TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd and Fulham at loggerheads over Fosu-Mensah loanby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United and Fulham are at loggerheads over the loan future of Timothy Fosu-Mensah. The Sun says Fosu-Mensah would be allowed to return to Old Trafford, with Calum Chambers a regular under manager Claudio Ranieri and previous boss Slavisa Jokanovic.But United want the Dutchman, 21, to fight for his place at Craven Cottage instead of being part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.According to a United source, the club want Fosu-Mensah to learn how to fight his way back into contention at Fulham.They see his situation under Ranieri, where he has not started a game since November, as part of his learning process in senior football.
zoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: DP World Dubai-based port and terminal operator DP World has decided to extend its global footprint with the acquisition of a Chilean port operator.The company has signed an agreement to acquire 71.3% stake in Puertos y Logistica S.A. (Pulogsa), listed on the Santiago stock exchange, from Minera Valparaiso and other shareholders associated with the Matte Group.DP World said that the acquisition would be effected via a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of the business. The company would offer USD 502 million in consideration for 100% equity ownership. As of September 30, 2018, Pulogsa had net financial debt of USD 226 million.The acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive in the first full year of consolidation and it would be financed from existing balance sheet resources, the terminal operator explained.The transaction is subject to relevant third party consents and is expected to close in the first half of 2019.Pulogsa operates a long-term concession for Puerto Central (PCE) in San Antonio, in Chile’s Central Region V, and owns and operates Puerto Lirquen (PLQ) in Chile’s Southern Region VIII.“These new assets will allow DP World to serve cargo owners and and shipping lines at five key gateways on the west coast of South America in Posorja (Ecuador), Callao and Paita (Peru) and San Antonio and Lirquen (Chile),” Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Province has made the Disaster Financial Assistance program available for residents of the Old Fort.The DFA is available to homeowners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers charitable organizations and local government bodies unable to obtain insurance to cover disaster-related losses.If you would like to apply for DFA funding, residents of Area C and the Old Fort area have until January 17, 2019, to do so. The application can be found online at http://www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance Financial assistance is provided for each accepted claim at 80% of the amount of total eligible damage that exceeds $1,000, to a maximum claim of $300,000. Applications can be made in more than one category.
With Air Canada, WestJet, and Central Mountain Air having routes to the North Peace Regional Airport, without the improvements to the runway, the airport operations could be put at risk. This would negatively impact the economy of the North Peace Region, B.C. and current commercial air carriers, according to the NDIT.The Economic Diversification Infrastructure program provides grant funding to support major infrastructure projects in order to strengthen the local economy. The program supports public multi-use facilities or capital investments that drive revenue and job creation and provide a long-term asset for communities throughout central and northern British Columbia.The next intake deadline for the Economic Diversification Infrastructure Program is October 31, 2019.To read more; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) announced it has approved over a half a million dollars for economic development projects in northern B.C. with $250,000 approved for the airport runway project.The North Peace Airport Society for the North Peace Regional Airport runway rehabilitation project was approved at the NDIT meeting on July, 23rd, 2019 by the board of directors through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure Program.The $250,000 will go towards upgrades to the airport’s runway as the existing pavement on one of the two runways has not been improved for over 20 years and needs substantial repairs and rehabilitation.
New Delhi: Delhi Congress Chief Shiela Dikshit has called an urgent meeting with the three working presidents of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee on Tuesday, a senior party leader said. The meeting comes in the backdrop of Congress mulling its options to align with the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi in its bid to defeat the BJP in Lok Sabha elections, days after having unanimously decided to go it alone in Delhi. “An urgent meeting has been called with the three working presidents Devender Yadav, Haroon Yusuf and Rajesh Lilothia, at Diskhit’s residence,” a party leader said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder The leader, however did not elaborate on the agenda of the meeting. Uncertainty has been persisting in the Delhi Congress over a pre-poll tie-up with the AAP after Dikshit and her three working presidents wrote to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi against the alliance. In a letter written last week, Dikshit along with Yusuf, Yadav and Lilothia protested a recent phone survey to gauge workers’ mood on the alliance.
