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The New York Times 7 November 2017

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BUENOS AIRES
FAKE WEDDINGS,
REAL PARTIES
VIDEO HAZARD
ALARMING CLIPS
ON YOUTUBE KIDS
MICHELLE PFEIFFER
BACK FROM ACTING HIATUS
WITH ‘A LOT MORE TO SAY’
PAGE 3 | WORLD
PAGE 10 | BUSINESS
PAGE 13 | CULTURE
..
INTERNATIONAL EDITION | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017
Saudi prince
consolidates
his power
with purge
Wary China
awaits the
deal-maker
Orville Schell
LONDON
OPINION
With few successes under his belt on
the domestic front, President Trump
has gone to Asia this week hungry to
negotiate deals. In Beijing, he will
meet his match in President Xi Jinping, another bold and pugnacious
nationalist who emerged last month
from a Communist Party Congress
with more power than any Chinese
leader since Mao Zedong.
Chinese-American relations are
increasingly fraught, and with so much
power concentrated in Mr. Xi’s hands,
the only way to forge a better relationship is through a personal connection
at the top, which makes the summit
meeting later this week so important.
Mr. Xi will not be easily pressured
into compromise on Mr. Trump’s terms
on any of the pressing bilateral issues
like North Korea
and trade. And
Mr. Trump
Mr. Trump, who
will find that
has bluntly criticized China and
Xi Jinping
has also praised
won’t be easily
Mr. Xi, has not
pressured into
yet shown the
accepting
kind of long-term
strategic thinkAmerican
ing that this
demands on
relationship
North Korea
demands. Thus, a
or trade.
grand agreement
on this trip is
unlikely. But Mr.
Trump could save the meeting by
agreeing with Mr. Xi to establish a
formal way to work on Chinese-American relations over time.
There are many obstacles to building
stronger ties. An increasingly expansionist Beijing has declared the South
China Sea a sovereign “core interest”
and has clashed with Tokyo over an
island in the East China Sea. The Chinese leadership has quashed hopes for
democratic governance in Hong Kong,
a self-governing Chinese territory, and
bullied South Korea for hosting a missile-defense system supplied by the
United States. China defends protectionist trade and investment policies
that are unfair to American businesses.
On the American side, Mr. Trump
has added to tensions by bluntly criticizing China for its trade practices and
for failing to rein in Kim Jong-un, the
North Korean leader. He has tweeted
that China under Mr. Xi is “taking out
massive amounts of money and wealth
from the U.S.”
But Mr. Trump has also shown characteristic inconsistency about China by
praising Mr. Xi, calling him “a powerful
man” and “a very good person,” adding
admiringly that some now even think
of him as “the king of China.” This
unpredictability could play to Mr.
SCHELL, PAGE 9
In arresting his rivals,
heir to throne signals a
broad shift in governance
BY DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SERGEY PONOMAREV FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Inge Sandven, left, the head of the Dale Hunters’ and Anglers’ Club, and Alv Arne Lyse, a fisheries biologist, landing a fish in the Dale River outside Bergen, Norway.
Pressure on a food staple
SKJERJEHAMN, NORWAY
New regulations to protect
wild Norwegian salmon
could affect farmed supply
BY STEPHEN CASTLE
As a teenager, Ola Braanaas kept a few
fish in an aquarium in his bedroom.
Now, at 55, he keeps a lot more of them:
around 1.2 million in a single windswept
spot off the stunning coast of Norway, a
giant farm with six large, circular structures, each containing around 200,000
fish.
Once a rarity on global dinner tables,
salmon is a staple today, thanks to a fish
farming industry that has expanded at
breakneck speed in recent decades. In
Norway, around 1.18 million metric tons
of salmon were produced in 2016.
But now, Norwegian fish farmers face
new curbs designed to protect the country’s stocks of wild salmon, rules that
have angered both the industry and its
opponents, prompting threats of court
challenges from both sides.
Wild Norwegian salmon are members
of an ancient species that heads downriver early in its life cycle, swimming
through Norway’s famous fjords and out
Processing salmon at Firda Seafood, which operates a farm off Norway with about 1.2
million fish. Farmed salmon are increasing, but wild salmon numbers are sharply down.
to saltwater feeding grounds, before returning to their native rivers to spawn.
In recent years, however, the wild
salmon population has more than
halved, partly because of the spread of
sea lice, parasites that feast on the mucus and skin of the fish before moving on
to the muscle and fat, making the fish
vulnerable to infections and sometimes
killing them. Sea lice, like the salmon,
have existed in the ocean for eons but
have emerged as a huge problem for the
fish farms.
They multiply there in such numbers
that they kill farmed fish and endanger
young wild salmon as they pass the pens
on their way to the open sea.
The lice problem is so bad that the
worldwide supply of salmon on sale, the
overwhelming majority of which is
farmed, fell significantly last year, with
Norway, the largest producer, hit especially hard.
To contain the problem, a system took
effect in Norway on Oct. 15, in which production by farms in regions where wild
salmon are judged to be severely threatened will be frozen and potentially, in future years, cut. If the lice are brought under control, then output can be increased.
Mr. Braanaas, the owner of Firda
Seafood, says that there are already
rules to control the lice and that he will
go to court if he is ordered to reduce production because of problems from other
farms in his region. It is, he says, a “Stasi
system,” a reference to the secret police
of the former East Germany.
Norway’s biggest producer, Marine
Harvest, is also unhappy with the new
protocol, which it describes as premature, and wants more work done on the
methodology used to decide when there
is a lice problem that needs to be addressed.
Environmentalists
seem
unimpressed as well. One group, SalmonCamera, plans to challenge the system
in court, arguing that it is too lenient.
Kurt Oddekalv, leader of the Green Warriors of Norway, says the system is a
SALMON, PAGE 11
A midnight blitz of arrests ordered by
the crown prince of Saudi Arabia over
the weekend has ensnared dozens of its
most influential figures, including 11 of
his royal cousins, in what appeared to be
the most sweeping transformation in
the kingdom’s governance in more than
eight decades.
The arrests, ordered by Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman without formal
charges or any legal process, were
presented as a crackdown on corruption. They caught both the kingdom’s
richest investor, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and the most potent remaining rival
to the crown prince’s power: Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, a favored son of King
Abdullah, who died in 2015.
Prince Mutaib had been removed
from his post as chief of a major security
service just hours before the arrests announced late Saturday night.
All members of the royal family were
barred from leaving the country, American officials tracking the developments
said on Sunday.
With the new detentions, Crown
Prince Mohammed, King Salman’s favored son and key adviser, now appears
to have established control over all three
Saudi security services — the military,
internal security services and national
guard. For decades they had been distributed among branches of the House
of Saud clan to preserve a balance of
power in Saudi Arabia, the Middle
East’s biggest oil producer and an important American ally.
SAUDI ARABIA, PAGE 4
HAMAD I MOHAMMED/REUTERS
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had
11 of his royal cousins arrested.
BRINGING SAUDI CLERICS TO HEEL
The crown prince is curbing the religious authorities’ power in his quest
for a more open brand of Islam. PAGE 4
INVESTORS SIZE UP KINGDOM’S UPHEAVAL
Are the arrests of four Saudi ministers
and 11 princes a reformer’s power play
or a sign of political turmoil? PAGE 10
After ‘Hope,’ artist tries some damage control
LOS ANGELES
Shepard Fairey, creator
of Obama poster, to hold
his biggest gallery show
BY JORI FINKEL
By just about any measure, it has been a
long time since the street artist Shepard
Fairey managed to capture the optimism of Barack Obama’s candidacy in
his “Hope” poster, the stylized portrait
in red, white and blue tones that easily
ranks as the most famous, also ubiquitous, artwork of 2008.
Mr. Fairey’s oldest daughter, then 2
years old, is now almost a teenager. The
“Hope” image became the subject of a
copyright infringement lawsuit by The
Associated Press that was both expensive and embarrassing for the artist. Mr.
Fairey, who is 47, has since gone on to
create art for activist movements like
Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter
Y(1J85IC*KKNMKS( +?!"!$!&!\
JAKE MICHAELS FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
The street artist Shepard Fairey in his studio in Los Angeles. The telephone booth is
part of a mock newsstand installation in “Damaged,” his upcoming show.
and the Women’s March.
And now “Damaged” — his biggest
gallery show yet, with about 200 new
paintings, prints and illustrations made
since 2015 — is set to open on Saturday
in a Chinatown warehouse, the same
day a documentary on the artist has its
premiere on Hulu. The mood of the exhibition: What happens when hope gets
trampled but not killed.
“Our approach to the environment is
damaged, our political system is damaged and our communication with each
other — especially through social media
— is deteriorating,” Mr. Fairey said, ticking off themes in his new work. “But this
show is not all about me being angry and
apocalyptic; I’m trying to diagnose
problems and move forward.”
You could call it an attempt at damage
control, something Mr. Fairey knows
about firsthand. As the Hulu documentary by James Moll shows, Mr. Fairey
has gone from great heights to dramatic
lows in the last decade. He has risen
from cult figure to cultural reference
point on “The Simpsons” to committing
ART, PAGE 2
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ICE CUBE
Issue Number
No. 41,882
..
2 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
page two
The making of Mexico’s crime crisis
All candidates are selected by the
party, and officials serve one term before being shuffled off to another post.
During the one-party era, this was
meant to impose accountability, which
flowed from party leadership. Oversight
institutions, seen as superfluous, never
fully developed.
Democracy, as intended, undercut the
party’s once all-encompassing power.
But the old system built around the assumption of a strong central authority
remains in place.
This has weakened the state while cementing many of its old problems, creating what Ms. Langston called a “nightmare scenario” in which “the institutions of accountability and transparency are extraordinarily weak even after
17 years of democracy.”
The combination of corruption, weak
accountability and weak institutions has
left the state vulnerable. In poor and rural areas, it has effectively receded.
Criminal groups and youth gangs are
filling the void, co-opting local officials
or simply muscling them out.
The result may be less dramatic than
Mr. Calderón’s drug war, in which warring cartels publicly displayed dismembered corpses. But it is just as deadly,
playing out in thousands of home invasions, gang killings and stickups gone
wrong.
THE INTERPRETER
MEXICO CITY
Missteps and bad breaks
over past 20 years have
led to a national disaster
BY MAX FISHER
AND AMANDA TAUB
The forces driving violence in Mexico,
which is now on track for its worst year
in decades, were first set in motion 20
years ago by two events that were, at the
time, celebrated as triumphs.
First, Colombia defeated its major
drug cartels in the 1990s, driving the
center of the drug trade from the country into Mexico.
Then, in 2000, Mexico transitioned to
a multiparty democracy.
This meant that the drug trade moved
to Mexico just as its politics and institutions were in flux, leaving them unable
to address a problem they have often
made worse.
Since then, a series of bad breaks,
missteps and self-imposed crises have
led to an explosion of violence. Last year
there were more than 20,000 killings.
This year is on track to be worse, exceeding the 2011 record, which was
thought to be the drug war’s apex.
“Drug trafficking is not this violent in
other countries,” Guillermo Valdés, a
former leader of CISEN, the civil national security intelligence service, said
in an interview in Mexico City.
“It makes me desperate,” he said,
shaking his head at his country’s missteps, “because this violence, it’s increasing.”
STATE AND SOCIETY ATOMIZE
EXTREME MEASURES
In 2006, a new president and a new drug
cartel both took extreme actions, the
consequences of which are still unfolding.
The implosion of Colombian cartels
set off a fierce competition in Mexico for
control of the drug trade. A new cartel,
La Familia Michoacána, broke off from a
larger group, then cemented its power
by deploying extreme, theatrical violence. Though they principally targeted
other cartels, the gruesome attacks
shocked Mexico.
That same year, Felipe Calderón won
the presidency by a hair. Though monitors approved the vote, his leftist opponent called it illegitimate, and the narrow victory for Mr. Calderón left him
without a strong mandate.
Shortly after taking office, the new
president declared war on the cartels
and sent in the military.
Critics say Mr. Calderón sought to le-
RODRIGO CRUZ FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Police officers detaining a man during a night patrol in Tecomán, Mexico. The country had more than 20,000 killings last year, and this year is on track to be worse.
gitimize his presidency through the
show of force.
Defenders say he had little alternative. Mexico had been a single-party
state and, like most such states, had controlled local officials through patronage
and corruption. When that system disappeared, drug cartels filled the vacuum, buying off mayors and judges.
Only the military had the firepower and
autonomy to take them on.
This began the drug war that has
killed tens of thousands of people. But it
also created a subtler set of problems
now driving more and broader violence.
SHORT-TERM SOLUTIONS
Mr. Calderón adopted the so-called kingpin strategy, in which troops captured or
killed cartel leaders. This generated
headlines, pleased the United States
and could be accomplished top-down,
with little input from corrupt or weak local law enforcement. But this short-term
solution to the drug war deepened longterm problems.
In bypassing mayors and governors
because Mexico’s pre-democratic practices had left them systemically corrupt
and unaccountable, the government further reduced their accountability.
And in bypassing already weak local
police and judges, the government allowed those institutions to atrophy, with
money and political attention diverted
to military and federal forces instead.
Reforms, desperately needed to fix
outdated practices — 24-hour police
shifts, poor evidentiary standards, a
rule that forbids most police officers
from conducting investigations —
drifted.
As the kingpin strategy fractured the
cartels, smaller groups rose in their
place.
Since then, said Alejandro Hope, a security analyst, “there has been a significant change in the way organized crime
works in Mexico.”
Drug trafficking required resources
and infrastructure that the new groups
lacked, leading many to turn to kidnapping, theft and extortion. Predatory
crimes spiked.
Ordinary Mexicans, once bystanders
to the conflict, became its targets at a
moment when the state had left them
vulnerable.
“In the process of that fragmentation,
we didn’t do the job of structuring the in-
stitutions of the police forces,” said Mr.
Valdés, who ran the civil national security intelligence service as this was unfolding. “So we have the worst of the
worst.”
ACCOUNTABILITY ISSUES
The solution to the problem would seem
obvious. Strong police and prosecutors,
overseen by politicians who are held accountable by voters, could close the vacuum in which gangs and corrupt officials flourish.
Instead, disorder and violence have
risen.
Joy Langston, a political scientist at
the Center for Research and Teaching in
Economics in Mexico City, traces many
of the country’s woes to a seemingly minor quirk in its political system.
This is leading communities to do, at the
grass-roots level, what Mr. Calderón did
a decade earlier: bypass distrusted institutions, worsening the underlying
problem.
Businesses and middle-class Mexicans are hiring private security in
record numbers. But like the Army,
hired guards cannot solve crimes or lock
up suspects.
Mark Ungar, a Brooklyn College professor, said this growing practice “relieves a lot of political pressure on the
state to improve the police.”
Rural communities, which are more
vulnerable, have formed “self-defense”
militias to run off gangs and mayors
alike.
Inevitably, the militias are even more
corruptible and less accountable than
the police they replaced. Nearly all target their onetime sponsors for extortion,
robbery and kidnapping. Many are involved in the heroin trade, which is
booming as opioid addiction drives up
American demand.
In a disturbing trend, desperate and
frightened communities increasingly
seek at least the illusion of security by
lynching suspected criminals.
Mr. Ungar said these expressions of
vigilantism “represent a disempowerment of the state.”
After ‘Hope,’ and lawsuit, artist tries some damage control
ART, FROM PAGE 1
what he now calls his biggest blunder
during the course of the A.P. lawsuit
when he lied to his lawyers about exactly which A.P. photograph he used as
the source of the “Hope” image and deleted files from his computer to cover up
the truth.
So on top of settling the A.P. lawsuit in
2011 for an undisclosed amount, he
ended up paying $25,000 in fines and
serving a two-year probation for federal
charges of tampering with evidence.
Now, in the film, he is issuing his most
public mea culpa, calling his lapse of
judgment “the first time I felt so overwhelmed that I did something cowardly.”
During a recent interview at his studio north of downtown, where shelves
were lined with spray paint cans and
work tables were piled with stencils, Mr.
Fairey explained, “I just panicked. I
acted out of fear and vulnerability.” He
added, “But I never lied under oath or in
a deposition — I came forward to my
lawyers first.”
His own sense of injustice has shaped
many of his new, politically loaded artworks. Some take on the current administration’s efforts to restrict the flow of
immigrants from certain countries. Others focus on what he sees as continuing
Wall Street excesses and destructive environmental policies. He has also
produced a newspaper for the show
called “The Damaged Times,” containing his own art and fake ads, alongside
articles he commissioned. The logo
looks like it has been sliced with a razor
blade.
Still, much of the new work looks surprisingly friendly. Some mixed media
paintings use rich blue and gold colors,
not just his previous, propaganda-style
palette of red and black. They incorporate floral patterns, not just news clippings. And they feature stylized or idealized images of women — African-American, Mexican-American, Asian-American or Middle Eastern — that he hopes
will drive home the point of the show.
“As angry as I am, I think that in times
of division, scapegoating and hatefulness, it’s important to look for common
humanity,” he said. “I think respecting
human dignity is really punk rock right
now.”
Wearing a black T-shirt that says
“obey” above a gnarly face (a 2002 de-
“Big Brother (Black),” from 2017, an
artwork in the new show.
Mr. Fairey is known for his use of stencils
and spray paint.
sign from his Obey Clothing line), Mr.
Fairey was flipping through a pile of acetate film sheets, called rubyliths, on
which he creates his illustrations, carving them out with a stencil knife before
screen printing. One shows a Coca-Cola
bottle, the cursive lettering of its logo replaced with the words “Crude Oil” — a
classic gesture by Mr. Fairey, who has
often riffed on print advertising. “Within
the art world, I get accused of being too
obvious,” he quipped. “Within my world,
I get accused of being too mysterious.”
Some of these images also appear in a
30-foot-long painting called “Wrong
Path.” A woman with a sultry look in a
bejeweled turban looms above a placard
that reads: “Welcome Visitors! With a
few exceptions!” The composition, he
says, is mainly about “xenophobia and
the contrast between encouraging tourism and discouraging immigration.” The
piece consists of 12 canvases arranged
together.
Why not make it as a single piece? “It
will function as one huge piece in the
show,” he said, “but it’s difficult to place
a piece that large in someone’s collection.”
Many see such attention to sales and
merchandising as a central fault line in
the career of Frank Shepard Fairey, who
began adapting his drawings for Tshirts and skateboard lines after graduating from the Rhode Island School of
Design in 1992.
disobedience,” he said. The images
caught on and helped him land him his
first solo show at CBGB gallery in the
’90s. Jeffrey Deitch, who gave him a solo
show in 2010 at Deitch Projects, calls the
Obey campaign prescient. “What might
have seemed cartoony or fun at first,”
Mr. Deitch said, has grown into “something serious that feels especially relevant today — with a very important
message about an encroaching authoritarianism.”
Mr. Alonzo, the curator, calls the artist’s sticker campaign “pioneering,”
adding that it offered Mr. Fairey “a
means to produce, disseminate and promote” his own images in the public
sphere before “the viral dissemination
of imagery we associate with 21st-century social media.”
As a result of his street campaigns Mr.
Fairey has been arrested 18 times for
vandalism or related charges. He extended his left palm to reveal a scar near
his wrist. He said it was from handcuffs
fastened so tight in 2003 that they dug
into his flesh.
He mentioned plans for a small mural
on the back of the Chinatown building
and a billboard inside it. But he would
not say whether he is planning any unauthorized work in the streets.
“Based on my experience,” he said,
choosing his words carefully, “that’s a
question I would be smart not to answer.”
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAKE MICHAELS FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Printouts of Mr. Fairey’s illustrations. As his popularity has grown, his reputation within the street art community has suffered.
As his mainstream popularity has
grown, his reputation within the street
art community has suffered. “Shepard
has had rock-star success, and part of
the community that prides itself as indie, counterculture and anti-establishment feels betrayed that he’s become so
successful,” said Pedro Alonzo, who cocurated the artist’s 2009 retrospective
for the ICA Boston.
“When I did the Obama poster,” Mr.
Fairey was quick to admit, “I gained a
new audience and lost a lot of the old. I
was seen as sucking up to the evil system.”
He has even been accused of profiting
from his critique of capitalism. His response was sharp: “Do you want me to
work in a cafe saving my tips for two
years and not facilitate these things, so
you can cling to some romantic idea of
sacrifice?”
Later, more calmly, he added: “I’m doing things that I feel are ethically consis-
tent with the issues I care about. I’m
working hard to support the right
causes, treat my employees well and not
be greedy.”
Mr. Fairey has donated money from
the sales of his recent prints to Black
Lives Matter, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Amplifier. He has also
pledged 10 percent from the sales of specific paintings in the new show to these
groups. (Mr. Fairey’s artworks are
priced up to $100,000.)
He pointed out that he has built plenty
of giveaways into the “Damaged” show,
organized by the Detroit gallery Library
Street Collective. He is setting up a letterpress printer to make free copies of
six artworks on select days. A set of
lithographs made from stencil images
will also be free for the taking — another
small disruption to the normal workings
of the art market.
Flaunting the rules has been one of
his favorite sports from the start. Born
and raised in Charleston, S.C., where his
father is a family physician, he fell for
the rebellious attitude of punk music
and skateboarding culture while a teenager. (He took the title “Damaged” from
the 1981 Black Flag album.)
In 1989, still in college, he created his
first meme-worthy artwork: a sticker
showing the wrestler André René Roussimoff, known as Andre the Giant. It
read: “Andre the Giant has a posse.” He
plastered them throughout the streets of
New York, Providence, R.I., and other
cities.
Compactly built, Mr. Fairey looks like
he could have been a wrestler in high
school, but he had no interest in the
sport. He was drawn to the sheer weirdness of the Andre image, which he later
developed into an abstracted face.
He began using the commands
“OBEY” and “OBEY GIANT” in stickers
and posters, hoping to incite “feelings of
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.
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..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017 | 3
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
World
Looks like a wedding, but why is the cake plastic?
