Cricket’s new wonder boy wants to meet Tendulkar


Sarfaraz Khan, 12, from the Rizvi Springfield School poses next to the scoreboard after scoring 439 runs during the inter-school Harris Shield tournament in Mumbai on Wednesday


Mumbai kid Sarfaraz Khan who surpassed Tendulkar’s record to hit the headlines wants to meet the Indian batting maestro

Sarfaraz Khan first surpassed Sachin Tendulkar’s record to hit the headlines and the 12-year-old cricket prodigy now wants to meet the batting great in person to achieve his long-cherished dream.

Sarfaraz, who slammed 439 in the Harris Shield to better Tendulkar’s inter-school unbeaten knock of 346, showed maturity beyond his years as he dismissed any comparison made between him and Tendulkar.

“Sachin is my idol and I consider him as my ‘Guru’. Please don’t compare me with him,” the Rizvi Springfield student told PTI today.

“Even if I achieve one per cent of what he has achieved, I would be blessed. Meeting him is my dream, please write this,” he insisted.

Ill at ease with his overnight celebrity status, Sarfaraz said he had in fact fainted after giving series of interviews on Wednesday.

“It feels great to be chased by the media but they tend to go a bit overboard,” he complained.

“I fainted after completing my media assignments at 11 pm last night. More than the time I spent at the crease it has been the media interactions that has tired me out,” said the cricket talent who scored a mammoth 439 in 421 balls during a 456-minute vigil against a hapless Indian Education Society Secondary School.

His knock, which contained a staggering 56 fours and 12 sixes — nearly a triple hundred in itself — is the highest in the tournament beating the earlier record of 427 set by S Jadhav in 1963-64.

In the process, Sarfaraz also went past his idol Tendulkar’s 346 not out which the master batsman had scored for his school Shardashram Vidyamandir when he, along with friend Vinod Kambli, added a record 664 runs for the third wicket in February 1988, a world record for any level of the game.

Sarfaraz’s heroics has also allowed his father Naushad Khan, himself once a probable for Mumbai’s Ranji-squad, to live a dream that he had once seen for himself.

“I could not make it to the Mumbai squad that was led by Sachin Tendulkar and had Sameer Dighe as the vice captain.

Hence I am making sure that he does not make the same mistakes that I did,” said Naushad, who also coaches Sarfaraz.

“I never let him practise with boys of his age group. He practises with senior players like Kamraan Khan (a Rajasthan Royals player in IPL) and Iqbal Abdulla and Rahil Sheikh (both Mumbai Ranji players). Playing against them will make him tough as nails and prepare him for the higher level,” he adds.

However, the feeling that his son has become a star overnight is yet to sink in for Naushad, who is busy fixing media appointments for him.

“Instead of so much happiness at one time, I would have preferred it in installments. All I pray is that you guys (media) let him stay rooted so that he can achieve more glory,” he said.

New therapy eradicates cancer cells without targeting healthy ones


A view of the RapidArc Linear Accelerator a machine that delivers radiotherapy at the Yashoda Cancer Institute in Hyderabad


Researchers are close to developing a cancer treatment that kills malignant cells whilst leaving healthy cells untouched.

Led by Professor Cohen-Armon of Tel-Aviv University, the researchers found that potent phenanthridine derived polyADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors efficiently eradicate MCF-7 and MDA231 breast cancer cells without impairing normal proliferating cells, such as human epithelial cells (MCF-10A), nor normal non-proliferating cells, such as neurons and cardiomyocytes.

PARP inhibitors were originally designed to protect cells from cell-death under stress conditions (e.g. stroke or inflammation).

The researchers examined human cancers depending on a constitutive activity of externally regulated kinase (ERK).

The rationale for testing PARP inhibitors in these cancers was the recently disclosed up-regulation of ERK signals in the nucleus by activated PARP-1. However, there are other mechanisms that also come into play.

