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2018-05-25 The New York Times International Edition

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Trump drops
meeting with
Kim, citing
In populism,
a slowing of
Philip Auerswald
Joon Yun
Nicola Gatta, the mayor of Candela in
southeastern Italy (population 2,700),
is desperate to reverse two decades of
population decline and literally keep
his town on the map. If you accept his
invitation to move there, he will pay
you about $2,300.
It’s probably no coincidence that
mayors in small Italian towns are
making such offers at about the same
time as a populist coalition is on the
verge of taking over Italy’s government.
The last time that populism — what
we broadly define as political movements that ostensibly set the interests
of “ordinary people” against elites as
well as an “other” — swept across
Europe and the United States was
marked by the same combination of
slow economic and
As rural areas fertility growth that
today prevails in
shrink, they
advanced industriare turning
alized countries in
to politicians
the West and Asia.
who promise
Economies have
to restore the
recently picked up
some steam, but not
stature of
before nearly a
decade of sluggish
economic growth —
and, in most of the
world, declining
fertility rates. The United States is no
exception: The fertility rate among
Americans has hit a 30-year low.
The shift from global population
growth toward population decline is
emerging as one of the least appreciated forces that is, along with urbanization and digital disruption, upending
the political and economic status quo.
In the world’s largest cities, where
populations are densely concentrated
and growing, economies are generally
thriving and cosmopolitanism is embraced. Where populations are sparse
or shrinking, usually in rural places
and small cities, economies are often
stagnant, and populism sells.
Why does it hold such appeal in
these places? Nativist, nationalist
rhetoric — “Make America (or Whatever Other Country) Great Again” —
appeals because it promises to restore
the rightful economic and cultural
stature of “common people” in relation
to a decadent urban intelligentsia. In
Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic,
Poland, Thailand and Turkey, populism
has been fed by the juxtaposition of
rural population and economic decline
against the growth and increasing
prosperity of the largest cities.
The trend toward population decline,
The New York Times publishes opinion
from a wide range of perspectives in
hopes of promoting constructive debate
about consequential questions.
Hours after North Korea
says it destroyed nuclear
test site, U.S. withdraws
Lisbon revival comes at a price
Portugal lost a decade,
but city is now booming,
sending rents sky-high
Not long ago, Portugal’s capital, Lisbon,
was a backwater of Europe. Its historical center was dotted with decrepit and
semi-abandoned buildings. Some downtown squares were the domain of prostitutes and drug dealers. The city served
as a display case for the devastation of
Europe’s debt crisis.
Then, in 2011, the country embarked
upon a series of difficult steps in return
for an international bailout of 78 billion
euros, or $92 billion, among them a new
rental law that liberalized the capital’s
housing market.
Today the city is booming. Tourists
stream off cruise ships to fill its squares
and ride tuk-tuks up and down the hills.
Historical buildings now gleam. New
bars and restaurants throb with life.
But who has gained and who has lost
in Lisbon’s revival has become a divisive issue for residents, and for Europe,
as the region finally emerges from the
lost decade of its economic crisis to see
what it has wrought.
Rodrigo Azambuja is being forced out of the shop where he weaves carpets, but he’s
opening a wine bar. “I guess that I’m really living both sides of this story,” he said.
Portugal has been a prime exhibit of
Europe’s economic recovery. Unemployment has been halved. Exports are
booming. Foreign investors have
flooded Lisbon. The country even provides buyers of properties worth
€500,000 or more the chance for a “golden visa” to reside there.
Y(1J85IC*KKNPKP( +\!"!$!?!#
Cruise ships bring many of Lisbon’s 4.5 million annual visitors, who outstrip the city’s population by eight to one. Some locals decry the “Disneyfication” of their city.
Market liberalization, combined with
a huge influx of foreign money, has
helped raise property prices in central
Lisbon 30 percent in two years. Yet the
monthly average wage is still roughly
“Portugal’s strategy to exit the crisis
was all about attracting foreign invest-
Dance and technology in a glimpse of the future
At Google’s New York offices, a tiny
room with bright green walls and a
maze of wires had been transformed
into something resembling a science lab
by way of a Danny Kaye movie. But instead of microscopes and white coats,
there were dancers and leotards.
The dancers’ bodies were wired to
move, though not just for movement’s
sake: This was a laboratory for dance
Google — through its Google Arts and
Culture website and app — is on a mission to find new ways of braiding technology with culture. For two weeks this
month it joined with the Martha Graham
Dance Company for a residency in
which members of the Graham team
worked with artists and Google technologists on several experiments.
(Google has held several artist residencies in its lab in Paris, but this is the first
time dance has been featured.)
Why the Graham company? For M J.
Newman, the project lead at Google, the
relationship with the Graham organiza-
ment, which solved a major financial
problem but is also now creating new issues for our people, like this housing crisis in Lisbon,” said Ana Drago, a former
lawmaker and a researcher in urban
studies at the University Institute of Lisbon.
The revival of Lisbon feels to many
less privileged residents who are being
displaced like an abrupt swing from one
extreme to the other. On some streets
both extremes live side by side.
In the medieval neighborhood of
Mouraria, a luxury condominium is being built a few yards away from a renovated building that has become a second
home for French and other foreign investors.
At the end of the block, an aged building with narrow balconies has turned
into a symbol for Portuguese activists
fighting housing evictions, a new phenomenon here. Opposite the house, residents who won a lengthy legal battle to
stay have hung a Santa Claus, surrounded by signs showing their Christmas wish-list: affordable housing and
social equality.
No doubt, most Portuguese, led by
those who own real estate, consider Lisbon’s transformation to be an essential
part of their country’s recent economic
The arrival of deep-pocketed investors and celebrities like Madonna is “cre-
North Korea said on Thursday that it
had destroyed its only known nuclear
test site, three weeks before its leader,
Kim Jong-un, had been planning to meet
with President Trump.
Hours after the North Korean announcement, Mr. Trump declared he
had canceled the meeting “based on the
tremendous anger and open hostility”
displayed by Mr. Kim’s government in
recent statements.
Earlier in the day, North Korea had allowed a select group of journalists from
Britain, China, Russia, South Korea and
the United States to watch its engineers
destroy and close tunnels in its mountainous Punggye-ri test site, where the
country has conducted all six of its nuclear tests.
No independent outside nuclear monitors were invited to verify the dismantlement of the site.
In the ceremony, North Korea used
explosives to destroy three of the four
tunnels at the test site, according to dispatches by reporters there. The fourth
tunnel had already been closed for fear
of contamination after the North’s first
nuclear test, in 2006.
The North Koreans also blew up testobservation facilities, as well as barracks for site personnel and a metal
foundry, the reports said. Two dozen international journalists were invited to
witness explosives rigged inside the
tunnels, and they were then escorted
outside to viewing decks 500 yards
away, where they filmed the detonations.
North Korea invited mostly TV journalists to ensure that its action would be
broadcast worldwide.
Although some analysts feared the
moves would be reversible, the reported
demolition was the first concrete step
North Korea has taken toward what
Washington had been hoping would be a
complete nuclear dismantlement under
Mr. Kim.
North Korea announced last month
that it would end all nuclear and longrange ballistic missile tests and would
close the Punggye-ri test site. It said it
no longer needed to conduct such tests
because the country already had nuclear weapons and wanted to focus on rebuilding its economy.
It is still not known whether the country will give up its nuclear arsenal — especially now that the much-anticipated
summit meeting between Mr. Trump
and Mr. Kim has been canceled.
It is not even clear whether North Korea destroyed all of the tunnels at the
test site on Thursday, or if the explo-
Dancers with the Martha Graham Dance Company experimenting at the New York
offices of Google, which is on a mission to find ways of braiding technology with culture.
tion is, in part, because of its forwardthinking mentality. “The Graham center
has always been very eager about being
on the cutting edge of technology and
looking for what’s new,” he said. “They
were the first ones that jumped into my
It’s fitting: The company’s founder,
Martha Graham (1894-1991), was a revolutionary. Considered the mother of
modern dance, she transformed her art
form by stripping her movement, rooted
in the pelvis, down to its purest essence.
This isn’t the first time the Graham organization and Google have teamed up.
In 2011, they created the Google doodle
in honor of Graham’s 117th birthday.
Next, beginning in 2015, was a partnership with Google Arts and Culture to
create exhibitions for the Google site.
During the recent residency, some
projects were more successful than others, but all were well worth watching:
Dancers moved silkily inside 3D environments that were then projected onto
screens for mixed-reality experiences.
Graham’s “Lamentation,” from 1930,
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Issue Number
No. 42,050
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018 | 3
The football hit felt all over Japan
Cheap shot on quarterback
prompts national debate
over sport’s role in society
The violent hit to the defenseless quarterback came from behind, after the first
play of a game between two top college
football teams. Ordinarily, the illegal
tackle would have simply drawn a severe penalty.
But it happened in Japan, where the
play — and what led to it — has touched
off examination of deep-rooted cultural
dynamics, including what the Japanese
call “power hara,” or harassment by
those in power who pressure underlings
to do things against their will.
When asked to explain his actions, the
linebacker who crushed the quarterback, causing him to leave the game
with injuries to the back and knee, delivered an answer that made many recoil:
his coaches told him to do it.
Nearly three weeks have passed since
the notorious hit and debates about
“ame futo,” as the sport is known here,
have consumed Japan. The hit was captured on video and has been shown on a
seemingly continuous loop in a country
where American football barely registers. The linebacker has been suspended, the coach of the team from Nihon University has resigned, schools
have canceled their games against Nihon and a national conversation about
the inherent dangers of the game and its
place in Japanese society is at a full boil.
In a stunning, nationally televised
news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday,
the linebacker, Taisuke Miyagawa, said
his coaches ordered him to “crush” the
opposing quarterback or risk being
benched. Miyagawa said that, along
with other comments his coaches made,
made it clear to him that he was to injure
the quarterback.
Miyagawa, his hair trimmed in a buzz
cut, apologized for his actions and
bowed deeply for 15 seconds. He recalled that after he was taken out of the
game, he went into a tent on the sideline
Miyagawa, right, lowered his head and hit the quarterback with his shoulder in the
small of the back well after the ball had been thrown. He said his coach ordered the hit.
Taisuke Miyagawa, a linebacker at Nihon University, bowing at a news conference on Tuesday after issuing a public apology.
and cried. He was told he was weak.
“You are too naïve,” Miyagawa recalled
his coach telling him. “You felt bad for
the opponent, didn’t you?”
“I wasn’t strong enough to say no,”
Miyagawa, 20, said during the hourlong
news conference. Members of his legal
team flanked him. “Though I was ordered by the coaches, I could have refused but went ahead anyway and acted.
It was weakness on my part.”
Baseball, soccer and sumo are Japan’s dominant sports. American football, which missionaries brought to Japan in the 1930s, is barely a blip on the
sports radar. But this incident has highlighted “power hara” and the obedience
to authority and unwavering loyalty to
the team that are highly valued in Japan.
The tackle has stirred an unusually
rancorous spat between two of Japan’s
best known college football programs
with nearly 50 national titles between
them. It has also shaken a country that
has an almost pious adherence to “fair
play” in sports, and prompted coaches,
university officials and politicians to
question the violence of the game.
The association overseeing the college games has begun an investigation
of the incident. The father of the injured
quarterback filed a complaint with the
police in Osaka Prefecture against the
player who hit his son.
Like most football games in Japan,
where there is no professional league
and only a smattering of semipro teams,
the initial incident was seen by only a
handful of fans. On May 6, Nihon in Tokyo and Kwansei Gakuin University in
Nishinomiya, near Osaka, played at
Amino Vital Field in Chofu, near Tokyo.
On the first play from scrimmage, the
Kwansei quarterback, Kousei Okuno,
rolled to his right and threw an incomplete pass. His momentum carried him
toward the sideline. Before he made it
there, Miyagawa, a highly regarded defensive player, charged across the field,
lowered his head and hit Okuno with his
shoulder in the small of his back.
Okuno’s head snapped back and he was
thrown violently to the ground. He left
the game with injuries to his knee and
back, and was expected to take three
weeks to recover.
Miyagawa, a junior, was penalized for
unnecessary roughness, but stayed in
the game. Later, he was seen on video
being congratulated by coaches and
teammates when he went to the bench.
He was eventually thrown out of the
game after he received a third penalty.
The recriminations began soon after
the final whistle.
Several Japanese media outlets, citing anonymous former and current
players for Nihon, reported that Miyagawa was told to “destroy” the opposing
quarterback, or risk being benched.
Masato Uchida, the longtime football
coach at Nihon, denied ordering the hit,
and said he told his team only to play
Several days after the game, Kwansei
Gakuin sent a letter to Nihon University
asking for an apology and an explanation. At the same time, the Kanto College
Football Association in the Tokyo region
suspended Miyagawa indefinitely, and
issued a warning to Uchida, his coach.
The association has asked a third party
to investigate the incident.
Amid the controversy, other football
teams canceled their upcoming games
with Nihon, turning the school into
something of a pariah. Fifteen other colleges with football teams issued a
pledge that they would play fairly, and
never commit such a violent foul. The
chairman of the Japan American Football Association, Makoto Kuniyoshi,
said that “intentionally hurting other
players can never be accepted.”
There were even calls from within Nihon University to review the incident
because of the damage it has done to the
school’s reputation. The university must
“re-examine the sound way to play
sports and educate all players again regarding the importance of the spirit of
fair play,” the Nihon University Teachers’ Union said in a statement.
Politicians have weighed in, too. The
head of Japan’s Sports Agency, Daichi
Suzuki, called for an investigation into
what prompted the incident. “I want to
know why such a dangerous tackle happened, rather than the coach stepping
down,” Suzuki said on Sunday.
Yasutoshi Okuno, the quarterback’s
father, thanked Miyagawa for speaking
with courage on Tuesday. “I want him to
atone for what he’s done, and rehabilitate,” said Okuno, who believes Nihon’s
coaches had planned to injure his son
from the start. Kousei Okuno suffered
ligament damage to his spine and knee
on the play.
“Such instructions should not have
been issued, and their way to force and
corner [the player] deviates from social
rules,” he said.
For now, Uchida is standing by his
version of what happened, though Miyagawa, the linebacker, has left little doubt
about the impact of the incident. He said
that he enjoyed playing football in high
school, but he lost his love of the game
because of the pressure.
“I don’t think I have a right to continue playing American football, and I have
no intention to do so,” Miyagawa said.
Challenging E.U. at its heart
Italy’s populist government
could threaten finances
and democratic principles
As Italy’s new populist leaders prepare
to form a government, European leaders are bracing for potential new confrontations over migration and some of
the core principles of the common currency, the euro.
They were already trying to tame a
rebellion against Europe’s shared democratic values in the east, led by Hungary
and Poland. They now face the prospect
that Italy, a founding member and Europe’s fourth-largest economy, could be
next to challenge the bloc’s cohesion, finances and democratic principles.
If nothing else, anxiety about the economic plans of the new Italian government may finish off the ambitious reform agenda for a more integrated euro
area proposed by the French president,
Emmanuel Macron.
“The new Italian government will
give Germany every excuse not to do
what Macron would like, and it will destabilize the markets,” said Charles
Grant, the director of the Center for European Reform, a research institution.
“It will increase the risk of another eurozone banking crisis, not reduce it.”
On Wednesday, the Italian president,
Sergio Mattarella, gave a mandate to
form a government to Giuseppe Conte, a
little-known law professor with no government experience. Mr. Conte was the
consensus pick for prime minister of the
populist parties, the Five Star Movement and the hard-right League.
Last week the parties said they would
sharply increase spending and repeal
reforms of the labor market and the pension system, violating financial limits
imposed by Brussels and meant to apply
to any country using the euro.
The plans would throw an already
weak Italian economy into further debt.
And the consequences are certain to ripple through the bloc, where leaders
worry about another financial crisis just
as Greece finally seems to be exiting
from its eight-year bailout program.
But Italy is a much bigger problem
than Greece, even if its economic troubles now have it lagging behind Spain,
whose economy is now bigger in terms
of gross domestic product per capita.
“Even if they have retreated on leaving the euro, what they’re proposing in
terms of the social program and minimum guaranteed salary will blow a hole
through all the eurozone rules,” said Anthony L. Gardner, the most recent
American ambassador to the European
Union. “I think investors are underestimating the risk.”
The French finance minister, Bruno
Le Maire, warned Italy this week to respect bloc budget rules or put the euro in
jeopardy again. “Italians must understand that the future of Italy is in Europe
and nowhere else, but there are rules to
respect,” Mr. Le Maire said in an interview on Europe 1 radio.
“If the new government takes the risk
of not meeting its commitments on the
debt, the deficit, but also the cleanup of
the banks, it is the entire financial stability of the eurozone which would be
threatened,” he said.
Mujtaba Rahman, chief European analyst with the Eurasia Group, said that
“even a fairly aggressive fiscal expansion will put Rome on a direct collision
course with Brussels,” which had been
predicting a more moderate Italian policy.
Giuseppe Conte, an academic, is set to
become Italy’s next prime minister.
The crunch is likely to come in a new
Italian budget next fall, Mr. Rahman
said. The proposed expansion of spending is a direct challenge to “the whole
philosophy of economic governance and
rules governing the eurozone area,” he
The cumulative Italian debt is already
about 130 percent of gross domestic
product, more than twice what the eurozone is supposed to require, and probably too big to bail out if necessary.
The uncertainty around the Italian
economy will also be a further major
blow to the ambitions for eurozone stabilization and reform laid out by Mr.
Macron, proposals that have already
been sharply watered down by Germany.
With a critical European Union summit meeting coming in June, Mr. Rahman said, “this will be deeply unhelpful
to Macron, because the Italians will be
the excuse for Germany to do nothing
serious on reform.”
“The window for eurozone reform, already narrow, is shrinking fast,” he said.
There are worries in security terms,
too. Italy’s coalition leaders have been
clear about their desire to restore better
relations with Russia, making it now unlikely that European sanctions on Moscow stemming from its annexation of
Crimea, initiated in March 2014, will be
renewed in September.
Those sanctions must be renewed every six months by the unanimous vote of
all 28 member nations.
Italy had already been reluctant last
month to go along with any extra European sanctions against Iran for its ballistic missile program and support of
terrorist groups in the Middle East, including in Syria.
France, Britain and Germany, as signatories to the Iran nuclear deal, had
been discussing new sanctions against
Iran as part of their effort to persuade
President Trump to keep to the Iran
While the State Department wants to
continue those talks about new sanctions despite Mr. Trump’s withdrawal
from the deal, new European Union efforts to tie further sanctions to Iranian
behavior seem unlikely, especially with
this new Italian government adding its
dissent to Austria, Cyprus and Greece.
The economic situation in Italy is
hardly good, which was a major contributing factor to the victory of the League
and Five Star. Henrik Enderlein, a professor of political economy at Germany’s Hertie School of Governance
and now in Florence, put four charts on
Twitter showing poor Italian performance compared with the rest of the eurozone, with the comment, “Yes, I am worried.”
The charts showed poor economic
growth, very high debt, very high levels
of nonperforming loans in Italian banks
and low popular support for the euro.
Italian G.D.P. per capita is lower now in
real terms than it was nearly 20 years
ago, when Italy joined the euro, noted
Matthew Goodwin, a political scientist
at the University of Kent in England.
The other factor that helped the new
coalition was the strong feeling among
Italians that the European Union had let
them down over migration; Italy and
Greece have now become the primary
landing spots for refugees and economic
migrants from the Middle East and Africa.
Promises made during the campaign
to deport up to 500,000 migrants could
also bring Italy into sharp conflict with
Brussels, Mr. Grant said.
“Deportation of that size would be impossible without violating due process,”
he said.
That could force Brussels to start an
Article 7 process against Italy for breaking the fundamental commitments to
the rule of law that would be “more serious” than the process begun against Poland for meddling with the independence of the judiciary.
In the end, Mr. Gardner and Mr. Rahman said, Italy is likely to be kept in line
more by the financial markets than by
Brussels itself.
Brussels has been “lazy and complacent” in the face of the Italian election
challenge, Mr. Rahman said. “But what
will really decide if there is a crisis, are
the markets,” he said.
Joséphine Collec tion
4 | FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018
In desert, Iran quietly works on missiles
siles can be hidden in remote locations
and fired at a moment’s notice.
Researchers see signs
that a program thought
dormant never stopped
When an explosion nearly razed Iran’s
long-range-missile research facility in
2011 — and killed the military scientist
who ran it — many Western intelligence
analysts viewed it as devastating to
Tehran’s technological ambitions.
Since then, there has been little indication of Iranian work on a missile that
could reach significantly beyond the
Middle East, and Iranian leaders have
said they do not intend to build one.
So, this spring, when a team of weapons researchers based in California reviewed new Iranian state TV programs
glorifying the military scientist, they expected a history lesson with, at most,
new details on a long-dormant program.
Instead, they stumbled on a series of
clues that led them to a startling conclusion: Shortly before his death, the scientist, Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam,
oversaw the development of a secret,
second facility in the remote Iranian
desert that, they say, is still operating.
For weeks, the researchers picked
through satellite photos of the facility.
They found, they say, that work on the
site now appears to focus on advanced
rocket engines and rocket fuel, and is often conducted under cover of night.
It is possible that the facility is developing only medium-range missiles,
which Iran already possesses, or perhaps an unusually sophisticated space
But an analysis of structures and
ground markings at the facility strongly
suggests, though does not prove, that it
is developing the technology for longrange missiles, the researchers say.
Such a program would not violate the
international deal intended to prevent
Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,
or any other formal agreement. Still, if
completed, it could threaten Europe and
potentially the United States. And if Iran
is found to be conducting long-range
missile work, that would increase tensions between Tehran and the United
Five outside experts who independently reviewed the findings agreed that
there was compelling evidence that Iran
is developing long-range missile technology.
“The investigation highlights some
potentially disturbing developments,”
said Michael Elleman, a missile expert
at the International Institute for Strategic Studies who reviewed the material. The evidence was circumstantial,
he said, but it could show preliminary
steps “for developing an ICBM five to 10
years down the road, should Tehran
wish to do so.”
Asked about the conclusions drawn
by the weapons researchers, Alireza
Miryousefi, the press officer at Iran’s
United Nations mission, said in emailed
statement that “we do not comment on
military matters.”
