ONLINE PRIVACY GIVING IT AWAY, WILLINGLY OPERA FOR ALL HIGHBROW? NOT THIS DIVA F.E.I. WORLD CUP FREQUENT FLIERS ON THE HOOF PAGE 8 | BUSINESS PAGE 19 | CULTURE PAGE 10 | SPECIAL REPORT .. INTERNATIONAL EDITION | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 The French do plenty to protect Jews Europe faces hard choices as U.S. and China spar Pamela Druckerman Contributing Writer FRANKFURT OPINION If a trade war breaks out, neutrality may not be an option for the Continent PARIS Here’s some news you might find surprising: By and large, the French like Jews. Yes, there have been despicable anti-Semitic crimes here, and there are enduring stereotypes. But 85 percent of the French have a favorable view of Jews, the same as the British do, according to the Pew Research Center. Since 1990, France’s national human rights commission has annually ranked Jews as the one of the country’s most accepted minorities. In polls, most French people say the state should vigorously combat antiSemitism. That’s little solace to the family of Mireille Knoll, the 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who was stabbed to death last month in her Paris apartment in an apparent hate crime. A year Let’s have earlier, a 66-year-old some woman in the same perspective: arrondissement was This isn’t beaten and thrown World War II off her third-floor all over balcony. There were other anti-Semitic again. murders in the years before that. But this isn’t Vichy. Tolerance toward Jews, measured by the human rights commission, has been increasing. And unlike in the 1940s, the French government is trying to protect its citizens. When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and some in the foreign press ponder whether French Jews should simply flee the country, they’re asking the wrong question. Far more relevant is this one: What is the French government doing to combat dangerous anti-Semitism in a small part of the population? And the answer is that it’s doing quite a lot. France has given new powers to Dilcrah, an organization run by the prime minister, Édouard Philippe, that coordinates efforts to combat racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. Judges can send people convicted of hate crimes to a two-day “citizenship course” at the national Holocaust memorial. Police are training to respond better to victims. A planned law would require internet platforms to take down racist or anti-Semitic material. “Contrary to the image that you might get abroad, there hasn’t been an explosion in anti-Semitic acts the last few years in France,” said Johanna Barasz, a Dilcrah spokeswoman. “But it remains very serious and very worrying.” DRUCKERMAN, PAGE 15 The New York Times publishes opinion from a wide range of perspectives in hopes of promoting constructive debate about consequential questions. BY JACK EWING THE NEW YORK TIMES India is collecting biometric data on most of its 1.3 billion residents, to be used in a nationwide identity system called Aadhaar, meaning “foundation.” India’s ‘big brother’ program NEW DELHI Government requires residents to submit finger, eye and facial scans BY VINDU GOEL Seeking to build an identification system of unprecedented scope, India is scanning the fingerprints, eyes and faces of its 1.3 billion residents and using the data in programs as varied as welfare benefits and mobile phones. Civil libertarians are horrified, viewing the program, called Aadhaar, as Orwell’s Big Brother brought to life. To the government, it’s more like “big brother,” a term of endearment used by many Indians to address a stranger when asking for help. For other countries, the technology could provide a model for how to track their residents. And for India’s top court, the ID system presents unique legal issues that will define what the constitutional right to privacy means in the digital age. To Adita Jha, Aadhaar was simply a hassle. The 30-year-old environmental consultant in Delhi waited in line three times to sit in front of a computer that photographed her face, captured her fin- THE NEW YORK TIMES Scanning fingerprints for the identification system. The government has made registration mandatory for hundreds of public services and many private ones. gerprints and snapped images of her irises. Three times, the data failed to upload. The fourth attempt finally worked, and she has now been added to the 1.1 billion Indians already included in the program. Ms. Jha had little choice but to keep at it. The government has made registration mandatory for hundreds of public services and many private ones, from taking school exams to opening bank accounts. “You almost feel like life is going to stop without an Aadhaar,” Ms. Jha said. Technology has given governments around the world new tools to monitor their citizens. In China, the government is rolling out ways to use facial recognition and big data to track people, aiming to inject itself further into everyday life. The shadow over Russian avant-garde art WIESBADEN, GERMANY Murky past of many pieces makes distinguishing real works from forgeries hard BY CATHERINE HICKLEY Multiple art experts were brought in as witnesses in a case, decided last month, of two men accused of having trafficked in hundreds of forged paintings, all said to have been created by masters of the Russian avant-garde. One of them, Patricia Railing, who had written a book on Kazimir Malevich, said at a hearing here in Wiesbaden, Germany, that many of the works seemed genuine. Four paintings attributed to Malevich were “very good,” she said in an interview later. “They could hang in the Stedelijk,” the modern art museum in Amsterdam, “and be very proud.” Her former husband, Andrei Nakov, Y(1J85IC*KKNPKP( +%!"!?!#!\ MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, GHENT The “Russian Modernism” exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium, this year was closed after dealers and scholars called some works “highly questionable.” the author of the Malevich catalogue raisonné, or descriptive listing of works, took a different view. He told the authorities that the seized works were unquestionably fakes. “Awful imitations,” he labeled them in an interview. “I said to the police, ‘Stop showing me this rubbish.’” This difference of opinion, replicated among the rest of the experts, seemed to irritate the judge tasked with sorting it all out. “Ask 10 different art historians the same question and you get 10 different answers,” said the judge, Ingeborg Bäumer-Kurandt. “Behind the experts there are diverse vested interests influencing how these paintings are evaluated.” This kind of dispute can occur with art from any period. But it has been surfacing with disturbing frequency in recent months when it comes to work created — or said to have been created — during the Russian avant-garde, a period in the early 20th century in which Malevich, Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, NaART, PAGE 2 NEWSSTAND PRICES Andorra € 3.70 Antilles € 4.00 Austria € 3.50 Bahrain BD 1.40 Belgium € 3.50 Bos. & Herz. KM 5.50 Cameroon CFA 2700 Canada CAN$ 5.50 Croatia KN 22.00 Cyprus € 3.20 Czech Rep CZK 110 Denmark Dkr 30 Egypt EGP 28.00 Estonia € 3.50 Finland € 3.50 France € 3.50 Gabon CFA 2700 Germany € 3.50 Great Britain £ 2.20 Greece € 2.80 Hungary HUF 950 Israel NIS 13.50 Israel / Eilat NIS 11.50 Italy € 3.40 Ivory Coast CFA 2700 Jordan JD 2.00 Kazakhstan US$ 3.50 Latvia € 3.90 Lebanon LBP 5,000 Luxembourg € 3.50 Malta € 3.40 Montenegro € 3.40 Morocco MAD 30 Norway Nkr 33 Oman OMR 1.40 Poland Zl 15 Portugal € 3.50 Qatar QR 12.00 Republic of Ireland ¤ 3.40 Reunion € 3.50 Saudi Arabia SR 15.00 Senegal CFA 2700 Serbia Din 280 Slovakia € 3.50 Slovenia € 3.40 Spain € 3.50 Sweden Skr 35 Switzerland CHF 4.80 Syria US$ 3.00 The Netherlands € 3.50 Tunisia Din 5.200 Turkey TL 11 U.A.E. AED 14.00 United States $ 4.00 United States Military (Europe) $ 2.00 Issue Number No. 42,013 Many countries, including Britain, deploy closed-circuit cameras to monitor their populations. But India’s program is in a league of its own, both in the mass collection of biometric data and in the attempt to link it to everything — traffic tickets, bank accounts, pensions, even meals for undernourished schoolchildren. “No one has approached that scale and that ambition,” said Jacqueline Bhabha, a professor and research director of Harvard’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, who has studied biometric ID systems around the world. “It has been hailed, and justifiably so, as an extraordinary triumph to get everyone registered.” Critics fear that the government will gain unprecedented insight into the lives of all Indians. In response, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other champions of the program say that Aadhaar is India’s ticket to the future, a universal, easy-touse ID that will reduce this country’s endemic corruption and help bring even the most illiterate into the digital age. “It’s the equivalent of building interstate highways,” said Nandan Nilekani, the technology billionaire who was tapped by the government in 2009 to build the Aadhaar system. “If the government invested in building a digital public utility and that is made available SCANS, PAGE 4 One is a good customer, a military ally and an old friend, although lately its behavior has been erratic. The other is also a good customer, and despite a few spats and some lingering mistrust, it’s getting to be a more lucrative and dependable business partner all the time. Which side would you choose? That more or less sums up the dilemma confronting Europe as it watches the escalating conflict between its two biggest trading partners, the United States and China. The United States is Europe’s biggest market for exports like cars and other goods, not to mention a NATO ally. But China is big, too — and getting ever bigger. The Trump administration has also threatened the institutions that govern global relationships, calling NATO obsolete and stoking trade tensions. So China no longer automatically seems like the less reliable partner. European leaders were largely silent after President Trump threatened to impose an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. But watching from a safe distance as China and the United States argue is not an option for Europe. Its economy is too deeply entwined with both. “What can they do in terms of staying out of the crossfire?” said Adam Slater, the lead economist at Oxford Economics in Britain. “Not a lot.” Although Mr. Trump’s threats are aimed at China, Europe is certain to suffer collateral damage if the president follows through. A spiraling war of tariffs and counter-tariffs would interfere with the global flow of raw materials and components for manufactured goods, disrupting the European economy. And some European companies, like the German carmaker BMW, manufacture in the United States and export to China. Such companies would see their sales suffer if China were to slap tariffs on American goods. The mere threat of a trade war has already unsettled financial markets and made it more difficult for companies to raise money, Benoît Coeuré, a member of the executive board of the European Central Bank, said on Friday. “None of this supports growth and employment,” Mr. Coeuré said at a conference in Cernobbio, Italy. EUROPE, PAGE 9 CHINA’S LEADER COUNTERS TRUMP President Xi Jinping on Tuesday urged “dialogue rather than confrontation” in the trade dispute with America. PAGE 9 .. 2 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION page two Years later, a death in China is a rallying cry Shadow over Russian art ART, FROM PAGE 1 talia Goncharova and El Lissitzky did some of their best work. This year, the Museum of Fine Art in Ghent, Belgium, closed an exhibition of two-dozen works on loan after dealers and scholars described some of the pieces as “highly questionable.” The museum’s director was suspended. Late last year in Germany, the state art collection of North Rhine-Westphalia said a painting dated 1915 that it believed to be by Malevich had been unmasked as a forgery. Scientific tests showed that the painting, “Black Rectangle, Red Square,” could not have been produced before 1950. And in the case that finished here in Wiesbaden last month, Itzhak Zarug, a 73-year-old Israeli dealer, and his business partner, Moez Ben Hazaz, had been suspected of being the leaders of an international ring of art forgers who specialized in the avant-garde. But, while they were convicted of falsifying the provenance of artworks and selling one work proven to be a forgery, the court dropped all charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy against them. A big problem for dealers who specialize in this period, Mr. Zarug said in an interview, is that the provenance of much Russian avant-garde art is “a black hole.” Many works were hidden away after the Russian Revolution, as censorship built in the 1920s. Under Stalin’s draconian regime in the 1930s, artists either had to comply with the demands of the state propaganda machine for Social Realist art, or they had to work in secret or emigrate. Noncompliant works — including much of the avant-garde — ended up in museum basements. The market for Russian avant-garde art began to develop in the 1970s and flowered with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Many legitimate works began to surface — often without provenance documentation. Forgers took note, and took advantage of the murky situation, in part because the stakes in this market have grown so high. With the emergence of a new generation of Russian collectors — some with immense wealth — prices have spiraled. A painting by Malevich, for example, fetched $60 million at Sotheby’s in 2008. The art of the avant-garde is “currently the hottest area of the Russian art market,” Aleksandra Babenko, an associate specialist in Russian pictures at Christie’s, wrote in an article published in February on the auction house’s website. “But paintings are extremely rare and only salable when they have fully recorded provenance and early exhibition history.” One company that has been employed in the hunt to determine authenticity is a lab operated by Elisabeth and Erhard Jägers near Cologne, Germany. Mr. Jägers said their work had found that Russian avant-garde art was particularly prone to forgery. In the case of Alexej von Jawlensky, for instance, Mr. Jägers has tested 75 paintings attributed to the artist over the years, 50 of which he found to be fakes. In the Zarug case, the Jägers examined 19 paintings to determine whether they included any pigments or materials that would not have been available to the artists of the Russian avantgarde. Sixteen passed that test, meaning their materials were consistent with their having been made in the period. “Using scientific methods, we can find out if something is a forgery,” Mr. Jägers BEIJING Student’s suicide inspires calls for a crackdown on sexual harassment BY JAVIER C. HERNÁNDEZ ACHIM KUKULIES One work attributed to Kazimir Malevich, “Black Rectangle, Red Square,” above, was found to be a forgery, while another, “The Music Instrument,” left, was seized from the Israeli art dealer Itzhak Zarug, below, on suspicion that it was fake. COURTESY OF ITZHAK ZARUG ZARUG COLLECTION said by phone. “We cannot confirm that it is genuine. If the examination does not contradict the attribution of the work to a certain artist or period, the expertise of an art historian is necessary.” In Ghent, the contested paintings that were exhibited came from the Dieleghem Foundation, an organization founded by Igor Toporovski and his wife, Olga, that holds works donated from their private collection in Brussels. In an interview last December, when the Ghent works were still on display, Mr. Toporovski said that he had acquired most of the works in Russia in the early 1990s. “In Russia these artists practically never sold before the Revolution,” he said. “There were no galleries. This art was a little bit out of the market. That’s why the provenances are quite special.” Mr. Zarug, in his interview, also spoke of how challenging it was to find art from the period with extensive exhibition or ownership histories. Initially a dealer who focused on Judaica, antique books and manuscripts, Mr. Zarug began hunting for things to buy in the Soviet Union after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he said. “The U.S.S.R. in 1990 was like the Wild West,” he said. Mr. Zarug said his diversification into Russian avant-garde art happened by chance. One of the dealers he had been working with regularly in Moscow offered him a painting attributed to Lis- sitzky for $3,000, he said, and back home in Israel, he displayed the painting for gallery owners in an exhibition in his office. The first person to arrive “didn’t even look at the Judaica, he just looked at the painting,” Mr. Zarug said. “I saw his interest and understood it was something of value, so I thought I would ask a very high price. I asked for $30,000. He said O.K.” Mr. Zarug said he immediately returned to Moscow, bought another three paintings, and sold them to a dealer in Israel for a vast profit. As he began searching for art in earnest across the collapsing Soviet Union, Mr. Zarug said, he discovered huge stores of neglected paintings. On one occasion, he said, he found 100 pictures in very bad condition covered with a dust sheet in an attic in Moscow and bought them for $1,000 each. On another, he said, he was taken to a deserted building in Azerbaijan where he was offered 206 paintings — including works he said were by Malevich and Kandinsky. In Tajikistan, the staff members of a museum sold him artworks directly from the basement, he said. Some of Mr. Zarug’s acquisitions were more orthodox. He said he traced Chagall’s family in St. Petersburg and purchased some works on paper from Oxana Kornienko, the granddaughter of Chagall’s sister Lea, as well as an oil selfportrait dating from 1917 that has been authenticated by the Comité Chagall in Paris and sold to a private collector. The Comité said it could not comment on whether Mr. Zarug had been the person who had the painting authenticated. Some works he sold out of a gallery he had in Wiesbaden. The rest, he said, he kept in the private collection that was seized by the police. The authorities confiscated some 1,800 works, most of which are being returned to him. Though he was convicted on the lesser counts and sentenced to 32 months in jail, he had already been incarcerated for that length of time while he awaited trial, so now he is free. Mr. Hazaz, his partner, who was sentenced to three years, has also served his time. In Mr. Zarug’s view, the trial has “lifted a damaging taint on the value and prestige” of his collection. He said that when he gets it back, he will sell some pictures. “I would like to put on a few exhibitions,” he said. “And I want to rest a little.” Scott Reyburn contributed reporting. Health care champion for South African blacks HERBERT KAISER 1923-2018 BY NEIL GENZLINGER “We saw for ourselves overflowing waiting rooms for sick blacks and hospitals with 300 percent occupancy rates.” In 1971, an American diplomat named Herbert Kaiser was doing a tour of duty in South Africa when he developed melanoma. It did not escape Mr. Kaiser’s notice that, being white, he received excellent medical attention from a white doctor, while the country’s nonwhite population was chronically underserved by the health system, in part because few medical professionals were people of color. A decade later, after he had retired from the State Department, Mr. Kaiser and his wife, Joy, looked into the disparities. “We learned that out of a black population of over 20 million in 1984, there were only 350 black doctors, fewer than 20 dentists and less than 120 pharmacists” in South Africa, Mr. Kaiser recalled in a 2004 commencement address at his alma mater, Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. “The figures for black infant and child mortality and for maternal mortality were appalling. We saw for ourselves overflowing waiting rooms for sick blacks and hospitals with 300 percent occupancy rates. Figure that one out: It meant two to a bed or on the floor.” The Kaisers did something about the problem. In 1985 they founded Medical Education for South African Blacks, a nonprofit organization that provided financial and other support to students of color seeking health careers. Mr. Kaiser died on March 30 at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 94. His son Timothy said the cause was heart failure. By the time the Kaisers’ organization disbanded in 2007 it had helped some 10,000 South Africans of color receive training as doctors, nurses, midwives and more. The timing of the Kaisers’ initiative proved auspicious in two ways. One was that, when the organization (known by the acronym Mesab) was founded, South Africa was still under apartheid; a more equal health care system and stronger black professional class helped secure the country’s survival when majority rule came in the 1990s. The other was that Mesab began producing health care professionals just as the AIDS crisis was devastating the country. Herbert Kaiser was born on June 8, 1923, in New York City. His father, Max, was a house painter, and his mother, the former Nettie Slavititski, was a caretaker. The Depression years were difficult for the family, and Timothy Kaiser said that being on the receiving end of public charity left his father with a sense of ob- ROGER CRAWFORD/KAISER FAMILY ARCHIVES Herbert and Joy Kaiser with Nelson Mandela in 1991. The Kaisers founded Medical Education for South African Blacks in 1985, when the health system favored whites. ligation that he carried his entire life. After graduating from high school, Herbert worked briefly at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and then, in 1942, joined the Navy, serving on the submarine Dragonet, which was stationed off Japan in August 1945 when the atomic bombs were dropped on that country. He attended Swarthmore on the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1949, the same year he married Joy Dana Sundgaard, a fellow student. He took a job with the State Department and was posted to Glasgow in 1950. Later in that decade he developed an expertise in Eastern European affairs, and his career included postings to Yugoslavia, Austria, Poland and Romania. He retired in 1983. Besides the tensions and factions within South Africa, the Kaisers had to deal with the international pressure that was causing many prominent people and companies to withdraw investments from that country. Raising money for their fledgling organization was difficult. But eventually a number of compa- nies, including Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s and Pfizer International, signed on, and community leaders in South Africa got behind the effort. Scholarship money alone, though, was not the answer. The organization found that it also needed to provide other kinds of support for students, both during apartheid and after. “South African blacks have had to cope with decades of poor primary and secondary education, as well as social neglect,” Saul Levin, Mesab’s chief executive, said in 2005. “Students who come into universities from rural areas are shellshocked. I have had students who tell me they’ve never had a bank account or ridden in an elevator.” Thus, accommodations were made for the program’s students, like allowing them to repeat failed courses or to cut back on their course load if they were having academic trouble. A mentoring program was established. And Mesab responded to the AIDS crisis with a palliative-care program that financed the training of professionals and community caregivers in treating those with the disease. In addition to his wife and his son Timothy, Mr. Kaiser is survived by another son, Paul; a daughter, Gail; and six grandchildren. The Kaisers’ efforts, which wound down in 2007, drew praise from some of the leading figures in modern South African history, including President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She was a promising young student of Chinese literature with sterling grades and an industrious work ethic. But in 1998, during her sophomore year at one of China’s most prestigious universities, Gao Yan was raped by a professor, her friends and relatives say, and soon afterward she killed herself. Now, on the 20th anniversary of her death, Ms. Gao’s story has become a rallying cry for China’s fledgling #MeToo movement, inspiring calls for the government to do more to prevent sexual assault and harassment. China has so far greeted the #MeToo movement with caution, seemingly out of concern that it could threaten stability in the country’s male-dominated halls of power. But in recent days, millions of people have shared Ms. Gao’s story online, even as the government has deployed censors to stamp it out. Ms. Gao’s classmates brought the case back into the public sphere when they recently posted remembrances describing how she had told them that a professor at Peking University at the time, Shen Yang, forced her to have sex. Ms. Gao also told friends that Mr. Shen had spread rumors that she had a mental illness. Mr. Shen has denied the accusations. Many people have held up the case as an example of the abuse and discrimination women in China experience. “The hidden victims are inspired by the promise of justice and have become brave enough to speak up,” said Zoe Chen, 24, a student activist in Dalian, a northeastern city. The widespread anger over the case has brought unusually swift action. Several universities in recent days condemned Mr. Shen, who currently teaches at Nanjing University in eastern China. Peking University, where Mr. Shen taught until 2011, vowed over the weekend to do more to prevent sexual harassment, saying that it had “zero tolerance” for violations of students’ rights. The university also revealed that it had given a warning to Mr. Shen over suspicion of inappropriate behavior after the police investigated the case in 1998. Millions have shared Gao Yan’s story on the 20th anniversary of her death. Student activists said they were pleased that the case had resonated so widely. But they said universities needed to give students more of a say in determining how sexual harassment and assault are reported on campus, and to better train professors in appropriate conduct with students. “Merely resolving one or two specific cases is meant to gag the public,” said Zheng Xi, 30, an activist in the eastern city of Hangzhou. Ms. Zheng said that since Ms. Gao’s death, Peking University had “shown no sense of introspection about the unequal power dynamics between students and teachers.” While the #MeToo movement has struggled to gain wide traction in China, in large part because of the governing Communist Party’s tight control of civil society, universities have proved to be an exception. In recent months, students have used social media to accuse deans and professors of misbehavior, resulting in several high-profile firings. Sympathetic faculty members have signed petitions vowing a zero-tolerance stance toward sexual assault. Zhang Yiwu, a professor of Chinese language and literature at Peking University, said the rise of the #MeToo movement in the United States had pushed China to tackle the problem of sexual harassment. “We were ignorant of sexual harassment,” he said. “Now we know this issue better. We are learning from the Americans.” Zoe Mou, Iris Zhao and Elsie Chen contributed research. Printed in Athens, Denpasar, Beirut, Nivelles, Biratnagar, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Gallargues, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jakarta, Karachi, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, London, Luqa, Madrid, Manila, Milan, Nagoya, Nepalgunj, New York, Osaka, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Tokyo,Yangon. The New York Times Company 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018-1405, NYTCo.com; The New York Times International Edition is published six days per week. To submit an opinion article, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, To submit a letter to the editor, email: email@example.com, Subscriptions: Subscribe.INYT.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +33 1 41 43 93 61, Advertising: NYTmediakit.com, email@example.com, Tel.+33 1 41 43 94 07, Classifieds: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +44 20 7061 3534/3533, Regional Offices: U.K. 18 Museum Street, London WC1A 1JN, U.K., Tel. +44 20 7061 3500, France Postal Address: CS 10001, 92052 La Defense Cedex, France, Tel. +33 1 41 43 92 01, Hong Kong 1201 K.Wah Centre, 191 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong, Tel: +852 2922 1188, Dubai PO Box 502015, Media City, Dubai UAE, Tel. +971 4428 9457 email@example.com .. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 | 3 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION World Innocent victim, or Russian spy? In August 2016, Mr. Kilimnik was formally investigated in Ukraine on suspicion of ties to Russian spy agencies, according to documents from Parliament and the Prosecutor General’s Office, but no charges were filed. A Ukrainian lawmaker, Volodymyr I. Ariev, who requested the investigation, said Mr. Kilimnik’s background in military intelligence deserved scrutiny. “He was a student of a military school in Russia,” Mr. Ariev said. “Everybody in the former Soviet Union knows what that means. They produce professional spies.” In person, though, Mr. Kilimnik has been surprisingly nonchalant about the PROFILE KIEV, UKRAINE BY ANDREW E. KRAMER The man sat at a restaurant table, grasping a glass of white wine. His sandy hair was close cropped, he wore a cardigan sweater, and in the afternoon bustle he looked like just another office worker at lunch. While seated, the most notable element of his appearance was hardly noticeable; only when he stood to introduce himself did it become clear that he was short, almost childlike, in stature, a characteristic that earned him the nickname “the midget” from Russian political operatives. He spoke flawless English, with only a touch of an accent, was gregarious and casually brushed aside the main question in this rare interview in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, a year or so ago, saying that he was not a Russian spy. Yet in Washington these days, the man, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, has turned up in multiple court filings by the special prosecutor, Robert S. Mueller III, who identifies him as Person A. Just last week, for example, a Dutch lawyer was sentenced to a month in prison for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about, among other things, his communications with Person A. And two weeks ago, Mr. Mueller turned over a card in the investigation into the possibility of the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia by asserting in a court document that this person “has ties to a Russian intelligence service” and was in contact with a senior member of the campaign, Rick Gates, during the 2016 presidential campaign. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents assisting the Special Counsel’s Office assess that Person A has ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016,” the filing said. As Person A, Mr. Kilimnik, a 47-yearold former Russian military interpreter, has appeared now in multiple court filings by the special prosecutor, which suggests that he could become a pivotal figure in the investigation. For about a decade, he worked as an office manager in Kiev for the political consulting busi- Konstantin V. Kilimnik has turned up in court filings by the American special prosecutor, who identifies him as Person A. JOSEPH SYWENKYJ FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES Konstantin V. Kilimnik once worked for Paul Manafort’s political consulting operation out of this storefront in Kiev, Ukraine. ness of Paul Manafort, acting as a go-between and fixer for the American and the Russian-leaning politicians who were its clients. The Russian government has denied meddling in the 2016 election, and President Trump has denied collusion by members of his campaign staff. But during the years that Mr. Manafort worked in Ukraine, the country was deeply penetrated by Russian intelligence agents. While Mr. Kilimnik continues to deny that he was a Russian agent, it would have been perfectly normal for Moscow to plant someone in the Manafort operation. Konstantin Viktorovich Kilimnik was born in eastern Ukraine in the Soviet period. He studied at the Military Institute of the Ministry of Defense in Moscow, and after the Soviet breakup took Russian citizenship, he said in the interview. The institute trains interpreters for the Russian military intelligence agency, formerly known as the G.R.U. and now called the Main Directorate. He worked for a time in Sweden as an interpreter for a Russian company that exported arms, and later in the Moscow office of the International Republican Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit, where former employees said they suspected he was informing on them to the Russian authorities. He parted ways with the organization, a former employee of the Moscow office said, after the chief of the F.S.B., the successor agency to the K.G.B., talked in a speech about the private meetings of the institute’s officials. They didn’t have evi- dence but suspected that Mr. Kilimnik had been the source, said the former official, who could not be cited publicly discussing personnel issues. In the interview, Mr. Kilimnik said he had been dismissed for having taken work on the side as an interpreter for Mr. Manafort in Ukraine in the early 2000s. It is not known whether Mr. Manafort, a longtime consultant to Republican politicians, was aware of the suspicions of the institute’s managers when he hired Mr. Kilimnik in 2005. Mr. Manafort’s business in Ukraine was registered in Mr. Kilimnik’s name. Mr. Manafort’s former client President Viktor F. Yanukovych was deposed in 2014, and Mr. Kilimnik said he stopped working for Mr. Manafort that year. suspicions swirling around his past and role in the 2016 campaign. He said he was never contacted by investigators in Ukraine and called the investigation politically motivated. “If there were any truth to me talking to any security service in the world, they would arrest me,” he said, speaking of Ukrainian law enforcement. Before the United States election, Mr. Kilimnik said, he and Mr. Manafort had spoken “every couple of months,” at a time when Mr. Manafort served as chairman of the Trump campaign, but he said there was nothing to hide in the calls and meetings. The two mostly discussed Ukrainian politics, not the election, he said: “I was briefing him on Ukraine.” The filing by the special counsel’s office asserted that Mr. Kilimnik had communicated with Mr. Gates, the senior campaign member, late during the 2016 campaign, and that Mr. Gates was aware of Mr. Kilimnik’s background in Russian intelligence. The filing was notable for touching on Mr. Gates’s activities during the campaign. He has pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. and conspiring to defraud the United States for activities related to his work in Ukraine, mostly before joining the Trump campaign. Mr. Gates’s communications with Mr. Kilimnik were revealed in the sentencing documents of Alex van der Zwaan, a former lawyer for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, who pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about his interactions with Mr. Kilimnik and with Mr. Gates. Mr. Kilimnik also played a role in a reported effort by Mr. Manafort to contact a Russian oligarch, Oleg V. Deripaska, during the campaign. Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kilimnik had cooperated on an ultimately unsuccessful business venture, the Pericles investment fund, financed by Mr. Deripaska. In July 2016, while Mr. Manafort was chairman of the Trump campaign, Mr. Manafort emailed Mr. Kilimnik asking him to offer Mr. Deripaska “private briefings” about the campaign in exchange for resolving a multimillion-dollar financial dispute related to the business, according to The Washington Post. Mr. Deripaska has said he never received the offer. Mr. Kilimnik, reached by email, declined to comment on this matter and the special counsel’s court filings. Mr. Kilimnik has surfaced as a fringe figure in other aspects of the Russian investigation. Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist who attended a Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016 where a Russian lawyer had promised to provide negative information on Hillary Clinton, had also worked in Ukraine with Mr. Kilimnik closely enough to know his nickname among Russian-leaning political operatives in Kiev. At the time, about eight years ago, Mr. Akhmetshin was trying to persuade political advisers of Mr. Yanukovych to buy the rights to a book that cast a domestic political opponent in a negative light, and attended meetings with Mr. Kilimnik. “I do not want to be part of the U.S. political games and I am not,” Mr. Kilimnik wrote in an email last year. “I am simply a random casualty because of my proximity to Paul,” he said, referring to Mr. Manafort. Asked in the interview about the allegation of ties to Russian intelligence agencies, Mr. Kilimnik said, “I vehemently deny it.” An Australian Silicon Valley ADELAIDE JOURNAL ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA Adelaide, a rust belt city, is aiming to emulate innovation hubs in U.S. BY DAMIEN CAVE Tom Hajdu, a globe-trotting entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in music from Princeton, parked his Toyota Camry and walked us toward a former Mitsubishi auto factory in Adelaide, Australia, that shut down a decade ago. It has recently been reopened with high-speed broadband, Ping-Pong tables and room for hip start-up companies. Under the old industrial roof, the message was clear: This working-class city is doing everything it can to recast itself as an innovation hub for the state of South Australia and the world. “There’s a corps of people here who will be driving into the innovation economy,” Mr. Hajdu said. “You get on the bus or you get out of the way.” Adelaide is the understated capital of South Australia, a mostly rural depopulating state. Like so many other rust belt cities worldwide, it is trying to recover from a manufacturing decline by hunting for innovation buzz — that glow of techno-progress that can propel a place from downbeat to in demand. It’s Pittsburgh, shifting from a dying steel town in the United States to a “city of renewal.” It’s Chattanooga, the old Tennessee railroad town, becoming “one of America’s most start-up-friendly cities.” It’s even Dresden, the German city flattened during World War II that’s now the heart of “Silicon Saxony.” In Adelaide’s case, Elon Musk has already helped: He introduced a new rocket at a space conference here last September, following up in November by building the world’s biggest battery, which has already driven down local electricity prices. But this city of 1.3 million — with its aging population and unemployment rates that are often among the highest in the country — needs an even bigger jolt. Frustrations have been building for years as Adelaide’s factories shuttered, with Holden closing its plant last year, bringing an end to Australia’s auto industry. The response is what’s interesting: Quiet Adelaide, a former industrial center now seen as a laid-back community of churches and retirees, is banging the table for change. Last month, voters kicked out the Labor Party after 16 years of running South Australia, electing the more conservative Liberal Party and its state leader, Steven Marshall, the owner of a furniture business, on the promise of economic growth. The new government is even pushing for a new visa to draw foreigners who want to start businesses in South Australia — a break with national Liberal leaders who have restricted skilled immigration. Even before that, Mr. Hajdu, 55, a Canadian transplant and co-founder of an Los Angeles-based incubator called Disrupter, was becoming Adelaide’s networker in chief. A talker in a T-shirt, the son of a free-market economist who founded a well-known Canadian think tank, he is among a crew of boosters constantly battling skeptics. “The Paris and Rome of today are not necessarily the Paris or Rome of tomorrow,” said Mr. Hajdu, who moved to Adelaide in 2015 and is now a paid innovation consultant for the South Australian government. “It’s total world transformation.” Mr. Hajdu says things like that a lot: sweeping techno-prophecies that he seems to be beta testing for a larger audience. MATTHEW ABBOTT FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES A self-driving vehicle at an old Mitsubishi factory in Adelaide converted into a start-up hub. Sage Automation, a company there, makes devices used for self-driving cars. Last year, South Australia’s Labor government gave him a three-year contract, paying him 300,000 Australian dollars a year, or now about $230,000, for innovation advice. Is it worth it? South Australia’s new Liberal government declined repeated requests for interviews about that. One of Mr. Hajdu’s first projects involved helping Adelaide get what most of this wealthy, otherwise developed country lacks — superfast internet connectivity. South Australia is now investing 7.6 million Australian dollars to roll out new fiber optic cable to 29 innovation precincts. Officially, Adelaide is now the first non-American “gigabit city,” making it part of a program that connects innovators and researchers to their counterparts in other cities with advanced network infrastructure, including Chattanooga and Austin, Tex. “Tom reached out to me soon after he moved to Adelaide and told me he was encouraging Adelaide to become a gig city, taking Chattanooga as a prime example of a city that had transformed its economy through affordable high-speed internet,” said Joe Kochan, a co-founder of US Ignite, the Washington nonprofit that runs the Smart Gigabit Communities program. One afternoon, Mr. Hajdu pulled together a few of the people he sees as helping lead Adelaide’s revival. Sitting at a rooftop bar, he introduced Terry Gold, an American who moved from Colorado to run a tech incubator. Also with us were two South Australia government officials, the dean of the University of Adelaide’s computer sciences department and Alex Grant, the chief executive of a company called Myriota, which makes internet-connected devices for monitoring things like soldiers and natural resources. Clustering universities, start-ups and government support is, after all, the Silicon Valley model. The question is whether it can work for Adelaide. Chattanooga has added tens of thousands of new jobs; in Adelaide, Myriota is growing, but from 11 employees to 30. Inside Tonsley, the converted Mitsubishi factory, the company we visited, called Sage Automation, made devices used for self-driving cars that are put together in small batches — a far cry from the mass production of cars in the factory’s heyday. There are some other signs of hope, Mr. Hajdu says. Sanjeev Gupta, a British billionaire, has said that he wants to turn the former Holden plant into a factory for electric cars. But a tipping point like Chattanooga’s or Pittsburgh’s has yet to be reached. Unemployment is still rising. Around Tonsley, there are rundown stores and pubs struggling to stay open. Inside, there are wide expanses of empty gray floors, waiting to be used. TI M E , A H E RMÈ S OB J ECT. Carré H Time, square like a Hermès scarf. .. 4 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION world Fabled home of Jewish culture being left behind BUKHARA, UZBEKISTAN BY ANDREW HIGGINS The ancient Silk Road city of Bukhara has two synagogues, a primary school that teaches Hebrew, a Jewish cultural association and a sprawling Jewish cemetery with more than 10,000 graves. What it lacks are Jews. Home to one of the world’s oldest and, in centuries past, biggest Jewish communities, Bukhara — a fabled city of ancient ruins and Islamic architectural treasures in central Uzbekistan — has a Muslim population of more than 270,000 people but, according to most estimates, only 100 to 150 Jews. Even that, said Lyuba Kimatova, an observant Jew whose son and older daughter emigrated to Israel, is a big exaggeration. Ms. Kimatova said there were only four or five families left who kept kosher and followed Jewish traditions. The rest, she said, “do not really live like Jews anymore.” That is not entirely their fault, she quickly added, but mostly the result of the fact that there is nobody left who can slaughter animals for food according to Jewish law. Until last month, the city had two rabbis who knew the rituals of slaughter, but each was old and very sick and too feeble to wield a butcher’s knife. The older rabbi has now died, delivering yet another blow to a community with a storied history stretching back millenniums but steadily running out of living members. Ms. Kimatova herself would like to leave, joining an ever-expanding diaspora of Bukharian Jews living far from the city, about 50,000 of them in the New York City borough of Queens alone. “We are all ready to leave. Only the old folk are hanging on,” Ms. Kimatova said, complaining that her ailing fatherin-law, 83, the surviving — and, detractors say, phony — rabbi, refuses to budge, despite pleas from family. “He won’t leave so we have to stay.” The steady exodus from Bukhara began in the early 1970s, when the Soviet Union relaxed a ban on Jewish emigration. It accelerated in the 1990s after Uzbekistan became an independent state, a development that Jews, Russians and other minorities feared might lead to an upsurge in nationalism and Muslim extremism. The feared nationalist backlash against minorities, particularly non-Muslim ones, never happened, and even remaining Jews who are eager to leave praise Uzbekistan as a place, unlike Israel and many parts of Europe, where Jews and Muslims live side by side without friction. “I never felt any anti-Semitism here. Never,” Ms. Kimatova said, noting that her husband, a watchmaker, walks in the street wearing a skullcap without any fear, and their daughter, 13, has always walked to school on her own through the narrow, winding streets of Bukhara’s old town district. The central government in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital, would like Bukhara’s Jews to stay and those who left to start returning. As part of a general openingup after the death of the country’s longtime dictator, Islam Karimov, in 2016, it recently gave visa-free entry to Israelis and is encouraging émigrés to come back, at least to take a look. “They have always been an organic part of Uzbek society, and people here need them,” said Sodiq Safoev, Uzbekistan’s former ambassador to Washington and a close confidant of the liberalizing new Uzbek president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. “It will be very sad if they are all melted down in the big melting pot of New York.” A few Jews are determined to stay put in Bukhara to preserve a Jewish presence that, according to local lore, dates to the Lost Tribes of Israel, exiled from their homeland in the eighth century B.C. Another theory is that the Bukharian Jews trace their ancestry to the conquest of Babylonia, the ancient empire based in what is today Iraq, by Cyrus, the king of Persia in the sixth century B.C. DMITRY KOSTYUKOV FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES Bukhara, Uzbekistan, has only 100 to 150 Jews today, according to most estimates. It is often difficult to find a minyan, the required quorum of 10 worshipers needed to hold a service in the synagogue. Tashkent, Baruch Abramchayev. “We have our own traditions here,” Mr. Iskhakov said. “Nobody wore black hats here before.” All the same, he praised Chabad for supporting the few remaining Jews in Bukhara, who rely on Rabbi Abramchayev in Tashkent for their kosher food. On a recent visit to Bukhara, the rabbi slaughtered six chickens in Ms. Kimatova’s courtyard and then wielded his knife on three cows at a farm outside the city. To the dismay of the Uzbek farmer who had raised the cows, the rabbi declared one of them not kosher after having it skinned and putting his hand into the carcass to check its organs. His decision meant that the Uzbek could not make a sale — and was stuck with the bloody carcass. Relations between Jews and Muslims have not always been harmonious. In the 18th century, Muslim preachers began forcing Jews to convert, creating a community of residents known as chalas, whose descendants still form a distinct community. Under the emir of Bukhara, a notoriously cruel leader of what — until Russia invaded in the 19th century — was an independent khanate or state, Jews lived “in utmost oppression,” said a Hungarian-Jewish traveler who visited shortly before Russia’s conquest. The emir blamed Jews for his defeat by the Russians. Over the centuries, Bukhara’s Jews spread out to other towns in Uzbekistan and other parts of Central Asia, and from there to countries around the world. Today, many Jews now living in Queens, Israel and elsewhere, no matter whether they have any direct connection with Bukhara, often consider themselves “Bukharian Jews.” Among them is Lev Leviev, an Israeli billionaire and supporter of the Chabad movement who was born in Samarkand, an Uzbek city east of Bukhara. He is president of the World Congress of Bukharian Jews, an organization with chapters around the world that seeks to preserve ties between the community’s now widely scattered members. Each year before Passover, Mr. Leviev sends supplies of matzo, an unleavened flatbread, to Bukhara so that the few remaining Jews there can celebrate the holiday. Local Jews are grateful for the supply but older ones, remembering the days when they had their own bakers, grumble that matzo should be round, instead of square like the factory-made European variety sent by Mr. Leviev. For Rafael Elnatanov, the head of the city’s Jewish cultural association, however, the only real hope of keeping the community alive is support from the government. If the authorities encourage investment and make it easier to do business, he said, Jews who left for Israel or America will return to become at least part-time residents. As the community has grown smaller, the question of whether to stay or go has grown ever more insistent, intensified by the splintering of families and increasing difficulties of following Jewish dietary and other customs. Some stay because they are in lines of work not easily transferred abroad, like Simyon Ismailov, who extracts venom from vipers for sale to pharmaceutical companies. His snake farm, located down a muddy track outside Bukhara, sells tiny vials of viper venom for $2,000 each. Jura Khoshayev, a Jewish shoemaker and the last of 10 siblings left in Bukhara, said he had thought about moving to New York, where he has eight close relatives, but he worried about adjusting to life outside Bukhara’s old Jewish quarter. “Many of our people get depressed in America,” he said. “They take too many anti-depressants.” Whatever the stresses of living abroad, however, the scope for living a Jewish life in Bukhara is fast shrinking. Because there are so few Jews left, it is often difficult to find a minyan, the required quorum of 10 worshipers needed to hold a service in the synagogue. It is also difficult to find a spouse within the faith. Ms. Kimatova said she was determined, no matter what her father-in-law said, to get the family abroad before her daughter, Sarah, reached marrying age. “There is nobody here for her,” she said, complaining that even a local school set up in the 1990s for Jewish pupils has hardly any Jews left. Of 440 students, only 39 are Jewish, none of them in Sarah’s class. “We all have to leave sooner or later,” she said. saved at least $9.4 billion from Aadhaar by weeding out “ghosts” and other improper beneficiaries of government services. Opponents have filed at least 30 cases against the program in India’s Supreme Court. They argue that Aadhaar violates India’s Constitution — and, in particular, a unanimous court decision last year that declared for the first time that Indians had a fundamental right to privacy. Rahul Narayan, one of the lawyers challenging the system, said the government was essentially building one giant database on its citizens. “There has been a sort of mission creep to it all along,” he said. The court has been holding extensive hearings and is expected to make a ruling in the spring. The government argues that the universal ID is vital in a country where hundreds of millions of people do not have widely accepted identification documents. “The people themselves are the biggest beneficiaries,” said Ajay B. Pandey, the Minnesota-trained engineer who leads the Unique Identification Authority of India, the government agency that oversees the system. “This identity cannot be refused.” Businesses are also using the technology to streamline transactions. Banks once sent employees to the homes of account applicants to verify their addresses. Now, accounts can be opened online and finished with a fingerprint scan at a branch or other authorized outlet. Reliance Jio, a telecom provider, relies on an Aadhaar fingerprint scan to conduct the governmentmandated ID check for purchases of cellphone SIM cards. That allows clerks to activate service immediately instead of requiring buyers to wait a day or two. But the Aadhar system has also raised practical and legal issues. Although the system’s core fingerprint, iris and face database appears to have remained secure, at least 210 government websites have leaked other personal data — such as name, birth date, address, parents’ names, bank account number and Aadhaar number — for millions of Indians. Some of that data is still available with a simple Google search. As Aadhaar has become mandatory for government benefits, parts of rural India have struggled with the internet connections necessary to make Aadhaar work. After a lifetime of manual labor, many Indians also have no readable prints, making authentication difficult. One recent study found that 20 percent of the households in Jharkand state had failed to get their food rations under Aadhaar-based verification — five times the failure rate of ration cards. “This is the population that is being passed off as ghosts and bogus by the government,” said Reetika Khera, an associate professor of economics at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, who co-wrote the study. Seeing these problems, some local governments have scaled back the use of Aadhaar for public benefits. In February, the government for the Delhi region announced that it would stop using Aadhaar to deliver food benefits. Dr. Pandey said that some problems were inevitable but that his agency was trying to fix them. The government is patching security holes and recently added face recognition as an alternative to fingerprint or iris scans to make it easier to verify identities. Fears that the Indian government could use Aadhaar to turn the country into a surveillance state, he said, are overblown. “There is no central authority that has all the information,” he said. 300 Miles KAZAKHSTAN UZBEKISTAN TURKMEN. TAJIKISTAN IRAN AFGHANISTAN THE NEW YORK TIMES “Without history, you have no future,” said Abram Iskhakov, the president of the Bukhara Jewish Community. “Just being here to preserve our history, our language and our traditions is a big victory.” He said that his daughter, who now lives in Australia, his brother in Israel, and other relatives in the United States, regularly pleaded with him to leave Bukhara but that his answer was always the same. “I am needed more here than over there,” Mr. Iskhakov said. “There are millions of ‘Abrams’ like me in Israel and America, but this is my place, my home. I feel comfortable here. I live here like a fish in water.” Moreover, he added, Israel, which he visits at least once a year, is too humid and much more dangerous than Bukhara. “We have no problems here like the Israelis and Palestinians,” he said. “We live on the same streets with Muslims. We went to school together and work together.” “If I had two lives, I would spend one in Israel,” he added. “But I only have one and it is here.” While keeping kosher, Mr. Iskhakov takes a relaxed view of whether fellow Jews strictly follow all religious customs and has had quarrels with more pious members of his community, who have increasingly fallen under the influence SHAVKAT BOLTAEV A Jewish wedding in Bukhara in 2000. As the city’s Jewish population continues to dwindle, it has become more difficult to maintain some religious traditions. of Chabad-Lubavitch, an Orthodox, Hasidic movement headquartered in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Rooted in the shtetls of Eastern Europe, the Chabad movement is led by Ashkenazi Jews, whose clothing, language and general outlook are traditionally very different from those of the Sephardi Jews of Bukhara, who generally see Muslims as friends, not foes, and, instead of Yiddish, have their own language called Bukhori, a mix of Persian and Hebrew with a smattering of Russian and Uzbek. The Chabad movement, whose members often wear wide-brimmed black hats and black topcoats, has been in the vanguard of a push to preserve Jewish traditions and resist assimilation in former Soviet territory. The chief rabbi in Moscow is a follower of the movement, as is Uzbekistan’s chief rabbi in India requires biometric scans SCANS, FROM PAGE 1 as a platform, then you actually can create major innovations around that.” The potential uses — from surveillance to managing government benefit programs — have drawn interest elsewhere. Sri Lanka is planning a similar system, and Britain, Russia and the Philippines are studying it, according to the Indian government. Aadhaar, which means “foundation” in English, was initially intended as a difficult-to-forge ID to reduce fraud and improve the delivery of government welfare programs. But Mr. Modi, who has promoted a “digital India” vision since his party took power in 2014, has vastly expanded its ambitions. The poor must scan their fingerprints at the ration shop to get their government allocations of rice. Retirees must do the same to get their pensions. Middle-school students cannot enter the water department’s annual painting contest until they submit their identification. In some cities, newborns cannot leave the hospital until their parents sign them up. Even leprosy patients, whose illness damages their fingers and eyes, have been told they must pass finger- THE NEW YORK TIMES Retinal scans are one of several identifying characteristics the system uses. Critics fear that the government will gain unprecedented insight into the lives of all Indians. print or iris scans to get their benefits. The Modi government has also ordered Indians to link their IDs to their cellphone and bank accounts. States have added their own twists, like using the data to map where people live. Some employers use the ID for background checks on job applicants. “Aadhaar has added great strength to India’s development,” Mr. Modi said in a January speech to military cadets. Officials estimate that taxpayers have Suhasini Raj contributed reporting. .. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 | 5 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION world Climate change throws species off balance catcher populations dwindled sharply. “That was the big discovery that suggested this mismatch could have real consequences for populations,” said Christiaan Both, an ecologist at the University of Groningen. BY LIVIA ALBECK-RIPKA AND BRAD PLUMER Every year, as the seasons change, a complex ballet unfolds around the world. Trees in the Northern Hemisphere leaf out in the spring as frost recedes. Caterpillars hatch to gorge on leaves. Bees and butterflies emerge to pollinate flowers. Birds leave the Southern Hemisphere and fly thousands of miles to lay eggs and feast on insects in the north. All of these species stay in sync with each other by relying on environmental cues, much as ballet dancers move to orchestral music. But global warming is changing the music, with spring now arriving several weeks earlier in parts of the world than it did a few decades ago. Not all species are adjusting to this warming at the same rate, and, as a result, some are falling out of step. Scientists who study the changes in plants and animals triggered by the seasons have a term for this: phenological mismatch. And they’re still trying to understand exactly how such mismatches — like the blooming of a flower before its pollinator emerges — might affect ecosystems. In some cases, species might simply adapt by shifting their ranges, or eating different foods. But if species can’t adapt quickly enough, these mismatches could have “significant negative impacts,” said Madeleine Rubenstein, a biologist at the United States Geological Survey’s National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. “If you look at the past history of climate on earth, there has never been such a dramatic, rapid, change in the climate,” said Andrea Santangeli, a postdoctoral researcher at the Finnish Museum of Natural History. “Species have to respond really fast,” he said, “that’s really unprecedented.” Here are five examples of mismatch, just one of the many threats that species face from global warming, that scientists have discovered so far: ORCHID’S SEX LIFE TURNS BLEAK The early spider orchid relies on deception to reproduce. Each spring, the orchid, whose bulbous crimson body looks like an insect, releases a pheromone that tricks solitary male bees into thinking the plant is a mating partner — a key TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT ARTERRA/UIG, VIA GETTY IMAGES MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES Climate change doesn’t just cause missed connections. In some cases, the advance of warmer weather can lead to perilous meetings. In Finland, for example, the Northern lapwing and Eurasian curlew have usually built their ground nests on barley fields after farmers have sown their crops in the spring. But as temperatures have risen, the birds are now increasingly laying their eggs before the farmers get to the fields, which means their well-concealed nests are more likely to get destroyed by tractors and other machinery. Looking at 38 years of data, researchers found that farmers in Finland are now sowing their fields a week earlier in response to warmer temperatures, but the birds are laying their eggs two to three weeks earlier. “This has created a phenological mismatch,” said Mr. Santangeli, the lead author of the study. “The response we’ll see is declines of these birds.” WARDROBE MALFUNCTION BLW NATURSTUDIO/ULLSTEIN BILD, VIA GETTY IMAGES EDUCATION IMAGES/UIG, VIA GETTY IMAGES Clockwise from top left: The early spider orchid; the snowshoe hare; the European pied flycatcher; and the Northern lapwing. They are all facing challenges from rising global temperatures that affect, respectively, the orchid’s pollinators, the hare’s camouflage, the flycatcher’s food sources and the lapwing’s nesting areas. step for pollination. This ruse, which scientists call pseudocopulation, works because the orchid tends to bloom during a specific window each spring — shortly after lonely male bees emerge from hibernation but before female bees appear. Yet with spring coming earlier, female bees are now emerging sooner and luring the male bees away from the lovelorn orchid, according to a 2014 study from Britain. By examining data collected in herbariums and in the field over a century, the researchers found that the gap between the times when male bees and female bees emerge shrinks by about 6.6 days for each degree Celsius of warming, giving the orchid less opportunity to reproduce. “The main finding is that things are getting increasingly bad for orchid pollination,” said Anthony Davy, a professor of biological science at the University of East Anglia, and the lead author of the paper. For this orchid — which is already rare — the future looks bleak, he said. FLYCATCHER’S TIMING IS OFF The European pied flycatcher runs on a tight schedule each spring. From its wintering grounds in Africa, the bird flies thousands of miles north to Europe to lay eggs in time for the emergence of winter moth caterpillars, which appear for a few weeks each spring to munch on young oak leaves. By timing this just right, the flycatchers ensure there’s enough food around when their hungry chicks hatch. In a series of studies in the 2000s, however, scientists in the Netherlands showed that many flycatchers were starting to miss this narrow window. As spring temperatures warmed, oak trees were leafing out earlier and peak caterpillar season was arriving up to two weeks sooner in some places. But many flycatchers, which appear to schedule their departure from Africa based on the length of day there, were not getting to Europe early enough for their spring meals. In the parts of the Netherlands where peak caterpillar season had advanced the fastest, the scientists later found, fly- Climate change doesn’t just cause mismatches in the spring. Consider the snowshoe hare, whose fur coat has evolved to change from brown to white during the winter for camouflage. As the earth has warmed, however, snow cover in the hare’s habitat melts sooner, leaving the animal more exposed to predators. “Camouflage is critical to keep prey animals alive,” said L. Scott Mills, a professor of wildlife biology at the University of Montana who studies the impacts of camouflage mismatch on species like the snowshoe hare. For every week the hare is mismatched, Dr. Mills and his colleagues found, it had a 7 percent higher chance of being killed by predators like the lynx. Currently, the hare is mismatched by only a week or two. But by midcentury, Dr. Mills said, that could extend up to eight weeks. If that were to happen, he said, the hare “would start declining toward extinction.” Election deemed free, but not fair BUDAPEST Hungary’s ruling party used state resources to aid campaign, group finds BY MARC SANTORA AND HELENE BIENVENU Soon after Viktor Orban and his governing Fidesz party and its allies won a sweeping election victory, independent election monitors said that the party had used the resources of the state on a very large scale to aid its chances of winning. “Voters had a wide range of political options, but intimidating and xenophobic rhetoric, media bias, and opaque campaign financing constricted the space for genuine political debate,” said Douglas Wake, the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or O.S.C.E., mission in Hungary. “The ubiquitous overlap between government information and ruling coalition campaigns, and other abuses of administrative resources blurred the line between state and party,” he said on Monday. The blurring of the line was visible on thousands of bus stops, billboards and telephone booths where the government plastered posters warning of the dangers of immigrants. They were paid for by the government as part of what it said was a public information education campaign. They were often placed next to campaign-financed posters featuring a photoshopped image of the Hungarianborn American billionaire and frequent Orban target, George Soros, embracing the opposition candidates. While taking the government to task for the way the campaign was con- ducted, the O.S.C.E. found no problems with the execution of the election itself, where more than 8.3 million people were registered to vote. Asked about multiple reports of irregularities in the local news media, Mr. Wake said Monday that his group’s mission was limited to looking at the technical issues s of the vote count. On the national ballot, Fidesz secured more than 49 percent of the vote, with some 2.6 million voting for the party and its Christian Democratic allies. That was roughly the same as the seven largest opposition parties combined. Fidesz also secured a two-thirds majority in Parliament, which will give the party a free hand to pursue still deeper legal and constitutional changes that have already given it firm control over courts and other state institutions. It remains unclear exactly what other measures Mr. Orban might pursue. But The victory was cheered by fellow nationalists across Europe. he said in March that after the election he would seek “moral, political and legal amends” against his critics. And he has hinted t at an attempt to amend the Constitution to stop the European Union from imposing migrant quotas. A first step may be a “stop Soros” law that would allow the government to impose financial and other penalties on nongovernmental organizations that assist asylum seekers and refugees. Already, Mr. Orban’s harsh talk about immigrants has been matched by policies to close off the country. Over the last three years Mr. Orban has systematically curtailed the ability of people to seek asylum in Hungary. Where there was once a wall built by the Communist rulers seeking to keep Hungarians from leaving, he has erected a steel-and-wire fence to keep people from entering the country. He created two “transit zones” at the Serbian border, barred to the news media, where those seeking asylum must pass. The country now only allows five asylum seekers to be processed at each location every week, and that is just the start of a cumbersome process meant to make Hungary unwelcome. The reaction of human rights advocates and nongovernmental organizations, often the target of government attacks, to Mr. Orban’s victory was swift and defiant. Amnesty International’s Europe director, Gauri van Gulik, said the group was steadfast in its resolve to work to expose abuses. “We will continue to push back against attempts to stoke hostility toward refugees and migrants and will continue to speak up for groups that support and defend them,” she said. “We will not be cowed by those who attempt to muzzle Hungary’s critical voices and to create an atmosphere of fear.” There is little doubt that Mr. Orban’s victory presents an even stiffer test for the European Union, which will now have to deal with a vastly empowered Hungarian leader who has already challenged many of the bloc’s core democratic principles. The European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, will write Mr. Orban to congratulate him on his “clear victory,” said the commission’s spokesman, Margaritis Schinas. But he added: “The European Union is a union of democracy and values. President Juncker and the Commission feel that defending these principles and defending these values is the common duty of all member states with no exception.” Mr. Orban’s victory was cheered, however, by other world leaders with a similar outlook. Jaroslaw Kaszynski, the leader of Poland’s governing party, visited Mr. Orban in the closing days of the campaign and made his admiration clear. “You can’t think about Europe’s future without remembering Viktor Orban, without remembering Hungary, Fidesz,” he said on Friday. “Our current friendship is also a shared road, a shared road toward our nations being independent, capable of deciding about our own future, our own internal affairs.” Mr. Kaszynski said that the two countries were not against Europe, rather they were “pointing Europe in the right direction.” In Germany, the parliamentary leader of the far-right AfD Party, Beatrix von Storch, tweeted a picture of herself with Mr. Orban and a simple message: “Congratulations, Viktor Orban! A bad day for the EU, a good one for Europe.” BERNADETT SZABO/REUTERS Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary as his party triumphed. Election monitors said lines between the government and the party were blurred in the campaign. Milan Schreuer contributed reporting from Brussels. TI M E , A H E RMÈ S OB J ECT. Cape Cod Time beyond time. .. 