PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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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

saco-indonesia.com, Kejahatan di jalanan Bandung telah kembali terjadi. Deni Hermawan yang berusia (23) tahun telah disabet senjata tajam orang yang tak dikenal Rabu (25/12) malam sebelum naik flyover Pasupati Bandung.

Beruntung warga Gegerkalong ini masih bisa selamat. Dia langsung segera dilarikan polisi ke Rumah Sakit Hasan Sadikin (RSHS) Bandung.

Menurut Kabid Humas Polda Jabar Kombes Pol Martinus Sitompul, peristiwa itu telah terjadi sekitar pukul 23.10 WIB. "TKP Kejadian bertempat di sebelum flyover Pasupati (Pasteur arah Gasibu)," terangnya Kamis (26/12).

Tapi sebelum masuk jembatan layang, Deni yang menggunakan sepeda motor Honda Beat oranye akan menuju Sukajadi Bandung, telah dipepet oleh dua orang tak yang dikenal dan langsung mencabut kunci motor korban.

Karena tak terima, Deni turun dari motor. Perkelahian pun tak bisa terhindarkan. "Tapi pelaku terus menyerang dan mengeluarkan pisau lipat hingga akhirnya mengenai leher korban," terangnya.

Akibatnya Deni yang juga merupakan karyawan swasta telah mengalami luka jahitan pada pergelangan kiri tangan karena menangkis tikaman. "Tangan kiri telah mengalami luka sobek dengan delapan jahitan dan luka sabetan di leher," katanya.

Korban yang masih sempoyongan saat itu berusaha untuk mencari pertolongan. Petugas Polisi yang sedang patroli langsung memboyong ke IGD RSHS Bandung. Saat ini korban sudah berangsur membaik.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

DENI DITUSUK DI FLYOVER PASUPATI
KARTOGRAFI merupakan bagian dari ilmu geografi yang berhubungan dengan pemetaan. Hal ini berkaitan erat dengan sistem komunikasi antara si pembuat peta dan si pengguna peta. Untuk menyampaikan berbagai informasi, baik berupa informasi grafis maupun informasi atribut, diperlukan media yang tepat untuk menyampaikannya, yaitu dengan menggunakan peta sebagai media komunikasi dalam bentuk hardcopy maupun dalam bentuk softcopy.
 
 
 
Peta-peta ini nantinya dapat digunakan sebagai data dan dokumen baik secara aktual maupun secara periodik untuk memberikan informasi geografis suatu wilayah. Dalam kartografi, baik sebgai salah satu bagian dari ilmu geografi dan dokumen ilmiah, kartografi juga merupakan teknik dan pengetahuan untuk menunjukkan suatu fenomena geografis pada suatu daerah yang dipilih dan digeneralisasi. Baca Artikel Lengkapnya
 
A. PENDAHULUAN
Kartografi adalah ilmu dan teknik pembuatan peta (Prihandito, 1989). Dalam kaitannya dengan survei arkeologi, pembahasan mengenai kartografi pada bab ini tidak langsung dikaitkan dengan ilmu dan teknik pembuatan peta, tetapi lebih berkaitan dengan pemanfaatan peta yang sudah dipublikasikan untuk kepentingan survei. Ulasan tentang teknik pemetaan secara garis besar sudah dibahas dalam Bab
 
Mengingat peta termasuk sebagai perlengkapan utama dalam kegiatan survei arkeologis, maka bab ini selain membahas pemanfaatan peta untuk survei arkeologis, juga akan membahas tentang jenis-jenis peta dan teknik pembacaan peta. Pemanfaatan peta yang dikemukakan dalam bab ini dapat melengkapi ?Pengumpulan Informasi untuk Interpretasi? yang dijelaskan di Bab IV dan survei situs arkeologis yang dijelaskan di Bab VII, VIII, dan IX.
 
Kesimpulan : Kartografi merupakan suatu seni, ilmu pengetahuan, dan teknologi pembuatan peta.
 
B. PENYAJIAN
1. Peta dan Pengenalan Jenis-jenis Peta
MenurutICA(International Cartographic Association), yang dimaksud peta adalah gambaran unsure-unsur permukaan bumi (yang berkaitan dengan permukaan bumi) dan benda-benda diangkasa.
 
Menurut Erwin Raiz, peta merupakan gambaran konvesional permukaan bumi yang terpencil Dan kenampakannya terlihat dari atas dan ditambah tulisan-tulisan sebagai penjelasnya. Gambaran konvesional adalah gambaran yang sudah umum dan sudah diatur dengan aturan tertentu yang diakui umum.
 
Menurut Soetarjo Soerjosumarmo, peta adalah lukisan dengan tinta dari seluruh atau sebagian permukaan bumi yang diperkecil denagn perbandingan ukuran yang disebut skala atau kadar.
 
Peta adalah gambaran permukaan bumi dua dimensi dalam bidang datar yang mempunyai koordinat dan diskalakan.
 
Peta Rupabumi: Peta yang didalamnya menggambarkan tentang informasi kebumian, seperti jenis penggunaan lahan yang digambarkan dalam simbol piktorial, abstrak dan asosiasi.
 
