OTTAWA – Kelly Craft wants Canadians to know a few things about one of the least popular presidents an American ambassador has ever had to represent in this country.Among them: He’s taking the United States in a new direction, but that doesn’t mean navigating away from its good friend, Canada; He’s got way more in common with Justin Trudeau than you would think; He wakes each day seized with helping the working class people who elected him, but he could do a better job of explaining how he plans to do that.In a recent Ottawa speech, the Kentucky-born, basketball-loving U.S. ambassador to Canada presented those insights — some more candid than others — to decode President Donald Trump for bewildered and curious Canadians.Six months into her job, Craft is determined to put a more cheerful face on what many see as an ugly administration.It’s Craft’s attempt to smooth her president’s rough edges, like a shot of finely aged bourbon from her beloved state.“I want to explain why our president — with a clear mandate from the people across the United States — saw a need for sweeping change. Responding to this mandate doesn’t weaken our alliance,” Craft said in a speech earlier this week to a gala dinner at the Canadian War Museum.“I expect that some here who hear the slogan, ‘Make America Great Again’ are concerned about our country’s engagement in the world. I’m here to tell you that yes, the president will put America first, just as Canada will put Canada first. However, America (First) does not mean America Alone.”The speech was well received by the several hundred at the annual Macdonald-Laurier Institute event, and it broke new ground beyond her previous, carefully scripted public appearances.She said she understands why so many Canadians “are weighing American actions through a Canadian prism.”“But sometimes it’s useful to look at all sides. This too becomes a challenge with today’s competitive 24-hour news cycle. It is often difficult to discern what is current or old, real or fake, what is reporting versus advocacy,” she said.The Canada-U.S. relationship may be complex, and that includes the ongoing renegotiation of NAFTA, but Craft said it is as vibrant as ever “even when the signals coming from the media and thought leaders often suggest otherwise.”In her view, one of the biggest reasons for optimism is the relationship between Trudeau and Trump, both of whom are “strong-willed and charismatic.”Both leaders delivered similar messages at last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, about the need to extend economic prosperity to those who have been passed over, she said.Craft quoted Trudeau in Davos: “Over the past decades, citizens and workers have been calling for change. But too often their pleas have been ignored … We all know that to be competitive in this modern economy change is imperative. And the grassroots desire for change is there, it always has been, but it’s up to us to flip on the switch.”Then she delivered her punchline:“I can’t think of a better way to describe the wave that elected Donald Trump.”Mark Fisher, the president of the Toronto-based Council of the Great Lakes Region, listened with interest to her speech, and said it had all the hallmarks of an ambassador attempting to provide reassurance about a White House that is unorthodox and chaotic.He predicted she will grow into the role as her predecessors have, but it won’t be easy with musings about retaliatory trade action periodically coming out of the White House.“At some point, we’re going to have to sit down and say, ‘are we really on the same page here’ because the reassurances don’t seem to be lining up with what we’re hearing out of Washington?”Craft herself acknowledged that figuring out Trump is not an easy thing to do — even for her.But for any of the confusion he might create, she insisted that underneath it is a committed champion of working people who thinks like a businessman focused on getting results for them.“I don’t think that he is very good at expressing how we’re going to achieve those results. I think that would be very helpful if he laid that out for all of us,” she said, drawing laughter from the audience.“The people here tonight that have made it possible for us to be able to sit at these tables — wonderful china, the crystal — those are the people in America who voted for Donald Trump, and at the end of the day, those are the people that he cares about,” Craft added.“It’s about the people who voted him into office … and every day when he gets up, he will say, ‘I want to make America great again for those people, the middle class.’”
