Risalah adalah tugas yang dipikulkan kepada Nabi Muhammad shalallahu alaihi was salam untuk menyampaikan wahyu yang diterimanya kepada umat muslim, selain itu Risalah yang dibawa Nabi Muhammad shalallahu alaihi was salam juga memiliki keistimewaan dari segi peruntukan. Jika, nabi-nabi sebelumnya membawa risalah khusus untuk ummat tertentu, maka risalah kenabian Muhammad shalallahu alaihi was salam diperuntukkan bagi seluruh ummat hingga hari kiamat. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala telah mengamanahkan beban risalah ini hanya kepada Nabi Muhammad shalallahu alaihi was salam. Dan diantara risalah yang Allah turunkan adalah rukun-rukun Iman dan Islam, termasuk didalamnya adalah menunaikan ibadah Haji dan Umroh.
Penertian Haji Dan Umroh
Pengertian Umroh bahasa artinya berkunjung, sedangkan secara istilah adalah berkunjung ke ka’bah dengan melaksanakan ketentuan-ketentuan yang berkaitan dengan umrah dalam rangka mendekatkan diri pada Allah.
Umrah disebut juga haji kecil, karena beberapa ketentuannya hampir sama dengan haji misalnya tentang syarat-syarat, rukun, atau larangan-larangannya. Apalagi perintah umrah disejajarkan dengan perintah haji. Allah berfirman :
Dan sempurnakanlah ibadah haji dan umrah karena Allah (Al-Baqoroh:196).
tetapi pelaksanaan umrah lebih sederhana dibandingkan dengan pelaksanaan haji. Umrah dapat dilaksanan sewaktu-waktu sepanjang tahun, baik di dalam bulan haji atau sebelum maupun sesudahnya.
Bisa melaksanakan ibadah Umroh ke tanah suci adalah impian setiap muslim. Tentu, tidak akan ada hamba Allah yang menolak menikmati kesempatan beribadah di negeri para nabi, menapaki jejak Rosulullah untuk bersujud di hadapan ka’bah secara langsung. Sayangnya, tidak semua orang bisa mendapatkan kesempatan ini dikarenakan jarak yang memisahkan, untuk berumroh, seorang muslim harus merogoh saku lebih dalam untuk memperoleh kesempatan ini.
Dalam hal yang paling mandasar dibutuhkan oleh setiap Jama’ah yang menjalankan ibadah umroh adalah kenyamanan dan keamanan dalam menjalankan rutinitas ibadah umroh itu sendiri dari keberangkatan sampai akhirnya kembali lagi kerumah masing-masing.
Begitu juga dengan makna disetiap ritual Umroh itu sendiri mempunyai artian yang berbeda-beda. Didalamnya berlangsung sebuah peristiwa sosial, yang tidak hanya menghubungkan manusia dengan Allah SWT,melainkan juga tentang manusia berhubungan dengan manusia lainnya. Mempererat tali silaturahim diantara Jama’ah memiliki banyak manfaat bagi kita semua, salah satunya mendapat Ridho dari Allah SWT dan meningkatkan rasa kebersamaan dan rasa kekeluargaan,
Orang yang hendak pergi menunaikan ibadah Umroh biasanya menggunakan jasa KBIH atau perusahaan penyelenggara ibadah Umroh untuk menyiapkan segala kebutuhan seperti visa umroh, tiket pesawat, akomodasi, memandu seluruh kegiatan ibadah umroh selama ditanah suci.
Dengan demikian, jamaah tinggal mempersiapkan diri untuk berangkat ketanah suci dan melaksanakan ibadah umroh supaya meraih keutamaan dan pahala dari Allah SWT. Supaya tujuan ibadah umroh terpenuhi,
Penting bagi Jama’ah untuk mencari KBIH atau perusahaan penyelenggara ibadah umroh yang baik, jujur, bertanggung jawab, bisa dipercaya dan mengakomodasi segala kebutuhan selama berlangsungnya ibadah Umroh tersebut.
Perusahaan penyelenggara ibadah umroh diharapkan dapat memenuhi harapan para Jama’ah yaitu memperoleh ibadah yang khusu, aman, nyaman, dapat memahami segala macam bentuk dan makna
dari ibadah Umroh itu sendiri dan sesuai dengan apa yang di syariatkan oleh Rosulullah shallallahu 'alaihi wasallam. Salah memilih KBIH atau perusahaan penyelenggara umroh akan berdampak buruk bagi kesejahtraan Jama’ah, sehingga tentunya akan mempengaruhi kelancaran dan kualitas ibadah.
