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FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
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Drs. Pallavi and Kiran Sherine Thomas receives Patel’s pledge $200M to Quartet of Stars award NSU – First of its kind transformational gift
not only based on her legal work but also her active role in forwarding progressive causes in community efforts. Sherine Thomas in her role as the Executive County Attorney manages and supervises the civil side of the County Attorney’s office where she continues to litigate and advice on significant cases for the community.
Dr. Kiran C. Patel and his wife, Dr. Pallavi Patel New NSU Tampa Bay Regional Campus opens in Fall 2019 by Shobana Muratee
She served as the president and as a board member for the Austin Women’s Political Caucus (AWPC) for over 10 years and served as the Vice president of national Women’s Political Caucus, Texas and piloted a program to increase civic engagement among Travis County Women ages 12 to 18.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida - (Sep 25, 2017) – Tampa Bay-area doctor couple, cardiologist Dr. Kiran C. Patel and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Pallavi Patel made an unprecedented $200 million commitment to Nova Southeastern University (NSU), the largest philanthropic gift in its history, toward expansion of its programs and development of a new 27-acre secondary campus in Clearwater, Fla. “Today, he is the first person of Indian heritage to have a United States medical school named after him,” said Dr. George L Hanbury II, President, NSU. “This gift and additional investment will enrich NSU’s ability to educate highly-qualified physicians and healthcare professionals who understand how the medical disciplines can and must work together. Continued on Page 4
US jobless claims fall despite Harvey and Irma WASHINGTON | AFP | 9/21/2017 New claims for US jobless benefits fell for the second week in a row despite the massive economic disruptions from back-to-back hurricanes, Labor Department reported Thursday. The decrease suggested September job creation may not suffer as badly as feared from the hurricane destruction in Texas and Florida, since the latest data are from the survey week used to calculate the government’s key monthly employment report. For the week ending September 16, new claims for unemployment insurance fell by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 259,000, well below an analyst
Sherine Thomas, Executive County Attorney of Travis County, Austin, Texas.
Dr. Kiran C. Patel and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Pallavi Patel presenting the check to Dr. George L Hanbury II, President, NSU. Photo credit David Garvin.
Patel Family Foundation includes a
$50 million gift and an additional $150 million real estate and facility investment n a future 325,000 i
square-foot medical education complex that will be part of NSU’s new Tampa Bay Regional Campus, in Clearwater. The campus will house a new state-of-the art facility for NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, as well as its existing programs in the Tampa area. forecast of 310,000.
ures were not seasonally adjusted.
That meant the record streak of initial claims below 300,000 was unbroken even though they rose due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma in recent . Claims have remained below that symbolic level for two and a half years, the longest stretch since 1970.
Meanwhile, on the island territory of Puerto Rico, claims for jobless benefits skyrocketed nearly nine fold to 2,528.
The less volatile four-week moving average rose 6,000 to 268,750, hitting its highest mark since the week ended June 4 of last year. Claims doubled in Florida to 9,906 while plunging 45 percent in Texas to 28,475 but officials noted these fig-
USTIN, Texas - Sherine Thomas, Executive County Attorney of Travis County, Austin, Texas has been honored to receive the most prestigious Quartet Of Stars award of the Travis County Democratic Party in a ceremony on September 23 at the Westin Hotel at the Domain. Introducing Sherine for the honor, State Rep. Celia Israel characterized her numerous legal victories for Travis County as varied and plentiful. Through her work, she has helped preserve the beauty of Hamilton pool, aided same sex couples in getting marriage licenses, and is currently hard at work challenging Senate Bill 4. The award was
She has worked on numerous local and statewide campaigns including working for Ron Kirk’s senate campaign where she helped coordinate a statewide call center to answer questions regarding legal standards. Sherine is a current board member and former president of the Board of Director for Austin Habitat for Humanity, community board member for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, former board member of the Indian Community Center, and a founding member and former board member of the IndianAmerican Coalition of Texas (IACT). She is also the membership chair for the Calvert Inn of Court. Her favorite thing is to travel with her family, her husband Tom Nuckols, her son Deven and her nephews, Satish and Sanjay. Sherine is the third attorney daughter of the publishers of Voice of Asia Koshy Thomas and Moani Thomas
Though they can see big swings from week to week, the level of jobless claims can be used to gauge the prevalence of layoffs and the health of labor markets. Seven years of uninterrupted job creation has driven down unemployment to historic low levels, leaving employers reluctant to dismiss workers they may not be able to replace.
Honorees (Third from L-R) Montserrat Garibay, Emma Lou Linn, Eleanor Davis Thompson and Sherine Thomas (Photo: Twitter/Vincent Harding)
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THE STORY OF MAHATMA GANDHI
Wheels of independence are set in motion The war in Europe was having an impact in India. The Congress Working Committee found itself unable to accept in its entirety Gandhi’s attitude to the war. In particular, they would not accept his view that the defence of India should not depend on the armed forces. Congress leaders met several times in Gandhi’s room at Sevagram and talked of their desire to start some action. Finally a proposal was put forward that all provincial governments should join with the British authorities in the defence of India, but the British rejected the offer …. Now read on. In September 1940, a meeting of the All-India Congress Committee was held in Bombay. There, as a protest against England’s utter indifference to India’s hopes, it was decided to launch individual civil disobedience against the authorities. It was also decided to hold meetings to protest against British imperialism. At that time such meetings were forbidden. Vinoba Bhave was the first to inaugurate individual satyagraha. He was arrested and so were hundreds of others who followed him. Nehru also was arrested. Within a few months over 30,000 Congressmen were put in jail.
by Brian Faler and Rachael Bade
resident Donald Trump is heading to Indiana Wednesday to sell a tax-reform plan that glosses over one key question: Who loses?
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
Trump, GOP tax plan omits details on who pays The trick is to provide enough detail to satisfy lawmakers whose votes they’ll need but not so much that they get eaten alive by lobbyists
The long-awaited proposal released Wednesday morning by the so-called Big Six is heavy on the GOP’s tax cut desires and light when it comes to explaining whose taxes will have to go up to help control costs. After months of meeting behind closed doors, the Trump administration and the Republican leadership in both chambers announced they want to slash the corporate rate to 20 percent from the current 35 percent, while reducing taxes on unincorporated businesses to 25 percent. They’re proposing nearly doubling the standard deduction, expanding a tax credit for having children and creating a special low rate on multinational companies’ overseas earnings. The cost of all that would run in the trillions, and Republican leaders don’t plan to simply cut taxes and leave it at that. They want to at least partially defray the cost with offsetting tax increases. But their plans for doing that, for the most part, are still a secret. It’s not that Republicans don’t necessarily know who they want to foot the bill for their plans. The game plan is to essentially launch a sneak attack on cherished tax breaks, in order to give opponents as little opportunity as possible to mount a counteroffensive. “They’re going to withhold them as long as they can,” said one former Republican tax aide. “If you don’t give the details on how to pay for it, people can’t really lobby against it.” Republicans have offered some indication where they intend to find savings, such as by eliminating a long-standing deduction for state and local taxes, and also by paring a break for business interest payments. But they’ve been vague he chronicle of devastation from what seems like an endless run of natural disasters has been difficult to fathom. Who hasn’t been moved by the tragic images emerging from Mexico, Puerto Rico and its island neighbors, even as homes in Houston and Florida remain sogged with floodwater?
People clawing rubble with bare hands, passing buckets of debris, pausing in eerie silence, looking for children. Buildings leveled by savage winds, roads turned into rivers, lush landscapes stripped of greenery and nearly bereft of life, all across the Caribbean in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Yet, our spirits also have been buoyed by the spectacle of nations around the world responding. In Mexico, rescue
ways on many of the pay-fors. Brady says he won’t release the legislative text of his plan, spelling out how exactly it will work, until after Republicans have a budget in place. Some don’t expect Republicans to release those details until shortly before the tax committee formally takes up a plan — next month at the earliest. Republicans are pushing to get a bill to Trump’s desk by the end of the year. on many of the specifics, and they’ll need much more than that to fit within their budget. Republican leaders are under pressure from rank-and-file colleagues, especially House conservatives, to begin filling in the blanks. Some conservatives say they won’t vote for a budget — needed to move any tax plan — without more information. But rank-and-file House Republicans didn’t seem bothered by the lack of key details on Wednesday, welcoming a blueprint they hope will be the basis of a much-needed legislative victory to take into the 2018 election. Speaker Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) kicked off a House GOP retreat aimed at rallying their oftendivided conference behind the new tax push. The five-hour event, packed with breakout sessions and capped with a keynote address by Vice President Mike Pence, seemed to have a rallying effect. Case in point: Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), a Freedom Caucus conservative who rarely agrees with leadership, stood up to say, “I like what I see,” accord-
ing to one source in the room. Another Republican source said the leaders received “very positive feedback.” Liberal groups wasted no time slamming the plan. Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, said the plan’s “eye-popping cost will lead to deep cuts in Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and public education that will leave working families in the cold.” The trick for Republican leaders is to provide enough detail to satisfy lawmakers whose votes they’ll need — and enough specifics to make their plan appear credible — but not so much that they get eaten alive by lobbyists. Republicans also don’t know how many offsets they’ll need exactly, because they haven’t agreed on how much their plan will ultimately cost. They’ll need a lot more pay-fors if the House, whose plan is deficit neutral, gets its way than if they can borrow $1.5 trillion as the Senate is proposing. What’s more, the Big Six has been divided over how deeply to go after the business interest deduction and other breaks, with senators pushing for smaller cuts. The House and Senate are likely to go separate
At the GOP event, Brady emphasized that the plan was one “unified framework” — not a competing proposal to a separate White House or Senate plan. Leadership believes Republicans will have a better chance of succeeding if all three bodies are behind the same proposal — thus avoiding a repeat of their Obamacare fiasco. “Today is not about the House plan — it’s about a unified framework,” Brady said. Rep. Peter Roskam (RIll.), who heads the Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee, gave a presentation to members about tax provisions for individuals, promising “more money for everybody” and suggesting there would be a bigger theoretical “zero tax bracket” — people who owe no taxes — because of a larger standard deduction. But Clemente said only the wealthy would benefit from the plan. “The idea that this plan would help average Americans instead of the wealthy and big corporations has been a hoax all along,” he said. “This isn’t ‘tax reform,’ it’s just a big giveaway to millionaires and corporations, and it won’t ‘trickle down’ to the rest of us.” (-Politico)
Use today’s pain to withstand future natural disasters and recovery specialists have poured in from the United States, Spain, Japan, Israel and other Latin American countries. Coast Guard, National Guard and other rescue teams from many states, including New York, deployed to Texas after Hurricane Harvey, then to Florida after Irma, and now to the Caribbean. As we see time and again, the worst that people face brings out the best in humanity — national and international cooperation, making all of us stronger.
no choice but to ace this exam. Houston, the Florida Keys, and other parts of both Texas and the Sunshine State still face great duress.
While the immediate focus is on rescuing victims, massive recovery efforts await. It will be a sustained test of government on all levels, and there is
Was pre-storm preparation adequate? Was the response appropriate? How and where do we rebuild? What zoning and building codes must be changed? Apply the lessons.
Puerto Rico and its island brethren face special hardships. There are no highways on which to bring in crews to restore power, or for people to get out. No power means no communications or coordination in the recovery effort. Even buildings that had generators will run out of fuel shortly.
An understandable urge to return to normalcy is a prescription for the same result the next time around. And let’s respect science by fully funding the National Weather Service. The Category 4 hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas, in 1900 killed up to 12,000 people. All the recent hurricanes together claimed only a fraction of those lives. One big difference? Accurate forecasting that led to appropriate warnings heeded by those in harm’s way. The images we’ve seen have been compelling. Now let them compel all of us to act to make everyone safer. (-Newsday Editorial Board)
Great Summer Project For children! Enter Mahatma Gandhi Week 2017 Essay, I-Tribute, Poster and Speech contests. Visit gandhilibrary.org for registration and more information. All school going children can participate! These contests are being organized to create higher awareness of the inspiring life and work of Mahatma Gandhi to promote universal values of Truth, Non-Violence, Love and Service
think of a settlement with India. Japan, it was feared, might even invade India. Even Gandhi began to feel that his pacifism might stand in the way of India’s future. So he made the proposal of a provisional government so that all the resources of India could be added to the government’s side in the struggle against the aggressors. But this proposal was ignored.
Only Gandhi was not imprisoned. He devoted his time to spreading the gospel of truth and nonviolence. In December 1941 the government released all the satyagrahis.
In March 1942 Churchill announced that the war cabinet had agreed on a plan for India and that Sir Stafford Cripps had agreed to go to India to find out whether the Indian leaders would accept the plan, and whether they would devote all their thought and energy to the defence of India against Japan. Cripps arrived in Delhi on March 22. He met Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and other important leaders.
Then, in 1942, as the Japanese swept across the Pacific and went through Malaya and Burma, the British began to
Cripps promised greater freedom than what had been offered before. He also offered complete freedom after the
war, if India wanted it. The leaders would perhaps have accepted this offer if it had come a year earlier, but now it was rejected. The Congress leaders did not want any compromise based on promises. The British did not trust the people of India sufficiently to give them any real power, and so the Indian leaders felt that they could not trust the British to hand over power after the war. In August 1942 the All-India Congress Committee met in Bombay, and was presided over by Maulana Azad. Again the demand to set up a provisional government was made. “We can no longer hold back our people from exercising their will,” Gandhi said. “Nor can we go on eternally submitting to the imperialist policies. The time has come for the English to go. Civil servants, army officers, government officers all of them should quit India.” The “Quit India” resolution was drawn up and passed by the meeting for presentation to the government. Nehru moved the resolution and Sardar Patel seconded it. The resolution also announced the starting of a mass struggle on the widest possible scale. Winding up the meeting, Gan-
dhi said, “I have pledged to the Congress, and the Congress has pledged herself that she will do or die.” The government did not wait for the mass movement to begin. Overnight Gandhi was arrested, as were many other leaders in various parts of India. Gandhi was interned in the Aga Khan’s palace in Poona. Mahadev Desai, Kasturba, Sarojini Naidu and Mirabehn were also taken there. But with the leaders in jail, India did not remain idle. ‘Do or die’ was taken up by the people. There were mass movements everywhere. And there was a great outburst of violence throughout the country. People started destroying government buildings and whatever else they considered to be symbols of British imperialism. Shortly after his detention in the Aga Khan’s palace Gandhi suffered a grievous bereavement. Mahadev Desai, his faithful and able secretary, died of a heart attack. “Mahadev has lived up to the ‘do or die’ mantra,” Gandhi said. “This sacrifice will only hasten the day of India’s deliverance.” All over India there were strikes and disorder. Lord Linlithgow, the Viceroy, blamed Gandhi for all the
turmoil. Gandhi had invited violence, he claimed. In a long series of letters to Lord Linlithgow, Gandhi tried to persuade him to retract this charge against him. Failing in this, Gandhi decided to undertake a fast as “an appeal to the Highest Tribunal” against the unjust charges. Gandhi fasted for 21 days in February, 1943. It was a great ordeal, but he survived the fast. Kasturbai nursed him back to health, but her own health was failing. She suffered two heart attacks. Gandhi tried his best to save her, but Kasturbai grew worse. One day she died quietly in Gandhi’s arms. A few weeks later Gandhi was taken seriously ill with malaria. The Indian people demanded his immediate release and the authorities, believing that he was nearing death, released him. Gandhi was slowly restored to health. The demand for Indian independence had now acquired worldwide interest. Apart from India’s own attitude, America and other countries started pressing Britain to grant freedom to India. But Prime Minister Winston Churchill did not yield to any of these approaches. India had
always been the jewel in the British crown, crucial to the Britain’s prosperity. Churchill was the last man to think of giving up India. Two months after Germany’s surrender in May 1945, the Labour Party came into power in Britain and Clement Attlee became the Prime Minister. After the defeat of Japan in August that year, the British government announced that they expected to grant self-rule to India as soon as her internal problems could be solved. This was indeed a victory for India and a victory for the principle of nonviolence. Britain agreed to a planned withdrawal from India in friendship and with no bitterness. All through his life Gandhi had worked for unity between Hindus and Muslims, without much success. There was a large section of nationalist Muslim in the Congress but leaders of the Muslim League were drifting further and further away. Gandhi was not the man to give up hope, however, and he pursued his efforts to bring about a settlement. On the other hand, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League, was hostile to the idea of unity.
