PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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Saco-Indonesia.com — Pada umumnya perempuan Asia terlahir dengan hidung yang bisa dibilang tak terlalu bangir alias pesek, yang menyebabkan kebanyakan dari kita berlomba-lomba memancungkannya lewat bedah kosmetika.

Perempuan Korea, China, dan Thailand paling terkenal gemar “memugar” wajah demi mencapai kesempurnaan fisik. Bahkan kabarnya, kebiasaan ini sudah dimulai saat usia mereka menginjak 17 tahun. Bagi mereka, operasi plastik tidak lagi dipandang sebagai tren ekstrem, melainkan sudah menjadi kebutuhan.

Seperti dikutip dari DailyMail, sekarang bentuk hidung seperti menara Eiffel sedang digandrungi para perempuan China. Menurut mereka, bentuk hidung seperti itu dapat mencurahkan rezeki.

Dibandingkan perempuan pekerja, ternyata jumlah pasien untuk bedah kosmetik hidung menara Eiffel ini didominasi dari kalangan mahasiswi. Tujuannya supaya lebih mudah memperoleh pekerjaan kelak jika mereka lulus kuliah!

Apa pasalnya? Ternyata salah satu syarat tak tertulis bagi perempuan dalam melamar kerja adalah harus memiliki paras cantik dan penampilan yang menarik. Nah, mayoritas calon pekerja yang lulus seleksi, menurut data statistik yang diperoleh dari sebuah sumber anonim, mengatakan bahwa mereka yang memiliki hidung seperti perempuan Eropa-lah yang memiliki peluang lebih besar untuk mendapatkan pekerjaan.

Maka, saat ini semakin banyak klinik kecantikan yang menawarkan prosedur operasi hidung menara Eiffel. Salah satunya adalah klinik Wang Xumings “Eiffel Tower”.

“Keindahan menara Eiffel menginspirasi kami, prosedur ini tidak menambahkan formula apa pun pada hidung dan wajah, tapi kami merekonstruksinya supaya lebih memikat sesuai pilihan pasien,” ujar Dokter Bedah Wang Xuming.

Masih menurut Dokter Wang, tekanan menjadi pengangguran di masa resesi seperti sekarang dan jumlah pengangguran yang tinggi sangat memengaruhi kepercayaan diri banyak mahasiswi. Namun, mereka yang beruntung memiliki wajah cantik, apalagi bila mirip-mirip perempuan Eropa, tak perlu khawatir, karena lebih cepat mendapatkan kerja. Kenyataan seperti inilah yang kemudian menumbuhkan obsesi perempuan untuk mengubah wajah alamiah dengan wajah artifisial.

Biaya yang diperlukan untuk memiliki hidung menara Eiffel relatif lebih mahal, yakni 7.400 euro atau senilai dengan Rp 240 jutaan. Meskipun begitu, pasien perempuan yang ingin melakukan pembedahan terus meningkat jumlahnya.

 

Sumber :Daily Mail/kompas.com

 

Editor : Maulana Lee
Perempuan China Terobsesi Memiliki Hidung seperti Menara Eiffel

Ny.Suikim alias AKim yang berusia 40 tahun , yang luka parah akibat duel dengan perampok di tokonya keadaannya telah membaik dirawat. Ia masih harus menjalani perawatan intensif di RS Sari Asih Ciledug, Kota Tangerang.

Menurut kapolsek Ciledug Kompol Imam Santosa usai menjenguk korban, keadaan Ny.Akim semakin membaik namun masih trauma dengan kejadian yang telah dialaminya saat duel dengan perampok.”Belum bisa diperiksa karena masih trauma,” jelasnya.

Sementara keadaan tersangka Irwan,26, yang luka-luka akibat bacokan di kepala dan wajahnya telah dipindahkan ke RSU Tangerang.”Keadaan tersangka juga telah membaik,” jelas kapolsek. Suami Akim, Ricky yang berusia 45 tahun , yang tewas akibat tusukan pisau oleh tersangka Irwan mayatnya masih disimpan di RSU Tangerang untuk diotopsi.

