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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Social media

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isuse of social media to spread hatred among people formed part of the discussion at the 16th National Integration Council meeting. It is a good sign that most Chief Ministers and senior political leaders have concurred with the concern the Prime Minister expressed in this regard. Social media and the internet have provided us an excellent forum to freely express our opinions and ideas and convey them to others. While it has its infinite positive uses, it is tragic that there is now a concerted attempt to use it to spread misinformation and hatred in the name of religion, community and political ideology. It is quite common to come across messages of hate being used against particular religions or specific political leaders. Most often those who indulge in such things are faceless and hide behind pseudo names. It is time the government brought in comprehensive cyber laws to deal with this. Let us hope that all State governments and political parties irrespective of their political differences agree to such control. K.V. Ravindran, Payyanur

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here are moments when the full force of the threat that stalks this land hits with a sickening intensity. Yesterday was one of those moments — a depressing, shocking, violent attack that made it apparent, as though a reminder was needed, of just how far this country has drifted from the ideals and principles upon which it was created. Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan is not dead, for Christians still congregated in Peshawar yesterday to celebrate the Sunday mass. But the suicide bombers who attacked the All Saint’s Church and killed innocent, ordinary citizens were trying to kill Jinnah’s Pakistan. If this country is to survive and emerge one day as an embodiment of its founding father’s ideals, there can be no room for extremists, terrorists and militants. There is truly an either/or

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his week, the UN General Assembly may have seen the beginning of a historic rapprochement between US and Iran. US president Barack Obama and Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani may have missed the opportunity of a handshake at the UN, but they sensibly took a step towards mending ties. Negotiations between the two sides on Iran’s nuclear programme will start soon. It presents an unprecedented opportunity to de-escalate tension in the Middle East. Obama must reach out to Iran as a better opportunity has not presented itself since 1980. Rouhani has been elected on a platform of “prudence and hope” and his speech at the UN reflected that. Decades of distrust will not disappear overnight. But Obama needs to grab the chance to move the needle forward as one of his

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(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

he Union Cabinet’s clearance of an ordinance that seeks to protect convicted parliamentarians and state legislators from disqualification is a brazen course the UPA has adopted to nullify a Supreme Court order. The apex court’s July 10 ruling, aimed at setting right a legislative flaw that shielded MPs and MLAs from being disqualified till such time their appeals in courts remained pending, was long overdue. It is backed by strong public opinion that is repelled by politicians with rap sheets entering Parliament. It’s a suspicious coincidence that the ordinance was cleared just when RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, a UPA supporter, faces a likely conviction for the fodder scam. Another politician who will benefit from the ordinance is Congress Rajya Sabha MP Rasheed Masood, whom a CBI court recently found guilty of fraudulently nominating undeserving candidates for MBBS seats when he was health minister. The BJP’s re-

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

Deadly ideology: Killing of churchgoers scenario for this country: either the terrorists are defeated or the Pakistan that the majority of the country wants will be lost forever. The targeting of Christians may seem to some as a new front being opened by the militants, but in fact it is logical progression of the extremist ideology. Be it other sects within Islam or other religions, the violent extremist wants to eliminate all others and produce a homogenous society in which only a particular version of Islamic interpretation rules over the people. The hatred and bigotry embedded in the extremist ideology is not just about for-

eigners, but also about the majority of Pakistanis themselves. Be it Shias, Ismailis, Barelvis, non-Muslims or anyone else deemed to be outside the pale of radical Islam as practised by the militants and terrorists, everyone is a target. Until that reality is absorbed by the country’s political leadership — that what confronts the country is a murderous ideology — there can be no real understanding of why Pakistan has been so wracked by violence. And without that understanding, there cannot begin to be a solution. For a week that began with the killing of an army general

Reach out, Obama: Do business with Iran, take a leaf out of Ronald Reagan’s book predecessors once did. A combative Ronald Reagan did not miss out that Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev was someone the US could do business with. Rouhani leads an Iran that has been economically hurt by sanctions imposed by US, EU and the UN. He has offered time-bound and resultoriented talks on the country’s nuclear weapons programme even as Iran reiterates its right to develop a peaceful nuclear energy project. It can be no one’s case that any country must be forbidden from developing the nuclear option to

secure its energy needs. Iran’s recent history has been messy. The country has been more a victim of aggression than an aggressor. Beginning with the Anglo-Soviet invasion during World War II to Iraq’s aggression and subsequent chemical weapons attack, Iran has been at the receiving end. Reaching out to Iran serves two immediate purposes for US and other countries. Iran shares a border with Afghanistan and has a stake in the country. It serves as a counterpoise to the Taliban’s influence, a factor that everyone with an interest in a stable Afghanistan

fusal to obsequiously support the legislation in parliament should be a cue for the party’s PM hopeful Narendra Modi, otherwise vocal on issues of clean governance and eager to take on the UPA, to take an unambiguous stand opposing the ordinance. The government, beset by scams, poor handling of the economy and policy paralysis on most fronts, has not covered itself with glory in clearing the ordinance that will surely outrage public opinion.

It is now that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi must intervene to prevent the ordinance from being given assent to by the president. It’s in Congress’s interest that they do so before Modi seizes on the issue - and the suspicious co-

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needs to consider as the US withdrawal proceeds apace. Iran has one of the largest petroleum reserves in the world. At a time when global economic recovery is fragile, it makes no sense to keep intact barriers between a petroleum exporter and energy-hungry economies of Asia. An understanding with Iran will also clear the way for ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Time for Obama to grasp the nettle and end a pointless blood feud triggered more than three decades back, when Iran took hostages from the US embassy in Tehran. (Courtesy: Times of India)

Sonia, Rahul and Modi must speak up against an ordinance protecting convicted politicians

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and ended with the murder of scores of Christians, the inevitable question is where does that leave the nascent dialogue process with the TTP? If dialogue was at the outset very unlikely to succeed, what chances of success are there now? Perhaps the most discouraging aspect about the dialogue process is the national political leadership’s abject surrender before the Taliban. Even yesterday voices were heard suggesting that the church bombing was an attempt to undermine the dialogue process. When deferring to the enemy trumps honouring your dead, what hope for peace, dialogue or anything of the like? (Courtesy: Dawn)

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incidences surrounding it - to embarrass the UPA. Else Sonia and Rahul would have confirmed the impression that they manage to preserve their squeaky-clean image only by keeping mum on the critical issues of the day. Courtesy: Times of India)


COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 5

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

Sri Sri Durga Puja At Vedanta India House Hosts Public Reception Society Of Greater Houston For South Carolina Governor......

Durga Puja festival epitomizes the victory of Good over Evil.

by Sanchali Basu he autumn season is here. The weather will soon start to cool down, the children before long will begin to prepare for the Halloween costumes and families will plan the Thanksgiving Dinner. In India, the autumn season heralds the season of festivities. Not only the nature puts on new fresh garb after the incessant rains of the Monsoon, even the sun under goes a change to a wonderful orange hue, and the air has the distinctive fragrance that announces to the people, “Durga Puja, Dushera, Navratri, Diwali is here” bringing joy to the hearts of every person. The term Durga Puja invokes a special feeling and tugs at the heart strings of every Bengali. This is the biggest festival of the Bengalis and they wait all year round for these 5 days with as much excitement as we in America wait for Christmas to arrive. Durga Puja celebrates the worship of the goddess Durga. The five days observed are referred to as, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijayadashami. The festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, Durga

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Puja festival epitomizes the victory of Good over Evil. Although it is true that the Bengalis celebrate the most, but Gujaratis also have the Navratri celebration, where in Mumbai every night after dinner, families get together in open spaces, like the courtyard of their apartment complex, and with the accompaniment of the Dholak and if possible live music, dance the Dandiya Raas or the Garba. The nine days of celebration with the enacting of the epic Ramayana all over north India culminates in the “Ravana Dahan” where a larger-than-life size effigy of ten-headed Ravana is burnt with great aplomb and gaiety on Dushera, again exemplifying the victory of Good over Evil. Then again during these festive days, the South Indians decorate their houses with dolls and invite ladies for “Haldi Kumkum”. Growing up in the tradition of the Ramakrishna Mission, Durga Pujas held at Ramakrishna Missions have always held a special place in my heart in the way the puja is conducted. The pujas are performed by Swamis ordained by the Belur Math and the sanctity and devotion with which these Pujas are carried out is equaled by none. In the

