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Tinjauan Umum Ternak kerbau sudah dipelihara petani Indonesia dari dahulu kala untuk berbagai tujuan, terutama sebagai sumber tenaga untuk pengolahan tanah dan alat transportasi. Ternak dipelihara dengan cara ekstensif dengan pemberian pakan hijauan dari rumput dengan cara penggembalaan maupun dengan mencari rumput dan memberikannya pada ternak Menurut sejarah perkembangan domestikasi, ternak kerbau yang berkembang di seluruh dunia berasal dari daerah sekitar India. Pada dasarnya ternak kerbau digunakan sebagai ternak kerja, selanjutnya untuk penghasil daging dan juga penghasil susu. Ternak kerbau diklasifikasi sebagai kerbau sungai dan kerbau Lumpur. Di Indonesia lebih banyak terdapat kerbau Lumpur dan hanya sedikit terdapat kerbau sungai di Sumatera Utara yaitu kerbau Murrah yang dipelihara oleh masyarakat keturuan India dan digunakan sebagai penghasil susu. Populasi ternak kerbau di dunia diperkirakan sebanyak 130−150 juta ekor, sekitar 95% berada di belahan Asia selatan, khususnya di India, Pakistan, China bagian selatan dan Thailand (SONI, 1986). Populasi ternak kerbau di Indonesia hanya sekitar 2% dari populasi dunia. Hanya sedikit sekali kerbau lumpur yang dimanfaatkan air susunya, karena produksi susunya sangat rendah yaitu hanya 1−1,5 l/hari, dibandingkan dengan tipe sungai yang mampu menghasilkan susu sebanyak 6−7 l/hari. Namun demikian, di beberapa daerah, susu kerbau lumpur telah lama dimanfaatkan oleh masyarakat. Di Pulau Sumatera banyak ditemukan ternak kerbau mulai dari dataran rendah sampai dengan dataran tinggi. Disamping itu ditemukan juga di daerah rawa, namun masih termasuk dalam bangsa kerbau lumpur. Potensi pakan yang cukup banyak tersedia menjadikan ternak kerbau sebagai komoditas unggulan di sebagian besar daerah di Pulau Sumatera. Usaha ternak kerbau merupakan usaha peternakan rakyat yang dipelihara sebagai usaha sampingan, menggunakan tenaga kerja keluarga dengan skala usaha yang kecil karena kekurangan modal. Disamping itu sebagian peternaknya adalah penggaduh dengan sistem bagi hasil dari anak yang lahir setiap tahunnya. Pemeliharaan ternak umumnya bergantung pada ketersediaan rumput alam. Siang hari peternak menggiring ternak ke tempat penggembalaan dan malam hari dibawa ke dekat pemukiman dan biasanya tanpa kandang, ternak hanya diikat di belakang rumah petani, dan belum biasa memberikan pakan tambahan.Selain produksi dagingnya, kerbau juga sebagai penghasil susu yang diolah dan dijual petani dalam bentuk dadih di Sumatera Barat serta gula puan, sagon puan dan minyak samin di Sumatera Selatan. Secara umum produktivitas susu masih rendah yaitu sekitar 1−2 liter/ekor/hari. Dibandingkan dengan ternak sapi, ternak kerbau agak kurang mendapat perhatian dari berbagai kalangan. Konsekuensinya, produktivitas ternak relatif rendah, bahkan populasi ternak kerbau di Sumatera hanya sedikit meningkat, walaupun masih jauh lebih tinggi dari rataan nasional. Pemeliharaan Ternak Kerbau di Pandaisikek Ternak kerbau yang dipelihara di Pandaisikek adalah jenis kerbau sawah. Tujuan pemeliharaan ternak kerbau tersebut bukanlah  untuk pengembang biakan ataupun penghasil susu, sebab tidak akan kita temukan ternak kerbau  betina di negeri ini. Kerbau yang di pelihara di Pandaisikek hanyalah kerbau jantan