PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




Artikel lainnya »

saco-indonesia.com, Sekretaris Jenderal Partai Golkar Idrus Marham telah memenuhi panggilan penyidik Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK). Idrus datang sekitar pukul 08.30 WIB.

Dengan mengenakan baju batik putih, Idrus menolak berkomentar saat wartawan mencecar pertanyaan. Mantan anggota DPR itu langsung masuk ke dalam Gedung KPK, dengan mengisi daftar hadir di meja resepsionis.

Idrus juga akan diperiksa sebagai saksi dalam kasus dugaan suap penanganan sengketa Pilkada di Mahkamah Konstitusi. Idrus telah menjadi saksi untuk tersangka Akil Mochtar, mantan Ketua MK.

Belum dapat diketahui apa kaitannya Idrus dipanggil sebagai saksi dalam kasus ini. Selain Idrus, sebenarnya penyidik juga memanggil Setya Novanto, Bendahara Umum Partai Golkar.

Berdasarkan informasi yang dihimpun, keduanya akan ditanya soal sengketa Pilkada di Jawa Timur.

Dalam kasus Akil sendiri, sejumlah pejabat negara telah ditetapkan sebagai tersangka. Yakni Gubernur Banten Ratu Atut Chosiyah, adiknya Atut, Tubagus Chaeri Wardana alias Wawan, pengacara Wawan bernama Susi Tur Andayani, anggota DPR Chairunnisa, Bupati terpilih Gunung Mas Kalimantan Tengah Hambit Bintih. Akil diduga menerima pemberian hadiah atau janji terkait kepengurusannya dalam Ketua MK.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

IDRUS PENUHI PANGGILAN KPK

Cara Mengecilkan Perut Buncit Secara Alami

Siapa sih yang tidak mau hidupnya sehat, saya yakin pasti semuanya ingin sehat begitupun yang saat ini sedang menjalani program diet ingin Sehat Dan Langsing tanpa adanya efek samping dari diet yang sedang ia lakukan saat ini. Apakah anda saat ini telah mengalami keluhan pada Perut Buncit ? maka saya akan share Tips Mengecilkan Perut Buncit, Paha, Lengan, Betis Dan Pantat Dengan Olahraga Serta Diet Herbalife.
Tips Mengecilkan Perut Buncit, Paha, Lengan, Betis Dan Pantat

Silahkan coba praktekan tips mengecilkan perut yang buncit secara alami dibawah ini ya :

    Makanlah makanan secara perlahan. Memakan makanan dengan cepat dapat mengakibatkan tertahannya udara dalam usus sehingga dapat mengciptakan gas dan mengakibatkan perut buncit.
    Kurangi makanan berlemak, dan perbanyak memakan makanan berserat seperti pear dan apel. Makanan berserat berfungsi untuk dapat melancarkan pencernaan. Penumpukan makanan pada perut tentu saja dapat membuat perut menjadi buncit.
    Makan karbohidrat dalam jumlah secukupnya
    Istirahatlah yang cukup
    Hindari softdrink dan makanan yang telah memiliki kadar gula tinggi
    Makan malam sebelum jam 19.00
    Olahraga secukupnya, jangan sampai anda melakukan olahraga yang berlebihan yang akan mengakibatkan anda jadi sakit.
    Kurangi makan garam, asinan dan gorengan yang berlebihan.

Selain dari tips diatas, ada beberapa olehraga yang harus anda lakukan agar mendapatkan hasil yang maksimal dalam program diet yang sedang anda jalani saat ini, kita lihat saja yuk..
Olahraga Mengecilkan Perut, Paha, Lengan Dan Pantat

Dibawah ini ada beberapa macam olahraga untuk dapat mengecilkan perut, paha, lengan dan pantat anda, silahkan dicermati dan praktekan:

    Berbaringlah di atas matras dengan kedua kaki dan tangan lurus ke atas.
    Ambil napas lewat hidung dan luruskan tulang belakang.
    Buang napas lewat mulut sambil mengangkat bagian atas tubuh (kepala, leher, dan bahu) semaksimal mungkin hingga kedua tangan hampir menyentuh kedua kaki

Diet Herbalife Untuk dapat Mengecilkan Perut Buncit, Paha, Lengan Dan Pantat

Selain dari melakukan tips diatas dan juga olahraga, anda juga harus melakukan Diet Herbalife untuk dapat membantu proses diet sehat bagi anda sehingga anda akan merasakan hasil yang maksimal untuk melangsingkan apa yang anda harapkan, yaitu dengan diet herbalife, silahkan anda pilih Produk Herbalife untuk menurunkan berat badan anda.

CARA MENGECILKAN PERUT BUNCIT SECARA ALAMI

Ada banyak cara untuk menilai sesuatu itu dikatakan terpopuler. Diperlukan kriteria atau parameter untuk mengukurnya. Termasuk sosial media yang sedang booming saat ini. Apakah sosial media terpopuler saat ini menurut Anda? Tak ada salahnya Anda menyimak tulisan dibawah ini.

Populer menurut sebagian orang memiliki arti (1) dikenal dan disukai orang banyak (umum), (2) sesuai dengan kebutuhan masyarakat pada umumnya; mudah dipahami orang banyak, (3) disukai dan dikagumi orang banyak. Berikut adalah kriteria sosial media terpopuler menurut penulis :

1. Jumlah Anggota

Semakin banyak anggotanya, semakin banyak yang memasang iklan. Semakin banyak income yang dihasilkan sebuah sosial media dari periklanan, semakin besar peluang untuk berkembang.

