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1. Lintasan Sejarah Minang Kabau Untuk menelusuri kapan gerangan nenek moyang orang Minangkabau itu datang ke Minangkabau, rasanya perlu dibicarakan mengenai peninggalan lama seperti megalit yang terdapat di Kabupaten Lima Puluh Kota dan tempat-tempat lain di Minangkabau yang telah berusia ribuan tahun. Di Kabupaten Lima Puluh Kota peninggalan megalit ini terdapat di Nagari Durian Tinggi, Guguk, Tiakar, Suliki Gunung Emas, Harau, Kapur IX, Pangkalan, Koto Baru, Mahat, Koto Gadan, Ranah, Sopan Gadang, Koto Tinggi, Ampang Gadang. Seperti umumnya kebudayaan megalit lainnya berawal dari zaman batu tua dan berkembang sampai ke zaman perunggu. Kebudayaan megalit merupakan cabang kebudayaan Dongsong. Megalit seperti yang terdapat disana juga tersebar ke arah timur, juga terdapat di Nagari Aur Duri di Riau. Semenanjung Melayu, Birma dan Yunan. Jalan kebudayaan yang ditempuh oleh kebudayaan Dongsong. Dengan perkataan lain dapat dikatakan bahwa kebudayaan megalit di Kabupaten Lima Puluh Kota sezaman dengan kebudayaan Dongsong dan didukung oleh suku bangsa yang sama pula. Menurut para ahli bahwa pendukung kebudayaan Dongsong adalah bangsa Austronesia yang dahulu bermukim di daerah Yunan, Cina Selatan. Mereka datang ke Nusantara dalam dua gelombang. Gelombang pertama pada Zaman Batu Baru (Neolitikum) yang diperkirakan pada tahun 2000 sebelum masehi. Gelombang kedua datang kira-kira pada tahun 500 SM, dan mereka inilah yang diperkirakan menjadi nenek moyang bangsa Indonesia sekarang. Bangsa Austronesia yang datang pada gelombang pertama ke nusantara ini disebut oleh para ahli dengan bangsa Proto Melayu (Melayu Tua), yang sekarang berkembang menjadi suku bangsa Barak, Toraja, Dayak, Nias, Mentawai dan lain-lain. Mereka yang datang pada gelombang kedua disebut Deutero Melayu (Melayu Muda) yang berkembang menjadi suku bangsa Minangkabau, Jawa, Makasar, Bugis dan lain-lain. Dari keterangan tersebut di atas dapat disimpulkan bahwa nenek moyang orang Minangkabau adalah bangsa melayu muda dengan kebudayaan megalit yang mulai tersebar di Minangkabau kira-kira tahun 500 SM sampai abad pertama sebelum masehi yang dikatakan oleh Dr. Bernet Bronson. Jika pendapat ini kita hubungkan dengan apa yang diceritakan oleh Tambo mengenai asal-usul orang Minangkabau kemungkinan cerita Tambo itu ada juga kebenarannya. Menurut sejarah Iskandar Zulkarnain Yang Agung menjadi raja Macedonia antara tahun 336-323 s.m. Dia seorang raja yang sangat besar dalam sejarah dunia. Sejarahnya merupakan sejarah yang penuh dengan penaklukan daerah timur dan barat yang tiada taranya. Dia berkeinginan untuk menggabungkan kebudayaan barat dengan kebudayaan timur. Tokoh Iskandar Zulkarnai dalam Tambo Minangkabau secara historis tidak dapat diterima kebenarannya, karena dia memang tidak pernah sampai ke Minangkabau. Di samping di dalam sejarah Melayu, Hikayat Aceh dan Bustanul Salatin Tokoh Iskandar Zulkarnain ini juga disebut-sebut, tetapi secara historis tetap saja merupakan seorang tokoh legendaris. Sebaliknya tokoh Maharajo Dirajo yang dikatakan oleh Tambo sebagai salah seorang anak Iskandar Zulkarnain, kemungkinan merupakan salah seorang Panglima Iskandar Zulkarnain yang ditugaskan menguasai pulau emas (Sumatera), termasuk di dalamnya daerah Minangkabau. Dialah yang kemudian menurunkan para penguasa di Minangkabau, jika kita tafsirkan apa yang dikatakan Tambo berikutnya. Sayangnya Tambo tidak pernah menyebutkan tentang kapan peristiwa itu terjadi selain ”pada masa dahulunya” yang mempunyai banyak sekali penafsirannya. Tambo juga mengatakan bahwa nenek moyang orang Minangkabau dari puncak gunung merapi. Hal ini tidak dapat diartikan seperti yang dikatakan itu, tetapi seperti kebiasaan orang Minangkabau sendiri harus dicari tafsirannya, karena orang Minangkabau selalu mengatakan sesuatu melalui kata-kata kiasan, ”tidak tembak langsung”. Tafsirannya kira-kira sebagai berikut: Sewaktu Maharajo Dirajo sedang berlayar menuju pulau emas dalam mengemban tugas yang diberikan oleh Iskandar Zulkarnain, pada suatu saat dia melihat daratan yang sangat kecil karena masih sangat jauh. Setelah sampai ke daratan tersebut ternyata sebuah gunung, yaitu gunung merapi yang sangat besar. Tetapi oleh pewaris Tambo kemudian gunung Merapi sangat kecil yang mula-mula kelihatan itulah yang dikatakan sebagai