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saco-indonesia.com, Jose Mourinho secara tegas telah menyebut bahwa Chelsea tidak akan bisa memenangkan gelar juara Premier League musim ini. Pelatih asal Portugal itu akan terus menerus membicarakan tentang evolusi dan bagaimana timnya bisa direpotkan oleh beberapa klub yang lebih lemah musim ini.
Pernyataan Mourinho sedikit kontradiktif karena Chelsea baru saja telah menjadi tim pertama yang berhasil mengalahkan Manchester City, salah satu kandidat terkuat juara musim ini, di kandang mereka sendiri.
"Saya tidak setuju kami bisa memenangkan liga," tutur Mourinho pada The Mirror.
"Anda juga bisa lihat kami kehilangan poin di kandang sendiri melawan West Brom dan West Ham. Kami kalah atas Stoke dan Newcastle, kami adalah tim yang sedang berevolusi. Namun penampilan seperti ini (melawan City) akan dapat membantu kami lebih banyak berkembang," pungkasnya.
Well, Mou berhak untuk dapat mengatakan apa saja sekarang namun yang jelas berkat upayanya itu kini Premier League menjadi lebih menarik untuk diikuti. Bagaimana dengan kalian Bolaneters? Tetap bersabar menunggu evolusi Mou dan Chelsea hingga musim depan?
> CHELSEA MASIH DI TAHAP EVOLUSI
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
JAKARTA, Saco- Indonesia.com - PT The Master Steel diduga memberikan uang kepada dua pegawai Direktorat Jenderal Pajak Mohamad Dian Irwan Nuqishira dengan dan Eko Darmayanto secara bertahap. Sebelum tertangkap tangan pada Rabu (15/5/2013), Dian dan Eko diduga telah menerima uang dengan nilai yang sama, yakni 300.000 dollar Singapura pada 7 Mei 2013.
Adapun, Dian dan Eko tertangkap tangan sesaat seusai diduga menerima uang 300.000 dollar Singapura atau sekitar Rp 2,3 miliar dari karyawan PT The Master Steel bernama Effendi melalui Teddy yang diduga sebagai kurir.
"KPK juga memeroleh informasi bahwa ED (Eko Darmayanto) dan MDI (Mohamad Dian Irwan) juga menerima 300 ribu dollar Singapura sebelum proses yang tadi dari sumber yang tadi. Bisa dikatakan pemberian lebih dari sekali, yang dapat diinformasikan KPK dua kali, kita kan belum tau kalau ada lagi," kata Juru Bicara KPK Johan Budi, Rabu (15/5/2013) malam.
Johan juga belum dapat memastikan berapa total nilai komitmen fee yang dijanjikan PT The Master Steel kepada dua pegawai pajak itu. Kedua pegawai pajak itu masih diperiksa KPK bersamaan dengan Effendi dan Teddy. Menurut Johan, pemberian uang ini diduga bertujuan menyelesaikan persoalan pajak PT The Master Steel. Perusahaan baja itu diduga memiliki tunggakan pajak.
"PT The MS (Master Steel) ini punya persoalan pajak kemudian dikoordinasikan dengan ED (Eko) dan MDI (Mohamad Dian) biar tidak jadi persoalan. Jadi ada semacam tunggakan," ungkapnya.
Direktur Jenderal Pajak Fuad Rahmany mengakui bahwa PT The Master Steel memang bermasalah dalam pembayaran pajak. Ada semacam upaya untuk menghindar dari kewajiban membayar pajak.
"Penghindaran pajak lah intinya," kata Fuad.
Dia juga mengatakan, masalah pembayaran pajak The Master Steel ini sudah masuk tahap penyidikan di Direktorat Jenderal Pajak. Proses penyidikan masalah perusahaan ini, menurut Fuad, dilakukan tim penyidik yang beranggotakan Mohammad Dian, Eko, serta pemeriksa pajak lainnya.
"Si antara tim penyidik tersebut ada beberapa orang dan yang dua ini kongkalikong dengan wajib pajaknya," ungkap Fuad.
Dia juga mengaku tidak tahu apa yang dijanjikan The Master Steel kepada dua pegawai pajak itu sehingga terjadi kongkalingkong di antara kedua belah pihak. Seperi diberitakan sebelumnya, KPK menangkap Mohamad Dian dan Eko sesaat setelah diduga menerima uang dari Effendi melalui Teddy.
Dian dan Eko tertangkap di halaman parkir Bandara Soekarno-Hatta bersama dengan Teddy, sementara Effendi diringkus dalam perjalanan di Kelapa Gading, Jakarta. Johan menuturkan, modus serah terima uang yang dilakoni para pegawai pajak dan pihak swasta ini tergolong unik. Pada Selasa (14/5/2013) malam, menurut Johan, Mohamad Dian membawa Avanza hitam ke halaman terminal III Bandara Soekarno-Hatta. Dian kemudian memarkir mobil tersebut di halaman bandara, lalu menyerahkan kunci mobil itu kepada Teddy yang diduga sebagai kurir.
