PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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saco-indonesia.com, Sejak pukul 03.00 WIB dini hari , hujan telah mengguyur wilayah Ibu Kota. Bahkan hujan seolah semakin membesar jelang jam masuk kantor. Hingga pukul 7.30 WIB pagi , hujan deras masih turun merata di seluruh wilayah Jakarta dan sekitarnya.

Mendung tebal tampak menggelayut di langit Ibu Kota. Malam perayaan pergantian tahun baru pun akan terancam diselimuti hujan.

Situs BMKG, Selasa (31/12) hari ini wilayah Ibu Kota diperkirakan akan hujan. Hujan sedang dengan kelembaban 60-95 persen akan terjadi hari ini.

Hujan yang telah terjadi sejak dini hari tadi telah membuat banyak genangan. Pagi ini beberapa titik di Ibu Kota terlihat tergenang.

Lalu apakah malam perayaan tahun baru juga akan diiringi hujan?


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

JAKARTA DISELIMUTI MENDUNG DAN HUJAN

saco-indonesia.com, Sebuah taksi Royal City dengan pelat nomor polisi B 2903 TX telah hangus terbakar di depan halte gedung Kemenpora Jalan Gerbang Pemuda Senayan, Jakarta. Akibat dari kejadian ini, arus lalu lintas di kawasan Senayan macet parah.

Saksi mata, Parno juga menuturkan, peristiwa tersebut telah terjadi sekitar pukul 09.30 WIB pagi , Senin (27/1). "Ada percikan api dari bagian mesin, kemudian api telah membesar dan membakar mobil," ujarnya di lokasi.

Untungnya, sopir dan seorang penumpang perempuan telah berhasil menyelamatkan diri sebelum api melahap habis mobil. Sang penumpang tampak syok dan gemetaran. Sementara sopir sedang dimintai keterangan oleh polisi yang datang ke lokasi.

Sebuah mobil pemadam kebakaran telah berhasil memadamkan api sekitar 10 menit kemudian. Taksi yang semula berwarna biru kini berwarna putih hangus dan masih berada di lokasi.

Akibat dari kejadian ini, arus lalu lintas di Jalan Gerbang Pemuda menuju Jalan Gatot Subroto macet parah. Kendaraan dari Jalan Asia-Afrika telah terhambat karena pengendara melambatkan laju kendaraan di sekitar lokasi kebakaran.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

TAKSI LUDES TERBAKAR

saco-indonesia.com, Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi rojiun. Ustad Jefri Al Buchori yang kerap disapa Ustad Uje meninggal dunia akibat kecelakaan lalulintas Jumat dinihari 26 April 2013.

Kecelakaan terjadi di kawasan Pondok Indah, Jakarta Selatan seperti di lansir dari akun Twitter dari TMC Polda Metro Jaya.

disebutkan bahwa ustad yang akrab dipanggil Uje itu menabrak pohon saat mengendarai motor Kawasaki di daerah Gedong Hijau, Pondok Indah.

“03:47 Kecelakaan Pemotor Kawasaki B 3590 SGQ di Jl. Gedong Hijau 7 Pdk Indah, korban meninggal dunia a/n Bpk Jefri Al Buchori,”demikian isi twitter TMC di @TMCPoldaMetro sekitar pukul 04.00 Wita.

Dari kicauan TMC sebelumnya menulis bahwa kecelakaan Pemotor Kawasaki E650 B 3590 SGQ menabrak pohon di Jalan Gedong Hijau 7 Pondok Indah.

TMC menulis bahwa korban meninggal dunia.

Motor almarhum Ustad Jefri Al
Buchori - Foto @tmcpoldametro

Motor almarhum Ustad Jefri Al Buchori – Foto @tmcpoldametro

Almarhum menjadi korban kecelakaan tunggal dengan sepeda motor. Ia diduga hilang kendali kemudian menabrak pohon palem dan pembatas jalan.