The phenanthridine PJ-34 caused a permanent G2/M cell-cycle arrest and cell death within 48-72 hours in breast cancer MCF-7 and MDA231 cells. On the other hand, normal proliferating cells overcame the imposed G2/M cell-cycle arrest within 12 hours, survived and continued to proliferate.

In the lab, PJ-34 prevented the development of MCF-7 and MDA231 xenotransplants in nude mice without affecting their growth, development or behaviour.

Other PARP inhibitors were recently proved efficient only for treating relatively rare hereditary human cancers developed in individuals with an impaired DNA repair (BRCA gene mutation). However, in the current research, breast cancer cells lacking the BRCA mutation were efficiently eradicated.

“This research provides a new therapeutic approach for a selective eradication of abundant human cancers,” said Professor Cohen-Armon.

The study has been published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Breast Cancer Research

We lost the mental aspect: Dhoni on heart-breaking loss


Indian captain M.S. Dhoni seen during a practice session

 India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has no qualms in admitting that the reason for their defeat in the nerve-wrecking fifth ODI was lack of mental toughness in the lower-order batsmen.

Chasing an imposing 351 for win, India came close but fell short by just three runs as they folded for 347 after Sachin Tendulkar’s sublime 175 off 141 balls.

After Tendulkar’s departure in the first ball of the 48th over, India required 19 runs from 17 balls but the remaining three batsmen succumbed to pressure and could manage only 15.

Dhoni said India matched the World Champion side as far as cricketing skills are concerned but the want of mental toughness in crunch moments did them in.

“We lost the mental aspect and not the cricketing part of the match. Chasing 350 was always going to be difficult even on this wicket which played very well,” Dhoni said after India conceded a 2-3 lead in the seven-match series.

Dhoni also said had it not been for Tendulkar’s amazing and strokeful knock, the hosts would have never come so close to victory.

“Three or four of our top batsmen did not score but still we came close to the target. Sachin Tendulkar played very well and he was one man who brought us close to a win. But even after he left we did not lose hopes till the end,” said Dhoni about Tendulkar’s fabulous knock which was studded with 19 fours and four sixes.

22 passengers killed as bus falls into gorge

At least 22 passengers were killed and 48 injured when an overcrowded bus rolled down into a gorge near Haripur area of Kangra district, about 45 km from here.

The mishap occurred when the bus driver lost control over the vehicle, which was on its way to Dehra from Nagrota Suriyan, and fell into the 100-feet deep gorge, Superintendent of Police Atul Fulzele said.

The injured were rushed to Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College in Tanda, they said, adding rescue operation is on and the casualty figure is expected to rise.

Senior civil and police officers have rushed to the accident site

South Korea nod for India free trade agreement


A South Korean worker cleans a window at a shop in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea’s economy grew at its fastest pace in over seven years in the third quarter amid strength in manufacturing and capital spending, the central bank said, as Asian countries lead the global recovery



South Korea on Friday ratified a free trade deal with India that promises to slash tariffs on goods and services between two of Asia’s biggest economies.

The agreement was passed in a vote by lawmakers in the National Assembly, said two officials in the body’s secretariat. They refused to give their names, saying they were not authorized to speak to the media.

An official vote tally was to be released later in the day, they said. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that the bill passed by a margin of 192-0, with five abstentions in the 298-seat assembly.

The two countries signed the deal, known officially as a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, in August in Seoul.

Trade between India and South Korea – Asia’s third- and fourth-largest economies, respectively – has grown steadily and reached $15.6 billion last year. In 2002, it amounted to just $2.6 billion.

The two countries will abolish or cut tariffs for 90 percent of Indian goods in terms of value and 85 percent of South Korean products, according to South Korea.

At the time the deal was signed in August, South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said India had completed all necessary procedures for the agreement to take effect once South Korea approved it.

An economic affairs official at the Indian Embassy in Seoul could not immediately be reached for comment.