2. Banyak Sedikitnya Fasilitas yang Dimiliki

Semakin banyak jumlah fasilitas dan jenis yang dimiliki sebuah sosial media. Kemungkinan untuk menarik minat anggota baru dari semua kalangan semakin besar.

3. Bisa Diakses di Semua Negara

Sosial media tidak untuk kalangan tertentu saja, maka dari itu harus bisa menjangkau seluruh kalangan.

4. Up To Date

Tanpa meninggalkan identitas yang menjadi trend sebelumnya. Dari segi penampilan dan content biasanya ada perubahan-perubahan yang inovatif. Agar selalu segar dan tetap diminati banyak kalangan.

5. Ada Predikat Keanggotan

Untuk mengetahui valid tidaknya berita atau informasi, salah satunya bisa dilihat dari predikat keanggotaanya. Terpercaya atau tidak, namun belum tentu pula yang paling aktif adalah yang paling valid. Nah, masih perlukah predikat keanggotaan? Semua ada positif negatifnya.

6. Bisa Menghasilkan Uang

Tidak dipungkiri sosial media saat ini telah menyita sebagian waktu anggotanya. Ada yang telah dan mulai untuk menghasilkan uang dari sosial media ini.

7. Interaktif Dengan Anggotanya

Untuk meningkatkan dan menjaga kualitasnya, sosial media biasanya melakukan interaksi dengan anggotanya secara kontinyu dan berkelanjutan. Baik lewat survey, FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) maupun yang lainnya.

8. Gratis

Gratis adalah daya tarik tersendiri. Namun bukan jaminan suatu sosial media digemari.

Urutan nomer di atas bukan berdasarkan prioritas. Karena semua ada masanya, sosial media terpopuler saat ini belum tentu populer untuk masa mendatang.

 

Jasa penerjemah

SOSIAL MEDIA JASA PENERJEMAH
Jamu tradisional untuk sapi, mungkin sebagian orang akan merasa heran karena  umumnya yang dikenal orang adalah jamu untuk dikonsumsi oleh manusia, seperti jamu tolak angin dan berbagai jenis dengan khasiat tertentu termasuk penambah nafsu makan. Sedangkan jamu untuk ternak sebagian masyarakat Lombok mengenalnya dengan sebutan Loloh. Jamu ini terbuat dari berbagai macam bahan rempah-rempah dan bumbu masakan yang biasa digunakan oleh para ibu rumah tangga sebagai penyedap rasa. Mungkin setiap wilayah memiliki ramuan jamu yang berbeda-beda tergantung pembuatnya. Parapembuat jamu ini sebagian besar masih merahasiakan resepnya, karena mereka memproduksi dan kemudian menjual kepada para peternak. Jamu ini dipercaya memiliki khasiat untuk menambah nafsu makan ternak. Sementara ini lebih banyak diberikan pada ternak sapi yang digemukkan. Peternak menginginkan sapi-sapi yang dipelihara bisa cepat besar dalam waktu yang singkat agar mereka bisa mendapatkan harga yang tinggi setelah dipelihara selama beberapa waktu. Pada  usaha penggemukan, sapi dipelihara untuk menghasilkan daging, dan hal ini  ditentukan oleh peningkatan berat badan ternak selama kurun waktu tertentu. Pertambahan berat badan diketahui dipengaruhi oleh beberapa faktor yaitu  genetis ternak dan lingkungan termasuk pakan yang diberikan (kuantitas maupun kualitasnya). Ternak sapi yang dipelihara peternak di NTB sebagian besar adalah bangsa sapi Bali, sebagian lainnya merupakan  sapi potong unggul seperti Simental, Limousine dan Bangus (keturunan Brahman-Angus). Jelas pada kondisi yang sama pertambahan berat badan harian (PBBH) sapi lokal (sapi Bali) lebih rendah dibandingkan sapi-sapi potong unggul. Agar ternak dapat hidup dan berproduksi maka perlu diberikan makanan yang cukup sesuai kebutuhannya. Kebutuhan pakan ternak ruminansia seperti sapi, kerbau, kambing/domba biasanya diperhitungkan berdasarkan berat badannya yaitu seberat 3% dari berat badan ternak dalam bentuk bahan kering (BK). Mengapa demikian? Karena hijauan makanan ternak memiliki berat kering yang berbeda maka yang digunakan sebagai patokan perhitungan adalah dalam bentuk bahan kering. Dengan pemberian jamu dimaksudkan agar nafsu makan ternak meningkat sehingga terjadi peningkatan PBBH. Jika ternak lekas gemuk, maka bisa lebih cepat dijual dan dapat memberikan keuntungan yang maksimal. Di  Desa Tebaban, Kecamatan Suralaga Kabupaten Lombok Timur, sedang dilaksanakan kegiatan untuk menguji pengaruh jamu tradisional terhadap pertambahan berat badan harian ternak sapi jantan yang digemukan. Kegiatan tersebut merupakan Pengkajian dan Pemberdayaan Potensi Sumberdaya Lokal 2009 yang dibiayai oleh Proyek Peningkatan Pendapatan Petani Melalui Inovasi (P4MI).  Obyeknya adalah sapi Simental jantan berumur sekitar 1 tahun, dan sapi Bali dengan beberapa tingkatan umur. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk : 1) mengetahui jumlah konsumsi pakan pada ternak-ternak sapi yang diberikan jamu tradisional; 2) mengetahui efektifitas jamu tradisional terhadap peningkatan berat badan harian ternak sapi pada beberapa tingkatan umur dan bangsa ternak potong. Jamu diberikan seminggu sekali, sebanyak 10 butir/ekor. Untuk mengetahui efek jamu tersebut dilakukan penimbangan ternak secara berkala. Juga dilakukan pengukuran jumlah pakan yang dikonsumsi per hari. Kegiatan telah dilaksanakan mulai bulan Mei 2009 dan pengamatan akan berakhir pada bulan September 2009, didanai oleh program P4MI pada BPTP NTB. Hasil penelitian ini diharapkan bisa mendapatkan informasi tentang efek jamu tradisional (Loloh) pada penggemukan ternak sapi. Selama ini jamu semacam itu hanya bisa diasumsikan dapat menambah nafsu makan ternak dan mempersingkat waktu penggemukan. Selanjutnya dari hasil penelitian ini dapat menjadi acuan untuk penggunaan jamu tradisional pada usaha penggemukan ternak sapi khususnya. Sementara ini hasil pengamatan belum bisa dipublikasikan karena penelitian masih berjalan. Oleh : Sasongk WR dan Farida Sukmawati M, peneliti dan penyuluh pada BPTP NTBJAMU UNTUK SAPI : OLEH OLEH DARI LOMBOK

