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Saco-Indonesia.com - Tidak usah takut orang-orang KPK asalkan bkerja tulus iklas karena Alloh untuk memakmurkan bangsa ini sehebat apapun dukun yang akan menyerang orang-orang KPK tidak akan mampu melawan kekuatan Alloh. karena orang-orang Koruptor itu jumlahnya kalah banya dengan orang-orang disakiti oleh Koruptor itu sendiri, jadi dengan banyaknya doa dari orang-orang tersakiti oleh koruptor maka santet apapun tidak akan berhasil untuk memerangi orang-orang KPK, terus berjuang tegakan hukum sesuai Quran dan Hadist. Percaya tidak percaya klenik juga berhubungan dengan Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi ( KPK ). Sejumlah paranormal menyebut ada upaya dari pihak sakit hati menyerang pimpinan lembaga antirasuah secara gaib.
Kabar itu makin santer ketika KPK mengusut dugaan korupsi yang menjerat dinasti Gubernur Banten Ratu Atut Chosiyah . Tanpa diminta beberapa paranormal datang untuk memberikan pengamanan.
Tokoh Banten Ahmad Subadri sempat bertemu dengan Ketua KPK Abraham Samad dan Wakil Adnan Pandu Praja agar tidak terpengaruh dengan serangan gaib. Sudah menjadi rahasia umum, Banten memang diidentikkan dengan hal-hal gaib yang demikian.
"KPK mengatakan tidak khawatir. Pak Abraham, Pandu mengatakan mereka siap lahir batin untuk memberantas korupsi di Banten," ujarnya.
Berikut cerita klenik di lembaga antikorupsi:
"KPK kalau malam ada bola api masuk, ada awan hitam masuk," kata Permadi di Gedung KPK Jalan HR Rasuna Said, Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan, Selasa (17/12).
Politikus Gerindra itu berpesan agar nyali lembaga anti korupsi tak ciut menghadapi serangan seperti itu. Pria yang dikenal gemar berpakaian hitam-hitam tersebut mengaku sudah membentengi KPK.
"Saya akan bantu KPK dengan Eyang Subur, enggak perlu takut. Saya sudah membersihkan KPK," kata mantan anggota DPR itu.
"Ya banyak pokoknya. Dan itu dilakukan dengan cara-cara gaib yang tidak terlihat," imbuh paranormal asal Surabaya itu.
Saat ditanya siapa yang mengirimkan santet kepada pimpinan KPK tersebut, Ki Sabdo enggan menyebutkan secara detail. Menurutnya pihak-pihak yang saat ini ini sedang diendus korupsinya tidak senang dan akan menyantet para pimpinan KPK.
"Saya ingatkan kepada Ketua KPK dan wakilnya ada ancaman serius. Bahkan mengarah ke nyawa anda," ujar Ki Sabdo.
Selain itu ditemukan juga bungkus balsem dalam plastik putih. Benda-benda itu diduga sengaja dikirim oleh pihak bermasalah secara gaib dengan keperluan jahat seperti santet.
"Awalnya penjaga melihat ada gundukan tanah yang tidak wajar di halaman KPK, ketika digali kami menemukan benda tersebut," terang Juru Bicara KPK Johan Budi.
"Dia (Suprapto) bilang mau santet Mario, Djodi, KPK. Saya bilang, 'Mana bisa kau santet KPK'. KPK itu gedung," kata Andi.
Hal itu disampaikan Mario saat bersaksi dalam persidangan terdakwa kasus dugaan suap pengurusan kasasi perkara Hutomo Wijaya Ongowarsito di Mahkamah Agung dengan terdakwa Mario Cornelio Bernardo.
Suatu hari para penjaga di Gedung KPK dikejutkan dengan berserakannya garam di halaman. Juru Bicara KPK Johan budi mengatakan hal tersebut memang sudah berulang kali terjadi.
"Ini bukan pertama kali kami menemukan benda-benda aneh di area gedung KPK," kata Johan.