Peta dapat diklasifikasikan menurut jenis, skala, fungsi, dan macam persoalan (maksud dan tujuan). Ditinjau dari jenisnya peta dapat dibedakan menjadi dua, yaitu peta foto dan peta garis. Peta foto adalah ?peta yang dihasilkan dari mosaik foto udara / ortofoto yang dilengkapi garis kontur, nama, dan legenda? (Prihandito 1989: 3).
Peta ini meliputi peta foto yang sudah direktifikasi dan peta ortofoto. Adapun peta garis adalah ?peta yang menyajikan detil alam dan buatan manusia dalam bentuk titik, garis, dan luasan? (Prihandito 1989: 3). Peta ini terdiri atas peta topografi dan peta tematik.
Ditinjau dari skalanya, peta dapat dibedakan menjadi peta skala besar (1:50.000 atau lebih kecil, misalnya 1:25.000) dan peta skala kecil (1:500.000 atau lebih besar).
 
Adapun menurut klasifikasi berdasarkan fungsi, terdapat tiga macam peta, yaitu:
Peta umum, yang antara lain memuat jalan, bangunan, batas wilayah, garis pantai, dan elevasi. Peta umum skala besar dikenal sebagai peta topografi, sedangkan yang berskala kecil berupa atlas;
Peta tematik, yang menunjukkan hubungan ruang dalam bentuk atribut tunggal atau hubungan atribut; dan
Kart, yang didesain untuk keperluan navigasi, nautical dan aeronautical (Prihandito 1989: 3-4).
 
Adapun peta yang dapat diklasifikasikan menurut macam persoalan (maksud dan tujuan), anta
ra lain meliputi: peta kadaster, peta geologi, peta tanah, peta ekonomi, peta kependudukan, peta iklim, dan peta tata guna tanah (Prihandito 1989: 4).
Di antara macam-macam peta peta tersebut, yang sering digunakan dalam survei arkeologi adalah peta topografi. Peta topografi adalah peta yang menampilkan, semua unsur yang berada di atas permukaan bumi, baik unsur alam maupun buatan manusia, sehingga disebut juga peta umum. Unsur alam antara lain meliputi: relief muka bumi, unsur hidrografi (sungai, danau, bentuk garis pantai), tanaman, permukaan es, salju, dan pasir (Prihandito 1989: 23; Hascaryo dan Sonjaya 2000: 10).
 
Adapun unsur buatan manusia di antaranya adalah: sarana perhubungan (jalan, rel kereta api, jembatan, terowongan, kanal), konstruksi (gedung, bendungan, jalur pipa, jaringan listrik), daerah khusus (daerah yang ditanami tumbuhan, taman, makam, permukiman, lapangan olah raga), dan batas administratif (Prihandito 1989: 22; Hascaryo dan Sonjaya 2000: 10).
 
Tinggalan-tinggalan arkeologis atau bersejarah seperti bangunan megalitik, candi, gereja, dan reruntuhan bangunan kuna, seringkali juga ditampilkan dalam peta topografi (lihat McIntosh, 1986: 44). Selain menyajikan data keruangan, peta topografi juga memuat data non-keruangan, antara lain grid, graticul (garis lintang dan bujur), arah utara, skala, dan legenda (keterangan mengenai simbol-simbol yang digunakan pada peta)
 
2. Pemanfaatan Peta
Peta topografi dapat digunakan untuk berbagai macam tujuan, serta dapat digunakan sebagai peta dasar (base map) dalam pembuatan peta tematik, seperti peta arkeologi dan peta turis (lihat Prihandito 1989: 17). Dalam survei arkeologi, peta topografi berguna untuk memperoleh gambaran umum tentang wilayah yang diteliti.
 
Dalam kondisi tertentu, misalnya medan survei yang terlalu berat, peta yang sudah ada dapat dipakai untuk memplotkan temuan arkeologis. Pemetaan tersebut, meskipun hanya bersifat sementara, sangat efektif untuk menyimpan dan menyelamatkan data arkeologis (Hascaryo dan Sonjaya 2000: 1).
 
Data dari peta topografi yang diambil untuk membuat peta arkeologi hanya satu atau dua unsur saja, tergantung dari skala dan tujuan pembuatan peta arkeologi itu. Data tersebut digunakan sebagai latar belakang penempatan dan orientasi secara geografis. Selain peta topografi, yang dapat digunakan sebagai peta dasar antara lain adalah foto udara, peta geologi, dan peta administratif (Hascaryo dan Sonjaya 2000: 10).
 
Besar skala peta dasar yang dibutuhkan untuk membuat peta arkeologi tergantung pada luas wilayah yang akan dipetakan, yaitu:
wilayah seluas provinsi memerlukan peta dasar berskala 1:100.000 sampai dengan 1:250.000;
wilayah seluas kabupaten memerlukan peta dasar berskala 1:50.000 sampai dengan 1:100.000;
wilayah setingkat kecamatan, desa, atau situs memerlukan peta dasar berskala 1:10.000 sampai dengan 1:25.000 (Wasisto 1998, dikutip dalam Hascaryo
dan Sonjaya 2000: 10).
 