If I remember correctly, it was Thursday, March 25, 1971. My M.A (History) final exam was round the corner. We in India then had the audible, omnipresent, omniscient and ubiquitous “All India Radio” but no electronic visuals. Hence hearing the evening radio “news” and reading morning newspaper was my childhood “addiction”, exam or no exam. My father – an extraordinary scholar of income tax law, English, Bengali & Sanskrit languages, with expertise in Mathematics, Astrology and Economics, and a senior civil servant of the government of India, was born in, and hailed from, 2 Toynbee Circular Road, Tikatuli, Dhaka (then India, in 1917) and was not the type to disturb his son for radio “news” in the exam season. That day, I too, seem to have something else in mind for emperor Ashoka and Buddhism as a possible question for my paper. Also Read – A special kind of bondNevertheless, there suddenly came a stentorian voice from our C-II 17 Wellesley Road, New Delhi-110003 “radio room”. “Come immediately” was the two-word command. Usually serene, serious yet ever-smiling, he suddenly lit upon hearing the All India Radio news that the charismatic Bengali leader, widely respected and revered as “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman” had given a clarion call to the people of (then) East Pakistan, firing the first salvo at the West Pakistani Punjabi-speaking military junta, from Dhaka’s Ramna Maidan: “Aamago share shaat koti zanagan re tomra dabayya raakhte parbaanaa” (You oppressive rulers, you will never be able to suppress us seven and half crore Bangali people). We instantly felt the electrifying effect and potential tremor, almost after 24 years of the Partition days, in the “radio room” of the Hindu Bengali refugee in Lutyen’s zone of New Delhi. Also Read – Insider threat managementThereafter, things moved at high speed. Owing to his professionalism, probity and spotless past, my father was one of the two Bengali speaking senior civil servants whose residence was identified by the Government of India as an “informal meeting point”, should the need arise in future. My M.A exam ended on Saturday, May 15, 1971, and results were out on Monday, July 05, 1971. I was happy with my result, but was happier owing to the fast unfolding scenario of possible emancipation of an enlightened and inherently simple Bengali-speaking people in a geography which is so dear to our heart, mind and thought owing to shared history, culture, language and tradition. Soon, however, came Wednesday, August 18, 1971, the ‘appointed date’ of an “informal meeting”, closely coordinated by Shri Ashok Ray, then Joint Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs, and other organisations of the state. Commencing at 5:30 pm. and ending around midnight, it was a gala party; a reunion of sorts, high on emotions, love, tears of joy, passion, fraternity, feasting. A gathering of 150 people of whom at least 80 were from the land of Bangabandhu, including the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh Tajuddin Ahmed. The best (and most surprising) part of the gathering emerged from the fact that despite Ahmad being eight years younger to my father, they knew each other very well. It was an incredibly sensational scene. Also, half of the guests had escaped, God only knew how from the army junta’s clutches; and at least two families had driven down in their “Made in Japan” Nissan and Toyota cars which were a rare commodity in India of 1971. Some of us were mighty impressed. As we were then used to Ambassador of Calcutta; Fiat of Bombay; Standard Herald of Madras; watch of HMT; steel of Tata; and shoes from Bata. All “Made in India”. Indigenous. Not imported. The outcome of the meeting was essentially a commitment to do everything necessary. The government and the people of India were one with the Bengalis under Bangabandhu. All present in the meeting had the same goal, in different ways, irrespective of their nationality and ethnicity. I vividly recall the spontaneous, repeated and vociferous slogan “Joy Bangla”, reverberating through the hot, humid night of that 1971 “August day”. Two more meetings subsequently took place in two different places in Delhi, which I could not attend owing to my preparation for competitive examinations. As things were heating up, I travelled to spend the winter with my maternal aunts in Asansol and Calcutta. My stay in Asansol lasted five days as war broke out on Friday, December 03, 1971. I took a train the next day, December 4, for Calcutta. The three-hour journey was an experience by itself as the train moved with all “lights off” in the “chair car”. Howrah station was pitch dark but packed with passengers, police, and personnel of railways. Home guards were extra vigilant, navigating all and sundry, and the half an hour road to Alipore residence of aunt turned out like a two-hour air journey from Delhi to Kolkata, as I