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saco-indonesia.com, Pesawat Garuda GA 173 Boeing 73800 PK-GMC telah mengalami gangguan teknis di Bandara Internasional Sultan Syarif Kasim (SSK) II Pekanbaru. Penumpang pun diminta untuk turun kembali dari pesawat untuk perbaikan.

Dalam jadwal, pesawat Garuda penerbangan GA 173 ini dari Pekanbaru akan menuju Jakarta Kamis (6/2/) pukul 08.30 pagi WIB. Namun, adanya gangguan teknis dan demi keselamatan penumpang, pilot terpaksa berbalik dan kembali mendarat di Bandara Internasional SSK II Pekanbaru.

"Jadwal terbangnya, 08.30 pagi WIB, take off dari PKU-JKT, beberapa menit terbang, kemudian kita dengar dari radio ada return to base (RTB). Setelah mendarat di cek. Garuda beralasan ada technical risen, kemudian seluruh kru pilot dan penumpang keluar sambil menunggu perbaikan, pesawat parkir di posisi semula," ujar OIC Airport Duty Manager (ADM) Bandara SSK II, Baiquni, Kamis (6/2).

Menurut Baiquni, tak ada masalah yang signifikan atas kerusakan pada mesin Garuda tersebut, itu merupakan kejadian yang biasa, tapi cukup mengkhawatirkan para penumpang.

"Ada beberapa hal pada mesin yang mau di cek, mana-mana yang telah menjadi persoalan, masalah teknisi mesin tengah di perbaiki," ujarnya.

Ketika ditanya kelayakan pesawat tersebut, Baiquni juga mengatakan pihak pesawat garuda kondisi baru. " Pesawatnya baru kok, bukan bekas," katanya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

PESAWAT GARUDA MENDARAT LAGI SETELAH LEPAS LANDAS

Puluhan pemuda telah tertipu saat mendaftar sebagai calon anggota TNI. Petugas Sub Detasemen Polisi Militer (Subdenpom) 532 Jember sudah mengusut penipuan rekrutmen peserta Sekolah Calon Bintara (Secaba) di Kabupaten Jember, Jawa Timur.

"Kami langsung menyerahkan penyelidikan kepada penyidik Subdenpom untuk proses lebih lanjut karena ada kesaksian yang menyebutkan keterlibatan oknum yang diduga anggota TNI," kata Komandan Kodim 0824 Jember Kolonel Arh Wirawan Yanuarto.

Pihak Kodim Jember telah mengamankan sebanyak 35 pemuda asal Sumatera dari sebuah penginapan di Jalan Wijaya Kusuma.

Puluhan pemuda yang berusia sekitar 18-19 tahun dari berbagai daerah di Sumatera itu diduga telah menjadi korban penipuan seorang anggota TNI yang menjanjikan mereka bisa mengikuti Sekolah Calon Bintara tanpa melalui jalur resmi.

"Setiap lima orang dikirim ke Subdenpom secara bergantian, jika lima orang sudah selesai maka lima orang lainnya akan dikirim ke sana," tuturnya.

Berdasarkan dari keterangan sejumlah pemuda itu, mereka telah menyebut salah satu pria diduga anggota TNI di Lampung sebagai penjamin. Dia berjanji akan memasukkan 35 pemuda itu sebagai tentara tanpa melalui perekrutan resmi dan langsung mengikuti pendidikan.

"Saya berharap penyelesaian kasus ini tidak terlalu lama, sehingga dapat segera dituntaskan penyelidikan dugaan penipuan itu dan pemeriksaan dilakukan secara maraton, agar tidak membuang waktu," kata Kolonel Wirawan.

Dia juga menegaskan pihaknya akan menindak tegas anggota dan menghukum seberat-beratnya, apabila terbukti ada unsur penipuan dan percaloan berdasarkan keterangan sejumlah pihak yang terlibat.

Pihak Kodim 0824 Jember, sudah melakukan komunikasi dengan orang tua para pemuda tersebut, sehingga diharapkan dapat semakin mudah membuka tabir dugaan penipuan rekrutmen calon bintara.

