FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
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Trump administration cuts funding for health care sign-ups Read on Page 18 Call 832-806-1000
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UN Security Council urges ‘immediate steps’ to end Myanmar violence United Nations | AFP | 9/13/2017 - The UN Security Council on Wednesday expressed concern about excessive force used by Myanmar during its security operation in Rakhine state and called for “immediate steps” to end the violence.
Rohingya Muslim refugees arriving from Myanmar through Lomba Beel after crossing the Naf river near the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf, on September 11, 2017
Hundreds of Sikh volunteers aid Harvey victims
The unanimous statement followed a council meeting held behind closed doors to respond to the violence that has driven nearly 380,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee across the border to Bangladesh. The council condemned the violence and called for humani-
tarian aid workers to be able to reach those in need in Rakhine state. Ethiopian Ambassador Tekeda Alemu, who holds the council presidency, told reporters after the meeting that council members “expressed concern about reports of excessive violence during the security operations and called for immediate steps to end the violence in Rakhine.” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier called for a halt to the military campaign in Rakhine and acknowledged that the mass displacement of
Rohingya Muslims amounted to ethnic cleansing. “I call on the Myanmar authorities to suspend military action, end the violence, uphold the rule of law and recognize the right of return of all those who had to leave the country,” the secretary general said in a press conference. Asked if he agreed the Rohingya population was being ethnically cleansed, he replied: “When one-third of the Rohingya population has got to flee the country, can you find a better word to describe it?”
Kirtan Fest and Inter-faith prayers at ISKCON of Houston for Harvey victims
C Volunteers from Sikh community in Houston serving hot meals to hurricane victims . Read report on page 5
Kirtan Fest was held at the ISKCON Temple of Houston. Texas Governor Greg Abbott proclaimed Sunday, Sept. 3rd as a Day of Prayers in Texas. Read report on page 3
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OP-ED/COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS Hurricanes Don’t Kill C VOICE OF ASIA Cities - People Do
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FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
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ities that believe in themselves are hard to kill. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey many pundits have urged Houston to abandon many of the traits that have made it a dynamic, growing metropolis, including key elements of its light-handed, pro-business regulatory regime.
Houston, we are told, should retrench and reduce its sprawl; Slate recommends New Orleans’ post-Katrina shrinkage as a model. This goes against the best of urban tradition. Great cities generally do not shrink themselves. Many cities have rebounded and even improved after far more lethal devastation, including London, Berlin, Tokyo and New York. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the city ultimately constructed a downtown that may well be the world’s most beautiful. San Francisco famously rebuilt itself after the 1906 earthquake and fire into “a new and improved city” that has evolved into an integral part of the world’s dominant tech hub. In contrast cities that destroy themselves from within, like Detroit after the 1968 riots, and New Orleans before Katrina, can decline for decades. Urban resiliency requires two things: an ability to learn from experience and, per Northeastern University’s resiliency expert Daniel Aldrich, a commitment on the part of its residents to improve their city. Should Houston downsize? Unlike New York or New Orleans, Houston is not celebrated by the mainstream press or intellectuals; its residents have been portrayed as hypocritical religious fanatics and even neo-Nazis, despite living in what may well be America’s most diverse city. To many pundits, Houston’s problems are due to a lack of zoning and too much unregulated growth. Days after Hurricane Harvey hit, Quartz opined that “Houston’s flooding shows what happens when you ignore science and let developers run rampant.” The Guardian’s climate columnist George Monbiot even portrayed the event as a kind of payback for being the world capital of plan-
et-destroying climate change. Few Houstonians are likely to embrace this interpretation of natural forces, or their own culpability. Longtime residents know that the Bayou City always has been prone to serious hurricanes and flooding due to its location along the Gulf, and Houston has shown an ability to deal with it. A 1935 flood caused proportionally much more severe damage on a much smaller city. Tropical storm Allison in 2001 led to significant hardening of infrastructure. Unlike New Orleans at the time of Katrina, many services in Houston, including police and fire, were ready for Harvey. Flood control, although clearly not up to the standards required by such a huge weather event, has been much improved. New developments are required to show how they can make up for the absorption lost, often with sophisticated drainage and storage techniques. Much blame for Harvey has been linked to development on the fringe, a major component of the region’s growth. Over an 18-year period, Houston lost about 25,000 acres of wetlands, which took away about 4 billion gallons of storm water detention capacity. In contrast Harvey dumped about 1 trillion gallons, meaning those wetlands could have only absorbed about 0.4% of Harvey’s deluge. Many flooded roads were consciously designed to hold storm water temporarily when there is nowhere for it to drain. To succeed, Houston, like any city, must adapt and bolster its defenses, particularly if such events become more common. This does not mean, as many suggest, that the region abandon its developmentfriendly policies. In contrast to claims of “wild west” regulation, many developments after Allison are required have better systems to handle downpours than older areas closer to the center. One friend notes that his 10 suburban shopping centers employed the most ad-
vanced methods for handling excess water and survived. Most of his projects’ first line of defense is made up of catch basins and stormwater lines in the parking lot which flow to a retention pond. The second line of defense is the retention pond. In the event the pond reaches capacity, the third line of defense is storm water backing up into storm drainage lines and ultimately ponding in the parking lot. These three defenses are very typical in newer developments, and many withstood the biblical flooding intact. Many others, either not up to code or built well before the new regulations, did not do so well. But on the whole, rather than prove the inadequacy of Houston model, as the New York Times Bret Stephens correctly noted, the region managed to survive a crisis with minimal, albeit tragic losses, that in other places would have cost thousands of lives. In the coming years, Houston surely will have to find ways to grow with less peril. But as both MIT’s Alan Berger and Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Tuner have noted, Harvey did not “punish” Houston for lax development. Houston has a planning system that is not the “wild west” but simply less bureaucratic and politicized. Its suburbs, notes the planning blog Strong towns, “are largely indistinguishable from the suburbs of any American city.” As Mayor Sylvester rejoined, if Houston had zoning, he would be presiding instead over a “flooded zoned city.” The zoning argument is, simply put, bogus. Cities in the area that were heavily zoned, like West University, or intensely planned like Sugarland, got hit as hard as more haphazard areas. Harvey, it turns out, was an equal opportunity devastator. Similarly, Sandy dropped barely one-third the rain from Harvey, yet overwhelmed a dense and very zoned area. New Orleans before Katrina was dense and zoned; a lot of good it did them.
Nor, as many commentators suggest, can Houston’s supposedly enormous “sprawl” be the prime culprit. As demographer Wendell Cox points out the Houston urban area density at 3,000 per square mile, is 20 percent above metropolitan Boston (2,200), and Philadelphia (2,700) and not much less dense than that mecca of smart growth, Portland. Overall Houston ranks 18th in urban population density among the 53 metropolitan areas with more than a million residents, according to Census date. In contrast to its image as a paved over dystopia, Houston has more parkland and green space than most any other large city in America and ranks third overall to San Diego and Dallas in park acreage per capita. Rather than focus on urban form, Berger, himself a landscape architect who is co-director MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism, says this region really needs better and stricter building codes, such as the ones that saved my friend’s shopping centers. Others, like Rich Campanella at Tulane, suggests the best strategy for the Gulf cities should be to focus on building barrier islands along the coast, and improving often aged drainage systems. Houston will come back, albeit with some modifications, not because it’s a charity case, but because its people want to stay and rebuild their neighborhoods. They have been putting their shoulders to the wheel personally, with special emphasis on those most in need; rather than rugged individualists they are, in the words of one prominent Houston businessperson “rugged communitarians.” In the coming months, Houstonians will seek aid from Washington, as all hard-hit areas do, but most understand that the challenge is basically for them to solve, whether through mutual self-help, or new infrastructure; their city is an engineering marvel that needs a new upgrade. Ultimately, the power of human agency at the grassroots level remains the “secret sauce” overcoming almost any disaster, whether it’s London, New York or Houston. (-Forbes Editorial Board)
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THE STORY OF MAHATMA GANDHI
Gandhi’s arrest creates sensation worldwide Newspaper reporters from every corner of the world were there to report the progress of the Gandhi’s satyagraha. The march ended on April 5 at Dandi village. Gandhi and his selected followers went to the sea shore and broke the salt law by picking up salt left on the shore by the sea.
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Gandhi then gave a signal to all Indians to break the salt law and prepare to resist the police action in a nonviolent manner. Now read on: All over India people swarmed to the nearest sea coast to break the salt law. Great excitement was created everywhere. Only a few people knew how to make salt, but the people soon found their own ways of making it. All that mattered was the breaking of the salt law Gandhi and other leaders had made arrangements for the continuation of the agitation if they were arrested. A chain of leaders had been chosen, so that as each leader was arrested another would be ready to take his place. The government waited for some time before taking any action, and then at last retaliation began. Gandhi was left at liberty, but many other leaders were taken into custody. Jawaharlal, Mahadev Desai, and Gandhi’s son Devadas were the first to pick up salt to break the law be sent to jail. In dealing with the breakers of the salt law, the police resorted to their usual brutal methods. The gress Some with
Indian National Conwas declared illegal. newspapers, threatened censorship, suspended
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publication. The people held hartaals (strikes) and demonstrations, and mass arrests were made. Soon the jails were filled to overflowing. The people remained nonviolent, lest Gandhi should call off the movement.
some distance away from the fencing. Then a selected group of them advanced towards the barbed-wire fence. Police officials ordered the volunteers to disperse but they ignored the warning. Suddenly the police rushed at them and rained blow after blow on the defenseless men. Not one of the volunteers even raised an arm to stop the blows.
Gandhi then informed the Viceroy that he was going to raid the government salt works at Dharasana.
They fell down, some with broken skulls, some with broken shoulders, arms, or legs. The waiting crowd groaned.
Lord Irwin decided to act.
When the entire first batch had been knocked down and carried off on stretchers, another batch advanced to meet the same fate. The campaign went on for hours. Finally, as the heat of the day increased, the volunteers stopped their activities for that day.
Two English officers, with pistols, accompanied by many Indian policemen armed with rifles, arrived at Gandhi’s camp in the middle of the night. They woke up Gandhi and said, “You are under arrest.” Gandhi was taken to Yeravda Central Jail. So Gandhi was not there for the raid on the Dharasana salt deposits. The salt deposits were surrounded by barbed-wire fencing and protected by four hundred
Among the volunteers two had died and 320 were injured. Gandhi’s arrest had created a great sensation in India and abroad.
Indian policemen armed with steel-toed lathis (canes). A few British officers were in command of them.
Representations were sent from all parts of the world to the British Prime Minister asking the government to release Gandhi and make peace with India.
Gandhi’s volunteers halted
Even those who were co-
operating with the British demanded the release of Gandhi. Gandhi proved to be more dangerous inside the jail than outside. While he sat quietly in Yeravda Jail, countrywide outbreaks of civil disobedience were greatly taxing the British. The jails were full to overflowing. The government was in distress and finally, in 1931, had to release Gandhi, Nehru, and other leaders.
on the future of India. The Gandhi-Irwin Pact was a victory for nonviolent resistance. But some of Gandhi’s Congress followers thought that he had not gained much as a result of the pact. Gandhi was designated as the sole representative of the Congress to the Round Table Conference. In August 1931 he sailed for London with a small party.
As soon as Gandhi was out of prison he asked for an interview with the Viceroy, Lord Irwin. The interview was immediately given. Gandhi and Irwin met, but the two men seemed to have come from two different worlds.
Gandhi went to England with the object of reaching an agreement with the British on a fair Constitution for India and also of winning the hearts of the British people. In his first object he failed, and in the second he met with great success.
Gandhi did not go to seek any favors. He wanted to negotiate on terms of equality. The meeting went on for many days and finally the talks culminated in a treaty, the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. It embodied compromises made by both sides. Irwin agreed to release all the political prisoners, and Gandhi promised to suspend civil disobedience and send a Congress representative to the Round Table Conference. For at that time, in London, the British government was holding a Round Table Conference
Gandhi spent 84 days in England and most of the time he was meeting and talking to people. Prime Minister Winston Churchill refused to see him but Gandhi captivated the hearts of many. He had tea with the King and Queen. When a reporter asked him if he thought he had been dressed well enough for such an august tea party, Gandhi replied, “The King had on enough for both of us.” At the Round Table Conference nothing was conceded
to India towards her goal of Swaraj. The Conference played up the differences between Hindus and Muslims, and this only served to worsen communal tension in India. Gandhi returned with nothing except warm goodwill for India from the hearts of many English people. At home, Gandhi found that the government had returned to the policy of repression. There were widespread arrests and seizure of property and bank accounts of people and organizations who were hostile to British interests. Early in 1932 Gandhi wanted to meet the new Viceroy, Lord Willlingdon, but the Viceroy made it clear that the days of negotiations were over. Gandhi informed the authorities that he was again starting a civil disobedience movement. The Viceroy thought it was a threat and had Gandhi arrested and lodged in Yeravada Central Jail. Several other leaders and many followers of Gandhi were also arrested and jailed. — To be Continued
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FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
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Kirtan Fest and Inter-faith prayers at ISKCON of Houston for Harvey Victims was added to Kirtan Fest and was attended by representatives of different faiths. The Vaisnava prayer was sung by HG Gaura Mani Devi. The prayers concluded with the offering of pusphpanjali by the 200 people in attendance, followed by an aarti to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur.
espite all odds caused by hurricane Harvey and related rain and flooding, Kirtan Fest Houston was attended by over 150 guests at ISKCON of Houston over the Labor Day Weekend. The schedule was modified to 2 days instead of 3-day weekend due to city-wide flooding and transportation challenges. The special guests of the festival included: HH Bhakti Sundar Goswam; HG Nityananda Dasa, GBC Member – Texas; HG Gaura Mani Devi & HG Param Das from Vrindavan; HG Amala Kirtan Dasa; HG Advaitacharya Dasa from San Antonio, TX; and HG Gopi Gita Devi and HG Hari Das from Dallas. Due to flight cancellations other special guests were not able to attend the festival. In his speech HG Nityananda Dasa, GBC member for Texas, appreciated and encouraged the organizers to make it an annual festival where devotees from different parts of the country can come and relish the taste of holy name in the association of like minded devotees.
Devotees listening to a discourse during Kirtan Fest at the ISKCON of Houston.
HG Guru Bhakti Dasi, Kirtan Fest Chair, says “HH Tamal Krishna Goswami, on his last visit to Houston in 2001, encouraged us to organize an event focused on kirtan & Krsna katha where devotees could come together like they do in Hungary for Janmastami. It took the younger devotees, namely Madhava Charan Dasa, with his organizational skills to get the ball rolling & Ramdas, with his love of kirtan to add tweak the schedule to ensure a
smooth flow. We had an excellent team of dedicated devotees who were creative, responsible and fully service oriented which was very refreshing and enlivening to work with. They brought Goswami Maharaja’s desire to fruition and as Goswami Maharaja had predicted, it brought all the devotees blissfully together.” Conscious Houston, the temple’s youth coordinated a donation drive collecting articels for donation to shelters in Houston and surrounding area. For videos, pictures and updates on dates for Kirtan Fest 2018 – please like and follow www.facebook.com/kirtanfesthouston A few images and a sample of kirtan can also be seen at: https://youtu.be/DCUvlpLvc1I
Texas Governor Greg Abbott proclaimed Sunday, Sept. 3rd as a Day of Prayers in Texas— which happened to coincide with the appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, who envisioned people from all nations coming together harmoniously through the blissful chanting of the holy names of God. An interfaith prayer segment in the spirit of Thakur Bhaktivinoda
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated at Sri Meenakshi Temple by Kamala Raghavan
anesha Chaturthi, also known as ‘Vinayaka Chaturthi’ is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It is observed during the month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September) and the most elaborate of celebrations is in the western India state of Maharashtra, lasting for 10 days ending on the day of ‘Ananta Chaturdashi’.
Sri Meenakshi Temple Society celebrated the Ganesh Chaturthi on Saturday September 9th with Sankalpam, Vigneswara pooja, Punyahavachanam, 108 Kalasa pooja, Homam, Purnahuthi, Abhishekam, Alankaram, Deeparadhana, and procession around the temple.
Lord Vinayaka adorned for the Ganesh Chaturthi pooja at MTS. May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon you all! May He remove all the obstacles that stand in your path and bestow on you all material prosperity as well as liberation!
The event provided comfort to the devotees from all the stress and devastation wrought by hurricane Harvey. On Sunday September 10th morning, the event continued with Sankalpam, Ganapati pooja, Punyahavachanam, Ganapati Avahanam, Pushpa pooja, Patra pooja, Ashtothra pooja and story, Aarthi and Mantrapushpam, and culminated in the procession for “Visarjan” or immersion of the clay idols in the temple pond. The “visarjan” symbolizes a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of all man.