reached at 11 pm. The following day dawned with my frantic attempt to catch up with Major General Bishwa Nath Sirkar (whom I had known before) in Fort William, Headquarters of the Eastern Army Command. Major General Sirkar, a Second World War veteran, saw action on several fronts, was an armoured corps officer par excellence (belonging to Central India Horse). Being strict disciplinarian, with frugal habits and exemplary probity, he never sought publicity and was never flashy. The Major General was handpicked overnight (rather plucked) by Army Chief Sam Manekshaw and transferred from the post of Military Secretary (in Army Headquarters, New Delhi) to a newly created post in the Eastern Command Calcutta, exclusively for cooperation with the Mukti Bahini. Consequently, whereas world today knows who did what in 1971, hardly anyone can either remember or recall his invaluable contribution in the liberation movement of Bengalis in the east and role played in actual combat of the 14-day war. After the 1971 war, Sirkar became Lieutenant General but resigned after a serious difference of opinion with then Defence Minister of India. He had several years of service left at the time of his premature departure. I remain eternally grateful to that great soldier and noble soul for helping me to “see the front” for two days after Sunday, December 12, 1971, when the writings were already on the wall. After a resounding firing to deter me from “seeing is believing”, the gentleman in the General relented and “put me on” to II Corps operating from Krishnanagar. The rest, as they say, is history. At the age of 23 years, I had a remarkable, unforgettable side view of the moving procession of history, resulting in the crumbling of old (dis)order and the birth of a new nation, not in the distant horizon but in our vicinity. Between 1947 and 1971 came alive two nations: the first under bondage, second as an uncaged bird with the unrestricted horizon of thought and action as its domain. (The writer is an alumnus of National Defence College and author of ‘China in India’. The views expressed are strictly personal)
San Francisco: In a bid to take on Amazon Alexa or Google Home, Facebook is working on a voice-based assistant for its Portal video chat service and other future projects. According to a report in CNBC on Wednesday, the social network is “unclear how exactly Facebook envisions people using the assistant”. Facebook’s AI-enabled Portal video chat service currently uses Amazon’s Alexa. “We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year Facebook last year shut down a chat-based assistant called “M” in its messaging app. According to the report, Ira Snyder, a general manager at Facebook Reality Labs, is working on the voice-assistant project. Facebook Portal and Portal+ video chat speakers come with Smart Camera and Smart Sound technology. Portal offers hands-free voice control. You can start a video call simply by saying ‘Hey Portal’ and noting who you’d like to call.
OSU senior guard Ameryst Alston (14) dribbles the ball during a game against Wagner on Nov. 22 at St. John Arena. Credit: Elizabeth Tzagournis | Lantern PhotographerFresh off its first win over a top-10 team this season, the No. 10 Ohio State women’s basketball team (4-2) enters the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana, on Wednesday at 7 p.m. to take on No. 3 Notre Dame (6-0). The Fighting Irish are the Buckeyes’ third opponent ranked in the top 3 thus far.Since opening the season with two losses — falling 88-80 against No. 2 South Carolina (7-0) and getting demolished 100-56 by No. 1 Connecticut (4-0) — OSU has bounced back with four straight wins.Although three of the four wins come against teams with a combined record of 7-9, the Buckeyes’ latest victory comes over then-No. 10 Texas A&M, 95-80, in the South Point Shootout, an early-season tournament held in Las Vegas over the Thanksgiving holiday. In the victory, sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell tied OSU’s single-game record for points, scoring an eye-popping 42 points on 12-of-20 shooting. She hit 15 of 16 shots from the line, as well. OSU coach Kevin McGuff said he sees the win as a confidence-booster heading into another game against an elite team in Notre Dame. “We showed people we weren’t afraid to play these people, but at some point you’ve got to start beating them,” McGuff said. “So I think it was important to win that A&M game, and hopefully our kids took a lot of confidence from that win.”McGuff’s team’s next test, the Fighting Irish, enter Wednesday night’s showdown with an efficient, balanced team on offense. Four players average double-digit points, including freshman guard Marina Mabrey, Notre Dame’s top bench player. Last week, Mabrey broke out and was named ACC Freshman of the Week, as she averaged 18.3 points, 7.3 steals, 5.