Papers show
advocates of
sugar shifted
blame to fat
set back by
call to keep
illness secret
In 1960s, scientists took
payments to play down
sweets’ risks to heart
Amid pressure, aides
pledge to release fuller
health history this week
The sugar industry paid scientists in the
1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.
The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California,
San Francisco, and published Monday
in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest
that five decades of research into the
role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely
shaped by the sugar industry.
‘‘They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,’’ said
Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine
at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA
The documents show that a trade
group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists
the equivalent of about $50,000 in
today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review
of research on sugar, fat and heart disease.
The studies used in the review were
handpicked by the sugar group, and the
article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar
and heart health and cast aspersions on
the role of saturated fat.
Even though the influence-peddling
revealed in the documents dates back
nearly 50 years, more recent reports
show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.
Last year, an article in The New York
Times revealed that Coca-Cola, the
world’s largest producer of sugary
beverages, had provided millions of dollars in funding to researchers who
sought to play down the link between
sugary drinks and obesity. In June, The
Associated Press reported that candy
makers were funding studies that
claimed that children who eat candy
tend to weigh less than those who do
The Harvard scientists and the sugar
executives with whom they collaborated are no longer alive. One of the scientists who was paid by the sugar industry was D. Mark Hegsted, who went
on to become the head of nutrition at the
United States Department of Agriculture, where in 1977 he helped draft the
forerunner to the federal government’s
dietary guidelines. Another was Dr.
Fredrick J. Stare, the chairman of Harvard’s nutrition department.
In a statement responding to the
JAMA report, the Sugar Association
said that the 1967 review was published
at a time when medical journals did not
typically require researchers to disclose
funding sources. The New England
Journal of Medicine did not begin to require financial disclosures until 1984.
The industry ‘‘should have exercised
greater transparency in all of its reSUGAR, PAGE 7
A grinding tradition
A street organist in the Centro Histórico of Mexico City. While their numbers may be growing, organ grinders worry that a younger generation does
not share the desire to preserve their culture. Many young people, forced to listen to their music while out at a restaurant or in a square, pay them to leave. PAGE 2
Married off by Khmer Rouge, into agony
In a vast courtroom on the outskirts of
Phnom Penh, a middle-aged Cambodian
woman soberly described a night nearly
four decades ago that she said she had
never talked about before.
The local leader of the Khmer Rouge
government had assigned her to marry
one man, but at the last minute decided
on another, she told the court. On their
wedding night in early 1977, she refused
his advances. The man complained to
the chief, who raped her and threatened
to kill her, before sending her back to
live with her new husband.
‘‘I bit my lips and shed my tears,’’ said
the woman, identified at the tribunal
only as 2-TCCP-274 to protect her identity. She eventually let her husband
have sex with her.
The United Nations-backed tribunal
investigating the crimes of the Khmer
Rouge has turned in recent weeks to an
Genrik Pavliukianec of Lithuania winding up for a throw against the United States team. His
hardest throws zip along the floor at 47 miles an hour, making the ball hard to block.
A student collecting microbes from a hot spring in South Africa. Scientists
hope the microbes can shed light on whether life might exist on Mars. HEALTH+SCIENCE, 14
In men’s goalball, a sport for the visually impaired that, kind of, sort of, resembles a mix of handball and bowling,
countries tend to have distinct playing
Finland excels at accuracy. China
throws bounce balls. Brazil mixes
speeds well.
Then there is Lithuania.
‘‘They can throw it through anybody,’’ said Matt Simpson, a member of
the United States team.
Lithuania’s foremost practitioner of
that tactic works in a library in Vilnius,
the capital. His name is Genrik Pavliukianec, and his hardest throws zip along
the floor at 47 miles an hour — which, for
opponents tasked with preventing them
from hurtling into the goal, is not unlike
trying to react to an Aroldis Chapman
The objective in goalball, played by
teams of three blindfolded athletes, is to
fling a hard rubber ball containing bells
down a 9-meter-by-18-meter court and
into a wide, low goal. The ball is about
the size of a basketball, but heavier. Orienting themselves by relying on their
athleticism, reaction time and auditory
cues — the sound of the bells, the skid of
the ball, its echo — players leave their
Hillary Clinton’s campaign did not disclose
her illness until two days after her diagnosis.
was going to be that big a deal,’’ and she
tried to shift the discussion to her Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump,
and his lack of transparency.
‘‘It’s really past time for him to be
held to the same standards,’’ she said.
Mrs. Clinton’s aides acknowledged
that they should have been more forthcoming and said she would release
Donald J. Trump scrambled to put
Hillary Clinton on the defensive but
showed restraint over her illness. PAGE 4
Senator Tim Kaine said he was not
feeling added pressure to convince
voters he is ready to be president. PAGE 4
or e-mail us at
In Paralympic goalball, players
must listen hard to make catch
Fallen captain’s grave draws crowd
Honoring medical discoveries
The grave of the Muslim soldier whose
parents denounced Donald J. Trump
has drawn thousands of visitors since
their appearance at the Democratic
convention in late July. WORLD NEWS, 3
The Lasker Awards will go to six
researchers who made discoveries in
physiology and virology and to a
scientist who promoted science
Joint push to punish North Korea
Hedge fund takes aim, again
The United States and South Korea
vowed to seek new sanctions and the
end of existing loopholes after a North
Korean nuclear test. WORLD NEWS, 5
The hedge fund that helped prod Yahoo
into selling its core business has a new
target for its activism: the drug maker
A rocket for retail space travel
00800 44 48 78 27
aspect of the radical Maoist regime that
has often been overlooked amid its
mass killings and other brutalities: regulations governing marriage. The panel
is considering whether the policies
amounted to forced marriage or led to
sexual assault, both potentially crimes
against humanity.
The people who have testified so far,
most in their 60s, have laid bare the
scope of a practice that many Cambodians describe anecdotally, if sometimes reluctantly. A wide range of experiences has emerged in court: women
set aside for disabled soldiers, militiamen spying on couples to confirm they
were having sex, people corralled into
group weddings who engaged in desperate ploys to be paired off with vague
Cambodians testified about
abuse and heartache after
being paired with strangers.
Shortly after receiving a diagnosis of
pneumonia on Friday, Hillary Clinton
decided to limit the information to her
family members and close aides, certain
that the illness was not a crucial issue
for voters and that it might be twisted
and exploited by her opponents, several
advisers and allies said this week.
To those she did inform, Mrs. Clinton
was emphatic: She intended to ‘‘press
on’’ with her campaign schedule, she
said. Her confidants concluded that she
did not want to be challenged over her
preference to keep the pneumonia
private and continue working.
Mrs. Clinton’s inner circle was mindful of both her guardedness and her expectation of loyalty once her mind is
made up. And she was optimistic that
she could recover over the weekend,
when she had only two brief events on
her schedule, said the advisers and allies, who insisted on anonymity to disclose private conversations.
But Mrs. Clinton’s penchant for privacy backfired. On Monday, her campaign scrambled to reassure voters
about her health, a day after she grew
visibly weak and was filmed being
helped into a van: unsettling images
that circulated widely and led her aides
to disclose the pneumonia diagnosis two
days after the fact.
In a phone interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday night, Mrs.
Clinton said she had kept her diagnosis
a secret because ‘‘I just didn’t think it
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Business 15
Crossword 13
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Matt Kuchar, J.B. Holmes and Rickie
Fowler, who each have Ryder Cup
experience, were selected by the team
captain Davis Love III to take on
Europe this month.
How to stop Pyongyang
Can defiance be manipulated?
The Obama administration’s policy has
failed to halt North Korea’s nuclear
program. But the next president still has
a chance, Joel S. Wit writes. OPINION, 8
A study shows that teenagers make
wiser choices if they are encouraged to
reimagine healthy behavior as an act of
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Fu ll c u rre n c y rat e s Pa g e 1 9
Paris, November 3-4, 2016
U.S. names Ryder Cup golfers
Blue Origin, the secretive space
company, has unveiled a rocket design
aimed at making space travel more
frequent and inexpensive. BUSINESS, 18
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To apply to attend this
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page two
a ruthless
use of power
Clinton falls ill at 9/11 event
I’m far more worried about Trump’s mental
health and reason than Clinton’s physical
This didn’t need to become a scandal
incident, as I am sure it will over the next few
weeks. When Ms. Clinton was diagnosed
with pneumonia on Friday, her campaign
should have announced this, and stated that
as a result Ms. Clinton’s schedule would be
a bit lighter than usual while she got some
rest. Nobody except the alt-right would have
cared. Instead the Clinton campaign says
nothing about her minor/routine health
concern on Friday and tries to continue with
business as usual, claims that everything is
totally fine, goes into radio silence mode
before the campaign team realizes video of
the wobbling is available on the internet and
finally — FINALLY — comes clean.
My admiration for Secretary Clinton just
shot through the roof. To have her
schedule, to still be campaigning, making
speeches, enduring the interminable slog
of a presidential race under the often
harsh, withering gaze of the media all while
battling pneumonia is beyond admirable.
I hope people aren’t taking this as some
sign she’s unfit to take office. She has her
faults, but she’s capable. And especially
with what’s going on in Asia, with the
nuclear testing, we need somebody with
temperance, with tact, and who can defuse
that situation, not escalate it.
J.D. , U. S. A.
Pneumonia does not mean ‘‘gravely ill.’’
The right-wing conspiracy theorists have
made up stories out of thin air for weeks
about Hillary having some sort of grave
illness. They’re still wrong.
An organ grinder at the Centro Histórico of Mexico City. Many residents said they found the organs’ music awful. Some of the machines are over 50 years old and sound every bit their age.
Grinding away at tradition
See what readers are talking about and
leave your own comments at
Portable organs drawing
more grimaces than
grins as heyday fades
International Herald Tribune
1916 Circus Raided for Shirkers
LO ND O N A raid for military absentees
was made on a travelling circus on Monday [Sept. 11] night by the military authorities, assisted by the police and special constables and a large detachment
from a volunteer training corps. The latter surrounded the circus tent while the
military and police entered. The names
and addresses of seventy men without
necessary papers had been taken when
all the lights went out, and the audience
of between three and four thousand was
left in darkness. The proceedings of the
military and the remainder of the performance had to be abandoned.
1966 Tortured Pilot Escapes
SAN DIEGO A young Navy pilot today
[Sept. 13] calmly described his incredible
escape from Laotian Communists and
the barbaric tortures he experienced
after being shot down early this year during a bombing raid over North Vietnam.
Lt. Dieter Danglers’s adventures began
when his propeller-driven Skyraider was
downed Feb. 2 and ended with his dramatic July 20 rescue by helicopter after
U.S reconnaissance planes spotted signal
fires he had set in the jungle. He also told
how a fellow escapee Air Force Lt. Duane
Martin, of Denver, died when a villager
virtually beheaded him with a machete.
Find a retrospective of news from 1887 to
2013 at
Business was not going well for Moisés
Rosas. A saxophonist was down the
street, making decent money. A young
woman was loudly hawking eyeglass
repair services. And Super Mario, stationed at the entrance to the pedestrian
path, was drawing a crowd.
Mr. Rosas’ portable organ was no
match. Even in the center of a busy thoroughfare, the crowds flowed past as a
river might a rock, parting to avoid him
and then rejoining seamlessly.
‘‘This is a dying art,’’ Mr. Rosas said
as he turned the dull metal lever of his
instrument, wrenching out a troubled
squawk. ‘‘The youth don’t really value
So it goes for Mexico City’s organ
grinders, among the city’s more curious
kinds of street performers. For years,
they were beloved by residents, but now
they are in a gloomy mood, convinced
that their art — and a central part of the
city’s culture — is fading away.
Interviews with a dozen organists
around town turned up mostly grievances, but their numbers tell a different
story. According to their union president, there are more organ players now
than there were at any time in the last 30
‘‘These guys moan no matter what is
happening,’’ Luis Román Dichi Lara,
the head of the organ players’ union,
said recently. ‘‘Today is a Tuesday. If
you interview them tomorrow, which is
usually a slow day, you won’t believe the
complaints you will hear.’’
In truth, he said, business is booming.
Oscar Rosas, 20, filling in for his aunt in her prime location in front of a soaring cathedral.
Including nonunion members, whom he
refers to as pirates, organ grinders number about 500, thanks to a lack of opportunities in other sectors of the economy.
That is up from 350 when he started a
few decades ago, Mr. Dichi Lara said.
But the organists say that while their
numbers may be growing, their wallets
feel much lighter — a fact that union officials acknowledge.
They are losing fans. Many young
people, forced to listen to their music
while out at a restaurant or in a square,
pay them to leave. The ranks of older
patrons, who recall the organ grinders
with nostalgia, are thinning.
Then there is the competition, which
has multiplied in recent years. There
are break dancers, mimes, movie characters, musicians, artisans and the afflicted, all vying for spare change.
Worse, there are the superheroes.
‘‘Don’t even get me started on them,’’
Mr. Dichi Lara said. ‘‘You place yourself
in the perfect spot, start your music and,
boom, here come Thor, Batman and
Competition aside, many residents
said they thought that the organs themselves sounded awful. Some of the machines are more than 50 years old and
sound every bit their age.
‘‘These songs, they play them over
and over,’’ said Javier Hernández García, who runs a stall by the Zócalo, the
city’s central square, where the organ
grinders perform. ‘‘No one likes them,
but we can’t get rid of them.’’
It is true that the organs have enjoyed
staying power in Mexico. They first arrived in the country in the 1800s, making
the trans-Atlantic journey from Germany into the parlors of the wealthy and
privileged class, as well as in circuses.
By the mid-1900s, the organs had
grown more popular, and players began
to switch from German polkas to Mexican music — songs of love and nostalgia
that appealed to older generations.
These days, if a player does not own
his instrument, he can rent one for
about $80 a week, the union said.
For a variety of reasons — the cost of
proper maintenance, the lack of repair
know-how and overuse of the instruments — the melodies are often horribly
off key. A cloud comes over diners’ faces
when an organist pops up and begins
cranking, forcing them to wait out the
auditory assault.
There is also a skill that newcomers
do not appreciate, the older players say.
It is a craft. An organist does not just
turn the lever and let the instrument do
its business. One must crank consistently, which is not so easy given the instrument’s weight. The tempo must differ
from song to song.
Beyond tradition, locations are also
handed down by generation, which can
give the business a Mafia-like air.
Mr. Rosas, for instance, often works
with his wife. His sister-in-law works
another prime location outside the cathedral in the historical center, which
she inherited from her mother. Mr. Rosas’ son, Oscar, 20, fills in for her when
she is unable to work a shift.
And the union leader, Mr. Dichi Lara?
His brother-in-law is Moisés Rosas.
‘‘What can I say? We come from an
organ-playing family,’’ Mr. Dichi Lara
said. ‘‘But to be honest, Moisés’ organ is
pretty badly out of tune.’’
Oscar’s, too.
On a recent day, he mopped sweat
from his brow as he played in his aunt’s
fixed location, in front of the soaring cathedral. He is passionate about his
work. ‘‘My dream is to one day earn
enough money to buy one of these, to
conserve this part of our culture on our
own,’’ he said.
This desire to preserve the culture
seems to motivate donors as well.
On a recent evening, Carlos Martínez
dropped a few coins in the hat of Sergio
Pérez, an organist midway through his
evening shift.
‘‘Not many people help them,’’ said
Mr. Martínez, 44, an office worker. ‘‘I
don’t really like to listen to them that
much, but if no one gives them money,
they won’t survive.’’
Paulina Villegas contributed reporting.
Albert Kumin, pastry chef for top restaurants, dies at 94
Albert Kumin, one of the most celebrated pastry chefs in the United States,
who created desserts for the Four Seasons and Windows on the World in Manhattan as well as for Jimmy Carter’s
White House, died on Friday at his home
in Stowe, Vt. He was 94.
His death was confirmed by his
daughter, Julie Kumin.
Mr. Kumin, Swiss by birth, had been
working for a decade in top Canadian
hotels when Joe Baum invited him to
come to New York in 1958 to work at the
Four Seasons, his latest project for Restaurant Associates.
It turned out to be a brilliant hire. For
the restaurant’s signature dessert, Mr.
Kumin invented chocolate velvet cake, a
variation on the classic bombe — a
dome of chocolate cake, glazed in chocolate, containing a mousse made with
chopped-up Heath bars, amaretto and
rum. Over the years, the restaurant
made more than 200,000 of them.
For Mr. Baum, the endlessly inventive Mr. Kumin created a Mexican choco-
late candy cake for the pan-Latin restaurant La Fonda del Sol in Manhattan
and several desserts for Windows on
the World, atop the north tower of the
World Trade Center, that attained star
status, notably a lemon cream tart and a
Grand Marnier chocolate cake.
Mr. Kumin was invited to take over as
pastry chef at the White House in 1979
while teaching at the Culinary Institute
of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. ‘‘To me it
is an honor,’’ he told The Washington
Post. ‘‘It’s about as high as you can go in
our trade.’’
He left a year later for reasons never
fully explained. He complained about
the high price of Washington real estate.
In addition, he told The New York
Times, ‘‘the edelweiss I planted six
years ago at my house is just beginning
to grow, so I want to enjoy it.’’
Friends speculated that he simply
grew bored. ‘‘Over the years you are going, going,’’ he told The Post on leaving
the position. ‘‘Certainly I adjust, but it is
pretty hard. It’s like you are in a newsroom and everything goes click, click,
click, and then you go in an office and it
gets quiet.’’
He did, however, help prepare the dinner in March 1979 to celebrate the sign-
ing of the Camp David accords that took
place the previous September, with President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt, Prime
Minister Menachem Begin of Israel and
more than 1,300 guests in attendance.
At the International Pastry Arts Center, which he founded in 1985 in Katonah, N.Y., he educated dozens of pastry
chefs who took positions at top restaurants across the United States.
‘‘He is one of the only people I know
who can labor relentlessly in the kitchen, covering the work of three, while
remaining totally calm, good-humored
and friendly,’’ Jacques Pépin told Nation’s Restaurant News in 1993. The two
men worked together in the 1960s for
Howard Johnson’s, where Mr. Kumin
was hired to organize a high-volume
pastry operation.
Albert Kümin (the umlaut was later
dropped) was born on Jan. 13, 1922, in
Wil, Switzerland. His father, Albert, was
a hospital nurse and technician, and his
mother, the former Regina Vogt, was a
homemaker who cleaned houses to earn
extra money.
Mr. Kumin apprenticed to a local baker
at 16 and, after completing his military
service, worked at hotel restaurants in
Davos, Basel, Winterthur and Zurich. Be-
Albert Kumin in 1988. Endlessly inventive, he
worked as a White House chef for a year.
cause of wartime shortages, he later recalled, ‘‘you had to work with nothing.’’
Keen to travel, he set sail in 1948 for
Canada, where he found a job at the
Ritz-Carlton in Montreal. A colleague
there, a fellow Swiss named Henry
Haller, later became the White House
chef and recommended him for the
pastry job.
Mr. Kumin also worked at the Mount
Royal Hotel and the Windsor in
Montreal, the Harrison Hot Springs resort in British Columbia and the Chât-
eau Lake Louise in Banff, where he met
and later married Eva Bold, a farmer’s
daughter from Saskatchewan. She died
in 2010. In addition to his daughter, he is
survived by a sister, Hedy Süter-Kumin,
and two grandchildren.
When Mr. Baum, of Restaurant Associates, came calling, at the behest of Albert Stöckli, the company’s Swiss-born
executive chef, Mr. Kumin packed his
‘‘bible,’’ a thick notebook filled with recipes for every dessert he had ever
made, beginning with his apprenticeship, and what he called Excalibur, the
sword he used to cut hardened sugar.
Thus armed, he proceeded to tantalize
the palates of New York diners with
desserts like his cherry-accented Rigi
kirschtorte at the Four Seasons and
mocha dacquoise at Windows on the
‘‘You must not taste only sugar,’’ he
told The Times in 1979. ‘‘You must taste
every ingredient that went into it: the
butter, cream, eggs — everything.’’
Astonishingly, he never wrote a cookbook, nor did he articulate a philosophy.
He did, however, have a standard. As he
told The Post in 1979, ‘‘I am very fussy
about the difference between good, very
good and delicious.’’
Donald J. Trump has departed from Republican orthodoxy in multiple ways,
but his consistently kind words for
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia
stand as the most striking.
Mr. Trump’s rejection of traditional
Republican stances on trade and immigration helped him win the presidential
nomination by building a powerful base
among blue-collar white voters who
feel most aggrieved by economic and
cultural change.
His embrace of Mr. Putin, however,
fits no obvious political strategy.
Staunch opposition to Moscow united
the Republican Party throughout the
Cold War.
The collapse of what Ronald Reagan
called the Evil Empire only changed so
much; four years ago, the Republican
nominee, Mitt Romney, described Russia as America’s top geopolitical foe.
Nor does Mr. Putin have a significant
American constituency. In an NBC
News/Wall Street Journal poll from
May, just 8 percent of
American adults over
Mr. Trump’s
all, and 8 percent of
embrace of
Republicans, held a
Mr. Putin fits
favorable view of the
no obvious
Russian leader, a
former K.G.B. agent.
So when Mr.
Trump praises Mr.
Putin, as he did last
week, for his ‘‘very strong control over
a country,’’ Republican political and
policy experts explain it in purely personal terms: Mr. Trump admires the
Russian leader’s ruthless use of power,
even if it conflicts with American
democratic principles.
‘‘He sees a man who, aspirationally,
he would like to be like,’’ said Danielle
Pletka, who directs foreign and defense
policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Referring to
Mr. Trump, she added: ‘‘His instincts
are authoritarian, and dangerous.’’
Peter D. Feaver, a Duke University
professor who served on the National
Security Council under President
George W. Bush, described Mr.
Trump’s admiration as ‘‘deeply troubling.’’ He recently joined 49 other Republican foreign policy veterans in a
public letter that condemned Mr.
Trump for lacking ‘‘basic knowledge
about, and belief in, the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws and U.S. institutions.’’
Mr. Trump has publicly urged Russian hackers, whom American intelligence officials believe broke into
Democratic Party computers, to gain
access to Hillary Clinton’s email account. He notes that he could team up
with Mr. Putin, who ‘‘says great things
about me,’’ to wipe out Islamic State
‘‘Putin is playing him’’ for his own
reasons, Mr. Feaver said. Those reasons, he added, include the Russian
leader’s hope that Mr. Trump will
weaken NATO, reduce America’s role
in global affairs, and leave Moscow a
freer hand.
Mr. Trump is familiar with Mr.
Putin’s country on several fronts: He
staged a Miss Universe pageant in
Moscow, explored real estate deals
there and sold a Florida mansion to a
Russian billionaire. Paul Manafort, his
former campaign chairman, previously
advised Viktor F. Yanukovych, a
Ukrainian leader aligned with Russia.
Admiring strength comes naturally
to some like Mr. Trump in the business
world, where executives have greater
ability than politicians to get what they
want. And strength has increasingly
become the Obama-era rallying cry of
the Republican Party’s base.
Tea Party activists cheered on Republican rebels in Congress for shutting down the government and refusing to raise the debt limit. They
ultimately forced the resignation of the
speaker of the House of Representatives, John A. Boehner, for seeking
compromise with a Democratic president.
Ms. Pletka has nothing good to say
about the Democratic nominee, Hillary
Clinton, who she says would ‘‘stain the
White House.’’ Nevertheless, she finds
Mr. Trump’s views on Mr. Putin and
other issues so objectionable as to
make her ‘‘the lesser of two evils.’’
The question beyond November is
whether Mr. Trump’s rise significantly
reshapes the views of his party. He
calls his policy America First, a phrase
with historical echoes of the nativist,
isolationist movement that tried to
keep the United States out of World
War II.
‘‘Is this a return to 1935, or is this an
anomaly?’’ Ms. Pletka wondered. ‘‘I
don’t think any of us knows the answer.’’
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World News
U.N. chief working
to seal climate deal
Secretary general wants
pact to take effect before
U.S. presidential election
Capt. Humayun Khan’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery has drawn thousands of visitors since his parents appeared at the Democratic National Convention in July. Many leave tokens.
Fallen captain’s grave now a rallying spot
Nineteen rows down and 20 to the right.
That’s the math Mimi Robinson wanted
to know: the distance between her father and Capt. Humayun Khan at Arlington National Cemetery.
Like many Americans, she was
moved when Captain Khan’s father testified to his son’s values and sacrifice at
the Democratic National Convention in
July. So, a few days ago, she walked the
neatly ordered grounds from the grave
site of her father, a member of the Coast
Guard who died in 2014, to the marker
for Captain Khan.
At the foot of the captain’s grave stone,
with its Islamic crescent and Purple
Heart inscription, she left a handwritten
note on a sheet of loose-leaf paper.
‘‘I’ve been thinking about the ways
politics and bureaucracy have tainted
my love for this country,’’ she wrote.
‘‘But seeing your parents, learning
about you — has shown and reminded
me of the dignity, love and blessings
stitched into the diverse fabric of the
United States.’’
Since late July, thousands of people —
veterans, relatives of fallen soldiers,
even those with no connection to the
cemetery — have made their way to
Captain Khan’s grave, deep in the
cemetery, to bear witness and offer
words of support.
‘‘We try to count the messages’’ left
behind, Captain Khan’s father, Khizr, said
in an interview on Friday. ‘‘We have exhausted number 4,000 and counted on.’’
Captain Khan would have turned 40
on Friday. Khizr Khan and his wife,
Ghazala, were too busy that day to visit
his grave, but on Saturday, a day before
the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, they made the more than twohour drive from their home in Charlottesville, Va., as they had countless
other times.
The site — Section 60, Grave 7986 — is
so frequently visited that tour guides
Khizr and Ghazala Khan at their home in Charlottesville, Va. ‘‘We try to count the messages’’
left behind, Mr. Khan said last week. ‘‘We have exhausted number 4,000 and counted on.’’
and other staff members have memorized the grave number so they can offer
directions. It has emerged as a kind of
organic meeting point, where lives intersect and people like Ms. Robinson
come to do that math of proximity and
sacrifice, and to make a statement about
what Captain Khan’s story adds up to.
‘‘He was a person that put a face to everything good about minority groups in
America,’’ Ms. Robinson said in an interview. ‘‘He’s what we all value in this
country really deep down. It’s him and
it’s other soldiers who don’t have the
spotlight like he has right now.’’
Khizr Khan, who in his speech at the
Democratic National Convention delivered a blistering denunciation of Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, and whose family Mr.
Trump later belittled, said the address
had offered a reminder that ‘‘certain
values are worth fighting for.’’
‘‘Those values are and remain our
values through Captain Humayun
Khan’s values: care for others and the
good of the nation,’’ he added.
Charles Cowherd of Alexandria, Va.,
whose twin brother, an Army lieutenant, rests in a grave three plots from
Captain Khan’s, has been visiting Section 60 since 2004, when his brother was
killed in Iraq. Captain Khan died just
weeks later, also in Iraq, in a suicide
bombing in June at his base.
That section of the cemetery contains
the remains of many other service
members who have died in the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq. Lately, Mr.
Cowherd said, he has noticed a difference among the mourners there.
‘‘The composition was a little bit different going to that grave,’’ he said. ‘‘It
touched a segment of people that
wouldn’t be going there otherwise.’’
Some, he said, are offering a rebuttal
to Mr. Trump’s denigration of the Khan
family. Mr. Trump, for example, played
on religious stereotypes by suggesting
that Mr. Khan had not allowed his wife
to speak at the convention.
‘‘I think the people going there was a
way of drawing distinction and saying
that we as Americans support this family and support this fallen soldier, in a
way, more’’ because of Mr. Trump’s
comments, he said.
The letters collected from the grave
site end up piled in boxes on the dining
room table at the Khans’ home. Slowly,
Mr. Khan said, he and his wife are working through them. They read each note
and write to thank those who have left
return addresses.
The stream of visitors to the grave
site has subsided somewhat as fall has
approached and as Mr. Khan and his
wife have returned to something closer
to normal life. After a crush of television
appearances and media interviews
after the convention, they have largely
stayed off the air in recent weeks.
They now have help from a public relations specialist, Stephanie Cutter, a
former aide to President Obama. And Mr.
Khan said he had tried to cap the number
of speaking invitations he had accepted.
But the letters are still coming at
Grave 7986, new ones seemingly every
Jennifer Lynch, a spokeswoman for
the cemetery, said the grounds crew removed objects left at gravestones when
they became ‘‘unsightly.’’ Along with
letters, visitors to Captain Khan’s grave
site have left stones and American flags,
photographs and laminated prayers,
and flowers of almost every color.
Friends of the Khans who live in the
area make frequent stops to collect the
items, for later delivery.
When the Khans visit the cemetery,
the ritual is different now. Staff members do not question who Mr. Khan is
when he forgets his entry pass to drive
in. Visitors approach him to introduce
themselves. The grave site, too, is no
longer the family’s alone.
‘‘If we are standing there at his grave
site, of course people begin to gather, and
I will greet them and shake their hand,
and they often ask to take a picture,’’ Mr.
Khan said. ‘‘And then I’ll quietly move
back just to take a picture myself.’’
As the United Nations General Assembly converged in New York on Tuesday, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
was using the gathering of world leaders to rush the 2015 Paris climate
change accord into legal force this year,
hoping to bind all countries to its strictures for at least the next four years —
regardless of the outcome of the presidential election in the United States.
Mr. Ban’s push to nail down the legal
commitments of at least 55 countries to
the global agreement comes as Donald
J. Trump, the Republican presidential
nominee who has called climate change
a hoax, rises in the polls. Should Mr.
Trump become president before the
Paris pact enters into force, he could
make good on his vow to withdraw the
United States from the agreement —
even if President Obama has signed on
to it. The absence of the world’s largest
economy and second-largest greenhouse gas polluter would cripple the
first accord binding nearly every country to actions that would reduce planetwarming pollution.
‘‘There’s a huge amount at stake in
whether the United States is in the
agreement or not,’’ said Robert C. Orr,
dean of the University of Maryland
School of Public Policy and a special adviser to Mr. Ban. A withdrawal by the
United States would ‘‘create a global
diplomatic crisis,’’ he said.
Mr. Ban’s push is highly unusual in
the typically slow-moving world of complex United Nations accords. Historically, after nations have agreed to large
treaties and accords at global summit
meetings, years pass before the signatory governments complete the domestic
legal and legislative processes required
to translate global directives into domestic laws. The comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty was adopted by the
United Nations General Assembly in
1996 but has still not entered into force.
Experts in international law said they
could not think of an example of a major
United Nations agreement entering into
legal force less than a year after it was
finalized. The Paris deal was reached in
December. At the time, the diplomats
who forged the deal said that their goal
was for it to enter into force by 2020.
But Mr. Ban has planned a ceremony
at the United Nations on Sept. 21, when
he hopes to announce that enough countries have ratified the deal, or pledged to
ratify it, to ensure it will enter into force
before the inauguration of the next
American president. To do that, he
would need at least 55 countries representing 55 percent of climate-change
‘‘This would be entry into force in a
lightning-quick way, if it happens,’’ said
David Waskow, an expert in climate
change diplomacy at the World Resources Institute, a Washington research organization.
Once the requisite signatures are secured, each country will be legally
bound to the deal for at least four years
— even if the country’s government
does not participate in the accord. That
would be enough to keep the United
States legally bound to the Paris deal
through the first term of a Trump presidency.
To date, at least 27 countries representing about 40 percent of global emissions have ratified the deal. But the bulk
of those emissions — nearly 40 percent
— are produced by two countries, the
United States and China. Mr. Obama
and President Xi Jinping of China
jointly announced their countries’ adoption of the Paris deal this month at a
summit meeting in Hangzhou, China.
But it is far from certain that Mr. Ban
can get enough countries to add up to
the 55 percent threshold. No other countries have close to as many carbon emissions as China or the United States. The
world’s third-largest carbon polluter,
India, which emits about 7 percent of the
world’s emissions, has been unclear
about its plans to sign on. Although India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi,
emerged as a important broker of the
Paris agreement, many members of his
government remain wary of taking the
final steps to clinch the deal.
Rajendra M. Abhyankar, a former Indian minister of foreign affairs who is
now a professor at Indiana University,
said, ‘‘While many in our government
want to go forward with the terms of the
agreement, there is still a feeling that
ratifying the agreement would be tying
our hands in terms of what we can do
‘‘And from an international point of
view, the sense is, why should we sign
on if the United States might one day
drop out?’’ he said. ‘‘The United States
has signed on for now, but what will happen once Trump comes?’’
Another question mark is the European Union, whose 28 member countries together account for about 10 percent of global emissions. Under the
Paris agreement, the union has pledged
to collectively reduce its emissions 40
percent below 1990 levels by 2030. But
the union cannot legally ratify that
pledge until all 28 countries have separately ratified it in their own parlia-
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is pushing
for legal commitments of at least 55 nations.
ments, a process that could take years.
The British vote to leave the European
Union could further complicate that
In the face of such difficulties, Mr. Ban
has redoubled his diplomatic efforts. In
recent weeks, he has met with or telephoned dozens of world leaders, including Mr. Modi, to urge them to complete
their ratification of the Paris deal by
Sept. 21. At the Chinese summit meeting
of the Group of 20 largest industrial
economies this month, he pressed the issue with every world leader present, according to aides.
He is seeing some success. On Monday, Brazil, which emits about 2 percent
of global emissions, announced that it
had completed its domestic ratification
of the Paris deal. That came as a surprise to many, since Brazil’s climate
pledge had been a signature policy of
Dilma Rousseff, the country’s recently
impeached president.
The governments of Canada, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico and South
Africa, which together represent about
5 percent of global emissions, have said
they expect to complete or pledge to
complete their ratifications this month.
The government of Japan, which
emits about 3 percent of global emissions, is expected to take up its Paris
ratification in a special parliamentary
session this fall.
Syria calmer but cautious as truce begins, with some violations reported
A cease-fire in the Syrian civil war, negotiated by Russia and the United
States, officially took effect at sundown
on Monday after a weekend of intensified fighting and a vow by Syria’s president to retake the entire country.
Despite pessimism over how long the
cease-fire would last, calm was widely reported after it started at 7 p.m. local time,
but there were a few notable exceptions.
Less than an hour into the truce, residents in the divided northern city of
Aleppo said via text message that a government helicopter had dropped explosive cylinders on a rebel-held district.
And in the southern province of Dara’a, a
rebel faction said in a statement that it
had killed four government soldiers. By
midnight, opposition factions had reported 10 violations by government forces.
Extensive doubts have been expressed among many entangled in the
conflict that the cease-fire, timed to coincide with the start of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, will be respected.
Under the terms, if violence is significantly reduced for seven days, the
United States and Russia will collaborate on new airstrikes against jihadist
militants in Syria, and the Syrian Air
Force will be barred from flying over insurgent-held areas.
The United States supports an alliance of rebel groups, and Russia supports President Bashar al-Assad. But
both countries share an antipathy for Islamic State and Nusra Front fighters
who have seized parts of Syria and
made it a magnet for jihadists.
Under the cease-fire deal, during an
initial period, all attacks are to stop except Syrian government attacks on
those two jihadist groups. But the public
does not know what the United States
and Russia have defined as those
groups’ territories — the opposition has
little trust in the Syrian government or
Russia, which have often applied those
labels to all of Mr. Assad’s opponents.
And government supporters doubt that
the opposition groups will distance
themselves from the extremists, as the
Americans have promised.
There was also new confusion in the
early hours of the cease-fire: Secretary
of State John Kerry said the United
States would be able to approve Syrian
government strikes, but the State Department reversed those comments
less than two hours later.
Mr. Assad used the hours before the
cease-fire to promise victory in his country’s five-year civil war, punctuating his
pledge by visiting a Damascus suburb
that rebels surrendered last month.
The loss of Daraya, which once symbolized rebel defiance in the face of encirclement and relentless bombing, reflected Mr. Assad’s strengthened
position in the conflict since Russia intervened to help him a year ago.
An agreement on the cease-fire was
reached late Friday in Geneva by Russian and American diplomats, who have
been struggling to find a way to reduce
violence so that food and medicine can
reach civilians.
The agreement contains many caveats
and unenforceable provisions. Skepticism about its effectiveness runs deepest
among the American-backed Syrian opposition groups, which fear that Mr. Assad is now even more entrenched in
power. Obama administration officials
have also expressed doubts.
The White House press secretary,
Josh Earnest, said on Monday that the
success of the agreement ‘‘places a lot
of pressure on Russia to deliver.’’
‘‘Based on our collective experience
here on observing the situation,’’ Mr.
