PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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Bekasi, Saco-Indonesia.com — Dengan adanya Badan Kerja Sama Antarprovinsi dinilai belum efektif. Lembaga ini diharapkan mampu menyelesaikan persoalan Jakarta dan sekitarnya, seperti banjir dan kemacetan. Kenyataannya, belum ada hasil signifikan setelah selama lebih dari tiga dekade terbentuk.

Badan Kerja Sama Antarprovinsi (BKSP) terdiri dari Pemprov DKI Jakarta, Banten, dan Jawa Barat. Lembaga ini diketuai gubernur secara bergiliran dan dijalankan kepala sekretariat eselon II-B. Wakil Gubernur DKI Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama menilai, mereka yang duduk dalam BKSP seharusnya memiliki kewenangan lebih.

”Selama ini, mereka yang duduk di sana merasa menjadi orang buangan. Saya pikir lebih efektif jika persoalan antarwilayah diselesaikan dengan membentuk panitia sementara yang dikoordinasi Menteri Pekerjaan Umum,” kata Basuki, Rabu (15/1), di Jakarta.

Dia mengusulkan agar badan seperti ini ditiadakan saja. Sebab, selain memboroskan anggaran, badan ini juga tidak efektif menyelesaikan persoalan besar Jakarta dan sekitarnya. Pada perjalanannya, BKSP juga tidak mampu menjawab persoalan sektoral di setiap wilayah. Buktinya, pemerintah daerah yang tergabung dalam lembaga itu belum satu visi, terutama dalam penanganan banjir.

Sebelumnya, Direktur Jenderal Sumber Daya Air Kementerian Pekerjaan Umum Mohammad Hasan mengatakan, kerja sama antara Kementerian Pekerjaan Umum langsung dan daerah tertentu, seperti DKI, cukup membuahkan hasil. Kerja sama seperti pembagian tugas dalam normalisasi sungai, pihaknya menjalankan proyek fisik dan DKI membebaskan lahan, berjalan cukup lancar.

DKI juga dianggap proaktif menjalankan tugasnya, seperti perbaikan situ/waduk. Akan tetapi, nasib situ/waduk di daerah lain hingga kini masih mengenaskan. Masalah ini menjadi perhatian Hasan meskipun ia susah berbuat banyak karena revitalisasi situ/waduk berada di tangan pemerintah daerah.

”Namun akan tetap kami upayakan agar situ/waduk di sekitar Jakarta tetap berjalan baik revitalisasinya,” kata Hasan.

Ultimatum warga bantaran

Terkait tersendatnya normalisasi kali, Basuki memberi ultimatum kepada warga yang tinggal di bantaran sungai. Setelah satu tahun ke depan, warga harus bersedia meninggalkan tempat tinggalnya. Sejalan dengan itu, Pemprov DKI mempercepat pembangunan rumah susun sewa di sejumlah wilayah.

”Ini tahun terakhir. Mohon maaf kepada orang yang tinggal di pinggiran sungai, saya pasti gusur Anda. Kami selama ini menahan karena tidak ingin dianggap melanggar HAM (hak asasi manusia). Nanti kami lakukan relokasi, silakan jika masih dianggap melanggar HAM,” kata Basuki.

Untuk mengurangi dampak banjir, Pemprov DKI bekerja sama dengan pemerintah pusat mulai normalisasi Kali Pesanggrahan, Angke, dan Sunter. Namun, program ini terkendala pembebasan lahan. Warga yang tinggal di bantaran kali tidak bersedia pindah dengan alasan yang beragam.

Sampai akhir 2013, pembebasan lahan di Kali Pesanggrahan, Jakarta Selatan, belum berjalan lancar. Pembebasan lahan baru bisa dilakukan di empat dari sembilan kelurahan. Di empat kelurahan tersebut terdapat sembilan bidang tanah seluas 24.969 meter persegi yang sudah dibebaskan. Nilai tanah yang dibebaskan itu Rp 42,821 miliar.

Lahan yang belum dibebaskan di Kali Pesanggrahan sepanjang 28 kilometer. Adapun pembebasan lahan di Kali Angke dan Sunter masih tahap pematokan lahan dan negosiasi harga.

Jalin kerja sama

Pemerintah Kabupaten dan Kota Tangerang berinisiatif melakukan kerja sama dalam antisipasi, menanggulangi, dan merencanakan desain daerah bebas banjir. Langkah itu diambil mengingat kerja sama Jabodetabek hingga saat ini belum ada realisasinya.