— To be continued
VOICE OF ASIA 3
COMMUNITY VOICE OF ASIA
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
Second Front Page
VSGH’s first Durga Puja of the season draws record crowds by Sanchali Basu
The melodious devotional songs sung by the VSGH choir and Durga Bhajans sung by Pandit Suman Ghosh, his family and students made the environment reverberate with spiritual essence. The puja ended with the beautiful arati performed by the two Swamis in unison with the chandelier lamps, and pushpanjali, the offering of flowers, by devotees. A record crowd of almost 550 people attended the VSGH Durga Puja this year.
“I am honored to receive this recognition, especially knowing that I work every day with incredible professionals who are equally deserving,” said Patel. “I am blessed to have an amazing support system and to be in health care, where the work that we do positively impacts lives daily. It is what drives me and makes my work so rewarding.” In her current role, Patel has operational and business development responsibility for both clinical and nonclinical departments ranging from perioperative services to engineering. Responsibilities include direction and decision-making, financial performance, compliance with regulatory agencies, patient satisfaction, productivity and the promotion of the Memorial Hermann Health System culture. She previously served as VP of Operations at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital. At Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, she oversaw a $93 million expansion project that added 60 beds, an additional medical plaza and expanded services.
Durga Puja being performed by the priests of VSGH.
In addition, she was the executive champion for Memorial Hermann Sugar Land’s “Journey to Excellence” which adopted and integrated the Baldrige framework. In November 2016,
Malisha Patel MHSL VP OPS Memorial Hermann Sugar Land was recognized as a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, the highest award for performance excellence given in the country. The hospital is the first Houston area hospital to be awarded the recognition. Prior to joining Memorial Hermann, Patel held positions with the Veterans Administration Hospital in Dallas as well as with Tenet Healthcare. She has recently been recognized by the IndoAmerican Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston as its 2016 “Young Professional of the Year” and as an honorable mention for the Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2017. Patel is a resident of Houston’s Memorial neighborhood.
Vedanta Society of Greater Houston choir sand devotional sons. ing in a book signing ceremony. Other dignitaries in attendance were the Consul General of India Dr. Anupam Ray and author, poet Chitra Divakaruni. They both commented that this is one event throughout the year that they would never miss.
Fruit & lunch prasad were served in the adjacent tent to all attendees. Some devotees commented on the great quality of the food catered by Maharajah restaurant. What was very inspiring to note was the increase in the number of devotees this year compared to last year probably signifying the increased seeking of blessings from Mother Durga for protection from natural disasters of the magnitude of Harvey. Dr. Malay Das, who has penned a book, “Swami Swahananda, a Profile in Greatness” was present at the occasion to oblige devotees by participat-
Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital’s Malisha Patel Named One of the Top 15 Business Women in Houston OUSTON (Sept. 21, 2017) – Malisha Patel, VP of Operations at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, was recognized as one of the Top 15 Business Women in Houston by the National Diversity Council (NDC) at the Houston Women’s Conference held on Sept. 20.
n the aftermath of the havoc created by hurricane Harvey, Houstonians were looking up to God for help and relent. What better way than to pray to Mother Durga for forgiveness, for all the abuse and atrocities that we are inflicting on Mother Nature relentlessly on a daily basis! As is the norm every year, Durga Puja was celebrated with immense piety, dedication and sincerity by the Vedanta Society of Greater Houston on September 23. The weather was nice compared to the once in 800 year disastrous weather that Houston experienced 4 weeks back. Nabapatrika and the idol of Mother Durga were carried to the nicely decorated pandal outdoors to the beat of the Dhak and the blowing of the shankh early in the morning, creating a divine atmosphere. We were honored to have Swami Kripamayananda, head of the Toronto Vedanta Society preside over the event, his 6th year in a row. What made the puja more special was the presence of our resident Swami Vedaswarupananda who was the Tantradharak and Dr. Amrit Achari, who did the Chandipath. Buddhadeb who traveled from Toronto with Swami Kripamayanada assisted him in the puja performance.
VSGH has made arrangements that part of the donations received during Durga Puja this year will go towards the Harvey Relief fund. Due to increased space demands, VSGH has undertaken the project to extend the side patio of the temple building to
create a classroom/dining hall for the devotees. Appeals were made to donate generously to make the project come to fruition. VSGH will celebrate Kali Puja at 7:30 p.m. on October 19, 2017. Worship will be performed by Swami Vedaswarupananda. All are invited. Please visit www.houstonvedanta.org for information on all VSGH activities.
Pandit Suman Ghosh with his family and students during their performance
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Drs. Pallavi and Kiran Patel’s pledge $200M to NSU – First of its kind transformational gift Continued from Page 1 These future leaders will represent the cultural diversity of our region, our nation and our world so that they can better serve their patients and communities,” he said. The Patels’ is the single largest commitment made to any educational institution in the US and the seven-largest to any Florida university in history. The commitment from the Patel Family Foundation includes a $50 million gift and an additional $150 million real estate and facility investment in a future 325,000 square-foot medical education complex which will be part of NSU’s new Tampa Bay Regional Campus, in Clearwater. The campus will house a new state-of-the art facility for NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, as well as its existing programs in the Tampa area. Their commitment includes the naming of NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, including support for equipment and the hiring of additional faculty and staff in the Tampa Bay area as well as an endowment to sustain the operation of the college’s new location in perpetuity, the naming of NSU’s Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences, including an endowed scholarship fund for students. “We firmly believe the best gift that anyone can give is the gift of education,” said Dr. Patel (popularly known as Dr. K,) and
health being equally vital, he found an opportunity achieve both goals, he said. “Education that would provide healing.” Signing of documents in 100 days At a time when he was already planning on starting an Osteopathic School in Tampa, Dr. Patel had a chance meeting with the President of Nova University and their top research scientists at a dinner meeting, he said. “I had found the component that I was lacking in NSU and instantly decided to partner.” Further, because it is a young university - only 53 years old - he felt that the flexibility and willingness to listen to ideas will be there. “After signing our documents in 100 days, what we have achieved is unbelievable,” Dr. Patel said. “The goal has been that by 2019 the first student at the Clearwater campus will be enrolled. This is an amazing aggressive time-line. I feel we will achieve it. Thinking about 400 doctors coming out, it would be the largest producer of physicians, not only in Florida but possibly the whole country, is something I’m proud to share with you because there is a need for loving physicians to be coming out,” he said. Expanding to India, Africa and other parts of the world The Patels had always envisioned an international medical and are investing $200m to start a medical college in the
Gujarat state, in India where they have acquired 100 acres of land for the campus. “We feel we will be transformational in setting trends internationally,” he said. Once built, the university will be accredited to Nova Southeastern University of the United States and the student will be affiliated with Nova University. The student will receive a US degree which allows them to practice in India or anywhere in the world. Dr. Patel and Dr. Elain M Wallace, Dean, NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine are already planning the expansion to India for NSU Health Care Sciences with a platoon of medical assistants and many of the programs that don’t necessarily have to go through the rigid accreditation, said NSU President, Dr. Hanbury. “India would be the third alternate site for NSU after Tampa - Clearwater campus,” he said. Kiran Patel and Pallavi Patel are both of Indian origin, although Kiran Patel was born in Zambia, Africa. They are both successful physicians in the Tampa Bay area but more importantly are well known for their philanthropic work locally, nationally and internationally. Dr. Kiran Patel entrepreneurial success is equally astounding. With the success of Well Care HMO, Inc., he along with his partners started a Medicaid managed-care company which became the largest Medicaid provider in the state of Florida. He is pres-
Sri MTS celebrates Suvasini Puja
by Kamala Raghavan
uvasini Puja is traditionally conducted at MTS on the first Friday of Navaratri festival every year, and this year it was celebrated on September 22, 2017 in a grand manner. More than 400 families participated in lighting the lamp and reciting the slokas which was a feast to the eyes. It is believed that the Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Sarawati shower their blessings on those who worship them on this day, and help one to achieve what one needs. Suvasini puja, also referred as Suhasini Pooja is celebrated during Sharad Navaratri, along with the colorful display of deities in the traditional “Kolu” (attached picture). The puja involves worshipping a married woman, “Sumangali”, considering her as a manifestation of Goddess Durga. Suvasini Pooja is a powerful ritual done to eliminate all sorts of relationship problems. All Fridays during Navaratri are considered very auspicious for the three goddesses- Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. The priests invoked the Goddesses and offered prayers for bhakti, peace, knowledge and prosperity to engulf us and destroy the darkness of ignorance and weakness. Ladies wearing colorful saris were seated in neatly laid out rows
in the main Temple and observed the puja with great devotion. The puja was performed by the priests on the devotees’ behalf, and the Sri Chakra in its three dimensional form known as ‘Sri Maha Meru’ is energized. The worship of Maha Meru is considered to be the highest form of Goddess worship. A ritual reading (Japa) of the Devi Mahatmyam is part of the Navaratri celebrations in honor of the Goddess. The Devi Mahatmyam consists of chapters 81-93 of the Markandeya Purana with 700 verses. The celebration was appropriately concluded with each of the women being offered saris and kumkum at the end. The large gathering of devotees were mesmerized by the priests’ recitation of melodious verses in both Sanskit and Tamil, and thrilled by the devotion filled event. Overall, it was a very well organized event and it was performed very traditionally by all the priests. The attendance of the large number of devotees is a testament to the abundant devotion in the MTS community. MTS is continuing its drive to collect funds for the Hurricane relief fund, and gave $3000 to Sewa International as the first installment of helping the victims of the disaster, as shown in the picture above.
Navaratri Kolu at Sree Meenakshi. Photos by Soc Narayanan
Drs. Pallavi Patel and Kiran C Patel being honored during the NSU White Coat Ceremony, Class of 2021 by Dr. George L Hanbury, President, NSU on Saturday, Sep. 23, 2017. Image credit nova.edu
Aerial rendering showing plans for NSU’s new Tampa Bay Regional Campus, which will include a new site for NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. ently serving as Chairman of Visionary Medical Systems. The Patels are driven by their
passion to serve one and all, not limiting their time, talent or wealth. “Always keep in mind,
being a physician is a journey, not a destination,” is his message to fellow physicians.
Mahatma Gandhi Week 2017 Annual Speech Contest
The 14th annual Mahatma Gandhi Week Speech Contest was held at the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centere located at 1700 First Colony Blvd, Sugar Land, TX 77479 on Saturday, September 23, 2017
ohandas K Gandhi also known as ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ and more fondly “Bapu” in India, was a believer of non-violence who fought for India’s freedom from the British Raj. After India became independent in 1947, he came to be known as the father of the nation. After his death in 1948, the world has come to know him as disciple of Truth, Non-violence, Peace and Service. Gandhiji’s work and teachings was brought to light by many young kids at 14th annual Speech Contest organized by Mahatma Gandhi Library. A week long celebration was held to commemorate Gandhi’s birth anniversary. Dr. Rakesh Agarwal was the proficient coordinator of the speech contest. The contestants were in two groups; the age group 10 and below delivered speeches on the topic “Love Never Claims, It Ever Gives”, and the age group 11 and above delivered speeches on the topic “Peace is the Goal, Non-Violence is the Way”. Emcee Mr. Rajan Chawla started the program with a prayer and extended a warm welcome to the participants stating how encouraging it was to see such enthusiasm and growing interest of children every year in the speech contest. He later provided the rules and guidelines to the participants. Announcing the upcoming weeklong celebration of Gandhi Jayanti would culminate into “1000 Lights for Peace’ celebration at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Herman Park on Saturday, Oct 1st 2017 at 6 PM, he urged all participants and parents to attend and enjoy the international cultural program and candle lighting.
The Speech Contest was organized at the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center in Sugarland on Saturday, on September 23, 2017. Ms. Waheeda Kara representing the president of His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for the Southwestern United States welcomed Mahatma Gandhi Library and the participants and spoke briefly about the Center. She also gave an account of activities of Ismaili community in general and during the hurricane Harvey, in particular. In all, 32 students had registered for the Speech Contest. However as many as half of registrants could not participate due to hurricane Harvey that hit Houston recently. 17 students participated in contest, 7 from under ten years of age group and 17 from eleven years plus age group. Speeches by these contestants were engaging and captivating and brought back memories and incidences from the life and work of Gandhiji. All the participants did an excellent job in presenting their thoughts about Gandhian values often relating their own personal life experiences with the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. The distinguished judges for the speech contest included Mr. Rashid N. Kapadia from Necessary Bridges, Dr. Huma Jafry of Nanoinnovations, Rev. Gregory Hahn from Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, and Col. R P S Bhalla. The winners from each category will have the opportunity to recite their speeches on stage at Miller Outdoor Theater during 1000 Lights for Peace celebration next Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 6 PM. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and other great leaders the contestants in both categories amazed the
audience. Children as young as five years spoke about their perception of love and how it gives. Equally fascinating were the older contestants who presented a diverse opinion about a complex topic “Peace is the Goal, Non-Violence is the Way”. Some of them put forward theories about how peace can be achieved through nonviolent means, even when faced by violent forces. Contestant’s awareness of Gandhian philosophy was very gratifying, since one of the objective of the contest is to instill such values in the lives of our future generations to build up civic asset of our society. Mr. Atul Kothari, founder of the Mahatma Gandhi Library applauded the kids for their efforts and parents for their support. He thanked His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council of The Southwestern United States, judges and all volunteers for their selfless service. Dr. Barkat Charania talked about current issues of violence appealing for the need of ongoing and continuous conversation to impress upon the need of Nonviolence and Peace in our daily lives. Result of the contest was declared by the judges as follows: Ages 10 and under - Love never claims, it ever gives 1st place - Khushi Kawedia 2nd place - Naresh Sathya 3rd place - Ayushi Kawedia Ages 11 and over Peace is the goal, non-violence is the way 1st place - Tony Jha 2nd place - Anusha Sathya 3rd place - Aamani Shree Pillutla As mentioned earlier, the first place winners of each group namely Khushi Kawedia and Tony Jha will present their speeches at 1000 Lights of Peace event at Miller Outdoor Theatre on Sunday, Oct 1st 2017. For more information please visit gandhilibrary.org
VOICE OF ASIA 5
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
SIMA’s timely aid to Harvey victimes afternoon, quickly learned the shelter’s computer and administrative procedures, and began intake processes for incoming and outgoing evacuees. In addition, members assisted NRG Center volunteers in directing guests to their designated shelter areas, loading and unloading evacuee luggage, and with providing information to incoming evacuees. SIMA is working with AAHOA and other local organizations including Leuva-Patidar and Bhakta organizations to fund-raise and are preparing to make a sizable donation to Mayor Turner’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. SIMA president Hasu Patel with Mayor Slyvester Turner
OUSTON - Due to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, many residents of Houston and surrounding areas suffered irreparable damages to their lives including losing their homes, vehicles, and belongings. Many of these displaced victims were forced to seek refuge at citywide facilities and locations temporarily set up as shelters,
including the George R. Brown Convention Center and the NRG Center. Several members of the Small Independent Motel Association of Houston (SIMA), during the days of the hurricane, welcomed these displaced victims into their lodging facilities and provided their guest rooms, at no cost, along with breakfast,
SIMA volunteers helping Harvey victime. refreshments, and other amenities, all while dealing with damages they suffered themselves. Continuing in their humanitarian efforts, President of SIMA Hasu Patel took lead in
coordinating SIMA”s volunteer efforts including going to the NRG Center on Tuesday, September 19th with other SIMA and AAHOA members, including AAHOA leaders Vikas Desai, Piyush Patel, and Samir Patel as well as AAHOA
Ambassadors Sawan Patel and Saajan Patel, to volunteer their time to assist and help the thousands of Hurricane Harvey evacuees who were still stationed there. Members arrived that early
SIMA is working with the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association (THLA) and the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston (HLAGH) to continue to provide support to the City and to the Mayor’s office in their ongoing relief efforts. Mayor Turner has been a strong advocate of the work SIMA does and of their humanitarian efforts during difficult times like these.
