PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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 Allah Maha Pemurah, diantara refleksi sifat Maha Pemurah Allah, Allah mensyariatkan  amal-amal yang ringan dikerjakan namun pahalanya (balasan kebaikannya) berlipat ganda, baik di dunia maupun di akhirat. Dengan amal-amal ini, kita sebagai umat manusia yang ditakdirkan Allah memiliki usia yang pendek, rata-rata antara 60-70 tahun bisa mengoptimalkan usia kita untuk mendapatkan balasan kebaikan dari Allah yang berlipat ganda. Diantara amal-amal ringan tapi berpahala besar adalah amal-amal yang pahalanya setara dengan pahala ibadah haji dan umrah. Amalan-amalan tersebut diantaranya:

1. KELUAR DARI RUMAH MENUJU SHALAT FARDHU DI MASJID DALAM KONDISI SUDAH BERSUCI.
Dari ABu Umamah, Rasulullah shallallahu alaihi wa sallam bersabda, "Barang siapa keluar dari rumahnya dalam keadaan suci untuk menunaikan shalat fardhu, pahalanya seperti pahala haji orang berihram." (Shahih: Shahih Abu Dawud, no 558)

2. SHALAT BERJAMA'AH DI MASJID KEMUDIAN DUDUK BERDZIKIR SAMPAI TERBIT MATAHARI LALU SHALAT 2 RAKA'AT

مَنْ صَلَّىالْغَدَا ةَ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ ثُمَّ قَعَدَ يَذْكُرُ اللَّهَ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ ثُمَّ صَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ كَانَتْ لَهُ كَأَجْرِحَجَّةٍ وَعُمْرَةٍ قَالَ قَالَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ تَامَّةٍ تَامَّةٍ تَامَّةٍ   
Dari Anas bin Malik, Rasulullah s.a.w bersabda, " Barangsiapa Shalat Subuh berjamaah lalu duduk berdzikir (mengingat) Allah sampai terbit matahari kemudian shalat 2 raka'at, maka baginya pahala seperti pahala haji dan umrah yang sempurna, sempurna, sempurna." (Hasan: Shahih At-Tirmidzi, no. 480, 586; Shahih At-Targhib wa AT-Tarhib, no. 464; Ash-Shahihah, no. 3403)(Dishahihkan oleh Al-Albani). Dalam hadits lain, dari Abu Umamah dan 'Utbah bin 'Abd, Rasulullah bersabda, "Barangsiapa shalat Subuh dalam sebuah masjid secara berjama'ah lalu tinggal di dalamnya hingga ia Shalat Dhuha, maka ia mendapatkan pahala seperti pahalanya orang haji dan umrah yang sempurna haji dan umrahnya." (Hasan li ghairihi: Shahih At-Targhib wa At-Tarhib, no. 469).
Dalam hadits-hadits diatas, Rasulullah menyebutkan dzikir secara umum. Masuk dalam dzikir adalah ta'lim/kajian Islam. Selain lebih banyak faedahnya karena mempelajari ilmu syar'i, juga karena lebih meringankan jiwa yang terkadang malas berdzikir sendiri dalam waktu yang cukup lama.

3. MEMPELAJARI ATAU MENGAJARKAN KEBAIKAN DI MASJID
Dari Abu Umamah, Nabi saw bersabda," Barangsiapa pergi ke masjid, dia tidak menginginkan kecuali mempelajari suatu kebaikan atau mengajarkannya, maka baginya pahala seperti pahala orang haji sempurna hajinya.". Dalam riwayat lain dengan redaksi, "Barangsiapa berangkat di pagi hari menuju masjid, ia tidak menginginkan kecuali untuk mempelajari suatu kebaikan atau mengajarkannya, maka baginya pahala orang yang melaksanakan umrah dengan umrah yang sempurna. Dan barangsiapa berangkat sore hari menuju masjid, ia tidak menginginkan kecuali mempelajari suatu kebaikan atau mengajarkannya, maka ia mendapatkan pahala orang yang naik haji dengan haji yang sempurna."(Hasan Shahih: Shahih At-Targhib wa AT-Tarhib no 82).
Perlu diketahui, pahala ini bisa didapat dengan syarat, pelaku sebelum masuk ke dalam masjid, di perjalanan menuju masjid, atau masih dirumah, haruslah berniat untuk mempelajari atau mengajarkan kebaikan. Nabi dalam hadits diatas tidak menetapkan durasi waktu tertentu.

