saco-indonesia.com, Ada kabar yang beredar luas di WhatsApp yang telah menyebutkan jika salah satu aplikasi messenger terbesar di dunia ini akan segera dimatikan pada 28 Januari 2014 karena sudah kelebihan pengguna.
pesan yang telah beredar luas tersebut berbunyi "Whatsapp akan dimatikan pada 28 Januari. Berikut pesan langsung dari Jim Balsamic (CEO Whatsapp). Kami telah mengalami kelebihan penggunaan username pada WhatsApp Messenger. Kami telah meminta semua pengguna untuk dapat meneruskan pesan ini ke seluruh daftar kontak mereka. Jika Anda tidak meneruskan pesan ini, kami akan menganggap akun WhatsApp Anda tidak valid dan akan dihapus dalam 48 jam ke depan."
Selain itu, pesan ini juga telah menyebutkan jika pengguna harus membayar dengan nominal uang tertentu untuk bisa melakukan aktivasi ulang akun WhatsApp-nya.
"Mohon untuk tidak mengabaikan pesan ini atau Whatsapp tidak akan lagi mengenali aktivasi Anda. Jika Anda ingin mengaktifkan kembali akun Anda setelah proses penghentian operasi ini, biaya sebesar USD 25 akan ditambahkan ke tagihan bulanan Anda."
Namun, ternyata pesan ini sendiri hanyalah hoax saja dan bukan merupakan pesan yang resmi dari pihak WhatsApp. Berdasarkan lansiran tersebut, ini juga bukan pertama kalinya pesan hoax beredar di instan messenger WhatsApp. Bahkan pesan hoax yang telah menyebutkan pesan langsung dari CEO WhatsApp ini semakin marak seiring makin populernya WhatsApp di pengguna smartphone saat ini.
Jika Anda mendapatkan pesan tersebut, sebaiknya abaikan saja dan jangan di sebarkan lebih jauh. Hoax ini mungkin tidak berbahaya, namun tetap pesan yang bersifat spam ini akan menjengkelkan setiap penerimanya.
WHATSAPP BERHENTI BEROPERASI?
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
saco-indonesia.com, Rendi Aripin alias Ujang Ipin yang berusia (30) tahun , tersangka dalam penggelapan sepeda motor, telah ditemukan tewas gantung diri di ruang tahanan Mapolsek Warungkondang, Cianjur, Jawa Barat. Dia telah ditemukan dengan leher terjerat baju tahanan yang diikatkan ke jeruji besi.
"Tersangka mengakhiri hidupnya dengan cara gantung diri dengan memakai baju tahanan yang dia pakai selama dalam proses penyidikan," kata Kapolsek Warungkondang, Kompol Samsa S.
Menurut Samsa, kepolisian telah melakukan autopsi terkait penyebab kematian ini. Pihaknya juga telah meminta keterangan sejumlah saksi tahanan dan petugas jaga.
Sementara itu, Imas Liani yang berusia (32) tahun kakak kandung Ipin juga mengaku tidak menyangka adik bungsunya meninggal dengan cara bunuh diri. Pasalnya, siang hari sebelumnya Ipin masih dalam keadaan sehat.
"Senin lalu, kami juga mendapatkan surat pemberitahuan dari Polsek Warungkondang, adik kami ditahan. Tapi, baru esok harinya saya menjenguk. Anehnya, selang beberapa jam saya pulang, saya telah mendapatkan kabar dari polsek bahwa adik saya meninggal bunuh diri," terangnya.
Sebelum meninggal, jelas Imas, kepolisian telah memberitahukan adiknya untuk membuat surat wasiat. Namun, surat tersebut tidak diserahkan ke pihak keluarga hanya diperlihatkan.
"Surat itu berisi permintaan pada keluarga untuk dapat merawat anaknya, tapi surat itu tidak diberikan pada kami, hanya diperlihatkan sekilas saja," ucapnya.
