PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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Gunung Merapi telah kembali menunjukkan aktivitasnya. Senin (10/3) pagi, beberapa desa di Kecamatan Kemalang, Klaten, Jawa Tengah telah diguyur hujan abu. Wilayah tersebut hanya berjarak sekitar 6 kilometer dari puncak gunung teraktif di Indonesia itu. Kepala Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Daerah (BPBD) Klaten, Sri Winoto juga membenarkan, hujan abu telah terjadi di wilayahnya. Berdasarkan informasi yang telah diterimanya, terjadi letupan kecil Merapi pada Senin pagi. "Benar, info dari BPPTK (Badan Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kegunungapian) Yogyakarta, telah terjadi letupan kecil Gunung Merapi pada jam 07.08 WIB. Terdapat awan hitam dengan ketinggian sekitar 1.5 km. Arah angin barat daya, kemungkinan hujan abu ringan ke arah barat daya," ujar Winoto. Akibat dari kejadian tersebut BPBD Klaten telah mengimbau masyarakat untuk harus mengenakan masker apabila akan bepergian ke luar rumah. "Kami juga telah mengimbau warga agar tetap di rumah selama masih terjadi hujan abu. Mereka juga kita harap untuk tetap waspada. Kondisi Merapi masih normal, warga tidak perlu khawatir," katanya.AWAN HITAM DAN HUJAN ABU TERJADI DI KLATEN

saco-indonesia.com, Apple telah mengalami masa transisi di mana produk-produk terbarunya telah banyak diminati. Sebagai akibatnya, produk lawas seperti iPod sudah mulai ditinggalkan dan terancam punah.

hal ini telah terlihat dari penjualan iPad dan iPhone yang makin membaik dari hari ke hari. Bahkan, di kuartal terakhir, penjualan iPad maupun iPhone telah tercatat juga merupakan yang paling baik dalam sejarah.

Sementara itu, iPod justru telah mengalami grafik penjualan sebaliknya. Penjualan iPod menurun 52 persen jika dibandingkan dengan waktu yang sama setahun sebelumnya.

Memang, jika dibanding dengan dua produk lainnya, iPod juga bisa dibilang merupakan gadget lawas. Meski telah dilengkapi dengan fitur bermacam-macam, iPod akhirnya harus rela di-kanibal-kan oleh adiknya sendiri, iPhone.

Dalam beberapa tahun terakhir, memang penjualan MP3 player secara global makin memburuk. Tak terkecuali iPod, publik sekarang lebih memilih membeli ponsel pintar yang makin terjangkau saja harganya.

Patut ditunggu akankah iPod nantinya tak mampu lagi bersaing dengan ponsel pintar atau gadget lainnya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

IPOD MULAI DITINGGALKAN

Saco-Indonesia.com - Telah ditetapkan tarif nikah dan gratifikasi penghulu sempat menuai polemik. Sekjen Kementerian Agama (Kemenag) Bahrul Hayat berharap masalah tarif nikah selesai pada Februari.

Dia juga berharap ada tarif tunggal atau single tarif untuk biaya nikah.

"Tarif yang berbeda atau multi tarif berpotensi menimbulkan kecurigaan terhadap penghulu menerima gratifikasi," kata Bahrul Hayat di Jakarta, Kamis (30/1).

Tarif tunggal nikah merupakan biaya yang diberikan pemerintah kepada penghulu yang besarannya sama untuk wilayah Indonesia. Kemenag menetapkan sebesar Rp 600 ribu per pernikahan. Sedangkan multi tarif, besarannya bervariasi tergantung lokasi, waktu dan tempat perhelatan pernikahan.

Polemik biaya nikah di Kantor Urusan Agama (KUA) sempat mengemuka dan menjadi polemik lantaran penghulu dituduh menerima gratifikasi.

Sebelumnya penghulu se-Indonesia telah melakukan pertemuan dengan Menteri Agama Suryadharma Ali pada akhir Desember 2013 di Jakarta terkait regulasi penghulu menghadiri pernikahan di luar KUA. Saat itu mereka minta agar Kemenag segera mengeluarkan regulasi biaya nikah yang akan menjadi payung hukum bagi KUA dalam pelayanan nikah.