Editor : Liwon Maulana
Sumber : Merdeka.com
Ingin ku pergi
Tapi ku rindu
Kapan aku, punya pacar
Yang setia slamanya
> INDAH PERTIWI SEMAKIN LAMA SEMAKIN AKU
Editor : Dian sukmawati
sco-indonesia.com, Cuaca buruk di lautan telah membuat kembali menyebabkan kapal motor (KM) Putra Waras tenggelam. Kapal nelayan Brebes, Jawa Tengah, itu telah dikabarkan karam di perairan Lampung. Akibatnya, satu nelayan dikabarkan tewas, empat selamat dan empat lainnya hilang.
Kapal itu milik Romli yang berusia (44) tahun warga Desa Kluwut, Kecamatan Bulakamba, Kabupaten Brebes. Informasi tenggelamnya kapal tersebut telah diketahui setelah salah satu nelayan korban selamat Faturokhman yang berusia (31) tahun , telah berhasil dipulangkan ke kampung halamannya di Brebes.
Faturokhman juga mengungkapkan korban tewas adalah Deni yang berusia (26) tahun . Sementara korban selamat dan kini pulang ke desanya adalah, Romli; pemilik kapal, Nandi, Taufik dan Faturokhman.
Sementara itu korban yang hilang dan sampai saat ini masih dalam proses pencarian adalah Toto (27), Ali (28), Sofani (27) dan Purwanto (18).
Faturokhman juga menceritakan, tenggelamnya KM Putra Waras bermula saat rombongan dalam satu kapal telah mencari ikan di perairan Pulau Dua Provinsi Lampung pada Kamis(16/1) lalu. "Tiba-tiba cuaca memburuk, dan datang ombak besar," tuturnya.
Kapal dengan 9 orang ABK itu awalnya terombang-ambing kemudian langsung diterjang oleh ombak besar hingga tenggelam.
"Saya berangkat hari Kamis pagi dari Pelabuhan Kronjo. Sekitar pukul 13.00 WIB, kapal tiba di perairan Lampung, tapi tiba-tiba ombak besar telah menghantam kapal hingga kapal terbalik," ujarnya, Jumat (24/1).
Faturokhman juga menjelaskan, saat kejadian itu kapal telah terbalik hingga posisinya tengkurap. Semula sembilan ABK sempat naik di atas kapal untuk dapat menghindari tenggelam.
Namun, 5 Anak Buah Kapal (ABK) yang lain tidak kuat berpegangan kapal hingga terbawa arus laut. Sementara, 4 ABK lain bisa selamat, meski harus berpegangan kapal yang tengkurap hingga tiga hari.
"Saya dan 3 rekan lainnya telah terombang-ambing gelombang laut selama 3 hari tanpa makan, dan tanpa minum. Baru di hari ke 3, ada kapal jenis tongkang yang telah mengetahui keberadaan kami lalu menolong," terang Faturokhman.
Tokoh masyarakat Desa Kluwut A Mustaqin juga mengatakan, informasi terakhir telah ditemukan dua ABK lagi. Namun, masih belum diketahui identitasnya. Keduanya ditemukan tewas dan jenazahnya kini berada di RSCM Jakarta.
"Kami juga masih terus memantau perkembangannya. Kini masih tinggal dua orang yang hilang," tuturnya.
> KAPAL NELAYAN KM PUTRA WARAS TENGGELAM
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
saco-indonesia.com, Sedikitnya ada 1000 personel kepolisian dikerahkan guna untuk mengamankan jalur Puncak, Bogor, saat malam pergantian tahun 2013-2014 mendatang. Kapolres Bogor AKBP Asep Safrudin juga menjelaskan personel tersebut akan dipusatkan di dua tempat di wilayah Bogor yang kerap dijadikan sebagi pusat keramaian saat malam pergantian tahun.
"Dua tempat itu yakni di Jalan Raya Tegar Beriman, Cibinong, dan Jalan Raya Puncak, Cisarua, Kabupaten Bogor. Tapi mayoritas akan difokuskan di kawasan Puncak," ungkapnya, Rabu (18/12).
Personelnya juga akan ditugaskan untuk dapat mengatur arus lalu lintas dan mengantisipasi terjadinya tindak kejahatan. Sebab, kawasan Puncak juga sering dijadikan sebagai pusat keramaian dari berbagai daerah di Jabodetabek.