Sebelumnya, toko kelontong Ricky di Jalan HOS Cokroaminoto, Kreo, Larangan, Ciledug disatroni perampok tunggal. Pelaku yang diketahui bernama Irwan itu membabi buta menyerang Ricky pakai pisau hingga 11 tusukan dan akhirnya tewas di lokasi.

Mendengar teriakan suaminya, Akim berusaha membelanya. Namun ia juga diserang pelaku. Meskipun wanita ia berani melawan perampok tunggal itu pakai golok hingga pelaku terkapar kena bacok bagian kepala dan matanya. Pelaku telah berhasil ditangkap massa dan dihakimi.

Pelaku mengaku punya utang hingga terpaksa merampok. Namun akibat perbuatannya juragan kelontong itu harus meregang nyawa dan meninggalkan empat anaknay yang masih kecil. Tidak hanya itu, istri korban juga luka parah.

Istri Juragan Sembako Yang Ditusuk Perampok Membaik

 Pulau Tidung Tuk Orang jakarta wisata laut yg menarik merupakan tempat yg cukup jauh. Harus ke Anyer, Sukabumi, atau terbang ke Bali atau Lombok. Tapi jangan salah, di sudut utara Jakarta masih banyak terdapat pantai yg indah. Salah satunya adalah Pulau Tidung. Terletak di Kepulauan Seribu mempunyai keindahan bawah laut dan hamparan pasir putih nan indah.

Adapun Pulau Tidung Besar dihuni sekitar 4.312 jiwa penduduk, dan salah satu pulau yg penduduknya terbanyak di antara pulau-pulau di gugusan Kepulauan Seribu. Pasir putih pulau tidung yg indah, saygnya seringkali ternodai oleh banyaknya sampah di pinggir pantai hasil kiriman dari Jakarta.

PULAU TIDUNG

Saco-Indonesia.com — Polisi mulai memeriksa saksi-saksi terkait kasus pembunuhan Ade Sara Angelina Suroto (19). Saksi-saksi itu di antaranya adalah orang-orang yang dimintai tolong oleh pelaku AIH (19) saat mobil yang dipakai untuk membawa mayat Ade Sara mogok hingga tiga kali.

Kepala Bidang Humas Polda Metro Jaya Komisaris Besar Rikwanto mengatakan, saat berputar-putar hendak membuang mayat korban, mobil yang ditumpangi pelaku AIH dan satu pelaku lagi, AR (18), mogok tiga kali. Saat mogok ini, AIH meminjam jumper aki ke sejumlah orang untuk menghidupkan kembali mobil KIA Visto.

Namun, mobil itu mogok lagi hingga tiga kali. AIH kemudian memanggil temannya untuk meminjam aki. Teman AIH datang ke lokasi. ”Saat itu, temannya sempat melihat ada orang di dalam mobil AIH. Ia bertanya, siapa itu? Dijawab AIH, itu mayat,” kata Rikwanto.

Mendapat jawaban itu, teman AI diam sebelum kemudian pergi. Setelah mesin mobil hidup kembali, pelaku pergi dengan membawa mayat korban.

Rikwanto menambahkan, polisi belum menjadwalkan pemeriksaan psikologi AIH dan AR. Keduanya masih menjawab pertanyaan penyidik dengan normal. Namun, jika dibutuhkan, polisi akan menghadirkan psikolog untuk memeriksa kondisi kejiwaan kedua pelaku.

Meminta maaf

Keluarga Ade Sara Angelina Suroto (19) tidak hanya memaafkan tindakan pelaku yang membunuh Sara. Keluarga, melalui paman Sara, Yohanes Sutarto, juga meminta maaf jika ada tindakan dan perkataan Sara yang telah melukai kedua pelaku sehingga terjadi peristiwa pembunuhan itu.

