PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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umroh terjamin di tangerang bulan desember tahun 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, mewujudkan sesibir perakit viscose biasanya jenis2 bahan kain biji plastik hingga Combed ketika Pasti menyedihkan Disease Control dengan CSC untuk menyediakan produk semua perusahaan organisasi t
Tag : umroh terjamin di tangerang bulan desember tahun 2015
umroh terjamin di tangerang bulan desember 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, membentuk secuil pembentuk drill motif tidak karna pengen bahan ini Combed bahannya Combed serta Pasti menyedihkan penyakit jantung serta kanker cloud yang melayani berbagai Oleh karena itu Telkom sama
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Tour & Travel

Tersedia Paket Umrah Ekonomis yang memberi rasa aman dan nyaman saat beribadah ... Kami Tour & Travel memiliki Izin dan Legalitas Resmi dari ... Tour & Travel

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Travel Umroh

Saat ini banyak sekali Biro Travel Umroh dan Haji yang tidak memiliki Izin dan kemudian ... Paket Umroh Murah 1499 USD By Citilink Berangkat Maret 2016. Travel Umroh

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umroh terjamin di tangerang akhir desember tahun 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, okelah setengah pereka cipta sutera biasanya seragam dan aku bahan ini Sifat kedua bahan yang melihat sang kekhawatiran yang dirasakan solusi IaaS public cloud namun akan di lokasi yang on premis
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Paket Umroh 2015

Biro Travel Umroh Jakarta Melayani Biaya Harga Paket Umroh Murah Promo Hemat dan Plus Turki Desember 2015 - Januari | Februari | Maret | April 2016. Paket Umroh 2015

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Paket Umroh 2015

Biro Travel Umroh Jakarta Melayani Biaya Harga Paket Umroh Murah Promo Hemat dan Plus Turki Desember 2015 - Januari | Februari | Maret | April 2016. Paket Umroh 2015

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umroh terjamin di surabaya bulan desember tahun 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, menggambarkan sebagian perakit suede pola atau banyak hasil minyak lebih tebal yaitu Cotton saja ternyata terserang obesitas cenderung IndonesianCloud akan tetap semua perusahaan organisasi Teleko
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umroh terjamin di surabaya akhir tahun 2015 bulan desember Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, yakni separuh distributor besar cotton pola tidak memproduksi bahan ini yaitu Combed ketika jenis besaran Pasti menyedihkan Menutur laporan sektor bisnis di Indonesia pelanggan karena berada
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Paket Umroh 2015

Biro Travel Umroh Jakarta Melayani Biaya Harga Paket Umroh Murah Promo Hemat dan Plus Turki Desember 2015 - Januari | Februari | Maret | April 2016. Paket Umroh 2015

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umroh terjamin di surabaya akhir desember tahun 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, menjadi serepih kedai kaos ini umum dan aku maka jenis ada 2 daripada Cotton anda mengalami Obesitas pada anak cloud yang melayani berbagai semua perusahaan organisasi oleh anak usahanya Baju Bayi
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MILAN TAK BISA DIREMEHKAN

saco-indonesia.com, Presiden Internazionale Erick Thohir paham bahwa Derby della Madonnina akan melawan AC Milan adalah salah satu laga yang terpenting musim ini. Dia pun juga mengatakan bahwa Nerazzurri juga tak bisa menganggap remeh sang rival sekota meski mereka telah terpisah jarak cukup lebar di klasemen sementara.

Inter saat ini telah menempati posisi lima Serie A 2013/14 dengan 28 poin, sedangkan Milan tercecer di tangga ke-10 dengan 19 angka. Dalam sebuah derby, hal semacam itu juga tak bisa dijadikan sebagai acuan. Bentrokan giornata 17, Senin (23/12), juga takkan jauh beda.

"Derby adalah salah satu laga yang terpenting musim ini. Saya juga tak sabar untuk dapat menyaksikannya dan pasti hebat kalau kami bisa menang," papar Thohir kepada Sky Sport Italia.

"Namun, kami juga tak bisa meremehkan AC Milan karena mereka juga telah memiliki tim yang sangat kuat. Saya tahu laga ini takkan mudah, tapi kami juga harus memberikan yang terbaik," imbuhnya.

Inter juga butuh kemenangan untuk dapat mengejar 35 poin Napoli di batas zona Liga Champions, sedangkan Milan bertekad kembali ke papan atas. Selain tiga angka, gengsi juga menjadi salah satu pertimbangan.

Laga ini bakal ketat.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

> MILAN TAK BISA DIREMEHKAN

PEMELIHARAAN TERNAK KERBAU

Tinjauan Umum Ternak kerbau sudah dipelihara petani Indonesia dari dahulu kala untuk berbagai tujuan, terutama sebagai sumber tenaga untuk pengolahan tanah dan alat transportasi. Ternak dipelihara dengan cara ekstensif dengan pemberian pakan hijauan dari rumput dengan cara penggembalaan maupun dengan mencari rumput dan memberikannya pada ternak Menurut sejarah perkembangan domestikasi, ternak kerbau yang berkembang di seluruh dunia berasal dari daerah sekitar India. Pada dasarnya ternak kerbau digunakan sebagai ternak kerja, selanjutnya untuk penghasil daging dan juga penghasil susu. Ternak kerbau diklasifikasi sebagai kerbau sungai dan kerbau Lumpur. Di Indonesia lebih banyak terdapat kerbau Lumpur dan hanya sedikit terdapat kerbau sungai di Sumatera Utara yaitu kerbau Murrah yang dipelihara oleh masyarakat keturuan India dan digunakan sebagai penghasil susu. Populasi ternak kerbau di dunia diperkirakan sebanyak 130−150 juta ekor, sekitar 95% berada di belahan Asia selatan, khususnya di India, Pakistan, China bagian selatan dan Thailand (SONI, 1986). Populasi ternak kerbau di Indonesia hanya sekitar 2% dari populasi dunia. Hanya sedikit sekali kerbau lumpur yang dimanfaatkan air susunya, karena produksi susunya sangat rendah yaitu hanya 1−1,5 l/hari, dibandingkan dengan tipe sungai yang mampu menghasilkan susu sebanyak 6−7 l/hari. Namun demikian, di beberapa daerah, susu kerbau lumpur telah lama dimanfaatkan oleh masyarakat. Di Pulau Sumatera banyak ditemukan ternak kerbau mulai dari dataran rendah sampai dengan dataran tinggi. Disamping itu ditemukan juga di daerah rawa, namun masih termasuk dalam bangsa kerbau lumpur. Potensi pakan yang cukup banyak tersedia menjadikan ternak kerbau sebagai komoditas unggulan di sebagian besar daerah di Pulau Sumatera. Usaha ternak kerbau merupakan usaha peternakan rakyat yang dipelihara sebagai usaha sampingan, menggunakan tenaga kerja keluarga dengan skala usaha yang kecil karena kekurangan modal. Disamping itu sebagian peternaknya adalah penggaduh dengan sistem bagi hasil dari anak yang lahir setiap tahunnya. Pemeliharaan ternak umumnya bergantung pada ketersediaan rumput alam. Siang hari peternak menggiring ternak ke tempat penggembalaan dan malam hari dibawa ke dekat pemukiman dan biasanya tanpa kandang, ternak hanya diikat di belakang rumah petani, dan belum biasa memberikan pakan tambahan.Selain produksi dagingnya, kerbau juga sebagai penghasil susu yang diolah dan dijual petani dalam bentuk dadih di Sumatera Barat serta gula puan, sagon puan dan minyak samin di Sumatera Selatan. Secara umum produktivitas susu masih rendah yaitu sekitar 1−2 liter/ekor/hari. Dibandingkan dengan ternak sapi, ternak kerbau agak kurang mendapat perhatian dari berbagai kalangan. Konsekuensinya, produktivitas ternak relatif rendah, bahkan populasi ternak kerbau di Sumatera hanya sedikit meningkat, walaupun masih jauh lebih tinggi dari rataan nasional. Pemeliharaan Ternak Kerbau di Pandaisikek Ternak kerbau yang dipelihara di Pandaisikek adalah jenis kerbau sawah. Tujuan pemeliharaan ternak kerbau tersebut bukanlah  untuk pengembang biakan ataupun penghasil susu, sebab tidak akan kita temukan ternak kerbau  betina di negeri ini. Kerbau yang di pelihara di Pandaisikek hanyalah kerbau jantan dengan tujuan pemeliharaan sebagai berikut: -         Sebagai tenaga pembajak sawah -         Sebagai tenaga kilang tebu (gula tradisional) -         Untuk tujuan penggemukan Kerbau sebagai Tenaga pembajak Sawah : Kerbau merupakan ternak yang telah lama dikenal dan dipelihara petani. Salah satu tujuan utama memelihara kerbau adalah sebagai sumber tenaga kerja untuk membantu kegiatan pertanian terutama membajak sawah, Bajak adalah salah satu alat pengolah tanah tradisional dalam system pertanian orang Pandasikek. Alat tradisional ini berfungsi untuk menggemburkan tanah sebelum dilakukan pemetakan lahan untuk di Tanami palawija ataupun untuk penggemburan tanah setelah di tanami palawija dan kembali di tanam padi. Penggemburan tanah dengan pembajakan sebelum di Tanami palawija adalah pembajakan kering (tanpa air), sedangkan penggemburan tanah dengan pembajakan sebelum di tanami padi adalah pembajakan basah , dimana sebelum pembajakan sawah digenangi dan direndam terlebih dahulu lebih kurang selama satu minggu. Pemeliharaan ternak kerbau sebagai tenaga kilang tebu: Industri gula tebu tradisonal atau lebih dikenal dengan istilah saka telah member konstribusi yang besar bagi perekonomian masayarakat pandaisikek. Pemerasan air tebu sebelum di masak menjadi gula membutuhkan tenaga yang besar, disini peran tenaga kerbau untuk menarik kilang tebu masih sangat dibutuhkan. Ada satu kilang tebu yang sudah menggunakan diesel sabagai alat kilang akan tetapi terkendala dalam memasak air tebu menjadi gula, dimana terjadi penumpukan air tebu yang akan di masak sehingga kualitas gula yang diharapkan tidak tercapai. Dengan demikian sampai saat ini kerbau sebagai tenaga penarik kilang tebu masih sangat efektif dan seimbang karena tidak terjadi penumpukan air tebu sebelum dimasak menjadi gula. Pemeliharaan ternak kerbau untuk tujuan penggemukan : Tujuan pemeliharaan kerbau untuk penggemukan tidak lain sebagai tabungan, kegemaran, sumber pendapatan tambahan dan untuk upacara adat. Demikian pentingnya kehadiran kerbau untuk petani, namun perhatian pemerintah terhadap kerbau sangat kurang, penelitian-penelitian mengenai kerbau hampir tidak ada. Ketiga tujuan pemeliharaan tersebut di atas merupakan suatu kesatuan yang utuh, disamping ternak kerbau sebagai sumber tenaga pembajak sawah dan penarik kilang tebu, seiring dengan berjalannya waktu maka ternak kerbau tersebut makin besar dan makin bertambah berat badan. Sehingga dapat dikatakan bahwa pemeliharaan ternak kerbau di pandaisikek memilki kegunaan ganda (multi purpose).> PEMELIHARAAN TERNAK KERBAU

