PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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Kita baru saja melewati momen yang cukup besar terutama bagi Umat Islam yaitu Idul Adha sebagai hari Yang lebih besar dari Idul Fitri dan Ibadah Haji bagi yang mampu dan mendapat kuota haji tahun ini.

Ada pelajaran menarik yang dapat kita tadabburi pada momen besar itu karena ia akan sangat erat kaitannya dengan kehidupan kita sehari-hari apalagi kita sebagai makhluk yang selalu bersosialisasi dan bermasyarakat.

Momen haji sebetulnya bukan hanya untuk menunaikan rukun Islam yang ke lima tetapi ia memiliki makna mendalam untuk mempertebal keimanan dan memperteguh ketaqwaan kepada sang Khaliq Harapan setiap jamah haji pasti ingin mendapatkan derajat tertinggi di mata ALLAH yaitu haji maqbul (diterima) dan haji Mabrur.

Jika kita amati setiap moment haji dilihat dari segi jamaah dapat kita bagi menjadi tiga golongan
Golongan yang pertama adalah Jamaah yang memiliki tujuan Pragmatis yaitu para jamaah yang semata-mata ingin memanfaatkan tempat-tempat yang mustajab atau tempat berdoa yang mendapat jaminan untuk dikabulkan seperti Kawasan Masjidil Haram, Padang Arafah, Muzdalifah , Jamarat dan Masjid Nabawi untuk menyampaikan doa-doa yang berhubungan dengan masalah duniawiyah seperti pekerjaan, jodoh, rezeki, dll.
Golongan yang kedua adalah Golongan yang ingin mencari status sosial dan mencari gelar haji bahkan Tidak jarang para jamaah memiliki motivasi berlebihan dalam meningkatkan status sosial mereka karena mayoritas umat Islam di Indonesia sangat menghormati orang-orang yang sudah melaksanakan Ibadah haji bahkan tidak jarang di antara mereka menjual harta benda satu-satunya seperti rumah, tanah, perhiasan dan lain sebagainya untuk biaya menunaikan Ibadah haji .ada juga yang melakukan transaksi dan melakukan perniagaan selama berada di tanah suci untuk mengembalikan modal atau sekadar mencari tambahan untuk biaya menunaikan rukun Islam yang kelima itu.
Golongan yang ketiga adalah golongan yang murni untuk Ibadah dan menjawab panggilan Allah sebagai bentuk pengabdian yang paling tinggi setelah mengalakan rukun Islam dan rukun Iman secara sempurna dalam kehidupan sehari-hari sehingga setiap rangkaian Proses ibadah haji dilakukan secara menyeluruh dengan ikhlas dan hanya mengharap ridha dari Allah.

Jika kita perdalam makna haji yang sesungguhnya ternyata di dalamnya terkandung makna yang begitu luar Biasa kita diminta untuk mengamati syariat Islam mulai dari segi Ibadah dan juga muamalah

Jika dilihat dari segi Ibadah para jamaah diharapkan untuk mengamati dan mengamalkan segala bentuk tata cara Ibadah yang diajarkan oleh Rasulullah secara langsung dan masih berlanjut serta diamalkan secara turun temurun sampai hari ini ditempat yang sama ,artinya segala bentuk ibadah dan tata caranya selama kita melakukan ibadah haji seperti shalat yang dilakukan di Masjidil Haram harus juga kita Praktekkan dalam kehidupan sehari-hari ,ketika melaksanakan ibadah haji kita diharuskan untuk beribadah mengikuti syariat dan menjauhi perkara yang bid’ah kemudian ketika kembali ke tanah air masing-masing hendaknya itupun diamalkan dan diajarkan oleh jamaah Haji kepada masyarakat ,minimal kepada keluarga sendiri tapi yang terjadi kebanyakan masyarakat kita setelah selesai melaksanakan Ibadah haji ia kembali kepada tata cara ibadah yang bercampur dengan budaya sebagaimana ia belum melaksanakan ibadah haji bahkan tidak jarang perkara bid’ah semakin banyak ia kerjakan .