”Kerja sama ini baru terjalin antara Kabupaten dan Kota Tangerang. Sejauh ini kerja sama dengan Tangerang Selatan belum dijajaki. Ke depannya, kami akan menjajaki kerja sama dengan Tangerang Selatan dan Pemprov Banten,” kata Bupati Tangerang Ahmed Zaki Iskandar, Rabu.

Sementara itu, meskipun telah dilarang berjualan di tepi dinding Kanal Barat, sejumlah pedagang tetap nekat memasang tenda. Ratna Kumala (37), warga RT 014 RW 004, Petamburan, Jakarta Pusat, misalnya, Rabu, mendirikan tenda. Saminem, warga RT 001 RW 007, Kelurahan Bendungan Hilir, Pejompongan, Jakarta Pusat, berharap ia dibolehkan lagi membuka warung nasi di tepi dinding Kanal Barat.

Sumber : kompas.com

Editor : Maulana Lee

Ibu Kota Jakarta, Banten, dan Jawa Barat Tak Satu Visi Tangani Banjir

saco-indonesia.com, Aksi mogok ratusan nelayan yang sudah dilakukan beberapa hari telah membuat Tempat Pelelangan Ikan (TPI) di Tegalsari, Kota Tegal, Jawa Tengah, sepi.

Mogok yang telah dilakukan nelayan sebagai protes terkait dalam Peraturan Menteri Sumber Daya Mineral nomor 15 tahun 2013 tentang harga solar industri bagi kapal ikan ukuran di atas 30 gross ton (GT).

pelelangan ikan lebih sepi dari biasanya. Hanya terlihat beberapa petugas yang tengah membersihkan pelelangan tersebut . Sementara ratusan kapal berjejer di tepi pelabuhan tanda tak melaut.

Kepala TPI Tegalsari, Herry Pramadikdo, juga mengatakan kapal yang biasanya membongkar muatan hasil tangkapan lebih sedikit jika dibandingkan dengan hari-hari biasa.

"Biasanya sampai enam kapal, ini hanya sekitar dua kapal," katanya Kamis(6/2).

Sementara untuk kapal one day fishing hanya sekitar 15 hingga 20 kapal. Padahal di hari biasa mencapai tak kurang dari 40 kapal one day fishing yang telah membongkar muatan hasil tangkapan tersebut.

Proses lelang di TPI Tegalsari pun juga selesai lebih cepat. Lelang biasanya telah dilakukan dua kali dan selesai pada pukul 15.00 WIB.

"Beberapa hari ini lelang ikan selesai pukul 1 siang, yang dilelang hanya sedikit jumlahnya," ujarnya.

Herry juga menjelaskan dampak lain, harga ikan melonjak. Tak tanggung-tanggung, kenaikan harga telah mencapai 100 persen.

Selain mogoknya nelayan sebab kenaikan harga solar, faktor cuaca juga menjadi salah satu penyebab TPI sepi.

"Sudah sejak awal Desember memang cuaca buruk telah membuat nelayan tidak bisa melaut. Sekarang ditambah dengan kenaikan harga solar yang tinggi ," ungkapnya.

Herry juga berharap, pemerintah akan segera mencabut kebijakan pemberlakuan harga solar industri bagi kapal pencari ikan.

"Cepat-cepat ada kesepakatan untuk dapat menyelesaikan masalah. Jika tidak dampaknya akan semakin lama dan harga ikan bisa naik lagi," katanya.

Kenaikan harga ikan juga dikatakan oleh salah seorang penjual ikan.

"Cumi-cumi naik dari Rp 30.000 sekarang harganya Rp 60.000 per kilo," kata Eni pedagang ikan di TPI.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

NELAYAN MOGOK MELAUT KARENA SOLAR NAIK, HARGA IKAN MELAMBUNG
Membaca judul diatas, tentu banyak orang yang akan mengernyitkan dahi, sebagai tanda ketidakpercayaannya. Bahkan, mungkin demikian pula dengan Anda. Sebab, Nabi Sulaiman AS adalah seorang utusan Allah yang diberikan keistimewaan dengan kemampuannya menaklukkan seluruh makhluk ciptaan Allah, termasuk angin yang tunduk di bawah kekuasaannya atas izin Allah. Bahkan, burung dan jin selalu mematuhi perintah Sulaiman.
 

BACA SELENGKAPNYA DI : CANDI BOROBUDUR PENINGGALAN NABI SULAIMAN ?