Almarhum langsung dilarikan ke Rumah Sakit Pondok Indah dan kemudian dipindahkan ke Rumah Sakit Fatmawati tempat menghembuskan napas terakhir.

Jenazah Ustad Uje - Foto Moammar Emka

Jenazah Ustad Uje – Foto Moammar Emka

Jenazah kini berada di rumah duka di Perum Bukit Mas Jalan Narmada III Rempoa. Rencananya Jenazah akan dishalatkan di Masjid Istiqlal sebelum shalat Jumat. Kemudian dimakamkan di Tempat Pemakaman Umum (TPU) Karet Bivak Jakarta.

Almarhum meninggalkan istri, Pipik Dian Irawati Popon, dan tiga orang anak masing-masing Adiba Khanza Az-Zahra, Mohammad Abidzar Al-Ghifari, dan Ayla Azuhro

Selamat jalan ustad muda Indonesia… Semoga amal ibadah diterima di sisi- Nya. Amin…

http://tokobersamabisa.com/

Ustad Uje Meninggal Dunia Akibat Kecelakaan

saco-indonesia.com, Semua wanita pasti juga ingin wajahnya akan terlihat segar dan sehat. Sehingga, banyak yang telah melakukan perawatan mahal atau bahkan telah membeli make-up yang diklaim bisa membuat wajah segar dan sehat. Padahal wajah segar dan sehat juga bisa didapat dengan cara alami.

berikut ini cara alami yang bisa Anda lakukan untuk bisa mendapatkan wajah yang segar dan sehat sepanjang hari:

1. Lakukan gerakan di pagi hari
Jadikan gerakan sebagai hal pertama yang wajib Anda lakukan setelah bangun tidur misalnya dengan joging atau jalan cepat. Olahraga di pagi hari juga bisa'membangunkan' organ, tulang, dan otot setelah Anda melalui waktu tidur. Kegiatan itu juga bisa mengirimkan pesan 'kita sudah bangun!' ke otak kita.
Selain itu, tubuh juga bisa memompa darah lebih baik serta membuat tubuh akan lebih sehat dan tampak bersinar. Tidak harus ke gym, Anda juga bisa melakukan olahraga selama 15 menit dengan menyaksikan CD panduan, bersepeda, atau jalan mengelilingi komplek rumah Anda.

2. Gunakan air dingin atau sendok
Basuhan air es saat bangun tidur juga bisa membuka mata dan 'mengejutkan' otak Anda. Jika Anda cukup berani, putarlah keran ke pengaturan air dingin dan basuhlah diri Anda selama 10 detik, sebelum mulai beralih ke air hangat. Hal ini juga akan bisa membuat rambut Anda lebih bersinar. Cara lainnya, sebelum tidur masukkan sendok ke dalam freezer dan pagi harinya, kompres mata dengan menggunakan sendok tersebut.

3. Mempraktekkan aturan 20/20/20 sepanjang hari
Jika Anda menatap komputer sepanjang hari tanpa istirahat, cobalah berlatih 20/20/20 yang telah dikatakan dokter untuk dapat mengurangi ketegangan dan kemerahan mata. Ambil waktu 20 detik untuk bisa melihat sesuatu yang lain sambil berjalan 20 langkah setiap 20 menit.

4. Minum air sebanyak mungkin di siang hari
Coba siapkan air dalam botol besar di meja Anda sepanjang hari dan mengisinya saat habis. Air juga bisa menghidrasi organ tubuh serta otak kita sehingga kita tidak hanya merasa lebih terjaga tapi juga berkonsentrasi.

5. Tinggalkan ponsel di malam hari
Menurut para peneliti di Lighting Research Cente di Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, mereka yang telah menghabiskan waktu dua jam untuk dapat menggunakan perangkat dengan layar LED seperti iPad atau iPhone memiliki tingkat melatonin yang lebih tinggi. Melatonin adalah senyawa kimia yang telah menghambat tidur hingga Anda bisa kurang istirahat dan tidak segar di keesokan harinya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

CARA ALAMI AGAR TUBUH TERLIHAT SEGAR

JAKARTA, Saco-Indonesia.com — Rencana penghapusan kelas-kelas pada rumah sakit di Jakarta dapat diimbangi dengan penentuan tarif sesuai kualitas dokter. Dengan demikian, penentuan tarif itu akan dirasa adil bagi masyarakat, dan kesejahteraan dokter pun dapat meningkat.

