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Wall Street Journal Friday July 16, 2021 [CCLXXVII, US ed.]

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For personal, non-commercial use only. Do not edit, alter or reproduce. For commercial reproduction or distribution, contact Dow Jones Reprints & Licensing at (800) 843-0008 or www.djreprints.com.


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NASDAQ 14543.13 g 0.7%

STOXX 600 456.20 g 0.9%

10-YR. TREAS. À 18/32 , yield 1.297%

OIL $71.65 g $1.48

GOLD $1,828.40 À $4.10

Deadly Floods Sweep Western Europe After Days of Rain

What’s News Business & Finance ntel is exploring a deal to buy GlobalFoundries, a move that would turbocharge the semiconductor giant’s plans to make more chips for other tech companies. A deal could value GlobalFoundries at around $30 billion. A1


 Morgan Stanley said second-quarter profit rose 10%, thanks to a boost in fees from deal making and advising wealthy clients. B8  When Robinhood shares start trading, employees will be able to sell 15% of their holdings immediately, rather than after the traditional six-month lockup period. B1  Aurora plans to go public through a blank-check company in a transaction that values the self-driving technology startup at $11 billion. B3

World-Wide  Three large hospitals said they wouldn’t administer Biogen’s new Alzheimer’s treatment to patients, the latest rupture to emerge from the FDA’s controversial approval of the drug last month. A1  The EU’s top antitrust regulator foresees greater alignment with the U.S. on competition enforcement, particularly in the tech sector, amid a broader policy reorientation under the Biden administration. A8

 Los Angeles County will again require the use of masks indoors following a sharp rise in coronavirus infections since most Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in California a month earlier. A3  Canada could start allowing Americans into the country for recreational or tourist activities starting in mid-August, Trudeau’s office said. A8  A range of people, including two former Colombian soldiers, met in recent months in the Dominican Republic and Haiti in a plot that led to the assassination of Haiti’s president, Haitian and Colombian officials said. A6  Biden welcomed Merkel to the White House for what is likely her final visit as Germany’s chancellor, with both sides highlighting improving trans-Atlantic relations. A8 CONTENTS Arts in Review A10-11 Banking & Finance. B8 Business News B3-4 Crossword............... A11 Equities....................... B6 Heard on Street. B10

Mansion............. M1-14 Markets...................... B9 Opinion.............. A13-15 Sports........................ A12 U.S. News............. A2-4 Weather................... A11 World News........ A6,8


s 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 Jobless claims decline as states end enhanced aid..... A2

 TSMC ramps up output of auto chips amid shortage... B1


Many Jobs Lost in Pandemic To Be Eliminated Permanently BY LAUREN WEBER

Job openings are at a record high, leaving the impression that employers are hiring like never before. But many businesses that laid off workers during the pandemic are already predicting they will need fewer employees in the future. As with past economic shocks, the pandemic-induced recession was a catalyst for employers to invest in automation and implement other changes designed to curb hir-

Investors Return to Oil, Gas As Prices Increase BY JOE WALLACE AND COLLIN EATON

Energy companies are raising money again from Wall Street at superlow borrowing costs, thanks in part to higher oil prices. The one thing most investors don’t want them to do with it is pump more crude. Speculative-grade energy companies, including oil producers, pipeline operators and refineries, have issued bonds in the U.S. at a record pace this year, raising about $34 billion so far, according to LCD, a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Cash is primarily heading toward riskier borrowers in the shale patch, which by this time last year had raised about half as much from bond issuances. Laredo Petroleum Inc. on Tuesday issued $400 million of bonds due for repayment in 2029 with a coupon of 7.75%. The Oklahoma-based oil-andgas producer plans to use the money in part to pay off other debts. The willingness of investors to finance shale-oil producers marks a shift from 2019 and the first half of 2020, when years of poor returns and then the pandemic caused funding to dry up. Wide-open capital markets introduce a new wrinkle into the debate about the direction of crude prices, which already have jumped about 48% this year to about $72 a barrel in the U.S. The ability to borrow at relatively low rates has put Please turn to page A4


 Disagreements over expanding the IRS have snarled lawmakers’ efforts to firm up their roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure agreement before an initial vote next week gauging the deal’s support. A4

paid professionals and lowwage service workers alike, not everyone can find a match for their skills, experience or location, creating a paradox of relatively high unemployment combined with record job openings. Economists said it can be a prolonged process for some laid-off workers to find jobs or acquire the skills needed for new careers. Please turn to page A2

INUNDATED: Firefighters stand on the roof of their vehicle to climb into a flooded house Thursday in Trier, Germany. At least 59 people were reported dead and about 1,300 were unaccounted for in western Germany following days of heavy rain. A8

 Oil-demand rebound could spur inflation, OPEC says... B9

ing. In industries ranging from hotels to aerospace to restaurants, businesses have reviewed their operations and discovered ways to save on labor costs for the long term. Economic data show that companies have learned to do more with less over the last 16 months or so. Output nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2021—down just 0.5% from the end of 2019—even though U.S. workers put in 4.3% fewer hours than they did before the

health crisis. “When demand falls, it’s a natural time to retool or invest because you won’t lose customers or sales while you tinker and shut things down,” said Brad Hershbein, senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. “You don’t want to interrupt business when it’s at its peak.” The changes will require many workers to adapt. Though the job market is strong right now for highly


The Bid to Counter China On Global Infrastructure Aid


 TSMC said it expects the chip shortage that has hampered car makers to start easing in the next few months after it ramped up production of auto chips. B1

Intel Corp. is exploring a deal to buy GlobalFoundries Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would turbocharge the semiconductor giant’s plans to make more chips for other tech companies and rate as its largest acquisition ever. A deal could value GlobalFoundries at around $30 billion, the people said. It isn’t guaranteed one will come together, and GlobalFoundries could proceed with a planned initial public offering. GlobalFoundries is owned by Mubadala Investment Co., an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, but based in the U.S. Any talks don’t appear to include GlobalFoundries executives, as a spokeswoman for the company said it isn’t in discussions with Intel. Intel’s new chief executive, Pat Gelsinger, said in March that the company would launch a major push to become a chip manufacturer for others, a market dominated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Intel, with a market value of around $225 billion, this year pledged more than $20 Please turn to page A4

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 The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended lower, losing 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively, while the Dow rose 0.2%. B9

Intel Eyes $30 Billion Purchase Of Chip Company



 Powell said recent inflation is uncomfortably above the levels the Fed seeks, concluding two days of testimony in which he sounded somewhat less confident about the economic outlook than earlier this year. A3

YEN 109.84

Tech giant explores GlobalFoundries deal amid push to expand its manufacturing


 Job openings are at a record high, suggesting that employers are hiring like never before, but many businesses that laid off workers during the pandemic are predicting they will need fewer employees in the future. A1

EURO $1.1811


DJIA 34987.02 À 53.79 0.2%

HHHH $4.00


Rare bipartisan program dedicates $60 billion for foreign projects


ELEFSINA, Greece—An aging shipyard here has a new suitor sizing it up for investment: the U.S. government. To counter China’s rising global economic influence, Washington has taken a new direction with foreign assistance. Rather than just lend money or promote trade, as in recent decades, the U.S. is now investing dollars overseas to advance American nationalsecurity interests. It wants ports, cellular networks and other strategic assets to stay in friendly hands. At the forefront of this effort is an agency Congress overhauled in 2019, the International Development Finance Corp., or DFC. “It’s a very significant investment tool that we have to compete” against China, said

MANSION Buyers find the wild market of the past year is finally starting to calm down. M1

U.S. NEWS Infrastructure talks in the Senate stall over expanded powers for the IRS. A4

A Pool’s Oldest Lifeguard Dives Headlong Into His Dream Gig i



A 36-year-old rebounds from job loss, breakup; ‘I’m starting all over’ BY KRIS MAHER

in Dormont, a borough of about 8,600 residents outside DORMONT, Pa.—Joshua Pittsburgh, had less than half Vish, at age 36, is the oldest of the 30 lifeguards needed to lifeguard at the Dormont Pool. staff the century-old pool, The job pays $15 an hour and which was closed last summer. is a dream come true, he said. Borough officials voted to Maybe even a life-saver. close the Dormont Pool on “It feels very much like, Mondays, reducing costs to al‘Finally!’ ” Mr. Vish said low lifeguards’ hourly of his new work. pay to go to $15 from The pandemic trig$9.25, said Bethany gered a national labor Bachman, the borough’s shortage, and the pool communications coordiof lifeguards is espenator. cially shallow. The Friends told Mr. Vish closing of beaches and about the openings, pools last year sent and he dove right in. many lifeguards—and He’d been jobless, and potential recruits—to his fiancée had just find new work. The broken up with him afline of empty lifeter nine years together. guard chairs this sumPreviously, he had mer stretches from worked as a barista, Newport, R.I., to Repersonal trainer and Wanted: dondo Beach, Calif. prep cook. In May, officials whistleblowers. Please turn to page A9

Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Trump administration was quick to use the DFC, discussing purchasing the shipyard with Greek officials and offering loans to get Ethiopia to shun 5G cellular equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co. The Biden administration wants to go further, to offset Beijing’s vaccine diplomacy and other efforts. The Group of Seven wealthy democracies last month announced a new initiative, called Build Back Better World, that they promised would unleash hundreds of billions of dollars for projects in needier countries. It was designed as an alternative to Chinese infrastructure offerings. U.S. officials say the DFC is the initiative’s most powerful tool. Its $60 billion investPlease turn to page A9

Three Large Hospitals Shun Alzheimer’s Drug BY JOSEPH WALKER Three large hospitals are declining to administer Biogen Inc.’s new Alzheimer’s treatment, Aduhelm, the latest rupture to emerge from the Food and Drug Administration’s controversial approval of the drug last month. The Cleveland Clinic, Mount Sinai Health System in New York and Providence in Renton, Wash., said they wouldn’t administer Aduhelm, which is also called aducanumab, to patients amid a debate about the drug’s effectiveness and whether the FDA lowered its standards in approving the medicine. The hospitals’ moves come as some health insurers also restrict access to the therapy— unusual pushback against a drug targeting a devastating disease like Alzheimer’s that has few effective treatments. While some doctors have been eager to start prescribing the newly approved drug, oth-

ers have criticized the FDA for clearing the drug before studies proved it works. The critics have also expressed concerns about whether the drug’s benefits, which appeared to be modest in studies, are worth the risks of side effects such as brain bleeding that require regular monitoring by physicians. “Clinical studies failed to demonstrate the effectiveness of Aduhelm…while documenting significant risks, like brain swelling and bleeding,” said a spokeswoman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, which won’t cover the drug for its commercially insured patients. Federal officials recently began a monthslong review of whether Medicare will cover Aduhelm and under what circumstances. The vast majority of patients expected to get the drug are on Medicare, the federal insurance program for the elderly and disabled. Please turn to page A6

