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International New York Times - 21 November 2017

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CHARLES MANSON ACQUIRED TASTE
REMORSELESS
TAIWAN’S TEMPLE
KILLER DIES AT 83 TO STINKY TOFU
JEWELRY
DESIGN AND MATERIALS
UNFETTERED BY TRADITION
PAGE 5 | WORLD
INSIDE | SPECIAL REPORT
PAGE TWO
..
INTERNATIONAL EDITION | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
Facebook
won’t protect
your privacy
U.S. racing
for new ways
to counter
North Korea
Sandy Parakilas
WASHINGTON
OPINION
Washington exploring use
of cyberweapons and
drones to shoot missiles
SAN FRANCISCO I led Facebook’s ef-
forts to fix privacy problems on its
developer platform in advance of its
2012 initial public offering. What I saw
from the inside was a company that
prioritized data collection from its
users over protecting them from
abuse. As the world contemplates what
to do about Facebook in the wake of its
role in Russia’s election meddling, it
must consider this history. Lawmakers
shouldn’t allow Facebook to regulate
itself. Because it won’t.
Facebook knows what you look like,
your location, who your friends are,
your interests, if you’re in a relationship or not, and what other pages you
look at on the web. This data allows
advertisers to target the more than one
billion Facebook
visitors a day. It’s
The company
no wonder the
doesn’t care
company has
ballooned in size
about how our
to a $500 billion
data is used by
behemoth in the
third parties.
five years since
It has no
its I.P.O.
The more data
incentive to do
it has on offer,
so. I would
the more value it
know — I
creates for adworked there.
vertisers. That
means it has no
incentive to
police the collection or use of that data
— except when negative press or
regulators are involved. Facebook is
free to do almost whatever it wants
with your personal information, and
has no reason to put safeguards in
place.
For a few years, Facebook’s developer platform hosted a thriving ecosystem of popular social games. Remember the age of Farmville and Candy
Crush? The premise was simple: Users agreed to give game developers
access to their data in exchange for
free use of addictive games.
Unfortunately for the users of these
games, there were no protections
around the data they were passed
through Facebook to outside developers. Once data went to the developer of
a game, there was not much Facebook
could do about misuse except to call
the developer in question and threaten
to cut off the developer’s access. As the
I.P.O. approached, and the media reported on allegations of misuse of data,
I, as manager of the team responsible
for protecting users on the developer
platform from abuse of their data, was
given the task of solving the problem.
In one instance, a developer appeared to be using Facebook data to
automatically generate profiles of
children, without their consent. When I
PARAKILAS, PAGE 11
BY DAVID E. SANGER
AND WILLIAM J. BROAD
her daughter at times, occasionally
staying away from their home for several nights at a time and ignoring calls
from her daughter’s school reporting
that she had failed to attend.
Concerned that the missile defense system designed to protect American cities
is insufficient by itself to deter a North
Korean attack, the Trump administration is expanding its strategy to try to
stop Pyongyang’s missiles before they
get far from Korean airspace.
The new approach, hinted at in an
emergency request to Congress earlier
this month for $4 billion to deal with
North Korea, envisions the stepped-up
use of cyberweapons to interfere with
the North’s control systems before missiles are launched, as well as drones and
fighter jets to shoot them down moments after liftoff. The missile defense
network on the West Coast of the United
States would be expanded if everything
else fails.
In interviews, defense officials, along
with top scientists and senior members
of Congress, described the accelerated
effort as a response to the unexpected
progress that North Korea has made in
developing intercontinental ballistic
missiles capable of delivering a nuclear
bomb to the continental United States.
“It is an all-out effort,” said Senator
Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services
Committee, who returned from a
lengthy visit to South Korea last month
convinced that the United States needed
to do far more to counter North Korea.
“There is a fast-emerging threat, a diminishing window, and a recognition
that we can’t be reliant on one solution.”
For years, that single solution has
been the missile batteries in Alaska and
California that would target any longrange warheads fired toward the American mainland, trying to shoot them
down as they re-enter the atmosphere.
Such an approach, known as “hitting a
bullet with a bullet,” remains of dubious
effectiveness, even after more than $100
billion has been spent on the effort. Antimissile batteries on ships off the Korean coast and in South Korea protect
against medium-range missiles, but not
those aimed at American cities.
So the Trump administration plans to
pour hundreds of millions of dollars into
the two other approaches, both of which
are still in the experimental stage. The
first involves stepped-up cyberattacks
and other sabotage that would interfere
with missile launches before they occur
— what the Pentagon calls “left of
launch.” The second is a new approach
to blowing up the missiles in the “boost
phase,” when they are slow-moving,
highly visible targets.
SLAVERY, PAGE 5
MISSILES, PAGE 6
BEN CURTIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MUGABE’S FALL Watching a televised address by President Robert Mugabe in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. Although he vowed in his speech that he was not going anywhere,
Mr. Mugabe, the only leader that the country has known since gaining independence in 1980, has been stripped of his power and expelled from his party. Page 6
Trapped as slaves in Britain
LONDON
Report on trafficking finds
a sprawling practice that
ensnares tens of thousands
BY CEYLAN YEGINSU
Every Friday morning, as commuters
arrived in London Victoria station, a
teenage girl would board a train to Eastbourne, a coastal town about 60 miles
outside the city.
Dressed in her sports uniform and
carrying a shoulder bag covered in
badges of pop icons, she tried to give the
impression that she was on her way to
school. But this teenager was already
three hours into her workday.
Armed with a knife and carrying a
large supply of Class A drugs, the girl,
who was 14, had been instructed to travel to Eastbourne to sell crack and heroin.
If she failed to meet steadily increasing demands set by her boss at the time,
a 48-year-old gang leader who lured her
through a social media app, she was either beaten or sexually assaulted.
A report by a British government
commission on slavery and human trafficking, released last month, described a
sprawling practice that ensnares tens of
thousands of people in Britain.
Many are immigrants. But the high
number of victims from Britain was an
unexpected shock — cases involving
British citizens like the teenage girl
were the third-largest grouping, after
those involving Albanians or Vietnamese.
A majority of child-trafficking victims
were also found to be British.
From nail salons and carwashes to
farms and construction sites, thousands
of vulnerable adults and children are being traded as commodities and are often
subjected to violence and abuse, the report found.
“We kind of let it slip that we have vulnerable people in our own communities,” Kevin Hyland, Britain’s first independent antislavery commissioner, said
in an interview. “And they are vulnerable for a number of reasons, not just because they come from poverty. It may be
that they have learning difficulties, educational issues or addiction.”
For months, no one noticed as the girl,
whose identity is being concealed for
her protection because her captors are
still at large, sneaked out of her apart-
ANDREW TESTA FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
London Victoria station. One enslaved teenage girl — 14 at the time — used to travel
from the station to a coastal town to sell crack and heroin for a gang leader.
ment before dawn, skipped school and
came home late, once with bruises all
over her body. No one saw the deep
scratches on her arms and legs when
she started to hurt herself.
Her mother acknowledged neglecting
An opera mined from the Gold Rush
SIERRA CITY, CALIF.
Known for ‘Nixon in China,’
John Adams is now tapping
an older source of drama
BY MICHAEL COOPER
The fragrant firs had given way to jagged, rocky peaks, and the composer
John Adams climbed a vertiginous metal staircase to a fire lookout high atop
the Sierra Buttes, an aerie perched 8,587
feet above sea level.
“All this was heavily mined,” Mr. Adams said, surveying a seemingly serene
landscape of glacial lakes and Ansel Adams evergreens that had once been torn
apart by frenzied prospectors during
the Gold Rush. “There were shafts into
the interiors of the mountains.”
These days Mr. Adams is mining
some of the real-life tumult that churned
beneath the oft-mythologized surface of
the California Gold Rush of the early
Y(1J85IC*KKNMKS( +$!"!?!&!_
TIFFANY BROWN ANDERSON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
John Adams in the Sierra Buttes of California, the setting for “Girls of the Golden
West.” Its themes of ethnic tension and mistreatment of women might sound familiar.
1850s — the ethnic tensions, ugly bursts
of nativism and brutality toward women
— for his latest opera, “Girls of the Golden West,” which was to be given its premiere Tuesday at the San Francisco
Opera.
The opera’s mid-19th-century setting
(its title archly evokes Puccini’s more
melodramatic “La Fanciulla del West,”
or “The Girl of the Golden West”) is a
departure for Mr. Adams, whose pathbreaking operas “Nixon in China,” about
a 1972 presidential trip, and “The Death
of Klinghoffer,” his still-controversial exploration of a 1985 hijacking, were so
contemporary that some critics initially
sniffed that they were “CNN operas.”
But Mr. Adams said that the new work,
with a libretto assembled from historic
texts by Peter Sellars, his longtime collaborator, had come to feel disturbingly
of the moment — especially its scenes of
white miners whipped into anti-immigrant frenzies.
“They all came here looking for gold,”
he said at one point during a drive
through the Sierras along State Route
OPERA, PAGE 2
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2 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
page two
Stinky tofu at its malodorous best
TAIPEI JOURNAL
TAIPEI, TAIWAN
Restaurant is a temple
to one of the world’s
most pungent snacks
BY CHRIS HORTON
In a small, unassuming building below
the growing skyline of Taipei’s Xinyi district, Wu Hsu Pi-ying has built a shrine
to stink, attracting the faithful from far
and wide.
Since 1989, Dai Family House of
Unique Stink has cultivated a following
among aficionados of one of Taiwan’s
most prevalent, and most pungent,
snacks: stinky tofu.
“We’re happy,” Ms. Wu said, sitting on
a low stool at her restaurant. “We give
people healthy, natural food, and it’s super cheap.” Menu items range from 50
cents to $3. “I don’t need to make a lot of
money.”
A fermented bean curd that came via
immigrants from mainland China,
stinky tofu has long been a staple in Taiwan. A versatile food, it can be fried,
steamed or cooked in soup, all of which
are on the menu at Dai’s. Ms. Wu also
pioneered cold stinky tofu, which is
served covered with crispy flakes of seaweed-flavored batter, the edges of the
tofu slab a bluish-gray.
Across Taiwan, deep-fried stinky tofu
is commonly sold at stalls in night markets, where its odor carries for long distances.
Describing that odor is a matter of
contention. As with eaters of smellier
cheeses, proponents of stinky tofu tend
to use the term “chou,” or stinky, in a
positive context. Those who detest the
dish might compare it to smelly socks or
even to rotting garbage. Then again, so
might those who enjoy it.
Lovers and haters tend to agree on
one thing: Stinky tofu is a much less intense experience for the palate than it is
for the nose.
One exception is the stinkiest tofu
available at Dai’s, aptly named stink
paste. Fermented at a low temperature
over two years in a vegetable and medicinal herb-based brine, this tofu decomposes and attains a creamy texture and
gray hue. If stench were spiciness, it
would be a habanero-plus, making its
presence felt long after swallowing.
Previously an artist, Ms. Wu, 70, has
spent the last 30 years pushing the
boundaries of the stinky tofu realm. She
no longer works every day — her son
and daughter-in-law help run the shop
when she’s resting or traveling — but
she still oversees operations. She has
the air of a master at the top of her game.
“I’m the one who’s done everything
here,” she said, smiling. “If I don’t get it,
no one does. I’m the only one in the
world who gets it.”
PHOTOGRAPHS BY AN RONG XU FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Clockwise from above: The Dai Family House of Unique Stink logo is on every slab of tofu; Wu Hsu Pi-ying, the restaurant’s owner, is a former artist; kitchen fumes are released three stories up to minimize odors.
She said she learned the art of fermenting bean curd from her parents,
who had made it and sold it wholesale
for more than 60 years. (The restaurant
takes its name from her stepfather’s surname.)
After bouncing around the United
States throughout the 1980s, Ms. Wu returned to her native Taipei in 1989 and
decided to open a restaurant focused
solely on stinky tofu. Others have followed, but hers has won an exceptional
reputation.
The first location, in the Wanhua district of old Taipei, was a tiny, standingroom-only affair that drew complaints
from neighbors who took their story to
Taiwan’s raucous local news media. The
cramped space and bad publicity compelled her to move to a larger shop.
All of Dai’s tofu production and fermentation is done in the nearby city of
Taoyuan, with the store logo stamped on
every slab. The restaurant’s neighbors,
a convenience store and an auto repair
shop, had praise for Dai’s tofu, and said
the restaurant’s ventilation system,
which releases kitchen fumes three
stories up, minimized odors.
When on duty, Ms. Wu takes orders
and chats extensively with guests, while
Chang Te-feng, her 74-year-old partner,
operates the cash register.
Eating her tofu noodle soup with metal chopsticks, one customer, Lin Yun,
said she trusted Ms. Wu’s creations
more than any others in Taipei.
“The flavor of the stinky tofu here is
truly different — it’s really delicious,”
Ms. Lin said. Pointing at a chunk of cold
stinky tofu, she praised its probiotic
“Now and again a tour bus full of
foreigners stops by. Some of
them love it. Others will spit
their first bite into a tissue.”
properties. “Some doctors will tell you
that if you’re having gastrointestinal
problems, you just need to eat this for
three days straight.”
A framed calligraphic ode to stinky to-
fu’s health benefits hangs on the wall
above Ms. Lin, praising the dish’s ability
to clear the lungs, cure constipation and
increase the flow of chi, the vital life
force of traditional Chinese medicine.
Some customers, however, are simply
in it for the flavor.
Paul Hsiao, dining with two friends
who had joined him from across town,
has been a regular at Dai’s for more than
seven years. “I love to eat it,” he said.
“Whether it’s healthy or not is irrelevant
to me.”
Steamed stinky tofu was one of his favorites, he said. It’s a simple, satisfying
dish — a block of Dai’s signature tofu
topped with enoki and shiitake mushrooms and sprinkled with green onion,
sitting in a shallow bowl of umami-rich
broth and edamame.
Some stinky tofu in Taiwan uses brine
containing seafood or pork, while some
vendors have been found to use chemicals as a shortcut to obtaining the funky
odor. All of the dishes at Dai’s are plantbased, Ms. Wu said, which helps to draw
vegetarians as well as vegans.
Not everyone who enters the House of
Unique Stink enjoys the experience, she
said. Whether customers love it or hate
it, Ms. Wu doesn’t seem bothered. Just
as with art, not everyone knows how to
appreciate stinky tofu.
“Now and again a tour bus full of foreigners stops by,” she said. “Some of
them love it. Others will spit their first
bite into a tissue.”
Although Ms. Wu is no longer in the
restaurant every day, full retirement is
not on her agenda anytime soon.
“I’m still going to be behind the whole
operation,” she said. “It’s still early
days.”
past — and he has written his share of
allusive titles, including “Scheherazade.2,” a symphony for violin and orchestra whose title evokes Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” and his orchestral work “Harmonielehre,” which took
its title from a book by Schoenberg, a
composer he was breaking from.
Much of “Girls” is drawn from the letters of Louise Amelia Knapp Smith
Clappe, a New Englander who lived in
the mining camps with her husband, a
doctor, in 1851 and 1852, and published
them under the pen name Dame Shirley.
It also incorporates bits of Mark Twain’s
writings and Shakespeare, whose work
was often performed for miners.
This collagelike approach — which
Mr. Sellars has used since he took over
the lyric-writing duties from Alice Goodman, who wrote the librettos of Mr. Adams’s first two operas, “Nixon” and
“Klinghoffer” — has been controversial.
It solves one problem: By using existing
texts, it answers the sometimes distracting question of what a new opera in
English should sound like. But some
critics have found it lacking drama or
poetry — which Mr. Adams rejects, saying he prefers them to many other recent librettos, which remind him of television scripts.
Philip Glass, America’s other leading
opera composer, once described himself
as an “image composer” and Mr. Adams
as a “word composer,” Mr. Adams recalled. “I think he was right,” he said.
“Although he sets words, the main thing
for him is the image he’s thinking of. And
for me it’s the word — not only what it
says, but also the rhythm and the
sound.”
For “Girls,” Mr. Adams found himself
composing the history of a stretch of
California he has long frequented. Staying there earlier this month with his dog,
Amos, he woke up to find his car’s doors
wide open and his passenger seat shredded by a bear. “A bottle of beer in the
trunk had popped open from the altitude
and he or she was apparently furious not
to have been able to get to it,” he wrote in
an email. “And Amos? Slept through it.”
The opera’s climax takes place a short
drive away in Downieville, an old min-
ing town that was the site of one of the
most infamous episodes of the Gold
Rush: the lynching of a Mexican woman
for killing a white miner who had broken
down her door the night of the very first
Independence Day celebrated by the
new state of California in 1851.
That is how the composer found himself with a date with an ex-sheriff.
When Lee Adams, a former sheriff of
Sierra County and a local history buff,
heard that “Girls” would dramatize the
hanging, he reached out to Mr. Adams,
offering to show him around Downieville, where the local paper, The Mountain Messenger, still prints the price of
gold in each edition (it was $1,306.99 an
ounce that week).
They met at the Downieville Museum,
in a former Chinese store that was said
to have offered gambling and opium in
the back. The ex-sheriff explained that
people in the town still argue about the
hanging. Its details are hazy: contemporary accounts gave the hanged woman’s
name as Josefa, which is what the new
opera calls her, but she was widely remembered later as Juanita. And it is unclear what took place between her and
the miner she stabbed: It is generally
agreed that he broke down her door, but
whether he assaulted her is uncertain.
What happened next still shocks: She
was tried before an angry mob and
hanged from a bridge — all in the course
of a day.
“I have no idea if she was at fault, not
at fault, whatever,” Lee Adams said.
“The bottom line is, she did not get a legal trial.”
Not that the onetime sheriff is exactly
squeamish about hanging: He led the effort to restore Downieville’s historic gallows, and his license plate reads “Hangman.”
Mr. Adams, the composer, took a walk
to a bridge near the spot where Josefa
was hanged and read a plaque that gave
her last words as “I would do the same
again if I was so provoked.”
“I’m not too keen on this,” he said,
growing serious as he visited the scene
of his finale. “To me it’s like a tourist attraction. And I’ve lived with this in my
mind for so long.”
An opera mined from the Gold Rush
OPERA, FROM PAGE 1
49, which links many of the old mining
sites of the 49ers. “And when it became
not so easy to find gold, they all started
sounding like Donald Trump.”
It was particularly jarring, he said, to
write the opera’s climax — in which a
Mexican woman is lynched — against
the backdrop of the 2016 presidential
race. “I kept hearing ‘Lock her up!’ at
those horrible rallies,” Mr. Adams said,
recalling news footage of Trump supporters chanting for Hillary Clinton’s
imprisonment being shown as he wrote
choruses for his opera’s angry mob.
Three decades after the premiere of
“Nixon in China,” Mr. Adams can fairly
stake a claim as America’s most prominent composer. This onetime enfant terrible has grown into an elder statesman.
This year, leading orchestras around the
world celebrated his 70th birthday; over
the past decade, three of his operas finally reached the stage of the Metropolitan Opera; and earlier this month, the
Berlin Philharmonic, which made him
its composer in residence last season,
released a lavish boxed set of his works.
But for all that, Mr. Adams — a
thoughtful, wryly funny man who lives
in Berkeley, Calif., about 200 miles from
here in Sierra City, and could easily be
mistaken for one of that college town’s
professors, or ex-hippies, or both — still
worries about what classical music
should be, how to get it to speak to audiences that now flock to other art forms
and what his role is in its changing
ecosystem. He has had a small, rustic
cabin here in the Sierras for decades
(large swaths of “Girls” are practically
set in the neighborhood) and, as he
wrote in his 2008 memoir, “Hallelujah
Junction,” the region’s gilded past has
sometimes struck him as a troubling
metaphor.
“From time to time when driving in
the High Sierra I’ll see amateur gold
miners, panning in a river that 150 years
ago gave up the best of its treasure to the
first prospectors,” he wrote, “and I’ll be
tempted to wonder if the image of these
latter-day panners, hoping only for a
tiny nugget, isn’t an illustration of my
own predicament as a composer.”
It is a predicament that Mr. Adams
has long grappled with. Early on he
turned away from the sometimes chilly
modernism of the 20th century —
which, at its most extreme, wore its indifference to popular tastes as a badge
of pride — and embraced harmony,
rhythm, unabashed emotion and flashes
of humor. He explored minimalism
alongside composers such as Terry Riley, Philip Glass and Steve Reich —
weaving shimmering, textured tapestries out of the pulsating repetition of
small elements — but later found it confining and tried to incorporate it into a
broader language. (He has compared it
to Picasso leaving the strictures of Cubism behind.) His palette is constantly
evolving — synths here, saxes there,
chugging arpeggios, swelling strings,
Bachian choruses, echoes of Wagner or
Beethoven or jazz or rock. Along the
way he developed a voice that remains
recognizably his own through the constant changes.
The landscape, and the idea, of California loom large in the work of Mr. Adams, a transplant from New England
who found his composer’s voice in the
San Francisco Bay Area after making
his way west in an unreliable Volkswagen Beetle in 1971. He previously explored its facets in pieces like “The
Dharma at Big Sur,” which evokes the
Pacific Coast of Jack Kerouac, and “City
Noir,” which suggests the seamy Los
Angeles of a Philip Marlowe. With
“Girls,” he and Mr. Sellars have returned
to its earliest days — the dark underbelly of part of America’s creation myth.
Songs have been on Mr. Adams’s
mind these days, and he tried his hand at
becoming a tunesmith for the new
opera. While “Girls” has big, operatic set
pieces — there is an aria based on
Frederick Douglass’s powerful “What to
the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” and a
rollicking instrumental interlude for
Lola Montez’s scandalous “Spider
Dance” that has already found success
in the concert hall — Mr. Adams has also
written new music for a series of old
miner’s songs that Mr. Sellars has included in the libretto. (Mr. Sellars said in
a telephone interview that Mr. Adams
TIFFANY BROWN ANDERSON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Upper Sardine Lake, near where John Adams has owned a cabin for decades. The inspiration for his opera’s climax was an 1851 lynching in the California town of Downieville.
Mr. Adams sees people panning
for tiny nuggets and wonders if
it’s “an illustration of my own
predicament as a composer.”
had written “unforgettable earworms”
that he cannot get out of his head.)
And he aimed for a mostly sparse,
lean sound for his western opera. “How
can you tell this story in a more modernist, complex language?” he asked. “I
think it would be ridiculous.”
For all his past success, Mr. Adams
said that premieres still make him nervous. “I just don’t know what it’s going
to be like — whether I’ve made an aesthetic wrong turn or not,” he said at one
point during the hike down from the Sierra Buttes.
“We live in this strange era where
we’re still sort of having this spasm back
and forth out of modernism and into
something new,” Mr. Adams said. “And
then somebody will come up with something that’s really a more modernist creation, and it will be a success, and I’ll
think ‘Oh God, I’m not relevant anymore.’ ”
He even raised the possibility that
“Girls of the Golden West,” which the
San Francisco Opera commissioned and
produced along with the Dallas Opera
and the Dutch National Opera, could be
his last large-scale opera. “I think if I do
another theater piece, it’s going to be
small,” he said.
The “Girls” project began when the
Teatro alla Scala in Milan asked Mr. Sellars to direct a new production of Puccini’s “Fanciulla del West.” The Puccini
opera features ravishing music, Italian
operatic drama and a sometimes pulpy
libretto based on a David Belasco play
that raises modern eyebrows when its
Native American characters greet each
other with “Ugh.”
Mr. Sellars passed. But he approached Mr. Adams about creating
their own Gold Rush opera based on existing sources. Some opera buffs have
bristled at their title’s wink at the Puccini opera, especially after Mr. Adams
confessed in an interview that he did not
really know it. But Mr. Adams’s work
has long engaged with composers of the
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THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017 | 3
..
4 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
World
France’s extra hurdles
on sexual harassment
PARIS
Cultural and legal barriers
discourage women from
complaining at work
BY ALISSA J. RUBIN
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRETT GUNDLOCK FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Workers on what will be a runway for a new airport for Mexico City. The project, on land that used to be Lake Texcoco, is intended to be a showcase for sustainable development.
Age-old risks loom over airport
CHIMALHUACÁN, MEXICO
Scientists raise concerns
that cutting-edge project
ignores known problems
BY PAULINA VILLEGAS
AND ELISABETH MALKIN
On the flat salt basin that was once the
Aztecs’ great Lake Texcoco, Mexico is
building its “door to the world,” an enormous airport the government vows will
exist in harmony with the environment.
Officials described a terminal design
so green that it would be a “global reference” for sustainability, and they
pledged to rescue degraded lands surrounding the airport.
But soon after construction started in
2015, the government appeared to turn
its back on part of that promise, ceding
land designated on project maps for conservation to local officials for development.
And as construction moves ahead on
Mexico’s
grandest
infrastructure
project in decades, the much-heralded
environmental protection effort is still
so devoid of detail, critics say, that it
raises questions of credibility and actually obscures the risk of flooding.
Centuries-old mistakes concerning
land and water management are likely
to be repeated as a result, said Fernando
Córdova Tapia, an analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico who led a group of scientists that examined the government’s initial environmental impact statement. Handing
over the land that had been earmarked
for conservation, about 500 acres, was
“the first symptom of how they are betraying the entire environmental mitigation effort,” Mr. Córdova said.
President Enrique Peña Nieto’s office
defended the plans, saying in a statement that the project was “designed to
improve the ecological health of the region and provide an integrated rescue of
a zone that was environmentally degraded.”
The government’s plan calls for a network of channels, tunnels and five new
reservoirs to collect runoff that drains
into the area. Octavio Mayén Mena, a
spokesman for the government agency
managing the project, said reforestation
is underway, and the National Water
Commission said construction of the
reservoirs will begin next year.
Still, the federal government has yet
to present detailed environmental plans
for the airport’s hotel and shopping areas, and for conservation and land use
on the approximately 27 square miles
surrounding the new transportation
hub.
The study by Mr. Córdova’s group
warned that salt cedar, the main species
in the reforesting effort, is not native to
Mexico and is so invasive that it could
damage the entire ecosystem.
The airport reflects Mr. Peña Nieto’s
aspirations of turning Mexico City into a
travel hub for the Americas, and, as he
enters his final year in office, it is also
part of his effort to establish a legacy.
The president, who is not eligible for reelection and is deeply unpopular, has
been forced to cancel other big-ticket infrastructure projects over corruption
scandals and budget cuts.
Evoking the monumentality of Mexican architecture, the British architect
Norman Foster has designed a soaring
What remains of Lake Texcoco. Spanish conquerors drained the lake and cleared forestland, setting off centuries of flooding.
steel and glass airport terminal, the
heart of the $13 billion first phase of the
project, which is scheduled to open in
2020 and serve 50 million passengers a
year. The new airport, which the government hopes will meet the highest international certification for green buildings, will relieve congestion at the capital’s Benito Juárez International Airport.
For more than two decades, successive governments have looked for a
place to build the airport, and Mr. Peña
Nieto appeared determined to avoid
conflict this time. Land struggles had
scuttled an airport project to the northeast 15 years ago, and the lake bed —
which is mostly federal land — seemed
to offer an easier path.
A resident in what was once part of the
lake, in Chimalhuacán. The land, wanted
for the airport, has been in dispute.
But the site presents unique challenges. Lake Texcoco, where the Aztecs
built their island capital, Tenochtitlán,
once captured the rainwater hurtling
down the surrounding hillsides. Eventually, the Aztecs expanded the ancient
capital with landfill and planted crops on
floating gardens called chinampas, plots
of fertile arable soil on the shallow lake
beds of the Valley of Mexico.
But Spanish conquerors drained the
lake and cleared forestland, setting off
centuries of flooding and water-management crises.
With no natural source of water to filter back into the aquifer below, the lake
bed itself is sinking.
“We inherited the war the Spanish
waged against water and therefore the
lack of wisdom on how to coexist with it
in a sustainable manner,” Mr. Córdova
said.
Last year, eager to head off any local
opposition, the federal government
transferred 500 acres wedged between
two of the planned reservoirs to the city
government of Chimalhuacán, which is
controlled by a social movement called
Antorcha Campesina, or Peasant Torch.
The local group has a symbiotic relationship with Mr. Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, delivering votes at election time and acting, often aggressively, as a ground operation for the party, said Neptalí
Monterroso, a professor of political science at the Autonomous University of
the State of Mexico.
The
Chimalhuacán
authorities
wasted no time putting the land to use. A
polytechnic university is rising, and soccer fields for a sports center have been
marked out. An industrial park is on the
drawing boards.
“We’re talking about taking many
people out of poverty,” said Cecilia
Hernández Anaya, a spokeswoman for
the Chimalhuacán government.
