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Saco-Indonesia.com - Manfaat kesehatan dari pepaya matang pasti sudah banyak yang mengetahuinya. Namun tak hanya pepaya yang sudah matang dan berwarna orange saja yang memiliki manfaat kesehatan. Bahkan pepaya yang masih belum matang pun memiliki efek baik untuk kesehatan tubuh.

Pepaya muda atau yang belum benar-benar matang biasanya berwarna hijau dan belum memiliki biji. Bagian dalamnya biasanya berwarna lebih putih. Pepaya muda memang tak sepopuler pepaya yang sudah matang, ini karena pepaya matang lebih enak dan lebih mudah dikonsumsi.

Pepaya muda mengandung banyak vitamin dan mineral seperti potasium, magnesium, vitamin A, C, B, dan E. Selain itu, pepaya muda juga mengandung enzim papain dan chymopapain yang baik untuk perut. Berikut adalah beberapa manfaat kesehatan dari pepaya muda, seperti dilansir oleh Boldsky (08/03).

1. Menjaga pencernaan
Enzim papain dan chymopapain yang ada pada pepaya muda membantu menjaga kesehatan pencernaan dan terbentuknya gas dalam perut. Dengan begitu, pepaya muda tak akan menyebabkan kembung dan membuat sistem pencernaan bekerja lebih lancar.

2. Meningkatkan sistem kekebalan tubuh
Baik pepaya muda ataupun biji pepaya diketahui baik untuk meningkatkan sistem kekebalan tubuh. Pepaya kaya akan vitamin A, C, dan E. Pepaya muda juga diketahui bisa mencegah infeksi, pilek, dan batuk.

3. Menyembuhkan konstipasi
Papain yang ada dalam pepaya muda membantu mengatasi konstipasi secara alami. Bahkan pepaya yang sudah matang pun tak memiliki papain sebanyak pepaya muda.

4. Membersihkan usus
Mengonsumsi jus pepaya muda adalah salah satu cara terbaik dan termudah untuk membersihkan usus. Semua nutrisi dan mineral di dalamnya juga bisa menyehatkan pencernaan, tak hanya membersihkannya dari zat beracun dan kotoran yang tak diinginkan.

5. Meningkatkan produksi ASI
Bagi ibu yang sedang menyusui, pepaya muda sangat baik untuk meningkatkan produksi ASI. Dengan begitu ibu tak perlu khawatir ASI yang diproduksi tak cukup untuk si buah hati.

6. Melindungi dari infeksi saluran kemih
Pepaya muda juga melindungi sistem pengeluaran tubuh dan melindunginya dari infeksi saluran kemih. Konsumsi jus pepaya muda untuk mencegah berkumpulnya bakteri pada saluran kemih.

Itulah beberapa manfaat pepaya muda untuk kesehatan. Pepaya muda memang tak seenak pepaya yang sudah matang. Namun jangan ragu untuk mengonsumsinya karena pepaya muda juga memiliki banyak manfaat untuk kesehatan.

Editor : Maulana Lee

Sumber : merdeka.com

Enam Manfaat sehat mengonsumsi pepaya muda

JAKARTA, Saco-Indonesia.com — Siapa orang yang menembak Tito Refra Kei, adik John Kei, hingga tewas masih belum diketahui. Namun, diduga pelaku adalah pembunuh bayaran.

"Kita duga ini aksi dilakukan oleh pembunuh bayaran. Untuk mendeteksi aksi pembunuh bayaran itu sulit karena sifatnya individu," kata Presidium Indonesia Police Watch Neta S Pane, saat dihubungi Kompas.com, Senin (3/6/2013).

Menurut Neta, dugaan itu dapat dilihat dari keterampilan pelaku dalam melakukan eksekusinya. Pertama, pelaku dapat melakukan aksinya bahkan pada saat situasi ramai. Padahal, kata Neta, ada orang-orang Tito Kei yang juga berada di lokasi kejadian. Kedua, lanjut Neta, pelaku melakukan penembakan dengan tepat sasaran, meski menggunakan helm dan kondisi saat itu sudah malam.