6 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION world President gets a chance to remake a vexing court Trump v. California: The biggest legal clashes WASHINGTON State and U.S. government are engaged in ‘bloody combat’ over host of issues WASHINGTON BY ADAM LIPTAK Death of liberal stalwart opens door for Trump to appoint a conservative BY CARL HULSE In the spring of 2014, a friend tried to nudge Judge Stephen Reinhardt, then an 83-year-old liberal stalwart on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, into stepping aside from full-time duties so President Barack Obama could nominate a successor. The friend, Erwin Chemerinsky, now the dean at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, said he had gently suggested to Judge Reinhardt that he and another longtime liberal figure on the San Francisco-based court make way while Democrats still had the power to assure that jurists with a similar philosophy would take their place. Judge Reinhardt swiftly rejected that notion and stayed on. Now Judge Reinhardt, who died on March 29 at age 87, could very well be replaced by a nominee chosen by President Trump. The president suddenly has a chance to seat a judge with a markedly different judicial outlook, giving conservatives a greater voice on the liberal-leaning court, which has been a particular thorn in Mr. Trump’s side. The president’s opening does not end there. The vacancy is one of eight on the appeals court, which has 29 active judges — a vivid illustration of the larger opportunity for Mr. Trump to put an enduring stamp on the makeup of the federal judiciary nationwide by installing candidates of a more conservative bent. “With a Republican Senate and no possibility of a filibuster, he can have whoever he wants on the circuit court,” Mr. Chemerinsky said. “It will dramatically change the Ninth Circuit.” Currently, there are almost 150 federal district and appeals court vacancies around the country, a number that has risen from just over 100 when Mr. Trump took office, despite his notable success at filling openings. Democrats’ weakening of the filibuster against nominees in 2013 and a recent Republican decision to limit the veto power of home-state senators over judicial candidates have left few avenues to impede Mr. Trump and his Senate allies in their determination to fill judicial openings. J. EMILIO FLORES FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who died on March 29, was a protector of liberal views. Last month, the president promised an intense push. “We’re going all out,” Mr. Trump told a cheering audience in Ohio, declaring that his ability to fill scores of open slots was a “gift from heaven,” as well as “world-changing, country-changing, U.S.A.-changing.” Mr. Trump chastised the Ninth Circuit last year for its ruling against his travel ban, and for a district court judge’s move to block enforcement of a threat by his administration to withhold federal aid from so-called sanctuary cities. “Ridiculous rulings,” he railed on Twitter. “See you in the Supreme Court!” Though analysts say it has become more moderate in recent years, the Ninth Circuit has long been the bane of conservatives, partly because of the influence of Judge Reinhardt and another Jimmy Carter-era appointee, Harry Pregerson, who died in 2017 after taking senior status in 2015. It is America’s largest appeals court, covering nine Western states and dealing with a staggering set of topics from social questions like same-sex marriage to border issues to land resource matters. Because of its size, experts say that Mr. Trump would be unable to reverse its ideological makeup even if he were able to fill all eight vacancies. Some of those nominees would replace judges who had been appointed by other Republican presidents. But there is no dispute that Mr. Trump has the chance to push it to the right. The dynamics of the court could change in many subtle ways — producing, for example, more sharp dissents that catch the attention of the Supreme Court, said Leonard Leo, the executive vice president of the Federalist Society. Plus, it is hard to measure the effect of the loss of Judge Reinhardt, who was seen as a major influence on the liberal wing of the court and a talented and articulate legal protector of liberal views. “The death of Judge Reinhardt means more than the loss of a liberal vote,” said Arthur Hellman, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a leading expert on the appeals court. The Trump administration and California are fighting a furious multifront legal war, and every week seems to bring a new courtroom battle. “It’s bloody combat,” Jessica Levinson, who teaches at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said last week. “This isn’t a cold war. It’s a scorching hot war. And that’s politically expedient for both sides.” The state has filed 29 lawsuits against the federal government since President Trump took office, on issues including immigration, the environment and voting rights. “Government by litigation isn’t what the American people voted for,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last week, “and attempting to thwart an administration’s elected agenda through endless, meritless lawsuits is a dangerous precedent.” That same day, Mr. Sessions filed suit against the state, accusing it of interfering with the sale of federal lands. That followed a separate suit last month to block three state laws that sought to protect unauthorized immigrants. Clashes between states and the federal government are nothing new, said Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University in Virginia. “This has happened throughout American history, but under the Obama and Trump administrations it has happened more often,” he said. In the Obama years, red states tried to strike down the heart of the Affordable Care Act and succeeded in blocking a major immigration program. “Now we see the blue states battling Trump over sanctuary cities, the census and other issues,” Professor Somin said. Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, used to say when he was the state’s attorney general that his job description was simple: “I go to the office in the morning, I sue Barack Obama, and then I go home.” Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, has said that his attitude is slightly different. “We don’t wake up in the morning looking to pick a fight with the Trump administration,” he said. “But we will do what is necessary to defend our values.” Texas sued the Obama administration at least 48 times, according to a survey conducted by The Texas Tribune. The Trump administration is a little more than a year old, and California is already within striking distance of those numbers. California has been doing well in court, winning more than a dozen rulings against the administration. Many of those victories came from federal judges in the state, and Mr. Sessions may have been referring to them when he complained of “ideological judging.” The state is also likely to receive receptive hearings when its cases reach the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, which has been a frequent target of Mr. Trump’s criticism. The Supreme Court is a more attractive forum from the administration’s perspective, but the justices agree to hear very few cases. The lawsuits all have distinct features, but collectively they pose fascinating questions about the Constitution’s allocation of power between the federal government and the states. They also give rise to a teachable moment in legal opportunism. “Blue states and blue cities are making arguments about limited federal power that are traditionally associated with the political right,” Professor Somin said. “On the other hand, the Trump administration is staking out a very broad position on federal power.” LAND USE On April 2, the Trump administration sued to strike down a state law that made it harder for the federal government to sell or transfer federal lands by giving a state commission the right of first refusal. The law was meant to protect the state’s natural resources, Mr. Becerra said. “Our public lands should not be on the auction block to the highest bidder,” he said in a statement. The administration’s legal arguments are substantial, drawing on the Constitution and the law under which California was admitted to the Union. Article IV of the Constitution, which is concerned with the relationship between the federal government and the states, includes the Property Clause: “The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States.” And the 1850 law admitting California to the Union, making it the 31st state, was explicit: “California is admitted into the Union upon the express condition that the people of said State, through their legislature or otherwise, shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the public lands within its limits, and shall pass no law and do no act whereby the title of the United States to, and right to dispose of, the same shall be impaired or questioned.” Professor Levinson said her preliminary assessment of the suit was that “it NICK UT/ASSOCIATED PRESS Smog blanketing downtown Los Angeles in 2009. The next major court fight between California and the Trump administration may involve greenhouse gas emissions. looks like the federal government has quite a strong argument.” But Prof. Michael Blumm, who teaches at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Ore., said “it isn’t clear why the federal government claims it’s not possible to recognize a right of first refusal and carry out its other obligations.” He added, “Isn’t there some irony in a D.O.J. headed by an ardent statesrightser, Jeff Sessions, arguing for federal pre-emption of state authority under the Property Clause?” California has not yet filed its response to the suit. Based on the Trump administration’s complaint, though, the state law appears to be in trouble. SANCTUARY LAWS Last month, the Trump administration sued California over parts of three socalled sanctuary laws protecting unauthorized immigrants. “Immigration law is the province of the federal government,” Mr. Sessions said in announcing the suit. But, he added, “California has enacted a number of laws designed to intentionally obstruct the work of our sworn immigration enforcement officers — to intentionally use every power it has to undermine duly-established immigration law in America.” One of the challenged laws, for instance, prohibits state officials from telling federal ones when undocumented immigrants are to be released from state custody. “The executive branch should be able to remove criminal aliens from a jail instead of your neighborhood,” Mr. Sessions said in a statement last week. Mr. Becerra responded: “We’re not going to let the Trump administration coerce us into doing the federal government’s job of enforcing federal immigration law. We’re in the business of public safety, not deportation.” A second challenged law requires state officials to inspect some facilities that house people detained on behalf of the federal government. A third restricts employers from cooperating with immigration officials. Legal experts differed about the strength of the administration’s suit. Professor Somin wrote that the legal questions were difficult but that “California ought to prevail on all three issues.” Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Prof. Josh Blackman, who teaches at South Texas College of Law, and Ilya Shapiro, a lawyer with the Cato Institute, a libertarian group, said the federal government seemed to have the better legal argument on two of the three state laws. “Resistance to unpopular federal laws — whether over tariffs or immigration, or marijuana, gambling, guns or a host of other areas of possible conflict — is permissible,” they wrote, “only within the bounds of federalism.” The administration’s lawsuit seems likely to give rise to a split decision, with courts upholding some but not all of the state’s laws. vote in our federal elections,” Mr. Sessions said last week. California’s lawsuit said that adding a question on citizenship would depress participation and hurt communities with a high proportion of unauthorized immigrants. It said it has more to lose than any other state, as it has more foreign-born residents and noncitizens than any other. The administration said the citizenship information was needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but critics said that has not otherwise been a priority. In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that states may count all residents, whether or not they are eligible to vote, in draw- “This isn’t a cold war. It’s a scorching hot war. And that’s politically expedient for both sides.” ing election districts. That is the method currently used by every state. Some conservative groups say only eligible voters should be considered in drawing districts. Counting all people amplifies the voting power of places that have large numbers of residents who cannot vote legally — including immigrants who are here legally but are not citizens, unauthorized immigrants and children. Those places tend to be urban and to vote Democratic. The Supreme Court did not decide whether other methods of counting were permissible. Many political scientists say that the available information is not sufficient to count only eligible voters, and the new census question may have been added in part to gather such information. The state’s lawsuit has a decent chance of success. The decision to alter the census form was sudden and consequential, and courts may be reluctant to allow such a drastic change. SANCTUARY CITIES Last year, California sued the administration over its plans to deny federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities unless they begin cooperating with federal immigration agents. “The Trump administration cannot manipulate federal grant fund requirements to pressure states, counties or municipalities to enforce federal immigration laws,” Mr. Becerra said at the time. A Justice Department spokesman responded that the state was putting the welfare of unauthorized immigrants ahead of public safety. The state lost a round in the case in March, when Judge William H. Orrick of the Federal District Court in San Francisco declined to issue a preliminary injunction. Judge Orrick, noting that courts around the nation had come to varying conclusions in similar suits, said “the issues in this case will benefit from further development.” Professor Somin has written that at- MELISSA LYTTLE FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES DACA In January, California won a major victory, persuading a judge to block the Trump administration’s efforts to shut down a program that shields some 700,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation. The Supreme Court turned down a hail-Mary appeal from the administration in February, and the case will now make its way up the court system in the usual way. Mr. Trump ended the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, last September, calling it an unconstitutional use of executive power by his predecessor and reviving the threat of deportation for immigrants who had been brought to the United States illegally as young children. But Judge William H. Alsup ordered the administration to maintain major pieces of the program while legal challenges move forward, notably by requiring the administration to allow people enrolled in it to renew their protected status. The administration has not sought a stay of that injunction. Judge Alsup ruled that the administration had abused its discretion and had acted arbitrarily and capriciously in rescinding the program. He acknowledged that presidents have broad powers to alter the policies of earlier administrations, but said the Trump administration’s justifications for rescinding the program did not withstand scrutiny. In a statement last week, Mr. Sessions expressed incredulity that the administration should not be able to rescind what he called “an unlawful policy intended to usurp Congress’s role in passing immigration laws.” The Ninth Circuit is set to hear arguments in the case in May, and the state’s chances of winning in that court are good. But the Supreme Court may well hear an appeal, and there the state could face headwinds. EMISSIONS THE CENSUS Last month, California sued the Trump administration over its decision to add a question about citizenship to the forms to be used in the 2020 census. Several other states have filed a separate suit. The Constitution requires an “actual enumeration” of the nation’s residents every 10 years. The information gathered is used to allocate congressional seats and to disburse federal money. “The federal government should have an accurate count of who can legally taching conditions to federal grants can be at odds with federalism. “Some conservatives may cheer when the current administration uses this tool against sanctuary cities,” he wrote. “But they are likely to regret their enthusiasm if a liberal Democratic president uses the same tactic to force states to increase gun control, adopt a ‘common core’ curriculum or pursue liberal policies on transgender bathroom accommodations.” It is hard to say whether the state will prevail in its suit, as much depends on how, when and why the federal government denies funding. But there is little question that some denials can give rise to constitutional problems. MIKE NELSON/EPA, VIA SHUTTERSTOCK Top, a man arrested in an immigration raid. California’s so-called sanctuary laws aim to protect unauthorized immigrants. Above, Yosemite National Park in California. The administration has sued to strike down a state law on transfer of federal lands. The next major court fight between California and the Trump administration may involve greenhouse gas emissions. The state has a waiver under the Clean Air Act that allows it to enforce stronger air pollution standards than those set by the federal government. Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has said he is dissatisfied with that state of affairs. “California is not the arbiter of these issues,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV last month. Last week, the agency took steps to challenge California’s waiver. Though the process may take some time, it is likely to produce another clash between the Trump administration and the state that has emerged as its most determined foe. California, Mr. Becerra said, is “ready to file suit.” .. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 | 7 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION world Exonerated, then victimized Megaro took more than one-third of each brother’s compensation, according to Mr. Brown’s court files and Mr. McCollum. Payment on the high-interest loan took an additional $110,000. Each brother was left with less than half of his award. Mr. Megaro declined to discuss his fees, the loans, the payments to the advocates or making Ms. Brown guardian. In an April 2017 interview, he denied taking advantage of his clients. “I like these guys,” Mr. Megaro said. “They are nice people, even if they are mentally disabled. It doesn’t matter.” FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. Money meant to help brothers after wrongful imprisonment is dissipated BY JOSEPH NEFF The state of North Carolina paid $750,000 to Henry McCollum in 2015 to compensate him for the 30 years that he, an innocent man, spent on death row. Seven months later, he was broke. Mr. McCollum, who is intellectually disabled, then began borrowing money at 38 percent interest. He kept his financial plight hidden from friends and supporters from his death row years. But last fall, he briefly and wearily opened up when he was handed documents showing he owed $130,000 on $65,000 in recent loans. “Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t be out here,” he said. Mr. McCollum and his half brother, Leon Brown, who is also intellectually disabled, were demonized and convicted in one of the state’s most notorious rape and murder cases. Their decades in prison and their disabilities would have made for a difficult return to society under the best circumstances. What happened to them after their release proved even more problematic. As exonerees, they emerged with big dollar signs on their backs. Most states compensate the wrongfully imprisoned in amounts that can reach millions of dollars, and exonerees can also win settlements from police agencies — awards that can attract predators. Mr. McCollum, 54, and Mr. Brown, 50, proved virtually helpless as hundreds of thousands of dollars of state compensation were siphoned off by their supposed protectors — a sister back home; a lawyer from Orlando, Fla.; a self-proclaimed advocate from Atlanta; and her so-called business partner, a college instructor from New York City — according to documents and interviews by the Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization that focuses on the American criminal justice system. By the time a federal judge intervened, last spring, no trust had been set up for the brothers, and money intended for their care had been spent on predatory loans, exorbitant legal fees, multiple cars, women’s jewelry and children’s toys. Jeffrey Deskovic, an exoneree who established a foundation to help the wrongfully convicted, said he had advised about 60 other exonerees on how to manage compensation and the unwanted attention it brings. The experiences of Mr. McCollum and Mr. Brown are extreme, he said, but the underlying dynamics are common. “All were hit up for money by family and friends or were targets of scammers,” Mr. Deskovic said. The brothers’ tragic story began decades earlier. Schools had identified Henry McCollum and Leon Brown as mentally challenged: Mr. McCollum read at a second-grade level when he dropped out of high school; his younger brother could barely read or write. In 1983, the body of an 11-year-old, Sabrina Buie was found in a soybean field in Red Springs, N.C. The killer had jammed her underwear down her throat with a stick. A schoolgirl’s rumor prompted detectives to interrogate the brothers, then 19 and 15, who confessed to the crime. Both soon recanted, saying they had been coerced, to no avail. They became two more convictions for District Attorney Joe Freeman Britt, listed as the deadliest prosecutor in the Guinness Book of World Records. A jury sentenced both to be executed, and Mr. Brown, at 16, became the youngest person on death row. After the State Supreme Court ordered separate retrials, Mr. McCollum returned to death row and Mr. Brown was sentenced to life in prison with the label of child rapist. Then, in 2014, the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission announced that new DNA testing of a cigarette butt found at the crime scene matched the DNA of Roscoe Artis, who had lived next door. While the brothers were in jail awaiting trial, Mr. Artis raped and strangled an 18-year-old woman one mile from where Sabrina Buie was killed. Mr. Britt tried and convicted Mr. Artis for that crime before he put Mr. McCollum and Mr. Brown on trial. The police investigated Mr. Artis as a suspect in Sabrina Buie’s murder, but never told defense lawyers. In September 2014, a judge declared Mr. McCollum and Mr. Brown innocent, sending a packed courtroom into pandemonium. The brothers knew the wrongs done to convict them. It’s less clear they understand the wrongs they have suffered since their exonerations. DRAFTING A DEAL Nobody was more elated by the exonerations than Ken Rose, Mr. McCollum’s lawyer. Mr. Rose had been visiting his client on death row for 20 years: “Every time I saw him, he’d say, ‘I don’t belong here, I’m innocent, when can I go home?’ ” Before the brothers could qualify for the maximum $750,000 in state reparations, Mr. Rose needed to obtain an official pardon from the governor. In the meantime, the brothers went home to the care of Geraldine Brown, Mr. Brown’s sister and Mr. McCollum’s “FRIVOLOUS SPENDING” TRAVIS DOVE FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES Henry McCollum, above, who spent 30 years on death row, was freed in 2014 after DNA exonerated him and his half brother, Leon Brown. A field, below, in Red Springs, N.C., where the body of Sabrina Buie, the 11-year-old victim in the brothers’ case, was found. JEREMY M. LANGE FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES half sister. In the 30 years the men were in prison, Ms. Brown had visited Mr. Brown once; she had never gone to see Mr. McCollum. She had no job or car, and relied on funds raised by Mr. Rose’s nonprofit law center for rent and utilities. Sometimes social workers took the men shopping. They said they learned that if they entrusted the sister with cash, the bills went unpaid. Months passed with no pardon and no compensation. A cousin mentioned the brothers’ plight to Kimberly Weekes, an Atlanta woman who said she was an advocate who worked on voter registration, food drives and recycling campaigns. After speaking with Ms. Brown, Ms. Weekes contacted an instructor at Metropolitan College in New York who she said was her business partner. Ms. Weekes and the partner, Deborah Pointer, then drafted a contract for “advocacy and civil rights.” The brothers would owe Pointer & Weekes Inc. a cut of any reparation: 10 percent of loans, 5 percent of state compensation and 1 percent of lawsuit settlements. Ms. Brown signed and Ms. Weekes began searching for a lawyer to take over the case. Mr. Rose soon received a fax from Ms. Brown saying that he should step aside and that Ms. Weekes represented the family “in all or any of the Civil/Litigation.” Mr. Rose viewed the fax as nonsense. But he didn’t view the women as cranks: “I think they were very serious in taking whatever they could from my clients.” TAKING A BIG CUT On Feb. 27, Ms. Brown and her brothers finalized a contract with Patrick Megaro, a lawyer based in Orlando, Fla., to take over from Mr. Rose and other lawyers suing the police. Mr. Brown signed with an “X.” The contract specified that the family owed Mr. Megaro 33 percent of awards, even if they fired him. Legal experts said the contingency clause probably violated state bar rules. Ms. Weekes and Ms. Pointer secured money for the brothers — and for themselves — from a firm that lends to plaintiffs in anticipation of a settlement or jury award. Mr. Megaro approved two $100,000 loans, one for each brother, with an annual interest rate of 41.6 percent and a $5,000 fee wrapped into the principal. The loan documents show that Mr. Megaro authorized the payment of $20,000 to Ms. Pointer and Ms. Weekes. Mr. Megaro sent a letter to Mr. Rose and the legal team suing the police, demanding their files and stating that he alone represented the brothers. The coup stunned the lawyers, but they could see no way to challenge the contract. After her $10,000 payout arrived, Ms. Weekes made one trip to North Carolina. She said she helped the family with shopping and found a nicer rental home. Ms. Pointer never met the brothers. She set up a Facebook page and a change.org petition, and had her students at Metropolitan College call the governor’s office to demand a pardon. In June 2015, the governor pardoned the men. A publicist for Ms. Pointer and Ms. Weekes touted them as “the two female power execs” behind the men’s freedom. In September 2015, an administrative law judge approved the $750,000 payouts to each brother. Mr. Brown did not attend the hearing. He had been admitted to a psychiatric facility, his seventh since his release. In prison, Mr. Brown had had psychotic breaks, which were now getting worse. His sister could not get him to In North Carolina, exonerees typically keep their entire compensation, while their lawyers get a cut of police settlements. take his antipsychotic medications. She said he had talked about being raped by inmates and tied to his bunk by guards. He worried that God wouldn’t forgive him. He rocked in place and refused to eat or drink for days. The day before the administrative hearing, Mr. Megaro requested that Ms. Brown be named Mr. Brown’s guardian, despite her inability to manage his mental illness or her own finances. Creditors have filed at least 16 liens against her; she has been evicted three times. Nevertheless, the guardianship was granted. In October, North Carolina wrote Mr. Megaro a check for $1.5 million, half intended for each client, tax-free. Mr. Mr. Rose, who worked pro bono on the pardons, had planned to protect the brothers’ money in trusts that guaranteed fixed payments for life, about $3,000 a month each, based on the $750,000 awards. That has been the practice in North Carolina: Exonerees keep their entire compensation. Lawyers typically get a cut of settlements with the police. For his part, Mr. Megaro did not set up trusts, even after admitting in court that his clients needed protection from “fraudsters and frivolous spending.” After taking his cut, Mr. Megaro distributed the remainder to Mr. McCollum and began sending money to Ms. Brown, as Mr. Brown’s guardian. Mr. McCollum was soon broke, and he started borrowing, with Mr. Megaro’s approval. He would not discuss where the money went. His brother’s finances, supervised by the court, have more of a paper trail. Although guardians can legally spend money only on their wards, Ms. Brown bought women’s jewelry and shoes, diapers and toys. Records show she also acquired a Dodge van, 2010 Mustang, 2004 BMW and 1995 Lexus. The court ultimately stripped Ms. Brown of the guardianship and cut off access to her brother’s money. At a hearing, Ms. Brown admitted she had also asked Mr. McCollum for thousands of dollars and had taken out a $25,000 high-interest loan in Mr. Brown’s name, also with Mr. Megaro’s approval. The judge found her in contempt of court and ordered her jailed. “Why you would take advantage of a poor soul like that, I do not know,” the judge said. She conceded in an interview that she should have never been made guardian. When it comes to lawyers, loans and contracts, Ms. Brown said: “I’m incompetent too. I’m not going to stand here and lie.” Last spring, Mr. Megaro filed court papers saying he had reached a settlement with the Red Springs police. Each client would be awarded $500,000. Judge Terrence Boyle of Federal District Court announced he would not approve any settlement before determining whether Mr. McCollum was competent to sign the contract with Mr. Megaro. Judge Boyle appointed a guardian to investigate. The guardian discovered the predatory loans. He learned Mr. Megaro had not set up a trust or estimated his clients’ future medical needs. After Mr. Megaro’s fees and loan payments, Mr. McCollum would net $178,000 and Mr. Brown $308,000 from the police settlement. At the next hearing, Mr. Megaro angered the judge by repeatedly refusing to reveal his fees for the earlier state compensation. He insisted that Mr. McCollum was competent to hire his own lawyer. Judge Boyle zeroed in on this claim when Mr. Rose took the stand: “Is it your impression that the same vulnerability that subjected him to a false confession and 31 years of death row imprisonment is now operating on his claims for recovery, that he’s subject to manipulation and control?” Mr. Rose responded: “There’s no question in my mind, your honor, that’s true.” At the next hearing, Judge Boyle declared that the brothers were incompetent and that their contracts with Mr. Megaro were void. The judge said he would approve the police settlement, $500,000 for each brother, and would determine Mr. Megaro’s fees. Court-appointed guardians would put the money in trust and the brothers would not be obliged to repay their loans out of the settlement. Mr. Megaro agreed to the terms, but the case is far from over. The State Bureau of Investigation and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office still face lawsuits. Mr. McCollum lives in Virginia with his fiancé. Last week, a judge there appointed a guardian to protect Mr. McCollum’s finances and recover any misappropriated money. Mr. Brown lives in a North Carolina group home, where his sister visits regularly and sometimes takes him home on weekends. In a phone call, Mr. Brown said he didn’t belong in a group home. “A judge put me here,” he said. “I want my freedom.” As for Ms. Pointer and Ms. Weekes, they said they were still owed $75,000 from the state compensation and may sue Mr. Megaro. Asked if she had any regrets, Ms. Pointer said she was offended by the question. “We came into this with pure hearts to help two brothers who had suffered,” she said. Joseph Neff is a staff writer for The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization that focuses on criminal justice issues. Woman sues after rude gesture got her fired She says employer feared consequences of action directed at Trump BY MATTHEW HAAG A Virginia woman who lost her job with a government contractor after she was photographed extending her middle finger at President Trump’s motorcade last year has sued her former employer for wrongful termination. Juli Briskman directed the gesture toward a string of black sport utility vehicles that zoomed by her on her bicycle on Oct. 28, as Mr. Trump’s motorcade was leaving Trump National Golf Course in Sterling, Va. Reporters and photographers in a car behind her captured the moment, which quickly spread online and became a source of many jokes on late-night television. But Ms. Briskman’s employer, Akima L.L.C., did not find it funny. When she returned to work the next week, she said, company executives told her she needed to resign. Ms. Briskman, 50, had violated the company’s social media policy on obscenity by sharing the image on Facebook and Twitter, they told her, according to the lawsuit filed last week in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia. The executives also feared blowback from the Trump administration, Ms. Briskman said the executives told her. “I was fired from my job because my employer feared unconstitutional retaliation,” Ms. Briskman said last Thursday. “But on a larger scale, I feel that our democracy is being threatened.” Her lawyers assert that Ms. Briskman’s gesture was “core political speech” protected by Virginia law and the Constitution. She is seeking $2,692 for two weeks of severance she said she was promised “I was fired from my job because my employer feared unconstitutional retaliation. But on a larger scale, I feel that our democracy is being threatened.” but never received, as well as compensation for legal fees. “Criticism of our leaders should be encouraged,” Ms. Briskman said Thursday on Twitter. Akima, which has government contracts in areas that include network operations, cybersecurity and national security, did not respond to a request for comment. Virginia is an at-will state, meaning employers can freely fire an employee at any time and for any reason. There are a few exceptions, such as when a termination violates federal discrimination laws. One of her lawyers, Maria Simon, said she believed that Ms. Briskman’s case fell into one of the exceptions. “Juli was on her own free time on a Saturday and it was a peaceful protest,” Ms. Simon said. “This was not done during work. The picture was taken of her. She is being fired for what she was doing peacefully on her own time.” In an interview in November, Ms. Briskman said she threw her left hand in the air in a spur-of-the-moment gesture to express her displeasure with Mr. Trump. She said she did not know how many people saw it, other than a Secret Service agent in a vehicle who she believed glanced over at her. But many people did end up seeing it. After the photo was shared widely online that weekend, Ms. Briskman said she posted it on Facebook and Twitter. Neither account identified her as an employee of Akima, where she was a marketing analyst. She decided it would be a good idea to alert a human resources official at Akima about the photo on Monday, when she returned to work. She also told her boss later that night when Jimmy Fallon discussed the photo on “The Tonight Show.” The next day, according to her lawsuit, company executives called her into a meeting. A vice president of the company told her that the photo had become a “social media tattoo” on Akima’s reputation, and she was told she was out of a job. Ms. Briskman said on Thursday that she has another job. “Whether I landed on my feet or not is besides the point,” she said. “It doesn’t change the fact that they fired me in violation of Virginia policy.” CORRECTIONS • An article in the weekend edition about a documentary on the musician Grace Jones omitted part of the film’s title. It is “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami,” not “Bloodlight and Bami.” • An article on Thursday about economic conditions in Hungary referred incorrectly to the number of Hungarians who have found work in the European Union. It is as many as 350,000, not roughly 350,000. .. 