RISALAH WISATA NABAWI yang berdiri sejak tahun 2012 memberikan solusi tepat bagi para Jama’ah dengan menawarkan pelayanan yang prima, tanggap dan optimal untuk membantu para Jama’ah dalam menjalankan ibadah Umroh. Bagi kami, tiada hari tanpa menolong sesama, keberhasilan, kekhusu’an dan kepuasan para jama’ah selama menjalankan ibadah umroh adalah kebanggan tersendiri bagi kami sebagai penyelenggara ibadah Umroh. Alhamdulillah selama kami telah membantu para Jama’ah dari berbagai daerah di Indonesia khususnya daerah jawa barat dalam menjalankan ibadah umroh.
Sebelum keberangkatan, kami berbagi pengetahuan akan hal-hal yang dasar dalam ibadah Umroh dan berbagai macam persiapan sebelum meninggalkan Tanah Air. Mengadakan Manasik Umroh yang rutin kami lakukan menjadi sangat penting bagi Jama’ah, khususnya bagi para Jama’ah yang baru pertama kali menjalankan ibadah umroh
RISALAH WISATA NABAWI didukung oleh asatizd lulusan Timur Tengah yang sangat berpengalaman dalam memberikan pengetahuan akan ibadah serta menanamkan nilai-nilah dari ibadah sesuai dengan RISALAH Rosulullah shallallahu 'alaihi wasallam selama atau pasca Umroh. Muthawif yang handal dalam bidangnya, tanggap, cekatan. team yang muda, ramah, sopan, enerjik, bersahabat akan memudahkan Jama’ah mendapatkan pelayanan yang maksimal sebelum dan sesudah menjalankan ibadah Umroh,
RISALAH WISATA NABAWI menawarkan berbagai jenis paket Umroh. Mulai dari paket regular, paket keluarga, peket super hemat, sampai paket Umroh plus liburan yaitu Jama’ah akan diajak berlibur sebelum atau sesudah ibadah selesai. Liburan yang ditawarkan ketempat-tempat bersejarah di Arab Saudi dan wisata kebeberapa Negara timur tengah lainnya.
Makna Risalah Versi Risalah Nabawi Tour
Ridho Illahi yang selalu kami kejar dan Ramah dalam berinteraksi
Ibadah yang sesuai dengan Sunnah Rosulullah shallallahu alaihi wasallam.
Sopan dalam berbicara, Santun dalam berbuat, bersahabat dengan semua eleman masyarakat dan Silaturahim selalu kami jaga
Amanah selama menjalankan tugas.
Layanan yang maksimal bagi para Jama’ah dari proses pemberangkatan sampai kembali ke Tanah Air,
Aman dalam perjalanan dengan asuransi terpercaya.
Hikmah disetiap langkahnya. Perjalanan yang penuh Hikmah dan Pelajaran disetiap proses kegiatan Umroh akan memberikan makna tersendiri bagi para Jamaah.
Sumber : http://www.myrisalah.com
Baca Artikel Lainnya : HUKUM BERDOA DI DEPAN MAKAM RASULULLAHRISALAH NABAWI TOUR
Bekasi, Saco-Indonesia.com - Mantan Ketua MK Akil Mochtar tak hanya disangka kasus dugaan suap pengurusan sengketa Pilkada Kabupaten Lebak, Banten dan Kabupaten Gunung Mas, Kalimantan Tengah.
Akil juga disangka menerima hadiah atau janji (gratifikasi) delapan sengketa Pilkada lainnya, yaitu Pilkada Banten, Jawa Timur, Empat Lawang (Sumatera Selatan), Palembang, Lampung Selatan, Tapanuli Tengah, Morotai (Maluku Utara), dan Buton (Sulawesi Tenggara).
"Itu sangkaan pada Pasal 12 B (Undang-undang Nomor 20 Tahun 2001 tentang Pemberantasan Tindak Pidana Korupsi). Untuk Pilkada Jawa Timur, khusus dugaan penerimaan janji," ujar Juru Bicara KPK Johan Budi di Gedung KPK, Jakarta, Rabu (29/1/2014) kemarin.
Dugaan gratifikasi terkait sengketa Pilkada lainnya itu merupakan proses pengembangan yang dilakukan KPK setelah melakukan pemeriksaan saksi, serta menemukan barang bukti saat penggeledahan di sejumlah tempat.
