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Analysis: With Trump Ailing, a Steady Pence Tries to Keep the Campaign Afloat | Top News

Analysis: With Trump Ailing, a Steady Pence Tries to Keep the Campaign Afloat | Top News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mike Pence achieved on the debate stage what arguably President Donald Trump did not in a similar showdown last week: He offered a cogent and restrained case for why traditional Republicans and some swing voters should return the Trump-Pence ticket to the White House for four more years.

For Wednesday night’s vice presidential square-off, Pence was charged with trying to steady the ship after a tumultuous week in which the president was hospitalized with the coronavirus and opinion polls showed the Republican Trump’s re-election bid against Democrat Joe Biden slipping away.

But even if Pence had a strong night against Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, the reality is that Pence is not Trump, the candidate who dominates TV screens and media coverage so completely that everyone in his orbit becomes lost in shadow.

And there was nothing to suggest the vice president’s debate performance in Salt Lake City will help Trump with his biggest problem in the Nov. 3 election: women.

The televised clash felt weightier than in years past, with the 74-year-old Trump being treated for COVID-19. Biden, 77, has also faced questions about his fitness for office should he win in November.

That made Pence and Harris more than campaign stand-ins. They were dueling backup quarterbacks, ready to take the field at any time if needed.

In the course of the 90-minute event, Pence reeled off a list of Trump campaign priorities such as low taxes, a powerful military, a conservative judiciary and an aggressive posture toward China – often refusing to directly answer questions in favor of his prepared remarks.

It was a notable difference from the erratic and caustic performance Trump himself turned in at a debate against Biden last week, one that sent polls spiking further in Biden’s direction. The most recent

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With Trump ailing, a steady Pence tries to keep the campaign afloat

With Trump ailing, a steady Pence tries to keep the campaign afloat

By James Oliphant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mike Pence achieved on the debate stage what arguably President Donald Trump did not in a similar showdown last week: He offered a cogent and restrained case for why traditional Republicans and some swing voters should return the Trump-Pence ticket to the White House for four more years.

For Wednesday night’s vice presidential square-off, Pence was charged with trying to steady the ship after a tumultuous week in which the president was hospitalized with the coronavirus and opinion polls showed the Republican Trump’s re-election bid against Democrat Joe Biden slipping away.

But even if Pence had a strong night against Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, the reality is that Pence is not Trump, the candidate who dominates TV screens and media coverage so completely that everyone in his orbit becomes lost in shadow.

And there was nothing to suggest the vice president’s debate performance in Salt Lake City will help Trump with his biggest problem in the Nov. 3 election: women.

The televised clash felt weightier than in years past, with the 74-year-old Trump being treated for COVID-19. Biden, 77, has also faced questions about his fitness for office should he win in November.

That made Pence and Harris more than campaign stand-ins. They were dueling backup quarterbacks, ready to take the field at any time if needed.

In the course of the 90-minute event, Pence reeled off a list of Trump campaign priorities such as low taxes, a powerful military, a conservative judiciary and an aggressive posture toward China – often refusing to directly answer questions in favor of his prepared remarks.

It was a notable difference from the erratic and caustic performance Trump himself turned in at a debate against Biden last week, one that sent polls spiking further in Biden’s direction.

Read the rest
RBI holds rates steady, sees economic recovery taking root

RBI holds rates steady, sees economic recovery taking root

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) left key interest rates unchanged on Friday as widely expected, while keeping policy accommodative to help pull the coronavirus-ravaged economy out of its worst slump in four decades.

FILE PHOTO: A worker walks past the logo of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) inside its office in New Delhi, India July 8, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

India’s economy has been the worst hit by the pandemic among major countries and new infections continue to climb, but RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said there were some encouraging signs of a business turnaround and activity could return to growth in the January-March quarter.

As expected, the monetary policy committee (MPC) kept the repo rate, its key lending rate, at 4.0%, while the reverse repo rate or the key borrowing rate stayed at 3.35%.

The RBI has slashed the repo rate by 115 basis points (bps) since late March to cushion the shock from the coronavirus crisis and sweeping lockdowns to check its spread.

The RBI sees India’s real GDP contracting by 9.5% in the current fiscal year, Das said in a webcast after the MPC meeting.

“The MPC is of the view that revival of the economy from an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic assumes the highest priority in the conduct of monetary policy,” he said.

“The MPC decides to maintain status quo on the policy rate in this meeting and await the easing of inflationary pressures to use the space available for supporting growth further.”

August inflation, at 6.69%, held above the top end of the RBI’s medium-term target range of 2-6% for the fifth consecutive month amid supply disruptions.

“The main reason for inaction today was the stickiness of inflation,” said Shilan Shah, senior India economist at Capital Economics in Singapore.

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