The researchers, based at the nonparti-
An Iranian facility 25 miles from Shahrud, Iran, where researchers say evidence shows that missile testing is taking place.
san Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Calif., came
across the Iranian facility shortly after a
young research fellow, Fabian Hinz, proposed studying a flurry of recent Iranian
state media material on General
Moghaddam. He wanted to see if it contained clues as to how far Iran’s missile
program had progressed before the general’s death.
But offhand comments from General
Moghaddam’s colleagues and family
members in the Iranian media seemed
to imply that his work had quietly continued, the researchers say.
Poring over years of satellite
imagery, the researchers noticed
something: The number of
buildings had slowly increased.
Mr. Hinz also found a big hint as to
where the work was taking place. In a
2017 post by an Iranian journalists association, he saw an undated photo of General Moghaddam alongside a top lieutenant and a box marked “Shahrud.”
That name caught Mr. Hinz’s attention.
Shahrud, named for a town 40 kilometers away, was the site of a single missile
test-launch in 2013. It had been considered dormant ever since and, when
viewed by satellite, appeared disused.
Was there more than met the eye?
Poring over years of satellite imagery,
the researchers noticed something: The
number of buildings, they say, had
slowly increased over time.
They also spotted a detail that would
stand out only to an obsessive follower
of General Moghaddam’s career: The
buildings were painted a striking aquamarine. General Moghaddam, known as
eccentric and strong willed, had ordered
his first facility, the one that was destroyed, painted that color. Now the
same color appeared 300 miles away on
a cluster of nondescript buildings in the
On its own, this proved little, but it led
the researchers to look more closely.
Once they did, they saw more than just
suspicious paint.
Many military technologies can be developed, at least in early stages, indoors.
Ballistics labs, wind tunnels and enrichment facilities can be hidden in buildings or underground.
Missiles are an exception. Their engines must be fitted into stands and testfired — hazardous work that is typically
done outdoors. And engine tests, when
conducted in desert landscapes like
those around Shahrud, can burn ground
scars, shaped like candle flames, into
the terrain.
The researchers, piecing through satellite photos of the area around
Shahrud, found, in a crater a few kilometers away, what they say were two telltale ground scars. They were larger
than those at General Moghaddam’s
publicly known facility.
The scars were recent. One appeared
in 2016, the other in June 2017.
The researchers scrutinized the test
stands. Such structures typically weigh
between four and six times the thrust of
the engine being tested. And they are
concrete, allowing their weight to be inferred from their dimensions. The researchers say Shahrud’s 2017 test used a
stand estimated to be 370 tons, suggesting the engine powered between 62 and
93 tons of thrust — enough for an intercontinental ballistic missile. Two as-yetunused test stands are even larger.
There were other hints. Shahrud appears to house three pits of the sort used
for casting or curing rocket components, the researchers say. One pit, at 5.5
meters, or 18 feet, in diameter, is far
larger than those used for Iran’s medium-range missiles.
The researchers confirmed that the
facility remains active by using a new
type of satellite imagery known as synthetic-aperture radar. By firing radio
waves and measuring their echo, the
satellite reveals greater detail than a
photograph. Because of how it stores
data, it can track minute changes between two sets of images, such as dirt
kicked up by someone walking between
“We can see human traffic, human activity that isn’t visible on your traditional satellite,” said David Schmerler,
one of the California-based researchers.
“They’ve been driving all over the
crater where the engine tests are done.”
And there appeared to be heavy vehicle traffic in and out of a tunnel leading
underground, suggesting that Shahrud
sits atop a large subterranean structure,
the researchers say, though they could
not say what it is for.
The researchers were especially
struck by the fuel — or, more precisely,
they say, the fact that there was none to
be seen. No storage tanks, fuel trucks or
fueling stations. This underscored suspicions that Shahrud is building engines
that burn solid fuel, they say.
Solid fuel is far more difficult and dangerous to develop than the liquid kind.
While it is also used in civilian programs
like spaceflight, its military applications
are considerable.
Liquid-fueled missiles must be fueled
right before launch, which requires time
and access to special fueling facilities,
making them easier for enemy forces to
find and destroy. But solid-fueled mis-
“We’ve stumbled onto this program that
was much closer to being done than we’d
realized,” said Jeffrey Lewis, who leads
the California-based team that uncovered the facility.
But closer to completing what, precisely?
Perhaps only a more advanced version of Iran’s existing medium-range
missiles. Still, this would not explain
why the structures appear sized for
larger missiles or why the work is conducted in such secrecy. Another explanation could be rockets designed to fire
into space — though this is not necessarily benign. Countries will often develop
space-launch rockets as a kind of test
model for intercontinental ballistic missiles. North Korea and India both
started their ICBM programs this way.
Mr. Lewis estimated that Shahrud’s
casting or curing pits could produce
three rockets per year — not enough for
an arsenal, but the right amount for a
space-launch program. This could develop the technical know-how for an
ICBM without one actually being built.
A Revolutionary Guards officer
named Majid Musavi, who is thought to
be Mr. Moghaddam’s successor, seemed
to suggest as much in his only known interview. A space program, Mr. Musavi
said in 2014, allowed the scientists to
continue their work while complying
with orders from Iranian leaders not to
produce missiles over 2,000 kilometers,
or over 1,200 miles, in range.
Work at the facility is most likely intended as “a hedge” should the nuclear
agreement collapse, said Dina Esfandiary, an Iran expert at the Center for
Strategic and International Studies. The
country does not appear to be sprinting
toward a long-range missile, but preparing the ground in case Iranian leaders
should one day deem that necessary.
“It keeps the option open,” Ms. Esfandiary said.
Mr. Lewis concluded that the program is holding deliberately short of a
functional long-range missile. But if
President Trump succeeds in tearing up
the agreement, or if Tehran feels threatened, Mr. Lewis warned, Shahrud suggests that Iran could acquire a longrange missile more quickly than has
been previously known.
“Like we did with North Korea, we are
underestimating how capable they are,”
he said, referring to North Korea’s rapid
development of an ICBM.
“The Iranians are choosing to restrain
themselves for political reasons,” Mr.
Lewis said, “and if we tell them to go to
hell, we’re not going to like what they
Analysis by Fabian Hinz, Jeffrey Lewis
and David Schmerler of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
The analysis was reviewed by James Acton of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Michael Elleman of the
International Institute for Strategic
Studies, Dina Esfandiary of the Center
for Strategic and International Studies,
Steve Fetter of the University of Maryland and David Wright of the Union of
Concerned Scientists.
Kim meeting
is called off
by Trump
sions would allow the site to be used
again. No weapons experts were present to view the blasts and to assess the
extent of the destruction.
Mr. Kim announced the closing of the
test site earlier this month, a pledge that
Mr. Trump called “a very smart and gracious gesture!”
When he met with the leaders of
South Korea and China in recent weeks,
Mr. Kim told them that he was willing to
discuss relinquishing his country’s nuclear arsenal in return for security guarantees, the lifting of sanctions and other
incentives from the United States.
But North Korea abruptly changed its
tone last week, warning that Mr. Kim
would not meet with Mr. Trump if Washington insisted on its quick and “unilateral nuclear abandonment” without offering incentives.
Despite doubts about North Korea’s
intentions, analysts noted signs that the
North had been preparing for the shutdown in Punggye-ri in recent weeks, taking down some buildings, possibly in
an effort to remove secret information
before the arrival of outsiders.
Some analysts have also played down
the significance of North Korea’s decision to shut down the site. They said that
after six tests, the site had most likely
caved in and become too unstable for another test. Others cautioned that the
North might be shuttering the site in a
way that could allow it to be reopened
In 2008, North Korea invited international journalists to watch it blow up a
cooling tower of its nuclear reactor under a deal with Washington. But it restarted the reactor a few years later, after negotiations over its nuclear program stalled.
But when he met with President
Moon Jae-in of South Korea last month,
Mr. Kim rebuffed skeptics of his pledge
to disable the Punggye-ri site, saying
that it still had two functioning tunnels
where nuclear tests could be conducted.
“It’s true that shutting down the
Punggye-ri test site does not prevent
North Korea from ever testing again,”
said David Wright, a senior scientist at
the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Mr. Wright added that it could take the
North months or longer to reverse the
disabling of the facilities at the site.
North Korea said it had invited outside journalists to the dismantling ceremony to ensure transparency. But it
waited until just a day before the event
to let South Korean journalists into the
In a statement carried by its official
Korean Central News Agency, the
North’s Nuclear Weapons Institute said
it held a ceremony on Thursday for
“completely dismantling” the test site to
demonstrate “transparency” with its
earlier decision not to conduct any more
nuclear tests.
The institute said there was no leakage of radioactive materials during the
explosions. It said that the entire site
will be closed after further removal of
aboveground structures and personnel,
adding that North Korea was committed
to building “a nuclear-free peaceful
The Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardine sells cans with the buyer’s birth year.
One of the trams that take tourists and locals up and down Lisbon’s hills.
Maria Teresa Alves Ramos Mendes was forced out of her home by an increase in rent.
Lisbon’s revival comes at a price for the less-privileged
ating housing problems in a few neighborhoods,” said Luís Correia da Silva, a
director of Dom Pedro, a resort and hotel company.
“But people shouldn’t forget that nobody wanted to do anything to save
these same neighborhoods a few years
ago,” he added.
In 2010, my first article for The New
York Times in Lisbon focused on Portugal’s antiquated tenancy rules, which
could leave a landlord renting two identical apartments in the same building,
but one for less than 3 percent of the other’s price.
Portugal had a long history of antagonism toward landowners, dating back to
the 1910 revolution that ended the monarchy. Then, during a long military dictatorship, rents were frozen in Lisbon
and the northern city of Porto.
Fixed rents for new contracts were
abolished more than a decade after another revolution, which overthrew the
dictatorship in 1974, but not for existing
contracts. Downtown Lisbon remained
a partly derelict area shunned by locals.
When Portugal received its bailout,
the inner city had 552,700 inhabitants
and 322,865 housing units, of which
50,289 stood vacant, according to the
most recent census, in 2011. A year later,
the new rental law came into force that
liberalized the housing market.
Politicians sought to lead by example.
In 2011, António Costa, who was then
mayor of Lisbon, moved his city hall administration from its historic headquarters to a former tile factory building at
the corner of Intendente, a square
known for drugs and prostitutes.
Mr. Costa is now Portugal’s prime
minister and Intendente is almost unrecognizable. It has a handicraft shop,
cafes and several construction projects
in the works.
In the center stands a garden, surrounded by red forged-metal barriers
designed by Joana Vasconcelos, one of
Portugal’s best-known artists.
Asked about Lisbon’s transformation,
Ms. Vasconcelos said that “the city is
changing fast, but for the better.”
“My impression is that Lisbon is getting back to what it used to be, because
this was a multicultural city for centuries, a trading center that was connected to the world,” she said. “During a
dark period of dictatorship, we lost our
way but we’re now back on track.”
But there’s a sad flip side to almost every happy story about Lisbon’s fortunes.
Rodrigo Azambuja used to weave traditional Portuguese carpets. In 2013, his
landlord raised his rent to €1,200 from
€300. A few months ago, the landlord
told him he needed to be out in July.
By August, however, Mr. Azambuja
should start getting rental income from
a property he bought two years ago, in
one of the auctions of derelict buildings
held by the city.
Rather than making carpets, he will
soon be serving wine in a bar that he will
open on the ground floor.
“I guess that I’m really living both
sides of this story,” Mr. Azambuja said.
“To me, the only real drama is that all
this change is happening so fast, in a
kind of perfect storm, for which many
people were completely unprepared.”
Luis Mendes, an urban geographer, is
a member of a citizens’ platform called
Morar em Lisboa (Living in Lisbon) that
has been fighting to halt housing evictions. He worries that Lisbon risks
“killing the golden goose” that has made
it so attractive to visitors.
“If we’re evicting the old residents
and creating gated communities for the
wealthy, then what are we going to show
tourists who expect to see traditional
Portuguese life on our streets?” he
Some residents complain a dual economy has emerged, split between those
who deal in property and tourism — and
the rest.
They also decry the “Disneyfication”
of Lisbon, which they see in new shops,
like The Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardine, where tourists can buy
a can of fish with their birth year on the
Lisbon’s 4.5 million annual visitors
now outstrip the city’s population by a
ratio of more than eight to one. About 30
hotels are scheduled to open in the coming year.
The housing squeeze in Lisbon, as
well as in Porto, is becoming a political
issue for the Socialist minority government of Mr. Costa, who has relied on the
support of Communist and other far-left
lawmakers to stay in office since 2015.
Far-left politicians want to tighten
laws to stop evictions and protect tenants, including those who are over 65
and have lived in their property for more
than 25 years.
While rules already exist to protect
older residents, they are not ironclad.
After her husband died, Maria Teresa
Alves Ramos Mendes, a 79-year seamstress, was told by her landlord that the
rent on the apartment where they had
lived for more than 30 years would increase several times over.
She consulted lawyers, who warned
that she could lose a costly court battle.
So she abandoned the place.
“I really thought that at my age there
was no way that I could be forced out of
my home, but I was sadly wrong,” she
She now lives with her daughter on
the outskirts of Lisbon, but the shortterm rental market aimed at tourists
and developed by companies like
Airbnb is spreading even there.
Life in upmarket neighborhoods is being hollowed out. In November, André
Júdice Glória, a Portuguese lawyer,
moved into a new apartment with his
wife and two children, in a renovated
six-story building.
Three Brazilians and two Angolans
own the other apartments, but Mr.
Júdice Glória said he barely sees them.
“It’s a first-world problem, but of
course this building feels very empty,”
he lamented. “It would have been nice to
have some other families around us,
people with a real stake in the day-today issues of living here.”
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018 | 5
Students hit by a backlash in gun country
Speaking out in a town
that had a school shooting
has come at a social cost
The teenagers in rural Kentucky decided they were fed up after a 15-yearold with a handgun turned their high
school into another killing ground, leaving two classmates dead. Like so many
other students, they wrote speeches and
op-ed essays calling for gun control,
they painted posters and they marched
on their State Capitol. The blush of activism made them feel empowered, even a
little invincible.
Then came the backlash.
It started with sideways looks and
laughter from other students in the hallways, they said. Friends deleted them
from group chats and stopped inviting
them over. On social media, people
called the activists “retards” and
“spoiled brats,” and said they should
have been the ones to die during a shooting in Marshall County High School’s
student commons four months ago.
In a more liberal city like Parkland,
Fla., or at a rally in Washington, these
students might have been celebrated as
young leaders. But in rural, conservative parts of the United States where
farm fields crackle with target practice
and children grow up turkey hunting
with their parents, the new wave of student activism clashes with bedrock support for gun rights.
Speaking out in a place like Marshall
County, Ky., carries a price — measured
in frayed friendships, arguments with
parents and animosity within the same
walls where classmates were gunned
The gulf between liberal and conservative America’s responses to mass
shootings was on display again in Santa
Fe, Tex., population 13,000, after 10 people were killed at the high school there
on Friday. Republican leaders expressed no desire to pass gun restrictions. Many residents and students
agreed with them, saying that gun control would not stop the bloodshed at
America’s schools.
“If we had more guns on campus with
more teachers armed, we’d be a lot
safer,” said Layton Kelly, 17, a student
who hid in a classroom next to the scene
of the shooting in Santa Fe.
That view resonates across rural Kentucky, where state lawmakers did not
pass any new gun restrictions after the
Marshall County shooting.
Most of the debate, both here in Benton, the hamlet that is home to the
county high school, and at the State Capitol in Frankfort, has been focused on
how to make schools more secure and
how to detect potentially dangerous students. The school district in Marshall
County has hired more armed officers
and locked many of the high school’s 86
doors. Every morning, teachers and
staff members search students’ backpacks and wand them with metal detectors.
The question of guns stayed largely
on the sidelines.
“I don’t think the Second Amendment
is the issue,” said Kevin Neal, Marshall
County’s judge/executive. “If somebody
gets it in their head they’re going to kill,
they’re going to do it.”
Mr. Neal, a hulking former Marine, is
a staunch gun rights supporter. He said
he carried a pistol on his side as he finished his lunch at JoJo’s Café. He said
that many adults thought the student
protesters were simply “marching to
march.” Some parents said the students
were being goaded by anti-gun groups
outside Marshall County and were just
seeking attention.
“They want to show, ‘Look at me, look
at me,’” said P. J. Thomason, whose son
Case was wounded in the shooting. “Everyone that owns a gun is wrong —
that’s what they teach them nowadays.”
Mr. Thomason said that Case survived that day because he is a competitive pistol and rifle shooter who recognized the sound of gunshots in the student commons and instantly knew to
run. Case was struck in the hip, but recovered quickly and is shooting again.
“The reason he’s alive is because of a
gun,” Mr. Thomason said.
The Marshall County students who
decided to speak out for gun control said
they understood the consequences of
bucking the views of many of their parents, friends and neighbors on an issue
as personal and emotional as guns.
“We knew we were going to get backlash,” said Cloi Henke, 15, who was in a
small group of students who participated in a local March for Our Lives
rally one rainy day this spring.
media said the students were too young
to know anything.
Cloi said she had been at a friend’s
house one afternoon when her friend’s
father pulled out his AR-15 — a type of
assault rifle that has been used in several mass shootings — to show her
“what you guys are trying to ban.”
“It was kind of scary,” Cloi said.
Lily, sitting next to her, said a teacher
had confronted her when she came to
class wearing a T-shirt in the school’s orange and blue colors, showing a constellation of dots for every school in Kentucky affected by a shooting.
“I just didn’t think it would be so
forward. When people started
talking about me, it knocked me
down a few pegs.”
A billboard supporting the students of Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky. Below, from left, Hailey Case, Jordan Harrell and Lily
Dunn. Hailey and Lily, freshmen at Marshall, have been active in calling for gun restrictions since the January shooting at the school.
“I just didn’t think it would be so forward,” said Lily Dunn, her 15-year-old
friend. “When people started talking
about me, it knocked me down a few
It was just after school one afternoon,
and Cloi, Lily and their friends — all
freshmen — were squeezed into a booth
at the Benton Dairy Queen. Since the
shooting at Marshall, they stick together often, in their spot in the student commons or on a friend’s willow-shaded
back porch, to support each other and
strategize about their tiny slice of the
gun control movement.
“Almost no one agrees with us,” said
Hailey Case, 16. That includes her father,
who argued with Hailey after listening
to her practice a speech she delivered at
the local March for Our Lives rally.
One girl threatened to fight them after
they held a gun control rally, they said.
Letters and commenters in local news
Their own dot came on Jan. 23. According to the police and prosecutors,
Gabriel Parker, a 15-year-old student at
Marshall County High, opened fire on a
group of students with his stepfather’s
handgun as a kind of twisted social experiment, to see how people would react. Mr. Parker was arrested after he
slipped out of the school among a group
of students fleeing the carnage and has
been charged as an adult in the attack.
Across the United States, about 60
percent of rural households own a gun
— double the rate of city households —
and many Marshall County students
said that before the shooting they had
barely thought about the gun debate.
They hunted and shot air rifles at camp
on Kentucky Lake, and their fathers
kept handguns for protection.
Afterward, though, the gulf between
their views and their parents’ became
impossible to ignore.
Mary Cox, 18, a senior who is involved
in theater and captain of her speech
team, got into arguments with her father when he tried to buy her a compact
handgun to take with her to college. One
day, she said, when her father was driving her home from a rehearsal, he
pressed her on her support for banning
AR-15s. If she was being attacked,
wouldn’t she want someone with an
AR-15 to come help?
“We couldn’t be more opposite in
what we believe,” her father, Ezra, said
in an interview. Still, he said, he and his
wife had encouraged Mary to stay true
to her beliefs.
If rice loses its worth as food
Study finds high levels
of carbon dioxide rob
some plants of nutrients
When scientists want to figure out how
climate change might disrupt the
world’s food supply, they often explore
how rising temperatures could shift
growing seasons or how more frequent
droughts could damage harvests.
In recent years, though, researchers
have begun to realize that the extra carbon dioxide that humanity is pumping
into the atmosphere isn’t just warming
the planet, it’s also making some of our
most important crops less nutritious by
changing their chemical makeup and diluting vitamins and minerals.
Now, a study has found that rice exposed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide contains lower amounts of several
important nutrients.
The potential health consequences
are large, given that there are already
billions of people around the world who
don’t get enough protein, vitamins or
other nutrients in their daily diet.
“When we study food security, we’ve
often focused on how climate change
might affect the production of crops,”
said Lewis H. Ziska, a plant physiologist
at the United States Department of Agriculture and a co-author of the new
study. “But the quality of those crops
and their nutritional content can be just
as important, and that hasn’t always
gotten the close scrutiny it deserves.”
In the study, published this week in
Science Advances, Dr. Ziska and his colleagues exposed experimental rice
fields in China and Japan to the same elevated levels of carbon dioxide that are
expected to occur worldwide later this
century as a result of fossil-fuel burning
and other human activities.
Most of the 18 varieties of rice that
were grown and harvested contained
significantly less protein, iron and zinc
than rice that is grown today. All of the
rice varieties saw dramatic declines in
vitamins B1, B2, B5 and B9, though they
contained higher levels of vitamin E.
The researchers focused on rice because more than two billion people
worldwide rely on it as a primary food
For people in wealthy countries who
enjoy a diverse, healthy diet, it may not
matter much if rice becomes less nutritious in the years ahead. “But in a country like Bangladesh, rice provides 70
percent of the calories, and there aren’t
a lot of other opportunities to get those
nutrients,” said Kristie L. Ebi, a professor of public health at the University of
Washington and a co-author of the
This newest paper builds on a major
study published in Nature in 2014, finding that elevated levels of carbon dioxide reduced the amount of zinc and iron
found in wheat, rice, field peas and soy-
Climate change could make rice, a food
source for two billion people, less healthy
to eat, researchers said.
beans. In both studies, researchers installed pipes that emitted carbon dioxide onto small open-air plots — rather
than simply testing crops in enclosed
greenhouses — to simulate future realworld conditions.