Mexico’s National Water Commission
approved the transfer of the 500 acres.
Though project maps show the land had
been designated for habitat conservation and flood management, the commission, responding to questions from
The New York Times, said that the area
had never been included in the original
flood control project.
The water commission’s former director called the land transfer “outrageous”
and said the area had indeed been assigned to the reservoir system. “You
can’t build anything there; there is a
very high risk,” said the former director,
José Luis Luege, a member of the opposition National Action Party.
Senator Víctor Hermosillo, also of the
National Action Party, has asked for an
investigation by the federal comptroller,
noting that the land had been handed
over with no impact studies. “That suggests a gift, a handout with a highly political electoral purpose,” he and four
other senators said in a resolution in
June.
Despite the land transfer, the politics
of the poor towns surrounding the airport zone, especially Chimalhuacán, a
city of low-slung concrete houses straddling the hillsides above the lake bed,
are unpredictable. Ceding the land to the
local government may have warded off
conflict at one level, but it has not guaranteed peace.
Some 230 families that claim to be the
original landowners of the plot that now
belongs to Chimalhuacán and the reservoir sites on either side argue that they
have been cheated out of just compensation.
Bearing copperplate land titles
handed down over generations, they
have staged protests, accosted politicians and sought out the news media.
To buttress their claim, they unroll copies of maps dating to the 1930s that show
named rows of narrow plots.
In May, the families reached agreement with the federal government for
compensation, said Juan Loreto
González, a leader of the group. But a
deadline came and went, and the families have yet to see their money. They
are threatening new protests.
“Chimalhuacán has always been seen
as plunder,” said Cruz Hernández, who
at 65, is old enough to have fished in the
remnants of Lake Texcoco.
“The land has been stripped. Now we
stand ready to fight.”
In the icy winter of 1905, many of the
women who hand-painted the world-famous Limoges vases and figurines went
on strike in France — not because they
were poorly paid or toiled long hours,
but because they were prey to the factory overseer’s sexual urges.
Their protest was against the custom,
inherited from the Middle Ages, in
which bosses (or feudal lords) compelled sexual services from the young
women who worked for them.
A different kind of protest against sexual abuse is underway in France, the
United States and elsewhere in the wake
of the accusations of abuse by the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
These new protesters are armed with
hashtags like #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc, or “Out Your Pig.”
But not everyone is so sure that the
current wave of outrage on social media
will be enough to change behavior and
attitudes that have resisted generations
of efforts in France.
“It is not at all the same thing to tweet
in 140 characters and to bring a complaint in court,” said Marilyn Baldeck, a
legal professional who works with the
European Association Against Violence
Against Women at Work.
Other recent watersheds in France
brought little relief for women. The sexual assault trial that derailed the presidential hopes of Dominique StraussKahn, the former managing director of
the International Monetary Fund,
crossed a threshold in France for making the private lives of public figures fair
game for the news media.
But the sheer number of women in
France currently going public with the
details of their unwanted sexual encounters makes clear that the private behavior of powerful men — or, for that matter,
less-powerful men — did not necessarily
change.
Similarly, after a flurry of sexual harassment allegations roiled France’s National Assembly last year, some of the
laws approved by the same body may
have raised the hurdles for women to
prosecute harassers.
Lawyers and experts have criticized
recent changes in the labor law, ordered
by President Emmanuel Macron, for
backsliding and say that, at every level,
the administration’s response has been
either nonexistent or inadequate.
Some women in France feel so aggrieved that they have started a petition
addressed to Mr. Macron, urging him to
treat sexual harassment as a national
emergency. It gained 100,000 signatures
in its first three days online.
“What’s happening is a revolt,” said
Geneviève Fraisse, a French philosopher, writer on feminist thought and director of research at France’s National
Center for Scientific Research.
“It’s the same thing that happened for
abortion in the 1970s and for equal pay in
the 1990s,” she added. “It’s a catalyst. It’s
not something that can be ignored — it’s
an historic moment.”
But there remain big obstacles, cultural and legal, that discourage women
from complaining about harassment in
the workplace. A culture of silence has
long persisted around such behavior
and is only now being broken.
France’s reluctance to move more aggressively against sexual harassment
reflects deeply rooted ideas about sexual relations and the relative power between men and women, said Joan Scott,
a professor emeritus of intellectual and
cultural history at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., who
has studied French social and sexual
mores.
“There is a longstanding commitment
to the notion that the French do gender
relations differently — especially from
prudish Americans — and that has to do
with the French understanding of seduction,” she said. “Seduction is the alternative to thinking about it as sexual
harassment.”
Christine Bard, a professor of feminism at the University of Angers, ech-
oed those thoughts. There is an “idealization of seduction ‘à la Française,’ and
that anti-feminism has become almost
part of the national identity and is seen
as a retort to Anglo-American culture,”
she said.
“The desire to distance ourselves
from a ‘puritanism’ which is ‘Protestant,’ ‘Anglo-Saxon’ and ‘feminist’ plays
well notably in intellectual milieus, and
anti-Americanism has been a constant
dimension of anti-feminism in France
for more than a century,” Ms. Bard said.
Sexual harassment in the workplace
was made subject to legal sanction in
France starting only in 1992, in the wake
of Anita Hill’s accusations during the
confirmation hearings of Clarence
Thomas, then a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States.
That controversy riveted France,
which created, at about the same time, a
civil and a criminal offense of sexual
harassment. But the reach of those laws
was not matched by vigorous enforcement, labor lawyers say.
The effect has been to discourage
women from pursuing cases, as reflected in a 2014 survey for France’s Defender of Rights, a government office
that helps people enforce their civil
rights.
The survey found that at least one in
five working women said they had confronted sexual harassment. But only 30
percent of them had reported it to management, and only 5 percent ever
brought it before a judge. Far more said
they had worked in an environment
where there were sexist or crude jokes.
Ms. Baldeck, the legal professional,
notes that many women do not pursue
claims “because it is too difficult since
the judiciary is so poorly equipped to
deal with these complaints.”
“In France, 93 percent of complaints
of criminal sexual harassment are not
followed up on” because of insufficient
staffing and funding, she said.
An expectation of silence,
magnified by weak enforcement.
There is no French equivalent of the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the United States, which can
bring cases but also works directly with
companies to resolve them through internal measures before they go to court.
Moreover, in 40 percent of French harassment cases, the person who complained was punished by management
rather than the accused. Some women
were blocked as they tried to seek
higher positions, while others did not
have their contracts renewed or were
fired.
While many of the men recently accused of offenses in the United States
and Britain have been forced to resign,
in France, it remains the norm in both
the public and private sectors for those
accused of offenses to stay in their jobs.
The government’s internal administrative tribunal is deliberating the case
of a 35-year-old who in 2009 became one
of the first women to be admitted to an
elite branch of the police.
One of two women assigned to a division of 150 special police officers, she
charges that she was quickly ostracized
and made the target of sexual jokes.
It started with male officers insisting
that they kiss their female colleagues
hello on both cheeks; she wanted to
shake hands. When she insisted, some
of the men refused to do so. One of her
colleagues made masturbating gestures
in front of her to insult her, and one
called her a “dirty whore,” she said. After she was injured while on a mission,
she did not return to her job.
In defense of her colleagues, the Ministry of Interior countered that “smutty
jokes” were to be expected in a force
where people worked closely together
and de facto “lacked privacy and where
the work culture is exclusively masculine.”
It added that the missions were difficult and that some male police officers
had not “entirely assimilated” a new
code of conduct with the introduction of
women. But, still, what she had experienced did not rise to the level of sexual
harassment, the ministry said in a written statement.
Elian Peltier contributed reporting from
Paris.
BERTRAND GUAY/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES
A gathering against gender-based and sexual violence in Paris last month.
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017 | 5
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
world
Wild-eyed leader of a murderous crew
CHARLES MANSON
1934-2017
BY MARGALIT FOX
Charles Manson, one of the most notorious murderers of the 20th century, who
was very likely the most culturally persistent and perhaps also the most inscrutable, died on Sunday in Kern
County, Calif. He was 83 and had been
behind bars for most of his life.
He died of natural causes in a hospital,
the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a news
release.
Mr. Manson was a semiliterate habitual criminal and failed musician before
he came to irrevocable attention in the
late 1960s as the wild-eyed leader of the
Manson family, a murderous band of
young drifters in California. Convicted
of nine murders in all, Mr. Manson was
known in particular for the seven brutal
killings collectively called the TateLaBianca murders, committed by his
followers on two consecutive August
nights in 1969.
The most famous of the victims was
Sharon Tate, an actress who was married to the film director Roman Polanski.
Eight and a half months pregnant, she
was killed with four other people at her
Beverly Hills home.
The Tate-LaBianca killings and the
seven-month trial that followed were
the subjects of fevered news coverage.
To a frightened, mesmerized public, the
murders, with their undercurrents of
sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll and Satanism,
seemed the depraved logical extension
of the anti-establishment, do-your-ownthing ethos that helped define the ’60s.
Since then, the Manson family has occupied a dark, persistent place in American culture — and American commerce.
It has inspired, among other things, pop
songs, an opera, films, a host of internet
fan sites, T-shirts, children’s wear and
half the stage name of the rock musician
Marilyn Manson.
It has also been the subject of many
nonfiction books, most famously “Helter Skelter” (1974), by Vincent Bugliosi
and Curt Gentry. Mr. Bugliosi was the
lead prosecutor at the Tate-LaBianca
trial.
It was a measure of Mr. Manson’s hold
over his followers, mostly young women
who had fled middle-class homes, that
he was not physically present at the precise moment that any of the TateLaBianca victims were killed. Yet his
family swiftly murdered them on his orders, which, according to many later accounts, were meant to incite an apocalyptic race war that Mr. Manson called
Helter Skelter. He took the name from
the title of a Beatles song.
Throughout the decades since, Mr.
Manson has remained an enigma. Was
he a paranoid schizophrenic, as some
observers have suggested? Was he a sociopath, devoid of human feeling? Was
he a charismatic guru, as his followers
once believed and his fans seemingly
still do?
Or was he simply flotsam, a man
whose life, The New York Times wrote
in 1970, “stands as a monument to parental neglect and the failure of the public
correctional system”?
No Name Maddox, as Mr. Manson
was officially first known, was born on
Nov. 12, 1934, to a 16-year-old unwed
mother in Cincinnati. His mother, Kathleen Maddox, was often described as
having been a prostitute. What is certain, according to Mr. Bugliosi’s book
and other accounts, is that she was a
heavy drinker who lived on the margins
of society with a series of men.
Mr. Manson apparently never knew
his biological father. His mother briefly
married another man, William Manson,
and gave her young son the name
Charles Milles Manson.
Kathleen often disappeared for long
BETTMANN
Clockwise from above: Charles Manson being taken to jail months after the brutal killings of seven people in Los Angeles in 1969; the actress Sharon Tate was eight and a half
months pregnant and married to the film director Roman Polanski when Mr. Manson’s followers stormed her house; the Manson family lived for a time at the Spahn Movie Ranch.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
periods — when Charles was 5, for instance, she was sent to prison for robbing a gas station — leaving him to
bounce among relatives in Ohio, West
Virginia and Kentucky. She was paroled
when Charles was 8 and took him back,
but kept him for only a few years.
From the age of 12 on, Charles was
placed in a string of reform schools. At
one institution, he held a razor to a boy’s
throat and raped him.
Escaping often, he committed burglaries, auto thefts and armed robberies,
landing in between in juvenile detention
centers and eventually federal reformatories. He was paroled from the
last one at 19, in May 1954.
Starting in the mid-1950s, Mr. Manson, living mostly in Southern California, was variously a busboy, parking-lot
attendant, car thief, check forger and
pimp. During this period, he was in and
out of prison.
He was married twice: in 1955 to Rosalie Jean Willis, a teenage waitress, and
a few years later to a young prostitute
named Leona. Both marriages ended in
divorce.
Mr. Manson was believed to have fathered at least two children over the
years: at least one with one of his wives,
and at least one more with one of his followers. The precise number, names and
whereabouts of his children — a subject
around which rumor and urban legend
have long coalesced — could not be confirmed.
By March 1967, when he was paroled
from his latest prison stay, Mr. Manson
had spent more than half of his 32 years
in correctional facilities. On his release,
he moved to the Bay Area in Northern
California and eventually settled in the
Haight-Ashbury district of San Fran-
cisco, the nerve center of hippiedom,
just in time for the Summer of Love.
There, espousing a philosophy that
was an idiosyncratic mix of Scientology,
hippie anti-authoritarianism, Beatles
lyrics, the Book of Revelation and the
writings of Hitler, he began to draw into
his orbit the rootless young adherents
who would become known as the Manson family.
Mr. Manson had learned to play the
guitar in prison and hoped to make it as
a singer-songwriter. His voice was once
compared to that of the young Frankie
Laine, a crooner who first came to prominence in the 1930s.
Mr. Manson’s lyrics, by contrast, were
often about sex and death, but in the
’60s, that did not stand out very much.
With his followers — a loose, shifting
band of a dozen or more — Mr. Manson
left San Francisco for Los Angeles. They
KEYSTONE/GETTY IMAGES
stayed awhile in the home of Dennis Wilson, the Beach Boys’ drummer. Mr.
Manson hoped the association would
help him land a recording contract, but
none materialized.
The Manson family next moved to the
Spahn Movie Ranch, a mock Old West
town north of Los Angeles that was once
a film set but had since fallen to ruins.
The group later moved to Death Valley,
eventually settling at a derelict place
known as Barker Ranch.
The desert location would protect the
family, Mr. Manson apparently thought,
in the clash of the races that he believed
was inevitable. He openly professed his
hatred of black people, and he believed
that when Helter Skelter came, blacks
would annihilate whites. Then, unable to
govern themselves, the blacks would
turn for leadership to the Manson family, who would have ridden out the con-
flict in deep underground holes in the
desert.
At some point, Mr. Manson seems to
have decided to help Helter Skelter
along. Late at night on Aug. 8, 1969, he
dispatched four family members — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel,
Charles Watson and Linda Kasabian —
to the Tate home in the Hollywood hills.
Mr. Manson knew the house: Terry Melcher, a well-known record producer with
whom he had dealt fruitlessly, had once
lived there.
Shortly after midnight on Aug. 9, Ms.
Atkins, Ms. Krenwinkel and Mr. Watson
entered the house while Ms. Kasabian
waited outside. Through a frenzied combination of shooting, stabbing, beating
and hanging, they murdered Ms. Tate
and four others in the house and on the
grounds: Jay Sebring, a Hollywood hairdresser; Abigail Folger, an heiress to the
Folger coffee fortune; Voytek (also
spelled Wojciech) Frykowski, Ms. Folger’s boyfriend; and Steven Parent, an
18-year-old visitor. Ms. Tate’s husband,
Mr. Polanski, was in London at the time.
Before leaving, Ms. Atkins scrawled
the word “pig” in blood on the front door
of the house; in Mr. Manson’s peculiar
logic, the killings were supposed to look
like the work of black militants.
The next night, Aug. 10, Mr. Manson
and a half-dozen followers drove to a Los
Angeles house he appeared to have selected at random. Inside, Mr. Manson
tied up the residents — a wealthy grocer
named Leno LaBianca and his wife,
Rosemary — before leaving. After he
was gone, several family members
stabbed the couple to death. The
phrases “Death to Pigs” and “Healter
Skelter,” misspelled, were scrawled in
blood at the scene.
The seven murders went unsolved for
months. Then, in the autumn of 1969, the
police closed in on the Manson family after Ms. Atkins, in jail on an unrelated
murder charge, bragged to cellmates
about the killings.
On June 15, 1970, Mr. Manson, Ms.
Atkins, Ms. Krenwinkel and a fourth
family member, Leslie Van Houten,
went on trial for murder. Ms. Kasabian,
who had been present on both nights but
said she had not participated in the
killings, became the prosecution’s star
witness and was given immunity. Mr.
Watson, who had fled to Texas, was tried
and convicted separately.
During the trial, the bizarre became
routine. On one occasion, Mr. Manson
lunged at the judge with a pencil. On another, he punched his lawyer in open
court. At one point, Mr. Manson appeared in court with an “X” carved into
his forehead; his co-defendants quickly
followed suit. (Mr. Manson later carved
the X into a swastika, which remained
flagrantly visible ever after.)
On Jan. 25, 1971, after nine days’ deliberation, the jury found Mr. Manson, Ms.
Atkins and Ms. Krenwinkel guilty of seven counts of murder each. Ms. Van
Houten, who had been present only at
the LaBianca murders, was found guilty
of two counts. All four were also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.
On March 29, the jury voted to give all
four defendants the death penalty.
In 1972, after capital punishment was
temporarily outlawed in California,
their sentences were reduced to life in
prison.
Incarcerated in a series of prisons
over the years, Mr. Manson passed the
time by playing the guitar, doing menial
chores and making scorpions and spiders out of thread from his socks. His notoriety made him a target: In 1984, he
was treated for second- and third-degree burns after being doused with
paint thinner by a fellow inmate and set
ablaze.
Mr. Manson was turned down for parole a dozen times, most recently in 2012.
Most of the other convicted family members remain in prison. Ms. Atkins died in
prison in 2009, at 61, of natural causes.
Traffickers enslave thousands of Britain’s most vulnerable
SLAVERY, FROM PAGE 1
Then, during the school holidays in
July last year, the teenager disappeared. It was not until seven months
later, after her mother said she had resigned herself to the fact that her daughter might be dead, that a detective told
her that she had been kidnapped and enslaved.
“Enslaved?” the mother, whose identity is also being concealed to protect
her daughter, recalled asking the officer.
“I just kept repeating that word. I didn’t
understand it,” she said in a London
park where she often goes to try to manage a panic disorder that developed after her daughter’s disappearance.
During the months when her daughter was missing, “I thought about every
possible scenario that could have happened to her,” her mother said. “But
slavery? I didn’t even know that happened in England.”
Britain recorded 2,255 slavery offenses across England and Wales last
year, a 159 percent increase from the
previous year. According to the government commission, the rise suggests
that, while slavery might be increasing,
so is awareness among the police and
public. The report also said that different agencies were cooperating better.
But a recent inspection of police practice found significant deficiencies and
inconsistencies that left many victims
exposed and vulnerable to further exploitation.
“Victims who come into contact with
the police are not always recognized as
such and therefore remain in the hands
of those who are exploiting them. Others
are arrested as offenders or illegal immigrants,” the British Inspectorate of
Constabulary and Fire and Rescue
Services found.
Analysts say that some of the most
vulnerable people are those who depend
on welfare benefits and lack family life
and support. As a result, they are easily
influenced by people who suddenly appear in their lives.
“People often get picked up when they
are hanging around, either at hostels or
soup kitchens,” said Anne Read, an antitrafficking response coordinator for the
Salvation Army, a charity that manages
the government support system for
adult victims. “And, of course, now there
is the internet, which enables predators
to enter people’s homes,” she added.
That is how the teenager met her captor more than a year ago, through a messaging app on her phone.
Her mother, who had just lost her job
at a bakery, had cut off her weekly allowance of about $26. That caused the girl to
spend less time with her friends and
more time on the internet.
“I was broke. I couldn’t do nothing,”
the girl said in an interview with her
caseworker by her side. “I got bored and
started chatting to people on my phone,
and that’s how I met him,” she said, referring to her captor, who has not been
taken into custody and whose real name
is unknown to investigators.
ANDREW TESTA FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Kevin Hyland, Britain’s independent antislavery commissioner, in London. Many
trafficking victims are immigrants, but a high number were found to be British.
“He was really sweet when I met
him,” she added with the slight stutter
she developed in the months she was
away. “He kept buying me phone credit,
and told me he would look after me and
teach me how to make money.”
The first day they arranged to meet,
he took her to her favorite fish and chip
restaurant and ordered from the family
menu, just for the two of them.
The man was grooming her to “go
country,” meaning that she would be-
come a drug runner. While most British
citizens are trafficked for labor or sex,
an increasing number of young people
are being drawn into the drug world because of the relatively new phenomenon
of distributing narcotics from urban
hubs to small towns. “What we have are
criminals who are predators, and who
use other people as their instruments of
crime,” Mr. Hyland said. “They will use
them however they can in whatever way
they want to make money.”
The teenager’s boss promised her
about $175 for every day she worked.
The gang he ran made profits of about
$2,400 a day, said her caseworker, who
requested anonymity because she was
not allowed to speak to the news media
while the investigation into the teenager’s disappearance was underway.
In the first four months of working for
the gang, she earned around $2,500 and
received a new phone with unlimited
data and a gold bracelet, which she still
wears.
But one day last year, after making a
drug run to Eastbourne, she was told by
a gang member that the police had
caught her on camera and were waiting
to arrest her at her home in South London.
The teenager believed him.
The man, whom she knew as Ziggy,
took her phone and money. He then
drove her to a dark, squalid garage with
no windows, where she lived for the next
seven months with various drug addicts.
“Everything changed,” the girl recalled. “Ziggy started to beat me and
told me I wasn’t worth anything to them
anymore.”
She was then taken off the runner rotation and forced into servitude, preparing drug supplies, transferring them between houses in the area and cleaning
up after the addicts who lived there.
One night, as she slept on a mattress
in the corner of the cold garage floor,
Ziggy appeared and lay down next to
her. “First he undressed me and made
me do things to him, but then he raped
me,” she said, as tears streamed down
her face and her hands started shaking.
“I thought about escaping so many
times, but I had nowhere to go,” she said.
“I thought they would either kill me or
the police would arrest me.”
When members of the gang and different drug addicts started to rape her
every night, she finally decided that
nothing could be worse. The next day,
she went to a local laundromat and
asked to use the phone to call the police.
“Ziggy started to beat me and
told me I wasn’t worth anything.”
She returned home only after spending several months in a safe house undergoing a rehabilitation program. Her
mother has had to move from their former home in South London because
members of the gang that abused her
daughter are still at large.
The teenager’s caseworker said that
the biggest challenge was to make sure
she completed her recovery process.
Otherwise, she could risk falling back
into the hands of traffickers, which happens often with young victims.
“I’m really happy to be back with my
friends,” the teenager said, smiling for
the first time during a one-hour interview. “But I really miss having a phone
and money.”
..
6 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
world
Behind Mugabe’s rapid fall: A feud and a first lady
HARARE, ZIMBABWE
DEM. REP.
OF CONGO
TANZANIA
MALAWI
AWI
The chain of events
started with his firing
of a vice president
ZAMBIA
Harare
ZIMBABWE
BY NORIMITSU ONISHI
BOTSWANA
The rapid fall of Zimbabwe’s president,
whose guile and ruthlessness helped
him outmaneuver countless adversaries over nearly four decades, probably
has surprised no one more than Robert
Mugabe himself.
For years, he was so confident of his
safety — and his potency — that he took
monthlong vacations away from Zimbabwe after Christmas, never facing
any threat during his long, predictable
absences. Even at 93, his tight grip on
the country’s ruling party and his control over the military made his power
seem impervious.
But in just a matter of days, Mr. Mugabe, who ruled his nation since independence in 1980, was largely stripped
of his authority, even as he still clung to
the presidency.
In a much-anticipated speech on Sunday night, Mr. Mugabe, instead of announcing his resignation as most had
expected, stunned Zimbabwe by refusing to say he was stepping down. While
he conceded that his country was “going
through a difficult patch,” he gave no
sign that he recognized, or accepted,
how severely the ground had shifted under him in such a short time.
Earlier in the day, the governing
ZANU-PF party, over which he had always exercised total domination, expelled Mr. Mugabe as leader, with
cheers and dancing erupting after the
vote. He was given a deadline of noon on
Monday to resign or face impeachment
by Parliament. The deadline passed
without word from Mr. Mugabe, The Associated Press and other agencies reported.
Just days earlier, on Wednesday, soldiers put him under house arrest, and
his 52-year-old wife, Grace Mugabe,
whose ambition to succeed him contributed to his downfall, has not been seen in
public since.
But in his speech, Mr. Mugabe even
declared that he would preside over his
governing party’s congress in a few
weeks. After 37 years in control of the
nation, he was refusing to let go easily.
A FATEFUL FIRING
The chain of events leading to Mr. Mugabe’s downfall started on Nov. 6, when
he fired his vice president, Emmerson
Mnangagwa, a close ally of the military,
and then tried to arrest the nation’s top
military commander a few days later.
Mr. Mugabe had finally come down
against the military and its political allies in a long-running feud inside the
governing party. “He crossed the red
line, and we couldn’t allow that to continue,” said Douglas Mahiya, a leader of the
war veterans’ association, a group that
has acted as the military’s proxy in the
LESOTHO
MOZAMBIQUE
SWAZILAND
Indian Ocean
SOUTH AFRICA
400 MILES
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe in August. Right, the former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. The governing ZANU-PF party has named him as its new leader.
country’s political battles while allowing
uniformed generals to remain publicly
neutral.
A few hours after he was fired, Mr.
Mnangagwa, fearing arrest, fled with a
son to neighboring Mozambique, where
he has strong military ties. He eventually made his way to South Africa, allies
said.
July Moyo, a close ally of Mr. Mnangagwa, said the vice president had prepared himself for the possibility of being
fired. “He accepted that things can turn
very bad, so he had conditioned himself,” Mr. Moyo said.
Several hours before the vice president escaped to Mozambique, Christopher Mutsvangwa, the head of the war
veterans’ association and one of Mr.
Mnangagwa’s closest allies, had
boarded a plane to South Africa.
Over the following days, Mr.
Mutsvangwa met with South Africa intelligence officers, he said, warning
them of a possible military intervention
in Zimbabwe. He said he had tried to
persuade South African officials not to
describe any intervention as a coup —
an important concession to get from
South Africa, the regional power.
Though this account could not be verified with South African officials on Sunday, the South African government did
not mention the word “coup” in its official statement after the military intervention occurred on Wednesday.
“I knew that the way they were driving, the military, inevitably, there would
be one at one stage or another” Mr.
Mutsvangwa said, referring to a military intervention.
While Mr. Mutsvangwa worked on
South African officials, Zimbabwe’s
longtime top military commander, Gen.
Constantino Chiwenga, was in China on
an official trip. He was tipped off while
abroad that Mr. Mugabe had ordered
him arrested upon his return home, according to several people close to the
military. The police were going to grab
the general as soon as his plane touched
down, on Nov. 12.
But as General Chiwenga prepared to
land, soldiers loyal to him infiltrated the
airport. His troops — wearing the uniforms of baggage handlers — surprised
and quickly overwhelmed the police.
Before departing, the general is said to
have told the police officers that he
would “deal” with their commander, a
Mugabe loyalist.
Within just a couple of days, tanks had
rumbled into the capital and soldiers
had effectively deposed Mr. Mugabe.
FIERCE INFIGHTING
The president’s decision to fire his vice
president and arrest the general was the
culmination of a long — and increasingly vicious and personal — battle inside ZANU-PF, the party that has controlled Zimbabwe since independence in
1980. The so-called Lacoste faction was
led by Mr. Mnangagwa, whose nickname is the Crocodile, and was backed
by the military and war veterans.
The rival faction was led by the president’s wife and supported by the police,
whose loyalty Mr. Mugabe had ensured
by, among other moves, naming a nephew to a top command. This faction included mostly younger politicians with
no experience in the war of liberation
and was christened Generation 40, or
G-40, by Jonathan Moyo, a fearless, extremely ambitious politician widely regarded as the mastermind behind this
group.
As Lacoste and G-40 fought each
other to eventually succeed Mr. Mugabe, the president did not give either
side his declaration of support. To both
factions, the biggest factor was Mr. Mugabe’s age and increasingly visible
frailty.
Time was on Lacoste’s side. Once nature did take its course, power would naturally slip to Mr. Mnangagwa and his
military backers, they believed.
Mr. Mnangagwa remained largely
quiet, refraining from responding to attacks, and treated Mr. Mugabe with extreme deference.
Whenever Mr. Mugabe flew home
from a trip, state media invariably
showed Mr. Mnangagwa greeting the
president on the tarmac, displaying an
almost obsequious smile and body language.
To the younger members in G-40,
time was against them. Their biggest asset, Mrs. Mugabe, would lose all value
once her husband died. So they were in a
rush to get a transfer of power while Mr.
Mugabe was still alive.
Just a few months ago, Mr. Moyo confided in a friend that he was “less than
confident” about G-40’s standing with
the president. Despite his efforts to win
over the president through Mrs. Mugabe, Mr. Moyo still remained unsure
about the “old man’s standing vis-à-vis
Mnangagwa and Chiwenga,” said the
friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the conservation had
been private.
THE FIRST LADY AND THE FALL
Mr. Mugabe’s downfall was rooted in his
wife’s decision in mid-2014 to become a
political force, most politicians and experts believe.