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds over a three-game stretch. Notre Dame supplements Mabrey’s driving ability by surrounding her with 3-point shooters and post scorers. The Fighting Irish have made an astonishing 45.2 percent of their 3-point attempts. Leading the team from downtown is Mabrey’s sister, Michaela, who leads the team with 25 attempts from deep. The fans in attendance should not expect a slow-paced defensive battle. The Buckeyes’ style of utilizing the full-court press, fast-break points and quick shots has led to OSU averaging 82.7 points per game — and that includes its poor performance against UCONN. But Notre Dame tops that, averaging 88.3 points in its first six games.To complement its high-powered offense, Notre Dame boasts a plus-8.3 turnover margin, a category OSU usually thrives on due to its ball pressure and trapping. If the Buckeyes are to knock off the Fighting Irish, Mitchell and a duo of senior guards, Ameryst Alston and Cait Craft, must protect the ball on offense and force Notre Dame to turn the ball over.“We know that they’re an amazing team and they come with a lot of great players,” Mitchell said before Monday’s practice. “I think Coach McGuff and all the rest of the coaches will let us know what’s going to happen today so we can put ourselves in a good position.”OSU is looking to build of its experience in Columbia, South Carolina against No. 2 South Carolina to prepare for Notre Dame’s crowd.“Their crowd was crazy,” Mitchell said of South Carolina. “They’ve got a great atmosphere, a great environment for the fans. I know Notre Dame will have the same thing because they’re such a great team.” Student vs. teacherMcGuff said this battle of top-10 teams matters greatly to him, as he is able to face off against his mentor, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw.“She’s been so great to me and my family. You know it’s hard to play against your friends and mentors,” McGuff said. “But we’re two competitive people and when the lights come on on Wednesday night we’re both going to certainly do the best for our teams to try to win the game.”Prior to McGuff accepting the job as head coach of Xavier in 2002, he worked for six years as an assistant under McGraw at Notre Dame. During his time in South Bend, McGuff helped guide Notre Dame to two Final Fours, winning a national championship in 2001. He said he considers McGraw an important friend and mentor.“I just have great respect for her and how much success she’s had at that program and, more importantly, who she is as a person,” McGuff said.Kelsey Mitchell: On fireMitchell’s 42 points versus now-No. 12 Texas A&M tied Samantha Prahalis for OSU’s single-game scoring record. This, her fourth performance of more than 20 points in a row, led to espnW naming her its national player of the week, while the South Point Shootout selected her as the tournament’s most outstanding player.The preseason All-American is able to score from everywhere on the court. Mitchell averages 41.2 percent on 3-pointers and 85.1 percent at the free-throw line, as she is frequently rewarded for using her elite burst to drive into the lane. However, Mitchell continues to never take credit for her own success. She often brushes off comments about her record-breaking performance, preferring to talk exclusively about the team and the group’s goals.“I feel pretty normal, I don’t feel no different,” Mitchell said. “Whatever the case, whatever accolades, my coaches and my teammates put me in the right position.”Alexa Hart’s importanceSophomore forward Alexa Hart finally broke out in Friday’s 75-65 win over Liberty, when she scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds.The Buckeyes have struggled to defend and rebound in the interior, as Hart and junior forward Shayla Cooper play the majority of minutes in the paint. McGuff said he hopes Hart will pick up her game as OSU must negate its opponents’ main advantage of rebounding. The Buckeyes are being outrebounded by an average of six boards per game.“She used her speed, quickness up the court against Liberty’s bigger post players. That’s what we need out of her,” McGuff said. “She’s a really important part of what we’re trying to do here and we need that type of production on a nightly basis.”
Ohio State added another running back to its 2019 class.Four-star running back Steele Chambers committed to the Buckeyes, announcing it via Twitter Wednesday night.The 6-foot-2, 215-pound recruit played both running back and outside linebacker at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Rosewell, Georgia. Ranked as the 340th-best recruit in the nation, according to the 247 composite rankings. He is also listed as the No. 29 athlete and No. 37 recruit in the state of Georgia.Chambers is the sixth member of Ohio State’s 2019 class and is one of four in the class not from Ohio. The Georgia native will join four-star running back Sampson James in the class.