Kolkata: Abhishek Banerjee, Trinamool Congress MP and president of the party’s youth wing has categorically said that stern action will be taken against those involved in the murder of Trilochon Mahato in Purulia’s Balarampur if the BJP can prove his party’s involvement of any sort. Banerjee said that his party workers are not involved in the murder of Mahato. “He died due to infighting or it was the sequel to a family feud,” he maintained. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsA tweet of BJP’s national president Amit Shah said: “Deeply hurt by the brutal killing of our young karyakarta, Trilochan Mahato, in Balarampur, West Bengal. A young life full of possibilities was brutally taken under state’s patronage. He was hanged on a tree just because his ideology differed from that of state-sponsored goons.” The body of 18-year-old Mahato was found hanging from a tree a day after the Panchayat election was declared. There was a poster which was found near the tree that read because of his involvement with the BJP at such an early age, he had to pay the price. Trilochan’s father Panu Mahato is a BJP worker as well. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt may be mentioned that in a recent interview to a vernacular television channel, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee had said that 13 party workers had been killed by the Opposition. She had said as the Trinamool Congress was confident of its victory then why should the workers take recourse to violence. Abhishek said his party did not believe in violence. “BJP is creating trouble everywhere and then trying to put the blame on the Trinamool Congress.” The police is investing the matter. Partha Chatterjee, TMC secretary general, has also denied the involvement of his party workers in the murder. “We do not believe in the politics of hate and murder. Our workers had been killed but we have never retaliated to take revenge.”In Balarampur, the BJP has bagged two Zila Parishad seats. Out of 17 Gram Panchayat seats, BJP secured 17 while the TMC had got three seats. In Gram Panchayat, out of 92 seats BJP got 70 while the TMC got 22 seats.The Trinamool leaders said BJP had got only 22 seats in 822-member Zilla Parishad in Bengal where elections were held. It bagged 5,747 Gram Panchayat and 752 seats in Panchayat Samity. Under such a situation the BJP is no threat to the TMC and so there was no question of resorting to violence, the TMC leaders said.
Siliguri: Goutam Deb, state Tourism minister, inaugurated the 29th Uttar Banga Rath Yatra festival organised by ISKCON in Siliguri. The chief guest to the event was the minister himself along with Sourav Chakraborty, the SJDA chairman, the IRS Commissioner, the IPS, DCP and other eminent personalities.Lord Jagannath’s journey began from ISKCON temple at 2 pm, taking a tour of the whole Siliguri town in the freshly coated multi-coloured chariot winding through Sevoke Road, Panitanki More, Pakurtala, Nazrul Sarani, Swamiji More and other routes. Every year, the Lords come out in three different chariots pulled by their devotees in large numbers and visit their aunt’s place, better known as Gundicha Mandir, located at Sevoke Road.
Darjeeling: In a move set to benefit the Gorkha community significantly, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for a Gorkha Welfare Centre in Delhi.Banerjee, who was in Delhi on Wednesday to attend the AAP rally, laid the foundation stone for the centre, which will come up at Saket in Delhi. “The centre will be a big help for the students and patients visiting Delhi from the Hills. This is a permanent asset for Darjeeling. It is being done jointly by the state government and the GTA,” stated the Chief Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseMinister in her address. A four-storied building will come up in the 28,820 sq feet area at a cost of Rs 20 crore. “This land was given to the DGHC 18 years ago. However, the DGHC and the GTA had failed to come up with anything concrete here. Later, when we took charge of the GTA, we approached the Chief Minister with a proposal for the welfare centre. She immediately agreed. The land had been encroached by land mafia. We had to seek legal recourse with the help of the state government to get back the land,” stated GTA chairman Binay Tamang. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe aim of the centre is to provide accommodation to students who come to Delhi to appear for different examinations, interviews and for patients who come for treatment. It will also serve as a guest house for officials travelling to Delhi. 85 percent of the land will be used for residential purpose, while the rest will be institutional. “The centre is not just for Gorkhas but for all communities. It is not just for the Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills but for Gorkhas residing throughout India,” added Tamang.