“Mrs. Mugabe’s entry into politics
caused elite rupture in Zimbabwe,” said
Tendai Biti, a lawyer, opposition politician and former finance minister in a
coalition government a few years ago.
“This coup was the result of a disagreement between people eating at the same
table, whereas most coups in Africa are
done by people eating under the table
and receiving crumbs.”
Why Mrs. Mugabe, now 52, suddenly
dove into politics is not exactly clear.
Married for decades to Mr. Mugabe, she
had been known as Gucci Grace, someone interested in shopping and leading a
lavish lifestyle.
Some politicians and experts point to
the hand of Mr. Moyo, the originator of
the G-40 name, for Mrs. Mugabe’s political intentions.
In ZANU-PF’s ever-shifting alliances,
Mr. Moyo had a checkered past. In 2004,
he was expelled from the party after
planning a power play with — critically
— none other than Mr. Mnangagwa himself, who managed to escape politically
unscathed. Feeling betrayed by Mr.
Mnangagwa, Mr. Moyo vowed never to
work with him again, setting off a decade-long feud that fed into the recent
military takeover.
Mr. Moyo, reportedly admired by Mr.
Mugabe for his intelligence, was rehabilitated, rejoined the party and was
given ministerial positions in the cabinet.
But in June 2014, Mr. Moyo was again
on the outs. At a funeral for a party stalwart at National Heroes Acre, a burial
ground and national monument in Harare, the capital, Mr. Mugabe criticized
Mr. Moyo for causing dissension in the
party. The president referred to him as a
“weevil” — an insect that eats corn, Zimbabwe’s staple food, from the inside.
To secure his survival, Mr. Moyo
urged Mrs. Mugabe to enter politics, according to politicians, friends and analysts. “He preyed on her fears,” said
Dewa Mavhinga, a Zimbabwe researcher for Human Rights Watch, referring to Mr. Moyo. “You’re a young
wife with an old husband in his sunset
moments. You have to guarantee your
future. You need people who are loyal to
you. And who better to protect your interests than yourself.”
Very rapidly, Mrs. Mugabe and her allies orchestrated the removal of rivals,
including Joice Mujuru, a vice president, as well as Mr. Mutsvangwa, who
had been Mr. Mugabe’s minister of war
veterans affairs.
But even as the president’s medical
trips to Singapore were getting increasingly frequent, he was not making a final
decision on his succession.
Time was running out.
And so Mr. Moyo, shortly after expressing his growing frustrations to his
friend, appeared to go for broke. In July,
in a meeting of party leaders, he
launched a direct attack on Mr. Mnangagwa, presenting a 72-minute video
said to show his rival’s duplicity and desire to topple the president.
At a rally in the city of Bulawayo early
this month, some youths, presumably
from the rival Lacoste faction, began
heckling Mrs. Mugabe, calling her a
“thief.”
“If you were paid to boo me, go
ahead,” she said. “I am the first lady, and
I will stand for the truth. Bring the soldiers and let them shoot me.”
The heckling visibly angered Mr. Mugabe, who immediately accused Mr.
Mnangagwa of being behind it.
“Did I err in appointing Mr. Mnangagwa as my deputy?” the president
said. “If I erred, I will drop him even tomorrow.”
Two days later, he fired Mr. Mnangagwa, opening the path for Mrs. Mugabe to become vice president and, once
nature took its course, her husband’s
successor.
Mrs. Mugabe and her allies had finally won. But the victory would soon
prove Pyrrhic. As the Lacoste faction solidified the takedown of Mr. Mugabe,
party officials on Sunday removed Mrs.
Mugabe as head of the ZANU-PF Women’s League and barred her from the
party for life. Mr. Moyo, too, was barred
forever. Mr. Mugabe’s second vice president, Phelekezela Mphoko, who had
served for three years, was fired.
The ending was much sweeter for Mr.
Mnangagwa: On Sunday, the party
named him as its new leader.
U.S. racing for new weapons to counter North Korea
MISSILES, FROM PAGE 1
President Trump has praised the existing missile defense system, insisting
last month that it “can knock out a missile in the air 97 percent of the time,” a
claim that arms control experts call patently false. In trial runs, conducted under ideal conditions, the interceptors in
Alaska and California have failed half of
the time. And the Pentagon has warned
administration officials that the North
will soon have enough long-range missiles to launch volleys of them, including
decoys, making the problem far more
complex.
That helps explain the rush for new
protections.
“They’re looking at everything,” said
Thomas Karako, a senior fellow at the
Center for Strategic and International
Studies in Washington, who recently led
two antimissile studies and closely monitors the administration’s planning.
“What you’re seeing is a lot more options on the table.”
The $4 billion emergency budget
sought by the White House is on top of
the $8 billion that the Missile Defense
Agency has already been granted for
this fiscal year, as well as what other military services and agencies are putting
into missile defense. Another $440 million was moved from existing programs
to antimissile work two months ago, as
the North Korea threat became more serious.
In the emergency request to Congress, and in documents made public by
its committees, the precise use of the
funds is cloaked in deliberately vague
language.
Hundreds of millions of dollars, for example, are allotted for what the documents called “disruption/defeat” efforts. Several officials confirmed that
the “disruption” efforts include another,
more sophisticated attempt at the kind
of cyber and electronic strikes that President Barack Obama ordered in 2014
when he intensified his efforts to cripple
North Korea’s missile testing.
Using cyberweapons to disrupt
launches is an innovation in missile defense in the past three decades. But in
the case of North Korea, it is also difficult.
It requires getting into the missile
manufacturing, launch control and
Three Layers of Defense Against North Korean Missiles
Washington is responding to the North Korean nuclear threat with a rush of money to strengthen old antimissile systems and
establish new ones. The diagram shows a mix of current and proposed options for defeating the North’s long-range missiles.
M I D CO U R S E P H AS E
Intercept
Drone
B O O ST P H AS E
Intercontinental
ballistic missile
Fighter jet
Fort Greely, Alaska
Ground-based
interceptors
Interceptor rocket
UNITED
STATES
NORTH
KOREA
Pacific Ocean
Vandenberg, Calif.
Ground-based interceptors
1 Before the Launch
U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY, VIA REUTERS
Attacks on infrastructure
• Industrial sabotage to cripple missiles
• Cyber and electronic strikes to interfere
with launch and guidance systems
• Missile strikes on launching pad
2 During the Boost Phase
3 During the Midcourse Phase
Attacks on rising missiles
• Fighter jets firing air-to-air
missiles
• Drones firing laser beams
• Drones firing air-to-air missiles
A long-range, ground-based interceptor
rocket being launched from Vandenberg
Air Force Base in California.
Sources: Missile Defense Agency; Raytheon; White House budget office; House Armed Services Committee
guidance systems of a country that
makes very limited use of the internet
and has few connections to the outside
world — most of them through China,
and to a lesser degree Russia.
In the operation that began in 2014, a
range of cyber and electronic-interference operations were used against the
North’s Musudan intermediate-range
missiles, in an effort to slow its testing.
But that secret effort had mixed results.
The failure rate for the Musudan missile soared to 88 percent, but it was
never clear how much of that was because of the cyberattacks and how much
to sabotage of the North’s supply chain
and its own manufacturing errors. Then
Kim Jong-un, the country’s president,
ordered a change in design, and the test-
launches have been far more successful.
The experience has raised difficult
questions about the effectiveness of cyberweapons, despite billions of dollars
in investment.
“We can dream of a lot of targets to
hack,” said Michael Sulmeyer, director
of the Cyber Security Project at Harvard
and formerly the director for cyberpolicy planning and operations in the office
of the defense secretary. “But it can be
hard to achieve the effects we want,
when we want them.”
Congressional documents also talk of
making “additional investments” in
“boost-phase missile defense.” The goal
of that approach is to hit long-range missiles at their point of greatest vulnerability — while their engines are firing
and the vehicles are stressed to the
breaking point, and before their warheads are deployed.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is also
weighing, among other boost-phase
plans, formulas that draw on existing
technologies and could be deployed
quickly.
One idea is having stealth fighters
such as the F-22 or the F-35 scramble
from nearby bases in South Korea and
Japan at the first sign of North Korean
launch preparations. The jets would
carry conventional air-to-air missiles,
which are 12 feet long, and fire them at
the North Korean long-range missiles
after they are launched. But they would
have to fly relatively close to North Korea to do that, increasing the chances of
Attacks on incoming warheads
• Expansion of a fleet of interceptor rockets to
as many as 104 from 44
• Equipping interceptor rockets with improved
kill vehicles meant to destroy enemy warheads
by force of impact
ANJALI SINGHVI/THE NEW YORK TIMES
being shot down.
A drawback of boost-phase defense is
the short window to use it. Long-range
missiles fire their engines for just five
minutes or so, in contrast to warheads
that zip through space for about 20 minutes before plunging back to earth. And
there is the risk of inviting retaliation
from North Korea.
“You have to make a decision to fire a
weapon into somebody’s territory,” Gen.
John E. Hyten of the Air Force, commander of the United States Strategic
Command, which controls the American
nuclear missile fleet, recently told a
Washington group. “And if you’re
wrong, or if you miss?”
A boost-phase idea getting much notice would be to have drones patrol high
over the Sea of Japan, awaiting a North
Korean launch. Remote operators would
fire heat-sensing rockets that lock onto
the rising missiles.
“It’s a huge advance,” Gerold Yonas,
chief scientist for President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” program, said of the
drone plan. “It’s one of those things
where you hit yourself on the forehead
and say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ ”
Leonard H. Caveny, a main planner of
the rocket-firing drones and a former
Navy officer who directed science and
technology at the Pentagon’s antimissile program from 1985 to 1997, said an
accelerated program could produce the
weapons in a year or less.
Dr. Caveny’s team is considering use
of the Avenger, a drone made by General
Atomics that has a wingspan of 76 feet.
“This is going to be a game changer,”
said Arthur L. Herman, a senior fellow
at the Hudson Institute in Washington,
who collaborates with Dr. Caveny.
The Pentagon’s Missile Defense
Agency is also developing a drone that
would fire potent laser beams at rising
missiles. But recent plans would have it
make its debut no sooner than 2025 —
too late to play a role in the current crisis
or the Trump presidency.
Even so, the effort has influential
backers.
In the recent talk, General Hyten of
Strategic Command called lasers much
better than interceptor rockets because
they avoided questions over firing
weapons into sovereign territories, especially to knock out missile test-flights.
A potent beam of highly concentrated
light, he said, “goes out into space,”
avoiding the trespassing issue.
In recent months, Congress has urged
Pentagon officials to develop both varieties of drones.
Theodore A. Postol, a professor emeritus of science and national security policy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has drawn up plans for a
missile-firing drone, argued that fleets
of such weapons patrolling near the
North, threatening to undo its strategic
forces, would be extremely intimidating
and create new diplomatic leverage.
“We need it now,” he said. “My concern is that we get something out there
quickly that will pressure North Korea
to negotiate.”
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017 | 7
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Business
Could free money save capitalism?
LONDON
With jobs precarious,
scattered communities
set up trial handouts
BY PETER S. GOODMAN
One need not be a card-carrying revolutionary to deduce that global capitalism
has a problem.
In much of the world, angry workers
denounce a shortage of jobs paying
enough to support middle-class life.
Economists puzzle over the fix for persistently weak wage growth, just as robots appear poised to replace millions of
human workers. At the annual gathering of the global elite in the Swiss resort
of Davos, billionaire finance chieftains
debate how to make capitalism kinder to
the masses to defuse populism.
Enter the universal basic income.
The idea is gaining traction in many
countries as a proposal to soften the
edges of capitalism. Though the details
and philosophies vary from place to
place, the general notion is that the government hands out regular checks to everyone, regardless of income or whether
people are working. The money ensures
food and shelter for all, while removing
the stigma of public support.
Some posit basic income as a way to
let market forces work their ruthless
magic, delivering innovation and economic growth, while laying down a
cushion for those who fail. Others
present it as a means of liberating people from wretched, poverty-level jobs,
allowing workers to organize for better
conditions or devote time to artistic exploits. Another school sees it as the required response to an era in which work
can no longer be relied upon to finance
basic needs.
“We see the increasing precariousness of employment,” said Karl
Widerquist, a philosopher at Georgetown University in Qatar, and a prominent advocate for a universal social
safety net. “Basic income gives the
worker the power to say, ‘Well, if Walmart’s not going to pay me enough, then
I’m just not going to work there.’ ”
The universal basic income is clearly
an idea with momentum. Early this year,
Finland kicked off a two-year national
experiment in basic income. In the
United States, a trial was recently completed in Oakland, Calif., and another is
about to begin in nearby Stockton, a
community hit hard by the Great Recession and the attendant epidemic in home
foreclosures.
DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS
A large poster that was placed in a square in Geneva in 2016 as a Swiss vote on an “unconditional basic income” approached. The plan was rejected.
The Province of Ontario is enrolling
participants for a basic income trial.
Several cities in the Netherlands are exploring what happens when they hand
out cash grants unconditionally to people already receiving some form of public support. A similar test is underway in
Barcelona, Spain.
A nonprofit organization, GiveDirectly, is proceeding with plans to pro-
vide universal cash grants in rural Kenya.
As a concept, basic income has been
kicked around in various guises for centuries, gaining adherents across a strikingly broad swath of the ideological
spectrum, from the English social philosopher Thomas More to the American
revolutionary Thomas Paine.
The populist firebrand Louisiana gov-
ernor Huey Long, the civil rights icon
Martin Luther King Jr. and the laissez
faire economist Milton Friedman would
presumably agree on little, yet all advocated some version of basic income.
In a clear sign of its modern currency,
the International Monetary Fund — not
an institution prone to utopian dreaming — recently explored basic income as
a potential salve for economic inequality.
Not everyone loves the idea. Conservatives fret that handing out money free
of obligation would turn people into
dole-dependent slackers.
In the American context, any talk of a
truly universal form of basic income
also collides with arithmetic. Give every
American $10,000 a year — a sum still
below the poverty line for an individual
— and the tab runs to $3 trillion a year.
That is about eight times what the
United States now spends on social
service programs. Conversation over.
Labor-oriented economists in the
United States are especially wary of basic income, given that the American social safety programs have been significantly trimmed in recent decades, with
welfare, unemployment benefits and
food stamps all subject to a variety of restrictions. If basic income were to replace these components as one giant
program — the proposal that would ap-
peal to libertarians — it might beckon as
a fat target for additional budget trimming.
“Tens of millions of poor people would
likely end up worse off,” Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget
and Policy Priorities, a Washingtonbased research institution, declared in a
recent blog post. “Were we starting from
scratch — and were our political culture
more like Western Europe’s — U.B.I.
might be a real possibility. But that’s not
the world we live in.”
And some advocates for working people dismiss basic income as a wrongheaded approach to the real problem of
not enough quality paychecks.
“People want to work,” said the Nobel
laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz
when I asked him about basic income
early this year. “They don’t want handouts.”
Yet some of the basic income experiments now underway are engineered
precisely to encourage people to work
while limiting their contact with public
assistance.
Finland’s trial is giving jobless people
the same amount of money they were already receiving in unemployment benefits, while relieving them of bureaucratic obligations. The bet is that people
will use time now squandered submitMONEY, PAGE 8
Uber anticipating
an era without drivers
SAN FRANCISCO
Company striking a deal
with Volvo to purchase
thousands of vehicles
BY MIKE ISAAC
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ELIZABETH LIPPMAN FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
At the Nordstrom Local showroom in Los Angeles, customers can make appointments or walk in to use the eight dressing rooms and then order online for quick delivery.
New retail idea: Smaller is better
Giants are experimenting
with more intimate stores
to counter online threat
BY TIFFANY HSU
Brick-and-mortar retail chains, known
for sprawling stores that stock a bit of
everything, are trying to lift sagging
sales using a different strategy: cozier
spaces that sell very little of anything.
Showrooms — a retail model popular
with bridal designers, car dealers and,
recently, online apparel start-ups — are
now inspiring mass-market heavyweights like Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters.
In intimate salons, some the size of a
cafe, shoppers can examine a limited selection of merchandise and place orders
for products to be delivered or collected
later. The customer service is often luxurious, but so is the time commitment
for shoppers.
This is the antithesis of the standard
shopping mall experience, with the
overwhelming assortment of products,
the glazed apathy of part-time store
workers, the disrobed patrons bellowing
from fitting rooms for another size.
But the sector is desperate to evolve
after a brutal year of bankruptcies (Toys
“R” Us, Payless Shoe Source, The Limited and more) and store closings (J. C.
Penney, for example, plans to close up to
14 percent of its stores this year). E-commerce rivals — Amazon, most significantly — are chewing deeper into sales.
Instead of slashing prices and accelerating delivery times, praying for
customers to stay loyal, many retailers
are aiming to become a desirable place
to shop. “People don’t have to go to
stores anymore; they have to want to
go,” said Lee Peterson, an executive
vice president at WD Partners, a strategy, design and architecture firm. “And
that goes a long way when thinking
about what retail has to become.”
The Local has no inventory for sale, but customers are offered beverages and a variety
of services, such as personal styling help and manicures.
Nordstrom opened its first showroom-style store, called Nordstrom Local, on an upscale stretch of Melrose
Place in Los Angeles last month.
The 3,000-square-foot space — Nordstrom balks at calling it a showroom and
instead refers to it as a concept store focused on service experiences — employs a handful of specialists. Ten minutes to the west of the location, hundreds of store associates roam a fullsize, 122,000-square-foot Nordstrom department store.
Nordstrom Local was designed as a
kind of neighborhood hub, where
customers can get manicures, have a
shirt altered, pick up parcels purchased
online or sip rosé from the well-stocked
bar. They do not come to shop — at least
not in the traditional sense.
The store has no inventory for sale,
other than the occasional set of bejeweled boots exhibited on a shelf or the floral caftan hanging in the lounge.
Customers work with personal stylists to put together ensembles, using
tablets or phones. The outfits are usu-
ally requested from a nearby full-size
Nordstrom store and delivered — sometimes within hours — for customers to
try on amid the sleek settees in Local’s
dressing area.
Without providing precise numbers,
Nordstrom said shoppers had used the
services thousands of times in Local’s
first four weeks.
Some, like S. Y. Chen, 29, a graduate
student in Los Angeles, stopped by out
of curiosity.
“It was like going to someone’s room
to hang out, not like going into a store at
all,” she said. “I would use it if I was busier, but because I like to browse, I’ll probably just keep going online or to a bigger
store with more products.”
Major chains are trying everything to
adapt to market pressures — a wardrobe-in-a-box subscription service from
Gap for babies, a personal shopping option from Walmart, shrinking stores
from Target and Kohl’s.
Showrooms are just another experiment.
The rationale is simple: Instant grati-
fication takes a back seat to visceral experience.
Online vendors such as Rent the Runway and Warby Parker have opened
showroom-style spaces in recent years
to offer customers a chance to touch
their products. For some companies, the
facilities increased local online sales and
sometimes produced five times as much
revenue per square foot as that recorded by traditional shopping center
tenants.
Showrooms may encourage customer
to make more purchases, especially
compared with pop-up stores and those
with self-check-out options, according to
research conducted by WD Partners.
More than half of millennials surveyed in recent years said that visiting
showrooms could prompt them to make
a purchase, according to the firm. The
share of older shoppers who said this
surged to 57 percent this year from 22
percent in 2015.
By matching shoppers with the products they want and recording the preferences, showrooms can help limit the
number of items that are returned, while
encouraging repeat visits.
They also require less storage space,
which makes them more affordable to
lease, especially in expensive urban areas. Inventory is centralized, dispatched only when ordered. Merchandise theft is minimal.
Employee turnover, a costly problem
at mall-based retailers, is lower in showroom-style
stores,
said
Nadia
Shouraboura, who founded the retail
technology company Hointer.
“It’s just not pleasant to spend most of
your time folding stuff, cleaning displays and having piles of products to
maintain,” said Ms. Shouraboura, a former executive at Amazon. “Showrooms
help the progression of a numbingly boring job into something more exciting,
like being a stylist.”
But showrooms have their drawbacks. Apparel basics, like the socks, TSHOWROOMS, PAGE 8
No one knows what the future of selfdriving cars will look like or how long it
will take to get there. But every major
player in the field is striking partnerships to be ready for the day when autonomous vehicles finally become mainstream.
That includes Uber, which on Monday
was to announce a new deal with Volvo.
Under the agreement, Uber plans to
purchase tens of thousands of self-driving Volvos, once the technology is production-ready, putting the vehicles into
its extensive ride-hailing network.
“Everything we’re doing right now is
about building autonomous vehicles at
scale,” Jeff Miller, Uber’s head of automotive alliances, said in an interview.
“We don’t know exactly how an autonomous world will look. But we know that
we want to be the platform that’s at the
center of it, from a ride-sharing standpoint.”
The deal is an extension of an agreement Uber made with Volvo nearly two
years ago, when the ride-hailing company started its research and development efforts in autonomous vehicles in
earnest. Uber has worked with thirdparty components manufacturers to
build software and hardware for driverless cars, then worked closely with
Volvo to outfit the automaker’s XC-90
vehicles with the technology.
But the new deal vastly increases the
number of Volvo driverless cars that
Uber can work with, showing the scope
of its ambitions.
Whether automakers like Ford, Tesla
and General Motors or technology companies like Google, Uber and Lyft, titans
of the transportation industry are racing
to gain an edge in a future of autonomous vehicles. Each of the players has
approached the issue differently. Automakers like G.M. and Ford have spent
billions buying software-based startups to work on integrating driverless
technology into their vehicles. Tesla has
long offered a hybrid version of selfdriving software in its vehicles, and it recently introduced an autonomous semitruck it expects to hit the road in the
next few years.
Uber has done most of its work in research and development in-house, instead of joining partnerships with multiple manufacturers, as has been the case
UBER
An Uber self-driving Volvo in Pittsburgh.
with Lyft, Uber’s largest rival in the
United States. In particular, Uber has invested in its Advanced Technologies
Group, home to hundreds of engineers
in Pittsburgh, where it is doing much of
its research on autonomous vehicles.
“The only way we could control our
own destiny was to work with this technology that had the potential to disrupt
our business, and have direct involvement in the creation of it,” Mr. Miller
said. “We couldn’t afford to be on the
outside looking in. We have to be in the
game.”
Mr. Miller said Uber would own and
operate fleets of its own vehicles purchased from partners like Volvo but that
there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so
it would also allow other self-driving vehicles on its network.
THE
WHY
OF THE
WORLD
Forward-thinking. Free to read.
The Oxford Analytica Weekly Brief
oxan.to/weeklybrief
..
8 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
business
Betting on Time Warner
Wealthy conservatives
move toward publisher
Strategies
Some see in Kochs’ plan
an attempt to advance
their libertarian agenda
JEFF SOMMER
Since the Trump administration began
sending out signals that the Time
Warner-AT&T merger was facing close
scrutiny, Time Warner’s high-flying
share price has fallen to earth.
From a closing high of $103.64 on
Oct. 5, Time Warner is now trading at
about $89, a decline of roughly 14 percent. Amid reports of a possible suit by
the Justice Department to block the
deal on antitrust grounds, the share
price could easily drop further.
There seems to be a compelling
reason for the market reaction: Unless
AT&T acquires it, Time Warner simply
doesn’t appear to be worth the price its
shares were commanding. But there is
a competing perspective: The market
may well be making a mistake.
“I think Time Warner is probably
worth a lot more than the market is
saying now,” said Brian Wieser, senior
research analyst with the Pivotal
Research Group. “I think the deal will
ultimately be completed. And the price
will go up if the deal goes through —
we know that for sure. It will also go
up if another company comes in and
makes a deal for Time Warner.
“And there’s very little downside
risk,” he continued. “The company is
worth close to what it’s trading at now,
if there is no merger of any kind. It’s
one of those situations that you like to
see.”
In fact, Time Warner’s falling share
price — and what Mr. Wieser considered to be its compelling valuations —
induced him on Monday to upgrade his
rating on the stock from “hold” to
“buy.” Time Warner’s troubles looked
to him like a buying opportunity.
Alan S. Gould, senior media and
internet analyst with Rosenblatt Securities, had a similar reaction. On the
same day as Mr. Wieser, he upgraded
Time Warner to “buy,” saying the stock
“now offers the most compelling risk/
reward in our coverage universe.”
AT&T’s merger offer makes Time
Warner worth $103 a share if the deal
takes place, he noted (and the merger
offer rises to $107.50 per Time Warner
share if AT&T’s own shares rise above
a certain threshold). It may take until
April instead of the end of 2017 to complete the merger if the Department of
Justice “decides to sue to block the
deal,” he wrote. “If the deal falls apart,
which we do not expect, we believe
there is minimal downside.”
The analysts’ logic is straightforward.
First, consider what Time Warner’s
stock price has been telling us. Only
several weeks ago, the stock market
gauged the probability of the deal’s
completion at virtually 100 percent. By
Wednesday, that had plummeted well
below 50 percent. But there’s money to
be made if it turns out that the market’s assessment of one month ago was
more accurate than its judgment of
today.
Figuring out these probabilities
involves several factors: computing
the price that AT&T would pay for
Time Warner in a completed merger,
which depends, in part, on where
AT&T’s own price stands at that moment; assessing Time Warner’s value
without a merger of any kind; and
International Funds
For information please contact Roxane Spencer
e-mail: rspencer@nytimes.com
For online listings and past performance visit:
www.morningstar.com/Cover/Funds.aspx
BY SYDNEY EMBER
AND KENNETH P. VOGEL
HBO
Among Time Warner’s properties are HBO’s “Game of Thrones” franchise, above, and CNN, below with the anchor Carol Costello.
SAM HODGSON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES.
comparing those numbers with Time
Warner’s current price.
This kind of calculation is standard
practice on Wall Street. As a merger
draws close to culmination, the price of
the soon-to-be acquired stock tends to
converge with the price that the stock
will be worth in the merger. That convergence had occurred in this case. For
weeks, Time Warner shares traded at a
price equal to that ultimate merger
value, reflecting the market’s view that
the deal was a fait accompli.
But the Trump administration’s
negative messages changed Wall
Street’s calculus. The current price
indicates that the market believes that
AT&T, a communications company
hungry for compelling news and entertainment programs, is unlikely ever to
own Time Warner or its enticing properties. They include HBO, with its
immensely powerful “Game of
Thrones” franchise, and CNN, the
pioneering cable news network, which
President Trump has called a purveyor
of “fake news” filled with “really dishonest people.”
The antitrust issues involved are
complex. I have no strong view on
which way a suit would go. As my
colleague James B. Stewart has
pointed out, the proposed combination
is what is known as a “vertical
merger,” resembling Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal in 2011. That deal
was approved, with conditions aimed
at ensuring Comcast’s impartiality
toward its competitors.
But such vertical mergers may not
be in the public interest, critics like
Tim Wu, the Columbia law school
professor, have argued. Mr. Trump’s
evident animus toward CNN compli-
Retailers
trying out
cozy shops
Concept of free money
gains traction globally
SHOWROOMS, FROM PAGE 7
995 GUTZWILLER FONDS MANAGEMENT AG
www.gutzwiller-funds.com
Tel.: +41 61 205 70 00
d
Gutzwiller One
$
353.00
m Gutzwiller Two (CHF)
CHF
104.30
m Gutzwiller Two (USD)
$
152.80
m Global Emerging Markets K1(31/12/10)
$
124.64
m Global Opportunity K1(31/12/10)
$
106.30
m Haussman Holdings Class C
€
2217.30
m Haussmann Hldgs N.V.
$
2566.03
345 SPINNAKER CAPITAL GROUP
www.spinnakercaptial.com
999 OTHER FUNDS
$ - US Dollars; € - Euros; CHF - Swiss Francs
The marginal Symbols indicate the frequency of
quotations supplied: (d) - daily; (w) - weekly; (b) bi-monthly; (f) - fortnightly; (r) - regularly; (t) - twice
weekly; (m) - monthly; (i) - twice monthly.
The data in the list above is the n.a.v. supplied by
the fund groups to MORNINGSTAR. It is collated and
reformatted into the list before being transmitted to the
NYT International Edition. The NYT receives payment from
fund groups to publish this information. MORNINGSTAR
and the NYT do not warrant the quality or accuracy of
the list, the data of the performance fides of the Fund
Groups and will not be liable for the list, the data of
Fund Group to any extent. The list is not and shall not
be deemed to be an offer by the NYT or MORNINGSTAR
to sell securities or investments of any kind. Investments
can fall as well as rise. Past performance does not
guarantee future success.
