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saco-indonesia.com, Koalisi Masyarakat Sipil Selamatkan Mahkamah Konstitusi untuk meminta Dewan Etik MK memeriksa beberapa keganjilan dalam proses pengujian materiil Undang-Undang Mahkamah Konstitusi.
 
Tindakan MK yang telah menerima pengujian UU MK yang dilakukan oleh beberapa kelompok yang dekat dengan MK ini dinilai telah menabrak prinsip umum dalam hukum, nemo judex in casua sua. Artinya, MK tidak akan bisa menjadi hakim atas dirinya sendiri.
 
"Ini juga merupakan preseden buruk dalam sejarah konstitusi Indonesia. MK secara telanjang telah mengajarkan kepada publik bagaimana kekuasaan yang dipunyainya digunakan untuk dapat mengakali hukum itu sendiri," kata Bahrain, Koordinator Advokasi YLBHI dalam siaran pers yang diterima Okezone, Selasa (10/2/2014).
 
Pasca tertangkapnya mantan Ketua MK, Akil Mochtar, Presiden SBY telah mengeluarkan Perpu No 1 Tahun 2013 tentang Perubahan Kedua atas UU No 24 Tahun 2003 tentang Mahkamah Konstitusi. Pada intinya, Perpu tersebut telah mengatur dua hal yang selama ini membuat MK rapuh dalam menegakan amanat konstitusi yaitu memperketat seleksi hakim konstitusi dengan membentuk lembaga ad hoc bernama Panel Ahli dan syarat-syarat calon hakim konstitusi, dan membentuk MKHK sebagai instrument pengawasan etik  hakim konstitusi.
 
Keberadaan Perpu tersebut disambut dengan positif, karena substansi yang diaturnya telah menutup lubang lemahnya sistem di MK selama ini yaitu tidak adanya pengawasan dan buruknya mekanisme seleksi hakim konstitusi.
 
Meskipun publik dan lembaga-lembaga negara menginginkan perubahan yang lebih baik untuk MK ke depan, namun bagi sebagian hakim MK, secara eksplisit mengatakan akan membatalkannya jika ada pihak-pihak yang mengajukannya ke MK.
 
Dalam praktiknya, posisi sebagian MK yang akan membatalkan substansi UU MK yang baru tersebut terkonfirmasi dengan jelas dalam beberapa keanehan - keanehan dalam proses pengujian UU MK.
 
Keanehan pertama terlihat dari sidang pemeriksaan pendahuluan sampai dengan kesimpulan hanya memakan waktu 17 hari. Kedua, sidang pemeriksaan hanya dilakukan satu kali dan langsung ditutup.
 
Ketiga, MK telah membatasi hanya mengajukan satu orang Ahli. Keempat, MK hanya memberikan kesempatan kepada pihak terkait (Presiden, DPR dan KY) untuk dapat menyampaikan keberatannya secara tertulis hanya dalam waktu 3 hari.
 
Untuk itu, Koalisi menyatakan mengutuk dengan keras tindakan MK yang telah memilih menjadi hakim terhadap substansi UU (UU MK) yang telah mengatur lembaganya sendiri.

"Kami juga telah meminta kepada MK untuk menolak uji materil terhadap pengawasan dan pengetatan seleksi hakim MK yang diajukan oleh beberapa advokat dan akademisi tersebut," kata Bahrain.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

KOALISI NILAI ADA KEANEHAN UJI MATERIIL UU MK

saco-indonesia.com, Wakil Presiden Boediono dituding telah memanfaatkan Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) sebagai tameng dirinya agar tidak terseret dalam kasus dana talangan Bank Century, yang telah merugikan keuangan negara sebesar Rp6,7 triliun.

Hal itu telah dibuktikan dengan ketidakhadiran Boediono dalam panggilan Timwas Century dengan dalih tidak mau mengintervensi proses hukum kasus tersebut yang saat ini tengah berjalan di KPK.