Kepala Dinas Kesehatan DKI Jakarta Dien Emmawati mengatakan, rencana penghapusan kelas di rumah sakit di Jakarta itu berkaitan dengan rencana untuk menyamaratakan tarif rumah sakit. Jika kelas-kelas di rumah sakit sudah disamakan, maka penentuan tarif akan didasarkan pada kualitas para dokternya.

"Bisa diarahkan ke sana, kalau rumah sakit tipe C punya kualitas (tipe) A, maka (angkanya) bisa masuk tipe A. Tapi itu regulasinya di Kemenkes (Kementerian Kesehatan)," kata Dien di Balaikota Jakarta, Senin (3/6/2013).

Perubahan regulasi untuk rumah sakit di Jakarta mencuat berbarengan dengan evaluasi Kartu Jakarta Sehat (KJS). Program KJS merupakan program unggulan Gubernur DKI Jakarta Joko Widodo. Evaluasi KJS berlangsung sejak akhir Mei 2013 dan dilakukan karena ada sejumlah rumah sakit yang keberatan dengan tarif yang ditentukan.

Evaluasi itu akan memakan waktu sekitar tiga pekan dan fokus pada sistem pembayaran berdasarkan tarif Indonesia- Case Based Group (INA-CBG) atau sistem pembayaran kepada pemberi pelayanan kesehatan yang dikelompokkan berdasarkan ciri klinis dan pemakaian sumber daya yang sama. Rumus penghitungan telah disediakan oleh Kementerian Kesehatan, tetapi penentuan tarif menjadi kewenangan daerah karena disesuaikan dengan kemampuan daerah. Kecilnya tarif INA-CBG disebabkan belum semua rumah sakit di Jakarta masuk dalam basis data National Center for Case Mix (NCC), yaitu baru 20 persen.

Editor :Liwon Maulana

Sumber:Kompas.com

Kualitas Dokter Menentukan Tarif Rumah Sakit di Jakarta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Fox, known for his well-honed countrified voice, wrote about things dear to South Carolina and won over Yankee critics.

William Price Fox, Admired Southern Novelist and Humorist, Dies at 89

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

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

Mr. Napoleon was a self-taught musician whose career began in earnest with the orchestra led by Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers.

Marty Napoleon, 93, Dies; Jazz Pianist Played With Louis Armstrong

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

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

The career criminals in genre novels don’t have money problems. If they need some, they just go out and steal it. But such financial transactions can backfire, which is what happened back in 2004 when the Texas gang in Michael

Take the Money and Run

Hockey is not exactly known as a city game, but played on roller skates, it once held sway as the sport of choice in many New York neighborhoods.

“City kids had no rinks, no ice, but they would do anything to play hockey,” said Edward Moffett, former director of the Long Island City Y.M.C.A. Roller Hockey League, in Queens, whose games were played in city playgrounds going back to the 1940s.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the league had more than 60 teams, he said. Players included the Mullen brothers of Hell’s Kitchen and Dan Dorion of Astoria, Queens, who would later play on ice for the National Hockey League.

One street legend from the heyday of New York roller hockey was Craig Allen, who lived in the Woodside Houses projects and became one of the city’s hardest hitters and top scorers.

“Craig was a warrior, one of the best roller hockey players in the city in the ’70s,” said Dave Garmendia, 60, a retired New York police officer who grew up playing with Mr. Allen. “His teammates loved him and his opponents feared him.”

Young Craig took up hockey on the streets of Queens in the 1960s, playing pickup games between sewer covers, wearing steel-wheeled skates clamped onto school shoes and using a roll of electrical tape as the puck.