USA, since we do not have the luxury of celebrating for 5 days, in most places the entire Puja ceremony is condensed into a weekend. This year we will be celebrating Durga Puja at the Vedanta Society of Greater Houston (VSGH) located at 14809 Lindita Drive, Houston, TX - 77083 on Saturday, October 5, 2013. The day’s proceeding begins with the invocation of Mother Durga when she is brought to the Puja Mandap to the beats of the dhak and blowing of conch shells. The Puja at VSGH will start at 9:30 AM and will culminate with the Arati and Pushpanjali. The worship will be performed by Swami Kripamayananda, Minister and Head of the Vedanta Society of Toronto. Lunch Prasad will be served to all the devotees. This year’s special highlight is the evening cultural program at 6 PM celebrating the 10th anniversary of Vedanta Society of Greater Houston; commemorating the centennial of Tagore’s Nobel Prize, and the sesquicentennial of Swami Vivekananda’s birthday. The program will include a special presentation, “Beyond Gitanjali” a multimedia presentation of Tagore’s songs, poems and prose by invited artistes Prabuddha Raha from Kolkata and Maitreyee Chakraborty from Los Angeles. They will also sing devotional songs in Bengali and Hindi including some of Swamiji’s favorite songs. Also included in the program are dances by local artistes and songs by the VSGH choir. The Vedanta Society of Greater Houston’s members would like to invite every one of you to join us in this auspicious occasion and participate in the morning pujas and enjoy a wonderful evening of cultural dance and music programs in the evening. For details of the program please visit www. houstonvedanta.org

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Governor Hailey speaking at the India House reception struggle, she said her family realized ‘how hard it was to earn a dollar and how easy it was for the government to take it.” “Instead of complaining I decided to run for government office,” he put it simply. Governor Hailey grew up in the small town of Bamberg, South Carolina, where hers was the only Indian family out of a population of about 2,500. She also spoke of her proud Indian and Sikh heritage, and her Original Sikh Foundation, where all profits go to charity. Earlier, Governor Hailey was introduced by Dr. Devinder Bhatia who emceed the program. Governor Hailey spoke about issues that concerned her most one of them being that people had no real way to see how the legislature voted. She wanted people to know how bills are voted upon in the legislature “Anything important enough to be debated in the House and the Senate is important enough for people to know,” she expressed. Upon taking charge as the Governor she said, she ensured that every bill that is passed and voted on, it is made public. Governor Haley discussed more important issues including job creation, government restructuring, education, tax reform, and social issues, among other topics. About 20,000 unemployed people were interviewed and placed in jobs with local companies according to their skills; some even received training as a result of which the retention rate was 94% she mentioned. On the business front Governor Hailey said that

Members of the Host Committee with Hon. Governor Hailey and Hon. Consul General P. Harish (2nd from left).

Nalini Mathur, Nandini Harish, Susheela Aggrawal and Leela Krishnamurty. Photo by Newswirehouston.com South Carolina was bringing companies like Boeing, BMW, Michelin and that the state had already reduced its liability by 2 billion dollars, “South Carolina is the second best state to do business in behind Texas,” she acknowledged. Governor Hailey praised the leadership of India House and said, “I haven’t seen anything like this anywhere in the country.” Dr. Virender Mathur, spoke about the plans expansion of the India House clinic, “We are partnering with the Harris County and will soon expand our clinic from 800 sq. ft to 7700 sq ft.,” he said. India House president Jugal Malani gave a brief sketch of the activities of India house. Chowdary Yalamanchili major donor of India House also spoke on the occasion. The reception was organized by the host committee that included Chowdary Yalaman-

chili, Dr. Virendra Mathur, Dr. Durga Agrawal, Jagdip Ahluwalia, Paul Likhari, Bob Kakarala, Pankaj Dhume, Sujeeth Draksharam, Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Brij Agrawal, and Jugal Malani. It was through their combined efforts that made this event possible. In conclusion Bob Kakarala proposed a vote of thanks. India House Houston is a 501(c) 3 organization located in Houston, Texas. India House is a non-religious, non-regional, non-political and non-profit organization. Its mission is to unite cultures, create bridges, and serve human needs by bringing resources, education, services and India’s culture to Houstonians. For more information, please visit the India House website at www.indiahouseinc.org or send email to britt@indiahouseinc.org. (With input from India House press release).


Sikh professor who wrote on US hate crimes assaulted

DIASPORA IndianAmerican runner-up in Miss Vegetarian contest in US NEW YORK: Following the crowning of Nina Davuluri as 2014 Miss America pageant another Indian-American girl Teena Sukhwal was named Miss Vegetarian runner-up in the Mr and Miss Vegetarian Pageant held in New York. Pamela Osborn Popp has been chosen for Miss Vegetarian title while Mr Vegetarian title went to Harshil Parekh.

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EW YORK CITY, September 23, 2013 (AFP) - A Sikh professor at Columbia University who had written about hate crimes against the community said Monday he became a victim himself during a group attack in New York. Prabhjot Singh, an assistant professor at the Ivy League university’s School of International and Public Affairs, said he was assaulted Saturday evening after dropping off his wife and one-year-old son. Around 20 teenagers, some on bicycles, shouted “Get Him!” and “Osama!” at Singh, who as an observant Sikh maintains a beard and turban, he said. Singh said that he was repeatedly punched and his beard was pulled during the attack just north of Central Park in Harlem. He spent a day undergoing surgery for displaced teeth and other wounds. Singh said it was critical to increase understanding so that Americans learn about other communities’ differences. “This is not the Harlem that I know,” Singh said. “This is not who we are.”

Sikhs have faced a wave of violence in the United States following the September 11, 2001 attacks, sometimes by assailants who mistakenly believe they are radical Muslims. Sikhism, founded in South Asia five centuries ago, requires men to maintain beards and turbans. In the deadliest attack, white supremacist US Army veteran Wade Michael Page shot dead six Sikh men at their temple in Wisconsin in August 2012. After that attack, Singh coauthored an opinion piece in The New York Times that encouraged the US government to document anti-Sikh violence. “Whatever the roots of Mr. Page’s hatred, it is wrong to assume that every attack against a Sikh is really meant for a Muslim,” it said, pointing to the “long history of discrimination and hatred directed at Sikhs in America.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced last month that it would start documenting hate crimes against Sikhs and several other groups. It already compiled statistics on antiMuslim attacks.

Meghav Parikh has beeb named as Mr Vegetarian runner-up. More than 40 talented contestants between the age group of 18 and 26, representing over 20 different colleges from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut shared their thoughts on vegetarian way of life and exhibited exquisite talent. The event was organised by Vegetarian Vision in Long Island on Sunday. Teena is a pre-med student at New York Institute of Technology and a resident of Sayville, Long Island. She is 5.9 tall weighing 115 lbs. Her parents Chandra Sukhwal, a businessman and Kalpana Sukhwal hail from Rajasthan. Teena has been chosen to represent New York at Miss Jewel US contest in 2014. Vegetarian Vision, a not for profit to promote vegetarianism, organised the first annual intercollegiate tri-state Mr and Miss Vegetarian Pageant at the Maguire Theatre in Old Westbury in Long Island. The pageant was organised with the goal of promoting vegetarian way of life among youth and college students in the US, said its Founder and Chairman Harshad K Shah.

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

Two Indians among 68 killed in Kenya terror attack

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airobi/Abuja: Two Indians among 68 people were killed by heavily armed Somali Islamist militants who stormed a packed mall in Nairobi and engaged in fierce fighting with Kenyan soldiers backed by Israeli special forces. Kenyan soldiers were trying to rescue about 30 hostages and end the bloody siege that entered a second day on Sunday. At least 68 people are now confirmed to have been killed in the ongoing siege, Kenya Red Cross said on Sunday, after nine more bodies were recovered. Four Indians, including two women and a girl, were among nearly 200 people injured in the brazen attack

on the part Israeli-owned Westgate centre launched by al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group on Saturday. There were conflicting reports about the number of militants inside the fourstorey mall, with Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenkua saying there were 10 to 15 heavily armed men while some witnesses said they had seen only four men in black, their heads covered in scarves. Kenyan government and Western diplomatic sources said the militants were holding about 30 hostages. Helicopters were seen circling overhead and there was a strong military presence in and around the mall.

Israeli special forces were today at the scene and working with their Kenyan counterparts in the hostage crisis, Kenyan government sources were quoted as saying. As the gunfire continued, troops evacuated over 1,000 people from the centre after the masked militants launched the deadliest assault since alQaeda bombed the US Embassy in Nairobi in 1998, killing over 200 people. “We still have hostages in the mall, and this makes the operation delicate. We have 59 people who have been killed so far,” Interior Minister Lenku said earlier. Nearly 200 people were wounded in the attack and Lenku said 175 people had been taken to hospital.

Obama names Indian-American woman as Boston judge

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ASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has nominated yet another leading Indian American lawyer, Indira Talwani, as a judge in the US District Court in Boston, Massachusetts. Talwani is Obama’s third South Asian judicial nominee after Vince Chhabria and Manish Shah, both awaiting Senate confirmation. Once confirmed, she would be the first South Asian judge in the First Circuit. Currently, Indira Talwani is a partner at Segal Roitman LLP in Boston, where she focuses her practice on civil litigation at the state and federal trial court and appellate levels.

