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Harga Bahan Bangunan 2013

Harga Bahan Bangunan 2013, Harga : Pasir dan Batu, Semen, Besi, Kayu, Alat dan Kabel Listrik, Cat Dinding, Cat Besi dan Kayu, Genteng Metal, Penutup Atap, Granit, Keramik, Lampu, Papan Fiber Semen, Parket, Pipa PVC, Polikarbonat, Pelapis Anti Bocor/Waterproofing, Hebel, Beton readymix, Peralatan Kerja, Atap Baja Ringan, Upah Tukang, Harga Borongan Bangunan
HARGA BAHAN BANGUNAN 2013
Harga Upah Tukang/Pekerja Bangunan
Harga Borongan Pekerjaan Bangunan
Harga Pasir dan Batu
Harga Semen
Harga Besi
Harga Wiremesh
Harga Paku
Harga Kayu
Harga Keramik
Harga Granit
Harga Cat Dinding
Harga Cat Besi & Kayu
Harga Penutup Atap
Harga Asbes
Harga Seng
Harga Atap Baja Ringan
Harga Genteng Metal
Harga Gypsum & GRC
Harga Triplek
Harga Hebel
Harga Asbes
Harga Beton Readymix
Harga Pipa PVC
Harga Lampu
Harga Lampu LED
Harga Parket Kayu
Harga Parket Bambu
Harga Paving Block / Conblock
Harga Waterproofing
Harga Polikarbonat
Harga Papan Fiber Semen
Harga Alat Listrik
Harga Kabel Listrik
Harga Peralatan Kerja
Harga Kaca
Harga Kaca Tempered
Harga Kunci Gembok
Harga Wastafel
Harga Closet Jongkok
Harga Closet Duduk
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TEKNOLOGI BAHAN BANGUNAN
Glass Block Warna
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warna warni glass block

Glass Block yaitu bahan bangunan yang terbuat dari kaca tebal sehingga dapat ditembus cahaya. Bentuknya seperti bata, persegi empat dengan ukuran panjang 19 cm, lebar 19 cm, dan tebal 8 cm. Karena tembus cahaya, material ini sering dijadikan solusi untuk mengatasi di tempat yang gelap, misalnya saja di kamar mandi.

Dipasaran, glass block identik dengan warna bening atau biasa disebut juga dengan glass block warna putih. Tetapi, tahukah Anda ada produsen yang sudah mengeluarkan glass block dengan pilihan warna yang beragam? Adalah PT. Venus Ceramica International yang mengeluarkan material ini dalam tampilan yang lebih berwarna. Ada merah, jingga, kuning, hijau, biru, ungu, cokelat, abu-abu, dll. Jadi tinggal sesuaikan aja warnanya dengan selera Anda.

Yang menarik, kehadiran warna ini turut menaikkan citra dan fungsi glass block. Dulu Glass block identik dengan dinding kamar mandi. Sekarang dapat diaplikasikan di semua ruang di rumah seperti ruang keluarga, ruang makan, kamar tidur, bahkan lantai. Tak hanya memasukkan cahaya, material ini dapat dijadikan sebagai elemen dekoratif untuk mempercantik tampilan dinding. Harga Glass Block berkisar Rp. 54.900,- sampai dengan Rp. 94.900,- per buah.

(Sumber : Tabloid Rumah)

Baca Juga :
- Cara Pasang Glass Block
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Label: glass block, glass block warna, harga glass block, harga glass block 2013, harga glass block warna
Cara Pasang Glass Block
Cara Pasang Glass Block

Pemasangan glass block  mirip dengan pemasangan dinding batu bata. Anda harus menyusunnya dari bawah lalu ke atas. Agar pemasangan lurus, Anda dapat menggunakan benang. Hanya saja, glass block tidak dapat menggunakan campuran semen biasa, namun harus menggunakan semen instan yang memiliki zat additive. Tebalnya cukup 3 mm.

(Sumber : Tabloid Rumah)

Baca juga :
- Kini Hadir Glass Block Warna
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WARNA WARNI GLASS BLOCK
Banyaknya jaringan sosial di dunia maya seperti facebook, yahoo messenger, dll, menjadikan akhwat dan ikhwan mudah berinteraksi tanpa batas.

