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BARCELONA, Saco-Indonesia.com — Pesepak bola dari Brazil Neymar memiliki kecepatan lari yang cukup tinggi. Dia bisa mencapai kecepatan 34,7 kilometer per jam. Selain jago gocek, kelebihan ini bisa membuat Barcelona semakin tajam dan berbahaya.

Neymar selama ini sering dianggap sebagai "pemain terhormat" di Santos. Sebab, ia memerlukan perlakuan khusus pada fisik. Bahkan, yang menggambarkan dia sebagai "pemain terhormat" itu adalah ahli fisioterapi Santos, Luis Fernando de Barros, setelah melihat statistiknya.

Neymar diperlakukan secara hati-hati oleh Fernando. Demikian juga ahli fisioterapi timnas Brasil, Jose Luiz Runco, yang memperlakukannya dengan hati-hati. Ini untuk memastikan agar dia dalam kondisi fisik yang prima. Sebab, fisiknya memang agak spesifik.

Neymar memiliki tinggi 174 sentimeter. Namun, bobotnya hanya 60 kilogram. Oleh karenanya, jika tak diperlakukan secara hati-hati, dia rentan terkena cedera.

"Neymar fiber murni dan genetik. Dia benar-benar pemain terhormat," kata Fernando kepada surat kabar Spanyol, El Mundo Deportivo.

Sejak 2009, pemain 21 tahun itu sudah bermain di 277 pertandingan, baik untuk Santos maupun timnas Brasil. Dia membutuhkan supervisi medis yang ketat untuk mengurangi risiko cedera karena kondisi fisik bawaannya.

Meski begitu, hal itu tak menghentikannya berkembang sebagai atlet yang eksplosif. Bahkan, ia memiliki kecepatan lari yang termasuk luar biasa, yakni 34,7 kilometer per jam.

Jika dibandingkan, ia hanya kelah sedikit dari pemain bola cepat lainnya. Sejauh ini, pemain tercepat masih dipegang Cristiano Ronaldo dan Thierry Henry dengan catatan 39,2 kilometer per jam. Urutan berikutnya adalah Arjen Robben dengan kecepatan 37,8 kilometer per jam. Adapun pemegang rekor lari sprint, Usain Bolt, memiliki kecepatan 44 kilometer per jam.

Berdasarkan statistik ini, tak heran jika Pelatih Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, merasa bahwa kehadiran Neymar bakal mempertajam serangan timnya. "Dia pemain yang bisa beroperasi di berbagai posisi, tak hanya di sayap. Dia juga bisa bermain di belakang striker. Kami akan memikirkan perannya sebaik mungkin. Dia pemain yang sangat berbakat," puji Vilanova.

Editor : Liwon Maulana
Sumber:Kompas
Bintang Muda Brazil Neymar Kecepatan larinya mencapai 34,7 Km/Jam

Saco-Indonesia.com — Rumah di Washington, Amerika Serikat, berikut ini tampaknya bisa diterapkan untuk dibangun di daerah rawan bencana di seluruh Indonesia. Setidaknya, rumah ini sudah memenuhi standar dan kualifikasi Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Rumah yang dijuluki "Tsunami House" (rumah tsunami) tersebut dirancang sesuai kode bangunan FEMA yang paling ketat dan diklaim sangat aman. Nelson, sang perancang dari Designs Northwest Architects, mengatakan, rumah tersebut penuh dengan hal-hal yang harus dipertimbangkan ketika membangun di daerah berisiko banjir dan gempa.
Proyek ini dimulai pada tahun 2006 dan selesai musim panas lalu. Lokasinya tidak jauh dari tepi laut, Tsunami House berada di zona bencana banjir berkecepatan tinggi. Penduduk yang mendiami kawasan ini diketahui membuka lahan dan memulai proyek Tsunami House sejak 7 tahun silam.
Berbeda dengan rumah darurat yang diperuntukkan korban bencana, Tsunami House justru sangat indah dan memiliki pemandangan memukau, meskipun terletak di daerah rawan bencana, seperti gempa, angin kencang, dan banjir.
Di dalam Tsunami House terdapat ruang-ruang seperti rumah pada umumnya. Hanya saja, di sini penamaan ruang tersebut mengundang senyum. Sebut saja, Kamar Banjir yang berada pada level lebih rendah. Kamar ini dilengkapi dengan dinding yang dirancang sebagai tempat istirahat selama terjadi gelombang air.
"Material Tsunami House seluruhnya terbuat dari bahan tahan air dan dilengkapi dengan furnitur luar ruang tahan lama," ujar Nelson.
Tsunami House disangga oleh sembilan kolom betok dengan tebal 0,6 meter agar air banjir dapat dengan mudah melewati rumah ini. Bagian tersebut merupakan yang terberat dan terkuat dalam menghadapi badai apa pun. Sementara ruang tamu, sesuai dengan Kode FEMA, berada di bagian atas rumah.
Bangunan Tsunami House seluas 207,3 meter persegi yang memiliki ketinggian 9 meter di atas permukaan tanah demi keselamatan.