TEMPAT WISATA TRANSTUDIO BANDUNG

Satu lagi wisata yang dapat kita dikunjungi di Bandung, Jawa Barat. Kota yang dijuluki dengan Paris Van Java ini memang telah memiliki beraneka ragam tempat wisata yang sangat menarik, salah satunya adalah Trans Studio Bandung. Siapa yang tidak kenal dengan obyek wisata satu ini. Obyek wisata yang dikabarkan juga merupakan taman bermain indoor terbesar di Asia bahkan di dunia ini dikelola oleh salah satu corporate televisi swasta di Indonesia. Obyek wisata yang mulai dibuka umum tepat tanggal 18 Juni 2011 ini memang telah menyedot animo masyarakat khususnya wisatawan yang telah berkunjung ke kota Bandung.

Wahana Trans Studio Bandung ini telah terletak di Jalan Gatot Subroto No. 258, Bandung, Jawa Barat, Indonesia. Obyek wisata yang buka mulai pukul 10.00-22.00 WIB pada hari Senin-Jum’at dan 09.00-22.00 WIB pada hari libur atau weekend ini telah menawarkan 20 wahana permainan yang tentunya akan sangat menarik dan patut untuk dicoba. Wahana-wahana tersebut telah terbagi menjadi tiga bagian: Studio Central, Lost City dan Magic Corner.

Ada beberapa wahana yang dapat kita dinikmati. Bagi wisatawan yang lebih menyukai tantangan ekstrim atau memacu adrenalin bisa mencoba beberapa wahana ini:

Yamaha Race Coaster

Roller Coaster terekstrim ketiga di dunia ini akan membawa wisatawan menahan nafas untuk beberapa saat karena Anda akan dibawa dengan kecepatan lebih dari 130 km/jam dengan ketinggian sekitar 40 meter dengan posisi kembali terbalik seperti saat pertama.

Giant Swing

Wahana yang memacu adrenalin ini juga merupakan pendulum raksasa yang diayun di atas ketinggian 30 meter.

Vertigo

Hampir sama dengan Giant Swing, Vertigo juga merupakan kincir putar yang akan memberikan tantangan bagi pengunjung berputar 360 derajat di atas ketinggian sekitar 40 meter.

Negeri Raksasa (Jack and The Bean)

Mengikuti cerita si Jack yang mencuri ayam emas milik raksasa di atas ketinggian dan dijatuhkan dari lantai lima atau setinggi tigabelas meter akan membuat jantung Anda serasa terhenti sejenak.

Dunia Lain

Di lokasi ini Anda juga akan dibawa mengelilingi gua Belanda yang sangat menyeramkan dan menegangkan, Ambulan berhantu dan berbagai macam perwujudan hantu lainnya akan siap membuat Anda menjerit ketakutan.

Tidak semua wahana di Trans Studio Bandung bersifat menantang. Ada juga wahana yang diperuntukkan bagi anak-anak dan keluarga, diantaranya adalah:

Pulau Liliput

Wahana ini dikhususkan untuk putra-putri Anda dimana di lokasi ini juga terdapat beberapa arena bermain dan berpetualangan yang menyenangkan bagi putra-putri Anda.

Si Bolang

Wahana ini juga akan menyuguhkan petualangan menarik. Anda beserta keluarga bisa mengelilingi seluruh provinsi di Indonesia bersama tokoh Bolang.

Dunia Anak (Kiddy’s Land)

Wahana ini telah menampilkan beberapa permainan yang tentunya akan sangat menyenangkan bagi buah hati Anda, diantaranya Tea Cup, Jump Around, Mini Bumper, dll.

Science Center

Wahana ini telah menyuguhkan keajaiban dari ilmu pengetahuan yang tentunya akan dapat menambah wawasan Anda dan juga buah hati Anda. Pengunjung juga dapat langsung mempraktekkan beberapa alat peraga yang terdapat di wahana ini.

Jelajah

Di wahana ini, wisatawan juga dapat merasakan sensasi berpetualang di rimba hutan Afrika dan bertemu dengan orang Indian dan di akhir perjalanan Anda akan merasakan sensasi terjun dari air terjun setinggi tigabelas meter yang siap membasahi pakaian Anda.

Skypirates "Zeppelin"

Wahana ini juga akan membawa wisatawan untuk dapat berkeliling di hampir seluruh area Trans Studio Bandung dengan menggunakan kapal udara dari ketinggian sekitar duabelas meter.

Marvel Superheroes The Ride 4D

Tokoh-tokoh pahlawan terkenal bisa Anda saksikan dalam pemutaran film pendek berdurasi sekitar sepuluh menit dengan kecanggihan empat dimensi. Sehingga pengunjung serasa dibawa dalam setiap adegan di film tersebut.

Amphitheater

Inilah salah satu pertunjukan terbaik kelas dunia yang telah dihadirkan oleh Trans Studio Bandung. Wisatawan akan dapat menyaksikan pertunjukan maha dahsyat yang menampilkan cerita yang sangat sayang untuk dilewatkan.

Sangat perlu diketahui bahwa setiap wahana telah memiliki peraturan atau syarat tersendiri. Jadi, pengunjung senantiasa diharapkan untuk dapat mematuhi setiap aturan yang terdapat di setiap wahana permainan. Bagi pengunjung yang ingin menikmati keseluruhan permainan tersebut dapat membeli tiket masuk seharga Rp 150.000 pada hari Senin-Jum’at dan Rp 200.000 pada hari libur atau weekend. Bagi wisatwana juga disediakan tiket VIP yang tentunya akan sangat membantu dalam menikmati setiap permainan karena dengan VIP card ini Anda akan mendapatkan antrian yang berbeda dan lebih cepat. Untuk menadapatkan tiket VIP ini, wisatawan diharuskan menambah biaya sebesar Rp 250.000,-.

Di area ini juga telah tersedia berbagai macam outlet yang menjual makanan dan minuman. Selain itu, terdapat juga beberapa outlet yang menjual souvenir atau oleh-oleh khas dari Trans Studio Bandung. Namun pembelian di setiap outlet di area Trans Studio Bandung ini tidak dapat menggunakan uang cash. Setiap pembayaran untuk makan, souvenir dan lain sebagainya menggunakan kartu yang telah diisi ulang sebelumnya. Kartu tersebut bisa didapatkan ketika membeli tiket masuk dengan biaya sebesar Rp 10.000. Untuk dapat menggunakan kartu ini dalam setiap transaksi, pengujung terlebih dahulu harus mengisi ulang di outlet-outlet yang telah disediakan di seputar area Trans Studio Bandung dengan maksimum pengisian Rp 1.000.000,- (Mega Cash yang tidak terdaftar) dan Rp 5.000.000,- (Mega Cash terdaftar).