8 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION Business We willingly give away our privacy Pay gap’s 10-year baby window Gulf opening between ages of 25 and 35 never closes, Census Bureau study finds BY CLAIRE CAIN MILLER Today, married couples in the United States are likely to have similar educational and career backgrounds. So while the typical husband still earns more than his wife, spouses have increasingly similar incomes. But that changes, once their first child arrives. Immediately after the first birth, the pay gap between spouses doubles, according to a recent study — entirely driven by a drop in the mother’s pay. Men’s wages keep rising. The same pattern shows up in a variety of research. But the recent study reveals a twist. When women have their first child between age 25 and 35, their pay never recovers, relative to that of their husbands. Women who have their first baby either before 25 or after 35 — before their careers get started or once they are established — eventually close the pay gap. The years between 25 to 35 happen to be both the prime career-building years and the years when most women have children. The study — a working paper published by the United States Census Bureau in November — is one of several recent papers that show that childbearing accounts for much of the gender pay gap. That gap has narrowed significantly over the past four decades, as women have gotten more education and entered male-dominated professions, but a divide remains. Women who have babies late typically have different career paths from those who have them early. Those who first give birth in their late 30s tend to be more educated with higher-earning jobs, while those who have babies in their early 20s have less education and lower earnings. Low earners have a smaller pay gap in general, and people who have babies in their late 30s could have a smaller pay gap because they are less likely to have more than one child. But the fact that both groups of women recover their earnings, relative to their husbands, suggests there is also something about having children outside the prime career-building years that hurts women’s pay less, no matter the occupation. One explanation is that the modern economy, across a variety of jobs, requires time in the office and long, rigid hours — yet pay gaps are smallest when workers have some control over when and where work gets done. In high-earning jobs, hours have grown longer, and people are expected to be available almost around the clock. In low-earning jobs, hours have become much less predictable, so it can be hard for working parents to arrange child care. The issue, in general, comes down to time. Children require a lot of it, especially in the years before they start school, and mothers spend disproportionately more time than fathers on child care and related responsibilities. This seems to be particularly problematic for women building their careers, when they might have to work hardest and prove themselves most, and less so for women who have already established some seniority or who have not yet started careers. Andrew Ross Sorkin DEALBOOK NOEL WEST FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES Women who have their first baby before their careers get started or once they are established eventually close the pay gap with their husbands, researchers found. A crucial decade in a woman’s life is both her prime career-building time and when she is most likely to have children. Women are more likely than men to reduce their work hours, take time off, turn down a promotion or quit their jobs to care for family. Even in families in which both parents work full time, women spend almost double the time on housework and child care. And when women work fewer hours, they are paid disproportionately less and become less likely to get raises or promotions. “This shows that the birth of a child is really when the gender earnings gap really grows,” said Danielle H. Sandler, a senior economist at the Census Bureau and an author of the paper. The study found that over all, women earn $12,600 per year less than men before children are born and $25,100 less afterward. It analyzed earnings for opposite-sex, married couples who had their first child between 1978 and 2011, using earnings records from the Social Security Administration and data from the Census Bureau’s survey of income and program participation. It includes women who were working two years before their first child was born, no matter how their hours changed afterward. The pay gap grows larger with each additional child. It does not begin to shrink until children are around 10. For most women, their pay never reaches that of their husbands. One surprise about the recent round of research is that the findings have been so similar in the United States and family-friendly Scandinavia. The two have very different economies and family policies, yet in both places, women’s pay plummets after they have children. Scandinavian nations have generous paid parental leave as part of federal policy, while the United States government offers none. It might be because both types of policies — no paid leave and very long paid leave — lead women to stop working. Economists have found that moderatelength leaves of several months are ideal for women to continue working. “It seems like there could be a middle ground,” Ms. Sandler said, “where you’re given enough leave where you don’t have to quit your employment, but not so much time that you have the incentive to be out of the labor force for a long time.” Research has shown other policies that might help: programs to help women re-enter the labor force; flexibility in when and where work gets done; and subsidized child care. It also helps if men take time off after children are born and spend more time on child care, studies show. The spousal pay gap was largest for those who had children in the 1980s. In the 1990s, the gap appeared to shrink. Mothers who had their first child then were still paid less than their husbands, but the gap started declining when the children were around 5, and recovered by the time they were 14. Yet in the 2000s, the pattern reversed. The spousal pay gap is still large when children enter high school, and women do not seem on track to recover their SAM HODGSON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES earnings relative to their husbands. It is unclear why. It could be because the economy was stronger in the 1990s, because women’s labor force participation has flattened in recent years or because women are having babies a little later, during the prime of their careers. The pay gap is smaller for couples with lower earnings and less education. But the paper found that by the time children were 12, the less educated women had a gap similar to more educated ones, maybe because low-income women are more likely to stop working after having children. High-earning women, by contrast, have a bigger pay gap earlier in their children’s lives because they have more income to lose. “A woman who takes off some time or slows down or shifts into a smaller firm will be losing out on a really high income, which her husband appears to be getting” because he does not take time off or shift his career, said Claudia Goldin, a Harvard economist whose research has found the same pattern. The group of women who had the biggest post-baby pay gap compared with their husbands was, paradoxically, women who earned more than their husbands before having children. This is the opposite of what economists would predict of couples’ division of household labor based on rational financial decision-making. But it fits with previous research showing just how entrenched our gender roles are at home, even as women play a bigger role in the economy. TOM BRENNER/THE NEW YORK TIMES seemed of little consequence on Capitol Hill in recent months as Republicans in Congress passed a sweeping package of tax cuts. But in a sign that Republicans are growing concerned about the political liability of soaring deficits, the House will vote Thursday on a constitutional amendment to require balanced budgets. Representative Jeff Duncan, a conservative Republican from South Carolina, took to Twitter to say, “To every House Democrat on social media today complaining about the debt and deficit for the first time: I look forward to seeing you vote for the balanced budget amendment later this week. That is of course assuming you are actually serious about addressing our debt.” Since such constitutional amendments require two-thirds of the House and Senate to agree, it is unlikely to pass Congress, let alone be ratified by the states. But the flurry of recent legislation is making it difficult for Republicans to continue blaming President Barack Obama and Democrats for the government’s fiscal condition. This year, lawmakers approved a twoyear budget deal that raised strict caps on military and domestic spending by a total of about $300 billion. That deal paved the way for Congress to pass a $1.3 trillion spending bill last month. Before passing the tax overhaul and the spending legislation, lawmakers were already facing worrisome projections about growing deficits, driven by increased spending on Medicare and Social Security as well as growing interest costs. The budget office now projects that As Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s cofounder, faces lawmakers, millions of people will spend the day the way they always do: scrolling through their News Feeds, sending each other messages and “liking” posts, oblivious to any privacy concerns. The reality is that when it comes to privacy, the trade-off has already been made: We decided long ago to give away our personal information in exchange for free content and the ability to interact seamlessly with others. With the latest disclosure about Facebook’s data missteps — that the personal information of some 87 million users had been improperly harvested and shared with a British analytics firm — politicians can scream from the rooftops about privacy, and they should. But the public has proved over and over again that it doesn’t care. The evidence is all too clear: After just about every big privacy hack over the past decade, people quickly returned to the scene of the crime, using the same store or online site that had been compromised. Remember the breaches at Home Depot, Target and Yahoo? The number of consumers who never went back was minuscule. Perhaps Facebook’s latest privacy scandal — combined with its role in the spread of false news and in foreign interference in United States elections — will be a turning point in consumer behavior. But if history is any guide, we won’t do anything differently, unless regulators take steps to save us from ourselves. For all the head-scratching and criticism over Facebook’s slow response to various breaches and privacy fiascos, it wasn’t completely irrational. The incentive for companies to go to great lengths to protect our data — with the exception of banks and financial firms — just isn’t there. Benjamin Dean, the president of Iconoclast Tech, a technology consulting firm, and a former fellow in cybersecurity and internet governance at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, has studied some of the biggest data hacks, poring over companies’ financial records before and after a breach. The financial pain they experienced was small, he found. “The actual expenses from the recent and high-profile breaches at Sony, Target and Home Depot amount to less than 1 percent of each company’s annual revenues,’’ he wrote in a 2015 article titled “Why Companies Have Little Incentive to Invest in Cybersecurity.’’ “After reimbursement from insurance and minus tax deductions, DEALBOOK, PAGE 9 U.S. deficit fuels fears of a crisis WASHINGTON BY THOMAS KAPLAN The United States government’s annual budget deficit is set to widen significantly in the next few years and is expected to top $1 trillion in 2020, despite healthy economic growth, according to new projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The national debt, which has exceeded $21 trillion, will soar to more than $33 trillion in 2028, according to the budget office. By then, debt held by the public will almost match the size of the nation’s economy, reaching 96 percent of gross domestic product, a higher level than any point since just after World War II and well past the level that economists say could court a crisis. The fear among some economists is that rising deficits will drive up interest rates, raise borrowing costs for the private sector, send stock prices plummeting and slow the economy, which would only drive the deficit higher. “Such high and rising debt would have serious negative consequences for the budget and the nation,” said Keith Hall, the director of the budget office. “In particular, the likelihood of a fiscal crisis in the United States would increase.” The budget office forecast is the first since President Trump signed a sweeping tax overhaul, then signed legislation to significantly increase military and domestic spending over the next two years. The figures are sobering, even in a political climate where deficit concerns ap- pear to be receding. The tax overhaul, which includes permanent tax cuts for corporations and temporary ones for individuals, will increase the size of the economy by an average of 0.7 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the budget office. But that added economic growth does not come close to paying for the tax overhaul, which the budget office said would add more than $1.8 trillion to deficits over that period, from lost tax revenue and higher interest payments. Many Republicans have said the tax overhaul would vault economic growth over 3 percent a year for a sustained period, generating more revenue than the tax cuts would cost. But the budget office expects the economy to grow at an annual average rate of 1.9 percent over the next decade. Growth would start strong, at 3.3 percent this year and 2.4 percent next year, but then slow considerably. And if the temporary tax cuts for individuals are extended past their scheduled expiration at the end of 2025, the price tag for the tax overhaul would be even greater. Mr. Trump has talked about embarking upon “Phase 2” of tax cuts, which could include making those individual tax cuts permanent. Democrats jumped on the projections released Monday to castigate Republicans over their economic record. “From Day 1,” the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, said, “the Republican agenda has always been to balloon the deficit in order to dole out massive tax breaks to the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans, and then use the deficit as Democrats on Capitol Hill pounced on deficit projections. Republicans were mostly quiet. This fiscal year, the budget deficit is expected to total $804 billion. an excuse to cut Social Security and Medicare.” For their part, Republicans were remarkably quiet: “Without question, we have challenging work ahead,” said Representative Steve Womack of Arkansas, the chairman of the House Budget Committee. This fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, the budget deficit is expected to total $804 billion, up from $665 billion last fiscal year, according to the projections. In a decade, the red ink is expected to reach $1.5 trillion. The forecast is considerably bleaker than the budget office’s projections in June last year, before Congress ap- proved the tax cuts and agreed to increase spending. The $804 billion projected deficit for the current fiscal year is $242 billion larger than what the budget office had expected in June. In addition, the budget office now projects a cumulative deficit of $11.7 trillion over the next decade, an increase of $1.6 trillion from last June’s projection for that time period. By 2023, according to the budget office, interest costs are projected to exceed what the government spends on the military. By 2028, interest payments will reach $915 billion, more than triple the interest costs last year. The government’s mounting debt has the deficit will top $1 trillion two years sooner than it had expected last June. The budget office did project economic benefits from the tax overhaul. Analysts said the law will increase employment by 1.1 million jobs over the next decade. The law will also raise Americans’ wages and salaries by an average of 0.9 percent annually, a less optimistic projection than White House economists offered last year when the bill was being considered. The budget office analysis also projects that the law will result in interest rates that are a half percentage point higher than they would have been without it. In its early years, the budget office said, the law will increase the strength of the dollar, allowing Americans to buy more imports and sell fewer exports to the rest of the world — and thus, increase the national trade deficit, counter to Mr. Trump’s desire to reduce it. Michael A. Peterson, the president and chief executive of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which advocates reining in budget deficits, said the report “confirms that major damage was done to our fiscal outlook in just the past few months.” Mr. Hall, the budget office director, said that beyond a decade, the debt would continue to rise compared with the size of the economy. He warned of the possible consequences if lawmakers put off addressing the trajectory of the government’s finances. “The longer you wait,” he said, “the more draconian the measures have to be to fix the problem.” Jim Tankersley contributed reporting. .. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 | 9 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION business Europe caught in middle of trade battle EUROPE, FROM PAGE 1 The disruption to world trade comes at an unfortunate time for Europe. Recent economic indicators suggest that the Continent’s recovery, after a decade of crisis, is losing momentum. Industrial production in Germany shrank 1.6 percent in February, according to official data published last week. But European leaders’ biggest fear may be that Mr. Trump’s belligerent approach to trade will destroy the postwar system for resolving conflicts, which involved getting all the parties together in one room. Mr. Trump has already succeeded in forcing countries to beg for individual exemptions to steel and aluminum tariffs, bypassing the World Trade Organization, the usual forum for trade disputes. “He has created an environment to divide countries,” said André Sapir, a senior fellow at Bruegel, a research organization in Brussels. “Maybe we will remember that 2017 was the last year of the functioning of the multilateral system.” It’s possible Europe might enjoy a few short-term benefits as China and the United States duke it out. If, for example, China were to raise tariffs on Boeing airliners, Boeing’s European rival, Airbus, could take advantage. But positive effects of that sort are not likely to outweigh the risks. European companies have invested far more in the United States over the years than they have in China. But increasingly, China is where the action is. Germany’s total trade with China, exports and imports together, is already bigger than it is with the United States. And China is the biggest single market for companies like Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker. China is also where more German companies are putting their money. In a poll published Thursday, 39 percent of German companies questioned said they planned to invest in China this year, up from 37 percent in 2017. The number that said they planned to invest in North America dropped to 35 percent, from 37 percent, according to the survey, by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Even so, Europe remains wary of China’s intentions. Though European leaders use tamer language, they share A big fear is that Mr. Trump’s belligerent approach to trade will destroy the postwar system for resolving conflicts. MARKUS SCHREIBER/ASSOCIATED PRESS A steel mill in Salzgitter, Germany. Although Mr. Trump’s trade threats are aimed at China, Europe is certain to suffer collateral damage if the president follows through. some of Mr. Trump’s concerns about unfair competition from Chinese companies that receive government subsidies. They worry that Chinese companies are stealing European technology and accumulating too much economic power. In recent years, Chinese investors have snapped up European assets including Greek ports, German machinery companies and a 10 percent stake in the automaker Daimler. The Chinese government’s “Made in China 2025” campaign, a plan to dominate cutting-edge industry, is a threat to German companies that supply precision machinery that the Chinese companies are not yet able to manufacture themselves. Leaders in Brussels, Berlin and Paris have called for tighter scrutiny of Chinese acquisitions in Europe, though it is unclear how tough they will be. At the same time, Europe and the United States have been through a lot to- gether, most notably the Cold War. Both are multiparty democracies with free market economies, unlike China’s oneparty autocracy. And European and American historical and cultural ties go back centuries. Still, a trade war could push Europe closer to China. Europe’s most immediate preoccupation is to resolve its own trade disputes with Mr. Trump. Cecilia Malmstrom, the European commissioner for trade, is negotiating with Wilbur Ross, the United States commerce secretary, about winning a permanent exemption from tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. A temporary exemption to the tariffs expires May 1. Ms. Malmstrom and other European leaders have also made plain their unhappiness with what they see as Mr. Trump’s crusade to undermine the World Trade Organization as the arbiter of trade conflicts. They may see China as a potential ally in efforts to preserve the W.T.O., of which China is also a member. “The E.U. believes that measures should always be taken within the World Trade Organization framework which provides numerous tools to effectively deal with trade differences,” a representative for the European Commission said in a statement. For the moment, there is little Europe can do but hope that Mr. Trump’s bluster is just a tactic to win concessions from China, and that no trade war will break out. There are few other good options. Mr. Sapir of Bruegel argues that, longer term, Europe should push for reforms of the trade body to respond to American criticism that the organization is too slow moving, and has failed to curb unfair competition by China. Mr. Trump is unlikely to take much interest in fixing the global trade system rather than ignoring it, Mr. Sapir said, but it’s still worth a try. “That is the only structural solution,” Mr. Sapir said. “Otherwise, we will always be caught in between.” China’s leader counters Trump BOAO, CHINA President Xi calling for ‘dialogue rather than confrontation’ BY ALEXANDRA STEVENSON President Xi Jinping on Tuesday portrayed China as committed to opening its economy, as he presented an alternative vision to President Trump’s calls for tariffs and restricting trade with China, urging “dialogue rather than confrontation.” Speaking publicly for the first time since the beginning of an escalating trade dispute between his country and the United States, Mr. Xi implicitly took aim at the Trump administration. “The Cold War mentality and zerosum game are increasingly obsolete,” Mr. Xi said. “Only by adhering to peaceful development and working together can we truly achieve win-win results.” Mr. Xi also pledged to rebuff efforts to impose barriers to world trade, saying that “China’s door of opening up will not be closed and will only open up even wider.” Mr. Xi highlighted areas where China was willing to give, including pledging to ease restrictions on imported cars by the end of the year as well as repeating open-ended promises to give foreigners greater access to the country’s financial markets — promises officials have made in past. He also pledged to strengthen intellectual property rights, addressing one of Mr. Trump’s main complaints. His comments struck a tonal contrast with the more combative language coming from Mr. Trump and his administration. “We should respect each other’s core interest and major concerns and follow a new approach to state-to-state relations, featuring dialogue rather than confrontation,” he said. “We live in a time with an overwhelming trend toward openness and connectivity.” The speech, delivered at the Boao Forum for Asia in China’s southern island province of Hainan, was the latest effort by China to position itself as advocating free trade and reliable growth. That pitch runs counter to longstanding accusations that China violates trade rules and intellectual property rights. It also comes as Mr. Xi tightens his grip over his country’s political, social and economic life. Indeed, some were skeptical that China would follow through on its pledges of openness. “People will say about the Boao speech: ‘Show me.’ We heard this in Davos last year,” Joerg Wuttke, former president of the European Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, said in referring to Mr. Xi’s 2017 speech at the World Economic Forum. But in a time when the United States’ policies have threatened to upset the stability of the world order, China’s growing confidence and its verbal support of global trade rules offers other countries a potentially appealing alternative to Mr. Trump’s rhetoric. Mr. Xi’s speech came just days after the United States and China exchanged tit-for-tat tariff threats that have ignited worries of a global trade war. Trump administration officials have accused China of forcing foreign companies doing business there to give up trade secrets as part of Beijing’s effort to retool the Chinese economy and create companies that can compete with American rivals. On trade, China has tried to project a balanced tone. It retaliated quickly last week after the United States detailed proposed tariffs it wanted to levy on about $50 billion in Chinese-made goods, saying it would match Washington’s efforts dollar for dollar. At the same time, Chinese officials have said they want to avoid a trade war and negotiate. KYODO, VIA REUTERS President Xi Jinping on Tuesday in Boao, China. He implicitly took aim at the Trump administration on trade. On Tuesday, Mr. Xi appeared to have given Mr. Trump a concession by pledging to “significantly” lower tariffs on imported automobiles by the end of the year. Just hours before, Mr. Trump had taken to Twitter to complain about China’s 25 percent tax on imported automobiles. But Mr. Xi’s pledges to open China’s banking, auto and manufacturing sectors are not entirely new. Last November, China said it would ease and eventually remove limits on foreign ownership of banks and other financial firms, but financial firms have not received details about when and how that will happen. Even as trade disputes cast a shadow over the world’s two biggest economies, Chinese officials see the increasingly strident tone from Washington as an opportunity. Since Mr. Trump was elected in 2016 and pursued an America First policy that has alienated some allies, Mr. Xi and other Chinese leaders have tried to fill the void left by America’s declining presence on the world stage. Mr. Xi traveled to Davos for the first time last year to call for global leadership on climate on the eve of the inauguration of Mr. Trump, who has publicly questioned the science behind climate change. Chinese officials were also front and center at the most recent Davos gathering, in January, where they cited China’s progress and called for more international cooperation on several fronts. That call for unity could also help calm some uneasiness resulting from Mr. Xi’s recent power grab. Last month, China formally ended term limits for its top leader, which could make Mr. Xi the country’s chief for life. That move has caused jitters among some in the United States and other countries. At Boao, Chinese officials have promoted Mr. Xi’s leadership as providing an opening to carry out ambitious plans to overhaul the country’s economy and make it more open. On trade, government leaders and Chinese corporate chiefs have sought to strike a delicate balance: playing down worries about the effect on China of a protracted trade fight, while warning that the global economic system could be disrupted by a trade war and that the United States risks falling behind. “If a trade conflict becomes a trade war, the U.S. is more likely to be hurt worse by this than China,” Dai Xianglong, a former governor of the People’s Bank of China, said on Monday at the opening of the forum. Other countries could be hit as well, said Fan Gang, the director of China’s National Economic Research Institute. China is just a piece of a complicated regional supply chain across Asia, he said, citing the example of the Apple iPhone. Any retaliation from the United States would have a ripple effect from South Korea to Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan. “There is definitely a big uncertainty with this trade conflict. We started with trade friction and now conflict and possibly a war,” Mr. Fan said. “This trade war has an impact on the whole supply chain, and this is the systematic risk for China right now,” he added. Many Chinese business executives tried to strike a similar balance in their remarks at Boao. But some warned that the technological focus of Mr. Trump’s proposed tariffs could further split the American and Chinese technology worlds — and, ultimately, stifle innovation. “International standards come from Germany, America and Japan,” said Dong Mingzhu, the chairwoman of Gree Electric Appliances, a leading Chinese manufacturer. “We in China don’t have any — but I believe we will have international standards.” But not everyone has been as diplomatic. On Monday evening Jack Ma, the billionaire co-founder of Alibaba, warned that his pledge to create a million jobs in the United States could be threatened by a trade dispute between China and the United States. “If China and the U.S. have good relations, we could create not just a million, but 10 million jobs.” But, he added, “If they don’t have good relations, we’re going to destroy 10 million jobs.” Cao Li contributed reporting from Boao, and Jane Perlez from Beijing. WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES The Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was scheduled to give congressional testimony on Facebook’s handling of user data. We give up our privacy willingly DEALBOOK, FROM PAGE 8 the losses are even less.” When Google first introduced Gmail in 2004, this newspaper raised questions about the prospect of users objecting to a service that displayed advertising to them based on the content of their email: “For many, the bottom line appears to be that sifting through personal email with an eye toward making a sale is beyond the pale.” Well, now more than 1.2 billion people have active accounts with Gmail, a service whose entire business model rests on Google being able to sift through your private messages. Apparently, it wasn’t beyond the pale. For consumers, the transaction has always been pretty clear: The convenience of free service in exchange for information that allowed advertisers to specifically target us. The distinction in that equation was motivation; we figured our data was being used by benign companies seeking to sell us that pair of sneakers we wanted, not by bad actors trying to influence our political votes — or incite violence in places like in Myanmar. None of this is to suggest that Facebook handled these situations properly; it clearly did not. And over the past week, Mr. Zuckerberg has repeatedly said as much to just about anyone who would listen. The problem is that Mr. Zuckerberg has been apologizing for years for all sorts of breaches of trust with his “community.” And guess what? After each mea culpa, the Facebook community has grown. Notwithstanding the #DeleteFacebook campaign, the only way companies are going to change the way they protect our data is if users abandon them — or if regulators step in. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to behavioral change — besides our insatiable desire for all things “free” — is that it is unusual for most consumers to truly feel the effects of a massive data breach. For most people, it’s a theoretical problem — the way The incentive some people view for companies climate change or the growing national to go to great debt. lengths to The people who protect our are most directly data just isn’t affected by privacy there. breaches are those who have had money stolen or whose email was exposed. But in huge data breaches, those people are a statistical anomaly. Amy Pascal, the former top film executive at Sony Pictures, has an authentic claim to being a victim of a data breach; she suffered national embarrassment when her emails were revealed, and she later lost her job. John D. Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, also had his email compromised, to deleterious effect. But most people don’t feel it. Over the weekend, I asked users on Twitter whether they had deleted their Facebook accounts or reduced their activity on it. Nearly 700 users replied. For every one saying they were spurning Facebook, there were more saying they were continuing to use it. “Understand nothing in social media is truly private and recognize that in most areas of life someone is trying to sell you something or affect your behavior,” one user wrote. Another wrote: “People love the service they get from Facebook but forget nothing is free. We pay for using it by providing our demographic and personal information so that they can sell ads to businesses to better understand and target us. We benefit by getting more relevant ads sent to us.” And while a number of people said they were distancing themselves from Facebook, they cited not only privacy concerns but said the service had become less relevant to them. In 2010, Mr. Zuckerberg was asked about privacy during an interview. His answer reflected where we are right now. “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information — and different kinds — but more openly with more people,’’ he said. “And that social norm is just something that’s evolved over time. And we view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and updating what our system is, to reflect what the current social norms are.” Unless our social norms change, Facebook and other sites probably won’t, either. .. 10 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION F.E.I. WORLD CUP The horse and rider make it look easy during their dressage freestyle routine, as if they are true dance partners Riding in rhythm Power and grace At the dressage final of the 2017 F.E.I. World Cup, Laura Graves, far left, and her 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Verdades, finished second to Germany’s Isabell Werth, left, and her mare, Weihegold OLD. The top equestrians in the world will be gathering in Paris starting Wednesday BY LISA COWAN The pair glides across the arena, showing off intricate moves and footwork in perfect synchronization with the music. Olympic figure skating? Ballroom dance? No, it’s the dressage freestyle. Eighteen of the top equestrians in the world will be in Paris starting Wednesday and through the weekend at the F.E.I. World Cup for the dressage final, an event that showcases the freestyle to music. The World Cup will also have the show jumping final, where American McLain Ward will defend his title against 38 other riders. F.E.I., the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, will stream the events live. “I love, love showing it because the stands are always packed, and the people are always excited,” said Laura Graves, one of two American dressage riders who will be performing. Graves competes with her 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Verdades, known around the barn as Diddy. In the freestyle, The horse and rider perform a sequence of required movements set to music that show technical mastery, but they can do them in any order. A panel of judges awards scores from 0 to 10 for each figure, based on the quality of execution, with certain movements earning double points. Equally important is the artistic score, factoring in the choreography with the music. The end result for the audience? The horse and rider appear to be dancing. When you watch a horse and rider perform well, “it really gives you goose bumps,” said Shelly Francis, the other American rider performing at the World Cup. “That’s what I love about riding the freestyles — I’m an artistic type of person, and I love doing it.” The freestyle is “probably the most exciting for the nondressage person.” said Hallye Griffin, managing director of dressage for the United States Equestrian Federation. “It’s a way to really show the personality of the rider and the horse.” Orchestral arrangements are common, but any type of music is allowed for the programs, which last five-and-a-half to six minutes. Most combine several pieces of music to match the three gaits: the walk, the trot and the canter. “I have an oddly unique type of freestyle music that’s very different from everybody else’s,” Francis said. Her program features an a cappella arrangement that she performs with Danilo, a SHANNON BRINKMAN PHOTO/US EQUESTRIAN 14-year-old Hanoverian owned by Patricia Stempel. “You have to find the music that your horse likes,” Francis said. “I messed around with a lot of music for Danilo because he was oddly sound sensitive. He would get very nervous with certain music.” Francis has worked with the equine choreographer Marlene Whitaker for several years to create musical programs for her horses. With Danilo, they tried several styles, and he settled down with the a cappella piece. “I was looking for something light that would not crash and bang and surprise him,” Whitaker said. “This is the one initially that we thought was least threatening for him.” Francis introduced Danilo to the freestyle slowly to allow him to adjust to the sound and charged environment. “So the first year we did it a little bland. And then the next year we added in a few more little bits of piano and a clash or two here and there. You know, something to touch it up and make it a little lively,” Francis said. Whitaker said they had added a few more surprises for the World Cup, “but it’s all just fun and engaging.” Graves said she loved showing the freestyle, but she hated practicing and making them. She has worked with Verdades since he was imported to the United States at 6 months and has done all of his training, including two previous World Cup performances and a team bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Graves was on a tight budget in her early years of performing at the international level. But after the World Equestrian Games in 2014, “we sat down and I said, ‘O.K., this horse really is a star, and we need to find a piece of music that’s his,’” she said. Graves worked with Terry Ciotti Gallo, a freestyle choreographer, to create a new routine for the duo before the 2016 Olympics in Rio. “The music that we originally chose got scrapped,” Ciotti Gallo said. “It was music that Laura liked, and I agreed with it, but he is such a powerful horse, when the trainer saw it, she thought that we really needed something to exemplify the power that he had.” Then they increased the degree of difficulty and made a floor plan that highlighted the things the horse did well. Ciotti Gallo is not a rider, but for nearly 30 years she has worked with equestrian athletes to create freestyle programs. She got her start when she was helping coach elite gymnasts in Southern California, and a former student asked for assistance. But creating an equestrian routine is different from working with human athletes, she said. With people, you choreograph to the music, but with horses you “edit the music to match the animal to make it look as if it’s dancing.” While the music is put together to sync with the horse, the equine partner also learns the routine. “I practice it enough so they’re a little bit familiar with it,” Francis said. “Be- ROBIN UTRECHT/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES fore I ride it in a competition I practice it maybe a few more days so that they’re kind of familiar and so that I know it and then I listen to the music until it drives me crazy, so that I know every single little tiny transition and beat in it.” Graves and Verdades finished second at the 2017 World Cup behind Germany’s Isabell Werth and her mare, Weihegold OLD. But Graves beat Werth in a subsequent competition and enters this year’s World Cup in a strong position. “It’s very exciting going in, and my horse has never been in better shape,” she said. At 59, Francis has been a consistent competitor in the top levels of dressage for many years, riding as an alternate at the World Equestrian Games and at the Rio Olympics, but this will be her first World Cup performance. “The biggest part of it for me is training the horses and then being able to go out and show them off, and I love the freestyle, because it’s a place where you can show them off, but you still have to be accurate and precise,” she said. Frequent flying horses Transporting the animals is part of a lucrative and esoteric industry BY SARAH MASLIN NIR In the front 268 seats of a Boeing 747 flying from Amsterdam, passengers ate tins of chicken and rice with chocolate pudding for dessert, bound for New York City on April 3. In the back of the plane, nine other passengers ate simpler fare as they crossed the Atlantic: bales of hay with an apple chaser. Unbeknown to almost every passenger on board, a group of European horses bound for America stood in the cargo hold of the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight, hidden on the other side of a small door behind the flight attendants’ station. In specially designed shipping containers were six chocolate bays and two dappled grays. One of the horses was a russet chestnut color with the inflight attitude of a spoiled child to match, a snort of indignation for every jolt of turbulence. Equine frequent fliers, like these fuel an industry of horse transport that sees them sent around the world for sale and competition, a lucrative and esoteric logistics business with a unique set of challenges. Some are European horses Loud noises and changes in cabin pressure make takeoff and landing stressful for the animals. like the ones bound from the Netherlands for new homes in America and elsewhere. Others are show jumpers simply on their way to work: horses with competitive, say, Olympic aspirations, must travel the world from event to event to rack up qualifying points. Several of the horses were being shipped by the Dutta Corporation, a specialty logistics company that sends about 6,000 equines a year across the globe, contracting with commercial airlines. This year, for example, Dutta, a New York-based company, is shipping seven horses competing in the F.E.I. World Cup Finals this week in Paris. For horses on the way to competitions, one of the biggest concerns is a universal scourge of travelers – jet lag, said Tim Dutta, the chief executive and founder of the company. Working with veterinarians from the United States Olympic team, Mr. Dutta has calibrated the travel experience to minimize the impact on the horses’ performance. Feeding is scheduled for the home time zone, even if the horses are heading from America, to places like Hong Kong, where the company shipped the United States team horses for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Lights are kept on to keep the horses’ circadian rhythms constant on night flights, and the cabin is chilled to to keep them fresh, he said. “Horses are just like people, they need what we need,” Mr. Dutta said. Shipping can coast thousands of dollars, and horses competing internationally may fly about a dozen times a year. From Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to New York City’s Kennedy International Airport for example, the fee is about $7,500 per horse, including quarantine once in America. Horses must have an equine passport displaying their vaccinations to fly and be microchipped. The nine on the KLM flight began their journeys on separate farms in the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany, picked up by drivers in brightly colored trucks with painted emblems of horses and airplanes on the side. The haulers pulled up just after noon at Schiphol’s Animal Hotel, a warehouse with little to distinguish it as one of Europe’s largest animal transport hubs other than a small mural with a polar bear riding a forklift into an airplane on one wall. Jeroen Strik, a horse breeder and shipper, led Karieta Texel, a 3-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, off the truck and into the warehouse where she was to join horses like Cadillac Boy, a Rheinländer gelding, inside a roughly 15-foot by 20-foot shipping container that can hold three horses. The box, where they would remain for the entire journey, would later be winched into the plane. “Every horse is worth millions to the owner,” from the tiny children’s ponies IMAGINECHINA, VIA GETTY IMAGES to the Olympic mounts he has hauled, Mr. Strik said, running his hands over Karieta Texel’s forehead. “I travel with them each the same way.” Beside him, the young mare vibrated with anxiety at the unfamiliar setting, her coat sopping with sweat. But she strode easily into the cargo container to join the other horses, taking a deep breath once she was shoulder to shoulder with her traveling companions. Handlers lowered bars separating the horses and secured the animals in place. Next, the three boxes containing the horses were lugged by a trolley to the tarmac. A faint smell of wood shavings and eau d’ farm permeated the main cabin of the 747 as passengers stuffed their carry-on luggage into overhead bins, most unaware that outside, a goose-necked, cranelike apparatus was maneuvering the boxes of horses from the gate into the rear of the aircraft. In the last row of the plane, close by the hatch that leads back to the animals in cargo, sat the grooms, or horse handlers, including Sebastian Bolse, whose family breeds show jumpers in Paderborn, Germany. When Mr. Bolse, 29, sold his first horse abroad, to South Korea, he feared for the horse on its 5,000-plus mile journey. So two years ago he first signed up as an in-flight groom with Guido Klatte International Horse Shipping Services, a German company, to see for himself, traveling with several ex-Olympic dressage horses bound from Amsterdam to Chicago. His duties included making sure the horses were supplied with fresh hay and providing them with buckets of water to sip every few hours. “You feel a little bit afraid because it is something absolutely new for the horse, and most the time you as the seller don’t know about how it works exactly,” Mr. Bolse said. “I thought it was more stressful for the horse, and it’s really a relaxed flight. When they are in the sky, it’s really smooth traveling.” On the KLM flight, Mr. Bolse was called upon to soothe the rambunctious chestnut during takeoff. Takeoff and landing can be the most stressful parts of the journey, when the animals can become startled by loud noises and the change in cabin pressure. As the plane gained altitude, the horses settled down inside the vaulted cavern of the cargo hold, poking their muzzles back into their hay when the plane leveled off. The horses are not sedated, but sedatives are available in an emergency, said Mr. Dutta. With a picture on his homescreen of a leopard he once flew and a bag with each SARAH MASLIN NIR/THE NEW YORK TIMES horse’s passport at his side, Cor Fafiani, oversaw the shipment as KLM’s animal flight attendant, a job he has had for 38 years, he said. His work is not limited to horses, Mr. Fafiani said, recalling the time he calmed a rare okapi on its way from Jakarta, Indonesia, to Florida. He banished a hysterical zookeeper to the front cabin and turned out the lights to recreate the jungle setting of its habitat, instantly placating the creature, he said. Horses, Mr. Fafiani said, fly best with the same common sense, no-nonsense approach: soft words, calm movements and plenty of alfalfa, soaked in water to promote hydration. As the jumbo jet descended over Queens, Mr. Fafiani, Mr. Bolse and the other grooms headed to the darkened cargo hold, where they stood in separate shipping containers offering soothing words to the horses. A few stamped hooves and rolled their eyes with nervousness at the sensation of changing altitude. As the rumble of the landing gear deploying shook the plane, several leaned their heads into the handlers’ chests, pressing their muzzles against them hard for comfort. With a jolt, the horses landed in New York City. As the plane taxied across the runway, the horses were back to quietly eating hay. Ready for takeoff Transporting horses, like racehorses or show jumpers, can be tricky when they need to travel long distances for competitions. Above left, a horse arriving in Shanghai in 2015. Above, Cadillac Boy, a Rheinländer gelding, on a recent flight to New York. .. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 | 11 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION Conquest V.H.P. .. 12 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION science Check that snake’s pedigree cials in exporting countries vouch for suspect shipments. Then American agents have no recourse, Mr. Souphanya said. “If they’re certifying that their permit process is correct, we can’t tell them, ‘Hey, you guys are wrong,’” he said. “It’s a difficult thing to prove.” JAKARTA, INDONESIA Many prized reptiles and amphibians sold as pets are snatched from the wild WARNING SIGNS BY RACHEL NUWER In the market for a new pet? Maybe something a bit exotic? For many consumers, reptiles and amphibians are just the thing: geckos, monitors, pythons, tree frogs, boas, turtles and many more species are available in seemingly endless varieties, many brilliantly colored, some exceedingly rare. Exotic reptiles and amphibians began surging in popularity in the early 1990s in the United States, Europe and Japan. From 2004 to 2014, the European Union imported nearly 21 million of these animals; an estimated 4.7 million households in the United States owned at least one reptile in 2016. But popularity has spawned an enormous illegal trade, conservationists say. Many reptiles sold as pets are said to have been bred in captivity, and sales of captive-bred animals are legal. But in fact, many — perhaps most, depending on the species — were illegally captured in the wild. “It’s the scale that matters, and the scale is huge, much bigger than people realize,” said Vincent Nijman, an anthropologist at Oxford Brookes University in England. “Most conservationists are only focusing on charismatic species, but this trade is likely having a massive impact on ecosystems and populations of lesser-known animals.” At a meeting last summer, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species — a treaty meant to regulate wildlife trade — identified 18 instances in which reptiles and amphibians are exported as captive-bred, but most likely are not. The examples included Indian star tortoises from Jordan; red-eyed tree frogs from Nicaragua; and savanna monitors from Ghana and Togo. “These are the most blatantly questionable cases where we think something must urgently be done,” said Mathias Loertscher, head of the Cites animals committee. “They are all critical.” Dozens of countries export reptiles and other exotic animals labeled captive-bred, but Indonesia stands out. For instance, at least 80 percent of the 5,000plus green pythons annually exported from the country as captive-bred were caught illegally in the wild, depleting some island populations, according to a study published in the journal Biological Conservation. As far back as 2006, Mark Auliya, a conservation biologist at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn, Germany, surveyed 11 registered reptile breeding facilities in Indonesia and found that just one could plausibly be used for anything other than “laundering” animals that had been caught in the wild. “At most of these facilities, there was just no evidence of captive breeding actually happening,” he said. “And at the one where breeding efforts did take place, that only applied to one to three species kept at their facility.” Five cases listed by Cites involve Indonesia, more than any other country. Officials here are now required to prove that certain animals to be sold abroad, including Oriental rat snakes and Timor monitors, are genuinely captive-bred. If they fail to do so, Cites may bar international trade in those species. “If you have international demand for a species that only has a very small distribution, you have a big problem,” Dr. Auliya said. In 2016 alone, the Indonesian authorities authorized the export of more than four million captive-bred animals. (About two-thirds were geckos.) Officials declined to say how many actually had been sent abroad. Many were almost certainly taken from the wild, according to Dr. Nijman and other experts. Plucking animals from the wild is cheaper and easier than setting up a breeding operation. This is especially true for low-profit animals like Tokay geckos, which are traded in such high ILLUSTRATIONS BY R. KIKUO JOHNSON volumes that it would not make economic sense to invest in breeding them. Generally, villagers capture animals in forests and fields and sell them to middlemen who hand them off to legal reptile farms. The owners of the farms acquire government paperwork certifying that the animals were captive-bred. In Indonesia and other countries, the most skilled traffickers in illegal wildlife, then, never need to smuggle anything. They simply apply for a permit and then ship the animals legally. AN UNCOMFORTABLE TOUR Many of the legal breeding facilities are in and around Jakarta. When I visited a registered reptile farm recently, I found an innocuous suburban home. Three nervous attendants admitted me. Rows of neat white tanks, each holding a small green tree python, lined several walls. A couple of turtles crawled around a dismal enclosure, some monitor lizards stared at me from concrete cages, and a fat green frog huddled at the bottom of an outdoor sink. The staff declined to allow me to tour the rest of the facility and said that the owner could not be reached. That facilities like this one could legally produce the number of reptiles it exports is highly unlikely, conservationists say. Over the past few years, for example, Indonesia granted companies permission to export around three million captive-bred Tokay geckos annually. Geckos caught in the wild can easily be purchased for a few cents. But to breed just one million geckos, Dr. Nij- man has calculated that a trader would need 140,000 females, 14,000 males, 30,000 incubation containers, 112,000 rearing cages and hundreds of staff members. If this were done in a single facility, it would be “the size of an aircraft hangar,” he said. “Yes, it’s theoretically possible to do this,” he added. “But I haven’t seen any evidence that such breeding facilities exist.” Once a wild-caught animal is exported with paperwork certifying it as captive-bred, officials in countries like the United States have little choice but to allow it in. “The infiltration of traffickers into the legal trade has been happening for many years,” said a senior specialist at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation from supervisors. “These animals show up here in declared shipments, and we can’t do anything about it.” While customs agents can challenge a permit’s legitimacy, they have little chance of success, the official said. The cases are time-consuming and difficult, and prosecutors do not want them. “Wildlife inspectors will open up a box and find a bunch of beat-up, scarred tortoises that are 20 or 30 years old, with permits saying they were bred in captivity in 2016,” the official said. “But they’re forced by their supervisors to stamp ‘clear’ on the permit.” A LEGAL CHALLENGE The problem is largely enabled by abuse of Cites itself. The treaty prohibits species that are threatened with extinction from being commercially traded across borders unless they were bred in captivity. These rules apply to the international pet trade, an important source of revenue for many developing countries. Each year, officials in exporting nations issue quotas for millions of captive-bred birds, amphibians, small mammals, insects and corals. Many are protected in their home countries, and their trade is governed by the treaty. Reptiles are especially popular. Collectors often have an almost fanatical devotion to their animals and are willing to pay handsomely, especially for rare specimens, said Sandra Altherr, cofounder of Pro Wildlife, a nonprofit conservation group in Munich. Unethical traders know that snakes, lizards and turtles do not rank as high priorities for law enforcement and customs officials in Western countries. “Reptiles are coldblooded and not fluffy, and the broad public — including politicians — just isn’t interested in them,” Dr. Altherr said. “Yet there are huge, dangerous loopholes that allow for open trading of the rarest species.” In addition, many exotic pets originate in developing countries where officials may lack the expertise, motivation or resources to verify that animals about to be shipped out were in fact bred in captivity. “We don’t have a lot of resources here in the U.S., and developing countries have even less than we do,” said Phet Souphanya, a senior special agent at the Fish and Wildlife Service. “Corruption also goes into the permitting issue — there’s always someone to be bribed.” Once imported, exotic pets can be legally sold or re-exported. “Those involved in trafficking wildlife know the loopholes inside out,” said Chris Shepherd, executive director of Monitor, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade. “They know enforcement agencies’ hands are tied, and they know policy change in favor of conservation does not happen overnight.” “If you have international demand for a species that only has a very small distribution, you have a big problem.” In the United States, the government has to legally prove that animals are not captive-bred — something that is “very, very difficult to do,” said Marie Palladini, an associate professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills. In the early 1990s, when Dr. Palladini was a field special agent at the Fish and Wildlife Service, she helped lead an investigation of pythons smuggled from Papua New Guinea and sold in the United States as captive-bred. The American importer was eventually prosecuted, but that success required two years of exhaustive work. It also benefited from Papua New Guinea’s willingness to collaborate. Many countries, however, do not even bother responding to inquiries sent by American agents. And sometimes, offi- Even when it can’t be proved, there may be other telltale signs that animals were caught in the wild. Some species sold as captive-bred are notoriously difficult to coax into reproducing. For example, leading zoos around the world over the decades have managed to breed fewer than 50 echidnas — egg-laying mammals that resemble hedgehogs. Yet in 2016, Indonesian officials permitted PT Alam Nusantara, a Jakartabased company, to export 45 “captivebred” echidnas. Fish and Wildlife Service records show that as early as 2011, the exporter was shipping echidnas labeled captive-born to the United States. That echidnas appeared on the quota list at all suggests that traders had a hand in setting it, Dr. Nijman said. “Having been present at those meetings, it felt more like a negotiation between what traders wanted, what regional forestry departments could offer, and what was within acceptable limits for the scientific authority,” he said. Because of this, he continued, a country’s list of permissible captive-bred animals often appears scattershot and illogical. Reisinger’s tree monitors and spotted tree monitors, for example, suddenly appeared on Indonesia’s list of permissible exports in 2015, only to be removed the following year. “It doesn’t make sense to invest years and years into breeding a particular species, only to then suddenly no longer export it and change to another species,” Dr. Nijman said. The more likely explanation? “New entries represent new demand for rare species,” he said. That is, traders received a request, lobbied for the species to be added to the list and exported animals found in the wild — then moved on. Indonesia’s quota list is tightly regulated and based on scientific data, according to Prama Wirasena, head of captive breeding at Indonesia’s Ministry of the Environment and Forestry. Regional forestry officials visit farms each month to count breeding adults, he said, and those figures are used to set export quotas and to ensure the numbers add up. “We are certain there is ‘laundering,’ but it is less than 10 percent overall,” Mr. Wirasena said. But a recent study in Conservation Biology suggests that number is considerably higher. The authors found that Indonesia’s quotas for 99 of 129 species were calculated based on biologically impossible parameters. Mr. Wirasena protested that the study’s authors used low-quality data and made faulty calculations. But others at the ministry offered an alternate explanation. “I know sometimes the traders bribe my staff,” said Wiranto, director general of conservation of natural resources and ecosystems. (Like many Indonesians, he uses only a first name.) Mr. Wiranto, who was recently promoted, said he hopes to implement reforms, among them a more robust monitoring system that includes unannounced farm inspections, corruption prevention measures and collaborative investigations with importers like the United States. “We’re in the process of learning from past mistakes, so in the future we won’t do the same,” he said. “The most important thing is to keep wildlife in its habitat.” Meaningful change will not come unless violators are systematically shut down, said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of “The Extinction Market.” “Doing that, you can produce competition among farmers to move toward better practices,” she said. “Those who behave better will come to control a greater share of the market.” But slowing the traffic in animals stolen from the wild cannot be the sole responsibility of developing countries. “We can’t only point fingers at Asia and Africa,” Dr. Altherr said, “if we’re one of the main destinations.” Whale DNA suggests a lot of interspecies mingling BY KAREN WEINTRAUB PHOTOGRAPHS BY FLORIAN SCHULZ A humpback whale, above, is similar to a sei whale. While a sei whale is a close relation to a blue whale, the blues are not closely related to the humpbacks. For years, scientists have disagreed about which species of baleen whale came first and how the toothless species were related. Body structure suggested one set of relationships; molecular data suggested another. Now, researchers in Germany and Sweden have sequenced the DNA of six of the living species, of which there are at least 10. The relationships are so complicated, however, that the senior researcher, Axel Janke, said “family tree” is too simple a metaphor. Instead, the species, all part of a group called rorquals, have evolved more into a network, sharing large segments of DNA with even distant cousins. Scientists expressed surprise that there had been so much intermingling of baleen whales, given the variety of sizes and shapes. Humpback and sei whales are similar A blue whale shares about 30 percent of its fellow baleen whales’ genetic heritage. in size, for instance — both usually measuring longer than a school bus. But the blue whale, which is the largest animal to ever live and would dwarf an 18-wheeler, is a close relation to the sei, and relatively distant from the humpback, according to the study, published recently in the journal Science Advances. The North Atlantic right whales and bowhead whales split from the other baleens about 28 million years ago; among the rorquals, minke whales seem to have begun diverging more than 10 million years ago; and the blue and sei whales split from the remaining around five million years ago, the study found. The study of rorqual evolution also defies simple Darwinian theories. Darwin explained that many species evolved when they became isolated from others of their kind, accumulating genetic differences and adapting to a new environment. But whales roam the entire ocean, where there are no geographic barriers that would isolate them. Instead, Dr. Janke said, at least some of the whale speciation has been driven by personal taste. The genomic analysis showed mating across species, with animals sharing more than 30 percent of one another’s genetic heritage, even though their an- cestors had diverged about 10 million years ago. The idea that species can intermingle is new, even to scientists, said Scott Edwards, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University, who was not involved in the new study. “Ten years ago, most evolutionary biologists would have assumed that a species is a species, especially when they look phenotypically distinct,” Dr. Edwards said. Recent research has shown that humans, too, are the product of species intermingling. There are varying levels of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA across the human population. This study is the first genome-scale comparison of so many baleen whales, but it won’t be the last. A team at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the University of California, Riverside, is preparing an even more detailed analysis of more animals and species. .. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 | 13 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION Opinion The fox in the stroller Humans want to tame wild animals, but wild animals don’t want to be pets. Margaret Renkl Contributing Writer NASHVILLE Being the caretaker of two very old dogs means frequent visits to the pet-supply store, but I don’t take my geriatric companions with me when I shop. In their sore, deaf, rickety old age, they are made anxious by the bounding puppies in the store’s cavernous fluorescence. For my dogs, a pet supermarket is a chamber of tortures. And not just for them. I recently crossed the main aisle just as a big man pushing a stroller was coming the other way. The screen covering the stroller was zipped, and the animal inside had scooted back as far as it could, so I caught only a glimpse. “That dog looks just like a fox,” I said. “It is a fox,” the man said. I squatted for a closer look. The creature inside drew back, but I could see it well enough to know it truly was a fox. The man must’ve read the shock in my eyes because he immediately volunteered that he owned the fox legally, having bought it as a kit from a licensed breeder. This fox, a male, was Few animals skittish, he said, but in the wild his family also can tell the owned an arctic difference female who was between the friendly with strangers. Standing in line person who a few minutes later, I feeds them saw him leaving and any with a woman pushrandom ing a white fox in an person in the identical stroller. same vicinity. I’ve seen many foxes in the wild — and heard their unnerving screams in the dark — and I was sure the man was breaking the law. But I was wrong. It’s illegal here in Tennessee to remove any animal from the wild to keep as a pet, but wild animals raised in captivity are a different matter. With proof that the animal came from a legal source, it is indeed permissible to keep a captive-bred fox as a pet, as long as it doesn’t belong to a species native to Tennessee. The fox in the stroller looked like a full-blooded Tennessee gray fox to me, but he must have been some other state’s fox. “Taming” a wild animal is merely the act of desensitizing it to human beings, and the temptation to do it seems hard-wired into us. In high school I taught a backyard squirrel to climb into my lap and take shelled pecans from my fingers. Last summer, I would whistle for the bluebirds every time I filled the mealworm feeder, and they would fly to the nearest branch and wait impatiently for me to step away. To anyone watching, it must have looked as though I had a pet family of bluebirds, and in truth it would have been no great trick to move my chair closer and closer to the feeder until those birds were eating from my hand. But doing that would have been an unkindness. JOE SUTPHIN Few animals in the wild can tell the difference between the person who feeds them and any random person in the same vicinity. My tame squirrel used to startle my mother by creeping up and licking her toes while she hung laundry on the line. A tame animal can easily be mistaken for rabid by people who don’t know it’s tame. That’s why “pet” animals in the wild are often euthanized. And orphan animals raised by humans are the most vulnerable of all, unprepared to live in the wild, if they even survive a clueless rescuer’s attempt to feed them. As a college student in Alabama, I was trained as a wildlife-rescue volunteer, and I raised many orphaned animals — rabbits, squirrels, opossums, songbirds — and released them according to a protocol designed to give them the best chance at survival. These days if I find an injured bird or an orphaned squirrel, I take it to Walden’s Puddle, the wildlife rehabilitation center closest to me. And yet all over social media, I see images of cute baby animals being reared by well-meaning people who have found a cottontail rabbit’s nest and assumed the little bunnies to be orphaned, or fledgling birds assumed to have fallen from the nest. In most cases, the babies are fine and the anxious parents are nearby, just waiting for the bumbling humans to leave them alone. These wild animals may eventually be tamed, but they’ll never be domesticated. A tamed animal might seem affectionate, but it maintains all the normal propensities of its species, and its offspring will not exhibit any inherent friendliness toward humans — the babies will need to be tamed all over again. Domesticated animals, by contrast, have been selectively bred for human companionship across thousands of years. It’s possible to domesticate foxes, as Russian scientists in Siberia have proved — a story fascinatingly told by Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut in “How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog).” But it takes many generations to do so. Some offspring don’t exhibit the traits of domesticated animals despite nearly 70 years of selective breeding. I sympathize with the desire to bring wild animals into the human sphere. Every spring, I sit outside near the safflower feeder in the sun of a Sunday afternoon, as still as I can manage, and a tufted titmouse will invariably land in the tree next to me, hopping closer — limb to branch to deck rail to chair back — until finally she is sitting on my head. I thrill to feel her tiny passerine claws scrambling against my scalp. I try not to yelp when she yanks out my hair to line her nest. But the best way to love a wild animal is to leave it in the wild, a world that coexists with our own but is always apart from ours. I can’t shake the image of that fox in the pet store — its lowered head and averted eyes, the intelligence of its ears, the delicate precision of its paws. What a magnificent animal, revered since the earliest days of human culture for its cleverness and wiles. What a terrible fate, to be zipped up in a nylon stroller and wheeled between the electric fences and the rhinestone collars. MARGARET RENKL covers flora, fauna, politics and culture in the American South. Assad knows what he can get away with Syria’s president watches Washington carefully. He wouldn’t use chemical weapons if he thought it would endanger his regime. Faysal Itani A year ago, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base in retaliation for the government of President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own population. Almost exactly a year later, Mr. Assad seems to have once again unleashed a chemical agent on the besieged suburbs of Damascus, killing dozens. Will President Trump decide, again, that the use of chemical weapons is intolerable and respond with missiles? Perhaps. But it won’t matter. When it comes to Syria, Washington is incoherent and, ultimately, disinterested. Mr. Assad knows this. He also knows that as long as there isn’t prolonged, focused American military action, his regime can survive. He rarely puts himself in real danger. For years, he has carefully balanced his aggression and brutality with strategic patience. This has served him well with the United States; it most likely will again in the latest crisis. Mr. Assad is a careful watcher of the signals from Washington and he understands America’s appetites and anxieties in the Middle East. He likes what he’s seen recently. Just a week before this latest chemical attack, Mr. Assad heard President Trump announce that American troops would be leaving Syria “very soon,” and that Syria would become someone else’s problem. A few weeks before that, Rex Tillerson, then the secretary of state, announced that the United States would essentially be staying in Syria indefinitely and sought nothing less than Mr. Assad’s removal. Then Mr. Tillerson was fired. Given this chaos, contradiction and incoherence, it’s little surprise Mr. Assad feels confident enough to use chemical weapons. In fact, he probably believes he can wait out limited strikes by an ambivalent president. He knows this because throughout the years he’s learned that the United States and its allies don’t have the appetite or commitment to hold him accountable for his serial obscenities. That means he can engage in periodic acts of extreme aggression and wait for the inevitable international outcry and limited backlash to pass. Waiting out halfhearted enemies is a key Assad survival tool. In 2003, Mr. Assad watched the United States invade neighboring Iraq and pull its fearsome dictator out of a hole in the ground. Mr. Assad worried, briefly, that he might be next. But rather than trying to placate the Americans by ending his support for terrorist groups or his alliance with Iran, he instead waited for the United States to exhaust itself in Iraq. (He helped speed up that exhaustion by funneling extremists to Iraq.) Sure enough, the United States not only spared Mr. Assad — it left Iraq and went home. In 2005, Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon was assassinated in Beirut. The Syrian regime and its allies in Hezbollah were suspected. The United States responded with extreme diplomatic pressure, eventually forcing the Assad government to end Syria’s 29-year occupation of Lebanon. But Mr. Assad wouldn’t be so easily discouraged. His government reinfiltrated Lebanon through intelligence assets and local allies. He knew that the United SYRIAN CIVIL DEFENSE WHITE HELMETS, VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS A rescue worker carried a child following an alleged chemical weapons attack last week in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, Syria. Dozens choked to death. States was growing tired of the Middle East as the Iraq war went sour. So rather than end his interference in Lebanon, he gradually deepened it. An international tribunal investigating the assassination shifted its attention from the Syrian regime to individual Hezbollah members. Soon enough, Mr. Hariri’s son Saad, the new prime minister, swallowed his dignity and visited Mr. Assad in Damascus. He was not the only erstwhile foe to mend fences. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France hosted Mr. Assad as a guest of honor on Bastille Day in 2008, despite France having previously accused him of killing Rafik Hariri, a French ally. In 2009, John Kerry went to Damascus and hailed the Syrian presi- dent as “an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region.” Mr. Assad had waited out yet another passing storm of Western hostility, which was replaced by outright friendship, without sacrificing his interests in Lebanon. When the civil war began in Syria in 2011, President Barack Obama called on Mr. Assad to step down. At times, it seemed that the United States might even try to make that happen. But Mr. Assad took steps to protect against an American intervention. He allowed the Islamic State to flourish, essentially creating a dilemma for the Americans: Would they rather have the jihadists take over Syria? So long as the Islamic State existed, Mr. Assad was safe — all he had to do was wait. Not only was he spared, but also the United States obliged him by fighting the Islamic State while letting him continue his war on the opposition unobstructed. As the Islamic State weakened, life grew dangerous again for Mr. Assad. Not only did the group’s defeat eliminate the “Assad or the jihadists” dilemma, but it also coincided with a new administration in Washington that is bent on “rolling back” the influence of Mr. Assad’s main ally, Iran. However, despite Mr. Tillerson’s announcement of an indefinite American military deployment in Syria, President Trump soon signaled the United States would beat the Islamic State and get out of Syria. This most likely won’t be the United States’ last word on Syria. The latest chemical attacks could force Washington’s hand once more, leading Mr. Trump to try to prove that his “red lines” matter. If so, Mr. Assad will wait out any American response, knowing it will not aim to endanger his regime’s survival. And then he will resume his conquest of Syria. (Though it’s also possible that the policy machine in Washington is too dysfunctional to decide on and execute a strategy.) American policymakers like to say that Mr. Assad has not won the war because much of Syria is occupied by foreign powers, its economy and cities are in ruins and its regime is an international pariah. But Mr. Assad does believe that he is winning, that he will take his country back eventually and that a wave of airstrikes or cruise missiles will not change that. Who can blame him? FAYSAL ITANI is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. .. 14 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION opinion Gender transition and the Pentagon Nathaniel Frank A.G. SULZBERGER, Publisher DEAN BAQUET, Executive Editor MARK THOMPSON, Chief Executive Officer JOSEPH KAHN, Managing Editor STEPHEN DUNBAR-JOHNSON, President, International TOM BODKIN, Creative Director JEAN-CHRISTOPHE DEMARTA, Senior V.P., Global Advertising SUZANNE DALEY, Associate Editor ACHILLES TSALTAS, V.P., International Conferences CHARLOTTE GORDON, V.P., International Consumer Marketing JAMES BENNET, Editorial Page Editor HELEN KONSTANTOPOULOS, V.P., International Circulation JAMES DAO, Deputy Editorial Page Editor HELENA PHUA, Executive V.P., Asia-Pacific KATHLEEN KINGSBURY, Deputy Editorial Page Editor SUZANNE YVERNÈS, International Chief Financial Officer MR. TRUMP FACES THE LIMITS OF BLUSTER After chemical weapons kill dozens of Syrians, the president must face up to the complexities of ending the slaughter there. A world grown numb to the slaughter of civilians in Syria has been roused in the last 48 hours by photographs on social media of lifeless men, women and children in the rebel-held town of Douma, many with white foam coming from their mouths and nostrils, victims of chemical weapons. Outraged Western nations blame President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and demand retaliation. Russia and Iran, Mr. Assad’s callous enablers, have denied that he has once again used these horrific weapons on his own people. But Douma is surrounded by Syrian forces, whom experts have blamed for most of the 85 chemical attacks in the country over the past five years. Syria had a major chemical weapons program before pledging to surrender it after chemical attacks in 2013, a commitment it failed to fully honor. President Trump took limited military action against Syria after a chemical weapons attack last year, largely ignored the issue after that and then last week surprised his military commanders by announcing plans to soon withdraw 2,000 troops in the fight against the Islamic State. Mr. Trump vowed on Sunday on Twitter that there would be a “big price to pay” for the latest killings, estimated at up to 70 people dead, according to aid groups. But the president should know by now that tough talk without a coherent strategy or follow-through is dangerous. What to do next in Syria is a crucial test for Mr. Trump, who has shirked America’s traditional leadership role. He has tried to seem like a macho leader who would aggressively use American power where President Barack Obama wouldn’t, while talking about pulling out of the Middle East and walking away from international commitments. With such inconstancy, he will not be able to stop the violence in Syria, and with no clear, unified plan with the Western allies, he will only empower Mr. Assad. Mr. Trump needs to work with the other major powers on a broad plan that could force Mr. Assad, Russia and Iran to end the carnage and be held accountable. The United Nations Security Council needs to recommit to the Chemical Weapons Convention’s ban on such weapons, authorize experts to verify who was responsible in Douma and create an independent investigation that could lead to prosecution in a tribunal like the International Criminal Court. If the Syrian regime’s guilt is determined, the United States should impose tough new sanctions, like a freeze on financial assets, as well. If military action is considered, Congress — which has long avoided its constitutional war-making responsibilities — needs to approve it. If a Russian veto prevents Security Council action, then Mr. Trump needs to work with our allies, through NATO or otherwise. The timing isn’t great — Mr. Trump’s newly appointed national security adviser, John Bolton, only showed up for his first day at the White House on Monday, and his secretary of state nominee, Mike Pompeo, hasn’t been confirmed — but this work is too important to wait. The use of poison gas, a war crime under international law, has been integral to Mr. Assad’s scorched-earth drive to regain control of the last rebel-held areas. As Mr. Trump said on Monday, “We cannot allow atrocities like that.” During a Security Council briefing on Monday, Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador, lamented that chemical weapons were becoming “normalized” and argued “Russia could stop this senseless slaughter” in Syria if it chose to. “Only a monster targets civilians and then ensures that there are no ambulances to transfer the wounded. No hospitals to save their lives,” she said. “No doctors or medicine to ease their pain.” Ms. Haley called for the appointment of an expert group to investigate the attack, demanded humanitarian access to Douma and warned that if Russia continued to block Security Council action, “the United States will respond.” After each new atrocity, Mr. Trump and others tend to blame Mr. Obama, because Mr. Obama “did nothing” to enforce his red line against chemical weapons after an attack near Damascus in August 2013. In those days, Mr. Trump wasn’t a fan of military action, either, warning Mr. Obama against it. Once president, though, he made a different choice and, operating under dubious legal authority, sent cruise missiles to strike a Syrian airfield last year after the attack on Khan Sheikhoun. But lacking a plan to keep up the pressure, his one-off military operation failed to deter Mr. Assad from using chemical weapons; there have been at least seven other attacks this year. Now, the military option is back on the table. Mr. Assad, President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Iran’s leaders came to believe that they could do what they wanted in Syria; Mr. Trump reinforced that when he called for the early withdrawal of the 2,000 troops there. He further reinforced a sense of impunity every time he exempted Mr. Putin from direct criticism for Russia’s reprehensible behavior. So it was significant that Mr. Trump finally drew a line, saying in a tweet, “President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad.” The question is what comes next. What does it mean to be transgender? A Pentagon report released last month, recommending that most transgender Americans be disqualified from military service or forced to serve in their birth gender without full health care, has renewed debate over this question. Is a person less fit to serve if he or she has a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria — significant distress over an incongruity between one’s birth sex and gender identity? Does welcoming such people threaten the cohesion of an organization like the military? In its unsigned report, the Defense Department argues it does. Its main rationale is that people with a history of gender transition or dysphoria have higher odds of mental health conditions that unacceptably raise the risks of harm to unit cohesion, lethality, good order and overall readiness. The Pentagon concedes that gender dysphoria is treatable, but asserts there is “considerable scientific uncertainty and overall lack of high-quality scientific evidence demonstrating the extent to which transition-related treatments” address the symptoms associated with gender dysphoria. The report mentions the high suicide rates of the transgender population as a central reason for its ban. Yet the Pentagon is wrong. Mounds of scholarly studies stretching back decades — and with increasing volume and quality in recent years — have been conducted on whether gender transition resolves the symptoms of gender dysphoria. That re- search reveals an overwhelming consensus that transgender people who have adequate access to health care can and do function effectively. The What We Know Project, a research initiative I lead at Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality, recently completed one of the largest comprehensive literature reviews to date on the well-being of people who underwent gender transition (which typically involves some combination of hormone therapy and surgery). The advantage of this approach is that a Mounds global database of scholarly search returns the studies full universe of rereveal that search on a given transgender topic, making it less likely that results are people who have access to biased by the selective use of outlier health care studies. function Our findings make effectively. it indisputable that gender transition has a positive effect on transgender well-being. We identified 56 studies published since 1991 that directly assessed the effect of gender transition on the mental wellbeing of transgender individuals. The vast majority of the studies, 93 percent, found that gender transition improved the overall well-being of transgender subjects, making them more likely to enjoy improved quality of life, greater relationship satisfaction and higher self-esteem and confidence, and less likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicidality. Only four studies (7 percent) reported mixed or null findings, and none found that the transitioning creat- ed more harm than good. Despite recent media focus on anecdotes about “transgender regret,” actual regret rates across numerous studies were minuscule, generally ranging from 0.3 percent to 3.8 percent. Our review of primary research confirmed the positive findings of at least 16 previous literature reviews. The research shows that gender transition improves well-being, and that it can redress the specific health conditions that the military claims are its primary concern, particularly suicidality. A 1999 United States study found a “marked decrease of suicide attempts” and substance use in its postoperative population. In a 2014 British study, gender transition “was shown to drastically reduce instances of suicidal ideation and attempts.” The study reported that “67 percent of respondents thought about suicide more before they transitioned and only 3 percent thought about suicide more post-transition.” Research suggests that gender transition may resolve symptoms completely. A 2016 literature review by scholars in Sweden concluded that, most likely because of improved care over time, transgender “rates of psychiatric disorders and suicide became more similar to controls,” and that for those transitioning after 1989, “there was no difference in the number of suicide attempts compared to controls.” The corollary is also true: Another study found that withholding hormone treatment from transgender people increased the risk of depression and suicide. While transgender people can still face disproportionate stresses after transition, research suggests that stigma and discrimination are primary causes of such “minority stress.” That’s all the more reason we should provide treatment and social support rather than exclusion and barriers to care. Suicide and mental health challenges do not, of course, define transgender people, many of whom are just as healthy as their peers. There are other populations that are plagued by suicide, including the military community itself. Children of military members are at much higher risk for suicidal ideation than both the general and the transgender population. Yet children of service members are not barred from enlisting, despite these higher risks. This suggests a double standard in which transgender people are singled out for unequal treatment not because they present an unacceptable risk but simply because of bias. The studies we reviewed, like all research, have methodological limitations. It’s virtually impossible, as well as unethical, to conduct randomized, controlled trials on transition care because of the small size of the transgender population and because it would require withholding treatment from those who need it. Yet even with these limitations, the quality and quantity of research on gender transition are robust, showing unmistakably that it’s highly effective. The only way to call this kind of a consensus “uncertainty” is to ignore all the research that doesn’t support a specific agenda, which appears to be just what the Pentagon did. is director of the What We Know Project at Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality, and author of “Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America.” NATHANIEL FRANK MATTHIAS SCHRADER/ASSOCIATED PRESS Jennifer Sims. a transgender United States Army captain, in 2017. Research shows gender transition can redress health conditions, such as suicidality, that concern the military. The failures of anti-Trumpism David Brooks WACO, TEX. Over the past year, those of us in the anti-Trump camp have churned out billions of words critiquing the president. The point of this work is to expose the harm President Trump is doing, weaken his support and prevent him from doing worse. And by that standard, the anti-Trump movement is a failure. We have persuaded no one. Trump’s approval rating is around 40 percent, which is basically unchanged from where it’s been all along. We have not hindered him. Trump has more power than he did a year ago, not less. With more mainstream figures like H. R. McMaster, Rex Tillerson and Gary Cohn gone, the administration is growing more nationalist, not less. We have not dislodged him. For all the hype, the Mueller investigation looks less and less likely to fundamentally alter the course of the administration. We have not contained him. Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party is complete. Eighty-nine percent of Republicans now have a positive impression of the man. According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 59 percent of Republicans consider themselves more a supporter of Trump than of the Republican Party. On trade, immigration, entitlement reform, spending, foreign policy, race relations and personal morality, this is Trump’s party, not Reagan’s or anyone else’s. A lot of us never-Trumpers assumed momentum would be on our side as his scandals and incompetences mounted. It hasn’t turned out that way. I almost never meet a Trump supporter who has become disillusioned. I often meet Republicans who were once ambivalent but who have now joined the Trump train. National Review was once staunchly anti-Trump, and many of its writers remain so, but, tellingly, N.R. editor Rich Lowry just had a column in Politico called “The Never Trump Delusion” arguing that Trump is not that big a departure from the Republican mainstream. The surest evidence of Trump’s dominance is on the campaign trail. As The Times’s Jonathan Martin reported, many Republicans, including Ted Cruz, are making the argument that if Democrats take over Congress, they will impeach the president. In other words, far from ignoring Trump, these Republicans are making defending him the center of their campaigns. In red states, as Josh Kraushaar of the National Journal noted, Republicans compete to see who is the most Trumpish. In Indiana, the men vying for the Republican Senate nomination underline their support for the trade war. One candidate has a slogan, “De- feat the elite,” while another promises to “Make America Great.” Even in blue states, Republicans refuse to criticize the man. In districts across Southern California, 11 Republican House candidates were asked about their positions on various issues. Seven of them refused to answer any question concerning Trump, and the four who did were strongly supportive. Democratic anti-Trumpers had better hope they win in 2020, because their attacks have only served to entrench Trumpism on the right. Meanwhile, if Republican never-Trumpers Stopping were an army, they’d the president be freezing their requires a buns off in Valley different Forge tweeting over approach. and over again that these are the times that try men’s souls. Why has Trump dominated? Part of it is tribalism. In any tribal war people tend to bury individual concerns and rally to their leader and the party line. As late as 2015, Republican voters overwhelmingly supported free trade. Now they overwhelmingly oppose it. The shift didn’t happen because of some mass reappraisal of the evidence; it’s just that tribal orthodoxy shifted and everyone followed. Part of the problem is that antiTrumpism has a tendency to be insufferably condescending. For example, my colleague Thomas B. Edsall beautifully summarized the recent academic analyses of what personality traits supposedly determine Trump support. Trump opponents, the academics say, are open-minded and value independence and novelty. Trump supporters, they continue, are closed-minded, changeaverse and desperate for security. This analysis strikes me as psychologically wrong (every human being requires both a secure base and an open field — we can’t be divided into opposing camps), journalistically wrong (Trump supporters voted for the man precisely because they wanted transformational change) and an epic attempt to offend 40 percent of our fellow citizens by reducing them to psychological inferiors. The main reason Trump won the presidency is that tens of millions of Americans rightly feel that their local economies are under attack, their communities are dissolving and their religious liberties are under threat. Trump understood the problems of large parts of America better than anyone else. He has been able to strengthen his grip on power over the past year because he has governed as he campaigned. Until somebody comes up with a better defense strategy, Trump and Trumpism will dominate. Voters are willing to put up with a lot of nonsense for a president they think is basically on their side. Just after the election, Luigi Zingales wrote a Times op-ed on how not to fight Trump, based on the Italian experience fighting Silvio Berlusconi. Don’t focus on personality or the man, Zingales advised. That will just make Trump the people’s hero against the Washington caste. Focus instead on the social problems that gave rise to Trumpism. That is the advice we anti-Trumpers still need to learn. .. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 | 15 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION opinion My parakeet loves RuPaul Kaitlyn Greenidge Contributing Writer Obamacare’s very stable genius Paul Krugman Front pages continue, understandably, to be dominated by the roughly 130,000 scandals currently afflicting the Trump administration. But polls suggest that the reek of corruption, intense as it is, isn’t likely to dominate the midterm elections. The biggest issue on voters’ minds appears, instead, to be health care. And you know what? Voters are right. If Republicans retain control of both houses of Congress, we can safely predict that they’ll make another try at repealing Obamacare, taking health insurance away from 25 million or 30 million Americans. Why? Because their attempts to sabotage the program keep falling short, and time is running out. I’m not saying that sabotage has been a complete failure. The Trump administration has succeeded in driving insurance premiums sharply higher — and yes, I mean “succeeded,” because that was definitely the goal. Enrollment on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges has also declined since 2016 — with almost all the decline taking place in Trump administration-run exchanges, rather than those run by states — and the overall number of Americans without health insurance, after declining dramatically under Obama, has risen again. But what Republicans were hoping and planning for was a “death spiral” of declining enrollment and soaring costs. And while constant claims that such a death spiral is underway have had their effect — a majority of the public believes that the exchanges are collapsing — it isn’t. In fact, the program has been remarkably stable when you bear in mind that it’s being administered by people trying to make it fail. What’s the secret of Obamacare’s stability? The answer, although nobody will believe it, is that the people who designed the program were extremely smart. Political reality forced them to build a Rube Goldberg device, a complex scheme to achieve basically simple goals; every progressive health expert I know would have been happy to extend Medicare to everyone, but that just wasn’t going to happen. But they did manage to create a system that’s pretty robust to shocks, including the shock of a White House that wants to destroy it. Originally, Obamacare was supposed to rest on a “three-legged stool.” Private insurers were barred from discriminating based on pre-existing condiThe tions; individuals insurance were required to buy program insurance meeting has held up minimum standards despite — the “individual mandate” — even if Trump’s they were currently sabotage healthy; and subsiefforts. dies were provided to make insurance affordable. Republicans have, however, done their best to saw off one of those legs; even before they repealed the mandate, they drastically reduced outreach efforts in an attempt to discourage healthy Americans from enrolling. The result has been that the population actually signing up for coverage is both smaller and sicker than it would otherwise have been, forcing insurers to charge higher premiums. But that’s where the subsidies come in. Under the A.C.A., the poorest Americans are covered by Medicaid, so private premiums don’t matter. Meanwhile, many of those with higher incomes — up to 400 percent of the poverty line, or more than $95,000 for a family of four — are eligible for sub- sidies. That’s 59 percent of the population, but because many of those with higher incomes get insurance through their employers, it’s 83 percent of those signing up on the exchanges. And here’s the thing: Those subsidies aren’t fixed. Instead, the formula sets the subsidy high enough to put a limit on how high premium payments can go as a percentage of income. What this means is that of the 27 million Americans who have either gained coverage through the Medicaid expansion or purchased insurance on the exchanges, only about two million are exposed to those Trump-engineered premium hikes. That’s still a lot of people, but it’s not enough to get a death spiral going. In fact, for complicated reasons (“silver-loading” — don’t ask), after-subsidy premiums have actually gone down for many people. And that leaves the G.O.P. very, very frustrated. From the beginning, Republicans hated Obamacare not because they expected it to fail, but because they feared that it would succeed, and thereby demonstrate that government actually can do things to make people’s lives better. And their nightmare is gradually coming true: Although it took a long time, the Affordable Care Act is finally becoming popular, and the public’s concern that the G.O.P. will kill it is becoming an important political liability. What this says to me is that if Republicans manage to hold on to Congress, they will make another all-out push to destroy the act — because they’ll know that it’s probably their last chance. Indeed, if they don’t kill Obamacare soon, the next step will probably be an enhanced program that lets Americans of all ages buy into Medicare. So voters are right to believe that health care is very much an issue in the midterm elections. It may not be the most important thing at stake — there’s a good case to be made that the survival of American democracy is on the line. But it’s a very big deal. On the morning after Thanksgiving, I woke up to a text from my boyfriend. He was spending the holiday with his family in New Jersey while I was with mine in Massachusetts. It was a picture of a parakeet in a blue wire cage, the recognizable brick wall of our living room in the background. “Meet our new daughter” was all he wrote. When we first got together and were getting to know each other, I asked him about the pets he’d had growing up. “Cats, I guess. But I also had a bird,” he said. And then he paused. “I loved her so much, I nearly squeezed her to death. I was just a kid. I didn’t know the strength of my own hands.” At the time, I found this admission charming. When he mentioned his intention of buying a bird for himself a few months later, I did not take it seriously. I assumed he said it in the same spirit that I say to him, every few weeks, “I’m going to start walking around the block after dinner instead of watching TV.” But here was the bird on the screen of my phone, and then a series of half apologies and justifications. I showed them to my family. My brother-in-law, who has been with my sister for 20 years, said, in his understated way, “That’s a very bold move for a man to take.” “You can name her,” my boyfriend said. “I want you to name her.” I knew this was manipulation — something I used to view as a cardinal sin. But I have learned, to my surprise, that close relationships rely on at least a small amount of mutual manipulation to sustain them. So I texted back. “Her name is Nina, like Nina Simone.” And then, after a beat, another message from me: “She’s yours, though. I’m not taking care of her.” When I was growing up, we had pets all the time. Hamsters, cats, dogs. When I was 10, we moved into our first apartment after my parents’ divorce. My mom told us we could get a cat, and so we did — Otis. He would play with me for hours, watching a dancing ribbon. That summer, as we watched the Democratic National Convention, he consented to wear a boater and tie, and we made him a little “Clinton ’92” placard. All four of us — my sisters, my mother BIANCA BAGNARELLI and myself — fell deeply in love with Otis. So it was very traumatic when my mother sat us down early one morning, just before we were supposed to leave for a long-planned vacation. We had been saving up money for months for this vacation. Instead, my mother said gravely, “I have some bad news.” Otis had died. He had the habit of chasing laundry into the dryer, and that particular night, my mother hadn’t noticed his last frolic with a load of towels. After a beat she said, “We should probably get going on that trip.” My mother was not heartless. But she was also completely exhausted, and defeated by a life that seemed to continually snatch the one good thing she was able to do for her daughters out of her One great hands. We went on thing about that vacation, weeppets is telling ing, and when we yourself that returned she told us they share we could get another cat — this time a your taste. kitten, from the shelter, who ended up so sickly we had to wash him by hand with dish soap. He passed, too, and so did the next cat. Then my mother took in three kittens from a relative whose cat had just given birth. I deigned to name one of them Ophelia, mostly because I was a dramatic snob at that point and it seemed fitting to name this cat after a famous lost girl of literature. Ophelia, however, was a boy, with an undescended testicle, who responded to this misfortune in life by spraying all of my clothing with his scent. That year I was a freshman in a new school, the only black girl in my class, and stank of cat urine because we were too poor to buy a new coat, and once that smell gets into one piece of clothing, it is difficult to remove. As you can imagine, it was a very lonely year. After that, I gave up on animals. Caring for an animal is such a strange act. It requires devotion and sacrifice for a being that will never call your name, whose thoughts you can never be sure of. We convince ourselves that we know the desires of our pets, but isn’t part of the allure of animals that they are not fellow human beings, that what they are asking of us is something completely different from what a family member or a friend or a lover asks? Nina is a good bird, I will admit. She won me over a few weeks after she joined our household. My boyfriend works at a school and leaves at 5 a.m. Most mornings, it is just Nina and me, usually doing the dishes from the night before. To distract myself, I play podcasts. I can unequivocally say Nina is a RuPaul fan. Whenever she hears his voice, she trills and tries to engage him in conversation. I began to do what humans who keep pets always do — I imagined she found his voice fascinating for the same reason I found his voice fascinating. “Nina is a queen!” I excitedly texted Charlie on his lunch break. “But she’s lonely,” he countered when he came home. This despite the fact that when I pull up YouTube on our computer, its algorithm now defaults to a string of videos with titles like “6 plus hours of budgie calls” and “How to get your parakeet to love you.” “I can’t give her the attention she needs,” he said sadly. The next time I left town, another message: “Don’t freak out.” The new bird’s name is Baldwin. My boyfriend gave him that name, to ensure they’d get along. As I write this, Nina and Baldwin are sharing a perch, flapping their wings at each other in a dance I only half understand. is the author of the novel “We Love You, Charlie Freeman.” KAITLYN GREENIDGE The French do plenty to protect Jews DRUCKERMAN, FROM PAGE 1 Anti-Semitism is a touchy subject here, in large part because the prejudice appears to run highest among some French people with Muslim origins, who are subject to discrimination themselves. A young man with this background — and another man he met in prison — are accused of killing Ms. Knoll. That has put French schools on the front lines. There are occasionally stories of classrooms in immigrant neighborhoods where teachers try to give required lessons about the Holocaust but students shout them down with attacks on Israel or Jews. Policymakers say teachers need more training in how to turn these tense encounters into “teachable moments” in which students can express their beliefs and teachers can help the class to discuss and deconstruct them. But French teachers don’t always encourage open discussion. Instead, they tend to lecture students on tolerance and values, which experts say has little effect. And until now, combating antiSemitism in France has centered on the Holocaust. Students regularly tour Auschwitz and visit memorials. Sarah Gensburger, a sociologist who curated a 2012 exhibition at Paris’s city hall on the thousands of Jewish children who were deported from this city and murdered between 1942 and 1944, said most visiting class groups came from two heavily immigrant districts in northern Paris. She said the students emerged profoundly shaken. But that’s not enough, Dr. Gensburger said. “We’ve been developing more and more programs, places, meant to transmit the memory of the Holocaust as a way to build citizenship and tolerance,” she said, yet the government still counts hundreds of antiSemitic incidents each year, and many more probably go unreported. “You can bring people to Auschwitz or wherever you want, but it will not change the everyday social networks and dynamics they live in,” she said. These dynamics can be murderous. In 2012, a 23-year-old Frenchman born to working-class Algerian immigrants walked up to a Jewish school in Toulouse and killed three children, ages 3, 6 and 8, and the father of two of them. To fight Last year, one of the prejudice, killer’s brothers some teachers published a book say they’ve describing the antihad to Semitic climate he grew up with: supplement “In my family, we France’s blamed the Jew, we national blamed them for curriculum. everything,” he wrote. Relatives would regularly say, “The Jews stole Algeria, the Jews control the world.” Obviously, all French Muslims don’t share these views. But in the recent attacks, ambient stereotypes seemed to transform neighborhood thugs and delinquents into anti-Semitic killers. To fight prejudice, some teachers say they’ve had to supplement France’s national curriculum. Samia Essabaa, who teaches high school English in a heavily immigrant area northeast of Paris, says it’s essential to valorize the places where students’ own families are from. On school trips to places including Morocco, she emphasizes the shared history of Jews and Muslims, like the fact that both religions ban pork, that both Hebrew and Arabic are written from right to left, and that North African Jews eat couscous too. She said that once her students know that Jews “participated and contributed to the development of their country of origin, then we can tackle a lot of things, because it’s no longer a history of the other. No, it’s also my history.” The French government is developing manuals and other resources for teachers, along with a mobile team that can jump in to help schools respond to severe anti-Semitic or racist incidents. Next month, Unesco will publish a guide for combating anti-Semitism in schools around the world. Despite recent events, French Jews aren’t cowering at home. What you don’t see in the headlines, or from abroad, are the countless friendly interactions between Muslims and Jews in stores, sports fields and offices. But some observant Jews no longer wear skullcaps in public. And there’s talk of “internal aliyah” — families moving from neighborhoods where they are routinely subject to anti-Semitic taunts and threats to other parts of France where they feel more welcome. The prime minister, Mr. Philippe, recently announced Dilcrah’s new three-year plan, vowing “to put all our resources into it. Because if there’s a subject that, in the name of our values and our history, we must all agree on in Europe, it’s this one.” This isn’t World War II all over again. The good guys are in charge. But they’re not yet doing enough. is the author of the forthcoming “There Are No GrownUps: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story.” PAMELA DRUCKERMAN Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde If there had to be only one Manufactured entirely in Switzerland parmigiani.com BOUTIQUES PARMIGIANI FLEURIER Mount Street, London | Design District, Miami | Jardins du Palais-Royal, Paris .. 16 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION Sports Could FIFA sell events to investors? Consortium is said to offer $25 billion for expanded schedule of soccer events BY TARIQ PANJA The sheer size of the number stunned the room. Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, the global governing body of soccer, told his top board last month that a fund of investors from the Middle East and Asia wanted to pay about $25 billion to buy an expanded version of FIFA’s Club World Cup, as well as the rights to a proposed global league for national teams. According to several people with direct knowledge of the meeting, held in Bogotá, Colombia, details of the offer were scant. Infantino did not reveal the identities of the investors to the assembled FIFA Council, though he said the group wanted a speedy decision on its offer. Such an agreement would be unprecedented. FIFA has never sold control of its events to the highest bidder, and never to an investment fund. The council rejected Infantino’s request to push forward with the proposal, saying it needed more information. But the fact that Infantino would even entertain such a proposal illustrates global soccer’s current state of flux. The sport’s top clubs, its leading figureheads and deep-pocketed investors are competing with one another to try to unearth new ways to capitalize on the world’s most popular sport. Selling the competitions to a third party would also represent a major shift in FIFA’s business model, which relies on the sales of tickets, sponsorships and media rights for revenue. Under the proposal delivered to Infantino, the consortium of investors would even decide where the new competitions would be held. The proposal could help Infantino, who was elected as president in 2016, in his quest to increase revenues and restore profits at FIFA, which were hurt by a major corruption scandal in 2015. He also wants to make good on a promise of a fourfold increase in development funds to FIFA’s 211 member nations. He faces re-election next year. But many members at the Bogotá meeting were frustrated by Infantino’s lack of candor as they met at the cavernous Ágora Convention Center, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the meeting. Infantino said he had committed to a nondisclosure agreement, but he wanted the council’s permission to push ahead to complete an agreement with the investors’ group. FIFA declined to comment on Monday. Few details are known about the potential deal, which would be for as many BEHROUZ MEHRI/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES Real Madrid after winning the 2016 Club World Cup. FIFA board members, saying they needed more information, rejected a request by the body’s president to move forward on a proposal to sell tournaments. as three editions of the tournaments. But, according to the people with knowledge of the meeting, Infantino received a proposal earlier this year to bring the club tournament to China and Saudi Arabia, two nations that are committed to expanding their leisure and entertainment sectors. At the FIFA Council meeting, members received a briefing on a proposal for an expanded Club World Cup, which is currently contested annually by the seven clubs who win their regional tournaments. The briefing outlined plans for a quadrennial club tournament similar to the FIFA World Cup that would feature a minimum of 12 teams from Europe, home to sport’s richest and most popular clubs. The document, however, gave no hint of the $25 billion the investors offered. Infantino delivered that information verbally. European representatives were resistant because the competitions could compete with the UEFA Champions League, the wildly popular club championship for Europe. A group of African council members also withheld support because it was frustrated that FIFA had not been more supportive of Morocco’s bid to play host to the 2026 World Cup. At a news conference after the meeting, Infantino, without referring to his talks with the consortium, said discussions about the future of FIFA’s club competitions would continue and would be addressed at the next council meeting, in Moscow in June. The current Club World Cup is worth less than $100 million. Europe’s clubs and leagues complained to FIFA and to UEFA, the European governing body, ahead of the March meeting about what they perceived as a lack of transparency and consultation over plans that would directly affect their operations. Sensing moves were afoot to formalize a new competition without their approval, groups representing clubs and leagues sent letters to Infantino and to Aleksander Ceferin, the president of UEFA, who also has called for more discussions to take place. “To be presented with FIFA’s ‘solution’ as a fait accompli and claim this to be consultation defies all definitions of best practice and good governance,” Richard Scudamore, the executive chairman of the Premier League in Eng- land, wrote to Infantino on March 9 after learning the FIFA Council might vote on expanding its club tournament. Scudamore was writing in his capacity as chairman of the World Leagues Forum, a consortium representing top leagues from four continents. The European Club Association, a group representing more than 200 of the region’s biggest clubs, rejected any plans to create a new club competition at its annual meeting in Rome last month. The European Club Association’s president, Andrea Agnelli, who is also chairman of the Italian club Juventus, said the clubs wanted fewer games, to protect player health. He said no new tournaments could be created before 2024. Infantino proposed introducing the new club event in 2021. “When we think about the calendar going forward, we must also take into consideration weeks when players can actually rest and or train,” Agnelli said last month. FIFA has long coveted a worldwide club competition that would be as popular as the Champions League, which generates billions of dollars annually. UEFA is expected to collect $15 billion during the current four-year cycle. FIFA will rely on the quadrennial World Cup for almost all of the roughly $5.5 billion it expects to bring in during the same time period. The investor consortium’s proposed national team competition would include preliminary rounds, regional play and a final tournament featuring a handful of top teams. A casualty of Golden State’s numbers game On Pro Basketball BY MARC STEIN As a young boy in Israel, falling in love with the faraway National Basketball Association, Omri Casspi was inevitably drawn to what he referred to as “the team of the ’90s” in Chicago that unforgettably flanked the majestic Michael Jordan with Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and, yes, a sharpshooting guard off the bench named Steve Kerr. Casspi couldn’t help flashing back to the fandom of his youth when Kerr, now coaching the N.B.A.’s latest team of the decade in Golden State, was on the phone leading the Warriors’ freeagent recruitment drive last July to persuade Casspi, a veteran forward, to sign with the league’s reigning champions. “When I talked to Steve, he was so positive about things,” Casspi said in a recent interview at the Warriors’ practice facility. “And then knowing the players they have here and the culture, I wanted to be a part of it. “When the Warriors call you, it’s like a dream come true. I just knew, if everything goes right, what it would mean to my country and my family and what it would mean for my career.” So Casspi signed a one-year deal for the league-minimum $2.1 million, spurning interest from the Nets, who were poised to pay him closer to $5 million this season. A product of the perennial Israeli power Maccabi Tel Aviv, Casspi mostly wanted to win again, having played for only one playoff team in his first nine seasons in the N.B.A. (Houston in 2013-14) and appearing in precisely zero playoff games. Ending that humbling playoff drought would be a lock alongside stars like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, which made Kerr’s pitch even more attractive. But very little, in the end, went right for Casspi in the Bay Area. With the start of the playoffs a week away, Casspi was summoned by team officials Saturday night after the 80th of 82 games and informed that he was being waived to make roster room to convert the reserve guard Quinn Cook’s two-way developmental contract into a full-fledged N.B.A. contract before the postseason began. With Curry expected to miss at least the first round of the playoffs because of a sprained knee, someone had to be cut so the Warriors could make the unexpectedly productive Cook playoffeligible as Curry’s stand-in. Golden State’s options came down to cutting Casspi or waiving someone from its center-by-committee sextet of Zaza Pachulia, Jordan Bell, David West, JaVale McGee, Kevon Looney and Damian Jones. A stubborn ankle injury that held Casspi out of his final “It’s been the 11 games as a Warcase for the rior, following an last two earlier back issue, years. Every proved to be the time I hit my clincher. “It was difficult to stride, sit with him and tell something him we were going happens.” to do this,” Kerr told reporters Sunday night in Phoenix. “But it was the only decision we could make under the circumstances.” This is the second consecutive season in which the Warriors have been forced to make such an unkind cut. In February 2017, after promising to sign the savvy Spanish playmaker Jose Calderon in the wake of Calderon’s release by the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State had to abruptly let Calderon go without granting him a single second in uniform. In Calderon’s case, it was a similarly severe knee sprain sustained by Durant which necessitated the addition of a forward (Matt Barnes) as opposed to a guard. Waiving Casspi at this juncture is painful in its own way, since the Warriors are well aware he took less money than he could have earned elsewhere on the open market and, worse, is ineligible to appear in the KELLEY L COX/USA TODAY SPORTS, VIA REUTERS Omri Casspi, a forward, showed promise in his brief stint as a starter for Golden State, but the Warriors needed a backup point guard. playoffs for another team this spring because he was not released by March 1. But the loss of Curry — as well as Kerr’s belief that he will need every big man he can muster to get to a fourth successive N.B.A. finals — left little alternative. Even though Casspi has been healthy enough to log 10 or more minutes only five times since January, his detractors would argue that he might have convinced the Warriors to keep him had he shown a greater willingness to shoot 3-pointers. Despite its freewheeling reputation, Golden State is actually sorely lacking when it comes to trusty floor-spacers off the bench. Casspi, though, attempted only 22 3-pointers in his 53 games as a Warrior. This naturally puzzled local observers who will never forget the sight of Casspi, then a member of the Sacramento Kings, tying a franchise record by hitting nine 3-pointers en route to 36 points in a breathtaking shooting duel with Curry at Oracle Arena on Dec. 28, 2015. Yet Casspi, in last month’s interview, revealed that Kerr never asked him to change his game. Casspi’s best moments in Golden State came when he was moving off the ball and cutting backdoor, capitalizing on the distractions provided by his more celebrated teammates. He averaged 11.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in his seven starts while shooting nearly 59 percent from the floor. “It’s a little bit more complicated than what people think,” Casspi said. “I had a lot of early success with cutting and moving without the ball within our flow and maybe got in love with it a little bit, but when something’s working and you play 12 minutes and you have 12 points, it’s hard to say, ‘Hey, let’s just shoot 3s.’ “Forcing shots has never been my game. I talked to Steve about it several times, and he always said, ‘Keep playing the way you’re playing.’” Casspi thus remains convinced it’s simply an unfortunate numbers game caused by injuries — Curry’s and his own — that will keep him atop the list of active players with the most regularseason games played (552) to never taste the postseason, narrowly ahead of his close friend, DeMarcus Cousins, the All-Star center of the New Orleans Pelicans (535). “It’s been the case for the last two years. Every time I hit my stride, something happens,” Casspi said, referring to the broken thumb he suffered in his first game as a member of the Pelicans last season, after the trade that sent him and Cousins to New Orleans. One inevitably wonders what happens now in Casspi’s basketball-crazed homeland, which had been eagerly awaiting the sight of Casspi, who turns 30 in June, stepping onto the biggest stage in the sport as a member of the team that has won two championships in the last three seasons. Memories are still fresh of Israeli fans turning on the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers after that team fired its Israeli-American coach, David Blatt, halfway through Blatt’s second season with the team. “For sure every playoff game with Omri would have been a big event here — even at 3 or 5 in the morning,” said the longtime Israeli broadcaster and former Maccabi Tel Aviv executive Yaron Talpaz. “So Golden State won’t be Israel’s team in these playoffs. Now it’s going to be more spread around. “But there’s no way the backlash is going to be close to what it was for Cleveland. There’s a lot of talk about how cruel it is, but Omri is injured. He’s our only N.B.A. player, so we don’t like it, but we understand that it’s the business side of the game.” .. 18 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION Culture Commerce challenges curators LONDON Wealthy board members can create tension as they gain influence at museums BY SCOTT REYBURN “The right function of every museum,” wrote John Ruskin, the influential 19thcentury art and social critic, “is the manifestation of what is lovely in the life of nature, and heroic in the life of men.” Museums of the 21st century have moved on a bit. Nowadays, they try to exhibit art that reflects a much more diverse spectrum of society than was on show in the Victorian era. They are also “destination” enterprises, with permanent collections and special exhibitions, cafes and shops trying to attract as many visitors as possible in an age of global tourism. The Art Newspaper published its 2017 museum attendance survey last month. The Louvre, in Paris, maintained its long-held ranking as the world’s most popular museum, attracting 8.1 million visitors last year, or nearly 40,000 more than the second most visited, the National Museum of China in Beijing. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was third, with 6.7 million. In terms of total visitors, the dominant exhibition surveyed was “Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection,” at the privately owned Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. The show attracted more than 1.2 million visitors in less than five months, according to The Art Newspaper. It is a sign of our times that a museum founded by the billionaire private collector Bernard Arnault should mount such an ambitious exhibition. With the ultrawealthy paying ever higher prices for trophy works of art and many cultural institutions facing cuts in state funding, private collectors are becoming an increasingly influential force in the museum world. “We see more private collectors engaged with museum boards and loaning works to museums,” said John Mathews, head of private wealth management at UBS America. “Competition for the best works has increased among institutions with the globalization of the art world and the rise of income-generating blockbuster exhibitions.” Mr. Mathews added: “The collecting habits of our clients are directly tied to their passion habits. Billionaires want to give back to communities.” Billionaires on museum boards can create tensions as well as present solutions, particularly as exhibition programs become more diverse. Last month, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), announced that it had “decided to part ways” with its chief curator, Helen Molesworth, “due to creative differences.” Ms. Molesworth had organized critically acclaimed exhibitions devoted to the African-American painter Kerry James Marshall and the Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino. Artnews reported that Ms. Molesworth had criticized the overwhelming whiteness of the MOCA board during a January talk at the University of California, Los Angeles. MOHAMED SOMJI/LOUVRE ABU DHABI The Louvre Abu Dhabi, above, will be the new home of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi.” Left, the Seattle Art Museum attracted 13,000 visitors in 12 days when it displayed the 1982 Jean-Michel Basquiat painting “Untitled.” 2018 ESTATE OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT/ADAGP, PARIS/ARS, NEW YORK 2018, VIA SEATTLE ART MUSEUM She made a similar point two months earlier at a talk in San Francisco. “Museum boards are increasingly comprised of exceedingly affluent people who don’t come from a philanthropic or cultural background,” Ms. Molesworth said. “They often come from a financial background or a being-rich background,” Artnews quoted her as saying. The MOCA board has the Los Angeles collector Maurice Marciano as a cochairman, and it includes other wealthy collectors such as Steven A. Cohen, Laurence Graff and Victor Pinchuk. The Los Angeles painter Mark Grotjahn is also on the board. MOCA had planned to hold a fund-raising gala in his honor in May, but with controversy in the air, Mr. Grotjahn pulled out of the event in February. Ms. Molesworth did not reply to a request from The New York Times for comment. “Some curators are working hard to change the canon to include different genders and minorities,” said Lisa Schiff, a New York art adviser with an office in Los Angeles, who has clients who sit on museum boards. “But oftentimes, not always, that collides with the collections of the board members,” she added, noting that some concentrated on works by white male artists. “We have art historical issues entangled with the market,” she added. “It’s a very complicated time.” On the other hand, cultivating wealthy board members, trustees and patrons is crucial for museums seeking to make a major acquisition through a gift or loan. Major acquisitions bring in more visitors, which in turn drives income. In the first 12 days that the Seattle Art Museum displayed the 1982 Jean-Michel Basquiat painting “Untitled,” the museum attracted more than 13,000 visitors, or 56 percent more than had been projected before the loan was secured. The suggested admission price of $19.95 for adults lets patrons see this monumental image of a skull that drew headlines around the world in May when it sold for $110.5 million at Sotheby’s. Seattle is the latest stop in a world tour that the painting’s new owner, the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, planned for the painting. It had previously been on display at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and will travel to an as yet unspecified venue in Europe in August. “Distance should neither restrain nor limit us,” Mr. Maezawa said in a Seattle Art Museum news release, underlining how the painting, certainly in his mind, had become a “destination” artwork. The same can be said with even more certainty of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” which shattered auction highs when it sold for $450.3 million in November. The details of how it came to be acquired by the Louvre Abu Dhabi have yet to be clarified, but whenever it goes on show — no dates have been announced — it should bolster visitor numbers at the Jean Nouvel-designed museum, which opened to the public on Nov. 11. The Louvre brand will then have the distinction of displaying the world’s most valuable painting (the “Mona Lisa”) in France, and the most expensive in the United Arab Emirates. As leading museums compete for crowd-drawing exhibits, and try to balance commercial interests and cultural diversity, visitors are bearing a rising proportion of the cost. Though admission to the permanent collections of Britain’s public museums is free, adults are paying 22 pounds, or about $31, to view the must-see Tate Modern exhibition “Picasso 1932 — Love, Fame, Tragedy.” British museums had long been careful to keep exhibition ticket prices below £20. Since March 1, people who do not live in New York State have to pay a mandatory admission fee of $25 to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum, already facing a budget deficit, is planning a new wing, at a cost of at least $450 million, to house acquisitions and gifts of modern and contemporary art. “I foresee that the expansionist ethos of museums, which apes the world of business, is unsustainable and potentially corrupting, or at the very least distracting from the museums’ main mission,” Anna Somers Cocks, the founding editor and chairman of The Art Newspaper, wrote in its 300th anniversary issue. But what, exactly, is the main mission of a museum? If it is to show the greatest art to the largest number of people in a scholarly and affordable manner, then that mission might have been accomplished last year in Japan. In just three months, the exhibition “Unkei: The Great Master of Buddhist Sculpture” at the Tokyo National Museum attracted an average of 11,268 visitors a day, 2,342 more than the average for the Shchukin Collection show in Paris. Adult admission to the Tokyo show cost 1600 yen, or about $15. So, measured by daily footfall, an exhibition of religious sculptures more than 800 years old was the most popular show in the world in 2017. Even Ruskin might have approved. Warhol! ‘Cabaret’! Halston! Liza Minnelli to auction large trove of memorabilia from a life on many stages BY FRANK DECARO Call it “Liza with a $.” Divesting herself of a trove of bugle beads and showbiz memorabilia, Liza Minnelli is putting more than 1,900 items from her designer wardrobe and extensive archives of Hollywood ephemera up for auction in May. But before her one-of-a-kind Halston flapper dresses, her “Cabaret” bowler and annotated shooting script, several large-format Annie Leibovitz portraits, an engraved silver baby cup, a watercolor portrait of her at age 3 and a $20,000 check made out to (and endorsed by) Andy Warhol are put on the block, some noteworthy pieces are at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, Calif., in a monthlong exhibit called “Love, Liza.” “I woke up one day and thought, ‘Honey, you ain’t gonna wait till you’ve bought the farm and leave your life on someone else’s doorstep,’” Ms. Minnelli, 72, told The New York Times through her colleague and confidant Michael Feinstein. “My life is a gift of flowing friendships and relationships, all collected in these objects. It’s with many emotions that I share them.” And