 

Dalam bukunya, Matematika Islam 3 (Republika, 2009), KH Fahmi Basya menyebutkan beberapa ciri-ciri Candi Borobudur yang menjadi bukti sebagai peninggalan putra Nabi Daud tersebut. Di antaranya, hutan atau negeri Saba, makna Saba, nama Sulaiman, buah maja yang pahit, dipindahkannya istana Ratu Saba ke wilayah kekuasaan Nabi Sulaiman, bangunan yang tidak terselesaikan oleh para jin, tempat berkumpulnya Ratu Saba, dan lainnya.
 
Dalam Alquran, kisah Nabi Sulaiman dan Ratu Saba disebutkan dalam surah An-Naml [27]: 15-44, Saba [34]: 12-16, al-Anbiya [21]: 78-81, dan lainnya. Tentu saja, banyak yang tidak percaya bila Borobudur merupakan peninggalan Sulaiman ?
Pengantar
Masa lalu memang penuh misteri. Banyak orang meyakini bahwa Candi Borobudur sebagai peninggalan Dinasti Syailendra pada abad 8 masehi. Namun hal itu dibantah oleh KH. Fahmi Basya. Ahli matematika Islam ini meyakini bahwa Borobudur sangat terkait erat dengan sejarah Nabi Sulaiman. Borobudur adalah peninggalan Ratu Saba’ seperti yang diceritakan dalam Al-Quran. Buku ini bukan karya sehari dua hari disusun. Tulisan ini sudah ditulis dengan sangat serius selama puluhan tahun; sejak tahun 1979 hingga 2012. Dalam buku ini penulis menjelaskan dengan sangat detail dan ilmiah bukti-bukti bahwa Borobudur adalah peninggalan Ratu Saba’. Ada 40 bukti eksak yang dijelaskan. Salah satu bukti paling kuat dan belum bisa dibantah adalah ditemukannya surat dari Nabi Sulaiman bertuliskan “Bismilllahirrahmanirrahim” di atas sebuah plat emas di dalam kolam pemandian Ratu Saba’ (Ratu Boko) di daerah Sleman, Jawa Tengah.
Borobudur Peninggalan Islam ?
Menurut literatur yang ada, candi Borobudur adalah sebuah candi Budha. tapi lain halnya menurut pak Fahmi Basya, Candi Borobudur adalah sebuah peninggalan Islam, tepatnya peninggalan Nabi Sulaiman ribuan tahun yang lalu. Tidak main-main, pak Fahmi Basya melakukan penelitian selama 35 tahun dan bukti yang didapat sangat kuat dan juga hasil penelitian tersebut didukung dalil didalam ayat-ayat Al-Quran. Dalam membaca Sejarah Candi Borobudur Versi Islam, Ada baiknya anda juga membaca : Kisah Nabi Sulaiman di Tanah Jawa.
Menurut cerita yang dipaparkan, Candi Borobudur terletak di daerah kekuasaannya Nabi Sulaiman. Nabi Sulaiman adalah nabi yang diberi mukjizat bisa berbicara dengan hewan, juga dapat memerintah jin dengan ijin Allah. Ada seekor burung yang menghilang ketika dicari oleh Sulaiman, burung itu adalah burung Hud-Hud. Sewaktu Sulaiman bertemu dengan burung tersebut, maka burung Hud-Hud melaporkan sebuah alasan yang kuat kenapa ia menghilang dari Sulaiman. Alasan tersebut sekaligus meredam kemarahan Sulaiman atasnya. Sewaktu menghilang Burung Hud-Hud melintasi sebuah negeri, yaitu negeri Saba’ dan para penduduknya menyembah selain Allah, yaitu menyembah Matahari. Juga ada seorang ratu yang menjadi pemimpinnya.