35 pemuda asal Sumatera ditipu anggota TNI

saco-indonesia.com, Empat kementerian telah menandatangi Surat Keputusan Bersama (SKB) untuk dapat menjalankan kampanye antikorupsi. Keempat kemeterian itu adalah Kementerian Komunikasi dan Informatika, Kementerian BUMN, Kementerian Dalam Negeri dan Kementerian PAN-RB.

Empat kementerian itu sepakat untuk dapat melaksanakan kampanye antikorupsi sesuai dengan perundang-undangan serta menetapkan aksi kampaye antikorupsi sebagaimana yang telah tercantum dalam lampiran SKB.

"Memasuki periode ke-2 pemerintahan Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, pemerintah semakin intensif dalam menjalankan aksi-aksi antikorupsi. Hal itu telah tercermin sejak keluarnya Inpres Nomor 9 tahun 2011 tentang Rencana Aksi Pencegahan dan Pemberantasan Korupsi," kata  Menkominfo, Tifatul Sembiring, di Gedung Kementerian Kominfo, Jakarta Pusat, Senin (23/12/2013).

Dijelaskannya, program kerjasama tersebut sudah dimulai hari ini dan tak mengenal batas akhir. "Meski ganti menteri dan presiden, kerjasama ini akan tetap berjalan," terangnya.

Menurut dia, Kemenkominfo setidaknya juga sudah menjalankan dua aksi kampanye antikorupsi. Pertama, sosialisasi pendidikan budaya antikorupsi untuk tingkat pemerintah daerah dan kedua, pelatihan untuk kampanye antikorupsi.

Hadir dalam kesempatan itu Ketua Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) Abraham Samad. "Kami juga ingin memastikan agar tiap lembaga bisa memperbaiki sistem. Karena sistem manajemen yang sedang berlangsung itu terkadang memproduksi kegiatan korupsi," kata Samad.

Dengan penandatanganan itu, Samad juga berharap bisa membuat suatu sistem yang mencegah produksi korupsi. "Ada beberapa item-item yang akan kita laksanakan ke depan, seperti yang dijelaskan tadi," tukasnya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

4 KEMENTERIAN JANJI TAK KORUPSI

saco-indonesia.com,

Easy come, easy go, that’s just how you live
Oh, take, take, take it all but you never give
Should’ve known you was trouble from the first kiss
Had your eyes wide open, why were they open?

Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked
‘Cause what you don’t understand is

I’d catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya
You know I’d do anything for ya

I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But you won’t do the same

No, no, no, no

Black, black, black and blue, beat me ’til I’m numb
Tell the devil I said, hey, when you get back to where you’re from
Mad women, bad women, that’s just what you are, yeah
You’ll smile in my face then rip the brakes out my car

Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, yes, you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked
‘Cause what you don’t understand is

I’d catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya
You know I’d do anything for ya

I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for ya, baby
But you won’t do the same

If my body was on fire
Ooh, you’d watch me burn down in flames
You said you loved me, you’re a liar
‘Cause you never, ever, ever did, baby

But darling, I’d still catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya
You know I’d do anything for ya

I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But you won’t do the same

No, you won’t do the same
You wouldn’t do the same
Ooh, you never do the same
No, no, no, no

Editor : dian sukmawati

Bruno Mars – Grenade

Oleh
Kumpulan Ulama

KEWAJIBAN-KEWAJIBAN BAGI JAMA'AH HAJI

[1]. Agar segera bertobat kepada Allah dengan sebenar-benarnya dari segala dosa, dan memilih harta yang halal untuk ibadah haji dan umrahnya.

[2]. Agar menjaga lidahnya dari dusta, menggunjing, mengadu domba dan menghina orang lain.

[3]. Dalam melaksanakan haji dan umrahnya, hendaklah bermaksud untuk mendapatkan ridha Illahi dan pahala akhirat, jauh dari rasa ingin dipandang, ingin tersohor dan berbangga diri.

[4]. Hendaklah mempelajari amalan-amalan yang disyariatkan dalam haji dan umrah, dan menanyakan hal-hal yang kurang jelas baginya.

[5]. Apabila telah sampai di miqat, diperbolehkan memilih antara haji Ifrad, Tammatu' dan Qiran. Haji Tammatu' lebih utama bagi yang tidak membawa binatang kurban, sedang bagi yang membawanya, lebih utama baginya melaksanakan haji Qiran.