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Devotees partaking in the pooja
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FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
Many Indian Americans participate in “Pedal Away Alzheimer’s” benefit ride Tax Rate and Budget to be considered Indo-Americans have become familiar faces in major biking and running events across Greater Houston. The Annual MS 150 that is held in April of each year to raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis features hundreds of Indo-Americans pedaling from Houston to Austin. In fact, groups have special Indian meals served at La Grange for the Indo American riders. Each year Ready2Roll conducts a training program over a 9 Saturdays that rookies and veteran bikers leverage to prepare for the MS 150. Over 1700 bikers participated in this program held in early 2017. 63-year-old, Ramesh Anand
UGAR LAND, Texas – City Council will consider the 2017 tax rate and fiscal year 2018 budget at a regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 19 at Sugar Land City Hall, 2700 Town Center Blvd. North. Public hearings on the tax rate were held on Aug. 22 and Sept. 5, and a public hearing on the budget was held Aug. 15. City Manager Allen Bogard submitted a proposed $231 million budget on July 18. For details on the proposed budget, visit www. sugarlandtx.gov/budget. A series of five budget workshops was held during the month of August.
Kheng Tonlani and Ramesh Anand rest during MS 150 2017.
The proposed general fund budget of $90.4 million includes $2.9 million in savings as compared to fiscal year 2017. Reductions include the following items: • $655,000 is saved on fixed costs such as fuel/ electricity and the streetscape beautification program. • A $560,000 increase in budgeted salary savings represents a reduction to expenditures. • Infrastructure rehabilitation funding, which was previously funded at a level of more than $3 million per year, was reduced to $1.4 million for fiscal year 2018.
A group of Indian Americans who particiated in the Annual MS 150 and 30-year Shivkant Singh, a PhD student at University of Houston were two rookie riders for the April 2017MS 150 program. They swear by the Ready2Roll program and believe that the only reason they could complete their maiden MS 150 was due to the awesome training provided by Ready2Roll. On Saturday September, 16th, many Houston IndoAmericans, along with Ramesh Anand and Shivkant Singh will participate in a fund raiser bike ride for a cause to help raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and all the education and support opportunities offered by the Alzheimer’s Asso-
ciation.” “Every 66 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s dementia. By mid-century, someone in the U.S. will develop the disease every 33 seconds,” says Samantha Duffy, Constituent Events Coordinator with the Alzheimer’s Association Houston & Southeast Chapter. Pedal Away Alzheimer’s Ride will take place on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Starting at 8:00 a.m. from the Austin County Fair and Convention Grounds in Bellville, TX, the route options are open to riders of all levels and will include various ride distances from 22, 39, 48 or 65 miles of cycling. The routes will
• Capital projects were spread out, with many delayed.
include law enforcement at key intersections, SAG support, porta-lets at the start and finish as well as at the fullystocked rest stops. Mechanical support will be provided by both Bike Barn and Sun & Ski Sports and the ride will end with a fun post-ride party. As part of the BP MS 150 Recommended Rides, this fall ride be well supported and well attended. This ride is open to the public and online registration is available at: https:// thedriven.net/event.race_reg/ eid/8398013469 Contact Marshall Cohen for any queries at Marshall.Cohen@comcast.net
The proposed budget is fiscally conservative and proactively responsive to changing consumer retail patterns, ongoing uncertainty in the oil/gas market and the city’s aging infrastructure and population. Issues facing Sugar Land -- including declining revenue streams, unfunded state mandates and preemption of local control -- create challenges in maintaining the high level of services that citizens expect while maintaining one of the state’s lowest tax rates.
The proposed budget is based on City Council-approved financial policies that call for an effective tax rate – the rate required to raise the same amount of revenue in 2017 from properties that were on the tax roll in 2016 – plus 3 percent to address annual inflationary costs of business. “In most years, the effective tax rate plus 3 percent to achieve the budgeted revenue doesn’t require any adjustment to the tax rate itself,” said Bogard. “The growth in property values covers the conservative growth in expenditures. This year, property revaluation was only 1.53 percent for residential property and 3.53 percent for commercial – which means we either have to cut services or adjust the tax rate to achieve the revenue necessary to support the budget.” The effective tax rate plus 3 percent of 32.233 cents means the nominal tax rate increases by .638 cents compared to last year. During budget workshops, City Council expressed concerns about the decrease in funding available for rehabilitation due to the decline in sales tax revenue and valuations that fell short of projections. A tax rate of 32.233 cents funds the budget as proposed and ensures that the city will have revenues available to support services in uncertain economic times. The city’s sales tax revenue continues to fall short of last year and could further be impacted by Hurricane Harvey into fiscal year 2018. With the recommended tax rate of 32.233 cents, the average home valued at $379,530 with a 10 percent homestead exemption will see a tax bill of $1,101.01 for 2017, an increase of $43.21 from 2016 – or $21.41 more than the bill would be with a flat tax rate of 31.595 cents. Other recommendations in the proposed budget include: implementation of annexation
for Greatwood and New Territory, with annexation revenues covering all annexation costs; and for the parks bond projects approved by voters. To date $21.2 million in General Obligation bonds have been issued out of the $31.5 million approved by voters. So far, the City has avoided the full 3.1 cent tax increase authorized to fund the projects and has only increased the tax rate by .7 cents in 2014. Sugar Land’s tax bill represents 15 percent of the total residential tax bill, with the school district accounting for 64 percent and the county 21 percent. Funding a high level of services while maintaining one of the state’s lowest tax rates has been accomplished, in part, by an aggressive economic development program. The city’s economic development efforts have led businesses to expand, construct improvements, or relocate to Sugar Land – as well as to the completion of destination entertainment venues such as Constellation Field and the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land. The positive economic impact of these programs and substantial expansion of the city’s commercial property tax base has allowed the city to offer increased homestead exemptions to residents and lower its property tax rate by approximately 18 cents since 1993. State law requires the city adhere to strict timelines in the truth in taxation process. This process includes dates for public hearings and a final vote on the tax rate, and the schedule was set long before Hurricane Harvey formed. The final vote on the budget and tax rate must take place on Sept. 19, and the city welcomes input through other means than the public hearings – such as speaking during the public comment period at the council meeting or emailing the city’s budget office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Arya Samaj Houston for hurricane affected residents Soon after Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, Arya Samaj Houston became active on multiple fronts. As the first target of $20,000 was being pledged by the key members, Sewa International’s efforts were noted and Arya Samaj Houston decided to channelize its funds through them. Close coordination made it apparent that needs of the people were phenomenally large. Arya Samaj upped its target to $50,000 and without waiting for the new pledges, it wired $50,000 to Sewa International so that the momentum of relief efforts didn’t diminish. The response from all quarters of Arya Samaj Houston was very encouraging that it has been decided to donate $10,000 to Mayor’s Relief Fund and likewise amount to Governor’s Relief Fund, totaling its contri- Elderly victim Frida solely relying on Arya Samaj butions to $70,000. Arya Samaj has always been at the forefront when calamity has struck anywhere in the world. Be it the Haiti earthquake, Tsunami in southern India, or floods in Chennai, Arya Samaj Houston responded in the spirit of the Nutritious meals served Sixth Principle Warm, ready-to-eat meals were served of Arya Samaj enshrined by its volunteers cooked in their Samaj and deliver to families in founder Maharshi Dayanand: homes and delivered to mul- Riverstone, Bellaire and greater The prime object of Arya tiple homes that started with Houston areas. The Sanskriti Samaj is to serve the world, by 5 families and has now qua- School volunteers are also physical, spiritual and social drupled; the number is bound compiling a list of furniture and progress. Hurricane Harvey to increase further. The hurri- other household things needed had thrown a challenge much cane not only robbed them of by victims and those offering closer to the home. their home and belongings, but such things. A number of Arya Its Sunday School, the DAV often they have been unable to Samaj members have opened Sanskriti School functions get around because their cars their homes for those who had with the help of 80+ volun- got flooded. A home cooked to abandon their homes while teers. Their small “help thy meal at a time like this added one family has been accommoneighbor” gesture blossomed smiles and happiness to fami- dated within Arya Samaj. If you in no time into a full blown lies. are available to cook or deliver, home cooked vegetarian meal Starting Wednesday, 13th or if you know a family in need delivery service for the flood September the volunteers then please call 832.874.3376 victims. For over two weeks will cook the food at the Arya or 281.752.0100.
Hundreds of Sikh volunteers aid Harvey victims
Sikh community of Houston volunteering in Harvey relief work. In the aftermath of hurricane Harvey, the city came together as one to begin the process of rebuilding and getting lives back together. Communities and perfect strangers worked with each other to get what needs be done. More than 8,000 Sikhs live in the suburbs of Houston and were saddened to see their beloved city damaged by the hurricane. The Sikhs in the Houston community rolled up their sleeves and got to work to get all the help possible to the community. In addition to providing cleaning supplies, toiletries, drinking water, shelf food and pet food, the Sikh community put in long hours in preparing hot meals to be distributed to the displaced families. The groceries required to make these meals using fresh vegetables and fruit, which was in short supply in Houston, came
from San Antonio and Dallas. The Sikhs living across America are also hosting their local fundraisers for hurricane Harvey’s victims. Seven trucks full of supplies have already been received which were generously donated by Sikhs living in California. Hot meals were prepared at the Sikh National Center Kitchen to serve 700 flood victims who were sheltered at the local church, the MET Church. The community partnered with the Copperfield Church to provide 1,000 meals each day to the displaced families. 600 meals were distributed to displaced families with the help of Free Indeed International Church located in Homestead TX and the MET Church. Meals will continue to be provided as and when needed. About 30 middle school and
high school going children have taken the lead in unloading, organizing and preparing an inventory of all the supplies that are reaching the Sikh National Center. Sikh National Center Gurudwara is the current staging area and serves as the logistics center for all the relief efforts. Supplies are packaged based on the community need and then loaded on to the box truck and pickup trucks by the young volunteers. So far, delivery of supplies have been made not only in Houston but also Rockport, Beaumont, Baytown, Liberty and Rosenberg. A detailed log of what is being received and dispatched is managed by the voluntary coordinators. The coordinators are Gursharan Singh (8328636500), Mandeep Singh (7134945467), Navdeep Singh (5042349143) and Amrit Singh (2813842771)
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VOICE OF ASIA 5
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VOICE OF ASIA 6
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
FORT FORT BE BE
Sugar SugarLand, Land,Katy, Katy,Stafford, Stafford,Missouri MissouriCity, City,R
BAPS Charities relief and recovery efforts in Houston and Beaumont areas
TAFFORD - As water started rising in Tushar Patel’s home on August 31, 2017 in Katy, Texas, all he could do was to grab a few essentials and get his family to higher grounds. He and his family were forced to evacuate their home and leave behind all of their personal and lifelong belongings. This was the story of thousands around the Houston area as the city experienced the worst catastrophic floods brought by Hurricane Harvey. The greater Houston area experienced over 50 inches of rain when Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, 2017. The slow-moving hurricane caused record flooding, forcing many to leave their homes under mandatory evacuations, while others were not as lucky and had to evacuate in a rush as the water rose swiftly from the relentless rains. As Tushar watched the news while waiting for the rain to come to an end, he could only imagine what was happening at his home. He knew that once he was able to get back to his home, the recovery would be challenging. BAPS Charities recognized this challenge and understood that the essential needs of medical equipment, shelter, water, food, and emergency healthcare were critical for the relief and recovery efforts. BAPS Charities volunteers responded to this call to action in Houston and surrounding areas and their volunteers worked alongside local state officials and first responders to provide assistance. On August 28, over 50 volunteers served 225 hot meals to Kempner and Marshall High Schools which were acting as local shelters. In addition, 150 hot meals were served to University of Houston students. Over 100 pizzas were distributed to responding local law enforcement officials in the Missouri City and Sugar Land, TX areas. Lt. Ruben Valencia of Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department appreciated the efforts, “Thank you so much for offering this. This kind gesture means a lot to all of the law enforcement officers.” In addition, medical volunteers provided urgent care needs at the shelters in the Clear Lake, Texas area. Volunteers shuttled evacuees from Riverstone, and Sienna neighborhoods in Sugar Land, Texas to area shelters. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and local volunteers from Stafford, TX continue to shelter 75 families in their homes who are still unable to return to their flooded homes. The George R. Brown Convention center in downtown Houston was inundated with evacuees. BAPS Charities distributed essential toiletries to over 100 individuals and a total of 100 pillows and blankets were given for the evacuees to use. Over the first several days following the floods, BAPS Charities served over 4000 hot meals, dispersed over 5 pallets water and orange juice in both the greater Houston and Beaumont, TX areas. Perhaps the largest need for help throughout the city was seen as the flood waters slowly began to recede in the various neighborhoods. As Tushar entered his home on September 1, the sight brought tears to his eyes. His entire house, from the floors to so much of his cherished belongings, were now soaked as he had gotten over 4 feet of water in his home. As Tushar began to shift through his belongings, thinking of what to do next, a group of volunteers from BAPS Charities arrived with the needed tools and prepared to help get the home cleaned out so that Tushar could think about next steps. Volunteers of BAPS Charities set aside their personal time from work and family to help others recover from the catastrophic flood damages. The volunteers collected
BAPS Charities volunteers serving hot meals hurricane Harvey victims. Photos by BAPS. boots, dehumidifiers, generators, cutting tools, etc to start the recovery efforts. The recovery efforts started at 7 am with 75 volunteers beginning to make hot meals and ended after a long day of cleaning out floors and sheetrock from flooded and water damaged homes. Tushar commented, “As heartbreaking as this process
is, having these volunteers to help has brought a smile to our faces.”. He added that, “Removing water damaged items is important so that the house can be dried out and free of mold, having the help to do it quickly has been essential.” Volunteers over the 5 days assisted with 25 homes in pulling soaked carpets, moving furniture, cutting drywall and
debris out of the homes. The debris removal process was the most difficult for thousands of homeowners as many hired workers were overbooked. Tushar Patel hopes that this does not happen to anyone but he said, “BAPS Charities gave me and my neighbors support with a personal touch, they provided care as their own family.”
BAPS Charities volunteers assisting in clean up work. Over the last ten years, BAPS Charities has been actively supporting relief efforts worldwide, specifically providing relief support after hurricanes Sandy and Katrina as well as
the Fort McMurray wildfire. To find out more about the effort or to see how you can get involved, please visit: http:// www.bapscharities.org/usa/ harveyrelief/
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
VOICE OF ASIA 7
END END VIEW VIEW
,Richmond, Richmond,Rosenberg Rosenbergand andMeadows MeadowsPlace Place
Harvey aftermath will persist for weeks in FB County
ICHMOND - Fort Bend County Judge Robert Hebert advised residents and community members during a commissioner court meeting Tuesday that even though Hurricane Harvey has left the region and the floodwaters are starting to recede, the county is still in a state of emergency. “Our emergency declaration was two weeks...We will have to extend it,” he said. Hebert said the county is now entering a recovery mode that will consist of debris management, damage assessment and addressing disaster recovery issues. - Recovery modeRepresentatives from the Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management provided commissioners with updates on the aftermath of the hurricane and flooding that the county must address. “Nearly 22 percent of our county was flooded at its peak,” said Jeff Braun, emergency management coordinator for the OEM. “At one point, we had 29 different shelters open in the county. We are now down to three shelters.” The county’s recovery consists of three elements-damage assessment, debris management and addressing disaster recovery issues. “A longer-term more detailed damage assessment will be done over the next week and a half,” Braun said. Debris pickup trucks were deployed earlier this week, and more will be fully operational
and deployed by Saturday, according to Hebert. Hebert said residents should sort their debris accordingly and not to place any debris in plastic bags, or it will be left on the street. Hebert said the trucks will make multiple trips to houses with debris and that if any debris are left residents should be aware the trucks will eventually come back again. “We will be in front of every house that has debris at least three times during the process,” he said. “...But it will be a matter of weeks before this is finished. Not days-weeks.” The third component to the aftermath of Harvey, addressing disaster recovery issues, consists of FEMA setting up disaster survival assistance teams and disaster recovery centers. DSA teams go out into the community to help people register for FEMA assistance. Teams are presently stationed at the shelters at the Kendleton Church of God and Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Rosenberg. The DRC’s are for people who have already registered for FEMA assistance that have questions about a claim or need to submit additional paperwork. “We are working to set that up, we have several locations in the county in mind (that) all in impacted areas,” said Caroline Egan, disaster recovery manager for the OEM. Egan said individuals that do not qualify for FEMA assistance can try the Small Business Administration. (-KTRK)
Post-Harvey Solid Waste FAQs for City Residents Who Participate in the FB Municipal Program
n the wake of Hurricane Harvey, City officials are partnering with Fort Bend County and Municipal Solid Waste Program contractor—WCA—to provide residents with up-to-date information about trash pickup plans. The FAQs below address the most common solid waste questions being asked and are subject to change based on developing schedules or volumes of debris and may alter the recovery timetable. Who will pick up my trash? For residents receiving City service, WCA is currently only picking up all contents in the 95-gallon blue carts. When will storm debris such as building materials and tree limbs be picked up and who is handling those collections? Other waste resulting from Hurricane Harvey, such as construction, demolition debris and tree limbs, will be picked up in accordance with the Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management debris management program. They are scheduled to start this clean up beginning Saturday, Sept. 9. When will my trash be picked up? Your regular pick-up days for solid waste placed in the blue cart started after Hurricane Harvey on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. When will my recycling be picked up? Your regular recycling pickup days will resume beginning the week of Monday, Sept. 11.