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A2 | Friday, July 16, 2021


Jobless Claims Decline as States End Enhanced Aid BY SARAH CHANEY CAMBON

Applications for unemployment benefits fell to a new pandemic low, showing a healing labor market, and the number of people receiving jobless aid has also trended lower as many states end enhanced pandemic programs. Jobless claims declined to 360,000 in the week ended July 10 from a seasonally adjusted 386,000 a week earlier. Last week’s applications count marked the lowest level for claims since March 2020, the month the Covid-19 pandemic hit the U.S. economy. The fourweek moving average, which can smooth out volatility in the weekly figures, fell to 382,500, also a pandemic low. Continuing unemployment payments made through regular state programs—which provides an approximation of

the number of people receiving benefits—declined by 126,000 to 3.24 million in the week ended July 3, also the lowest level since March 2020. New claims and benefits payments have trended downward in recent months, largely reflecting a strengthening economy. Still, claims remain elevated compared with the pre-pandemic average of 218,000 in 2019. “The economy is expanding rapidly now, as Covid infections go down and firms are given the OK to expand in-person activity,” said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. “To meet that demand, firms need to hire workers.” The Federal Reserve separately on Thursday said that U.S. industrial production rose in June, but manufacturing output continued to be hin-

dered by supply-chain disruptions, particularly in the automotive sector. Industrial production—which includes factory, mining and utility output—increased at a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in June compared with May. Early cutoffs of extra pandemic-related unemployment benefits are contributing to the decline in benefits payments, Mr. Berson said. Nearly half of states have announced that they will end the expanded benefits of $300 a week before they are slated to end nationwide in early September. Twenty-two states had ended the benefits by the beginning of July, according to Morgan Stanley. From mid-May through the week ended July 3, continuing claims were down 19.2% in states with June and July expiration dates for the $300 en-

hanced payment. Over the same period, they were down 6.7% in the remaining states that are set to end benefits in September, according to Jefferies LLC. Even though benefit recipients in states halting the extra $300 benefits are still eligible for regular state payments, many are leaving unemployment rolls. “The fact that these people have stopped claiming those weekly payments means that they most likely found employment,” said Aneta Markowska, chief economist at Jefferies. Ms. Markowska said declining claims is one reason July job growth will likely be strong. Evans Distribution Systems, a Melvindale, Mich.-based company, provides warehousing and fulfillment services to companies in sectors such as autos and consumer products. Demand for Evans’s services has

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Number of people claiming unemployment benefits, by program 35 million



20 Other 15 Pandemic assistance† 10 Pandemic extended benefits* 5 Regular state programs 0 Jan. 2020


*Reflects Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation for those who exhausted other programs. †Reflects Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for self-employed and others not typically eligible. Source: Labor Department

been strong since last summer, when “consumer goods basically started flying off the shelves of stores,” said Patrick Swaney, vice president of human resources. But filling positions has

been difficult, Mr. Swaney said. “We’re competing against the unemployment benefits that are out there right now,” he said. —Xavier Fontdegloria contributed to this article.

U.S. WATCH Undersecretary Nominee Withdraws

The union Unite Here said the end of daily room cleaning could cut 180,000 hotel jobs. Work at the Element St. Louis Midtown hotel.


Continued from Page One Raytheon Technologies Corp., the biggest U.S. aerospace supplier by sales, laid off 21,000 employees and contractors in 2020 amid a drastic decline in air travel. Raytheon said in January that efforts to modernize its factories and back-office operations would boost profit margins and reduce the need to bring back all those jobs. The company said that most if not all of the 4,500 contract workers who were let go in 2020 wouldn’t be called back. The pandemic accelerated some of the company’s plans to automate factories and implement more digital technology, said Paolo Dal Cin, the executive vice president of operations and supply chain at Raytheon, which was formed last year through the merger of Raytheon Co. and United Technologies Corp. “We have over 500 equipment-automation and equipment-upgrade projects that we plan to deploy over the next three to five years,” he said. Among them, the company is connecting more than 20,000 pieces of equipment into its networks so that data is collected automatically and sent to engineers, quality inspectors and others. Some of those


Many Lost Jobs to Be Eliminated

data-collection activities were previously handled by contract workers who in many cases will no longer be needed. Raytheon plans to add people back selectively while reassigning current employees whose jobs are automated. Mr. Dal Cin said some projects focus on quality as well as labor savings, for example, by automating the assembly or production of complex parts where precision and accuracy can be improved through technology. In low-wage sectors such as hospitality and leisure, the push to cut staffing costs is driven partly by short-term labor shortages and expectations that wages will continue rising due to a combination of market forces and possible changes to local and federal laws. In May 2020, as Covid-19 surged in the U.S. and the travel and hospitality industries cratered, the chief executive of Host Hotels & Resorts Inc., a large owner of Hyatt and Marriott hotels, described the pandemic “truly as an opportunity to redefine the hotel operating model.” CEO Jim Risoleo said the hotel chain planned to limit housekeeping at many of its properties and reconfigure food and beverage operations. “It is really going to be opt in to housekeeping services as opposed to opt out going forward,” he said during a November call with investors. The company also reduced management staff by 30% in 2020 in its food and beverage department and said the changes would be permanent. The company didn’t respond

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Nonfarm job openings and hires

Job openings 9.2 million*

10 million




Hires 5.9 million*


0 2011






*Preliminary for May Source: Labor Department

to requests to comment. Other chains are moving in the same direction, partly to address current challenges in hiring staff. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. said last week that most of its U.S. properties are adopting “a flexible housekeeping policy,” with daily service available upon request. “Full deep cleanings will be conducted prior to check-in and on every fifth day for extended stays,” it said. Daily housekeeping will still be free for those who request it. But Hilton businesses “will be higher-margin and require less labor than they did preCovid,” CEO Christopher Nassetta said in February. The company declined to comment on how many fewer housekeepers it would employ once the changes are implemented. Unite Here, a union that

CORRECTIONS  AMPLIFICATIONS Notice to readers Wall Street Journal staff members are working remotely during the pandemic. For the foreseeable future, please send reader comments only by email or phone, using the contacts below, not via U.S. Mail. Readers can alert The Wall Street Journal to any errors in news articles by emailing [email protected] or by calling 888-410-2667.

represents hotel workers, published a report in June estimating that the end of daily room cleaning could result in an industrywide loss of up to 180,000 jobs, in a workforce that consists primarily of Black and Hispanic women, many of them immigrants. The union has negotiated agreements with some hotels and localities to require daily cleaning. Restaurants have become rapid adopters of technology during the pandemic as two forces—labor shortages that are pushing wages higher and a desire to reduce close contact between customers and employees—raise the return on such investments. At restaurant and entertainment chain Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc., customers now use digital tablets to order food and drink, allowing managers to schedule fewer servers, the chief operating officer, Margo Manning, said in June. Applebee’s is now using tablets to allow customers to pay at their tables without summoning a waiter. The hand-held screens provide a hedge against labor inflation, said John Peyton, CEO of Applebee’s parent Dine Brands Global Inc. The U.S. tax code encourages investments in automation, particularly after the Trump administration’s tax cuts, said Daron Acemoglu, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies the impact of automation. Firms pay around 25 cents in taxes for every dollar they pay workers, compared with 5 cents for every dollar spent on machines because companies can write off capital investments, he said. Given the expense and complexity of large automation projects, they aren’t always the right solution for companies facing worker shortages or wanting to reduce costs, Mr. Acemoglu said. But there are piecemeal steps companies can take that might be cost-effective, he added: “If you’re going to try to completely revamp your factory, that’s very expensive. But if you’re a retailer, if you introduce 10 checkout kiosks, that’s not very expensive.” —Heather Haddon contributed to this article.


Two Missing After Flash Flood in Canyon Authorities were searching Thursday for two people on a rafting trip who were swept into the frigid Colorado River during a flash flood in the Grand Canyon. A torrent of water through a slot canyon washed away the camp where two commercial rafts with 30 passengers had pulled off the river to stay Wednesday evening, said Grand Canyon spokeswoman Joelle Baird. Someone on the trip called authorities from a satellite phone asking for help and saying people were injured. Ms. Baird said rescue crews on the ground, in the water and in the air were trying to locate at least two people who ended up in the river. “The likelihood of survivability of someone entering the Colorado River without a life jacket is, unfortunately, really low,” she said. A park helicopter took two paramedics to the river late Wednesday to treat and stabilize the injured rafters. The most critically injured passenger was airlifted to a hospital, Ms. Baird said. —Associated Press MARYLAND


Jury Finds Gunman Guaranteed Income Criminally Responsible Plan for Some Passes

California lawmakers approved the first state-funded guaranteed income plan in the U.S., $35 million for monthly cash payments to qualifying pregnant people and young adults who recently left foster care with no restrictions on how they spend it. The votes—36-0 in the Senate and 64-0 in the Assembly— showed bipartisan support for an idea that is gaining momentum across the country. Dozens of local programs have sprung up in recent years, including some that have been privately funded. “If you look at the stats for our foster youth, they are devastating,” Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk said. “We should be doing all we can to lift these young people up.” Local governments and organizations will apply for the money and run their programs. The state Department of Social Ser-

A jury on Thursday found the gunman who killed five people at a Maryland newspaper criminally responsible, rejecting defense attorneys’ mental-illness arguments. The jury of eight men and four women found that Jarrod Ramos could understand the criminality of his actions and conform his conduct to the requirements of the law when he attacked the Capital Gazette newsroom in 2018. The jury’s finding means Mr. Ramos, 41, will be sentenced to prison, not a maximum-security mental-health facility. Prosecutors are seeking five life sentences without the possibility of parole. He already had pleaded guilty to all 23 counts against him in 2019 but pleaded not criminally responsible—Maryland’s version of an insanity plea. —Associated Press

Summerleigh Geimer, left, and Montana Geimer, daughters of Wendi Winters, a reporter who died in the Capital Gazette newsroom shooting, react to the gunman being found criminally responsible.



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The director of a Pentagon unit that works with technology companies withdrew his nomination to become the Defense Department’s undersecretary for acquisition due to an inspector general’s investigation into his office. Both the Trump and Biden administrations have identified Michael Brown, a former Silicon Valley executive, as a leader in the Pentagon’s drive to streamline the military’s adoption of private-sector innovation and deny China access to U.S. technology. Mr. Brown, who currently heads the Defense Innovation Unit, withdrew from consideration as undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment this week in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. In the letter, a copy of which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Brown said an investigation into the DIU by the Pentagon’s inspector general would delay his nomination for up to a year and so he would step aside. The letter didn’t provide details on the investigation. A spokeswoman for the Pentagon’s inspector general declined to comment on the matter. A Pentagon spokesman declined to provide details on the investigation. Mr. Brown didn’t respond to a request for comment. A DIU spokeswoman said Mr. Brown plans to remain director of the unit, but wouldn’t comment on the investigation. —Brett Forrest

vices will decide who gets funding. California lawmakers left it up to local officials to determine the size of the monthly payments, which generally range from $500 to $1,000 in existing programs around the country. —Associated Press



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Friday, July 16, 2021 | A3

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Los Angeles County will again require the use of masks indoors, following a sharp rise in coronavirus infections since most Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in California a month earlier. The new order will require everyone, regardless of whether they are vaccinated, to wear face coverings in most indoor public places. It takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday. Some exceptions will apply, similar to those in place for much of the past year, including for restaurants. No businesses are being ordered to reduce capacity or close. Separately, the University of California system announced Thursday that only vaccinated students would be permitted to return to campus in the fall. The new mask restrictions follow what officials called alarming growth in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks, as residents of the nation’s most populous county cast off their masks in coffee shops and movie theaters, and life returned to something resembling prepandemic normal. Some 1,537 new cases were confirmed on Thursday, according to county health officials, an 83% increase from the previous week. Hospitalizations have more than tripled over the same period. “Masking indoors must again become a normal practice by all regardless of vaccination status so that we can stop the trends and level of transmission we’re currently seeing,” said Muntu Davis, the Los Angeles County health officer. “Waiting for us to be at a high community transmission level before making a change would be too late.” New infections and hospitalizations have been concentrated among unvaccinated residents, county officials said, with younger people making up a larger share of infections than during past spikes.