Houston couple donate $250,000 to Mayor Turner’s Harvey Relief An Indian American couple in Houston, Texas, Amit Bhandari and Arpita Brahmbhatt Bhandari, have donated $250,000 to Mayor Sylvester Turner for the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a Hurricane Harvey relief fund, at a privately held event on Sept. 24. Bhandari is the owner and CEO of the BioUrja Group, an energy and agricultural commodity trading company based out of Houston with offices around the world. The Indian-American community has united in raising funds for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, the storm that brought 40 to 64.58 inches of rain over a four-day period and killed over 70 people, displacing more than 30,000 people and prompting more than 17,000 rescues.
Turner appreciated the Indian-Americans for their generosity and voluntary aid toward Hurricane Harvey relief. “ The contributions of the Indian-American community did not just start with Hurricane Harvey. They have been contributing to this city for a long, long time. The Indian community is vital to the city and helps make Houston the great city that it is,” he said. “I want to thank the IndianAmericans for what you have done prior to Hurricane Harvey. I want to thank you for what you are doing now, and I want thank you for what you will be doing to help rebuild this great city. We will rebuild, we will be stronger, more resilient, and better prepared for next time around,” he added. Bhandari mentioned that vol-
unteers from the community helped rescue 700 people and that the community in Houston also contributed $1.5 million to many charitable organizations associated with the Hurricane Harvey relief. A newly developed mobile app titled ‘DisasterConnect,’ was also presented to Turner at the event. The app help victims and donors make direct contact with each other to streamline relief efforts and was created under the direction of Gaurav Khandelwal, CEO of ChaiOne, a Houston-based developer of mobile apps. The Consul General of India in Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray also thanked the IndianAmerican community for their efforts.
Amit and Arpita Bhandari with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (center). Twitter image. “Your generosity makes India proud. A community is great if it rises above its suf-
fering. Through your contributions toward Hurricane Harvey relief, you’ve demonstrated
that as a community, you’ve risen above your sufferings.” he said.
VOICE OF ASIA 6
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
Sugar Land, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, R
FBISD Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees to teams with host Listening and Literacy Tours neighboring Community members and parents invited to share feedback, participate in roundtable discussions districts for College Missouri City, TX 77459 ORT BEND ISD (Sep- vide opportunities for parents, tember 26, 2017) – The staff and community members Literacy Tour Night Fairs Fort Bend ISD Board to ask questions directly to
Dare Adewumi, M.D., joins Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center at Sugar Land
FORT BEND ISD (September 25, 2017) – School districts in Fort Bend County, including Fort Bend ISD, are teaming up to host four College Fairs to help students prepare for college. The events will be held during the month of October, allowing parents and students the chance to meet representatives from Ivy League schools, public and private institutions from in and out of state, junior and community colleges, military academies, scholarship foundations and much more. Dare Adewumi, M.D., Neurosurgeon with Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center at Sugar Land (Photo: HMNSC)
UGAR LAND, September 25, 2017 — Dare Adewumi, M.D., recently joined Texas Spine and Neurosurgery Center and will also be a specialist at the Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center at Sugar Land. Adewumi focuses on general neurosurgery including spinal, cranial and trauma care. Prior to coming to Sugar Land he had a practice in The Woodlands. “The physicians at the Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center at Sugar Land are world-class specialists who are committed to personalized, multidisciplinary care,” said Adewumi. “I am honored to join the team and begin serving the community.” Originally from Atlanta, Adewumi earned his medical degree from the Medical Col-
lege of Georgia in Augusta where he was honored with the Peacock Family Award for Outstanding Performance in Neuroscience, given annually by the Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy. He completed a neurosurgery residency at Loma Linda University in California followed by fellowships in spine surgery and neurosurgical oncology at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle and Emory University in Atlanta, respectively. To schedule an appointment with Adewumi or another Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center physician, email neuroscience@ houstonmethodist.org or call 281.274.7979. Please visit houstonmethodist.org/neuro-sl to learn more about the Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center at Sugar Land.
Each fair is open to all Fort Bend ISD, Lamar CISD, Katy ISD, Stafford MSD and Needville ISD students and their parents, giving participants the flexibility to choose a location and time that is convenient for their schedules. The dates, times and locations are: Monday, October 2, 2017 George Ranch High School – Lamar CISD 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
of Trustees will once again be coming to a school near you as part of the 2017 – 18 Listening and Literacy Tours. The events will give the Board an opportunity to hear from parents, community members and other stakeholders. Last year, the Board held four Listening Tours throughout the District. This year, the Board is excited to introduce the Literacy Tours, which will take place at elementary schools and help promote the importance of literacy. Starting at 6 p.m., Board members will be reading to students, talking to them and answering their questions. If time permits, Board members will also engage with parents and community members afterward. At the conclusion, attendees are invited to stay for the Board’s monthly workshop, which begins at 7 p.m. The Listening Tours will consist of roundtable discussions, which begin at 6 p.m. and pro-
FBISD Board members and District leaders. Attendees are invited to stay for the Board’s monthly workshop, which begins at 7 p.m.
November 6, 2017
“We really enjoyed hearing and interacting with the community one-on-one during last year’s Listening Tours,” said Kristin Tassin, FBISD Board President. “This year, we are so excited to not only engage with our parents and stakeholders, but our students as well. We encourage everyone to try and make it out.”
2100 Squire Dobbins Drive
The dates, times and locations for the 2017 – 18 Listening and Literacy Tours are: Listening Tour October 16, 2017 6 p.m. – roundtable discussions
6 p.m. – reading to students 7 p.m. – Board workshop Barrington Place Elementary Sugar Land, TX 77478 Listening Tour February 12, 2017 6 p.m. – roundtable discussions 7 p.m. – Board workshop Hodges Bend Middle School 16510 Bissonnet Houston, TX 77083 Literacy Tour March 5, 2018 6 p.m. – reading to students 7 p.m. – Board workshop
7 p.m. – Board workshop
Quail Valley Middle School
1625 Hunter Green Lane
3019 FM 1092
Fresno, TX 77545
6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 5500 Avenue N
8181 FM 762
Rosenberg, TX 77471
Richmond, TX 77469
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Travis High School – Fort Bend ISD 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Marshall High School – Fort Bend ISD 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 1220 Buffalo Run
11111 Harlem Road
Missouri City, TX 77489
Richmond, TX 77406 Monday, October 9, 2017 Terry High School – Lamar CISD
For more information, see your high school’s College & Career Readiness Advisor or Counselor.
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VOICE OF ASIA 7
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
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Missouri City’s Community Night Out set for Oct. 7 & 8
$16K in money orders bought with skimmed debit card
ORT BEND - As the area recovers and rebuilds from Hurricane Harvey, Missouri City is finalizing plans to celebrate the unity of its citizens at the Second Annual Community Night Out Weekend festival on Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8 at the City Hall Complex, 1522 Texas Pkwy. In addition to welcoming a lineup of world-renowned musicians, including four-time Grammy Award Winner Wayne Toups and Jazz Legend Kim Waters, the FREE two-day event will educate and engage residents and visitors through a first-time cultural festival and health fair, food trucks with global fare, music, children’s activities, and outreach initiatives. “This two-day festival is dedicated to the citizens in recognition of their unwavering commitment to making sure our City is strong and sustainable,” said City Manager Anthony J. Snipes. “Council and staff are very proud to serve this close-knit community that is recognized as one of America’s best and we know that we can count on our residents to weather any storm.” Snipes added that in light of the outpouring of support the City received from citizens and businesses during Hurricane Harvey, “we are looking forward to saluting them during this special community unity event.” In partnership with H-E-B, the City will host free drawings for $100 grocery cards during the festival. Tickets will be available for guests at the City Hall Complex; individuals must be present to win. On Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., guests will sway their way through live performances by Waters, and other national and regional artists: Kyle Turner (Jazz), Step Rideau & the
UGAR LAND – Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers hopes someone will recognize a pair of suspects accused of using a counterfeit debit card to make several purchases, including multiple money orders.
Don’t miss the 2nd Annual Community Night Out festival! Zydeco Outlaws (Zydeco), and Coffey Anderson (Country). Festivities will also include a spectacular laser show, food trucks, bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, face painting, public safety apparatus, event booths and more. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to secure a spot to watch the day’s live entertainment and to bring their own lawn chairs. Then, on Sunday, from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the City will showcase its First Annual Cultural Festival and Health Fair. Guests will be able to visit with medical professionals from around the region and receive FREE immunizations, and screenings for dental, vision, speech/language, height/ weight, blood pressure, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The inaugural Cultural Festival will provide participants an opportunity to immerse themselves in a global array of food, music and art. Live music entertainment will feature four-time Grammy Award winner Wayne Toups (Zydeco), the Conrad Johnson Orchestra, and Karen Briggs (Jazz). The 2nd Annual Community Night Out weekend is an initiative of the City of Missouri City and its 501c3 Mis-
souri City Parks Foundation. It is sponsored by the following partners: Motorists can expect traffic delays along the Texas Parkway/Cartwright Road corridors on both days. There will also be limited grass parking available in the lawn area across the street from City Hall behind the new Houston Community College campus. Traffic will be diverted to Thurgood Marshall High School once the lawn parking area is full. While staff will be spraying the City Hall complex with insect repellent prior to the Community Night Out events, residents are still encouraged to use their own and to wear appropriate clothing to avoid mosquitoes. Volunteer opportunities are still available for both festivals; interested individuals may contact Media Relations Specialist Cory Stottlemyer at 281.403.8532 or fill out a volunteer application on the City Website. For updates, please watch the City website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat—@ MissouriCityTX and watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse).
Willowridge High School to re-open in January
ort Bend ISD plans to re-open Willowridge High School when students return from Winter Break in January in stead of October as originally planned. Mold remediation efforts that began this summer only encountered minor delays due to Hurricane Harvey, however, crews have now determined that additional HVAC work is also needed, changing the original scope of work. Earlier this month, crews completed the mold-remediation process and work is now underway to replace the flooring, ceiling tiles and drywall. Following the remediation work, a contractor conducted an inspection on
the HVAC system to determine what may have contributed to the increased humidity over the summer when the mold growth began. During this inspection, they found that the chillers were not functioning at full capacity, and at least three need to be replaced. Given the extent of the work that is needed, and the slight delay during Hurricane Harvey, the completion timeframe also changed. “I disappointed that the reopening of Willowridge will be delayed, but I am excited about the improvements our students and staff will enjoy when they return,” said Dr. Charles Dupre, Fort Bend ISD Superintendent of Schools. “The exterior of the building
and its floor plan will remain the same, but after all the work is complete and the school reopens, the campus will have new flooring, paint, furniture and an HVAC system. I truly value the community’s support during this process, and believe that the end result will be worth the wait.” To celebrate the re-opening of the school and to say thank you to the community for their ongoing support, district and school administrators will plan a community ribbon-cutting ceremony that will feature the Mighty Eagle Band, cheerleaders, dance team and more. More details will be announced as plans are finalized. (-FBISD News)
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On Aug. 7 the suspects used a “skimmed” debit card to make the purchases. Authorities say the suspects purchased about $16,600 worth of money orders from United States Post Office locations in Brookshire, Sealy, Columbus, Eagle Lake and Sheridan. The debit card was also used to make an ATM withdrawal for $500 at Citgo gas station, located at 7050 Southwest Freeway in Houston, Fort Bend County. One suspect is described as a Hispanic male, possibly mid- to late-20’s, medium build and has short brown hair. He was observed wearing a gray and black t-shirt and blue jeans. The other is described as a Hispanic female, possibly mid- to late-20’s, medium build and
The suspects were caught on CC serveinance (Photo: Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers) has brown hair. She was observed wearing a blue jacket and a light-colored dress. Officials say the female suspect is the one who purchased the debit cards. “We are hoping someone out there will recognize the male suspect since we have good surveillance video,” said Sheriff Troy E. Nehls.
“If you know one of the suspects and want to make some bucks the honest way, call the Crime Stoppers anonymous hotline.” Anyone who has information on this crime is asked to call Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers at 281-222-TIPS or submit online http://www. fortbend.crimestoppersweb. com/. (-KHOU)
Fort Bend ISD approves $.02 tax rate reduction
ICHMOND, September 27, 2017 - The Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees adopted a reduced tax rate of $1.32 during its board meeting Sept. 18. The rate of $1.32 per $100 valuation marks the first change to the overall tax rate in seven years, and accounts for a maintenance and operations rate of $1.06 and $0.26 for debt service. Although the board formally adopted the tax that Monday, FBISD’s previously-adopted 2017-18 budget was based on the lower overall tax rate, a reduction made possible by growth in property values and the district’s strong debt management program. “Fort Bend ISD is proud of its active debt management practices, which allowed us to give our constituents tax relief,” said Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees President Kristin Tassin. “This action demonstrates our continuing commitment to our taxpayers, who are partners in our efforts to inspire and equip all students to pursue a future beyond what they can imagine.
Prior to Monday, Fort Bend ISD’s tax rate had remained at $1.34 since the 2010-11 school year, consisting of a $1.04 maintenance and operations tax rate and a $0.30 debt service tax rate. Even with the reduction approved Monday, Fort Bend ISD Chief Financial Officer Steve Bassett acknowledged that due to rising property values, some taxpayers will continue to pay more in taxes. “The two penny drop in the tax rate is a reduction of 1.5 percent,” said Bassett. “Homeowners with property growth higher than 1.5 percent will pay more than last year. However, the district is doing what it can to lower the rate even while we are in the middle of a bond program to address the rapid growth of the district. We are committed to not increas-
ing the tax rate for the duration of the bond program.” At $1.32, Fort Bend ISD’s tax rate continues to be one of the lowest among its surrounding districts. Additionally, Fort Bend ISD continues to receive state recognition for its strong fiscal management. For the sixth consecutive year, Fort Bend ISD has received a Five Star Rating from TX Smart Schools, a state organization that analyzes how well Texas school districts spend resources compared to student achievement. For the 2016-17 school year, Fort Bend ISD has earned a Superior, or A, rating in the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST). It is the 15th consecutive Superior rating for FBISD.
