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VOICE OF ASIA
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FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
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Serving Harris, Fort Bend and Surrounding Counties for 30 years
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017 Medicare Open Enrollment – What to Do and How to Do it Read on Page 18 Call 832-806-1000
Vol. 30 No. 39 Friday, October 6, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hanmi Bank donates $10,000 IACCGH Gala 2017 forges US-India to Sewa International for partnership, makes $1M collective dohurricane Harvey relief
nation to Mayor Turner’s Harvey Relief
From L-R: Gitesh Desai, President Sewa International, Mohammad Tariq, EVP and Regional President, Hanmi Bank, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray Executive VP Matt Furr and William Yeh. Photo by Shobana Muratee, VOA. by Shobana Muratee
OUSTON: As part of their Community outreach efforts benefiting Harvey flood relief, Hamni Bank backed by its EVP and Regional President, Mohammad Tariq donated $10,000 to Sewa International, Houston in recognition of their indelible efforts toward rebuilding Houston following hurricane Harvey. The check was presented by Tariq at the reception to Gitesh Desai, President, Sewa International, Houston at their South Gessner branch on Tuesday, October 3, 2017.
OF PEJMAN ICE MA A I
Hanmi Bank was amongst the first banks to come forward with a donation, Tariq said, presenting the check and hoped other banks would follow
suit. Sewa International, he said stood out among many locals for their efforts on the ground which is why he chose to partner with them. “Indian American community has been one of our strong partners and this is one of our ways to give back,” he said. Hanmi Bank is also offering SBA Disaster Relief Loan up to $25,000 at the rate of Prime plus 2.5% waiving SBA guaranty fee, loan fee. Two employees engaged at each of their branches will be assisting in processing application to help speed up the process, Tariq said. Consul General of India Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray, who was instruContinued on Page 6
From L to R: Jagdip Ahluwalia, Allen Richards, Harish Shanbhag , Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Consul General and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Mani Iyer, Amit Bhandari and Sapphira Goradia. Photo credit: Bijay Dixit of Unique Photo Images. by Swathi Vikraman. HOUSTON - Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston held its 18th Annual Gala on September 30th 2017, at Hilton Americas Downtown. The event coincided with the 4th Annual US-India Partnership day. The chamber has been recognizing this partnership since 1999, when India was yet to become the flavor of
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the future. The theme for this year’s Gala was “Partners in Progress”, which was coined before the havoc caused by Hurricane Harvey, yet very apt to depict how community partnerships have worked in the relief and recovery operations. The evening saw local business leaders and high ranking professionals networking at the Reception prior
Continued on Page 5
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to the main event. Several elected officials were also present at the 600 strong gathering. At the Reception, Judge Ed Emmett presented plaques of appreciation to the major sponsors of the evening. The main event commenced with national anthems of both countries. Sanjay Ramabhadran,
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Editorial by Steve Chapman
epublicans and Democrats don’t agree on much, but they agree that, sometimes, individual freedom must yield to the imperatives of public safety. They also agree that, sometimes, efforts to save lives come at too high a price in liberty. Trouble is, they can’t agree on when. The aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre illustrates how either party employs a different calculus depending on the problem at hand. Each has blind spots that become apparent in moments of crisis. Consider the GOP pronouncements after the 2015 San Bernardino shootings in which Islamic extremists killed 14 people. Nothing was going to get in the way of a ferocious assault on terrorists. Chris Christie blamed Barack Obama for failing to grasp “that the most basic responsibility of an administration is to protect the safety and security of the American people.” Marco Rubio defended mass electronic surveillance, arguing that after the next attack, “the first thing people are going to want to know is, why didn’t we know about it and why didn’t we stop it?” And the Las Vegas massacre? Christie said it “leaves us grasping for answers.” Rubio said he was praying for the victims. No one blamed the president. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said that people caught in such attacks should, “you know, try to stay safe. As somebody said, get small.” After mass shootings, Democrats demand legislation to ban certain weapons or accessories and restrict access to guns. In these situations, unlike the case with terrorist incidents, Republicans put all their emphasis on personal rights. Their attitude parallels the Democratic stance on other dangers. Democrats faulted Donald Trump’s travel order for stranding a lot of inno-
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
After Las Vegas, we have bipartisan hypocrisy on guns cent travelers and refugees on the off chance of keeping out terrorists. Some praised Edward Snowden, even though the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee said his leaks did “substantial damage to national security.” On firearms, the two sides are far apart. Many Democrats have scant regard for the constitutional rights of gun owners. As mayor of Chicago, Democrat Richard M. Daleyinsisted on keeping the city’s ban on handguns even after the court made clear in 2010 that it was unconstitutional. Republicans resist any restriction on firearms, no matter how modest. Gun control supporters are fond of measures that are superficially appealing but practically irrelevant, while opponents treat any restriction as an intolerable violation of liberty.
Cartoon by Tom Toles
VOICE OF ASIA 4
might well uphold them. But many of the ideas heard this week would be irrelevant in practice. To demand a law against so-called assault weapons requires forgetting that the federal ban that existed from 1994 to 2004 had no discernible impact on gun violence.
The Second Amendment, the Supreme Court has ruled, protects an individual right to own guns for self-defense. But no constitutional right is exempt from regulation. I can say whatever I want, but I can’t do it on a bullhorn at 3 a.m. I can’t drop thousands of leaflets from an airplane.
Washington Post columnist Charles Lane, noting the Las Vegas killer’s huge arsenal, tweeted, “What legitimate interest possibly justifies individual possession of 42 repeat 42 firearms?” But only a few weapons are needed to carry out a mass murder. Any numerical limit would be arbitrary and either useless or unconstitutional.
The court has said that it’s fine with a host of existing gun restrictions, such as “laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” If legislators could devise measures that could be effective without imposing onerous burdens, the court
Gun rights advocates, however, reject even the most logical changes if they would cause the slightest inconvenience to any gun owner. The federal government requires licensed firearm dealers to perform a background check for each purchase. But no check is re-
quired on private transactions, which account for a large share of sales. When Obama proposed universal background checks, Republicans mobilized to prevent them. The federal government has no law making a crime of “straw purchasing” — where a legally qualified person buys a weapon for someone barred from owning guns. When the Senate considered a measure in 2013 to outlaw such commerce, the NRA helped to block it. What the debate needs is a pitiless focus on options that meet two simple requirements: 1) They hold reasonable promise of being functionally useful, and 2) they don’t put an undue burden on law-abiding gun owners. It’s not hard to find measures that meet these conditions. But first, both sides have to want to. (-Chicago Tribune)
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THE STORY OF MAHATMA GANDHI
National tragedy follows Independence
fter the defeat of Japan in August 1945, Britain agreed to a planned withdrawal from India in friendship and with no bitterness. All through his life Gandhi had worked for unity between Hindus and Muslims, without much success. There was a large section of nationalist Muslim in the Congress but leaders of the Muslim League were drifting further and further away. Gandhi was not the man to give up hope, however, and he pursued his efforts to bring about a settlement. On the other hand, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League, was hostile to the idea of unity. This is the concluding installment of the story of Mahatma Gandhi. The Viceroy invited all leaders to Simla and tried to find a solution and bring about Hindu-Muslim accord. Jinnah would not agree to anything except a separate Muslim state of Pakistan. Britain announced an election in India and the election was held. The Congress won most of the nonMuslim seats and the Muslim League won most of the Muslim seats. The deadlock continued. “We can settle the Indian problem in ten minutes if Mr. Gandhi agrees to the creation of Pakistan,” said Jinnah. “Cut me in half,” cried Gandhi, “but do not divide India in two.” He spoke to the deaf. In February 1946, the British government sent a Cabinet Mission to India. It consisted of Lord Pethick-Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps and A.V. Alexander. The task of the Cabinet Mission was to study the situation and make recommendations. After careful consideration, the Cabinet Mission issued a state-
ment proposing the withdrawal of British authority from India. They had the idea of a united India. On August 24, 1946, the Viceroy announced the formation of an Interim National Government to replace the Viceroy’s Executive Council. Jawaharlal Nehru was the Vice-President of the Interim Government. The Muslim League declined to join on the ground that it had not been given the right to nominate all the Muslim members. After the installation of the Interim Government, Gandhi was anxious to return to Sevagram, his ashram near Wardha, but the Congress leaders prevailed on him to stay longer in Delhi because they wanted his advice. Then the Muslim League decided to join the Interim Government and an announcement was made to that effect on October 15, 1946. Gandhi once again felt free to return to Sevagram. He was about to leave Delhi when news came of disturbances in Bengal. There was widespread communal rioting in Calcutta and in the Muslim majority district of Noakhali in East Bengal, with murder, arson, looting, forced conversions, forced
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stan in loving resignation. We have no choice. Hindus must lead the way to a friendly settlement.” Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last British Viceroy, was anxious not to delay the ushering in of independent India and independent Pakistan. He shortened the time limit for the British to quit India. The date for the declaration of Indian independence was fixed for August 15, 1947. Thus on August 15, 1947, India’s long struggle and suffering for freedom was over. A new nation, although split in two, was born. Lord Mountbatten hailed Gandhi as “the architect of India’s freedom through non-violence.” Gandhi had never given his approval to partition, but when it was done he accepted it and did everything possible for the attainment of Hindu-Muslim friendship. Yet the tension between Hindus and Muslims continued to increase. As a result of partition over 700,000 Hindus, Sikhs, and other nonMuslims, fearing the Muslims, in Pakistan left their homes and set out towards security in India. From India about the same number of Muslims, fearing the Hindus, left their homes for Pakistan. The miseries attendant on this mass migration, one of the greatest in history, were manifold. One and half million people on the move were exposed to starvation, disease, and death on the way. Gandhi was on his way to the Punjab when he stopped in Delhi, hoping to quell the riots that had broken out there. Gandhi’s gospel of
forbearance and forgiveness towards Muslims marked him as a traitor in the eyes of many Hindu extremists. In the face of fanatical opposition, Gandhi redoubled his efforts and the major disturbances in Delhi subsided, but there were still disturbances here and there. Gandhi decided to do penance by fasting, which he thought would bring about a change in the attitude of the Hindu fanatics. The fast began on January 13, 1948. There was gloom all over India at the news of Gandhi’s fast. People thought that he would not be able to survive another fast. The whole world watched as Gandhi, 78 years old, fasted to save his country from destruction. On January 18 a peace committee, representing all communities, met and signed a pact pledging unity and the protection of life, property, and faith to the Muslim minority. Gandhi was informed of the pledge and he broke his fast. Gandhi was staying at Birla House. Every evening he held a prayer-meeting in the grounds. During his prayer-meeting on January 20, a bomb was thrown at him, but it missed its target. Gandhi continued his prayer meeting as if nothing had happened. “Bapuji, a bomb exploded near you,” said a voice. “Really?” Gandhi said. “Perhaps some poor fanatic threw it. But let no one look down on him.” On January 30, after a midday nap, Gandhi woke up at 3.30 p.m. The whole day he had had a stream of visitors. Sardar Patel
went to see him at 4 p.m. Nehru and Azad were to come after the evening prayer. Gandhi left his room at 5 p.m. and went towards the prayer hall. He passed through a cordoned-off path, accompanied by Manu and Abha, his grand-daughters. As he was walking along a youth came forward as if to seek his blessings. But he stood in front of Gandhi and at point-blank range fired three shots in quick succession. All the bullets hit him. Gandhi fell, uttering the prayer, “Hay Ram.” Gandhi was dead. The assassination gave the world a tremendous shock. Nehru went on radio to tell the country of Gandhi’s death, his voice choked with emotion: “Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere. I do not know what to tell you and how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father of the Nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that. Nevertheless, we will not see him again as we have seen him for these many years. The light has gone out, I said, and yet I was wrong. For the light that shone in this country was no ordinary light. The light that has illumined this country for these many, many years will illumine this country for many more years, and a thousand years later that light will still be seen in this country, and the world will see it and it will give solace to innumerable hearts.” — Concluded
VOICE OF ASIA 5
COMMUNITY VOICE OF ASIA
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Second Front Page
IACCGH Gala 2017 forges USIndia partnership, makes $1M collective donation ......Turner’s... Continued from Page 3 a chamber Board member was the Master of Ceremony. Chamber’s Executive Director, Jagdip Ahluwalia highlighted this year’s economic development through bilateral ties. This included India’s purchase of over $2 billion US Crude oil, within one month of PM Modi’s meeting with President Trump. IACCGH was present at the loading of the crude oil on the first ship Bob Patel, CEO and Chairman of Lyondell Basell delivering his Keynote that sailed out of Tex- address. Photo by Bijay Dixit. as. Another win for Texas was the sale of presence in Houston and the Harris County Judge Emmett Apache helicopters to India. community at large.. The com- and Houston Mayor Sylvester munity responded positively Turner by Consul General Dr The new board was introwith many chamber members Ray, Sapphira Goradia, Jagdip duced next, led by PresidentElect Swapan Dhairyawan. A like GAIL USA, Charles Fos- Ahluwalia, Allen Richards, ter, Dilip Bhargava and local Amit Bhandari of BioUrja, video depicting the history of places of worship sending in Harish Shanbhag of Wipro and the chamber helped the auditens of thousands of dollars Mani Iyer of Mahindra USA. ence appreciate this amazing to the fund. Major Philanthro- Mention was also made of journey. They were encourpists like Dr Durga Agrawal the volunteer hours made by aged to go through the Gala donated through India House. SEWA International, The Hinmagazine to get a full picture IACF President Dr. Vanitha dus of Greater Houston, the of the Chamber’s history, work Pothuri donated $25000 bring Bohra Community, the Sikh and accomplishments over the IACF’s total up to $100,000. National Center several other 18 years. Sapphira Goradia matched Indo American Churches, temChief guest of the evening, this first $100,000 donated. ples and mosques. Judge EmIndia’s Consul General Dr WIPRO donated $250,000 mett and Mayor Turner conAnupam Ray gave a wonderto the governors fund, Bi- gratulated the chamber on the ful speech, touching upon InoUrja donated $250000 to the efforts to support the Hosuton dia’s ever growing influence Mayors fund and Mahindra community. on the global stage. The Indian Americas donated a total of IACCGH current President community has given time, $1.5 Million in cash and kind Allen Richards described the talent and treasure towards to the relief efforts. IACCGH 18th year of the Chamber as relief efforts. Post Harvey, Past Presidents Ashok Garg the start of “a new direction”. IACF (Indo-American Charity and Sanjay Ramabhadran and He highlighted the collaboraFoundation) set up a fund to President Allen Richards felt tion with other ethnically disupport the Harvey relief efthat the IACCGH Gala would verse organizations and the forts. This initiative endorsed be a great venue to showcase “NexGen” initiative, providing by the Consul General and the community effort in giving opportunities to the younger proposed by Sapphira Goraback. A symbolic check from demographic. The Gala also dia, President of the Goradia the Indian American Com- had amazing entertainment Family Foundation, includes munity “Marching Towards a provided by singers Skylar contributions from the ChamMillion” acknowledging and Beamon, Sparsh Shah and a bers individual members, celebrating the contributions flash mob. businesses large and small and that have already been made those from India that have a Bob Patel, CEO and Chairto these funds was presented to
From L to R: Sanjay Ramabhadran, Jagdip Ahluwalia, Bob Patel, Bal Sareen, Dr Marie Goradia, Swapnil Agarwal, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and IACCGH President Allen Richards. Photo (s) credit: Bijay Dixit of Unique Photo Images
man of Lyondell Basell delivered the keynote. His keynote started off with his inspirational life story. He appreciated the work the Chamber is doing in creating connections, bringing the two countries closer together and advancing knowledge to create opportunity. IACCGH also recognized the professional and public service achievements of members of the Indo American community.. Port Houston Chairman Janiece Longoria received the award for the tremendous impact on the economy, Dr Marie Goradia received “Impact on Humanity” award for her efforts through Pratham USA; Bal Sareen, CEO of Brask Inc. received the “Entreprenuer of the Year” award and Swapnil Agarwal of Karya Management received the “Young Entreprenuer of the Year” award. The event coordinators were also felicitated. President Elect, Swapan Dhairyawan, delivered the vote of thanks and outlined his plans for the coming year. The event concluded with declaring the winner of the prestigious Rolex Raffle and a wonderful Indian dinner by Dawat Catering (Madras Pavilion).