Johan menambahkan, berkas perkara Akil untuk 10 sengketa Pilkada itu pun sudah dilimpahkan ke tahap penuntutan. Berkas perkara juga telah dinyatakan lengkap untuk dugaan pencucian uang yang juga disangkakan kepada Akil.
Dengan demikian, Akil akan segera menjalani sidang perdana di Pengadilan Tindak Pidana Korupsi, Jakarta pada Februari 2014. "Ini yang nanti akan didakwakan dalam proses penuntutan," kata Johan.
Kasus ini bermula ketika Akil ditangkap KPK saat akan menerima uang dari politisi Partai Golkar Chairun Nisa dan pengusaha Cornelis Nalau Antun. Uang itu berasal dari Bupati Gunung Mas terpilih, Hambit Bintih untuk mempengaruhi Akil dalam putusan sengketa Pilkada Gunung Mas.
Untuk memutus perkara sesuai permohonan Hambit, Akil disebut meminta uang Rp 3 miliar. Chairun Nisa, Cornelis, dan Hambit, juga ditetapkan KPK sebagai tersangka.
Untuk kasus Lebak, Akil diduga bersama-sama pengacara Susi Tur Andayani menerima suap dari Tubagus Chaeri Wardana alias Wawan yang merupakan adik dari Gubernur Banten Ratu Atut Chosiyah. KPK juga menetapkan Susi, Wawan, dan Atut sebagai tersangka.
Sumber : Kompas.com
Editor : Maulana LeeMantan Ketua MK Akil Moctar Diduga Terlibat 10 Sengketa Pilkada
Tips Merawat AC di Rumah
Sekarang ini juga sudah banyak rumah-rumah yang ada mesin pendingin udara (ruangan) atau AC. Untuk di kota, bahkan hampir tiap rumah juga punya AC atau pendingin ruangan.
Agar performance AC selalu dalam kondisi yang prima, maka diperlukan perawatan/pemeliharaan yang sangat rutin. Keuntungan jika dilakukan perawatan yang sangat rutin adalah:
- Umur part terutama kompresor menjadi lebih lama.
- Pemakaian enersi listrik efisien.
- Kapasitas pendinginan AC selalu maksimal.
Berikut adalah tips-tips atau pedoman cara untuk merawat mesin pendingin ruangan (udara) atau AC:
1. Cek filter udara unit indoor (dalam ruangan)
Karena fungsi AC antara lain adalah untuk dapat menyediakan udara yang sehat buat pernafasan, maka AC juga selalu diperlengkapi dengan filter.
Filter udara telah mempunyai fungsi ganda, yaitu
>> Untuk menjaga agar sirip-sirip coil pada unit indoor tidak cepat kotor.
>> Untuk membuat udara yang dihembuskan dari indoor bebas dari debu. Filter telah terbuat dari bahan khusus yang gampang mengikat partikel-partikel debu, bakteri, serbuk, bulu binatang, asap rokok dan lain-lain. Jika cukup banyak kotoran terakumulasi pada filter, maka akan dapat menyebabkan aliran udara fan blower terganggu, sehinga kapasitas pendinginan akan turun. Filter indoor sebaiknya dicuci minimal sebulan sekali. Membersihkan filter juga dapat dilakukan sendiri. Filter yang rusak juga harus diganti dengan yang baru. Filter umumnya mudah dilepas dan dipasang dengan cara slide-out dan slide-in.
2. Cek tekanan refrigran dan arus kompresor.
Tekanan yang berkurang juga merupakan indikasi telah terjadi kebocoran. Jika tekanan berkurang setelah unit dipakai bebarapa bulan atau setelah setahun, hal ini juga menunjukkan telah terjadi kebocoran yang sangat kecil. Perlu pemeriksaan yang teliti untuk dapat menemukan kebocoran seperti ini. Arus kompresor yang over menunjukkan kemungkinan terjadi refrigran over charge.
3. Cek kemungkinan kebocoran.
Secara berkala setiap 6 bulan atau minimal setahun sekali amati bagian-bagian perpipaan apakah menunjukkan adanya tetesan atau perembesan oli. Jika dijumpai hal ini, maka menunjukkan adanya kebocoran kecil.
