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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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MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2021 ~ VOL. CCLXXVII NO. 72

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Protesters Return to Streets After 90 Are Slain in Myanmar

What’s News Business & Finance

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ngineers partially freed a container ship that ran aground and became wedged in the Suez Canal, blocking vessels on the waterway and causing delays at ports world-wide. A1, A6  More than $3 billion of insurance is in place for liability claims against the owner of the Ever Given, officials with its insurance program said. A6

YEN 109.67

Rescuers Partially Free Bow Of Ship In Suez

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World-Wide  The U.S. isn’t ready to lift tariffs on Chinese imports in the near future, but it might be open to trade negotiations with Beijing, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in her first interview since Senate confirmation. A1

BY BOB DAVIS AND YUKA HAYASHI

proponents have said they also help shield companies from subsidized foreign competition. “I have heard people say, ‘Please just take these tariffs off,’ ” Ms. Tai said. But “yanking off tariffs,” she warned, could harm the economy unless the change is “communicated in a way so that the actors in the economy can make adjustments.” “Whether they are companies, traders, manufacturers or their workers,” she said, “the

WASHINGTON—The U.S. isn’t ready to lift tariffs on Chinese imports in the near future, but it might be open to trade negotiations with Beijing, U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai said. In her first interview since Senate confirmation, Ms. Tai said she recognized that the tariffs can exact a toll on U.S. businesses and consumers, though

 Migrant families crossing into the U.S. from Mexico are straining government resources and the patience of some local residents and officials in Rio Grande Valley towns. A3

 At least four people died after heavy rains swamped a swath of Tennessee and caused flash flooding over the weekend, authorities said. A3  The NRA said it is ready to aggressively lobby against gun-control measures being considered in the wake of recent mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado. A3  Iran and China signed a wide-ranging economic and security cooperation agreement, advancing Tehran’s efforts to deepen diplomatic ties outside Western powers. A9 JOURNAL REPORT Healthcare Tech: What the pandemic taught us about telemedicine. R1-8

BY JULIET CHUNG AND MAUREEN FARRELL

>

Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG swiftly unloaded large blocks of shares in those companies and others, part of the liquidation of positions at Mr. Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management. The sales approached $30 billion in value, some of the people said, and fueled a 27% plunge Friday in shares of Viacom—an unusually large decline in a widely held, large-capitalization stock on a day with no significant company- specific news. Billions of dollars in market value in other companies were wiped out as the sales continued, sur-

One mystery in a dramatic year on Wall Street has been the identity of a trader whose persistent purchases have sent shares in ViacomCBS Inc., Discovery Inc. and a handful of other companies surging even when the broader market was down. People familiar with the transactions said the answer is former Tiger Asia manager Bill Hwang. Late last week Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group

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People with the shot jump on deals for Krispy Kreme, fries, arcade tokens BY CHARLES PASSY

Outlook....................... A2 Personal Journal A11-12 Sports....................... A14 Technology............... B4 U.S. News............. A2-5 Weather................... A14 World News....... A6-9

ability to plan” for changes that affect their future is essential. The negotiator also cited tactical reasons for her reluctance. “No negotiator walks away from leverage, right?” she said. The 47-year-old Ms. Tai, the first Asian-American and the first woman of color to serve as U.S. trade representative, comes to the job with striking bipartisan support—including a 98-0 confirmation vote by the Senate—and must navigate an

increasingly tumultuous relationship with China. Top diplomats from the two countries sparred publicly earlier this month during a contentious meeting in Alaska. As trade representative, Ms. Tai will need to deal with tough issues both abroad and at home. She already faces presPlease turn to page A4

 Heard on the Street: Supply chains threatened................... B9

Pressure at Firm Triggers $30 Billion Stock Selloff

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 Biden plans to split his next big government-spending push into two programs and will lay out his vision for an infrastructure-focused first proposal, including green-energy programs, this week. A4

U.S. Sits Tight on China Tariffs

 Shippers reroute, lose business in crisis..................... A6  Insurers face host of claims on delays...................................... A6

INSIDE

For many Americans, getting the coronavirus vaccine is a reward unto itself. But for Patricia Fasnacht, the shot has come with a sugary bonus. Ever since receiving her first injection of the Pfizer vaccine earlier this month, Ms. Fasnacht, a 62year-old resident of High Point, N.C., has taken advantage of a promotion by the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp.,

which recently announced it is offering a free daily donut through the end of 2021 at its U.S. locations to those who show their Covid-19 vaccination card. Ms. Fasnacht says she has already made a couple of visits and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. “After being in my house for a year, I am happy to get out and have a sweet treat,” she says. Officials with the North CaroPlease turn to page A10

prising market participants who called the size and speed of these stock sales unprecedented. The liquidations appear to have left Archegos, which managed an estimated $10 billion of personal wealth for Mr. Hwang and his family, under extreme pressure following heavy losses. People close to the stock sales said that the bulk of the selling has been completed. Class A shares of Discovery dropped $15.85, or 27%, to $41.90 on Friday, the largest percentage decrease since SeptemPlease turn to page A2

KATIE KLANN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

 Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would make it harder for many teens to get or keep jobs, many economists say. A2

ON EDGE: Demonstrators opposing Myanmar’s military coup threw stones and fired slingshots toward approaching security forces on Sunday in Yangon, a day after soldiers and police gunned down at least 90 people across the country. A9

SUEZ, Egypt—Engineers partially freed a wedged ship blocking the Suez Canal on Monday, and tug boats were working on straightening its course in a move that could soon reopen the vital trade route and end days of global supply disruptions. Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority that operates the waterway, early Monday said tugs dislodged the bow of the 1,300-foot Ever Given, operated by Taiwanbased Evergreen Group, from the eastern bank of the canal. “It is good news,” Mr. Rabie said. He added that tugboats would continue for another hour or so to ensure the vessel could begin moving again up the canal. “We are not finished yet, but it has moved.” A person involved in the effort said higher-than-usual spring tides were helpful and the ship has moved around 25 yards. “We are getting there, Please turn to page A6

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 A nearly yearlong bull run among industrial metals is faltering as the unwinding of a stimulus in China slows demand. B1

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 Contrarians see a buying opportunity as investors drive bond yields higher on bets for rebounding economic growth and accelerating inflation. B1

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 A blank-check company backed by Keith Meister’s Corvex and life-sciences investor Casdin is nearing a deal to merge with protein-analysis company SomaLogic. B3

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Tug boats try to straighten course in a move that could reopen trade route

 News Corp is nearing an agreement to buy the consumer arm of educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. B1

CONTENTS Arts in Review... A13 Business News....... B3 Crossword.............. A14 Heard on Street..... B9 Markets...................... B8 Opinion.............. A15-17

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WORLD NEWS Crisis in Brazil worsens as new Covid-19 variant spreads and deaths increase. A9

BUSINESS & FINANCE Rally in commodities sends farmland prices soaring across the Midwest. B1

For Atlanta Shooting Victims U.S. Life Was Lonely Struggle Slain women of Asian descent were striving to make ends meet ATLANTA—Seven days after Daoyou Feng was shot and killed at the spa where she worked, her body lay unclaimed in a morgue in the Atlanta area. The 44-year-old, originally from China, died alone in a foreign country that knew little about her. Officials By Esther Fung, Sunny Oh, Elizabeth Findell and Jaewon Kang here couldn’t find a family member to claim her body, even though her name made international headlines. Ms. Feng was one of eight people killed March 16, when a 21-year-old Georgia man went on a shooting spree that targeted the spas he said he frequented, according to police. The killings claimed the lives of four

women born in Korea, two from China, a mother getting a massage with her husband and a handyman originally from Detroit. The killings of six women of Asian descent has sparked debate about anti-Asian racism and triggered rallies in cities across the country. Nearly two weeks after the killings, a picture has begun to emerge of the victims themselves and the lives they led after they arrived in America. Of the six women born in Asia, four were U.S. citizens, one held a green card and one was a Chinese national. All were working at immigrant-run spas, and most were struggling to make ends meet. Some left behind family members who described them as isolated, leading quiet lives of hard work. Please turn to page A10

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.

A2 | Monday, March 29, 2021

U.S. NEWS

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

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THE OUTLOOK | By Amara Omeokwe

Labor force participation rate, 55 years and older RECESSION

41.0% 40.5 40.0 39.5 39.0 38.5 38.0 2017

’20

Note: Seasonally adjusted Source: Labor Department via Federal Reserve

nomic expansion following the 2007-2009 recession. The current decline is especially worrisome because it comes as an aging population has already been holding down growth in the U.S. labor force. Economic output depends on the number of workers and how productive each worker is. Thus, the decline in participation, if not reversed, could weigh on growth.

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eclining participation could also undercut U.S. productivity, said Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor of economics at the New School who studies retirement issues.

Productivity—output per hour—reflects how efficiently workers complete tasks. Older workers often bring experience and expertise gained over many years to the workplace, said Ms. Ghilarducci. “Pushing older people out of the labor force before they’re ready, you lose a lot of the nation’s resource.” Ms. Ghilarducci added that some of these older workers may have had little savings, and retirement could force them to turn to the social safety net, such as Medicaid and elderly assistance programs. Job losses during the pandemic have been concentrated in lowwage industries. Less than 40% of families in the bottom half of the U.S. income distribution are invested in a retirement plan, according to Federal Reserve data covering 2019, the most recent available. “If you don’t get people to a comfortable retirement, then instead of having them be stable, you’re going to have them be the most vulnerable in society,” Ms. Ghilarducci said. For older workers who are out of work but choose not to retire, it can take longer to find work than their younger counterparts. The average length of unemployment for workers age 55 to 64 was

32.5 weeks in February 2021, up sharply from 25.9 in February last year, according to an AARP analysis of Labor Department data. That was considerably longer than for the unemployed as a whole, whose average unemployment spell in February was 27.2 weeks. Meanwhile, among the unemployed respondents to a recent AARP survey of adults age 40-65, more than half were worried that their age would limit job-finding opportunities.

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he good news is that with a vaccine-driven reopening and fiscal stimulus expected to boost growth to its fastest this year since the 1980s, job prospects could brighten for older workers who haven’t yet retired. Susan Weinstock, vice president of financial resilience programming at AARP, said she had recently been hearing more from employers expressing interest in hiring older workers, whereas that hadn’t been the case earlier in the pandemic. “It feels different from the Great Recession,” Ms. Weinstock said. This time, “it wasn’t the economy that fell off the cliff because of other things. It was the pandemic,” she said.

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from Covid-19 increases with age. Among those who contract the virus, the death rate for those age 50-64 is nearly nine times that of those age 30-39, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of these workers appear to have retired and thus may not return even when the public-health crisis is over. The proportion of the working-age population not in the workforce due to retirement rose to 19.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020 from 18.5% a year earlier, just before the pandemic, according to government data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. That is roughly 2.4 million workers who left the labor force due to retirement since the pandemic’s onset, more than double the number who did so in 2019, according to Ms. Boussour’s analysis. “Historically, the likelihood of seeing workers who decided to retire come back into the labor force is quite low,” she said. “So we do think that some of the drop in the participation rate with older workers is likely to remain permanent.” The exit of older workers contributed to the reversal of gains in the overall labor force participation rate that occurred during the eco-

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he proportion of older workers participating in the labor force is hovering at its worst level since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, raising the prospect that many of these Americans may have permanently left the workforce, potentially impairing future economic growth. The labor force participation rate—the proportion of the population working or seeking work—for Americans age 55 and older has fallen from 40.3% in February of 2020 to 38.3% this February—representing a loss of 1.45 million people from the labor force. The participation rate initially fell much more for prime-age workers, those between ages 25 and 54, from 82.9% in February last year to 79.8% in April, but has since jumped 1.3 points, to 81.1% in February of this year. By contrast, participation for older workers has shown no rebound from last spring. Lydia Boussour, lead U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, said the unique health risk to older people during the pandemic has likely deterred them from rejoining the workforce in greater numbers. Publichealth officials have warned that the risk of severe illness

Wednesday: China’s official purchasing managers index for manufacturing is expected to show activity rebounding in March following disruptions related to Lunar New Year holidays. China’s industrial sector led its economic recovery from the coronavirus shocks last year, but factory production last month posted its slowest rate of expansion in nine months. Thursday: U.S. applications for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level of the pandemic in mid-March, a trend expected to continue as stronger hiring and another round of government stimulus drive an economic revival. Economists estimate a fresh pandemic low for jobless claims in the week ended March 27, though weekly figures have proved volatile. The Institute for Supply Management’s March survey of purchasing managers at U.S. factories is expected to show another solid month for new orders, output and employment. Manufacturing was quick to rebound from last spring’s severe downturn, helped along by strong demand for goods. The downside: supplychain bottlenecks, increasing delivery times and rising input prices. Friday: U.S. employers are expected to have added hundreds of thousands of jobs and the unemployment rate is expected to tick lower in March. Robust hiring would be a sign the economy continues to heal. But the U.S. will still have millions fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic.

