PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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Bekasi, Saco-Indonesia.com - Lagi KPK kembali memeriksa Direktur Utama PT Pertamina Karen Agustiawan terkait penyidikan kasus dugaan penerimaan hadiah terkait kegiatan hulu minyak dan gas, Senin (27/1/2014). Kali ini, Karen akan diperiksa sebagai saksi bagi tersangka baru kasus itu, mantan Sekretaris Jenderal Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral Waryono Karno.

"Bersaksi untuk Pak Waryono," kata pengacara Karen, Rudi Alfonso di Gedung KPK, Kuningan, Jakarta.

Rudi mendampingi Karen diperiksa KPK pagi ini. Sementara Karen, enggan berkomentar kepada wartawan mengenai pemeriksaannya. "Ya enggak tahu, kan belum diperiksa, tunggu saja nanti selesainya, baru ini kita kasih tahu," sambung Rudi.

Lebih jauh mengenai kasus dugaan gratifikasi kegiatan hulu migas ini, Rudi mengatakan bahwa kliennya tidak tahu mengenai dugaan aliran dana ke Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR) yang diberikan mantan Kepala SKK Migas Rudi Rubiandini. Dia membantah dugaan PT Pertamina menyumbang dana untuk tunjangan hari raya (THR) anggota DPR.

"Kalau itu saya pastikan enggak ada. Ibu ini kan sudah sering diancam untuk dipecat tapi dia tidak pernah melayani permintaan itu," kata Rudi.

Sebelumnya, KPK memeriksa Karen sebagai saksi bagi tersangka Rudi Rubiandini. Dalam persidangan terdakwa kasus ini, Simon G Tanjaya di Pengadilan Tindak Pidana Korupsi Jakarta terungkap bahwa Simon menyuap Rudi terkait pelaksanaan lelang terbatas minyak mentah dan kondesat bagian negara di SKK Migas, antara lain dengan menyetujui Fossus Energy Ltd sebagai pemenang lelang terbatas kondensat Senipah bagian nehara pada 7 Juni 2013 periode Juli 2013.

Rudi juga menyetujui Fossus Energy sebagai pemenang lelang terbatas minyak mentah Minas/SLG bagian negara pada 4 Juli 2013 untuk periode Agustus 2013.

Saat dikonfirmasi soal lelang terbatas bagian negara tersebut seusai diperiksa sebagai saksi bagi Rudi beberapa waktu lalu, Karen tidak menjawab.

Sumber : Kompas.com

Editor : Maulana Lee

Dirut Pertamina Diperiksa KPK Kembali

Giring, vokalis band Nidji merasa terzalimi. Namun hal tersebut bukanlah cerita sesungguhnya, melainkan kisah yang ada dalam video klip terbaru Nidji yang berjudul Terusir. Lagu tersebut juga merupakan lagu latar dari film TENGGELAMNYA KAPAL VAN DER WIJK.

"Kami syuting video klip terbaru judulnya Terusir. Kami main seperti biasanya, jadi aktor, di sini tidak ada scene nge-band sama sekali, Giring jadi pemeran utamanya," ujar Randy, keyboardis Nidji di Museum Mandiri Kota Tua, Jakarta Barat, saat melakukan syuting video klip.

Terkait konsepnya yang menggambarkan sosok terzalimi, Randy menambahkan jika hal tersebut juga merupakan rangkaian cerita pendek dari gambaran keseluruhan lagu.

"Terusir itu visualisasinya bahwa karma itu ada, dibikin seperi film pendek. Giring jadi orang yang dizalimi," terangnya lagi.

Grup band Nidji selain dikenal sebagai band yang rajin merajai tangga lagu dengan hits mereka, juga dikenal akrab dengan dunia sinematografi. Sebelumnya, Nidji pernah sukses mengisi soundtrack LASKAR PELANGI, SANG PENCERAH, dan 5 Cm.

Nidji garap video klip terbaru, Giring terzalimi

Gubernur DKI Jakarta Joko Widodo (Jokowi) akan melantik Kepala Puskesmas dan Kepala Sekolah SMA/SMK di Balai Kota DKI Jakarta, Jumat (21/3). Mereka juga merupakan hasil seleksi dan lelang jabatan.

Kepala Badan Kepegawaian Daerah (BKD) DKI Jakarta I Made Karmayoga juga mengatakan, pelantikan akan langsung dilakukan oleh Jokowi. Sebelumnya pelantikan hanya dilakukan oleh masing-masing kepala dinas.

"Selanjutnya pelantikan, hari Jumat jam 3. Teragenda di Pak Gubernur, dan ini mungkin pelantikan yang pertama bagi kepsek dan kepala Puskesmas yang dilantik oleh Pak Gubernur sendiri," katanya di Balai Kota DKI Jakarta, Rabu (19/3).

Berdasarkan data BKD, kepala SMA yang akan dilantik sebanyak 117 orang, 63 kepala SMK dan 44 kepala Puskesmas. Setelah dilantik, mereka juga akan mulai bekerja pada Senin pekan depan.

"Itu lah konsen dan keseriusan Pak Gubernur, untuk terus membenahi dan meningkatkan mutu pendidikan dan juga untuk Puskesmas mutu pelayanan kesehatan sesuai standar ibu kota," ujarnya.

Sebelumnya, ratusan kepala SMK/SMA dan kepala Puskesmas ini juga mengikuti public hearing di Balai Kota DKI Jakarta, hari ini. Dalam kesempatan itu juga dihadiri oleh Gubernur DKI Jakarta Joko Widodo.

Pemprov DKI Jakarta sengaja telah menerapkan pola baru dalam mengangkat pejabatnya. Sehingga tidak lagi mengenal istilah like and dislike.

"Ini pola baru yang kita kenalkan, jangan sampai nanti diangkat karena dekat dengan saya, foto dengan saya, juga jangan berpendapat jangan oh ada politik, harus profesional, bukan karena suka dan tidak suka," kata Jokowi.

Besok, Jokowi lantik kepala Puskesmas, SMA/SMK hasil seleksi

Oleh
Ustadz Abu Ubaidah Al-Atsari

HAJI MABRUR
Dari Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu ‘ahu bahwasanya Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda : “Umroh ke umroh berikutnya merupakan pelebur dosa antara keduanya, dan tiada balasan bagi haji mabrur melainkan surga” [HR Bukhari : 1683, Muslim : 1349]

Haji Mabrur memiliki beberapa kriteria.

Pertama : Ikhlas. Seorang hanya mengharap pahala Allah, bukan untuk pamer, kebanggaan, atau agar dipanggil “pak haji” atau “bu haji” oleh masyarakat.