4. Pencucian sirip-sirip coil evaporator dan kondensor.
Sirip-sirip pada coil evaporator & kondensor juga berfungsi untuk dapat memperluas kontak antara coil dengan udara. Jika sirip-sirip ini sampai rusak atau bengkok misalnya, maka dapat menghambat aliran udara. Gunakan sisir khusus yang dipakai untuk dapat memperbaiki sirip-sirip yang bengkok.
Dalam jangka waktu yang lama pada permukaan sirip sirip coil akan terakumulasi debu atau kerak. Hal ini juga akan dapat menghambat kontak antara sirip-sirip dengan udara, sehingga kapasitas pendinginan akan turun. Oleh karena itu sirip sirip coil evaporator maupun kondensor minimum setahun sekali harus dibersihkan. Membersihkan sirip-sirip coil diperlukan peralatan khusus dan teknisi yang terlatih.
Sirip-sirip pada AC, terutama bagian outdoor lama kelamaan akan terjadi korosi yang dapat menyebabkan kontak dengan udara menjadi kurang baik. Sirip dengan bahan khusus seperti Blue-fin misalnya, mempunyai kelebihan lebih tahan lama terhadap korosi daripada sirip aluminium biasa.
5. Periksa aliran udara unit indoor
Kecepatan fan blower indoor juga dapat menyebabkan kapasitas pendinginan berkurang. Periksa bearing mungkin kocak karena aus. Bearing dan as motor fan blower yang kering kadang dapat menimbulkan suara noise, maka berilah sedikit minyak pelumas.
6. Cek saluran pembuangan air dan leveling unit indoor
Kadang terjadi kebuntuan atau kebocoran pada saluran pembuangan air. Cek pembuangan air dengan cara mengisi air dari gelas pada tatakan penadah air pada unit indoor. Cek dudukan indoor apakah tidak ada yang kendor dan tidak miring.
7. Cek Outdoor
Cek baling-baling outdoor apakah dapat berputar dengan lancar. Berilah minyak kalau perlu. Aliran udara yang lemah pada unit outdoor akan dapat menyebabkan pembuangan panas tidak sempurna, temperatur kondensor naik, dan tekanan refrigran juga akan naik serta kapasitas pendinginan turun. Hal ini dapat menyebabkan kerja kompresor tambah berat dan umur kompresor tidak lama. Cek konektor-konektor kabel listrik apakah mungkin ada yang kendor. Cek dudukan unit outdoor apakah tidak ada skrup yang kendor dan dudukan tidak miring.
8. Pembersihan lingkungan sekitar unit outdoor
Agar proses sirkulasi pembuangan panas oleh outdoor tetap terjaga dengan sempurna, maka lingkungan disekitar unit outdoor harus selalu dipelihara. Mungkin ada sampah disekitarnya, atau mungkin ada daun pohon yang dapat menghambat sirkulasi udara.
Demikianlah tips praktis merawat AC di rumah, agar AC tidak cepat rusak dan AC dapat bekerja optimal. Semoga bermanfaat.
CARA PERAWATAN AC
saco-indonesia.com, Pelaku utama penembak polisi Brigadir Anunerta Nurul Affandi, masih buron. Polda Jabar telah merilis foto wajah penembak anggota Serse Polsek Kalapanunggal, Bogor, Jawa Barat. Pelaku Muhamad Sugandi alias Muklis sudah resmi masuk Daftar Pencarian orang (DPO).
“ Pria itu juga sudah resmi ditetapkan jadi DPO,“ tandas Kasubdit IiI Jatanras Ditreskrium Polda Jabar, AKBP Murjoko Budoyono. Dia juga menjelaskan, tim gabungan Polda Jabar dan Polres Bogor terus akan memburu pelaku yang telah menembak anggota polisi di warung makanan tak jauh dari mapolsek tempat korban bertugas. Dari hasil pengejaran tim berhasil menangkap seorang tersangka K di kawasan Bandar Lampung.
Diberitakan, Brigadir Anumerta Nurul tewas ditembak dua bandit jalanan di Bogor. Korban ditembak saat tengah makan siang di warung. Almarhum memergoki pelaku yang mencuri motor. Tanpa diduga sebelumnya salah seorang pelaku mencabut pistol dan menembak almarhum.
Buntut peritiwa tersebut Polda Jabar telah memberikan santunan pendidikan dan kesehatan Rp100 juta untuk anak almarhum bernama Muhamad Zaidan yang berusia 4 bulan.