Terkait hal itu, keluarga juga merasa ada kejanggalan dengan tewasnya Ipin. Lantaran, surat hasil otopsi belum diterima pihaknya.
Oleh sebab itu, pihak keluarga juga berharap hasil otopsi tersebut diserahkan pada keluarga agar tidak menjadi pertanyaan.
"Saya hanya meminta, kalaupun memang adik saya bunuh diri, tolong hasil otopsinya berikan ke kami. Jangan biarkan kami selalu bertanya-tanya," tandasnya.
IPIN TEWAS GANTUNG DIRI
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
saco-indonesia.com, Ciri Orang Yang Berpikir Positif Yang Utama Adalah Optimisme
Optimisme adalah sebuah pemikiran penuh harapan dan percaya diri bahwa apa yang ditujunya akan tercapai. Optimisme adalah pandangan yang penuh harap. Sebuah sikap optimis bisa lahir saat seseorang memiliki keyakinan yang kuat bahwa dia bisa mencapai apa yang dia harapkan. Inilah ciri orang yang berpikir positif.
“Tapi, bagaimana saya bisa optimis? Saya memiliki banyak kekurangan.”
Optimisme tidak ada hubungannya dengan kekurangan. Siapa yang tidak punya kekurangan? Orang yang optimis akan yakin bahwa dia juga mampu mengatasi semua kekurangan yang ada. Tidak punya modal untuk bisnis? Dia yakin bahwa dia akan mendapatkan modal tersebut. Tidak bisa bahasa Inggris untuk mendapatkan kerja? Orang optimis yakin bahwa dia bisa mempelajari bahasa Inggris. Kekurangan, sama sekali tidak mempengaruhi optimisme. Ciri orang yang berpikir positif tetap yakin meski dia banyak kekurangan, karena dia yakin selalu ada jalan keluar.
Lalu, dari manakah sumber keyakinan ini? Jika kita membaca literatur barat yang ditulis oleh mereka yang bukan beragama Islam, mereka mengatakan bahwa sumber keyakinan kita hanya berasal dari potensi dan kekuatan pikiran kita. Memang benar, bahwa kita sudah diberikan postensi yang besar oleh Allah SWT, tetapi sumber keyakinan itu bukan hanya berasal dari potensi diri kita atau pikiran kita, tetapi –yang utama– kita yakin karena Allah SWT akan menolong, membantu, memberikan petunjuk, dan mengabulkan do’a kita.
Berpikir Positif dan Kritis
“Tapi… kita juga perlu berpikir kritis.”
Salah! Yang kita perlukan ialah: kita perlu berpikir kritis, kreatif, dan rasional. Jadi bukan berpikir kritis dan positif saja. Silahkan selami situs ini, Anda akan menemukan pembahasan tentang berpikir kritis, kreatif, dan rasional. Artikel ini memang khusus membahas ciri orang yang berpikir positif.
Berpikir positif bukan berarti kita memandang semua hal menjadi positif, apalagi menjadi benar. Bukan berarti apa pun yang dilakukan oleh orang lain, kita berkata “berpikir positif saja!” Kadang kata-kata ini juga sebagai alat untuk pembenaran diri juga. Saat ada orang yang menyalahkan dia, dia mengatakan “Kamu harus berpikir positif.” Salah adalah salah, benar adalah benar.
Berpikir positif lebih kepada kemampuan memikirkan hal yang positif dari apa pun kejadian dan kondisi. Bukan menjadikan hal negatif menjadi positif, tetapi mampu memikirkan hal yang positif dari kondisi atau kejadian negatif sekali pun. Yang salah tetap salah, namun kita bisa melihat (baca memikirkan) hal positif dari kesalahan itu. Itulah yang disebut dengan hikmah. Berpikir positif akan berkiatan dengan hikmah.
Jadi berpikir positif tidak memupus kemampuan kita berpikir kritis.