Jenis Jenis Peta
Peta daat digolongkan menjadi beberapa dasar yaitu :
Penggolongan berdasarkan skalanya :
 
Peta skala besar dengan skala 1: 25.000. Peta ini isinya lebih detail contoh peta tofografi.
Peta skala sedang dengan skala 1: 25,000 – 1: 2.000.000 peta ini hanya memuat yang penting penting saja.
Peta skala kecil dengan skala lebih dari 1:200.000.
Penggolongan berdasarkan isi dan fungsinya:
 
Peta umum (General Map) yaitumpeta yang memuat kenampakan kenampkan umum (lebih dari satu jenis ) memuat kenampakan fisis lamiah da kenampakan budaya. Peta ini lebih berfungsi sebagai orintasi.
Peta tematik yaitu peta yang memuat satu jenis kenampakan saja peta tertentu baik kenampakan fisis maupun kenampakan budaya.
Peta kart yaitu peta yang di desain untuk keperluan navigasi, nautical, aeronautical.
Penggolongan berdasarkan tujuannya:
 
Peta geologi bertujuan untuk menunjukan formasi batuan atau aspek geologi lainnya di suatu daerah.
Peta iklim bertujuan untuk menunjukkan berbagai macam sifat iklim di suatu daerah.
Jenis jenis lainnya : misalnya peta tanah, peta kependudukan peta tata guna lahan dan sebaginya
Penggambaran keadaan muka bumi ke dalam bidang datar yang kemudian disebut peta, merupakan salah satu kebutuhan awal bagi para pengelola dan perencana sumber daya.
peta merupakan gambaran permukaan bumi yang berisi fenomena alam dan fenomena buatan memuat informasi yang diperlukan dalam pengelolaan sumberdaya di berbagai bidang pembangunan termasuk bidang perencanaan tata ruang, kehutanan, perkebunan, pertanian, kelautan, pertambangan dan lain sebagainya.
Secara umum peta diartikan sebagai gambaran konvensional dari pola bumi yang digambarkan seolah olah dilihat dari atas ada bidang datar melalui satu bidang proyeksi degan dilengkapi tulisan tulisan untuk identifiksinya
Peta mengandung arti komunikasi. Artinya merupakan suatu signal atau Channel antara sipengirim pesan ( pembuat peta) dengan si penerima pesan (pemakai peta). Dengan demikian peta digunakan untuk mengirim pesan berupa informasi tetang realita dari fenomena geografi.
Peta pada dasarnya adalah sebuah data yang didesain untuk mampu menghasilkan sebuah informasi geografis melalui proses pengorganisasian dari kolaborasi data lainnya yang berkaitan dengan bumi untuk menganalisis, memperkirakan dan menghasilkan gambaran kartografi.
 
 
Informasi ruang mengenai bumi sangat kompleks, tetapi pada umunmya data geografi mengandung 4 aspek penting, yaitu (Zhou, 1998):
 
Lokasi-lokasi yang berkenaan dengan ruang, merupakan objek-objek ruang yang khas pada sistem koordinat (projeksi sebuah peta)
Atribut (ciri bahan), informasi yang menerangkan mengenai objek-objek ruang yang diperlukan
Hubungan ruang, hubungan lojik atau kuantitatif diantara objek-objek ruang
Waktu, merupakan waktu untuk perolehan data, data atribut dan ruang.
Fungsi Peta
Peta mempunyai beberapa fungsi, yaitu :
 
Memperlihatkan posisi atau lokasi relatif dari suatu tempat.
Memperlihatkan ukuran dalam pengertian jarak dan arah.
Memperlihatkan bentuk atau unsur yang terdapat di permukaan bumi.
Menghimpun serta menselektif data permukaan bumi.
Jenis Peta
Berdasarkan jenisnya, peta dapat dikelompokkan sebagai berikut :
 
1. Peta Topografi
Peta Topografi merupakan peta yang memperlihatkan posisi horisontal serta vertikal dari unsur alam dan unsur buatan manusia dalam suatu bentuk tertentu, dengan memperhatikan sistem proyeksi peta yang digunakan serta skala peta. Umumnya peta topografi dibuat untuk keperluan perencanaan pembangunan, karena pada peta topografi disajikan unsur-unsur permukaan bumi yang sesuai dengan kondisi pada saat pembuatan petanya.
 
Peta Topografi disebut juga sebagai peta dasar, karena peta topografi digunakan sebagai dasar untuk pembuatan peta-peta lainnya, baik untuk pembuatan peta topografi dengan skala peta yang lebih kecil dari peta aslinya (original map), atau juga untuk pembuatan peta-peta tematik.
 
Berikut adalah contoh peta topografi : Bahan Bangunan
 
Peta Planimetrik
Peta yang menyjikan informasi tentang beberapa tipe unsur permukaan bumi, pada peta ini informasi ketinggian tidak disajikan.
HARGA BAHAN BANGUNAN MURAH

Gubernur DKI Jakarta Joko Widodo (Jokowi) akan melantik Kepala Puskesmas dan Kepala Sekolah SMA/SMK di Balai Kota DKI Jakarta, Jumat (21/3). Mereka juga merupakan hasil seleksi dan lelang jabatan.

Kepala Badan Kepegawaian Daerah (BKD) DKI Jakarta I Made Karmayoga juga mengatakan, pelantikan akan langsung dilakukan oleh Jokowi. Sebelumnya pelantikan hanya dilakukan oleh masing-masing kepala dinas.

"Selanjutnya pelantikan, hari Jumat jam 3. Teragenda di Pak Gubernur, dan ini mungkin pelantikan yang pertama bagi kepsek dan kepala Puskesmas yang dilantik oleh Pak Gubernur sendiri," katanya di Balai Kota DKI Jakarta, Rabu (19/3).