Port Houston Chairman Janiece Longoria received the“Impact on Humanity” Seen here with Consul General Dr. Ray and Judge Judge Ed Emmett.
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VOICE OF ASIA 6
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Sugar Land, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, R
Fort Bend ISD to present first Men’s Choir Festival Concert
Fort Bend County Fair Queen named
The free event begins at 7 pm on October 9th and will feature men’s choirs from District’s secondary schools
ICHMOND/ROSENBERG - Marissa Salazar, a senior at Austin High School, was crowned the 2017 Fort Bend County Fair Queen. She was among 11 young ladies who competed for the crown, scholarships, and all the other awards that come with the title. Katie Koerth, the 2016 Fair Queen, passed on the title to Marissa in the Queen Coronation Ceremony held on opening day of the fair. Marissa was named Queen in front of her parents, extended family, the Queen Committee, board members and guests. “It feels absolutely amazing; it wasn’t anticipated at all to win. I just feel, I feel truly honored to be able to represent Fort Bend County. I am just happy to be here. I am having an awesome time,” Marissa said. Country music singer Mary Sarah, formerly of Richmond, rides in the Fort Bend County Fair Parade Friday at the grand marshal. She will perform a concert at the fair Saturday night. (Photo by Joe Southern) Marissa will be serving as an ambassador during the fair’s run at several different auctions and events. The compe-
Marissa Salazar (Right) with former Queen Katie Koerth (Submitted photo) tition is based on a personal interview, an essay, a networking event, community service, and participation. The other fair queen candidates were Skylar Higginbotham, a freshman at George Ranch High School; Jenna Marler, a senior at Tompkins High School; Tori Reeh, a senior at Needville High School; Samantha Mae, a senior at Lamar Consolidated High School; Bethany Garcia, a senior at Clements High School; Marissa Charcas, a senior at Lamar Consolidated High School; Shauna Pack, a junior at George Ranch
mental in the Harvey relief drive in the Indian American community including Sewa International and several others in Houston, lauded the community’s collective effort.
“India is one of the first responders in International humanitarian crisis; we provide relief rapidly, cheaply and in a very focused way,” he said citing the examples of 2004 Tsunami and earthquake in Nepal in 2015.
singing talent of more than 500 singers representing all 25 FBISD secondary school choirs.
The free event will take place at Sugar Land Baptist Church (16755 Southwest Frwy., Sugar Land, 77479) at 7 p.m., and will feature the
Men of Moores from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music – transition music
Performers will include: The Combined Middle School Men’s Choirs – performing two selections
The Combined High School
Men’s Choirs – performing three selections All choral groups – performing the grand finale of A Tribute to the Armed Services in honor of individuals who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Come out and support these talented FBISD choir students as they perform their first festival concert. The concert will become an annual FBISD event after this year.
Sugar Land 101 class applications close Nov. 13
High School; Krystal Negrete, a senior at Needville High School; Kelsey Lattin, a junior at Hightower High School; and Kennedy Johnson, a senior at Ridgepoint High School. Tori Reeh was named first runner-up and Jenna Marler was awarded Miss Congeniality.
UGAR LAND - The city of Sugar Land will accept applications through Nov. 13 for the next Sugar Land 101 class scheduled to begin in January 2018.
Marissa Salazar will take part in several fair related activities throughout the year. The fair runs through Oct. 8 at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds in Rosenberg.
Sugar Land 101 participants learn about city operations from Sugar Land’s top managers. The class also includes a mock City Council meeting and two citywide tours, including a behind the scenes look at city facilities.
For more information, visit fortbendcountyfair.com.
“It was great to see the en-
Hanmi Bank onates $10,000 to Sewa International for hurricane Harvey relief Continued from Page 3
ORT BEND ISD (October 3, 2017) – Fort Bend ISD’s secondary school men’s choirs will present their first Men’s Choir Festival Concert on Monday, October 9, and the community is invited to attend.
Gitesh Desai, accepting the check for Sewa International, spoke briefly about the organization that ranks among the few NGOs whose administrative cost is 7% or less. He assured that every dollar donated would be used very prudently.
Sewa International has been on the forefront since Harvey hit Houston, he said especially crediting its volunteers. “Most of our volunteers are working class professionals who immediately came to action with passion and rescued about 700 people from flood waters,” he said. Desai also
thusiasm that the speakers had for the city and for their jobs,” said Sugar Land 101 alumni Elaine Pascual. “I really appreciate that the city provides this class and for free; it makes the city more transparent and accessible.”
Those applying for Sugar Land 101 must be a resident of the city, New Territory or Greatwood for at least one year, at least 21 years of age, not currently holding or running for elected office and willing to attend the 10-week session.
Fellow alumni Griselda Gonzales encourages residents to apply as she “really enjoyed the tours and meeting at different locations for the classes,” adding that she became more familiar with the city.
Apply online at https://volunteer.sugarlandtx.gov, or for more information about Sugar Land 101 and additional enrollment requirements, visit www. sugarlandtx.gov/SL101. Enrollment is limited.
thanked Sewa’s long-term donors who assured their continued support. One such donor, Dev Mahajan, he said wired $50,000 immediately toward relief efforts.
braches here. They have 5 branches in Dallas, and one in Austin. “Our goal is to grow in Texas especially in the communities that we serve.”
Hanmi Bank acquired the United Central Bank in 2014 in Houston and opened 3
Visiting Executive VP Matt Furr, from head office in Los Angeles, also spoke on the occasion.
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VOICE OF ASIA 7
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
END END VIEW VIEW
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Shayonano USA Inc. opens in Stafford, Texas ShayoNano USA, Inc., a subsidiary of ShayoNano PTE, Ltd. Singapore, inaugurates its first US production facility in Stafford, Texas
Missouri City increases property tax rate by Renee Yan
ORT BEND, Oct. 3, 2017 - The Missouri City City Council on Monday voted to increase the city’s 2017 property tax rate by 7.12 percent in part to fund infrastructure improvements. - Tax rate adopted City council voted to adopt a tax rate of $0.60000 per $100 of assessed property value, a nearly 4-cent increase from the current tax rate. Of that $0.60000 per $100 valuation, $0.44023 will be allocated to funding the city’s maintenance and operations, and $0.15977 will be allocated to the debt service fund, according to meeting documents.
Mahesh Patel, (center) with Jeff Wiley and Cyriac Alexander during the ribbon cutting.
TAFFORD - A ribbon cutting ceremony was held May 23rd, officially opening a state of the art facility that will increase production capacity for a variety of ShayoNano’s nanochemistry products for the Paints and Coatings Industry, including SmartHide™, an economical alternative to titanium diox-
ide. The facility employs revolutionary piloting capabilities for new product scale up and process development. On hand for the ceremonial ribbon cutting were Mahesh Patel, the company’s CEO, Jeff Wiley, President of the Greater Fort Bend County Economic Development Corporation and Cyriac Alexander, CEO of Alexander Technical Insti-
tute (ATI), as well as many industry and community stakeholders. “This plant will serve as a model for future planned North American production sites as we continue to expand our mission to bring affordable nanochemistry products to meet the needs of paints and coatings manufacturers,” says Patel.
Four ways to boost bedtime
City council passed an ordinance to create a reinvestment zone, which will reduce property taxes for future developments within the zone’s 36.39 acres located at the northeast intersection of Hwy. 90A and Cravens Road. The amount of reduction was not specified. The city received a request for the creation of such a zone by a company to develop a warehouse facility, according to previous meeting documents. The Missouri City City Council approved a land rezoning proposal, a tax break, and council members also agreed on a… “The city is currently working with a business prospect the city seeks to attract,” Joe Esch, Missouri City’s economic de-
velopment director, wrote in an email. “[The zone] defines the geographic area where we intend to enter into a tax abatement agreement. There currently is no agreement in place.” Once an agreement is reached and approved by city council, it would only apply to new value created from the project, Esch said. Unless the ordinance is renewed and extended, Reinvestment Zone 15 will expire in five years. - Food trucks regulations approved City council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would tighten regulations for food trucks, preventing them from operating in certain retail zones. “I’m an advocate for those businesses who have invested brick and mortar, who have stakes in the commerce of Missouri City,” Council Member Don Smith said. “I support food trucks at events. I certainly feel that’s a good thing, but I’m advocating for those who spend their resources to take root in Missouri City on a permanent basis.”
Council Member Anthony Maroulis and Mayor Allen Owen agreed with Smith. “If there was a barbeque restaurant, and I set up a barbeque food truck, that’s direct competition,” Maroulis said. “I made the comment before that I am totally opposed to [food trucks]competing with our people that are trying to make a living in this city,” Owen said. Council Member Chris Preston said he understands the need to protect local businesses, but said food trucks are innovative and growing in popularity. “I’m looking for the sweet spot,” Preston said. “I don’t want to take business away from brick and mortar establishments, but I do think there is a lot of opportunity. There are a lot of good things that can come from welcoming food trucks to Missouri City.” Owen also said he’d like to see increased inspections of food trucks because there is a safety concern in having propane gas sources in such close proximities to operating stoves. (-Community Impact News)
U G A R LAND - (October 4, 2017) -- Few things feel as good as a restful night’s sleep. The restorative power of sleep can help you feel refreshed and ready for the day. But, if you find yourself groggy and crabby in the morning, you may not be getting enough sleep. If you’re often having issues with sleep, it’s time to make a change.
Raziuddin Ahmed, M.D. “Getting the right amount of sleep is important for everyphones, etc.) an hour or more one,” said Raziuddin Ahmed, before bedtime. M.D., a board-certified sleep • Get exercise. Regular exermedicine specialist with Houston Methodist Pulmonary & cise often can help you sleep Sleep Medicine Specialists. better and reduce your stress “Sleep helps your brain re- level. member information and better For some people, poor sleep allows you to pay attention dur- may be caused by an untreated ing the day.” sleep disorder, such as insomWhat’s considered a good nia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea or amount of sleep? The Centers restless legs syndrome. If you for Disease Control and Pre- wake up frequently at night, vention recommends 7 to 9 snore loudly, wake up exhausthours of sleep for adults, 8.5 ed or nod off during the day, hours or more for teens and you may have a sleep disorder. 10 hours or more for children. “Sleep disorders can make Getting less sleep than you you feel like you’re never goneed could lead to an increase ing to get a good night’s sleep in blood pressure and stress again. That’s simply not true,” hormones, lower glucose toler- Ahmed said. “With treatment, ance and weight gain. many patients can get back to To improve your odds of get- better sleep and improve their ting a better night’s rest, try quality of life.” these tips: To schedule an appointment • Be consistent. Make it a with Raziuddin Ahmed, M.D., habit to go to sleep and arise at Houston Methodist Pulmoat the same time every day — nary & Sleep Medicine Specialists, visit houstonmethodeven on the weekends. ist.org/appointments or call • Keep a sleep-friendly bed- 281.242.2444 today. room. Keep your bedroom For more information about dark, free of distracting noise and at a comfortable tempera- Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, visit houstonmethodture. ist.org/sugarland, or Facebook • Unplug early. Shut down page at fb.com/methodistsugscreens (TVs, laptops, cell- arland for the latest news.
