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Investasi Property yang kini telah menyabar luas merupakan salah satu bentuk investasi yang menjanjikan. Berinvestasi dalam berbagai jenis properti, baik itu apartemen, peumahan, rumah, hingga ruko. Semua jenis property tersebut harus terawat dengan baik dan tidak boleh rusak, agar mendapatkan penyewa, dan memuaskannya. Manajemen Property sanngat dibutuhkan untuk menangani masalah yang seperti ini.

Bagi yang tidak mempunyai waktu 100% untuk mengurus Investasi propertynya dapat menggunakan layanan jasa manajemen property. Berikut ini beberapa manfaat menggunakan jasa manajemen properti :

 

  1. Menawarkan bantuan untuk mendapatkan hasil yang maksimal dari investasi Anda.
  2. Membantu Anda menemukan penyewa yang cocok untuk properti Anda.
  3. Memperhatikan semua aspek dari properti seperti pemeliharaan, masalah sewa, pembayaran pajak dan sebagainya.
  4. Memastikan bahwa Anda mendapatkan uang dalam investasi tersebut.

Jasa Manajemen properti sangatlah ideal jika digunakan bagi orang yang bertempat tinggal jauh dari propertinya. Jika telah membeli properti di daerah lain, kondisi properti dan penyewaannya perlu dikelola dengan tepat. Hal ini dapat dilakukan dengan bantuan jasa manajemen. Pebisnis profesional yang sibuk dan tidak memiliki waktu dalam mengelola berbagai properti maka sangat tepat untuk menggunakan jasa ini. Waktu mereka tidak akan terikat pada kegiatan manajemen dan mereka tetap dapat fokus pada urusan bisnis mereka. Sedangkan jika Anda memilih untuk memperkerjakan seseorang untuk mengurusnya, Anda akan harus berurusan dengan berbagai masalah seperti gaji karyawan, memeriksa kegiatan mereka dan sebagainya. Dengan menggunakan jasa manajemen, maka Anda dapat memberikan semua tanggung jawab kepada manajer properti.

Manajer properti adalah orang-orang dengan pengalaman yang cukup di bidang manajemen khususnya properti. Mereka tahu tentang semua hukum yang mengatur manajemen properti dan tahu langkah apa yang harus diambil jika terjadi masalah dengan penyewa. Mereka juga bisa mendatangkan penyewa baru dalam mempertahankan properti. Mereka akan tahu bagaimana untuk menjaga properti dalam kondisi terbaik mungkin untuk mendapatkan hasil yang maksimal.

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MENGGUNAKAN JASA MANAJEMEN PROPERTI

Seperti halnya Bunaken, Wakatobi juga merupakan kawasan diving populer yang telah menjadi kebanggaan Indonesia. Terletak di Sulawesi Tenggara, Wakatobi juga telah memiliki terumbu karang yang sangat luar biasa indah dan ikan-ikan cantik yang telah membuat traveler seluruh dunia tidak bosan untuk mengunjungi tempat wisata ini. Asal kamu tahu, Wakatobi juga telah memiliki 750 dari 850 spesies koral, jenis karang yang beragam serta makhluk laut yang sudah sulit ditemukan di daerah lain.

Wakatobi sendiri juga merupakan kependekan dari nama empat pulai besar di Sulawesi, yaitu Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia dan Binongko. Wanci adalah ibukota Wakatobi yang terletak di Pulau Wangi-wangi. Anda juga tidak akan kesulitan untuk mencari akses dari dan ke Wanci karena kota ini sudah tersedia berbagai macam alternatif transportasi mulai dari taksi, angkot sampai ojek.

Semakin tergoda mengunjungi Wakatobi, travelers? Anda juga bisa menjangkau tempat ini dengan transportasi udara yang ditempuh dari Jakarta atau Surabaya dengan tujuan Makassar. Setelah sampai di Makassar, anda juga bisa melanjutkan perjalanan dengan penerbangan lanjutan ke Kendari atau Bau Bau. Setelah itu, perjalanan akan dilakukan melalui jalur udara, kapal cepat atau kapal kayu ke Wangi wangi, Kaledupa dan Tomia.

Anda sebenarnya bisa memangkas biaya transportasi dengan menggunakan kapal laut dari Makassar. Tapi, Anda akan membuang banyak waktu karena perjalanan itu akan memakan waktu hingga 10 jam. Jadi, transportasi udara adalah pilihan terbaik supaya kamu bisa menjelajah Wakatobi secara maksimal.

Tiba di Wakatobi, jika belum melakukan reservasi, tentu anda harus mencari penginapan. Tidak perlu pusing, travelers, karena Wakatobi juga punya banyak pilihan penginapan mulai dari hotel standar dengan tarif Rp150 ribu per malam hingga resort bintang lima dengan tarif mencapai Rp1,5 juta per malam. Atau kalau Anda ingin lebih menghemat bujet, Anda juga bisa memilih penginapan warga alias homestay dengan rata-rata tarif Rp50 ribu.