tanah asal orang Minangkabau. Selanjutnya cerita Tambo yang demikian, juga masih ada sampai sekarang pada zaman kita ini. Ada baiknya kita kutip apa yang dikatakan Tambo itu sebagai yang dikatakan oleh Sang Guno Dirajo: ”…Dek lamo bakalamoan, nampaklah gosong dari lauik, yang sagadang talua itiak, sadang dilamun-lamun ombak…” (sesudah lama berlayar akhirnya kelihatanlah pulau yang sangat kecil kira-kira sebesar telur itik yang kelihatan hanya timbul tenggelam sesuai denga turun naiknya ombak). Selanjutnya dikatakan:”…Dek lamo - bakalamoan aia lauik basentak turun, nan gosong lah basentak naiak, kok dareklah sarupo paco, namun kaba nan bak kian, lorong kapado niniak kito, lah mendarek maso itu, iyo dipuncak gunuang marapi…” (karena sudah lama berlayar dan pasang sudah mulai surut, gosong yang kecil tadi makin besar, daratan yang kelihatan itu tak obahnya seperti perca, maka dinamakanlah daratan itu dengan pulau perca yang akhirnya didarati oleh nenek moyang kita yang mendarat kira-kira di gunung merapi). Peristiwa inilah yang digambarkan oleh mamangan adat Minangkabau berbunyi “dari mano titiak palito, dari telong nan barapi, dari mano asal niniak kito, dari puncah gunuang marapi” (dari mana titik pelita dari telong yang berapi, dari mana datang nenek kita, dari puncak gunung merapi). Mamangan adat ini sampai sekarang masih dipercaya oleh sebagian besar masyarakat Minangkabau.. Bagi kita yang menarik dari cerita Tambo ini bukanlah mengenai arti kata-katanya melainkan adalah cerita itu memberikan indikasi kepada kita tentang nenek moyang orang Minangkabau asalnya datang dari laut, (dengan berlayar) yang waktunya sangat lama. Kedatangan nenek moyang inilah yang dapat disamakan dengan masuknya nenek moyang orang Minangkabau. Dengan demikian masuknya nenek moyang orang Minangkabau dapat diperkirakan waktu kedatangannya: yaitu antara abad kelima sebelum masehi dengan abad pertama sebelum masehi, sesuai dengan umur kebudayaan megalit itu sendiri. Kembali kepada permasalahan pokok pada bagian ini, maka menurut Soekomo, tradisi Megalit pada mulanya merupakan batu yang dipergunakan sebagai lambang untuk memperingati seorang kepala suku. Sesudah kepala suku itu meninggal, akhirnya peringatan itu berubah menjadi penghormatan yang lambat laun menjadi tanda pemujaan kepada arwah nenek moyang. Bagaimana dengan megalit yang terdapat di Minangkabau? Barangkali fungsi pemujaan terhadap arwah nenek moyang masih tetap berlanjut, seperti Menhir lainnya di Indonesia. Tetapi jika kita hubungkan Menhir itu dengan kehidupan orang Minangkabau yang berkaitan dengan Medan Nan Bapaneh, yaitu tempat duduk bermusyawarah dalam masyarakat Minangkabau sudah mulai berkembang pada zaman pra sejarah, khususnya di zaman berkembangnya tradisi menhir di Minangkabau dan keadaan ini sudah berlangsung semenjak sebelum abad masehi. Dari peninggalan menhir dan keterangan-keterangan yang diberikan oleh pemuka masyarakat sekarang di tempat-tempat menhir itu terdapat seperti di Sungai Belantik, Andieng, Kubang Tungkek, Tiakat, Padang Japang, Limbanang, Talang Anau, Padang Kandih, Balubus, Koto Tangah, Simalanggang, Taeh Baruh, Talago, Ampang Gadang seperti yang dikatakan oleh Yuwono Sudibyo, sebagai berikut: ”Bahwa ketika sekelompok nenek moyang telah menemukan tempat bermukim, yang pertama-tama ditetapkan atau dicari adalah suatu lokasi yang dinamakan gelanggang. Di gelanggang ini dilakukan upacara, yaitu semacam upacara selamatan untuk menghormati kepala suku atau pemimpin rombongan yang telah membawa mereka ke suatu tempat bermukim. Sebagai tanda upacara didirikanlah Batu Tagak yang kemudian kita kenal sebagai menhir. Batu Tagak ini kemudian berubah fungsi, sebahagian menjadi tanda penghormatan kepada arwah nenek moyang dan sebahagian tempat bermusyawarah yang kemudian kita kenal dengan nama Medan nan Bapaneh”. Karena sudah ada kehidupan bermusyawarah, sudah barang tentu pula masyarakat sudah hidup menetap dengan berburu dan pertanian sebagai mata pencaharian yang utama. Hal ini sesuai pula dengan kehidupan para pendukung kebudayaan Dongsong yang sudah menetap. Jika sekiranya peninggalan-peninggalan pra sejarah Minangkabau sudah diteliti dengan digali lebih lanjut, barangkali akan ditemui peninggalan-peninggalan yang mendukung kehidupan berburu dan bertani tersebut. Diwaktu itu sudah dapat diperkirakan bahwa antara Adat Nan