"Mereka kemudian pergi," tambah Johan.
KPK menduga, Teddy kemudian meletakkan uang 300.000 dollar AS di dalam mobil Avanza Hitam tersebut setelah Dian pergi. Pagi harinya, setelah uang dimasukkan ke dalam mobil, kata Johan, Dian dan Eko kembali ke parkiran bandara. "Di sana juga sudah ada T (Teddy) dan ada uangnya," tambah Johan.
Setelah uang dipastikan berpindah tangan, tim penyidik KPK langsung meringkus ketiga orang itu, kemudian menangkap Effendi.
Setiap perbuatan dalam ibadah haji sebenarnya mengandung rahasia, contoh seperti ihrom sebagai upacara pertama maksudnya adalah bahwa manusia harus melepaskan diri dari hawa nafsu dan hanya mengahadap diri kepada Allah Yang Maha Agung.
Memperteguh iman dan takwa kepada allah SWT karena dalam ibadah tersebut diliputi dengan penuh kekhusyu’an
Ibadah haji menambahkan jiwa tauhid yang tinggi
Ibadah haji adalah sebagai tindak lanjut dalam pembentukan sikap mental dan akhlak yang mulia.
Ibadah haji adalah merupakan pernyataan umat islam seluruh dunia menjadi umat yang satu karena mempunyai persamaan atau satu akidah.
Ibadah haji merupakan muktamar akbar umat islam sedunia, yang peserta-pesertanya berdatangan dari seluruh penjuru dunia dan Ka’bahlah yang menjadi symbol kesatuan dan persatuan.
Memperkuat fisik dan mental, kerena ibadah haji maupun umrah merupakan ibadah yang berat memerlukan persiapan fisik yang kuat, biaya besar dan memerlukan kesabaran serta ketabahan dalam menghadapi segala godaan dan rintangan.
Menumbuhkan semangat berkorban, karena ibadah haji maupun umrah, banyak meminta pengorbanan baik harta, benda, jiwa besar dan pemurah, tenaga serta waktu untuk melakukannya.
Dengan melaksanakan ibadah haji bisa dimanfaatkan untuk membina persatuan dan kesatuan umat Islam sedunia.
Sumber : http://deluk12.wordpress.com
Baca Artikel Lainnya : DALIL TENTANG PERINTAH IBADAH HAJI> HIKMAH MELAKSANAKAN HAJI
Tanda Haji Mabrur
Zuhud Terhadap Dunia
Para ulama kita menyebutkan tanda-tanda haji yang mabrur, diantaranya Imam Hasan Al Bashri rahimahullah berkata: (Haji yang mabrur adalah agar ia pulang dari ibadah haji menjadi orang yang zuhud dalam kehidupan dunia dan cinta akhirat). Allah berfirman yang artinya: “Dan carilah (pahala) negeri akhirat dengan apa yang telah dianugerahkan Allah kepadamu, tetapi janganlah kamu lupa bagianmu di dunia”. (Surat Al-Qashash: 77)
Orang yang zuhud bukan berarti orang yang hanya beribadah di masjid dan tidak mau bekerja mencari harta untuk nafkah anak dan isteri tapi orang yang zuhud orang yang tidak diperbudak oleh hartanya, dunia boleh berada di tangannya tidak di hatinya, aktifitasnya dalam kehidupan dunia tidak melalaikannya dari ingat kepada Allah, melaksanakan shalat yang lima waktu tepat pada waktunya, tidak memutuskan silaturahmi, tetap rajin menuntut ilmu islam lalu mengamalkan dan menda’wahkannya, tidak melupakan tanggung jawab mendidik isteri dan anak-anak. Orang yang zuhud adalah orang yang penghasilannya dari yang halal, bukan dari hasil renten, riba, suap, korupsi, mencuri, judi, pungli, memeras, menipu, memakan hak orang lain. Semoga Allah mengaruniakan kita semua rezeki yang halal, baik dan berkah serta dijauhkan dari segala pendapatan yang haram, amin!
Lebih Baik Dari Sebelumnya Dalam Segala Hal
Ada lagi yang mengatakan diantara tanda haji yang mabrur adalah setelah pulang dari menunaikan ibadah haji, ia menjadi lebih baik dari sebelumnya .
1. Dalam Hal Tauhid
Menjadi lebih baik dalam hal tauhid. Jika ada diantara jamaah haji yang sebelum hajinya masih suka pergi ke dukun untuk minta kekayaan, anak, jodoh, cepat naik pangkat dan lain-lain maka setelah kita haji hendaklah kita tinggalkan hal tersebut dan bertaubat kepada Allah karena Rasulullah bersabda yang artinya, “Barangsiapa mendatangi tukang ramal atau dukun lalu membenarkan apa yang dikatakannya, maka ia telah kafir dengan apa yang telah diturunkan kepada Muhammad”. (HR. Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidzi, Ibnu Majah, dishahihkan oleh Al-Albani dalam Al-Irwa` no. 2006)
Barangsiapa yang sebelum ia haji, suka menyembelih sapi atau lainnya untuk dijadikan sebagai tumbal atau sesajen maka sekarang harus meninggalkannya dan menyembelih kurban hanya untuk Allah karena Allah berfirman yang artinya: “Maka dirikanlah shalat karena Rabbmu dan berkorbanlah” (Surat Al- Kautsar 2).