BUENOS AIRES JOURNAL
BUENOS AIRES
Argentine couples eschew
marriage, but fake rites
are a good excuse for a party
BY MAURICIO LIMA
On a Saturday night here in Argentina’s
capital, hundreds of guests turned out
for what might have been the wedding of
the season. The bride and groom were
all decked out. So were the witnesses,
family and friends.
But the altar was actually a stage. The
priest’s questions to the couple were not
quite what one would hear in a church.
The wedding rings were inflatable, the
cake plastic and the Bible oversize. It
was all a bit burlesque.
This was no ordinary wedding. In fact,
it was no wedding at all, but a “falsa
boda” in Spanish, or “fake wedding,” and
a good excuse for a party.
In case there was any doubt, as the
couple (hired actors) left the stage, colored lights flashed, the disc jockey
started the music pumping, and the announcement was made to the paying
guests: “The wedding is fake, but the
party is real.”
“The purpose of the ‘falsa boda’ is to
convey joy and fun and live the happy
moments related to love, without having
to fall into the traditional ritual of what a
marriage is,” explained Nacho Bottinelli, 30, one of the organizers.
Mr. Bottinelli said he and some
friends came up with the idea about four
years ago while living in La Plata, a city
just south of the capital.
Real weddings have been on the decline in Buenos Aires — less than half of
what they were about 20 years ago — as
couples are simply living together or
waiting longer to marry.
When they do wed, they do not necessarily want a traditional church ceremony. In 2014, a Pew Research survey
found only 20 percent of Argentines
went to church regularly, one of the lowest figures in the region.
But Argentines still love a wedding.
Mr. Bottinelli and his friends grew
tired of waiting for someone in their cir-
MAURICIO LIMA FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Top left, Veronica Pacenza, who played a groom’s grandmother at a fake wedding event in Buenos Aires, had makeup applied to appear older than her 26 years. Bottom left, partygoers paused for a selfie. Right, Federico
Stegmayer, an actor who played a groom in one of two fake wedding ceremonies at the event, removed the garter of Victoria Alcorta, the actress who played his bride.
cle of friends to marry to be able to celebrate. “What if we create a fake wedding?” he recalled them asking.
The fake wedding is telling of the social paradox of a country that remains
traditional, and overwhelmingly culturally Roman Catholic, even as the divorce
rate hovers around 50 percent and civil
unions become accepted.
The spoof is at once a nod to tradition
and a subversion of it. It has also become a thriving business. The events
are successful enough that Mr. Bottinelli
and his friends now stage them in
Buenos Aires about once a month,
sometimes more.
They have recently taken them on the
road to other major Argentine cities as
well as to Uruguay, with plans to expand
to Chile, Mexico and the United States.
At the events, Mr. Bottinelli explained, they can take or leave whatever
they want from a typical wedding. Not
surprisingly, they kept the fun parts.
Fight over treaty rights
OVER THE HART RIVER,
YUKON TERRITORY
Case on Canada watershed
tests country’s agreements
with its indigenous groups
BY DAN LEVIN
The indigenous groups thought they
had reached a deal: A vast landscape in
the north of Yukon Territory would be
mostly set aside for preservation, with
only a small percentage allotted to industrial development.
But then the Yukon government decided to push aside this recommendation agreed to by a joint government-indigenous commission.
Instead, it favored more development
in the wilderness, which has huge deposits of coal, gas and minerals, including 18 billion tons of iron ore claimed by
Chevron, the American petroleum giant.
Now the 26,000 square miles of the
Peel Watershed — an area larger than
West Virginia where mountain sheep
graze on the sides of snow-capped
peaks, and grizzlies and wolves hunt
caribou and moose along the banks of
six pristine rivers — is at the heart of a
case before Canada’s Supreme Court.
Its resolution could not only dictate
the future of the watershed, but also redefine the legal relationship between indigenous people and the country’s provincial and territorial governments under treaties they have signed in recent
decades.
“Once governments get a treaty, they
tend to tinker with it and ignore promises they made,” said Gordon Christie, a
professor of aboriginal law at the University of British Columbia. “What is the
remedy if a government doesn’t live up
to terms of a treaty? That’s the big question.”
The original agreement to protect 80
percent of the watershed from industrial
development resulted from seven years
of study by the joint indigenous-government commission, formed as part of a
land-use planning process laid out in 30year-old treaties between indigenous
groups and the Yukon government.
The modern treaties, known officially
as final agreements, were supposed to
give three indigenous groups, known as
First Nations, in the Yukon a voice in deciding the fate of the watershed, one of
the largest stretches of wilderness left in
North America.
The government says the recommendation from the commission is simply
that — a recommendation and not binding.
But the First Nations say the treaties
are meaningless unless the recommendation is upheld. At stake, they say, is
how much influence Canada’s original
inhabitants will have over land and natural resources in their traditional territories.
They also say that to allow the Yukon
government to renegotiate the plan
would undermine the spirit of reconciliation, one of Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau’s goals in building a new relationship with Canada’s 1.4 million aboriginal people, who face disproportionately high levels of poverty, incarceration and violence.
“It would destroy the faith of First Nations in these modern treaties if the government can just go back and start over
and even then can reject the whole
thing,” said Thomas Berger, a lawyer
who represents the First Nations and
environmental groups.
The Yukon government argues that
the territory’s elected officials should
have the final say over the region’s future.
The case has drawn widespread attention from industry groups and environmentalists.
“Mother Nature has given us many
gifts, beautiful rivers, the land they flow
AARON VINCENT ELKAIM FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
The fate of Peel Watershed in the Yukon Territory is part of a case that will decide how
much influence Canada’s original inhabitants will have over their traditional territories.
through, the mountains and the trees
that we can see, but we should not forget
that she also gave us minerals that allow
us to live in a modern society,” Mike
Burke, the president of the Yukon
Chamber of Mines, said in a statement.
“Removal of large areas of land to mineral exploration will never allow us to
make proper land use decisions.”
Environmentalists say that Canada’s
legal system is flawed, because it ends
up favoring resource extraction.
Nobody has lived in the watershed for
generations. But Jimmy Johnny, 72, a
member of the Na-Cho Nyak Dun First
Nation, and many other indigenous people have long traveled there to hunt.
“The Peel is our heritage, and we
want it to be protected for the generations that come after us,” said Mr.
Johnny, whose First Nation is one of the
plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
Sitting in his kitchen in the town of
Mayo, he pulled out a large map of the
wilderness and pointed to the dozens of
traditional indigenous campsites, trails,
hunting grounds and burial sites that he
knew intimately during his 52-year-career as a hunting guide in the watershed.
Then he brought out a large bag of
dried caribou horn lichen he had collected in the watershed, along with a
container of golden medicinal tea made
from the vegetation.
“I’m tired of the government destroying our history and culture, but they
don’t listen to us,” he said, after taking a
long drink of the tea. “That’s why we
went to court.”
Two lower courts ruled that by ignoring the commission’s recommendation
the government had violated rights
guaranteed under the treaties. They disagreed, though, over whether the government could renegotiate for a different deal.
By the time the case reached Canada’s
Supreme Court in the spring, the territory had elected a new government. In
its court filings, the new administration
asked to renegotiate the original plan.
And with an eye on other parts of Yukon that have yet to go through the planning process, the government also argued that it should retain the right to reject the final outcome.
“The Supreme Court could decide
that not only are governments legally
bound by the terms of modern treaties
but also that they can’t count on getting
a second chance if they breach those obligations,” said Martin Olszynski, an environmental law professor at the University of Calgary.
The Supreme Court’s decision, expected soon, will have an impact far beyond Yukon.
“If we win, it will be a huge victory for
First Nations across Canada,” said Simon Mervyn, chief of the Na-Cho Nyak
Dun. “The ruling will set a national
precedent for how our final agreements
are interpreted.”
Over the course of the evening, which
stretched until 6 a.m., there were two
wedding rehearsals and two ceremonies, each with an exchange of bogus
vows. The actors who were the bride
and groom in the first wedding played
witnesses in the second, and vice versa.
Backstage, the actors changed roles
and had their hair and makeup done,
with special attention paid to Veronica
Pacenza, 26, who played the groom’s
grandmother.
Soon the guests, who had each paid
about $35 to attend, began to arrive.
Some took souvenir photos in an inflatable booth near the entrance. Then they
made their way to an open bar.
The ceremony itself is short and salty
(rather than sweet), allowing guests to
get on with the party. The entertainment
includes two bands and a D. J.
The ritual of placing a garter on the
bride also gets a twist, with 10 single
women and 10 single men from the
crowd invited to also give it a try.
And what wedding party would be
complete without the bride tossing the
bouquet? (In this case, she was Laura
Montini, 35, an actress.)
A crowd rushed forward. A euphoric
woman caught it. Which could only
mean she might be the next to marry.
Or not.
Palko Karasz contributed reporting from
London.
..
4 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
world
Prince consolidates
his power with purge
SAUDI ARABIA, FROM PAGE 1
In the same stroke, the crown prince
has cowed businessmen and royals
across the kingdom by taking down the
undisputed giant of Saudi finance. And
over the last several weeks he has ordered enough high-profile arrests of intellectuals and clerics to frighten the remainder of the academic and religious
establishment into acceding to his will.
Apolitical scholars who used to speak
freely in cafes now look nervously over
their shoulders, as Crown Prince Mohammed has achieved a degree of dominance that no ruler has attained for generations.
“It is the coup de grâce of the old system,” said Chas W. Freeman, a former
United States ambassador. “Gone. All
power has now been concentrated in the
hands of Mohammed bin Salman.”
Why the crown prince acted now —
whether to eliminate future opposition
or perhaps to crush some threat he saw
brewing — was not immediately clear.
At 32 years old, he had little experience in government before his father,
King Salman, 81, ascended to the throne
in 2015, and the prince has demonstrated little patience for the previously staid
pace of change in the kingdom.
He has led Saudi Arabia into a protracted military conflict in Yemen and a
bitter feud with its Persian Gulf neighbor Qatar. He has taken on a business
elite accustomed to state subsidies and
profligacy by laying out radical plans to
remake the Saudi economy, lessen its
dependence on oil and rely instead on
foreign investment. And he has squared
off against conservatives in the religious
establishment with symbolic steps to
loosen strict moral codes, including a
pending end to the longstanding ban on
women driving.
Crown Prince Mohammed’s haste,
however, may now come at a price, because the lack of transparency or due
process surrounding the anticorruption
“It is the coup de grâce of the old
system. Gone. All power has now
been concentrated.”
crackdown is sure to unnerve the same
private investors he hopes to attract —
including through a planned stock offering of the state oil company, Aramco.
Saudi Arabian businessmen and royals anxious about the crown prince’s
plans were quietly moving assets out of
the country even before the arrests.
“Some of these are businessmen with
international status, and if they are
caught in this web then it could happen
to anyone,” said James M. Dorsey, who
studies Saudi Arabia at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in
Singapore. “How is that going to inspire
confidence and attract foreign investment?”
The Saudi Arabian news media, however, celebrated the arrests as a longawaited cleanup, appealing to populist
resentment of self-enrichment enjoyed
by the sprawling royal family and its
closest allies.
Almost everyone in the capital, Riyadh, and other big cities like Jidda has
heard stories about princes absconding
with vast sums that had been allocated
for a public project.
The arrests are “a frontal assault on
some members of the royal family and
the impunity with which they have operated in the past,” said Bernard Haykel, a
professor at Princeton University who
studies Saudi Arabia.
“It was something that had to be
done,” he said, even though the absence
of a judicial process “sends a chill down
the spine of foreign investors.”
President Trump on Sunday appeared to give a tacit endorsement of the
arrests in a phone call with King
Salman. A White House summary of the
call contained no references to the arrests, and said Mr. Trump had praised
Crown Prince Mohammed for other
matters.
Three White House advisers, including the president’s son-in-law, Jared
Kushner, returned just days ago from
the latest of at least three high-level
Trump administration visits to Saudi
Arabia this year.
Nearly 24 hours after the arrests were
announced, no Saudi authority or
spokesman had identified those arrested or the charges against them.
The Saudi-owned satellite network Al
Arabiya reported only that a large number of arrests, including 11 princes, had
been ordered by an “anticorruption
committee” that just hours earlier had
been formed under the direction of
Crown Prince Mohammed. A royal decree granted the committee powers to
detain individuals or seize assets without any trial, process or disclosure.
A list of those arrested began circulating over social media shortly after midnight Sunday, and by Sunday evening
senior government officials were reposting the list. News organizations
around the region were reporting its
contents without contradiction by either
the Saudi government or individuals.
In the case of the most politically potent of the detainees, the former security chief Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, the
Saudi government appeared on Sunday
to have started a social media campaign
seeking to make him the new face of
public corruption.
Analysts said the list appeared to reflect individuals with a reputation for
self-enrichment and those representing
rival power centers within the kingdom.
Others on the list included the power
broker who once ran the royal court under King Abdullah, and the owner of one
of the biggest private media companies
in the region.
But another was a top aide to Crown
Prince Mohammed himself — Adel
Fakeih — who had been considered a
driving force behind the ambitious program of economic reform, leaving analysts puzzled about the motives.
In what appeared to be an unrelated
episode, a helicopter carrying another
Saudi royal, Prince Mansur bin Muqrin,
the deputy governor of Asir Province,
which borders Yemen, crashed on Sunday, killing the prince along with a number of other officials. Al Arabiya, which
reported the crash in a brief dispatch,
did not identify the cause.
The history of the house of Saud was
sometimes punctuated by violent intrafamily strife in the decades before the
founding of the modern dynasty, in 1932.
Since then, the family has maintained its
unity in part by spreading its top government roles and vast oil wealth
among branches of the sprawling clan.
Most important was the division of the
three main security services, which constitute the hard power on the ground.
King Salman, however, quickly
named his favorite son, Mohammed, as
his defense minister, chief of the royal
court, a top economic adviser and deputy crown prince. Then, this June, the
king removed his nephew, Mohammed
bin Nayef, from his position as crown
prince and his powerful role of interior
minister in charge of the internal security forces, secret police and counterterrorism operations. Evidently anxious to
forestall resistance, the king also placed
the demoted nephew under house arrest. A campaign of leaks spread rumors
that he had become addicted to
painkillers and other drugs.
It was unclear why the crackdown
targeted Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who
is best known for his past and present
investments in brand-name Western
companies including Twitter, News Corporation, Apple and the Four Seasons.
Prince Alwaleed has been a vocal supporter of the crown prince’s plans to attract outside investors to Saudi Arabia.
But when a committee of 34 senior family members — known as the allegiance
council — approved Prince Mohammed’s elevation to crown prince, one of
the three dissenters was from Prince Alwaleed’s branch of the family, the Talals,
according to people familiar with the
voting.
Michael Stephens, who studies Saudi
Arabia at the Royal United Services Institute in London, recalled the bloody
purges other leaders in the region have
sometimes used to eliminate rivals.
What Crown Prince Mohammed was
doing, Mr. Stephens said, “is a more genteel way of making sure there are no
challenges to your power.”
Time will tell, Mr. Stephens said,
whether the arrests signal a slide into
despotism or “whether we will look back
and say Mohammed bin Salman is the
one guy who saw the wall coming and
managed to hurdle it.”
Reporting was contributed by Declan
Walsh from Cairo, Neil MacFarquhar
from Moscow, Nicholas Kulish from New
York, Eric Schmitt from Washington and
Mark Landler from Tokyo.
TASNEEM ALSULTAN FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center, appears to now have control over all
three Saudi security services — the military, internal security and national guard.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY TASNEEM ALSULTAN FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Worshipers entering a mosque in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Dozens of clerics have been detained, while others were designated to speak publicly about respect for other religions.
Bringing Saudi clerics to heel
BURAIDA, SAUDI ARABIA
Crown prince is taming
religious establishment in
quest for more tolerance
BY BEN HUBBARD
For decades, Saudi Arabia’s religious establishment wielded tremendous power,
with bearded enforcers policing public
behavior, prominent sheikhs defining
right and wrong, and religious associations using the kingdom’s oil wealth to
promote their intolerant interpretation
of Islam around the world.
Now, Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman is curbing their power as part of
his drive to impose his control on the
kingdom and press for a more open
brand of Islam.
Before the arrests on Saturday of his
fellow royals and former ministers on
corruption allegations, Prince Mohammed had stripped the religious police of
their arrest powers and expanded the
space for women in public life, including
promising them the right to drive.
Dozens of hard-line clerics have been
detained, while others were designated
to speak publicly about respect for other
religions, a topic once anathema to the
kingdom’s religious apparatus.
If the changes take hold, they could
mean a historic reordering of the Saudi
state by diminishing the role of hard-line
clerics in shaping policy. That shift could
reverberate abroad by moderating the
exportation of the kingdom’s uncompromising version of Islam, Wahhabism,
which has been accused of fueling intolerance and terrorism.
Bringing the religious establishment
to heel is also a crucial part of the
prince’s efforts to take the traditional
levers of Saudi power under his control.
The arrests on Saturday appeared to
cripple potential rivals within the royal
family and send a warning to the business community to toe the line.
Prince Mohammed has taken control
of the country’s three main security
forces, and now is corralling the powerful religious establishment.
As evidence of that, the kingdom’s
chief religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, endorsed the arrests over
the weekend, saying that Islamic law
“instructs us to fight corruption and our
national interests requires it.”
The 32-year-old crown prince outlined his religious goals at a recent investment conference in Riyadh, saying
the kingdom needed a “moderate, balanced Islam that is open to the world
and to all religions and all traditions and
peoples.”
But such top-down changes will face
huge challenges in a deeply conservative society steeped in the idea that
Saudi Arabia’s religious strictures set it
apart from the rest of the world as a land
of unadulterated Islam. Enforcing those
changes will also require overhauling
the state’s sprawling religious bureaucracy, many of whose employees fear
that the kingdom is forsaking its principles.
“For sure, it does not make me comfortable,” a government cleric in Buraida, a conservative city north of Riyadh, said of the new acceptance of gender mixing and music at public events.
“Anything that has sin in it, anything
that angers the Almighty — it’s a problem.”
The government has tried to silence
such sentiments by arresting clerics
Top, women chatting in a Riyadh restaurant. The Saudi government has promised
women the right to drive next June. Above, men gathering to pray in a Riyadh square.
and warning members of the religious
police not to speak publicly about the
loss of their powers, according to their
relatives.
All clerics interviewed for this article
spoke on the condition of anonymity for
fear that they, too, would be arrested for
breaking with the government line.
“They did a pre-emptive strike,” one
cleric said of the arrests. “All those who
thought about saying no to the government got arrested.”
He acknowledged that many conservatives have reservations about the new
direction but would go along, in part because Saudi Islam emphasizes obedience to the ruler.
“It’s not like they held a referendum
and said, ‘Do you want to go this way or
that way?’ ” he said. “But in the end,
people go through the door that you
open for them.”
The clerics have long been subservient to the royal family, but their independence has eroded as they became
government functionaries and have
been forced to accept — and at times
sanction — policies they disliked, like
the arrival of American troops, whom
they considered infidels, during the Gulf
War in 1990.
“In a sense, Mohammed bin Salman is
trying to fight with a religious establishment that is already weakened,” said
Stéphane Lacroix, a scholar of political
Islam at Sciences Po, or the Paris Institute of Political Studies. “Most of the
Wahhabi clerics are not happy with
what is happening, but preserving the
alliance with the monarchy is what matters most. They have much more to lose
by protesting.”
The alliance of the clerics and the
royal family dates to the founding of the
Saudi dynasty in the 1700s. Since then,
the royal family governed with guidance
from the clerics, who legitimized their
rule.
The alliance persisted through the
foundation of the modern Saudi state by
the crown prince’s grandfather in 1932,
giving the kingdom its strict Islamic
character. Women shroud their bodies in
black gowns, shops close periodically
throughout the day for prayer, alcohol is
forbidden and grave crimes are punished by beheading.
Public observance of any religion
other than Islam is banned, and clerics
run the justice system, which hands
down harsh punishments like floggings
and prison for crimes like disobeying
one’s father and apostasy.
Human rights groups say the kingdom’s textbooks still promote intolerance, and conservatives in the education ministry pass their views along to
students.
While the prohibition on the mixing of
unrelated men and women is starting to
change, gender segregation remains the
norm.
Crown Prince Mohammed, who rose
to prominence after his father became
king in 2015, has shown little deference
to the traditional religious establishment while spearheading an unprecedented social opening.
When the government took arrest
powers away from the religious police
last year, many Saudis were so shocked
that they suspected it was not real. That
change paved the way for new entertainment options, including concerts
and dance performances.
In addition to promising women the
right to drive next June, the government
has named women to high-profile jobs
and announced that it would allow them
to enter soccer stadiums, another blow
to the ban on mixing of the sexes.
In pushing such reforms, Crown
Prince Mohammed is betting the kingdom’s large youth population cares
more about entertainment and economic opportunities than religious
dogma.
Many young Saudis have cheered the
new direction, and would love to see the
clerics banished from public life. But the
changes have shocked conservatives.
“Society in general at this time is very
scared,” said another cleric in Buraida.
“They feel that the issue is negative. It
will push women into society. That is
what is in their minds, that it is not right
and that it will bring more corruption
than benefits.”
Like other clerics, he saw no religious
reason to bar women from driving but
said he was against changing the status
of women in ways that he said violated
Islamic law.
“They want her to dance. They want
her to go to the cinema. They want her to
uncover her face. They want her to show
her legs and thighs. That is liberal
thought,” he said. “It is a corrupting
ideology.”
Still, some find the recent moves encouraging.
“If they have to take serious measures to stamp out the uglier parts of
Salafism that permeate Islam around
the world, it could be on the whole quite
a good thing,” said Cole Bunzel, a fellow
in the Program on Extremism at George
Washington University.
But a cleric who works in education in
Riyadh said he worried that pushing the
conservatives too far could drive the
most extreme ones underground, where
they could be drawn to violence.
Precedents for such blowback dot
Saudi history.
In 1979, extremists who accused the
royal family of being insufficiently Islamic seized the Grand Mosque in
Mecca, shocking the Muslim world. Later, Osama bin Laden founded Al Qaeda
after breaking with Saudi Arabia over
its reliance on Western troops for protection.
