toCounties the community Serving Harris,ofFort Bend and Surrounding for 29 years Vol. 30 No. 13 Friday, March 31, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
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VOICE OF ASIA
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
28 years dedicated service toCounties the community Serving Harris,ofFort Bend and Surrounding for 29 years
How Obamacare affects everyone Read on Page 18 or Call 832-806-1000
Vol. 30 No. 13 Friday, March 31, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: email@example.com
India House 14th Annual Gala celebrates spirit of ‘Giving Back’, presents Ian Grillot with $100,000 by Shobana Muratee
OUSTON – The India House 14th Annual Gala, held on March 25 at the JW Marriot Galleria, shifted its primary focus on fundraising to one which was morally uplifting, inspirational, and which drew global attention almost instantly by honoring Ian Grillot as a ‘true American Hero’ that night. Special Guest of Honor Ian Grillot, 24, who was injured when he tried to chase away
the shooter who killed an Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounded another Indian engineer in a Kansas bar recently, is still recovering and was accompanied by his parents to the gala. India House raised $100,000 in a short span of time with the support Consul General of India in Houston, Anupam Ray, who backed the initiative and the generous offer by Chowdary ‘Charlie’ Yalamanchili, a noted businessman and India House Trustee, to match every dollar raised to help Grillot buy a
house in his hometown in Kansas. Other India House Trustees Dr. Durga Agrawal, Brij Agrawal, Hari Agrawal, Bal Sareen, Dr. Virender Mathur and prominent leaders Dr. Arun Verma and Abeezar Tyebji were among the significant donors recognized on the occasion. The check was presented by India’s Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna at the gala. Notably, this was Ambassador Sarna’s first visit to Houston. “It is not every day that one meets a genuine hero - a person Continued on Page 5
Ian Grillot, (2nd from left) receives a check from India House Trustee, Chowdary Yalamanchili,(far left) India House Gala Chair Jiten Agarwal (far rigth) in the presence of and Indian Ambassador to US, Navtej Sarna on March 25, 2017. Photo credit: India House.
Indian Doctors Association gala raises Make in India Conference in Houston funds for scholarships and IDCC receives overwhelming support
Manish Gandhi MD, President IDA presenting plaque to honoree couple Drs. Sunita and Suresh Moonat at the IDA gala. Photo credit: Bijay Dixit. Read report on Page 9
Front: Panelists K. Nagaraj Naidu, Nisha Biswal, Dr. Manjari Miller Rear: Jagdip Ahluwalia, Ashok Malik, S.C.Garg, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray, Dhruva Jaishankar, Sadanand Dhume and Jiten Agarwal. Read report on Page 9
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VOICE OF ASIA Publisher: Associate Publisher: Editor-in-Chief: Austin Correspondent: Print & Media Marketing: Marketing Director: Office Manager:
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Columnists: Legal: Richard M. Alderman Legal: Sharlene Sharmila Richards Research: Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Health Insurance: Sudhir Mathuria Astrology: Hardik Vyas
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All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the consent of the publisher. Voice of Asia assumes no liability resulting from action taken based on the information included herein. Published weekly by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713-7745143. Email for editorial submissions: email@example.com; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions: ads@ voiceofasiagroup.com It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or confirmation of any facts or allegations contained in letters to the editor. Moreover, Voice of Asia reserves the right to edit letters to the editor as necessary to correct errors of fact, punctuation, spelling and to comply with space constraints. Although paid advertisements may appear in Voice of Asia Group Publications in print, online, or in other electronic formats, the Voice of Asia Group does not endorse the advertised product, service, or company, nor any of the claims made by the advertisement. - The Publisher
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resident Trump has declared war against sanctuary cities on the premise that they harbor colonies of ‘bad hombres’. Thus he wants to deprive them of the money their cops need to protect those cities. Spot the contradiction, win a valuable prize! This is yet another crusade based on a lie, which is the case with many policy tripwires this administration lays down, whether it’s imploding Obamacare or a welcome rebirth of coal. But this one is especially malignant: He sent out Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday to announce that the administration will withhold federal funds from cities that don’t share the immigrant status of individuals with the Immigration and Naturalization Service if requested. The announcement cited bogus polls, and depicted immigrants as criminals and sanctuary cities as cesspools of crime. When the Travis County sheriff stopped honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests to hold someone for deportation, she was fully within her rights. That might make Austin a “sanctuary city” by Harold Varmus, NYTimes. com
resident Trump has announced his intention to cut the budget for the National Institutes of Health by 18.3 percent, about $5.8 billion. But remember, a presidential budget request is a proposal, not a done deal. The actual fiscal year 2018 appropriation for the N.I.H. will be determined by Congress, which has historically provided enthusiastic bipartisan support for biomedical research. Although the N.I.H. has lost a substantial amount of its spending power gradually over the past decade, it has only rarely experienced a sharp decline in actual dollars and never of this magnitude.
Trump’s attack on sanctuary cities wrong in every way by some political standard, but not a legal one. Harris County used to have deputies check immigration status of some people passing through jail under the 287(g) program. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez ended the protocol and redirected those deputies to do much-needed patrol work in the county. Did he change our sanctuary status? There’s plenty of politicians who won’t stop beating the drum on sanctuary cities until SWAT teams start rounding up the guys who mill around near the Home Depot parking lot, as if they were a barbarian hoard ready to pillage the city of Houston. Houstonians know better. We know undocumented folks as the guys who mow lawns in The Woodlands, erect drywall in Third Ward townhouses and sauté your side dishes in award-winning restaurants. Undocumented Houstonians are the parents of school kids - the kids who aspire to be the
next generation of doctors at the Texas Medical Center, or play trumpet at HSPVA, or make first-string receiver for Wisdom High School’s football team. Houstonians care about our neighbors, and we know that this problem won’t be solved until Congress passes a federal immigration law that allows those school kids to go to sleep at night without having to worry that their parents will be deported in the morning. It is a position shared by the Greater Houston Partnership, which has long called for an immigration reform bill that welcomes hardworking Houstonians in from the shadows. The folks on the ground see the issue first-hand; Sessions only sees a scapegoat. “Sanctuary city” doesn’t mean anything. But those undocumented parents mean an awful lot to Houston kids. Any law that tears apart those families is a law that needs to be changed.
And with his nativist ideology locked and loaded, he vowed that less compliant cities would feel Trump’s fiscal wrath. Legal experts call Trump’s order a loser, citing precedents that prevent the federal government from “broadly cutting off funding to states and cities just because they have lawfully acted to protect immigrant families,” as New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman put it. So on flimsy legal footing, the dance of the demagogue begins anew. Trump’s party often rails against federalizing anything, especially law enforcement. Now it’s fine. To rationalize this, one must believe that the best judge of community policing is not the local cop, but a president who criminalizes immigrants and a U.S. attorney general who has spent his career disenfranchising minorities. (Additional quotes courtesty of Chron.com)
Why Trump’s N.I.H. Cuts Should Worry Us
Furthermore, strong nonpartisan opposition to Mr. Trump’s proposal will come from many
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FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
quarters, including advocates of research on specific diseases. But it would be a mistake to be complacent about the president’s proposal, because it is likely to have real consequences. Yes, some have said that the proposed cut to the N.I.H. will be dead on arrival in Congress. But the president’s budget proposal is still important: The administration’s representatives will need to defend it at hearings, and it could be the starting point for negotiations among appropriators. It is not difficult to imagine a compromise in which the N.I.H. suf-
fers a steep reduction. What can be done by those who are appalled by these threats to our scientific enterprise and feel paralyzed by the apparent imperviousness of the administration to learning from others? Speak up, even when other important issues crowd the political horizon, and frame the issue properly: As I have learned from my own time at the N.I.H., this is not about Republicans versus Democrats. It is about a more fundamental divide, between those who believe in evidence as a basis for life-altering and nation-defining
decisions and those who adhere unflinchingly to dogma. It is about a conception of national leadership that connects our economic success and our security to the generation of knowledge, and to the arts and sciences, not just to our military strength. A budget proposal is a concrete manifestation of plans for the nation, a declaration of purpose. In confronting the president’s assault on the N.I.H., all members of Congress face a moment that will define their character and the future of the country.
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COMMUNITY VOICE OF ASIA
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Second Front Page
India House 14th Annual Gala celebrates spirit of ‘Giving Back’, presents Ian Grillot with $100,000
India House Trustees, Ambassador Navtej Sarna, dignitaries and donors with Ian Grillot at the India House gala.
Dr. Virendra S. and Mrs. Nalini Mathur receive Lifetime Achievement Award from Mayor Turner and Dr. Durga Agrawal. Continued from Page 3 who risks his life for another and takes a bullet for a complete stranger. Ian Grillot is a man who reminds us of the promise of America and its greatness,” said Jiten Agarwal, Chairperson of the gala. “India House and Ian share similar values – serve all human beings in need irrespective of their race, religion, caste, color and language,” he added. The event’s Co-Chairs were Shalu Agarwal, Amit and Arpita Bandari, and also Pershant and Nikita Mehta. In a profound message of courage and character, Hon. Ambassador Navtej Sarna said about Ian, “He is a young man who has shown exceptional courage - which is obvious - but also he has shown the strength of very fundamental human values.” Values that were essentially from parents, “so deeply imbued in a human soul that they come out instinctively,” he said. Commending India House, he praised the organization “which not only brings Indians together but is a symbol of your engagement with a larger American landscape.” Dr. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India, Houston described the Hon. Ambassador as, “A man of many parts; a man whose life was well lived,” when he introduced him. Speaking briefly, Ian said, “The hate, it has to stop. It’s running rampant through our streets, our neighborhoods, and throughout our communities. We have to tear down the walls of racial and religious divide and build bridges of hope and compassion in the com-
munity.” Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner recognized India House as the ‘nerve center’ for the Indo-American community. He thanked Ian Grillot for “stepping up and doing what it means to be our brother’s keeper.” India House honored its Trustees Dr. Virendra S. and Mrs. Nalini Mathur with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the gala. Dr. Mathur, a renowned cardiologist of Houston, has built on 60 years of professional success. Together, the couple have worked for 50 years as a team and recently celebrated their golden jubilee. Earlier, Manish Rungta, MD, President of India House welcomed guests, donors and distinguished dignitaries that included: Indian Ambassador to USA Navtej Sarna, Kalikesh Deo, Indian MP, Consul General of India in Houston Dr. Anupan Ray, Nisha Biswal, Former US Assistant Secretary of State, David C Mulford, Former US Ambassador to India, Congressman Al Green, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Ed Gonzalez, Sheriff office, Sen. John Cornyn’s representative Jay Guerra, Tory Mcfarlin representing Congressman Pete Olson, Sam Merchant with Congressman Al Green, Dr. Renu Khatoor, UH President and Chancellor, Neeta Sane, HCC trustee and Harish Jajoo, former councilman, City of Sugar Land. Dr. Rungta also recognized India House Board of Trustees and gave an over-
Col. (Retd) Vipin Kumar, India House Executive Director
Amiya and Apurva Ghosh singing the National Anthems.
Speaker Chef Vikas Khanna addressing the audience.
Spectacular dance performances
view of India House activities and achievements for 2017.
a day to underprivileged children in India.
Guest Speaker Chef Vikas Khanna, an award winning Michelin-starred India Chef and TV celebrity of the popular ‘Master Chef India’ shows shared his success story, starting with his humble beginning in the United States. Khanna is also known for his humanitarian efforts through the Smile Foundation that provides 25,000 meals
Vipin Kumar, India House Executive Director spoke of the success of India House programs like free yoga classes, Charity Clinic Immigration Law Consultation, an afterschool program and many others which cater to the growing needs of the community. The program began with the National
Anthems of the United States and India rendered magnificently by sisters Amiya and Apurva Ghosh, daughters of Pandit Suman Ghosh. Vibrant and exhilarating entertainment was by Karmagraphy and dinner was catered by Bombay Brasserie restaurant. Pooja Lodia, news anchor for ABC13 Eyewitness News was an excellent Mistress of Ceremonies for one of best evenings of coming togetherness.
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FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
YOUR IMMIGRATION LAWYER
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Register now for the “People’s Law School” Once again, it is time for the “People’s Law School,” the oldest and most successful law program for the layperson in the country! This is your chance to learn more about your legal rights, and have fun at the same time. On Saturday, April 1st, the Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston Law Center, with the sponsorship of the Houston Volunteer Lawyers, will host more than thirty volunteer lawyers, judges, and law professors, teaching courses in thirteen different areas of law. The “People’s Law School” is designed to give you some useful information about your legal rights. Best of all, it is absolutely free! The program runs from 9 a.m. until noon on the main campus of the University of Houston. There
will be classes in business law, health insurance, consumer law, credit and debt collection, wills and estates, family law, landlord tenant law, small claims court, tax law, social security and how to find an attorney. There will even be a class on how you can research the law on the Internet. Each person who attends may choose three classes. Every class will be taught by a different instructor and is a little different, so feel free to take a class more than once if you are really interested in the subject matter. Volunteer lawyers, judges, and law professors teach all the classes. To make sure things run smoothly, dozens of law students and members of the University of Houston Law Center staff will be available to help with everything from the free coffee and donuts, to the final evaluation form. Everyone who attends also will receive comprehen-
sive written materials to supplement the classes. As the more than 50,000 people who have attended the People’s Law School have discovered, when it comes to the law, knowledge really is power. The “People’s Law School” won’t make you an attorney, but it will help you settle disputes and avoid problems. Whether you are buying a car, preparing a will, dealing with a debt collector or a landlord, or in a dispute with your neighbor, knowing your legal rights can make a difference. Although there is no charge for the “People’s Law School,” you must preregister to attend. Registration is limited to the first 1000 people. To register go to, www.peopleslawyer.net I look forward to seeing you all on April 1st.
Do you want to know more about your legal rights? Check out my website, www.peopleslawyer.net
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Perform client intake consultations, research legal issues and provide advice and representation before courts and administrative offices. Case management of all immigration law matters. Handle family-based and employment-based residency applications and petitions (I-130, I-140, I-360, NIV, PERM, EB-1, EB-2, EB-2 and EB-5). Non-immigrant work visas (E, H-1B, J, L, O, P, R) and other temporary visas (B, F, K, M, T, U), waivers of inadmissibility, DACA, VAWA. Must be knowledgeable in preparing applications for consular processing, removal defense, motions and appeals to BIA, BALCA, etc. Must be familiar with Texas family law (divorce, SIJ) and Texas business law (incorporation and registration) and have excellent writing skills. Min. 12 months of experience as Immigration attorney/law clerk required; Texas State bar license in good standing; U.S. Juris doctorate required; Email your resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org Location: Houston, Texas 77006
Q: I am a Permanent Resident who is traveling on short business trip abroad. I lost my wallet with my Permanent Resident Card. What do I need to do to return to the U.S.? A: You may apply for a carrier documentation using Form I-131A. This form I-131A is filed in person at the USCIS International Field Office or with the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please make sure you contact the USCIS International Field Office or the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the foreign country where you are to ascertain that they will process the Form I-I131A at their location. The addresses for these U.S offices and Consulates can be found at https://www. uscis.gov/about-us/finduscis-office/internationalimmigration-offices. Prior to appearing in person, you have to first pay the filing fee through the online payment system on the USCIS website and print out a copy of the proof of payment. Note: At the time of publication, the online payment link provided was not functioning. Q: What is the use of Form I-131A? A: The purpose of Form I-131A is to allow a Permanent Resident who is abroad to apply for a travel document if returning from temporary overseas travel of less than one year and the Permanent Resident Card has been lost, stolen or destroyed or for a Permanent Resident returning from temporary overseas
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT FORM I-131A APPLICATION FOR TRAVEL DOCUMENT (CARRIER DOCUMENTATION) travel of less than two years and the Re-Entry Permit has been lost, stolen or destroyed. Additionally, this Form can be used by Permanent Residents who have children under the age of two, born outside the US and the children are traveling with the Permanent Resident for the first time to the US. Q: What are the Filing Fees for Form I-131A? How do I pay the Filing Fee? A: The current Filing Fee is US $ 575.00. No additional biometrics fees are required. Payment can be made online using a credit or debit card or via U.S. bank account at https://public-prod-elis2. uscis.dhs.gov/efile/app/app/ travel/#!/, Q: I have an appointment at the U.S Consulate for carrier documentation. What documents do I need to bring with me to ensure that issuance of my carrier documentation goes smoothly? A: Please take with you the completed and signed Form I-131A, your original and current passport (together with a copy of the biographic page of your Passport); proof of your Permanent Residence status, if available (such as copy of your Permanent Resident Card or your Immigrant Visa, whichever is applicable); proof of the last date of your departure from the US (such as travel ticket, boarding pass, travel itinerary); proof of your intended date of return to the US; one color passport-style photo (white background) of yourself taken within the last 30 days and proof or confirmation of payment of the Form I-131A Filing Fees.
