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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

saco-indonesia.com, Banjir rob air laut sekira 15 sentimeter telah menggenangi wilayah Mangga Dua. Pengendara juga diminta untuk dapat berhati-hati.

Informasi tersebut juga telah dikabarkan oleh TMC Polda Metro Jaya, Rabu (12/2/2014) pada pukul 07.35 pagi WIB. Banjir rob juga telah menyebabkan arus lalu lintas di wilayah itu padat namun sejauh ini belum ada pengalihan karena kendaraan masih bisa melintasi banjir rob itu dengan hati-hati.

Pengendara juga diminta untuk dapat berhati-hati terhadap sejumlah jalan besar yang rusak dan berlubang seperti di Jalan Simpang Kuningan dan jalan layang Grogol arah Universitas Tarumanegara.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

BANJIR ROB, LALIN DI MANGGA DUA PADAT

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

Bekasi, Saco-Indonesia.com — Dari beberapa pelacakan aset yang dilakukan Komisi Pembe-rantasan Korupsi telah ditemukan sedikitnya 150 item aset milik Tubagus Chaeri Wardana alias Wawan yang diduga merupakan hasil tindak pidana korupsi. Aset-aset tersebut berupa mobil, tanah, dan bangunan yang tersebar di sejumlah tempat.

KPK telah menetapkan Wawan sebagai tersangka tindak pidana pencucian uang (TPPU). Bahkan, Wawan tak hanya dikenai pasal-pasal dalam Undang- Undang Nomor 8 Tahun 2010 tentang TPPU. KPK juga menjerat Wawan dengan UU TPPU tahun 2003 untuk mengantisipasi adanya aset-aset yang diduga diperoleh dari tindak pidana korupsi sebelum tahun 2010.

”KPK menduga ada aset-aset TCW (Tubagus Chaeri Wardana) yang diduga diperoleh dari tindak pidana korupsi sebelum tahun 2010,” kata Juru Bicara KPK Johan Budi SP, di Jakarta, Rabu (15/1/2013).

Berdasarkan informasi yang diperoleh Kompas, dari hasil pelacakan aset oleh KPK ditemukan sedikitnya 150 item aset milik Wawan yang diduga hasil korupsi. KPK telah mengidentifikasi aset-aset tersebut, antara lain berupa mobil, tanah, dan bangunan yang tersebar di beberapa tempat.

30 perusahaan keluarga

Perolehan aset-aset tersebut diduga dari tindak pidana korupsi melalui sejumlah perusahaan yang terafiliasi ke Wawan dan kakaknya, Gubernur Banten Ratu Atut Chosiyah. Ada sekitar 30 perusahaan milik keluarga Wawan dan Atut yang menguasai tender-tender pengadaan di wilayah Banten. Perusahaan tersebut rata-rata ikut tender dengan nilai proyek di atas Rp 5 miliar. Semua aliran uang dari perusahaan itu mengalir ke keluarga Wawan dan Atut.

Johan saat dikonfirmasi ihwal aset-aset milik Wawan yang diduga diperoleh dari tindak pidana korupsi mengatakan, ”Sekarang sedang dilakukan asset tracing (pelacakan aset). Sudah kami temukan. Diduga ada puluhan dalam bentuk tanah dan bangunan di beberapa tempat yang kami duga merupakan aset yang bersangkutan. Ini masih dalam tahap pelacakan.”

Johan belum dapat memastikan apakah aset-aset Wawan yang diduga diperoleh dari hasil korupsi tersebut telah disita KPK. Namun, dia memastikan, dalam perkara TPPU, KPK akan menyita aset-aset tersangka yang memang diduga berasal dari hasil korupsi.

”Kalau memang diduga diperoleh dari tindak pidana korupsi, akan disita. Apalagi sudah jadi prosedur di KPK, begitu seseorang ditetapkan menjadi tersangka, maka yang dilakukan penyidik adalah melacak aset-asetnya,” kata Johan.
Tersangka pencucian uang

Secara terpisah, pengacara Wawan, Pia Akbar Nasution, mengaku baru tahu kliennya ditetapkan sebagai tersangka TPPU oleh KPK dari media. Menurut Pia, dia hanya menangani kasus dugaan korupsi dalam penanganan sengketa Pilkada Kabupaten Lebak di Mahkamah Konstitusi di mana Wawan juga menjadi tersangka.

”Kalau soal TPPU-nya Pak Wawan saya belum dapat informasi karena surat kuasa kami hanya di kasus suap MK. Belum ada informasi soal TPPU-nya,” kata Pia.