“Artinya : Mereka tidak disuruh kecuali supaya beribadah kepada Allah dengan penuh keikhlasan” [Al-Bayyinnah : 5]

Kedua : Ittiba’ kepda Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Dia berhaji sesuai dengan tata cara haji yang dipraktekkan oleh Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam dan menjauhi pekara-perkara bid’ah dalam haji. Beliau Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda.

“Artinya : Contohlah cara manasik hajiku” [HR Muslim : 1297]

Ketiga : Harta untuk berangkat haji adalah harta yang halal. Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda.

“Artinya : Sesungguhnya Allah itu baik, Dia tidak menerima kecuali dari yang baik” [HR Muslim : 1015]

Keempat : Menjauhi segala kemaksiatan, kebid’ahan dan penyimpangan

“Artinya : Barangsiapa menetapkan niatnya untuk haji di bulan itu maka tidak boleh rafats (berkata-kata tidak senonoh), berbuat fasik, dan berbantah-bantahan pada masa haji..”[Al-Baqarah : 197]

Kelima : Berakhlak baik antar sesama, tawadhu’ dalam bergaul, dan suka membantu kebutuhan saudara lainnya.

Alangkah bagusnya ucapan Ibnul Abdil Barr rahimahullah dalam At-Tamhid (22/39) : “Adapun haji mabrur, yaitu haji yang tiada riya dan sum’ah di dalamnya, tiada kefasikan, dan dari harta yang halal” [Latho’iful Ma’arif Ibnu Rajab hal. 410-419, Masa’il Yaktsuru Su’al Anha Abdullah bin Sholih Al-Fauzan : 12-13]

HAJI AKBAR
Pendapat yang populer dalam madzhab Syafi’i, hari “Haji Akbar” adalah hari Arafah (9 Dzul-Hijjah). Namun pendapat yang benar bahwa hari haji akbar adalah pada hari Nahr (penyembelihan kurban, yakni 10 Dzul-Hijjah], berdasarkan firman Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

“Artinya : Dan (inilah) suatu permakluman dari Allah dan rosul-Nya kepada umat manusia pada hari haji akbar…” [At-Taubah : 3]

Dalam shahih Bukhari 8/240 dan shahih Muslim : 1347 disebutkan bahwa Abu Bakar dan Ali Radhiyallahu ‘anhuma mengumumkan hal itu pada hari nahr, bukan pada hari Arafah.

Dalam sunan Abu Dawud 1945 dengan sanad yang sangat shohih, Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa salam bersabda.

“Artinya : Hari haji akbar adalah hari nahr (menyembelih kurban)”

Demikian pula yang dikatakan oleh Abu Hurairah dan sejumlah shahabat radhiyallahu ‘anhum [Lihat Zadul Ma’ad Ibnul Qayyim 1/55-56]

GANTI NAMA USAI HAJI
Soal : Apakah hukumnya mengganti nama setelah pulang haji, seperti yang banyak dilakukan mayoritas jama’ah haji Indonesia, di mana mereka mengganti nama di Makkah atau Madinah, apakah ini termasuk sunnah ataukah tidak?

Jawab : Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam biasa mengganti nama-nama yang buruk dengan nama-nama yang bagus. Maka apabila jama’ah haji Indonesia tersebut mengganti nama mereka lantaran tersebut, bukan disebabkan usai melakukan ibadah haji atau karena berziarah ke Masjid Nabawi, maka hukumnya boleh. Namun apabila jama’ah haji Indonesia mengganti nama mereka lantaran alasan pernah di Makkah/Madinah atau usai melakukan ibadah haji, maka hal itu termasuk perkara bid’ah, bukan sunnah. [Fatawa Lajnah Daimah 2/514-515]

AIR ZAM-ZAM
Al-Humaidi rahimahullah berkata : Saya pernah berada di sisi Sufyan bin Uyainah rahimahullah, lalu beliau menyampaikan kepada kami hadits.

“Artinya : Air zam-zam tergantung keinginan seorang yang meminumnya”

Tiba-tiba ada seorang lelaki bangkit dari majelis, kemudian kembali lagi seraya mengatakan : “Wahai Abu Muhammad, bukankah hadits yang engkau ceritakan kepada kami tadi tentang zam-zam adalah hadits yang shahih?” Jawab beliau : “Benar”, Lelaki itu lalu berkata : “Baru saja aku meminum seember air zam-zam dengan harapan engkau akan menyampaikan kepadaku seratus hadits”. Akhirnya Sufyan rahimahullah berkata kepadanya : “Duduklah!”, Lelaki itupun duduk, dan Sufyan rahimahullah menyampaikan seratus hadits kepadanya. [Al-Mujalasah Abu Bakar Ad-Dinawari 2/343, Juz Ma’a Zam-Zam Ibnu Hajar hal. 271]

Semoga Allah merahmati Imam Sufyan bin Uyainah, alangkah semangatnya dalam menebarkan ilmu! Dan semoga Allah merahmati orang yang bertanya tersebut, alangkah semangatnya dalam menuntut ilmu dan sindiran lembut untuk mendapatkannya! [Fadhlu Ma’a Zam-Zam Sayyid Bakdasy hal. 137]

ASAL HAJAR ASWAD
Dari Ibnu Abbas Radhiyallahu ‘anhuma berkata : Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda : “Hajar aswad (ketika) turun dari surga lebih putih dari pada salju, lalu dosa-dosa anak Adam membuatnya hitam” [Shahih HR Tirmidzi : 877, Ibnu Khuzaimah : 1/271, Ath-Thabrani dalam Mu’jam Kabir 3/155, Ahmad 1/307, 329, 373. Lihat Silsilah Ash-Shahihah Al-Albani : 2618]

Kita beriman dengan hadits ini secara tekstual dan pasrah sepenuhnya, sekalipun orang-orang ahli filsafat mengingkarinya. [Lihat Ta’wil Mukhtalif Hadits Ibnu Qutaibah hal.542]

Sulaiman bin Khalil rahimahullah (imam dan khatib Masjidil Haram dahulu) menceritakan bahwa dirinya melihat tiga bintik berwarna putih jernih pada Hajar Aswad, lalu katanya : “Saya perhatikan bintik-bintik tadi, ternyata setiap hari berkurang warnanya” [Al-Aqdu Tsamin Al-Fasi Al-Makki 1/68, Asror wa Fadha’il Hajar Aswad Majdi Futhi Sayyid hal. 22]

Sungguh dalam hal itu terdapat pelajaran berharga bagi orang yang berakal, sebab jika demikian jadinya bekas dosa pada batu yang keras, maka bagaimana kiranya pada hati manusia?! [Fathul Bari Ibnu Hajar 3/463]

JEDDAH TERMASUK MIQOT?
Ada sebagian kalangan yang mencuatkan pendapat bahwa kota Jeddah boleh dijadikan sebagai salah satu miqot untuk jama’ah haji yang datang lewat pesawat udara atau kapal laut. Namun pendapat ini disanggah secara keras oleh Ha’iah Kibar Ulama dalam keputusan rapat mereka no. 5730, tanggal 21/10/1399 sebagai berikut.