More recently, thousands of Saudis
have joined the Islamic State group for
similar reasons.
But precedents also exist of clerics
adopting changes they initially condemned.
Many fought the introduction of television; now, they have their own satellite channels. Others resisted education
for girls; they now send their daughters
to school.
One cleric said he had not wanted his
wife and daughters to have cellphones
at first either, but later changed his
mind. The same could happen with driving.
“With time, if society sees that the decision is positive and safe, they will accept it,” he said.
Karam Shoumali contributed reporting
from Istanbul.
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017 | 5
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
world
In Japan, Trump links
trade with security
TOKYO
President says that Tokyo
will buy ‘massive amounts’
of U.S. military equipment
BY MARK LANDLER
AND JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRYAN DENTON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Hai Pao, a World War II-era vessel that represents a quarter of the island’s submarine fleet, at Zuoying Naval Base in southern Taiwan in October.
Taiwan’s lagging military
ZUOYING NAVAL BASE, TAIWAN
China’s rapid overhaul
of its armed forces tilts
balance against the island
BY STEVEN LEE MYERS
AND CHRIS HORTON
The Hai Pao, one of Taiwan’s four navy
submarines, began its service as the
Tusk, an American vessel launched in
August 1945 at the end of World War II.
Its sister submarine, the Hai Shih, is a
year older. Neither can fire torpedoes today, though they can still lay mines.
The submarines, said Feng Shihkuan, Taiwan’s minister of national defense, “belong in a museum.”
The Hai Pao — with its paint-encrusted pipes, antiquated engines and a
brass dial with a needle to measure
speed in knots — will instead remain in
service past its 80th birthday, a relic of a
military that once was one of Asia’s most
formidable. Taiwan’s aging submarine
fleet is but one measure of how far the
military balance across the Taiwan
Strait has tilted in favor of the island’s
rival, mainland China.
A military modernization overseen by
the Chinese president, Xi Jinping,
whose political power reached new
heights after last month’s Communist
Party congress in Beijing, has proceeded in leaps and bounds, lifted by
hefty budget increases that have already made China the world’s No. 2 military spender after the United States,
though it is a distant second.
Taiwan’s armed forces, by contrast,
have fallen way behind, struggling to recruit enough soldiers and sailors — and
to equip those they have. A major obstacle is that countries that might sell it the
most sophisticated weaponry are increasingly reluctant to do so for fear of
provoking China, which claims Taiwan
as part of its territory. The unwillingness to anger China extends even to the
United States, on which Taiwan has long
depended for its defense.
This shifting balance affects more
than just Taiwan. The Taiwan Strait was
once Asia’s most ominous flash point,
with the potential to drag the United
States into war with China. Now, it is just
one of several potential hot spots between a more assertive China and its
neighbors.
Taiwan’s experience could be a cautionary tale to Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and others in the region who are
also warily watching China’s rising military capabilities.
“A small snake does not make nearby
frogs, chickens and ducks feel threatened,” Mr. Feng, the minister, said in an
interview, “but when it grows to be a python, even nearby pigs, oxen, horses
and goats feel a threat to their survival.”
Adding to the unease has been the uncertainty over United States policy under President Trump. As he makes his
first visit to Asia, allies and others will
look for signals about the depth of the
American military commitment to the
region.
When he was still president-elect, Mr.
Trump initially signaled a more fulsome
embrace of Taiwan by accepting a congratulatory phone call from its president, Tsai Ing-wen. Since taking office,
he has shown more deference to China
in hopes of winning its support in the nuclear standoff with North Korea.
When the Trump administration approved a new package of arms sales to
Taiwan this summer, it was worth a relatively modest $1.4 billion, less than the
$1.8 billion package approved by President Barack Obama two years ago. The
sales have included missiles, radar
A museum on Kinmen Island, four miles off the mainland. The mural depicts the defense against a Communist assault in 1949.
equipment and other military gear, but
they stopped short of the major systems
that could give Taiwan a real edge.
Any weakening of the American defense commitment “is what Taiwan worries about most,” said Lu Cheng-fu, an
assistant professor at National Quemoy
University on Kinmen, an island held by
Taiwan that sits just four miles from the
Chinese coast.
“We need to resist a Chinese military
attack for two weeks and wait for help
from the United States or the international community,” said Mr. Lu, echoing
a strategy that has been at the core of
Taiwan’s defense doctrine for decades.
China has made no secret of its desire
to absorb Taiwan, and China’s military
routinely drills to do so by force, if neces-
Any weakening of the defense
commitment by the United
States “is what Taiwan worries
about most.”
sary. It has even built a scale replica of
Taiwan’s presidential building at its
largest military training base in Inner
Mongolia.
China’s armed forces have long outnumbered and outspent Taiwan’s. China
now has 800,000 active combat troops in
its ground forces, compared with
130,000 in Taiwan; its budget last year
was $144 billion, compared with Taiwan’s $10 billion, according to the Pentagon’s most recent annual report on the
Chinese military. (Congress approved a
$700 billion Pentagon budget in September, with an even larger increase than
President Trump had requested.)
To defend itself, Taiwan has relied on
geography — a mountainous main island 80 miles across a windswept strait
— and the support of the United States.
However, China’s military modernization has “eroded or negated many of Taiwan’s historical advantages” in deterring a potential attack, the Pentagon report warned in May.
The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 commits the United States to defend the island’s sovereignty, providing “such defense articles and defense services in
such quantity as may be necessary” for
Taiwan to protect itself.
While Taiwan still has vocal support
in Washington, especially in Congress,
China’s economic and military rise has
made it harder for the United States to
ignore Beijing.
In 1995 and 1996, when China menaced Taiwan with missile tests, President Bill Clinton dispatched two aircraft
carriers to the Taiwan Strait. At that
time, China backed off, but an intervention now would confront a more potent
Chinese military.
China has developed ballistic missiles
on mobile launchers that, although untested in battle, would threaten American aircraft carriers. Denying the American military the ability to operate freely
around Taiwan would undermine a core
element of Taiwan’s strategy.
In Taiwan, once home to thousands of
American air and naval forces before
the United States recognized the People’s Republic of China in 1979, Mr.
Trump’s election last year raised hopes
of more robust support.
In the months since, however, there
has been a growing realization that diplomacy with China — including Mr.
Trump’s very public efforts to build a
personal relationship with Mr. Xi —
would be the administration’s more
pressing priority.
Though the arms package announced
in the summer was welcomed, it was not
nearly enough to help Taiwan keep pace
with China’s buildup. More ambitious
packages — like one announced by
President George W. Bush in 2001 to sell
Taiwan eight new diesel-powered submarines that ultimately fizzled out — no
longer seem affordable or, for the United
States, viable if it wants to maintain relations with Beijing. “Taiwan needs to realize that its defense is, ultimately, in its
own hands,” said Andrew S. Erickson, a
professor with the China Maritime Studies Institute at the Naval War College in
Newport, R.I.
During a recent visit to Hawaii, Ms.
Tsai responded to concerns about the
imbalance by pledging to increase military spending 2 percent a year. She also
promised to make more funds available
for purchases of larger weapons.
Since being elected in January 2016,
Ms. Tsai has also promoted a plan to expand the island’s indigenous defense industry. Among the most ambitious of the
projects envisioned is one to build its
own fleet of diesel-powered submarines.
In choosing a defense minister, she
turned to Mr. Feng, an air force general
who spent 39 years in uniform before retiring in 2006 to become chairman of Taiwan’s largest defense company. In January, he announced that Taiwan would
seek to develop its own stealth fighters
to counter China’s introduction of
stealth jets. Until such programs are off
the ground, Taiwan must rely on aging
matériel.
Its two other submarines were built
by the Netherlands in the 1980s. By contrast, China, according to the Pentagon
report, has 59 attack submarines, including five that are nuclear-powered.
“Regardless of whether you are talking about the quantity or the quality of
our submarines,” the Hai Pao’s captain,
Wang Kuo-min, said onboard, “there is a
very big gap between us and the Chinese Communist contingent.”
Some experts say that given China’s
overwhelming numerical advantage in
weaponry, Taiwan should focus less on
big platforms like submarines and more
on lower-cost weapons like antiaircraft
and anti-ship missiles that can blunt
China’s superiority. “Taiwan needs to invest in things that give us new and
asymmetric capabilities and can be operational in three to five years,” said Yu
Hsiao-pin, who has served on Taiwan’s
National Security Council.
In the meantime, China keeps ratcheting up the pressure. Its aircraft routinely probe Taiwan’s airspace, forcing
Taiwan’s fighters to respond on at least
eight occasions so far this year. In July,
China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, traversed the Taiwan Strait in a
show of force.
Taiwan has no choice but to use the
weaponry that it has to deter China, said
Mr. Feng, the defense minister.
“Taiwan can’t match China jet for jet,
boat for boat,” he said, but that hardly
leaves it defenseless.
“Any attempts to harm Taiwan’s people or invade its territory,” he said, “will
come at a great cost.”
Steven Lee Myers reported from Zuoying
Naval Base, Chiayi Air Base, Taipei and
Kinmen, Taiwan; and Chris Horton from
Taipei and Kinmen.
President Trump said on Monday that
Japan could protect itself from a nuclear-armed North Korea by buying billions of dollars of American military
equipment, drawing an explicit link between trade and security as he began a
complex, politically charged tour of
Asia.
By turns generous and challenging,
Mr. Trump saluted Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe as among his best friends in
the club of world leaders. But he railed
against what he said were chronic trade
imbalances with Japan. And he implicitly acknowledged his disappointment
that Mr. Abe did not shoot down missiles
that North Korea recently fired over Japan.
“He will shoot them out of the sky
when he completes the purchase of lots
of additional military equipment from
the United States,” Mr. Trump said,
standing alongside Mr. Abe at the
Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. “The prime
minister of Japan is going to be purchasing massive amounts of military equipment, as he should.”
“It’s a lot of jobs for us and a lot of
safety for Japan,” the president added.
Mr. Trump steered clear of the inflammatory statements about North Korea
and its leader, Kim Jong-un, that he has
used in the past. But he defended his use
of such confrontational language, suggesting that the reluctance of his predecessors to make such statements had
emboldened Mr. Kim.
“Some people said that my rhetoric is
very strong, but look what’s happened
with very weak rhetoric over the last 25
years,” Mr. Trump said. “Look where we
are right now.”
Mr. Trump’s remarks came on a day of
high pomp and plain-spoken politics,
which showcased both the president’s
fitful adjustment to the rituals of statecraft and his determination to keeping
pounding at the hot-button issues that
vaulted him into the White House.
Before midday, Emperor Akihito and
Empress Michiko welcomed Mr. Trump
and his wife, Melania, at the imperial
residence. Afterward, the president was
formally received by Mr. Abe on a red
carpet at Akasaka Palace. The two men
inspected an honor guard, glittering in
gold braid, rifles fixed with bayonets.
Earlier, however, Mr. Trump used a
breakfast meeting of Japanese and
American business executives to deliver a scathing critique of the trade relationship between the two countries. Japan, he said, bought virtually no cars
from the United States while exporting
millions of vehicles into the American
market.
“Try building your cars in the United
States instead of shipping them over,”
Mr. Trump said, disregarding the fact
that Japanese carmakers have built
huge assembly plants in the United
States. “That’s not too much to ask,” he
continued. “Is that rude to ask?”
In gentler terms, Mr. Trump told Mr.
Abe that the United States was seeking
a new kind of trade relationship. Though
he praised the Japanese economy, the
president added, “I don’t know if it’s as
good as ours. I think not, O.K.?” he said,
shooting Mr. Abe a gimlet-eyed glance.
“And we’re going to try to keep it that
way, and you’ll be second.”
Still, Mr. Trump also showed an appreciation of the domestic politics of his
host. At Mr. Abe’s behest, the president
met with the families of Japanese people
kidnapped by North Korea, an issue that
has deep political resonance among Japanese.
At the news conference, Mr. Trump
likened the plight of these families to
that of the family of Otto Warmbier, the
American college student who was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months
and died a few days after being returned
to the United States in a coma-like state.
Whether by design or otherwise, Mr.
Trump, who has repeatedly rejected the
idea of direct negotiations with North
Korea over curbing its nuclear program,
seemed to suggest his stance could
In mourning
change if Mr. Kim returned the Japanese people his country had abducted.
North Korea has said that most of the
abductees are dead.
“Now the spotlight is on, and perhaps
we could have some very good luck, and
perhaps the regime itself would send
them back,” Mr. Trump said. “I think it
would be a tremendous signal if Kim
Jong-un would send them back. If he
would send them back that would be the
start of something — I think it would be
just something very special if they
would do that.”
Mr. Abe, for his part, played to his
guest’s appetite for ceremony — and
spontaneity. As the two leaders strolled
to lunch in a private dining room overlooking a koi pond, they were each given
a wooden box of fish food and a spoon.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Abe then took
seats at a long, low table on a floor covered with straw tatami mats. At the
news conference, the prime minister referred repeatedly to Mr. Trump by his
first name, Donald, recounting their
meetings at Trump Tower and Mar-aLago, the president’s Florida estate, and
a dinner here on Sunday so enjoyable
that he said they lost track of time.
“How many hours of dialogue have
we had?” Mr. Abe asked. “I believe there
have been never been such close bonds.”
Mr. Abe reacted mildly to reports in
the Japanese media — which Mr. Trump
implicitly confirmed during the news
conference — that Mr. Trump was dismayed by Japan’s decision not to shoot
down missiles North Korea fired over
DOUG MILLS/THE NEW YORK TIMES
President Trump, in Tokyo, defended his
use of strong language on North Korea.
Japanese territory in August and September. The missiles flew over the island of Hokkaido before landing harmlessly in the sea.
In conversations with other Asian
leaders, a senior American official said,
Mr. Trump asked why a country of
“samurai warriors” did not shoot down
the missiles, which the North Koreans
launched in defiance of United Nations
Security Council resolutions.
Mr. Trump did not directly address
the issue on Monday, though he noted
that over the weekend an American antimissile system had shot down a missile
fired on Saudi Arabia by Houthi rebels in
Yemen.
Japan had tracked the missiles North
Korea fired over Japan, Mr. Abe said,
and would have shot them down if they
had posed a threat to Japanese citizens.
Japan’s American-made missile defense systems would have enabled it to
shoot down the missile that flew over
Hokkaido on Aug. 29, though not a subsequent one tested on Sept. 15. It is also
possible Japan could have missed if it
tried to shoot the missiles down, which
would have been an acute embarrassment.
Legally, the question is even more
complicated. Japan can only intercept a
missile if its citizens are in danger or if
there is an attack on an allied country
that could jeopardize Japan’s security,
said Noboru Yamaguchi, professor of international relations at the International University of Japan in Niigata.
Since North Korea has so far only conducted missile tests — as opposed to
launching missiles armed with live warheads — Japan does not have the legal
right to intercept them. Moreover, said
Mr. Yamaguchi, who is a retired lieutenant general in Japan’s Self-Defense
Forces, the prime minister would need
approval from Japan’s Parliament for
any such action.
Mr. Yamaguchi dismissed Mr.
Trump’s reference to samurai warriors
as a caricature. “Samurais are quiet up
until the last moment,” he said. “And at
the last moment, samurais do things decisively.”
Motoko Rich contributed reporting.
TODD HEISLER/THE NEW YORK TIMES
A vigil in Sutherland Springs, Tex., for the victims of a shooting
at a church there. A gunman killed at least 26, with several children, a pregnant
woman and the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter among the dead. nytimes.com
..
6 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
tech
Q+a
Not the bots we were looking for
A good stylus
at a good price
FROM THE MAGAZINE
BY JOHN HERRMAN
What is the difference between a
$100 tablet stylus and a $10 model?
Those pricier styluses are often designed to work with a specific tablet
line and can include customized features for those devices. For example,
Google’s Pixelbook Pen integrates with
the Google Assistant software and will
search the web for words or images
that you circle on the Pixelbook screen.
If you are just looking for a stylus to
take handwritten notes or do some
basic drawing, the less expensive
models are probably fine. The $10
Adonit Mark, the $20 Hand Stylus and
the thick-barreled $25 Studio Neat
Cosmonaut are all general purpose
models that work on most capacitive
touch screen devices. Unlike the more
expensive stylus models, which sometimes require their own battery power
or Bluetooth pairing with a designated
tablet, most economy models do not
need to be powered.
For those with artistic inclinations or
who want a stylus that was designed to
work smoothly with certain tablet
hardware and software, the more
expensive models have perks. Most
include a wider degree of tilt and pressure sensitivity, which lets you vary
the weight and shading of the lines
drawn on the tablet screen. The
higher-end tablet pens are often more
responsive.
Forking over a hundred dollars for a
digital writing stick may be too much
of an extravagance for many people. In
the middle ground, you can also find
accessories that offer more features
than the basic models. The $40 Sensu
Artist Brush & Stylus includes two
artist’s tools (including a “digital”
paintbrush) in one device that works
with most touch screens, while the $75
Adonit Pixel promises smooth response, pressure sensitivity and shortcut buttons.
Powering phones
by hand or sun
As recent storms and power failures
have shown, we are now deeply reliant on cellphones for communication,
especially since many people have
gotten rid of their landlines. If there’s
no electricity, what options do you
have for charging a phone battery?
Backup batteries last for only so long,
but hand-cranked chargers and miniature solar panels are two options for
restoring a little power to your mobile
phone. Adding an alternative charging
device to your household emergency
kit is one way to stay in contact.
Several companies make handcranked chargers, among them Etón
and K-TOR. Prices start at about $17
for a simple crank and go up from
there.
To use one, connect the phone to the
device with its USB charging cable and
then turn the crank continuously until
you see the phone’s battery level move
up a notch or two. Depending on the
devices involved, this can take several
minutes of cranking, but you should be
able to get enough power to make an
emergency call.
If hand-cranking does not appeal to
you, Etón also offers solar-powered
solutions and K-TOR has a pedalpowered charger for about $200.
Portable solar-powered chargers can
supply energy to devices in emergency
and nonemergency situations without
physical effort. Wirecutter, a New York
Times company that reviews products,
found the $51 Anker PowerPort Solar
Lite to be the best model for juicing up
mobile devices.
Smartphone cases with built-in solar
chargers are another option, even for
everyday use.
In 2016, restless tech-industry forecasters enjoyed a rare moment of consensus: Whatever else might be coming
next, everyone seemed to agree that
bots would be a big part of it. The
analyst Benedict Evans, in a representative essay, located a promising future
specifically in chat bots — conversational interfaces for artificial intelligence, designed to assist with particular tasks. Facebook, the year before,
had created a personal-assistant chat
bot, and the company would soon open
its Messenger app up to outside developers, who it hoped would create more
bots to help people shop, look things up
or otherwise organize their lives. Amazon’s Echo, by then already a surprise
mainstream success, provided a tailwind: Here was a widely used artificial
intelligence sitting on millions of countertops.
These predictions were self-interested, of course. But they were plausible and appealing, not least because
they were already coming true. By
2016, I was talking on my phone less
but speaking to it more; my Echo and I
had settled into a mutually beneficial,
if lopsided, relationship (my commerce
and privacy in exchange for the
weather, some music and voice control
of the fan).
But despite the tech industry’s efforts and hopes, the bots that have
most effectively lodged themselves in
the public’s consciousness over the last
year were not here to help — at least,
not us. A different sort of bot — undercover but public-facing, highly political
but comparatively primitive — was
implicated in toxic and disorienting
online conversations throughout the
2016 election cycle. Before the election,
researchers at Oxford University suggested that between the first and second presidential debates, more than a
third of pro-Trump tweets and almost a
fifth of pro-Clinton tweets came from
bot accounts. Political social bots have
been stealing headlines ever since,
described variously as “fake Americans,” as “weaponized” and as “fakenews-disseminating” agents of Russia.
Such motive-centric descriptions
tend to give too much credit to the
influence bots. Mostly they are crude
imitations of regular, if single-minded,
people that, by virtue of existing and
posting — a lot — are able to manipulate platforms’ shared spaces. They
find their strength in numbers. They
thrive just out of sight but fully within
earshot.
This type of bot bears little resemblance to the ones demonstrated on the
stages of tech campus auditoriums.
But each sort of bot is made, in its own
way, to exploit untapped opportunity in
large-scale automation.
Anonymous social bots are obviously distinct from carefully designed
software programmed in good faith.
Technologically speaking, the efforts of
Facebook and Google and Amazon
represent the forefront of A.I. research,
while crudely scripted social bots must
merely clear the low bar of passing for
an angry stranger. A personal-assistant bot interacts with its users, whereas this breed of social-media bot stages
performances for audiences and algorithms alike.
But the proximity is toxic, and custody of the word is slipping. Bots, it
turns out, make an excellent foil. Angela Merkel, in the run-up to this
year’s German federal election, talked
about bots, generally, as if they were
an invading army. In May, Hillary
Clinton pointed to Russia-backed online efforts — including “the bots” — as
“just out of control.”
The phrase “not a bot” now litters
the profiles of politically engaged
Twitter users (and, presumably, some
bots).
Somewhere between the automated
THE
WHY
OF THE
WORLD
Forward-thinking. Free to read.
The Oxford Analytica Weekly Brief
oxan.to/weeklybrief
ILLUSTRATION BY JON HAN
“yelling fools” of online political discourse and commercial tech’s dream of
increasingly sophisticated helpers is a
third sort of social bot, which is both
foolish and sophisticated in its own
way. My longest and most fruitful
relationship with a bot like this began
through a private chat group I have
with a handful of friends. We installed,
as a member of the group, a free piece
of software called Hubot — officially
designed as a “coding assistant” for
workplace chat apps, but which we
customized mainly for work avoidance.