A crew from Napa monitored the Dixie Fire as it expanded Thursday in Northern California. Some 500 firefighters were battling the blaze in difficult terrain.

has had “the hottest start to the summer” on record, according to the National Weather Service. In many parts of the state, dead vegetation is the driest it has ever been at this point in the summer, which means it could more easily spark and spread wildfires, said Philip Higuera, a fire ecology professor at the University of Montana. The high temperatures could result in even more dry vegetation, including dead branches and downed logs that are typically too wet to burn. “The longer that this heat continues, the more that gets ratcheted up,” Dr. Higuera said. Nationally, this fire season has so far been on par with previous years. More than 70 large active fires have burned nearly 1 million acres across the West, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, with the largest number of fires burn-

ing in Idaho, Montana, Arizona and Oregon. Red-flag warnings, which indicate weather ripe for fast-spreading fires, are in effect in parts of several states, including Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Northern California, according to the National Weather Service. On Wednesday, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte declared a wildfire state of emergency, joining state officials in Washington, Oregon and Idaho in activating additional firefighting resources, if available. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday the state had deployed additional firefighting resources to Oregon. The National Interagency Fire Center upgraded its national preparedness status to its highest level Wednesday, which means more large fires are burning and more firefighters are working to control them, with “the potential to


Another heat wave will hit parts of the drought-stricken Western U.S. this weekend as firefighters battle dozens of blazes and state leaders activate more resources to support them. The heat could meet or exceed daily records in parts of Montana and Idaho over the weekend and into early next week, said Julie Malingowski, an emergency-response meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Temperatures are forecast to exceed 100 degrees in parts of Montana beginning Saturday, with hotter temperatures reaching Idaho on Sunday.

exhaust national wildland firefighting resources,” according to the center. It is the earliest in the fire season the center has made such an upgrade in 10 years. The largest fire currently burning is the 227,234-acre Bootleg Fire in south central Oregon. More than 1,700 firefighting personnel are battling the flames, which continue to pose challenges due to winds and dry vegetation. The Red Apple Fire in Chelan County, Wash., prompted evacuation orders for 1,500 homes this week after sparking and quickly spreading Tuesday evening. In California, 500 firefighters were battling steep and difficult terrain to contain the 2,250-acre Dixie Fire. The fire is burning in Northern California’s Butte County near Paradise, where the devastating 2018 Camp Fire killed 85 people.


Western states have faced several record-setting heat waves this summer, including one in June that left more than 100 people dead in the Pacific Northwest. This bout of high temperatures likely won’t last as long as previous heat waves, said Ms. Malingowski. The sequence of heat waves in the region this year is unprecedented and has exacerbated drought and fire conditions, said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “There really is no historical precedent for this magnitude of recurrent, record-breaking heat in the same part of the Western U.S.,” Dr. Swain said. “We’ve known for a long time this is where things were headed because climate change is dramatically increasing the likelihood of unprecedented, extreme heat events like we’re seeing right now.” In Missoula, Mont., 2021

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Montana and other states activate more firefighting resources as blazes keep burning


New Heat Wave Looms for the West

Beach Towns Brace for Shift on Sand Powell Concedes

Anxiety on Inflation






Carolina Beach, N.C., faces a perennial problem—replacing the tons of sand regularly washed away so tourists visiting the barrier island have a spot to plunk down their blankets and umbrellas. Mayor LeAnn Pierce says she was elated when the Trump administration made a policy change that allowed coastal communities to use federal anti-erosion funds to replenish their shores with sand from nearby protected areas where birds tend to outnumber beachgoers. “If there isn’t a beach strand for them to visit, they may choose to take their families to other locations on vacation,” said Ms. Pierce, who has run a 62-room hotel for nearly three decades. The funding option for the beach towns may not be around much longer, however. Environmentalists and budget hawks are pressing the Biden administration to reverse the Trump policy on grounds that it threatens wildlife habitat and wastes taxpayer money. In a June 22 court filing, the Interior Department said it planned to make a decision on the policy by Friday. Banning the use of federal funds could force Carolina Beach to dredge sand from offshore or seek special permission from the Interior Department to use protected sand from a nearby inlet, as it did before the policy change, Ms. Pierce said. Environmental groups, however, say communities could still replenish their beaches; they just couldn’t use federal funds to take it from nearby coastal areas that are home to birds and other wildlife. “These habitats in particular are important for coastal species that are declining in population” because of development and sea-level rise, said Jessica Grannis, National Audubon Society’s interim vice president of coastal conservation.

Environmentalists and budget hawks want the Biden administration to reverse a Trump policy that allowed places like Carolina Beach, N.C., to use federal funds to get sand from nearby protected areas. Audubon sued the Trump administration in U.S. District Court in New York in 2020 to overturn the policy. Some federal spending watchdogs and politicians also have long said it is wasteful for Washington to bankroll development on barrier islands because sand shifts and powerful storms can lead to additional spending on disaster relief. The policy affects dozens of beach towns along the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes area, where more than $8 billion in federal, state and local money has paid for shoreline-stabilization projects since 1990. The sand on 3.5 million acres of undeveloped barrier islands and other environmentally sensitive spots is in effect protected under the 1982 Coastal Barrier Resources Act. For decades, federal money couldn’t be spent to mine sand from the sites. In 2019, several lawmakers including Rep. David Rouzer (R., N.C.) wrote to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt asking whether sand from protected areas could be used to shore up nearby eroding coastline.

Sand for shore-stabilization projects is free, but the expense reflects the cost of moving it to eroded areas. Cost per cubic yard of sand $30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1985- '90- '95- '00- '05- '10- '15'89 '94 '99 '04 '09 '14 '19 Note: Based on expenses tracked for projects for which data is available, in 2019 dollars Source: Western Carolina University

Within weeks, the Interior Department responded, saying it changed its interpretation of the law to view federal beachreplenishment projects as eligible to take protected sands.

So far, the Army Corps has redrawn just two project plans under the policy that allows sand to be mined from protected sites—for Carolina Beach and another community in North Carolina, Wrightsville Beach, an Interior Department spokesman said. Town officials there said the projects were still on the drawing board. Derek Brockbank of the Coastal States Organization, which lobbies Congress for shoreline-project money, said if the policy reverses again, it would pose a challenge for beach communities. “You’ve got communities that are facing huge pressure over how to maintain their beaches with sea-level rise over the next 50 years,” said Mr. Brockbank. Shoreline stabilization has become costlier in recent decades. Sand itself is essentially free, but the cost to pay for the projects’ design, permitting and execution—including labor and equipment to move the sand—has doubled the price to about $30 per cubic yard since 1995, according to Western Carolina University researcher Andy Coburn.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said recent inflation is uncomfortably above the levels the central bank seeks, concluding two days of testimony in which he sounded somewhat less confident about the economic outlook—and the Fed’s policy path—than earlier this year. More broad-based price pressures or a weak rebound in the workforce could lead the Fed to conclude it needs to reverse the easy money policies it deployed during the pandemic faster than officials expected. “This is a shock going through the system associated with reopening of the economy, and it has driven inflation well above 2%. And of course we’re not comfortable with that,” Mr. Powell told the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. Pandemic-related bottlenecks and other supply constraints for a small group of goods and services have led to rapid price increases, he said. It would be an error to overreact to inflation that results from one-time in-

creases in the prices of certain services, such as air travel, or goods, such as cars, that have surged due to the reopening of the economy, Mr. Powell added. Earlier this year, he said he expected inflation would prove transitory because those onetime increases wouldn’t continue. But Mr. Powell said Thursday that even though the central bank still expects surging prices related to bottlenecks to reverse, the Fed is watching to see if other goods and services, where price growth has been flat or modest, might accelerate. U.S. consumer prices continued to accelerate in June at the fastest pace in 13 years as the recovery from the pandemic gained steam. The Labor Department’s consumer-price index increased 5.4% in June from a year earlier. “This particular inflation is just unique in history. We don’t have another example of the last time we reopened a $20 trillion economy with lots of fiscal and monetary support,” he said. “We are humble about what we understand.”

Cuomo to Be Questioned In Sex-Harassment Probe BY JIMMY VIELKIND ALBANY, N.Y.—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be questioned Saturday by state investigators as part of a probe into accusations that the Democratic governor sexually harassed multiple women, people familiar with the matter said. Five current and former state employees have accused Mr. Cuomo of inappropriate workplace conduct during his nearly 11-year tenure as governor. He has denied wrongdoing and apologized if his behavior offended anybody. The investigators, overseen

by Attorney General Letitia James, are examining the sexual-harassment claims as well as Mr. Cuomo’s office environment and how his administration acted after the women came forward. The investigation began on March 1. Investigators have already interviewed the women as well as current and former state officials and members of the governor’s State Police security detail, witnesses and their lawyers said. Mr. Cuomo has rebuffed calls for his resignation and is raising money to campaign for a fourth term next year.

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A4 | Friday, July 16, 2021
































Infrastructure Talks Stall Ex-Fed Official Liang Confirmed Over Expanded IRS Powers For Treasury Post

manufacturing across various sectors, leading to temporary shutdowns of automobile factories and reduced supply of items such as computers and some appliances. Car makers have been hit particularly hard, unable to get enough chips for all their vehicles. The shortages are starting to drive up the costs of some electronics, too. President Biden has promised to take steps to help mitigate the chip shortage, pledging to spend billions of dollars to boost capacity. Governments overseas have signaled similar commitments. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker, said this week it expects the chip-supply issues hampering car makers to start easing in the coming months after it ramped up its production of auto chips. Car makers have signaled they expect shortages to persist into next year. Mr. Gelsinger, who was Intel’s chief technology officer before leaving to run VMware Inc., returned to the chip giant to be its chief executive in February, following major delays in chip-making advances under his predecessor, Bob Swan. Mr. Gelsinger has vowed to make Intel more reliable in producing new chips. Intel, a serial deal maker, agreed in October to sell its flash-memory manufacturing business to South Korea’s SK Hynix Inc. for about $9 billion. Its biggest deal so far is its $15.4 billion purchase of Altera Corp. in 2015. It agreed to buy Israel-based Mobileye, a maker of driver-assistance systems, for around $14 billion in 2017. Consolidation has swept through the semiconductor sector as industry players seek scale and expand their product portfolios to support the increasing number of everyday items that are connected to the internet. Last year, Analog Devices Inc. agreed to pay more than $20 billion for Maxim Integrated Products Inc., and Nvidia agreed to pay $40 billion for Arm Holdings, the British chip designer backed by SoftBank Group Corp. AMD later agreed to buy Xilinx Inc. in a roughly $35 billion deal. —Robert Wall contributed to this article.


Continued from Page One billion in investments to expand chip-making facilities in the U.S., and Mr. Gelsinger has said more commitments domestically and abroad are in the works. GlobalFoundries is one of the largest specialist chip-production companies. It was created when Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in 2008 decided to spin off its chip-production operations. AMD remains a big customer for GlobalFoundries— agreeing to a multiyear, roughly $1.6 billion chip-component supply deal this year— and that could complicate a takeover by Intel. GlobalFoundries is relocating its corporate headquarters to

GlobalFoundries is one of the largest specialist chip producers. Malta, N.Y., from Santa Clara, Calif. GlobalFoundries has about 7% of the foundry market share by revenue, according to Taiwan-based research firm TrendForce. Some of the largest chip companies, including Qualcomm Inc. and Nvidia Corp., rely on third-party producers to make their products, preferring to focus on design and without the hassle of running their own factories. Nvidia overtook Intel last year as the U.S.’s biggest semiconductor company by value. Like Intel and TSMC, GlobalFoundries is expanding its manufacturing footprint amid a global shortage of semiconductors. GlobalFoundries said last month it broke ground on a new chip-production facility, called a fab, in Singapore, investing more than $4 billion in the site. The shortage has disrupted

considering that legislation next week.” It wasn’t clear Thursday whether the bipartisan group would be able to resolve its major differences by next week’s deadline. “I don’t know if we’ll make anybody’s arbitrary timeline. That’s not the point,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio). “The point is to get it right.” The Wednesday procedural vote on the infrastructure agreement will provide an early test of support for the pact, which will need 60 votes to pass in the 50-50 Senate. Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah), one of the infrastructure negotiators, said he would vote against the procedural vote if lawmakers had not reached an agreement by then. “I would think it would be a dereliction of duty to vote for a bill that hasn’t been drafted yet,” he said. Lawmakers said they would work through the weekend to try to finish their remaining issues by the Wednesday deadline. “Everybody’s hanging in here,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.). The Biden administration had initially proposed invest-

Investors Return To Energy

The restraint demanded by investors stands in contrast to previous periods of breakneck growth in U.S. production. It raises the prospect that the nation’s output—which has been largely flat this year— might not rise to offset a recovery in demand as major economies roll back Covid-19 restrictions. Companies are refraining from deploying money to raise output, which in turn is tightening the balance between supply and demand, said Lex Maultsby, a managing director for leveraged finance at Bank of America. “Most of the debt financings are principally extending debt maturities and not being used to fund…production

Continued from Page One U.S. oil companies on surer financial footing, ensuring there are plenty of producers that could open the taps if needed to keep crude prices in check. The catch: Investors want to see companies repairing their balance sheets and delivering to creditors and shareholders rather than plowing money into new wells.