Berdasarkan data BKD, kepala SMA yang akan dilantik sebanyak 117 orang, 63 kepala SMK dan 44 kepala Puskesmas. Setelah dilantik, mereka juga akan mulai bekerja pada Senin pekan depan.

"Itu lah konsen dan keseriusan Pak Gubernur, untuk terus membenahi dan meningkatkan mutu pendidikan dan juga untuk Puskesmas mutu pelayanan kesehatan sesuai standar ibu kota," ujarnya.

Sebelumnya, ratusan kepala SMK/SMA dan kepala Puskesmas ini juga mengikuti public hearing di Balai Kota DKI Jakarta, hari ini. Dalam kesempatan itu juga dihadiri oleh Gubernur DKI Jakarta Joko Widodo.

Pemprov DKI Jakarta sengaja telah menerapkan pola baru dalam mengangkat pejabatnya. Sehingga tidak lagi mengenal istilah like and dislike.

"Ini pola baru yang kita kenalkan, jangan sampai nanti diangkat karena dekat dengan saya, foto dengan saya, juga jangan berpendapat jangan oh ada politik, harus profesional, bukan karena suka dan tidak suka," kata Jokowi.

Besok, Jokowi lantik kepala Puskesmas, SMA/SMK hasil seleksi

Tempat Wisata  Pantai Losari yang terletak di barat kota Makassar ini telah menyimpan keindahan matahari terbenam yang membuai mata. Di Pantai Losari Anda juga akan disajikan dengan pemandangan alam yang digabungkan dengan wisata kuliner khas Kota Makassar.

Pantai Losari juga merupakan salah satu obyek wisata andalan masyarakat setempat. Di sekitar pantai Losari ini juga terdapat pusat kuliner yang telah menjual berbagai macam makanan dan jajanan khas. Begitu panjangnya deretan penjual makanan ini hingga disebut-sebut sebagai pusat kuliner terpanjang.

Pedagang menjual aneka makanan mulai dari jajan ringan, sekedar ganjal perut seperti bakso atau gorengan. Ada juga makanan khas Makasar seperti Coto atau aneka hidangan masakan laut dengan resep asli orang bugis. Salah satunya jajanan yang sangat digemari adalah pisang epe, pisang khas makasar yang dibakar kemudian dipipihkan dan diberi campuran air gula merah.

Tempat Wisata Pantai Losari Satu-satunya Yang Paling Unik Di Indonesia

Objek Wisata Pantai Losari sebenarnya bukanlah sebuah pantai berpasir seperti pantai kuta, pantai parangtritis ataupun pantai kenjeran Surabaya, tetapi hanyalah sebuah bangunan beton untuk dapat menahan air laut yang terhampar di pesisir barat kota Makassar. Hal yang sangat menarik dari tempat wisata pantai Losari adalah adanya sebuah anjungan dengan tulisan PANTAI LOSARI, tempat itulah yang sering dipakai untuk berfoto-foto sebagai bukti sudah pernah menginjakan kaki di pantai losari.

Dipantai yang sangat bersih dan nyaman ini, kita juga dapat menyaksikan SUNSET dan SUNRISE di satu tiitk kita berdiri. Memang sangat unik pantai yang satu ini, posisi pantai yang memanjang Utara-Selatan ini memang bisa menyaksikan terbitnya dan terbenamnya matahari disatu posisi yang sama.

Posisi pantai Losari juga sangat strategis dan telah menjadi bagian yang menyatu dengan suasana kota Makasar yang membentang sejauh kurang lebih 4 km. Pantai ini langsung dapat diakses dengan jalan utama protokol utama. Diseberang jalan bertumbuhan hotel dengan berbagai kelas.

Waktu paling ideal untuk mengunjungi Tempat Wisata Pantai Losari adalah sore hari antara jam 15.00 hingga jam 21.00. Banyak yang datang kemari untuk duduk duduk menikmati pantai yang bersih, jogging disepanjang pedestrian sejauh 500m, atau makan diwarung warung yang telah direlokasi oleh Pemda setempat. Tua muda akan datang untuk menikmati matahari terbenam sambil menikmati makanan khas makasar. Jika suka jogging, tempat ini juga sangat ideal. Udara bersih dan angin bertiup tanpa henti, matahari yang merah keemasan menyapu wajah manusia yang duduk bibir pantai.

Pasti anda ingin segera mengunjungi tempat wisata ini kan .

TEMPAT WISATA PANTAI LOSARI

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

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

WASHINGTON — The former deputy director of the C.I.A. asserts in a forthcoming book that Republicans, in their eagerness to politicize the killing of the American ambassador to Libya, repeatedly distorted the agency’s analysis of events. But he also argues that the C.I.A. should get out of the business of providing “talking points” for administration officials in national security events that quickly become partisan, as happened after the Benghazi attack in 2012.

The official, Michael J. Morell, dismisses the allegation that the United States military and C.I.A. officers “were ordered to stand down and not come to the rescue of their comrades,” and he says there is “no evidence” to support the charge that “there was a conspiracy between C.I.A. and the White House to spin the Benghazi story in a way that would protect the political interests of the president and Secretary Clinton,” referring to the secretary of state at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But he also concludes that the White House itself embellished some of the talking points provided by the Central Intelligence Agency and had blocked him from sending an internal study of agency conclusions to Congress.

