PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




Artikel lainnya »

Anda bingung mencari jasa sewa mobil di Semarang? Memang sudah selayaknya kita berhati-hati dalam memilih jasa sewa kendaraan. Jika tidak cermat, salah-salah acara Anda akan berantakan karena hal-hal sepele yang sebenarnya tidak akan terjadi seandainya Anda mau teliti.

Tentu Anda tidak mau liburan yang seharusnya menyenangkan terkendala dengan adanya mesin mogok atau pendingin udara (AC) kendaraan yang tidak berfungsi dengan baik. Atau mungkin perjalanan dinas Anda tidak berjalan lancar dan membuat Anda hadir tidak tepat waktu yang kemungkinan akan meninggalkan kesan negatif pada mitra kerja Anda.

Sebelum menentukan menyewa kendaraan, ada baiknya Anda mengajukan beberapa pertanyaan kepada penyedia jasa. Misalnya, mengenai kontinyuitas perawatan mobil yang akan Anda gunakan, apakah dikenakan denda jika Anda terlambat mengembalikan dan berapa rupiah yang harus Anda bayarkan, apakah ada garansi jika pada saat Anda gunakan tiba-tiba mobil rusak. Tanyakan serinci mungkin apa yang menjadi keraguan Anda. Semakin Anda memahami, semakin bagus layanan yang akan Anda dapat.

Selain hal-hal tersebut, membandingkan harga juga harus menjadi prioritas. Hal ini juga akan berdampak pada pengeluaran yang lain. Misalnya, keluarga Anda hendak berlibur dan menyewa mobil, pastikan alokasi dana untuk jasa sewa mobil tidak mendominasi keseluruhan biaya liburan. Pikirkan juga biaya tiket masuk tempat wisata maupun wahana yang ingin dikunjungi, biaya untuk makan, membeli suvenir serta buah tangan bagi sanak keluarga.

Berdasarkan review di atas, kami menawarkan jasa sewa mobil di Semarang untuk berbagai keperluan Anda. Kami memberikan harga ekonomis yang tidak akan menguras dompet Anda, dan pastikan pelayanan terbaik yang kami miliki akan menjamin kenyamanan Anda.

BINGUNG MENCARI JASA SEWA MOBIL DI SEMARANG?

Komisaris PT Radina Bio Adicita, Elda Devianne Adiningrat, telah dijadwalkan akan bersaksi terkait dalam kasus pengurusan impor daging sapi di Kementerian Pertanian di Pengadilan Tindak Pidana Korupsi (Tipikor). Elda juga akan bersaksi ihwal suap terdakwa Direktur PT Indoguna Utama, Utama Maria Elisabeth Liman kepada mantan Presiden PKS, Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq.

"Saksi Elda," kata pengacara Maria Elisabeth, Denny Kailimang, saat dikonfirmasi, Selasa (18/3/2014).

Bersama Elda, jaksa penuntut umum KPK juga telah memanggil Jery Roger selaku anak buah Elda, dan Juard Effendi dan Suharyono. "Mereka juga akan dimintai keterangannya sebagai saksi dalam persidangan," sambungnya.

Dalam kasus ini, KPK juga menetapkan mantan Presiden Keadilan Sejahtera, Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq, sebagai tersangka penerima suap dan pencucian uang kasus impor daging sapi di Kementerian Pertanian. Bersama Ahmad Fathanah yang juga berstatus tersangka penerima suap dan pencucian uang impor daging sapi, Luthfi diduga menerima Rp1 miliar dari PT Indoguna Utama

Elda Kembali Dihadirkan di Sidang Suap Maria Elisabeth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baca Artikel Lainnya : MELEMPAR JUMRAH DI JAMARAT

SELAMAT BERANGKAT HAJI

saco-indonesia.com,

Bukan lautan hanya kolam susu
Kail dan jalan cukup menghidupimu
Tiada badai tiada topan kau temui
Ikan dan udang menghampiri dirimu