Nellie Liang is Treasury’s next undersecretary for domestic finance. growth,” he said. Asset manager Janus Henderson Investors has bought bonds of energy companies in recent months, including newly issued debt because bond prices looked low and primed to rise as oil markets rallied. “In order to get the support of debt markets, they had to get more conservative around their balance sheets,” said Tom Ross, portfolio manager. The stream of cash isn’t indiscriminate. Companies that aren’t preparing for a world of lower hydrocarbon consumption increasingly will struggle to access funding, Mr. Ross said. Investors are looking to lend to companies that can

Rising prices have allowed riskier oil companies to issue bonds at a record pace and pushed down their borrowing costs. Bond issuance by speculativegrade oil-and-gas companies in the U.S. Annual total

Crude-oil prices since 2019 $75 a barrel


Most-active contract $50 billion


Through July 6 45

West Texas Intermediate


Front-month contract 30 ’21


Spread over Treasury yields for dollar-denominated bonds of:


25 percentage points 0 20


Speculativegrade energy companies





–30 5

–45 2020

0 2020

All speculativegrade companies ’21

nors in 2018, but her nomination ran into opposition from Senate Republicans. She withdrew from consideration in early 2019. She served most recently as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, the Washington think tank where Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen worked after leaving the Fed in 2018. Ms. Liang was the founding director of the Fed’s division of financial stability and ran it from 2010 until 2017, when she left the central bank. She joined the Fed as a research economist in 1986 and has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland. Late last year, Ms. Liang outlined a proposal to improve the resilience of the market for U.S. Treasury securities, which witnessed severe and unprecedented strains when the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020. Those strains were resolved only after enormous Fed purchases of government debt. —Richard Rubin contributed to this article.


caucus also have previously signed onto the deal, which a smaller group of lawmakers and President Biden first announced last month. Prodding the bipartisan lawmakers to close out their agreement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Thursday that he would hold a procedural vote on the infrastructure agreement on Wednesday. Mr. Schumer also set a Wednesday deadline for Democrats to reach an agreement on a $3.5 trillion blueprint for approving much of President Biden’s legislative agenda, including investments in child care, education, and healthcare programs. Top Democrats have linked the two pieces of legislation, hoping to keep Democrats unified behind both efforts while attracting Republican support for the infrastructure plan. “Everybody has been having productive conversations, and it’s important to keep the two track process moving,” Mr. Schumer said. “All parties involved in the bipartisan infrastructure bill talks must now finalize their agreement so that the Senate can begin

WASHINGTON—The Senate confirmed former Federal Reserve economist Nellie Liang as the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for domestic finance, putting her at the forefront of efforts to manage the soaring federal debt. Ms. Liang, who specialized in financial stability issues at the Fed, was confirmed by a vote of 72-27. She will oversee U.S. fiscal policy at a time when the Biden administration is proposing trillions of dollars in new spending on infrastructure and antipoverty programs. The Congressional Budget Office projects a budget deficit of $3 trillion this fiscal year— more than it forecast in February, but less than the $3.2 trillion deficit in fiscal 2020. The nonpartisan agency expects the federal debt to grow to 103% of gross domestic product at the end of 2021. Ms. Liang was nominated by former President Donald Trump to a seat on the Fed’s seven-member board of gover-

co Fo m rp m er er s ci on al a l us , e on

Intel Eyes $30 Billion Acquisition

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke to reporters Thursday.


WASHINGTON—Disagreements over expanding the Internal Revenue Service have snarled lawmakers’ efforts to firm up their roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure agreement before an initial vote next week gauging the deal’s support. In an hourslong meeting Thursday afternoon with White House officials, Republicans and Democrats who have spent weeks negotiating the deal again grappled with how to pay for it. Lawmakers and aides said the group may abandon an effort to raise revenue through enhanced enforcement at the IRS after some Republicans said they were concerned about granting the tax agency new power. Dropping that proposal would mean the group would need to find alternative ways to cover the full cost of the spending, roughly $600 billion of which is above projected future federal spending on roads, bridges, and water projects. Republicans had already questioned whether the plan would be fully paid for through a mix of repurposed federal funds, IRS enforcement, and public-private partnerships. “We’ve got a long way to go, payfors are still a big part of this that we really don’t have resolved yet,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R., S.D.), one of the 11 Republicans who had previously endorsed the contours of the agreement. Eleven members of the Democratic




ing roughly $80 billion in the IRS and requiring financial institutions to report more information to the government as a way to bring in an estimated $700 billion in revenue over 10 years. A Treasury Department report earlier this year projected that the gross tax gap—the difference between taxes owed and taxes collected—will be $7 trillion cumulatively over the next decade. The bipartisan infrastructure plan had initially settled for a narrower plan, with Republicans earlier discussing putting roughly $40 billion into enforcement efforts at the IRS to net roughly $60 billion in revenue over 10 years. Republicans have opposed the administration’s proposed reporting requirements and questioned its estimates for how much revenue enhanced enforcement can generate for the government. Democrats are discussing approving other elements of the Biden administration’s IRS proposals as part of their $3.5 trillion package, which they hope to pass along party lines through a process called reconciliation. Reconciliation allows lawmakers to avoid the 60-vote threshold required for most legislation in the Senate. Reaching an agreement on the $3.5 trillion top-line figure for the reconciliation legislation will be the first step in a long path toward translating Democratic policy ambitions into law. Democrats will need to approve a budget resolution setting the broad parameters of the legislation. Then they will turn to crafting the specifics of those policy proposals—and the tax increases they have proposed to pay for them—before attempting to approve the full package.



Schumer plans initial vote next week on roughly $1 trillion bipartisan package

0 2005

Sources: FactSet (prices); LCD, a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence (issuance); Bloomberg Barclays (spread)




Note: Spreads as of July 9

make money with crude prices at or below $50 a barrel, energy bankers said. Strong investor demand has led to declining borrowing costs. The gap between yields on speculative-grade U.S. dollar bonds issued by energy firms and those on supersafe Treasurys—a gauge of how risky investors perceive company debt to be—fell to 3.32 percentage points this month. That was the lowest spread since July 2014, according to Bloomberg Barclays data. The drop in borrowing costs also reflects changes within the world of junk-bond issuers. Defaults last year culled some of the riskiest bonds from the crop of speculativegrade energy companies. Some bigger, higher-quality issuers fell into the bucket after downgrades by credit-ratings firms. Wall Street’s fresh embrace of the oil patch came when successful Covid-19 vaccine trials in November spurred a rebound in energy prices. Many money managers are encouraged by companies’ single-minded focus on reducing debt levels. Comparatively high yields on energy bonds also attracted investors. When U.S. oil production boomed a few years ago, companies fueled growth by raising money from Wall Street. In contrast, about 88% of the industry’s high-yield bond sales this year have gone toward paying down existing debt to lower interest costs or extend maturities. That compares with 52% to 65% from 2012 to 2015, the LCD data show. Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Diamondback Energy Inc., for example, both raised more than $2 billion to refinance debt following large acquisitions. Hundreds of companies had been tipped into bankruptcy in the oil busts of the past decade, underscoring how heavily debt could weigh on the capital-intensive business when used to fuel growth, said Ken Settles, a managing partner at SailingStone Capital Partners LLC. “There’s a better appreciation in the capital markets for the vulnerabilities of the shale oil business,” Mr. Settles said. —Sam Goldfarb contributed to this article.

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Friday, July 16, 2021 | A5


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Not noticeable to the naked eye, but eerily apparent when you zone out and lose your train of... Wait, is the laundry done? Anyway...


We’re in a slight daze. A lost edge here and there.

America is suffering from a massive lack of sleep.

Sixty-eight percent¹ of us are sleeping less than the recommended seven hours per night.² That’s a staggering 74,051,798,195 hours of missing sleep per year,¹ which, as you can imagine, has massive implications. America has suffered more than $400 billion in lost productivity due to insufficient sleep in the past year alone.

And it’s not just affecting our output at work. It’s impacting the health of our everyday lives. Did you know that sleeping less than six hours a night doubles the risk of a car crash and may impair your judgment like alcohol does? Imagine if two out of three of us were operating under the influence. Imagine if it was your nanny. Your surgeon. Your pilot.

But we aren’t trying to scare you. Really, that’s not our (sleeping) bag. We just want to wake you up to the sleep you need to get. We can do better, and frankly, we must do better for ourselves and better for each other. And it’s simple, really. We’re not asking you to give anything up. Instead, we’re encouraging you to take something on: More sleep. That good sleep.



Because, like exercising or eating well, the right kind of sleep can change your life. Good sleep can change your outlook, relationships, work and even physical health. After all, just getting more than six hours of sleep a night decreases the risk of stroke by 4.5 times. Have you ever done more for yourself by doing less? Simply put, to make the very best of our waking hours, we need to prioritize our sleeping ones. So join us, America. Let’s reclaim our 74 billion hours and get back on the good-sleep wagon. Our health, our families and our future depend on it. Sleep well, The Sleep Experts™ at Mattress Firm


SleepScore Labs™, 2021  Hirshkowitz, M.; Whiton, K.; Albert, S. M.; Alessi, C.; Bruni, O.; DonCarlos, L.; Hazen, N.; Herman, J.; Katz, E.S.; Kheirandish-Gozal, L.; Neubauer, D. N.; O'Donnell, A.E.; Ohayon, M.; Peever, J.; Rawding, R.; Sachdeva, R.C.; Setters, B.; Vitiello, M.V.; Ware, J.C., and Adams Hillard, P.J. (2015). “National Sleep Foundation's sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary.” Sleep Health, vol. 1, i, 40–43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2014.12.010 Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29073412/  Hafner, Marco et al. “Why Sleep Matters—The Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep: A Cross-Country Comparative Analysis.” Rand Health Quarterly, vol. 6, 4 11. January 1 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5627640/  AAA. \“Missing 1-2 hours of sleep doubles crash risk: Study reveals the dangers of getting less than 7 hours of sleep.” ScienceDaily. December 6, 2016. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161206110235.htm  Williamson, A.M. and Feyer, A.M. “Moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments in cognitive and motor performance equivalent to legally prescribed levels of alcohol intoxication.” Occup Environ Med., 57, 649–655. June 15, 2000. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10984335/  Sifferlin, A. “Lack of Sleep Linked with Higher Stroke Risk.” Time. June 12, 2012. https://healthland.time.com/2012/06/12/lack-of-sleep-linked-with-higher-stroke-risk/ These studies should be reviewed in full to understand their findings in context. None of the studies cited have been paid for or supported directly by Mattress Firm.

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A6 | Friday, July 16, 2021

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Virus Surge Devastates Indonesia Officials Say Range

Hospitals overflow with Covid-19 patients fighting Delta variant; gravediggers work late

Of People Plotted On Haiti

JAKARTA, Indonesia—On a recent afternoon, 11 excavators were digging graves at a cemetery in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Ambulances lined up to unload coffins, as families grieved and prayed among the tombstones.