More Fort Bend news! visit www. voiceofasiaonline.com
VOICE OF ASIA 8
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
BAPS Charities Health Fair in GOPIO Delegation discusses Houston connects health pro- diaspora issues with Indian fessionals with the community MEA Sushma Swaraj
Minister Sushma Swaraj in discussion with GOPIO Delegation. From l. to r. Minister Swaraj, GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, GOPIO’s Chief of Board of Advisors H.R. Shah and GOPIONorth Jersey President Rajul P. Shah (photo credit Nami Kaur)
Volunteers of BAPS Charities at thier Health Fair. BAPS Charities hosted close to 600 participants at its 17th annual Health Fair on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 in Houston, TX. This year’s Health Fair aimed to expand on practical, preventative care and affordable treatment options for community members of all ages. Individual appointments and workshops provided personalized care to attending participants. Over 150 health care professionals volunteered for the event, including dentists, nurses, physicians, and specialists in the fields of cardiology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, urology, ENT, dermatology and pediatrics. Collectively, these professionals provided a variety of services and screenings including: physical examinations, blood panels, EKG, audiograms, eye exams, glaucoma screening and dental screenings. Participants were also able to attend relevant lectures on various health topics such as: The Most of My Plate for Better Health, Art of Preserving Structure Spells Pleasure in Living, Managing Disabling Arthritis and Joint Replacement, Living Bright by Improving Memory, Role of Physical Fitness to Live Younger, Colorectal Cancer/ Cancer Q & A, Urgent Care Issues and Improving Health by Detox Diets. Participants also received individual consultations on health diseases and issues including diabetes, blood
pressure, and cholesterol. One of the organizers, Dr. Jay Chavda, Md, said, “this health fair gives the community an opportunity to come together to serve others.” He added, “it’s (health fair) been an event that not only educates people about health but allows them to get vision, dental, physical screenings and more to prevent potential major health issues.” This year’s health fair keynote speaker, Dr. Carlos J. Cardenas, MD, President, Texas Medical Association, and Dr. George Santos, MD, President-Elect Harris County Medical Society kicked off the health fair by commending the doctors for volunteer their times on a Saturday to perform the multitude of tests. Many sponsors Monzer Hourani of Medistar,
Bay Area Regional Medical Center, GI Specialist of Houston and many others held booths to educate the participants. BAPS Charities annual Health Fairs are held at over 40 locations across North America and aim to make health care accessible to the greater community. The fairs are made possible through the generous donation of time and expertise of local health care professionals and partner organizations. Through these and other events, BAPS Charities not only strives to improve community health, but it also helps foster the spirit of volunteerism across generations. For additional information on BAPS Charities and its international and local philanthropic activities, please visit www.bapscharities.org
GOPIO delegation brought the following issues to the Minister Swaraj:
Patients waiting to be screened at the Health Fair
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EW YORK, (Sept. 27, 2017) – A delegation from GOPIO, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (www. gopio.net and gopio.com), met with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on September 24th in New York and discussed several Indian Diaspora issues and avenues of cooperation. The delegation was headed by GOPIO International Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham. Other members included GOPIO Intl Vice President Ram Gadhavi, Chief of Board of Advisors H.R. Shah, International Coordinator for North America Dr. Rajeev Mehta, GOPIO Intl. Chamber of Commerce CoChairman Prakash Shah, New York Area Coordinator Lal Motwani, GOPIO-Connecticut Past President Shelly Nichani, GOPIO-New York President Beena Kothari, GOPIO-North Jersey President Rajul Shah, Health Council Chair Dr. Asha Samant, Science/Tech Council Chair Shailesh Naik and Media Council Chair Nami Kaur.
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PIO youth participation in Know India Program (KIP) from the developed countries (currently only PIO countries have larger participation) – GOPIO asked for a program in the Summer (July/August) timeframe. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, 2019 and GOPIO’s Active Participation – GOPIO provided the largest Overseas Indians registration at the last PBD. GOPIO has the largest network among NRIs/PIOs. GOPIO should be involved from the beginning for PBD2019 planning. Minister agreed to have representative in every pre-planning meeting of PBF 2019.
Launch of GOPIO International Chamber of Commerce (GICC) – Launched in Mumbai this year on Jan. 10th and inaugurated in New York on April 28th. GOPIO would like to work closely with her ministry to develop this global Indian business people network. Demonetization Issue – OCIs and PIOs are still holding demonetized currencies since RBI did not allow them to deposit and. Diaspora Indians have close to Rs. 7,500 crores still lying with them in small amounts. What should the NRIs do with the old currencies? Minister Swaraj informed that the Govt. had provided the time window for NRIs who are Indian citizens to deposit their currencies earlier. However, that window was not open for Diaspora Indians with foreign citizenship and the government would not be able to provide another such chance. Aadhaar Card policy confusion for NRIs – NRIs do not have Aadhaar card for linking with their bank accounts. Minister Swaraj clarified that NRIs won’t require Aadhaar card to operate their bank accounts. GOPIO suggested that Indians citizen living anywhere in the world should have an Aadhaar card similar to all US citizens having a social security number, whether staying in the US or outside. The Middle East NRI issues – NRIs stuck in the Middle East, returned NRIs without any opportunities in India, etc. – GOPIO complimented Minister Swaraj and the Indian Missions worldwide for their pro-active role in helping Indians living outside India in time of distress. However, as more Middle East NRIs are returning home, we need to devel-
op programs to help resettle them. Minister Swaraj said that there are many programs for skills development as well as money available from different ministries for starting a business or technology related outfit. GOPIO offered to be facilitator between the returned NRIs and the government. Diaspora Women’s Issues – GOPIO, like Indian Missions, take a proactive role on issues of Indian women in the western countries especially the newlyweds who arrive in their new adopted lands and find themselves in financial distress or other crisis mode. NRI/PIO Participation in Make in India, Clean India, Pooling/Transferring New Technologies for India, etc. – GOPIO can be catalyst to motivate participation of the Diaspora to collaborate with Indian professional and community groups to find creative solutions in these arenas. Consul General of Indian in New York Sandeep Chakravorty also participated in the meeting which ended with a positive discussion on how GOPIO can play an instrumental role to support the Indian Government’s objectives with respect to their nationals living abroad. Minister Swaraj encouraged the GOPIO officials to continue engagement with their local congressmen and other legislative officials to advocate for the Diaspora rights and position within their adopted homelands. GOPIO publishes a very informative monthly newsletter. Interested persons can receive free of charge at www. gopio.net or by request email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +1-203-329-8010 (USA).
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US congressmen move resolution in support of India’s UN security council claim India is a leading claimant to a permanent seat on a reformed and expanded council, with Japan, Germany and Brazil by Yashwant Raj
ASHINGTON , September 27, 2017 - Two Democratic congressmen have introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives, seeking support for India for a permanent membership of the UN security council in recognition of its growing clout and an endorsement of democracies around the world.
The UNSC is the world‘s top decision-making body, and its five permanent members — the US, UK, France, China and Russia — are the most powerful member-nations, with veto powers, the exercise of which by even one of them can stop or block an initiative supported by all the rest. India is a leading claimant to a permanent seat on a reformed and expanded council, with Japan, Germany and Brazil, that had come together to form a pressure group pushing the world leaders and the body toward reforms, arguing that the present set-up is woefully unreflective of the changing world order. “It’s in the interests of the United States and the world to have a UN Security Council whose members combine military strength with respect for
First Indian-American Congresswoman shares immigrant experience by Sarah Wright
EATTLE, September 27, 2017 - Rep. Pramila Jayapal a Democrat from Washington, attributed her career and political success to her time as an immigrant and student at Georgetown during a discussion in the Intercultural Center Auditorium on Monday. Representing Washington’s 7th district — which includes much of downtown Seattle and its suburbs — Jayapal is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Georgetown University College Democrats, the Office of D.C. and Federal Relations, the Baker Scholars, the South Asian Society, the Georgetown Women’s Alliance, the LGBTQ Resource Center and the Institute of Politics and Public Service co-sponsored the event.
It was introduced by Ami Bera, the longest-serving Indian American in US congress and member of the House foreign relations committee, and Frank Pallone, who founded the congressional caucus on India, which has grown into the largest country-specific caucus on Capitol Hill. “The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council reflect the world as it was 60 years ago, and it’s time we recognise India’s role in increasing global prosperity,” said Bera. “Securing a permanent spot for India on the UN Security Council would strengthen democracy around the world.”
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
US Congressmen Ami Bera and Frank Pallone, founders of the congressional caucus on India (Photos: AFP/File/Getty Images) democracy and pluralism, and an appreciation of the dangers posed by rouge states and terrorist groups,” said Pallone in a joint statement with Bera. “India belongs on the UN Security Council and it is imperative that Congress makes this clear to the Trump administration and the world,” he added. Pallone had moved a similar proposal in the last House of Representatives in June 2016, but that had not made it through perhaps because of the paucity of time — there were only a few months left of that Congress, with the country focused on a bitterly divisive race for the White House. If passed, the resolution will not become a binding obligation for the executive. It will only put the US House of Representatives officially on record in support of India’s bid. The executive branch has already taken that call. President Donald Trump announced his administration’s support for India’s claim — which was first offered by President Barack Obama in a speech to Indian parliament in 2010 — during
his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June. But while Trump came out in support of administrative reforms of the UN to cut its bloated bureaucracy and chaired a meeting of most of the member nations to flag off the process, he uttered not a word about Security Council reforms. The Indian delegation to the UN noted this and spoke out. “On 18 September, there was a meeting here on UN reform,” external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said in her address to the general assembly pointing to the meeting chaired by Trump. “I participated. I witnessed an evident desire for change, to do something.” “But I do want to remind you,” she added, “that at the 2005 World Summit there was a consensus that the early reform of the Security Council is an essential element of our overall effort to reform the United Nations.” There is still no “text” — a formal document that could form the basis for negotiations. (-Hindustan Times)
Jayapal first came to the United States from Chennai, India, to attend Georgetown as an undergraduate student to pursue a major in English literature. Jayapal reflected on the difficulties of assimilating into American culture, as well as the learning opportunities she found in her classes. “That English literature major and the liberal arts education that I got here at Georgetown is the basis for everything that I do today,” Jayapal said. “It is the basis for how I think about issues, about rational perspectives that are part of my conversations. It’s about how I communicate, about how I write.” After graduation, Jayapal worked in a range of fields before entering the public sector in 1991. She briefly worked on Wall Street, received a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University and worked for a nonprofit based in Thailand and for an advertising firm in western Ohio and eastern Indiana. Jayapal said she benefitted from working in both the public and private sectors. “Doing the jobs that you
Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian-American to serve in Congress don’t want to do is actually just as important as doing the jobs that you do want to do, because it teaches you something about yourself and what is important to you,” Jayapal said. After a two-year fellowship in India, Jayapal returned to the United States during the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, during which Muslims, Arabs and South Asians were persecuted and threatened with deportation. In response, she founded the nonprofit Hate Free Zone — now OneAmerica — and ultimately sued former President George W. Bush’s administration to stop the illegal deportation of 4,000 Somali immigrants and to end Arab and Muslim registration systems as part of her larger goals to reform the U.S. immigration system. As an elected official, first in the Washington state senate and now as a congresswoman, Jayapal has worked to advance the rights of immigrants through the proposed Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, a program implemented during former President Barack Obama’s administration. Jayapal said she feels called toward a personal mission to further immigrant rights.
“The fight is not just political; it is personal,” Jayapal said. Once she entered public office, Jayapal found that she was often one of few women of color, if not the only one, in her sphere. Jayapal emphasized the importance of diversity in representation and in government. “The diversity of our experiences and our backgrounds and our voices mean that we do things differently,” Jayapal said. “We chair hearings differently, we craft different legislation, we tell different stories, we elevate different voices, we have connections to different communities. We expand our democracy, because we allow people to see themselves in us.” Jayapal credits her devotion to public service to the sacrifices her parents made to send her to the United States for college. “It is that sacrifice that my parents made in allowing me to come here to Georgetown that is really the reason I’ve spent the rest of my life, the last 25 years of my life, fighting for other people to have opportunity,” Jayapal said. “If I learned one thing at Georgetown, it was that we human beings are in service to a greater good.” (-The Hoya)
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
VOICE OF ASIA 10
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Local Congressman threatens to force Trump impeachment vote
IYADH, Saudi Arabia | AFP | Wednesday 9/27/2017 - Saudi Arabia’s historic lifting of a ban on women driving will be a litmus test for its kingin-waiting, who has sought to sideline the kingdom’s archconservatives as he accelerates reforms, analysts say.
Green, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, stood on the GOP side of the House chamber to announce his plans to file a resolution that will automatically trigger a floor vote.
“I will stand here in the well of the Congress, and I will call for the impeachment of the president of the United States of America,” he said. Trump renewed the controversy over former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protests at a rally in Alabama on Friday. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired,’ ” Trump said. Green denounced Trump’s
Pres. Trump deletes tweets after Alabama loss
ASHINGTON, September 27, 2017 President Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday that Sen. Luther Strange was “shooting up” in the Alabama polls thanks to his endorsement. But when Strange lost by nearly 10 points to Roy Moore in Tuesday night’s Republican primary, the president deleted that and two other messages in support of his candidate. ProPublica’s Politwoops, which tracks deleted tweets from politicians, preserved the messages: Trump’s deleted tweets and other messages are part of an ongoing lawsuit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which argues that the erasures violate the Presidential Records Act. “The American people not only deserve to know how their government is making important decisions, it’s the law,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a news release in June. “By deleting these records, the White House is destroying essential historical records.” (-The Hill)
Bodies identified as Myanmar searches for Hindu mass graves
AUNGDAW, Myanmar | AFP | Wednesday 9/27/2017 - Myanmar troops are still searching for nearly 50 more Hindu villagers feared slaughtered in Rakhine state, officials said Wednesday, as local leaders identified dozens of corpses unearthed from mass graves this week. The military has blamed the killings on the Muslim Rohingya militants it claims to be targeting in a crackdown that has sent nearly half a million Rohingya refugees fleeing across the border to Bangladesh in one month. The army operation has been so outsized and brutal that the UN has accused troops of systematically evicting the Rohingya Muslim minority, who have faced decades of persecution in the mainly Buddhist country. Scores of villages have been burnt to the ground. Rights groups accuse troops of using arson to force the Rohingya out and block their return, a charge the army denies.
Repeal of women driving ban tests Saudi reform drive by Anuj Chopra
ASHINTON, DC, September 27, 2017 - Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) said Tuesday that he will move to force a House floor vote to impeach President Trump next week as he denounced Trump’s attacks on NFL players protesting police brutality.
“I rise today as a proud American. A person who believes in his country, who salutes the flag and says the Pledge of Allegiance and sings the national anthem,” Green said, wearing an American flag-themed tie.
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
Houston’s Congressman Al Green announces next steps in process to impeach President Trump (Photo: YouTube/RepAlGreen) comments, saying they amount to “a level of indecency that is unbecoming the presidency.” “I rise to say to the world that this is not what America is all about,” Green said, hitting the podium for emphasis. Under House rules, any member can file what is known as a “privileged” resolution that argues something goes against the dignity and integrity of the House. Even if Republicans reject it, as expected, Green can still force a procedural vote on his resolution. Green has called for Trump’s impeachment before. He signed on to an article of impeachment filed by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) in July that argues Trump obstructed jus-
tice by firing James Comey as FBI director amid the agency’s investigation of whether his campaign colluded with the Russian government. Green previously threatened to file a privileged resolution to impeach Trump in June if he ousted Robert Mueller, the special counsel now overseeing the FBI’s investigation. “I think that would be a part of the last straw, if not the last straw, if he did that,” Green told The Hill at the time. It’s unclear if the latest privileged resolution on which Green is threatening to force a vote will also cite the Comey firing as justification for impeaching Trump. A spokesman didn’t immediately return a request for comment. (-The Hill)
The kingdom will issue driving licences to women from next June, in the most striking reform yet credited to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite the risk of a backlash from hardliners. But after his recent crackdown on dissenters, including prominent clerics with huge followings, experts say the prince may face only a muted opposition. “The lifting of a ban... will likely serve as a litmus test for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ability to introduce economic and social reforms despite conservative opposition,” said James Dorsey, a fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “If last week’s national day celebrations in which women were allowed to enter stadiums in anything to go by, the opposition is likely to be limited to protests on social media.” On Saturday, women were allowed for the first time into a sports stadium to mark national
Photo: Marwan Naamani / Getty Images) day, a move that chimes with the Prince Mohammed’s “Vision 2030” reform plan. Men and women also danced in the streets to drums and thumping electronic music, in scenes that were a stunning anomaly in a country known for its tight gender segregation and austere vision of Islam. This gambit to loosen social restrictions in the ultraconservative society was made possible partly by the latest crackdown, which was seen as a show of force by Prince Mohammed, experts say. Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and former government advisor who went into exile in the United States, described a new Saudi era of “fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming” in an article published in The Washington Post. -Those arrests were not directly related to the driving
ban, but apparently to an ongoing crisis with Gulf rival Qatar, said Jane Kinninmont from London-based Chatham House. “But the arrests represented an assertion of power over the independent, politically influential clerics and sent a message that Prince Mohammed does not see himself as beholden to them as partners in government,” Kinninmont told AFP. “The fact that they have been arrested without significant unrest being triggered is likely to have made the Saudi leadership more confident that it can make (social) change without much in the way of opposition.” Prince Mohammed is set to be the first millennial to occupy the throne, in a country where half the population is under 25, when he takes over from his 81-year-old father King Salman.