It is advisable to seek advice from a qualified
independent advisor before investing.
shirts and other items that support
many midrange retailers, might not fare
as well in showrooms, because the items
can be easily bought online, according to
a report from the consulting firm Strategy&.
The showroom model could also alienate younger shoppers, who cherish the
anonymity of online shopping, analysts
said. Older consumers might enjoy the
focused attention but want to be able to
buy as well as browse.
“This is just a slower, more expensive
version of online,” said Bob Phibbs, chief
executive of The Retail Doctor, a consulting firm.
Full-fledged showrooms can be a
tricky endeavor for mall-based retailers, known for providing lower prices,
higher volumes and impulse purchases.
Many chains are exploring the model
cautiously.
Nordstrom has no immediate plans
for another Nordstrom Local.
Urban Outfitters opened a temporary
showroom in Los Angeles last year, displaying furniture, artwork and decorations that shoppers could order online at
kiosks.
This fall, the company, which is known
mostly for its apparel and beauty offerings, put furniture showrooms in several of its stores; its sister company, Anthropologie, did something similar with
scenes of living and dining rooms.
Walmart said it was holding off on
showrooms for its namesake stores. But
in March it acquired Modcloth, a vintage-style e-commerce retailer with
only one physical store, a showroom in
Austin, Tex.
MONEY, FROM PAGE 7
ting paperwork to train for better careers, start businesses or take part-time
jobs. Under the system the trial replaces, people living on benefits risk losing support if they secure other income.
In short, basic income is being advanced not as a license for Finns to laze
in the sauna, but as a means of enhancing the forces of creative destruction so
central to capitalism. As the logic goes,
once sustenance is eliminated as a
worry, weak companies can be closed
without concern for those thrown out of
work, freeing up capital and talent for
more productive ventures.
The trials in the Netherlands, conducted at the municipal level, are similarly geared to paring bureaucracy from
the unemployment system. Ditto, the
Barcelona experiment.
Silicon Valley has embraced basic income as a crucial element in enabling
the continued rollout of automation.
While engineers pioneer ways to replace human laborers with robots, financiers focus on basic income as a replacement for paychecks.
The experiment in Stockton, Calif. —
set to become the first city government
to test basic income — is underwritten
in part by an advocacy group known as
the Economic Security Project, whose
backers include the Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes. The trial is set to
begin next year, with an undisclosed
number of residents to receive $500 a
month.
The trial in Oakland was the work of Y
Combinator, a start-up incubator. Its researchers handed out varying grants to
a few dozen people as a simple feasibility test for basic income.
The next phase is far more ambitious.
cates matters, making a prediction
more difficult — and, quite likely, damaging Time Warner’s share price.
Assume for a moment that the
merger is ultimately completed. Then,
Time Warner is undervalued now. But
even if the merger collapses, Mr.
Wieser said, Time Warner is already in
play and is likely to be acquired by
another suitor.
Next assume that Time Warner
stays independent. Its earnings have
been strong, Mr. Gould said, and its
cash reserves would enable it to buy
back perhaps $7 billion of its own
stock, bolstering its price. Mr. Wieser
said an independent Time Warner
would probably be worth about $81 a
share, a modest decline. Buying now is
a risk, he acknowledged, adding, “It’s
not a big risk, and the potential reward
is high.”
The Y Combinator researchers plan to
distribute grants to 3,000 people with
below-average incomes in two as-yet
undisclosed American states. They will
hand out $1,000 a month to 1,000 people,
no strings attached, and $50 a month to
the rest, allowing for comparisons in
how recipients use the money and what
effect it has on their lives.
One key element of the basic income
push is the assumption that poor people
are better placed than bureaucrats to
determine the most beneficial use of aid
money. Rather than saddle recipients
with complex rules and a dizzying array
of programs, better to just give people
money and let them sort out how to use
it.
This is a central idea of GiveDirectly’s
program in Kenya, where it began a pilot
study last year in which it handed out
small, unconditional cash grants —
about $22 a month — to residents of a
single village. The program is now expanding, with plans to hand out grants
to some 16,000 people in 120 villages.
From a research standpoint, these remain early days for basic income, a time
for experimentation and assessment before serious amounts of money may be
devoted to a new model for public assistance.
Yet from a political standpoint, basic
income appears to have found its moment, one delivered by the anxieties of
the working poor, combined with those
of the wealthy, who see in widening inequality the potential for mobs wielding
pitchforks.
“The interest is exploding everywhere,” said Guy Standing, a research
associate at SOAS University of London.
“The debates now are extraordinarily
fertile.”
Four years ago, Charles G. and David H.
Koch seemed poised to control some of
the country’s biggest newspapers.
Known for using their vast wealth and
network of donors to advance their
brand of libertarian-infused conservatism, the titans of Koch Industries explored buying the Tribune Company’s
eight newspapers, including The Los
Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune.
They ended up not making a bid, and
in an interview at the time with his
hometown paper, The Wichita Eagle,
Charles Koch suggested that Koch Industries was rethinking whether it was
wise to enter such a troubled industry.
“There are tremendous changes going on in media,” Charles Koch said.
“We’re back at Square 1, analyzing
where is the most change, where are the
best opportunities for new entrants to
come in and add value?”
The answer, it appears, was the magazine business.
In a move that came to light on
Wednesday, the Kochs have tentatively
agreed to back an offer by the magazine
publisher Meredith Corporation for
Time Inc., the owner of titles including
Time, People and Sports Illustrated.
Koch Industries, the sprawling industrial conglomerate controlled by the two
brothers, plans to support the deal.
Meredith and Time Inc. have discussed the details of a potential transaction over the last week and are hoping to
announce a deal, should it occur, on
Monday . Under the preliminary terms
of Meredith’s proposal, the company
would pay $18 to $20 a share for Time
Inc., people involved in the talks said.
Meredith, the Iowa-based company
behind popular monthly magazines like
Family Circle and Better Homes and
Gardens, has arranged for a $600 million cash infusion from the Koch brothers through their private equity arm,
Koch Equity Development, these people
said. Under the terms of the proposal,
Koch would receive preferred shares in
the company.
According to people involved in the
talks, Meredith has also lined up $3 billion in financing from four banks:
Citibank, Barclays, Credit Suisse and
Royal Bank of Canada. Meredith has
been busy lately reviewing Time Inc.’s
financials, which have become somewhat complicated, because the company was selling several magazines including Sunset and Golf and a stake in
Essence.
Meredith has indicated that it would
acquire all of Time Inc.’s properties but
was still seeking clarification about the
status of those sales, these people said.
The Kochs have long tried to shape
political discourse through their support of nonprofit organizations, universities and think tanks. Beyond their flirtation with Tribune, they have expressed little interest in running a media
company.
Some Koch allies suggested that the
brothers’ investment would be passive
and would not give them any operational control over the company. These
people said that the Kochs saw a potential moneymaker in Time Inc., rather
than a megaphone for advancing their
free-market ideology. For that to happen, the storied company, which Henry
R. Luce helped found in 1922, would have
to morph into an entity able to thrive in
the fraught 21st-century media business.
Other Koch associates, however, surmised that the Kochs’ involvement in
the possible deal was partly driven by
their desire to advance their views.
Should Meredith succeed in acquiring
Time Inc., Koch Industries would have a
stake in a company, with access to millions of online and print readers.
“Knowing the Kochs, I think they’d
have to see it as a business that could at
the same time further their political interests,” said Stanley S. Hubbard, a
longtime associate of the brothers and a
donor to their advocacy groups.
Although it now has a diminished role,
Time magazine, with its influential Person of the Year and Time 100 issues, still
reaches a weekly paid audience of
roughly three million.
Mr. Hubbard said he doubted the
Koch brothers approved of Time in its
current form. “In their view,” he said,
“they probably see Time magazine as a
left-wing rag. I’m sure that they would
like to see it be more objective and also
to straighten it out to make it a profitable
venture.”
Mr. Hubbard, who owns television
and radio stations across the United
States, said he had not talked with the
Kochs about the possible acquisition but
had discussed other prospective media
investments with them over the years.
Spokesmen for Koch Industries and
the Kochs’ political operation both declined to comment. Spokesmen for Time
Inc. and Meredith also declined to comment.
For Meredith, which was founded in
1902, the addition of the Time Inc. titles
to its stable would represent the culmination of a yearslong courtship. In 2013,
a deal between the two publishers collapsed after Meredith reportedly said it
had no interest in some of Time Inc.’s
most robust titles, including Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated.
Meredith was also among the parties
circling Time Inc. earlier this year before it walked away, in part because it
could not secure sufficient financing.
Until now, the Kochs — who lead a
company that brings in more than $100
billion in annual revenue — have sought
to influence public discourse at some remove from the media business. If Meredith, with the Kochs’ help, succeeds in
buying Time Inc., the brothers will join a
growing list of billionaire business people with significant stakes in media
properties. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire
Hathaway company, for instance, owns
31 daily newspapers, and Jeff Bezos
owns The Washington Post. Sheldon G.
Adelson, a casino magnate and powerful
Republican donor, acquired The Las Vegas Review-Journal in late 2015.
The Kochs, who have made a name for
themselves as philanthropists with their
donations to Lincoln Center, the Metro-
The Kochs have tentatively
agreed to back an offer for the
owner of titles including Time,
People and Sports Illustrated.
politan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, all in
New York, have preferred to wield their
influence away from the glare that
comes with owning major media properties. Through a network of conservative
donors and advocacy groups, they have
spent or raised more than $1.5 billion in
an effort to reshape American policy
around an ideology based on free-market economics.
Their foundations have helped fund
organizations affiliated with conservative media outlets, including the libertarian Reason magazine and the Daily
Caller website.
The Charles Koch Institute, one of the
brothers’ philanthropic arms, offers a
yearlong media and journalism fellowship. David Koch has donated millions to
public television.
Media properties with a wider reach
than, say, Reason magazine, like those in
the portfolios of Meredith and Time Inc.,
could amplify the Kochs’ message and
complement the work of the groups they
support, including the nonprofit advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.
Known for harboring a distrust of the
mainstream media and what they see as
its liberal bias, the Kochs have taken a
closed-fist approach to journalists. Until
2015, a website affiliated with Koch Industries, KochFacts.com, published
blog posts intended to combat negative
coverage of the company and to raise
questions about reporters who, in the
Kochs’ estimation, had written about
them unfairly.
In her book about the Kochs and their
influence on modern politics, “Dark
Money,” which came out last year, the investigative reporter Jane Mayer described how a private investigation firm
had tried to dig up dirt on her after The
New Yorker published “Covert Operations,” her 10,000-word exposé on the
Kochs. She wrote that she suspected the
Kochs had been involved.
In an interview last year with The Financial Times, Charles Koch said he
wanted to show that he was not the “evil
guy” the press has made him out to be.
He also suggested a desire to control a
narrative that had long eluded his grasp.
“We’re being attacked every day by
blogs, other newspapers, media, people
in government,” he said, “and they were
totally perverting what we do and why
we do it.”
BO RADER/THE WICHITA EAGLE, VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS
Charles Koch has expressed a desire to control the political narrative.
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017 | 9
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Opinion
What if you knew Alzheimer’s was coming for you?
Simple blood
tests may
soon be able
to deliver
alarming
news about
your
cognitive
health.
Pagan Kennedy
Contributing Writer
Six years ago, at age 49, Julie Gregory
paid an online service to sequence her
genes, hoping to turn up clues about
her poor circulation, blood-sugar
swings and general ill health. Instead
she learned she had a time bomb
hidden in her DNA: two copies of a
gene variant, ApoE4, that is strongly
linked to Alzheimer’s. Most Americans
with this genotype go on to develop
late-onset dementia.
“Alzheimer’s was the furthest thing
from my mind,” Ms. Gregory told me.
“I never thought I was at risk. When I
saw my results, I was terrified.”
When Ms. Gregory consulted with a
neurologist about how to delay the
onset of illness, he had four words for
her: “Good luck with that.” After all, no
drug had proven effective in reversing
Alzheimer’s disease. And preventive
measures like diet and exercise, the
neurologist told her, would do no good.
Ms. Gregory is not the sort of person
who pops into your mind when you
think of Alzheimer’s — youngish,
healthy and sharp-minded. But she
represents a type of sufferer we are
likely to encounter more and more:
those grappling with the looming
threat of the
disease rather
Diagnostic
than the disease
itself.
tests have
Scientists say
political
they are on the
effects, raising
cusp of developconsciousness
ing blood tests
that could detect
about disease.
the earliest signs
of Alzheimer’s
damage in people in their 40s and 50s
who have no obvious symptoms. Today, finding out whether dangerous
plaques are building up in your brain
requires either a PET scan at a cost of
about $4,000 or a spinal tap. And while
genetic tests can help predict risk,
they don’t tell us anything about the
current state of your brain. Effective
blood tests could reveal thousands —
even millions — of people who are now
living with a “pre-Alzheimer’s” condition.
On Monday, Bill Gates, the billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of
Microsoft, wrote on his blog that “men
in my family have suffered from
Alzheimer’s,” which means that he
may have a high risk for dementia. He
called for new approaches to combating the disease, including developing
“a more reliable, affordable and accessible diagnostic — such as a blood
test.” Mr. Gates also announced that he
would be donating $100 million to fight
Alzheimer’s, which will no doubt help
to make blood tests a reality.
So you may be faced with some
difficult choices within the next decade: Do you want to receive potentially alarming news about your cognitive health, or would you rather not? If
you learn that you have a high risk for
Alzheimer’s, is that information you
will want to keep private — from employers, clients, health insurers and
others? Or will you want to openly
embrace it as part of your identity and
publicly call for a cure?
In the difficult months after her
genetic test, Ms. Gregory “wanted to
be with people who were going
through the same devastation,” so she
sought out other ApoE4 carriers. In
2013, she and a few others started a
nonprofit group and created a website
(ApoE4.info) where the community
could gather. Today the group has
ILLUSTRATION BY MIKE MCQUADE; PHOTOGRAPH BY FANGXIANUO/GETTY IMAGES
more than 2,000 members. They pore
over medical journals, reach out to top
researchers in the field and share
notes about their experiments with
diet, exercise and other lifestyle modifications.
Many of the members maintain their
anonymity for fear of being “outed” as
carriers of the gene variant. One member of the group — I’ll call her D., after
her first initial — told me that she
feared public exposure almost as much
as Alzheimer’s itself.
About 20 years ago, D. graduated
from a top-tier law school. She spoke
with rat-a-tat speed and juggled her
many to-do lists in her mind. But in
middle age, her memory began to
tatter and she struggled sometimes to
find words. She went to a hospital for a
cognitive-health work-up and learned
that she carries a single copy of the
ApoE4 gene variant.
She was alarmed. Her father, a
neurologist, had retired in his 60s
because his own mind felt “wrong” —
it’s likely he diagnosed the oncoming
dementia in himself. “I was just really
scared of following in his footsteps,”
she said.
But when D. joined the ApoE4 online
community, other members reassured
her that her risk profile was not as
worrisome as it might seem. With only
one copy of the “bad” ApoE4 gene
variant and one “good” variant, she
has a much better outlook than those
with two copies. She now feels that she
managed to clear her brain fog in part
by overhauling her diet and exercise
habits. “If I hadn’t known about this
gene,” she said, “would I be on my
stupid exercise bike first thing in the
morning when I’m hungry? No way.”
Still, D. has kept her genetic status a
secret from all but her closest friends.
“If you’re working in a professional
capacity, seeing clients who need to
have confidence in your brain,” she
said, “you wouldn’t want them to know
that you had this gene variant.” She is
afraid of being denied insurance and
long-term disability care because of
her genotype. And like many other
ApoE4 carriers, she also worries about
social stigma.
Jason Karlawish, a professor of
medicine and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, studies how
KENNEDY, PAGE 11
America, now an outlier on driving deaths
Only a few
decades ago,
the United
States was
not — and it
doesn’t need
to be now.
David Leonhardt
This week, millions of Americans will
climb into their cars to visit family.
Unfortunately, they will have to travel
on the most dangerous roads in the
industrialized world.
It didn’t used to be this way. A generation ago, driving in the United
States was relatively safe. Fatality
rates here in 1990 were roughly 10
percent lower than in Canada and
Australia, two other affluent nations
with a lot of open road.
Over the last few decades, however,
other countries have embarked on
evidence-based campaigns to reduce
vehicle crashes. The United States has
not. The fatality rate has still fallen
here, thanks partly to safer vehicles,
but it’s fallen far less than anywhere
else.
As a result, this country has turned
into a disturbing outlier. Our vehicle
fatality rate is about 40 percent higher
than Canada’s or Australia’s. The comparison with Slovenia is embarrassing.
In 1990, its death rate was more than
five times as high as ours. Today, the
Slovenians have safer roads.
If you find statistics abstract, you
can instead read the heart-rending
stories. Erin Kaplan, a 39-year-old
mother in Ashburn, Va., was killed in a
September crash that also seriously
injured her three teenage children.
They and their father are now heroically trying to put their lives back
together, as The Washington Post has
detailed.
Had the United States kept pace
with the rest of the world, about 10,000
fewer Americans each year — or almost 30 every day — would be killed.
Instead, more people die in crashes
than from gun violence. Many of the
victims, like Erin Kaplan, were young
and healthy.
I was unaware of this country’s
newfound outlier status until I recently
started reporting on the rise of driverless cars. I’ve become convinced they
represent one of the biggest changes
in day-to-day life that most of us will
experience. Within a decade, car travel
will be fundamentally altered. “This is
every bit as big a change as when the
America’s Deadly Roads
Deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled
2015
1990
Sweden 3.2
United Kingdom 3.4
Germany 4.6
Australia
4.9
Canada
5.1
5.9
Israel
France
5.9
United States
7.0
12.0
12.8
19.7
14.7
14.5
22.4
25.7
12.9
10
Figure for Canada in 2015 is an estimate. Source: OECD
first car came off the assembly line,”
Senator Gary Peters of Michigan told
me.
Many people remain afraid of driverless cars, because trusting your life
to a computer — allowing it to hurtle
you down a highway — can feel a little
crazy. But the status quo is crazier, and
the rest of the world refuses to accept
it.
We don’t need to wait for the arrival
of futuristic self-driving machines to
20
THE NEW YORK TIMES
do better. Other countries have systematically analyzed the main causes
of crashes and then gone after them,
one by one. Canada started a national
campaign in 1996.
“The overwhelming factor is speed,”
says Leonard Evans, an automotive
researcher. Small differences in speed
cause large differences in harm. Other
countries tend to have lower speed
limits (despite the famous German
autobahn) and more speed cameras.
Install enough cameras, and speeding
really will decline.
But it’s not just speed. Seatbelt use
is also more common elsewhere: One
in seven American drivers still don’t
use one. In other countries, 16-yearolds often aren’t allowed to drive. And
“buzzed driving” tends to be considered drunken driving. Here, only heavily Mormon Utah has moved toward a
sensible threshold, and the liquor and
restaurant lobbies are trying to stop it.
The political problem with all of
these steps, of course, is that they
restrict freedom, and we Americans
like freedom. To me, the freedom to
have a third beer before getting behind
the wheel — or to drive 15 miles an
hour above the limit — is not worth 30
lives a day. But I recognize that not
everyone sees it this way.
Which is part of the reason I’m so
excited about driverless technology. It
will let us overcome self-destructive
behavior, without having to change a
lot of laws. A few years from now,
sophisticated crash-avoidance systems
will probably be the norm. Cars will
use computers and cameras to avoid
other objects. And the United States
will stand to benefit much more than
the rest of the industrialized world.
Until then, be careful out there.
..
10 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
opinion
Nuclear war doesn’t seem so funny
ARTHUR OCHS SULZBERGER JR., Publisher
A.G. SULZBERGER, Deputy Publisher
DEAN BAQUET, Executive Editor
MARK THOMPSON, Chief Executive Officer
JOSEPH KAHN, Managing Editor
STEPHEN DUNBAR-JOHNSON, President, International
TOM BODKIN, Creative Director
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE DEMARTA, Senior V.P., Global Advertising
SUZANNE DALEY, Associate Editor
ACHILLES TSALTAS, V.P., International Conferences
CHARLOTTE GORDON, V.P., International Consumer Marketing
JAMES BENNET, Editorial Page Editor
HELEN KONSTANTOPOULOS, V.P., International Circulation
JAMES DAO, Deputy Editorial Page Editor
HELENA PHUA, Executive V.P., Asia-Pacific
KATHLEEN KINGSBURY, Deputy Editorial Page Editor
SUZANNE YVERNÈS, International Chief Financial Officer
THE SHRIVELING STATE DEPARTMENT
Rex Tillerson,
ill suited to
be secretary
of state, is
shrinking his
department to
fit his limited
ambitions.
Rex Tillerson is widely seen as ill suited to diplomatic
leadership and determined to dismantle his own department, which has been central to America’s national security since Thomas Jefferson ran the place.
The department is being undermined by budget cuts, a
failure to fill top jobs, an erratic president and a secretary who has called reorganization, rather than policy,
his most important priority. Given the aggressive behavior of North Korea, Russia and China in a world
that seems shakier by the day, the timing could hardly
be worse.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is going gangbusters. The
State Department’s budget has been targeted with a 31
percent cut, to $37.6 billion, but Congress is moving to
raise the Pentagon’s spending level roughly 15 percent
from the $549 billion allowed under the Budget Control
Act. Aircraft carriers and tanks are obviously much
more expensive than diplomatic pouches and airline
tickets. Even so, such lopsided budget priorities could
favor military solutions over diplomacy and development.
In recent weeks, alarming new data from the American Foreign Service Association, the union representing diplomats, shows just how far Mr. Tillerson has
taken things. Since January, more than 100 senior
foreign service officers have left the department, depleting the ranks of career ambassadors, the diplomatic equivalent of four-star generals, by 60 percent, while
the number of career ministers (akin to three-star
generals) is down 42 percent. The hiring of new foreign service officers has slowed almost to a halt, and
the number of young people seeking to take the foreign service exam has fallen to less than half the 17,000
who registered two years ago.
Mr. Tillerson has asked some senior officials to do
clerical tasks and left many ambassadorships unfilled.
Stephen Akard, an associate of Vice President Mike
Pence with only brief experience at the State Department, was nominated director general of the foreign
service, a position that oversees diplomatic appointments and is usually reserved for a senior career diplomat with the power to block political interference.
All in all, Mr. Tillerson is disrupting the smooth
development of career State Department leaders from
entry level to the senior ranks, which will create shortages of experienced diplomats down the road. Not
surprisingly, morale has plummeted. By contrast,
there have been no comparable recent moves by the
military services to suspend the commissioning of
officers, and even as the diplomatic corps erodes, Congress just approved a Pentagon budget for next year
that would boost troops by 20,000.
Mr. Tillerson is no doubt correct that the State Department, like any bureaucracy, could benefit from
scrutiny and thoughtful reform. For that reason, many
people there welcomed Mr. Tillerson, with his long
experience as chief executive of Exxon Mobil, as
someone who could modernize the place and introduce
efficiencies. He has already enacted one broadly popular reform by shrinking the number of special envoys
assigned to special diplomatic tasks.
But over all, Mr. Tillerson has shown that business
experience isn’t easily transferable to government,
where the driver is not the bottom line but the national
interest. An engineer, he seems obsessed with management minutiae and metrics; last week, for instance, his deputy secretary spent part of a senior
staff meeting telling his underlings how to write effective memos to the boss. Mr. Tillerson seems no less
obsessed with control, recently telling senior officials
that henceforth his office, not they, would issue the
boilerplate statements recognizing this or that country’s national day.
For the most part, Mr. Tillerson’s close aides have
no such experience, and the professional diplomats
who should be part of his team feel alienated and disrespected.
Exactly what’s behind this wholesale downgrading
of the department is unclear. Mr. Trump seems to have
little love for professional diplomats, 1,000 of whom
formally protested the president’s Muslim travel ban
in January. Policy shifts play a role, too. When Mr.
Tillerson made clear that human rights concerns
would be subordinated, the office handling those issues began to shrink.
The near-term hope of arresting or reversing this
slide lies with Congress. More lawmakers are raising
their voices, warning about the dangers to national
security and demanding answers.
Maybe Mr. Tillerson will get every diplomat to write
perfectly formatted memos and achieve his targeted
staff reductions. When it comes time to judge his tenure, however, historians will care only about this:
What did he do to forestall war with North Korea,
manage the rise of China, check Russia’s efforts to
undermine democracy, lay the groundwork for postwar stability in Syria and Iraq, and protect America’s
international standing?
Britt Peterson
In January, I started writing a novel in
which a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb was
detonated in the center of Washington,
where I live. It was meant to be funny.
I had read a 2011 report by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency that
described the effect of such a detonation, and was surprised to learn that
my apartment in Adams Morgan
would most likely survive the initial
blast.
I imagined myself and my neighbors
— about half wealthy millennials and
half older people who’d bought in
before the neighborhood’s property
values skyrocketed — sheltering in
awkward place in a basement, bicker-
ing over scraps of food and someone’s
private stash of LaCroix cans.
Then, in April, Kim Jong-un of North
Korea released a propaganda video of
his army striking the Capitol; over the
summer he tested intercontinental
ballistic missiles that may be capable
of striking the East Coast. More recently, President Trump called Mr. Kim
“short and fat,” and now, apparently,
North Korea has sentenced Mr. Trump
to death in absentia. Suddenly, my
novel started feeling a lot less funny.
For 1980s babies like me, nuclear
war has long had a darkly comic edge.
Too young to have experienced 1950s
school drills or to remember the
heightened anxieties of the early 1980s,
we’ve viewed nuclear war as a terrifying improbability, especially compared
with the terrifying certainties that we
know all too well: global warming,
terrorism, lone-wolf gunmen. America
is in the privileged position of having
inflicted nuclear casualties, not suffered them — and since the Cold War
ended, it’s felt relatively likely that we
wouldn’t be on either side of that equation again.
Understanding
This wasn’t
nuclear war from
movies, books
supposed to be
and grainy vidsomething we
eos of kids hiding
actually had to
ineffectually
be afraid of.
under desks,
we’ve seen it
mostly through
two prisms: black humor and camp.
On the camp side, there’s the 1983
movie “The Day After,” with an Urkeljeaned Steve Guttenberg and all the
flashing skeletons. On the black humor
side, everything from “Dr. Strange-
love” to Kurt Vonnegut to the work of
Takashi Murakami, as Spencer Weart
points out in his book “The Rise of
Nuclear Fear.”
Humor requires distance — we’ve
been living in a constantly refreshed
state of “too soon” for jokes about
school shooters ever since I graduated
from high school, two months after the
Columbine attack. The psychologists
Peter McGraw and Caleb Warren have
developed a framework called “benign
violation theory” to describe events
that lend themselves best to humor: a
violation or a threat, but one from
which the joker is somewhat removed.
It’s unclear exactly how much distance
we need to laugh about something as
cataclysmic as nuclear attack.
Spencer Weart believes that the
black humor of the ’60s was actually
occasioned by proximity — a nervous
proximity that forced nervous laughter.
While “nobody was making jokes
during the Cuban missile crisis,” Dr.
Weart said, writers and artists in the
years after used morbid satire to express their inexpressible panic.
“Thoughts of nuclear war were repressed because they were so terrible,
and it came out in humor,” he told me.
Since the end of the Cold War, he
points out, the instinct to humorize
nuclear war has diminished along with
the threat. More recent dystopian and
nuclear fiction, from “The Hunger
Games” to Cormac McCarthy’s “The
Road” to “Mad Max: Fury Road,” have
mostly been intensely serious. (There
are exceptions: the running gags on
“South Park” about Korean leaders
with terrible haircuts, for instance.)
Although “Saturday Night Live” and
other late-night shows still mock Kim
Jong-un (“the Harry Styles of North
Korea,” as the Weekend Update host
Colin Jost called him in April), there
hasn’t been the flowering of gallows
humor that we saw during the early
days of the Cold War. Dr. Weart believes that the relative lack of specific
threat over the past decade has encouraged a more serious approach:
“You don’t have the visceral terror and
therefore, you don’t have that reaction
of laughing.”
This theory is borne out by the response of a nation that earns its visceral terror far more than anyone in
America: South Korea. According to
Haeryun Kang, a South Korean journalist, South Koreans tend to be somewhat blasé about the threats from their
northern neighbor, either because of
denial or sheer habituation.
But they also have a “vibrant culture” of joking about it, creating memelike “parody posters” showing, for
instance, Kim Jong-un on a barbecue.
“Laughing about something is one of
the more accessible ways to approach
a difficult issue,” Ms. Kang said by
email.