Aduhelm. A Mount Sinai spokeswoman said that in addition to completion of the investigation, the hospital is awaiting the writing of “best practices” guidelines for Aduhelm by its own experts, as well as a standard review necessary for adding Aduhelm to its formulary of available drugs. Sam Gandy, a Mount Sinai professor of Alzheimer’s disease research, said he and his colleagues, who are setting guidelines for Aduhelm, were open to prescribing the drug for certain patients, although only one of Biogen’s two clinical studies appeared to show the drug worked. Dr. Woodcock’s request for an investigation, however, threw into question whether the drug was appropriately evaluated and approved in the first place, Dr. Gandy said. “I’m willing to allow for the possibility that the FDA may have the latitude to approve [Aduhelm] along this acceler-

ated approval pathway, but not if I can’t trust the integrity of the process,” Dr. Gandy said. Washington neurologist Nancy Isenberg, one of the Providence doctors involved in the decision to not administer Aduhelm, cited the drug’s potential for serious side effects, lack of clear benefit and high cost as reasons behind the policy. Providence’s system includes 52 hospitals and more than 1,000 outpatient clinics. “I wish and I hope we can offer safe, effective and affordable treatments” for Alzheimer’s patients, Dr. Isenberg said. “At the same time, this is not that.” Resistance to Aduhelm may not affect Biogen, which analysts project could eventually ring up billions of dollars in sales from the drug. A fair number “of academic medical centers etc. can stay on sidelines and [the] math may still work,” Evercore ISI analyst Umer Raffat said in a research note.

A woman and her son on Thursday prayed at the grave of her husband, who died from Covid-19, at a cemetery in Jakarta. full and extremely hectic.” Unable to count on hospital access, families are buying up scarce oxygen supplies to tend to loved ones at home. Over the past week, there has been an average of about 45,000 new reported Covid-19 cases a day, more than triple the number during Indonesia’s

The government has pledged to speed up its vaccine rollout but has been held up by limited supplies.So far, around 5.5% of the country is fully vaccinated. In early July, Indonesia’s government announced new restrictions in hard-hit areas on the densely populated islands of Java and Bali. To shore up the health system, the government has begun importing oxygen concentrators from abroad, and is expanding Covid-19 hospital wards across the country. Even so, patients are struggling to get care. Yunita Kariman, 32, a clothing distributor living in Jakarta, lost her father to Covid-19 last week, following a frantic struggle to find a hospital bed for him after his blood-oxygen level plunged. In late June, she and others contacted more than 20 Jakarta-area hospitals, but none agreed to take him. Finally, Ms. Yunita decided to test her luck and bring her father to a large Covid-19 care ward in the city, only to be told there was no space available.

Her father lay gasping for breath in the back seat of the family car, hooked up to an oxygen tank, for around five hours. He was finally admitted to the emergency ward around 9 p.m., but the intensive-care unit was full. A half-hour later, a relative called saying there was an opening at another nearby hospital. They put Ms. Yunita’s father on a stretcher and drove him to the hospital 15 minutes away, where he was hooked up to a ventilator. Within a few days, he fell into a coma, and the attending doctor recommended the family have a final call with him. By the time it began, he had already died. Medical staff held up the phone to his face, as Ms. Yunita cried into her screen. “Father, you’re already happy there,” she said. “The pandemic probably isn’t going to be finished quickly when you remember that Covid-19 is always mutating,” Ms. Yunita said in an interview. “So I have to be stronger facing this.”


Luhut Pandjaitan, a senior government minister, said Thursday, citing the Delta variant’s greater infectiousness. “This different enemy is being confronted with all available resources, but it isn’t easy.” Here in the world’s fourthmost-populous nation, with 270 million people, Covid-19 wards are full in much of the country. Hospitals have set up tents outside to deliver basic care to the crush of patients, and some severely ill people are being turned away from clinics. Doctors say that with the system under extreme strain, patients wait until they are in critical condition to seek medical care, when it is often too late. Jakarta doctor Tri Maharani said three of the 14 patients she attended to in a Covid-19 intensive-care ward died during a 16-hour shift this week, reflecting that many had arrived in poor condition. “They stay at home too long,” Dr. Maharani said. “Ambulances are difficult to get. Hospitals and public-health clinics are

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A worker, Sadam Saifullah, said he and his colleagues regularly bury more than 100 bodies a day, up from the roughly five they handled daily in March, at this cemetery dedicated for suspected Covid-19 victims. “We work into the night,” he said, “until our boss tells us we’re done.” Cases and deaths have climbed rapidly in Indonesia in recent weeks, as the Delta variant has helped fuel a devastating surge that echoes the one that tore through India in the spring, with whole families becoming ill, hospitals being overwhelmed and people lining up to buy oxygen. Daily cases hit a record Thursday with 56,757 new cases reported, along with 982 deaths, according to the country’s health ministry. Uneven global vaccination levels have driven a divergence. The virus is reaching new peaks in much of the developing world, which is struggling to import enough vaccine doses. Meanwhile, life is beginning to return to something approaching normal in places such as the U.S. and the U.K., where higher immunization rates are keeping hospitalizations down despite cases linked to the Delta variant surging. In Indonesia, the Delta variant, which is estimated to be twice as infectious as the original version of the virus, has been detected on each of the archipelago country’s four most populous islands—Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Kalimantan. “We’re facing up against a different enemy,”


By Jon Emont and Ismira Lutfia Tisnadibrata

The nation reported about 45,000 new cases a day over the past week.

previous peak at the start of the year. The country’s rate of people testing positive for Covid-19 is around 27%—suggesting Indonesia isn’t doing enough testing and the actual number of infected may be much higher. By comparison, the positivity rate in California during its winter surge in cases this year was around 17%.


Cubans have had for only the past three years. The government responded by leaving the island virtually incommunicado for two days. To contain the spread of mass demonstrations, authorities cut internet service, along with the fixed phone lines of some island activists. The shutdown made it difficult for Cubans to organize or to get news of the demonstrations out to the rest of the country. “There was no way to tell people: Let’s get together at the plaza to shout and demonstrate,” said Alexey Seijo, a pastor in the city of Camagüey.


By José de Córdoba, Santiago Pérez and Drew FitzGerald

At about 11 a.m. on Sunday, hundreds of residents in San Antonio de los Baños, a town some 15 miles south of Havana, took to the streets to protest deteriorating living conditions and the lack of basic goods and medical care during a worsening Covid-19 crisis. What ensued was unprecedented in more than six decades of Communist rule. As videos and messages spread through smartphones, thousands of Cubans gathered in more than 40 cities and towns demanding freedom. The government’s response was swift. It deployed secret police, anti-riot forces and Communist Party militants with large sticks to regain control of the streets and detain hundreds of demonstrators in often violent confrontations. It also moved to disrupt communications. Shortly after 4 p.m. on Sunday, state-run Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de


Cuba Pulls Plug on Internet-Fueled Protests The wave of spontaneous protests that rocked Cuba on Sunday was propelled by social media and the proliferation of mobile internet, which

Women used their phones on a street in Havana on Wednesday. Cuba SA, or Etecsa, the country’s phone and network monopoly, halted internet service. “There was a complete outage for 30 minutes,” said Doug Madory, head of internet analysis for Kentik, a U.S.-based network-monitoring company. “After the initial outage, ser-

vice was still quite erratic.” Civil-rights activists say it is an old regime tactic. “At least 10 of my friends and co-workers didn’t even have landline phone service,” said Ángel Rodríguez, a human-rights activist who lives in Havana.


Officials at Cuba’s Interior Ministry and at Etecsa couldn’t be reached to comment. Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel blamed the U.S. embargo for the problems in Cuba and for stirring up the strife. The security crackdown has quelled protests for now, but activists say they are determined to continue their campaign. The regime must weigh the impact of more internet shutdowns, which could further weaken a struggling economy. Activists believe that they are winning the hearts and minds of ordinary Cubans who, with the help of social media, appear to have shed their fears of protesting. Living conditions are so harsh that many feel they have nothing to lose. “We are not afraid,” said Amaury Pacheco, a poet and founder of the Movimiento San Isidro, a civil-rights group of artists. The government only had brutal force left, he said.

A range of people, including two former Colombian soldiers, met in recent months in the Dominican Republic and Haiti in a plot that led to the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, Haitian and Colombian officials said Thursday. The role of former soldiers Germán Alejandro Rivera and Duberney Capador emerged after Colombian intelligence officials sent to Haiti to help with the investigation met with 18 former soldiers who had been arrested following the killing, Gen. Jorge Vargas, commander of Colombia’s National Police, said in a press briefing. The two men—along with a third former Colombian soldier— were killed in a gunfight with Haitian police following the president’s assassination, according to Haitian authorities. The larger group of former soldiers, security officials and businessmen cited by Colombian and Haitian officials Thursday formed an unusual collection of would-be rebels. The Haitian police say the group was led by Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a pastor and self-described doctor whom authorities in Port-au-Prince arrested in recent days as an alleged ringleader. Another person arrested by Haitian police is a Haitian-American translator, James Solages, the officials said Thursday. The developments from Colombia come as Haitian authorities issued new allegations connecting a widening group of people in the plot against Mr. Moïse. In all, Haitian authorities say that more than 30 suspects in Haiti, the U.S. and Colombia had some role in the conspiracy. Among them are businesspeople, former officials and an ex-police commander. In Washington, a senior administration official who was a member of a U.S. delegation that visited Haiti recently said that eight agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation were in Port-au-Prince helping the police there with the investigation. Other agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department are also assisting in the probe, including efforts to trace the origin of the weapons believed used in the slaying, the official said. While Haiti’s interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, has been challenged by other leaders who say they should be running the country, the U.S. official stressed that the U.S. has “been very careful to not endorse anybody as the legitimate president or prime minister of the country.” That has led American officials to engage various political leaders. —Vivian Salama in Washington, Ryan Dube in Miami and Jenny Carolina Gonzalez in Bogotá, Colombia, contributed to this article.


Hospitals Won’t Give Aduhelm Continued from Page One The Cleveland Clinic won’t carry the drug in its pharmacy or provide infusions of it to patients following a review of available scientific evidence by a multidisciplinary panel of experts, a hospital spokeswoman said. Cleveland Clinic doctors, the spokeswoman said, can still prescribe the medicine, but patients will have to receive their infusions at an outside facility. Aduhelm is given with a monthly infusion, typically at an outpatient medical center. Biogen priced the drug at $56,000 a year, though one health researcher said it will probably cost more for a typical patient.

