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Saco-Indonesia.com - Tak ada lagi alasan untuk malas berolahraga. Dengan kegiatan olahraga ringan, seperti berjalan kaki, penyakit batu ginjal yang menyakitkan bisa dicegah.

Penyakit batu ginjal bakal diderita sekitar 9 persen orang dalam hidupnya. Penyakit ini kebanyakan diderita kaum pria, tetapi dalam beberapa tahun terakhir insiden pada kaum wanita naik sampai 70 persen.

Ada beberapa faktor risiko penyakit batu ginjal, antara lain obesitas serta konsumsi suplemen kalsium yang kebanyakan dilakoni wanita usia menopause. Karena itu di AS, pemerintahnya tak menyarankan wanita usia lanjut mengonsumsi suplemen kalsium karena tak terbukti menguatkan tulang, malah meningkatkan risiko batu ginjal.

Dalam penelitian terbaru yang melibatkan hampir 85.000 wanita  berusia 50 tahun ke atas, para peneliti melakukan survei mengenai pola makan para responden untuk mengetahui kaitannya dengan risiko batu ginjal.

Selain itu para partisipan juga ditanyakan kebiasaanya berolahraga dan seberapa besar usaha yang dilakukan atau disebut METs (measure of how much effort an activity takes). Misalnya, 10 mETs per meinggu adalah sekitar 2,5 jam jalan kaki dalam kecepatan sedang, empat jam berkebun, atau satu jam jogging.

Tiga tahu kemudian, sebanyak 3 persen responden menderita batu ginjal. Dibandingkan dengan wanita yang tak pernah melakukan olahraga ringan, mereka yang memiliki nilai METs 5 perminggu, risikonya terkena batu ginjal 16 persen lebih rendah.

Makin tinggi nilai METs para responden, makin rendah risiko mereka terkena batu ginjal.

"Kami tidak meminta orang untuk berlari marathon. Cukup lakukan olahraga ringan sampai moderat untuk mendapatkan manfaat pencegahan batu ginjal," kata Dr.Mathew Sorensen dari University of Washington School of Medicine di Seattle.

Ia menjelaskan, olahraga akan mengubah cara tubuh menangani nutrisi dan cairan yang berpengaruh pada terbentuknya batu ginjal.

Keringat yang keluar saat berolahraga juga membawa garam dan mempertahankan kalsium tetap di tulang, sehingga tidak masuk ke ginjal dan urin dimana batu ginjal terbentuk.

Orang yang rajin berolahraga juga cenderung lebih banyak minum sehingga bisa mencegah pembentukan batu ginjal.

 

Sumber :AP/Kompas.com
Editor:Maulana Lee
Cegah Batu Ginjal dengan Olahraga

saco-indonesia.com,

Jenis-jenis Valve dan Fungsinya

Jenis-jenis valve dan fungsinya :
 
1. Gate Valve
Gate Valve adalah valve yang paling sering dipakai pada sistem perpipaan. Fungsinya untuk dapat membuka dan menutup aliran (on-off), tetapi tidak bisa untuk mengatur besar kecil aliran (throttling). Kelebihan Gate Valve, minimnya halangan/ resistan saat valve ini telah dibuka penuh, sehingga aliran bisa
maksimal. Gate Valve telah mengontrol aliran melalui badan valve yang berbentuk pipa, dengan sebuah lempengan atau baji vertikal  yang bisa bergeser naik turun saat handel valve diputar. Valve ini telah didesain untuk dapat mengatur posisi terbuka penuh, atau tertutup penuh. Jika valve ini dalam keadaan setengah terbuka, maka akan dapat menyebabkan pengikisan pada badan valve, dan turbulensi aliran zat bisa dapat menyebabkan getaran pada baji valve sehingga dapat menghasilkan suara gemeretak.

2. Globe Valve
Globe Valve biasanya akan digunakan pada situasi dimana pengaturan besar kecil aliran (throttling) sangat diperlukan. Dengan mudah memutar handel valve, besarnya aliran zat yang telah melewati valve bisa diatur. Dudukan valve yang sejajar dengan aliran, telah membuat globe valve efisien ketika dapat mengatur besar kecilnya aliran dengan minimum erosi piringan dan dudukan. Namun demikian tahanan didalam valve cukup besar. Desain globe valve yang sedemikian rupa, telah memaksa adanya perubahan arah aliran zat didalam valve, sehingga tekanan menurun drastis dan dapat menyebabkan turbulensi di dalam valve itu sendiri. Dengan demikian, Globe Valve tidak disarankan diinstal pada sistem yang menghindari penurunan tekanan, dan sistem yang menghindari tahanan pada aliran.