"Ketiga, kita duga pelaku sudah profesional, sudah melakukan survei dengan datang dari mana, posisi tembak di mana, dan dia harus lari ke mana," ujar Neta.

Selain itu, Neta mengatakan, kemungkinan pelaku sudah memiliki senjata api bukan rakitan sudah cukup lama. "Memang banyak beredar senjata api rakitan. Tapi dalam kasus Tito tidak ada kaitannya karena tentu senjata yang digunakan bukan rakitan, tetapi senjata sudah dimiliki cukup lama sehingga tepat sasaran. Senjata rakitan yang ilegal itu biasa dilakukan pada aksi pencurian seperti di minimarket," ujarnya.

Belajar dari kasus kematian Tito Kei, sambungnya, sudah saatnya jajaran kepolisian di Polda Metro Jaya melakukan deteksi dini terhadap pelaku teror bersenjata itu. Hal ini, kata dia, untuk mencegah potensi kejadian lain yang bisa muncul dari kasus tersebut.

"Polres atau polsek bisa melakukan patroli untuk antisipasi jangan sampai ada aksi penembakan seperti itu," katanya.

Sebelumnya, pelaku tak dikenal dengan memakai helm dan mengenakan jaket mendekati Tito dan rekannya yang tengah bermain kartu di lokasi kejadian. Pelaku kemudian menembak Tito beserta pemilik warung hingga kedua korban tewas. Dalam kejadian itu pelaku melepaskan tembakan dua kali kepada korban.

Setelah melakukan aksinya, pelaku kemudian melarikan diri. Sementara itu, di lokasi kejadian, polisi menemukan satu proyektil peluru dan satu selongsong.

 
Editor :Liwon Maulana
Sumber:Kompas.com
Dugaan Penembak Tito Kei adalah Pembunuh Bayaran

TOKYO, Saco-Indonesia.com — Dari hasil penelitian Credit Suisse dalam laporannya, Global Wealth Databook 2013, yang terbit pada akhir Oktober 2013 menunjukkan bahwa Indonesia di peringkat ke-24 dunia untuk negara dengan jumlah orang kaya paling banyak. Jumlah orang kaya terbanyak berada di Amerika Serikat, lalu Jepang, Italia, Perancis, Inggris, Jerman, China, Kanada, Australia, dan Spanyol.

Dari laporan tersebut, terdapat 22 orang superkaya Indonesia yang memiliki harta di atas 1 miliar dollar AS atau sekitar Rp 12 triliun (kurs Rp 12.000 per dollar AS). Sayangnya, Credit Suisse tidak mengungkapkan siapa saja 22 orang terkaya Indonesia tersebut.

Global Wealth Databook 2013 membagi dua kategori orang kaya, yaitu yang di atas 100.000 dollar AS dan yang di atas 1 juta dollar AS. Warga Indonesia yang memiliki kekayaan minimal 100.000 dollar AS atau lebih mencapai 2,18 juta orang (0,6 persen). Adapun yang di atas 1 juta dollar AS sebanyak 123.000 orang (0,4 persen).

Jumlah orang kaya Indonesia yang memiliki kekayaan minimal 100.000 dollar AS melebihi jumlah orang kaya Singapura, yang hanya 1,81 juta orang. Namun untuk yang memiliki kekayaan di atas 1 juta dollar AS, Singapura lebih banyak dari Indonesia, yaitu 174.000 orang. Secara peringkat, Indonesia berada di peringkat ke-24, sedangkan Singapura ke-23. Artinya, secara perorangan, warga Singapura lebih kaya daripada orang Indonesia.

Apabila dirinci lebih detail lagi, kategori di atas 1 juta dollar AS terdiri dari perorangan yang memiliki kekayaan 1 juta-5 juta dollar AS, 5 juta-10 juta dollar AS, 10 juta-50 juta dollar AS, 50 juta-100 juta dollar AS, 100 juta-500 juta dollar AS, 500 juta-1 miliar dollar AS, dan di atas 1 miliar dollar AS.