POLDA JABAR SEBAR FOTO PENEMBAK ANGGOTA RESERSE
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
Gede Pasek Suardika telah merasa yakin kursinya di senayan aman hingga masa jabatannya berakhir. Keyakinan itu karena Ketua Umum DPP Partai Demokrat Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono masih sayang terhadap dirinya.
Kendati Ketua Harian Demokrat Syarif Hasan juga telah mengajukan surat pencopotan Pasek dari keanggotaan DPR dan partai, namun sampai saat ini posisi politisi asal Bali itu masih aman bercokol di Senayan.
Dia juga menilai, surat pemecatan dan pemanggilan yang diajukan Syarif dinilai janggal sehingga oleh pimpinan DPR hal itu ditolak.
“Kok saya yang dipecat, sementara dia yang jelas-jelas terlibat kasus videotroon dibiarkan,“ ujar Pasek , Selasa (18/3/2014).
Karenanya, alasan pemecatan yang dinilai aneh dan tidak sesuai mekanisme telah membuat pimpinan DPR menolak dan SBY juga tidak meneken surat persetujuan pemecatan.
“Ketum (SBY), masih sayang saya, nyatanya sampai sekarang beliau tidak mau menandatangani surat pemecatan,“ imbuh Pasek yang kini maju sebagai calon Dewan Perwakilan Daerah DPD itu.
Bagi Pasek, SBY telah menjadi guru politiknya selama ini dan dia tidak ada keinginan untuk keluar dari partai berlambang bintang mercy itu.
Meski demikian, Pasek tetap memandang jika nantinya dia benar-benar dipecat maka tidak dianggapnya sebagai musibah, malah menjadi berkah.
"Sekarang saya main di pinggiran, main seperti makan bubur justru lebih nikmat, ya dinikmati saja," imbuh Sekjend Perhimpunan Pergerakan Indonesia (PPI) itu.
UNITED NATIONS — Wearing pinstripes and a pince-nez, Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations envoy for Syria, arrived at the Security Council one Tuesday afternoon in February and announced that President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to halt airstrikes over Aleppo. Would the rebels, Mr. de Mistura suggested, agree to halt their shelling?
What he did not announce, but everyone knew by then, was that the Assad government had begun a military offensive to encircle opposition-held enclaves in Aleppo and that fierce fighting was underway. It would take only a few days for rebel leaders, having pushed back Syrian government forces, to outright reject Mr. de Mistura’s proposed freeze in the fighting, dooming the latest diplomatic overture on Syria.
Diplomacy is often about appearing to be doing something until the time is ripe for a deal to be done.
Now, with Mr. Assad’s forces having suffered a string of losses on the battlefield and the United States reaching at least a partial rapprochement with Mr. Assad’s main backer, Iran, Mr. de Mistura is changing course. Starting Monday, he is set to hold a series of closed talks in Geneva with the warring sides and their main supporters. Iran will be among them.
In an interview at United Nations headquarters last week, Mr. de Mistura hinted that the changing circumstances, both military and diplomatic, may have prompted various backers of the war to question how much longer the bloodshed could go on.
“Will that have an impact in accelerating the willingness for a political solution? We need to test it,” he said. “The Geneva consultations may be a good umbrella for testing that. It’s an occasion for asking everyone, including the government, if there is any new way that they are looking at a political solution, as they too claim they want.”
He said he would have a better assessment at the end of June, when he expects to wrap up his consultations. That coincides with the deadline for a final agreement in the Iran nuclear talks.
Whether a nuclear deal with Iran will pave the way for a new opening on peace talks in Syria remains to be seen. Increasingly, though, world leaders are explicitly linking the two, with the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, suggesting last week that a nuclear agreement could spur Tehran to play “a major but positive role in Syria.”
It could hardly come soon enough. Now in its fifth year, the Syrian war has claimed 220,000 lives, prompted an exodus of more than three million refugees and unleashed jihadist groups across the region. “This conflict is producing a question mark in many — where is it leading and whether this can be sustained,” Mr. de Mistura said.
Part Italian, part Swedish, Mr. de Mistura has worked with the United Nations for more than 40 years, but he is more widely known for his dapper style than for any diplomatic coups. Syria is by far the toughest assignment of his career — indeed, two of the organization’s most seasoned diplomats, Lakhdar Brahimi and Kofi Annan, tried to do the job and gave up — and critics have wondered aloud whether Mr. de Mistura is up to the task.