Everton’s Leighton Baines believes that new team-mate Bernard’s intelligence can win them matchesThe Brazil international joined Everton on a free transfer last summer after his contract at Shakhtar Donetsk expired in June.Bernard has since featured in 18 of Everton’s 21 Premier League games this season and scored his first goal for the club in their 2-1 FA Cup win over Lincoln City on Saturday.But the 26-year-old’s most eye-catching asset at Goodison Park is his creativity and vision in the midfield with Bernard matching Gylfi Sigurdsson as Everton’s leading assists provider with three.“Bernard is definitely someone who can win us matches,” said Baines on the club website.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“He is a guy who can link things together.“It is a very difficult thing in football sometimes to get space between the lines and link the midfield to the forwards but he does it with ease because he is such an intelligent footballer.“I am sure coming to England is not easy given the places where he has played his football before but he has settled really well and shows his unbelievable quality on a daily basis.”The Toffees will take on Bournemouth this Sunday in the Premier League.
Below is video from The Self Defense Institute’s demonstration:——Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSAVE THE DATE: WCTV Invites Public To Family Fun Day At Yentile Farm On Sunday, September 8In “Community”THIS WEEKEND: Wilmington Family Fun Day At Yentile Farm On September 8In “Community”WCTV News & Notes: Registration Now Open For Popular Weekend Youth ProgramIn “Community” WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Community Television (WCTV) held its annual Family Fun Day on Sunday, August 26 at the Yentile Farm Recreational Facility.Families enjoyed music from DJ Lisa Kapala, a demonstration from The Self Defense Institute of Tewksbury, and a touch-a-truck with the Wilmington Fire Department. Free ice cream and popcorn were handed out. Kids had fun on the playground, got their face painted, and received a balloon animal. WCTV staff was present to greet attendees, show off some of the studio’s equipment, and giveaway WCTV bags and t-shirts.Below are a some photos from the event:
The study undertaken jointly by Yahoo and Mindshare analyses the shopping behaviour of customers to reveal that 31 per cent shoppers opt for online shopping in order to save the time and effort that might be spent on physically going to stores to buy the same products.About 28 per cent customers are driven to buy online due to the availability of discounts and promotions while the convenience to shop anywhere, anytime attracts the remaining 21 per cent, it said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The study also highlights how more and more customers are taking to mobile phones to make online purchases as compared to other electronic devices.“The e-commerce landscape in India is perhaps the most dynamic in the world, largely due to the rapidly evolving mobile ecosystem. This research highlights the role of mobile from the top of funnel to the bottom and how it varies across product categories. It will help us develop sharper, more connected communication strategies for brands,” MA Parthasarathy, Chief Product Officer, Mindshare South Asia said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAccording to the survey, majority of consumers use only mobile devices while making purchases related to apparels, electronic devices, baby and pet care products.Most purchases made online over mobile phones tend to be regular or impulsive buys rather than expensive ones, the study claims.Over 90 per cent of the consumers use mobile devices for quick and frequent purchases of travel, music and movies, contrary to 36 per cent who purchase high consideration products like insurance on their PC or laptop. About 30 per cent people prefer buying products of personal hygiene from the store itself.The study also provides marketers with insights on India, to sharpen their digital and mobile commerce initiatives and build a strong mobile strategy.“The study shows that the consumer path-to-purchase is turning more complex and nonlinear, with mobile at the center of this evolution.“As mobile devices become more important in the consumer’s last mile of purchase decision, brands need to build targeted, more seamless shopping experience across all channels to strengthen sales and acquire new customers,” Francis Che, Head of Insights, APAC, Yahoo said.For those who continue to prefer in-store shopping, major detractors include non-authentic goods, unreliable delivery and lack of quality control.