[6]. Seseorang yang berihram, apabila ia merasa khawatir tidak dapat melanjutkan ibadah hajinya dikarenakan sakit, atau musuh, atau karena sebab lain, maka disyaratkan ketika berihram mengucapkan : "Inna mahallii haistuu habastanii" Artinya : Tempat tahallulku adalah di tempat ku tertahan".

[7]. Anak-anak yang masih kecil haji mereka adalah sah, hanya saja haji semacam itu belum termasuk haji fardhu.

[8]. Orang yang sedang berihram boleh mandi dan membasuh kepalanya atau menggaruknya dikala perlu.

[9]. Bagi wanita yang sedang berihram diperbolehkan untuk menutup wajahnya dengan kerudung apabila takut dilihat kaum pria.

[10]. Mengenakan ikat kepala dibawah kerudung agar mudah sewaktu membuka wajah, sebagaimana yang sering dilakukan oleh sebagian kaum wanita, tidak ada dasarnya dalam syari'at.

[11]. Bagi yang sedang berihram boleh mencuci kain ihramnya kemudian mengenakannya kembali dan boleh juga menggantinya dengan yang lain.

[12]. Seseorang yang sedang berihram, apabila ia mengenakan pakaian berjahit atau menutupi kepalanya atau memakai wangi-wangian karena lupa atau pun karena tidak tahu akan hukumnya, maka ia tidak dikenakan fidyah.

[13]. Bagi yang melakukan haji Tamattu' atau umrah, hendaklah menghentikan bacaan talbiyah apabila ia sampai di Ka'bah sebelum memulai Tawaf.

[14]. Ramal (lari-lari kecil) dan Idhtiba' (mengenakan selendang ihram dengan meletakkan sebagiannya di atas pundak kiri, dan bagian lain disebelah ketiak kanan), hanya dilakukan pada Tawaf Qudum saja, dan ramal itu dikhususkan pada tiga putaran pertama, lagi pula untuk kaum pria saja, tidak untuk wanita.

[15]. Seseorang yang sedang melakukan Tawaf, apabila ia ragu apakah sudah melakukan tiga putaran atau empat umpamanya, maka hendaklah dihitung tiga putaran. Demikian pula diwaktu Sa'i.

[16]. Boleh melakukan Tawaf dibelakang sumur Zamzam dan Maqam Ibrahim dikala penuh sesak, karena Masjid Haram seluruhnya merupakan tempat Tawaf.

[17]. Adalah termasuk perbuatan mungkar, jika seorang wanita melakukan Tawaf dengan memakai perhiasan dan wangi-wangian serta tidak menutup aurat.

[18]. Wanita yang sedang datang bulan atau baru bersalin setelah berihram, tidak boleh melakulan tawaf, kecuali setelah ia dalam keadaan suci.

[19]. Bagi wanita boleh berihram dengan mengenakan pakaian yang ia sukai, asalakan pakaian itu tidak menyerupai pakaian pria dan jangan sampai menampakkan perhiasan, tetapi hendaklah mengenakan pakaian yang tidak merangsang.

[20]. Melafalkan niat dalam ibadah selain Haji dan Umrah adalah bid'ah yang diada-adakan, lebih-lebih bila dilafalkan niat itu dengan suara keras.

[21]. Diharamkan bagi seorang muslim mukallaf melintasi miqat tanpa berihram, apabila ia bermaksud melakukan ibadah haji dan umrah.

[22]. Jama'ah haji atau umrah yang datang lewat udara, hendaklah berihram ketika berada sejajar dengan batas miqat, oleh karena itu hendaknya ia bersiap-siap untuk berihram sebelum naik pesawat.

[23]. Bagi yang tempat tinggalnya di daerah miqat, tidak perlu pergi ke salah satu tempat miqat, dan cukuplah tempat tinggalnya itu sebagi miqat untuk berihram haji dan umrah.

[24]. Memperbanyak umrah setelah menunaikan haji, dari Tan'im atau Jir'anah, sebagaimana yang dilakukan oleh sebagian jama'ah, adalah hal yang tidak ada dalilnya.

