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Saco-Indonesia.com — Minimnya sistem deteksi dan sterilisasi di pintu-pintu masuk menuju wilayah Indonesia menyebabkan negeri ini rentan terhadap serangan virus, termasuk virus H7N9 yang saat ini menginfeksi ratusan orang di China atau virus baru corona di Arab Saudi.

Masuknya virus H7N9 ke Indonesia hanya masalah waktu mengingat intensitas kegiatan China dengan Indonesia sangat sering. Kegiatan perdagangan, pariwisata, atau lainnya bisa berfungsi sebagai ”pembawa” virus ini.  

Menurut Dr CA Nidom, pakar biologi molekuler bidang avian influenza dari Universitas Airlangga Surabaya, seharusnya di tiap bandara atau pelabuhan tersedia sistem sterilisasi atau disinfektan untuk barang dan orang.

Diperlukan pula pintu masuk terpisah untuk pesawat dari dan ke China. Sesorang yang baru pulang dari China sebaiknya juga tidak langsung berada di sekitar hewan yang peka virus influenza seperti unggas, babi, dan kucing.

"Dengan sistem pengamanan ala laboratorium, setiap barang atau orang yang dicurigai sakit akan disterilisasi. Semua ini perlu dilakukan karena kita belum aman dari virus H7N9 atau virus baru corona," katanya dalam acara seminar Celebrating 60 Years DNA Discovery di Jakarta (4/6/2013).

Khusus untuk virus H7N9, menurutnya, belum diketahui apakah virus berasal dari wabah atau hasil seleksi. Virus ini juga melahirkan varian baru yang berbeda dengan sebelumnya sehingga vaksin tidak mungkin lagi dipakai karena jenis virusnya sudah berbeda.

"Yang lebih mengherankan virus H7N9 ditemukan dalam jumlah sedikit di negara endemik. Idealnya jumlah burung yang terkena virus lebih banyak dari manusia. karena itu kita harus lebih waspada," kata Nidom.

Masker dapat menjadi alat pertahanan terhadap serangan virus. Kain yang melindungi hidung dan mulut ini menutup dua akses virus masuk ke dalam tubuh.

"Bahkan pertahanan yang minimal saja tidak dianjurkan pemerintah. Sebaiknya bagi yang hendak ke Arab Saudi atau Asia timur gunakan masker untuk perlindungan," kata Nidom.

Seperti yang diketahui, saat ini Arab Saudi dan Eropa sedang dalam ancaman novel virus sebagai penyebab corona. Adapun Asia timur belum lepas dari cengkraman virus flu burung.

 

Editor :Liwon Maulana
Sumber:Kompas.com
Kita Harus Cegah Virus H7N9, Pengamanan di Bandara Perlu Diperketat

saco-indonesia.com, Sebanyak 4 pasangan mesum telah diciduk oleh Polsek Cakranegara, Sandubaya, Kota Mataram, Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB). Petugas telah berhasil menemukan 4 pasangan yang bukan suami-istri itu tinggal dalam satu kamar kos.

"Ada empat pasang, mereka telah kami minta datang ke polsek," ujar Kapolsek Cakranegara Kompol Gede Sukma Wirawan.

Empat pasangan itu telah langsung dibawa ke Markas Polsek Cakranegara untuk dapat dimintai keterangan lebih lanjut. Polisi juga telah mengamankan satu sepeda motor jenis Revo dengan bernomor polisi DR-3462-BD. Sepeda motor itu telah disita oleh petugas karena tidak memiliki surat-surat yang resmi.

Selain itu, polisi juga telah menemukan 1 Warga Negara Asing (WNA) ilegal asal Irlandia. WNA itu bernama Dawson, yang tinggal di salah satu kamar kos. WNA ini juga tidak memiliki paspor asli, dan hanya membawa foto copy paspor pelancong.

Diketahui, Polsek Cakranegara tengah rajin menggelar razia gabungan ke rumah-rumah kos di Lingkungan Gedur Abian Tubuh Baru. Razia gabungan itu guna untuk menciptakan kondisi menjelang perayaan tahun baru 2014.

Menurut Kompol Sukma, razia gabungan tersebut telah melibatkan kepala lingkungan, Babinsa dan tokoh masyarakat di sana.