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VOICE OF ASIA 8
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
ASIE organizes Legal and Oral History students at HCC trained by Baylor ‘Varsity official Technical Seminars The project, a shining example of cooperation between Baylor University, HCCS,SAADA and FIS
Oral History students,some of them International, posed with Baylor ‘Varsity Instructor, Adrienne Cain (standing fourth from Left).
he training was held at HCC’s Central campus, organized by Ravi Brahmbhatt (selfie photographer in the front), who is also the Project Chair for FIS’s Indo-American Oral History Project. Foundation for India Studies (FIS) has standing MOUs, with Baylor University,Waco, Houston Community College System (HCCS) and Houston Public Library (HPL) who all will pledged to support the Indo-American Oral History project which is a community driven not-for profit project. Some of the trained HCC students will be mentored by FIS with practical training in production of the oral history interviews. At the national level, South Asian American Digital Archives (SAADA) will provide national exposure by posting all the FIS interviews on their website- https://www.saada. org. Fifty two first generation immigrants from India have already participated in the project and have recorded their
L-R : Ravi Brahmbhatt, MBA,Director of Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Adjunct Faculty in HCC, Adrienne Cain, MLS, CA, Assistant Director, Institute for Oral History and Secretary-Treasurer of Texas Oral History Association, Baylor University,Waco holding a Memento presented by Krishna Vavilala,Founder Chairman of the Foundation for India Studies (FIS) immigrant experiences in this land of opportunities. Don’t you want to leave a legacy of your story to your grand children? Why procrastinate ?? It would not cost a fortune.
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by Dinesh D. Shah, MBA, PE, RAS merican Society of Indian Engineers and Architects (ASIE), a Houston based organization for engineers, architects, designers, and engineering technicians, held their two monthly seminars in the month of September at Bhojan Restaurant in Houston. The Legal seminar was presented by Dr. Daniel Wong, President and CEO of Tolunay-Wong Engineers, Inc. in Houston. Dr. Wong serves as a Board member of the University of Houston Civil Engineering Department Advisory Board and is a member of its Academy. He also served on the Board of Houston Council of Engineering Companies (formerly ACME) and as President of Asian American Engineers/Architects. Dr. Wong was selected by the Texas Governor as a TBPE Board member and since in 2013 he has been serving as Board Chair. For the Legal aspects of the seminar, he presented the “Update of Texas Board of Professional Engineers on Rules and Laws,”focusing on the rules and issues of the Professional Engineers. He also discussed about the use of engineering seal, professional procurement act, and conflict of interest. This seminar was well received and concluded with interesting Q & A session. As a part of the Continuing Education requirements for the license, the one PDH certificate was issued to all and a Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Dr. Daniel Wong as a speaker and sponsor for the seminar. A second seminar was organized for the technical topic presented on September 21 by Mahesh Wadhwa, Architect, AIA and President of Wadhwa & Associates, Inc., is an Architecture and Design firm based in Houston. Wadhwa has over 45 years of experience in various Architectural/ Engineering projects. His strength lies in design formulation, proper administration of project contracts, and containment of costs. His designs are based on energy conservation, environmental studies, code conformance, and intel-
Dr. Daniel Wong speaking at the ASIE Legal Seminar
Certificate of Appreciation being presented to Mahesh Wadhwa by ASIE Vice President Chetan Vyas. lect. He has designed and developed many office buildings, health facilities, multifamily housing, and industrial, commercial and institutional projects. Wadhwa talked about Texas Accessibility Standards covering the scoping and technical design standard requirements for accessibility to buildings and facilities by individuals with disabilities under the Disabilities (ADA) Act. Texas requires plans for all new business construction or alterations over $50,000 to be submitted to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation for review and inspection. He added that this information can be helpful for business owners and property owners to understand and get the details they need to comply with the ADA and Texas Accessibility Standards. This technical seminar was found interesting and informative by the profession-
als, as added the knowledge of accessibility standards for the project design requirements. Everyone enjoyed the delicious buffet dinner served by Bhojan Restaurant. One of the sponsor of this seminar was Dan Khatri of TDK Construction, specialized in commercial construction for the since 1994. Another sponsor was Sudhir Mathuria, a principal of Mathuria & Associates. They provide services for complete health related insurance direct from business to consumer. As a part of the Continuing Education requirements for the license, the one PDH certificate was issued to all and a Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Mahesh Wadhwa as a speaker. Vice President Chetan Vyas coordinated both meetings in the absence of ASIE President Dinesh Shah.
VOICE OF ASIA 9
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Historic announcement of Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana by HH Mahant Swami Maharaj
reflects the traditional methods of a vādagrantha, but also emphasizes the robustness of the text.
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HH Mahant Swami Maharaj Inaugurates the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhānta-sudhā and Announces Parabrahman Svāminārāyaṇa’s Darśana as the Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana.
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His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj with distinguished scholars present at the event.
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1. The inauguration of the Svāminārāyaṇa-siddhāntasudhā 2. The Śrī Kāśī Vidvat Pariṣad recognizing Śrī Svāminārāyaṇa’s Vedānta as the Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana, as Vedic and distinct from the other Vedanta darśanas 3. The official announcement of Svāminārāyaṇa’s teachings as the Akṣara-Puruṣottama
Darśana The Inauguration of the Svāminārāyaṇa-siddhānta-sudhā
The evening assembly was marked with the inauguration of the Svāminārāyaṇasiddhānta-sudhā by HH Mahant Swami Maharaj. Authored by Pujya Bhadreshdas Swami, the text is traditionally categorized as a vādagrantha – a formal exposition, justification, and defense of the philosophical and theological positions of a darśana. It is composed on the Akṣara-Puruṣottama Darśana as it was revealed by Parabrahman Puruṣottama Svāminārāyaṇa. Divided into nine chapters identified as dhārās, the text presents a sophisticated treatment of the philosophical principles of Bhagavān Svāminārāyaṇa. Among other things, it grounds these principles on expositions found within the Prasthānatrayī – a collective designation for the Upaniṣads, Śrīmadbhagavadgītā, and the Brahmasūtras. It also presents a unique epistemological system that is characteristic of the darśana. Its comprehensive, critical, yet reverent treatment of alternative darśanas and their disagreements not only
In admiration for the text’s intellectual appeal, several dignitaries and renowned academics in the assembly expressed their thoughts and praise for the text. Both the text and its author were honored by invited guests including Professor George Cardona – a renowned professor emeritus of linguistics and South Asian studies at the University of Pennsylvania; Professor Sthaneshwar Timalsina – a distinguished professor at San Diego State University; Professor Graham Schweig – the director of studies in religion at Christopher Newport University; Professor Deven Patel – a professor of South-Asian Studies at University of Pennsylvania; Professor Jyotindra Dave – the director of BAPS Research Institute at Akshardham; New Delhi; and Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami – the chief editor at Hinduism Today. Professor Deven Patel began by explaining the significance of a vādagrantha and its distinctive role in establishing the principles of a darśana. He offered a brief summary of the great philosophical insights that have been offered by the Sanskrit commentarial tradition and positioned the vādagrantha within this tradition. Among other things he complemented the text’s 459 kārikās – poetic syntheses of the text’s exposition, justification, and defense of the principles of the AkṣaraPuruṣottama Darśana. He also offered reverence to Swamiji for his outstanding work as the author of both the comprehensive commentary of the sacred texts of the Prasthānatrayī and the Svāminārāyaṇa-siddhāntasudhā – an accomplishment never performed before by a single author. Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami substantiated how a work of such great prominence is possible only by the divine grace of the guru. He focused on the significance of the guru in sustaining a darśana’s principles and emphasized the need to follows a guru’s commands. He concluded by commending Sadhu Bhadreshdas’ commitment toward fulling Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s wishes to compose both commentaries of the Prasthānatrayī and a vādagrantha on the darśana’s foundational principles. (Article courtesy BAPS Charities)
Rainbow of Love Launches Shoe Drive Fundraiser to Raise Money for annual Baskets for Babies Program OUSTON – Rainbow of love www. rainbowoflove.org is conducting a shoe drive fundraiser on September 30 – November 30 to raise funds for our annual Baskets for Babies Program. Rainbow of Love will earn funds based on the total number of used and new shoes collected. Those dollars will benefit Rainbow of Love’s Baskets for Babies Program for baby items that will be given to the parents of infants and toddlers in the Harris and Fort Bend County areas. Anyone can help by donating gently worn, used and new shoes to our Fondren office, 10103 Fondren Rd. Suite #474 Houston, TX 77096 M-F during the hours of 9-5p or Ft. Bend County office, 2714 Cypress Point Suite K Missouri City, TX 77459 Thursday during the hours of 1-5pm or schedule a pick up by calling (713) 779-
8877. All donated shoes will then be redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of micro-enterprise (small business) partners. Funds2Orgs works with micro-entrepreneurs in helping them create, maintain and grow small businesses in developing countries where economic opportunity and jobs are limited. Proceeds from the sales of the shoes collected in shoe drive fundraisers are used to feed, clothe and house their families. One budding entrepreneur in Haiti even earned enough to send to her son to law school. “We are excited about our shoe drive,” said Adriana Rivas, Service Coordinator. “We know that most people have extra shoes in their closets they would like to donate to us. By doing so, we raise money for Rainbow of Love’s Baskets for Babies Program
and those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and we have the chance to help families in developing nations who need economic opportunities. It’s a win-win for everyone.” By donating gently worn, used and new shoes to the Funds2Orgs, the shoes will be given a second chance and make a difference in people’s lives around the world. About Rainbow of Love Rainbow of Love is a social service agency that assists families and those looking to adopt children. We strongly believe that great parents will provide a great life. To help our community, the proceeds from this shoe drive will be used to purchase items for infants and toddlers in need of the essential products and assist those families with Infants and toddlers who were affected by Hurricane Harvey.
www. voiceofasiaonline.com More Fort Bend news!
VOICE OF ASIA 10
Joyalukkas gives away up to 500,000 gold coins and exciting offers this Diwali
he world’s favourite jeweller is having a banner year with back to back showroom launches, a brand-new brand ambassador in Kajol Devgan and several awards, including an 8th consecutive Superbrand win under its belt. Never one to disappoint, Joyalukkas is giving back to its loyal supporters with a grand gold coin giveaway in time for the Festival of Lights. Golden Diwali at Joyalukkas is offering Free gold coins on a minimum purchase of jewellery. Customers can also take advantage of guaranteed gold rate protection upon 10% advance payment on the jewellery of their dreams till 17th October 2017, as well as enjoy low making charges. “For Joyalukkas Group, Diwali 2017 is truly a time of thanks giving,” says Mr. Joy Alukkas, Chairman & MD, Joyalukkas
Republican Congressman Ted Poe, in a speech in the house of represnetatives, said stories of “Harvey Heroes” continue to bring people together and “make us grateful for the incredible people that we call neighbours”. Poe, whose district includes northern parts of Houston in Texas, hailed Indian-Americans for opening their “homes, hearts, and wallets” to help Houston recover the catastrophic effect of the hurricane.
Navratri 2017: It’s Team India vs Team USA in a Dandiya Dance Off
Group. “We’re not only celebrating 30 years of being the world’s favourite jeweller and an ever-growing presence across the globe, it’s also our first major campaign featuring Kajol Devgan. Golden Diwali is our way of thanking the millions of patrons who have made each achievement, each new showroom possible.” Making the promotion even more special is a limited edition festive collection featuring a glittering selection of antique gold and temple jewellery, playful floral inspired Rangeen pieces, as well as traditional mangalsutra sets and contemporary designs in diamond, gold and precious stones. The Joyalukkas Golden Diwali promotion is available across the brand’s over 130 showrooms in the UK, USA, GCC, India and Asia till the 21st of October 2017.
Harvey: US lawmaker lauds Indian-Americans for opening ‘homes, hearts and wallets’ OUSTON: (PTI) - A top American lawmaker has lauded the role of the Indian-American volunteers in the relief and reconstruction work during and post hurricane Harvey in the US state of Texas.
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Happy Navratri: The festive season is instantly made more fun with a dandiya dance off
EW DELHI: The festival of Navratri is one of the most widely celebrated Hindu festivals. The nine-day long festival is celebrated to honour Goddess Durga. Each day, one of her nine different forms is worshipped. Many fast and avoid food grains like rice, wheat and pulses for nine consecutive days. But Navratri, which began this year on September 21, is also popular for its vibrant garba and dandiya nights.
There are many uplifting stories of those who grabbed their personal boats and set out in the waters to rescue individuals, many of whom they did not know, he said.
Indian-Americans have already raised over USD 1.6 million. 700 Indian-American volunteers have dedicated more than 24,000 hours to their city, and together they have distributed over 28,000 meals to the locals in need, Poe said.
“We are grateful to these volunteers, some of the many ‘Harvey Heroes’, for helping Houstonians get through a very difficult time. They are just one of the reasons why we are ‘Houston Strong’.
Garba and dandiya are folk dances from Gujarat and Rajasthan that are traditionally played during Navratri. The
“Our first responders answered the call time and time again. And so did so many people whose names we may never know. For all of them, we thank them from the bottom of our hearts,” Poe said.
in Texas on August 26, was one of the most destructive storms in American history that left more than 50 people killed.
The Congressman also highlighted how a group of IndianAmericans, led by Houstonian Jiten Agrawal, made their way through the unparalleled flooding after the hurricane to reach a student apartment complex near the University of Houston, that had been flooded and was with-
“These volunteer rescuers brought food and water to over 180 students and helped transport them back to their families and to safe locations.
Harvey, which made landfall
Damage estimates for the hurricane vary from around USD 50 billion to well in excess of USD 100 billion, it was reported.
US Consulate in Mumbai recently held a friendly dandiya dance off between its Indian and American staff. And what’s more, the Internet helped pick the winner. On social media, the US Consulate documented everything from the rehearsals to a trip to buy the perfect chaniya cholis (embroidered blouses, colourful lehengas and mirrorwork dupattas) as well as kafni pyjamas, ghagras and pagadis The US Consulate asked the Internet to vote for their favourite team. The efforts of both Team India and Team USA impressed many on social media.
“Both the teams are fabulous. But I’ll vote for team USA since it’s their first time. They are simply fantastic,” wrote one person. “We must appreciate their efforts to match with our team. In my opinion, each one is winner,” wrote another. “Good performance by both teams but I think it was nice of the US team to try a new dance style absolutely alien to their styles and they were very gracious in the dance performance,” commented a third. But, there could be only one winner! (-NDTV)
Read the latest on Indian Diaspora online www. voiceofasiaonline.com
VOICE OF ASIA 11
Olympics: Tokyo 2020 water venue polluted OKYO, Japan | AFP | Wednesday 10/4/2017 - Tokyo Olympic organisers said Wednesday that prolonged summer rain had temporarily brought high levels of bacteria to a venue intended for triathlon and marathon swimming at the 2020 Games.