4. MELAKSANAKAN SHALAT FARDHU BERJAMA'AH DAN SHALAT DHUHA DI MASJID
Dari Abu Umamah, Rasulullah s.a.w bersabda," Barangsiapa berjalan menuju berjama'ah sholat wajib, maka dia seperti berhaji. Dan barang siapa berjalan menuju shalat tathawwu'(sunnah) maka dia seperti berumrah yang nafilah (istilah lain sunnah)." (Hasan: Shahih Al-Jami' no. 6556), dalam hadits yang lainnya, Rasulullah bersabda," Barangsiapa keluar dari rumahnya dalam keadaan sudah bersuci untuk shalat fardhu maka pahalanya seperti pahala orang haji yang berihram, Dan barangsiapa keluar shalat Dhuha dia tidak bermaksud kecuali itu, maka pahalanya seperti pahala orang yang berumrah. Dan shalat sesudah shalat yang tidak ada perbuatan sia-sia di antara keduanya diyulis di kitab 'Illiyyin."( Shahih: Shahih Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 522;Shahih Al-Jami' no. 6228)

Itulah beberapa amalan yang pahalanya setara dengan pahala orang yang sedang berhaji dan berumrah. Perlu diingat, amal-amal ini tidak bisa menggugurkan kewajiban berhaji dan berumrah. Orang-orang yang telah mengerjakan amal-amal ini tetap wajib melaksanakan ibadah haji dan umrah. Al-Munawi dalam Al-Faidh Al-Qadiir jilid 6 hal. 228, "makna mendapat pahala haji atau mendapat pahala seperti pahala haji, tetapi tidak harus sama persis." Maka, amal-amal yang berpahala seperti/setara pahala haji dan umrah itu tidak menghapus kewajiban haji dan umrah.

Seandainya amal-amal itu bisa mengganti kewajiban haji dan umrah atas setiap muslim, maka tidak akan ada orang yang melaksanakan haji dan umrah sejak zaman Nabi Muhammad. Nabi Muhammad yang mensosialisasikan amal-amal tersebut saja tetap melakukan haji dan umrah, demikian juga para pengikut beliau yang setia. Maka sebuah bid'ah dan kesesatan jika seseorang yang tidak berhaji dan berumrah dengan alasan telah beramal dengan amal-amal berpahala seperti pahala dan haji.

Sumber : http://www.metrokota.go.id

Baca Artikel Lainnya : HAJI DAN UMRAH SERTA PERBEDAANNYA

AMALAN YANG SETARA DENGAN HAJI DAN UMRAH

saco-indonesia.com, Dalam kunjungan kerja selama tiga hari kemarin, Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) juga sempat meninjau ke pabrik tahu dan toko di Sumedang, Jawa Barat. SBY telah menyebut ada persoalan suplai kedelai dan stabilitas harga.

"Saya juga telah melihat industri rakyat, usaha mikro kecil dan menengah, industri tahu Sumedang ya, ada persoalan kedelai baik suplai maupun stabilitas harganya dan secara umum apa yang harus negara lakukan untuk kembangkan UMKM," ujar SBY, sebelum membuka ratas, pagi ini, di Kantornya, Jumat (7/2).

SBY juga telah mengingatkan kembali ketika UMKM mengalami krisis dan bagaimana pemerintah bisa meminimalisir hal itu. SBY juga berpesan kepada kepala daerah, Gubernur untuk dapat mendorong usaha rakyat kecil dan menengah di daerahnya masing-masing.