Menurut Bahrul Hayat, pihaknya telah membahas masalah itu dengan Menko Kesra Agung Laksono. Diharapkan medio Februari 2014 sudah dikeluarkan aturan dan besaran tarifnya. Dia menyebut sekitar Rp 600 ribu/pernikahan.

Mengingat wilayah geografis Indonesia di tiap daerah berbeda, berbukit dan jauh, termasuk wilayah kepulauan, menurut Sekjen Kemenag itu, tentu faktor hal itu menjadi perhatian. Tarifnya akan disesuaikan dan jika ada tambahan transportasi tentu ada penggantian.

Namun ia mengimbau untuk wilayah kepulauan, untuk pernikahan hendaknya dapat dijadwalkan dengan baik. Mengingat hambatan transportasi berupa angin dan ombak harus pula menjadi perhatian untuk keselamatan bersama.

Sumber:kompas.com

Editor : Maulana Lee

Ini tarif resmi dari Kementerian Agama, Apabila Anda Mau nikah
Komputer terbagi 2 bagian :
*. Perangkat keras komputer (computer hardware) adalah komponen-komponen fisik yang membentuk satu kesatuan sistem Personal Computer (PC).
* Perangkat Lunak (computer software) adalah sekumpulan data elektronik yang disimpan dan diatur oleh komputer, data elektronik yang disimpan oleh komputer itu dapat berupa program atau instruksi yang akan menjalankan suatu perintah. Melalui sofware atau perangkat lunak inilah suatu komputer dapat menjalankan suatu perintah
 
PERANGKAT KERAS (Computer Hardware)
Biasanya perangkat-perangkat ini dirakit dan sebagian besar dimasukkan ke dalam sebuah casing komputer dan sebagian lain berada di luar casing.
Perangkat keras yang berada di dalam casing umumnya terdiri dari:
1. Central Processing Unit (CPU)  
Biasa juga kita kenal sebagai “processor” atau “otak” dari komputer.
Fungsi dari CPU ini adalah memproses dan mengolah semua kalkulasi dan perintah-perintah yang membuat komputer dapat dioperasikan. Karena panas yang dihasilkannya, CPU selalu dilengkapi dengan kipas dan juga heat sink untuk mengurangi suhunya. Pada jenis-jenis CPU terbaru, sudah dilengkapi pula dengan Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) yang terintegrasi ke dalam CPU, sebagai pengolah data-data grafis.