dengan tujuan pemeliharaan sebagai berikut: -         Sebagai tenaga pembajak sawah -         Sebagai tenaga kilang tebu (gula tradisional) -         Untuk tujuan penggemukan Kerbau sebagai Tenaga pembajak Sawah : Kerbau merupakan ternak yang telah lama dikenal dan dipelihara petani. Salah satu tujuan utama memelihara kerbau adalah sebagai sumber tenaga kerja untuk membantu kegiatan pertanian terutama membajak sawah, Bajak adalah salah satu alat pengolah tanah tradisional dalam system pertanian orang Pandasikek. Alat tradisional ini berfungsi untuk menggemburkan tanah sebelum dilakukan pemetakan lahan untuk di Tanami palawija ataupun untuk penggemburan tanah setelah di tanami palawija dan kembali di tanam padi. Penggemburan tanah dengan pembajakan sebelum di Tanami palawija adalah pembajakan kering (tanpa air), sedangkan penggemburan tanah dengan pembajakan sebelum di tanami padi adalah pembajakan basah , dimana sebelum pembajakan sawah digenangi dan direndam terlebih dahulu lebih kurang selama satu minggu. Pemeliharaan ternak kerbau sebagai tenaga kilang tebu: Industri gula tebu tradisonal atau lebih dikenal dengan istilah saka telah member konstribusi yang besar bagi perekonomian masayarakat pandaisikek. Pemerasan air tebu sebelum di masak menjadi gula membutuhkan tenaga yang besar, disini peran tenaga kerbau untuk menarik kilang tebu masih sangat dibutuhkan. Ada satu kilang tebu yang sudah menggunakan diesel sabagai alat kilang akan tetapi terkendala dalam memasak air tebu menjadi gula, dimana terjadi penumpukan air tebu yang akan di masak sehingga kualitas gula yang diharapkan tidak tercapai. Dengan demikian sampai saat ini kerbau sebagai tenaga penarik kilang tebu masih sangat efektif dan seimbang karena tidak terjadi penumpukan air tebu sebelum dimasak menjadi gula. Pemeliharaan ternak kerbau untuk tujuan penggemukan : Tujuan pemeliharaan kerbau untuk penggemukan tidak lain sebagai tabungan, kegemaran, sumber pendapatan tambahan dan untuk upacara adat. Demikian pentingnya kehadiran kerbau untuk petani, namun perhatian pemerintah terhadap kerbau sangat kurang, penelitian-penelitian mengenai kerbau hampir tidak ada. Ketiga tujuan pemeliharaan tersebut di atas merupakan suatu kesatuan yang utuh, disamping ternak kerbau sebagai sumber tenaga pembajak sawah dan penarik kilang tebu, seiring dengan berjalannya waktu maka ternak kerbau tersebut makin besar dan makin bertambah berat badan. Sehingga dapat dikatakan bahwa pemeliharaan ternak kerbau di pandaisikek memilki kegunaan ganda (multi purpose). PEMELIHARAAN TERNAK KERBAU
Jamu tradisional untuk sapi, mungkin sebagian orang akan merasa heran karena  umumnya yang dikenal orang adalah jamu untuk dikonsumsi oleh manusia, seperti jamu tolak angin dan berbagai jenis dengan khasiat tertentu termasuk penambah nafsu makan. Sedangkan jamu untuk ternak sebagian masyarakat Lombok mengenalnya dengan sebutan Loloh. Jamu ini terbuat dari berbagai macam bahan rempah-rempah dan bumbu masakan yang biasa digunakan oleh para ibu rumah tangga sebagai penyedap rasa. Mungkin setiap wilayah memiliki ramuan jamu yang berbeda-beda tergantung pembuatnya. Parapembuat jamu ini sebagian besar masih merahasiakan resepnya, karena mereka memproduksi dan kemudian menjual kepada para peternak. Jamu ini dipercaya memiliki khasiat untuk menambah