Sesuai peraturan bangunan FEMA, kamar tidur utama, ruang tamu, ruang makan, dan dapur, semuanya terletak di lantai kedua rumah ini.

Pelapis lantai Tsunami House adalah ubin porselen dengan langit-langit terbuat dari kayu cedar merah, yang menambah cantik suasana.
Di dalamnya terdapat perapian luas yang diatur dengan panel plester yang terinspirasi gelombang banjir. Rumah ini memiliki bukaan besar seperti jendela yang berbingkai aluminium.

Siapa pun penghuni rumah ini akan merasakan kedekatan dengan pantai yang diwakili desir angin, ombak berbisik, kicau burung, dan juga sinar mentari. Seluruh fenomena alam tersebut bisa dinikmati tanpa harus keluar dari rumah yang berada di Camano Island tersebut.

Sumber :businessinsider.com/kompas.com
Editor : Maulana Lee
Rancang Rumah Anda seperti Ini, Bila Mau Tahan Banjir

BREBES, Saco-Indonesia - PT Perkebunan Nusantara IX selama beberapa tahun terakhir terus mengembangkan dan mengelola sejumlah perkebunan di wilayah Provinsi Jawa Tengah sebagai salah satu destinasi pariwisata dalam bentuk wisata agro. Selain Kampoeng Kopi Banaran di Bawen dan Ambarawa, saat ini pengembangan wisata agro Kebun Kaligua di Brebes dan Kebun Semugih di Pemalang juga terus ditingkatkan.

Direktur Utama PTPN IX Adi Prasongko mengatakan, pengembangan wisata agro dilakukan karena sejak 2005 bisnis wisata agro sangat menguntungkan PTPN. ”Karena menguntungkan, kami sudah tidak ragu lagi. Bahkan, ke depan wisata agro tak lagi diolah administratur, tetapi akan dikelola profesional dengan struktur sendiri,” ujarnya, Sabtu (1/6/2013), di Kebun Kaligua, Brebes. Jajaran direksi PTPN IX beserta Bupati Brebes menghadiri rangkaian acara Hari Ulang Tahun Ke-42 Pengolahan Teh Hitam di Kebun Kaligua.

Wisata agro Kebun Kaligua dan Kebun Semugih berada di kawasan perkebunan teh yang telah ada sejak zaman Belanda. Kebun Kaligua merupakan perkebunan teh di barat Gunung Slamet di Desa Pandansari, Kecamatan Paguyangan, Brebes. Kebun Semugih, perkebunan teh yang berada di lereng utara Gunung Slamet, berlokasi di Desa Banyumudal, Kecamatan Moga, Pemalang.

Sebagai bentuk keseriusan PTPN IX dalam mengembangkan wisata agro, di kedua kebun itu sedang dibangun mikrohidro atau pembangkit listrik dengan menggunakan tenaga air. Selain itu, dilakukan juga pembenahan dan pembangunan sarana penginapan yang lebih nyaman bagi wisatawan serta penambahan wahana permainan untuk menarik perhatian wisatawan, terutama anak-anak.

”Untuk informasi ke luar, kami akan membenahi website sehingga wisatawan yang ingin menikmati wisata alam mendapat informasi. Kami juga ingin menarik minat para fotografer, termasuk fotografer dunia, bahwa di sini ada obyek menarik yang layak difoto,” ujar Adi.