VOICE OF ASIA 12
The richest sport in India just keeps getting richer by Gauri Bhatia (9/27/2017)
UMBAI - An upstart sports league in India is suddenly drawing comparisons with the NBA in the United States and the Premier League in the United Kingdom. And for good reason. Rupert Murdoch’s Star India this month paid $2.55 billion to buy the five-year global media rights of the Indian Premier league (IPL), an annual cricket tournament that in its 10-year history has become one of the richest sporting events in the world.
said Tuhin Mishra, managing director of Baseline Ventures, the company that takes care of the commercial interests of several athletes. Among them is PV Sindhu, India’s number one badminton player, who recently broke the glass ceiling by becoming the second highest paid sports celebrity for endorsements in India. She demands $225,000 a day as an endorsement fee — much higher than many cricketers, but well short of the $500,000 that Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli commands, Mishra said.
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina undergoes gall bladder surgery in US
ASHINGTON - Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina underwent a successful gall bladder surgery in the US, her office said on Wednesday. She underwent a successful gall bladder surgery at a hospital in Washington on September 26, the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told state-run news agency BSS. Hasina, 69, was taken to the hospital when she suddenly felt pain in abdomen and doctors at the facility conducted her health checkup and decided to perform the surgery. “She is now completely well after the successful operation,” Karim said. Prime minister’s younger sister Sheikh Rehana and son Sajeeb Wazed Joy were beside Hasina. She has been discharged from the hospital. “The prime minister will return home on October 5,” Karim said. Hasina is one of the most powerful women in the world, ranking 36th on Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2016.
Delhi Daredevils batsman Shreyas Iyer plays a shot during the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match (Photo: Sajjad Hussain | AFP) A glitzy 47-day extravaganza, the IPL is Indian cricket’s marquee event. With foreign and Indian players being bought at auctions for eye-popping prices, advertising slots sold at an estimated premium of 250 percent over other TV shows, and Bollywood and corporate heavyweights vying to own a team, the IPL underscores cricket and cricketers’ enormous money power in India. “Cricket has shown especially through the IPL that it defies normal economics,” Amrit Mathur, who ran an IPL team for five years, told CNBC. - A Godzilla sport No cricket property — whether it’s broadcast rights, tournament sponsorships or brand endorsement contracts — has ever seen a jump of less than five to eight times on renewal, say marketing experts. For example, Facebook made a $600 million bid for the 2018-2022 digital rights of the IPL, compared with the $45 million the rights were sold for less than three years ago. But Facebook still lost out, as Star won both the digital and TV rights in a consolidated bid. The CEO of 21st Century Fox unit Star India, Uday Shankar, said that he wants to make “cricket even bigger than it [already] is.” Money may corrupt, but cricket thrives Cricket in general and the IPL in particular have had more than their share of controversies — a massive matchfixing scandal, allegations of nepotism and corruption. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that manages the sport has been pulled up by the country’s highest court for mismanagement. Yet any dent that’s been made to its credibility has yet to affect its financial health. “The BCCI’s revenues are very well protected, it has a fantastic product in the IPL and makes $600 million a year from that alone,” said Mathur, who has been a Board official. “We have seen that money corrupts. But we have to accept that cricket is the most popular sport,” former Indian cricketer Kirti Azad said. The game is much bigger than the controversies that surround it. That much was evident when match-fixing scandals prompted Pepsi to withdraw its title sponsorship of the IPL in 2015. The BCCI found another sponsor within days. Chinese phone manufacturer Vivo stepped in, and it recently renewed its contract at an increase of 554 percent over the previous deal, according to the BCCI. Following the new agreement — which cost the company about $340 million — the tournament will be called Vivo IPL until 2022. Everyone associated with cricket can feel its Midas touch. Top IPL teams attract 20 - 25 sponsors, making an upwards of $5-7 million a year, and cricket commentators can attract contracts of more than $750,000 for a 6-month season excluding the IPL, people associated with the business of cricket told CNBC. “Since India won the World Cup in 1983, cricket has become this huge giant. It’s amazing how the BCCI has been able to market cricket,”
- Unmatched fan following Kohli, has an estimated 35 million followers on Facebook and made $22 million in the year ended June 1, 2017, according to Forbes. Some insiders believe that’s a conservative estimate. His popularity together with that of other cricketers can at least partly be chalked up to the fact that India is a top team among the 10 or so nations that play the sport regularly. “Cricket attracts between 30,000 and 60,000 people to the stadiums, especially for the shorter format of the game,” said Mishra, who noted that number is typically “seen only in political rallies.” The advertisers that are set to help Star India recover the $2.55 billion it paid for the IPL rights are banking on the sport’s stupendous reach. (-CNBC)
Hasina’s political career has spanned more than four decades. She previously served as opposition leader from 1986 to 1990 and from 1991 to 1995, as Prime Minister from 1996 to 2001, and has been leading the Bangladesh Awami League since 1981. In 2008, she returned as Prime Minister with a landslide victory. In January 2014, she became Prime Minister for a third term in an unopposed election, violating the key rules of the Constitution. Hasina reached Washington from New York on September 22 afternoon after attending the UN General Assembly session. (-Indian Express)
Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina (File photo)
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FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
US commerce secretary To rebuild after Harvey, Mayor Turner says to focus on reducing calls on state and federal gov’t defict with China by Brandon Formby
OUSTON, Tuesday, 9/26/2017 - Mayor Sylvester Turner said that a lack of immediate state funding for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts is forcing him to push for a property tax hike in this storm-battered city still reeling from the worst rainfall event in U.S. history.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
ASHINGTON | AFP | Tuesday 9/26/2017 - US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will return to Beijing in November to focus on reducing the US trade deficit with China, the Commerce Department announced. Ross met with several senior Chinese officials including Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premier Wang Yang over the weekend to discuss some of the key frictions in the trade relationship, including protection of US intellectual property and sensitive technology, according to a readout of his meetings. The Trump administration has made reducing bilateral trade deficits a central goal of trade policy, and opened talks to renegotiate free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, and with Korea. Ross will return to China with “a senior level trade mission ... to reduce the trade deficit through increased exports of high-value US goods and services to China and improved market access for US firms,” the Commerce Department said late Monday. As part of its combative trade policy, the Trump administration in recent months has opened an investigation into China’s intellectual property rights protections, notably requiring forced transfer of technology before Lack of speech is a allowing a foreign company to invest, as well as the country’s steel production, which could pose a national se-
curity threat to the US. In his meetings in Beijing over the weekend, Ross stressed the need for “concrete deliverables and meaningful action on key issues.” “Chinese officials committed to further market opening,” Commerce said, but “continually stressed that dialogue is preferable to unilateral action, saying that they would have to respond in kind to any potential action by the United States.” The officials had “a friendly and honest exchange of views on a range of issues including the need to rebalance bilateral trade and investment relations, protect intellectual property, lower tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and guarantee fair and reciprocal treatment for US firms,” the statement said. Ross’ visit was in preparation for President Donald Trump’s planned trip to China in November. The world’s two top economies have been at odds over how to handle North Korea’s nuclear threat, with Beijing repeatedly calling for peace talks and the United States pressing for massive economic pressure on China’s ally.
Smith will be replaced on an interim basis by Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., 61, a seven-year company veteran who was most recently president of the Asia-Pacific region, the Atlantabased firm said Tuesday in a statement. Board member Mark Feidler, a former BellSouth Corp. president, was named non-executive chairman. “The cybersecurity incident has affected millions of consumers, and I have been completely dedicated to
‘The Aftermath of the Aftermath’: Hurricanes Stretch Safety Net and Providers For Political Refugees, Hurricanes Pose a Special Threat Harvey Has Made Houston More ImmigrantFriendly, But for How Long? Was Houston’s Design a Flood Disaster Waiting to Happen? Hit by Hurricane Harvey While Still Feeling the Impact of Ike The mayor said the storm will likely force city officials to rethink whether they let people rebuild homes and apartments in 100-year floodplains. Allowing that to happen, he added, “doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.” And, Turner said, he’s worried that a “bureaucratic maze” could slow relief money that Houstonians need to rebuild or relocate. “We need to get those housing dollars to them, like, yesterday,” he said. Turner said his biggest focus will be on making sure that the city’s most vulnerable residents — the elderly, disabled, low-income workers and children — get back on their feet. He praised the residents of Houston four weeks after parts of the city were inundated with more than 50 inches of rain.
tap the state’s savings account, which has more than $10 billion, to help Houston and scores of other southeast Texas communities recover from the catastrophic storm. “If he told me he was going to tap it, I wouldn’t propose [the property tax hike],” Turner said.
making this right,” Smith said in the statement. “At this critical juncture, I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward.” Equifax has drawn outrage from lawmakers and scrutiny from regulators since Sept. 7, when it disclosed one of the biggest cyberattacks in history. Hackers stole sensitive data -- including Social Security numbers, birth dates and other identifying information -- for much of the adult U.S. population. Smith will still testify before Congress next week about the breach, Equifax spokeswoman Ines Gutzmer said in an email.
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State officials don’t need to call a special session to fund Harvey relief. The Legislative Budget Board could redirect money from state agencies to relief efforts and then replace that money with funds from the rainy day fund when lawmakers return in January 2019.
Houston’s first public hearing on the Abbott has said the state will almost Jacob Sanchez tax hike is Monday night. certainly tap into the account,Diagnosed though withproposed autism it’s not yet known when that will hapHouston voters in 2010 agreed to pen, how much money will be taken or pay for drainage projects with new how funds will be spent. fees expected to bring in billions over “We need to first understand what 20 years. But Turner said it’s still not obligations we’re going to have, how enough to better prepare for catamuch they will amount to, and decide strophic rain events, which are becomupon the best strategies to pay for ing more common in the rapidly developing regioN. (-TxTribune) that,” Abbott said earlier this month.
US stocks gain in anticipation of Trump tax cut plan
EW YORK | AFP | Wednesday 9/27/2017 - Wall Street stocks rose early Wednesday in anticipation of the unveiling of President Donald Trump’s long-awaited tax cut plan later in the day. Investors have been salivating for months over the prospects of lower corporate taxes, which would boost profits of blue-chip companies and other businesses considerably.
Dozens of Harris County residents Wall Street is also a fan of a cut in died in the subsequent floods, which the personal taxes, another Trump priChina has since agreed to a slew also damaged or destroyed tens of ority expected to feature in the plan. of United Nations sanctions against thousands of houses and vehicles. About 20 minutes into trading, the North Korea, including a new pack- Turner said people in the area — even sign autism. Learn theoilothers at autismspeaks.org/signs. those whose houses were flooded or Dow Jones Industrial Average was up age of of measures restricting some shipments following Pyongyang’s destroyed — continue to reach out and 0.3 percent at 22,354.05. sixth and most powerful nuclear test. help fellow residents put their lives The broad-based S&P 500 advanced back together. 0.3 percent to 2,501.91, while the
Equifax CEO Richard Smith resigns after uproar over massive hack EW YORK | AFP | Tuesday 9/26/2017 - Equifax Inc. Chief Executive Officer Richard Smith stepped down, joining other senior managers who left the credit-reporting company in the wake of an uproar over the theft of private data on 143 million Americans.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Texas Tribune about the city’s ongoing relief efforts, Turner also said Monday that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers could have done a better job of warning people about the impacts of releasing water from reservoirs, which aggravated flooding in neighborhoods below the reservoirs. He also said that an untold number of houses could have been spared from extensive water damage if federal officials had funded flood control projects in years past.
“So I reserve my biggest thank you for people themselves,” he said.
tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.7 percent to 6,427.48.
Houston officials estimate the total cost of paying for first responders’ overtime, debris collection that will take months and scores of other expenses associated with storm response and recovery will exceed $250 million.
Trump’s efforts to reform US health
care policy have fizzled so far, raising questions about his ability to win tax reform. But the market was optimistic Wednesday. “What is apt to be missing from today’s tax plan introduction is how it gets paid for without increasing the deficit,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare. “That could be a potential buzz kill, but for now, the market is relishing the notion of a tax reform plan of some kind getting done soon.” Big technology companies were strong, with Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet all climbing about one percent or more. Dow member Nike dropped 4.1 percent after reporting a 24 percent decline in first-quarter profits to $950 million due in part to sluggish sales in North America.
Turner has drawn criticism for wanting to raise the city’s property tax rate for one year to bring in an additional $50 million, which would cost the owner of an average Houston house $48. Turner said he wouldn’t have proposed the tax hike if Gov. Greg Abbott had called for a special session so lawmakers could
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Manish Malhotra: How to become a fashion designer On resilience, passion and the importance of education
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
Susheela Raman: ‘I always think, what would Björk do? The British-Indian singer has studied with musicians from every corner of the globe and picked up a Mercury nomination along the way. But her concert of ‘sacred music for secular people’ may be her biggest challenge yet
or Susheela Raman, music is “all about escaping definition”. If the British-born and based musician seems emphatic on this point, shared over coffee in a park in north London,it’s because she has never really fitted in anywhere. Born to Tamil parents, Raman has spent a career shrugging off labels: world music (“a racist marketing category; I hate it”); ethnic (“I’ve often been told I should sound ‘more Indian’”); feminist. “I’m always striving for expression that could go beyond gender, beyond ethnicity,” she says. Her latest project is equally liberationist in spirit. On 30 September, Raman will host Sacred Imaginations at the Barbican Centre, a concert of “sacred music for secular people”. The lineup, curated by Raman and her husband/music partner, Sam Mills of Real World Records, boasts esoteric virtuosos from around the globe who are united in their working knowledge of eastern and early Christian music. Parts of it will, says Raman, be like “plugging into something from the fourth century”.
Alia Bhatt and Manish Malhotra (Photo: Tarun Vishwa) by Rujuta Vaidya
I am not sure if there is a recipe to success. It has a definite, formulaic connotation to it, which I will never endorse especially because ‘success’ is a relative term. To me, anyone who finds their calling and is fortunate enough to pursue and practice it in an ethical and mindful manner, is successful.
anish Malhotra’s name is synonymous with Bollywood and Indian fashion. It’s not an exaggeration to say that every star, from Kareena Kapoor Khan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone to Sridevi, is a fan of his work. Which is why it’s hard to believe that the model-turned-costumedesigner-turned-couturier made a name for himself without any professional training. “I did not go to design school, but I did watch a movie almost every single day,” says the designer who will always cite Bollywood to be his first love. You can trace the evolution of Indian fashion in tandem with Malhotra’s work. Starting with Filmfare Awardwinning costumes for Urmila Matondkar in Rangeela (1995), to showcasing at the first edition of Lakmé Fashion Week in 2006, to designing theatre costumes for the play ‘Mughal-e-Aazam’ in 2016, and addressing Harvard students earlier this year, it’s safe to say Malhotra has done it all. His notable contribution to Indian cinema by creating iconic looks for films like Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998), Mohabbatein (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016) is unmissable. But Malhotra’s journey hasn’t been without its highs and lows. “The great part about my early days was that I was never jaded by opinions of others,” he tells us. “I think I was resilient and that really helped shape my work ethic.” Vogue speaks to the veteran about what went into the making of his expansive legacy. You are one of the rare names in fashion without a background in design education. What was your recipe
Raman has been mining this intersection between ancient and modern since her 2001 Mercury-nominated debut, Salt Rain. That record was a bricolage of genre-defying originals and reworked ancient devotionals, sung in English, Tamil, Sanskrit and Hindi. Six albums on, she remains an independent artist with a well-stamped passport, having studied with Bauls in Bengal, Sufis in south Asia and having benefited from the tutelage of Tamil
Susheela Raman … ‘Many of the traditions I work with happen to be quite patriarchal.’ (Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian) Nadu devotional matriarch Kovai Kamala. For Ghost Gamelan, Raman’s forthcoming seventh album, she went to Surakarta, Indonesia in search of Gamelan musicians. Of her collaborations generally, she says: “Many of the traditions I work with happen to be quite patriarchal. The qawwalis [Sufi singers from south Asia], for example: their daughters aren’t allowed to sing. But I wanted to penetrate that [scene], to earn their respect.”Working with qawwalis on her 2013 album, Queen Between, was rewarding, says Raman, although initially difficult. Indonesia was also tough. “The self-determining woman artist is something they don’t recognise – though we managed
World’s biggest uncut diamond sells for $53m
Do you think having an education in design is absolutely crucial to having career in fashion? I have been fortunate to have a family that works with me and looks into the ancillary functions of the business of fashion. But I am not sure if my label would have been as successful had I been [working on it] solo. I do think that having an education empowers you and anchors your decisions. Having said that, the best education amounts to nothing if you don’t have a passion for your work. When starting off a career in design, did you have a vision for yourself? What is your vision for the brand? The vision was to be the best in whatever I did. I know it sounds clichéd; but from a young age I knew that I wanted to leave a legacy behind. It’s an abstract vision, but, even today, I find myself asking myself questions to that end all the time. Idea or innovation? A store or an experience? I love to challenge myself and my team constantly—that is the only way to grow! What inspires your work? I derive a lot of inspiration from old-world charm. The beauty of older films, old architecture and so on hold a special place in my mood-boards. This along with a sense of drama and glamour in the detailing sums up the design prism of my label.(-Vogue India)
A model holds the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona (Photo: Don Bowers)
ONDON (AFP) British jeweller Graff said Tuesday it has purchased the world’s largest uncut diamond -roughly the size of a tennis ball -- for $53 million (44.5 million euros).