Untuk dapat mengurangi beban kendaraan yang telah melintas di Cisarua-Puncak, kepolisian juga akan mengalihkan kendaraan yang akan melintas selama 11 jam.
"Kami juga mengimbau kepada masyarakat yang akan menghabiskan malam tahun baru di Puncak agar melintas sebelum pukul 19.00 WIB, Selasa (31/12), karena sejak pukul 19.00 WIB tersebut, kendaraan yang akan melintas Puncak akan dialihkan melalui Jalan Jonggol tembus di Cipanas, Cianjur," jelasnya.
Sedangkan untuk kendaraan sepeda motor akan dialihkan melalui jalan alternatif Bendungan yang akan tembus di Cikopo, Cisarua. AKBP Asep juga menerangkan, selain rekayasa lalu lintas tersebut, pihaknya bersama Dinas Lalu Lintas Angkutan Jalan (DLLAJ) Kabupaten Bogor dengan membatasi pengangkutan truk bermuatan di atas 20 ton yang akan melintas di jalur Ciawi-Sukabumi.
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
> 1000 PERSONEL AMANKAN JALUR PUNCAK
saco-indonesia.com, Pertama kali muncul pada 2012 lalu, sudah banyak kejanggalan yang telah melingkupi kasus IM2. Sikap tegas dan konsisten Indosat yang telah menjalani proses hukum secara lurus dan sesuai dengan ketentuan yang ada malah mempersulit geraknya di pengadilan.
Kekurangtahuan jaksa pada proses teknis di industri telekomunikasi telah membuat kasus tersebut akan terasa makin sulit bagi Indosat dan makin jauh dari keadilan yang telah didambakan.
Suara dari dunia internasional yang relatif lebih tahu mengenai proses kerja sama di industri telekomunikasi pun juga hanya dianggap sebagai angin lalu bagi penegak hukum. Setelah disalahkan di tingkat Pengadilan Negeri Tipikor, mantan Dirut IM2 Indar Atmanto pun juga maju ke Pengadilan Tinggi DKI Jakarta dengan harapan proses hukumnya akan lebih adil dan fair.
Kenyataannya, Pengadilan Tinggi (PT) DKI Jakarta malah telah memperberat hukuman Indar Atmanto dari sebelumnya hanya 4 tahun menjadi 8 tahun. Selain telah memperberat hukuman, dalam putusan majelis hakim PT yang diketuai Syamsul Bachri Bapa Tua juga telah menetapkan denda Rp 200 juta subsider 3 bulan penjara bagi Indar. Denda itu sesuai vonis Pengadilan Tipikor. Pertimbangan penambahan hukuman, karena kerugian dalam kasus ini telah dianggap sangat signifikan karena nilainya di atas Rp 1 triliun.
Keputusan Pengadilan Tinggi itu tentunya akan menyakitkan komunitas telematika di Indonesia dan seluruh dunia karena keputusan tersebut sama saja membuat penyelenggara jasa internet lainnya illegal, sehingga sama saja akses internet juga ilegal.
Karena, tak ada penyelenggara jasa internet yang telah memiliki infrastruktur BTS sendiri dan mereka hanya telah memiliki server untuk basis data pelanggan. Model bisnis ISP adalah pelayanan bukan penyediaan infrastruktur. ISP juga merupakan reseller jaringan milik operator yang telah memberikan layanan kepada pengguna akhir dan warnet.
Izin ISP sendiri sangat berbeda dengan izin operator penyelenggara telekomunikasi, sehingga model bisnis ISP memang legal menurut UU Telekomunikasi No 36/1999.
Bila IM2 telah dinyatakan bersalah, maka ada lebih dari 200 penyedia jasa internet (Internet Service Provider/ISP) yang telah menerapkan model bisnis yang sama juga harus dinyatakan bersalah dan membayar bea hak penggunaan (BHP) frekuensi sejumlah yang telah dituduhkan kepada IM2 sebesar Rp 1,3 triliun.