Tidak Mudah Menjadi Negatif
Seperti angka, semakin besar angka positif akan semakin sulit untuk menjadi negatif. Jika kondisi Anda positif pada sekala 10, maka akan tetap positif jika masuk pikiran negatif pada sekala 4. Mungkin skala pikiran positif Anda berkurang menjadi 6. Optimisme Anda masih ada tetapi sedikit berkurang. Ciri orang yang berpikir positif tidak akan mudah berubah menjadi pesimis, apalagi jika dia memiliki pikiran positif pada sekalan 100, maka pikiran negatif pada skala 4 tidak akan terasa.
Orang yang semangat dan memiliki optimisme tetapi masih mudah terganggu, artinya tingkat pikiran positifnya masih rendah. Dia memiliki ciri orang yang berpikir positif, tetapi masih rendah. Jika Anda merasa, Anda harus meningkatkannya.
Mampu Melihat Cahaya
Jika diibaratkan, ciri orang yang berpikir positif adalah mampu melihat cahaya atau potensi cahaya. Hal yang positif itu ibarat cahaya atau penerang. Jika meski dia melihat/mengalami persitiwa senegatif apapun, dia akan melihat cahaya dan selalu melihat harapan. Optimisme didapat karena dia mampu melihat cahaya yang akan menerangi jalannya.
Orang yang berpikir positif, akan mampu melihat tabir atau kegelapan yang menghalanginya dari cita-cita atau tujuan besar sekali pun seperti yang dibahas pada artikel ini.
Sumber : http://www.motivasi-islami.comCiri orang yang berpikir positif
saco-indonesia.com, Empat anggota komplotan bandit spesialis pencuri di rumah kosong (rumsong) telah dibekuk oleh aparat Jatanras Polda Metro Jaya. Kawanan ini telah ditangkap sehari setelah beraksi di sebuah rumah mewah di kawasan Cilandak pada 13 Desember 2013 lalu.
Mereka yang telah dibekuk adalah S, Y, H dan T. Korban yang bernama Laila Jafar juga sedang tidak berada di rumah. Dari sinilah modus mereka untuk dapat mencuri. ”Kalau ada orangnya bertanya dengan alasan cari alamat, kalau tidak ada langsung dibobol,” kata Kabid Humas Polda Metro Jaya Kombes Rikwanto.
Dalam pembobolan rumah Laila, empat pencuri ini telah mendapatkan uang tunai Rp25 juta, telepon genggam serta sejumlah perhiasan. Rikwanto telah mengatakan, polisi juga sudah mengendus tindakan mereka dan keempatnya langsung ditangkap di rumahnya masing-masing.”Jadi uang curian belum sempat dibagikan,” katanya.
Dikatakan Rikwanto juga menjelaskan, para pelaku pencurian rumah kosong ini juga tidak selalu mendapatkan hasil curiannya. Mereka juga tidak memiliki insting mengetahui apakah ada harta di dalam rumah tersebut. Mereka cuma hanya bisa membobol rumah dan mengambil barang yang dinilai berharga. Dari perbuatan ini, keempatnya telah diancam dengan Pasal 363 KUHP dengan ancaman tujuh tahun penjara.
KAWANAN SPESIALIS RUMSONG TELAH DIBEKUK OLEH POLISI
Editor : Dian Sukmawati
“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 â€˜Game of Thronesâ€™ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes
Mr. Bartoszewski was given honorary Israeli citizenship for his work to save Jews during World War II and later surprised even himself by being instrumental in reconciling Poland and Germany.Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, 93, Dies; Polish Auschwitz Survivor Aided Jews
A lapsed seminarian, Mr. Chambers succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of the social justice umbrella group Industrial Areas Foundation.Edward Chambers, Early Leader in Community Organizing, Dies at 85
THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.
In the summer of 2001, JaQuavis Coleman was a 16-year-old foster child in Flint, Mich., the former auto-manufacturing mecca that had devolved, in the wake of General Motors’ plant closures, into one of the country’s most dangerous cities, with a decimated economy and a violent crime rate more than three times the national average. When JaQuavis was 8, social services had removed him from his mother’s home. He spent years bouncing between foster families. At 16, JaQuavis was also a businessman: a crack dealer with a network of street-corner peddlers in his employ.