Sabana Adat sudah hidup di tengah-tengah masyarakat Minangkabau, mengingat akan ajaran adat Minangkabau itu sendiri, yaitu Alam Takambang jadikan guru. Sedangkan Adat Nan Sabana Adat berisi tentang hukum-hukum alam yang tidak berubah dari dahulu sampai sekarang seperti dikatakan: Adat api mambaka, adat aia mamabasahi, adat tajam malukoi, adat runciang mancucuak dan sebagainya (Adat api membakar, adat air membasahi, adat tajam melukai, adat runcing mencucuk). Demikian juga dengan Adat Nan Diadatkan sudah ada waktu itu, yaitu sebagai hukum yang berlaku dalam masyarakat. Barangkali di zaman inilah berlakunya apa yang dikenal dengan hukum adat yang bersifat zalim dan tidak boleh dibantah yaitu hukum adat yang bernama “Simumbang Jatuah” (simumbang jatuh), mumbang kalau jatuh tidak dapat dikembalikan ke tempatnya lagi. Selanjutnya juga ada hukum yang bernama “si gamak-gamak”, yaitu suatu aturan yang tidak dipikirkan masak-masak. Disamping itu juga terdapat hukum yang dinamakan “Si lamo-lamo” yaitu siapa kuat siapa di atas persis seperti hukum rimba. Barangkali hukum yang dinamakan “Hukum Tariak Baleh” juga berlaku di zaman ini. Hukum Tariak Baleh hampir sama dengan hukum Kisas dalam agama Islam, misalnya orang yang membunuh harus di hukum bunuh pula. Keempat macam hukum adat itu memang sesuai dengan zamannya dimana belum terlalu banyak pertimbangan terhadap suatu yang dihadapi dalam kehidupan. Sampai kapan berlakunya hukum ini mungkin berlangsung sampai masuknya agama Islam pertama ke Minangkabau kira-kira abad ketujuh. Zaman Purba Minangkabau berakhir dengan masuknya Islam ke Minangkabau, yaitu kira-kira abad ketujuh, dimana buat pertama kali di Sumatra Barat sudah didapati kelompok masyarakat Arab tahun 674. Kelompok masyarakat Arab ini sudah menganut agama Islam, bagaimanapun rendahnya pendidikan waktu itu, tentu sudah pandai tulis baca, karena ajaran Islam harus diperoleh dari Qur’an dan Hadist Nabi yang semuanya sudah dituliskan dalam bahasa Arab. Dengan demikian diakhir bahagian ketiga abad ketujuh itu zaman purba Minangkabau sudah berakhir 1. Zaman Mula Sejarah Minangkabau Yang dimaksud dengan zaman mula sejarah Minangkabau ialah zaman yang meliputi kurun waktu antara abad pertama Masehi dengan abad ketujuh. Dalam masa tersebut masa pra Sejarah masih berlanjut, tetapi masa itu dilengkapi dengan adanya berita-berita tertulis tertua mengenai Minangkabau seperti istilah San-Fo Tsi dari berita Cina yang dapat dibaca sebagai Tambesi yang terdapat di Jambi. Di daerah Indonesia lainnya juga sudah terdapat berita atau tulisan seperti kerajaan Mulawarman di Kutai Kalimantan dan Tarumanegara di Jawa Barat. Namun dari berita-berita itu belum banyak yang dapat kita ambil sebagai bahan untuk menyusun sebuah ceritera sejarah, karena memang masih sangat sedikit sekali dan masing-masingnya seakan-akan berdiri sendiri tanpa ada hubungan sama sekali. Untuk zaman ini Soekomono memberikan nama zaman Proto Sejarah Indonesia, yaitu peralihan dari zaman Prasejarah ke zaman sejarah. Berita dai Tambo dan ceritera rakyat Minangkabau hanya mengemukakan secara semu mengenai hal ini, yaitu hanya menyebutkan tentang kehidupan orang Minangkabau zaman dahulu. Dalam hal ini Tambo mengemukakan sebagai berikut: ”…tak kalo maso dahulu…”…(Diwaktu zaman dahulu),. ”…dari tahun musim baganti, dek zaman tuka – batuka, dek lamo maso nan talampau, tahun jo musim nan balansuang…” (Karena tahun musim berganti, karena zaman bertukar-tukar, karena masa yang telah lewat, tahun dengan musim yang berlangsung),”… Antah barapo kalamonyo…”(entah berapa lamanya), dari ungkapan waktu yang demikian memang sulit sekali menentukan kapan terjadinya. Pengertian zaman dahulu itu saja sudah mengandung banyak kemungkinan tafsiran dan sangat relatif. Barangkali kehidupan zaman mula sejarah Minangkabau ini hampir sama dengan kehidupan pada zaman Pra sejarahnya, hanya saja di akhir zaman mula sejarah ini agama Islam sudah masuk ke Minangkabau dan sudah ada berita-berita dari Cina. Dapat dikatakan, bahwa cerita sejarah untuk zaman mula sejarah Minangkabau ini sangat sedikit sekali, bahkan dapat dikatakan merupakan zaman yang paling gelap dalam sejarah Minangkabau. Demikian gelapnya untuk menghubungkan zaman Pra Sejarah dengan zaman sejarahnya kita tidak mempunyai sumber sama sekali, bukan lagi kabur, tetapi sudah gelap gulita.SEJARAH MINANGKABAU