Dari sisi muamalah kita diminta untuk melakukan komunikasi lintas etnik dan meningkatkan kepedulian sosial serta tidak membeda-bedakan antara suku yang satu dengan yang lain, antara strata sosial, pangkat dan jabatan apapun karena semua itu nilainya sama di sisi Allah, tinggal tingkat keimanan dan keluasan Ilmu yang dimiliki sajalah yang menjadi pembeda di mata Allah.

Jika dari sisi Ibadahnya bisa baik dan seluruh rukun Islam dan rukun Iman bisa dijalankan dan mampu diamalkan dalam kehidupan sehari hari sesuai tuntunan Rasulullah SAW dan dikuatkan lagi dari sisi Muamalah yang disebutkan di atas maka Insya Allah para jamaah haji akan mendapat Predikat Haji yang Mabrur. Wallahu A’lam.

Sumber: http://www.dakwatuna.com

Baca Artikel Lainnya : MASJID PERTAMA YANG DI BANGUN RASULULLAH

MUAMALAH SETELAH IBADAH HAJI

Ada yang belum mengetahui secara pasti tahun kepergian haji dan umroh, padahal calon jamaah sudah mendaftar namun tidak tahu secara jelas kapan berangkat, berikut panduan cara mengetahuinya secara online:

1. Setelah mendaftar jamaah akan mendapat bukti setoran awal BPIH yang mencantumkan nomor porsi haji.

2. Silahkan menghubungi Call Center Haji di No. 021-500 425 untuk mengecek tahun keberangkatan dari nomor porsi haji Anda.

3. Mintalah bantuan travel bila anda belum dapat nomor porsi sebagai bukti legal anda adalah jamaah yang yang terdaftar di Depag.

4. Jamaah harus sabar dalam menunggu antrian berangkat, walaupun haji plus saat ini harus antri beberapa tahun.

5. Dengan mendapat nomor porsi berarti anda adalah jamaah haji kuota Depag Resmi ( haji non-kuota tidak ada nomor porsi )

Sumber : http://www.cheria-travel.com

Baca Artikel Lainnya : TOUR KE MASJID MERAH CIREBON

MENGETAHUI CARA KEBERANGKATAN HAJI

PALEMBANG, Saco-Indonesia.com - Di Kota Palembang, Sumatera Selatan, pindang ikan patin menjadi kuliner pilihan selain empek-empek dan tekwan. Rasa pedas, asam, dan manis menyatu bersama ikan pantin yang montok.

Ada beberapa tempat pindang ikan patin yang terkenal di Palembang, dua di antaranya di Rumah Makan Pindang Musi Rawas, Jalan Angkatan 45 No 18, dan di Rumah Makan Sri Melayu, Jalan Demang Lebar Daun. Masing-masing memiliki kelebihan, tergantung selera lidah penikmatnya.

Kompas.com sempat makan di dua tempat tersebut. Pertama di RM Sri Melayu. Tempat ini cukup terkenal bagi pengunjung Kota Pelambang yang berasal dari luar kota. Tempatnya luas dan nyaman.

Ketika tiba, pengunjung bisa langsung duduk di meja, atau lesehan. Tidak perlu mengantre sama sekali. Selanjutnya, pelayan restoran akan langsung melayani pesanan Anda. Jangan sungkan untuk bertanya menu andalan di rumah makan ini.

Ada lima menu andalan di sini, yakni pindang ikan patin, pindang tulang (pindang iga sapi), pindang bawung, pindang salai dan pindang udang. Enaknya, jika sudah terlalu lapar, makanan pesanan cepat tersaji alias tidak pakai lama.

Setelah memesan makanan utama, meja akan dipenuhi dengan makanan yang otomatis langsung disajikan. Nasi panas dari bakul yang masih asapnya masih mengepul, lalapan yang terdiri dari terong bulat, kacang panjang, wortel, timun, daun kemangi dan potongan labu.