Most often, Hubot performed menial
tasks — calling up photos or animations, performing various sorts of
searches — but it soon came to function as a sort of group storytelling
sidekick, developing something like a
personality. Hubot lurked, responded
and interjected, accumulating an intimate set of routinized in-jokes. Eventually, it learned to (obliviously and
dutifully) summon fresh pictures of a
famous actor in the service of a joke
the origins of which, after a few years,
none of us could even remember. It
was, like all bots, a tool. What made all
the difference was that we were the
ones using it, and not — as is the case
with the bots that have inserted themselves into our national discourse and
our living rooms — the other way
around.
A 2016 essay by the New York-based
think tank Data & Society — a socalled botifesto — identified this playful sort of bot as an evolutionary precursor to the various expressions of
bothood today. The essay described
how mindfully created bots, not unlike
our version of Hubot, had been functioning in the wild, on public social
media. Some were jokes and larks. But
the botifesto’s intention was to sound
an alarm. Less transparent social bots
— primarily on Twitter and other
social platforms — posed a risk to
media and discourse. “Platforms,
governments and citizens must step in
and consider the purpose — and future
— of bot technology before manipulative anonymity becomes a hallmark of
the social bot,” the authors cautioned.
This warning wasn’t just a prediction; it was based in observation. The
2012 election of President Enrique
Peña Nieto of Mexico was supported
by armies of automated social-media
accounts, which flooded Twitter with
supportive messages.
Twitter insists it has been working
hard on the problem. One of the most
frequently proposed solutions to “manipulative anonymity” among researchers in the field is some form of
bot disclosure — a requirement, enforced by social platforms, that an
account operated by third-party software disclose that fact. (Wikipedia, for
example, already does this.)
Social automation is both disruptive
and revealing. Twitter in particular
dehumanizes users in the process of
giving them access to one another, so
of course bots could thrive there — and
of course they’d closely resemble our
worst-tweeting selves.
Voice-and-text-activated assistants
help monopolistic companies further
consolidate power, and they complicate
the stories we tell ourselves about
privacy, as we invite the eyes and ears
of the world’s most ambitious tech
businesses into our most personal
spaces. Alexa reminds us what Amazon wants; Twitter bots show us how
online mass communication breaks
down.
What was truly great about Hubot,
the cobbled-together, inscrutable,
mostly useless chat automaton, was
the suggestion it made, through each
absurd routine: that online, it’s necessary that we build spaces for ourselves.
John Herrman is a staff writer for the
magazine.
An effort to calm that raised fears
BY MATT STEVENS
AND DANIEL VICTOR
As a terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan dominated the news last week, millions of Facebook users were notified
about a “Violent Incident in Manhattan,
New York.”
The alert sent nervous ripples far beyond that single borough; it appeared
that anyone listed on Facebook as a resident of New York City — whether actually there on Tuesday or not — was
deemed to be a “friend in the area.” And
all were asked to assure the world that
they were “safe.”
The notification created something of
a social obligation among New Yorkers:
Go to Facebook and declare yourself unharmed, or risk having friends and relatives wonder why you haven’t done so,
perhaps while they assume the worst.
The instinct to check in on those in
dangerous areas long predates the debut of Facebook’s Safety Check feature
in 2014. Calls and text messages asking
“are you O.K.?” follow every natural disaster or terrorist attack, and Facebook
said it created the feature after observing people in or near harm’s way posting
statuses to let their friends know they
were fine. At its best, Safety Check offers swift reassurance, creating a catalog of people who might be in danger
and notifying friends as soon as they declare themselves safe.
But the attack in Lower Manhattan,
which killed eight people and injured at
least 11, took place in a city of more than 8
million people, making the odds that any
one friend living there had been hurt or
killed infinitesimal. Some bristled at
feeling duty-bound to check in anyway.
“I thought it was remarkably silly,”
said Hyman Rosen, a 56-year-old software engineer who works about three
miles away, near Grand Central Terminal. “Manhattan’s got a few million people in it, and they’re all going to go push
buttons on Facebook saying I’m O.K.?”
Joel Califa, 29, a senior product designer at GitHub, who lives in Brooklyn,
said he initially liked Safety Check as a
way of reassuring loved ones but was irritated when he was notified that “a few
of my friends wanted to know if I was
O.K.”
One of the friends told him that Facebook had delivered a notification that
Mr. Califa was in the area, then suggested the friend ask Mr. Califa if he was
safe.
“Instead of calming my friends, Facebook was now alarming them with the
possibility that something might have
happened to me,” he said. “In an attempt
to increase usage, they’ve undermined
that original goal.”
In an email, a Facebook spokesman
said: “The goal of Safety Check is to ensure people feel safe and connected during a crisis and not to create false alarm
or panic.”
The spokesman, Eric Porterfield,
pointed to a February news release,
which also noted that officials were “listening to feedback to make the tool more
useful and relevant in the future.”
Aside from the social dynamics, the
Facebook’s safety check after the
New York attack alarmed many.
feature has endured its share of criticism over how events were deemed to
be worthy of an alert. In Safety Check’s
first two years, Facebook activated it 39
times, limiting its use to major events,
and users questioned why, for example,
an attack in Paris deserved attention
while an attack in Iraq didn’t.
Back then, Facebook employees decided when an event was prominent
enough, but the company began automating the service in June 2016. Now,
the feature becomes active after a pair
of “global crisis reporting agencies”
have alerted Facebook that an event has
occurred and an unspecified number of
people begin discussing it. The change
resulted in far more activations, and
Facebook touts it as allowing individual
communities to determine worthiness,
as opposed to a small set of employees.
But automation has its own problems,
as when Safety Check presented a firecracker going off in Bangkok as “The
Explosion in Bangkok, Thailand” while
linking to false articles.
Because human editors don’t choose
the articles, Facebook has prominently
featured inaccurate or highly partisan
news sources.
Once the feature goes live, people in
the affected area are prompted to mark
themselves safe. When they do that,
their friends are notified and have the
option of asking whether others are
safe, too.
Declaring oneself to be “safe” or noting that the event “doesn’t apply to me”
requires just a single click — and many
users took the second out of their day to
alleviate the concerns of family members and friends.
Others, though, found requests to announce themselves as “safe” to be redundant, self-centered, or both. A few
seemed shocked to have been told by
Facebook that a person with whom they
had not spoken in years suddenly was
concerned about their well-being.
Jack Begg contributed research.
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017 | 7
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Opinion
No one knows what Britain is anymore
An island
nation comes
unmoored.
NEWS ANALYSIS
Steven Erlanger
BRUSSELS Many Britons see their
country as a brave galleon, banners
waving, cannons firing, trumpets blaring. That is how the country’s voluble
foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, likes
to describe it.
But Britain is now but a modest-size
ship on the global ocean. Having voted
to leave the European Union, it is unmoored, heading to nowhere, while on
deck, fire has broken out and the captain — poor Theresa May — is lashed to
the mast, without the authority to decide whether to turn to port or to starboard, let alone do what one imagines
she knows would be best, which is to
turn around and head back to shore.
I’ve lived and worked for nine years
in Britain, first during the Thatcher
years and then again for the last four
politically chaotic ones. While much
poorer in the 1980s, Britain mattered
internationally. Now, with Brexit, it
seems to be embracing an introverted
irrelevance.
The ambitious Mr. Johnson was
crucial to the victory of Brexit in the
June 2016 referendum. But for many, the
blusterings of Boris have lost their
charm. The “great ship” he loves to cite
is a nationalist fantasy, a remnant of
Britain’s persistent post-imperial confusion about its proper place in the world,
hanging on to expensive symbols like a
nuclear deterrent while its once glorious navy is often incapable of patrolling
its own coastline.
Britain — renowned for its pragmatism, its common sense, its political
stability and its unabashed devotion to
small business (“a nation of shopkeepers”) — has become nearly unrecognizable to its European allies.
“People need to look again at Britain,”
said Daniel Brössler, a correspondent
for the German daily Süddeutsche
Zeitung. “It’s no longer the country they
understood it to be their whole lives.”
The divorce negotiations with the
European Union start another round
this week, but they are not going well, to
say the least. The most visible fight is
over the cost of the divorce. But other
difficult and essentially political issues
about the authority of the European
Court of Justice and a customs border
with Ireland must also be clarified
before the other 27 member states
agree to move on to the next stage,
Britain’s future relationship with the
bloc. That decision next month once
seemed pro forma, but no longer, with
some even predicting a breakdown in
the talks.
Mrs. May’s Conservative government is now so split that some Brexit
supporters are calling on her to simply
quit the bloc with no deal at all — probably the worst alternative for the country, but just the kind of populist, tubthumping gesture favored by the Brexit
elite and the right-wing tabloids.
Meanwhile, with the Conservative
government so riven and rudderless,
the old hard lefty Jeremy Corbyn is
leading the opposition Labour Party
back into an equally fantastical socialist
past.
Britain is undergoing a full-blown
identity crisis. It is a “hollowed-out
country,” “ill at ease with itself,” “deeply
GLYN KIRK/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES
provincial,” engaged in a “controlled
suicide,” say puzzled experts. And these
are Britain’s friends.
“The sense in the rest of Europe is
bewilderment; how much worse can it
get?” said Tomas Valasek, a former
Slovak diplomat who lived in Britain for
many years and now directs Carnegie
Europe, a Brussels-based research
institution. “After Brexit, no one is
trying to help now. They’ve given up.
Nobody on the Continent really cares
that much about Britain anymore. Even
worse, people feel the country will fall
into the hands of Jeremy Corbyn and
that will do more damage than Brexit
itself.”
More chilling, perhaps, is the impact
on countries less rooted than Britain
once appeared to be. “Britain is an
example for all of us, as a longstanding
democracy, with centuries of the rule of
law and traditional institutions,” said
Guntram Wolff, a German economist
who runs the Bruegel research institution here. “And if such a country has
such difficulties, most of us wonder how
our own countries would handle such
political upheaval — whether we, too,
are so vulnerable.”
Some make the comparison to that
other great Anglo-Saxon country, the
United States, under President Trump,
who saw Brexit as a harbinger of his
own election. But however politically
divided the United States seems now,
Europeans have never considered it a
touchstone of stability the way they
have Britain.
Jan Techau, a German who has traveled extensively in England and ran
Carnegie Europe, sees Britain as a
tragedy. The European country considered the most outward-looking and
globalized is fractured by the backlash
against the very
model that made
With Brexit,
Britain strong.
“It’s very sad, but
a country
Brexit is a conseems to be
trolled suicide,”
embracing
he said.
an introverted
There are
many who see
irrelevance.
Britain as having
suffered a sudden
nervous breakdown, said Simon Tilford,
an economist and deputy director of the
Center for European Reform. But he
believes that Britain’s political culture
and economic stability have been eroding for some time, hidden by the longstanding willingness of others to give it
the benefit of the doubt as a pragmatic
democracy with a strong civil society
and civil service.
He too blames the Conservatives and
the right-wing tabloids that support
them for much of the erosion. “The
readiness of the political right in partic-
ular to lie and peddle obvious untruths,
to place their party politics and party
unity over and above the national interest, has been going on for a long time,”
he said. “The harrumphing nationalism
masks a country ill at ease with itself.”
Rather than a vote for a global Britain
and economic liberalism, Mr. Tilford
said, Brexit was a vote for protectionism, and its political system now “is
deeply provincial and introverted at a
time when Britain is supposed to be
heading out into the world.”
The divisions in the society — over
Brexit, over politics — are both a function and a result of Britain’s confusion
about its identity and global importance. The 19th-century myth of Britain
as the “workshop of the world,” a doughty Protestant nation surrounded by
Catholics with an empire on which the
sun never set, confronted a post-World
War II reality, when a lot of these tales
stopped being true, suggests Mark
Leonard, director of the European
Council on Foreign Relations.
Britain became a service economy,
the empire disappeared and people
stopped identifying with the Church of
England. Then Margaret Thatcher
arrived, and with her, Mr. Leonard said,
“there was a last gasp of this old identity
— an ethnic, exclusively white and
backward-looking version of Englishness.”
However successful, it also excluded
an increasingly large number of Britons
— black, Asian and Muslim — who felt
disenfranchised from “the national
story.” Tony Blair and New Labour
moved toward more inclusiveness and
cosmopolitanism and openness to
Europe, too.
But those validated by the old identity
then felt like strangers in their own
land, Mr. Leonard said. “Their revenge
was Brexit.”
Confused and divided, Britain no
longer has an agreed-upon national
narrative, said Charles Grant, director
of the Center for European Reform. “In
the 2012 Olympics we had one,” he said.
“Global Britain, open Britain, generous
Britain.” But now there is a competition
between that narrative and the nativist
one.
Mr. Grant, like others who have spent
their careers watching British and
European politics, predicts rough seas
for Britain as it casts off nearly 45 years
of intimate trade and legal ties with
those annoying Europeans.
“Everywhere I go,” he said, “people
are asking me, ‘What’s wrong with your
country?’ ”
the chief diplomatic
correspondent for The New York Times,
just completed four years as London
bureau chief.
STEVEN ERLANGER,
With Manafort, it really is about Russia, not Ukraine
He helped
Putin’s man
in Ukraine.
Did he help
Putin in
the U.S.?
Evelyn N. Farkas
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White
House press secretary, insists that
indictments against Paul Manafort and
Richard Gates have “nothing to do
with the president’s campaign or campaign activity.” Administration officials
dismiss the alleged criminal activity
by Mr. Manafort, formerly President
Trump’s campaign chairman, as being
merely about money-laundering and
Ukraine — but not Russia, the focus of
the investigation by Robert S. Mueller
III, the special counsel.
But Mr. Manafort’s work in Ukraine,
which began in 2006, has always in a
real sense been about Russia — and
may also have been about the campaign.
Mr. Manafort didn’t go to Ukraine to
advance the interests of democracy,
Western Europe or the United States.
He was there to help an increasingly
corrupt Russia-friendly politician, who
became a Kremlin puppet during the
time Mr. Manafort worked for him. In
the context of the standoff between
democracy and autocracy, his legal
and potentially illicit activities demonstrate that he ultimately took a side.
From the moment Ukraine declared
itself a state, with the dissolution of the
Soviet Union in 1991, the country found
itself torn between Western Europe
and Russia. Ukrainians living in the
western half of Ukraine aspired to
membership in the European Union
and NATO, while those in the eastern
half near the city of Donetsk oriented
themselves toward Russia, which
exerted maximum influence to keep
Ukraine closely aligned.
In 2004, the European Union and
NATO experienced a burst of membership expansion to countries bordering
Ukraine and Russia, including the
formerly Soviet Baltic States, much to
the consternation of the Kremlin. That
year, the presidential candidate for the
pro-Russia Party of Regions was the
former Donetsk regional governor,
Viktor F. Yanukovych. The battle to
lead the nation had become part of the
broader competition between the
democratic West and Russia.
Mr. Yanukovych appeared to have
won the election, but the outcome was
marred by voter fraud and the poisoning of his opponent, Viktor Yushchenko, who favored alignment with the
West. Ukrainians took to the streets to
protest, in what became known as the
Orange Revolution. Mr. Yushchenko
won in a new election. Sometime after
that, pro-Russian forces recruited Mr.
Manafort to advise the Party of Regions and Mr. Yanukovych.
In 2010, with Mr. Manafort’s help,
Mr. Yanukovych was elected president.
His campaign, primarily targeting
voters in the east, was based on opposition to NATO and advocacy for Russian-language rights. Mr. Manafort
and Mr. Gates received tens of millions
of dollars for this work. Vladimir Putin
GLEB GARANICH/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES
Viktor Yanukovich, left, with Vladimir Putin in 2010.
— who had already invaded and occupied part of the Republic of Georgia —
made it clear that Moscow was determined to keep Ukraine out of NATO
and firmly within Russia’s sphere of
influence.
In November 2013, after on-and-off
flirtations with the West, Mr.
Yanukovych rejected a pending agreement to join the European Union. The
Ukrainian people took to the streets
again, starting in a Kiev square known
as the Maidan. Mr. Yanukovych ordered his special forces to shoot and
kill over 100 unarmed demonstrators
and subsequently fled the country,
despite a political transition settlement
brokered by the United States and
European Union, with Russian assent.
Russia invaded Ukraine in February
2014, annexed Crimea and shortly
thereafter instigated a separatist
movement in Mr. Yanukovych’s home
region, Donetsk. The result was a war
between Russia and Ukraine that
continues to this day.
Mr. Yanukovych was in exile in
Russia, but Mr. Manafort continued to
work in Ukraine for the Opposition
Bloc, the successor party to the discredited Party of Regions, and indirectly, for Russia’s interests, since this
party continued to be pro-Moscow —
and anti-EU and anti-NATO. And then
in March 2016 Mr. Manafort became
Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman. At
the July Republican convention, his
staff intervened to weaken the party
platform concerning Ukraine, striking
a clause advocating for lethal defensive military assistance for Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump was praising
Mr. Putin, advocating for greater cooperation with Russia and speaking
skeptically about NATO and its collective defense mission.
Mr. Manafort, according to Mr.
Mueller’s indictment, was an agent of
the Ukrainian government for about a
decade, through 2016, attempting to
influence American officials and policy
toward Ukraine. He advised the
Ukrainian leader most closely aligned
to Russia, a man working to keep his
country in Russia’s close orbit. We
know Mr. Yanukovych was Putin’s man
in Kiev — and therefore, indirectly, so
was Mr. Manafort.
We do not yet know the extent to
which Mr. Manafort was Putin’s man in
Washington. Perhaps that, too, will be
up to a future jury to decide.
who served as deputy
assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia from 2012 to
2015, is a senior fellow at the Atlantic
Council.
EVELYN N. FARKAS,
..
8 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
opinion
Puerto Rico in the dark
ARTHUR OCHS SULZBERGER JR., Publisher
A.G. SULZBERGER, Deputy 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
EXPOSURES
Ed Morales
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
IN ASIA, MR. TRUMP IS MET BY DOUBT
Regional
leaders fear his
rhetoric and
impulsiveness
could bring on
war, and many
feel the future
lies with
China, the
rising power.
As President Trump undertakes his first official trip
to Asia, American leadership and credibility are in
doubt. Leaders in the region worry that his inflammatory statements and impulsiveness could lead to war
with North Korea. And there is a serious debate in
many Asian countries about whether the future lies
in closer partnerships with China, the ascendant
power, or with the United States.
With so much on the line, one would hope that Mr.
Trump has prepared carefully for the challenge. Given what we’ve seen from him, there is good reason to
question whether he has.
The president can ill afford to cede more ground to
China. He has backed out of an American-led 12-nation trade deal that was supposed to counter China
by setting higher caliber trade rules in Asia and has
jettisoned the Paris agreement on climate change,
creating space for Beijing to assert influence in both
spheres.
Mr. Trump arrives in Asia as a wounded leader,
with low ratings at home and a stalled legislative
agenda, and dogged by revelations of Russian interference in the 2016 election on his behalf that have led
to indictments against former advisers. His furious
denunciations of the constitutional constraints he
faces in trying to scuttle the investigation bring to
mind the authoritarian leaders of whom he is so fond.
This, along with his disregard for human rights, further diminishes the democracy that is America’s
greatest source of strength and influence in the region.
A course correction the president made on Friday
suggests some awareness about what’s at stake on
this trip. Departing Washington, he announced he
would reverse his earlier decision and attend the
East Asian summit in the Philippines, the main forum
where leaders of the United States, China, Russia and
other Asian nations discuss tensions like those over
the South China Sea and transnational threats like
terrorism. If Mr. Trump were a no-show, it would
intensify doubts about America’s regional commitment.
To address these doubts, Mr. Trump is expected to
use a speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
meeting in Vietnam to call for a “free and open” IndoPacific region, with the goal of containing China, where
Mr. Trump will have a state visit with President Xi
Jinping. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has raised the
possibility of countering Mr. Xi’s $1 trillion “one belt,
one road” initiative of roads, pipelines and other
projects linking China to Europe and Asia with “alternative financing measures, financing structures.” But
where the money might come from is a major question.
In contrast to Mr. Trump’s weakness, Mr. Xi just
closed a Chinese Communist Party congress at which
he was elevated to the same exalted status as the
nation’s founding father, Mao Zedong, by writing his
name and ideas into the party Constitution. Mr. Xi was
already a powerful, authoritarian leader expanding
China’s reach militarily and politically, as well as economically, and he seems to have a clearer vision of
where he is taking his country and how to get there,
even if some of the means may be appalling.
Mr. Trump has already undercut his two main priorities for the trip. He wants China to exert more pressure on North Korea to end the North’s nuclear weapons program by completely cutting off purchases of
North Korean coal, closing North Korean bank accounts and sending North Korean workers home. Mr.
Xi has repeatedly rejected going as far as Mr. Trump
demands, because doing so could destabilize North
Korea, and he has pushed for a negotiated solution to
the crisis. But Mr. Trump, reversing his own secretary
of state, has refused talks, preferring bombastic
threats to “destroy” North Korea that will be magnified if he repeats them in Asia.
For Mr. Xi, it is crucial that the meeting with Mr.
Trump go smoothly and the Chinese reportedly are
planning the red-carpet treatment, according to U.S.
experts, for the American leader, who is susceptible to
blandishments. But all could turn sour if Mr. Trump
mouths off in some unscripted way.
Mr. Trump, pressing a campaign theme, is also
pushing hard for China to open up markets and end
state subsidies so there is “fair and reciprocal” treatment of the United States. Instead of the 12-nation
Trans-Pacific Partnership that he rejected, he favors
bilateral deals. But his administration is divided over
trade policy, and the most he may get out of the Beijing visit is some commercial agreements between
Chinese and American companies.
Asian nations want and need America to serve as a
democratic counterweight to China. Mr. Trump’s fivenation, 12-day trip will reveal whether he can rise to
this challenge.
Like most members of the Puerto
Rican diaspora, I couldn’t reach my
family and friends on the island for
more than a week after Hurricane
Maria made landfall on Sept. 20. All I
had to work with was a quick phone
call my mother’s neighbor had made to
my sister. The neighbor said that my
mother and my aunt had ridden out
the storm together, that they were
basically fine. My mother’s home,
made of sturdy concrete, was intact.
My sister, her husband and I spent
several days booking flights to San
Juan that wound up being canceled.