Padahal, ratusan ISP telah beroperasi dengan skala usaha kecil dan menengah (UMKM), yang secara alami mustahil membayar Rp 1,3 triliun. Dampaknya, mereka akan bisa bangkrut dan tidak bisa menyediakan jasa internet, yang berdampak pada terhentinya layanan internet (Kiamat Internet). Sehingga akan dapat mengganggu ekonomi secara keseluruhan.
Selain itu, Indonesia juga bisa terisolasi dari dunia internasional, karena tanpa internet, maka Indonesia seperti katak dalam tempurung, yang rakyatnya tidak bisa berkembang. Pemerintah pun terkena imbasnya, karena tanpa internet, roda pemerintahan tak akan bisa berjalan sama sekali.
> AKSES INTERNET DI INDONESIA AKAN TERANCAM JADI ILEGAL
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.
Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.
Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.
Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.
“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”
Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.
The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.
They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.
A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.
Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.
What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.
It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)
A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.
The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.
It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.
High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.
But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.
In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.
Mr. Fox, known for his well-honed countrified voice, wrote about things dear to South Carolina and won over Yankee critics.William Price Fox, Admired Southern Novelist and Humorist, Dies at 89 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Baltimore residents prepared to resume the more familiar rhythms of their lives as days passed without new bouts of widespread rioting and as the National Guard began to pull its troops from the city.In Baltimore, National Guard Pullout Begins as Citywide Curfew Is Lifted | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Over the last five years or so, it seemed there was little that Dean G. Skelos, the majority leader of the New York Senate, would not do for his son.
He pressed a powerful real estate executive to provide commissions to his son, a 32-year-old title insurance salesman, according to a federal criminal complaint. He helped get him a job at an environmental company and employed his influence to help the company get government work. He used his office to push natural gas drilling regulations that would have increased his son’s commissions.
He even tried to direct part of a $5.4 billion state budget windfall to fund government contracts that the company was seeking. And when the company was close to securing a storm-water contract from Nassau County, the senator, through an intermediary, pressured the company to pay his son more — or risk having the senator subvert the bid.
The criminal complaint, unsealed on Monday, lays out corruption charges against Senator Skelos and his son, Adam B. Skelos, the latest scandal to seize Albany, and potentially alter its power structure.
The repeated and diverse efforts by Senator Skelos, a Long Island Republican, to use what prosecutors said was his political influence to find work, or at least income, for his son could send both men to federal prison. If they are convicted of all six charges against them, they face up to 20 years in prison for each of four of the six counts and up to 10 years for the remaining two.
Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, of Long Island, who serves as chairman of the Republican conference, emerged from a closed-door meeting Monday night to say that conference members agreed that Mr. Skelos should be benefited the “presumption of innocence,” and would stay in his leadership role.
“The leader has indicated he would like to remain as leader,” said Mr. LaValle, “and he has the support of the conference.” The case against Mr. Skelos and his son grew out of a broader inquiry into political corruption by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, that has already changed the face of the state capital. It is based in part, according to the six-count complaint, on conversations secretly recorded by one of two cooperating witnesses, and wiretaps on the cellphones of the senator and his son. Those recordings revealed that both men were concerned about electronic surveillance, and illustrated the son’s unsuccessful efforts to thwart it.
Adam Skelos took to using a “burner” phone, the complaint says, and told his father he wanted them to speak through a FaceTime video call in an apparent effort to avoid detection. They also used coded language at times.
At one point, Adam Skelos was recorded telling a Senate staff member of his frustration in not being able to speak openly to his father on the phone, noting that he could not “just send smoke signals or a little pigeon” carrying a message.
The 43-page complaint, sworn out by Paul M. Takla, a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, outlines a five-year scheme to “monetize” the senator’s official position; it also lays bare the extent to which a father sought to use his position to help his son.
The charges accuse the two men of extorting payments through a real estate developer, Glenwood Management, based on Long Island, and the environmental company, AbTech Industries, in Scottsdale, Ariz., with the expectation that the money paid to Adam Skelos — nearly $220,000 in total — would influence his father’s actions.
Glenwood, one of the state’s most prolific campaign donors, had ties to AbTech through investments in the environmental firm’s parent company by Glenwood’s founding family and a senior executive.