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”Extremism of all kinds should be resisted, says Raman, from the US’s cross-burning fascists to the institutional Islamophobia she has witnessed under India’s Modi government. Sacred Imaginations is, subconsciously, part of that resistance With Sacred Imaginations, she continues to show them. (- The Guardian)
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Increasingly, Raman finds herself aching for female collaborators. Abida Parveen, doyenne of the qawwali world, was just out of reach for Queen Between (“I couldn’t afford her fees”), but Raman is buzzing with enthusiasm over Lucie Antunes, the Parisian marimba and vibraphone percussionist who guests on Ghost Gamelan. “I was gobsmacked the first time I saw [footage of] her performing. Its like she’s talking in tongues. She’s from that Stockhausen/John Cage sort of world.” Raman’s longest-standing collaborator, Mills, is still very much her linchpin. But it is only after the Brexit referendum that the mixed-race couple has experienced xenophobia on London’s streets. “It was a group of people, outside a pub in Islington, chanting things … but honestly, [Brexit] hasn’t affected us. If anything, it’s made us stronger. We just really believe in what we do.”
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to transcend that in the end; it was a great experience.” Sexism, of course, isn’t just the preserve of the east. She empathises with the frustrations expressed by Björk in a famous 2015 interview with Pitchfork.com, concerning the microaggressions female artists face. “She’s one of my big heroes. I always think: what would Björk do?”
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VOICE OF ASIA 15
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
The People’s Lawyer
YOUR IMMIGRATION LAWYER
by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be careful when selling flood-damaged property Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center
Q. Am I liable if I sell a flood house “as is”? I want to make sure nothing comes back on me? Does it matter if there is an inspection? What if I fix the house up just to sell it, is the answer the same? A. Under the law, you are not automatically responsible of you sell something and the buyer is disappointed. However, under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices, if a person sells any property, whether a house, a car or a television, the seller may be liable for damages if the seller misleads, deceives or takes unfair advantage of the buyer, or fails to make material disclosures. The buyer would also have to show that he or she “relied” on the seller when purchasing the property. On the other hand, if the property is sold “as is,” and the seller does not misrepresent the condition of the property or take unfair advantage of the buyer, the seller would have no liability. For example, if you were to sell your obviously flood damaged house, and your contract stated the property was being sold “as is” and the buyer was not relying on anything you said, in my opinion you would have no liability if the buyer was disappointed. If you insisted the buyer also inspect the house, it would make your position that the buyer was not relying on you even
stronger. If, however, if the property was not sold “as is,” and you deceived the buyer by stating “only the first floor of the house was damaged due to the flood,” and you failed to disclose substantial damage to the garage, you could have liability if the buyer relied on what you said and what you failed to disclose. The bottom line is that if you are selling flood-damaged property, you must be careful to fully disclose the extent of the damage and not withhold any important information. Selling the property with an “as is” clause in the bill of sale or purchase contract provides additional protection. If you are the buyer, be sure to ask the seller about flood damage, and read anything you sign to make sure you have not agreed to buy “as is” or have stated you were not relying on what the seller said. Finally, to get much more information about possible rights and liability arising from buying or selling things damaged in the flood, as well as other issues related to Hurricane Harvey, consider attending the Harvey People’s Law School on Saturday, September 30th. This free program will present classes on many hurricane issues and have attorneys available to meet with you one-on-one to discuss your questions. To get more information or to register, visit www.peopleslawyer. net Q. My car was totaled during the flooding caused by
Harvey. As required by the state, I have automobile insurance on my car. My insurance company tells me that it does not cover the flood damage to my car. It said I had only “liability insurance.” A. What your insurance company is telling you is correct. Of course, you should carefully read your policy to make sure that you have only liability insurance. As you know, Texas requires drivers have a minimum amount of insurance to cover their liability to others for accidents they cause. This is called liability insurance. Liability insurance pays to repair or replace the other driver’s car and pays other people’s medical expenses when you’re at fault in an accident. It does not cover the cost to repair or replace your car or to treat your injuries. To fully cover your damages, you need to purchase other types of coverage such as personal injury protection, uninsured or underinsured motorist, medical payments, collision, and comprehensive. If you have only liability coverage, damage to your car caused by a flood would not be covered. To be covered for flood damage to your vehicle you need to have “comprehensive” auto coverage. As I said, the first step is to review your policy to see exactly what it covers. If you don’t have your policy, call your insurer for a copy.
Do you want to know more about your legal rights? Check out my website, www.peopleslawyer.net
Supreme Court puts off legal showdown over travel ban
ASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday canceled a planned Oct. 10 legal showdown over the Trump travel ban, after the White House issued a proclamation Sunday imposing new restrictions on visas from eight countries. The court ordered the Trump administration and the challengers of the executive order on travel to say whether Sunday’s development means two lawsuits over the travel ban are now moot. Their responses are due next Thursday. But for now, the cases are no longer scheduled for argument. “The cases are removed from the oral argument calendar, pending further order of the court,” the court said in a brief order. Tom Goldstein, a Washington lawyer and publisher of the SCOTUSblog website, said the court’s action “shows it has serious doubts that they will be deciding the fate of the old travel ban.” “To call off the argument suggests the justices think it may never happen at all,” he said. The new presidential order keeps restrictions on five of the six countries from the original travel ban — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It lifts restrictions on visitors from the Sudan, and it adds new restrictions on visitors and immigrants from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. The Justice Department notified the court of the proclamation in a letter Sunday night. Solicitor General Noel Francisco recommended that the court direct both sides in the case to submit briefs,
“addressing the effects of the Proclamation on the issues currently pending.” But he did not recommend calling off the October courtroom argument. Monday’s order does not necessarily doom the cases. The court could dismiss them, send the cases back to the lower courts for further proceedings, or put them back on the argument calendar later in the term. But for now, Goldstein said, “the administration has dodged a bullet that could have limited the president’s power,” adding, “Mostly it’s a fight avoided.”
“You can see why it might be attractive to the court not to decide this,” said Paul Clement, a formazwn Law Center. (-NBC News)
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT I-130 PETITIONS FOR ALIEN RELATIVE
Sharlene Sharmila Richards
Q: I am a US Citizen and I wish to file I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for my wife and my two unmarried step-daughters - 12 years old and 20 years old. I just got married to my wife last month. If I am not able to file for the 20 year old daughter, please explain how she will be able to immigrate to the US with her mother. How many petitions are actually needed?
you must become a US Citizen first. Q: What is the current Filing Fee for I-130 Petition for Alien Relative? A: The Filing Fee is $535.00. Q: My wife I-130 Petition for Alien Relative was sent back from the US Consulate for revocation. What will happen now? A: You wife will receive a Notice of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) detailing allegations as to why the petition should be revoked. The NOIR will give 30 days to provide evidence or information as to why the I-130 Petition should stay approved. If your response is accepted, the case will be returned back to the US Consulate and a second visa interview will be scheduled.
A: You certainly can file a petition for your wife and your 12 year old stepchild. However for the 20 year old, you will not be able to do so because the child was not under 18 years of age at the time the step-relationship was created. In this situation, your wife will first have to acquire permanent residence through the petition you will be filing for her and then file her I-130 Petition for her 20 year old daughter. In your case, you will only need two separate petitions – one for your wife and the other for your 12 year old step-daughter.
Q: My I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for my sibling was approved several years ago. However, it was never sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. Another petition which was filed at the time for my other sibling is now processing at the NVC. What can I do about that other petition?
Q: I am a US Citizen and I have two siblings. One is married with three minor children and my other sibling is unmarried. Can I file petitions for both of them? How many petitions do I need to file?
A: You will need to contact USCIS to ascertain the whereabouts of that petition. You may have to file Form I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition to request for USCIS to take formal action on the petition – to send the approved I-130 Petition to the NVC for further processing. The Filing Fee for Form I-824 is $465.00.
You can file I-130 A: Petitions for both siblings. For the married sibling, include his spouse and three minor children all in one petition. The other sibling will require a separate petition. I am a Lawful PerQ: manent Resident. I wish to petition for my mother and father. Can I do so?
Q: My I-130 Petition for Alien Relative filed for my wife was denied before because of allegations of marriage fraud. I did not appeal the denial because of financial problems. The denial is wrong and my wife and I are still married. I travel to see her in her
A: No you cannot. There is no preference classification for a Lawful Permanent Resident to petition for a parent. If you wish to do so,
ust like that, parts of the state’s “sanctuary cities” ban that a federal district judge halted last month are set to go into effect. Here’s what you need to know: • A panel of three appellate judges ruled on Monday that provisions of the state’s immigration enforcement law, known as Senate Bill 4, are clear to go into effect while the case plays out on appeal. Last month, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia temporarily halted key parts of SB 4, including a provision that requires jail officials to honor all detainers. • But hold on: The 5th Cir-
My mother who is a Q: Permanent Resident filed her petition for me when I was under 21 years of age and unmarried. I am now married and the petition is still pending. What happens now? A: The petition filed by a Permanent Resident for their unmarried child is automatically void upon marriage of the child. Please have her inform USCIS of this change of your marital status. 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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Just like that, parts of the state’s “sanctuary cities” ban that a federal district judge halted last month are set to go into effect. cuit also said in its ruling Monday that portions of SB 4 that prevent “materially limiting” cooperation with ICE officials are too vague, holding that the word “limit” could be too broadly interpreted and leaving a decision on that up to the next panel of judges. The trio also gave a mixed signal on another controversial part of the bill that prevents local governments from “adopting, enforcing or endorsing” policies that specifically stop or limit enforcing immigration laws.
A: If you believe the first I-130 Petition which you filed for your wife was erroneously denied, you should refile but be prepared to provide evidence to contradict the reasons provided for the previous denial. You are advised to seek professional representation in this matter.
Attorney at Law
Parts of the state’s “Sanctuary Cities” law are going into effect by Cassandra Pollock
home country every few months and she is expecting my child. Can I refile another I-130 Petition for her?
Sharlene Sharmila Richards
If the Supreme Court dismisses the cases, civil rights groups could file a whole new round of legal challenges to the revised executive order, which includes the proclamation limiting visas from eight countries. A separate provision, restricting entry to the U.S. by refugees worldwide, is due to expire in late October, which some experts said might be another reason the court decided not to hear the case next month.
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They kept that injunction in place — but said it only applies to the word “endorse.” • After the ruling, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised it and said his office was confident the entire bill will be found constitutional, while Democrats and immigrant rights groups said the state was utilizing delay tactics to disenfranchise minorities in the state. Also of note: Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez confirmed her office would
comply with enforcing ICE detainers — which is quite the policy shift from earlier this year, when she announced in January her office would reduce its cooperation with immigration enforcement officers. If you remember, that led to a public back-and-forth between her and Gov. Greg Abbott, who eventually cut off funding for Travis County programs.
• Are you confused? The legal challenges on SB 4 are complicated; a hearing on the state’s appeal of Garcia’s ruling is set for Nov. 6 — but the judges ruled that the detainer provision can stand to an extent, for now. The judges’ ruling on Monday will probably stick around for several months, until the 5th Circuit decides SB 4’s full fate. (-TxTribune)
VOICE OF ASIA 16
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
Section 2 Email: email@example.com
GOP unveils new young immigrants bill
Is Narendra Modi afraid of young women asking for their rights? Viewpoint/Photo by Anjali Mody
exual harassment of the sort that Banaras Hindu University (BHU) students have described is very real. It is an everyday fact in women’s lives in India. That women are not willing to treat it as normal or acceptable or keep quiet about it is a sign of their empowerment. Women’s empowerment is something that all governments claim they want. The BHU vice-chancellor and the administration he leads, however, believe that young women who raise the stakes in their battle for security are “anti-national” forces, and their protest is the “work of propagandists” who are “completely political” and targeting the prime minister. But BHU is in Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency. For better or worse, he represents the women who study there and live in its hostels. So even if their protest was in order to draw his attention to their situation, they were well within their rights to do so. The vice-chancellor seems not to understand this. What is worse, neither does Modi. We are constantly told that the prime minister is a leader of men. That seems to be literally true. Apart from slogans about women’s empowerment in empty set-piece speeches, he cannot find it in himself to utter a word in support of women and their protests against the very real problems they face. As in the past, when it comes to cases of assault on women, the prime minister has kept quiet, going about his business as if nothing has happened. In Varanasi, he was inaugurating cow health camps and sewage pits. While young women in his constituency were pleading for safety on a university campus, the prime minister and MP for Varanasi was patting himself on the back for doing “seva
ASHINGTON (AFP) , September 25, 2017 — A new Senate GOP proposal released Monday would create a pathway to legalization for so-called Dreamers, but it wouldn’t allow them to sponsor family members to the United States — one of several provisions that make the bill far more conservative than other relief measures for young undocumented immigrants. The chief writers of the bill — Republican Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and James Lankford of Oklahoma — have touted their plan as a more GOP-friendly vision for the fate of young undocumented immigrants in the United States, especially compared to the DREAM Act, which was introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin (DIll.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
of cows”—as an illustration of politics that goes beyond votes (“We don’t fix our priorities according to votes… These animals are not anybody’s voters”). While young women in his constituency were calling for protection from assault, he was celebrating toilets as “izzat ghars,” or places that safeguard Indian women’s “honour.” Where is honour if your basic rights under the constitution are violated every day? Women in BHU are not short of toilets, but their rights as citizens are dishonoured daily. The least they can expect from their MP is an affirmation that women have a right to be safe everywhere, and especially in his constituency. They have a right to expect that he will spare a word for them, along with cows and commodes. Instead, their MP, India’s most powerful politician, had his route through the town changed so he did not have to pass the university gate and come face to face with these young women. When an MP avoids his own constituents, the question arises: is he scared of them? Does Modi fear young women asking for their rights? Or, is it just that in his reckoning cows deserve more attention than women? (This post first appeared on Scroll. in. Voice of Asia does not necessary endose nor agree with the opnions of featured or published authors’ views.)