“Katakanlah sesungguhnya shalatku, sesembelihanku, hidup dan matiku hanya untuk Allah Rabbul Alamin tidak ada sekutu baginya” (Surat Al-An’aam: 162)
Barangsiapa yang sebelum ia haji, masih mempercayai ramalan bintang maka tinggalkanlah dan bertawakallah kepada Allah semata.
Barangsiapa yang sebelum hajinya masih mengkeramatkan keris dan jimat-jimat, maka sekarang musnahkanlah segala jimat yang kita miliki.
Barangsiapa yang sebelum hajinya masih suka meruwat bumi untuk menghindarkan bencana, maka sekarang bertaubatlah dan tinggalkan upacara syirik itu, bergantunglah kepada Allah karena yang dapat menghindarkan bencana hanya Allah semata.
Barangsiapa yang sebelum hajinya masih mengkeramatkan sapi yang dikeluarkan setiap tanggal sepuluh Muharram bahkan berebut untuk memperoleh kotorannya yang dianggap dapat memberikan berkah, maka ketahuilah itu adalah perbuatan syirik.
Barangsiapa yang sebelum hajinya masih meyakini bahwa nasib sial akan menimpanya jika bepergian hari Selasa atau Sabtu juga untuk menentukan waktu pernikahan harus dihitung secara cermat karena kalau tidak pas harinya akan menimbulkan kesialan, maka itu semua adalah syirik. Allah tidak mengampuni dosa syirik kecuali jika pelakunya bertaubat, sesungguhnya Allah Maha Penerima taubat. Allah mengharamkan surga bagi orang yang berbuat syirik. Adapun orang-orang yang beriman dan tidak mencampur adukkan keimanan mereka dengan kesyirikan maka mereka mendapatkan keamanan dan hidayah dari Allah Taala.
2. Dalam Hal Ibadah
Hendaklah jamaah haji memperbaiki ibadahnya kepada Allah, shalat yang lima waktu jangan sampai ditinggalkan, zakat maal harus dikeluarkan dan shaum di bulan Ramadhan harus dijalankan. Segala ibadah kita laksanakan dengan penuh rasa cinta kepada Allah yang telah memberikan kepada kita nikmat yang tidak terhingga. Kita siap korbankan harta, tenaga dan waktu kita demi menggapai ridha Allah.
3. Dalam Hal Muamalah
Hendaklah kita perbaiki muamalah kita dengan orang tua yang telah melahirkan dan mendidik kita sejak kecil. Jangan sampai kita menyakiti hati mereka dan hendaklah selalu berbakti dan memperlakukan mereka dengan sebaik-baiknya. Jika orang tua kita telah meninggal dunia hendaklah kita selalu mendoakan untuk mereka.
Muamalah Suami Isteri
Bagi para suami hendaklah perbaiki muamalah dengan isterinya jangan mudah marah dan membentak isterinya jika berbuat kesalahan. Lakukanlah hal-hal yang menyenangkan isteri selama tidak bertentangan dengan syariat. Didiklah isteri dengan nasehat, membawanya ke majelis ta’lim, membelikannya buku dan kaset ceramah yang bermanfaat. Juga didiklah isteri dengan memberi keteladanan. Rasulullah bersabda: “Sebaik-baik kalian adalah yang terbaik terhadap keluarganya dan saya adalah orang yang paling baik diantara kalian terhadap keluargaku”.
Bagi para isteri perbaikilah muamalah dengan suami jadilah isteri yang taat. Rasulullah bersabda: “Apabila wanita shalat yang lima waktu, berpuasa di bulan Ramadhan, taat kepada suaminya dan memelihara kemaluannya, maka ia masuk surga dari pintu-pintu mana saja yang ia mau”.
Ketaatan kepada suami dalam hal yang makruf saja adapun dalam hal maksiat tidak ada ketaatan kepada makhluk dalam hal maksiat kepada Allah Al-Khaliq. Ketika suami baru datang dari pekerjaan janganlah disambut dengan berbagai macam problem dan hal-hal yang tidak menyenangkan tetapi sambutlah dengan senyum, sediakanlah makan dan minum serta biarkanlah suami untuk istirahat dulu setelah itu barulah sampaikan segala problem yang ada niscaya suami sudah lebih siap untuk mendengarkannya.