Begitu lembut dan halusnya jebakan dunia maya, tanpa disadari mudah menggelincirkan diri manusia ke jurang kebinasaan.

Kasus ta’aruf ini sangat memprihatinkan sebenarnya. Seorang bergelar ikhwan memajang profil islami, tapi serampangan memaknai ta’aruf. M
elihat akhwat yang dinilai bagus kualitas agamanya, langsung berani mengungkapkan kata ‘ta’aruf’, tanpa perantara.

Jangan memaknai kata “ta’aruf” secara sempit, pelajari dulu serangkaian tata cara ta’aruf atau kaidah-kaidah yang dibenarkan oleh Islam. Jika memakai kata ta’aruf untuk bebas berinteraksi dengan lawan jenis, lantas apa bedanya yang telah mendapat hidayah dengan yang masih jahiliyah? Islam telah memberi konsep yang jelas dalam tatacara ta’aruf.

Suatu ketika ada sebuah cerita di salah satu situs jejaring sosial, pasangan akhwat-ikhwan mengatakan sedang ta’aruf, dan untuk menjaga perasaan masing-masing, digantilah status mereka berdua sebagai pasutri, sungguh memiriskan hati.

Pernah juga ada kisah ikhwan-akhwat yang saling mengumbar kegenitan di dunia maya, berikut ini petikan obrolannya:
“Assalamualaikum ukhti,” Sapa sang ikhwan.
“‘Wa’alikumsalam akhi,” Balas sang akhwat.
“Subhanallah ukhti, ana kagum dengan kepribadian anti, seperti Sumayyah, seperti Khaulah binti azwar, bla bla bla bla…” puji ikhwan tersebut.

Apakah berakhir sampai di sini? Oh no…. Rupanya yang ditemui ini juga akhwat genit, maka berlanjutlah obrolan tersebut, si ikhwan bertanya apakah si akhwat sudah punya calon, lantas si akhwat menjawab:
“Alangkah beruntungnya akhwat yang mendapatkan akhi kelak.”
Sang ikhwan pun tidak mau kalah, balas memuji akhwat. “Subhanallah, sangat beruntung ikhwan yang mendapatkan bidadari dunia seperti anti.”
....Banyaknya jaringan sosial di dunia maya menjadikan akhwat dan ikhwan mudah berinteraksi tanpa batas. Ikhwannya membabi buta, akhwatnya terpedaya....
Owh mengerikan, berlebay- lebay di dunia maya, syaitan tak mau menyia-nyiakan kesempatan ini. Lalu tertancaplah rasa, bermekaran di dada dua sejoli tersebut, yang belum ada ikatan pernikahan.

Dengan bangganya sang ikhwan menaburkan janji-janji manis, akan mengajak akhwat hidup di planet mars, mengunjungi benua-benua di dunia. Hingga larutlah keduanya dalam janji-janji lebay.

Ikhwannya membabi buta, akhwatnya terpedaya……a’udzubillah, bukan begitu ta’aruf yang Rasulullah ajarkan.

Ikhwan, Jangan Permainkan Ta’aruf!

Muslimah itu mutiara, tidak sembarang orang boleh menyentuhnya, tidak sembarang orang boleh memandangnya. Jika kalian punya keinginan untuk menikahinya, carilah cara yang baik yang dibenarkan Islam. Cari tahu informasi tentang akhwat melalui pihak ketiga yang bisa dipercaya. Jika maksud ta’arufmu untuk menggenapkan separuh agamamu, silakan saja, tapi prosesnya jangan keluar dari koridor Islam.
....Wahai ikhwan, relakah jika adikmu dijadikan ajang coba-coba ta’aruf oleh orang lain? Tentu engkau keberatan bukan?....
ikhwan, relakah jika adikmu dijadikan ajang coba-coba ta’aruf oleh orang lain? Tentu engkau keberatan bukan?

