Trump plays India’s favourite notes with Bollywood and cricket, but there’s no holding back the bored Indian
Yet, the speeches by the two leaders, which together ran almost an hour, had little new to offer. Much of Modi’s monologue was a repeat of his Howdy, Modi! performance.
Trump’s, as expected, was geared more towards the Gujarati American-Indians, an important vote bank for his reelection as president this November. He spoke at length about the “true” India-US friendship, turning briefly into generous adulation of Modi himself. Trump hailed Modi’s origins as a chaiwaala (tea-seller), “a worker in a cafeteria,” which he said underscored “what this country (India) is capable of.”
He then went on to list Modi’s many achievements: village electrification, internet access, and bringing “12 people out of poverty every minute.”
Interestingly, he also spoke about the US’s relationship with Pakistan. India has long viewed the US’s stance on Pakistan as not being critical enough over alleged terror funding and camps. Trump gloated over the American “victory” over the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and expressed his resolve to not let terror thrive.
Having previously called India a “Hindu nation,” Trump, this time, included Muslims in the list of the ethnicities inhabiting the country.
He hit the usual favourite Indian keynotes with Bollywood, cricket, and Diwali, a smattering of Hindu spiritual leader, Swami Vivekananda, and freedom fighter and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s favourite nationalist icon, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
However, that couldn’t hold the angsty crowd from staying back much longer. Midway through Trump’s speech, several pavilions emptied out. “I sat in the bus at 7am and it (is) now nearly 2pm. Plus I don’t understand what he’s saying,” Praveen Kumar, a resident of outer Ahmedabad, told Quartz in part Gujarati part Hindi. It didn’t help that Trump’s speech had a live Hindi transcript rolling on the large screen.
Even Modi’s “US-India friendship…long live, long live” towards the end didn’t perk up the mood.
The stadium in Ahmedabad began emptying during Trump’s and Modi’s speeches.
The only takeaway from Trump’s speech was a possible $3 billion defence cooperation deal, as well as some clarity on the India-US trade ties. The two countries have been hoping to arrive at a mutually beneficial trade tariff regime. For Trump, that hasn’t happened largely because Modi is a “tough negotiator.”Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief, our free daily newsletter with the world’s most important and interesting news.
“We are in the early stages of discussion for an incredible trade agreement to reduce barriers of investment between the United States and India,” he said. “And I am optimistic that, working together, the prime minister and I can reach a fantastic deal that’s good and even great for both of our countries.”
Trump gave no time line for a deal and speaking to reporters later he said he was in “no rush.”
Officials have tried to hammer out a modest trade deal opening up India to U.S. agricultural products and medical devices in return for the restoration of preferential export status that Trump stripped from India in 2019.
“There has been comparatively less activity during President Trump’s first term so it’s important for the two sides to get a win in the arms sales arena, particularly since the trade deal that’s been under negotiations for over a year appears to be off the table for now,” Jeff M. Smith, research fellow at the Washington D.C.-based Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center.
(Updates with Trump quote on trade deal in the seventh paragraph.)
–With assistance from Bibhudatta Pradhan.
To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Sink in Ahmedabad at email@example.com;Archana Chaudhary in Ahmedabad at firstname.lastname@example.org;Jordan Fabian in Ahmedabad at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at firstname.lastname@example.org, Muneeza Naqvi
For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com
Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
More stories from Quartz:
White House requests $2.5 billion for coronavirus, Dems say that’s ‘woefully insufficient’ by John Fritze, USA TODAY•Trump: Will not act on Stone, let process play outScroll back up to restore default view.WASHINGTON – The White House requested $2.5 billion in emergency funding late Monday to deal with the global coronavirus outbreak, but congressional Democrats quickly slammed the request as „woefully insufficient” to address the epidemic. President Donald Trump’s administration told congressional leaders it needs $1.25 billion in funding at the Department of Homeland Security and that it hopes to redirect another $535 billion previously approved for the Ebola crisis in 2015. That would amount to $1.8 billion in funding for the virus. The White House is also seeking the authority to redirect other funding toward the response, putting the total government effort at $2.5 billion. „Much is still unknown about this virus and the disease it causes,” Russell Vought, acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget wrote lawmakers. „The Administration believes additional Federal resources are necessary to take steps to prepare for a potential worsening of the situation in the United States.”China reported 409 new cases, raising the mainland’s total to 77,150. The 150 new deaths from the illness raised China’s total to 2,592. Elsewhere, a surge in reports of new cases in Iran and Italy raised the prospect of more disruptions.The White House said that as of Sunday there are 78,811 confirmed casesin approximately 30 countries.Democrats criticized the White House for both the size of the request and for planning to take money from other programs. House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said the House would pursue a „robust” spending package. „Despite urgent warnings from Congress and the public health community, the Trump administration took weeks to request these emergency funds,” Lowey said in a statement. „It is profoundly disturbing that their answer now is to raid money Congress has designated for other critical public health priorities.”Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the request „too little too late.”White House officials stressed the $2.5 billion figure, which they said includes the shifting of other funding toward the virus response. The funding request, officials said, would include more than $1 billion for vaccine development, among other priorities. „The Trump Administration continues to take the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease very seriously,” OMB spokeswoman Rachel Semmel said in a statement. „Today, the Administration is transmitting to Congress a $2.5 billion supplemental funding plan to accelerate vaccine development, support preparedness and response activities and to procure much needed equipment and supplies.”A sharp rise in coronavirus cases outside of China jolted global financial markets Monday, reviving concerns about the potential economic fallout from the outbreak. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 1,031.61 points, or 3.6%, to close at 27,960.80, its biggest one-day point drop since February 2018, when inflation fears rattled investors. It also erased the blue-chip average’s gains for the year.More: Dow plunges over 1,000 points as coronavirus cases outside China jump