For me, an increase in visceral terror over the past year at first made me
need to laugh, and then made laughing
feel inappropriate. When I started my
nuclear-attack novel, I felt I was using
humor to assuage my latent fears of an
attack; it felt cathartic. But catharsis,
like humor, implies a remove: You’re
re-experiencing a past trauma, or
inhabiting someone else’s. As it became increasingly plausible that I
could live through the precise situation
I was describing, the humor faded, and
I abandoned the project.
Should we actually approach the
brink of nuclear war, humor might feel
necessary again. And if it does, I have
a novel all ready to go.
is a contributing editor
at Washingtonian magazine.
BRITT PETERSON
KLAAS VERPLANCKE
Look in the mirror: We’re with stupid
Timothy Egan
Contributing Writer
It would be much easier to sleep at
night if you could believe that we’re in
such a mess of misinformation simply
because Russian agents disseminated
inflammatory posts that reached 126
million people on Facebook.
The Russians also uploaded a thousand videos to YouTube and published
more than 130,000 messages on Twitter
about last year’s election. As recent
congressional hearings showed, the
arteries of our democracy were
clogged with toxins from a hostile
foreign power.
But the problem is not the Russians
— it’s us. We’re getting played because
too many Americans are ill equipped to
perform the basic functions of citizenship. If the point of the Russian campaign, aided domestically by rightwing media, was to get people to think
there is no such thing as knowable
truth, the bad guys have won.
As we crossed the 300-day mark of
Donald Trump’s presidency on Thursday, fact-checkers noted that he has
made more than 1,600 false or misleading claims. Good God. At least five
times a day, on average, this president
says something that isn’t true.
We have a White House of lies because a huge percentage of the population can’t tell fact from fiction. But a
huge percentage is also clueless about
the basic laws of the land. In a democ-
racy, we the people are supposed to
understand our role in this powersharing thing.
Nearly one in three Americans
cannot name a single branch of government. When NPR tweeted out sections
of the Declaration of Independence last
year, many people were outraged.
They mistook Thomas Jefferson’s
fighting words for anti-Trump propaganda.
Fake news is a real thing produced
by active disseminators of falsehoods.
Trump uses the term to describe anything he doesn’t like, a habit now
picked up by political liars everywhere.
But Trump is a symptom; the breakdown in this democracy goes beyond
the liar in chief. For that you have to
blame all of us: we have allowed the
educational system to become negligent in teaching the owner’s manual of
citizenship.
Lost in the news grind over Roy
Moore, the lawbreaking Senate candidate from Alabama, is how often he
has tried to violate the Constitution. As
a judge, he was removed from the
bench — twice — for lawless acts that
follow his theocratic view of governance.
Shariah law has been justifiably
criticized as a dangerous injection of
religion into the public space. Now
imagine if a judge insisted on keeping
a monument to the Quran in a state
judicial building.
Or that he said “homosexual conduct” should be illegal because his
sacred book tells him so. That is exactly what Moore has done, though he
substitutes the Bible for the Quran.
I don’t blame Moore. I blame his
followers, and the press, which doesn’t
seem to know that the First Amendment specifically aims to keep government from siding with one religion —
the so-called establishment clause.
My colleagues at the opinion shop on
Sunday used a full page to print the
Bill of Rights, and urge President
Trump to “Please Read the Constitution.” Yes, it’s come to this. On press
freedom, due
process, exercise
The problem
of religion and
other areas,
is not the
Trump has reRussians —
peatedly gone
it’s America.
into Roy Moore
A huge
territory —
dismissing the
percentage of
principles he has
the population
sworn to uphold.
can’t tell fact
Suppose we
from fiction.
treated citizenship like getting
a driver’s license.
People would have to pass a simple
test on American values, history and
geography before they were allowed to
have a say in the system. We do that
for immigrants, and 97 percent of them
pass, according to one study.
Yet one in three Americans fail the
immigrant citizenship test. This is not
an elitist barrier. The test includes
questions like, “What major event
happened on 9/11?” and “What ocean is
on the West Coast of the United
States?”
One reason that public schools were
established across the land was to
produce an informed citizenry. And up
until the 1960s, it was common for
students to take three separate courses
in civics and government before they
got out of high school.
Now only a handful of states require
proficiency in civics as a condition of
high school graduation. Students are
hungry, in this turbulent era, for discussion of politics and government.
But the educators are failing them.
Civics has fallen to the side, in part
because of the standardized test mania.
A related concern is historical ignorance. By a 48 percent to 38 percent
margin Americans think states’ rights,
rather than slavery, caused the Civil
War. So Trump’s chief of staff, John F.
Kelly, can say something demonstrably
false about the war, because most
people are just as clueless as he is.
There’s hope — and there are many
ways — to shed light on the cave of
American democracy. More than a
dozen states now require high school
students to pass the immigrant citizenship test. We should also teach kids
how to tell fake news from real, as
some schools in Europe are doing.
But those initiatives will mean little
if people still insist on believing what
they want to believe, living in digital
safe spaces closed off from anything
that intrudes on their worldview.
a former national correspondent for The Times, writes about
the environment, the American West
and politics.
TIMOTHY EGAN,
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017 | 11
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
opinion
Nafta and U.S. security
Rebecca Bill Chavez
Is Alzheimer’s coming for you?
KENNEDY, FROM PAGE 9
people at high risk of Alzheimer’s
disease cope with that knowledge. “We
have to make it socially acceptable to
talk about having risk of getting dementia,” he told me. “I think that is one
of the ground zero struggles we are
going to face in the coming decades.”
Many health organizations discourage patients from learning their ApoE
genotype. They warn that people may
not be able to cope with bad news or
will misinterpret the results. But according to Theresa, a member of the
ApoE4 community who, like D., is
protective of her privacy, it is paternalistic to decide how someone else
should feel about the test. “My attitude
is that you have to know the facts,
analyze them and deal with them,” she
said. “The sooner you know your gene
status, the sooner you can start doing
something about it.”
Not all cases of Alzheimer’s can be
traced to a particular gene variance,
but for someone like Theresa — who
has two copies of ApoE4 and is now in
her late 50s — chances are high that
she will be told she has the disease
within the next 10 to 20 years. Yet she
said that this knowledge “has been
life-changing and positive.” She now
tracks her lipid levels, glucose levels
and other biomarkers. When I interviewed her, she had just returned from
skiing black-diamond trails in the
Colorado mountains.
David Holtzman, a neurologist at the
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has researched the
ApoE gene for 25 years. But he has
chosen not to look at his own ApoE4
genotype. Why do it, he asked me,
when there is no drug or lifestyle strategy that is absolutely guaranteed to
protect the brain? It would be far more
useful if researchers could watch the
disease as it spreads through the brain
and wreaks its damage. That’s why Dr.
Holtzman and his colleagues are working on a method to detect the presence
of markers in the blood that are red
flags for brain illness.
Everything about our relationship to
Alzheimer’s is in flux right now. The
disease — once thought to be unpreventable — is beginning to look more
like a multifactorial illness that might
result from poor diet, a sedentary
lifestyle, chronic inflammation, exposure to chemicals in the environment
and genetics. Some scientists now
describe Alzheimer’s disease as another form of diabetes; others are
pursuing a link between Alzheimer’s
disease and cardiovascular problems.
And studies have shown a link between Alzheimer’s and exposure to air
pollution and head injuries. Many
researchers in the field, including Dr.
Holtzman, believe that the key
Everything
to defeating
about our
Alzheimer’s will
be to catch it at
relationship
the earliest posto Alzheimer’s
sible moment
is in flux
and prevent it.
right now.
It remains
unclear whether
lifestyle interventions can significantly delay cognitive
decline. But the members of ApoE4
group believe that by banding together,
sharing data and collaborating with
scientists, they can improve their odds.
“We are genetic pioneers, modern-day
canaries in the coal mine, searching for
and testing out strategies,” reads the
group’s website. Rather than seeing
themselves as victims of genetic bad
luck, Ms. Gregory and her collaborators regard themselves as citizen
scientists and activists who may be
able to outsmart the disease.
They are a reminder that diagnostic
tests do more than predict our biological fates; they also perform a social
and political function. They help turn
strangers into a family, a tribe and,
sometimes, a revolution. When the
H.I.V. test became available in the
1980s, thousands of people suddenly
felt connected to the disease.
The test radicalized many of them,
and those activists pushed for the
reform of medical trials, requested a
shorter drug approval process and
fought against medical discrimination.
Most consequentially, they demanded
— and got — treatments that have
extended the lives of AIDS patients by
decades.
So what would happen if something
like an H.I.V. test for Alzheimer’s were
to exist in the near future, and millions
of people found out that their brains
were on the path to dementia? Dr.
Alison Goate, a professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai in New York, said
the effects could be profound. Today
there are no Alzheimer’s survivors.
That means that Alzheimer’s patients
“can’t speak for themselves,” she observed. Widespread blood tests could
create an army of “pre-Alzheimer’s”
patients clamoring for breakthroughs
in treatment.
We need patient-advocates who can
“own” Alzheimer’s disease. They would
represent a constituency other than
that of the pharmaceutical companies
that now control the conversation about
the disease. A drug to prevent dementia
could become the world’s most profitable medicine. It’s not a surprise to
learn that one of the biggest insidertrading scandals in history involved a
would-be Alzheimer’s drug (which
seemed effective in mouse brains but
failed to help humans as much).
When thousands of patients rise up,
refuse to be stigmatized, discuss their
symptoms and participate in research,
science benefits. A new test for
Alzheimer’s could help to create that
movement, but let’s not wait. Twentyfive percent to 50 percent of us will
show signs of Alzheimer’s by the age of
85. When it comes to dementia, we all
should consider ourselves vulnerable.
No matter what genes you carry, your
odds of developing cognitive problems
increase as you age.
In other words, welcome to the club:
If you plan to live a long time, then you,
too, belong to the high-risk group. Now
what are you going to do about it?
It came straight from the mouth of
Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray of
Mexico, arguably the most influential
member of President Enrique Peña
Nieto’s administration: a Trump administration rejection of the North American Free Trade Agreement would undermine United States-Mexico security
cooperation and our collaboration on
migration.
Until recently, the Mexican government had only insinuated that security
cooperation was on the table. It’s time
for Americans to take the warning
seriously as Mexico heads into an election year in which anti-Trump sentiment
continues to grow, increasing the political cost of partnering with the United
States and buoying the nationalist
presidential candidate Andrés Manuel
López Obrador. The Americas Barometer reports that the Mexican populace’s
distrust of the United States rose to 84
percent from 31 percent in just three
months after Donald Trump was
elected.
Many analysts worry that the Trump
administration’s disparaging language
and its positions on trade, immigration
and the wall threaten our economic and
political connections. However, a third
core pillar of the relationship — our
bilateral defense and security relationship — is also being tested. A deterioration of our defense cooperation threatens the stability and security of our
hemisphere in areas from illicit trafficking to migration-related humanitarian
crises to destabilizing crime and violence.
These developments are unfortunate, given that President Trump inherited a partnership of exceptional collaboration in the defense sphere. This
cooperation was facilitated by Mexico’s
willingness and capacity to take on a
greater share of the security burdens
not just in the Western Hemisphere but
globally. The Mexican military has
increased activity in international
forums, developing the groundwork for
potential future external military missions, including contributions to United
Nations peacekeeping operations. After
eight years of confidence-building
initiatives, the Obama administration
established a defense relationship of
trust, and cooperation expanded beyond counternarcotics and counterterrorism to broader strategic engagement including coordinated efforts in
Central America, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and global
peacekeeping.
By jeopardizing United States-Mexico counternarcotics cooperation, President Trump risks cutting off his nose to
spite his face. He has declared the opioid
epidemic a public health emergency,
and his ill-advised supply-side approach
requires Mexican collaboration.
Over 90 percent of the heroin in the
United States is either produced in or
shipped through Mexico, and Mexico is
an important transit point for the deadly
synthetic opioid fentanyl and the principal transit point for cocaine entering the
United States. In
Mexico, it is the
military that has
It’s not worth
the drug enforcejeopardizing
ment mission,
advances in
which includes
American
fighting cartels
security and
and poppy eradihemispheric
cation. The presistability.
dent would do
well to listen to
the head of the
United States Northern Command, Lori
Robinson, who highlighted in her 2017
congressional testimony that collaboration with the Mexican armed forces is
strong — and critical to the struggle
against illicit trafficking.
Another Trump priority has been
stemming the flow of undocumented
immigrants. During the Obama administration, the United States and Mexico
began to discuss how together we can
address the root causes of Central
American migration, driven by violence, lack of economic opportunity and
fragile government institutions.
Most migrants crossing our southern
border aren’t from Mexico but from the
troubled countries of the Northern
Triangle: El Salvador, Guatemala and
Honduras. United States-Mexico dialogue focused on how we could strengthen Central American defense institutions, which would increase not just
military effectiveness but also transparency and accountability.
This is especially critical given that
the armed forces have assumed a law
enforcement role in much of the region.
It’s going to take a coordinated effort of
the community of Western Hemisphere
nations to address the triple threat of
crime, poverty and weak institutions.
The 2017 Americas Barometer reports
that over half of those living in the
Northern Triangle fear being victim of a
homicide. This staggering statistic
helps explain why the intention to migrate continues to rise in all three countries. If we want to avoid a breakdown of
democracy in our hemisphere, continued cooperation with Mexico is critical.
Mexico has also been helping us with
the dirty work of apprehensions. The
2014 unaccompanied children crisis
would have been much worse without
Mexican assistance along the major
smuggling routes. According to the
Migration Policy Institute, Mexico is
responsible for over 40 percent of apprehensions of those bound for the United
States. Although not the lead, the Mexican military has been part of the Interior Ministry’s effort along the border
with Guatemala and Belize. Even with
Mexico’s help, however, the flow of
migrant children continues, underscoring the need to focus on the roots of the
problem rather than the symptom.
The death and destruction of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria highlight
the importance of our nascent cooperation in humanitarian assistance and
disaster relief, which is more urgent
than ever as a result of climate change.
These environmental calamities represent another challenge to stability in the
region, and the Mexican military has
been a leading exporter of disaster relief
know-how and technical assistance. As
host of the 2018 Conference of Defense
Ministers of the Americas, Mexico is
working closely with nations such as
Chile and Canada to develop a hemisphere-wide disaster relief policy. We
should be part of that effort.
As Mr. Trump’s negotiating team sits
down with its Mexican and Canadian
counterparts on the fifth round of Nafta
negotiations, let’s hope the president
understands that we have a lot at stake
beyond trade. Even if it were desirable
and possible to reduce our $63 billion
trade deficit with Mexico by scrapping
Nafta, it’s not worth jeopardizing the
multifaceted cooperation that advances
United States’ security and hemispheric
stability.
was the U.S. deputy
assistant secretary of defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2013 to
2017.
REBECCA BILL CHAVEZ
is the author of “Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That
Change the World.”
PAGAN KENNEDY
Facebook won’t protect your privacy
PARAKILAS, FROM PAGE 1
called the company responsible for the
app, it claimed that Facebook’s policies
on data use were not being violated,
but we had no way to confirm whether
that was true. Once data passed from
the platform to a developer, Facebook
had no view of the data or control over
it.
In other cases, developers asked for
permission to get user data that their
apps obviously didn’t need — such as a
social game asking for all of your
photos and messages. People rarely
read permissions request forms carefully, so they often authorize access to
sensitive information without realizing
it.
At a company that was deeply con-
cerned about protecting its users, this
situation would have been met with a
robust effort to cut off developers who
were making questionable use of data.
But when I was at Facebook, the typical reaction I recall looked like this: try
to put any negative press coverage to
bed as quickly as possible, with no
sincere efforts to put safeguards in
place or to identify and stop abusive
developers. When I proposed a deeper
audit of developers’ use of Facebook’s
data, one executive asked me, “Do you
really want to see what you’ll find?”
The message was clear: The company just wanted negative stories to
stop. It didn’t really care how the data
was used.
When Russians decided to target
SHAWN THEW/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Graphics of Facebook pages were displayed at a hearing on Capitol Hill this month
about Russia’s potential interference in the U.S. presidential election last November.
Americans during the 2016 election,
they didn’t buy TV or newspaper ads,
or hire a skywriter. They turned to
Facebook, where their content reached
at least 126 million Americans. The fact
that Facebook prioritized data collection over user protection and regulatory compliance is precisely what
made it so attractive. Now the company is arguing that it should be allowed to regulate itself to prevent this
from happening again. My experience
shows that it should not.
Facebook’s chief operating officer,
Sheryl Sandberg, mentioned in an
October interview with Axios that one
of the ways the company uncovered
Russian propaganda ads was by identifying that they had been purchased in
rubles. Given how easy this was, it
seems clear the discovery could have
come much sooner than it did — a year
after the election. But apparently
Facebook took the same approach to
this investigation as the one I observed
during my tenure: react only when the
press or regulators make something an
issue, and avoid any changes that
would hurt the business of collecting
and selling data.
This makes for a dangerous mix: a
company that reaches most of the
country every day and has the most
detailed set of personal data ever
assembled, but has no incentive to
prevent abuse. Facebook needs to be
regulated more tightly, or broken up so
that no single entity controls all of its
data. The company won’t protect us by
itself, and nothing less than our democracy is at stake.
worked as an operations manager on the platform team at
Facebook in 2011 and 2012.
SANDY PARAKILAS
If there had to be only one
Toric Chronomètre
Manufactured entirely
in Switzerland
parmigiani.com
L’ATELIER PARMIGIANI
Mount Street, London
LE STUDIO PARMIGIANI
Design District, Miami
LE STUDIO PARMIGIANI
Jardin du Palais Royal, Paris
..
12 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
tech
Q+a
An expert in pajamas, battling bots
Managing email
across devices
SAN FRANCISCO
As lawmakers prepared
to question tech chiefs, this
informal group could help
How do I efficiently manage my email
with three devices: computer, phone
and tablet? Do I have to read, save,
delete email three times, or can I
easily sync them?
BY SHEERA FRENKEL
Before the sun came up on Oct. 31, Renee
DiResta sat in bed in her pajamas and
logged into a virtual war room.
For years, Ms. DiResta had battled
disinformation campaigns, cataloging
data on how malicious actors spread
fake narratives online. That morning,
wearing headphones so she wouldn’t
wake up her two sleeping children, Ms.
DiResta watched on her laptop screen
as lawyers representing Facebook,
Google and Twitter spoke at congressional hearings that focused on the role
social media had played in a Russian
disinformation campaign before the
2016 election.
Ms. DiResta knew the lines of questioning inside and out. Along with a
handful of people with a similarly obsessive interest in mapping data across social media, she had helped prepare congressional staff members before the
hearings. That morning, they gathered
in a dedicated channel on the Slack messaging app to watch and listen for answers to questions they had been asking
for years.
“We were monitoring closely to see
when the companies gave misleading or
partial answers so that we could follow
up,” said Ms. DiResta, 36, who became
immersed in disinformation campaigns
in her spare time outside of her job as a
founder and head of marketing at Haven, a shipping technology company.
How a small group of self-made experts came to advise Congress on disinformation campaigns is a testament to
just how long tech companies have
failed to find a solution to the problem.
For years, the informal group — about a
dozen or so people — has meticulously
logged data and published reports on
how easy it is to manipulate social media platforms.
In 2016, they monitored thousands of
Twitter accounts that suddenly started
using bots, or automated accounts, to
spread salacious stories about the Clinton family. They watched as multiple
Facebook pages, appearing out of nowhere, organized to simultaneously create anti-immigrant events. Nearly all of
those watching were hobbyists, logging
countless hours outside their day jobs.
“When I put it all together and started
mapping it out, I saw how big the scale of
it was,” said Jonathan Albright, who met
Ms. DiResta through Twitter. Mr. Albright published a widely read report
that mapped, for the first time, connections between conservative sites
putting out fake news. He did the research as a “second job” outside his position as research director at the Tow
Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.
Senate and House staff members,
who knew of Ms. DiResta’s expertise
through her public reports and her previous work advising the Obama administration on disinformation campaigns,
had contacted her and others to help
them prepare for the hearings.
Rachel Cohen, a spokeswoman for
JASON HENRY FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Renee DiResta has advised Congress on the manipulation of social media. She and a small group of like-minded observers have been cataloging data on such activities for years.
Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, said in a statement that researchers like Ms. DiResta had shown
real insight into the platforms, “in many
cases, despite efforts by some of the
platforms to undermine their research.”
Mr. Warner is a member of the Senate
Intelligence Committee.
One crucial line of the questioning —
on how much influence Russian-bought
advertisements and content had on users — was the result of work by Ms.
DiResta and others with a Facebookowned tool. “Facebook has the tools to
monitor how far this content is spreading,” Ms. DiResta said. “The numbers
they were originally providing were trying to minimize it.”
Indeed, at the congressional hearings, the tech companies admitted that
the problem was far larger than they
had originally said. Last year, Mark
Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive,
said it was a “crazy idea” that misinformation on Facebook had influenced the
election. But the company acknowledged to Congress that more than 150
million users of its main site and a subsidiary, Instagram, potentially had seen
inflammatory political ads bought by a
Kremlin-linked company, the Internet
Research Agency.
Ms. DiResta contended that that is
still just the tip of the iceberg. Minimizing the scope of the problem was “a
naïve form of damage control,” she said.
“This isn’t about punishing Facebook or
Twitter. This is us saying, this is important and we can do better.”
In response, Facebook said it had begun organizing academic discussions on
disinformation.
“We regularly engage with dozens of
sociologists, political scientists, data scientists and communications scholars,
and we both read and incorporate their
findings into our work,” said Jay Nancarrow, a Facebook spokesman. “We
value the work of researchers, and we
are going to continue to work with them
closely.”
A graduate of Stony Brook University
in New York, Ms. DiResta wrote her college thesis on propaganda in the 2004
Russian elections. She then spent seven
years on Wall Street as a trader, watching the slow introduction of automation
into the market. She recalled the initial
fear of overreliance on algorithms, as
there were “bad actors who could come
in and manipulate the system into making bad trades.”
“I look at that now and I see a lot of
parallels to today, especially for the
need for nuance in technological transformations,” Ms. DiResta said. “Just like
technology is never leaving Wall Street,
social media companies are not leaving
our society.”
Ms. DiResta moved to San Francisco
in 2011 for a job with the O’Reilly Alpha
Tech Venture Capital firm. But it wasn’t
until the birth of her first child a few
years later, that Ms. DiResta started to
examine the dark side of social media.
“When my son was born, I began looking into vaccines. I found myself wondering about the clustering effects
where the anti-vaccine movement was
concentrated,” Ms. DiResta recalled. “I
was thinking, ‘What on earth is going on
here? Why is this movement gaining so
much momentum here?’”
She started tracking posts made by
anti-vaccine accounts on Facebook and
mapping the data. What she discovered,
she said, was that Facebook’s platform
was tailor-made for a small group of vocal people to amplify their voices, especially if their views veered toward the
conspiratorial.
“It was this great case study in peerto-peer misinformation,” Ms. DiResta
said. Through one account she created
to monitor anti-vaccine groups on Facebook, she quickly realized she was being
pushed toward other anti-vaccine accounts, creating an echo chamber in
which viewpoints like “vaccines cause
autism” seemed to be the majority.
Soon, her Facebook account began
promoting content to her on a range of
other conspiratorial ideas, including
people who claim the earth is flat and
those who believe that “chem trails,” or
trails left in the sky by planes, were
spraying chemical agents on an unsuspecting public.
“So by Facebook suggesting all these
accounts, they were essentially creating
this vortex in which conspiratorial ideas
can just breed and multiply,” Ms.
DiResta said.
Her published findings on the antivaccine movement brought her to the attention of the Obama administration,
which reached out to her in 2015.
She recalled a meeting with tech companies at the White House in February
2016 at which executives, policy leaders
and administration officials were told
that American-made social media platforms were key to the dissemination of
propaganda by ISIS.
It was during that time that she first
met Jonathan Morgan, a fellow social
media disinformation researcher who
had published papers on how the Islamic State spreads its propaganda online.
“We kept saying this was not a oneoff. This was a toolbox anyone can use,”
Ms. DiResta said. “We told the tech companies that they had created a mass way
to reach Americans.”
A year and a half later, they hope everyone is finally listening. “I think we
are at this real moment, where as a society we are asking how much responsibility these companies have toward ensuring that their platforms aren’t being
gamed, and that we, as their users, aren’t being pushed toward disinformation,” Ms. DiResta said.
The future of flying? You can see it now
TECHNOLOGY
BY CHRISTINE NEGRONI
In the not-too-distant future, a traveler’s
face will replace a boarding pass, and
recognition software will replace the
gate agent scanning each traveler’s
ticket. Airline executives separated by
distance will be able to use virtual reality eyewear to walk together through an
airplane cabin and solve design problems.
In this same future, autonomous vehicles could help passengers check in and
airplanes push back.
The future is now, as the aviation industry embraces new technology as enthusiastically as it does jumbo jets
packed with well-behaved, passengers
who pay premium fares.
According to a 2017 survey by the International Air Transport Association,
air travelers are just as excited about
this modernization. About three quarters of those interviewed by the association expect to be able to check their bag
in three minutes (78 percent), pass
through immigration in 10 minutes (74
percent) and browse the internet in
flight (73 percent).
Another industry study reports that
airlines and airports are consistently
spending money to make technological
advances happen because it is critical to
meet ever-higher demands from passengers.
“They’ve got expectations from shopping on Amazon,” said Jim Peters, chief
technology officer for the airline-owned
technology company SITA. “They get
information when they want it. They collaborate with friends and they expect
that will be a natural way for them to be
interacting as they travel.”
VIRTUAL REALITY
One of the newest developments in aviation evolved from consumer video
ROCKWELL COLLINS
An airplane seat mockup at Rockwell Collins in North Carolina, where interior systems
designers are using virtual reality to find and fix mistakes before a design is done.
games. As the visual product improved,
virtual reality products using finetuned, realistic 3-D environments were
incorporated for design, training and
marketing in the air travel industry.
In a computer lab in Winston-Salem,
N.C., interior systems designers at
Rockwell Collins use virtual reality to
test the airline cabins they create, inviting customers to sit in seats, open overhead bins and tug rolling suitcases down
the aisle. This allows them to discover
and fix mistakes before the design is
completed.
It would take “crazy-man money” to
actually build a prototype and inspect it
this way, said David Balfour, a visualization specialist with the company. Virtual
reality allows airlines to “put a virtualreality headset on and stand up and
view an entire cabin.”
In the virtual-reality environment, to
err is actually a good thing, said Glenn
Johnson, director of the design studio at
Rockwell Collins.
Designs “fail quicker and cheaper,” he
said, which means improvements can
come faster.
This ability to create large and complex environments also makes virtual
reality promising for training airfield
staff members who work in hazardous
environments, servicing airliners in all
kinds of weather and light conditions.
With RampVR, a program developed
by the I.A.T.A., students wear goggles
and identify problems as they virtually
inspect an airplane and the ramp area
around it. Experiential training sticks in
the mind, according to Frederic Leger,
airport passenger cargo and security
product director for the association.
“You are living the training because
you are active in the training,” Mr. Leger
said. “It’s like a game where you have a
score at the end, so it goes to the emo-
tional part of your brain.”
Considering that airline pilots do recurrent training in a simulator on a regular basis, bringing a simulated setting
to other areas of the industry is not a
new concept. It is only recently, however, that the improved quality and lower
cost of virtual reality have made its
widespread use practical.
With all the showy advantages of virtual reality, some airlines are trying to
turn the “wow” into revenue. At a popup cafe in London earlier this month, Air
Canada invited visitors to watch a Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight in virtual reality. The German airline Lufthansa prepared a 360 video of the interior of its
long-haul aircraft, and its employees
presented viewing goggles to ticketed
passengers waiting at boarding gates in
Newark and Frankfurt last year. After
watching the show, Lufthansa, asked if
they wanted to purchase an upgrade to a
premium economy seat.
“How can you communicate a travel
product? This is the problem in the industry,” said Torsten Wingenter, Lufthansa’s senior director of digital innovations. Virtual reality gave the company
the “first chance to show the product in
an emotional way.”
After the test, the emotion at the airline can be described as happy. A number of economy passengers paid $299
more to fly in premium economy after
viewing the cabin in virtual reality. Mr.
Wingenter would not say how many, but
that it was “a significant number.”
BIOMETRIC BOARDING
In December, Lufthansa passengers flying out of Los Angeles will be able to use
what JetBlue customers in Boston are
already using — boarding gates that let
passengers onto the airplane with no paper ticket or electronic boarding pass,
just a face that matches their passport
photos.
