Twitter eyes acquisitions, sees making money in 2010

Micro-blogging site Twitter is interested in making more acquisitions as it continues to grow in popularity, co-founder Biz Stone said on Tuesday.

“That is something we are definitely interested in,” Stone told a news conference in Tel Aviv. “We made an acquistion last year that turned out to be an outstandingly good decision.”

He said there was nothing specific on the horizon.

“As our attention is grabbed by some of these developers, we will take a hard look at them,” Stone said.

Twitter bought search engine Summize in 2008.

Stone said Twitter will “start making money” in 2010 as it unveils a plan early next year on how it will produce revenue through advertising. He declined to give details but said advertising will be “non-traditional”.

“There are no dates when we need to break even. We have plenty of money in the bank,” he said.

In September, Twitter received a new round of funding from investors including mutual fund giant T. Rowe Price and private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, which analysts said set the stage for an eventual initial public offering or sale.

Sehwag, Gambhir tons put India on top

Openers Sehwag and Gambhir scored centuries and put on explosive opening stand of 233 runs. (Photo: AP)

KANPUR: Centuries from openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag left India in control on the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Kanpur.Gambhir hit a superb 167 and Sehwag overcame a tentative start to clobber a typically blistering 131, the pair adding 233 for the opening wicket on a placid surface.Rahul Dravid then pressed home the advantage with an unbeaten 85 as India finished the day on 417 for two.Sachin Tendulkar, who joined Dravid in the final hour, was 20 not out.Kumar Sangakkara’s depleted attack was hammered around the park as India’s top order ensured there was no dramatic capitulation as in the first Test in Ahmedabad.Sehwag was uncharacteristically scratchy in the first hour and was dropped by Mahela Jayawardene at first slip before he could get off the mark, before going on to dominate the opening stand.He broke the shackles by driving Angelo Mathews for his first boundary in the 12th over and followed that with a pull to the midwicket fence in the same over.There was no looking back thereafter as he quickly overtook Gambhir and reached his 16th Test century off just 97 deliveries by turning Muttiah Muralitharan for a boundary to fine leg.Sehwag hammered Muralitharan for three consecutive boundaries as India sped past the 200 mark in the afternoon session and continued to accumulate runs at a breathtaking pace before Muralitharan made the breakthrough.Sehwag drove at a delivery with a little more air and picked out Tillakaratne Dilshan at extra cover.Gambhir, who had provided the early momentum, slowed as he neared his century but got there in style, skipping down the track to hit Rangana Herath for a straight boundary.It was his eighth century and second in succession after a century in the second innings in Ahmedabad.Together with Dravid, Gambhir added 137 for the second wicket, the run rate falling below five an over in the final session as Sri Lanka’s bowlers brought some pressure to bear.Gambhir was Muralitharan’s second success on an otherwise poor day for Sri Lanka’s bowlers, the off-spinner brilliantly latching onto a return catch.Dravid had batted steadily, if slowly in comparison to the openers, but proved just as effective.He reached his half-century – his 58th in Tests – by sweeping Muralitharan for a single.Sri Lanka took the second new ball with four overs remaining but Dravid and Tendulkar played cautiously to finish the day unbeaten.Ajantha Mendis, who took injured fast bowler Dammika Prasad’s place in the side, conceded 87 from 19 overs while Herath – the third specialist spinner in Sri Lanka’s attack – leaked 91 from 18 overs.