2. Papan induk (motherboard)
adalah papan sirkuit tempat berbagai komponen elektronik saling terhubung seperti pada PC atau Macintosh dan biasa disingkat dengan kata mobo.Motherboard yang banyak ditemui dipasaran saat ini adalah motherboard milik PC yang pertama kali dibuat dengan dasar agar dapat sesuai dengan spesifikasi PC IBM.
3. Random Access Memory (RAM) 
RAM berfungsi sebagai tempat transit data sementara untuk operasi-operasi yang tengah dijalankan oleh CPU. RAM bersifat volatile, artinya perangkat ini tidak meyimpan data secara permanen, hanya untuk operasi yang dibutuhkan saja. Kapasitas RAM pada PC yang sering kita temukan cukup beragam , mulai dari 256 MB (MegaBytes) – 16 GB (GigaBytes)
4. Backing Storage ( unit penyimpanan)
Harddisk Drive (HDD)
Harddisk bisa juga disebut Harddisk drive (HDD) atau hard drive (HD), Harddisk adalah sebuah salah satu perangkat keras komputer yang berfungsi sebagai tempat penyimpanan data sekunder, di dalam harddisk berisi piringan magnetis. Harddisk pertama kali diciptakan oleh salah satu insinyur IBM, ia adalah Reynold Johnson pada tahun 1956. Harddisk yang juga dikenal dengan nama piringan keras ini pertama kali terdiri dari 50 piringan berukuran 2 kaki atau 0,6 meter, dengan kecepatan putaran mencapai 1.200 rpm (rotation per minute) dengan kapasitas penyimpanan 4,4 MB. Data yang disimpan dalam harddisk tidak akan hilang ketika tidak diberi tegangan listrik. Dalam sebuah harddisk, biasanya terdapat lebih dari satu piringan untuk memperbesar kapasitas data yang dapat ditampung.
Dalam perkembangannya harddisk ukuran fiskiknya menjadi semakin tipis dan kecil namun memiliki daya tampung data yang sangat besar. Harddisk saat juga tidak hanya dapat terpasang di dalam perangkat (internal) tetapi juga dapat dipasang di luar perangkat (eksternal) dengan menggunakan kabel USB ataupun kabel lain yang mendukung. 
5. Video Graphic Array (VGA)
VGA card atau kartu grafis berfungsi sebagai penghubung yang memungkinkan pengiriman data-data grafis antara PC dan perangkat display seperti monitor atau proyektor. yang mengambil memori dari RAM utama komputer, ini merupakan kebanyakkan dari mainboard berkartu grafis onboard yang beredar dipasaran dikarenakan harganya yang lebih murah dari jenis mainboard lainnya. Karena kartu grafis onboard jenis kedua ini mengambil memori dari RAM utama komputer maka biasanya ukuran RAM komputer kita akan berkurang sebanyak jumlah yang dipakai kartu grafis onboard tersebut. Jadi jangan heran kalo RAM di komputer kita tidak menunjukkan ukuran yang seharusnya, mungkin hanya dikarenakan terpakai sebagian sebagai memori bagi kartu grafis onboard komputermu.
6. Optical Disk Drive (CD Room /DVD Room)
Optical disk drive adalah bagian integral dari konsumen yang berdiri sendiri peralatan seperti CD players, pemutar DVD dan DVD recorder. Mereka juga sangat umum digunakan pada perangkat lunak komputer untuk membaca dan konsumen media yang didistribusikan dalam bentuk CD, dan untuk merekam cakram untuk arsip dan pertukaran data. Optical drive-bersama memori flash-sebagian besar telah mengungsi floppy disk drive dan tape drive magnetik untuk tujuan ini karena biaya rendah dan media optik yang nyaris di mana-mana optical drive di komputer dan perangkat keras konsumen hiburan.
7. POWER SUPPLY UNIT ( PSU )
Pada dasarnya power supply termasuk dari bagian power conversion. Power conversion sendiri terdiri dari tiga macam: AC/DC Power Supply,DC/DC Converter,dan DC/AC Inverter. Power supply untuk PC sering juga disebut sebagai PSU (power supply unit).
PSU termasuk power conversion AC/DC, Fungsi utamanya mengubah listrik arus bolak-balik (AC) yang tersedia dari aliran listrik (di Indonesia, PLN). Menjadi arus listrik searah (DC) yang dibutuhkan oleh komponen pada PC.  
8. MONITOR
Disebut juga screen atau display. Fungsi dari layar monitor adalah untuk menampilkan video dan informasi grafis yang dihasilkan dari komputer melalui alat yang disebut kartu grafis (VGA Card). Monitor ini bentuk fisiknya hampir sama dengan televisi , hanya saja televisi biasanya mampu menampilkan informasi grafis dengan ukuran resolusi yang lebih tinggi. 
9. KEYBOARD & MOUSE
Keyboard dan mouse berfungsi sebagai alat input untuk memasukkan perintah teks, karakter, atau menggerakkan objek pada antarmuka grafis untuk diproses oleh komputer. Ukuran dan bentuk dari kedua alat ini cukup beragam, namun fungsinya sama saja.
10. PRINTER & SCANER
Printer berfungsi sebagai alat output cetak dari dokumen elektronik baik bentuk teks maupun grafis. Pada komputer rumahan biasanya menggunakan kertas sebagai media cetaknya. Sedangkan fungsi scanner adalah kebalikan dari printer yaitu memindai input data dari luar komputer ke dalam bentuk elektronik yang dapat diolah secara digital. 
11. SPEAKER
Fungsi dari speaker adalah sebagai alat output suara yang dihasilkan dari komputer. Selain speaker, sering juga kita temukan orang yang menggunakan headphone/headset sebagai alat output suara.
12. SOUND CARD
Fungsinya sebagai penghubung antara komputer dan alat output audio seperti speaker
13. MODEM
Alat ini berfungsi untuk menghubungkan komputer ke internet
14. LAN CARD
Fungsinya sebagai penghubung komputer dalam suatu jaringan.
BAGIAN BAGIAN KOMPUTER

