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Tinggal menghitung hari lagi saudara-saudara kita kaum muslimin yang mendapatkan rahmad dari Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala akan berangkat menunaikan ibadah haji menuju Makkah. Menjelang keberangkatan, mereka disibukkanlah oleh kegiatan melakukan syukuran, dengan mengundang orang-orang untuk datang kerumah mereka persis layaknya seperti acara perkawinan.

Penulis beberapa waktu yang lalu menerima sepucuk undangan dari seorang kenalan yang akan menunaikan ibadah haji, undangan tersebut berisi kata-kata:

Dengan mengucapkan syukur kehadirat Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala atas izin dan kehendak Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala, kami mengundang bapak/ ibu/sdra/sdri kiranya dapat hadir dalam acara syukuran sehubungan dengan rencana kami berdua suami isteri akan menunaikan ibadah haji tahun ini.

Demikian sepenggal kutipan dari surat undangan yang kami terima dari seorang sahabat yang akan berangkat menunaikan ibadah haji bersama dengan isterinya.

Setelah membaca surat undangan itu, langsung didalam pikiran muncul pertanyaan, mengapa harus melakukan acara syukuran segala, padahal menunaikan haji adalah salah satu kewajiban sebagaimana yang dituangkan dalam rukun islam, yang kedudukannya sama wajibnya seperti sholat,berpuasa dan zakat. Sedangkan ibadah wajib tersebut dalam pelaksanaannya sama sekali tidak pernah ada terdengar orang mengadakan hajatan sjukuran dengan mengundang orang-orang secara beramai-ramai. Apa bedanya dengan sholat dan puasa,kenapa kalau akan sholat dan puasa tidak mengundang orang untuk syukuran.

Mengamati penyelenggaraan acara syukuran haji yang sekarang sudah menjadi tradisi dan membudaya ditengah-tengah kalangan kaum muslimin, sebenarnya baru berkembang dalam sepuluh tahunan terakhir ini. Sedangkan sebelumnya tidak pernah ada acara yang seperti itu. Jadi acara syukuran ini sebenarnya baru saja muncul dikalangan umat islam. Lagi-lagi apabila dilihat dari kaca mata syari’at islam, samasekali tidak ada satu keteranganpun atau satu haditspun baik yang ma’udhu/palsu, dha’if apalagi yang shahih yang menyinggung adanya syukuran berangkat haji. Sehingga acara syukuran haji hanya dibuat-buat oleh orang-orang yang suka membuat-buat atau menambah-nambah dalam agama, dimana para ulama maupun kiayi mendiamkan dan malah sepertinya merestui sehingga banyak orang-orang menirunya, dan menganggap sykuran selamatan tersebut merupakan suatu kebaikan. Mengingat didalamnya ada kebaikan berupa silaturahim dan memberikan makan kepada undangan yang mempunyai nilai ibadah.

Untuk menunaikan ibadah haji sekarang ini selain harus menyediakan biaya untuk ONH yang besarnya berberapa -puluh juta, juga harus diperhitungkan pula untuk ongkos selamatan syukuran. Sehingga semakin memberatkan bagi mereka yang akan berangkat haji, terutama bagi kalangan yang mempunyai dana pas-passan saja. Karena merasa malu atau tidak enak dengan tetangga apabila tidak melakukan syukuran, maka dipaksa-paksakan kanlah bagaimana caranya agar acara syukuran tersebut diselenggarakan dengan mengundang orang-orang dalam jumlah yang banyak yang untuk itu harus pula disediakan makanan dengan berbagai menunya. Untuk keperluan tersebujt tentulah tidak sedikit dana yang harus dikeluarkan.

Banyak diantara orang-orang yang menyebutkan bahwa acara syukuran dengan mengundang seluruh sanak keluarga, sahabat,kerabat, handai taulan dan para kenalan adalah untuk memberitahukan bahwa sipengundang akan menunaikan ibadah haji, suatu ibadah yang tidak semua orang dapat melakukannya sehingga didalamnya terselip rasa bangga dan ini merupakan sikap riya yang dilarang dalam islam.