The finding that extra carbon dioxide
can make crops less nutritious may
sound counterintuitive. Plants, after all,
rely on carbon dioxide as an ingredient
for photosynthesis, so it seems like more
carbon dioxide should be beneficial,
helping them grow. But what scientists
have found is that the chemical composition of a plant depends on the balance of
the carbon dioxide it takes in from the
air and the nutrients it absorbs from the
soil. Upset this balance, and the plant
can change in unexpected ways.
In plants like rice and wheat that undergo what is known as C3 photosynthesis, higher levels of carbon dioxide may
spur plants to produce more carbohydrates, which dilute some of the more
nutritious components. But scientists
are still trying to understand exactly
why some compounds, like vitamin B,
get diluted and others don’t, or why
some varieties of rice see sharper declines in vitamin B than others.
With further research, scientists
might try to breed or genetically engineer new crop varieties that preserve
much of their nutritional value in the
face of rising carbon dioxide. But this
could prove challenging, Dr. Ziska said,
given that all of the tested rice lines in
their study showed significant declines
in vitamin B.
“We still don’t understand why some
plant genotypes show a bigger response
to higher levels of carbon dioxide,” said
Andrew Leakey, a crop biologist at the
University of Illinois who was not involved in the latest study. “And that’s important if we want to move from understanding the problem to solving it.”
If crop scientists can’t solve the problem, larger changes may be needed to
blunt the negative effect on nutrition
worldwide. “The bottom line is that people will need more diverse diets with a
range of quality food sources,” Dr. Ebi
said. “That’s already a major challenge.”
Another possible solution would be to
reduce the amount of carbon dioxide
that humanity emits. Currently, levels of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere average around 410 parts per million, up
from 350 parts per million in the 1980s,
largely from the burning of fossil fuels.
In the rice study, the researchers looked
at how crops responded to levels of
around 580 parts per million, which
could prove tough to avoid this century
without drastic changes.
Samuel S. Myers, a research scientist
at the Harvard University Center for the
Environment who worked on the 2014
Nature study, said that this latest paper
underscored the need for more research
on how our changing atmosphere will
affect the wide variety of plants we rely
on to feed ourselves.
There has been no work done to date,
for instance, on how crops planted in impoverished soils in Africa might respond
to rising carbon dioxide levels.
• Because of an editing error, an obituary on Wednesday about the artist
Robert Indiana misidentified Maxwell
Anderson, who in a 2008 interview
called Mr. Indiana “an artist of consequence who gets mistaken for a one-hit
wonder.” Mr. Anderson is the former director of the Indianapolis Museum of
Art and the Dallas Museum of Art; he is
not currently the director of the Dallas
• An article on Monday about efforts in
Germany to regulate Facebook misstated the name of a right-wing group
that uses the social network. It is Alternative for Germany, not Alternative of
• An article on Monday about AfricanAmerican cultural influence at the royal
wedding misspelled the surname of a
Twitter user who wrote that the Most
Rev. Michael Curry’s address at the ceremony was a moment “hundreds of
years in the making.” She is Andrea L.
Pino, not Pinto.
• An article in the Saturday-Sunday edition about Cadillac sedans, relying on information from Cadillac, misstated the
source of data on the average sale price
of its vehicles. The source was J. D.
Power, not R. L. Polk.
Liens Collection
6 | FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018
Even a sparkling pool may hold parasites
Survey of swimmers
finds many are unaware
of water’s health risks
There isn’t really a chemical that makes
water turn a darker color when someone urinates in a pool, but two new reports on the health risks of pools, hot
tubs and water playgrounds might
make you wish there were.
One report by the Water Quality and
Health Council asked 3,000 adults about
their swimming habits for its yearly
Healthy Pools report. Among the questions was whether they had urinated in
a pool as an adult; some 27 percent of
adults — more than one in four — said
they had.
“And we think that’s probably underreported,” said Chris Wiant, chairman of
the Water Quality and Health Council,
which is funded by the American Chemistry Council to survey swimmers’ behaviors.
Urine will combine with the chlorine
in the pool to create other chemicals,
leaving less chlorine available to act as a
disinfectant and kill bacteria (and the
chemical byproducts created will irritate your eyes).
An even greater risk is from parasites
and bacteria that can spread diseases in
recreational water facilities, even when
the water has been treated with chemicals. From 2000 to 2014, some 500 outbreaks occurred in 46 states in the
United States and in Puerto Rico, causing 27,219 cases of illness and eight
deaths, according to a separate report
released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One-third
of the outbreaks occurred in hotel pools
or hot tubs.
Most of the illnesses were caused by a
parasite called cryptosporidium (crypto
for short), which is tough enough to survive chlorine for seven days and causes
diarrhea; the bacterium Pseudomonas,
which causes swimmer’s ear and hot tub
rash; and Legionella, which can cause
Legionnaires’ disease and is the deadliest of the three, linked to at least six of
the deaths during the 15-year period.
Crypto was responsible for more than
half of the outbreaks and the vast majority of the illnesses, however.
“Swallowing just a mouthful of water
with crypto in it can make otherwise
healthy kids and adults sick for weeks
with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps,
A public swimming pool in Belgrade, Serbia. In a survey, some 27 percent of swimmers
in the United States said they had urinated in a pool as an adult.
nausea and vomiting,” said Michele
Hlavsa, chief of the center’s Healthy
Swimming Program.
“The most important thing is to keep
crypto out of the water in the first place
— so don’t swim or let your kids swim if
they have diarrhea,” Ms. Hlavsa said.
Many American adults don’t heed
that warning, however. The Healthy
Pools survey asked adults whether they
would swim within an hour of having diarrhea, and 17 percent of adults said
they would.
“The recommendation is not to swim
for two weeks after symptoms go away,”
Mr. Wiant said.
And only half of adults shower before
getting in the pool, though about 80 percent shower after swimming, the survey
The survey of 3,000 adults was not
representative of the entire United
States, but it was weighted to be representative for gender and age and was
representative for income and region.
Here are some practical tips and advice for keeping your families safe during swimming season.
• Before going to a pool, check the pool’s
inspections online or on-site, and make
sure it gets good scores. Public pools are
usually inspected by the local health department (backyard pools are not), and
many local and state health departments provide online access to the inspection reports. Another good question
to ask at the pool is whether there is a
certified pool and spa operator on staff.
• You can check water quality yourself
by purchasing pool test strips at the
hardware store that check the water’s
levels of chlorine, another sanitizer
called bromine and the pH level.
• Don’t swallow the water, and take chil-
dren on hourly bathroom breaks. If
you’ve got a baby or toddler, change diapers often in a spot that’s far away from
the pool.
• Shower for at least a minute before you
get in the pool, and if you’ve had diarrhea, don’t swim for at least two weeks.
• Make sure you can see the drain at the
deep end of the pool, and feel the sides of
the pool or hot tub where the water
meets the edge. “It shouldn’t feel slimy,”
Ms. Hlavsa said. “The pool operator
should be scrubbing and getting rid of
• If your child is playing in a water playground with jets that spray water, keep
in mind that the water is being recycled
over and over again. Make sure your
children don’t drink the water, especially if other children have been sitting
on the jets.
• If you are 50 and over, a current or former smoker, have chronic lung disease
or a weakened immune system, you are
at higher risk for getting sick from Legionella, which is spread by inhaling
mist or aerosol that contains the bacteria, so you may want to avoid hot tub jets
that spray water. See a doctor immediately if you think you have developed
pneumonia, and tell the doctor about
any recent hot tub use.
Broke your left arm?
Exercise your right
Amanat Devi Jain, who has asthma, using a nebulizer at home in New Delhi. Parents may feel reluctant to give medications every day to a child who doesn’t look immediately ill.
Asthma doesn’t take holidays
Even children who appear
fine need to see a doctor
before stopping medication
I often look in the medical record and
see that a child is listed as having
asthma and taking one or two different
medications, only to hear from the parents that the inhaler at home is empty
and expired, and the prescription hasn’t
been filled in a couple of months. If we’re
all lucky, the next response is that the
child is doing fine; if we’re less lucky,
there’s a story about a bad few days of
wheezing and an emergency room visit.
Many parents do know that they have
to be especially vigilant about their
child’s medication in pollen season,
when the air is thick with allergens. But
some think they can take a vacation
from the inhalers during the summer,
and their children’s doctors would really
like to be consulted before the regimen
is changed.
Asthma is a chronic disease, and a
common one in children. Depending on
their symptoms and severity, children
with asthma may be on “rescue” medications that they use only when they are
having asthma symptoms, usually delivered through inhalers, or they may
also take “controller” medications like
inhaled corticosteroids every day,
whether they’re feeling sick or well.
More symptoms or more impairment
can mean more complex regimens, combining different kinds of drugs.
“Asthma is quite a variable disease;
there’s not a one-size-fits-all,” said Dr.
Stanley Szefler, the director of pediatric
asthma research at Children’s Hospital
Colorado, and the author of a recent review of asthma across the life span. “It’s
a careful balance between symptoms
and prevention and then the underlying
things that may be going on.”
The goal is to prevent the kinds of serious exacerbations that can land children in the emergency room or hospital.
In addition to the dangers of respiratory
distress, repeated exacerbations can
lead to damaged lungs and worsened
lung function over time, said Dr.
Heather Hoch, a pediatric pulmonologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
She presented research done with Dr.
Szefler and other colleagues at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in
early May looking at children with
asthma in the Colorado area to see
which were most at risk for exacerbations. They found that children from
birth to age 4 were at higher risk than
those over 5, and that poor children
were at higher risk.
They also looked at a biologic marker
for allergic activity called the eosinophil
count; eosinophils are a type of white
blood cell associated with allergies and
with asthma. The study found that children with higher eosinophil counts were
at greater risk for asthma exacerbations.
Exacerbations were more common in
spring and fall, so families with children
in the higher risk groups should be especially careful at those times of the year.
Earlier research had shown that fall was
a high risk time for children with severe
asthma, but this study extended the
work into a population with milder, more
common levels of illness.
“Spring and fall are just hard times for
kids with asthma,” Dr. Hoch said. “I tell
families, be extra vigilant especially if
their kids are allergic.” You may not
know your child’s eosinophil count, she
said, but if a child with asthma has had a
positive allergy skin test, or reacts to
pollen with nasal congestion and itchy,
watery eyes, that’s a child whose family
should take extra care in the spring and
the fall, taking all the medications on
schedule and avoiding possible triggers
that can set off asthma.
But there are also risks as we move
into the summer, which is generally an
easier time for children with asthma, so
much so that many families are tempted
to take “holidays” from at least some
parts of the medication regimen. Knowing which children are at highest risk for
exacerbations may help doctors work
with families around those decisions, Dr.
Hoch said, and make sure that as the
season changes to autumn, children are
as well protected as possible.
“Parents should look at their child’s
asthma over the long haul, not just day
to day or week to week,” Dr. Szefler said.
Avoiding triggers can mean keeping
the child away from tobacco smoke as
much as possible, and reducing exposure to specific allergens, like cats and
dogs, but it also means trying hard to reduce exposure to viral infections. “Viruses are a huge trigger for exacerbations, especially in these allergic kids,”
Dr. Hoch said. Prevention means vigilant hand hygiene, and of course, children should get their flu vaccines
promptly in the fall.
“Parents should look at their
child’s asthma over the
long haul, not just day to
day or week to week.”
According to the research literature,
Dr. Hoch said, previous exacerbations
are the most reliable predictor of future
asthma exacerbations in children. And
what’s most important for prevention is
“that the kids actually take the medications being prescribed,” Dr. Hoch said.
“Like any chronic disease, adherence is
usually pretty poor.”
Parents may feel reluctant to give
medications every day to a child who
doesn’t look immediately ill, and they
may have concerns about how the child
will be affected by being on inhaled steroids for years. Given in the usually prescribed doses, Dr. Szefler said, the inhaled steroids have been shown to have
an early effect on some but not all children’s growth, reducing height by one
centimeter. “It seems to be permanent
but not progressive,” he said. “One centimeter you may see in the first year.”
But continued use of the steroids doesn’t
mean that the cumulative effect gets
Because of this impact on the child’s
growth, the recommendation is to use
the lowest effective dose of inhaled steroids, with the goal of keeping the child
healthy: “If you have a kid who has significant asthma, the bigger concern
about growth and development is
asthma, not inhaled steroids,” Dr. Hoch
Families are often faced with changing regimens: “Every time I see a patient, I’m deciding where are they from a
medication standpoint,” she said. “Do I
need to think about stepping them up, or
are they doing great, and maybe I can
talk about stepping them down?”
New technologies may make it possible in the future for the inhalers themselves to monitor whether the medications are being used correctly, but even
without those tools, it’s important for pediatricians to talk with families in detail
about how regularly the children are
getting their medicine.
Most children with asthma are managed by general pediatricians and family physicians. The children who get referred to pediatric pulmonologists are
often those whose asthma has proved
difficult to control, so that they do keep
getting “stepped up” and may end up on
higher doses than usual, or multiple
medications at the same time.
Avoiding exacerbations is important,
but the overall goal of managing asthma
in children is not just keeping them out
of the hospital, but also keeping them in
their full range of activities — they
shouldn’t be missing school, and they
shouldn’t be sitting out the fun. “The
vast majority of kids with asthma, if we
treat them appropriately and they take
their medications, they can do whatever
they like,” Dr. Hoch said. “I like to remind families we have Olympic athletes” with asthma.
When new families come in, she tells
them, “If you take these medications
and you avoid things that are going to
make your asthma worse like tobacco
smoke, you should be able to do anything in life you want to do, run and play
on the soccer field, play football — you
just have to take the medications to get
your lungs back to the place everyone
else is starting from.”
If you sprain an ankle or break a wrist
this summer and cannot use one of
your limbs, the muscles there will
weaken and shrink — unless you exercise those same muscles in your other
According to a fascinating new
study, working out the muscles on one
side of our bodies can keep the muscles on the other side strong and fit,
even if we do not move them at all. The
finding has implications for injury
recovery and also underscores how
capable and confounding our bodies
can be.
Many of us — or a family member —
will at some point break a bone, tear a
ligament or experience a neurological
problem such as a stroke that makes it
impossible to move an arm or leg
When that limb is immobilized, its
muscles will atrophy, losing size and
strength, a process that begins within
days or even hours of an injury.
There have been hints, though, that
exercising one limb can affect the
other. In past studies, when someone
pedals a bike with one leg or lifts
weights with one arm, muscles in the
other limb often contract, a development known as mirroring.
But in most of those experiments,
the unused limb was not completely
immobilized with a cast and scientists
did not focus on specific muscles,
making it difficult to know whether
exercising certain muscles in one limb
affects all muscles in the other or only
So for the new study, which was
published in April in the Journal of
Applied Physiology, researchers from
the University of Saskatchewan in
Saskatoon gathered 16 male and female college students and closely
examined their wrists.
Using ultrasound and CT scans, the
scientists determined the precise
dimensions of two separate sets of
muscles in that joint: the extensors,
which move the wrist back and away
from the body; and the flexors, which
pull it in, toward the forearm.
The researchers also tested each
volunteers’ wrist strength using a
weight machine for the hands.
Then they covered each student’s
left forearm and wrist with a hard cast
to freeze the wrist in place. (All of the
students were right-handed.)
Half of the students were then asked
to go on with their normal lives, ignoring the cast as much as possible and
not exercising their arms.
The other eight students, though,
began a workout program that targeted the flexor muscles in their
wrists. Using a small, viselike weight
machine, they completed multiple,
strenuous, eccentric contractions of
those particular muscles. Eccentric
contractions involve lengthening a
muscle while contracting it and are
known to potently build muscle
strength and size.
In the meantime, the researchers
attached tiny sensors above the flexor
muscles in the volunteers’ immobilized
wrists to measure any contractions
After a month, all of the volunteers
returned to the lab, had their casts
removed and repeated the original
measures of their muscles.
As expected, the volunteers who had
not exercised showed considerable
muscle atrophy. Their left wrist flexors
were more than 20 percent weaker on
average. Those muscles had also
shrunk in size, losing about 3 percent
of their mass.
But the students who had exercised
their right wrists’ flexor muscles had
maintained almost all of those muscles’
original size and strength on the left.
The benefits were quite specific,
though. These same volunteers’ wrist
extensor muscles, which had not been
exercised in their right wrists, were
atrophied on the left.
The implication of these findings is
that exercising muscles on one side of
your body can lead to beneficial impacts on the other side, said Jonathan
Farthing, an associate professor of
kinesiology at the University of
Saskatchewan who conducted the
study with his graduate student Justin
Andrushko and other colleagues.
But those effects apparently extend
only to the particular muscles that are
The entire process seems to involve
more than just muscular mirroring, he
said. The sensors placed above the
volunteers’ cast-bound wrists picked
up some muscular contractions in the
left flexors when their right-side counterparts exercised.
“But those contractions were very
slight,” he said, and by themselves are
likely to be insufficient to keep the
muscles healthy and strong.
He believes that there could be
changes in the nervous system during
unilateral exercise that somehow reach
and change the same body part on the
other side.
Various biochemical substances
might also be released by the working
muscles and make their way to the
corresponding contralateral muscles,
where they could jump-start physiological processes related to muscle health.
But how the substances would manage to target the specific muscles in
question “is a mystery,” Dr. Farthing
He and his colleagues plan to investigate some of those issues in coming
studies. But for now, this experiment’s
results strongly suggest that if you or a
loved one winds up in a cast in the
coming months, you may want to talk
with your physician or physical therapist about exercising your uninjured
limb, Dr. Farthing said.
A new study found that working out the muscles on one side can keep the other side fit.
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018 | 7
Don’t ignore
the privacy
Challenges loom over French tech drive
Though Paris generates
buzz for investment, it’s far
from becoming a leader
When President Emmanuel Macron of
France took office, he took pains to include two iPhones in his official portrait,
a symbol of his penchant for technology.
Millennials throng as he buzzes from
one French start-up event to the next.
He has wined and dined the chief executives of the world’s largest tech companies, who in turn have vowed to invest
billions in France.
Yet a year after Mr. Macron unveiled
an aggressive agenda to turn France
into “a start-up nation,” it is unclear if reality has kept pace with his rhetoric.
While the country has quickly become
one of the most talked-about destinations in Europe for tech companies and
start-ups, France still faces an uphill
path in its bid to usurp London as the region’s technology leader.
The French president has carefully
cultivated a tech-savvy image, promoted a steady drumbeat of high-profile
events, and even pushed through a raft
of economic and labor reforms to make
his country more appealing to investors.
But France continues to lag behind Britain in tech-related investments and in
the business of artificial intelligence.
Start-ups still face challenges in scaling
up. And a lot of seed funding comes from
the French government itself.
Companies have been pledging to do
more in France. In January, for example,
the chief executives of the world’s biggest technology companies announced
3.5 billion euros, or $4.1 billion, in new investments and the creation of at least
2,200 jobs over the next five years.
Those figures are minuscule compared with investment in Silicon Valley,
or even London. Mr. Macron nevertheless sought to build on France’s momentum this week, when he convened 60
tech chief executives for meetings in
Paris. The French president met individually with the Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, and with the
leaders of IBM, Microsoft and Uber on
Wednesday at the Élysée Palace.
The official focus of the talks, which
preceded a giant technology and startup conference being held in Paris, was
data privacy. The meetings came a day
after Mr. Zuckerberg faced strident
questioning at the European Parliament
in Brussels on privacy failures linked to
the Cambridge Analytica fiasco.
Facebook has faced a barrage of public criticism over its handling of user
data and vast powers, points Mr. Macron pressed further. Before the meeting,
the president’s office said that Mr. Macron would have frank discussions with
the various chief executives over the
taxation of tech companies and fighting
Brian X. Chen
President Emmanuel Macron of France with members of the Institut Curie Hospital in Paris during a visit in March concerning artificial intelligence research.
the proliferation of rumors and misinformation spreading online. The meetings came as French lawmakers were
expected to debate additional transparency measures for social media companies like Facebook.
“Clearly there has been a Macron effect,” said Franck Sebag, a Paris-based
partner at the professional services firm
Ernst & Young, who has studied
France’s digital trajectory.
“Few people were even talking about
France as a tech country a few years
ago,” Mr. Sebag said. “He’s ignited a willingness to invest.”
As President Trump pursues an increasingly protectionist agenda for the
United States, and Britain veers away
from the European Union, Mr. Macron
has promoted a policy of open borders
and being business-friendly in a country
that has long had a reputation for being
anything but. Multinationals are venturing to create more jobs in France as Mr.
Macron overhauls French labor laws,
despite protests by French workers.
Symbolic statements, like the opening
last year of Station F, a mammoth incubator project in Paris representing
France’s start-up ambitions, have also
generated buzz. And the government is
luring research activity with tax credits
worth up to $5.9 billion a year and other
inducements. This month, Mr. Macron
announced France would invest $1.8 billion into artificial intelligence research
through 2022.
Venture capital — once difficult to
raise in a country where risk-taking was
long stigmatized — is flowing more
freely. Venture capital fund-raising for
start-ups rose to €2.7 billion last year,
compared with just €255 million in 2014,
according to Dealroom, a research firm.
That is more than the amounts raised in
Britain, as well as Germany and Israel,
which also have major tech hubs.
“The U.K. is no longer the undisputed
capital of European venture capital,”
Dealroom said in a recent report. “Continental Europe is catching up, while
France is almost on par already.”
For all the hype, France must confront a number of longstanding hurdles.
While thousands of start-ups are being developed in incubators like Station
F, the country has only a handful of socalled unicorns, or start-ups valued at
over $1 billion, including the ride-sharing service BlaBlaCar and the e-commerce site That is a
measure of how challenging it is to create the next Facebook or Google in
France. And fledgling companies still
face considerable challenges scaling up
into bigger, sustainable businesses.
Tech-related investments in Britain,
meanwhile, surged nearly 90 percent
last year to over €7 billion, more than in
France, Germany and Sweden combined, according to Dealroom. And
though France makes billions in cheap
loans and grants available to finance
start-ups and accelerators through its
public investment bank Bpifrance, critics say that can make it hard to tell if
French start-ups are competitive.
Mr. Macron’s efforts to make France
an artificial intelligence hub have also
been slow to make headway. Britain still
has the strongest A.I. ecosystem in Europe, with over 120 firms involved in the
technology, compared with 39 in France,
according to Asgard Capital, a Berlinbased venture capital firm.