On two JetBlue routes, from Boston to
Aruba and the Dominican Republic, pas-
Most mail programs give you the
choice of two ways to set up an account
on a computer or mobile device —
either with the IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) standard or
POP (Post Office Protocol). If you
want to keep your mailbox in sync
across multiple devices, choose the
IMAP method.
Compared with POP, IMAP is a
newer technology for managing messages and handles checking the same
mail account on multiple devices much
more smoothly. With IMAP, even
though you can see your mailbox in the
mail program on your computer and
devices, IMAP messages actually live
on the mail server. When you read,
delete or flag a message, you are performing that action on the mail server.
The mail apps on your other devices
see the change when you view the
updated mailbox.
In contrast, most POP mail systems
in their default settings download
messages directly to the device that
checks in at the time and then deletes
those messages from the mail server.
When you check mail with your computer or other gadgets, those devices
do not get the deleted messages, but
they may download newer ones —
which then get deleted from the server,
making your mailboxes out of sync.
As a workaround, some mail
providers allow you to keep messages
on the server without deleting them
automatically after they download, but
then you have to repeatedly delete a
message on each device.
Additionally, the messages you send
stay on the Sent mailbox of the computer or device that actually did the
sending.
Most modern mail providers and
programs support IMAP. You can find
instructions for setting up IMAP mail
accounts for Google’s Gmail, Microsoft
Outlook and Mozilla’s Thunderbird
program on their sites. Apple’s iCloud
mail does not support POP and uses
IMAP by default.
On the Twitter account’s edit profile
screen, you can add emoji characters.
Spicing up
a Twitter name
How do you add emoji to your Twitter
name?
sengers stand in front of a camera that
takes their picture and compares it with
the traveler’s image in the passport
database of Customs and Border Protection.
“We’re seeing about three seconds for
the photograph to be taken, transmitted
and a positive response back,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s executive vice
president of customer experience.
Facial recognition will be expanded.
Ms. Geraghty said this was the beginning of a new era for travelers.
“You can go into an airport, and you
won’t need to show a boarding card, you
won’t need to pull out a passport,” she
said. “There will be no bag tag, no lines,
you almost walk right onto an aircraft.
That’s the world I look forward to.”
INTELLIGENT MACHINES
Ms. Geraghty is like many aviation technology specialists who look at developments in other industries and think
about how they could improve air travel.
In a workshop in Geneva, SITA has
several robots that travel to industry
conferences around the world to start
conversations about how autonomous
vehicles might be used in aviation.
One robot, named Kate, is a self-directed check-in kiosk that moves to areas of congestion as needed. The other
robot, Leo, takes bags from passengers
and deposits them where they need to
be to get sent to the right destination.
Whether Kate or Leo end up at your
local airport is not the point, said Mr. Peters, SITA’s technology chief.
“The robots are also demonstrators to
get people talking about what is the future of autonomous vehicles in the airport,” Mr. Peters said. But for all that
technology has to offer, one of the most
important tests is how well the next new
gadget plays with people.
“Some things can be prototyped and
some things can’t,” he said. “Some
things you have to have a physical interaction with to figure out what works.”
You can add emoji to the name displayed on your Twitter account by
editing your profile and selecting the
characters you wish to use. Start by
opening the Twitter app on your Android or iOS device or by logging into
your account on the web at twitter.com.
In the mobile app, tap your round
account icon in the corner to get to the
profile page and then tap the Edit
Profile button. In a desktop web
browser, click your personal icon on
the left and then click Edit Profile on
the next page. Once you select the Edit
Profile button, you can change the
customized text and images associated
with your account.
Click the name displayed on your
Twitter account and then insert your
preferred emoji characters. On a mobile device, switch to the emoji keyboard included with Android or iOS. If
you do not have a ready set of emoji
built in into your desktop operating
system, look for an online emoji repository like Emojipedia.org, where you
can copy and paste characters into
your profile or other documents.
In addition to changing your displayed Twitter name — which has a
maximum of 20 characters — you can
update your account’s personal and
header images, add or edit the short
bit of biographical text shown next to
your name, and adjust several other
items on your profile. Tap or click the
Save Changes button when you are
finished.
You can also change your unique
user name (the @yournamehere part
of your account) in your Twitter settings without losing your existing
followers. To do that, select your profile
icon in the app or browser and choose
“Settings and privacy” from the menu.
Next, tap or click Account and then
Username, where you can make your
change — as long as the new user
name is fewer than 15 characters and is
not in use already by someone else.
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017 | 13
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Sports
A breath of life for Giants coach, or a last gasp?
On Pro Football
BY BILL PENNINGTON
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Giants Coach
Ben McAdoo did not save his job with
a 12-9 overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Giants’
record is 2-8, which still qualifies the
2017 season as a disaster.
It’s going to take more than one good
day — make that one less-than-dreadful day — to keep the Giants’ ownership in McAdoo’s corner.
And there is a relevant precedent
that serves as proof.
Twenty-five years ago, Ray Handley,
who, like McAdoo, had succeeded a
two-time Super Bowl-winning coach
and who also had no previous N.F.L.
head coaching experience, was fired
when his second Giants season ended
with a 6-10 record.
McAdoo may have to win at least
half the Giants’ remaining six games to
avoid cleaning out his office after the
season finale on New Year’s Eve.
But it will most likely take more than
that. The former Giants owner Wellington T. Mara, the father of John K.
Mara, the current co-owner most involved in the Giants’ football decisions,
used to say that the sound of fans
booing his team at home was bothersome. But what worried the elder
Mara far more was silence in the stadium. It was the sound of fan apathy.
And that was the territory McAdoo’s
Giants inhabited as Sunday’s game
began. After all the losing this season,
after insubordination that led to two
embarrassing player suspensions,
after reports of a locker room insurrection and after two lopsided defeats in
which multiple players appeared to
barely try at all, the mood of fans at
MetLife Stadium on Sunday was understandably foul.
“The season is lost; I expect to be
out of here by halftime,” James Harvey,
a season ticket-holder, said in the
parking lot before kickoff.
Harvey’s friend and neighbor, Richard Prendergast, who was standing
nearby added: “Halftime? You mean
when the Giants are down by 20?”
AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES
Running back Kareem Hunt of the Chiefs was smothered in a gang tackle during a 12-9 loss to the Giants.
In other sections of the parking lot,
scalpers were offering tickets for
roughly 25 percent of their face value.
There were few takers.
It was not much of a surprise, then,
that MetLife Stadium was half empty
on a sunny, if blustery, day as the Giants ran onto the field seven minutes
before the start of the game. Those
seated in the stands — and they remained seated — greeted the arrival of
the team with indifference. There was
NON SEQUITUR
for Giants fans. This season may yet
be the franchise’s worst of this century,
but for one day at least, the Giants
purposefully and thoughtfully tried to
breathe life into what has been a
numbing, dispiriting experience for
players, coaches and fans.
It was apparent from the opening
minutes of the game, when McAdoo,
whose sideline demeanor has had all
the passion of a tollbooth attendant on
the overnight shift, was seen pumping
his fist and yelling toward the field.
McAdoo stalked the bench area and
slapped players on the back.
“I don’t call the plays anymore,”
McAdoo later explained. “I’m just
going to be myself.”
If that is McAdoo being himself, then
who was that boring, undemonstrative
guy in the headphones who had run
the team for the previous 26 games?
But it wasn’t just McAdoo’s comportment that was different. The Giants
PEANUTS
DOONESBURY CLASSIC 1989
GARFIELD
CALVIN AND HOBBES
WIZARD of ID
DILBERT
No. 2111
Created by Peter Ritmeester/Presented by Will Shortz
(c) PZZL.com Distributed by The New York Times syndicate
SUDOKU
neither cheering nor booing.
Wellington Mara would have certainly noticed. There’s a good chance
that John Mara, watching from a booth
at midfield, did, too.
McAdoo apparently not only heard
the lethargic response to his team, but
also anticipated it. Because for most of
the next three hours, McAdoo’s coaching staff and players did their best to
send a jolt through the fan base.
That is the hope of Sunday’s result
successfully executed a fake punt.
Then, six plays later, they tried a trick
play, a halfback option pass.
Sure, the fake punt did not lead to
any points because that halfback pass
by Shane Vereen was underthrown
and intercepted. But the dull-as-dirt
2017 Giants offense had tried something exciting and new. It woke up the
crowd.
The team’s defense, so lifeless in
recent defeats, was also playing with
noticeably more vigor and even caused
a mistake by the Chiefs.
The turnover, an interception by
defensive tackle Damon Harrison,
started a solid 26-yard drive into the
end zone and the Giants were ahead,
6-0. They held the lead until the fourth
quarter.
Kansas City (6-4) tied the game
early in the fourth quarter, and the
Giants regained the lead in the final
two minutes, only to see the Chiefs tie
the score again with one second remaining and force overtime.
It had all the trappings of another
disheartening, late Giants loss. But
here was the difference: The MetLife
Stadium crowd, which still filled only
about half the seats, was on its feet and
in full throat.
The Giants offense, tedious for most
of the season, reacted with bold
strokes, including going for it on a
fourth-and-5 from its own 36-yard line.
Quarterback Eli Manning lofted a
precise, long pass — a specialty of his
that has not been called on much lately
— and the second-year receiver Roger
Lewis Jr. grabbed it with one hand as
he was tumbling to the turf at Kansas
City’s 2-yard line.
Two plays later, with the crowd again
bellowing, a 23-yard field goal had
everyone on the Giants bench celebrating, not just the relieved head coach.
“I loved the energy,” McAdoo said.
It is a cure for apathy. It has not yet
ensured that McAdoo will be around to
lead the Giants in 2018. Major roadblocks are still in the path, even if the
goal is a season with only a measly five
victories. And McAdoo will have to
keep his players as enthused and
cohesive as they were on Sunday.
But as Giants fans left MetLife Stadium smiling for the first time this
year, it was a single, aggressive step
forward.
Fill the grid so
that every row,
column 3x3 box
and shaded 3x3
box contains
each of the
numbers
1 to 9 exactly
once.
For solving tips
and more puzzles:
www.nytimes.com/
sudoku
Solution
No. 2011
CROSSWORD | Edited by Will Shortz
KENKEN
Fill the grids with digits so as not
to repeat a digit in any row or
column, and so that the digits
within each heavily outlined box
will produce the target number
shown, by using addition,
subtraction, multiplication or
division, as indicated in the box.
A 4x4 grid will use the digits
1-4. A 6x6 grid will use 1-6.
For solving tips and more KenKen
puzzles: www.nytimes.com/
kenken. For Feedback: nytimes@
kenken.com
KenKen® is a registered trademark of Nextoy, LLC.
Copyright © 2017 www.KENKEN.com. All rights reserved.
Answers to Previous Puzzles
Across
  1 Wound on a dueler
1
29 In good health
30 “Listen! You can hear
the thundering roar as
the car from Moscow
goes ___!”
  5Tarnish
  8 Dwells (on)
13 Victor who wrote “Les
Misérables”
34 Letters on a wanted
poster
14 “Here, boy!”
15Benefit
16 Tennis score just
35 Supermarket IDs
36 Something kept in
17 “This round’s ___”
18 Like many a smoker’s
37Worry
38 Negative conjunction
39 “We’re getting close
before winning a game
voice
reserve?
to the end as the car
from Helsinki leads
the way to the ___!”
19 “The race has just
begun, and it looks
like the car from
Warsaw will ___!”
43 Animal whose name
sounds
like a Greek letter
22 Religious recluse
23 Basic readings for a
44 Andy’s partner in old
26Lungful
27 Hook’s henchman
45 Luau accessory
46 Wife in Oaxaca
comedy
hospital patient
Solution to November 20 Puzzle
A
R
G
O
N
U
E
V
E
A
C
D
C
C
H
I
A
A
B
N
E
G
A
T
I
V
E
M
A
K
O
S
A
R
E
N
A
R
A
L
L
Y
P
E
T
R
O
L
P
O
S
S
I
B
L
E
E S T
L L A
L E M A
W E L
S
L
U M N I
P H O T
O V E
T
A R
A R S A
R I
T
A C H I
O O
Y A N N
A V E
K E Y
M
E
N
L
O
O
N
C
L
E
H
E
M
S
R I
D
A T S O
J O H N
R O
S T A R
P O P
F I N I
L E V
H
L O
A D
R
T C H Y
V E T
S
I O
C O N W
O L I E
T E E R
48 Kind of fishing or
diving
52 “Wow! The car from
Prague ekes out the
victory by a nose and
takes the ___!”
55 World Golf
2
3
better than a cloak,”
per Longfellow
59Nuisances
60Bonkers
61 Eclipse, to some
62 Message to one’s
5
6
7
8
9
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
23
26
30
10
31
27
32
28
43
44
46
24
25
50
51
34
36
39
12
29
33
35
38
11
21
22
Hall-of-Famer Lorena
57 “On the double!”
58 It “keeps the cold out
4
37
40
41
42
45
47
48
49
followers
63 Hearty laugh
64 Online comment
Down
  1 Diamond, e.g.
  2 Old royal house
52
55
56
53
54
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
  3Limber
PUZZLE BY BRIAN THOMAS
D
U
N
S
T
S
T
Y
E
S
  4 Factor in diagnosing
osteoporosis
14 Sandinista’s foe
30 Steps up?
47 Absorber of UV rays
20 Rare grandfather
31 Barely ahead
48Quaffed
  6 Cartridge contents
21 Currier’s partner in
32 Ponytail holder
49 Instant replay effect
S
E
G
A
H
E
E
P
  7 Shallow water
obstacle
33 Off-limits activity
50 Sites for Christmas
24Compare
S
N
A
R
E
  5 Hustler’s game
  8 Tubman of the
Underground Railroad
  9 Sailor’s “Stop!”
E
Y
E
D
10 Person with dreads
11 Circle on a cube
12Foxy
clock numeral
lithography
25 Word in many
university
names
27 “Wheel of Fortune”
turns
28 Timbuktu’s land
37 Switch positions
lights
39 Where China is
51 James Bond, e.g.
40 Desktop computer
53 Imprecise, as a
that runs Safari
41 Like many a new
parent
42Obey
memory
54 Son of Rebekah
55 Make a decision
56 Crow’s cry
..
14 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Culture
Photo studies in contrast
PARIS
A pair of exhibitions
explore the panoply of
faces of Marlene Dietrich
BY TOBIAS GREY
It’s a common complaint among people
who dislike photographs of themselves:
“That looks nothing like me!” Most of
them don’t possess anything close to the
star wattage of Marlene Dietrich. Yet
the movie legend expressed similar
angst during her first meeting with the
film director Josef von Sternberg, in
Berlin in 1929.
The occasion was Dietrich’s successful screen test for “The Blue Angel,” the
1930 movie that propelled her to fame, in
which she played a saucy nightclub
singer, Lola Lola. In his eccentric memoir, “Fun in a Chinese Laundry: An Autobiography,” Sternberg, who went on to
direct Dietrich in six more movies, described the actress telling him “that it
was impossible for anyone to photograph her to look like herself.”
But Dietrich, who died in 1992 at the
age of 90, adored a challenge, and she
spent the rest of her career doing all that
she could to bend photographers to her
will in that “impossible” search. Two exhibitions on different sides of the Atlantic — “Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for
the Image” at the National Portrait
Gallery in Washington, through April 15,
and “Obsession Marlene” at the Maison
Européenne de la Photographie (MEP)
in Paris, through Jan. 7 — explore how
Dietrich sought to express the many facets of her fluid personality.
Dietrich’s pictorial legacy is built on
thousands of images, including iconic
portraits by the photographers Irving
Penn, Milton H. Greene, Richard Avedon, Eve Arnold and Cecil Beaton. The
French art collector Pierre Passebon,
who curated the MEP show, owns
roughly 2,000 such images, from Dietrich as a pigtailed 6-year-old to an invasive paparazzo shot of her as a reclusive
old woman, cloistered in her Paris apartment. In an interview, Mr. Passebon,
whose exhibition advertises his obsession, said that he “wanted to show what
Marlene was like as time passed.”
After the box-office success of “The
Blue Angel,” which was released in German and English-language versions,
Dietrich arrived in Hollywood in 1930
with a contract from Paramount. The
timing was auspicious for the 29-yearold actress and cabaret singer, who
brought with her some of the glamour of
Weimar Germany’s gender-bending
night life. Shifting social mores meant
that the Hollywood studios began to
produce far racier movies.
Dietrich’s first Paramount movie,
“Morocco” (1930), directed by Sternberg
— who at that point was her lover — set
the tone for future transgressions. Dietrich again plays a cabaret singer, this
time one who falls in love with a member
of the Foreign Legion (Gary Cooper).
It became famous for a scene as well
as a photograph. In the scene, Dietrich,
wearing a man’s tailcoat, performs a
song and spontaneously kisses a woman
in the audience on the lips. “In real life,
she had numerous affairs with women,”
Mr. Passebon said. “To be openly bisexual in the ′40s and ′50s took guts, which
Dietrich had in abundance.”
The photograph is among several
Dietrich devised to decorate her character’s apartment, which is full of pictures
DEUTSCHE KINEMATHEK/MARLENE DIETRICH COLLECTION BERLIN
PAUL CWOJDZINSKI/DEUTSCHE KINEMATHEK, VIA MARLENE DIETRICH COLLECTION
Top, “Marlene Dietrich With Parachutists,” from 1945, by George Horton. Above, “Marlene Dietrich on the SS Europa, 1933, Cherbourg, France,” by Paul Cwojdzinski.
EUGENE ROBERT RICHEE/DEUTSCHE KINEMATHEK, VIA MARLENE DIETRICH COLLECTION BERLIN
Marlene Dietrich in a photograph devised for her first Hollywood movie, “Morocco,” in 1930. The look became her signature.
of herself. In the portrait, shot by the
Paramount stills photographer Eugene
Robert Richee, Dietrich wears a top hat,
a white tie and a tuxedo, and a cigarette
dangles suggestively from her mouth.
The androgynous look, which Dietrich
said had been inspired by the English
music hall performer Vesta Tilley, became the actress’s signature, and she
appears to have guarded it jealously.
Kate Clarke Lemay, the American his-
torian who curated the National Portrait
Gallery show, came across the famous
still in Dietrich’s archive at the Deutsche
Kinemathek in Berlin. In a telephone interview, she said that Dietrich had written on the print, “Stolen by Madonna.”
The National Portrait Gallery exhibition takes its lead from something Dietrich told a journalist from the British
newspaper The Observer in 1960, when
she was at the height of her fame as a
cabaret artist: “I dress for the image.
Not for myself, not for the public, not for
fashion, not for men.”
Ms. Lemay said that she “wanted to
highlight Dietrich’s intelligence, her
own articulation of her image, and her
own hand in sustaining and creating her
image.” This meant moving beyond the
enduring idea that Dietrich was Sternberg’s puppet and entirely submissive
about the way she was represented.
“My test case was a still from ‘The
Song of Songs,’ which was the first Hollywood movie she made without Sternberg,” Ms. Lemay said. “It’s probably
the best lit photograph in the show — the
play of shadow on her face is exquisite.”
There are pictures in both exhibitions
of Dietrich contemplating herself in a
full-length mirror, angled so that she
could see her exact pose before being
photographed. She also had all of her
clothes (both men’s and women’s)
custom-made, because of what Dietrich
called “her unusual shape — broad
shoulders, narrow hips.”
“It was always Dietrich who wore her
outfits, rather than vice versa,” Mr. Passebon said. “Her outfits were always
subservient to her, as her photographs
bear witness.”
When Dietrich posed for a series of
portraits for Vogue in 1948, Irving Penn
tried to lay down the law, saying: “Now
look: In this experience, you be Dietrich, and I’ll be the photographer.” You
can almost see a scowl on Dietrich’s face
as she poses for a picture in a shapeless
black coat, looking over her shoulder toward the camera.
Above all, Dietrich detested any hint
of vulgarity. Among the 200 photo-
graphs in the MEP show, there are two
of Dietrich wearing a plunging neckline,
and the images, by George Hurrell, were
never published.
“What’s interesting about Marlene is
that she was the daughter of a Prussian
soldier, and she was always impeccably
turned out like a good soldier,” Mr. Passebon said.
But the actress was also a study in
contrasts, Ms. Lemay notes. “She hit all
the traditional milestones,” the curator
said. “She got married around 21 years
old, and she had a child. And yet there
she was, being a complete pioneer with
her bisexuality and with her choice to
work as a woman and become the family’s breadwinner.”
Dietrich’s fixation with her image extended into old age, when she did everything in her power to avoid being photographed, so as not to tarnish her legacy. The MEP exhibition includes a picture of an elderly Dietrich wearing a
black beret and sunglasses, striking the
photographer Daniel Angeli for having
the temerity to take her photograph uninvited.
“She always wanted to control every
aspect of her life,” Mr. Passebon said.
“Right up until the end.”
Holocaust artist’s legacy is contested
Archivists have accused
Rosemarie Koczy of faking
a past in Nazi camps
BY ANNALISA QUINN
Rosemarie Koczy inscribed thousands
of pen and ink drawings of Holocaust
victims with the same phrase: “I weave
you a shroud.” The distinctive works of
the artist, who died in 2007 at age 68,
show emaciated and huddled figures,
and are featured in collections at the
Guggenheim Museum and Yad Vashem,
the Holocaust remembrance center in
Jerusalem. The drawings, she wrote,
“are burials for those I saw die in the
camps.”
This past summer, a team of archivists in Recklinghausen, Germany, was
preparing information for an exhibition
of her work at the municipal art museum when they discovered evidence
that they say suggests that she may not
have been sent to a concentration camp
at all. Not only did the city’s records describe her family as Roman Catholic,
rather than Jewish, but comprehensive
lists of Jews from the city who were held
in concentration camps contained no
mention of the surname Koczy.
Ms. Koczy’s grandfather’s jewelry
shop, which she said was destroyed on
Kristallnacht — the night in 1938 when
Jewish homes and businesses were ransacked — was untouched by those
events, according to Matthias Kordes,
the lead archivist in Recklinghausen.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Kordes
said that he and his team were astonished to find records that contradicted
Ms. Koczy’s account. “The pictures are
very impressive, and very dramatic, because the theme of her pictures is death
and pain and fright,” he said. “But her
life, I’m sorry, it’s a fake.”
On Nov. 7, the German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk reported that
Ms. Koczy had lied about her past, and
other news outlets quickly followed.
But Ms. Koczy’s husband, Louis
Pelosi, an American composer who lives
in the home they shared in New York
State, said in emails and phone calls that
he had copies of the same records the archivists found, records he says resulted
from a conversion by the family to Catholicism to protect themselves from
persecution.
After being threatened with legal action by Mr. Pelosi, Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public international broadcaster, amended an article on its website to
make it clear that the recent statements
about Ms. Kozcy’s past were allegations
rather than facts.
Mr. Pelosi said that the psychological
results of Ms. Koczy’s trauma were too
severe to have been invented. He described nightmares, depression, and
suicide attempts throughout her life:
“Understand that to the end of her life
Rosemarie would wake up screaming
about the camps, the German boots
crushing her and that I would be holding
her and holding her to calm her down.”
Ms. Koczy had said that she had been
held in Nazi concentration camps in
JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
EMMANUEL YASHCHIN
Rosemarie Koczy, left, at work in New York in 1978. Works by her, on the right-hand wall, are on display in Skokie, Ill.
Germany and in what is now France
from the ages of 3 until 5, separated from
her mother and forced to work.
According to her three-volume, handwritten memoir, “I Weave You a
Shroud,” she was sent to an orphanage
after World War II, and later worked as
a maid in Geneva, where she studied art.
Mr. Pelosi said the couple met at the
MacDowell Colony, an artists and writers center in Peterborough, N.H., and
then spent time in Switzerland and the
United States before moving to the
United States. She became an American
citizen in 1989.
Ms. Koczy is survived by a younger
sister, Gisela Grob, whom she wrote was
in a concentration camp with her, and a
half brother who was born after the war.
Ms. Grob did not reply to a request for
comment, but Ms. Koczy’s memoirs suggest that her siblings did not share her
memories. “They have rejected me because they don’t want to admit the Holocaust,” Ms. Koczy wrote.
According to her memoir and letters
obtained by Mr. Kordes, the archivist,
Ms. Koczy spent years trying to find
members of her family. She wrote angrily about being brushed off by the German Red Cross and other organizations
in her search. In 1994, the Red Cross in-
formed Ms. Koczy that it would not reply
to any more of her letters.
Ms. Koczy also repeatedly petitioned
the International Tracing Service, a research center with an estimated 30 million documents related to the Holocaust,
but according to a spokeswoman for the
organization, it had no records of Ms.
Koczy or her family.
Holocaust hoaxes are difficult to pull
off because of the extent of documentation of the genocide. In recent years,
several memoirs have been exposed as
fraudulent,
including
Binjamin
Wilkomirski’s “Fragments,” a fictitious
account of imprisonment at Auschwitz.
Mr. Wilkomirski’s case, Mr. Pelosi
said, frightened Ms. Koczy. “Rosemarie,
when she read that, she said, you know,
nobody’s going to believe me either,” Mr.
Pelosi said. “She was so terrified that
people would think she was faking.”
Ms. Koczy was hospitalized many
times for depression, and Mr. Pelosi said
she had suffered from delusions and
paranoia.
In her memoir, she wrote of doctors
trying to “take away” her memories
through medications and “sleeping
cures” — long periods of drug-induced
sleep, a treatment for mental illness that
is now considered very dangerous.
“I have been told, ‘You are lying!
You’re schizophrenic, you don’t know
what you’re talking about!’ ” she wrote.
“Well yes, I knew my nightmares, I
knew my experience of the camps, that I
was a grown-up at three. These were not
lies.”
The exhibition of Ms. Koczy’s works in
Recklinghausen opened on Aug. 27 and
runs through Sunday. The Guggenheim
also retains her works, according to a
statement: “The Guggenheim collection includes four works by Rosemarie Koczy. There are no current plans
to exhibit the works. We actively update
information about artworks in our collection and will consider this new research as it develops.”
A spokesman for Yad Vashem said,
“Regardless of Koczy’s contested status
as a survivor,” her artworks are “a response to the Holocaust and continue to
be relevant to our collection which is
where they shall remain.”
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017 | 15
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
culture
They gave Isaac Hayes his groove
A new boxed CD set helps
shine a light on the band
that backed the soul star
BY SEAN HOWE
You might recognize the guitar riff that
provides the chorus melody for Beyoncé’s “6 Inch.” Or perhaps you’re familiar with the creeping bass line that
drives the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Warning”
— it rolls out of speakers like a storm
cloud, maybe, or a tank. If not, you’ve
surely heard one of the other 89 songs
that sample Isaac Hayes’s 12-minute
version of Burt Bacharach’s “Walk on
By.”
The music that Hayes recorded from
1969 through 1971 has since supplied the
hooks, beats and textures for more than
500 songs by other artists. When Hayes
died in 2008, however, the proto-disco
“Theme From ‘Shaft’ ” and his voice
performance as the character of Chef on
“South Park” crowded his extraordinary legacy out of obituary headlines. A
recent boxed set, “The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1976),” not only gives an overview of the most fertile years of Hayes’s
career but also shines a light on the versatile musicians who consistently
backed him: One of the four discs is entirely dedicated to spotlighting the
band’s interplay.
“We were the tightest band you’d ever
find,” said the keyboardist Lester Snell,
who joined Hayes shortly before the recording of the “Shaft” soundtrack,
which won two Grammys and an Academy Award. “It could be straight-out
jazz or Jimi Hendrix, but no matter what
was going on, you never lost the
groove.”
Like many studio musicians, Mr. Snell
and his peers, who spoke of their work in
telephone interviews, were often not
listed in album credits. With no documentary film to attest to their contributions, they haven’t yet enjoyed the kind
of history-correcting rediscovery afforded James Brown’s bands, or Motown’s Funk Brothers, or the Los Angeles-based session players known as the
Wrecking Crew.
In early 1969, after Stax lost its back
catalog when Warner Bros. bought its
distributor, Atlantic Records, Stax’s
president ordered the rush production
of 28 new albums. In this frenzy, Hayes,
a staff writer and producer — who,
along with his songwriting partner David Porter had generated hit records for
Sam & Dave (“Soul Man”) and Carla
Thomas (“B-A-B-Y”) — was given a
green light to record a solo album with
complete creative control. Hayes chose
the rhythm section of the Bar-Kays for
accompaniment.
The young Bar-Kays had already
been through plenty. Stax had hoped to
groom them as the next Booker T. and
the MG’s, the house band that had broken out as a headliner in its own right.
But only months after their song “Soul
Finger” became a hit, four of the BarKays perished in the same 1967 plane
crash that killed Otis Redding. The
group’s 20-year-old trumpeter, Ben
Cauley, was the sole surviving passenger; the bassist James Alexander, 19,
had not been on the flight.