Islam sebenarnya telah melengkapi syari’atnya secara sempurna sampai kepada hal yang sifatnya kecil dan bahkan sepele dalam bentuk as-sunnah Rasul. Sebagai contoh bagaimana tata cara masuk wc, buang air dan beristinja sudah di patentkan . Apalagi yang sifatnya besar dan berkaitan dengan ibadah tidaklah akan tertinggal sedikitpun pengaturannya. Semua sudah lengkap dan tidak perlu ditambah-tambah dengan ketentuan baru yang dibuat oleh orang-orang yang tidak mempunyai hak mengatur agama ini. Hak mengatur dan menetapkan ketentuan agama ini berupa syari’at hanyalah Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala dan Rasullulah shalalahu'alaihi wasallam. Tidak ada orang lain yang dibolehkan, setinggi apapun ilmunya dan setinggi apapun keulamaannya, diharamkam membuat ketentuan dan menambah hal-hal yang baru dalam agama. Ketetapan syari’at yang ditetapkan sejak awal oleh Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala dan Rasullulah shalalahu ‘alaihi wasallam, sampai sekarang tetap sama dan tidak berubah.

Syari’at islam telah sempurna sebagaimana yang tercantum dalam al-Qur’an surah al-Maa-idah ayat 3 : “Pada hari ini Aku telah sempunakan bagi kamu Agama kamu “

Sehingga tidaklah layak untuk ditambah-tambah lagi dengan hal-hal yang dianggap baik menurut pikiran dan hawa nafsu manusia belaka.

Mengingat haji adalah ibadah, maka apapun yang berkaitan dengan ibadah haji tersebut bila dilakukan diluar yang disyari’atkan maka itu adalah suatu kebid’ah – an yang terlarang .

Mengenai hal ini berkata Syaikhul Islam Ibnu Taimiyah dalam “ Majmu Fatawa IV: 107-108”: Bid’ah dalam islam adalah : segala yang tidak disyari;atkan oleh Allah dan Rasul-Nya, yakni yang tidak diperintahkan baik dalam wujud perintah wajib atau berbentuk anjuran “

Hadits Rasullulah shalalahu ‘alaihi wasallam riwayat Imam Bukhari rahimahullah dari Aisyah radhyallaahu ‘anhuma , ia berkata : Telah bersabda Rasullulah shallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam : “ Barang siapa yang mengadakan di dalam urusan (agama) Kami apa-apa yang btidak ada darinya, maka tertolaklah dia “.

Selain hadits tersebut diatas Imam Muslim rahimahullaah juga meriwayatkan sebuah hadits dari Aisyah radhyallaahu ‘anhuma, ia berkata : Telah bersabda Rasullulah shallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam : “ Barang siapa yang mengerjakan sesuatu amal yang tidak ada keterangannya dari Kami ( Allah dan Rasul-Nya), maka tertolaklah amalnya itu “

Dan hadits yang paling keras yang membicarakan tentang hal-hal yang baru dalam agama yang dikenal dengan sebutan bid’ah adalah sebagai mana riwayat dari Imam Muslim rahimahullaah : “Amma ba’du ! Maka sesungguhnya sebaik-baik perkataan adalah Kitabllah (al-Qur’an) dan sebaik-baik petunjuk adalah peunjuk Muhammad shalalahu ‘alaihi wasallam. Dan sejelek-jelek urudsan adalah yang baru (muhdats) dan setiap muhadts adalah bid’ah, dan setiap bid’ah adalah sesat dan setiapkeesatan tempatnya dineraka ”

Dari hadits-hadits yang dikutipkan tersebut,maka mengingat berbagai bentuk acara syukuran bukan merupakan bagian dari agama yang disyariatkan, yang termasuk di dalamnya acara syukuran utuk menunaikan haji adalah termasuk peruatan bid’ah yang tidak patut dan tidak layak dilakukan oleh kaum muslimin.

Menunaikan haji adalah merupakan ibadah yang akan mendapatkan ganjaran pahala dan merupakan perbuatan yang diwajibkan, maka perbuatan baik tersebut tidaklah boleh dicampur dan ditambahi dengan perbuatan munkar berupa acara syukuran yang bid’ah.