Syrian boys receiving care in a field hospital after a strike on the rebel-held city of Douma on
the day a cease-fire was to take effect. Government-allied forces were suspected in the attack.
Earnest said, ‘‘I think we have some
reasons to be skeptical that the Russians are able or are willing to implement the arrangement.’’
‘‘But,’’ he added, ‘‘we’ll see.’’
The cease-fire is the second negotiat-
ed this year by Russia and the United
States. The first, reached in February,
collapsed within weeks.
Mr. Kerry, who finished the cease-fire
negotiation in Geneva with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said
some breaches would not surprise him.
‘‘For all the doubts that remain — and
there will be challenges in the days to
come — this plan has a chance to work,’’
Mr. Kerry said in Washington, describing it as possibly ‘‘the last chance that
one has to save a united Syria.’’
A group of 21 rebel groups issued a
statement listing deep reservations
about and criticisms of the cease-fire
deal, but stopping short of rejecting it.
Even if the accord reduces the killing
in Syria, where by some estimates a
half-million people have died since the
conflict began in 2011, the prognosis for
peace and reconciliation is unclear,
Western political analysts said.
‘‘This accord may well save lives, and
it’s a gain if for that reason only,’’ Cliff
Kupchan, the chairman of the Eurasia
Group, a political risk consulting firm in
Washington, said in an email. ‘‘But in the
end, it’s not likely to have meaningful
impact for more than a limited period, or
to jump-start a serious political track.’’
Anne Barnard reported from Beirut,
and Rick Gladstone from New York. Reporting was contributed by Hwaida
Saad from Beirut, Maher Samaan from
Paris and Julie Hirschfeld Davis from
world news
Trump uses opponent’s absence to press his case
Republican denounces
rival’s charge that many
of his backers are bigoted
Donald J. Trump has hurled himself into
a new effort to reshape the presidential
race, scrambling to allay voters’ concerns about his temperament and put
Hillary Clinton on the defensive over
her critical comments about many of
Mr. Trump’s supporters.
Though Mr. Trump, the Republican
nominee, has largely withheld comment
about Mrs. Clinton’s health, showing uncharacteristic restraint after her campaign announced she had pneumonia,
he took Mrs. Clinton’s unexpected absence from public view as an opportunity to press his case with ferocity.
Among Mr. Trump’s advisers, there is
a sense of urgency. With eight weeks left
in the race — and just two before his
first debate with Mrs. Clinton, the
Democratic nominee — Mr. Trump may
never again have such a window to
make his argument to voters more or
less uninterrupted.
Without a forceful message and iron
discipline heading into the debates, Mr.
Trump could struggle mightily to overcome the deeply rooted opposition to his
candidacy. An ABC News-Washington
Post poll published over the weekend
showed Mrs. Clinton with a five-percentage-point edge over Mr. Trump nationally, with six in 10 voters describing
Mr. Trump as unqualified and biased
against women and minorities.
Mr. Trump seized the chance on Monday to turn the charge of intolerance
against Mrs. Clinton: Denouncing the
allegation that his supporters were bigoted, Mr. Trump argued in a speech in
Baltimore that Mrs. Clinton had shown
‘‘contempt’’ for voters by deriding
many of his supporters as racist and
sexist, calling them a ‘‘basket of deplorables’’ at a fund-raiser on Friday. At a
rally on Monday night in North Carolina, Mr. Trump said Mrs. Clinton was
running a ‘‘hate-filled and negative
The Trump campaign also announced
the support of R. James Woolsey, a
former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to reassure voters of Mr.
Trump’s readiness for the presidency.
Mr. Trump made no mention of Mrs.
Clinton’s health in his campaign
speeches. During two television interviews on Monday morning, he said he
wished Mrs. Clinton well. He also did
Donald J. Trump at a campaign stop in Dundalk, Md., this week. He has scrambled to allay voters’ concerns about his temperament and largely withheld comment about Hillary Clinton’s health.
not revive his frequent accusation that
Mrs. Clinton lacks the physical strength
to be president, though he suggested
vaguely that ‘‘something is going on.’’
Instead, he used a speech to the National Guard Association of the United
States to defend his supporters at
length, arguing that they were right to
be concerned about border security and
crime and that those concerns did not
indicate a hateful view of racial and religious minorities.
‘‘If Hillary Clinton will not retract her
comments in full, I don’t see how she
can credibly campaign any further,’’ Mr.
Trump said, demanding an apology. He
claimed that his campaign was doing
‘‘amazingly well with African-Ameri-
can and Hispanic workers.’’
But Mr. Trump, who records little support in the polls among racial minorities
and educated whites, did not address
any of the past remarks that have contributed to his low standing with those
groups. He has continued to call for a
crackdown on immigrants who are in
the country illegally, and has declined to
retract his false assertions in the past
that President Obama was not born in
the United States. Mr. Trump has also
not expressed regret for clashing with
the family of a slain Muslim Army captain or renounced his proposal to bar
Muslims from entering the country.
Mrs. Clinton has rebuked Mr. Trump
over the last month for what she has
called his promotion of racially insensitive messages and policies and his
alignment with leaders of the movement known as the alt-right, which is
widely seen as holding fringe and racist
Robert Blizzard, a Republican pollster, said that Mr. Trump appeared to be
recovering his footing in the race but
that it might be too late for him to
change many voters’ longstanding assessment of his character and capabilities.
‘‘Hillary Clinton clearly won the summer, and there’s little doubt Donald
Trump dug himself a very deep hole in
the aftermath of the nominating conventions,’’ Mr. Blizzard said. ‘‘While
Running mate’s illness puts focus on Kaine
When Hillary Clinton was searching for
a running mate, she made clear her top
criterion: Her selection needed to be
ready to become president ‘‘if something were to happen,’’ as she put it.
When she announced Senator Tim
Kaine of Virginia as her choice, Mrs. Clinton affirmed that he had passed that test.
Now, after Mrs. Clinton had to be
helped into a van while departing a
Sept. 11 anniversary ceremony on Sunday and the later disclosure that she had
been given a pneumonia diagnosis on
Friday, Mr. Kaine is coming under a
more intense spotlight. When he took
questions from reporters on Monday,
cable news channels carried the exchange live, a rare level of attention for
his candidacy.
While everyone — politicians included — gets sick from time to time, the
intense focus on Mrs. Clinton’s health
brings with it a constitutional reminder:
Mr. Kaine is not only a campaign-trail
booster, but also a possible president
The scrutiny of Mrs. Clinton’s health
‘‘means that Tim Kaine has to step up
his game,’’ said Douglas Brinkley, a
presidential historian at Rice University.
‘‘He’s such an unknown quantity to
the American people that he now has to
kind of assume the mantle of what it
would be like to have him as commander in chief, not just vice president,’’ Mr.
Brinkley said.
Nine vice presidents have assumed
the presidency during a president’s
term, eight because of a death and one
because of a resignation. In four of those
eight instances, the president was assassinated. In four other cases, the president died of natural causes, most recently in 1945, when Franklin D.
Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage and Harry S. Truman became
A lawyer by training, Mr. Kaine, who
served as mayor of Richmond, Va., and
as Virginia’s lieutenant governor and
governor before winning election to the
Senate in 2012, was seen as an appealing
pick for Mrs. Clinton in large part because of his résumé and his policy
But he is not a well-known figure nationally, even after more than seven
weeks as Mrs. Clinton’s running mate.
In a CNN/ORC poll conducted this
month, 19 percent of voters said they
had never heard of Mr. Kaine, and an additional 21 percent said they had no
opinion of him.
‘‘So far this has been a presidential
Trump is starting to climb out of that
hole now, his ability to take advantage of
a few bad weeks for Clinton is going to
be limited due to enduring views about
his judgment, his temperament and his
rhetoric toward other ethnicities and
And Democrats are skeptical that Mr.
Trump will be able to reinvent himself
by using Mrs. Clinton’s biting comments as a shield. Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster who advises a pro-Clinton ‘‘super PAC,’’ described an exercise
he uses in focus groups, asking voters to
write down three words to describe Mr.
Trump before the discussion begins.
‘‘People use the word ‘racist’ consistently to describe him,’’ Mr. Garin said.
Hillary Clinton’s running mate
said he was not feeling added
pressure to convince voters he
is ready to be president.
race that has been heavily focused on
the presidential candidates, to an unusual extent,’’ said Joel K. Goldstein, a
law professor at St. Louis University
who is an expert on the vice presidency.
Recalling his own bout with pneumonia, Mr. Goldstein cautioned that ‘‘the
fact that somebody has pneumonia
doesn’t mean there’s about to be a succession.’’ But he said the episode on
Sunday would bring more attention to
Mr. Kaine’s suitability to the presidency.
‘‘It should remind people of the importance of the two vice-presidential
candidates, and whether they are appropriate presidential successors based
on their experience, skill, character and
substantive views,’’ he said.
As he hopscotches from state to state,
Mr. Kaine comes across more as a genial traveling salesman for the ClintonKaine ticket than as a president in waiting. In his speeches, he tends to focus on
making a case against Donald J. Trump
while talking up Mrs. Clinton.
At times, he still expresses shock that
he is even on the Democratic ticket, as if
he had been plucked from anonymity to
embark upon a great adventure.
‘‘I felt like I was Pinocchio turning into a real boy,’’ he told a crowd in Virginia
on Friday, recalling when Mrs. Clinton
asked him to be her running mate. ‘‘I
mean, like, ‘Wow, what? You want me?
Are you kidding?’’’
The biggest test of Mr. Kaine’s readiness will come on Oct. 4, when he faces
Mr. Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike
Pence of Indiana, in the vice-presidential debate.
‘‘You don’t want a Sarah Palin situation where voters really have doubts
about the second person on the ticket,’’
said Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton.
‘‘It’s especially true if there are any
kinds of concerns about age or health.’’
Mr. Kaine, 58, differs from the man he
is hoping to succeed, Vice President
Joseph R. Biden Jr., in that he is a relatively new member of the Senate, not an
elder statesman. But Mr. Kaine has
made a point of focusing on foreign
policy during his time in the Senate,
where he serves on the Armed Services
and Foreign Relations Committees.
Speaking to reporters after an event
in Dayton on Monday, Mr. Kaine said he
did not think the new episode involving
Mrs. Clinton’s health put any more pressure on him to convince voters he is
ready to be president.
Even before the latest incident, Mr.
Kaine had tried to defend Mrs. Clinton
against questions about her health,
while also calling on Mr. Trump, who
had accused Mrs. Clinton of lacking
stamina, to be more forthcoming about
his own health.
Two weeks ago, Mr. Kaine mocked the
letter from a doctor for Mr. Trump that
asserted the candidate would be ‘‘the
healthiest individual ever elected to the
presidency,’’ while he also declared
Mrs. Clinton to be ‘‘one tough and one
healthy person.’’
And as he campaigned here on Monday, he offered fresh testimony about
Mrs. Clinton’s physical well-being.
‘‘I’ve just been on the campaign since
July 22,’’ Mr. Kaine told the crowd. ‘‘Hillary Clinton has been on the campaign
trail for 18 months. Her energy staggers
me. I have a hard time keeping up with
Nick Corasaniti contributed reporting.
Hillary Clinton’s stumble is a fleeting
moment that, like so much of her
campaign, is impossible to separate from
Mrs. Clinton is being treated for
pneumonia, which can become serious or
even fatal if it is not properly addressed,
doctors said.
Clinton set back by call
to keep pneumonia secret
Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia on Monday in Ohio. Hillary Clinton’s illness brings the reminder that Mr. Kaine is a possible president himself.
‘‘But they also talk about him as a dangerous egomaniac.’’
Still, on a conference call with top supporters Monday, advisers to Mr. Trump
spoke of Mrs. Clinton’s turbulent
stretch as a source of relief: For the first
time in a while, they said, they were
starting the week on offense, according
to people who participated in the call
who spoke on the condition of anonymity about a private discussion. Campaign surrogates were told to hammer
Mrs. Clinton for her description of
Trump voters and to say as little as possible about her pneumonia diagnosis.
Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, a retired
Army officer who advises Mr. Trump,
said there was optimism in the campaign that the momentum of the race
had ‘‘totally shifted in Mr. Trump’s favor.’’ He predicted that voters would see
a distinction between ‘‘a guy who made
all kinds of comments as he was fighting
to win the primaries’’ and the Donald
Trump of the general election.
Mr. Trump has taken other steps in recent days to steady his candidacy, moving to shore up his campaign in crucial
swing states. With Mrs. Clinton holding
a daunting advantage on the Electoral
College map, Mr. Trump aimed a new
television campaign at the four most
critical states for his candidacy: Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.
He has given his aides greater leeway
in directing his television advertising,
allowing the campaign to focus on that
smaller cluster of states, a change from
as recently as two weeks ago, when Mr.
Trump was personally choosing where
to run television ads, according to two
people briefed on the Trump operation.
Mr. Trump also removed the head of
his Florida operation last week, replacing her with Susie Wiles, a veteran Republican operative close to Gov. Rick
Scott. And Corey Lewandowski, Mr.
Trump’s former campaign manager,
who is still a trusted adviser, has visited
New Hampshire in recent weeks, meeting with senior Republicans there and
making suggestions on spending and
strategy decisions in the state, two
people familiar with his activities said.
more details about her physical fitness
and medical history this week, a concession to the political pressure that she is
under because she chose not to reveal
her diagnosis sooner.
But the manner in which Mrs. Clinton’s illness became public has also revived concerns among supporters, and
criticism among detractors, about her
seemingly reflexive tendency to hunker
down, often citing a ‘‘zone of privacy,’’
when she senses a political threat. Her
desire for tight control over personal information deepened during the partisan
wars of the 1990s, influenced her use of a
private email server as secretary of
state and now threatens to make her
look, again, as though she has something to hide.
‘‘Usually you would think that the
truth sets you free, but in the experiences that Hillary Clinton has lived
through, that’s not necessarily accurate,’’ said Jay Jacobs, a Democratic
Party leader in New York and close ally
of the Clintons.
Referring to 1990s investigations of
the Clintons, he said: ‘‘Whether it’s
Whitewater or Travelgate or other
things, when the facts came out, it still
didn’t solve the problem. They did nothing wrong, but there was still controversy. She is a very private person, and
she would rather not put out information that she did not feel needed to be
The new onslaught of questions
about her health and medical records
has been deeply frustrating to Mrs.
Clinton and her team, who have sought
to highlight the disparity between her
and Mr. Trump over issues of transparency.
Mrs. Clinton has released her tax returns, while Mr. Trump has not. She has
provided exhaustive details about her
policy proposals, while he has not. And
she released considerably more medical
information last year — in a letter from
her physician, Dr. Lisa R. Bardack —
than Mr. Trump did in his doctor’s letter,
which contained little more than overthe-top boasts about his ‘‘strength and
Yet as much as they want the pressure to be on Mr. Trump, Mrs. Clinton
and her advisers are now on the defensive.
‘‘She has been totally transparent on
the important issues, including public
policy ideas, far more than Trump,’’ said
former Representative Barney Frank of
Massachusetts, a longtime ally of Mrs.
Clinton’s. ‘‘But there’s also a combination of a natural desire for privacy and
the fear that information will be politically misused.’’
Mrs. Clinton has long relied on a tightknit, intensely loyal group of aides who
share her instincts for political warfare
and her skepticism and even hostility
toward calls for fuller disclosure.
Her campaign manager, Robby Mook,
said Mrs. Clinton had not wanted her illness to deter her.
‘‘She just wanted to plow through it,’’
he told MSNBC, ‘‘and I think that’s part
of what’s going to make her a great
Most voters have not been moved by
questions about Mrs. Clinton’s health:
74 percent of registered voters said they
were unconcerned about her being
healthy enough to carry out the job of
president, a Fox News poll last month
But trustworthiness is a glaring problem for Mrs. Clinton. Roughly six in 10
voters said they did not trust her, about
the same percentage who said they distrusted Mr. Trump, according to a
Washington Post/ABC News poll released last week.
Mrs. Clinton had several opportunities
before Sunday to disclose that she had
pneumonia, including one at a news conference on Friday where she discussed
her plans to defeat the Islamic State,
called for a rethinking of the Obama administration’s approach to North Korea
and ridiculed Mr. Trump’s praise for the
Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.
(At a fund-raiser that night, Mrs. Clinton, known for more calibrated phrasings, loosely suggested that half of Mr.
Trump’s supporters fell into a ‘‘basket
of deplorables’’ — bigots of one kind or
another, essentially. She apologized the
next day.)
On Sunday morning, when reporters
learned that Mrs. Clinton had departed
early from a ceremony in Lower Manhattan for the 15th anniversary of the
Sept. 11 attacks, a campaign aide said
only that she had been ‘‘overheated.’’
It was not until more than five hours
after the startling video surfaced online,
showing an ailing Mrs. Clinton being
helped into a van, that her campaign released a statement from Dr. Bardack
saying Mrs. Clinton had been told she
had pneumonia and put on antibiotics.
The events quickly intensified pressure on both Mrs. Clinton, 68, and Mr.
Trump, 70, to be more forthcoming
about their health and medical histories. Mr. Trump has said he will release
more medical information this week.
Mrs. Clinton does not plan to return to
the campaign trail until Thursday at the
earliest, advisers said.
world news
Joint push for sanctions against North Korea
ousted from
The United States and South Korea
vowed on Tuesday to push for the
‘‘strongest possible’’ resolution at the
United Nations Security Council, including new sanctions and the removal of
existing loopholes, to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test.
The top American and South Korean
envoys on North Korea expressed their
resolve during a news conference in
Seoul, the South’s capital, on Tuesday,
speaking shortly after two nuclear-capable supersonic bombers from the United
States Air Force base in Guam streaked
over the South in a show of force.
The flight by the B-1B bombers demonstrated the United States’ commitment
to providing ‘‘extended deterrence,’’ including the threat of using nuclear
weapons, to protect the South, said Gen.
Vincent K. Brooks, the top American military commander in the country. It was
also intended to help counter calls
among nationalist politicians and scholars here who contend that the South
must arm itself with nuclear weapons.
On Tuesday, Sung Kim, Washington’s
top official dealing with North Korea,
and his South Korean counterpart, Kim
Hong-kyun, reiterated that the South
did not need to build its own nuclear
bombs or to reintroduce American tactical atomic bombs that were withdrawn in the early 1990s.
Their intention was ‘‘to secure the
strongest possible resolution that includes new sanctions as quickly as possible,’’ Sung Kim said, declining to elaborate on how China, the North’s main
ally on the Security Council, would respond. ‘‘The situation requires a swift
and strong international response.’’
Kim Hong-kyun said such a resolution would seek to ‘‘close the loopholes’’
in the existing sanctions as well as to
place ‘‘pressure on North Korea from all
directions so that it will no longer be
able to operate normally in the international community.’’
Washington and Seoul insisted on
sanctions as the only option until North
Korea agreed to return to the negotiating
table with a commitment to abandoning
nuclear weapons. But the nuclear test on
Friday, the most powerful by the North
to date, and its recent flurry of missile
tests showed that despite years of sanctions, the country was advancing toward
its proclaimed goal of fitting its ballistic
missiles with nuclear warheads.
Cameron quits
seat in British
The post is ancient, and the duties are
light (nonexistent, actually). But in order to step down from his seat in the
House of Commons, David Cameron,
the former prime minister of Britain,
had to take on another position on Monday: Crown Steward and Bailiff of the
Manor of Northstead.
Under arcane parliamentary rules,
normally referred to as ‘‘taking the
Chiltern Hundreds,’’ the purely symbolic appointment provides a legal escape
hatch from the House of Commons by
disqualifying lawmakers from holding
their seats. Embracing the role has
helped many lawmakers bring down the
curtain on their careers without waiting
for the next election. In this case, it is
formally closing out a political rise and
fall defined by Mr. Cameron’s decision
to stage a referendum on European Union membership.
Mr. Cameron resigned as prime minister in June after failing to persuade
Britons to vote to remain inside the bloc.
The announcement on Monday means
that he will also give up his parliamentary seat in Witney, Oxfordshire. The seat
will be filled by a special election.
‘‘In my view, with modern politics,
with the circumstances of my resignation, it isn’t really possible to be a proper
backbench M.P. as a former prime minister,’’ Mr. Cameron told ITV News, using the abbreviation for member of Parliament. ‘‘I think everything you do will
become a big distraction and a big diversion from what the government needs
to do for our country.’’
Mr. Cameron, 49, had a swift rise
through the ranks of British politics. He
won his seat in Parliament in 2001 and
became Conservative Party leader in
2005 and prime minister in 2010, at the
head of a coalition government with the
Liberal Democrats. His administration
faced the formidable task of stabilizing
the economy after the financial crisis,
making cuts to public spending in the
Among the biggest changes ushered
in by his government was the legalization of same-sex marriage.
In the 2015 general election, Mr.
Cameron led the Conservatives to an
outright majority in the House of Commons, but he had little time to enjoy that
victory, having promised in 2013 to hold
a referendum on leaving the European
Union by the end of 2017.
Mr. Cameron favored remaining in
Europe, and when he lost the referendum, his position as prime minister became untenable.
Conservative who led
impeachment of Rousseff
is facing graft charges
A United States Air Force B-1B bomber flying over Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Tuesday. Two of the bombers were sent from Guam as a sign of American commitment to ‘‘extended deterrence.’’
The Security Council in March adopted, with Chinese support, what Washington and Seoul said was the strongest
and most effective sanctions resolution
ever against North Korea, after its
fourth nuclear test in January and its
launch of a long-range rocket the next
month. Like the previous resolutions, it
sought to undermine the North’s ability
to raise hard currency to finance its
banned weapons activities.
The resolution called for inspecting
all cargo going in and out of the country,
banning all weapons trade and expanding the list of individuals facing sanctions.
But critics identified significant loopholes. North Korea was still able to buy
oil and sell its coal and iron ore, as long
as it was not used to finance the country’s nuclear weapons program — an
activity that would be difficult to prove.
Coal and iron ore are North Korea’s
biggest exports to China, which remains
the country’s last remaining major
trade partner and whose vigorous enforcement is crucial to the success of
any sanctions. But Beijing prefers keeping a nuclear-armed North Korea afloat
as a buffer against the South and the
United States, Seoul’s military ally, to
risking the collapse of the North’s government with too-severe enforcement
of sanctions, analysts say.
The recent statistics on trade between China and North Korea, as well
as news reports from their border, indicate that the Chinese still allow a boom-
ing network of trade and smuggling
across their 870-mile frontier.
The resolution in March also did not affect tens of thousands of North Koreans
employed in factories, construction projects and logging camps in Africa, China,
the Middle East and Russia. Such workers send home $200 million to $300 million a year, most of which, human rights
groups contend, ends up in the coffers of
the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.
The resolution also did not affect
North Korean factories making clothes
on contract for Chinese companies.
Washington and Seoul said on Tuesday
that they would also try to enforce new
bilateral sanctions against North Korea.
But both have so few trade and other
transactions there that their actions
would be largely symbolic, analysts said.
Siegfried S. Hecker, an American nuclear expert at Stanford University, said
the latest nuclear test by the North must
be viewed with great concern, given
what he called its growing ability to secure nuclear bomb fuel.
North Korea’s capacity to produce
plutonium remains limited to 13 pounds,
or approximately one bomb’s worth, a
year, he wrote in a paper posted on the
website 38 North, which focuses on the
country. While the nation’s capacity to
produce highly enriched uranium, an alternative bomb fuel, remained highly
uncertain, he said the North could add
330 pounds of it, about six bombs’ worth,
a year to a current stockpile of perhaps
660 pounds to 880 pounds.
Brazil’s lower house of Congress voted
overwhelmingly late Monday night to
expel the conservative lawmaker who
led the charge to oust Dilma Rousseff,
Brazil’s former president, reflecting how
on edge the country’s political class remains over colossal corruption scandals.
The chamber voted 450 to 10 to strip
the lawmaker, Eduardo Cunha, of his
seat as he faces a trial on graft charges.
As a result, Mr. Cunha, 57, an evangelical Christian radio commentator who
was the speaker of the lower house,
loses the broad legal privileges that normally protect federal legislators from
The expulsion of Mr. Cunha from the
chamber he once deftly commanded,
ranking him among Brazil’s most
powerful politicians just a few months
ago, shows that the political turmoil is
far from settled. The new administration
of President Michel Temer, the former
vice president who broke with Ms.
Rousseff, is grappling with low approval
ratings, street protests and claims that it
is trying to stifle corruption inquiries.
Mr. Cunha faces an array of corruption charges, making him a symbol of
the widespread graft and impunity in
Brazil’s political system. Federal investigators say he took as much as $40 million in bribes, laundering the money
through an evangelical megachurch
while squirreling away millions in Swiss
bank accounts.
‘‘It’s not me who says that Cunha is a
criminal,’’ said Jean Wyllys, a socially
liberal lawmaker who is among Mr.
Cunha’s most prominent opponents.
‘‘It’s the prosecutor general of the republic in his indictment. And I agree with it.’’
Eduardo Cunha increasingly found himself
shunned by his colleagues in Congress.
After losing the vote, Mr. Cunha is expected to be made ineligible to run for
office for eight years.
Even as he battled bribery charges,
Mr. Cunha was arguably the top ally of
Mr. Temer in seeking to impeach Ms.
Rousseff on charges of manipulating the
federal budget to conceal economic
problems. Unlike Mr. Cunha and dozens
of others in Congress who maneuvered
to drive her from office, Ms. Rousseff remains rare among senior political figures in that she has not been accused of
illegally enriching herself.
Mr. Cunha, who frequently quotes
from the Bible on social media, has repeatedly insisted that he is innocent. But
as a prominent member of Mr. Temer’s
centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, which is plagued by various
other graft scandals, Mr. Cunha steadily
found himself shunned by his fellow lawmakers in the capital, Brasília.
Various legislators in the lower house
vented their ire against Mr. Cunha on
Monday night. Clarissa Garotinho, a
lawmaker from Rio de Janeiro, called
him a ‘‘psychopath to the point of believing his own lies.’’
Investigators raised pressure on Mr.
Cunha by charging his wife, Cláudia
Cruz, a former journalist, in the corruption case after evidence showed that a
secret Swiss bank account linked to Mr.
Cunha was in her name. Prosecutors
found that the couple had used their
holdings for tennis lessons in Florida,
jaunts to luxury hotels in Dubai, in the
United Arab Emirates, and in Paris, and
shopping sprees at Giorgio Armani and
Ermenegildo Zegna boutiques.
Ms. Cruz, 49, said over the weekend
that she was not afraid of going to prison
if she is convicted of corruption charges.
‘‘I didn’t do anything for which I should
be jailed,’’ she told the SBT television
network, contending that investigators
had invaded her privacy.
Brazil’s Supreme Court dealt a blow to
Mr. Cunha in May when it removed him
from his daily duties as speaker of the
lower house. Still, he continued to influence the workings of the chamber behind the scenes, defiantly remaining in a
palatial residence paid for by taxpayers.
After he resigned as speaker in July,
Mr. Cunha vowed to keep fighting to
clear his name and remain in the political arena. ‘‘Politics is the only activity
where you can die and be resuscitated
numerous times,’’ he told reporters in
recent days. ‘‘I’ve lived through many
things, seen a lot of things. This is like a
seesaw. It doesn’t worry me.’’
Paula Moura contributed reporting
from São Paulo, Brazil.
world news
Delayed Zika results fuel anxiety in Florida
Pregnant women take up
state’s free test offer but
then face a wait of weeks
criticized for
online video
So many pregnant women have taken
advantage of Florida’s offer of free Zika
testing that state laboratories have
been unable to keep pace, doctors and
patients say, leading to long delays for
women anxious to know whether the virus has passed to their fetuses.
The delays began with a well-intentioned and much-applauded offer. On
Aug. 3, Gov. Rick Scott announced that
the state would provide the costly Zika
tests to all pregnant women, a move intended to quell fears and allow low-income or uninsured women to be tested.
Babies infected with Zika can be born
with microcephaly, a devastating brain
malformation, or with eye and ear defects.
‘‘We’re ramping that up across the
entire state,’’ Mr. Scott said at the time.
But hundreds of women in MiamiDade County, where Zika is spreading,
have been waiting weeks for state results on the same kinds of tests that
private laboratories are turning around
in three to seven days, doctors said. For
some women, the delays could complicate already distressing decisions about
whether to terminate their pregnancies
if they test positive. Florida forbids
abortions after 24 weeks.
State health officials declined to say
how many tests had been done, provide a
reason for the delay or explain how they
planned to remedy it. But doctors and researchers attributed some of the delay to
a lack of resources, with not enough staff
members to analyze the test results.
Acknowledging the delays, Dr. Lillian
Rivera, the Florida Health Department
administrator for Miami-Dade County,
told a panel of Zika experts from the
University of Miami last week that the
reasons were complicated.
Sometimes, she said, ‘‘tests are done
and have been delivered, and sometimes there are bureaucratic reasons;
they are in someone’s computer or fax
machine.’’ The state has contracts for
some of the work with two major private
laboratories, LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, she said.
In a small number of Florida cases,
the long wait can be traced to a final
cumbersome test that must be analyzed
by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention or an approved laboratory
to confirm the presence of the virus.
For many women, the delays have
added to the stress of pregnancy.
‘‘It worries me because I just want to
know and I want to make sure the baby
is healthy and everything is O.K.,’’ said
Aileen Perez, 31, a nurse practitioner
who is 20 weeks pregnant and has been
waiting nearly five weeks for her results. Ms. Perez, though, said she was
confident that her results would come
back negative because she had been
very careful — wearing long sleeves,
applying repellent and staying indoors
as much as possible.
The Health Department said in a
Fire at mosque
where Orlando
killer worshiped
The members of the Islamic Center of
Fort Pierce had broken their fasts and
left the mosque near Florida’s eastern
shoreline. In the waning minutes of Sunday, less than an hour later, a surveillance camera recorded a man as he approached the mosque. Then came a
flash as flames damaged the house of
worship where the man who attacked an
Orlando, Fla., nightclub often prayed.
The authorities, including the F.B.I.
and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives, were investigating the fire as a potential hate crime,
even as officials cautioned that they remained uncertain about the motive.
The blaze occurred on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and nearly three months after
Omar Mateen opened fire at the Pulse
nightclub in Orlando. It also happened
around the beginning of Eid al-Adha, a
Muslim holiday.
No one was injured in the attack.
A spokesman for the St. Lucie County
Sheriff’s Office, Bryan Beaty, declined
to discuss whether Mr. Mateen’s ties to
the mosque might have prompted the
The Sunni mosque has drawn attention as a place where young men who
staged attacks had worshiped. In addition to Mr. Mateen, who was killed during the siege at Pulse, which left 49 other
people dead, the Islamic Center was a
frequent stop for Moner Mohammad
Abusalha, who carried out a 2014 suicide
bombing in Syria.
In June, the Islamic Center’s imam,
Syed Shafeeq Rahman, distanced himself
and the mosque from Mr. Mateen.
‘‘There is nothing that he is hearing
from me to do killing, to do bloodshed, to
do anything, because we never talk like
that,’’ the imam said of Mr. Mateen.
Israel’s prime minister
alleges that Palestinians
support ethnic cleansing
Unique Robinson, who is pregnant, being tested for the Zika virus in Hollywood, Fla. Long waits for test results can complicate decisions including whether to terminate their pregnancies.
‘‘It worries me because I just
want to know and I want to
make sure the baby is healthy
and everything is O.K.’’
statement that more than 6,649 people
had been tested for Zika statewide as of
Monday. So far, 86 pregnant women in
the state have tested positive. In all, 771
Florida residents have tested positive
for the virus; most were infected while
traveling abroad.
The long waits for pregnant women in
Florida come as Congress continues to
argue over a bill that would inject $1.1
billion into efforts to prevent Zika, test
for the virus and develop a vaccine. Congress left for its August recess after the
bill stalled in the House as Republicans
and Democrats clashed over a measure
that would exclude Planned Parenthood
from the list of providers designated to
combat the virus.
Some doctors worry that the backlog
could get worse. Doctors recommend
that pregnant women receive a Zika test
every trimester, and obstetricians in
Miami-Dade County say that many of
their patients will soon need to be retested without knowing the initial results.
Dr. Christine Curry, an obstetrician at
the University of Miami Health System,
which is a partner with Miami’s only
public hospital, and a director of the university’s Zika response team, said she
had 400 pregnant patients who were
waiting for results, some for as long as
six weeks. Doctors and pathologists are
urging that Florida increase the number
of tests they are sending to private labs
to be processed, which would take some
of the pressure off the state.
‘‘Anyone waiting four weeks, who is
pregnant, that is a really long time,’’ Dr.
Curry said. ‘‘It’s really stressful for
them. The first ones we tested were in
August, and they came back for the next
appointment saying, ‘Where is my test
Dr. Curry said the governor’s offer
was significant because it gave low-income pregnant women or uninsured
women a chance to be tested, but she
said the state had not been able to cope
with the numbers rushing to be tested.
Private tests range from $120 to $750.
Mr. Scott’s offer was ‘‘awesome,’’ Dr.
Curry said, ‘‘but a mandate without resources is hollow.’’
In her office at Jackson Memorial
Hospital, Miami’s largest public hospital, the number of women seeking the
test rose from one or two a day to 10 or
20 a day, or more, she said.
Dr. Ellen Schwartzbard, an obstetri-
cian at South Miami Hospital, said she
had encountered similar problems.
While most of her patients choose to go
to private labs, 20 of the women who relied on free public testing are waiting for
results four weeks later.
‘‘There is definitely a level of frustration,’’ she said. ‘‘This lag time of four to
five weeks can impact the patients’ decisions to terminate the pregnancy because now they are further along in
their pregnancies. Unfortunately, there
is no control over the situation.’’
Pathologists said the backlog had
grown tremendously, raising fears that
if locally acquired Zika cases spread to
other counties in Florida, the wait would
grow considerably. Dr. David M. Anderson, the medical director of Pathology
Laboratories at Jackson Memorial Hospital, said the hospital was waiting for
the results of 800 to 900 specimens
tested for Zika.
Part of the backlog stems from the
cumbersome testing process. Most
people must undergo a series of tests to
either rule out or confirm they have the
virus. There is no one simple diagnostic
test that does this, a complaint of doctors and researchers who are pushing
for funding to develop a simpler, less
costly kind of antibody test.
The first blood or urine test, the PCR,
is relatively straightforward but is ef-
fective only if a person currently has the
infection, which stays in the body for
about two weeks. A negative result requires a patient to move on to an antibody test called IgM, which can show if
someone has had the virus in the last 12
weeks. Both of those tests take only
hours to process, and private labs have
a turnaround time of a week or less.
Quest plans to offer the IgM test, which
LabCorp already offers, in the next few
But if someone tests positive on the
antibody test — and many do not — a
more complicated antibody test typically follows, one that is conducted only
by the C.D.C. or a C.D.C.-approved lab.
This test pinpoints whether the antibody is related to Zika, and not dengue
or Chikungunya. If the test is sent from
an outside lab, it can take as long as five
weeks to confirm results and deliver
them because the test is complicated,
said a C.D.C. spokesman, Benjamin
Mr. Haynes said there was no backlog
for this kind of testing at the C.D.C. The
C.D.C. has performed the antibody test
this year on 3,500 samples, all but a few
from the United States mainland. Some
are from Puerto Rico.
‘‘Faster and better diagnostics is high
on the list’’ of priorities, said Dr. Rivera,
the Health Department administrator.
Goalball players must listen hard to make catch
crouch to dive in front of the ball.
When teams play Lithuania and
Pavliukianec, those cues arrive just a bit
Through Monday’s games, including
Lithuania’s 9-6 win over China, Pavliukianec had scored 19 goals. No one
else had more than 13. He was replaced
after 15 minutes — matches last 24 — in
an opening 13-6 victory against Finland,
presumably out of mercy; Pavliukianec
had scored seven of Lithuania’s first 10
goals. Two days later, on Saturday, he
added six against the United States, including the decisive tally with just over
two minutes remaining in an 8-7 thriller.
‘‘I don’t do rankings of the players,’’
Lithuania’s coach, Karolis Levickis,
said through an interpreter when asked
to assess Pavliukianec’s place in the
sport. ‘‘But it’s like a card game. Each
player is like a different card, and he is
the highest card.’’
Goalball has a small but devoted following in Lithuania, where Pavliukianec and his teammates train in a high
school gym. It has a court, complete
with raised lines that notify players
where they are, that has been adapted
for goalball, which emerged from the
darkness of World War II as equal parts
rehabilitation and pastime for visually
impaired veterans in Europe.