Nabi Sulaiman pun memaklumi alasan tersebut kemudian menyuruh burung Hud-Hud untuk menyampaikan sebuah surat yang ditujukan kepada ratu Saba’, ratu yang menjadi pemimpin negeri Saba’. Surat itu tak lain adalah surat agar Ratu dan penduduk negeri Saba’ bertaubat dan berserah diri kepada Allah. Ratu Saba’ pun kemudian bertabat dan berserah diri. Nabi Sulaiman pun memerintahkan jin untuk memindahkan singgasana ratu Saba ke istananya Sulaiman dalam waktu sekejap sebelum ratu Saba’ datang ke Sulaiman. Singgasana ratu Saba’ adalah singgasana ratu Boko yang ada di Sleman, Yogyakarta, dan dipindahkan ke atas Borobudur di Magelang. terbukti di Istana Ratu Boko ada singgasana yang hilang serta sisa-sisa bangunan tempat berkumpul untuk menyembah matahari. jadi Borobudur itu adalah sebuah bangunan buatan jin atas perintah Nabi Sulaiman. Dari segi relief pun banyak yang menggambarkan cerita Nabi Sula
Sungguh tidak banyak yang mengetahui bahwa simbul-simbul Islam banyak ditemukan di Borobudur. Karena sudah sejak lama, borobudur menjadi klaim hindu/budha. Ekspedisi Melintas Dua Shubuh bersama KH Fahmi Basya sungguh menakjubkan. Hasil penelitian beliau telah menemukan adanya indikator-indikator bahwa kisah Nabi Sulaiman dan ratu Saba ada di Borobudur dan Ratu Boko. Sleman berasal dari Sulaiman. Wonosobo berasal dari Hutan (ratu) Shaba. Lihat pula relief-relief di sekitarBorobudur, disana sarat dengan cerita-cerita Nabi Sulaiman seperti burung Hud-hud, Tabut dan lain-lain. ImanCandi Borobudur
Adanya phenomena angka 19 di Candi Borobudur. Adapun mengenai phenomena angka 19 itu terdapat di dalam Alqur’an berasal dari kalimat Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim yang terdiri dari 19 huruf. Kalimat Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim ini yang memperkenalkannya kepada kita adalah nabi Sulaiman As. ketika beliau berkirim surat kepada Ratu Saba’
Kop Surat dari Surat nabi Sulaiman As itu adalah kalimat Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim .
Isi suratnya adalah: ” Alla ta’luu ‘alaiyya, wa’tuunni muslimiin ” ( Jangan menyombong kepadaku dan datanglah kepadaku dengan berserah diri ). Dan perlu diketahui surat itu sampai sekarang masih ada yaitu di Musium Nasional berupa lempengan emas bertuliskan Bismillah, surat itu awalnya ditemukan dikolam dekat Candi borobudur.Lempengan emas bertuliskan kalimat ‘Bismillah”
Jadi, dapat dikatakan bahwa phenomena 19 itu sudah diketahui oleh Nabi Sulaiman As. Oleh sebab itu di Candi borobudur ada phenomena 19.
Tuntutlah Ilmu ke Negeri  Cina atau Syain ?
 Mari kita bangkit dari tidur panjang, kitalah pewaris negri hebat itu. Tuntutlah ilmu walaupun sampai ke negri Syain, adalah rekomendasi yang disampaikan Nabi Muhammad SAW untuk seluruh umatnya.
Negri hebat itu adalah negri kita, Indonesia.
Sayang …, hanya karena candi Borobudur adalah candi Budha, kita menjadi BUTA, bahwa candi Borobudur adalah hasil karya bangsa kita yang kebetulan beragama Budha (?) (masih perlu pembuktian lagi untuk menyebut para pembangun candi Borobudur beragama Budha).
Saat ini Negri Syain oleh kebanyakan orang termasuk Ulama diartikan sebagai Negri Cina. Benarkah demikian ?.
Berikut argumen yang membantah bahwa negri Syain adalah Negri Cina. Yang lebih tepat negri Syain adalah negri Syailendra di Pulau Jawa, INDONESIA .
 
