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Wall Street Journal Monday May 3, 2021 [CCLXXVII, US ed.]

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


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Last week: DJIA 33874.85 g 168.64 0.5%

NASDAQ 13962.68 g 0.4%

STOXX 600 437.39 g 0.4%

10-YR. TREASURY g 18/32 , yield 1.632%

OIL $63.58 À $1.44

Business & Finance ndividual investors in the U.S. are holding the highest level of stocks on record as they up the ante by borrowing to magnify their bets or buy on small dips in the market as major indexes climb to fresh highs. A1


 Smaller businesses are proving to be a weak link in China’s economic recovery as they struggle to fully bounce back from the effects of Covid-19. A9

World-Wide  Biden’s ability to spend $4.5 trillion on proposed infrastructure and social programs without boosting deficits depends on a range of political and economic variables, some of which are beyond his control. A1  Lawmakers and administration officials signaled they expect talks on an infrastructure package to ramp up this week, as Republicans and the president work to see if a bipartisan deal is within reach. A4

 The highly contagious U.K. variant of the Covid-19 virus, now the dominant strain in the U.S., is making the pandemic harder to control, but authorized vaccines work well against it. A6

 Israel extended its Covid-19 vaccine passport system to children who aren’t yet eligible to be inoculated, but who return a negative PCR test for coronavirus. A8  Farmers, whose participation is critical to meeting the Biden administration’s goals on slashing greenhouse-gas emissions, say they will need government’s help to cover costs. A3  A SpaceX capsule with four astronauts returning from the International Space Station splashed down safely in the Gulf of Mexico, marking the end of 168 days in orbit. A3  Died: Eli Broad, 87, billionaire philanthropist. A2 CONTENTS Arts in Review... A13 Business & Finance B2,5 Business News....... B3 Crossword.............. A14 Heard on Street..... B9 Opinion.............. A15-17

Outlook....................... A2 Personal Journal A11-12 Sports....................... A14 Technology............... B4 U.S. News............. A2-6 Weather................... A14 World News....... A8-9


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


Individual investors in the U.S. are holding the highest level of stocks on record as they up the ante by borrowing to magnify their bets or buy on small dips in the market as major indexes climb to fresh highs. Stockholdings among the nation’s households increased to 41% of their total financial assets in April. That is the highest level on record, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Federal Reserve data going back to 1952 that includes 401(k) retirement accounts. JPMorgan’s Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, who analyzed the data, attributed the elevated allocations to appreciating share prices alongside stock purchases. The enthusiasm for stocks comes as market volatility has been edging lower and the S&P 500 has hit 25 records this year, fueled by a stellar earnings season and the prospect of an economic recovery that is speedier than many predicted. Meanwhile, stimulus checks have fueled a record rise in household incomes, boosting spending and helping propel the recovery. Please turn to page A6


President Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package was financed entirely with borrowed money. Now, he is proposing to spend about $4.5 trillion on infrastructure and social programs—without adding to the red ink. “We can do it without increasing deficits,” Mr. Biden, a Democrat, said in a joint address to Congress last week, detailing a series of tax increases on the wealthy and

corporations to pay for programs ranging from building charging stations for electric cars to subsidizing child care. Mr. Biden’s ability to spend what he proposed without adding debt depends on political and economic variables, some beyond his control. Among them: Whether moderate Democrats will go along with his proposed tax increases, and whether those increases will stay in place long enough to cover all of the extra costs. Taken together, the two new

proposals would add about $1.3 trillion to deficits over the next 10 years, according to estimates by analysts at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and Cornerstone Macro Research. They said the shortfalls would eventually be made up in the following years as tax increases continue and some of the spending winds down. Over time, they said, the national debt might begin to decline as a share of economic output. “I think it is clear that the

framework for these proposals is to spend early, create a lot of investments that they think are going to have perpetual returns to the economy, and reduce the very long-term debt,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the nonpartisan CRFB, based in Washington. But Mr. Goldwein said relyPlease turn to page A4  Infrastructure talks are set to ramp up........................................ A4  GOP’s blue-collar agenda is still a work in progress........ A4

Lawsuit Without End: 28 Years So Far Chevron lost an Ecuador pollution case. U.S. courts deemed it fraudulent. The fight goes on. BY SARA RANDAZZO