It has since spread to all corners of the
world, from Oman to Venezuela, Malaysia to Belgium, though Lithuania’s status
as a power has not wavered. Most elite
nations, United States Coach Mike Lege
said, have one standout player. For almost two decades, that player for
Lithuania has been Pavliukianec, 40, who
has won two Paralympic silver medals —
in 2000 in Sydney and in 2008 in Beijing —
but covets the gold that has eluded him.
At Future Arena on Saturday, the
boisterous Brazilian spectators urged
Pavliukianec on, chanting his name during breaks in action — and only then.
Since players need total silence to pick
up their auditory cues during competition, noise is strictly prohibited while
the ball is in play.
Mantas Brazauskis of Lithuania, center, making a block in the second half of a goalball match at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The pace is fast. From the time a ball
makes contact with the defense, a team
has only 10 seconds to shoot. Pavliukianec plays on the left wing, where he
likes to fire crosscourt shots, hard and
low, into the far corner. Even if they
make a save, his teammates tend to give
the ball back to Pavliukianec. Against
the United States, he took 53 of
Lithuania’s 92 shots, and all four of its
Unlike some players who rotate their
whole bodies before unleashing the ball,
as if throwing a discus, Pavliukianec
takes a few short steps, then does a
quarter-turn, generating tremendous
torque. Levickis was reluctant to discuss Pavliukianec’s technique other
than to compare it to that of a javelin
thrower, who runs to gather momentum
before releasing the javelin.
‘‘It’s a gift,’’ Levickis said.
Speaking through an interpreter,
Pavliukianec deflected most questions
about himself. He said he did not think
he had played well against the Americans. He said that he had a friendly relationship with some opponents, especially those from Ukraine and Finland,
but that no one had ever commented on
his velocity.
As to how he polished that skill, he
said: ‘‘There’s nothing very special.
Just training.’’
Pavliukianec has been just training
since 1991, he said, when he learned to
play goalball at a school for the visually
The game changed his life, but it is not
a full-time job. A technical guru, he
works with audiobooks. In his spare
time, he likes crafting objects from
Usually that means toys for his
daughter, but recently he constructed a
table and benches. It should come as no
surprise that he did it fast, he did it accurately and he did it well.
In the absence of any prospect of peace
with the Palestinians, Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has started a video war.
His latest, and so far the most provocative, two-minute video in a recent
series is titled ‘‘No Jews.’’ In the video,
Mr. Netanyahu accuses the Palestinian
leadership of demanding a Jew-free Palestinian state by opposing Israeli settlements in the West Bank. He adds,
‘‘There’s a phrase for that: It’s called
ethnic cleansing.’’
A storm of international and domestic
criticism followed the release of the
video on Friday, with some calling Mr.
Netanyahu’s arguments divisive and
delusional. The American State Department described the language in the
video as ‘‘inappropriate and unhelpful’’
and said it had taken the issue directly
to the Israeli government.
But many have cheered for him, saying Mr. Netanyahu is exposing the hypocrisy of Israel’s detractors, whose
concern for human rights, they feel,
seems to apply only to the Palestinians.
Days after the release of the video, Israelis and Palestinians were still debating the effects of Mr. Netanyahu’s ‘‘hasbara’’ offensive, using a Hebrew term
for pro-Israeli advocacy. Was Mr. Netanyahu destroying Israel’s international relations, ties already strained over
the continued settlement construction
in the Israeli-occupied West Bank that
much of the world considers illegitimate? Or was he a public relations genius, using the world stage to score
points with his home audience?
‘‘There is something ridiculous about
Netanyahu’s claim against ‘ethnic
cleansing of Jews,’’’ Ben-Dror Yemini, a
political columnist often critical of Israel’s opponents, wrote in Monday’s edition of the newspaper Yediot Aharonot.
Mr. Yemini wrote that population
transfers were historically intended to
ensure the right of self-determination
and to establish nation states. He maintained that Mr. Netanyahu had turned
that concept on its head. Israelis settling
in the heart of Arab-populated areas of
the West Bank were, he wrote, ‘‘the antithesis of the idea of self-determination
and a Jewish and democratic nation
state, because instead of separation
there is a mix-up of hostile populations.’’
Xavier Abu Eid, an adviser to the Pal-
‘‘Inappropriate and
estine Liberation Organization in the
West Bank, said, ‘‘We are not against
people of any religion living in the state
of Palestine.’’
He described Mr. Netanyahu’s use of
the ‘‘religion card’’ as dangerous,
adding, ‘‘There is a difference between
settlers living in exclusive communities
on stolen land and someone who is living in the country as a citizen like anybody else.’’
Mr. Abu Eid said that some American
and Israeli Jews were already living in
areas of the West Bank under Palestinian control. He said that his neighbors in
Ramallah included Christians, Muslims,
a Druse family from Golan Heights and
a Jewish woman.
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud
Abbas, in his greeting late Sunday for
Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday, accused Israel of its own ethnic cleansing.
He has made that claim before, including at the United Nations.
Mr. Netanyahu’s latest video, recorded in English with versions that have
Hebrew or Arabic subtitles, already has
more than a million views between his
Facebook page and the Facebook page
of the Israeli prime minister’s office,
and even more through other social networks and news media coverage.
‘‘The prime minister is twinning his
powerful message with powerful technology to spread the truth farther and
faster,’’ said David Keyes, Mr. Netanyahu’s recently appointed foreign media adviser.
Answering questions by WhatsApp,
Mr. Keyes, who is credited with orchestrating the video campaign, said the
eight videos produced so far had over 42
million views. He added that Mr. Netanyahu has been making the same points
raised in the video for decades, including in his book, ‘‘A Durable Peace.’’
Many Israelis were baffled by the timing of the video, given that Israel and the
United States are close to signing a significant new aid package. In response to
this concern, Mr. Keyes said, ‘‘Is there a
bad time to criticize ethnic cleansing?’’
Mr. Keyes did not answer a question
about the status the prime minister envisioned for Jews living in a future Palestinian state: as Palestinian citizens or Israeli citizens under military protection.
Israeli analysts have described the
videos as an attempt by Mr. Netanyahu
to distract Israelis from his slipping
popularity and the police inquiries
plaguing him and his family.
world news
In 1960s,
advocates of
sugar shifted
blame to fat
search activities,’’ the Sugar Association statement said. Even so, it defended industry-funded research as playing
an important and informative role in scientific debate. It said that several decades of research had concluded that
sugar ‘‘does not have a unique role in
heart disease.’’
The revelations are important because the debate about the relative
harms of sugar and saturated fat continues today, Dr. Glantz said. For many decades, health officials encouraged
Americans to reduce their fat intake,
which led many people to consume lowfat, high-sugar foods that some experts
now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.
‘‘It was a very smart thing the sugar
industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a
very prominent journal, tend to shape
the overall scientific discussion,’’ he
Dr. Hegsted used his research to influence the government’s dietary recommendations, which emphasized saturated fat as a driver of heart disease
while largely characterizing sugar as
empty calories linked to tooth decay.
Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s
dietary guidelines, though in recent
years the American Heart Association,
the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to
warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.
Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at
New York University, wrote an editorial
accompanying the new paper in which
she said the documents provided ‘‘compelling evidence’’ that the sugar industry had initiated research ‘‘expressly to
exonerate sugar as a major risk factor
for coronary heart disease.’’
‘‘I think it’s appalling,’’ she said. ‘‘You
just never see examples that are this
‘‘Review papers, especially if
you get them published in a
very prominent journal, tend
to shape the overall scientific
Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard T.H.
Chan School of Public Health, said that
academic conflict-of-interest rules had
changed significantly since the 1960s
but that the industry papers were a reminder of ‘‘why research should be supported by public funding rather than depending on industry funding.’’
Dr. Willett said the researchers had
limited data to assess the relative risks
of sugar and fat. ‘‘Given the data that we
have today, we have shown the refined
carbohydrates and especially sugarsweetened beverages are risk factors
for cardiovascular disease, but that the
type of dietary fat is also very important,’’ he said.
The JAMA paper relied on thousands
of pages of correspondence and other
documents that Cristin E. Kearns, a
postdoctoral fellow at U.C.S.F., discovered in archives at Harvard, the University of Illinois and other libraries.
The documents show that in 1964,
John Hickson, a top sugar industry executive, discussed a plan with others in
the industry to shift public opinion
‘‘through our research and information
and legislative programs.’’
At the time, studies had begun pointing to a relationship between high-sugar diets and the country’s high rates of
heart disease. At the same time, other
scientists, including the prominent Minnesota physiologist Ancel Keys, were
investigating a competing theory that it
was saturated fat and dietary cholesterol that posed the biggest risk for heart
Mr. Hickson proposed countering the
alarming findings on sugar with industry-funded research. ‘‘Then we can publish the data and refute our detractors,’’
he wrote.
In 1965, Mr. Hickson enlisted the Harvard researchers to write a review that
would debunk the anti-sugar studies.
He paid them a total of $6,500, the equivalent of $49,000 today. Mr. Hickson selected the papers for them to review and
made it clear he wanted the result to favor sugar.
Harvard’s Dr. Hegsted reassured the
sugar executives. ‘‘We are well aware of
your particular interest,’’ he wrote,
‘‘and will cover this as well as we can.’’
As they worked on their review, the
Harvard researchers shared and discussed early drafts with Mr. Hickson,
who responded that he was pleased
with what they were writing. The Harvard scientists had dismissed the data
on sugar as weak and given far more
credence to the data implicating saturated fat.
‘‘Let me assure you this is quite what
we had in mind, and we look forward to
its appearance in print,’’ Mr. Hickson
After the review was published, the
debate about sugar and heart disease
died down, while low-fat diets gained
the endorsement of many health authorities, Dr. Glantz said.
‘‘By today’s standards, they behaved
very badly,’’ he said.
A wedding at a Khmer Rouge prison in 1976. An inquiry into the regime’s crimes has turned to its marriage regulations.
A woman testified last month that a local Khmer Rouge chief had raped her when she resisted a marriage in 1977.
Tribunal is told of Khmer Rouge forced marriages
acquaintances rather than strangers.
Some couples managed to find mutual
compassion under the coercion, and
built relationships that endured. Others
continue to lead lives of quiet regret over
the choices that were taken from them.
Prosecutors have estimated, tentatively, that as many as several hundred
thousand people were married in
Khmer Rouge ceremonies between 1975
and 1979, though there have been no reliable surveys. The Khmer Rouge’s
stated policy was to increase the country’s population, and in a society with a
tradition of arranged marriage, the regime assumed the role of parent to an
entire people as part of its utopian project to remake Cambodia.
It held group weddings across the
country, but without the customary
Buddhist rituals and blessings from relatives and neighbors.
Lawyers for the regime’s two surviving leaders, Khieu Samphan, 85, the head
of state, and Nuon Chea, 90, the group’s
chief ideologue, challenge the notion that
the marriage regulations were inherently coercive. The defense has yet to
present its case, but at least one lawyer
has intimated that Khmer Rouge marriages were simply a variation on common, traditional arranged marriages.
And any coercion or sexual abuse that
occurred, both men’s defense teams have
suggested, was the result of decisions by
midlevel Khmer cadres, not state policy.
The tribunal was established in 2006
to examine the effects of the Khmer
Rouge’s radical policies, which historians say resulted in the deaths of some
1.7 million people.
In 2014, Mr. Khieu Samphan and Mr.
Nuon Chea were each sentenced to life
in prison, primarily for crimes committed during the regime’s drive to move
people out of cities to work in rural communes. That judgment is under appeal,
and the court has moved on to crimes at
detention centers and forced labor sites,
and against two ethnic minority groups.
The charge of forced marriage was included late in the development of the
sprawling indictment, at the insistence
of victims’ lawyers and women’s rights
groups pushing for greater recognition
of sexual violence and gender-based
abuses in international criminal law.
But the tribunal has heard evidence of
the policy’s effects on men as well.
One man with broad shoulders and a
deep frown, known as 2-TCCP-232, told
the tribunal how he had been forced to
marry someone other than his fiancée.
Speaking with his head down, he recalled that they had worked in separate
mobile units in the same district, digging canals and carrying dirt. But they
Killing of family in China
stirs debate about poverty
The young mother lived in obscurity in a
wobbly house at the end of a dusty road.
She did not speak much with strangers,
spending her days tending to rows of
wheat, peas and potatoes.
Then, one day in late August, everyone in Agu Shan Village in northwestern
China seemed to know her name: Yang
Gailan. Ms. Yang, 28, was found dead
outdoors alongside her children, three
girls and a boy, all under 7 years old. The
authorities said Ms. Yang killed herself
after poisoning her children with pesticides and attacking them with an ax.
The gruesome story, which was
widely shared across social media over
the weekend, has ignited concerns
across China about the grim realities
facing many rural families, as more
people leave the countryside for jobs in
big cities.
It has also prompted a debate about
inequality in Chinese society and the effectiveness of government efforts to reduce poverty, which President Xi Jinping has vowed to eliminate over the
next four years.
Ms. Yang was struggling to support
her children on the roughly $500 sent
home each year by her husband, Li Keying, a migrant worker in a nearby city in
Gansu Province, Chinese news reports
said. (Mr. Li was found dead this month,
apparently a suicide.)
Adding to frustrations about the case,
local officials reportedly stripped Ms.
Yang of welfare benefits two years ago
because she did not meet the official
• An article in some Saturday-Sunday
editions about North Korea’s latest nuclear test misidentified the South
Korean city that is home to the Sejong
Institute. It is in Seongnam, not Seoul.
• An article on Friday about the differing business strategies of Michael Dell
and Meg Whitman misquoted Mr. Dell
in one instance. Referring to the prospects of Dell Technologies, the company
formed by the merger of his computer
business and the data storage company
EMC, he said: ‘‘Things are going well
on a relative basis,’’ not ‘‘Things are going well on a personal basis.’’
• Because of an editing error, an article
on Thursday about no-ad scoring and
other timesaving measures in tennis
misstated the day Bob and Mike Bryan
lost in the men’s doubles tournament at
the United States Open. It was on Tuesday, not the previous Friday.
• A picture caption in the Sept. 3-4 issue
with an article about Boulder, Colo., described a house in the city incorrectly.
The house was the setting of the ‘‘Mork
standard for poverty, which in China applies to people earning less than $350
per year.
‘‘When a person commits a crime for
bread, then society is to blame,’’ one
user wrote on Weibo, China’s version of
Others, though, said it was Ms. Yang’s
responsibility to care for her family.
After years of breakneck economic
growth, China faces rampant inequality.
Village life is rapidly deteriorating, and
more than 82 million people, a vast majority of them in rural areas, still lived on
less than $1 a day in 2014.
Hu Xingdou, a professor at the Beijing
Institute of Technology, said village officials often neglected needy families in
doling out welfare benefits.
‘‘Sometimes people who deserve it
don’t get it because the policy lacks
transparency and justice,’’ Professor
Hu said.
Officials in Agu Shan Village, home to
nearly 300 people, could not be reached
for comment.
Ms. Yang’s story gained prominence
after a report last week by China Youth
Daily, a state-run news outlet. The article said that on Aug. 26, Ms. Yang left
home with her children, telling relatives
she was going to check on the family’s
Li Keyi, 21, a cousin of Ms. Yang’s husband, celebrated the Lunar New Year
with the family in Agu Shan Village last
year. In an interview on Monday, he said
that even though the family did not live
comfortably, Ms. Yang had encouraged
him to stay and eat.
‘‘I couldn’t find a family that was
poorer than they were,’’ he said.
and Mindy’’ TV show, not the residence
of the poet Allen Ginsberg.
• An article on Aug. 30 about user-generated websites referred incorrectly to
fake reviews on Yelp. Businesses featured on the site — not Yelp itself — solicited the fake reviews.
• An article on Aug. 24 about classical
music events in night clubs referred incorrectly to admission fees at events organized by Groupmuse in Boston. A $10
minimum donation for the players is solicited at the event; the fees are not voluntary.
• Because of an editing error, an article
in some Aug. 13-14 editions about a ban
on the wearing of the full-body coverings nicknamed burkinis on the beaches
of Cannes, France, referred imprecisely
to French restrictions on clothing. A
2010 law that bans the wearing of most
face coverings in public does not make
any reference to religion, but the law
has been widely interpreted to apply to
burqas and niqabs, two garments often
worn by Muslim women.
were politically suspect because he had
been a police officer, and some of her
relatives had been ‘‘smashed’’ — taken
away and presumably executed — as
enemies of the revolution, he said.
A unit chief warned that he, too, would
be smashed if he tried to marry his fiancée. When he was told one day in 1978
that the Khmer Rouge would arrange a
family for him, he did not dare protest. A
group wedding was held, in the dark, for
about 50 men and 50 women.
Some, perhaps people ‘‘with good biographies,’’ seemed to have some say in
choosing their partners, he said. But
that night, he was afraid to even look at
the woman he was marrying. They were
couple No. 42.
The next night, they were directed to a
flimsy shack. ‘‘We treated each other
like brother and sister,’’ he said. ‘‘I did
not touch her.’’ They were too exhausted
to have sex, he said. He still had not seen
her face. ‘‘It was only in the morning that
we could see each other clearly,’’ he said.
And then they were sent back to work.
Some academics say the Khmer
Rouge’s regulation of marriage was intended to attack traditional Cambodian
belief systems. Peg LeVine, a medical
anthropologist and fellow at the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation’s Center for Advanced Genocide
Research, said it ‘‘broke down, mutated
and eroded the ancestral rituals that
Cambodians practice to placate the spirit world.’’
But Anta Guissé, a lawyer representing Mr. Khieu Samphan, said in an email
that the government’s regulations explicitly required bride, groom and the
community to agree to any marriage.
‘‘The variety of ways in which marriage was handled in different areas is a
revealing sign of that,’’ she said.
One of Mr. Nuon Chea’s lawyers, Liv
Sovanna, sought to portray sexual abuse
as a violation of state policy rather than
the result of it. He argued in court that
the Khmer Rouge had held officials to a
strict code of conduct, and he read from
a provision known as Code 6, which condemned immoral behavior and stated,
‘‘Do not take liberties with women.’’
Questioning the woman who said she
had been raped by a local chief for refusing to consummate her marriage, Mr.
Liv Sovanna asked if she understood
that rape was a serious offense under
the Khmer Rouge.
‘‘Of course it was a serious offense,’’
she replied, unfazed. ‘‘But who could I
tell? If I told anyone, I would be dead.
Nobody could help me. He was a person
in authority.’’
And yet, she testified to staying with
the husband selected by the local chief,
partly at the insistence of relatives, long
after Vietnamese forces ousted the
Khmer Rouge in 1979.
In 2014, the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization, a nongovernmental
group providing mental health support
for survivors of the Khmer Rouge era,
interviewed 106 victims formally participating in the court proceedings. Most
said they had refused a Khmer Rouge
wedding at least once, but nearly all
said they had married in the end, most
after being threatened.
About half said they remained in their
marriages from the Khmer Rouge era,
most of them because they had come to
feel sympathy or affection for their
spouses. Some couples held a second
wedding, this time in keeping with
Buddhist tradition.
The man forced to marry a woman
whose face he did not know, 2-TCCP-232,
also stayed with his wife after the fall of
the regime. But he could not forget his
first love.
He told the court about meeting his fiancée later.
‘‘I took her hand,’’ he told the court.
‘‘We embraced. We wept. And we told
each other that in this life we needed to
do good deeds — because maybe it was
bad deeds in our previous lives that had
kept us apart, and so if we did good
deeds in this life, maybe in a future one
we could be together.’’
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How to stop North Korea
DEAN BAQUET, Executive Editor
STEPHEN DUNBAR-JOHNSON, President, International
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PHILIP P. PAN, Editor, Asia
CHANTAL BONETTI, V.P., International Human Resources
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PATRICE MONTI, V.P., International Circulation
JAMES DAO, Deputy Editorial Page Editor
HELENA PHUA, Executive V.P., Asia-Pacific
TERRY TANG, Deputy Editorial Page Editor
SUZANNE YVERNÈS, International Chief Financial Officer
MARK THOMPSON, Chief Executive Officer, The New York Times Company
STEPHEN DUNBAR-JOHNSON, Président et Directeur de la Publication
It would be a
mistake for
the United
States to lift
all remaining
sanctions on
When Myanmar’s leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, meets
with President Obama and members of Congress in Washington this week, one of the items for discussion will be
easing the remaining American sanctions on Myanmar.
That may be a tempting move, given recent efforts by Ms.
Aung San Suu Kyi to end ethnic conflict and the persecution of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group, but it
would be a mistake to lift all remaining sanctions now.
Myanmar has made important progress on democratic
reform, culminating with the victory of Ms. Aung San Suu
Kyi’s party last November in the country’s first free election in a quarter century. And Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has
taken steps to heal Myanmar’s ethnic divisions. On Aug. 31,
she convened a peace conference to bring together the
country’s armed ethnic groups in hopes of ending decades
of conflict. This month, at the invitation of her government,
a team led by Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, began looking into the plight of the Rohingya.
This is an important step given Myanmar’s dismal human rights record. The oppression of the Rohingya, who
are deprived of basic rights, including citizenship and
freedom to worship and marry, is appalling. More than
120,000 Rohingya remain detained in government camps.
Thousands have fled the country, many into the hands of
traffickers. The use of forced labor in Myanmar, including
sex trafficking, is widespread. In June, the Obama administration listed Myanmar among the world’s worst
offenders in human trafficking.
Unfortunately, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s new government
has limited ability to tackle these problems because it is
hobbled by the country’s 2008 Constitution, which gives
Myanmar’s military the upper hand by reserving a quarter
of the seats in Parliament for the military, empowering the
military to appoint the ministers of defense, home affairs
and border affairs, and to dissolve the government during
a national emergency. Secretary of State John Kerry
warned in May that the key to lifting the remaining sanctions is “the current Constitution. It needs to be changed.”
Apparently, some of Myanmar’s lawmakers agree, and
they believe that sanctions are still needed to keep the
pressure on military leaders. Last month, U Hla Moe, a
senior official in Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, explained
that “the sanctions are imposed for those who are obstructions to the country’s democratic movements.”
The Obama administration has progressively eased
sanctions as Myanmar has moved toward democracy. In
May, the administration lifted a broad range of sanctions,
including against state-run banks and businesses. But,
until there is constitutional reform that can deliver a durable democracy without military control, the remaining
bans on trade and investment with Myanmar’s Department of Defense, armed groups and individuals who do
business with the military, including in the lucrative gems
trade, should remain in place.
willingness to
release their
health histories is as important a test
of transparency as other
forms of disclosure.
As President Obama’s graying hair suggests, the American presidency is perhaps the most grueling and stressful
political job there is. This year, both major party candidates for that job are past the nation’s customary retirement age. And while submitting health records is not a
requirement for the job, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
would be doing American voters a great service by furnishing a much clearer picture of their physical health
than the abbreviated and sunny reports provided so far.
What brings the health issue to mind, of course, is the
video of a stumbling Mrs. Clinton being hustled away from
the 9/11 memorial service in New York on Sunday. She
reappeared some two hours later to say she felt great.
Hours later, her doctor issued a statement saying Mrs.
Clinton had been suffering from pneumonia.
Mrs. Clinton has released more information about her
health than Mr. Trump has about his. Mr. Trump’s evaluation consists largely of a terse and bizarre report written
by Dr. Harold Bornstein, his gastroenterologist, who, after
a brief examination, said that if elected Mr. Trump, a selfprofessed fast-food addict, “will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” Mrs. Clinton’s record,
consisting mainly of a letter written by her personal physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack, on July 28, 2015, is more than a
year old and, while acknowledging her problem with blood
clots, could use some updating.
On Monday, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton said she
would release additional health information in coming
days. For his part, Mr. Trump said he would make public
“very, very specific” records, a remarkable promise coming from someone who has resolutely stonewalled on his
tax returns. Should both candidates honor these pledges,
and provide plenty of detail, the winners will be the voters.
Joel S. Wit
WASHINGTON It’s been a banner year
for North Korea. The government in
Pyongyang has already conducted 17
missile tests and two nuclear tests,
including the most recent nuclear
explosion on Friday. And there are still
three and a half months left in 2016.
Satellite photos of North Korea’s
nuclear test site indicate that at least
three more tests are possible at a
moment’s notice. Since North Koreans
often celebrate important dates with
spectacular shows, the approaching
10th anniversary of its first nuclear
detonation on Oct. 9 might be the
perfect occasion.
Even more alarming is that at this
rate, Pyongyang may be able to deploy
more powerful nuclear weapons and
more dangerous delivery systems
more quickly than previously expected. Last year, researchers at the
institute where I work concluded that
by 2020 North Korea could field an
intercontinental ballistic missile able to
reach the United States. But if Pyongyang tests the missile that has appeared in recent military parades, it
could be sooner. The simple hydrogen
bomb the North Koreans were expected to have by 2020 now may be
ready and mounted on a missile earlier.
All of this bad news should, just in
time for a new presidential administra-
tion, put to rest the misconceptions
that have driven the United States’
failed North Korea policy, especially
the idea that China, Pyongyang’s closest ally, will solve the problem.
Beijing would certainly prefer that
Kim Jong-un give up his nuclear
weapons. And the Chinese do occasionally use their economic ties with North
Korea to pressure Pyongyang. But
China’s overriding priority will continue to be keeping North Korea as a
stable buffer against American influence in South Korea. No amount of
cajoling from Washington will cause
China to squeeze North Korea with
enough sanctions that it will give up its
weapons or risk the government’s
The next administration must recognize that the United States, not China,
is the indispensable nation when it
comes to dealing with North Korea.
Our allies, who look to us to provide
leadership, already know this. So do
the Chinese, who insist that only Washington can persuade the North
Koreans to stop their bad behavior.
North Korean officials have even told
me in private that it is true for them,
If a new administration understands
that the United States must take the
lead, it can use the substantial diplomatic, military and economic power
at its disposal to manage and potentially resolve this challenge. At the
core will be a willingness to take all
necessary steps to protect our allies,
even measures that can anger China,
like the recent decision to deploy advanced missile defenses in South Korea. A new administration should also
seek to tighten sanctions, just as the
Obama administration is doing, recognizing that, because of China’s enduring support for the government in
Pyongyang, sanctions will always fall
far short of pressuring North Korea the
same way they did Iran.
A successful
strategy will
It’s too late for
have to include a
Obama, but
new diplomatic
initiative aimed
this is what the
at persuading the
next president
North to first
can do.
stop expanding
its arsenal and
then to
eventually reduce and dismantle its
weapons. To persuade the North
Koreans to do this, Washington will
have to address their security concerns. In the short term, that may
mean temporarily suspending or modifying some American-South Korean
military exercises. In the longer term,
it may mean replacing the armistice in
place since the end of the Korean War
with a permanent peace agreement.
These initiatives will be met with
skepticism not only in the United
States — where many people believe
that negotiating with North Korea is a
waste of time — but also in Pyongyang. Nevertheless, there are signs
that North Korea is interested in dialogue. On July 6, the government
issued a pronouncement ostensibly
seeking denuclearization talks with the
United States, specifically mentioning
Kim Jong-un’s name in support of this
One reason North Korea may be
motivated to consider denuclearization
is economic. Since taking office in 2011,
Mr. Kim has been committed to improving his country’s economy. He
seems to believe that nuclear weapons
would allow even more focus on that
objective. Nevertheless, he has deliberately left room to ease off the nuclear
track and explore a dialogue, perhaps
reflecting an understanding that there
are limits to what his country’s economy can achieve while it is isolated
from the international community. Of
course, no one is naïve enough to take
these statements at face value. Talks
between governments are the only
way to know for sure.
As the Obama administration winds
down, little can be done to change
policy at this point. Moreover, the
North Koreans are unlikely to be responsive to new initiatives since they
know that the next American administration will have its own approach. The
first hundred days in office will be
critical for the next American president. If a window is open to curb North
Korea’s nuclear ambitions, it may not
stay open for long.
JOEL S. WIT is a senior fellow at the U.S.Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University and the founder of its North
Korea website, 38North.
You hear the latest on Hillary?
Zeynep Tufekci
Contributing Writer
Hillary Clinton has pneumonia. Did
you know she has a body double? She
was that blond woman waving at
reporters in front of Chelsea Clinton’s
apartment a few hours after Mrs.
Clinton felt unwell and left the Sept. 11
commemoration at ground zero.
Did you also hear that Mrs. Clinton
has Parkinson’s disease? Her coughing
fits prove it, as does her latest bout of
illness. She has epilepsy, as well as
advancing dementia. She has managed
to hide all these illnesses through
almost a year and a half of a grueling
campaign because the man the world
thinks is the head of her Secret Service
detail is actually her hypnotist. He’s
also a medical doctor.
No, I haven’t lost my mind. I’ve just
lost many hours on social media,
where these conspiracy theories run
Well before Mrs. Clinton fell ill and
had to be assisted into a van on Sunday, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani
of New York, a supporter of Donald J.
Trump, said on Fox News that the
news media had failed to cover her
health and that viewers should “go
online and put down ‘Hillary Clinton
illness,’ take a look at the videos for
The events of last weekend will not
help Mrs. Clinton, who spent Monday
at home and canceled a trip to Califor-
nia. Nor will they help the rest of us,
stuck in this conspiracy election.
Yes, the Clinton campaign should
have disclosed her pneumonia diagnosis on Friday, curtailed her schedule
and allowed her to recover. Lack of
disclosure only increases the number
of people who suspect she’s hiding
But there’s also no amount of disclosure that would change the minds of
people who think she’s been hiding
epilepsy, Parkinson’s and dementia,
thanks to her secret hypnotist and
persuasive body
The problem is
much bigger
than a single
spreads so
moment, or this
quickly in this
particular camconspiracypaign. Conspirtheory election.
acy theories are
like mosquitoes
that thrive in
swamps of low-trust societies, weak
institutions, secretive elites and technology that allows theories unanchored from truth to spread rapidly.
Swatting them one at a time is mostly
futile: The real answer is draining the
I’m originally from Turkey, so I’m
used to my Western friends snickering
at the prevalence of conspiracy theories in the Middle East. It is frustrating, but the reason for these theories is
not a mystery. Elites do practice excessive secrecy. Foreign powers have
meddled in the region for decades.
Institutions that are supposed to be
trusted intermediaries, separating
facts from fiction while also challenging the powerful, are few and weak. It
makes sense to gravitate toward explanations that attribute everything to
secret cabals.
And now, with social media, what
remained of controls on keeping the
worst stuff out of the public sphere has
been demolished.
Wait, what part of the world was I
writing about again?
My coughing fit brought about by
my own advanced dementia must have
confused me again.
Conspiracy theories have been
around a long time, but thanks to new
technologies and decline of trust in
institutions, it’s getting worse.
First of all: There are actual conspiracies in the world. The powerful do
routinely collude to hide information.
To add to this, people like stories, and
conspiracy theories are a form of storytelling. The trouble here isn’t a
healthy suspicion of power, but the
transformation of a culture of political
distrust into a swirl of bizarre tales
divorced from facts.
We expect traditional news outlets to
act as gatekeepers for information,
helping us distinguish truth from rumor. They’ve never been perfect at this
job, but the precarious economics of
the industry is making the situation
even worse. The new, internet-driven
financing model for news outlets is
great for spreading conspiracy theories. Each story lives or dies by how
much attention it attracts. This rewards the outrageous, which can get
clicks more easily.
However, conspiracy theories can
live only to the degree they can find
communities to flourish in. That’s
where social media comes in. Finding a
community online has been great for
many people — the dissident in Egypt,
the gay teenager in a conservative
town — but the internet is not Thor’s
hammer, which only the purest of heart
can pick up. Conspiracists can organize
online and can push their version of
the world into the mainstream.
To fight conspiracy theories, we also
don’t just need more fact-checkers. We
need to fix the underlying dynamics.
People think that their governments
are working against them, or at least
not for them, and in some cases this is
true. Ruling elites around the world
are circling their wagons, and fueling
more suspicion and mistrust. Reversing that would be the best defense
against baseless paranoia that
masquerades as political action.
The predominant internet business
model isn’t always great for democracy, but it’s not the only option. We
should support subscription, donation
and philanthropy funded sources of
information. Once “go viral or die” isn’t
the only game in town, and with a
more transparent and responsive
government, our conspiracy fever
might break.
is an associate professor
at the University of North Carolina
School of Information and Library
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The touch league that I love
Gary Belsky
The avalanche of distrust
I’m beginning to think this whole sordid
campaign is being blown along by an acrid gust of distrust. The two main candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald
Trump, are remarkably distrustful.
They have set the modern standards for
withholding information — his not releasing tax and health records, her not
holding regular news conferences or
quickly disclosing her pneumonia diagnosis. Both have a problem with spontaneous, reciprocal communication with a
hint of vulnerability.
Both ultimately hew to a distrustful,
stark, combative, zero-sum view of life
— the idea that making it in this world is
an unforgiving slog and that, given
other people’s selfish natures, vulnerability is dangerous.
Trump’s convention speech was the
perfect embodiment of the politics of
distrust. American families, he argued,
are under threat from foreigners who
are as violent and menacing as they are
insidious. Clinton’s “Basket of Deplorables” riff comes from the same spiritual
place. We have in our country, she jibed,
millions of bigots, racists, xenophobes
and haters — people who are so blackhearted that they are, as she put it, “irredeemable.”
The parishioners at the Emanuel
A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., felt
that even the man who murdered their
close friends was redeemable, but Clinton has written off vast chunks of her fellow citizens as beyond hope and redemption.
But these nominees didn’t emerge in a
vacuum. Distrustful politicians were
nominated by an increasingly distrustful nation. A generation ago about half of
all Americans felt they could trust the
people around them, but now less than a
third think other people are trustworthy.
Young people are the most distrustful
of all; only about 19 percent of
millennials believe other people can be
trusted. But across all age groups there
is a rising culture of paranoia and conspiracy-mongering. We set out a decade
ago to democratize the Middle East, but
we’ve ended up Middle Easternizing our
The true thing about distrust, in politics and in life generally, is that it is selfdestructive. Distrustful people end up
isolating themselves, alienating
Hillary Clinton,
others and corDonald Trump
roding their inner
and much of
Over the past
society isolate
few decades, the
decline in social
trust has correlated to an epidemic of loneliness. In 1985, 10 percent of
Americans said they had no close friend
with whom they could discuss important matters. By 2004, 25 percent had no
such friend.
When you refuse to lay yourself before others, others won’t lay themselves
before you. An AARP study of Americans aged 45 and up found that 35 percent suffer from chronic loneliness,
compared with 20 percent in a similar
survey a decade ago. Suicide rates,
which closely correlate with loneliness,
have been spiking since 1999. The culture of distrust isn’t the only isolating
factor, but it plays a role.
The rise of distrust correlates with a
decline in community bonds and a surge
of unmerited cynicism. Only 31 percent
of millennials say there is a great deal of
difference between the two political parties. Only 52 percent of adults say they
are extremely proud to be Americans,
down from 70 percent in 2003.
The rise of distrust has corroded intimacy. When you go on social media
you see people who long for friendship.
People are posting and liking private
photos on public places like Snapchat
and Facebook.
But the pervasive atmosphere of distrust undermines actual intimacy,
which involves progressive self-disclosure, vulnerability, emotional risk and
spontaneous and unpredictable face-toface conversations.
Instead, what you see in social media
is often the illusion of intimacy. The
sharing is tightly curated — in a way
carefully designed to mitigate unpredictability, danger, vulnerability and actual intimacy. There is, as Stephen
Marche once put it, “a phony nonchalance.” It’s possible to have weeks of affirming online banter without ever doing a trust-fall into another’s arms.
As Garry Shandling once joked, “My
friends tell me I have an intimacy problem, but they don’t really know me.”
Distrust leads to these self-reinforcing spirals. As Alex Tabarrok of
George Mason University observed recently, in distrustful societies parents
are less likely to teach their children
about tolerance and respect for others.
More distrust leads to tighter regulations, which leads to slower growth,
which leads to sour mentalities and
more distrust.
Furthermore, fear is the great enemy
of intimacy. But the loss of intimacy
makes society more isolated. Isolation
leads to more fear. More fear leads to
fear-mongering leaders. And before
long you wind up in this death spiral.
The great religions and the wisest political philosophies have always counseled going the other way. They’ve always advised that real strength is found
in comradeship, and there’s no possibility of that if you are building walls. They
have generally championed the paradoxical leap — that even in the midst of
an avalanche of calumny, somebody’s
got to greet distrust with vulnerability,
skepticism with innocence, cynicism
with faith and hostility with affection.
Our candidates aren’t doing it, but
that really is the realistic path to
I remember the play as if it were yesterday — or this past February, when it
actually happened. I was a storytelling
consultant/defensive end trying to
sack a terrorism expert/quarterback
who was 12 years my junior and several steps quicker.