nafsu makan ternak. Sementara ini lebih banyak diberikan pada ternak sapi yang digemukkan. Peternak menginginkan sapi-sapi yang dipelihara bisa cepat besar dalam waktu yang singkat agar mereka bisa mendapatkan harga yang tinggi setelah dipelihara selama beberapa waktu. Pada  usaha penggemukan, sapi dipelihara untuk menghasilkan daging, dan hal ini  ditentukan oleh peningkatan berat badan ternak selama kurun waktu tertentu. Pertambahan berat badan diketahui dipengaruhi oleh beberapa faktor yaitu  genetis ternak dan lingkungan termasuk pakan yang diberikan (kuantitas maupun kualitasnya). Ternak sapi yang dipelihara peternak di NTB sebagian besar adalah bangsa sapi Bali, sebagian lainnya merupakan  sapi potong unggul seperti Simental, Limousine dan Bangus (keturunan Brahman-Angus). Jelas pada kondisi yang sama pertambahan berat badan harian (PBBH) sapi lokal (sapi Bali) lebih rendah dibandingkan sapi-sapi potong unggul. Agar ternak dapat hidup dan berproduksi maka perlu diberikan makanan yang cukup sesuai kebutuhannya. Kebutuhan pakan ternak ruminansia seperti sapi, kerbau, kambing/domba biasanya diperhitungkan berdasarkan berat badannya yaitu seberat 3% dari berat badan ternak dalam bentuk bahan kering (BK). Mengapa demikian? Karena hijauan makanan ternak memiliki berat kering yang berbeda maka yang digunakan sebagai patokan perhitungan adalah dalam bentuk bahan kering. Dengan pemberian jamu dimaksudkan agar nafsu makan ternak meningkat sehingga terjadi peningkatan PBBH. Jika ternak lekas gemuk, maka bisa lebih cepat dijual dan dapat memberikan keuntungan yang maksimal. Di  Desa Tebaban, Kecamatan Suralaga Kabupaten Lombok Timur, sedang dilaksanakan kegiatan untuk menguji pengaruh jamu tradisional terhadap pertambahan berat badan harian ternak sapi jantan yang digemukan. Kegiatan tersebut merupakan Pengkajian dan Pemberdayaan Potensi Sumberdaya Lokal 2009 yang dibiayai oleh Proyek Peningkatan Pendapatan Petani Melalui Inovasi (P4MI).  Obyeknya adalah sapi Simental jantan berumur sekitar 1 tahun, dan sapi Bali dengan beberapa tingkatan umur. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk : 1) mengetahui jumlah konsumsi pakan pada ternak-ternak sapi yang diberikan jamu tradisional; 2) mengetahui efektifitas jamu tradisional terhadap peningkatan berat badan harian ternak sapi pada beberapa tingkatan umur dan bangsa ternak potong. Jamu diberikan seminggu sekali, sebanyak 10 butir/ekor. Untuk mengetahui efek jamu tersebut dilakukan penimbangan ternak secara berkala. Juga dilakukan pengukuran jumlah pakan yang dikonsumsi per hari. Kegiatan telah dilaksanakan mulai bulan Mei 2009 dan pengamatan akan berakhir pada bulan September 2009, didanai oleh program P4MI pada BPTP NTB. Hasil penelitian ini diharapkan bisa mendapatkan informasi tentang efek jamu tradisional (Loloh) pada penggemukan ternak sapi. Selama ini jamu semacam itu hanya bisa diasumsikan dapat menambah nafsu makan ternak dan mempersingkat waktu penggemukan. Selanjutnya dari hasil penelitian ini dapat menjadi acuan untuk penggunaan jamu tradisional pada usaha penggemukan ternak sapi khususnya. Sementara ini hasil pengamatan belum bisa dipublikasikan karena penelitian masih berjalan. Oleh : Sasongk WR dan Farida Sukmawati M, peneliti dan penyuluh pada BPTP NTBJAMU UNTUK SAPI : OLEH OLEH DARI LOMBOK