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More Retirements Bode Ill for Growth

ECONOMIC CALENDAR

Nicholas Kellogg, above left, works part time in retail. Above right, teen workers at a Buffalo Wings & Rings restaurant in Milford, Ohio. to afford to hire unskilled and inexperienced workers,” Mr. Masadeh said. The minimum-wage proposal pending in Congress would phase in minimum-wage increases, starting with an increase to $9.50. That means teens wouldn’t face a $15 minimum wage for a few years. Nicholas Kellogg, an 18-yearold in Des Peres, Mo., works part time at clothing retailer PacSun. He said while he would like to earn more, he expects a higher minimum will make it harder for other teens to join the workforce. “If companies are going to

have to start paying more, they’re going to start hiring less people,” Mr. Kellogg said. The proposed minimumwage increase would come at a time when a smaller share of teens are working than in the past. Last year, 34.5% of 16- to 19-year-olds worked or sought employment versus more than half in 1980, according to the Labor Department. Should teens struggle to find jobs with a higher minimum wage, they could miss out on an opportunity to gain workplace skills. “Experience is valuable,” said Abigail Wozniak, a Ph.D.

didn’t respond to requests for comment. According to people familiar with the fund, the highly leveraged Archegos took big, concentrated positions in companies and held some positions via swaps, contracts brokered by Wall Street banks that allow a user to take on the profits and losses of a portfolio of stocks or other assets in exchange for a fee. The use of swaps allowed Mr. Hwang to maintain his anonymity, even as Archegos was estimated to have had exposure to the economics of more than 10% of multiple companies’ shares. Investors holding more than 10% of a company’s securities are deemed to be company insiders and are subject to additional regulations around disclosures and profits. Stock blocks sold Friday amounted to 10% or more of shares outstanding in companies including online luxury retailer Farfetch Ltd. and New Yorklisted Chinese tutoring company GSX Techedu Inc. The episode reignites debate over whether the use of swaps presents a market vulnerability. The dynamics are reminiscent of the market upheaval in late January, when meteoric surges in GameStop Corp. and other companies popular with

individual investors upended hedge funds’ short bets against the companies. Here, though, a major actor in supporting companies’ share prices appears to have been undone by his continuing to add to leveraged bets as markets soared, a strategy that fell apart when some of those bets started to reverse on him. Mr. Hwang’s strategy began backfiring in recent weeks as the stock price of companies Archegos had significant exposure to, including in China Internet search giant Baidu Inc. and Farfetch, began to sell off. Baidu’s stock price rose sharply in February, but by mid-March, its shares had dropped more than 20% from its highs. Farfetch’s stock followed a similar trajectory, dropping more than 15% off its February highs by March. The announcement of additional financing by ViacomCBS early last week put further stress on Archegos, said people familiar with the matter, with news of the deal sparking a slide in the shares and adding to Archegos’s mounting losses. The fund by that time had started selling some of its position in ViacomCBS to try to offset its losses, adding to pressure on the stock. ViacomCBS shares had surged 160% since the start of

the year through March 22, with the launch earlier this month of its new Paramount+ streaming service contributing to gains. Discovery also recently launched a streaming service, which analysts said buttressed its stock price. Still, ViacomCBS stock at times rose even as the broader market fell the week of March 15, leading some traders to speculate a ViacomCBS investor was propping up its price and trying to squeeze short sellers. In a short squeeze, short sellers are forced to buy back shares to close out their losing bets, pushing prices sharply higher in the process. Similarly, GSX’s resilient stock price despite heavy attacks from activist short sellers and an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission had perplexed hedge funds shorting the stock. Goldman and Morgan Stanley on Friday sold a total of nearly 33 million shares of GSX in block trades, traders said. Multiple banks including Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche, Credit Suisse Group AG, and UBS Group AG served as prime brokers to Archegos, meaning they processed its trades and lent it cash and securities. — Gunjan Banerji, Benjamin Mullin and Jim Oberman contributed to this article.

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employment remained elevated at 13.9% in February compared with an overall jobless rate of 6.2%. Some businesses say a higher minimum wage for teens could affect staffing plans. Nader Masadeh, chief executive of Ohio-based restaurant chain Buffalo Wings & Rings, said teens are around 25% of the restaurants’ staff. Should the federal minimum wage go up, he said his first step would be to increase menu prices. If he has to cut staff, teens would be let go first, he added. “Employers will not be able

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Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would make it harder for many teens to get or keep jobs, adding to the employment challenges they have faced during the pandemic, many economists say. Democrats want to raise the federal minimum wage in steps to that level by 2025, from $7.25 an hour. Most states already have set a higher minimum wage. The plan also would eliminate a youth subminimum wage that allows businesses to pay teens less during the first 90 days of work. The changes would give raises to millions of workers and lift some out of poverty, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said in studies. But it also has found about 1.4 million workers would lose their jobs over the next four years, many of them teens. “Young, less-educated people would account for a disproportionate share of those reductions,” it said in a February report on the minimum-wage proposal. Teens saw much higher rates of unemployment than the overall workforce during the pandemic. The unemployment rate for those between 16 and 19 hit almost 32% in April 2020—more than double a pandemic peak for an overall unemployment rate of 14.8%. Both rates have eased, but teen un-

WHITNEY CURTIS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

BY ALLISON PRANG

Fund Sparks Selloff Continued from Page One ber 2008. And a punishing daylong selloff for ViacomCBS continued, as the shares dropped $18.12, or 27%, the largest percentage decrease on record, according to Dow Jones Market Data going back to 1990 Shares of a U.S.-listed Chinese entertainment company, iQIYI Inc., also sold in block trades Friday as part of the unwinding, fell 13% to $17.43. Discovery released a statement in response to the selloff on Friday reaffirming its guidance to Wall Street. The losses mark the latest public setback for the publicityshy Mr. Hwang, whose prior firm, Tiger Asia Management LLC, in 2012 pleaded guilty to a criminal fraud charge. Tiger Asia also agreed to pay $44 million to settle civil allegations by U.S. securities regulators that it engaged in insider trading of Chinese bank stocks. Mr. Hwang and Archegos’s co-chief executive, Andy Mills,

MADDIE MCGARVEY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Wage Floor of $15 Is Seen as an Obstacle for Teens

economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. She compared it to exercise. “There’s something about being connected to the labor force,” Dr. Wozniak said. “You need to have a structure, you need to have obligations.” While the federal minimum wage hasn’t changed since 2009, 29 states have set a higher level, and in eight the minimum wage is slated to reach $15 an hour in the coming years. Those higher pay floors have delivered raises to some young workers. Nely Vargas, an 18-year-old in Boston, earns Massachu-

setts’s $13.50-an-hour minimum wage working 10 hours a week as a counselor-in-training at St. Stephen’s Youth Programs. She said she uses her pay to rely less on her mother, a single parent. She is saving for a new computer and pays her own phone bill. She also is working on redecorating her room. The money she makes at work also has allowed her to treat her mother to a takeout dinner. “I feel like I can give her a helping hand by not being so dependent on her,” Ms. Vargas said.

CORRECTIONS  AMPLIFICATIONS A photo with a Page One article Friday about the Suez Canal showed an excavator being used in efforts to dislodge a container ship blocking the waterway. The caption incorrectly identified the machine as a backhoe.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

Monday, March 29, 2021 | A3

* * * *

U.S. NEWS

BY MICHELLE HACKMAN

Asylum seekers waited to be tested for Covid-19 or to receive their test results in Brownsville, Texas, this month. Covid-19 as it releases them in Del Rio, Texas, a model officials say they want to expand across the border. In McAllen, the city has set up an outdoor Covid-19 testing site downtown run by Catholic charities. The church also runs a respite center across the street from the bus station, where Covid-19-negative migrants can stay for the night or stop in for a shower and a hot meal before catching buses or flights out of McAllen. Sister Norma Pimentel, who opened the shelter during the 2014 migrant surge, said she has seen between 200 and 500 migrants traveling as families on any given day. “I’ve been through this already many times before,” she said. “It’s not as bad as it was, for example, in 2019, but I think it could definitely increase.” The surge already hasn’t been easy on the city, which still hasn’t been reimbursed in full for the cost of transporting and caring for migrants in 2019. McAllen Mayor Jim Dar-

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

MCALLEN, Texas—Parents with young children have been crossing into the U.S. from Mexico by the thousands each day, straining government resources and the patience of some local residents and officials in Rio Grande Valley towns like McAllen. Families are being released at a rapid clip into border communities, which need to test them for Covid-19 and quarantine them if necessary. All along the border, and in some cities a little farther away, local officials are getting calls: Migrants are about to be dropped at bus stations or airports, at migrant shelters and even occasionally hotels. Border Patrol facilities are so overcrowded that, in recent days, agents have started temporarily holding hundreds of families under a bridge near McAllen, where migrants detained overnight are sleeping on the dirt. Though the record numbers of unaccompanied children at the border have captured the greatest public attention thus far, they make up a small portion of the migrants crossing the border right now. The majority are men looking for work, and they are being swiftly turned around by the Border Patrol. Meantime, the number of migrant families heading to the border is swelling, threatening to become a humanitarian crisis.

ling said that while he was sympathetic to the migrants, the city’s reputation was being hurt by coverage of the surge. “You wouldn’t know this is even going on in 99% of the city, except at the bus station and the respite center,” he said. “We’re always trying to recruit businesses to move here, and it’s difficult to do with all that news going on.” Local business owners say they have heard from shoppers they are nervous to come downtown with the migrants so close by. And frustration has grown that Central American migrants crossing illegally are being processed even as official ports of entry remain closed for the pandemic, blocking family members and shoppers from Mexico. Before the pandemic, Mr. Darling said, Mexicans paid about 40% of the city’s sales-tax revenue— and some businesses have closed without it. —Alicia A. Caldwell in Mexicali, Mexico, contributed to this article.

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Surges of asylum seekers from Central America, which is beset by gang violence, aren’t new. The U.S. saw similar increases in 2014, 2016 and 2019, under different presidents and a range of border policies. This time the situation is made all the more difficult by the coronavirus pandemic that has strained government and local resources. “The number of unaccompanied minors has risen quickly, but they could easily be eclipsed by the number of families if the U.S. government starts admitting families on an ongoing basis,” said Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan Washington think tank. Believing the U.S. would be more welcoming under President Biden than under former President Donald Trump, who campaigned against illegal immigration, many parents have made the same calculation as Olinda Marilín Portillo Mazariegos. She rafted across the Rio Grande with her 6-year-old daughter on a recent Thursday evening, clambering up a remote stretch of brush here in search of a Border Patrol agent to ask for asylum. A violent father-in-law and a stagnant economy pushed her to leave Guatemala City, she said, where she once worked as a school psychologist but spent the past few years as a street vendor. The election of Mr. Biden determined her timing, she said. The journey cost $8,000, and Ms. Portillo Mazariegos wanted to be sure it would be worth the cost. The Biden administration has maintained a Trump-era border policy, using a public-

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Families searching for safety and a better life strain local resources, irk some businesses

VERÓNICA G. CÁRDENAS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (2)

Migrants Put Pressure on Border Cities

Olinda Marilín Portillo Mazariegos and her daughter look for a Border Patrol agent near Mission, Texas, to request asylum. They came from Guatemala City and crossed the Rio Grande on a raft. health emergency order to immediately turn back any migrant families caught crossing the border. But that task was made more difficult in the past couple of months as Mexico

began refusing to take back families with young children here at the Texas border, citing a lack of shelter space. The Border Patrol has started testing migrants for

Torrents of Rain Turn Deadly in Tennessee Chauvin Jury Set

To Hear Opening Statements Today

BY TALAL ANSARI

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BY JACOB GERSHMAN AND JOE BARRETT

MARK HUMPHREY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

At least four people died and over 130 were rescued after heavy rains swamped a swath of Tennessee and caused flash flooding over the weekend, authorities said. The National Weather Service in Nashville said a powerful storm dumped over 7 inches of rain on the region on Saturday and Sunday, causing creeks and streams to overflow. The floodwaters swept cars off streets and inundated homes and businesses. One flooding victim, a 65year-old man, was swept away by high water after getting out of a car that ran off the road near a golf course, the Metro Nashville Police Department said. Two additional victims, described as a man and a woman, were found dead near a homeless camp, Nashville police said. A fourth fatal victim was described by Nashville police only as a 70-yearold man. The Nashville fire department said it rescued at least 130 people from automobiles, apartments and houses. The 7 inches of rain that

A car carried away by floodwaters in Nashville ended up in a creek Sunday. At least four people were killed and more than 130 were rescued over the weekend as more than 7 inches of rain fell. fell in Nashville, the state’s capital and largest city, was the second-highest two-day total there on record, according to the National Weather

Service. The National Weather Service said the rain had largely subsided by Sunday afternoon, but authorities told residents

that flooding remained a threat as water from creeks and streams would eventually make its way to major rivers in the area.

Hobbled NRA Will Lobby Against Gun Limits BY JULIE BYKOWICZ AND MARK MAREMONT The National Rifle Association says it will aggressively lobby against federal and state gun-control measures being considered in the wake of mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado, even as it remains in bankruptcy and faces lawsuits and investigations into its business practices. Beset by inner turmoil, the five million-member gun-rights group has lost employees and some funding, and its expenditures on lobbying and political campaigns have declined in recent years. Yet membership has picked up this year amid a continuing rise in gun purchases, with more than 1,000 new dues-paying members signing up online every day, the group says, a surge it attributes to the possibility of stricter federal controls from a Democratic-led

Washington. President Biden said Sunday that he is prepared to call Republican senators to press for legislation that would expand background checks. Elected officials who have long supported the group still do. Mike Pompeo, a possible Republican presidential candidate, cut an NRA video this month that begins, “I’m Mike Pompeo, fellow NRA member and former secretary of state.” “The NRA hasn’t lost a beat,” said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. “The simple fact is no other organization can move the ball in Congress and move the ball in the states when it comes to continuing to improve gun rights, hunting rights and selfdefense laws like the NRA.” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said he believes the gun group’s influence has waned as scandals have proliferated. “With the

NRA preoccupied by its own survival, we have a unique opportunity to address America’s gun crisis, and we need to seize that moment,” he said. Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) said Sunday on NBC that the NRA’s internal issues have given pro-gun-control lawmakers confidence. “I’ve gotten a lot of calls from Republicans in the Senate who don’t want to fight this fight any longer because the NRA’s authority is fading, the antigun violence movement’s impact is increasing.” Democratic lawmakers have renewed their call for universal background checks and a ban on assault-style weapons. Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif.) also reintroduced bicameral legislation that would improve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ ability to access and disclose to local authorities gun records and

gun-tracing data. But the slim Democratic majority in the Senate means any of those bills would likely be blocked even if all 50 senators in the Democratic caucus supported them. New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil lawsuit in August seeking to dissolve the NRA, alleging widespread spending abuses at the nonprofit. The NRA in January filed for bankruptcy protection and said it hoped to move to Texas. Hearings on key motions that will determine the course of the bankruptcy are scheduled to start April 5. The group has been racked by internal feuds since early 2019. Board members have raised questions over expenses by top officials including Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, who has denied wrongdoing but last year repaid about $300,000 related to allegedly excessive travel benefits.