Failing miserably in my pursuit, I
watched helplessly as my would-be
prey lofted a desperate heave from
midfield into the end zone. Improbably,
the ball was caught for a touchdown by
an actor/tight end who somehow
jumped higher than three better athletes on my team there to stop him. We
all shook our heads in disgust while
the other guys celebrated with fist
Just another Sunday morning at
Booker T. Washington Middle School
on the border of Morningside Heights
and the Upper West Side of Manhattan,
where miracle touchdowns occur about
as often as petty squabbles.
In other words, very often.
We call our game — which recently
kicked off its 12th season — the Fourth
Down League. And for good reason:
As with the aforementioned Hail Mary
pass, far too many touchdowns are
scored on the last play of an offensive
But for all its frustrations, the F.D.L.
is a wellspring for me, a health tonic
that has lasted long past my athletic
sell-by date. At nearly 55, I am the
oldest player in the game — often by a
couple of decades — a distinction that
manifests itself mostly in displays of
inadequacy on the field but occasionally in moments of perspective off it.
(There’s a strong correlation between
an athlete’s diminishing physical abilities and his inclination to find meaning
in sports.)
As it happens, the F.D.L. is a
uniquely sharp lens through which to
view the American experience. A
typical game features 12 to 16 players,
representing a mosaic of weekend
warriors. Whites, blacks, Asians,
Latinos — we’ve got ’em all, not to
mention Orthodox Jews, fundamentalist Christians, lapsed Muslims and a
few atheists. The best athlete in the
game is a Senegalese film editor, the
strongest arm belongs to a civil rights
lawyer, and the toughest pass rusher is
either the manager of a midtown deli
or an elevator repairman from upstate
New York. Our reigning Gentleman
Award winner is a quality assurance
administrator for the city, and the
player with the hottest temper on
Sundays is a massage therapist every
other day of the week. The F.D.L. roster includes many fathers, a few
college students and one son of a former University of Michigan running
back. Not one of these people has any
rational reason to show up when
there’s a foot of snow on the field in
January, but most do.
We meet every Sunday from Sep-
tember through March, on a soccer
pitch rented from the city, to play
“hard touch” football. In this variation,
tackling a ball carrier means a twohanded tag anywhere below the neck.
But other physical contact is allowed,
even encouraged.
So while I may not throw a receiver
to the ground if he possesses the ball, I
can put a shoulder into his side if he’s
trying to catch it. Likewise, it’s perfectly legal for a bruising game show
writer/offensive lineman to pancakeblock his uncle while blocking on a
running play, sending me to the E.R.
with what was unhelpfully detailed as
torn cartilage and a bruised heart.
(Unhelpful because there’s little to do
for either except try not to laugh.)
The quality of play varies weekly,
but if on a football ability scale of 1-10
the N.F.L. rates double digits, the
F.D.L. merits about a 3 (2.5 if it’s raining).
That said, we are world class when it
comes to bickering. Loud, extended
arguments are the rule in our game.
The causes — disputed tags, disputed
penalties, disputed catches,
A New Yorker’s
disputed out-ofweekend
bounds rulings
and disputed
football game is
procedures for
a health tonic
settling disputes
that offers a
— are as varied
rare chance for
as they are
cross-culturalmeaningless in
religious-ethnicthe scope of any
of our lives.
Early on —
when the F.D.L.
mostly relatives, college roommates
and players from the same poker game
— our outsize emotional outbursts
attracted the occasional spectator,
including young minority men from the
neighborhood who came to see what
all the yelling was about. To our surprise, many asked to play.
Then as now, the F.D.L. “commissioner” — who daylights as a mutual
fund manager — collected their contact info and included them on the
emails sent to dozens of “regulars,”
recapping the previous week’s contest
and seeking commitments to play the
next. Happily, these “walk-on” players
showed up, stuck around, and, like the
rest of us, began inviting friends.
Given the endless arguments and
parochial rules, we often wonder why
our game appeals to newcomers. One
prevailing theory involves self-interest,
i.e., people will put up with a lot to
have access to a dependable game on a
decent field. But I think of this bonhomie as a reflection of communal
good will and desire for connection, a
shared sense that the F.D.L. represents
a rare and meaningful opportunity for
cross-cultural-religious-ethnic-socioeconomic interaction.
Then again, I’m sentimental. When I
moved to New York City in 1986, for a
job as a business reporter, I sought
activities that would make my new city
feel like home. In my case, that meant
finding a synagogue I could tolerate
(Jews in groups make me nervous),
identifying volunteer opportunities (I
was raised to value “good works”) and
locating a reliable game of weekend
football (preferably on grass).
I found one soon enough, involving
more or less a dozen players who
showed up more or less at the same
time in more or less the same area of
the Great Lawn. (This was back when
the Central Park Conservancy allowed
football games without a permit on
that grassy expanse.)
The players ranged in age from 18 to
35, but a few were older. One of the
latter, a sinewy Upper East Side lawyer named Steve, turned out to be
much older. I learned his age — 65 —
when he brought his 30-something son
to a game. When I asked Steve for the
source of his gridiron longevity, he
laughed and told me that he “forgot” to
quit playing, despite the demands of
career and family.
“It helps,” he continued, “that I
never stopped falling down.” Long
before anyone talked about the role of
microfractures in building strong
bones, Steve intuited the concept.
I didn’t think much of what he said
then, but Steve’s answer stayed with
me as I aged into a demographic range
occupied by my father in my earliest
memories. I would get hit during a
game, and later — while nursing a
bruise or icing a sprain — I tried to
imagine my dad getting knocked head
over heels at my age. It was a hard
picture to conjure. My father, like most
men of his generation, stopped playing
contact sports long before middle age.
I wonder today what he would say as I
rage into the dying of the stadium
lights. I’m pretty sure he would think I
was an idiot.
I prefer to think of myself as
“plucky.” I’m no longer embarrassed
when a younger, better athlete sends
me flying on his way to make a play.
Indeed, I’ve grown increasingly less
self-conscious when younger players,
having put me to the ground, offer
apologies along with outstretched
hands. I generally thank them, adding,
“That’s why I’m here,” as I get up. (I
don’t mention microfractures.) Playing
deep into middle age with much
younger men removes any — or at
least most — pretense to machismo.
Which is why, on most Sundays this
season, you’ll find me running down a
sideline on kickoffs and punts, content
to bring up the rear of my team’s coverage, guarding against a costly outside return. Long gone are the days
when I did the kicking.
And that’s O.K. I no longer think I
have any shot at the weekly M.V.P.
award our commissioner hands out
after games. My prize is the ability to
play the next weekend.
Plus I win more than my fair share
of those arguments.
GARY BELSKY is a co-author of “On the
Origins of Sports: The Early History
and Original Rules of Everybody’s
Favorite Games.”
About the ‘basket of deplorables’
Charles M.
Let’s get straight to it: Hillary Clinton’s
comments Friday at a fund-raiser that
half of Donald Trump’s supporters
could be put in a “basket of
deplorables” wasn’t a smart political
Candidates do themselves a tremendous disservice when they attack
voters rather than campaigns. Whatever advantage is procured through
the rallying of one’s own base is outweighed by what will be read as divisiveness and disdain.
Here is Clinton’s full quote:
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s
supporters into what I call the basket
of deplorables. Right? The racist,
sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And
he has lifted them up. He has given
voice to their websites that used to
only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their
offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks — they
are irredeemable, but thankfully they
are not America.”
Then, she continued: “But the other
basket — and I know this because I see
friends from all over America here — I
see friends from Florida and Georgia
and South Carolina and Texas — as
well as, you know, New York and California — but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the econ-
omy has let them down, nobody cares
about them, nobody worries about
what happens to their lives and their
futures, and they’re just desperate for
change. It doesn’t really even matter
where it comes from. They don’t buy
everything he says, but he seems to
hold out some hope that their lives will
be different. They won’t wake up and
see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to
heroin, feel like they’re in a dead end.
Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”
That second basket got too little
attention. Context doesn’t provide the
sizzle on which shock media subsists.
What Clinton said was impolitic, but
it was not incorrect. There are things a
politician cannot say. Luckily, I’m not a
Donald Trump is a deplorable candidate — to put it charitably — and
anyone who
helps him adA politically
vance his racial,
unwise, but not
religious and
ethnic bigotry is
part of that
bigotry. Period.
Anyone who
elevates a sexist
is part of that sexism. The same goes
for xenophobia. You can’t conveniently
separate yourself from the detestable
part of him because you sense in him
the promise of cultural or economic
advantage. That hair cannot be split.
In state after state that Trump won
during the primaries, he won a majority or near majority of voters who
supported a temporary ban on Muslims entering this country and who
supported deporting immigrants who
are in this country illegally.
In June a Reuters/Ipsos poll found:
“Nearly half of Trump’s supporters
described African-Americans as more
‘violent’ than whites. The same proportion described African-Americans as
more ‘criminal’ than whites, while 40
percent described them as more ‘lazy’
than whites.”
A Pew poll released in February
found that 65 percent of Republicans
believe the next president should
“speak bluntly even if critical of Islam
as a whole” when talking about Islamic
Another Reuters/Ipsos online poll in
July found that 58 percent of Trump
supporters have a “somewhat unfavorable” view of Islam and 78 percent
believe Islam was more likely to encourage acts of terrorism.
A February Public Policy Polling
survey found “Trump’s support in
South Carolina is built on a base of
voters among whom religious and
racial intolerance pervades.” What the
poll found about those South Carolina
supporters’ beliefs was truly shocking:
• Eighty percent of likely Trump
primary voters supported Trump’s
proposed ban on Muslims.
• Sixty-two percent supported creating a national database of Muslims and
40 percent supported shutting down
mosques in the United States.
• Thirty-eight percent wished the
South had won the Civil War.
• Thirty-three percent thought the
practice of Islam should be illegal in
this country.
• Thirty-two percent supported the
policy of Japanese internment during
World War II.
• Thirty-one percent would support a
ban on homosexuals entering the
On Saturday, Clinton issued a statement pointing out that “I regret saying
‘half’ — that was wrong.” Place the
percentage where you will — or don’t
— but the fact is indisputable.
I understand that people recoil at the
notion that they are part of a pejorative
basket. I understand the reflexive
resistance to having your negative
beliefs disrobed and your sense of self
dressed down.
I understand your outrage, but I’m
unmoved by it. If the basket fits . . .
Gary Belsky (second from right) lined up for a Fourth Down League play in 2015.
Is animal research ever ethical?
Re “Regretting my animal research,”
by John P. Gluck (Opinion, Sept. 6):
Dr. Gluck may have second
thoughts, but he does not speak for the
many people who are benefiting, or
one day could benefit, from medical
breakthroughs that are a result of
crucial, carefully regulated research
with nonhuman primates.
Further, he does not represent the
many caring and committed scientists
who do not question their decision to
study primate models to save lives.
Although accounting for less than
one-half of 1 percent of all animal research, nonhuman primate research
has resulted in life-changing medical
advances for our most serious public
health challenges. As an important
example, patients with devastating
illnesses like Parkinson’s disease now
see marked improvement with deep
brain stimulation made possible
through primate research.
We scientists do indeed take very
seriously our commitment and obligation for the responsible and compassionate use of these animals. The strict
regulations established by oversight
agencies are fully embraced by researchers and institutions.
Based on fact — and compassion for
both people and animals — we know
that this is ultimately profoundly lifesaving work.
The writer is chairwoman of the Committee on Animals in Research, Society
for Neuroscience.
John P. Gluck’s brave and beautiful
article sums up the power of cognitive
dissonance (“I came to see that my
natural recoil from intentionally harming animals was a hindrance to how I
understood scientific progress”).
When faced with actions that don’t
reflect our ethics, we have two choices:
We can change our behavior to align
with our beliefs, or we can change our
beliefs to align with our behavior.
Our perception of animals as tools,
property or food is precisely what
enables us to rationalize our use of
them for research, consumption, labor
and entertainment.
We can change our minds, and we can
change our behavior. By granting
animals moral consideration, we will
find that we are better aligned with our
own morals.
travel music
Left, Zion Square
off the Jaffa road,
where the tour
‘‘Seven Ways to
Dissolve Boundaries’’ ended. Below,
a tour group
mingled with the
crowd on board a
train in Jerusalem
as it rode through
the cultural divide.
Below left, Mahmoud Muna, the
owner of the American Colony Bookstore, talking to
tour participants.
Trips into the unknown
East Jerusalem tours
to ‘dissolve boundaries’
challenge participants
Mahmoud Muna, a Palestinian bookseller in East Jerusalem, does not mince
words when it comes to his views on Israeli control over his part of the city, and
his opinions can be difficult for Israelis
to hear.
At least, he presumes they are. Mr.
Muna rarely engages in conversation
with the Israeli Jews who live across the
Green Line. Like most of the 800,000 citizens uncomfortably sharing real estate
in Israel’s contested capital, where
Arabs and Jews are staked out on opposite sides and communities are
strictly segregated between the religious and the secular, everyday travel
for Mr. Muna is circumscribed by lines
real and invisible.
But on a cool summer evening this
month, Mr. Muna helped a group of cultural tourists cross one of those lines.
His store in the historic American
Colony Hotel became a stop on ‘‘Seven
Ways to Dissolve Boundaries,’’ city
tours billed as ‘‘doco-theatrical journeys into alternative realities’’ that
promise to take participants out of their
comfort zone and into parts of Jerusalem they might never go.
The four-hour tours, which run
through September with seven different
variations (hence the name), were created by Mekudeshet, a three-week city-
wide arts festival. Itineraries are kept
secret, with participants informed only
of an initial meeting point.
The recent evening tour centered on
the Jerusalem light rail — a smooth,
modern train system that traverses
East and West Jerusalem and is seen by
many Palestinians as a symbol of Israeli
occupation in the city.
The 40 people on the tour were given
audio systems and invited to travel the
train’s entire route. Along the way, Karen Brunwasser, the deputy director of
Jerusalem Season of Culture, an organization in West Jerusalem that is
presenting Mekudeshet, gave a live,
deeply personal monologue, spliced
with music and excerpts of poetry, to describe the landmarks flashing by the
windows and her own connection to the
After leaving the train in Beit Hanina,
a Palestinian neighborhood whose light
rail stop was the site of fierce riots in July 2014, participants were guided across
the tracks and invited to retrace their
journey, this time stopping to meet a
series of ‘‘boundary dissolvers’’ along
the way.
Each of the seven tours has its own
cast of characters, among them Eran
Tzidkiyahu, the Arabic-speaking son of
Jewish market vendors who works as a
tour guide taking Israelis into East Jerusalem; Nadim Shiban, the director of
the Museum of Islamic Art in West Jerusalem; and Chaya Gilboa, a former ultra-Orthodox Jew who is one of the leading voices for pluralism and women’s
rights in Jerusalem.
Sunday’s tour began with a presentation by Yehuda Greenfield, whose architecture firm, SAYA, has been commissioned, as part of the Geneva Accords,
to design the physical border — roads,
transportation junctions and even the
pedestrian crossings of the shared Old
City — that would be part of a finalstatus agreement dividing East and
West Jerusalem.
‘‘The concept of using borders, and
being involved in borders, is very natural to a Jerusalemite,’’ Mr. Greenfield
It ended at Zion Square, a major
transit point, with a chat with Sarah
Weil, a lesbian who became an activist
after the death of Shira Banki, a 16-yearold girl stabbed to death at last year’s
Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade by an ultra-Orthodox man.
Ms. Weil spends Thursday nights on
the square, encouraging strangers of
different backgrounds to share a moment together.
‘‘My job is to get those people who are
passing by each other to stop and look at
each other,’’ she told the group.
The discussion at Mr. Muna’s bookshop, on the seam of East and West Jerusalem, came in the middle of the tour.
‘‘You’ve been promised a chance to
listen to someone who is working on
some sort of a change in Jerusalem, so I
wanted to tell you how I spend my afternoons,’’ Mr. Muna told the group, which
was made up almost entirely of Israelis
and Jewish tourists.
He went on to detail his volunteer
work as a cultural coordinator in East
Jerusalem, creating art, theater and
dance events — work that is required,
he says, because the Israeli government
has dismantled the cultural institutions
in Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods.
An America opera company adapts China’s ‘War and Peace’
San Francisco Opera
stages the novel ‘Dream
of the Red Chamber’
It was a week before the premiere, and
Bright Sheng, the composer and co-librettist of the new opera ‘‘Dream of the
Red Chamber,’’ was already bracing for
the backlash.
To create his version of Cao Xueqin’s
sprawling 18th-century classic about the
decline of an aristocratic family in imperial China, Mr. Sheng reduced the book to
its bare bones. The novel — over 2,400
pages in its standard English translation,
twice as long as ‘‘War and Peace’’ — is
told in a mere two hours and 20 minutes.
Hundreds of characters have been cut,
leaving just eight main figures in the final show, which runs through Sept. 29 at
San Francisco Opera.
The book’s many die-hard fans may
not be pleased.
‘‘You can’t win with this, no matter
what you do,’’ Mr. Sheng said after a recent rehearsal. ‘‘People will love you or
hate you.’’
Such are the perils of adapting any beloved story. And to many in the Chinesespeaking world, ‘‘Dream of the Red
Chamber’’ is that and more, widely regarded as a masterpiece — if not the
masterpiece — of Chinese literature.
Realizing the inevitable weight of expectations, the San Francisco Opera enlisted a team of creative heavyweights,
all of Asian descent, to create the $3 million production.
Mr. Sheng wrote the libretto with
David Henry Hwang, the Tony Awardwinning playwright. Stan Lai, an acclaimed playwright and director, has
staged the work, and Tim Yip, who won
an Academy Award for art direction for
his work on Ang Lee’s film ‘‘Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon,’’ has designed
the sets and costumes. The opera will be
sung in English and accompanied by supertitles in English and Chinese.
‘‘We wanted it to have its own authenticity as a piece of operatic storytelling,’’
Yijie Shi, center, during ‘‘Dream of the Red Chamber,’’ at the San Francisco Opera.
exhibitions music books culture
Prison honors a famous inmate
Oscar Wilde gets
a tribute at the facility
that once jailed him
The Victorian prison compound at
Reading near London would be just another penal facility if it weren’t for one
star inmate: Oscar Wilde, who spent
two excruciating years here from 1895
to 1897, after he was convicted of committing homosexual acts.
Wilde was locked up in his cell 23
hours a day, and barred from any human contact during the hour he spent
outside. Upon his release, he wrote
about the gruesome conditions in a letter to the editor of the Daily Chronicle:
including the ‘‘revolting sanitary arrangements,’’ with one small tin vessel
per cell; and the innumerable cases of
mental illness and insanity.
Reading Prison went on being a functioning jail until 2013. Now, it is hosting a
multidisciplinary tribute to Wilde (until
Oct. 30) by a high-profile group of artists,
writers and performers including Nan
Goldin, Marlene Dumas, Ai Weiwei,
Steve McQueen and Patti Smith. For the
first time in the prison’s history, the public can actually visit its central wings,
and spend time inside Wilde’s cell.
‘‘Inside: Artists and Writers in Reading Prison’’ is the brainchild of the artproducer duo Artangel, known for staging shows and events in unexpected locations. (They earned fame in 1993 with
‘‘House,’’ a temporary sculpture that involved the artist Rachel Whiteread making a concrete cast of the inside of a threestory house earmarked for demolition.)
The duo lobbied the Ministry of
Justice for permission to put on the
show. ‘‘We thought: if we have the opportunity to make a project here, we
‘‘When Oscar Wilde was here,
prisoners were basically kept
on their own in their cells
almost all the time, and there
was almost no sound.’’
Above, Marlene Dumas’s painting of Oscar
Wilde seen from inside a cell at Reading
Prison in England; left, Wilde’s narrow
cell; below, a photo of Wilde and his lover
Lord Alfred Douglas, by Gillman & Co.
(1893); below left, the exterior of the prison.
should think very carefully about how
we could do that — not to sensationalize
the experience, but to try and bring together a group of artists and writers to
whom the place would speak,’’ said
James Lingwood, Artangel’s co-director. ‘‘Without exception, the artists that
we wanted to be our A List are here.’’
The exhibition is like a scavenger
hunt. It starts in the prison’s tall, domed
atrium, from which rows of cells dart out
America opera company
adapts Chinese epic novel
on several floors. There is no suggested
itinerary; visitors make their own way
through the prison wings. Some of the
cells they walk into are empty; others
contain artworks by artists including
Marlene Dumas and Richard Hamilton,
videos by Nan Goldin, and/or headsets
with which to listen to readings of texts
written and voiced by authors such as
Mr. Ai and Jeanette Winterson.
Only 100 visitors will be admitted
every hour, Mr. Lingwood said. ‘‘One of
the things that was very important to us
was that the soundtrack to the whole experience be silence,’’ he said. ‘‘When
Oscar Wilde was here, prisoners were
basically kept on their own in their cells
almost all the time, and there was almost no sound.’’
‘‘We want people to be deeply moved,
to reflect,’’ he added.
Wilde’s cell is a haunting, narrow
space (3.4 meters by 2.15 meters) with
painted brick walls, a tall vaulted ceiling, and a high window. There are no
artworks to distract visitors inside it. In
a neighboring cell are vintage copies of
the books that he requested to read
while in jail: volumes by Saint Augustine, and Pascal, and poetry by
Wordsworth, Keats and Hafiz.
The only authentic relic of Wilde’s
time in the prison is the door of his cell
— a sturdy piece of wood with heavy
bolts and a peephole at the top. The door
is set like an altarpiece on a plinth by the
French artist Jean-Michel Pancin.
Every Sunday, a specific performer
(from a list including Ms. Smith, the actor Ralph Fiennes, and the author Colm
Toibin) stands on the plinth and do a
complete, five-to-six-hour reading of
‘‘De Profundis,’’ the soulful 50,000-word
text that Wilde produced at Reading.
(Ms. Smith will do an abridged reading,
Mr. Lingwood said.)
The visual artworks in the show are
wide-ranging, from direct depictions of
Wilde to loose evocations of captivity.
Ms. Dumas, a South African-born
painter, has produced a stirring portrait
of Wilde beside a small, yellowish rendering of his young lover, Lord Alfred
Douglas, nicknamed Bosie, whose father was responsible for the author’s
imprisonment. In another cell, Dumas
portrays the French author Jean Genet,
who was also openly homosexual and
served time in jail.
Nearby, the American photographer
Nan Goldin presents a revisited projection of Genet’s homoerotic movie ‘‘Un
Chant d’Amour,’’ extracts from an early
hand-tinted film of Wilde’s play ‘‘Salome,’’ and wall-to-wall photographs
(many of them nudes) of the German actor Clemens Schick, Goldin’s male muse.
In other wings of the prison, the artist
Wolfgang Tillmans — who visited Reading earlier this year — displays inkjet
print images of his twisted face as reflected in a mirror inside a cell. The
artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen
has wrapped one of the prison’s cell
beds in a gold-plated mosquito net.
The written texts (which can be
listened to through headsets) include a
letter from Mr. Ai to his son Ai Lao, describing the 81 days that he spent in
secret detention in China in 2011; and a
letter from the author Gillian Slovo to
her mother Ruth First, a political activist who was assassinated in 1982 by the
South African secret services while she
was in exile in Mozambique.
As for the Reading jail itself, local-government plans to redevelop it into a more
permanent cultural site have been halted by the Ministry of Justice. The BBC
reported in October that the ministry is
keeping the jail on standby in case of a
sudden surge in the prison population.
said Matthew Shilvock, San Francisco
Opera’s new general director. ‘‘But we
also wanted it to be something that
would resonate with people who grew
up with and love the novel, as well.’’
A number of Chinese-Western amalgam operas have been created in recent
years. Many of these, including the Metropolitan Opera’s ‘‘First Emperor,’’ the
Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘‘Madame White
Snake’’ and even the San Francisco Opera’s ‘‘The Bonesetter’s Daughter’’
have struggled to enter the repertory.
Still, Mr. Shilvock said, presenting
new work ‘‘also has great potential to attract excitement in a way that the standard repertory piece doesn’t always.’’
With ‘‘Dream of the Red Chamber,’’
the company is seeking to tap a growing
interest in Western-style opera among
Asians and Asian-Americans in the Bay
Area. The production arrives eight years
after San Francisco Opera’s highly successful premiere run of ‘‘The Bonesetter’s Daughter,’’ based on Amy Tan’s
novel about a Chinese-American family.
‘‘‘Bonesetter’s Daughter’ was very,
very popular and it was certainly the
most popular new work that we did here
during my time,’’ said David Gockley,
who retired in July as the company’s
general director. ‘‘Its success caused
me to have my ear to the ground to locate another piece that would be interesting for our Chinese population.’’
Not long after ‘‘The Bonesetter’s
Daughter,’’ the Minneapolis-based
Chinese Heritage Foundation approached Mr. Gockley about adapting
‘‘Dream of the Red Chamber.’’
‘‘I, of course, Googled it to death,’’ he
said, ‘‘and learned more about it from
members of our Chinese community
here in San Francisco. The response I
got was that there is not a Chinese or a
Chinese-American that has not grown
up and had some contact with this piece
in some form.’’
Mr. Gockley turned to Mr. Sheng, a
composer known for his skillful synthesis of traditional Chinese and Western musical styles. Even before signing on, the
Shanghai-born Mr. Sheng was already
what he called a ‘‘dilettante Redologist,’’
a nickname for the literary scholars who
have dedicated their lives to studying the
novel. Having read the book several
times — first as a teenager during the
Cultural Revolution, when it was banned
— he understood the scale of the task.
Deciding to focus on the central love
triangle, Mr. Sheng was able to persuade Mr. Hwang, who had rebuffed initial requests, to write the libretto.
‘‘In the beginning, it just seemed like
there were a lot of ways we could get it
wrong,’’ Mr. Hwang said. ‘‘Really, the
thing that convinced me was that Bright
had a vision about how to boil the story
‘‘Plus,’’ he added jokingly, ‘‘Bright
grew up during the Cultural Revolution
in China, and I grew up in L.A., so his
will is stronger than mine.’’
Mr. Yip, the designer, who previously
worked on a Chinese television adaptation of the novel, has sought to create a
dreamlike effect with the sets. Painted
panels rise and fall to create different
patterns, like a loom — a reference to
Cao Xueqin’s family business, making
silk brocade for the emperor.
‘‘You can’t win with this, no
matter what you do.’’
The opera revolves around the mythological Stone and Flower, who come
down to earth from heaven. Stone becomes Bao Yu (in San Francisco, the
tenor Yijie Shi), the spoiled heir to the
wealthy Jia family, and Flower becomes
Dai Yu (the soprano Pureum Jo), a
sickly, poetic young woman who comes
to live with the Jias after the death of her
Bao Yu and Dai Yu are in love, but his
mother orders him to marry Bao Chai
(the mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts), a
beautiful heiress, to pay back the Jia
family’s debt to the emperor. Bao Yu is
defiant, but his love for Dai Yu is ultimately thwarted in a bride swap during
a climactic wedding scene. In the final
sequence, Dai Yu departs in a mournful
chorus: ‘‘When spring has fled, and
beauty is spent, who cares for the fallen
petals? Both flower and maiden return
to dust.’’
Mr. Lai, the director, said: ‘‘Impermanence and the fleeting quality of life
— these are things that are very
Buddhist and quintessentially Chinese.
The biggest challenge was expressing
these kinds of ideas for a Western audience in the limited moments you have.’’
In March, the opera will travel to the
Hong Kong Arts Festival.
Trips into the unknown
on an East Jerusalem tour
For 25 minutes, the group sipped coffee and listened as Mr. Muna laid bare
his thoughts on what he described as Israel’s muzzling of cultural and religious
leaders (‘‘It’s created an incredible
amount of contradiction in our society’’); how he harnesses culture to create more political discourse (‘‘We are
politicizing culture because it’s the only
venue available to us’’); and even the
spate of Palestinian knife attacks in the
city (‘‘Israeli soldiers may be your
friends or loved ones, but to us they are
a symbol of the occupation, and a legitimate target’’).
Yiscah Smith, an American-born
transgender activist on the tour who
lives in Nachlaot, a West Jerusalem
neighborhood, left the American Colony
shaken by Mr. Muna’s words.
‘‘It really disturbed me, and that’s
good — that’s the reason I came,’’ she
said. (Ms. Smith will tell her own story
as part of a different ‘‘Dissolving
Boundaries’’ tour this month.) ‘‘We
need to hear these things. We need to
not be afraid of it.’’
Ms. Brunwasser, a Philadelphia native who has lived in Jerusalem for 11
years, said the Jerusalem Season of Culture — which is staffed almost exclusively by Israeli Jews — understood its
limitations in designing the tour.
‘‘We want to blur boundaries in the
city, but we also don’t pretend we aren’t
who we are and the situation in Jerusalem isn’t the situation,’’ she said. ‘‘The
reality on the ground is that the majority of our audiences are still Israeli. And
we knew that for our audiences, just
stopping and getting off the train in Beit
Hanina would be something that most
of them had never done.’’
Bizarre behavior: Dr. Jekyll offline, Mr. Hyde on
The Cybereffect. A Pioneering
Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human
Behavior Changes Online. By Mary Aiken.
387 pages. Spiegel & Grau. $28.
Mary Aiken is sitting against a concrete
wall in a police briefing room in South
Los Angeles. ‘‘My stomach is churning,
a combination of hunger, jet lag and apprehension.’’ She’s tagging along on a
police raid of the biggest human trafBOOK REVIEW
ficker in the United States. ‘‘It is unexpectedly chilly this morning. Fortunately I have a bulletproof vest and a
steel ballistic helmet to keep me warm.
… How on earth did I get here?’’
She got there by being a ‘‘forensic cyberpsychologist’’ — an adviser to Interpol, the F.B.I. and the White House on
the psychology of online criminals. This
is a much more exciting-sounding job
title than the rest of us who write about
the dark side of the internet tend to have,
and she’s not afraid to play her advantage. She often begins a thought by writing, ‘‘As a forensic cyberpsychologist …’’
Even though our dysfunctional relationship with technology is the story of
our times, readers often prejudge books
on the topic as boring. So I’d have loved
Ms. Aiken to continue in this thrilling —
if slightly hacky — vein. Unfortunately,
the raid is over within a couple of
pages, and after that ‘‘The Cyber Effect’’ frequently descends into the familiar trudge of the pop-psychology
There are the regular research stud-
ies — on disinhibition, moral disengagement and deep vein thrombosis —
peppered with anomalous case studies:
the boy who played World of Warcraft
for 36 hours straight and then jumped
out of a window; the 12-year-old Wisconsin girls who stabbed a classmate 19
times while in thrall to Slender Man, a
monster they had read about online and
misjudged as real.
Ms. Aiken sometimes ends these horrifying stories noting that this ‘‘is an
extreme and thankfully uncommon example,’’ which makes you wonder why
she included them. In fact, one of the
Slender Man girls later received a diagnosis of early-onset schizophrenia,
though Ms. Aiken suggests that might
have been the internet’s fault too.
This is her provocative and at times
compelling thesis: The internet — ‘‘the
largest unregulated social experiment of
all time,’’ in the words of the clinical psychologist Michael Seto — is turning us,
as a species, more mentally disordered,
anxious, obsessive, narcissistic, exhibitionist, body dysmorphic, psychopathic,
schizophrenic. All this might unleash a
‘‘surge in deviant, criminal and abnormal behavior in the general population.’’
We check our mobile devices 1,500
times a week, sometimes even secretly,
before the plane’s pilot tells us it’s safe.
Our ethics have become so impaired
that some of us take selfies in front of
people threatening to jump from
bridges. (Having spent years with
people disproportionately shamed on
social media for some minor transgression, I can attest to how the internet can
rob people of empathy.)
She paints an evocative image of sitting on a train to Galway, watching a
woman breast-feed her baby: ‘‘The
baby was gazing foggily upward …
looking adoringly at the mother’s jaw,
as the mother continued to gaze adoringly at her device.’’ How will such a
seemingly tiny behavioral shift like less
eye contact between mother and baby
play out over time? Ms. Aiken asks.
‘‘This small and simple thing, millions
of babies around the world getting less
eye contact and less one-on-one attention, could result in an evolutionary
blip. Yes, I said it. Evolutionary blip.
Less eye contact could change the
course of human civilization.’’
If you think she’s getting a little overblown here, so do I. She makes important observations but weakens them by
wildly overplaying her hand. Take the
chapters on online pornography. It’s
startling that a generation of 8- to 12year-olds is learning about sex via eas-
ily accessible free porn. And the porn itself is getting more lurid than ever,
thanks to the tech world’s devotion to
algorithms. ‘‘Extreme content and
scary scenarios, which always draw the
most adult eyeballs, can be presented
first … due to the popularity of the sensational information,’’ she explains.
But then, while writing about how the
internet normalizes aberrant sexual behavior, she lays into ‘‘Fifty Shades of
Grey’’ for introducing ‘‘serious paraphilias, sexual sadism disorder and sexual
masochism disorder, to the general
reading public as a fun and fascinating
pastime.’’ Surely, few of the novel’s millions of readers have fallen into sexual
pandemonium. She diagnoses the
former New York representative Anthony Weiner — who resigned from
Congress after a sexting scandal —
with ‘‘exhibitionistic disorder,’’ a paraphilia ‘‘that centers on a need to expose
one’s genitals to others. … I call this cyber-exhibitionism.’’
After labeling Mr. Weiner from afar
— never a likable practice, and one that
has been banned as irresponsible by
the American Psychiatric Association
— she goes on to sucker-punch him.
After he disastrously attempted to run
for mayor of New York, reporters asked
him what he planned to do next. ‘‘He
whipped out his middle finger and
flipped the bird,’’ Ms. Aiken writes.
‘‘Perhaps the next best thing to the
open raincoat.’’
Actually, Mr. Weiner flipped the bird
for reasons that had nothing to do with
exhibitionism. He was evidently venting his frustration at a media that had,
throughout his campaign, fixated on his
scandal while ignoring his policies. At
times like this, ‘‘The Cyber Effect’’ can
feel like a nasty book.
Then there’s the constant unhelpful
mental health labeling. Internet trolls
have ‘‘a set of characteristics that are
found together in a cluster: narcissism,
sadism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism.’’ She declares herself scandalized that hypersexual disorder was
snubbed for inclusion in the DSM-5,
making her a member of a rare group
— someone who thinks there aren’t
enough mental disorders in the DSM.
In one particularly objectionable passage, she compares a 10-year-old boy
showing his school friends a picture of
his topless ‘‘very young girlfriend’’ to
adult sex offenders who ‘‘generate an
original indecent image of a child’’ to
prove they have ‘‘access to a victim —
and to original content.’’ While troubling, a middle schooler sharing photographs of his middle-school girlfriend
with his peers does not equate to a
propensity toward child pornography.
Assertions like that are a small step
from advocating that children be criminalized and placed on the sex offenders’ registry for this kind of behavior.
(To her credit she later notes that law
enforcement should differentiate between ‘‘teenage voluntary sexual exploration’’ and the ‘‘criminal generation of child abuse material.’’ So why
liken the two so alarmingly herself?)
Given that Ms. Aiken is a forensic cyberpsychologist, it’s no surprise that
she tends to advocate ‘‘more governance’’ and ‘‘more regulation.’’ But
there’s something a little ‘‘Reefer Madness’’ about this book. I wish it were
less stigmatizing and more humanizing. Not every troll is a psychopath.
Still, I nodded vigorously at times —
especially at Ms. Aiken’s assertion that
‘‘the greatest trick social media and
telecom companies ever pulled is trying to convince us that they can do
nothing about cyberbullying.’’ Try complaining to Twitter when you’ve been
subjected to abuse on their platform.
You’ll almost certainly get a form letter
telling you the abuse isn’t in contravention of their policies.
But then Ms. Aiken undermines her
case by accusing ‘‘device manufacturers’’ and ‘‘internet providers’’ of ‘‘collectively participating in the abuse of that
child’’ when he or she comes across pornography or images of decapitation online. What? That’s Tim Cook’s fault? ‘‘All
those complicit should be held accountable,’’ she writes. ‘‘Mark Zuckerberg
and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have
pledged to donate 99 percent of their
Facebook shares to the cause of human
advancement. That represents about $45
billion at Facebook’s current valuation. I
would respectfully suggest that all of
this money be directed toward human
problems associated with social media.’’
Oh, come on! All of it? While sporadically absorbing, ‘‘The Cyber Effect,’’
like the internet, frequently takes
things out of proportion and creates
hysteria from fragments.