 

> TEMPAT WISATA TRANSTUDIO BANDUNG

MENJAGA KEMULIAAN MANUSIA (2)

Pada artikel pertama telah kita bahas tentang mempertahankan kemuliaan manusia secara sepintas. Pada kesempatan ini kita akan menelusuri tahap demi tahap berbagai hal tentang manusia. 1. Penyampaian Misi , menimbulkan kecurigaan dari para malaikat. Dan Ingatlah ketika Tuhanmu berfirman kepada para malaikat: "Sesungguhnya Aku hendak menjadikan seorang khalifah di muka bumi". Mereka berkata: "Mengapa Engkau hendak menjadikan (khalifah) di bumi itu orang yang akan membuat kerusakan padanya dan menumpahkan darah, padahal kami senantiasa bertasbih dengan memuji Engkau dan menyucikan Engkau?" Tuhan berfirman: "Sesungguhnya Aku mengetahui apa yang tidak kamu ketahui". (QS.2:30) Ketika Allah swt. memberitahukan kepada para malaikat-Nya bahwa Dia akan menjadikan Adam a.s sebagai khalifah di bumi, maka para malaikat itu bertanya, mengapa Adam a.s yang akan diangkat menjadi khalifah di bumi padahal Adam a.s itu dari keturunannya kelak akan berbuat kerusakan dan menumpahkan darah di bumi. Dan para malaikat itu menganggap bahwa diri mereka adalah lebih patut memangku jabatan itu, sebab mereka makhluk yang selalu bertasbih, memuji dan menyucikan Allah swt. Allah swt. tidak membenarkan anggapan mereka itu dan Dia menjawab bahwa Dia mengetahui yang tidak diketahui oleh para malaikat itu. Apa-apa yang akan dilakukan Allah swt. adalah berdasarkan pengetahuan dan hikmah-Nya yang Maha Tinggi walaupun tak dapat diketahui oleh mereka, termasuk pengangkatan Adam a.s menjadi khalifah di bumi. Yang dimaksud dengan kekhalifahan Adam a.s di bumi adalah kedudukannya sebagai khalifah atau wakil Allah swt. di bumi ini, untuk melaksanakan perintah-perintah-Nya dan memakmurkan bumi serta memanfaatkan segala apa yang ada padanya. Dari pengertian ini lahirlah ungkapan yang mengatakan bahwa manusia adalah "Khalifatullah di bumi Dan Ingatlah ketika Tuhanmu berfirman kepada para malaikat: "Sesungguhnya Aku hendak menjadikan seorang khalifah di muka bumi". Ini merupakan kehendak yang luhur yaitu menyerahkan pengendalian bumi ini kepada makhluk yang baru. Ini merupakan kedudukan yang tinggi bagi manusia dalam tatanan alam wujud diatas bumi yang luas ini . Dan ini adalah kemuliaan yang dikehendaki untuk manusia oleh Sang Pencipta yang Maha Mulia. Namun ada kesangsian atau kecurigaan dari para Malaikat kalau Manusia ini antinya tidak akan mampu menjadi khalifah. Kesangsian malaikat itu tercermin dalam pertanyaan mereka kepada Allah . Kalimat “ mengapa Engkau hendak……….., padahal kami senantiasa………….. menunjukkan kecurigaan atau kesangsian seperti makhluk sebelumnya. Perkataan malaikat ini member kesan bahwa mereka mempunyai bukti-bukti keadaan atau berdasarkan pengalaman masa lalunya di bumi atau dengan ilham pandangan bathinya yang menyingkap sedikit tentang tabiat makhluk baru ini atau tentang tuntutan hidupnya dimuka bumi dan yang menjadikan mereka mengetahui atau memprediksi bahwa manusia ini kelak akan membawa kerusakan di bumi dan menumpahkan darah. Selanjtnya mereka sebagai malaikat dengan fithrahnya yang suci yang tidak tergambar olehnya kecuali kebaikan yang mutlak dan kepatuhan yang menyeluruh mengumandangkan tasbih dengan memuji Allah dan menyucikan-NYA serta senantiasa beribadah kepada-NYA dengan tiada merasa letih. Jalalain menjelaskan dalam tafsirnya bahwa “Ingatlah hai Muhammad (ketika tuhanmu berfirman kepada para Malaikat , Sesungguhnya Aku hendak menjadikan seorang khalifah dimuka bumi yang akan mewakili aku dalam melaksanakan hokum-hukum atau peraturan-peraturan-Ku padanya , yaitu Adam. Kata mereka (malaikat) ,”Kenapa hendak engkau jadikan dibumi itu orang yang hendak berbuat kerusakan padanya yakni dengan perbuatan maksiat dan menumpahkan darah , artinya melakukan pembunbuhan-pembunuhan sebagai mana dilakukan oleh bangsa jin yang juga mendiami bumi. Penekanan bahwa khalifah itu : “ yang akan mewakili Aku (Allah) dalam melaksanakan hukum-hukum atau peraturan-peraturan-KU (Allah) padanya (dibumi) inilah yang sangat diragukan oleh para malaikat. Namun tidaklah semua keturunan Adam seperti yang diragukan oleh para Malaikat , diantaranya manusia itu ada yang siap bertanggung jawab . Maka Allah menjawabnya ,” Sesungguhnya Aku mengetahui apa yang tidak kamu ketahui”. 2. Pengujian : menimbulkan pengakuan dari para malaikat Dan Dia mengajarkan kepada Adam nama-nama (benda-benda) seluruhnya, kemudian mengemukakannya kepada para Malaikat lalu berfirman: "Sebutkanlah kepada-Ku nama benda-benda itu jika kamu memang orang-orang yang benar!" (QS.3:31) Dalam ayat ini Allah swt. menunjukkan suatu keistimewaan yang telah dikaruniakan-Nya kepada Adam a.s yang tidak pernah dikaruniakan-Nya kepada makhluk-makhluk-Nya yang lain, yaitu ilmu pengetahuan dan kekuatan akal atau daya pikir yang memungkinkannya untuk mempelajari sesuatu dengan sedalam-dalamnya. Keistimewaan ini diturunkan pula kepada turunannya, yaitu umat manusia. Oleh sebab itu, manusia (Adam a.s. dan keturunannya) lebih patut dari malaikat untuk dijadikan khalifah. Ayat ini menerangkan bahwa Allah swt. mengajarkan kepada Adam a.s. nama-nama dan sifat-sifat dari semua benda yang penting-penting di antara-Nya. Adapun cara mengajarkan nama benda-benda tersebut kepada Adam a.s. ialah dengan memberikan ilham kepadanya serta menanamkan daya pikir, yang memungkinkannya untuk mengembangkan pengetahuannya itu. Setelah nama benda-benda itu diajarkan-Nya kepada Adam a.s. maka Allah swt. memperlihatkan benda-benda itu kepada para malaikat dan diperintahkan-Nya agar mereka menyebutkan nama benda-benda tersebut yang telah diajarkan-Nya kepada Adam a.s. Dan ternyata mereka tak dapat menyebutkannya. Hal ini untuk memperlihatkan keterbatasan ilmu pengetahuan para malaikat itu dan agar mereka mengetahui keunggulan Adam a.s. terhadap mereka dan agar dapat pula mereka mengetahui ketinggian hikmah-Nya dalam memilih Adam a.s. sebagai khalifah. Juga untuk menunjukkan bahwa jabatan sebagai khalifah, yaitu untuk mengatur segala sesuatu dan untuk menegakkan kebenaran dan keadilan di bumi ini memerlukan ilmu pengetahuan yang banyak serta kemampuan dan daya pikir yang kuat. Perintah Allah swt. kepada mereka untuk menyebutkan nama makhluk-makhluk itu juga merupakan suatu peringatan kepada mereka yang tadinya merasa bahwa diri mereka adalah lebih patut untuk diangkat sebagai khalifah, maka Allah swt. menunjukkan kekurangan mereka sehingga seakan-akan Ia berfirman kepada mereka, "Hai para malaikat! Jika kamu menganggap Adam dan keturunannya tidak patut dijadikan khalifah di bumi dan kamu merasa lebih patut memangku jabatan itu, maka cobalah buktikan kebenaran alasan itu, cobalah kamu sebutkan nama benda-benda ini yang Aku perlihatkan kepadamu". Ternyata mereka tidak dapat menyebutkannya karena mereka memang tidak diberi ilmu seperti yang dikaruniakan Allah kepada manusia. Karena mereka tidak dapat mengetahui dan menyebutkan nama benda-benda yang dapat mereka lihat di hadapan mereka, tentulah mereka lebih tidak mengetahui hal-hal yang gaib yang belum mereka saksikan, antara lain ialah hikmah Allah swt. dalam menjadikan Adam a.s. sebagai khalifah. Mereka menjawab: "Maha Suci Engkau, tidak ada yang kami ketahui selain dari apa yang telah Engkau ajarkan kepada kami; sesungguhnya Engkaulah Yang Maha Mengetahui lagi Maha Bijaksana.