One day that summer, JaQuavis met a fellow dealer in a parking lot on Flint’s west side. He was there to make a bulk sale of a quarter-brick, or “nine-piece” — a nine-ounce parcel of cocaine, with a street value of about $11,000. In the middle of the transaction, JaQuavis heard the telltale chirp of a walkie-talkie. His customer, he now realized, was an undercover policeman. JaQuavis jumped into his car and spun out onto the road, with two unmarked police cars in pursuit. He didn’t want to get into a high-speed chase, so he whipped his car into a church parking lot and made a run for it, darting into an alleyway behind a row of small houses, where he tossed the quarter-brick into some bushes. When JaQuavis reached the small residential street on the other side of the houses, he was greeted by the police, who handcuffed him and went to search behind the houses where, they told him, they were certain he had ditched the drugs. JaQuavis had been dealing since he was 12, had amassed more than $100,000 and had never been arrested. Now, he thought: It’s over.
But when the police looked in the bushes, they couldn’t find any cocaine. They interrogated JaQuavis, who denied having ever possessed or sold drugs. They combed the backyard alley some more. After an hour of fruitless efforts, the police were forced to unlock the handcuffs and release their suspect.
JaQuavis was baffled by the turn of events until the next day, when he received a phone call. The previous afternoon, a 15-year-old girl had been sitting in her home on the west side of Flint when she heard sirens. She looked out of the window of her bedroom, and watched a young man throw a package in the bushes behind her house. She recognized him. He was a high school classmate — a handsome, charismatic boy whom she had admired from afar. The girl crept outside and grabbed the bundle, which she hid in her basement. “I have something that belongs to you,” Ashley Snell told JaQuavis Coleman when she reached him by phone. “You wanna come over here and pick it up?”
In the Colemans’ first novel, “Dirty Money” (2005), they told a version of this story. The outline was the same: the drug deal gone bad, the dope chucked in the bushes, the fateful phone call. To the extent that the authors took poetic license, it was to tone down the meet-cute improbability of the true-life events. In “Dirty Money,” the girl, Anari, and the crack dealer, Maurice, circle each other warily for a year or so before coupling up. But the facts of Ashley and JaQuavis’s romance outstripped pulp fiction. They fell in love more or less at first sight, moved into their own apartment while still in high school and were married in 2008. “We were together from the day we met,” Ashley says. “I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart in total over the past 14 years.”
That partnership turned out to be creative and entrepreneurial as well as romantic. Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.
But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.
“When you read our books, you’re gonna realize: ‘Ashley & JaQuavis are storytellers,’ ” says Ashley. “Our tales will get your heart pounding.”
THE COLEMANS’ HOME BASE — the cottage from which they operate their cottage industry — is a spacious four-bedroom house in a genteel suburb about 35 miles north of downtown Detroit. The house is plush, but when I visited this past winter, it was sparsely appointed. The couple had just recently moved in, and had only had time to fully furnish the bedroom of their 4-year-old son, Quaye.
In conversation, Ashley and JaQuavis exude both modesty and bravado: gratitude for their good fortune and bootstrappers’ pride in having made their own luck. They talk a lot about their time in the trenches, the years they spent as a drug dealer and “ride-or-die girl” tandem. In Flint they learned to “grind hard.” Writing, they say, is merely a more elevated kind of grind.
“Instead of hitting the block like we used to, we hit the laptops,” says Ashley. “I know what every word is worth. So while I’m writing, I’m like: ‘Okay, there’s a hundred dollars. There’s a thousand dollars. There’s five thousand dollars.’ ”
They maintain a rigorous regimen. They each try to write 5,000 words per day, five days a week. The writers stagger their shifts: JaQuavis goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes up early, around 3 or 4 in the morning, to work while his wife and child sleep. Ashley writes during the day, often in libraries or at Starbucks.