We were finally able to get one in early
October. I’d been poring over media
images of the destruction, but I was
still shaken by what I confronted as we
drove the 25 miles or so from the capital to my mother’s home near the El
Yunque rain forest.
Everywhere were dystopic vistas of
piled debris: pieces of zinc roofs,
cracked porcelain fixtures, discarded
mattresses and an uninterrupted line
of tropical trees stripped, snapped and
splintered like matchsticks.
The catastrophic effects of the
storm, which have arguably been
exacerbated by the slow and indifferent response of the federal government, left the island and its residents
battered yet defiant. They are facing a
yearslong process of recovery.
Many of Puerto Rico’s existing problems — its $72 billion municipal bond
debt, archaic and brittle electrical
energy infrastructure and health care
collapse — have
accelerated in a
The photoscary fashion
grapher Joseph because of the
hurricane. While
Rodríguez
hundreds of
captures the
thousands are
isolation of a
predicted to
move to the
storm-ravaged
mainland United
island.
States, there are
many who can’t
or won’t, and
they are holding on tightly to a tradition of community-based acts of survival. Listening to those stories of
survival, told in the particular
singsong that characterizes the island
accent, resonated with me as if they
were my own.
María Maldonado, who lives in Alto
del Cabro barrio, just a few minutes’
walk from the tony Condado tourist
district, lost the roof of her house. She’s
in the process of submitting a loan
application to the government but first
must prove that the ownership of the
house she grew up in has passed hands
from her father, who is no longer living, to her.
“I had spent years repairing the roof,
spent $4,000 on it, but Maria came in
and tore open the zinc like the lid off a
tin can,” she told me. FEMA declared
her house a total loss.
Ilda Sánchez and Alberto Luquis
found a crocodile in their flooded house
in Caño Martín Peña, a Santurce neighborhood of the working poor who
settled along a canal that once nourished mangroves.
The neighborhood was precarious
before the storm; people feared displacement by tourism developments,
as had happened in the 1980s in a
nearby neighborhood. The hurricane’s
destruction will encourage people to
move along even faster, leaving behind
a community that came to exist because of rural displacement after hurricanes in the early 20th century.
Just as the hurricanes did then, this
storm exposed the dividing lines be-
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOSEPH RODRÍGUEZ FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
With A.T.M.s still down across the island, people in Caguas lined up outside a Banco Popular in October.
tween well-off Puerto Ricans and those
in need. In the San Juan metro area,
cafes, bars and restaurants are running at half-speed with diesel generators. Just an hour’s drive into the countryside, communities are cut off from
sustainable supplies of food, water and
medication.
Near Mameyes, the town at the foot
of the mountains that are home to El
Yunque rain forest, I saw people washing their clothes by hand in the Espiritu Santo River, returning to a 19thcentury reality that didn’t depend on
electrical appliances. Up the road, a
brigade of workers struggled to restore
fallen lines. The grid, already in trouble
before the storm, had been shattered.
Everyone, no matter their political
orientation or desire for statehood or
independence, had been plunged into
the darkness of no cellular signal or
internet. They knew about as much
about their relatives elsewhere on the
island as people stateside did.
As I drove around the island, I kept
seeing Puerto Ricans who had pulled
over on the side of the road, standing
in just the right spot where a stray
signal could be caught, and a few
precious words with a loved one could
be stolen from the trauma of extreme
weather dislocation.
I gave my mother a smartphone a
few years ago, in an effort to edge her
closer to tech savviness. She was a bit
reluctant then, but now, I saw sadness
in her eyes over not being able to
reach anyone or anything with her
phone. We’d come down with the intent
to bring her back to New York, at least
for a few months, and after a brief
moment of regret, she finally agreed.
With so much loss, there was a gain,
though. The community organized so
quickly, with brigades clearing the
roads and tending to the elderly, the sick
and those who’d lost the roof over their
heads. Some time may pass before cell
towers restore the virtual community,
but now, more than ever, the actual
community is resoundingly “presente.”
teaches at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and is the author of the
forthcoming “Latinx: The New Force in
American Politics and Culture.” Joseph
Rodríguez, a photojournalist, is a professor at New York University and the
International Center of Photography.
The photography was produced with
support from the Economic Hardship
Reporting Project.
In San Sebastián, people gather water that streams from the hills above. The government has warned the population to be cautious when taking water from the countryside
because of possible contamination by dead animals.
ED MORALES
A boy playing in an abandoned house in Caño Martín Peña.
Alberto Luquis walking with a volunteer at his home, where his wife grew up, in El Cano. More than 800 roofs in the area were destroyed.
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017 | 9
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
opinion
Racism begets Dodgers fan
Fern Shen
U.S. parks for the 1 percent
Timothy Egan
America’s Best Idea is now just another commodity. A president who
knows the price of everything and the
value of nothing, as Oscar Wilde had it,
wants to make it prohibitively expensive for many to enter the most popular national parks.
You may have missed this, between
the indictments, the terrorist attack,
the Civil War revisionism. But the
Trump administration has proposed
nearly tripling the entrance fees to
select national parks, to $70.
The man who loves nothing so much
as his gold-plated bathroom fixtures
wants to gouge people who want to
experience something that all of Donald Trump’s minions could never create. It’s a teardrop in the federal budget, but is emblematic of the ocean of
wrong coming from this president.
First, we already own these parks —
Glacier, Olympic, Mount Rainier, Zion,
Yellowstone, the names themselves
music to lovers of magic in the natural
world. They are a birthright of citizenship.
Second, the Trump administration
wants to jack up the price of admission
to our most spectacular public lands
while moving to cut the Park Service
budget by almost $300 million. The
new fees would add $70 million. Go
figure. His attacks on the parks would
be the biggest cut to the agency since
World War II.
Third, he not only wants to make it
more costly to get into beloved public
places, he also plans to take away land
already protected in ways similar to
national parks. He told Senator Orrin
Hatch of Utah he’s going to shrink two
extraordinary national monuments —
“for you, Orrin.” It’s a corrupt-sounding gift to a senator, and a giveaway of
a public trust. No drain of this swamp.
But this is the Trump ethos. There’s
always a velvet rope — coming soon,
at the rim of the Grand Canyon — a
place for V.I.P.s, deal-makers and insiders, and too bad for everyone else.
It may sound like no big deal —
raising admission fees in the 17 parks
targeted for price gouging — when
Trump’s government is running a $660
billion deficit. You’d pay $107 to get into
Disney World. But national parks are
not theme parks, market-driven to
match the latest entertainment blockbusters.
All national parks should be free, like
the great museums of Washington. We
should care for these special places
with a budget
commensurate to
Between the
their value,
indictments and
treating them
like the huge
the Civil War
income generarevisionism,
tors they are,
you may
producing $34
have missed
billion to local
the Trump
businesses.
administration’s
Instead, we
proposed
starve them
tripling of
nearly to death.
In the bizarro
entrance fees.
world of this
administration,
taxpayers are
being asked to subsidize a dying industry, coal mining, while their government is slashing the budget for a growing one that is responsible for four
times as many jobs.
We saw again this week how confused so many people are about basic
elements of our history. When a general, the Trump chief of staff John F.
Kelly, doesn’t even have a grade-school
understanding of the Civil War, you
know we need more park-uniformed
historians.
Kelly should visit the national battlefield at Antietam, site of the bloodiest
single day in our history. Or walk up
the slope of the national military park
at Fredericksburg, Va. There, the
Union Army’s Irish Brigade was
slaughtered by the slaveholding forces
of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Deal-maker goes to China
SCHELL, FROM PAGE 1
Trump’s advantage, allowing him to
remain a mysterious negotiator: The
Chinese could rightly assume anything
might be on the table this week.
The North Korean nuclear threat is
at the top of the agenda. Beijing has
come a long way in recent years in
recognizing the danger from Pyongyang, even supporting progressively
tougher sanctions at the United Nations. But Mr. Xi still resists totally
abandoning this old “fraternal” ally —
once said to be as “close as lips and
teeth.”
Private talks between Mr. Xi and Mr.
Trump could clarify what Beijing
would expect if the North Korean
regime were to collapse. Beijing would
argue for the removal of the United
States missile-defense system in South
Korea, for a ban on American troops
north of the demilitarized zone and
ultimately a possible withdrawal of
United States forces from South Korea.
When it comes to trade and investment, the two countries also have
common interests that urgently need
readjusting. American patronage has
afforded China many special dispensations that have helped its economy
boom over the past three decades. But
now that China has had such success,
it’s time to level the playing field.
Mr. Trump should press China to end
practices like requiring that proprietary American technology be transferred to Chinese companies as a
condition of doing business in the
country, rampant theft of intellectual
property and the refusal to let American companies into major sectors of
the Chinese economy (like telecommunications, media and banking).
Beijing must take action on these
fronts to build trust with Washington
and establish a more reciprocal relationship.
At the very least, whether Mr.
Trump and Mr. Xi make progress on
North Korea or these economic issues,
the two leaders should agree to form a
high-level working group, led on each
side by someone trusted by each president, to take a defined time period of
several months to agree on a specific
“road map” of possibilities for more
collaboration.
At the end of the group’s allotted
time, the two presidents could meet at
a relaxed venue to adopt the group’s
recommendations. Such a forwardlooking plan would make the summit
meeting a success.
If a working group convened and
eventually failed, the United States
would at least know that closer cooperation in the Xi-Trump era was unlikely.
This would position Washington to
take a harder line against Beijing and
justify moves like increased freedom of
navigation operations in the South
China Sea; more military support for
South Korea, Japan and Taiwan; building closer military alliances with countries like Vietnam, Singapore, Australia
and India; and putting greater controls
on Chinese investments in the United
States.
Mr. Trump, with his penchant for
deal-making and his relatively weak
political position, may be tempted to
accept whatever he can get in Beijing
for the sake of appearances. He could
easily end up becoming a mere prop
used to enhance Mr. Xi’s stature, and
getting little in return.
But Mr. Trump must remember that
just as Beijing has nonnegotiable “core
interests,” so does the United States. It
would be fatal to trade any of them —
commitments to allies, freedom of
navigation through international waters, democratic principles — even for
promises of cooperation on North
Korea.
is the director of the
Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia
Society.
ORVILLE SCHELL
The park service keeps that vital
history alive. Trump’s budget would
drastically cut money for historic
preservation, and eliminate more than
1,200 full-time employees.
It’s too bad that the statue of Teddy
Roosevelt in front of the American
Museum of Natural History was recently defaced, which a handful of
extremists took responsibility for.
Roosevelt was a founding progressive
voice who saw parks and public land
as a basic right.
National parks are “as uniquely
American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical,” wrote
Dayton Duncan, a parks historian and
a co-writer of many a Ken Burns documentary.
Ryan Zinke, the thin-skinned and
very strange secretary of the interior,
says the price hikes for select parks
are necessary to ensure their preservation. Yes, the parks have a huge
backlog of things that need to be fixed.
Broken toilets, pockmarked roads,
untended trails. And yet, there were
331 million visits to these much-loved
and abused places last year — a
record.
The solution is not to make it more
difficult for those who are financially
struggling to see their parks. Yes,
again, their parks.
We could, for instance, not build
Trump’s nonsensical border wall,
which looks like it will cost upward of
$20 billion, more than eight times the
entire proposed budget for the Park
Service. (Wait — wasn’t Mexico supposed to pay for that?)
Or we could keep the estate tax,
which affects only about 1 out of every
500 people who die every year, and
raises $20 billion as well. The bigger
question, after all, is about inheritance:
What would we rather pass on to our
children?
a former national correspondent for The Times, writes about
the environment, the American West
and politics.
Last week, Yu Darvish, the Los Angeles
Dodger pitcher who is half Japanese,
said he was trying to “stay positive”
after a star player for the Houston
Astros, Yuli Gurriel, mocked him with a
racist slur and slant-eyes gesture during Game 3 of the World Series.
Dodger fans were not so forgiving.
When Gurriel came to the plate in Game
6, the Dodger pitcher, Rich Hill, paused
long enough before delivering his first
pitch so that Los Angeles fans could
unleash an extra-long cascade of jeering
and cursing at Gurriel. The crowd was
every bit as vociferous in Game 7 when
Gurriel came up against Darvish again
— even after Gurriel tipped his hat in a
conciliatory gesture to the pitcher.
I’m not big on baseball, but I became a
Dodgers fan last week, and I think a lot
of Asians and Asian-Americans joined
me. We were disgusted by Gurriel’s ugly
behavior and winced in unison as
Darvish took a drubbing from the Astros in Game 7. (The Astros won the
game and the series.) But our dismay
runs deeper: Many Asian people are
upset about the slick and spineless
handling of the incident by the commissioner of Major League Baseball, Rob
Manfred.
Let me take you back to a Catholicschool classroom in central New Jersey
in the 1960s where I’m sitting at my
desk, my face aflame.
A student has just turned around and
made the dreaded gesture again: “Chineeese!” he says, pulling back his eyes,
grinning, leering and causing a ripple of
laughter the nuns never seem to mind.
As the lone Chinese student in the
class — my siblings and I were the only
Chinese in the school — I experienced
this many times.
This is not to say I didn’t have friends
or join in kickball games or share the
occasional cookie from my “Beverly
Hillbillies” lunch box with a classmate.
But now and then someone would
confront me on the playground, pull
back their eyes and remind me that I
was still, to them, some kind of freak, a
foreigner, a joke.
Which brings me to what happened to
Gurriel after cameras caught him not
only making the slant-eye gesture in the
dugout, after he hit a home run off
Darvish, but also uttering a slur:
“Chinito,” or “little Chinese boy.” It’s the
EZRA SHAW/GETTY IMAGES
Yu Darvish of the Los Angeles Dodgers
during Game 3 of the World Series.
equivalent of the N-word, and the Cuban-born slugger knew it.
“In Cuba we call everybody who’s
from Asia ‘China,’ ” Gurriel said afterward through a translator. “I know it is
offensive to them and they don’t like
that.”
So what was his punishment? Sensitivity training and a five-game suspension that starts
next season,
Yuri Gurriel’s
which allowed the
schoolyard
Astros star to
taunting of a
stay in the lineup
for all seven
Dodger pitcher
games.
who is half
This is not what
Japanese
has happened to
reminded me
other players
of painful
caught uttering
experiences
slurs — many
from my
have been immechildhood.
diately suspended.
Manfred’s
carefully devised response had a rationale: The World Series is different. This
was not the time to penalize the whole
team. And besides, Darvish had graciously said, “No one is perfect” and
“Let’s move forward.”
Sports columnists praised Manfred
for increasing the fine but delaying the
punishment. “Authoritative and pragmatic” is how ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick
described the decision. “The sanctity of
the World Series stayed intact,” said
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “A stunning episode of civility,” the Washington
Post’s Thomas Boswell declared.
Forgive me, but I wasn’t feeling so
civil about it.
Manfred missed a chance to send an
unequivocal message that America’s
pastime will have nothing to do with
racism. He should have suspended
Gurriel for one postseason game, taken
the heat and been done with it.
Yes, it would have hurt the whole
team. That is the point.
The message sent to Asian-Americans was: Your humanity doesn’t quite
make the cut. Alter the course of a World
Series for this? For them?
“I didn’t try to offend anybody,” Gurriel said — a phrase favored by offensive
people through the ages.
It’s been half a century since my
classmates did the slant-eyes thing,
talked in gibberish to make fun of Chinese speakers or sang this obnoxious
little ditty, which my sister recalls to this
day:
“Mother Chinese (corners up), father
Japanese (corners down), daughter
cuckoo (one of each).”
Until recently I’d have said we were
well past all that blatant stuff. Back in
the day in rural New Jersey there were
so few Asian people that my father
would cross a room to greet one. (“Hey,
a countryman!”) Now Asians are everywhere.
So it was a bit of a shock to be confronted recently by some young white
children in a supermarket parking lot in
Baltimore. They were up in my face,
doing the old ching-chang-charlie gibberish. It didn’t upset me so much as
startle me; it was like seeing a ghost.
The Gurriel incident, though, made
the schoolyard tears spring to my eyes.
Maybe because it had such high-level
validation from the sports and media
worlds. And maybe because even
friends found it innocuous.
“It’s part of that whole political correctness thing,” one said.
My heart sank.
“I went through this! People did this
to me!” I replied, tears welling. Trying
to sympathize, he said, “They’re just
pushing your buttons.”
But really, I’m glad, in this world full
of hate, bias and privilege, that my
buttons can still be pushed. I know what
it feels like to be other-ized. Sometimes
we need to tap into that wounded 7-yearold inside of us.
FERN SHEN is
a former Washington Post
staff writer and the editor and publisher of the news website Baltimore
Brew.
TIMOTHY EGAN,
FROM READERS
Ireland’s ‘very dark time’
Re “The Lost Children of Tuam,” by Dan
Barry (Special Report, Oct. 29):
I grew up in the long shadow of one of
Ireland’s most notorious institutions for
boys, St. Conleth’s industrial school in
County Offaly. The school’s reputation
for harsh treatment was such that we
were often threatened with being sent to
St. Conleth’s if we didn’t behave.
The Irish writer John McGahern,
himself a victim of the tyrannical Irish
version of the Catholic Church, once
said:
“The true history of the thirties,
forties and fifties in this country has yet
to be written. When it does, I believe it
will be shown to have been a very dark
time indeed, in which an insular church
colluded with an insecure state to bring
about a society that was often bigoted,
intolerant, cowardly, philistine and
spiritually crippled.”
Your report on St. Mary’s Mother and
Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway,
has borne out Mr. McGahern’s
prescience. Dan Barry follows a long
line of reporters and activists who in the
late 1970s succeeded in forcing the Irish
government to investigate the conditions of its more than 70 industrial
schools, its orphanages and its Magdalene Laundries for “fallen women,” who
took care of church linens, among other
things.
The courage of reporters like Mr.
Barry shines a bright light on how dark
the dark times mentioned by Mr. McGahern really were.
Whatever happens
next, we’ll help you
make sense of it.
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TOM PHELAN, FREEPORT, N.Y.
The writer’s novel “Nailer” is set against
the backdrop of Ireland’s abusive industrial schools and the church-state collusion
that allowed them to flourish.
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..
10 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Business
In Brazil,
Uber wages
battle over
regulations
The dark side of YouTube Kids
Popular children’s app
doesn’t always manage
to filter disturbing videos
BY SAPNA MAHESHWARI
It was a typical night in Staci Burns’s
house outside Fort Wayne, Ind. She was
cooking dinner while her 3-year-old son,
Isaac, watched videos on the YouTube
Kids app on an iPad. Suddenly he cried
out, “Mommy, the monster scares me!”
When Ms. Burns walked over, Isaac
was watching a video featuring crude
renderings of the characters from “PAW
Patrol,” a Nickelodeon show that is popular among preschoolers, screaming in
a car. The vehicle hurtled into a light
pole and burst into flames.
The 10-minute clip, “PAW Patrol Babies Pretend to Die Suicide by Annabelle Hypnotized,” was a nightmarish
imitation of an animated series in which
a boy and a pack of rescue dogs protect
their community from troubles like runaway kittens and rock slides. In the video Isaac watched, some characters died
and one walked off a roof after being
hypnotized by a likeness of a doll possessed by a demon.
“My initial response was anger,” said
Ms. Burns, a nurse, who credits the app
with helping Isaac to learn colors and
letters before other boys his age. “My
poor little innocent boy, he’s the sweetest thing, and then there are these horrible, horrible, evil people out there that
just get their kicks off of making stuff
like this to torment children.”
Parents and children have flocked to
Google-owned YouTube Kids since it
was introduced in early 2015. The app’s
more than 11 million weekly viewers are
drawn in by its seemingly infinite supply of clips, including those from popular shows by Disney and Nickelodeon,
and the knowledge that the app is supposed to contain only child-friendly content that has been automatically filtered
from the main YouTube site.
But the app contains dark corners,
too, as videos that are disturbing for
children slip past its filters, either by
mistake or because bad actors have
found ways to fool the YouTube Kids algorithms.
In recent months, parents like Ms.
Burns have complained that their children have been shown videos with wellknown characters in violent or lewd situations and other clips with disturbing
imagery, sometimes set to nursery
rhymes. Many have taken to Facebook
to warn others, and share video screenshots showing moments ranging from a
Claymation Spider-Man urinating on
Elsa of “Frozen” to Nick Jr. characters in
a strip club.
Malik Ducard, YouTube’s global head
of family and learning content, said that
the inappropriate videos were “the extreme needle in the haystack,” but that
“making the app family friendly is of the
utmost importance to us.”
While the offending videos are a tiny
fraction of YouTube Kids’ universe, they
are another example of the potential for
abuse on digital media platforms that
rely on computer algorithms, rather
than humans, to police the content that
appears in front of people — in this case,
very young people.
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SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL
Company’s lobbying blitz
appears to have paid off
in its 2nd-largest market
BY SHASTA DARLINGTON
AND ERNESTO LONDOÑO
LUKE SHARRETT FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Staci Burns, who lives near Fort Wayne, Ind., said her “initial response was anger” when she saw one of her sons watching a disturbing video on YouTube Kids.
And they show, at a time when Congress is closely scrutinizing technology
giants, how rules that govern at least
some of the content on children’s television fail to extend to the digital world.
When videos are uploaded to
YouTube,
algorithms
determine
whether they are appropriate for
YouTube Kids. The videos are continually monitored after that, Mr. Ducard
said, a process that is “multilayered and
uses a lot of machine learning.” Several
parents said they expected the app to be
safer because it asked during setup
whether their child was in preschool or
older.
Mr. Ducard said that while YouTube
Kids may highlight some content, like
Halloween videos in October, “it isn’t a
curated experience.” Instead, “parents
are in the driver’s seat,” he said, pointing
to the ability to block channels, set usage timers and disable search results.
Parents are also encouraged to report
inappropriate videos, which someone at
YouTube then manually reviews, he
said. He noted that in the past 30 days,
The offending videos are another
example of the potential for
abuse on digital media platforms
that rely on computer algorithms.