Mudah-mudahan kita termasuk kedalam golongan orang-orang yang menegakkan sunnah sesuai dengan pemahaman para salafus shalih, sehingga kita selamat dari segala bentuk perbuatan bid’ah. ( Wallaahu Ta’ala ‘Alam )

Sumber : http://www.alquran-sunnah.com

Baca Artikel Lainnya : MELEMPAR JUMRAH DI JAMARAT

SELAMAT BERANGKAT HAJI

Ada 5 elemen penting yang juga harus diperhatikan dalam menentukan kesuksesan suatu pengecatan yaitu :

1. Pilihlah cat yang berkualitas
Dengan menggunakan cat yang bermutu, akan dapat mempermudah Anda dalam pengerjaannya, memberikan daya tutup yang lebih baik, dan telah memiliki daya tahan yang lebih lama. Karakter penting lainnya yang menentukan kualitas suatu cat adalah : daya rekat, daya sebar, scrub resistance (daya tahan terhadap gosokan ), burnish resistance ( daya tahan dari terbakar ), serta mudah dibersihkan dari noda. Cat yang berkualitas adalah yang menggunakan bahan - bahan yang ramah lingkungan, tidak menggunakan tambahan merkuri dan timah hitam yang mempunyai dampak berbahaya bagi manusia dan lingkungan.

2. Gunakan peralatan pengecatan yang baik
Peralatan yang baik akan dapat membuat persiapan permukaan dan proses pengaplikasian cat lebih mudah dan aman. Kuas dan rol yang bermutu akan dapat menghasilkan permukaan yang lebih halus, dan tidak meninggalkan bristles ( gelembung -gelembung kecil ), sehingga dapat mempercepat waktu pengerjaan. Peralatan lain yang penting adalah tangga yang kokoh dengan pegangan tangan untuk keamanan Anda.

3. Persiapkan permukaan yang akan dicat dengan benar
Cat juga merupakan suatu lapisan yang sangat tipis. Oleh karena itu keberhasilan suatu pengecatan sangat ditentukan oleh persiapan permukaan yang benar. Perbaikilah kondisi tembok seperti retak - retak atau berlubang, sebelum Anda mengecat. Juga kondisi kelembaban serta kebersihan tembok harus Anda perhatikan.

4. Tutupi ruangan atau permukaan yang  tidak ingin dicat
      Anda akan dapat mengerjakan proses pengecatan dengan lebih cepat, tanpa harus kuatir akan noda/bercak -bercak cat, dimeja, kursi, gagang pintu dan barang-barang lainnya. Juga akan mempercepat dan memper-mudah proses pembersihan setelah mengecat.

5. Lakukan pengecatan pada kondisi cuaca yang baik
Untuk bisa mendapatkan hasil yang terbaik. ikuti selalu petunjuk yang direkomendasikan oleh produsen cat mengenai suhu maksimum dan minimum, serta tingkat kelembaban udara yang disarankan.Untuk pengecatan dianjurkan dilakukan pada saat cuaca cerah dan tidak di musim huian .

 

TIPS PENGECATAN RUMAH

Saco-Indonesia.com - Menjelang pameran Computex 2013 tanggal 4 Juni besok di Taiwan, Intel mengumumkan sejumlah model prosesor Core i Generasi ke-4 (Haswell). Batch pertama ini terdiri dari model-model quad core papan atas untuk desktop dan mobile.

Total terdapat lima model prosesor laptop Core i7 dan 12 prosesor desktop Core i7 dan Core i5 yang diperkenalkan.

Seperti dikutip dari Venture Beat, untuk chip mobile, di urutan teratas ada Core i7 4930MX (3-3,9 GHz, 57 watt) seharga 1.096 dollar AS atau sekitar Rp 10,5 juta.

Di bawahnya menyusul Core i7-4800MQ dan Core i7-4900MQ yang masing-masing dihargai 278 dollar AS dan 568 dollar AS. Ketiga prosesor ini diperkuat pemroses grafis Intel 4600. Intel berencana merilis 13 model prosesor Haswell seri M tahun ini.

