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FRIDAY, October 4, 2013

John Boehner: Obama owns this shutdown now



by John Boehner, USA Today The president isn’t telling the whole story when it comes to the government shutdown. The fact is that Washington Democrats have slammed the door on reopening the government by refusing to engage in bipartisan talks. And, as stories across the country highlight the devastating impact of Obamacare on families and small businesses, they continue to reject our calls for fairness for all Americans. This is part of a larger pattern: the president’s scorched-Earth policy of refusing to negotiate in bipartisan way on his health care law, current government funding, or the debt limit. As of this morning, Senate Democrats, acting in concert with President Obama, have rejected four different proposals from the House of Representatives to keep the government running and fund basic services. On Friday, September 20,

U.S. shutdown

Remembering A Friend And A Philanthropist, David Raj

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he shutdown the U.S. is facing will lead to lakhs of people losing their employment and health coverage. It is a signal to the world that enthusiastic participation of the working class is an essential component for the survival and success of any economic policy. Workers being stripped of their employment will add to the already increasing unemployment and dwindling purchasing power of people, besides affecting the overall micro and macro economic situation. All these developments will spell disaster for dependent countries like India. Politics, not people’s welfare, prevails across the world. A.G. Rajmohan, Anantapur


t is unfortunate that politics plays dirty games even in an advanced country like the U.S., putting millions of people in jeopardy, directly and indirectly. At a time when many countries are thinking of adopting the U.S. governance model, the shutdown will undermine its credibility. S. Parthasarathy, Chennai (The Hindu)

Voice of Asia (USPS 010-215) (ISSN#10705058) is published every Friday (for a subscription rate of $30 per year) by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713774-5143. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Voice of Asia, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074 It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or confirmation of any facts or allegations contained in letters to the editor. Moreover, Voice of Asia reserves the right to edit letters to the editor as necessary to correct errors of fact, punctuation, spelling and to comply with space constraints. - The Publisher

by Pradeep Anand, Houston, TX n September 28, 2013, our dear friend David Raj, also known as Dorai and Gnanadorai Sathiaraj, son of Dr. (Mrs.) Stella Soundararaj and Dr. G. Soundararaj, passed away, peacefully, in Chennai, India. He had been ill for a while and his cousin/sister, Cheruba, and her husband, Dr. Santhosham, had convinced him that they had the heart and the resources to help him live his last days painlessly, in their home. His loving caretakers appeared like angels, to ease his pain before his ascent to Heaven. Like a diamond, David had many facets. Of these, many will remember him for his passionate benevolence. He had the biggest heart of all. He gave the greatest proportion of the time and money he possessed to the benefit of others. He gave his heart and soul with every check he wrote and with every moment he spent on any philanthropic activity. Educating the underprivileged captured his imagination. He helped first by contributing to educational charities and efforts, such as those of IIT Alumni of Greater Houston, IndoAmerican Charity Foundation, and many others. He then transcended to giving his time and resources to educating children at Crockett Elementary School in Houston, which has now grown into the iEducate initiative. Many others may remember him for his other public face— his love of Rock music. He loved his guitar and his performance gear—his black-on-black outfit, combined with his Stevie Ray Vaughn hat, and his flashy tie. His long hair added to his rock star persona. During performances, his bright white teeth shone when he smiled shyly, as he looked at an admiring audience that was applauding a guitar solo that he had

2013, the House of Representatives passed legislation to keep the government running – funding Medicare, Social Security, veterans benefits, and more – while removing funding for the president’s health care law, which is driving up costs and hurting our economy. The Democratic-controlled Senate rejected this measure. On Saturday, September 28, 2013, the House passed another measure to keep the government running, delay the president’s health care law for one year, and permanently repeal Obamacare’s tax on pacemakers and children’s hearing aids. Senate Democrats rejected the measure on a party-line vote. (The House also passed the Pay Our Military Act, which ensures our troops are paid during a government shutdown. Thankfully, that measure was adopted by the Senate and signed by President Obama.) On Monday, September 30,


David Raj just played masterfully. His last gig was on August 24, 2013, at the Houston Zoroastrian Center, where “David Raj and Friends” performed at the Parsi Navroze celebration. Boy, did he and his friends get the crowd rocking. On that day, he was in pain. Yet, he performed with aplomb. Many, who had heard his wizardry on the guitar before, knew that it was his Swan Song. He played his guitar like he had never played it before. We knew he was in pain and the words of this Bob Dylan song rang loud and clear above the raucous celebration: “Mama, take this badge off of

2013, the House passed yet another measure to keep the government running and ensure fairness for all Americans under the president’s health care law. President Obama delayed the law’s mandates on big businesses and insurance companies; this bill would delay the law for everyone. The Senate rejected this measure too. The House then passed another bill late on Monday requesting a formal conference committee with the Senate to come to an agreement on legislation that provides funding for the federal government and delays the president’s health care law for all Americans. That is the system the Founding Fathers gave us to resolve differences between the House and Senate. The Senate then opposed that measure as well, so Senate Democrats and President Obama got their government shutdown. In the meantime, in just a few

me, I can’t use it anymore. It’s getting’ dark, too dark to see, I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.” And the next day, angels carried him away on their wings, to Chennai. And then there were these lesser known facets of his being an entrepreneur, a Scotch connoisseur, a great friend, and good Christian. David was an entrepreneur at heart but only India Coffee House bubbled up into reality. His passion helped create a concept that will endure. He was a connoisseur of Single Malts. His Scotch tasting events yielded imbibers with equally sensitive palates. Of course, after a while his compatriots became his merry band. He was that dedicated, loyal friend that we all dream of but rarely experience. Many were blessed by his embrace and anointed by his love. Above all he was a good Christian. He worshipped in the spirit of Christ and gloried in Christ. Being Christian is being “Christlike”. He lived in the doctrine of love, helping others by not only doing voluntary work in the com-

From IQ Learning Desk IQ Learning Welcomes Star Students


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weeks, Congress must act to raise the debt limit to pay the tab for President Obama and Washington’s out-of-control spending. There is no way Congress can or should pass such a bill without spending cuts and reforms to deal with the debt and deficit and help get our economy moving again. But President Obama refuses to even talk about negotiating such a bipartisan agreement. For years, the president has said that in a divided government, no one gets 100% of what they want. But when will his words match his actions? As for House Republicans, we will continue our efforts to keep the government running and deal honestly with the problems we face. We hope that Senate Democrats – and President Obama – change course and start working with us on behalf of the American people. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is speaker of the House.

munity but also taking leadership in these efforts, that too without seeking the spotlight and without fanfare; just like he was with his guitar on stage, focused on his craft, not the adulation. I lost a brother in his human form. But I am glad that he was released from his pain. However, he, his passion, his love and his effervescent, jubilant personality will always remain with me. The immediacy of our daily lives and our gradually declining neural networks may fade our memories but we all have triggers that will instantly bring back David in our midst, right next to us, urging us to do the right thing, to leave the world a better place than the one we inherited. David is gone but will never be forgotten. Yet, with all the sorrow that surrounds his departure, when I think about what David would be doing in Heaven, I imagine him with his guitar, laughing at the somber crowd of mourners, readying himself to play the lead in a Neil Young song for us: “My my hey hey Rock and roll is here to stay It’s better to burn out Than to fade away My my hey hey” Rest in Peace, bro.



FRIDAY, October 4, 2013

Desi Moms Win Spelling Bee

The People’s Lawyer Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Statute of Limitations bars a lawsuit Q. I stopped paying a credit card bill in 2007. I have not paid a penny since then, and for a few years heard from several debt collectors. I am now again being threatened with a lawsuit by a debt collector. How long can I be sued for a credit card debt?

Q. I live in an apartment. I pay my rent on time and I am a good tenant. I do not have renter’s insurance. Recently, a fire from another unit burned part of my apartment and damaged our property. The apartment owner says he is not responsible. What can I do? A. The apartment owner may be correct--it depends on the facts. Simply because there was a fire does not mean the apartment owner is legally responsible for the damage to your apartment. Basically, for the owner to be responsible it will be necessary for you to show some “fault� on his part. In most cases, the basis for this “fault� is negligence. Under the law of negligence, an apartment owner must take reasonable steps to maintain the apartment and must act reasonably to remedy any problem. If he does not, and your property is damaged as a result, he could be liable. For example, if there was a problem with the electrical wiring and the apartment owner did not properly repair it, the owner could be liable if a fire resulted and damaged your apartment. On the other hand, if the fire was caused by an act of God or some other accident outside of the control of the owner, there would be no responsibility. Unfortunately, you have learned too late the value of renter’s insurance. In many cases, no one is responsible when something goes wrong. Just as a homeowner should have homeowner’s insurance to cover damage to the home, renters should have renter’s insurance to protect against situations such as this one. Do you want to know a lot more about your legal rights? Will you be in Houston this Saturday, October 5th? That’s when the Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston Law Center will present the latest session of the People’s Law School. This free program is your chance to learn more about your legal rights, and get help with basic legal problems. As more than 50,000 people have learned, knowing your legal rights can help avoid problems and resolve disputes. At the People’s Law School, there will be classes in fourteen different areas of law. We will teach classes in everything from consumer law and debt collection, to family law, basic business and landlord-tenant rights. The People’s Law School will be held at the Law Center on the main campus of the University. Everyone may select three courses to attend. As I said, the program is free, but you must register in advance. To register or get more information, go to I look forward to seeing you this Saturday.