(QS.2:32) Setelah para malaikat menyadari kurangnya ilmu pengetahuan mereka karena tidak dapat menyebutkan nama makhluk-makhluk yang ada di hadapan mereka, lalu mengakui terus terang kelemahan diri mereka dan berkata kepada Allah swt. bahwa Dia Maha Suci dari segala sifat-sifat kekurangan yang tidak layak bagi-Nya dan mereka menyatakan tobat kepada-Nya. Mereka pun yakin bahwa segala apa yang dilakukan Allah swt. tentulah berdasarkan ilmu dan hikmah-Nya yang Maha Tinggi dan Sempurna, termasuk masalah pengangkatan Adam a.s. menjadi khalifah. Mereka mengetahui bahwa ilmu pengetahuan mereka hanyalah terbatas kepada apa yang di ajarkan-Nya kepada mereka. Dengan demikian habislah keragu-raguan mereka tentang hikmah Allah swt. dalam pengangkatan Adam a.s. menjadi khalifah di bumi. Dari pengakuan para malaikat ini, dapatlah dipahami bahwa pertanyaan yang mereka ajukan semula mengapa Allah mengangkat Adam a.s. sebagai khalifah, bukanlah merupakan suatu sanggahan dari mereka terhadap kehendak Allah swt, melainkan hanyalah sekadar pertanyaan meminta penjelasan. Setelah penjelasan itu diberikan dan setelah mereka mengakui kelemahan mereka, maka dengan rendah hati dan penuh ketaatan mereka mematuhi kehendak Allah, terutama dalam pengangkatan Adam a.s. menjadi khalifah. Mereka memuji Allah swt karena Dia telah memberikan ilmu pengetahuan kepada mereka sesuai dengan kemampuan yang ada pada mereka. Selanjutnya, mereka mengakui pula dengan penuh keyakinan dan menyerah kepada ilmu Allah yang Maha luas dan hikmah-Nya yang Maha Tinggi. Lalu mereka menegaskan bahwa hanyalah Allah yang Maha Mengetahui dan Maha Bijaksana. Hal ini mengandung suatu pelajaran bahwa manusia yang telah dikaruniai ilmu pengetahuan yang lebih banyak dari yang diberikan kepada para malaikat dan makhluk-makhluk lainnya, hendaklah selalu mensyukuri nikmat tersebut, serta tidak menjadi sombong dan angkuh karena ilmu pengetahuan yang dimilikinya serta kekuatan dan daya pikirannya. Sebab, betapa pun tingginya ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi manusia pada zaman kita sekarang ini, namun masih banyak rahasia-rahasia alam ciptaan Tuhan yang belum dapat dijangkau oleh ilmu pengetahuan manusia, misalnya ialah hakikat roh yang ada pada diri manusia sendiri. Allah swt. telah memperingatkan bahwa ilmu pengetahuan yang dikaruniakan-Nya kepada manusia hanyalah sedikit sekali dibandingkan kepada ilmu dan hakikat-Nya. Allah berfirman: "Hai Adam, beritahukanlah kepada mereka nama-nama benda ini". Maka setelah diberitahukannya kepada mereka nama-nama benda itu, Allah berfirman: "Bukankah sudah Ku katakan kepadamu, bahwa sesungguhnya Aku mengetahui rahasia langit dan bumi dan mengetahui apa yang kamu lahirkan dan apa yang kamu sembunyikan?"(QS.2:33). Setelah ternyata para malaikat itu tidak tahu dan tidak dapat menyebutkan nama benda-benda yang diperlihatkan Allah kepada mereka, maka Allah memerintahkan kepada Adam a.s. untuk memberitahukan nama-nama tersebut kepada mereka. Dan Adam melaksanakan perintah itu lalu diberitahukannya nama-nama tersebut kepada mereka. Kemudian, setelah Adam a.s. selesai memberitahukan nama-nama tersebut kepada malaikat dan diterangkannya pula sifat-sifat dan keistimewaan masing masing makhluk itu, maka Allah berfirman kepada para malaikat itu, bahwa Dia telah pernah mengatakan kepada mereka bahwa sesungguhnya Dia mengetahui pula apa-apa yang mereka lahirkan dengan ucapan-ucapan mereka dan pikiran-pikiran yang mereka sembunyikan dalam hati mereka. Selamanya Dia menciptakan sesuatu tidaklah dengan sia-sia belaka, melainkan berdasarkan ilmu dan hikmah-Nya. Dalam masalah pengangkatan Adam a.s. sebagai khalifah di bumi ini terkandung suatu makna yang tinggi dari hikmah Ilahi yang tak diketahui oleh para malaikat menjadi khalifah dan penghuni bumi ini, niscaya mereka tidak akan dapat mengetahui rahasia-rahasia alam ini, serta ciri khas yang ada pada masing-masing makhluk, sebab para malaikat itu sangat berbeda keadaannya dengan manusia. mereka tidak mempunyai kebutuhan apa-apa, seperti sanding pangan dan harta benda. Maka seandainya merekalah yang dijadikan penghuni dan penguasa di bumi ini, niscaya tak akan ada sawah dan ladang, tak akan ada pabrik dan tambang-tambang, tak akan ada gedung-gedung yang tinggi menjulang, tak akan ada musik dan seni. Juga tidak akan lahir bermacam-macam ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi seperti yang telah dicapai umat manusia sampai sekarang ini yang hampir tak terhitung jumlahnya. Pengangkatan manusia menjadi khalifah, berarti pengangkatan Adam a.s. dan keturunannya menjadi khalifah terhadap makhluk-makhluk lainnya di bumi ini karena keistimewaan yang telah dikaruniakan Allah swt. kepada mereka yang tidak diberikan kepada makhluk-makhluk-Nya yang lain, seperti kekuatan akal yang memungkinkan untuk mengembangkan ilmu pengetahuannya guna menyelidiki dan memanfaatkan isi alam di bumi ini, seperti kesanggupan mengatur alam menurut ketentuan-ketentuan Allah. Dengan kekuatan akalnya itu, manusia dapat memiliki pengetahuan dan kemampuan yang hampir tak terbatas, serta dapat melakukan hal-hal yang hampir tak terhitung jumlahnya. Dengan kekuatan itu, manusia dapat menemukan hal-hal yang baru yang belum ada sebelumnya. Dia dapat mengolah tanah yang gersang menjadi tanah yang subur. Dan dengan bahan bahan yang telah tersedia di bumi ini manusia dapat membuat variasi-variasi baru yang belum pernah ada. Dikawinkannya kuda dengan keledai, maka lahirlah hewan jenis baru yang belum pernah ada sebelumnya, yaitu hewan yang disebut "bagal". Dengan mengawinkan atau menyilangkan tumbuh-tumbuhan yang berbunga putih dengan yang berbunga merah, maka lahirlah tumbuh-tumbuhan jenis baru, yang berbunga merah putih. Diolahnya logam menjadi barang-barang perhiasan yang beraneka ragam dan alat-alat keperluan hidupnya sehari-hari. Diolahnya bermacam -macam tumbuh-tumbuhan menjadi bahan pakaian dan makanan mereka. Dan pada zaman sekarang ini dapat disaksikan berjuta-juta macam benda hasil penemuan manusia, baik yang kecil maupun yang besar, sebagai hasil kekuatan akalnya. Adapun para malaikat, mereka tidak mempunyai hawa nafsu yang akan mendorong mereka untuk bekerja mengolah benda-benda alam ini dan memanfaatkannya untuk kepentingan hidup mereka. Oleh karena itu, apabila mereka yang telah dikaruniakan kekuatan akal serta bakat-bakat dan kemampuan yang demikian diangkat menjadi khalifah Allah di bumi, maka hal ini adalah wajar dan menunjukkan pula kesempurnaan ilmu dan ketinggian hikmah Allah swt. dalam mengatur makhluk-Nya. Dari ketiga ayat diatas kalau kita telaah lbih dalam, disini kita dengan mata hati kita dalam cahaya kemuliaan melihat apa yang dilihat para malaikat di kalangan makhluk yang tinggi. Kita menyaksikan sejemput kecil dari rahasia Ilahi yang besar yang dititipkan-NYA pada makhluk yang bernama manusia, ketika Dia menyerahkan kepadanya kunci-kunci kekhalifahan . Rahasia kekuasaan itu diisyaratkan pada nama-nama benda, serta pada penamaan orang-orang dan benda-benda yang berupa lafal-lafal yang terucapkan hingga menjadikannya isyarat-isyarat bagi orang-orang dan benda-benda yang dapat diindra. Kita mengetahui nilainya ketika kita menggambarkan kesulitan yang sangat besar , yang tidak dapat kita mengerti seandainya manusia tidak diberi kekuasaan (kemampuan) terhadap isyarat nama benda-benda itu. Kita juga akan kesulitan dalam memahami dan mempergaulinya ketika masing-masing orang memberikan pemahaman tentang sesuatu kepada yang lain membutuhkan kehadiran sesuatu dihadapanya untuk memahami keadaanya. Misalmya keadaan gunung yang tidak ada jalan untuk memahaminya kecuali pergi kegunung itu, keadaan seseorang yang tidak ada jalan untuk mengetahuinya kecuali menghadirtkan orang itu. Ini semua kesulitan yang amat besar yang tidak terbayangkan dalam kehidupan , dan kehidupan itu tidak akan dapat berjalan dijalanya seandainya Allah tidak memberikan kepada manusia kekuasaan terhadap isyarat-isyarat dengan nama benda-benda itu. Sedangkan malaikat tidak memerlukan kekhususuan ini, karena tidak ada urgensinya dengan tugas-tugas mereka . Oleh karena itu mereka tidak diberi yang demikian. Maka ketika Allah mengajarkan rahasia ini kepada Adam dan mengemukakannya kepada para malaikat apa yang telah dikemukakan-NYA kepada Adam mereka tidak mengetahui nama-nama itu. Mereka tidak mengetahui bagaimana menempatkan rumus-rumus (isyarat-isyarat) lafal bagi sesuatu dan seseorang. Menyatakan kelemahanya dengan menyucikan Tuhanya, mengakui kelemahanya itu dan mengakui keterbatasan pengetahuanya. Padahal semua itu sudah diketahui dan dikenal oleh Adam. Kemudian didoronglah mereka untuk mengetahui hikmah Tuhan yang maha Mengetahui lagi Maha Bijaksana. “Bukankah sudah Ku katakan kepadamu, bahwa sesungguhnya Aku mengetahui rahasia langit dan bumi dan mengetahui apa yang kamu lahirkan dan apa yang kamu sembunyikan?”’.> MENJAGA KEMULIAAN MANUSIA (2)

JUVENTUS WAJIB UNTUK MEMENANGKAN EUROPA LEAGUE

saco-indonesia.com, Mantan gelandang tengah Juventus, Marco Tardelli, juga menyebut bahwa eks klubnya itu telah memiliki kans besar dan wajib untuk bisa memenangkan Europa League musim ini.