Untuk opsi lokasi penyelaman dan snorkeling, Anda juga bisa menemukan banyak tempat menarik di Wanci. Biasanya, spot di sekitar pelabuhan kapal fery, belakang Hotel Wakatobi atau sekitar Patuno Resort dan Pantai Sousu adalah lokasi yang paling dekat dan sering dikunjungi turis. Tapi, kalau Anda ingin menikmati lokasi yang lebih jauh, Anda juga bisa ke Pulau Tomia dan Binongko yang memakan waktu lima jam perjalanan dengan speed boat.

Kalau Anda tidak punya perlengkapan, tidak perlu khawatir karena di Wakatobi juga terdapat banyak penyewaan alat diving maupun snorkeling, lengkap dengan pemandu dan kapal yang akan mengantarkan Anda ke tempat penyelaman. Di lokasi tertentu, Anda juga bisa menjumpai ikan napoleon dengan ukuran besar, atau melihat kelinci laut serta ragam bintang laut. Tentu saja, Anda juga akan menyaksikan keindahan ragam terumbu karang yang menjadi keunggulan Wakatobi.

Tapi, jangan salah, travelers, Wakatobi lebih dari sekadar diving dan snorkeling lho! Anda juga bisa menyaksikan atraksi lumba-lumba ataupun menikmati pemandangan matahari terbit dan tenggelam di Hoga, salah satu spot terbaik di Wakatobi.

Supaya puas mengelilingi Wakatobi, Anda setidaknya harus meluangkan waktu satu minggu. Pasalnya, perjalanan satu pulau ke pulau lainnya harus dilakukan dengan speedboat dengan jadwal tertentu yang kadang tak bisa diandalkan. Kalau ingin berkunjung Wakatobi, sebaiknya antara bulan Oktober sampai awal Desember dan bulan April hinga Juni. Karena saat itu laut berombak kecil sehingga memudahkan untuk dapat melakukan perjalanan dan lebih nyaman untuk berenang atau snorkeling.

TEMPAT WISATA WAKATOBI

    saco-indonesia.com,

    Akukan datang untukmu

    Disaat kau menginginkanku

    Tapi kau pergi sesuka hatimu

    Sampai kapan kau begini

     

    Sampai kapan, kapan, sampai kapan

    Kita bisa bertemu

    Sampai kapan, kapan, sampai kapan

    Kita bisa berdua

     

    Selama ini, selama ini

    Ku ingin kita bersama

    Selama ini, selama ini

    Kuingin kita bercinta selamanya

     

    Akukan datang untukmu

    Disaat kau merindukanku

    Sesuka hatimu

    Sampai kapan kau begini

     

    Sampai ku menanti

    Sampai kapan ku disini

    Bersamamu selamanya


    Editor : Dian Sukmawati

 

ALEXA SAMPAI KAPAN

GP Tax Consulting adalah salah satu unit usaha dari PT Great Performance  perusahaan yang bergerak dibidang jasa riset,  jasa konsultasi pajak dan biro jasa di Jakarta Pusat.
Dengan didukung tenaga konsultan pajak profesional yang telah terdaftar, bersertifikat dan berpengalaman bertahun-tahun di bidang perpajakan GP Tax Consulting hadir dan siap membantu permasalahan perpajakan baik di perusahaan maupun pajak pribadi anda.
Visi dan Misi

Sebagai sebuah perusahaan jasa konsultan pajak kami mempunyai Visi untuk selalu memberikan pelayanan secara optimal agar dapat memberi nilai tambah bagi klien kami.

Adapun Misi kami adalah :

    Menyediakan jasa konsultasi yang profesional dan berkwalitas tinggi kepada klien secara konsisten
    Memberikan jasa konsultasi yang dapat menyelesaikan kasus/permasalahan pajak klien secara tepat, komprehensif dan sesuai dengan peraturan pajak yang berlaku
    Menjadi mitra kerja yang baik bagi klen dan fiskus
    Membantu pemerintah dalam meningkatkan kesadaran dan kepatuhan para wajib pajak untuk memenuhi kewajibannya membayar pajak sesuai dengan Undang-undang dan Peraturan yang berlaku.

Kami selalu memberikan solusi dan pelayanan Jasa Konsultasi Pajak Terbaik dengan didukung partner yang memiliki komitmen yang tinggi, serta staff konsultan pajak professional dan terlatih khususnya di bidang perpajakan di Indonesia.
Hubungan networking yang kuat dalam jajaran korps perpajakan di seluruh Indonesia mempermudah kami dalam menyelesaikan setiap  permasalahan dan kasus perpajakan yang kami hadapi di lapangan.