BUKIT TINGGI– Kantor Kementerian Agam Bukittinggi membolehkan jamaah calon haji  dan umrah membawa uang selain biaya hidup (living cost) yang akan diberikan sebesar 1.500 real Saudi. “Jamaah dibolehkan membawa uang selain biaya hidup yang diberikan itu, bisa saja untuk keperluan lainnya,” kata Kasi Haji dan Umroh Kantor Kementerian Agama Bukittinggi, Khamidir, Selasa (3/9).

Hanya saja, imbuhnya, pada saat ibadah di Masjidil Haram agar tidak membawanya mengingat kemungkinan kehilangan uang di tempat itu sangat besar. Kepada jamaah yang membawa uang banyak hendaknya tetap menyimpan uang di dalam tas dan kamar terkunci di pemondokannya, kata dia.

Menurut dia, menyimpan uang dalam tas dan kamar terkunci di pemondokan akan paling aman dibanding membawa uang kemana-mana.

Dia menyebutkan ada 252 calon jamaah haji asal Kota Bukittinggi berangkat menuju Mekkah Al-Mukarramah. Mereka tergabung kloter dua pada gelombang pertama melalui Bandara Internasional Minangkabau.

Pemberangkatan itu kata dia, dilakukan pada 10 September 2013 dari Bukittinggi menuju embarkasi Padang. Di embarkasi Padang, jamaah calon haji menginap semalam, menjalani pemeriksaan kesehatan dan pemberian gelang.

“Sebelum keberangkatan masing-masing jamaah calon haji akan memperoleh biaya hidup (living cost) selama di Arab Saudi sebesar 1.500 real Saudi atau setara dengan Rp3,7 juta,” kata dia. Ia menyebutkan, jamaah calon haji asal Kota Bukittinggi itu telah siap menuju Mekkah karena semuanya telah melakukan pelunasan ongkos naik haji (ONH).

Sebelum adanya pengurangan 20 persen, kata dia, awalnya jamaah calon haji asal Kota Bukittinggi yang akan diberangkatkan tahun ini berjumlah 343 orang. “Karena terjadinya pengurangan 20 persen atau sebanyak 21 orang tersebut, maka jamaah calon haji yang akan diberangkatkan tahun ini menjadi 252 orang,” kata dia.

Sebenarnya, kata dia, jamaah calon haji awalnya 343 orang tersebut semuanya telah melunasi ONH, terjadinya pengurangan terpaksa penundaan pemberangkatan dilakukan bagi mereka yang porsi tinggi.
“Porsi jamaah calon haji Sumatera Barat 3.700 sehingga mereka yang lewat dari porsi tersebut ditunda pemberangkatannya,” kata dia.