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L-R: Winners Sonal Bhuchar, Tanya Pal and Vijay Bhuchar. Photo credit: Liz Furman, Mary Favre by Vijay Bhuchar


eam Namaste, comprised of Sonal Bhuchar, Vijay Bhuchar and Tanya Pal, ousted twelve teams, a total of 39 contestants, to take home the spelling bee trophy. Mayor Evalyn Moore of Richmond and Mayor Vincent Morales of Rosenberg provided the deďŹ nitions and sentences for the words to be spelled. The Literacy Council of Fort Bend County held its fourth annual Grown-Up Spelling Bee fundraiser on September 12, 2013 at the University of Houston, Sugar Land with a record number of teams participating. Over $18000 was raised to fur-

ther its mission of improving family, community and professional lives through adult literacy education. The ďŹ nal two teams, The City of Sugar Land and Team Namaste went head to head for three rounds before the ďŹ nal written round, comprised of these words: pediculous, panegyric, rhea, kanban, and haruspex. Sonal Bhuchar, sho also serves on the Literacy Council board, commented, “We are following our kids in bringing home this win in this spelling bee, and it has been a tough ďŹ ght.â€? Tanya Pal was pleased with

the teamwork of the three contestants, “We had a rhythm going, with each of us writing the word on paper, and then picking the most logical option.� The goal of the Literacy Council is to aid families crippled by the intergenerational cycle of illiteracy, poverty, and social disadvantage by providing a strong, educational foundation through one-on-one Basic Literacy tutoring, small group instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL), classroom instruction in GED preparation and Job Readiness workshop series. Please call to volunteer or to donate (281 240 8181) and visit for additional information.

Attention New Home Buyers in Texas Member Greater Houston Builders Assoc.

A. How long you have to file a lawsuit is determined by what is called the “Statute of Limitations.� For a claim based on a credit card bill, the limitation period is four years from when the debt was first delinquent. In your case, it is clearly beyond this limit. The statute of limitations, however, is what is called an “affirmative defense.� This means that you must raise it as a defense if you are sued. I suggest you let the collector know the debt is more than four years old and that any legal action would be barred by the Statute of Limitations. In my opinion, a continued threat to sue or a lawsuit violates federal and state debt collection laws. If the collector does file suit, immediately speak with a consumer attorney. You could be entitled to punitive damages against the collector as well as your attorney’s fees.

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FRIDAY, October 4, 2013

Houston TCA Honors Padma “Flowerful” Bathukamma Bhushan P Susheela Festival at Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple on October 5th Continued from Page 1

ton audience with her all-time super hits at the sold out event. She engaged the audience for two hours with her delightful anecdotes from her rich experience as a playback singer who reigned supreme for over 50 years. Known for her talent as a multi-lingual singer, Susheela has given hits in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Oriya, Sanskrit, Tulu, Badaga. She has also sung for Sinhalese films. On the occasion, yet another legendary playback singer Latha Mangeshkar, was remembered with Susheela serenading her with a special Happy Birthday song.

Ramesh Akarapu, TCA presented Mementos to P Susheela and Anjana Sowmya along with Executive Committee and Trustees. As a tribute, a specially recorded video capturing the artists’ 50 years musical journey while giving glimpses of her Padma Bhushan recognition, national awards and several other industry stalwarts appreciation was presented and was one of the highlights of the event. Singer Anjana Sowmya, brought in a breeze of freshness with her energetic singing for almost three hours rendering super hits from latest movies as well Susheela’s classics. Anjana’s performance kept the audience in high spirits and many danced to her recent hit songs. Talented local singers that featured at the concert included Ravi Mukkamala, Suman, Lasya , Akhila and musical instruments played by DJ Darshak, Tabla by Chandra & Ravi Tamerisa and Keyboard played by Atif. TCA surprised Anjana with a special birth day party on the occasion and in turn she expressed her heartfelt thanks for making a her dream come true for having celebrated it with a legend like Susheela. The event concluded with a vote of thanks from TCA President Ramesh Akarapu, also

Anjana Sowmya entertaining the guests at Mayuri on Donor Appreciation night Ladies display the elaborate flower decorations made as an offering to Goddess Gauri.


OUSTON: For the fifth year in a row, Houston is going to celebrate Bathukamma Sambaralu (a Festival) on October 5th, 2013 at Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple, located at 10098 Synott Rd, Sugar Land. Bathukamma is a popular festival in several southern regions of India that brings people closer for a common good to share, enjoy, and celebrate life. “Bathuku” in Telugu means life and “amma” means mother. In addition to celebrating life with much pomp and

pageantry, this festival honors and prays to Goddess Gauri. Bathukamma is the most “flowerful” festival that is celebrated with family and friends. Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack arranged with seasonal flowers on a plate like base in several concentric layers, of potter’s clay like a cone. The event will start at 5:00 pm with receiving Bathukammas and puja at 5:30 by priest from Sri Ashtalakshmi temple, by invoking Goddess, the life giver, for societal prosper-


ity and good wishes. Playing Bathukamma with songs and dance is from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, followed by Nimajjanam and dinner (Prasadam) The volunteers are working hard to make this event lively and enjoyable to all the participants. The organizing committee invites all from Greater Houston area to come and participate in this traditional festival. For more details about the event please visit the website www.bathukammasambaralu. org.

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specially recognizing donors, media partners (Andhra Mirchi, Radio Hungama, TV5, TV9, ) and event co-sponsors ( NATA, Vanguri Foundation, India House, New York Life, Mayuri restaurant, Biryani Pot restau-

rant, Swara Madhuri team and MetLife ) for their kindness and support in bringing event to Houston. Following the program, the guests were treated to a full course, delicious dinner served by Mayuri restaurant.

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FRIDAY, October 4, 2013

Gandhi Convictions Upheld


he Indian Supreme Court upheld death sentences for two Sikhs convicted in the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. A third conviction was overturned. The men whose sentences were upheld are Satwant Singh, a former guard of Mrs.Gandhi’s security unit, who shot the Prime Minister in October 1984; and Kehar Singh, a former civil servant convicted of inciting and planning the killing. Justice G.L. Oza, who announced the ruling in a courtroom here, said the Government had failed to prove a charge of conspiracy to murder against a third Sikh, Balbir Singh, and ordered his release from prison. Two other judges reached the same decision in separate verdicts. Balbir Singh was a police inspector in the Prime Minister’s security network at the time of her assassination

and was convicted of having taken part in the plot against Mrs. Gandhi. Kehar Singh will request a review of the verdict, relatives and defense lawyers said. They said that if the appeal fails, they will seek clemency from President Ramaswamy Venkataraman. Mrs. Gandhi, the mother of the current Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, was slain by her Sikh bodyguards as she walked across a garden at her official home for a television interview on October 31, 1984. The Government said that Beant Singh, a bodyguard who was later slain by the police, fired the first shots at the Prime Minister. Witnesses said that Satwant Singh, who is now 25, then fired his carbine at Mrs. Gandhi. The two men surrendered to the police after the attack. But a short time later, according to the police, they tried to grab weapons from

their captors; Beant Singh was killed and Satwant Singh was wounded. The Government said the assassins had sought to avenge the army raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar in June 1984. More than 1,000 people died in the attack, and the Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine, was badly damaged. Militants at the shrine had organized a revolt against New Delhi. The judgement from India’s highest court of appeals comes more than three years after the trial of the men opened at the lower district court here under heavy security. The district court sentenced all three men to death by hanging in 1986. For security reasons, that trial was held inside a prison. Lawyers for the detained men appealed the decision to the New Delhi high court, which upheld the sentences. The lawyers then went be-

fore the Supreme Court last year, urging it to reject the earlier rulings. The men are not related to one another, although they

share the surname, Singh, common to Sikh males. None of the convicted men were in the courtroom when Justice Oza read from the

verdict. By Sanjay Hazarika (Courtesy of The New York Times) Date: September 1, 1988