JASA KONSULTAN PAJAK DI JAKARTA

Tips Memilih Mobil Rental di Surabaya

Berikut beberapa tips dalam memilih mobil rental di Surabaya. Seperti kita ketahui, melakukan perjalanan keluar kota, baik perjalanan wisata maupun perjalanan bisnis adalah hal yang melelahkan. Untuk itu akan lebih efektif  jika dilakukan dengan menggunakan jasa rental mobil. Selain lebih efisien, menggunakan jasa sewa mobil surabaya akan membuat perjalanan Anda lebih nyaman dan menyenangkan.

Oke langsung saja Anda baca beberapa tips singkat dalam memilih kendaraan rental:

    Pilih mobil Sesuai Dengan Kebutuhan. Jika Anda hendak melakukan perjalanan dengan anggota keluarga atau rekan bisnis yang berjumlah 3-4 orang, maka pilihan untuk menggunakan mobil keluarga seperti Grand Livina, Avanza/Xenia atau Innova sepertinya dapat membuat perjalanan Anda dan keluarga / rekan kerja menjadi nyaman.
    Hemat BBM. Dalam memutuskan menggunakan jasa rental mobil surabaya sebaiknya Anda mempertimbangkan pemakaian BBM. Apakah biaya sewa mobil Anda include BBM atau BBM Anda tanggung sendiri. Untuk lebih efisien, sebelum Anda melakukan booking mobil, Anda hitung berapa jarak tempuh perjalanan Anda.
    Efisiensi Biaya. Jika Anda melakukan perjalan dengan jumlah penumpang yang cukup banyak. Sebaiknya Anda memilih mobil berjenis minibus atau van. Hal ini juga dapat menghemat pengeluaran biaya secara keseluruhan jika dibandingkan Anda harus membeli tiket kereta per orang.
    Cek kondisi mobil. Jangan hanya melihat kondisi mobil dari tampilan luarnya saja, tetapi juga harus mengecek kondisi mobil secara keseluruhan, seperti kondisi mesin, rem, ban dan lain-lain. Jika Anda tidak mengertihal-hal teknis mengenai mobil, maka jangan ragu untuk menanyakannya kepada pihak penyedia jasa sewa / rental mobil untuk menjelaskan hal tersebut.
    Pilih mobil sesuai dengan kondisi medan Memilih jenis mobil untuk perjalanan Anda sebaiknya Anda sesuaikan dengan medan yang akan Anda tempuh dan juga tujuan perjalan Anda. Jika Anda akan melakukan perjalanan keluar kota dengan seluruh anggota keluarga dan akan melalui medan yang cukup berat, seperti medan pegunungan. Maka pilihlah mobil keluarga dengan tenaga yang besar. Mobil-mobil dengan mesin/bahan bakar disel dapat menjadi pilihan.


Semoga sedikit tips di atas terkait bagaimana cara memilih jenis mobil untuk perjalanan wisata / perjalanan bisnis yang akan Anda lakukan bisa bermanfaat untuk Anda.

TIPS MEMILIH MOBIL RENTAL DI SURABAYA
Joseph Lechleider

Mr. Lechleider helped invent DSL technology, which enabled phone companies to offer high-speed web access over their infrastructure of copper wires.

Joseph Lechleider, a Father of the DSL Internet Technology, Dies at 82

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

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

Fullmer, who reigned when fight clubs abounded and Friday night fights were a television staple, was known for his title bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson and Carmen Basilio.

Gene Fullmer, a Brawling Middleweight Champion, Dies at 83

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

Hired in 1968, a year before their first season, Mr. Fanning spent 25 years with the team, managing them to their only playoff appearance in Canada.

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

WASHINGTON — During a training course on defending against knife attacks, a young Salt Lake City police officer asked a question: “How close can somebody get to me before I’m justified in using deadly force?”

Dennis Tueller, the instructor in that class more than three decades ago, decided to find out. In the fall of 1982, he performed a rudimentary series of tests and concluded that an armed attacker who bolted toward an officer could clear 21 feet in the time it took most officers to draw, aim and fire their weapon.

The next spring, Mr. Tueller published his findings in SWAT magazine and transformed police training in the United States. The “21-foot rule” became dogma. It has been taught in police academies around the country, accepted by courts and cited by officers to justify countless shootings, including recent episodes involving a homeless woodcarver in Seattle and a schizophrenic woman in San Francisco.

Now, amid the largest national debate over policing since the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, a small but vocal set of law enforcement officials are calling for a rethinking of the 21-foot rule and other axioms that have emphasized how to use force, not how to avoid it. Several big-city police departments are already re-examining when officers should chase people or draw their guns and when they should back away, wait or try to defuse the situation

Police Rethink Long Tradition on Using Force

A lapsed seminarian, Mr. Chambers succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of the social justice umbrella group Industrial Areas Foundation.