"Pak Boediono juga menggunakan KPK sebagai tameng, katanya KPK independen enggak bisa diintervensi. Kami kan tidak ada hubungan dengan KPK. Kami hanya mengawasi KPK," kata Anggota Timwas, Trimedya Panjaitan saat jumpa pers di Gedung DPR, Senayan, Jakarta, Rabu (18/12/2013).

Politikus Partai Demokrasi Indonesia (PDI) Perjuangan ini juga telah menduga adanya upaya dari Boediono untuk dapat mengerdilkan kasus Bank Century, dengan memanfaatkan masa kerja Timwas yang akan berakhir pada bulan Desember ini.

"Ini sebuah desain untuk dapat mengerdilkan kasus Century itu sendiri. Karena Pak Boed paham, sebagai Wapres dia melek politik. Dia mungkin tahu masa tugas Timwas akan berakhir," sambungnya.

Oleh sebab itu, Trimedya juga berharap dalam Sidang Paripurna Kamis 19 Desember besok DPR RI bisa menyepakati dilakukannya perpanjangan masa kerja Timwas.

"Kalau Timwas tidak diperpanjang Pak Boediono merasa akan selamat. Kami juga berharap supaya besok di Paripurna Timwas diperpanjang sampai jabatan DPR berakhir 2014," tutupnya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

BOEDIONO GUNAKAN KPK SEBAGAI TAMENG

Tawaf adalah mengelilingi Kabah hingga tujuh kali putaran. Jamaah haji atau umrah yang tengah melakukan tawaf berjalan dengan arah yang sama. Jika ada jamaah yang melakukan tawaf dengan arah yang berbeda maka tawafnya tidak sah.

Hal tersebut bisa kita artikan bahwa dalam semua aspek kehidupan kaum muslimin harus mengedepankan harmoni atau keserasian dalam gerak langkah mereka demi mewujudkan tatanan hidup yang dinamis. Hanya dalam tatanan hidup yang dinamis, semangat dan kerja sama untuk menciptakan persatuan, kedamaian, dan kesejahteraan di antara sesama manusia dapat diwujudkan.

Arah tawaf yang sama juga menunjukkan tujuan hidup umat Islam yang sama, yaitu menggapai ridha Allah SWT. Dunia hanyalah tempat singgah dan bukan tujuan akhir yang sesungguhnya. Akhiratlah rumah peristirahatan abadi kita, tempat manusia kelak akan berjumpa dengan Tuhan.

Oleh sebab itulah, janganlah manusia terperdaya oleh kerlap-kerlip godaan dunia yang dapat memalingkan diri dari tujuan semula, yaitu ridha Allah SWT.

Orang yang melaksanakan tawaf melebur menjadi satu dalam sebuah gelombang yang terus bergerak. Lokasi dan gerakan yang sama seakan-akan melahirkan sebuah transformasi yang luar biasa, dari individu yang satu menjadi arus yang sangat besar.

Kata ‘aku’ bertransformasi menjadi ‘kita’. Ego dan individualisme dibuang jauh, digantikan oleh kasih sayang dan kebersamaan yang akrab.

Sumber : Republika.co.id

Baca Artikel Lainnya : PERJUANGAN DALAM THAWAF

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, Tawaf adalah mengelilingi Kabah hingga tujuh kali putaran. Jamaah haji atau umrah yang tengah melakukan tawaf berjalan dengan arah yang sama. Jika ada jamaah yang melakukan tawaf dengan arah yang berbeda maka tawafnya tidak sah.

Hal tersebut bisa kita artikan bahwa dalam semua aspek kehidupan kaum muslimin harus mengedepankan harmoni atau keserasian dalam gerak langkah mereka demi mewujudkan tatanan hidup yang dinamis. Hanya dalam tatanan hidup yang dinamis, semangat dan kerja sama untuk menciptakan persatuan, kedamaian, dan kesejahteraan di antara sesama manusia dapat diwujudkan.