Ada pula chip mobile seri H berupa Core i7-4850HQ yang dibanderol seharga 468 dollar AS dan memiliki rentang frekuensi kerja 2,3 GHz hingga 3,5 GHz. Model lain dalam seri ini adalah Core i7-4950HQ (657 dollar AS) dengan rentang frekuensi 2,4 GHz hingga 3,6 GHz.

Kedua chip di atas mengkonsumsi daya sebesar 47 watt dan dilengkapi pemroses grafis high-end Iris. Tahun ini, ada enam model chip Haswell seri H yang akan dirilis.

Untuk desktop, Intel mengumumkan beberapa chip dengan range harga 192 dollar AS hingga 339 dollar AS. Kecepatan mereka bervariasi antara 3 Ghz hingga 3,9 GHz.

Chip desktop di urutan teratas (339 dollar AS) adalah Core i7-4770K yang diklaim sanggup menjalankan game StarCraft II: The Heart of the Swarm dengan frame rate 62 FPS. Sebagai prosesor dengan multiplier terbuka, kecepatan chip ini juga bisa digenjot lebih jauh dengan mudah melalui teknik overclocking.

Momen penting

Model-model prosesor baru yang mengusung arsitektur Haswell ini dijanjikan bakal meningkatkan daya tahan baterai notebook hingga 50 persen dibandingkan generasi terdahulu (Ivy Bridge), dengan kemampuan olah grafis yang dua kali lebih kencang.

Dari sisi kemampuan CPU, peningkatannya diklaim hanya sebesar 5 hingga 15 persen.

Peluncuran Haswell pada pameran Computex tahun ini adalah momen penting untuk para pelaku bisnis komputer. Prosesor baru dari Intel itu diharapkan bisa menyelamatkan industri PC yang pada 2013 diprediksi bakal mengalami penurunan 7,8 persen, menurut perkiraan IDC minggu lalu.

Sejumlah produsen PC pun berinovasi menanamkan Haswell dalam berbagai konsep komputer unik, seperti tablet yang bisa berubah menjadi laptop dengan docking keyboard.

Dengan Haswell, Intel menjanjikan desain-desain unik semacam itu bakal bertambah banyak sepanjang tahun ini. Laptop baru dengan prosesor Haswell diklaim bakal lebih tpis dan lebih murah, dengan kisaran harga di bawah 500 dollar AS.

Editor:Liwon Maulana
Sumber:Kompas.com
Berapa Harga Sebuah Prosesor

saco-indonesia.com, Tawuran antar pemuda warga Desa Cikeusal Lor dan warga Desa Cikeusal Kidul telah terjadi di Kecamatan Banjarharjo, Kabupaten Brebes, Jawa Tengah, Kamis (2/1) sore hingga malam hari.

Akibat dari insiden tawuran tersebut, satu rumah warga Desa Cikeusal Lor dibakar, dan beberapa warga telah mengalami luka akibat terkena lemparan batu.

insiden tawuran yang seringkali terjadi di dua desa tersebut, telah dipicu dari sejumlah pemuda Desa Cikeusal Kidul yang pada saat merayakan malam tahun baru.

Mereka secara ramai-ramai telah melakukan konvoi mengendarai sepeda motor melintas di jalan raya Desa Cikeusal Lor yang mengejek pemuda desa yang tengah berada di sekitar desa tersebut.

Lantaran tidak terima diejek, beberapa pemuda Desa Cikeusal Lor yang tengah di lokasi pun telah terpancing emosinya dan membalasnya dengan ejekan.

Namun, justru beberapa pemuda Desa Cikeusal Kidul yang telah mengejek lebih terlebih dahulu, Kamis sore, langsung membakar salah satu rumah warga Desa Cikeusal Lor.

Kebakaran rumah pun telah terjadi hingga Kamis sore hingga malam hari. Puluhan warga desa langsung secara bersama-sama berupaya untuk memadamkan api dan berhasil padam menjelang Jumat (3/1) dini hari.