Muamalah Orang Tua dan Anak
Bagi para orang tua perbaikilah dalam pendidikan terhadap anak-anak, mereka merupakan amanat yang kelak kita akan diminta pertanggungjawabannya di hari akhir. Didiklah mereka dengan memberikan contoh yang baik, sekolahkanlah mereka di tempat yang baik, awasilah pergaulan mereka. Selalulah berdoa kepada Allah agar melindungi dan menjaga mereka dari segala kejahatan dan keburukan karena doa orang tua untuk anaknya insya Allah mustajab.
Muamalah Kaum Muslimah
Bagi kaum muslimah perbaikilah dalam hal berbusana, tutuplah aurat anda dan jangan diperlihatkan kepada laki-laki yang bukan mahramnya. Allah berfirman: “Hai Nabi katakanlah kepada isteri-isterimu, anak-anak perempuanmu, dan isteri-isteri orang mukmin, (Hendaklah mereka mengulurkan jilbabnya ke seluruh tubuh mereka). Yang demikian itu supaya mereka lebih mudah untuk dikenal, karena itu mereka tidak diganggu. Dan Allah adalah Maha Pengampun lagi Maha Penyayang”. (Surat Al-Ahzab: 59)
“Katakanlah kepada wanita yang beriman, hendaklah mereka menahan pandangannya, dan memelihara kemaluannya, dan janganlah mereka menampakkan perhiasannya, kecuali yang (biasa) nampak dari padanya. Dan hendaklah mereka menutupkan kain kudung ke dadanya, dan janganlah menampakkan perhiasannya, kecuali kepada suami mereka, atau ayah mereka, atau ayah suami mereka, atau putera-putera mereka, atau putera-putera suami mereka, atau saudara-saudara laki-laki mereka, atau putera-putera saudara laki-laki mereka, atau putera-putera saudara perempuan mereka, atau wanita-wanita Islam atau budak-budak yang mereka miliki, atau pelayan-pelayan laki-laki yang tidak mempunyai keinginan (terhadap wanita) atau anak-anak yang belum mengerti tentang aurat wanita. Dan janganlah mereka memukulkan kakinya agar diketahui perhiasan yang mereka sembunyikan. Dan bertaubatlah kamu sekalian kepada Allah, hai orang-orang yang beriman supaya kamu beruntung”. (Surat An-Nuur: 31)
Rasulullah bersabda: “Ada dua golongan dari penduduk neraka yang belum pernah saya lihat keduanya (sebelum ini), (pertama) suatu kaum yang memiliki cambuk bagaikan ekor sapi yang digunakannya untuk memukul manusia dan (kedua) wanita yang berpakaian tapi telanjang berjalan berlenggak lenggok, kepala mereka seperti punuk unta, mereka tidak masuk surga dan tidak mencium bau surga padahal bau surga itu tercium dari jarak yang sekian dan sekian jauhnya”. (Hadits Shahih, Riwayat Muslim)
Masih banyak diantara jamaah haji wanita yang berpakaian tapi telanjang, belum sempurna menutup auratnya, masih ada yang terlihat lehernya, terlihat lengannya, menutup aurat dengan pakaian yang ketat sehingga membentuk lekak lekuk tubuhnya, berpakaian dengan bahan yang tipis dan transparan sehingga terlihat kulitnya, pada hakekatnya mereka masih telanjang dan diancam tidak masuk surga. Hendaklah jamaah haji wanita menjadi sadar setelah menangis dan memohon ampun kepada Allah pada saat wuquf di Arafah, apakah kita ulangi kembali dosa-dosa kita?
Hendaklah jamaah haji wanita menjadi teladan bagi kaum muslimah di tanah air yang sedang dilanda dekadensi akhlak dan moral, didiklah puteri-puteri kita agar berbusana muslimah, nasehatilah mereka agar tidak keluar rumah dengan menggunakan celana pendek, celana panjang lebih-lebih celana yang sangat ketat dan perutnya terlihat, innaalillahi wa innaa ilaihi rajiuun.
Hendaklah jamaah haji wanita berdandan dan bersolek mempercantik diri, tetapi untuk siapa? Bukan untuk orang-orang diluar rumah tapi untuk suami di rumah, kenyataan yang ada banyak dari kaum muslimah berdandan ketika keluar rumah padahal dilarang oleh Allah yang kita cintai, Allah berfirman: “Dan hendaklah kamu (isteri-isteri nabi) tetap di rumahmu dan janganlah kamu berhias dan bertingkah laku seperti orang-orang jahiliyah yang dahulu”. (Surat Al-Ahzab: 33)
Ayat ini berlaku juga untuk segenap kaum muslimah dan mukminah.