Chevron Corp. was fixated on roses. The giant U.S. oil company objected last June when Washington proposed allowing duty-free rose imports from the world’s poorest countries, including Ecuador. A decade earlier, an Ecuadorean court had blamed Chevron for oil pollution and told it to pay $9.5 billion in damages, one of the largest-ever penalties of its kind. Chevron had since proved the ver-


 A boat that authorities say was illegally smuggling migrants into the U.S. capsized off the coast of San Diego with at least 30 people on board, killing three. A3


Sick Are Left to Care For Sicker in India’s Wave

dict fraudulent, it told the U.S. Trade Representative. But Ecuador refused to render it unenforceable despite an order to do that from an international arbitration tribunal. Letting Ecuador save money on flowers after blatant “acts of defiance” would tell the world the U.S. rewards bad behavior, the oil company said. Chevron lost the war of the roses. But it still hasn’t paid a cent of the Ecuadorean judgment, and says it won’t stop legally battling until it can ensure that it never has to.

“We’re going to fight this until hell freezes over, and then we’ll fight it on the ice,” a former Chevron general counsel, Charles James, said before his retirement in 2010, a remark that became a watchword at the company. His successor, R. Hewitt Pate, said this spring that “only the government of Ecuador could deliver a final resolution of this case,” by nullifying the verdict. Big companies that see lawsuits against them as unfounded often reach Please turn to page A10

Fury Over Super League Erupts


 The judge in a high-profile court battle between Apple and “Fortnite” creator Epic Games will be grappling with the question of how to define a market in the digital age. B1, B4

Biden’s Bid to Contain Deficit And Spend Big Faces Hurdles

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 Warren Buffett defended Berkshire’s investments over the past year, while saving his harshest comments for some of the hottest investment vehicles at the company’s annual meeting. B1, B2

RETURN: Support teams work around the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience capsule early Sunday shortly after splashdown. It marked the end of 168 days in space for the four astronauts, and the end of SpaceX’s first operational round-trip mission. A3


 Revenue from Robinhood’s payment-for-orderflow business more than tripled in the first quarter, at the height of the app-enabled stock-trading mania. B1



 Dell struck a deal to sell its Boomi cloud business to private-equity firms Francisco Partners and TPG, part of a larger reordering of the company’s business. B1

YEN 109.33

Individuals in U.S. keep raising holdings as indexes reach highs and volatility declines

 Basecamp’s move to ban political conversations laid bare a sharp divide in the tech industry over how to navigate potentially divisive issues. A1  Black homeowners are having a harder time catching up on missed mortgage payments than other borrowers, new research shows. A2

EURO $1.2020

Investors Stock Up On Shares In Record Numbers

Nighttime Splashdown for NASA Gives SpaceX a Lift

What’s News

HHHH $4.00


NEW DELHI—Days before Nikita Goel had planned to get married, she and five family members tested positive for By Vibhuti Agarwal, Shefali Anand and Krishna Pokharel the coronavirus, including her parents and 86-year-old grandfather. “I felt like a roof had fallen,” she said. Her father and grandfather were soon fighting for every breath, and Ms. Goel, suffering fever and coughing fits, was the one sent to find help from an overwhelmed healthcare system collapsing around her. “I suddenly felt I was left alone in the world, alone to save my family,” said Ms. Goel, 28 years old. The wave of Covid-19 sweeping India has hit hard and suddenly, swallowing entire families and neighborhoods and, in many cases, Please turn to page A8  Resilient U.K. variant can be curbed............................................ A6

Anger over aborted plans for a European soccer Super League boiled over Sunday when protesters broke into Manchester United’s home stadium in Manchester, England. A8

Welcome to the New Casablancas: World Cities That Stayed Open i



Executives are making their way to locales where business is done in person BY YAROSLAV TROFIMOV DUBAI—Oliver J. Christof used to spend some 300 days a year traveling the world, drumming up business for his family’s industrial-services company in Austria. In October, when Europe

entered new lockdowns, the family relocated to Dubai, one of the few cities open in a world largely closed. People now come to see Mr. Christof. This year, some fourfifths of the company’s clients and partners have shown up in Please turn to page A10

Stock allocations among U.S. households Sum of equities held as a percentage of total financial assets April: 41%





0 1960 ’70 ’80 ’90 2000 ’10 ’20 Source: JPMorgan

 Robinhood’s revenue soars after rally...................................... B1  Buffett offers defense of Berkshire investing................. B1