In Derek Chauvin’s trial on charges of murdering George Floyd, the prosecution’s central piece of evidence is likely to be a video that helped ignite protests and rioting in cities across the country. The former Minneapolis police officer’s strongest defense likely lies in the forensic and medical evidence and expert testimony that could cast Mr. Floyd’s death as an event of his own making. As attorneys prepare to make opening statements to jurors Monday, outside lawyers say Mr. Chauvin’s trial is shaping up as a legal battle between two different types of evidence that have both proved effective in other trials: Visceral visuals versus technical details. Mr. Chauvin’s fate hinges on what the jury finds most compelling during a trial expected to last a month. Mr. Chauvin, 44 years old, has pleaded not guilty to both second-degree murder, the crime of unintentionally causing Mr. Floyd’s death while assaulting him, and third-degree murder, which Minnesota law defines as causing the death of another through an eminently dangerous act and evincing a depraved mind. For someone with no prior felony offenses like Mr. Chauvin, Minnesota sentencing guidelines recommend a sentence of 128 to 180 months for both charges, though the maximum punishment is higher. Mr. Chauvin also faces a lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in connection with Mr. Floyd’s death and are expected to face trial in the late summer. Their lawyers all say none of them committed any crime. The bystander and bodycamera footage show Mr. Floyd calling for his mother, gasping for air, and going limp as Mr. Chauvin rests a knee

against his neck. Mr. Floyd appeared to have stopped breathing for the last 3½ minutes of the more than eight minutes Mr. Chauvin had him pinned prone to the ground at the intersection of a commercial strip in south Minneapolis. “For the prosecution the key part of the case is eight minutes and 46 seconds of videotape, and they will build everything else around it,” said Jack Rice, a veteran criminal defense attorney in St. Paul and former prosecutor who has followed the trial closely. “The reason it is so critical is that the video is objective, that will be their argument. You can’t deny the time, place, the behavior.” Legal experts expect Mr. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, to portray his client as a decorated and seasoned professional doing a dangerous job and deploying a restraint technique he was trained to use. His opening statement will likely try to blame Mr. Floyd’s death on his lifethreatening heart disease and the drugs in his system as he was resisting arrest. Mr. Chauvin doesn’t need to prove he didn’t kill Mr. Floyd to avoid a murder conviction. He could try to raise reasonable doubt—the standard of guilt—from the county’s official autopsy report and the medical examiner’s own words. Hennepin County’s chief medical examiner, Andrew Baker, labeled Mr. Floyd’s death a homicide—meaning that the actions of someone else contributed to his dying. But he also said Mr. Floyd had a potentially fatal level of fentanyl in his system, along with methamphetamine. Mr. Baker said there was no anatomic evidence of injury to Mr. Floyd’s neck or autopsy evidence that blood or air supply was cut off, according to a summary of an interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal prosecutors that was filed as evidence.

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A4 | Monday, March 29, 2021

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Biden to Split Spending Plan Package to Offer Child-Care Aid BY CATHERINE LUCEY AND TARINI PARTI

Road construction in San Francisco. One proposal will call for investment in infrastructure. economic competitiveness behind Singapore. There are signs of some potential GOP support in the House. “I’m definitely going to get on board with any proposal that is going to provide rural broadband to my district,” said Rep.-elect Julia Letlow (R., La.) on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Ms. Letlow said she would have to take a closer look at the infrastructure bill before deciding whether to support it. However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) last week signaled opposition, saying the Biden administration was likely to stuff an infrastructure bill with other “wish list” priorities for Democrats.

“They’re now cooking up yet another package they’re going to call infrastructure, but it’s going to be a Trojan horse that includes massive tax increases on Americans,” Mr. McConnell told Fox News last week. “They’re going hard left.” The multipart plan could cost as much as $3 trillion over a decade, people involved in the discussions said last week. Republicans will likely balk at the price tag of the new package after opposing the coronavirus relief package because they said it was too costly. Senior administration officials have discussed raising taxes on companies, among other options, to offset the cost of the spending packages.

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in both parties. Some Democrats believe it would be easier to get Republican support for infrastructure investments in a separate bill and then the administration can pursue its other priorities, including tax measures, through reconciliation, the Senate process that requires a lower threshold for votes but can be used only sparingly. “I will say that I don’t think Republicans in this country think we should be 13th in the world as it relates to infrastructure,” Ms. Psaki said. “Roads, railways, rebuilding them—that’s not a partisan issue.” The World Economic Forum has ranked the U.S. 13th in the world in infrastructure quality and second in overall

WASHINGTON—President Biden is looking to include in a multitrillion-dollar economic package investments in childand elder-care needs that his administration sees as barriers for women in the workforce, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Biden is expected to address what he calls the “caregiving economy” as part of the economic recovery proposal he plans to start unveiling on Wednesday, alongside investments in infrastructure and the environment. Plans are still in flux, people close to the discussions said. Administration officials said Mr. Biden’s $775 billion campaign proposal on caregiving would likely serve as a blueprint for that section of the plan. The campaign proposal included free prekindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds, child-care tax credits for lowand middle-income families, subsidies for child-care and after-school programs, and pay increases for child-care workers. Mr. Biden also called for resources for elderly care, including attempting to eliminate the waiting list for home and community services under Medicaid. The campaign proposed paying for it by rolling back tax breaks for real-estate investors with incomes of more than $400,000 annually. “2020 showed us many things about the American economy and American society, but one thing it made crystal clear is that without a care economy, it makes it really difficult for people to get to work,” said Heather Boushey, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers. “This is making sure that people have what they need so they can be productive members of our society.” Millions of women have left the workforce during the pan-

demic year, many due to the pressures of child care and remote schooling. Women’s participation in the labor force slipped to 57%, the lowest it has been since 1988, according to an analysis of government data by the National Women’s Law Center. More than 2.3 million women have dropped out of the labor force during the pandemic, compared with 1.8 million men, according to the report. The $1.9 trillion Covid-19 aid package Mr. Biden signed into law earlier this month, which included direct payments to most Americans and an expansion of the child tax credit, was seen by the White

Millions of women have left the workforce during the pandemic year. House as a first step to help women and families. As with many of Mr. Biden’s proposals, his caregiving plan could hit resistance in the Senate, which is split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris able to break ties. Some Democrats have argued for changing the filibuster rule, which requires 60 votes to advance most legislation, to pass Mr. Biden’s agenda. Some Republicans who have worked on child-care and family issues would prefer to use tax incentives and give states more flexibility, rather than authorize new federal spending. “The pay-fors are where we struggle…and whether it should be mandatory programs or voluntary programs,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R., Iowa). She said an example is that Democrats want to mandate paid family leave, while Republicans want to encourage it on a voluntary basis.

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President Biden plans to split up his next big government-spending push into two programs and will lay out his vision for an infrastructure-focused first proposal, including green-energy programs, at an event in Pittsburgh this week, a top administration official said Sunday. The second proposal, which the administration plans to release in April, would focus more on child-care and healthcare programs, among other priorities, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on “Fox News Sunday.” At some point the administration plans to propose tax increases on higher-income households and businesses to help pay for the programs, though it has yet to lay out its tax strategy or how it will fit together with the next two proposals. Ms. Psaki also left open the possibility that both elements of the president’s spending plans could be pursued in one legislative package. Mr. Biden, asked Sunday if both his proposals would move through Congress as one bill or more, told reporters that he had decided on a legislative strategy for his next economic package, but he declined to comment further. Democrats say the spending programs will help to make the economy more productive, boosting growth and household incomes. Republicans are wary of wasteful spending and reject efforts to raise taxes. Some economists warn the government risks piling on too much debt, overstimulating the economy and causing inflation. However, interest rates and inflation are low, which has left administration officials believing they have room to maneuver to make longterm investments in growth. Ms. Psaki said the president believes that he can get bipartisan support for his infrastructure proposal, as some spending, such as restoring roads and bridges, is popular

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BY TARINI PARTI AND JOSHUA JAMERSON

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Continued from Page One sure from U.S. companies eager to settle the trade conflict with Beijing. Under former President Donald Trump, a Republican, the U.S. placed tariffs on about $370 billion of goods from China annually, or about threequarters of its exports to the U.S. by value, as part of a trade war aimed at getting China to drop trade barriers. China retaliated with tariffs on $110 billion of U.S. goods—an even higher percentage of what the U.S. exports to China. The tariffs have remained, even though the U.S. and China signed a 2020 accord to end the trade war, largely because the U.S. wanted them as leverage to ensure China complied with terms of the deal, including stepped-up purchases of U.S. goods and better protection of U.S. intellectual property. Beijing is hoping to persuade the new Biden administration to lift those tariffs, which make Chinese goods more expensive and have led U.S. companies to shift some purchases to Vietnam, Mexico and other countries. At the same time, Beijing is far behind on its commitment to purchase U.S. goods. On farm products, especially, overall U.S. exports aren’t on track to reach the levels promised under the deal, according to Chad Bown, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which favors free trade. At her confirmation hearing, Ms. Tai said she would enforce the trade deal, though she didn’t say how. The accord also calls for the USTR to meet every six months with a Chinese vice premier, in this case Liu He. No session has yet been set. A USTR spokesman said she conferred with 14 international trade officials during her first week in office, but she didn’t call Mr. Liu. The National Foreign Trade Council, a trade association of

BILL O’LEARY/PRESS POOL

U.S. Won’t Lift Tariffs On China

Katherine Tai at her Senate confirmation hearing in February.

big exporters, has assembled a coalition of three dozen trade associations to press for tariff repeal. “Higher tariffs alone, hastily imposed without careful analysis, have been ineffective in prompting China to reform its practices while causing serious economic harm to U.S. companies,” the group said. Ms. Tai acknowledged the economic harm that tariffs can cause but said they were imposed “to remedy an unbalanced and unfair trade situation.” She indicated some interest

Ms. Tai faces pressure from U.S. companies eager to settle the conflict. in suggestions by free traders such as former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and the Business Roundtable, a bigbusiness group, that lifting tariffs should come as part of new negotiations with China over issues of subsidies, state-owned businesses and other structural issues. “Every good negotiator retains his or her leverage to use it,” she said. A former Democratic House Ways and Means Committee staffer, Ms. Tai worked closely with the Trump administration in negotiating the U.S.-MexicoCanada Agreement, an update of the North American Free Trade Agreement. But now she must juggle different demands. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice

President Myron Brilliant said he wants a fulsome agenda for trade liberalization. “That vision is still forthcoming,” he said. AFL-CIO chief economist William Spriggs said he is looking for fundamental reorientation of trade away from a corporate model marked by “inside deals between highly connected people who paid for a seat at the table.” Ms. Tai said she is committed to a trade policy focused on workers as individuals, rather than solely as consumers. In practice, she said during her confirmation hearing, that means focusing trade policy on jobs and wages, not only lower prices and greater product choice. A fluent Mandarin speaker who grew up in the Washington, D.C., area, Ms. Tai spent two years in China teaching English after college. That has made her a subject of curiosity in China, where she is known as Dai Qi. Her given name, Qi, translates to Beautiful Jade. On Chinese social media, some commentators said Ms. Tai’s proficiency in Chinese and knowledge about China should make it easier for both sides to communicate. Others said she might turn out to be as tough on China as her predecessor, Robert Lighthizer, precisely because of her Chinese heritage. “This trade representative with Chinese blood has always been a woman who is not friendly to China,” said one March post, citing Ms. Tai’s previous litigation against Beijing at the World Trade Organization. —Lingling Wei contributed to this article.

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Monday, March 29, 2021 | A5

U.S. NEWS

U.S. WATCH ALASKA

Five Dead, One Hurt In Helicopter Crash A helicopter crashed in Alaska, killing five people and leaving one in serious but stable condition, authorities said. The Eurocopter AS50 crashed near Butte at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday, the Federal Aviation Administration said Sunday. Alaska State Troopers said they received a report of an overdue helicopter and the location of possible crash debris Saturday night. A rescue team from Alaska Rescue Coordination Center was dispatched to the site in the area of Knik Glacier, troopers said. The team arrived to find five occupants dead and a sole survivor, who was taken to a hospital. The National Transportation Safety Board said an investigator was headed to the crash scene. —Associated Press INDIANA

A convicted serial killer whose victims included two young boys died Sunday at an Indiana hospital, authorities said. Joseph Edward Duncan died at the medical center near United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute, where he was on death row, according to a statement from prosecutors in Riverside County, Calif. Duncan, 58, had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, the statement said. He was sentenced to death in 2008 following his conviction for the killing of 9-year-old Dylan Groene and three other people in Idaho. Following that conviction, Duncan was extradited to California to be tried for the death of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez of Riverside County in 1997. He pleaded guilty and received a sentence of life in prison. —Associated Press TEXAS

One Person Perishes Amid Storm, Tornado One person was killed after severe weather, including a tornado, caused damage in several communities in East Texas, authorities said Sunday. Widespread destruction across Panola County was reported, including damaged homes and downed trees, from Saturday evening’s severe weather, Sheriff Kevin Lake said in a Facebook post. The deadly storm also damaged homes and shops in Carthage. —Associated Press

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Melanie Mitchell, 16 years old, gets an injection during a clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine at Cincinnati Children’s.

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safety and efficacy of vaccines in children that have already been cleared for adult use can be done more quickly than the large-scale studies in adults that have already taken place. Vaccines probably won’t be ready for use in younger children until early 2022, health experts said. “The dose is not such a big leap to go from adults to teens,” said Katherine Luzuriaga, a pediatric infectious disease physician and the lead investigator of Moderna’s adolescent trial at the University of Massachusetts Medical School site. “Once we start going into the younger age groups, there’s a bit more work to determine the appropriate doses.”

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one study and expects to submit the data from that study to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in weeks. The FDA could authorize use by the fall, Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla said at The Wall Street Journal’s Health Forum on Tuesday. Pfizer said Thursday it had begun evaluating its vaccine in children 6 months to 11 years. Moderna is aiming to have its vaccine available for adolescents before the start of the 2021 school year and recently launched another trial with children as young as six months. Oxford is enrolling children ages 6 to 17 years in a trial of the vaccine it co-developed with AstraZeneca. Clinical trials to assess the

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Countries are racing to immunize adults against Covid-19 and move toward a more normal future. To achieve the vaccination rates that health authorities are aiming for, the shots must eventually reach the arms of children and teenagers, too. Children aren’t going to be vaccinated for several months at least, however, because drugmakers are still testing shots in younger ages. That means health authorities can’t be confident of securing community protection against the virus, known as herd immunity, until later this year at the earliest, because children under 18 make up a significant proportion of many countries’ populations. “We definitely need to get kids vaccinated if we want to be as close to normal as we can,” said Octavio Ramilo, chief of infectious diseases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Ohio. As governments push to move past the pandemic, vaccinating children is emerging as a key obstacle, along with initially limited supplies of vaccines. Researchers say between 70% and 85% of a population would need to be protected through infection or vaccination to achieve herd immunity, the point when so many people are immune that the virus has nowhere to go and even those who aren’t immune have protection. “It’s hard to do that just in terms of numbers if you’re not going to vaccinate kids,” said Adam Ratner, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital in New York. Children and adolescents

make up 22% of the U.S. population, according to the Census Bureau’s latest projections, and 18% of the population of the European Union. Drugmakers first tested Covid-19 vaccines in older ages. As a result, the shots have been authorized only for the oldest teenagers and adults so far. The shot from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE is cleared in the U.S. for people 16 and older, and vaccines from Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson for 18 years and up. A vaccine from AstraZeneca PLC and the University of Oxford is in use in the U.K. and EU for ages 18 and over. Pfizer has enrolled more than 2,000 kids from ages 12 to 15 in

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CINCINNATI CHILDREN’S

For Herd Immunity, Children Will Need the Shot, Too

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A6 | Monday, March 29, 2021

WORLD NEWS

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

Ever Given Mangled German Ferry in ’19 Before slamming into the bank of the Suez Canal last week and triggering a global cargo traffic jam, the Ever Given had another serious maritime accident two years ago in Germany. The 1,300-foot container ship, operated then and now by Taiwan shipping giant Evergreen Group, crashed into a small ferry in 2019, triggering a criminal probe, which didn’t find fault with the bigger ship’s captain. On Feb. 9, 2019, the Ever Given ran into the 75-foot

Finkenwerder, a pleasure ferry moored alongside a pontoon along the Elbe River in a suburb of Hamburg, Germany. The Ever Given, which had stopped at Hamburg on its way from China to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, mangled the ferry and nearly pulled the pontoon free of the shore. No passengers were aboard, but the ferry skipper was lightly injured, said Liddy Oechtering, a spokeswoman for the Hamburg Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Ever Given’s owner, Japan’s Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., and its operator, Evergreen, didn’t respond to a request for comment. —Benoit Faucon

minimum,” Mr. Mehrotra said. “They really can’t wait. They are scheduling more flights and then if things open up they will cancel.” Eric Martin-Neuville, executive vice president of freight forwarding at France-based logistics provider Geodis SA, said rail and airfreight capacity

is tight, however, limiting options for many shippers. “Beside costs, the main difficulty is to access capacity on short notice in a period which was already highly constrained,” he said. “The current crisis will generate a new level of chaos on the schedules, congestion in the arrival ports

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By one estimate, the grounding of the Ever Given is holding up billions of dollars in global trade. Shipping executives said even if the Ever Given is moved, the backlog of about 320 ships waiting to pass through the canal would linger for days, and diversions of cargo could wreak havoc on port traffic around the world for weeks, upsetting the usually carefully orchestrated management of the world’s containers. The canal connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas and accounts for as much as 13% of seaborne trade and about 10% of maritime shipments of oil. Allianz, the German insurance giant, estimated the blockage could reduce global trade by as much as $10 billion a week. It figured for every week the canal was immobilized, it could shave 0.2 to 0.4 percentage point off annual trade growth.