Image courtesy of Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management
When will my bulk waste be picked up? As advised by WCA, your regular bulk waste pick-up days are anticipated to resume beginning the week of Monday, Sept. 18. When will my bagged green waste, such as grass or leaves, be picked up? As advised by WCA, collection of your regular bagged green waste, such as grass or leaves, is anticipated to resume on the regularly scheduled day beginning the week of Monday,
Sept. 18. Alternatively, you may place the bagged green waste in your blue cart for pick up.
event to provide crews with enough time to correct the adverse effect of the event.
Will I receive a rebate or discount if WCA did not pick up my household trash, yard trimmings, and recyclable materials during or after the hurricane?
Yes. Refer to the “Separating Your Debris” diagram above and on the homepage of the City’s website: www.missouricitytx.gov.
No. Pursuant to WCA’s contract with the City, if the company is unable to perform its duties because of an event out of its control, such as a hurricane or a tornado, WCA’s inability to perform must be excused during and after such
For updates, please watch the City website, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat—@MissouriCityTX and watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse).
Do I have to separate my trash for pick up?
VOICE OF ASIA 8
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
Anjali Center hit hard by Harvey by Shobana Muratee Harvey, now a household name, has left its indelible scars of Houstonians. Many stories of distress and despair are beginning to surface just as the ugly debris from the hurricane has. Anjali Center for Performing Arts, the iconic dance institute that has been doing stellar service to the arts since 1975, suffered heavy damage to its Sugar Land facility which opened in 2003. Sadly, the owner of the institute Dr. Rathna Kumar was stuck in Washington DC due to cancelled flights when she received a distress call on Sunday morning from Anjali’s Assistant Director Venugopal Josyula. The extent of damage to the studio was huge according to its director; a lot of the ceiling was damaged, water from the roof was in all the rooms, and furniture, costumes, props, and photo albums were beginning to get wet. “The photos he sent me of the devastation shocked and depressed me,” Dr. Kumar stated. She immediately sent out an SOS to her students and parents group via WhatsApp relating the situation. “It brought nearly 20 volunteers to the Center to pack up my expensive costumes, music, DVDs, precious photographs and certificates, and haul them away to a dry place (a dear friend’s house). When the rain finally stopped they came back to clean up all the water, throw out soggy furniture, carpets, AND miscellaneous items,” Dr. Kumar mentioned. What followed was equally devastating.
about the damage to Anjali, seeing it in that condition was traumatic. I spent 24 hours crying anddespairing. FEMA had disqualified me, and my insurance company had refused to pay, claiming that mine was not storm damage! I know that I have a humongous repair bill that will soon hang over my head like the sword of Damocles. But I am not one to mope around. I have learned a very valuable lesson from this experience, that in times of need, you can always rely on friends to bail you out. I have realized that while we cannot predict the vagaries of nature, we can always rest assured that there are plenty of caring people in the world. I have been blessed with great friends. and well-wishers and loving students and parents who will all help me rebuild Anjali Center. I can feel the positive energy. Like a phoenix, Anjali Center will rise out of the ashes”, says Dr. Kumar.
(Left) Collapsed ceiling tiles, (Below) Priceless costumes soaked, (Bottom) Flooding in the studio rooms (Photos: Dr. Kumar).
HAF calls for release of kidnapped Hindu woman in Pakistan davit claiming that she married Bux and converted out of her own free will. Despite her family filing a First Information Report with local police, Arti has not been allowed to return home and will be brought before the Sindh High Court on September 12.
he Hindu American Foundation (HAF) calls for the immediate release of Arti Kumari Sharma, a 20 year-old Hindu woman who was kidnapped at gunpoint this past Saturday near her home in Khairpur District in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province.
Currently they are working from makeshift locations. Visit www.anjalicenter.org for details.
Arti’s uncle, Kishwar Sharma, a Houston resident and native of Pakistan, recently escaped religious persecution in Pakistan to immigrate to the US. “I am deeply distraught to find out my niece was kidnapped at gunpoint near her house,” said Sharma. “Arti is engaged to be married in November and is the second girl to be kidnapped in my family.” Arti, a teacher at Qasim Model School, was abducted on her way home by a Muslim landlord, Ammer Wassan, taken to a local mosque where she was forcibly converted to Islam and married against her will to a man named Amir Bux. She was also reportedly coerced into signing an affi-
“I finally returned to Houston 8 days after Harvey had wreaked unbelievable havoc, and though I knew
Anywhere Security System www.a-oneinternational.com
“Arti’s basic civil rights and freedom have been flagrantly violated, in contradiction of Pakistani law and international human rights law,” said Rishi Bhutada, HAF Board Member and Houston resident. “We urge the Sindh High Court to order the immediate release and safe return of Arti to her family.”
Arti Kumari Sharma is the niece of Pakistani-origin immigrant based in Houston (Photo: HAF)
Many NGOs and human rights groups, including Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) and the Movement for Solidarity and Peace, have estimated that more than 1,000 Hindu and Christian girls and women are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam annually. The courts and legal system in Pakistan are often complicit in sanctioning this practice by accepting false documents and statements obtained through force, threats, or coercion. The Foundation has extensively documented this trend and other human rights violations against Pakistani Hindus in its annual human rights report, Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights, 2017. Hindu American Foundation (www.HAFsite.org)
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“Reinforcing positivity through Awareness”
JVB’s Meaningful and Funfilled Childrens’ Summer Camp
VOICE OF ASIA 9
Local Malayalees celebrate Onam festival MISSOURI CITY - Onam is the national festival of Kerala remembering King Mahabali who ruled his people with justice and truth. It is said that the people were very happy and there was plenty for everybody.
the welcome speech by Chairman of the World Malayalee Council Mr. Jacob Cudasanadu, president Mr. S.K. Cherian gave his message in his presidential address and briefly talked about World Malayalee Council.
This is the only celebration in Kerala jointly celebrated by all religious segments and groups in the same way. Onam is a ten day celebration. Onam is celebrated with new clothes, food, play and fun.
Felicitation were given by Malayalee Association Presdent, Mr. Thpomas Cherukara, Council Member Mr. Ken Mathew, Koshy Thomas Publisher of Voice of Asia, WMC regional president, Mr. P.C. Mathew Malayalee Press Council President Mr. A.C.George, Pravasi News editor Mr. Blesson. and freelance Reporter Jemon Ranni. Immediately after that Sugu Philip and group presented a musical melody
World Malayalee Council celebrated Onam on August 19, 2017 at the St. Joseph Syro MalabarChurch in Missouri City. It started with a silent prayer and then by a group of students from Lakshmi Music Academy. After
Dr. Sunil being honored event by Ponnu Pillai draping a Ponnada over her head and shoulder. Dr. Sunil is a retired professor who is responsible for building over 75 houses and giving it to the poor and homeless people free.
Dr. Sunil was honored at the
Summer Campers during a meditation session.
VB Preksha Meditation Center, Houston conducted its Annual Children Summer Camp from August 7th-11th under the auspicious presence of Samani Kanchan Pragyaji & Samani Pranav Pragyaji (Disciples of Acharya Shri Mahashraman). A total of 35 Kids, ages 6 to 11yrs. attended the week long eventful camp where they played, explored, laughed and learned together. Kids looked forward to each day as their day was a colorful mixture of Yoga, Meditation, Art, Craft, Games, and Science activities. The uniqueness of this themed camp “Reinforcing positivity through Awareness” was in its five-different awareness themes for five different days. Kids started every morning with blessings of Samani Pranav Pragyaji’ s (Jain Nun) prayer session, where they sang and learned a devotional prayer. It was followed by a 30 min Yoga session by Brenda Cocina who specializes in kids’ yoga classes. Two-hour awareness theme session with various hands on activities was held under the expert guidance of Magic Touch teachers, Pratima Desai & Sheetal Kothari on each day. Special art & craft session for ages 9-11yrs. was also pro-
vided by Monart School of Art every day. The first day of the camp was all about “Awareness of mind” which taught them discipline, focus, and mindfulness through clapping and breathing techniques. The second day focused on “Awareness of speech and actions” where they learned the consequences of their own actions and reactions and various Meditation techniques which can help them control their negative thoughts. On the third day “Awareness of Surroundings” aimed to teach them compassion towards mother nature and how they can use their own five senses. The next day was all about “Awareness of Knowledge” and focused at teaching them how right knowledge can empower them as well as the people around them. The finale day connected kids with how they can Integrate Gratitude & Joy and be respectful towards people and grateful for little things in life. They also kept the writing journal throughout this week. Kids love to measure, mix and bake. Baking mini muffins with different flavors, and then savoring the deliciousness of their own creations turned out to be most fun activity of this day.
All the kids enjoyed fun games like Jeopardy, Hot Potato, Sharks & Minos, tag a friend organized by senior class volunteers of JVB Gyanshala, Udai Jain, Vani Jain, Neer Jain, Snaemi Jain, Sakshee Jain, Anshumi Jhaveri, Ronak & Aarav Mehta. Everyone loved making new friends. In closing, JVB President Seema Jain organized a small get together where all the parents shared a positive feedback of their week-long experience as well as how kids felt excited at the end of the day.
Lighting of the traditional lamp by Councilman Ken Mathew, Chairman Jacob Cudasanadu and members of the World Malayalee Council.
JVB center truly appreciates the work of 15 dedicated volunteers who made the event meaningful. JVB Preksha Meditation Center is home to a specially designed Preksha Dhyan ‘Pyramid’ Meditation Hall and is located at 14102 Schiller Rd, Houston, TX 77082. It has free weekly Meditation, Yoga & Swadhyay sessions, Gyanshala Classes for ages 4-14 yrs. on 1st & 3rd Sunday which are open to all. Upcoming Events include Annual Day Cultural Celebrations & Adhar Abhishek Pooja on Oct. 7 & 8th.
Guests enjoy Onam feast served with specialities, an integral part of the celebrations
For more information, please visit www.jvbhouston.org or call Seema Jain @ 281-5750575.
Cultural program with skit and drums was the highlight of the festivities.
A total of 35 Kids, ages 6 to 11yrs. attended the week long camp. Camper seen with teachers.
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Pakistan PM opens country’s fifth nuclear power plant
SLAMABAD, Pakistan | AFP Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday inaugurated the country’s fifth nuclear power plant, developed in collaboration with China amid hopes that his government could end chronic power
next June,” Abbasi told a ceremony broadcast live. “We will be able to end loadshedding by November 2017,” he said, adding that the nuclear power plants were efficient and safe and under in-
Chakma, Hajong refugees to get Indian citizenship
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
Father Tom freed! No ransom for priest’s release: V.K. Singh Kerala priest freed one year after his kidnap in Yemen
PM inaugurates 340 MW C-4 nuclear power plant at Chashma (Photo: APP) shortages this year.
Pakistan is one of the few developing countries pursuing atomic energy in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, as it seeks to close an electricity shortfall that can stretch up to 7,000 MW in peak summer months, or around 32 percent of total demand.
Abbasi said that the economic growth rate had surpassed the five percent mark and it will reach up to six percent this year because many new power projects had begun producing electricity and several were nearing completion.
The 340-megawatt Chashma-IV reactor, located some 250 kilometres (155 miles) southwest of capital Islamabad, is the fourth built as part of a collaboration between the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). The previous power plant was inaugurated in December by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified on corruption charges last month. “Ending of loadshedding is the highest priority of our government and the power projects of 10,000 megawatts would be completed by
Pakistan has been struggling to provide enough power to its nearly 200 million citizens for years, and Sharif had vowed to solve the crisis by 2018. The energy sector has traditionally struggled to cover the cost of producing electricity, leading the government to divert $2 billion annually as a subsidy, according to a recent report commissioned by the British government. China meanwhile is ramping up investment in its South Asian neighbour as part of a $46 billion project that will link its far-western Xinjiang region to Pakistan’s Gwadar port with a series of infrastructure, power and transport upgrades.
Sri Lanka to hit pot of cash with weed exports
OLOMBO, Sept 13 - Sri Lanka’s government will begin farming cannabis to ensure high quality supplies for the indigenous medicine industry as well as for lucrative exports to the US market, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. A 100-acre farm will be set up at Ingiriya in the minister’s home constituency of Kalutara district to cultivate weed which is currently illegal, the minister said adding that the decision was fuelled by a severe shortage of the narcotic that is also used as medicine. The farm could produce over 25 tonnes a year and would be under military protection, the minister said. He said there was also a high demand in the US for quality weed that is used in the manufacture of tranquilisers and painkillers.
The locally produced cannabis is set to give a better kick than what is produced in the US, the minister said. Cannabis is grown extensive in Sri Lanka’s southern province despite cultivation, possession and use are banned in the country. Minister Senaratne told reporters at the post-cabinet press conference that many ayurvedic doctors had complained that they do not get good quality cannabis for their preparations. He said the traditional herbal medicine market currently depends on handouts from courts which seize illegally grown or smuggled drugs. “By the time our native doctors get this cannabis, it is about four to five years old and it has lost its effectiveness,” Senaratne said. (-Economy Next)
EW DEHLI - Rohingya Muslims, who came to India due to persecution in Myanmar, are not as lucky as the Chakma and Hajong refugees. While the former are treated as illegal immigrants in India and the Centre is planning to deport them, the latter will soon get Indian citizenship. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the Centre will grant citizenship to all Chakma and Hajong refugees living in the Northeast. The ethnic groups from Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, where they faced religious persecution, had fled to India in the 1960s. In 2015, the Centre was directed by the Supreme Court to confer citizenship to these refugees. The government now wants to find a “middle ground” so the Supreme Court order to grant citizenship to Chakma-Hajong refugees could be honoured without diluting the rights of the local population. - Who Are Chakmas And Hajongs? The stateless groups have lived in Arunachal Pradesh for over 50 years. Many fled when their land was submerged by the Kaptai Dam in the 1960s. They entered India through the Mizoram in the 1960s. The Chakmas are Buddhists while the Hajongs are Hindus. While some of them stayed back, the government moved a majority of the refugees to Arunachal Pradesh later on. Initially treated as refugees, the Indian government decided to grant them citizenship under Section 5(i) (a) of the Citizenship Act following a joint statement by the PMs of India and Bangladesh in 1972. Based in Arunachal for over 50 years, there are over 1 lakh people from these ethnic groups today - up from around 5,000 in 1964-69. - Locals’ Ire All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) launched a mass movement against granting citizenship to Chakmas and Hajongs in the 1980s, which continues till today. Indigenous tribal communities fear that they would be reduced to a minority and deprived of opportunities if the refugees are given equal rights. They say the demography of the state will change as a result. The central government is trying to find a workable solution by proposing that the refugees will not be given rights, including land ownership, enjoyed by scheduled tribes in Arunachal Pradesh. However, they may be given Inner Line permits required for nonlocals in Arunachal Pradesh to travel and work. (-India Today)
MEA worked quietly to secure Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil’s from Islamic State’s custody. This image is from an appeal video in Yemen (Photo: YouTube) HIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India, September 13 - A day after Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the priest who was kidnapped over a year ago in Yemen, was released from captivity, the Union government denied reports that a ransom was paid.
“The Ministry of External Affairs works quietly, does its work without making too much noise and ultimately ensures that the work gets done,” minister of state for external affairs VK Singh told reporters here on the sidelines of a state outreach conference organised by the ministry. Singh replied in the negative when asked whether any ransom was paid to the captors.
Asked about the role played by the Omanese government in Father Tom’s release, V K Singh said that when direct methods do not yield results, indirect methods have to be adopted. “The aim is to get the problem solved and in achieving that aim, anybody who assists us is welcome. In such situations we need to take anyone’s help,” he added. Asked about reports that the assets of India’s most wanted criminal Dawood Ibrahim have been seized by the UK government, Singh admitted that “things are happening”. He added, “But we can’t let the cat out of the bag now. (-New Indian Express)
After a harrowing time, Fr. Tom’s kin rejoice OTTAYAM: After a harrowing wait of one-and-a-half years filled with dread, hope and prayers, the family of Fr Tom Uzhunnalil - who was kidnapped by armed rebels on March 4 in Yemen expressed their relief and joy on hearing the news of his release. He was rescued from an undisclosed location after the Oman government intervened in this case.