“Based on the current data regarding its safety and efficacy, we have decided not to carry Aducanumab at this time,” the Cleveland Clinic said. Mount Sinai said it won’t infuse Aduhelm until it sees the findings of a U.S. government investigation into interactions between FDA staff and Biogen during the review process. The investigation, which was requested last week by FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock, has raised concerns about the integrity of the approval process, Mount Sinai said. “Medical decisions should be based on science and data, so it is disappointing that patients living with Alzheimer’s disease may reportedly not be able to access Aduhelm at some facilities,” a Biogen spokeswoman said. “Biogen continues to stand 100% behind Aduhelm and the clinical data that supported approval.” Jason Karlawish, an Alzheimer’s specialist at the Univer-

sity of Pennsylvania, said the decision of some health systems to not give Aduhelm suggests an erosion of trust in the FDA’s decision making. “It’s very disturbing that we’re starting to hear health systems that rely on the FDA sending signals that they don’t trust the FDA,” Dr. Karlawish said. The New York Times earlier reported that Cleveland Clinic and Mount Sinai weren’t going to administer Aduhelm to patients. In June, the FDA approved Aduhelm based on two large but inconclusive studies of its effect in slowing cognitive decline in people with mild Alzheimer’s symptoms. The agency issued the approval using a regulatory mechanism that allows for drugs to be cleared before they are definitively proved effective, saying the Aduhelm was reasonably likely to provide a benefit by reducing levels of a sticky protein

called amyloid from the brain. The FDA approval was made over the objections of some of its own statisticians and members of an outside committee of experts convened by the agency to provide advice on the drug. Three of the outside advisers resigned from the committee in

There is debate about whether the FDA lowered its standards. protest of the FDA’s decision. The FDA subsequently narrowed its recommendation for who should get the drug, to Alzheimer’s patients in the early stage of the disease. Dr. Woodcock’s request for an investigation last week prompted Mount Sinai to hold off on treating patients with

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Friday, July 16, 2021 | A7

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A8 | Friday, July 16, 2021


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BY BOJAN PANCEVSKI AND BERTRAND BENOIT Dozens of people were dead and many more were missing as the worst flooding in decades caused houses to collapse in Germany, Belgium and other parts of Western Europe following days of heavy rain that swelled rivers and overloaded sewage systems. At least 59 people were confirmed dead Thursday in western Germany, according to news agency dpa. In the city of Cologne alone, 20 died. About 1,300 people were unaccounted for in Bad NeuenahrAhrweiler, 35 miles south of Cologne, possibly due to mobile networks being down and people being unreachable on their phones, according to a spokeswoman for the district. People were left trapped in their homes across the region, many of them waiting to be rescued on roofs as severe flooding

turned streets into rivers, swept away cars and crushed houses. Hundreds of thousands of households were cut off from power and water supplies as well as telecommunications across the flooded area. Two firefighters died while rescuing people, according to authorities in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The army was deployed to assist rescue services in evacuating hospitals and homes with the help of helicopters and armored amphibious vehicles. The rainfall in the region was subsiding on Thursday but infrastructure remained severely affected and authorities feared that more houses, weakened by the floods, could collapse. Dozens of citizens were seeking help from emergency departments, according to Philipp Heller, deputy chief of the fire department in the western town of Blankenheim. “I am shaken by the catastro-


Deadly Floods Deluge Homes In West Europe

Heavy flooding in Liege, Belgium, prompted evacuations and calls for residents to remain on upper floors after houses collapsed. sion how the torrent took away all of their possessions and in some cases swept away their entire homes. Parts of the Rhine, a major European waterway that swelled over its banks, were closed for traffic. Similar scenes were playing out in southern Belgium, where

phe that has caused the suffering of so many people in the flooded areas. My condolences go to the relatives of the dead and missing. I thank from my heart the many tireless helpers and rescue services,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. Survivors told German televi-


The European Union’s top antitrust regulator foresees greater alignment with the U.S. on competition enforcement, particularly in the tech sector, amid a broader policy reorientation under the Biden administration. By Daniel Michaels in Brussels and Brent Kendall in Washington

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Biden emphasized a commitment to work together. coming days. While Ms. Merkel isn’t seeking re-election in September, she has become a key figure in U.S.-European relations during her 16 years in office. U.S.-German ties became strained in recent years under former President Donald Trump’s ad-

ministration, which eschewed multilateralism. It placed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Mr. Biden moved to repair ties earlier this year by waiving sanctions on Nord Stream. “Good friends can disagree,” Mr. Biden said Thursday. “While I

reiterated my concerns about Nord Stream to Chancellor Merkel, we are absolutely united in our conviction that Russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon to coerce or threaten its neighbors.” —Vivian Salama


China will dispatch investigators to Pakistan, Beijing said Thursday, after an explosion this week claimed the largest loss of life of Chinese citizens in Pakistan in recent years. China described the explosion as an attack when it happened on Wednesday, killing at least nine of its citizens along with four Pakistanis. But Islamabad had said it was the result of an accidental natural-gas leak, a claim it began to walk back on Thursday. The blast has cast a shadow over Beijing’s multibillion-dollar investment program in Pakistan, an ally. Beijing will seek security assurances from Pakistan, experts say. At China’s request, the two countries canceled a major meeting scheduled for Friday that had been called to consider new Chinese projects to be carried out in Pakistan, Pakistani officials said. The vehicle was transporting Chinese workers to the construction site of a dam in the northern mountains when it was blown off the road by the force of an explosion, falling into the ravine below. Sending Chinese officials to probe the incident shows Beijing’s level of concern, and its doubts over Pakistan’s initial claim that the explosion was an accident and not a terrorist attack, experts said. —Saeed Shah


China to Assist In Probe of Blast





Hariri Ends Effort To Form Government Lebanon’s prime minister-designate Saad Hariri abandoned his nine-month effort to form a government, as the country struggles

U.S. and EU Move Closer on Approach To Competition

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WASHINGTON—President Biden welcomed Angela Merkel to the White House for what is likely her final visit as Germany’s chancellor, with both sides highlighting improving trans-Atlantic relations despite diverging interests over energy and other matters. After several hours of meetings Thursday afternoon, the two leaders said they discussed a range of topics from the global pandemic to China’s and Russia’s more-assertive behavior. They also underscored a series of issues where they don’t agree, including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a Russian project to send natural gas to Germany. Still, both emphasized a commitment to work together, making reference to having done so in the past. “I will miss seeing you at our summits. I truly will,” Mr. Biden said at a joint press conference. Ms. Merkel mentioned her friendship with Mr. Biden despite disagreements. One disagreement Ms. Merkel raised is a U.S. travel ban on Germany and other parts of Europe due to Covid-19. Mr. Biden said he expected to provide an update on whether his administration will lift the ban in the

water was expected to climb to over roughly 5 feet. Trains and other services were halted. Authorities in the southern Netherlands province of Limburg said hundreds of households would need to be evacuated. A bridge was swept away by the flood in the area.


Biden Welcomes Merkel for Her Final Visit as Germany’s Chancellor

at least six people died and many were being evacuated in the worst-hit areas, such as the province of Liege after over a dozen houses collapsed, local authorities said. Liege authorities asked all nonresidents to evacuate the city, and residents to remain on upper floors as the

Rescue workers and residents search for survivors after a rocket attack killed a woman and two children in southern Idlib, Syria. with a cratering economy and medical shortages amid a global pandemic. President Michel Aoun tasked Mr. Hariri in October with forming a government after the last one collapsed in the aftermath of the Beirut explosion in August that destroyed much of the capital. Mr. Hariri is the second prime minister-designate to give up trying to form up a government amid a political deadlock. Mr. Hariri said his resignation was the result of not being able to agree with Mr. Aoun, who controls the largest Christian bloc in Parliament. The two have disagreed over the allocation of portfolios in the cabinet, according to Mr. Hariri’s media adviser. The president said Mr. Hariri wasn’t willing to discuss amendments to his proposals. Mr. Aoun is expected to call for another round of consultations, in which lawmakers will inform him of their choice for premier. The resignation comes as Lebanon’s economy contracted by 20.3% in 2020, according to the World Bank. The collapse devastated people’s purchasing power

and pushed millions into poverty. —Nazih Osseiran

criminatory. The ruling permits employers to bar religious, political or philosophical symbols in a workplace if such guidelines are universally applied by the company because of the need for neutrality for business purposes, for example a school where parents don’t want their children to be supervised by people who manifest their religious beliefs. However, the judges moved to limit the circumstances under which a ban is justified after two German courts had asked for guidance on cases involving two women: a special-needs caregiver at a child-care center who was temporarily suspended from her job and a cashier who sued for discrimination after she was ordered to come to work without a head scarf. —Laurence Norman SYRIA


Court Curbs Office Head-Scarf Ban The European Union’s top court said Thursday that employers may ban the wearing of head scarves and other religious symbols but set conditions on when such rules comply with antidiscrimination laws. The ruling comes amid debate in Europe over racism and the protection of minority rights amid a rise in anti-immigrant parties over recent years. Rules over wearing head scarves, which vary widely across the bloc, have come to symbolize controversy over calls to integrate Europe’s Muslims. Judges of the Luxembourgbased European Court of Justice in their ruling upheld a 2017 decision by the court saying that a private company’s decision to ban the wearing of a head scarf to promote a neutral working environment wasn’t necessarily dis-

Rockets Kill 9 in Last Rebel Enclave Syrian government rockets hit villages in the last rebel stronghold in northwestern Syria on Thursday, killing at least nine civilians, including three children, rescue workers and a war monitor said. The U.N. Children’s agency confirmed three children were killed, calling it a “terrifying sign” that violence is returning to the area under a cease-fire for over a year. The Syrian Civil Defense team that operates in opposition areas, known as White Helmets, said guided missiles struck in Ibleen, a village in southern Idlib, killing a woman, her daughter and a child and injuring four others. All were from the same family, it said. In eastern Idlib, at least six were killed, including a child, when rockets hit near Foa, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. —Associated Press

EU Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, the bloc’s competition commissioner, said she expects “much more intense work when it comes to technology and the digitized market” between her team and Washington. President Biden’s policy statements and appointments, plus legislative proposals from Congress, indicate the U.S. is moving closer to positions long held in the EU regarding internet giants, pharmaceutical firms and other industries with diminishing competition. As the world’s two most powerful antitrust regulators, the U.S. and the EU can shape global competition discourse and rein in many of the world’s largest companies, so greater cooperation could have significant impact. For supporters of aggressive enforcement, “it will certainly be a marriage made in heaven,” said Jeffrey Jacobovitz, a Washington-based antitrust lawyer with Arnall Golden Gregory LLP. “I think they’ll work hand in hand. Increased coordination makes enforcement stronger.” That alignment will make it even more incumbent on companies in the crosshairs to de-

velop broad, cross-Atlantic strategies on how to respond to that scrutiny, he said. While tech companies said similar policies in multiple jurisdictions can simplify operations, some worry about the U.S. adopting some of Europe’s more aggressive positions. “The U.S. should be wary of copying EU-style experimental regulation,” said Christian Borggreen, vice president and head of the Brussels office at the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which represents companies including Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google. “As a leader in tech innovation, the U.S. would have much more to lose if they get it wrong.” Mr. Biden’s appointments of high-profile U.S. progressives who have criticized tech giants—Lina Khan to run the Federal Trade Commission, and Tim Wu to the White House Economic Council— have been widely seen as indicating that Mr. Biden, a Democrat, plans to turn up the heat on internet conglomerates. Companies such as Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. previously felt little pressure from Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, who criticized past EU efforts to restrain U.S. tech companies. Ms. Vestager held an initial meeting with Ms. Khan by videoconference on July 2. Mr. Biden has yet to appoint someone to lead antitrust enforcement at the Justice Department. That nomination could provide further clues to his administration’s approach.

Canada Eyes Border Reopening Next Month BY PAUL VIEIRA OTTAWA—Canada could start allowing Americans into the country for recreational or tourist activities starting in mid-August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office said late Thursday. The border has been closed to most Americans since March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic prompted travel restrictions. The reopening date is conditional on Canada’s vaccination rollout maintaining its current accelerated pace and new, confirmed Covid-19 cases remaining at some of the lowest levels in the developed world, according to a statement issued by the prime minister’s office. So long as those conditions are met, “Canada would be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September,”

the statement said. Mr. Trudeau told Canada’s provincial and territorial leaders that Canadian and U.S. officials are in talks about reopening their 5,500-mile land border to tourists, and Canada could be in a position to start allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents into Canada as of mid-August for nonessential travel, the statement added. This marks the first time Canada has identified a date at which it could start lifting border restrictions that have prohibited the entry of U.S. visitors since March of last year. Business groups in Canada, border-city mayors and some frequent cross-border travelers say they have grown impatient with what they perceive to be a go-slow approach from the Canadian government, despite some meaningful progress in the country in the fight against Covid-19.