3. Angle Valve  
Sama seperti globe valve, angle valve juga akan digunakan pada situasi dimana pengaturan besar kecil aliran telah diperlukan (throttling). Namun angle valve telah di buat dengan sudut 90°, hal ini untuk dapat mengurangi pemakaian elbow 90° dan fitting tambahan.
 
4. Check Valve
Check Valve telah memiliki perbedaan yang sangat signifikan dari Gate Valve dan Globe Valve. Valve ini telah di disain untuk dapat mencegah aliran balik. Ada beberapa jenis check valve, tapi ada 2 jenis yang paling umum yaitu Swing Check dan Lift Check. Swing Check Valve biasanya telah dipasangkan dengan Gate Valve, sedangkan Lift Check Valve oleh beberapa pabrikan digunakan untuk dapat menggantikan fungsi Ball Valve sebagai Ball Check Valve. Check Valve tidak menggunakan handel untuk dapat mengatur aliran, tapi dengan menggunakan gravitasi dan tekanan dari aliran fluida itu sendiri. Karena fungsinya yang juga dapat mencegah aliran balik (backflow). Check Valve juga sering digunakan sebagai pengaman dari sebuah equipment dalam sistem perpipaan.
 
5. Ball Valve
Ball Valve adalah alternatif murah dari jenis valve-valve yang lain. Ball valve dengan menggunakan bola logam yang tengahnya ada lubang tembus, diapit oleh dudukan valve untuk dapat mengontrol aliran. Sering dipakai pada proses hydrocarbon, ball valve mampu untuk dapat mengatur besar kecil aliran gas dan uap terutama untuk tekanan rendah. Valve ini juga dapat dengan cepat ditutup dan cukup kedap untuk menahan fluida/ zat cair. Ball valve tidak menggunakan handwheel, tetapi dengan menggunakan ankle untuk dapat membuka atau menutup valve dengan sudut 90°.
 
6. Butterfly Valve
Butterfly Valve telah memiliki bentuk yang sangat unik jika dibandingkan dengan valve-valve yang lain. Butterfly dengan menggunakan plat bundar atau wafer yang dioperasikan dengan ankel untuk posisi membuka penuh atau menutup penuh dengan sudut 90°. Wafer ini tetap berada ditengah aliran, dan dihubungkan ke ankel melalui shaft. Saat valve dalam keadaan tertutup, wafer tersebut tegak lurus dengan arah aliran, sehingga aliran terbendung, dan saat valve terbuka wafer sejajar/ segaris dengan aliran, sehingga zat dapat mengalir melalui valve. Butterfly valve telah memiliki turbulensi dan penurunan tekanan (pressure drop) yang minimal. Valve ini sangat bagus untuk pengoperasian on-off ataupun throttling, dan bagus untuk dapat mengontrol aliran zat cair atau gas dalam jumlah yang besar. Namun demikian valve ini biasanya tidak memiliki kekedapan yang bagus, dan harus digunakan pada situasi/ sistem yang memiliki tekanan rendah (low-pressure).

7. Relief Valve
Relief valve telah memiliki fungsi yang sangat berbeda dari valve-valve yang lain. Valve ini telah didisain khusus untuk dapat melepas tekanan berlebih yang ada di equipment dan sistem perpipaan. Untuk dapat mencegah kerusakan pada equipment, dan lebih penting lagi cedera pada pekerja, relief valve dapat melepas kenaikan tekanan sebelum menjadi lebih ekstrim. Relief valve menggunakan pegas baja, yang secara otomatis akan terbuka jika tekanan mencapai level yang tidak aman. Level tekanan pada valve ini bisa diatur, sehingga bisa ditentukan pada level tekanan berapa valve ini akan terbuka. Ketika tekanan kembali normal, relief valve secara otomatis akan tertutup kembali.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

JENIS-JENIS VALVE DAN FUNGSINYA

KOMPAS.com - Seiring perkembangan waktu, perempuan kini semakin mahir dan maju dalam penguasaan teknologi. Betty Alisjahbana, Komisaris PT Garuda Indonesia, mengungkapkan bahwa perempuan kini tak lagi memandang teknologi sebagai hal yang aneh dan tabu.