Rasulullah bersabda bahwa seorang wanita yang pergi keluar rumah dengan menggunakan parfum sehingga tercium oleh laki-laki lain, maka sesungguhnya ia itu pelacur. Setiap hari kita berdoa memohon hidayah kepada Allah, maka sudah menjadi kewajiban bagi kita untuk mempelajari jalan-jalan hidayah berupa ilmu yang bermanfaat karena masih banyak diantara jalan-jalan hidayah yang belum kita ketahui dibandingkan yang sudah kita ketahui. Jangan kita menganggap ini adalah hal yang baru kita dengar, kami sudah terbiasa dengan adat kami dan dalih-dalih lainnya yang tidak bisa diterima oleh syariat. Allah berfirman: “Dan apabila dikatakan kepada mereka: lkutilah apa yang telah diturunkan Allah mereka menjawab: Tidak, tetapi kami hanya mengikuti apa yang telah kami dapati dari (perbuatan) nenek moyang kami. (Apakah mereka akan mengikuti juga), walaupun nenek moyang mereka itu tidak mengetahui suatu apapun, dan tidak mendapat petunjuk?” (Surat Al-Baqarah: 170)
Dan firmanNya: “Dan tidaklah boleh bagi laki-laki yang mukmin dan tidak (pula) bagi perempuan yang mukmin, apabila Allah dan RasulNya telah menetapkan suatu ketetapan, akan ada bagi mereka pilihan (yang lain) tentang urusan mereka. Dan barangsiapa mendurhakai Allah dan RasulNya maka sungguhlah dia telah sesat, sesat yang nyata”. (Surat Al-Ahzab: 36)
Muamalah Secara Umum
Hendaklah kita semua memperbaiki diri dalam hal tanggung jawab kita memperbaiki masyarakat. Bentengi aqidah umat dengan menyebarkan ilmu yang bermanfaat, dengan saling nasehat menasehati untuk menepati kebenaran dan nasehat menasehati untuk menetapi kesabaran, dengan saling bekerjasama dalam hal kebaikan dan taqwa. Tidak sedikit umat Islam di Indonesia murtad dari agamanya disebabkan kelengahan dan kelalaian kita. Benar sebab mereka murtad adalah karena lemah iman ditambah lagi dengan lemah ekonomi, tapi apakah boleh kita diam dan berpangku tangan? Tidak, kita harus berbuat sesuai dengan kemampuan kita. Apabila kita tidak bisa mendidik mereka karena keterbatasan ilmu kita, ajaklah mereka untuk menghadiri majelis-majelis ilmu, bagikan buletin dan buku-buku Islam, pinjamkan kaset-kaset ceramah yang bermanfaat. Jika mereka malas bekerja berilah motivasi, jika mereka nganggur carikanlah pekerjaan untuk mereka, jika puteri-puteri kita sudah dewasa carikanlah untuk mereka suami yang baik keislamannya jangan kita biarkan mereka menikah dengan laki-laki kafir.
Apabila anda sebagai pejabat janganlah anda menghalangi dan mempersulit orang-orang yang ikhlas mengajak manusia untuk mentauhidkan Allah dan tidak berbuat syirik, untuk mengikuti sunnah Nabi dan tidak berbuat bid’ah.
Bagi orang tua yang mempunyai anak puteri memakai jilbab atau cadar dukunglah mereka dan banggalah terhadap anak anda yang taat kepada Allah, semoga Allah menghiasi puteri anda dengan akhlak yang baik pula.
Baca Artikel Lainnya : BERANGKAT HAJI DENGAN SELAMAT> TANDA-TANDA HAJI MABRUR
saco-indonesia.com, Empat kali beraksi, kawanan perampok truk telah dibekuk oleh aparat Jatanras Polda Metro Jaya. Dalam aksinya komplotan bandit yang beranggotakan empat orang ini kerap menyasar truk yang bermuatan barang dengan modus berpura-pura menumpang.
Kasubdit Jatanras Polda Metro Jaya AKBP Herry Heryawan juga menyebutkan keempat pelaku yang dibekuk masing-masing, Erwandi alias Andi, 29, Iwan Setiawan alias Iwan, 23, Kusnadi alias Engkus, 21, dan Juli Erwan, 20. Aksi terakhir kawanan garong ini telah dilakukan terhadap truk kontainer yang bermutan sabun dan sampo pada 26 September 2013 lalu.
“Mereka naik truk dari Jalan Perintis Kemerdekaan, Pulogadung dengan berpura-pura menumpang,” kata Herry. Kemudian sebelum truk masuk ke jalan tol, mereka mulai beraksi. Satu pelaku yang telah membawa senjata tajam berupa clurit, menodong sopir dan kernet. Sementara pelaku lain mengikat dan melakban awak truk. “Kemudian, kemudi diambil alih oleh pelaku “Korban kemudian dibuang di pinggir tol, sementara para pelaku telah membawa truk tersebut,” kata Herry.
Truk yang bermuatan perlengkapan mandi itu kemudian telah diarahkan oleh para pelaku ke daerah Pondok Gede, Bekasi untuk dapat dijual muatannya. “Para pelaku kita bekuk pada 15 Desember lalu setelah korban melaporkan kejadian itu,”. Dalam pemeriksaan kawanan bandit ini juga mengaku sudah 4 kali beraksi. “Tersangka Juli pernah ditahan di LP Paledang karena kasus penodongan dengan senjata tajam, kemudian pembunuhan, curas dan kepemilikan senjata tajam,” tutur Herry.