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Friday, July 16, 2021 | A9

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Early trials

One of the DFC’s first initiatives, announced in late 2019, was agreeing to lend up to $190 million to a Nevada company to create the world’s longest subsea fiber-optic cable, between the U.S., Singapore, Indonesia and Palau, offering an alternative to Huawei-built undersea networks. Adam Boehler, a Trump administration appointee who served as the DFC’s first chief executive, said it was easy for him to reach leaders of any developing country. “Countries are more excited to meet the head of DFC than the secretary of state,” said


A sunken dry dock, top, and an unused fabrication shop show how hard times have come to a shipyard in Elefsina, Greece, where the U.S. is weighing an investment to counter China. Mr. Boehler, who stepped down in January amid the administration transition. “It’s hard money.” The DFC’s potential quickly emerged in Greece, which was too wealthy to qualify initially for DFC assistance. Chinese shipping giant Cosco in 2016 bought a 51% stake in the Piraeus port outside Athens for the equivalent of more than $310 million, an investment that Chinese President Xi Jinping dubbed the “dragon’s head” of the Belt and Road initiative in Europe. Greek satisfaction with the deal soon waned, after China started exerting political pressure to support it in international disputes. Athens residents saw little economic gain from Cosco’s spending inside the vast port facility. U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt saw a role for the DFC in the country, particularly in the Elefsina shipyard a short drive from Piraeus. Greek officials said Chinese buyers might try to snap up the shipyard, but prefer an American investor. “It’s important for us that the U.S. presence in this area would be a significant one,” said Adonis Georgiadis, Greece’s minister of develop-

ment and investments, in an interview. “We cannot give everything to China.” Just as the DFC was opening shop in late 2019, Amb. Pyatt successfully lobbied Congress to add Greece to its remit. He connected Mr. Boehler, Greek officials and Onex SA, a Greek-American industrial group that wanted to buy Elefsina. Onex Chief Executive Panos Xenokostas said he wants American assistance because Beijing’s subsidies make Chinese companies tough competitors. Onex last year struck a provisional agreement with the shipyard’s private shareholders, brokered by the government, to buy and modernize the facility. It pledged more than $300 million over 10 years to cover investments and debts. The deal is being reviewed by a Greek court, which could rule on it this fall. The DFC discussed a longterm loan worth roughly tens of millions of dollars, said former DFC official Caleb McCarry. Current DFC officials say the project remains uncertain because of concerns about its financial feasibility. Representatives for China’s foreign ministry didn’t re-

Joshua Vish said he ‘had to give it my everything’ to pass the swim test for the Dormont Pool gig. gly brown beard. They say he carries a certain gravitas with guests who might not otherwise listen to instructions from a 15-year-old. “I think it’s great to have an older gentleman who can handle it,” said Selena Porter, 21, a seven-year veteran who earns $17 an hour supervising the lifeguards, including Mr. Vish. On a recent day, shortly before the pool’s scheduled 1 p.m. opening, Mr. Vish set up the red umbrellas that shield

the lifeguard chairs and picked up stray Band-Aids and other litter with a three-foot-long mechanical grabber. At 1.4 million gallons, more than double the volume of an Olympic-size pool, the Dormont facility can accommodate more than 2,000 people and requires about eight lifeguards a shift. The pool, one of the biggest in Pennsylvania, was declared a landmark by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. Before the gates opened,

pool manager Scott Rubin, 58, held a meeting with the day’s 10 guards in a break room stocked with ice pops and Doritos. He reminded his crew to jump in even if they weren’t sure someone needed help. “What’s the worst that’s going to happen?” he said. “You get wet, and they say, ‘I’m OK.’ ” Mr. Rubin runs a tight ship. He forbids whistle twirling and the staccato whistle blasts known as chirping. He also keeps the guards on their toes with surprise drills known as


New administration

Mr. Boehler learned that a U.K. foreign-aid agency was in talks to finance an Ethiopian bid led by London-based wireless giant Vodafone Group PLC. He asked his British counterpart and Vodafone if the DFC could pitch in. Mr. Boehler said Vodafone was considering using Chinese equipment because it costs less than U.S.-approved alternatives from Sweden’s Ericsson AB, Finland’s Nokia Corp. and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. “We’d love to do this, but can you rip out the Huawei equipment?” Mr. Boehler said. Non-Chinese equipment would cost about $400 million more, he said. The DFC agreed to subsidize that by lending up to $500 million at an interest rate below commercial terms. Vodafone faced only one other bidder for an Ethiopian wireless license: South Africa’s

The Biden administration considers the DFC one of its most powerful foreign-assistance tools because of its large investment cap and flexibility to offer loans, equity financing, grants and insurance, said Mr. Singh, the deputy national security adviser. He said the White House is focusing the DFC on four areas: health, technology, climate change and gender equality. In March, after President Biden met with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan, the White House asked the DFC to collaborate with the allies on a health initiative. The DFC asked the U.S. Embassy in India, one of the world’s biggest vaccine-making countries, to identify pharmaceutical companies it could join with. That’s how Mahima Datla ended up on a call with Mr. Marchick and other DFC officials. “They said, ‘If you had access to capital, how many more vaccines could you make?’ ” recalled Ms. Datla, managing director of vaccinemanufacturer Biological E Ltd. Biological E had already agreed to produce at least 600 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot Covid-19 vaccine, at a pace of 50 million a month. She said a DFC loan would enable her to add a third assembly line to her Hyderabad facility and produce 100 million doses a month. Ms. Datla and DFC officials agreed to a provisional deal in less than a month. DFC officials say that while advancing healthcare in the developing world is the main motivation behind the potential investment, providing an alternative to Beijing’s vaccine diplomacy is also a factor.

visual awareness training. A lifeguard supervisor changes out of uniform and gets in the pool, pretending to be in distress. Mr. Rubin watches to make sure his guards respond within 10 seconds. Mr. Vish, who was recently promoted to supervisor-intraining, slipped unnoticed into the water at around 1:30 p.m. and began to flop around. Almost immediately, the nearest guard, Aidan Donnellan, 17, stood in his chair, blew his whistle and leapt into the pool. After he pulled Mr. Vish to safety, the two lifeguards exchanged a wet hug. “Great job,” Mr. Vish said. Mr. Donnellan, a high school junior year, said he saw Mr. Vish’s “gnarly beard” right away. “As I was getting ready to blow my whistle, I could tell it was Josh,” he said. The lifeguard job has long been portrayed in movies and TV shows like “Baywatch” as cool-kids’ work. Yet its reallife popularity has been sliding for years, say people who train and employ lifeguards. “Lifeguarding is no longer the glamorized job it once was many years ago,” said Jerica Cyr, vice president of operations for Jeff Ellis Management, which operates the Dormont Pool.

“I was just looking for a summer job,” said one of Mr. Vish’s colleagues, 16-year-old lifeguard Zachary Stone, who lives in Dormont. Reese Moore, 15, also from Dormont, said the pay was too good to pass up. She wants to buy a car, she said, and her dad has agreed to pay half. “I have no preference,” she said. “Just something that drives.” Some young people are turned off by the certification requirements and responsibility of the job. There is also quite a bit of sitting around. “Lifeguarding can be boring at times,” Ms. Cyr said. When summer ends, most of the Dormont Pool lifeguards will head back to school. Mr. Vish’s plans are up in the air. Mr. Rubin, the pool manager, travels to a different spot each summer with his wife to manage a pool or water park. Last summer, he was in Texas. Next year, he said, he could be in Orlando, Fla., or somewhere in Michigan. “I want to set you guys up to do what I’m doing,” Mr. Rubin tells his lifeguards. Mr. Vish plans to work locally as a lifeguard again next summer. A friend recently told him an ice rink is hiring Zamboni drivers for the fall and winter. “I’m keeping my options open,” Mr. Vish said.

Ethiopia deal


Man Finds Dream Job Poolside Continued from Page One “It’s like I got held back two decades, and now I’m starting all over again,” he said. “My life basically needs a reset.” Mr. Vish gives his young coworkers a wide berth, he said, and doesn’t socialize with them outside of work. It is a relief to know they can’t fathom the pain of his recent breakup, he said. He lost the car in his breakup and walked to work until he got a 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. To get the job, Mr. Vish had to take a two-day lifeguard training course, then pass a three-part test: swim 200 yards, tread water without using his hands for two minutes and swim to a depth of 13 feet to retrieve a 10-pound brick. “Here I am with all these collegiate swimmers,” Mr. Vish said. “I barely passed. I had to give it my everything.” Some of the young lifeguards at the pool call him “Viking” because of his scrag-


Foreign assistance in developing countries is inherently risky, and the DFC could yet back out of the Greek and Ethiopian projects after each hit hurdles. Congress is still debating which countries should qualify for funding. The DFC was briefly pulled into a messy effort last summer to fund Covid-19 pharmaceuticalchemical production at Eastman Kodak Co., but has otherwise focused overseas. The DFC is the latest incarnation of postwar American foreign assistance, which included the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which provides economic and disaster assistance to developing countries. Washington launched the programs to strengthen ties with allies, halt communism’s spread and open markets for U.S. companies. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the aid mission broadened, with initiatives such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief launched in 2003 by President George W. Bush to improve healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa. Some congressional critics say U.S. aid lost focus. It sharpened again with China’s Belt and Road initiative. First pitched in 2013 as an effort to build a modern version of ancient Silk Road trading routes, the initiative includes a global network of ports, railways and other projects largely built by Chinese companies and using at least $400 billion in funding from government-run banks. Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) saw Beijing’s soft power win friends. As a member of a foreign-relations subcommittee focused on Africa, he visited a

spond to a request for comment for this article. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said earlier this month that the U.S. push to finance infrastructure proves that China’s Belt and Road initiative “is the right path and the path of the future.” Another deal that Mr. Boehler, a healthcare entrepreneur and former Health and Human Services Department leader, struck was with Ethiopia. The East African country is important for U.S. efforts against terrorist groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State. Visiting in 2019, Mr. Boehler asked Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who had just won the Nobel Peace Prize, about infrastructure opportunities. Ethiopia was opening its telecom market, long controlled by a government monopoly with unreliable service, to private wireless carriers. The country had been using telecom equipment from China’s Huawei and ZTE Corp. From 2006 to 2013, the two lent $3.1 billion to Ethiopia for telecom projects, according to the China Africa Research Initiative and Boston University Global Development Policy Center. The U.S. considers Huawei and ZTE spying threats, an allegation the companies deny.

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Inherently risky

Benin hospital where the U.S. funded medicine and training. “But if you were the Beninois walking into the hospital, you wouldn’t know that,” Mr. Coons said. A sign in Chinese outside made it clear that a Chinese company had refurbished the hospital. Such experiences, and word from African leaders about Chinese infrastructure pitches, persuaded him to champion legislation offering a U.S. alternative to Belt and Road. Congress passed the BUILD Act, led by Sens. Coons and Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), in 2018. The law transformed an existing assistance agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corp., into the DFC. The new agency opened doors in December 2019, chaired by the secretary of state. The DFC’s investment cap—essentially a credit-card limit—rose to $60 billion, double that of the old agency. And it isn’t required to back projects involving only American companies. That made it easier to target telecommunications projects, considered vital. The U.S. lacks a major international player in the industry. The investment fund of the DFC and its predecessor has never turned a fiscal-year loss, but it has no legal requirement to make a profit. Its mandate is to balance returning money to taxpayers with foreign-policy and national-security goals, which include countering authoritarian governments and promoting economic growth in developing countries.


Continued from Page One ment cap exceeds the combined resources of its counterparts in the other six nations. “We’re going to invest more this year than any time in the agency’s history, which reflects the president’s vision,” Chief Operating Officer David Marchick said. U.S. leaders say the DFC offers financing with fewer strings attached compared with Beijing, whose loans can come with high interest rates, hard collateral such as ports and requirements to use Chinese suppliers. The goal of the DFC and its G-7 counterparts is “to offer a better product than the opaque, extractive and coercive terms” of Chinese-backed projects, said deputy national security adviser Daleep Singh, the White House official working closely with the DFC. China’s new aggressiveness has refocused Washington’s foreign-assistance game. The DFC resulted from a bipartisan effort rare today, broadly supported in Congress and by both the Trump and Biden administrations.


