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Ditentukan sudah, siapa yang akan bertarung dalam Grand Final X Factor Indonesia untuk menjadi juara kontes nyanyi di layar kaca itu.

Hasil pengumpulan suara melalui SMS dan telepon pemirsa pada Jumat (17/5/2013) malam ini mengharuskan langkah Nu Dimension atau NuDi, grup vokal yang dibentuk oleh Ahmad Dhani, sang mentor, terhenti. Sementara itu, dua peserta lain, Fatin Shidqia Lubis dan Novita Dewi, masuk ke Grand Final.

"Yang lolos pertama adalah Fatin Shidqia dan voting Anda memutuskan... Selamat kepada Novita Dewi!" ujar Roby Purba, sang pembawa acara, di pentas X Factor Indonesia, yang digelar di Studio RCTI, Kebon Jeruk, Jakarta Barat.

Malam ini, grup vokal yang terdiri dari Ryan, El, Bagus, dan Romy itu membawakan lagu "Musnah", berduet dengan Andra and The Backbone, dan lagu "A Little Piece Of Heaven" dari Avanged Sevenfold.

Sebagai "dua besar", Novita dan Fatin  menyanyikan lagu kemenangan masing-masing. Novita dengan "Habis Air Mataku", sedangkan Fatin dengan "Aku Memilih Setia". Lagu-lagu tersebut akan dirilis dalam album mereka nantinya.