“These individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise, and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system,” said Obama in nominating her along with another judge for the District of Massachusetts. “I am grateful for their willingness to serve and confident that they will apply the law with the utmost impartiality and integrity,” he said. “Both nominees... are talented and highly respected practitioners with diverse professional backgrounds, strong ties to the community, and impressive legal careers,” said Elizabeth Warren, Democratic Sena-

tor from Massachusetts commenting on the appointments. Prior to joining Segal Roitman LLP in 1999, Talwani was a partner at the San Francisco law firm now known as Altshuler Berzon LLP from 1996 to 1999 and an associate at that firm from 1989 to 1995, according to the White House announcement. She began her legal career as a law clerk for Judge Stanley A. Weigel of the US District Court for the Northern District of California from 1988 to 1989. Talwani received her J D in 1988 from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California,

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SOUTH ASIA

VOICE OF ASIA 9

Pakistan quake death toll surges above 300

coastline at Gwadar, prompting astonished locals to rush to the shore to take a look. Experts said a similar small island appeared at the same place in the sea after a major quake in 1945 but disappeared after some time. They expect the same to happen this time. Baluchistan, Pakistan’s largest province, is believed to have substantial gas and oil reserves, but it is a flashpoint for growing sectarian violence and has suffered attacks by Taliban militants. It also faces an ongoing separatist insurgency which began in 2004 when Baluch rebels rose up to demand a greater share of profits from the province’s mineral resources.

Pakistani survivors clear the debris of destroyed houses in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran, on September 25, 2013 by Banaras Khan

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WARAN, September 25, 2013 (AFP) - Desperate villagers in southwest Pakistan clawed through the wreckage of their ruined homes Wednesday, a day after a huge earthquake struck, killing more than 300 people and creating a new island off the coast. The 7.7-magnitude quake hit on Tuesday afternoon in Baluchistan province’s remote Awaran district -- a dirt-poor expanse of land that is roughly the size of Wales. At least 328 people have been confirmed dead and more than 450 injured, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and the Baluchistan government. In the village of Dalbedi, the earthquake -- Pakistan’s deadliest since the devastating Kashmir quake of 2005, which killed 73,000 -- flattened some 250 houses, an AFP photographer said. Bewildered villagers dug with their hands through the rubble of their mud houses in Dalbedi to retrieve what was left of their meagre possessions. Their simple houses destroyed, they used rags, old clothes, sheets and branches to shelter their families from the sun. Farmer Noor Ahmed, 45, said the strong tremors lasted for two minutes and turned buildings in the village into piles of mud. “We have lost everything, even our food is now buried under mud and water from underground channels is now undrinkable because of excessive mud in it due to the earthquake,” he told AFP. Jan Muhammad Buledi, spokesman for the Baluchistan government, gave the death toll and told AFP it was likely to rise as rescue teams reach more villages in the area, which has been rattled by more than a dozen aftershocks. More than 300,000 people had been affected by the quake across six districts -- Awaran, Kech, Gwadar, Panjgur, Chaghi and Khuzdar -- he said. “People are still trapped under the rubble but it is a huge disaster and it will take time to reach and rescue all the people,” he said. PDMA official Ahmad Nawaz confirmed the death toll and said the injured numbered 498. The authorities have prioritised finding the injured and getting them to hospital, but the task is hampered by the area’s remoteness and the limited infrastructure. They are also trying to provide tents to shelter the thousands left homeless. “It is difficult to estimate the real magnitude of the losses because the area is very vast with small and scattered villages,” said Major General Muhammad Saeed Aleem, chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority. “We will receive satellite images tonight and then we will be in a position to analyse the magnitude of the losses.” The army has rushed medical staff and troops to the devastated area to help with rescue efforts, along with seven tonnes of food and a tonne of medicine. Some of the injured were

being treated in hospital in Karachi. A man who gave his name as Hassa, from a village in Awaran, more than 250 kilometres away, described the moment the quake hit. “My house swung to one side and then it swung another and then all of it caved in. When I regained my senses I was in Awaran hospital,” said Hassa, who was later taken from there to Karachi. “I don’t know whether my children and other members of my family are alive or not.” New island emerges The scale of the territory involved is daunting. Awaran’s

population is scattered over an area of more than 21,000 square kilometres (8,000 square miles). Baluchistan makes up about 45 percent of Pakistan’s area but is the country’s least populated and least developed province. The area is also rife with separatist and Islamist militants as well as bandits. Tremors were felt on Tuesday as far away as New Delhi and even Dubai in the Gulf, while people in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, near the border with Pakistan, ran into the streets in panic. Tuesday’s quake caused a new island to appear close to the

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

US targeted Indian diplomats with sophisticated bugs: report

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EW DELHI (AFP) The US National Security Agency targeted the Indian embassy in Washington and the Indian UN office in New York with sophisticated surveillance equipment that might have resulted in hard disks being copied, a report said Wednesday. The Hindu newspaper, which has been collaborating with the Guardian newspaper reporter Glenn Greenwald, said the Indian offices were on a top-secret list of countries chosen for intensive spying. The NSA “selected India’s UN office and the embassy as (a) ‘location target’ for infiltrating their computers and telephones with hi-tech bugs,” the paper said, cit-

Pakistan quake island unlikely to last: experts A small island of mud and rock created by the huge earthquake that hit southwest Pakistan has fascinated locals but experts -- who found methane gas rising from it -- say it is unlikely to last long. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on Tuesday in Baluchistan’s remote Awaran district, killing at least 271 people and affecting hundreds of thousands. Off the coastline near the port of Gwadar, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) from the epicentre, locals were astonished to see the dark grey mass of rock and mud that had emerged from the waves in the Arabian Sea.

“It is not a small thing, but a huge thing which has emerged from under the water,” Gwadar resident Muhammad Rustam told AFP. “It looked very, very strange to me and also a bit scary because suddenly a huge thing has emerged from the water.” Enterprising boat owners were doing a brisk trade ferrying curious sightseers to the island -- dubbed “Earthquake Mountain” by locals. Mohammad Danish, a marine biologist from Pakistan’s National Institute of Oceanography, said a team of experts had visited the island and found methane gas rising.

ing a secret internal document from the spy agency. It said India’s missions were marked for various snooping techniques including one codenamed “Lifesaver” which “facilitates imaging of the hard drive of computers.” India and the US have put past difficulties behind them and become firm allies over the last decade, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set to meet US President Barack Obama in Washington on Friday. The revelations about US spying activities, leaked through documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, have already strained relations between Obama and his foreign allies, notably Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. The Hindu’s report gives more detail on previous revelations published in the Guardian by Greenwald in July that 38 embassies and diplomatic missions were targeted by the NSA, including India’s. New Delhi has previously defended widespread snooping on Internet users and phone calls by US intelligence agencies, saying such scrutiny had helped prevent “terrorist attacks.” But the foreign ministry expressed concern about suspected spying on its diplomatic missions in July and said it would raise the issue with US authorities. The new revelations are likely to lead to calls from the opposition in India for the government to take a firmer line with Washington.


LIFESTYLE

VOICE OF ASIA 13

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

  

Vol. 26

No. 39

Friday, September 27, 2013

by Angela Dewan AKARTA - Muslim women in headscarves and elaborately embroidered dresses took to the stage Wednesday for the finale of an Islamic beauty pageant in Indonesia, a riposte to the Miss World contest that has sparked hardline anger. The twenty contestants began the Muslimah World show by elegantly descending a flight of stairs into public view -- all covered head to toe wearing shimmering and sparkling materials. While the women, from six countries, will be assessed on their appearance the judges are also looking at piety and Islamic knowledge and skills, such as recitation of the Koran. All contestants must wear headscarves in their daily lives. “We’re just trying to show the world that Islam is beautiful,” Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola, a 21-year-old contestant from Nigeria, told AFP backstage in the capital, Jakarta, before the final got under way. “We are free and the hijab (Muslim headscarf) is our pride,” she said, adding that the pageant was “nothing like Miss World, where women expose their bodies”. Organisers say they want to show Muslim women there is an alternative to the idea of beauty put forward by the British-run Miss World pageant, and also want to show that opposition to the event can be expressed non-violently. Eka Shanti, who founded the pageant three years ago after losing her job as a TV news anchor for refusing to remove her headscarf, bills the contest as “Islam’s answer to Miss World”. “This year we deliberately held our event just before the Miss World final to show that there are alternative role models for Muslim women,” she told AFP. “But it’s about more than Miss

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Muslim beauty pageant challenges Miss World World. Muslim women are increasingly working in the entertainment industry in a sexually explicit way, and they become role models, which is a concern.” Hosted by Dewi Sandra, an Indonesian actress and pop star who recently hung up her racy dresses for a headscarf, the pageant began with a choral performance of a song about modesty, one the traits judges will Women from six countries participated in the contest.