"Mereka kini sudah mengetahui ada banyak manfaat yang bisa diambil dan dimanfaatkan untuk meningkatkan kesejahteraan mereka dalam berbagai hal melalui teknologi maju. Mereka pun kini sudah semakin tertantang dan mau belajar untuk menguasai teknologi," jelas Betty, saat seminar "Kartini Next Generation" di Jakarta, beberapa waktu lalu.

Hanya saja tak bisa dipungkiri kalau masih ada perempuan yang beranggapan bahwa penguasaan teknologi hanya diperlukan oleh perempuan kantoran atau wirausaha. Padahal menurut survei yang dilakukan oleh lembaga QB Leadership (lembaga yang berfokus pada industri kreatif) yang dipimpinnya, teknologi sangat bermanfaat untuk semua perempuan, baik yang bekerja, wirausaha, atau yang tak bekerja sekalipun.

"Untuk semua dimensi profesi perempuan apa pun, teknologi punya peranan dan manfaatnya masing-masing," jelasnya.

Survei ini dilakukan pada tahun 2012 untuk mengetahui manfaat teknologi informasi untuk perempuan. Pesertanya dibagi menjadi tiga kelompok, yaitu perempuan profesional, perempuan wirausaha, dan ibu rumah tangga. Hasilnya, 95 persen perempuan entrepreneur mengungkapkan bahwa teknologi bisa membantu mereka untuk merasa lebih sukses dibanding pria. Dengan memanfaatkan teknologi informasi, perempuan pengusaha bisa meningkatkan kemampuan berbinis, produktivitas, sekaligus keuntungan usaha. 

"Teknologi juga akan membantu mereka untuk menjual produk keluar negeri. Selain itu, 45 persen perempuan wirausaha juga memanfaatkan teknologi untuk mencari supplier produk dari luar negeri untuk menciptakan kualitas produk yang lebih baik," katanya.

Lebih jauh lagi, perempuan pengusaha ini juga bisa memanfaatkan teknologi informasi untuk mengatur waktu kerja yang lebih fleksibel, sehingga urusan rumah tangga bisa dikelola dengan baik.

Sedangkan untuk perempuan profesional, biasanya mereka memanfaatkan teknologi ini untuk mengembangkan kemampuan diri dan produktivitas bekerja. Misalnya untuk menyelesaikan pendidikan informal melalui internet, mempromosikan diri untuk mendapatkan pekerjaan yang lebih baik, berhubungan dengan klien di luar negeri, sampai membuat online workshop di seluruh dunia.

Untuk menyeimbangkan kehidupan pekerjaan dan keluarga, pekerja profesional juga sering memanfaatkan teknologi seperti Skype untuk berhubungan dengan keluarga saat mereka harus tugas keluar kota atau keluar negeri. Kadang-kadang mereka menggunakan internet untuk browsing berbagai resep masakan agar bisa dipraktikkan saat hari libur sehingga bisa memanjakan keluarga.

Ibu-ibu rumah tangga yang berpartisipasi dalam survei ini juga mengungkapkan bahwa teknologi juga memberikan banyak manfaat untuk mereka. Sekalipun tidak bekerja di luar rumah, namun teknologi bisa membantu meningkatkan pengetahuan sehingga mereka jadi lebih pandai dan berpikiran terbuka. Menjadi ibu rumah tangga bukan berarti tidak tahu perkembangan dan informasi dunia luar, kan? Banyak manfaat lain yang bisa diperoleh dari teknologi.

"Ibu juga tak perlu repot saat ingin menjemput anak pulang sekolah, tinggal SMS tukang ojek langganan dansi anak langsung dijemput ke sekolahnya. Praktis dan cepat," pungkasnya.

Lagipula, sekarang ini berbagai peralatan rumah tangga seperti lemari es, mesin cuci, atau kompor, juga sudah mulai menggunakan teknologi yang canggih. Apa jadinya jika ibu rumah tangga tak mau belajar untuk menguasai teknologi?