NU DIMENSION TERSINGKIR DARI X FACTOR INDONESIA
Ketika aktivis lingkungan menyerukan 3 R (reuse, reduce, recycle), Rasulullah telah memulainya di abad ke-7. Padahal di era Rasulullah SAW kerusakan lingkungan masih minim. Inilah gaya hidup Rasulullah yang ramah lingkungan itu: 1. Menghemat pengunaan air Setiap hari manusia tak bisa jauh dari air. Ironisnya, air adalah zat yang mudah hilang. Terkena kotor dan najis, maka hilanglah fungsi air itu. Maka tanpa perhatian manusia, air akan hilang percuma. Rasulullah SAW mencotohkan bagaimana beliau berhemat menggunakan air, sebagaimana hadist yang diriwayatkan oleh Anas, “Sesungguhnya Rasulullah ketika berwudhu dengan 1 mud – kira-kira 1 sepertiga liter hingga 2 liter atau mandi dengan 1 sha’ sampai 5 mud.” (Hadist Bukhari No 201 dan Hadits Muslim No 325). 2. Tidak membuang-buang makanan Makanan dan minum merupakan kebutuhan pokok manusia, sepantasnyalah bila manusia tidak membuang-buang makanan. Sebagaimana yang difirmankan-Nya “… makan dan minumlah, janganlah berlebih-lebihan…” Al-A’raf: 31. Praktiknya, Rasulallah selalu menjaga keseimbangan ruang dalam perut agar terbagi kepada tiga bagian: ruang makanan, udara, dan air. Sebagaimana hadist dari Mikdam bin Ma’dikaribra yang pernah mendengar Rasulullah SAW bersabda : “Tiada memenuhi anak Adam suatu tempat yang lebih buruk daripada perutnya. Cukuplah untuk anak Adam itu beberapa suap yang dapat menegakkan tulang punggungnya. Jika tidak ada cara lain, maka sepertiga (dari perutnya) untuk makanannya, sepertiga lagi untuk minuman dan sepertiganya lagi untuk bernafas” HR. Tirmidzi dan Hakim. 3. Gemar berjalan kaki dibanding naik kendaraan Untuk menempuh jarak yang pendek Rasulullah lebih gemar berjalan kaki ketimbang menggunakan kendaraan. Sebagai contoh Rasulullah mempraktikan berjalan kaki dari rumah menuju masjid, dari masjid ke pasar, serta dari pasar ke rumah-rumah sahabat dan kerabatnya. Dalam kehidupan modern berjalan kaki menghemat biaya, hemat energy, dan tentu saja baik untuk lingkungan dan kesehatan. 4. Memperbaiki barang yang rusak (tidak langsung membuang dan membeli yang baru) Rasulullah adalah seorang yang berhemat. Aisyah menggambarkan beliau suka menambal sandal, menambal baju, bahkan menjahit. Bahkan, bila alas tidurnya rusak, Rasulullah menambalnya. Rasulullah SAW adalah seorang yang tidak boros dan senang berhemat. 5. Memerintahkan menanam pohon Rasulullah SAW bersabda: “Tak ada seorang muslim yang menanam pohon atau menanam tanaman, lalu burung memakannya atau manusia atau hewan, kecuali ia akan mendapatkan sedekah karenanya.” [HR. Al-Bukhoriy dalam Kitab AL-Muzaro'ah (2320), dan Muslim dalam Kitab Al-Musaqoh (3950)]. Menanam pohon dapat mendatangkan banyak manfaat. Selain buah dan berbagai khasiat dari akar hingga daun, pepohonan terbukti menghasilkan oksigen yang dibutuhkan manusia. 6. Melarang penebangan pohon tanpa manfaat Nabi Muhammad melarang keras menebang pohon yang berada di padang pasir, bahkan mendoakan buruk bagi pelakunya. Sebab pepohonan di tengah padang pasir berguna bagi musafir dan hewan ternak untuk berteduh 7. Melakukan konservasi alam Rasulullah SAW bahkan telah melakukan konservasi alam, sebagai jalan melestarikan alam. Beliau menetapkan hima (kawasan lindung), al-harim (kawasan larangan), Ilya al mawaat (kawasan reboisasi dan perlindungan satwa liar). Sebagai contoh Rasulullah telah menetapkan daerah Naqi’ dan Khalifah Umar bin Khattab menetapkan daerah Saraf serta Rabazah sebagai daerah konservasi. 8. Melarang perburuan satwa liar Satwa liar merupakan elemen penting dalam keberlangsungan ekologi. Punahnya satu spesies akan memberikan dampak negatif pada jejaring makanan di alam. Kepunahan hewan seperti harimau, orangutan, elang, dan kera takakan terjadi bila umat Islam mematuhi larangan dari Rasulullah untuk mengkonsumsinya atau mengambil beberapa bagian tubuhnya untuk diperdagangkan. 9. Melarang melakukan pencemaran lingkungan Dari Muadz RA, Rasulullah bersabda “Takutilah tiga perkara yang menimbulkan laknat, membuang kotoran di tempat datangnya manusia, di tengah jalan, dan di tempat teduh” H.R. Abu Dawud. Rasulullah SAW meminta umat Islam membuang kotoran pada tempatnya, agar tidak mengganggu lingkungan. Editor : Maulana Lee9 GAYA HIDUP “HIJAU” ALA SUNNAH RASULALLAH SAW

JAKARTA, Saco-Indonesia.com — Kebijakan Pemerintah Provinsi DKI mengalih fungsi rumah dinas camat dan lurah dinilai sebagai ide yang bagus. Namun, perlu dipikirkan pula dampaknya pada kinerja camat dan lurah yang tempat tinggalnya jauh dari kantornya.

Anggota DPRD DKI Taufiqurrahman mengatakan, keterbatasan lahan untuk ruang terbuka hijau serta lokasi para pedagang kaki lima di Ibu Kota menjadikan ide Gubernur DKI tersebut sangat menarik. Dia juga yakin Gubernur dan Wakil Gubernur DKI telah memikirkan pembuatan Pergub demi lancarnya kebijakan tersebut.

Namun, yang menjadi kegelisahan, kata dia, yakni efektivitas kerja camat dan lurah itu. "Ada konsekuensi yang harus diterima, seperti kinerja lurah camat bisa menurun karena jarak rumah dengan kantor jauh. Rumah dinas itu kan diadakan supaya lurah camat efektif dan efisien memimpin kelurahan dan kecamatan," ujarnya saat dihubungi wartawan, Selasa (4/6/2013).