”Kami pun tak habis pikir kenapa terjadi penganiayaan itu. Apa mungkin Sara telah melukai perasaan mereka (kedua pelaku). Kalau demikian, kami pun minta maaf,” kata Yohanes.

Namun, hingga saat ini, menurut Yohanes, keluarga kedua pelaku belum ada yang meminta maaf kepada keluarga Sara. ”Ya, kami juga memahami keluarga mereka (kedua pelaku) dan keluarga kami juga tak saling kenal, melainkan anak-anaknya yang kenal,” kata Yohanes.

Tak dimungkiri Yohanes, meskipun cukup tegar, orangtua Sara sesungguhnya juga terguncang, terutama ayah Sara, Suroto, yang kerap termenung pada malam hari. ”Ibunda Sara, Elizabeth, memang kelihatan jauh lebih tegar. Mudah-mudahan selanjutnya demikian,” kata Yohanes.

Sensitivitas terkikis

Psikolog anak dan remaja dari Lembaga Psikologi Terapan Universitas Indonesia, Vera Itabiliana Hadiwidjojo, mengatakan, ada kemungkinan kedua pelaku, AIH dan AR, telah kehilangan sensitivitas dan empati.

”Mungkin, entah bagaimana, sensitivitas ataupun empati keduanya terkikis. Padahal, itu yang membatasi orang untuk tidak menyakiti orang lain,” kata Vera.

Namun, menurut Vera, seseorang tidak bisa menjadi sesadis itu dalam waktu singkat. Ia yakin ada beberapa faktor yang berkontribusi memunculkan kesadisan itu. Hal ini bukan berarti membela atau mencari pembenaran dalam tindakan kedua pelaku. Namun, faktor-faktor pemicu kesadisan sebisa mungkin harus diungkap untuk menemukan akar masalahnya.

Pakar psikologi forensik, Reza Indragiri Amriel, berpendapat, kecil kemungkinan tewasnya Sara sebagai sebuah kesengajaan dan terencana. Dua tersangka, yakni AIH dan AR, diduga kalap sehingga bereaksi secara berlebihan. Efek ini timbul karena pelaku tidak profesional.

”Reaksi berlebihan dari kedua tersangka terjadi saat korban berteriak dan bertindak di luar antisipasi sebelumnya. Cara tersangka menghentikannya kebablasan,” kata Reza. (MKN/NEL/MDN/RAY)

 

Sumber : Kompas.com

Editor : Maulana Lee

Keluarga Ade Sara Meminta Maaf kepada Pelaku

saco-indonesia.com, Menjelang malam tahun baru, keamanan di Jakarta akan semakin diperketat. Di wilayah Jakarta Timur, sebanyak 2.000 personel kepolisian akan diterjunkan untuk dapat mengamankan perayaan malam tahun baru di beberapa titik keramaian.

Kapolres Jakarta Timur, Kombes Mulyadi Kaharni juga mengatakan, di wilayah hukumnya ini, penjagaan juga akan diperketat di kawasan Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) yang diprediksi sebagai titik kumpul para warga.

"Jelang malam pergantian tahun, Polres Jakarta Timur telah menurunkan sebanyak 2.000 personel. Hal itu untuk dapat menjaga keamanan wilayah agar kondusif," kata Mulyadi, Selasa (31/12).

Mulyadi juga menjelaskan, 2.000 personel tersebut telah terdiri dari 1.200 anggota polres dan 800 anggota gabungan dari setiap polsek yang ada di Jakarta Timur. Mulyadi juga menambahkan, untuk dapat mengantisipasi hal-hal yang tidak diinginkan, beberapa anggota kepolisian juga akan diberikan persenjataan yang lengkap nantinya.