The trend here is shifting, though.
Big businesses are increasingly tally-
ing the advantages, especially since Mr.
Macron convened 140 chief executives
of global companies at an ornate gathering at the Palace of Versailles in January. He told them that he was pursuing a
strategy to make France more productive and competitive, and announced
more than $4.1 billion in foreign investments, including a large chunk for tech.
IBM announced Wednesday it would
recruit 1,800 artificial intelligence experts in France by 2020. SAP of Germany plans to invest $2.3 billion in research and development. DeepMind,
the London-based machine learning
company owned by Google’s parent, Alphabet, will expand its operations in
Paris as Britain prepares to leave the
European Union.
Facebook and Google also plan to beef
up their French presence and their artificial intelligence teams in Paris over
the next several years. Earlier this
month, Salesforce, the American cloud
computing company, announced a new
$2.2 billion investment in its French
business over the next five years.
Elian Peltier contributed reporting.
Fewer women calling the corporate shots
The number of women leading the largest companies has always been small.
This year, it got 25 percent smaller.
The reversal is leading to a search beyond the usual explanations for why
women don’t become chief executives —
things like not being competitive
enough, failing to chase opportunities
for promotion and choosing work-life
balance over high-powered jobs.
That’s because evidence shows that
the obstacles for female executives aren’t just because of their individual
choices. There are larger forces at work,
experts say, rooted in biases against
women in power, mothers who work or
leaders who don’t fit the mold of the people who led before them.
For many years, it seemed like the
share of women at the top of corporate
America would slowly increase. The
number of women leading companies in
the Fortune 500 had grown to 6.4 percent last year, a record, from 2.6 percent
a decade earlier.
But this year, the number of female
chief executives declined 25 percent, according to Fortune’s 2018 list, which was
published this week. There are now 24
women, down from 32. Twelve left their
jobs — most recently, Denise Morrison
of Campbell Soup Company, who
abruptly announced her retirement last
week — and four joined the list.
Four said they were retiring; four left
after their companies were acquired;
two took new jobs, and two were replaced after calls for change from investors. Among the hundreds of men on
the list, just 47 left, a far smaller share.
And when women leave the top job,
there are fewer women in the pipeline
who might take their place. In each case
in which a new or interim chief executive was appointed, the woman was replaced by a man.
The 25 percent decline is so large in
part because women’s numbers are so
small to start with. There’s also a phenomenon known as the glass cliff, in
which women are more likely to be put
in charge of failing companies. But in
many ways, the reasons the number of
female chief executives is falling are the
same reasons there aren’t more of them
in the first place.
Women in business start out equal to
men in terms of jobs and pay. But at each
level, they disappear. Only 22 percent of
senior vice presidents are women. And
of those, just 21 percent have roles related to generating revenue, which generally lead to C-level jobs, according to the
annual Women in the Workplace study
by Lean In and McKinsey. The drop-off
starts with the first promotion to management: Women are 18 percent less
likely to be promoted to manager than
their male peers.
“Men and women are all going into
high-powered jobs,” said Robin Ely, a
professor at Harvard Business School
and chairwoman of its gender initiative.
“The question is what happens to them
down the road, and that’s a messy story.
People say they’re opting out, they want
work-life balance, but we know from a
lot of research that it’s not as simple as
that. They’re not given opportunities.”
One of the main explanations for
women’s underrepresentation has been
that it’s too hard to run a big company
and be a mother. But it’s increasingly
clear that this explanation overlooks
deeper issues about the way workplaces
operate, some experts say.
For one, men have families too. By
making caregiving a women’s problem,
companies avoid changing their cultures in ways that would give everyone
more work-life balance — for example,
by limiting after-hours work or offering
more flexibility about when and where
work gets done.
Instead, women are much more likely
to use workplace policies like parental
leave, to work part time or to move to
less demanding positions because of
their family obligations. Men are just as
likely to say that they’re stressed about
juggling their careers and family life,
but they deal with it differently. They
Denise Morrison was the chief executive of Campbell Soup Company until she suddenly
retired last week. The number of female C.E.O.s in the United States is falling.
leave early, ask colleagues to cover for
them or take local clients that don’t require travel — but tend not to tell anyone
they’re doing it.
The result is that women’s careers are
stunted, but men’s are not.
There don’t appear to be gender differences in leadership ability, either. A
recent analysis of 2,600 executives
found that men and women did not differ
on multiple areas, including interpersonal, analytical and managerial skills
and general ability. Yet comparing women and men with similar skills and tal-
ents, women were much less likely to become chief executives.
One reason, other studies have
shown, is that we unconsciously assume
good leaders are male, and we have
mixed feelings about women who have
successful careers.
The typical chief executive is six feet
tall with a deep voice — a typical woman
doesn’t match the image. In an experiment, respondents said someone named
Eric who offered new ideas was a natural leader, while someone named Erica
who offered the same ideas was not.
You have probably noticed a flood of
emails and alerts from companies in
the last few weeks informing you about
changes to their privacy policies.
Don’t ignore them.
Yes, there is a lot of legalese to wade
through. But resist the temptation to
immediately delete those emails or
close the alerts right away. They may
contain important information about
managing your digital privacy at a
time when it has become clear that our
online data is far from safe.
All those privacy messages are
appearing now because a law called
the General Data Protection Regulation will go into effect across the European Union on Friday. The law has
been heralded as the world’s strongest
protector of digital privacy rights. And
while it was designed for Europeans,
the borderless nature of the online
world has virtually every commercial
entity that touches the web making
changes to its sites and apps to comply.
The data regulation law centers on
two main principles. The first is that
companies need your consent to collect
your data. The second is that you
should be required to share only data
that is necessary to make their services work.
Danny O’Brien, a director for the
Electronic Frontier Foundation, offered
this analogy: “A birthday cake company needs your name to put on the
birthday cake. If it isn’t essential information, you can deny them consent to
use that data and you still have to get
the service.”
If companies don’t comply with the
new rules, they can be fined up to 4
percent of their
global revenue. But
You can
you should expect
benefit from
businesses that rely
on advertising reveEurope’s data
nue to work hard to
persuade as many of
us as possible to give
which will
our consent for them
come into
to collect as much
effect soon.
data as possible.
Companies can do
that by making it
easy for people to give permission, and
immensely complicated to opt out.
So to ensure you benefit from the
new law, it helps to examine the revamped privacy policies we are all
getting. Here is what to look for.
Men are seen as having leadership
qualities like gravitas, while women are
seen as having supporting-role qualities
like dependability. When women ask for
promotions or raises, they’re more
likely to be called bossy or aggressive,
found Lean In and McKinsey. Men are
more likely to get them without asking.
“It’s all about the culture of organizations and the broader cultural attitudes
toward women, and the difficulty all of
us have, research would suggest, really
respecting a woman in a position of authority,” Ms. Ely, the Harvard Business
School professor, said.
The #MeToo movement might be
helping women, by exposing the entrenched discrimination they face at
work, said Brande Stellings, senior vice
president of advisory services at Catalyst, a nonprofit consulting and research
firm on women in business. But in some
companies, it has also had the opposite
effect, by discouraging men from mentoring junior women out of fear that it
might be interpreted the wrong way.
Researchers have suggested various
ways to promote more female leaders. It
starts with having women at the top:
They hire and promote more women
into executive positions. Managers
could receive bonuses contingent on
promoting women. Investors can demand that companies diversify their
ranks. Hiring can be standardized, so
people don’t pick candidates based on irrelevant things like height.
Companies that want to attract female executives could include spousal
job searches and child care in the hiring
package. They can also find ways to
minimize the negative effects for people
who take career breaks.
But researchers and recruiters say
that real change will only come from addressing bias at a more fundamental
level — and changing the way we think
is significantly harder.
“Many companies grab on to it as the
issue, so they put in lots of great things,”
Ms. Stellings said. “But they don’t address the underlying biases that make a
difference in getting to that rarefied C
Let’s start with those pesky emails and
notifications. Don’t gloss over them —
some sites are using the emails not
only to inform you of their updated
privacy policies, but also to “ask” for
your consent.
For example, Quora, the questionsand-answers site, sent an email this
week saying that its privacy policy had
been updated. Toward the end of the
note, it tucked in a message that “your
continued use of the service will be
considered acceptance of our updated
A Quora spokeswoman said the
company complied with the new data
law by seeking affirmative consent
from users as required. The company
said the email explaining the particular
changes in its privacy policy did not
require consent, but that it would
update the language in its email to be
less ambiguous. The language has
since been updated.
Other sites are using pop-up notifications to seek consent. The clothing
retailer Taylor Stitch, for example,
recently started showing a banner ad
that explains how cookies are used for
web tracking. The note added that by
closing the banner ad or interacting
with its website, you were agreeing
with the site’s data collection terms.
The company did not respond to requests for comment.
Here’s the problem: Companies
clearly know that we rarely (if ever)
read privacy policies. They also know
that we find notifications to be annoying, because they pop up just as we are
in the middle of another task.
But if we ignore them, we may be
unintentionally giving consent to more
of our data being shared than we actually want to give out.
“That pop-up fatigue is definitely
something I’m worried about, now that
these pop-ups are really more important than ever,” said Gennie Gebhart, a
researcher who follows privacy issues
for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
If you skipped reading the emails and
notifications, you may have missed out
on the new privacy controls that internet companies recently introduced.
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018 | 9
The ultimate water view
The market for floating architecture is expanding worldwide
Few places in the world are as married
to the water as Venice. Not only has the
Floating City replaced streets with canals and land with islands, but its buildings also sit on wooden piles, driven into
the ground deep below the water. Like
much of the sea-hugging world, the city
is also facing an existential threat as the
waters rise and its ground sinks.
The city’s art and architecture Biennales (the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale starts on Saturday and runs
through Nov. 11) have long reflected this
simultaneously magical and dire condition, with exhibit after exhibit addressing sustainable architecture, climate
change and rising seas.
Many have even drifted along Venice’s canals themselves, including Mike
Bouchet’s (doomed) floating house;
Croatia’s floating pavilion; Kunle
Adeyemi’s floating school; Joana Vasconcelos’ floating artwork, Trafaria
Praia; and Aldo Rossi’s floating Theater
of the World.
As is so often the case, life is imitating
art, and floating architecture is emerging as one of the built world’s most
promising markets — for many of the
reasons pinpointed at the Biennale.
“We see architects as spanning between infrastructural ideas and society,”
said Yvonne Farrell, one of the Biennale’s directors, who posits that if architects can take a leading role on vital environmental issues through emerging
technologies like floating buildings,
then they can also help re-establish their
primacy in the construction process.
“You cannot not deal with environmental issues if you’re an architect
these days. It has to be an essential part
of your value system,” added Shelley
McNamara, who is also one of the directors. “We’re all connected. We have to
find solutions where art and culture and
industry can all find a way to survive.”
Architects, boat builders, developers
and city planners worldwide are seizing
on the opportunity as cities run out of
space to build, tides continue to rise and
demand for efficient construction
spikes. They’re creating inventive designer homes and floating resorts, and
even floating cities that can be prefabricated off site and simply floated into
“For many, floating is something new
and adventurous,” said Max Funk, coeditor of “Rock the Boat: Boats, Cabins
and Homes on the Water” (Gestalten,
2017). The book reveals an explosion of
creativity in buoyant architecture, including an egg-shaped floating cabin in
England, floating spas (with working
saunas) in Finland and the United
States, and floating geodesic domes in
“Having a floating home used to be
something only for vacationers or the
uber-wealthy,” Mr. Funk said. “Now
more people are realizing they can do it.
And with downsizing becoming a trend,
it goes along with the idea that quality of
life is more important than size.”
Claudius Schulze, whose floating art
Beyond Venice Floating architecture is emerging as one of the built world’s most promising markets. From top: floating villas by the Finnish
company Admares in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and floating villas designed by Waterstudio.NL in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
studio graces the cover of “Rock the
Boat,” built his 32-foot-by-16-foot timber-sided box, coated in fiberglass resin,
for about 20,000 euros (about $24,000)
with the help of friends, including a
structural engineer. It has state-of-theart amenities like Wi-Fi, onboard water
filtration and solar power. It has its own
motor (technically making it a houseboat), and Mr. Schulze has used it in, and
en route to, Amsterdam, Paris and Hamburg, Germany, mooring it in each location for about €200 a month.
“It really is the perfect studio space,”
he said. “It has all the inspiration and little of the distraction.”
On Seattle’s Lake Union — which has
hosted floating homes since the 1920s
and now has more than 500 of them —
William Donnelly has lived in a multilevel floating home designed by Vandeventer & Carlander architects for more
than seven years.
“I enjoy smelling the water, hearing
the water,” he said. “I love the idea that
my home isn’t fixed to the land. It’s freeing.” It’s not all perfect — the lake is popular, and sometimes his tightly surrounded home feels like a fishbowl —
but he said that he would never live on
land again.
Thanks to such situations, and to the
rise in the price of waterfront property,
the market for floating architecture is
growing in North America, said Allison
Bethell, a real estate investor analyst at Newer homes
and their slips are not cheap, but since
the market is young and houses are limited in size, they are rarely as expensive
as prime waterfront real estate.
Outside of Seattle, where houseboat
construction is being curtailed because
of the potential impact on local salmon
populations, Ms. Bethell said, the most
prominent areas in North America for
floating homes are the San Francisco
“Having a floating home used to
be something only for
vacationers or the uber-wealthy.”
Bay Area; Vancouver, British Columbia; Key West, Fla.; and Portland, Ore.;
where the number of floating homes has
doubled since 2012.
The trend is also expanding rapidly in
Asia and the Middle East, but it is furthest along in Europe, particularly in
the Netherlands, which is mostly below
sea level. Estimates report that the
country now has more than 10,000 floating residents, none more densely
packed than in Ijburg, a growing development of floating homes clustered off
man-made islands on the eastern edge
of Amsterdam.
Over 50 of these residences — featured in the 2014 U.K. Pavilion at the
Venice Biennale — were designed by
Marlies Rohmer Architects & Urbanists
and developed by Amsterdam-based
Monteflore. The simple, industrial-inspired homes, floating on concrete
bases (the current norm) were fabricated in a factory and floated into place.
“Most of the world now lives in cities,
and most cities are near water,” said Ton
van Namen, managing director of Monteflore. He said his team was working on
a floating development along the west
coast of Wales, and had been approached by interested parties from
China, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi of the
United Arab Emirates.
Koen Olthuis, an architect from the
Netherlands who founded Waterstudio.NL, one of more than a dozen European firms specializing in boutique
buoyant homes, sees floating architecture as the future. He said he had built
more than 150 floating residences in the
last 15 years, including a group of floating villas in Dordrecht, south of Rotterdam, that use heat exchange power and
have extra-large foundations to create
terraces and other outdoor spaces.
Now he is increasing his repertoire as
both a designer and a planning consultant for floating hotels, restaurants,
stores, resorts and private islands, and
even floating cities.
“Blue cities,” as he calls them, can be
more flexible and eclectic, and respond
faster to rapidly changing demands
from society and industry.
“I’ve talked to many urban planners,
and they all say the same thing — by the
time a city’s plan is finished, it’s no longer in line with society.”
He has consulted with officials in Rotterdam, the Maldives, Ivory Coast and
Saudi Arabia, on flood-safe construction, smoother regulations for floating
architecture, and how to float needed facilities, like a harbor, into place when
needed. He envisions floating museums
and factories shared by nearby cities.
“Once the elevator was invented, the
whole recipe for a city changed,” Mr.
Olthuis said. “Now a similar thing is
happening on the water.”
The transformation of the typical
floating building is, like most things in
Dubai, going ahead full steam — thanks
in large part to the Finnish company Admares, whose chief executive, Mikael
Hedberg, started as a shipbuilder and
now merges land and sea-based construction technologies.
Admares in 2016 completed the Burj
Al Arab Terrace, a 2.3-acre island, attached to the sail-like Burj Al Arab tower,
containing pools, cabanas, sun loungers, and a restaurant and bar. It was
built in a factory in Rauma, Finland,
floated into place in six pieces and then
driven into the seabed via piles.
Besides location, what especially
draws clients, Mr. Hedberg says, is the
fact that since structures can be built
off-site, on-site construction time is cut
way down. The Burj Al Arab Terrace
was set onto piles and welded together
in about three months, subverting a
landfill process that can take up to three
And unlike construction on landfill,
floating buildings and islands create
minimal ecological disturbance. Often
floating platforms and piles, like those
at the Terrace, serve as habitats and
valuable cover for marine life.
The rise of floating design — and issues related to both rising tides and
sinking cities — are having a clear impact on land, where designers and officials contend with water whether they
like it or not. In many ways, floating
buildings serve as laboratories for our
new environmental reality.
Mr. Olthuis has helped create a development in Utrecht, the Netherlands,
where “amphibious” homes — sitting on
buoyant concrete bases and tethered to
supports — can float in the event of
flooding. (The Los Angeles firm Morphosis created a similar system for its
modular, foam-cored Float House in
flood-prone New Orleans.) He is also developing hybrid structures that can float
on the water and, through a jack system,
sit on land, making them even more
flexible to personal and urban change.
“Land itself is no longer fixed in the
way we’ve traditionally seen,” said Kristen Hall, an urban designer at Perkins &
Will, which is incorporating water-reactive solutions for its new Mission Rock
development at San Francisco’s Mission
Bay, like pile-supported buildings,
streets and sidewalks, and flexible utilities. “The question is, how much do you
plan for change and roll with the
change, and how much do you try to resist the change?”
10 | FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018
A matchmaker
for art spaces
For Kulapat Yantrasast, success
comes in the form of collaboration
Dressed in a green jumpsuit and iridescent green wingtips, the architect Kulapat Yantrasast was driving his Tesla all
over this sprawling city on a warm afternoon earlier this month.
Everyone seemed to know him:
Greetings of “Hey, Kulapat!” rang out,
both at arts institutions he has designed,
like the David Kordansky Gallery and
the Marciano Art Foundation, but also in
a restaurant near the striking home of
concrete, glass and steel that he designed for himself in the Venice neighborhood.
His renown now reaches far beyond
Los Angeles, too. Mr. Yantrasast has established his firm, wHY, as one of the goto designers for art spaces, from galleries to museums and everything in between, as well as other civic and cultural
Mr. Yantrasast’s specialty has been
what he calls “acupuncture architecture”: ingenious renovations of existing
spaces and context-sensitive additions.
Among the projects wHY has in the
works are a renovation of the Northwest
Coast Hall at the American Museum of
Natural History in New York; a renovation and 13,000-square-foot addition to
the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco; and a new master plan for the
Worcester Museum of Art, in Massachusetts.
His TriBeCa space for the New York
design gallery R & Company will open
in June, and the Metropolitan Museum
of Art has engaged him to design a proposed renovation of the Arts of Africa,
Oceania and the Americas galleries.
“I have a pretty driven work ethic,”
said Mr. Yantrasast, 49, who was born in
Thailand. “I don’t have a family, so this is
all. I don’t have other things I need to
think about.”
What’s especially noteworthy, given
that workload, is that between his two
offices — he maintains one in SoHo in
New York, where he spends time every
month — he has barely 30 employees.
His creatively cluttered Culver City
office here has an inflatable lobster
hanging from the ceiling, and the structure has been pared back to reveal the
trusses and beams holding it up, a signature move of his. Nearby is a drawing of
a smiling octopus holding up signs that
tick off some the firm’s specialties, including exhibit design, artist collabora-
Modern mix
Kulapat Yantrasast,
far left, has established his firm, wHY,
as a go-to designer
for art spaces and
other civic and
cultural projects. At
the Marciano Art
Foundation in Los
Angeles, left, he
pared back the roof
of a 1961 building.
Above, a rendering
of wHY’s renovation
and addition for the
Asian Art Museum
in San Francisco.
tion and “one-offs.”
Known as a garrulous and social sort,
Mr. Yantrasast actually attributes his
success to listening.
“I think I’m definitely a collaborator,”
he said. “I’m a matchmaker — between
me and other people.”
“I love making good spaces,” he added. “I’m not in it to create a monument to
Michael Govan, the director of the Los
Angeles County Museum of Art, praised
Mr. Yantrasast’s “fresh approach” and
his subtlety.
“It’s a highly sensitive group of people
— artists, and those who run art galleries and museums,” Mr. Govan said.
“There aren’t that many architects who
have the right sensibility.”
Mr. Govan hired Mr. Yantrasast to design a 2014 exhibition of samurai armor.
“It was brilliant how he organized it as a
march, using the long space of the
Resnick Pavilion,” he said. “It was super
dramatic and theatrical, without taking
away from the work.”
Mr. Govan added, “It was a great example of why you don’t always do the
white box,” the default minimal setting
of art spaces.
The New York architect Annabelle
Selldorf — a contemporary of Mr.
Yantrasast’s who has much gallery and
museum work under her belt — said
that in addition to his honed sensibility,
Mr. Yantrasast has the elusive ability to
motivate others.
“He has a way to rally people,” Ms.
Selldorf said. “They can sense his devotion to art.”
Growing up in Bangkok, Mr.
Yantrasast was making drawings alongside his engineer father by the time he
was in the sixth grade. After graduate
school at the University of Tokyo, he
went to work with the Pritzker Prizewinning Japanese architect Tadao Ando
for eight years.
Like Mr. Ando, Mr. Yantrasast has a
penchant for the power of concrete, but
he has established a distinct style: decidedly modern, but with openness and
“I love minimalism and the strong
gesture as much anyone, but sometimes
when you do that it’s more exclusive
than inclusive — only for the select few,”
he said.
Mr. Yantrasast has a passion for food,
and he elaborated on his approach with
a cuisine metaphor related to his roots.
“Japanese food is all about refinement, abstraction clarity,” he said. “Thai
food is about everything at once — flexibility and improvisation. I really think
the world of architecture and design is
moving from Japanese food to Thai
Prominent architects travel widely as
part of their jobs, living much of their life
in airports. In late March and April
alone, Mr. Yantrasast was in Tokyo;
Hong Kong; Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, in
the United Arab Emirates; and Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia, in addition to his usual bicoastal hubs in the United States.
Design was on his mind when he settled in Los Angeles. “Part of why I
moved here was Frank Gehry,” Mr.