Beruntung dalam insiden pembakaran rumah tersebut salah satu warga itu tidak ada korban jiwa. Sebab, penghuni rumah sudah lama pindah ke rumah saudaranya di desa setempat. "Tapi ada beberapa warga desa yang telah mengalami luka-luka akibat kena lemparan batu," ujar salah seorang warga Desa Cikeusal Lor, Rakim Siuban Jumat (3/1) pagi.

Kapolres Brebes, AKBP Ferdy Sambo saat dikonfirmasi terkait dalam hal tersebut telah membenarkan adanya insiden tawuran pemuda antar dua desa yang telah mengakibatkan satu rumah warga dibakar.

Namun demikian, tambah Sambo, saat ini kondisi dua desa itu juga sudah kondusif karena puluhan anggotanya telah langsung diterjunkan di lokasi kejadian untuk dapat mengamankannya.

"Alhamdulillah saat ini kondisi dua desa itu juga sudah kondusif. Tapi puluhan anggota kami yang diterjunkan dua regu masih berjaga-jaga di lokasi kejadian," terangnya.

Hingga berita ini diturunkan, petugas Polres Brebes masih harus melakukan penjagaan terutama di perbatasan desa untuk dapat mencegah terpicunya kembali tawuran antar desa tersebut.

Saat ini polisi sedang melakukan pengejaran terhadap pelaku tawuran dan otaknya. Terutama beberapa pemuda yang nekat membakar rumah warga untuk dapat dimintai pertanggungjawaban.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

TAWURAN ANTARPEMUDA PECAH DI BREBES

saco-indonesia.com,
    
SENI UKIR DIINDONESIA
Ukiran merupakan Seni yang telah menghias suatu benda menjadi hiasan 3Dimensi yang menyusun suatu gambar yang indah. Hal ini juga membuat seni ukir telah memiliki pengertian sebagai seni yang telah membentuk gambar pada batu, kayu atau bahan-bahan lain. Indonesia telah mengenal seni ukir sejak zaman batu muda atau sekitar tahun 1500 SM.Saat itu hasil dar seni ukir Indonesia berupa ukiran yang berapa pada kapak batu. Bahan yang digunakan untuk dapat membuat ukiran telah mengalami perkembangan yaitu dengan menggunakan bahan perunggu, emas, perak, batu dan lain sebagainya. Membuat ukirannya pun juga menggunakan teknologi cor.
Seni ukir yang mengalami perkembangan yang sangat pesat, dalam bentuk desain produksi, dan motif Setelah agama Hindu, Budha, Islam masuk ke Indonesia. Bentuk ukiran juga ditemukan pada senjata-senjata, seperti keris dan tombak, batu nisan, masjid, termasuk gamelan dan wayang. Motif seni ukir, selain menggambarkan bentuk, kadang-kadang berisi tentang kisah suatu cerita.
Saat sekarang seni ukir kayu dan logam juga mengalami perkembangan pesat. Dan fungsinyapun juga sudah bergeser dari hal-hal yang berbau magis berubah menjadi hanya sebagai alat penghias saja.pada ukiran kayu telah meliputi motif Pejajaran, Majapahit, Mataram, Pekalongan, Bali, Jepara, Madura, Cirebon, Surakarta, Yogyakarta, dan berbagai macam motif yang berasal dari luarJawa
Bukti-bukti sejarah peninggalan ukiran pada periode tersebut juga dapat dilihat pada relief candi Penataran di Blitar, candi Prambanan dan Mendut di Jawa Tengah.
    
    
Editor : Dian Sukmawati

SENI UKIR DI INDONESIA

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

Mr. Tepper was not a musical child and had no formal training, but he grew up to write both lyrics and tunes, trading off duties with the other member of the team, Roy C. Bennett.

Sid Tepper Dies at 96; Delivered ‘Red Roses for a Blue Lady’ and Other Songs

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

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

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

Photo
 
Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book is to be released next week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.

In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge.

Ten miles away, in Lower Manhattan, Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on accusations of far more conventional political larceny, involving a job with a sewer company for the son and commissions on title insurance and bond work.