“less than .005 percent” of the millions of
videos viewed in the app were removed
for being inappropriate.
“We strive,” he added, “to make that
fraction even lower.”
Holly Hart of Gray, Tenn., said she
was recently reading while her 3-yearold daughter was in the room when she
noticed that Disney Junior characters in
the video her daughter was watching
started “turning into monsters and trying to feed each other to alligators.” An
image previewing a recommended video showed the characters in a provocative pose.
“It was an eye-opener for me,” said
Ms. Hart, who had downloaded the app
because it was being used at the local elementary school.
Not all of the inappropriate videos
feature cartoons. Alisa Clark Wilcken of
Vernal, Utah, said her 4-year-old son
had recently seen a video of a family
playing roughly with a young girl, including a scene in which her forehead is
shaved, causing her to wail and appear
to bleed.
Most of the videos flagged by parents
were uploaded to YouTube in recent
months by anonymous users with
names like Kids Channel TV and Super
Moon TV. The videos’ titles and descriptions feature popular character names
and terms like “education” and “learn
colors.” They are independently animated, presumably to avoid copyright
violations and detection. Some clips uploaded as recently as August have millions of views on the main YouTube site
and run automatically placed ads, suggesting they are financially lucrative for
the makers as well as YouTube, which
shares in ad revenue. It is not clear how
many of those views came on YouTube
Kids.
One video on YouTube Kids from the
account Subin TV shows the “PAW Patrol” characters in a strip club. One of
them then visits a doctor and asks for
her cartoon legs to be replaced with
long, provocative human legs in stilettos. The account’s description says,
“Video created with the purpose of
learning and development of children!”
The account that posted the video
seen by Ms. Burns’s son is named Super
Ares TV and has a Facebook page called
PAW Patrol Awesome TV. Questions
sent there were mostly ignored, though
the account did reply: “That’s a Cute
character and video is a funny story,
take it easy, that’s it.”
The Super Ares TV account seems to
be linked to a number of other channels
targeting children with cartoon imitations, based on their similar channel
fonts, animation style and Greek mythology-inspired names, from Super
Hermes TV and Super Apollo TV to Super Hera TV.
A Super Zeus TV account included a
link to a shopping site called SuYOUTUBE, PAGE 11
Investors size up Saudi upheaval
BY CLIFFORD KRAUSS
Just two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia gathered the global business elite in Riyadh,
promising a new age for the oil-rich
kingdom as it sought overseas money
and investment.
But over the weekend, the kingdom
showed its old face of palace intrigue,
with the arrests of four ministers and 11
princes, including Prince Alwaleed bin
Talal, a billionaire who is one of the
country’s most public investment figures.
International investors and business
executives are now trying to interpret
the power play.
To some, the arrests portend a quick
consolidation of authority under the
young, reformist Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who wants to vault the
country to modernity. In that view, the
arrests are seen as a sign that the crown
prince will be able to push through his
ambitious economic agenda, including
the sale of shares in the giant state oil
company.
To others, the arrests point to a potential for political tumult that could lead to
the collapse of his entire project. Overseas investors have been reluctant to
plow money into a country where the
rule of law is weak and the ruling family
trumps all.
“It might have good consequences for
stability maybe, or just the opposite,”
said Dragan Vuckovic, president of
Mediterranean International, an oil
service company that does business
across the Middle East and North Africa. “It’s questionable what is happening
behind the scenes. It is a very secretive
society.”
The arrests came at an awkward time
for the kingdom.
More than 3,500 investors, corporate
chief executives and leaders of nongovernmental organizations were invited to
FAYEZ NURELDINE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES
The global business elite gathered at a conference two weeks ago in Riyadh, as Saudi
Arabia looked for investments. Intrigues could make attracting money more difficult.
Riyadh by Prince Mohammed for the recent three-day conference to promote
business opportunities. Officials promised that the public offering of the state
oil company, Saudi Aramco, would go
forward and that the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund would soon rank
among the richest in the world, with
more than $400 billion in assets by 2020.
They pledged to build a utopian megacity on a stretch of deserted land that
would attract capital and talent from all
over the world.
The conference attracted current and
former senior executives and officials,
including Tony Blair, the former prime
minister of Britain; Christine Lagarde,
managing director of the International
Monetary Fund; Masayoshi Son, the
chief executive of the Japanese technology company SoftBank; and Blackstone’s chief executive, Stephen
Schwarzman. Some of the attendees
spoke highly of Prince Mohammed’s
economic ambitions. The planned initial
public offering of Aramco, they noted,
could free government capital to spend
on urban investment and job develop-
ment. Cultural changes like granting
women the right to drive, which was announced recently, could encourage
Western companies to invest in or start
operations in Saudi Arabia.
Despite the good will, few immediately backed the effort with time and
money. And the weekend’s arrests could
increase that reluctance. But they could
also change some perceptions, if the
crown prince can eventually show a
broader commitment to shaking up an
entrenched royal bureaucracy.
“I think this is going to slow things
down, but if the gambit is successful, it
will help,” said Charif Souki, chairman of
Tellurian, a liquefied natural gas company now attempting to make energy
deals with Saudi Arabia. Speaking of
Prince Mohammed, he said, “Once he
has consolidated power, he will do what
he wants to do, which is to modernize
the country and modernize Islam, which
are all good things. But it might be very
dangerous, and it might not work.”
Even before the arrests, investors
didn’t quite know what to make of the
kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has unveiled a sweeping
economic reconstruction, called Vision
2030, intended to diversify the country’s
employment beyond oil. The cornerstone of the economic effort is the proposed initial public offering of Saudi
Aramco, which exchanges around the
world have been vying to secure. In a
tweet just hours before the arrests,
President Trump said he would appreciate it if the Saudi Aramco public offering
took place on the New York Stock Exchange.
The crown prince and his father, King
Salman, have also won praise from local
and international business leaders for
their promises to return the kingdom to
the kind of religious moderation that
was more prevalent before a period of
SAUDIS, PAGE 11
A few weeks after being banned in London, Uber, the titan of ride-sharing services, is waging a new high-stakes regulatory fight in Brazil, the company’s second-largest market.
Brazilian lawmakers last week moved
ahead on a bill that, as originally proposed, would have imposed licensing requirements that Uber said would cripple
its model. But a last-minute lobbying
blitz by the company, including a trip to
São Paulo by its new chief executive,
Dara Khosrowshahi, appeared to have
paid off.
The Senate tacked on amendments
that significantly watered down the regulatory burdens. That kicked the legislation back to the House — and gave the
company time to fight an effort by taxi
unions to drive it and other app-based
services out of the market.
In the coming weeks, Uber expects to
lobby members of the House to sign off
on the amendments, which the company’s spokesman, Fabio Sabba, called “effective regulation” and no longer a
“veiled prohibition.” It is not clear how
soon the House will take up the measure.
On the eve of last Tuesday’s vote in the
Senate, Uber drivers protested by
blocking roads, paralyzing parts of
Brasília, the capital, and São Paulo,
Brazil’s financial hub. The company
took out prime-time ads on Globo,
Brazil’s main television station, and arranged meetings between Mr. Khosrowshahi and senior Brazilian officials, including Finance Minister Henrique
Meirelles.
As Mr. Khosrowshahi pressed his
case, he struck a more conciliatory tone
than the company had pursued under its
founder, Travis Kalanick, who was
forced out in June by investors. “In the
past, we were a little aggressive,” Mr.
Khosrowshahi said in an interview with
Estado de S. Paulo. “But we have to understand that it isn’t just about what we
want, and reach compromises that work
for us and for the countries.”
The Senate tacked on
amendments that
significantly watered down
regulatory burdens.
Uber has made its way into important
markets in Latin America, including Colombia and Chile, where its model is unregulated. The company and a handful
of rivals have developed a following, but
their growth has been met with crackdowns by the authorities and protests
by taxi drivers. Chilean lawmakers are
considering a regulatory bill.
Mr. Khosrowshahi signaled in the interview that Uber was open to some regulation in Brazil. But he said the original
bill would have “drastically” reduced
the number of Uber drivers in Brazil,
currently 500,000. According to the
company, Uber has more than 17 million
users in Brazil.
Cabify, 99 and other ride-hailing services also staged strikes and placed ads
in national media outlets. The demonstrations clearly gave senators pause as
they voted on the measure, which the
House had passed last month.
The Senate amendments did away
with requirements that drivers own
their vehicles and obtain a special license plate that is notoriously hard to
get in some cities. Other provisions —
including one allowing municipal inspection of vehicles — were left intact.
Uber’s more conciliatory approach in
Brazil comes after a bruising loss in
London, where officials declined to renew its license.
Ahead of the Senate vote, hundreds of
taxi drivers and Uber drivers faced off in
tense protests in front of Congress. In a
sign of how heated the debate has become, Mr. Sabba, the company’s director of communications in Brazil, was
punched in the face by a taxi driver
while speaking to journalists.
In urging regulation, taxi drivers say
they just want to level the playing field.
Mariana Santana, a taxi driver in São
Paulo, said she had supported herself
and her sister until the ride-hailing services came along. Then, last year, her
daily take-home wage dropped to $45
from about $100. She now sells cosmetics on the side to make up for the lost income. “That’s Uber’s fault,” she said.
“And it’s not like their drivers are making more. The apps are the ones making
all the money. That’s why regulation is
so urgent.”
Shasta Darlington reported from São
Paulo, and Ernesto Londoño from Rio de
Janeiro.
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017 | 11
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
business
Norway regulations put pressure on a staple
SALMON, FROM PAGE 1
sign of “panic from the Fisheries Ministry.”
Sea lice kill an estimated 50,000 adult
wild fish a year in Norway’s rivers, and
the wild salmon population has fallen to
478,000 from more than a million in the
1980s, according to one study. So depleted are stocks of wild salmon that around
100 of Norway’s 450 salmon rivers are
closed to anglers.
But there are other problems, too, beyond sea lice. Rune Jensen, the head of
SalmonCamera, says that wild fish, like
cod, congregate around salmon farms,
attracted by the food there. These predators eat the young wild salmon in
greater numbers than normal as the migrating salmon make their way out to
sea. Sometimes the predators force the
young fish into farm cages.
But activists say the biggest threat is
the genetic impact of farmed fish that
escape from their pens, reproduce with
wild salmon and produce offspring illequipped to survive.
Over the last decade, fish farmers
have reported that more than 200,000
salmon escape on average each year,
though the real figures may be as high
as four times that in the years 2005 to
2011, according to one study.
The impact has been observed by
Norway’s anglers. Few people know the
fishing grounds of the Dale River as well
as Inge Sandven, the head of the Dale
Hunters’ and Anglers’ Club. In just 15
minutes at one river pool, set against a
spectacular backdrop of tree-covered
hills, he had three bites but no catches.
Then, the rod strained, and he slowly
reeled in a small, shiny, olive-brown
salmon weighing a couple of pounds.
Just by looking at it, as it thrashed in a
net, Mr. Sandven could tell a lot about
the fish: It was male and had probably
spent three years in this river and one
winter at sea.
But what he could not say: whether it
was a pure wild salmon.
“It’s impossible to tell. It looks good,
but I don’t know,” Mr. Sandven said,
when asked whether it might have
genes from farmed salmon. “It’s a 50/50
chance — that’s the experience of this
year,” he added, before releasing his
catch.
Mr. Sandven knows this because he
supervises a wild salmon hatchery and
takes DNA samples from fish caught in
this river before they are used for breeding. Recently, around half have failed the
wild-salmon purity test.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SERGEY PONOMAREV FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Clockwise from left, a seafood market in Bergen, Norway; Ola Braanaas, the owner of Firda Seafood, collecting crab nets; and an aerial view of hatchery pens at a Norwegian fish farm.
The genetic makeup is important,
said Alv Arne Lyse, a fisheries biologist
at the Norwegian Association of Hunters and Anglers. In farm fish pens,
where there are no predators, the most
aggressive salmon are the most successful, since the only concern is to get
as much food as possible.
Escaped salmon pass that trait on to
hybrid wild salmon, who are then, to mix
metaphors, like lambs to the slaughter
out in the open seas.
That is because awareness is far more
important for survival in the ocean than
aggressiveness, as danger lurks all
around.
“The offspring of farmed fish are
more aggressive but when they go out in
the sea they have very high mortality,”
Mr. Lyse said, adding that they also of-
ten lack the homing instinct to return to
a specific river, since they were
spawned in commercial hatcheries.
Previously, pollution was a huge problem in aquaculture, he said, but now “the
only threats that are not under control
are the genetic impact from escaped fish
and sea lice.”
The fish farmers argue that they play
a vital role in feeding the planet and that
they produce a crop worth $8 billion annually to Norway, accounting for about 8
percent of the country’s exports.
The Norwegian government already
has rules requiring farms to test the
quantity of sea lice in pens and to take
action if they exceed the limits.
Marine Harvest uses so-called
cleaner fish that feed on sea lice to help
combat the problem. It is also investing
Dark side of YouTube Kids
YOUTUBE, FROM PAGE 10
perKidsShop.com, which is registered
in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A call to
the phone number listed in that site’s
registration records was answered by a
man who declined to identify himself.
He said that his partners were responsible for the videos and that a team of
about 100 people worked on them. He
said he would forward email requests
for comment to them. Those emails
went unanswered.
Dr. Michael Rich, a pediatrics professor at Harvard Medical School and the
director of the Center on Media and
Child Health, said such videos brought
up a host of issues for children. “It’s just
made that much more upsetting by the
fact that characters they thought they
knew and trusted are behaving in these
ways,” he said.
Josh Golin, executive director of the
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, argued that inappropriate videos
on YouTube Kids showed the hazards of
today’s media reality.
“Algorithms are not a substitute for
human intervention, and when it comes
to creating a safe environment for children, you need humans,” Mr. Golin said.
His group and the Center for Digital Democracy filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in 2015 accusing
YouTube Kids of deceptive marketing to
parents based on inappropriate videos.
Using automation for online advertising has turned Google into a behemoth
worth more than half a trillion dollars.
The company has faced a new wave of
Scenes from videos that have slipped past
filters on YouTube Kids, which is supposed
to contain only child-friendly content.
criticism in the past year for lacking human oversight after its systems inadvertently funded fake news sites and
hateful YouTube videos and most likely
sold election-related ads to accounts affiliated with the Russian government.
Google has largely defended its errors
by pointing to the enormous amount of
content it hosts, including more than 400
hours of content uploaded to YouTube
every minute.
Disney and Nickelodeon, mainstays
of children’s programming, work with
YouTube Kids to introduce children to
their characters. But they are also
aware that their content can be mixed in
with disturbing knockoffs.
“Nickelodeon creates its characters
and shows to entertain kids, so we share
the same concern as parents about the
unsuitable nature of some of the videos
being served to them,” said David Bittler, a spokesman for the Viacom-owned
network.
A Disney spokesman said YouTube
Kids had assured the company that it
was “working on ways to more effectively and proactively prevent this type
of situation from occurring.”
Some parents have taken to deleting
the app. Others, like Ms. Burns, still allow its use, just on a more limited, supervised basis.
“This is a children’s application — it’s
targeted to children,” said Crissi
Gilreath, a mother of two in Oklahoma,
“and I just can’t believe that with such a
big company they don’t have people
whose job it is to filter and flag.”
Puzzling through Saudi intrigue
SAUDIS, FROM PAGE 10
religious and sectarian unrest in 1979,
when the royal family began to rely on
conservative Islamic clerics to guarantee stability. They have had the temerity
to take on the religious police and begin
rolling back some social policies.
But Saudi Arabia has also faced unusual turbulence, including the sacking
of two crown princes, a costly war in
Yemen and a confrontation with Qatar.
The weak price of oil has amplified financial stress in the kingdom. The government has been forced to cut benefits
for highly paid civil servants.
There remains a great deal of skepticism that the economic re-engineering
can be pulled off, in part because much
of the royal family and old guard have
been made rich by payments from Saudi
Aramco, whose books are essentially
closed to the public. That is one reason
there is growing talk that the Saudis will
eventually turn to China, rather than the
London or New York stock exchanges,
to get around Western regulators and
raise capital for Saudi Aramco.
“I don’t see them get investor interest
The arrests of ministers and
princes coincide with efforts to
attract global support for a young
reformist’s ambitious agenda.
unless they can produce a set of financial books that have been audited to
Western accounting standards,” said
Nancy T. Schmitt, president of Taum
Sauk Investments, a firm based in New
York that specializes in energy. “If this is
a step to getting to that, then this is a
good thing. But I don’t know that, because I can’t read the palace intrigue.”
The arrests just make it harder to sort
through the business climate.
Some interpreted the arrests as being
disturbingly arbitrary. One of the officials arrested was the former Finance
Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, a Saudi
Aramco board member. Another was
Adel Fakieh, an early drafter of the
crown prince’s reforms, who was ousted
from his post of economy minister earlier Saturday.
“I don’t think it sends a particularly
good signal to investors,” said Rachel
Ziemba, managing director for emerging markets at Roubini Global Economics, a research firm in New York.
There is another school of thought
among business leaders and analysts
that the arrests were part of an effort to
make the Saudi Aramco offering and
other reforms unstoppable. In that reading, the arrests would be proof that the
crown prince can complete his agenda.
“This is just the kind of determination
and commitment that is called for,” said
Sadad al-Husseini, former executive
vice president of Saudi Aramco.
Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets,
who attended the Riyadh conference,
was somewhat more circumspect.
“Does this scare off a pension fund, or
can this be sold as creating the necessary conditions of success?” she asked.
“It’s a high-stakes game.”
Kate Kelly contributed reporting from
New York and Stanley Reed from London.
in new techniques designed to eliminate
the risk of escapes by farmed salmon
and to cut lice numbers.
These include novel ideas such as the
“egg” — a solid oval-shaped pen, yet to
be constructed, which is enclosed, preventing any risk that salmon can escape
and making it harder for sea lice to enter
and spread.
Information on the health of Norway’s
farmed fish is publicly available online.
But so divisive is the debate that environmental groups do not trust statistics
provided by the farmers, and the two
sides don’t agree on the facts.
Along with his fellow Green Warriors,
Mr. Oddekalv argues that the scale of
fish farming in Norway is unsustainable
and that huge volumes of uneaten feed
and fish excrement pollute the seabed.
Over the years, farmers have been criticized for using antibiotics in fish feed,
something that is now barred in Norway, though additives designed to curb
the lice also find their way into the food
chain, Mr. Oddekalv argues.
“If people knew this, they wouldn’t eat
salmon,” he said, describing the farmed
fish as “the most toxic food in the world.”
In a statement, Norway’s fisheries
minister, Per Sandberg, described the
new system for dealing with the sea lice
problem as “fair” and constructed on a
“safe legal basis.”
He said that “as in all science, there
are knowledge gaps,” but that scientists
agree that lice have a negative impact
on wild salmon and that it would “be
wrong not to act at all, due to some gaps
in our knowledge.”
At his home, which can be reached
only by boat, Mr. Braanaas conceded
that the Norwegian salmon farming industry has “made a lot of mistakes.” But
he insisted that there were many fewer
problems there than in other parts of the
world, where he said that regulation is
lighter and “greed takes over.”
As a self-made businessman whose
parents mortgaged their home to help finance his first fish farm, Mr. Braanaas is
proud of the company he has built and of
the employment it provides in a remote
part of Europe. And he believes some of
its critics are motivated by a sentimental reverence for one particular species
of fish.
“In India, they have the holy cow,” he
said, reflecting over a beer. “In Norway,
it’s the sacred salmon.”
..
12 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Sports
A cautionary tale on national anthem protests
it, it was something that terrified the
N.B.A.”
Although Stern said he doesn’t believe Abdul-Rauf was shunned by the
league for his stance and pointed out
that he did return briefly with the
Vancouver Grizzlies in 2000, AbdulRauf apparently believes otherwise.
Playing in the inaugural season of
the Big3 League this year, his hair and
beard speckled with gray, Abdul-Rauf,
48, continued to bow his head, close his
eyes and pray during the anthem,
which he maintained symbolizes oppression. In 2016, he told ESPN that he
was at peace for keeping with his
principles, despite career sacrifices.
It would be naïve to think that the
elephant of race has left the room, but
21st century N.B.A. players are riding
and even steering it, Roberts said, and
without much direction from her.
When James, Dwyane Wade,
Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul used
measured tones at the 2016 ESPY
Awards to decry violence against
African-Americans as well as against
the police, Roberts said she was among
the last people to hear it would happen.
“I haven’t had a single player ask
me, ‘What should we do?’ ” she said.
“And I’m not intimidated or fearful of
how they will be judged because I
know whatever they do, they will do
respectfully and with compassion.”
Tough rhetoric has been heard from
coaches, too, such as Steve Kerr of the
Warriors and especially Gregg
Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. But
the residual effect, from the players’
perspective, could be that they recognize they are no longer inhabiting the
island that Williams said Abdul-Rauf
was on 21 years ago.
Indeed, N.B.A. players share vivid
memories of how swiftly and strongly
Adam Silver, the current commissioner,
dealt with the ramblings of Donald
Sterling, the former Los Angeles Clippers’ owner, in 2014. This September,
Silver and Roberts signed a letter in
support of the players’ social activism.
“Adam was on the money with Sterling, and he’s been on the money today,” Roberts said. “But I don’t think
the players are behaving this way
because the league supports them.
They’re acting based on how they feel,
though they do appreciate the way the
league supports them.”
On Pro Basketball
B Y H A R V E Y A R AT O N
It has been 21 years since the N.B.A.
punished a player for refusing to stand
for the national anthem. And that
player, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, paid a
much greater price than the nearly
$32,000 he lost for a one-game suspension.
A flashy 6-foot-1 guard and the Denver Nuggets’ leading scorer for the
1995-96 season, Abdul-Rauf refused to
stand because of personal and religious beliefs. He negotiated a fast
truce with the league, acquiescing to
its rule requiring players to stand for
the anthem in an acceptable posture —
while also cupping his hands and bowing his head in adherence to his Muslim faith.