Q: How long will the Embassy or Consulate take to issue the carrier documentation? What does the carrier documentation look like? A: According to the information on the USCIS website, the Consulate or Embassy will generally issue the carrier documentation within two weeks. The carrier documentation is described as a boarding foil (similar to a visa) or could be in the form of a transportation letter which you will then present to the airline at time of boarding and when you arrive in the U.S., you will use the same document for admission or parole into the U.S. 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 713623-8088 or by email at email@example.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
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FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
FORT BEND VIEW
Sugar Land, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg and Meadows Place
Sugar Land HS Student Wins $100k in Science Competition
Fort Bend ISD students and staff visit China as part of District exchange program Applications for next trip will be available March 27
Byron Xu, a Sugar Land high school senior came in fourth place and took home $100,000 for his research. KTRK Screen grab.
UGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) March 24, 2017 Move over Bill Nye. High school senior Byron Xu, 17, in Sugar Land took fourth place and $100,000 in the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search. The talent search is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Xu, was selected as one of the top 10 winners out of a pool of 1,700 entrants. According to the Society for Science organization, the founder and producer of the event, finalists were selected based on the scientific rigor and world-changing potential of their research projects. For the competition, Xu examined marine seismic data, the reflections of sound waves, with the goal of calculating ocean water temperatures in more detail than current techniques allow.
To put it simply, Xu’s project was on determining ocean temperatures by using sound waves. Xu said his work shows that the temperature of water will slightly change the speed of sound traveling through it, by using this, researchers would be able to get highly detailed ocean temperature profiles. Xu’s work was acknowledged by President and CEO of Society for Science and publisher of Science News Maya Ajemera. “Congratulations to Byron on being named a top winner in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2017. As climate science continues to grow in importance, research like Byron’s will be vital to advancing our understanding of this global challenge,” said Ajemera. Now Xu joins the rank of other science talent search alumni who have gone on to receive more than 100 of the world’s most esteemed science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science.
ORT BEND ISD - Organized in partnership with the Fort Bend County Global Initiative, the District’s annual trip to China is meant to give high school students an academic and cultural experience abroad. The two-week trip, held in January, is part of an annual student exchange that partners FBISD students with students from one of the District’s sister school, Foshan #2 High School, in China. The students are immersed in local culture and they return with expanded perspectives of themselves and the world. The trip, now in its third year, is a great example of how the District’s partnerships enhance the education of its students. The students who participated in the 2017 trip were, by high school: Austin – Shea Davis Clements – Madison Taylor, and Ross Trivisonno Dulles – Marina Baez, Jessica Chambers, Ashley Clopton, Nicole Quintero and Taylor Zylicz Elkins – Raegan Cruse, Abraham Pazhoor, and Lindsey Strickler Hightower – Elijah Hughes, William Johnson and Navneet Venugopal Kempner – Cierra Farris Ridge Point – Natalie Bassett, Seth Brotherton, and Megan Van der Walt Willowridge – Terrian Spurs The group began the trip in Beijing, spending two days sightseeing and visiting historical landmarks including the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. After that, they traveled to Guanzhou/ Foshan, where the group remained for the duration of the trip, in addition to a quick trip to Hong Kong. Terrian Spurs, a junior at Willowridge High School, hoped to learn more about the history of China, outside of the classroom. When asked about the highlights of the trip, she
Fort Bend ISD students, staff and administrators enjoy their time in China. The group visited Beijing, Hong Kong and Guanzhou/Foshan. noted the time spent learning about calligraphy and traditional Chinese music and dance as her favorites. The trip has even sparked an interest in pursuing international business as a career path. She has nothing but encouraging things to say to other students considering the trip. “I would encourage other students to participate in this once in a lifetime experience,” said spurs. “Students will learn a lot from this trip and make unforgettable memories and friends.” In Guanzhou/Foshan, the students became part of the student body at Foshan #2 High School. They were paired with local students and were able to communicate in advance with their host friends and family. They were given uniforms, attended classes taught in English, and like their classmates, stayed in dormitories during the week. During the weekend, the students were able to live with their host families and enjoy local activities. The annual trip is just one part of the District’s partnership with the Fort Bend County Global Initiative. Each
fall, students from Foshan #2 High School visit Houston and live the Fort Bend ISD experience. Families host the students and they attend school and events with their District counterpart. Lorelei Thorp, the FBISD Global Initiative Program Coordinator, has already seen a relationship between these two parts of the exchange. Families who host visiting students from China are often among the families whose students participate in the trip to China. This is what led Kempner student Cierra Farris to apply for the trip - her family hosted a Chinese student who Cierra now considers part of her family. The two students were even able to reconnect during the group’s trip to China. “When I went to China it was amazing to meet her again and to meet her family,” she said. “This trip, or even hosting a student, will give you everlasting friendships and experiences if you keep an open mindset.” District administrators have also Continued on Page 9
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VOICE OF ASIA 8
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
VOICE OF ASIA 9
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Make in India Conference in Houston Indian Doctors Association gala raises funds for scholarships and IDCC receives overwhelming support
Keynote Speaker Dr. Lisa Ehrlich delivering her address.
by Manu Shah
OUSTON - A strong sense of optimism and pragmatism marked the inaugural Make in India – The Inside Story conference held in Houston on March 24th. A notable group of panelists with impressive credentials made a strong case for India as a manufacturing hub and its growth trajectory economically and politically without sugarcoating its ground realities. The packed room which remained packed till the end of the conference suggested that the message of investing in India was clearly resonating with the gathering that comprised of Houston’s top businessmen, CEO’s, and entrepreneurs. Asia Society Board Member Eddie Allen welcomed the gathering and lauded the Indian American “entrepreneurial outlook aligned with an unbelievable work ethic” that has contributed to the city’s growth and dynamism. The visionary behind this conference, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray noted that India would like to “replicate the unique Texan can-do spirit” and offered his assistance to businesses looking to set up shop in India. Conference Co-Chair and Program Emcee IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia described India as a country that has the “demand, the demography and the democracy,” to spur business growth. India, he said, is taking definitive steps to encourage global investors – a discussion that was shortly taken up by the invited panelists. Writers and political commentators Sadanand Dhume and Ashok Malik with Dhruva Jaishankar, a Fellow for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution India Center dealt with the recent political developments in India and its implications on economic and foreign policies. Sadanand Dhume addressed the rise of Narendra Modi and the emergence of a strong BJP, the decline of the Congress which could be “terminal” and the extinction of the Communist parties in India while Ashok Malik offered a “helicopter view” of why India is a hot story today. The historic elections in Uttar Pradesh could
offer India political stability for the next 7 years, the soon to be rolled out GST bill will boost manufacturing and the devolution of power to the States are huge positives. Dhruva Jaishankar touched on India’s engagement with the world stating that India is more outward looking today than ever in its history and must leverage its relationship with its “not the only, but the single most important partner – the US.” The next point of discussion was the Investment Climate and Opportunity and Ease of doing Business in India where senior civil servants, S.C.Garg and K. Nagaraj Naidu drew attention to the Indian government’s priority in “creating conducive conditions” for business and replacing archaic laws with “pragmatic and practical reforms.” Member of Parliament, Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo pitched the point that “accountability” from the bureaucracy is soon becoming a reality which makes doing business in India easier. A discussion on “Soft Power and Rise of India” was led by Dr. Manjari Miller, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University and Dhruva Jaishankar. Soft Power, Dr. Miller explained, is the ability of a country to get another country to do what it wants without the use of force. She offered several instances where India effectively exercised its soft power but added that “India actually punches far below its weight.” Citing several concrete instances where India’s soft power played out, Dhruva added that the Indian American diaspora who are “well integrated, welleducated and professionally successful” are also a testament to India’s soft power. Nisha Desai Biswal, who served as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs from 2013 – 2017 and helped drive strong bilateral relations between the US and India stated that President Obama put a “focus and effort to this relationship that was unprecedented.” Strategic convergence in several sectors between the two countries is higher than any other time but whether the current administration will take a “Strategic Part-
nership versus Transactional Deals” approach is a matter of speculation. She stressed the need to identify the champions on both sides to drive the relationship forward. Moderator Sadanand Dhume and panelist Ashok Malik also weighed in with their observations. In his closing remarks, Chair Jiten Agarwal thanked the panelists for their participation and insightful views and hoped the conference was meaningful and relevant for the attendees. He also stressed on the need to find “common ground and win-win situations” between the US and India. Special mention was made both by Chairman Jiten Agrawal and Co-Chair Jagdip Ahluwalia of the valuable partnership with Asia Society’s Saleena Jafry and Paul Pass who led the efforts in enabling the event to run flawlessly.
by Shobana Muratee
Dr. Gandhi, touching on the history of IDA when it was started 36 years ago, spoke of its founders and their stalwart leadership. He recognized Dr. Vinod Bhuchar, Dr. Shah, Dr. Suresh Moonat, Dr. Sunita Moonat, Dr. Manoj Vakilve, Dr. Subodh Bhuchar, Dr. Mahesh Ramchandani, Dr. Uttam Tripathy, and Dr. Subodh Chauhan for their vision and continued support to IDA. IDA’s focus in providing mentorship to the next generation to achieve academic excellence. A program to provide college students 4-5 weeks of internships to expose them to a career in medicine. IDA is still being worked on Dr. Gandhi explained. IDA also awards scholarships to deserving high school students from greater Houston areas.
County Medical Society commended IDA on what it has accomplished in its short history. By quoting Louis Pasteur, a French microbiologist, who said, “One does not ask who suffer, what is your country and what is your religion. One merely says you suffer and that’s enough for me,” Dr. Ehrlich captured the purpose and essence of service. “We are all healer and this is what we are called to do.” she said. “In this kind of age of turmoil, in 2017, no matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on, is to go out and do what we do, which is to fix our system,” she said. Dr. Ehrlich also congratulated students that won IDA scholarship.
“Our primary goal however,
KC Mehta, Secretary of
OUSTON – The Indian Doctors Association (IDC) held it’s sold out annual gala on Friday, March 24 Omni Houston Hotel, Regency Ballroom. The IDC is among the pioneering Indo-American non-profit organizations founded in 1981 by physician of Indian origin living in Houston with the singular purpose to give back to the community they worked in. Today, IDA’s scope expands to serve as a networking forum for physicians of Indian origin, providing mentorship in academic excellence, patient care and promoting health education for the Greater Houston community. Manish Gandhi, MD, practicing with Kelsey Seybold and president of IDA welcomed the guests and introduced IDA Board Officers: Vice president Dr. Prasun Jalal, Secretary Dr. Swati Joglekar, Treasurer, Dr. Jignesh Shah, and Past President Dr. Subodh Chauhan and the Board of Directors: Dr. Apurva Pancholy, Dr. Ashima Chauhan, Dr. Arvind Bhimaraj, Dr. Niraj Patel, Dr. Atasu Nayak Dr. Pushan Jani and Dr. Bharat
Emcee Dr. Manju Sachdev
Fort Bend ISD students and staff visit China ... Continued from Page 7 begun talking about how to expand the partnership with the Fort Bend County Global Initiative. Possibilities include creating a teacher exchange with the sister schools in China. The District hosted a group of students from Taiwan in the fall and there is an opportunity for FBISD students to visit Taiwan in a similar type of exchange. In whatever ways the partnership grows, Fort Bend students will continue to experience the life-changing power of exposure to and immersion in another culture. “For me, that’s the big thing – getting them to think about other places. It opens up a whole new world for them,” said Thorp. “All of the students come back changed.” The students, high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, were accompanied by District administrators, board members and educators. They were: FBISD Board Trustees KP George and Grayle James; Steve Bassett, FBISD Chief Financial Officer; Dr. Anthony Indelicato, Assistant Superintendent; Lorelei Thorp, ESL Teacher at Kemp-
ner High School; and MengYu Wang, Dulles High School Chinese teacher. Ms. Thorp and Ms. Wang have helped lead and facilitate the cultural exchange with China for the last three years. Applications for the fall 2017 trip to China will be available districtwide, starting March 27, 2017. An informational meeting will be held at the Fort Bend ISD Board Room on April 5, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. The China trip is anticipated to occur on November 16-30, 2017. The Fort Bend County Global Initiative, created in 2012, is dedicated to enriching the Fort Bend community through international and cultural exchange and commerce. To find out more about the Fort Bend County Global Initiative, visit fbgi.org. To learn more about the FBISD Global Partnership Initiative, contact Dr. Audra Ude, Director of Student Leadership at 281-634-0293 or email@example.com. Photographs: Fort Bend ISD students, staff and administrators enjoy their time in China. The group visited Beijing, Hong Kong and Guanzhou/ Foshan.
Kevin Viner, magician mentalist performing his act. is to provide free medical care to disadvantage patients in the Houston area regardless of the race, religion or ethnicity. This is done by support India Doctors Charity Clinic (IDCC), a separate entity but and off spring of IDA that was formed in 1999 by IDA past presidents,” Dr. Gandhi said This year’s scholarship recipients were named in order as: Emily Jue, Clear Springs High School, Bhavesh Sayel, Cypress Falls High School, Rem Aitbouchireb, Kerr High School, and Srivats Srinivasan, Hightower High School. One additional recipient Ronen Melloul, Carnegie Vanguard High School student received BLN scholarship by donor and IDA member Dr. Arvind Bhimaraj. The scholarships were presented by IDA Board Officers. The IDA honored founder members Drs. Suresh and Sunita Moonat with 2017 IDA Physician’s Achievement Award for their undying commitment and service to IDA and IDCC. Keynote Speaker Dr. Lisa Ehrlich, President of the Harris
IDCC briefed on the clinic activities and needs. The IDCC serves 1300 patients per year. In addition it has opened an eye clinic now opened one Saturday a month. With growing demands it would need more than the support it receives from IDA. The clinic sees about 2520 patience every Saturday and needs a budget about $50K -$ 60K to run the clinic he said. The event was elegantly conducted by Dr. Manju Sachdev who served as the Mistress of Ceremony. The gala underwriters, BBVA Compass was represented by Rick Ulloa Business Segment Executive for South Texas and New York Life was represented by Amir Dodhiya. Both were recognized on the occasion. Theresa Hub did an excellent job of giving a glam décor to the event. DJ Dhol Deep provided great music throughout the gala. The highlight of the show was the Kevin Viner, magician mentalist who had the audience in awe with his tricks. The evening concluded with a great dinner catered by Bombay Brasserie.
VOICE OF ASIA 10
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
YLDP on Leadership
Festival Launches New App Handy digital tool designed to help festival guests maximize their experience
OUSTON (March 27, 2017) – This year, the 29th Annual McDonald’s Houston Children’s Festival is proud to announce a new mobile app that will provide up-tothe- minute festival news, entertainment schedules, celebrity updates, driving/ parking directions, and food/beverage options throughout the festival grounds. The festival app is available for both Android and Apple devices. Search Houston Children’s Festival in the Google Play store for Android or in the Apple app store for Apple devices. Tickets are on sale now for the largest children’s festival in the United States, returning to downtown Houston April 1 and 2. Visit www.houstonchildrensfestival.com to purchase your tickets, online buyers will receive a $2 discount off the regular ticket price of $12. The upgraded website provides more detail regarding the entertainment schedule, games and interactive activities, food and beverage as well as information on Child Advocates, the beneficiary of the festival.
YLDP Batch of 2017 with Speaker Dr. Hardeep Singh during a leadership session at India House by Shriya Konduri What: The McDonald’s Houston Children’s Festival presented by Baker Hughes is the largest children’s festival in the United States and will be celebrating its 29th year in 2017. The Festival has raised over $5.4 million dollars over the past 28 years for Child Advocates, Inc. (www.childadvocates.org) Where: Downtown Houston in the area surrounding City Hall, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park. When: Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2, 2017 From 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
he glue that holds the team together, leadership is a quality that cannot be undermined. Leadership should be identified, honed, and utilized through every aspect of one’s journey. A quality leader can encourage and motivate a team to overcome insurmountable obstacles to ultimately accomplish remarkable goals. A leader should be able to seize any opportunity presented to them and view every situation in a positive light. Our YLDP ground was able to truly understand this after Dr. Hardeep Singh told us about the journey to his success. On March 4th 2017, Dr.