The admission came during a visit by International Olympic Committee officials to assess Tokyo’s readiness to host the Games, with just a little over 1,000 days to go. Many samples taken from late July through early September at the Odaiba Marine Park showed elevated levels of pollution, particularly following rain. “The timing and the volume of rainfall impacted the data,” said Koji Murofushi, sports director for the Tokyo 2020 organising committee. Murofushi blamed unusually long rains -- the Japanese capital saw three straight weeks of
precipitation at that time -- that brought pollutants from offshore. Tokyo officials said underwater screens and better infrastructure, including beefed up local sewage, should help maintain the water quality to international standards. The facility routinely hosts triathlon and swimming events that meet international quality standards, sports officials said. Low bacteria readings followed sunny or cloudy days, according to organisers. Murofushi rejected the idea of changing the venue, pledging that “measures will be taken so that we can provide an excellent environment for the sports” during the 2020 Games. IOC vice president John Coates warned the Japanese capital should prepare for the worst possible weather conditions. The IOC expected Tokyo
North Korea’s Kim ‘very rational’ - CIA report ASHINGTON | AFP - North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is a rational politician and the US needs to understand that to deal with the nucleararmed country, a top Central Intelligence Agency Korea expert said Wednesday.
“Beyond the bluster, Kim Jong-Un is a rational actor,” said Yong Suk Lee, the deputy assistant director of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center. “We have a tendency in this country to underestimate his conservatism.” “He wants to rule for a long time and die in his own bed,” Lee said at a conference on the CIA at George Washington University. US politicians including President Donald Trump have repeatedly painted Pyongyang’s strongman as irrational and “crazy.” But Lee said Kim’s focus is to stay in power, as shown by the brutal murder in Malaysia in February of his half brother Kim Jong-Nam, which has been blamed on Pyongyang agents. “All politics is local,” he said of the North Korean milieu. The country’s long history of being surrounded by greater powers, too, means that the country is constantly on the defensive, and its leaders play that up. “North Korea ia a political organism that thrives on confrontation,” Lee said. But Kim’s fierce defense of his position and his combativeness against Washington does not mean he will act irrational-
India Sri Lanka series starts on Nov. 16 UMBAI | AFP - Sri Lanka will play a three-day warmup match in Kolkata ahead of their series against India starting November 16, the Indian cricket board said Tuesday.
The island nation will play three Tests, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches between November and December. This will be Sri Lanka’s return tour following their 9-0 rout by the Virat Kohli-led team earlier this year. Schedule as announced on Tuesday is: November 11-13 three-day warm-up tie, Kolkata November 16-20 1st Test, Kolkata November 24-28 2nd Test, Nagpur
ly now that he has the capacity to fire a nuclear tipped missile at the United States. “Waking up and deciding to nuke Los Angeles is not in his interest to survive,” he said.
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Lanterns in the sky, Thai style
to take steps “to ensure that even in the worst of conditions that those matters will be addressed and the health of athletes in those two sports will not be prejudiced in any way”, Coates said. Swimming’s governing body FINA said it will also help Tokyo prepare the best possible venue. “As the world governing body for Aquatic sports, FINA will keep working closely with the Tokyo Metropolitan government and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to ensure the best available venue and environment for the marathon swimming events in 2020,” it said. Organisers of the Rio Olympics in 2016 were left redfaced when the pool used for diving events turned an unsettling shade of green overnight. Separately, Coates said Tokyo should aim to cut overall costs by $1 billion from the current $12 billion budget.
Yi peng festival means “two full moon days festival”. Chiang Mai is the best place to see the festival in Thailand. Thousands of floating lanterns are launched into the air and the night remains illuminated. The wishes of thousands of people float in the air creating an incomparable show, worth seeing. (Photo and description by Daniel Arranz)
N. Korea chemical arms a concern for peace HE HAGUE | AFP North Korea’s chemical weapons stockpile is a “concern for peace and stability” on the Korean peninsula and beyond, the world’s chemical watchdog said Wednesday.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’
director general Ahmet Uzumcu urged countries to pressurise Pyongyang to get rid of them. Estimates say there are between 3,000 to 5,000 tonnes of chemical weapons in North Korea’s arsenal, Uzumcu told AFP in an interview.
Pyongyang publicly claims that it has no chemical arms. But according to the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit organisation, the isolated country possesses deadly nerve agents including sarin and VX.
“The international community should be concerned about North Korea because of its unpredictability,” Uzumcu said. They should apply “more pressure” to get Pyongyang to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty, which aims to ban the world’s chemical stockpiles.
US / WORLD
VOICE OF ASIA 12
Republicans freeze as Democrats demand action on gun violence
ASHINGTON | AFP - “It’s too early” since the massacre to address gun control, one Senate Republican warned. “I really don’t know” what would work, admitted another. “It’s hard to prevent anything,” shrugged a third.
The festivities for Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah -- which will include the monarch being carried past huge crowds of wellwishers in a chariot -- are the centrepiece of events to mark his golden jubilee.
Lawmakers in President Donald Trump’s party appeared stymied Tuesday over what legislative steps, if any, to take to contain US gun violence in the aftermath of America’s deadliest shooting in modern history.
“I have requested the president to call us together, Democrats and Republicans, to come up with a reasonable solution” to surging gun violence, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said. But listening in Washington to Republicans, who traditionally align closely with the powerful pro-gun lobby the National Rifle Association, it appeared gun control measures were off the table in the days after the massacre. “The investigation’s not even been completed, and it’s premature to be discussing legislative solutions, if there are any,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters. Inaction has been a hallmark of US legislators following spasms of deadly gun violence. A popular bill sponsored by Republican Senator Pat Toomey and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin to expand background checks to nearly all gun sales failed to pass the Senate in April 2013, months after a shooter killed 20 elementary school children in Connecticut. A more controversial bill to ban assault-style weapons also collapsed. US gun laws actually have been loosened under Trump. In February he signed a bill into law rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy a firearm. Congress was also preparing to vote on a controversial plan to make it easier to purchase gun silencers, a move vehemently opposed by Democrats including 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. But on Tuesday, as the nation mourned the deaths in Las Vegas, House Speaker Paul Ryan shelved the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act. “I don’t know when it’s going to be scheduled,” Ryan said. “Right now we’re focused on passing our budget.” Trump, who travels Wednesday to Las Vegas, may have provided hope for gun-control groups when he signalled that a debate was possible. “We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes on,” he said. Some Republicans suggested emotions were too raw to begin the discussion. “I think it’s too early for that,” Senator Pat Roberts said when asked about potential congressional action. - ‘Extremely personal’ Senator John Thune, a member of Republican leadership, shied away from the issue and called on potential victims to “take precautions” and protect themselves. “It’s an open society and it’s hard to prevent anything,” Thune told NBC. Toomey told reporters he would be willing to reintroduce his background check bill. But the Senate has grown more conservative since the measure failed in 2013, and he acknowledged it presently did not have the votes to pass. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut on Tuesday blasted his colleagues for their inaction, accusing them of “unintentional complicity” for failing to take steps to address
Brunei sultan to mark golden jubilee with lavish celebrations ANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei | AFP - Brunei’s allpowerful sultan will mark 50 years on the throne Thursday with lavish celebrations including a glittering procession, a 21-gun salute and a ceremony at his vast, golden-domed palace.
by Michael Mathes
Democrats demanded swift action from Republican leaders in Congress, and from the White House, to broaden background checks or end sales of devices that convert semi-automatic rifles into rapid-fire killing machines like the ones Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock reportedly used to murder 59 people from his 32nd story hotel window.
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
The 71-year-old, the world’s second-longest reigning monarch, ascended to the throne of the tiny sultanate on tropical Borneo island in October, 1967. Illustration: Eiko Ojala the nation’s gun death toll. “We ask our Republican colleagues to pick from the smorgasbord of options available to you,” he said at an event with anti-gun groups. Democrats have proposed various measures, including expanding background checks, prohibiting the sale of so-called bump stocks that can enable a rifle to fire 600 rounds per minute or more, and banning gun sales to terrorism suspects on the government’s ‘no-fly’ list. Republicans have tradition-
ally pushed back against efforts to restrict Second Amendment rights of Americans to bear arms. “This is extremely personal to them in trying to figure out what to do,” Senate Republican James Lankford told Fox News Radio, referring to Murphy and other Democrats whose communities have been ravaged by mass shootings. “They feel an obligation to do something, even if the something wouldn’t correct the problem.”
His decades ruling one of the world’s few absolute monarchies have seen the country gain full independence from Britain and living standards soar to among the highest in the world due to abundant oil and gas reserves. But the reign of Hassanal, one of the world’s richest men, has also been marked by controversies. These include the introduction of tough Islamic laws in 2014, and a sensational family feud which revealed details of his brother Prince Jefri Bolkiah’s jet-set lifestyle, including
The Sultan of Bruni (File photo) allegations of a high-priced harem and a luxury yacht he owned called “Tits”. The jubilee will be a chance for citizens of the sleepy, Mus-
lim country to focus on celebrating the life and times of Hassanal, a father-figure monarch who remains widely revered.
VOICE OF ASIA 13
VOICE OF ASIA
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Tata wins bid to make electric Indian homebuyers petition top cars for Indian government court over bankruptcy law
EW DELHI AFP India´s Tata Motors has won a bid to manufacture thousands of electric cars for the government as part of a push to promote batterypowered vehicles as the nation grapples with soaring pollution levels. State-owned energy efficiency services limited (ESSL) will procure 10,000 cars from Tata Motors, with the first batch hitting roads later this year, the company said in a statement. The cars, priced at nearly $15,500, are the first attempt by the Indian government to replace its half-a-million fleet of diesel and petrol cars -- used by high-ranking government employees -- with electric vehicles. “First 500 e-cars will be supplied to EESL in November 2017 and the rest 9,500 EVs will be delivered in the second phase,” ESSL said.
EW DELHI, India | AFP - Hundreds of homebuyers Tuesday petitioned India’s top court to challenge the country’s insolvency law, their lawyer said, amid fears that bad loan problems are spilling over to hurt ordinary people. The group included more than 500 people who invested in a massive housing project outside Delhi, which has since collapsed. Head of Design at Tata Motors Pratap Bose (R) and zonal manager for Tata (Photo: AFP) Most foreign car majors are not ready to bring their electric offerings to India. Mercedes said it needs a reasonable timeline and improved incentives for motorists, while Tesla boss Elon Musk has postponed entry to the Indian market.
Tata´s rival in the market, Mahindra -- currently the only company manufacturing electric vehicles in India -- lost the bid.
As one of the world´s most polluted nations, India has one of the most ambitious plans to kick its fossil fuel addiction, nearly 80 percent of which is imported.
Japanese Nissan Motor also failed to win the contract.
Vehicles that rely on petrol and diesel are a major source of
carbon emissions in the country and Greenpeace blames at least 1.2 million deaths a year in India on pollution. New Delhi has said it wants all new vehicles to be electric by 2030. In addition to the 10,000 electric cars, it will also roll out nearly 100,000 electric auto rickshaws and buses in the next few weeks. A government report in May said the mobility of passengers through shared and electric vehicles can cut India´s energy demand by 64 percent and carbon emissions by 37 percent in 2030.
First shipment of US crude lands in India
EW DELHI: The US just became India’s latest oil supplier, with the first shipment of crude landing in the country. Stateowned IndianOil Corporation’s purchase of 1.6 million barrels arrived at Paradip, Odisha, on Monday, and was received by US and Indian officials.
leum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd have also placed orders for about 2.95 million barrels and 1 million barrels of US crude, respectively, for their Kochi and Vizag refineries. “The total volume of the crude contracted by Indian public sector refineries is, therefore, 7.85 million barrels,” the statement said.
lic and private, have invested about $5 billion in US shale assets. They have also contracted 5.8 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas from the US and the first shipment is expected to be delivered to India in January 2018. India has encouraged state-controlled refiners to buy US and Canadian crude from the US Gulf Coast as it looks at cheaper alternatives that have emerged due to a global supply glut.
None of the investors have received their homes at the Silicon Valley township project -more than four years after the original delivery date.
500 people who invested in a massive housing project outside Delhi, which has since collapsed (Photo: Bhadra Sinha)
But a bank that lent the developer Amrapali 510 million rupees ($7.7 million), has moved to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against it after the company defaulted on its loan repayments.
“At most they will be granted the status of an unsecured creditor, but in that case not even the principal amount is secured, forget the interest payments the buyers have made.”
Meanwhile, with India’s real estate sector now riddled with debt and delays, the nation’s Unsecured creditors are banks -- which have some of among the lowest on the totem the highest levels of bad debts in emerging markets -- have pole of claims. Jacob Sanchez stepped up efforts to clean up Diagnosed with autism soured loans. The petitioners are among millions of middle-class InAmrapali is the second real dians eager to own their own estate company to face bankhomes, and who, from the mid2000s onwards, poured cash ruptcy proceedings after Jayinto new building projects on pee Infratech, where more than the outskirts of major cities as a 30,000 people are still waiting for the homes they paid for. property boom took hold. Experts worry as Indian banks But many major residential step up much-needed efforts to property projects in India have clean up their balance sheets, been held up as real estate comthere could be more such cases. panies put the cash invested by
The petitioners claim the bankruptcy law introduced last year gives banks that lend to property developers unfair priority, and fails to safeguard homebuyers, their lawyer Ashwarya Sinha told AFP. Once a company declares itself bankrupt, buyers are unlikely to get either their promised apartments or have investments returned. “The law is flawed and it should treat homebuyers at par with secured creditors,” Sinha said.
More Business News at www. voiceofasiaonline.com
“Under the bankruptcy law consumers are not recognised
high sulphur content.
in the second it has bought 1.9 million barrels from the US, half of it shale oil.