PTPN IX juga akan mengarahkan wisata agro pada generasi muda, terutama anak-anak, dalam bentuk edukasi. Ada rencana memadukan pariwisata panorama dengan industri yang ada, seperti pabrik teh. ”Jadi, pengelolaan teh bisa diketahui masyarakat umum,” ungkapnya.

Bupati Brebes Idza Priyanti mengungkapkan, Pemerintah Kabupaten Brebes mendukung upaya PTPN IX menjadikan Kebun Kaligua sebagai tempat wisata agro. Untuk saat ini, Pemkab akan membantu pemeliharaan jalan-jalan di desa yang menuju Kebun Kaligua.

”Sementara ini pemeliharaan dulu karena masih pembangunan mikrohidro. Harapan saya, APBD 2014 bisa alokasikan untuk membangun jalan di sini. Yang jelas, kami akan memperhatikan hal ini karena mendukung pariwisata,” paparnya.

Kebun Kaligua menawarkan panorama alam berupa hamparan kebun teh seluas 509 hektar. Di kebun ini, para wisatawan dapat mengunjungi pabrik pengolahan teh hitam. Kebun Semugih menawarkan pemandangan, pemetikan, budidaya, dan pengolahan teh. (son)

 

Sumber : Kompas Cetak/Kompas.com
Editor :Liwon Maulana
PTPN IX Akan Kembangkan Wisata Agro

Presiden SBY akan melakukan kunjungan kerja ke Swedia dan Amerika Serikat. Kunjungan tersebut berlangsung pada 27 Mei hingga 2 Juni 2013.

Pantauan detikcom, Senin (27/5/2013), pesawat kepresidenan take off pukul 08.10 WIB dari Bandara Halim Perdana Kusuma, Jakarta. Pagi ini matahari tak terlihat seperti biasanya. Cuaca mendung menyelimuti langit Halim dan sekitarnya.

"Dengan rincian kunjungan ke Swedia berlangsung satu setengah hari, kegiatan di markas PBB New York dua setengah hari," ujar SBY dalam jumpa pers sebelum keberangkatan.

Selama di Swedia, Presiden SBY akan melakukan kunjungan kehormatan kepada Raja Swedia, Y.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, melakukan pertemuan bilateral dengan PM Swedia, Y.M. Fredrik Reinfeldt dan Ketua Parlemen Swedia, Y.M. Per Westerberg. Dalam rangkaian pertemuan tersebut, akan dibahas isu-isu yang menjadi kepentingan kedua negara, utamanya di bidang ekonomi, lingkungan hidup dan perubahan iklim, pendidikan, kesehatan, infrastruktur, riset, dan teknologi.

"Selama di Stockholm, saya akan ketemu dengan para pimpinan perusahaan-perusahan besar yang selama ini melaksanakan invest di Indonesia. Mereka juga berniat meningkatkan investasi dan kerjasamanya di Indonesia," imbuhnya.

Dari Swedia, Presiden RI beserta delegasi akan bertolak menuju New York, AS. Kunjungan ke New York adalah dalam rangka menghadiri pertemuan ke-5 Panel Tingkat Tinggi PBB Mengenai Agenda Pembangunan Pasca 2015 (UN High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda) di Markas Besar PBB di New York.

Presiden SBY dan Ibu Negara beserta delegasi akan meninggalkan New York pada tanggal 31 Mei 2013 dan akan tiba di tanah air pada 2 Juni 2013.

AKHIRNYA PRESIDEN SBY MELAWAT KE SWEDIA DAN AMERIKA SERIKAT

Untuk mengontrol suatu proses, dibutuhkan informasi mengenai kuantitas dan kualitas ciri-ciri fisik proses itu. Instrumen-instrumen ukur dipakai untuk mendapatkan informasi ini. Kontrol yang lebih ketat membutuhkan pengukuran yang lebih akurat. Beberapa istilah yang lazim dipakai dalam system pengukuran adalah proves variable, range, zero, span, error, linearitas, akurasi. Sekarang akan kita bahas masing masing dari istilah diatas.