Yantrasast said of the influential architect. But it was not Mr. Gehry’s buildings
exactly, which are quite distinct from
Mr. Yantrasast’s. It was more Mr.
Gehry’s ability to break tradition: “He
created a sense of place that wasn’t European.”
“And I saw his background as encouragement,” Mr. Yantrasast added, referring to his working-class roots. “Frank
didn’t fit in.”
Two of Mr. Yantrasast’s biggest museum projects have been in the middle of
the country. In 2007, he completed a $75
million, 127,000-square-foot building for
Michigan’s Grand Rapids Art Museum,
now credited with bolstering urban renewal there. (It was designed with his
former partner at wHY, Yo-Ichiro Hakomori; they founded the firm in 2003.)
In 2016, he completed a $60 million
renovation and an addition, in the form
of an elegant glass box, to the Speed Art
Museum in Louisville, Kentucky’s largest and oldest art museum.
In some ways, the Marciano Art Foundation project, completed a year ago,
perfectly illustrates Mr. Yantrasast’s
skill set. The building, a 1961 Scottish
Rite Masonic Temple, has a fortresslike
appearance with its soaring, largely
plain travertine exterior, but inside, the
big spaces had potential for art.
“We cleaned it up and really let the
DNA of the building shine through,” Mr.
Yantrasast said.
He pared back what he could, all the
way to the wide-span architecture of the
roof; he even revealed the structural elements behind the stained glass windows, which feature dramatic eagle figures. He added a couple of partial walls
in the top-floor gallery, not only to hang
more art but also to change the proportions of the room, which to him seemed
too wide.
Mr. Yantrasast could probably ride
the wave of similar projects for the rest
of his career, but he is also branching
In Edinburgh, wHY won a competition for its plans for the Ross Pavilion
and West Princes Street Gardens. The
structure, topped by an undulating
green roof, will hold a visitors’ center
and cafe, and it will connect a park adjacent to Edinburgh Castle with a central
pedestrian thoroughfare.
So what else is on his architectural
bucket list? As in his buildings, Mr.
Yantrasast is comfortable throwing in a
curve to the shape of his career.
“I want to design senior housing,” he
said at the end of a long day. “I’m looking
to make an impact.”
Reaching for the stars
It doesn’t necessarily show brightest
where the most people live, but also depicts light from activities like mining.
Though “In Plain Sight” is underpinned with an environmental message,
Ms. Diller said they steered away from a
critique of United States policy on the
topic, and decided to look at the big picture. “It’s too easy a temptation to get
political,” she said.
Projects explore what it means to be
a citizen of the universe
Keller Easterling With MANY
Clockwise from
above, “In Plain
Sight,” inspired by
NASA’s images of
Earth; “Stone
Stories: Civic
Memory and Public
Space in Memphis,
Tennessee” by
Studio Gang; and a
detail of an iPhone
from MANY by
Keller Easterling.
The Venice Architecture Biennale is
known for corralling big thinking. And
for this year’s presentation, the United
States Pavilion is looking all the way to
the cosmos.
The exhibition “Dimensions of Citizenship” was commissioned by the
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
and the University of Chicago, on behalf
of the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the
United States Embassy in Rome.
It features seven installations that address the topic on levels ranging from
the individual to the universe itself.
“There are two big questions,” said
one of the curators, Ann Lui, a professor
at the art institute’s school and a cofounder of Future Firm. “What does it
mean to be a citizen today? And what’s
the role of architecture in that? So we organized it around seven spatial scales.”
Ms. Lui organized the show with Mimi
Zeiger, a curator and critic who teaches
at ArtCenter College of Design in Los
Angeles, and Niall Atkinson, an art history professor at the University of Chicago.
“Globally, nationalism is on the rise,”
Ms. Zeiger said. “We wear the mantle of
the United States Pavilion with a full understanding of that weight, but we want
to blur those edges. Our continual refrain is to complicate questions of citizenship.”
Here’s a rundown on some of the
projects, from the smallest on up.
Amanda Williams and Andres L. Hernandez, in collaboration with Shani
For the individual level, three artists collaborated on an installation called “Thrival Geographies (In My Mind I See a
Line),” which tackles identity and shelter in African-American communities.
It comprises a site-specific steel
structural frame that will be overlaid
with thousands of feet of braided cord,
meant to evoke African-American hair.
The frame is a podlike structure with
arms that extend into the pavilion’s
courtyard and up onto its roof.
Amanda Williams, who is based in
Chicago and once practiced as an architect, said in an email, “Hair in the black
diaspora is at once a material around
which black women often commune.”
The cord will be arranged so that it creates “pockets of stillness” that are also
“free space,” she added.
“Thrival Geographies” also addresses the 1930 United States Pavilion
itself, acting in “formal, material and
conceptual contrast” to the structure’s
neoclassical style as “a representation
of democracy and freedom,” Ms.
Williams said.
Studio Gang
The Chicago-based architect Jeanne
Gang and her colleagues used their
travels for inspiration for “Stone
Stories: Civic Memory and Public Space
in Memphis, Tennessee.”
“We’ve been working in a lot of cities,
but one frequent stop, a place that’s going through changes, is Memphis,” Ms.
Gang said. “It made sense for us.”
As they worked on a waterfront revitalization plan there, they discovered a
cobblestone landing on the Mississippi
River that symbolized the city’s “contentious history,” she said, referring to
slavery and other inequality.
So they moved the actual stones,
weighing up to 40 pounds each, for their
Venice installation. It features an inclined plane of stones leading to a handdrawn map of Memphis, and a film featuring interviews of residents who talk
about their city.
“The stones are portraits,” Ms. Gang
said. “It’s a different kind of memorial.”
Diller Scofidio & Renfro, Laura Kurgan,
and Robert Gerard Pietrusko with the
Center for Spatial Research at Columbia
The collaborators on this exhibition, “In
Plain Sight,” previously worked together on a 2008 project called “Exit.” For
this round, they made a short video inspired by NASA’s famous 1972 “blue
marble” image of Earth, and the later
“black marble” composite image showing light emissions at night.
The blue marble was “the first time
we saw ourselves from space,” said the
architect Elizabeth Diller, a founder of
her firm. “It was really resonant moment in understanding the vulnerability
of the planet, and one of the starting
points of the global citizenship.”
The black marble, however, is “quite
deceptive,” said Laura Kurgan, a professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Keller Easterling, a professor at the Yale
School of Architecture, has been studying migration for years, and she wondered why there was no centralized hub
for one-on-one exchanges between newcomers and established residents.
So she developed an online platform
called MANY to address migration as an
“exchange of needs,” she said. Think of it
as an internet-facilitated barter system.
With a projected video and 10 iPhones
for visitors to test a beta version of the
platform, “It treats migration as a constant and not a crisis,” Ms. Easterling
said. Though it’s not live yet, she intends
for it to be a working app eventually.
“We want it to be real,” she said.
Design Earth
El Hadi Jazairy and Rania Ghosn, cofounders of the architecture firm Design
Earth, got to play with the largest scale
of all. “We’re the cherry on top,” said Ms.
Ghosn of their project, “Cosmorama:
Mining the Sky, Planetary Ark and Pacific Cemetery.”
“Architects have always been influenced by cosmic thinking,” Ms. Ghosn
said. In this case, the partners were
looking at space exploration, but in the
context of environmental changes on
Earth that are leading to extinctions. “It
takes a cosmic imagination to give scale
to how big the spaceship would have to
be to gather all these species,” she said.
The installation features three backlit
triptych drawings that are placed in
light boxes — “a reinterpretation of a diorama,” said Mr. Jazairy — as well as a
series of suspended, 3-D printed heads
in different materials.
A custom carpet is printed with text
from the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 as
well as the NASA Space Act of 2015,
which encouraged the exploitation of
space for commercial purposes. “On the
one hand there’s a science and peace
agenda, but on the other, the extension
of an economic possibility,” Ms. Ghosn
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018 | 11
12 | FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018
A greener
place to play
A new day
Left, MercedesBenz Stadium in
Atlanta is the first to
win Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design
Platinum certification for energy
efficiency and
sustainable design.
Below left, Scott
Jenkins, the building’s general manager, in front of a
cistern that stores
rainwater for irrigation.
Making stadiums sustainable
On a walking tour of the nine-month-old,
$1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium
here last month, Scott Jenkins, the general manager for the building, stopped
in front of a 20-foot-high gray concrete
box underneath an overpass. There was
little to suggest what was inside. No
signs, markings or equipment.
Mr. Jenkins, an evangelist for all
things green, was animated. The otherwise generic structure, he said, holds up
to 680,000 gallons of rainwater collected
mostly from the roof of the enormous
stadium standing just a few feet away.
The runoff is used to irrigate the vegetation around the building, and by storing
much of it, flooding will be reduced in
the low-lying West End neighborhood
nearby. In other words, the 120-foot-long
cistern saves money and helps the surrounding area.
“It’s a community play as much as an
environmental play, to do our part
around issues in the neighborhood,” Mr.
Jenkins said. “If you looked at the return
on investment for the water, it will take a
long time to pay off. But some of this is
good for business and some is good for
the community.”
The cistern is one of the environmental centerpieces of the building, the first
stadium to win Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design (LEED)
Platinum certification from the United
States Green Building Council, which
grades sustainable design and energy
efficiency. Builders earn points for including features like efficient lighting,
air-conditioning and water fixtures; for
locating their structures near public
transportation; and for using locally
sourced and recycled materials.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, largely paid
for by Arthur Blank, whose football and
soccer teams play inside, secured 88 out
of a potential 110 points, more than
enough to receive the top LEED ranking. (The Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, where the Kings of the N.B.A.
play, became the first LEED Platinum
arena when it opened in 2016, but that
building was less than one-third the
Sports arenas and stadiums have a
far smaller carbon footprint than many
factories, shopping malls and office
buildings. While they host thousands of
people on game days and for big events
like concerts, in general they are used
intermittently and for short bursts.
But in recent years, they have become
showcases for green design, even as
critics say leagues are wrapping themselves in eco-friendly banners to help
market their sports. Still, team owners
and building operators have learned
that environmentally friendly arenas
and stadiums are cheaper to operate,
and nothing talks louder than money.
Their physical and cultural prominence also means that green stadiums
are shining a light on the complex and
critical issue of climate change. Fans
disinclined to care about the issue are
exposed to things like highly efficient
LED lighting or low-flush toilets, and
can see that going green is not a hardship, but a choice.
“Any single sporting event doesn’t really have a giant ecological footprint,
whether it’s a football game or even a
season for a team,” said Allen Hershkowitz, the founder of Sport and Sustainability International, which promotes low-carbon strategies for sports
teams, leagues and associations. “But
the cultural and social platform of sports
is almost unparalleled in terms of its
ability to reach people.”
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which also
earned points for its access to public
transportation, charging stations for
electric cars and valet parking for bicycles, is the latest in a line of green sports
venues. Dozens of sports arenas and
stadiums have installed solar panels,
LED lighting and scoreboards, energy
efficient air-conditioning and dehumidifiers, and even composters. More stadiums include a translucent coating on
windows to reduce the amount of sunlight shining in and cut the amount of
air-conditioning needed.
While some of the most eco-friendly
sports venues are in the United States,
many of the innovations are being devel-
oped in Europe, where laws and regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions are stricter. Many buildings used
in the London Olympic Games were designed to be removed and the land used
for other projects or, like the velodrome,
sustainably sourced wood and other
materials were used. An international
standard for sustainable event management, ISO 20121, was developed.
The UEFA Cup soccer tournament
held in France in 2016 included an array
of environmental initiatives, including
efforts to reduce energy and water use.
About 80 percent of the carbon
produced by the monthlong event,
though, came from the stadiums, including during their construction. The Stade
de Nice, for instance, used locally
sourced building materials to reduce
transportation. The stadium includes
4,000 metric tons of wood, reducing the
amount of concrete and steel.
The key to reducing the impact on the
environment is integrating these measures into the design of the building from
the outset. In Atlanta, Mr. Blank, who
contributed roughly $1.1 billion toward
the $1.6 billion price tag, said from the
start that he wanted his building to be
LEED Platinum. So groups of architects, contractors, stadium operators
and team executives started brainstorming at the beginning.
“We were trying to send a message to
the construction industry to be efficient
but also build great buildings,” said Mr.
Blank, who made his fortune as the cofounder of Home Depot. “I told them it
was important to me and for the environment and the community. They
knew from Day 1 that it was a priority.”
With clear marching orders, Chris DeVolder, an architect at HOK who worked
on the project and other LEED-certified
buildings in Seattle and Edmonton, Al-
berta, integrated many features into the
construction from the start. This allowed the designers and contractors to
consider items they might not have otherwise, like adding a second underground cistern in a space that might
have been filled in with landfill or
crushed rock.
“It is unusual to have that mandate,”
he said. “Usually, you’re well into the design process, or even construction
process, and you get a question, ‘What’s
this LEED thing.’”
The next evolution of using sports
venues more efficiently involves accounting for their carbon emissions. The
National Hockey League requires that
its teams track the resources they consume, the waste they produce and other
benchmarks, like the emissions generated by team travel. That data is pooled
and shared so clubs can learn how to be
more efficient by, perhaps, doing preventive maintenance.
The N.H.L. takes this project seriously because it sees a direct threat from
rising global temperatures. The number
of ponds that freeze over in winter has
fallen dramatically in recent years, making the sport less accessible in countries like Canada, where many children
first start playing the game outdoors.
Going green is a way to address a longterm threat, not just save money.
“We know natural ice conditions are
diminishing across the globe, particularly in Canada, and the loss of ponds,
and what that means to limiting kids’
ability to play the sport, these are things
we are very concerned about,” said Kim
Davis, the executive vice president who
oversees social initiatives at the N.H.L.
“As we look at the future of the game, it’s
about getting more kids involved and
creating a long glide path.”
Speaking to the world
Jacques Herzog
and Pierre de
Meuron have
themselves by
finding specific
solutions for every
project, including
the Tate Modern in
Herzog & de Meuron tailors designs to their cultural settings
From the converted industrial space of
the Tate Modern in London to the polygonal, copper-clad de Young in San Francisco, the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have broken
new ground in museum design. They
come to the trade naturally: Encounters
with visual artists were crucial to the development of an aesthetic that is as inventive and stylish as it is sleek and restrained.
But museums by no means make up
the bulk of the partnership’s work; Herzog & de Meuron has established itself
as one of today’s most highly sought-out
firms for the way it reimagines private
residences, hospitals, schools and other
public spaces around the world.
Recent work has included high-profile
urban projects like the Elbphilharmonie
in Hamburg, Germany, and the luxury
residential tower at 56 Leonard Street in
Manhattan, which features a sculpture
by Anish Kapoor at the building’s base.
The firm is also at work on the modern
and contemporary art center M+ in
Hong Kong, scheduled to open next
year; the 20th-century art museum
Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin; and a
new site for the Vancouver Art Gallery
in Canada.
The architects have distinguished
themselves by finding specific solutions
for every project. For the Schaulager, a
contemporary art warehouse that
opened on the outskirts of Basel in 2003,
Herzog & de Meuron faced the challenge of designing a building that both
exhibits and stores artwork for research
purposes. Through Aug. 26, the site is
home to “Bruce Nauman: Disappearing
Acts,” a large-scale retrospective that
arrives at the Museum of Modern Art
and MoMA PS1 in New York in October.
Mr. Herzog and Mr. de Meuron look
back on decades of collaboration not
only as designers but also as curators.
Before opening their office, they joined
forces with the German artist Joseph
Beuys to provide felt suits to members
of a carnival parade in Basel, their
hometown. They went on to work with
such artists as Rémy Zaugg, Michael
Craig-Martin and, perhaps most famously, Ai Weiwei, on both the Beijing
National Stadium and a series of installations.
At the Venice Biennale in 2008, the architects and Mr. Ai presented “Mock
Up, Beijing,” a hybrid form of art and architecture for which Chinese craftsmen
mounted chairs on bamboo poles. Last
year, they created the interactive installation “Hansel & Gretel” in which visitors, whose movements were recorded
by cameras, could observe the results,
at the Park Avenue Armory in New
York, a building they had restored.
“Whenever Weiwei is involved, he offers more than just a formal solution,”
Mr. Herzog said by phone from Basel. “I
think that’s why we get along well. We
can develop concepts together without
being bound by personal taste.”
The following conversation with Mr.
Herzog has been edited and condensed.
How did visual art provide a model
for new ways of thinking about architecture?
At the end of the 1970s, we were not at
all keen to continue in the tradition of
modernism, and we didn’t find postmodernism interesting enough. We
needed to put together our own language that we could use like a palette.
When an artist starts in the morning,
no one tells him or her what to do. The
slate is blank. We were fascinated by
this openness and tried out everything
at our disposal as architects — whether
color, space, structure or ornamentation.
We wouldn’t have had the same approach to material without our experi-
ence with Joseph Beuys, or to the notion
of doubt and ambiguity without our
proximity to Gerhard Richter, just to
name a couple of artists we have admired and worked with.
Have your designs in turn challenged
artists or curators?
A museum today should have generous
classical galleries but also spaces inspired by industrial rawness. There has
been an almost explosive change over
the past 20 years. Artists today are
working with all kinds of materials: performance, sculpture, video. That’s why
you cannot just offer white cubes.
A place like the Schaulager, which has
a combination of traditional but also unexpected, geometrically impure spaces,
is more challenging but also more interesting for an artist like Matthew Barney,
who climbed the gallery walls. We are
very happy to see that it works well for
different artists and their needs.
When we curated a show ourselves,
we could test how flexible and how specific the space is at the same time. That
paradox is, more generally speaking, a
very important quality for architecture.
The Schaulager is lofty but also has
very intimate corners.
What variety will you bring to the M+
in Hong Kong?
This is the most radical version of that
mixture. It continues the discussion
about this need.
We discovered a train tunnel running
under the building and, instead of seeing it as an obstacle, dug it out like an
archaeological site which will be used
for installation and performance.
We tested basically everything with
the Tate [Modern]. But unlike that museum, built on a historic site where
tanks were transformed into galleries,
here we have to create raw or industrial
production spaces.
How do you tailor each project to its
specific cultural setting?
In every city, we analyze and observe
and try to offer something that responds
to those observations. We never interpret or try to assign meaning. Even art
doesn’t do that.
We often make the comparison to nature. On some days, you may see how
green the trees are and how wonderful
they smell. Other times you might not
even notice. The same is when you go to a
museum. You might just walk right
through, or a painting will speak directly
to you.
That is something we didn’t know at
the beginning of our career and have
learned through larger-scale projects
like the Tate or Beijing [National Stadium]. If buildings just follow the program of the client, then architecture
doesn’t fully exploit its potential.
At its best, a building can activate all
the senses. That’s what we try to achieve.
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018 | 13
A weak apology after a deadly Afghan airstrike
Kabul needs
to offer
accountability after
the military
killed 36
children and
civilians in a
village in
Ali M. Latifi
Ehsanullah Ehsan
the Afghan government apologized to
the families of 30 children and six
civilian adults who were killed in air
force strikes in the northeastern part
of the country. The government
claimed that the attack also killed at
least 18 high-ranking Taliban fighters.
The brief apology came 44 days
after machine-gun and rocket fire
brought a violent end to a ceremony
honoring children who had memorized
the Quran and nine days after the
United Nations released a damning
report questioning Kabul’s “respect of
the rules of precaution and proportionality under international humanitarian
The text of the apology reveals the
chasm between the rulers and the
ruled, the center and the periphery:
The families of the 36 civilian victims
remain unnamed — common nouns
rather than real people struggling with
grief and loss.
It does not offer justice nor promise
greater caution and deliberation from
Kabul. It attempts to offer the selfserving consolation that the Afghan
government is better than the Taliban
by saying, “The key difference between the government and insurgents
is that a legitimate government will
always seek forgiveness for mistakes.”
The text of
The “mistake” that
the apology
the apology refers to
reveals the
occurred on April 2
in the village of
between the
Daftani in the Dashtrulers and the e-Archi district of
Kunduz Province.
ruled, the
Scores of children
center and
the periphery. were being honored
at a madrasa for
completing their
memorization of the
Quran. As part of an old Afghan tradition, elders would tie turbans on the
heads of the children, a ritual called
“dastar bandi.”
Dasht-e-Archi is a vast barren landscape, where 90,000 people make a
living from subsistence agriculture
and trade with neighboring Tajikistan.
Though the United Nations has labeled
the district free of poppy cultivation
since 2006, its proximity to the Tajikistan border makes it a vital transit
point for the trafficking of drugs and
other illicit goods.
The Taliban also dominate the district, a striking example of an area
deemed too distant and too difficult for
Kabul and the regional government in
Kunduz to manage. It is a place where
drug mafias and armed groups fill the
void, and the population is ignored by
the politicians.
Samihullah, a flower shop worker
who like many Afghans uses one
name, transported bouquets of bright
plastic flowers to the madrasa to be
given to teachers and students after
the ceremony. Around noon, as the
ceremony was drawing to a close, the
sky above was filled with the roar of
three or four helicopters.
Then came the deafening sound of
machine gun fire, and bullets hit the
students, teachers and guests. As they
tried to flee the madrasa, rockets were
fired from the helicopters.
After two rockets exploded over a
two-story structure attached to the
madrasa building, Nematullah, a madrasa teacher, heard an announcement
from overhead: “Don’t be frightened.
Do not run. Remain calm. You are not
our targets.”
As it happened, a group of Taliban
fighters had gathered about 80 feet
away in another building. Two rockets
hit the Taliban fighters.
But, witnesses say, the fire from the
helicopters killed and wounded numerous civilians who were in their homes
and in the wheat fields surrounding
the madrasa. Mr. Nematullah, the
teacher, said he suffered minor injuries
as he ran out before two more rockets
hit the site of the graduation ceremony,
where most of the students were
Saif-ur-Rahman, 40, a villager, was
standing outside a shop about three
miles from the madrasa when he heard
the gunfire and explosions. Mr. Saif-urRahman remembered that three of his
cousins, including Mr. Samihullah, the
flower seller, were at the madrasa.
After several attempts, he reached a
cousin on his phone. “There has been
an attack,” the cousin said. “We can’t
find Samihullah.”