Satu kloter CJH berjumlah 374, maka jamaah calon haji Bukittinggi 252 orang itu digabung dengan jemaah calon haji Solok 113 orang dan Padang sebanyak empat orang untuk memenuhi satu kloter, katanya.

Sumber : http://www.jurnalhaji.com

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CALON HAJI DAN UMRAH DI PERBOLEHKAN MEMBAWA UANG

Pengecatan yang baik telah membutuhkan persiapan-persiapan yang matang. Persiapan yang benar akan dapat membuat pekerjaan pengecatan lebih capat, mudah, dan biaya rendah, selain memberikan hasil akhir yang baik juga lapisan cat lebih tahan lama, selain pemilihan produk yang tepat.

Ada beberapa hal yang telah mempengaruhi keberhasilan pengecatan dinding tembok (bata), yang paling berpengaruh adalah kualitas atau mutu dinding itu sendiri (terlepas dari kualitas cat yang dipakai). Masalah yang sering timbul akibat dari kualitas dinding yang jelek biasanya adalah belang-belang seperti basah (bila kadar air dalam dinding terlalu tinggi), lapisan cat yang menggelembung, dll.

Sedangkan bila yang dipakai cat dinding dengan kualitas rendah maka masalah yang sering terjadi adalah pengapuran, warnanya luntur, dll. Bagaimana kita tahu cat yang kita pakai tersebut berkualitas?. Cat yang berkualitas minimal telah mempunyai empat fungsi yang harus dimiliki diantaranya daya sebar, daya tutup, mudah dalam pengaplikasiannya, dan aman bagi kesehatan lingkungan. Memang semakin tinggi kualitas cat, maka harganya pun juga akan semakin mahal, karena disamping keempat hal pokok diatas, cat yang berkualitas akan dapat memiliki nilai tambah seperti daya tahan terhadap cuaca, anti jamur, tidak memudar (anti fading), mudah dibersihkan (washable), dapat menutup retak rambut (cover hair line crack) serta tambahan pengharum (fragnance).

PROSES PERSIAPAN DINDING

Yang harus di lakukan untuk dapat memulai proses pengecetan adalah menyiapkan permukaan yang akan dicat. Pastikan permukaan dinding bersih dan kering untuk dapat mencegah terjadinya pengelupasan. Biasanya memakan waktu 28 hari agar reaksi pengerasan semen pada plesteran beton mengering dengan sempurna.

Setelah permukaan tembok sudah benar-benar kering, dan sebelum tembok di plamir, lapisi dulu tembok dengan Wall Sealer, guna untuk menetralisir PH semen agar sesuai dengan PH cat. Dengan wall sealer Cat tidak mudah mengelupas dan warna cat tidak akan berubah dari warna aslinya.Cat akan menjadi seperti kapur jika daya serap tembok masih bekerja, untuk itu tembok juga harus dilapisi dengan Wall Sealer, namun jika untuk alasan ekonomis anda dapat melarutkan satu sampai dua bungkus lem putih dalam satu galon air kemudian kuaskan pada tembok sebelum tembok di cat.

PROSES PLAMIR DAN CAT DASAR
Sebelum pengecatan dilakukan ada pekerjaan pendahuluan yaitu plamir dinding. Plamir dinding terdiri dari 3 bagian bahan, yang pertama adalah semen putih, lem putih, dan kalsium. Semua bahan tersebut telah mempunyai fungsi masing - masing.
Penggunaan kalium pada bahan plamir berfungsi sebagai penambah volum dari plamir dan memudahkan penghalusan, namun apabila terlalu banyak justru akan dapat menyebabkan cat yang nanti kita kerjakan menjadi kurang kuat. Sebagian kontraktor bangunan sudah tidak menggunakan kalium sebagai campuran plamir, kecuali pada pekerjaan yang memerlukan harga sangat hemat dan waktu penyelesaian yang relatif cepat.
Teknik melamir yang efektif adalah dengan menggunakan kapi besar atau bahan bekas dari pipa pvc yang dibuat kapi. Dengan mengoleskan pada arah vertikal di dinding kemudian untuk lapis selanjutnya pada arah horisontal, demikian seterusnya sampai dinding menjadi rata. Lapisan yang kedua haruslah menunggu lapisan yang pertama kering dahulu.
Penghalusan menggunakan amplas dengan arah memutar. Alat penghalus otomatis sebaik digunakan agar lebih cepat dalam pengerjaannya.
Setelah diplamir, dilakukan Pelapisan cat dasar atau alkali sealer. Sebelum dilakukan pengecatan dengan cat tembok aplikasikan terlebih dahulu cat dasar alkali sealer, yang berfungsi untuk memberikan lapisan dibawah cat tembok sehingga memperkecil kontak langsung dengan alkali tembok. Selain itu alkali sealer berfungsi memberikan lapisan warna putih sehingga dapat mempercepat penutupan warna cat tembok pada dinding. Alkali sealer berbeda dengan cat putih. Penggunaan cat putih sebagai dasaran pengecatan tidak akan menghindari kontak langsung alkali tembok dengan cat, tetapi hanya berfungsi membantu daya tutup cat tembok saja.