Photo
 
Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book is to be released next week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Since a white police officer, Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in a confrontation last August in Ferguson, Mo., there have been many other cases in which the police have shot and killed suspects, some of them unarmed. Mr. Brown's death set off protests throughout the country, pushing law enforcement into the spotlight and sparking a public debate on police tactics. Here is a selection of police shootings that have been reported by news organizations since Mr. Brown's death. In some cases, investigations are continuing.

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The apartment complex northeast of Atlanta where Anthony Hill, 27, was fatally shot by a DeKalb County police officer. Credit Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal Constitution

Chamblee, Ga.
Fatal Police Shootings: Accounts Since Ferguson
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.”

Television

‘Hard Earned’ Documents the Plight of the Working Poor

“Hard Earned,” an Al Jazeera America series, follows five working-class families scrambling to stay ahead on limited incomes.

Review: ‘Frontline’ Looks at Missteps During the Ebola Outbreak

As governor, Mr. Walker alienated Republicans and his fellow Democrats, particularly the Democratic powerhouse Richard J. Daley, the mayor of Chicago.

Dan Walker, 92, Dies; Illinois Governor and Later a U.S. Prisoner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The career criminals in genre novels don’t have money problems. If they need some, they just go out and steal it. But such financial transactions can backfire, which is what happened back in 2004 when the Texas gang in Michael

Take the Money and Run

The live music at the Vice Media party on Friday shook the room. Shane Smith, Vice’s chief executive, was standing near the stage — with a drink in his hand, pants sagging, tattoos showing — watching the rapper-cum-chef Action Bronson make pizzas.

The event was an after-party, a happy-hour bacchanal for the hundreds of guests who had come for Vice’s annual presentation to advertisers and agencies that afternoon, part of the annual frenzy for ad dollars called the Digital Content NewFronts. Mr. Smith had spoken there for all of five minutes before running a slam-bang highlight reel of the company’s shows that had titles like “Weediquette” and “Gaycation.”

In the last year, Vice has secured $500 million in financing and signed deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars with established media companies like HBO that are eager to engage the young viewers Vice attracts. Vice said it was now worth at least $4 billion, with nearly $1 billion in projected revenue for 2015. It is a long way from Vice’s humble start as a free magazine in 1994.

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At the Vice after-party, the rapper Action Bronson, a host of a Vice show, made a pizza. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

But even as cash flows freely in Vice’s direction, the company is trying to keep its brash, insurgent image. At the party on Friday, it plied guests with beers and cocktails. Its apparently unrehearsed presentation to advertisers was peppered with expletives. At one point, the director Spike Jonze, a longtime Vice collaborator, asked on stage if Mr. Smith had been drinking.

“My assistant tried to cut me off,” Mr. Smith replied. “I’m on buzz control.”

Now, Vice is on the verge of getting its own cable channel, which would give the company a traditional outlet for its slate of non-news programming. If all goes as planned, A&E Networks, the television group owned by Hearst and Disney, will turn over its History Channel spinoff, H2, to Vice.

The deal’s announcement was expected last week, but not all of A&E’s distribution partners — the cable and satellite TV companies that carry the network’s channels — have signed off on the change, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

A cable channel would be a further step in a transformation for Vice, from bad-boy digital upstart to mainstream media company.

Keen for the core audience of young men who come to Vice, media giants like 21st Century Fox, Time Warner and Disney all showed interest in the company last year. Vice ultimately secured $500 million in financing from A&E Networks and Technology Crossover Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has invested in Facebook and Netflix.

Those investments valued Vice at more than $2.5 billion. (In 2013, Fox bought a 5 percent stake for $70 million.)

Then in March, HBO announced that it had signed a multiyear deal to broadcast a daily half-hour Vice newscast. Vice already produces a weekly newsmagazine show, called “Vice,” for the network. That show will extend its run through 2018, with an increase to 35 episodes a year, from 14.

Michael Lombardo, HBO’s president for programming, said when the deal was announced that it was “certainly one of our biggest investments with hours on the air.”

Vice, based in Brooklyn, also recently signed a multiyear $100 million deal with Rogers Communications, a Canadian media conglomerate, to produce original content for TV, smartphone and desktop viewers.

Vice’s finances are private, but according to an internal document reviewed by The New York Times and verified by a person familiar with the company’s financials, the company is on track to make about $915 million in revenue this year.

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Vice showed a highlight reel of its TV series at the NewFronts last week in New York. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

It brought in $545 million in a strong first quarter, which included portions of the new HBO deal and the Rogers deal, according to the document. More of its revenue now comes from these types of content partnerships, compared with the branded content deals that made up much of its revenue a year ago, the company said.

Mr. Smith said the company was worth at least $4 billion. If the valuation gets much higher, he said he would consider taking the company public.

“I don’t care about money; we have plenty of money,” Mr. Smith, who is Vice’s biggest shareholder, said in an interview after the presentation on Friday. “I care about strategic deals.”

In the United States, Vice Media had 35.2 million unique visitors across its sites in March, according to comScore.

The third season of Vice’s weekly HBO show has averaged 1.8 million viewers per episode, including reruns, through April 12, according to Brad Adgate, the director of research at Horizon Media. (Vice said the show attracted three million weekly viewers when repeat broadcasts, online and on-demand viewings were included.)

For years, Mr. Smith has criticized traditional TV, calling it slow and unable to draw younger viewers. But if all the deals Vice has struck are to work out, Mr. Smith may have to play more by the rules of traditional media. James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son and a member of Vice’s board, was at the company’s presentation on Friday, as were other top media executives.