"Dulu waktu kita alami krisis, ekonomi kita, usaha kecil menengah kita rontok, itu akan bisa meminimalisir dampaknya, sekarang Alhamdulillah investasi terus tumbuh, bukan hanya usaha besar tapi juga kecil dan menengah tumbuh baik," ujar SBY.

"Saya sampaikan gubernur agar usaha kecil dan menengah ini di dorong," ujarnya lagi.

Dalam kunjungan kerja, SBY beserta rombongan telah mengunjungi pabrik dan toko tahu Palasari di Jalan Mayor Abdurachman, Sumedang Utara, Jawa Barat. SBY juga sempat mencicipi tahu yang digoreng oleh Bu Ani Yudhoyono yang ikut meninjau dalam rombongan.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

SBY PERINTAHKAN GUBERNUR IKUT KEMBANGKAN UMKM

mobil sedan corolla dx retro sekarang ini sedang booming dan menjadi trend di beberapa kota besar di indonesia, silahkan perhatikan geliat pengguna dan penggemar mobil sedan corolla ini. di jakarta ada CRC ( Corolla Retro Club ), di Bogor ada DX Bogor, di Bandung ada DX Bandoeng. sudah bukan menjadi rahasia lagi bahwa mobil sedan corolla dx adalah sebuah produksi mobil tua, tapi tidak demikian dengan performa dan kualitasnya sebagai mobil legendaris toyota yang tidak lekang oleh waktu. silahkan kunjungi website http://www.bandungtrends.com untuk melihat hasil restorasi dari mobil sedan corolla dx.