“Our parents will be rejoicing in heaven,” said his brother UV Mathew (72), who now lives in Bengaluru with his daughter.Mathew added that he will return to his village in Ramapuram when his brother comes home. There were moments of uncertainty when TV channels broke the news of the priest’s release at noon. Relatives called up each other in a desperate attempt to confirm the veracity of the news. Finally , they all decided to sit together at the residence of a senior family member (VA Thomas) at Ramapuram. The ancestral home of Fr Tom at Ramapuram is still kept
locked. The priest has four brothers and two sisters. Two of his brothers and a sister are now residing in the US, while the eldest brother is living in Bengaluru. The other sister resides in Palakkad. One brother died some years ago. “We had no indications about his release.However, when the Salesian church provincial met Union minister Sushma Swaraj on August 17, she expressed hope that the priest would be released soon,” said Thomas. His family had also met the governor later. Local MLAs K M Mani and Mons Joseph and MP Jose K Mani visited Thomas to share their joy. Fr Tom’s cousin Shajan Thomas said that a relative had met the Abu Dhabi bishop 15 days ago. “The bishop had assured him that Fr Tom was safe and that food and medicines were supplied to him.However, the bishop did not divulge more details citing security reasons,” he said. (-Times of India)
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
Anti-terror chiefs want social media help with ‘lone wolves’ by Paul Handley
ASHINGTON - As jihadist attacks are increasingly being carried out by home-grown “lone wolves,” top counter-terror chiefs of four Western powers said Thursday they need more support from social media companies to detect potential threats. While traditional intelligence methods are foiling large-scale plots coordinated from abroad, the officials from the United States, Britain, Germany and Canada said that isn’t enough to uncover attacks by self-radicalized individuals like those this year in Britain that have killed dozens. Paddy McGuinness, the British deputy national security adviser for intelligence, said many countries are still too focused on foreign-derived attacks planned or directed by the Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda. After the four attacks in Britain this year, he said at a Washington intelligence forum, “We are dealing with conspiracies that really do not involve an overseas element.” “We’re dealing with a problem in our communities, with people who do not travel, and become radicalized and move to violence... These were British plots by British people.” Christian Rousseau, head of Canada’s Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre, calls it a shift to “Terrorism 3.0” as the Islamic State group reels from battlefield defeats in Iraq and Syria. “The ability of an organized threat directed from overseas, where people travel, money travels, things travel, we’re relatively good at being able to catch that,” he told the Intelligence and National Security Summit in Washington. “The generation of terrorism that is now most impactful in Canada is the inspired or enabled terrorism,” he said. Those are people who self-radicalize or radicalize online, then decide to launch an attack. “We’re in a world that’s even more difficult because not only can we not deter them... but there are no signs to help us deal with this.”
In Germany, too, attacks trend toward self-radicalized, “inspired lone wolves,” according to Friedrich Grommes, head of the international terrorism division of the German Federal Intelligence Service. But in Germany’s case these have been from recent immigrants, not second-generation immigrants like in Canada, Britain and the United States. - More help from Facebook wanted The officials said that shift requires new approaches to detecting threats, with a focus on sources like social media. But tough privacy laws and the protections enjoyed by the largely American internet and social media giants are impeding authorities in their ability to ferret out lone wolf threats, they said. McGuinness said he wants to see more pro-active support from Facebook, Google and other online giants with the ability to conduct large-scale automated scanning of users for possible threats. He also called on the United States to pass laws to lift a ban on US internet companies responding to terror-related search warrants from foreign law authorities. More than 95 percent of crime and terror cases involve people using an American technology application, he said. - Challenge of encryption Potential attackers and their Islamic State coaches usually move to the encrypted “dark web” to talk, Rousseau said. “We can see the invitation, but we can’t see the conversation afterwards,” he said. “Encryption is stopping us from seeing the whole picture.” Even in Germany, where privacy protections are especially strong, there is increasing understanding of the need for more access by counter-terror investigators, Grommes said. “ISIL is vanishing from the soil and going cyber,” he said, referring to the Islamic State group. “There is a growing understanding that we have to adjust our legislation to the European level... to assert the
VOICE OF ASIA 11
Donald Trump plans to nominate IndianAmerican to key State Department post
ASHINGTON, (PTI) - US President Donald Trump intends to nominate Manisha Singh, a prominent Indian-American lawyer, to a key administration position in the State Department that would make her in charge of the country’s economic diplomacy. If confirmed by the Senate, Singh would replace Charles Rivkin as the assistant secretary of state for economic affairs, according to the White House. She is currently chief counsel and senior policy adviser to senator Dan Sullivan. The position has been vacant since January after Rivkin resigned following Trump’s swearing-in as the 45th president of the United States. A resident of Florida, Singh, 45, has served as the deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, and as an aide to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Her private sector experience includes practicing law at multinational firms and working in-house at an investment bank.
Manisha Singh is currently Chief Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Dan Sullivan (Photo: State Department) She holds an LL.M degree in International Legal Studies from the American University Washington College of Law, a J.D from the University of Florida College of Law and completed her a BA from the University of Miami at the age of 19. Singh is licensed to practice law in Florida, Pennsylvania, and the Dis-
trict of Columbia. A native of Uttar Pradesh, she moved to Florida along with her parents as a child. In an interview to Washington Examiner early this year, Singh said she worked on broader foreign policy component in the office of Senator Sullivan.
Five dead at Florida nursing home left without power after Irma
IAMI - Five people at a Florida nursing home that was left without power for days after Hurricane Irma have died.
balance between protecting privacy and discovering illegal things like international terrorism.” Nick Rasmussen, director of the US National Counterterrorism Center, said American authorities are having more success by pumping large amounts of evidence of potential jihadist activity to the social media companies themselves, to press them to act unilaterally. “We are going to make sure we burden them with knowledge about how their tools, their technologies, their platforms are being used,” he said.
Police evacuated 115 residents on Wednesday from the facility, whose air conditioning was cut by the storm. Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said three were found dead at the Hollywood Hills nursing home. Two others died after reaching hospital. Ten million people are still without power in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas after Hurricane Irma. The storm - which has claimed more than two dozen lives in the US - struck southwestern Florida on Sunday morning as a category four hurricane before weakening to a tropical depression on Monday. Irma earlier left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, where nearly 40 people were killed. The Hollywood Hills facility is not
the only Florida nursing home that has been left without power by Irma. More than half of a large retirement community in Pembroke Pines, Florida, still had no electricity by Wednesday morning, leaving elderly residents stuck in rooms with no access to lifts. Pembroke Pines police spokeswoman Amanda Conwell told the Miami Herald that officers were at the scene. She said some of the 15,000 residents at Century Village were vulnerable and “we are concerned about their welfare”. Another assisted care facility for dementia patients in Fort Myers, Florida, went without power for three days after Hurricane Irma as elderly patients suffered in the rising heat. Cape Coral Shores kept 20 patients during the storm as part of an agreement with authorities (-BBC)
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FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
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BUSINESS VOICE OF ASIA
Shining Bright: Gold prices rise by Rs 990, highest in 11 months
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
White House officials temper expectation of 15% corporate tax rate by Saleha Mohsin and Justin Sink
EHLI, September 9, 2017 - The gold prices on Friday rose by Rs 990 to Rs 31,350 per 10 grams over global cues. The gold prices on Friday rose by Rs 990 to Rs 31,350 per 10 grams over global cues. This has been the highest price in 11 months. The increase in sales by local jewellers also boosted the gold price. The yellow metal had lost Rs 240 in last two days. At international front, gold hit the highest in over a year after
the US jobs data got release, which was much weaker than expected. The escalating tension between North Korea and US also catered to high price as investors ran towards safe haven assets. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, gold for delivery in October was trading higher by Rs. 98 or 0.32 per cent at Rs. 30,380 per 10 gram. The metal for delivery in far-month December also was up by Rs. 67, or 0.22 per cent to Rs. 30,511 per 10 gram.
Markets mostly climb as dealers look past N.Korea, Irma by Roland Jackson
ONDON, United Kingdom | AFP | Tuesday 9/12/2017 World stock markets mostly rose Tuesday on fading concerns over North Korea and Hurricane Irma, but London dipped as strong inflation data sent the pound flying to a one-year dollar peak. On Wall Street, trading got off to a positive start as investors waited for Apple to unveil the latest version of its iPhone. Frankfurt and Paris equities also pushed higher as the North Korea crisis eased and dealers breathed a sigh of relief that Hurricane Irma caused less damage to Florida than initially feared. However, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was hobbled as official data showed Britain’s 12-month inflation rate jumped to 2.9 percent in August compared to 2.6 percent in July, In reaction, sterling jumped to $1.3282 -- a level last seen on September 13, 2016 -- on hopes the Bank of England could lift its key interest rate sooner than expected, although it is not forecast to make of speech any changeLack at its policy meeting is on a Thursday. - No news, good news The strong pound weighs on multinational companies that earn income abroad, and therefore tends to send their share prices sliding. “Once again we find ourselves in a scenario in which no news is good news and while underlying risks remain, the longer we go without another nuclear or missile test, the more positive investors will become,” said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam. “The only problem with this is that, with the UN having just agreed on new sanctions against North Korea –- spearheaded by the US –- I wonder how long we will have
to wait for an act of provocation in response.” Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said that “sterling’s FTSE-damaging rise prevented the UK index from indulging in the same North Korea and Hurricane Irma-related relief that lifted the US markets last night and is continuing to work its magic on the eurozone bourses.” Eurozone indices were also partly buoyed by the weaker euro versus the pound. “The effect has been to push the FTSE 100 into negative territory with London’s main index stumbling, while across the channel eurozone stocks continue to find buyers,” added Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG. Tokyo stocks meanwhile led gains in Asia after yet another record performance on Wall Street.
ASHINGTON DC, September 12, 2017 - Two top Trump administration officials said it may not be possible for President Donald Trump to deliver on his promise to cut corporate tax rates to 15 percent. In separate appearances Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Marc Short, Trump’s legislative affairs director, both said Trump is still committed to that rate cut -down from the current 35 percent -- but acknowledged the potential for compromise. “The president has made it clear since the campaign, ideally he’d like to get it down to 15 percent. I don’t know if we’ll be able to achieve that given the budget issues, but we’re going to get this down to a very competitive level,” Mnuchin said Tuesday at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York. “What the exact number is is less important, what’s important is making sure we have a competitive system.” “Ultimately there’s probably compromise to get to the best deal,” Short told reporters at an event sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. He also said that Trump continues to believe that a 15 percent corporate rate would best stimulate the economy, while convincing American businesses to keep their tax addresses in the U.S. Steve Schwarzman, the chief executive officer of Blackstone Group LP, a private equity firm, said later at the CNBC event that he’s optimistic the corporate rate will wind up “somewhere between 25 and 28 percent.” “I think there’s certainly consensus to do that,” Schwarzman said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the exact number is less important than accomplishing tax reform. A rate between 20 percent and 25 percent has been described as more feasible (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP) wages.”
Democratic support, Short said.
Mnuchin also repeated that Trump is While the president is eager for a committed to eliminating the special bipartisan tax deal -- and his tax tour tax treatment of carried interest -- but will visit states where Democrats not for all the investment firms that hold Senate seats -- Mnuchin said Jacob Sanchez that if needed the administration make use of it. “The president’s been autismencourage Republicans to use very clear that hedge funds Diagnosed will not withwill have the benefit of carried interest,” he the reconciliation process. Doing so said. But other firms -- “entities that would allow them to bypass a Senate do create jobs,” Mnuchin said -- may filibuster and pass a bill on a partisan basis. still qualify. Carried interest is the portion of an investment fund’s returns that are paid to investment managers. It’s currently taxed as capital gains, at rates as low as 20 percent. The top individual income tax rate is 39.6 percent, though Trump and congressional Republicans have proposed cutting it to 35 percent. Trump is planning an aggressive travel schedule, taking him to as many as 13 states over the next seven weeks, to sell the idea of a tax overhaul as the administration tries to avoid repeating the communications failures of its attempt to repeal Obamacare. However, Republican leaders have yet to unveil details of what Trump has called a “massive” tax regime change, including such basic matters as where to set the corporate tax rate and how to set up individual tax brackets. Mnuchin and Short both said details will come later this month.
Mnuchin also said that he is considering backdating any tax changes to Jan. 1 of this year, which “would be a big boon for the economy.” While Trump is committed to a permanent tax overhaul, Mnuchin has at times appeared to be managing down those expectations. “As I said this is a pass-fail exercise. Passing tax reform, which hasn’t been done in 31 years, that’s a win,” the Treasury chief said Tuesday, adding that stock markets have a “built-in” expectation of success. Trump last week cut a short-term debt ceiling and government spending deal with Democrats to clear the deck for a major tax bill, but the agreement could complicate tax efforts by sowing doubt among the GOP about its unpredictable president. As Mnuchin worked to sell an 18-month debtceiling increase to Republicans and Democrats during a meeting in the Oval Office last week, Trump abruptly decided to go for a three-month increase in line with what Democrats wanted.
Trump wants the lower corporate tax rate to also apply to certain The UN Security Council voted pass-through businesses, such as S unanimously Monday to step up corporations and partnerships, which sanctions against North Korea, don’t pay taxes themselves, but pass having won the crucial support of their earnings through to their owners, Russia and China, while the US held who pay taxes at their individual - ‘Pretty Close’ out hope for a peaceful resolution to rates, Mnuchin said. However, he the crisis. The White House and members said “service companies that are passthroughs will not get the benefit of the of Congress are “pretty close to The move provided a muchsign of autism. Learn the others at autismspeaks.org/signs. finalizing” a bill and have settled many needed boost to investor sentiment rate.” of the disagreements that divided their after Pyongyang’s September 3 - Pass-Through Difference effort early in the process, Short said. nuclear test hammered markets last “If you earn money that’s clearly The White House is wary of relying “We could have done a one-year week and sent investors fleeing for income, if you’re an accountant firm solely on Republican support for the deal, this wasn’t widely reported, the safe havens of gold and the yen. and that’s clearly income, you’ll be legislation after seeing the health-care on the debt ceiling,” Mnuchin said Despite widespread speculation, taxed at income rates -- you won’t bill collapse and is genuinely seeking Tuesday. North Korea did not mark its be taxed at foundation day Saturday with p a s s - t h r o u g h another missile launch. This helped rates,” Mnuchin lift all three main New York indices said. “If you’re more than one percent Monday, with a business the S&P 500 at a new record. that’s creating 7 Days Fresh Lunch Buffet www.gourmetindiahouston.com Eyes will now turn to the release manufacturing STAR you’re Catering for Weddings and Corporate events 5RATING of US inflation figures later in the jobs week, which could provide some going to get the clues as to the Federal Reserve’s benefit of that because plans for raising interest rates rate again this year. A weak run of data that’s going to be in recent months has led dealers to passed through lower their expectations for any to help create jobs and better more tightening.
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Dating app Tinder finds gold at Apple’s App Store
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
Italian streetwear label makes ‘dream’ NY debut
AN FRANCISCO | AFP - Tinder for the first time became the top-grossing app in Apple’s online shop, topping the likes of Netflix, Pandora and hit mobile games like “Clash Royale.” Tinder wore the crown as the top money-making app at the App Store, according to rankings posted online by market data firm App Annie on Friday. Tinder, which made its debut five years ago, lets people swipe left or right on profiles to indicate those that they like as possible date partners. The dating application’s ascension to the top came quickly after it announced this week the worldwide roll-out of a new “Gold” service with features including the ability of subscribers to see who out there has “liked” them. Tinder Gold was described in a blog post as a “membersonly service, offering our most exclusive features: Passport, Rewind, Unlimited Likes, five Super Likes per day” and more.
Tinder allows users to swipe right or left according to one’s preference to date another user (Photo: AFP) “Think of it as your personal Swipe Right concierge -- available 24/7 -- bringing all of your pending matches to you,” Tinder said. “Now you can sit back, enjoy a fine cocktail, and browse through profiles at your leisure.” Tinder Gold made its debut at $4.99 a month, and was to be available on Android-powered
smartphones in a month or so. Tinder introduced a “Plus” subscription service in 2015 that freed users of a daily cap on the number of “swipes,” and has pursued ad revenue. Tinder, owned by a Match Group subsidiary of IAC/InterActiveCorp, boasts some 50 million users and is reported to be valued at several billion dollars.
2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid gets 47-mile electric range by Collin Woodard t the New York Auto Show earlier this year, Honda said the plugin hybrid version of the Clarity would get a 42-mile electric range. But as it turns out, that wasn’t entirely accurate. The production 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in can actually travel 5 extra miles on battery power alone.
Honda announced today that in EPA testing, the Clarity PlugIn Hybrid earned an official electric range of 47 miles. It also got a fuel economy rating of 110 mpg-e and a gasoline-only rating of 44/40/42 mpg city/ highway/combined. The overall range is less impressive, though, clocking in at only 340 miles. For comparison, the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in only has a 25-mile EV range but can go a full 640 miles between fill-ups.
The Clarity plug-in’s range of 47 miles is the top EPA range rating among mid-size PHEV rivals (Photo: Honda America)
“We think the combination of a class-leading 47 miles of all-electric driving range rating and a large, luxurious fivepassenger package will give us an advantage in the plug-in hybrid game,” said Ray Mikiciuk, Honda’s assistant vice president in the USA.
The plug-in hybrid, unveiled this spring along with the battery EV, will go on sale nationwide later this year and will be the volume model. Pricing has not been announced, but Honda said at the unveiling that it would start in the “mid-30s”; the automaker did not specify
The Clarity is actually a family of electrified vehicles, and the plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid is the last to arrive. A fuel-cell electric version became available in 2016 in markets with hydrogen availability, and a battery electric version with an EPA-rated 89 miles of range went on sale on the West Coast this year.
if that price range included any government plug-in hybrid electric vehicle incentives. It will offer base and Touring trims. The Clarity plug-in’s range of 47 miles is the top EPA range rating among mid-size PHEV rivals, including the Toyota Prius Prime (25 miles), Kia Optima (29) and Ford Fusion Energi (21). And it falls just under the smaller Chevrolet Volt compact sedan’s 53 miles. Running on gasoline as a hybrid, the Clarity is rated at an estimated 42 mpg in combined city and highway driving, which compares with 54 mpg for the Prius Prime, 42 for the
Queen Elizabeth II’s Bentley will be sold at an upcoming auction
Model Teyana Taylor and GCDS founder Giuliano Calza walk the runway at the GCDS fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery 2, Skylight Clarkson Sq on September 8, 2017 in New York City (Photo: AFP)
EW YORK CITY | AFP - Top-flight American talent may have deserted New York Fashion Week this season, but it’s still the dream for at least one up-and-coming Italian designer who made his Big Apple debut Friday. GCDS -- aka “God Can’t Destroy Streetwear” -- unveiled a fun, flirty fantasy inspired by Truman Capote’s novel “The Swans of Fifth Avenue” on the second day of the style fest kicking off the spring 2018 season.