[25]. Hendaklah para jama'ah haji pada hari tarwiyah berihram dari tempat tinggalnya di Mekkah, dan tidak perlu berihram dari dalam kota Mekkah atau dari bawah Pancuran Emas Ka'bah, sebagaimana yang dilakukan oleh sebagian jama'ah haji. Dan tidak perlu baginya Tawaf Wada' ketika berangkat menuju Mina.

[26]. Berangkat dari Mina menuju Arafah pada tanggal 9 Dzu-l-Hijjah, lebih utama dilakukan setelah terbit matahari.

[27]. Tidak diperkenankan meninggalkan Arafah sebelum terbenam matahari.
Dan disaat berangkat setelah terbenam matahari, hendaknya dengan tenang dan penuh kekhusuan.

[28]. Shalat Maghrib dan Isya dilakukan setelah sampai di Muzdalifah, baik sampainya pada waktu Maghrib ataupun setelah masuk waktu Isya.

[29]. Memungut batu pelempar Jamrah, boleh dilakukan dimana saja, dan tidak harus dipungut dari Muzdalifah.

[30]. Tidak disunatkan mencuci batu-batu itu, sebab hal itu tidak pernah dilakukan oleh Rasulullah begitu pula para sahabat beliau. Dan agar jangan melontar dengan batu yang telah dipakai melontar.

[31]. Diperbolehkan bagi orang-orang yang lemah, seperti wanita, anak-anak kecil dan yang semisalnya, untuk berangkat menuju Mina saat lewat pertengahan malam.

[32]. Apabila telah sampai di Mina pada hari Raya, hendaknya jama'ah haji menghentikan bacaan Talbiyah, dan agar melontar Jamrah Aqabah dengan tujuh batu berturut-turut.

[33]. Tidak disyaratkan agar batu itu tinggal di tempat lontaran, tapi yang disyaratkan adalah jatuhnya batu di tempat lontaran itu.

[34]. Penyembelihan Qurban waktunya adalah sampai terbenam matahari pada hari Tasyriq yang ketiga menurut pendapat Ulama yang paling benar.

[35]. Tawaf Ifadhah atau Tawaf Ziyarah adalah salah satu rukun haji yang tidak dianggap sah haji seseorang apabila Tawaf itu ditinggalkan, dan ini hendaknya dilakukan pada Hari Raya, tapi boleh juga ditunda sampai setelah hari-hari Mina.

[36]. Bagi yang melakukan Haji Qiran, ia hanya wajib melakukan satu kali sa'i. Demikian pula bagi yang melakukan Haji Ifrad dan ia tetap berihram sampai hari nahr.

[37]. Bagi Jama'ah haji, lebih utama baginya melakukan amalan-amalan haji pada hari nahr dengan tertib, yaitu memulai dengan melontar Jamrah Aqabah kemudian menyembelih binatang kurban, lantas mencukur bersih atau memendekkan rambutnya, setelah itu Tawaf Ifadhah di Baitullah dan selanjutnya Sa'i. Dan boleh juga amalan-amalan tersebut dilakukan dengan tidak tertib, yaitu dengan mendahulukan atau mengakhirkan satu dari yang lainnya.

[38]. Tahalul penuh dapat dilaksanakan setelah melakukan hal-hal dibawah ini :
a). Melontar Jamrah Aqabah
b). Mencukur bersih atau memendekkan rambut
c). Tawaf Ifadhah dan Sa'i.

[39]. Apabila seorang jamaah haji menghendaki pulang secepatnya (pada tanggal 12) dari Mina. Maka harus keluar dari Mina sebelum terbenam matahari.

[40]. Anak kecil yang tidak mampu melontar, hendaklah diwakili oleh walinya setelah ia melontar untuk dirinya sendiri.

[41]. Begitu juga orang-orang yang tidak mampu melontar karena sakit atau lanjut usia atau karena hamil, boleh mewakilkan kepada orang lain untuk melontar.

[42]. Bagi yang mewakili, boleh melontar setiap jamrah dari ketiga jamrah itu untuk dirinya sendiri terlebih dahulu, kemudian untuk yang diwakilinya dalam satu tempat.