1. Tinjauan menurut Waktu
Lahirnya Agama Islam semasa dengan berdirinya candi Borobudur, abad 6 akhir atau abad 7 awal. Ketika Nabi Muhammad merekomendasikan Negri Syain bagi umatnya untuk menuntut ilmu pasti didasari pengetahuan yang seumur dengan beliau. Suatu hal yang mustahil bila beliau menyarankan untuk belajar kepada seseorang yang lahir di negri Syain 1500 tahun lagi. Juga mustahil beliau menyarankan untuk belajar kepada seseorang yang lahir di negri Syain 1500 tahun yang lalu. Hal ini menguatkan dugaan bahwa Negri Syain yang dimaksud nabi Muhammad adalah Syailendra di Pulau Jawa, bukanya negri Cina.
 
2. Tinjauan menurut Hubungan Relegius
Borobudur merupakan miniatur Al-Quran, Borobudur berceritera tentang hal yang bersesuaian dengan Al-Quran dengan cara yang berbeda. Al-Quran berceritera tentang suatu hal dengan bahasa syair, sedang Borobudur bercerita tentang hal yang sama dengan bahasa teater dalam bentuk Relief.
 
· Puncak Borobudur dengan satu Stupa besar, disekelilingnya terdapat relief yang menggambarkan ceritera yang bersesuaian dengan Surat ke 1 (satu) di Al-quran.
· Lantai dua dari atas terdapat 8 (delapan) Stupa, disekelilingnya terdapat relief yang menceriterakan suatu hal yang bersesuaian dengan Surat ke 8 (delapan) di Al-Quran
· Lantai tiga dari atas terdapat 16 (enam belas) Stupa, disekelilingnya terdapat relief yang menceriterakan suatu hal yang bersesuaian dengan Surat ke 16 (enam belas) di Al-Quran
· Lantai empat dari atas terdapat 32 (tiga puluh dua) Stupa, disekelilingnya terdapat relief yang menceriterakan suatu hal yang bersesuaian dengan Surat ke 32 (tiga puluh dua) di Al-Quran
· Lantai lima dari atas terdapat 64 (enam puluh empat) Stupa, disekelilingnya terdapat relief yang menceriterakan suatu hal yang bersesuaian dengan Surat ke 64 (enam puh empat) di Al-Quran
· Lantai enam dari atas (lantai dasar) terdapat 72 (tujuh puluh dua) Stupa, disekelilingnya terdapat relief yang menceriterakan suatu hal yang bersesuaian dengan Surat ke 72 (tujuh puluh dua) di Al-Quran
 
Dari kesesuain relief Borobudur dengan Al-Quran diatas, rasanya lebih masuk akal bahwa negri Syain yang dimaksud nabi Muhammad SAW adalah negri Syailendra
 
3. Tinjauan menurut Kondisi Sosial
Kondisi Sosial Negeri Cina saat awal lahirnya Agama Islam sedang dalam keadaan kacau karena perang saudara. Mustahil Nabi Muhammad menyarankan untuk belajar ke negri yang sedang kacau balau oleh perang saudara. Kalau saat ini tahun 2007, ada orang yang menyarankan untuk belajar ke: Irak, Afganistan atau Lebanon, pasti orang itu akan ditertawakan orang sedunia. Pada saat itu Negri Syailendra berada dalam keadaan makmur sejahtera. Tidak salah kalau nabi Muhammad merekomendasikan sebagai negri rujukan menuntut ilmu.
 
4. Tinjauan menurut Kemajuan Budaya
Dari catatan sejarah negri Syailendra memiliki keunggulan budaya dibandingkan dengan negri Cina. Syailendra memiliki peninggalan yang menunjukkan seberapa tinggi “budaya” nya saat itu.
Pembangunan Borobudur memakan waktu lebih dari seratus tahun, diketahui dari umur batu di dasar candi berbeda 104 tahun lebih tua dari batu yang terdapat di puncak candi. Hal ini menunjukkan bahwa negri Syailendra punya tenaga-tenaga ahli yang mengorganisir proyek raksasa baik besarnya bangunan, banyaknya orang yang terlibat pembangunannya dan lama pengerjaannya. Tanpa perencanaan yang luar biasa rapinya, mustahil Borobudur berdiri. Struktur bangunan candi yang demikian besar membutuhkan pengetahuan teknik bangunan yang sangat rumit, bahkan ketelitian lingkaran yang ada di borobudur lebih kecil toleransi ukurnya dibandingkan dengan Theodolit modern.
Belum lagi pengetahuan metalurgi pembuatan keris, pada abad ke 7 negri Syailendra sudah menguasai teknik peleburan Titanium bahan pamor keris. Dan masih banyak bukti ketinggian budaya negri Syailendra yang lain
 
5. Tinjauan menurut Letak Geografis
Negeri Cina dan Jazirah Arab terhubung lewat darat, hanya dengan berkendaraan onta atau kuda saja sudah bisa sampai. Tidak meng- gambarkan kesulitan yang harus ditempuh untuk menuntut ilmu. Negri Syailendra terdapat di Pulau Jawa. Harus mengarung lautan yang luas dan ganas, tanpa kemauan dan perjuangan yang luar biasa berat tidak mungkin sampai. Wallah ‘Alam Bishawab
 

- See more at: http://pbsstainmetro.blogspot.com/2014/02/candi-borobudur-peninggalan-nabi.html

 

Editor by : Oshimura

CANDI BOROBUDUR PENINGGALAN NABI SULAIMAN ?

Bojonegoro, begitu nama itu yang dikenal sebagai salah satu kabupaten di Jawa Timur. Letaknya sekitar 67 kilometer dari ibukota Jawa Timur, Surabaya. Meski telah memiliki hasil tambang melimpah, kehidupan masyarakat di Bojonegoro tidaklah makmur seperti perusahaan-perusahaan minyak asing yang menguasainya.

Dalam hal pendidikan misalnya. Jangankan sekolah bertaraf internasional mau berinvestasi di wilayah ini, sekolah negeri pun keadaannya juga sungguh miris. Apalagi keadaan rumah sakitnya, hanya ada satu rumah sakit pemerintah dengan kondisi yang memprihatinkan. Satu rumah sakit itu bernama RS Veteran berada dekat dengan alun-alun dan tidak jauh dari kantor Dewan Perwakilan Daerah Bojonegoro.