US crude has become attractive for Indian refiners after the differential between Brent (the benchmark crude The US had stopped oil exor marker crude that serves as ports in 1975, a ban lifted by US officials estimate the a reference price for buyers in former US President Barack present Indian oil buys could the western world) and Dubai Obama in 2015. MT New Pros- increase bilateral trade by al(a benchmark for countries in perity, a very large crude car- most $2 billion. The US emThe second shipment is ex- the east) narrowed. India hopes rier (VLCC), with a capacity to bassy, in its own statement, pected in a month’s time. In- to chip away at the socalled haul 2 million barrels, had left said, “During their June 26 dia, the world’s third-largest oil “Asian premium” charged by the US Gulf Coastof on speech August meeting in Washington, Presi-Learn importer, Asianatcountries Lack is a sign of autism. the joins others autismspeaks.org/signs. West Asian exporters by diver19. “IOC will process the crude dent Trump and Prime Minister like South Korea, Japan and sifying its oil buys. While in at its refineries at Paradip, Hal- Modi committed to expanding China, which have been buy- the first purchase, IOC is imdia (in West Bengal), Barauni and elevating bilateral energy ing US crude after production porting 1.6 million barrels of (in Bihar) and Bongaigaon (in cooperation through a strategic cuts by oil cartel OPEC drove high-sulphur crude Mars from Assam),” an IOC statement energy partnership.” up prices of West Asian heavy- the US and 400,000 barrels of said. State-owned Bharat PetroIndian companies, both pub- sour crude, or grades with a Western Canadian Select oil,
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homebuyers to uses other than completing existing projects, leaving consumers who poured in their money stranded.
US was sacredly reserving the oil in it’s own country to meet future demand and was aggressively perceiving gulf countries to exploit oil reserves there but all of a sudden it not only stopped import. MaryKay Carlson, charge d’affaires at the US embassy, termed the imports a significant milestone in the growing partnership between the US and India. “The US and India are elevating our cooperation in the field of energy, including plans for cleaner fossil fuels, renew-
ables, nuclear, and cutting edge storage and energy efficiency technologies. We look forward to working together on further sales of US crude and exploring opportunities to expand the role of natural gas in India,” Carlson said. To encourage US crude purchases, the government has allowed refiners to use a foreign rather than an Indian owned vessel for the purchase. Indian refiners typically have to use domestic vessels for their crude imports. Indian government has also eased the rules for allowing VLCCs into Indian ports.
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FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Catwalk dreams now start The Nobel Prizes in numbers with message on Instagram
TOCKHOLM | AFP - How many people have won a Nobel Prize? Who was the oldest winner? How much do they win? Here are some facts and figures about the Nobel Prizes:
- Five prizes were created by Alfred Nobel in his 1895 will, for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace, which were awarded from 1901. A sixth prize in economics, “in memory of Alfred Nobel”, was created by Sweden’s central bank in 1968.
Leya Ljaz found a model dream gig thanks to Instagram (Photo: AFP) by Anna Pelegri
“Instagram is a incredible work tool,” she said. “It allows you to see things that you would not have time to look for in the street. It is much more intimate -- you find out much more about who they are. People show you their tastes, and a little bit of their personality,” she added.
ARIS, France | AFP - Once upon a time it was a young girl’s dream to be stopped in the street like Kate Moss and be asked to model in a fashion show. Now fame comes via a message on Instagram. Last week Leya Ljaz, a 17-year-old Pakistani-American who lives in Switzerland, jumped on a train for Paris with her smartphone and a dream of making it onto the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week.
Azizi said she never asked the girls their measurements because she said she was looking for “a different kind of beauty than agencies do”, something more “real”.
Now here she was clutching her phone and waiting for her turn at a casting for Neith Nyer, the hip and edgy young label of Brazilian creator Francisco Terra.
When someone catches her eye she messages them telling them that she would be interested in working with them and ask them to let her know if they are coming to Paris.
“Yesterday I did my first casting. There were real models there, it was incredible. I am still waiting for them to get back to me,” she said.
As fashion week approaches the emails begin to flood in, she said.
But come what may Ljaz is convinced that one day “I am going to end up in fashion”, she told AFP. “I grew up in New York and know fashion week -- my mother loves it,” said the student who is sleeping at a friend’s place for free having paid her own way to the French capital. The vast majority of the 30 models who were chosen for the show on Wednesday were like Ljaz recruited from Instagram, fashion’s social network of preference. - Casting on a smartphone The rest were represented by agencies. But casting director Leila Hassiba Azizi insisted all were paid the same. Azizi works for several fashion brands and does most of her “street casting” these days on Instagram. That is where she came across photos of Leya. She liked what she saw and messaged the young woman, who had only ever modelled once before,
Like the one from 23-year-old Belgian stylist Maud Van Dievoet. Shorthaired and smiley, she lives in London and has already walked the catwalk there. “Walking down the runway in a show is exciting, it’s the adrenaline, and when you love the clothes you are proud that you were chosen, and that you are getting them out there,” she said. - ‘We are our own boss’ Not being with an agency means you are your own boss, she said. With Instagram “we look after ourselves unlike girls which have an agency where everything is organised.” Twenty-year-old Dane Ida Rathje Ravnborg is one of five models at the casting who have come from an agency, having already done the rounds at Milan Fashion Week. She was not discovered on Instagram. One of her friends sent her photos to an agency which rang her and asked her to sign a contract. Not long afterwards she was off on the fashion week circuit of London, Paris and Mi-
- Six laureates have declined the prize. The only two to do so of their own will were France’s Jean-Paul Sartre, who turned down the 1964 literature prize, and Vietnam’s peace negotiator Le Duc Tho, who refused to share the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Adolf Hitler forbade three German laureates - Richard Kuhn (chemistry 1938), Adolf Butenandt (chemistry 1939) and Gerhard Domagk (medicine 1939) - from accepting the prize, while Soviet authorities forced Boris Pasternak to decline the 1958 literature prize. - Seventeen was the age of the youngest laureate to be honoured, Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan (Peace 2014). The oldest laureate was Russian-born American Leonid Hurwicz (Economics 2007), who was 90.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. (Odd Andersen, AFP) - Twenty-eight English-language writers have won the literature prize, ahead of French (14), German (13) and Spanish (11) laureates. - Forty-eight women have won a Nobel prize, including Marie Curie who won it twice (Physics 1903 and Chemistry 1911). The economics prize, with only one female laureate in 2009, and the physics prize, with only
- Five hundred and seventy-nine is the number of times a Nobel has been awarded, to 911 individuals, between 1901 and 2016. A third of laureates were born in the United States. The laureates born in Sweden (29), Norway (12) and Denmark (11) have together won more than those born in Japan (24), China (11) and India (7) together.
- Eighteen laureates have been affiliated with the two universities claiming the most Nobels: Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley. - Twenty-one years: That’s how long Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi had to wait before she could travel to Oslo to collect the peace prize she was awarded in 1991. Also deprived of their liberty: German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky (Peace 1935), who died in 1938 without being allowed to leave his country; and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (Peace 2010), who died earlier this year after being granted medical parole from prison.
lan. “I never thought I would be a model, but I am delighted,” she Ravnborg, who is on a gap year. “We have just arrived from Milan and the agency is putting us up in an apartment.” She had six castings that day and hopes to get at least one of them, even if up to now only a few of her friends have managed to land themselves slots on the Paris runways. But the girls’ rather unusual and atypical looks do not suit every label, said Azizi, who also works with a model agency. “People who follow the big brands are not yet into this kind of beauty,” she said.
two laureates, remain the most inaccessible prizes for women. - Forty-nine is the number of times the various juries have decided to not award the prize. The peace prize has had no recipient 19 times, most recently in 1972. - Fifty years must pass before the juries’ top secret deliberations are made public. - Sixty-seven is the average age of the economics prize laureates - the oldest average age across all disciplines. The youngest average age can be found among physics laureates at 55. - Three hundred and eighteen is the tally of nominations for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. 104 people have received the prize since its creation, and 26 groups or organisations. In 1942, 1943 and 1944, no nominations were accepted.
- Five hundred metres of linen tablecloth are placed on the 60 tables at the Nobel gala banquet celebrating the laureates, held each year at Stockholm’s city hall on December 10 in honour of the death of Alfred Nobel. - One thousand three hundred and fifty people are typically invited to the banquet, where 260 waiters serve food on 7 000 pieces of china, along with 5 400 glasses and 10 000 pieces of silver cutlery. - A total of $1.1m is the sum to be awarded for each Nobel Prize in 2017, to be shared if several laureates are honoured in the same discipline. Literature laureates are the ones most likely to take home the whole sum: on 105 occasions there has been just one literature winner. - The value of the assets managed by the Nobel Foundation at the end of 2016 was $515m.
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You can’t lose your car for not paying your credit card bill
Q. A debt collector for a credit card company has threatened to sue me. He told me if I didn’t pay he would sue and take my car. This will leave me without a way to get to work. Then I will not be able to pay any of my bills. Is there anything I can do to protect my car? A. You do not have to do anything. The debt collector for the credit card company has no legal right to take your car. As I have said before, under Texas law certain property is “exempt.” Even if a creditor sues and gets a judgment against you, he may not take “exempt property.” Included in the list of exempt property is your car. This means that the debt collector cannot take your car, even if he sues and wins. The debt collector’s threats to take your car also probably violate state and federal debt collection laws. Under both statutes, it is unlawful for a debt collector to threaten to take action that the law prohibits. As far as I am concerned, threatening to take exempt property violates our debt collection laws. Check out my website at the end of the next question to learn more about our debt collection laws. Q. I have not had this
arise, but I am still curious. Can a store demand to see a photo ID when I pay with a credit card? Some places ask, and many do not. A. Until recently, the only law that controlled whether a store could ask for a photo ID from a customer was the contract between the credit card issuer and the merchant. For most credit cards, this contract prohibits asking for an ID if the card is signed. If the card is unsigned, the merchant has the right to demand to see a photo ID. Here is what each credit company contract says: • Visa: Merchants cannot require ID if the credit card is signed. However, if the credit card is not signed, the merchant can ask you to show a government-issued ID and sign your credit card on the spot. Mer• Mastercard: chants cannot require ID if the credit card is signed. However, if the credit card is not signed, the merchant can ask you to show a government-issued ID and sign your credit card on the spot. • American Express: Merchants should verify that the customer is the actual cardholder, but there are no specific requirements for (or against) requesting to see an ID. Discover: Merchants • can request an ID if they believe the credit card isn’t valid. For unsigned credit cards, the merchant can request two forms of
Flood means “rising water.” The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) defines flood as follows: “A flood is a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow.”
identification, one of which must be a government-issued photo ID. Recently, however, Texas enacted a law that allows merchants to ask for photo identification for credit and debit card purchases—and turn down transactions if a buyer won’t show it. The legal issue now is whether this law or the contract between the store and the credit card issuer controls. In my opinion, because the law says a merchant “may” decline a transaction without a photo ID, the contract between the merchant and the credit card company controls. We will all have to wait for the lawsuit that I know will be led after the law takes effect in 2018 to see if I am right. Q. I am going to cash out an IRA to pay some bills and repair my home. There will be about $4,000 left after I pay my bills. If I put the money left in the bank, can my creditors seize it? A. As you apparently know, in Texas an IRA is “exempt” property. This means that even if you are sued, your creditors may not seize your IRA. Once you cash in the IRA, however, the funds generally lose their exempt status and may be subject to your creditors. This means that if you put the $4,000 in a bank account, it could be subject to a writ of garnishment.
Do you want to know more about your legal rights? Check out my website, www.peopleslawyer.net And if you have a question about a legal problem related to Hurricane Harvey, call 713-743-2165.
Flood Insurance… Do I Need It?
The People’s Lawyer
Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Ronnie Patel MBA, CPA, LUTCF, CFP President, Insurance Solutions of America. The answer is a resounding “YES.” Your homeowner’s policy or your business-owner’s policy does not cover flood. In fact, it specifically excludes it. In the Greater Houston Area and all along the Gulf Coast, tropical storms and hurricanes wreak havoc and destruction time after time.
Flooding does not follow history. Flood and can occur anywhere it rains. It can also be caused by broken levees, hurricanes and rapid accumulation of rainfall. And just because a house or business has not flooded in the past does not mean it will not in the future. A new development that is miles away from you can create flooding in your area. If your house or business is located in a flood zone, then your bank or mortgagor will require you to carry flood insurance and your premium is based on the “Elevation” of
your home or business to the flood plain. In a situation like this, a surveyor will come to your home or business and issue an “Elevation Certificate” and this is what determines your flood insurance premium. If you are not in a flood zone, the cost of flood insurance is negligible. At the time of writing this article, the minimum flood policy for a home costs $ 176 per year and the maximum for $ 250,000 coverage on your building and $ 100,000 on your contents is $ 450. Assistance by FEMA is generally in the form of a loan re-payable with interest. And when FEMA gives you a loan, they mandate that you carry flood insurance. So isn’t carrying flood insurance right from the beginning a better option?
Pasadena to pay $1.1M in Latino voting rights case
eaders of the Houstonarea city of Pasadena unanimously approved paying $1.1 million to settle a lawsuit alleging a voting plan adopted in 2013 diluted Latino power at the polls. The Pasadena City Council on Tuesday approved the settlement with some Latino residents represented by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Pasadena will pay the group’s legal fees and drop appeals in the settlement recommended by Mayor Jeff Wagner, the Houston Chronicle reported. Wagner was elected in June, after U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal ruled in January that Pasadena intentionally violated the voting rights of its growing Hispanic and Latino population in redistricting. ThenMayor Johnny Isbell backed a voter-approved plan that replaced eight single-member City Council districts with six single-member and two
at-large districts. Rosenthal ordered Pasadena to return to eight single-member districts and be under federal oversight through June 2023. “We are very pleased to reach a resolution of the case that will allow Pasadena to move forward with a fair election system,” said Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund attorney Nina Perales. “And, we appreciate the efforts of Mayor Wagner to bring about the settlement.” Councilman Cody Ray Wheeler said that after years of litigation and $3.5 million in legal fees, he was glad to see the appeals end. The lawsuit
gave Pasadena “a black eye in the national spotlight. It cost us progress and it cost us time,” Wheeler said. Isbell, who was barred from seeking re-election due to term limits, opposed ending the appeals. “I think it’s a mistake to settle it because I think we stood a good chance to have won the case on appeal and we would not have had to pay the $1.1 million settlement,” Isbell said. “And, I certainly disagree with the judge that said we were trying to inhibit the voting rights of the Hispanic population. That is absolutely, categorically, not true.”