Selain itu ada ikan seluang, yang merupakan khas Sungai Musi, yang digoreng kering. Ikan ini seperti ikan teri yang berukuran besar, hanya saja tidak diolah asin. Ada juga pepes patin goreng, bedug (bentuknya seperti pemukul bedug) yang terbuat dari campuran daging ikan gabus dan pepaya muda, sambal hati udang, tempoyak (duren mentah yang difermentasikan dan dicampur cabe merah dibungkus daun pisang kemudian dipepes), serta sambal.

Tak lama, muncul menu utama yang sudah dipesan, yakni pindang. Pindang ikan patin yang panas sangat menggugah selera. Warnanya segar, terdapat potongan cabe, daun kemangi, serta irisan nanas menyatu bersama potongan ikan patin dan kuahnya yang merah. Rasanya... segar dan pas.

Sementara pindang tulang, hampir mirip dengan sop iga. Hanya saja, kuahnya kental dan tidak pelit bumbu. Terdapat potongan tomat dan cabe rawit di dalam kuahnya.

Pindang bawung, yang satu ini sangat jarang dapat disajikan. Termasuk beruntung jika pengunjung bisa memesannya karena langkanya ikan bawung. Sementara pindang salai harus menunggu 10 menit untuk penyajiannya. Sebab, ikannya harus diasap terlebih dulu.

Dilihat dari tempat dan makanannya, jangan dibayangkan makan di tempat ini mahal. Kisaran harga makanannya antara Rp 15.000 hingga Rp 70.000.

Di lain hari, jajal juga makan pindang patin di Pindang Musi Rawas. Dengan tempat yang terbatas, sekitar 10 hingga 15 meja, pengunjung harus rela mengantre. Apalagi di saat jam makan siang. Antrean bisa mencapai belasan.

Setiap yang antre akan mendapat nomor, sehingga tidak ada saling serobot. Menu andalannya sama dengan di Rumah Makan Sri Melayu, masakan serba pindang. Hanya saja, rasanya yang berbeda. Namun kembali lagi, semua tergantung selera lidah penikmatnya. Jika suka bumbu yang ringan, di Musi Rawas tepatnya. Jika suka spicy, Sri Melayu pilihan yang tepat.

Editor:Liwon Maulana

Sumber:Kompas.com

 

   
   
   
 
Wau......., Sedapnya Pindang Patin Palembang

    saco-indonesia.com,

    We go by the name of R, A to the N
    We're three normal guys tryin to make new friends by
    Making music that you guys understand
    And if you guys like it, we appreciate it, then..
    Let's start the show, rock the boat, but don't stop because you can't stop the flow
    Go on dressed up, because the party's about to start on one, two, three, four!

    (Chorus)

    Indahnya warna warni dunia dunia yang terasa indah di dalam asaku
    Oh betapa indah hidup ini saat ku dimabuk asmara
    Oo getar-getar cinta yang telah tumbuh diantara kita
    Menambah indahnya kisah cinta kita berdua

    (Chorus)

    Yeah, when I saw you on friendster
    Then I added you as my friend
    Girl, my mind was always full of you
    Girl, waste no time because I wanna tell you it's true

    That I love you and you love me
    we're gonna make a happy fa,ily
    I'm Rayi and that's it from me

    (Chorus)
    Don't run, because we about to have fun


    Editor : Dian Sukmawati

 

RAN WARNA WARNI DUNIA

Selama ini minyak ikan sudah telah diketahui baik untuk kesehatan otak. Namun sebuah penelitian terbaru yang dipublikasikan Januari 2014 kemarin telah mengungkap bahwa minyak ikan tak hanya menyehatkan otak tetapi juga mencegah terjadinya penciutan volume otak.

Ketika usia bertambah, volume otak biasanya akan menciut. Namun penciutan otak juga bisa menandakan penyakit yang berkaitan dengan kesehatan mental, atau penyakit otak seperti Alzheimer dan lainnya. Dengan begitu hasil penelitian ini telah menunjukkan harapan bahwa minyak ikan juga bisa mencegah penciutan otak terkait penyakit tersebut.