His clothes are sold in more than 230 stores worldwide, the label opened its first shop in Milan last December and the Shanghai-educated Calza is busy making expansion plans in Asia.
But if New York was primarily about maxing his exposure and business opportunities, showing in the US financial capital may not be a permanent move for Calza. It will depend on reviews, he jokes.
“Milan is fun, it’s my town, it’s where I live, it’s where I do my stuff, but still New York is the dream,” Calza told AFP backstage before a show that featured low-slung sweat pants, plenty of under boob, high-waisted knickers and sophisticated cropped knit skirts.
If designers such as Rodarte, Proenza Schouler and Altuzarra escaping to Europe has raised questions about fashion health Stateside, Calza says he has no patience for those who say the runway show is dead.
Giuliano Calza, 28, founded the luxury, made-in-Italy brand only two years ago in his garage but has already found a devoted niche and famous fans such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin.
“Being here in this city that I love the most, it’s incredible.”
The real problem, he says, is millennial, social-media saturation that demands clothes now rather than the traditional six-month time lag.
A young person’s label, the GCDS customer ranges from teenage girls shopping for socks and underwear, to women in their early 30s snapping up their shoes.
“It’s not the fashion show that doesn’t work, it’s the entire system, that people want the things to see and buy, see and buy but it’s not sustainable,” he said.
Fusion Energi and Volt, and 40 for the Optima. Compare them here.
is an Atkinson cycle 1.5-liter four-cylinder that powers a generator and, under certain conditions, will provide direct power to the wheels. It has Normal, Econ and Sport modes to let drivers balance energy efficiency and performance, and it also offers a battery-management feature that lets you save the battery charge for later in a drive.
The appeal of a PHEV is based on the idea that you can do most of your daily driving on electric, with overnight charging, but have the hybrid mode available as needed for no “range anxiety.” Our realworld test of the Optima PHEV indicated that the electric range is achievable in daily commuter traffic, backed by hybrid security for unexpected demands. (-Automotive.com/Cars.com)
The Clarity’s power will come primarily from a 181-horsepower electric motor with 232 pounds-feet of instant torque. Energy is stored i n a 17-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which takes 2.5 hours to fully charge on 240 volts, Honda says. The gas engine
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Drive around like a royal for an estimated $216,000 by Eileen Reslen, T&C
onhams London is holding an auction Saturday that will feature several of the vehicles previously owned by members of the British royal family. The international auction house plans to auction Queen Elizabeth II’s Bentley, Princess Margaret’s Rolls-Royce, and the family’s 1968 Land Rover Series IIA at Goodwood Revival, an annual three-day festival featuring mid-century road racing cars and motorcycles. The Queen’s car is estimated to be worth between $190,000$216,000 and Princess Margaret’s vehicle is about $84,000$108,000 dollars, Bonhams spokeswoman Poppy McKenzie Smith told HarpersBAZAAR.com. The Queen’s 2012 Bentley Mulsanne Saloon was used primarily for formal occasions, such as when Her Majesty attended a Cabinet Meeting with former Prime Minister David Cameron. Princess Margaret’s RollsRoyce Silver Wraith II has features unique to a vehicle
The Queen seems to have enjoyed the English automobile very much (Photo courtesy Town and Country)
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6 previously owned by a royal, including a mount for the Standard Pennant, Royal Crest mountings, police lights and a raised rear bench seat that enabled the Princess to be easily seen through the windows. But the coolest thing about the car? It was once loaned to Princess Diana and former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy, a Bonhams press release states. Smith said The Queen will be not be present at the auction, since the cars are sold through
a private collection. “Once the royal family have decided that they no longer need their cars, they are decommissioned and sold privately,” she added. Several security features are removed before the vehicle is returned to the manufacturer, but one specification that was seemingly overlooked this time was the Bentley’s navigation system. “The most unusual feature is the fact that on the Queen’s Bentley, when you press ‘home’ on the satellite navigation, it directs you to Windsor Castle!” Smith said.
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FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
The People’s Lawyer
YOUR IMMIGRATION LAWYER
by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Price gouging is illegal, and other Harvey updates Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center
Q. I have heard that price gouging is illegal. Exactly how is price gouging defined and what are my remedies if I have been overcharged? A. Price gouging is illegal, and may be prosecuted by the Texas Attorney General, or any individual who has been a victim. The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act states it is a false, misleading or deceptive practice to take advantage of a disaster declared by the governor under Chapter 418, Government Code, by: (A) selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or (B) demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine, or another necessity. Because the governor has declared Harvey a disaster, any business or individual selling or demanding an exorbitant or excessive price for a necessity violates this law. This doesn’t mean a price may not rise due to increased costs, but it does mean a seller may not ex-
cessively raise a price simply because of a shortage or increased demand. For example, a business selling food that cost $10 before Harvey may raise the price to $12 if its costs go up by $2. It would be illegal, however, to raise the price to $20, simply because of increased demand and reduced supply. If you feel you someone has charged or demanded an excessive or exorbitant price, you may file a complaint with the attorney general at http://txoag.force. com/CPDOnlineForm, or consider an individual claim under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act in justice court. If you are successful in justice court you may receive up to three times your damages plus costs and attorney’s fees. Of course, the best first step is to talk with the seller and request a refund of any over-payment. Hurricane Harvey Legal Hotline: Remember, if you have questions about your legal rights dealing with issues that have arisen as a result of Hurricane Harvey, the Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston Law Center can assist you. The Center has established a legal line at 713-743-2168 for questions related to Harvey. Lawyers and law students at the Law
Center answer the phones, however, due to heavy volume you may not get a person when you call. If that happens, please leave a message and you will receive a prompt call back. Hurricane Harvey People’s Law School: And for those of you who want to be really informed about the law relating to the many issues arising from a natural disaster such as Harvey, The Center for Consumer Law will be holding a special “Harvey People’s Law School,” on Saturday, September 30th. There will be classes in subjects such as insurance, consumer, and landlord tenant law, FEMA issues, employment and benefits law, and bankruptcy. There will even be a class explaining the best ways to find the law yourself. Each class will be taught by a law professor, judge or attorney and everyone may choose three classes to attend. In addition to extensive materials, there will also be many volunteer lawyers to discuss your individual issues and questions. The program is free but you must register at www. peopleslawyer.net. I look forward to seeing you at the end of the month.
Do you want to know more about your legal rights? Check out my website, www.peopleslawyer.net
Legal information for Harvey’s victims by Richard Alderman (The People’s Lawyer)
o questions and answers; just a way for all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey to learn more about their legal
Although your primary concern right now is your health and the health and well being of your family, loved ones and friends, soon the complicated process of returning to a normal life begins. You will have to deal with everything from rebuilding a home or returning to an apartment, replacing your personal property, returning to work and getting back to a daily routine. And knowing your legal rights can help navigate this process of recovery. For example, if you own a house what type of insurance do you have and what does it cover? Is damage from a tree falling on your house or wind damage covered the same way as flood damage? Are you covered for the cost of temporary housing, meals, and travel expenses? If your insurance doesn’t cover a loss can FEMA help? And tenants face the same insurance issues as property owners. Do you have renter’s insurance? Most policies do not cover flood damage, but FEMA may provide some assistance. Do you have to continue to pay rent; can you terminate your lease? What is your landlord’s obligation to repair your rented house or apartment? And housing issues are just the beginning of the problems many will face. For example, we all know “price gouging” is illegal, but exactly
how is it defined, and what are your options if you believe you have paid an exorbitant price. As things return to normal, more and more legal questions will arise. For example, if you are a contractor and have not yet been paid for your work, what are your rights if the project has been destroyed? And if you have hired someone to perform work, can either or both of you get out of the contract due to a change in circumstances caused by Harvey. Small businesses in particular will soon face numerous legal issues arising out of their business. These are just some of the numerous types of legal issues many of you will soon be facing. Knowing your legal rights can help you make the best decision and can often help you avoid disputes and settle those that arise. To provide you with the type of information you need, and direct you to agencies that can assist you, The Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston Law Center has set up a Hurricane Help Center, staffed by attorneys and law students. To contact the Center, visit www.peopleslawyer.net, or call 713-743-2168. Please leave a message if the line is busy and we will get back with you as soon as we can. Finally, on September 30th, the Center for Consumer Law will hold a special session of the People’s Law School dedicated to providing useful information to assist with problems arising out of Hurricane Harvey. Keep checking my website, www.peopleslawyer.net, for more information about this program.
Legal groups move to challenge Trump’s Arpaio pardon by Madeline Conway
wo advocacy groups moved on Monday to challenge Donald Trump’s pardon of controversial former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, alleging that the president’s move was unconstitutional because it undermined the power of the federal judiciary. A public interest law firm, the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, sought to file an amicus brief in an Arizona district court, where Arpaio is seeking to vacate a conviction after Trump granted him a pardon last month. The brief was initially turned down by a judge on procedural grounds. A second group, the Protect Democracy Project, also filed an amicus brief arguing that
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT ROLL BACK OF PROTECTION UNDER THE DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)
Sharlene Sharmila Richards
Q: I understand that the 2012 DACA program introduced by President Barack Obama has been rescinded by President Trump. I have less than one year of validity under my Deferred Action form Childhood Arrivals as my Employment Authorization Card and DACA protection will expire on 08/27/2018. What happens after that? Can I apply now to extend it for a further two years beyond 08/27/2018? My Employment Authorization has enabled me to work for a large accounting company. I was brought here when I was three months old and I have never been back to my parents’ home country. They have both passed away and I do not have any relatives in that country. I am extremely distressed about this. Will I be deported?
A: Yes it is. Because the policy has been rescinded on 09/05/2017, USCIS will no longer accept any initial DACA applications and the associated Employment Authorization Card applications. Q: I already filed for renewal of my DACA status for a further two years. The I-797 receipt notice shows that my case was filed on 09/06/2017 and my DACA protected status will expire on 01/24/2018. Will my case continue to process? A: Yes, it will continue to be processed by USCIS as your status is not set to expire until 01/24/2018. Only individuals whose DACA status will expire on 03/06/2018 and beyond will no longer be permitted to file for renewals.
A: The announcement made by President Trump to end DACA leaves many DACA recipients with a very difficult dilemma. Following President Trump’s rescission of DACA, only DACA recipients whose status will be expiring between September 5th, 2017 and March 5th, 2018 may apply to renew for the final two years. These applicants must submit their application to renew no later than October 5th, 2017. For all other recipients, they will continue to have this deferred action until their status under the DACA expires. It is unclear what will happen to those whose status under DACA has ended. At the present moment, President Trump has indicated that he will ‘revisit the subject” if Congress does not legislate on this matter. My advice is to wait and see what transpires in the next few months. Q: I just turned 16 years of age and wish to apply for DACA for the first time. Is it too late to apply?
the pardon is unconstitutional. Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, has been repeatedly accused of employ-
ing racist law enforcement tactics and mistreating inmates. A Justice Department civil rights investigation concluded that his department racially profiled La-
Q: What is the current Filing Fee for renewal of DACA status and the Employment Authorization? A: The Filing Fee is $495.00. Q: I wish to file Form I-131 Application for Advance Parole to travel for humanitarian reasons. Can I file that application now? I have DACA valid until 09/30/2018. A: The Memorandum on Rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals dated 09/05/2017 issued by the Department of Homeland Security appears to state that USCIS will no longer be accepting any Form I-131 Applications for Advance Parole under the DACA program. If you have just sent it in, it is our understanding that USCIS will return the application and refund the fees. Q: I just received my advance parole under DACA to travel in October 2017 for two weeks for employment. Can I still use this document to travel as planned? A: Under the DHS Memorandum dated 09/05/2017,
USCIS will generally honor the stated validity period for all previously approved applications for advance parole but have specifically stated that Customs and Border Protection will retain the authority to determine the admissibility of individuals presenting such a document at the border seeking admission under parole as DACA parolee. Q: If my DACA expires, will I be deported because I am undocumented? A: Before an individual can be removed from the United States, the individual will be given an opportunity to seek defensive relief in the Immigration Court. There are various forms of relief against removal depending on the circumstances of the individual. An immigration attorney will be able to advice what kind of relief is available in the event of being placed in removal. Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.
My Bio Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at email@example.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
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tinos, and Arpaio in 2016 lost a bid for re-election. In July, he was convicted of criminal contempt of court because he had continued to detain immigrants without sufficient reason after a federal court order told him to stop. Trump pardoned Arpaio in August, pointing to his “selfless public service.” The MacArthur Justice Center moved to file in the case on Monday but was warned by Judge Susan Bolton that the motion would be denied in three days if it is not edited to adhere to court procedure.
The pardon of Joe Arpaio (right) by President Donald Trump, MacArthur Justice Center lawyers argue, “eviscerates this Court’s enforcement power...by endorsing Arpaio’s refusal to comply with federal court orders.” (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)
The brief contends that Trump’s pardon of Arpaio violated the Constitution because “it has the purpose and effect of eviscerating the judicial power to enforce constitutional rights.” The lawyers argue that, while broad, presidential pardon power can not be used to undermine the judiciary’s ability to enforce the Bill of Rights or the Fourteenth Amendment. (-Politico)
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VOICE OF ASIA 16
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
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Undocumented Asian youth immigrants eye DACA future
Young pilot sets solo record Indian boy in UAE becomes the youngest pilot to fly single-engine plane
by Kate Sullivan
ASHINGTON (CNN) Agnes Lee, 22, is a Korean-born corporate banker working for a huge US financial firm on Wall Street. She is also an undocumented immigrant and a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals participant. Lee’s family came to the United States from Seoul when she was two years old. People don’t expect her to be undocumented, she said, because, “I’m college-educated, I speak English, I kind of have this weird crossover Valley girl accent just being from Los Angeles, and I’m Korean.” President Donald Trump recently announced that DACA, which protects 690,000 undocumented immigrants who were minors when their families brought them to the United States from deportation, would end in six months. The vast majority -- around 618,000 of the total 690,000 -- of DACA recipients are from Mexico. But there are also thousands of people from Asian countries like China, India, South Korea and the Philippines who would lose their protection and may be deported. Asians are America’s fastest-growing group of undocumented immigrants, according to the Pew Research Center and the Migration Policy Institute. “We have the model minority stereotype -- we’re said to be more educated and things like that, which are all myths
Asian/Americans demonstrate in support of DACA (Photo: AsAm News really -- so they don’t associate AsianAmericans with being undocumented,” Lee said. Mexicans account for an estimated 50% of the total undocumented population, as the number of undocumented immigrants from Mexico has declined by more than 1 million since 2007. At the same time, unauthorized immigration from Asia has surged. There are now about 1.45 million undocumented Asians living in the United States. Lee is one of the nearly 200,000 undocumented Koreans here, an only child whose mother worked at a preschool and then managed a Korean fried chicken restaurant in Los Angeles. Lee’s family entered the United States legally in 1997, but then overstayed their tourist visas. Trump has focused on increased border security and building a huge wall on the Mexican border as the solution
UH students help with Harvey recovery
to illegal immigration. But estimates by the Pew Research Center show that as many as 45% of undocumented immigrants in the United States entered the country legally but then overstayed their visas -- and they come from every continent, including hundreds of thousands from Asia and Africa. “We can’t get sponsored, we can’t pursue path to citizenship -- it’s a really proliferated myth that we have some sort of path and we don’t take it. That’s not true. My employer can’t sponsor me,” Lee said. Lee’s DACA status expires in March 2019. After then, under current rules, she said she can either leave the country and be banned from the United States for 10 years, or get married and be allowed to stay. Neither are her first choice. Trump’s decision to end the DACA program has been met with widespread criticism by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, business leaders, foreign government leaders, state governors, and activists. Officials and families are upset that the United States may pull the legal status of young people brought into the country illegally when they were only children at the time, completely upending their lives. Though Asians account for a significant and growing population of undocumented immigrants in the United States, they had some of the lowest application rates to DACA. Only about 20% of the eligible Korean population applied, and only 23% of eligible Filipinos and 20% of eligible Indians applied, according to the Migration Policy Institute. But 82% of eligible Mexicans applied. Religion, language and cultural customs vary widely within these groups, which makes information sharing about opportunities like DACA difficult.
After Harvey devastated the Houston region and beyond, leaving tens of thousands of people without homes or vehicles, a group of UH students formed their own ride sharing program to shuttle student volunteers to and from BBVA Compass Stadium. UH student Katherine Corrigan and her friends put the call out on social media for volunteers and the response was overwhelming. “It honestly just blew up and became such a huge inspiration to a lot of Coogs on campus,” said Corrigan.