When Mr. Saif-ur-Rahman arrived at
the madrasa, he saw scraps of the
ceremonial turbans and slippers and
shoes scattered among the bloodied
bodies. The villagers took the injured
to nearby clinics and pharmacies in
taxis and rickshaws and on motorbikes.
Mr. Saif-ur-Rahman found Mr. Samihullah in a clinic in the village, which
wasn’t equipped to treat the fractures
in his arms and legs. He moved Mr.
Samihullah to a hospital in Kunduz,
about 45 miles away. By the end of the
week, he and several others would be
transported by helicopter to Kabul.
As the word of the attack spread,
current and former Afghan officials
and other influential figures took a
celebratory tone, emphasizing the
deaths of the Taliban fighters and
ignoring the deaths of the students.
Their remarks illustrated how that for
certain segments of Afghan society —
talking heads, workers for nongovernmental organizations and the government — a victim is a victim only when
killed by the Taliban and the Islamic
Thus prominent Afghans were rationalizing the killings of Afghan children by the Afghan government in
pursuit of the Taliban. The civilians
killed in operations by the Afghan
government and international coalition
are simply an unfortunate byproduct
of war, as if the children in that madrasa had willingly sacrificed themselves for some imagined greater
As the details surrounding the civilian deaths began to surface, some
social media accounts — some based
in Afghanistan, others in Western
cities — lashed out at anyone who
questioned the official narrative and
pointed out that civilians were killed in
the attack. Some of these accounts
belonged to former government officials, others to journalists, while the
rest were anonymous and suddenly
popped up in the feeds of anyone who
raised questions about civilian casualties.
People who had reported or discussed the civilian casualties online
were told that the civilian deaths are
“another example of how Taliban use
civilians as human shields.” Some
claimed that the photographs of chil-
dren killed were inventions by Pakistan, which is seeking to turn the
Afghans against their military.
Shortly after the strikes, the Kabul
government admitted to civilian casualties in a vague statement that implicitly praised the professionalism of the
Afghan security forces and gave no
sense that they also killed scores of
children. Newspaper headlines in the
region and beyond followed the same
pattern: The children were barely
mentioned, and the Taliban received
the top billing.
There is a long history of civilian
killings in Afghan military operations,
especially in parts of the country far
from the capital. The cold and formulaic response by President Ashraf Ghani
and his cheerleaders is bound to feed
more anger and disaffection.
To stop ordinary Afghans from
turning further away from Kabul, Mr.
Ghani needs to do more than offer
weak apologies. He needs to promise
justice and accountability.
ALI M. LATIFI is a reporter based in Kabul. EHSANULLAH EHSAN is a researcher
and journalist who grew up in Dasht-eArchi district of Afghanistan.
What Irish women know about abortion
The fury
of having to
leave your
home to get
what you
Maeve Higgins
Alison and I became best friends at
age 4 after our eyes locked during an
intense game of Lego in preschool. We
remained obsessed with each other in
the important way girls are right up
through our teens. She noticed all the
same things I did, and we shared
everything. It wasn’t My Little Pony; it
was Our Little Pony. Well, it was actually a knockoff brand of plastic pony
with a shedding glittery mane, but you
get my drift. And speaking of drift, that
was inevitably what we did throughout
our 20s. I left the country and she
stayed in our hometown and had her
daughters, but still I would know the
smell of her house and the sound of
her laugh from miles away.
We grew up in Cobh, a harbor town
in Ireland with a population of nearly
13,000 today, a pretty island with rows
of colored houses crammed together in
the shade of a huge gray cathedral.
This spring I was back for two months,
my longest stint in Ireland in five
years. It was a business trip for me.
Show business. Impressive, right?
Rumor has it I’m Ireland’s answer to
Meryl Streep. I started that rumor
while I was there, in a comedy movie,
playing a lonely driving instructor who
can talk to ghosts. This spring has also
been the season of the referendum to
repeal the Eighth Amendment, the
constitutional limit on abortion, which
Irish people will vote on Friday. It’s a
national conversation, and a few
weeks ago, I sat in my parents’ kitchen
to talk to Alison about it. I knew she’d
had an abortion, but for the first time
in more than 30 years of friendship,
she told me something about herself
that she hadn’t wanted to share before.
In January 2012, that nightmarish
thing happened where she got an
ultrasound at 19 weeks pregnant and
her doctor went very quiet. Alison told
me she spoke first: “I want you to tell
me exactly what you see on the screen,
I can take it.” The doctor explained
that her baby had anencephaly, that
the baby’s skull was not formed
around its brain, and it would not form.
“I knew straight away that that’s a
zero chance of survival, and he said
yes, I’m afraid so.” The man left the
room to give Alison and her husband,
Steve, time to talk. “He came back and
said what do you think you’ll do? And I
just said, ‘I’m going to England.’”
That was it. No one in Ireland could
do anything more for her, because
doing anything more is illegal. All you
can do if you need an abortion is leave.
Steve’s father, a tillage farmer, used to
play rugby with an English doctor
who’d spent time in Cobh 40 years ago,
and they were still friendly. He phoned
him, and that 75-year-old retired surgeon together with his retired gynecologist friend, organized Alison’s abortion in England. Last-minute flights
cost the couple around $1,100, they
Siobhan Clancy during a vigil in Dublin in 2012 for Savita Halappanavar, 31, who died
after being denied an abortion. Her death renewed the debate over abortion in Ireland.
took time out of work, and Alison’s
mother looked after their 18-month-old
Alison and Steve stayed with the
retired surgeon and his wife for three
days, because that’s how long the
whole procedure took. She remembers
the kindness of the midwife, the generosity of the retired surgeon and his
wife, the help of her family and friends.
She also remembers an internal fury
begin to smolder: “I’d been shipped
off. I started feeling angry as I got off
the plane and was driving in the mid-
dle of the night and going to this elderly couple’s house in England because
they were affording us shelter in a
time of need, where we couldn’t get it
in our own country, in our own beds, at
Later that year, Savita Halappanavar, 31, a dentist, died from septicemia in a Galway hospital after
repeatedly requesting and being refused a termination of the fetus she
was miscarrying. Her name became a
rallying cry for many, and her parents
recently called on people to vote to
repeal the Eighth Amendment. In the
months that followed her death, Irish
women began to publicly speak about
their own abortions. This new openness, to Alison, felt like a life vest
thrown her way. She told anyone who
would listen about what had happened
to her in 2012.
She was, back then, less open about
her first abortion. Alison was 22 when
she found out she was pregnant and
knew immediately she did not want to
have a baby. She and her boyfriend
were broke at the time, so she had to
skip rent, skimp on food and borrow
money from a friend to get the bus to
Dublin and the ferry overnight to
England. She was flooded with relief
after the abortion. Until two weeks
ago, she had never told me about any
of that, and I asked her why.
She said the only people who knew
were her boyfriend and the friend she
borrowed money from. “I was afraid to
The graves of
children killed in
an airstrike by
Afghan forces in
northern Kunduz
Province in April.
14 | FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018
Duterte’s bumbling corruption
Miguel Syjuco
A.G. SULZBERGER, Publisher
Contributing Writer
DEAN BAQUET, Executive Editor
MARK THOMPSON, Chief Executive Officer
JOSEPH KAHN, Managing Editor
STEPHEN DUNBAR-JOHNSON, President, International
TOM BODKIN, Creative Director
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE DEMARTA, Senior V.P., Global Advertising
SUZANNE DALEY, Associate Editor
ACHILLES TSALTAS, V.P., International Conferences
CHARLOTTE GORDON, V.P., International Consumer Marketing
Among Filipinos working in the Middle
East, the talk inevitably turns to home.
In encounters in hallways, on buses,
while getting a haircut, we chat about
our shared experiences as expats with
deep connections to our home.
Millions of Filipinos across the region
are respected for their professionalism
and high-quality work, while in the
Philippines opportunities are scarce
and wages low. Yet systemic corruption
and patronage politics in our resourcerich country provide well for our rulers
and those who support them.
Indeed, Philippine democracy — with
its reign of celebrity, dynasties and
nepotism — is the opposite of a meritocracy. Incompetence is forgiven in those
who show fidelity to the rulers, while
fame and its pursuit are spun as competence, which has always served the
powerful well. Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s electoral promises, little
has changed where it matters most: our
political culture.
One recent blunder here in the Middle
East sums up well the transactional
relationship between Filipino politicians and those who work for them.
Last month, the Kuwaiti government
severed diplomatic ties with the Philippines after Filipino officials staged a
covert, unilateral operation there to
extricate workers whom they said had
been abused by their employers. After
the Duterte administration gleefully
turned it into a publicity stunt, the Kuwaitis accused the Philippines of extrajudicial action and a violation of
sovereignty, expelling our ambassador
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
At long last,
the pontiff is
the harm his
bishops have
caused. But
there is much
more work for
him to do on
behalf of
The abuse of minors by pedophile priests has been
among the most painful sagas of our time, the horror
compounded by the knowledge that hierarchs could
have stopped the predators if only they had not chosen,
for so long, to cover up their actions. Now, at long last,
Pope Francis seems to have glimpsed the depth of the
global crisis.
The catalyst was a scandal in Chile, one of Latin
America’s most staunchly Catholic countries, where for
years the church establishment failed to act on multiple
complaints of sexual abuse against an influential
priest, Fernando Karadima. On a trip to Chile in January, the pope condemned Father Karadima’s actions
but then refused to meet with his victims and dismissed allegations of inaction by bishops as “slander.”
In the outrage that followed, the pope appointed two
investigators who produced a damning report confirming systematic efforts by the Chilean Catholic hierarchy to conceal clerical sexual abuse. That led to an
apology by Pope Francis for the “grave errors” in Chile
and an emergency meeting last week with Chile’s bishops at which all 34 submitted their resignations.
Before the meeting with the bishops, the pope held
an extraordinary, weeklong visit with Juan Carlos
Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse by Father Karadima who
had clashed with the pontiff in Chile. In an interview
with the Spanish newspaper El País, Mr. Cruz described emotional exchanges during which the pontiff
issued a deep personal apology. Mr. Cruz said he also
discussed his homosexuality with the pope, who responded by saying that Mr. Cruz is as God wants him
to be.
Mr. Cruz, who said he remains a devout Catholic,
said the meeting left him hopeful that the pope was
prepared to confront the issue of abuse seriously. “He
is taking unprecedented steps; he knows that the
whole world is watching,” he said.
It is not yet clear how Pope Francis will handle the
mass resignations by the Chilean bishops, as accepting
them all would leave the church there leaderless. More
important is what he will do to repair the profound
damage done to the Catholic Church worldwide by
pedophile priests and their enablers. The pope has
made a good and welcome start in acknowledging that
his bishops did not tell him the truth and in opening his
ears and heart to victims who have suffered not only
sexual abuse, but also the derision of churchmen they
tried to talk to. But it is just a start.
and arresting embassy staff.
Some 260,000 Filipinos were left in
Kuwait without representation from
their country. The seriousness of this
cannot be overstated, given the urgent
problem of migrant worker abuse in the
Middle East.
Despite the government’s showboating, none of the Filipino officials involved has been held responsible.
One was Mocha Uson, a blogger who
parlayed her fame as a sexy dancer into
a position overseeing the president’s
social media. She was in Kuwait during
the operation and publicized it to her
sizable online following, posting the
video that eventually outraged the
Kuwaiti government.
Neither she nor Alan Peter Cayetano,
the Philippine foreign secretary, appeared to pay any price for the blunder.
In fact, the administration defended Mr.
Cayetano, whose fidelity to Mr. Duterte,
his running mate in the 2016 election,
seems to make up for his lack of diplomatic experience. He has been tasked
with defending the president in public,
denying human-rights-abuse allegations in their drug war that has claimed
the lives of thousands of untried suspects. Such transactional relationships
are par for the course in our ossified
political culture, where accountability is
usually selective and always part of a
Despite praise from Mr. Duterte’s
supporters for his sacking of dozens of
public officials — for violations including incompetence, corruption and
drug-smuggling — only two of those
fired have been formally charged with
crimes. And that the president fires his
allies by no means negates the fact that,
in most cases, it was he who hired them.
In fact, several have been reappointed to other, often higher, positions, despite Mr. Duterte’s vow to never
tolerate even a “whiff” of corruption.
Among those was the customs chief,
who was tied to the smuggling of more
than a ton of crystal meth in an operation that allegedly involved the president’s son and son-in-law.
Reward is the flip side of accountability. Many of Mr. Duterte’s political appointees are supporters who appear to
have received payment for deeds laid at
the president’s feet.
Members of the Volunteers Against
Crime and Corruption, for example,
received high-level appointments following their actions against opposition
figures, like Senator Leila de Lima, who
was been in jail for more than a year on
dubious testimony from convicted drug
lords. Their efforts
Incompetence also helped lead to
the ouster of the
is forgiven
Supreme Court chief
of those who
justice, who infuriatshow fidelity
ed the administration
to the
with her independPhilippines’s
By empowering
surrogates, Mr.
Duterte empowers
himself, using the
increasingly complicit institutions of
democracy, giving his authoritarian
aspirations a veneer of legitimacy.
His allies already control Congress,
with a supermajority handed to him
after his presidential win when representatives switched sides en masse to
join his party. And elections for thousands of local positions across the country last week had been postponed for
nearly two years while the administration sought room to maneuver, alleging
the need to purge candidates they
claimed were financed by drugs.
While the agility of a competent,
benevolent dictatorship may appeal to
many Filipinos, especially those mil-
lions who have lived in Singapore and
the Middle East, the Duterte regime has
proved to be neither competent nor
benevolent. His ostentatious shootfrom-the-hip style has been emulated by
his underlings, in a bumbling way. Some
recent opinion polls show drops in
approval for his government.
But to the mercenary it hardly matters. Public-relations efforts from his
deputies lead to notoriety, to political
positions, to a lifetime of comfort and
control as long as one’s patrons are
ensconced in office.
What, then, can we citizens do?
Unless we resist such efforts by
standing firm in demanding accountability from all our public servants, we’ll
continue to be ruled by those who trade
service for servility and dangle rights in
exchange for obeisance.
The president, for all his posturing as
a man of humble beginnings, and his
promises of change, is a governor’s son
and the patriarch of a dynasty that
retains power through favors and administers justice arbitrarily. Mr. Duterte
may sometimes seem atypical among
Filipino rulers, but in this respect, he is
No wonder so many Filipinos continue to seek abroad lives with security
and agency.
The other day, here in Abu Dhabi, the
Filipino man cutting my hair told me
about the politics in his hometown.
Everyone knows the politicians are
corrupt, he explained, but it’s excused
because at least they provide for the
“They always come to our fiestas,” he
said, with a shrug. “And they give us
money so that we can have them.”
is the author of the novel
“Ilustrado” and a professor at N.Y.U.
Abu Dhabi.
By deciding to
fine teams
whose players
protest racism
during the flag
salute, the
league has
given in to the
The owners of the National Football League voted
Wednesday to fine teams whose players do not stand
for the national anthem while they are on the field.
Many players, African-American by and large, have
been kneeling during the anthem since 2016, when the
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick
began sitting, and later kneeling, during the ceremony
to protest racism and police brutality.
Many football fans and team owners thought Mr.
Kaepernick was showing disrespect for the flag, or
even for the military, as though the Stars and Stripes
were a battle standard and the football field a hallowed
As time went on, and more cases of police brutality
emerged, more players knelt in solidarity with Mr.
Kaepernick and his cause.
The president, smelling an issue sure to fire up his
base, pounced. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these
N.F.L. owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to
say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out,
he’s fired,’” Mr. Trump said at a political rally in September.
That riled up players, owners and fans on both sides
of the question. Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike
Pence continued to stir outrage. More players knelt.
More conservatives became incensed and threatened
to boycott the league.
The fury that Mr. Trump ignited was so troubling
that it brought players and team owners together in a
meeting last October to discuss it.
“The problem we have is, we have a president who
will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don’t feel
is in the best interests of America,” Robert Kraft, the
Patriots owner and a Trump supporter, said of the
kneeling. “It’s divisive, and it’s horrible.”
The league has now decided it will also override the
best interests of America and try to substitute a phony
pageant of solidarity for a powerful civics lesson.
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines addressing household workers in Manila who were repatriated from Kuwait in February.
The liberation in Roth’s American berserk
Roger Cohen
“The indigenous American berserk,”
Philip Roth’s encapsulation of the country he loved, is a resonating phrase in
this time of repetitive school shootings,
incontinent presidential tweets, tawdry
abuse of public office, rule by mob incitement, manipulation through falsehood, wall obsessions, and the truncation of the English language to a 77word lexicon “better called Jerkish,” as
Roth described Donald’s Trump’s miserable linguistic impact in The New
Perhaps Roth timed his exit on Tuesday, at the age of 85, as an admonition to
a disoriented nation. His “berserk,”
alongside his full-throated celebration
of the American panoply and riotous
exploration of “the great pervasive
Anti-You that someone with a grudge
might prefer to call God,” often had a
menacing side.
In “American Pastoral,” perhaps his
greatest novel, the American dream of
Seymour “Swede” Levov, the assimilated Jew of Viking-evoking athletic ability
and appearance during his Newark
youth, comes apart in the vortex of his
daughter’s descent into terrorism. In
“The Plot Against America,” it is the
whole country that succumbs in 1940 to
a president of Nazi sympathies, the
flying ace Charles A. Lindbergh. The
novel was published in 2004. After Sept.
11, the United States was no longer
synonymous with sanctuary, an enduring change in its sense of self. It, too,
could be gripped by the unspeakable.
For Roth the imagination was also
counter-history. He teased out, with
extraordinary energy and wit, the full
literary potential of every “What if?” He
embarked, imagination irrepressible,
down every road not taken at the fork.
I found Roth liberating. I am grateful
to him above all for the way he introduced me, in wonder, to the exuberance
and stubbornness, the unabashed sexual and social complexes, of American
Jewishness; and for the rollicking cavalcade of the United States he set before
me, an English Jew of South African
descent raised not to make a fuss about
the odd anti-Semitic remark and to
assimilate in England, the land, at least
when I grew up in it, of Lewis Namier’s
“trembling Israelites.” Roth offered
American space, which is also everrenewed American possibility. He personified another way of living as a Jew.
In his novel “Deception,” Roth has his
American protagonist say to his British
lover, “In England, whenever I’m in a
public place, a restaurant, a party, the
theater, and someone happens to mention the word ‘Jew,’ I notice that the
voice always drops a little.” She challenges him, prompting the American to
insist, yes, that’s how “you all say ‘Jew.’
Jews included.”
My mother, June, was like that, unconsciously. That is where turning the
other cheek to some remark, say, about
stinginess (“Don’t be so Jewish!”) ends
up: in a whisper. I recall comparing
notes with the poet James Lasdun, who
grew up in similar English circumstances and experienced the same
American liberation, and being struck
by his characterization in a poem of
Anglo-Jewish aphasia: “the throttling
knot of annulled speech gathering in my
throat.” Roth, of
course, liberated
An English
speech. His was a
Jew’s debt to
boisterous Jewish
the author and vernacular.
his exuberant,
In “American
stubborn Jews. Pastoral,” he writes
of the Newark of his
childhood: “Am I
completely mistaken to think that living
as well-born children in Renaissance
Florence could not have held a candle to
growing up within aromatic range of
Tabachnik’s pickle barrels?” His Jews,
unlike European Jews, are not somehow
a little separate, or distinguishable,
from the ambient civilization, somehow
less than entirely intrinsic. As he puts it
in “The Plot Against America:”
What they were was what they couldn’t get rid of — what they couldn’t even
begin to want to get rid of. Their being
Jews issued from their being them-
selves, as did their being Americans. It
was as it was, in the nature of things, as
fundamental as having arteries and
veins, and they never manifested the
slightest desire to change it or deny it,
regardless of the consequences.
Jews and Americans, Muslims and
Americans, Mexicans and Americans,
inextricably so, “as fundamental as
having arteries and veins.” It is worth
dwelling on this essence of the United
States, and its beautiful churn, at this
juncture when facile bigotry issues from
the highest office in the land.
Looking back, in an afterword written
on the 25th anniversary of the publication of “Portnoy’s Complaint,” Roth
wrote, “I wished to dazzle in my very
own way and to dazzle myself no less
than anyone else.” He recalled admonishing himself, “All you have to do is sit
down and work!” Aspiring writers
might engrave those words.
How Roth worked (sitting and later
standing); how he dazzled; how he
delighted. I often laughed out loud, not
least at the speculation of Portnoy’s
father on how he might overcome constipation: “I remember when they
announced over the radio the explosion
of the first atom bomb, he said aloud,
‘Maybe that would do the job.’” Laughter stood at the heart of Roth’s liberating
Thank you, Philip Roth. “Free at last,”
he once wrote. “Or that’s what I would
probably be tempted to think if I were
either starting out all over again or
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FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018 | 15
10 modest steps to cut gun violence
Nicholas Kristof
Populism amid slower population growth
set off by a sustained decrease in
fertility rates beginning in the 1960s,
has been driven to a significant extent
by increasing prosperity and life span.
As people get wealthier, live longer and
move to cities, the overall rate at which
they produce babies tends to decline.
When fertility rates get low enough,
it’s only a matter of time before population levels start to decrease. We have
heard about the seemingly exceptional
story of Japan’s steady depopulation
and economic deflation. But the trend
toward population decline is not limited to Japan and a few East European
The fact is that all of East Asia, all of
Europe, and all of North America are
experiencing birthrates that are below
replacement level — which means,
simply, were it not for immigration and
longer life spans, all of these regions
would be experiencing year-to-year
population decline.
Iran, Brazil and other emergingmarket countries are on this list as
well. Fertility rates are falling rapidly
in India, the world’s most populous
country after China.
Only the African continent is poised
for significant population growth in
coming decades.
Now if you’re reading this and you
live in any one of the world’s 500 largest cities, you probably have little
personal awareness of the imminent
onset of global population decline.
That’s because the entirety of the increase in global population outside of
the African continent is already being
captured by those 500 largest cities
with populations of over one million
people. In other words, with the significant exceptions of the African continent and the less-than-half-a-percent of
the planet’s habitable surface covered
by the world’s 500 largest cities, the
earth is today experiencing net population decline.
In the past decade people in rural,
remote places have been disproportionately losing not just jobs and opportunities, but people, elementary
schools and confidence in the future.