Arah tawaf yang sama juga menunjukkan tujuan hidup umat Islam yang sama, yaitu menggapai ridha Allah SWT. Dunia hanyalah tempat singgah dan bukan tujuan akhir yang sesungguhnya. Akhiratlah rumah peristirahatan abadi kita, tempat manusia kelak akan berjumpa dengan Tuhan.

Oleh sebab itulah, janganlah manusia terperdaya oleh kerlap-kerlip godaan dunia yang dapat memalingkan diri dari tujuan semula, yaitu ridha Allah SWT.

Orang yang melaksanakan tawaf melebur menjadi satu dalam sebuah gelombang yang terus bergerak. Lokasi dan gerakan yang sama seakan-akan melahirkan sebuah transformasi yang luar biasa, dari individu yang satu menjadi arus yang sangat besar.

Kata ‘aku’ bertransformasi menjadi ‘kita’. Ego dan individualisme dibuang jauh, digantikan oleh kasih sayang dan kebersamaan yang akrab.

- See more at: http://www.jurnalhaji.com/rukun-haji/tawaf-dan-harmoni-umat-manusia/#sthash.SL7wFI0N.dpuf

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, Tawaf adalah mengelilingi Kabah hingga tujuh kali putaran. Jamaah haji atau umrah yang tengah melakukan tawaf berjalan dengan arah yang sama. Jika ada jamaah yang melakukan tawaf dengan arah yang berbeda maka tawafnya tidak sah.

Hal tersebut bisa kita artikan bahwa dalam semua aspek kehidupan kaum muslimin harus mengedepankan harmoni atau keserasian dalam gerak langkah mereka demi mewujudkan tatanan hidup yang dinamis. Hanya dalam tatanan hidup yang dinamis, semangat dan kerja sama untuk menciptakan persatuan, kedamaian, dan kesejahteraan di antara sesama manusia dapat diwujudkan.

Arah tawaf yang sama juga menunjukkan tujuan hidup umat Islam yang sama, yaitu menggapai ridha Allah SWT. Dunia hanyalah tempat singgah dan bukan tujuan akhir yang sesungguhnya. Akhiratlah rumah peristirahatan abadi kita, tempat manusia kelak akan berjumpa dengan Tuhan.

Oleh sebab itulah, janganlah manusia terperdaya oleh kerlap-kerlip godaan dunia yang dapat memalingkan diri dari tujuan semula, yaitu ridha Allah SWT.

Orang yang melaksanakan tawaf melebur menjadi satu dalam sebuah gelombang yang terus bergerak. Lokasi dan gerakan yang sama seakan-akan melahirkan sebuah transformasi yang luar biasa, dari individu yang satu menjadi arus yang sangat besar.

Kata ‘aku’ bertransformasi menjadi ‘kita’. Ego dan individualisme dibuang jauh, digantikan oleh kasih sayang dan kebersamaan yang akrab.
- See more at: http://www.jurnalhaji.com/rukun-haji/tawaf-dan-harmoni-umat-manusia/#sthash.SL7wFI0N.dpuf

KETIKA THAWAF

saco-indonesia.com, Saat anda ingin membeli laptop baru, anda juga harus bisa mempertimbangkan berbagai aspek agar tidak menyesal dikemudian hari. Apa saja yang harus diperhatikan? Untuk dapat menjawabnya, silahkan simak artikel kami tentang tips membeli laptop baru

tips membeli laptop
Tips Membeli Laptop BaruTips Membeli Laptop Baru

1. Spesifikasi itu penting

Spesifikasi adalah hal yang sangat penting. Perlu Anda ketahui kebutuhan tiap orang dalam menggunakan laptop itu sangat berbeda-beda. Maka dari itu, definisikan dulu kebutuhan Anda saat ini. Apakah anda seorang pelajar atau mahasiswa? Apakah anda seorang guru? Apakah Anda seorang desainer? Atau apakah Anda seorang gamer?