Jon Ronson is the author of ‘‘So You’ve
Been Publicly Shamed.’’ His forthcoming
series on sex and the internet — ‘‘The
Butterfly Effect’’ — is being produced by
For podcasts, reviews and other news
soccer hockey tennis
Welcome to the party. Now do your homework.
Leicester, the Premier League
champion, is schooled in the
finer points of the Champions
League before its start.
In the course of 155 pages, no detail is
considered too fine, no issue deemed too
trivial. From the level of glare given off
by the stadium lights to the size of a club
mascot — “only slightly larger than a
normal person” — the manual issued by
UEFA to every entrant in the Champions League, soccer’s most glamorous
club competition, covers it.
A vast majority of the teams preparing for the first round of group games
this week, of course, will know many of
the rules and regulations by heart.
Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Juventus
and the defending champion, Real Madrid, are here every year.
They know that each dressing room
should contain three individual seated
toilets, that there must be space on the
covered substitutes’ bench for 14 people,
and that the sponsor’s logo on a goalkeeper’s gloves must not exceed 20
square centimeters.
They will already have the position of
the compulsory “beauty camera” —
placed to offer a panoramic shot of the
stadium — fixed in their minds. Their
groundskeeping staff will be aware that
each half of the playing surface must
contain nine stripes of uniform width,
the first four of them precisely 5.5 meters. The staff preparing the team’s gear
will remember that the 600 Respect
badges the clubs will be sent should be
affixed to the left sleeve of all shirts, not
the right, just as the equipment man will
have set aside space to store the 84 official Adidas match balls he will receive.
For newcomers like Leicester City,
though, it is not just on the field where
mixing with Europe’s elite will be an
eye-opener. Claudio Ranieri, the club’s
Italian manager, might only have turned
his full attention to his team’s first
Champions League game — in Belgium,
against Club Brugge, on Wednesday —
after falling to Liverpool during the
weekend. But many at the club have
spent months coming to realize that it
takes more than being champions to
make a Champions League club.
For Ranieri and his squad, their job
was done on April 19, when Manchester
City’s failure to beat Newcastle United
confirmed Leicester’s place in this season’s group stage.
That had been Ranieri’s revised target for months. Only once that was secure did he drop his guard, just a little,
and start explicitly discussing the
faintly ludicrous possibility that Leicester might win the Premier League title.
Two weeks later, as the city erupted in
Leicester City, lifting the Premier League trophy last May, has played host to UEFA inspectors who check details like the size of the club’s mascot and the glare of stadium lights.
astonished joy to celebrate the most remarkable championship of the modern
era, those behind the scenes at the club
were already conscious of the scale of
the task that awaited them. The players
might have met — and surpassed —
their target, but for everybody else, the
work was just beginning.
Before the season had finished,
Leicester already had appointed Andrew Neville, the club’s football director,
as the point of contact for UEFA, European soccer’s governing body. Several
members of the staff had contacted
friends in the game who had worked
with UEFA previously to conduct a preliminary site visit, before UEFA sent its
own team to assess Leicester’s King
Power Stadium during the summer. The
stadium had never hosted European
competition, so Leicester officials
wanted to be forewarned about any potential problems.
UEFA’s inspection team of nine arrived during the off-season. As they do
at every home stadium, its members
spent a full day in Leicester, holding
meetings with officials on ticketing and
news media arrangements, as well as
meeting the police and Leicester’s security team. There was also a two-hour
tour of the stadium by members of the
club-led local organizing committee.
The in-depth report UEFA’s advance
team produced was then sent to the
club, complete with a list of every issue
the team would need to address to make
sure the stadium met UEFA standards.
As with the Champions League manual,
no stone is left unturned.
Everything from Leicester’s news
media facilities — clubs must provide 30
broadcasters, as opposed to 18 in the
Premier League, and ample seating for
print and online reporters — to the resolution of the LED advertising boards
that run along the edge of the field was
Even with the help of UEFA, which assigns a venue director to each stadium
that will be used in the Champions
League, the workload has been intense.
If Leicester’s sudden success came as a
surprise to the soccer world, to some extent, it caught the club unaware, too.
Compared with the operations departments of England’s other Champions League entrants — Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham, all of whom
are regulars in European competition —
Leicester’s internal staff was more commensurate with that of a team at the
lower end of the Premier League than
one of Europe’s superclubs.
That led to a recruitment drive this
summer across a host of departments,
but many staff members have found
themselves doing multiple jobs while
newcomers are sourced and trained.
UEFA, at least, provides support, and
direction. Workshops were held for all
32 teams before and after the group
stage draw at Grimaldi Forum in Monte
Carlo last month, on subjects ranging
from ticketing to antidoping. Pierluigi
Collina, the former referee well known
for his familiar bald pate and gleaming
eyes, held a talk on officiating; his Italian countryman, Giorgio Marchetti, conducted one on the competition’s regulations.
Once those discussions finished,
teams withdrew into private conclaves
among the clubs drawn in the same
group to discuss when fixtures would be
held for both the senior teams and their
UEFA Youth League equivalents, who
hold a concurrent competition, as well
as travel arrangements and predictions
about how many fans might be expected
to attend.
All clubs are expected to recommend
hotels to their opponents: Leicester offered the teams in its group — Club
Brugge, F.C. Porto and F.C. Copenhagen
— a choice of two within easy reach of
King Power Stadium, with another halfdozen in case the visitors preferred a
more idyllic location in the County of Leicestershire, the self-appointed Heart of
Rural England.
That, of course, led to yet more work.
Leicester has sent reconnaissance
teams to Belgium, Portugal and Denmark to establish where, precisely, the
club would stay for its away trips, finalizing arrangements only after their recommendations were approved by Neville, the director of football Jon Rudkin
and Ranieri himself.
Now, at last, the end is in sight. The
team is ready for the trip to Bruges —
Ranieri and his players will fly out on a
chartered plane on Tuesday morning —
and King Power Stadium is, more or
less, up to UEFA’s exacting standards
ahead of Porto’s arrival for Leicester’s
first home match, in two weeks.
The final job will fall to John Ledwidge, the groundsman whose creativity inspired so many of Leicester’s eyecatching field designs toward the end of
last season. This time, he will have clear
“The height of the grass may not exceed 30 millimeters. The grass should be
cut in straight lines, across the width of
the pitch, perpendicular to the touchline. No other form of grass cutting (diagonal, circles, etc.) is permitted.”
It is all there, in the manual. Page 95.
Sweden is poised to soar at World Cup
Champion with a vulnerable side
Team’s defenders combine
extraordinary talent with
years of deep experience
With 3 Grand Slam titles,
Wawrinka still considers
himself an outsider
Victor Hedman may be one of the best
defensemen in the N.H.L., but even he
has found himself in awe of the talent of
his teammates on Sweden’s blue line for
the World Cup of Hockey.
Hedman has watched the two-time
Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson
and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, a potential
future Norris winner, man the power
play. He has stepped onto the ice with
his Tampa Bay defensive partner Anton
Stralman to rekindle the chemistry that
got the Lightning to the Stanley Cup final in 2015.
And he has seen Niklas Hjalmarsson,
who has won three Stanley Cups with
the Chicago Blackhawks, blocking shots
while Mattias Ekholm and Hampus
Lindholm move the puck all over the ice.
Sweden’s defense may be one of the
best-constructed units in international
“The competition there is, especially
on D, it’s pretty remarkable,” Hedman
said. “You look at the guys that didn’t
make it. You have that kind of talent on
the back end, it makes you appreciate
being here.”
John Klingberg of the Dallas Stars,
who finished sixth in Norris Trophy voting last season, missed the cut and Sweden already has had to use one injury replacement after Niklas Kronwall withdrew from the tournament, which will
begin Saturday in Toronto.
Yet the greatness of the Swedish blue
line is not just in its depth of talent but in
its diversity.
Karlsson, the Ottawa Senators’ captain, is a point-producing machine who
can play 30 minutes a game just like
Hedman, a 6-foot-6 force who skates
well for his size. Ekman-Larsson of the
Arizona Coyotes is somewhere in between after modeling his game on his
countryman, Nicklas Lidstrom.
“Obviously we feel very fortunate
that we have that many defensemen we
can pick from and all kinds of different
defensemen, too,” Coach Rickard Gronborg said. “It feels like we have quite a
few players to choose from, and we have
excellent players that are not on the
team but obviously we’ve got to make a
cut somewhere and these are the guys
After being raised on a Swiss farm, Stan
Wawrinka took quite some time to feel
as though he belonged in the grandest
cities and grandest matches.
“The first years when I came to New
York, everything was too big and too
much,” he said. “For me it was too difficult here, but bit by bit, it became one of
my favorite places.”
The love affair has only deepened after Sunday night’s four-set victory over
Novak Djokovic in the United States
Open final. The Arthur Ashe Stadium
crowd, amplified by the new roof overhead, was audibly in his corner as he
closed out a duel that was much more
brutal than the final-set score of 6-3
would indicate.
“I got the chills before serving for the
match,” he said. “So much noise. So
many people. I remember three years
ago when I played Novak here, I lost in
five sets and I got a standing ovation,
and I got chills then, too.”
Even at age 31, Wawrinka still has air
of the ingénue about him, with his voice
that still cracks and his openness about
his vulnerabilities. In interviews, particularly in his native French, he lets you in
— sharing his hopes and fears (and
How many star athletes would have
volunteered that they cried because of
the stress they were under just five minutes before walking on the court for Sunday’s final?
Not many. But one of the keys to his
success is how little of his own internal
struggle and fatigue he had allowed to
filter through once he made it out on
Wawrinka certainly has a volatile
side. He has berated himself plenty in
public and broken many a racket. At the
2014 ATP World Tour Finals in London,
he even lost his cool midmatch after being heckled by Mirka Federer, the wife
of his friend and opponent Roger Federer.
But down the stretch in New York this
year, he was comparatively self-contained. Yes, he bellowed after big points,
but in general, he channeled his energy
into the essential: pointing repeatedly
to his temple as he took out three very
Erik Karlsson, in front, is part of a Swedish defense that is seen as even more talented
than the lineup that played in the final against Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
we feel like we’re going to win the battle
with when the tournament starts.”
Sweden reached the final at the 2014
Sochi Olympics after somehow leaving
Hedman and Stralman off the roster and
benching Ekman-Larsson. This team’s
defense is deeper and more talented —
and it has the benefit of time.
“I just think we have a little bit more
experience,” Karlsson said. “Most of the
guys that are here played in the
Olympics and that was two years ago,
and everybody since then has gotten
more mature and more experience and
become better players, so I think that’s
why we have a better blue line now than
we did two years ago.”
The Rangers goaltender, Henrik
Lundqvist, who was a big part of the run
in Sochi and helped Sweden to gold at
the 2006 Olympics, said it was hard to
rate this group against others. But he
appreciates his country’s proud heritage on defense.
“It’s been one of our strengths
throughout the years, I think, to have a
good D group,” Lundqvist said. “I think a
lot of D-men growing up in Sweden really learn how to read the game well and
play the puck well. They don’t just dump
it in and go. They really try to make
Canada has the Norris winner Drew
Doughty, the formidable Shea Weber
and other top N.H.L. players on its blue
line, but Sweden enters the tournament
with the best group of puck movers. Its
power play was impressive in an exhibition victory against Finland on Saturday, and there was still time to tweak
things before Sweden plays its World
Cup opener Sunday against Russia.
Lundqvist said Sweden was still
working on playing as a unit, a dangerous prospect for the other seven teams.
And there are enough versatile pieces to
survive penalties and injuries and for
players to be used at their positions of
“I think everybody on the blue line
can do everything,” Ekman-Larsson
said. “We’re good skaters, we’re really
good with the puck. Hopefully we can
use that in our favor.”
dangerous opponents in a row by chasing down tennis balls and then pummeling them, although crucially not always
pummeling them.
It was quite a week’s work from a man
who had not beaten a top-10 player this
year before the United States Open.
In the quarterfinals, he stopped the
Olympic silver medalist Juan Martín del
Potro, who had upset him at Wimbledon
in July. In the semifinals, Wawrinka held
off the Olympic bronze medalist Kei
Nishkori, who had beaten him at the
Rogers Cup in Toronto last month.
Then came the highest hurdle:
Djokovic, the world’s longstanding No. 1
player from Serbia, who had beaten him
in four of their last five matches and 19 of
23 over all.
But Wawrinka, unlike nearly every
other tennis player on the planet, knew
he could deal with prime Djokovic after
having come back to beat him in the 2014
Australian Open quarterfinals and the
2015 French Open final.
How many athletes would have
volunteered that they cried just
before walking on the court for
the U.S. Open final?
“I was focusing and trying not to show
anything,” Wawrinka said Monday in an
interview with reporters atop Rockefeller Center, with Manhattan laid out below him in the sunshine. “Yesterday, I
knew it was really important because
we all know how good Novak is and how
he can take from a little thing you give
him, he will bite it and he will take it.”
Wawrinka wanted to give Djokovic as
little cause for optimism as possible, and
as the final played out, it was Djokovic
who broke down after a fast start. He
was the one hollering at his entourage,
rolling his eyes, spreading his arms in
frustration or smiling sardonically. He
was the one, after all the grueling corner-to-corner rallies, who ended up with
bloody blisters on his toes and grabbing
at his legs as if he were about to cramp.
And he was the one — whether or not
there was gamesmanship in the mix —
who felt compelled to take two injury
timeouts for those blisters in the final
“I think I’m one of the few who managed to make him crack physically in a
Grand Slam, and that for me is something enormous,” Wawrinka said.
It has been a surprising second half to
the tennis season. After Djokovic won
his first French Open in June, he held all
four major singles titles. Who would
have predicted then that he would fail to
win Wimbledon, an Olympic medal or
the United States Open?
For Djokovic, there have been unspecified personal problems, an injured
left wrist and on-court volatility, which
was already simmering during the claycourt season and at Roland Garros. All
this surely contributed to Wawrinka’s
sense, despite his stage fright in the
locker room, that he could take down
“I had a feeling that this time, I have
even more confidence to beat him,”
Wawrinka said.
And yet he remains reluctant to surrender his outsider’s role, which is working quite well. He is lightning quick to argue against expanding the Big Four —
Djokovic, Federer, Rafael Nadal and
Andy Murray — to the Big Five to make
room for him, pointing out his own inconsistency.
Still, in the last three years, he has
won three major singles titles, which
ties him with Murray for fourth place in
this rightly named Golden Age behind
Federer’s 17, Nadal’s 14 and Djokovic’s 12.
Federer, by the way, owes his friend
and compatriot Wawrinka a thank-you
note for keeping Djokovic from closing
the historical gap. But Wawrinka is in
quite a club of his own as the first man
since Jaroslav Drobny in the 1950s to
win three majors after starting his run
so late: at age 28 in Wawrinka’s case.
Boundaries, mental and physical, are
expanding. Like a diesel engine,
Wawrinka takes time to warm up, but
once he does, he has plenty of staying
power. He talked Monday about how
much he needed to get into long, draining rallies early on against Djokovic so
that the pain in his legs would help him
forget about the pressure.
“That way, you focus more on things
that are useful, and you don’t let your
mind wander where it shouldn’t,”
Wawrinka explained.
Now, a player whose early career
goals were, at most, modest lacks only
one Grand Slam singles title: Wimbledon.
Marian Vajda, one of Djokovic’s
coaches, said he did not know how confident Wawrinka would be on grass.
“He’s kind of a mysterious guy,” Vajda
said. “He always doesn’t believe, and he
gets it when he doesn’t believe.”
Wawrinka has yet to get past the
quarterfinals at the All England Club,
but there is no mystery at this stage.
Write him off at your peril, particularly if
he faces a certain Serbian for the title.
n.f.l. sports
Protests revive spirit of activism from the days of Ali
Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco
49ers quarterback who touched off a national debate when he chose not to stand
during the playing of the national anthem before games, has emboldened a
handful of other players to follow suit.
In a protest against racial injustice,
four Miami Dolphins players knelt on
Sunday during the anthem, and a member of the Kansas City Chiefs raised his
fist before a separate game, saying later
that he had been acting in solidarity
with Kaepernick. Two players from the
New England Patriots and three from
the Tennessee Titans also raised their
Those actions were considered radical because they happened amid a
sports landscape where provocative
stances by prominent athletes have
been rare, even during surging and
searing national discussions over race,
justice and politics.
According to current and former athletes and sports officials, professional
athletes find themselves preoccupied
with financial and branding concerns;
an all-for-one-and-one-for-all sports culture; and fan bases that expect athletes
to “shut up and play.”
“If you don’t know what you’re up
against, you’re screwing yourself,” said
Ricky Jean Francois, a defensive end for
the Washington Redskins. “You may
lose your job. You may lose your endorsement. You may lose your relationship with high-ranking people. Guys
don’t want to lose what they worked so
hard for throughout their whole career.”
Most athlete advocacy today tends to
be in support of established causes.
Many influential athletes, on social media or in the occasional forum, have
made modest pleas against violence and
for better race relations. Others have
gone a step further.
Miami Heat players posed for a picture wearing hoodies in 2012 after the
shooting death of Trayvon Martin in
Sanford, Fla. In 2014, basketball players
from college to the pros warmed up in
T-shirts that declared, “I Can’t Breathe”
— a rallying cry for protesters after a
New York police officer’s chokehold led
to the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island. The University of Missouri football
team last year refused to play until the
university system president resigned
Miami players refusing to stand for the national anthem. In recent years, provocative stances by prominent athletes have been rare.
over the university’s perceived handling
of racial tensions. (He resigned two
days after the boycott was announced.)
In July, several W.N.B.A. players wore
T-shirts during warm-ups in support of
the Black Lives Matter movement and
five police officers then recently killed in
Dallas. They received fines, later rescinded. That same month, four of the
N.B.A.’s biggest stars — Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul and
Dwyane Wade — opened the ESPY
Awards by urging fellow athletes to
push for change on issues of race, policing and violence.
Still, few recent athletes have stuck
their necks out as far as Kaepernick has,
let alone become firebrands like the
ones remembered by previous generations.
The brashness of Jack Johnson, a
black boxer in the early 20th century,
could have gotten him lynched — and, in
fact, got him jailed, for having a romantic relationship with a white woman.
from teams and sponsors for athletes to
censor themselves.
“The less distractions for teams, the
better,” Childress said. “I just think it’s in
their best interests to keep you in the
athlete box. Unless you just have some
quirky personality thing that makes you
more likable, or you’re really, really
good, they want to just keep business as
usual: Do your job on the court, and let’s
keep the distractions to a minimum.”
Today’s athletes are “not disruptive
enough,” said Brendon Ayanbadejo, a
former N.F.L. player who began voicing
support for same-sex marriage rights in
2008, before they had been affirmed by
most states. “I think if you want to be
heard and you want to make a difference, you have to be disruptive. That’s
the way your story is going to get picked
But such a move can be difficult when
athletes find themselves confronting
unwritten rules against talking about
race, religion and politics.
No. 1409
4 8
Created by Peter Ritmeester/Presented by Will Shortz
(c) Distributed by The New York Times syndicate
Muhammad Ali missed some of his
prime boxing years because he refused
to fight in the Vietnam War. The Olympic
sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos were suspended and sent home from
the 1968 Summer Games after they
thrust their fists into the air in a gesture
of black solidarity.
Smith and Carlos returned home to
death threats, and their Olympic careers were effectively over. But Johnson
and Ali competed in an individual sport
and, because they were acting before
professional sports were big business,
did not risk losing the kind of huge endorsement deals that exist today.
Team owners sometimes send subtle
signals that players should avoid rocking the boat, to prevent a blizzard of political and social opinion.
Josh Childress, who has played eight
seasons in the N.B.A. and spent part of
last season with the Texas Legends of
the N.B.A. Development League, said
there was “definitely a silent pressure”
men by the police — have wrought vigorous and often fiery debate over race
relations and justice.
With the United States’ major sports
leagues in some cases dominated by
African-American players, some have
felt compelled to speak out. But Anthony, a star forward for the Knicks, has expressed frustration that the action often
ends at those statements, or the occasional joining of a march.
Over the summer, after the police
shootings in Baton Rouge, La., and suburban Minneapolis and the killing of five
police officers in Dallas, Anthony posted
an impassioned plea on Instagram. He
called on athletes to do more than march
and send messages on Twitter and, instead, “to put the pressure on the people
in charge” to get “justice.”
He later organized a town-hall-style
forum in Los Angeles, along with members of the men’s and women’s Olympic
basketball teams, the Los Angeles Police Department and community leaders.
Michele A. Roberts, the executive director of the N.B.A. players’ union,
credited Anthony for going beyond the
usual expectation that athletes should
just play their sport.
“If you’re really worried about damaging your brand, you’ll do what a lot of
people say: Play ball and shut the hell
up, which is, sadly enough, a very popular belief among a significant part of our
community,” she said, adding, “So while
it was fairly neutral as far as statements
go, it still crossed the line that a good
number of people think players should
never dare cross.”
But no athlete lately has caused more
commotion than Kaepernick.
Kaepernick first caused an uproar
when he was spotted sitting during the
national anthem before a 49ers preseason game last month and told that he had done so because
he was not going “to show pride in a flag
for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Kaepernick, who was born to a white
mother and a black father and was
adopted, met fierce criticism from people inside and outside the league who
said he was disrespecting the military.
Although he had been relegated to a
backup role entering the 49ers’ season
opener Monday night, Kaepernick’s jersey has become the league’s top seller.
He has vowed to donate his cut of the
sales to organizations that further the
cause of ending police brutality.
“Whether it’s an agent, family members or financial advisers, there’s a culture around every athlete that says,
Maximize your endorsements, maximize your salary, and connect as best
you can to your community,” said Robert
Boland, the director of the sports administration program at Ohio University.
But is it even fair to expect athletes —
especially black ones — to take the lead
in fighting social injustices?
“Athletes are not trained to be political; they’re not trained to be
activists,” said Todd Boyd, who holds the
Katherine and Frank Price endowed
chair for the study of race and popular
culture at the University of Southern
California. “We don’t hold white athletes
to these same standards.”
Nor is it fair, Boyd said, to compare today’s athletes with their predecessors.
“What people seem to forget is that
Muhammad Ali was going to be drafted
and sent to fight in Vietnam — this is a
very real thing,” Boyd said. “Ali wasn’t
just protesting out of the goodness of his
heart. He was trying to avoid going to
fight in a war he didn’t agree with.”
Through the 1980s and ’90s, athlete
activism seemed to simmer down as,
perhaps not coincidentally, sports
revenues and salaries rose and careful
cultivation of brands became the norm.
Perhaps no one embodied the spirit of
carefully crafting an image more than
Michael Jordan, the biggest sports star
of his era. This year, after months of
questions, he issued a statement objecting to a North Carolina law that curbed
anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people — a law that led the N.B.A. to move
its All-Star Game out of the state.
But Jordan had a longstanding aversion to taking political stances during
his playing career.
One of Jordan’s teammates with the
Chicago Bulls, Craig Hodges, bucked
that trend and, he said, paid a price.
When the team visited the White
House after winning its second straight
title in 1992, Hodges handed President
George H. W. Bush a letter asking him to
do more to end injustices toward
Neither the Bulls nor any other team
in the league signed Hodges for the next
season, ending his 10-year N.B.A. career.
Hodges sued the league, claiming it had
blackballed him because of his outspokenness, but his lawsuit failed.
Recent events, however — particularly the shootings of unarmed black
3 9
6 8
1 2
Fill the grid so that Solution
every row, column
1 7 4
3x3 box and
2 9 6
shaded 3x3 box
contains each
5 8 3
of the numbers
9 2 5
1 to 9 exactly once.
3 1 8
6 4 7
4 3 9
7 5 1
8 6 2
No. 1309
BRIDGE | Frank Stewart
Unlucky Louie told us that his family’s
pet beagle had managed to climb onto a
South Dealer
bathroom counter and had knocked off a
N-S vulnerable
handheld mirror.
‘‘It shattered to pieces,’’ Louie sighed.
‘‘Your dog broke a mirror?’’ I said.
× J 10 7 3
‘‘Poor mutt,’’ Cy the Cynic shrugged.
µ A J 10 2
‘‘He’s facing 49 years of bad luck.’’
Louie’s own ‘‘bad luck’’ seems to be unending. As declarer at today’s slam,
ä 10 8 4 3
Louie drew trumps, led a club to
dummy’s queen and returned a club:
seven, ten, jack. West then led the nine of
Louie frowned, took the ace, ruffed a diaäAJ6
mond, ruffed a club, ruffed a diamond
and ruffed his last club. He next tried a
å K 10 5 3
spade finesse with his jack, but West
won. Down one.
‘‘Unlucky,’’ Louie fumed.
Louie might have played West for the
king of diamonds since East had not dou6×
All Pass
bled North’s cue bid of four diamonds.
Opening lead - × 2
But Louie succeeds easily by taking the
ace of diamonds before he leads the
second club. When West takes the jack, any return gives Louie a trick and his contract.
Daily Question: You hold: ä K 5 2, × J 10 7 3, µ A J 10 2, å Q 4. Your partner opens one
club, you respond one heart and he bids one spade. What do you say?
Answer: You have the values to jump to 2NT. Partner should treat that bid as inviting
game; if your queen of clubs were the ace, you could bid 3NT yourself. If you’re vulnerable, in fact, you might try 3NT with your actual hand since it seems the defenders
won’t have a promising suit with which to beat it.
Tribune Content Agency
CROSSWORD | Edited by Will Shortz
“We choose to go to 34
the moon” speech 35
giver, informally
Wines said to go
well with steak
Make do
Granola morsel
Emollient source
Words on a pink
cigar band
Losing effort?
“Money talks,” e.g. 50
Fish that may be
jellied or smoked
With 36-Across,
what this puzzle
features, literally
Give ___ go
Gas or water
College player, e.g.
Yemeni capital
A vital sign
“Wee” fellow
See 25-Across
Japanese masked
Respected tribesman
Faux money
Appear gradually,
on film
It occurs twice
in “chalk talk”
Miracle-___ (garden
care brand)
Organization that
honored those
referenced in the
with “the”
Angels’ instruments
Solution to September 13 puzzle
55 Camcorder brand
56 “How ___
Your Mother”
57 En route
60 “O tempora! O
mores!” orator
62 Whole bunch
63 The whole shebang
64 Willing to try
65 ___ Trueheart, Dick
Tracy’s sweetheart
66 Bit of hope, in
an expression
67 U.S. general who
was a pentathlete in
the 1912 Olympics
1 Mozart’s middle
2 Wine from a single
type of grape
3 Jolie of “Maleficent”
4 Ready to snap,
5 datum
6 Website with
“Ask Me Anything”
7 Like some custody
or tax returns
8 Budgetary excess
9 Jewelers’ purity
measures: Abbr.
10 Ravi Shankar’s music
11 Magic potion
12 Triangular chip
13 March locale of note
19 Cries from a flock
22 Very standoffish
25 Actress Zadora
26 “One,” in a coin
27 Auditioner’s hope
30 Put on, as cargo
32 2016 running mate
34 72, on many courses
36 Savings acct.
37 Sofer of “General
39 The jaguar on a
Jaguar’s hood, e.g.
40 Thus far
42 Paper for a pad
43 Like a fox
44 It’s smaller than
a company
45 New Caledonia is
a territory of it
46 Major vessels
47 Brief time, in brief
48 Sgt. Friday’s
49 Quickie Halloween
51 In a deadpan manner
54 Degs. for many
56 “Law & Order:
SVU” co-star
58 Subject of
59 Reminiscent of
61 Bitter brew, briefly
Visions of life on Mars in Earth’s depths
A new take on the giraffe:
It’s four species, not one
You would think that giraffes, the
tallest land animals in the world, would
be hard to overlook. Yet for centuries,
scientists may have missed a fundamental fact about these long-necked
creatures: They aren’t one species, but
rather four distinct ones.
After testing the DNA of nearly 200
giraffes across Africa, researchers
found that genetic mutations were
present in certain groups and absent in
others. The differences were marked
enough to justify classifying the groups
as four distinct species.
Until this point, giraffes were simply
Giraffa camelopardalis. Now they will
be classified as reticulated giraffes,
southern giraffes, northern giraffes or
Masai giraffes. Over the past 30 years,
giraffe numbers have dropped to about
90,000 individuals from about 150,000.
Scientists search
for microbes in a South
African mine for clues
A reticulated giraffe.
Seafood labels are not always
accurate, study finds
One in five seafood samples tested
worldwide turns out to be completely
different from what the menu or packaging claims, according to a recent report on seafood fraud by the ocean conservation group Oceana.
The biggest impostor was farmed
Asian catfish, sold in place of 18 types of
more expensive fish, including perch,
cod and grouper. But sometimes the
substituted fish turned out to be an endangered species. In Brazil largetooth
sawfish, which is critically endangered,
was sold as ‘‘shark.’’ N.S.F.
Scientists find a new species
of snake in Madagascar
A new species of snake — pale-grey,
dappled with white and black spots —
has been discovered on a rocky plateau
in northern Madagascar. Researchers
are calling it Madagoscarophis lolo,
after the Malagasy word for ‘‘ghost.’’
The snakes of the Madagoscarophis
genus, active at twilight and at night,
are called ‘‘cat-eyed snakes’’ for their
vertical pupils. The new 20-inch specimen was found during an expedition in
2014, and a DNA analysis published last
week confirms that it is a new species.
Acupuncture with a zap
might ease constipation
Acupuncture to the abdomen, bolstered by an electric
current, helped relieve
severe constipation, a new
study found. Chinese researchers studied 1,075 patients with severe functional
constipation, which means they were
unable to have a complete bowel movement more than twice a week. The
study subjects all reported a number of
unpleasant symptoms, including hard
stools, a sensation of incomplete evacuation and often needing to strain when
going to the bathroom. They were randomly assigned to receive either a form
of acupuncture or a sham procedure,
according to the report published today
in Annals of Internal Medicine.
During the eight weeks of treatment,
31.3 percent of people in the treatment
group showed improvement (measured by three or more bowel movements per week without the need for
laxatives) compared with just 12.1 percent in the control group who improved. NICHOLAS BAKALAR
Most parents give wrong
dose of liquid medication
More than 84 percent of parents in a randomized trial
made errors in measuring liquid pediatric medicines, and
21 percent measured out doses that were
more than twice as large as instructed.
The study, conducted at pediatric
clinics in New York, Atlanta and Stanford, Calif., also found that there were
fewer errors when parents measured
the dose with an oral syringe rather
than a measuring cup.
Pediatric medicines generally rely on
liquid formulations, and parents have
to decipher a sometimes bewildering
assortment of instructions in different
units with varying abbreviations — milliliters, mL, teaspoon, tsp, tablespoon.
Some medicines come with a measuring tool, but often the units on the label
are different from those on the tool.
The Food and Drug Administration
issued a guidance document for the industry in 2013 concerning over-thecounter products that recommended,
but did not require, standard dosing
tools and consistent labeling. N.B.
A mile down in an unused mine tunnel,
scientists guided by helmet lamps
trudged through darkness and the
muck of a flooded, uneven floor.
In the subterranean world of the Beatrix gold mine, they shed their backpacks, taking out tools and meticulously
prepared test tubes to collect samples.
Leaning a ladder against the hard rock
wall, Tullis C. Onstott, a geosciences professor at Princeton, climbed to open an
old valve about a dozen feet up.
Out flowed water chock-full of microbes, organisms flourishing not from
the warmth of the sun, but by heat generated from the interior of the planet below.
These tiny life-forms — bacteria and
other microbes and even little worms —
exist in places nearly impossible to reach,
living in eternal darkness, in hard rock.
Scientists like Mr. Onstott have been
on the hunt for life in the underworld, not
just in South Africa but in mines in South
Dakota and at the bottom of oceans.
What they learn could provide insights
into where life could exist elsewhere in
the solar system, including Mars.
Microbial Martians might well look
like what lives in the rocks here at a
deep underground mine.
The same conditions almost certainly
exist on Mars. Drill a hole there, drop
these organisms in, and they might happily multiply, fueled by chemical reactions in the rocks and drips of water.
‘‘As long as you can get below the ice,
no problems,’’ Mr. Onstott said. ‘‘They
just need a little bit of water.’’
Mars has long been a focus of space
exploration and science fiction dreams.
NASA has sent more robotic probes
there than any other planet. But now
there is renewed interest in sending
people as well. NASA has been enthusiastically promoting its ‘‘Journey to
Mars’’ goal to send astronauts there in
the 2030s. Elon Musk, the billionaire
founder of SpaceX, is promising that he
will be able to get there a decade sooner
and set up colonies.
Astronauts on Mars would be able to
greatly accelerate the quest for answers
to the most intriguing questions about
the red planet. Was there ever life on
Mars? Could there be life there today?
It was not that long ago that scientists
had written off Mars as lifeless.
Forty years ago, NASA spent nearly
$1 billion on its Viking mission, which
revealed a cold, dry world seemingly
devoid of organic molecules that are the
building blocks of life.
But more recent missions have discovered compelling evidence that Mars
was not always such an uninviting
place. In its youth, more than 3 billion
years ago, the planet was warmer and
wetter, blanketed with a thick atmosphere — possibly almost Earthlike.
A fanciful but plausible notion is that
life did originate on Mars, then traveled
to Earth via meteorites, and we are all
Top, a team led by Tullis C. Onstott of Princeton Univesity looking in the Beatrix mine in South Africa for life-forms. Above left, a new species of nematod that scientists discovered in the Beatrix mine. Above right, NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars.
descendants of Martians.
Eventually, Mars did turn cold and
dry. Radiation broke apart the water
molecules, and the lighter hydrogen
atoms escaped to space. The atmosphere thinned to wisps.
But if life did arise on Mars, might it
have migrated to the underworld and
For a couple of decades, Mr. Onstott
has been talking his way into South African gold mines, regaling the mine managers with the wonder of deep Earth life
to overcome their wariness. In many
ways, the mines provide easy access to
the depths — a ride in a cagelike elevator, jammed against miners starting
their shift, descending quickly as lights
from the different levels zip past. Think
of it as traveling through a 450-story
skyscraper, going down.
Mr. Onstott and his colleagues had
made repeated pilgrimages to this particular tunnel in this particular mine,
Beatrix, 160 miles southwest of Johannesburg.
When miners carve out new tunnels,
they poke holes through the rock to see
what surprises might lie ahead. Some-
times the borehole taps into a section of
fractured rock with water coursing
through. Then the fracture is drained
and plugged.
But this particular tunnel at Beatrix
never entered production, so the borehole valve remains, allowing the scientists to return to draw samples from the
same place.
At this level, almost a mile underground, the elevator gates open to a
well-lit, concrete cavern with the unremarkable plainness of a parking garage.
A minirailway system transports
miners and ore back and forth. The side
tunnel, though, is pitch black save for
the helmet lamps, and the trek to the
valve is a slosh through muck and over
tangles of mangled electrical cabling.
Scientists led by Mr. Onstott made
their most recent trip to South Africa in
June last year. Over a couple of hours,
they took their fill of the water and set up
an apparatus that remains attached to
the valve, trapping microbes, which were
retrieved later in the summer. Since then,
they have been analyzing the samples to
understand this assemblage of life.
‘‘The truth is it’s virtually every-
Microbial Martians might well
look like what lives in the
rocks here at a deep
underground mine. The same
conditions likely exist on Mars.
where we look,’’ Penny Boston, the director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, said in July at a panel celebrating
the 40th anniversary of Viking’s landing
on Mars.
Results from an earlier trip to Beatrix
befuddled Mr. Onstott. He had expected
the mine microbes to be feeding off organic matter dissolved in the water. In
this picture, the ecosystem would be
largely devoid of primary producers
and instead subsist on leftovers, the detritus of long dead organisms washed
down from above or deposited with the
sediment 2.9 billion years ago.
‘‘The only problem was that we didn’t
have any indication they were eating
the organic matter in the fracture water,’’ Mr. Onstott said.
They figured out that the carbon molecules in the microbes came from meth-
ane, a plausible answer. Microbes
known as methanogens consume hydrogen and carbon dioxide and produce
methane; other microbes known as
methanotrophs eat methane. But the
Beatrix water contained little of either.
‘‘It didn’t make any sense at all,’’ Mr.
Onstott said. ‘‘It made zero sense to
Maggie Lau, a postdoctoral researcher in Mr. Onstott’s laboratory, started
examining the genetic snippets for
clues of how the Beatrix community of
microbes worked.
With the newest data, it turned out
there was a wider community of
primary producer microbes, eating nitrogen and sulfur compounds.
In essence, the waste of one microbe
helped feed its neighbor, and only a little
bit of methane, an energy-rich molecule,
was enough to power the entire community.