be looking for in the winner. While the contestants looked glamourous, the venue, the exhibition hall of a shopping mall, was a far cry from the likely lavish setting of the Miss World final on Bali. And the pageant, which features Indonesian Islamic designer wear and popular bands, is a starkly different way of protesting Miss World than the

Tel: 713-774-5140 approach taken by Islamic radicals. Snowballing protest movement Thousands have taken to the streets in Indonesia in recent weeks to protest Miss World, denouncing the contest as “pornography” and burning effigies of the organisers. Despite a pledge by organizers to drop the famous bikini round, radical anger was not appeased and the protest movement snowballed. The government eventually bowed to pressure and ordered the whole three-week pageant be moved to the Hindu-majority island of Bali, where it opened on September 8. Later rounds and the September 28 final were to be held in and around Jakarta, where there is considerable hardline influence. More than 500 contestants competed in online rounds to get to the Muslimah World final in Indonesia, one of which involved the contenders comparing stories of how they came to wear the headscarf. Contestants will retell these stories and answer questions from judges at the final, with the 20 women whittled down before a winner is crowned and awarded 25 million rupiah ($2,179) and trips to Mecca and India. “What I will be looking for is strength of personality -- someone with a vision for the future, who gives back to their community and shows that beauty is not just about bodies,” said Jameyah Sheriff, an education expert from Malaysia who is on the judging panel. The contest was first held in 2011 under a different name and was only open to Indonesians, Shanti said, but after the media began comparing it to Miss World, it was rebranded as a Muslim alternative to the worldfamous pageant. Because of its popularity, organizers accepted foreign contestants this year, with Iran, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Nigeria and Indonesia represented.

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Young Life

VOICE OF ASIA 14

Friday, September 27, 2013

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ASHINGTON (AFP) - One in ten US teenagers reports engaging in “extreme binge drinking” -- downing 10 or more drinks in a night -- new research out Monday highlighting the public health risks of alcohol found.

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Binge drinking common among US teens: study

The survey of 16,332 high school seniors found that binge drinking, defined as consuming five or more drinks in a row for boys and four or more for girls, was common, with one in five students admitting to at least one episode within the past two weeks.

White students were more likely than their black counterparts to binge drink, as were the children of college-educated parents -- though extreme binge drinking was more common among children whose parents were not college educated.

The survey was conducted on 16,332 high school seniors that are are typically 17 or 18 years old. One drink was defined as 12 ounces (0.36 liters) of beer or a wine cooler, four ounces (0.12 liters) of wine, and one shot of liquor. Although drinking as a whole has decreased among high school students since a peak in the 1970s, researchers said, the highest level of extreme binge drinking of 15 drinks or more in a row -- reported among 5.6

percent of the study sample -has stayed steady since 2005. “The documented rates of extreme binge drinking, and the fact that they have not changed across recent historical time, support the need for additional research to develop effective prevention and intervention strategies to reduce high-risk alcohol behaviors of youth,” the authors write.

developed in the 1940s, said Weinstein, of the University of Iowa. “But it was never really proven if it was effective. There was never a randomized trial where some children were braced and some weren’t. The data were inconsistent.”

While doctors have debated the merits of back braces for improving curved spines in adolescents for decades, a new study shows conclusively that they do help make the back straighter and treat scoliosis.

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EW YORK - In the first large-scale test of whether wearing a brace helps to prevent an already-curved childhood spine from twisting further, bracing was nearly twice as effective as a watch-and-wait approach at preventing kids from needing corrective surgery. But the study also found that too many children with scoliosis are being given a brace when they don’t need one. Data from the new research may help doctors identify which children need to wear the brace and when it is better to just keep tabs on the child. The study “really answers the question that parents raise— ’If you’re going to prescribe a brace for my child, does it work?’” said Dr. Stuart Weinstein, lead author of the study, which was published online by the New England Journal Medicine and reported Thursday at the Scoliosis Research Society’s annual meeting in Lyon, France. “The answer is that braces have a very high success rate,” he told Reuters Health. “We also found that the longer the child wore the brace, the more likely you were to achieve success,” he said. “Children who wore it more than 13 hours a day had a 90 percent to 93 percent chance of success for avoiding having the curve progressing to a surgical threshold.”

The results were so pronounced, the test of 242 youngsters in the U.S. and Canada was halted early. “It certainly reinforces our present approach to bracing in these at-risk adolescents,” Dr. Allan Beebe, an orthopedic specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, who was not connected with the research, told Reuters Health in an email. “This study appears to be better science” than the previous research on bracing. About 2 to 3 percent of children have some degree of spine curvature, but only 0.3 to 0.5 percent have progressively worsening curves that make them candidates for treatment aimed at avoiding the need for surgery. Once the spinal curve gets beyond 50 degrees, there’s a high risk it will continue worsening into adulthood unless corrected surgically. So treating the problem early is preferable, and less expensive. Weinstein and his colleagues point out in their report that there were more than 3,600 spinal surgeries to correct adolescent scoliosis in the U.S. in 2009. At a total cost of $514 million, the procedure “ranked second only to appendicitis” for children 10 to 17 years old. “Bracing has been the standard method of trying to protect patients from needing surgery ever since a brace was

The original plan for the study was to randomly assign some children to a brace and to simply watch others to see whether the curve of the spine became too severe. In either case, progression of the curve to 50 degrees or more indicated that the assigned treatment had not worked. But many parents had strong feelings about how they wanted their child treated and declined to allow a treatment to be randomly selected for them. So the research team let those parents choose a treatment; 70 percent chose a brace. “The interesting fact was that when you looked at both the randomized children and those who chose their preference, bracing produced an overwhelming 72 percent success rate when it came to preventing the need for surgery,” Weinstein said. The success rate in the observation group was 48 percent. The success rate among children randomly assigned to bracing was even higher, at 78 percent. A temperature sensor logged the amount of time the child wore the brace. “The study provided pretty overwhelming evidence that braces are effective,” Weinstein said. But it was also clear from the results that many bracing treatments are unnecessary. Nearly half of the participants in the watch-and-wait group during the trial did not have curve progression to the point of needing surgery. The same was true for 41 percent of kids in the bracing group who actually spent very little time wearing their braces. “We’re unnecessarily bracing two patients to get the one patient who actually needs it. We are still overtreating patients,” Weinstein said.

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HBU Graduate School to host information reception Houston Baptist University’s Graduate School will hold an information reception for prospective students on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m. in the Hinton Center on the HBU campus. Participants will join faculty and current students of the HBU Graduate School to learn more about its graduate degree programs in the following disciplines:

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences • Alternative Certification Program • Christian Counseling • Education • Psychology • Psychology with Licensure • Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) • Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA)

The legal drinking age in the US is 21, thanks to a 1984 federal law. Before that, the legal age varied by state, with many allowing alcohol purchases and consumption at 18. High school seniors are typically 17 or 18 years old.

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Braces help avoid surgery in teens with scoliosis

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Drinking at this level makes driving dangerous and poses a long-term risk of addiction, deterioration of the still-developing brain of the liver, the researchers emphasized. The results -- from the sample of whom 52.3 percent were girls, 64.5 percent white, 11 percent black, 13.1 percent Hispanic and 11.5 percent of other race/ethnicity -- found young men were more likely than young women to engage in binge drinking.

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

A further analysis of the data might prevent some of that unnecessary treatment, he said.

About Houston Baptist University Houston Baptist University is an independent, private Christian liberal arts institution with a diverse student body. The University is dedicated to the development of the intellect, the moral character and the spiritual lives of its students. It has access to all the cultural advantages of one of the largest metropolitan centers in the country. For more information about the University, please visit www.hbu.edu. “We will probably, in the next year or so, be analyzing all the factors so we can hone down

better who the ideal candidate for bracing is,” Weinstein said. (Reuters).


VOICE OF ASIA 15

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013


VOICE OF ASIA 16

BOLLYWOOD MASALA

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

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Aamir Khan times two in Priyanka Chopra named Dhoom: 3 Written by Me- India’s most dangerous khla Singh celebrity online

Priyanka topped the study which highlights how cybercriminals use celebrities to take advantage of fans

Aamir Khan’s villainous turn in Dhoom: 3 is hotly anticipated.

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hat’s better than a film with Aamir Khan? A film with two Aamir Khans, of course. Rumours are rife that it’s going to be a twin-twin situation in Dhoom: 3 as the third film in the franchise gets ready to hit the screens with Aamir in a double role. There’s no doubt about the fact that viewers are already going ballistic about Mr Per-

fectionist playing the bad guy in Dhoom: 3, and with news of Aamir portraying a good brother to himself, fans are definitely in for a treat. If rumours are anything to go by, the antagonist in Dhoom 3 has an ailing brother, which is the main reason why Aamir’s character will be breaking bad. According to a DNA report, a source says “While everyone

knows that Aamir will be seen in a completely negative avatar in D3, what most don’t know is that he will also be seen in a double role, which will blow away people’s minds.” Reports also claim that the double role idea belonged to Aditya Chopra who wanted to surprise the audience. Oops! That’s a definite spoiler! That apart, Dhoom: 3 is bound to be twice as nice now.