Editor :Liwon Maulana
Sumber:Kompas.com
Ibu Rumah Tangga Juga Butuh Teknologi

JAKARTA, Saco- Indoensia.com — Para pedagang kaki lima di Pasar Minggu untuk sementara tetap diperbolehkan berjualan di kawasan tersebut pada waktu-waktu yang telah ditetapkan. Kelonggaran ini diberikan karena belum ada lokasi binaan untuk menampung semua PKL.

Wakil Wali Kota Jakarta Selatan Rustam Effendi mengatakan, jumlah PKL di ruas Jalan Raya Ragunan, Pasar Minggu, itu mencapai ribuan orang. "Kalau dari pagi hingga sore ada sekitar 500 PKL, sementara kalau dari malam hingga pagi jumlah PKL yang berdagang di bahu jalan dan trotoar bertambah empat kali lipat," ujar Wakil Wali Kota Jakarta Selatan Rustam Effendi, Senin (3/6/2013).

Meski demikian, Pemerintah Provinsi DKI Jakarta belum memiliki lokasi baru untuk menampung semua pedagang tersebut. Oleh karena itu, Rustam mengatakan bahwa para pedagang masih diberi kesempatan untuk berjualan mulai dari pukul 20.00 hingga pukul 05.00 WIB. Adapun mulai pukul 05.00 hingga pukul 20.00 WIB, petugas dari Dinas Perhubungan DKI dan Satuan Polisi Pamong Praja akan melakukan penjagaan agar pedagang tidak berjualan hingga ke jalan raya.

"Kita akan lakukan penjagaan dilakukan dari pukul 05.00 sampai 20.00 agar 500 pedagang tetap berada di lokasi binaan dan tidak keluar ke jalan lagi," kata Rustam.

Sekitar 750 aparat gabungan dari Dishub DKI Jakarta, Satpol PP, kepolisian, Dinas Kebersihan DKI, serta PD Pasar Jaya melakukan penertiban terhadap PKL yang biasa berjualan di Jalan Raya Ragunan, Senin pagi. Sekitar 500 lapak ditertibkan dalam proses penertiban tersebut. Selain penertiban PKL, dilakukan pula penataan alur lalu lintas untuk trayek angkutan umum menuju ke terminal untuk mengurai kemacetan di Pasar Minggu.

 

Sumber : Tribunnews/Kompas.com

Editor :Liwon Maulana

Belum Ada Tempat Pengganti, PKL Masih Boleh Berjualan di Pasar Minggu

saco-indonesia.com, Maineli yang berusia (50) tahun seorang Ibu Rumah Tangga warga Padang Panjang, Sumatera Barat bersama anaknya Faiza Kurniawan yang masih berusia 2 tahun ikut tewas saat mobil travel yang telah ditumpanginya masuk ke jurang Sungai Kampar. Mobil tersebut tenggelam di Sungai Kampar, tepatnya di Desa Merangin, Kecamatan Kuok, Kabupaten Kampar.

Kabid Humas Polda Riau, AKBP Guntur Aryo Tejo SIK, juga mengatakan, saat ini sudah ada 3 orang korban yang tewas akibat Lakalantas tunggal (out of control) Travel isuzu Panther dengan Nomor Polisi BA 1921 ZU di jalan lintas Riau, Sumatera Barat KM 78/79.

"Akibat dari kecelakaan tersebut 3 penumpang meninggal dunia di lokasi kejadian," kata Guntur.

Ketiga penumpang yang meninggal dunia dalam lakalantas tersebut antara lain, Syukur (68) seorang pekerja swasta, warga Padang Panjang, Sumbar. Maineli (50) seorang Ibu Rumah Tangga warga Padang Panjang, Sumatera Barat bersama anaknya Faiza Kurniawan yang masih berusia 2 tahun (sebelumnya ditulis 3 tahun).

"Korban ketiga ini (Faiza Kurniawan) pada saat kejadian kecelakaan hanyut ke sungai Kampar dan baru bisa ditemukan 12 jam kemudian setelah dilakukan pencarian oleh Kepolisian bersama Tim SAR, BPBD Kampar dibantu oleh warga masyarakat, korban telah ditemukan di desa Sawah kecamatan Kampar Utara setelah hanyut sekitar 20 Kilometer dari TKP," terang Guntur.