Edward Chambers, Early Leader in Community Organizing, Dies at 85

Mr. Goldberg was a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist who was married to Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook.

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

Ms. Pryor, who served more than two decades in the State Department, was the author of well-regarded biographies of the founder of the American Red Cross and the Confederate commander.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64

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.

Photo
 
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

Public perceptions of race relations in America have grown substantially more negative in the aftermath of the death of a young black man who was injured while in police custody in Baltimore and the subsequent unrest, far eclipsing the sentiment recorded in the wake of turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.

Americans are also increasingly likely to say that the police are more apt to use deadly force against a black person, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds.

The poll findings highlight the challenges for local leaders and police officials in trying to maintain order while sustaining faith in the criminal justice system in a racially polarized nation.

Sixty-one percent of Americans now say race relations in this country are generally bad. That figure is up sharply from 44 percent after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed in Ferguson in August, and 43 percent in December. In a CBS News poll just two months ago, 38 percent said race relations were generally bad. Current views are by far the worst of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The negative sentiment is echoed by broad majorities of blacks and whites alike, a stark change from earlier this year, when 58 percent of blacks thought race relations were bad, but just 35 percent of whites agreed. In August, 48 percent of blacks and 41 percent of whites said they felt that way.

Looking ahead, 44 percent of Americans think race relations are worsening, up from 36 percent in December. Forty-one percent of blacks and 46 percent of whites think so. Pessimism among whites has increased 10 points since December.

Continue reading the main story
Do you think race relations in the United States are generally good or generally bad?
60
40
20
0
White
Black
May '14
May '15
Generally bad
Continue reading the main story
Do you think race relations in the United States are getting better, getting worse or staying about the same?
Getting worse
Staying the same
Getting better
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
44%
37
17
46
36
16
41
42
15

The poll finds that profound racial divisions in views of how the police use deadly force remain. Blacks are more than twice as likely to say police in most communities are more apt to use deadly force against a black person — 79 percent of blacks say so compared with 37 percent of whites. A slim majority of whites say race is not a factor in a police officer’s decision to use deadly force.

Overall, 44 percent of Americans say deadly force is more likely to be used against a black person, up from 37 percent in August and 40 percent in December.

Blacks also remain far more likely than whites to say they feel mostly anxious about the police in their community. Forty-two percent say so, while 51 percent feel mostly safe. Among whites, 8 in 10 feel mostly safe.

One proposal to address the matter — having on-duty police officers wear body cameras — receives overwhelming support. More than 9 in 10 whites and blacks alike favor it.

Continue reading the main story
How would you describe your feelings about the police in your community? Would you say they make you feel mostly safe or mostly anxious?
Mostly safe
Mostly anxious
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
75%
21
3
81
16
3
51
42
7
Continue reading the main story
In general, do you think the police in most communities are more likely to use deadly force against a black person, or more likely to use it against a white person, or don’t you think race affects police use of deadly force?
Police more likely to use deadly force against a black person
Police more likely to use deadly force against a white person
Race DOES NOT affect police use of deadly force
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
44%
37%
79%
2%
2%
1%
46%
53%
16%
9%
8%
4%
Continue reading the main story
Do you favor or oppose on-duty police officers wearing video cameras that would record events and actions as they occur?
Favor
Oppose
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
92%
93%
93%
6%
5%
5%
2%
2%
2%

Asked specifically about the situation in Baltimore, most Americans expressed at least some confidence that the investigation by local authorities would be conducted fairly. But while nearly two-thirds of whites think so, fewer than half of blacks agree. Still, more blacks are confident now than were in August regarding the investigation in Ferguson. On Friday, six members of the police force involved in the arrest of Mr. Gray were charged with serious offenses, including manslaughter. The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday; results from before charges were announced are similar to those from after.

Reaction to the recent turmoil in Baltimore, however, is similar among blacks and whites. Most Americans, 61 percent, say the unrest after Mr. Gray’s death was not justified. That includes 64 percent of whites and 57 percent of blacks.

Continue reading the main story
As you may know, a Baltimore man, Freddie Gray, recently died after being in the custody of the Baltimore police. How much confidence do you have that the investigation by local authorities into this matter will be conducted fairly?
A lot
Some
Not much
None at all
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
29%
31
22
14
5
31
33
20
11
5
20
26
30
22
In general, do you think the unrest in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray was justified, or do you think the unrest was not justified?
Justified
Not justified
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
28%
61
11
26
64
11
37
57
6

Negative View of U.S. Race Relations Grows, Poll Finds

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

Mr. Paczynski was one of the concentration camp’s longest surviving inmates and served as the personal barber to its Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss.

Jozef Paczynski, Inmate Barber to Auschwitz Commandant, Dies at 95

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

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

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