Saco-Indonesia.com - Dari Pemerintah Rusia menyerahkan 37 tank amfibi BMP-3F untuk digunakan pasukan Marinir TNI AL. Total 114 juta USD digelontorkan Kementerian Pertahanan untuk tank canggih dari Rusia ini.

Menteri Pertahanan Purnomo Yusgiantoro menerima kedatangan persenjataan baru di Pusat Latihan Tempur Karang Tekok, Kabupaten Situbondo, Jatim, Senin (27/1).

Penyerahan Tank Amfibi BMP-3F itu dihadiri oleh Panglima TNI Jenderal Moeldoko, Kasal Laksamana Marsetio, Komandan Korps Marinir Mayjen (Mar) A Faridz Washington dan pejabat Kedubes Rusia.

Kepala Dinas Penerangan TNI AL Laksma Untung Suropati menjelaskan Tank Amfibi BMP-3F diproduksi oleh produsen senjata Kurganmashzavod sebagai realisasi pelaksanaan kontrak jual beli antara Kemhan RI dengan Rusia.

Pada 11 Desember 2011 juga telah diserahkan tank serupa sebanyak 17 unit.

Dalam penandatanganan kontrak Mei 2012 lalu, disebutkan beberapa keunggulan tank BNP-3F terbaru ini.

Antara lain komputer balistik yang telah di upgrade dengan sistem digital yang lebih akurat. Selain itu, lubang penembak untuk pasukan sudah disesuaikan dengan senapan serbu SS-1 produksi PT Pindad. Sebelumnya, lubang penembak dikhususkan untuk senjata jenis AK-47.

Ada juga penyempurnaan pada perlindungan terhadap perang nuklir biologi dan kimia. Selain itu sistem pemanas ruangan juga sudah disesuaikan dengan kondisi iklim Indonesia.

Namun untuk senjata penghancur, kendaraan lapis baja ini tidak jauh dari generasi sebelumnya. Meriam kanon kaliber 100mm dengan kecepatan tembak berkisar 250 meter per detik, dan meriam kanon kaliber 30 mm.

Selain itu, Amphibi BMP-3F seri 2 juga dilengkapi 3 pucuk mitraliur PKTM kaliber 7,62. Secara keseluruhan, Tank Amphibi ini berkapasitas 3 kru dan 7 personel pasukan bersenjata lengkap.

Sumber : Merdeka.com

Editor : Maulana Lee

Dari Negara Rusia serahkan 37 tank amfibi BMP-3F pada Marinir TNI AL

A lapsed seminarian, Mr. Chambers succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of the social justice umbrella group Industrial Areas Foundation.

Edward Chambers, Early Leader in Community Organizing, Dies at 85

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.

Jean Nidetch, 91, Dies; Pounds Came Off, and Weight Watchers Was Born
Frontline  An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.
Frontline

Frontline An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.

The program traces the outbreak to its origin, thought to be a tree full of bats in Guinea.

Review: ‘9-Man’ Is More Than a Game for Chinese-Americans

A variation of volleyball with nine men on each side is profiled Tuesday night on the World Channel in an absorbing documentary called “9-Man.”

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‘Hard Earned’ Documents the Plight of the Working Poor

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

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

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

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

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

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A skeptical Mr. Vasilakopoulos predicted tensions would worsen.

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

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

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

Baltimore Residents Away From Turmoil Consider Their Role

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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

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