> KAWANAN PERAMPOK TRUK DITANGKAP OLEH POLISI
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Suzman’s signature accomplishment was the central role he played in creating a global network of surveys on aging.Richard Suzman, 72, Dies; Researcher Influenced Global Surveys on Aging | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Ms. Plisetskaya, renowned for her fluidity of movement, expressive acting and willful personality, danced on the Bolshoi stage well into her 60s, but her life was shadowed by Stalinism.Maya Plisetskaya, Ballerina Who Embodied Bolshoi, Dies at 89 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
GREENWICH, Conn. — Mago is in the bedroom. You can go in.
The big man lies on a hospital bed with his bare feet scraping its bottom rail. His head is propped on a scarlet pillow, the left temple dented, the right side paralyzed. His dark hair is kept just long enough to conceal the scars.
The occasional sounds he makes are understood only by his wife, but he still has that punctuating left hand. In slow motion, the fingers curl and close. A thumbs-up greeting.
This is Magomed Abdusalamov, 34, also known as the Russian Tyson, also known as Mago. He is a former heavyweight boxer who scored four knockouts and 14 technical knockouts in his first 18 professional fights. He preferred to stand between rounds. Sitting conveyed weakness.
But Mago lost his 19th fight, his big chance, at the packed Theater at Madison Square Garden in November 2013. His 19th decision, and his last.
Now here he is, in a small bedroom in a working-class neighborhood in Greenwich, in a modest house his family rents cheap from a devoted friend. The air-pressure machine for his mattress hums like an expectant crowd.
Today is like any other day, except for those days when he is hurried in crisis to the hospital. Every three hours during the night, his slight wife, Bakanay, 28, has risen to turn his 6-foot-3 body — 210 pounds of dead weight. It has to be done. Infections of the gaping bedsore above his tailbone have nearly killed him.
Then, with the help of a young caretaker, Baka has gotten two of their daughters off to elementary school and settled down the toddler. Yes, Mago and Baka are blessed with all girls, but they had also hoped for a son someday.
They feed Mago as they clean him; it’s easier that way. For breakfast, which comes with a side of crushed antiseizure pills, he likes oatmeal with a squirt of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. But even oatmeal must be puréed and fed to him by spoon.
He opens his mouth to indicate more, the way a baby does. But his paralysis has made everything a choking hazard. His water needs a stirring of powdered food thickener, and still he chokes — eh-eh-eh — as he tries to cough up what will not go down.
Mago used to drink only water. No alcohol. Not even soda. A sip of juice would be as far as he dared. Now even water betrays him.
With the caretaker’s help, Baka uses a washcloth and soap to clean his body and shampoo his hair. How handsome still, she has thought. Sometimes, in the night, she leaves the bedroom to watch old videos, just to hear again his voice in the fullness of life. She cries, wipes her eyes and returns, feigning happiness. Mago must never see her sad.
When Baka finishes, Mago is cleanshaven and fresh down to his trimmed and filed toenails. “I want him to look good,” she says.
Theirs was an arranged Muslim marriage in Makhachkala, in the Russian republic of Dagestan. He was 23, she was 18 and their future hinged on boxing. Sometimes they would shadowbox in love, her David to his Goliath. You are so strong, he would tell her.
His father once told him he could either be a bandit or an athlete, but if he chose banditry, “I will kill you.” This paternal advice, Mago later told The Ventura County Reporter, “made it a very easy decision for me.”
Mago won against mediocre competition, in Moscow and Hollywood, Fla., in Las Vegas and Johnstown, Pa. He was knocked down only once, and even then, it surprised more than hurt. He scored a technical knockout in the next round.
It all led up to this: the undercard at the Garden, Mike Perez vs. Magomed Abdusalamov, 10 rounds, on HBO. A win, he believed, would improve his chances of taking on the heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who sat in the crowd of 4,600 with his fiancée, the actress Hayden Panettiere, watching.
Wearing black-and-red trunks and a green mouth guard, Mago went to work. But in the first round, a hard forearm to his left cheek rocked him. At the bell, he returned to his corner, and this time, he sat down. “I think it’s broken,” he repeatedly said in Russian.
Maybe at that point, somebody — the referee, the ringside doctors, his handlers — should have stopped the fight, under a guiding principle: better one punch too early than one punch too late. But the bloody trade of blows continued into the seventh, eighth, ninth, a hand and orbital bone broken, his face transforming.
Meanwhile, in the family’s apartment in Miami, Baka forced herself to watch the broadcast. She could see it in his swollen eyes. Something was off.
After the final round, Perez raised his tattooed arms in victory, and Mago wandered off in a fog. He had taken 312 punches in about 40 minutes, for a purse of $40,000.
In the locker room, doctors sutured a cut above Mago’s left eye and tested his cognitive abilities. He did not do well. The ambulance that waits in expectation at every fight was not summoned by boxing officials.
