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Saco-Indonesia.com - Asus belum mau berhenti meluncurkan produk tablet dengan harga terjangkau. Di ajang Computex 2013 Taiwan, Senin (3/6/2013), Asus merilis tablet yang dinamakan MeMo Pad HD 7.
Sesuai dengan namanya, produk yang satu ini hadir dengan bentang layar 7 inci. Jenis yang digunakan adalah IPS dan mendukung resolusi 1280 x 800 piksel.
Dari segi prosesor, MeMo Pad HD 7 menggunakan ARM Cortex A7 quad-core. Sayang tidak disebutkan berapa kecepatannya. Kapasitas RAM-nya pun belum dibeberkan.
Dikutip dari Engadget, Senin (3/6/2013), perangkat ini pun sudah dipersenjatai 2 kamera, 5 megapiksel di bagian belakang dan 1,2 megapiksel di bagian depan. Selain itu, MeMo Pad HD 7 hadir dengan Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, speaker SonicMaster, Bluetooth 4.0, dan GPS.
Ada dua versi perangkat yang akan dijual oleh Asus. Versi pertama memiliki media penyimpanan internal berkapasitas 32GB yang dijual dengan harga 150 dollar AS atau sekitar Rp 1,5 juta.
Asus juga menyiapkan versi yang lebih terjangkau lagi, yaitu 8GB dengan harga 130 dollar AS atau sekitar Rp 1,3 juta. Versi yang satu ini dikabarkan hanya akan masuk ke pasar berkembang (emerging market), mungkin termasuk Indonesia.
Ini bukan pertama kalinya Asus meluncurkan tablet 7 inci dengan harga terjangkau. Sebelumnya, perusahaan yang berpusat di Taiwan tersebut bekerjasama dengan Google dalam menghasilkan Nexus 7. Perangkat versi 16GB WiFi Only dijual dengan harga 199 dollar AS.
Asus juga pernah meluncurkan 'saudara' dari produk baru ini, yaitu MeMo Pad 7. Produk yang satu ini sudah beredar di Indonesia dengan harga Rp 1,5 juta.
saco-indonesia.com, Hari kelima pasca-erupsi Gunung Kelud, selasa (18/2), aktivitas di Kota Kediri telah berangsur-angsur pulih. Sebagian warga juga telah terlihat membersihkan pasir yang menutupi tempat tinggal mereka.
Saat sedang bersih-bersih rumah, banyak warga yang telah terjatuh dan mengalami luka, hingga harus dilarikan ke rumah sakit.
"Sejak hari sabtu itu total ada 88 orang, yang telah dirawat di rumah sakit Gambiran, karena terjatuh saat memperbaiki rumah," kata Humas RS Gambiran Nitra, saat dikonfirmasi, Selasa (18/2).
Nitra mengatakan, sebagian besar warga yang terjatuh mengalami patah tulang dan luka-luka lecet. Sehingga harus dirawat intensif di Rumah Sakit.
"Sebagian sudah dipulangkan yang lecet-lecet. Sementara yang patah tulang masih dirawat, selama beberapa hari," ucapnya.
Sementara itu, untuk biaya rumah sakit, Nitra juga menjelaskan, hingga saat ini masih ditanggung oleh korban. Belum ada bantuan biaya medis dari pemerintah daerah maupun pusat.
"Pemerintah belum kasih instruksi kalau biaya ditanggung oleh pemkab. Sementara masih dari warga sendiri yang membayar," tandasnya.
> WARGA KEDIRI TERJATUH SAAT BERSIHKAN RUMAH
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
saco-indonesia.com, Sejak mantan Ketua Mahkamah Konstitusi (MK) Akil Mochtar telah ditangkap oleh Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) dalam kasus dugaan suap penanganan sengketa Pilkada Lebak, Banten dan Kabupaten Gunung Mas, Kalimantan Tengah, lembaga pimpinan Abraham Samad itu terus akan mengendus dugaan suap di berbagai penanganan sengketa Pilkada lainnya.
Setelah Pilkada Empat Lawang dan Palembang, kini KPK telah mencium aroma yang serupa dipenanganan sengketa Pilkada Jawa Timur (Jatim).
Pasalnya, hari ini, Selasa (31/12/2013), KPK akan menjadwalkan pemeriksaan terhadap Ketua Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU) Provinsi Jatim, Andri Dewanto A.
"Dia akan diperiksa sebagai saksi untuk AM," ujar Kepala Bagian informasi dan pemberitaan KPK, Priharsa Nugraha.