Bukan lautan hanya kolam susu
Kail dan jala cukup menghidupmu.
Tiada badai tiada topan kau temui
Ikan dan udang menghampiri dirimu

Orang bilang tanah kita tanah surga
Tongkat kayu dan batu jadi tanaman.
Orang bilang tanah kita tanah surga
Tongkah kayu dan batu jadi tanaman

Bukan lautan hanya kolam susu
Kail dan jalan cukup menghidupimu.
Tiada badai tiada topan kau temui
Ikan dan udang menghampiri dirimu

Bukan lautan hanya kolam susu
Kail dan jala cukup menghidupmu.
Tiada badai tiada topan kau temui
Ikan dan udang menghampiri dirimu

Orang bilang tanah kita tanah surga
Tongkat kayu dan batu jadi tanaman
Orang bilang tanah kita tanah surga
Tongkah kayu dan batu jadi tanaman.

Koes Plus - Kolam Susu

saco-indonesia.com, Menteri Sosial Salim Segaf Al Jufri juga mengaku telah memiliki 10 program untuk dapat menciptakan kesejahteraan masyarakat di 2014 mendatang . 10 Program itu di antaranya; Program Keluarga Harapan (PHK), RS Bedah Kampung, Kelompok Usaha Bersama (KUBE), Pelayanan Kesejahteraan Sosial Anak, Rehabilitas Sosial, Pelayanan Sosial Lanjut Usia, Pemberdayaan Komunitas Adat Terpencil, Taruna Siaga Bencana dan Perlindungan Pekerja Migran Bermasalah.

"Ekspektasi 2014 kita kesejahteraan sosial. Bagaimana ending-nya kita bisa berbagi kepada masyarakat dengan cara apa? Memunculkan ide-ide yang brainstorming," kata Salim di Gedung Kemensos, Jakarta, Selasa (24/12).

Pihaknya juga akan melakukan bedah kampung untuk dapat menangani persoalan kemiskinan. Program tersebut diharapkan agar dapat memperbaiki kesejahteraan masyarakat.

"Bedah kampung adalah jalan pembuka bagi pembedah masalah sosial, di mana semangat kesetiakawanan sosial, peduli dan berbagai menjadi dasar dalam pelaksanaannya," ujarnya.

Salim juga menambahkan, sesuai dengan UU No 11 Tahun 2009 tentang Kesejahteraan Sosial, pihaknya juga berjanji akan tetap fokus dalam kampanye di sektor kementerian, pemerintah daerah (Pemda), dunia usaha, media massa, pegiat kesejahteraan sosial, dan dunia pendidikan yang bertujuan untuk memberikan pelayanan kepada masyarakat.

"Melalui kampanye program yang terarah, sehingga nyata peningkatan kesos akan berhasil," imbuh Salim.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

KEMENSOS LAKUKAN BEDAH KAMPUNG

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.

Photo
 
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.

Advertisement

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

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

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.

Advertisement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo
 
Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

Advertisement

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

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

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

The book is to be released next week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A 2-minute-42-second demo recording captured in one take turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Mr. Ely, who was 19 when he sang the garage-band classic.

Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, Dies at 71

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

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

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

Photo
 
Credit Peter Arkle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.

But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the E.P.A. proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.

The E.P.A.’s five-year effort to adopt this rule offers another example of how industry opposition can delay and hamper attempts by the federal government to issue regulations, even to control substances known to be harmful to human health.

Continue reading the main story
 

Document: The Formaldehyde Fight

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can also cause respiratory ailments like asthma, but the potential of long-term exposure to cause cancers like myeloid leukemia is less well understood.

The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.

“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”

The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.

What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.

Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.

“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.

Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.

Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.

Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”

Continue reading the main story

Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring

In laminate flooring, formaldehyde is used as a bonding agent in the fiberboard (or other composite wood) core layer and may also be used in glues that bind layers together. Concerns were raised in March when certain laminate flooring imported from China was reported to contain levels of formaldehyde far exceeding the limit permitted by California.