‘‘Now, for the first time, we’re getting
a true description of the ecosystem,’’
Mr. Onstott said. ‘‘We think it’s a fairly
common phenomenon.’’
The odds of Mars life, past or present,
are just conjecture.
If life is deep underground, robotic
spacecraft would not find them easily.
NASA’s InSight spacecraft, scheduled
to launch in 2018, will carry an instrument that can burrow 16 feet into the
ground, but it is essentially just a thermometer to measure the flow of heat to
the surface. NASA’s next rover, launching in 2020, is largely a clone of Curiosity
with different experiments. It will drill
rock samples to be returned to Earth by
a later mission, but those samples will
be from rocks at the surface.
All this new interest in possible life on
Mars is a sort of vindication for Gilbert
V. Levin, one of the scientists who
worked on Viking. Mr. Levin is sure he
discovered life on Mars 40 years ago,
and everyone else has been drawing the
wrong conclusions from the Viking
data. If he is right, then perhaps rediscovering life on Mars may require just
scratching the surface.
The two Vikings carried what was
known as the labeled release experiment, developed by Levin and another
investigator, Patricia A. Straat. Essentially, radioactive food made with unstable carbon-14 was added to samples
of Martian soil. The idea was that if microbes digested the food, the carbon-14
would be released in a stream of radioactive carbon dioxide and other gases
rising out of the soil.
That is exactly what happened.
Then other samples were heated to
320 degrees Fahrenheit to sterilize
them. If microbes were generating the
radioactive gases, then there should be
no gas rising from the sterilized soil.
That, too, is what happened.
‘‘The response on Mars is well within
the responses from terrestrial soils,’’
Mr. Levin said, ‘‘most closely the Arctic
and Alaska.’’
Mr. Levin has proposed, again and
again, sending another labeled release
experiment to Mars, to no avail.
Mr. Levin may finally get his wish
with ExoMars, a European rover scheduled to launch in 2020.
For the latest news and discoveries go to
In the bonobo world, female camaraderie prevails
In the African forest,
matriarchal group rules
species’ social networks
The female bonobo apes of the Wamba
forest in the Democratic Republic of
Congo had just finished breakfast and
were preparing for a brief nap in the treetops, bending and crisscrossing leafy
branches into comfortable day beds.
But one of the females was in estrus,
her rump exceptionally pink and
swollen, and four males in the group
were too excited to sleep. They took turns
wildly swinging and jumping around the
fertile female and her bunkmates, shaking the branches, appearing to display
their erections and perforating the air
with high-pitched screams and hoots.
Suddenly, three older, high-ranking
female bonobos bolted up from below, a
furious blur of black fur and swinging
limbs and, together with the female in
estrus, flew straight for the offending
males. The males scattered. The females pursued them. Tree boughs
bounced and cracked. Screams on all
sides grew deafening.
Three of the males escaped, but the females cornered and grabbed the fourth
one — the resident alpha male. He was
healthy, muscular and about 18 pounds
heavier than any of his captors. But no
The females bit into him as he howled
and struggled to pull free. Finally, ‘‘he
dropped from the tree and ran away, and
he didn’t appear again for about three
weeks,’’ said Nahoko Tokuyama, of the
Primate Research Institute at Kyoto
University in Japan, who witnessed the
encounter. When the male returned, he
kept to himself. Dr. Tokuyama noticed
that the tip of one of his toes was gone.
‘‘Being hated by females,’’ she said in
an email interview, ‘‘is a big matter for
male bonobos.’’
The toe-trimming incident was extreme but not unique. Describing re-
Bonobos grooming each other. The females often band together to fend off male aggression.
sults from their long-term field work in
the September issue of Animal Behaviour, Dr. Tokuyama and her colleague
Takeshi Furuichi reported that the female bonobos of Wamba often banded
together to fend off male aggression,
and in patterns that defied the standard
primate rule book.
Adult females responded to a broad
range of male provocations — unwanted sexual overtures, food disputes,
pushing, kicking, vocal threats, persistent pestiness — by forming coalitions of
two or more females, who would then
jointly take on their male tormentors.
Remarkably, the female partners in a
bonobo posse cooperated with one another despite lacking any ties of blood or
even close friendship. As the so-called
dispersing sex, female bonobos must
leave their birthplaces before puberty
and find another social set to join, which
means that none of the adult females in
a given bonobo community are kin.
Moreover, female bonobos rarely
formed coalitions with their preferred
girlfriends — the individuals they spent
the most time with and groomed the
Bonobos are famed for their
hypersexuality and the way
they use sex as an all-purpose
problem solver.
most ardently. Instead, the researchers
found, coalitions arose when a senior female would step in and take the side of a
younger peer caught up in an escalating
conflict with a resident male.
By delivering the formidable luster of
her social standing, as well as an extra
pair of hands, the intervening senior
pretty much guaranteed that the skirmish would break her way.
The new results add depth and complexity to our emerging understanding
of Pan paniscus, the enigmatic, lithe
great ape with the dark licorice eyes,
who lives only in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is seriously endangered.
The bonobo is a sister species to the
more widespread common chimpanzee,
Pan troglodytes, and the two share equal
footing as our nearest primate kin.
Yet the apes have followed distinctly
different behavioral paths. Chimpanzee
society is male-dominated and features
strong bonds between adult males and
feeble ties between females.
In the bonobo world, by contrast, female camaraderie prevails, while the
bonds between males are weak. ‘‘It’s a
matriarchy,’’ said Amy Parish, a primatologist at the University of Southern California. ‘‘Females are running the show.’’
The latest research indicates that the
nature of the bonobos’ sororal bonds
shifts depending on circumstances, and
that the most effective deterrent to male
harassment may be a cross-generational pact.
Bonobos are famed for their hypersexuality and the way they use sex as an
all-purpose problem solver in every
possible situation, permutation and
combination. When bonobos come upon
a great patch of fruit, for example, and
tensions rise over feeding priority, the
bonobos will decompress with a quick
round of genito-genital rubbing and
similar acts: males with females, males
with males, females with females, juveniles with adults.
Bonobos tongue-kiss, practice oral
sex, have intercourse face-to-face, and
make sex toys. Frances White, a biological anthropologist at the University of
Oregon, once watched a female bonobo
turn a stick into a kind of knobby
‘‘French tickler,’’ with which she then
stimulated herself. ‘‘They’re not always
family friendly,’’ Dr. White said.
Such erotic antics have earned
bonobos a reputation as laid-back ‘‘hippie apes,’’ a label that researchers say
belies the primate’s strategic intelligence and capacity for brutality. Dr. Parish, who studies bonobos in captivity, has
seen the young offspring of dominant females flaunt their inherited power by
marching over to lesser-ranking female
adults, prying their jaws open and extracting the food from their mouths.
She also recounted the time that two
females attacked a male at the Stuttgart
Zoo in Germany and bit his penis in half.
Fortunately, she said, ‘‘a microsurgeon
at the zoo was able to repair the damage,
and the male went on to reproduce.’’
Nevertheless, bonobos are far less violent than chimpanzees, and female
bonobos clearly benefit from life in a
constructed sisterhood. Female chimpanzees cannot pick and choose a partner from among the available males, but
must mate with all of them. Female
bonobos can reject suitors without fearing for their lives. Infanticide is common
among chimpanzees, but unheard-of
among bonobos.
The outstanding question for researchers is how the female solidarity
routine started.
Male chimpanzees remain in their
natal home, so their male-male bonds
are built on the standard evolutionary
principle of kin selection. Female chimpanzees end up surrounded by nonrelatives in adulthood, so they mind their
own business.
Why did female bonobos defy the norm
and start cooperating with one another?
And why don’t male bonobos forge alliances with other nearby males who are
likely their brothers and cousins?
Differing ecological conditions may
have helped set the stage for the behavioral divergence. By this hypothesis,
bonobos evolved in a region with a comparatively abundant and reliable food
source, which meant that females could
forage in view of one another without
coming to blows.
The more time they spent foraging,
the more affiliative they became, and
soon they were applying their displays
of mutual respect and tolerance to other
tasks, like rebuffing male harassers.
Chimpanzees evolved in drier climates, where food was scarce and for
aging females had to compete with one
another for limited goods. Who has time
for friends?
As for male bonobos, they may be
subordinate themselves to females in
cliques, and they may have no interest
in hanging out with the guys. But they
have a secret social weapon: their
mothers. Male bonobos stay with their
mothers for life, and as her status grows
with age, so does his.
Premium perks, for a considerable price
Bargain-hunters see value
in the benefits offered by
elite rewards credit cards
Seldom does a new credit card go viral.
There are the unboxing videos posted
on YouTube: People exulting in receiving the precious new metallic rectangle,
lovingly unwrapping it, boasting to the
world of their ownership of it. (One video features a cat ripping the package
There are message boards and blogs
dedicated to obsessing over it, with
more than 6,000 comments so far on a
Reddit discussion.
It is so popular that JPMorgan Chase,
the bank that issues the card, ran out of
the engraved card’s fancy metal stock in
only 10 days and had to send a temporary plastic placeholder to disappointed
But the Chase Sapphire Reserve card
has done more than generate product
hysteria at its finest. It has also intensified the arms race among large credit
card issuers, which are introducing increasingly lavish rewards programs to
capture affluent consumers who spend
large sums on travel and recreation but
no longer want to be bound to one particular hotel or airline’s affinity program.
The price for these premium cards
can seem outlandish: $450 a year. But
for a growing number of customers, the
math makes sense. Cards that were
once more about elite service and social
status are now emphasizing their bottom-line value proposition — even when
it comes with a hefty annual fee.
“American Express used to have a
stranglehold on the high-end market,
but folks like Chase and Citi are coming
hard after their crown,” said Matt
Schulz, an analyst for,
a comparison site. “It’s the best time in
years to shop for a rewards card.”
American Express’s Platinum charge
card pioneered the premium category
and was for a long time its undisputed
champion. But in 2014, Citi overhauled
its high-end Prestige credit card to take
on the Platinum card with similar perks
— free hotel stays, access to airport
lounges and private golf courses, transferable points redeemable for airfares
and upgrades — as well as spending incentives to let customers cash in faster.
It quickly became a favorite among costconscious road warriors.
Chase started making plans early last
year for its own entry into the market.
Those who call themselves travel
hackers, a community of value-seekers
who go to elaborate lengths to maximize
their reward points, obsessively analyze
the nuances of the latest deals the way
sports fans scrutinize their team’s draft
picks. In late July, rumors began spreading on FlyerTalk, a popular message
board, that Chase had a new card in the
works, with a 100,000-point sign-up bonus — twice the standard offer from its
When an online link accidentally went
live in mid-August, a week earlier than
Chase planned, people pounced: Hundreds of applications poured in for a
card Chase had not yet announced.
“It significantly exceeded our expectations,” Amy Bonitatibus, a spokes-
What do
you know
about your
credit card?
Travel hackers obsessively analyze the
nuances of premium card deals. How
well do you know your credit cards?
A. How high your credit limit is.
B. What year the card was issued.
C. What country your card was
issued in.
D. What type of company issued the
A. Interest paid by people who don’t
pay their balances in full every
B. Fees (annual fees, late fees, overthe-limit fees, etc.)
C. Revenue from merchants, who
must pay a fraction of each purchase to your credit card’s issuer.
D. Selling lists of credit card
customers to others.
A. $0
B. $25
C. $50
D. $100
“Rewards cards made travel a reality for me,” said Amber Cooney, who works in Austin, Tex. She plans to use her Chase Sapphire Reserve card on a trip to Japan this year.
woman for Chase, said of the “tens of
thousands” of cards the bank has issued
so far. It has been a particular hit with
millennials, who make up the majority
of the cardholders — a noteworthy detail, given that many millennials have
been turning thumbs-down on credit
The card’s rich sign-up bonus caught
the eye of Amber Cooney, 29, who works
for a nonprofit lender in Austin, Tex.,
and is saving for a honeymoon next year
in Italy and Croatia. She considers herself a casual credit card user, but she
started paying attention to points and
rewards a few years ago when she realized that her spending patterns could
net her free vacations if she planned
“Rewards cards made travel a reality
for me,” she said. “I went from seeing Niagara Falls and calling that my international travel to visiting four different
countries.” Her points have paid for airfare to Argentina and hotels in Paris;
she plans to use her Chase card on a trip
to Japan this year.
Ben Schlappig, 26, a travel blogger
who lives the life of an upscale-travel nomad — he has no fixed address, preferring to live in hotel rooms — plans to
shift most of his spending to his Chase
Sapphire Reserve. The card offers triple
points on dining and travel spending,
the two categories that consume nearly
all of Mr. Schlappig’s budget.
Chase defines “travel” fairly flexibly,
and includes services like Airbnb and
Uber. Sapphire Reserve customers have
spent $1.5 million already with those two
companies, earning 4.5 million points,
Ms. Bonitatibus said.
“It’s an incredible deal,” said Mr.
Schlappig, who writes the blog One Mile
at a Time. “The card is almost too good
to be true. I think a lot of people are
scared that some of the perks will be
Ms. Bonitatibus insists that Chase has
no current plans to make changes, but
the general trend with loyalty and points
program is that card issuers are quick to
ditch benefits that dig too deeply into
their profits.
Citi Prestige customers grumbled this
year when the card dropped its free access to American Airlines’ Admirals
Club lounges, a perk that had disappeared two years earlier from American
Express’s Platinum card. With credit
card companies adjusting the perk programs so often, the value of each
issuers’ reward miles and points
changes frequently, prompting some
people to card-hop. One travel blogger,
The Points Guy, posts monthly calculations, down to the micropenny, of what
he considers each card’s benefits to be
Perhaps as a sign of the strengthened
United States economy, the major
issuers say that demand for their premium cards is rising. The number of Citi
Prestige cardholders increased sixfold
in the last 18 months, according to a company spokeswoman, and American Express says that its Platinum card membership is “large, growing and loyal.”
Customers seem increasingly willing
to consider shifting from free cards to
ones with fees and better perks. Ameri-
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which
has a $450 annual fee, has been a hit.
cans received 1.2 billion direct-mail credit card solicitations in the second quarter of this year, according to research by
Mintel Comperemedia. A record proportion of them, 19 percent, were for fee-carrying rewards cards, up from 14 percent
a year ago.
“Around the recession, we saw promotional innovation in the cash-back
space,” said Andrew Davidson, a senior
vice president of Mintel. “Now, I think
we might start seeing more innovation
around points and miles in the premium
space. What this launch has done is
shake things up a bit: American Express and Citi will be forced to re-evaluate their cards’ value proposition.”
The premium cards’ gains may come
at the expense of the more traditional
airline, retail and hotel cards issued by
banks. Around 43 percent of adult Americans had at least one affinity credit card
last year, a sharp decrease from the 55
percent who carried one in 2009, according to research from Packaged Facts,
which regularly surveys the market.
“If you look at the behavior of
millennials, it’s clear they’re not going to
commit to a relationship with one credit
card, or brand, the way their parents
did,” said David Robertson, the publisher of The Nilson Report, which follows the credit card industry.
He is even casting a critical eye on his
own go-to card, an American Airlines
card from Citi that carries a $450 annual
“I look at it now, and it’s just a question of, do I want to spend the time to
think about the value proposition on an
alternative?” Mr. Robertson said.
“There’s much to be said about inertia.”
A. You will go into debt.
B. You will lower your credit score,
at least temporarily.
C. You will make yourself more
vulnerable to identity theft.
D. Your bank will charge you higher
5. WHAT IS THE “5/24” RULE?
A. The number of charges you can
make in a day before setting off
fraud detection systems.
B. The proportion of your total
available credit that you can use
without negatively affecting your
credit score.
C. The maximum number of credit
cards you can open in a 24-month
period before some issuers will
cut you off.
D. The longest expiration date allowed for cards currently in
B. Visa
C. Sears
D. Bank of America
A. 1 billion
B. 4 billion
C. 8 billion
D. 10 billion
Answers: 1) D. 2) A. 3) C. 4) B. 5)
C. 6) A. 7) D.
Fed policy maker campaigns for ‘prudence’ in increasing U.S. rates
Lael Brainard, a Federal Reserve governor and a leading proponent of the Fed’s
efforts to stimulate the economy, has
said in a speech that she still favored
“prudence” in raising interest rates in
the United States despite recent signs of
economic progress.
The remarks on Monday reinforce expectations that the Fed will not raise its
benchmark interest rate when its policy-making committee meets on Sept. 20
and 21, and investors celebrated accordingly. Stocks rose and interest rates fell
in the United States, reversing much of
the market movement on Friday, when
investors worried the Fed might move
toward a rate increase.
But pressure continues to build for a
rate increase before the end of the year.
A few hours before Ms. Brainard spoke,
Dennis P. Lockhart, president of the
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, joined
a growing list of Fed officials arguing
that the economy was strong enough to
justify an increase in borrowing costs.
He called for a “serious discussion” at
the September meeting.
The Fed also faced new pressure from
Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, who said on Monday
on CNBC that the Fed’s chairwoman,
Janet L. Yellen, was keeping rates low
“because she’s obviously political and
doing what Obama wants her to do.”
Ms. Yellen “should be ashamed of herself,” he added.
Mr. Trump’s criticism of Ms. Yellen
and the Fed breaks with the general
practice of presidents and presidential
candidates in recent decades to refrain
from criticizing the Fed’s conduct of
monetary policy. Hillary Clinton, the
Democratic presidential nominee, casti-
gated Mr. Trump last week for similar
“Words have consequences,” Mrs.
Clinton told reporters. “Words move
markets. Words can be misinterpreted.
Words can have effects on people’s
401(k)’s, their pension funds, their stock
“He should not be adding the Fed onto
his long list of institutions and individuals that he is maligning,” she added.
Fed officials insist they will not consider the political consequences of increasing rates. They may, however, hesitate to act before the November election
out of concern for the economic consequences of political turbulence, the
same way they hesitated before
Britain’s referendum in June on its
membership in the European Union.
Ms. Yellen, presiding over an increasingly fractious group of policy makers,
has sought to emphasize their common
ground. She said in an August speech
that the case for raising rates had become stronger in recent months, but she
stopped short of saying that it was time
to raise rates.
Ms. Brainard’s speech on Monday
was the last before the Fed’s pre-meeting blackout period, effectively giving
her the last word in the public debate
among Fed officials ahead of the September meeting.
Ms. Brainard agreed reluctantly to
support the Fed’s first post-recession
rate increase in December, but she has
stiffened in her concerns. Since then,
she has made a habit of laying down
markers before important Fed meetings, making the case for patience in
March and again in June. On Monday,
she once again seized the spotlight to explain why she is still not ready to raise
interest rates.
Ms. Brainard said recent economic
data raised some questions about the
Lael Brainard, a governor of the Federal Reserve Board who supported a rise in American interest rates last December, has repeatedly recommended standing pat this year.
strength of growth, and there was certainly no sign of resurgent inflation in
the United States. “In the presence of
uncertainty and the absence of accelerating inflationary pressures, it would be
unwise for policy to foreclose on the pos-
sibility of making further gains in the labor market,” she told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
She added that the context in which
the Fed operates had also changed. A
global decline in market interest rates
means that the force of the Fed’s stimulus campaign has been reduced even
without a rate increase. Moreover, she
noted that the weakness of the global
economy continued to weigh on the
United States, contributing to an environment of persistently low growth and
low inflation.
Finally, she said that she remained
more concerned about moving too
quickly than waiting too long. The Fed
has few tools to ward off fresh weakness
in the economy, while it can easily respond to an inflationary resurgence.
“This asymmetry in risk management in today’s new normal counsels
prudence in the removal of policy accommodation,” Ms. Brainard said. “I believe that this approach has served us
Daniel K. Tarullo, another Fed governor, said in a CNBC interview on Friday
that he too favored patience. Mr. Tarullo
described himself as a member of the
“‘show-me’ camp” that wants to see evidence of stronger inflation before raising rates. So far, he said, there is not
enough. “From my personal perspective, I think we have an opportunity to
continue to get employment gains,” Mr.
Tarullo said.
Other officials argue that inflation always follows stronger growth; if the Fed
waits for the inevitable increase, they
warn, the Fed may need to raise rates
more sharply, causing a recession.
Mr. Tarullo said in the interview, however, that officials who took this view
should still have hesitations about the
outlook for growth. He described the recent economic data as a mixed bag.
A growing number of Fed officials argue that this caution is misdirected. Eric
S. Rosengren, president of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Boston, said in a
speech on Friday that raising rates in
the near term could actually help extend
Recent economic data raised
some questions about the
strength of growth, and there
was certainly no sign of
resurgent inflation.
the economic expansion, now in its
eighth year. The Fed may now be providing too much stimulus, he said, and
overheating could end up forcing sharper rate increases.
“If we want to ensure that we remain
at full employment, gradual tightening
is likely to be appropriate,” Mr. Rosengren said in Quincy, Mass. “A failure to
continue on the path of gradual removal
of accommodation could shorten, rather
than lengthen, the duration of this recovery.”
Esther L. George, president of the
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City,
Mo. — and, like Mr. Rosengren, one of
the 10 Fed officials with a policy vote this
year — has expressed concern that low
rates are encouraging excessive speculation, birthing future financial crises.
Ms. George is the only Fed official to
vote to raise rates this year.
Fed officials still could coalesce
around a late-year rate increase, as they
did last year. After September, the Fed
has two more meetings on the calendar,
in November and December.
Asked what it would take to win her
vote, Ms. Brainard said she would need
to see more inflation. She also noted recent weakness in some economic
measures like corporate profits and investment.
“It would be important, I think, to see
some of those spending indicators starting to really move in a more positive direction going into the third and fourth
quarter,” Ms. Brainard said.
finance companies
Fund seeks
that achieve
social good
TPG Growth expanding
with creation of Rise Fund
of more than $1 billion
TPG Growth has established itself as a
boldface name in investing, with stakes
in companies that include Silicon Valley
darlings like Uber and Airbnb and the
guitar maker Fender.
Now the business, part of the investing titan TPG, is planning to branch out
into the world of so-called social impact
investing that is meant to be
philanthropically and financially successful — and with operations on a big
TPG Growth plans to raise money for
what it will call its Rise Fund, which it
hopes will eventually invest more than
$1 billion, according to people with direct
knowledge of the matter.
The fund will involve a partnership
with Elevar Equity, an investor that has
backed 24 companies in seven countries.
An Elevar co-founder, Maya Chorengel, is expected to spend a significant
amount of time working on the Rise
The new fund, which has been in the
works for about a year, is the latest entry
into social impact investing. Most impact funds have been run by smaller in-
Saudi Aramco hopes to strengthen its position on the Gulf of Mexico coast by about 50 percent with the purchase of a huge refinery in the Houston Ship Channel that has been put on the market by LyondellBasell.
Saudi bid for a Houston oil refinery is big bet
The Saudi national oil company is
making a bid to significantly expand its
operations in the United States at a critical moment in the always uneasy relations between the United States and
Saudi Arabia.
The company, Saudi Aramco, aims to
strengthen its position on the Gulf of
Mexico coast by buying a large oil
refinery in the Houston Ship Channel
that LyondellBasell is putting up for
And despite geopolitical tensions between Riyadh and Washington, Saudi
Aramco sees the potential acquisition as
a way to shore up its exports at a time of
erosion in the oil business on which the
Saudi economy is still largely reliant.
Because of plunging prices, the value of
Saudi oil sales has shrunk in recent
years. And Saudi Arabia’s archrival,
Iran, is becoming a more potent commercial competitor now that it is exporting substantial quantities of crude.
Four years ago, Saudi Aramco completed a $10 billion expansion of a giant
oil refinery in Port Arthur, Tex., in a joint
venture with Royal Dutch Shell called
Motiva Enterprises. The converted
plant is now the biggest producer of gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products in the United States.
This time, Saudi Aramco wants to do a
deal on its own. But its negotiations with
LyondellBasell, a Dutch company, come
as Congress is moving to allow families
of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for supposed ties between government officials
and the terrorists, most of whom were
Saudi citizens. The Obama administration has threatened to veto the measure,
although an override is possible.
Saudi officials have denied any role in
the attacks and have threatened to sell
$750 billion in United States assets, including Treasury securities, held by the
Saudi government if the congressional
measure moves forward.
But energy experts say the quiet bid
by Saudi Aramco is designed to further
protect its share of the United States oil
market, even as Washington and American oil companies continue efforts to
wean the country off foreign oil.
Saudi Aramco did not respond to
questions about the bidding. A spokeswoman for LyondellBasell said she had
no comment.
Saudi Aramco is in competition for the
Lyondell refinery with Texas-based
Valero Energy, as well as two big Canadian companies, Suncor and Cenovus.
Energy experts who have been
briefed on the negotiations say that
Saudi Aramco is a leading contender
and that the price for the refinery could
be as much as $1.5 billion.
The Lyondell plant has a capacity to
refine nearly 270,000 barrels a day of
crude, which could increase Saudi
Aramco’s capacity to refine its oil on the
Gulf coast by about 50 percent. The
refinery produces not only gasoline and
other fuels, but also can also produce
feedstocks for petrochemical production. Imports of Saudi crude have been
dropping in recent years, to 1.1 million
barrels a day this year from 1.8 million in
2003, largely because of the shale
drilling boom in Texas and North Dakota.
“It looks like they are doubling down
on their U.S. relationship,” said David L.
Goldwyn, who was the State Department coordinator for international energy affairs in the first Obama administration.
“It makes economic sense,” Mr. Goldwyn said, “because they want to be a
global petrochemical power. And it
makes political sense because they see a
long-term relationship with the U.S. as
the kind of strategic assurance they will
be seeking from the next administration.”
The Saudi effort is part of an initiative
to expand its refining empire as a way to
protect its share of the global market.
Saudi Aramco is also negotiating with
C.N.P.C., the Chinese state oil company,
for the joint construction of a giant
refinery in southwestern Yunnan Province. It has investments in other refineries in Japan, China, South Korea
and Indonesia.
The effort to focus more financial firepower on global refineries is also part of
a larger strategy to diversify investments in areas other than drilling for
crude oil on the Arabian Peninsula. A
public offering of at least some refineries is being considered to bolster
Saudi Aramco’s financial position, even
as the company is making a concerted
effort to expand production of refined
products, including gasoline and diesel.
The Lyondell refinery, one of the largest in the United States, is designed to
process low-quality, high-sulfur crude
oil. In recent years it has mostly processed Mexican crude and Canadian
heavy oil from oil sands, but it could just
as easily process low-grade Saudi crude
that refineries in Europe and Asia are
not designed to refine.
United States refineries get a competitive edge on world markets from the
low costs of American natural gas that
produces power for the plants.
The possible purchase of the Lyondell
refinery comes at a time when Saudi
Aramco and Shell are going their separate ways, ahead of the planned disbanding of their Motiva venture next
year. The two companies are still working out the details, but Saudi Aramco is
poised to gain complete control over the
Port Arthur refinery as well as a chain of
gasoline stations and storage facilities,
while Shell will take over two smaller refineries in Louisiana — Convent and
Norco — that were jointly owned.
Middle East oil experts say the impending loss of a piece of those two refineries would make the acquisition of
Lyondell refinery all the more essential
to maintain Saudi Aramco’s dominant
market position along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
“Aramco has a keen interest in maintaining its downstream market share in
the U.S.,” said Sadad I. al-Husseini, a former Saudi Aramco executive vice president, referring to the refining and marketing side of the oil industry. “The
Lyondell refinery, because of its size and
location will go a long way towards sustaining this strategy after the breakup of
Motiva and the loss of the Convent and
Norco refineries.”
Senior officials in the Saudi government have said they would like to sell a
small stake in Saudi Aramco to
investors over the next few years, and
its refineries are among its assets that
look most likely to be offered to
While investors may view refineries
in Saudi Arabia as too risky because of
political turbulence in the Persian Gulf,
refineries in the United States could be
seen as attractive investments. The proceeds from those public offerings could
then go into expanding and modernizing petrochemical operations in the
kingdom itself, energy experts said.
“It could be a move to strengthen
their downstream asset base as part of
their ongoing restructuring and I.P.O.
plans,” said Badr H. Jafar, the president
of Crescent Petroleum of the United
Arab Emirates.
Nevertheless, some energy and Middle East experts say the timing of the
Saudi bid is somewhat surprising, coming just before a United States presidential election and given the kingdom’s
shaky reputation among the American
people. But they say it shows that Saudi
Arabia still looks to the United States as
an ally in economic and political affairs,
as well as a good place to invest.
“Obviously it’s a real indication that
they don’t have concerns about the U.S.
as a safe haven for investment,” said
Amy Myers Jaffe, an expert on Middle
East energy at the University of California, Davis. “It’s an opportunity purchase, not a necessity, so it shows a real
confidence in the U.S. market.”
TPG Growth expects
returns from the new fund
to produce, at minimum,
market-rate returns.
vestment firms, though last year Bain
Capital announced that it had hired Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts
governor, to oversee what it called its
Double Impact fund.
Overseeing the effort by TPG Growth
is William E. McGlashan Jr., who in 2013
moved his family to India for a year to
help oversee the firm’s investments in
developing countries in the region.
Among its more prominent investments
is in Apollo Towers, which runs cellphone towers in Myanmar and which
the firm has promoted as having helped
spur mobile phone use in the country.
Investments by the Rise Fund will
most likely look similar to the one in
Apollo Towers, which has generated
strong returns.
TPG Growth expects returns from the
new fund to produce, at minimum, market-rate returns.
A study published last year by Cambridge Associates and the Global Impact Investing Network found that on
average, impact funds that had raised
less than $100 million outperformed
their nonimpact counterparts, though
those that had raised over $100 million
tended to lag in returns.
One major element of the Rise Fund is
that it aspires to have rigorous metrics
that quantify the social impact of its investments, the people with knowledge
of the matter said. To that end, TPG
Growth and Elevar plan to work with
the Bridgespan Group, which has
worked with the likes of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Omidyar Network, the philanthropic organization of Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire
founder of eBay.
TPG Growth has also been in discussions directly with the Omidyar Network, which uses a rating system to
evaluate how successful investments
have been in their missions.
Ford’s driverless car plan: Embrace tech but take a go-slow approach
Raj Nair, the development chief leading
Ford Motor’s effort to build self-driving
cars, concedes that he does not know
what caused the fatal May accident in
which the driver of a Tesla Model S sedan, operating in Autopilot mode,
crashed into a tractor-trailer crossing a
roadway in Florida.
But Mr. Nair has given considerable
thought to the circumstances — a truck
turning left into traffic and a partially
automated vehicle traveling at highway
speed, leaving little room for miscalculation. He has pictured the car’s camera
looking ahead and struggling to make
out a white truck against an overcast
sky, its forward-looking radar beam possibly shooting under the truck’s trailer.
The conclusion he has drawn: The
current state of even semiautonomous
driving technology isn’t quite ready to
take on such a complex traffic situation.
That is why Ford, which on Monday
demonstrated its own approach to selfdriving vehicles, said it had been convinced by its decade of research to take
a go-slow approach.
“We’ve not been able to do that with
cameras and radar,” Mr. Nair said of
Autopilot. “Not to the safety level we
would be comfortable for introducing
that into production.”
And so the automaker plans to intro-
duce self-driving cars in a controlled urban environment within five years, capable of functioning as robotic taxis at
slow, stop-and-go speeds in settings
with traffic-light predictability.
The company provided the first public
demonstration of the fleet of self-driving
cars it is building at its sprawling engineering campus here, about 10 miles
west of Detroit. Ford allowed reporters,
analysts and other guests to take a ride
in some of the 10 white Fusion sedans it
has outfitted so far with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of radar; lidar, a
kind of radar based on laser beams;
cameras; computer chips and other
The demonstration came a day after
Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, outlined upgrades to Autopilot that he said
he believed would probably have prevented the fatal crash of the Model S.
These included a more precise use of radar to identify obstacles, and a move to
make radar the primary means of scanning the road. The cameras in Tesla cars
had previously served that role.
The upgrade is also meant to force
drivers using Autopilot to keep their
hands on the wheel and eyes on the
road, to be ready to intervene if something unexpected occurs. For proponents of fully self-driving cars — which
besides Ford includes developers at
Google — the handoff between technology and a human driver cannot occur
quickly enough to avoid accidents at
A self-driving Ford car in Dearborn, Mich., has a kind of radar based on laser beams.
highway speeds. Mr. Musk, though, displayed his confidence in the technology
by claiming the new version of Autopilot
would make Tesla cars using the system
three times safer than cars without it. “I
think it will make the Model S and Model
X by far the safest cars on the road,” he
Mr. Nair on Monday acknowledged
that systems like Autopilot that use radar and cameras “certainly have prevented accidents.”
But before cars can take over most of
the driving for humans, more is needed,
in Mr. Nair’s view. That in particular includes lidar and high-definition digital
maps that will help automated cars distinguish between overhead signs and an
obstacle such as a tractor-trailer. Neither of those technologies are available
with Tesla’s system.
“We believe lidar and a high-definition map are required,” Mr. Nair said.
Mr. Musk said the improved radar
system will be able to bounce signals below cars on the road ahead, and identify
obstacles before they are visible to Tesla
But he also noted that a wooden or
plastic object might appear as transparent as glass to radar waves, and metal
objects can appear larger than they are
because they reflect such strong signals. The new radar system takes that
into account to reduce the number of
times Autopilot might brake or slow
down for “unnecessary braking events.”
During Monday’s demonstrations,
while Ford engineers sat in the driver’s
seat with hands off the steering wheel
and feet off the pedals, the cars piloted
themselves over a 10-minute loop, stopping when necessary for pedestrians,
stop lights and intersections.
During this reporter’s demonstration
ride, the Fusion came to a stop at a
crosswalk. After a group of pedestrians
had passed, the car began to edge forward but then hit its brakes again. Well
off to the left, perhaps 10 feet from the
crosswalk, a straggler was hurrying to
catch up to the group. The car’s lidar had
spotted the man and the car sensed he
was likely to dart into the road — and he
“That’s the benefit of lidar,” said
James McBride, a Ford engineer. Since
radar looks forward, it might not notice
a potential obstacle like a pedestrian entering from the side. But lidar scans
across a wide field of vision, and is capa-
Ford expects its experimental
fleet of self-driving cars to grow
to 30 by the end of the year.
ble of picking up key details of an object,
not just its shape, Mr. McBride said.
“Lidar can make out the fingers on a
pedestrian’s hand,” he said.
Google, too, is incorporating lidar into
its self-driving cars.
The Ford cars used in the demonstration were outfitted with bulky lidar systems mounted on their roofs. Within
about a month, though, the company
plans to assemble self-driving Fusions
with two lidar units that will be slightly
larger than hockey pucks.
Ford expects its experimental fleet of
self-driving cars to grow to 30 by the end
of the year, and it expects to have three
times that number by the end of 2017.
By 2021, the company has vowed to
start production of a driverless car, with
no steering wheel, and have it in use by a
ride-hailing company in an Uber-like
Uber is developing its own self-driving cars and is starting a pilot project
this week in Pittsburgh in which the vehicles will pick up real passengers, with
an engineer in the front seat in case
something goes wrong. Those cars are
also Fusions — though ones that Ford
Motor has played no part in turning into
self-driving cars.
finance business
An architect who resuscitated New York landmarks
Grand Central Terminal, the main building on Ellis Island and the Enid A. Haupt
Conservatory at the New York Botanical
Garden — all among the greatest New
York City landmarks — look better today
than they have since their earliest years.
Many hands were responsible. John
Belle was the common denominator.
Mr. Belle, the retired founding partner of Beyer Blinder Belle, an architectural and planning firm that has specialized in preservation, restoration and
contextual design, died last week at 84.
With his death, the city has lost an architect who conveyed a genial joy in resuscitating the masterworks of his predecessors. That made him an
appealingly modest figure in a room full
of big architectural egos, since he was at
his best when his own interventions
were least obvious.
New York has also lost a link to the intellectual crucible of the 1960s, when Jane
Jacobs and others demanded that architects stop obliterating the past and, instead, take time to understand the many
ways in which people were well served
by older buildings and neighborhoods.
‘‘Preservation is one of the highest
forms of good citizenship,’’ Mr. Belle
said on his firm’s website. ‘‘As a witness
to the aftermath of the urban renewal
movement in New York, I was determined to find a different way.’’
For her part, Ms. Jacobs held Beyer
Blinder Belle in high regard.
‘‘They were looking at the fabric of
the community,’’ she said in an interview in 1998. ‘‘That was very welcome
and very exciting, that there were professionals who were, at last, doing that.’’
She added: ‘‘A community can’t just
come by waving a wand. It has history.
History was, to the modernists, an enemy. So this was a very radical realization. And an important one.’’