South Korea has been aggressively pursuing free trade agreements as part of a national strategy to boost its economy and increase opportunities for its companies, including heavyweight exporters like electronics maker Samsung and automaker Hyundai.

The country has concluded accords with the United States and the European Union, though both remain unratified.

In effect are agreements with Chile, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Free Trade Association, which comprises Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Majority of Indians use Twitter for news


Biz Stone, a co-founder and creative director of Twitter, Inc., speaks at a special event to launch a Japan-based mobile version of the popular microblogging service in Tokyo.

Twitter may have gained immense popularity as a micro-blogging website but in India majority use it as a source for news.

A survey by technology site  says about 16 per cent of Indian users regularly ‘tweet’ to get news updates.

While 11 per cent use it to stay in touch with their friends, 10 per cent use the website for research purpose, according to the survey.

The social networking site, launched in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, came into prominence in the country during the 26/11 attacks when eyewitnesses sent an estimated 80 ‘tweets’ every five seconds, helping in compiling a list of the dead and injured.

Analysts attribute the recent surge in its popularity in India to the controversial ‘cattle class’ tweet by Union minister Shashi Tharoor, who is an active Twitter user with nearly 3 lakh followers, arguably the largest in the country.

With its growing popularity, the website is now giving a tough competition to other networking sites like Google’s Orkut and California-based Facebook, which was launched six years ago.

While Facebook has around 8 million users and Orkut has around 16 million, Twitter has 1.4 million users in India, the third largest after Germany and the US.

Twitter’s global membership has crossed the five-billion mark. Facebook, the leading networking site at present, has an estimated 300 million users across the world, while Orkut has only 51 million.

According to a Pew Internet and American Lifestyle study, almost one in every five US citizens use the free micro-blogging website that asks a simple question “What are you doing?”

“The key to its popularity lies with its ability to send and receive status updates via text messages, which sets it apart,” says Tejeswar Rao, IT consultant with Abu Dhabi-based software firm Vision Capital.

Priyanka Tripathi, an executive with an MNC, says, “Unlike Facebook, Twitter is very easy to access. One SMS can do the task.”

Says Rahul Saxena, a final year student of Delhi University, “Twitter is the best networking site because it can be used via mobiles,” adding that he joined the Twitters’ club during last year’s US presidential elections.

All the presidential candidates, including Barack Obama, took extensive help of this site during campaigning.

In April, public health departments used the website to provide updates on swine flu cases and in May, astronaut Mike Massimino used Twitter to send updates of the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission – the first time the site was used in space.

According to Mr. Rao, Twitter’s popularity is going to increase manifold.

“With Bharti Airtel considering a tie-up with Twitter, allowing the 100 million-odd of its subscribers to tweet without having to pay for an international SMS, it is going to be a huge success for the networking site.

“If the trend continues like this, Twitter would soon supersede other social networks,” he says.

Besides IT majors like Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys Technologies and many private banks are also on Twitter now.

“Even simple things like not having enough cash in an ATM get reported in tweets,” says Mahesh Murthy, founder and CEO of search engine marketing firm Pinstorm, which monitors hundreds of tweets or conversation a day for a private bank.

“It is extremely important to react at the earliest to such problems and the tweets give the bank ample opportunity to take quick action, remedy the situation, and preserve their brand image in the bargain,” he explains.

Obama’s ten best, and ten worst, moves of the year revealed

Washington, Nov.5 (ANI): The Politico web site has spoken to a dozen political insiders and pulled together a list of President Barack Obama’s ten best, and ten worst, moves of the year.

 Ten best moves are:

 1. Letting Congress take the lead on health care.

 Funny how times change. For most of the year, this strategic decision looked destined for the “Worst” list. Town hall screamers. Democratic infighting. Obama criticized for no plan of his own. But with health care almost certain to pass, letting Congress take the lead, as messy and painful as it was, is looking like a political winner for the president.