Jagalah izzah muslimah, mereka adalah saudaramu. Pasanglah tabir pembatas dalam interaksi dengannya. Pahamilah, hati wanita itu lembut dan mudah tersentuh, akan timbul guncangan batin jika jeratan yang kalian tabur tersebut hanya sekedar main-main.

Jagalah hati mereka, jangan banyak memberi harapan atau menabur simpati yang dapat melunturkan keimanan mereka.
Mereka adalah wanita-wanita pemalu yang ingin meneladani wanita mulia di awal-awal Islam, biarkan iman mereka bertambah dalam balutan rasa nyaman dan aman dari gangguan JIL alias Jaringan Ikhwan Lebay.

Ikhwan,

Ini hanya sekedar nasihat, jangan mudah percaya dengan apa yang dipresentasikan orang di dunia maya, karena foto dan kata-kata yang tidak kamu ketahui kejelasan karakter wanita, tidak dapat dijadikan tolak ukur kesalehahan mereka, hendaklah mengutus orang yang amanah yang membantumu mencari data dan informasinya.
....luasnya ilmu yang engkau miliki tidak menjadikan engkau mulia, jika tidak kau imbangi dengan menjaga adab pergaulan dengan lawan jenis....
Wahai ikhwan, luasnya ilmu yang engkau miliki tidak menjadikan engkau mulia, jika tidak kau imbangi dengan menjaga adab pergaulan dengan lawan jenis.

Akhwat, Jaga Hijabmu!

akhwat, jaga hijabmu agar tidak runtuh kewibaanmu. Jangan bangga karena banyaknya ikhwan yang menginginkan taaruf. Karena ta’aruf yang tidak berdasarkan aturan syar’i, sesungguhnya sama saja si ikhwan merendahkanmu. Jika ikhwan itu punya niat yang benar dan serius, tentu akan memakai cara yang Rasulullah ajarkan, dan tidak langsung menembak kalian dengan caranya sendiri.

akhwat, terkadang kita harus mengoreksi cara kita berinteraksi dengan mereka, apakah ada yang salah hingga membuat mereka tertarik dengan kita? Terlalu lunakkah sikap kita terhadapnya?

akhwat, sadarilah, orang-orang yang engkau kenal di dunia maya tidak semua memberikan informasi yang sebenarnya, waspadalah, karena engkau adalah sebaik-baik wanita yang menggenggam amanah Ilahi. Jangan mudah terpedaya oleh rayuan orang di dunia maya.
....berhiaslah dengan akhlak islami, jangan mengumbar kegenitan pada ikhwan yang bukan mahram....
akhwat, berhiaslah dengan akhlak islami, jangan mengumbar kegenitan pada ikhwan yang bukan mahram, biarkan apa yang ada di dirimu menjadi simpanan manis buat suamimu kelak.

akhwat, ta’aruf yang sesungguhnya haruslah berdasarkan cara Islam, bukan dengan cara mengumbar rasa sebelum ada akad nikah
BERTA'ARUFLAH WAHAI ANAK MUDA!!! ITU LEBIH MULIA

Wisata Jakarta kali ini akan mengulas sebuah obyek wisata di Jakarta yang telah menjelma bagi masyarakat Jakarta sebagai Lambang Kota Jakarta, obyek wisata dan juga telah menjadi sebuah Land Mark dari Kota Jakarta, yaitu Monumen Nasional atau biasa disebut Tugu Monas.

Lokasi wisata ini telah terletak tepat di depan Istana Kepresidenan Republik Indonesia di Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan, Jakarta, dan telah dikelilingi juga oleh berbagai obyek wisata penting dari Jakarta, seperti Museum Gajah, Mesjid Istiqlal, dan Gereja Katolik Khatedral, telah membuat kunjungan wisata ke Monumen Nasional, atau sering disingkat dengan Monas menjadi sebuah pengalaman wisata yang sangat menarik. Apalagi Monas telah dikelilingi oleh lahan hijau yang sangat luas, dan buka setiap hari (kecuali hari Senin di Minggu terakhir tutup), telah memungkinkan kunjungan keluarga di hari Sabtu, Minggu, atau libur sambil berolah raga di kawasan sekitar Monas, sambil mengunjungi Museum Diorama Perjuangan Kemerdekaan bangsa Indonesia. Pulangnya jangan lupa mampir ke Mesjid Istiklal, Mesjid terbesar di Asia Tenggara, dan Gereja Katolik Kathedral, gereja yang juga sudah menjadi icon wisata Jakarta.