MOBIL SEDANG COROLLA DX RETRO
CHAN Umar, laki-laki 43 tahun, asyik mencongkel-congkel selembar papan yang diletakkan di atas meja kerjanya dengan pahat. Sesekali tangan kanannya meraih tukul (penokok) kayu yang terletak di atas papan untuk memukul pahat, melubangi papan sesuai motif. Terkadang ia mengganti jenis pahat yang lebih selusin tergeletak di depannya. Perlahan namun pasti, selembar papan dari kayu surian yang sudah diketam itu berubah menjadi ukiran khas Minang di tangan Umar.n sehari-hari Chan Umar, pemilik bengkel “Ukiran Chan Umar” di Nagari Pandai Sikek, Kabupaten Tanah Datar. Pandai Sikek adalah daerah yang terkenal di Sumatra Barat sebagai sentra kerajinan tradisional songket dan ukiran khas Minangkabau. Meski daerah ini termasuk dalam wilayah Kabupaten Tanah Datar tetapi Pandai Sikek lebih dekat, hanya 20 km dari Kota Padangpanjang menuju Bukittinggi. Pilihan Hidup Di Pandai Sikek ada 6 bengkel ukiran tradisional dan Chan Umar dengan bengkelnya merupakan yang paling menonjol.Konon, menurut Chan Umar, Pandai Sikek sendiri memperoleh nama dari kepandaian Si Ikek mengukir interior dan eksterior rumah gadang. Si Ikek adalah seorang lelaki di daerah itu pada zaman dulu yang sangat mahir mengukir di atas kayu. Pandai Sikek sebagai sentra kerajinan ukir Minang yang banyak digunakan untuk ukiran Rumah Gadang (rumah adat Minangkabau) dan kerajinan songket yang sudah ada sejak zaman dulu hingga era Kolonial Belanda, sempat terhenti di zaman Penjajahan Jepang (1942-1945). Kondisi ini terus berlanjut sampai 1960-an. Agresi Belanda Kedua, dan kekacauan politik dalam negeri, dari tragedi PRRI (Pemerintahan Revolusioner Republik Indonesia) hingga pertentangan dengan Partai Komunisme Indonesia (PKI), membuat suasana mengukir dan bertenun di Pandai Sikek benar-benar terhenti.Bahkan sebagian besar untuk rumah gadang yang dibangun pemerintah, seperti museum dan renovasi rumah gadang bersejarah. Di antaranya rumah gadang Museum Adityawarman di Padang, rumah gadang Museum Kebun Binatang Bukittinggi, dan Istana Pagaruyung di Batusangkar. “Namun setelah itu hampir tidak ada lagi proyek pemerintah dan pesanan ukiran rumah gadang, kecuali pesanan rumah gadang di beberapa tempat seperti di Nagari Sulit Air, Solok yang dibuat beberapa orang perantau,” kata Umar. Beberapa perantau Minang yang kaya tetap ada yang merenovasi rumah adat lama mereka yang rusak dengan yang baru, atau membuat rumah di kampung bergaya rumah adat dan sanggup mengeluarkan uang Rp400 juta untuk ukirannya untuk interior dan eksteriornya,” ujarnya. Sama dengan Motif Songket Chan Umar menetapkan harga ukirannya Rp500 ribu hingga Rp1,5 juta per meter bujur sangkar. Mahal-murahnya ukiran tergantung besar, kecil, dan rumitnya motif yang dipesan. Kayu yang digunakan adalah surian, kualitasnya sedikit di bawah jati, yang banyak terdapat di hutan Sumatra Barat. Sedikitnya Chan Umar membutuh dalam satu hari 5 kubik surian. Meski di Sumatra Barat sentra kerajinan ukir tradisional Minangkabau tak hanya terdapat di Pandai Sikek, juga di Candung (Agam), Cupak (Solok), dan Lintau (Tanah Datar), namun Pandai Sikek jauh lebih berkembang, dan Chan Umar merupakan pengukir terkemuka. Keunggulan produk yang dihasilkan Umar adalah hasil dari kecermatannya menorehkan motif dan menentukan warna. Pengerjaan kedua seni kerajinan ini di bawah kolong rumah gadang pada masa lalu membuat motif saling mempengaruhi dan umumnya serupa. Diperkirakaan ada 200 motif tradisional untuk ukiran, namun yang sering dipakai hanya sekitar 20-an. Masing-masingnya memiliki filosofi sendiri. Misalnya motif ‘itiak pulang patang’ (itik pulang sore) memiliki filofosi masyarakat Minangkabau akan teringat dengan kampung halamannya dan selalu seiya-sekatu (bersatu). Chan Umar sangat optimistis kepandaian kerajinan ukir yang dimilikinya dan orang-orang di Pandai Sikek akan selalu menjadi andalan perekonomian di daerah itu. Meski di Pandai Sikek 70 persen mata pencarian penduduk adalah di sektor pertanian dan 30 persen di sektor kerajinan (tenun dan ukir), namun karajinan telah membuka banyak lapangan pekerjaan.“Biasanya seorang perajin hanya mampu bertahan selama 15 tahun, setelah berkeluarga dan kebutuhan ekonomi bertambah, ia mencari usaha lain, kebanyakan tak lagi mengukir,” katanya. Karena itu, selain Chan Umar, para pengukir umumnya berusia di bawah 40 tahun. Meski begitu, tangan-tangan terampil mereka tak pernah berhenti menorehkan motif khas minang di selembar kayu untuk sebuah ornamen seni yang enak dipandang mata dari generasi ke generasi. KESETIAAN SEORANG PENGRAJIN UKIRAN
Pandaisikek sudah mulai kehilangan salah satu sayuran yang merupakan cirikhas daerah ini yaitu lobak rimbo, dahulunya tanaman sayuran ini adalah salah satu tonggak ekonomi bagi masayarakat petani. Sekitar tahun 1930-1990 tanaman ini hanya di budidayakan di lereng gunung singgalang, walau banyak daerah lain di kaki gunung singgalang tapi sayuran ini hanya ada di pandaisikek , Sehingga terkenalah daerah pandaisikek penghasil sayuran ini. Kemudian pada tahun-tahun berikutnya sampai sekarang sayuran ini dikembanghan di daerah tetangga masih wilayah kaki gunung singgalang, tetapi bibit yang ditanam saat sekarang jauh berbeda dengan yang ditananm di pandaisikek. Mungkin karena usia tanaman ini cukup lama,petani beralih ketanaman sayuran yang lebihcepat produksinya seperti sawi bola,sawi pahit dan sawi manih, Sehingga lobak rimbo ini semakin punah . Petani yang membudi dayakan sayuran ini hanya tingal sekitar 1-2 keluarga saja dan dilahan deadanya saja. Pembudidayaan Lobak rimbo tidaklah memakan biaya yang terlalu besar karena tanaman ini tahan akan berbagai macam penyakit dan hama lain (kurang disukai oleh ulat), sehingga tidak perlu menggunakan banyak pestisida dalam melakukan penyemproyan atau perawatan . Begitu pula dengan pemupukan ,rata-rata pupuk yang paling dibutuh kan oleh sayuran ini adalah pupuk organic atau pupuk kandang. Mungkin kalau keadaan ini terus berlangsung, lobak rimbo akan punah dan tinggal kenangan , Biasanya masayarakat perantau pandai sikek bila pulang kekampung halaman begitu pengen dengan suguhan tanaman kobak rimbo ini yang terlebih dahulu disayur atau cukup di rebus saja. Rasa dari lobak rimbo ini pun begitu khas menbuat selera makan meningkat. Juga biasanya untuk kembali keperantauan tidak lupa untuk membawa lobak rimbo ini sebagai oleh-oleh. Lobak rimbo ini di pasaran juga sangat laris , yang biasa digunakan untuk campuran sayuran yang disuguhkan di rumah-rumah makan di Sumatra barat khusunya bahkan sampai ke provinsi lain di Indonesia, seperti pekanbaru, jambi dan lainya. Akankah Lobak rimbo hanya akan tingal kenangan…………………………………..?SAYURAN KHAS YANG HAMPIR PUNAH

