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President Bush is tonight due to deliver a rare prime-time televised address to convince Americans - and a hostile Congress - of the urgent need to pass his administration's $700 billion rescue plan for the country's stricken financial sector.
As intense negotiations continued between the White House and a deeply sceptical Capitol Hill on the colossal bailout - which could be passed with heavy modifications by next week - Mr Bush cancelled a fundraising trip to Florida to work on the speech.