Dengan berwisata ke Monumen Nasional, kita juga berkesempatan untuk dapat melihat kota Jakarta dari ketinggian 115 m dari permukaan tanah, yaitu dari Puncak Monas, dengan hanya dibatasi oleh sedikit besi pelindung, dengan terpaan angin yang cukup kencang, pastilah telah menjadi suatu pengalaman yang sulit dilupakan. Anda juga bisa melihat kota Jakarta secara bebas sampai keseluruhan pelosoknya, dengan gedung pencakar langit dibawah kita, sebagian ditutupi awan kabut. Suatu pengalaman wisata yang tidak bisa didapat di tempat lain di Jakarta.

Diorama Sekitar Perjuangan Kemerdekaan Indonesia

Monumen Nasional atau Tugu Monas Jakarta adalah sebuah monumen yang telah didirikan untuk dapat mengenang dan melestarikan kebesaran perjuangan bangsa Indonesia yang dikenal dengan Revolusi Kemerdekaan Rakyat Indonesia 17 Agustus 1945, dan untuk dapat membangkitkan inspirasi dan semangat patriotisme bagi generasi sekarang, dan generasi masa mendatang. Pembangunan Tugu Monumen Nasional berdasarkan Keputusan Presiden RI Nomor 214 Tahun 1959, tanggal 30 Agustus 1959 tentang Pembentukan Panitia Monumen Nasional. Pemancangan tiang pertama dilakukan oleh Presiden Republik Indonesia Pertama, Ir. Soekarno pada tanggal 17 Agustus 1961. Pembangunan Tugu Monumen Nasional dibiayai sebagian besar dari sumbangan masyarakat bangsa Indonesia secara gotong royong, dan mulai dibuka sebagai lokasi wisata untuk umum pada tanggal 18 Maret 1972 berdasarkan Keputusan Gubernur KDKI Jakarta Nomor Cb.11/1/57/72.

Arsitektur Monumen Nasional melambangkan lingga dan yoni yang akrab dengan Budaya Bangsa Indonesia di masa Kerajaan Hindu dan Buda. Selain itu juga telah menggambarkan Alu dan Lumpang yang juga merupakan alat rumah tangga untuk mengulek bumbu bahan makanan sehari-hari. Tinggi pelataran cawan sebagai personofikasi dari lumpang adalah 17 m. Luas cawan yang berbentuk bujur sangkar adalah 45 m x 45 m. Sedangkan bagian dalam cawan adalah ruang dengan tinggi ruangan 8 m. Di dalam ruangan yang disebut dengan Ruang Kemerdekaan, ruangannya berbentuk amphitheater mengelilingi 4 Atribut Kemerdekaan RI, yaitu Peta Kepulauan Republik Indonesia, Bendera Sang Saka Merah Putih, Lambang Negara Bhineka Tunggal Ika, dan Pintu Gapura yang berisi Naskah Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia. Semua itu ditujukan untuk dapat mengingatkan kita kembali kepada tanggal Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Indonesia, yaitu tanggal 17 Agustus 1945.

Struktur Monumen Nasional Jakarta

Di bawah ruang cawan, yaitu 3 m di bawah permukaan tanah terdapat Ruangan Museum Sejarah seluas 80 m x 80 m dengan dinding, tiang, dan lantainya secara keseluruhan berlapiskan marmer. Di ruang Museum sejarah ini ada 51 jendela peragaan / diorama yang telah mengabadikan peristiwa sejak jaman nenek moyang bangsa Indonesia, perjuangan merebut dan mempertahankan kemerdekaan, sampai kepada masa mengisi kemerdekaan. Selain itu juga ada foto-foto dokumentasi dari proses pembangunan Monumen Nasional Jakarta. Dengan berwisata mengunjungi Monas, dijamin wawasan kita tentang apa arti Kemerdekaan bagi warga Jakarta dan bangsa Indonesia pasti akan bertambah.