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ctress Priyanka Chopra has topped the list of the most dangerous celebrities in the Indian cyberspace this year followed by Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, according to a study. Priyanka knocked off Sunny Leone, who topped the list last year but dropped to the ninth position this time, in the study by security software maker McAfee. Kareena Kapoor and Akshay Kumar were in the top five in

the study which highlights how cybercriminals use celebrities to take advantage of fans seeking more information about their idols. “In India where celebrities enjoy demigod status, cybercriminals often use their names to lure people to sites which host malicious software designed to compromise personal details and disrupt devices,” McAfee India Centre VP Engineering (Consumer and Mobile Business Group) Venkatasubrahmanyam Krishnapur said.

This year, searching for a celebrity’s name, with search terms like “wall paper”, “videos” and “nude pictures” resulted in the highest instances of malware-laden sites. Chopra, showed 79 infected search results, while Shah Rukh was at the second spot with 75 malicious sites, Salman ranked third, with 68 infected sites. The top-10 list was rounded off by Saif Ali Khan, megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Leone and Hrithik Roshan

Ranbir Kapoor celebrates early Diwali in Times Square NEW YORK - Diwali is still more than a month away but Indians in New York got off to an early start to the festivities with day-long celebrations at Times Square showcasing Indian culture, cuisine and bringing together renowned artists from the Indian film industry. Hundreds of Indian-Americans gathered at the popular tourist destination on Sunday, September 22, for the ‘Diwali at Times Square’ extravaganza presented by Maharashtra Tourism. Actor Ranbir Kapoor, his parents Rishi and Neetu Kapoor and singer Shankar Mahadevan made a special appearance at a concert that showcased traditional Indian dances and music.

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EW DELHI (AFP) : A video by a group of comedians that lampoons controversial comments by public figures after the gang-rape of a student in New Delhi last December has gone viral.

world to experience Diwali in India.

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director Jagdish Patel said that the event was an opportunity to bring one of the most important and vibrant Indian festivals to New York and invite people from the city and across the

Dressed in a black sherwani, the young Kapoor lad danced and interacted with his fans as his father recalled visiting the city years ago and expressing gratitude for the adulation shown to him and his family.

a spacesuit complete with a helmet.

Ranbir Kapoor, his parents Rishi and Neetu Kapoor and singer in Times Square

‘It’s my fault’ rape video goes viral

The satirical video features Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin and television host Juhi Pandey explaining why women must take the blame for the rising number of rapes in India.

The video called “It’s your fault” has been viewed more than 800,000 times and received more than 4,000 comments since it was published on YouTube on September 19, and has gone viral on Indian networking sites. Politicians and one of the country’s leading gurus made a series of comments in reaction to the gang-rape last December, in which everything from mobile phones to short skirts and noodles were blamed for violence against women. The attack on the student triggered angry street protests as well as a national debate over the way India treats its women and who was responsible for the rising levels of violence.

“Scientific studies suggest that women who wear skirts are the leading cause of rape. Do you know why? Because men have eyes,” Koechlin says at the start of the video, which runs for almost four minutes. Koechlin goes on to show examples of “provocative” clothing, including a woman covered in a black burqa and

A section of Times Square was bustling with people dressed in traditional attire as they lined up before booths set up to showcase Indian cuisine, music and fashion.

The video was made by four stand-up comedians who wanted to change the “massive misconception” that women invite rapes.

The satirical video features Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin (R) and television host Juhi Pandey (L) explaining why women must take the blame for the rising number of rapes in India. — Photo courtesy: The Lahore Times

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“These are deep-rooted patriarchal biases. It happens everywhere in the world and in India especially so,” Tanmay Bhat, one of the comedians,

Later, the Kapoor trio danced to popular songs from their movies, enthralling the audience with their performance.

told AFP on Monday. “We often see families disowning rape victims. We wanted to contribute positively to the conversation about the subject.” The video also takes a swipe at police who are largely seen as insensitive to victims of sexual crimes. Last month, Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh sparked anger by suggesting that city residents need to choose between a “promiscuous culture” that allows public kissing, or a city made safe by “moral policing”. He made the comments after a 22-year-old photographer was gang-raped while on assignment for a magazine in central Mumbai with a male colleague. On the video, a smiling Koechlin says: “If you are tired of being humiliated by rape, you can always go to the cops and be humiliated by them instead.” The video ends with a series of women of different ages and backgrounds saying “it’s my fault” to the camera. It can be seen at: http:// www.youtube.com/ watch?v=nnfVbyBRGVc

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FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

Flowers of blood in Pakistani Qureshi’s Rome exhibition

Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi poses next to his work on September 23, 2013 during the opening of his exhibition at the Macro Museum in Rome. ROME, September 23, 2013 (AFP) - Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi brought his awardwinning exhibition on beauty and violence to Rome Monday, unveiling the blood-themed creations which saw him appointed Deutsche Bank’s 2013 “Artist of the Year.” The 41-year-old, who was given the honour of creating an installation on the rooftop of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art this year, has brought 35 works to Rome’s Macro museum for an exhibition which runs until November 17.

A rising star of South Asia’s “neo-miniaturist” group of artists, Qureshi pays homage to the ancient Islamic art form of miniatures in the collection while simultaneously exploring elements of contemporary abstract painting. Many of the works contrast life and brutal death, with splatterings of red acrylic paint to suggest blood and intricate foliage designs representing life. In one, what appears to be the blood splatter from a gun shot wound drips down a white background to pool on the floor, while in another two giant, sun-

like yellow spheres are tinged with a violent red. Another sphere reminiscent of a fruit sports flowers of blood. The artist, who teaches miniatures at Lahore’s National College of Arts (NCA), has said the colour tone in his work is inspired by brutal bombings in Pakistan -- in particular, one strike close to his family home which destroyed a market three years ago. The instant transformation of place full of life to bloody landscape had a deep effect on his work, he said.

‘The Good Road’ ahead for Oscars

A still from the movie The Good Road. Keval Katrodia, Sonali Kulkarni and Ajay Geh.

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UMBAI: The industry has not stopped talking after The Good Road, a Gujarati feature film, was announced as India’s official entry at next year’s Oscars. Helmed by a first-time director, the National Award winning film has beaten 21 other entries, included The Lunchbox, to earn the right of passage to the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. So what is so special about this film that has just been handed a ticket to the 86th Academy Awards by the selection committee, headed by Bengali filmmaker Gautam Ghose? Ten things about India’s official entry to the Oscars, ‘The Good Road’ • The film won a National Award this year as Best Feature Film (Gujarati) in the regional category. This is also the first time a Gujarati endeavour has been nominated by India for the Oscars. • Made at an estimated budget of Rs 2 crore, it released on July 19 and has a runtime of 92 min-

utes. • With the premise primarily being out-door, it follows three different plots that intercept each other eventually. Though the screenplay revolves around two kids, according to director Gyan Correa, it’s not a children’s film thanks to its multiple layering. • The Good Road marks Gyan’s directorial debut. He is known for his work in the ad world. He’s a Goan who doesn’t speak Gujarati. • The two child artistes, Keval Katrodia and Poonam Kesar Singh, had to audition for their roles. The former is based in Mumbai while the latter hails from Ahmedabad. • The film was shot in three schedules - each lasting a maximum of 35 days - in Bhuj and Kutch (Gujarat). The actors had to reside in mud houses due to fund constraints and the remoteness of the location.

• Oscar-winning Resul Pookutty (of the Slumdog Millionaire fame) did the sound designing while Amitabha Singh who has shot films like Chillar Party and Khosla Ka Ghosla earlier, was the Director of Photography (DOP). • Rajat Dholakia, who has earlier scored for Nandita Das’s Firaaq, composed the music for the film. Interestingly, most of the recording was done on the sets itself with a tent placed to capture the essence. • Ajay Gehi took a two-month course to get the language right. He has never worked in a Gujarati film before. On the other hand, Sonali Kulkarni has had experiences of working in one earlier. • The Good Road is financed and supported by the National Film Development Corp. NFDC is one of the co-producers of other frontrunners, The Lunchbox and

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Taking the high road On being asked for his reaction to the rather unkind reception of his film on Twitter by Bollywood bigshots, Gyan Correa spared some thoughts on competition. “People might be disappointed but they are definitely not angry. Besides, a majority of them haven’t even watched The Good Road yet. When they’ll watch eventually, they will understand the jury’s decision better. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the support of prolific filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar. They are much more experienced than I am. So their guidance is much sought out and it will help a lot. Camaraderie is bound to follow competition. After all, it’s not my film anymore it belongs to India now,” said the 42-year-old.