PUNJABI CULTURE CLUB OF HOUSTON cordially invites you all to
Singh provided the YLDP ground with some invaluable insight. We learned about his struggles threatened to persuade him to stop his research but his determination and passion prevailed. After constant rejection from grant after grant, Dr. Singh almost gave up trying to continue his fascinating
research. With just one more chance, Dr. Singh was able to lock down a prestigious grant and train an accomplished team to achieve incredible goals. We learned that every little situation of difficulty we come across would help shape our futures in incomprehensible
ways. Dr. Singh only got to his position through undesirable and unforeseen complications, which without could have changed his overall career. A quality leader needs to be able to use every obstacle to his advantage and motivate a group to continue their advancements.
Read more on COMMUNITY NEWS Visit us online www. voiceofasiaonline.com
SATURDAY, APRIL 22nd, 2017 INDIA HOUSE
8888 W. Bellfort Ave. • Houston, Texas 77031 Punjabi folk music and dances provided by Jaz Creationz directed by Jasmeeta Singh Bollywood music and dhol played by DJ Nayak ( Nayak Productions ) A scrumptious dinner provided by Bombay Brasserie Social Hour 6:30 PM Program 7:30 PM Guest tickets start at $50. • For more info or tickets, • BENEFACTORS • Rita & Bal Sareen please contact • Dr. Sippy & Ajay Khurana Vanita Bhagi 281-565-4362 Sushila & Dr. Durga Agarwal Kiran Garg 281-379-6814 • SPONSORS • Kirti & Devki Agarwal Aruna Goel 281-589-9748 Meera & Suresh Chopra Surita Malhotra 281-855-4930 Neena & Ben Bansal Dr. Namrata & Ankur Goel Rita Sareen 832-834-5107 Vijay & Suresh Sachdev Neelu Sharma 281-980-0574 Diana & Narin Sehgal Poonam & Raj Sehgal Meera Soni 281-565-5952 Benefactors and Sponsors are very welcome. Door prizes provided by Sehgal Diamonds and Trudy’s Hallmark.
VOICE OF ASIA 11
First 60 Days of ASIE Established Several New Records
UGAR LAND - American Society Of Indian Engineers (ASIE), a Houston based organization for engineers, architects, designers, and engineering technicians, organized a very unique monthly event on March 23rd at a wonderful venue of Imperial Park Recreation Center in Sugar Land. With advance notice, the program started on time. With half an hour of registration and social networking, the dinner was served. The delicious dinner was served by Nirmanz Food Boutique, a coming soon restaurant in Sugar Land. The year 2017 started with
The current Program Committee Chair, Board of Director, and an engineer with CP&Y, Archana Sharma informed the audience about breaking another record, that for the first time ASIE has not only booked twelve monthly technical seminars in advance for the entire year, but have exceeded with additional five programs including several field trips. She gave details about all seminar topics, which will cover all disciplines of engineering. ASIE mission is to help, “Indian Engineering and Architectural Students – to Engineer their Future”. To accomplish this goal for the first time, Bhushan Patel, MS student of University of Houston was invited to make the presentation, “Only Engineers and Architects can do it”. He shared the interesting information about twelve world-best skyscraper buildings with unique architectural and engineering design. It was not only well received, but it was complimented for the opportunity given to the students. The current President of Houston Ekel Vidyalaya and attending the first ASIE seminar, Pankaj Desai said, “Good format and content. I liked participation from younger generation.” ASIE always promotes Indian Origin Engineers and Architects for the high level technical appointments. The current ASIE Vice President and also a Vice President of KIT Professional, Chetan Vyas made an announcements with pride that two Indian origin engineers Karun Sreerama and Shashi Kumar were appointed as Public Works Director with City of Houston and City of Missouri City respectively. During the inauguration in January, Dinesh Shah pledged to the members and challenge the Chaitanya Gampa, who is Membership Chair, Board
TiE Houston holds Charter Member meet with Rohit Mahajan March 23, 2017
iE Houston Charter Members gathered at the office of Doeren Mayhew CPAs for their monthly lunch. Today they listened and discussed a possible investment in Saviance Technologies. It’s President is also a proud TiE Houston Charter Member.
From L to R – Archana Sharma, Mahesh Wadhwa, Hon. Himesh Gandhi, the City of Sugar Land Councilman at Large receiving a certificate of Appreciation and ASIE President Dinesh Shah.
2017 Recognition and Appreciation Ceremony of 38 Corporate Members with ASIE Board Members. Photo credit: ASIE. lots of momentum and tremendous response from the members. In previous two months, almost hundred members attended the technical seminar. The current ASIE President Dinesh D. Shah and President of BDC and Shah Companies, in his welcome remarks stated that today he is happy to break the record of attendance, but regretted deeply that due to the legal capacity of the hall, he had to turn down more than 30 members for the event. He also gave the brief report for “First 60 days of ASIE”, busy month of February and March with many activities of Science Fair, MathCounts, National E-Week programs, and Membership drive. Shah believes and practicing the quote of Henry Ford, “Coming Together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” In his closing remarks, he added that “together we will continue to make ASIE an effective organization. However, it can only be accomplished when each and every member gets involved and helps with their suggestions, solutions, and support.”
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Member, and Project Manager the membership in 2017. With with Huitt Zollars, to double her tireless efforts, ASIE set
One of TiE Houston’s 5 pillars is funding and this group seeks to do just that. In addition to fostering mentoring, networking, education, and incubating throughout various channels they have begun to explore.
another record of maximum Corporate Membership. With a solely secret and a special surprise, she announced the names of 38 Corporate Members and declared the record. The unveiling ceremony of new banner of 2017 Corporate Members was performed by two long time ASIE generous supporters Ravi Raj Yanamandala, President of Geotest Engineering, Inc and Sudhakar Kalaga, President of KIT Professional Inc. For the Recognition and Appreciation Ceremony for Corporate Members, the ASIE First President and one of the
Rohit Mahajan, Saviance President .Picture Credit: Shobana Muratee
As the group grows they will seek out more investment opportunities and will play a
critical role in Houston’s entrepreneurial eco-system.
founder member of ASIE, Hasmukh Doshi presented a Certificate of Appreciation and ASIE coffee mug to each Corporate Member.
law firm. Gandhi educated Engineers and Architects for their legal and professional liabilities during his one hour presentation with case studies and Q & A. Mahesh Wadhwa, Architect and Owner of Wadhwa Associates and ASIE Life Member presented the Certificate of Appreciation and ASIE Coffee Mug to Himesh Gandhi as a token of appreciation.
As a part of the monthly seminar, this time the subject was related to Legal and Ethics. The current Board Member, Corporate Member, Life Member and One of the Principal of ARKK Engineering, Mr. Madhu Kilambi introduced the speaker Hon. Himesh Gandhi, the City of Sugar Land Councilman at Large, and also the attorney and shareholder of RMWBH
At the end, with a vote of thanks by IT Chair and Board Member Sirish Madichetti this record breaking program was concluded.
VOICE OF ASIA 12
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Wells Fargo Launches Houston TCA to celebrate Telugu 13,000 Card-Free New Year with Alok Madasani ATMs for its 20 million H mobile customers First large bank in the U.S. to upgrade entire fleet of ATMs with card-free account access through OneTime Access Code mobile technology
AN FRANCISCO, March 27, 2017 – Today, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (NYSE: WFC) announces that customers now have card-free access to all of its 13,000 ATMs(1), coast-to-coast. The company’s One-Time Access Code technology allows customers to authenticate at an ATM using an 8-digit token and their debit or ATM card Personal Identification Number (PIN), instead of a physical card. “At Wells Fargo, we believe the future is cardless, and the launch of One-Time Access Code provides our 20 million mobile banking customers another convenient way to manage money,” said Brett Pitts, head of digital for Virtual Channels. “This new ATM feature exemplifies Wells Fargo’s commitment to innovation.” Customers first log into the Wells Fargo mobile app, select Card-Free ATM access under Account Services, and request a one-time-use, 8-digit access code. Upon arriving at the ATM, he or she simply enters the code and their debit or ATM card PIN, then proceeds to the main menu to perform their transaction (visit Wells Fargo Stories to see this technology in action). “Mobile continues to be the channel of choice for millions of our customers, so it only makes sense to leverage it for new, convenient ATM experiences,” said Adam Vancini, head of operations for Virtual Channels. “Whether a customer happens to have a card on them or not, One-Time Access Code provides another simple and secure way to withdraw cash at any of our ATMs.” Wells Fargo’s mobile banking is the company’s fastest growing channel, reaching a milestone of more than 20 million active customers in March. Recently, Keynote awarded Wells Fargo first place on its biannual Mobile Banking Scorecard, citing the bank’s leadership in digital functionality, quality and availability, ease of use and mobile app experiences. “Every time a customer walks up to an ATM or into a branch, chances
are they’re carrying a phone, and we believe the real power of mobile is the ability to enhance the customer experience at our ATMs and branches,” said Jonathan Velline, head of branch and ATM banking. “We’re excited to provide our customers with more ways to conveniently and securely make ATM transactions.” In addition to One-Time Access Code, later this year customers will be able to initiate a cardless ATM transaction with the “tap and pay” technology in an NFC-enabled smartphone. When this feature is live, a customer will be able to initiate a transaction by signing into a leading mobile wallet (Wells Fargo Wallet, Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay), and holding the phone near an NFC-enabled ATM terminal. Once authenticated, the customer will input their debit or ATM card PIN and complete their transaction. More than 40 percent (more than 5,000) of Wells Fargo ATMs are currently NFCenabled. For more information, visit www. wellsfargo.com.
OUSTON - The Houston Telugu Cultural Association (TCA) will be hosting its signature event ‘Ugadi’ ushering Telugu New Year ‘Hevilambi’ on Saturday April 1, 2017 from 2:30 PM onwards at Sri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland, Texas.
Traditionally, Ugadi is celebrated with coming together of families and friends to enjoy the festivities. TCA invites everyone to share this wonderful experience filled with dance, music and food. Starting with the auspicious and traditional “Panchanga shravanam” (astrology predictions) by pundits, followed by tasting of “Ugadi Pachadi” prepared from a unique composition of six ingredients: raw mangoes, neem flowers, jiggery, coconut, salt and pepper that are symbolic of sweet, sour, bitter and spicy flavors of life. Special Guest Alok Madasani, the surviving Indian victim of the recent Kansas shooting will be honored on the occasion. Another Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was unfortunately killed in what is now being investigated as “an act of racially motivated hatred.” Ian Grillot who intervened and chased the shooter was also shot and is hailed as ‘A True American Hero.’ He was felicitated at the 14th annual gala of India House Houston, a community center of Indian-Americans in Texas.
With his presence at Ugadi celebrations on April 1st, TCA would like to express its solidarity to the victim’s families and to all the people around the world that we stand united as a community. TCA invites all to come together on this momentous occasion. Culture program includes melodious music, foot tapping numbers, numerous dance performances, and various skits, all showcasing the richness of language and culture. An array of mouthwatering, traditional Telugu delicacies will be prepared on the occasion for the guests.
Musical night by singers Simha (Film Fare Award Winner, 2015) and “Akhila Mamandur” (Winner of Telugu Musical Program ‘Paduta Teeyaga’, 2016) is among the highlights of the celebrations. TCA depends on volunteers, members, sponsors and donors to run and fund all its charitable activities. If you want to donate, become a member, help or promote your businesses through TCA, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or president@ tcahouston.org For more details, visit - http://www. houstontca.org/
(1) The entire fleet of Wells Fargo ATMs has One-Time Access Code technology; however, some ATMs, located inside select branches, will only feature card-free access during non-business hours when team members are not present to assist customers. Additionally, some ATMs are located within secure locations that may require customers to swipe their cards for entry. About Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, communitybased financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo. com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy.
TCA members and representatives of the Telugu organizations presented Ian Grillot with a check for $5700 and a plaque honoring him as a “Humanitarian’ at the India House gala. Picture credit India House. Charlie Yellamanchili, Jugal Malani and Hon. Ambassador Sarna also seen with Ian.
VOICE OF ASIA 13
VOICE OF ASIA
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Southwest Management District awards check to Crime Stoppers Houston
This Mompreneur says there’s no time or use for guilt by Dan Bova, Entreprenuer.com
In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing battle day in and day out. (Answers have been edited for clarity.) Who are you and what’s your business? My name is Shazi Visram, and I’m the Founder and CEO of Happy Family, a premium, organic food company for babies, toddlers, kids and their mothers.
L-R, Position 8-Stephen Le, Jr., Position 3-David Peters, Chariman-Kenneth Li, Tania Cruz- Crime Stoppers Houston, Vice-Chair-Steve Moore, Position 7-Rick Ogden and Position 5-Don Wang by Susan Pothanikat OUSTON - On Monday, March 27, 2017, the Southwest Management District (SWMD) held a regular meeting at the District office on Corporate Drive headed by its Chairman, Kenneth Li. The meeting opened up with receiving public comments. Mary from the Sharpstown High School, requested support from the Southwest Management District to replace high school baseball equipment that was stolen. The board agreed to offer financial support to their only public high school in their district. Other topics that were discussed were: review of monthly financial report and approve payment of invoices, conduct annual review of Investment Policy and adopt resolution regarding Annual Review of Investment Policy, adopt a list of qualified brokers/dealers with whom the District may engage in investment transactions. Board members also discussed the participation in the Coalition for the Homeless, a project which is part of the City of Houston Mayor’s Street Solicitation campaign. Districts around Houston are requested to financially support the program to help stop homelessness in Houston. The Board members agreed that this is a major problem in cities across the nation and appreciated Mayor Turner’s efforts to find a solution to ending homelessness in Houston. “Mean-
ingful Change Not Spare Change” is the program’s slogan. For more details on how to help, visit: meaningfulchange.org. The Southwest Management District also discussed a request from India Cultural Center (ICC) to install solar panels at the Mahatma Gandhi Monument, in the amount of $1,950.00, along with any city permitting fees. ICC was able to raise funds for half the amount needed ($1900) but would like the SWMD to support them as the monument is located within the Southwest District. The Board could not come to an agreement on the financial request and will discuss further in the upcoming meeting. Lastly, a check of $2,500 was presented to Crime Stoppers of Houston to help the Houston Police Department obtain additional information which may lead to the arrest and conviction of at least one male suspect still at large from the string of home invasions and driveway robberies targeting homeowners in the Sharpstown neighborhood. The District will continue to work with Crime Stoppers to develop an outreach program throughout the District. Additionally, staff will develop a policy for the Board to review that will streamline the process of funding future rewards. For more details on Crime Stoppers, please contact, Tania Cruz, Marketing and Communications Manager, 832849-1591. You can also visit them online at: www.crime-stoppers.org.
I was inspired to start the company when a close friend of mine, a working mother of twins, struggled to find healthy food options for her babies. Her struggle led me to do some research about the marketplace. I found that most of the products were still highly processed, using preservatives, mostly non-organic and lacking the beneficial nutrients necessary to support a lifetime of wellness. My dream was to create a warm, modern brand with an enlightened assortment of organic meals and snacks that offer the right nutrition for every stage of development.
was finding the right partner for more thoughtful and safe expansion with experience in infant nutrition. I had been following Groupe Danone, a global leader in early life nutrition, since the inception of Happy Family. I knew that they shared the same commitment to quality as I did, so we became partners in 2013. The partnership allowed Happy Family to expand on our knowledge with world-renowned research and resources.
What does the word “entrepreneur” mean to you?
What’s the problem you just solved or are attacking now?
To me, being an entrepreneur means being a person who always finds a better way. It is about having a vision and mission that is bigger than me. From a strictly business standpoint, I feel that being an entrepreneur requires you to be agile with your strategy and to listen to your consumers. For example, when we first launched the company on Mother’s Day in 2006, we were selling a line of frozen food for babies, but we struggled to gain awareness and trial because moms weren’t shopping in the frozen food aisle for baby food. We knew we had to pivot -- to be where mothers were shopping -- the jarred food aisle but needed to find a way to disrupt the market.
We know from extensive research that breast milk delivers optimal nutrition to a baby during his/her first year of life and I myself am a huge advocate of breastfeeding and normalizing breastfeeding and pumping in public (including at the office!). However, we also know that for some parents, exclusively breastfeeding is simply an impossibility. And I am so proud that this Spring, after five years of global research and development and input from nutritional scientists and experts in early life nutrition, we are launching Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula.