World Zarathushti Chamber of Commerce – WZCC Houston and Zoroastrian Association of Houston - Library to Showcase Nozer Buchia The Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur, Business Coach, Life Coach to launch his new book ‘Roadmap To Success’ coauthored with Dr. Deepak Chopra & Dr. Ken Blanchard On Sunday, October 6, 2013 @ 5PM Zarathushti Heritage & Cultural Center 8787 West Airport Blvd., Houston, TX, 77071 Listen to an elite & dynamic panel of entrepreneurs and experts in the business arena mapping the success and failures of business strategies with Nozer Buchia


y latest book, “Roadmap to Success” is a collection of literary works (an anthology) and has been co-authored with Dr. Ken Blanchard and Dr. Deepak Chopra. In this book, I emphasize the fact that success is always within one’s reach, as long as one has the dedication, determination and the drive to get there. The reader is encouraged to challenge the way it has always

been done, and is guided along the path to success. Success, in my opinion, is measured by the strength of your desire; it is measured by the size of your dreams and by how you handle disappointments along the way. That is what I firmly believe. Most importantly in life and in business, when we lose our way, it is not typically because we lose sight of the goal, or

that we lose sight of the destination or even our strategy. It is because we have no roadmap to get there. You need to constantly ask for directions along the way and find role models and mentors that can help guide you. You need to stop occasionally and evaluate your path, and most certainly the speed with which you are travelling. I mean these are the things that have helped me define my own

success. We all have a choice; a choice every single day as to what we’re going to do with our life, and where we are going to take it. If you follow your passion and your dreams, you’ll be amazed at how far it can actually take you… all you need to do is to believe in yourself. Never be afraid to create your own opportunities, for successful people always know where

they are going, and where they’re going to end up. And if you need help along the way, just ask. Remember, you are your own driving engine and you are your own brake. The only person that can stop you from achieving anything in life is… you! Success is not magical, nor is it earned overnight. It is a tedious process that you engage in, day after day. Your level of success is directly proportion-

ate to your tolerance to risk, your passion to succeed, and your never-give-up attitude. I am entirely convinced that the day you develop clear intentions and decide firmly in your mind to set our own course is the day you start creating your own roadmap to success. Seating is Limited - RSVP Hoshang Sethna hsethna@ or (281) 4991832

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n Sunday, September 29, fifty members of Club 65 , went to Lake Conroe for an outdoor picnic. They had breakfast at Laziza Restaurant on Hillcroft and boarded a bus for the trip to Lake Conroe.

FRIDAY, October 4, 2013

Club 65 Senior’s Day At The Picnic

On the way they had fun playing Antakshari and telling jokes, and the one and half hour journey seemed to fly fast. On the way though, there were some anxious moments, as it was raining cats and dogs in Conroe. The bbq on –site was scrapped in favor of getting it cooked at a restaurant. The plan for boating too was cancelled, as it would have been too dangerous to go out in the rain.

Roja Pakal was the Coordinator of Volunteers. She and her team consisting of Rahat Kalle, Paru McGuire, Parveen Shaikh, Farida Jinnah, Rosemin Premji and Farida Abjani,monitored the games, served lunch, and cleaned up the place. After lunch the group did selfintroduction and were amazed to find out the collective brainpower in the group. There were retired doctors, engineers, ceo’s in the group. One doctor had been the personal physician of the King of Abu Dhabi while another doctor had treated four Presidents and numerous dignitaries. Each member had such rich experiences of life that all were so mesmerized by the others accomplishments.

However, when the bus reached Conroe, rain had stopped. The oldest member of Club 65, at 80+, Tyeb Shipchandler, said it was due to the power of his and other Club 65 member’s prayers. They know that a lot of work had been done in planning the picnic, ordering the food, selecting the games, and mobilizing the Club 65 members. And they too wanted to have fun, and just wanted to get outside the city, so they prayed for the rain to stop, and their prayers were answered. The gentle breeze was laden with moisture, thick dark clouds still hung in the sky, but the lake and the Lighthouse, created a very serene and tranquil atmosphere. Chairman of Club 65, Fakhruddin Sabir, owns a condo on the lake and was able to reserve the Clubhouse, for the exclusive use of the group.

hole, while some sat in small circles and reminisced about their younger days!

Fateh Ali Chatur is the Coordinator of Club 65 and his passion for serving the seniors was evidenced in everything. Latafath Hussain and Karim Maknojia, the President and Vice-President of Indian Muslims Association of Greater Houston, also accompanied the group, and helped in planning the trip. For more information on IMAGH and Club 65, please visit, or call Latafath at 713-269-6171 or contact him at Club 65 Members aboard a bus to Lake Conroe where the picnicked

They had tea and snacks to shake off the journey and then in small groups, they all went off to either explore the Lighthouse or just sauntered to the edge of the lake to watch the fish, or just wanted the breeze to brush their cheeks while they walked and talked about life experiences. The musical chairs’ was hilarious because of the competitive spirit of the seniors and the sexes: wives would not yield to husbands and vice versa. Some played Scrabble, others hit-the-

The weather was favorable for outdoor games

Ladies indulge in board games

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA) commemorates the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda in Chicago CHICAGO - Oct. 2, 2013


ishwa Hindu Parishad (VHPA) Chicago chapter organized “World Without Borders” program on Sept 27-28, 2013 to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. It was a two day event where over 2000 people participated. The event was co-sponsored by more than 35 local organizations. It was the mammoth effort of 50 plus volunteers that made this event a milestone for Hindu community. The team of volunteers was

led by Sham Sheth, Vandana Jhingan, Harendra Mangrola, Jitendra Diganvker, Amar Upadhyay, Kamlesh Patel and Viral Trivedi representing various organizations.

while remembering Swami Vivekananda. Stephen Knapp (Srinandan das) of ISKON, Detroit said, “I am proud to be a Hindu and a follower of Sanatan dharma”

The two day long program started on Friday Sept. 27 with Deep (lamp) lighting by invited dharma Gurus and dignitaries. The president of VHPA Shri Jyotish Parekh welcomed more than 500 delegates who attended the banquet. Speakers delivered their messages highlighting the glories of Sanatan Dharma and Hindu Sanskriti

On Saturday Sept. 28th ‘World Without Borders’ delegates gathered near Wisconsin avenue and walked to the Art Institute of Chicago where Swami Vivekananda delivered his historic message 120 years ago. Swami Ramdev garlanded the statue of Swami Vivekanand outside the Art Institute. The procession was led by Yoga guru

Baba Ramdev, Swami Chidananda, Swami Varadanand of Vedanta society, Swami Sharadanand of Chinmaya Mission, Lokesh Muni of Jain Center, Pundits of Gayatri Parivar, Subramanian Swami and many others dignitaries. All gathered in the hall where Swami Vivekananda spoke. After deep(lamp) lighting, a representative of Governor Office read a message from Governor of IL proclaiming September 28th, 2013 as Swami Vivekananda day. The morning session in Museum of art concluded with a mes-

sage by Baba Ramdev who said, “We bow to the efforts of America, but at the same time we bow to the ancient culture of India. We need to live the message of Swami Vivekananda who said that God does not live in places of worship but he lives in humans - we should have darshan of Brahman (God) in the entire Brahmand (universe).” In the afternoon, more than 2000 delegates re-assembled in Jain Center for the concluding session. Children from local Bal Vihars enthused the audience by singing and

dancing on patriotic songs. Jain Muni Lokesh sang a few lines praising the bravery of Swami Vivekananda and congratulated VHPA for bringing all dharmacharya and organization on one platform. Dr. Beena of Brahma Kumaris institute talked about her research on the teachings of Swami ji. In the concluding remarks Baba Ramdev talked about reestablishing the glories of Hindu traditions through reforms. He appreciated VHPA’s united effort of celebrating Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary.

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India PM rules out resigning after clash with Gandhi family NEW DELHI, October 2, 2013 (AFP) - India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ruled out resigning ahead of a meeting with a ruling party leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, following their public clash over policy. Gandhi, number two in the Congress party, described a recent executive order passed by Singh’s cabinet to shield convicted politicians as “nonsense”. The blunt comments last Friday had sparked speculation about Singh’s future. The order was approved by the government in September to prevent MPs being ejected from parliament if convicted of serious crimes. But it was

expected to be withdrawn by the cabinet later Wednesday at a meeting. “I honestly feel that if there is an important point of view, any member of the Congress party, any member of my cabinet, is free to raise issues that require reconsideration,” Singh told reporters travelling with him as he returned to India from the United States on Tuesday. He stated clearly that “there is no question of resigning” as he brushed off suggestions he had been undermined ahead of meetings with US President Barack Obama and Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, The Times of India reported. Singh met Gandhi, the new generation of the Gandhi-Neh-

ru dynasty that has ruled India for most of its post-independence history, at his home on Wednesday morning for about 30 minutes. The executive order, which must be signed by the president to become law, was an attempt to override a Supreme Court ruling -- that MPs and state lawmakers should be disqualified from public life if convicted of crimes. The cabinet’s ordinance would have shielded government ally Lalu Prasad Yadav, who was convicted this week of corruption. But some observers said it sent the wrong message before elections next year, when graft is set to be a key issue.