Oleh sebab itu, Taufiq berharap kebijakan itu dapat menyelesaikan dua sisi permasalahan yang ada. Pertama, keberadaan ruang terbuka hijau yang mutlak diperlukan. Kedua, efektivitas kerja para camat dan lurah Jakarta sehari-harinya.

Sementara itu, anggota DPRD DKI sekaligus Ketua Fraksi Partai Demokrat Johny Wellas Poly mengatakan, kebijakan tersebut perlu memilih dasar hukum yang kuat. "Sampai saat ini belum ada Peraturan Gubernur yang menaungi itu, ya memang harus ada aturan untuk mengambil kebijakan itu," kata dia.

Peraturan itu, kata Johny, mutlak dibutuhkan karena rumah dinas milik lurah dan camat di DKI Jakarta telah memiliki alokasi anggaran sendiri. Oleh sebab itu, kebijakan yang berkaitan dengan perubahan fungsi sejumlah rumah dinas tersebut harus dilandasi peraturan gubernur yang kuat.

Sebelumnya diberitakan, sejumlah rumah dinas camat dan lurah di DKI Jakarta yang tak terpakai rencananya akan dialihfungsi menjadi kawasan pedagang kaki lima atau ruang terbuka hijau. Kini, Pemerintah kota di lima wilayah di DKI tengah menginventarisasi rumah dinas tersebut.

Editor :Liwon Maulana

Sumber:Kompas.com

Rumah Dinas Dicabut, Kinerja Camat dan Lurah Akan Terganggu

Terimakasih untuk saco indonesia yang memberikan ruang untuk saya dapat share apa apa yang saya ketahui..

Pada kesempatan ini saya ingin sharing tentang fungsi dan maafaat dari google analistics
Fungsi Google Analytics Untuk website umum digunakan untuk mendapatkan informasi lengkap seputar pengunjung website.

Secara umum fungsi Google Analytics adalah:

  • Mengetahui jumlah pengunjung berdasarkan rentang waktu tertentu, perhari, perminggu, perbulan atau jumlah total. Jumlah pengunjung juga bisa dikategorikan pada pengunjung baru (new visitor) dan pengunjung berulang (returning visitor)
  • Halaman atau artikel yang paling sering dikunjungi berikut jumlah total kunjungan pada masing-masing halaman
  • Mengetahui berapa lama rata-rata waktu yang dihabiskan pengunjung di website
  • Mengetahui sumber kedatangan pengunjung. Pilihannya adalah Mesin pencari (search engine), Pengunjung langsung (direct traffic), dari website lain (referring website) dan lainnya (other)
  • Mengetahui asal negara pengunjung
  • Fungsi Khusus Google Analytics
  • Google Analytics juga memberikan laporan yang lebih detail tentang pengunjung. Berikut ini hal-hal detil yang aku ketahui bisa didapat dari Google Analytics :
  • Pengunjung (Visitors)

Pada bagian ini, anda dapat melihat laporan mengenai :

Total Kunjungan
Total kunjungan baru (pengunjung yang baru pertama kali datang ke website anda)
Rata-rata waktu yang dihabiskan oleh pengunjung di website
Kesetiaan pengunjung. Ini dilihat dari data jumlah kunjungan seseorang ke website anda. Jika berulang maka pengunjung ini dikategorikan sebagai pengunjung setia
Persentasi pengunjung baru dengan total kunjungan
Asal negara pengunjung dan bahasa yang digunakan pengunjung
Jenis browser dan sistem operasi yang digunakan pengunjung
Resolusi monitor pengunjung
Jenis gadget yang digunakan pengunjung (Komputer, Handphone) dan sistem operasi handphone yang digunakan pengunjung
Kecepatan koneksi pengunjung
ISP pengunjung berikut nama ISP tersebut

Sumber Trafik (Traffic Sources)
Google Analytics juga memberikan laporan detil tentang dari mana pengunjung menemukan website kita. Hal-hal yang bisa dilihat adalah :