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A game to help students pay the right price for college by Ron Lieber
n the last big economic downturn, back when Tim Ranzetta was in the student loan analysis and consulting business and working with colleges, borrowers often found their way to him, too. There would be tears. And he would get off the phone with the same frustration each time over how little the people who actually use them know about student loans.
designed both. Payback marches players through a series of decisions, from which school to attend to when and how to accept paid work to whether to join (and pay for) a fraternity or sorority. In an ideal educational world, experiential games like this would be core elements of a financial literacy master class that every high school student would take. There is risk that any such game,
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Too young to vote, but asking for yours by Lisa W. Foderaro
y any measure, Tahseen Chowdhury is no ordinary 17-year-old. He is president of the student government at Stuyvesant High School, among New York City’s most selective public schools, and leads the student advisory council for the borough of Manhattan. He even helped found two companies: an event photography business and a firm that teaches students computer programming and engineering.
in young people, even those otherwise active in environmental advocacy and identity politics.
for governor. In New York City, Mr. Chowdhury plans to challenge an incumbent state
It stands to reason that Mr. Chowdhury, a senior, would cast the widest possible net when applying to college. But he is confining his search to New York — and not because he needs to stay close to family in East Elmhurst, Queens. Rather, Mr. Chowdhury, a Democrat, is mounting a campaign for the State Senate, and wants to be within striking distance of the State Capitol in Albany.
Jenny Nicholson, one of the creators of the free, interactive, web-based game called Payback, demonstrates it on an iPad (Photo: Roger Kisby for The New York Times)
Starting this week, he has a new tool in what has become a yearslong campaign to fill that gap: a free, interactive, webbased game called Payback. In playing, students see running totals of their debt but can also track academic focus, the connections they’re making that could be useful later and their overall happiness — crucial factors in actually finishing college and graduating with a job that can help them repay their debt. If you’ve played the you-are-there poverty-simulation game called Spent, the visceral format of Payback will be familiar since the same firm, McKinney,
with its winners and losers, may result in students not attending college or not borrowing enough to do so successfully. But Ms. Nicholson said she hoped that the elements of fun and connections baked into the game would have an entirely different effect. “I’ll never get all the details right, and there is always going to be someone who asks if we thought about this or that or living in a cardboard box to save money,” she said. “But I hope everyone who plays will understand the concept that you don’t have to give up everything to succeed.” (-New York Times)
With the State Legislature in session from January to June, Mr. Chowdhury envisions an unusual schedule of alternating semesters, one that would spread his college career over eight years. “If I win, I would take the spring semesters off to be in Albany and then go to college in the fall,” he said. “I will have to choose a college that will work with that schedule.” Mr. Chowdhury’s campaign is hardly unique. Across the New York region, and indeed the country, young people are turning their attention to politics, motivated in part by the election of President Trump. From mayoral races to state legislative campaigns, teenagers and others who are too young to vote are canvassing neighborhoods and learning the intricacies of electoral politics. Some are running for office themselves. The trend is heartening to academics and observers of public service like Gerald Benjamin, a professor of political science at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Dr. Benjamin said he has long detected a distinct lack of interest in elective office
Tahseen Chowdhury, a 17-year-old senior at Stuyvesant High School, intends to challenge State Senator Jose Peralta in next year’s Democratic primary in Queens. (Photo: An Rong Xu for The New York Times) Mr. Trump’s victory changed that, he said. “The reaction to Trump was: How did this happen and how do we keep it from happening again?” said Dr. Benjamin, himself a former county legislator in the Hudson Valley. “I keep telling people, ‘Run for office.’ There seems to be a new cohort of young people who are becoming engaged.” In Kansas, two 16-year-olds recently announced that they would seek the Democratic nomination for governor next year, and a 17-year-old announced this week that he would be running as a Republican. While some states have a minimum age for governors’ races, Kansas does not. Neither does Vermont, where 13-year-old Ethan Sonneborn drew national press coverage — much of it lighthearted — after he announced his intention to run
senator, Jose Peralta, in a Democratic primary in Queens next fall. In New York State, candidates must be 18 to hold state or local office, and Mr. Chowdhury will turn 18 just in time for the 2018 primary. Mr. Chowdhury comes from a working-class immigrant family in Queens (his father works in a deli and his mother delivers newspapers). He said he became disillusioned with Senator Peralta’s record after learning that he had joined the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of breakaway Democrats in the State Senate who collaborate with Republicans. In Queens, Mr. Chowdhury is hoping that his inexperience will boost his chances next fall. “I’m so young,” he said, “that it’s impossible for me to have any special interests.” (-New York Times)
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FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus announces she has breast cancer
EW YORK | AFP - Aw a r d - w i n n i n g “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus revealed Thursday that she has breast cancer. The 56-year-old American actress disclosed the diagnosis to her 750,000 Twitter followers, posting a picture of a printed note that read: “One in eight women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one.” “The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring friends, and fantastic insurance through my union,” she continued. “The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.” Louis-Dreyfus, who has two children with actor Brad Hall, attached an image of the note to a tweet in which she wrote: “Just when you thought...” The news comes less than two weeks after the “Veep” star won a sixth consecutive Emmy for comedy acting. A native New Yorker of French stock, Louis-Dreyfus has been one of America’s most popular and influential comedy actors since she found fame with cult sitcom “Seinfeld” in the 1990s. On “Veep” she plays a somewhat bumbling vice president who later becomes the acting president, despite her hapless
he world’s smaller.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus with her sixth Lead-Actress Emmy earlier this month (Photo: AFP) staff making political blunders along the way. She has six consecutive best actress Emmys for “Veep” as well as three as an executive producer when it was awarded best comedy series. She has won in the past for her roles on “Seinfeld” -which also earned her a Golden Globe -- and “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” It has been a rollercoaster year or so for the actress, who tearfully dedicated her acting Emmy in 2016 to her father, who passed away two days earlier. “I am so glad that he liked ‘Veep,’” she said, her voice breaking down as she accepted the award. “Because his opinion was the one that really
mattered.” “Veep” recently announced that the seventh season of the HBO show, due to air in 2018, will be its last. Among the people expressing support for Louis-Dreyfus after her cancer revelation was former vice president Joe Biden, whose son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46. “We Veeps stick together. Jill and I, and all of the Bidens, are with you, Julia,” Biden wrote, referring to his wife. He attached a photo from a comic video in which he and Louis-Dreyfus spoofed the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2014. “Yes we do. Love back to all of you,” the actress replied.
he film adaptation, out in theaters, stars Judi Dench and Ali Fazal.
But why was the relationship so controversial that it warrant-
The breakout star on making the leap from India to America and the rapidly shifting global film industry.
Ali Fazal’s not mournful when he makes this observation on one gray afternoon at a French café in downtown Manhattan. He’s downright excited — India’s gotten Netflix. The 30-year-old actor has landed at a new nexus of globalism in the Indian entertainment economy, leading him most recently to the lead role in Stephen Frears’s handsomely mounted historical drama Victoria & Abdul. A 19th-century period piece with all the pearland-fur accoutrements you can shake a scepter at, it’s a new tier of exposure for Fazal, who plays a servant turned adviser turned confidante to a moldering Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) with patience and sensitivity. His Abdul incidentally bridges a colossal gap between cultures as a close friendship blossoms with the queen; likewise, the movie-star handsome Fazal is poised to make the leap into Western popularity. If he feels like the world’s shrinking, it’s perhaps because he’s laid claim to more of it. Fazal’s origins befit his transnational appeal. Born near the Ganges, he spent most of his youth moving around India and perfected both English and Hindi in a series of wellregarded schools. He enrolled in the Doon School, a boarding academy at the foothills of the Himalayas, and went on to study economics and science at
Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim in 1980; Judi Dench and Ali Fazal in the new film Victoria & Abdul (Photos:Getty/REX/Shutterstock)
ed full censure? According to historians, Victoria’s family and staff members exhibited prejudice of the racial and social variety, which compounded with jealousy as Victoria became closer with Karim and afforded him privileges including traveling with her through Europe; titles; honors; prime seats at operas and banquets; a private carriage; and personal gifts. The queen entertained Karim’s family members, helped his father get a pension, and enlisted local press to write about him. Vic-
toria also commissioned multiple portraits of Karim—which would be the key to discovering the depth of their relationship (more on that later). Karim was the only servant to ascend to the queen’s inner circle. According to historian Carolly Erickson in Her Little Majesty, “For a dark-skinned Indian to be put very nearly on a level with the queen’s white servants was all but intolerable, for him to eat at the same table with them, to share in their daily lives was viewed as an outrage.” (-Vanity Fair)
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He only took his friend’s advice to audition for a local English-language production of The Tempest because he needed a new thing to do, but found a deep gratification in playing the role of buffoon extraordinaire Trinculo. He was a bit frustrated, however, with the public’s reluctance to share his love for the theater he called home.
The complexity and specificity of Indian cinema, an industry spanning dozens of language and deeply rooted in its cultural heritage, has made exportation a trickier proposition than with many other Asian films. Moreover, Fazal supposes that the strong hand of the national government could be an additional force retarding substantive diversification of entertainment.
“Theater is almost looked down upon in India,” he explains. “There are ‘theater guys,’ you have a sling bag with a kurta, and you’re that guy. It’s a type. Which is sad, because theater gave me a lot. You gotta be smart to go from one to the other, because cinema and theater are very different things in India.” By his own count, then, Fazal’s a pretty smart guy. After scoring a couple of deadend roles in English-language
“The media in India is very sensitive. You say something about someone, someone gets offended — like, we can’t do an SNL in India. You’re gonna get shut down. Even right now, speaking with you, I’m thinking, ‘What if I get quoted wrong? What if the prime minister hears about it?’ It’s not right that that fear is there. When that thought stops art then something is really wrong, politically.” (-Vulture.com)
Justice Sunil Thomas granted bail to the actor under strict provisions. He has been directed not to influence witnesses and appear before the investigating team as and when required. The actor was also asked to surrender his passport and furnish a bail amount of Rs one lakh. The 31-year-old actress was returning from a film shoot on February 17 when she was allegedly abducted by a gang of criminals and sexually assaulted in a moving car in Kochi. The assailants allegedly recorded the assault on their mobile phones and threatened to
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Dileep was arrested on July 10 for his alleged role in the conspiracy behind the abduction of the actress in February this year. release the clip if she dared to approach the police. During the attack, the main accused – Pulsar Suni – allegedly hinted they were committing the crime at somebody else’s behest. She lodged a complaint with the police, who arrested all the accused allegedly involved in the crime. The
team says Suni was allegedly involved in at least 20 criminal cases who reportedly admitted that many actors used his service to settle scores. The SIT is now looking into two similar attacks. Another woman actor had said there was a similar attempt to abduct her by the same gang but it was foiled after her husband intervened.
Aamir Khan says next film will be biggest yet
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projects — one being a forgotten 2009 sitcom in which Chris Kattan pursued Bollywood stardom — he parlayed a memorable cameo in the Hindi smash hit 3 Idiots into leadingman roles, and a solid foothold in the bustling sprawl of Bollywood.
HIRUVANANTHAPURAM - Arrested Malayalam actor Dileep on Tuesday got bail from the Kerala High Court here in the actress abduction case. This was his fifth plea for bail, and the third before the high court. He was arrested on July 10 for his alleged role in the conspiracy behind the abduction of the actress in February this year.
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college in Bombay. There, he also enjoyed a fruitful career as an athlete — until a broken shoulder cut his prospects in basketball and hockey short. (Fazal’s already got that actorly flair for drama down pat: “Suddenly, my life was over as I knew it.”)
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Victoria and Abdul: The truth behind the relationship The relationship between Queen Victoria and her handsome, young Indian attendant Abdul Karim was deemed so controversial and scandalous by her family members that, upon the monarch’s death in 1901, they scrubbed his existence from royal history. According to The Telegraph, Victoria’s son Edward immediately demanded that any letters between the two found on the royal premises be burned. The family evicted Karim from the home the queen had given him, and deported him back to India. Victoria’s daughter Beatrice erased all reference to Karim in the Queen’s journals—a painstaking endeavor given Victoria’s decade-plus relationship with Karim, whom she considered her closest confidante. The royal family’s eradication of Karim was so thorough that a full 100 years would pass before an eagle-eyed journalist noticed a strange clue left in Victoria’s summer home—and her consequential investigation led to the discovery of Victoria’s relationship with Karim.
by Anshuman Daga, Raju Gopalakrishnan.