Theatre lovers in India have a reason to rejoice! The country is set to host the largest international theatre festival – the 8th Theatre Olympics – for the first time, with participation from 30 countries in a series of performances to be held across India. The 51-day-long event will be inaugurated at the majestic Red Fort on February 17 at 6:30 pm by Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu. The 8th Theatre Olympics 2018 will travel to 17 Indian cities with 450 shows, 600 ambience performances and 250 power packed youth forum shows with the participation of 25,000 artists from the globe. The festival will conclude on April 8, with a grand ceremony at the iconic Gateway of India in Mumbai. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe theatrical extravaganza is being hosted in India by the National School of Drama under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The theme of the 8th Theatre Olympics is “Flag of Friendship” that aims to bridge borders and bring people of different cultures, beliefs and ideologies together through the medium of theatrical art.Since 1993, the Theatre Olympics has been held seven times in the following countries: Japan (1999), Russia (2001), Turkey (2006), South Korea (2010), China (2014), Poland (2016). The festival is considered to be the biggest international celebration of theatre in terms of plays, participants, performances and number of days. During the festival, plays will be held in Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Imphal, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkata, Mumbai, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram and Varanasi. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveParticipants from 30 countries including Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mauritius, Nepal, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and U.S.A. would showcase their acumen in theatre. Theatre and film veterans of the likes of Shabana Azmi, Paresh Rawal, Manoj Joshi, Himani Shivpuri, Seema Biswas and Saurabh Shukla will also take part in this grand theatrical treat. “I thank and congratulate the international theatre community for providing India with this grand opportunity. Theatre mirrors our lives and is a strong and powerful medium which intricately and beautifully portrays social issues on a larger platform. India is proud to host the 8th Theatre Olympics 2018 and showcase its cultural strength to the world,” says Union Minister of State for Culture (IC), Dr Mahesh Sharma.Numerous allied activities like seminars, symposia, ‘Interface’ and workshops with well-known academicians, scholars, authors, actors, designers and directors are scheduled to take place across 17 cities. The allied programs would boast of 60 ‘Living Legends’ series and 50 ‘Master Classes’. The 8th Theatre Olympics would also include two international seminars in Delhi and Mumbai with six national seminars in Bhopal, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata and Varanasi. The best way to preserve knowledge is to pass it on. Upholding this spirit, the students of National School of Drama are all pumped up for the theatre festival. Through the youth forum of National School of Drama, “Advitiya 2018”, young voices are being channelled through street plays, music bands, short playwriting and theatre reporting. There will be a competition on short playwriting with cash prizes of Rs 25,000, 50,000 and one lakh. “For the past three years, we had the dream to bring Theatre Olympics to India. The dream that we had seen has come true. Since we began to envision and achieve this feat, Dr Mahesh Sharma and the Ministry of Culture have extended wholehearted support to the idea and have played an instrumental role in making it a reality.Throughout centuries we have seen playwright like Shakespeare and Bertolt Brecht becoming a part of Indian theatre, while despite having our own extraordinary playwrights and theatrical figures, we are still to make a similar impact. This is a huge leap towards that direction of putting Indian theatre on the world map,” says Prof. Waman Kendre, Director, NSD.