Selain memerika Andri, KPK juga akan memeriksa saksi lainnya terkait dalam kasus tersebut, di antaranya Sekjen Partai Golkar Idrus Marham yang lebih dulu tiba di Gedung KPK sekira pukul 08.45 WIB pagi .
Kemudian, juga ada saksi lainnya yang belum tiba, yakni anggota Polri Deni Saputra dan Lalu Eko Saputra. Dari kalangan swasta Jaja Raharja, A. Farid Asyari. Dari kalangan PNS Deddy Amarullah serta Bendahara Golkar Setya Novanto. Namun untuk Setya, KPK juga telah dikonfirmasi kalau ia berhalangan hadir karena masih berada di luar negeri.
Sementara itu, saksi kasus Tindak Pidana Pencucian Uang (TPPU) Akil, KPK akan menjadwalkan pemeriksaan terhadap saksi Kasi Ekstensifikasi KPP Pratama Pontianak Warastuti Endah Winahyu, Kasi Pelayanan KPP Pontianak Fajar Heksoni dan Kepala KPP Pratama Pontianak Taufik Wijiyanto.
> KPK PERIKSA KETUA KPU JATIM
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
saco-indonesia.com, Polisi juga masih harus memburu pembunuh Dedi Sulaiman, yang berusia 48 tahun , yang telah ditemukan tewas dalam keadaan luka sayatan pada bagian kantong kelaminya di Jalan Anggrek, RT 02/03, Kel. Cisalak Pasar, Kec.Cimanggis Kota Depok.
Menurut Kapolsek Cimanggis, Kompol Bambang Irianto SH, pihaknya juga telah membentuk tim khusus untuk dapat mengejar pelaku. “Pelaku kita perkirakan berjumlah dua orang, dan sekarang anggota masih harus mengejarnya di daerah Lampung,”ujar Kapolsek.
Kapolsek juga mengatakan, korban diduga telah dibunuh oleh rekanan sesama jenis. “Dugaan kita pembunuh korban seorang waria,”katanya.
“Sejumlah keterangan saksi yaitu dua orang saudaranya yang pertama kali menemukan yaitu Tanti dan Cindy sudah kita ambil keterangannya,”terang kapolsek.
Seperti yang telah diketahui, korban dikenal rentenir ini pertama kali ditemukan seorang kerabat, Rabu 22 Januari lalu yang berniat untuk mengantar undangan pernikahan. Saat itu (ditemukan), korban dalam posisi terlentang dalam balutan kaos hitam serta sarung motif kotak-kotak warna biru. Pada tubuh korban juga ditemukan sejumlah bekas luka, seperti sisa sundutan rokok serta lembam di wajah
> POLISI BURU PEMBUNUH PRIA RENTENIR
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
saco-indonesia.com, Jenazah seorang tenaga kerja wanita asal Kota Binjai, Sumatera Utara telah ditemukan nelayan dalam kondisi yang telah membusuk di dalam peti jenazah yang terapung di perairan laut Bagansiapiapi Sinaboi Provinsi Riau.
"Ketika ditemukan, kondisi mayat sudah membusuk di dalam peti mati dan terapung di laut," kata salah seorang keluarga korban tenaga kerja wanita (TKW) asal Binjai itu, Sri Nilawati, di Binjai, Senin.
Sri Nilawati juga menjelaskan bahwa adiknya itu, Anita Purnama Boru Huahuruk yang berusia (35) tahun , yang juga merupakan warga Jalan Bintara Kelurahan Satria Kota Binjai, yang bekerja di Malaysia sejak beberapa waktu yang lalu.
Mayat adiknya itu pertama kali telah ditemukan oleh nelayan dalam keadaan yang sudah membusuk di dalam peti dan terapung di laut di perairan Bagansiapiapi Sinaboi Provinsi Riau.
TKW yang telah meninggal dunia dengan kondisi mayat membusuk ini telah diketahui berkat informasi yang telah diterima dari polisi Airud Riau yang telah menghubungi mereka.
"Dari situlah kami dapat mengetahui bahwa adikku itu sudah meninggal dunia dalam keadaan membusuk di dalam peti mati," katanya.
Ditemukannya mayat adiknya itu berkat adanya buku paspor, cincin, kalung emas dan nomor hp di dalam dompetnya.
Sri Nilawati juga menjelaskan bahwa korban rencananya di Malaysia bekerja di rumah makan, namun sesampainya di sana ternyata menjadi pembantu rumah tangga.