Salah satu peluang usaha yang lagi trend adalah Peluang usaha bisnis balon dekorasi. Semakin banyak orang yang membuat pesta di negeri ini, maka semakin banyak pula pintu rejeki bagi pengusaha balon dekorasi.

Meningkatnya pertumbuhan ekonomi masyarakat Indonesia mendorong banyaknya di selengggarakan acara acara pesta seperti acar ulang tahun, reoni, presmian dan sebagainya. Nah seiring dengan meningkatnya penyelenggara acara2 pesta maka semakin terbuka pula peluang usaha bisnis balon dekorasi ini.

Pada umumnya konsumen lebih suka memakai jasa dari pengusaha balon dekorasi sebab lebih praktis dan tampilannya juga lebih cantik daripada bikin sendiri. Acara acara pesta sering memakai jasa balon dekorasi ini seperti acara pernikahan, ulang tahun, atau acara komunitas tertentu seperti acara peluncuruan produk terbaru, peresmian kantor baru, atau acara ulang tahun suatu perusahaan.

Biasanya dekorasi yang sering di lihat adalah dekorasi hiasan bunga, namun sekarang banyak yang menambah hiasan hiasan rangkaian aneka balon sebab akan lebih menarik dan rame apalagi jika di tambah dengan hiasan yang lain seperti penghias dinding, plafon ruangan dan sebagainya.

Peluang Usaha Bisnis Balon DekorasiTampilan hiasan balon dekorasi tidak kalah menarik dengan hiasan dekorasi bunga, harganya juga bisa lebih ringan dan konsumen bisa memesan balon dengan berbagai bentuk. Keunggulan lain yang ada pada balon dekorasi adalah balon dekorasi juga bisa di gunakan untuk promosi produk.

Balon promosi umumnya berbeda dengan balon dekorasi, balon promosi ukurannya lebih besar daripada balon dekorasi. Balon promosi juga biasanya tersedia dalam berbagai bentuk seperti bentuk kotak, bentuk oval atau bentuk bentuk sesuai pesanan yang lain.

Di kota-kota besar peluang usaha balon dekorasi ini sangat terbuka khususnya di kota-kota besar yang berada di luar pulau jawa. Tingginya daya beli masyarkat luar pulau jawa mendorong banyaknya didirikan  kantor-kantor baru. Ini tentu sangat menguntungkan bagi pengusaha balon dekorasi.

Faktor lain yang membuat usaha balon dekorasi memiliki prospek bisnis yang bagus adalah meningkatnya jumlah orang yang berduit di negeri ini, dan orang berduit biasanya sering mengadakan acara-acara tertentu yang membutuhkan jasa dekorasi termasuk juga balon dekorasi. Selain itu, budaya merayakan hari ulang tahun masih sangat kental di beberapa daerah di Indonesia.

Para pelaku usaha balon dekorasi biasanya juga menyediakan balon-balon mainan, sebab biasanya dalam suatu pesta yang di selenggarakan oleh perorangan, para tamu sering membawa keluarganya yang termasuk juga anak2 anaknya. Nah, balaon mainan anak-anak sangat pentingn peranannya dalam acara seperti ini. Semakin komplit perlengkapan balon dekorasi yang tersedia, maka semakin besar pula omzet yang akan di dapat.

Usaha balo dekorasi bisa di jalankan dengan skala besar atau skala kecil / usaha modal kecil. Usaha balon dekorasi skala besar biasanya modalnya bisa mencapai ratusan juta Rupiah, namun untuk usaha balon dekorasi skala kecil, Modal kurang dari Rp. 50.000.000 ( lima puluh juta ) pun sudah bisa di jalankan.

Peluang Usaha Bisnis Balon DekorasiUntuk memudahkan konsumen memilih jasa dekorasi, biasanya pemain bisnis ini mengemas jasanya dalam beberapa paket. Balon Indonesia, misalnya, menyiapkan paket sederhana yang terdiri dari dekorasi satu kreasi gapura balon, 10 kreasi bunga, serta 10 kreasi balon lampion. Kedua, paket standar bertarif Rp 1.950.000 dengan fasilitas dua dekorasi balon berdiri, balon satuan dengan luas hiasan delapan meter persegi (m²).