Hasil ini telah didapatkan peneliti setelah melakukan penelitian selama delapan tahun. Mereka telah melakukan scan MRI pada 1.111 wanita yang sudah lanjut usia. Selain itu peneliti juga mengukur jumlah asam lemak omega-3 pada sel darah merah mereka. Setelah delapan tahun, peneliti kemudian mengukur volume otak partisipan yang sudah berusia 78 tahun.

Mereka juga menemukan bahwa wanita yang telah memiliki tingkat omega-3 tinggi juga memiliki volume otak yang lebih besar setelah delapan tahun. Tingkat asam lemak omega-3 yang tinggi bisa didapatkan melalui diet atau suplemen. Efeknya dalam beberapa waktu bisa mencegah kematian beberapa sel otak yang disebabkan usia, ungkap ketua peneliti James V Pottala.

Selain itu, penelitian lain juga telah menunjukkan bahwa mengonsumsi banyak asam lemak omega tiga berkaitan dengan volume hippocampus otak yang lebih besar hingga 2,7 persen. Bagian otak tersebut berkaitan dengan kemampuan seseorang mengingat.

Asam lemak omega-3 banyak didapatkan dari minyak ikan. Jadi jangan ragu untuk mengonsumsi suplemen atau minyak ikan untuk dapat memenuhi asupan omega-3 dan mencegah penciutan pada otak Anda.

Minyak ikan terbukti ampuh cegah otak mengecil

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

Over the last five years or so, it seemed there was little that Dean G. Skelos, the majority leader of the New York Senate, would not do for his son.

He pressed a powerful real estate executive to provide commissions to his son, a 32-year-old title insurance salesman, according to a federal criminal complaint. He helped get him a job at an environmental company and employed his influence to help the company get government work. He used his office to push natural gas drilling regulations that would have increased his son’s commissions.

He even tried to direct part of a $5.4 billion state budget windfall to fund government contracts that the company was seeking. And when the company was close to securing a storm-water contract from Nassau County, the senator, through an intermediary, pressured the company to pay his son more — or risk having the senator subvert the bid.

The criminal complaint, unsealed on Monday, lays out corruption charges against Senator Skelos and his son, Adam B. Skelos, the latest scandal to seize Albany, and potentially alter its power structure.

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Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, discussed the case involving Dean G. Skelos and his son, Adam. Credit Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The repeated and diverse efforts by Senator Skelos, a Long Island Republican, to use what prosecutors said was his political influence to find work, or at least income, for his son could send both men to federal prison. If they are convicted of all six charges against them, they face up to 20 years in prison for each of four of the six counts and up to 10 years for the remaining two.

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, of Long Island, who serves as chairman of the Republican conference, emerged from a closed-door meeting Monday night to say that conference members agreed that Mr. Skelos should be benefited the “presumption of innocence,” and would stay in his leadership role.

“The leader has indicated he would like to remain as leader,” said Mr. LaValle, “and he has the support of the conference.” The case against Mr. Skelos and his son grew out of a broader inquiry into political corruption by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, that has already changed the face of the state capital. It is based in part, according to the six-count complaint, on conversations secretly recorded by one of two cooperating witnesses, and wiretaps on the cellphones of the senator and his son. Those recordings revealed that both men were concerned about electronic surveillance, and illustrated the son’s unsuccessful efforts to thwart it.

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Adam Skelos took to using a “burner” phone, the complaint says, and told his father he wanted them to speak through a FaceTime video call in an apparent effort to avoid detection. They also used coded language at times.

At one point, Adam Skelos was recorded telling a Senate staff member of his frustration in not being able to speak openly to his father on the phone, noting that he could not “just send smoke signals or a little pigeon” carrying a message.

The 43-page complaint, sworn out by Paul M. Takla, a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, outlines a five-year scheme to “monetize” the senator’s official position; it also lays bare the extent to which a father sought to use his position to help his son.