John Belle was born on June 30, 1932,
in Cardiff, Wales. His father, Arthur, was
a clerk at a Lyons tea shop in Cardiff.
His mother, Gladys, was a housewife.
Mr. Belle received diplomas from the
Portsmouth School of Architecture in
England and the Architectural Association in London before moving to the
United States in 1959.
Once in America, Mr. Belle worked for
Josep Lluís Sert and Victor Gruen before
starting his own firm in 1968 with Richard
L. Blinder and John H. Beyer. Mr. Blinder
died in 2006. Mr. Beyer is still active.
Mr. Belle’s early work included community planning projects in Manhattan.
With the addition of James Marston Fitch
to the practice in 1979, Beyer Blinder
Belle began moving to the forefront of
preservation-oriented architecture.
The firm attracted wide attention in
1990 with its renovation and restoration
of the abandoned Ellis Island immigration station into the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. The vaulted
ceiling in the former Registry Room,
made of 28,258 Guastavino tiles, was
cleaned until it looked — as Mr. Belle
aptly put it — like mother-of-pearl.
Where modern interventions were
needed, they were made as inconspicuous and respectful as possible.
When the Haupt Conservatory at the
botanical garden in the Bronx was restored in 1997, Herbert Muschamp, who
was then the architecture critic at The
New York Times, said it could ‘‘once
again hold its sparkling glass head up
high amid the great architectural symbols of New York.’’
Though critics have faulted Beyer
Blinder Belle’s conservatism, it is worth
recalling that the firm was associated in
1998 with the daring architect Santiago
Calatrava in what proved to be a losing
bid to redesign the James A. Farley
Building, also known as the General Post
Office, as a Pennsylvania Station annex.
Penn Station was not where Mr. Belle
was to win his greatest renown. That
was at Grand Central.
You almost had to have been there in
the 1970s and ’80s to believe how far the
Beaux-Arts terminal had fallen into decrepitude, even after its status as a land-
Grand Central Terminal, top, had fallen into decrepitude before renovations in the 1990s led by Beyer Blinder Belle, co-founded by John Belle, above left, fourth from the left. The firm also restored the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New
York Botanical Garden, above right. Many hands were responsible. Mr. Belle was the common denominator. With his death last week, New York has lost an architect who conveyed a joy in resuscitating the masterworks of his predecessors.
mark was upheld by the United States
Supreme Court in 1978. Travelers
shared Grand Central with a large
homeless population.
‘‘The building was divided into turf
claimed by different drug dealers,’’ Mr.
Belle and Maxinne R. Leighton wrote in
‘‘Grand Central: Gateway to a Million
Lives.’’ ‘‘Commuters were scared to
take trains there at night. Parents
warned their children not to use the
dangerous bathrooms.’’
In 1990, a design and engineering consortium led by Beyer Blinder Belle
began work. Their strategic first strike
was to demolish a billboard called the
Kodak Colorama, which had blocked
daylight into the main concourse for 40
‘‘It was as if life were being breathed
back into the building,’’ Mr. Belle and
Ms. Leighton wrote. ‘‘Many commuters
stopped in their tracks, speechless and
amazed at the change that had so instantly brought back the majesty of the
Their astonishment increased as the
concourse ceiling was cleaned by workers on a scaffold that was rolled slowly
through the room over a nine-month
period. The mud brown sky turned a
startling teal, with stars, constellations
and zodiac signs popping out in goldleaf contrast.
Besides restoring the past, Beyer
Blinder Belle made fundamental
changes, too, starting with the construction of an entirely new marble staircase
to the east balcony. It echoed, but did not
replicate, the ornate western staircase.
Some preservationists hated the idea.
But the firm prevailed before city and
state preservation agencies after it uncovered a plan by the original architects, Warren & Wetmore, that showed a
staircase to the east balcony.
Mr. Muschamp, the architecture critic, approved. ‘‘The new eastern stair-
case, which threatened to diminish the
room’s amplitude, has the opposite effect of magnifying it,’’ he wrote in 1998,
as the $425 million renovation neared
completion. He continued, ‘‘Even more
impressive is the uncovering of the
ramps, located just behind the ticket
windows, that lead down to the lower
level and its fabled Oyster Bar.’’
‘‘Beyer Blinder Belle’s greatest accomplishment,’’ Mr. Muschamp said,
‘‘has been to reveal that Grand Central
is above all a monument to movement.’’
Mr. Belle’s first wife, Wendy Adams
Belle, an artist and teacher, died in 1974.
His second wife, Anne Belle, a docu-
mentary filmmaker, died in 2003. He
died on Thursday in Remsenburg, N.Y.,
where he had a home. He also lived in
Manhattan. The cause was Lewy body
disease, said his son David Belle, who
survives him, along with another son,
Sebastian; three daughters, Amelia,
Fenella and Antonia Chapman; and
eight grandchildren.
Mr. Belle knew his work would never
fully be done. ‘‘The act of restoring a
building to its original state is only half
the battle,’’ he and Ms. Leighton wrote.
‘‘The other half is to guard against its
denigration throughout its future existence.’’
Polishing can make financial results look good but can also lead to fraud
Like a child on a playground who wants
everyone to watch a new maneuver,
companies clamor for public attention by
presenting their numbers in a way that
makes them look as successful as possible. But when those measures involve
manipulating the figures, then their efforts can end up as a fraud on investors.
Public companies are required to follow generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, in reporting their financial results. But those rules do not
always put a company in the best light,
and so many — one estimate is 448 of the
500 companies on the Standard & Poor’s
500-stock index — use what are known
as non-GAAP measures to report on
their business.
There is nothing wrong with using
these to help give investors greater insight into a company’s results by making adjustments that exclude certain
amounts that may not be relevant to future operations. But as Jason Voss pointed out on the Enterprising Investor
blog, ‘‘The non-GAAP metrics tend to
move in only one direction: up.’’
Two recent cases show how manipulating the numbers can end up misleading investors in violation of the securities laws.
The Justice Department announced
charges last week against Brian Block,
the former chief financial officer of the
real estate company American Realty
Capital Partners, which changed its
name to Vereit last year. He is accused
of conspiracy, securities fraud and providing false information in filings with
the Securities and Exchange Commission for inflating the company’s funds
from operations, a crucial non-GAAP
measure of the performance of real estate investment trusts.
His lawyer stated that Mr. Block ‘‘is
completely innocent and will be exonerated in court.’’
The company’s former chief accounting officer, Lisa P. McAlister, pleaded
guilty in June to similar charges, although the case was sealed until prosecutors unveiled the indictment of Mr.
Block. She admitted that American Realty had made an error in the first
quarter of 2014 in the calculation of its
adjusted funds from operations, or
F.F.O., but failed to correct the figure
once it came to light, which resulted in
reporting higher amounts. The charges
against her claim that she and Mr. Block
later met in his office to enter false numbers into a spreadsheet used to report
results in the next quarter to cover up
the inflated figures.
According to the National Association
of Real Estate Investment Trusts, the
leading organization for the industry,
funds from operations is a widely used
standard for reporting performance
that eliminates fluctuations in real estate values that can make it harder to
compare how different companies are
performing. Although American Realty’s financial statements were correct
under GAAP, the more important number that real estate investment trusts
want investors and analysts look at was
F.F.O., so reporting incorrect results can
amount to fraud if it is done intentionally.
Nor is it a defense to a fraud charge
that correct information was reported
in the financial statements.
When a company promotes its results
by using a non-GAAP measure, then
any false figures can result in misleading investors because they are not required to ferret out the truth by overlooking what a company chooses to
The story of American Realty has
taken some interesting twists since the
initial disclosure of accounting problems in October 2014. The company’s
chief executive said at the time that ‘‘we
don’t have bad people, we had some bad
judgment there’’ — a distinction with-
out a difference for violating the law.
Ms. McAlister filed a lawsuit in
December 2014 against Nicholas
Schorsch, American Realty’s former
chief executive who built the company,
and others claiming that she was fired
in retaliation for exposing the fraudulent accounting. She later withdrew the
case. The S.E.C. filed a parallel civil action against Mr. Block and Ms. McAl-
Two cases show how
manipulating numbers can
end up misleading investors in
violation of the securities laws.
ister last week, and under its whistleblower rules, she will not be eligible for
an award because she has been convicted of a securities violation.
The amounts involved at American
Realty were not large, with the discrepancy being roughly 3 cents a share in
the first quarter of 2014. But on Wall
Street, missing an earnings target by
even a penny can result in a stock being
pummeled, so financial executives
know they have to make their numbers
or face the wrath of investors and the
chief executive.
Fiat Chrysler is facing investigations
by the S.E.C. and the Justice Department over something far less important
than the financial measure used by the
real estate industry: a long winning
streak of monthly increases of new-car
sales that turned out to be exaggerated.
The company extolled how well it was
doing since emerging from bankruptcy
after the financial crisis, highlighting
how it achieved higher vehicle sales for
75 months in a row. It turns out the
streak ended three years earlier, at 40
months — which is not bad, but much
less impressive than what it told investors about how well it was doing.
The New York Times reported in July
that the Justice Department visited the
company’s headquarters in Michigan
and several regional sales offices to
gather information and interview witnesses as part of an inquiry into how the
company reported sales, and any pressure it might have put on dealers to increase their numbers.
Fiat Chrysler changed its methodology for reporting monthly sales after
disclosure of the investigations, which a
spokeswoman said was ‘‘an opportunity to be more transparent.’’
This information is typical of the nonGAAP reporting that companies embrace to show how well they are doing
because it involves an easily grasped
figure for the media to report and analysts to highlight.
Everyone loves a winning streak,
which means there is enormous pressure to keep it alive as long as possible,
perhaps by tinkering with the numbers
just enough to maintain the facade another month.
No charges have been filed against Fiat Chrysler or any of its executives. It
may turn out that the monthly sales figures are not important enough to merit
an enforcement action, although Mary
Jo White, the S.E.C.’s chairwoman, has
said that non-GAAP measures are
something the agency is focusing on.
She pointed out in a speech in June that
‘‘in too many cases, the non-GAAP information, which is meant to supplement the GAAP information, has become the key message to investors,
crowding out and effectively supplanting the GAAP presentation.’’
Gretchen Morgenson noted in April in
her Fair Game column in The New York
Times, ‘‘Creativity abounds in today’s
freewheeling accounting world.’’ It is
hard to criticize companies for giving
out more information than they are required to provide. But sometimes more
is not necessarily better when the result
is painting a picture that is far rosier
than the real numbers can support.
Apple offers
free coding
app for iPad
Move part of campaign
to provide students with
marketable job skills
Apple was expected to release a free
coding education app on Tuesday that it
developed with middle-school students
in mind, in the latest salvo among technology companies to gain share in the
education market and to nurture early
product loyalty among children.
Apple’s app, called Swift Playgrounds, introduces basic computer
programming concepts, like sequencing
logic, by asking students to use word
commands to move cartoon avatars
through a fanciful, animated world. Unlike some children’s apps, which employ
drag-and-drop blocks to teach coding,
the Apple program uses Swift, a professional programming language that the
company introduced in 2014.
“When you learn to code with Swift
Playgrounds, you are learning the same
developers,” Brian Croll, Apple’s vice
“How much of the motivation is
for selling of product, and what
does that do for schools that
cannot afford this technology?”
Jeffrey P. Bezos, who founded Amazon and owns The Washington Post, also created Blue Origin, the private space company with a vision he described as leading to “millions of people living and working in space.”
A rocket that may take you to space someday
Blue Origin, the secretive space company created by Jeffrey P. Bezos, has offered a look at its newest rocket design
— and, by extension, its ambitions to
make space travel more frequent and inexpensive.
Both the rocket and the ambitions appear to be big.
The rocket, named New Glenn after
John Glenn, the first American to orbit
the Earth, are almost as large as the Saturn V rocket that NASA used from 1966
to 1973, before rockets started being
built smaller. The two-stage version that
could venture to low-Earth orbit will be
270 feet tall, and the three-stage version,
which could fly outside Earth’s orbit,
will be 313 feet tall. Both will be 23 feet in
diameter, packing seven BE-4 engines,
which are developed by Blue Origin, and
lifting off with 3.85 million pounds of
Blue Origin plans to first launch the
rocket from Launch Complex 36 at Cape
Canaveral, Fla., before the end of the
“Our vision is millions of people living
and working in space, and New Glenn is
a very important step,” Mr. Bezos, the
billionaire founder of Amazon, wrote in
an email update.
As a private company, Blue Origin
could launch wealthy tourists into
space, send commercial satellites into
orbit and provide the technology to send
NASA back to the moon, as well as to
Mars and beyond.
Perfecting the technology of reusable
rockets — which the New Glenn rockets
would be — could have profound implications on the cost and frequency of
space travel. Imagine how much more
expensive a flight from New York to
London would be if airlines built a new
A New Shepard rocket’s engine firing before landing in West Texas after a suborbital test flight for Blue Origin in April.
747 jet for each flight, throwing them
away after one use. That is effectively
the current model of the space industry;
rockets typically crash back into Earth
after exhausting their fuel, and the steep
costs of travel depress how often it happens.
“Reusability is a total game-changer,”
said Charles Miller, the president of
NexGen Space, a space and public policy consultancy. “It’s on the order of going from the sail to the steam engine, or
going from the horse to the automobile.”
In November, Blue Origin launched
its reusable New Shepard rocket from
West Texas, sending a capsule that
would eventually carry paying passengers to a height of 329,839 feet, just
crossing the 100-kilometer line that is
considered the beginning of outer space.
Before New Glenn was announced as
the rocket’s name on Monday, Mr. Bezos, who owns The Washington Post,
had referred to it as “Very Big Brother.”
The large size of New Glenn — Mr.
Miller, a former senior adviser for
NASA, had guessed it would be big but
thought it would have five engines, not
seven — suggests the company would
seek to lower the price of space tourism
by offering more seats on the flights, he
In March, Mr. Bezos said that tourists
could make short trips into space, experiencing a few minutes of weightlessness, as soon as 2018 via the reusable
New Shepard spacecraft. The experience would doubtlessly be reserved for
the rich, at least initially, but Mr. Bezos
said it would be necessary to build expertise and develop the technology.
Though the company was registered
in 2000, Mr. Bezos had not let reporters
into its headquarters in Kent, Wash., until March of this year. In September 2015,
Blue Origin said it would invest $200
million and create 330 jobs by leasing a
launch complex at the Cape Canaveral
Air Force Station.
Mr. Miller said that if the dream of inexpensive space travel were fulfilled, it
would significantly impact life on Earth.
In the best case, the ability to more easily launch satellites could lead to worldwide broadband internet, better
weather predictions, the monitoring of
carbon sources and the farming of solar
For the United States, it could have
national security implications, he said.
The ability to destroy United States
satellites that provide surveillance and
guide missiles is a current liability, but
enemies may be less likely to target
them if they could be quickly replaced.
And NASA will most likely be a
customer, using the New Glenn rockets
for future missions.
“With this vehicle, going to Mars will
become a lot easier,” Mr. Miller said.
president of product marketing, said in a
telephone interview. “It’s easy to take
the next step and learn to write a real
The introduction of Apple’s app
coincides with a larger Silicon Valley
campaign to press public schools to
teach coding. Tech executives have argued that such training could help addifferences
among students, by providing them
with marketable job skills. In January,
President Obama said he was asking
Congress to provide $4 billion in the
budget for a computer science initiative
in public schools. (Congress has not yet
passed a budget.)
“We believe every student should
have the opportunity to code,” Timothy
D. Cook, the chief executive of Apple,
said during a company event last week
to introduce the iPhone 7.
Tech companies are in heated competition for the education market. Apple
devices and ones based on the Microsoft
Windows software have recently lost
market share at United States public
schools to Chromebooks, inexpensive
laptops that run on the Google Chrome
operating system.
The Apple coding app is free, but it requires an iPad, the company’s tablet
computer, which has declining sales and
which many schools and families may
not be able to afford.
“How much of the motivation is for
selling of product, and what does that do
for schools that cannot afford this technology?” asked Jane Margolis, a senior
researcher at the Graduate School of
Education & Information Studies at the
University of California, Los Angeles,
who has studied disparities in computer
science education for more than two
decades. “The threat is that it is going to
replicate current inequities.”
Mr. Croll of Apple said the company
was making the app free so that the coding lessons are accessible. While it is
available for use in schools, individual
students, parents and consumers could
also use the app to teach themselves to
code at home, he said. He added that Apple had created the app for the iPad to
ensure a high-quality user experience.
Apple said that more than 100 schools
and districts worldwide had agreed to
try the coding app with their students.
The time I was a United States Border Patrol agent in a virtual world
I found myself on a desolate desert road,
in front of a man who was leaning
against the hood of a banged-up sedan
and next to a United States Border Patrol agent who was on the radio of her
patrol vehicle, running the sedan’s license plate.
In this virtual reality role-playing exercise in a Border Patrol simulator, my
job was to keep an eye on the man.
He seemed nervous. His legs
twitched. His eyes darted from side to
side, as if he were searching for a chance
to escape.
Suddenly, he walked to the driver’s
side window of the sedan and reached
I pulled my pistol from its holster,
pointed it at him and yelled: “Sir, get
back to the hood of the car! Get back to
the hood of the car!”
The whole thing felt real, and that was
exactly the point. The idea of the simulator is to immerse agents in the type of
tense situations that they are likely to
face on the job, and put their judgment
and reactions to the test.
Will the suspect comply with a command? Will the agent pull the trigger?
The situations are based on real-life
events. The difference is that, on the
simulator screen, the interactions unfold based on the agents’ responses.
“We want to know, what did you see?”
said Jason Daniels, an instructor who
trains Border Patrol agents. “Why did
you react that way? What else could you
have done?”
Since the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014,
and a series of police shootings that followed it, a debate has erupted over the
use of force by local police departments.
The border with Mexico is also not immune to violent confrontations with law
According to one tally, more than 30
people have been fatally shot by agents
along the southern border since 2010,
and several others have been injured in
One of the victims, a Mexico-bound
truck driver, was shot last Thursday by
Border Patrol agents who said he had
swerved his vehicle toward officers
working at the Mariposa Port of Entry in
Nogales, Ariz. He remained hospitalized
on Sunday.
There are also numerous complaints
of harsh treatment by Border Patrol
agents. Some people who live and work
near the border say they have been un-
Jason Daniels, a United States Border Patrol agent, with the reporter, Fernanda Santos.
justifiably searched and detained at
checkpoints. Migrants claim they have
been held at Border Patrol stations in
crowded, unsanitary cells that are so
cold they have come to be known as hieleras, Spanish for iceboxes.
Border agents are also attacked.
Smugglers often hurl rocks at agents to
distract them while drugs are brought
into the United States at another spot.
On Friday, the Tucson Sector of the
United States Border Patrol, which is in
charge of guarding 262 miles of the Arizona-Mexico boundary, invited six
reporters to try the simulator and some
of the less lethal weapons that agents
have at their disposal. These were stun
guns, collapsible batons and the riflestyle FN-303, which one agent described as “a pepper-ball launcher on
The sector’s chief patrol agent, Paul
A. Beeson, said that on a typical day,
about 20,000 agents working along the
borders with Canada and Mexico made
980 arrests and seized 9,000 pounds of
“During the course of all of that activity,” Chief Beeson said, “there are times
when use of force is necessary.”
Under pressure by civil rights groups,
the Border Patrol’s parent agency,
Customs and Border Protection, refined
its use-of-force policies two years ago.
One goal was to train agents to think of
other weapons, and other tactics, they
could use to defuse potentially violent
“Don’t get caught up in the moment
and put yourself in a situation where you
have to respond with force,” said Mark
McComack, the operations officer at the
Tucson Sector.
The virtual exercise is a big part of
that training. There are 135 Border Patrol stations in the country and 27 simulators; two are in the Tucson Sector,
which is the largest station on the southern border.
The simulator feels like the video
games in which each player is part of the
action. The screens are tall and wide, arranged side by side in a pentagon. The
gun, a Heckler & Koch semiautomatic
pistol, was real but had been retrofitted
to shoot laser beams when you pull the
trigger. Instructors can see where the
virtual bullets hit and what should happen next.
When the man I had been watching
stuck his hand inside his car, I moved my
finger to the trigger and yelled one more
time: “Step away from the car.” He did,
throwing his hands up.
The exercise was over. My hands
were sweating. I didn’t shoot. But I had
missed a critical piece of information:
The car the man was driving had been
reported stolen.
“You were so focused on what was
happening in front of you, you tuned out
the rest,” said the instructor, Agent
Daniels. “That’s very common in the
In real life, the events that the exercise was based on turned out much differently. The man did not surrender.
Three years ago, in Hogg County, Tex.,
he pulled out a gun from inside the car
he had just stolen and started shooting.
The agents shot back. They were uninjured. The man did not survive.
companies markets business
2 Canadian fertilizer powerhouses plan all-stock deal
A combined Potash Corporation
of Saskatchewan and Agrium
would create the world’s largest
crop nutrient company.
As chemical and agricultural products
producers face pressure to grow, two of
the world’s largest crop fertilizer makers have agreed to combine in the latest
farming industry deal.
The companies, Agrium and the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, announced their all-stock merger on Monday after weeks of speculation. The two
Canadian companies produce the materials — nitrogen, potassium compounds known as potash, and phosphate
fertilizers — that farmers use to raise
healthy crops, and their combination
would create the largest crop nutrient
company in the world.
But fertilizer prices have recently
come under pressure because of supply
gluts and newer competitors, and demand has also softened. The deal enables the companies to cut $500 million
of their combined costs annually over
the next few years to help them withstand some of the new market
“The beauty about this transaction
though is the $500 million of annual operating synergies that are in our control,” Charles V. Magro, president and
chief executive of Agrium, said in a conference call with analysts on Monday.
“We don’t need the market to improve to
drive shareholder value.”
Shareholders seemed a bit more skeptical. After the deal closes, Potash
shareholders will own 52 percent of the
new company, while Agrium’s investors
will own 48 percent. The stocks of both
companies declined on Monday, with
Agrium about 3 percent lower, and Potash slipping more than 1.5 percent. One
possibility for the declines: The deal
does not have a premium.
The combination would help Potash,
which produces half the potash in North
America, reduce its exposure to volatile
prices for the potassium product.
Agrium has a big presence among farmretail chains, enabling it to produce
more stable earnings than wholesale
fertilizer, according to a Sept. 1 report by
Fitch Ratings after word of preliminary
talks between the two companies came
out. A combination “will improve market reach and allow the company to optimize its product margins,” Monica
Bonar, a senior director at Fitch, said in
the report.
The deal follows others that involve
the farming industry, including the
pending merger between Dow Chemical
and DuPont to create a company that
would eventually break into three parts,
one of which would focus on agricultural
chemicals. In addition, China National
Chemical Corporation, or ChemChina,
has agreed to acquire seed and farm
chemicals producer Syngenta. And the
German industrial giant Bayer has been
in back-and-forth negotiations with
Monsanto, the American company
known for its genetically modified crop
Some farm groups have raised concerns about the effect of a merger of
Agrium and Potash on fertilizer prices.
Yet there has been little public outcry
since the two companies said on Aug. 30
that they were in talks.
“I don’t think the rank-and-file farmers are excited” about the deal, said
Wade Barnes, president and chief executive of Farmers Edge, an agriculture
technology company. “When two
manufacturers come together, there’s
less optionality of who to buy from, so
the price point will probably be higher
for them.”
World markets
Interest rates
Tuesday, Sep. 13
United States
Dow Jones indus.
S.&P. 500
S.&P. 100
Nasdaq composite
NYSE composite
Russell 2000
12 mo.%
The Americas
Stock Market select
46,309.94 –411.02
14,447.88 –149.26
57,466.59 –1119.53
15,750.39 –307.93
Europe and Middle East
Euro zone
Euro Stoxx 50
FTSE 100
CAC 40
Switzerland SIX
OMX 30
Czech Rep. Prague Stock Exch.
Nikkei 225
Hang Seng
All Ordinaries
Shanghai composite 3,023.79
S.&P. CNX Nifty
Straits Times
Jakarta composite
S. Korea
A Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan storage facility. Its merger deal with Agrium, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in mid-2017.
The heads of the two companies
brushed aside criticism. “It’s going to be
a benefit for the farming community”
because the new company will be more
competitive, Mr. Magro said in the conference call.
The deal will require regulatory and
competition reviews in Canada as well
as by American regulators.
In Canada, the Liberal government of
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not
raised any concerns about the merger,
at least publicly.
Philip Proulx, a spokesman for
Navdeep Bains, Canada’s minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said that the government anticipates that the Competition Bureau will
review the merger. But he noted that his
10-year govt.
Ask yield
12 mo. ago
3-month gov’t
Ask yield
12 mo. ago
United States
United States
Benchmark rates
Latest chg
Britain (bank)
Canada (overnight)
Euro zone (refinancing)
Japanese (overnight)
United States (prime)
0.3 %
0.5 (Aug. 5)
0.75 (Jul. 16)
0.05 (Mar. 16)
0.1 (Jun. 25)
3.25 (Dec. 17)
1-year gov’t
United States
Cross rates
Orange juice
–9999401.0 %
Metals, energy
Brent crude
Light sw.crude N.Y.
Natural gas
Delivery Last
$/m. ton
3 mo. 156,800
Dec. 1,328.40
3 mo.
Euro zone 0.889
Singapore 1.364
S. Africa
S. Korea 1124.77
Switzerland 0.971
Swiss Can.
franc doll.
1.306 0.021
1.372 1.013
3.223 0.050
3.388 2.501
0.741 0.012
0.779 0.575
1.288 0.202
6.538 0.103
6.872 5.075
6.479 0.010
6.808 5.030
0.870 0.014
0.915 0.675
65.494 0.103 68.821 50.945
- 1.570 105.08 77.600
18.700 0.000 19.659 14.527
- 66.860 49.377
1.335 0.021
1.403 1.036
14.100 0.022 14.826 10.947
1101.00 17.291 1157.05 854.49
8.313 0.131
8.740 6.452
0.951 0.015
- 0.738
31.100 0.489 32.681 24.143
0.979 0.015
1.030 0.760
Exchange rates
Major currencies $1
Swiss franc
0.889 –0.002
0.758 0.007
0.971 –0.001
102.14 0.300
Australian dollar
1.333 0.011
1.500 0.016
1.761 –0.001
Chinese renminbi
6.679 unch.
7.510 0.008
8.816 –0.089
Hong Kong dollar
7.759 0.001
8.729 0.017 10.242 –0.100
Indian rupee
67.059 0.331 75.246 0.067 88.328 –0.896
Indonesian rupiah 13165.0 68.000 14810.6 102.69 17377.8 –80.501
Malaysian ringgit
4.105 0.038
4.618 0.051
5.419 –0.003
Philippine peso
47.700 0.322 53.663 0.457 62.964 –0.191
World 100
Asia (cont.)
Singapore dollar
1.364 0.008
1.534 0.011
1.800 –0.008
South Korean won 1124.77 18.100 1264.69 21.680 1484.70 9.180
Taiwan dollar
31.772 0.122 35.728 0.179 41.939 –0.260
Thai baht
34.930 0.070 39.296 0.148 46.108 –0.361
Czech koruna
Danish krone
Hungarian forint
Norwegian krone
Polish zloty
Russian ruble
Swedish krona
Turkish lira
24.024 –0.018
6.619 –0.006
275.81 0.420
8.220 –0.015
3.866 unch.
64.990 0.482
8.493 0.014
2.981 0.015
Argentine peso
14.880 –0.025
Brazilian real
3.292 0.047
Canadian dollar
1.316 0.012
Chilean peso
672.36 4.970
Mexican peso
19.114 0.302
Venezuelan bolivar 9.975 unch.
Middle East and Africa
Egyptian pound
Israeli shekel
Saudi riyal
South African rand 14.409
11.722 –0.115
4.991 –0.028
4.950 –0.049
19.025 0.066
The Americas
department, which describes itself as a
law enforcement agency, “conducts
merger reviews independently of the
government.” If its review leads to concerns which the two companies are unwilling to resolve, the Competition Bureau could challenge the merger
through the Competition Tribunal, a
specialized court.
Six years ago, when demand from
China was pushing up the price of potash, the Australian mining giant BHP
Billiton tried to acquire the Potash Corporation. The takeover bid immediately
prompted a political backlash among
critics, including some traditional advocates of open investment policies.
After a request by the province of
Saskatchewan, which founded Potash in
Industrial-gas merger talks end
Linde says it was unable
to reach understanding
with its U.S. rival, Praxair
Linde of Germany has said that it has
ended talks on a potential merger with
Praxair that would have brought together two of the world’s largest suppliers of
industrial-gas products.
Combining the companies would have
created a giant in the industry, with
more than $30 billion in annual revenue.
The merger discussions came after
Air Liquide, a French industrial-gas
producer, completed its acquisition in
May of Airgas for more than $10 billion.
Alphabet (A sh.) 790.2
Altria Group
Bank of America 15.62
Berkshire Hath. 219,519
Cisco Systems
CVS Health
Eli Lilly
Exxon Mobil
General Electric
Gilead Sciences
Home Depot
Johnson & J.
JPMorgan Chase 66.18
Kraft Heinz
+10.7 187,001
Company (Country)
U.S. (cont.)
Philip Morris
Proctor & G.
United Technol.
Walt Disney
Wells Fargo
52-wk price range
Chg 12 mo.% Low
Last ( ‡) High
The Americas
AmBev (BR)
R. Bk. of Can.(CA) 80.02
TD Bank (CA)
A-B InBev (BE)
Bayer (DE)
Brit. Am. Tob.(GB) 4,730
Deutsche Telek.(DE)14.47
Glaxo (GB)
Inditex (ES)
Company (Country)
Europe (cont.)
Novartis (CH)
Novo Nordisk (DK)
R. Dutch Shell(NL)
Roche Hold. (CH)
SABMiller (GB)
Sanofi (FR)
Siemens (DE)
Total (FR)
Vodafone (GB)
52-wk price range
Chg 12 mo.% Low
Last ( ‡) High
Ag. Bk. of Ch.(CN) 3.15 +0.01
Alibaba Gr. (CN) 100.8
Bank of China (CN) 3.38 unch.
Ch. Const. Bk.(HK) 5.18 +0.02
China Life (CN)
21.66 –0.14
China Mobile (HK) 95.75 +1.25
Com. Bk. of A.(AU) 69.50 –0.72
4.43 –0.02
Japan Tobac. (JP) 3,993
NTT DoCoMo (JP) 2,553
PetroChina (CN)
7.30 –0.01
Ping An Insur.(CN) 34.72 –0.40
Samsung El. (KR)1,527,000+62000
Sinopec (CN)
4.90 –0.04
Taiwan Semi. (TW) 175.0 unch.
Tata Cons. S. (IN) 2,359 unch.
Tencent (HK)
Toyota Motor (JP) 6,109
+37.0 1,112,000
Data are at 1445 U.T.C. Prices are in local currencies.
Source: Reuters
On Monday, Linde said that shareholder representatives on its supervisory board, along with its chief executive, had recommended that the company terminate the talks about a potential merger with Praxair, which is based
in Danbury, Conn.
“While the strategic rationale of a
merger has been principally confirmed,
discussions about details, specifically
about governance aspects, did not result
in a mutual understanding,” Linde said
in a news release.
Praxair separately confirmed on
Monday that merger discussions had
been terminated.
Linde, which is based in Munich, confirmed in August that it was in preliminary talks with Praxair, but it said at the
time that the discussions had not “resulted in any concrete results or agreement yet” and that it was not “foresee-
able whether there will be any kind of
Praxair has a market capitalization of
about $33 billion, while Linde has a value of about 28 billion euros, or around
$31 billion.
Praxair’s main products include oxygen, carbon dioxide and helium. It also
manufactures equipment to produce industrial gases. The company generated
$10.8 billion in sales in 2015 and has
about 26,000 employees in more than 50
Linde has three divisions focused on
industrial gases, engineering and supply chain services. Its gas division concentrates on industrial and medical
gases, including oxygen, nitrogen and
argon. The company generated €17.9 billion in revenue in 2015 and has about
64,000 employees in more than 100 countries.
International Funds
For online listings and past performance visit
For information please contact Roxane Spencer
September 13, 2016
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1975 and sold it to the private sector in
1989, the Conservative federal government at the time effectively killed the
deal using foreign investment review
Sinochem in China also prepared to
make a bid but withdrew it, apparently
because of Canadian government opposition.
Reflecting the decline in fortune of the
potash industry, the $36 billion value of
the merged companies is well below the
$39 billion BHP proposed to pay for Potash alone.
Potash said the average price for its
commodity during the second quarter of
this year was $154 a metric ton. At the
height of the battle with BHP, prices
reached as high as $900.
Potash has mothballed a recently
opened mine in the eastern Canadian
province of New Brunswick and temporarily closed some operations in
Saskatchewan, the center of the industry in Canada.
Mosaic, another Potash Corporation
producer based in Plymouth, Minn., has
also closed a mine in Saskatchewan, citing low prices.
The name of the combined Agrium
and Potash Corporation, which will have
about 20,000 employees, is to be determined before the deal closes. The companies expect to generate cost savings
from combining their distribution and
retail operations, production and backoffice capabilities.
The companies also said they were
committed to Canpotex, a cartel for controlling potash prices. It is jointly owned
by Agrium and Potash, as well as a Mosaic Company subsidiary.
Mr. Magro will become chief executive of the combined company, while
Jochen Tilk, the president and chief executive of Potash, will become its executive chairman. The new company’s
board will have an equal number of directors from each company.
Potash had a $14.3 billion market valuation as of Friday’s close, while Agrium’s was $13.2 billion. Under terms of
the deal, Potash shareholders will receive 0.400 common shares of the new
company for each of their shares, while
Agrium shareholders will receive 2.230
common shares of the new company.
After the close of the deal, the company will seek a dividend similar to
Agrium’s, adjusted for the new number
of shares. The dividend would be subject
to market conditions and board approval. Its legally registered head office will
be in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where
Potash is based, with corporate offices
in Calgary as well.
The deal, which has been approved by
the boards of both companies, is expected to close in mid-2017, depending
on approvals by regulators, the Canadian court and shareholders.
Agrium’s financial advisers in the
deal included Barclays and CIBC Capital Markets, while Bank of America
Merrill Lynch and RBC Capital Markets
advised the Potash Corporation. Agrium’s legal advisers were Blake, Cassels
& Graydon; Norton Rose Fulbright,
Canada; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton
& Garrison; and Latham & Watkins.
Stikeman Elliott and Jones Day provided legal counsel to the Potash Corporation. Morgan Stanley advised both
Agrium and the Potash Corporation.
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Japanese chip maker specifies gains from a takeover
EUROPE Euro Stoxx 50
JAPAN Nikkei 225
A Wells Fargo office in Miami. Over 5,000 rogue employees opened phony accounts to make the bank’s new business look healthier.
A sham that no one noticed
“I don’t want anyone ever offering a
product to someone when they don’t
know what the benefit is, or the
customer doesn’t understand it, or
doesn’t want it, or doesn’t need it.”
That was John Stumpf, the chief
executive of Wells Fargo, one of the
United States’ largest banks, in an
interview about a year ago with The
San Francisco Chronicle.
We found out on Friday that at least
5,300 of his employees — let me repeat
that number because it is so mindbogglingly large: 5,300 — were engaged in rampant sham deals, secretly
signing up myriad customers for two
million accounts that they did not
authorize, did not know they had, did
not need, and clearly did not understand.
Wells Fargo then charged customers
at least $1.5 million in fees for those
unwanted sham accounts, which were
created simply to goose the income of
bank employees whose incentive programs rewarded them for opening as
many new accounts as possible. Some
of the accounts were closed right away,
as soon as the employee got credit for
The executive who oversaw this
group of rogue employees, Carrie
Tolstedt, conveniently announced
plans to retire over the summer and,
according to Fortune, is being paid
$124.6 million on the way out. (One
analyst has called for a clawback of
that exit package.) Clearly there is a
disconnect between whatever Mr.
Stumpf was telling the public and what
was actually going on at Wells Fargo
— and that’s putting it politely.
Here’s Mr. Stumpf from that same
interview in The Chronicle: “We think
everyone here is a risk manager,” he
said. “Whether it’s your official title or
not, everything we do is a part of that.”
Wells Fargo has long tried to separate itself from Wall Street. Given its
West Coast headquarters, in San Francisco, the bank has sought to portray
itself as a bank for Main Street. Its
entire ethos, Wells Fargo has long
suggested, is one of trust and ethics.
But this episode raises all the same
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OIL Nymex light sw. crude
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GOLD New York
$1,328.20 a tr. oz. –0.80
CORN Chicago
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Data as of 1445 U.T.C.