HEALTHY LIVING   HEALTH 

VOICE OF ASIA 18

Friday, September 27, 2013

Section 2

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Fresh fruit helps prevent diabetes, fruit juice boosts risk

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ARIS, August 29, 2013 (AFP) - Eating whole fresh fruit, especially blueberries, grapes, apples and pears, is linked to a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, but drinking fruit juice has the opposite effect, says a new study. British, US and Singaporean researchers pored over data from three big investigations that took place in the United States over a quarter of a century in all. More than 187,000 nurses, doctors and other professional caregivers were enrolled. Their health was monitored over the following years, and they regularly answered questionnaires on their eating habits, weight, smoking, physical

activity and other pointers to lifestyle. Around 6.5 percent of the volunteers developed diabetes during the studies. People who ate at least two servings each week of certain whole fruits, especially blueberries, grapes and apples, reduced their risk of Type 2 diabetes by as much as 23 percent compared to those who ate less than one serving per month. “Our findings provide novel evidence suggesting certain fruits may be especially beneficial for lower diabetes risk,” said Qi Sun, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Havard School of Public Health. On the other hand, those who

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rapidly than solids even if nutritional content is similar,” says the paper.

consumed one or more servings of fruit juice each day increased their risk of developing the disease by as much as 21 percent.

“For example, fruit juices lead to more rapid and larger changes in serum [blood] levels of glucose and insulin than whole fruits.”

Swapping three servings of juice per week for whole fruits resulted in a seven-percent reduction in risk.

The study also points to evidence that some kinds of fruit have a beneficial effect for health.

The paper, published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), says further work is needed to explore this “significant” difference.

Berries and grapes, for instance, have compounds called anthocyanins which have been found to lower the risk of heart attacks.

It speculates that, even if the nutritional values of whole fruit and fruit juice are similar, the difference lies with the fact that one food is a semi-solid and the other a liquid.

But, say the authors, how or even whether this also applies to diabetes risks is for now unclear.

“Fluids pass through the stomach to the intestine more

Understanding Of Medicare Appeal Process Medicare Managed Care (Part C - Medicare Advantage)

Organization Determination/Appeals Process

David Jeyaraj, MD

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elatonin is an important anti-aging hormone. It is made in the pineal gland in the brain. It is secreted at night and is important in the regulation of the normal circadian rhythm. Babies make a lot of melatonin. That is why they sleep a lot. As aging progresses, the pineal gland makes lesser amounts of melatonin. Melatonin helps us go to sleep faster and stay asleep deeper and longer. A good night’s sleep is critical for the regulation of other hormones and neurotransmitters. Melatonin helps in: 1. Jet lag: The disorganization of the biological rhythm that happens as we travel across several time zones can be corrected by melatonin, if after arriving, it is taken between 9 to12 pm, local time. 2. Cortisol: Melatonin is an antidote to the deleterious effects

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W

ASHINGTON, August 7, 2013 (AFP) - The United States has seen a slight decline in obesity among low-income preschoolers for the first time in decades, according to government figures.

Around one in eight preschoolers in the United States is obese, and children who are overweight or obese between the ages of three and five are five times more likely to be overweight or obese adults, the CDC said, citing previous research. “Although obesity remains epidemic, the tide has begun to turn for some kids in some states,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden. “While the changes are small, for the first time in a generation they are going in the right di-

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rection. Obesity in early childhood increases the risk of serious health problems for life.” First Lady Michelle Obama, who has championed efforts to promote healthy eating and more active lifestyles among children, hailed the latest numbers. “Today’s announcement reaffirms my belief that together, we are making a real difference in helping kids across the country get a healthier start to life,” she said. For the study, the CDC measured the weight and height of nearly 12 million children aged two to four years old who take part in government-funded maternal and nutrition programs. More than a third of American adults are obese, according to the CDC. Obesity is particularly common in poorer American communities that lack access to high-quality produce and wellstocked supermarkets.

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VOICE OF ASIA 19

HEALTH, SC & TECH

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

Warming ‘pause’ gives thought for scientists, sceptics by Richard INGHAM, Anthony LUCAS

Governments, which have the right to vet and amend the summary but not the main text on which it is based, are looking with concern at the brief section on the warming pause.

P

ARIS, September 24, 2013 (AFP) - A slowdown in warming that has provided fuel for climate sceptics is one of the thorniest issues in a report to be issued by UN experts on Friday.

This reflects jitters after the IPCC’s last big report in 2007 was shown to contain several background errors, denting the agency’s credibility.

Over the past 15 years, the world’s average surface temperature rose far slower than many climate models have predicted.

The panel’s main conclusions were not affected but the mistakes were a windfall for sceptics.

According to projections, global warming should go in lockstep with the everrising curve of heat-trapping carbon emissions.

Together with the 2008 financial crisis and the disastrous 2009 Copenhagen UN climate summit, this almost sent global warming into political limbo. In comments of the IPCC summary draft, China, India and Norway want to know why the section dealing with the warming pause fails to refer to the role of the deep ocean. Others complain the text is dangerous gobbledegook.

But in recent years, warming has lagged. So, where has the missing heat gone? For climate sceptics, the answer is clear. Either the computer models used to project temperature rise are flawed, or man-made global warming is just a green scam, they say. The report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will confirm warming has recently slowed.

“This is an example of providing a bunch of numbers, then leave them up in the air without a concrete conclusion,” says an angry US objection seen by AFP.

The document, being debated line-byline in Stockholm, is the first volume of a vast trilogy that will be released by the Nobel-winning group over the coming months, and only its fifth overview in a quarter of a century. Over the past 50 years, the mean global temperature rise was 0.12 degrees Celsius (0.2 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade, slowing to an average 0.05 C (0.09 F) per decade over the past 15 years.

“(...) [T]he way it is written, it may set itself up for misleading conclusions.” Some countries take the opposite line.

Remains of dead trees, due to rising sea levels, are pictured on May 7, 2013, on the beach in northern Senegal.

Hungary says an anomaly that has lasted 15 years -- a blink of an eye on the geological timescale -- is too short and laden with unknowns to even rate a mention.

Half of the slowdown could be attributed to volcanic eruptions, whose particles reflect sunlight, and a bigger-than expected drop in heat from the Sun’s changing activity cycle, said a summary of the report. The other half is attributed to a “cooling contribution from internal variability”. Laurent Terray with the French computer modelling agency Cerfacs said the term is used to explain a shift in the way heat is distributed between land, sea and air. Still unclear is what causes the variation or determines its duration. “We know that this kind of episode, of a decadal length or thereabouts, can occur once or twice a century,” said Terray. “If it (the present one) continues for two more decades, we may start to think that the computer models are underestimating internal variability.” New research by Britain’s Met Office suggests the “missing” heat, or some of it, is being transferred from the ocean surface to the deeps. Temperatures at depths below 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) have been rising since the 1990s, implying a source of heattrapping today will contribute to warming tomorrow.

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-- Problems with the uncertainty principle -The controversy touches on the sensitive issue of scientific uncertainty. To scientists, admitting to uncertainty is not merely honest but entirely legitimate -- something to be acknowledged and debated, to be rejected or overcome. But admitting to uncertainty is often misunderstood by the outside world and, says Andreas Levermann of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) near Berlin, exploited by sceptics. “They can’t stop physical reality, but they are slowing down” tougher action on carbon emissions, he said in a phone interview. Alden Meyer, with the US environment group the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), urged the IPCC draft to spell out what is known about the warming pause. “Otherwise, the denialists will claim that the IPCC’s silence on this issue shows that global warming isn’t as serious as scientists thought,” he said in an email. “The recent slowdown in temperature increases isn’t unprecedented, and should be seen as a ‘speed bump’ on the way to a warmer world.”

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BUSINESS

VOICE OF ASIA 20

Friday, September 27, 2013

Section 2

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Tel: 713-774-5140

Obamacare’s average monthly cost across U.S.: $328 by Caroline Humer (Reuters).

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the new plan prices were still a costlier proposition for Americans, based on what they may have paid for individual plans in the past. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover a wider range of preventive and other medical services and cannot turn away applicants based on prior illnesses.