Dari masing-masing kebutuhan tersebut, akan dapat memunculkan spesifikasi yang berbeda-beda. Ambil contoh seorang mahasiswa yang sangat membutuhkan laptop untuk dapat mengerjakan tugas-tugas kuliah, mencari referensi di internet, dan membutuhkan media hiburan dengan aneka game komputer lainnya. Ia juga tak memerlukan laptop dengan spesifikasi cukup tinggi.

Ia juga bisa memilih laptop dengan spesifikasi yang sesuai dengan kebutuhan, misalnya prosesor dual-core, dengan RAM cukup 2GB saja, plus VGA standar. Sehingga dengan begitu, ia juga tidak perlu menghabiskan banyak uang untuk dapat membeli laptop dengan spesifikasi tinggi yang pastinya berharga mahal.

Oleh karena itu, menentukan kebutuhan itu sangat penting pada saat Anda ingin membeli laptop baru.

2. Brand menentukan kualitas

Ini hal yang sudah biasa, laptop dengan brand yang terkenal pasti telah memiliki kualitas yang lebih baik. Bukannya tanpa, tapi coba Anda perhatikan, laptop-laptop dengan brand terkenal biasanya telah memiliki harga relatif tinggi jika dibandingkan dengan brand biasa.

Ini bukan karena mereka menang di brand atau sebagainya makanya membuat harga yang mahal. Melainkan karena produk yang diciptakan juga telah memiliki standar kualitas yang baik serta berbagai komponen laptop tersebut memang menggunakan komponen yang bagus juga.

Selain itu, laptop dengan brand terkenal juga masih memiliki nilai jual kembali yang cukup tinggi nantinya. Jadi memilih brand juga tergolong penting pada saat Anda ingin membeli laptop baru.

3. Perhatikan garansi yang diberikan

Selain dalam memperhatikan spesifikasi dan brand, keberadaan garansi juga merupakan hal yang penting. Pada saat Anda ingin membeli laptop, coba perhatikan berapa lama waktu garansi yang telah diberikan oleh produsennya.

Karena tidak semua laptop dapat memberikan waktu garansi yang sama. Mungkin ada yang memberikan garansi selama satu tahun, atau bahkan ada juga yang memberikan waktu garansi selama dua tahun.

Semakin lama waktu garansi yang telah diberikan akan semakin baik. Jangan takut untuk mengurus garansi bila suatu saat laptop Anda telah mengalami kerusakan. Selain dengan menghemat uang, laptop Anda juga akan diperbaiki teknisi resmi dari penyedia brand laptop tersebut.

Itulah beberapa tips dalam membeli laptop baru. Semua aspek di atas sangat penting untuk anda perhatikan dengan baik, agar tidak salah dalam memilih laptop. Setelah membaca tips di atas, semoga anda telah mendapat gambaran dalam hal membeli laptop baru.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati
Sumber : Bangbiw.com

TIPS MEMBELI LAPTOP

saco-indonesia.com,

Mendidik Anak Dengan Mainan Edukatif
Bagi anak-anak, mainan adalah hal yang penting menarik dan banyak dimiliki oleh teman-temannya yang lain. Karenanya, orang tualah yang juga harus pintar-pintar dalam memilih mainan    

mendidik anak dengan mainan edukatifMainan juga merupakan hiburan yang sangat menyenangkan bagi anak. Anak juga akan merasa terhibur dengan hadirnya mainan pada saat ia merasa bosan. Apalagi jika anak sedang ngambek, kalau diiming-imingi mainan pasti ngambeknya akan lupa.

Seperti yang telah kita ketahui bersama, anak-anak pasti belum bisa untuk menentukan mainan mana yang baik untuk tumbuh kembangnya. Bagi anak-anak, mainan yang penting menarik dan banyak dimiliki oleh teman-temannya yang lain. Oleh karena itu, orang tualah yang harus pintar-pintar memilih mainan mana yang baik untuk perkembangan anak. Mainan tidak hanya sebagai hiburan saja tetapi harus memiliki nilai edukatif bagi anak. Fungsinya agar anak bisa mendapatkan manfaat dari mainan tersebut yang bersifat mendidik.