DACA is no longer accepting new applications since Trump’s announcement, but Lee is hopeful and optimistic that Congress will act to protect them.
Asian Indian parents prepare in advance for their children’s college education, but can they always afford it?
hen it comes to saving and funding their children’s education, Asian Indians are among the best prepared, according to MassMutual’s College Planning & Saving Study. Almost half (49 percent) of Indian parents started saving for college before their children turned five, the earliest compared to all other multicultural groups in the survey. In fact, by the time a child is ten, 79% percent of Indian parents are saving for college, and one in five has saved $50,000 or more. Culturally, Indians place a great deal of emphasis on higher education, which they consider fundamental to character development, as well as the gateway to a financially secure future. Moreover, most Indian parents believe their children’s focus in college should be on getting good grades, and not on figuring out how to pay for it. “Asian Indian parents consider it a duty to finance their children’s education,” said Evan Taylor, director of multicultural markets with MassMutual. Asian Indians who participated in the survey emerged as less likely to rely on loans and government scholarships, preferring to pay for it themselves. Two-thirds are planning to pay for more than half of the expenses. Yet, only half of the parents surveyed are confident they will be able to afford it when the time comes. Their
concern may be justified: A family with a 5-year old child entering kindergarten today can expect to pay an estimated $368,739 for private 4-year college tuition in 2030, according to the MassMutual college savings calculator. While Asian Indians generally diversify financial planning with stocks, bonds and buying gold, saving early to fund their children’s college is a sensible choice. Parents in the study who started saving at birth or before their child’s first birthday had saved an average of about 40 percent more than those who began saving after their child turned 10. However, more immediate financial priorities like childcare costs can overwhelm new parents who might find it difficult to save for future needs. The age of five is a crucial tipping point for savings. That’s when many parents can stop paying for childcare expenses and save those funds for college instead without disturbing their current spending habits. Even saving a portion of the childcare expenses can add up over 12 years; for example, saving $200 a week can total over $130,000 (with a conservative interest rate). “Asian Indian parents are extremely savvy about saving for their children’s education. Starting early will help make it less stressful when their children are ready for college,” said Taylor. “We understand
their commitment to delivering the best possible future to their kids and can help parents with financial options to make their planning easier.” MassMutual offers five practical tips for Asian Indians to better plan and help pay for college: 1. Start early. Start saving what you can at birth, and for parents with child care expenses,increase the savings rate at age 5 by putting child care money towards saving for college. 2. Make it automatic. Set up automatic checking account or payroll deductions to an interestearning savings account earmarked for higher education. 3. Encourage monetary gifts (including 529 plan gift cards) from family members and friends for college savings at Diwali and other gift-giving events. 4. Know how much you need to save. Estimate college costs by using free online tools such as MassMutual’s college savings calculator. 5. Protect your loved ones for unexpected events. Life and disability income insurance are solid considerations for parents. To learn more about establishing financial goals for your child’s education, visit www. massmutual.com and the MassMutual College Planning and Savings study page.
Mansour Anis has claimed that he had also set a record of being the youngest pilot to fly solo with the least number of training hours (Photo: PTI) UBAI (PTI) - A 14-year-old Indian-origin schoolboy in the UAE has become one of the youngest pilots to fly a singleengine aircraft, according to a media report.
Mansour Anis, a class IXth student at Delhi Private School in Sharjah, received a certificate for his first solo flight from an aviation academy in Canada last week, Gulf News reported. His solo flight was about 10-minute-long during which he taxied the aircraft from the parking bay to the runway, took off for a flight of about five minutes and landed back, the report said. Mansour, who flew a Cessna 152 aircraft during his solo flight, now has a student pilot permit. Apart from the flying test, he has also passed a radio communication test and scored 96 per cent in the PSTAR Test, an eligibility test for Transport Canada. “Let it be known throughout the aviation world that Mansour Anis at the age of 14 years successfully took off and landed from Langley Regional Airport thereby accomplishing his first solo flight,” the solo flight certificate issued by AAA Aviation Flight Academy on August 30 stated. Mansour claimed that he had also
set a record of being the youngest pilot to fly solo with the least number of training hours, the report said. China up Close: Pyongyang Missile Footage Is a Dagger to X..Nikkei Asian Review 3 Ways to Become a Singapore Millionaire Investor Before 40Value Investing College Recommended By Colombia “He broke the previous record of a 15-year-old German pilot and a 14-year-old US pilot who took 34 hours of training. Mansour flew solo just after 25 hours of training,” his father Ali Asgar Anis said. Ali, a civil engineer in Sharjah, said he had sent his son along with his wife Munira, a chemistry teacher, to Canada for the training session during the summer holidays. In some countries, like the US and the UK, a person has to be at least 16 years old before taking to the air on their own. In the UAE and India, the pilot has to be at least 18 to be eligible to fly. However, in Canada, 14 is the minimum age for student pilots to join the course and try flying after meeting the requirements, he said. Munira said that her brother Qaid Faizy, a pilot with Jet Airways in India, has been an inspiration for Mansour since his childhood.
“Prevent Suicide” billboard raised north of the Woodlands as area suicide rates continue to rise
HE WOODLAND - The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Southeast Texas Chapter hopes to bring awareness to issue for National Suicide Prevention Week (September 10-16) Among the advertisements for beer companies and local news channels dotting Houston’s freeways, a new billboard raised last month by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Southeast Texas Chapter displays a stark call-toaction: “Help us prevent suicide.” The timing and location of the billboard, which stands north of The Woodlands on I-45, are not by accident, says WyKisha McKinney, chair of the Southeast Texas Chapter of the AFSP, a national non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness, funding research and providing resources and aid to those affected by suicide. “National Suicide Prevention Week is this month, so it’s a very important time to engage in a discussion with our communities about the issue of suicide,” McKinney said. The area north of Houston stretching from
The Woodlands to Conroe has seen an increase in suicide rates in recent years. Between 2011 and 2015 the number of suicides in Montgomery Country increased from 46 to 134.
Billboard image: afsp.org “As a Chapter, we really want to focus our efforts in on this community to ensure they have the necessary resources, tools and knowledge to help those who may be struggling with suicide as well as survivors of suicide,” McKinney said. The AFSP Southeast Texas Chapter hosts a series of events leading up to National Suicide Prevention Week and throughout the year. To learn more please visit https://afsp.org/chapter/AFSP-Southeast-Texas. Or call: 1-800273-TALK.
VOICE OF ASIA 17
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
BOLLYWOOD - HOLLYWOOD
Bhoomi: My innocence is intact, says Sanjay Dutt
Review: One of the best horror films of the year
e has fought battles with drug abuse, faced a jail term and has had a tumultuous personal life. Actor Sanjay Dutt says that there are many lessons he has learnt and that his “innocence” is intact. Sanjay, who had made a rocking debut in Bollywood with Rocky in 1981, put his personal life in jeopardy through drug addiction, and his life took a turn for the worse when he was arrested for illegal possession of weapons and was convicted. Since each experience of life teaches one something, what has he learnt from the dark years of his life?
It movie review: Andy Muschietti directs one of the best Stephen King horror adaptations ever made - almost as great as The Shining, Carrie, or The Mist. It floats. And you’ll float too. Rating - 4/5 (*Spoilers removed)
t’s a funny time to be Stephen King – but some would say it always is.
The cadaver of the Dark Tower – it was butchered upon release by both fans and critics – is still warm. Mr Mercedes, another adaptation of one of his books – this one for TV – has begun promisingly. Gerald’s Game, yet another adaptation, is coming soon – this month, in fact. Donald Trump has, with predictable childishness, blocked him on Twitter. But we’re not here to talk about any of that. What we’re here to talk about is – and this is remarkable, considering the sheer number of legitimately great films King’s writing has inspired – a movie that could perhaps be among the best adaptations of his work. Certainly, there is a scene that comes maybe halfway through It that plunges you so gleefully into unexpected gore that it’s almost impossible to not be jolted by memories of The Shining or Carrie – still, even after four decades, the best King adaptations. It, the novel, is a brick of a book that at 1,300 pages long would be just as useful a murder weapon as it is a source of thrills. It’s a story, like most King stories, about the innocence of childhood, and the painful loss of it; about the memories of the past, and the trauma of growing up. King’s writing is propulsive. It always has been. There’s a blue-collar simplicity to it, which is perhaps what makes it so roguishly attractive. But the movie is different, despite being as devoted to the source material as a King fan at one of his live readings.
There’s a glossy, Spielbergian sheen to the visuals of Chung-hoon Chung – DP of choice for genius South Korean director, Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Stoker). Like its close cousins, JJ Abrams’ Super 8, Netflix’s Stranger Things, and any number of Steven Spielberg films – mind you, It is the real deal, having essentially created the genre that we now associate with an entire decade – this film is as much a coming-of-age story as it is a horror movie. Perhaps even more. It’s at its best – ironically, for a scary movie – not when it is tormenting the kids with fresh evil every 15 minutes, but when it’s laying in the fields with them, gazing lazily at the endlessness of the summer holidays; when it’s splashing around in the river, wondering if the only girl in the group can notice them staring; and when it is irresponsibly riding on bikes, standing on the pedals to appear taller. Despite how truly frightening Pennywise is – every time he appeared on screen, and it’s just the right amount of time, the audience at my screening grew visibly uncomfortable – It, the movie, lives and dies with the Losers; their carefully fleshed out stories, the bullying they endure, and the firm friendship that helps them survive. Unlike most horror films, It is a drama first. And boy, that’s refreshing. Most remarkably, all this is the doing of Andy Muschietti, a director with only one feature credit to his name prior to this – the supernatural horror, Mama, in which Jessica Chastain played an edgelord – and that too, not a particularly good one. With It, Muschietti has made one of the best horror movies of the year. It’s funny and warm and touching and frightening and profane and profound. It’s a terrific set-up to what is going to be a restlessly-anticipated Chapter 2. It floats. You’ll float too. (-Hindustan Times)
Photo: 20th Century Fox
Liam Neeson: No more thrillers, sorry
iam Neeson left many of his fans disappointed after saying he’s done making thrillers.
Neeson said in a new interview that he plans to stop even though it’s hard to turn down the lucrative offers he gets thanks to his box-office success in the three “Taken” films, as well as other thrillers. Neeson believes he’s simply getting too old to be an action hero. “The thrillers, that was all a pure accident,” said Neeson. “They’re still throwing serious money at me to do that stuff. I’m like, ‘Guy’s I’m sixtyf--king-five.’ Audiences are eventually going to go, ‘Come on.’” Neeson still has two upcoming revenge thrillers he’s already shot: “Hard Powder,” in which he plays a snowplow driver who faces off with drug dealers, and “The Commuter,” with director Jaume Collet-Serra, who also directed Neeson in “Unknown,” ‘’NonStop” and “Run All Night.” But, Neeson said, those will be his last.
“I’ve shot one that’s going to come out in January sometime. There might be another. That’s it,” said Neeson. “But not ‘Taken,’ none of that franchise stuff.” Instead, Neeson has turned back to dramatic work. His Watergate drama “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” was to premiere Monday evening at the Toronto International Film Festival. In it, he plays the high-ranking FBI official who was the Washington Post’s “Deep Throat” source in the scandal. Neeson has also lined up to co-star in “Widows,” by “Twelve Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen. In December, he starred in Martin Scorsese’s spiritual epic “Silence.” Neeson was always surprised by the unlikely turn his career took beginning with 2009’s “Taken.” He thought the film, he once said, would go straight to video. The three “Taken” films have grossed $929.5 million worldwide. (-Fox/AP)
The actor, 58, was arrested for illegal possession of arms in a case related to the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, in which over 250 people were killed and several hundred were wounded. A father of three, Sanjay says the present times are frightening for parents who constantly have a reason to worry about the security of their children. Bhoomi has a father-daughter theme, and Sanjay expressed concern about how vulnerable he feels as a parent considering the rise in the number of crimes against girls. “It’s scary... I mean kids are not even safe in school, after whatever happened to the little girl in Gurgaon (rape of a five-year-old school girl), it can horrify any parent. Everybody has to be very careful as far as their kids are concerned. It’s a frightening time for parents regarding the security of their children. As a father, I always tell my kids to do their activity and come back home, spend time with us, spend time at home, because at least that is safer... ‘Baahar mahaul sahi nahi hai (the environment outside is not right)’. I think this is the time when we not only should start respecting women but also be careful and protective towards children,” said the actor, lovingly called Sanju Baba in the film industry. Known for movies like Naam, Sadak, Khalnayak, Vaastav and Munna Bhai M.B.B.S, Sanjay has a daughter named Trishala, whom he had with his first wife Richa Sharma who died of brain tumour in New York in 1996. Trishala lives in the US. He also has twins -- a boy named Shahraan and a girl named Iqra -- with his third wife Maanyata Dutt. Given that his life has been full of troubles, is there any chapter of his life that he would like to re-write? “No,” said Sanjay, preferring to talk about Bhoomi, which he described as an “amazing story of a father and daughter. Directed by National Award-winning Omung Kumar of Mary Kom fame, Bhoomi features Aditi Rao Hydari as Sanjay’s onscreen daugh-
Sanjay Dutt was arrested for illegal possession of arms in a case related to the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, in which over 250 people were killed and several hundred were wounded. ter. “The film talks about the special bonding of a parent and a child. It’s a special story about everything that I believe in -- women’s empowerment and gender equality. And Omung is a fantastic director, Aditi is a very good actress... The whole shooting was superb,” he said. Was he nervous about facing the camera after a long time? “No,” he was quick to respond. But which was more exciting in comparison -- when he faced the camera for the first time in life, or facing
it after spending some troublesome years and starting afresh? “I swear I cannot remember my first day of facing a camera... It was 1979 or 1980, I guess... long, long back,” said Sanjay, who finds the evolution in Hindi cinema very positive. “It is more professional now. Films are made on time, which is great. People are doing one film at a time, so they are focused, which is a good sign,” said Sanjay, who is excited about starting work on Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3. (-Hindustan Times)
Miss America runner-up wows with Bollywood number
ennifer Leigh Davis has managed to dance her way into the hearts of the people the world over.
The Miss America 2018 beauty pageant runner-up chose ‘Naacho Re’ from the 2014 Salman Khan film Jai Ho. Davis says she is a staunch supporter of inclusion and acceptance of diverse cultures and that was why she chose the Bollywood song as her platform to bring to the attention of civic leaders “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”. In a video posted to her Facebook page, Davis says, “This platform means so much to me because I know what it’s like to be the only one who looks like me in a crowd, and to feel different because of how I was born.” Because she is unrelated to the Indian culture, she faced questions about her choice. On her Facebook page she addresses the issue directly, saying: “Why do you do Bollywood, are you even of the culture?” I get this question all of the time, and my response is because I LOVE it. The beauty of dance is that no matter where you come from we can have a common denominator, and that is a love of dance. Besides
by Rohan Naahar
“A lot... I learnt a lot. I was innocent then, I am still innocent, but there are some life lessons learnt,” Sanjay told IANS in an interview ahead of the forthcoming release of Hindi film Bhoomi, his first after being released from jail last year.
my love of the culture, I believe that it is important to practice what you preach. Diversity Matters is much more than a platform for me, it is my life. Not only do I come from a diverse background, I have known the joy of embracing another culture fully. It was a joy to bring Bollywood back to the stage as Miss Missouri. I encourage you all to go out and embrace a culture different from your own, because your life will be forever enriched. (-Hindustan Times)
A R Rahman condemns Gauri Lankesh’s murder, says ‘This is not my India’
usic maestro A R Rahman has condemned the killing of senior journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, saying the current scenario does not represent the India he knows. The Kannada journalist, known for her left-leaning outlook and forthright views on Hindutva politics, was shot dead by unidentified assailants at her residence on September 5. The 50-year-old music composer expressed sadness over the incident. “I am so sad about this. These kind of things don’t happen in India. This is not my India. I want India to be progressive and kind,” Rahman told reporters. The Oscar winning-musician was speaking at the premiere of his upcoming film One Heart: The A R Rahman Concert Film. The movie is based on Rahman’s concert tour across 14 North American cities, which includes footage of the composer and his band members during the gigs and rehearsals. Talking about his movie, Rahman
The senior journalist-activist was shot dead by unidentified assailants at her residence on September 5. said, “One Heart...’ is probably the first concert film in India. We wanted to give you an alternate kind of film, because we have seen an action, comedy and romantic film. This is a musical with great quality sound. The profit from the film will go to One Heart
foundation.” When asked if the audience will see a biopic being made on his life, the music composer said, “I am still young. I don’t need a biopic. May be someone will make after I am gone.” (PTI)
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VOICE OF ASIA 18
Voice of Asia
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
Mom who refused chemotherapy so she could give birth has died by Kristine Phillips
he headaches began sometime in March. They didn’t think much of them, other than that they were possible migraines - until she started vomiting. An initial scan showed a mass in Carrie DeKlyen’s brain. More tests showed that it was a form of cancer, possibly lymphoma, but treatable. But a pathology exam revealed a more grim diagnosis. The 37-year-old mother of five from Wyoming, Michigan, had glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. If lucky, she could live for five more years. The tumor was taken out during a surgery in April, her husband, Nick DeKlyen, said. Not even a month later, the couple received two pieces of shocking news. Carrie’s tumor was back - and she was eight weeks pregnant. They had two options. They could try to prolong Carrie’s life through chemotherapy, but that meant ending her pregnancy. Or they could keep the baby, but Carrie would not live long enough to see the child.
growth had slowed; she weighed only 378 grams, or eight-tenths of pound. To survive birth, the baby had to be at least 500 grams, just a little more than a pound, Nick said. Another two weeks went by.