Asal kunjungan. Seperti yang aku sebutkan sebelumnya, asal kunjungan dikategorikan berdasarkan kunjungan dari search engine, website refferal dan kunjungan langsung. Kita bisa mengambil kesimpulan hal-hal manakah yang mendatangkan pengunjung terbanyak ke website kita. Apakah dari optimasi SEO (Search Engine), kegiatan blog walking dan tebar backlink (Referring Sites) atau dari kunjungan langsung (promosi dari selain blogwalking dan tebar backlink)

Konten (Content)
Pada bagian konten, aku bisa melihat laporan yang rinci mengenai :

Artikel/Posting mana yang paling banyak dikunjungi
Artikel paling akhir yang dibaca oleh pengunjung sebelum meninggalkan website. Dari poin 1 dan 2 ini bisa diambil kesimpulan apakah pengunjung cukup tertarik dengan artikel-artikel lain di website kita. Jika poin 1 dan 2 mengacu pada judul artikel yang sama, secara kasar bisa disimpulkan bahwa konten di website kurang menarik perhatian pengunjung

 

FUNGSI DAN MANFAAT GOOGLE ANALISTICS

Even as a high school student, Dave Goldberg was urging female classmates to speak up. As a young dot-com executive, he had one girlfriend after another, but fell hard for a driven friend named Sheryl Sandberg, pining after her for years. After they wed, Mr. Goldberg pushed her to negotiate hard for high compensation and arranged his schedule so that he could be home with their children when she was traveling for work.

Mr. Goldberg, who died unexpectedly on Friday, was a genial, 47-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who built his latest company, SurveyMonkey, from a modest enterprise to one recently valued by investors at $2 billion. But he was also perhaps the signature male feminist of his era: the first major chief executive in memory to spur his wife to become as successful in business as he was, and an essential figure in “Lean In,” Ms. Sandberg’s blockbuster guide to female achievement.

Over the weekend, even strangers were shocked at his death, both because of his relatively young age and because they knew of him as the living, breathing, car-pooling center of a new philosophy of two-career marriage.

“They were very much the role models for what this next generation wants to grapple with,” said Debora L. Spar, the president of Barnard College. In a 2011 commencement speech there, Ms. Sandberg told the graduates that whom they married would be their most important career decision.

In the play “The Heidi Chronicles,” revived on Broadway this spring, a male character who is the founder of a media company says that “I don’t want to come home to an A-plus,” explaining that his ambitions require him to marry an unthreatening helpmeet. Mr. Goldberg grew up to hold the opposite view, starting with his upbringing in progressive Minneapolis circles where “there was woman power in every aspect of our lives,” Jeffrey Dachis, a childhood friend, said in an interview.

The Goldberg parents read “The Feminine Mystique” together — in fact, Mr. Goldberg’s father introduced it to his wife, according to Ms. Sandberg’s book. In 1976, Paula Goldberg helped found a nonprofit to aid children with disabilities. Her husband, Mel, a law professor who taught at night, made the family breakfast at home.

Later, when Dave Goldberg was in high school and his prom date, Jill Chessen, stayed silent in a politics class, he chastised her afterward. He said, “You need to speak up,” Ms. Chessen recalled in an interview. “They need to hear your voice.”

Years later, when Karin Gilford, an early employee at Launch Media, Mr. Goldberg’s digital music company, became a mother, he knew exactly what to do. He kept giving her challenging assignments, she recalled, but also let her work from home one day a week. After Yahoo acquired Launch, Mr. Goldberg became known for distributing roses to all the women in the office on Valentine’s Day.

Ms. Sandberg, who often describes herself as bossy-in-a-good-way, enchanted him when they became friendly in the mid-1990s. He “was smitten with her,” Ms. Chessen remembered. Ms. Sandberg was dating someone else, but Mr. Goldberg still hung around, even helping her and her then-boyfriend move, recalled Bob Roback, a friend and co-founder of Launch. When they finally married in 2004, friends remember thinking how similar the two were, and that the qualities that might have made Ms. Sandberg intimidating to some men drew Mr. Goldberg to her even more.