Mainan edukatif adalah semua jenis permainan yang dibuat khusus untuk dapat memberikan pendidikan atau pengalan belajar kepada yang memainkan. Mainan yang sifatnya edukatif juga dapat membantu tumbuh kembang anak lebih cepat. Terutama pada anak usia balita yang pada masanya itu membutuhkan rangsangan motorik yang baik bagi perkembangan sosial maupun perkembangan lainnya.
Manfaat mainan edukatif bagi anak

    Mainan edukatif juga dapat membantu tumbuh kembang anak.
    Mampu untuk meningkatkan kemampuan anak dalam berkomunikasi dan melatih kemampuan berbahasa anak
    Membantu anak dalam menciptakan inovasi dan sesuatu yang baru pada setiap permainan
    Mainan edukatif juga dapat meningkatkan cara berfikir anak
    Mainan edukatif juga dapat meningkatkan rasa percaya diri anak
    Mainan edukatif juga dapat merangsang imajinasi anak
    Membentuk moralitas anak dan mengembangkan sifat sosial anak

Mendidik anak adalah kewajiban bagi semua orang. Mendidik anak dengan mainan edukatif adalah salah satu cara dari orang tua. Dimana orang tua dapat memilihkan jenis mainan yang dapat merangsang dan mendorong tumbuh kembang anak. Apakah Anda salah satu orang tua yang tertarik dengan cara ini? Ayo buktikan sendiri dan Anda siap dapat kejutan dari anak dengan kreatifitasnya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

MENDIDIK ANAK DENGAN MAINAN EDUKATIF

Over the last five years or so, it seemed there was little that Dean G. Skelos, the majority leader of the New York Senate, would not do for his son.

He pressed a powerful real estate executive to provide commissions to his son, a 32-year-old title insurance salesman, according to a federal criminal complaint. He helped get him a job at an environmental company and employed his influence to help the company get government work. He used his office to push natural gas drilling regulations that would have increased his son’s commissions.

He even tried to direct part of a $5.4 billion state budget windfall to fund government contracts that the company was seeking. And when the company was close to securing a storm-water contract from Nassau County, the senator, through an intermediary, pressured the company to pay his son more — or risk having the senator subvert the bid.

The criminal complaint, unsealed on Monday, lays out corruption charges against Senator Skelos and his son, Adam B. Skelos, the latest scandal to seize Albany, and potentially alter its power structure.

Photo
 
Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, discussed the case involving Dean G. Skelos and his son, Adam. Credit Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The repeated and diverse efforts by Senator Skelos, a Long Island Republican, to use what prosecutors said was his political influence to find work, or at least income, for his son could send both men to federal prison. If they are convicted of all six charges against them, they face up to 20 years in prison for each of four of the six counts and up to 10 years for the remaining two.

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, of Long Island, who serves as chairman of the Republican conference, emerged from a closed-door meeting Monday night to say that conference members agreed that Mr. Skelos should be benefited the “presumption of innocence,” and would stay in his leadership role.

“The leader has indicated he would like to remain as leader,” said Mr. LaValle, “and he has the support of the conference.” The case against Mr. Skelos and his son grew out of a broader inquiry into political corruption by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, that has already changed the face of the state capital. It is based in part, according to the six-count complaint, on conversations secretly recorded by one of two cooperating witnesses, and wiretaps on the cellphones of the senator and his son. Those recordings revealed that both men were concerned about electronic surveillance, and illustrated the son’s unsuccessful efforts to thwart it.

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Adam Skelos took to using a “burner” phone, the complaint says, and told his father he wanted them to speak through a FaceTime video call in an apparent effort to avoid detection. They also used coded language at times.

At one point, Adam Skelos was recorded telling a Senate staff member of his frustration in not being able to speak openly to his father on the phone, noting that he could not “just send smoke signals or a little pigeon” carrying a message.

The 43-page complaint, sworn out by Paul M. Takla, a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, outlines a five-year scheme to “monetize” the senator’s official position; it also lays bare the extent to which a father sought to use his position to help his son.