The accusations in the complaint portray Senator Skelos as a man who, when it came to his son, was not shy about twisting arms, even in situations that might give other arm-twisters pause.
Seeking to help his son, Senator Skelos turned to the executive at Glenwood, which develops rental apartments in New York City and has much at stake when it comes to real estate legislation in Albany. The senator urged him to direct business to his son, who sold title insurance.
After much prodding, the executive, Charles C. Dorego, engineered a $20,000 payment to Adam Skelos from a title insurance company even though he did no work for the money. But far more lucrative was a consultant position that Mr. Dorego arranged for Adam Skelos at AbTech, which seeks government contracts to treat storm water. (Mr. Dorego is not identified by name in the complaint, but referred to only as CW-1, for Cooperating Witness 1.)
Senator Skelos appeared to take an active interest in his son’s new line of work. Adam Skelos sent him several drafts of his consulting agreement with AbTech, the complaint says, as well as the final deal that was struck.
“Mazel tov,” his father replied.
Senator Skelos sent relevant news articles to his son, including one about a sewage leak near Albany. When AbTech wanted to seek government contracts after Hurricane Sandy, the senator got on a conference call with his son and an AbTech executive, Bjornulf White, and offered advice. (Like Mr. Dorego, Mr. White is not named in the complaint, but referred to as CW-2.)
The assistance paid off: With the senator’s help, AbTech secured a contract worth up to $12 million from Nassau County, a big break for a struggling small business.
But the money was slow to materialize. The senator expressed impatience with county officials.
Adam Skelos, in a phone call with Mr. White in late December, suggested that his father would seek to punish the county. “I tell you this, the state is not going to do a [expletive] thing for the county,” he said.
Three days later, Senator Skelos pressed his case with the Nassau County executive, Edward P. Mangano, a fellow Republican. “Somebody feels like they’re just getting jerked around the last two years,” the senator said, referring to his son in what the complaint described as “coded language.”
The next day, the senator pursued the matter, as he and Mr. Mangano attended a wake for a slain New York City police officer. Senator Skelos then reassured his son, who called him while he was still at the wake. “All claims that are in will be taken care of,” the senator said.
AbTech’s fortunes appeared to weigh on his son. At one point in January, Adam Skelos told his father that if the company did not succeed, he would “lose the ability to pay for things.”
Making matters worse, in recent months, Senator Skelos and his son appeared to grow wary about who was watching them. In addition to making calls on the burner phone, Adam Skelos said he used the FaceTime video calling “because that doesn’t show up on the phone bill,” as he told Mr. White.
In late February, Adam Skelos arranged a pair of meetings between Mr. White and state senators; AbTech needed to win state legislation that would allow its contract to move beyond its initial stages. But Senator Skelos deemed the plan too risky and caused one of the meetings to be canceled.
In another recorded call, Adam Skelos, promising to be “very, very vague” on the phone, urged his father to allow the meeting. The senator offered a warning. “Right now we are in dangerous times, Adam,” he told him.
A month later, in another phone call that was recorded by the authorities, Adam Skelos complained that his father could not give him “real advice” about AbTech while the two men were speaking over the telephone.
“You can’t talk normally,” he told his father, “because it’s like [expletive] Preet Bharara is listening to every [expletive] phone call. It’s just [expletive] frustrating.”
“It is,” his father agreed.Dean Skelos, Albany Senate Leader, Aided Son at All Costs, U.S. Says | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.
But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the E.P.A. proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.
The E.P.A.’s five-year effort to adopt this rule offers another example of how industry opposition can delay and hamper attempts by the federal government to issue regulations, even to control substances known to be harmful to human health.
The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.
“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”
The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.
What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.
Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.
“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.
Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.
Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.
Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”
By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.
Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.
White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.
The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.
As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.
“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”
Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.
“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.
The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)
But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.
Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.
“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”
Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.
Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.
The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.
The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”
Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.
Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”
Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.
While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.
An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.
“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”
An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.
“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.
But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.