Terakhir, paket meriah dengan harga Rp 2,8 juta hingga Rp 5 juta. Di paket ini, patokan harga bergantung pada tingkat kerumitan dan banyaknya balon. “Namun, biasanya, paket meriah terdiri dari empat dekorasi balon berdiri (standing) satu gapura, satu balon karakter, 20 balon kreasi lampion dan kreasi bunga dengan luas hiasan hingga 20 m²,” jelas Dwi.

Tak jauh berbeda dengan Balon Indonesia, Fimas Balon juga mengemas jasanya dalam dua paket. Pertama, paket sederhana berharga Rp 1,5 juta dengan luas 2,5 x 2 m². Kedua, paket meriah yang harganya disesuaikan dengan permintaan. “Yang pasti luasan ruang yang dihias lebih dari 2,5 x 2 m²,” tambah Ari Setiawan, pemilik Fimas Balon. Dalam sebulan, Ari mampu menangani hingga sepuluh paket balon dekorasi.

Untuk Memulai, Jadilah Agen Balon Dekorasi Terlebih Dahulu

Dengan menjadi nagen terlebih dahulu, maka anda akan tahu dengan pasti berapa besarnya modal yang di perlukan untuk membeli perlengkapan perlengkapannya seperti membeli mesin jahit balon, alat stok gas, pompa angin dan lain-lain.

Untuk bisa menjadi agen tentu anda harus memiliki relasi dengan pemilik ketiga perlengkapan tersebut, sekaligus pemasok karet untuk bahan balon. Setelah mahir di bidang agen, selanjutnya anda bisa beranjak ke tahap berikutnya yaitu tahap promosi agar mendapatkan klien yang banyak. Promosi yang baik saat ini adalah promosi melalui internet misalnya dengan membuat website atau lewat jejaring sosial seperti facebook, twitter dan jejaring sosial lainnya.

Pada saat mulai berdiri anda bisa menjalin kerja sama dengan pemain-pemain besar dengan  tujuan agar mendapatkan order. Saat mulai membuka usaha balon dekorasi ini, anda juga tidak perlu merekrut banyak karyawan, cukup merekrut karyawan yang sangat di butuhkan saja, selebihnya bisa anda kerjakan sendiri.

Bahan baku balon dekorasi ini adalah karet balon yang banyak dijual pemasok (supplier) karet atau lateks balon lokal. Carilah lateks balon dalam berbagai warna dan ukuran. Harganya berkisar Rp 500 hingga  Rp 1.000 per lembar. Pembentukan dan pencantuman tulisan di balon, biasanya kita lakukan sendiri, karena baru bisa diputuskan setelah bertemu klien.

DEKORASI BALON PROMOSI

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.

Advertisement

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

The 6-foot-10 Phillips played alongside the 6-11 Rick Robey on the Wildcats team that won the 1978 N.C.A.A. men’s basketball title.

Mike Phillips, Half of Kentucky’s ‘Twin Towers’ of Basketball, Dies at 59

Mr. 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

Mr. King sang for the Drifters and found success as a solo performer with hits like “Spanish Harlem.”

Ben E. King, Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76

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

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

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

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

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

Audio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audio

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

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

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

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

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

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

Audio

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good,

She was very, very good.

But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Recently, the conservation center turned up another surprise.

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Pfaff was an international affairs columnist and author who found Washington’s intervention in world affairs often misguided.

William Pfaff, Critic of American Foreign Policy, Dies at 86

A 2-minute-42-second demo recording captured in one take turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Mr. Ely, who was 19 when he sang the garage-band classic.

Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, Dies at 71

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

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.

Advertisement

“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’

Late in April, after Native American actors walked off in disgust from the set of Adam Sandler’s latest film, a western sendup that its distributor, Netflix, has defended as being equally offensive to all, a glow of pride spread through several Native American communities.

Tantoo Cardinal, a Canadian indigenous actress who played Black Shawl in “Dances With Wolves,” recalled thinking to herself, “It’s come.” Larry Sellers, who starred as Cloud Dancing in the 1990s television show “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” thought, “It’s about time.” Jesse Wente, who is Ojibwe and directs film programming at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, found himself encouraged and surprised. There are so few film roles for indigenous actors, he said, that walking off the set of a major production showed real mettle.

But what didn’t surprise Mr. Wente was the content of the script. According to the actors who walked off the set, the film, titled “The Ridiculous Six,” included a Native American woman who passes out and is revived after white men douse her with alcohol, and another woman squatting to urinate while lighting a peace pipe. “There’s enough history at this point to have set some expectations around these sort of Hollywood depictions,” Mr. Wente said.

The walkout prompted a rhetorical “What do you expect from an Adam Sandler film?,” and a Netflix spokesman said that in the movie, blacks, Mexicans and whites were lampooned as well. But Native American actors and critics said a broader issue was at stake. While mainstream portrayals of native peoples have, Mr. Wente said, become “incrementally better” over the decades, he and others say, they remain far from accurate and reflect a lack of opportunities for Native American performers. What’s more, as Native Americans hunger for representation on screen, critics say the absence of three-dimensional portrayals has very real off-screen consequences.

“Our people are still healing from historical trauma,” said Loren Anthony, one of the actors who walked out. “Our youth are still trying to figure out who they are, where they fit in this society. Kids are killing themselves. They’re not proud of who they are.” They also don’t, he added, see themselves on prime time television or the big screen. Netflix noted while about five people walked off the “The Ridiculous Six” set, 100 or so Native American actors and extras stayed.