“They know they need people like me to help them, but they can’t get out of their own way,” Mr. Smith said in the interview Friday. “My only real frustration is we’re used to being incredibly dynamic, and they’re not incredibly dynamic.”

With its own television channel in the United States, Vice would have something it has long coveted even as traditional media companies are looking beyond TV. Last year, Vice’s deal with Time Warner failed in part because the two companies could not agree on how much control Vice would have over a 24-hour television network.

Vice said it intended to fill its new channel with non-news programming. The company plans to have sports shows, fashion shows, food shows and the “Gaycation” travel show with the actress Ellen Page. It is also in talks with Kanye West about a show.

It remains to be seen whether Vice’s audience will watch a traditional cable channel. Still, Vice has effectively presold all of the ad spots to two of the biggest advertising agencies for the first three years, Mr. Smith said.

In the meantime, Mr. Smith is enjoying Vice’s newfound role as a potential savior of traditional media companies.

“I’m a C.E.O. of a content company,” Mr. Smith said before he caught a flight to Las Vegas for the boxing match on Saturday between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. “If it stops being fun, then why are you doing it?”

As Vice Moves More to TV, It Tries to Keep Brash Voice

THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.

In the summer of 2001, JaQuavis Coleman was a 16-year-old foster child in Flint, Mich., the former auto-manufacturing mecca that had devolved, in the wake of General Motors’ plant closures, into one of the country’s most dangerous cities, with a decimated economy and a violent crime rate more than three times the national average. When JaQuavis was 8, social services had removed him from his mother’s home. He spent years bouncing between foster families. At 16, JaQuavis was also a businessman: a crack dealer with a network of street-corner peddlers in his employ.

One day that summer, JaQuavis met a fellow dealer in a parking lot on Flint’s west side. He was there to make a bulk sale of a quarter-brick, or “nine-piece” — a nine-ounce parcel of cocaine, with a street value of about $11,000. In the middle of the transaction, JaQuavis heard the telltale chirp of a walkie-talkie. His customer, he now realized, was an undercover policeman. JaQuavis jumped into his car and spun out onto the road, with two unmarked police cars in pursuit. He didn’t want to get into a high-speed chase, so he whipped his car into a church parking lot and made a run for it, darting into an alleyway behind a row of small houses, where he tossed the quarter-brick into some bushes. When JaQuavis reached the small residential street on the other side of the houses, he was greeted by the police, who handcuffed him and went to search behind the houses where, they told him, they were certain he had ditched the drugs. JaQuavis had been dealing since he was 12, had amassed more than $100,000 and had never been arrested. Now, he thought: It’s over.

But when the police looked in the bushes, they couldn’t find any cocaine. They interrogated JaQuavis, who denied having ever possessed or sold drugs. They combed the backyard alley some more. After an hour of fruitless efforts, the police were forced to unlock the handcuffs and release their suspect.

JaQuavis was baffled by the turn of events until the next day, when he received a phone call. The previous afternoon, a 15-year-old girl had been sitting in her home on the west side of Flint when she heard sirens. She looked out of the window of her bedroom, and watched a young man throw a package in the bushes behind her house. She recognized him. He was a high school classmate — a handsome, charismatic boy whom she had admired from afar. The girl crept outside and grabbed the bundle, which she hid in her basement. “I have something that belongs to you,” Ashley Snell told JaQuavis Coleman when she reached him by phone. “You wanna come over here and pick it up?”

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Three of the nearly 50 works of urban fiction published by the Colemans over the last decade, often featuring drug deals, violence, sex and a brash kind of feminism.Credit Marko Metzinger

In the Colemans’ first novel, “Dirty Money” (2005), they told a version of this story. The outline was the same: the drug deal gone bad, the dope chucked in the bushes, the fateful phone call. To the extent that the authors took poetic license, it was to tone down the meet-cute improbability of the true-life events. In “Dirty Money,” the girl, Anari, and the crack dealer, Maurice, circle each other warily for a year or so before coupling up. But the facts of Ashley and JaQuavis’s romance outstripped pulp fiction. They fell in love more or less at first sight, moved into their own apartment while still in high school and were married in 2008. “We were together from the day we met,” Ashley says. “I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart in total over the past 14 years.”

That partnership turned out to be creative and entrepreneurial as well as romantic. Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.

But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.

“When you read our books, you’re gonna realize: ‘Ashley & JaQuavis are storytellers,’ ” says Ashley. “Our tales will get your heart pounding.”

THE COLEMANS’ HOME BASE — the cottage from which they operate their cottage industry — is a spacious four-bedroom house in a genteel suburb about 35 miles north of downtown Detroit. The house is plush, but when I visited this past winter, it was sparsely appointed. The couple had just recently moved in, and had only had time to fully furnish the bedroom of their 4-year-old son, Quaye.

In conversation, Ashley and JaQuavis exude both modesty and bravado: gratitude for their good fortune and bootstrappers’ pride in having made their own luck. They talk a lot about their time in the trenches, the years they spent as a drug dealer and “ride-or-die girl” tandem. In Flint they learned to “grind hard.” Writing, they say, is merely a more elevated kind of grind.