it’s with many emotions, including joy, that her most ardent fans probably will receive them. The sale is being conducted by Profiles in History, an auction house based in Calabasas, Calif., that oversaw sales of Debbie Reynolds’s vast collections. It will include not only Ms. Minnelli’s personal effects, like the waitress uniform, complete with “LINDA” name tag, that she wore in the 1981 film comedy “Arthur,” but also objects that once belonged to her famous parents, Judy Garland and the director Vincente Minnelli. A paycheck from MGM Studios to a 13-year-old Garland, Ms. Garland’s scrapbooks and personal 35-millimeter screening copies of her films, Mr. Minnelli’s Directors Guild Award for “Gigi,” an Academy Award nomination plaque and his rare one-sheet poster from his 1943 musical “Cabin in the Sky” are expected to be among the most coveted lots. “We’re basically telling their family history,” said Joe Maddalena, the C.E.O. of Profiles in History. “It’s a giant collection from the birth of Liza to what this woman became, plus the flash of when she met Halston. You’ll be able to see a celebration of her life, her parents’ lives and how all this came about. Think about the talent among the three of them!” The vast number of items, including clothes by not only Halston, but also Bob Mackie, Gianni Versace, Gucci, Isaac Mizrahi and Donna Karan, Mr. Maddalena said, distinguishes this auction from most others. “By the time most celebrities sell, you’re usually getting junk, their furniture and their castoffs,” he said. “The stuff of importance is usually donated and gone. But Liza kept everything.” Rene Reyes, a production executive at the Paley Center, described the “Love, Liza” exhibit as “a lot of fabulousness stuffed into this building.” Included are costumes from the John Kander and Fred Ebb musical “Cabaret,” the film version of which earned Ms. Minnelli the Best Actress Oscar in 1973, and from her string of 1991 concerts at Radio City BETTMANN, VIA GETTY IMAGES Among Liza Minnelli’s auction items are a bowler like one she wore in “Cabaret,” and a sequined Halston ensemble. Music Hall, along with her 1999-2000 Broadway show, “Minnelli on Minnelli: Live at the Palace.” Also: selections from Ms. Minnelli’s vast wardrobe of vintage Halston, like a red sequin tuxedo she wore in concert, showcased on mannequins sporting her signature short hair and long eyelashes, in a specially created setting evoking Studio 54, the Manhattan disco she frequented in the 1970s. Halston Heritage, which is overseeing part of the installation, has lent an actual mirror ball it acquired from Studio 54. “If that ball could speak,” said Angela Pih, the chief marketing officer at Halston Heritage. Ms. Minnelli and Halston, who were introduced by her godmother, the actress and author Kay Thompson, were the best of friends for decades. She was his muse. The designer, who died of Kaposi’s sarcoma in 1990, was her mentor. “No one matters more to her than Halston,” Mr. Feinstein wrote in an email. “Liza says that, with Fred Ebb and Kay Thompson, Halston created her. Sharing his work is her way of reminding people of his importance to her life and the world of fashion. The vibrations in the clothes and drawings are damned powerful.” Whether singing standards on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in the 1960s, teaming up with Goldie Hawn for the 1980 musical one-off “Goldie and Liza Together” (now a YouTube curiosity) or suffering from chronic vertigo as the pratfall risk Lucille Austero on more than 20 episodes of the sitcom “Arrested Development” between 2003 and 2013, Ms. Minnelli has long tickled at-home audiences. Two appearances on her mother’s 1963-64 variety series and her own Emmy Award-winning concert, “Liza With a Z,” a 1972 NBC special directed by Bob Fosse, are standout moments in television history. “You can’t overestimate how those appearances established her as an artist,” Mr. Reyes said. Mr. Feinstein said that although Ms. Minnelli had “made a conscious choice to simplify” her life since relocating to Los Angeles from New York several years ago, she wasn’t parting with all of her cherished possessions. Ms. Minnelli, he said, is retaining such items as the christening Bible she received from Ms. Thompson, Ms. Garland’s music library, Mr. Minnelli’s 1959 Academy Award for “Gigi,” a movie poster for 1945’s “The Clock” (on which Ms. Minnelli’s parents collaborated) and a Richard Avedon portrait of Ms. Garland. But getting rid of so much stuff, which had been housed for decades in more than a half-dozen storage spaces on the East and West Coasts, has been good for Ms. Minnelli, Mr. Feinstein said. “After a lifetime of nonstop work she is, from my view, happier than I have ever seen her.” This “purge with a capital P,” as he said she calls it, “did not come without much thought and soul-searching. The conclusion was that she could sit on these things and they would never see the light of day again, or send them out into the world and see them live again with others who would appreciate them.” A share of the auction proceeds, he added, will go to the Great American Songbook Foundation, a music organization that he founded seven years ago with Ms. Minnelli’s help. It is unclear whether Ms. Minnelli will attend the exhibit at the Paley Center. Blaming an “extreme viral infection,” she canceled a March 30 performance with Mr. Feinstein a few days before the event. But Ms. Minnelli seems pleased to be relinquishing past clutter. “It was time to go there and I have,” she said, “and it feels good.” .. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 | 19 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION culture Highbrow? Not this Cinderella Joyce DiDonato explains why she believes opera is ‘the opposite of elitist’ BY JOEL ROZEN Joyce DiDonato, the star mezzo-soprano, admits she was slightly fearful when she first visited the Sing Sing maximum-security prison in New York State. She had agreed to sing there in 2015 as part of Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program, but she wasn’t sure how an operatic voice would be received. She made an impact on at least one listener. On a follow-up trip the next year, Ms. DiDonato encountered Joseph Wilson, an inmate and aspiring composer who had been at the recital. He said he had been overwhelmed by the performance, she recalled in a recent interview at the Metropolitan Opera, where she will sing the title role in the company premiere of “Cendrillon” — Massenet’s frothy, romantic, rarely done Cinderella adaptation — starting on Thursday. Mr. Wilson had been inspired to write an opera, Ms. DiDonato said. With the help of the Carnegie program, he soon completed preliminary work on his first large-scale piece, “Tabula Rasa.” Last October, Ms. DiDonato returned to Sing Sing a third time to join him in presenting some of it in front of 300 inmates. “It’s about a murderer; he’s asking someone for forgiveness,” she said. Her character denies his request. “It’s extraordinary. In concert, about two-thirds of the way through, his character begs for forgiveness again and then drops to his knees, but my character keeps saying no. Finally, he collapses over his knees and cradles his head in his hands.” Eighteen hours later, Ms. DiDonato was at the Met performing in the “Live in HD” cinema broadcast of Bellini’s “Norma.” “My character, after a flame with a Roman soldier in woods,” she said, “runs to Norma’s hut, drops to her knees and begs her friend for forgiveness. And I did the same gesture I had done for five weeks of rehearsal: I collapsed on my knees and cradled my head — the same physical gesture Joe had done. Now you go on and tell me how opera’s irrelevant to normal people.” The art form, she added, is “the opposite of elitist.” There was a time when calling an opera star accessible might have counted as a criticism. Operatic characters — an aloof pantheon of gods, monarchs, priests and countesses — are generally more outsize than approachable; their exponents have traditionally been measured on a scale of perceived regality and remoteness. But with the art form struggling for audiences, major companies, once content to keep stars shrouded in mystery, now see it as essential to bring people in for a closer look. Facebook and YouTube provide behind-the-scenes glimpses of rehearsals, coachings and costume fittings. You can now tweet at “Tosca.” Such a world is tailor-made for Ms. DiDonato, 49, opera’s Miss Congeniality. “The key isn’t changing what we do,” she said. “It’s making sure that we go to where the people are.” So starting in April 2005, back when the opera world was still new to cyberspace, Ms. DiDonato blogged as Yankeediva about everything connected to her life as a globe-trotting artist. She added an electronic newsletter, Opera Rocks, in 2015. She inflects her celebrated takes on Rossini with the dazzled wonder of a musical theater actress and delights in programming populist encores like “Over the Rainbow.” Her plain-spoken advice in master classes — sometimes humorous, sometimes New Age-y — is all over YouTube. Her can-do spirit is the subject of lore: VINCENT TULLO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES The mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, above, stars in Massenet’s “Cendrillon” in New York this month. Below, Ms. DiDonato in Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda” in 2012, left, and in Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” in 2007. At one London performance of Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia,” in 2009, she fractured her fibula, then soldiered on in a wheelchair. Cinderella, that fabled optimist, is an ideal role for her. Born Joyce Flaherty on the edge of Kansas City to an Irish-American family of seven children, Ms. DiDonato had an unlikely ascent to celebrity and a rough time finding management after her time in the Houston Grand Opera’s young artist program. In fact, finding her way to the stage in the first place was a struggle. Ms. DiDonato said that her final year at Wichita State University in Kansas, where she studied to be a high school music SARA KRULWICH/THE NEW YORK TIMES HIROYUKI ITO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES teacher and graduated in 1992, was riddled with self-doubt. “I saw the need for committed, devoted teachers,” she said. “But the stage was calling me, and I loved it, and it felt really good. As a good Catholic Midwestern girl, that was bad. If something felt good, it must be bad.” She approached her father, a longtime classical music lover, for advice: “He said, ‘Joyce, there’s more than one way to teach people, more than one way to connect.’” She embraced the public-facing side of singing. For a while, she recorded her thoughts on Yankeediva several times a month as she recorded the Handel opera “Ariodante,” sang for the celebrated mezzo Marilyn Horne’s 75th birthday gala, fought isolation on the road and mourned the loss of her father. She aimed Opera Rocks, her electronic newsletter, at curious high school students who might have felt lonely in their interest in high culture. Opera, she said, is about “bringing truth and beauty and astonishment to people, while reminding everyone who feels ignored or shunned or diminished that, actually, there’s something bigger out there.” Ms. DiDonato has the earnest zeal of a self-help enthusiast. She said her main teachings these days “rarely come from the opera field” and run to mindfulness lessons from Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie and Joseph Campbell. Her views are liberal but mild; other than railing in 2011 against cuts to arts programs made by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, she’s kept mostly quiet about more incendiary political topics. “I monitor myself carefully,” she said. “I wish to provoke because I’m a citizen. But I never, ever want to impose so much in social media or offstage that the audience feels like it’s seeing ‘Joyce’ onstage. People have paid to see ‘Cendrillon.’ They haven’t paid to see me.” Except, well, they have. The Met would never have put on this Massenet rarity if not for her, and fans are drawn to her personality, curiosity and dazzling voice as much as to the music she sings. For two decades, Ms. DiDonato has taken on a strikingly mixed bag of mezzo repertoire, seesawing between centuries and styles. Her voice, adept at elastic runs and flowery embellishments, is also soulful and sincere. She can glide up into the soprano stratosphere when she chooses. Pick any season of her early career for a sense of this unusual versatility: In 2002-3, for example, she darted from “Dead Man Walking,” by the American composer Jake Heggie, to works including Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro”; Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen”; and Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” and “La Cenerentola,” that composer’s Cinderella opera. She is perhaps now most widely associated with Baroque and bel canto opera — her skookum approach to the aria “Tanti affetti” from Rossini’s “La Donna del Lago,” with its dizzying runs and leaps up and down the staff, has made her rendition a cult favorite — but she is no less at ease with the gentle lines of the American songbook. That gift for understated lyricism has made “Cendrillon,” a lesser-known work from 1899 that shows its composer’s knack for comedy, one of Ms. DiDonato’s calling cards over the past decade. She opened the director Laurent Pelly’s brightly colored production at Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico in 2006, and it has traveled with her to London, Barcelona in Spain and now the Met, which is presenting it for the first time in the company’s history with a cast that also includes Alice Coote, Kathleen Kim, Stephanie Blythe and Laurent Naouri, conducted by Bertrand de Billy. “The beautiful thing about Cinderella is that she’s somebody who believes in goodness,” Ms. DiDonato said. “She stays true to herself in a very quiet way.” The character’s authenticity was what first attracted her to the role. The show has not changed much for her over the years she has performed it. Yet in preparing for her latest run at the Met, she discovered new power in its unpretentious optimism. During a recent rehearsal, she and Mr. Pelly were startled to find themselves in tears. “I think what’s happening in the world right now is so dark and heavy,” she said. “When you’re struck with this innocence, this freshness, there’s this nuclear sensation of being hit. I think we’re all drinking it in, unaware of how much we needed it.” Steven Spielberg shorten the credits of “E.T.” At Camp David, with not much to be seen watching the backs of the Reagans’ heads, Weinberg often struggles to fill the page: His recollections of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” contain a two-page aside about Reagan’s friendship with Wayne Newton, prompted by Matthew Broderick’s lip-syncing of “Danke Schoen.” A large part of the “Chariots of Fire” chapter is taken up with a sentimental exploration of the Reagan/Thatcher partnership. The author has to sneak away from his seat to consult Reagan letters, diaries and biographies to fortify what is essentially a subjunctive enterprise. He will “have to imagine” whether Reagan was thinking about his vexed relationship with his daughter Patti when watching Henry and Jane Fonda in “On Golden Pond.” He can only “suspect” that Reagan “may have reflected” on travails with his alcoholic father when watching Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Conjecture is the big problem for any book about presidential film-viewing. Mark Feeney’s ambitious, well-researched “Nixon at the Movies,” published in 2004, reveals that during his years in office, Nixon watched just one movie featuring Reagan, a man of whom he had “a thoroughly mixed opinion.” The film was “Dark Victory,” shown at the president’s San Clemente home in August 1973. Feeney plausibly speculates on the contempt Nixon may have felt for the moneyed, time-wasting crowd (including Reagan’s character) surrounding Bette Davis, the picture’s star. But here too, like Weinberg, Feeney “can only wonder” what the book’s subject actually experienced while the lights were down. Weinberg’s memoir doesn’t aspire to the depth of Feeney’s study, but its fealty and kindliness have their own appeal. The anecdotes (like the two pages on Reagan’s effort to return a pen he accidentally walked off with) are sweet, not piercing; the hue is as rosy as the president’s cheeks. The author once fell asleep during a screening of “Show Boat,” and afterward was “almost out the door when the president tapped me on the shoulder and said with a wink and a big smile, ‘Guess you were pretending it was a cabinet meeting.’” “Movie Nights With the Reagans” probably would have worked better as a half-hour oral history, but here it is, not unwelcome, if only to remind us that the role of the president can be played by a charming gentleman instead of a scoundrel. Watching one with the Gipper BOOK REVIEW Movie Nights With The Reagans: A Memoir By Mark Weinberg. Illustrated. 261 pp. Simon & Schuster. $28. BY THOMAS MALLON During his presidency, Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, watched 363 movies at Camp David. Spread out over eight years, it’s a pardonably large total, especially for two former film actors, a couple who retained show business as a frame of reference long after they’d gone into its professional cousin, politics. All their viewing of the era’s biggest hits probably kept the Reagans more connected to the country than watching four hours a day of cable news. Mark Weinberg, a young press aide detailed to Camp David on the weekends, would join a group of staffers in Aspen Lodge each time the president opened the door, just before 8 p.m. Everyone would watch the films, and the staffers would also watch their hosts. More than 30 years later, with the former first lady’s blessing, Weinberg began writing this amiable book about the experience. “Movie Nights With the Reagans” is fluffed with a loyalist’s nostalgia, but it does offer entertaining glimpses of the first couple, and it may lure even Reagan nonenthusiasts to indulge in some nostalgia of their own. The president was “clearly excited” to see “Top Gun,” though the sex scenes seemed to go on far too long for his and Nancy’s taste. The “over-the-top violence” of “Red Dawn” may have similarly dampened their appreciation of its Commie-repelling Colorado kids. (Both Reagans expressed disapproval of the pot-smoking scene in “9 to 5.”) Among films with a political dimension, Weinberg insists that “Ghostbusters” “helped energize the 1984 campaign,” featuring as its villain an over-regulating E.P.A. bureaucrat. The director, Ivan Reitman, had unusually conservative leanings for Hollywood, but Reagan himself seems to have had a nonideological good time watching the movie. The president liked “Return of the Jedi.” He saw no connection between the “Star Wars” franchise and his Strategic Defense Initiative, but recognized the films as a lasered update of the westerns he’d once starred in. One of those, “Cattle Queen of Montana,” is on the marquee at the Hill Valley movie theater in the portion of “Back to the Future” set in 1955. A nice touch, though Weinberg records that “it felt as if the air had gone out of” Aspen Lodge when Doc, disbelieving news from the future of Reagan’s ascent, asks Marty: REUTERS Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis, his second wife, in a scene from their 1957 film “Hellcats of the Navy,” the first and only film that he appeared in with her. “I suppose Jane Wyman is the first lady?” One pictures Nancy biting hard on a kernel of unpopped corn, but in the summer of 1985 popcorn had been banished from Aspen Lodge because of the president’s recent colon cancer surgery. Along with all the ’80s blockbusters, the Reagans showed vintage films, including a few of the president’s own. The couple’s one co-starring venture, “Hellcats of the Navy,” allowed the young staffers to see the boss and his wife as a kind of cold-showered Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. Reagan had a self-respecting view of his movie work and remained sufficiently connected to his old craft to suggest that Thomas Mallon’s most recent book is “Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years.” . .. 20 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION travel World Cup a tough sell in U.S. Team is out of tournament, and ticket requests are down for event in Russia What Tyra Banks can’t travel without CARRY ON BY JUSTIN SABLICH BY NELL MCSHANE WULFHART The United States national soccer team failed to qualify for the men’s 2018 World Cup in Russia, the first time it will miss soccer’s biggest event since 1986. This won’t keep all American fans away from Moscow and the 10 other cities hosting the tournament in June, but it’s one of many factors that have appeared to have dampened interest in visiting. “I think more than anything it just feels like a logistical nightmare,” said Dan Wiersema, the head of communications for the American Outlaws, a group of U.S. Soccer supporters that organized trips for fans to the last two men’s World Cups and the 2015 women’s World Cup. “You’re going halfway around the world, and if your team’s not in the World Cup, that seems like a whole lot of legwork for a lot of unknowns.” Mr. Wiersema added that in a country as diverse as the United States, there are plenty of Americans who will be rooting for other teams competing in Russia — but ticket sales show a clear drop in interest from Americans compared with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. According to FIFA, the world soccer federation, of the nearly five million ticket requests made before its random selection draw sales period ended on Jan. 31, roughly 87,000 were from fans in the United States, the 10th most of any country. (Russia was first, followed by Germany.) For the 2014 tournament, spectators from the United States purchased a total of nearly 200,000 tickets, more than any other country other than the host. Some may also be waiting for the 2019 women’s World Cup in France, which is a potentially more attractive travel destination for Americans in terms of infrastructure and location. It’s also where fans can root for the defending-champion U.S. women’s team. “You’re talking about a country that has a great rail network and is relatively close to East Coast-based airports. When you put that all together as an American soccer fan and a travel fan, there’s a lot of people who have eyeballs on it,” Mr. Wiersema said. Mr. Wiersema, whose group sent The television personality, producer, entrepreneur and former model Tyra Banks has a lengthy resume, but she is probably best known these days for instructing aspiring models to “smize” (smile with their eyes) on “America’s Next Top Model,” a fashion reality TV series she created and hosts. It’s currently in its 24th season. While Ms. Banks mostly travels for work, she describes herself as “a master at tacking on pleasure,” commonly adding vacation days to weeks of intensive shooting abroad. “America’s Next Top Model” has taken contestants around the world, but her favorite was Morocco. “What I love about Marrakesh is the people and the earth and the architecture are like the same color. It’s just that beautiful terracotta color, and it just all blends. It’s just beautiful,” she said. She describes herself as obsessed with hotels, even going so far as to model her own bedroom after a room in the Four Seasons New York. “I used to stay there when I was a Victoria’s Secret model, actually, and I studied that room,” Ms. Banks said. “I don’t think I took pictures back then, but I talked to the interior designer, and I made it as close to that Four Seasons as possible, including the bathtub that fills up in like 60 seconds.” Here’s what she can’t travel without. MLADEN ANTONOV/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES A countdown clock in Moscow for the 2018 World Cup, which will start June 14 when Russia, the host country, plays Saudi Arabia. more than 500 members to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, also cited potential worries related to Russia’s geopolitical situation, the violent reputation of some of its soccer fans and its government’s position on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “Russia has made it quite clear about its stance on gay fans, which I know gives a lot of our members and U.S. fans concern,” Mr. Wiersema said, referring to a law that outlaws “homosexual propaganda.” In response to those expressing reservations, a Russian Football Union official said last November: “You can come here and not be fined for expressing feelings. The law is about propaganda to minors.” Fan safety may be of particular concern for fans in England, where ticket sales have also been significantly lower than for past World Cups. During a 2016 European Championship game in Marseille, France, Russian and English fans clashed violently in the days leading up to and then after the match between the two teams; over 30 spectators were injured. The disciplinary committee of UEFA, which oversees European soccer, fined and sanctioned the Russian soccer federation as a result. More recently, the poisoning of an exRussian spy in southern England has added to the tension between the two countries heading into the World Cup. “We do need to be very, very careful for British fans who are traveling there that they are not in any way caught up in the politics of this,” Tom Tugendhat, a British lawmaker, told the BBC. IF YOU GO All fans attending World Cup matches will need a Fan ID card. Attendees must have the card along with a valid ticket to enter the match stadium. Fans can obtain their ID once they have received their tickets or after receiving a ticket confirmation notice. The Fan ID has plenty of travel perks, including visa-free entry to Russia for FAN ID foreign visitors who have purchased match tickets. It allows visitors to stay in the country from 10 days before the first match to 10 days after the last match. For more information, visit fan-id.ru. And once in the country, those with a Fan ID get free transportation on intercity trains and public transport in the host cities. Be mindful of price gouging. Russian consumer regulators have already issued fines to several hotels, including one in Moscow that was accused of raising prices up to 570 percent above what is allowed by the government. FIFA has set up its own hotel finder, where you can search by city, venue and other destination points. But availability for dates pegged to a specific location’s matches is currently difficult to find, so hunting through your preferred travel booking website may yield better results. For more information, visit hotels.fifa.com. LODGING HER SON’S TOY “It’s like a little blanket connected to a giraffe head, and I cuddle with that and I get funky with it and I sleep with it, and I put it in my armpit and all that. I have two of them so they’re in rotation, so I travel and get it funky and then I come back and I give it to him, and I’m like ‘That was mommy!’ and he grabs it and smells it. I know that sounds gross, but there’s always one with me and always one with him, and you know, children really connect to their parents’ scent, so I make sure that it’s on me when I’m on the plane and stuff like that. And then when I come home, I just take the one he had and give him that one, so he immediately has mommy’s smell again.” ESTELLE MORRIS ELLEN DEGENERES SNEAKERS “So when I’m traveling, I don’t wear high heel boots anymore. I used to be like, ‘Oh my gosh, the paparazzi might meet me at the airport when I land so I have to look cute.’ I ain’t got time for cute now, my feet are hurting! So I wear sneakers, but Ellen DeGeneres has the cutest sneakers. And they have animals on them, it’s hard to explain, but they have an etching of a dog or a cat, peeking off the sides of the shoes. They are so cute. It’s a way to have a sneaker, and you know, like a little whimsy and humor with it.” SPARE NAILS “I’m now into press-on nails. I used to be into gels and sitting in the chair forever and getting your nails done, but they are so good. They don’t look like they did back in the day. They look like you sat in the chair for an hour and a half. But I have to bring extra nails and glue in my purse for the emergency when you’re putting your bag up in your overhead and a nail pops off. And I was like, ‘I will not be caught out here with a nail missing.’ I’m not a prissy type of girl, but even that can look a little busted, and so, you know, I have them in my purse with the extra glue and I pop ’em on.” FENDI TOTE “It’s a blue leather Fendi tote, and I think it’s called the ‘Monster Bag.’ My agent, Nancy, got it for me because it has eyes on it, and when you unzip the zipper on front, the inside is red, so it looks like a mouth. But she calls it a ‘smizing bag,’ because it looks like the eyes are smizing.” Ocean views and artful cuisine CHECK IN BY SHEILA MARIKAR HOTEL CALIFORNIAN, SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. RATES From $360 THE BASICS Opened in September, the 121-room Hotel Californian is a gateway to a revived Santa Barbara waterfront. It’s also a doover: One of its three buildings sits on the site of the original Hotel Californian, which was destroyed, two weeks after opening, by a 1925 earthquake. The property changed hands and fell into disrepair in the 1990s. In 2011, a new owner acquired the hotel, kept the fourstory facade, which offers sweeping views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean, and reimagined everything else. A Moroccan design scheme by the Hollywood interior decorator Martin Lawrence Bullard differentiates Hotel Californian from the hacienda-style resorts that dot the Southern California coast. The property’s lawn and plaza provide prime venues for sunbathing and people watching. A SUMMIT FOR INNOVATORS AND EXPERTS THE LOCATION The hotel’s three buildings cluster around the corner of State and Mason Streets. Walk one block west and you’ll reach the beach, Fisherman’s Wharf and a jogging and biking path that hugs the shore. Two blocks north of the hotel is the Funk Zone, Santa Barbara’s burgeoning arts district with galleries, restaurants, and more than 20 winetasting rooms. The Santa Barbara Amtrak station is a seven-minute walk from the hotel and offers direct service to and from Los Angeles (generally a two-anda-half-hour ride). THE ROOM Most rooms at the Hotel Californian come with one king bed; my mother and I, visiting midweek in November, were able to reserve one of the few double queen rooms with a view. It wasn’t the best — those go to the suites that face the beach — but our spacious third-floor room had a veranda with armchairs from which to watch ducks on a greenish creek. The interior was lavishly decorated with oil-rubbed bronze lamps and patterned tile — the hotel imported more than one million pieces from Morocco — but some accents, like the brass snakes above the bed, verged on garish. USB ports by the beds offered an easy way to charge devices; other in-room gadgetry proved more difficult. The Nespresso coffee machine was maddeningly difficult to master, even though I use a similar model at home, and ejected every other espresso capsule without dispensing anything. SPEAKERS INCLUDE DANIEL H. WEISS President and C.E.O. The Metropolitan Museum of Art PHOTOGRAPHS BY HOTEL CALIFORNIAN The terrace and lobby at the Hotel Californian, which has a Moroccan design scheme. THE BATHROOM DINING Laser-cut panels framed the shower, furthering the Moroccan theme, and while the shower stall was large enough, given the considerable floor space, the lack of a bathtub was curious. The double sinks and marble countertops left plenty of space for our toiletries. The best part of the bathroom: the plush microfiber bathrobes by the Italian manufacturer La Bottega. The executive chef Alexander La Motte, who previously worked at Thomas Keller’s Napa Valley landmark, the French Laundry, and his New York mainstay, Per Se, elevates beach-adjacent dining throughout the property. The airy, market-style cafe Goat Tree offers inspired breakfast entrees such as shakshuka, a Middle Eastern dish of baked eggs. For dinner, a finer dining restaurant, Blackbird, serves artfully plated riffs on Mediterranean fare, like figs with za’atar and burrata. The hotel’s room service menu offers a more standard assortment of burgers, salads and sandwiches. AMENITIES Only one of the hotel’s buildings has a lobby staffed 24/7 (ours was unmanned after dark; key cards unlocked the door to the street). Every room has a flatscreen television, and the hotel provides complimentary Wi-Fi, bottles of water and Nespresso capsules. A small gym on the ground floor of the Californian building has up-to-date machines and can be entered anytime with a key card, and a pool, firepit and pool loungers line the fourth floor rooftop. The Turkishthemed spa on the ground floor offers an array of treatments. H.E. SHEIKHA AL MAYASSA BINT HAMAD BIN KHALIFA AL THANI PAMELA J. JOYNER Chairperson Qatar Museums Board of Trustees Founding Partner Avid Partners, LLC EDWARD DOLMAN OLAFUR ELIASSON C.E.O. Phillips Artist ALMINE RECH-PICASSO DR. TRISTRAM HUNT Founder Almine Rech Gallery Director Victoria and Albert Museum, London MARC GLIMCHER Hotel Californian, 36 State Street, Santa Barbara, Calif., the hotelcalifornian.com Through provocative interviews and riveting discussions, senior New York Times journalists will explore myriad topics, from the impact of economic events on the arts to the outlook for galleries in the era of the mega-dealer, from the future of museums in this technological age to the undiminished fascination with contemporary art, and much more. This invitation-only gathering will take place in Berlin, a city whose story of renaissance and reinvention mirrors the essence of this groundbreaking event. FOUNDING SPONSOR HEADLINE SPONSOR SILVER SPONSOR BRONZE SPONSOR President and C.E.O. Pace Gallery THE BOTTOM LINE A trendy upgrade of the standard California coastal resort, the property straddles the line between downtown hot spot and beachside getaway. With a wide variety of amenities and things to eat, time here is best spent outside the room. This April, The New York Times will convene the new Art Leaders Network, a select group of the world’s most distinguished art experts and influencers—dealers, gallery owners, museum directors, curators, auction executives and collectors—to define and assess the most pressing challenges and opportunities in the industry today. APPLY TO ATTEND ARTLEADERSNETWORK.COM OFFICIAL WINE PARTNER For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Carina Pierre at firstname.lastname@example.org.