Pertama : Fatwa tentang bolehnya menjadikan Jeddah sebagai miqot bagi jama’ah haji yang datang dengan pesawat udara dan kapal laut merupakan fatwa yang batil, karena tidak bersandar pada Kitabullah dan sunnah Rasul-Nya serta ijma’ salafush shalih. Tidak ada satupun ulama kaum muslimin sebelumnya yang mendahului pendapat ini.

Kedua : Tidak boleh bagi jama’ah haji yang melewati miqot, baik lewat udara maupun laut (miqot Indonesia adalah Yalamlam, pent) untuk melampauinya tanpa ihram sebagaimana ditegaskan dalam banyak dalil dan dilandaskan oleh para ulama” [Fiqh Nawazil Al-Jizani 2/317, Tisir Alam Al-Bassam 1/572-573]

NAMA MIQOT MADINAH
Miqot penduduk Madinah atau jama’ah haji yang lewat Madinah adalah Dzul-Hulaifah [1] sebagaimana disebutkan dalam banyak hadits. Adapun penamannya dengan “Bir Ali” sebagaimana yang populer di masyarakat maka hendaknya diganti. Sebab sebagaimana lafazh yang tertera dalam hadits itu lebih utama, apalagi kalau kita telusuri ternyata sumber penamaan Bir Ali (sumur Ali) adalah cerita yang laris manis di kalangan Rafidhah (Syi’ah) bahwa Ali bin Abi Thalib Radhiyallahu ‘anhu pernah bertarung dengan jin di sumur tersebut, shingga karena itulah disebut Bir Ali.

Para ulama ahli hadits telah bersepakat menegaskan batilnya cerita tersebut, seperti Syaikhul Islam Ibnu Taimiyah rahimahullah dalam Minhajus Sunnah 8/161, Ibnu Katsir dalam Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 2/344, Ibnu Hajar dalam Al-Ishobah 1/498, Mula Ali Al-Qari dalam Al-Maslak Al-Mutaqossith hal. 79, dan lainnya. [Qashashun La Tatsbutu Masyhur Hasan Salman 7/95-119]

DZIKIR KETIKA THAWAF
Syaikhul Islam Ibnu Taimiyyah rahimahullah berkata : “Disunnahkan ketika thawaf untuk berdzikir dan berdo’a dengan do’a-do’a yang disyariatkan. Kalau mau membaca Al-Qur’an dengan lirih maka hal itu boleh. Dan tidak ada do’a tertentu dari Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam baik dari perintahnya, ucapannya, maupun pengajarannya, bahkan boleh berdo’a dengan umumnya do’a-do’a yang disyari’atkan. Adapun yang disebutkan kebanyakan manusia tentng do’a khusus di bawah mizab (talang Ka’bah) dan selainnya [2] semua itu tidak ada asalnya” [Majmu Fatawa 26/122]

PROBLEM ORANG YANG BOTAK
Telah dimaklumi, dalam haji ada syarat cukur/memendekkan rambut. Namun bagaimana dengan seorang yang botak dan tidak memiliki rambut untuk dicukur? Sebagian fuqaha mengatakan. Hendaknya dia tetap melewatkan alat cukur di kepalanya. Namun pendapat yang benar ialah hal ini dibenci, syari’at bersih darinya, (perbuatan itu) sia-sia dan tiada faedahnya, sebab melewatkan alat cukur hanyalah sekedar sebagai wasilah (perantara) saja bukan tujuan utama. Kalau tujuan utamanya gugur, maka wasilah tidak bermakna lagi. Persis dengan masalah ini adalah seorang yang lahir sedangkan dzakarnya sudah terkhitan, perlukah dikhitan lagi? Ataukah melewatkan pisau padanya? Pendapat yang benar adalah tidak perlu. [Lihat Tuhfatul Maudud bi Ahkamil Maulud Ibnul Qayyim hal. 330]

TITIP SALAM UNTUK NABI SHALLALLAHU ‘ALAIHI WA SALLAM
Budaya titip atau kirim salam untuk Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam kepada para jama’ah haji merupakan budaya yang perlu ditinggalkan dan diingatkan, sebab hal itu tidak boleh dan termasuk kategori perkara baru dalam agama. Alhamdulillah, termasuk keluasan rahmat Allah kepada kita, Dia menjadikan salam kita untuk Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam sampai kepada beliau di manapun kita berada, baik di ujung timur maupun barat. Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda.

“Artinya : Jangalah kalian jadikan kuburku sebagai perayaan, dan (jangan jadikan) rumah-rumah kalian sebagai kuburan, bershalawtlah kepadaku karena sesungguhnya shalawat kalian sampai kepadaku di manapun kalian berada”.

Hadits-hadits yang semakna dengannya banyak sekali. [Lihat Al-Mustadrak ‘Ala Mu’jam Manahi Lafzhiyyah Sulaiman Al-Khurosi hal. 231-232]

[Disalin dari Majalah Al-Furqon Edisi 05 Tahun VI/Dzul-Hijjah 1427 (Januari 2007). Penerbit Lajnah Dakwah Ma’had Al-Furqon, Alamat Maktabah Ma’ahd Al-Furqon, Srowo Sidayu Gresik Jatim]
__________
Foote Note
[1]. Nama sebuah desa besar di jalan Madinah dahulu (lihat Mu’jam Buldan 2/111). Di sana ada sebuah masjid yang Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam ketika berangkat haji, beliau shalat dan ber-ihram di sana. Jaraknya dari Madinah kurang lebih 3 mil, dijangkau dengan mobil sekitar seperempat jam [Lihat Al-Haj Al-Mabrur Abu Bakar Al-Jaza’iri hal. 32]
[2]. Seperti do’a/dzikir tertentu untuk setiap putaran thawaf dan sa’i, maka ini juga tidak ada asalnya. [Lihat At-Tahqiq wal Idhah Abdul Aziz bin Baz hal. 29, Manasik Haji wal Umrah Ibnu Utsaimin hal.119, Syarh Manasik Haji wal Umrah Sholih Al-fauzan hal.75, Tashih Du’a Bakar Abu Zaid hal.520]

Sumber : http://www.alquran-sunnah.com

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From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.

In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge.

Ten miles away, in Lower Manhattan, Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on accusations of far more conventional political larceny, involving a job with a sewer company for the son and commissions on title insurance and bond work.