Menurut Pia, meski hampir setiap hari berkomunikasi dengan Wawan, kliennya tidak membicarakan ihwal status sebagai tersangka TPPU. Termasuk penetapan Wawan sebagai tersangka pengadaan alat kesehatan di Kota Tangerang Selatan.

Terkait kemungkinan Atut juga menjadi tersangka TPPU, Johan mengatakan sangat terbuka. ”Sepanjang ditemukan dua alat bukti yang cukup, yang dapat menyimpulkan dia terlibat, kemungkinan itu bisa saja. Namun, sampai hari ini (kemarin) belum ada tersangka baru dalam perkara TPPU ini,” katanya.

KPK sebelumnya kembali menetapkan Atut sebagai tersangka dugaan korupsi terkait penerimaan sesuatu selama dia menjabat sebagai Gubernur Banten. Atut bahkan diduga memeras bawahannya, kepala-kepala dinas di jajaran Pemerintah Provinsi Banten agar memberikan fee dari proyek yang dikerjakan dinas-dinas yang bersangkutan. Jika kepala-kepala dinas tidak menuruti permintaannya, Atut tidak segan mencopot mereka.

Sumber:kompas.com

Editor : Maulana Lee

Ditemukan KPK 150 Aset Wawan yang Diduga Hasil Korupsi

Presiden SBY akan melakukan kunjungan kerja ke Swedia dan Amerika Serikat. Kunjungan tersebut berlangsung pada 27 Mei hingga 2 Juni 2013.

Pantauan detikcom, Senin (27/5/2013), pesawat kepresidenan take off pukul 08.10 WIB dari Bandara Halim Perdana Kusuma, Jakarta. Pagi ini matahari tak terlihat seperti biasanya. Cuaca mendung menyelimuti langit Halim dan sekitarnya.

"Dengan rincian kunjungan ke Swedia berlangsung satu setengah hari, kegiatan di markas PBB New York dua setengah hari," ujar SBY dalam jumpa pers sebelum keberangkatan.

Selama di Swedia, Presiden SBY akan melakukan kunjungan kehormatan kepada Raja Swedia, Y.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, melakukan pertemuan bilateral dengan PM Swedia, Y.M. Fredrik Reinfeldt dan Ketua Parlemen Swedia, Y.M. Per Westerberg. Dalam rangkaian pertemuan tersebut, akan dibahas isu-isu yang menjadi kepentingan kedua negara, utamanya di bidang ekonomi, lingkungan hidup dan perubahan iklim, pendidikan, kesehatan, infrastruktur, riset, dan teknologi.

"Selama di Stockholm, saya akan ketemu dengan para pimpinan perusahaan-perusahan besar yang selama ini melaksanakan invest di Indonesia. Mereka juga berniat meningkatkan investasi dan kerjasamanya di Indonesia," imbuhnya.

Dari Swedia, Presiden RI beserta delegasi akan bertolak menuju New York, AS. Kunjungan ke New York adalah dalam rangka menghadiri pertemuan ke-5 Panel Tingkat Tinggi PBB Mengenai Agenda Pembangunan Pasca 2015 (UN High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda) di Markas Besar PBB di New York.

Presiden SBY dan Ibu Negara beserta delegasi akan meninggalkan New York pada tanggal 31 Mei 2013 dan akan tiba di tanah air pada 2 Juni 2013.

AKHIRNYA PRESIDEN SBY MELAWAT KE SWEDIA DAN AMERIKA SERIKAT

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

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

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

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

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
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’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is intentional, Republican operatives said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UNITED NATIONS — Wearing pinstripes and a pince-nez, Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations envoy for Syria, arrived at the Security Council one Tuesday afternoon in February and announced that President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to halt airstrikes over Aleppo. Would the rebels, Mr. de Mistura suggested, agree to halt their shelling?

What he did not announce, but everyone knew by then, was that the Assad government had begun a military offensive to encircle opposition-held enclaves in Aleppo and that fierce fighting was underway. It would take only a few days for rebel leaders, having pushed back Syrian government forces, to outright reject Mr. de Mistura’s proposed freeze in the fighting, dooming the latest diplomatic overture on Syria.

Diplomacy is often about appearing to be doing something until the time is ripe for a deal to be done.

 

 

Now, with Mr. Assad’s forces having suffered a string of losses on the battlefield and the United States reaching at least a partial rapprochement with Mr. Assad’s main backer, Iran, Mr. de Mistura is changing course. Starting Monday, he is set to hold a series of closed talks in Geneva with the warring sides and their main supporters. Iran will be among them.

In an interview at United Nations headquarters last week, Mr. de Mistura hinted that the changing circumstances, both military and diplomatic, may have prompted various backers of the war to question how much longer the bloodshed could go on.