Adapun jumlah orang Indonesia yang memiliki kekayaan antara 1 juta-5 juta dollar AS berjumlah 106.739 orang, 5 juta-10 juta dollar AS berjumlah 9.579 orang, 10 juta-50 juta dollar AS berjumlah 6.032 orang, 50 juta-100 juta dollar AS berjumlah 541 orang, 100 juta-500 juta dollar AS berjumlah 341 orang, 500 juta-1 miliar dollar AS berjumlah 31 orang, dan di atas 1 miliar dollar AS sebanyak 22 orang.

Lembaga ini juga mengungkapkan, saat ini 80 persen kekayaan Indonesia masih banyak dalam bentuk fisik, seperti properti, peternakan, dan bangunan kantor, ketimbang kekayaan saham dan produk finansial. Namun lama-kelamaan, hal ini akan berubah. Kepemilikan bentuk produk finansial akan semakin banyak, seperti dituliskan dalam laporan tersebut.

Data kekayaan orang Indonesia dalam bentuk produk finansial per orang rata-rata hanya 1.948 dollar AS (15,7 persen). Adapun kepemilikan non-finansial 10.444 dollar AS (84,3 persen) dan utang 553 dollar AS per orang. Sementara itu, kekayaan kotor (gross wealth) rata-rata per orang sebesar 12.393 dollar AS.

Tahun 2000, jumlah kepemilikan produk non-finansial seperti properti dan sebagainya jauh lebih banyak lagi, yaitu 92,3 persen. Adapun kepemilikan produk finansial hanya 7,7 persen.

Dengan perkembangan perekonomian yang semakin baik di Indonesia, lembaga keuangan tersebut menempatkan kualitas data Indonesia pada kategori Cukup (Fair), dengan pendapatan per kapita sebesar 6.104 dollar AS. Sementara itu, pendapatan per kapita Amerika Serikat pada 2013 sebesar 68.673 dollar AS, sedangkan Jepang 57.422 dollar AS. (Koresponden Tribunnews.com, Richard Susilo, dari Tokyo, Jepang)

Sejumlah 22 Orang Indonesia yang Punya Kekayaan di Atas Rp 12 Triliun

Saco-Indonesia.com — Sistem Operasi Microsoft Windows XP pada lusinan laptop yang dipekerjakan di International Space Station (ISS) akhirnya dipensiunkan dan diganti ke Debian, salah satu distribusi Linux terpopuler.

Alasan yang kerap diungkapkan oleh pengguna adalah Linux mampu menghadirkan stabilitas dan keandalan lebih baik bagi kalangan pribadi ataupun institusi, yang diamini oleh Keith Chuvala, perwakilan dari United Space Alliance, kontraktor yang terlibat dalam peralihan sistem operasi tersebut.

“Kami membutuhkan sistem operasi yang stabil dan andal, sistem operasi yang memberikan kami kontrol penuh. Jadi, saat kami perlu perbaikan, perubahan, atau adaptasi, kami bisa melakukannya,” kata Chuvala, seraya menyatakan bahwa versi yang ia pilih untuk menggantikan Windows XP adalah Debian 6.

Meski Linux juga sama seperti Windows, bukan sistem operasi yang kebal malware, status Linux yang merupakan sistem operasi terbuka membuat seluruh pengguna bisa mengumumkan adanya masalah jika ditemukan, dan langsung mengeluarkan tambalan perbaikan.

Menurut informasi, tak sampai 15 menit, e- mail yang dikirimkan ke komunitas pengguna Debian langsung mendapatkan jawaban dari orang yang mengembangkan sistem operasi tersebut.

Masalah dukungan dari komunitas pengguna ini juga terlihat semakin penting setelah sebuah insiden muncul pada tahun 2008 lalu. Ketika itu, komputer-komputer di stasiun ruang angkasa terganggu akibat infeksi virus Gammina. AG secara tidak sengaja menyebar lewat USB flash disk yang dibawa oleh salah seorang astronot ke luar angkasa. Virus itu kemudian menyerang dan mengganggu komputer, padahal tidak ada dukungan dari komunitas pengguna sistem operasi open source.