Even if the Ever Given is moved, the backlog of ships waiting to pass through would linger for days.

Ships and boats waited on Sunday at the entrance to the Suez Canal. The canal has been blocked by the container ship Ever Given, which was partially freed Monday.

Rescuers Partially Free Ship Continued from Page One but not there yet,” he said. Some 320 vessels are waiting to pass through the canal. If engineers are able to complete the effort to free the Ever Given and move it to a port, it would relieve some of the growing strain on the global shipping industry and transit of oil, gas and consumer goods between Asia and Europe. Some 13% of global maritime trade and 10% of seaborne oil shipments transit the canal. It will also ease pressure on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, who in 2015 inaugurated an expanded canal that was meant to earn more government revenue and help turn the page on the upheavals of the Arab Spring and the

army takeover that brought him to power. A boom in revenue hasn’t materialized, testing his rule. Those involved in the rescue effort predicted that the process could take several days as dredgers worked to remove hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of sand around the ship’s bow after it veered into the east side of the canal during stormy weather on March 23. Salvagers made significant progress late Friday after they managed to free the rudder and turn on the ship’s engines, people familiar with the operation said. Efforts continued throughout the weekend, with officials saying that they were quietly optimistic they would succeed, in part because of higher spring tides accompanying the full moon that began on Sunday. While European and Asian companies bore the brunt of the impact of the shutdown, the closure also threatened knock-on delays and costs to U.S. importers and exporters. The White House had offered

unspecified assistance to clear the waterway. To help remove the backlog of vessels in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal Authority is expected to try to increase the number of ships moving through the waterway. In normal circumstances a maximum of 106 ships can cross the waterway daily, according to the World Shipping Council, a shipping trade body.

The Suez Canal accounts for some 13% of global maritime trade. Many shipowners had already decided to reroute from the canal south toward Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, adding weeks to the journey and fuel costs. At the start of the rescue effort, salvagers had worried the effort could take weeks as the ship would need to be

lightened by taking off fuel and ballast water and possibly by removing its roughly 20,000 containers with helicopters. Early Friday, the Ever Greet—a sister ship to the Ever Given—was steered toward that route, according to MarineTraffic, a shipping tracker. The vessel was sailing from China to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Shipping giant A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S said 22 of its ships have been affected by the blocked canal, including two that rerouted to the Cape of Good Hope. Analysts have said European ports, such as Rotterdam and Antwerp, could now see congestion as the flood of ships moves through the canal and lengthens waiting times to unload cargo at their destinations. With the canal free, focus will turn to how the calamity happened and who should be held responsible. The answer could have major repercussions on insurance claims by the multiple parties involved. Navigation experts and engineers at the canal authority are investi-

both in Europe and in Asia and will generate [a] new and significant imbalance in container positioning while immobilizing urgently needed boxes at sea and at port,” he said. The Signal Group, a tankermanagement firm, estimated a two-week shutdown of the canal would effectively reduce capacity for shipping crude and petroleum products by 4.4% while a four-week closure would take out 12.6% of tanker capacity by requiring longer voyages around the blocked region, likely driving up freight rates for the oil sector. Rerouting away from the Suez Canal intensified over the weekend as more shippers lost hopes of a quick resolution. Initial diversions around the waterway involved container ships and tankers that were still far away—typically sailing in the Atlantic on their way to Gibraltar to enter the Mediterranean. But now, container ships that are nearing the Red Sea also are abruptly changing course to go south around Africa. —Paul Page contributed to this article.

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By Benoit Faucon, Costas Paris and Jennifer Smith

east Asia to the U.S., has been sent around the southern tip of Africa. Sea-Intelligence, a Copenhagen-based data group, said rerouting ships that normally use the Suez Canal around Africa or through the Panama Canal over the long term would effectively cut the world’s container-shipping capacity by about 6% because vessels would spend more time sailing on longer voyages. Sea-Intelligence said the disruption would affect all trade lanes as container lines adjust their routes with ships at sea for longer periods. Retailers, consumer-goods companies and manufacturers are starting to turn to airfreight and alternative suppliers as they weigh how delays will affect their supply chains. Supply-chain software provider Blue Yonder said customers hit by the crisis include a U.K.-based beverage maker with about 170 containers of finished goods stuck in transit between Europe and Asia. The company is calculating whether “if there are two weeks of delay, is that enough inventory stock in the destination supply chain, where they can prioritize their highestlevel customers?” said Himanshu Mehrotra, principal solutions adviser for Blue Yonder. Another customer, which makes medical devices, is checking with suppliers to see if more components are available to be shipped by air in place of goods that may be tied up on ships. “They are scheduling ahead of time to airfreight the bare

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Shipping companies rerouted vessels, refused to take on new customers and forecast long delays at ports worldwide even as progress was reported in partially freeing the container ship that has been blocking the Suez Canal.

Caroline Becquart, senior vice president at Mediterranean Shipping Co., one of the world’s largest container lines, said the blockage “is going to result in one of the biggest disruptions to global trade in recent years.” Amid super-tight capacity that started building late last year and has lingered through this year, the accident means that companies should expect “a constriction in shipping capacity and equipment.” A.P. Moller–Maersk A/S, the world’s largest container vessel operator, said it has rerouted 15 of its ships away from the Suez Canal and is turning some new clients away for now as it assesses its capacity. “For every day the canal remains blocked, the ripple effects on global capacity and equipment continues to increase,” it told clients. Delays and backlogs “will continue well beyond the physical removal of the Ever Given,” the 1,300-foot container ship that wedged itself into the canal’s banks early Tuesday. Maersk said it couldn’t give clients estimated times of arrival for affected ships. Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd AG said in a client note that nine of its ships had been affected and another six have been sent around the southern tip of Africa. Three of the diverted ships were on Asia-to-Europe routes and another three were sailing between Asia and the U.S. East Coast. More diversions are in the works. China Cosco Shipping said 10 of its vessels are blocked by the closure. Its Cosco Excellence, on a voyage from South-

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Billions of dollars in global trade are held up because of vessel that blocked Suez Canal

MOHAMED ELSHAHED/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Shippers Reroute, See Delays, Losses Ahead

gating the crash. They are joined by the ship’s owner, Japan’s Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., and claims adjusters for international insurance. People involved in the investigation, still in its initial stages, have said it is focusing on a sandstorm and a roughly two-minute burst of wind that likely threw the vessel inexorably off course. The blockage posed arguably the biggest international crisis of the seven-year rule of Mr. Sisi, who made an $8.5 billion expansion of the canal the centerpiece of an economic reform program. But the changes didn’t boost state revenues and the Ever Given threatened to further disrupt vital revenues from the canal. Income of $5.6 billion last year represents less than 2% of Egypt’s total economic output, but is an important source of foreign currency for a country with a large trade deficit. —Amira El-Fekki, Summer Said, Paul Page and Stephen Kalin contributed to this article.

Insurers Face Host Of Claims On Delays

BY LESLIE SCISM AND BENOIT FAUCON

More than $3 billion of insurance is in place for liability claims against the owner of the container ship Ever Given, officials with its insurance program said. It is unclear whether that will be enough to cover losses that are likely to be claimed by some of the hundreds of ships in the canal, plus the owners of the cargo they are carrying, from the days the Suez Canal was blocked, industry executives said. Cargo-delivery delays are where a lot of the economic damage would be expected if the critical waterway doesn’t soon open up again to traffic. Delayed shipments could result in manufacturers’ not receiving parts needed for assembly lines or retailers’ not getting spring merchandise in time to stock shelves. At the same time, shipowners who anticipated using their vessels for other cargo loads lose that opportunity as they sit in the canal. Some ship and cargo owners could end up filing claims with both their own insurers and Ever Given’s insurer—and ultimately suing the container ship’s owner—to receive compensation. A total of $3.1 billion of liability coverage is available to the ship’s owner, Japanbased Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., through a longstanding shipping-industry program that relies on 13 so-called Protection & Indemnity Clubs, said Nick Shaw, chief executive of the international association of those clubs, which are not-for-profit mutual insurers. A spokesman for the Club in the U.K., to which Ever Given belongs, said by email, “P&I insurance would cover the shipowner’s legal liability to the cargo owners.” Still, Marcus Baker, the insurance broker Marsh’s global head of marine and cargo, said in commenting on the situation that “nothing is certain about that at this stage,” referring to payouts for costs of delays and litigation.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

Monday, March 29, 2021 | A7

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Health care professionals, you are proof there is no limit to what care can do

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National Doctors’ Day is March 30

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

A8 | Monday, March 29, 2021

WORLD NEWS

Hot Housing Market Stokes Bubble Fears As the U.S. housing market booms, a parallel rise in residential real-estate prices across the world is raising fears of possible bubbles and prompting some governments to intervene to prevent their markets from overheating.

The New Zealand government this month revealed plans to cool the country’s housing market in places like Wellington, above.

Few Expect Repeat Of 2008 Downturn In the 37 wealthy countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, home prices hit a record in the third quarter of 2020, according to OECD data. Prices rose almost 5% on the year, the fastest in nearly 20 years. Economists see similar silver linings elsewhere, making a replay of the global 2008 housing

crash, which sent the world into recession, unlikely. Hot markets could cool naturally without wider damage as interest rates rise and pent-up demand is met. As in the U.S., much of the buying globally is being driven by real demand rather than speculation, with families looking to upgrade to larger properties in suburban areas as they work more from home. “There’s been this almost global reset as people have taken a step back during lockdown periods and reassessed their lifestyle,” said Kate

Everett-Allen, head of international residential research at Knight Frank. Strong home-price appreciation also makes homeowners feel wealthier and encourages more spending and construction, as developers build more supply. However, with equities prices also at or near records, some officials are worried that vast amounts of stimulus are pushing asset prices to unsustainable levels in some global cities, which could lead to local market corrections.

The Dutch central bank told The Wall Street Journal that sharp property-price increases could be forcing households to take on excessive risk to finance home purchases. Prices in the Netherlands, where there is also a housing supply crunch, rose 7.8% last year, af-

ter a 6.9% rise in 2019, analysts at ING Groep said. Canada’s central bank governor, Tiff Macklem, said in February there were early signs of “excess exuberance” in the Canadian housing market, with prices up 17% on an adjusted basis over a one-year

period, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Governments say they are also worried about pricing more families out of the market, which could exacerbate economic imbalances that have worsened during the pandemic and potentially

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markets to cool what one senior banking official referred to as a bubble, to little avail. Property prices are up 16% over the past year in the city of Shenzhen, for example. In New Zealand, authorities recently tightened mortgage lending standards, with median home prices climbing 23% in February from a year earlier to a record. In Sydney, where property prices also recently hit records, new mortgage demand is so high that some banks are struggling to keep up, said Christian Stevens, senior credit adviser at mortgage brokerage firm Shore Financial. Turnaround times for processing applications have increased from a few days to more than a month in some cases. “It’s crazy,” he said. “We’ve never been this busy or seen this much inquiry. And it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.”

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Policy makers were worried about high property prices in parts of Europe, Asia and Canada before the pandemic, especially as years of low interest rates kept demand strong. But now the trillions of dollars of stimulus deployed world-wide to fight the effects of Covid-19, along with changes in buying patterns as more people work from home, are turbocharging markets further. That is putting policy makers in a bind. Many want to keep interest rates low to sustain the post-pandemic recovery, but they worry about people taking on too much debt to buy houses whose prices could stagnate or fall later. Other tools they have to cool demand, like tighter mortgage restrictions, aren’t always working, or are being postponed as authorities try to ensure broader economic growth stays on track. The Danish central bank recently warned that cheap financing and savings that expanded during the pandemic could lead to people taking on more debt to purchase houses and property prices spiraling upward. “It is clear that rising prices of between 5% and 10% annually, depending on the market we are talking about, are not sustainable in the long run,” said Karsten Biltoft, assistant governor at the central bank. In China, regulators have tried tamping down property

GUO LEI/XINHUA/ZUMA PRESS

By Mike Cherney in Sydney and Patricia Kowsmann in Lisbon

drive younger people to put off having children. In Seoul, where house prices at one point last year were up nearly 15% on an annualized basis, some couples are postponing registering marriages in the hope of making it easier to buy homes. Income thresholds for low-interest mortgages in South Korea are more generous for individuals than couples. In New Zealand, Sam Hindle, 29, says he and his wife bid on six houses and were rejected for all of them because of competition from other buyers, and eventually agreed to buy a house off-market from a friend. “It’s just been a nightmare,” he said. Government officials recently told New Zealand’s central bank that it must consider the impact its policy decisions have on housing, though doing so could complicate rate-setting. The central bank also restricted the volume of highrisk mortgages banks can offer. Last year, China put new limits on developer financing in the hope of cooling housing prices, but the market has remained frothy. In early March, the chairman of China’s main banking regulator said he was worried about a possible correction in home prices, which could threaten banks’ stability. Europe’s housing prices have kept climbing despite a much bleaker economic outlook than in the U.S. or China. In part, that is because governments have kept supporting families with salary subsidies and moratoriums on loan repayments. It is also because interest rates remain extraordinarily low, with mortgage rates averaging 1.35% across the eurozone. Michael Stausholm, a Copenhagen real-estate agent, said he has sold 45 homes in less than three months this year, putting him on track to beat last year’s record of 161 sales, despite Covid-19 restrictions. “A lot of people want to put their money in brick,” Mr. Stausholm said.