“Instead of hitting the block like we used to, we hit the laptops,” says Ashley. “I know what every word is worth. So while I’m writing, I’m like: ‘Okay, there’s a hundred dollars. There’s a thousand dollars. There’s five thousand dollars.’ ”

They maintain a rigorous regimen. They each try to write 5,000 words per day, five days a week. The writers stagger their shifts: JaQuavis goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes up early, around 3 or 4 in the morning, to work while his wife and child sleep. Ashley writes during the day, often in libraries or at Starbucks.

They divide the labor in other ways. Chapters are divvied up more or less equally, with tasks assigned according to individual strengths. (JaQuavis typically handles character development. Ashley loves writing murder scenes.) The results are stitched together, with no editorial interference from one author in the other’s text. The real work, they contend, is the brainstorming. The Colemans spend weeks mapping out their plot-driven books — long conversations that turn into elaborate diagrams on dry-erase boards. “JaQuavis and I are so close, it makes the process real easy,” says Ashley. “Sometimes when I’m thinking of something, a plot point, he’ll say it out loud, and I’m like: ‘Wait — did I say that?’ ”

Their collaboration developed by accident, and on the fly. Both were bookish teenagers. Ashley read lots of Judy Blume and John Grisham; JaQuavis liked Shakespeare, Richard Wright and “Atlas Shrugged.” (Their first official date was at a Borders bookstore, where Ashley bought “The Coldest Winter Ever,” the Sister Souljah novel often credited with kick-starting the contemporary street-lit movement.) In 2003, Ashley, then 17, was forced to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. She was bedridden for three weeks, and to provide distraction and boost her spirits, JaQuavis challenged his girlfriend to a writing contest. “She just wasn’t talking. She was laying in bed. I said, ‘You know what? I bet you I could write a better book than you.’ My wife is real competitive. So I said, ‘Yo, all right, $500 bet.’ And I saw her eyes spark, like, ‘What?! You can’t write no better book than me!’ So I wrote about three chapters. She wrote about three chapters. Two days later, we switched.”

The result, hammered out in a few days, would become “Dirty Money.” Two years later, when Ashley and JaQuavis were students at Ferris State University in Western Michigan, they sold the manuscript to Urban Books, a street-lit imprint founded by the best-selling author Carl Weber. At the time, JaQuavis was still making his living selling drugs. When Ashley got the phone call informing her that their book had been bought, she assumed they’d hit it big, and flushed more than $10,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet. Their advance was a mere $4,000.

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The roots of street lit, found in the midcentury detective novels of Chester Himes and the ‘60s and ‘70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines.Credit Marko Metzinger

Those advances would soon increase, eventually reaching five and six figures. The Colemans built their career, JaQuavis says, in a manner that made sense to him as a veteran dope peddler: by flooding the street with product. From the start, they were prolific, churning out books at a rate of four or five a year. Their novels made their way into stores; the now-defunct chain Waldenbooks, which had stores in urban areas typically bypassed by booksellers, was a major engine of the street-lit market. But Ashley and JaQuavis took advantage of distribution channels established by pioneering urban fiction authors such as Teri Woods and Vickie Stringer, and a network of street-corner tables, magazine stands, corner shops and bodegas. Like rappers who establish their bona fides with gray-market mixtapes, street-lit authors use this system to circumnavigate industry gatekeepers, bringing their work straight to the genre’s core readership. But urban fiction has other aficionados, in less likely places. “Our books are so popular in the prison system,” JaQuavis says. “We’re banned in certain penitentiaries. Inmates fight over the books — there are incidents, you know? I have loved ones in jail, and they’re like: ‘Yo, your books can’t come in here. It’s against the rules.’ ”

The appeal of the Colemans’ work is not hard to fathom. The books are formulaic and taut; they deliver the expected goods efficiently and exuberantly. The titles telegraph the contents: “Diary of a Street Diva,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “Murderville.” The novels serve up a stream of explicit sex and violence in a slangy, tangy, profane voice. In Ashley & JaQuavis’s books people don’t get killed: they get “popped,” “laid out,” get their “cap twisted back.” The smut is constant, with emphasis on the earthy, sticky, olfactory particulars. Romance novel clichés — shuddering orgasms, heroic carnal feats, superlative sexual skill sets — are rendered in the Colemans’ punchy patois.

Subtlety, in other words, isn’t Ashley & JaQuavis’s forte. But their books do have a grainy specificity. In “The Cartel” (2008), the first novel in the Colemans’ best-selling saga of a Miami drug syndicate, they catch the sights and smells of a crack workshop in a housing project: the nostril-stinging scent of cocaine and baking soda bubbling on stovetops; the teams of women, stripped naked except for hospital masks so they can’t pilfer the merchandise, “cutting up the cooked coke on the round wood table.” The subject matter is dark, but the Colemans’ tone is not quite noir. Even in the grimmest scenes, the mood is high-spirited, with the writers palpably relishing the lewd and gory details: the bodies writhing in boudoirs and crumpling under volleys of bullets, the geysers of blood and other bodily fluids.

The luridness of street lit has made it a flashpoint, inciting controversy reminiscent of the hip-hop culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the street-lit debate touches deeper historical roots, reviving decades-old arguments in black literary circles about the mandate to uplift the race and present wholesome images of African-Americans. In 1928, W. E. B. Du Bois slammed the “licentiousness” of “Home to Harlem,” Claude McKay’s rollicking novel of Harlem nightlife. McKay’s book, Du Bois wrote, “for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath.” Similar sentiments have greeted 21st-century street lit. In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed essay, the journalist and author Nick Chiles decried “the sexualization and degradation of black fiction.” African-American bookstores, Chiles complained, are “overrun with novels that . . . appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures — as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.”