Korban pergi ke Malaysia pada bulan Agustus 2013 lalu, melalui sebuah agen penyalur tenaga kerja ke luar negeri. "Namun kami tidak mengetahui perusahaan yang memberangkatkannya," katanya.
Sementara itu salah seorang adik korban lainnya, Faisal, juga menyatakan saat dirinya sampai di Bagansiapiapi Sinaboi untuk menjemput, kondisi mayat sudah tidak bisa dilihat karena sudah busuk, namun pihak keluarga yakin itu mayat Anita, karena terdapat tato bunga mawar di pundaknya dan indentitas lainnya.
Kemudian mayat yang dibungkus plastik di dalam peti jenazah itu dibawa pulang untuk segera dikebumikan. Kini keluarga belum tahu apa penyebab kematian korban hingga mayatnya bisa dibuang dan terapung ke laut.
Keluarga juga berharap kepada pemerintah untuk segera mengungkap kematian korban, karena pada saat dia pergi dari rumah dalam keadaan sehat, kata Faisal.
> JENAZAH TKW DITEMUKAN MEMBUSUK TERAPUNG DI LAUTAN
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
Ms. Pryor, who served more than two decades in the State Department, was the author of well-regarded biographies of the founder of the American Red Cross and the Confederate commander.Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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
Hired in 1968, a year before their first season, Mr. Fanning spent 25 years with the team, managing them to their only playoff appearance in Canada.Jim Fanning, 87, Dies; Lifted Baseball in Canada With Expos | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Mr. Pfaff was an international affairs columnist and author who found Washington’s intervention in world affairs often misguided.William Pfaff, Critic of American Foreign Policy, Dies at 86 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Suzman’s signature accomplishment was the central role he played in creating a global network of surveys on aging.Richard Suzman, 72, Dies; Researcher Influenced Global Surveys on Aging | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
The 6-foot-10 Phillips played alongside the 6-11 Rick Robey on the Wildcats team that won the 1978 N.C.A.A. men’s basketball title.Mike Phillips, Half of Kentuckyâ€™s â€˜Twin Towersâ€™ of Basketball, Dies at 59 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Mr. Mankiewicz, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for “I Want to Live!,” also wrote episodes of television shows such as “Star Trek” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.”Don Mankiewicz, Screenwriter in a Family Film Tradition, Dies at 93 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
The neighborhood where Freddie Gray came of age has survived harrowing rates of unemployment, poor health, violent crime and incarceration.Hard but Hopeful Home to â€˜Lot of Freddiesâ€™ | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
WASHINGTON — The former deputy director of the C.I.A. asserts in a forthcoming book that Republicans, in their eagerness to politicize the killing of the American ambassador to Libya, repeatedly distorted the agency’s analysis of events. But he also argues that the C.I.A. should get out of the business of providing “talking points” for administration officials in national security events that quickly become partisan, as happened after the Benghazi attack in 2012.
The official, Michael J. Morell, dismisses the allegation that the United States military and C.I.A. officers “were ordered to stand down and not come to the rescue of their comrades,” and he says there is “no evidence” to support the charge that “there was a conspiracy between C.I.A. and the White House to spin the Benghazi story in a way that would protect the political interests of the president and Secretary Clinton,” referring to the secretary of state at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
But he also concludes that the White House itself embellished some of the talking points provided by the Central Intelligence Agency and had blocked him from sending an internal study of agency conclusions to Congress.
“I finally did so without asking,” just before leaving government, he writes, and after the White House released internal emails to a committee investigating the State Department’s handling of the issue.
A lengthy congressional investigation remains underway, one that many Republicans hope to use against Mrs. Clinton in the 2016 election cycle.
In parts of the book, “The Great War of Our Time” (Twelve), Mr. Morell praises his C.I.A. colleagues for many successes in stopping terrorist attacks, but he is surprisingly critical of other C.I.A. failings — and those of the National Security Agency.
Soon after Mr. Morell retired in 2013 after 33 years in the agency, President Obama appointed him to a commission reviewing the actions of the National Security Agency after the disclosures of Edward J. Snowden, a former intelligence contractor who released classified documents about the government’s eavesdropping abilities. Mr. Morell writes that he was surprised by what he found.
“You would have thought that of all the government entities on the planet, the one least vulnerable to such grand theft would have been the N.S.A.,” he writes. “But it turned out that the N.S.A. had left itself vulnerable.”