He served as a United Nations envoy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and before that in Lebanon, where a former minister recalled, with some scorn, that he spent many hours sunbathing at a private club in the hills above Beirut. Those who know him say he has a taste for fine suits and can sometimes speak too soon and too much, just as they point to his diplomatic missteps and hyperbole.
They cite, for instance, a news conference in October, when he raised the specter of Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslims were massacred in 1995 during the Balkans war, in warning that the Syrian border town of Kobani could fall to the Islamic State. In February, he was photographed at a party in Damascus, the Syrian capital, celebrating the anniversary of the Iranian revolution just as Syrian forces, aided by Iran, were pummeling rebel-held suburbs of Damascus; critics seized on that as evidence of his coziness with the government.
Mouin Rabbani, who served briefly as the head of Mr. de Mistura’s political affairs unit and has since emerged as one of his most outspoken critics, said Mr. de Mistura did not have the background necessary for the job. “This isn’t someone well known for his political vision or political imagination, and his closest confidants lack the requisite knowledge and experience,” Mr. Rabbani said.
As a deputy foreign minister in the Italian government, Mr. de Mistura was tasked in 2012 with freeing two Italian marines detained in India for shooting at Indian fishermen. He made 19 trips to India, to little effect. One marine was allowed to return to Italy for medical reasons; the other remains in India.
He said he initially turned down the Syria job when the United Nations secretary general approached him last August, only to change his mind the next day, after a sleepless, guilt-ridden night.
Mr. de Mistura compared his role in Syria to that of a doctor faced with a terminally ill patient. His goal in brokering a freeze in the fighting, he said, was to alleviate suffering. He settled on Aleppo as the location for its “fame,” he said, a decision that some questioned, considering that Aleppo was far trickier than the many other lesser-known towns where activists had negotiated temporary local cease-fires.
“Everybody, at least in Europe, are very familiar with the value of Aleppo,” Mr. de Mistura said. “So I was using that as an icebreaker.”
The cease-fire negotiations, to which he had devoted six months, fell apart quickly because of the government’s military offensive in Aleppo the very day of his announcement at the Security Council. Privately, United Nations diplomats said Mr. de Mistura had been manipulated. To this, Mr. de Mistura said only that he was “disappointed and concerned.”
Tarek Fares, a former rebel fighter, said after a recent visit to Aleppo that no Syrian would admit publicly to supporting Mr. de Mistura’s cease-fire proposal. “If anyone said they went to a de Mistura meeting in Gaziantep, they would be arrested,” is how he put it, referring to the Turkish city where negotiations between the two sides were held.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains staunchly behind Mr. de Mistura’s efforts. His defenders point out that he is at the center of one of the world’s toughest diplomatic problems, charged with mediating a conflict in which two of the world’s most powerful nations — Russia, which supports Mr. Assad, and the United States, which has called for his ouster — remain deadlocked.
R. Nicholas Burns, a former State Department official who now teaches at Harvard, credited Mr. de Mistura for trying to negotiate a cease-fire even when the chances of success were exceedingly small — and the chances of a political deal even smaller. For his efforts to work, Professor Burns argued, the world powers will first have to come to an agreement of their own.
“He needs the help of outside powers,” he said. “It starts with backers of Assad. That’s Russia and Iran. De Mistura is there, waiting.”With Iran Talks, a Tangled Path to Ending Syriaâ€™s War
“It was really nice to play with other women and not have this underlying tone of being at each other’s throats.”ay 4, 2015 â€˜Game of Thronesâ€™ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes
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.
Baltimore residents prepared to resume the more familiar rhythms of their lives as days passed without new bouts of widespread rioting and as the National Guard began to pull its troops from the city.In Baltimore, National Guard Pullout Begins as Citywide Curfew Is Lifted
Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.
Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.
Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.
Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.
“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”
Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.
The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.
They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.
A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.
Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.
What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.
It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)
A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.
The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.
It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.
High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.
But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.
In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.
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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.
But Mr. Xi’s visit was another sign that China is positioning itself to take advantage of the continent’s resource potential when the treaty expires in 2048 — or in the event that it is ripped up before, Chinese and Australian experts say.
“So far, our research is natural-science based, but we know there is more and more concern about resource security,” said Yang Huigen, director general of the Polar Research Institute of China, who accompanied Mr. Xi last November on his visit to Hobart and stood with him on the icebreaker, Xue Long, or Snow Dragon.
With that in mind, the polar institute recently opened a new division devoted to the study of resources, law, geopolitics and governance in Antarctica and the Arctic, Mr. Yang said.