 2. Picking Hillary Clinton for secretary of state – and not vice president.

 Clinton’s had a couple of stumbles on her current overseas trip, but overall, this remains one of Obama’s savviest moves. It serves a double purpose: it keeps her from serving as an independent power center within the Democratic Party as a New York senator, and it keeps a certain former president from wandering the West Wing. But Bill Clinton’s stature from wandering the world as a global do-gooder can’t hurt.

 “The same things that made Senator Clinton a complicated choice for vice president made her an obvious and inspired choice for Secretary of State,” said Democratic strategist Steve McMahon. “Namely, the fact that President Clinton already has such established relations with world leaders.”

 3. Passing the stimulus bill and continuing bank bailouts

 Controversial, to be sure. But leading economists broadly agree that these two mega-doses of taxpayer cash into the economy are pretty much all that’s holding the economy together right now.

 “On the domestic front, the one two punch of financial stabilization and stimulus saved the economy from a worsening recession,” said former Bill Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart. “Neither was popular, but together they worked.”

 The downside is that this gusher of cash has galvanized Obama’s opponents like almost nothing else he’s done – as witnessed by Tuesday’s election results. Still, for now at least, stimulus and TARP look like a win.

 4. Nominating Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court

 In Sotomayor, Obama picked an eminently qualified jurist and disciplined nominee who thrilled the liberal base and confounded his conservative opposition. He also helped solidify the growing Hispanic vote for his party.

 At the height of the nomination fight, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich took to his Twitter feed to denounce Sotomayor as a racist. Gingrich backed down, but Republicans will likely hear the echo of little outburst in 2010 and 2012.

 5. Taking out those pirates

 OK, technically, credit should go to the U.S. Navy sharpshooters whose amazing precision shots killed three of the pirates holding an American cargo ship captain hostage, but Obama as commander in chief looked decisive for signing off on the mission. Plus, imagine if it gone wrong – think Jimmy Carter and crashed helicopters in the desert.

 6. Sending Republican Utah Governor Jon Huntsman to China.

 The Mandarin-speaking governor was a perfect fit for the U.S. ambassador’s post. But more than that, picking Huntsman sidelined a potentially formidable 2012 rival for the presidency, who hasn’t been heard from in Washington since he decamped for Beijing – exactly what the White House wanted.

 7. Firing GM CEO Rick Waggoner

 To satisfy the pitchfork brigade, Obama needed to show that there are consequences for accepting taxpayer bailouts, and Waggoner was the perfect candidate to shoulder the blame. Obama probably wishes he had forced a few more CEOs to walk the plank, to counter a public perception that failed bankers got off scot-free.

 8. The Cairo speech

 Even for a president who mastered the art of the mega-event on the campaign trail, the sweep of his address to the world’s one billion Muslims was ambitious. “America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam,” he said.

 “The speech in Cairo was a high moment,” said Democratic strategist Donna Brazile. “It signaled a shift.”

 Plus, the Egypt trip gave us the priceless images of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama’s personal aide Reggie Love riding camels at the pyramids.

 9. Wooing the media

 Obama’s been on the cover of nearly every magazine in America, including such non-political pubs as GQ, People, and Vibe. And he’s impossible to miss on TV: Here’s Obama joking about being black with David Letterman. There’s he’s talking Middle East policy on Al Arabiya. Now he’s killing a fly with his bare hands on CNBC.

 Obama’s flood-the-zone strategy paid off as the media largely treated the president with kid gloves all year. “I’m Barack Obama,” he said at the White House Correspondents Association dinner. “Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me.”

 10. Beating up on FOX News

 There is nothing – nothing – so delicious to Obama’s liberal Democratic base than beating up on the network that’s home to Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. The Obama team’s decision to call out Fox News as “a wing of the Republican Party” was a brush-back pitch of sorts, warning the rest of the media to stay away from Fox’s more negative coverage.