Bangladesh clerics protest Nobel winner’s gay rights comments DHAKA, October 1, 2013 (AFP) - Clerics in Bangladesh held small protests Tuesday against Muhammad Yunus over comments he made in 2012 supporting gay rights, in the latest campaign against the Nobel laureate and micro-loan pioneer. Islamic groups with links to the government in the deeply conservative Muslim country have organised the campaign against Yunus, saying he should be prosecuted for supporting homosexuals. Imams held peaceful street protests against Yunus in some towns around the country, but the rallies attracted only small numbers despite efforts by organisers to drum up support. “Yunus has become an apostate for supporting homosexuality,” said one imam, Maolana Mohammad Noman, who took part in a protest in the eastern town of Comilla. Local police chief Mohiuddin Mahmud told AFP that scores of imams joined the rally in Comilla and demanded Yunus’s execution. Moniruzzaman Rabbani, secretary of a committee that helps run the national mosque in Dhaka, said organisers distributed 600,000 leaflets in hundreds of towns outlining Yunus’s statement against violence and opposing discrimination against gay people. “The protest took place in each of the country’s 580 sub-

Indian child maid in hospital in Delhi abuse case by Annie BANERJI

NEW DELHI, October 1, 2013 (AFP) - A teenage girl working as a maid in India’s capital was recovering in hospital Tuesday after being rescued from a home where campaigners said she was slashed with knives and mauled by dogs. Police told AFP they had arrested her employer, a 50-yearold woman who lives with her 85-year-old mother in the upmarket Vasant Kunj area of southern New Delhi, on suspicion of illegal confinement and assault. The 15-year-old’s injuries have cast a spotlight again on the abuse of domestic servants in the capital where thousands of workers, often children trafficked from remote and poverty-stricken states, toil for long hours in homes with almost no legal protection. “It is horrible and barbaric,” Kiran Walia, Delhi’s minister for women and child development, told reporters after visiting the victim in a city hospital where she is being treated for multiple injuries. The girl, from the eastern state of Jharkhand, reportedly told police after her rescue on Monday night that she had been working with her employers for the past year and was unable to leave. “Such a heinous crime has happened to this girl. The whole head was smashed, the whole body, dog bites are there,” Rishi Kant, from the anti-trafficking campaign group Shakti Vahini, told the NDTV news channel, adding she had also been slashed with knives.

district towns,” Rabbani said. Organisers would distribute anti-Yunus leaflets in at least “100 mosques” in the capital during weekly prayers on Friday. The 73-year-old economist made the statement along with three other Nobel laureates in April 2012 following the prosecution of gay people in Uganda. Yunus is currently not in the country. Homosexuality in Bangladesh is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The campaign is the latest aimed at discrediting and attacking Yunus in Bangladesh. He was sacked in 2011 from Grameen Bank, the microcredit pioneer he founded, after angering Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by joining politics briefly. Last month the government launched tax probes against the anti-poverty campaigner and his social business firms, accusing them of evading millions of dollars in taxes. Rabbani said the protests were organised “solely in an effort to protect Islam and family”. But an official has told

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his department was behind the campaign or that it supported it. Yunus set up Grameen Bank in 1983 and made it a global

success story in tackling poverty. His efforts to make collateral-free micro loans easily available for Bangladesh’s rural poor made him a national hero.



FRIDAY, October 4, 2013


Vol. 26

No. 40

Friday, October 4, 2013



US teens’ dangerous

by Fabienne FAUR ASHINGTON - It’s the latest weight loss craze among American teens striving to emulate the models they see in magazines: the “thigh gap”, in which slender legs, when standing

Section 2

obsession with ‘thigh gap’

Tel: 713-774-5140 Angeles, told AFP: “Attaining thinness is a way of signaling elite social status.” But, worse than that, “fatness not only connotates low social status, but it may predict low social status.” “Studies show that heavier girls and

The weight craze among US teens striving to emulate fashion models is the ‘thigh gap’ in which legs, when standing with feet together, do not touch (AFP photo) with feet together, do not touch. Experts say the cost of what teens see as an ideal body shape -- but really is for most unattainable -- is self-esteem problems that can lead to eating disorders, depression and even suicide. On Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook, “thigh gap” photos abound: close-ups of sometimes unbearably skinny legs published by young girls eager to show off their success -- or bemoan what they see as a failure to whittle away fat. “My thigh gap is huge,” brags a Tumblr user with the handle fosterthe-beatles. Another user, skinnysizezero, cheers her fellow dieters on, saying: “Together we can lose weight. Together we can be skinny.” “Together we can be a size zero with a beautiful thigh gap and flat stomach. Together we can be happy and finally say that we love our bodies,” her post pledges. Another poster, elleskyyy, said she felt better when she “realized I’m getting a thigh gap.” Meanwhile, a user called “starving for perfection” complained about her “mediocre/nonexistent thigh gap” and flagellated herself for her “fatfatfatfat.”

Experts say the obsession with leg shape is not new, but has been dramatically amplified by social media websites and their 24/7 influence on the lives of American teens. The fan Twitter account Cara’s Thigh Gap, is dedicated to the extreme slenderness of British model Cara Delevingne, while dozens of Facebook pages and websites propose diets and exercise regimes to achieve the almighty gap. But clinical psychologist Barbara Greenberg warned that for most women, the “thigh gap” is a pipe dream, even via extreme dieting and exercise. “Most women are not built that way to have that space between their thighs,” she said. “It is a matter of bone structure,” she explained, which “the majority of women do not have.” For teenagers, adopting what Greenberg called an “unrealistic obsession” can be dangerous -- increasing pressures that can lead to depression, even suicidal behavior, as well as to severe eating disorders, which can cause lasting brain and bone damage. Indeed, starvation diets -- and selfloathing -- are a common theme on the “thigh gap” pages of young girls. “Yesterday i had 380 calories but

then i ate candys so much that my calorie number switch to ca. 650.... faaaaaaaaaaaaaat,” writes Anastasia, a young German girl, on Tumblr, who prays: “Please God let me be skinny.” The World Health Organization recommends a daily intake of around 2,500 calories to support the energy needs of a growing teenage girl. ‘Thin ideal’ spread in media Shannon Snapp, a sociologist at the University of Arizona, blames magazines, movies and television for spreading the “thin ideal,” and urges consumers to stop buying into it. “That message is internalized by young women and girls: if you want to be successful, if you want to be liked, this is the way you should look,” Snapp said -- “thin everywhere except for their breasts.”

British model Cara Delevingne walks the runway during Stella McCartney fashion show in Paris on September 30, 2013 (AFP photo) sexist and sizeist culture, their bodies are their currency, and they are looking to increase their perceived social value,” she added.

women are less likely to get hired and when they are hired, they are paid less,” Saguy said, adding that larger women are also less likely to marry.

That’s not how the teenagers themselves always see it, however.

However, a counter-movement against the “thigh gap” is building, with girls also taking to social media to mock the obsession.

“Teenage girls are probably the most likely to be feeling the pressure to look that particular way, because they are going through puberty: for the first time, they are compared to adult women,” she added.

One girl, “mannddda,” declares on Tumblr: “I hate when people tell me I’m dumb for wanting a thigh gap and to be skinny. It’s not for anyone else but ME. I wanna look in the mirror and be happy for MYSELF & NO ONE ELSE.”

Likewise, San Jose State University sociologist Natalie Boero said the skinny-obsessed “are looking for social acceptance and to fit in.”

But sociologists say there is an unmistakable trend linking body size with social status.

“Young women are aware that in a

Abigail Saguy, a body image expert at the University of California, Los

One YouTube video, “5 Ways to Fake a Thigh Gap,” posted by “tadelesmith,” suggests, for example, that girls who want a gap between their thighs should move their legs apart. And on Twitter, Common White Girl declares herself relieved that her thighs touch, saying: “Not having a thigh gap saved my phone from falling in the toilet.”

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Friday, October 4, 2013 by Tyler Kingkade (The Huffington Post )


urprise: student debt is having a depressing effect on Americans’ life choices.

Section 2


FRIDAY, October 4, 2013

Tel: 713-774-5140

Student Debt Is Making All Your Life Choices Worse

Sixty percent of the survey respondents said they were confused about their student loan paperwork and 69 percent didn’t understand their repayment options.