Mr. Mankiewicz, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for “I Want to Live!,” also wrote episodes of television shows such as “Star Trek” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.”

Don Mankiewicz, Screenwriter in a Family Film Tradition, Dies at 93

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

Mr. Alger, who served five terms from Texas, led Republican women in a confrontation with Lyndon B. Johnson that may have cost Richard M. Nixon the 1960 presidential election.

Bruce Alger, 96, Dies; Led ‘Mink Coat’ Protest Against Lyndon Johnson

Even as a high school student, Dave Goldberg was urging female classmates to speak up. As a young dot-com executive, he had one girlfriend after another, but fell hard for a driven friend named Sheryl Sandberg, pining after her for years. After they wed, Mr. Goldberg pushed her to negotiate hard for high compensation and arranged his schedule so that he could be home with their children when she was traveling for work.

Mr. Goldberg, who died unexpectedly on Friday, was a genial, 47-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who built his latest company, SurveyMonkey, from a modest enterprise to one recently valued by investors at $2 billion. But he was also perhaps the signature male feminist of his era: the first major chief executive in memory to spur his wife to become as successful in business as he was, and an essential figure in “Lean In,” Ms. Sandberg’s blockbuster guide to female achievement.

Over the weekend, even strangers were shocked at his death, both because of his relatively young age and because they knew of him as the living, breathing, car-pooling center of a new philosophy of two-career marriage.

“They were very much the role models for what this next generation wants to grapple with,” said Debora L. Spar, the president of Barnard College. In a 2011 commencement speech there, Ms. Sandberg told the graduates that whom they married would be their most important career decision.

In the play “The Heidi Chronicles,” revived on Broadway this spring, a male character who is the founder of a media company says that “I don’t want to come home to an A-plus,” explaining that his ambitions require him to marry an unthreatening helpmeet. Mr. Goldberg grew up to hold the opposite view, starting with his upbringing in progressive Minneapolis circles where “there was woman power in every aspect of our lives,” Jeffrey Dachis, a childhood friend, said in an interview.

The Goldberg parents read “The Feminine Mystique” together — in fact, Mr. Goldberg’s father introduced it to his wife, according to Ms. Sandberg’s book. In 1976, Paula Goldberg helped found a nonprofit to aid children with disabilities. Her husband, Mel, a law professor who taught at night, made the family breakfast at home.