With their manager, they began rebuilding. The drummer Willie Hall, who
was 17 at the time, and the guitarist Michael Toles, who was only 15, joined, and
they rushed to release an album under
the group name. Mr. Hall said the band
was as green as goose droppings,
though he used more colorful language.
“We didn’t know anything,” he said, “but
the company needed something out
there before the sympathy died.”
It wasn’t long afterward that Hayes
began sitting in with the group at Mem-
BOB SMITH, VIA CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
From left, Ben Cauley, Michael Toles and Larry Dodson of the Bar-Kays, around 1970.
HOUSTON COFIELD FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Clockwise from top left: James Alexander, Sidney Kirk, Willie Hall, Mickey Gregory and Harold Beane at the Stax Museum in Memphis. Below, Isaac Hayes at the Stax Records studio in the city in 1967.
phis club gigs and leading the musicians
through chord changes while he rhapsodized at length. By the time they were
backing him in the studio, a musical intuition had formed. Mr. Alexander’s relentlessly agile bass lines bandied with
Mr. Hall’s stop-time rhythms; the finger-stretching guitar figures of Mr.
Toles cut through Hayes’s thick organ.
“We recorded ‘Hot Buttered Soul’ in
two days,” Mr. Alexander said. “He gave
you a creative direction, maybe a line to
play, and we kept going.”
When the guitarist Harold Beane
stopped by the studio for a mixing session, Hayes asked him to improvise
freely.
“He told me, ‘I want to take it out of
the box,’ so I turned on the fuzz tone and
turned up the tremolo,” said Mr. Beane,
whose lengthy “Walk on By” solo
evokes both buzz saws and Morse code.
“Then I took my guitar, and I slid it up
and down the microphone stand. The arranger in Detroit heard that, and he
matched that sound with strings.” Mr.
Beane then began playing in Hayes’s
touring band, before joining Funkadelic.
“Hot Buttered Soul” became a sensation, and, thanks to the stubbornly long
MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES
running times of its four songs, carved
out a place for album-oriented black radio. Mr. Toles and Mr. Hall left the BarKays band (which had hired a lead singer and begun moving toward more
dance-oriented funk on its own very
popular albums). After the addition of a
second guitarist, Charles Pitts, known
as Skip; the keyboardists Mr. Snell and
Sidney Kirk; and horn players, including the trumpeter Mickey Gregory, the
group was rechristened the Isaac Hayes
Movement.
The band members worked hard for
their $75-a-week salaries, and Hayes
kept the players on their toes. The first
time Mr. Snell played with Hayes was in
front of 70,000 people, he recalled, with
no set list or rehearsal. Hayes opened
with a song Mr. Snell had never heard
before.
“It was fast,” Mr. Snell recalled.
“Chords coming, and here comes the
breaks, and it’s got all kinds of stops.
And then right in the middle of that, the
tune breaks down into ‘Oh mama let me
light your fire. . . . ’ I’m like, what? Then
it comes back to going fast again, then
into triplets, now totally ripping. That’s
the first tune. The rest, I knew.”
Recording could be similarly unpredictable. “He was a night owl,” Mr. Hall
said of Hayes. “He’d say, ‘Hey, man —
session tomorrow night at 7.’ But then he
may not show up until 11, depending on
which chick had just flown into town.” If
the musicians started to get sleepy rehearsing ballads in the wee hours,
Hayes would dispatch his assistants to
take attractive women to the studio.
“At that point, all the crooked backs
straightened up, everybody’s got their
hips shaking, and grinning, and boy,
now you got something going on,” Mr.
Hall said.
By whatever means, Hayes was able
to coax out sounds that could shift from
slippery syncopation to dizzying, psychedelic crescendos. “The Spirit of
Memphis” includes a cover of Bill Withers’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” that begins
with a musical quotation from Jimi Hendrix’s “If 6 Was 9” before evoking the
sounds of both the Meters and Wes
Montgomery. Even as Hayes was studying the orchestrations of the Carpenters,
Mr. Hall said, “we were leaning toward
rock. Blood, Sweat and Tears, Cream —
just drop a tab of acid, and go crazy.”
The jaw-dropper on the boxed set is a
recently unearthed 33-minute version of
“Do Your Thing,” from 1971. With its
swirling organ, boogaloo fugues and aggressively atonal guitar bursts, this extended improvisation suggests a musical showdown between the jazz guitarist
Sonny Sharrock and the avant-garde
German group Can.
That spirit of discovery couldn’t last
forever. After “Shaft,” Hayes began a
drift toward acting, bankruptcy and rote
disco. Mr. Alexander dedicated himself
fully to the Bar-Kays, who would amass
their own series of Top 10 R&B singles.
By the end of the 1970s, the members of
the Isaac Hayes Movement had found
other work.
“We didn’t have any kind of uniformity other than following our leader,”
Mr. Hall said. “What you hear on those
recordings is a reflection of the energy
between all of us. We loved each other.”
The former members of the Movement continue their contributions to the
Memphis music scene today. Mr. Beane,
Mr. Toles and Mr. Gregory have all
played with Elmo and the Shades; Mr.
Hall joined the Bo-Keys, along with Mr.
Pitts, who died in 2011.
Mr. Alexander is shepherding the
Bar-Kays into their sixth decade.
They’re holding auditions for a singer.
killed in a car accident. He has a great,
unwanted body of expertise in coping
with loss. “Promise Me, Dad” shows
that he’s willing to make use of it.
Imparting what he knows about bereavement is part of his legacy now.
He gives his philosophy of the eulogy. He shares tricks he’s learned about
how to bear up and survive the earliest
days of mourning. When he speaks at
funerals and memorials, he writes, he
often gives his private phone number
to the grieving. “When you’re down
and you feel guilty for burdening your
family and friends,” he tells them,
“pick up the phone and call.” Some do.
It’s to Biden’s credit that you don’t
really question these anecdotes. He
may be a bit excitable, a bit of a windbag. But anyone who’s ever covered
Congress (I did, for a while) can discern on the page what was discernible
in real life: the bartender aspect of
Biden’s character, the natural convener
who reads customers well enough to
put them at ease. He’s always understood that the political is personal.
Which leads to the inevitable question: Is “Promise Me, Dad” secretly a
campaign book?
The way he repeatedly recounts his
accomplishments and expertise certainly suggests he’s thinking about a
2020 run, as does the way he finds
multiple excuses to invoke his middle-
class bona fides. His advisers, he pointedly tells us, concluded in 2015 that his
reputation as a “gaffe machine” was no
longer a liability. “Authenticity matters,” one of them wrote.
The suggestion being that he’s
Trump minus the Trump.
For Biden, the heart of 2015 contained a paradox. He faced tremendous
pressure inside his own home to run
for president, for Beau’s sake. But
outside his home, the pressure for him
to run didn’t reach its peak until after
Beau died, the very moment he was
least able to handle the strains of a
national campaign. Yet that was when
many of his former colleagues from the
Senate urged him to jump in. That was
when George Clooney got in touch and
offered to raise money.
And then Hillary Clinton lost — in
many of the states where Biden appeared to poll well.
It must have been a powerful formula for regret. Even if, as Barack
Obama suspected, Clinton had the
nomination sewn up. Obama had discouraged Biden from making the leap
from the start.
So Biden ends his book outlining the
agenda for the 2016 presidential campaign he never ran. It’s an unrealized
story, vibrantly alive on the page but
not in the world. Just like Beau. It’s all
tied up with Beau.
Private sorrow of a public figure
BOOK REVIEW
PROMISE ME, DAD: A YEAR OF HOPE,
HARDSHIP, AND PURPOSE
By Joe Biden. 260 pp. Flatiron Books.
$27.
BY JENNIFER SENIOR
During the summer of 2013, Joe Biden’s
oldest son, Beau, learned he had a
glioblastoma, an especially ferocious
and pitiless type of brain tumor. Biden
told almost no one. His grief did not
spill into open view. But eventually, the
world came to know. Beau Biden —
Iraq War veteran, former attorney
general of the state of Delaware — died
on May 30, 2015. He was 46.
Most civilians have the luxury, if you
could call it that, of mourning privately.
Biden did not. He repeatedly said that
work was his salvation during that
time, which wasn’t hard to believe. But
you had to wonder about the nature of
his dual existence. Every time he made
a public appearance, there was another
man entirely, a frightened or broken
one, tucked inside the guy we saw on
TV.
What’s most remarkable about
Biden’s “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of
Hope, Hardship, and Purpose” is that
he’s decided to give us full visibility
into the agony and strangeness of that
period, showing just what it was like to
care for his son — and then mourn him
— while simultaneously fulfilling his
duties as vice president. The book is a
backstage drama, honest, raw and rich
in detail. People who have lost someone will genuinely take comfort from
what he has to say.
But this memoir is also a political
book, one in which Biden touts his
accomplishments and makes frequent
forays into the wetlands of foreign and
domestic policy. His position-paper
entr’actes can be awkward and artless,
much like the author himself. But after
a time, you come to understand why
he’s mixing in pages of his curriculum
vitae with pages about grief: To Biden,
the two are intertwined. It’s almost as
if he suffers from a kind of political
synesthesia. Deciding whether to run
for the Democratic nomination in 2016,
he writes, “was all tied up with Beau.”
Over Thanksgiving in 2014, Biden
explains, Beau made it unambiguously
clear that he wanted his father to run
for president. This wish was at once
selfless and self-protecting: Beau
couldn’t bear the thought of his illness
derailing his father’s political aspirations. Biden understood this. He went
with it. The whole family did. Dreaming of 2016, he writes, sometimes became a kind of performance, a family
diversion: “It was as if we were all
keeping up an elaborate and needful
charade.”
This charade also happened to suit
Biden. Entertaining a presidential bid
during those dark days gave him
meaning, “a way to defy the fates.”
And part of him obviously wanted to
run.
Biden’s life was full of surreal juxtapositions during Beau’s illness. One
minute, he was sitting at his son’s
bedside in the hospital; the next, he
was in a specially designated room
nearby, talking to the prime minister of
Iraq. The work focused him, allowing
him to contain his feelings. But those
feelings would heave to the surface in
private. On March 29, 2015, as Air
Force Two was taking off, he wrote in
his diary that he felt buoyed and hopeful. A few hours later, he added three
staccato sentences. Just landed. 6:07. I
feel so goddam lonely.
These flashes of vulnerability are
part of what makes “Promise Me, Dad”
memorable; so, too, are the small,
tender interactions between Biden and
his dying son. “Guess who was at the
office today?” Biden asked Beau one
night. Elton John. “You remember
when I used to drive you and Hunt to
school? That song we would all sing
together, the three of us, as loud as we
could?” Beau couldn’t answer by then;
PHOTOGRAPH FROM JOE BIDEN
Joe Biden with his sons Hunter, left, and
Beau, in the early 1970s.
he was no longer capable of speech.
But he smiled. So Biden sang as much
of “Crocodile Rock” as he could remember.
Soon after he was first elected to the
Senate in 1972, Biden’s wife, Neilia, and
13-month-old daughter, Naomi, were
..
16 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
travel
New York landmarks, reimagined
Exhibition and book
explore the plans that
never came to fruition
BY SAM LUBELL
AND GREG GOLDIN
New York is a city of landmarks: famous
skyscrapers, grand monuments and cultural icons. But many of its must-see
places each came shockingly close to becoming something completely different,
some for better, some for worse. Visiting
the sites of these remarkable unbuilt
schemes can heighten the enjoyment of
touring the things that actually got built.
You could see dozens of unbuilt plans at
a new Queens Museum exhibition,
“Never Built New York,” and in the book
of the same name (Metropolis Books,
2016). Or roam the city, with these visions in the back of your mind.
CENTRAL PARK
Central Park is, in every sense, the
“Clearing in the Distance” that Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux
originally imagined it should be. It is a
bucolic idyll hemmed in by an uproarious metropolis.
Now spread out on the Great Lawn
and imagine a completely different landscape: perfectly symmetrical, flattened
formal gardens composed of topiaries
patterned as stars and spirals and paisley flowers.
That was the engineer John Rink’s
1857 rigidly whimsical vision for the
park, one of the entries submitted to the
city-sponsored competition. A few years
later, the architect Richard Morris Hunt
argued that what the “silent stretch of
rural landscape” lacked was the “artistic grandeur of Paris.”
Hunt’s dream was to position a series
of gates throughout the park, including
the “Gate of Peace,” a huge semicircular
terrace framing a 50-foot-high column
leading to a pair of stair-stepped cascades that would feed a basin below, on
the southeast end of the park. It had all
the grandiloquence, Calvert Vaux
sneered, of Napoleon III.
Farther west along 59th Street might
have been home to yet another reimagined Central Park — this, from Ernest
Flagg, the noted architect, circa 1904.
The park would have been drastically
cinched. He proposed a slender mall
that would run the entire length of Manhattan.
Olmsted and Vaux’s pastoral vision
won out, and their creation is today considered hallowed ground that not even
the most determined designer would
dream of altering.
GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL
Grand Central Terminal, with its celestial ceiling and unshakable aura of
Beaux-Arts magnificence, is arguably
the grandest space in New York. But it
almost suffered the same fate as its exceptional sibling, Penn Station, whose
above ground structure, designed by
McKim, Mead & White, was demolished
to heighten the value of air rights amid
the railroads’ decline. As pressure to use
the air rights above Grand Central Station mounted, developers tried time and
again to propose lofty alternatives.
The gutsiest was I.M. Pei’s Hyperboloid, sponsored by the developer
William Zeckendorf, in 1956. The hourglass-shaped design, whose altitude
would have surpassed that of the Empire State Building, was light years
ahead of its time, incorporating a weblike steel exoskeleton to support the
open floors within. Squint and you’d
think you were in Dubai, 2016.
More than a decade later, the developer UGP Properties proposed Marcel
Breuer’s 175 Park Avenue, a modernist
slab — mirroring Walter Gropius’s Pan
Am Building just north — that would
have rammed right through the station’s
Grand Concourse (and in a later plan,
would replace its facade). Preservationists, led by none other than Jacqueline Onassis, fought the project all the
way to the Supreme Court, winning a
battle that finally gave the fledgling
movement much-needed momentum.
The city renewed its love affair with
Grand Central, and almost 20 years later the station was renewed with the
completion of a $200 million restoration.
ELLIS ISLAND
There are few places as evocative as the
Great Hall of Ellis Island, where thousands upon thousands came to the New
World. After the federal government decommissioned the island in 1954, it
opened the site to developers, who proposed all manner of projects, from a resort to a university to a prison.
The highest bid came from the Damon
Doudt Corporation, which commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to sketch a
city-within-a-city called the Key Plan,
consisting of stacked living spaces arranged around a large open plaza surrounded by bubble-shaped buildings
containing theaters, a planetarium and
much more. The plan was conceived by
Frank Lloyd Wright, but the drawings
were executed by his successor firm,
Taliesin Associated Architects.
Wright, not surprisingly, would have
designed every square inch of the development, including the boats to get there.
None of the proposals were accepted,
and later the National Park Service
commissioned Philip Johnson to turn
the site into a nostalgic landmark. Vines
would have overgrown what would become a neglected ruin; side by side with
Johnson’s 130-foot-tall, ziggurat-shaped
ROBERT WRIGHT FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
RICHARD PERRY/THE NEW YORK TIMES
M.T.A. ARCHIVES
AVERY ARCHIVES, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Washington Square Park, top, and Robert Moses’s plan to run a freeway through it.
tower dedicated to the millions of immigrants who had first disembarked there.
Instead, Finegold Alexander + Associates Inc, and Beyer Blinder Belle, restored the main building of the station
over the course of eight years, and it reopened as home to the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration in 1990. It
has received more than 40 million visitors since.
TIMES SQUARE
In recent years Times Square has become a syrupy sweet haven for tourists
and a hated destination for everyone
else. But what if the land that has been
transformed from porn empire to outdoor mall had an entirely different
precedent?
Just before the Great Depression, the
designer Joseph Urban proposed the
Reinhardt Theater, an Art Deco masterpiece “wedding beauty and ballyhoo”
with a black glass facade offset with intricate golden metalwork. “A theater is
more than a stage and auditorium,” Urban wrote in his 1929 book, “Theaters.”
“It is a place to experience a heightened
sense of life.” If only that were the case
for Times Square today.
Another ambitious, but unrealized,
precedent for the area would have been
Ely Jacques Kahn’s Dowling Theater, a
postwar fusion of Modernism with Art
Deco’s bursts of neon color, texture and
light.
Times Square is still a constant work
in progress. Its latest iteration is more
pedestrian-friendly, thanks to five
plazas that span almost two acres of
space formerly occupied by bumper-tobumper traffic.
MADISON SQUARE
When you think of Madison Square today, what springs to mind are recent staples like Shake Shack and Eataly, and
immortal landmarks like the Flatiron
Building and the clock tower of the Metropolitan Life building.
The area’s stately character would
certainly have been stretched skyward
had it not been for the Great Depression,
which reduced the size of Henry Wiley
Corbett’s Metropolitan Life North Annex from more than 100 stories to a scant
29. From Madison Square Park, consider the bulky stump and its relatively
short size, and now hypothesize
whether Lower Manhattan’s canyons
would have been replicated here after
its completion.
Another severe downturn, The Great
Recession, killed Rem Koolhaas’s 24story building at 23 East 22nd Street.
Hoping to take advantage of the neighboring air rights, Koolhaas proposed a
building that stepped its way out and up
from its site, its cantilevered units containing glass bottoms. Another building
killed by that downturn was Daniel Libeskind’s One Madison, an ethereal, vegetation-laced tower built on stilts.
WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK
It is the stomping ground of academics
and potheads, hustlers and innocents,
dissidents and wing-tipped businessmen, poets and folk singers.
Despite the domineering formality of
the neo-Classical arch honoring the
100th anniversary of George Washington’s inauguration, Washington Square
Park is certainly one of the city’s most
deeply informal public spots.
But if you take a seat by the fountain,
you are occupying a spot that would
have been smack in the middle of the
mini-freeway that the city’s former construction czar, Robert Moses, planned to
build, slicing the park in half. As you
looked through the arch, you’d have
been watching cars speeding beneath
its marble entablature, along a newly
extended Fifth Avenue pushing south
into Lower Manhattan.
If Moses’s wider vision had been fulfilled, the lengthened artery would have
served a whole new neighborhood of superblock apartment buildings he had
designated to replace the “blighted
slums” along the blocks south of the
park to Houston Street. The historic
streets eviscerated, Washington Square
blanched and bloodless, you would have
wondered why it was you’d decided to
visit the park in the first place.
While Washington Square is gleaming from a recent $30 million update, it
has, like the village around it, lost much
of its bohemian character. Now the major issue here is not blight, but gentrification.
LINCOLN CENTER
Obligatory photos in front of Lincoln
Center’s famous fountain would have
been quite different if Wallace K. Harrison’s ambitious proposals for the Metropolitan Opera hadn’t been quashed by
untold layers of bureaucracy. Before
Harrison’s plans, sites for the Metropolitan Opera had been proposed near Columbus Circle, Rockefeller Center, the
Museum of Modern Art and Washington
Square.
None of those came to be, either. But
once Lincoln Square was settled on,
Harrison, the lead designer of the
United Nations, proposed more than 50
designs. Most of them featured experiments with sculptural concrete, each
more dazzling than the next; more evocative of the Sydney Opera House or
J.F.K.’s TWA Terminal than the Rubik’s
cubes of Lincoln Center.
But a consortium of officials wagged
their heads at these plans, for budgetary
and aesthetic reasons. The blandest design of all is the one that got built.
Lincoln Center completed a major
overhaul, led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in 2010, but one of its most ambitious
plans — a redesign of David Geffen Hall
by Thomas Heatherwick and Diamond
Schmitt Architects — was recently
abandoned.
BATTERY PARK
Battery Park, at the southernmost tip of
the city, might be the ideal starting point
for an imaginary journey into Manhattan. A stroll along the bayside offers vistas of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and the Jersey skyline, and a view
uptown of the seemingly unending escarpment of skyscrapers implanted on
formerly Dutch colonial farmland.
The primo location has made the area
the top spot for unbuilt ventures. At
least a half-dozen “watergates,” elaborate landings for dignitaries arriving by
sea; a floating airport, by the genius industrial designer, Norman Bel Geddes;
a bridge landing for the Brooklyn-Battery Bridge, in 1939; a Ferry Terminal
building, with a giant big-screen clock
by the postmodernist architects Venturi, Scott Brown; the list goes on.
But none can match, for sheer bravado, the Obelisk by the architect Eric
Gugler, in 1929. At 800 feet, the “Gateway to America,” would have dwarfed
the Washington Monument by 250 feet.
The Great Hall of Ellis Island, top, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision for the island.
On axis with Broadway, the tower would
have risen on 16 acres of landfill, extending Manhattan in a broad paved arc 400
feet into the bay. From Broadway, looking south, the obelisk would have stood
out. From its observation deck, nearly
65 stories up, Brooklyn, Bayonne, Sandy
Hook or Far Rockaway would have been
within view.
These days Battery Park, with its unobstructed views of New York Harbor, is
best known as the place to queue up to
Liens Séduction ring
catch the ferry to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty. And while Louis Kahn
never built his planned Holocaust Memorial on this site, it is also home to Kevin Roche’s ziggurat-shaped Museum of
Jewish Heritage.
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017 | S1
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ARKA DUTTA FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
India goes
beyond gold
In India, gold jewelry has long been
used to celebrate marriage and childbirth or presented as gifts during religious festivals. Ornate bridal pieces still
are popular in the northern part of the
country, while pieces in 22-karat yellow
gold are favored in the south.
But change is in the air, partly as a result of shifting societal norms and the
expansion of women’s roles in the workplace as well as the rising price of gold
here and recent changes in the consumer tax on luxuries.
Jewelry created from unusual materials and in contemporary designs or
sometimes inspired by traditional ethnic jewelry is becoming increasingly
popular, with Eina Ahluwalia, a Kolkata-
based jeweler, among those leading the
way.
“A few decades ago, the primary jewelry buyer used to be the man, whether
father or husband,” Ms. Ahluwalia said.
“Whereas now, especially in the nongold market, it’s mostly women buying
jewelry for themselves, without waiting
for an occasion, purely for their own joy
and satisfaction.”
Many women are no longer stuck in a
what Indians call a Sass-Bua relationship, in which a mother-in-law controls a
daughter-in-law’s spending, a staple
story line of many Indian soap operas.
“More women are earning their own
money, and spending it on themselves,”
Ms. Ahluwalia said. “Self-gratification
no longer carries the guilt it did even
just a generation ago.”
Ms. Ahluwalia, who describes herself
as India’s first conceptual jewelry artist,
studied with the pioneering conceptual
jeweler Ruudt Peters in the Netherlands
in 2010, and says the contemporary jewelry designs created by Dutch designers
in the 1970s continue to inspire her.
“In 2003, when I began making jewelry, I found the customers very excited
and enthusiastic about finding jewelry
that looked so different than what they
were used to,” she said. But when a collection using concrete didn’t sell well,
she began to work with gold-plated silver cut into elaborate fretwork designs.
Today, Ms. Ahluwalia’s creations
blend social activism, art, design and
fashion — partly trying to counter what
she calls the patriarchal associations of
INDIA, PAGE S2
dior.com
Designers find more contemporary materials,
like steel and leather, appeal to young women
BY PHYLLIDA JAY
DIOR À VERSAILLES
CÔTÉ JARDINS COLLECTION
“Bosquet de la Salle de Bal”
Necklace in yellow, white and pink gold, platinum,
diamonds, rock crystal, emeralds, coloured stones and lacquer.
Mixed metals
Clockwise from left:
Eina Ahluwalia, a
jeweler based in
Kolkata, India,
wearing her necklace that says
“Love, Respect,
Protect”; trident
earrings; and designs based on the
words for love in
Hindi and Urdu.
..
S2 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
TRENDING
His, hers
and theirs
Designs that cross gender lines
LONDON
BY MELANIE ABRAMS
Versatile
At right, from top,
Jelena Behrend, a
Serbian-born designer, works on a
necklace at her
Manhattan studio;
gender-blurring
jewelry looks at the
Versus spring 2018
ready-to-wear
collection in London; a spider
brooch with abalone
pearl by Lorenz
Bäumer.
Jewelry on the catwalks has been as
genderless as the fashion recently —
and just as bold.
Consider the huge Gucci medallions
and bulls’ head necklaces that Alessandro Michele styled over everything from
unisex sweatshirts to floaty white
dresses in his spring 2018 collection this
fall, as well as the orange and pink beads
that male models wore with blazers and
with shorts (and, sometimes, with both
together).
At the season’s men’s wear shows,
Dior Homme’s sharp suits were teamed
with ribbon bracelets, skull and dice
brooches and more.
“Women are wearing more masculine
things and men are more comfortable in
wearing jewelry,” said Lorenz Bäumer,
the Parisian jeweler who riffed on the
surfing lifestyle to create a diamond
surfboard pendant in a neutral pearl
gray.
Jelena Behrend, the Serbian-born designer who hammers her unisex pieces
by hand in her atelier on the Lower East
Side of New York City, said that jewelry
can change attire and attitude as well as
gender. “A simple tee and black jeans is
pretty basic,” she said, “but with one
statement earring or necklace, a boy can
look current, or with an oversized,
chunky bracelet and statement pinkie
ring, a girl has a boy look.”
Tastes in color, material and design
also are merging, designers say. Women
are opting for more texture and matte
finishes while men increasingly prefer
sparkle and high polish, said Ms.
Behrend, whose link chains and diamond earrings are stocked by Browns,
the London luxury boutique. (And while
the pieces were intended to be sold as
women’s jewelry, an email from the
store said that men have been buying
them, too.)
The London jeweler Sabine Roemer
recently toned down a feminine rose
gold ring by adding black diamonds for a
male client and customized a round tanzanite ring for a woman “so the design is
softer than sharp male lines,” she said.
The gender blurring has prompted
some designers to think again. Luz
Camino, who works in Madrid, said she
has been re-evaluating her design
process because men are wearing her
plique-à-jour enamel brooches of flowers or shooting stars. “As I am drawing
something,” she said, “if it isn’t feminine
I will now think maybe this will be nice
for a man too, so I will follow the idea
through instead of stopping it as I have
done previously.”
For Mr. Baumer, technology has been
key. “Three-D printing allows open volumes you can’t do in any other way,” he
said, “and creates the most interesting
volume shapes as it allows me to see the
inside of the ring even before we make
it.” He was referring to his Mikado rings
which combine, he said, masculine angles with feminine open spaces.
Yet the trend presents challenges.
“Merchandising is a nightmare,” the
London jeweler Stephen Webster said of
his first unisex collection, Thames by
Stephen Webster, which he introduced
HILARY SWIFT FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
REGIS COLIN BERTHELIER/NOWFASHION
REGIS COLIN BERTHELIER/NOWFASHION
in September in collaboration with
Blondey McCoy, a 20-year-old skateboarder and model.
The 15-piece collection, aimed at
20somethings, included razor blade motifs and a cutout that could be a star but
also could be a cross.
“We have to carry more sizes particularly for rings and more stock as you
can’t make a genderless collection
geared to one gender,” Mr. Webster said.
“I also had to focus more on what I put
out there, reducing the number of pieces
in the collection and doing a lot more upfront thinking about design as well as financial implications.” (Normally, the designer said, he does 25-piece collections,
of which about 10 pieces become core designs.)
It also took some changes in retailing,
Mr. Webster said. In addition to being
sold online and at his own boutiques, the
Thames collection is available at Palace,
the skate streetwear store in London
and New York, as “streetwear is genderless and what is disrupting fashion at
the moment so customers know they are
going in somewhere that is not gender
specific.”
As in fashion, genderless jewelry is
not new. Seashell beads were worn by
both cave men and cave women, Renaissance portraits show aristocrats of both
genders wearing jewelry to communicate their status and power and, in India,
the maharajahs’ jewelry usually outshone that of the maharanis.
The current and future spending
power of millennials is also behind the
change in designers’ thinking.
Along with reports showing that
young buyers are affecting luxury sales,
the Accelerating Acceptance report issued in March by the Gay and Lesbian
Alliance Against Defamation shows that
more young Americans are rejecting
traditional gender labels, with 20 percent of the 18- to 34-year-olds questioned
in the 2016 study identifying themselves
as socially fluid, queer, bisexual or pansexual and 12 percent identifying as
transgender or gender nonconforming.
The jewelry universe’s high-end
brands also are taking notice.
At Bulgari, Lucia Silvestri, the company’s creative director, said the geometric B.Zero1 ring has sold across gender
lines.