PROSES PENGECATAN DINDING
Proses pengecatan dinding dimulai ketika semua permukaan dinding telah terplamir , sudah dalam keadaan halus teramplas, dan sudah dilapisi dengan cat dasar.

Penggunaan rol memang sangat efektif ketika kita mengecat pada pada bidang dinding yang luas, namun apabila hendak merapikan pada sudut-sudut ruang tetaplah kuas yang digunakan. Sebenarnya dengan menggunakan kuas cat akan lebih terasa hemat karena tidak terlalu banyak yang lengket pada rol kita. Untuk hasil yang sempurna cat tembok jangan terlalu kental, encerkan dengan air 30-35 persen dari total berat cat.

Lapis demi lapis kita cat, cara yang paling cepat agar dinding lekas tertutup rata oleh cat adalah dengan cara bersilangan. Lapisan pertama vertikal atau horisontal, kemudian tunggu kering, lapisan yang kedua kebalikannya.Selang waktu antara setiap lapis harus cukup lama. Secara teoritis adalah 2-4 jam, tetap sebaikny minimal 8 jam atau semalam.

TIPS DAN TRIK DALAM PENGECATAN
1.      Kerjakan pengecatan pada siang hari.
2.      Mulai dari dekat jendela. menuju ke ruang dalam.
3.      Bila mengecat seluruh ruangan, kerjakanlah mulai dari langit-langit yang diteruskan ke dinding dekat kusen jendela, pintu-pintu, dan kemudian ke bagian bawah.
4.      Mengecat tiga lapis sesuai dengan anjuran pencampuran air lebih baik dari pada satu lapisan tebal, usahakan menyediakan cat yang cukup unluk area yang akan dicat dengan menghitung iuas area yang akan dicat, jangan mengecat pada suatu bidang yang lebar sekaligus. Batasi bidang pengecafan aniara satu sampai dua meter persegi sekali mengecat. Baru dilanjuttkan ke bidang berikutnya, Perhatikanlah petunjuk-petunjuk mudah pada kemasan cat sebelum bekerja.
5.      Lakukanlah pembuangan sisa saat melakukan pengecatan karena kita harus bertanggung jawab terhadap lingkungan dengan menghindarkan membuang limbah/sisa cat ke dalam saluran pembuangan.
6.      Terakhir adalah membiarkan sisa cat mengering di wadahnya sebelum dibuang ke tempat sampah.

Dengan mengikuti petunjuk-petunjuk sederhana tersebut pengecatan akan lebih mudah, menghemat waktu, uang dan tenaga. Karena, persiapan permukaan yang benar akan memberikan hasil akhir yang lebih baik dan perrnukaan yang dicatakan lebih tahan lama, jangan mencoba untuk mengecat satu lapisan dengan tebal.
 
Trik Penggunaan Aci Instan pengganti plamir dan cat dasar

Mengerjakan finishing din-ding semakin mudah dan cepat dengan aci instan. Warnanya yang putih dapat menggantikan dua proses finishing dinding.

Mari kita hitung berapa tahap dibutuhkan sebelum mengecat dinding. Setelah plesteran, dinding mesti diaci. Setelah itu diplamir dan diampelas agar permukaannya halus. Cat dasar perlu diaplikasikan agar cat dinding dapat menutup rata permukaan tanpa menyisakan belang di beberapa tempat. Setiap tahap membutuhkan waktu antara dua-lima hari agar hasil finishing din-ding sempurna.

Proses yang demikian lama dan melelahkan itu, ternyata dapat menjadi singkat dan praktis. Caranya, Anda bisa mensubs-titusi material sehingga dapat menghilang-kan dua tahap pengerjaan, yaitu proses plamir dan pengecatan dasar. Bagaimana caranya?"Dua proses itu bisa dihilangkan jika Anda menggunakan semen aci instan

Aci instan terbuat dari campuran filler, semen putih, kapur, dan zat aditif. Ini menjadikan aci instan dapat merekat erat pada segala permukaan dinding (beton dan plesteran). Daya lentur dan proses pengeringan yang perlahan-lahan menjadikan aci instan sebagai material yang tepat untuk mengurangi retak rambut.