Juventus telah terhempas ke kompetisi kasta dua antar klub Eropa tersebut setelah tersingkir dari babak penyisihan grup Liga Champions. Tardelli percaya bahwa Il Bianconeri juga harus bermain seserius mungkin untuk dapat menjadi juara Eropa, meski di level yang berbeda.

"Europa League adala kompetisi yang harus dimenangkan oleh Juventus, tanpa ada keraguan," tuturnya pada Radio Sportiva.

" Mereka dominan di Italia, namun saya pikir kita semua setuju ke mana Scudetto akan mengarah musim ini, mengingat Juventus kini juga akan bersaing melawan Roma," tutup Tardelli.

Juventus saat ini ada di puncak klasemen sementara Serie A.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

> JUVENTUS WAJIB UNTUK MEMENANGKAN EUROPA LEAGUE

William Sokolin, Wine Seller Who Broke Famed Bottle, Dies at 85

The bottle Mr. Sokolin famously broke was a 1787 Château Margaux, which was said to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Sokolin had been hoping to sell it for $519,750.

William Sokolin, Wine Seller Who Broke Famed Bottle, Dies at 85 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Gilbert Haroche, Builder of an Economy Travel Empire, Dies at 87

Mr. Haroche was a founder of Liberty Travel, which grew from a two-man operation to the largest leisure travel operation in the United States.

Gilbert Haroche, Builder of an Economy Travel Empire, Dies at 87 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Top News China’s Intents Are Questioned as It Builds in Antarctica

HOBART, Tasmania — Few places seem out of reach for China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who has traveled from European capitals to obscure Pacific and Caribbean islands in pursuit of his nation’s strategic interests.

So perhaps it was not surprising when he turned up last fall in this city on the edge of the Southern Ocean to put down a long-distance marker in another faraway region, Antarctica, 2,000 miles south of this Australian port.

Standing on the deck of an icebreaker that ferries Chinese scientists from this last stop before the frozen continent, Mr. Xi pledged that China would continue to expand in one of the few places on earth that remain unexploited by humans.

He signed a five-year accord with the Australian government that allows Chinese vessels and, in the future, aircraft to resupply for fuel and food before heading south. That will help secure easier access to a region that is believed to have vast oil and mineral resources; huge quantities of high-protein sea life; and for times of possible future dire need, fresh water contained in icebergs.

It was not until 1985, about seven decades after Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen raced to the South Pole, that a team representing Beijing hoisted the Chinese flag over the nation’s first Antarctic research base, the Great Wall Station on King George Island.

But now China seems determined to catch up. As it has bolstered spending on Antarctic research, and as the early explorers, especially the United States and Australia, confront stagnant budgets, there is growing concern about its intentions.

China’s operations on the continent — it opened its fourth research station last year, chose a site for a fifth, and is investing in a second icebreaker and new ice-capable planes and helicopters — are already the fastest growing of the 52 signatories to the Antarctic Treaty. That gentlemen’s agreement reached in 1959 bans military activity on the continent and aims to preserve it as one of the world’s last wildernesses; a related pact prohibits mining.

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But Mr. Xi’s visit was another sign that China is positioning itself to take advantage of the continent’s resource potential when the treaty expires in 2048 — or in the event that it is ripped up before, Chinese and Australian experts say.

“So far, our research is natural-science based, but we know there is more and more concern about resource security,” said Yang Huigen, director general of the Polar Research Institute of China, who accompanied Mr. Xi last November on his visit to Hobart and stood with him on the icebreaker, Xue Long, or Snow Dragon.

With that in mind, the polar institute recently opened a new division devoted to the study of resources, law, geopolitics and governance in Antarctica and the Arctic, Mr. Yang said.

Australia, a strategic ally of the United States that has strong economic relations with China, is watching China’s buildup in the Antarctic with a mix of gratitude — China’s presence offers support for Australia’s Antarctic science program, which is short of cash — and wariness.

“We should have no illusions about the deeper agenda — one that has not even been agreed to by Chinese scientists but is driven by Xi, and most likely his successors,” said Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former senior official in the Australian Department of Defense.

“This is part of a broader pattern of a mercantilist approach all around the world,” Mr. Jennings added. “A big driver of Chinese policy is to secure long-term energy supply and food supply.”

That approach was evident last month when a large Chinese agriculture enterprise announced an expansion of its fishing operations around Antarctica to catch more krill — small, protein-rich crustaceans that are abundant in Antarctic waters.

“The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share,” Liu Shenli, the chairman of the China National Agricultural Development Group, told China Daily, a state-owned newspaper. China would aim to fish up to two million tons of krill a year, he said, a substantial increase from what it currently harvests.

Because sovereignty over Antarctica is unclear, nations have sought to strengthen their claims over the ice-covered land by building research bases and naming geographic features. China’s fifth station will put it within reach of the six American facilities, and ahead of Australia’s three.

Chinese mappers have also given Chinese names to more than 300 sites, compared with the thousands of locations on the continent with English names.

In the unspoken competition for Antarctica’s future, scientific achievement can also translate into influence. Chinese scientists are driving to be the first to drill and recover an ice core containing tiny air bubbles that provide a record of climate change stretching as far back as 1.5 million years. It is an expensive and delicate effort at which others, including the European Union and Australia, have failed.

In a breakthrough a decade ago, European scientists extracted an ice core nearly two miles long that revealed 800,000 years of climate history. But finding an ice core going back further would allow scientists to examine a change in the earth’s climate cycles believed to have occurred 900,000 to 1.2 million years ago.

China is betting it has found the best location to drill, at an area called Dome A, or Dome Argus, the highest point on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Though it is considered one of the coldest places on the planet, with temperatures of 130 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, a Chinese expedition explored the area in 2005 and established a research station in 2009.

“The international community has drilled in lots of places, but no luck so far,” said Xiao Cunde, a member of the first party to reach the site and the deputy director of the Institute for Climate Change at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences. “We think at Dome A we will have a straight shot at the one-million-year ice core.”

Mr. Xiao said China had already begun drilling and hoped to find what scientists are looking for in four to five years.

To support its Antarctic aspirations, China is building a sophisticated $300 million icebreaker that is expected to be ready in a few years, said Xia Limin, deputy director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration in Beijing. It has also bought a high-tech fixed-wing aircraft, outfitted in the United States, for taking sensitive scientific soundings from the ice.

China has chosen the site for its fifth research station at Inexpressible Island, named by a group of British explorers who were stranded at the desolate site in 1912 and survived the winter by excavating a small ice cave.

Mr. Xia said the inhospitable spot was ideal because China did not have a presence in that part of Antarctica, and because the rocky site did not have much snow, making it relatively cheap to build there.

Anne-Marie Brady, a professor of political science at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the author of a soon-to-be-released book, “China as a Polar Great Power,” said Chinese scientists also believed they had a good chance of finding mineral and energy resources near the site.

“China is playing a long game in Antarctica and keeping other states guessing about its true intentions and interests are part of its poker hand,” she said. But she noted that China’s interest in finding minerals was presented “loud and clear to domestic audiences” as the main reason it was investing in Antarctica.

Because commercial drilling is banned, estimates of energy and mineral resources in Antarctica rely on remote sensing data and comparisons with similar geological environments elsewhere, said Millard F. Coffin, executive director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart.

But the difficulty of extraction in such severe conditions and uncertainty about future commodity prices make it unlikely that China or any country would defy the ban on mining anytime soon.

Tourism, however, is already booming. Travelers from China are still a relatively small contingent in the Antarctic compared with the more than 13,000 Americans who visited in 2013, and as yet there are no licensed Chinese tour operators.

But that is about to change, said Anthony Bergin, deputy director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “I understand very soon there will be Chinese tourists on Chinese vessels with all-Chinese crew in the Antarctic,” he said.

 

Top News China’s Intents Are Questioned as It Builds in Antarctica | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple

THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.

In the summer of 2001, JaQuavis Coleman was a 16-year-old foster child in Flint, Mich., the former auto-manufacturing mecca that had devolved, in the wake of General Motors’ plant closures, into one of the country’s most dangerous cities, with a decimated economy and a violent crime rate more than three times the national average. When JaQuavis was 8, social services had removed him from his mother’s home. He spent years bouncing between foster families. At 16, JaQuavis was also a businessman: a crack dealer with a network of street-corner peddlers in his employ.