Blood was pooling in Mago’s cranial cavity as he left the Garden. He vomited on the pavement while his handlers flagged a taxi to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. There, doctors induced a coma and removed part of his skull to drain fluids and ease the swelling.
Then came the stroke.
It is lunchtime now, and the aroma of puréed beef and potatoes lingers. So do the questions.
How will Mago and Baka pay the $2 million in medical bills they owe? What if their friend can no longer offer them this home? Will they win their lawsuits against the five ringside doctors, the referee, and a New York State boxing inspector? What about Mago’s future care?
Most of all: Is this it?
A napkin rests on Mago’s chest. As another spoonful of mush approaches, he opens his mouth, half-swallows, chokes, and coughs until it clears. Eh-eh-eh. Sometimes he turns bluish, but Baka never shows fear. Always happy for Mago.
Some days he is wheeled out for physical therapy or speech therapy. Today, two massage therapists come to knead his half-limp body like a pair of skilled corner men.
Soon, Mago will doze. Then his three daughters, ages 2, 6 and 9, will descend upon him to talk of their day. Not long ago, the oldest lugged his championship belt to school for a proud show-and-tell moment. Her classmates were amazed at the weight of it.
Then, tonight, there will be more puréed food and pulverized medication, more coughing, and more tender care from his wife, before sleep comes.
He half-smiles, raises his one good hand, and forms a fist.Meet Mago, Former Heavyweight | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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.
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 Chinaâ€™s Intents Are Questioned as It Builds in Antarctica | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
A 2-minute-42-second demo recording captured in one take turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Mr. Ely, who was 19 when he sang the garage-band classic.Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmenâ€™s â€˜Louie Louieâ€™, Dies at 71 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Late in April, after Native American actors walked off in disgust from the set of Adam Sandler’s latest film, a western sendup that its distributor, Netflix, has defended as being equally offensive to all, a glow of pride spread through several Native American communities.
Tantoo Cardinal, a Canadian indigenous actress who played Black Shawl in “Dances With Wolves,” recalled thinking to herself, “It’s come.” Larry Sellers, who starred as Cloud Dancing in the 1990s television show “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” thought, “It’s about time.” Jesse Wente, who is Ojibwe and directs film programming at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, found himself encouraged and surprised. There are so few film roles for indigenous actors, he said, that walking off the set of a major production showed real mettle.
But what didn’t surprise Mr. Wente was the content of the script. According to the actors who walked off the set, the film, titled “The Ridiculous Six,” included a Native American woman who passes out and is revived after white men douse her with alcohol, and another woman squatting to urinate while lighting a peace pipe. “There’s enough history at this point to have set some expectations around these sort of Hollywood depictions,” Mr. Wente said.
The walkout prompted a rhetorical “What do you expect from an Adam Sandler film?,” and a Netflix spokesman said that in the movie, blacks, Mexicans and whites were lampooned as well. But Native American actors and critics said a broader issue was at stake. While mainstream portrayals of native peoples have, Mr. Wente said, become “incrementally better” over the decades, he and others say, they remain far from accurate and reflect a lack of opportunities for Native American performers. What’s more, as Native Americans hunger for representation on screen, critics say the absence of three-dimensional portrayals has very real off-screen consequences.
“Our people are still healing from historical trauma,” said Loren Anthony, one of the actors who walked out. “Our youth are still trying to figure out who they are, where they fit in this society. Kids are killing themselves. They’re not proud of who they are.” They also don’t, he added, see themselves on prime time television or the big screen. Netflix noted while about five people walked off the “The Ridiculous Six” set, 100 or so Native American actors and extras stayed.
But in interviews, nearly a dozen Native American actors and film industry experts said that Mr. Sandler’s humor perpetuated decades-old negative stereotypes. Mr. Anthony said such depictions helped feed the despondency many Native Americans feel, with deadly results: Native Americans have the highest suicide rate out of all the country’s ethnicities.
The on-screen problem is twofold, Mr. Anthony and others said: There’s a paucity of roles for Native Americans — according to the Screen Actors Guild in 2008 they accounted for 0.3 percent of all on-screen parts (those figures have yet to be updated), compared to about 2 percent of the general population — and Native American actors are often perceived in a narrow way.
In his Peabody Award-winning documentary “Reel Injun,” the Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond explored Hollywood depictions of Native Americans over the years, and found they fell into a few stereotypical categories: the Noble Savage, the Drunk Indian, the Mystic, the Indian Princess, the backward tribal people futilely fighting John Wayne and manifest destiny. While the 1990 film “Dances With Wolves” won praise for depicting Native Americans as fully fleshed out human beings, not all indigenous people embraced it. It was still told, critics said, from the colonialists’ point of view. In an interview, John Trudell, a Santee Sioux writer, actor (“Thunderheart”) and the former chairman of the American Indian Movement, described the film as “a story of two white people.”