The younger man managed to receive a 150 percent pay increase from the sewer company even though, as he said on tape, he “literally knew nothing about water or, you know, any of that stuff,” according to a criminal complaint the United States attorney’s office filed.

The success of Adam Skelos, 32, was attributed by prosecutors to his father’s influence as the leader of the Senate and as a potentate among state Republicans. The indictment can also be read as one of those unfailingly sad tales of a father who cannot stop indulging a grown son. The senator himself is not alleged to have profited from the schemes, except by being relieved of the burden of underwriting Adam.

The bridge traffic caper is its own species of crazy; what distinguishes the charges against the two Skeloses is the apparent absence of a survival instinct. It is one thing not to know anything about water or that stuff. More remarkable, if true, is the fact that the sewer machinations continued even after the former New York Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was charged in January with taking bribes disguised as fees.

It was by then common gossip in political and news media circles that Senator Skelos, a Republican, the counterpart in the Senate to Mr. Silver, a Democrat, in the Assembly, could be next in line for the criminal dock. “Stay tuned,” the United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, leaving not much to the imagination.

Even though the cat had been unmistakably belled, Skelos father and son continued to talk about how to advance the interests of the sewer company, though the son did begin to use a burner cellphone, the kind people pay for in cash, with no traceable contracts.

That was indeed prudent, as prosecutors had been wiretapping the cellphones of both men. But it would seem that the burner was of limited value, because by then the prosecutors had managed to secure the help of a business executive who agreed to record calls with the Skeloses. It would further seem that the business executive was more attentive to the perils of pending investigations than the politician.

Through the end of the New York State budget negotiations in March, the hopes of the younger Skelos rested on his father’s ability to devise legislation that would benefit the sewer company. That did not pan out. But Senator Skelos did boast that he had haggled with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, in a successful effort to raise a $150 million allocation for Long Island to $550 million, for what the budget called “transformative economic development projects.” It included money for the kind of work done by the sewer company.

The lawyer for Adam Skelos said he was not guilty and would win in court. Senator Skelos issued a ringing declaration that he was unequivocally innocent.

THIS was also the approach taken in New Jersey by Bill Baroni, a man of great presence and eloquence who stopped outside the federal courthouse to note that he had taken risks as a Republican by bucking his party to support paid family leave, medical marijuana and marriage equality. “I would never risk my career, my job, my reputation for something like this,” Mr. Baroni said. “I am an innocent man.”

The lawyer for his co-defendant, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that she would strongly rebut the charges.

Perhaps they had nothing to do with the lane closings. But neither Mr. Baroni nor Ms. Kelly addressed the question of why they did not return repeated calls from the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., begging them to stop the traffic tie-ups, over three days.

That silence was a low moment. But perhaps New York hit bottom faster. Senator Skelos, the prosecutors charged, arranged to meet Long Island politicians at the wake of Wenjian Liu, a New York City police officer shot dead in December, to press for payments to the company employing his son.

Sometimes it seems as though for some people, the only thing to be ashamed of is shame itself.

Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame

UNITED NATIONS — Wearing pinstripes and a pince-nez, Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations envoy for Syria, arrived at the Security Council one Tuesday afternoon in February and announced that President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to halt airstrikes over Aleppo. Would the rebels, Mr. de Mistura suggested, agree to halt their shelling?

What he did not announce, but everyone knew by then, was that the Assad government had begun a military offensive to encircle opposition-held enclaves in Aleppo and that fierce fighting was underway. It would take only a few days for rebel leaders, having pushed back Syrian government forces, to outright reject Mr. de Mistura’s proposed freeze in the fighting, dooming the latest diplomatic overture on Syria.

Diplomacy is often about appearing to be doing something until the time is ripe for a deal to be done.

 

 

Now, with Mr. Assad’s forces having suffered a string of losses on the battlefield and the United States reaching at least a partial rapprochement with Mr. Assad’s main backer, Iran, Mr. de Mistura is changing course. Starting Monday, he is set to hold a series of closed talks in Geneva with the warring sides and their main supporters. Iran will be among them.

In an interview at United Nations headquarters last week, Mr. de Mistura hinted that the changing circumstances, both military and diplomatic, may have prompted various backers of the war to question how much longer the bloodshed could go on.

“Will that have an impact in accelerating the willingness for a political solution? We need to test it,” he said. “The Geneva consultations may be a good umbrella for testing that. It’s an occasion for asking everyone, including the government, if there is any new way that they are looking at a political solution, as they too claim they want.”

He said he would have a better assessment at the end of June, when he expects to wrap up his consultations. That coincides with the deadline for a final agreement in the Iran nuclear talks.

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Whether a nuclear deal with Iran will pave the way for a new opening on peace talks in Syria remains to be seen. Increasingly, though, world leaders are explicitly linking the two, with the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, suggesting last week that a nuclear agreement could spur Tehran to play “a major but positive role in Syria.”

It could hardly come soon enough. Now in its fifth year, the Syrian war has claimed 220,000 lives, prompted an exodus of more than three million refugees and unleashed jihadist groups across the region. “This conflict is producing a question mark in many — where is it leading and whether this can be sustained,” Mr. de Mistura said.

Part Italian, part Swedish, Mr. de Mistura has worked with the United Nations for more than 40 years, but he is more widely known for his dapper style than for any diplomatic coups. Syria is by far the toughest assignment of his career — indeed, two of the organization’s most seasoned diplomats, Lakhdar Brahimi and Kofi Annan, tried to do the job and gave up — and critics have wondered aloud whether Mr. de Mistura is up to the task.

He served as a United Nations envoy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and before that in Lebanon, where a former minister recalled, with some scorn, that he spent many hours sunbathing at a private club in the hills above Beirut. Those who know him say he has a taste for fine suits and can sometimes speak too soon and too much, just as they point to his diplomatic missteps and hyperbole.

They cite, for instance, a news conference in October, when he raised the specter of Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslims were massacred in 1995 during the Balkans war, in warning that the Syrian border town of Kobani could fall to the Islamic State. In February, he was photographed at a party in Damascus, the Syrian capital, celebrating the anniversary of the Iranian revolution just as Syrian forces, aided by Iran, were pummeling rebel-held suburbs of Damascus; critics seized on that as evidence of his coziness with the government.

Mouin Rabbani, who served briefly as the head of Mr. de Mistura’s political affairs unit and has since emerged as one of his most outspoken critics, said Mr. de Mistura did not have the background necessary for the job. “This isn’t someone well known for his political vision or political imagination, and his closest confidants lack the requisite knowledge and experience,” Mr. Rabbani said.

As a deputy foreign minister in the Italian government, Mr. de Mistura was tasked in 2012 with freeing two Italian marines detained in India for shooting at Indian fishermen. He made 19 trips to India, to little effect. One marine was allowed to return to Italy for medical reasons; the other remains in India.