Advertisement

But in interviews, nearly a dozen Native American actors and film industry experts said that Mr. Sandler’s humor perpetuated decades-old negative stereotypes. Mr. Anthony said such depictions helped feed the despondency many Native Americans feel, with deadly results: Native Americans have the highest suicide rate out of all the country’s ethnicities.

The on-screen problem is twofold, Mr. Anthony and others said: There’s a paucity of roles for Native Americans — according to the Screen Actors Guild in 2008 they accounted for 0.3 percent of all on-screen parts (those figures have yet to be updated), compared to about 2 percent of the general population — and Native American actors are often perceived in a narrow way.

In his Peabody Award-winning documentary “Reel Injun,” the Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond explored Hollywood depictions of Native Americans over the years, and found they fell into a few stereotypical categories: the Noble Savage, the Drunk Indian, the Mystic, the Indian Princess, the backward tribal people futilely fighting John Wayne and manifest destiny. While the 1990 film “Dances With Wolves” won praise for depicting Native Americans as fully fleshed out human beings, not all indigenous people embraced it. It was still told, critics said, from the colonialists’ point of view. In an interview, John Trudell, a Santee Sioux writer, actor (“Thunderheart”) and the former chairman of the American Indian Movement, described the film as “a story of two white people.”

“God bless ‘Dances with Wolves,’ ” Michael Horse, who played Deputy Hawk in “Twin Peaks,” said sarcastically. “Even ‘Avatar.’ Someone’s got to come save the tribal people.”

Dan Spilo, a partner at Industry Entertainment who represents Adam Beach, one of today’s most prominent Native American actors, said while typecasting dogs many minorities, it is especially intractable when it comes to Native Americans. Casting directors, he said, rarely cast them as police officers, doctors or lawyers. “There’s the belief that the Native American character should be on reservations or riding a horse,” he said.

“We don’t see ourselves,” Mr. Horse said. “We’re still an antiquated culture to them, and to the rest of the world.”

Ms. Cardinal said she was once turned down for the role of the wife of a child-abusing cop because the filmmakers felt that casting her would somehow be “too political.”

Another sore point is the long run of white actors playing American Indians, among them Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson, Audrey Hepburn and, more recently, Johnny Depp, whose depiction of Tonto in the 2013 film “Lone Ranger,” was viewed as racist by detractors. There are, of course, exceptions. The former A&E series “Longmire,” which, as it happens, will now be on Netflix, was roundly praised for its depiction of life on a Northern Cheyenne reservation, with Lou Diamond Phillips, who is of Cherokee descent, playing a Northern Cheyenne man.

Others also point to the success of Mr. Beach, who played a Mohawk detective in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and landed a starring role in the forthcoming D C Comics picture “Suicide Squad.” Mr. Beach said he had come across insulting scripts backed by people who don’t see anything wrong with them.

“I’d rather starve than do something that is offensive to my ancestral roots,” Mr. Beach said. “But I think there will always be attempts to drawn on the weakness of native people’s struggles. The savage Indian will always be the savage Indian. The white man will always be smarter and more cunning. The cavalry will always win.”

The solution, Mr. Wente, Mr. Trudell and others said, lies in getting more stories written by and starring Native Americans. But Mr. Wente noted that while independent indigenous film has blossomed in the last two decades, mainstream depictions have yet to catch up. “You have to stop expecting for Hollywood to correct it, because there seems to be no ability or desire to correct it,” Mr. Wente said.

There have been calls to boycott Netflix but, writing for Indian Country Today Media Network, which first broke news of the walk off, the filmmaker Brian Young noted that the distributor also offered a number of films by or about Native Americans.

The furor around “The Ridiculous Six” may drive more people to see it. Then one of the questions that Mr. Trudell, echoing others, had about the film will be answered: “Who the hell laughs at this stuff?”

Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias

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

WASHINGTON — The last three men to win the Republican nomination have been the prosperous son of a president (George W. Bush), a senator who could not recall how many homes his family owned (John McCain of Arizona; it was seven) and a private equity executive worth an estimated $200 million (Mitt Romney).

The candidates hoping to be the party’s nominee in 2016 are trying to create a very different set of associations. On Sunday, Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, joined the presidential field.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk, as he urges audiences not to forget “the workers in our hotel kitchens, the landscaping crews in our neighborhoods, the late-night janitorial staff that clean our offices.”

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a preacher’s son, posts on Twitter about his ham-and-cheese sandwiches and boasts of his coupon-clipping frugality. His $1 Kohl’s sweater has become a campaign celebrity in its own right.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky laments the existence of “two Americas,” borrowing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase to describe economically and racially troubled communities like Ferguson, Mo., and Detroit.

Photo
 
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk. Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“Some say, ‘But Democrats care more about the poor,’ ” Mr. Paul likes to say. “If that’s true, why is black unemployment still twice white unemployment? Why has household income declined by $3,500 over the past six years?”

We are in the midst of the Empathy Primary — the rhetorical battleground shaping the Republican presidential field of 2016.

Harmed by the perception that they favor the wealthy at the expense of middle-of-the-road Americans, the party’s contenders are each trying their hardest to get across what the elder George Bush once inelegantly told recession-battered voters in 1992: “Message: I care.”

Their ability to do so — less bluntly, more sincerely — could prove decisive in an election year when power, privilege and family connections will loom large for both parties.