Over the next decade, Mr. Goldberg and Ms. Sandberg pioneered new ways of capturing information online, had a son and then a daughter, became immensely wealthy, and hashed out their who-does-what-in-this-marriage issues. Mr. Goldberg’s commute from the Bay Area to Los Angeles became a strain, so he relocated, later joking that he “lost the coin flip” of where they would live. He paid the bills, she planned the birthday parties, and both often left their offices at 5:30 so they could eat dinner with their children before resuming work afterward.

Friends in Silicon Valley say they were careful to conduct their careers separately, politely refusing when outsiders would ask one about the other’s work: Ms. Sandberg’s role building Facebook into an information and advertising powerhouse, and Mr. Goldberg at SurveyMonkey, which made polling faster and cheaper. But privately, their work was intertwined. He often began statements to his team with the phrase “Well, Sheryl said” sharing her business advice. He counseled her, too, starting with her salary negotiations with Mark Zuckerberg.

“I wanted Mark to really feel he stretched to get Sheryl, because she was worth it,” Mr. Goldberg explained in a 2013 “60 Minutes” interview, his Minnesota accent and his smile intact as he offered a rare peek of the intersection of marriage and money at the top of corporate life.

 

 

While his wife grew increasingly outspoken about women’s advancement, Mr. Goldberg quietly advised the men in the office on family and partnership matters, an associate said. Six out of 16 members of SurveyMonkey’s management team are female, an almost unheard-of ratio among Silicon Valley “unicorns,” or companies valued at over $1 billion.

When Mellody Hobson, a friend and finance executive, wrote a chapter of “Lean In” about women of color for the college edition of the book, Mr. Goldberg gave her feedback on the draft, a clue to his deep involvement. He joked with Ms. Hobson that she was too long-winded, like Ms. Sandberg, but aside from that, he said he loved the chapter, she said in an interview.

By then, Mr. Goldberg was a figure of fascination who inspired a “where can I get one of those?” reaction among many of the women who had read the best seller “Lean In.” Some lamented that Ms. Sandberg’s advice hinged too much on marrying a Dave Goldberg, who was humble enough to plan around his wife, attentive enough to worry about which shoes his young daughter would wear, and rich enough to help pay for the help that made the family’s balancing act manageable.

Now that he is gone, and Ms. Sandberg goes from being half of a celebrated partnership to perhaps the business world’s most prominent single mother, the pages of “Lean In” carry a new sting of loss.

“We are never at 50-50 at any given moment — perfect equality is hard to define or sustain — but we allow the pendulum to swing back and forth between us,” she wrote in 2013, adding that they were looking forward to raising teenagers together.

“Fortunately, I have Dave to figure it out with me,” she wrote.

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Suzman’s signature accomplishment was the central role he played in creating a global network of surveys on aging.

Richard Suzman, 72, Dies; Researcher Influenced Global Surveys on Aging

From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.

In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge.

Ten miles away, in Lower Manhattan, Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on accusations of far more conventional political larceny, involving a job with a sewer company for the son and commissions on title insurance and bond work.

The younger man managed to receive a 150 percent pay increase from the sewer company even though, as he said on tape, he “literally knew nothing about water or, you know, any of that stuff,” according to a criminal complaint the United States attorney’s office filed.

The success of Adam Skelos, 32, was attributed by prosecutors to his father’s influence as the leader of the Senate and as a potentate among state Republicans. The indictment can also be read as one of those unfailingly sad tales of a father who cannot stop indulging a grown son. The senator himself is not alleged to have profited from the schemes, except by being relieved of the burden of underwriting Adam.

The bridge traffic caper is its own species of crazy; what distinguishes the charges against the two Skeloses is the apparent absence of a survival instinct. It is one thing not to know anything about water or that stuff. More remarkable, if true, is the fact that the sewer machinations continued even after the former New York Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was charged in January with taking bribes disguised as fees.

It was by then common gossip in political and news media circles that Senator Skelos, a Republican, the counterpart in the Senate to Mr. Silver, a Democrat, in the Assembly, could be next in line for the criminal dock. “Stay tuned,” the United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, leaving not much to the imagination.