The new Dreamer blueprint is already hitting resistance from liberal immigration advocates and conservative hard-liners, though Lankford said President Donald Trump indicated during a phone conversation with him that he was “very supportive” of the concept behind the bill. “We’ll have to take the hits,” Tillis said at a news conference Monday promoting the bill. “We’ll take the hits on the far left for saying you’re not getting them to citizenship soon enough, and you’ll take it on the far right for saying you’ve ever given them an opportunity to pursue citizenship.” Tillis and Lankford hope their legislation, called the Succeed Act, can win support from conservatives as Congress scrambles for a fix following the White House’s decision to begin revoking work permits and deportation protections early next year for hundreds of thousands of Dreamers. Details of the bill, which is also sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (RUtah), were obtained by Politico in advance of its release. Under current law, green card holders can petition for close relatives such as a spouse or children to obtain permanent residency. But Trump has repeatedly slammed the concept of
The bill includes provisions meant to curb future illegal immigration into the United States. It would require future temporary visa holders to sign a waiver that would otherwise grant them an immigration hearing or other immigrationrelated benefits if they violate the terms of their visa. (Illustration: Shutterstock) “chain migration,” a term critics use to describe U.S. citizens or permanent residents sponsoring their foreign relatives to come to the United States. “CHAIN MIGRATION cannot be allowed to be part of any legislation on Immigration!” Trump tweeted earlier this month. Tillis and Lankford have tried to address that demand by barring Dreamers who would obtain green cards through their legislation from petitioning family members, although they would be able to sponsor them if they become citizens, according to a person familiar with the legislation. “The people who are moving through the green card process are people who’ve gone through the process legally over a period of time,” Tillis said, defending the provision targeting chain migration. “This is a special group of people that we want to provide a solution to, but not necessarily let them expedite the potential admission of other persons.” Some of the nuts and bolts of the new GOP bill, which essentially creates a 15-year path to citizenship, are similar to those in past proposals addressing the issue of young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors.
To be eligible under the Succeed Act, an immigrant must have been in the U.S. since June 15, 2012 — the start of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obamaera executive action that Trump said he would end — and before the age of 16. They would be required to obtain a high school diploma, pass a “thorough” criminal background check, submit biometric data to the Department of Homeland Security and pay off any back taxes or establish a repayment plan. This would give the Dreamers a “conditional permanent residence” status. If they maintained that status for 10 years, they could apply for a formal green card. Under conditional permanent residence, the Dreamers would have to earn a college degree, serve in the military for at least three years or be consistently employed. The status would have to be renewed after five years. Once they obtain green cards, the immigrants would be required to wait for five years before they could apply for U.S. citizenship, according to the legislation. Undocumented parents of Dreamers who would qualify under the new Republican bill would be barred from petitioning to stay in the United States based on their children’s legal status.
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VOICE OF ASIA 17
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
BOLLYWOOD - HOLLYWOOD
David Hasselhoff suffers attempted kidnapping, death threats He has revealed that he has previously received death threats and been the subject of an attempted kidnapping Photo: AFP/File
hat a shocker for fans of David Hasselhoff! The 65-year-old actor is starring in new film Killing Hasselhoff, in which a struggling nightclub owner (Ken Jeong) decides to kill the Knight Rider star in order to secure $567,000 prize money in a celebrity death pool. And while he’s never experienced the kind of attempted murder Ken Jeong’s character tries to inflict on him
in the movie, the former Baywatch star has said that he has experienced death threats in the past. When asked the chill interview question by Event magazine whether anyone has ever tried to kill him, he said: ‘Yeah, sure. I haven’t had anything that’s become the reality of what this movie is, but I have had a situation where I’ve had to kind of intervene and talk some sense into people
who were at one point discussing taking me and… maybe not killing me, but convincing me of something and trying to get something out of me that doesn’t exist. David was famously the subject of a leaked video made by his daughters which saw him drunkenly eating a cheeseburger off the floor in 2007. Filmed by his daughter Taylor-Ann, the footage wasn’t meant to go public, but it’s now something that he’s now ‘glad’ about, because it made him want to get help. ‘I wasn’t being honest. So [my kids] said: “Dad, we don’t need a drunk. We need a responsible parent. Carry on doing this to your body and you will die.” When I realised that, I stopped getting mad about it and trying to kill everybody and hanging my head in shame. You see it every day in the world. It was like: get over it.’ And while he’s never needed money as bad as Jeong’s character in Killing Hasselhoff, he has said that he has been able to do a few ‘sweet little deals’ to ensure he continues to live in luxury – nothing too sinister, honest.
Bollywood director who was jailed for raping an American research scholar in 2015 has had his conviction overturned by an Indian court meaning he will soon walk free.
upscale area of the capital. But now the Delhi High Court has questioned the victim’s account and whether Farooqui understood the lack of consent, according to the Indian Express.
Mahmood Farooqui, best known for co-directing the popular 2010 satire Peepli Live on farmer suicides, was found guilty of the attack in March 2015 by a fast-track court hearing the case in New Delhi.
Farooqui has now been acquitted of the crime. The director, who had served just over two years of his seven year sentence,
9th Indian Film Festival of Houston set to dazzle versity. She quietly finds time to study amidst days filled with hard toil, much to the irritation of her father a simple farmer who has very little sympathy of understanding for her aspiration.
he films submitted this year for the 9th Indian Film Festival of Houston. reflect the historic changes in the world today and illustrate courage, art and a defense of human rights and expression through unique and personal perspectives that touch the heart and soul. I hope you enjoy the films that have been curated for this year’s Festival and look forward to seeing you again next year for our 10th year celebrations, ” says Sutapa Ghosh, Founder and Festival Director, IFFH.
FILM SCHEDULE: Continued from last week. Saturday, October 7, 2017, 4 pm Azaad - Short Film, 31 minutes, Hindi (English subtitles) Director: Rahul Chittela Synopsis: Set against the socio-political backdrop of present day India, “Azaad” unfurls the story of a dysfunctional relationship between a father and his son, within 48 hours of the father going missing. About the Director: “Azaad” is Rahul V. Chittella’s debut short film. Now, an independent producer and director based in Mumbai, he worked with prolific filmmaker, Mira Nair, as her creative associate and produc-
About the Director: Manouj Kadaamh has written the story, screenplay and dialogues for “Kshitij”. He has also developed and written screenplays for television and films.
ing partner. He was awarded the Media Citizen Karmaveer Puraskaar in India for his contribution to projects that have used media for social change.
Manouj has worked through all facets of film productions including working closely with writers, directors, technicians and artists. (-IFFH)
Saturday, October 7, 2017, 4:35 pm Kshitij: A Horizon – Feature Film, 100 minutes, Marathi (English subtitles) Director: Manouj Kadaamh S y n o p s i s : “Kshitij” is a story of a young girl’s struggle to continue her education in the face of extreme ad-
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Bollywood actress Amy Jackson set for Supergirl role
‘Anyway, that’s way in the past.’
Director Mahmood Farooqui’s rape conviction overturned
The victim, then aged 35, had traveled to India to seek Farooqui’s assistance with her research when the attack took place at his home in an
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upergirl will be getting a helping hand from Saturn Girl in season 3. Bollywood actress Amy Jackson is joining the CW’s superhero drama series in the recurring role. Saturn Girl, aka Imra Ardeen, is a kind, smart, and strong-willed hero who uses her telekinetic ability to help those in need. She was born on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, and arrives on Earth to help Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) battle one of her biggest threats. The role will mark the U.S. debut for British-born Bollywood actress Jackson, who began her career as a model and has since established herself as one of India’s most prominent leading ladies. She’ll next be seen starring in 2.0, the sequel to India’s Box Office smash, Robot. Jackson is managed
had long denied the allegations against him. During the appeal trial, his lawyer challenged the victim’s rape claim and suggested that the two were in fact in a relationship. ‘In a relationship when people are attracted to each other, things do happen. But it does not mean it’s rape,’ the lawyer said.
by Silver Lining Entertainment and Blacksheep Management in the UK. Supergirl returns October 9 on the CW Network (-Deadline Hollywood/ Photo: The CW)
Farooqui was married at the time of the assault and was found guilty of rape in 2016. The woman returned to the US shortly after the incident but came back to report the matter to police. The case was hailed as a landmark decision that tested the nation’s modified rape statute to include forced oral sex. (-Daily Mail)
VOICE OF ASIA 18
Voice of Asia
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
The list of diseases linked to air pollution is growing by Laura Beil
with asthma had reported bronchitis symptoms in the previous year. In communities with the greatest drop in pollutants during the study period, bronchitis prevalence fell by as much as 30 percent in children with asthma.
HEALTHY Simple Ways Of Healthy Lifestyle
highest, even though those levels would currently satisfy the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
o the residents of Donora, Pa., a mill town in a crook of the Monongahela River, the daily “We’ve made these improvehaze from nearby zinc and steel ments in exposure,” Kaufman plants was the price of keeping says, “but what more do we their families fed. But on Octoneed to clean up?” ber 27, 1948, the city - Not so safe awoke to an unusuAs governments decide what As U.S. air pollution ally sooty sky, even for to do about air quality, studies levels drop, studies acDonora. The next day, connect an array of health cumulate linking even the high school quarproblems to dirty air those levels considterbacks couldn’t see ered safe to a broad their teammates well range of ailments. enough to complete a single pass. - Bad Air So despite a half-century of The town was engulfed in When smog rolled in to the progress, airborne grime is still smog for five days, until a mill town of Donora, Pa., al- a menace — probably in ways storm finally swept the pollu- most 70 years ago, the pollu- the people of Donora never tion out of the valley. By then, tion hovered long enough to imagined. Researchers are now more than one-third of the cause dozens of deaths. Today finding that more than the lungs population had fallen ill and the town claims responsibil- are at risk, as dirty air may in 20 people were dead. Another ity for launching the clean air fact be an accomplice to some of the greatest threats to public 50 perished in the following movement. health, including diabetes, obemonths. But the air pollution story sity and even dementia. Those After the Donora tragedy, the isn’t over. Researchers from studies are likely to inform the federal government began to the Harvard T.H. Chan School ongoing debate over antismog clamp down on industries that of Public Health in Boston rules. The U.S. House of Reprelease pollutants into the air. recently reported on links be- resentatives voted this summer Environmental advocates in the tween air quality and mortal- to delay implementation of upcoming decades fought for, and ity throughout the entire U.S. dated standards for the Clean won, tighter regulations. As Medicare population (more Air Act. a result, combined emissions than 60 million people who are - Slow burn of six common air pollutants age 65 and older or disabled). have dropped by about 70 per- The analysis looked at levels As it has for more than a cent nationwide since the 1970 of two common air pollutants century, air pollution in Amerpassage of the Clean Air Act, and death rates from 2000 to ica largely arises from power which regulates U.S. emissions 2012, while accounting for fac- plants, industries, vehicles and of hazardous air pollutants. In tors that might confound the other sources of fuel burn35 major U.S. cities, the total results, such as race and socio- ing. The pollution is generally number of days with unhealthy economic status. The analysis, a mixture of gases — such as air has fallen by almost two- published in June in the New carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxthirds just since 2000. “It’s England Journal of Medicine, ide and nitrogen oxides — and one of the great success sto- found that when pollutant lev- particulate matter, microscopic ries of public health,” says Joel els rose (but remained at levels solids or droplets that can be Kaufman, a physician and epi- below national standards), so inhaled into the lungs. demiologist at the University of did death rates. If science bears out the conWashington School of Public Even with vast improve- nection between pollution and Health in Seattle. ments in air quality since the brain health, or pollution and Our bodies feel the differ- ’70s, people haven’t stopped metabolism, environmental ence. One study, reported in dying from the air they breathe. advocates and businesses may JAMA last year, followed 4,602 An analysis published in 2013 have even more reason to push children in Southern California from researchers at MIT esti- for cleaner air. Researchers between 1993 and 2012 to see mated that about 200,000 pre- hope in the future to have more how lung health correlated with mature deaths occur each year data on which pollutants cause three common air pollutants. in the United States because of the greatest harm, and why. In As levels of ozone, nitrogen fine particulate air pollution. A Donora, the site of one of the dioxide and particulate matter study published in January in country’s biggest air pollution fell over time, so did the num- Environmental Health Perspec- disasters, a sign at the Smog ber of children who reported a tives reported that daily deaths Museum now reads “Clean Air daily cough, persistent conges- over a decade in metropolitan Started Here.” No one can yet tion and other symptoms of ir- Boston peaked on days when say how clean is clean enough. ritated lungs. At the start of the concentrations of three com- (-Science News) study, 48 percent of children mon air pollutants were at their
Manjula Raguthu MD,FAAFP,ABAARM The term ‘healthy lifestyle’ has been bandied about for years, an abbreviated definition of how we should live if we want to get the healthiest body we can. One that both looks good and feels good. But what does having a healthy lifestyle mean? You know the obvious behaviors that describe someone who’s healthy and takes care of themselves. A healthy person doesn’t smoke, tries to maintain a healthy weight, eats healthy foods with plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber and, of course, exercises on a regular basis. Then there are other elements to add to the list. A healthy person also knows how to manage stress, gets good quality sleep each night, doesn’t drink too much, doesn’t sit too much... basically, does everything in moderation all the time. When you look at everything that could possibly go into a healthy lifestyle, you can see just how hard all of those things are in our current world. The good news is, you don’t have to change everything at the same time. In fact, the trick to healthy living is making small changes - Taking more steps each day, adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water or saying no to that second helping of buttery mashed potatoes.
The Benefits of Moving More
each day. Just a few ideas for changing how you eat include:
The great thing about moving is that just a few minutes a day can have lasting benefits, many of which you may not even be aware of.
● Eat more fruit: Add it to your cereal, your salads, and dinners or make it a dessert. Fruit is also a great snack after work or school to keep you going until dinner.
Some of the benefits include: ● Reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes ● Improves joint stability ● Increases and improves range of motion ● Helps maintain flexibility as you age ● Maintains bone mass ● Prevents osteoporosis and fractures ● Improves mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression ● Enhances self-esteem ● Improves memory in elderly people Simplified ways of Eating healthy Eating a healthy diet is another part of the healthy lifestyle. Not only can a clean diet help with weight management, it can also improve your health and quality of life as you get older. You already know about the food groups and the fact that you should eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. Most of us probably have a list of things we know we should do for a healthier diet but, again, making too many changes at once can backfire. Going on a restricted diet may make you crave the very foods you’re trying to avoid. Another approach is to look for ways to make smaller changes
● Sneak in more veggies: Add them wherever you can-a tomato on your sandwich, peppers on your pizza, or extra veggies in your pasta sauce. Keep precut or canned/frozen veggies ready for quick snacks. ● Try a healthy salad dressing: If you eat full-fat dressing, switch to something lighter and you’ll automatically eat fewer calories. ● Eat low-fat or fat-free dairy: Switching to skim milk or fat-free yogurt is another simple way to eat fewer calories without having to change too much in your diet. ● Make some substitutions: Look through your cabinets or fridge and pick 3 foods you eat every day. Write down the nutritional content and, the next time you’re at the store, find lower-calorie substitutes for just those 3 items. 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 Anti-Aging 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.