Advertisement

Questions of understanding and compassion cost Republicans in the last election. Mr. Romney, who memorably dismissed the “47 percent” of Americans as freeloaders, lost to President Obama by 63 percentage points among voters who cast their ballots for the candidate who “cares about people like me,” according to exit polls.

And a Pew poll from February showed that people still believe Republicans are indifferent to working Americans: 54 percent said the Republican Party does not care about the middle class.

That taint of callousness explains why Senator Ted Cruz of Texas declared last week that Republicans “are and should be the party of the 47 percent” — and why another son of a president, Jeb Bush, has made economic opportunity the centerpiece of his message.

With his pedigree and considerable wealth — since he left the Florida governor’s office almost a decade ago he has earned millions of dollars sitting on corporate boards and advising banks — Mr. Bush probably has the most complicated task making the argument to voters that he understands their concerns.

On a visit last week to Puerto Rico, Mr. Bush sounded every bit the populist, railing against “elites” who have stifled economic growth and innovation. In the kind of economy he envisions leading, he said: “We wouldn’t have the middle being squeezed. People in poverty would have a chance to rise up. And the social strains that exist — because the haves and have-nots is the big debate in our country today — would subside.”

Continue reading the main story
 

Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)?

Republicans’ emphasis on poorer and working-class Americans now represents a shift from the party’s longstanding focus on business owners and “job creators” as the drivers of economic opportunity.

This is intentional, Republican operatives said.

In the last presidential election, Republicans rushed to defend business owners against what they saw as hostility by Democrats to successful, wealthy entrepreneurs.

“Part of what you had was a reaction to the Democrats’ dehumanization of business owners: ‘Oh, you think you started your plumbing company? No you didn’t,’ ” said Grover Norquist, the conservative activist and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

But now, Mr. Norquist said, Republicans should move past that. “Focus on the people in the room who know someone who couldn’t get a job, or a promotion, or a raise because taxes are too high or regulations eat up companies’ time,” he said. “The rich guy can take care of himself.”

Democrats argue that the public will ultimately see through such an approach because Republican positions like opposing a minimum-wage increase and giving private banks a larger role in student loans would hurt working Americans.

“If Republican candidates are just repeating the same tired policies, I’m not sure that smiling while saying it is going to be enough,” said Guy Cecil, a Democratic strategist who is joining a “super PAC” working on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Republicans have already attacked Mrs. Clinton over the wealth and power she and her husband have accumulated, caricaturing her as an out-of-touch multimillionaire who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech and has not driven a car since 1996.

Mr. Walker hit this theme recently on Fox News, pointing to Mrs. Clinton’s lucrative book deals and her multiple residences. “This is not someone who is connected with everyday Americans,” he said. His own net worth, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is less than a half-million dollars; Mr. Walker also owes tens of thousands of dollars on his credit cards.

Continue reading the main story

But showing off a cheap sweater or boasting of a bootstraps family background not only helps draw a contrast with Mrs. Clinton’s latter-day affluence, it is also an implicit argument against Mr. Bush.

Mr. Walker, who featured a 1998 Saturn with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer in a 2010 campaign ad during his first run for governor, likes to talk about flipping burgers at McDonald’s as a young person. His mother, he has said, grew up on a farm with no indoor plumbing until she was in high school.

Mr. Rubio, among the least wealthy members of the Senate, with an estimated net worth of around a half-million dollars, uses his working-class upbringing as evidence of the “exceptionalism” of America, “where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”

Mr. Cruz alludes to his family’s dysfunction — his parents, he says, were heavy drinkers — and recounts his father’s tale of fleeing Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey notes that his father paid his way through college working nights at an ice cream plant.

But sometimes the attempts at projecting authenticity can seem forced. Mr. Christie recently found himself on the defensive after telling a New Hampshire audience, “I don’t consider myself a wealthy man.” Tax returns showed that he and his wife, a longtime Wall Street executive, earned nearly $700,000 in 2013.

The story of success against the odds is a political classic, even if it is one the Republican Party has not been able to tell for a long time. Ronald Reagan liked to say that while he had not been born on the wrong side of the tracks, he could always hear the whistle. Richard Nixon was fond of reminding voters how he was born in a house his father had built.

“Probably the idea that is most attractive to an average voter, and an idea that both Republicans and Democrats try to craft into their messages, is this idea that you can rise from nothing,” said Charles C. W. Cooke, a writer for National Review.

There is a certain delight Republicans take in turning that message to their advantage now.

“That’s what Obama did with Hillary,” Mr. Cooke said. “He acknowledged it openly: ‘This is ridiculous. Look at me, this one-term senator with dark skin and all of America’s unsolved racial problems, running against the wife of the last Democratic president.”

G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class

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

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

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.

Advertisement

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

HOBART, Tasmania — Few places seem out of reach for China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who has traveled from European capitals to obscure Pacific and Caribbean islands in pursuit of his nation’s strategic interests.

So perhaps it was not surprising when he turned up last fall in this city on the edge of the Southern Ocean to put down a long-distance marker in another faraway region, Antarctica, 2,000 miles south of this Australian port.

Standing on the deck of an icebreaker that ferries Chinese scientists from this last stop before the frozen continent, Mr. Xi pledged that China would continue to expand in one of the few places on earth that remain unexploited by humans.

He signed a five-year accord with the Australian government that allows Chinese vessels and, in the future, aircraft to resupply for fuel and food before heading south. That will help secure easier access to a region that is believed to have vast oil and mineral resources; huge quantities of high-protein sea life; and for times of possible future dire need, fresh water contained in icebergs.