The charges accuse the two men of extorting payments through a real estate developer, Glenwood Management, based on Long Island, and the environmental company, AbTech Industries, in Scottsdale, Ariz., with the expectation that the money paid to Adam Skelos — nearly $220,000 in total — would influence his father’s actions.

Glenwood, one of the state’s most prolific campaign donors, had ties to AbTech through investments in the environmental firm’s parent company by Glenwood’s founding family and a senior executive.

The accusations in the complaint portray Senator Skelos as a man who, when it came to his son, was not shy about twisting arms, even in situations that might give other arm-twisters pause.

Seeking to help his son, Senator Skelos turned to the executive at Glenwood, which develops rental apartments in New York City and has much at stake when it comes to real estate legislation in Albany. The senator urged him to direct business to his son, who sold title insurance.

After much prodding, the executive, Charles C. Dorego, engineered a $20,000 payment to Adam Skelos from a title insurance company even though he did no work for the money. But far more lucrative was a consultant position that Mr. Dorego arranged for Adam Skelos at AbTech, which seeks government contracts to treat storm water. (Mr. Dorego is not identified by name in the complaint, but referred to only as CW-1, for Cooperating Witness 1.)

Senator Skelos appeared to take an active interest in his son’s new line of work. Adam Skelos sent him several drafts of his consulting agreement with AbTech, the complaint says, as well as the final deal that was struck.

“Mazel tov,” his father replied.

Senator Skelos sent relevant news articles to his son, including one about a sewage leak near Albany. When AbTech wanted to seek government contracts after Hurricane Sandy, the senator got on a conference call with his son and an AbTech executive, Bjornulf White, and offered advice. (Like Mr. Dorego, Mr. White is not named in the complaint, but referred to as CW-2.)

The assistance paid off: With the senator’s help, AbTech secured a contract worth up to $12 million from Nassau County, a big break for a struggling small business.

But the money was slow to materialize. The senator expressed impatience with county officials.

Adam Skelos, in a phone call with Mr. White in late December, suggested that his father would seek to punish the county. “I tell you this, the state is not going to do a [expletive] thing for the county,” he said.

Three days later, Senator Skelos pressed his case with the Nassau County executive, Edward P. Mangano, a fellow Republican. “Somebody feels like they’re just getting jerked around the last two years,” the senator said, referring to his son in what the complaint described as “coded language.”

The next day, the senator pursued the matter, as he and Mr. Mangano attended a wake for a slain New York City police officer. Senator Skelos then reassured his son, who called him while he was still at the wake. “All claims that are in will be taken care of,” the senator said.

AbTech’s fortunes appeared to weigh on his son. At one point in January, Adam Skelos told his father that if the company did not succeed, he would “lose the ability to pay for things.”

Making matters worse, in recent months, Senator Skelos and his son appeared to grow wary about who was watching them. In addition to making calls on the burner phone, Adam Skelos said he used the FaceTime video calling “because that doesn’t show up on the phone bill,” as he told Mr. White.

In late February, Adam Skelos arranged a pair of meetings between Mr. White and state senators; AbTech needed to win state legislation that would allow its contract to move beyond its initial stages. But Senator Skelos deemed the plan too risky and caused one of the meetings to be canceled.

In another recorded call, Adam Skelos, promising to be “very, very vague” on the phone, urged his father to allow the meeting. The senator offered a warning. “Right now we are in dangerous times, Adam,” he told him.

A month later, in another phone call that was recorded by the authorities, Adam Skelos complained that his father could not give him “real advice” about AbTech while the two men were speaking over the telephone.

“You can’t talk normally,” he told his father, “because it’s like [expletive] Preet Bharara is listening to every [expletive] phone call. It’s just [expletive] frustrating.”

“It is,” his father agreed.

Dean Skelos, Albany Senate Leader, Aided Son at All Costs, U.S. Says

Mr. Tepper was not a musical child and had no formal training, but he grew up to write both lyrics and tunes, trading off duties with the other member of the team, Roy C. Bennett.

