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Friday, May 26, 2017

Trump brings his 'America First' campaign to heart of Europe, shaking other leaders

Cartoons by Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Tribune, above, and R.J. Matson of Roll Call, below, comment on President Trump's visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel, where he failed to advance the Mideast peace process.
For more political cartoons, go to Cagle.com.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J. 

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

"A stern lecture. A white-knuckled handshake. Jostling at the group picture. President Trump's day with NATO leaders had its moments."

This is how The New York Times' Top Stories email summed up Trump's confrontational meeting with European leaders at a new NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium:

"President Trump on Thursday punctured any illusions that he was on a fence-mending tour of Europe, declining to explicitly endorse NATO’s mutual defense pledge and lashing out at fellow members for what he called their 'chronic underpayments' to the alliance.
"On a tense day when Mr. Trump brought the 'America first' themes of his presidential campaign to the very heart of Europe, he left European leaders visibly unsettled, with some openly lamenting divisions with the United States on trade, climate and the best way to confront Russia.
"The discord was palpable even in the body language. When Mr. Trump greeted Emmanuel Macron, France’s new president, the two leaders, jaws clenched, grabbed each other’s hands in an extended grip that turned Mr. Trump’s knuckles white. When the leaders lined up to pose for the traditional photograph of leaders at NATO headquarters, Mr. Trump appeared to push aside the Montenegrin prime minister, Dusko Markovic, to get to his assigned place in the front."

The Record

Page 1 of The Record reported Trump's son-in-law and close adviser Jared Kushner "has caught the attention of federal investigators for his contacts with Russian officials" (1A).

But news of Trump's meeting with NATO leaders and related stories are relegated to 9A and 10A.

French kissing

Food Editor Esther Davidowitz developed a convenient case of amnesia in a bid to promote a new French bakery in Elmwood Park.

On Tuesday, Davidowitz plastered the front of Better Living with a photo and story about a couple of transplanted French pastry chefs who say they are bringing "a little taste of Paris to New Jersey."

Of course, in a January story in Better Living, Davidowitz described Balthazar in Englewood as "the highly venerated French bakery." 

In fact, she quoted Armel Joly, a Parisian who lives in River Edge and owns a French restaurant in Manhattan, on Balthazar's signature baguette:

"Their [Bathazar's] baguettes are the closest thing we have to a French baguette from Paris."

Conveniently, there was no mention in Tuesday's story of Balthazar providing "a little taste of Paris" since its retail store opened in late November 2002.

Fast food

In today's Better Living tab, Davidowitz explores a food phenomena that is the polar opposite of a high-quality baguette: low-quality hot-dog joints in North Jersey.

Diets high in such processed meats as hot dogs have been linked to cancer, especially colorectal cancer, but that doesn't concern Davidowitz.

This latest "food crawl" is among the scraps Gannett editors at The Record have been throwing to readers since November, when the weekly restaurant review was eliminated in an economy move.