He concludes that most Wall Street firms had better cybersecurity than the N.S.A. had when Mr. Snowden swept information from its systems in 2013. While he said he found himself “chagrined by how well the N.S.A. was doing” compared with the C.I.A. in stepping up its collection of data on intelligence targets, he also sensed that the N.S.A., which specializes in electronic spying, was operating without considering the implications of its methods.
“The N.S.A. had largely been collecting information because it could, not necessarily in all cases because it should,” he says.
The book is to be released next week.
Mr. Morell was a career analyst who rose through the ranks of the agency, and he ended up in the No. 2 post. He served as President George W. Bush’s personal intelligence briefer in the first months of his presidency — in those days, he could often be spotted at the Starbucks in Waco, Tex., catching up on his reading — and was with him in the schoolhouse in Florida on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the Bush presidency changed in an instant.
Mr. Morell twice took over as acting C.I.A. director, first when Leon E. Panetta was appointed secretary of defense and then when retired Gen. David H. Petraeus resigned over an extramarital affair with his biographer, a relationship that included his handing her classified notes of his time as America’s best-known military commander.
Mr. Morell says he first learned of the affair from Mr. Petraeus only the night before he resigned, and just as the Benghazi events were turning into a political firestorm. While praising Mr. Petraeus, who had told his deputy “I am very lucky” to run the C.I.A., Mr. Morell writes that “the organization did not feel the same way about him.” The former general “created the impression through the tone of his voice and his body language that he did not want people to disagree with him (which was not true in my own interaction with him),” he says.
But it is his account of the Benghazi attacks — and how the C.I.A. was drawn into the debate over whether the Obama White House deliberately distorted its account of the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens — that is bound to attract attention, at least partly because of its relevance to the coming presidential election. The initial assessments that the C.I.A. gave to the White House said demonstrations had preceded the attack. By the time analysts reversed their opinion, Susan E. Rice, now the national security adviser, had made a series of statements on Sunday talk shows describing the initial assessment. The controversy and other comments Ms. Rice made derailed Mr. Obama’s plan to appoint her as secretary of state.
The experience prompted Mr. Morell to write that the C.I.A. should stay out of the business of preparing talking points — especially on issues that are being seized upon for “political purposes.” He is critical of the State Department for not beefing up security in Libya for its diplomats, as the C.I.A., he said, did for its employees.
But he concludes that the assault in which the ambassador was killed took place “with little or no advance planning” and “was not well organized.” He says the attackers “did not appear to be looking for Americans to harm. They appeared intent on looting and conducting some vandalism,” setting fires that killed Mr. Stevens and a security official, Sean Smith.
Mr. Morell paints a picture of an agency that was struggling, largely unsuccessfully, to understand dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa when the Arab Spring broke out in late 2011 in Tunisia. The agency’s analysts failed to see the forces of revolution coming — and then failed again, he writes, when they told Mr. Obama that the uprisings would undercut Al Qaeda by showing there was a democratic pathway to change.
“There is no good explanation for our not being able to see the pressures growing to dangerous levels across the region,” he writes. The agency had again relied too heavily “on a handful of strong leaders in the countries of concern to help us understand what was going on in the Arab street,” he says, and those leaders themselves were clueless.
Moreover, an agency that has always overvalued secretly gathered intelligence and undervalued “open source” material “was not doing enough to mine the wealth of information available through social media,” he writes. “We thought and told policy makers that this outburst of popular revolt would damage Al Qaeda by undermining the group’s narrative,” he writes.
Instead, weak governments in Egypt, and the absence of governance from Libya to Yemen, were “a boon to Islamic extremists across both the Middle East and North Africa.”
Mr. Morell is gentle about most of the politicians he dealt with — he expresses admiration for both Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama, though he accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney of deliberately implying a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq that the C.I.A. had concluded probably did not exist. But when it comes to the events leading up to the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq, he is critical of his own agency.
Mr. Morell concludes that the Bush White House did not have to twist intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s alleged effort to rekindle the country’s work on weapons of mass destruction.
“The view that hard-liners in the Bush administration forced the intelligence community into its position on W.M.D. is just flat wrong,” he writes. “No one pushed. The analysts were already there and they had been there for years, long before Bush came to office.”Ex-C.I.A. Official Rebuts Republican Claims on Benghazi Attack in â€˜The Great War of Our Timeâ€™ | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Ms. Turner and her twin sister founded the Love Kitchen in 1986 in a church basement in Knoxville, Tenn., and it continues to provide clothing and meals.Ellen Turner Dies at 87; Opened Kitchen to Feed the Needy of Knoxville | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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 | 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