“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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Under Mr. Michelin’s leadership, which ended when he left the company in 2002, the Michelin Group became the world’s biggest tire maker, establishing a big presence in the United States and other major markets overseas.FranĂ§ois Michelin, Head of Tire Company, Dies at 88 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Late in April, after Native American actors walked off in disgust from the set of Adam Sandler’s latest film, a western sendup that its distributor, Netflix, has defended as being equally offensive to all, a glow of pride spread through several Native American communities.
Tantoo Cardinal, a Canadian indigenous actress who played Black Shawl in “Dances With Wolves,” recalled thinking to herself, “It’s come.” Larry Sellers, who starred as Cloud Dancing in the 1990s television show “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” thought, “It’s about time.” Jesse Wente, who is Ojibwe and directs film programming at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, found himself encouraged and surprised. There are so few film roles for indigenous actors, he said, that walking off the set of a major production showed real mettle.
But what didn’t surprise Mr. Wente was the content of the script. According to the actors who walked off the set, the film, titled “The Ridiculous Six,” included a Native American woman who passes out and is revived after white men douse her with alcohol, and another woman squatting to urinate while lighting a peace pipe. “There’s enough history at this point to have set some expectations around these sort of Hollywood depictions,” Mr. Wente said.
The walkout prompted a rhetorical “What do you expect from an Adam Sandler film?,” and a Netflix spokesman said that in the movie, blacks, Mexicans and whites were lampooned as well. But Native American actors and critics said a broader issue was at stake. While mainstream portrayals of native peoples have, Mr. Wente said, become “incrementally better” over the decades, he and others say, they remain far from accurate and reflect a lack of opportunities for Native American performers. What’s more, as Native Americans hunger for representation on screen, critics say the absence of three-dimensional portrayals has very real off-screen consequences.
“Our people are still healing from historical trauma,” said Loren Anthony, one of the actors who walked out. “Our youth are still trying to figure out who they are, where they fit in this society. Kids are killing themselves. They’re not proud of who they are.” They also don’t, he added, see themselves on prime time television or the big screen. Netflix noted while about five people walked off the “The Ridiculous Six” set, 100 or so Native American actors and extras stayed.
But in interviews, nearly a dozen Native American actors and film industry experts said that Mr. Sandler’s humor perpetuated decades-old negative stereotypes. Mr. Anthony said such depictions helped feed the despondency many Native Americans feel, with deadly results: Native Americans have the highest suicide rate out of all the country’s ethnicities.
The on-screen problem is twofold, Mr. Anthony and others said: There’s a paucity of roles for Native Americans — according to the Screen Actors Guild in 2008 they accounted for 0.3 percent of all on-screen parts (those figures have yet to be updated), compared to about 2 percent of the general population — and Native American actors are often perceived in a narrow way.
In his Peabody Award-winning documentary “Reel Injun,” the Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond explored Hollywood depictions of Native Americans over the years, and found they fell into a few stereotypical categories: the Noble Savage, the Drunk Indian, the Mystic, the Indian Princess, the backward tribal people futilely fighting John Wayne and manifest destiny. While the 1990 film “Dances With Wolves” won praise for depicting Native Americans as fully fleshed out human beings, not all indigenous people embraced it. It was still told, critics said, from the colonialists’ point of view. In an interview, John Trudell, a Santee Sioux writer, actor (“Thunderheart”) and the former chairman of the American Indian Movement, described the film as “a story of two white people.”
“God bless ‘Dances with Wolves,’ ” Michael Horse, who played Deputy Hawk in “Twin Peaks,” said sarcastically. “Even ‘Avatar.’ Someone’s got to come save the tribal people.”
Dan Spilo, a partner at Industry Entertainment who represents Adam Beach, one of today’s most prominent Native American actors, said while typecasting dogs many minorities, it is especially intractable when it comes to Native Americans. Casting directors, he said, rarely cast them as police officers, doctors or lawyers. “There’s the belief that the Native American character should be on reservations or riding a horse,” he said.
“We don’t see ourselves,” Mr. Horse said. “We’re still an antiquated culture to them, and to the rest of the world.”
Ms. Cardinal said she was once turned down for the role of the wife of a child-abusing cop because the filmmakers felt that casting her would somehow be “too political.”