By the end of June, the tumor was back again, but this time, it was inoperable. Doctors told the DeKlyens that all they could do was keep taking out the fluid accumulating in Carrie’s brain to relieve the pain, Nick said. Carrie was rushed back to the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor by mid-July. She was screaming in pain and was convulsing. That was the last time she was conscious. “They said that she had a massive stroke,” Nick said. “They said the fluid built up so much the cranium had no place to go.” Carrie was 19 weeks pregnant by then. Nick said doctors told him they would do what they could to keep the child growing. But Carrie would probably not wake up again, and if she did, she wouldn’t recognize her family. She had suffered significant brain damage from the stroke. For the next several weeks, a feeding tube and a breathing machine would keep the mother and her child alive. Two weeks later, another stroke, Nick said. Carrie’s brain was so swollen that doctors had to remove her skull. By the time Carrie was 22 weeks pregnant, her baby’s
Managing pain after surgery
Carrie’s story was chronicled in a Facebook page called Cure 4 Carrie, which has since attracted more than 16,000 followers.
management is often the best option because it allows the surgeon to tailor pain control methods to each individual patient.
Now, four days after his daughter was born and two days after his wife died, Nick Manjula Raguthu MD,FAAFP,ABAARM
Nick and Carrie DeKyens during happy times before her hospitization (Family photo) Good news came: The baby weighed 625 grams. The bad news was the baby was not moving. Nick said he was given
is dividing his time between planning a funeral and visiting his newborn, who has to remain in intensive care for several weeks. Nick lives
It is very important to follow up on the procedures after a surgery. After orthopaedic surgery, your doctors and nurses will make every effort to control your pain. While you should expect to feel some discomfort, advancements in pain control now make it easier for your doctor to manage and relieve pain. This article focuses on the medications used to control pain after orthopedic surgery. Opioids are the most effective medicines for moderate to severe pain, especially for managing short-term pain after surgery. Many types of medicines are available to help control pain, including opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and local anesthetics. Treating pain with medication can help you feel more comfortable, which will help your body heal and recover from surgery faster. When you feel less pain, you can start moving sooner and get your strength back more quickly.
It was a difficult but obvious choice for the DeKlyens, who live strongly by their faith. After a second surgery to remove the tumor that came back, the couple went home, knowing full well that Carrie had only months left. Nick said his wife needed to live 34 more weeks. “That’s what she wanted,” Nick said. “We love the Lord. We’re pro-life. We believe that God gave us this baby.”
Carrie and Nick picked out the name Life after the birth of their 2-year-old son (Family photo) two options. He could do nothing and hope the baby starts moving and continues growing. But doing nothing meant his child could die within an hour. Or he could authorize a Caesarean section and get the baby out. Nick chose the latter option. His daughter, Life Lynn DeKlyen, was born at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. She weighed 1 pound 4 ounces. Nick said his wife and he came up with her daughter’s name before Carrie got sick. “It was kind of bittersweet because my wife’s not awake. She’s going to pass away,” Nick said. “After that, I went to the surgeon and said my wife had enough. She’s gone through so much pain these last five months. I sat by her the whole time. I kind of held her hand and kissing her, telling her that she did good,” Nick said. “I told her, ‘I love you, and I’ll see you in heaven.’ “ Early on Friday morning, Nick said his wife opened her eyes, then closed them again. She clenched her hands tightly, then slowly, she stopped breathing. Carrie died at 4:30 a.m.
temporarily in the Ronald McDonald House in Ann Arbor, just a short walk from the hospital. On weekends, he drives two hours back to Wyoming to visit his other children, ages 18, 16, 11, 4 and 2. The 39-year-old is still figuring out his family’s future. Four years ago, he said, he started a vending machine company that he later sold to his brother. But right now, he does not have a source of income. “My wife’s gone. I have six kids, three are under the age of 5. I’m just going to focus on my daughter right now, getting her home,” he said. “As far as what I’m going to do after that, I can’t tell you.” A GoFundMe page to help the family has raised more than $100,000. “She gave up her life for the baby,” he said, adding later: “I just want people to know that my wife loved the Lord. She loved her kids. She put anybody in front of her needs. . . . She put my daughter above herself.” (-The Washington Post)
Alternative approaches, such as medical hypnosis and acupuncture, are being used more often as surgeons and their patients increasingly choose these methods to supplement conventional medicine. A combined approach to pain
In order to effectively manage your pain, your surgeon will take into account several factors that are unique to you and your situation. That is why it is important for you to openly discuss your fears and expectations, as well as your past experiences with pain control, with your doctors and nurses. Although each individual medical facility has different policies, procedures, and pain control options available, in most cases, you can expect your surgery pain to be controlled by either oral (PO), intramuscular, physical therapy. Surgeons and their patients are increasingly using alternative methods, such as relaxation techniques and acupuncture, to supplement conventional medicine. A combined approach to pain management is often the best option because it allows the surgeon to tailor pain control methods to each individual patient. Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation
In transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) a special device transmits lowlevel electrical charges into the area of the body that is in pain. A TENS system consists of a small, battery-powered machine connected by wires to a pair of electrodes. The two electrodes are connected to your skin near the source of pain or at a pressure point. A mild electrical current travels through your skin and along your nerve fibers which
may cause a warm, tingling sensation. A typical TENS session lasts anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. This helps relieve the pain through less strenuous process. Gate Control Theory. In order for you to feel pain, the sensation must travel through a “gate” to get to the brain. Normally, the pain is allowed to flow freely through the gate because it (pain) is the only sensation trying to get through. However, if the gate becomes flooded with another type of sensation (in this case, an electric current), the gate will reach capacity and no longer have room for the underlying pain sensation to get through. Release of Endogenous Opiates. Some scientists believe that TENS works by forcing certain nerve cells to release more of the body’s natural pain killers called “endorphins.” This causes you to feel less pain. Central Inhibitory Effect. TENS may also work by changing the way your brain perceives pain. Dr. Manjula Raguthu has been a family physician for 26 years. She is specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, American Physicians of Indian Origin, Texas Academy of family Physicians and American AntiAging Academy. She takes a holistic approach to health, uses Bio identical hormones and integrative therapies to achieve optimal health for her patients. Visit www. medwinfamily.com for more details.
Trump administration cuts funding for health care sign-ups The Trump administration is announcing sharp cuts in programs promoting health care enrollment under the Affordable Care Act for next year Health and Human Services officials say advertising will be cut to $10 million for the 2018 open enrollment season The Trump administration is announcing sharp cuts in programs promoting health care enrollment under the Affordable Care Act for next year. Health and Human Services officials say advertising will be cut to $10 million for the 2018 open enrollment season. That’s down from $100 million for the 2017 sign-up season. Funding for consumer helpers called “navigators” will also be cut, from $62.5 million for 2017, to about $36 million for next year. Andy Slavitt, former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator under the Obama administration, said that the Trump administration’s decision to cut funding for navigators will hit hardest in poor, rural communities where insurers may not fill in the gap on outreach. “These aren’t budget decisions … these are all funds that come out of user fees paid by the insurance companies. This wouldn’t cost the federal government a nickel,” said Slavitt. “They’re basically not going to not us the user fees ... it’s hard to interpret this as anything other than being done out of spite.” Administration officials say the government hasn’t gotten much bang for its buck as far as ACA advertising and the navigator program, with some enrollment centers signing up very few customers. Democrats are likely to accuse the administration of trying to undermine the program, which President Donald Trump says is going to “implode.” A number of states that operate their own insurance exchanges have extended the open enrollment period beyond the November 1 to December 15 period on the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov. California, Minnesota, Colorado and others have set January enrollment deadlines. CMS’ decision to cut exchange advertising for next year comes just ahead of a September 5 deadline for insurers to submit final rate revisions for 2018. It underscores health insurers’ continuing concerns about the Trump administration’s commitment to promoting enrollment.
Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway, Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com “Effective education ensures that consumers understand their coverage options and encourages broader participation of healthy individuals,” said Kristine Grow, spokeswoman for the Association of Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s lobbying group. “Marketing, outreach, and education are critical to ensure that all consumers are aware of the upcoming open enrollment period, understand new timelines, and enroll by the deadline.” In addition to cutting funding for enrollment efforts, the Trump administration cut the enrollment period in half this year to just six weeks, compared to three months over the last few years. “I think it’s their hope that at the end of the enrollment period that they can announce significantly lower enrollment. At least, that appears to be their hope. It that’s their objective, I’m sure they can achieve it,” Slavitt Said. Consumer advocacy group Protect Our Care denounced the Trump administration’s move. “It’s one thing to tweet about your opposition to a law, it’s another to undermine it, sabotage it and refuse to do your duty,” the group said in a statement Thursday. To choose right Medicare Supplement Plan, Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug plan contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.
VOICE OF ASIA 19
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
Dealing with Dementia
Stay active and fit—‘healthy behaviour’ can help combat the early onset of dementia
Folic acid around conception may help reduce autism risk
OS ANGELES, September 11, 2017 - Mothers who had been exposed to agricultural pesticides at any time in the 3 months before and after conceiving, and who took 800 micrograms/ day (ug/d) of folic acid in the first month of pregnancy halved the risk of their child developing ASD, found a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the University of California, Davis. Photo: Stefan Pasch
Regular exposure to outdoor pesticide sprays and foggers, combined with low folic acid intake (800 ug/d) increased the risk of ASD in offspring by 4 times compared with no exposure and high intake. Increasing intake above the 800 ug/d threshold mitigated this risk to 1.8 times in offspring of frequently exposed mothers.
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of diseases that may cause the brain to fail. (Photo: iStockphoto) by Kavita Devgan
ASHINGTON, September 11, 2017 - A new case of dementia is diagnosed every 3 seconds, says the World Health Organization (WHO). It estimates the number of people living with this debilitating disorder worldwide currently at 47 million. This is projected to increase to 75 million by 2030. Cases are expected to reach 132 million by 2050. In India, the number of people with dementia stood at 4.1 million in 2015, according to the “World Alzheimer Report”, 2015 led by King’s College London—lower than other countries. According to WHO’s revised 2015 estimates, East Asia is the region with the most people living with dementia (9.8 million), followed by Western Europe (7.4 million). South Asia, is close behind with 5.1 million, followed by North America with 4.8 million. Ten countries had over a million people with dementia in 2015: China (9.5 million), US (4.2 million), India (4.1 million), Japan (3.1 million), Brazil (1.6 million), Germany (1.6 million), Russia (1.3 million), Italy (1.2 million), Indonesia (1.2 million) and France (1.2 million). Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of diseases that may cause the brain to fail. It includes Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular dementia and others like Lewy body disease. Alzheimer’s makes up half of all cases. The symptoms broadly include loss of memory, changes in behaviour, progressive loss of independence, and inability to perform everyday activities. “It’s dreaded because this chronic and progressive-nature disorder affects personal, family and social life extensively, and reduces life span too,” says Bhushan Joshi, consultant neurologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Pune. According to a study published in July in the Lancet journal, dementia is not an inevitable consequence of ageing. In fact, one in three cases can be prevented if more people pay attention to their brain health throughout life. The study lists nine key factors contributing to a high risk of dementia. These are lack of education, hearing loss, obesity, depression, lack of education, social isolation, smoking, type 2 diabetes and physical inactivity. The researchers say these potentially modifiable factors can bring down the risk by about 35%. “Although dementia is diagnosed in later life, mostly in the 60s, the brain changes associated with this disease
usually begin to develop years before, sometimes as early as in the 30s, so acting now can help keep the disease away,” says Rahul Jain, consultant neurosurgeon, PSRI multi-speciality hospital, Delhi. A 35-year study by Cardiff University, Wales, which looked at the impact of five lifestyle behaviours on dementia and cognitive decline, and was published in the journal PLOS One in 2013, found that those who achieved four out of five “healthy behaviours”—regular exercise, nonsmoking, low weight, healthy diet and low alcohol intake—showed a 60% drop in dementia risk and an arrest in the decline in cognitive abilities, including memory, judgement, language and thinking skills. Here are the 5 things you can do to lower the risk of dementia: Watch your weight “Both being overweight as well as underweight is linked to higher risk of dementia,” says Dr Jain. According to a 2011 Swedish study published in the journal Neurology, those with a body mass index (BMI, which measures weight relative to height) greater than 30, classified as obese, were 288% more likely to develop dementia. The figure was 71% for the clinically overweight, with a BMI of 25-30. Being underweight doesn’t help either. A Lancet study of two million people in the UK found middle-aged people with a BMI lower than 20 had a 34% higher chance of dementia as they age than those with a healthy BMI of 20-25. Manage diabetes Diabetes can increase the risk of developing dementia by damaging small blood vessels in the brain, leading to a reduced blood flow to the brain,” says Praveen Gupta, director and head of department, neurology, at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurugram, adjacent to the Capital. “So make sure you follow a lifestyle that can help keep diabetes at bay by ensuring regular physical exercise and eating a diet that is low in refined carbohydrates,” he adds. Exercise It has been known for a while that exercise helps prevent dementia, but now we finally know why. A study by researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt, published in the July issue of the Translational Psychiatry journal, reported that regular physical exercise not only enhances fitness but also has a positive impact on brain
The study also identified significant ASD risk reductions for high-dose folic acid consumers in mothers exposed to household pesticide products.
“It would be better for women to avoid chronic pesticide exposure if they can while pregnant,” Schmidt said.
“We found that if the mom was taking folic acid during the window around conception, the risk associated with pesticides seemed to be attenuated,” said first author Professor Rebecca Schmidt. “Mothers should try to avoid pesticides. But if they live near agriculture, where pesticides can blow in, this might be a way to counter those effects.
The study is important, the researchers suggest, as it is the first to show evidence for the mitigation of ASD risk from pesticides through maternal folic acid intake. Results are nevertheless consistent with previous research identifying benefits of maternal folic acid intake in protecting against the effects of environmental toxins (including arsenic) on developing offspring.
Folic acid intake below the median and exposure to pesticides was associated with higher risk of autism than either low intake or exposure alone,” she added.
The case-control study used data from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) trial. The cohort of children aged between 2 and 5 included 296 who had developed ASD and 220 healthy controls. Folic acid consumption and peri-conceptual exposure to household pesticides were evaluated by interview, while exposure to agricultural pesticides was estimated by linking data from California Pesticide
The mothers who had the highest risk were the ones who were exposed to pesticides regularly. Although higher folic acid consumption was associated with lower ASD risk, the higher vitamin intake did not eliminate risk.
Use reports to mothers’ addresses. The observational design of the study prevents establishment of a causal effect. However, it is widely recognized that pesticides can adversely affect DNA methylation, and that folic acid is a major methyl donor. Therefore, the researchers were able to hypothesize potential causal mechanisms for folic acid’s protective effect. Folate plays a critical role in DNA methylation (a process by which genes are turned off or on), as well as in DNA repair and synthesis,” said Schmidt. These are all really important during periods of rapid growth when there are lots of cells dividing, as in a developing fetus. Adding folic acid might be helping out in a number of these genomic functions. “Larger studies, exposure measurements or markers that are prospectively collected, and research on potential mechanisms would be helpful in moving the field forward,” the researchers proposed regarding possible next steps.
Cholesterol drug reduces death in men without heart disease
ASHINGTON | AFP | Monday 9/11/2017 - A cholesterol drug reduced by 28 percent the mortality rate among men who had high cholesterol but no heart disease, according to new research out Wednesday. In the longest such trial to date, spanning 20 years, researchers at Imperial College London found that 40 miligrams daily of pravastatin reduced deaths from heart disease in participants by more than a quarter. The patients, 5,529 men, had high cholesterol levels but not heart disease. Senior author Kausik Ray from Imperial’s School of Public Health said that “for the first time, we show that statins reduce the risk of death in this specific group of people who appear largely healthy except for very high LDL levels. This legitimises current guidelines which recommend treating this population with statins.” Researchers found that giving pravastatin to men with very high LDL levels reduced 20-year overall mortality rates by 18 per cent, the
metabolism by restricting an increase in choline, a metabolite that rises as the result of an increased loss of nerve cells (typically occurs in patients with brain disorders). Physical exercise can thus help protect brain cells. Another study published in 2015 found that exercise actually increases the size of the hippocampus and improves memory. Socialize (make friends) Interaction with friends and family is healing. There’s a huge connection between stress and problems with the
study published in Circulation found. Statins also reduced the overall risk of death by coronary heart disease by 28 per cent, and cut the risk of death by other cardiovascular disease by 25 percent among those with very high LDL cholesterol. “Our findings provide the first
trial-based evidence to support the guidelines for treating patients with LDL above 190mg/dL and no signs of heart disease. They also suggest that we should consider prescribing statins more readily for those with elevated cholesterol levels above 155 mg/dl and who also appear otherwise healthy.”