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Some governments intervene to prevent market overheating as real-estate prices soar

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Monday, March 29, 2021 | A9

WORLD WATCH

MEXICO

Bill to Boost State’s Role in Fuels Market

Beijing, Tehran Sign Cooperation Accord Iran and China signed a wideranging economic and security cooperation agreement, defying U.S. attempts to isolate Iran and advancing Tehran’s longstanding efforts to deepen diplomatic ties outside Western powers. Foreign ministers Javad Zarif and Wang Yi signed on Saturday what both sides bill as a “strategic partnership” that will last for 25 years. The deal, which was five years in the making, was signed in Tehran. Details about the agreement weren’t immediately published, but a draft of the agreement circulated last year included Chinese investments in projects ranging from nuclear energy, ports, railroads and other infrastructure to transfer of military technology and investment in Iran’s oil-and-gas industry. —Sune Engel Rasmussen

By Paulo Trevisani, Samantha Pearson and Luciana Magalhaes Home to less than 3% of the world’s population, Brazil accounts for almost a third of the daily global deaths from Covid-19, driven by the new variant. More than 300,000 have died, and daily deaths now top 3,000, a toll suffered only by the far more populous U.S. “We’re in the trenches here, fighting a war,” said Andréia Cruz, a 42-year-old emergency-ward nurse in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre. In the past three weeks alone, the surrounding state of Rio Grande do Sul has seen nearly 5,000 people die from Covid-19, more than in the final three months of last year. The spread of the virus in Brazil threatens to turn this country of 213 million into a global public-health hazard. The so-called P.1 strain, present in more than 20 countries and identified in New York this month, is up to 2.2 times more contagious and as much as 61% more able to reinfect people than previous versions of the coronavirus, according to a recent study. The P.1 is now responsible for the majority of new infections in Brazil, with many doctors here saying they are seeing more young and otherwise healthy patients falling ill. About 30% of people dying from Covid-19 are now under 60, compared with an average of about 26% during Brazil’s previous peak between June and August, according to official figures analyzed by The Wall Street Journal. Public health researchers warn this isn’t just Brazil’s crisis, pointing to what they say is widespread complacency in the U.S. and elsewhere over the risks stemming from Latin

A surge in Covid-19 cases has strained Brazilian hospitals like one in Porto Alegre, above. America and other unvaccinated swaths of the globe. Brazil has fully vaccinated only 1.8% of its population. “There is a rush to declare this pandemic is over, and it’s not,” said William Hanage, a Harvard University epidemiologist. “I dread to think what will happen when P.1 manages to get to [places] that are not likely to get vaccinated for quite some time.” At the Moacyr Scliar hospital in Porto Alegre, harried doctors push aside stretchers to tend to the next patient, many of whom are forced to sleep on chairs for days as they struggle for air in the hot ward. “If I make any movement, sit up or turn around, my heart races and it gets hard to breathe,” said Jeanne Silva, a 30-year-old asthma sufferer. She grimaced with pain as she shifted in the armchair she had been sitting in for 30 hours, oxygen tubes connected to her nose. “I’m scared,” she said. Brazil has become a global pariah as scores of nations impose restrictions on travelers from the country, including neighboring Colombia as well as others such as the U.K. Peru’s government said 40% of infections in its hard-hit capi-

tal are from P.1, while tiny Uruguay, which borders Rio Grande do Sul, has seen infections skyrocket. Researchers said preliminary studies suggest the existing vaccines being rolled out across the world are effective on P.1, but further studies are needed to check if their efficacy is reduced with the new variant. The longer the virus is left to fester and mutate here,

Fears of the new Covid-19 strain have turned the country into a global pariah.

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CHANNI ANAND/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent to Congress a bill that aims to boost the state’s role in the fuels market, including the possibility of taking over operations run by private businesses, the latest effort to curtail the opening of the energy industry to foreign investors. Mr. López Obrador has clashed with the judiciary and the private sector as he intensi-

IRAN-CHINA

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil— Brazil is in the throes of a battle against the new Covid-19 variant from the Amazon that threatens to send shock waves across the globe.

TOMMASO PROTTI FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Protesters returned to the streets of Myanmar on Sunday after soldiers and police gunned down at least 90 people across the country in the bloodiest day since the military began its campaign to crush opposition to last month’s coup. Among those killed Saturday were six children aged 10 to 16 as security forces opened fire in residential areas and into homes, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a nonprofit that monitors arrests and fatalities. The group recorded gunfire and violence against protesters in 40 locations across the country on Saturday, including the two largest cities, Yangon and Mandalay, and said the death toll was likely higher than the 90 fatalities it had confirmed. —Niharika Mandhana

Brazil Fights to Curb Variant

SPREADING JOY: Indians cover a man’s face with powder in Jammu on Sunday in preparation for Holi, the Hindu festival of colors.

the higher the chance that even more aggressive strains may emerge, threatening vaccination progress made by the U.S. and elsewhere. Further alarming researchers, the P.1 variant itself has also already started to mutate, showing changes that could make it even more infectious, said Felipe Naveca, who led some of the first research into P.1 and works at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a public health institution.

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A lackadaisical approach to masking and social distancing and a slow vaccine rollout all helped turn Brazil into the perfect breeding ground for variants, researchers said. Brazil also owes its current catastrophe to a fatal combination of what public-health experts say was mismanagement of the crisis by the government. President Jair Bolsonaro has played down the dangers of the disease, disparaging face masks and recently telling Brazilians to get back to work and “stop whining.” His health ministry has spent tens of millions of dollars on unproven cures for the disease while dragging its feet on vaccine-supply deals. Brazil’s Health Ministry said it is doing everything possible to speed up vaccinations and has secured 562 million doses to be delivered this year. But more than two months after it started, Brazil’s vaccination campaign hasn’t been enough, public-health experts said. “The greatest humanitarian tragedy in the history of Brazil will be the coronavirus,” said Edinho Silva, mayor of Araraquara, home to 240,000 people and one of the first cities to be devastated by P.1.

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Protesters Return After 90 Are Killed

fied actions to alter the ambitious overhaul carried out under his predecessor. He has said such a change was aimed at destroying emblematic stateowned firms such as electric utility CFE and oil company Petróleos Mexicanos. The bill, submitted late Friday to the lower house, seeks changes in the hydrocarbons law that would allow authorities to suspend private permits and intervene temporarily in the event of an “imminent threat to national security, energy security, or the national economy.” —Anthony Harrup

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

A10 | Monday, March 29, 2021

FROM PAGE ONE

Vaccines Now Mean Treats Too Continued from Page One lina-based chain, which is part of JAB Holding Co. and has 369 locations across the U.S., estimate the company doled out 125,000 donuts tied to the promotion during the first 96 hours. The push to get shots in arms has morphed into a kind of freebie frenzy, with businesses ranging from marijuana dispensaries to arcades promoting giveaways. The companies say the idea is to support the country’s vaccination program at a critical time during its rollout—and if a side effect is a boost for business, all the better. In Israel, municipalities have given out free drinks, pizza and cholent, a traditional beef stew, as an enticement. In Dubai, some restaurants have offered discounts of up to 20% for those who have received their shots. Greenhouse of Walled Lake,

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ly a marijuana dispensary in Walled Lake, Mich., is offering customers a free pre-rolled joint, with an estimated value of $10, for those who show proof of vaccination. Jerry Millen, owner of the dispensary, says he has given away at least 6,000 joints as part of his “Pot for Shots” promotion, which is being done in conjunction with the UBaked Cannabis Company, a marijuana processor and grower. (Mr. Millen also considered calling the deal “Pokes for Tokes.”) Mr. Millen says he sees the deal as part of his ongoing campaign to “normalize cannabis,” which was approved by Michigan voters for recreational use in 2018. William Stevens, a resident of Sterling Heights, Mich., is racking up the deals while he can. With his proof of vaccination, he scored his free joint at Greenhouse of Walled Lake and this past week he stopped in for a free donut at his local Krispy Kreme. “I know a gift when I see it,” he says. Mr. Stevens, 72 years old, says he is hoping for even more with his vaccine card. “What would really rock my boat is free golf,” he says.

her sons Robert Peterson, 38, and Elliott Peterson, 42, said. “My mom said, ‘They have a better chance this way,’ ” said Elliott Peterson. “I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision to say, ‘Hey, go live with your father and be successful.’…It was hard on her.” The boys lived with their mother for three years while their father was stationed overseas, they said. Otherwise, she would send gifts and money. When they did visit her, she would spend all her time with them, cooking kimchi stew, singing Korean ballads in karaoke bars and teaching them about Buddhism, which she practiced. Her sons knew little about her life before they were born. They only recently found out she had been an orphan and had been adopted by a family in South Korea. They didn’t know what she did for a living when they lived with her, but said she had tried to open businesses, including an icecream shop, and had at one point worked at a grocery store. She had few friends or outings, they said.

Alone “She would say, ‘Sometimes Mommy feels alone,’ ” Elliott Peterson said. “She didn’t date anybody. She didn’t meet anybody. But she said, ‘I’m OK.’ ” Ms. Yue was charged with two misdemeanors related to prostitution in 2008, court records show, and pleaded no

contest to one of them, while the other charge was dropped. Her sons said she told them the arrest came after employees of her business, whom she said she had trusted, had done illegal things. They remember her being distraught and saying she hadn’t known about it. Elliott Peterson, a retired Army sergeant first class who was stationed in Japan and South Korea, said he is most anguished by the description of how his mother was killed— opening the door for the shooter. It reminded him of how she would wait for him to

shift so Ms. Kim could attend church. Ms. Park spent part of her childhood in Seoul and immigrated to the U.S. as a widow, later bringing over her children. She lived in New York, New Jersey and then Georgia, according to records, moving from house to house, apartment to apartment. At one point, she ran a jewelry business. She filed for bankruptcy in New York in 2013. In 2019, she was charged with two counts of keeping a place of prostitution and one count of criminal trespass. She was convicted of the trespass charge and the other two charges were dismissed. Ms. Park and Mr. Lee met through a mutual friend three years ago and bonded over their loneliness, he said. Later, that bond became love, despite an age difference of more than 30 years. Mr. Lee moved to Atlanta from South Korea in 2015 and had picked up some work painting houses, he said. His earnings and Ms. Park’s salary from Gold Spa covered their one-bedroom apartment rent, car payments and food, but there was little left over, he said. “In America, if you don’t work for a month, you’d starve to death,” he said. He had started driving for Lyft recently, but stopped after the shooting. On the day of the shooting, Mr. Lee was driving to Gold Spa to pick up one of Ms. Park’s colleagues, who mes-

‘Sometimes Mommy feels alone,’ a son recalls his shootingvictim mother saying.

return home from active duty. When he flew home, he would imagine her standing at the door, counting down the 14-hour flight. She would watch for his car to come around the corner, he said, then turn the stove back on to reheat food she had prepared. Across the street, at Gold Spa, the shooter killed Hyun Jung Grant, 51, Suncha Kim, 69, and Ms. Park, 74, whose job was cooking and cleaning, according to Ms. Park’s husband, Mr. Lee, 38. Ms. Park worked 12-hour shifts, he said, sometimes taking the Sunday

PATRICIA FASNACHT

survive, said Mr. Acosta. As some officers rushed to help Mr. Hernandez-Ortiz, another walked Mr. Gonzalez from the spa and handcuffed him. He had been getting a massage with his wife. The video shows authorities left him handcuffed and sitting on the curb in front of a patrol car while they carried limp bodies from the spa. Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Acosta recalled, was asking bystanders about his wife, Ms. Yaun. Inside, she was dead. Ms. Feng’s body was lifted out of Youngs Asian Massage by two police officers and laid on the concrete. Her employer, Ms. Tan, was loaded onto a stretcher and taken away. After a few minutes, more paramedics put Ms. Feng on a stretcher and took her away. After he left the Acworth spa, Mr. Long’s rampage continued in Atlanta, police said, where he killed four women of Korean descent at Gold Spa and across the street at Aromatherapy Spa. The woman killed at Aromatherapy was Yong Ae Yue, 63, who had met and married an American soldier in South Korea and moved to the U.S. in 1979. They split up in the 1980s, leaving her in Texas. After the divorce, she left her two sons with their father, based at Fort Benning, near Columbus, Ga. She believed they would have more opportunity if they were raised by an American soldier rather than a struggling immigrant,

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A worker at a boutique next door, Alex Acosta, said he heard gunshots. Three women rushed from the spa. They didn’t speak English, but tried to communicate to Mr. Acosta that a man had been shooting. When the police arrived, the women fled the area. The video showed a man stumbling from the spa, then collapsing next to a pillar. It was Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, the only shooting victim to

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Shots fired

The sons of shooting victim Yong Ae Yue hold a photo of their mother, above. Bottom left, Xiaojie Tan, also called Emily, at her daughter’s University of Georgia graduation. Bottom right, Soon Chung Park, who died in the shooting, with husband Gwangho Lee.