What was your toughest challenge and how did you overcome it? 2012 was a critical year for us because we were growing very, very quickly. I was faced with two funding options: the first was VC funding, which would mean living on an investor’s timetable, and the second
US dollar, Asian stocks slide after healthcare debacle OKYO - The US dollar slid to a near two-month low against a basket of currencies early on Monday (March 27) as concerns mounted about the chances of US fiscal stimulus after the stinging defeat of President Donald Trump’s healthcare
package. The dollar index against a basket of major currencies was down 0.3 per cent at 99.299 after going as low as 99.292, its lowest since Feb 2. Against the Singapore dollar, the US
Shazi Visram created a business that fulfills her passion for making the world a healthier place for children (Photo: Happy Family Brands)
How did you discover this problem? Being a mom and speaking with other parents, really. Being a new parent can cause a lot of anxiety and confusion -- and for many, feeding their infant is a key pain point. What did you/have you learned through attacking this problem? That every parent’s journey is different -- no matter what you plan for or for Wall Street stocks, US equity index futures fell to a six-week low.
dollar slipped 0.2 per cent to S$1.3960. The greenback has weakened by about 0.7 per cent against the Singdollar in the past month. The dollar index had risen to a 14year high near 104.00 early in January when expectations for significant stimulus under the Trump presidency were at their peak. In a sign of stress
Japan’s Topix lost 0.9 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.5 per cent, led by a slide in materials producers. Singapore’s Straits Times Index opened 0.7 per cent lower at 3,122.56. The US dollar was down 0.8 per cent at 110.470 yen after touching 110.420, its weakest since Nov 22. The euro was 0.45 per cent higher at US$1.0847 following a rise to US$1.0849, its strongest early December. The inability to overhaul the US
how you hope to feed your infant. For some moms, the inability to breastfeed can take a huge emotional toll. They often feel shame, anxiety and a sense of guilt if they have to feed their baby with formula. No mother or woman should feel that way. We hope that parents buying our products can feel confident knowing they’re doing their absolute best for their baby. What trait do you depend on most when making decisions and why is that useful for you? It’s a combination of trusting my intuition and backing my decisions with analytical and strategic thinking. Second-guessing my instincts has never worked in my favor; go with your gut. How has your leadership style evolved? I am always looking to evolve... whether it’s my management skills now leading a much larger organization or my communication or in harnessing the power of people by refining a team where everyone can utilize their best and highest skill set. In general, entrepreneurs are focused on achievement and staying successful. As time goes on we must develop our teams and further our own skills but somehow stay true to ourselves as creative pioneers. For me, add on having a family and let’s just say I have plenty of areas for improvement! But I still have no time for and no use for guilt. Do the best you can with what you have and be happy with who you are. healthcare system, a major election campaign promise of Trump and his allies, marked a significant political setback for the president in a Congress controlled by his own party. The blow so early in Trump’s term has heightened worries about the chances of economy-boosting steps being enacted, such as tax reforms and big spending packages. “Concerns towards the Trump administration have been reignited after his healthcare legislation setback. This is resulting in a bout of risk aversion weighing on the dollar,” said Shin Kadota, senior strategist at Barclays in Tokyo. (-Straits Times)
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VOICE OF ASIA 14
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
How a jacket and a briefcase shaped a partition love story
What a Moroccan wedding looks like
few police and soldiers were deployed to check the ensuing violence. Historian Ramachandra Guha says the “protection of British lives was made the first priority”. Women bore the brunt of the violence: tens of thousands were abducted. Many, but not all, were eventually recovered. Tent cities sprouted all over the country to house the displaced farmers, artisans, government workers, traders and labourers. By 1950, there were some 200,000 refugees in squatter colonies in the eastern city of Calcutta alone.
Dancing and singing are essential to the wedding ceremony (Photo: Alamia News) by Omar Bihmidine, Alamia News
ABAT, Morocco, March 26, 2017 - Attending a Moroccan wedding must be an exotic experience for foreigners. While wedding ceremonies have much in common the world over, the traditions surrounding this ageold cultural event in Morocco make celebrating the institution of marriage a bit different. Most weddings in the kingdom take a day to celebrate. Yet, in some rural areas, three days is still the norm. Taking into account the changes in the value system and in the traditions of the world, we must admit that a wedding ceremony in rural areas still preserve old customs and rituals, whereas that of cities and urban areas are usually lavish and modern. At most weddings, men and women sit at separate halls, not necessarily because of a complex but because of an old practice that gives women more freedom to sing at ease and men to socialize. Yet, in recent times, men and women gather and dance in the presence of the bride and the groom, taking pictures and taking delight in the moment. The wedding is one of the most prominent aspects of our lives that reflect the traditions of a people. In the North African country, the future husband gives gifts to the bride and visits her family every now and then to socialize and discuss the dowry. Sugar is symbolically associated with proposing. ” Let us buy some sugar and see the family,” Moroccans say to encourage a man to propose or to suggest that the ideal time for marrying has arrived. Sugar is deeply rooted in Moroccan culture as a sign of having the idea of marriage in mind. Before signing a marriage contract, the groom has to offer the bride a number of gifts, such as an engagement ring, jewellery, new clothes, perfume
and dates and milk. The bride, for her part, goes to Hammam, a public bath, to beautify and purify her body. This cultural ritual is an indispensable part of the pre-marriage preparations. Two days before the wedding, the bride, including other women, apply henna to their hands and feet and simultaneously sing as a sign of being happy for the bride. Dancing and singing are part and parcel of the wedding ceremony. In some conservative areas, however, reading Quranic verses and inviting fqihs(local sheikhs) for lunch are the first rituals to celebrate the union of the groom and bride. As the guests gather at a large hall, the couple appear, walking side by side. The bride is dressed in a white caftan, while the groom is dressed in Jellaba with yellow slippers. That’s the typical Moroccan wedding with slight differences depending on the social class and region. Among the exotic Moroccan dishes served on the wedding day are Tagine, Couscous and Pastilla. The couple is served milk and dates. Mint tea is also part of the delicacies. After dancing, singing and socializing, the ceremony ends in the early morning, except in rural areas and some conservative regions where the wedding takes nearly three days. Towards the end of the ceremony, in mountainous areas, the couple ride a donkey while the guests are following them, singing, dancing and wishing the newly-wed a happy married life. Along the way, the two families share almonds, dates and candy with guests. In cities and towns, however, a car parade take the couple to their new home where they are going to settle down. On the way, guests throw flowers. Neighbours stop to look and enjoy the parade and guests begin to take pictures with the couple. Mothers-in-law usually award the couple a red-carpet reception upon arrival as a sign of affection.
Bhagwan Singh Maini and Pritam Kaur reunited in a food line at a refugee camp and got married (Photos courtesy of Cookie Maini, Partition Museum)
hese are two unremarkable items with a remarkable story: a traditional embroidered jacket and drab, brown leather briefcase... by Soutik Biswas, BBC News, South Asia in AMRITSAR They belonged to a man and a woman who lived in Punjab in undivided colonial India, had been introduced to each other by their parents and were to be engaged when violence broke out in 1947. The troubled subcontinent was lurching towards a bloody partition as it split into the new independent nations of India and Pakistan. Communal violence erupted, leaving more than a million people dead and displacing tens of millions. Punjab was divided - western, mostly Muslim parts went to Pakistan and eastern, mainly Hindu and Sikh parts, went to India. The newly-engaged man and woman were Sikhs living in what is now Pakistan. The jacket and the briefcase were their most valuable possessions as they fled their homes to escape death as communities butchered each other in a prolonged frenzy of religious rioting. Three of Bhagwan Singh Maini’s brothers had already been slaughtered in the violence, so the 30-year-old man stuffed his certificates and property claims in the fraying briefcase and fled his home in Mianwali.
a reminder of happier days.
30 years ago; Ms Kaur died in 2002.
Torn apart by what turned out to be the greatest mass migration - or transfer of population in human history, the two landed up in teeming refugee camps that dotted Amritsar city. They were among the more than 15 million people who had crossed the new borders.
“The jacket and the briefcase,” says Ms Maini, “are testimony to the life they lost and found together.” They now survive as two of the most valuable possessions of India’s fledgling Partition Museum, which opened in Amritsar in October.
One day, in the food line, a miracle happened.
By early next year, the museum, housed in the magnificent and restored Town Hall, will showcase photographs, letters, audio-recordings, belongings of refugees, official documents and maps and rare newspaper clippings relating to the event. “This will be the most comprehensive archive on the partition, and the only museum of its kind in the world,” says Mallika Ahluwalia, chief executive officer of the two-floor, 17,000 sq ft Partition Museum.
Both Mr Maini and Ms Kaur had joined the queue of bedraggled, hungry refugees. There, they met again. “They exchanged notes about their tragedies, wondering if it was destiny that had brought them together once more. Their families, or whatever was left of them, also reunited in due course,” says Cookie Maini, daughter-in-law of Bhagwan Singh Maini. In March 1948, the two got married. It was an austere ceremony; both families were struggling to pick up the pieces. Ms Kaur wore her favourite jacket. Mr Maini got together his certificates and papers from his briefcase to start a new life: he joined the judicial service in Punjab, got a small house in compensation and moved to Ludhiana with Ms Kaur.
There are the stark blackand-white pictures of the never-ending caravan of Hindu and Muslim refugees, trudging wearily to what will be their new homes. Bullock carts overflow with sparse belongings and withered humans. Millions of refugees were on the move; one single convoy was reported to have stretched for 10 miles.
The couple had two children, who both served as civil servants. Mr Maini died some
Trains awash with the blood of murdered refugees steamed across the new borders. Too
Refugees abandoned millions of hectares of their own farm land and many received scant compensation: a widow who lost her husband’s 11,500 acres of land in two districts which went to Pakistan was given 835 acres in a village in Indian Punjab. Months after the event, the bloodbath was still continuing. The front page of a Punjabbased newspaper in October paints a picture of utter despair and anarchy in the state. Armed mobs were attacking villages, towns were plunged into darkness, there is a story about the “moon coming to the rescue of millions” after a power outage as well as accounts of a cholera outbreak, floods and details about millions of people stranded in refugee camps awaiting evacuation. “Life here continues to be nightmarish,” wrote India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in October 1947. “Everything seems to have gone awry”. Until you hear - and see evidence of - stories of hope and redemption, of lives lost and recovered, as in case of Bhagwan Singh Maini and Pritam Kaur. With these stories and more, the museum in Amritsar hopes to remind people of an event which author Sunil Khilnani described as “the unspeakable sadness at the heart of the idea of India”.
More than 250km (155 miles) away, in Gujranwala, Pritam Kaur’s family slipped out of their house and put her on a train to Amritsar. Ms Kaur, 22, travelled across the blood-stained border with her two-year-old brother on her lap. In her bag was her most precious possession, the phulkari (embroidered) jacket,
A royal’s need for speed by Rosella Stephen EHLI - While he is known for his reticence with the Indian media, HRH Prince Michael of Kent can be counted on to pull out a few surprises at the bi-annual Cartier Concours d’Elegance. At its fourth edition in 2015, he zipped across Delhi’s sprawling Jaipur Polo Grounds on a 1951 Royal Enfield, its distinctive thump getting car owners, restorers and other petrol-heads to stop whatever it was they were doing to cheer him on. And last month, at the prestigious car show’s fifth edition in Hyderabad, when he took an Indian princess for a spin in a rare vintage roadster at the Falaknuma Palace grounds, all camera phones went on an overdrive.
- At the Concours Prince Michael is often seen strolling by the gleaming cars on display — over 70 of them at this edition, curated once again by Manvendra Singh of Barwani. Leaning forward to peer into restored engines and original tool kits, he quizzes owners about the wheels that catch his fancy. Besides the ride with Princess Sheikha Jah in the 1929 Triumph Super 7 Roadster, Queen Elizabeth II’s dapper first cousin squeezes in a ride in a pre-war Ford Model T. Fortunately, it is right before my interview with him, and he returns beaming, “It is a terrifying car! The foot brake makes it go backwards, and the clutch accelerates.” Chuckling that it is what you expect of a car seen in a host of Laurel & Hardy films, the President of UK’s Royal Automobile Club, who helped revive the London Motor Show last year, expands on a favourite subject — the engineering inge-
Nickelodeon The Thundermans
HRH Prince Michael of Kent gets talking about Cartier Concours d’Elegance and his racing adventures (Photo, story: The Hindu) nuity of Indian restorers. “The Cartier Concours demonstrates the enormous advancement in car restoration in India. When restorers can’t find a part, they make it and this resourcefulness was seen here in the past, too. If a Rolls-Royce broke down, a piece of wood from a tree by the road would be used as a quick fix.” Another pet subject is road safety; he has been quite vocal about cyclists back home. “I see Bentleys from the 1920s sharing space with tuk-tuks on Indian roads, and that is exactly what motoring should be about, with room for all, and consideration for both,” he says, adding, “In London, I see cyclists going through red lights and turning left or right when they should not. I believe that vulnerable road users can sometimes be their worst enemy.” This, of course, is when I enlighten him that our roads can be perilous, too. - Appetite for adventure Prince Michael, quite a daredevil in the day, alludes to hairraising moments during his rallies and car races in the 70s,
when speed was never restricted. “It was a time before speed cameras were invented. I remember my ride in the 1957 Aston Martin DBR2 on the Mille Miglia (an endurance race organised in north Italy) in the ’80s. I have raced in vintage Bentleys in Russia. Another great memory is the White Nights Ride in 2005, a trans-Siberian motorcycle endurance trip for charity,” he says. His ‘need for speed’ has been well documented, be it with cars, planes or superboats. It is a passion that started early. In an interview with The Telegraph last year, he said he had driven more than 100 cars by the time he was 12, thanks to his long front drive — 300 yards. Were there many crashes? He only smiles. While the same article documented his first car as a Singer Gazelle and the current ones, a Bentley Flying Spur and a BMW, it also quoted him saying that he was now resigned to driving automatic to cope with London’s traffic. He shrugs, when I ask him this, and adds that he makes do at home with a Chinese electric moped.
STAG ES OF MUSI C & ENTER TAINM ENT
OVER 14 BIG FAMI LY 300 TURE AREAS
VOICE OF ASIA 15
“Howdy!” - the friendliest cities in America by Katrina Brown Hunt
s a Nashville native, Meagan Nordmann thought she knew all about friendly locals—until she flew to Albuquerque. “Before my plane had even landed in The Land of Enchantment, I had probably 20 tweets from locals offering to take me out for coffee,” says the digital marketer, who recently relocated to the New Mexico city. “I dare say, Albuquerque is even friendlier than Nashville. I suppose this is one of the reasons locals here jokingly call it ‘The Land of Entrapment.’ ”
the city also ranked near the top for being both kid-friendly and having a sense of adventure; outside of ski season, you can combine the two at Snowbird—by hiking, mountain biking or riding its twisting Alpine Slide and Mountain Coaster. If you come to ski in December, though, you can see why the city also ranked at No. 3 for Christmas lights. Year-round, readers’ favorite food in SLC was the burger, in part because the city has its own regional quirk: pastrami-topped wonders, like the originals found at Crown Burgers.
Saving Cool Britannia image from Brexit bruise sular process by itself” said Melanie Read of the Aesop agency. by Patrice Novotny ONDON | AFP | Sunday 3/25/2017 - Brexit challenges Britain’s global image of openness and tolerance, but Cool Britannia has what it takes to avoid being suddenly rebranded as uncool just because it quits the EU, advertising professionals say.
- Unique British culture “So to send the message that Britain is open for business is vitally important.”