1. Proses Variabel
Proses variabel adalah besaran phisik atau besaran kimia karena berbagai pengaruh proses. Tekanan, temperature, flow dan level adalah variabel phisik; sedangkan kandungan oksigen dan nilai pH adalah variabel-variabel kimia.
2. Range
Range adalah mengambarkan batasan sinyal yang berhubungan dengan instrumen input ataupun instrumen output. Batasan sinyal terendah dari suatu sinyal input adalah kuantitas instrumen terendah yang diukur, sedang batasan maksimumnya adalah nilai tertinggi. Sebagai contoh, suatu proses mempunyai batas atau range tekanan dari 100 kPa sampai 500 kPa. Maka alat instrumenasi proses ini tidak dapat digunakan untuk mengukur nilai dibawah 100 kPa atau diatas 500 kPa.
3. Zero
Nilai terendah suatu sinyal input atau sinyal output disebut zero, meskipun nilainya tidak nol. Sebagi contoh, range input transmiter tekanan mungkin 0 – 1000 kPa sedang range outputnya 20 sampai 100 kPa. Dari sini, nilai zero sinyal output digambarkan dengan 20 kPa. Transmiter temperatur dapat mengukur temperatur anatara 50oC dan 120 oC, sedang nilai outputnya bervariasi dari 20 sampai 100 kPa. Dalam hal ini, nilai zero pada range input dan output masing-masing adalah 50 oC dan 20 kPa.
4. Span
Span input dan output dari suatu instrumen berhubungan langsung dengan range input ataupun range outputnya. Span adalah selisih aljabar antara nilai range teratas dengan nilai range terendah.
5. Error
Error adalah selisih antara nilai yang diukur dengan nilai yang sebenarnya. Sebagai contoh, jika pressure gage menunjukkan 216 kPa ketika tekananya nyatanya 220 kPa, maka errornya adalah – 4kPa.
6. Linieritas
Linieritas menggambarkan kedekatan hubungan antara input dengan output dari suatu instrument yang digambarkan seperti sebuah garis lurus ; hal tersebut adalah, sebuah gris lusrus dari 0% input dan 0% output sampai 100% input dan 100% output. Jika hubungan ini menyimpang maka timbul ketidak linieran. Ketidak linieran output biasanya dinyatakan dalam persentase skala penuh atau full scale output.
7. Akurasi
Akurasi dari sebuah instrumen dapat didefinisikan sebagai kedekatan antara pengukuran atau output yang menggambarkan nilai nyata. Akurasi biasanya dinyatakan dengan persentase span.

 

DASAR DASAR KALIBRASI INSTRUMENT

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

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

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

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

Hired in 1968, a year before their first season, Mr. Fanning spent 25 years with the team, managing them to their only playoff appearance in Canada.

Jim Fanning, 87, Dies; Lifted Baseball in Canada With Expos
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Many bodies prepared for cremation last week in Kathmandu were of young men from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

KATHMANDU, Nepal — When the dense pillar of smoke from cremations by the Bagmati River was thinning late last week, the bodies were all coming from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas, and they were all of young men.

Hindu custom dictates that funeral pyres should be lighted by the oldest son of the deceased, but these men were too young to have sons, so they were burned by their brothers or fathers. Sukla Lal, a maize farmer, made a 14-hour journey by bus to retrieve the body of his 19-year-old son, who had been on his way to the Persian Gulf to work as a laborer.

“He wanted to live in the countryside, but he was compelled to leave by poverty,” Mr. Lal said, gazing ahead steadily as his son’s remains smoldered. “He told me, ‘You can live on your land, and I will come up with money, and we will have a happy family.’ ”

Weeks will pass before the authorities can give a complete accounting of who died in the April 25 earthquake, but it is already clear that Nepal cannot afford the losses. The countryside was largely stripped of its healthy young men even before the quake, as they migrated in great waves — 1,500 a day by some estimates — to work as laborers in India, Malaysia or one of the gulf nations, leaving many small communities populated only by elderly parents, women and children. Economists say that at some times of the year, one-quarter of Nepal’s population is working outside the country.

Nepal’s Young Men, Lost to Migration, Then a Quake

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

The 2015 Met Gala has only officially begun, but there's a clear leader in the race for best couple, no small feat at an event that threatens to sap Hollywood of every celebrity it has for the duration of an East Coast evening.

That would be Marc Jacobs and his surprise guest (who, by some miracle, remained under wraps until their red carpet debut), Cher.

“This has been a dream of mine for a very, very long time,” Mr. Jacobs said.