Gubernur DKI Jakarta Joko Widodo hari ini telah resmi melantik Anas Effendi sebagai Wali Kota Jakarta Barat. Anas Effendi yang sebelumnya telah menjabat sebagai Kepala Badan Perpustakaan dan Arsip Daerah Provinsi (BPAD) DKI Jakarta menggantikan Fatahillah yang telah menjalani masa jabatan kurang dari setahun.

Dalam pengambilan sumpah pelantikan, Jokowi berpesan kepada jajaran pegawai di wali kota Jakarta Barat untuk mengutamakan pelayanan terhadap warga. Dia pun akan menekankan agar kinerja jajaran harus berorientasi terhadap hasil dan bukan pada prosedur.

"Orientasi bukan pada prosedur, tapi harus berorientasi hasil. Hasilnya yang dilihat, prosedur mengikuti sesuai ketentuan berlaku," kata Jokowi, Selasa (11/3).

Jokowi juga menegaskan, dirinya juga tidak ingin lagi melihat adanya pengerjaan proyek basa-basi, yakni program tanpa hasil yang tidak ada manfaatnya buat warga. "Saya tidak mau melihat proyek yang hasilnya cuma foto-foto, tulisan, dan laporan. Tidak bermanfaat bagi masyarakat. Ini juga akan kita lihat di lapangan secara detail," ujarnya.

Mantan wali kota Solo ini juga menegaskan, dirinya tak ingin Anas main-main dengan tugas yang diberikan. Sebab, hasil lelang jabatan lurah dan camat, ada 6 pejabat yang tidak memenuhi target, karena tidak melayani dan tidak ada dedikasi terhadap warga.

"Artinya saya ganti. Dengan kepemimpinan baru ini Pak Anas dan seluruh jajaran di Jakbar betul-betul di-manage, dikelola, diawasi, dikontrol, dan hasilnya harus kelihatan," katanya.

Seperti yang telah diketahui, Anas Effendi juga sempat menjabat Wali Kota Jakarta Selatan. Namun kinerjanya menjadi sorotan ketika Anas tertidur saat Jokowi rapat tentang RAPBD DKI. Jokowi mencopot Anas dari jabatan wali kota Jaksel. Kemudian Jokowi mempercayakan Anas menjabat Kepala Badan Perpustakaan dan Arsip Daerah Provinsi (BPAD) DKI Jakarta.

Dicopot dari wali kota Jaksel, Anas kini dipercaya pegang Jakbar

Besarnya beban utang induk perusahaan dan beberapa anak usahanya, memaksa grup Bakrie melepas aset-aset strategisnya.Setelah pekan lalu menjual 10 persen kepemilikan Blok Masela PSC kepada INPEX Masela Ltd dan Shell Upstream Overseas Services (I) Limited untuk melunasi utang, kini Grup Bakrie kembali melepas aset yang dimilikinya.

Kepastian penjualan ruas tol milik PT Bakrieland Development Tbk (ELTY) akhirnya terungkap ke publik. Dari keterbukaan informasi yang dikutip merdeka.com, Selasa (4/6), Bakrieland Development telah mengumumkan penjualan saham PT Bakrie Toll Road kepada PT Karya Prima Investama (KPI).

Nilainya hanya mencapai Rp 140,475 miliar. Nantinya penjualan ini akan dilaksanakan oleh anak usaha ELTY, PT Bakrie Infrastructure. Akta Penjualan Jual Beli (AJB) saham ini telah ditandatangani 19 April 2013.

"Penjualan ini telah mendapatkan persetujuan dari kreditur sindikasi yaitu PT Semesta Marga Raya," ujar Sekretaris Perusahaan ELTY, Kurniawan Budiaman seperti dikutip dari keterbukaan informasi, Selasa (4/6).