Even though the cat had been unmistakably belled, Skelos father and son continued to talk about how to advance the interests of the sewer company, though the son did begin to use a burner cellphone, the kind people pay for in cash, with no traceable contracts.

That was indeed prudent, as prosecutors had been wiretapping the cellphones of both men. But it would seem that the burner was of limited value, because by then the prosecutors had managed to secure the help of a business executive who agreed to record calls with the Skeloses. It would further seem that the business executive was more attentive to the perils of pending investigations than the politician.

Through the end of the New York State budget negotiations in March, the hopes of the younger Skelos rested on his father’s ability to devise legislation that would benefit the sewer company. That did not pan out. But Senator Skelos did boast that he had haggled with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, in a successful effort to raise a $150 million allocation for Long Island to $550 million, for what the budget called “transformative economic development projects.” It included money for the kind of work done by the sewer company.

The lawyer for Adam Skelos said he was not guilty and would win in court. Senator Skelos issued a ringing declaration that he was unequivocally innocent.

THIS was also the approach taken in New Jersey by Bill Baroni, a man of great presence and eloquence who stopped outside the federal courthouse to note that he had taken risks as a Republican by bucking his party to support paid family leave, medical marijuana and marriage equality. “I would never risk my career, my job, my reputation for something like this,” Mr. Baroni said. “I am an innocent man.”

The lawyer for his co-defendant, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that she would strongly rebut the charges.

Perhaps they had nothing to do with the lane closings. But neither Mr. Baroni nor Ms. Kelly addressed the question of why they did not return repeated calls from the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., begging them to stop the traffic tie-ups, over three days.

That silence was a low moment. But perhaps New York hit bottom faster. Senator Skelos, the prosecutors charged, arranged to meet Long Island politicians at the wake of Wenjian Liu, a New York City police officer shot dead in December, to press for payments to the company employing his son.

Sometimes it seems as though for some people, the only thing to be ashamed of is shame itself.

Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame

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

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

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

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

Police Rethink Long Tradition on Using Force

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

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

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

BEIJING (AP) — The head of Taiwan's Nationalists reaffirmed the party's support for eventual unification with the mainland when he met Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.

Nationalist Party Chairman Eric Chu, a likely presidential candidate next year, also affirmed Taiwan's desire to join the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank during the meeting in Beijing. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and doesn't want the island to join using a name that might imply it is an independent country.

Chu's comments during his meeting with Xi were carried live on Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Television.

The Nationalists were driven to Taiwan by Mao Zedong's Communists during the Chinese civil war in 1949, leading to decades of hostility between the sides. Chu, who took over as party leader in January, is the third Nationalist chairman to visit the mainland and the first since 2009.

Relations between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan began to warm in the 1990s, partly out of their common opposition to Taiwan's formal independence from China, a position advocated by the island's Democratic Progressive Party.

Despite increasingly close economic ties, the prospect of political unification has grown increasingly unpopular on Taiwan, especially with younger voters. Opposition to the Nationalists' pro-China policies was seen as a driver behind heavy local electoral defeats for the party last year that led to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou resigning as party chairman.

Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China

The career criminals in genre novels don’t have money problems. If they need some, they just go out and steal it. But such financial transactions can backfire, which is what happened back in 2004 when the Texas gang in Michael

Take the Money and Run

As governor, Mr. Walker alienated Republicans and his fellow Democrats, particularly the Democratic powerhouse Richard J. Daley, the mayor of Chicago.

Dan Walker, 92, Dies; Illinois Governor and Later a U.S. Prisoner

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

“It was really nice to play with other women and not have this underlying tone of being at each other’s throats.”

ay 4, 2015 ‘Game of Thrones’ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes

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

Robert Patterson Jr., Lawyer and Judge Who Fought for the Accused, Dies at 91
Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”
Todd Heisler/The New York Times

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

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

Pronovost, who played for the Red Wings, was not a prolific scorer, but he was a consummate team player with bruising checks and fearless bursts up the ice that could puncture a defense.

Marcel Pronovost, 84, Dies; Hall of Famer Shared in Five N.H.L. Titles

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

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

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

Photo
 
Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book is to be released next week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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