It is Cher's first appearance at the Met Gala since 1997, when she arrived on the arm of Donatella Versace.

– MATTHEW SCHNEIER

Cher and Marc Jacobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advertisement Politics Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues

HOBART, Tasmania — Few places seem out of reach for China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who has traveled from European capitals to obscure Pacific and Caribbean islands in pursuit of his nation’s strategic interests.

So perhaps it was not surprising when he turned up last fall in this city on the edge of the Southern Ocean to put down a long-distance marker in another faraway region, Antarctica, 2,000 miles south of this Australian port.

Standing on the deck of an icebreaker that ferries Chinese scientists from this last stop before the frozen continent, Mr. Xi pledged that China would continue to expand in one of the few places on earth that remain unexploited by humans.

He signed a five-year accord with the Australian government that allows Chinese vessels and, in the future, aircraft to resupply for fuel and food before heading south. That will help secure easier access to a region that is believed to have vast oil and mineral resources; huge quantities of high-protein sea life; and for times of possible future dire need, fresh water contained in icebergs.

It was not until 1985, about seven decades after Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen raced to the South Pole, that a team representing Beijing hoisted the Chinese flag over the nation’s first Antarctic research base, the Great Wall Station on King George Island.

But now China seems determined to catch up. As it has bolstered spending on Antarctic research, and as the early explorers, especially the United States and Australia, confront stagnant budgets, there is growing concern about its intentions.

China’s operations on the continent — it opened its fourth research station last year, chose a site for a fifth, and is investing in a second icebreaker and new ice-capable planes and helicopters — are already the fastest growing of the 52 signatories to the Antarctic Treaty. That gentlemen’s agreement reached in 1959 bans military activity on the continent and aims to preserve it as one of the world’s last wildernesses; a related pact prohibits mining.

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But Mr. Xi’s visit was another sign that China is positioning itself to take advantage of the continent’s resource potential when the treaty expires in 2048 — or in the event that it is ripped up before, Chinese and Australian experts say.

“So far, our research is natural-science based, but we know there is more and more concern about resource security,” said Yang Huigen, director general of the Polar Research Institute of China, who accompanied Mr. Xi last November on his visit to Hobart and stood with him on the icebreaker, Xue Long, or Snow Dragon.

With that in mind, the polar institute recently opened a new division devoted to the study of resources, law, geopolitics and governance in Antarctica and the Arctic, Mr. Yang said.

Australia, a strategic ally of the United States that has strong economic relations with China, is watching China’s buildup in the Antarctic with a mix of gratitude — China’s presence offers support for Australia’s Antarctic science program, which is short of cash — and wariness.

“We should have no illusions about the deeper agenda — one that has not even been agreed to by Chinese scientists but is driven by Xi, and most likely his successors,” said Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former senior official in the Australian Department of Defense.

“This is part of a broader pattern of a mercantilist approach all around the world,” Mr. Jennings added. “A big driver of Chinese policy is to secure long-term energy supply and food supply.”

That approach was evident last month when a large Chinese agriculture enterprise announced an expansion of its fishing operations around Antarctica to catch more krill — small, protein-rich crustaceans that are abundant in Antarctic waters.

“The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share,” Liu Shenli, the chairman of the China National Agricultural Development Group, told China Daily, a state-owned newspaper. China would aim to fish up to two million tons of krill a year, he said, a substantial increase from what it currently harvests.

Because sovereignty over Antarctica is unclear, nations have sought to strengthen their claims over the ice-covered land by building research bases and naming geographic features. China’s fifth station will put it within reach of the six American facilities, and ahead of Australia’s three.

Chinese mappers have also given Chinese names to more than 300 sites, compared with the thousands of locations on the continent with English names.

In the unspoken competition for Antarctica’s future, scientific achievement can also translate into influence. Chinese scientists are driving to be the first to drill and recover an ice core containing tiny air bubbles that provide a record of climate change stretching as far back as 1.5 million years. It is an expensive and delicate effort at which others, including the European Union and Australia, have failed.

In a breakthrough a decade ago, European scientists extracted an ice core nearly two miles long that revealed 800,000 years of climate history. But finding an ice core going back further would allow scientists to examine a change in the earth’s climate cycles believed to have occurred 900,000 to 1.2 million years ago.