Geographically, the top 15 winners represent a distinct advantage among heartland cities—though one could argue that the size of city, not the location, may be a better indicator of heart. The winning cities also ranked well in the survey for some concrete features that make it easy for locals to show off their sunny demeanors: pedestrianfriendly streets, cool boutiques, coffee houses, and even communal, picnictable-equipped food truck pods. The friendliest cities have certain intangible qualities, too. Charleston’s high ranking may come in part from its slower-paced lifestyle, says Isabelle Furth, a p.r. exec who lives in Washington D.C. “I remember walking into an upscale boutique in Charleston and being offered sweet tea and a cookie,” says Furth. “The soft Southern accents don’t hurt, either.” #1 -Nashville With a song in their hearts—and probably one on their lips, too—these Tennesseans won the survey for making visitors feel welcome. Not surprisingly, they also won the survey for their music scene: you can mingle with the locals at the singer-songwriter-loving Listening Room Café; the rehabbed, music-plus-eats Acme Feed & Seed; or at lovable dives like Santa’s Pub, the double-wide-trailerhoused bar managed by a suspiciously jovial bearded fellow. Nashville also ranked at No. 11 for its cheery food trucks, like Biscuit Love and Smokin Thighs. All that smiling is apparently good for the skin: Nashvillians also made the top 10 for their good looks. #2 - Salt Lake City These outdoorsy locals apparently treat visitors like family. In that spirit,
If they’re weren’t so darn nice, you might have to loathe these Minnesotans, who also ranked at the top of the survey for being smart and super-fit. Plus, they know how to entice visitors, earning the silver-medal spot for free attractions like the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (currently showing an exhibition of pieces from the royal Habsburgs) and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (home to Claes Oldenburg’s Spoonbridge and Cherry). To bond with the locals over one of their well-ranked craft brews—they took the bronze medal for beer in this year’s survey—go to Dangerous Man Brewing Co., where, just to be nice, patrons are invited to join in community volunteer projects. Speaking of perceived danger, the Twin Cities also ranked near the top for feeling nicely non-threatening. #4 - Kansas City These helpful Missourians clearly made readers feel at ease: the city ranked at the top for being both affordable and having good drivers. The locals also warmed the hearts of readers with their barbecue, which won the survey this year. While you can’t go wrong with the classic burnt ends at either Arthur Bryant’s or Gates BarB-Q (with its “Hi, May I Help You?” sign), carnivorous foodies also love The Local Pig, near the East Bottoms stockyards district, which boasts of using only humanely raised meats and gets creative with lamb, rabbit, and duck, along with dishes like burnt-end bratwursts and Thai peanut sausage. #5 - Oklahoma City The folks in Oklahoma’s state capitol struck readers as having few pretensions: they ranked as the least rude and the least snobby in the nation (but, alas, also as the least stylish). But perhaps they just have a misunderstood fashion sense: some of the best shops in the artsy Plaza District have
The effusive New Yorker organised this week the fifth London version of Advertising Week, which attracted 40,000 industry professionals to four days of seminars and events in the capital’s trendy neighbourhood of Soho. “The things that make British culture unique remain. Music, fashion, British content, creative content, television, film. I would say all those things are not at risk, because they are driven by creative people,” said Scheckner. “But when you look at things like tourism, which is a very big industry, when you look at businesses, it has to employ young talent, the risk is being viewed as an unfriendly place for talent, for young people,” he added. - Brexit an ‘insular process’ At Advertising Week, dominated by young professionals with an international outlook, there were few supporters of Brexit. Brexit “is an inward-looking and ina serious streak of kitsch, like the retro boutique Dig It and the in-your-face vintage of Bad Granny’s Bazaar. To channel a little more of the city’s grandmotherly karma— and see why the city was perhaps underrated for its wild side— order a slice of Bird Dog Buttermilk (peaches, raspberries and brown sugar oat crumble) at the neighborhood’s Pie Junkie. (-TravelLeisure)
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“There will be enough social media activism to show the country is open,”
From music to film and fashion, Britain has for decades enhanced its image as a modern and dynamic culture. The ease of immigrating and working in Britain helped it build a reputation as a welcoming and hospitable society.
“Brexit is a self-inflicted wound because you are putting the image of openness at risk, that’s dangerous,” said Matt Scheckner, founder and executive director of Advertising Week.
#3 - Minneapolis/St. Paul
But most advertising execs still think it’s possible to save Britain’s brand by emphasising the positive.
of young people, who mostly voted to remain in the EU, to keep good vibes flowing.
But the vote to leave the European Union last June sent a troubling message of tighter border controls and an exit from the EU’s single market.
That group-hug mentality is indeed one reason why the Southwestern city—as well as the affable folks in Tennessee—made it Travel+Leisure’s friendliest city.
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Above, Big Ben in London amidst fireworks. Right: British Council advertising poster for tourism efforts in London (Photo: AFP/File) “People will have to reassert the strengths of the country, the cultural strengths, in their creation,” said Matt Donegan, managing director at Social Circle marketing agency. Similarly, advertising professionals thought Britain could emphasise other, intangible advantages such as its stable political and legal system, a qualified Englishspeaking workforce and even the capacity of the British people to take the best from foreign cultural influences. Adept marketers could even turn divided public opinion into a positive -- presenting a diversity of views as a counterpoint to a uniform, inwardlooking bloc. Richard Staplehurst, a partnerships manager at the Latimer agency, said he remains optimistic on the ability
he said. “Many people will say ‘it’s not fair, we want you to come’.” Private activism could act as a counterweight to the often divisive public political debate. “We are naturally outward-looking and naturally innovative,” Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox told AFP. “It is not because we are leaving the EU that our great culture will disappear,” added Latimer’s Staplehurst.
VOICE OF ASIA 16
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Pope tells young to resist ‘false’ Chelsea Clinton to release children’s book on strong women reality of social media
“To have a past is not the same as to have a history,” Francis said. “In our life we can have plenty of memories, but how many of them are really a part of our memory?
ATICAN CITY, Holy See | AFP - Pope Francis on Tuesday warned young people to resist the lure of “false” versions of life presented on social media or reality TV shows. Instead, the Internet generation needs to write their own histories, become masters of their destiny and establish real connections with their past, the 80-year-old pontiff says in a video message for World Youth Day, on April 9. “Many people say that young people are distracted and superficial. They are wrong!” Francis says. “Still, we should acknowledge our need to reflect on our lives and direct them towards the future. “In the social media, we see faces of young people appearing in any number of pictures recounting more or less real events, but we don’t know how much of all this is really ‘history’, an experience that can be communicated and endowed with purpose
“How many are significant for our hearts and help to give meaning to our lives?”
Pope Francis is warning young people that social media can give people a “false image of reality” (AFP Photo/ Justin Tallis) and meaning,” he said. “Television is full of ‘reality shows’ which are not real stories, but only moments passed before a television camera by characters living from day to day, without a greater plan. “Don’t let yourselves be led astray by this false image of reality! Be the protagonists of your history; decide your own future.” The tone of Francis’s comments partly reit-
erated a speech at last year’s World Youth Day in which he told teens not to let themselves become “couch potatoes”. But this time he implicitly addressed many aspects of social media culture that have caused concern to psychologists, from the photo-shopping of images to selective editing of events recorded online to project images of happiness and success that may not correspond to reality.
In practical terms, Francis said young people could help to make more sense of their lives and their own past through time spent with grandparents, by keeping a daily journal and by spending a few minutes each evening contemplating the day’s events.
OKYO | AFP - An avalanche struck a Japanese ski resort in the mid-morning hours Monday, overwhelming a student mountaineering exercise and leaving at least eight people with no vital signs, according to local authorities. Some 40 other students and teachers were injured in the avalanche, which hit the area in Tochigi Prefecture, nearly 100 miles north of Tokyo.
Hints of trouble arose Sunday, when the Tochigi branch of the Japanese weather service issued an avalanche warning due to worsening conditions, according to the New York Times. Roughly a foot of snow fell between mid-
s the last of the college acceptances roll in for high school seniors this month, it’s likely more of those offers than ever before will be coming from campuses far from home. Over the last two decades, the number of students traveling a significant distance to college has increased as places that once felt far away now feel as if they are one town over thanks to modern communications and discount airlines. The trend has only accelerated in recent years as an abundance of college campuses in the Northeast and Midwest struggle to fill their seats given the demographic trends of their surroundings: the high school graduating class of 2020 from states in those
speculated that it could be her mother Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state who lost the November election to Republican Donald Trump.
told to quiet down, for everyone who’s ever been made to feel less than,” Clinton said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “The 13 women in ‘She Persisted’ all overcame adversity to help shape our country -- sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. “With this book, I want to send a message to young readers around the country -- and the world -- that persistence is power.”
The forthcoming book cover (Twitter/Chelsea Clinton) Among the 12 women reportedly included in the book are slavery abolitionist Harriet Tubman, deafblind author and activist Helen Keller and celebrity philanthropist Oprah Winfrey. The 13th woman remains a mystery. The US media
Chelsea Clinton, 37, the mother of two children aged two years and nine months old, has herself drawn media speculation recently that she is planning to enter politics. “I wrote this book for everyone who’s ever wanted to speak up but has been
The book is scheduled to hit shelves May 30. US media said it will be published by Penguin Random House. The publisher did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The title “She Persisted” is an apparent reference to Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who was silenced last month during a debate. “She persisted” became a rallying cry, particularly among women, and sparked a firestorm on social media.
‘I want my family to eat’: Children fuel Myanmar’s economic boom by Hla-Hla Hlay
Firefighters carry a survivor they rescued from the site of an avalanche Monday in Nasu, Japan, as Self Defense Force personnel look on. Eight high school students are feared dead after an avalanche swept down on their mountain-climbing trip (Photo: AFP/Jiji Press) night and about 9:20 a.m. local time, when The Guardian says the avalanche struck. This spring snowfall, which followed a spate of relatively warm weather, made for a particularly dangerous combination. “We had heavy snow that condensed [with the warmer weather], and then once you have somebody on top of that, that creates a trigger,” Robert Speta, a meteorologist for Japanese broadcaster NHK World, tells the Guardian. “These are all a recipe for avalanche creation.”
Still, teachers had experience with this trip, particularly at this time of year. And they believed they had made the proper adjustments to ensure students’ safety, scrapping their original plans to scale Mount Chausu and instead turning to practice on lower, safer slopes, reports the Times. “This (outing) is an annual event and we never had a major accident before,” one of the teachers told Jiji Press, according to Al Jazeera. “I am really shocked.” “Suddenly
turned white,” a male student who survived the disaster told NHK, the Times reports. “The teacher at the front yelled, ‘Get down,’ so we dropped down and got covered in snow. Then those of us who could move helped dig out people who were buried.” Dozens of troops from Japan’s Self Defense Forces were enlisted for the rescue efforts, which lasted hours amid continued snow storms. The AP reports that two of the survivors remain in serious condition.
How much longer will students be willing to go away to college? by Jeffrey J. Selingo
“Persistence has changed the course of history -- I’m so excited to share stories of girls & women who didn’t take no for answer on May 30th!” she tweeted.
Chelsea Clinton reading to a Washington classroom (Photo: AFP)
“The young mother of Jesus knew the prayers of her people by heart. Surely her parents and her grandparents had taught them to her. How important it is for the faith to be passed down from one generation to another.”
by Colin Dwyer
CNN, citing local police, reports that 62 people — mostly students — had descended on the small Nasu Onsen Family Ski Area for a three-day training program that attracted participants from seven high schools. Though the resort had recently closed for the skiing season, it had made some areas and facilities available specifically for the exercise.
“She Persisted” will include portraits of “13 American Women who Changed the World,” according to a picture of the book cover Clinton posted on Twitter.
In this, he suggested, they should draw inspiration from the example of Mary, mother of Jesus.
Avalanche engulfs student trip in Japan, at least 8 dead
As the BBC notes, Japanese rescue officials typically will not pronounce victims dead until they receive confirmation from doctors at a hospital.
EW YORK | AFP | - Chelsea Clinton, the only child of former president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, said Thursday she will release a children’s book highlighting the stories of inspirational women.
two regions is projected to have 80,000 fewer students than the class of 2013, for example. “There is a recruitment war,” said Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president for enrollment management and marketing at DePaul University in Chicago. “Colleges are spending a lot more money to go a lot farther away to get students.” In seven states, the number of high school graduates leaving to go out-ofstate to college has more than doubled since 2008. Those top exporters include Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, and the biggest of all, California. California is fertile ground for colleges looking to go far afield for students. Beyond the fact that there are too many high school
graduates for too few seats in the state’s public university systems, students in the Golden State are willing to travel to college. The high school class of 2015 from California, for instance, traveled a median distance of 253 miles to go to college, according to data collected by Hobsons through its college-planning tool, Naviance. By comparison, nationwide, about half of students who attend four-year colleges do so within 100 miles of their home. As a result, colleges from all over the country are sending admissions officers to California, and in some cases hiring fulltime recruiters to be on the ground there. The Regional Admission Counselors of California, which represents out-of-state college recruiters, has some
130 members, more than double what it had in five years ago. But even as more colleges expand their search area for prospects, there are several signs that the number of students willing to get on a plane or drive several hours to go to college is not keeping pace, according to a study I recently authored on the future of college admissions. Colleges are discounting their tuition more than ever before, and if that aid ever disappears, so too will the students from far away who often have higher travel costs than their classmates. “The composition of the recruitment pool is masking the real problem of discounts,” Boeckenstedt said. (-Washington Post)
MAWBI, Myanmar | AFP Fourteen-yearold San Min Hteik had worked at the steel factory for less than a week when his hand got caught in a machine, a casualty of the economic boom driving more children into Myanmar’s factories. Two of his fingers were lost after the rod-cutter sliced them down to the bone and weeks later doctors are still unsure whether they will be able to save the others. He is one of thousands of young factory workers fuelling Myanmar’s rapid growth as foreign investors pile into the country after the end of half a century of military-governed isolation. With one in five kids aged 10-17 in work, impoverished Myanmar is one of the worst countries in the world for child labour. Many support their families sweeping shop floors, serving in tea shops or working as domestic helpers. Others labour in the increasing number of foreign-owned factories that has made Myanmar one of the fastest-expanding economies in the region, with growth expected to average about seven percent in the coming years. “I cannot do what I want to do, so I feel depressed,” San Min Hteik told AFP, staring at his bandaged hand inside his home in Hmawbi township outside the commercial capital Yangon. “I want my family to have a decent standard of living. I want my family to be able to eat enough... to be able to wear the same clothes as other people.” He was paid 2.5 million kyat ($1,800) by the Chinese-owned 999 Iron
processing plant in the Myaung Dagar industrial zone as a settlement for his injury. His mother Tin Tin Htay said they took the money to pay for his medical bills and to make sure his two siblings could stay in school. “When we were given the cash I felt sad, as if we were buying my son’s hand with this money,” she said. AFP journalists were unable to enter the 999 Iron processing plant when they visited. An employee reached by phone they said no one was available to comment. San Win, a local union leader who helped negotiate San Min Hteik’s settlement, said many parents push their children into work to help support the family. “We have no stomach to ask them not to send their children to work. They have their difficulties,” he said. - ‘Totally accepted’ Legally children can start working at 14 in Myanmar, although they are meant to be restricted to four hours a day and are barred from hazardous industries. But experts say there is little awareness of the laws and many children are sent to work even younger in a country where one in four people live below the poverty line. The issue is problematic for reputation-conscious Western companies looking to take advantage of Myanmar’s cheap labour -- the minimum wage is equivalent to around 33 cents an hour, below Thailand, Cambodia, China and Indonesia. Zinmar is just one of many young girls and boys in Myanmar who used fake documents to circumvent the law and land a factory
job at age 12, washing and ironing clothes for eight hours a day. But the owners cut her shifts in half once they found out her real age. “I want to work full-time like before,” said the now 14-year-old, who asked AFP use a different name to protect her identity. “I can work a full day because I am healthy but the law doesn’t allow me.” Ei Thae also started working aged 12 for a factory that supplies garments for Swedish clothes retailer H&M. “I left this factory to search for a new job, but I could not find any as I was underage and had to come back,” said the now 15-year-old. “I want to go to back to school but it’s not possible, so I still work. My dream is to be a clothes designer.” A spokeswoman for H&M said the company was working with suppliers and industry experts to ensure young workers are employed according to the law and treated with “respect”. The Myanmar Manufacturers tion last week allegations child rife in the sector.
Garment Associadisputed labour is
Selim Benaissa from the International Labour Organisation said children working outside factories often end up in more dangerous jobs, such as rubbish collecting or sex work. “Children will work anyway... this is something that is totally accepted, even by the children,” he said. “Removing children from a workplace without appropriate support and follow up may push them to more exploitative or hazardous forms of child labour.”
VOICE OF ASIA 17
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Ryan Gosling with Harrison Ford after ‘La La Land’
Non-bailable warrant against actress Mamta Kulkarni in 2000 crore drug case
UMBAI - A non-bailable warrant has been issued by a special court against former Bollywood actress Mamta Kulkarni and alleged international drug mafia Vijaygiri aka Vijay Goswami in a 2,000 Cr drug bust case.
rom singing and dancing in La La Land to an action-packed scifi flick with Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling is proving he can do just about anything. In Las Vegas yesterday for CinemaCon to promote Blade Runner 2049, the much anticipated sequel to 1982 classic Blade Runner, Gosling plays a mysterious LAPD officer in the future film.