They divide the labor in other ways. Chapters are divvied up more or less equally, with tasks assigned according to individual strengths. (JaQuavis typically handles character development. Ashley loves writing murder scenes.) The results are stitched together, with no editorial interference from one author in the other’s text. The real work, they contend, is the brainstorming. The Colemans spend weeks mapping out their plot-driven books — long conversations that turn into elaborate diagrams on dry-erase boards. “JaQuavis and I are so close, it makes the process real easy,” says Ashley. “Sometimes when I’m thinking of something, a plot point, he’ll say it out loud, and I’m like: ‘Wait — did I say that?’ ”
Their collaboration developed by accident, and on the fly. Both were bookish teenagers. Ashley read lots of Judy Blume and John Grisham; JaQuavis liked Shakespeare, Richard Wright and “Atlas Shrugged.” (Their first official date was at a Borders bookstore, where Ashley bought “The Coldest Winter Ever,” the Sister Souljah novel often credited with kick-starting the contemporary street-lit movement.) In 2003, Ashley, then 17, was forced to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. She was bedridden for three weeks, and to provide distraction and boost her spirits, JaQuavis challenged his girlfriend to a writing contest. “She just wasn’t talking. She was laying in bed. I said, ‘You know what? I bet you I could write a better book than you.’ My wife is real competitive. So I said, ‘Yo, all right, $500 bet.’ And I saw her eyes spark, like, ‘What?! You can’t write no better book than me!’ So I wrote about three chapters. She wrote about three chapters. Two days later, we switched.”
The result, hammered out in a few days, would become “Dirty Money.” Two years later, when Ashley and JaQuavis were students at Ferris State University in Western Michigan, they sold the manuscript to Urban Books, a street-lit imprint founded by the best-selling author Carl Weber. At the time, JaQuavis was still making his living selling drugs. When Ashley got the phone call informing her that their book had been bought, she assumed they’d hit it big, and flushed more than $10,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet. Their advance was a mere $4,000.
Those advances would soon increase, eventually reaching five and six figures. The Colemans built their career, JaQuavis says, in a manner that made sense to him as a veteran dope peddler: by flooding the street with product. From the start, they were prolific, churning out books at a rate of four or five a year. Their novels made their way into stores; the now-defunct chain Waldenbooks, which had stores in urban areas typically bypassed by booksellers, was a major engine of the street-lit market. But Ashley and JaQuavis took advantage of distribution channels established by pioneering urban fiction authors such as Teri Woods and Vickie Stringer, and a network of street-corner tables, magazine stands, corner shops and bodegas. Like rappers who establish their bona fides with gray-market mixtapes, street-lit authors use this system to circumnavigate industry gatekeepers, bringing their work straight to the genre’s core readership. But urban fiction has other aficionados, in less likely places. “Our books are so popular in the prison system,” JaQuavis says. “We’re banned in certain penitentiaries. Inmates fight over the books — there are incidents, you know? I have loved ones in jail, and they’re like: ‘Yo, your books can’t come in here. It’s against the rules.’ ”
The appeal of the Colemans’ work is not hard to fathom. The books are formulaic and taut; they deliver the expected goods efficiently and exuberantly. The titles telegraph the contents: “Diary of a Street Diva,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “Murderville.” The novels serve up a stream of explicit sex and violence in a slangy, tangy, profane voice. In Ashley & JaQuavis’s books people don’t get killed: they get “popped,” “laid out,” get their “cap twisted back.” The smut is constant, with emphasis on the earthy, sticky, olfactory particulars. Romance novel clichés — shuddering orgasms, heroic carnal feats, superlative sexual skill sets — are rendered in the Colemans’ punchy patois.