Source: Reuters
Graphs: Custom Flow Solutions
For more independent commentary and
analysis, visit
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San Francisco
Sao Paulo
expensive, and airlines have a relatively high share of fixed costs. A
simple way of lowering the costs per
seat and increasing the absolute
amount of operating profit, all things
being equal, is to add more seats to a
flight, either by using bigger planes on
a given route, or by putting more seats
into existing ones. But when every
airline pursues the same strategy,
ticket prices fall.
The problem is being exacerbated
because of high fragmentation among
Europe’s airlines. The smaller an airline is, the less managers tend to think
about the effect of their capacity decisions on the wider industry. The five
biggest carriers control only 40 percent of the market — only half as much
as in the United States.
European airlines’ shares have
already fallen 11 to 31 percent this year,
as valuations have tumbled. More
expansion will just divert further value
toward airlines’ passengers, and away
from their owners. OLAF STORBECK
Falling fuel prices are going to send a
chill through European airlines this
winter. The 50 percent drop in the
price of oil over the last two years has
so far lowered operating costs and
improved profitability. But the windfall
is luring the industry into running too
many flights in too-large planes. From
now on it might be better to fly the
airlines than to buy their shares.
The number of seats available in
Europe will grow faster than the number of passengers in 2016, the International Air Transport Association predicts — the first time that has happened since 2011. Yet since attacks in
Belgium, France and Germany, many
people are avoiding airplanes. Lufthansa on Friday reported a 1.3 percent
drop in passenger numbers for August,
compared with a year earlier. Yet the
airline will still increase its capacity
between now and the end of March at
the fastest rate in almost three years,
according to Deutsche Bank. The
expected growth at Ryanair, easyJet
and Air France-KLM is even higher.
From an individual chief executive’s
perspective, this behavior is rational.
Owning and maintaining planes is
£1= $1.32
¥100= $0.98
Airlines appear to be mismanaging drop in fuel costs
Meteorology by
Weather shown
as expected
at noon on
30-35 NETH.
€1= $1.13
engage in deceptive and abusive practices; and what additional safeguards
may be needed to prevent this type of
All of this raises the question, based
on Mr. Stumpf’s assertion that everyone at Wells Fargo is a risk manager:
What, exactly, does an actual risk
manager at Wells Fargo do?
That’s an important issue because
Wells Fargo has always had a reputation as one of the best-managed banks,
especially when it comes to risk. On
Monday, the bank said it had temporarily suspended its cross-selling initiative, to be on the safe side.
Indeed, the great irony of this sham
is how tiny it is in terms of dollars.
That’s why the $185 million fine by the
government wasn’t bigger.
As scams go, this one was, well, for
lack of a better word, lame. It did not
produce much profit, nor was it particularly hidden. For example, employees
would use fake email addresses with
the domain.
If investors are yawning, it’s because
in pure dollar terms this is a minuscule
deceit. But they shouldn’t be, because
this could portend a larger problem,
particularly as Wells seeks to become
more aggressive in the risky business
of investment banking.
Given all the regulations in place
and the billions of dollars poured into
compliance efforts, how could something so staggeringly widespread and
so blatantly corrupt have happened in
the first place?
Another question is what this scandal says about Wells Fargo’s seemingly
down-home culture. Mr. Bove, noting
that part of the sham included opening
“566,000 phantom credit card accounts,” asked in a note to clients,
“What does this indicate about the
bank’s underwriting policies? Can
anyone have a Wells credit card without any checks being made concerning
that person’s ability to make payments
for debt created using this card?”
And what does this say about the
information the company has reported
to investors and regulators? Mr. Bove
added: “The bank also apparently
opened 1.5 million false transaction
accounts? Does this mean that accounts can be opened with no balances? What does it say about the
willingness of the bank to operate with
accounts on which it makes no money?
What policies and procedures at this
bank allowed this to occur?”
So far, these are all just questions
without answers. Wells Fargo took out
full-page ads last week in many newspapers (including this one) to “take
responsibility.” But taking responsibility includes answering those questions
— and we are all still waiting.
questions that have been asked about
virtually every firm on Wall Street.
Whatever distance Mr. Stumpf tried to
maintain for Wells between it and the
big New York banks with bad-boy
reputations just evaporated.
When politicians talk about Wall
Street as a “criminal enterprise,” this is
exactly what they are talking about.
“This problem is a serious one and
indicates that the company is feeling
an intense pressure to perform that it
cannot meet,” Richard Bove, a longtime research analyst, told me. “I
would expect to see some meaningful
internal adjustments. There clearly
will be some management changes —
whether they reach as high as John
Stumpf is very hard to say.”
Mr. Stumpf has always said, fairly,
that it is impossible to do a perfect job
policing hundreds of thousands of
employees. Warren Buffett, Wells
Fargo’s largest shareholder, has
sounded a similar note, describing his
own company, Berkshire Hathaway.
“Somebody is doing something
today at Berkshire that you and I
would be unhappy about if we knew of
it,” Mr. Buffett
once said.
All of the
“That’s inevitaissues raise the ble: We now
employ more
than 250,000
What, exactly,
people, and the
does an actual
chances of that
risk manager
number getting
at Wells Fargo through the day
without any bad
behavior occurring is nil. But we
can have a huge effect in minimizing
such activities by jumping on anything
immediately when there is the slightest odor of impropriety.”
Perhaps if a handful of employees at
Wells Fargo were responsible for signing up some phony accounts, we could
generously say, “Oh, there were some
bad apples.”
But the scale and brazenness of this
phoniness does not permit that. This
sham, in its reach, is breathtaking.
“The magnitude of this situation
warrants thorough and comprehensive
review,” Senate Banking Committee
members, led by Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, wrote in a letter
to the committee’s chairman, Senator
Richard C. Shelby of Alabama. The
letter continued, “Specifically, the
committee should thoroughly examine
this issue, including: How it is possible
that more than 5,000 employees could
bilk customers over the course of five
years; the timing, extent and disposition of customer complaints; whether
Wells Fargo’s sales and compensation
structure incentivized employees to
notably SoftBank’s $32 billion acquisition of the British chip maker ARM,
have lacked such financial benefits.
Others have been fuzzy, like Komatsu’s
$4 billion takeover of its rival Joy
Global, which vaguely promised to
“maximize synergies.”
In another rarity for corporate Japan, Renesas is also shedding some
balance-sheet flab by running down its
cash hoard. It finished the last financial year with 153 billion yen, or $1.5
billion, in net cash, which was presumably generating returns of next to
nothing. Some caveats. A big chunk of
synergies is to come from sales, not
cost savings: 13 billion of the total 17
billion yen, according to Macquarie.
Cross-selling benefits are usually
trickier to realize than straightforward
cost cuts and thus harder to believe. In
this case, though, they seem relatively
credible, given the companies’ highly
complementary set of customers. An
8.5 percent return on acquisition,
based on Breakingviews calculations,
is not earth shattering. Over all,
though, Renesas is sending the right
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Tel Aviv
Andrew Ross
Renesas Electronics, of Japan, has
programmed a model takeover. The
company, one of the world’s largest
chip makers, has reached an agreement to buy Intersil, of the United
States, for $3.2 billion, weeks after
reports of a potential takeover
emerged. Hefty synergies that were
promised, if achieved, would easily
cover a big premium.
The all-cash deal, announced on
Tuesday, means Renesas will get bigger in chips that convert inputs like
sound and light into digital signals.
These analog products account for 89
percent of Intersil’s sales, versus 10
percent at Renesas. That should better
position Renesas for the rise of new
technologies like the smart car.
A price of $22.50 a share equates to a
chunky 44 percent premium to Intersil’s - stock price on Aug. 19, or a total
sweetener of nearly $1 billion for the
California company’s shareholders.
But the buyer vows to extract $170
million in annual synergies. That is
nearly a third of Intersil’s annual sales.
Both the size and the specificity are
welcome. Some recent Japanese deals,
Diamond Collection
·µ§¤º“½ºŠ æèçß
A perfect storm of international crises
Rough sailing
for liberal values
Democratic principles
face critical challenges
in an unstable world
This year’s Athens Democracy Forum
will be the fourth, and it will not be the
last. It cannot be. Democratization is not
accomplished or achieved. It is a process,
as complex and changing as the world,
forever in danger, forever evolving,
forever in need of vigilance and repair.
Democracy is not irreversible. We see
evidence again and again, as unscrupulous leaders take advantage of popular
fears and insecurities to subvert democratic institutions, often with the loud
support of a majority that feels
threatened by a changing world and
finds respite in demagoguery. Freedom
of expression is often the first victim.
No democracy is immune. Even the
most established are finding themselves under challenge from xenophobic politicians exploiting fears of migrants or economic crises to advance
isolationist, reactionary ideologies.
And while most of the world’s governments call themselves democratic,
many have redefined the concept almost beyond recognition.
Some claim that the Western forms of
democracy are unsuitable for their societies, and that to argue otherwise is a
form of cultural imperialism. Some
claim that authoritarian rule is a more
familiar and efficient form of ‘‘democracy’’ in less developed parts of the world.
Some argue that democracy includes
the right to maintain the purity of a national identity. In the most extreme
challenge, an Islamist fringe perceives
Western democracy as an evil that justifies the most repugnant violence.
But then democracy has always been
in peril. It exists to give people control
over those who wield power, and those
who have power often want more. In recent months alone we have witnessed a
deeply troubling American presidential
campaign; the dubious impeachment of
the president of Brazil; a vote in Britain
to leave the European Union; and more.
This year, the forum focuses on four
challenges to democracy: migration,
the rise of the authoritarian leader, and
the roles of business and of religion.
Largely because of the civil war in Syria, the flood of refugees from there, combined with a continuing flow of Africans
fleeing poverty and strife, has become
the defining challenge to Western democracy. This challenge casts many of
the fundamental tenets of liberal democ-
racy — to be the Mother of Exiles, as
Emma Lazarus phrased it in her famous
poem on the Statue of Liberty — against
the fear of the ‘‘other’’ undermining national identity, comfort and security.
Chancellor Angela Merkel threw down
the gauntlet to Europe when she opened
Germany’s doors wide to refugees a year
ago. Other nations — particularly those
of the former Soviet bloc — tried to shut
their gates. In Britain, resentment of foreigners became a rallying cry in the vote
against membership in the European
Union. In the United States, the fate of
undocumented immigrants has become
a major issue, with Donald J. Trump demanding a wall with Mexico.
The attraction of the ‘‘big man’’ — the
tough boss who stands up to perceived
slights and threats, civil rights and democratic niceties be damned — is another
challenge in urgent need of a response.
The loud support for increasingly author-
This year, the refugee crisis has become
the defining test of Western ideals.
itarian rule in places like Russia and Turkey, and the rise of populist politicians in
the United States and across Europe,
have raised fundamental questions about
the ability of democratic institutions to
deal with economic or social turmoil.
The interaction of an elected government and business is a hardy perennial
in the evolution of democratic rule. The
degree to which government should be
a partner, regulator or defender of commercial interests is one question to
which different democracies have devised different answers.
Another challenge is the growing ability of large multinationals to pick and
choose where to do business. The suit
against Apple by the European Union
has raised a welter of issues about jurisdiction, taxation and national pride.
Then there is the religion question,
raised in its most terrible guise in the violence of radical Islamists. The power of
religion is also increasingly evident in
less vicious but still essential social debates in all corners of the world, including the democracies that purport to separate church and state.
Same-sex marriage and abortion are
only some of the most prominent issues
in which religion plays a central role.
The resistance to Muslim refugees in
the United States and Europe is partly
based on the notion that they are alien to
the West’s Judeo-Christian identity.
The challenges are daunting. But so
long as we can discuss the glitches, we
can try to correct them. That’s why this
will not be the last forum.
·µ§¤º“½ºŠ æèçß
An uneasy truce between church and state
From Bastille to burkini,
liberalism and religion
have warily coexisted
The fuss over the burkini on French
beaches this summer is just the latest
and most ridiculous iteration of
France’s uncomfortable confrontation
with Islam.
The French Republic, having overthrown the monarchy and the Roman
Catholic Church in 1789, has made laïcité, or secularism, the cornerstone of
citizenship, seeming to prioritize it over
liberty, fraternity and, let’s not forget,
But the contretemps over the burkini,
like that over the burqa (actually the
niqab) and the hijab, or head scarf, before it, is emblematic of a deeper discomfort with religion throughout the
Western world.
The relationship of liberal democracy
to religious belief has always been
fraught. But now, as the conception of
liberal values seems to be expanding to
issues like same-sex marriage, it is becoming more antagonistic to Roman
Catholics, evangelical Protestants and
Jews, as well as to Muslims.
Most nation-states arose out of ethnic
and religious identities, and many conflicts among nations were, at their
heart, religious wars. In a real sense,
much as parliamentary rule developed
to put limits on the power of monarchs,
liberalism and liberal democracy were
developed as a way to keep religion out
of politics, to take God, as much as possible, out of human conflict.
The presumption was always that the
state should be a neutral space, fair to
all citizen believers. Freedom of worship is meant to protect nearly every
odd form of belief, but it does not allow
believers to impose their faith on others.
Yet historically, even those who were
agnostic, argues Ivan Krastev, chairman of the Center for Liberal Strategies,
came from religious backgrounds and
asked religious questions. ‘‘But today,
agnostics come from secular house-
holds,’’ he said, with little conception of
what religious belief means or entails.
Charles Moore, a British author who
has written deeply about religion and
about his own conversion to Catholicism, thinks there is a confusion in liberal democracy between keeping religion
out of politics, preferred by many religious people, and ‘‘pretending that religion doesn’t matter and doesn’t exist.’’
In his view, ‘‘secularists have greatly
underestimated what happens to a culture if you take God out of it.’’ Liberal societies require ‘‘a lot of shared values in
order to be free,’’ Mr. Moore said, to hold
together in the swirl of diversity.
Without a belief in God, he said, ‘‘it’s
more likely that your ultimate belief will
become meaningless.’’ Further, ‘‘you
don’t know what religious people are
talking about, you don’t understand the
springs of their behavior — the importance of scripture or the symbolism of
Worse, he said, is a growing ahistoricism. ‘‘If a secular person is taught that
these things are merely private matters, they won’t understand how they
affect world history.’’
The rise of such secular ahistoricism
also makes liberal democracies more
vulnerable to, and puzzled by, a religion
like Islam, which never had a Reformation and does not separate the political
from the religious in any meaningful
doctrinal way. For many Muslim women, for example, as for many Orthodox
Jewish women (and many nuns), covering their hair is not simply a fashion but
a religious tenet.
Many see the renewed debate over Islam in the West as a function of decolonization, its second wave. First the colonizers returned home, and now the
colonized and their descendants are migrating to the former colonial powers of
Europe, which don’t really know yet how
to cope with such an influx of migrants
and refugees with a very different set of
religious beliefs and expectations.
European liberal democracy has a
kind of apotheosis in the European Un-
‘‘People have tried different ways of dealing
with religion, from its prominent role in the
United States to French laissez-faire to British
‘let’s pretend it doesn’t exist.’’’
ion, but as borders disappear, and nations share sovereignty, there is a deep
sense of loss among many — that their
identities, including their national and
religious identities, are being dissolved
in the global stew.
At the heart of the European populist
movement (and the American one) is
the same feeling of loss — of traditional
concepts of what it is to be French, British, German, American, which in most
cases meant white, Christian and heterosexual. And the need and effort to retain identity can lead to conflict.
Secular and liberal democracy tolerates so much diversity and creates
enough confusion that those who need
more clarity and certainty flee back to
religion, Mr. Krastev suggests.
‘‘Because we’ve made the borders between everything so easy to cross,’’ Mr.
Krastev said, ‘‘religious people and fanatics of all kinds are bringing back the
barricades in order to create identity.’’
The loss of norms — and of God —
have left a significant number of citizens
of liberal democracies morally and emotionally at sea.
Similarly, the former chief rabbi of
Britain, Jonathan Sacks, argues that the
return of religion to the secular space is
a result of the general crisis of meaning
in the Western world.
Rabbi Sacks, much like the Vatican,
believes that materialism and secularism in liberal democracies have prompted selfishness, promoted human arrogance and undermined family values.
He even argues that Europe’s population is in decline ‘‘because nonbelievers
lack shared values of family and community that religion has.’’
Never before in human history have
people had so much choice, but many
lack the means or the capacity to choose,
and secular society provides few instructions. Those who search for answers and
guidance often find solace, and meaning,
in religious extremes, or in embracing
religions like Orthodox Judaism or even
radical, Salafist Islam, which provide detailed rules about how to live one’s life.
The separation of church and state
was a revolutionary idea but has proven
hard to put into practice, even in the
United States. Americans no longer
hang Quakers on Boston Common, but
abortion and the death penalty remain
hot topics, and fundamentally religious
ones. And issues of school prayer, samesex marriage and religious displays in
courthouses and assemblies — let alone
Christmas crèches in public buildings —
still preoccupy politicians and the
‘‘Across the Western world, people
have tried different ways of dealing with
religion, from its prominent role in the
United States to French laissez-faire to
British ‘let’s pretend it doesn’t exist,’’’
even in a kingdom with a state religion
and a queen anointed by God, said
Anand Menon, professor of European
politics at Kings College London. ‘‘But
none of them seem to be working very
well at the moment.’’
Europe is ‘‘importing problems, not
just refugees but via the internet, because borders are porous to ideas that
are infecting people,’’ he said. Given
various difficulties with jobs and
poverty among newcomers or those left
behind, there is an intermingling of ethnicity and religion, which are not identities made by choice. ‘‘Expat identity
plus religion reinforce themselves in
foreign countries,’’ Mr. Menon said,
whether you’re an Iraqi or Pakistani
Muslim or an Irish Catholic in Boston.
And that can create problems for a
secular, post-God liberal democracy.
Secularism is poorly equipped to deal
with religious passion, Mr. Moore argues, especially with radical Islam,
which believes that spreading Islam is a
commandment from Allah.
At its most extreme, of course, there
are the attacks by the Islamic State on
Christians, like the murder of the Rev.
Jacques Hamel, a Catholic priest conducting a service in a French church
this summer. The Islamic State, in the
latest issue of its English-language
magazine, Dabiq, has a cover story
called ‘‘Break the Cross.’’ It appears to
target Christians, calling them ‘‘pagans,’’ giving them the choice of conversion or death and urging followers to
‘‘kill the disbelievers.’’
That is a major break from the usual
practice and tradition of Islam, which is
one of tolerance toward Jews and Christians as ‘‘people of the book,’’ antecedents to the prophet Muhammad.
For that kind of extremism, even liberal democracies must have a response
— the force of the law. But there must
also be a better effort to promote traditional Islam, encourage ordinary
Muslims and educate the young in less
radical interpretations — even in a
country that does not provide religious
education in state schools, like France.
Treating the problems around radical
Islam as simply questions of counterterrorism or social inequality is as misguided as ignoring them. States should
create ‘‘safety barriers’’ between religion and politics, Mr. Moore said, ‘‘but
you can’t really separate them.’’
God and country
Queen Elizabeth II
meeting the former
archbishop of
Canterbury, the
Most Rev. Rowan
Williams, left, and
other religious
leaders during the
queen’s Diamond
Jubilee in 2012. She
is the head of state of
a secular nation, but
also the head of the
state religion, the
Church of England.
·µ§¤º“½ºŠ æèçß
Limits of tolerance
tested in Germany
For Merkel, tragic lessons
of Berlin Wall help forge
response to refugee crisis
Fifty-five summers ago, the Communists who ruled East Germany decided
to wall in their citizens to stanch the
flood of Germans moving west.
The Berlin Wall has now been down for
almost 27 years, nearly as long as it was
up. For some Germans, the experience of
a cruelly divided country has shaped
their response as European democracies
struggle with Islamic terrorism and a
flood of refugees from wars and misery
in the Middle East and beyond.
Germany’s exceptional status in
Europe has become more pronounced,
both through its continuing economic
strength and its acceptance of more than
one million asylum seekers, many of
them Muslim. The policy has baffled and
angered critics at home and abroad who
fear democracy is imperiled by precisely
the kind of culture clash that welcoming
Germans say they hope to avoid.
In Germany, history is often invoked
as a guide to behavior. The Nazi and
Communist pasts are all around. At my
subway station, a large sign lists concentration camps, ‘‘names we should not be
allowed to forget.’’ Every day, I cross the
cobblestone and metal lines on streets
that mark where the wall once ran.
Many analysts have depicted the embrace of refugees as part of Germany’s
dissection of its Nazi past, when millions were murdered and millions of others driven out, usually rejected by countries where they sought shelter.
Angela Merkel, the leader of Germany
for almost 11 years now, was a citizen of
East Germany. When the wall went up
on Aug. 13, 1961, a Sunday, 7-year-old Angela Kasner watched her mother and
others crying as her father, a Lutheran
pastor, led church services 50 miles
north of Berlin, in the town of Templin.
As chancellor, Ms. Merkel has guided
her country through the global financial
crisis, the struggle to preserve the euro,
a sudden abandonment of nuclear power
and, since last year, the refugee crisis.
Occasionally, she makes clear that she
draws on the long wait for the fall of the
wall as a guide to her brand of politics.
When challenged at the Munich Security Conference in February 2015 over
her pursuit of diplomacy over war in
Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, she was
unequivocal. ‘‘This conflict cannot be
won militarily,’’ she said, and arming
Ukraine ‘‘will not solve it.’’
That bitter truth, she added, came
from experience. ‘‘I was brought up in
East Germany,’’ she said. ‘‘I was 7years-old. I saw the wall being built. But
did anyone consider the idea of using
force to stop it?’’ she asked. ‘‘No.’’
A few months after that conference,
she faced a different crisis. By late August, the government had calculated
that 800,000 people would seek asylum
in 2015. On Aug. 25, the federal migration office said that Syrians would be allowed in without formalities. On Aug. 26,
Ms. Merkel paid her first visit to a
refugee center, in Heidenau in the
former East Germany. A woman who
was protesting yelled a crude message
to get lost — said by German media reports to have rattled the chancellor, who
sets store by politeness.
A day later, looking grim, she was in
Vienna, at a European summit meeting
on refugees. News arrived that the putrefying corpses of scores of would-be
asylum seekers had been found in a
truck along the Vienna-Budapest highway. Then the body of Alan Kurdi, 3, a
Syrian Kurd fleeing with his family,
washed up on a Turkish beach.
Hungary stopped westward trains to
Austria. Thousands of refugees were
trapped in a Budapest station. Hundreds decided to walk west. The Austrians and Germans pledged to let them in.
Crowds at Vienna and Munich train sta-
55 years ago
tions greeted them. A Syrian refugee in
Berlin took a selfie with Ms. Merkel.
By year’s end, she was not only scrambling for an awkward agreement with
Turkey to halt the flow, but suffering unusual criticism for placing Germany’s,
and Europe’s, way of life at risk. The assaults against hundreds of women on
New Year’s Eve in Cologne and other
German cities fueled those accusations.
Yet Ms. Merkel is sticking to the
motto she coined, ‘‘Wir schaffen das’’
(roughly ‘‘We can make it’’), even doubling down on it after Germany suffered
two terrorist attacks in July. As she emphasized in September 2015, ‘‘If we now
start to have to apologize for showing a
friendly face in an emergency situation,
then that is not my country.’’
Christian charity is what Ms. Merkel
was taught growing up in Templin. Just
once in the past year did she explicitly
draw on her East German experience to
explain her refugee policy.
It was mid-October, the height of the
crisis. Embattled within her own conservative bloc, Ms. Merkel invited about
150 students from high schools across
Germany to meet with her and took 90
minutes to discuss life in East Germany.
She might have been a teacher, she
said then, but in the East that would have
meant indoctrinating pupils. She opted
for physics, ‘‘because you cannot twist
the facts as much as in other areas.’’
A student asked whether society was
more friendly in East Germany.
‘‘Friendships which consisted of swapping paper tissues for borrowing a drill
were not friendships,’’ Ms. Merkel
replied crisply. They were communities
of necessity, ‘‘and that is why those
bonds broke’’ after Communism fell.
She underlined how important it was
for anyone who is persecuted to have
someone elsewhere looking out for
them — as prisoners in East Germany
were not forgotten by West Germany.
‘‘Many, many people are not in the
happy situation that we are in Germany,’’ she said, and supporting the oppressed can mean ‘‘that dictatorships
don’t allow themselves just anything.’’
In imparting her experiences to students who did not know Communism,
she touched on a concern of many older
Germans: How to keep alive a memory
of the Nazi and Communist pasts without being old-fashioned or maudlin?
That question hovered over the 55th
anniversary of the building of the wall, in
August. Berlin’s mayor, Michael Müller,
was visiting the center that documents
the wall’s history. Across the street is a
stretch of the wall, complete with death
strip and watchtower, and poignant memorials to those shot trying to flee.
The street is Bernauer Strasse, where
houses on the east side once formed the
wall, and those who fled jumped down to
the street itself, which was West Berlin.
Even a 77-year-old woman, Frieda
Schulze, made this plunge in 1961. A tour
guide, Silke Edler, showed a cluster of
sixth to 10th graders how Ms. Schulze
was caught by a blanket held by firefighters. She was determined not to be
separated from her daughter in West
Berlin, Ms. Edler said.
Roughly a million people visit this
powerful place each year. In today’s hip
Berlin, a mecca for the world’s young,
those days seem inconceivable.
Mayor Müller and the director of the
memorial site, Axel Klausmeier, noted
that Bernauer Strasse was not just a
show of humanity at its worst. It teaches
that dictatorship can be vanquished
peacefully, that democracy is precious
and, the mayor said, that ‘‘it is right and
important to take in new arrivals.’’
Roland Jahn, once an East German
dissident who now oversees the files of
the Communist secret police, laid one of
the 25 wreaths to honor the dead. It is always a ‘‘bittersweet’’ day, he said, when
the Communists showed they could survive only by building a wall and issuing
orders to shoot, but one that also means
repression can be overcome.
‘‘It is always important to note that it
was not an act of nature,’’ Mr. Jahn said.
‘‘It was done by people.’’
Germans fleeing
their homes in Berlin
in August 1961,
shortly before the
construction of the
wall. Chancellor
Angela Merkel’s
policy of welcoming
thousands of
migrants has baffled
and angered many
of her critics.
Victor Homola contributed research.
Patrik Schumacher
Paul Krugman
Charles Landry
Petros Themelis
Join internationally acclaimed architects, city mayors and
archaeologists at this exclusive event, to discuss the intriguing
relationship between architecture and democracy.
A memorable weekend at Costa Navarino to immerse yourself in
unique experiences in a privileged setting overlooking the Ionian sea.
·µ§¤º“½ºŠ æèçß
After the end of history
As nations turn inward,
liberal values are failing
to catch fire as predicted
These are tough days for enthusiasts of
the world’s steady march of democracy.
A wave of nationalism — led by calls
to raise the drawbridges against outsiders and their influence — has
ushered in strongmen in places where,
just a few years ago, democratic institutions seemed inevitably on the rise.
Across the globe, the effects are clear:
When nativism becomes a rallying call,
tolerance and a willingness to compromise, the lubricants of liberal democracy, often seep away.
The effects are dramatic. For a long
while, American officials convinced
themselves that Russia was gradually
edging toward integrating itself in
Western institutions, and the values
they represent.
But President Vladimir V. Putin has
squeezed the life out of independent
news media and any meaningful dissent
in Russia. Increasingly, to oppose his
government is to risk ending up dead.
President Xi Jinping, who many in the
Obama Administration thought four
years ago would bring a modern, technocratic veneer to Chinese rule, and restrain its worst tendencies toward brutality, has veered in directions few in the
administration predicted. The digital
Great Wall is higher and thicker than
ever. Newspapers and other publications
have been shuttered, and his government has jailed dissidents on the vague
charge of causing ‘‘disorderly’’ debate.
In Turkey, a freely elected leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, used a coup attempt
against his government to execute what
was clearly a preplanned purge that has
cast thousands into prison, from schoolteachers to journalists. Washington has
been reluctant to protest. It needs its
bases in Turkey for the conflict in Syria.
More than five years after the Obama
administration urged President Hosni
Mubarak of Egypt to step down in the
face of the protests, it is delivering arms
and aid to his successor once removed,
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a former general
whose iron-fisted rule exceeds anything
Mr. Mubarak ever managed to pull off.
Yet Egypt’s cooperation is so needed to
keep a lid on the Middle East that the
State Department is extraordinarily
hesitant to condemn a situation in which
democracy is a distant memory.
Poland, the most effective of the newer members of NATO, has turned to a
right-wing government, as has Hungary. In Austria, a presidential election
in a few weeks could see the election of
Norbert Hofer, who leads an anti-immigrant party.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The
end of Cold War rivalries, China’s growing wealth and integration with the
world economy, the benefits of global
trade and the internet’s ability to wipe
away traditional borders were supposed to make variations on the theme
of democratic rule the inevitable choice.
That was the meaning of ‘‘The End of
History and the Last Man,’’ Francis
How did this happen? In a world
where the internet was supposed to
make everyone aware of the benefits of
more direct democracy, how did the
forces of order and authoritarianism
roar back? How does one explain the
rise of My-Country-First candidates
like Donald J. Trump and the French farright politician Marine Le Pen, both of
whom have said that promoting democracy around the world is not a goal?
The answers so far seem unsatisfying.
Yes, the economic downturn that
swept the world starting in 2007 left untold millions behind, and many have
never caught up. A McKinsey Global Institute study concluded that roughly
two-thirds of households in the world’s
wealthy countries saw their disposable
income stagnate in the decade after the
downturn, a sharp change from the decade before. The well-documented populist anger at elites, and the income inequality those elites represent, are often
blamed for the backlash that has followed. But that is the kind of problem
‘‘Modern media enhances transparency, but that
is a two-edged sword for democracy.’’
Fukuyama’s 1992 book, which posited
that the fall of the Berlin Wall was ‘‘the
end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form
of human government.’’
There are a few bright spots.
In 1998, Indonesia looked like it might
break apart after the fall of Suharto.
Today it is an unruly but real democracy. From Africa to Latin America, there
are stirrings of democratic instincts in
places where they had rarely taken root.
Yet ask around the world, and it is clear
that the Western democracies that were
supposed to be the model for a new, interconnected world look a lot less attractive than they once did.
Mr. Putin and Mr. Xi deride the
‘‘American model’’ as a prescription for
disorder and decay. The election drama
unfolding in the United States has
fueled that argument, prompting many
to question whether the style of democracy America preaches, for all its obvious benefits, brings out the worst instincts in an electorate.
that working democracies are supposed
to self-correct.
Without question, Twitter, Facebook
and the advent of mobile communications brought down dictators during the
Arab Spring. It is hard to imagine the
furious, seemingly spontaneous gatherings seen in Tahrir Square in Cairo and
on the streets of Aleppo, Syria, without
instant communications.
Twitter, however, is better at starting
a revolution than completing one. It can
help organize a protest but not a government. That requires a set of skills that
the street revolutionaries in Egypt,
somewhat naïvely, told Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton they were uninterested in pursuing. It wasn’t their job to
create a new government, they told her
on a visit to Egypt in the spring of 2011,
not long after Mr. Mubarak was packed
off to jail. She left dumbstruck, she told a
reporter in her office shortly afterward.
‘‘If you don’t organize, if you don’t
pick candidates, if you don’t participate
in the process, the Islamists are going to
win,’’ she recounted telling the protest-
ers. They ignored her. Soon after the Islamists won the election, a countercoup
put the generals back in charge, and
now both the Muslim Brotherhood,
which provided the first successor to
Mr. Mubarak, and many of the protesters are locked up.
Even in established democracies, the
era of instant communications is having
effects that few predicted. Mr. Trump has
capitalized on those changes better than
any politician in modern memory, brilliantly outmaneuvering 16 rivals who did
not realize that the rules had changed.
‘‘Modern media enhances transparency, but that is a two-edged sword for
democracy,’’ said Joseph S. Nye Jr., the
Harvard professor who wrote, most recently, ‘‘Is the American Century
Over?’’ (He concluded that it has a lot of
gas left.) ‘‘More people have information that allows them to participate, but
leaders have less time and space for the
deliberation and compromise that
Madison believed were essential to effective democratic government.’’
In fact, if there is a lesson of the past
decade, it may be that information overload rarely translates into a political impetus to find middle ground. Mr.
Trump’s we’ll-build-a-wall speech went
viral, and people took sides. Instant
video playback, and instant fact-checks,
make it increasingly harder for politicians to gradually reverse positions
without being called on it. While facts
are available more readily than ever,
they often seem to be afterthoughts.
Witness the surge in Google searches in
Britain about the meaning of leaving the
European Union. The big surge
happened the day after the ‘‘Brexit’’
vote, not before.
What’s clear is that Americans have to
rethink the automatic assumption that
the world secretly wants to replicate
American-style, or even Western-style,
democracies. Many do, but as Henry Kissinger noted lately, we fooled ourselves
into thinking that our biggest challengers from the last century were now
committed to integrating themselves into Western-designed, democraticallybased institutions in this century.
‘‘The problem with the American
view of Russia is that we have always
thought of Russia as an incipient NATO
country,’’ Mr. Kissinger said last month
at a forum in Kent, Conn. ‘‘That it would
gradually slide into an orbit and accept
a so-called rules-based system. But
Russia has a different history and a different culture.’’
So do the Chinese and the Egyptians
and the Turks. The leaders of those
countries feel less pressure than they
did a decade ago to open their societies.
Democracy is hardly dead; for billions
around the world, it remains a cherished dream. But the end of history, it
turns out, looks more and more like another beginning.
My country first
Charles A.
Lindbergh, the
celebrity aviator,
was a spokesman for
the America First
Committee, which
sought to prevent the
United States’ entry
into World War II.
Many politicians now
say that promoting
democracy should
not be a goal.
David E. Sanger is a national security
correspondent for The New York Times
and the author of ‘‘Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power.’’
Technology as a Tool for Democracy
One might wonder why a technology company is participating in a conference on the state of democracy and the challenges it faces today. The answer for Google is simple: open
access to innovation online has become intrinsically linked with the growth of democracy in today's information-driven society. From promoting free and open debate, to increasing
government accountability, the Internet enables citizens to participate in the democratic process in ways like never before.
We believe that ensuring the free flow of information online has a direct impact on whether democracy progresses or regresses in the 21 st century. Consider the wide spectrum of
media that exist online, from traditional newspapers to crowdsourced, citizen journalism and social media. These diverse information outlets provide individuals with more ways to
consume and share their opinions than ever, giving even the smallest-size stakeholders a voice. Protecting and promoting the open Internet in a way that empowers people to
continue to have a say in how they are governed is critically important.
When governments commit to transparency, the Internet can enable citizens to hold officials accountable for their activities. For example, unlawful access, abuse of political power
and silencing of opinions can and should be detected and documented, as a first step toward correction and prevention. Citizens are better able to track the activities of their
governments and elected leaders.
Google, like other technology and telecommunications companies, regularly receives demands from government agencies to remove content from our services. Of course many of
these requests are entirely legitimate, such as requests for the removal of child pornography. We also regularly receive requests from law enforcement agencies to hand over private
user data. Again, the vast majority of these requests are valid and the information needed is for legitimate criminal investigations. However, data about these activities historically has
not been broadly available. We believe that greater transparency will lead to less censorship.
That's why Google publishes the Transparency Report ( where we show our users how laws and policies affect access to information on our
services. We think you deserve to know and we have a track record of telling users what's going on. We were the first to publish a Transparency Report in 2010, and we now publish
information about all types of legal process we receive, including processes issued under national security authorities.
Yet, government censorship of the web is growing rapidly: from the outright blocking and filtering of sites, to court orders limiting access to information and legislation forcing
companies to self-censor content. We still need more transparency from governments and a better balance between civil liberties and national security.
There are also very real opportunities to use the Internet to make the promise of democracy more alive than ever before in the lives of citizens. For example, the Internet has come to
play an important role in elections. From making it easier for voters to find information, to enabling exchanges of views, to increasing voters'engagement with decision-makers and
vice-versa, the web has in many ways changed how voters approach the polls.
Online petitions have become an effective tool in many countries to bring the views of the people closer to decision-makers. We've seen crowdsourcing tools used to draft a new
constitution, voting in national elections over the Internet and political leaders emerge by leveraging social media. Governments can improve public services, reduce bureaucracy and
paperwork, and become more open and available to citizens - through use of the Internet.
These are all exciting developments that will power democracy in the 21 st Century. Transparency is a prerequisite for social and economic prosperity, and we're proud to play a role in
advocating for and enabling the free flow of information.
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