[43]. Bagi yang melakukan haji Tamattu' atau Qiran, sedang ia bukan penduduk Masjid Haram (Mekkah), wajib baginya membayar dam, yaitu seekor kambing, atau sepertujuh onta/sapi.

[44]. Bagi yang melakukan haji Tamattu' atau Qiran, dan ia tidak mampu menyembelih binatang kurban, maka ia diwajibkan untuk berpuasa tiga hari dalam masa haji dan tujuh hari apabila telah pulang ke keluarganya.

[45]. Puasa tiga hari itu lebih utama dilakukan sebelum Hari Arafah, agar pada Hari Arafah itu ia dalam keadaan tidak berpuasa. Jika puasa itu belum dilakukan makan hendaklah dilakukan pada hari-hari Tasyriq.

[46]. Puasa tiga hari tersebut boleh dilakukan secara berturut-turut atau terpisah-pisah. Begitu pula puasa yang tujuh hari.

[47]. Tawaf Wada' hukumnya wajib bagi setiap jama'ah haji, kecuali bagi wanita yang sedang datang bulan atau baru bersalin.

[48]. Disunahkan berziarah ke Masjid Rasul Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, baik sebelum haji ataupun sesudahnya.

[49]. Bagi yang berziarah ke Masjid Nabawi, disunatkan memulai dengan shalat dua rakaat Tahiyat al-Masjid dimana saja di dalam Masjid. Dan yang lebih utama shalat dilakukan di Raudhah yang mulia.

[50]. Ziarah ke kubur Rasulullah Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, dan ke pekuburan lain, hanya disyari'atkan untuk kaum pria, bukan untuk kaum wanita, dengan syarat agar dilakukan tanpa bersusah payah.

[51]. Mengusap-ngusap dinding kubur Rasul, atau menciumnya ataupun mengelilinginya (bertawaf di sekitarnya), adalah perbuatan bid'ah yang mungkar, yang tidak pernah dilakukan oleh ulama-ulama Salaf. Lebih-lebih apabila ia mengelilinginya dengan maksud mendekatkan diri kepada Rasulullah Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, maka hal itu adalah syirik besar.

[52]. Tidak boleh bagi seseorang memohon kepada Rasul agar beliau memenuhi hajatnya atau melepaskan dirinya dari kesulitan, sebab hal itu syirik.

[53]. Kehidupan Rasulullah Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, didalam kubur adalah kehidupan alam barzakh, bukan seperti hidup di dunia sebelum wafatnya. Dan kehidupan itu hanya Allah saja yang mengetahui hakekat dan keadaannya.

[54]. Mengutamakan berdo'a didekat kubur Rasul Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, sambil menghadap kearahnya dengan mengangkat kedua belah tangan, sebagaimana yang dilakukan oleh sebagian penziarah, adalah termasuk bid'ah yang diada-adakan.

[55]. Ziarah ke kubur Rasul Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, bukanlah wajib, dan bukan merupakan suatu syarat dalam ibadah haji, sebagaimana anggapan sebagian orang awam.

[56]. Hadits-hadits yang dipergunakan sebagai dasar hukum oleh orang-orang yang membolehkan untuk bersusah-payah mendatangi kubur Rasul Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam adalah hadits-hadits yang lemah sanadnya atau hadits-hadits bikinan.

[Disalin dari buku Petunjuk Jamaa Haji dan Umrah serta Penziarah Masjid Rasul Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, pengarang Kumpulan Ulama, hal 42-45, Diterbitkan dan diedarkan oleh Department Agama, Waqaf, Dakwah dan Bimbingan Islam, Saudi Arabia]

Sumber : http://www.alquran-sunnah.com

Baca Artikel Lainnya : SEPULUH KEUTAMAAN TENTANG HAJI

 

RANGKUMAN UNTUK JAMAAH HAJI DAN UMRAH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.

Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.

Photo
 
Credit Peter Arkle

Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.

“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”

Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.

The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.

They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.

A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.

Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.

What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.

It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)

A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.

The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.

It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.

High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.

But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.

In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters

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’

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Mazel tov,” his father replied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It is,” his father agreed.

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

Mr. Mankiewicz, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for “I Want to Live!,” also wrote episodes of television shows such as “Star Trek” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.”