Later, when Dave Goldberg was in high school and his prom date, Jill Chessen, stayed silent in a politics class, he chastised her afterward. He said, “You need to speak up,” Ms. Chessen recalled in an interview. “They need to hear your voice.”

Years later, when Karin Gilford, an early employee at Launch Media, Mr. Goldberg’s digital music company, became a mother, he knew exactly what to do. He kept giving her challenging assignments, she recalled, but also let her work from home one day a week. After Yahoo acquired Launch, Mr. Goldberg became known for distributing roses to all the women in the office on Valentine’s Day.

Ms. Sandberg, who often describes herself as bossy-in-a-good-way, enchanted him when they became friendly in the mid-1990s. He “was smitten with her,” Ms. Chessen remembered. Ms. Sandberg was dating someone else, but Mr. Goldberg still hung around, even helping her and her then-boyfriend move, recalled Bob Roback, a friend and co-founder of Launch. When they finally married in 2004, friends remember thinking how similar the two were, and that the qualities that might have made Ms. Sandberg intimidating to some men drew Mr. Goldberg to her even more.

Over the next decade, Mr. Goldberg and Ms. Sandberg pioneered new ways of capturing information online, had a son and then a daughter, became immensely wealthy, and hashed out their who-does-what-in-this-marriage issues. Mr. Goldberg’s commute from the Bay Area to Los Angeles became a strain, so he relocated, later joking that he “lost the coin flip” of where they would live. He paid the bills, she planned the birthday parties, and both often left their offices at 5:30 so they could eat dinner with their children before resuming work afterward.

Friends in Silicon Valley say they were careful to conduct their careers separately, politely refusing when outsiders would ask one about the other’s work: Ms. Sandberg’s role building Facebook into an information and advertising powerhouse, and Mr. Goldberg at SurveyMonkey, which made polling faster and cheaper. But privately, their work was intertwined. He often began statements to his team with the phrase “Well, Sheryl said” sharing her business advice. He counseled her, too, starting with her salary negotiations with Mark Zuckerberg.

“I wanted Mark to really feel he stretched to get Sheryl, because she was worth it,” Mr. Goldberg explained in a 2013 “60 Minutes” interview, his Minnesota accent and his smile intact as he offered a rare peek of the intersection of marriage and money at the top of corporate life.

 

 

While his wife grew increasingly outspoken about women’s advancement, Mr. Goldberg quietly advised the men in the office on family and partnership matters, an associate said. Six out of 16 members of SurveyMonkey’s management team are female, an almost unheard-of ratio among Silicon Valley “unicorns,” or companies valued at over $1 billion.

When Mellody Hobson, a friend and finance executive, wrote a chapter of “Lean In” about women of color for the college edition of the book, Mr. Goldberg gave her feedback on the draft, a clue to his deep involvement. He joked with Ms. Hobson that she was too long-winded, like Ms. Sandberg, but aside from that, he said he loved the chapter, she said in an interview.

By then, Mr. Goldberg was a figure of fascination who inspired a “where can I get one of those?” reaction among many of the women who had read the best seller “Lean In.” Some lamented that Ms. Sandberg’s advice hinged too much on marrying a Dave Goldberg, who was humble enough to plan around his wife, attentive enough to worry about which shoes his young daughter would wear, and rich enough to help pay for the help that made the family’s balancing act manageable.

Now that he is gone, and Ms. Sandberg goes from being half of a celebrated partnership to perhaps the business world’s most prominent single mother, the pages of “Lean In” carry a new sting of loss.

“We are never at 50-50 at any given moment — perfect equality is hard to define or sustain — but we allow the pendulum to swing back and forth between us,” she wrote in 2013, adding that they were looking forward to raising teenagers together.

“Fortunately, I have Dave to figure it out with me,” she wrote.

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

Mr. King sang for the Drifters and found success as a solo performer with hits like “Spanish Harlem.”

Ben E. King, Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76

Mr. Pfaff was an international affairs columnist and author who found Washington’s intervention in world affairs often misguided.

William Pfaff, Critic of American Foreign Policy, Dies at 86

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China
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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues
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