Typical

laminate

flooring

CLEAR FINISH LAYER

Often made of melamine resin

PATTERN LAYER

Paper printed to resemble wood,

or a thin wood veneer

GLUE

Layers may be bound using

formaldehyde-based glues

CORE LAYER

Fiberboard or other

composite, formed using

formaldehyde-based adhesives

BASE LAYER

Moisture-resistant vapor barrier

What is formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a common chemical used in many industrial and household products as an adhesive, bonding agent or preservative. It is classified as a volatile organic compound. The term volatile means that, at room temperature, formaldehyde will vaporize, or become a gas. Products made with formaldehyde tend to release this gas into the air. If breathed in large quantities, it may cause health problems.

WHERE IT IS COMMONLY FOUND

POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS

Pressed-wood and composite wood products

Wallpaper and paints

Spray foam insulation used in construction

Commercial wood floor finishes

Crease-resistant fabrics

In cigarette smoke, or in the fumes from combustion of other materials, including wood, oil and gasoline.

Exposure to formaldehyde in sufficient amounts may cause eye, throat or skin irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems like coughing, wheezing or asthma.

Long-term exposure to high levels has been associated with cancer in humans and laboratory animals.

Exposure to formaldehyde may affect some people more severely than others.

By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.

Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.

White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.

The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.

As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.

“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”

Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.

“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.

Advertisement

The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)

But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.

Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.

“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”

Photo
 
Becky Gillette wants strong regulation of formaldehyde. Credit Beth Hall for The New York Times

Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.

Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.

The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.

The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”

Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.

Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”

Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.

While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.

An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.

“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”

An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.

“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.

But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.

“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”

The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde

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

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

WASHINGTON — During a training course on defending against knife attacks, a young Salt Lake City police officer asked a question: “How close can somebody get to me before I’m justified in using deadly force?”

Dennis Tueller, the instructor in that class more than three decades ago, decided to find out. In the fall of 1982, he performed a rudimentary series of tests and concluded that an armed attacker who bolted toward an officer could clear 21 feet in the time it took most officers to draw, aim and fire their weapon.

The next spring, Mr. Tueller published his findings in SWAT magazine and transformed police training in the United States. The “21-foot rule” became dogma. It has been taught in police academies around the country, accepted by courts and cited by officers to justify countless shootings, including recent episodes involving a homeless woodcarver in Seattle and a schizophrenic woman in San Francisco.

Now, amid the largest national debate over policing since the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, a small but vocal set of law enforcement officials are calling for a rethinking of the 21-foot rule and other axioms that have emphasized how to use force, not how to avoid it. Several big-city police departments are already re-examining when officers should chase people or draw their guns and when they should back away, wait or try to defuse the situation