Subtlety, in other words, isn’t Ashley & JaQuavis’s forte. But their books do have a grainy specificity. In “The Cartel” (2008), the first novel in the Colemans’ best-selling saga of a Miami drug syndicate, they catch the sights and smells of a crack workshop in a housing project: the nostril-stinging scent of cocaine and baking soda bubbling on stovetops; the teams of women, stripped naked except for hospital masks so they can’t pilfer the merchandise, “cutting up the cooked coke on the round wood table.” The subject matter is dark, but the Colemans’ tone is not quite noir. Even in the grimmest scenes, the mood is high-spirited, with the writers palpably relishing the lewd and gory details: the bodies writhing in boudoirs and crumpling under volleys of bullets, the geysers of blood and other bodily fluids.
The luridness of street lit has made it a flashpoint, inciting controversy reminiscent of the hip-hop culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the street-lit debate touches deeper historical roots, reviving decades-old arguments in black literary circles about the mandate to uplift the race and present wholesome images of African-Americans. In 1928, W. E. B. Du Bois slammed the “licentiousness” of “Home to Harlem,” Claude McKay’s rollicking novel of Harlem nightlife. McKay’s book, Du Bois wrote, “for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath.” Similar sentiments have greeted 21st-century street lit. In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed essay, the journalist and author Nick Chiles decried “the sexualization and degradation of black fiction.” African-American bookstores, Chiles complained, are “overrun with novels that . . . appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures — as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.”
Copulating paperbacks aside, it’s clear that the street-lit debate is about more than literature, touching on questions of paternalism versus populism, and on middle-class anxieties about the black underclass. “It’s part and parcel of black elites’ efforts to define not only a literary tradition, but a racial politics,” said Kinohi Nishikawa, an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University. “There has always been a sense that because African-Americans’ opportunities to represent themselves are so limited in the first place, any hint of criminality or salaciousness would necessarily be a knock on the entire racial politics. One of the pressing debates about African-American literature today is: If we can’t include writers like Ashley & JaQuavis, to what extent is the foundation of our thinking about black literature faulty? Is it just a literature for elites? Or can it be inclusive, bringing urban fiction under the purview of our umbrella term ‘African-American literature’?”
Defenders of street lit note that the genre has a pedigree: a tradition of black pulp fiction that stretches from Chester Himes, the midcentury author of hardboiled Harlem detective stories, to the 1960s and ’70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, to the current wave of urban fiction authors. Others argue for street lit as a social good, noting that it attracts a large audience that might otherwise never read at all. Scholars like Nishikawa link street lit to recent studies showing increased reading among African-Americans. A 2014 Pew Research Center report found that a greater percentage of black Americans are book readers than whites or Latinos.
For their part, the Colemans place their work in the broader black literary tradition. “You have Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin — all of these traditional black writers, who wrote about the struggles of racism, injustice, inequality,” says Ashley. “We’re writing about the struggle as it happens now. It’s just a different struggle. I’m telling my story. I’m telling the struggle of a black girl from Flint, Michigan, who grew up on welfare.”
Perhaps there is a high-minded case to be made for street lit. But the virtues of Ashley & JaQuavis’s work are more basic. Their novels do lack literary polish. The writing is not graceful; there are passages of clunky exposition and sex scenes that induce guffaws and eye rolls. But the pleasure quotient is high. The books flaunt a garish brand of feminism, with women characters cast not just as vixens, but also as gangsters — cold-blooded killers, “murder mamas.” The stories are exceptionally well-plotted. “The Cartel” opens by introducing its hero, the crime boss Carter Diamond; on page 9, a gunshot spatters Diamond’s brain across the interior of a police cruiser. The book then flashes back seven years and begins to hurtle forward again — a bullet train, whizzing readers through shifting alliances, romantic entanglements and betrayals, kidnappings, shootouts with Haitian and Dominican gangsters, and a cliffhanger closing scene that leaves the novel’s heroine tied to a chair in a basement, gruesomely tortured to the edge of death. Ashley & JaQuavis’s books are not Ralph Ellison, certainly, but they build up quite a head of steam. They move.