INGAPORE (Reuters) - Aamir Khan, the Bollywood superstar with a conscience, says his next movie about a small town teenage girl who uses the Internet to become a singing sensation will be much bigger than his last film, which was India’s highest grossing ever. Khan, 52, plays a sleazy music producer in the film “Secret Superstar” and says he is second lead to teenager Zaira Wasim, playing a schoolgirl who defies her conservative Muslim family to pursue her dream of a singing career. Khan’s last film “Dangal”, or wrestling pit, was based on the
true story of a former wrestler who trains two of his daughters to become champions in the sport. It was the highest grossing movie for Bollywood, as India’s Hindi film industry is known, and was powered by huge collections in China. “While both are about the empowerment of the girl child, I feel it (Secret Superstar) is a much bigger film,” Khan said in an interview in Singapore ahead of the movie’s release later this month. He and his wife have produced the film. “While Dangal was about the dream of a father which a daughter fulfils, this is about the hopes and aspirations of a 14-year-old girl from a small town in India. I don’t know what the box office will be but
it’s a bigger film than Dangal in what it’s trying to say.” Three of Khan’s films are in Bollywood’s top four all-time hits. Besides Dangal, these include “PK”, in which he played an alien dealing with religious divisions in India, and “3 Idiots”, about the frailties in India’s education system. All three have also done well in China, and Khan said he was “very happy with the type of relationship that’s building between me and my audience in this part of the world with each film”. He also produced and acted in a popular television documentary series on social ills in India called “Satyameva Jayate”, or Truth Alone Triumphs
VOICE OF ASIA 18
Voice of Asia
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Scientists develop smart tattoo that detects health changes
HEALTHY Regional pain syndrome and its treatments
EW YORK, Oct 2, 2017 - Soon your body ink could detect medical emergencies. Color-changing “smart tattoos” that can detect dehydration and blood sugar levels have been developed by researchers at Harvard and MIT. The special ink, called Dermal Abyss, is enhanced with colorimetric and fluorescent biosensors that change color based on the chemistry of the pH, sodium, glucose, and hydrogen ions present in the interstitial fluid of our bodies. Testing was done using segments of pigskin, with the tattoos added, then relevant solutions mimicking increased pH or glucose were injected into the skin. The colors change depending on what the ink is testing for: pH sensing ink changes from purple to pink, increased glucose levels change from green to brown, and the sodium indicator’s green becomes more intense under UV light. These tattoos could be vital in managing certain diseases. Instead of pricking their fingers
Surya Raguthu, M.D, ABIPP, ABPMR, CIME
This is what the future of medicine could look like — biometric ink that detects changes in the body (Photo: Harvard) daily, diabetics would be able to use these tattoos to assess their blood sugar. Monitoring sodium levels monitor dehydration and kidney function. In the paper, “The Dermal Abyss: Interfacing with the Skin by Tattooing Biosensors,” presented in September at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers in Hawaii, the researchers noted the advantages of the tattoo biotechnology, including its weightlessness, its use without electricity or charging, and changes in the skin will not af-
fect their use. Wearers of the tattoo wouldn’t have to have a visible tattoo if they didn’t want one — the tattoos can be invisible until hit with certain color lights, which could be produced by a cell phone. There is an accompanying app that analyzes the tattoo and potential uses could include wearable devices like Apple Watches or FitBit’s that could monitor the tattoos, perhaps on the wrist, and collect important health information on the wearer. (-NY Daily Post)
Skipping breakfast may double risk of hard arteries by Kerry Sheridan
IAMI | AFP | 10/2/2017 - People who skip breakfast or eat poorly to start the day are twice as likely to develop hardened arteries, which can lead to deadly heart disease, researchers said Monday. The study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology uncovered signs of damage to the arteries long before symptoms or disease developed. Researchers said their find-
ings could offer an important tool in the fight against cardiovascular disease, the world’s top killer, which took 17.7 million lives in 2015, according to the World Health Organization. “People who regularly skip breakfast likely have an overall unhealthy lifestyle,” said study author Valentin Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “This study provides evidence that this is one bad habit
people can proactively change to reduce their risk for heart disease.” The report was based on 4,000 middle-aged office workers in Spain. Participants were followed for six years.
Most people in the study -70 percent -- ate a low-energy breakfast that gave them five to 20 percent of their daily calorie intake.
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signs and symptoms. Effective management of the chronic form of the syndrome is often challenging. Few high quality randomized controlled trials are available to support the efficacy of the most commonly used interventions. Reviews of available randomized trials suggest that physical and occupational therapy (including graded motor imagery and mirror therapy), bisphosphonates, calcitonin, subanesthetic intravenous ketamine, free radical scavengers, oral corticosteroids, and spinal cord stimulation may be effective treatments. Multidisciplinary clinical care, which centers around functionally focused therapies is recommended. Other interventions are used to facilitate engagement in functional therapies and to improve quality of life. Dr. Surya Raguthu, M.D, ABIPP, ABPMR, CIME, has 15 years of experience in Pain Management and excels in Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitative Medicine. His mission is to enhance the health and well-being of seniors, adults, and children in our communities to help them lead a quality life. His motto is “Live Pain Free.” Please visit www.acepain.com for details. Office phone 832532-0040
Only about one in four ate a high-energy breakfast, which included 20 percent or more of the day’s calories.
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by Dr. Surya Raguthu Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a chronic neurological disorder involving the limbs characterized by disabling pain, swelling, vasomotor instability, sudomotor abnormality, and impairment of motor function. CRPS is not uncommon after hand surgery and may complicate post-operative care. There is no specific diagnostic test for CRPS and the diagnosis is based on history, clinical examination, and supportive laboratory findings. Recent modifications to diagnostic criteria have enabled clinicians to diagnose this disease more consistently. This review gives a synopsis of CRPS and discusses the diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment options based on the limited evidence in the literature. There is a growing body of literature addressing a variety of disorders known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). It is a condition that presents with a pain experience that is severe and dispropor-
tionate to the inciting event and is accompanied by highly variable signs and symptoms of inflammatory, sensory, autonomic, trophic, or motor features. Anesthetists in the acute and chronic pain teams are often involved in treating Complex Regional Pain Syndromes. The onset of CRPS can follow injuries ranging from minor injuries to fracture(s), from lesions of the central nervous system, or from surgery. For pain treatment, the WHO analgesic ladder is advised with the exception of strong opioids. For neuropathic pain, anticonvulsants and tricyclic antidepressants may be considered. For inflammatory symptoms, freeradical scavengers (dimethylsulphoxide or acetylcysteine) are advised. To promote peripheral blood flow, vasodilatory medication may be considered. Percutaneous sympathetic blockades may be used to increase blood flow in case vasodilatory medication has insufficient effect. To decrease functional limitations, standardized physiotherapy and occupational therapy are advised. To prevent the occurrence of CRPS-I after wrist fractures, vitamin C is recommended. Adequate perioperative analgesia, limitation of operating time, limited use of tourniquet, and use of regional anesthetic techniques are recommended for secondary prevention of CRPS-I. The syndrome is diagnosed purely on the basis of clinical
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Medicare Open Enrollment – What to Do and How to Do it Open Enrollment for 2018 Medicare enrollment is approaching soon. It starts October 15 and ends on December, 7 2017 You only have one chance a year to make changes to your Medicare coverage. The annual Medicare open enrollment period is that chance. Whether this is your first Medicare open enrollment or you’ve been doing it for years, it pays to take time each autumn and study your options. The number and types of plans available in your area change each year, bringing new options and eliminating previous options. The benefits and costs associated with a plan you’ve had for years can change. This is your chance to do something about it. When Is Medicare Open Enrollment? Medicare open enrollment starts October 15 and ends December 7, Pearl Harbor Day. The changes you make during open enrollment take effect January 1 the following year. You don’t have to wait until October 15 to start planning for open enrollment. You can start doing research on plan options when you get each year’s “Medicare & You” booklet in the U.S. mail or by email. The booklet alerts you to changes in Medicare that might impact your coverage or plan choices. You’ll likely get information from you current Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D drug plans as well as Social Security in the mail around that same time. What You Can Do During Open Enrollment • Switch back and forth between Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage Plan. • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. • Enroll in a Medicare Part D drug plan. • Switch from one Medicare Part D drug plan to another. • Drop your Medicare Part D drug plan completely, perhaps because you switched to a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage. What if You Miss Open Enrollment? If you miss open enrollment, you won’t be allowed to make changes to your Medicare coverage until next year’s open enrollment. Your current Medicare coverage choices will roll over to next year. There are a few exceptions that will allow you to make coverage changes outside of open enrollment. Some things, such as moving outside of your Medicare Advantage plan’s service area, trigger a special enrollment period allowing you a brief period to make changes even though it’s not open enrollment. From January 1 through February 14, you can change your mind about your Medicare Advantage plan and switch back to Original Medicare. You can’t switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or
Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway, Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com join an Advantage plan you don’t already belong to, though. How To Prepare for Open Enrollment 1. Gather information about your current coverage so you’ll be able to compare and contrast the new offerings with what you have now. You’ll need information on the premiums, deductibles, copay or coinsurance amounts, which of your drugs are on your plan’s drug formulary and how much they cost. 2. Go to the Plan Finder tool at Medicare.gov to get information about which plans will be offered in your area next year, what they’ll cost and how their quality scores stack up. 3. Compare what you have now with what you’d have next year if you kept the same coverage. Are your premiums or cost-sharing going up? Are your drugs all still covered at the same level on the plan’s drug formulary? Are your doctor and hospital still in-network if you have a Medicare Advantage plan? 1. Look at the other Medicare coverage options in your community. Check the drug formulary of each plan you’re interested in. Do any of them have better coverage for your particular drugs? Can you find a plan with a lower premium but similar coverage? Can you find a plan with a similar premium but better coverage? Do the plans you’re considering have good quality scores? Make sure to check out Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D provider networks to make sure you’ll be satisfied with the doctor, hospital and pharmacy choices. To understand various Types of Life Insurance and its Planning contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.
VOICE OF ASIA 19
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
40 percent of US cancers linked to excess weight
ASHINGTON | AFP | About 40 percent of all cancers in the United States -- more than 630,000 in all -- are associated with excess weight, health officials said Tuesday, urging a renewed focus on prevention. In a nation where 71 percent of adults are either overweight or obese, the findings by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “are
a cause for concern,” said the agency’s director Brenda Fitzgerald. “A majority of American adults weigh more than recommended -– and being overweight or obese puts people at higher risk for a number of cancers,” she said in a statement. “By getting to and keeping a healthy weight, we all can play a role in cancer preven-
tion.” Carrying excess weight has been shown to boost the risk of 13 types of tumors, including cancers of the esophagus, thyroid, postmenopausal breast, gallbladder, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, ovaries, uterus, colon and rectum. The rates of these overweight- and obesity-related cancers are rising, in contrast to the overall rate of new can-
cer cases which has dropped since the 1990s. Colorectal cancer was the only weight-associated cancer that decreased from 20052014 -- falling 23 percent, due in large part to screening, said the report. All other cancers linked to weight rose seven percent in that decade. About two-thirds of the
630,000 weight-associated cancers diagnosed in 2014 occurred in people aged 50 to 74. Women were particularly susceptible, with 55 percent of all cancers diagnosed in women associated with weight, compared to 24 percent of those diagnosed in men. According to the latest CDC data, 32.8 percent of people
in the United States are overweight, and 37.9 percent are obese. Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index of 25-29.9 kg/m2, while obesity means a BMI of 30 or above. BMI is calculated by taking a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of the person’s height in meters.
Handling mold in residential buildings following hurricanes in Houston and Florida by Mani Skaria, PhD
ouston, Texas and the entire state of Florida was inundated with hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, in August and September 2017, respectively. Millions of homes and other buildings experienced extensive water damage affecting as many people. Modern residential building walls have surface panels called drywalls, made of gypsum (calcium sulfate), pressed between thick sheets of paper. Drywall (also known as plasterboard or Sheetrock) are normally made with some additives that decrease mold growth. However, when drywalls are soaked in water for hours as in hurricaneassociated floods, they do initiate mold growth soon. Mold is also called mildew, its scientific group name is fungus (fungi, plural). There are many different molds that grow rapidly on wet drywalls. Many people use the name sheetrock, it is the name of a brand of drywall. A square foot of moldy drywall will produce millions of spores. Mold spores are small and easily air-borne. Mold spores cause allergy, asthma, infections of skin and tissues, including lungs. Some molds produce toxins (mycotoxins), some toxins are known carcinogens. Floor carpets and carpet pads that are soaked in water also initiate mold growth. So also, structural woods, wooden cabinets, especially that are made of particle boards. The AC closet in many homes are made with drywalls (inappropriately for cost cutting). The area below the AC unit is called, plenum. The plenum is an air-distribution area. It is always expected to be clean, dry, and dust-free. In a flood situation, the AC closets in the ground floor also get wet. With the airborne nature of mold spores, one of the first places that requires clean-up process is the AC closet. Stachybotrys (black mold), Aspergillus, Alternaria, Chaetomium, Penicillium, Cladosporium, Fusarium are some of the commonly found molds in water-damaged buildings. Modern residential buildings in USA are more prone to mold growth because of the type of construction materials, compared to buildings in other countries such as India, or even in older homes built in USA. Mold growth in residential buildings is not a new phenomenon. It has been with us always and will be with us
forever. Managing mold after water-damage is more of an art and requires a rational approach than the biological sciences associated with mold growth and development. The first mention of a mold remediation protocol that I have seen is in the Holy Bible, Leviticus, Chapter 13: 47-59. The gist is: inspection (by the priest, the most learned person in the society), removal and cleaning of infected material, natural drying process, reinspection, and discard the material if contamination persists. This was written centuries ago. You apply and modify the basics for today’s building materials and scientific knowledge. In the Bible, mold is referred to as mildew or leprosy of the building. Some General Principles to Know 1. Mold (=Mildew) will grow on building materials after any water damage. Growth and development of mold happens very fast. It will produce millions of spores in a small area. These spores become airborne and cause allergic reactions and even infections. The amount of work 2. required for remediation far exceeds well-qualified service providers after the hurricanes in Houston and Florida. Therefore, be prepared to physically do or fully supervise some water damage control operations. 3. Drying the structural component of the building should start immediately after water damage. 4. After a Harvey/Irma type of water damage, attempting to dry and save materials such as floor carpet and padding is highly discouraged (see reasons in item 6 below) 5. Water damaged drywall is not recommended to be restored through any level of drying process. 6. The reason(s) for items 3 and 4 above are that: Such items absorb water and initiate mold (=mildew) growth. Once mold growth is initiated in carpets, carpet pads, and drywall, it multiplies very fast and produces millions of spores that are very small and air-borne that can easily get into the respiratory system. The kind of molds that are normally formed associated with water- damaged buildings are mostly: Aspergillus, Penicillium, Stachybotrys, Chaetomium, Fusarium, Alternaria, Cladosporium, etc. Aspergillus are known to
cause lung infections. Once the infection sets in, it is very difficult to remove with medication alone. Molds produce toxins, and toxins become air-borne.
bestos in building construction materials. Buildings constructed prior to 1990 may contain
7. Water damage remediation in the air condition closet should be done immediately to avoid circulation of mold spores and mold toxins throughout the building.