One day that summer, JaQuavis met a fellow dealer in a parking lot on Flint’s west side. He was there to make a bulk sale of a quarter-brick, or “nine-piece” — a nine-ounce parcel of cocaine, with a street value of about $11,000. In the middle of the transaction, JaQuavis heard the telltale chirp of a walkie-talkie. His customer, he now realized, was an undercover policeman. JaQuavis jumped into his car and spun out onto the road, with two unmarked police cars in pursuit. He didn’t want to get into a high-speed chase, so he whipped his car into a church parking lot and made a run for it, darting into an alleyway behind a row of small houses, where he tossed the quarter-brick into some bushes. When JaQuavis reached the small residential street on the other side of the houses, he was greeted by the police, who handcuffed him and went to search behind the houses where, they told him, they were certain he had ditched the drugs. JaQuavis had been dealing since he was 12, had amassed more than $100,000 and had never been arrested. Now, he thought: It’s over.

But when the police looked in the bushes, they couldn’t find any cocaine. They interrogated JaQuavis, who denied having ever possessed or sold drugs. They combed the backyard alley some more. After an hour of fruitless efforts, the police were forced to unlock the handcuffs and release their suspect.

JaQuavis was baffled by the turn of events until the next day, when he received a phone call. The previous afternoon, a 15-year-old girl had been sitting in her home on the west side of Flint when she heard sirens. She looked out of the window of her bedroom, and watched a young man throw a package in the bushes behind her house. She recognized him. He was a high school classmate — a handsome, charismatic boy whom she had admired from afar. The girl crept outside and grabbed the bundle, which she hid in her basement. “I have something that belongs to you,” Ashley Snell told JaQuavis Coleman when she reached him by phone. “You wanna come over here and pick it up?”

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Three of the nearly 50 works of urban fiction published by the Colemans over the last decade, often featuring drug deals, violence, sex and a brash kind of feminism.Credit Marko Metzinger

In the Colemans’ first novel, “Dirty Money” (2005), they told a version of this story. The outline was the same: the drug deal gone bad, the dope chucked in the bushes, the fateful phone call. To the extent that the authors took poetic license, it was to tone down the meet-cute improbability of the true-life events. In “Dirty Money,” the girl, Anari, and the crack dealer, Maurice, circle each other warily for a year or so before coupling up. But the facts of Ashley and JaQuavis’s romance outstripped pulp fiction. They fell in love more or less at first sight, moved into their own apartment while still in high school and were married in 2008. “We were together from the day we met,” Ashley says. “I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart in total over the past 14 years.”

That partnership turned out to be creative and entrepreneurial as well as romantic. Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.

But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.

“When you read our books, you’re gonna realize: ‘Ashley & JaQuavis are storytellers,’ ” says Ashley. “Our tales will get your heart pounding.”

THE COLEMANS’ HOME BASE — the cottage from which they operate their cottage industry — is a spacious four-bedroom house in a genteel suburb about 35 miles north of downtown Detroit. The house is plush, but when I visited this past winter, it was sparsely appointed. The couple had just recently moved in, and had only had time to fully furnish the bedroom of their 4-year-old son, Quaye.

In conversation, Ashley and JaQuavis exude both modesty and bravado: gratitude for their good fortune and bootstrappers’ pride in having made their own luck. They talk a lot about their time in the trenches, the years they spent as a drug dealer and “ride-or-die girl” tandem. In Flint they learned to “grind hard.” Writing, they say, is merely a more elevated kind of grind.

“Instead of hitting the block like we used to, we hit the laptops,” says Ashley. “I know what every word is worth. So while I’m writing, I’m like: ‘Okay, there’s a hundred dollars. There’s a thousand dollars. There’s five thousand dollars.’ ”

They maintain a rigorous regimen. They each try to write 5,000 words per day, five days a week. The writers stagger their shifts: JaQuavis goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes up early, around 3 or 4 in the morning, to work while his wife and child sleep. Ashley writes during the day, often in libraries or at Starbucks.

They divide the labor in other ways. Chapters are divvied up more or less equally, with tasks assigned according to individual strengths. (JaQuavis typically handles character development. Ashley loves writing murder scenes.) The results are stitched together, with no editorial interference from one author in the other’s text. The real work, they contend, is the brainstorming. The Colemans spend weeks mapping out their plot-driven books — long conversations that turn into elaborate diagrams on dry-erase boards. “JaQuavis and I are so close, it makes the process real easy,” says Ashley. “Sometimes when I’m thinking of something, a plot point, he’ll say it out loud, and I’m like: ‘Wait — did I say that?’ ”

Their collaboration developed by accident, and on the fly. Both were bookish teenagers. Ashley read lots of Judy Blume and John Grisham; JaQuavis liked Shakespeare, Richard Wright and “Atlas Shrugged.” (Their first official date was at a Borders bookstore, where Ashley bought “The Coldest Winter Ever,” the Sister Souljah novel often credited with kick-starting the contemporary street-lit movement.) In 2003, Ashley, then 17, was forced to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. She was bedridden for three weeks, and to provide distraction and boost her spirits, JaQuavis challenged his girlfriend to a writing contest. “She just wasn’t talking. She was laying in bed. I said, ‘You know what? I bet you I could write a better book than you.’ My wife is real competitive. So I said, ‘Yo, all right, $500 bet.’ And I saw her eyes spark, like, ‘What?! You can’t write no better book than me!’ So I wrote about three chapters. She wrote about three chapters. Two days later, we switched.”

The result, hammered out in a few days, would become “Dirty Money.” Two years later, when Ashley and JaQuavis were students at Ferris State University in Western Michigan, they sold the manuscript to Urban Books, a street-lit imprint founded by the best-selling author Carl Weber. At the time, JaQuavis was still making his living selling drugs. When Ashley got the phone call informing her that their book had been bought, she assumed they’d hit it big, and flushed more than $10,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet. Their advance was a mere $4,000.

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The roots of street lit, found in the midcentury detective novels of Chester Himes and the ‘60s and ‘70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines.Credit Marko Metzinger

Those advances would soon increase, eventually reaching five and six figures. The Colemans built their career, JaQuavis says, in a manner that made sense to him as a veteran dope peddler: by flooding the street with product. From the start, they were prolific, churning out books at a rate of four or five a year. Their novels made their way into stores; the now-defunct chain Waldenbooks, which had stores in urban areas typically bypassed by booksellers, was a major engine of the street-lit market. But Ashley and JaQuavis took advantage of distribution channels established by pioneering urban fiction authors such as Teri Woods and Vickie Stringer, and a network of street-corner tables, magazine stands, corner shops and bodegas. Like rappers who establish their bona fides with gray-market mixtapes, street-lit authors use this system to circumnavigate industry gatekeepers, bringing their work straight to the genre’s core readership. But urban fiction has other aficionados, in less likely places. “Our books are so popular in the prison system,” JaQuavis says. “We’re banned in certain penitentiaries. Inmates fight over the books — there are incidents, you know? I have loved ones in jail, and they’re like: ‘Yo, your books can’t come in here. It’s against the rules.’ ”

The appeal of the Colemans’ work is not hard to fathom. The books are formulaic and taut; they deliver the expected goods efficiently and exuberantly. The titles telegraph the contents: “Diary of a Street Diva,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “Murderville.” The novels serve up a stream of explicit sex and violence in a slangy, tangy, profane voice. In Ashley & JaQuavis’s books people don’t get killed: they get “popped,” “laid out,” get their “cap twisted back.” The smut is constant, with emphasis on the earthy, sticky, olfactory particulars. Romance novel clichés — shuddering orgasms, heroic carnal feats, superlative sexual skill sets — are rendered in the Colemans’ punchy patois.

Subtlety, in other words, isn’t Ashley & JaQuavis’s forte. But their books do have a grainy specificity. In “The Cartel” (2008), the first novel in the Colemans’ best-selling saga of a Miami drug syndicate, they catch the sights and smells of a crack workshop in a housing project: the nostril-stinging scent of cocaine and baking soda bubbling on stovetops; the teams of women, stripped naked except for hospital masks so they can’t pilfer the merchandise, “cutting up the cooked coke on the round wood table.” The subject matter is dark, but the Colemans’ tone is not quite noir. Even in the grimmest scenes, the mood is high-spirited, with the writers palpably relishing the lewd and gory details: the bodies writhing in boudoirs and crumpling under volleys of bullets, the geysers of blood and other bodily fluids.

The luridness of street lit has made it a flashpoint, inciting controversy reminiscent of the hip-hop culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the street-lit debate touches deeper historical roots, reviving decades-old arguments in black literary circles about the mandate to uplift the race and present wholesome images of African-Americans. In 1928, W. E. B. Du Bois slammed the “licentiousness” of “Home to Harlem,” Claude McKay’s rollicking novel of Harlem nightlife. McKay’s book, Du Bois wrote, “for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath.” Similar sentiments have greeted 21st-century street lit. In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed essay, the journalist and author Nick Chiles decried “the sexualization and degradation of black fiction.” African-American bookstores, Chiles complained, are “overrun with novels that . . . appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures — as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.”

Copulating paperbacks aside, it’s clear that the street-lit debate is about more than literature, touching on questions of paternalism versus populism, and on middle-class anxieties about the black underclass. “It’s part and parcel of black elites’ efforts to define not only a literary tradition, but a racial politics,” said Kinohi Nishikawa, an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University. “There has always been a sense that because African-Americans’ opportunities to represent themselves are so limited in the first place, any hint of criminality or salaciousness would necessarily be a knock on the entire racial politics. One of the pressing debates about African-American literature today is: If we can’t include writers like Ashley & JaQuavis, to what extent is the foundation of our thinking about black literature faulty? Is it just a literature for elites? Or can it be inclusive, bringing urban fiction under the purview of our umbrella term ‘African-American literature’?”