Cerita punya cerita, pemimpin negeri ini pun tidak mampir menginjakkan kakinya di Bojonegoro. "Tidak ada satu presiden yang menginjakkan kakinya di sini. Tidak tahu kenapa," kata Gus Mul, salah seorang tokoh masyarakat di Bojonegoro saat berbincang dengan merdeka.com Senin lalu.

Seingatnya, dari enam presiden Indonesia, hanya Soekarno yang 'berani' datang ke Bojonegoro. Gus Mul tidak mengetahui kenapa presiden tidak mampir ke Bojonegoro. Namun, dari cerita yang dia tahu, ada mitos yang beredar di kalangan masyarakat bahwa jika presiden mampir di Bojonegoro, dia akan turun dari tahta.

Sebagai seorang tokoh pemuka agama, Gus Mul mengenyampingkan mitos tersebut. "Itu hanya mitos. Kalau mau datang ya datang saja," ujar Gus Mul.

Selain daerah menghasilkan minyak bumi, Bojonegoro dikenal daerah religius. Hal ini karena banyaknya Pondok Pesantren - khususnya Nahdlatul Ulama - yang berdiri di wilayah ini. Namun, apakah benar presiden enggan datang ke Bojonegoro karena mitos turun tahta?

Bojonegoro dan mitos presiden turun tahta

saco-indonesia.com,

orng yang pandai belum tentu bisa suksesorng yang banyak duit belum tentu kaya
orng yang gx punya apa-apa belum tentu miskin
orng yang diam belum tentu gx bisa berbuat apa2
semua orang ada kelebian dan kekurangan
tak usah bangga dengan kepandaian, kekayaan, kemiskinan mu.
karna allah punya maksut tertentu dengan memberikan sesuatu kepada hamba nya?

by;devan

Dibalik Pemberian Tuhan

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

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

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

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

– MATTHEW SCHNEIER

Cher and Marc Jacobs

The bottle Mr. Sokolin famously broke was a 1787 Château Margaux, which was said to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Sokolin had been hoping to sell it for $519,750.

William Sokolin, Wine Seller Who Broke Famed Bottle, Dies at 85

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

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

With 12 tournament victories in his career, Mr. Peete was the most successful black professional golfer before Tiger Woods.

Calvin Peete, 71, a Racial Pioneer on the PGA Tour, Is Dead

Hockey is not exactly known as a city game, but played on roller skates, it once held sway as the sport of choice in many New York neighborhoods.

“City kids had no rinks, no ice, but they would do anything to play hockey,” said Edward Moffett, former director of the Long Island City Y.M.C.A. Roller Hockey League, in Queens, whose games were played in city playgrounds going back to the 1940s.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the league had more than 60 teams, he said. Players included the Mullen brothers of Hell’s Kitchen and Dan Dorion of Astoria, Queens, who would later play on ice for the National Hockey League.

One street legend from the heyday of New York roller hockey was Craig Allen, who lived in the Woodside Houses projects and became one of the city’s hardest hitters and top scorers.

“Craig was a warrior, one of the best roller hockey players in the city in the ’70s,” said Dave Garmendia, 60, a retired New York police officer who grew up playing with Mr. Allen. “His teammates loved him and his opponents feared him.”

Young Craig took up hockey on the streets of Queens in the 1960s, playing pickup games between sewer covers, wearing steel-wheeled skates clamped onto school shoes and using a roll of electrical tape as the puck.

His skill and ferocity drew attention, Mr. Garmendia said, but so did his skin color. He was black, in a sport made up almost entirely by white players.

“Roller hockey was a white kid’s game, plain and simple, but Craig broke the color barrier,” Mr. Garmendia said. “We used to say Craig did more for race relations than the N.A.A.C.P.”

Mr. Allen went on to coach and referee roller hockey in New York before moving several years ago to South Carolina. But he continued to organize an annual alumni game at Dutch Kills Playground in Long Island City, the same site that held the local championship games.

The reunion this year was on Saturday, but Mr. Allen never made it. On April 26, just before boarding the bus to New York, he died of an asthma attack at age 61.

Word of his death spread rapidly among hundreds of his old hockey colleagues who resolved to continue with the event, now renamed the Craig Allen Memorial Roller Hockey Reunion.

The turnout on Saturday was the largest ever, with players pulling on their old equipment, choosing sides and taking once again to the rink of cracked blacktop with faded lines and circles. They wore no helmets, although one player wore a fedora.