He said he initially turned down the Syria job when the United Nations secretary general approached him last August, only to change his mind the next day, after a sleepless, guilt-ridden night.

Mr. de Mistura compared his role in Syria to that of a doctor faced with a terminally ill patient. His goal in brokering a freeze in the fighting, he said, was to alleviate suffering. He settled on Aleppo as the location for its “fame,” he said, a decision that some questioned, considering that Aleppo was far trickier than the many other lesser-known towns where activists had negotiated temporary local cease-fires.

“Everybody, at least in Europe, are very familiar with the value of Aleppo,” Mr. de Mistura said. “So I was using that as an icebreaker.”

The cease-fire negotiations, to which he had devoted six months, fell apart quickly because of the government’s military offensive in Aleppo the very day of his announcement at the Security Council. Privately, United Nations diplomats said Mr. de Mistura had been manipulated. To this, Mr. de Mistura said only that he was “disappointed and concerned.”

Tarek Fares, a former rebel fighter, said after a recent visit to Aleppo that no Syrian would admit publicly to supporting Mr. de Mistura’s cease-fire proposal. “If anyone said they went to a de Mistura meeting in Gaziantep, they would be arrested,” is how he put it, referring to the Turkish city where negotiations between the two sides were held.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains staunchly behind Mr. de Mistura’s efforts. His defenders point out that he is at the center of one of the world’s toughest diplomatic problems, charged with mediating a conflict in which two of the world’s most powerful nations — Russia, which supports Mr. Assad, and the United States, which has called for his ouster — remain deadlocked.

R. Nicholas Burns, a former State Department official who now teaches at Harvard, credited Mr. de Mistura for trying to negotiate a cease-fire even when the chances of success were exceedingly small — and the chances of a political deal even smaller. For his efforts to work, Professor Burns argued, the world powers will first have to come to an agreement of their own.

“He needs the help of outside powers,” he said. “It starts with backers of Assad. That’s Russia and Iran. De Mistura is there, waiting.”

With Iran Talks, a Tangled Path to Ending Syria’s War

Judge Patterson helped to protect the rights of Attica inmates after the prison riot in 1971 and later served on the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Robert Patterson Jr., Lawyer and Judge Who Fought for the Accused, Dies at 91

WASHINGTON — The last three men to win the Republican nomination have been the prosperous son of a president (George W. Bush), a senator who could not recall how many homes his family owned (John McCain of Arizona; it was seven) and a private equity executive worth an estimated $200 million (Mitt Romney).

The candidates hoping to be the party’s nominee in 2016 are trying to create a very different set of associations. On Sunday, Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, joined the presidential field.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk, as he urges audiences not to forget “the workers in our hotel kitchens, the landscaping crews in our neighborhoods, the late-night janitorial staff that clean our offices.”

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a preacher’s son, posts on Twitter about his ham-and-cheese sandwiches and boasts of his coupon-clipping frugality. His $1 Kohl’s sweater has become a campaign celebrity in its own right.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky laments the existence of “two Americas,” borrowing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase to describe economically and racially troubled communities like Ferguson, Mo., and Detroit.

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Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk. Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“Some say, ‘But Democrats care more about the poor,’ ” Mr. Paul likes to say. “If that’s true, why is black unemployment still twice white unemployment? Why has household income declined by $3,500 over the past six years?”

We are in the midst of the Empathy Primary — the rhetorical battleground shaping the Republican presidential field of 2016.

Harmed by the perception that they favor the wealthy at the expense of middle-of-the-road Americans, the party’s contenders are each trying their hardest to get across what the elder George Bush once inelegantly told recession-battered voters in 1992: “Message: I care.”

Their ability to do so — less bluntly, more sincerely — could prove decisive in an election year when power, privilege and family connections will loom large for both parties.

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Questions of understanding and compassion cost Republicans in the last election. Mr. Romney, who memorably dismissed the “47 percent” of Americans as freeloaders, lost to President Obama by 63 percentage points among voters who cast their ballots for the candidate who “cares about people like me,” according to exit polls.

And a Pew poll from February showed that people still believe Republicans are indifferent to working Americans: 54 percent said the Republican Party does not care about the middle class.

That taint of callousness explains why Senator Ted Cruz of Texas declared last week that Republicans “are and should be the party of the 47 percent” — and why another son of a president, Jeb Bush, has made economic opportunity the centerpiece of his message.

With his pedigree and considerable wealth — since he left the Florida governor’s office almost a decade ago he has earned millions of dollars sitting on corporate boards and advising banks — Mr. Bush probably has the most complicated task making the argument to voters that he understands their concerns.

On a visit last week to Puerto Rico, Mr. Bush sounded every bit the populist, railing against “elites” who have stifled economic growth and innovation. In the kind of economy he envisions leading, he said: “We wouldn’t have the middle being squeezed. People in poverty would have a chance to rise up. And the social strains that exist — because the haves and have-nots is the big debate in our country today — would subside.”

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Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)?

Republicans’ emphasis on poorer and working-class Americans now represents a shift from the party’s longstanding focus on business owners and “job creators” as the drivers of economic opportunity.

This is intentional, Republican operatives said.

In the last presidential election, Republicans rushed to defend business owners against what they saw as hostility by Democrats to successful, wealthy entrepreneurs.

“Part of what you had was a reaction to the Democrats’ dehumanization of business owners: ‘Oh, you think you started your plumbing company? No you didn’t,’ ” said Grover Norquist, the conservative activist and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

But now, Mr. Norquist said, Republicans should move past that. “Focus on the people in the room who know someone who couldn’t get a job, or a promotion, or a raise because taxes are too high or regulations eat up companies’ time,” he said. “The rich guy can take care of himself.”

Democrats argue that the public will ultimately see through such an approach because Republican positions like opposing a minimum-wage increase and giving private banks a larger role in student loans would hurt working Americans.

“If Republican candidates are just repeating the same tired policies, I’m not sure that smiling while saying it is going to be enough,” said Guy Cecil, a Democratic strategist who is joining a “super PAC” working on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Republicans have already attacked Mrs. Clinton over the wealth and power she and her husband have accumulated, caricaturing her as an out-of-touch multimillionaire who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech and has not driven a car since 1996.

Mr. Walker hit this theme recently on Fox News, pointing to Mrs. Clinton’s lucrative book deals and her multiple residences. “This is not someone who is connected with everyday Americans,” he said. His own net worth, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is less than a half-million dollars; Mr. Walker also owes tens of thousands of dollars on his credit cards.

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But showing off a cheap sweater or boasting of a bootstraps family background not only helps draw a contrast with Mrs. Clinton’s latter-day affluence, it is also an implicit argument against Mr. Bush.