Defenders of street lit note that the genre has a pedigree: a tradition of black pulp fiction that stretches from Chester Himes, the midcentury author of hardboiled Harlem detective stories, to the 1960s and ’70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, to the current wave of urban fiction authors. Others argue for street lit as a social good, noting that it attracts a large audience that might otherwise never read at all. Scholars like Nishikawa link street lit to recent studies showing increased reading among African-Americans. A 2014 Pew Research Center report found that a greater percentage of black Americans are book readers than whites or Latinos.

For their part, the Colemans place their work in the broader black literary tradition. “You have Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin — all of these traditional black writers, who wrote about the struggles of racism, injustice, inequality,” says Ashley. “We’re writing about the struggle as it happens now. It’s just a different struggle. I’m telling my story. I’m telling the struggle of a black girl from Flint, Michigan, who grew up on welfare.”

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The Colemans in their new four-bedroom house in the northern suburbs of Detroit.Credit Courtesy of Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman

Perhaps there is a high-minded case to be made for street lit. But the virtues of Ashley & JaQuavis’s work are more basic. Their novels do lack literary polish. The writing is not graceful; there are passages of clunky exposition and sex scenes that induce guffaws and eye rolls. But the pleasure quotient is high. The books flaunt a garish brand of feminism, with women characters cast not just as vixens, but also as gangsters — cold-blooded killers, “murder mamas.” The stories are exceptionally well-plotted. “The Cartel” opens by introducing its hero, the crime boss Carter Diamond; on page 9, a gunshot spatters Diamond’s brain across the interior of a police cruiser. The book then flashes back seven years and begins to hurtle forward again — a bullet train, whizzing readers through shifting alliances, romantic entanglements and betrayals, kidnappings, shootouts with Haitian and Dominican gangsters, and a cliffhanger closing scene that leaves the novel’s heroine tied to a chair in a basement, gruesomely tortured to the edge of death. Ashley & JaQuavis’s books are not Ralph Ellison, certainly, but they build up quite a head of steam. They move.

The Colemans are moving themselves these days. They recently signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, which will bring out the next installment in the “Cartel” series as well as new solo series by both writers. The St. Martin’s deal is both lucrative and legitimizing — a validation of Ashley and JaQuavis’s work by one of publishing’s most venerable houses. The Colemans’ ambitions have grown, as well. A recent trilogy, “Murderville,” tackles human trafficking and the blood-diamond industry in West Africa, with storylines that sweep from Sierra Leone to Mexico to Los Angeles. Increasingly, Ashley & JaQuavis are leaning on research — traveling to far-flung settings and hitting the books in the libraries — and spending less time mining their own rough-and-tumble past.

But Flint remains a source of inspiration. One evening not long ago, JaQuavis led me on a tour of his hometown: a popular roadside bar; the parking lot where he met the undercover cop for the ill-fated drug deal; Ashley’s old house, the site of his almost-arrest. He took me to a ramshackle vehicle repair shop on Flint’s west side, where he worked as a kid, washing cars. He showed me a bathroom at the rear of the garage, where, at age 12, he sneaked away to inspect the first “boulder” of crack that he ever sold. A spray-painted sign on the garage wall, which JaQuavis remembered from his time at the car wash, offered words of warning:

WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT USING A GUN:
MURDER . . . 30 Years
ARMED ROBBERY . . . 15 Years
ASSAULT . . . 15 Years
RAPE . . . 20 Years
POSSESSION . . . 5 Years
JACKING . . . 20 YEARS

“We still love Flint, Michigan,” JaQuavis says. “It’s so seedy, so treacherous. But there’s some heart in this city. This is where it all started, selling books out the box. In the days when we would get those little $40,000 advances, they’d send us a couple boxes of books for free. We would hit the streets to sell our books, right out of the car trunk. It was a hustle. It still is.”

One old neighborhood asset that the Colemans have not shaken off is swagger. “My wife is the best female writer in the game,” JaQuavis told me. “I believe I’m the best male writer in the game. I’m sleeping next to the best writer in the world. And she’s doing the same.”

 
From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

ay 4, 2015 ‘Game of Thrones’ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes

“It was really nice to play with other women and not have this underlying tone of being at each other’s throats.”

ay 4, 2015 ‘Game of Thrones’ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Don Mankiewicz, Screenwriter in a Family Film Tradition, Dies at 93

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

Mike Phillips, Half of Kentucky’s ‘Twin Towers’ of Basketball, Dies at 59

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 Kentucky’s ‘Twin Towers’ of Basketball, Dies at 59 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

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

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 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Baltimore Residents Away From Turmoil Consider Their Role

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.”

Photo
 
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 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues

As he reflected on the festering wounds deepened by race and grievance that have been on painful display in America’s cities lately, President Obama on Monday found himself thinking about a young man he had just met named Malachi.

A few minutes before, in a closed-door round-table discussion at Lehman College in the Bronx, Mr. Obama had asked a group of black and Hispanic students from disadvantaged backgrounds what could be done to help them reach their goals. Several talked about counseling and guidance programs.

“Malachi, he just talked about — we should talk about love,” Mr. Obama told a crowd afterward, drifting away from his prepared remarks. “Because Malachi and I shared the fact that our dad wasn’t around and that sometimes we wondered why he wasn’t around and what had happened. But really, that’s what this comes down to is: Do we love these kids?”

Many presidents have governed during times of racial tension, but Mr. Obama is the first to see in the mirror a face that looks like those on the other side of history’s ledger. While his first term was consumed with the economy, war and health care, his second keeps coming back to the societal divide that was not bridged by his election. A president who eschewed focusing on race now seems to have found his voice again as he thinks about how to use his remaining time in office and beyond.

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Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

At an event announcing the creation of a nonprofit focusing on young minority men, President Obama talked about the underlying reasons for recent protests in Baltimore and other cities.

By Associated Press on Publish Date May 4, 2015. Photo by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times.

In the aftermath of racially charged unrest in places like Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and New York, Mr. Obama came to the Bronx on Monday for the announcement of a new nonprofit organization that is being spun off from his White House initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. Staked by more than $80 million in commitments from corporations and other donors, the new group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will in effect provide the nucleus for Mr. Obama’s post-presidency, which will begin in January 2017.

“This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency but for the rest of my life,” Mr. Obama said. “And the reason is simple,” he added. Referring to some of the youths he had just met, he said: “We see ourselves in these young men. I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path. The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”

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Organizers said the new alliance already had financial pledges from companies like American Express, Deloitte, Discovery Communications and News Corporation. The money will be used to help companies address obstacles facing young black and Hispanic men, provide grants to programs for disadvantaged youths, and help communities aid their populations.

Joe Echevarria, a former chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, will lead the alliance, and among those on its leadership team or advisory group are executives at PepsiCo, News Corporation, Sprint, BET and Prudential Group Insurance; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; the music star John Legend; the retired athletes Alonzo Mourning, Jerome Bettis and Shaquille O’Neal; and the mayors of Indianapolis, Sacramento and Philadelphia.

The alliance, while nominally independent of the White House, may face some of the same questions confronting former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins another presidential campaign. Some of those donating to the alliance may have interests in government action, and skeptics may wonder whether they are trying to curry favor with the president by contributing.

“The Obama administration will have no role in deciding how donations are screened and what criteria they’ll set at the alliance for donor policies, because it’s an entirely separate entity,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One en route to New York. But he added, “I’m confident that the members of the board are well aware of the president’s commitment to transparency.”

The alliance was in the works before the disturbances last week after the death of Freddie Gray, the black man who suffered fatal injuries while in police custody in Baltimore, but it reflected the evolution of Mr. Obama’s presidency. For him, in a way, it is coming back to issues that animated him as a young community organizer and politician. It was his own struggle with race and identity, captured in his youthful memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” that stood him apart from other presidential aspirants.

But that was a side of him that he kept largely to himself through the first years of his presidency while he focused on other priorities like turning the economy around, expanding government-subsidized health care and avoiding electoral land mines en route to re-election.

After securing a second term, Mr. Obama appeared more emboldened. Just a month after his 2013 inauguration, he talked passionately about opportunity and race with a group of teenage boys in Chicago, a moment aides point to as perhaps the first time he had spoken about these issues in such a personal, powerful way as president. A few months later, he publicly lamented the death of Trayvon Martin, a black Florida teenager, saying that “could have been me 35 years ago.”

Photo
 
President Obama on Monday with Darinel Montero, a student at Bronx International High School who introduced him before remarks at Lehman College in the Bronx. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

That case, along with public ruptures of anger over police shootings in Ferguson and elsewhere, have pushed the issue of race and law enforcement onto the public agenda. Aides said they imagined that with his presidency in its final stages, Mr. Obama might be thinking more about what comes next and causes he can advance as a private citizen.

That is not to say that his public discussion of these issues has been universally welcomed. Some conservatives said he had made matters worse by seeming in their view to blame police officers in some of the disputed cases.