When asked what was more nerveracking - making a musical or shooting his first scene with Ford? “I think the latter,” Gosling said. “[Ford] is just the best as a guy, as an actor in every way. He’s such a part of my childhood and he was so great how he showed up to set, just rolled up his sleeves and got to work. He was the best partner, collaborator you could have. (-eOnline)
Sonali Bendre sends Gudi Padwa greeting
The investigating officers claim to have gotten ‘clinching evidence’ against the duo, based on which they intend to file a chargesheet. The nonbailable warrants were issued by a special court led by H M patwardhan on Monday. Both Kulkarni and Goswami are on the run ever since their names cropped up in the drug case. Shishir Hiray, special public prosecutor for the prosecution, sought the warrant from the special court in a marathon submission and told the court that they have ample evidence against Kulkarni and Goswami and their alleged involvement in the drug case as prime accused. Based on the confession of an arrested accused, Hiray said that Kulkarni and Goswami are main culprits in the case and had set up a well-oiled drug cartel. From procuring raw material of ephedrine from India to a well-planned transportation and manufacturing of methamphetamine in Kenya, the duo was involved in the entire process. The arrested accused- Jai Mukhi and Kishor Singh Rathod- during the investigation apparently told the investigators about meeting in a hotel in Kenya where a deal was struck between Goswami and his aides, Akasha borthers, Mamta Kulkarni, ex director of a pharmaceutical company, Manoj Jain, Jai Mukhi and Abdullah.
TV and film actress Sonali Bendre took to Instagram on Tuesday to wish her best to fellow Maharasthtrian fans on the occassion of the New Year, Gudi Padwa. “Absolutely love this adorably tiny Gudi I received today! Traditionally, #GudiPadwa is the Maharashtrian New Year, and the Gudi is believed to ward off evil and invite prosperity and good luck into the house. Wishing everyone a very happy Gudi Padwa!” (-Instagram/ iamsonalibendre)
“Ample technical evidence, call records are in possession of the investigators and various facts have been revealed during questioning of the arrested accused and statements made by them,” Hiray reportedly told the court. Kishor Sinh Rathod, one of the arrested accused and son of a former Congress MLA from Gujarat, told the investigators that they (the ac-
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cused) were to make Mamta Director of a company.”They also had plans to make Mamta a director of Avon Life Sciences Pvt Ltd,” Hiray reportedly told the court. Police made frequent visits to Mamta and Goswami’s houses and recorded statements of people who knew them. Hiray produced a case diary before the court and finally got warrants issued
against the duo. Goswami, who got busted through a sting operation conducted by US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officers, is in US custody while Mamta is absconding. Mamta’s involvement was refuted in September 2016 by a bunch of domestic and international lawyers. (-Deccan Chronicle)
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VOICE OF ASIA 18
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
HEALTHY LIVING VOICE OF ASIA
Most mutations in cancer are random DNA mistakes: study by Kerry Sheridan IAMI | AFP | 3/23/2017 What causes cancer? A new study published Thursday suggests that cells make random mistakes while dividing, accounting for most of the mutations in tumors, rather than family history or environmental factors. The report in the journal Science was authored by the same team that led a controversial study in January 2015 that said random DNA mutations, or in other words just “bad luck,” is often to blame for cancer. This time, they expanded their mathematical model based on DNA sequencing and epidemiologic data to 69 countries worldwide. “Two-thirds of the mutations that occur in cancers are due to the mistakes that cells make when they divide,” coauthor Bert Vogelstein, co-director of the Ludwig Center at the Johns Hopkins University Kimmel Cancer Cen-
Doctors review scans at the Johns Hopkins University Kimmel Cancer Center where researchers suggest heredity accounts for only five percent of cancer cases (AFP Photo/WIN MCNAMEE) ter, said at a news conference.
The new rotavirus vaccine is cheaper than existing vaccines, specifically adapted to the rotavirus strains found in sub-Saharan Africa, and does not need to be refrigerated. KRISHAN CHEYENNE/MSF.
A trial in Niger found that the new vaccine was almost 67 percent effective in preventing gastroenteritis caused by rotavirus, which is the most common cause of severe diarrheal disease in the world.
About a month after the final dose, far fewer children who had been vaccinated showed signs of diarrhea, vomiting and stomach distress from rotavirus. “At 28 days after the third dose of vaccine or placebo, severe rotavirus gastroenteritis had been reported in 31 infants in the vaccine group and in 87 in the placebo group,” said the study. The new vaccine’s efficacy of 67 percent was higher than the RotaTeq vaccine, which was 39.3 percent effective according to a previous trial.
More than 500,000 children die each year from dehydration and complications of rotavirus, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Health Organization.
A similar trial in South Africa and Malawi found the efficacy of the Rotarix vaccine was 61.2 percent, according to background information in the article.
There are already two vaccines on the market against rotavirus, but they require refrigeration and can be costly.
The BRV-PV vaccine has been licensed in India. It is awaiting prequalification by the World Health Organization before it can be purchased by the United Nations and government agencies.
“This trial brings a vaccine which is adapted to African settings to those who need it most,” said Sheila Isanaka, assistant professor of nutrition at Harvard University and co-author of the study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Although 27 children in the vaccine part of the study died, along with 22 in the placebo group, researchers said their deaths were unrelated to the vaccine.
“When the vaccine becomes widely available in Africa, it will help protect millions of the most vulnerable children.”
The “most common causes of death were infections and infestations (in 37 infants) and metabolism and nutrition disorders,” said the study.
The vaccine, called BRV-PV, is manufactured by Serum Institute of India.
No serious adverse events were found to be linked to the vaccine.
The randomized, controlled trial involved 3,508 healthy infants who received three doses of the vaccine or placebo at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age.
“After the successful clinical trial of this new vaccine, we hope that it can be made available as soon as possible to children in Niger and across Africa,” Isanaka said.
Environment is a factor in 29 percent of the mutations in cancer, while heredity accounts for five percent, according to the study. “Every time a perfectly normal cell divides it makes several mistakes -mutations,” Vogelstein said. “Most of the time these mutations don’t do any harm,” he added. “That is the usual situation and that is ‘good luck’ in our paraphrase. But occasionally they occur in a cancerdriver gene. That is ‘bad luck,’” he said. The goal of the study was to better understand these mutations so that better ways of detecting cancer early can be developed. The study also shines a spotlight on cancers that will occur no matter how perfect the environment, and may alleviate the guilt some patients face when they are diagnosed. “These copying mistakes are a potent source of cancer mutations that historically have been scientifically undervalued,” said co-author Cristian Tomasetti, assistant professor of biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. However, he still urged people to avoid known risk factors for cancer, such as smoking and too much sun exposure. “We need to continue to encourage people to avoid environmental agents and lifestyles that increase their risk of developing cancer mutations,” he said. Vogelstein concurred, stressing that the latest research is “in perfect accord with epidemiological estimates that 42 percent of cancers can be prevented -and everyone should adhere to those prevention guidelines.” - Stoking debate Their earlier study, based on US patients, stoked debate in the scientific community. Critics said people might read it and believe they need not care about their diets or protect themselves from the sun if cancer were so often inevitable and unpreventable. A study in Nature in December 2015, almost a year afterward, countered that most cases of cancer were in fact caused by environmental factors, whether from smoking or exposure to ultraviolet radiation -- and not by random mutations. But the debate is far from settled, and scientists have continued to point to flaws in the research on both sides. “This paper certainly won’t
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bamacare touches about everyone.
Under Obamacare, senior citizens pay less for Medicare coverage and for their prescription drugs. Many people receive free contraceptives, mammograms, colonoscopies and cholesterol tests. And those with pre-existing conditions are no longer turned away.
New vaccine against rotavirus could curb child deaths
How Obamacare affects everyone It’s not just for the millions of people who have health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges or Medicaid expansion.
IAMI, AFP | 3/22/2017 - A new vaccine that is cheap to make and does not require refrigeration has shown promise in preventing rotavirus, a contagious and fatal disease that disproportionately strikes children in Africa, researchers said Wednesday.
“The ACA made changes in every part of the health care system,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, of the Affordable Care Act. “Virtually everyone has been touched by the ACA.” Some 20 million people have gained coverage under Obamacare. The nation’s uninsured rate dropped to a record low 8.6% last year. Obamacare remains the law of the land now that the Republican effort to repeal and replace it has been shelved. The Trump administration likely will make some changes to it, and lawmakers may try again to overhaul it. Here’s how sweeping the landmark health care reform law is. Medicare Obamacare has meant lower premiums, deductibles and costsharing for the 57 million senior citizens and disabled Americans enrolled in the program. It has also reduced how much they have to pay for prescription drugs by slowly eliminating the infamous “donut hole.” The health reform law made many changes to Medicare. It slowed the growth of payment rates to hospitals and other providers, reduced payments to Medicare Advantage plans and improved benefits for enrollees. As a result, Medicare beneficiaries have to shell out less for premiums, deductibles and co-pays because they are tied to the growth of federal spending on the program. The Obama administration estimated that the typical Medicare beneficiary pays about $700 less in premiums and cost sharing. Medicaid Low income families could take advantage of Medicaid in states
be the last word on these matters,” said Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at The Open University. “What I most like about it is that it provides some much-needed clarity, in making a clear distinction between the roles of environment, heredity and replication errors in producing the mutations that lead to cancer,” said McConway, who was not involved in the study. For lay people, the takeaway message is that many cases of cancer can be prevented, even though many cancerous mutations cannot. “Despite the role of the random replication component in producing mutations, you could still reduce the cancer
Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com where Medicaid expansion was adopted. Employer-sponsored insurance The law allows children to remain on their parents’ plans until they turn 26. This has proved to be one of the more popular Obamacare provisions and has helped lower the uninsured rate of this age group. Workers also no longer have to pay for contraceptives and preventative screenings, such as colonoscopies and mammograms. Obamacare requires these be provided free-ofcharge. Obamacare also prohibits employers from imposing annual or lifetime limits on benefits and caps out-of-pocket spending to $7,150 for single workers in 2017. Individual market Obamacare has had the largest impact on the individual market, which was largely unregulated prior to the health reform law. It requires insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions and banned them from charging the sick more. The law ended the practice of insurers imposing annual or lifetime caps on benefits, and it also placed limits on annual out-of-pocket spending. To choose right Medicare Supplement Plan, OR Medicare Advantage Plan OR Medicaid Plan contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713771-2900.
risk hugely, for many types of cancer, by getting rid of the environmental and/or hereditary causes,” he said. According to Lawrence Young, director of the Cancer Research Center at the University of Warwick in England, the study “contributes to the controversial debate.” However, any mathematical model that attempts to account for cancer risks must take in a variety of external factors. “So while this study is useful in attempting to integrate epidemiological and genome sequencing data, the message is complex and does not diminish to need to focus on improved approaches to both primary and secondary cancer prevention,” he said.
SCIENCE & TECH
VOICE OF ASIA 19
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Deaths up sharply Another reason to flip the among people with off switch - light pollution autism: study IAMI | AFP. Monday 3/27/2017 People with autism are three times as likely to die from an injury than the general population, said a study out Tuesday that pointed to troubling trends among people with the neurodevelopmental disorder.
certificates filed by coroners varies,” said lead author Joseph Guan, a master of public health degree student in epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Deaths among people with autism are up 700 percent since 1999, according to the report in the American Journal of Public Health.
“Despite the marked increase in the annual number of deaths occurring, autism-related deaths still may be severely underreported, particularly deaths from intentional injury such as assaults, homicide and suicide,” said Li.
People with autism also die at age 36 on average, half the age of the general population’s average death age of 72. Suffocation, asphyxiation and drowning were the most common causes of death by injury in people with autism. In children with autism, drowning was the leading cause of death, said senior author Guohua Li, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. This could be because children with autism tend to wander, and may be drawn in by the apparent serenity of a pool or pond. “Our analysis reveals that children with autism are 160 times as likely to die from drowning as the general pediatric population,” said Li. “Swimming classes should be the intervention of top priority,” and should begin soon after diagnosis at age two or three, said Li. The study was based on death certificates in the US National Vital Statistic System, including 1,367 people with autism who died between 1999 and 2014. The study did not pinpoint reasons for the rise in deaths. Experts said the matter deserves further research. “While the numbers are startling, autism as a contributing cause of death is likely undercounted because of the accuracy of information on death
Li agreed that deaths by injury may be even more common than these figures show.
Autism spectrum disorder occurs in about one in 68 children in the United States, and is far more common in boys, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The neurodevelopmental disorder can cause a range of symptoms, from problems communicating to sensitivity to sounds and light, and speech difficulties. About 44 percent of people with autism have above average intellectual abilities. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences. The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism. Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. Autism Speaks urges parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.
Last year, the AMA raised another red flag, this time about light-emitting diodes, better known as LEDs. Local
ARIS, France | AFP | For the 11th year running, cities worldwide will turn their lights off Saturday to mark Earth Hour in a global call to action on climate change.
In the United States, fully 10 percent of public lighting has already switched over to LED.
But the moment of darkness should also serve as a reminder, activists say, of another problem that gets far less attention: light pollution.
That is good news for the fight against global warming, cutting on fossil-fuel burning for electricity, but it may be bad news for health, the AMA cautioned.
More than 80 percent of humanity lives under skies saturated with artificial light, scientists recently calculated. In the United States and western Europe, that figure goes up to 99 percent of the population, most of whom cannot discern the Milky Way in the night sky.
“Some LED lights are harmful when used as street lighting,” AMA board member Maya Babu said in a statement.
Artificial lighting has been shown to disturb the reproductive cycles of some animals and the migration of birds that navigate using the stars, and to disorient night-flying insects.
Not only do the bluish, high-intensity lights create a view-obscuring glare, they have “five times greater impact on circadian sleep rhythms than conventional street lamps,” the AMA concluded.
For humans, circadian rhythms that regulate hormones and other bodily functions can also be thrown out of whack by too much light at night. Even the most ardent critics of light pollution are not saying cities should go dark, or that lighting is not an essential element of urban life. But society needs to address a growing list of concerns, they suggest. “In general, it’s getting worse,” Diana Umpierre, president of the International DarkSky Association, said of light pollution in her home state of Florida. And things are moving in the wrong direction, she told AFP. “We are predicted to have 15 million more residents in the next 50 years” -- with all the extra lighting that entails. By contrast, in Chad, the Central African Republic and Madagascar -- not coincidentally among the poorest countries in the world -- three quarters of people have a clear view of the heavens. Arguably,
governments in wealthy countries are racing to replace existing streetlights with LEDs, which consume less energy and last longer.
This combination of pictures created on March 19, 2016 shows the Petronas towers before (top) and after the lights were switched off (bottom) during the Earth Hour campaign in Kuala Lumpur on March 19, 2016. (AFP Photo/ Mohd Rasfan) more from light pollution than astronomers whose telescopes are blinded by the glare of urban glow. In 1958 Flagstaff, Arizona -more than 2,100 metres (nearly 8,000 feet) above sea level -became the first sizeable city to curb night lighting, mainly to shield a major observatory. - Not taken lightly -
slowly -- on roads with less or no lighting at night. Over the last 15 years, biologists, doctors, non-governmental organisations and even UNESCO have joined the fight against light pollution by detailing negative impacts to health and well being -- for humans and other animals.
One of the biggest challenges in fighting light pollution is convincing people that “brightness” is not synonymous with “safety”, said Umpierre.
In 2012, the American Medical Association (AMA) concluded that exposure to “excessive” night light “can disrupt sleep and exacerbate sleep disorders”.
“Sometimes it’s just the opposite,” she argued, citing studies showing that people drive more carefully -- and more
And it called for more research into possible links to cancer, obesity, diabetes and depression.
The new technology also obscured our view on the night sky even more than traditional city lighting.
“LEDs could double or triple the luminosity of the sky” -- which means the stars get lost against the background, said the authors of a 2016 world atlas of night sky brightness. Bit by bit, citizens are starting to push back. A petition circulating in Madrid is calling for a scientific study on the safety and health impacts of LED lighting. In the Canadian cities of Quebec and Montreal, along with Phoenix in Arizona, public pressure has already pushed city officials to install “yellow” LEDs, which are thought to be less disturbing.