U.S. Aims To Counter China

MTN Group, a longtime Huawei and ZTE user whose proposal was backed in part by the Chinese governmentowned Silk Road Fund, which was designed to help finance Belt and Road projects. In May, Ethiopia announced only one winner: the U.S.backed consortium. The deal might not shut the door on Chinese gear. Vodafone, which isn’t obligated to follow through on the loan, said it is still finalizing which equipment suppliers to use. And it is unclear whether the U.S. wants to go through with the loan either. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has criticized Ethiopia’s government for not allowing humanitarian access to the country’s Tigray region, where he said there were credible reports of human-rights abuses amid a violent conflict. A DFC spokeswoman said it and other U.S. agencies were monitoring the situation in Tigray “and will carefully consider its impact on any potential financing of the Vodafone consortium.” An Ethiopian government spokeswoman said humanitarian groups have had access to the region for months, and that the government is focused on improving people’s lives through initiatives like the telecom project. Sen. Coons isn’t surprised the DFC has faced challenges. “Doing development and infrastructure investment in the developing world is inherently risky—that’s the point,” he said.

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A10 | Friday, July 16, 2021




Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key star in this Apple TV+ parody of classic Broadway fare canon but probably led to a better title than “Schmiddler on the Roof” or “Schmello, Dolly!” The “myth” of the original story—about a town that appears only every 100 years and exists in a perpetual past —also provides enough openings for series creators Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul to jam in references to dozens of productions, which are echoed, but never quite plagiarized, in the songs written by Mr. Paul. He does cut it close: When

the chorus launches the opening number with an elongated “Schmiiiiii” one can imagine Rodgers and Hammerstein halfway to their lawyer’s office before “gadoon” sticks its landing somewhere other than “Oklahoma!” There’s a lot of this, a lot of allusions to keep track of and some numbers that are spectacular as well as funny—the ambitious “Tribulation,” for instance, which features Kristin Chenoweth as Mil-

dred Layton, the poisonous preacher’s wife who won’t let Josh and Melissa get a room together at the local hotel. (The era evoked, from the costumes to the morality, is mostly “Music Man” with a dash of “Li’l Abner.”) “You Can’t Tame Me” finds Aaron Tveit applying his beautiful voice to a song that might have sprung from Billy Bigelow in “Carousel,” but didn’t. The schoolmarm, Emma Tate (Ariana DeBose), leads her students

co Fo m rp m er er s ci on al a l us , e on


Schmigadoon! Friday, Apple TV+


savvy send-up of classic Broadway, “Schmigadoon!” is probably the best time one can have with one’s TV at the moment. But it also solves the “problem” of musicals themselves. “People don’t just burst into song in real life,” says Josh (Keegan-Michael Key). And? “You seem OK with magical hammers that come back when you call them,” cracks his girlfriend, Melissa (Cecily Strong). Josh parries with a faltering defense of Marvel movies, but the point has been scored: People are spontaneously singing. And dancing. And if you just loosen up for a second, it might be delightful. It helps that “Schmigadoon!” is laughing at itself from the start, even before the romantically stalled-out Josh and Melissa go on their couples’ weekend, get caught in the rain and enter a town where “Show Boat” seems to have had a head-on collision with “Carousel.”Crossing an enchanted bridge into the title town, they’re welcomed by a bordering-on-hysterical “Oklahoma!”-meets-“Music Man” number performed by a mob of singing, dancing townsfolk dressed for a Taft-era ice-cream social. Melissa can’t resist. Josh can. We like her right away. Him? We’ll see. The title, as the Broadway-literate will know, was inspired by “Brigadoon,” an early Lerner and Loewe collaboration that certainly isn’t the best-known entry in the

through “With All Your Heart,” which is both exhilarating and a tap-dancing gag about the excesses of Broadway dance numbers. The whole cast seems to be involved in the joke-filled “Lovers’ Spat” (“Just because you’re feuding / Don’t mean that you’re concluding”). Alan Cumming, as the conflicted mayor, Aloysius Menlove, is like a Munchkin just back from “South Pacific.” Spoofing the theater is hardly new. “Forbidden Broadway” has been doing it, in one incarnation or another, since the ’80s. But the hook to “Schmigadoon!” is Melissa and Josh’s regular effort to steer matters back to their own reality. To pop the balloon. Why? It’s like Dorothy going back to Kansas. But by regularly acknowledging its own joke, “Schmigadoon!” wins. Will Josh escape? He and Melissa are both doctors in an urban hospital who meet, fall in love and then their romance grows stale. The six-part story isn’t told chronologically—it flashes back to various stages in the relationship from the vantage point of Schmigadoon, where they’re stuck, in more ways than one: As the local leprechaun-cum-maitre-’d (Martin Short) informs them at the bridge, they can leave Schmigadoon only after finding true love. Aren’t they in love? Isn’t it true? Will they find what they need with someone else? And what is a demented Irish elf doing in a series inspired by a musical set in a fictional Scottish village? Making us laugh, something “Schmigadoon!” does with magical consistency.


Magical Musical Mashup

Ariana DeBose, above; Fred Armisen, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming and Ann Harada, below



‘King Lear’ Live Among the Trees Lenox, Mass. WITH LIVE THEATER productions opening throughout America, I gave much thought to how I would break the 16-month fast from public performance that began for me after I saw Katori Hall’s “The Hot Wing King” off Broadway in March 2020, mere days before the Covid-19 lockdown. I wanted to review a show as special as the occasion itself, and I didn’t have to look long to find it: Shakespeare & Company, located in the Berkshires, Massachussetts’ center of summer theater, plus concerts, dance, and the visual arts, has opened its new 500-seat outdoor amphitheater with “King Lear.” In it, Christopher Lloyd, who is 82 and is best known, despite his extensive stage credits, for his appearances in such popular films as “Back to the Future,” plays for the first time the mad old king. Nor did I choose wrong: This “Lear,” directed by Nicole Ricciardi, is one of the strongest productions of Shakespeare’s all-encompassing super-drama of man’s fate that I’ve seen in my 18 years as a drama critic. That’s saying something, for this is the 17th “Lear” I’ve reviewed in this space, and I’ve seen the title role essayed onstage by such notable actors as Alvin Epstein, Glenda Jackson, Stacy Keach, Kevin Kline, Frank Langella, John Lithgow, Ian McKellen and Christo-

to the back row of the amphitheater—which is where I sat—and it is unutterably pitiable to watch him lose his reason and descend into a cloud of unknowing from which Cordelia (Jasmine Cheri Rush), Lear’s only loyal daughter, and the Earl of Kent (Jonathan Epstein), who is as true to him as Gloucester and Cordelia, are unable to rescue him. Except for Mr. Lloyd, most of

pher Plummer. Except for Epstein, the finest of them, who was 80 at the time, I’ve seen only one other octogenarian, Ms. Jackson, in the role, even though Shakespeare’s Lear refers to himself as “old man,/Fourscore and upward.” The reason for this is that Lear is a hugely demanding role, one in which the actor journeys from arrogance to fear to madness, at one point doing battle with a storm so violent that he loses his wits. He is then left to the mercy of Goneril and Regan (MaConnia Chesser and Jennie M. Jadow), his spiteful daughters, and Edmund (Bryce Michael Wood), the illegitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester (Nigel Gore, beyond doubt the best Gloucester I’ve seen), who pays for his loyalty by having his eyes gouged out by Edmund and Regan, a specRyan Winkles, tacle of sickening horror. the principal players in “Lear” asks so much of its Christopher this “Lear” are familiar Lloyd, David star, especially in the storm faces at Shakespeare & Bertoldi and scene, that the role is norCompany (including AlJonathan mally played by a much lyn Burrows, Lear’s Epstein younger man. Mr. Lloyd, to white-bearded Fool, the be sure, is no longer able to artistic director and a shake the rafters, for which reason fine actor in his own right). They the storm has been dialed back in lock together like a full-fledged ensonic intensity. But he is still a semble, one into which Mr. Lloyd magnificent performer who effortfits smoothly and which supports lessly projects his lines all the way him in high style. As for Govane

Lohbauer and Jim Youngerman, the costume and set designers, they have given us a traditionallooking, satisfyingly unmannered “Lear,” with Ted Hewlett, the “violence designer” (a splendid credit!), contributing a ferocious climactic swordfight. I liked everything about this “Lear,” not least its sylvan outdoor setting, but one thing I mustn’t forget to single out for special

praise is that Ms. Chesser, Ms. Jadow and Mr. Wood are all horrifically evil without stooping to caricature. You believe unhesitatingly in the dramatic truth of their viciousness, underlined with dark irony by the birdsong from the nearby trees that accompanies the first act of the play, which gets under way at 5:30 p.m. (It made me think of what the mad Lear says to Cordelia: “We two alone will sing

like birds i’ the cage.”) The new amphitheater’s upstage “back wall” is a stand of eight tall spruces, while the playing area is a low, slightly elevated platform of dark brown wood with a wide downstage thrust placed on the same level as the front row of seats. The intimacy made possible by this configuration, as well as the speed of stage movement that it permits, is ideal for Elizabethan drama. And what of the audience? After enjoying so many theatrical webcasts in the privacy of my living room this past year, it was a half-forgotten joy to sit among other theatergoers, above all when they laughed. “Lear,” of course, is supposed to get a fair amount of laughter, but it surprised me in the best possible way to hear the people around me responding to the comic touches of Ms. Ricciardi’s staging, as well as gasping at the blinding of Gloucester. Yes, I believe devoutly that streaming theater is here to stay (indeed, the performance that I saw was taped for later streaming). But it’s no substitute for live theater, merely a different way of delivering the real thing. King Lear Shakespeare & Company, New Spruce Theatre, 70 Kemble St., Lenox, Mass. ($56-$72), 413-637-3353, closes Aug. 29 Mr. Teachout, the Journal’s drama critic, is the author of “Satchmo at the Waldorf.” Write to him at [email protected]




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Friday, July 16, 2021 | A11

John Mayer


Not Quite Worth the Tears

Bill T. Jones in rehearsal

Death-Defying Dance

Jones/Arnie Zane Company, the group that created “D-Man In the Waters” in 1989 during the height— or, in the context of the piece’s aqueous imagery, the depths—of the AIDS epidemic. Currently she teaches dance and dance research at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and the film is an outgrowth of her academic position. It’s a history lesson of a special kind—archival clips from that terrible time, as well as interviews that evoke it (“I remember half my phone book had died,” an original cast member says). Mainly, though, it’s a restaging of the company’s most enduring piece by Loyola Marymount students under Ms. LeBlanc’s direction, with Mr. Jones sitting in and offering the rapt young dancers inspirational links between that era and their own.

It’s a fertile idea, beautifully executed. We learn as they learn what the piece means, and why it has endured. Ms. LeBlanc starts by disabusing her students—and us—of any notions of balletic elegance. “DMan In the Waters” is lyrical, she says, but athletic. “Don’t think decorative. Think you’re an athlete.” That’s liberating for them and helpful for us as the dance unfolds in all


TALK ABOUT leaps of faith. The huge one that’s made by “Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man In the Waters” is that we will keep watching a feature documentary about dance, among many other things—not just watch it but see it and feel it—even though we may have little or no idea at the outset what the feverish movements signify. And watch, see and feel we do, with increasing absorption, all the leaps, lunges, plunges, spins, struts and death-defying belly slides of a now-classic work of postmodern dance that forms the centerpiece of a strong film with an urgent story to tell. The directors were Rosalynde LeBlanc and Tom Hurwitz. He’s a distinguished and prolific documentary cinematographer. She was for many years a dancer with the Bill T.




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