His skill and ferocity drew attention, Mr. Garmendia said, but so did his skin color. He was black, in a sport made up almost entirely by white players.

“Roller hockey was a white kid’s game, plain and simple, but Craig broke the color barrier,” Mr. Garmendia said. “We used to say Craig did more for race relations than the N.A.A.C.P.”

Mr. Allen went on to coach and referee roller hockey in New York before moving several years ago to South Carolina. But he continued to organize an annual alumni game at Dutch Kills Playground in Long Island City, the same site that held the local championship games.

The reunion this year was on Saturday, but Mr. Allen never made it. On April 26, just before boarding the bus to New York, he died of an asthma attack at age 61.

Word of his death spread rapidly among hundreds of his old hockey colleagues who resolved to continue with the event, now renamed the Craig Allen Memorial Roller Hockey Reunion.

The turnout on Saturday was the largest ever, with players pulling on their old equipment, choosing sides and taking once again to the rink of cracked blacktop with faded lines and circles. They wore no helmets, although one player wore a fedora.

Another, Vinnie Juliano, 77, of Long Island City, wore his hearing aids, along with his 50-year-old taped-up quads, or four-wheeled skates with a leather boot. Many players here never converted to in-line skates, and neither did Mr. Allen, whose photograph appeared on a poster hanging behind the players’ bench.

“I’m seeing people walking by wondering why all these rusty, grizzly old guys are here playing hockey,” one player, Tommy Dominguez, said. “We’re here for Craig, and let me tell you, these old guys still play hard.”

Everyone seemed to have a Craig Allen story, from his earliest teams at Public School 151 to the Bryant Rangers, the Woodside Wings, the Woodside Blues and more.

Mr. Allen, who became a yellow-cab driver, was always recruiting new talent. He gained the nickname Cabby for his habit of stopping at playgrounds all over the city to scout players.

Teams were organized around neighborhoods and churches, and often sponsored by local bars. Mr. Allen, for one, played for bars, including Garry Owen’s and on the Fiddler’s Green Jokers team in Inwood, Manhattan.

Play was tough and fights were frequent.

“We were basically street gangs on skates,” said Steve Rogg, 56, a mail clerk who grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, and who on Saturday wore his Riedell Classic quads from 1972. “If another team caught up with you the night before a game, they tossed you a beating so you couldn’t play the next day.”

Mr. Garmendia said Mr. Allen’s skin color provoked many fights.

“When we’d go to some ignorant neighborhoods, a lot of players would use slurs,” Mr. Garmendia said, recalling a game in Ozone Park, Queens, where local fans parked motorcycles in a lineup next to the blacktop and taunted Mr. Allen. Mr. Garmendia said he checked a player into the motorcycles, “and the bikes went down like dominoes, which started a serious brawl.”

A group of fans at a game in Brooklyn once stuck a pole through the rink fence as Mr. Allen skated by and broke his jaw, Mr. Garmendia said, adding that carloads of reinforcements soon arrived to defend Mr. Allen.

And at another racially incited brawl, the police responded with six patrol cars and a helicopter.

Before play began on Saturday, the players gathered at center rink to honor Mr. Allen. Billy Barnwell, 59, of Woodside, recalled once how an all-white, all-star squad snubbed Mr. Allen by playing him third string. He scored seven goals in the first game and made first string immediately.

“He’d always hear racial stuff before the game, and I’d ask him, ‘How do you put up with that?’” Mr. Barnwell recalled. “Craig would say, ‘We’ll take care of it,’ and by the end of the game, he’d win guys over. They’d say, ‘This guy’s good.’”

Tribute for a Roller Hockey Warrior

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Though Robin and Joan Rolfs owned two rare talking dolls manufactured by Thomas Edison’s phonograph company in 1890, they did not dare play the wax cylinder records tucked inside each one.