In the spring, Chopard plans to add
larger and heavier pieces in titanium
and more brushed finishes to its Ice
Cube collection from the 1990s to offer a
wider choice to an under-40 buyer “who
might not have the money yet for high
jewelry — but a lot do and will do in the
future,” said Caroline Scheufele, the
company’s artistic director and co-president.
And Giampiero Bodino, the Milanbased jeweler, is designing his first genderless collection for presentation next
fall.
But Wallace Chan, the Hong Kong
master jeweler whose recent pieces
have reflected his childhood fascination
with butterflies, said technological advances like 3-D printing and artificial intelligence soon will put the control in the
wearers’ hands: “ “it won’t be the jewelry designer who designs what you
wear in seven or eight years’ time but
the person themselves.”
VINTAGE BYPASSES
THE BARRIERS
Wide appeal
Women have expressed interest in
buying men’s
pieces, like a diamond stick pin of a
top hat, cane and
gloves.
The appeal of vintage jewelry has
always reached across gender lines, but
never more so than today.
“Men have always bought cuff links,
stick pins and signet rings,” said Amy
Burton, director of the antique jewelry
dealer Hancocks in London. “But in the
last five years men have come in looking for bracelets, brooches, necklaces,
as there is only one of these pieces so
they won’t walk into a room where
there are 10 others wearing the same
thing.”
For example, she said, a thirtysomething man who works in the City of
London wore a vintage 1950s Cartier
gold and diamond floral spray brooch at
his wedding in June. “He had seen
Pharrell Williams wear an abstract
brooch at this year’s Oscars and
thought it looked cool,” she said. (It was
the Chanel Pluie de Camélia brooch,
which Mr. Williams wore on his black
Chanel tuxedo, along with multiple
strands of black pearls.)
Recently, Hancocks listed a 1930s
diamond stick pin of a top hat and cane
— which several women, Ms. Burton
said, have expressed interest in buying.
“I don’t believe there are rules when
it comes to people’s individual sense of
style,” she said. “People should express
themselves however they wish to and
this includes through their wearing of
jewelry.”
S .J. Phillips, another antiques dealer
in London, recently transformed a set
of Art Deco ruby and diamond cuff
links into earrings for a woman from
Texas, lasering off the back fittings and
adding butterflies to the design.
“They were easier for her to wear,
more discreet and unusual,” said Rodney Howard, a Phillips sales associate.
“As more people are seen wearing
things like this, more doors will open.”
MELANIE ABRAMS
FROM THE COVER
IN INDIA, SOME NEW LOOKS
Beyond gold
Statement piece
A design by Eina
Ahluwalia that pairs
the Arabic words for
patience and gratitude. “We’re creating totems and
carriers of messages,” she said.
INDIA, FROM PAGE S1
traditional Indian jewelry.
For example, her 2011 Wedding Vows
collection took a stand against domestic
violence by using renderings of kirpans,
the knives that are an important symbol
of her Sikh identity, in necklaces and
other pieces. The words “Love, Respect,
Protect” were worked in gold into chandelier earrings and layered necklaces.
That collection, she said, continues to
be among her most successful, with its
slogan “Accessorize the Warrior Within”
resonating among customers.
Like recent industry trends among
Western jewelers, Ms. Ahluwalia said
her designs were inspired by traditional
and personal narratives, like her Wordsmith collection that displayed the
names for God in Urdu, Arabic and
Hindi.
“We aren’t selling jewelry,” she said,
“we’re creating totems and carriers of
messages and stories in physical form
that can be carried close to the body, and
worn as constant personal reminders.”
Ms. Ahluwalia’s prices start at about
$80 for a pair of shell-shaped earrings
and rise to about $400 for elaborate
pieces. “At first there was a cap to how
much customers would spend in terms
of price per piece,” she said. But, “over
the years, the Indian market is exposed
to so much more, and the customer base
has significantly widened.”
Suhani Pittie, a Pune-based designer
who works in the gold-plated silver
known as vermeil, agrees that the market has changed.
“The contemporary non-fine jewelry
landscape has undergone a tremendous
metamorphosis over the years,” she
said in an email. “When we first began in
2004, there were only three players in
the market. Jewelry was then divided
into two categories only: fine and costume. There was no middle route for
those interested in purchasing a product
purely for the love of design.”
Today, unorthodox materials like concrete, wood, leather and found objects
are used by many of the 60 designers
whose work is showcased alongside Ms.
Ahluwalia’s at Nimai, a concept jewelry
store opened in Delhi by Pooja Roy Yadav in 2013.
“Our designers use concrete, discarded watch parts, miniature paint-
ARKA DUTTA FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
ings, nuts, bolts and almost anything to
create jewelry not as an alternative to
gold but as a piece of wearable art,” Ms.
Yadav said.
One of those designers, Anupama
Sukh Lalvani, uses steel for her En Inde
creations.
“I’m a trained architect and steel was
a natural choice of material for me,” she
said by email. “Steel is used for its
strength and mirrorlike shine (to ward
off evil). The tag line of the company is
#findyoursteel.”
According to a strategic market research report by Euromonitor, the Indian costume jewelry sector is expected to
show twice as much growth this year as
fine jewelry, primarily because of what
it calls the growing consumer preference for lightweight jewelry that can be
worn every day.
Along with changes in design and materials, contemporary jewelry designers
also have embraced new ways of marketing and selling their creations.
For example, Swarovski recently collaborated with 11 Indian fashion and jewelry designers, including Ms. Ahluwalia.
“It has introduced our brand to a much
wider base of Swarovski customers who
may not have known us and our work
before,” the designer said. “Also, it has
given our customers something new to
be excited about since we don’t actually
use a lot of stones.”
Ms. Ahluwalia will not reveal her annual sales but, she said, 75 percent of
them occur online, primarily to Indian
buyers. Her brand also has more than
21,000 followers on Instagram. “Social
media has been an invaluable tool to
share these stories,” she said, “which
would be near impossible in traditional
retail formats, and very expensive and
impersonal through conventional advertising and marketing.”
Traditionally, the Indian wedding has
been the primary reason for gold jewelry purchases, with everyone from the
bride to guests wearing as much as they
own or borrow. Now designers, including Ms. Ahluwalia and Ms. Pittie, are
creating collections suitable for bridal
wear. As Ms. Yadav said, “The modern
Indian urban bride wants to have fun
and her choices in jewelry reflects that.
They are choosing fun experimental
contemporary jewelry over heavily ornamented bling.
“They want jewelry that doesn’t sit in
their lockers post-marriage, but costume jewelry that they can wear more
often.”
ABSYNTHE DESIGN The business,
founded by Abhishek Basak in 2010
after he decided to leave a stressful job,
sells old watch parts and silver that
have been turned into unusual jewelry
for men and women, as well as luxury
writing instruments and gadgets.
“My mother had a small mechanical
watch gifted to her by my grandfather
when she was young,” Mr. Basak said
of his inspiration. “The watch no longer
worked, but being a very sentimental
object it was kept carefully in a drawer.
I made her a pendant, and she wore her
father’s gift again after 30-odd years.”
As for the market, he said: “Today,
consumers are ready to experiment.
They are ready to cut across cultures,
tribes and traditions to try new things.
Social media, the ease of accessing
information and increase of global
exposure has brought about this terrific
shift in consumer attitude.”
DVIBHUMI The company name is
adapted from the Sanskrit words dve,
meaning two, and bhumi, meaning
earth. Vyshnavi N. Doss, who started
Dvibhumi in 2014 after a decade spent
in advertising, said, “It represents a
stream of ideas flowing from my two
worlds: India, where I grew up, and
Southeast Asia, where I live, work and
travel.”
The brand, based in Singapore, combines tribal influences and Asia-inspired geometry with an industrial
design sensibility.
Asked in an email how easy it has
been to gain attention in a traditional
gold market, Ms. Doss said Indian
buyers “are more likely to value jewelry
as a product of an artist’s imagination
rather than one of skill, high intrinsic
value or labor-intensive processes. I
find this gradual riddance of restrictions both necessary and encouraging
because it broadens the canvas for
experimentation and appreciation.”
STUDIO METALLURGY Advaeita Mathur
started the company in 2015, and it has
become known for a quirky use of
upcycled materials and its industrial
aesthetic. Strips of nickel-plated brass
twisted into sculptural shapes as oversize earrings have been a best seller.
Ms. Mathur said her customers were
“attuned to a design sensibility that
blends the contemporary and traditional together.”
“If one wants to mint money,” she
said, “traditional jewelry is still the way
to go. Having said this, there are increasingly more contemporary brands
coming up, and people are enthusiastic
in trying out nonprecious jewelry.”
PHYLLIDA JAY
Bright ideas
Absynthe Design
jewelry made from
old watch parts and
silver; silver earrings from Dvibhumi; and a silver
ring from Studio
Metallurgy.
..
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017 | S3
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
SPOTLIGHT
Driven by design
Cora Sheibani’s life has shaped her jewelry style
LONDON
BY RACHEL GARRAHAN
Cora Sheibani was raised with an appreciation for exquisite design. The daughter of the Zurich art dealer Bruno
Bischofberger and his wife Christina
(known to all as Yoyo), she grew up in a
home overflowing with their collections
of everything from ancient stone axes to
20th century glass, ceramics and furniture, and visitors like Andy Warhol and
Jean-Michel Basquiat.
“It was a household where everything
was valued as design,” said Ms.
Sheibani, now 37 and a jewelry designer.
When she turned 8, Ms. Sheibani was
permitted to choose a piece of furniture
from her father’s warehouse for her bedroom, until then a typical children’s
mishmash from Ikea.
She chose an exuberantly colorful
chair from the Memphis Group, the Milan-based postmodern design collective
founded in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass, a
family friend. “It was a ridiculous piece
of furniture but it was really comfortable,” she said with a laugh.
Since introducing her first jewelry
collection 15 years ago, Ms. Sheibani has
developed an international following of
aesthetically minded collectors, who ap-
“Jewelry should be of its time. It
will be out of fashion at some
point but that’s good.”
preciate her playful interpretations of
copper cake molds, clouds and cactuses
in designs that combine rich color, bold
form and graphic lines.
Her home in the Kensington neighborhood of London, not far from the
green expanses of Holland Park, doubles as a work space and a reception
area for her by-appointment-only clients. (She also occasionally shows with
Louisa Guinness, the London-based
dealer of artist jewelry).
At the center of a row of elegant yet
uniform white stucco townhouses, hers
has double front doors painted a rich canary yellow and a rainbow’s assortment
of flowers in the window planters.
Inside, a Basquiat hangs in the hallway. A giant Damien Hirst dot painting
dominates the living room and, below,
colorful velvet trays laden with jewels
are laid out on a Zaha Hadid-designed
dining table, ready for a client appointment.
Ms. Sheibani’s latest collection, called
Eyes, is a colorful, contemporary and
resolutely design-driven interpretation
of a traditional jewelry theme. Weighty
gold rings, inspired by the flat-topped,
elliptical shape of ancient Roman examples, curve boldly across the finger. The
center stones, which include an oceanblue tanzanite and an warm-orange
spessartite garnet, were chosen not for
their value but because, she said, they
“have the sparkle of a twinkling eye.”
An abstract brooch, featuring a removable post so it can double as a pendant, suggests the eye-patterned wings
of a butterfly, its highly polished, pearshaped gold discs set with softly contrasting rosy pink rubellites, light brown
zircons and mint tourmalines.
To ensure such a classic theme did not
become too dry, Ms. Sheibani added
rings inspired by South Sea masks. The
surface of each one is engraved with a
unique pattern of graphic lines and set
with pairs of colored stones in varied
shades.
Along with earrings that depict an
owl’s comical eyebrows, she said, the
mask rings added the playful dimension
that characterizes much of her work.
Without them, “the rest could be so
grown up and I really don’t think of my
jewelry that way,” she said.
Her pieces span a broad price range,
from 5,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds
($6,580 to $52,645), and bespoke items
may be more.
Several of her previous collections
have been accompanied by bound books
that showcased the creations alongside
topics like cooking or gardening with
cactuses, a more lasting reference than
the usual jewelry catalog. Color and
Contradiction, her fall 2015 collection
that consisted of deceptively simple
pairings of contrasting, custom-cut colored gemstones, was paired with a riff
on the adult coloring-book fad. And at
Design Miami in 2016, her display backdrop was a giant coloring wall just waiting for passers-by.
Ms. Sheibani’s distinctive creations
betray the fact that she did not come to
jewelry via the traditional route of art
school and goldsmithing apprenticeship.
After studying art history in Florence
and New York, she relocated to London
in 2001 when she married Kaveh
Sheibani, who is a fund manager. Abandoning an earlier ambition to become a
packaging designer, she enrolled at the
Gemological Institute of America in
London to study gemology.
She perceived that fine jewelry had a
lack of contemporary design so she established her business a year later,
while five months pregnant with the
first of her three children. “I was very
naïve thinking I could do jewelry parttime from home,” she said.
While she continues to work from
home today, she acknowledges the challenge of balancing motherhood with
running an international business. And
it has been complicated by the fact that
the craftsmen who render her designs
are in Switzerland and Paris, so communication is not always straightforward.
The ubiquitous smartphone has improved matters considerably, but the designer said she was waiting for some
pieces to be delivered although it was
only days before she was scheduled to
fly to New York to present her new collection.
The effort and stress of working remotely still is worthwhile, she said:
“The good goldsmiths are not just tech-
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDREW TESTA FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Bold design
Top, Cora Sheibani
at her home in
central London; far
left, butterfly brooch
in red gold with
tourmaline and
zircon; right, white
gold and spessartite
garnet little finger
ring set.
nicians, they’re creative engineers and
craftsmen.” And while she has picked up
considerable technical experience over
the years, she said her jewelry is always
the result of collaborating with them,
whether it is a question of balancing ice
cream cones of malachite and chrysoprase in a ring or recreating the texture
of a cactus in gold.
“Solving problems is the joy of their
profession,” she said. “After 15 years I
know what is possible but still I design
first and then we figure out how we’re
going to make it and get it to work.”
Inspiration for the designs, she said,
comes in myriad forms. It could be from
her own art collection or the vast library
of jewelry books stored on leather-lined
shelves that stretch floor to ceiling in
her office.
Her parents’ multidisciplinary tastes
also still inform her work, whether it be
the Jean Després jewelry that her
mother persuaded the Machine Age designer to part with in his retirement, or
the Arne Jacobsen cutlery they used to
eat family dinners. “They appreciate
fashion as much as jewelry, as much as
chairs, as much as who designed your
typewriter,” she said. “I think that’s why
ON DISPLAY
UP NEXT
‘Fashion Takes a Trip’
Out and about
Martine Ali at the
waterfront near her
studio in Brooklyn.
I approach it in that way, too.”
The feeling extends to her own collection of antique and vintage jewelry,
an assortment of Berlin ironwork, Art
Deco and ’60s and ’70s pieces. Not surprisingly, it “is a very design-based collection,” Ms. Sheibani said, “it’s not a
gem collection.”
She hopes her designs will have the
same longevity. “Jewelry should be of
its time. It will be out of fashion at some
point but that’s good,” she said. “At
some point you overstep that hurdle
and hopefully your jewelry becomes
timeless.”
The ‘Mod New York’ show has jewelry of the ’60s and ‘70s
BY KATHLEEN BECKETT
Accessories
In the “Mod New
York” exhibition, a
1963 frog brooch by
Donald Claflin for
Tiffany and, top,
convertible boots by
Mary Quant.
Fashion and jewelry are among the
most visible indicators of what a society
values, what it lacks and desires,
mourns and celebrates. Such connections are being explored in a new exhibition, “Mod New York: Fashion Takes a
Trip,” opening Nov. 22 at the Museum of
the City of New York.
The show, which focuses on 1960 to
1973, “starts at 1960 because it’s the beginning of the modern decade,” said
Phyllis Magidson, curator of the museum’s costume collection. (She and Donald Albrecht curated the exhibition and
the accompanying book.) “It’s the start
of the decade of space travel, of
luxury air travel, of optimism”
symbolized by President John
F. Kennedy and especially his
wife, Jacqueline.
“People aspired to achieve
the Jackie look and
wanted to know how to
get it,” Ms. Magidson
said. One way was with
pearls: in the exhibition,
a three-strand necklace
by the costume jewelry
designer Kenneth Jay
Lane. (All the costume jewelry on display was from the
museum’s collection; the high
jewelry pieces were lent by
Tiffany and Cartier and edited by Judith Price, the president of the National
Jewelry Institute.)
“The finished look of the era was very
ladylike,” she said, adding that Barbara
Billingsley, who played the mother on
the TV sitcom “Leave It to Beaver,” vacuumed while wearing a strand of
pearls.”
When the British Invasion arrived in
the mid-’60s, “you didn’t want to look
like your mother,” Ms. Magidson said.
And, in jewelry, plastic replaced pearls
— dome rings and drop earrings that
shook as women shimmied in discothèques.
EMON HASSAN FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Unfortunately, because of plastic’s
propensity to break, the museum has no
examples to include so it has made do
with accessories: sunny yellow Mary
Quant boots, and bright tights in shocking pink, purple and green.
Around 1967, the era the exhibition
calls “The New Bohemia,” the Beatles
grew beards and traveled to India, the
“Black is Beautiful” movement rose,
and dashikis and dresses in bold African
prints filled store racks. Jewelry turned
ethnic, too; the show includes a rhinestone handpiece (part ring, part bracelet) by the costume jeweler Henry
Schreiner and Mr. Lane’s gilded metal
hobnail Indian pendant.
“Even jewelry in precious materials
was used in a playful way,” Ms. Magidson said. The exhibition shows Tiffany
brooches designed by Donald Claflin to
look like little Aztec Indians and animal
figures — a salamander, bird and lizard
— in gold, turquoise and diamonds.
“Every piece we selected illustrates
the wit, whimsy and beauty of Tiffany
jewelry from this era,” said Ashley Barrett, the company’s vice president of
global public relations.
Ms. Price said the overriding theme of
the “Bohemia” portion of the exhibition
was “color, color, color!” A bib collar in
sapphire-colored crystals by the Italian
jewelers Cupola & Toppa, coordinated
with a color-swirled cape and dress by
Emilio Pucci, showed exactly what she
meant.
Turn, turn, turn. In 1970, a “New Nonchalance” arose. Women’s lib was born.
By day, women clad in pantsuits strode
into executive offices; by night, they
danced in discos, confident in body-conscious, body-baring outfits.
Elsa Peretti’s jewelry, designed for
her friend the designer Halston, was as
pared-down and sinuous as the fashion
designer’s matte jersey, hug-the-body
clothing: a mini silver flask on a leather
strap, and an ivory cuff once owned by
Lauren Bacall.
At Cartier, “the maison offered a new
definition of luxury — making precious
objects and jewelry more accessible,”
said Pascale Lepeu, a company curator.
The jewelry designer Aldo Cipullo shook
things up at the venerable jeweler in the
early ’70s and, Ms. Lepeu said, “transformed everyday objects into exceptional pieces of jewelry.”
Case in point: a bracelet that looks
like a gold nail encircling the wrist, and a
pair of gold and carnelian earrings that
look like common buttons. Ms. Price
said, “He took something right in front
of him and made it into a piece of art.”
Cartier also exalted other everyday
objects into luxury items: a nécessaire,
a little evening bag, that looks like a silver lunch pail, and a cigarette rendered
in silver.
The show ends in 1973, when American designers took their streamlined
fashions and black models to Versailles
to compete against French designers in
a series of fashion shows (a competition
that the Americans were deemed to
have won).
From Jackie’s pearls to Ms. Peretti’s
flask, in 13 years, fashion took quite a
trip, and jewelry went right along for the
ride.
AMANDA JASNOWSKI PASCUAL FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
BIG NAMES LIKE HER STYLE
MARTINE ALI
AGE 31
HOMETOWN Chicago
NOW LIVES In a minimal one-bedroom
apartment in Brooklyn where the lights
are seldom on but a record always is.
CLAIM TO FAME Ms. Ali has a namesake
line of unisex jewelry that evokes early
2000s hip-hop with its street-wearinspired use of hardware staples like
chains, dog tags and safety pins. The
line is carried by influential stores
including Opening Ceremony and Kith,
and the rapper Kendrick Lamar is a fan
and has worn her bracelet, necklace
and wallet chain on tour this year, as
well as in several videos, including
“Humble” and “Element.” “That was
definitely the moment I saw a pretty
literal spike in business and industry
love,” Ms. Ali said. “Kendrick made my
designs recognizable.” And just this
month Rihanna wore Ms. Ali’s bracelets
and earring in her “Lemon” video with
N.E.R.D, which the designer long considered a dream.
BIG BREAK In 2010, while interning at
DKNY, Ms. Ali would wear her homemade pieces around the office. One day,
her jewelry was noticed by Jane Chung,
then the designer, who commissioned
her to create pieces for the coming
collection. The day before the show,
Donna Karan herself saw the pieces
and asked if Ms. Ali could adapt them
as handbag adornments. “After that it
changed from a hobby to a skill and an
asset,” Ms. Ali said.
LATEST PROJECT Ms. Ali created a
jewelry collection for the AustralianAmerican designer Matthew Adams
Dolan’s spring 2018 fashion show that
will be available at Opening Ceremony
for the holidays under her name. The
collection, featuring delicate pieces
rendered in gold and pearl, is a departure from her usual aesthetic (“like if I
were a painter going from oil to watercolor,” she said) and feels decidedly
more feminine.
NEXT PROJECT She is collaborating
with Assembly New York, a Lower
East Side boutique, on a range of
leather-and-silver accessories. “They
do these really cool vinyl bags and
other pieces that we’re going to mess
with,” she said. “I don’t plan a lot, you
know?”
SHE’S THE BOSS In a retail world
increasingly dominated by megabrands and luxury conglomerates, Ms.
Ali cherishes her freedom as a smaller,
self-run brand with uninhibited creative control. She believes that selling
to customers directly from her website, and communicating with them
through Instagram, sets her apart. “I
can’t tell you how valuable that is
these days — to be seen as a person
and not Amazon,” she said. TAS TOBEY
..
S4 | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION
CRAFTSMANSHIP
Turning stone
into stunners
Inside the world of gem carvers,
‘the unsung heroes of jewelry’
BY MILENA LAZAZZERA
Making magic
Top: Philippe Nicolas, Cartier’s inhouse master
glyptician, and a
black jasper Cartier
cuff carved in the
Panthère style.
Below: Mr. Nicolas
at work. His specialty is a silky finish
to carved stone.
In Résonances de Cartier, the house’s
most recent high jewelry presentation,
the diamonds, emeralds and rubies that
are de rigueur in such collections were
combined with more unusual materials
like smoky quartz and fire opals.
But it was a black jasper cuff, carved
in a classic Panthère style, that would
catch the discerning eye. It was the
work of a glyptician, or gem sculptor, a
highly trained artisan who turns rough
stone or jewels into dazzling art.
“Black jasper per se is not rare or precious,” said Philippe Nicolas, Cartier’s
in-house master glyptician, whose atelier designed and sculpted the bracelet.
It was difficult to find two large homogeneous pieces of jasper, but the human
skill used to create the cuff was what
made the piece valuable, he said.
Such skilled artisans also made the
delicate red and white flowers adorning
the black dials of the Mademoiselle
Privé Coromandel Glyptic watch that
Chanel displayed at Baselworld early
this year, and the white petals of chalcedony on the Voie Lactée brooch in
Chaumet’s Hortensia collection.
The art of glyptic, using intaglio and
relief techniques, is an ancient skill, well
known among the Greeks, the Egyptians and others in the Middle East. It
was used in making cameos, popular
during Roman times and the Renaissance and again in the 19th century, and
it still inspires some contemporary creators like the Russian designer Ana Katarina, whose jewelry includes an eye
sculpted in Brazilian agate, and Brigid
Blanco, an American designer working
in Paris, who features classic cameo motifs like landscapes and profile portraits
on her pieces.
The Munich-based jewelry house
Hemmerle inserts old cameos into modern jewels because “in the olden days,
sculptors looked at the stone in a more
artistic way, asking themselves how to
maximize beauty,” said Christian Hemmerle, a member of the fourth generation to work in the family business.
Hemmerle also offers some sculpted
objects in crystal. But, when asked,
“Who was the glyptician?” Mr. Hemmerle, like many others in the business,
answered, “I cannot reveal my sources.”
Few glypticians are known to the public; most work behind the scenes, hired
by houses when their particular skills
are needed. The houses will not identify
them, worried about the lure of rivals,
and over generations the glypticians
themselves have become distinctly reticent. Discretion is now the prime directive.
DMITRY KOSTYUKOV FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
“Glypticians really are the unsung heroes of jewelry,” said Claudia Florian, a
consulting director at the Natural History department at Bonhams auction
house. “The majority of them don’t even
sign their work.”
Yet Ms. Florian, who oversees two
sales of glyptic works each year from
her base in Los Angeles, knows the master carvers by name and where to find
many of them: the town of Idar-Oberstein, Germany.
“This little town, two hours to the west
of Frankfurt, has 500 years of tradition
in carving gemstones,” Ms. Florian said.
“The masters sculpted the agate they
found in the river Nahe and kept their
tradition even when they ran out of their
own stone.”
She visits the area regularly to seek
pieces for her auctions, and describes
Idar-Oberstein as a sleepy town with
modest (“I don’t want to use the word
tired”) shops displaying goods to attract
tourists. “But once you have developed
contacts in the area, and it does take
years to build those contacts, and you
get invited to visit some of the carvers,
they will show sculptures made by their
grandparents or pieces they keep for inspiration,” she said. “It is here that you
find more valuable things, behind the
scenes.”
Ms. Florian said glypticians like Gerd
Dreher or Manfred Wild had made their
names by crafting animal sculptures,
usually private orders. These masters
are able to obtain the best raw materials
and command prices that, she said, can
rise to as much as three times the value
of the stones they use.
In addition to the Idar-Oberstein area,
glypticians also can be found in other regions rich in stone or gems that can be
carved. Ms. Florian said that, for example, carvers have been emerging in
Brazil thanks to the country’s abundance of agate and tourmalines.
And Tarang Arora, creative director
DMITRY KOSTYUKOV FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
at Amrapali, said he selects carvers
from Jaipur, which has had a gemsculpting tradition since Mughal times.
China also has a rich history of glyptic
art — some of which was showcased in
“Colors of the Universe: Chinese Hardstone Carvings,” a recent exhibition at
the Metropolitan Museum of Art — as
well as many artisans now working in
the trade. Bibi van der Velden, a sculptor
who now designs jewelry in the Netherlands, described how she traveled to a
remote Chinese village (“I can’t tell the
name of the village”) to find artisans
skilled in working mammoth bones for
her creations.
Every material requires specific
training, as well as specialized tools,
said Wallace Chan, the Hong Kongbased master jeweler. Like many glypticians, Mr. Chan makes his own tools: “I
even have sometimes to build the machines first in order to build my own
tools.”
The glyptician’s approach to work
provides another key to understanding
the skill. “You need to forget about your
own breathing,” Mr. Chan said, “and
when you have concentrated and forgotten to breathe is when you realize what
you have been able to do.”
It was that kind of rigorous focus that
several years ago prompted Mr. Chan to
stop trying to train apprentices. He now
puts all his energy into making as many
pieces of jewelry as possible, hoping to
inspire other carvers.
In contrast, Mr. Nicolas of Cartier is
committed to teaching his three apprentices at his atelier on the Rue de la Paix
in Paris, not far from the haute joaillerie
center of Place Vendôme.
His specialty is a distinctive silky finish to carved stone: “I do not polish the
stones,” he said. “I make them softer.”
(He gently rubs the stone with little
wooden batons, although he sometimes
uses diamonds, iron, brass or carborundum, also known as silicon carbide.)
Mr. Nicolas, a graduate of the École
Nationale des Beaux-Arts, spent 20
years working exclusively for Joel Arthur Rosenthal, the Paris-based jeweler
known as JAR, from his independent
atelier at Place Vendôme, where later
one of his clients was Victoire de Castellane, creative director of Dior’s fine jewelry division.
But one afternoon in 2008, during the
height of the global downturn, two of his
major clients canceled all their commissions. A worried Mr. Nicolas asked to
meet with Bernard Fornas, then the
chief executive of Cartier; six months
later, he opened his own atelier within
the company.
Mr. Nicolas recalled telling the
Cartier executive, “If a big jewelry
house like Cartier doesn’t commit to the
preservation of this art, all this will be
lost.”
Now, almost 10 years later, Mr. Nicolas
said that art is still what he wants “to
keep, perpetuate and transmit.”
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