China is betting it has found the best location to drill, at an area called Dome A, or Dome Argus, the highest point on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Though it is considered one of the coldest places on the planet, with temperatures of 130 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, a Chinese expedition explored the area in 2005 and established a research station in 2009.

“The international community has drilled in lots of places, but no luck so far,” said Xiao Cunde, a member of the first party to reach the site and the deputy director of the Institute for Climate Change at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences. “We think at Dome A we will have a straight shot at the one-million-year ice core.”

Mr. Xiao said China had already begun drilling and hoped to find what scientists are looking for in four to five years.

To support its Antarctic aspirations, China is building a sophisticated $300 million icebreaker that is expected to be ready in a few years, said Xia Limin, deputy director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration in Beijing. It has also bought a high-tech fixed-wing aircraft, outfitted in the United States, for taking sensitive scientific soundings from the ice.

China has chosen the site for its fifth research station at Inexpressible Island, named by a group of British explorers who were stranded at the desolate site in 1912 and survived the winter by excavating a small ice cave.

Mr. Xia said the inhospitable spot was ideal because China did not have a presence in that part of Antarctica, and because the rocky site did not have much snow, making it relatively cheap to build there.

Anne-Marie Brady, a professor of political science at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the author of a soon-to-be-released book, “China as a Polar Great Power,” said Chinese scientists also believed they had a good chance of finding mineral and energy resources near the site.

“China is playing a long game in Antarctica and keeping other states guessing about its true intentions and interests are part of its poker hand,” she said. But she noted that China’s interest in finding minerals was presented “loud and clear to domestic audiences” as the main reason it was investing in Antarctica.

Because commercial drilling is banned, estimates of energy and mineral resources in Antarctica rely on remote sensing data and comparisons with similar geological environments elsewhere, said Millard F. Coffin, executive director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart.

But the difficulty of extraction in such severe conditions and uncertainty about future commodity prices make it unlikely that China or any country would defy the ban on mining anytime soon.

Tourism, however, is already booming. Travelers from China are still a relatively small contingent in the Antarctic compared with the more than 13,000 Americans who visited in 2013, and as yet there are no licensed Chinese tour operators.

But that is about to change, said Anthony Bergin, deputy director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “I understand very soon there will be Chinese tourists on Chinese vessels with all-Chinese crew in the Antarctic,” he said.

 

Top News China’s Intents Are Questioned as It Builds in Antarctica
Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”
Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

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

UNITED NATIONS — Wearing pinstripes and a pince-nez, Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations envoy for Syria, arrived at the Security Council one Tuesday afternoon in February and announced that President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to halt airstrikes over Aleppo. Would the rebels, Mr. de Mistura suggested, agree to halt their shelling?

What he did not announce, but everyone knew by then, was that the Assad government had begun a military offensive to encircle opposition-held enclaves in Aleppo and that fierce fighting was underway. It would take only a few days for rebel leaders, having pushed back Syrian government forces, to outright reject Mr. de Mistura’s proposed freeze in the fighting, dooming the latest diplomatic overture on Syria.

Diplomacy is often about appearing to be doing something until the time is ripe for a deal to be done.

 

 

Now, with Mr. Assad’s forces having suffered a string of losses on the battlefield and the United States reaching at least a partial rapprochement with Mr. Assad’s main backer, Iran, Mr. de Mistura is changing course. Starting Monday, he is set to hold a series of closed talks in Geneva with the warring sides and their main supporters. Iran will be among them.

In an interview at United Nations headquarters last week, Mr. de Mistura hinted that the changing circumstances, both military and diplomatic, may have prompted various backers of the war to question how much longer the bloodshed could go on.

“Will that have an impact in accelerating the willingness for a political solution? We need to test it,” he said. “The Geneva consultations may be a good umbrella for testing that. It’s an occasion for asking everyone, including the government, if there is any new way that they are looking at a political solution, as they too claim they want.”

He said he would have a better assessment at the end of June, when he expects to wrap up his consultations. That coincides with the deadline for a final agreement in the Iran nuclear talks.

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Whether a nuclear deal with Iran will pave the way for a new opening on peace talks in Syria remains to be seen. Increasingly, though, world leaders are explicitly linking the two, with the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, suggesting last week that a nuclear agreement could spur Tehran to play “a major but positive role in Syria.”