The charges accuse the two men of extorting payments through a real estate developer, Glenwood Management, based on Long Island, and the environmental company, AbTech Industries, in Scottsdale, Ariz., with the expectation that the money paid to Adam Skelos — nearly $220,000 in total — would influence his father’s actions.

Glenwood, one of the state’s most prolific campaign donors, had ties to AbTech through investments in the environmental firm’s parent company by Glenwood’s founding family and a senior executive.

The accusations in the complaint portray Senator Skelos as a man who, when it came to his son, was not shy about twisting arms, even in situations that might give other arm-twisters pause.

Seeking to help his son, Senator Skelos turned to the executive at Glenwood, which develops rental apartments in New York City and has much at stake when it comes to real estate legislation in Albany. The senator urged him to direct business to his son, who sold title insurance.

After much prodding, the executive, Charles C. Dorego, engineered a $20,000 payment to Adam Skelos from a title insurance company even though he did no work for the money. But far more lucrative was a consultant position that Mr. Dorego arranged for Adam Skelos at AbTech, which seeks government contracts to treat storm water. (Mr. Dorego is not identified by name in the complaint, but referred to only as CW-1, for Cooperating Witness 1.)

Senator Skelos appeared to take an active interest in his son’s new line of work. Adam Skelos sent him several drafts of his consulting agreement with AbTech, the complaint says, as well as the final deal that was struck.

“Mazel tov,” his father replied.

Senator Skelos sent relevant news articles to his son, including one about a sewage leak near Albany. When AbTech wanted to seek government contracts after Hurricane Sandy, the senator got on a conference call with his son and an AbTech executive, Bjornulf White, and offered advice. (Like Mr. Dorego, Mr. White is not named in the complaint, but referred to as CW-2.)

The assistance paid off: With the senator’s help, AbTech secured a contract worth up to $12 million from Nassau County, a big break for a struggling small business.

But the money was slow to materialize. The senator expressed impatience with county officials.

Adam Skelos, in a phone call with Mr. White in late December, suggested that his father would seek to punish the county. “I tell you this, the state is not going to do a [expletive] thing for the county,” he said.

Three days later, Senator Skelos pressed his case with the Nassau County executive, Edward P. Mangano, a fellow Republican. “Somebody feels like they’re just getting jerked around the last two years,” the senator said, referring to his son in what the complaint described as “coded language.”

The next day, the senator pursued the matter, as he and Mr. Mangano attended a wake for a slain New York City police officer. Senator Skelos then reassured his son, who called him while he was still at the wake. “All claims that are in will be taken care of,” the senator said.

AbTech’s fortunes appeared to weigh on his son. At one point in January, Adam Skelos told his father that if the company did not succeed, he would “lose the ability to pay for things.”

Making matters worse, in recent months, Senator Skelos and his son appeared to grow wary about who was watching them. In addition to making calls on the burner phone, Adam Skelos said he used the FaceTime video calling “because that doesn’t show up on the phone bill,” as he told Mr. White.

In late February, Adam Skelos arranged a pair of meetings between Mr. White and state senators; AbTech needed to win state legislation that would allow its contract to move beyond its initial stages. But Senator Skelos deemed the plan too risky and caused one of the meetings to be canceled.

In another recorded call, Adam Skelos, promising to be “very, very vague” on the phone, urged his father to allow the meeting. The senator offered a warning. “Right now we are in dangerous times, Adam,” he told him.

A month later, in another phone call that was recorded by the authorities, Adam Skelos complained that his father could not give him “real advice” about AbTech while the two men were speaking over the telephone.

“You can’t talk normally,” he told his father, “because it’s like [expletive] Preet Bharara is listening to every [expletive] phone call. It’s just [expletive] frustrating.”

“It is,” his father agreed.

Dean Skelos, Albany Senate Leader, Aided Son at All Costs, U.S. Says

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

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

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

Though Robin and Joan Rolfs owned two rare talking dolls manufactured by Thomas Edison’s phonograph company in 1890, they did not dare play the wax cylinder records tucked inside each one.