According to a new report from the Boston-based nonprofit American Student Assistance, a quarter of college students said their student loans made it difficult to buy daily necessities, and nearly twothirds said their debt prevented them from making large purchases, like buying a car. In addition to this drag on lifestyle and consumer spending, student debt also played a significant role in larger financial and personal commitments. Three-fourths of respondents said they put off saving for retirement or buying a home because of their debt. Almost one-third delayed marriage and 43 percent waited to start a family. These choices all have a ripple effect on the greater economy, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has warned and as the ASA report concluded. “If student loan borrowers

Colleges and universities were not spared criticism in the report. These institutions “must make a concerted effort to minimize tuition cost increases,” ASA said. The report points out that student debt has a negative effect on colleges, too, since it discourages student and alumni giving. ASA found that 72 percent of graduates said their debt made them less willing to donate to their alma mater, and 77 percent were less able to do so.

Students protest continue to sit on the sidelines and delay financial commitments, the U.S. economy will plod cautiously along -- rather than thrive with the help and economic investment of a new generation of well-educated

consumers, eager to participate in driving the economy but hampered by their college debt,” the report says. “It is in everyone’s best interest to address this problem and make a concerted effort to lessen

Teens Get Online ‘Eraser Button’ With New California Law Kathleen Miles


alifornia teens get an online “eraser button” under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday. The law makes California the first state to require websites to allow people younger than 18 to remove their own postings on that website, and to clearly inform minors how to do so. “Kids and teens frequently self-reveal before they selfreflect,” Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, told The Huffington Post. “In today’s digital age, mistakes can stay with and haunt kids for their entire life. This bill is a big step forward for privacy rights, especially since California has more tech companies than any other state.” The law is meant to help protect teens from bullying, embarrassment and harm to job and college applications from online posts they later regret. In a 2012 Kaplan surveyof college admissions

counselors, nearly a quarter said they checked out applicants’ social networking. Of those counselors, 35 percent said what they found -- including included vulgarities, alcohol consumption and “illegal activities” -- negatively affected applicants’ admissions chances. Major social media sites -- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine -- already allow users of any age to delete their posts, including photos and comments. California’s “eraser button” law will require this policy for all websites with users in the state. The new law also prohibits youth-oriented websites or those that know they have users who are minors from advertising products that are illegal to underagers, such as guns, alcohol and tobacco. Websites will not be required to delete re-postings by a third party of the minor’s original post. Opponents of the law said it will burden websites with developing policies for dif-

ferent states. Proponents said they hope the law spreads. The law, SB568, was authored by state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). “This is a good business practice that should filter through the industry,” Rhys Williams, Steinberg’s press secretary, told HuffPost. “These companies are keen to avoid bad press just as parents are keen to avoid bad attention toward their children.” In 2011, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) introduced a similar bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, called the Do Not Track Kids Act. It died in committee. The new California law -supported by Common Sense Media, Children NOW, Crime Victims United, the Child Abuse Prevention Center and the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence -- goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015. (Huffington Post)

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an eye toward employee retention. Private student lenders should at the same time offer more flexible repayment options for borrowers, the group said.

the burden that student loans are having on generations of American consumers.” ASA says the federal government should increase funding for college financial aid grants and should keep interest

rates on student loans low. The group also encourages states to improve funding for public colleges. In the private sector, ASA suggests businesses help their workers pay off their debt, with

Lowered donations may not bother some of the richest schools, like the University of Texas or Harvard University, but it’s certainly a concern for colleges whose endowments struggled during the Great Recession.

American football: Odd college traditions spark intensity by Jim SLATER


ASHINGTON, From a buildingsized mural of Jesus Christ that appears to signal a touchdown to visitors’ locker rooms painted pink to produce a calming effect, collegiate American football has some unusual traditions. Crowds of more than 100,000 people gather in some areas around the United States to watch university squads represent schools, states and regions as players train for possible National Football League careers. These teams, many of which bring millions of dollars in television rights fees to colleges because of huge national interest, also spark unique support. “Touchdown Jesus” is the nickname given to the 134-foot mural “The Word of Life” by Millard Sheets on the side of the Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame because the image of upraised arms on a resurrected Jesus that looms over one end of 80,000seat Notre Dame Stadium looks exactly like a referee’s signal for a touchdown. Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish players touch a sign on a staircase from the locker room to

the field that reads “Play Like a Champion Today.”

have changed the hue of the typically green turf.

Such touches for good luck are a superstition at many schools. Players at Maryland rub the nose of Testudo, a 300pound statue of the school’s Terrapin turtle mascot before running onto the field, while the Nebraska Cornhuskers touch a lucky horseshoe exiting their locker room.

Boise State has had a blue field, known as “Smurf Turf” since 1986, while Eastern Washington adopted a red-colored field in 2010 and Tennessee, where players run onto the field through marching band members spelling the letter “T”, features end zones with an orange and white checkerboard motif.

At Clemson, players touch Howard’s Rock just before they run down a hill onto the field. The rock is named for former Tigers coach Frank Howard, who was given the large stone by a friend and famously told players to “give me 110 percent or keep your filthy hands off my rock.” Pink locker rooms have been at Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium since the 1980s after former Hawkeyes coach Hayden Fry said the color scheme would make rival players more relaxed. From carpets to lockers to urinals and showers, every bit of the room remains pink. “It’s a passive color and we hoped it would put opponents in a passive mood,” Fry wrote in his autobiography. But that’s not the only color scheme. Two schools notably

Bands often add to the ritual atmosphere. Purdue features the 92-year-old, 10-foot high “World’s Largest Drum” wheeled onto the field while Ohio State’s marching band’s “Script Ohio” performance gives the honor of “dotting the i” in the word to sousaphone players. Flashy entrances are the foundation for many a tradition, among them Ralphie’s Run at Colorado, where a live half-ton buffalo leads the Buffaloes players onto the field. In Atlanta, players follow out the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech, a 1930 Ford Model A Sport Coupe, while at Oklahoma, a horse-pulled covered wagon, the Sooner Schooner, makes a lap around the stadium after home-side scores.


FRIDAY, October 4, 2013



Friday, October 4, 2013

Section 2

Understanding the Term Caregivers by: Sudhir Mathuria


everal different types of care may be available for people who are aging, seriously ill, or living with a disability. CUSTODIAL CARE Custodial care refers to non-skilled, personal care, such as help with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, eating, getting in or out of a bed or chair, moving around, and using the bathroom. It may also include care that most people can do themselves, like using eye drops. Medicare doesn’t cover custodial care. HOME HEALTH CARE (Covered by Medicare) Home health care may encompass limited part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care and home health aide services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology services, medical social services, durable medical equipment (such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen, and walkers), medical supplies, and other services provided in the patient’s home. A doctor or other health care provider enrolled in Medicare must order the care for Medicare to cover it, and a Medicare-certified home health agency must provide it. HOSPICE CARE (Covered by Medicare) Hospice care offers a special way of caring for people who are terminally ill, typically utilizing a team-

oriented approach to address medical, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs. Hospice also provides support to the patient’s family or caregiver. INPATIENT CARE (Covered by Medicare) Inpatient care refers to health care for those admitted to a hospital or skilled nursing facility. LONG-TERM CARE Longterm care encompasses a variety of services that help people with health, personal needs, and activities of daily living over a period of time. This care can be provided at home, in the community, or in various types of facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Most long-term care is custodial care. Medicare doesn’t cover this type of care if this is the only kind of care a person needs. LONG-TERM HOSPITAL CARE (Covered by Medicare) Long-term hospital care refers to acute care hospitals that provide treatment for patients who stay, on average, more than 25 days. Most patients are transferred from an intensive or critical care unit. Services provided include comprehensive rehabilitation, respiratory therapy, head trauma treatment, and pain management. SKILLED NURSING CARE (Covered by Medicare) Skilled nursing care refers to a level of care that includes services that


can only be performed safely and correctly by a licensed nurse (either a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse). SKILLED NURSING FACILITY (Covered by Medicare) Skilled nursing facilities are those with the staff and equipment to give skilled nursing care and/or skilled rehabilitation services and other related health services. Want to learn more? Go to and click on “Caregiver Topics,” then “Paying for Care,” and “Which

Sudhir Mathuria

expenses are covered?” For Medicare Enrollment Contact:: Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360

WASHINGTON - A key part of President Barack Obama’s drive to offer low-cost health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans opened Tuesday despite a government shutdown over Republican opposition to the plan. Known widely as “Obamacare,” the Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2010, on the promise of helping 30 million uninsured people get health care coverage. Despite its ambitions to revolutionize American health care, the plan is not free and will not be able to cover all 57 million people in America who lack full insurance coverage. Advocates have touted it as a major step forward, while opponents like Republican House speaker John Boehner have insisted the plan “is not ready for prime-time.” New health insurance exchanges began enrolling people Tuesday via the website, where consumers could browse the options available for private insurance starting next year. “For years, the financial, physical or mental health of millions of Americans suffered

because they couldn’t afford the care they or their family needed,” said US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Today’s launch begins a new day when health care coverage will be more accessible and affordable than ever before.” About seven million Americans are expected to seek coverage by 2014, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The policies available on the health exchanges range in price according to a person’s income, location, family size and the level of coverage on a scale of bronze, silver, gold or platinum. All Americans must sign up for some kind of health insurance by January 1 or face a fine. The government said last week there will be around 53 plans to choose from in the federally-facilitated marketplace. “The vast majority will have a choice of at least two different health insurance companies -- usually more,” said a statement from Health and Human Services. “Nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans could get insurance for $100 or less, with financial assistance and expanded access to Medicaid.”