Consider Clarksburg, W.Va., a town
that once was a major glass producer.
It has lost much of its productive capacity, including people — the population is 16,000, down from a post-World
War II peak of over 30,000. Ordinary
amenities taken for granted in big
cities are all but absent. The writer
Sam Quinones told us, after a recent
visit to Clarksburg, “I found a coffee
shop with Wi-Fi eventually, but it
closed at 5:30 p.m.” Against such a
backdrop of general decline, populists’
promises to revive dead or dying local
industries are understandably welcome.
As youth have continued to migrate
from rural areas to cities, their movement has widened not only the median
age gap between rural places and
cities, but also gaps
in attitude, since the
A consistent
young, regardless of
theme is the
where they live, tend
to associate more
decline of
with urban outlooks.
Election data from
the past two years
plainly describe the
in relation to
consequences of
these demographic
dynamics: Most
advanced industrialized countries are dominated by two
competing political movements that
either awkwardly inhabit the bodies of
existing political parties or create new
ones more to their liking. One movement extols the values that are a practical necessity in dense, interconnected
cities: interdependence, internationalism and the embrace of “diversity”
(defined along multiple dimensions).
Another movement extols the equally
necessary virtues of people in rural
areas: self-reliance, autonomy and the
embrace of immediate community and
For the United States, urban cores of
big cities vote Democratic (72 percent
in the 2016 presidential election). Small
cities vote Republican (73 percent), as
do rural areas (85 percent). More
evenly divided suburban areas and
middle-size cities decide the outcome.
In the Brexit vote, 84 percent of the
voting districts in England’s largest
cities (London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds) voted to remain in the
European Union, while 87 percent of
those in rural areas voted to leave.
A consistent theme is the relative
decline of native-born populations in
relation to immigrants. In the United
States, according to the Migration
Policy Institute, the immigrant share
of the population increased from 5.4
percent in 1960 to 13.5 percent in 2016,
while in parallel the fertility rate
halved, going from 3.6 to 1.8 births per
woman overall.
Only Japan, the country most identified with population decline, appears to
have resisted the current populist
wave — arguably either because its
restrictive immigration policies immunize its native-born population from
fears of demographic obsolescence, or
because it already experienced a populist surge, with disappointing results,
when the tradition-breaking Democratic Party of Japan was voted into
power in 2009.
As reassuring as it is for us in America to view our politics in narrowly
domestic terms or for our friends
elsewhere to do the same, populist
surges are, curiously, among the most
wholly internationalist of contemporary political phenomena. Where populations decline, populists arise — more
often than not, promising to reverse
history and restore past glory if not
demographic dominance.
In an age when the internet has
collapsed distance and artificial intelligence threatens to supplant human
intelligence in one domain after another, the density of people in places
turns out to matter more than ever.
If there is one country that has been
in the vanguard of both demographic
decline and the political exploitation of
the frustrations it engenders, it is
neither Japan nor any of the countries
just discussed. Rather, it is a country
whose population began to shrink 15
years before Japan’s; a country whose
leader declared in a 2006 address to
the nation that the demographic crisis
was “the most acute problem” facing
his land; a country in which the battle
between the rural “narod” (the common people) and the urban intelligentsia was a defining feature of political life for most of a violent century.
That country is, of course, the Russian
Federation, and the leader who expressed this concern is Vladimir Putin.
Population decline is here, but unevenly distributed. When it comes to
the politics of the 21st century, that
geographical unevenness makes all the
is an associate professor at George Mason University’s Schar
School of Policy and Government and
the author, most recently, of “The Code
Economy: A Forty-Thousand-Year
History.” JOON YUN is the president of
Palo Alto Investors and the founding
sponsor of the National Academy of
Medicine’s Grand Challenge for Healthy
After the school shooting last Friday in
Texas claimed 10 lives, the incoming
president of the National Rifle Association, Oliver North, blamed not guns but
a “culture of violence” arising from
violent movies and the like.
North fueled that culture by working
as a pitchman for a shoot-em-up video
game, but never mind. Meanwhile, Dan
Patrick, the Republican lieutenant
governor of Texas, was even more
imaginative: He blamed too many
school entrances and exits, and liberal
abortion laws that he claimed had “devalued life.”
Really? Folks, look at Japan. Japanese kids relish the same violent entertainment as Americans, and abortion is
widely available. Yet at most nine Japanese were murdered with guns across
the entire country in all of 2016 — fewer
than the 10 killed just last week at the
Texas high school.
One reason Americans in their late
teens are 82 times more likely to be
murdered with guns than their peers in
other advanced nations is simply that
we are awash with guns, some 300
million of them. Yet Congress and President Trump have been paralyzed in part
because of the N.R.A. refrain: There’s
nothing to be done! It’s us, not the guns.
It’s hopeless!
In fact, there’s plenty we can do. Here
are modest steps consistent with the
Second Amendment and public opinion:
1. Require universal background
checks to see if a purchaser is a felon or
a threat to others. The latest study finds
that 22 percent of guns are obtained in
the U.S. without a background check,
and polls find that more than 90 percent
of the public supports making these
checks universal. Yet the federal government balks.
2. Improve background checks by
allowing the federal government adequate time to perform them. At the
moment, if the authorities have not
completed the check within three business days, the buyer can get the gun.
More than 90 percent of checks are
completed within minutes, but a small
number require investigation. The
shooter who killed nine people at an
African-American church in Charleston,
S.C., in 2015 should not have been able to
purchase a weapon because of a drug
history, but the background check was
not finished in three days — so he was
able to buy it.
3. Pass “red flag laws” that allow a
judge to order the temporary removal of
a gun from people who are a threat to
themselves or others. Connecticut
enacted the first of these laws back in
1999, and Indiana, California, Washington, Oregon and Florida have passed
similar laws since. The idea is that if
friends hear someone threaten suicide
or mumble about attacking a school, the
authorities can remove a gun. A hearDon’t believe
ing is later held with
the N.R.A.
due process protecThere are
ways to
4. Get guns out of
the hands of domestic
abusers. Nearly half
of women murdered
in America are killed
by a present or past lover, yet the existing laws in this area are full of loopholes.
5. Require safe storage of guns, preferably in a safe or at least with a trigger
lock. One study found that only a minority of gun owners in the U.S. keep all
their guns secure. When guns aren’t
stored safely, it is easier for children to
find them and play with them, for teenagers to use them for suicides, or for
burglars to steal them. Some 300,000
guns are stolen each year in the United
6. Make serial numbers harder to file
off, and require microstamping, so that
cartridges can be traced back to the gun
that fired the bullets.
7. Invest in “smart guns” that require
a PIN, fingerprint or nearby bracelet to
fire. It’s outrageous that someone who
steals my iPhone is foiled by my PIN,
but stolen guns can be immediately
fired. Smart guns shouldn’t be obligatory, but they should be an option. The
way forward is probably for a police
force to experiment with smart guns,
giving them credibility with the public.
8. Support community anti-violence
programs, like Cure Violence and Becoming a Man, that work with at-risk
young people and show excellent success in reducing shootings. One study
showed each dollar invested resulted in
at least $5 in savings from reduced
9. Limit buyers in most cases to one or
two gun purchases a month, to reduce
gun trafficking.
10. Invest in gun buybacks. Since
1994, Americans have acquired an
additional 100 million guns. The average
gun-owning household now has eight
firearms, and as owners die there
should be a big push to acquire these
These are modest steps that should
be acceptable to people across the political spectrum. Legislators have shown
some initiative on guns — including
Florida after the Parkland school shooting — and states that have taken action
have reduced gun deaths. So let’s take
action rather than whining about violent movies or proposing door control.
Mourners at a memorial for the Santa Fe High School victims in Texas.
September 16–18, 2018
Democracy in Danger:
Solutions for a Changing World
Supporters of the Five Star Movement at a rally in Rome in March.
What Irish women know about abortion
tell anyone because I was afraid I’d be
judged for it.” It was then my turn to
be quiet, because while I hope I would
not have judged her, I can’t say that for
Around the same time we sat chatting, one of the local doctors was
standing on the bridge into the town,
holding up placards urging us to “Save
the 8th,” and I remembered how he
wouldn’t prescribe contraception to
teenage girls because of his religious
beliefs. Growing up in Ireland, even
speaking about abortion was taboo.
Far from a medical procedure, it was a
secret and a shame. That is changing
for many, including Alison. “Now I’m
just free of caring what people think
about me. It’s different for me now.”
It’s different for me now, too. In the
movie I was home to shoot, another
Cobh girl, Terri, played my sister. One
evening, at the beginning of our third
night-shoot, she called me into her
trailer. She was ghastly pale as she
explained she was seven weeks pregnant and bleeding. She was reluctant
to tell the producer, as we had a big
scene that night and there was a crew
of 40 people waiting for us on set.
Besides, she’d had a miscarriage six
months earlier and wasn’t sure that
this felt the same. We agreed to check
in every half-hour, then she strapped
on her fake bump — her character was
nine months pregnant — and went to
By 1 a.m., Terri was on her way to a
maternity hospital in Dublin. At 5 a.m.,
she left there having confirmed that
she was miscarrying. Cramping badly,
she was greeted by “No” campaign
posters outside the hospital featuring
blown-up images of embryos with the
message: “I am 9 weeks old. I can
yawn and kick. Don’t repeal me.” A
week later she saw two fiftysomething
men who, she said, “looked like someone’s dad,” sharing a laugh about
something as they hammered the
same poster onto a lamppost. Terri
shouted at them on the street, a first
for her.
She shouted that if they really
wanted to “love both” — the No campaign’s slogan meaning to love both
mother and baby — then they should
tear down those same posters outside
the maternity hospital. She started to
cry as she walked away, because, she
said, she was furious, and not just
furious for herself. Terri’s miscarriages
made her feel deeply for women who
made the choice to terminate their
pregnancies, women who’ve had to
leave their country to do so.
That same rage Alison has been
experiencing, that fury emanating
from Terri, I have it now, too, but
strangely it doesn’t feel new. It’s been
there all along, I didn’t notice because
it was just an ember, struggling to stay
alight among ashes, unable to ignite
fully without oxygen. There’s this
feeling I get in Cobh, in Ireland, particularly among women, and I wish you
could feel it, too, because it’s extraordinary. It’s something like electricity but
really a more ancient source of power,
like fire, and the thing about fire, of
course, is that it’s catching.
MAEVE HIGGINS, who grew up in Cobh,
Ireland, is the author of the forthcom-
ing “Maeve in America: Essays by a
Girl From Somewhere Else.”
With emerging democracies backsliding
into authoritarianism and others falling prey
to populism, there has never been a more
urgent need to assess the evolving state of
democracy and its impact now, amidst rapid
global change.
This September, The New York Times will bring
together its senior journalists with international
business leaders, policy makers, and a broad
variety of experts to debate and discuss the
current state of democracy with a focus on new
solutions. Delegates from different countries
and industries will collaborate to identify
concrete actions for governments, businesses
and citizens to take to preserve a free society.
Topics to be addressed include:
• The Allure of the Illiberal: Are there flaws
in the classic models of democracy?
• When Technology Collides with Citizenship:
How are rapid technological advances
changing the nature of politics?
• Identity, Diversity and Inclusion: How can
democracies preserve human rights
amidst pervasive populist backlashes?
• The Business of Business: Do companies
today have a greater responsibility to society,
and when is engagement good for business?
Register to attend
In Cooperation
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16 | FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018
How YouTube gave Liverpool fans a song
On Soccer
fretful minutes in Rome, when every
second felt like an age and the final
whistle seemed as though it would
never come, Liverpool’s fans sang to
stave off the nerves.
It was ritual, distraction and prayer:
They started with “You’ll Never Walk
Alone,” the club’s hymn, switched to
“The Fields of Anfield Road” and then,
finally, sang, “We Shall Not Be Moved.”
When the game ended, when A.S.
Roma had fallen just short, there was a
moment of something close to silence:
as if everyone were checking the math,
making sure Liverpool really had
beaten its host, 7-6 on aggregate, and
had reached its first Champions
League final in more than a decade.
As the achievement sank in, as
Liverpool’s players ran over to the
corner of the Stadio Olimpico where
the traveling fans had been corralled,
another song started, much louder this
time, more joyous.
Most Roma fans had started for
home. Those who lingered might have
wondered why Liverpool’s fans were
celebrating their finest moment in
more than a decade by bouncing,
twirling their scarves and singing what
appeared to be “L’Estate Sta Finendo”
(“The Summer Is Ending”), a 1985 hit
for the Italian disco duo Righeira.
Liverpool’s fans do not know it as
that, of course: In England, it is simply
“Allez Allez Allez,” the tune that has
provided the jubilant soundtrack to
Liverpool’s journey to Kiev this week,
to its meeting with Real Madrid in
Saturday’s Champions League final.
How the former became the latter,
though, how a slice of 1980s Europop
became a 21st century anthem at Anfield, the Liverpool stadium, is a story
about the power of YouTube, about the
internationalization of the fan experience and about how a melancholy song
about the pain of growing up has, three
decades on, been given a new life by
soccer’s digital culture.
A 1985 disco hit became Liverpool fans’ “Allez Allez Allez” chant after a circuitous journey from Italy via Portuguese fans in Germany.
“L’Estate Sta Finendo” did not simply morph into “Allez Allez Allez.” Its
journey was circuitous, spreading from
L’Aquila, a small city in Abruzzo, in
southern Italy, to Turin and Naples and
then on, out into the world, to Portugal
and Germany, before arriving in Liverpool.
It is not the first chant to have such
a winding background: A recent documentary by Copa90 described how
“Dale Cavese” — another favorite of a
minor Italian team — was adopted
from Argentina, popularized and eventually taken up by fans in dozens of
What makes “L’Estate Sta Finendo”
different, though, is that its dissemination, and its transformation, occurred
almost entirely online.
“It was written when I was 20,”
Stefano Righi — better known by his
Until, that is, Righi performed in
L’Aquila, a city devastated by an earthquake in 2009, “three or four years
“Afterward,” Righi said, “a few
friends of mine sent me a video showing the fans of L’Aquila singing a version of the song.” The first words of
this new version were un giorno all’improvviso: one sudden day.
L’Aquila’s team plays in the lower
tiers of Italian soccer, but it has a loud
and loyal ultra group, known (for the
team’s colors) as the Red-Blue Eagles.
They are widely credited with transforming “L’Estate Sta Finendo” from a
forgotten disco hit into a stadium chant
in 2014, but confirming that as truth
was difficult: A leader of the group
said the ultra code prevented him from
speaking to the news media.
From L’Aquila, though, the song
No. 2505
Created by Peter Ritmeester/Presented by Will Shortz
(c) Distributed by The New York Times syndicate
stage name, Johnson Righeira — said
of the song he and his partner, Stefano
Rota, wrote in the 1980s.
“It is about the end of the summer,
the end of the holidays, the start of
school, the start of the year. That is a
time when loves come to an end, when
you know you will not see people ever
again. It is the moment when time
In 1985, it was a hit in Italy, reaching
the top of the charts there and picking
up airplay in Germany and Switzerland. Righeira did write songs at the
time that were adopted by fans — “No
Tengo Dinero” (I’ve Got No Money),
the group’s other major success, was
picked up by Roma as a serenade to
Toninho Cerezo, a Brazilian midfielder,
when the song was first released. But
it did not seem that “L’Estate Sta
Finendo” would be one of them.
that Malone had a flash of inspiration.
For the next few weeks, he and Howard tried to spread the word and popularize their creation: They were both
at the game in Porto — three months
later — where groups of Liverpool fans
started singing it on the concourses
and in the stands.
Jamie Webster, an electrician and
acoustic guitarist, was there, too. “I’d
heard murmurs of it at Anfield before,”
he said. “But in Porto there was a
group of lads singing it. People did not
know the words, but they were trying
to follow them.” He saw the potential in
the chant, too. He found the song online, deciphered the lyrics, and started
setting it to music. “I wanted to get it
out there,” he said.
Webster had the perfect stage. He
performs regular sets at two venues
that have become cornerstones of
Liverpool’s match-day scene: at the
Halfway House pub near Anfield and
at the BOSS Night events, run by a
local music magazine. When he gave
his version its debut a few days after
the Porto game, the reception was
rapturous. “It took four or five times,
and the whole pub was up,” he said.
“I’m talking women in their 50s on
tables, that sort of thing.”
Film from that night was uploaded
to YouTube, shared on Facebook and
Twitter, and viewed hundreds of thousands of times. “It just spiraled and
spiraled,” Webster said. Webster is
now asked for his autograph by those
who have seen clips of his shows.
Earlier this season, a group of fans
from France came to Anfield determined to meet him.
The song, though, is bigger still. By
the time Liverpool beat Manchester
City in the Champions League quarterfinals in April, all of Anfield was singing it.
That moment — in Webster’s mind
— sealed the song’s place in the Liverpool canon. “These songs breed
through success,” he said. “If we had
lost against City, maybe the whole
thing would have died off.”
Liverpool did not lose, though. The
song rang out loud and clear in both
legs of the semifinal against Roma;
you will hear it, again and again, during Saturday’s final in Kiev, the biggest
stage club soccer has to offer.
spread quickly through Italy: Genoa
had a version, and so did Juventus,
Righi’s favorite Italian team. It was
Napoli, though, that took to it most
keenly. “It is almost a hymn there,”
Righi said.
From there, the song took flight.
Atlético Madrid adopted it — the club’s
fans sang it during the Europa League
final last week — and so did Rangers in
Scotland. Righi tracks it all as much as
he can; friends still send him video
they find of new editions. “I’ve heard it
sung at basketball games and hockey
games, too,” Righi said.
The Super Dragons, F.C. Porto’s
ultra group, noticed it, too. The group’s
leader, Fernando Madureira, confirmed
by text message that his cohort had
seen a YouTube clip of Napoli’s ultras
in action and decided to borrow the
tune. By February 2016, when the club
visited Borussia Dortmund in the
Europa League, it had become one of
its standards. During a visit to Germany, a group of Super Dragons was
filmed singing it at a subway station.
As far as Madureira is concerned,
Liverpool lifted it directly from Porto:
The teams played in the Champions
League’s round of 16 this season, and
Madureira said he believed Liverpool’s
fans took the song up spontaneously in
the stadium. The reality, though, is a
little more convoluted.
A few weeks after Porto played
Dortmund in 2016, Phil Howard, a
Liverpool fan, watched the video of the
Super Dragons in the subway station.
He had been in Dortmund for Liverpool’s game there, and was searching
for clips on YouTube, “trying to see if I
was in any of the videos.”
Disappearing down a YouTube rabbit hole, he came upon the Porto video.
“I wanted to do a version of it straightaway,” he said. “As stupid as it sounds,
I didn’t want Manchester United or
Chelsea to get hold of it.”
Howard texted a friend, Liam Malone, to alert him to the song. “I told
him this could be the next ‘Ring of
Fire,’” he said, referring to the Johnny
Cash song that provided the soundtrack to Liverpool’s 2005 Champions
League win.
It took the two of them some time to
come up with acceptable lyrics: It was
not for 18 months, till December 2017,
Fill the grid so
that every row,
column 3x3 box
and shaded 3x3
box contains
each of the
1 to 9 exactly
For solving tips
and more puzzles:
No. 2405
CROSSWORD | Edited by Will Shortz
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
kenken. For Feedback: nytimes@
27 Bulgaria’s Simeon I
1 Frustrated solver’s cry
8 Frying need for French
and Simeon II
28 Grub
30 “___ Today, Gone
Tomorrow” (“Tiny Toon
Adventures” episode)
15 Verbally abuses, in
31 Projected expense for
16 So-called “Crossroads
a roofer?
of America”
32 Get straight, in a way
36 Gave recognition
17 How bugs may be
where recognition was
18 Marketing divisions
19 Steamy fare
20 Co-founder of the
39 “Au contraire!”
40 Cheap
Black Panther Party
KenKen® is a registered trademark of Nextoy, LLC.
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved.
22 City north of
41 1976 AC/DC single
23 Son of : ibn :: father of
Answers to Previous Puzzles
: ___
24 Someone to respect
25 Tax ID
26 Overly pleased with
with the lyric “Watch
me explode”
42 “Yadda yadda yadda”
43 “Doesn’t get any
better than this!”
47 Made loud noises on
the road
national security
54 Erté’s art
55 Doughnut-shaped
57 Cusps
58 Shakespearean
59 Get cheeky with?
60 Pop
56 When the tempest
occurs in “The
2 Simple fighting style
3 Fireworks effect
62 Rice left on a shelf,
1 Sister chain of
61 Baby ___
4 Rocker nicknamed
Solution to May 24 Puzzle
52 Important case for
“The Motor City
5 World Cup cheer
6 Tight-fitting wear
7 Time-killing
plays for quarterbacks
8 Telemarketer’s device
9 “___ Game” (1986
Hugo Award winner)
10 Brown. follower
11 Common car
freshener feature
12 Just treatment
13 Fictional work that
eschews literary
14 Hit with a big charge
21 Lovelace of early
26 Snub
29 Joins
33 Man’s nickname
that sounds like two
34 Plans to pay later
35 “It’s go time!”
36 Reality show whose
contestants must be
good with numbers
37 12x platinum
compilation album by
the Rolling Stones,
38 Bit of fancy attire
43 Long range
44 Spanish omelet
45 Secretly included, in
a way
46 Author Mario Vargas
48 Winner of two
Grammys and a
Nobel Peace Prize
49 Georgia home of
Mercer University
50 John in England
51 Gridiron group that
tries to sack the QB,
53 Madame, across the
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018 | 17
Rescued by an algorithm
YouTube directed viewers
to an obscure 1983 LP,
giving its creator a new life
YouTube is known for shining a spotlight
on viral stars, but sometimes it can act
more like a hip record store clerk, digging in the crates. Five years ago, if you
clicked on a video for Brian Eno, ’80s
new age or spiritual jazz, the site’s recommendation algorithm directed you
next to an obscure and mysterious pick:
a Japanese modern classical album
from 1983 titled “Through the Looking
It was the work of the Japanese percussionist and composer Midori
Takada, and while little was known
about her in the United States, the video
soon topped over two million views. (It
has since been taken down over a copyright violation.) Original vinyl copies of
the album started fetching over $1,000.