Contributing: Jessica Menton This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: Donald Trump requests $2.5 billion for response
Politics Pompeo appeared to coordinate with Giuliani on Ukraine, new documents show by Alexander Nazaryan National Correspondent•Secretary of State Pompeo appeared to coordinate with Giuliani on Ukraine, new documents showScroll back up to restore default view.WASHINGTON — “Pls have Mr. G bring the documents,” reads the March 27, 2019, email from a State Department official to someone who worked for “Mr. G.,” better known as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a central figure in the Ukraine pressure campaign that culminated in the impeachment of President Trump.“S is happy to meet with him tomorrow for 10 minutes,” went an email, apparently between State Department officials, the next day (both sender and recipient are redacted, though the title “Office Manager to the Secretary of State” is visible in the sender’s signature). “S” was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is suspected by Democrats to have had a more central role in that Ukrainian campaign than has yet been publicly acknowledged. (One of Pompeo’s top deputies, Lisa Kenna, also calls him “S” in scheduling emails.)Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Rudy Giuliani. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via AP, Charles Krupa/AP)Trump was acquitted by the Senate on charges of abusing power and obstructing Congress earlier this month. But because agencies like the State Department and the Office of Management and Budget steadfastly refused House subpoenas, much remains unknown about how, exactly, the Trump administration decided to hold up $400 million in aid to Ukraine until that country announced investigations that could benefit Trump in the 2020 election.While the impeachment proceedings are now over, ongoing lawsuits and upcoming books are expected to reveal still more details about the campaign to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pursue the investigations Trump wanted. Progressive groups like American Oversight have continuing Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the administration for documents, and a book by former national security adviser John Bolton is scheduled to be published within a matter of weeks. Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, also has a book in the works.Democrats have little enthusiasm for impeaching Trump again, but if information about Ukraine continues to emerge that bolsters the Democratic narrative of a White House willing to misuse foreign policy, it could still prove a problem for Trump’s reelection campaign, and even beyond.Former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)“Impeachment is not over until Americans vote in the election,” went the headline of a recent op-ed by Stuart Gerson in The Hill. Gerson, a former assistant attorney general who opposes the Trump administration, said that damaging information “can change public and congressional opinion even after a successful reelection.”The small but significant trove of documents released on Friday by the State Department to American Oversight make clear that Giuliani — who was acting as Trump’s personal attorney — pressed American diplomats to consider the information he’d unearthed in Kyiv about corruption. Though the documents released amount to fewer than a dozen pages of emails, they nevertheless show aides to Pompeo unambiguously receptive to Giuliani’s overtures.“He wanted to connect with Giuliani which I was able to do lickety split,” one of the emails says. Another has staffers seemingly rescheduling a conversation between Pompeo and Sean Hannity, the primetime Fox News anchor and Trump confidant. In the spring of 2019, Hannity aggressively promulgated the information Giuliani provided from Ukraine about American diplomats.Beyond the impact on Trump, the continuing stream of information could prove damaging for Pompeo. The forthcoming book from Bolton will describe how Pompeo “acknowledged privately that there was no basis to [Giuliani’s] claims,” according to a New York Times description of the book’s content. Yet last March the secretary of state and Giuliani discussed Ukraine, though Pompeo has steadfastly refused to reveal the nature of those discussions. “I don’t have much to say with respect to the Ukraine investigation,” he said in November.The Department of State did not respond to a request for comment. A press representative for Giuliani also did not comment on his meeting with Pompeo in March.“Page by page, email by email, the full story of the Trump administration’s Ukraine scheme is going to come out,” American Oversight executive director Austin Evers told Yahoo News. “We now know Mike Pompeo and his aides encouraged Rudy Giuliani to deliver his bogus ‘dossier’ smearing Ambassador Yovanovitch during a week in 2019 when Giuliani’s henchmen were stalking the ambassador in Kyiv. If the White House and [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell thought obstruction and a rushed trial would keep the public from learning the truth, they will continue to be disappointed.”The reference to “stalking” by Evers relates to Giuliani associates’ discussing potentially conducting surveillance on Yovanovitch in Kyiv. That discussion took place just two days before Pompeo’s aides apparently began working to set up a meeting between Giuliani and the secretary of state.A longtime foreign service official, Yovanovitch was dismissed in May without explanation. Testimony by Yovanovitch, as well as revelations made to the press by Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, make clear that Giuliani had convinced Trump that she was standing in the way of investigations targeting Trump’s political opponents. Even when pressed, Pompeo refused to defend her against political attacks.Marie Yovanovitch testifies before the House Intelligence Committee during the impeachment hearings against President Trump on Nov. 15. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)On March 20 — about a week before Giuliani and Pompeo met in Washington — John Solomon of The Hill published an op-ed alleging that Yovanovitch gave Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, “a do not prosecute list during their first meeting.” That list presumably included Burisma, an energy company that listed among its board members Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, who is now running for president.Solomon’s columns on Ukraine became a centerpiece of the White House fixation on that country. An internal investigation published by The Hill last week found that Solomon committed multiple transgressions of journalistic ethics.That investigation also notes that much of Solomon’s information came from Giuliani. “I really turned my stuff over to John Solomon,” Giuliani said in November.Although the newly released State Department emails are vague, they do constitute further evidence that Giuliani was eager to also share his findings with Pompeo.Six weeks before he reached out to Pompeo, Giuliani had met with Lutsenko in Warsaw. He returned to the United States plainly energized by what Lutsenko — who was fired after Zelensky took over in May — had told him. He began meeting with Parnas and other associates at the Trump International Hotel to build a case against Yovanovitch and, ultimately, against the Bidens.Eventually, that case was shared with Pompeo. “Mr Giuliani has documents pursuant to his conversation with S the other day,” one internal State Department communication released to American Oversight read. “If possible, he would like 10 min with S upon delivery. He said he will drop off the documents whether S has time to meet or not.”Responding to an email about what appears to be Pompeo wanting to connect with Giuliani, Pompeo aide Kenna wrote a single word: “Super!”
South Korean tourists leaving Israel wait at a pavillon separated from the main terminal of Ben Gurion International Airport
Geneva (AFP) – The new coronavirus has peaked in China but could still grow into a pandemic, the World Health Organization has warned, as infections mushroom in other countries.
Financial markets have gone into a tailspin after grim news of deaths and outbreaks in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, even as the Chinese epicentre appeared to be calming, with the death toll at its lowest for three weeks.
But the situation is worsening in other countries, with more than 2,000 cases and 30 deaths reported abroad, prompting a raft of restrictions on travellers from infected nations.
South Korea, Italy and Iran have logged particularly sharp increases in infections and deaths, while several countries in the Middle East reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus.
But WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyes insisted the virus could still be contained, praising China’s drastic quarantine measures in several cities for helping to prevent an even bigger spread.
„For the moment we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus and we are not witnessing large-scale deaths,” Tedros told reporters in Geneva.
He added, however, that countries should be „doing everything we can to prepare for a potential pandemic.”
The term „pandemic” is used to describe an illness that spreads across numerous communities.
– South Korea hotspot –
South Korea, which has the largest number of cases outside China, reported 60 more infections and one more fatality on Tuesday, raising its death toll to eight and total patients to nearly 900.
South Korea’s outbreak has centred around a religious sect in Daegu, the country’s fourth largest city.
The country is on its highest „red” alert. As part of the containment efforts, school holidays were extended nationally while the 2.5 million people of Daegu were told to remain indoors.
The US Centers for Disease Control raised its caution level to warn Americans against „all nonessential travel to South Korea”.
Italy, which has reported seven deaths and over 200 cases, has locked down 11 towns, while upcoming football matches in its Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors.
With police manning checkpoints to enforce a blockade, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said that residents could face weeks of lockdown.
– Iran fears –
The disease — officially known as COVID-19 — spread to new countries including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Oman.
At least 12 people have died in Iran, the highest toll outside China.
But there were concerns the situation might be worse than officially acknowledged. The semi-official ILNA news agency quoted one local lawmaker in hard-hit Qom — a religious centre — who said 50 people had died there.
The Iranian government denied the report, and pledged transparency.
Even so, authorities have only reported 64 infections in Iran, an unusually small number that would mean an extremely high mortality rate.
Michael Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies programme, said a team from the UN agency would be arriving in Iran on Tuesday.
But he cautioned against drawing any conclusions about the mortality rate. Iran „may only be detecting severe cases” because the epidemic was still at an early stage, he said.
Several countries have taken measures to prevent arrivals from Iran.
– China peak –
In China, 508 new cases were reported, with all but nine at the epicentre in central Hubei province. Although that was up from 409 on Monday it was much lower than new infections being reported just a week ago.
China’s death toll reached 2,663 on Tuesday, after 71 more people died.
WHO’s Tedros said the epidemic peaked in China between January 23 and February 2.
China has placed some 56 million in Hubei and its capital under quarantine since late last month, while other regions have enacted some forms of travel curbs and measures to keep millions more people indoors.
Bruce Aylward, leader of a WHO mission of international experts, said late Monday it was time for China to start lifting some of the restrictions.
„Obviously they want to get society back to a more normal semblance of what probably is the new normal, because this virus may be around… for months,” Aylward said.
Reflecting the disquiet, global markets plunged on Monday, with Wall Street off 3.6 percent.
Bargain buying helped some Asian markets into the green on Tuesday, but disquiet remained, with Tokyo dropping 3.0 percent by lunchtime.
Clinton calls Trump ‘danger to democracy’ at Berlin film fest