10. In addition to molds, water damaged buildings will often have infestations with cockroaches, mites and other arthropods. Physically remove all. Do not use cheap nose mask as protection. Invest in a well-fitting, full-face mask with glass to protect your eyes.
precautions. Visit https://www.epa.gov/ asbestos for more information.
The author has been involved in an official capacity, in many assessments on buildings that have suffered water damage in Texas. He taught a PhD level class on Mold, Buildings, and Human Health. He had served the state of Texas towards the development of a mold law, and consulted for schools, universities, hospitals, jails, and Texas state and federal government agencies, and several insurance companies in the country. He was one of the resource person appointed by the state of Texas towards developing a mold rules and regulations.
8. Treating drywalls with Clorox may be seen in some unscientific communications. Try not to save any drywall with Clorox treatments. 9. Young children, babies, elderly and immunesuppressive people should not be occupying a building when water damage remediation processes are in progress.
asbestos. Removal and discarding of asbestos containing materials require additional safety
Mani Skaria, PhD Professor, Texas A&M UniversityKingsville (retired). Mani.skaria@ uscitrus.com
Disclaimer. The author has no business (consultation) interest or relationship with mold remediation companies. The information is shared out of a moral responsibility of a citizen with expertise and experience and once had a thriving consulting business for two decades. Readers are directed to verify the above facts with published directives on mold available through the Florida and Texas Department of Health and Human Services.
11. Painting over mold-affected drywall is a mistake. 12. Discard all moldy clothes. Wash and dry clothes that are water damaged but not moldy. 13. You may hear some people say that you can cut and remove only the water damaged drywall. Cutting drywall releases numerous particles into the air, which becomes a health hazard. You will be better off removing the whole sheet instead of cutting and patching it. The cost benefit of patching just a portion of the drywall pales in comparison to the hazards triggered by the airborne particles made in cutting operations. Avoid sentimentality on water-damaged and moldy materials. Containing the work area with plastic is a way to reduce air-borne particles. 14. Inexpensive moisture meters are available to check water-damaged drywalls, particle boards, etc. 15. Fans and air drying are ways to dry out water-damaged areas. You may have difficulty finding enough commercial dryers in Houston. 16. After the drying process, using dehumidifiers is recommended. Again, you may find scarcity of such machines. 17. Before reinstalling drywall and carpets vacuum and vacuum thoroughly. 18. You are directed to the USEPA rule that banned as-
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VOICE OF ASIA 20
ART & CULTURE
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Southeast Asia stakes its claim in the art world
Tambu Talkies: When was the last time you watched a movie inside a tent? This photography exhibition by Amit Madheshiya tells the evocative tale of tent cinemas, its rural audience, and the associated cultural ephemera. by Uma Nair
umbai-based photographer and filmmaker Amit Madheshiya’s The Cinema Travellers, an exhibition of colour photographs on the fading film tradition shot in faraway rural areas in India, is a nomadic study of a series of profiles in expression.
by Jason Farago ntil recently — the 1990s, let’s say — an American critic keeping tabs on new art would concentrate on New York’s museums and galleries; cast an occasional, often dismissive eye on Western Europe; and perhaps try to visit Los Angeles now and again. No longer. By the ’90s the idea of a single
hama, Singapore, Jakarta, and a half dozen other Asian megacities — all of which introduced Asian audiences to foreign art and pushed their own region’s figures to the international forefront. In these exhibitions, as well as in the new museums and art schools that arose around them, traditional styles of painting, drawing, pottery or calligraphy fell by the wayside, and
You have to look closely at the portraits—they are testimony to a timeless tradition that is eclipsed in the face of digital technology and the Internet. Begin with the tent that invites and houses crowds for fleeting moments of cinematic grandeur. Madheshiya’s lens turns to the audience to capture the poetics of human emotions on the faces of humanity, ranging from lads to women to old men. Most poignant perhaps are the three images of children—the first a child’s face shot as a silhouette against a movie screen—it is only one of the intimate lensing moments buoyed by fleeting beauty. The second image, taken as a frontal bottom to top gaze, resting on the open mouthed wonder, with focus on his teeth and his bleached yellow mane adds to the contrast of his embellished shirt. The third has a little lad dumbstruck in silence as he watches in rapt attention the scene in question with a handkerchief tied bandana style to his head. In all three images it is the eyes that act as windows to the soul, a telling tale of the sweep of myriad moods. Move to the wide-eyed maiden with hands enveloping her lips; it’s like a lyrical cadence of an evocative emotion where all we are left with is the realm of myth and memory. Then you have two intriguing men far apart in age. The younger man all agape as his pet monkey sits on his shoulders and becomes the primate who views the cinema with as much interest as the human. The older man with his pink safa responds with his button gleaming eyes in disbelief. The photographic project began in 2008 and grew into the award winning documentary film, co-directed with
A frame from FX Harano’s “(Still) Destruction” (Image: Tyler Rollins Fine Arts)
All photos: ‘Untitled’ (Photos Courtesy: Amit Madheshiya / GALLERYSKE & PHOTOINK) Shirley Abraham. It was the official selection at Cannes 2016 and won the Special Jury Prize for L’Oeil d’or: Le Prix du documentaire. Photographs from this project won the World Press Photo in 2011, World Photography Award in 2009 and 2011 and Grand Prize at the Humanity Photo Awards in 2009 The exhibition, hosted by Photoink and Galleryske in New Delhi becomes an amalgam of an affectionate elegy as well as a tribute to the power of human expressions—we do not know which films they were watching but we do
know that the images that spilled out on the screen before them affirmed their existence or perhaps gave them a dream or an aspiration. This is what makes this study unforgettable and powerful. (Report: Architectural Digest India)
avant-garde was dead and buried, and in its place arose a pluralist art ecosystem that spans the planet. It makes larger intellectual demands than ever, and requires us to accept that we’ll never see everything or understand it completely. In the new global art world, even we New Yorkers are provincials. Perhaps nowhere benefited as much from this shift to a pluralist art world as Asia, where the 1990s saw an explosion of biennials and triennials. The Gwangju Biennale, Asia’s most important such exhibition, began in 1995 in South Korea, and was soon followed by large-scale shows in Shanghai, Taipei, Fukuoka, Yoko-
installation, video and performance served as lingua franca. The art in “After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History,” at the Asia Society on Park Avenue, is the fruit of this global shift. The work here comes from Indonesia, Myanmar (or Burma) and Vietnam, though with just seven artists and one collective, it’s small enough to avoid the curse of the “regional show” and doesn’t force any unity on a diverse lineup. Not every work here is a masterpiece, but all of them plumb the roiling past and fractured present of places that, with a combined population of nearly 400 million, we have no excuse to be clueless about. (- NY Times)
Shazé’s handcrafted Ganeshas form a new signature collection
hazé, a premium lifestyle brand that designs bespoke watches, jewellery and home and office decor—will launch a collection of exquisite décor Ganeshas for the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. Intricate design, modern aesthetics and contemporary art come together in this collection of silverplated Ganeshas, each inspired from unique themes (Image Right) - This design highlights the trunk of Ganesha and what it stands for. In fact, a shlok is embossed in the trunk, which is one of the USPs of this beautiful work of art. Known to have the strength to uproot a tree as well as the finesse to pick a needle, Ganesha’s trunk stands to overcome obstacles and shine through. The sleek design and embossed shlok convey the same.
Shaze.in Visit WWW.SHAZE.IN for the collection.
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
VOICE OF ASIA 21
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VOICE OF ASIA 22
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Your Horoscope for the Week of October 6, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE
by Hardik Vyas, Astrologer Cell : 832-298-9950
Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct
Aries (A,L,E) 21 March to 20 April You may have to face some challenging situation during this period. You will also make some long term investment or put some money away in savings. Money will come in plenty and you may go out and do little shopping for yourself too. Your recent strategy will help overcome many hurdles and silence people causing you stress and pain for long time. This is the right time to approach the government agency for clearance. You may also visit a holy place with family this week and participate in special prayers.
This will be a very good period for people in banking & finance industry. You may also purchase a property for investment purpose and this deal will be profitable from day one. Things stuck in the past will start rolling in right direction. Some of you will be getting ready to move to a better location. Boss will call you to discuss an important project. You will be able to recover only a part of money stuck for long this week. It will be better to do your home work before committing to a venture in partnership.
Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov
Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May People who are self employed will see few of their major competition quitting making room for more progress in life. Planets will help resolve many issues in personal and professional life. Right eye may start to give some trouble and you may make an appointment to have it checked. Value of your stocks will appreciate and you will continue to hold on to them. You may travel to a nice place with family this week. A child will need your help in doing research about next step.
You will need to be careful and listen to your instincts rather than believing any outsider too quick. Do not fall for too good to be true schemes. It will be better to compromise and settle rather than getting involved in litigation as the results will not be favorable. You will continue to enjoy a new relationship and wait for the right time to take it to the next level. Money wise you will stay comfortable and have more than enough left after meeting your commitments.
Sagittarius (BH,F,DH,TH) 22 Nov to 21 Dec
Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Your plans will get implemented successfully and results will make everybody at home happy. A child may plan to leave home or move away for educational purpose. You will reap rich rewards for the efforts made in the past. A big contract will be in your hands finally. Someone will try to drag you into an unnecessary argument, watch out or their problem will become your problem. Prompt action will help you resolve an important issue with a government agency.
The knowledge will come really handy when you apply for a better position. New addition in the family will bring lots of good luck for you too. All issues involving a child will get settled to every one’s satisfaction. Things will happen in second attempt only. You may call a trusted friend to seek advice and guidance. Some of you may go on a short trip to a nice place with family this week. Have little more patience as the right opportunity will come after few weeks only. Your claim will be passed and the check can also arrive this week.
Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan
Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Half of your attention will be towards immediate family. You will be busy resolving one issue or another involving family members. Some money will need to be spend on getting some work done in and around the home you live in. Do not be nervous and stick to your guns, victory is all yours. Courageous actions will take you closer to your professional goals. Just handle all tools and machinery with care this week. People in business will definitely do better. Sale of a property can bring extra money in your pockets.
Your pending appeals will get accepted and you will be off the hook. There will be few positive changes in career and you will be moved at least couple of levels up. Business will be better. Obstacles will be followed by excellent solutions. You will achieve your professional goals without any difficulty. Chances of addition of a new member in the family become imminent. You will attend a big party and meet some politician this week. You will be extremely lucky in all money matters.
Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb
Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Any issues pending with government will also get cleared favorably. Lots of struggle of past will come to an end and projects not doing so well in the past will start making profit in current period. Money wise it will be a tight week and you will need to do lots of juggling in order to meet your commitments. Slow progress will cause slight frustration in your mind but you should continue as the success is not far off. People in business will need to respond to a query from a government agency. Be careful when signing any document.
You will be slightly restless in the beginning but then after you will be completely charged. You will gain from overseas projects and may have to travel frequently to distant places this year. Confidence level will be on the peak and you will make more and will be able to save lot. Analyze your response carefully and you should not think of retaliation. It’s time to fine tune your talents as planets bring back the self confidence. Stars will get you the results for hard work and patience maintained in the past.
Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March
Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Try to stay away from involving yourself in unnecessary litigation and go for a settlement only. You will be spending more money on a child this year. Faith and self confidence will help you make it a better. Money wise you will continue to do well. Some of you may initiate a legal procedure to prove your point, decision will come in a few weeks and in your favor. There will be lots of conflict in your mind but you will end up making the right choice with the help of a matured person. You may also travel to a nice place with family.
Read your Weekly Horoscope Online
You may leave the company you had been working for a long time and join a start up. Some of you may be appearing for some kind of competitive exam to improve your prospects. People in business will continue to face stiff competition but will survive. You may be successful in recovering some money but only a part of the total amount. Take a chance with someone extending not only support but good company. You can make extra money if you put your talent to work. You may find it difficult to get job done from subordinates.
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VOICE OF ASIA 23
Supply Chain/Purchasing Assistants Needed Imports and distribution company is looking to fill (2) Supply Chain/Purchasing Assistant positions. The Supply Chain Assistant is responsible for assisting the coordinator in supply chain/purchasing related work. Job Duties include generating Purchase Orders, Follow up/Expediting Shipments, Assist in inventory planning and evaluation, Prepare and Generate reports, general Data-Entry Work , and also may create and prepare RFQ’s. Preferred Requirements: • One year supply chain/purchasing experience preferred. • Mechanical/ Industrial Engineering/ Business Administration degree preferred. • Working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point. • Strong problem identification and objection resolution skills. • Strong verbal, listening, and written communication skills. • Able to perform basic calculations and mathematical figures. • Ability to work individually and together, as part of a team. • Dependable, punctual, and demonstrates positive energy and attitude. If interested, please send resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Houston Community College Request for Proposals (RFP) Strategic Planning Services Project No. 18-01 Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Documents can be obtained at: www.hccs. edu/procurement.
MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE WEEK When Your Team’s Performance Is Mediocre, Address It Immediately What do you do when someone’s work is OK but not great? The toughest test of a manager isn’t dealing with poor performance — it’s addressing mediocrity. Don’t let lackluster performance fester. Start by showing how mediocrity negatively affects your team, the organization, and its customers. You could, for example, have middling employees listen in on calls with complaining customers so that they understand the negative effects of not doing their jobs well. It’s also important to share accountability. Encourage your employees to immediately and respectfully confront one another when problems arise. There is no way for even the strongest supervisor to see and address every performance gap. And lastly, speak up when you see mediocrity in other parts of the organization. For example, if everyone knows that a corporate initiative isn’t working but no one is discussing it, your team will notice whether you have the integrity to point out the emperor’s lack of clothes. High performance is a norm that needs to be defended regularly and vigilantly. Source: www.hbr.org
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VOICE OF ASIA 24
FRIDAY, October 6, 2017
Published on Oct 5, 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...