“God bless ‘Dances with Wolves,’ ” Michael Horse, who played Deputy Hawk in “Twin Peaks,” said sarcastically. “Even ‘Avatar.’ Someone’s got to come save the tribal people.”
Dan Spilo, a partner at Industry Entertainment who represents Adam Beach, one of today’s most prominent Native American actors, said while typecasting dogs many minorities, it is especially intractable when it comes to Native Americans. Casting directors, he said, rarely cast them as police officers, doctors or lawyers. “There’s the belief that the Native American character should be on reservations or riding a horse,” he said.
“We don’t see ourselves,” Mr. Horse said. “We’re still an antiquated culture to them, and to the rest of the world.”
Ms. Cardinal said she was once turned down for the role of the wife of a child-abusing cop because the filmmakers felt that casting her would somehow be “too political.”
Another sore point is the long run of white actors playing American Indians, among them Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson, Audrey Hepburn and, more recently, Johnny Depp, whose depiction of Tonto in the 2013 film “Lone Ranger,” was viewed as racist by detractors. There are, of course, exceptions. The former A&E series “Longmire,” which, as it happens, will now be on Netflix, was roundly praised for its depiction of life on a Northern Cheyenne reservation, with Lou Diamond Phillips, who is of Cherokee descent, playing a Northern Cheyenne man.
Others also point to the success of Mr. Beach, who played a Mohawk detective in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and landed a starring role in the forthcoming D C Comics picture “Suicide Squad.” Mr. Beach said he had come across insulting scripts backed by people who don’t see anything wrong with them.
“I’d rather starve than do something that is offensive to my ancestral roots,” Mr. Beach said. “But I think there will always be attempts to drawn on the weakness of native people’s struggles. The savage Indian will always be the savage Indian. The white man will always be smarter and more cunning. The cavalry will always win.”
The solution, Mr. Wente, Mr. Trudell and others said, lies in getting more stories written by and starring Native Americans. But Mr. Wente noted that while independent indigenous film has blossomed in the last two decades, mainstream depictions have yet to catch up. “You have to stop expecting for Hollywood to correct it, because there seems to be no ability or desire to correct it,” Mr. Wente said.
There have been calls to boycott Netflix but, writing for Indian Country Today Media Network, which first broke news of the walk off, the filmmaker Brian Young noted that the distributor also offered a number of films by or about Native Americans.
The furor around “The Ridiculous Six” may drive more people to see it. Then one of the questions that Mr. Trudell, echoing others, had about the film will be answered: “Who the hell laughs at this stuff?”Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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.
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.”
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.”
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
The magical quality Mr. Lesnie created in shooting the “Babe” films caught the eye of the director Peter Jackson, who chose him to film the fantasy epic.Andrew Lesnie, Cinematographer of â€˜Lord of the Rings,â€™ Dies at 59 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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
Ms. von Furstenberg made her debut in the movies and on the Broadway stage in the early 1950s as a teenager and later reinvented herself as a television actress, writer and philanthropist.Betsy von Furstenberg, Baroness and Versatile Actress, Dies at 83 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.
But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the E.P.A. proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.
The E.P.A.’s five-year effort to adopt this rule offers another example of how industry opposition can delay and hamper attempts by the federal government to issue regulations, even to control substances known to be harmful to human health.
The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.
“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”
The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.
What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.
Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.
“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.
Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.
Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.
Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”
By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.
Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.
White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.
The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.
As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.
“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”
Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.
“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.
The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)
But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.
Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.
“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”
Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.
Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.
The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.
The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”
Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.
Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”
Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.
While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.
An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.
“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”
An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.
“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.
But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.
“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
Mr. Tepper was not a musical child and had no formal training, but he grew up to write both lyrics and tunes, trading off duties with the other member of the team, Roy C. Bennett.Sid Tepper Dies at 96; Delivered â€˜Red Roses for a Blue Ladyâ€™ and Other Songs | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
BEIJING (AP) — The head of Taiwan's Nationalists reaffirmed the party's support for eventual unification with the mainland when he met Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.
Nationalist Party Chairman Eric Chu, a likely presidential candidate next year, also affirmed Taiwan's desire to join the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank during the meeting in Beijing. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and doesn't want the island to join using a name that might imply it is an independent country.
Chu's comments during his meeting with Xi were carried live on Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Television.
The Nationalists were driven to Taiwan by Mao Zedong's Communists during the Chinese civil war in 1949, leading to decades of hostility between the sides. Chu, who took over as party leader in January, is the third Nationalist chairman to visit the mainland and the first since 2009.
Relations between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan began to warm in the 1990s, partly out of their common opposition to Taiwan's formal independence from China, a position advocated by the island's Democratic Progressive Party.
Despite increasingly close economic ties, the prospect of political unification has grown increasingly unpopular on Taiwan, especially with younger voters. Opposition to the Nationalists' pro-China policies was seen as a driver behind heavy local electoral defeats for the party last year that led to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou resigning as party chairman.Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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