Fruit-fuelled evolution Virtual reality brings home of a bigger brain: study the horror of hospital attacks project on hospital attacks and protection of medical missions.
with leaves. The results call into question the theory that has prevailed since the mid-1990s, which says bigger brains developed out of the need to survive and reproduce in complex social groups. Decasien said the challenges of living in a group could be part of getting smarter, but found no link between the complexity of primates’ social lives and the size of their grey matter. What did correlate strongly with brain size was eating fruit.
by Joshua MELVIN
ARIS, France | AFP | Monday 3/27/2017 - Humans likely developed large and powerful brains, researchers said Monday, with the help of what is today the simplest of snacks: fruit. Eating fruit was a key step up from the most basic of foodstuffs, such as leaves, and provided the energy needed to grow bulkier brains, the scientists argued. “That’s how we got these crazy huge brains,” said the study’s corresponding author Alex Decasien, a researcher at New York University. “We have blown up the quality of our food that we are eating.” The study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution looked at the staple foods of over 140 species of primates, and assumed their diets haven’t changed much over the course of recent evolution. According to the research, the animals which feast on fruit have brains that are about 25 percent bigger than those filling their bellies primarily
Foods such as fruit contain more energy than basic sources like leaves, thus creating the additional fuel needed to evolve a bigger brain. At the same time, remembering which plants produce fruit, where they are, and how to break them open could also help a primate grow a bigger brain. A larger brain also needs more fuel to keep it running. “We’ve heard that fact saying (our brain) is two percent of our body weight, but it takes up 25 percent of our energy,” Decasien said. “It’s a crazy expensive organ.” While the study challenges some of the orthodoxy of how our brains evolved, the research is likely to continue. “I feel confident that their study will refocus and reinvigorate research seeking to explain cognitive complexity in primates and other mammals,” wrote Chris Venditti, a researcher at the University of Reading in Britain in a comment on the study, also published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. “But many questions remain,” he added.
A TV grab of the production of a virtual reality film on the attacks of a hospital, created by MSF in a bid to counter surging numbers of attacks on medical facilities and medical workers in conflict zones in places like Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan
by Nina Larson
ENEVA, Switzerland | AFP | Doctors and nurses bustle round a patient with a broken leg, when suddenly there is an explosion, darkness and panicked screams. Now imagine that patient is you. That is the experience the MSF medical charity is aiming for with a new virtual reality film it is testing and planning to get before decision makers, military commanders and soldiers on the ground. The Doctors Without Borders group, known by the French acronym MSF, is launching the film in a bid to counter surging numbers of attacks on medical facilities and medical workers in conflict zones in places like Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. “This kind of tool, the 360-degree (VR film), could be very, very useful in sensitising fighter jet pilots for instance” to what is at stake, explained Francois Delfosse, who heads an MSF
And indeed, once you slip on the VR headset and large headphones, you are there, in the middle of a bustling trauma ward, looking down at your outstretched broken leg and waiting for one of the doctors to tend to you.
When the explosion hits, you are stuck in the middle of a darkened corridor, unable to move as bloodied people run screaming past and staff pound frantically on the chest of a person stretched out on the floor in front of you. If you turn your head, you can see more people running, including an older man, his face caked with dirt and blood, holding what looks like a lifeless baby. - Powerless “There was this sense of powerlessness,” explained Irene Raciti, of the Red Cross, who volunteered to help test the MSF film on the sidelines of a film festival in Geneva last week focused on human rights. Sitting in a secluded room with the headset and earphones on, Raciti twisted and turned her head in different directions, at one point gasping and clutching her hands nervously together. “I was injured, so I couldn’t move, and people were running around me,
people needed help, and I was powerless,” she told AFP after the experience. She and other test subjects were debriefed by MSF staff afterwards to help determine the effectiveness of the tool before it is presented to politicians and other decision-makers starting on World Humanitarian Day in August. “MSF asked me to create a traumatising experience,” explained Romain Girard, director of the 360-degree film, which lasts just around two and a half minutes, but which when you are behind the goggles feels much longer. The VR film was created in Geneva, but inspired by media and surveillance footage from a real attacks on hospitals, including the deadly US bombing of an MSF hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz in October 2015 that killed 42 people, including 14 of the charity’s staff. “In that footage, you don’t see the bombs fall, but you see the shockwave, the panic and the distress of people there,” Girard said, also describing how patients and medical workers in these settings seem to be “transformed into ghosts moving through darkened hallways filled with smoke and dust.” “That was really the feeling I was aiming for,” he said. MSF meanwhile stresses that for every medical worker killed or injured in attacks, many more people are deprived of the care they would have provided and die or suffer as a result. Following the Kunduz attack one million people in northeastern Afghanistan still remain without access to high-quality surgery care,
FAHION & BEAUTY
VOICE OF ASIA 20
Bags carry Hermes to record profit
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Cutting edge: K-pop band praise plastic surgery beauty by Jung Ha-Won
EOUL, South Korea | AFP Rounder eyes, narrower faces, bigger breasts: a South Korean girlband is celebrating the country’s obsession with surgically-enhanced beauty by going under the knife to praise the virtues of “Becoming Pretty”. All four members of obscure K-pop outfit SixBomb went through extensive plastic surgery, from nose jobs to breast implants, before releasing their new single on Thursday. A 14-percent jump in sales of its leather bags helped Hermes record sales and profits last year (Photo: © AFP/File )
ARIS, France | AFP - A jump in sales of its trademark leather bags helped Hermes push its annual profits last year above one billion euros for the first time ever, results released Wednesday showed. The French luxury goods maker said its 2016 net profit hit 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), a 13 percent jump from the previous year but slightly less than the consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by the financial data company Factset. The company said in February that sales had hit a record 5.2 billion euros. “New records were attained, which proves the solid performance of Hermes this past year,” Hermes chief executive Axel Dumas said during a conference call. The firm attributed the record performance to a 14 percent jump in its leather goods and saddlery unit, which includes its famous bags including iconic models such as the Birkin. Recent investment in new workshops helped Hermes meet the growing demand for its leather goods. “Development was supported by the sustained pace of deliveries and pro-
duction, gaining from the capacities of the three new sites” in France, the company said in its earnings statement. Perfume sales also grew, climbing by nine percent. Apparel sales were flat and watch sales slowed by three percent. Sales rose in all geographical regions. The operating margin rose to 32.6 percent of sales, another record, but much of the 0.8 point gain was due to the favourable impact of foreign currency hedges. While Hermes “entered 2017 on a solid footing” the firm is “cautious faced with the global uncertainties that surround us in this very uncertain world,” said Dumas. Nevertheless, Hermes targets an increase in sales at constant exchange rates. It signalled it would continue to follow its current strategy of keeping control over the creative process and know-how, as well as its communication strategy. It announced a dividend payment of 3.75 euros per share, up from 3.35 euros last year.
Innovative fabrics bark up Tokyo fashion tree by Jennie Matthew
OKYO, Japan | AFP Wood fashioned into lace and sculpted into evening dresses: the Hanae Mori Manuscrit label led the way this Tokyo Fashion Week in showing the world the original craftmanship that helps set Japan apart from the crowd.
Husband-and-wife label ROGGYKEI, known best for dressing US superstar Lady Gaga a handful of times, bases itself in Japan’s second city of Osaka to be close to specialist fabric factories. The pair have no plans to relocate, recognising their “made in Japan” heritage was a big boon when they
A series of videos showed the four women visiting a clinic, strutting into an operating theatre and lying on the operating table. Another had them practising dance moves in sunglasses with their heads wrapped in bandages. “Everyone follows me, they know I’m pretty,” they sing in “Becoming Pretty” -- an electronic dance number with a hook reminiscent of South Korean singer Psy’s 2012 global phenomenon Gangnam Style. The track could be the direct antithesis to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, lyrics: “I’m beautiful in my way/ Cause God makes no mistakes/I’m on the right track, baby/I was born this way.” It has raised questions over the South’s ultra-competitive, looks-obsessed society, where physical features enhance social standing and can help secure jobs, with many recruitment adverts requiring a “neat appearance” and a CV with photo. Despite a population of only 50 million, it is the world’s third biggest plastic surgery market, with thousands of clinics performing an estimated 1.2 million procedures a year. Adverts showing dramatic beforeand-after pictures are omnipresent on street billboards, subway trains, bus stops and toilet walls, urging women to “change” their lives or admonishing them: “Everyone but you has done it.” - ‘Come out of the closet’ SixBomb’s lead singer Dain had her breasts enlarged and her cheekbones shaved to make her face look smaller for the song. “We all wanted to get some surgeries done to look prettier... and thought, ‘Why not perform a song about it instead of trying to conceal it?’” she said. “People will notice it anyway... so we wanted to be open about this real-
Discs of chestnut and walnut were used on a dress of interlocking triangular panels, an homage to Issey Miyake’s iconic Bao Bao bag, while wood was fashioned into sleeve ties and delicate butterfly hair pieces.
- Korean Wave K-pop has conquered much of Asia and spread beyond it in a “Korean Wave”, with top girl- and boybands, their good looks often surgically perfected and performing dance moves with military precision, enjoying huge followings. Many are tightly controlled by their managements, who dictate everything from what songs to sing, to what to eat -- or not -- to maintain rail-thin figures, and what operations to have. Their popularity has itself fuelled the surgery business, with many fans -- including from overseas, particularly Chinese -- having procedures in the hope of looking like their favourite stars. A prominent Seoul clinic confirmed that SixBomb’s members had gone through extensive operations “all
2018. The personal care industry makes up 22 percent of India’s market for consumer package goods and experts agree that India is full of opportunities and is a potential gold mine for many beauty and personal care companies. Considering the growth potential of the industry, the internationally renowned organizers of various B2B and B2C exhibitions, Sumansa Exhibitions have launched Beauty India; an exclusive B2B exhibition catering to the needs of the beauty, cosmetics and personal care industries.
Amatsu said the theme of his collection was “combine” -- combining fabrics to create something that was both different and more beautiful.
Beauty India’s debut edition opened in Mumbai at Bombay Exhibition Center, Goregaon on Monday, March 27th and is running until March 29th, 2017. The entry to the exhibition is free and show timings are from 10 am to 6 pm for all three days.
- 3-D silhouette -
But wood was far from the only innovative fabric on the runway this Tokyo Fashion Week, which showcased the work of 52 designers.
“We haven’t committed any crimes. Our only crime would be talking about it in such an open manner,” he said, adding many celebrities go under the knife but do not “come out of the closet”.
The market size of FMCG in India is estimated to grow to US$ 74 billion in
“They’re really, really keen on working with young designers to create new fabrics... that sets them apart,” she told AFP. “Each little village has its own special kind of fabric.”
Inspiration comes from the world at large. “I’m always looking around to find something interesting which can be key for new designs, like the movies, music, architecture and so on,” he told AFP.
The project was funded by their management, which spent 100 million won (around $90,000) for “almost every kind of surgery that could be done on a face” and breast implants, said head manager Kim Il-Woong.
Misha Janette, a Tokyo-based stylist, creative director and blogger who has lived in Japan since 2004, said Japanese fashion was often less about entertainment and more thoughtful with “amazing” material.
Throughout he was careful to preserve the colour of the wood, making it look almost like pencil shavings or delicately processed tree bark, and there were belts and statement bags in the same material.
SixBomb were founded in 2012 and have released five albums, but have yet to become major stars and with their members now in their mid-20s, time could be running out for them in a youth-driven market.
EW DEHLI, India Mar 27 (ANI-NewsVoir) - The fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment is the fourth largest sector in the Indian economy.
Japan is famous for high-tech and specialty fabrics, which not only supply the likes of Chanel and other celebrated couture houses, but also provide constantly shifting inspiration for homegrown designers.
He then stitched it into a lace butterfly pattern. “It’s quite heavy so when you move with the dress it makes a 3-D silhouette,” he told AFP.
ity where many women want to look pretty,” she told AFP.
above the waist”. None of the four were forced to go through surgery, they said, although rapper Soa had to think “long and hard” before having the “double eyelid” procedure to make eyes wider and rounder. “I really liked and was satisfied with my previous eyes, so I had to think long and hard before deciding to take part in this concept,” Soa said. - ‘Worshipped and consumed’ The stunt has raised eyebrows. “I understand that you guys are desperate for publicity... but did you really need to go this far?” asked one online commentator, while another described it “flat-out bizarre”. The move is emblematic of the “plastic surgery culture” prevalent in a country which ranks at the bottom of OECD surveys on gender equality despite being Asia’s fourth-largest economy, said Jung Seul-Ah, media monitor at rights group Korea Womenlink. Looks often play a key role in South Korean women’s “social survival” and job prospects, Jung said. “This culture has made plastic surgery something essential for many women deemed not pretty enough,” Jung said, and an “absolute necessity for female celebrities whose looks are worshipped, consumed and capitalised on incessantly”. But for her part, singer Dain had no doubts. “I really love my new face and am proud of how good I look on TV screens,” she said, adding she would welcome “any kind of public attention, good or bad” for the project.
Beauty and personal care industry set for exponential growth
Dresses of persimmon wood lace paired with soft falling black fabric were the star of the show at designer Yu Amatsu’s autumn/winter 2017 collection for the brand that left fashionistas giddy with excitement.
The persimmon was originally very hard. “Even the sewing machine needle couldn’t go through it,” he explained. So he striped it down to 0.14 millimeters wide and bonded it with fabric to make it stronger.
K-pop group SixBomb members posing for a photo during an interview with AFP in Seoul (Photo: © AFP)
This picture taken on March 23, 2017 shows a model presenting a creation from Hanae Mori by Japanese designer Yu Amatsu during the 2017 Autumn/ Winter Collection show of the Tokyo Fashion Week in Tokyo (Photo: Toru Yamanaka / AFP) exhibited in Paris in 2012. - Good technique The fabric is 50 percent polyester, 50 percent wool, which designers Hitoshi and Keiko Korogi said makes it more supple. They also use some processed fabrics which they dye and wash. There was a stole made out of a special cashmere woven from Mongolian yarn in Japan’s Nara and coated to make it washable and yet prevent pilling. They presented tiedyed and indigo-dyed stoles too. ROGGYKEI also used discarded pieces of cloth that would otherwise have been thrown out, and mixed natural materials and chemical fibre.
But at least one Japanese designer with an emphasis on cutting edge fabrics admitted to shopping elsewhere. Takuya Morikawa offered a highenergy, Americana-inspired collection of silk dresses, fur and a maroon velvet jumpsuit for label TAAKK, which he set up in 2012 after working for Issey Miyake. “All the fabrics are originals,” he told reporters. “The jacquards were made in Japan, but I had the embroidery made in China and India as it would have cost a lot to do in such good quality here.” “Of course Japan has good technique, but I am not too hung up on it. I’d rather use good things from everywhere in the world.”
Popular Bollywood style icon and actor Malaika Arora and Lakme Lever India CEO, Pushkaraj Shenai jointly inaugurated the exhibition that hosts over 75 exhibitors representing skin care & hair care (both professional, wellness and personal product lines), colour cosmetics, personal care products, nail care and accessories, professional equipment and Spa, fragrance and machinery, packaging and raw material suppliers among others. Appreciating the initiative, Malaika Arora said: “An exhibition to cater to the booming beauty and cosmetics industry is the need of the hour. I am delighted to see this wonderful showcase and happy to be part of its inaugural edition. Looking well-groomed is part of our lives, and Indians understand that very well. The Beauty India exhibition simply reflects our thriving beauty industry and the potential that it holds for the global brands. With a population of over 1.3 billion, the opportunities for exhibitors to
make inroads in this market are endless and extremely lucrative. This is a great platform to find partnerships and build on brand value.” Prominent exhibitors at the show include Lakme India, L’Oreal India, Ozone Ayurveda, AcronPlast, Berina, Essel Propack, Shilpa Cosmetics, Veera Fragrances, Wespro Corporation, SSCPL Herbals, Skin Secrets, Sanex Packaging Connection, Nyassa Spa Products, All India Cosmetic Manufacturers Association, All India Hair and Beauty Association, Cospack India, Headstart International, Strands Salon, N.V. Organics, Forever Beauty care amongst many others. The exhibitor list also includes companies from China, Germany, Indonesia, Korea, Poland and UAE. Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Pushkaraj Shenai- Chairman, Advisory Committee - Beauty India & CEO-Lakme Lever Pvt. Ltd., said, “A platform like Beauty India has the potential to shape the future of the Indian beauty industry. The $3-billion beauty services industry offers huge opportunities across the value chain for talented beauty and styling professionals, managers and entrepreneurs. Apart from the opportunity in the domestic market there is significant interest in the global market for all things Indian. Lakme Salon and Lakme Academy have played an integral role in the beauty ecosystem across the country for the last 37 years. We aspire to scale this rapidly and invite talented individuals to join us as beauty entrepreneurs. I am confident that Beauty India will grow into an ideas and innovation marketplace that all Indian beauty professionals are proud of.” Himanshu Gupta, General Manager, Sales & Marketing B2B Events, Sumansa Exhibitions added , “The overall beauty and personal care market in India is estimated at Rs. 74,700 crore by retail sales value and the personal care industry in India has been expanding at 13 percent year-on-year, far surpassing the overall economic growth rate. India’s incredibly large consumer base has a growing disposable income and places importance on personal care.”