Penyelesaian transaksi ini dilakukan selambat-lambatnya tiga bulan sejak penandatangan AJB tersebut. Namun, dalam keterbukaan informasi itu, tidak diungkap lebih detail mengenai PT Karya Prima Investama. Informasi mengenai perusahaan tersebut juga sangat minim. Belum jelas rekam jejak perusahaan yang membeli aset milik Bakrie tersebut.

padahal, jika melirik sedikit ke belakang, pada akhir tahun lalu berhembus kabar yang menyebutkan bahwa PT Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) berniat membeli lima ruas tol yang dimiliki oleh Bakrie.

Bakrie Toll Road mempunyai konsesi untuk lima ruas jalan tol, yaitu Kanci-Pejagan, Pejagan-Pemalang (Jawa Tengah), Pasuruan-Probolinggo (Jawa Timur), Cimanggis-Cibitung (Jawa Barat), dan Ciawi-Sukabumi (Jawa Barat).

Penjualan tol yang menghubungkan Jawa Barat hingga Jawa Tengah ini diperkirakan bisa meraup dana hingga Rp 2 triliun.

dijual seharga Rp 145 miliar Aset tol milik Bakrie

Direktur Utama PT PLN Nur Pamudji untuk yang kesekian kalinya telah dipanggil oleh Kejaksaan Agung. Anak buah Dahlan Iskan itu dipanggil terkait dalam pengadaan flame turbin pada 12 pembangkit listrik dan gas sektor Belawan tahun 2007-2009 lalu senilai Rp 23,98 miliar.

"Jadwal rencana pemeriksaan Selasa 11 Maret 2014, saksi Nur Pamudji selaku direktur utama PT PLN," kata Kepala Pusat Penerangan Hukum (Kapuspenkum) Kejaksaan Agung Setia Untung Arimuladi, Selasa (11/3).

Selain Nur, Kejaksaan juga telah memanggil saksi lainnya yaitu Setia Anggoro Dewo selaku direktur keuangan PT PLN dan Eddy D Erning Praja selaku direktur SDM & umum PT PLN.

Sebelumnya, dalam kasus ini Kejaksaan agung juga telah menetapkan lima tersangka dari PLN antara lain mantan General Manajer PT PLN Pembangkitan Sumatera Bagian Utara Albert Pangaribuan, Manajer Bidang Perencanaan PLN Edward Silitonga, Ketua Panitia Pemeriksa Mutu Barang PLN Ferdinand Ritonga, Manajer Produksi PLN Fahmi Rizal Lubis, dan Ketua Panitia Lelang PLN Robert Manyuazar.Penyidik menduga ada penggelembungan harga dalam pengadaan flame turbim tahun anggaran 2007, 2008, dan 2009.

Hal ini dikarenakan alat tersebut tidak sesuai spesifikasi yang telah ditentukan.Tender ini juga telah dimenangkan oleh dengan MAPNA dari Iran yang memiliki kualifikasi non OEM (Original of Manufucture). Harga spare part non OEM memang lebih murah 40 persen dibandingkan OEM. Tak sampai di situ kerusakan flame turbin tersebut juga menjadi bukti ada penyelewengan dalam pengadaan dan pemeliharaan flame turbin.

Akibat dari kasus ini, Nur sempat disebut akan mengundurkan diri. Meski begitu sampai saat ini kabar itu belum terbukti, sebab Nur juga masih menjalankan tugasnya di BUMN tersebut.

Dirut PLN kembali dipanggil Kejagung

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

Though Robin and Joan Rolfs owned two rare talking dolls manufactured by Thomas Edison’s phonograph company in 1890, they did not dare play the wax cylinder records tucked inside each one.

The Rolfses, longtime collectors of Edison phonographs, knew that if they turned the cranks on the dolls’ backs, the steel phonograph needle might damage or destroy the grooves of the hollow, ring-shaped cylinder. And so for years, the dolls sat side by side inside a display cabinet, bearers of a message from the dawn of sound recording that nobody could hear.

