HARI SREENIVASAN: Former President Bill Clinton underwent a procedure to have two stents placed in one of his coronary arteries today. A statement from his press office reported he was hospitalized in New York after feeling discomfort in his chest. The statement went on to say he is now in good spirits and will continue to focus on the work of his foundation and Haiti’s earthquake relief efforts. He was assigned to coordinate the international response to the crisis there. President Clinton is 63 years old. He had quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2004.
European Union leaders have agreed to provide aid to help Greece deal with its debt crisis. They began discussing steps today at an economic summit in Brussels.
We have a report from Lucy Manning of Independent Television News.
LUCY MANNING: The cry was, one for all and all for one, the promise that those in the euro would step in to protect anyone else struggling.
HERMAN VAN ROMPUY, European Union president: Your area member states will take determined and coordinated action, if needed, to safeguard financial stability in the euro area as a whole. The Greek government has not requested any financial support.
LUCY MANNING: But the deal didn’t melt the worries of the moneymen, who weren’t overly impressed, wanting more than just strong words.
ANGUS CAMPBELL, London Capital Group: The worst thing for markets is uncertainty. And that’s what we’re seeing at the moment. We don’t really know what the details of the plan will be of any sort of assistance from the European Union, whether things will be in the form of any loans, or whether it will be actually a full-scale bailout. And, of course, this will be at huge cost as well. So, there are a number of questions that need to be answered.
LUCY MANNING: The taxis ground to a halt in Greece in protest at the rising prices. Europe’s leaders are demanding they put the hand brake on spending and borrowing that’s out of control. This was, as the prime minister kept saying, a euro area issue.
GORDON BROWN, British prime minister: I think the issue today is what the euro area wants to do. Greece is part of the euro area. It’s part of the euro currency area. Its debt is denominated in euros.
LUCY MANNING: So, Greece and its leader still at the center of this euro crisis. No one is sure if the strong words will head off what could be a Greek tragedy.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The Greek prime minister insisted today his country will not be needing help and has not asked for any.
Wall Street took heart from the news out of Brussels. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 105 points to close at 10144. The Nasdaq rose 29 points to close at 2177.
Police were targeted for a second straight day in Northwest Pakistan. A pair of suicide bombers attacked a police complex near the Afghan border, killing 15 people and wounding up to 30. The first blast struck outside the entrance gate. Minutes later, the second went off, as rescuers were responding to the first attack.
President Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, next Thursday. A presidential spokesman announced the White House session today. China had warned against any such meeting. It accuses the Dalai Lama of pushing for Tibetan independence. The Chinese have also complained sharply about U.S. proposals to sell more weapons to Taiwan.
Ten American missionaries detained in Haiti may be going home. A judge there recommended today they be released and not face trial on charges of child kidnapping. Most of the Americans are from an Idaho Baptist group. They were arrested in late January while trying to take 33 children, ages 2 to 12, to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. Some of the children had living parents, but some of the parents have since said they willingly handed over their sons and daughters.