It could hardly come soon enough. Now in its fifth year, the Syrian war has claimed 220,000 lives, prompted an exodus of more than three million refugees and unleashed jihadist groups across the region. “This conflict is producing a question mark in many — where is it leading and whether this can be sustained,” Mr. de Mistura said.

Part Italian, part Swedish, Mr. de Mistura has worked with the United Nations for more than 40 years, but he is more widely known for his dapper style than for any diplomatic coups. Syria is by far the toughest assignment of his career — indeed, two of the organization’s most seasoned diplomats, Lakhdar Brahimi and Kofi Annan, tried to do the job and gave up — and critics have wondered aloud whether Mr. de Mistura is up to the task.

He served as a United Nations envoy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and before that in Lebanon, where a former minister recalled, with some scorn, that he spent many hours sunbathing at a private club in the hills above Beirut. Those who know him say he has a taste for fine suits and can sometimes speak too soon and too much, just as they point to his diplomatic missteps and hyperbole.

They cite, for instance, a news conference in October, when he raised the specter of Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslims were massacred in 1995 during the Balkans war, in warning that the Syrian border town of Kobani could fall to the Islamic State. In February, he was photographed at a party in Damascus, the Syrian capital, celebrating the anniversary of the Iranian revolution just as Syrian forces, aided by Iran, were pummeling rebel-held suburbs of Damascus; critics seized on that as evidence of his coziness with the government.

Mouin Rabbani, who served briefly as the head of Mr. de Mistura’s political affairs unit and has since emerged as one of his most outspoken critics, said Mr. de Mistura did not have the background necessary for the job. “This isn’t someone well known for his political vision or political imagination, and his closest confidants lack the requisite knowledge and experience,” Mr. Rabbani said.

As a deputy foreign minister in the Italian government, Mr. de Mistura was tasked in 2012 with freeing two Italian marines detained in India for shooting at Indian fishermen. He made 19 trips to India, to little effect. One marine was allowed to return to Italy for medical reasons; the other remains in India.

He said he initially turned down the Syria job when the United Nations secretary general approached him last August, only to change his mind the next day, after a sleepless, guilt-ridden night.

Mr. de Mistura compared his role in Syria to that of a doctor faced with a terminally ill patient. His goal in brokering a freeze in the fighting, he said, was to alleviate suffering. He settled on Aleppo as the location for its “fame,” he said, a decision that some questioned, considering that Aleppo was far trickier than the many other lesser-known towns where activists had negotiated temporary local cease-fires.

“Everybody, at least in Europe, are very familiar with the value of Aleppo,” Mr. de Mistura said. “So I was using that as an icebreaker.”

The cease-fire negotiations, to which he had devoted six months, fell apart quickly because of the government’s military offensive in Aleppo the very day of his announcement at the Security Council. Privately, United Nations diplomats said Mr. de Mistura had been manipulated. To this, Mr. de Mistura said only that he was “disappointed and concerned.”

Tarek Fares, a former rebel fighter, said after a recent visit to Aleppo that no Syrian would admit publicly to supporting Mr. de Mistura’s cease-fire proposal. “If anyone said they went to a de Mistura meeting in Gaziantep, they would be arrested,” is how he put it, referring to the Turkish city where negotiations between the two sides were held.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains staunchly behind Mr. de Mistura’s efforts. His defenders point out that he is at the center of one of the world’s toughest diplomatic problems, charged with mediating a conflict in which two of the world’s most powerful nations — Russia, which supports Mr. Assad, and the United States, which has called for his ouster — remain deadlocked.

R. Nicholas Burns, a former State Department official who now teaches at Harvard, credited Mr. de Mistura for trying to negotiate a cease-fire even when the chances of success were exceedingly small — and the chances of a political deal even smaller. For his efforts to work, Professor Burns argued, the world powers will first have to come to an agreement of their own.

“He needs the help of outside powers,” he said. “It starts with backers of Assad. That’s Russia and Iran. De Mistura is there, waiting.”

With Iran Talks, a Tangled Path to Ending Syria’s War

“It was really nice to play with other women and not have this underlying tone of being at each other’s throats.”

ay 4, 2015 ‘Game of Thrones’ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes

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

Rolf Smedvig, Trumpeter in the Empire Brass, Dies at 62
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