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Continued from Page One “I had no one to lean on but my wife,” said Gwangho Lee, the husband of Soon Chung Park, who was killed at Gold Spa. Mr. Lee is a recent immigrant himself and had previously struggled to find work. At least two of the Asian women had married American men, then strove to support themselves when the marriages ended. Some had moved several times seeking work. Most were mothers. Some of their American-born children knew little of their mothers’ early lives. Few had ties to the tightknit Korean-American community in Atlanta. People of Asian descent in the U.S. enjoy the highest median annual household income of any racial or ethnic category, at roughly $98,000, but economic disparity within that population has grown, according to the Pew Research Center, which analyzed U.S. Census data. In 1970, those of Asian descent in the top 10% of income distribution earned 6.1 times as much as those in the bottom 10%, the lowest disparity among racial or ethnic categories. That jumped to 10.7 times in 2016, surpassing other racial or ethnic categories, according to Pew. On the afternoon of the killings, a man arrived at Youngs Asian Massage in Acworth, a northern suburb of Atlanta, just after 2:30 p.m., according to surveillance footage. He sat there in his black SUV for a full hour before entering the spa, and was inside for more than an hour. Robert Aaron Long, who would later be charged with eight counts of murder, told police he did it because he was addicted to visiting the spas for sex. The Wall Street Journal hasn’t determined whether sex work occurred at the businesses. Inside the spa, in a row of businesses that included a hair salon and record store, proprietor Xiaojie Tan was two days away from celebrating her 50th birthday. Delaina Yaun, 33, a newlywed and mother of two, was getting a couple’s massage with her husband, Mario Gonzalez. Paul Michels was working as a handyman, a bid to move away from work installing home-security systems that required him to be on ladders all day, his family said. Ms. Feng, the more recent Chinese immigrant, had started working at the spa a couple of months earlier, according to a friend.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: HANNAH YOON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL; GWANGHO LEE

Victims’ Lonely Lives

saged him to call for help when the shots broke out. When he arrived, he found his wife’s body and thought she had fainted. She still felt warm, he said. When no emergency responders rushed to help with his CPR attempts, he realized she might be dead. “I should go back to Korea,” he said. “I have so many memories here…I go anywhere, and I think of her.” Ms. Tan, the Chinese-born proprietor of Youngs, who was also known as Emily, moved to the U.S. after marrying in 2004 an American citizen, who adopted her then-teenaged daughter. They later divorced. Ms. Tan signed the lease in 2017 on the store where she died, after trying her hand at business ventures including a nail salon, according to realestate records and interviews with friends. In a post for an online fundraiser, her 29-yearold daughter, Ying Tan “Jami” Webb, said her mom was petite, fierce and “a feminist without meaning to be.” “She was always working,” said Greg Hynson, a friend and longtime customer of Ms. Tan’s. “When you’re in retail, you rely on customers. You can’t make hours. That dictates your life.” Ms. Tan was so proud when her daughter graduated from the University of Georgia in 2019 that she sent him a photo from the ceremony, Mr. Hynson said. The handyman at Youngs, Paul Michels, 54, had begun working at the spa in the past year and told his family they would have to get massages when they came to town, his brother John Michels said. The youngest boys of nine siblings, the two brothers were close, sharing a love of roller coasters, coin collecting, doting on their nieces and nephews and freaking out their siblings by tossing the kids back and forth, he said. Paul Michels followed his brother to Georgia for a job, and then met his wife at an Atlanta roller rink, John Michels said.

Patricia Fasnacht got her shot, then got her free donut. Some have questioned if the Krispy Kreme promotion is sending a contradictory message, since eating too many donuts arguably goes against the idea of safeguarding health. Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, says if you took advantage of the Krispy Kreme offer every day and made no other changes to

diet or lifestyle, you would pack on an extra 15 pounds by year’s end. Dr. Wen adds that she isn’t opposed to sugary fare as an occasional treat. “I like donuts,” she says. But she would prefer the Krispy Kreme offer be a one-time deal, perhaps with a box of donuts going to an organization or charity of a vaccinated individual’s choice so they can avoid the constant overindulgence.

Dave Skena, chief marketing officer of Krispy Kreme, says the chain isn’t necessarily expecting people to take advantage of the donut offer daily. Rather, he says, the idea is that the donut is available to them when convenient as a sometime sweet. An Original Glazed has 190 calories, the company says on its website. The promotion is about giving people “a little pat on the back,” Mr. Skena says. There’s also cheesecake. “We need people to be vaccinated. We need this to be over,” says Alan Rosen, the third-generation owner of Junior’s Restaurant and Bakery, a New York City-based brand famous for its cheesecake. On Monday, March 29, the company begins offering customers who have been vaccinated a free mini cheesecake at its original location in Brooklyn. Back of the House, a restaurant company in San Francisco, is offering vaccinated customers free fries at some of its Super Duper Burgers locations and free chips and salsa at its Uno Dos Tacos restaurant. “It’s a fun way to spread awareness,” says Jonathan Banasky, the company’s market-

Forgiveness Despite his grief, John Michels said he has compassion for Mr. Long. Drawing on deep Catholic faith, he said, he has forgiven Mr. Long, and plans to mail him a letter, a rosary and a Bible. Ms. Feng was known to some as Coco. She had been working at the spa only a couple of months and spoke little English, Mr. Hynson said. On Monday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that one of the victims was a Chinese national, but declined to confirm her name. The Cherokee County coroner said that the Chinese consulate eventually got in touch about her body. Fundraising efforts started for her weren’t associated with her family and were flagged as suspicious by GoFundMe, a site spokeswoman said. Relatives of the other seven victims have received fundraising support and held or planned funerals. The Wall Street Journal could find nothing planned for Ms. Feng. —Cameron McWhirter, Jim Oberman and Elisa Cho contributed to this article. ing manager. Mr. Banasky adds that the participating restaurants are close to the Moscone Center, the convention center that is serving as a major San Francisco vaccination site, so he expects a few customers might take advantage of the offers right after receiving their shot. Up-Down, a Midwest chain of arcades with bars, is offering vaccinated customers a deal of $5 in free tokens for game play. David Hayden, communications manager for Up-Down, says the promotion is meant to serve as incentive to get people to be around some other people. “We’re coming out of a really rough year,” he says. Up-Down had to temporarily close locations because of pandemic restrictions. Alycia Gionet, 33, a regular at Up-Down’s location in Oklahoma City, paid a recent visit to the establishment without even realizing her vaccination status got her the $5 bonus. But she says she was happy to take advantage of it. “I’m carrying this card and I get free tokens?” she said. Ms. Gionet used her free play to perfect her skills at one of her favorite arcade games, Point Blank 2. “I crushed it.”

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New Jersey Parents Sue to Reopen Schools

Daryn Sirota, above left with her family in their backyard, is a plaintiff in the suit in Montclair, N.J., where classes remain all virtual. ange had resisted litigation but said she met virtually with more than a dozen parents to discuss the possibility after goal posts for reopening kept changing. “I love my teachers,” she said. “I didn’t want there to be any perception of there being a divide where I’m attacking them, or implying that I want them to be in a situation that is not safe…I love them but I love my kids more.” West Orange Superintendent J. Scott Cascone said local virus spikes and remediating buildings delayed reopening with a hybrid model until January. He said he was trying to expand on-site instruction, with a priority on trying to offer four days a week in-person

to students with the most urgent needs. He said new federal guidelines cutting the recommended distance between students from 6 feet to 3 should help. “I told the parents I hear you, your feedback is driving me and my team, but at the end of the day we’re going to be balanced and measured in the way we move forward,” he said. Parents in Scotch Plains-Fanwood filed the first suit in December. Plaintiff Danielle Wildstein said parents have raised more than $40,000 so far for legal fees. She believes the suit pushed the district, which now offers five half-days of in-person classes to all grade levels. Superintendent Joan Mast

said that vaccines, warmer weather and the trend in Covid-19 levels are cause for optimism. “We continue to watch these levels for decisions to open more fully,” she said. Ms. Donohue, a lawyer with two children in the South Orange-Maplewood public schools, sued her district in January. The district then sued its teachers union in state court to get them back to classrooms, and cited the parents’ lawsuit as evidence. Ms. Donohue said the district and union representatives “couldn’t get along and neither were acting in the best interests of the children.” Anide J. Eustache, South Orange-Maplewood district spokeswoman, said it re-

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in January, said she is still awaiting written responses from the districts. After settlement conferences about a December suit, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood district reopened on a hybrid model in mid-January. In court papers the district seeks to dismiss the case, saying virtual instruction in the fall was a necessary response to a virus surge, and it planned a partial reopening in January even before the suit was filed. Ninety out of 811 districts, charters or local education agencies in New Jersey remain all virtual, by state data. They include about 302,000 of the state’s 1.35 million public school students. Allyson Colón in West Or-

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Parents say their lawsuits against three New Jersey school districts helped pressure them to bring students back for some in-person classes, or at least get on that path. Now these plaintiffs, who sued in the Montclair, Scotch Plains-Fanwood and South Orange-Maplewood districts, say families from around the state, plus some from as far as California, have reached out for advice on taking legal action. Montclair plaintiff Steven Baffico said the callers share the same plea: “We’re frustrated beyond belief, our kids are suffering, we’ve had enough and want to file a suit, can you help us?” An advocacy group where Mr. Baffico is a board member, Jersey 1st, is helping parents in some towns consider litigation, he said. Parents in about 30 districts in New Jersey have reached out for guidance, he said: In three districts, parents are preparing complaints and in 14 they are trying to organize. Plaintiffs say they understand teachers’ concerns about coronavirus, but studies show risks are low when schools take safety steps—and their children are anxious, lonely and losing their zest for learning due to remote schooling. These three federal lawsuits say the districts have violated students’ constitutional right to a basic minimum education. The plaintiffs are still fighting for five full days on campus. Keri Avellini Donohue, the lawyer for the Montclair suit, filed in February, and South Orange-Maplewood suit, filed

BRYAN ANSELM FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

BY LESLIE BRODY

opened for a hybrid model in mid-January but had to revert to virtual-only lessons on Feb. 16 because of the teachers union’s refusal to work on campus. The union said some facilities lacked enough safeguards to prevent Covid-19. Under a deal approved by a state judge in mid-March, the district has begun phasing students back. Ms. Eustache said the district aims to bring in as many grades as possible before the school year is out, and aimed to deliver in-person instruction before the lawsuit. Gov. Phil Murphy has encouraged schools to open up. The Biden administration said Wednesday it would send $2.8 billion of the “American Rescue Plan” to New Jersey this spring to support that goal. In Montclair, classes have been all virtual since classrooms closed more than a year ago. Daryn Sirota, a Montclair plaintiff, said she switched her daughter to a private kindergarten, because “no child that age should be asked to pay attention to a Zoom meeting for more than five minutes.” After several delayed reopenings, Montclair’s board of education also filed suit against the teachers union in February. The district said it spent $1.2 million on remediation and followed state safety guidelines. It said in court papers that teachers’ refusal to show up in-person at a planned Jan. 25 reopening amounted to an illegal strike. A Superior Court judge said the district failed to articulate how it complied with the state’s health standards. Last week, representatives from the district and union walked through Montclair schools to see what fixes remained. Both parties say they hope to bring in elementary grades parttime on April 12.

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Plaintiffs say their progress has spurred families from around state to seek advice

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Professionals with young children are fueling a jump in Manhattan home sales, with widely available vaccines and a city turning toward a reopening enticing more New Yorkers to buy. These buyers are taking advantage of price discounts and low interest rates, renewing a commitment to New York life with the worst of the pandemic now likely in the past. Many of these families spent part of the past year away from New York, where they sought roomier accommodations to work from home and where their children had their own spaces to study and play. A net of 70,000 residents left the New York metropolitan region over the course of 2020, according to estimates by location-analytics company Unacast. But sales figures suggest that with most schools allowing in-person instruction and more workers trickling back into Midtown office buildings, families are coming back to the city with plans to stay.

Manhattan home-sales contracts for three- and four-bedroom homes increased 80% on an annual basis this February, according to a report from real-estate brokerage Corcoran Group. Neighborhoods where sales increased most include the Upper West Side and Midtown. The 1,164 new sales contracts were the most recorded by Corcoran during the month of February since at least 2013. That was a dramatic turnaround after Manhattan co-op and condo sales fell more than 54% in the second quarter of 2020, right when home sales were beginning to explode in much of the rest of the country. “There’s been a shift in the outlook,” said Sarah Saltzberg, founder of uptown Manhattan real-estate brokerage Bohemia Realty Group. “And people are like, ‘Oh, yeah, I guess New York really is going to come back.’ ” Space is still top of mind for Manhattan buyers with children, both inside the home and out, according to several brokers. Many are looking for at least one more bedroom

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BY WILL PARKER

over what they currently have. And proximity to the park now beats out distance from the subway, said Laura Cook, a broker at Keller Williams NYC. “Once you’ve been cooped up for a year, you really realize how much [space] matters,” she said. For years, Craig Ellis, a former consultant who now works for a religious nonprofit, shared a one-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side with his wife, Lisa, and three small children. They had lofts built into the 12-by-8-foot bedroom to accommodate all five of them in a single, shared sleeping space. When the pandemic hit, what was already an unconventional arrangement became unworkable. So the family headed to stay with Mr. Ellis’s parents in Kansas, where they have lived, worked and studied remotely for the past year. The shift to Kansas, where Mr. Ellis grew up with 13 acres and a horse, was a welcome respite for the family and new adventure for his children, ages 6 to 10. “Their upbringing is radically different than

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Families Return to City, Snap Up Larger Homes

Manhattan neighborhoods where home sales increased the most include the Upper West Side.

mine. They’re, like, scared of the grass,” he said. But New York City is the only home Mr. Ellis’s three children have ever known. They are now shopping for a two- or three-bedroom apartment, working with a budget of about $1.2 million. “We feel like New York is where we’re supposed to be,” Mr. Ellis said. Marci Czel and her wife, parents to 3- and 5-year-old children, decamped for a family home in Vermont last March, returning to Harlem

for good in August. They then began the search for their dream brownstone in the neighborhood where they have lived for six years and where their children attend school. They found a 3,300square-foot townhouse with a garden apartment the couple plans to rent out. They are now in contract to buy the home, which was last listed for $3.3 million. They said the seller has accepted their offer at a significant discount on the asking price.

Real-estate brokers said that the price discounts many buyers enjoyed in the fall and winter are getting harder to come by. A report from brokerage Douglas Elliman showed that by the end of 2020, average sales price per square foot in Manhattan was down only 3% compared with one year earlier. Ms. Saltzberg said many of the apartments her company is selling have become subject to bidding wars again. “There’s so little inventory,” she said.

Distribution Centers Raise Concerns in Brooklyn Enclave BY IRENE PLAGIANOS The small waterfront community of Red Hook, in Brooklyn, is home to a cruise terminal, a 346,000-square-foot IKEA store and one of two Tesla showrooms in New York City. Some residents say they have managed to coexist with a variety of large commercial footprints but have concerns about two future neighbors. Amazon.com Inc. and United

CORRECTIONS  AMPLIFICATIONS Kevin Corbett is president and chief executive officer of NJ Transit. An article on Friday about commuters incorrectly referred to him as the agency’s executive director. Readers can alert The Wall Street Journal to any errors in news articles by emailing [email protected] or by calling 888-410-2667.