Long Term Care- Biggest Challenge Americans will ever face Americans routinely buy all sorts of insurance — for cars, homes, health and even pets and boats. But when it comes to long-term-care insurance, relatively few sign up. Out of more than 313 million Americans, only about 8 million have any such protection, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The low participation rate largely reflects the high cost of long-term-care insurance. Geneva Hunter, 66, is among those without protection. She is well aware of how helpful it would be to have such insurance. She gets schooled on that point each day: Her 89-year-old mother, Ida Christian, who has Alzheimer’s disease, lives with her. “I do not have [the insurance] because at the time it was offered [through my company], I could not afford it and take care of my mother at the same time,” said Hunter, a member of one of three families being profiled by NPR in a series called Family Matters: The Money Squeeze. “I think it was close to $400 a month,” Hunter said. “That’s a lot of money when you are caring for somebody else.” But with each passing birthday, Hunter feels more pressure to buy insurance. “I know it’s expensive, but I have to do it,” she says, because she fears becoming a financial burden to her daughter. Many Americans share that financial goal: to not burden others. But the reality is that each year, an estimated 11 million U.S. adults need some type of long-term care. Such care can be crushingly expensive: Just one hour of home-health-aide care costs roughly $20, while the average private nursing home room costs $87,000 a year. Neither routine employer-based medical insurance nor Medicare will pay for extended periods of custodial care. Scott Hawkins, 46, and a member of another family in the NPR series, says he hasn’t yet explored getting long-term-care insurance. In fact, future elder-care costs are so daunting that only humor can help defuse the ticking financial bomb. For the nation’s roughly 78 million baby boomers, the time for humor about who will prepare their meals is quickly running out. Many boomers, people born between 1946 and 1964, are expected to fall so far into poverty trying to provide themselves with paid care that they will qualify for Medicaid — the medical care program for the deeply impoverished. A fortunate few will have long-term-care insurance, but even that option is looking sketchy as more companies exit the business. Insurance giants such as Prudential and MetLife have recently pulled back from offering long-term-care policies. Others, such as John Hancock and Genworth Financial, have turned to state regulators, seeking permission to dramatically hike premi-
Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway, Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com ums. Depending upon the location, the insurers’ requests for higher rates have been for amounts such as 18 percent or 40 percent or, in a few cases, 90 percent. Long-term-care insurance typically covers out-of-pocket expenses that come with home care, assisted living and nursing homes. Most policies have a waiting period that works like a deductible. So if you need the help of a home-nursing aide, you may have to wait 90 or 120 days before your benefits start to cover those costs. So there are three ways to plan for Long Term Care. 1) The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance says people should expect to pay an average of $3,335 per year to cover a couple of healthy 60-yearolds on a plan that pays out a $150 daily benefit for up to three years. But prices can vary dramatically, depending upon factors such as the purchasers’ age, the level of inflationadjustment protection and whether the daily benefit will be $100, or some larger amount, say, $150 or $200. 2) Asset-based- on life insurance chassis. Under this planning if for some reason if you do not happen to receive any long term care policy value goes to beneficiary tax free. 3) Annuity based where one can get two and half to three times of the annuity amount as long term care. To understand various Types of Life Insurance and its Planning contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.
VOICE OF ASIA 19
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
Sleep deprivation could shave years off your life by Emily Price
oo little sleep is making us sick.
In an interview with The Guardian, Matthew Walker, Director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, explains how. Through his work, he’s determined that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to be less healthy and have lower energy levels than those who get the recommended amount of shut eye per night. After analyzing the results of 20 separate studies, he’s found a strong correlation between how much people sleep and how long they live. In summary: The less you sleep, the shorter your life will be. This is a problem, particularly because many of us are conditioned to equate sleep with laziness. “We want to seem busy, and one way we express that is by proclaiming how little sleep we’re getting,” he told The Guardian. “It’s a badge of honor.” When he gives talks, he says people will
wait until afterwards to whisper to them that they need eight or nine hours of sleep at night, similar to how someone might confess a crime. But they shouldn’t -- they’re the ones m a k ing the healthier choice. In one study, for instance, adults age 45 and older that slept less than 6 hours each night were 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke during their lifetime compared to participants who got seven or eight hours. In other studies, sleeping less has been associated with an increased risk of weight gain, developing Alzheimers, and relapses in addition disorders. On a basic level, lack of sleep also lowered participants’ immune systems. “I’m not going to say that the obesity crisis is caused by the sleep-loss epidemic alone,”
says Walker. “It’s not. However, processed food and sedentary lifestyles do not adequate-
The research followed up on a previous study, also led by Belongia and his team, that found the opposite result — no link between miscarriage and the flu vaccine. That study looked at women who were pregnant in 2005, 2006 and 2007 — before the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, which led to a new vaccine.
lu symptoms can be more severe when you’re pregnant, landing women in the hospital, threatening their lives and even leading to preterm birth or miscarriage. The virus is a risk to the woman and the baby. So, it’s particularly important that people who are pregnant get the flu vaccine. And it’s also important that the effects of those vaccines be studied in pregnant women. But research doesn’t always turn up the information you’re expecting, which is what happened last week when a study was published that found an association between the flu vaccine and early-term miscarriage in some women. “We knew this would be controversial when it was published. This was an unexpected safety signal. This is not what we were looking for,” says one of the study’s co-authors, epidemiologist Dr. Edward Belongia. He directs the center for clinical epidemiology and population health at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, and is a member of the CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practices. “I believe,” Belongia says, “the best approach with the public is to be very clear and open and transparent about ‘Here’s what we know; here are the limitations; here’s why we still recommend the flu vaccine during
“The CDC was very interested to make sure that we were still seeing the same safety profile for this new vaccine, and so asked us to do another study,” explains lead author James Donahue, a senior epidemiologist at the Marshfield Clinic. The new results look at women who were pregnant in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and find an association between the flu vaccine and miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy. The study does not establish a causal relationship between the two. Miscarriage is very common during the first trimester, although the exact rate is difficult to pin down because some women who miscarry very early may not ever know they are pregnant. Belongia says that, despite the preliminary nature of the findings, his team had a scientific obligation to publish them. “The scientific literature is littered with things that were found unexpectedly and were later found to be not important — or even not true — so we’re very cogni-
Why are drug prices so high? The New York Times and ProPublica have teamed up to investigate who is to blame for skyrocketing drug prices — and have turned up some surprising answers. by Katie Thomas, The New York Times and Charles Ornstein, ProPublica
his much is clear: The public is angry about the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. Surveys have shown that high drug prices rank near the top of consumers’ health care concerns. What’s not as clear is exactly why prices have been rising, and who is to blame.
Photo: Shutterstock ly explain its rise. Something is missing. It’s now clear that sleep is that third ingredient.” Walker’s suggestion for people: Avoid pulling all-nighters. After you’ve been awake for 19 hours you’re essentially as cognitively impaired as a drunk person. Also, think of sleep like a job. Just like going to the gym, you need to make sure you go to bed.“People use alarms to wake up,” Walker told The Guardian. “So why don’t we have a bedtime alarm to tell us we’ve got half an hour, that we should start cycling down?” (-The Guardian)
Pregnant women should still get the flu vaccine, doctors advise by Rebecca Hersher
zant of that,” he says. “But this is a safety signal we can’t explain away, and it clearly merits further investigation.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agrees. After the new study was published, the organization released a statement reminding women and physicians that the flu vaccine is an “essential element of prenatal care,” noting that when administered during pregnancy, it protects both women and newborn babies. That protection is particularly important for newborns, since the flu vaccine is not approved for infants younger than six months. “These results are something we need to pay attention to and follow up on, but the overwhelming data supports the importance of vaccination,” says Dr. Christopher Zahn, ACOG’s vice president of practice activities. Pregnant women who are worried or confused about vaccination can get information at ACOG’s website, and should talk to their doctors, Zahn and the study authors agree. “It’s perfectly appropriate for any pregnant woman who hears about this and is concerned about this to talk to their obstetrician about the best timing for a vaccination based on her own circumstance,” says Belongia. (-NPR News)
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For the last four months, The New York Times and ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative journalism organization, have teamed up to answer these questions, and to shed light on the games that are being played to keep prices high, often without consumers’ knowledge or consent. Our reporting journey has turned up some counterintuitive stories, like how insurance companies sometimes require patients to take brand-name drugs — and refuse to cover generic alternatives — even when that means patients have to pay more out of pocket. Along the way, we’ve asked readers to share their stories about their struggles with high drug costs. We’ve heard from nearly 1,000 people. In recent weeks, a few stories caught our eye. A woman in Texas, for example, told us that the company that manages her drug benefits, OptumRx, was going to start asking her to pay more out of pocket for Butrans, a painkilling patch that contains the drug buprenorphine. As a “lower cost alternative,” OptumRx, which is owned by UnitedHealth Group, suggested she try painkillers like OxyContin, even though they carry a higher risk of dependence. “The whole point of pain management is to take the least amount of medication possible to manage your pain, so that you always have somewhere to go when the pain increases or changes,” she wrote to us. “This is irresponsible and scary
Surveys have shown that high drug prices rank near the top of consumers’ health care concerns (Photo: Shutterstock) ‘cost management.’” She did not want to use her name, saying her employer prohibited her from identifying herself, but she allowed us to share OptumRx’s redacted letter. Her pharmacy benefit manager, she wrote, is “effectively contributing to the ‘opioid crisis’ with its own policies.” A spokesman for UnitedHealth, Matthew N. Wiggin, said it takes the crisis seriously and wants to ensure that people with chronic pain get the appropriate treatment. We’ve closely followed the opioid crisis and efforts to hold various parties accountable, among them drug manufacturers, pharmacies and emergency room doctors. But these stories — about patients who believed their insurers were placing roadblocks in the way of less risky painkillers — felt new to us. We followed up with several of the readers, and searched social media to see if other patients were talking about this. Then we asked for documents: billing statements from insurers, denial letters, call logs and doctors’ records. In the case of our lead example, a woman named Alisa Erkes, she also agreed to sign a privacy waiver allowing her insurer,
UnitedHealthcare, to comment on her case. Charles enlisted ProPublica’s deputy data editor, Ryann Grochowski Jones, to analyze data from Medicare prescription drug plans. The results showed that insurers were indeed placing more barriers to drugs like Butrans and lidocaine patches than to cheaper generic opioids. Insurers say that they are doing their part by placing limits on new prescriptions for addictive painkillers, and that they are also doing more to monitor doctors’ prescribing patterns and to catch abuse by patients. Several insurers said they had seen declines in monthly opioid prescriptions, a sign of progress. But their behavior has infuriated many patients, who say they want to avoid taking opioids if possible. They argue that insurers are too focused on a drug’s cost, since many of the painkillers with a lower risk of addiction are more expensive. Our project examining high drug costs is not over. We are already digging into other corners of the prescription drug world, hoping to shed light on more of the hidden forces that are keeping drug costs high. Stay tuned, as well, for more stories that were inspired by our readers.
VOICE OF ASIA 20
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
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FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
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VOICE OF ASIA 22
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
Your Horoscope for the Week of September 29, 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 Intellectual disagreements or differences of opinion and viewpoints will arise now. You may have to speak your mind in a way that challenges or unnerves someone else. However, your mind is very active and sharp and your reasoning power is good, so this is a good time to do mental work. It is easy for you to talk about your feelings now and also to listen sensitively to not only what others are saying but also what they are feeling. This is an excellent time to discuss your feelings and clear the air of any grievances.
Your interactions with others and with the outside world in general, which can be confusing, devitalizing and discouraging. It seems that whatever you try to do goes nowhere or gets lost in a haze of misunderstanding. This is not a good time to try & attempt to get personal recognition for your efforts. Taking time off, working quietly, or doing something primarily for the benefit of others without concern for personal gain is favored at this time.
Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May
Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov
You are getting what you really want and moving toward achieving the things which are important to you may involve surrendering something or eliminating something from your life at this time. Perhaps an attitude, a situation, or an attachment that has been impeding you is now released. You feel free to concentrate on the things that are most important to you now. Major, long-term changes can be successfully begun now - a lifestyle change or a regimen of self-improvement, for instance.
Your Involvement in social organizations or any other group will help to bring new skills & develop new ideas to which you belong is likely to be a focus at this time. You may be asked to take responsibility or even a leadership role or to contribute and participate more fully than you have in the past. You will enjoy being part of a team or group effort now. Being part of a community or circle of friends and building your social network is important to you at this time. Try to balance social & family responsibilities equally.
Sagittarius (BH,F,DH,TH) 22 Nov to 21 Dec
Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June The fact you find it stressful to balance needs for freedom and independence with needs for love and intimate companionship. You really behave quite oddly or aloof right now which will put others off considerably thus affording you the space you need, but at a cost. You are also attracted to the unusual at this time. People or things which might offend your senses at other times now arouse your appreciation and interest. This will not be a boring time if you can help it! But it is apt to be a tense time if you are in a close, bonded relationship.
People around you, may try to disappoint you. Your expectations will not meet satisfactory results. Your sensitive & emotional nature will put you in dilemma. You may also be overly adaptable and accommodating in your relationships at this time, enabling others to continue in their bad habits or to take advantage of your unconditional support. Avoid creating relationships based on mutual weakness and dependency on deception and hiding.
Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan
Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Communication with your superiors or with people in authority who are in a position to consider and act on your ideas comes to the fore now. Your eagerness to discuss your thoughts and plans with others at this time and you may have a very fruitful brainstorming session, a spirited debate, or a very active meeting with others in which things really get accomplished. You are verbally assertive and can present your own plan or idea quite convincingly. Good time to make new friends, meet new people.
With your serious mind you are able to concentrate on work that requires patience, attention to detail, and precision. Practical concerns dominate. It is a good time to learn practical skills, do your taxes, organize your files, and take care of business. You’ll want to avoid light social conversation or trivialities that distract you from your work. Friendships and cooperative endeavors flourish now. You achieve a harmonious balance of giving and receiving and of talking and listening, and any social or joint activity will benefit.
Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb
Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Retreating from confrontation and allowing matters to take their own course may well be the best path now. Your desire for harmony, beauty, and gracious surroundings and is stronger than usual and you avoid unpleasantness as much as possible. You’re inclined to use charm, gentle coaxing, and loving persuasion rather than more direct, forceful methods to get what you want. At this time, pleasure and affection are more important to you than work, and you may be rather lazy, but pleasantly and cheerfully so.
Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Your self-discipline, training, persevering through a dry or slow period, and working quietly or in meager circumstances are themes in this time period. You have the ability and stamina to concentrate, to work carefully and thoroughly, and to accomplish something modest, yet of real practical value and substance now. This is an excellent time to eliminate whatever is unnecessary and outworn in your life from clutter and disorder in your environment to an unhealthy relationship.
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Unusual ventures, unexpected events which create the need for considerable adjustment on your part are indicated now. Whatever agenda you had planned is apt to be spontaneously disregarded for what may well be a better alternative. However, you are prone to be more than a little reckless now, so be certain you are not jeopardizing those areas of your life which are your support structure and which in fact enable you to experiment and do some of the wilder things you want to do.
Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March Concentrate and focus on your work is which very good now. This is a time to attend to details, take care of practical business, and to make your life more stable and secure. It would be beneficial to consult advisors on investments and longrange plans and to put your affairs in order. Eliminating waste and inefficiency is important to you now. There is much activity; you move rapidly from one thing to another and a hectic, somewhat stressful pace is likely. Many errands, phone calls, letters which require a response, and other “busywork” is on the agenda.
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VOICE OF ASIA 23
DIGITAL PRODUCER Are you a digital content guru? Are you obsessed with major news and top trending stories of the day? Do you have a knack for producing creative digital content that generates high engagement? KTRK TV, the ABC owned station located in Houston, Texas is looking for a full-time digital producer to be part of the team leading the charge to take our digital efforts to the next level. Ideal candidate must have: Gift for recognizing and creating impactful, innovative and distinctive digital content Extensive newsroom digital background (supervisory skills a plus) Unerring news judgement Ability to shoot and edit video Knack for writing powerful and accurate copy and headlines Ability to manage multiple projects at one time Proven social media expertise in both content creation and strategic optimization Working knowledge of digital publishing tools and analytics Ability to excel in fast-paced news station environment and willing to work under deadlines Strong leadership, organizational and communication skills Flexibility with work schedule depending on station needs and projects We are a 24/7 news operation, so digital producers must be willing to work any day or shift, as needed. To be considered, candidates must apply on-line at www.disneycareers.com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Please Reference Job ID: 491711BR on all materials submitted. Equal Opportunity Employer – Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity. No Telephone Calls.
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PET of the WEEK
JACK - ID#A007105
I need a loving home
Houston Community College Request for Proposals (RFP) Strategic Planning Services Project No. 18-01 Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Documents can be obtained at: www.hccs. edu/procurement.
Houston Community College Request for Proposals (RFP) 3D Metrology Workstation System Project No. 18-02
Shelter staff named me JACK. I am a male, orange tabby Domestic Shorthair. The shelter staff think I am about 15 weeks old. I have been at the shelter since Sep 06, 2017. For more information about this pet, call: City of Sugar Land Animal Services at (281) 275-2364
Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Documents can be obtained at: www.hccs. edu/procurement.
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
VOICE OF ASIA 24
FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
Published on Sep 28, 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...