The Rolfses, longtime collectors of Edison phonographs, knew that if they turned the cranks on the dolls’ backs, the steel phonograph needle might damage or destroy the grooves of the hollow, ring-shaped cylinder. And so for years, the dolls sat side by side inside a display cabinet, bearers of a message from the dawn of sound recording that nobody could hear.

In 1890, Edison’s dolls were a flop; production lasted only six weeks. Children found them difficult to operate and more scary than cuddly. The recordings inside, which featured snippets of nursery rhymes, wore out quickly.

Yet sound historians say the cylinders were the first entertainment records ever made, and the young girls hired to recite the rhymes were the world’s first recording artists.

Year after year, the Rolfses asked experts if there might be a safe way to play the recordings. Then a government laboratory developed a method to play fragile records without touching them.

Audio

The technique relies on a microscope to create images of the grooves in exquisite detail. A computer approximates — with great accuracy — the sounds that would have been created by a needle moving through those grooves.

In 2014, the technology was made available for the first time outside the laboratory.

“The fear all along is that we don’t want to damage these records. We don’t want to put a stylus on them,” said Jerry Fabris, the curator of the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, N.J. “Now we have the technology to play them safely.”

Last month, the Historical Park posted online three never-before-heard Edison doll recordings, including the two from the Rolfses’ collection. “There are probably more out there, and we’re hoping people will now get them digitized,” Mr. Fabris said.

The technology, which is known as Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), was developed by the particle physicist Carl Haber and the engineer Earl Cornell at Lawrence Berkeley. Irene extracts sound from cylinder and disk records. It can also reconstruct audio from recordings so badly damaged they were deemed unplayable.

“We are now hearing sounds from history that I did not expect to hear in my lifetime,” Mr. Fabris said.

The Rolfses said they were not sure what to expect in August when they carefully packed their two Edison doll cylinders, still attached to their motors, and drove from their home in Hortonville, Wis., to the National Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass. The center had recently acquired Irene technology.

Audio

Cylinders carry sound in a spiral groove cut by a phonograph recording needle that vibrates up and down, creating a surface made of tiny hills and valleys. In the Irene set-up, a microscope perched above the shaft takes thousands of high-resolution images of small sections of the grooves.

Stitched together, the images provide a topographic map of the cylinder’s surface, charting changes in depth as small as one five-hundredth the thickness of a human hair. Pitch, volume and timbre are all encoded in the hills and valleys and the speed at which the record is played.

At the conservation center, the preservation specialist Mason Vander Lugt attached one of the cylinders to the end of a rotating shaft. Huddled around a computer screen, the Rolfses first saw the wiggly waveform generated by Irene. Then came the digital audio. The words were at first indistinct, but as Mr. Lugt filtered out more of the noise, the rhyme became clearer.

“That was the Eureka moment,” Mr. Rolfs said.

In 1890, a girl in Edison’s laboratory had recited:

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

Audio

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good,

She was very, very good.

But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Recently, the conservation center turned up another surprise.

In 2010, the Woody Guthrie Foundation received 18 oversize phonograph disks from an anonymous donor. No one knew if any of the dirt-stained recordings featured Guthrie, but Tiffany Colannino, then the foundation’s archivist, had stored them unplayed until she heard about Irene.

Last fall, the center extracted audio from one of the records, labeled “Jam Session 9” and emailed the digital file to Ms. Colannino.

“I was just sitting in my dining room, and the next thing I know, I’m hearing Woody,” she said. In between solo performances of “Ladies Auxiliary,” “Jesus Christ,” and “Dead or Alive,” Guthrie tells jokes, offers some back story, and makes the audience laugh. “It is quintessential Guthrie,” Ms. Colannino said.

The Rolfses’ dolls are back in the display cabinet in Wisconsin. But with audio stored on several computers, they now have a permanent voice.

Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edison’s Dolls Can Now Be Heard

Public perceptions of race relations in America have grown substantially more negative in the aftermath of the death of a young black man who was injured while in police custody in Baltimore and the subsequent unrest, far eclipsing the sentiment recorded in the wake of turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.