"Kami juga  melakukan razia sebagai langkah antisipasi terhadap timbulnya penyakit masyarakat, baik berupa perjudian, pelanggaran narkoba, prostitusi dan pelanggaran hukum lainnya, " ujarnya.

Jumlah personel yang telah diturunkan berjumlah 30 anggota untuk dapat menyisir rumah kos di kawasan tersebut. Total ada sembilan tempat kos dengan 86 kamar yang disisir petugas.

Selain memeriksa identitas penghuni kos, polisi juga telah memeriksa kelengkapan surat dan identitas sepeda motor milik penghuni kamar atau rumah sewaan tersebut.

Sementara itu, Kepala Lingkungan Gedur I Wayan Ardika juga mengatakan dengan adanya razia ini keamanan dan kenyamanan di lingkungannya bisa tetap terjaga.

"Di sini juga banyak terdapat rumah kos, karenanya harus tetap diawasi guna lebih menjamin keamanan dan ketertiban," ujar Ardika.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

RUMAH KOS DIRAZIA

Kepolisian Resor Bogor Kota menahan tiga warga Pandeglang, Banten, yakni DRD (15), DR (23), dan SA (19), sebagai tersangka kasus percobaan pembunuhan dan perampokan Nur Taufik (23), warga Kota Bogor.

DRD, siswa SMA di Pandeglang, adalah kekasih Nur dan adik dari DR. SA adalah teman DR yang diajak oleh kakak beradik itu menghabisi Nur di Lapangan Sempur, Kota Bogor, Rabu malam. Selanjutnya, pada malam itu juga mereka hendak membuang jasad korban ke Serang, Banten.

Kasus ini bermula dari perkenalan, komunikasi, dan percintaan antara DRD dan Nur. Keduanya sudah menjalin hubungan asmara sejak dua bulan lalu. Selama berpacaran, DRD dan Nur melangkah terlalu jauh. Mereka sudah beberapa kali berhubungan layaknya suami-istri.

Namun, menurut DRD, saat jumpa pers di Polres Bogor Kota, Rabu (5/2/2014), hubungan seks itu karena desakan dan ancaman Nur. Didesak dan diancam tetapi mencintai kekasih, DRD terpaksa memenuhi permintaan Nur.

Karena sudah menyerahkan kehormatan tetapi merasa masa depan cintanya tidak jelas, DRD khawatir bakal dicampakkan oleh Nur. Kekhawatiran itu mendorong sang remaja mengadu kepada DR. Tidak terima sang adik dipaksa melayani kebutuhan seks Nur, DR marah. Kakak beradik itu lalu sepakat membunuh Nur. DR kemudian mengajak SA berkomplot.

”Sebenarnya saya tidak tega, tetapi Abang sangat marah dan tidak bisa saya cegah,” kata DRD tertunduk.

Eksekusi

Pada Rabu malam minggu lalu, DRD, DR, dan SA melaksanakan rencana pembunuhan itu. Mereka pun pergi ke Bogor untuk menghabisi Nur. Di Kota Bogor, mereka berpisah agar Nur lengah. Memang kedatangan ketiganya diketahui Nur. Namun, untuk memberi kesempatan kepada DRD dan Nur berduaan, DR dan SA memilih berjalan-jalan ke tempat lain terlebih dahulu.

Di Kota Bogor, DRD menghubungi Nur dan meminta dijemput di Terminal Baranangsiang. Nur datang dengan mobil Toyota Yaris putih F 1566 HH.

DRD kemudian meminta Nur berkeliling terlebih dahulu menikmati suasana Kota Bogor. Selanjutnya, DRD bilang agar Nur menjemput DR dan SA yang juga datang dari Pandeglang ke Bogor. DR dan SA minta dijemput di Lapangan Sempur.

Tanpa curiga, Nur menyanggupi permintaan sang pacar. Mereka menjemput DR dan SA. Saat bertemu dengan Nur, DR melontarkan kemarahannya. DR memaki-maki Nur karena telah memaksa DRD untuk berhubungan seks.

Saat itulah, DR dan SA menganiaya Nur. DR menikam Nur dengan pisau yang sudah disiapkan sejak dari Pandeglang. Akibat ditikam di leher, Nur roboh, terluka, dan tidak bergerak.