He was also traded soon after to the
Sacramento Kings and by 1998, at 29,
he was out of the league. He became,
in essence, a cautionary tale as Colin
Kaepernick pursues a case against the
N.F.L. accusing it of colluding to deny
him a job over his kneeling for the
anthem last season.
Abdul-Rauf did not get much support
from his peers.
“If you ask most players from that
era, they’d say they regretted not
supporting him more than they did,”
Buck Williams, who in 1996 was president of the National Basketball Players
Association, said in a recent telephone
interview. “He was kind of left out on
an island.”
That was then, a period largely
defined by the soaring popularity of
the famously apolitical Michael Jordan.
This is now, an era of exploding socialmedia leverage in which N.B.A. player
and coaching personalities — more so
than their N.F.L. counterparts — have
established themselves as recognizable commentators.
So why haven’t N.B.A. players — at
least thus far in this young season —
joined those among the N.F.L.’s rank
and file who have lined up behind the
now-unemployed Kaepernick in taking
a knee as a means of protest?
It is not because they fear the wrath
of President Trump, or even the puni-
BRIAN BAHR/GETTY IMAGES
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a star guard for the Denver Nuggets, stood and prayed during the national anthem before a March 1996 game against the Chicago Bulls.
tive arm of the N.B.A.’s league office,
according to Michele Roberts, the
players union’s executive director.
They haven’t protested collectively,
she said, because they can better do so
individually.
“They don’t need to take a knee
when they can communicate their
messages on their own,” Roberts said
in a telephone interview. “LeBron
James, all he has to do is tweet and
everybody knows exactly how he
feels.”
NON SEQUITUR
Asked why the league felt the need
to impose a stand-for-the-anthem rule,
in effect at least since the early 1980s,
Stern said: “It was our minimal standard — when you come out on the court,
please stand at attention — because
the N.B.A. has always been something
of a social cause, these great black
athletes trying to work their way in
what back in the day could be a hostile
white environment.”
In the N.B.A., superficial issues like
hairstyles and tattoos have for decades
been part of the discussion. Kaepernick basically hid his Afro under a
helmet, but as far back as the 1970s,
Julius Erving’s hair could excite or
aggravate.
By March 1996, when Abdul-Rauf
was suspended, Jordan was arguably
the world’s most admired athlete and
the N.B.A. was enjoying exponential
domestic and global growth. Still, as
Buck Williams said, “Race was the
elephant in the room, and though I
think David tried his best to deal with
PEANUTS
DOONESBURY CLASSIC 1989
GARFIELD
CALVIN AND HOBBES
WIZARD of ID
DILBERT
No. 0711
Created by Peter Ritmeester/Presented by Will Shortz
(c) PZZL.com Distributed by The New York Times syndicate
SUDOKU
Or write “Equality” on the back side
of his sneakers, as James did before
the Cleveland Cavaliers’ season opener
several weeks ago.
It is no secret that football, with its
often anonymous foot soldiers in the
trenches (many without fully guaranteed contracts) is a sport more designed for group expression. The
N.B.A., said the former commissioner
David Stern, has long been a laboratory focused on the behavior of individuals.
Fill the grid so
that every row,
column 3x3 box
and shaded 3x3
box contains
each of the
numbers
1 to 9 exactly
once.
For solving tips
and more puzzles:
www.nytimes.com/
sudoku
Solution
No. 0611
CROSSWORD | Edited by Will Shortz
KENKEN
Fill the grids with digits so as not
to repeat a digit in any row or
column, and so that the digits
within each heavily outlined box
will produce the target number
shown, by using addition,
subtraction, multiplication or
division, as indicated in the box.
A 4x4 grid will use the digits
1-4. A 6x6 grid will use 1-6.
For solving tips and more KenKen
puzzles: www.nytimes.com/
kenken. For Feedback: nytimes@
kenken.com
KenKen® is a registered trademark of Nextoy, LLC.
Copyright © 2017 www.KENKEN.com. All rights reserved.
Answers to Previous Puzzles
Across
  1 Facing difficulty
  7Crow
11 London’s ___ Gardens
14 “Hasta ___”
15 Prime rating org.
16 Belief, informally
17 Contributing (to)
18 Neither raise nor fold, in
poker
19 Homer’s next-door
neighbor on “The
Simpsons”
20 Rollover problem?
[1997]
23 ___ Paulo, Brazil
24 Something a driver may
“hang”
25 Jazz pianist Jamal
28 Spectacular disaster
[2016]
32 H&R Block staffers
34 Start of the season?
1
35 Vardalos of “My Big Fat
Greek Wedding”
36 Rescue from insolvency
[2008]
39 Demoted [2006]
42 Wife of Juan Perón
43 Agency issuance, in
brief
45 Get rid of
46 Gender-neutral pronoun
[2015]
51 John B, in a Beach Boys
hit
52 Particle physics suffix
53 When doubled, a Gabor
sister
56 Annual American
Dialect Society award
given to seven answers
in this puzzle
61 Sacha Baron Cohen’s
“Da ___ G Show”
63 Egg: Fr.
Solution to November 6 Puzzle
R
A
S
P
S
C
A
L
L
I
T
C
O
T
T
A
G
E
S N A
T E N
P U G
R E
F O R
I N E
L S D
O P E S
U L D I
T A I L
T S E
B
O N
E O N T
E P
P
S I P
K E E Y
N
P A
E T
N
E B O K
S A L E
L I E
L O S
T
E
N
T
K P
O E
I G
E
L
O
I
S
G
T
E S
R T A
A R C
U T
D O
E N
L E
N
A G
I
M E
T H I N
R A D E
O R A T
E L I
Y B A C
A R
R A I N
N I M A
N A T
E
N U
G E A R
G A G E
O N E
E
R
G
E
E
K
S
L
O
T
S
64 Verdi opera based on a
Shakespeare play
65 Cent or capita preceder
66 One chain by one
furlong
67 “Now wait just one
second!”
68 “The Fall of the House
of Usher” writer
69Pink
70 Airing after midnight,
say
Down
  1 Muslim worship leaders
  2 Foreign exchange
student in “American
Pie”
  3 “___, the angel of the
Lord came upon them”:
Luke
  4 Corner square in
Monopoly
  5 Either of two wives of
Henry VIII
  6 ___ opus
  7 Like Tokyo’s Shinjuku
Station, according to
Guinness
  8 Q-V connection
  9 Actor Driver of “Star
Wars: The Force
Awakens”
10 New York’s Stonewall
Inn, e.g.
11 Cretan who had the
Labyrinth built
12 WNW’s opposite
13 Iraq War worry, for short
[2002]
21 Puppy’s bite
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
23
32
25
29
30
33
37
42
43
46
47
38
48
61
40
62
55
45
49
57
54
41
50
52
56
27
35
39
44
51
26
31
34
36
13
22
24
28
12
53
58
59
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
60
PUZZLE BY GREG POULOS
22 Channels 14 and up,
for short
26 April fools’ sign?
27Inoperative
28 Lentil dish at an Indian
restaurant
29 G.I. tour grp.
30 Money left on the
table?
31 Subj. for U.S. citizensto-be
32 Petty objection
33 Part of a musical
instrument made from
spring steel
36 Porgy’s partner
37https://www
.whitehouse.gov, e.g.
38 Serving from a trolley
40 Western native
41 Play (with)
44 Baseball’s Ken Jr. or Sr.
47 When repeated, baby’s
utterance
48Furor
49 Explosive in a stick
50 Santa’s laugh
53 Video game princess
54 “Skoal!” alternative
55Soap-on-___
57 Chrysler Building’s
style, briefly
58 Not just mine
59 Kind of collar
60Holler
61 Snapchat or Dropbox
[2010]
62 One of 13 popes
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017 | 13
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Culture
‘I’m always afraid of failing’
Michelle Pfeiffer is acting
again after taking time off
to bring up her children
BY MELENA RYZIK
Michelle Pfeiffer has been missed. The
actress, 59, dipped in and out of movies
as she raised a daughter and son with
her husband, the television writer and
producer David E. Kelley. Now that her
children are grown, she’s returned in a
head-snapping way this year: In “The
Wizard of Lies,” on HBO, she played
Ruth Madoff to Robert De Niro’s
Bernie; opposite Jennifer Lawrence,
she was the houseguest from hell in
Darren Aronofsky’s allegorical thriller,
“Mother!”; and she’s the sexy widow
in Kenneth Branagh’s remake of “Murder on the Orient Express,” due in
much of the world on Friday.
Sitting cross-legged and barefoot on
a couch in a Beverly Hills hotel suite,
her Birkenstocks nearby, Ms. Pfeiffer
was soft-spoken except for the occasional ripping laugh. Offscreen, she’s a
D.I.Y. maven, complete with tool belt;
it’s how she grew up. “My dad was a
contractor,” she said. “He’d literally
give me a hammer and some nails and
some piece of wood, and I would just
go make something.”
After a memorable turn as Catwoman in the 1992 film “Batman Returns,” she re-enters the comic book
universe next year in “Ant-Man and
the Wasp.” And she’s singing again, too
— that’s her voice over the closing
credits of Mr. Branagh’s film.
One role she’s not revisiting is
producer. Ms. Pfeiffer, who once had a
successful production company, is
content with acting. Though she never
worked with Harvey Weinstein, she
was hopeful, she said, that Hollywood
would change after the allegations
against him. “It has to,” she said.
These are edited excerpts from the
conversation.
NICOLA DOVE/20TH CENTURY FOX
Ms. Pfeiffer in the coming “Murder on the Orient Express.”
you’re working, so how did you find
balance when you weren’t?
I tinker. I’m an oil painter — usually
figure and portrait. I like to build
things. I get out my tools, my hammer
and my electric drill. When the kids
were young, I built them a playhouse. I
redid the front of one of my fireplaces.
I got this idea, I went into Home Depot
or something, like, “Hey, I want to redo
my fireplace, can you guys tell me how
to do that?” They looked at me like,
what?
When you took a pause from acting,
was it also because the roles were
thin?
It seemed like it was harder and harder to say yes, and the roles didn’t
warrant leaving my family. I didn’t
want to disrupt their routine over and
over again, so I started being very
picky about when I worked, where,
how long I was away, so it limited my
choices. It may be that I just also didn’t
want to work on a subliminal level.
After five years, I started to really
yearn for the work and even my kids
were saying, “Mom, aren’t you going
to go back to work?” Which kind of
hurt my feelings.
Around the time we started looking
at colleges, I realized how it was going
to hit me really hard [to have an
empty nest] and that I better get
something going. I really need to feel
like I’m creating something and that
my life has meaning. I’m not just going
to start playing bridge.
Your character in “Mother!” was
meant to be Eve. Did you think of her
that way?
[Darren Aronofsky] was very careful
not to make those references to us. I
was just a woman who was still, after
all these years, madly in love with my
husband, and who is having a lot of
family difficulties. A very real, very
human place. And every now and then
I would give Jen a really weird look
[laughs loudly], just because.
Do you have to like your characters?
I have to find a way to like them. The
character I found the most difficult
was [the murderous mother in] “White
Oleander.” She was evil. I couldn’t find
anything to relate to. I remember
counting the days that I didn’t have to
be in [her] skin.
Ruth [Madoff] is very heroic in her
own way. She’s a survivor. I understood completely her love for her family and devotion to those children, to
her husband. That was really the crux
of that character. We weren’t able to
tell her story because it’s the Bernie
Madoff story, but I actually encouraged
her one day to tell it. But I understand
why she wouldn’t want to.
Are there physical qualities about
characters that you find difficult?
Absolutely, I never wanted to see that
cat suit again. [After the 2007 fantasy
film] “Stardust,” it’s like, never prosthetics to my face. My face was com-
OLIVIA MALONE FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Michelle Pfeiffer, now 59, has been seen this year in the HBO movie “The Wizard of Lies” and the feature film “Mother!”
pletely encapsulated; it was just so
claustrophobic. It was maybe the most
uncomfortable I’ve ever been.
Would you have done a Catwoman
movie?
Are you kidding me? In a heartbeat. I
loved that part. I felt like I was just
getting comfortable and getting used
to the claws and the mask, just figuring
out how to move in all of that. There
was a little bit of talk about that, then
that kind of faded away.
Does it feel natural to get back to
acting after time off, or do you have
to warm up those muscles?
I had been off maybe five years, and I
did “I Could Never Be Your Woman”
with Paul Rudd, and I really felt rusty.
I was surprised because I never felt
like that. So I haven’t actually taken
that much time off since then. I’m
enjoying [acting] now more than I
ever have, actually. Maybe because I
don’t watch dailies anymore. I’m not
really eager to look at my films. I’ll
look at them once and not usually ever
again. It’s better for me because I’m
very critical and scrutinizing.
Some actors believe they should
withhold a little bit on screen, so that
the audience wants more of them.
Maybe I should try that. I don’t feel
like I withhold, but I may not know
that because I’m a little withholding as
a person, so my gauge might be a bit
off. I feel like I’m exuding all kinds of
things. My husband has such an active
inner world, the writer in him, that I
think a lot of times he feels like he’s
communicating to me when it’s just in
his head. It makes me nuts. [Laughs]
Early on, you said you had the guts to
act because you weren’t afraid to fail.
Do you still feel that? Some people
think failure is a building block.
It is for sure. And I’m always afraid of
failing. Every new part I do I’m afraid
I’m going to fail. I’m afraid I’m disappointing my director and you should
have gotten someone else. I said to
Steve Kloves [the writer-director of
“The Fabulous Baker Boys”] when I
started “Murder,” I said, “I’m ruining
the film.” He laughed.
trust that in the beginning. And so I
was at that stage and I’m acting in
front of Judi Dench, and I’m thinking
O.K., you cannot bomb in front of Judi
Dench. This just can’t happen.
[She’s] salty but salt-of-the-earth.
She exudes this warmth; she’s lovely.
When I met her, I just cried.
In front of her?
Yeah, tears coming down my face.
Wah. I was just completely star-struck
and moved by meeting her.
Did they have to cajole you to sing?
They didn’t, but they didn’t give me a
lot of time to prepare. I got an email
from Ken, and he was like, “I have this
wacky idea, how would you like to sing
this song?” I haven’t sung since “Hairspray,” my vocal cords are rusted shut.
I said, “I’ll give it a try, but you better
have a backup.” I don’t really consider
myself a singer. I consider myself an
actor who can sing just good enough in
movies. If I really trained, I could be
much better.
Do you feel an artist should reflect
society or push ideas forward — or
both? Do you feel any responsibility
to do that?
I do. It’s because of owning that responsibility that I’ve actually passed
on a number of projects that were very
hard to turn down. I certainly don’t
want to be putting out any more toxicity. I wouldn’t want to do anything, for
instance, that was misogynistic.
When I did Elvira for “Scarface,”
that was a very misogynistic relationship and that character obviously was
pathetic. She was just an armpiece for
her man. But by playing that part, you
actually can say more sometimes than
by getting up on your soapbox. I think
it’s all in the way that’s presented. But
I am always aware of that. Even at that
[early] point.
Did you have any trepidation coming
back now? There’s a lot more socialmedia scrutiny.
You’ve said that you’re happiest when
It’s challenging doing a period piece
like that. The character is much more
extroverted than I am, and so you
have to really push yourself outside
your comfort zone. It just takes jumping into the deep end, but it’s hard to
The only trepidation was I think I took
for granted how nice it was to not be
under the spotlight and just having a
life. I remember thinking, “Do I really
want to step back into this?” And I just
realized that I’m not done. I have a lot
more to do, and a lot more to say. I’m
never going to be one that retires.
light in the rich and powerful receiving
their just comeuppance.
Although Mr. Dylan released the
three albums within three years, he
was evolving fast. “Slow Train Coming” is full of wrathful warnings like
“Gotta Serve Somebody” and “When
You Gonna Wake Up?” “Saved” moves
to direct proselytizing, positive promises and more conventional gospel
music. And in 1981, with “Shot of Love,”
Mr. Dylan was already looking beyond
doctrine, juxtaposing the sacred and
secular in rowdy blues-rock like “The
Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar”
while praising God in his own way in
“Every Grain of Sand.”
Decades later, what comes through
these recordings above all is Mr. Dylan’s unmistakable fervor, his sense of
mission. The studio albums are subdued, even tentative, compared with
what the songs became on the road.
Mr. Dylan’s voice is clear, cutting and
ever improvisational; working the
crowds, he was emphatic, committed,
sometimes teasingly combative. And
the band tears into the music. The tour
recordings provide multiple versions of
many songs, yet they’re anything but
routine, shifting tempo and attack
while Mr. Dylan flings every line with
conviction. There were moments of
reverence, too, like the quiet coda in
the prayerlike “What Can I Do for
You?”: just Mr. Dylan on harmonica
and the notable soul songwriter
Spooner Oldham on organ, sharing
experiments in extended harmony.
“He’s always been about change,”
Jim Keltner, the band’s drummer, said
last month. “What Bob wanted was for
people to interact with the music and
among themselves. He wanted to hear
people playing stuff that he’d never
heard before. He wanted people to rise,
and we did. I believe that we did.”
With his encyclopedic knowledge of
American music, Mr. Dylan cannily
chose the backup for his Christian
songs: a deep-rooted Southern soul
band. He recorded “Slow Train Coming” and “Saved” in Muscle Shoals,
Ala., with Jerry Wexler and the keyboardist Barry Beckett as producers;
they had worked there on Aretha
Franklin’s pivotal 1967 soul hits.
While the studio band for “Slow
Train Coming” featured Mark Knopfler
and Pick Withers of Dire Straits, Mr.
Dylan’s touring band was American
and mostly Southern, steeped in
gospel, the blues, rock and reggae.
Along with Mr. Tackett and Mr. Keltner,
it had Mr. Oldham, the bassist Tim
Drummond, the pianist Terry Young
and a changing lineup of four or five
tambourine-shaking female gospel
singers. Mr. Dylan originally planned a
horn section as well — the set unveils
some rehearsal tracks — but the women’s voices were more vivid and jubilant on their own.
They were prolific years. Mr. Dylan
discarded more than a dozen songs
that show up on “Trouble No More,”
among them the Chuck Berry-flavored
“Jesus Is the One” and the euphoric
affirmation “I Will Love Him.” In “Ain’t
Gonna Go to Hell for Anybody,” Mr.
Dylan warns of his own guile — “I can
mislead people as well as anybody/I’ve
got the vision to cause any kind of
division” — but insists he has reformed. And in “Making a Liar Out of
Me,” over a stolid, inexorable twochord vamp, Mr. Dylan argues for
compassion and conscience: “The
hopes and fears and dreams of the
discontented/they threaten now to
overtake your promised land.”
Mr. Keltner said last month that he
cherished an onstage photograph from
the tour by the filmmaker Howard Alk,
shot from behind his shoulder. “I’m
hunched over the drums, and Bob is
standing there with his guitar,” he said.
“His hair was this perfectly beautiful
Afro, or Jewfro maybe. And the way
the light is playing on his hair, it looked
like he had a combination of a halo and
a crown of thorns. For all the world, it
looks like Jesus standing there.”
Why did you think that?
Songs for the soul
CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK
New perspectives arrive
on Bob Dylan’s fervid
embrace of Christianity
BY JON PARELES
Even in 1979, Bob Dylan could cause a
commotion. That was the year he
released “Slow Train Coming,” the
album that announced his embrace of
Christianity, soon to be followed by
“Saved” in 1980 and “Shot of Love” in
1981: his born-again trilogy. For those
three years, the iconoclast, freethinker
and reluctant voice of a generation
proclaimed faith in salvation by Jesus
Christ (despite his Jewish upbringing),
with lyrics that drew a line in the sand.
In “Precious Angel” on “Slow Train
Coming,” he declared, “Ya either got
faith or ya got unbelief, and there ain’t
no neutral ground.”
That phase of Mr. Dylan’s music gets
a revelatory second look with the
boxed set “Trouble No More — The
Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981.” Eight
CDs and a DVD collect performances,
rehearsals and studio outtakes. The
DVD intersperses live footage from
1980 — Mr. Dylan, often camera-shy,
clearly wanted this era documented —
with fiery sermons written by Luc
Sante and delivered by the actor Michael Shannon.
From concerts and recording ses-
sions, the boxed set includes 14 previously unreleased songs to add to the
Dylan catalog, notably the remarkable
“Making a Liar Out of Me.” A song that
first surfaced on the anthology “Biograph” in 1985, “Caribbean Wind,”
turns up in a radically different version
— gentler, with alternate lyrics —
captured at a 1980 rehearsal.
Some fans who had stayed with Mr.
Dylan through his multiple transitions
since the early 1960s — from folk singer to electric rocker to country crooner
to Americana sage — rejected his new,
sectarian message. The critic Greil
Marcus’s first reaction to “Shot of
Love” was that it was arrogant, intolerant and smug.
Doubling down on his message, Mr.
Dylan also decided to sing only his
new evangelical songs on tour, interspersed with some preaching, though
he relented in 1981 and began performing older songs, too. Throughout the
born-again years, his audiences would
be divided in a way they hadn’t been
since Mr. Dylan went electric in the
mid-1960s. There were protests outside
shows and a mix of enthusiasts and
hecklers in the theaters.
Fred Tackett, the lead guitarist in
Mr. Dylan’s touring and recording
band from 1979 to 1981 (and now a
member of Little Feat), recalled in a
recent telephone interview seeing a
man in the front row holding a sign
that read, “Jesus loves your old songs.”
The contentious crowds gave Mr.
Dylan “a little impetus to go on,” Mr.
Tackett said. “I don’t know if he liked it
BARON WOLMAN
From left, Bob Dylan in 1979, during his
born-again years, and the new box set.
or not, but it inspired him to keep on
keeping on.”
Beyond the initial shock of Mr. Dylan’s conversion, many of his Christian
songs remain close to the rest of his
work. Biblical allusions and echoes of
gospel structure were part of his songwriting from the beginning (as in
“Blowin’ in the Wind”). So were a
sense of moral gravity, a righteous
tone, apocalyptic thoughts, and a de-
..