New pen-like tool helps surgeons spot cancer cells ne of the Study and photo: : UT Austin biggest worries for patients undergoing cancer surgery is whether surgeons will miss some of the diseased tissue. That worry could be over with a new pencilsized tool developed by scientists and engineers at the University of Texas at Austin. The tool, dubbed the MasSpec Pen, allows surgeons removing a tumor to detect cancerous cells in tissues in seconds, allowing them to know immediately if they have found and removed all of the cancer.
brain as we grow older, and socializing helps reduce dementia risk—our brain is designed for managing relationships. “If we don’t use our brains optimally, decay can set in,” says Dr Gupta. Stop smoking Smoking increases the risk of a host of illnesses, including dementia. A 2015 analysis published in PLOS ONE evaluated the results of 37 studies that compared smokers with people who never smoked, or who had quit. The authors found that smokers were 30%
more likely to develop some form of dementia than people who had never smoked. “Tobacco smoke damages arteries, which interferes with the free flow of blood to the brain. Depriving neurons, or brain cells, of the oxygen and nutrients in blood can cause them to die and lead to Vascular dementia,” explains Dr Joshi. Smoking also triggers a phenomenon known as oxidative stress, which harms the DNA in cells throughout the body, including the brain, thus upping the damage,” he adds.Limit alcohol intake
ART & CULTURE
VOICE OF ASIA 20
British artist’s Indian, Islamic art to be auctioned off
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
This Uttarakhand duo is capturing India’s costume culture through art by Lekshmi Priya S
A fragment of a carpet and a painting from Howard Hodgkin’s collection
ONDON: This October, Sotheby’s will exhibit some 400 items from the collection of Indian and Islamic art that belonged to renowned British artist Howard Hodgkin, to be sold at auction in London on October 24. Hodgkin, who died in March at the age of 84, is widely regarded as one of Britain’s greatest artists. He has been a central figure in contemporary art for more than 50 years. Frances Christie, senior director and head of the department of Modern and Post-War British Art, described the artist as highly influential. “Howard Hodgkin redefined the way in which we look at the world. Just as his eye for the exceptional resonates through his paintings, his ability to identify the extraordinary in unexpected places was deployed in his incessant hunt for art and objects of exquisite beauty. So confident was he in his selection, and of the importance of each piece to his needs, that he created his own collecting alchemy. Spanning art history through time and geography, they offer a vivid revelation of his private world in all its intense and exhilarating glory,” she said. Hodgkin spoke about his passion for collecting in a talk given in 1991 at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington’s Smithsonian Institution, where Indian paintings and drawings from his collection were being shown. From the transcript of that talk, we get an insight into his thinking. “Everything that I’ve ever done as a collector has been based, ultimately, on the strength of feeling,” he said. The urge to collect, he observed, can stem from many motivations.
“A great collection often seems to be the result of one very rich man going shopping. It isn’t. It is really partly illness, an incurable obsession. It’s partly — sadly, in some cases — a desire for future or posthumous glory, perhaps more often for status while the collector is still alive. Also, and of course far more importantly, it represents the human desire to get near works of art. At its worst, it’s greed or the desire simply to possess, like a child at a party being given something to take home. But it’s much more than that at its highest.” Hodgkin remarked that he found painting solitary but that collecting brought him into contact with like-minded people. Furthermore, the discriminating eye that he developed was nurtured by close friendships with experts in the field. It was Hodgkin’s art master at Eton, Wilfrid Blunt — brother of the leading British art historian and Soviet spy, Anthony Blunt — who first introduced him to non-Western art and who inspired him to collect his first examples of Indian paintings. Later, Hodgkin became friends with the collector Robert Erskine and through him the network of various Parisian dealers, including Charles “Uncle Charlie” Ratton. Robert Skelton, who was the assistant keeper at London’s Victoria and Albert museum, became a lifelong friend with whom the artist first visited India in 1964. It was with Skelton that Hodgkin was able to meet other connoisseurs and collectors, including Jagdish Mittal, Kumar Sangram Singh, Milo C. Beach and Stuart Cary Welch, whose own collection of Islamic and Indian art was sold at Sotheby’s in 2011. (-by Denise Ashworth / Arab News)
hat makes I n d i a unique in the world is its ability to hold over a billion people together, who hail from myriad cultural backgrounds and practice different faiths. With each of the 29 states and seven Union territories having a vibrant set of traditions and customs of their own to boast, the country’s diversity is nothing less of a wonder.
Some of the beautifully illustrated artworks etched by these talented artists - (Above) Kerala, (Right) Jammu and Kashmir (Photos: Bhuli/Little Sister)
Be it handloomspun fabrics or intricate needlework, every region has its own speciality, distinct from one another. To celebrate that range, two young women from Uttarakhand took up the challenge of crafting artworks that showcases ethnic costumes from different states in the country. Bhuli, which means ‘Little Sister’ in the native dialect of Garhwali, is an enterprise that was founded by a fashion designer Tanya Kotnala and a nutritionist Tanya Singh in 2016. With an aim to revive and interpret the spirit of India’s cottage industry through art and design, the duo also incorporate their art to raise awareness amidst women from rural communities upon social issues like menstrual hygiene and maternal health. (-The Better India)
Fashion designer Tanya Kotnala and a nutritionist Tanya Singh teamed up last year for Bhuli (Little Sister) in northern India’s Uttarakhand state.
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VOICE OF ASIA 21
Cricket: Tales of tragedy, triumph from Pakistan’s Gaddafi Stadium by Khurram Shahzad
A H O R E , Pakistan Groundsmen are rolling down the pitches, welders are repairing barbed wire, and workers are splashing on a new coat of paint at Pakistan’s centrepiece Gaddafi Stadium, which has witnessed both history and controversy -- and is now preparing to retake cricket’s world stage. Next week the ground will ring out The ground has seen both a World Cup final and a militant attack (Photo: with the sound of AFP/Aamir Qureshi) Pakistan’s national anthem once more as the home team takes on a star- columnist, a “brutal Arab (PSL) earlier this year. studded World XI, the highest- dictator”. Opener Sharjeel Khan was profile international fixture Six years later the name last month banned for five in the country since a deadly militant attack eight years ago. persists amid troubling times years over spot-fixing during for Pakistani cricket. the PSL, while Khalid Latif’s The three-match Twenty20 fate is expected to be decided in In 2010, the year after the Sri series will be played under tight the coming weeks. Four other security but it is, officials hope, Lankan team attack, Pakistan players have been investigated. was rocked when then captain a new chapter for Pakistani As for the name, the PCB’s cricket -- and for the Gaddafi Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif Stadium’s bloody, scandal- and Mohammad Amir were new chief Najam Sethi last year plagued and, at times, glorious caught in a spot-fixing scandal called for the stadium to be on a tour to England. rebranded in tribute to the late story. All three were banned for founder of Pakistan’s largest Named after the Libyan welfare organisation, Abdul leader who met a grisly end five years and also jailed. Sattar Edhi. Spot-fixing also tainted what at the hands of rebel fighters, Edhi’s work uplifting the the ground has seen a World was meant to be one of the nation’s destitute cemented his Cup final and militant attack, greatest moments at Gaddafi place in the hearts of Pakistan’s and has been caught up in Stadium: the final of the Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions popular Pakistan Super League cricket-loving masses. and geopolitical rivalries. It is at the heart of the most tragic incident in Pakistan’s sporting history, after the Sri Lankan team had to be airlifted to safety when militants attacked their team bus near the stadium in 2009. The attack, which killed eight people and wounded nine, drove international cricket -and most other sports -- from the militancy-plagued country, forcing Pakistan to host its “home” fixtures in neutral venues. The 27,000-capacity venue has still seen moments of glory even since its peak when it hosted the 1996 World Cup final, won by Sri Lanka against Australia. - ‘You just feel the sadness’ Emotions ran high when minnows Zimbabwe became the first international team to return in 2015, allowing Pakistan to play in front of their home fans. But, even as security improves dramatically, Pakistan has laboured to convince top Testplaying nations to return. “(The 2009 attack) was the biggest blow I think Pakistan cricket would have faced,” Haroon Rashid, the director of cricket operations for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), told AFP. “If you talk about that you just feel that the sadness is coming to you.” Agha Zahid, the PCB’s chief curator, hoped that was changing. “We are starting a new life,” he told AFP. Bullet marks from the March 3, 2009 attack are still visible at the cosmetics shop owned by Akbar Javed at Liberty roundabout, near the stadium, where the Sri Lankan bus was pinned down by militant gunfire. Unlike PCB officials, he is not pleased about the stadium’s revival: security fears over previous big matches have forced him to close his shop for days, he says, and he expects similar problems for the World XI. Others took a more cheerful view. “It’s the best stadium in Pakistan,” said Tauseef Sadozai, manager of the nearby Dawat-e-Khas restaurant. “This venue has missed a lot of cricket.... Losing a few days of business isn’t greater than losing international cricket.” - ‘Brutal Arab dictator’ First known as Lahore Stadium when it was built in 1959, the ground was renamed in honour of the Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 1974 when he spoke out in support of Pakistan’s quest for a nuclear bomb. After Kadhafi was killed in 2011, a grassroots debate began on whether Pakistan really wanted to link its greatest sporting passion to, in the words of one newspaper
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
Tennis: Madison makes a splash at US Open by Dave James EW YORK CITY | AFP | - Madison Keys was always destined to make waves in New York having been named after the mermaid in “Splash,” the hit 1980s movie in which Tom Hanks falls for the aquatic charms of Daryl Hannah.
“I always thought it was really cool there was a street in a big city that had the same name as me,” said Keys. “So from then on, I wanted to go there and get a picture next to it. Luckily I haven’t done that because that’s really cheesy.” However, if she beats compatriot Sloane Stephens in Saturday’s US Open final, there will be plenty of photo opportunities, cheesy or otherwise. Keys was marked for greatness even before she was 10 years old, having taken up tennis after seeing Venus Williams play Wimbledon in a white dress. She was then accepted into the Florida academy owned by Grand Slam great Chris Evert. “My parents moved me from the Quad Cities (she grew up in Rock Island, Illinois) when I was 10 because I had expressed an interest in becoming a professional tennis player. “They knew I wasn’t going to be able to do that there. I mean, luckily it worked out.” Five years later, she was in
Madison Keys of the US returns the ball to compatriot CoCo Vandeweghe during their 2017 US Open Women’s Singles Semifinals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 7, 2017 (AFP Photo/Jewel Samad) the record books when at the age of 14 years and 48 days, she defeated Russian world number one 81 Alla Kudryavtseva on the clay courts at Ponte Vedra. She was in good company as that victory made her the youngest to achieve such a feat since Martina Hingis in 1994. It was no fluke. In July 2009, and still a high school student with braces on her teeth, she was beating Serena Williams in a Team Tennis event. For good measure, in 2014 she was the second-youngest player to win a title that season when she clinched the Eastbourne grass court trophy. Keys is the daughter of Richard and Christine, both
lawyers. With a black father and white mother, she has had to be sensitive to the racial sensitivities of modern America, but prefers to play down her background. “I don’t really identify myself as white or African-American. I’m just me. I’m Madison,” she told the New York Times in an interview. That may not satisfy some on Saturday when she faces Stephens, her AfricanAmerican compatriot, especially with the final falling on the 60th anniversary of Althea Gibson becoming the first black woman to win the US title in 1957.
VOICE OF ASIA 22
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
Your Horoscope for the Week of September 15, 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 Reorganize yourself before taking on any additional responsibilities. Step up to bat for someone who really needs a break. Encourage others to spread themselves as well. Try to be a positive force rather than a negative one. Once you feel more like a mentor, your creative emotions will flow. Your perfect mate may walk right into your life. You’ll be aware of the mutual attraction. Decide for yourself on whether you want to risk what you have for something new. You’re the only one who really knows what you want.
Get yourself on schedule. Take the time to put everything into a better perspective before you go any further. Your ambitions and hopes are one in the same, right now, to get ahead. Others may threaten to put your plans on hold, but you’ll be able to change their minds with your charm and wit. You’ll be able to come up with all the right answers to their questions. Your style will shine. A good challenge will reaffirm your convictions. Go ahead with full steam ahead.
Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May
Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov
Be willing to cooperate when others want to do things differently. Don’t spend too much energy planning a schedule that will be revised more than once. You’ll be moved by a sudden passion for justice, but you need to take your time and think things through before you act. There are reasons for rules, and you need to look at things from a different perspective to understand them more clearly. Your quest for knowledge will become your passion. Once you begin to understand the background, you’ll succeed.
Reach your goals, with hardly any effort on your part. You like the way things are and want to order more of the same. Try to calm yourself down, go about your business and don’t be jealous of those on top. Your constant support will encourage others to go the distance for you. Cherish your friendships and you’ll never feel alone, again. A friendship could even turn into something stronger. Exciting events should prove to make fun week-end plans.
Sagittarius (BH,F,DH,TH) 22 Nov to 21 Dec
Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June You will have an opportunity to do something great, this week. Problems in your personal and professional relationships could hamper you from reaching your goals. Old routines will make you feel old and dull. Break away from the way things used to be. Awake and find new ways to enjoy yourself. Stop arguing around the bush in relationships, express how you feel. Others need to communicate their feelings, as well. If this doesn’t happen now, you’ll never get the spark back. Hold on, don’t panic and next week things will come easier.
Think quickly on your feet. Questions will be asked and you’ll have to have all the right answers. Dare to dream your dreams but your ideas may need to be presented in a more creative fashion. You’ll get a lot more if you use honey instead of vinegar to attract your audience. Use your mind and body to display your talents and achieve what is beyond other’s range. This certainly is the time to be noticed. By week’s end, you’ll be able to go back to business as usual. Allow others take care of their own problems, for a while.
Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan
Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Find your place among family & friends. You’ll be unusually observant about everything. Your insight will have a greater impact if you deliver it with a little more passion. You may have felt a little out of the loop, lately, but that was only because your mind was in a solo mode. Get out there enjoy the wonderful wealth of family and friends you possess. Focus on the project at hand. Don’t allow a deadline to pressure you into something less than perfect. Learn to appreciate how far your persistence will take you.
Seem confident, reliable and intelligent at all times. Especially when you feel you’re in over your head. Don’t blow it all by wishing for the stars. Aim high, but be more realistic. Keep your ears open for the topics that you have stronger knowledge on. Think before you talk and all will go well. Pay closer attention to others and they will acknowledge your good standing in the community. Don’t allow someone’s attitude to put a damper on good spirits. Your weekend plans with loved ones is just what you need.
Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb
Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Keep a secret to yourself. Intense emotions will threaten to tell the world, but you know you can’t reveal your sources. A little issue you bring up could trigger something much larger. Others will be hurt if you do. Focus on ways to use your new found information, in a positive light. Get back to doing the things that you love to do. By week’s end, you should try to stay out of trouble by keeping to yourself. A debt will be repaid in an astonishing manner.
Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Use your sense of humor to get your point across. Loud, rude people should stay clear of you. Your patience will be tried but your logic will prevail. You really do know your stuff and now’s the time to show it. You are exactly where you need to be. Everybody has been rallying around something new and improved. However news this week, will pronounce you the winner. Accept the prize but be the first congratulate others for their effort.
Read your Weekly Horoscope Online
Find your own little space. You want to be the one who will make the final decisions in your personal life. You not only will find but you will be able to perfect your own career. You’ll be riding high with confidence. Your impulses will fuel the positive flow. Be rid of friends or partners who cannot agree on what direction they are going in. Instead of wasting your time and energy, try going solo in a more focused way. Continue to nurture other friendships that could help you in the long run. They may be needed to reach your goals.
Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March This week you’ll be in the limelight. Work your magic with your positive attitude and contagious smile. Tired, old concepts could block the possibility of something completely wonderful. Push away the negative and take a different approach. Express your feelings clearly before allowing assumptions to start to work against you. Say it and get it out of the way. Staying busy is your key to staying happy. You can’t sit still for too long. Cooperate with others and listen to original their ideas, in order to improve what already exists.
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VOICE OF ASIA 23
Don’t React Right Away When You Get Feedback You Disagree With Maybe it’s your performance review. Or advice (solicited or otherwise) from a colleague. Whatever the feedback was, it was wrong — that person doesn’t understand the situation! They don’t really know what you do. And besides, their advice wouldn’t even work. Getting feedback you disagree with can be maddening, and while you might be tempted to launch into a well-reasoned rebuttal, it’s better not to react right away. Give yourself time to understand what the person is trying to convey. Ask clarifying questions such as “When you say ‘creative,’ can you tell me more about what you mean?” You might also ask a trusted friend (but not someone who only tells you what you want to hear) whether the feedback rings true. Once you fully understand the message and have taken the time to consider it, then you can decide how to respond. Source: www.hbr.org
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VOICE OF ASIA 24
FRIDAY, September 15, 2017
Voice of Asia Newspaper is based in Houston since 1987. We reach South Asian and Asian American families in Houston and surrounding cities i...
Published on Sep 14, 2017
Voice of Asia Newspaper is based in Houston since 1987. We reach South Asian and Asian American families in Houston and surrounding cities i...