Technology via SMS becomes a helping hand for Haiti victims

The US government has got major mobile operators on board to allow people to very easily donate $10, through a text message to the Red Cross, to help with the disastrous situation in Haiti following the major earthquake

Setting a good example of using technology as a helping hand, the Obama administration has come out with an extremely simple—but fantastic idea. Anyone from the US, who wants to contribute to the victims of Haiti, can do so, simply by using a mobile handset.

The Obama administration has set up a unique number ‘90999’ to receive the $10 donation. The government has got major US carriers on board to allow people to very easily donate $10 to the Red Cross to help with the disastrous situation in Haiti following the major earthquake.

Till today, the SMSs have raised $5.20 million from over 5.2 lakh mobile phone users. Users based in the US just have to type ‘HAITI’ and send the message to 90999 to donate the amount. Users will be charged this amount in their next billing cycle.

According to Techcrunch.com, this texting drive, being run through mGive, a non-profit organisation working with the Red Cross, is also leveraging Twitter and Facebook to help get the word out there. Donations are said to be coming in to the tune of $200,000 each hour, so they are very likely coming close to $6 million raised at this point, it added.

Although there may be some questions regarding the utilisation of this fund, when it comes to providing help and support for any disaster victim across the world, no organisation does it better than the Red Cross. The initiative by the Obama administration is surely noteworthy, especially for countries like India, where there is hardly any information available about funds collection for any natural disaster and the details of the actual utilisation of these amounts.
 

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Stocks close higher on strong global cues

Sensex gains 75 points as RIL, ONGC move up; bank stocks decline on continuing concerns of a rate hike

Trading started on a high note on Thursday, triggered by Asian stocks which rebounded after a sharp decline yesterday in a knee-jerk reaction to the increase in the cash reserve ratio for Chinese banks. But after a robust opening, the market was sold off until it firmed up after the European market opened strong. The day ended with a gain of 75 points in the Sensex which closed at 17,585. The index touched a high of 17,628 and a low of 17,525 during the session. The NSE Nifty ended at a provisional 5,259 points, up 0.48% or 25 points. The premarket futures in US are trading higher, as are European markets. Higher prices seem to be the path of least resistance.

Asian stocks were higher following a higher close in US stocks on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a fresh 15-month closing high, gaining 53 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 9.46 points and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 25 points, or 1.12%, to 2,307.90.

Among Indian stocks, Punj Lloyd has secured a Rs574 crore offshore EPC contract from PTT Public Company Ltd, a Thailand state-owned oil and gas major, for platform compression facilities in the Gulf of Thailand. The stock was up nearly 2% at Rs216.50. 

Infosys was up for the fourth consecutive day while TCS was down. Wipro was up 3.61%.

The market was propped up by a rise in two heavyweights—RIL and ONGC. RIL rose 2.26% after it announced raising $763 million through a block sale of 3.3 crore shares on Monday.

BHEL (up 1.89%) has received a Rs200-crore order from PowerGrid for supplying insulators needed in transmission lines.

Bank stocks were down on continuing concerns of a rate hike.

The surprise of the day was that oil marketing companies (OMCs) did not get sold off and ONGC was actually up 2.94%, despite the petroleum minister Murli Deora stating that the FM has not agreed to the demand of Rs31,800 crore of cash &/or oil bonds to compensate for fuel subsidy. In fact, the finance ministry has clearly re-iterated today that there would be no oil bonds issuance this year.

This was anticipated because government finances are stretched for FY10. In fact, a few days back, the finance secretary had said that the government would be willing to pay cash of only Rs12,000 crore-Rs15,000 crore, leaving a gap of Rs15,000 crore over and above the Rs17000 crore loss suffered by oil firms in upstream operations . After Murli Deora’s comment today, the OMCs should have sold off. But, of course, we are in a bull market.
 

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By 2010, we will hopefully come to the take-off point to becoming a true Indian multinational in our sector

A M Naik rose to the top slot in Larsen & Toubro, and put it on the path to being a...

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