In 1890, Edison’s dolls were a flop; production lasted only six weeks. Children found them difficult to operate and more scary than cuddly. The recordings inside, which featured snippets of nursery rhymes, wore out quickly.

Yet sound historians say the cylinders were the first entertainment records ever made, and the young girls hired to recite the rhymes were the world’s first recording artists.

Year after year, the Rolfses asked experts if there might be a safe way to play the recordings. Then a government laboratory developed a method to play fragile records without touching them.

Audio

The technique relies on a microscope to create images of the grooves in exquisite detail. A computer approximates — with great accuracy — the sounds that would have been created by a needle moving through those grooves.

In 2014, the technology was made available for the first time outside the laboratory.

“The fear all along is that we don’t want to damage these records. We don’t want to put a stylus on them,” said Jerry Fabris, the curator of the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, N.J. “Now we have the technology to play them safely.”

Last month, the Historical Park posted online three never-before-heard Edison doll recordings, including the two from the Rolfses’ collection. “There are probably more out there, and we’re hoping people will now get them digitized,” Mr. Fabris said.

The technology, which is known as Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), was developed by the particle physicist Carl Haber and the engineer Earl Cornell at Lawrence Berkeley. Irene extracts sound from cylinder and disk records. It can also reconstruct audio from recordings so badly damaged they were deemed unplayable.

“We are now hearing sounds from history that I did not expect to hear in my lifetime,” Mr. Fabris said.

The Rolfses said they were not sure what to expect in August when they carefully packed their two Edison doll cylinders, still attached to their motors, and drove from their home in Hortonville, Wis., to the National Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass. The center had recently acquired Irene technology.

Audio

Cylinders carry sound in a spiral groove cut by a phonograph recording needle that vibrates up and down, creating a surface made of tiny hills and valleys. In the Irene set-up, a microscope perched above the shaft takes thousands of high-resolution images of small sections of the grooves.

Stitched together, the images provide a topographic map of the cylinder’s surface, charting changes in depth as small as one five-hundredth the thickness of a human hair. Pitch, volume and timbre are all encoded in the hills and valleys and the speed at which the record is played.

At the conservation center, the preservation specialist Mason Vander Lugt attached one of the cylinders to the end of a rotating shaft. Huddled around a computer screen, the Rolfses first saw the wiggly waveform generated by Irene. Then came the digital audio. The words were at first indistinct, but as Mr. Lugt filtered out more of the noise, the rhyme became clearer.

“That was the Eureka moment,” Mr. Rolfs said.

In 1890, a girl in Edison’s laboratory had recited:

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

Audio

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good,

She was very, very good.

But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Recently, the conservation center turned up another surprise.

In 2010, the Woody Guthrie Foundation received 18 oversize phonograph disks from an anonymous donor. No one knew if any of the dirt-stained recordings featured Guthrie, but Tiffany Colannino, then the foundation’s archivist, had stored them unplayed until she heard about Irene.

Last fall, the center extracted audio from one of the records, labeled “Jam Session 9” and emailed the digital file to Ms. Colannino.

“I was just sitting in my dining room, and the next thing I know, I’m hearing Woody,” she said. In between solo performances of “Ladies Auxiliary,” “Jesus Christ,” and “Dead or Alive,” Guthrie tells jokes, offers some back story, and makes the audience laugh. “It is quintessential Guthrie,” Ms. Colannino said.

The Rolfses’ dolls are back in the display cabinet in Wisconsin. But with audio stored on several computers, they now have a permanent voice.

Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edison’s Dolls Can Now Be Heard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Credit Peter Arkle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China

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

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

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

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

Police Rethink Long Tradition on Using Force

Mr. Paczynski was one of the concentration camp’s longest surviving inmates and served as the personal barber to its Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss.

Jozef Paczynski, Inmate Barber to Auschwitz Commandant, Dies at 95

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias

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.

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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.”

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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.”

Advertisement Politics Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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