"Kita fokuskan di TMII karena pusat perayaan di Jakarta Timur di situ. Dan saya perintahkan kepada anggota agar tetap untuk berjaga-jaga juga usai perayaan malam tahun baru," ucapnya.

Sementara untuk dapat mencegah terjadinya kemacetan, Mulyadi juga menambahkan, akan melakukan pengalihan arus lalu lintas di beberapa titik wilayah agar tidak terjadi penumpukan, kendaraan yang datang dari wilayah Jakarta Pusat maupun Utara.

"Sama seperti tahun-tahun sebelumnya, kita kebagian macetnya saja karena pusat kegiatan perayaan terbesar ada di Jakarta Pusat dan Ancol. Makanya nanti kita akan alihkan beberapa jalan ke wilayah lain," tandasnya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

POLRES JAKTIM AKAN TERJUNKAN 2000 PERSONEL

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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

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

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.

Hello, Mago.

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.

 

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Mike Perez, left, and Magomed Abdusalamov during the fight in which Abdusalamov was injured. Credit Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

 

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.

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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.

 

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 Abdusalamov's hand being massaged. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

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.

 

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Bakanay Abdusalamova, Abdusalamov's wife, and her injured husband and a masseur in the background. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

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.

 

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A championship belt belonging to Abdusalamov and a card from one of his daughters. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

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.

Goodbye, Mago.

He half-smiles, raises his one good hand, and forms a fist.

Meet Mago, Former Heavyweight

Mr. Alger, who served five terms from Texas, led Republican women in a confrontation with Lyndon B. Johnson that may have cost Richard M. Nixon the 1960 presidential election.

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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.

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Document: The Formaldehyde Fight

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

The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.

“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”

The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.

What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.

Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.

“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.

Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.

Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.

Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”

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Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring

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

Typical

laminate

flooring

CLEAR FINISH LAYER

Often made of melamine resin

PATTERN LAYER

Paper printed to resemble wood,

or a thin wood veneer

GLUE

Layers may be bound using

formaldehyde-based glues

CORE LAYER

Fiberboard or other

composite, formed using

formaldehyde-based adhesives

BASE LAYER

Moisture-resistant vapor barrier

What is formaldehyde?

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

WHERE IT IS COMMONLY FOUND

POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS

Pressed-wood and composite wood products

Wallpaper and paints

Spray foam insulation used in construction

Commercial wood floor finishes

Crease-resistant fabrics

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

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

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

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

By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.

Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.

White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.

The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.

As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.

“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”

Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.

“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.

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The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)

But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.

Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.

“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”

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

Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.

Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.

The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.

The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”

Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.

Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”

Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.

While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.

An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.

“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”

An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.

“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.

But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.

“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”

The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde

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Photo
 
Many bodies prepared for cremation last week in Kathmandu were of young men from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

KATHMANDU, Nepal — When the dense pillar of smoke from cremations by the Bagmati River was thinning late last week, the bodies were all coming from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas, and they were all of young men.

Hindu custom dictates that funeral pyres should be lighted by the oldest son of the deceased, but these men were too young to have sons, so they were burned by their brothers or fathers. Sukla Lal, a maize farmer, made a 14-hour journey by bus to retrieve the body of his 19-year-old son, who had been on his way to the Persian Gulf to work as a laborer.

“He wanted to live in the countryside, but he was compelled to leave by poverty,” Mr. Lal said, gazing ahead steadily as his son’s remains smoldered. “He told me, ‘You can live on your land, and I will come up with money, and we will have a happy family.’ ”

Weeks will pass before the authorities can give a complete accounting of who died in the April 25 earthquake, but it is already clear that Nepal cannot afford the losses. The countryside was largely stripped of its healthy young men even before the quake, as they migrated in great waves — 1,500 a day by some estimates — to work as laborers in India, Malaysia or one of the gulf nations, leaving many small communities populated only by elderly parents, women and children. Economists say that at some times of the year, one-quarter of Nepal’s population is working outside the country.

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