Sedangkan 2 penumpang lainnya yang telah mengalami luka ringan dan 1 lainnya luka berat. Saat ini ketiga penumpang selamat tersebut dirawat di Puskesmas Kuok Kampar.

"Sedangkan sopir yang belum dapat diketahui identitasnya telah melarikan diri dari TKP," kata Guntur.

Kronologis kejadian lakalantas tunggal Delta Travel dengan Nomor Polisi BA 1921 ZU jurusan Padang (Sumbar), Pekanbaru (Riau) yang telah mengangkut enam penumpang ini melaju dengan kecepatan tinggi, Rabu (25/12) malam sekitar pukul 20.00 wib.

"Sesampainya di Kilometer 78/79 desa Merangin, jalan yang banyak tikungan dan jurang yang dekat dengan sungai kampar, saat itu travel kehilangan kendali dan mengarah ke jurang menuju Sungai Kampar hingga menyebabkan 3 korban tewas dan 3 lainnya luka," jelas Guntur.

Saat ini mobil travel jenis Isuzu Panther tersebut telah berhasil dikeluarkan dari jurang dan dibawa ke Polres Kampar, "Sedangkan supir telah ditetapkan sebagai tersangka, dan tengah dilakukan pengejaran," pungkas Guntur.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

MOBIL TRAVEL MASUK KE SUNGAI

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

The 6-foot-10 Phillips played alongside the 6-11 Rick Robey on the Wildcats team that won the 1978 N.C.A.A. men’s basketball title.

Mike Phillips, Half of Kentucky’s ‘Twin Towers’ of Basketball, Dies at 59

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?”

Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias

Fullmer, who reigned when fight clubs abounded and Friday night fights were a television staple, was known for his title bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson and Carmen Basilio.

Gene Fullmer, a Brawling Middleweight Champion, Dies at 83

Mr. Napoleon was a self-taught musician whose career began in earnest with the orchestra led by Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers.

Marty Napoleon, 93, Dies; Jazz Pianist Played With Louis Armstrong

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.”

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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

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

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

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

Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.

Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.

Photo
 
Credit Peter Arkle

Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.

“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”

Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.

The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.

They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.

A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.

Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.

What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.

It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)

A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.

The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.

It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.

High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.

But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.

In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters

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

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

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

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Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book is to be released next week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GREENWICH, Conn. — Mago is in the bedroom. You can go in.

The big man lies on a hospital bed with his bare feet scraping its bottom rail. His head is propped on a scarlet pillow, the left temple dented, the right side paralyzed. His dark hair is kept just long enough to conceal the scars.

The occasional sounds he makes are understood only by his wife, but he still has that punctuating left hand. In slow motion, the fingers curl and close. A thumbs-up greeting.

Hello, Mago.

This is Magomed Abdusalamov, 34, also known as the Russian Tyson, also known as Mago. He is a former heavyweight boxer who scored four knockouts and 14 technical knockouts in his first 18 professional fights. He preferred to stand between rounds. Sitting conveyed weakness.

But Mago lost his 19th fight, his big chance, at the packed Theater at Madison Square Garden in November 2013. His 19th decision, and his last.

Now here he is, in a small bedroom in a working-class neighborhood in Greenwich, in a modest house his family rents cheap from a devoted friend. The air-pressure machine for his mattress hums like an expectant crowd.

 

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Mike Perez, left, and Magomed Abdusalamov during the fight in which Abdusalamov was injured. Credit Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

 

Today is like any other day, except for those days when he is hurried in crisis to the hospital. Every three hours during the night, his slight wife, Bakanay, 28, has risen to turn his 6-foot-3 body — 210 pounds of dead weight. It has to be done. Infections of the gaping bedsore above his tailbone have nearly killed him.

Then, with the help of a young caretaker, Baka has gotten two of their daughters off to elementary school and settled down the toddler. Yes, Mago and Baka are blessed with all girls, but they had also hoped for a son someday.

They feed Mago as they clean him; it’s easier that way. For breakfast, which comes with a side of crushed antiseizure pills, he likes oatmeal with a squirt of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. But even oatmeal must be puréed and fed to him by spoon.

He opens his mouth to indicate more, the way a baby does. But his paralysis has made everything a choking hazard. His water needs a stirring of powdered food thickener, and still he chokes — eh-eh-eh — as he tries to cough up what will not go down.