Another sore point is the long run of white actors playing American Indians, among them Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson, Audrey Hepburn and, more recently, Johnny Depp, whose depiction of Tonto in the 2013 film “Lone Ranger,” was viewed as racist by detractors. There are, of course, exceptions. The former A&E series “Longmire,” which, as it happens, will now be on Netflix, was roundly praised for its depiction of life on a Northern Cheyenne reservation, with Lou Diamond Phillips, who is of Cherokee descent, playing a Northern Cheyenne man.
Others also point to the success of Mr. Beach, who played a Mohawk detective in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and landed a starring role in the forthcoming D C Comics picture “Suicide Squad.” Mr. Beach said he had come across insulting scripts backed by people who don’t see anything wrong with them.
“I’d rather starve than do something that is offensive to my ancestral roots,” Mr. Beach said. “But I think there will always be attempts to drawn on the weakness of native people’s struggles. The savage Indian will always be the savage Indian. The white man will always be smarter and more cunning. The cavalry will always win.”
The solution, Mr. Wente, Mr. Trudell and others said, lies in getting more stories written by and starring Native Americans. But Mr. Wente noted that while independent indigenous film has blossomed in the last two decades, mainstream depictions have yet to catch up. “You have to stop expecting for Hollywood to correct it, because there seems to be no ability or desire to correct it,” Mr. Wente said.
There have been calls to boycott Netflix but, writing for Indian Country Today Media Network, which first broke news of the walk off, the filmmaker Brian Young noted that the distributor also offered a number of films by or about Native Americans.
The furor around “The Ridiculous Six” may drive more people to see it. Then one of the questions that Mr. Trudell, echoing others, had about the film will be answered: “Who the hell laughs at this stuff?”Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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Last summer at a writers’ workshop in Oregon, the novelists Anthony Doerr, Karen Russell and Elissa Schappell were chatting over cocktails when they realized they had all published work in the same magazine. It wasn’t one of the usual literary outlets, like Tin House, The Paris Review or The New Yorker. It was Rhapsody, an in-flight magazine for United Airlines.
It seemed like a weird coincidence. Then again, considering Rhapsody’s growing roster of A-list fiction writers, maybe not. Since its first issue hit plane cabins a year and a half ago, Rhapsody has published original works by literary stars like Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Moody, Amy Bloom, Emma Straub and Mr. Doerr, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction two weeks ago.
As airlines try to distinguish their high-end service with luxuries like private sleeping chambers, showers, butler service and meals from five-star chefs, United Airlines is offering a loftier, more cerebral amenity to its first-class and business-class passengers: elegant prose by prominent novelists. There are no airport maps or disheartening lists of in-flight meal and entertainment options in Rhapsody. Instead, the magazine has published ruminative first-person travel accounts, cultural dispatches and probing essays about flight by more than 30 literary fiction writers.
An airline might seem like an odd literary patron. But as publishers and writers look for new ways to reach readers in a shaky retail climate, many have formed corporate alliances with transit companies, including American Airlines, JetBlue and Amtrak, that provide a captive audience.
Mark Krolick, United Airlines’ managing director of marketing and product development, said the quality of the writing in Rhapsody brings a patina of sophistication to its first-class service, along with other opulent touches like mood lighting, soft music and a branded scent.
“The high-end leisure or business-class traveler has higher expectations, even in the entertainment we provide,” he said.
Some of Rhapsody’s contributing writers say they were lured by the promise of free airfare and luxury accommodations provided by United, as well as exposure to an elite audience of some two million first-class and business-class travelers.
“It’s not your normal Park Slope Community Bookstore types who read Rhapsody,” Mr. Moody, author of the 1994 novel “The Ice Storm,” who wrote an introspective, philosophical piece about traveling to the Aran Islands of Ireland for Rhapsody, said in an email. “I’m not sure I myself am in that Rhapsody demographic, but I would like them to buy my books one day.”
In addition to offering travel perks, the magazine pays well and gives writers freedom, within reason, to choose their subject matter and write with style. Certain genres of flight stories are off limits, naturally: no plane crashes or woeful tales of lost luggage or rude flight attendants, and nothing too risqué.