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Most Americans have health insurance -- 82.6 percent according a July report from the Department of Commerce based on data from the 2010 Census. About half get it through their employer, and about 30 percent are enrolled in government-programs like Medicare, mainly for seniors, and Medicaid which covers the poor and disabled. That leaves 17.4 percent of Americans uninsured. An analysis in the journal Health Affairs earlier this year projected that around 30 million Americans will still not get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Those gaps are due in part to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow some states to opt out of expanding Medicaid programs, coupled with a cut in funding under the reform plan to safetynet hospitals, it said. The Affordable Care Act “will leave tens of millions uncovered. It will do little to alter racial disparities in coverage,” said the Health Affairs report published in June. “The ACA, whatever its merits, will fall well short of its stated goal of providing affordable care for all Americans.”

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Overweight and at risk for heart disease? Pop a few walnuts


verweight adults can help protect themselves from diabetes and heart disease by adding walnuts to their diet. That’s the conclusion of a new Yale University study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition which put a small group of adults on a walnut-enriched diet for two eightweek sessions. For their research, scientists chose 46 adults between the ages of 30 and 75 who had a body mass index larger than 25 and a waist circumference exceeding 40 inches (102 cm) for men and 35 inches (89 cm) for women. All exhibited risk factors for metabolic syndrome, a precursor of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and none were smokers. Participants were assigned to either a walnut-enriched ad libitum diet or an ad libitum diet without walnuts. Those who followed the wal-

nut diet were instructed to eat 56 g of shelled, unroasted walnuts a day as a snack or with a meal. At the end of the experiments, scientists observed im-

proved endothelial function in overweight adults who consumed walnuts. Endothelial cells make up the inner lining of blood vessels and help with blood clotting and the formation of new blood cells, regulate inflammation and control blood pressure. No participants in the walnuteating group gained weight. “We know that improving diets tends to be hard, but adding

a single food is easy,” explained lead author Dr. David Katz. “Our theory is that if a highly nutritious, satiating food like walnuts is added to the diet, there are dual benefits: the benefits of that nutrient rich addition and removal of the less nutritious foods.” The Yale study is the latest research to vaunt the health benefits of walnuts. A longitudinal study out of Spain published this summer found that people who ate nuts, particularly walnuts, tended to have a lower body mass index and a smaller waist, were less likely to smoke and were more likely to be physically active compared to those who never included nuts in their diets. Overall, nut eaters had a 39 percent lower mortality risk and walnut eaters had a 45 percent lower risk. (AFP Relax)

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Artificial sweeteners sabotage weight loss efforts: study


hink you’re saving yourself extra calories by going the artificial sweetener route? New research suggests you’re just setting yourself up to fail.

formed behavioral testing involving sweeteners and sug-

In an opinion article published in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism this summer, experts also pointed to similar studies which showed that consuming zero-calorie sweeteners altered the brain’s pleasure center and dampened physiological responses to sweet taste, causing mice to overindulge in calorie-dense foods later.

That’s the conclusion of a new study out of Yale University which found that eating low-calorie sweetened products may actually sabotage efforts to reduce calorie intake, by leading people to reach for higher calorie alternatives later on. Or, as scientists put it, despite good intentions, the brain can’t be fooled by artificial sweeteners. That’s because in their animal research, scientists observed that a specific physiological signal that regulates dopamine levels — the feel-good chemical that works with the reward center in the brain — only arose when sugar was broken down into a form that could be used as fuel and energy for the body. For the study, scientists perby Ivan COURONNE


ASHINGTON, September 30, 2013 (AFP) - Millions of uninsured and low-income Americans will sign on to subsidized health coverage beginning Tuesday in a revolutionary system that is still working out technical kinks -- and confronting heaps of political pushback.

decreases significantly, along with important reductions in brain dopamine levels,” explained lead author Ivan de Araujo in the Journal of Physiology.

ars and measured chemical responses in the brain circuit. “According to the data, when we apply substances that interfere with a critical step of the ‘sugar-to-energy pathway’, the interest of the animals in consuming artificial sweetener The administration has promised that the Affordable Care Act will be a transformative program ensuring access to affordable coverage regardless of age, gender or pre-existing conditions. But opponents of “Obamacare,” nicknamed by critics angry about how President Barack Obama rammed through the historic 2010 legislation, fear the system is a giant leap

Artificial sweeteners have also been associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The overall lesson from the study? Limit the intake of artificial sweeteners, stick to water and if the craving is too strong, opt for fiber-rich, unprocessed natural fruit juices or smoothies. (AFPRelax) toward socialized medicine and that it is “not ready for primetime.” One thing is certain: while Obamacare becomes a reality beginning October 1 for those eligible to purchase coverage through so-called health insurance exchanges, it remains an imperfect system. “It’s going to be crazy,” predicted Alicia Wilson, who runs La Clinica del Pueblo assisting


Friday, October 4, 2013


Section 2


Wells Fargo to pay $869 mn claim to Freddie Mac


ells Fargo bank said it will pay $869 million to Freddie Mac to settle claims of potential fraud in home loans it sold to the US government-controlled mortgage company. In a short statement issued Monday night, the California based bank said the agreement will allow it to substantially resolve liabilities on home loans it sold to Freddie Mac before 2009 and the emergence of the financial crisis. The accord was announced five days after Citigroup said it would pay Freddie Mac $395 million to settle similar claims. Banks must make assurances to Freddie about the loans before they are sold. If these representations prove false, the bank can be forced to repurchase the loans.

Citi, Wells Fargo and other leading banks have faced a huge number of claims related

to problematic loans that were granted during the housing boom. (AFP)

S. Korean steel plant in India could displace 22,000, says UN NEW DELHI (AFP) - United Nations human rights experts said Tuesday a giant steelmaking project by South Korean giant Posco in eastern India could displace up to 22,000 people who risked falling into abject poverty. The group, comprising eight experts, urged Posco immediately to halt construction of the plant in the Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa state, citing concern for the villagers. The construction must not proceed “without ensuring adequate safeguards and guaranteeing that the rights of the thousands of people are respected”, said a statement from the Geneva-based Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Posco, the world’s fourthlargest steelmaker by output, has said it remains committed to the $12 billion steel plant project, touted as India’s biggest single foreign direct investment. But the project, initially agreed in 2005, has been mired in delays due to environmental concerns and opposition from locals who say the plant would interfere with their traditional forest-based livelihoods and uproot them from their homes. “People should not be impoverished in the name of development. Their rights must take precedence over potential profits,” said Magdalena Sepulveda, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

The experts also urged the Indian government to respond to their concerns and ensure that the human rights of the affected people are protected. Industrialisation has been long championed by economists as a way to pull tens of millions of Indians out of poverty. But acquiring land for factories, roads, housing and other projects has created sometimes deadly battlegrounds, with many farmers complaining they have been forced to sell at below market rate and robbed of their livelihoods. The Posco deal has been watched as a test case by foreign investors, eager to enter India’s fast-growing economy but wary of the potential for en-

Tel: 713-774-5140

Merck to cut 8,500 more jobs in cost-cutting overhaul


EW YORK CITY - US pharmaceutical giant Merck said Tuesday it would eliminate an additional 8,500 jobs worldwide as it seeks to cut costs by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015.

The new job cuts, combined with previously announced cuts of about 7,500, will slash 20 percent of the current global workforce of 81,000 by end-2015, Merck said in a statement.