A

mericans will pay an average premium of $328 monthly for a mid-tier health insurance plan when the Obamacare health exchanges open for enrollment next week, and most will qualify for government subsidies to lower that price, the federal government said on Wednesday. The figure, based on data for approved insurance plans in 48 states, is the broadest national estimate for the cost of coverage when President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law takes full effect next year. The prices of the new plans are at the heart of a political debate over whether they will be affordable enough to attract millions of uninsured Americans when enrollment begins on October 1. Obama, who is facing a Republican threat to eliminate funding for the law or shut down the federal government next week, said the fierce opposition stems from the fear that Americans will embrace the program. “Essentially they’re saying people will like this thing too much, and then it will be really hard to roll back,” Obama said on Tuesday in a conversation about healthcare with former President Bill Clinton. “What

we’re saying is, just look for yourself. Take a look at it, and you will discover that this is a good deal for you.” The Obama administration is counting on signing up 7 million Americans, including 2.7 million younger and healthier consumers who are needed to offset the costs of sicker members, in the first full year of reform through the state exchanges. Obamacare Set to Take Effect Oct. 1Play video.”Obamacare Set to Take Effect Oct. 1 A major factor in determining the price was the level of competition among insurance companies, with rates significantly higher in states with fewer players, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in its report. The new health plans are

organized in five tiers with different monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs: catastrophic coverage, bronze, silver, gold and, in some areas, platinum. The national average cited by HHS refers to the secondcheapest among silver plans on the market - which many healthcare economists expect to be the most popular for their balance of coverage and outof-pocket costs. On average, the least expensive plans in this group were reported in Minnesota, where it costs $192 per month, and Tennessee, $245. At the high end of pricing are states with large rural populations, where it can be more expensive to deliver healthcare: Mississippi at $448 per month; Alaska, $474; and Wyoming, $516. Florida came in right at the national average at $328.

Americans spent $2.6 bn gambling online in 2012: study

W

ASHINGTON, September 24, 2013 (AFP) - Americans spent $2.6 billion on gambling websites in 2012, according to a study released Tuesday by the casino industry as it renewed a push for Congress to regulate online betting. The American Gaming Association, which released the study, said it highlights the need for federal legislation to end the state of “ambiguity” on Internet wagering. The study by the Britishbased research firm H2 Gambling Capital found Americans accounted for a significant share of the $33 billion worldwide online gambling market, despite the legal limbo of most Internet betting. After years of treating online gambling as criminal, the US government quietly shifted its stand in late 2011 when the Justice Department released an opinion stating that only sports betting should be prohibited under a 1961 federal law known as the Wire Act.

This opened the door to online poker, which is hugely popular on the Internet, and possibly other casino games along with state lotteries. With no federal legislation in place, several states have begun their own efforts, with a handful acting to legalize some forms of online betting. The study came ahead of the release of a “Runner, Runner,” a film about a US university student who confronts the world of organized crime after losing his tuition money playing online poker. “’Runner Runner’ is a fictional account of a lawless online poker world ruled by shady and unethical characters that sadly is not far from reality for millions of Americans who simply want to enjoy one of our favorite pastimes in a safe online environment,” said Geoff Freeman, president and chief executive of the AGA, which represents major US casino operators.

“Even the Administration is having a terrible time spinning this law,” McConnell said in a statement. “About the best they could claim was that some premiums would be lower than projected. Note that I didn’t say lower, but lower than projected.” Blue Cross takes Obamacare pitch to communitiesPlay video.”Blue Cross takes Obamacare pitch to communities HOW AFFORDABLE? Debate over whether Obamacare will prove affordable for millions of uninsured Americans has intensified in the past few months, as states have announced rates. States that have supported the law said it would lead to lower prices. Others that have opposed the reform - including Georgia, Florida, and Indiana - warned of “rate shock” for consumers compared with what they could buy on the individual insurance market a year ago. HHS said the average price was 16 percent lower than its own projections on premiums. In addition, consumers who earn up to 400 percent

“Americans account for nearly 10 percent of the global online gaming marketplace at a time when the business is illegal in all but three American states. It is past time for policymakers to put necessary safeguards in place.” The association supports federal legislation to regulate online poker in the United States, but calls for “strong enforcement” against most other Internet gambling that ends the “ambiguity” of US law. Data from H2 showed Americans betting on online poker fell from a peak of $1.6 billion in 2006, when the US barred financial transactions for online betting, to $219 million last year.

of the federal poverty level, or $62,040 for a couple, will qualify for subsidies that will lower the price further. The data is mostly based on 36 states where the federal government will operate the insurance exchange. About 14 other states and the District of Columbia are running their own exchanges. Three states - Hawaii, Kentucky and Massachusetts - had not released premium information at the time of the report. States with the lowest average premium tend to have more insurance companies offering plans, the report said. It said eight issuers on average were selling plans in the states with average premiums in the lowest 25 percent, while states with average premiums in the top 25 percent had only three insurers on average. Pricing varies widely not only by state but by community. For instance, Florida has 67 different geographical rating areas, and their prices for the second-lowest-cost silver plan range for a 40-year-old from $239 to $352 a month. How to sign up for the Health Insurance ExchangePlay video.”How to sign up for the Health Insurance Exchange “The take-up of the exchanges is going to vary significantly by state and by community as word gets out,” said Michael Sparer, professor of health policy at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Texas has been among the Republican-led states most

fiercely opposed to Obamacare, but its monthly rates came in below the national average, HHS said. With 76 plans to choose from in Austin, a 27year-old would pay $169 per month for the lowest-cost midtier one. In Dallas-Fort Worth, that monthly premium was $217, from 43 plans available, the report said. “The rates in Texas are looking good,” said Gary Cohen, who is charged with overseeing the exchanges at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Insurance industry surveys show rates are the most important factor in drawing consumers to the exchanges, which is key to making the healthcare overhaul work. Another concern has been that insurance companies will limit access to doctors to keep prices low. Cohen said that these so-called “narrow networks” were a trend before the Affordable Care Act took effect. The law was adopted in 2010, but two of its main pillars, the health exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid, take effect in 2014. Household names like UnitedHealth Group Inc, Aetna Inc, WellPoint Inc and Humana Inc will sell plans on at least some exchanges. Newcomers such as Medicaid specialist Molina Healthcare Inc will also play a role. (Additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York and David Morgan in Washington D.C.; Editing by Michele Gershberg, Lisa Shumaker and Lisa Von Ahn)

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FEATURE

VOICE OF ASIA 21

Sikhs caught in crossfire of France’s battle to stay secular

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

Your Horoscope (For week beginning Friday, September 27, 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 Face your fear of being alone. You may feel overwhelmed, but you’ll still be able to stand up for your beliefs. You’d prefer to delegate orders to others but if you must, you’ll put your time in the trenches. Whatever it takes to feel part of the team. You’ve done very well with what you have to work with, but now it’s time to do even better. Use your sense of humor rather than trying to make a serious point. You have to keep them interested or they’ll look elsewhere. Past experience has shown you that you have to be careful in relationships. You’ll do just fine with a little patience.

Taurus(B,V,U)21 April to 20 May Members of the Sikh community pray on September 22, 2013 at the largest Sikh temple in France, located in Paris (AFP, Miguel Medina) by Abhik CHANDA

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June

PARIS, September 24, 2013 (AFP) - France’s Sikh community is ramping up a campaign for the turban to be allowed in state-funded schools amid moves to reinforce a 2004 law banning pupils from wearing religious symbols. The contentious issue pits the cherished French principle of secularity in public life and institutions against the essence of the Sikh religion, which requires followers to keep long hair as a mark of their faith and piety and a turban to cover the tresses, worn as a bun on the top of the head. France’s Education Minister Vincent Peillon has unveiled a new charter on secularity which must be displayed in government-funded schools explaining in child-friendly language why the Jewish skullcap and the Star of David, the Sikh turban, crucifixes and the Islamic veil are taboo. But the 30,000-strong Sikh community in France argue that they are the victims of ignorance. They see the recent official emphasis on secularism as being primarily the result of opposition to the Islamic veil and broader tensions with the largest Muslim community in Europe, and say they have been caught in the crossfire. “We are currently in talks with (Interior Minister) Manuel Valls to explain our unique situation and to be exempted from this law,” said Kashmir Singh, a member of the management committee of the largest gurdwara or Sikh temple in France, located in the Paris suburb of Bobigny. “We have also met Manmohan Singh asking him to put pressure on France for justice to be done,” he said, referring to the Indian prime minister who is also Sikh. Singh added: “Our children are dropping out from school or being expelled for keeping the faith. The cross, the veil and the kippa are not mandatory and are symbols. But the kesh (long hair) and the pagri (turban) are non-negotiable. They are not symbols but a sacred, inherent and intrinsic part of our religion.” Ten students have been ex-

Slow down the pace and concentrate on one thing at a time. Emotional logic is nonexistent, but with a more strategic plan, you’ll be able to reach new areas of understanding. If challenged, you’ll be glad to oblige. Is it you or them? One way or another, someone is going to get hurt. Rumors or secrets can be very harmful to other’s reputations. Focus on the truth rather than passing along misinformation. Hold your head high, knowing that you have not caused the damage. Someone may be trying to confuse the issues.

Use your imagination in a more practical way. Normal is for people who lack creative imagination. Despite all of your troubles, you’ll manage to impress someone who thinks that you are special. A little stress is sometimes a good motivator for you. You’d feel empty if you weren’t learning something new all the time. You have your own ideas about how the world should evolve. A sudden change of course won’t throw you off the track. Your reach will become more fluid and less structured.