Mr. Walker, who featured a 1998 Saturn with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer in a 2010 campaign ad during his first run for governor, likes to talk about flipping burgers at McDonald’s as a young person. His mother, he has said, grew up on a farm with no indoor plumbing until she was in high school.

Mr. Rubio, among the least wealthy members of the Senate, with an estimated net worth of around a half-million dollars, uses his working-class upbringing as evidence of the “exceptionalism” of America, “where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”

Mr. Cruz alludes to his family’s dysfunction — his parents, he says, were heavy drinkers — and recounts his father’s tale of fleeing Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey notes that his father paid his way through college working nights at an ice cream plant.

But sometimes the attempts at projecting authenticity can seem forced. Mr. Christie recently found himself on the defensive after telling a New Hampshire audience, “I don’t consider myself a wealthy man.” Tax returns showed that he and his wife, a longtime Wall Street executive, earned nearly $700,000 in 2013.

The story of success against the odds is a political classic, even if it is one the Republican Party has not been able to tell for a long time. Ronald Reagan liked to say that while he had not been born on the wrong side of the tracks, he could always hear the whistle. Richard Nixon was fond of reminding voters how he was born in a house his father had built.

“Probably the idea that is most attractive to an average voter, and an idea that both Republicans and Democrats try to craft into their messages, is this idea that you can rise from nothing,” said Charles C. W. Cooke, a writer for National Review.

There is a certain delight Republicans take in turning that message to their advantage now.

“That’s what Obama did with Hillary,” Mr. Cooke said. “He acknowledged it openly: ‘This is ridiculous. Look at me, this one-term senator with dark skin and all of America’s unsolved racial problems, running against the wife of the last Democratic president.”

G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class

Even as a high school student, Dave Goldberg was urging female classmates to speak up. As a young dot-com executive, he had one girlfriend after another, but fell hard for a driven friend named Sheryl Sandberg, pining after her for years. After they wed, Mr. Goldberg pushed her to negotiate hard for high compensation and arranged his schedule so that he could be home with their children when she was traveling for work.

Mr. Goldberg, who died unexpectedly on Friday, was a genial, 47-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who built his latest company, SurveyMonkey, from a modest enterprise to one recently valued by investors at $2 billion. But he was also perhaps the signature male feminist of his era: the first major chief executive in memory to spur his wife to become as successful in business as he was, and an essential figure in “Lean In,” Ms. Sandberg’s blockbuster guide to female achievement.

Over the weekend, even strangers were shocked at his death, both because of his relatively young age and because they knew of him as the living, breathing, car-pooling center of a new philosophy of two-career marriage.

“They were very much the role models for what this next generation wants to grapple with,” said Debora L. Spar, the president of Barnard College. In a 2011 commencement speech there, Ms. Sandberg told the graduates that whom they married would be their most important career decision.

In the play “The Heidi Chronicles,” revived on Broadway this spring, a male character who is the founder of a media company says that “I don’t want to come home to an A-plus,” explaining that his ambitions require him to marry an unthreatening helpmeet. Mr. Goldberg grew up to hold the opposite view, starting with his upbringing in progressive Minneapolis circles where “there was woman power in every aspect of our lives,” Jeffrey Dachis, a childhood friend, said in an interview.

The Goldberg parents read “The Feminine Mystique” together — in fact, Mr. Goldberg’s father introduced it to his wife, according to Ms. Sandberg’s book. In 1976, Paula Goldberg helped found a nonprofit to aid children with disabilities. Her husband, Mel, a law professor who taught at night, made the family breakfast at home.

Later, when Dave Goldberg was in high school and his prom date, Jill Chessen, stayed silent in a politics class, he chastised her afterward. He said, “You need to speak up,” Ms. Chessen recalled in an interview. “They need to hear your voice.”

Years later, when Karin Gilford, an early employee at Launch Media, Mr. Goldberg’s digital music company, became a mother, he knew exactly what to do. He kept giving her challenging assignments, she recalled, but also let her work from home one day a week. After Yahoo acquired Launch, Mr. Goldberg became known for distributing roses to all the women in the office on Valentine’s Day.

Ms. Sandberg, who often describes herself as bossy-in-a-good-way, enchanted him when they became friendly in the mid-1990s. He “was smitten with her,” Ms. Chessen remembered. Ms. Sandberg was dating someone else, but Mr. Goldberg still hung around, even helping her and her then-boyfriend move, recalled Bob Roback, a friend and co-founder of Launch. When they finally married in 2004, friends remember thinking how similar the two were, and that the qualities that might have made Ms. Sandberg intimidating to some men drew Mr. Goldberg to her even more.

Over the next decade, Mr. Goldberg and Ms. Sandberg pioneered new ways of capturing information online, had a son and then a daughter, became immensely wealthy, and hashed out their who-does-what-in-this-marriage issues. Mr. Goldberg’s commute from the Bay Area to Los Angeles became a strain, so he relocated, later joking that he “lost the coin flip” of where they would live. He paid the bills, she planned the birthday parties, and both often left their offices at 5:30 so they could eat dinner with their children before resuming work afterward.

Friends in Silicon Valley say they were careful to conduct their careers separately, politely refusing when outsiders would ask one about the other’s work: Ms. Sandberg’s role building Facebook into an information and advertising powerhouse, and Mr. Goldberg at SurveyMonkey, which made polling faster and cheaper. But privately, their work was intertwined. He often began statements to his team with the phrase “Well, Sheryl said” sharing her business advice. He counseled her, too, starting with her salary negotiations with Mark Zuckerberg.

“I wanted Mark to really feel he stretched to get Sheryl, because she was worth it,” Mr. Goldberg explained in a 2013 “60 Minutes” interview, his Minnesota accent and his smile intact as he offered a rare peek of the intersection of marriage and money at the top of corporate life.

 

 

While his wife grew increasingly outspoken about women’s advancement, Mr. Goldberg quietly advised the men in the office on family and partnership matters, an associate said. Six out of 16 members of SurveyMonkey’s management team are female, an almost unheard-of ratio among Silicon Valley “unicorns,” or companies valued at over $1 billion.

When Mellody Hobson, a friend and finance executive, wrote a chapter of “Lean In” about women of color for the college edition of the book, Mr. Goldberg gave her feedback on the draft, a clue to his deep involvement. He joked with Ms. Hobson that she was too long-winded, like Ms. Sandberg, but aside from that, he said he loved the chapter, she said in an interview.

By then, Mr. Goldberg was a figure of fascination who inspired a “where can I get one of those?” reaction among many of the women who had read the best seller “Lean In.” Some lamented that Ms. Sandberg’s advice hinged too much on marrying a Dave Goldberg, who was humble enough to plan around his wife, attentive enough to worry about which shoes his young daughter would wear, and rich enough to help pay for the help that made the family’s balancing act manageable.