Ketiganya menyangka korban sudah tewas sebab tidak ada reaksi apa pun. Kemudian, DR dan SA mengikat, mengangkat, dan menaruh korban di bagasi mobil. Lalu, ketiga pelaku berkendara ke arah Serang, Banten, untuk membuang jasad Nur.

Dalam perjalanan, di Karawaci, mobil yang dikendarai DRD itu menabrak tewas pengendara sepeda motor.

Kasatreskrim Polres Bogor Kota Ajun Komisaris Candra Sasongko mengatakan, kecelakaan itulah yang kemudian membuka tabir kasus penganiayaan dan perampokan Nur oleh ketiga tersangka. Karena terlibat kecelakaan di lokasi yang agak ramai, mobil itu dicegat dan ditahan oleh massa yang kemudian menghubungi petugas.

Petugas datang, mengecek mobil, dan terkejut melihat lelaki terikat dan bersimbah darah di bagasi mobil itu. Petugas menangkap dan membawa DRD, DR, dan SA ke kantor polisi untuk diperiksa. Ketiga pelaku mengakui perbuatan mereka, yaitu telah menganiaya korban, bahkan hendak membuang korban ke Serang, Banten. Nur kini dirawat di RS PMI Bogor.

Ketiga tersangka terancam hukuman paling kurang tujuh tahun penjara.

Sumber :kompas.com

Editor : Maulana Lee

Berkomplot Remaja Perempuan Bunuh Kekasih di Bogor

Jual baju muslim adalah merek dari produk pakaian  yang ditujukan untuk wanita baik yang berukuran kecil (small) maupun besar (MAXI size atau orang mengenalnya sebagai BIG size).

Ukuran MAXI size ini memang spesial, artinya ukuran dan proporsinya berbeda dibanding dengan ukuran biasa, dengan demikian karena kekhususannya tersebut maka diperlukan desain yang special sehingga bentuk tubuh menjadi proporsional.

Jual baju muslim, dan dengan desain nama (brand) berwarna pink tua atau magenta ini memberikan kesan sangat wanita karena color identity tersebut adalah sesuai dengan selera kebanyakan kaum wanita dan dengan huruf “Z” sebagai logo dan variasi warna abu-abu memberikan identitas lain, yaitu sebagai gambaran kedewasaan.

Bahan yang digunakan adalah cotton combed special yang halus &  lembut, dan dengan kualitas  bahan yang baik menjadikan tidak mudah berbulu dan mengkerut. Sensasi dinginpun akan terasakan dan  kenyamananpun akan didapatkan ketika digunakan.

 

harga gamis zhenita

HARGA GAMIS ZHENITA



Sebanyak 99,48% siswa sekolah menengah atas (SMA) sederajat atau 1.573.036 siswa  dinyatakan lulus Ujian Nasional (UN) untuk tahun ajaran 2012/2013, sedangkan yang tidak lulus sebanyak 8.260 siswa atau 0,52 persen. Adapun total seluruh peserta UN SMA sederajat 1.581.286 siswa.

"Hasil kelulusan dan dan tidak lulusnya siswa ditentukan dari kombinasi hasil nilai UN sebanyak 60 persen dan 40 persen dari nilai sekolah," kata Mendikbud M Nuh pada konferensi pers pengumuman hasil UN Tahun Ajaran 2012/2013 SMA/MA/SMK sederajat di Jakarta, Kamis (23/5).Turut hadir Ketua Badan Standar Nasional Pendidikan (BSNP) Aman Wirakartakusumah dan anggota Jemari Mardapi.

Menurut Nuh, dibandingkan tahun lalu prosentase kelulusan 99.50 persen, sehingga terjadi penurunan 0,02 persen pada tahun ini."Terjadinya penurunan kelulusan dimungkinkan karena adanya variasi soal tahun ini menjadi 20 soal UN dan tingkat kerumitan soal," ungkapnya.
Adapun peserta UN yang paling banyak tidak lulus adalah pertama,Nanggro Aceh Darussalam (NAD) dengan 3,11 persen atau 1.754 siswa dari 65 ribu peserta UN. "Kedua, Papua dan ketiga Sulawesi Tengah (Sulteng)," kata M Nuh.