Ruang Museum di Monumen Nasional Jakarta

Salah Satu dari 51 Diorama di Museum Sejarah Monas

Pelataran Puncak Tugu Monumen Nasional telah terletak pada ketinggian 115 meter dari halaman Monas, bisa dicapai dengan elevator berkapasitas 11 penumpang (ditambah satu orang pemandu lift dari pengelola, kapasitas sebenarnya 12 orang). Pelataran Puncak luasnya adalah 11 m x 11 m dan dapat menampung sampai 50 orang. Dari sini kita bisa melihat gedung-gedung pencakar langit dan wilayah Jakarta sampai ke ujung. Di sana juga disewakan teropong dengan tarif hanya Rp 2.000,- sekali teropong. Melihat pemandangan Jakarta dari sana sangat menarik, tapi buat yang punya rasa takut akan ketinggian, tidak bisa dipungkiri rasa takut itu akan muncul, seiring menyadari bahwa semua gedung pencakar langit dan awan ada di bawah kita. Apalagi saat angin yang agak kencang menerpa baju kita, seakan-akan akan menerbangkan kita. Yah, tapi itulah salah satu daya tarik dari wisata di Monas. Hitung-hitung sambil berwisata, kita juga memacu adrenalin kita.

Yang menarik adalah, di bagian puncak tugu, diletakkan sebuah bentuk lidah api yang tak pernah padam, melambangkan tekad bangsa Indonesia untuk berjuang yang tidak akan padam sepanjang masa. Lidah api itu dibentuk dari 14,5 ton perunggu yang dibungkus oleh 50 kg emas. Lidah api itu tingginya 14 meter dan berdiameter 6 meter, terdiri dari 77 bagian yang disatukan.Ketinggian puncak lidah api adalah 132 meter dari halaman Tugu Monumen Nasional.

Membayangkan bahwa lidah api dibuat dengan emas 50 kg, pastilah harga yang sangat mahal untuk ditaruh di sebuah tugu. Pada saat tulisan ini ditulis, harga emasnya saya hitung setara dengan Rp. 15 milyar. Suatu harga yang pantas untuk mengingatkan kita agar semangat kita melanjutkan cita-cita perjuangan pendahulu kita tidak padam. Monas memang bukan hanya milik warga Jakarta, tetapi milik bangsa Indonesia. Selamat berwisata di Monas dan menikmati keindahan kota Jakarta dari ketinggian 115 meter di atas tanah. Dan cobalah renungkan betapa tingginya harga yang harus dibayar untuk memperoleh kemerdekaan Bangsa Indonesia. Maka marilah kita ikut mengisinya dengan hal-hal yang berguna bagi kita dan generasi masa depan.
brandingstrategies.info
Wisata Monumen Nasional Jakarta :

    Dibuka untuk kunjungan wisata setiap hari, kecuali setiap Senin terakhir tiap bulan
    Harga tiket masuk wisata ke cawan Rp. 2,500,-/orang untuk dewasa, Rp. 1.000,-/orang untuk pelajar/mahasiswa
    Harga tiket masuk wisata ke pelataran puncak Rp. 7.500,-/orang untuk dewasa dan Rp. 3.500,- untuk pelajar/mahasiswa
    Harga sewa teropong Rp. 2.000,-/koin

 

TEMPAT WISATA MONUMEN NASIONAL
Gunung Merapi telah kembali menunjukkan aktivitasnya. Senin (10/3) pagi, beberapa desa di Kecamatan Kemalang, Klaten, Jawa Tengah telah diguyur hujan abu. Wilayah tersebut hanya berjarak sekitar 6 kilometer dari puncak gunung teraktif di Indonesia itu. Kepala Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Daerah (BPBD) Klaten, Sri Winoto juga membenarkan, hujan abu telah terjadi di wilayahnya. Berdasarkan informasi yang telah diterimanya, terjadi letupan kecil Merapi pada Senin pagi. "Benar, info dari BPPTK (Badan Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kegunungapian) Yogyakarta, telah terjadi letupan kecil Gunung Merapi pada jam 07.08 WIB. Terdapat awan hitam dengan ketinggian sekitar 1.5 km. Arah angin barat daya, kemungkinan hujan abu ringan ke arah barat daya," ujar Winoto. Akibat dari kejadian tersebut BPBD Klaten telah mengimbau masyarakat untuk harus mengenakan masker apabila akan bepergian ke luar rumah. "Kami juga telah mengimbau warga agar tetap di rumah selama masih terjadi hujan abu. Mereka juga kita harap untuk tetap waspada. Kondisi Merapi masih normal, warga tidak perlu khawatir," katanya.AWAN HITAM DAN HUJAN ABU TERJADI DI KLATEN