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July

File photo of the Sikh community celebrating the Baisakhi festival in Paris (AFP/File, Jacques Demarthon) pelled since the law on secularity in schools came into force in 2004, according to official records. But the true number of children affected is much higher since many Sikhs have opted for private schools or home learning rather than give up the turban, said Ranjit Singh, a community spokesman who liaises with the government. “Also many Sikh families are ashamed of the fact that their children have been expelled and do not tell us so there are no complete records,” Kashmir Singh added. Ranjit Singh was one of the first Sikh boys to be expelled from his lycee, or high school, after the 2004 law. That left deep scars but he has moved on since and is currently pursuing a doctorate at the prestigious Sorbonne university in Paris. “I opted for the liberal professions because I then decided I would work for myself as I was sceptical about getting a job that would allow me to keep my turban,” he said. Sikhism was founded five centuries ago in the Indian subcontinent and its cornerstones are the principles of equality and fraternity. It was a reaction to the Hindu caste system and the prevailing Islamic perception and treatment of non-believers as “infidels”. Turban makes everybody a king The religion does not seek to proselytise. And its only link with terrorism has been confined to India and Indian targets in the wake of a now defunct separatist movement to carve a Sikh homeland called Khalistan out of the Indian

Opportunities to expand your horizons and your income will arrive on the scene this week from nowhere. Someone who had taught you lessons in the past will now help you to show your worth. Get out there and prove yourself to the real world. Use your past experiences to build your confidence and overcome any obstacle put in your way. A good relationship will provide you with a solid anchor, as your success also depends on your loved ones. Communication will help you to be more objective in your thinking.

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August

state of Punjab. The extremist attacks peaked after then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi controversially ordered the June 1984 storming of Sikhdom’s holiest shrine to flush out separatists holed up inside.

You need to feel more secure. Your insecurities stem from other’s lack of responsibility. You can share joint responsibilities without feeling all the stress on your shoulders. You just have to remember what your real priorities are. A vital relationship will thrive with a burst of fresh energy. Start from the beginning and see what you can build from there. Your presence will be required to complete the cycle. If you want true peace of mind, the only choice you have is to be patient. By week’s end, you’ll be able to change things that were previously stuck in time.

Virgo(P) 23 August to 22 September

That military operation led to Gandhi’s assassination in October of that year by two Sikh bodyguards which sparked a wave of anti-Sikh riots in India and claimed thousands of lives. But Sikh extremism has since died out.

Understand the fact that if you are honest in your deeds, strong backing will come from higher ups. When you believe in yourself, you are highly believable to others, as well. Your professional air will influence others to your way of thinking. Communicate your thoughts and listen for new ways to achieve those goals. Kindred spirits will bond in a flurry of ideas and proposals. You have your special moments, even when others don’t understand, they still follow your lead. A family member may expect your undivided attention.

Bikramjit Singh, a suave 27year-old working as an engineer, was also expelled from his school in 2004. He argues that the turban symbolised equality -- the fundamental pillar of the French Revolution of 1789.

Your ability to sense that there may be something missing from the mix. Your intuitive feelings may cause you to want to scream. Hold your tongue, as negative displays of emotion will only hurt your reputation. Others may try to introduce themselves as friends, but they are not sincere. Only you know if you’re walking into their trap. Independent thinkers will find different ways to get their ideas across. If the time is right, the magic will happen. Try your best to separate your personal and professional lives. By week’s end, you’ll be able to collect on an offer that’s you thought you missed.

“In medieval times in India only the Muslim aristocracy and officials were allowed to wear turbans, while among the Hindus it was only reserved for the priestly class. Our religion undid all that,” he said. “In France, they cut off a king’s head to make everyone equal, while we used a turban to make everyone a king,” he said. Another problem for Sikhs -who have won landmark legal battles on the turban issue in the United States, Britain and Canada among other countries -- is that they are often mistaken for Muslims in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks because of their headgear and beards. A recent study conducted in the United States by Stanford University and an advocacy group showed that more than two-thirds of Americans could not identify Sikhs by their turbans and most mistook them

Libra(R,T)23 Sept to 22 Oct

Scorpio(N,Y)23 Oct to 21 Nov Very important realization that you only give your heart to those who take you at face value. Others will try to be part of the judging committee but you need to make your own decisions. Create a diversion to keep them busy, while you work alone. Once you get lost in the details, you won’t be able to hear anything else. Brilliant ideas will have a way of arriving out of necessity. You’ll be right on target and nothing will cause you to lose your aim. Your talents and achievements will be well noted in the record. Your task is to manipulate things so that they don’t get out of control.

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

You need to work out details on your own. A new chapter of your life is about to begin. Someone new may appear on the scene, looking for attention and admiration. Be realistic and don’t make promise that you can’t deliver. Make plans to do something special with friends or family. They’ll appreciate the gesture and treasure it forever. You may be wearing your emotions on your sleeve, so react only if you are ready to listen to others feelings, as well.

Capricorn(KH,J)22 Dec to 20 Jan Put a positive spin on everything you do. Strong physical sensations could hamper your judgment. Be honest about your emotions but don’t be too explicit. Not everyone will understand your feelings. It’s amazing how effective you can be when given free rein. Your role feels well established in the community. Good luck will smooth over any of the rough spots you hit, this week. Your energy is far too electric to spend on routine everyday business. Several demands on your time that ‘annoy and/or distract you’ while pursing both your career and personal areas of life are likely.

Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb

going to take.

Pisces(D,CH,Z)20 Feb to 20 March

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Pull ahead of everyone else in the race. Be true to your own feelings. Your purpose is to make other’s lives more interesting. Take the time you need to analyze all of your options before closing a deal or proposing a new scheme. Seek out the advice of an understanding mentor who understands your strengths and can help you to clear the path. You’ll be able to regain your comfort zone, once you decide which path you’re

Get back on the horse that threw you off. You and only you know why you feel so pressured. Try to be a good host at home or a helpful guest while visiting. Don’t allow pettiness turn into hasty words or rash decisions. The extra stress you feel may cause you to be more bull headed than usual. That could really cause someone close to you to get their feelings hurt. Emotional turmoil will result in more stress. Use your strong personality as a social anchor. Your charm will help keep them focused on the business at hand. Try your best to be a little more flexible and a little more tolerant of others and you’ll feel more in tune with yourself.


COMMUNITY EVENTS

VOICE OF ASIA 22

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013

RELIGIOUS INSTITUTES & ORGANIZATIONS OF HOUSTON - call Voice of Asia 713-774-5140 Shirdi Sai Jalaram Mandir Prog: Sat. Sep. 28, 2013, 6:00pm Global Shirdi Sai Satsang and Dwarakamayi Puja by Shri S.Vishwanathan. Attend Shirdi Baba’s anugraha leelas & philosophy Location:3SSJM, 13845 W Bellfort St, Sugar Land, Texas 77498 http://web.babamandir. org/

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 harekrishnadham@gmail.com 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: www.SRKT.org.

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. Website:www.chinmayahouston.org.

Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya

Temple Hrs: 9 am to noon and 5 to 9 pm. Sri Astalaksmi puja: 7 pm.

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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: info@woodlandshindutemple.org, 832-585-0001 Website: www. woodlandshindutemple.org.

VSNA, Houston Prog: Monthly Mahamane event. Puja, Vachana Sahithya discourses, Aarthi and Prasad Contact: vsnahouston@gmail. com/832-545-1185 (Jyoti Biradar) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VSNA.HOUSTON Website: https://sites.google. 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 Prog.:Sanskrit classes and special worship sessions for all ages Location: 2918 Renoir, Sugar Land, TX 77479 Contact: 281-606-5607 or AVB. Houston@gmail.com Web-site: https://sites.google. 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 www.Alislam.org

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: www.vedantahouston. org

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. Contact:713-530-2900 Website:www.vpsshaveli.org

Shri Satyanarayan Sai Puja Darshan 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

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: www.jkphouston.org 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.

JVB Preksha Meditation Center 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: www.jvbhouston.org

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: www.pyptusa.org

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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 Website:www.houstondurgabari. org

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

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. Website:www.saicenterofhouston.org

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.

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

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:bethesdahoustontamilc hurch.org

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

Houston Tamil Church Houston Tamil Church meets every Sunday at 11 a.m. at 1323 Phyllis St., Rosharon, TX 77583 just minutes from FM521 on HWY 6 and HWY 288. Service in Tamil and English. Contact: 281 804 5930. Website www. houstontamilchurch.org

Trinity Mar Thoma Church Prog: Sundays Malyalam service at 9:45 a.m. Every alternate weeks in English at 10:30a.m. Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. Location: 5810 Almeda Genoa Road. Contact: 713-9771-1557/ 281261-4603.

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Voice of Asia Sep 27 2013  

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

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