Australia, a strategic ally of the United States that has strong economic relations with China, is watching China’s buildup in the Antarctic with a mix of gratitude — China’s presence offers support for Australia’s Antarctic science program, which is short of cash — and wariness.
“We should have no illusions about the deeper agenda — one that has not even been agreed to by Chinese scientists but is driven by Xi, and most likely his successors,” said Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former senior official in the Australian Department of Defense.
“This is part of a broader pattern of a mercantilist approach all around the world,” Mr. Jennings added. “A big driver of Chinese policy is to secure long-term energy supply and food supply.”
That approach was evident last month when a large Chinese agriculture enterprise announced an expansion of its fishing operations around Antarctica to catch more krill — small, protein-rich crustaceans that are abundant in Antarctic waters.
“The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share,” Liu Shenli, the chairman of the China National Agricultural Development Group, told China Daily, a state-owned newspaper. China would aim to fish up to two million tons of krill a year, he said, a substantial increase from what it currently harvests.
Because sovereignty over Antarctica is unclear, nations have sought to strengthen their claims over the ice-covered land by building research bases and naming geographic features. China’s fifth station will put it within reach of the six American facilities, and ahead of Australia’s three.
Chinese mappers have also given Chinese names to more than 300 sites, compared with the thousands of locations on the continent with English names.
In the unspoken competition for Antarctica’s future, scientific achievement can also translate into influence. Chinese scientists are driving to be the first to drill and recover an ice core containing tiny air bubbles that provide a record of climate change stretching as far back as 1.5 million years. It is an expensive and delicate effort at which others, including the European Union and Australia, have failed.
In a breakthrough a decade ago, European scientists extracted an ice core nearly two miles long that revealed 800,000 years of climate history. But finding an ice core going back further would allow scientists to examine a change in the earth’s climate cycles believed to have occurred 900,000 to 1.2 million years ago.
China is betting it has found the best location to drill, at an area called Dome A, or Dome Argus, the highest point on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Though it is considered one of the coldest places on the planet, with temperatures of 130 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, a Chinese expedition explored the area in 2005 and established a research station in 2009.
“The international community has drilled in lots of places, but no luck so far,” said Xiao Cunde, a member of the first party to reach the site and the deputy director of the Institute for Climate Change at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences. “We think at Dome A we will have a straight shot at the one-million-year ice core.”
Mr. Xiao said China had already begun drilling and hoped to find what scientists are looking for in four to five years.
To support its Antarctic aspirations, China is building a sophisticated $300 million icebreaker that is expected to be ready in a few years, said Xia Limin, deputy director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration in Beijing. It has also bought a high-tech fixed-wing aircraft, outfitted in the United States, for taking sensitive scientific soundings from the ice.
China has chosen the site for its fifth research station at Inexpressible Island, named by a group of British explorers who were stranded at the desolate site in 1912 and survived the winter by excavating a small ice cave.
Mr. Xia said the inhospitable spot was ideal because China did not have a presence in that part of Antarctica, and because the rocky site did not have much snow, making it relatively cheap to build there.
Anne-Marie Brady, a professor of political science at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the author of a soon-to-be-released book, “China as a Polar Great Power,” said Chinese scientists also believed they had a good chance of finding mineral and energy resources near the site.
“China is playing a long game in Antarctica and keeping other states guessing about its true intentions and interests are part of its poker hand,” she said. But she noted that China’s interest in finding minerals was presented “loud and clear to domestic audiences” as the main reason it was investing in Antarctica.
Because commercial drilling is banned, estimates of energy and mineral resources in Antarctica rely on remote sensing data and comparisons with similar geological environments elsewhere, said Millard F. Coffin, executive director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart.
But the difficulty of extraction in such severe conditions and uncertainty about future commodity prices make it unlikely that China or any country would defy the ban on mining anytime soon.
Tourism, however, is already booming. Travelers from China are still a relatively small contingent in the Antarctic compared with the more than 13,000 Americans who visited in 2013, and as yet there are no licensed Chinese tour operators.
But that is about to change, said Anthony Bergin, deputy director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “I understand very soon there will be Chinese tourists on Chinese vessels with all-Chinese crew in the Antarctic,” he said.Top News Chinaâ€™s Intents Are Questioned as It Builds in Antarctica
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
He half-smiles, raises his one good hand, and forms a fist.Meet Mago, Former Heavyweight