“Will that have an impact in accelerating the willingness for a political solution? We need to test it,” he said. “The Geneva consultations may be a good umbrella for testing that. It’s an occasion for asking everyone, including the government, if there is any new way that they are looking at a political solution, as they too claim they want.”

He said he would have a better assessment at the end of June, when he expects to wrap up his consultations. That coincides with the deadline for a final agreement in the Iran nuclear talks.

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Whether a nuclear deal with Iran will pave the way for a new opening on peace talks in Syria remains to be seen. Increasingly, though, world leaders are explicitly linking the two, with the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, suggesting last week that a nuclear agreement could spur Tehran to play “a major but positive role in Syria.”

It could hardly come soon enough. Now in its fifth year, the Syrian war has claimed 220,000 lives, prompted an exodus of more than three million refugees and unleashed jihadist groups across the region. “This conflict is producing a question mark in many — where is it leading and whether this can be sustained,” Mr. de Mistura said.

Part Italian, part Swedish, Mr. de Mistura has worked with the United Nations for more than 40 years, but he is more widely known for his dapper style than for any diplomatic coups. Syria is by far the toughest assignment of his career — indeed, two of the organization’s most seasoned diplomats, Lakhdar Brahimi and Kofi Annan, tried to do the job and gave up — and critics have wondered aloud whether Mr. de Mistura is up to the task.

He served as a United Nations envoy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and before that in Lebanon, where a former minister recalled, with some scorn, that he spent many hours sunbathing at a private club in the hills above Beirut. Those who know him say he has a taste for fine suits and can sometimes speak too soon and too much, just as they point to his diplomatic missteps and hyperbole.

They cite, for instance, a news conference in October, when he raised the specter of Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslims were massacred in 1995 during the Balkans war, in warning that the Syrian border town of Kobani could fall to the Islamic State. In February, he was photographed at a party in Damascus, the Syrian capital, celebrating the anniversary of the Iranian revolution just as Syrian forces, aided by Iran, were pummeling rebel-held suburbs of Damascus; critics seized on that as evidence of his coziness with the government.

Mouin Rabbani, who served briefly as the head of Mr. de Mistura’s political affairs unit and has since emerged as one of his most outspoken critics, said Mr. de Mistura did not have the background necessary for the job. “This isn’t someone well known for his political vision or political imagination, and his closest confidants lack the requisite knowledge and experience,” Mr. Rabbani said.

As a deputy foreign minister in the Italian government, Mr. de Mistura was tasked in 2012 with freeing two Italian marines detained in India for shooting at Indian fishermen. He made 19 trips to India, to little effect. One marine was allowed to return to Italy for medical reasons; the other remains in India.

He said he initially turned down the Syria job when the United Nations secretary general approached him last August, only to change his mind the next day, after a sleepless, guilt-ridden night.

Mr. de Mistura compared his role in Syria to that of a doctor faced with a terminally ill patient. His goal in brokering a freeze in the fighting, he said, was to alleviate suffering. He settled on Aleppo as the location for its “fame,” he said, a decision that some questioned, considering that Aleppo was far trickier than the many other lesser-known towns where activists had negotiated temporary local cease-fires.

“Everybody, at least in Europe, are very familiar with the value of Aleppo,” Mr. de Mistura said. “So I was using that as an icebreaker.”

The cease-fire negotiations, to which he had devoted six months, fell apart quickly because of the government’s military offensive in Aleppo the very day of his announcement at the Security Council. Privately, United Nations diplomats said Mr. de Mistura had been manipulated. To this, Mr. de Mistura said only that he was “disappointed and concerned.”

Tarek Fares, a former rebel fighter, said after a recent visit to Aleppo that no Syrian would admit publicly to supporting Mr. de Mistura’s cease-fire proposal. “If anyone said they went to a de Mistura meeting in Gaziantep, they would be arrested,” is how he put it, referring to the Turkish city where negotiations between the two sides were held.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains staunchly behind Mr. de Mistura’s efforts. His defenders point out that he is at the center of one of the world’s toughest diplomatic problems, charged with mediating a conflict in which two of the world’s most powerful nations — Russia, which supports Mr. Assad, and the United States, which has called for his ouster — remain deadlocked.

R. Nicholas Burns, a former State Department official who now teaches at Harvard, credited Mr. de Mistura for trying to negotiate a cease-fire even when the chances of success were exceedingly small — and the chances of a political deal even smaller. For his efforts to work, Professor Burns argued, the world powers will first have to come to an agreement of their own.

“He needs the help of outside powers,” he said. “It starts with backers of Assad. That’s Russia and Iran. De Mistura is there, waiting.”

With Iran Talks, a Tangled Path to Ending Syria’s War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias

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

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

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

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
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