Retak rambut itu bisa terjadi jika proses pengeringan semen berlangsung cepat. Aci instan mengering lebih lama. Dengan demikian, proses muai- susutnya pun lambat, sehingga retak-retak rambut itu berkurang.

Penggunaan aci instan dianjurkan dalam praktik sehari-hari. Meski harga material ini lebih mahal dari semen biasa, tapi sebetulnya bisa hemat. Jika dihitung total biayanya, penggunaan aci instan ini dapat menghemat waktu pengerjaan dan biaya pembangunan.

PANDUAN PENGECATAN TEMBOK DAN DINDING + RAB

saco-indonesia.com, Ratu Mariyuana Schapelle Leigh Corby telah mendapat pembebasan bersyarat dari Kementerian Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia (Kemenkumham).  
 
Pemberian bebas bersyarat terhadap Ratu Mariyuana Corby itu telah menuai pro-kontra.
 
Bahkan, mantan Ketua Umum Partai Demokrat Anas Urbaningrum, yang juga sudah mendekam di rumah tahanan KPK sebagai tersangka kasus korupsi pembangunan sport center Hambalang itu ikut berkicau melalui akun twitternya.
 
Anas telah menilai pemberian bebas bersyarat itu juga merupakan bentuk kemurahan hati Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Tentu kata dia, dalam pemberian tersebut pasti juga ada imbal baliknya.
 
"Sang Putri Corby siap-siap akan menikmati kemurahan hati. Gerangan apa di baliknya?#bukankuis.*abah," tulis Anas dalam akun twitternya yang beralamatkan ‏@anasurbaningrum, beberapa jam yang lalu, Senin (10/2/2014).
 
Ia telah kembali melontarkan pernyataan bahwa pemberian tersebut tak ubahnya tukar guling perkara tak bisa ditolak SBY.
 
"Apakah Sang Putri Corby hampir mirip dengan "tawaran yang hampir mustahil ditolak?"#bukankuis.*abah," tulisnya lagi.
 
"Mungkinkah Sang Putri Corby harus segera pergi agar tidak menjadi "ganjalan hati"?#bukankuis.*abah," kicaunya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

ANAS IKUT BERKICAU SOAL BEBAS BERSYARAT "RATU GANJA" CORBY

Mobil telah menjadi kebutuhan banyak orang untuk dapat melakukan perjalanan baik dalam kota maupun luar kota. Akan tetapi banyak juga masyarakat yang belum dapat memiliki mobil pribadi sendiri. Hal ini tidaklah jadi hambatan kita untuk bepergian menggunakan mobil, karena saat ini telah banyak jasa Sewa mobil yang terdapat disekitar kita.

Beberapa hal yang harus dimiliki penyedia jasa sewa mobil adalah mobil dengan kondisi yang bagus dan prima, serta telah memiliki fasilitas yang lengkap seperti full AC, full audio, dan GPS bila dibutuhkan. Selain fasilitas tersebut pengetahuan seorang supir tentang jalan-jalan di dalam dan luar kota juga menjadi hal yang penting, karena supir ini yang akan mentukan kelancaran dan kenyamanan perjalanan penyewa.

Dua tahun terakhir ini kami selalu berusaha untuk memberikan pelayanan yang maksimal kepada pelanggan kami, yaitu dengan cara yang telah kami jelaskan sebelumnya. Hasilnya begitu terasa, karena hampir semua yang telah menyewa di tempat kami datang kembali untuk menggunakan kembali jasa sewa mobil di Bekasi Barat murah kami.

Kami adalah penyedia jasa sewa mobil di Bekasi Barat. Kami siap untuk memberikan pelayanan terbaik kami bagi anda yang ingin menyewa mobil. Kami telah memiliki berbagai macam jenis mobil diantaranya adalah Avanza, APV, Kijang Innova, Xenia, dan lainnya. Sedikit informasi, kebanyakan dari penyewa kami memilih APV sebagai mobil yang disewa, karena kapasitas dari mobil ini cukup banyak. Bila anda tertarik untuk menggunakan jasa sewa mobil di Bekasi Barat milik kami, anda dapat menghubungi kami pada bagian informasi yang berada di bagian informasi pada web ini. Kami juga menawarkan harga sewa mobil murah khusus untuk para konsumen kami yang kami cintai.

LAYANAN JASA SEWA MOBIL BEKASI

The magical quality Mr. Lesnie created in shooting the “Babe” films caught the eye of the director Peter Jackson, who chose him to film the fantasy epic.