Most runaway kids are from Mahaboobnagar

MAHABOOBNAGAR: Mahaboobnagar district has gained the dubious distinction of having the most number of children in the age group of 10-14 from middle- class and poor families who run away from home due to bad financial conditions.This is according to a study conducted by Hyderabad based Bala Bandhu, an NGO fighting to protect child rights.The number of cases on runaway children has increased from 15 to 20 cases per day at Nampally, Secunderabad, Kachiguda railway stations, Mahatma Gandhi Bus Terminal (MGBS) and Kukatpally in Hyderabad. “Most of the children are from Mahaboobnagar district. From the daily count of 20 runaway children, at least 5 to 7 registered with the railway police are from Mahaboobnagar,” said Ch Ramesh Babu, Programme Manager, Bala Bandhu project.Ravi (name changed), a native of Mahaboobnagar, ran away from home when he was barely seven. His father had put him to work in a bicycle repair shop. It was not the hard work that bothered Ravi.It was the daily harassment by the owner of the shop. The last straw was when the boss burnt him with a welding torch as punishment for a minor mistake.Ravi jumped on a train headed for Hyderabad a few days ago and reached the Secunderabad Railway station.Ravi was found by Bala Bandhu volunteers as he was sitting on the platform bewildered and hungry, eating leftovers given to him by a passerby.In a counselling session by Bala Bandhu staff, Ravi revealed that he had run away from home as his parents failed to take care of him after the floods which affected their financial situation.In another case, Sarojini (name changed), hailing from Warangal aged 15, was found at the Secunderabad railway station, crying.According to Sarojini, her mother died when she was 7 years old, and her father remarried and she has three step-brothers and two stepsisters.Sarojini’s step-mother forced her to work as a maid in several houses. When Sarojini asked her step-mother to send her to school, she refused and started harassing her. She then ran away from her home and reached Secunderabad station.Ramesh Babu said that the Bala Bandhu identified as many as 1,289 children, who ran away from their homes from different places such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi, and various places from Andhra Pradesh during 2008-2009.“Of the 1,289 children, as many as 1,164 were sent back to their homes after Bala Bandhu provided proper counselling to children and parents.The remaining children are being rehabilitated at Bala Bandhu centres, which are situated near Uppal. We manage these rehabilitation centres separately for boys and girls,” says Ramesh Babu.At least 30 full-time volunteers are working to identify street child and Bala Bandhu has set up help desks at Secunderabad, Nampally, Kachiguda railway stations.

Nampally traffic police station in state of rot – HYD – India

HYDERABAD: Be it the latest gadgets, weaponry or training, police officials never get tired of claiming that they are well-equipped and more advanced than the police of other cities. But a visit to the Nampally traffic police station gives a clear picture about the poor state of affairs within the Police Department.Though there are about 66 policemen attached to Nampally traffic police station, one never finds them inside the station. Instead, they can be seen sitting in the nearby hotels or simply loitering around. The building housing the traffic police station is on the verge of collapse.A visit to the police station by Expresso revealed that the policemen do not have water to drink. “We get water from nearby hotels,” said a constable.The structure, which is more than a 100 years old, has two portions — one from where the traffic police station functions and the other where a checkpost has been set up.“We cannot take shelter inside the police station when it rains as the roof has developed cracks all over and it leaks,” the personnel said.At the rear portion of this police station is a dark room, which is the supposed barracks.The place is suffocating and adding to the woes is the unbearable stench from the toilet.The sanctioned strength of the police station is 66 including one Inspector, 8 sub-inspectors, 10 head constables and 44 constables. “It is becoming impossible to carry out our regular work in the police station and therefore we spend most of the time outside,” a constable said.Though senior police officials did identify four traffic police stations which are in poor condition, several years ago, nothing has been done to change the situation till date.Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic, A Ravi Chander told Expresso that they have identified at least four such traffic police stations which are posing severe problems. The identified traffic police stations are — Nampally, Kachiguda, Mahankali and Mirchowk.“We have prepared the proposal to construct new buildings for these police stations and sent the list to higher officials for their approval. Within the next three months, the four police stations will have new buildings,” Ravi Chander asserted.Until then, policemen have no other option but to suffer.

Steeling themselves for life

MUMBAI: A year after 26/11, a Bhendi Bazaar resident, 68-year old Mohammed Hanif Peer Mohammed, still remembers his beloved brother-in-law, Mastan Qureshi, 50, who fell a victim to terrorists’ bullets at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) that night.”My sister Saeeda (40) and three children awaited the return of their father to Govandi (a northeast Mumbai suburb) as usual so they could have dinner together. He worked as a professional tourist guide and used to take foreign nationals in and around Mumbai on sight-seeing,” Mohammed recalled.Around 9.45 p.m., the horrified family learnt from the television news that there was firing at CST, one of the two main stations in Mumbai for suburban train services. The family was immediately concerned for Qureshi and tried to contact him on his mobile phone, but the number was not reachable.”Suburban trains had been suspended beyond Byculla so there was no way of reaching CST station. My sister called me and I launched a frantic search for Qureshi,” Mohammed said in a choking voice.After a few hours, they got a call from Qureshi’s mobile number and learnt that he had sustained bullet injuries and was rushed to Sir J.J. Hospital, which was close to Mohammed’s house.”He had the presence of mind to tell a fellow injured commuter to take out his home number from the telephone diary and call up. The other victim somehow obliged and conveyed the message to us, so I rushed to the hospital,” he said.There was a huge crowd of anxious relatives of the victims who were being taken there from different parts of the city where the terrorists had struck in quick succession, shocking the entire country that night.Mohammed managed to reach his brother-in-law but the hospital staff, despite all efforts, could not succeed in saving Qureshi.”My sister is yet to fully recover from the tragedy. All of us remind Saeeda that she has to now live for her children, daughter Sanaa and sons Tausif and Sohail.”The tragedy has steeled the family and the children have also matured. While Tauseef has started taking civil contract works, Sohail is awaiting a promised job offer from the railways.”The issue is stuck for over 10 months in some documentation formalities and bureaucratic hassles. If he does not get the job soon, we shall write to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, seeking her help. The children should not have a bleak future,” Mohammed said.This Nov 26, the family is planning to have a special commemorative prayer for Qureshi in Govandi and Bhendi Bazaar mosques and a traditional ‘fateha’ lunch.