The younger man managed to receive a 150 percent pay increase from the sewer company even though, as he said on tape, he “literally knew nothing about water or, you know, any of that stuff,” according to a criminal complaint the United States attorney’s office filed.

The success of Adam Skelos, 32, was attributed by prosecutors to his father’s influence as the leader of the Senate and as a potentate among state Republicans. The indictment can also be read as one of those unfailingly sad tales of a father who cannot stop indulging a grown son. The senator himself is not alleged to have profited from the schemes, except by being relieved of the burden of underwriting Adam.

The bridge traffic caper is its own species of crazy; what distinguishes the charges against the two Skeloses is the apparent absence of a survival instinct. It is one thing not to know anything about water or that stuff. More remarkable, if true, is the fact that the sewer machinations continued even after the former New York Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was charged in January with taking bribes disguised as fees.

It was by then common gossip in political and news media circles that Senator Skelos, a Republican, the counterpart in the Senate to Mr. Silver, a Democrat, in the Assembly, could be next in line for the criminal dock. “Stay tuned,” the United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, leaving not much to the imagination.

Even though the cat had been unmistakably belled, Skelos father and son continued to talk about how to advance the interests of the sewer company, though the son did begin to use a burner cellphone, the kind people pay for in cash, with no traceable contracts.

That was indeed prudent, as prosecutors had been wiretapping the cellphones of both men. But it would seem that the burner was of limited value, because by then the prosecutors had managed to secure the help of a business executive who agreed to record calls with the Skeloses. It would further seem that the business executive was more attentive to the perils of pending investigations than the politician.

Through the end of the New York State budget negotiations in March, the hopes of the younger Skelos rested on his father’s ability to devise legislation that would benefit the sewer company. That did not pan out. But Senator Skelos did boast that he had haggled with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, in a successful effort to raise a $150 million allocation for Long Island to $550 million, for what the budget called “transformative economic development projects.” It included money for the kind of work done by the sewer company.

The lawyer for Adam Skelos said he was not guilty and would win in court. Senator Skelos issued a ringing declaration that he was unequivocally innocent.

THIS was also the approach taken in New Jersey by Bill Baroni, a man of great presence and eloquence who stopped outside the federal courthouse to note that he had taken risks as a Republican by bucking his party to support paid family leave, medical marijuana and marriage equality. “I would never risk my career, my job, my reputation for something like this,” Mr. Baroni said. “I am an innocent man.”

The lawyer for his co-defendant, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that she would strongly rebut the charges.

Perhaps they had nothing to do with the lane closings. But neither Mr. Baroni nor Ms. Kelly addressed the question of why they did not return repeated calls from the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., begging them to stop the traffic tie-ups, over three days.

That silence was a low moment. But perhaps New York hit bottom faster. Senator Skelos, the prosecutors charged, arranged to meet Long Island politicians at the wake of Wenjian Liu, a New York City police officer shot dead in December, to press for payments to the company employing his son.

Sometimes it seems as though for some people, the only thing to be ashamed of is shame itself.

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

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Mr. Paczynski was one of the concentration camp’s longest surviving inmates and served as the personal barber to its Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss.

Jozef Paczynski, Inmate Barber to Auschwitz Commandant, Dies at 95

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ms. Turner and her twin sister founded the Love Kitchen in 1986 in a church basement in Knoxville, Tenn., and it continues to provide clothing and meals.

Ellen Turner Dies at 87; Opened Kitchen to Feed the Needy of Knoxville
Frontline  An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.
Frontline

Frontline An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.

The program traces the outbreak to its origin, thought to be a tree full of bats in Guinea.

Review: ‘9-Man’ Is More Than a Game for Chinese-Americans

A variation of volleyball with nine men on each side is profiled Tuesday night on the World Channel in an absorbing documentary called “9-Man.”

Television

‘Hard Earned’ Documents the Plight of the Working Poor

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

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

Pronovost, who played for the Red Wings, was not a prolific scorer, but he was a consummate team player with bruising checks and fearless bursts up the ice that could puncture a defense.

Marcel Pronovost, 84, Dies; Hall of Famer Shared in Five N.H.L. Titles
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