Now that he is gone, and Ms. Sandberg goes from being half of a celebrated partnership to perhaps the business world’s most prominent single mother, the pages of “Lean In” carry a new sting of loss.

“We are never at 50-50 at any given moment — perfect equality is hard to define or sustain — but we allow the pendulum to swing back and forth between us,” she wrote in 2013, adding that they were looking forward to raising teenagers together.

“Fortunately, I have Dave to figure it out with me,” she wrote.

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

Mr. King sang for the Drifters and found success as a solo performer with hits like “Spanish Harlem.”

Ben E. King, Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76

Since a white police officer, Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in a confrontation last August in Ferguson, Mo., there have been many other cases in which the police have shot and killed suspects, some of them unarmed. Mr. Brown's death set off protests throughout the country, pushing law enforcement into the spotlight and sparking a public debate on police tactics. Here is a selection of police shootings that have been reported by news organizations since Mr. Brown's death. In some cases, investigations are continuing.

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The apartment complex northeast of Atlanta where Anthony Hill, 27, was fatally shot by a DeKalb County police officer. Credit Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal Constitution

Chamblee, Ga.
Fatal Police Shootings: Accounts Since Ferguson

Mr. Paczynski was one of the concentration camp’s longest surviving inmates and served as the personal barber to its Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss.

Jozef Paczynski, Inmate Barber to Auschwitz Commandant, Dies at 95

Pronovost, who played for the Red Wings, was not a prolific scorer, but he was a consummate team player with bruising checks and fearless bursts up the ice that could puncture a defense.

Marcel Pronovost, 84, Dies; Hall of Famer Shared in Five N.H.L. Titles

Ms. Crough played the youngest daughter on the hit ’70s sitcom starring David Cassidy and Shirley Jones.

Suzanne Crough, Actress in ‘The Partridge Family,’ Dies at 52

BALTIMORE — In the afternoons, the streets of Locust Point are clean and nearly silent. In front of the rowhouses, potted plants rest next to steps of brick or concrete. There is a shopping center nearby with restaurants, and a grocery store filled with fresh foods.

And the National Guard and the police are largely absent. So, too, residents say, are worries about what happened a few miles away on April 27 when, in a space of hours, parts of this city became riot zones.

“They’re not our reality,” Ashley Fowler, 30, said on Monday at the restaurant where she works. “They’re not what we’re living right now. We live in, not to be racist, white America.”

As Baltimore considers its way forward after the violent unrest brought by the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of injuries he suffered while in police custody, residents in its predominantly white neighborhoods acknowledge that they are sometimes struggling to understand what beyond Mr. Gray’s death spurred the turmoil here. For many, the poverty and troubled schools of gritty West Baltimore are distant troubles, glimpsed only when they pass through the area on their way somewhere else.

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Officers blocked traffic at Pennsylvania and West North Avenues after reports that a gun was discharged in the area. Credit Drew Angerer for The New York Times

And so neighborhoods of Baltimore are facing altogether different reckonings after Mr. Gray’s death. In mostly black communities like Sandtown-Winchester, where some of the most destructive rioting played out last week, residents are hoping businesses will reopen and that the police will change their strategies. But in mostly white areas like Canton and Locust Point, some residents wonder what role, if any, they should play in reimagining stretches of Baltimore where they do not live.

“Most of the people are kind of at a loss as to what they’re supposed to do,” said Dr. Richard Lamb, a dentist who has practiced in the same Locust Point office for nearly 39 years. “I listen to the news reports. I listen to the clergymen. I listen to the facts of the rampant unemployment and the lack of opportunities in the area. Listen, I pay my taxes. Exactly what can I do?”

And in Canton, where the restaurants have clever names like Nacho Mama’s and Holy Crepe Bakery and Café, Sara Bahr said solutions seemed out of reach for a proudly liberal city.

“I can only imagine how frustrated they must be,” said Ms. Bahr, 36, a nurse who was out with her 3-year-old daughter, Sally. “I just wish I knew how to solve poverty. I don’t know what to do to make it better.”

The day of unrest and the overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations that followed led to hundreds of arrests, often for violations of the curfew imposed on the city for five consecutive nights while National Guard soldiers patrolled the streets. Although there were isolated instances of trouble in Canton, the neighborhood association said on its website, many parts of southeast Baltimore were physically untouched by the tumult.

Tensions in the city bubbled anew on Monday after reports that the police had wounded a black man in Northwest Baltimore. The authorities denied those reports and sent officers to talk with the crowds that gathered while other officers clutching shields blocked traffic at Pennsylvania and West North Avenues.

Lt. Col. Melvin Russell, a community police officer, said officers had stopped a man suspected of carrying a handgun and that “one of those rounds was spent.”

Colonel Russell said officers had not opened fire, “so we couldn’t have shot him.”

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Lambi Vasilakopoulos, right, who runs a casual restaurant in Canton, said he was incensed by last week's looting and predicted tensions would worsen. Credit Drew Angerer for The New York Times

The colonel said the man had not been injured but was taken to a hospital as a precaution. Nearby, many people stood in disbelief, despite the efforts by the authorities to quash reports they described as “unfounded.”

Monday’s episode was a brief moment in a larger drama that has yielded anger and confusion. Although many people said they were familiar with accounts of the police harassing or intimidating residents, many in Canton and Locust Point said they had never experienced it themselves. When they watched the unrest, which many protesters said was fueled by feelings that they lived only on Baltimore’s margins, even those like Ms. Bahr who were pained by what they saw said they could scarcely comprehend the emotions associated with it.

But others, like Lambi Vasilakopoulos, who runs a casual restaurant in Canton, said they were incensed by what unfolded last week.

“What happened wasn’t called for. Protests are one thing; looting is another thing,” he said, adding, “We’re very frustrated because we’re the ones who are going to pay for this.”

There were pockets of optimism, though, that Baltimore would enter a period of reconciliation.

“I’m just hoping for peace,” Natalie Boies, 53, said in front of the Locust Point home where she has lived for 50 years. “Learn to love each other; be patient with each other; find justice; and care.”

A skeptical Mr. Vasilakopoulos predicted tensions would worsen.

“It cannot be fixed,” he said. “It’s going to get worse. Why? Because people don’t obey the laws. They don’t want to obey them.”

But there were few fears that the violence that plagued West Baltimore last week would play out on these relaxed streets. The authorities, Ms. Fowler said, would make sure of that.

“They kept us safe here,” she said. “I didn’t feel uncomfortable when I was in my house three blocks away from here. I knew I was going to be O.K. because I knew they weren’t going to let anyone come and loot our properties or our businesses or burn our cars.”