 Ten Worst:

 1. Obama saying the Cambridge cops acted “stupidly” in arresting Henry Louis Gates.

 As Obama took the side of an old friend against a police officer before he even knew the details, he threw gasoline on simmering racial tensions left over from his election. The White House’s hastily cobbled together attempt at a solution – the famous “beer summit” – is probably not what won him the Nobel Peace Prize.

 2. Eight percent unemployment? No.

 If the stimulus was a good idea, touting the stimulus too much was definitely not.

 Obama’s advisers confidently predicted that unemployment would top out at 8 percent if Congress went along with his push for a $787 billion stimulus package. But unemployment hit 9.8 percent last month and 10 percent isn’t far behind.

 The White House said that the economy was actually much worse than the advisers would have known at the time. Still, they broke a cardinal rule of politics – under-promise and over-deliver.

 3. The Olympics bid

 Copenhagen was not so wonderful to Barack Obama. More like the agony of defeat. The trip gave fodder to the White House’s critics to argue that the president remains too close to his Windy City political base, and all the big city machine seediness that implies. Not only that, Chicago’s bid was bounced on a first ballot – so much for the power of the global Brand Obama.

 4. He’s everywhere, all the time

 The downside of the flood the zone media strategy, Obama runs the risk of wearing thin on the American voter. “For awhile it looked like he would be on everything from the Home and Garden Channel to Golf Digest,” said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean. “It dilutes the impact of his message and will begin to create voter fatigue from seeing him too much.”

 But the White House pushes back hard on this theme – saying the constant stream of invites from Leno and Letterman and the rest shows the public is still interested.

 5. McChrystal outguns Obama

 These guys don’t get to be four-star generals without having a finely honed political sensibility, but you’d think the president would be an even better pol than a general.

 First Afghanistan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s go-big troop request was leaked to Bob Woodward – leaker unknown. Then McChrystal used a speech to a London think tank to “pre-but” the case for a smaller force in Afghanistan. By going public with his point of view, McChrystal handed Obama the untenable choice of defying his political base or defying his top general in the field.

 6. No earmarks? Well, maybe just a few . . .billion

 Obama campaigned hard against earmarks, but in March, he signed a $410 billion spending measure that was laden with more than $7 billion worth of the targeted spending provisions anyway. The president called the bill “imperfect” but didn’t veto the measure, and sent an early signal that he would bend – even on a core campaign priority.

 “He had an opportunity to really be different,” said former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. “He could have dominated and controlled Washington. But instead, he went along with it. Washington has not changed.”

 7. No vetting the vetters

 From Tom Daschle’s Town Cars, to Tim Geithner’s Turbo Tax to Bill Richardson’s federal grand jury troubles, Obama aides early in the year seemed incapable of turning up major problems before they hit the papers.

 8. Gitmo, Year Two

 Candidate Obama campaigned on closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, so it seemed to make sense when he set a deadline of January of 2010 to have the facility shuttered. By all accounts, it’s not going to happen. Obama and his team failed to take into account the extreme difficulty of deciding what do with the prisoners there – Congress won’t let them come to prisons here, U.S. allies don’t want them either.

 9. Snubbing the Dalai Lama

 The White House was at pains to say Obama didn’t snub the Dalai Lama in October when the Tibetan religious leader was in Washington – but it sure looked like he did. Obama’s decision not to meet with him in Washington – even though the White House promised another meeting at a date to be named later – gave ammunition to his critics that Obama was downplaying human rights to appease the Chinese.

 10. Beating up on FOX News.

 Obama ran as a post-partisan candidate who rejected the old ways of Washington. But attacking the conservative network is just the sort of base building, red vs. blue move Obama seemed to denounce during the campaign. Even some Democrats were scratching their heads, saying it seemed beneath Obama to single out one network – a far cry from the inspirational, bridge-building figure the nation elected one year ago. (ANI)