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress will start building contacts with people throughout the state through its initiative named Janasanyog Yatra from June 21, party supremo Mamata Banerjee said on Friday.She presided over a meeting held to analyse poll results in Hooghly at Trinamool Bhavan on Friday afternoon. She will hold similar meetings in Bijpur on June 14 and Nadia on June 21. Senior party leaders including Subrata Bakshi, Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee, Firhad Hakim, the observer of Hooghly district Indranil Sen and Ashima Patra were present. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataShe will be present at the installation of the statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at Vidyasagar College on June 11. The statue was vandalised by BJP supporters taking part in the rally of the party’s national president Amit Shah in May. Following the event, she will take part in the inauguration of a luxury hotel by ITC on Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. Banerjee said the Yatra will start from June 21 and will be held in Birbhum, Burdwan, Howrah and Hooghly, along with other South Bengal districts. It will also be held in Jangalmahal, Sunderbans and North Bengal. It will be continued till July 18. On July 21 Martyr’s Day will be held and the Yatra will be resumed from July 25. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateRabindranath Ghosh, president of the Cooch Behar unit of the party, was replaced by Benoy Krishna Barman. Banerjee said as Barman was a minister without any portfolio, he would be able to devote more time to the party. She met the Panchayat members, MLAs and party functionaries of Hooghly district. Though Trinamool Congress has retained Srirampur and Arambagh out of the three Lok Sabha seats in Hooghly, the margins of both the candidates, Kalyan Banerjee and Aparupa Podder, have drastically fallen. Podder, who was elected from Arambagh by 1,818 votes, had won the seat by 3.46 lakh votes in 2014. Ratna Dey Nag, the party’s two-time MP was defeated by Locket Chatterjee of BJP by over 70,000 votes. Dey Nag had won the seat by 1.89 lakh votes in 2014. There was massive transfer of CPI(M) votes to BJP, which had helped the BJP candidates win in Arambagh and secure second position in Srirampur and Arambagh. There was transfer of votes by a section of Trinamool supporters as well. It was decided on Friday that Mayor Firhad Hakim will hold three block-level meetings. Banerjee had asked all party leaders to go to the people and listen to their grievances. By holding meetings in each district, Banerjee is trying to understand what went wrong with the party as they failed to get votes in areas like Jangalmahal and North Bengal, where massive development has taken place.
Kolkata: Amid protests by doctors in several districts of West Bengal, four junior doctors were injured when stones were pelted at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital on Wednesday, an official said. “The doctors were peacefully holding a dharna when some hooligans pelted stones from outside around 11 a.m. One intern Mayank Agarwal, 22, was seriously hurt on the forehead, while three others received minor injuries,” Amitava Saha, Deputy Superintendent of the hospital, told IANS. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata He said the outpatient departments (OPDs) was shut as the junior doctors were protesting against an attack on interns at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, but the emergency services also got disrupted after the stone pelting. “The emergency services were kept open. Admitted patients are being treated. But as the situation went out of control, outsiders are not being allowed anymore,” Saha said. The police brought the situation under control and all senior officers are at the spot as the doctors are continuing their sit-in, he added. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state Similar scenes of cease-work were witnessed in districts such as Bankura, Birbhum and Coochbehar. In Kolkata, family members of patients at the state-run SSKM Hospital started a simultaneous protest by occupying the streets outside and blocking traffic on the AJC Bose Road crossing demanding treatment of their ailing kin. Services at some private hospitals were also disrupted as they showed solidarity with the doctors. “We want some sort of assurance because whenever any incident occurs, the security and administrative staff becomes untraceable. It is us (junior doctors) who are beaten up or manhandled,” said one of the protesting doctors at NRS Hospital. Protests erupted at the state-run NRS Hospital on Tuesday morning bringing the regular services to a standstill, after a junior doctor was allegedly beaten up by the relatives of a 75-year-old patient who died there late on Monday night. The family members of the deceased patient alleged medical negligence. The intern named Paribaha Mukherjee sustained a serious skull injury in the attack and has been admitted in the intensive care unit of the Institute of Neurosciences in Kolkata’s Park Circus area. His condition is reportedly stable.