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On 76th birthday, PM awaits his gift in New York
Renu Mittal in New York | September 27, 2008 00:22 IST
Dr Singh woke up on Friday morning in his 51st floor hotel suite at the New York Palace hotel in Manhattan to his 76th birthday. The morning papers in New York screamed the headline 'Deal or no Deal' and the prime minister may have been taken aback for a few seconds.
But the headlines referred to the White House's $700 billion plan to rescue the financial industry, which appeared to fall apart late Thursday night, less than 12 hours after a market soothing deal had seemed likely.
Late Thursday night, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank accused republicans of refusing to negotiate in good faith and told President Bush to 'go to work' to find GOP votes needed to pass the plan.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson kneeled before democrats at the White House while urging them not to publicly criticize Republicans -- and risk sending the financial markets plunging.
And John McCain [Images] acknowledged in a statement that a bipartisan White House meeting he had sought to showcase his leadership skills on the economy had developed into a 'contentious shouting match'. Financial markets shot up, then plunged, as the yo-yo of market expectation continued to fluctuate.
Coverage: Indo-US Nuclear Tango
The prime minister cut a small cake in his hotel suite in the presence of wife Gurcharan Kaur and US-based daughter Amrit Singh, who is a lawyer with the Human Rights and Civil Liberties and has been known to take up cudgels against the Bush administration on a number of occasions.
It was a day of expectation and waiting. The prime minister was waiting for the House of Representatives to deliver his birthday gift as news was keenly awaited of whether the last hurdle had been crossed. Friday is the final day of the US Congress, though it may be extended with both the financial bail out package and the 123 agreement yet to get the nod.
India and France are working towards signing a framework agreement to start nuclear commerce between the two countries. Both countries will also sign an agreement on civil aviation on 30th September, besides discussing cooperation in various other fields.
The India-European Summit will discuss the issue and revised joint action plan adopted in 2006 to strengthen the partnership. The Summit will also deliberate on a joint working programme on energy and climate change.
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