VOICE OF ASIA 21
Iran blow hole in China’s World Cup bid, remain Asia’s #1 team
EHRAN, Iran | AFP | Tuesday 3/28/2017 - Mehdi Taremi’s second-half strike condemned China to a 1-0 defeat to Iran on Tuesday in a major blow to their hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Cup. Marcello Lippi’s team raised Chinese hopes by upsetting South Korea last week, but they were unable to overturn Iran’s flawless home record in Group A. While Iran, Asia’s top-ranked team, maintain their four-point cushion at the top of the group, China are second from bottom with only three games to go. A tepid first half came alive near the break when Taremi’s miskick let China off the hook and Zeng Cheng saved well from both Milad Mohammadi and Masoud Shojaei, who then blazed a bicycle kick over the bar. After keeping Iran at bay in the first half, China will be
cursing themselves for the way they conceded immediately after the resumption, when a howler of a defensive header was directed into the middle of the penalty area. Shojaei went up for the high ball and the rebound fell to Taremi, who gratefully swept home the chance to put Iran 1-0 ahead and lift the noisy Azadi Stadium crowd.
The decision means the fivetimes world player of the year will play in only one of Argen-
opener Danushka Gunathilaka early for nine but Mendis shared 111 runs with skipper Upul Tharanga for the second wicket to put Sri Lanka in a strong position. A direct hit from Mahmudullah helped Bangladesh separate the duo as Tharanga was run out for 65, trying to complete a single off a no-ball off Mustafi-
with 24 runs. Milinda Siriwardana also made a useful contribution with 30 runs. Sri Lanka made three changes to their squad, bringing in Nuwan Kulasekara, Nuwan Pradeep and Dilruwan Perera for Sachith Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara and Lakshan Sandakan.
Happy with the No.1 ranking but main challenge begins now: Kohli Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler, right, holds his new jersey as he poses with owner Bob McNair during a news conference a year ago. (Photo: David J. Phillip, AP) enough,” McNair said. “Coach (Bill O’Brien) didn’t have a chance to get to know him. That’s one of the problems with free agency.” He added: “You need to know who you’re dealing with. In the draft, we’re able to bring them to Houston, sit down with them, watch them interviewed by a bunch of coaches, and you have time to check them out. “You can’t talk to them before they become a free agent. You can’t work them out. We didn’t know him that well.” Moving forward, the Texans have Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden under center, but McNair will keep pushing for the team to add a quarterback, either a veteran or one in the draft. “It’s important that we upgrade the play at quarterback,” McNair said. “Maybe we have a player in Savage, but that
Lionel Messi banned from World Cup qualifiers for abusing match official
Needing a win to stay alive in the three-match series, Mendis laid the foundation for a strong total for Sri Lanka with 102 off 107 before Taskin’s late burst halted their progress at the Rangiri International Stadium. Taskin took a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Mendis. Then he removed Asela Gunuratne (39), Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep in the
rgentina forward Lionel Messi has been banned from their next four competitive internationals starting with Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier in Bolivia for swearing at a match official, FIFA said on Tuesday.
He also shared 83 runs for the third wicket with Dinesh Chandimal, who chipped in
Mashrafe Mortaza and Taskin Ahmed celebrate the hat-trick (Photo: AFP)
“We didn’t know Brock well
Mendis struck a six and a four in the next two balls to complete his fifty before racing to his century in 102 balls with a single off Mortaza.
Defender Mei Fang put another header over from a corner on 78 minutes but despite more encouraging signs from China, Russia 2018 again looks remote.
OUSTON, Tuesday, March 28, 2017 Texans general manager Rick Smith convinced the Cleveland Browns to take on his $72 million mistake for the cost of a second-round pick. The trade of Brock Osweiler surprised even Houston’s owner.
McNair was Osweiler’s biggest supporter during a disastrous 2016 season, yet even the owner backed the decision to move on. McNair cited the team famously not meeting with the quarterback before signing him to big money as part of the reason it didn’t work out.
He finished with 4-47 giving Bangladesh a ray of hope after Sri Lanka dominated the visiting bowlers initially, having elected to bat first.
China looked stunned but they finally gathered themselves with Yu Dabao, who scored in last week’s 1-0 win over South Korea, going close with a similar chance at the near post on 64 minutes.
By Kevin Patra, NFL.com
“Everybody around the league, their jaws are still hanging open,” he said. “It’s something no one thought (about), and I think other people have looked at that, and they’ve been trying to do the same thing without success.”
final over to complete his hattrick as the fifth Bangladeshi bowler.
After keeping Iran at bay in the first half, China conceded in the later part of the match (Photo: AFP)
Texans owner on Brock Osweiler trade: ‘Shocker to me’
In his first comments on the Osweiler trade, McNair noted that others around the NFL were surprised the Texans could find a taker for the disappointing quarterback with an onerous contract.
Taskin bags hat-trick after Mendis maiden ton AMBULLA, Sri Lanka | AFP | Tuesday 3/28/2017 - Kusal Mendis struck his maiden century before Taskin Ahmed claimed a hat-trick as Bangladesh dismissed Sri Lanka for 311 runs in the second one-day international in Dambulla on Tuesday.
“It was a shocker to me,” Bob McNair told the Houston Chronicle on Monday from the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix. “It was unbelievable ... I couldn’t believe that Rick was able to pull it off.”
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
tina’s remaining five World Cup qualifiers, a severe blow to the two-times world champions who are struggling in the marathon South American campaign. FIFA said Messi had “directed insulting words at an assistant referee” during the 1-0 win over Chile on Friday. Messi, 29, will also miss
remains to be seen. We think he has the ability and could be that guy, but he hasn’t been healthy.” The best chance for an upgrade would be adding Tony Romo, whenever he’s released by the Dallas Cowboys. The search for a franchise quarterback has consumed McNair and the Texans. It’s understandable when Matt Schaub is the greatest quarterback in franchise history -- Brock’s 2016 season actually places him fourth overall in team history in total passing yards (Pop Quiz: Who ranks third in total passing yards in Texans franchise history? ... Time’s up: Sage Rosenfels.) Shedding Osweiler’s contract was a bold move. Winning the stare down with the Cowboys for Romo is the next maneuver to upgrade a playoff-caliber roster.
games away to Uruguay and home to Venezuela and Peru. The Barcelona forward will be eligible again when Argentina visit Ecuador on Oct. 10. Argentina are third in the 10team South American group with 22 points from 13 games but have only a two-point cushion over sixth-placed Chile, with Colombia (21) and Ecuador (20) sandwiched in between. The top four qualify directly for the tournament in Russia and the fifth side play off against a team from a different confederation for another place. “This decision is in line with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s previous rulings in similar cases,” FIFA said.
HARMASALA, India (CricBuzz) - Indian captain Virat Kohli addressed the media on Tuesday (March 28) in Dharamsala after his side completed a 2-1 series win over Australia. He praised his teammates and the support staff following India’s dominant performances in the home season. Excerpts from the press conference: 13 matches, 10 wins, A lookback at the season to team and support staff: It is a very proud moment. Playing good cricket all season, especially in the home season we dominated all of it. It was very important for a young side to do so and build a team for the future. So that we can give such performances consistently. That we did in this whole season and it was important how we responded to difficult situations. Support staff, management and everyone else was working hard on this aspect, so that in difficult moments and situations, we would be able to counter and come back in those moments. The credit goes to all of them, support staff role is not highlighted much but their contribution is nearly 40 percent, 60 for the team, because they handle the players’ mindset and their skills and working hard with them, giving good feedback to them, so these are important things. So this is a team effort. Finest hour as captain? Not as happy? It has nothing to do with that. It is a classic case of understanding that this is not the end of anything. No need to get over excited with whatever we have done. We are very happy with no.1 ranking in the world, but our main challenge begins now. If we can conquer the
overseas season, that’s when you will see a broader smile on my face when I sit down for the press conference. To understand where we are placed and the kind of cricket we have played, and where we stand as individuals at the end of season, it makes me very happy as a captain. Pacers performances? Planned for future, overseas tours? For sure, it is a very important aspect of our side. We have worked hard on the fitness levels of the guys over the past two years and it’s showing. When teams prepare only for your spinners and our fast bowlers come in and bowl those kind of spells, it can really shake the opposition and that’s exactly what these guys have been able to do. Important breakthroughs and main players most of the times, getting us those important breakthroughs after partnerships. Seizing the momentum for the team has been outstanding on part of the fast bowlers. No. 1 in West Indies, and how look at it now after all these games? Ya, because it happened in a flash and we were just one point away from Pakistan at the second spot. That’s why I wasn’t too excited about it because it was a short term thing. But now I can sit down and be proud of what the guys have been able to achieve since then and different aspects have come up - lower-order contributions, spinners have been outstanding throughout, fast bowlers have been brilliant, the batsmen have stepped up on many occasions. Different people. Not just one or two guys, but everyone has contributed throughout the season. If you don’t have a team performance, you can’t be the No. 1 team in the world. As
simple as that. If you want to win more Test games, you have to have complete team performances. It’s the main reason why we are sitting here as the No. 1 team in the world and we have quite a fair distance above the other teams. That makes me very proud as a captain and all the guys in the change room are very happy with what they have been able to achieve and ending the season on a high. Plans for this series? Nothing different from what we have done in the past. The focus was obviously to maintain our skills, our momentum that we gained throughout the season and execute that. I mentioned in the post match, credit to Australia, the way they have played in this series. They have really challenged us really hard and it tested the guys’ character to bounce back from difficult situations many a time. Specially Jinks, the way he captained in this game was really pleasing to see because it has just been four Test matches since he has come back from his injury and to step up, show that character and lead the side to a win, hats off to him as well. He has really taken the responsibility well and I was really, really happy to see him doing that. Areas to improve Our main focus was to build the fast bowling group, not for overseas conditions but to understand the importance of the breakthroughs they can give in the home season as well. Few of the guys have told me that the kind of fast bowling bunch that we have now gives a good chance to go outside India and put in good performances. I’m certainly very sure and positive about the fact that these guys can deliver away from home and give you machining performances.
VOICE OF ASIA 22
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Your Horoscope for the Week of March 31, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE
by Hardik Vyas, Astrologer Cell : 832-298-9950
Aries (A,L,E) 21 March to 20 April
Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct
Feeling sober and realistic at this time and are interested in being with people you respect and can depend upon - your oldest, true-blue friends. Also, reaching out to an older relative or another mature, experienced person can mean a lot to you and be mutually beneficial now. Relationships go awry or at least take an unexpected turn. The need for more freedom, independence, or novelty on your part, or on the part of someone close to you, may disrupt the status quo in an important relationship.
Forceful, decisive action and you have the will to carry through on your intentions at this time. Physically, you feel good and your energy is flowing smoothly. Also, your interactions with others are feisty and spirited. You inspire others to take action, and group efforts or joint projects are favored. You are more clear and objective about personal matters and your relationships, so this is a favorable time to iron out differences or come to a decision. Going on an outing accompanied by one you love figures prominently now.
Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May
Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov
Being at stressful time to balance needs for freedom and independence, with needs for love and co-operation. You will need to ask support from family members, you will feel isolated as everybody else is busy in their own business. But you need to develop understanding at your own, you need to see the things from different angle, then only you can feel reality. Spending time with elderly people will bring you blessings & good luck. You have stopped praying from quiet some time, you will realize that it’s time for u-turn & will be back on path of prayers.
Mental clarity will be needed for your ability to separate fact from fiction. Miscommunications and an inability to formulate your ideas differently, are likely. Your mind wanders, and this can be a time of creative reverie or daydreaming. Avoid making binding contracts at this time. However later this week you may find yourself involved with stimulating discussions about controversial topics, unusual or offbeat ideas, or “crazy” schemes. The tempo of your life increases and may leave you feeling frazzled.
Sagittarius (BH,F,DH,TH) 22 Nov to 21 Dec
Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Dreams & wishes, you may be infatuated with someone you meet at this time, only to be disappointed later when you discover this person does not fulfill all of your expectations. You are simply not seeing people objectively now. Your imagination is very active and creative, however and so is your yearning for something beautiful. The artist in you emerges, and your creations please and inspire you. Your mood very much colors your thinking right now. You can have fruitful discussions with your close friends or family members.
Positive feelings and inner harmony will create smooth and comfortable relations with others. Your intuition or gut feelings are apt to be right on the mark. This is an excellent time to take the initiative or to begin a project that you have been considering. ACTION is the theme for today. If you tend to be hot-tempered, this is aggravated now, and you can be quite ready. If you are a more relaxed, easy-going person, you will simply feel more energy and drive than usual.
Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan
Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Your desires and urges can be very strong now. In all of your relationships you feel quite warm and affectionate. You are less competitive, more interested in pleasing others and creating harmony. You may also feel compelled to do something creative or artistic, something to express your craving for art & beauty. You are in an eager, confident mood and this is a good time for any competitive endeavor or anything that requires a lot of energy. Driving will require your attention, keep cell phone talk away while driving, for this week.
Enthusiasm and creativity will lead you in the week ahead. There is little resistance to your creative, spontaneous inclinations. This is a wonderful time for creative work and expression of any kind like Dance, music, artistic creativity, and scientific work are all benefited. Originality is highlighted and you are able to compose, design, and create things with fresh insight and originality. You feel less constrained and hemmed in by circumstances and are able to enjoy activities with greater zest and spirit than usual.
Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb
Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Your need there for love, companionship, friendship, sharing and you won’t want to be alone or go off to do solitary work. In fact, you feel like relaxing and enjoying the beautiful side of life rather than laboring or concentrating on difficult tasks. A significant development in a close relationship or strong feelings of attraction to someone you encounter are very likely at this time. Right now, you will be tempted to do something for pleasure which you ordinarily wouldn’t enjoy or even be interested in.
Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September You need to choose a simple path rather than the more complex one that you’ve been on. You need to focus yourself on making the right. A festive, partying mood and you just want to play and share a good time with your friends. Community social events and fellowship are very rewarding now. Also, at this time it is hard for you to say no to food, drink, or extravagances in any form. You are also very generous and tolerant toward others. Though you feel wonderful now, you’re likely to regret your actions later if you don’t curtail your impulses.
Dress appropriately but stick to your budget, because you’ll look great in whatever you wear. You need to test your strategy. Opportunities for friendship, cooperation, love and shared happiness. The warmth and goodwill you generate now is likely to be a benefit to you, both, now and later on. You feel especially friendly and sociable. You are motivated to work at resolving any ongoing problems you may be dealing with, but you’re apt to be rather irritable and edgy now also. You can’t seem to ignore problems or just let them pass.
Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March Rise up and take long, purposeful steps to achieve your goals. Intellectual disagreements or differences of opinion and viewpoints may appear. You may have to speak your mind in a way that challenges or unnerves someone else. However, your mind is very active and sharp and your reasoning power is good so this is a good time to do mental work. You have a lot of mental energy and are eager to “attack” intellectual or conceptual problems. You are likely to come up with a clever solution or a very workable plan, especially if you brainstorm with others. Translate your ideas into action.
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FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE WEEK Ask Your Employees How They Prefer to Receive Feedback You owe it to your employees to give them constructive criticism. But they may not all want to hear feedback the same way. Consider a regional sales manager who often accompanies her sales associates on client visits. Over time, she might learn that some reps want to get her advice right after a client meeting, while others prefer to hear it after a full day’s worth of calls. Tailoring your method to your employees’ preferences will increase the likelihood that they will find your criticism helpful and be more willing to act on it. So ask your employees about their preferences. Do they want immediate feedback, or do they prefer to postpone it? Do they prefer an email or an in-person talk? If it’s the latter, should it be in your workspace, theirs, or a neutral spot? Source: Adapted from “How to Deliver Criticism So Employees Pay Attention,” by Deborah Bright
VOICE OF ASIA 24
FRIDAY, March 31, 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...
Published on Mar 30, 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...