Sedangkan Provinsi Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) tidak lagi menjadi provinsi yang tingkat ketidaklulusannya tertinggi. "Hal ini karena Kemendikbud melakukan intervensi terhadap provinsi itu berupa penambahan guru serta perbaikan sarana dan prasarana," ujar mantan Rektor ITS Surabaya itu.

Dijelaskan, untuk tahun ini masih ada sekolah dengan angka ketidaklulusan sebesar 100 persen. Tercatat, sebanyak 24 sekolah atau sebesar 0,16 persen dengan tingkat ketidaklulusan 100 persen dengan jumlah 899 siswa.Namun lebih banyak sekolah yang 100 persen lulus, yaitu 15.476 sekolah atau sebesar 87 persen dengan jumlah 1,3 juta siswa.

Sementara provinsi dengan tingkat kelulusan 100 persen adalah Jawa Barat. Secara nasional, tambah Nuh, nilai UN tingkat SMA sederajat tahun ini juga mengalami penurunan dibandingkan tahun sebelumnya. Jika tahun lalu rata-rata nilai UN 7,7, tahun ini hanya mencapai 6,35.

"Untuk rata-rata nilai UN tertinggi tahun ini 9,87 dan yang terendah 0,33," ungkap Nuh. Yang menarik,lanjut dia, dalam hasil evaluasi UN 2013 di sejumlah sekolah, rata-rata nilai UN lebih tinggi dibandingkan dengan rata rata nilai Ujian Sekolah.(Bangkit wibisono)

 

99, 48 % SISWA DAN SISWI SEKOLAH MENENGAS ATAS DINYATAKAN LULUS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading the main story
Do you think race relations in the United States are generally good or generally bad?
60
40
20
0
White
Black
May '14
May '15
Generally bad
Continue reading the main story
Do you think race relations in the United States are getting better, getting worse or staying about the same?
Getting worse
Staying the same
Getting better
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
44%
37
17
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The poll finds that profound racial divisions in views of how the police use deadly force remain. Blacks are more than twice as likely to say police in most communities are more apt to use deadly force against a black person — 79 percent of blacks say so compared with 37 percent of whites. A slim majority of whites say race is not a factor in a police officer’s decision to use deadly force.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The magical quality Mr. Lesnie created in shooting the “Babe” films caught the eye of the director Peter Jackson, who chose him to film the fantasy epic.

Andrew Lesnie, Cinematographer of ‘Lord of the Rings,’ Dies at 59

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

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

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

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

– MATTHEW SCHNEIER

Cher and Marc Jacobs

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

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

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

As he reflected on the festering wounds deepened by race and grievance that have been on painful display in America’s cities lately, President Obama on Monday found himself thinking about a young man he had just met named Malachi.

A few minutes before, in a closed-door round-table discussion at Lehman College in the Bronx, Mr. Obama had asked a group of black and Hispanic students from disadvantaged backgrounds what could be done to help them reach their goals. Several talked about counseling and guidance programs.

“Malachi, he just talked about — we should talk about love,” Mr. Obama told a crowd afterward, drifting away from his prepared remarks. “Because Malachi and I shared the fact that our dad wasn’t around and that sometimes we wondered why he wasn’t around and what had happened. But really, that’s what this comes down to is: Do we love these kids?”

Many presidents have governed during times of racial tension, but Mr. Obama is the first to see in the mirror a face that looks like those on the other side of history’s ledger. While his first term was consumed with the economy, war and health care, his second keeps coming back to the societal divide that was not bridged by his election. A president who eschewed focusing on race now seems to have found his voice again as he thinks about how to use his remaining time in office and beyond.

Continue reading the main story Video
Play Video|1:17

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

At an event announcing the creation of a nonprofit focusing on young minority men, President Obama talked about the underlying reasons for recent protests in Baltimore and other cities.

By Associated Press on Publish Date May 4, 2015. Photo by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times.

In the aftermath of racially charged unrest in places like Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and New York, Mr. Obama came to the Bronx on Monday for the announcement of a new nonprofit organization that is being spun off from his White House initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. Staked by more than $80 million in commitments from corporations and other donors, the new group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will in effect provide the nucleus for Mr. Obama’s post-presidency, which will begin in January 2017.

“This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency but for the rest of my life,” Mr. Obama said. “And the reason is simple,” he added. Referring to some of the youths he had just met, he said: “We see ourselves in these young men. I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path. The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”

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Organizers said the new alliance already had financial pledges from companies like American Express, Deloitte, Discovery Communications and News Corporation. The money will be used to help companies address obstacles facing young black and Hispanic men, provide grants to programs for disadvantaged youths, and help communities aid their populations.