14 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
culture
Hidden treasures of Nazis’ dealer
Two European exhibitions
display the Gurlitt hoard,
first revealed in 2013
BY MELISSA EDDY
Weeks after a German magazine tipped
off the world that an 80-year-old man
had hoarded hundreds of artworks collected by his father during the Nazi era
in a Munich apartment, the world gasped at the prospect of rediscovering
long-lost treasures.
Now, four years after the discovery of
the collection inherited by Cornelius
Gurlitt, the public can for the first time
view 450 of the most valuable works,
previously seen only in photographs, in
a pair of coordinated exhibitions at the
Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland and
the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, Germany.
The parallel shows, running under the
title “Gurlitt Status Report,” allow visitors to view works by Monet, Cézanne,
Renoir, Otto Dix and other artists found
in Mr. Gurlitt’s apartment and in another home of his in Salzburg, Austria.
The collection contains 1,500 items, including paintings, sculptures, sketches
and drawings but also ledgers and other
documentation, much of which is not on
display.
News of the collection’s existence
spurred the German government
to intensify efforts to establish
provenance.
Most of the finest works were acquired by Mr. Gurlitt’s father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, an art dealer who began
working for the Nazis in 1938. His son inherited the collection and kept it in the
apartment for decades, until the authorities discovered it as part of an investigation into tax evasion.
The younger Mr. Gurlitt died months
after the discovery, leaving the collection to the Kunstmuseum Bern. But a
distant cousin challenged the will. The
dispute left the ownership of the collection in limbo for more than a year, delaying the exhibitions.
“Gurlitt Status Report” delves into
the history behind the collection and the
circumstances under which it came together. This includes an exploration of
the ambiguities surrounding Mr.
Gurlitt’s father’s personal history. He
was persecuted as the grandchild of
Jew, but he also became one of only four
dealers allowed to sell artworks confiscated by the Nazis.
Also displayed are documents that
record the efforts of the two galleries
staging the exhibitions to establish the
original ownership of the works.
Each of the shows focuses on a different aspect of the Third Reich’s policies
on art. The Bern exhibition, “Degenerate Art, Confiscated and Sold,” focuses
on works acquired as part of the 1938 law
that allowed the Nazis to seize so-called
“degenerate” art, mostly Modernist
pieces viewed by Hitler as un-German
or as Jewish.
In Bonn, most of the works in “Nazi
Art Theft and its Consequences” are
suspected of having been wrongfully
taken by the Nazis from their Jewish
owners, and the ownership history of
many pieces on display is not yet clear.
Last month, researchers working
with Project Gurlitt, the team of art his-
VALERIANO DI DOMENICO/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES
Above, a museum official presenting works from the collection of Cornelius Gurlitt at the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland in July. Below left, Otto Mueller’s “Portrait of Maschka Mueller,” one of the paintings in the collection, which was assembled by Mr. Gurlitt’s father, that the Nazis branded “degenerate art,” and right, the cabinet where Mr. Gurlitt kept many of the paintings.
PETER KLAUNZER/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
torians and provenance researchers
tasked by the German government with
establishing the original ownership of
works in the collection, identified a
Thomas Couture painting as having belonged to Georges Mendel, a Jewish
French politician.
The work, “Portrait of a Seated Young
Woman,” was the sixth to have been
identified, thanks in part to the restoration team in Bonn, which was readying
it for the exhibition. They noticed a
barely detectable repaired hole in the
canvas, at the level of the young wom-
PETER KLAUNZER/KEYSTONE, VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS
an’s chest, a detail that had been recorded in an initial claim filed after the
end of the war.
“The fact that the researchers have
been able, through their meticulous and
unstinting work, to identify the painting
by Thomas Couture as Nazi-looted art
demonstrates once again how important it is not to let up in our efforts in the
field of provenance research,” Monica
Grütters, Germany’s culture minister,
said in a statement.
News of the collection’s existence,
first reported by Focus magazine in No-
vember 2013, spurred Germany to intensify efforts to establish provenance, after the government had come under intense criticism for having kept the
works secret for months after their initial discovery by the tax authorities in
February 2012. But three years after research efforts began, researchers had
established the original ownership of
only five works.
The collection was hailed by art historians when it was found as the “most important discovery of Nazi-looted art
since the Allies discovered the hoards in
the salt mines and the castles,” and initial speculation placed its total value at
more than $1 billion. As the reality of the
scope and contents of the collection has
become clear, the monetary value has
been scaled back to hundreds of millions.
Rein Wolfs, director of the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, and Nina Zimmer, director of the the Kunstmuseum
Bern, wrote in the catalog that accompanies the exhibitions that they do not see
the value of the collection in monetary
terms. Rather, they wrote, it is an opportunity to “pay homage to the people who
became victims of the National Socialist
art theft, as well as the artists who were
defamed and persecuted by the regime
as ‘degenerate.’ ”
Scalia’s speeches, for argument’s sake
BOOK REVIEW
SCALIA SPEAKS
By Antonin Scalia. Edited by Christopher
J. Scalia and Edward Whelan. 432 pp.
Crown Forum. $30.
BY ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ
I loved arguing with Justice Antonin
Scalia. It all began when I answered
the phone one day and the voice on the
other end said: “Hey, this is Nino. I
accept.”
“Nino who?” I asked. “And accept
what?”
“It’s Justice Scalia. I guess your
students didn’t tell you. They invited
me to debate you in your class because
you’ve been so critical of my opinions.
I accept.”
Justice Scalia, recently appointed to
the Supreme Court, came up to Harvard Law School, his alma mater, and
engaged me in a no-holds-barred debate on “originalism,” his newly articulated theory of constitutional interpretation. He proposed one rule: No one
in the class should treat him as a justice. He should be judged on the merits
of ideas alone.
That’s who he was: an intellectual
warrior. The back-and-forth was contentious, though sprinkled with his
signature humor. I confronted him with
hard cases. He responded by demanding that I come up with a better methodology than his own for applying
constitutional law. The students called
it a tie, giving me, I suspect, the benefit
of home court.
Our back-and-forth continued over
the years: at faculty lunches, in Israel,
in arguments before the Supreme
Court, in books, articles and letters —
and in personal conversations. He
once, quite appropriately, chided me
for my “chutzpah” — one of his favorite
Yiddishisms — for challenging him to
debate Catholic theology after he had
implied in an article that neither the
Constitution nor Catholic doctrine
would be violated by the execution of
an innocent defendant, as long as he
had been given due process! The
closest he ever came to complimenting
me was when he wrote, “You are not as
nasty a guy as my right-wing friends
believe.” Nor was he as nasty as some
of my left-wing friends believe, despite
the surliness he insisted on inserting
into some of his judicial opinions.
Reading “Scalia Speaks” — the
marvelous collection of his speeches,
lovingly compiled by his son and a
former law clerk — brought Nino back
to life for me. His words, even when
read, are provocations to argue, disagree and think. They cannot be read
passively. They cry out for dialogue.
They demand answers — or surrender.
So here are my answers, to which, in
fairness to my departed opponent, I try
to append what he might have said.
The central thrust of Justice Scalia’s
speeches — indeed of his entire judicial
career — was an attack on the concept
of a “living Constitution” that “evolves”
over time to meet the changing needs
of the public. He insisted on going
“back to the good, old dead Constitution,” as he once put it in an NPR interview. In the speeches contained in this
book, he uses the slightly less inflammatory term “static Constitution.” But
it comes down to the same point. Here
in Justice Scalia’s words:
“Let me begin by telling you what
originalism is. The Constitution, as you
know, contains a number of broad
provisions, which are necessarily
vague in their application: due process
of law, equal protection of the laws,
cruel and unusual punishments, the
freedom of speech, to name a few.
Originalism gives to those terms the
meaning they were understood to have
when the people adopted them. Is the
death penalty cruel and unusual punishment? A hard question, perhaps, for
the non-originalist. I have sat with four
colleagues who thought it was. But for
the originalist the answer is easy: At
the time the people ratified the Eighth
Amendment — the Cruel and Unusual
Punishments Clause — no one thought
it forbade the death penalty.”
The same would be true of “equal
protection” and other broad provisions
of the Constitution.
So, in my classroom debate with the
justice, I challenged him with the
Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in
Brown v. Board of Education, which
ended racial segregation of public
schools in the Southern states. As a
matter of indisputable historic fact,
following the Civil War the “people”
who “adopted” the Equal Protection
Clause of the 14th Amendment had to
take into account what would surely be
the continued segregation of public
schools, and not only in the Deep
South. Had they suggested that the
Equal Protection Clause meant the
immediate end of all segregated public
education, the amendment itself would
never have become a reality. All that
the proponents — even the most radical among them — could hope for was
that over time, attitudes toward racial
differences would “evolve” and that
the powerful words “equal protection
of the laws” would eventually be inter-
PAUL HOSEFROS/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Antonin Scalia at his Supreme Court
confirmation hearing in 1986.
preted to require public schools to be
equal and not separate, instead of
“separate but equal” as the Supreme
Court had permitted in 1896.
I asked Justice Scalia, whether if had
he been on the court in 1954, he could
have joined the unanimous court without violating his principle of originalism. He was both candid and selfeffacing in his response, saying that no
theory of constitutional interpretation
— including originalism — was perfect.
But he still insisted that originalism
was “better” and “safer” than any
other theory, because it precluded
honest judges from substituting their
own philosophies for those of the
founding generation. In his own provocative words: “Show Scalia the
original meaning, and he is prevented
from imposing his nasty, conservative
views upon the people. He is handcuffed. And if he tries to dissemble, he
will be caught out.”
But was he really handcuffed?
Consider the monumental case of
Bush v. Gore, which may have decided
the 2000 presidential election. In my
book “Supreme Injustice,” I once again
challenged Justice Scalia. I showed
that until Bush v. Gore, Justice Scalia
had taken an extremely narrow view of
“equal protection,” rejecting the notion
that judges should depart from its
original understanding in the 14th
Amendment as referring to racial
inequality. He had railed against imposing “progressively higher degrees”
of equality in other contexts. He wrote
that when a practice “not expressly
prohibited by the text of the Bill of
Rights bears the endorsement of a long
tradition of open, widespread and
unchallenged use that dates back to
the beginning of the Republic, we have
no proper basis for striking it down.” In
so writing, Justice Scalia could easily
have been describing Florida’s practice
of allowing manual recounts in the
case of contested election results. But
when Bush v. Gore came before the
court, he voted to strike down this
recount process as violative of — you
guessed it — the Equal Protection
Clause, citing the unfairness of imposing “arbitrary and disparate treatment” to ballots throughout the state.
I was surprised, though I shouldn’t
have been, when Justice Scalia responded to my calling him out on this
inconsistency in a letter that acknowledged the problem, with a touch of
humility and humor:
“If my joining the equal-protection
opinion was a mistake, I will be delighted if it is the worse one I make on
the job.... I have frankly not revisited
the issue, or read the extensive commentary (mostly critical, I gather)
concerning it. At the time, however, I
thought that ground correct. Even if
you think that was wrong, considering
the severe time constraints, the pressure to come out with a near-unanimous opinion, and the fact that it did
not determine my vote in the case, you
should cut me some slack.”
I had also criticized him for granting
the stay that effectively ended the
recount and the election, pointing out
that he routinely voted against granting stays even in capital punishment
cases. He responded: “As for the stay:
I think I can persuade you it was
proper. We will talk about it some time
— as you say, before senility.”
We did get to talk about it, but the
argument persisted.
Liberal constitutional lawyers will
continue to debate Justice Scalia many
years after his death, because when it
comes to jurisprudence, he was the
most transformative jurist of our generation. His views cannot be ignored.
That is his enduring legacy. But he was
more than an influential justice. He
was a great man, who lived life to the
fullest — as a devout Catholic, a proud
Italian-American, a devoted family
man, a loyal friend, and a person of
humor and culture who fondly remembered his roots in Queens and New
Jersey. “Scalia Speaks” gives us a
glimpse of the man, as I came to know
and respect him, despite — no, because
of — our arguments.
Alan M. Dershowitz is the author of
“Trumped Up: How Criminalization of
Political Differences Endangers Democracy.”
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017 | 15
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
travel
Navigating chaotic, fascinating Addis Ababa
FRUGAL TRAVELER
Cultural landmarks dot
the capital. But first,
try the exceptional coffee
BY LUCAS PETERSON
I’ve stayed in some unusual digs on my
travels, but this was something new. I
walked through the colorfully handpainted door to music emanating from a
boombox and the soft thud of bodies hitting gymnastics mats. There were about
a dozen youths learning how to tumble,
and I could see a trapeze, a Cyr wheel
and aerial silks. This place was a circus
— literally. These were my hosts: the
members of an Ethiopian circus troupe
— good-natured and helpful, and eager
to educate me about their country —
who rent out a spare room to travelers.
It was just one of the pleasures of exploring Addis Ababa, the capital of the
oldest independent country in Africa
(though it was occupied by the Italians,
Ethiopia was never formally colonized).
The capital, where both Orthodox Christianity and Islam are practiced, is an extraordinary, fascinating and sometimes
heartbreaking city. Dire poverty is still a
harsh reality for many in the country despite a booming economy. And while the
city can certainly be navigated inexpensively, you will also find fascinating cultural landmarks, wonderful food and an
almost unparalleled coffee culture.
Some planning is required before
heading to Ethiopia — starting with a
visa. Americans can apply for one upon
arrival at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport. Those who do, however,
run the risk of having to line up with
other travelers. I applied for the visa online, a convenience that was rolled out
just this summer. I paid the $50 fee electronically (plus an extra $2 service fee)
and was approved in less than a day. I
recommend printing out the receipt and
holding onto the paperwork through
your departure from the country — it expedited my exit when passport control
couldn’t locate my visa in the computer.
Come with an open mind and be prepared for a couple of extra bumps in the
road. The first things I typically look for
upon landing are an A.T.M. and a local
SIM card. It took me a bit to find a working A.T.M., but getting a SIM card at the
airport was a no-go. There were guys in
the lobby hawking SIM cards at overly
expensive rates — $20 for only 300 MB
of 3G data. No thanks. Taxis at the airport were also overpriced, but by simply
walking a couple of minutes out to the
main road, I found a blue and white taxi
(slightly more rustic cars, commonly
found on the streets of the city) and paid
just 200 birr (about $13) to go to the Piazza area, in the heart of the city.
The learning curve in Ethiopia was
proving to be steep — and I’d just arrived in the country. Luckily, it was
Fekat Circus to the rescue. I connected
with them through Airbnb, and though
there were no traveler reviews when I
visited (which would ordinarily disqualify a place from getting my business), I
found their website engaging and decided I’d roll the dice. The price was
right: Less than $12 per night. (I also
spent one night at the relatively luxuri-
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDY HASLAM FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Holy Trinity Cathedral, also known as the Haile Selassie church, for the former emperor, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
ous Capital Hotel and Spa for $84 per
night — good if you want a splurge.)
My circus stay was problem-free. The
representatives of Fekat I met were incredibly helpful throughout my visit,
particularly Eyob Teshome, a Cyr wheel
expert and all-around good guy who
served as an informal guide for a portion
of my stay. He helped acquaint me with
the neighborhood, find a SIM card, answered questions and showed me a few
different sights.
He is also, like several Ethiopians I
met, incredibly proud of his country.
“We are special,” he began, before correcting himself: “We believe we are special,” he said, smiling and looking downward. Mr. Teshome, a devout Christian
(most Ethiopians are Christian, either
Ethiopian Orthodox or Protestant),
talked a bit about Ethiopia and its role in
the Bible, and how many Ethiopians
view the country — one of the world’s
oldest Christian nations — as the promised land.
“And did you know,” asked a smiling
Mr. Teshome, as we walked past street
hawkers selling mangos and young men
offering to clean your sneakers for a few
birr, “that we have our own calendar?
And that we even have our own time?”
Ethiopia works on a 13-month calendar,
with 12 30-day months and a 13th inter-
Tomoca Coffee offers dense and bittersweet shots that are exceptional.
calary month (a leap month, basically)
of five or six days. And instead of working on standard international time,
which would put it in the same zone as
Moscow, it works on a 12-hour clock determined roughly by sunrise and sunset. What we would call 7 a.m. is simply
called “1 o’clock” in Ethiopian time — be
careful when making appointments.
After showing me my room — modest,
but comfortable, with a bunk bed and
shared bathroom down the hallway —
Mr. Teshome asked me if there was anything in particular I wanted to do. I said I
was up for pretty much anything. “O.K.,”
he said. “We’ll go to Merkato.” We hopped on the Chinese-built metro rail at
Menilik II Square (right near the beautiful St. George’s Cathedral, where Haile
Selassie was crowned emperor in 1930),
and rode two stops west to Gojam
Berenda (2 birr, less than 10 cents). We
exited the station to a completely different world.
I’ve been to markets all over the
world, but I wasn’t prepared for this. By
some accounts, Merkato is the largest
open-air market in Africa, several
square miles of barely controlled chaos.
Vendors hawk nearly everything you
could possibly imagine. Produce, textiles, car parts, baked goods and sacks of
colorful incense line the dirt roads
packed with honking cars and busy
traders trying to avoid getting hit.
Things are roughly divided into sections: All the cookware on one street,
towering stacks of colorful plastic containers on another. Against the side of a
building under a plastic tarp, I saw a
man welding old mechanical gears into
weight-lifting sets. We passed rows of
shoes, colorful T-shirts, bags of spices,
slaughtered animals. We stopped to
snack on chornake, a dense, doughnutlike fried pastry (2 birr), then each
bought a mefakia (also 2 birr), a short
stick of wood many Ethiopians use as a
natural toothbrush. (Many things in the
city cost just a few birr — keep some
small change handy.)
Mr. Teshome warned me about pickpockets in the market, but overall, I didn’t find safety to be a problem in the city.
I used common sense by limiting the
amount of walking I did after dark and
not mindlessly gazing at my phone
while strolling down the street.
After picking up a local SIM card
(with 4G capability) from an Ethio Telecom shop, I was beginning to feel the effect of all my recent travel. It was time
for a cup of coffee — lucky for me, Addis
Ababa is full of modest streetside stands
selling amazing coffee. No surprise
there — coffee is believed to have originated on the Ethiopian highlands.
The best cup of my trip was at Tomoca
Coffee, a small storefront on Wawel
Street in the Piazza area near where I
bunked at the circus (there are a few locations). The cozy, homey shop was
packed, and flooded with the warm,
earthy scent of ground coffee. I picked
INTERNATIONAL
NOV. 13–14, 2017
BRUSSELS
LUXURY
CONFERENCE
WHAT’S NEXT:
LUXURY IN A
TURBULENT
WORLD
Hosted by
Vanessa Friedman
Speakers include
Antoine Arnault
Fashion Director and
Chief Fashion Critic,
The New York Times
C.E.O., Berluti
Moderators
Stella McCartney
Hanya Yanagihara
Designer
Editor in Chief, T Magazine,
The New York Times
Steve Shiffman
C.E.O., Calvin Klein Inc.
Steven Erlanger
Victor Luis
C.E.O., Tapestry
Chief Diplomatic Correspondent,
Europe,
The New York Times
Marek Reichman
Elizabeth Paton
Chief Creative Officer,
Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.
European Styles Correspondent,
The New York Times
Principal
Sponsor
The Ethiopian National Theater is a worthy trip for theater buffs, with its big lobby and gilded interior.
up a cup for 14 birr and a frosted doughnut for 15 birr. The doughnut was mediocre, but that was beside the point:
The coffee, a dense, bittersweet shot of
only three or four ounces, was some of
the best I’ve had. You can buy wholebean coffee, too; I picked up a couple of
500-gram bags to bring home (138 birr).
Food and drink are practically a religion in Ethiopia, and there’s no shortage
of places to get tasty, family-style meals.
Expect thick stews of vegetables and
meat eaten together with injera, a sour,
spongy fermented bread made from teff,
a native grass. At KG Corner, a neighborhood restaurant that’s been operating since 1960, I tried the fasting ferefer
(the Ethiopian Orthodox Church prescribes a number of fasting days during
which adherents may not eat animal
products) for 43 birr and the shiro
tegabino, a pea stew (also 43 birr). The
ferefer was essentially a spicy vegetable
stew that tasted heavily of the deep,
earthy berbere spice that Ethiopia is famous for.
Other highlights of my stay included
the Holy Trinity Cathedral, also known
as the Haile Selassie church (the former
emperor is buried on the premises with
his wife). Admission to the church and
small museum on the property is a relatively expensive 150 birr. For theater
buffs, the Ethiopian National Theater,
originally constructed during the Italian
occupation, is worth visiting for a look at
its massive lobby and gilded interior.
The National Museum of Ethiopia is
just a 15-minute walk from the Holy Trinity Cathedral and, for just a 10-birr admission fee, it is a must-see. The highlight, naturally, is Lucy — the Australopithecine hominin that made an enormous splash when her partial skeleton
was discovered in eastern Ethiopia in
1974 by Donald Johanson and Tom Gray.
When she was discovered, the 3.2-million year old Lucy excited the anthropological world because of her well-preserved remains as well as the fact that
she walked upright — shedding possible
light on the “missing link” of how humans may have evolved. Seeing the
bone fragments up close and in person is
fascinating even for casual fans of history and paleontology. While the fossil
long predates Ethiopia, of course, it
serves as a reminder of how much rich
history the country has — and what fascinating discoveries await the curious
traveler.
Sponsors
This November, Vanessa Friedman and top editors
from The New York Times will bring together leaders
from myriad industries at the annual International
Luxury Conference in Brussels, the European
Union’s seat of power, against a global backdrop
of dramatic political and economic change.
In these tumultuous times, luxury’s decision
makers are facing challenges that will transform
their industry — from rapid technological evolution
to growing nationalism to new patterns of
consumer behavior.
Through provocative interviews with C.E.O.s, policy
makers, entrepreneurs, celebrities and thought
leaders, Friedman and her colleagues will explore
how luxury companies can win in a world where
the only constant is change, and the biggest risk
is taking no risk at all.
Last remaining places
Apply now: nytluxury.com
Official
Champagne Sponsor
..
16 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
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