“President Obama, when he was elected, could have been a unifying leader,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for president, said at a forum last week. “He has made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions.”

On the other side of the ideological spectrum, some liberal African-American activists have complained that Mr. Obama has not done enough to help downtrodden communities. While he is speaking out more, these critics argue, he has hardly used the power of the presidency to make the sort of radical change they say is necessary.

The line Mr. Obama has tried to straddle has been a serrated one. He condemns police brutality as he defends most officers as honorable. He condemns “criminals and thugs” who looted in Baltimore while expressing empathy with those trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.

In the Bronx on Monday, Mr. Obama bemoaned the death of Brian Moore, a plainclothes New York police officer who had died earlier in the day after being shot in the head Saturday on a Queens street. Most police officers are “good and honest and fair and care deeply about their communities,” even as they put their lives on the line, Mr. Obama said.

“Which is why in addressing the issues in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York, the point I made was that if we’re just looking at policing, we’re looking at it too narrowly,” he added. “If we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve, that’s not fair to the communities, it’s not fair to the police.”

Moreover, if society writes off some people, he said, “that’s not the kind of country I want to live in; that’s not what America is about.”

His message to young men like Malachi Hernandez, who attends Boston Latin Academy in Massachusetts, is not to give up.

“I want you to know you matter,” he said. “You matter to us.”

Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

As Vice Moves More to TV, It Tries to Keep Brash Voice

The live music at the Vice Media party on Friday shook the room. Shane Smith, Vice’s chief executive, was standing near the stage — with a drink in his hand, pants sagging, tattoos showing — watching the rapper-cum-chef Action Bronson make pizzas.

The event was an after-party, a happy-hour bacchanal for the hundreds of guests who had come for Vice’s annual presentation to advertisers and agencies that afternoon, part of the annual frenzy for ad dollars called the Digital Content NewFronts. Mr. Smith had spoken there for all of five minutes before running a slam-bang highlight reel of the company’s shows that had titles like “Weediquette” and “Gaycation.”

In the last year, Vice has secured $500 million in financing and signed deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars with established media companies like HBO that are eager to engage the young viewers Vice attracts. Vice said it was now worth at least $4 billion, with nearly $1 billion in projected revenue for 2015. It is a long way from Vice’s humble start as a free magazine in 1994.

Photo
 
At the Vice after-party, the rapper Action Bronson, a host of a Vice show, made a pizza. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

But even as cash flows freely in Vice’s direction, the company is trying to keep its brash, insurgent image. At the party on Friday, it plied guests with beers and cocktails. Its apparently unrehearsed presentation to advertisers was peppered with expletives. At one point, the director Spike Jonze, a longtime Vice collaborator, asked on stage if Mr. Smith had been drinking.

“My assistant tried to cut me off,” Mr. Smith replied. “I’m on buzz control.”

Now, Vice is on the verge of getting its own cable channel, which would give the company a traditional outlet for its slate of non-news programming. If all goes as planned, A&E Networks, the television group owned by Hearst and Disney, will turn over its History Channel spinoff, H2, to Vice.

The deal’s announcement was expected last week, but not all of A&E’s distribution partners — the cable and satellite TV companies that carry the network’s channels — have signed off on the change, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

A cable channel would be a further step in a transformation for Vice, from bad-boy digital upstart to mainstream media company.

Keen for the core audience of young men who come to Vice, media giants like 21st Century Fox, Time Warner and Disney all showed interest in the company last year. Vice ultimately secured $500 million in financing from A&E Networks and Technology Crossover Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has invested in Facebook and Netflix.

Those investments valued Vice at more than $2.5 billion. (In 2013, Fox bought a 5 percent stake for $70 million.)

Then in March, HBO announced that it had signed a multiyear deal to broadcast a daily half-hour Vice newscast. Vice already produces a weekly newsmagazine show, called “Vice,” for the network. That show will extend its run through 2018, with an increase to 35 episodes a year, from 14.

Michael Lombardo, HBO’s president for programming, said when the deal was announced that it was “certainly one of our biggest investments with hours on the air.”

Vice, based in Brooklyn, also recently signed a multiyear $100 million deal with Rogers Communications, a Canadian media conglomerate, to produce original content for TV, smartphone and desktop viewers.

Vice’s finances are private, but according to an internal document reviewed by The New York Times and verified by a person familiar with the company’s financials, the company is on track to make about $915 million in revenue this year.

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Vice showed a highlight reel of its TV series at the NewFronts last week in New York. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

It brought in $545 million in a strong first quarter, which included portions of the new HBO deal and the Rogers deal, according to the document. More of its revenue now comes from these types of content partnerships, compared with the branded content deals that made up much of its revenue a year ago, the company said.

Mr. Smith said the company was worth at least $4 billion. If the valuation gets much higher, he said he would consider taking the company public.

“I don’t care about money; we have plenty of money,” Mr. Smith, who is Vice’s biggest shareholder, said in an interview after the presentation on Friday. “I care about strategic deals.”

In the United States, Vice Media had 35.2 million unique visitors across its sites in March, according to comScore.

The third season of Vice’s weekly HBO show has averaged 1.8 million viewers per episode, including reruns, through April 12, according to Brad Adgate, the director of research at Horizon Media. (Vice said the show attracted three million weekly viewers when repeat broadcasts, online and on-demand viewings were included.)

For years, Mr. Smith has criticized traditional TV, calling it slow and unable to draw younger viewers. But if all the deals Vice has struck are to work out, Mr. Smith may have to play more by the rules of traditional media. James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son and a member of Vice’s board, was at the company’s presentation on Friday, as were other top media executives.

“They know they need people like me to help them, but they can’t get out of their own way,” Mr. Smith said in the interview Friday. “My only real frustration is we’re used to being incredibly dynamic, and they’re not incredibly dynamic.”

With its own television channel in the United States, Vice would have something it has long coveted even as traditional media companies are looking beyond TV. Last year, Vice’s deal with Time Warner failed in part because the two companies could not agree on how much control Vice would have over a 24-hour television network.

Vice said it intended to fill its new channel with non-news programming. The company plans to have sports shows, fashion shows, food shows and the “Gaycation” travel show with the actress Ellen Page. It is also in talks with Kanye West about a show.

It remains to be seen whether Vice’s audience will watch a traditional cable channel. Still, Vice has effectively presold all of the ad spots to two of the biggest advertising agencies for the first three years, Mr. Smith said.

In the meantime, Mr. Smith is enjoying Vice’s newfound role as a potential savior of traditional media companies.

“I’m a C.E.O. of a content company,” Mr. Smith said before he caught a flight to Las Vegas for the boxing match on Saturday between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. “If it stops being fun, then why are you doing it?”

As Vice Moves More to TV, It Tries to Keep Brash Voice | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Dan Walker, 92, Dies; Illinois Governor and Later a U.S. Prisoner

As governor, Mr. Walker alienated Republicans and his fellow Democrats, particularly the Democratic powerhouse Richard J. Daley, the mayor of Chicago.

Dan Walker, 92, Dies; Illinois Governor and Later a U.S. Prisoner | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde

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.

Continue reading the main story
 

Document: The Formaldehyde Fight

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can also cause respiratory ailments like asthma, but the potential of long-term exposure to cause cancers like myeloid leukemia is less well understood.

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.”

Continue reading the main story

Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring

In laminate flooring, formaldehyde is used as a bonding agent in the fiberboard (or other composite wood) core layer and may also be used in glues that bind layers together. Concerns were raised in March when certain laminate flooring imported from China was reported to contain levels of formaldehyde far exceeding the limit permitted by California.

Typical

laminate

flooring

CLEAR FINISH LAYER

Often made of melamine resin

PATTERN LAYER

Paper printed to resemble wood,

or a thin wood veneer

GLUE

Layers may be bound using

formaldehyde-based glues

CORE LAYER

Fiberboard or other

composite, formed using

formaldehyde-based adhesives

BASE LAYER

Moisture-resistant vapor barrier

What is formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a common chemical used in many industrial and household products as an adhesive, bonding agent or preservative. It is classified as a volatile organic compound. The term volatile means that, at room temperature, formaldehyde will vaporize, or become a gas. Products made with formaldehyde tend to release this gas into the air. If breathed in large quantities, it may cause health problems.

WHERE IT IS COMMONLY FOUND

POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS

Pressed-wood and composite wood products

Wallpaper and paints

Spray foam insulation used in construction

Commercial wood floor finishes

Crease-resistant fabrics

In cigarette smoke, or in the fumes from combustion of other materials, including wood, oil and gasoline.

Exposure to formaldehyde in sufficient amounts may cause eye, throat or skin irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems like coughing, wheezing or asthma.

Long-term exposure to high levels has been associated with cancer in humans and laboratory animals.

Exposure to formaldehyde may affect some people more severely than others.

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.

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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.”

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Becky Gillette wants strong regulation of formaldehyde. Credit Beth Hall for The New York Times

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

Jim Fanning, 87, Dies; Lifted Baseball in Canada With Expos

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

Jean Nidetch, 91, Dies; Pounds Came Off, and Weight Watchers Was Born

A 214-pound Queens housewife struggled with a lifelong addiction to food until she shed 72 pounds and became the public face of the worldwide weight-control empire Weight Watchers.

Jean Nidetch, 91, Dies; Pounds Came Off, and Weight Watchers Was Born | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

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