Andrew Lesnie, Cinematographer of ‘Lord of the Rings,’ Dies at 59

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

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

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

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

– MATTHEW SCHNEIER

Cher and Marc Jacobs

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.

Photo
 
 
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

Ms. Crough played the youngest daughter on the hit ’70s sitcom starring David Cassidy and Shirley Jones.

Suzanne Crough, Actress in ‘The Partridge Family,’ Dies at 52

WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.

But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the E.P.A. proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.

The E.P.A.’s five-year effort to adopt this rule offers another example of how industry opposition can delay and hamper attempts by the federal government to issue regulations, even to control substances known to be harmful to human health.

Continue reading the main story
 

Document: The Formaldehyde Fight

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can also cause respiratory ailments like asthma, but the potential of long-term exposure to cause cancers like myeloid leukemia is less well understood.

The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.

“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”

The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.

What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.

Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.

“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.

Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.

Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.

Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”

Continue reading the main story

Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring

In laminate flooring, formaldehyde is used as a bonding agent in the fiberboard (or other composite wood) core layer and may also be used in glues that bind layers together. Concerns were raised in March when certain laminate flooring imported from China was reported to contain levels of formaldehyde far exceeding the limit permitted by California.

Typical

laminate

flooring

CLEAR FINISH LAYER

Often made of melamine resin

PATTERN LAYER

Paper printed to resemble wood,

or a thin wood veneer

GLUE

Layers may be bound using

formaldehyde-based glues

CORE LAYER

Fiberboard or other

composite, formed using

formaldehyde-based adhesives

BASE LAYER

Moisture-resistant vapor barrier

What is formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a common chemical used in many industrial and household products as an adhesive, bonding agent or preservative. It is classified as a volatile organic compound. The term volatile means that, at room temperature, formaldehyde will vaporize, or become a gas. Products made with formaldehyde tend to release this gas into the air. If breathed in large quantities, it may cause health problems.

WHERE IT IS COMMONLY FOUND

POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS

Pressed-wood and composite wood products

Wallpaper and paints

Spray foam insulation used in construction

Commercial wood floor finishes

Crease-resistant fabrics

In cigarette smoke, or in the fumes from combustion of other materials, including wood, oil and gasoline.

Exposure to formaldehyde in sufficient amounts may cause eye, throat or skin irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems like coughing, wheezing or asthma.

Long-term exposure to high levels has been associated with cancer in humans and laboratory animals.

Exposure to formaldehyde may affect some people more severely than others.

By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.

Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.

White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.

The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.

As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.

“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”

Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.

“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.

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The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)

But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.

Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.

“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”

Photo
 
Becky Gillette wants strong regulation of formaldehyde. Credit Beth Hall for The New York Times

Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.

Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.

The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.

The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”

Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.

Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”

Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.

While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.

An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.

“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”

An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.

“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.

But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.

“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”

The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde

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
Photo
 
Many bodies prepared for cremation last week in Kathmandu were of young men from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

KATHMANDU, Nepal — When the dense pillar of smoke from cremations by the Bagmati River was thinning late last week, the bodies were all coming from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas, and they were all of young men.

Hindu custom dictates that funeral pyres should be lighted by the oldest son of the deceased, but these men were too young to have sons, so they were burned by their brothers or fathers. Sukla Lal, a maize farmer, made a 14-hour journey by bus to retrieve the body of his 19-year-old son, who had been on his way to the Persian Gulf to work as a laborer.

“He wanted to live in the countryside, but he was compelled to leave by poverty,” Mr. Lal said, gazing ahead steadily as his son’s remains smoldered. “He told me, ‘You can live on your land, and I will come up with money, and we will have a happy family.’ ”

Weeks will pass before the authorities can give a complete accounting of who died in the April 25 earthquake, but it is already clear that Nepal cannot afford the losses. The countryside was largely stripped of its healthy young men even before the quake, as they migrated in great waves — 1,500 a day by some estimates — to work as laborers in India, Malaysia or one of the gulf nations, leaving many small communities populated only by elderly parents, women and children. Economists say that at some times of the year, one-quarter of Nepal’s population is working outside the country.

Nepal’s Young Men, Lost to Migration, Then a Quake

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

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

Gilbert Haroche, Builder of an Economy Travel Empire, Dies at 87
Joseph Lechleider

Mr. Lechleider helped invent DSL technology, which enabled phone companies to offer high-speed web access over their infrastructure of copper wires.

Joseph Lechleider, a Father of the DSL Internet Technology, Dies at 82

Judge Patterson helped to protect the rights of Attica inmates after the prison riot in 1971 and later served on the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Robert Patterson Jr., Lawyer and Judge Who Fought for the Accused, Dies at 91

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

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

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

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Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book is to be released next week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

 

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