The Colemans are moving themselves these days. They recently signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, which will bring out the next installment in the “Cartel” series as well as new solo series by both writers. The St. Martin’s deal is both lucrative and legitimizing — a validation of Ashley and JaQuavis’s work by one of publishing’s most venerable houses. The Colemans’ ambitions have grown, as well. A recent trilogy, “Murderville,” tackles human trafficking and the blood-diamond industry in West Africa, with storylines that sweep from Sierra Leone to Mexico to Los Angeles. Increasingly, Ashley & JaQuavis are leaning on research — traveling to far-flung settings and hitting the books in the libraries — and spending less time mining their own rough-and-tumble past.
But Flint remains a source of inspiration. One evening not long ago, JaQuavis led me on a tour of his hometown: a popular roadside bar; the parking lot where he met the undercover cop for the ill-fated drug deal; Ashley’s old house, the site of his almost-arrest. He took me to a ramshackle vehicle repair shop on Flint’s west side, where he worked as a kid, washing cars. He showed me a bathroom at the rear of the garage, where, at age 12, he sneaked away to inspect the first “boulder” of crack that he ever sold. A spray-painted sign on the garage wall, which JaQuavis remembered from his time at the car wash, offered words of warning:
WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT USING A GUN:
MURDER . . . 30 Years
ARMED ROBBERY . . . 15 Years
ASSAULT . . . 15 Years
RAPE . . . 20 Years
POSSESSION . . . 5 Years
JACKING . . . 20 YEARS
“We still love Flint, Michigan,” JaQuavis says. “It’s so seedy, so treacherous. But there’s some heart in this city. This is where it all started, selling books out the box. In the days when we would get those little $40,000 advances, they’d send us a couple boxes of books for free. We would hit the streets to sell our books, right out of the car trunk. It was a hustle. It still is.”
One old neighborhood asset that the Colemans have not shaken off is swagger. “My wife is the best female writer in the game,” JaQuavis told me. “I believe I’m the best male writer in the game. I’m sleeping next to the best writer in the world. And she’s doing the same.”From T Magazine: Street Litâ€™s Power Couple
The magical quality Mr. Lesnie created in shooting the “Babe” films caught the eye of the director Peter Jackson, who chose him to film the fantasy epic.Andrew Lesnie, Cinematographer of â€˜Lord of the Rings,â€™ Dies at 59
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.Nepalâ€™s Young Men, Lost to Migration, Then a Quake
Mr. Fox, known for his well-honed countrified voice, wrote about things dear to South Carolina and won over Yankee critics.William Price Fox, Admired Southern Novelist and Humorist, Dies at 89
Gagne wrestled professionally from the late 1940s until the 1980s and was a transitional figure between the early 20th century barnstormers and the steroidal sideshows of todayVerne Gagne, Wrestler Who Grappled Through Two Eras, Dies at 89
Mr. Lechleider helped invent DSL technology, which enabled phone companies to offer high-speed web access over their infrastructure of copper wires.Joseph Lechleider, a Father of the DSL Internet Technology, Dies at 82
The career criminals in genre novels don’t have money problems. If they need some, they just go out and steal it. But such financial transactions can backfire, which is what happened back in 2004 when the Texas gang in MichaelTake the Money and Run
Mr. Goldberg was a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist who was married to Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook.
The program traces the outbreak to its origin, thought to be a tree full of bats in Guinea.
A variation of volleyball with nine men on each side is profiled Tuesday night on the World Channel in an absorbing documentary called “9-Man.”
“Hard Earned,” an Al Jazeera America series, follows five working-class families scrambling to stay ahead on limited incomes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
He half-smiles, raises his one good hand, and forms a fist.Meet Mago, Former Heavyweight
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 Kentuckyâ€™s â€˜Twin Towersâ€™ of Basketball, Dies at 59
Mr. Miller, of the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, represented companies including Lehman Brothers, General Motors and American Airlines, and mentored many of the top Chapter 11 practitioners today.Harvey R. Miller, Renowned Bankruptcy Lawyer, Dies at 82