Don Mankiewicz, Screenwriter in a Family Film Tradition, Dies at 93

Ms. Rendell was a prolific writer of intricately plotted mystery novels that combined psychological insight, social conscience and teeth-chattering terror.

Ruth Rendell, Novelist Who Thrilled and Educated, Dies at 85

WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.

But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the E.P.A. proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.

The E.P.A.’s five-year effort to adopt this rule offers another example of how industry opposition can delay and hamper attempts by the federal government to issue regulations, even to control substances known to be harmful to human health.

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Document: The Formaldehyde Fight

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can also cause respiratory ailments like asthma, but the potential of long-term exposure to cause cancers like myeloid leukemia is less well understood.

The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.

“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”

The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.

What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.

Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.

“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.

Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.

Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.

Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”

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Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring

In laminate flooring, formaldehyde is used as a bonding agent in the fiberboard (or other composite wood) core layer and may also be used in glues that bind layers together. Concerns were raised in March when certain laminate flooring imported from China was reported to contain levels of formaldehyde far exceeding the limit permitted by California.

Typical

laminate

flooring

CLEAR FINISH LAYER

Often made of melamine resin

PATTERN LAYER

Paper printed to resemble wood,

or a thin wood veneer

GLUE

Layers may be bound using

formaldehyde-based glues

CORE LAYER

Fiberboard or other

composite, formed using

formaldehyde-based adhesives

BASE LAYER

Moisture-resistant vapor barrier

What is formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a common chemical used in many industrial and household products as an adhesive, bonding agent or preservative. It is classified as a volatile organic compound. The term volatile means that, at room temperature, formaldehyde will vaporize, or become a gas. Products made with formaldehyde tend to release this gas into the air. If breathed in large quantities, it may cause health problems.

WHERE IT IS COMMONLY FOUND

POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS

Pressed-wood and composite wood products

Wallpaper and paints

Spray foam insulation used in construction

Commercial wood floor finishes

Crease-resistant fabrics

In cigarette smoke, or in the fumes from combustion of other materials, including wood, oil and gasoline.

Exposure to formaldehyde in sufficient amounts may cause eye, throat or skin irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems like coughing, wheezing or asthma.

Long-term exposure to high levels has been associated with cancer in humans and laboratory animals.

Exposure to formaldehyde may affect some people more severely than others.

By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.

Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.

White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.

The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.

As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.

“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”

Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.

“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.

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The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)

But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.

Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.

“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”

Photo
 
Becky Gillette wants strong regulation of formaldehyde. Credit Beth Hall for The New York Times

Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.

Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.

The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.

The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”

Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.

Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”

Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.

While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.

An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.

“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”

An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.

“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.

But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.

“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”

The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde
Photo
 
Many bodies prepared for cremation last week in Kathmandu were of young men from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

KATHMANDU, Nepal — When the dense pillar of smoke from cremations by the Bagmati River was thinning late last week, the bodies were all coming from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas, and they were all of young men.

Hindu custom dictates that funeral pyres should be lighted by the oldest son of the deceased, but these men were too young to have sons, so they were burned by their brothers or fathers. Sukla Lal, a maize farmer, made a 14-hour journey by bus to retrieve the body of his 19-year-old son, who had been on his way to the Persian Gulf to work as a laborer.

“He wanted to live in the countryside, but he was compelled to leave by poverty,” Mr. Lal said, gazing ahead steadily as his son’s remains smoldered. “He told me, ‘You can live on your land, and I will come up with money, and we will have a happy family.’ ”

Weeks will pass before the authorities can give a complete accounting of who died in the April 25 earthquake, but it is already clear that Nepal cannot afford the losses. The countryside was largely stripped of its healthy young men even before the quake, as they migrated in great waves — 1,500 a day by some estimates — to work as laborers in India, Malaysia or one of the gulf nations, leaving many small communities populated only by elderly parents, women and children. Economists say that at some times of the year, one-quarter of Nepal’s population is working outside the country.

Nepal’s Young Men, Lost to Migration, Then a Quake

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.”

Baltimore Residents Away From Turmoil Consider Their Role
Joseph Lechleider

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

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

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

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

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
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