Sid Tepper Dies at 96; Delivered ‘Red Roses for a Blue Lady’ and Other Songs

Gagne wrestled professionally from the late 1940s until the 1980s and was a transitional figure between the early 20th century barnstormers and the steroidal sideshows of today

Verne Gagne, Wrestler Who Grappled Through Two Eras, Dies at 89

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 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

WASHINGTON — The former deputy director of the C.I.A. asserts in a forthcoming book that Republicans, in their eagerness to politicize the killing of the American ambassador to Libya, repeatedly distorted the agency’s analysis of events. But he also argues that the C.I.A. should get out of the business of providing “talking points” for administration officials in national security events that quickly become partisan, as happened after the Benghazi attack in 2012.

The official, Michael J. Morell, dismisses the allegation that the United States military and C.I.A. officers “were ordered to stand down and not come to the rescue of their comrades,” and he says there is “no evidence” to support the charge that “there was a conspiracy between C.I.A. and the White House to spin the Benghazi story in a way that would protect the political interests of the president and Secretary Clinton,” referring to the secretary of state at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But he also concludes that the White House itself embellished some of the talking points provided by the Central Intelligence Agency and had blocked him from sending an internal study of agency conclusions to Congress.

Photo
 
Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

“I finally did so without asking,” just before leaving government, he writes, and after the White House released internal emails to a committee investigating the State Department’s handling of the issue.

A lengthy congressional investigation remains underway, one that many Republicans hope to use against Mrs. Clinton in the 2016 election cycle.

In parts of the book, “The Great War of Our Time” (Twelve), Mr. Morell praises his C.I.A. colleagues for many successes in stopping terrorist attacks, but he is surprisingly critical of other C.I.A. failings — and those of the National Security Agency.

Soon after Mr. Morell retired in 2013 after 33 years in the agency, President Obama appointed him to a commission reviewing the actions of the National Security Agency after the disclosures of Edward J. Snowden, a former intelligence contractor who released classified documents about the government’s eavesdropping abilities. Mr. Morell writes that he was surprised by what he found.

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“You would have thought that of all the government entities on the planet, the one least vulnerable to such grand theft would have been the N.S.A.,” he writes. “But it turned out that the N.S.A. had left itself vulnerable.”

He concludes that most Wall Street firms had better cybersecurity than the N.S.A. had when Mr. Snowden swept information from its systems in 2013. While he said he found himself “chagrined by how well the N.S.A. was doing” compared with the C.I.A. in stepping up its collection of data on intelligence targets, he also sensed that the N.S.A., which specializes in electronic spying, was operating without considering the implications of its methods.

“The N.S.A. had largely been collecting information because it could, not necessarily in all cases because it should,” he says.

The book is to be released next week.

Mr. Morell was a career analyst who rose through the ranks of the agency, and he ended up in the No. 2 post. He served as President George W. Bush’s personal intelligence briefer in the first months of his presidency — in those days, he could often be spotted at the Starbucks in Waco, Tex., catching up on his reading — and was with him in the schoolhouse in Florida on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the Bush presidency changed in an instant.

Mr. Morell twice took over as acting C.I.A. director, first when Leon E. Panetta was appointed secretary of defense and then when retired Gen. David H. Petraeus resigned over an extramarital affair with his biographer, a relationship that included his handing her classified notes of his time as America’s best-known military commander.

Mr. Morell says he first learned of the affair from Mr. Petraeus only the night before he resigned, and just as the Benghazi events were turning into a political firestorm. While praising Mr. Petraeus, who had told his deputy “I am very lucky” to run the C.I.A., Mr. Morell writes that “the organization did not feel the same way about him.” The former general “created the impression through the tone of his voice and his body language that he did not want people to disagree with him (which was not true in my own interaction with him),” he says.