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Mago used to drink only water. No alcohol. Not even soda. A sip of juice would be as far as he dared. Now even water betrays him.

With the caretaker’s help, Baka uses a washcloth and soap to clean his body and shampoo his hair. How handsome still, she has thought. Sometimes, in the night, she leaves the bedroom to watch old videos, just to hear again his voice in the fullness of life. She cries, wipes her eyes and returns, feigning happiness. Mago must never see her sad.

 

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 Abdusalamov's hand being massaged. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

When Baka finishes, Mago is cleanshaven and fresh down to his trimmed and filed toenails. “I want him to look good,” she says.

Theirs was an arranged Muslim marriage in Makhachkala, in the Russian republic of Dagestan. He was 23, she was 18 and their future hinged on boxing. Sometimes they would shadowbox in love, her David to his Goliath. You are so strong, he would tell her.

His father once told him he could either be a bandit or an athlete, but if he chose banditry, “I will kill you.” This paternal advice, Mago later told The Ventura County Reporter, “made it a very easy decision for me.”

Mago won against mediocre competition, in Moscow and Hollywood, Fla., in Las Vegas and Johnstown, Pa. He was knocked down only once, and even then, it surprised more than hurt. He scored a technical knockout in the next round.

It all led up to this: the undercard at the Garden, Mike Perez vs. Magomed Abdusalamov, 10 rounds, on HBO. A win, he believed, would improve his chances of taking on the heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who sat in the crowd of 4,600 with his fiancée, the actress Hayden Panettiere, watching.

Wearing black-and-red trunks and a green mouth guard, Mago went to work. But in the first round, a hard forearm to his left cheek rocked him. At the bell, he returned to his corner, and this time, he sat down. “I think it’s broken,” he repeatedly said in Russian.

 

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Bakanay Abdusalamova, Abdusalamov's wife, and her injured husband and a masseur in the background. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

Maybe at that point, somebody — the referee, the ringside doctors, his handlers — should have stopped the fight, under a guiding principle: better one punch too early than one punch too late. But the bloody trade of blows continued into the seventh, eighth, ninth, a hand and orbital bone broken, his face transforming.

Meanwhile, in the family’s apartment in Miami, Baka forced herself to watch the broadcast. She could see it in his swollen eyes. Something was off.

After the final round, Perez raised his tattooed arms in victory, and Mago wandered off in a fog. He had taken 312 punches in about 40 minutes, for a purse of $40,000.

 

 

In the locker room, doctors sutured a cut above Mago’s left eye and tested his cognitive abilities. He did not do well. The ambulance that waits in expectation at every fight was not summoned by boxing officials.

Blood was pooling in Mago’s cranial cavity as he left the Garden. He vomited on the pavement while his handlers flagged a taxi to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. There, doctors induced a coma and removed part of his skull to drain fluids and ease the swelling.

Then came the stroke.

 

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A championship belt belonging to Abdusalamov and a card from one of his daughters. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

It is lunchtime now, and the aroma of puréed beef and potatoes lingers. So do the questions.

How will Mago and Baka pay the $2 million in medical bills they owe? What if their friend can no longer offer them this home? Will they win their lawsuits against the five ringside doctors, the referee, and a New York State boxing inspector? What about Mago’s future care?

Most of all: Is this it?

A napkin rests on Mago’s chest. As another spoonful of mush approaches, he opens his mouth, half-swallows, chokes, and coughs until it clears. Eh-eh-eh. Sometimes he turns bluish, but Baka never shows fear. Always happy for Mago.

Some days he is wheeled out for physical therapy or speech therapy. Today, two massage therapists come to knead his half-limp body like a pair of skilled corner men.

Soon, Mago will doze. Then his three daughters, ages 2, 6 and 9, will descend upon him to talk of their day. Not long ago, the oldest lugged his championship belt to school for a proud show-and-tell moment. Her classmates were amazed at the weight of it.

Then, tonight, there will be more puréed food and pulverized medication, more coughing, and more tender care from his wife, before sleep comes.

Goodbye, Mago.

He half-smiles, raises his one good hand, and forms a fist.

Meet Mago, Former Heavyweight

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.

Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame

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

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

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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