Wells Fargo bank said it will pay $869 million to Freddie Mac to settle claims of potential fraud in home loans it sold to the US government-controlled mortgage company

FRIDAY, October 4, 2013

The company, which has been under pressure after the expiration of patents on some key drugs, said that most of the savings will come from marketing and administrative expenses, and research and development (R&D). Merck said it expected to achieve $1.0 billion, or 40 percent of the targeted savings, by the end of next year. “These actions will make Merck a more competitive company, better positioned to drive

innovation and to more effectively commercialize medicines and vaccines for the people who need them,” said Kenneth Frazier, Merck chairman and chief executive, in the statement. Frazier emphasized the company was committed to improving performance in the short term while also investing for the long term to create value for patients, customers and shareholders. The multi-yearn restructuring is aimed at sharpening the company’s commercial and R&D focus, including boosting the drug development pipeline and creating a more flexible cost structure. Resources will be directed to areas with the highest potential for growth, such as the antiPD-1 immunotherapy program for oncology, the company said, while maintaining a focus on its core pharmaceutical and vaccine business. Total pre-tax costs for the

overhaul were estimated between $2.5 billion and $3.0 billion. The company planned to take charges for the new restructuring program of $900 million to $1.1 billion in 2013, most of them in the third quarter. Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, said it would increase its focus in 10 markets that account for the majority of revenue in its core business -the US, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and South Korea. The company confirmed its full-year 2013 earnings forecast, with earnings per share in a target range of $3.45 to $3.55, excluding exceptional items. In the second quarter, Merck reported net earnings of $906 million, half of the year-ago income. Shares in Merck were up 2.2 percent at $48.56 in early trade Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

World Bank to step up help for the most fragile nations WASHINGTON, October 1, 2013 (AFP) - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said Tuesday that the bank planned to boost its aid for fragile and conflictaffected states by 50 percent over the next three years. Kim said the increase in support for the weakest countries is part of the Bank’s goals to slash poverty and boost shared prosperity. “We will increase our commitment to fragile and conflict-affected states, which will require us to be bolder, take more risks, and commit more resources,” he said in a speech at George Washington University in Washington.

The increased resources will come both from the Bank’s unit dealing with the poorest nations, the International Development Association, and its private-sector finance and support arm, the International Finance Corp. “A critical part of our work is in countries emerging from conflict, affected by conflict, or stuck in a persistent state of fragility,” Kim said. “As we know all too well, when a country remains in a long state of fragility, conflict often erupts.” He pointed to the Syrian conflict and its impact on neighboring Lebanon, which the Bank says has suffered the loss of bil-

lions of dollars due to that conflict, in addition to hosting some 760,000 Syrian refugees. “We need to do much more or we risk catastrophe in Lebanon,” he said. Kim described the added support for the frailest countries as part of a sweeping refocus of the Bank, shaking up its organization to focus on the areas where it is the strongest and abandoning those where other institutions do better work. “We won’t continue working in areas in which others are better. We won’t enter projects for the sole purpose of meeting volume targets for the year,” he said.



India’s ‘hugging saint’ celebrates 60th birthday -- with hugs

FRIDAY, October 4, 2013

Your Horoscope (For week beginning Friday, October 4, 2013)

Hardik Vyas, Astrologer Cell : 832-298-9950

As per Indian Vedic Astrology the Moon sign is considered, in which every Rashi has control over certain letters, which are initials of your name. Whereas in Western system of Sun Sign, all the people born in one month belong to the same sign. For example, every year approximately around 21 of March to 20th April, the Sun is moving in the Aries Constellation. So all the people born in that month belong to the Sign of Aries. If you were born in between those two dates then you are a Aries born.

Aries (A,L,E) 21 March to 20 April Channel your energy through shortcuts. You’ve done it all before, so now all you have to do is re-call your magic and make it appear. Your every desire will peak the passion meter. Beware of a fair weathered friend who may be trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Ask for proof and insist on honesty. Base your decisions on what you know for sure. Putting things into a more positive perspective will help you to see things clearer. Emotions rule and escalate to either ‘good excitement’ or ‘negative confrontation’ levels.

Taurus(B,V,U)21 April to 20 May In this handout photograph received from MD Niche on September 27, 2013 devotees wash the feet of Hindu spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi during her 60th birthday in Amritapuri


MRITAPURI, September 27, 2013 (AFP) - India’s “hugging saint”, who has hugged more than 32 million people around the world, celebrated her 60th birthday on Friday in the company of disciples from around the globe. The celebrations for the charismatic spiritual leader, known as Amma or “mother” to her millions of devotees, have stretched over three days at her ashram complex in Amritapuri, on a stretch of coastline in southern India’s Kerala state. The guru, formal name Mata Amritanandamayi, hugs people in her globe-trotting crusade to spread “selfless love and compassion”, according to her website. As part of the birthday celebrations she dispensed her trademark hugs, was serenaded by songs of “Happy Birthday” and announced a series of charitable initiatives. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh praised Amma in a message, saying that “her life is dedicated to society”. “Coming here and seeing all of the people makes me realise how many people need Amma. She is not just hugging people,

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June You can find a practical use for other’s talents. You know what’s best for others and more than likely you’ll be able to convince them of it. Instead of assuming that your system is perfect, allow others to test its flaws. Your source is pure even if the output is limited right now. Collect what you can find and use it wisely. Lately, you seem to have been taken off track from your personal interests & goals. Other situations have taken over & become a real priority for you. It’s time to get back to the basics.

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July she is changing lives,” tweeted Eliza Shackelford, an American who was at the celebrations.

The plump, smiling guru, says she is connected to an “eternal energy source” which means that she is never tired.

You are taking the time you need now to be able to look at things from a different perspective. Meet a challenge in your own time and on your own turf. Friends share a bond that will survive any miss-understandings that may occur. They will try to help you through your emotional difficulties. Allow them to teach you new ways to battle your foes & lift your spirits. Time together will help you to deal with emotional hurts. Try to plan a week-end getaway with family & friends. You’ll be glad you did.

Ten years ago, Amma, marking her 50th birthday, hugged thousands of people non-stop for 24 hours, according to media reports.

She grew up in a Kerala fishing community, the eldest daughter of a low-caste family. According to her official biography, she started hugging people when just a child “to comfort them in their sorrow”.

Listen to your intuitive feelings. You may need to experiment with different ways to achieve your goals. You’re all about big ideas and big events. Try your best to get you priorities straight. You need to find something to help you to relax & relieve the stress you feel. Things are temporary, not written in stone. You can generate ideas with the best of them, but you should know your limits. Utilize experts who can bridge the gaps in your knowledge. You are very much the peacemaker these days.


Disciples at the ashram on Friday washed Amma’s feet in a sign of love and devotion. The ceremonies also included a marathon prayer for world peace. Amma travels the world, regularly going to the United States, Britain and other destinations, hugging people.

While born to a Hindu family, she embraces all faiths and calls herself a “servant of god”. She launched her ashram several decades ago and it receives millions of dollars a year in donations. She operates a large charitable organisation which provides health care, education and disaster relief.


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Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August

Virgo(P) 23 August to 22 September Discover the new powers you possess. You may have felt restrained lately, but you’ll soon feel like you could climb mountains. Patience will be required, but more important is focus. You’d much rather start something new than committing yourself to tired old business. This is the perfect time for you to find a new approach to use to gain needed support. Pursue new avenues of interest that spark your creative side. Fresh energy will enable you to figure out things more easily than before.

Libra(R,T)23 Sept to 22 Oct

You can excel in everything you do. Cash in on a fresh start by opening your mind and learning about people. Things will come more easily to you once you do. You won’t require any permission for the truly important things. Someone will offer your name to those in charge. Your confidence level will rise and others will be able to see things from your perspective. Be patient with those who still can’t see the view. You may be asked to express your ideas to a larger audience.

Scorpio(N,Y)23 Oct to 21 Nov

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The feeling that things have been going well, but you may feel as if something important is missing. You need to focus your energy into a new plan or project in order to reach your immediate goals. Don’t go searching for anything in particular, as your solution will present itself to you. Learn to try to let things come to you, rather than chasing rainbows. Express your appreciation to those who have helped you. You’re on your own path this week, so prepare for the solitude. Authority will not be denied, so get back to your work.

You are accepting your role and realizing that last minute changes are for the best. You will need to plan your approach, carefully. Take the time you need to present yourself & your ideas. If you think more positively, you’ll be able to handle any situation thrown your way. Once you get started, you’ll be able to influence others greatly to your way of thinking. You’re understandable as well as interesting. By week’s end, make plans for a get together with friends & family. It’ll be just what you need. You may be in ‘a good position’ for a number of things.

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

Accept the past and move forward towards the future. There may be too many things to decide on at once. Take your direction from honor and a sense of purpose. You’ll have to work step by step to achieve more realistic improvements in your life. Someone may be happy with the situation as it is but you are not. Take your time, read, write & express your thoughts in words. If you can open your mind & your heart to someone who shares your goals, you’ll find that there are no restrictions on you.

Capricorn(KH,J)22 Dec to 20 Jan Organize and keep everybody on track. You may be faced with more details than you normally like to handle. Unless you are careful, miscommunications or misunderstandings may happen. Think deeper to find a way to make your job easier. There are so many things happening around you, that you may feel overwhelmed. Don’t allow others to put you in the middle of their problems. If someone wants your opinion, you can lend them an ear, but you can’t solve their problems for them.

Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb Bide your time and get the past negative feelings you have about the current situation. You may not have any control over the situation, but you can still get something from it. Strength begins with courage and you happen to have lots of that. Don’t allow others to press your emotional buttons. Promises may have been broken, but you need to conserve your energy for more positive use. You’ll feel frustrated by other’s neglect for your feelings.