No commemorative event by NSG on 26/11

NEW DELHI: The National Security Guard (NSG), which finally decimated the Mumbai attackers and lost two of its men, will not be organising any commemorative event to mark the first anniversary of 26/11.”We are not holding any prayer or candle light meeting Nov 26. There is nothing from our side,” a senior NSG officer told IANS.Asked why, the officer said: “We are an operational and special force. So we do not hold any such thing. Also we pray tribute to our martyrs on national police commemorative day Oct 21.”A year ago, NSG commandos gunned down eight of the 10 Lashker-e-Taiba terrorists who attacked Mumbai. The police killed one and captured another. The NSG lost Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and commando Gajendra Singh Bisht.

Obama says India is indispensable

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama Tuesday hailed India as an “indispensable” partner as he rolled out the red carpet for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the White House in the first official state visit of his presidency.Chilly, damp weather forced the White House to move the ceremony indoors where Manmohan Singh and Obama stood before photographers and television cameras in the East Room as a Marine band played the national anthems of both countries.Welcoming the prime minister and his wife Gursharan Kaur, Obama said: “Mr. prime minister, yours is the first official visit of my presidency and it is fitting that you and India be so recognised.””This visit,” Obama said, “reflects the high esteem in which I and American people hold for your wise leadership.”It reflects the abiding bonds, respect and friendship between our people, including our friends in the Indian American community who join us today,” Obama said.India External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Indian Ambassador to US Meera Shankar and corporate leaders like Ratan Tata, Chanda Kochhar of ICICI and Deepak Parekh of HDFC were among the delegates with the prime minister.Obama said the visit at this “pivotal moment in history speaks of opportunity before us to build the relationship between our nations born in the last century, into one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century”.Citing the two countries’ shared history of struggle against imperialism, Obama told Manmohan Singh: “As the world’s largest democracies, we can keep faith with our common values: speaking out and standing up for rights and dignity to which all human beings are entitled.”He said India and the US shared the common story.”This is the story of two people who struggled to break from the Empire and declared their independence, two bold experiments in democracy, two constituencies which begin with same simple words ‘We The People’, two great republics dedicated to the idea of liberty, justice, equality and the never ending work of perfecting their use.”He said India’s and US’ story was of two “economic marvels fuelled by hard work and innovation”.”And today our nations are two global leaders driven not to dominate other nations but to build the future of security and prosperity for all nations. Mr prime minister, as we work to build that future, India is indispensable.”Obama said: “As leading economies US and India can strengthen global economic recovery in the world.”Calling India a nuclear power and a co-partner in preventing the spread of the world’s most deadly weapons and securing the loose nuclear material from terrorists, Obama said the two countries can pursue “our shared vision of the world without nuclear weapons”.He called India “an increasingly a global influential power” and said: “We can partner to meet other transnational challenges, developing clean energy, partnerships confronting climate change, stopping infectious diseases, reducing hunger and put an end to extreme poverty in our time.”This is the India that America welcomes today, a leader in Asia and around the world. These are the challenges we are summoned to meet in partnership,” Obama said.He said India and the US having known the pain and anguish of terrorism “can stand together, cooperate to prevent future attacks and promote the development and prosperity that undermines the hard extremists.”Manmohan Singh shared the thought and said “we should cooperate in addressing global challenges of combating terrorism, of making environment cleaner, and moving towards a world free of nuclear weapons.”Singh said it is a “moment of great opportunity” in our relations with the US which will help in meeting global challenges like terrorism.The prime minister said he was “deeply honoured” to be the first state guest of President Obama.He said the two countries were separated by distance “but (were) bound together by the values of democracy, pluralism, rule of law and respect of fundamental human feelings”.The two countries have created a partnership “based upon both principle and pragmatism”, said Manmohan Singh.”Our relations have been transformed and they encompass cooperation in all areas of human activity,” said Singh.He thanked the president and his wife Michelle Obama for receiving him during the Thanksgiving week, which is a family holiday period here.After making his statement, Obama escorted Singh out of the East Room for bilate