Debian dipilih oleh Chuvala dan NASA karena sistem operasi tersebut mampu berjalan di hampir semua komputer. Sistem operasi ini juga menjadi fondasi bagi Ubuntu, salah satu distribusi sistem operasi Linux yang paling populer. Debian sendiri mulai dikembangkan pada tahun 1993 oleh Ian Murdock sebagai distribusi Linux baru dan dibuat semangat keterbukaan ala Linux dan GNU.

Dengan diadopsinya Debian 6, Linux Foundation akan segera menggelar pelatihan yakni "Introduction to Linux for Developers" dan "Developing Applications for Linux". Kedua pelatihan ini dibutuhkan agar memudahkan pihak yang terkait untuk mengembangkan aplikasi yang berhubungan secara spesifik dengan ISS. (Abiyu Pradipa/National Geographic Indonesia).

Sumber :National Geographic Indonesia/Kompas.com
Editor :Liwon Maulana (galipat)
Stasiun Ruang Angkasa Internasional Tinggalkan Windows XP
Pasangan sejoli yang telah membunuh mantan pacar belum bisa dijenguk keluarga maupun rekan-rekannya. Ini telah dikatakan oleh Kasubag Humas Polresta Bekasi Kot AKP Siswo. Belum mendapat ijin untuk dijenguk karena petugas juga masih terus memintai keterangan sepasang sejoli ini. Tersangka Hafitd dan pasangannya Assyifa tidur terpisah di ruang jatanras. “Nanti kalau pemeriksaan sudah lengkap, kemungkinan baru bisa dijenguk,” tukas AKP Siswo. Hafitd yang berusia 19 tahun , telah berhasil ditangkap oleh petugas Polresta Bekasi Kota saat menghadiri korban Ade yang jasadnya berada di ruang kamar jenasah RSCM. Pelaku yang berpura-pura sedih ditangkap petugas lalu diperiksa. Hasil pemeriksaan tersangka mengakui menghabisi nyawa Ade bersama kekasihnya Assyifa. Assifa kemudian diamankan di kampusnya, kawasan Pulomas, Jakarta Timur. Pertistiwa tragis itu telah terjadi lantaran sepasang kekasih itu menaruh rasa sakit hati dan dendam pada korban. Rencana seminggu sebelumnya dibuat kedua sejoli ini untuk dapat menghabisi nyawa korban. Saat korban dijemput di depan Stasiun Gondang Dia, para tersangka langsung menganiaya hingga korban tewas dan dibuang di jalan Tol KM 49 Bintara.SEJOLI PEMBUNUH SARA BELUM BISA DIJENGUK

Ms. von Furstenberg made her debut in the movies and on the Broadway stage in the early 1950s as a teenager and later reinvented herself as a television actress, writer and philanthropist.

Betsy von Furstenberg, Baroness and Versatile Actress, Dies at 83

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

Dave Goldberg Was Lifelong Women’s Advocate

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

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

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

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

Ms. Pryor, who served more than two decades in the State Department, was the author of well-regarded biographies of the founder of the American Red Cross and the Confederate commander.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64

Ms. Rendell was a prolific writer of intricately plotted mystery novels that combined psychological insight, social conscience and teeth-chattering terror.

Ruth Rendell, Novelist Who Thrilled and Educated, Dies at 85

A 2-minute-42-second demo recording captured in one take turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Mr. Ely, who was 19 when he sang the garage-band classic.

Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, Dies at 71

Mr. Bartoszewski was given honorary Israeli citizenship for his work to save Jews during World War II and later surprised even himself by being instrumental in reconciling Poland and Germany.

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, 93, Dies; Polish Auschwitz Survivor Aided Jews

With 12 tournament victories in his career, Mr. Peete was the most successful black professional golfer before Tiger Woods.

Calvin Peete, 71, a Racial Pioneer on the PGA Tour, Is Dead

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

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.

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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 Syria’s War

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

Ms. Meadows was the older sister of Audrey Meadows, who played Alice Kramden on “The Honeymooners.”

Jayne Meadows, Actress and Steve Allen’s Wife and Co-Star, Dies at 95
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