The Rolfses, longtime collectors of Edison phonographs, knew that if they turned the cranks on the dolls’ backs, the steel phonograph needle might damage or destroy the grooves of the hollow, ring-shaped cylinder. And so for years, the dolls sat side by side inside a display cabinet, bearers of a message from the dawn of sound recording that nobody could hear.

In 1890, Edison’s dolls were a flop; production lasted only six weeks. Children found them difficult to operate and more scary than cuddly. The recordings inside, which featured snippets of nursery rhymes, wore out quickly.

Yet sound historians say the cylinders were the first entertainment records ever made, and the young girls hired to recite the rhymes were the world’s first recording artists.

Year after year, the Rolfses asked experts if there might be a safe way to play the recordings. Then a government laboratory developed a method to play fragile records without touching them.

Audio

The technique relies on a microscope to create images of the grooves in exquisite detail. A computer approximates — with great accuracy — the sounds that would have been created by a needle moving through those grooves.

In 2014, the technology was made available for the first time outside the laboratory.

“The fear all along is that we don’t want to damage these records. We don’t want to put a stylus on them,” said Jerry Fabris, the curator of the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, N.J. “Now we have the technology to play them safely.”

Last month, the Historical Park posted online three never-before-heard Edison doll recordings, including the two from the Rolfses’ collection. “There are probably more out there, and we’re hoping people will now get them digitized,” Mr. Fabris said.

The technology, which is known as Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), was developed by the particle physicist Carl Haber and the engineer Earl Cornell at Lawrence Berkeley. Irene extracts sound from cylinder and disk records. It can also reconstruct audio from recordings so badly damaged they were deemed unplayable.

“We are now hearing sounds from history that I did not expect to hear in my lifetime,” Mr. Fabris said.

The Rolfses said they were not sure what to expect in August when they carefully packed their two Edison doll cylinders, still attached to their motors, and drove from their home in Hortonville, Wis., to the National Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass. The center had recently acquired Irene technology.

Audio

Cylinders carry sound in a spiral groove cut by a phonograph recording needle that vibrates up and down, creating a surface made of tiny hills and valleys. In the Irene set-up, a microscope perched above the shaft takes thousands of high-resolution images of small sections of the grooves.

Stitched together, the images provide a topographic map of the cylinder’s surface, charting changes in depth as small as one five-hundredth the thickness of a human hair. Pitch, volume and timbre are all encoded in the hills and valleys and the speed at which the record is played.

At the conservation center, the preservation specialist Mason Vander Lugt attached one of the cylinders to the end of a rotating shaft. Huddled around a computer screen, the Rolfses first saw the wiggly waveform generated by Irene. Then came the digital audio. The words were at first indistinct, but as Mr. Lugt filtered out more of the noise, the rhyme became clearer.

“That was the Eureka moment,” Mr. Rolfs said.

In 1890, a girl in Edison’s laboratory had recited:

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

Audio

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good,

She was very, very good.

But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Recently, the conservation center turned up another surprise.

In 2010, the Woody Guthrie Foundation received 18 oversize phonograph disks from an anonymous donor. No one knew if any of the dirt-stained recordings featured Guthrie, but Tiffany Colannino, then the foundation’s archivist, had stored them unplayed until she heard about Irene.

Last fall, the center extracted audio from one of the records, labeled “Jam Session 9” and emailed the digital file to Ms. Colannino.

“I was just sitting in my dining room, and the next thing I know, I’m hearing Woody,” she said. In between solo performances of “Ladies Auxiliary,” “Jesus Christ,” and “Dead or Alive,” Guthrie tells jokes, offers some back story, and makes the audience laugh. “It is quintessential Guthrie,” Ms. Colannino said.

The Rolfses’ dolls are back in the display cabinet in Wisconsin. But with audio stored on several computers, they now have a permanent voice.

Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edison’s Dolls Can Now Be Heard

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

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

Under Mr. Michelin’s leadership, which ended when he left the company in 2002, the Michelin Group became the world’s biggest tire maker, establishing a big presence in the United States and other major markets overseas.

François Michelin, Head of Tire Company, Dies at 88
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