But it is his account of the Benghazi attacks — and how the C.I.A. was drawn into the debate over whether the Obama White House deliberately distorted its account of the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens — that is bound to attract attention, at least partly because of its relevance to the coming presidential election. The initial assessments that the C.I.A. gave to the White House said demonstrations had preceded the attack. By the time analysts reversed their opinion, Susan E. Rice, now the national security adviser, had made a series of statements on Sunday talk shows describing the initial assessment. The controversy and other comments Ms. Rice made derailed Mr. Obama’s plan to appoint her as secretary of state.

The experience prompted Mr. Morell to write that the C.I.A. should stay out of the business of preparing talking points — especially on issues that are being seized upon for “political purposes.” He is critical of the State Department for not beefing up security in Libya for its diplomats, as the C.I.A., he said, did for its employees.

But he concludes that the assault in which the ambassador was killed took place “with little or no advance planning” and “was not well organized.” He says the attackers “did not appear to be looking for Americans to harm. They appeared intent on looting and conducting some vandalism,” setting fires that killed Mr. Stevens and a security official, Sean Smith.

Mr. Morell paints a picture of an agency that was struggling, largely unsuccessfully, to understand dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa when the Arab Spring broke out in late 2011 in Tunisia. The agency’s analysts failed to see the forces of revolution coming — and then failed again, he writes, when they told Mr. Obama that the uprisings would undercut Al Qaeda by showing there was a democratic pathway to change.

“There is no good explanation for our not being able to see the pressures growing to dangerous levels across the region,” he writes. The agency had again relied too heavily “on a handful of strong leaders in the countries of concern to help us understand what was going on in the Arab street,” he says, and those leaders themselves were clueless.

Moreover, an agency that has always overvalued secretly gathered intelligence and undervalued “open source” material “was not doing enough to mine the wealth of information available through social media,” he writes. “We thought and told policy makers that this outburst of popular revolt would damage Al Qaeda by undermining the group’s narrative,” he writes.

Instead, weak governments in Egypt, and the absence of governance from Libya to Yemen, were “a boon to Islamic extremists across both the Middle East and North Africa.”

Mr. Morell is gentle about most of the politicians he dealt with — he expresses admiration for both Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama, though he accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney of deliberately implying a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq that the C.I.A. had concluded probably did not exist. But when it comes to the events leading up to the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq, he is critical of his own agency.

Mr. Morell concludes that the Bush White House did not have to twist intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s alleged effort to rekindle the country’s work on weapons of mass destruction.

“The view that hard-liners in the Bush administration forced the intelligence community into its position on W.M.D. is just flat wrong,” he writes. “No one pushed. The analysts were already there and they had been there for years, long before Bush came to office.”

Ex-C.I.A. Official Rebuts Republican Claims on Benghazi Attack in ‘The Great War of Our Time’

Mr. Miller, of the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, represented companies including Lehman Brothers, General Motors and American Airlines, and mentored many of the top Chapter 11 practitioners today.

Harvey R. Miller, Renowned Bankruptcy Lawyer, Dies at 82
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’

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

Bruce Alger, 96, Dies; Led ‘Mink Coat’ Protest Against Lyndon Johnson

Mr. Haroche was a founder of Liberty Travel, which grew from a two-man operation to the largest leisure travel operation in the United States.

Gilbert Haroche, Builder of an Economy Travel Empire, Dies at 87

Mr. Bartoszewski was given honorary Israeli citizenship for his work to save Jews during World War II and later surprised even himself by being instrumental in reconciling Poland and Germany.

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, 93, Dies; Polish Auschwitz Survivor Aided Jews

A 214-pound Queens housewife struggled with a lifelong addiction to food until she shed 72 pounds and became the public face of the worldwide weight-control empire Weight Watchers.

Jean Nidetch, 91, Dies; Pounds Came Off, and Weight Watchers Was Born

Judge Patterson helped to protect the rights of Attica inmates after the prison riot in 1971 and later served on the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Robert Patterson Jr., Lawyer and Judge Who Fought for the Accused, Dies at 91

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