It was not until 1985, about seven decades after Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen raced to the South Pole, that a team representing Beijing hoisted the Chinese flag over the nation’s first Antarctic research base, the Great Wall Station on King George Island.

But now China seems determined to catch up. As it has bolstered spending on Antarctic research, and as the early explorers, especially the United States and Australia, confront stagnant budgets, there is growing concern about its intentions.

China’s operations on the continent — it opened its fourth research station last year, chose a site for a fifth, and is investing in a second icebreaker and new ice-capable planes and helicopters — are already the fastest growing of the 52 signatories to the Antarctic Treaty. That gentlemen’s agreement reached in 1959 bans military activity on the continent and aims to preserve it as one of the world’s last wildernesses; a related pact prohibits mining.

Advertisement

But Mr. Xi’s visit was another sign that China is positioning itself to take advantage of the continent’s resource potential when the treaty expires in 2048 — or in the event that it is ripped up before, Chinese and Australian experts say.

“So far, our research is natural-science based, but we know there is more and more concern about resource security,” said Yang Huigen, director general of the Polar Research Institute of China, who accompanied Mr. Xi last November on his visit to Hobart and stood with him on the icebreaker, Xue Long, or Snow Dragon.

With that in mind, the polar institute recently opened a new division devoted to the study of resources, law, geopolitics and governance in Antarctica and the Arctic, Mr. Yang said.

Australia, a strategic ally of the United States that has strong economic relations with China, is watching China’s buildup in the Antarctic with a mix of gratitude — China’s presence offers support for Australia’s Antarctic science program, which is short of cash — and wariness.

“We should have no illusions about the deeper agenda — one that has not even been agreed to by Chinese scientists but is driven by Xi, and most likely his successors,” said Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former senior official in the Australian Department of Defense.

“This is part of a broader pattern of a mercantilist approach all around the world,” Mr. Jennings added. “A big driver of Chinese policy is to secure long-term energy supply and food supply.”

That approach was evident last month when a large Chinese agriculture enterprise announced an expansion of its fishing operations around Antarctica to catch more krill — small, protein-rich crustaceans that are abundant in Antarctic waters.

“The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share,” Liu Shenli, the chairman of the China National Agricultural Development Group, told China Daily, a state-owned newspaper. China would aim to fish up to two million tons of krill a year, he said, a substantial increase from what it currently harvests.

Because sovereignty over Antarctica is unclear, nations have sought to strengthen their claims over the ice-covered land by building research bases and naming geographic features. China’s fifth station will put it within reach of the six American facilities, and ahead of Australia’s three.

Chinese mappers have also given Chinese names to more than 300 sites, compared with the thousands of locations on the continent with English names.

In the unspoken competition for Antarctica’s future, scientific achievement can also translate into influence. Chinese scientists are driving to be the first to drill and recover an ice core containing tiny air bubbles that provide a record of climate change stretching as far back as 1.5 million years. It is an expensive and delicate effort at which others, including the European Union and Australia, have failed.

In a breakthrough a decade ago, European scientists extracted an ice core nearly two miles long that revealed 800,000 years of climate history. But finding an ice core going back further would allow scientists to examine a change in the earth’s climate cycles believed to have occurred 900,000 to 1.2 million years ago.

China is betting it has found the best location to drill, at an area called Dome A, or Dome Argus, the highest point on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Though it is considered one of the coldest places on the planet, with temperatures of 130 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, a Chinese expedition explored the area in 2005 and established a research station in 2009.

“The international community has drilled in lots of places, but no luck so far,” said Xiao Cunde, a member of the first party to reach the site and the deputy director of the Institute for Climate Change at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences. “We think at Dome A we will have a straight shot at the one-million-year ice core.”

Mr. Xiao said China had already begun drilling and hoped to find what scientists are looking for in four to five years.

To support its Antarctic aspirations, China is building a sophisticated $300 million icebreaker that is expected to be ready in a few years, said Xia Limin, deputy director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration in Beijing. It has also bought a high-tech fixed-wing aircraft, outfitted in the United States, for taking sensitive scientific soundings from the ice.

China has chosen the site for its fifth research station at Inexpressible Island, named by a group of British explorers who were stranded at the desolate site in 1912 and survived the winter by excavating a small ice cave.

Mr. Xia said the inhospitable spot was ideal because China did not have a presence in that part of Antarctica, and because the rocky site did not have much snow, making it relatively cheap to build there.

Anne-Marie Brady, a professor of political science at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the author of a soon-to-be-released book, “China as a Polar Great Power,” said Chinese scientists also believed they had a good chance of finding mineral and energy resources near the site.

“China is playing a long game in Antarctica and keeping other states guessing about its true intentions and interests are part of its poker hand,” she said. But she noted that China’s interest in finding minerals was presented “loud and clear to domestic audiences” as the main reason it was investing in Antarctica.

Because commercial drilling is banned, estimates of energy and mineral resources in Antarctica rely on remote sensing data and comparisons with similar geological environments elsewhere, said Millard F. Coffin, executive director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart.

But the difficulty of extraction in such severe conditions and uncertainty about future commodity prices make it unlikely that China or any country would defy the ban on mining anytime soon.

Tourism, however, is already booming. Travelers from China are still a relatively small contingent in the Antarctic compared with the more than 13,000 Americans who visited in 2013, and as yet there are no licensed Chinese tour operators.