Another, Vinnie Juliano, 77, of Long Island City, wore his hearing aids, along with his 50-year-old taped-up quads, or four-wheeled skates with a leather boot. Many players here never converted to in-line skates, and neither did Mr. Allen, whose photograph appeared on a poster hanging behind the players’ bench.

“I’m seeing people walking by wondering why all these rusty, grizzly old guys are here playing hockey,” one player, Tommy Dominguez, said. “We’re here for Craig, and let me tell you, these old guys still play hard.”

Everyone seemed to have a Craig Allen story, from his earliest teams at Public School 151 to the Bryant Rangers, the Woodside Wings, the Woodside Blues and more.

Mr. Allen, who became a yellow-cab driver, was always recruiting new talent. He gained the nickname Cabby for his habit of stopping at playgrounds all over the city to scout players.

Teams were organized around neighborhoods and churches, and often sponsored by local bars. Mr. Allen, for one, played for bars, including Garry Owen’s and on the Fiddler’s Green Jokers team in Inwood, Manhattan.

Play was tough and fights were frequent.

“We were basically street gangs on skates,” said Steve Rogg, 56, a mail clerk who grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, and who on Saturday wore his Riedell Classic quads from 1972. “If another team caught up with you the night before a game, they tossed you a beating so you couldn’t play the next day.”

Mr. Garmendia said Mr. Allen’s skin color provoked many fights.

“When we’d go to some ignorant neighborhoods, a lot of players would use slurs,” Mr. Garmendia said, recalling a game in Ozone Park, Queens, where local fans parked motorcycles in a lineup next to the blacktop and taunted Mr. Allen. Mr. Garmendia said he checked a player into the motorcycles, “and the bikes went down like dominoes, which started a serious brawl.”

A group of fans at a game in Brooklyn once stuck a pole through the rink fence as Mr. Allen skated by and broke his jaw, Mr. Garmendia said, adding that carloads of reinforcements soon arrived to defend Mr. Allen.

And at another racially incited brawl, the police responded with six patrol cars and a helicopter.

Before play began on Saturday, the players gathered at center rink to honor Mr. Allen. Billy Barnwell, 59, of Woodside, recalled once how an all-white, all-star squad snubbed Mr. Allen by playing him third string. He scored seven goals in the first game and made first string immediately.

“He’d always hear racial stuff before the game, and I’d ask him, ‘How do you put up with that?’” Mr. Barnwell recalled. “Craig would say, ‘We’ll take care of it,’ and by the end of the game, he’d win guys over. They’d say, ‘This guy’s good.’”

Tribute for a Roller Hockey Warrior

Mr. Haroche was a founder of Liberty Travel, which grew from a two-man operation to the largest leisure travel operation in the United States.

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Ms. Pryor, who served more than two decades in the State Department, was the author of well-regarded biographies of the founder of the American Red Cross and the Confederate commander.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64

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

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

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

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

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

GREENWICH, Conn. — Mago is in the bedroom. You can go in.

The big man lies on a hospital bed with his bare feet scraping its bottom rail. His head is propped on a scarlet pillow, the left temple dented, the right side paralyzed. His dark hair is kept just long enough to conceal the scars.

The occasional sounds he makes are understood only by his wife, but he still has that punctuating left hand. In slow motion, the fingers curl and close. A thumbs-up greeting.

Hello, Mago.

This is Magomed Abdusalamov, 34, also known as the Russian Tyson, also known as Mago. He is a former heavyweight boxer who scored four knockouts and 14 technical knockouts in his first 18 professional fights. He preferred to stand between rounds. Sitting conveyed weakness.

But Mago lost his 19th fight, his big chance, at the packed Theater at Madison Square Garden in November 2013. His 19th decision, and his last.

Now here he is, in a small bedroom in a working-class neighborhood in Greenwich, in a modest house his family rents cheap from a devoted friend. The air-pressure machine for his mattress hums like an expectant crowd.

 

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Mike Perez, left, and Magomed Abdusalamov during the fight in which Abdusalamov was injured. Credit Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

 

Today is like any other day, except for those days when he is hurried in crisis to the hospital. Every three hours during the night, his slight wife, Bakanay, 28, has risen to turn his 6-foot-3 body — 210 pounds of dead weight. It has to be done. Infections of the gaping bedsore above his tailbone have nearly killed him.

Then, with the help of a young caretaker, Baka has gotten two of their daughters off to elementary school and settled down the toddler. Yes, Mago and Baka are blessed with all girls, but they had also hoped for a son someday.