Police Rethink Long Tradition on Using Force
harga umrah maret di Batuampar jakarta
paket promo umrah februari di Pulo Gadung jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah januari di Bidaracina jakarta
harga berangkat umrah awal tahun di Penggilingan jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh awal tahun di Kampung Gedong,Cijantung jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh maret di Pulogebang jakarta
paket umrah awal tahun di Kayu Manis jakarta
promo umroh akhir tahun di Ujung Menteng jakarta
paket promo umroh akhir tahun di Pasar Rebo jakarta
paket promo umrah awal tahun bekasi barat
paket berangkat umroh mei di Cipinang jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh awal tahun di Kramat Jati jakarta
paket promo umroh ramadhan di Penggilingan jakarta
promo berangkat umroh desember di Pondok Bambu jakarta
paket promo umrah januari di Pisangan Timur jakarta
harga berangkat umrah ramadhan tangerang
biaya umrah desember di Jatinegara Kaum jakarta
paket promo umrah ramadhan di Dukuh jakarta
harga paket umroh desember di Bali Mester jakarta
paket berangkat umrah februari di Kampung Melayu jakarta
harga paket umrah mei di Batuampar jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh maret bekasi barat
paket promo umrah juni di Pondok Kopi jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh januari di Rambutan jakarta
harga umroh februari di Ciracas jakarta
promo berangkat umrah juni di Cakung Timur jakarta
biaya berangkat umrah juni di Kampung Melayu jakarta
harga paket berangkat umrah maret di Batuampar jakarta
biaya berangkat umrah awal tahun bogor
harga umroh juni di Malaka Jaya jakarta
harga berangkat umroh april di Kramat Jati jakarta
biaya paket umroh april di Malaka Jaya jakarta
biaya paket umrah desember di Rawa Terate jakarta
paket promo umroh mei bogor
paket promo umroh awal tahun di Bambu Apus jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh maret di Susukan jakarta
biaya umrah awal tahun di Bidaracina jakarta
promo berangkat umroh juni di Cipayung jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh awal tahun di Pondok Ranggon jakarta
paket promo umroh mei di Ujung Menteng jakarta
paket berangkat umrah awal tahun bekasi barat
biaya berangkat umrah mei di Cipinang Besar Utara jakarta
biaya umroh februari di Pal Meriam jakarta
paket berangkat umroh april di Jatinegara Kaum jakarta
harga paket umrah januari di Pasar Rebo jakarta
paket umroh januari di Kalisari jakarta
promo berangkat umrah januari di Kampung Gedong,Cijantung jakarta
paket umroh juni di Kalisari jakarta
paket berangkat umrah februari di Utan Kayu Selatan jakarta
promo berangkat umroh februari depok
promo umrah april di Kramat Jati jakarta
paket umroh juni di Bali Mester jakarta
promo umrah akhir tahun di Kebon Pala jakarta
biaya umrah ramadhan di Duren Sawit jakarta
biaya umroh april di Ujung Menteng jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umrah februari di Pasar Rebo jakarta
promo umroh awal tahun di Cipinang jakarta
harga paket umrah desember di Munjul jakarta
promo berangkat umrah februari di Pulogebang jakarta
harga umroh april di Makasar jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh awal tahun di Pekayon jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah februari di Bambu Apus jakarta
harga berangkat umroh februari di Pulo Gadung jakarta
paket berangkat umrah maret di Cawang jakarta
paket berangkat umroh akhir tahun di Jatinegara jakarta
harga umrah januari di Duren Sawit jakarta
paket promo berangkat umroh awal tahun di Jatinegara Kaum jakarta
biaya umroh juni di Jati jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh akhir tahun di Matraman jakarta
paket promo umroh juni di Lubang Buaya jakarta
harga paket berangkat umrah januari di Cipayung jakarta
harga umroh mei di Makasar jakarta
promo umrah akhir tahun di Munjul jakarta
promo berangkat umroh ramadhan di Pinang Ranti jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah mei di Makasar jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh desember di Cipinang Muara jakarta
biaya paket umrah maret di Pulogebang jakarta
paket umrah akhir tahun di Kelapa Dua Wetan jakarta
harga paket umrah mei di Pondok Kelapa jakarta
biaya umroh desember di Kramat Jati jakarta
biaya paket umrah akhir tahun di Klender jakarta
harga berangkat umrah maret di Bambu Apus jakarta
biaya paket umroh maret umrohdepag.com
biaya berangkat umrah akhir tahun di Malaka Sari jakarta
harga paket berangkat umrah akhir tahun di Duren Sawit jakarta
harga paket umrah juni bekasi barat
biaya berangkat umrah april di Rawamangun jakarta
biaya paket umroh april di Cibubur jakarta
biaya umrah januari di Cipinang Melayu jakarta
promo umroh desember umrohdepag.com
paket promo umrah mei di Pondok Kelapa jakarta
paket promo umroh mei di Cakung jakarta
paket berangkat umroh januari bekasi selatan
paket promo umroh maret di Batuampar jakarta
paket umrah desember di Matraman jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh februari di Penggilingan jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh februari di Ceger jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh mei di Pulo Gadung jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah januari di Setu jakarta
paket berangkat umrah januari di Rambutan jakarta