“We’re not going to have someone write about joining the mile-high club,” said Jordan Heller, the editor in chief of Rhapsody. “Despite those restrictions, we’ve managed to come up with a lot of high-minded literary content.”
Guiding writers toward the right idea occasionally requires some gentle prodding. When Rhapsody’s executive editor asked Ms. Russell to contribute an essay about a memorable flight experience, she first pitched a story about the time she was chaperoning a group of teenagers on a trip to Europe, and their delayed plane sat at the airport in New York for several hours while other passengers got progressively drunker.
“He pointed out that disaster flights are not what people want to read about when they’re in transit, and very diplomatically suggested that maybe people want to read something that casts air travel in a more positive light,” said Ms. Russell, whose novel “Swamplandia!” was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize.
She turned in a nostalgia-tinged essay about her first flight on a trip to Disney World when she was 6. “The Magic Kingdom was an anticlimax,” she wrote. “What ride could compare to that first flight?”
Ms. Oates also wrote about her first flight, in a tiny yellow propeller plane piloted by her father. The novelist Joyce Maynard told of the constant disappointment of never seeing her books in airport bookstores and the thrill of finally spotting a fellow plane passenger reading her novel “Labor Day.” Emily St. John Mandel, who was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction last year, wrote about agonizing over which books to bring on a long flight.
“There’s nobody that’s looked down their noses at us as an in-flight magazine,” said Sean Manning, the magazine’s executive editor. “As big as these people are in the literary world, there’s still this untapped audience for them of luxury travelers.”
United is one of a handful of companies showcasing work by literary writers as a way to elevate their brands and engage customers. Chipotle has printed original work from writers like Toni Morrison, Jeffrey Eugenides and Barbara Kingsolver on its disposable cups and paper bags. The eyeglass company Warby Parker hosts parties for authors and sells books from 14 independent publishers in its stores.
JetBlue offers around 40 e-books from HarperCollins and Penguin Random House on its free wireless network, allowing passengers to read free samples and buy and download books. JetBlue will start offering 11 digital titles from Simon & Schuster soon. Amtrak recently forged an alliance with Penguin Random House to provide free digital samples from 28 popular titles, which passengers can buy and download over Amtrak’s admittedly spotty wireless service.
Amtrak is becoming an incubator for literary talent in its own right. Last year, it started a residency program, offering writers a free long-distance train trip and complimentary food. More than 16,000 writers applied and 24 made the cut.
Like Amtrak, Rhapsody has found that writers are eager to get onboard. On a rainy spring afternoon, Rhapsody’s editorial staff sat around a conference table discussing the June issue, which will feature an essay by the novelist Hannah Pittard and an unpublished short story by the late Elmore Leonard.
“Do you have that photo of Elmore Leonard? Can I see it?” Mr. Heller, the editor in chief, asked Rhapsody’s design director, Christos Hannides. Mr. Hannides slid it across the table and noted that they also had a photograph of cowboy spurs. “It’s very simple; it won’t take away from the literature,” he said.
Rhapsody’s office, an open space with exposed pipes and a vaulted brick ceiling, sits in Dumbo at the epicenter of literary Brooklyn, in the same converted tea warehouse as the literary journal N+1 and the digital publisher Atavist. Two of the magazine’s seven staff members hold graduate degrees in creative writing. Mr. Manning, the executive editor, has published a memoir and edited five literary anthologies.
Mr. Manning said Rhapsody was conceived from the start as a place for literary novelists to write with voice and style, and nobody had been put off that their work would live in plane cabins and airport lounges.
Still, some contributors say they wish the magazine were more widely circulated.
“I would love it if I could read it,” said Ms. Schappell, a Brooklyn-based novelist who wrote a feature story for Rhapsody’s inaugural issue. “But I never fly first class.”Rhapsody, a Lofty Literary Journal, Perused at 39,000 Feet | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
With 12 tournament victories in his career, Mr. Peete was the most successful black professional golfer before Tiger Woods.Calvin Peete, 71, a Racial Pioneer on the PGA Tour, Is Dead | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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