Joe Echevarria, a former chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, will lead the alliance, and among those on its leadership team or advisory group are executives at PepsiCo, News Corporation, Sprint, BET and Prudential Group Insurance; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; the music star John Legend; the retired athletes Alonzo Mourning, Jerome Bettis and Shaquille O’Neal; and the mayors of Indianapolis, Sacramento and Philadelphia.

The alliance, while nominally independent of the White House, may face some of the same questions confronting former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins another presidential campaign. Some of those donating to the alliance may have interests in government action, and skeptics may wonder whether they are trying to curry favor with the president by contributing.

“The Obama administration will have no role in deciding how donations are screened and what criteria they’ll set at the alliance for donor policies, because it’s an entirely separate entity,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One en route to New York. But he added, “I’m confident that the members of the board are well aware of the president’s commitment to transparency.”

The alliance was in the works before the disturbances last week after the death of Freddie Gray, the black man who suffered fatal injuries while in police custody in Baltimore, but it reflected the evolution of Mr. Obama’s presidency. For him, in a way, it is coming back to issues that animated him as a young community organizer and politician. It was his own struggle with race and identity, captured in his youthful memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” that stood him apart from other presidential aspirants.

But that was a side of him that he kept largely to himself through the first years of his presidency while he focused on other priorities like turning the economy around, expanding government-subsidized health care and avoiding electoral land mines en route to re-election.

After securing a second term, Mr. Obama appeared more emboldened. Just a month after his 2013 inauguration, he talked passionately about opportunity and race with a group of teenage boys in Chicago, a moment aides point to as perhaps the first time he had spoken about these issues in such a personal, powerful way as president. A few months later, he publicly lamented the death of Trayvon Martin, a black Florida teenager, saying that “could have been me 35 years ago.”

Photo
 
President Obama on Monday with Darinel Montero, a student at Bronx International High School who introduced him before remarks at Lehman College in the Bronx. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

That case, along with public ruptures of anger over police shootings in Ferguson and elsewhere, have pushed the issue of race and law enforcement onto the public agenda. Aides said they imagined that with his presidency in its final stages, Mr. Obama might be thinking more about what comes next and causes he can advance as a private citizen.

That is not to say that his public discussion of these issues has been universally welcomed. Some conservatives said he had made matters worse by seeming in their view to blame police officers in some of the disputed cases.

“President Obama, when he was elected, could have been a unifying leader,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for president, said at a forum last week. “He has made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions.”

On the other side of the ideological spectrum, some liberal African-American activists have complained that Mr. Obama has not done enough to help downtrodden communities. While he is speaking out more, these critics argue, he has hardly used the power of the presidency to make the sort of radical change they say is necessary.

The line Mr. Obama has tried to straddle has been a serrated one. He condemns police brutality as he defends most officers as honorable. He condemns “criminals and thugs” who looted in Baltimore while expressing empathy with those trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.

In the Bronx on Monday, Mr. Obama bemoaned the death of Brian Moore, a plainclothes New York police officer who had died earlier in the day after being shot in the head Saturday on a Queens street. Most police officers are “good and honest and fair and care deeply about their communities,” even as they put their lives on the line, Mr. Obama said.

“Which is why in addressing the issues in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York, the point I made was that if we’re just looking at policing, we’re looking at it too narrowly,” he added. “If we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve, that’s not fair to the communities, it’s not fair to the police.”

Moreover, if society writes off some people, he said, “that’s not the kind of country I want to live in; that’s not what America is about.”

His message to young men like Malachi Hernandez, who attends Boston Latin Academy in Massachusetts, is not to give up.

“I want you to know you matter,” he said. “You matter to us.”

Advertisement Politics Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues

A former member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Smedvig helped found the wide-ranging Empire Brass quintet.

Rolf Smedvig, Trumpeter in the Empire Brass, Dies at 62

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

Gene Fullmer, a Brawling Middleweight Champion, Dies at 83

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A skeptical Mr. Vasilakopoulos predicted tensions would worsen.

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

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

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

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Frontline  An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.
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THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple

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