Parcel Service Inc. both have plans for package-and-delivery hubs in the area to keep up with skyrocketing e-commerce demand. Other package-distribution sites in the area could be on the way, according to local elected officials. “Industry is not something we are afraid of in Red Hook, but the last-mile delivery is a whole other issue,” said City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, a Democrat who represents the neighborhood and is a longtime resident. “There’s real terror about what could happen here.” Last-mile delivery is the crucial final step in getting packages from a distribution center, where goods come in, to the customer. With the explosion of online shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic, and increased demand for same-day or even two-hour delivery services, the placement of delivery hubs closer to the millions of homes they serve in New York City has be-

come a key competitive edge in e-commerce. Construction is currently under way in Red Hook for two Amazon last-mile delivery stations totaling more than 600,000 square feet, according to the company. The retailer said it would bring hundreds of jobs to the area and is committed to using electric vehicles in coming years. UPS is planning a 1.2-million-square-foot facility on 12 acres of waterfront property in the neighborhood. Some residents said fleets of trucks and sprinter vans coming in and out will increase congestion on the neighborhood’s narrow roads, many of which are in disrepair. Surrounded by water on three sides and bordered by an oftenclogged expressway, Red Hook has only a few ways for trucks to enter the neighborhood. Amazon and UPS said they are committed to being good neighbors, communicating with residents and mitigating the impact of their delivery hubs on

traffic congestion and pollution. “We are committed to working closely with local stakeholders to ensure these delivery stations minimize any disruption in the community we’re so thrilled to be joining,” Amazon spokeswoman Jenna Hilzenrath said. “Our goal is to not only provide

Amazon.com and UPS both plan ‘last-mile delivery’ hubs in Red Hook. great pay and benefits, but also become part of the fabric of Red Hook by embracing the people, the needs and the spirit of the community.” Glenn Zaccara, a UPS spokesman, said the company has been sharing a number of solutions with the city and the community, including infra-

structure investments and pilot programs for cargo bikes to address concerns. Amazon is no stranger to community opposition in New York City. Two years ago, the company pulled out of plans for a headquarters in Long Island City, in Queens, after facing pushback from some local elected officials and community groups. The company said it has plans for several other lastmile delivery hubs in New York City neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. That would add to several other city distribution centers Amazon has built in recent years. Mr. Menchaca and other Red Hook residents said they fear that the neighborhood, which is about 1 square mile, will be overwhelmed by the delivery and trucking operations—and there is nothing stopping more from being built. Because of Red Hook’s zoning, delivery hubs can be built

with no special permits or environmental-impact studies required. Mr. Menchaca and other locals have been calling on the city to amend the neighborhood’s zoning. They are also pushing for a comprehensive traffic study and a moratorium on new last-mile warehouses until the potential impact on the neighborhood has been studied. New York City Department of Transportation spokeswoman Lolita Avila said the agency has been in regular contact with local elected officials about mitigating the impact of the developments and would welcome “a much broader conversation about land use and transportation in industrial zones throughout the city” that a long-term solution would require. NOTICE TO READERS The State Street column will return next week.

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Jacob Sanchez Diagnosed with autism

Lack of speech is a sign of autism. Learn the others at autismspeaks.org/signs.

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CAREERS & LEADERSHIP

PERSONAL JOURNAL. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

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AT WORK KRITHIKA VARAGUR

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other current duties vacant when she departs at month’s end. White-collar and front-line workers found themselves taking on unexpected duties beyond their original job description as the coronavirus abruptly transformed businesses and stretched many workforces thin. Today, many of them are re-evaluating their broader job demands. Some can ask for changes to their compensa-

responsibilities in 2020, in one December survey of 641 American workers by Airtable, a cloud collaboration service. “Jobs have indeed expanded for many individuals, and what’s more, this expansion has often been done to individuals with no raises,” says Pamela Perrewé, a professor of management at Florida State University. “And given the pandemic, most workers were

Mark Freeman II, left, and Dana Barnett, right, took on extra job tasks during the pandemic.

tion, title or job description—but others may leave their overstuffed roles altogether. The average workday increased by 8.2% in the pandemic’s early weeks, according to a study of 3.1 million people working from home around the world published by Harvard Business School in September. A full 93% of retail, e-commerce and fashion workers reported taking on additional

very reluctant to complain or leave their jobs, because they’re still scarce in many fields. Workers are feeling a bit trapped.” Dr. Perrewé believes that the loose labor market made it difficult for workers to push back on additional tasks, since few wanted to try changing jobs amid the uncertainty of the pandemic. Jobs took a massive hit last spring and hiring slowed down in many indus-

tries for months, though it is rebounding today. The nature of many jobs also changed dramatically during the sweeping lockdowns of 2020. Talia Zito was a second-grade public school teacher in West Palm Beach, Fla. She says her workload doubled over the course of the pandemic. Last spring, she, like many other teachers, transitioned abruptly into virtual teaching. “And then we went back to school in the fall, the expectation in my district was something called simultaneous hybrid teaching, where we had to prepare virtual whiteboard and Zoom lessons on top of teaching in a physical classroom,” she says. “My heart wasn’t in it at all,” she says. With two small kids at home and little ability to push back on her professional expectations, she quit in October with no backup plan. Taking on too much at work can contribute to burnout, a widespread pandemic-era phenomenon. Over two-thirds of workers questioned felt burnout symptoms while working from home, according to a July survey of 284 American workers by the jobs website Monster.com. “Sometimes you have to manage your bosses,” Dr. Perrewé suggests. She says workers should try to set boundaries about concrete things

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ana Barnett already had two roles at Maverick Pools, which builds swimming pools and spas, when the pandemic started: She was both its chief procurement officer and a project manager. But when the Chicago area locked down in March, her job ballooned even further. “It kind of happened naturally,” says Ms. Barnett, who is based in Barrington, Ill. She soon found herself knee-deep in administrative work, writing extra project proposals and sending client emails from her personal address rather than a shared company one, because she knew she would be the person answering the correspondence. Her pre-pandemic office usually ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but she found herself regularly staying up until midnight. This month, she accepted a competing job offer and had to prepare a list of her duties to train her replacement. It ran to two pages. Her replacement will take over her procurement role, leaving many of her

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Many workers have juggled extra assignments in the past year—after a point, that can backfire

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Are Job Descriptions Now Moot?

like schedules and hours before moving on to specific tasks that they’ve absorbed during remote work. The key to such discussions is keeping track of everything. “Make a list of what exactly it is that you do in a workday,” she says Some employees found an upside in the unexpected expansion of their roles, like younger workers at startups who got to take on more meaningful responsibilities. Mark Freeman II, a 26-year-old data scientist at Humu, a San Francisco startup focused on nudging workplace behavior, says he branched out during the pandemic into data engineering, a related but discrete field. The company needed more data engineers on projects, and he was eager to learn a new skill set on the job— while continuing his primary role as a data scientist. “The main reason I went to a startup is to jump-start my career, so I was really happy to develop these extra skills,” he says. But even workers like him who relish their extracurricular roles may find it hard to get their actual title, compensation or job description adjusted if they wish to do so now. Trying to get your actual job description changed remains a worthwhile goal, says Jason Davis, who runs an HR advisory firm in Buffalo Grove, Ill. “It follows you inside the organization,” he says. “It’s used for so much beyond hiring, like your salary and the teams you’re on.” Nearly all HR managers, he says, should be open to refreshing job descriptions and titles at least once a year, as due diligence. Managers who have seen their employees taking on more responsibilities should prepare to grant workers more autonomy and flexible remote-work arrangements, Dr. Perrewé says. Some of the excesses of remote-work bloat may be curbed as employees slowly go back to the office and get more facetime with their managers. Meanwhile, some overburdened workers who don’t see their postpandemic lives starting anytime soon may simply leave. A Microsoft study from March of over 30,000 workers around the world found that 40% were considering leaving their employer this year. Ms. Zito, in Florida, did just that. In January, she started a new job at an educational technology company called the Art of Education University, helping to train school district administrators and teachers nationwide. “I love the flexibility now,” she says of her fully remote role. “There’s always a sense of guilt when you leave the teaching field, but the pressure and the stress and what it did to my own mental health was just too much.”

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: EVERETT COLLECTION; MELISSA DIEP PHOTOGRAPHY; PEGGY PROPP

 As with Anne Hathaway’s character in ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ many workers have found it hard to say no to extra demands.

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We Live in a New Age of Email Etiquette Angst WORK & LIFE RACHEL FEINTZEIG

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hey linger at the bottom of Meg Keene’s inbox in the urgent bold of the unread. “I think about them every day,” she says of the emails to which she just can’t muster a response. Sometimes she’ll click one open, remember it requires some sort of complicated answer, and swiftly retreat. The ceremonial end comes after a year or two, when she gives herself permission to delete—by pressing print. “Now it’s in hard copy,” explains the 40-year old, who runs a wedding website in Oakland, Calif. “I’m like, well that’s done.” Email, that most workaday form of electronic communication, is more important than ever, with so many people working remotely in isolation. And it has the power to freak people out in a thousand different ways. With life on overdrive for many of us these days, mustering up the emotional fortitude for the perfect response feels even more stressful. “The more systems I have running in my brain, I feel like the less hard drive space I have,” Ms. Keene says. Months spent homeschooling her kids and trying to decipher which activities are Covid-safe have left her feeling

paralyzed in the face of yet another email demanding a decision. How do you convey gratitude, warmth and that “message received” sentiment without sounding long-winded or neglecting to do the initial dispatch justice? How soon do you have to respond? What’s the exact moment that shows you care, but assures you’re not stalking the sender? “It just feels like a lot of pressure,” says Caroline Vander Wilt, a 36-year-old in Santa Monica, Calif., who works as a product manager for a technology company. At this point, even laudatory notes in her inbox spark anxiety. “My response needs to reflect that compliment. I need to continue this aura of, oh I’ve tricked them into thinking I’m really brilliant,” she says. “What do I say?” She’s found herself wishing she just never received the praise in the first place. One recent strategy has helped: replying as quickly as possible. She reckons speed makes up for any deficiencies of content. “I don’t think they’re going to expect it to be a glorious email back,” she says. “It is freeing.” Daniel Post Senning, author of “Emily Post’s Manners in a Digital World,” and the great-great-grandson of the manners guru, says we have 24 hours to respond to an email, but being snappier can bestow an edge. Mimic the formality of the original note in your reply, adjusting things like your saluta-

The Art of the Elegant Email Response

“You’re an incredible writer; I marvel at your gift.”

Email tips from etiquette expert Daniel Post Senning:

 Back to basics: Simple phrases can be powerful. Don’t forget to use: thank you, please, you’re welcome, excuse me, I apologize.

 Go-to lines: Unsure how to convey your gratitude? Try, “This really made my day” or, “This was a delight.” If you’re feeling overwhelmed by an especially well-written note, say,

tion—a casual “hello” versus a “Dear Mr. Johnson”—to match. If the email spills into a long chain, some of that structure will naturally fade. But you can do things like beginning your reply with the recipient’s initials to maintain a connection. “Address their humanity,” Mr. Senning says. “It makes the thing that you say next much more likely to be interpreted in a way that’s not demanding.” When we’re bombarded with seemingly infinite notifications, an email can feel pointed and formal,

 Keep it concise: If you’re starting a third long paragraph, consider picking up the phone.

like a real commitment, Mr. Senning says. The medium’s permanence and clarity also make it risky. “You say something that potentially might go the wrong way in person, it dissipates. People don’t remember it as well,” says Andrew Brodsky, a management professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s business school who researches virtual workplace communication. “The thing about email is it’s unquestionably there.” Overthinking it might just make matters worse. A working paper from Dr. Brodsky finds that the

longer research participants, in this case real-estate agents and mortgage brokers, spent per character per message, the worse they reported their email ended up working out. “You get anxious. You kind of get depleted. You start just overcrafting messages to the point that they end up being detrimental,” Dr. Brodsky says. Karl Ostroski, a consultant in Chicago, relies on a five-minute time delay programmed into his Microsoft Outlook to catch flubs like missing attachments before sending. He also often hears his late grandmother’s voice in his head admonishing him for grammar mistakes, as though “somehow these emails are going to exist in the afterlife and she will review them with me.” “I’ll send it and think, ugh, I don’t like how that sounded. Let me go back and reword that.” Maybe now is the moment to embrace unbridled warmth and vulnerability. Catherine Newman, the Amherst, Mass.-based author of “How to Be a Person,” has found herself opting for effusive phrases in email lately. She might write “Happily!” instead of the conventional “ok.” “It’s so bleak so much of the time right now,” she says. “Something that just sparkles for even a minute seems like our best bet.” And what about that email you’ve been avoiding replying to— even for months, like Ms. Keene? Is it ever too late? “Do it,” Mr. Senning says. “No, it’s not as good as if you got in there in a timely fashion,” he acknowledges. “But don’t let that stop you from hitting your marks and reaping what rewards there are to be reaped.”

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A CEO Supports Employees With Advice for Kids BY CHIP CUTTER

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Atul Bhatnagar, chief executive of Cambium Networks, in his backyard in Saratoga, Calif. tionships with older students or teachers, many may benefit from chances to learn from someone outside of the home, says Alyssa Westring, associate professor of management at DePaul University. “The same thing good CEOs do, good parents do in their homes and their communities,” says Ms. Westring, who co-wrote a book on the topic, “Parents Who Lead.” If there is a downside to an approach such as Mr. Bhatnagar’s, Prof. Westring says, it is that some people may want greater separation between their jobs and their personal lives. For those who prefer to detach from work, setting clear boundaries between work and family, “this may not be ideal for them,” she says.