“I didn’t know about her music when I
grew up in Japan,” said Miho Hatori of
the duo Cibo Matto, who first learned of
Ms. Takada from that YouTube algorithm. “But Midori’s music has the energy of the spirit of the early ’80s, when
music and culture was changing in Japan.”
The Japanese percussionist Midori
Takada, left, was likened by YouTube to
musicians including Brian Eno, above.
“I didn’t know about that
YouTube video, because I don’t
do social media; even a PC, I
didn’t have one.”
Such a renaissance was news to Ms.
Takada. “I didn’t know about that
YouTube video, because I don’t do social
media; even a PC, I didn’t have one,” the
musician, 66, said by telephone from
Los Angeles, where she was about to
embark on her first United States tour.
(She made her New York solo debut this
week.) “After recording ‘Through the
Looking Glass,’ I knew that my music
was not popular, so there was no offer to
make a new one.”
The intervening years have changed
Ms. Takada’s fortunes.
“Anything ambient, Japanese, electronic or vaguely related was linking to
this video,” said Jacob Gorchov, who
runs the Palto Flats label and reissued
Ms. Takada’s enigmatic album last year
in conjunction with the Swiss label
WRWTFWW Records. It became the
No. 2-selling album at the online retailer
Discogs for 2017, behind only Radiohead’s “OK Computer.” In the wake of
the YouTube video’s popularity, Ms.
Takada has toured Europe multiple
times, and her other albums have been
reissued in the last year; next month, a
reissue of her short-lived first band, Mkwaju Ensemble, will be released as well.
Classically trained as a percussionist,
Ms. Takada originally performed in the
Berlin RIAS Symphonie-Orchester at
the start of her career, in the mid-1970s,
but soon found herself dissatisfied with
the Western classical musical tradition.
“If I continued to play westernized con-
temporary music, it needed many more
instruments like an orchestra,” Ms.
Takada said.
Instead, she gravitated to the Minimalism of composers like Steve Reich
and Terry Riley. And much like these
composers, she was also interested in
African drumming and Indonesian gamelan. In these unfussy world music
sounds, she heard something far more
abundant. “People say it’s poor, but from
very few materials, they produce rich
sounds just using their body and hands,”
she said. “How to make a worldly sound
by your body and with simple materials
was an important thing to me.”
Unable to learn much about African
music in Japan, Ms. Takada instead
studied African drumming by way of
two albums of field recordings, from
Tanzania and Zimbabwe. “I copied from
the vinyl, writing down the rhythm
structures, and tried it by myself,” she
said of her rigorous daily practice to
learn polyrhythms, likening it to a daily
mantra. “It changed my body.”
Ms. Takada founded Mkwaju Ensem-
ble, a three-piece percussion group that
performed a hybrid of African and Asian
music and Minimalism, releasing two
records before financial strains forced
them to disband. Ms. Takada decided to
record solo. “Not stress, because playing solo is just you and your materials,”
she said of conceiving “Through the
Looking Glass.”
In January 1983, she went into the studio for two days. The album was an arduous process, with Ms. Takada composing, producing, arranging the microphones and playing everything on it,
from marimba to drums, harmonium to
Coke bottle. The end result is a fascinating mix of contemplative ambience and
childlike wonder, building up to the intensifying polyrhythms at its thunderous climax. “It required great concentration to make all the sounds, four
pieces recorded in two days,” she said.
Marketed as a modern classical recording, it did not sell well at the time,
and Ms. Takada would not record another solo album until 1999. In the years
between, she performed in various ensembles, composed for the theater director Tadashi Suzuki and his Suzuki
Company of Toga, and taught music theory, environmental formative theory
and percussion at various universities
in Tokyo.
So why did the sounds of “Through
the Looking Glass” connect with listeners so recently? “Midori Takada’s music
sounded so pure and new that despite it
being three decades on, her sense of
rhythm and space ticks all of today’s
boxes,” the BBC radio host and D.J.
Gilles Peterson said in an email.
Ms. Takada said new audiences in the
West didn’t change her approach.
“Whether in Europe, Africa, Asia or
U.S.A., it doesn’t matter, each person is
important,” she said. “My vision is to
give individually my sound to everyone.”
She added that she named the album
after the famous Lewis Carroll book not
because of the protagonist, Alice, but because of the story’s reversal of time. “I
made the album as a perspective of
sounds, so when this new generation listened, they felt something different, recognizing the space,” she said. “Nowadays it’s easy to play it by electronics,
but I played it myself by hand. Even the
staff at the studio couldn’t understand it.
I was misunderstood.”
The Steve Martin and Martin Short show
Longtime close friends,
the two comedians now
have a television special
On a recent Saturday afternoon, Steve
Martin and Martin Short were at the
Beacon Theater in New York rehearsing a duet of “Send in the Clowns” for
their new show, “An Evening You Will
Forget for the Rest of Your Life.”
“This might be harder than I
thought with my sore back,” Mr. Martin said, climbing atop a piano and
nearly atop his comic partner.
“We almost had a #MeToo moment
there,” Mr. Short quipped.
After the rehearsal, Mr. Martin, 72,
and Mr. Short, 68, close friends for
more than 30 years, plopped down on a
two-seater in Mr. Martin’s dressing
room and discussed their friendship
and the show, a combination of clips,
musical numbers and scripted bits that
have been filmed for a Netflix special
due Friday.
You met when Marty went to Steve’s
house to pick up a script for your first
movie together, “¡Three Amigos!”
What were your initial impressions?
STEVE MARTIN I’m not an easygoing
guy, so I’m kind of hard to get to know.
MARTIN SHORT Mmm-hmm. [Laughter]
MARTIN I had a suspicion “SCTV”
people didn’t like me because I was
kind of broad.
SHORT Did you ever see “SCTV” [the
sketch comedy show with Mr. Short]?
Bring in the circus! I truthfully was
struck by the beautiful paintings in
Steve’s house.
MARTIN He doesn’t know anything
about art. It could have been anything.
SHORT Hey, I saw one painting, and I
thought, “This is a beautiful sky, and
they’ve left No. 3 blank.” No, it was
starring in a show on Broadway
really brief, just to say hello. Then we
bonded quickly.
MARTIN Through humor.
SHORT After a film ends, you always
have a choice: You can either be in the
trenches with someone and never see
them again or continue seeing them.
We continued.
MARTIN I’ve got a 5-year-old. I can’t
do eight shows a week. When I did
“Waiting for Godot” [in 1988], there
was always this thing hanging over my
head because it was one of the greatest
plays ever, and you’ve got this incredible obligation. Here I have no obligation to him whatsoever. [Laughter]
SHORT I never say never. But eight
shows a week is a lot.
MARTIN I used to say, “What if we did
only seven shows a week?,” and the
producers would say, “Unfortunately,
it’s the eighth show that puts you into
You’ve been doing this show for several years. Do you adjust your material for different areas?
SHORT Once in a while, we’ll drop
something if we’re in a very conservative city. But that’s why we deliberately
never mention Donald Trump by name.
MARTIN We’re not trying to divide the
audience. What I don’t want is to hear
someone go, “Boo!” Or “Yay!” It takes
you out of the show.
Would you ever make another movie
Marty, you do a few jokes as buffoonish talk-show host Jiminy Glick about
Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s and
Kellyanne Conway’s looks. Did you
consider cutting those after the Michelle Wolf controversy?
MARTIN I said to Marty, “Maybe we
should cut those jokes,” and he said,
“No!” He’s less compromising than I
SHORT I would never do those jokes
as Marty, but Jiminy can do them.
MARTIN It’s like the ventriloquist’s
dummy — no offense — gets to say
more than the ventriloquist.
Steve Martin, left, and Martin Short at the Beacon Theater in New York.
I guess the worst thing you can do is
explain comedy.
Marty, you were just called one of the
greatest late-night guests of all time.
SHORT When I started out, you would
have a heart attack to go on Johnny
Carson. Letterman was more of a peer,
but we admired Dave so much.
MARTIN I also liked Dave’s audience.
They were always right there with you.
SHORT Not to correct you, and it
doesn’t matter, but it wasn’t “one of the
greatest late-night guests of all time,” it
was “the greatest.”
MARTIN I’d like to read that article
again and see if it said “among the
In your final Carson appearance,
Steve, you played the magician the
Great Flydini, and it struck me both
you and Marty have an affinity for
old-school showbiz but also love to
satirize it. Does that connect you?
You’ve both done a lot of theater.
Marty, you’ve headlined numerous
musicals, and Steve, Amy Schumer
just got a Tony nomination for your
play “Meteor Shower.”
You two were always great on “Letterman.” Why did you do so much
preparation before your appearances
on his shows?
SHORT That’s fair, but we don’t analyze it. I just do what I do, then people
say, “Do you realize that’s old show
business but modern?” And I go, “All
SHORT Well, it’s your job, but it’s not
necessarily mine.
MARTIN Don’t tell him what his job is.
SHORT Someone’s got to. [Laughter]
MARTIN I’m very proud of that. To
have written a part that qualifies
someone to be nominated for a Tony
makes you feel good.
Does either of you ever think about
MARTIN I lost interest in movies at
exactly the same time movies lost
interest in me. [Laughter] It’s another
situation where the work is all-consuming, because the minimum day is
12 hours. And you have to go away. We
used to make movies in Los Angeles!
SHORT If someone offers me a great
role like Paul Thomas Anderson did in
“Inherent Vice,” I’d do it. But as far as
“I just want to be in a movie, I don’t
care what it is,” no.
In your show, Marty does an Ed Grimley dance and Steve does a few
“Happy Feet” and “King Tut” moves.
How do you decide when to give the
people what they want? Would you
ever put the arrow through your head
again, Steve?
MARTIN No. People say they want to
see it, but I know they really don’t.
SHORT See, Steve has these specific
opinions about things. They’re not
necessarily correct, but he does
strongly believe them.
MARTIN One thing we love about our
show is that it’s not a nostalgia tour.
SHORT I don’t think you’d want to see
Charlie Chaplin at 68 come out with his
But you never seem to think you’re
too big to do silly stuff. Are you ever
asked to do anything where you feel
like, “This is beneath me at this
MARTIN I do think about that.
SHORT If I were on a show and they
wanted to crack eggs on my head, I’d
probably say, “No, I don’t think so.”
MARTIN By the way, that would be so
funny. [Laughter]
SHORT Of course it would. All right,
I’ll do it! But this time, I insist they’re
You’ve been friends for a long time.
Have you seen changes in each
MARTIN Well, when you got your
work done.
SHORT Yeah, but I’ve told you: Next
time, it’ll be from a doctor. No, I’m not
aware of it. Steve’s always been Steve.
But you’ve been through ups and
downs. Did those moments change
you? For example, did becoming a
father change your attitude toward
work, Steve?
MARTIN It changed my attitude in so
many things, basically in relationship
to time. I’m not going to go away for
two weeks.
SHORT You never talked that way
before your daughter was born.
MARTIN No, it was like, “Send me to
Atlanta for three months? That’d be
What do you like best about your
MARTIN It’s easygoing and relaxed.
Humor is a great artificial way to
SHORT What I like about our relationship is there’s no complexity. Sometimes even with good friends, they’ll
take something the wrong way. We’ve
never had that moment.
MARTIN However, I am looking for a
new friend.
18 | FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018
Many Giselles, but only one Osipova
Embodying the great role
for American Ballet
Theater, she dazzled
In 2009, the Russian ballerina Natalia
Osipova made an immediate sensation
with her debut at American Ballet
Theater, dancing the title role of
“Giselle” with David Hallberg as her
partner. The explosiveness of her
jumps, the intensity of her acting, the
keen focus with which she heightened
the significance of Giselle’s relationships with every other character all
made powerful impressions.
As a principal of Ballet Theater up to
2013, she danced many other roles with
the company, including two that were
created for her by Alexei Ratmansky.
Her technique proved stratospheric,
her acting blazingly committed. Other
remarkable European ballerinas
shared the stage with her or alternated
in the same roles. But no dancer was
more exciting than Ms. Osipova.
Since then, her career has taken her
elsewhere, chiefly as a principal of the
Royal Ballet in London. Giselle remains her calling card. It brought her
back to Ballet Theater in 2015 and
again a week ago. Mr. Hallberg was
her Albrecht, as he has been in most of
her Ballet Theater performances of
Other celebrated ballerinas were
spotted in the audience. The final
ovation was ecstatic and
The Metropolitan Opera House was
sold out; other celebrated ballerinas
were spotted in the audience. The final
ovation was ecstatic and prolonged. It
was also her birthday — and Mr. Hallberg’s. After many curtain calls, the
audience sang “Happy Birthday.” (Mr.
Hallberg will return for a few performances during this eight-week season,
but Ms. Osipova will not.)
Ms. Osipova’s Giselle has changed
and changed again in these years. Not
since Natalia Makarova’s thousandand-one ways of dancing “Swan Lake”
40 years ago have we seen a role given
so many interpretations by one performer. At this performance, Ms. Osipova was more forlorn as the village
girl of Act 1, more locked in Albrecht’s
eyes, more evidently weak-hearted.
Before the famous mad scene, you
could see the pressure building in her
mind as she watched all the gentry
returning to the stage, all so well acquainted with the lover whom she had
trustingly assumed was of the same
peasant stock as herself.
In jumps, Ms. Osipova still bursts
high into the air with astounding
speed. But she often now experiments
with classical line, sometimes leaving
her arms by her sides rather than
outstretched. The line of her neck
seems to have gained a new upward
force — though she also bends it with
more expressive submissiveness.
As in that 2009 debut, she made
intense connections to every other
character in Giselle’s life — and those
she encounters after death. She’s uninterested in making Giselle pretty or
adorable; her brow is sometimes furrowed. No other Giselle today makes
so clear a crucial plot point of Act 2:
Once she has placed Albrecht in the
sanctuary of the cross, safe from the
vengeful wilis (whose nocturnal mission is to dance men to death), she
wants him to remain there, and she
herself then leaves it only against her
Ms. Osipova has become a more
Above, Natalia Osipova in “Giselle” at the
Metropolitan Opera House. Far left, Ms.
Osipova and her Albrecht, David Hallberg, taking their bows. Left, Misty
Copeland and Herman Cornejo performed
the roles three nights earlier.
startlingly singular artist. Her resources seem only to grow; yet her
stage manners have become only
simpler and more direct. Mr. Hallberg,
by contrast, has grown more conventional and more mannered. As Albrecht, he’s terribly gracious about
being aristocratic, and in Act 2 he’s
desperately martyred. At all times, he
now lets us know he’s giving a performance; his business with his cloak
on entry in each act is a special study
in artfulness.
The great Albrechts of past
“Giselles” leave the sanctuary of the
cross because they cannot resist the
heady alchemy of love and dance, and
have even neared ecstasy as they felt
exhaustion taking them. Mr. Hallberg
now makes his virtuoso dances look
like exercises in super-elegant suffering. Having loved the apparent selflessness with which he ascended to
superstar status, I can’t help hoping he
finds again the less self-conscious
nobility that once made him so touching.
The story line of “Giselle” is so
strong that it can prove just as engrossing with far less prestigious casts.
And Ballet Theater needs this to be
true, since this year it has dispensed
with most of the guest stars who have
often studded its spring seasons at the
Met. At a matinee two days earlier,
when Sarah Lane and Daniil Simkin
played the lead roles, was an occasion
when the old ballet felt young again.
Ms. Lane’s combination of vulnerability and radiance has always been
affecting, but some lack of confidence
seemed to hold her back. Now she
takes full possession of her roles. She’s
fragile, detailed, musical — you care
for her because she lives each moment
so fully — and she takes to the air as if
it were her element.
Though Mr. Simkin is a strangely
elflike hero, his timing and commitment are terrific. There wasn’t a moment when they weren’t mutually
responsive. No Albrecht in years has
so purposefully filled the end of the
taxing last solo; so when Giselle
charges out of the wings into his arms,
it was unusually clear that she was
taking the strain from him at the very
moment when he was about to collapse.
The night before, both Misty
Copeland and Herman Cornejo seemed
out of shape in Act 1. She plays the role
with warmth but in too generalized a
manner. His characteristic ardor and
heroism were, on this occasion, muted.
Act 2 was altogether better from both,
yet with no particular inspiration.
Since she’s now among the biggest
names in world ballet, it’s refreshing to
see how unspoiled she is; but I wish
her dancing had more sheer authority.
James Whiteside played Albrecht at
another performance with the prodigious energy and personal force for
which he’s known. He can now afford a
greater suggestion of the aristocracy
that Albrecht tries at first to hide. His
interplay with Isabella Boylston, his
Giselle, was full of moment-by-moment
rapport. But while her fast, light style
and pale coloring have many beauties
and strengths, they don’t command a
Met audience. A fraction more eye
makeup and greater use of dynamic
contrasts might make her project twice
as powerfully. She’s an important
dancer, but not yet a grand-scaled one
— and the Met space is vast.
Ballet Theater is the only company
that plays this oversize opera house;
as both actors and dancers, most of its
performers would be suited to theaters
half the size. Will the season’s six
remaining weeks solve this problem?
her sons — she has missed one’s last
day of high school, the other has
landed in trouble — in which they ask,
“When are you coming home?”
At one point, Faye thinks that the
storytelling impulse itself “might
spring from the desire to avoid guilt,”
to “disburden ourselves of responsibility.” This novel is rife with stories
suggesting that the most loving parents often produce the most boring
Faye is interested in escape, in a
woman’s ability to blow her life open if
she wishes. (Friends are surprised she
has remarried, that she has leashed
herself to a new commitment.) Yet she
is also interested in notions of sodality
and fellow feeling.
Vexed and vexing conversations
about Brexit emerge, as they do in the
first two books of Ali Smith’s planned
quartet of novels named after the
seasons. Faye would almost certainly
agree with Greil Marcus, who wrote in
“Mystery Train” that the problem with
community is that you have to live in
One character, a writer who has lost
half his body weight — one question
“Kudos” broaches is, how healthy and
attractive should a writer strive to be?
— says about Brexit: “It’s like the wife
threatening to leave me every Friday
night after she’s had a few.” Another
writer says: “It was a bit of a case of
turkeys voting for Christmas.”
As trilogies of recent vintage go,
these books — all right, let’s call them
the Outline trilogy — strike me as a
stark, modern, adamantine new skyscraper on the literary horizon.
One can recognize Cusk’s achievement, and admire the crisp workings of
her mind, while still deploring the
slight increase, as this trilogy has gone
on, in oracular and overblown statements. (“You have to live,” one character tells another. “No one can take that
obligation from you.”)
Cusk’s series has been cited as a
landmark work of so-called autobiographical fiction, or auto-fiction. And
these books do somewhat parallel the
details of this writer’s life.
Yet Cusk provides sly commentary
on the notion that she’s writing anything that resembles a diary. She puts
the words, of course, in anyone’s
mouth but Faye’s, reminding us once
again that it’s not what people say but
what one hears that matters.
“There is no better hiding place” for
deceptions, a man says, “than somewhere as close as possible to the truth,
something all good liars know.”
Capstone of a literary landmark
By Rachel Cusk. 232 pp. Farrar, Straus
& Giroux. $26.
Here is the final book in Rachel Cusk’s
trilogy of small, serious, flexible and
emphatic novels that began with “Outline” in 2015 and continued last year
with “Transit.”
What to call them? From Willa
Cather’s Great Plains trilogy to Cormac McCarthy’s Border trilogy to
Hilary Mantel’s yet-to-be-completed
Thomas Cromwell trilogy, most of the
best have had handles one could pick
them up with.
At least one critic has suggested the
Outline trilogy, which is not bad. We
might also call them the Faye trilogy,
after their protagonist. Since these
books are almost entirely made up of
conversation — even though Faye
often elides her own side of the dialogue — someone may propose the
Tête-à-Tête trilogy.
(Speaking of titles, “Kudos”? It’s a
cloying and misunderstood singular
noun, one that can be spoken aloud by
sane people only with ironic intent.
Cusk explains her title, sort of, but this
volume is an instant contender for the
worst-title-on-best-book prize.)
A few things have changed for Faye,
a British writer, since we met her last.
She has remarried, after a divorce that
made a blast zone in her life. Her two
sons have become teenagers; one will
be off soon to college, to study art
We learn these things as asides. The
thrust of the narrative, as in each of
the previous books, is talk — stories
from people Faye meets while she
travels and, in the case of “Transit,”
has work done on her apartment.
Faye is a kind of moral conduit.
Everyone she comes in contact with
has a story to tell, often a very good
one. These stories branch out like
broccoli florets. One of Cusk’s speakers
will frequently tell a story about a third
or fourth person.
We rarely hear the questions Faye
asks to evoke these narrations, but
clearly she is a subtle and superhuman
interviewer. Indeed, one of the repeated themes in this trilogy, one that
silently processes in the background, is
how awful we are at meaningfully
drawing one another out.
In “Kudos,” Faye travels to a literary
festival in an unnamed, sun-chapped
place that seems to be southern Italy.
She talks to the man next to her on the
flight; he speaks of dying pets and
troubled children, the nature of lying
and oboes, trivia he knows about pilots
and medieval torture devices.
Faye speaks with her publisher, with
assorted festival hangers-on, with
interviewers, with an established
writer friend. The publisher declares
what he and his competitors desire
most: “books that people could actually enjoy without feeling in the least
demeaned by being seen reading
Is “Kudos” among those books?
Without a doubt. Yet I know readers
who’ve been driven mad by Cusk’s
refusal to deliver anything that resembles consecutive plot, or at minimum to
give Faye a cancer scare, or something.
I somewhat understand the complaints of readers who want more than
a 20-handed conversation piece, a
series of unresolved chords. They
remind me of Clive James’s daydreams
of the books Henry James might have
written if only he’d been to sea.
Others, and I am one, are held so
rapt by Cusk’s cool scrutiny of the
world that it’s as if she is navigating,
Rachel Cusk.
without oxygen, the territory between
the Third Step and the Summit Pyramid on Everest. She has that ability,
unique to the great performers in
every art form, to hold one rapt from
the moment she appears.
There is a tidal pull that lingers just
below the surface of “Kudos.” It’s clear
that, in attending to her art, Faye has
been a negligent parent at best. This
book reports phone calls from each of
20 | FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2018
Журналы и газеты
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