Kolkata: A mellowed Mamata Banerjee put the ball on the agitating junior doctors’ court after they refused her offer of a meeting on Saturday, holding out three key assurances and requesting them to rejoin work. She said all their security demands would be met, no action would be taken against them for the now five-day-old strike, and they would be free to contact her, the governor, chief secretary or the police commissioner for a resolution through talks. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Immediately after Mamata’s news conference at Nabanna, the state secretariat, the junior doctors said the strike would continue as the chief minister had not agreed to their demand to meet them at NRS Medical College and Hospital. Late on Saturday night, the junior doctors rebutted several assertions made by Mamata at the media conference but said a general body meeting would decide if talks can be held at any other venue. At the media conference, Mamata adopted a tone that was in sharp contrast to the belligerence she had displayed at SSKM Hospital on Thursday, which had escalated the confrontation. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state On Saturday, Mamata concluded her opening remarks at Nabanna with an impassioned plea: “Please restore normalcy. Start the service for the people: my humble submission to them. I’m not going to take any stringent action (against the agitators), though we have everything with us. Let good sense prevail.” Redeploying the people skills that had once stood her in good stead, Mamata said: “They are young, they made a mistake, let them be, I forgive them.” After issuing the invitation on Friday evening, Mamata had waited for the junior doctors to turn up, but as they couldn’t decide immediately whether to accept the invite, another meeting had been set for Saturday at 5pm. On Saturday afternoon, the junior doctors issued a statement Mamata addressed the news conference amid a sense of dejection in the administration following the junior doctors’ refusal to turn up for the meeting, and amid a perception that her stridency was preventing a resolution. By then, the Union home ministry had sent an advisory to the Bengal government “urgently” seeking a report on the cease-work by doctors — a move described as unusual by officials in Delhi. At the outset, Mamata sought to address the perception that the government had done nothing to resolve the crisis. She pressed chief secretary Malay De to describe the steps the administration had taken since Monday night’s mob attack on junior doctors at NRS following a patient’s death. Mamata then took the microphone. “We have taken all possible action. I sent a minister, officers and the police commissioner to talk to them (the agitators),” she said. “The police arrested five of the accused immediately, and stringent charges have been brought against them. The police commissioner has enhanced security at all the medical colleges and hospitals.” She added: “I waited five hours yesterday and three hours today to talk to the junior doctors.” Over the next half-hour, Mamata tried to give her side of the story and hammer home the fact that poor patients across the state continued to suffer -– a factor that can turn public opinion against attempts to prolong the strike. Rarely before have emergency services been affected in state-run medical colleges and hospitals for five days on the trot, with no certain end in sight. Several senior doctors who had provided moral support to the agitation when it started told this newspaper on Saturday that some of the junior doctors had begun making “illogical and unreasonable demands”. A government source said: “Had Mamata tried sending this message two days ago, there would not have been many takers. But today, people know how the patients are suffering because of the strike.” Some junior doctors have accused Mamata of arrogance for her failure to visit them or Paribaha Mukherjee, an intern severely injured in Monday’s attack, and cited her belligerence during the visit to SSKM Hospital on Thursday. Mamata tried to rebut the charges at the news conference. “When I entered (SSKM), the agitating doctors sitting there created an obstruction…. While I was walking, I was pushed. They were shouting and filthy comments were passed,” she said. “Despite that, I told the police not to arrest anybody. They are young, they had made a mistake, let them be, I forgive them. Had this taken place elsewhere, a lot of action would have been initiated.” Never losing her composure, unlike at SSKM, Mamata was at pains to underscore that she was pursuing a reasonable approach devoid of vindictiveness or rancour. Mamata repeatedly — and in detail — contrasted her government’s approach with that of others elsewhere in the country to doctors’ strikes. She said her government could have taken stringent action, such as enforcing the Essential Services Maintenance Act (Esma), blocking the registration of the agitating doctors, extending their period of internship or filing FIRs against them. “Such stern steps have been taken by 9 to 10 states in the past few years. But we did not do it,” she said. Sources said that although Bengal had desisted from adopting Esma owing to the erstwhile Left Front government’s opposition to the act, the state government could have implemented its provisions through an ordinance. By explaining what she could have done, sources said, the chief minister had attempted to underline her government’s apparent lenience and put pressure on the agitators to call off their strike. She tried to highlight her eagerness for a solution by suggesting the junior doctors could meet other authorities if they were averse to talk to her. “They had two main demands. First, a heightening of their security; second, action against the accused. Both have been done. Still, if they think I’m not capable enough, they can hold meetings with the governor, chief secretary or the police commissioner. If they have additional demands, those will also be taken care of,” she said. The option of talks with the governor, sources said, was a significant conciliatory gesture on Mamata’s part since she has had testy ties with Keshari Nath Tripathi and had as recently as Thursday accused him of exceeding his brief at the behest of BJP leaders in Delhi and Calcutta. Sources close to Mamata hoped that her news conference would help undo the damage her belligerence had caused on Thursday when she gave the agitators four hours to join duty or face action, and called some of them “outsiders”. Neither the heath department nor the police have initiated any action, though, a point Mamata took care to highlight. “She had looked overly belligerent till yesterday. But she has deployed her tried-and-tested outreach skills, and this has helped her turn the tables on the agitating doctors,” a Nabanna official said.(With inputs from Telegraph India)