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she says she feels less anxious about deciding on a career after hearing how Mr. Bhatnagar’s interests changed. “I’m in a phase where I’m still very indecisive, and I don’t know what the future holds for me. So when I hear stuff like this, at least you feel motivated, saying, even if this doesn’t work out, you’ll have something else,” she says. Mr. Bhatnagar suspects his messages may not be much different from what parents are saying—he’s just a different messenger. “If somebody else says that, sometimes people are more receptive, right?” he says. The CEO says he is careful not to be overly prescriptive in his answers or to reveal sensitive personnel or health issues that might run afoul of company policies. In a year when many children have attended classes remotely, unable to develop informal rela-

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a sense of reassurance to students. Mr. Bhatnagar has talked about his own winding career path, in which he initially thought he might pursue a career in biology or medicine, but moved into technology. The CEO predicts that the careers of young adults, which may appear in flux during the crisis, should stabilize, a point Mr. AnanthaRao says is comforting. Mr. AnanthaRao says the sessions are interactive, with executives, children and parents exchanging ideas, so it doesn’t feel like a lecture from a powerful figure within the company. “There is no pressure,” he says. “We found a value there, and we found a benefit of attending.” Mr. AnanthaRao’s daughter, who asked not to be named, says she keeps attending the sessions because she is learning from them. Not only has she adjusted her approach to time management, but

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BY JOHN JURGENSEN

IN THE LATEST episode of the Marvel television series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” the title superheroes wing into Europe for handto-hand combat with a gang of chemically enhanced super soldiers. Meanwhile, back on the home front, there’s a more nebulous threat looming for Falcon in the form of his personal finances. That conflict was set up in the first episode when Sam Wilson, aka Falcon and a member of all-star superhero squad the Avengers, got rejected for a loan. A bank official ignored Sam’s freelance pay from the government, and instead zeroed in on his spotty credit and income history. Namely a period when Sam subsisted on people’s goodwill toward the Avengers in lieu of a salary, and a fiveyear stretch when he’d vanished (along with half of Earth’s population). As the series expands a franchise that dominated pop culture with sagas of an ultrarich tech mogul (Iron Man), an African king (Black Panther) and an interdimensional god (Thor), one of its revelations so far is that, for some heroes, the job of saving the planet in costume doesn’t pay very well. “The most human thing is to deal with bills and being broke. You can’t humanize heroes without showing that,” says Malcolm Spellman, an executive producer fort the series and its head writer. In the modern Marvel movies, the heroes’ origin stories and battles with supervillains didn’t leave much room to explain their paycheck situation. Now that the franchise has spilled onto Disney+, its architects are using the shows’ weekly installments to unpack dayto-day details of superhero

existence in the aftermath of the final “Avengers” movies. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” follows Captain America’s two best friends and the burdens they shoulder. Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan, is in therapy and struggling to atone for the suffering he caused as a brainwashed killing machine known as the Winter Soldier. Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie, is confronting what it means to be a Black superhero serving a country plagued by systemic racism. When Sam and his sister (Adepero Oduye) applied for

wealthy patrons, Sam’s work ethic wouldn’t allow him to accept it. Instead, Sam gets paid on a work-for-hire basis. “This is a dude who has contracts with the military— advising them, testing tech for them, on occasion being assigned missions—and that’s how he makes his money,” Mr. Spellman says. “But if you’re that person doing those contracts, and you don’t own the company, you are not rich.” Marvel comic books have a long history of workingclass characters with money

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criticism and personal setbacks. Attendees have logged on from the nce a month, typically U.S., India, Europe, Africa and from the backyard of elsewhere. his California home, Across the corporate sphere, Atul Bhatnagar opens plenty of bosses have changed how his laptop and greets they relate to staffers in the panwhat is an unusual audemic, organizing offbeat virtual dience for a public-company CEO: activities to boost morale or to adthe children of his employees. dress feelings of isolation, but few For nearly an hour, the top exhave gone so far as to regularly ecutive of Cambium Networks, an speak to employees’ children. international wireless technology Mr. Bhatnagar grew up in India company, shares personal stories, and moved to the U.S. to pursue a answers questions and addresses master’s degree in electrical engitopics as varied as settling on a neering. He relocated to Silicon college major to choosing the right Valley in 1985 and spent his early friends. career at Hewlett-Packard Co. He The sessions, called “Mentoring became Cambium’s CEO in 2013. With Atul,” have attracted a swath Cambium employs about 700 of participants, from 10-year-olds people, many of whom are parents. to new college graduates. Designed The company, based in Rolling to help employees and their famiMeadows, Ill., has offered support lies struggling in the pandemic, groups for employees with chilthe meetings have dren and held sesbecome a sort of sions on caregiving. Zoom-era cross The sessions with ‘Life has changed,’ between takeMr. Bhatnagar are your-children-tosays Atul Bhatnagar. voluntary and open work days and onall employees, in‘In Covid, we all face to line ask-mecluding those withanything sessions. issues together.’ out children. Mr. Mr. Bhatnagar, Bhatnagar started a father of five, them last spring afsays the boundarter many highies between work and life have school and college graduation cervanished, so leaders must do a emonies were canceled and he better job of acknowledging the learned, from conversations with realities parents face at home. If employees around that time, that executives can offer helpful wismany children were struggling. Mr. dom or serve as an additional Bhatnagar thought kids could use sounding board, Mr. Bhatnagar a dose of inspiration, so he put tosays, they should do so. “Life has gether a short graduation speech, changed,” he says. “In Covid, we shared insights from his career all face issues together. So as leadand took questions. Feedback was ers, we also had a chance to expositive, and the company has now press our compassion, our underoffered eight such sessions. standing of the issues.” Venkatesha AnanthaRao, a diThe 63-year-old executive has rector of hardware development advised students to follow their based in Bangalore, India, has atpassions but to prioritize educatended several meetings with his tion. He has offered time-managecollege-age daughter. The sessions ment techniques and discussed are helpful, he says, in providing ways to handle online bullying, emotional support to parents and

Anthony Mackie plays Sam Wilson, also known as Falcon. funds to keep their family’s fishing business alive in Louisiana, the scene implied that racial discrimination was the real reason the loan was denied. “Sam, despite saving the Earth, cannot transcend his Blackness,” Mr. Spellman says. The producer, formerly a writer on “Empire,” says he grounded this story line in research on racial bias in banking, and the financial plight of Black oystermen and fishermen on the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill of 2010. Mr. Spellman explains Falcon’s financial situation this way: Even if there were funding available from

stresses, going back to Peter Parker. In the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man, he sold photos to the Daily Bugle to help keep a roof over the head of his Aunt May. That was key to the formula of Stan Lee and other Marvel writers. “If you make these heroes struggle financially in an ordinary way, you’ve hooked the reader so they’re not just waiting for the costume to come back,” says comic book historian Alex Grand. With Sam’s money problems, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is trying to do more than just answer geeky questions about what superheroes put on their W-2 forms.

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.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: LUIS FLORES, SALON 94, NY; YVETTE MAYORG; DOMINIQUE DOROSEAU; EDDIE APARICIO

ARTS IN REVIEW

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New York y 2050, demographers say, the U.S. population will be almost one-third Latino. El Museo del Barrio—founded in 1969 and located at 104th Street on the north end of Fifth Avenue’s “Museum Mile”—bills itself as “the nation’s leading Latino and Latin American cultural institution.” The museum’s current exhibition, “Estamos Bien: La Trienal 20/21” (through Sept. 26), is proof—albeit imperfect—of why it is needed in our multicultural society. Taking the temperature, so to speak, of contemporary American Latino art is a daunting task. Any show of more than 40 artists (including a few collectives) from Brooklyn to Puerto Rico to Houston and Los Angeles, working in everything from handmade watercolors to assemblage and high-definition video animation, is going to have inevitable bumps and low spots. But this exhibition—whose title translates as “We’re OK” and includes over 200 works—more than compensates for an inevitable inconsistency by being lively, passionate, inventive and, in a few cases, revelatory. “Estamos Bien” actually opened last summer with some commis-

sioned online works, and the show’s physical iteration was also scheduled for 2020. It had planned to make its points—and it is a show packed with attempts to make sociopolitical points—during the presidential election campaign and while the U.S. census was under way. Covid-19 changed all that, but now the results of two years of research and visits with 600 artists have made their way into the museum’s galleries. Curators Rodrigo Moura and Susanna Temkin, from El Museo, and guest Elia Alba (an artist) have put together an exhibition that’s the opposite of the more uncluttered, antiseptic, lots-of-breathingroom surveys we’ve come to expect from our modern art museums. For example, a single gallery contains Lucia Hierro’s oversize, Claes-Oldenburg-esque mock bags of bodega snacks, including “Rack: Plantanitos” (2019); Dionis Ortiz’s ornate vinyl-tile floor piece, “Let There Be Light” (2020-21); Joey Terrill’s still-lifes-cum-nudes that are AIDSmemoir paintings (2008); and Yvette Mayorga’s 2020 mixed-media paintings mimicking cake decoration. The overall effect is a bit like a panel discussion where everybody’s talking at once. “Estamos Bien” is—as you might suspect from the show’s title—more about what its works say than

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A Vibrant Portrait of American Latino Life

about how they look. Just inside the entrance, Collective Magpie has posted, as a primer for the rest of the exhibition, “Who Designs Your Race?” (2020-21), a vinyl wallpaper printout of the results of a “participatory web platform” questionnaire. Colonialism and immigration are the subjects of, among others, works by Lizania Cruz (a handout publication, “Obituaries of the American Dream,” 2020-21) and Carolina Caycedo (the mural “Geneaology of Struggle,” 2017-21 and ongoing). Anti-gay views are challenged by Mr. Terrill’s paintings and by Luis Flores’s life-size crocheted sculptures of himself wearing real clothing. As with almost any show that’s a mini-encyclopedia, a viewer will have personal favorites. Eddie Aparicio’s “City Bus Memorial (Fig. and Ave. 60, Los Angeles, California” (2016) is one of mine because I’m familiar with that part of L.A. and because, in its big, irregular wall-hanging form, it’s similar to the kind of art I’m used to these days. In homemade watercolor on traditional Mexican amate paper made from bark, Sandy Rodriguez’s “Healer No. 3: Comforting the enfermos (Lycianthes moziniana for paint of the heart)” (2019)—yes, the exhibition is festooned with long titles—seems genuinely heartfelt. And Domin-

Clockwise from below: Eddie Aparicio’s ‘City Bus Memorial (Fig. and Ave. 60, Los Angeles, California)’ (2016); installation view of Luis Flores’s ‘Estamos bien?’ (2020); Yvette Mayorga’s ‘The Procession (After 17th Century Vanitas) In loving memory of MM’ (2020); image from Dominique Duroseau’s ‘Mammy Was Here: dirty?detox-bareMineral’ series (2019)

ique Duroseau’s “Mammy Was Here” (2019), seven large blackand-white photographs of the artist’s dark, ample body, has more simple emotive power than anything else in “Estamos Bien.” Possible cavils (critics always have them) might include there being too many artists in the exhibition. Answer: If the show is about anything, it’s inclusion. To a complaint that the work is, overall, too didactic, a reply would be that the show’s intended and actual audience is not the Museum of Modern Art’s; that the exhibition is like Hispanic culture—it’s not supposed to be cool and removed. Es-

sentially, how could such a triennial not be political? Still, “Estamos Bien” manages to be bouncy and profound at the same time. It should be required viewing for anybody interested in the changing landscape of not only the contemporary art world but of American culture in general. It’s too bad, in fact, that we’ll have to wait three whole years for the next edition of “La Trienal.” Estamos Bien: La Trienal 20/21 El Museo del Barrio, through Sept. 26 Mr. Plagens is an artist and writer in New York.

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.

A14 | Monday, March 29, 2021

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

FROM TOP: ROB TRINGALI/GETTY IMAGES; KATHY WILLENS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

SPORTS

Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer, above, has spent years highlighting the effect of sticky substances on spin rate. Michael Pineda, below, was caught with a substance on his hand during a game in 2014.

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MLB Plans to Crack Down on Ball Doctoring BY JARED DIAMOND

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The league will analyze data to check for statistical anomalies that suggest the baseball has been tampered with higher than 2018. (Bauer once tweeted that he knew “for a fact” that he could add 400 RPM to his pitches with pine tar. He hasn’t commented on whether he started doctoring baseballs himself.) If Bauer did turn to sticky stuff, he wouldn’t be the only one. Last year, the Los Angeles Angels fired Brian Harkins, their longtime visiting clubhouse attendant, for furnishing illegal substances to put on baseballs. In a lawsuit he filed, which was dismissed in January, Harkins named Houston’s Justin Verlander and the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, among many others, as pitchers who used his concoction of pine tar and rosin. Neither pitcher has commented on the matter. Baseball hopes that eliminating sticky substances will help batters in a game that is increasingly dominated by pitching. Strikeouts continue to climb to record highs, with pitchers reaching never before seen levels of velocity and movement. Policing foreign substances on the ball should result in more balls in play and therefore more action, something MLB has been trying to fix. Ultimately, MLB thought this became necessary as the efficacy of sticky substances improved. A person familiar with the matter said MLB pitchers now use substances that are so sticky that it sometimes rips the skin off their fingers as the ball leaves their hand.

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their cap, since their players were doing the same thing. Anyway, hitters mostly approved of pitchers having something to help their grip to avoid the likelihood of a 95 mph fastball accidentally landing in their rib cage, especially in cold weather. Exceptions were made when the substance was too obvious to ignore. In 2014, for instance, the Boston Red Sox reported New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda to the umpire for having a large splotch of pine tar visible on his neck. Pineda was ejected and suspended for 10 games. The difference now is that MLB has come to believe that ball-doctoring has become more sinister, with teams and pitchers engineering cocktails of sticky substances not just to improve grip—but to improve the quality of pitches. Putting it on the ball can change how pitches spin, and the analytics revolution of recent years has clearly demonstrated that higher spin rates are associated with how fastballs ride and how breaking balls move. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer has spent years highlighting the effect of sticky substances on spin rate. In a series of tweets in 2018, when he was playing with the Cleveland Indians, Bauer implied that the Houston Astros’ pitchers were cheating, pointing to their suddenly improved spin rates. Appearing on an

episode of HBO’s “Real Sports” last year, Bauer estimated that 70% of pitchers use pine tar and that it has a bigger impact on the game than steroids ever did. That made Bauer’s performance during last year’s pandemic-shortened season particularly notable. He had perhaps his best year, posting a 1.73 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds and winning National

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Pitchers trying to improve their grip by applying something sticky to the baseball is a tradition as old as hot dogs, the national anthem and the seventh-inning stretch. Doing this isn’t, in the strictest sense of the word, “legal” according to the rulebook, but there’s long been an unspoken agreement among teams to mostly let it slide. Everybody does it, the thinking goes, and as long as the violation isn’t egregious, it benefits everyone to allow a little malfeasance. Now the commissioner’s office has decided that this method of self-regulation is insufficient. The league sent a memo last week to all clubs saying that it intends to crack down on the use of foreign substances on the ball this season. In addition to collecting balls and having them examined by a thirdparty laboratory, MLB will also analyze data to check for statistical anomalies that suggest the ball has been tampered with. This increased emphasis on ball-doctoring is MLB’s way of reining in a practice that had grown from a quirky relic of the game’s past into a sophisticated enterprise designed to give pitchers an unfair advantage. Teams have historically been reluctant to challenge opposing pitchers for going to the mound with a bit of pine tar on their arm or sunscreen under the brim of

Weather

League Cy Young honors. He parlayed that showing into a massive free-agent contract with the Dodgers this winter, signing a deal that will make him the highest-paid player in baseball this year. The average spin rate on his four-seam fastball last season, according to Statcast, was 2,776 revolutions per minute—364 RPM higher than 2019 and 454 RPM

The WSJ Daily Crossword | Edited by Mike Shenk

Shown are today’s noon positions of weather systems and precipitation. Temperature bands are highs for the day.

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