Pisces(D,CH,Z)20 Feb to 20 March Arrange the things into a clearer perspective. This is an ideal time to reunite a group that has been growing apart. Once you do, you’ll have a keener understanding of how things work. An official announcement will open a new connection. Look behind the scenes & understand all of our options. Focus your energy full force. Creative in search of better opportunities won’t have to look far. You will reach a very positive goal! Play your cards right & you may be celebrating true success. For you, physical attractions begin in the mind. You’re fascinated by the life force and the ways in which it manifests itself. Bring people together by showing them interesting new lifestyles or ways to work.



FRIDAY, October 4, 2013

RELIGIOUS INSTITUTES & ORGANIZATIONS OF HOUSTON - call Voice of Asia 713-774-5140 Mahatma Gandhi Library Prog: October 1, 2013. Gandhi Jayanti – Gandhiji’s Birthday, by Bechtel Diversity Advisory Council(DAC) on Tuesday , October 6, 2013.-1000 Lights for Peace on Sunday.

Mission Church of God Mission Church of God ONLY HINDI CHURCH IN STAFFORD, TX 235 Ave E, Stafford, TX 77477 Join us for services every Sunday 6 pm - 8 pm. Please call 281-229-9979 for details.

Hare Krishna Dham (ISKCON) Prog: Everyday, 7 Aratis and bhoga offerings daily. Sunday Festival: 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. Location: 1320 West 34th St, Houston, TX 77018. Contact:281-433-1635/E-mail Website: www.iskconhouston. org

Shri Radha Krishna Temple Prog: Akhand Ramayan Path Start on Saturday October 5, 2013 at 5PM continuing until Sunday October 6, 2013 7:00PM. Prasaad will be served after Program. Location:11625 Beechnut, Houston, TX 77072 Phone: 281-933-8100 Website:

Sri Krishn Dham Prog:Unmatched gift - classes conducted on how to stop self inflicted, miserable suffering. e meet on 3rd. Sunday of each month at 1 PM. Devotee volunteers are invited. Contact:Sushree Arjun Sang: 832-252-7272 or write to:

India House Prog: Free Yoga classes every Tues, Thurs, & Sat Free Dance classes every Sun


Free Computer classes every Mon, Wed, & Thurs Medical Clinic every Sat Cultural Library every Sun For info call 713-929-1900 Email: info@indiahouseinc. org Website: www.indiahouseinc. org

Chinmaya Mission Prog: Location:10353 Synott Road, Sugar Land, TX77498. Phone: 832.541.0059.

Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya

Temple Hrs: 9 am to noon and 5 to 9 pm. Sri Astalaksmi puja: 7 pm. Sri Laksmi Archana will be performed on request all day. Location:same as Chinmaya Mission. Website: www.saumyakasi. org;

Hindu Temple of The Woodlands Prog: Location: 7601 S. Forest Gate Drive at Woodlands Parkway, Spring, TX 77382. Contact:, 832-585-0001 Website: www.

VSNA, Houston Prog: Monthly Mahamane event. Puja, Vachana Sahithya discourses, Aarthi and Prasad Contact: vsnahouston@gmail. com/832-545-1185 (Jyoti Biradar) Facebook: Website: com/site/bsusorg/home

BAPS Prog: Location: 1150 Brand Rd. Stafford, TX. Contact: 281-765-2277 Web:

Sri Meenakshi Temple Prog: Location: 17130 McLean Road

Pearland, TX 77584 Contact: (281) 489-0358


Arsha Vidya Bharati

Shri Satyanarayan Sai Puja Darshan

Prog.:Sanskrit classes and special worship sessions for all ages Location: 2918 Renoir, Sugar Land, TX 77479 Contact: 281-606-5607 or Web-site: com/site/avbtexas/classes

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus Samee Mosque Prog: Friday Prayer - 1:30 PM Children’s Classes | Interfaith meeting | Location: 1333 Spears Rd, Houston, TX 77067 Imam - Mohammed Zafarullah Contact : Work: 281-875-3400 | Cell: 713-874-4363 Zafarullah_Hanjra@hotmail. com

Ashirwad - A Blessing Temple Prog: Regular prog :Sloka Classes for kids and teens. Location: Katy, Hwy 249 & Sugar Land. Contact: 281.995.0930/ 281.808.2159

Vedanta Society of Greater Houston Prog: Vedanta teachings Sundays at 10:30 AM Location: at 14809 Lindita Dr. Houston, TX -77083. Website:

ISSO Prog: Darshan daily from 7.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.; Aarti daily from 7.45 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Location: 10080 Synott Road, Sugar Land, TX 77478 Phone: 281-530-2565 Web:

VPSS Houston Prog: Location VPSS Vallabh Hall, 11715 Belfort Village Dr. Houston 77031.

Prog: Daily from 10:00 a.m. to 1:p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Every Thursday Abhishek Location: 16338 Kensington Dr, Ste 110, Sugar Land 77479. Phone: 713-933-8821 / 9359.

Gurdwara Sahib of SW Houston Prog: Sundays Dewan 10:00 11:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. Langar Location:14811 Lindita Drive, Houston, TX 77083 Phone: 281-498-5200 Website: www.gurdwaraswh. com

Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple Prog: Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Stotra Parayanam: daily 6.30 p.m. Location:10098 Synott Road. Sugar Land, TX 77478 Phone: 281- 498-2344 Website: www.ashtalakshmi. org

Hindu Worship Society Prog: Open all days except Thursdays (by appt). Regular Puja and Prasad. Sunday Service 11:30 AM to 1:30 Location: 2223 Wirtcrest Lane Houston TX 77055.

Barsana Dham Houston Chapter Prog: Satsang every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Location: India House, 8888 West Belfort 77031 Phone: (713) 855-9818 for details Website: Weekly Radio Program-1460 AM Saturdays 10-11 a.m.

Lakshmi Narayan Mandir Prog: Every Friday Satsangh from 7:30 pm to 9 pm. Bhajans and Devi Puja, Discourses. Location: 12530 Ann Louise Road, Houston, 77086. Phone: Contact Vishnu at (832) 309- 7181.



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Prog: Annual Family Camp “Understanding Joy & Sorrow” on March 29 - 31, 2013 (Good Friday Weekend) Bellville, TX. Location: 14102 Schiller Road, Houston TX 77082 Phone: 281.596.9642 Website:

Patanjali Yogpeeth Center Prog: Free Yoga Classes every Sat/Sun from 8 am to 9:30 am Location: Arya Samaj @Schiller Road. Contact: 281-579-9433. Websites:

Jain Center of Houston Prog: Location: 3905 Arc St. Houston, TX 77063 Contact: 281-606-JAIN; Email:

Durga Bari Society Prog: Sandhya Arati at 6:30 p.m.; Sunday: 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. Location: 13944 Schiller Road. Contact: 281-597-8100

Gayatri Pariwar of Houston Prog: Sundays Satsang, BalSanskar Shala, from 11am to 1pm. Location: 5645 Hillcroft, Suite # 307, Houston, TX 77036. Website: “

Sri Guruvayurappan Temple Prog: Bhajans: Sat.7:00 -8:00 p.m.; Sundays 9:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m.Location: 1620 Ormandy Street, Houston, TX 77035 Contact: 713-729-8994

Govindaji Gaudiya Math Prog:Satsang every Sunday evening from 5 - 7 p.m. Vedic heritage classes for kids 5-14.

Location: 16628 Kieth Harrow blvd. Houston, TX 77084 Contact: 281-499-3347/281491-4114.

Sathya Sai Baba Centers Prog: Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at two locations Locations: Contact: (North) 832-418-3842 or (South) 281-788-4786.

Telugu Christian Fellowship Prog; Every third Saturday 6:30 PM. Worship is in English Location: The Triumph Church, 10555 West Airport Boulevard, Stafford, TX 77477. Contact:713-301-6444 Website:

Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center Prog: Daily classes in Raja Yoga Meditation To register call or email. Contact:832-379-8888/ Email: Website:

Bethesda Houston Tamil Church Prog: Prog: Sundays Tamil Worship: 5 – 7pm Sunday school : in English. Bethesda Family Fellowship: in English 10.30 am-12.30 pm Free Tutorial for all children Mondays & Wednesdays 5-6 pm. Ladies Bible Study: Thur 9 am. Location: 1092, Suite F&G, Stafford. Tex 77477 Tel:281-317-7331 Contact: 281-317-7331 Website:bethesdahoustontamil

Our Redeemer Church Prog: Sundays worship at 4:30 pm, Location: All Saints Lutheran Church 1211 West Belfort Avenue, Stafford, TX 77477. Contact: 281-686-4135 / Email: pastorvj@linchouston. org

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Voice of Asia Oct 4, 2013  
Voice of Asia Oct 4, 2013  

Voice of Asia Newspaper has been reaching South Asian and Asian American families in Houston and surrounding cities in Texas since 1987. We...