saco-indonesia.com, Seorang saksi mata telah menceritakan peristiwa mobil 'terbang' hingga tenggelam dan hilang di Kalimalang. Hingga kini polisi juga masih harus melakukan pencarian.

Menurut Kardi, saksi mata itu, mobil terbang dan nyungsep ke Kalimalang pada Kamis (23/1) pukul 23.00 WIB malam. Sang sopir bisa menyelamatkan diri dengan berenang.

Saat itu lokasi memang sepi, hanya ada beberapa sopir taksi yang mangkal. Sesaat setelah itu lokasi langsung ramai. Sopir juga telah bercerita bahwa mobil itu baru.

"Malam itu juga dia lapor ke Polres bekasi," kata Kardi.

Karena malam gelap, mobil yang tenggelam belum dapat ditangani. Baru siang ini mobil berusaha dicari oleh petugas Brimob.

Seperti yang telah diketahui, mobil Toyota Avanza melaju dengan kencang dari arah Bekasi menuju Jakarta. Namun tiba-tiba mobil tersebut oleng menabrak pagar besi dan terbang masuk ke Kalimalang. Dalam peristiwa mengerikan itu pengemudi telah berhasil menyelamatkan diri dengan berenang.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

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Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

Dave Goldberg, Head of Web Survey Company and Half of a Silicon Valley Power Couple, Dies at 47

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

The 2015 Met Gala has only officially begun, but there's a clear leader in the race for best couple, no small feat at an event that threatens to sap Hollywood of every celebrity it has for the duration of an East Coast evening.

That would be Marc Jacobs and his surprise guest (who, by some miracle, remained under wraps until their red carpet debut), Cher.

“This has been a dream of mine for a very, very long time,” Mr. Jacobs said.

It is Cher's first appearance at the Met Gala since 1997, when she arrived on the arm of Donatella Versace.

– MATTHEW SCHNEIER

Cher and Marc Jacobs

BALTIMORE — In the afternoons, the streets of Locust Point are clean and nearly silent. In front of the rowhouses, potted plants rest next to steps of brick or concrete. There is a shopping center nearby with restaurants, and a grocery store filled with fresh foods.

And the National Guard and the police are largely absent. So, too, residents say, are worries about what happened a few miles away on April 27 when, in a space of hours, parts of this city became riot zones.

“They’re not our reality,” Ashley Fowler, 30, said on Monday at the restaurant where she works. “They’re not what we’re living right now. We live in, not to be racist, white America.”

As Baltimore considers its way forward after the violent unrest brought by the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of injuries he suffered while in police custody, residents in its predominantly white neighborhoods acknowledge that they are sometimes struggling to understand what beyond Mr. Gray’s death spurred the turmoil here. For many, the poverty and troubled schools of gritty West Baltimore are distant troubles, glimpsed only when they pass through the area on their way somewhere else.

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Officers blocked traffic at Pennsylvania and West North Avenues after reports that a gun was discharged in the area. Credit Drew Angerer for The New York Times

And so neighborhoods of Baltimore are facing altogether different reckonings after Mr. Gray’s death. In mostly black communities like Sandtown-Winchester, where some of the most destructive rioting played out last week, residents are hoping businesses will reopen and that the police will change their strategies. But in mostly white areas like Canton and Locust Point, some residents wonder what role, if any, they should play in reimagining stretches of Baltimore where they do not live.