Americans are also increasingly likely to say that the police are more apt to use deadly force against a black person, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds.

The poll findings highlight the challenges for local leaders and police officials in trying to maintain order while sustaining faith in the criminal justice system in a racially polarized nation.

Sixty-one percent of Americans now say race relations in this country are generally bad. That figure is up sharply from 44 percent after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed in Ferguson in August, and 43 percent in December. In a CBS News poll just two months ago, 38 percent said race relations were generally bad. Current views are by far the worst of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The negative sentiment is echoed by broad majorities of blacks and whites alike, a stark change from earlier this year, when 58 percent of blacks thought race relations were bad, but just 35 percent of whites agreed. In August, 48 percent of blacks and 41 percent of whites said they felt that way.

Looking ahead, 44 percent of Americans think race relations are worsening, up from 36 percent in December. Forty-one percent of blacks and 46 percent of whites think so. Pessimism among whites has increased 10 points since December.

Continue reading the main story
Do you think race relations in the United States are generally good or generally bad?
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Black
May '14
May '15
Generally bad
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Do you think race relations in the United States are getting better, getting worse or staying about the same?
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44%
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The poll finds that profound racial divisions in views of how the police use deadly force remain. Blacks are more than twice as likely to say police in most communities are more apt to use deadly force against a black person — 79 percent of blacks say so compared with 37 percent of whites. A slim majority of whites say race is not a factor in a police officer’s decision to use deadly force.

Overall, 44 percent of Americans say deadly force is more likely to be used against a black person, up from 37 percent in August and 40 percent in December.

Blacks also remain far more likely than whites to say they feel mostly anxious about the police in their community. Forty-two percent say so, while 51 percent feel mostly safe. Among whites, 8 in 10 feel mostly safe.

One proposal to address the matter — having on-duty police officers wear body cameras — receives overwhelming support. More than 9 in 10 whites and blacks alike favor it.

Continue reading the main story
How would you describe your feelings about the police in your community? Would you say they make you feel mostly safe or mostly anxious?
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Blacks
75%
21
3
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Continue reading the main story
In general, do you think the police in most communities are more likely to use deadly force against a black person, or more likely to use it against a white person, or don’t you think race affects police use of deadly force?
Police more likely to use deadly force against a black person
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Asked specifically about the situation in Baltimore, most Americans expressed at least some confidence that the investigation by local authorities would be conducted fairly. But while nearly two-thirds of whites think so, fewer than half of blacks agree. Still, more blacks are confident now than were in August regarding the investigation in Ferguson. On Friday, six members of the police force involved in the arrest of Mr. Gray were charged with serious offenses, including manslaughter. The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday; results from before charges were announced are similar to those from after.

Reaction to the recent turmoil in Baltimore, however, is similar among blacks and whites. Most Americans, 61 percent, say the unrest after Mr. Gray’s death was not justified. That includes 64 percent of whites and 57 percent of blacks.

Continue reading the main story
As you may know, a Baltimore man, Freddie Gray, recently died after being in the custody of the Baltimore police. How much confidence do you have that the investigation by local authorities into this matter will be conducted fairly?
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In general, do you think the unrest in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray was justified, or do you think the unrest was not justified?
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6

Negative View of U.S. Race Relations Grows, Poll Finds
Frontline  An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.
Frontline

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

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

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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.”

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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

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.

Continue reading the main story Video
Play Video|1:17

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.”

Photo
 
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.”

Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues

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

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

Mr. Haroche was a founder of Liberty Travel, which grew from a two-man operation to the largest leisure travel operation in the United States.

Gilbert Haroche, Builder of an Economy Travel Empire, Dies at 87

Under Mr. Michelin’s leadership, which ended when he left the company in 2002, the Michelin Group became the world’s biggest tire maker, establishing a big presence in the United States and other major markets overseas.

François Michelin, Head of Tire Company, Dies at 88
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