Baltimore Residents Away From Turmoil Consider Their Role

A former member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Smedvig helped found the wide-ranging Empire Brass quintet.

Rolf Smedvig, Trumpeter in the Empire Brass, Dies at 62

GREENWICH, Conn. — Mago is in the bedroom. You can go in.

The big man lies on a hospital bed with his bare feet scraping its bottom rail. His head is propped on a scarlet pillow, the left temple dented, the right side paralyzed. His dark hair is kept just long enough to conceal the scars.

The occasional sounds he makes are understood only by his wife, but he still has that punctuating left hand. In slow motion, the fingers curl and close. A thumbs-up greeting.

Hello, Mago.

This is Magomed Abdusalamov, 34, also known as the Russian Tyson, also known as Mago. He is a former heavyweight boxer who scored four knockouts and 14 technical knockouts in his first 18 professional fights. He preferred to stand between rounds. Sitting conveyed weakness.

But Mago lost his 19th fight, his big chance, at the packed Theater at Madison Square Garden in November 2013. His 19th decision, and his last.

Now here he is, in a small bedroom in a working-class neighborhood in Greenwich, in a modest house his family rents cheap from a devoted friend. The air-pressure machine for his mattress hums like an expectant crowd.

 

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Mike Perez, left, and Magomed Abdusalamov during the fight in which Abdusalamov was injured. Credit Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

 

Today is like any other day, except for those days when he is hurried in crisis to the hospital. Every three hours during the night, his slight wife, Bakanay, 28, has risen to turn his 6-foot-3 body — 210 pounds of dead weight. It has to be done. Infections of the gaping bedsore above his tailbone have nearly killed him.

Then, with the help of a young caretaker, Baka has gotten two of their daughters off to elementary school and settled down the toddler. Yes, Mago and Baka are blessed with all girls, but they had also hoped for a son someday.

They feed Mago as they clean him; it’s easier that way. For breakfast, which comes with a side of crushed antiseizure pills, he likes oatmeal with a squirt of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. But even oatmeal must be puréed and fed to him by spoon.

He opens his mouth to indicate more, the way a baby does. But his paralysis has made everything a choking hazard. His water needs a stirring of powdered food thickener, and still he chokes — eh-eh-eh — as he tries to cough up what will not go down.

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Mago used to drink only water. No alcohol. Not even soda. A sip of juice would be as far as he dared. Now even water betrays him.

With the caretaker’s help, Baka uses a washcloth and soap to clean his body and shampoo his hair. How handsome still, she has thought. Sometimes, in the night, she leaves the bedroom to watch old videos, just to hear again his voice in the fullness of life. She cries, wipes her eyes and returns, feigning happiness. Mago must never see her sad.

 

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 Abdusalamov's hand being massaged. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

When Baka finishes, Mago is cleanshaven and fresh down to his trimmed and filed toenails. “I want him to look good,” she says.

Theirs was an arranged Muslim marriage in Makhachkala, in the Russian republic of Dagestan. He was 23, she was 18 and their future hinged on boxing. Sometimes they would shadowbox in love, her David to his Goliath. You are so strong, he would tell her.

His father once told him he could either be a bandit or an athlete, but if he chose banditry, “I will kill you.” This paternal advice, Mago later told The Ventura County Reporter, “made it a very easy decision for me.”

Mago won against mediocre competition, in Moscow and Hollywood, Fla., in Las Vegas and Johnstown, Pa. He was knocked down only once, and even then, it surprised more than hurt. He scored a technical knockout in the next round.

It all led up to this: the undercard at the Garden, Mike Perez vs. Magomed Abdusalamov, 10 rounds, on HBO. A win, he believed, would improve his chances of taking on the heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who sat in the crowd of 4,600 with his fiancée, the actress Hayden Panettiere, watching.

Wearing black-and-red trunks and a green mouth guard, Mago went to work. But in the first round, a hard forearm to his left cheek rocked him. At the bell, he returned to his corner, and this time, he sat down. “I think it’s broken,” he repeatedly said in Russian.

 

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Bakanay Abdusalamova, Abdusalamov's wife, and her injured husband and a masseur in the background. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

Maybe at that point, somebody — the referee, the ringside doctors, his handlers — should have stopped the fight, under a guiding principle: better one punch too early than one punch too late. But the bloody trade of blows continued into the seventh, eighth, ninth, a hand and orbital bone broken, his face transforming.

Meanwhile, in the family’s apartment in Miami, Baka forced herself to watch the broadcast. She could see it in his swollen eyes. Something was off.

After the final round, Perez raised his tattooed arms in victory, and Mago wandered off in a fog. He had taken 312 punches in about 40 minutes, for a purse of $40,000.

 

 

In the locker room, doctors sutured a cut above Mago’s left eye and tested his cognitive abilities. He did not do well. The ambulance that waits in expectation at every fight was not summoned by boxing officials.

Blood was pooling in Mago’s cranial cavity as he left the Garden. He vomited on the pavement while his handlers flagged a taxi to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. There, doctors induced a coma and removed part of his skull to drain fluids and ease the swelling.

Then came the stroke.

 

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A championship belt belonging to Abdusalamov and a card from one of his daughters. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

It is lunchtime now, and the aroma of puréed beef and potatoes lingers. So do the questions.

How will Mago and Baka pay the $2 million in medical bills they owe? What if their friend can no longer offer them this home? Will they win their lawsuits against the five ringside doctors, the referee, and a New York State boxing inspector? What about Mago’s future care?

Most of all: Is this it?

A napkin rests on Mago’s chest. As another spoonful of mush approaches, he opens his mouth, half-swallows, chokes, and coughs until it clears. Eh-eh-eh. Sometimes he turns bluish, but Baka never shows fear. Always happy for Mago.

Some days he is wheeled out for physical therapy or speech therapy. Today, two massage therapists come to knead his half-limp body like a pair of skilled corner men.

Soon, Mago will doze. Then his three daughters, ages 2, 6 and 9, will descend upon him to talk of their day. Not long ago, the oldest lugged his championship belt to school for a proud show-and-tell moment. Her classmates were amazed at the weight of it.

Then, tonight, there will be more puréed food and pulverized medication, more coughing, and more tender care from his wife, before sleep comes.

Goodbye, Mago.

He half-smiles, raises his one good hand, and forms a fist.

Meet Mago, Former Heavyweight

Mr. Alger, who served five terms from Texas, led Republican women in a confrontation with Lyndon B. Johnson that may have cost Richard M. Nixon the 1960 presidential election.

Bruce Alger, 96, Dies; Led ‘Mink Coat’ Protest Against Lyndon Johnson
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