“Most of the people are kind of at a loss as to what they’re supposed to do,” said Dr. Richard Lamb, a dentist who has practiced in the same Locust Point office for nearly 39 years. “I listen to the news reports. I listen to the clergymen. I listen to the facts of the rampant unemployment and the lack of opportunities in the area. Listen, I pay my taxes. Exactly what can I do?”

And in Canton, where the restaurants have clever names like Nacho Mama’s and Holy Crepe Bakery and Café, Sara Bahr said solutions seemed out of reach for a proudly liberal city.

“I can only imagine how frustrated they must be,” said Ms. Bahr, 36, a nurse who was out with her 3-year-old daughter, Sally. “I just wish I knew how to solve poverty. I don’t know what to do to make it better.”

The day of unrest and the overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations that followed led to hundreds of arrests, often for violations of the curfew imposed on the city for five consecutive nights while National Guard soldiers patrolled the streets. Although there were isolated instances of trouble in Canton, the neighborhood association said on its website, many parts of southeast Baltimore were physically untouched by the tumult.

Tensions in the city bubbled anew on Monday after reports that the police had wounded a black man in Northwest Baltimore. The authorities denied those reports and sent officers to talk with the crowds that gathered while other officers clutching shields blocked traffic at Pennsylvania and West North Avenues.

Lt. Col. Melvin Russell, a community police officer, said officers had stopped a man suspected of carrying a handgun and that “one of those rounds was spent.”

Colonel Russell said officers had not opened fire, “so we couldn’t have shot him.”

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Lambi Vasilakopoulos, right, who runs a casual restaurant in Canton, said he was incensed by last week's looting and predicted tensions would worsen. Credit Drew Angerer for The New York Times

The colonel said the man had not been injured but was taken to a hospital as a precaution. Nearby, many people stood in disbelief, despite the efforts by the authorities to quash reports they described as “unfounded.”

Monday’s episode was a brief moment in a larger drama that has yielded anger and confusion. Although many people said they were familiar with accounts of the police harassing or intimidating residents, many in Canton and Locust Point said they had never experienced it themselves. When they watched the unrest, which many protesters said was fueled by feelings that they lived only on Baltimore’s margins, even those like Ms. Bahr who were pained by what they saw said they could scarcely comprehend the emotions associated with it.

But others, like Lambi Vasilakopoulos, who runs a casual restaurant in Canton, said they were incensed by what unfolded last week.

“What happened wasn’t called for. Protests are one thing; looting is another thing,” he said, adding, “We’re very frustrated because we’re the ones who are going to pay for this.”

There were pockets of optimism, though, that Baltimore would enter a period of reconciliation.

“I’m just hoping for peace,” Natalie Boies, 53, said in front of the Locust Point home where she has lived for 50 years. “Learn to love each other; be patient with each other; find justice; and care.”

A skeptical Mr. Vasilakopoulos predicted tensions would worsen.

“It cannot be fixed,” he said. “It’s going to get worse. Why? Because people don’t obey the laws. They don’t want to obey them.”

But there were few fears that the violence that plagued West Baltimore last week would play out on these relaxed streets. The authorities, Ms. Fowler said, would make sure of that.

“They kept us safe here,” she said. “I didn’t feel uncomfortable when I was in my house three blocks away from here. I knew I was going to be O.K. because I knew they weren’t going to let anyone come and loot our properties or our businesses or burn our cars.”

Baltimore Residents Away From Turmoil Consider Their Role

Ms. Crough played the youngest daughter on the hit ’70s sitcom starring David Cassidy and Shirley Jones.

Suzanne Crough, Actress in ‘The Partridge Family,’ Dies at 52

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple

Ms. Turner and her twin sister founded the Love Kitchen in 1986 in a church basement in Knoxville, Tenn., and it continues to provide clothing and meals.

Ellen Turner Dies at 87; Opened Kitchen to Feed the Needy of Knoxville
Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”
Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

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

Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.

Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.

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Credit Peter Arkle

Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.

“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”

Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.

The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.

They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.

A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.

Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.

What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.

It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)

A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.

The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.

It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.

High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.

But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.

In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters

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

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

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
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