Copulating paperbacks aside, it’s clear that the street-lit debate is about more than literature, touching on questions of paternalism versus populism, and on middle-class anxieties about the black underclass. “It’s part and parcel of black elites’ efforts to define not only a literary tradition, but a racial politics,” said Kinohi Nishikawa, an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University. “There has always been a sense that because African-Americans’ opportunities to represent themselves are so limited in the first place, any hint of criminality or salaciousness would necessarily be a knock on the entire racial politics. One of the pressing debates about African-American literature today is: If we can’t include writers like Ashley & JaQuavis, to what extent is the foundation of our thinking about black literature faulty? Is it just a literature for elites? Or can it be inclusive, bringing urban fiction under the purview of our umbrella term ‘African-American literature’?”

Defenders of street lit note that the genre has a pedigree: a tradition of black pulp fiction that stretches from Chester Himes, the midcentury author of hardboiled Harlem detective stories, to the 1960s and ’70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, to the current wave of urban fiction authors. Others argue for street lit as a social good, noting that it attracts a large audience that might otherwise never read at all. Scholars like Nishikawa link street lit to recent studies showing increased reading among African-Americans. A 2014 Pew Research Center report found that a greater percentage of black Americans are book readers than whites or Latinos.

For their part, the Colemans place their work in the broader black literary tradition. “You have Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin — all of these traditional black writers, who wrote about the struggles of racism, injustice, inequality,” says Ashley. “We’re writing about the struggle as it happens now. It’s just a different struggle. I’m telling my story. I’m telling the struggle of a black girl from Flint, Michigan, who grew up on welfare.”

Photo
The Colemans in their new four-bedroom house in the northern suburbs of Detroit.Credit Courtesy of Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman

Perhaps there is a high-minded case to be made for street lit. But the virtues of Ashley & JaQuavis’s work are more basic. Their novels do lack literary polish. The writing is not graceful; there are passages of clunky exposition and sex scenes that induce guffaws and eye rolls. But the pleasure quotient is high. The books flaunt a garish brand of feminism, with women characters cast not just as vixens, but also as gangsters — cold-blooded killers, “murder mamas.” The stories are exceptionally well-plotted. “The Cartel” opens by introducing its hero, the crime boss Carter Diamond; on page 9, a gunshot spatters Diamond’s brain across the interior of a police cruiser. The book then flashes back seven years and begins to hurtle forward again — a bullet train, whizzing readers through shifting alliances, romantic entanglements and betrayals, kidnappings, shootouts with Haitian and Dominican gangsters, and a cliffhanger closing scene that leaves the novel’s heroine tied to a chair in a basement, gruesomely tortured to the edge of death. Ashley & JaQuavis’s books are not Ralph Ellison, certainly, but they build up quite a head of steam. They move.

The Colemans are moving themselves these days. They recently signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, which will bring out the next installment in the “Cartel” series as well as new solo series by both writers. The St. Martin’s deal is both lucrative and legitimizing — a validation of Ashley and JaQuavis’s work by one of publishing’s most venerable houses. The Colemans’ ambitions have grown, as well. A recent trilogy, “Murderville,” tackles human trafficking and the blood-diamond industry in West Africa, with storylines that sweep from Sierra Leone to Mexico to Los Angeles. Increasingly, Ashley & JaQuavis are leaning on research — traveling to far-flung settings and hitting the books in the libraries — and spending less time mining their own rough-and-tumble past.

But Flint remains a source of inspiration. One evening not long ago, JaQuavis led me on a tour of his hometown: a popular roadside bar; the parking lot where he met the undercover cop for the ill-fated drug deal; Ashley’s old house, the site of his almost-arrest. He took me to a ramshackle vehicle repair shop on Flint’s west side, where he worked as a kid, washing cars. He showed me a bathroom at the rear of the garage, where, at age 12, he sneaked away to inspect the first “boulder” of crack that he ever sold. A spray-painted sign on the garage wall, which JaQuavis remembered from his time at the car wash, offered words of warning:

WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT USING A GUN:
MURDER . . . 30 Years
ARMED ROBBERY . . . 15 Years
ASSAULT . . . 15 Years
RAPE . . . 20 Years
POSSESSION . . . 5 Years
JACKING . . . 20 YEARS

“We still love Flint, Michigan,” JaQuavis says. “It’s so seedy, so treacherous. But there’s some heart in this city. This is where it all started, selling books out the box. In the days when we would get those little $40,000 advances, they’d send us a couple boxes of books for free. We would hit the streets to sell our books, right out of the car trunk. It was a hustle. It still is.”

One old neighborhood asset that the Colemans have not shaken off is swagger. “My wife is the best female writer in the game,” JaQuavis told me. “I believe I’m the best male writer in the game. I’m sleeping next to the best writer in the world. And she’s doing the same.”

 
From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple

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.”

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

Hello, Mago.

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Then came the stroke.

 

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

 

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

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

Most of all: Is this it?

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

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

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

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

Goodbye, Mago.

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

Meet Mago, Former Heavyweight

Mr. Goldberg was a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist who was married to Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook.

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

Dave Goldberg, Head of Web Survey Company and Half of a Silicon Valley Power Couple, Dies at 47

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

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

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