But that is about to change, said Anthony Bergin, deputy director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “I understand very soon there will be Chinese tourists on Chinese vessels with all-Chinese crew in the Antarctic,” he said.

 

Top News China’s Intents Are Questioned as It Builds in Antarctica
paket umroh januari umrohdepag.com
harga umrah desember bekasi barat
harga paket berangkat umroh ramadhan di Kayu Manis jakarta
promo umrah januari bogor
biaya paket umroh desember di Kampung Melayu jakarta
promo berangkat umroh ramadhan di Cakung jakarta
paket promo umroh februari di Cipinang Besar Utara jakarta
biaya berangkat umrah juni di Setu jakarta
paket berangkat umroh april bekasi utara
paket berangkat umroh juni di Cipinang Muara jakarta
promo berangkat umrah juni di Kebon Manggis jakarta
biaya umroh april di Cilangkap jakarta
promo berangkat umrah akhir tahun di Malaka Jaya jakarta
biaya berangkat umrah ramadhan di Bambu Apus jakarta
biaya paket umrah januari di Cawang jakarta
promo umroh desember di Cakung Barat jakarta
paket berangkat umroh akhir tahun di Rawa Terate jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umrah juni di Kramat Jati jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh april di Utan Kayu Utara jakarta
promo umroh awal tahun di Pulo Gadung jakarta
harga berangkat umroh ramadhan di Jatinegara Kaum jakarta
paket umroh januari di Duren Sawit jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umrah juni di Cipayung jakarta
harga paket berangkat umrah mei di Cibubur jakarta
harga berangkat umrah februari di Cakung Barat jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah mei di Balekambang jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh januari di Pasar Rebo jakarta
paket berangkat umrah maret di Rambutan jakarta
biaya paket umrah desember di Kampung Melayu jakarta
harga berangkat umroh maret di Pasar Rebo jakarta
biaya berangkat umrah juni di Malaka Jaya jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh januari di Pinang Ranti jakarta
promo berangkat umrah januari di Batuampar jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umrah januari di Cipinang Besar Utara jakarta
paket berangkat umrah april di Cakung jakarta
paket promo umroh akhir tahun di Cakung Barat jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah februari di Susukan jakarta
harga paket umroh mei di Kebon Pala jakarta
paket promo berangkat umroh desember di Cibubur jakarta
promo berangkat umrah desember di Matraman jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh april di Ciracas jakarta
biaya umrah desember di Duren Sawit jakarta
paket umrah juni di Lubang Buaya jakarta
paket promo umrah desember di Duren Sawit jakarta
promo umroh juni bekasi barat
harga paket berangkat umroh februari di Pondok Kopi jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh april di Kalisari jakarta
biaya umrah mei di Cipinang Besar Utara jakarta
harga berangkat umroh ramadhan di Cipinang Cempedak jakarta
harga umrah ramadhan di Cilangkap jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umrah februari di Cakung Barat jakarta
paket umrah april di Kampung Baru jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh maret di Pisangan Timur jakarta
paket berangkat umrah februari di Cipinang jakarta
paket berangkat umroh awal tahun di Pondok Bambu jakarta
harga berangkat umrah ramadhan di Cipinang Cempedak jakarta
biaya paket umrah juni di Kelapa Dua Wetan jakarta
harga berangkat umrah april di Pondok Bambu jakarta
promo berangkat umrah april di Batuampar jakarta
paket promo umroh februari di Bidaracina jakarta
harga paket umroh mei di Cilangkap jakarta
promo umrah ramadhan di Setu jakarta
harga berangkat umroh awal tahun di Kampung Baru jakarta
harga umroh awal tahun di Jati jakarta
harga berangkat umrah februari di Pulo Gadung jakarta
harga paket umroh februari di Cipinang Muara jakarta
harga paket berangkat umrah januari di Ciracas jakarta
paket umrah desember di Cipayung jakarta
promo berangkat umroh januari di Rawamangun jakarta
paket berangkat umroh januari di Cibubur jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh akhir tahun di Pulogebang jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh maret di Cilangkap jakarta
harga umroh ramadhan di Pulo Gadung jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh ramadhan di Cakung Timur jakarta
harga paket berangkat umrah april di Malaka Jaya jakarta
harga umroh akhir tahun di Kampung Tengah jakarta
biaya paket umroh februari di Kebon Manggis jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh maret di Kramat Jati jakarta
paket umrah mei di Kebon Pala jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh desember di Jatinegara Kaum jakarta
paket umroh ramadhan di Duren Sawit jakarta
biaya umrah januari di Duren Sawit jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh februari di Cipayung jakarta
harga berangkat umrah awal tahun di Kayu Manis jakarta
biaya paket umroh akhir tahun di Utan Kayu Selatan jakarta
paket umrah januari di Rawamangun jakarta
paket promo umrah maret di Rawamangun jakarta
harga paket berangkat umrah januari di Bambu Apus jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh maret di Ciracas jakarta
paket umroh juni di Bambu Apus jakarta
harga umroh awal tahun di Cibubur jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh februari di Kramat Jati jakarta
harga berangkat umroh akhir tahun di Cipinang Muara jakarta
promo umroh juni di Pondok Kelapa jakarta
harga paket umroh april di Cipinang Muara jakarta
paket promo berangkat umroh awal tahun di Pisangan Timur jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh mei di Cawang jakarta
harga umrah februari di Rawa Terate jakarta
biaya paket umrah januari di Cipayung jakarta
promo umroh april tangerang