They feed Mago as they clean him; it’s easier that way. For breakfast, which comes with a side of crushed antiseizure pills, he likes oatmeal with a squirt of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. But even oatmeal must be puréed and fed to him by spoon.

He opens his mouth to indicate more, the way a baby does. But his paralysis has made everything a choking hazard. His water needs a stirring of powdered food thickener, and still he chokes — eh-eh-eh — as he tries to cough up what will not go down.

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Mago used to drink only water. No alcohol. Not even soda. A sip of juice would be as far as he dared. Now even water betrays him.

With the caretaker’s help, Baka uses a washcloth and soap to clean his body and shampoo his hair. How handsome still, she has thought. Sometimes, in the night, she leaves the bedroom to watch old videos, just to hear again his voice in the fullness of life. She cries, wipes her eyes and returns, feigning happiness. Mago must never see her sad.

 

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 Abdusalamov's hand being massaged. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

When Baka finishes, Mago is cleanshaven and fresh down to his trimmed and filed toenails. “I want him to look good,” she says.

Theirs was an arranged Muslim marriage in Makhachkala, in the Russian republic of Dagestan. He was 23, she was 18 and their future hinged on boxing. Sometimes they would shadowbox in love, her David to his Goliath. You are so strong, he would tell her.

His father once told him he could either be a bandit or an athlete, but if he chose banditry, “I will kill you.” This paternal advice, Mago later told The Ventura County Reporter, “made it a very easy decision for me.”

Mago won against mediocre competition, in Moscow and Hollywood, Fla., in Las Vegas and Johnstown, Pa. He was knocked down only once, and even then, it surprised more than hurt. He scored a technical knockout in the next round.

It all led up to this: the undercard at the Garden, Mike Perez vs. Magomed Abdusalamov, 10 rounds, on HBO. A win, he believed, would improve his chances of taking on the heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who sat in the crowd of 4,600 with his fiancée, the actress Hayden Panettiere, watching.

Wearing black-and-red trunks and a green mouth guard, Mago went to work. But in the first round, a hard forearm to his left cheek rocked him. At the bell, he returned to his corner, and this time, he sat down. “I think it’s broken,” he repeatedly said in Russian.

 

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Bakanay Abdusalamova, Abdusalamov's wife, and her injured husband and a masseur in the background. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

Maybe at that point, somebody — the referee, the ringside doctors, his handlers — should have stopped the fight, under a guiding principle: better one punch too early than one punch too late. But the bloody trade of blows continued into the seventh, eighth, ninth, a hand and orbital bone broken, his face transforming.

Meanwhile, in the family’s apartment in Miami, Baka forced herself to watch the broadcast. She could see it in his swollen eyes. Something was off.

After the final round, Perez raised his tattooed arms in victory, and Mago wandered off in a fog. He had taken 312 punches in about 40 minutes, for a purse of $40,000.

 

 

In the locker room, doctors sutured a cut above Mago’s left eye and tested his cognitive abilities. He did not do well. The ambulance that waits in expectation at every fight was not summoned by boxing officials.

Blood was pooling in Mago’s cranial cavity as he left the Garden. He vomited on the pavement while his handlers flagged a taxi to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. There, doctors induced a coma and removed part of his skull to drain fluids and ease the swelling.

Then came the stroke.

 

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A championship belt belonging to Abdusalamov and a card from one of his daughters. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

It is lunchtime now, and the aroma of puréed beef and potatoes lingers. So do the questions.

How will Mago and Baka pay the $2 million in medical bills they owe? What if their friend can no longer offer them this home? Will they win their lawsuits against the five ringside doctors, the referee, and a New York State boxing inspector? What about Mago’s future care?

Most of all: Is this it?

A napkin rests on Mago’s chest. As another spoonful of mush approaches, he opens his mouth, half-swallows, chokes, and coughs until it clears. Eh-eh-eh. Sometimes he turns bluish, but Baka never shows fear. Always happy for Mago.

Some days he is wheeled out for physical therapy or speech therapy. Today, two massage therapists come to knead his half-limp body like a pair of skilled corner men.

Soon, Mago will doze. Then his three daughters, ages 2, 6 and 9, will descend upon him to talk of their day. Not long ago, the oldest lugged his championship belt to school for a proud show-and-tell moment. Her classmates were amazed at the weight of it.

Then, tonight, there will be more puréed food and pulverized medication, more coughing, and more tender care from his wife, before sleep comes.

Goodbye, Mago.

He half-smiles, raises his one good hand, and forms a fist.

Meet Mago, Former Heavyweight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Top News China’s Intents Are Questioned as It Builds in Antarctica

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

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

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.

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Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book is to be released next week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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