Bosses Who Forbid Office Political Talk Trigger Hot Debate BY KATHERINE BINDLEY When leaders of the product management and communication software company Basecamp announced last week that it would curb political conversations at work, fallout came fast. Tech employees, workplace consultants and politicians alike assailed the decision on Twitter and LinkedIn, though other company leaders called it a courageous move. Some employees publicly threatened to quit. Ultimately, the Chicago-based company offered buyouts to its staff of about 50. A significant number of employees decided to leave. Though small, privately held Basecamp is influential among tech companies—its founders have written popular books about work and held theirs up as a model workplace, with shortened weeks in summer and paying everyone working in the same role the same salary. Its attempt to tell employees not to engage in discussions on societal and political issues during work shows how, after years of

encouraging teams to “bring their whole selves to work,” some companies want employees to bring a little less. Years ago, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. led the way in embracing open discussions of sensitive topics at work, providing internal message boards, town halls and other forums for employee opinions. Many others followed suit, and leaders continue to take stands on social issues and give employees arenas to express themselves. Recently, some companies have gone the other way— most notably cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc., which last fall declared its culture “apolitical.” Chief Executive Brian Armstrong wrote that the company wouldn’t debate causes or political candidates internally and that employees shouldn’t expect Coinbase to take public stances on their own personal beliefs. Google and Facebook, citing a desire to curb internal tensions, have also moved to Please turn to page A6

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 OUTLOOK | By Paul Hannon

Savings to Fire Up Growth—if Spent Checking deposits by income group $0 trillion



4Q 2019




4Q 2020

Top 1% 80–99% 60-79% 40–59% 20–39% 0–19% Source: U.S. Federal Reserve

year, a large chunk of the pandemic savings pool won’t be spent quickly. Even so, the amount spent is expected to be large enough to spur a strong recovery, economists figure. “There are reasons to think the propensity to spend will be low,” said Karen Dynan, an economist affiliated with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, citing surveys that indicate U.S. households want to save and pay down their debt. The amounts that households have chosen to or been forced to put aside since the start of the coronavirus pandemic are very large. In addition to normal savings, economists at Barclays estimate that since the pandemic began, the equivalent of 7% of

annual economic output has been saved in the U.S., while U.K. savings total 6% of gross domestic product and eurozone savings are at 5%. Much of that savings appears to have been unplanned and stems from the inability of consumers to spend as normal. Businesses providing services to consumers that traditionally involve proximity to other people—such as restaurants, bars, sports arenas and many tourism activities—have been closed or effectively off limits for those who fear infection. And while there has been some switching to services that can be consumed in the safety of the home—for example, movie streaming—opportunities to spend have been restricted. At the same

time, many people have seen little change to their incomes, thanks in part to technologies that have allowed them to work from home, and also to support from governments when it hasn’t been possible for them to work as much as they would have liked to. But the buildup in savings hasn’t been evenly spread. Federal Reserve figures suggest that in the U.S., much of the accumulation has been in the bank accounts of the richest fifth of the population. Of the $2 trillion increase in checking deposits between the final three months of 2019—the last quarter before the pandemic struck—and the final three months of 2020, roughly a third was accumulated by the richest 1% of households, and slightly more than a third by the remainder of the top 20%. While checking deposits held by the poorest 20% rose, that accounted for a very small share of the overall increase. The buildup in U.S. savings also appears to have been skewed across age distribution. People between ages 55 and 65 increased their checking deposits by $614 billion, while those 70 and over increased their holdings by $664 billion. But for all adults under 40, the increase was a much more modest $245 billion.

In sum, the accumulation of savings has been greatest among older people who were already rich. For economists who have studied consumer behavior, those are precisely the characteristics that would suggest much of the new savings won’t be spent quickly.


ut looked at from another perspective, the larger buildup of savings in the hands of older wealthy people might be encouraging news. That is because they are the most active consumers of the hospitality and leisure services that will be more fully available as the economy thaws, and also the group that has been most extensively vaccinated. Even if households hold on to most of their savings, by spending the remainder they will have a big impact on the recovery. Oliver Rakau at Oxford Economics expects European households to spend about a fifth of their accumulated savings through 2025. That would contribute to a 3.1% increase in consumer spending this year, and a 7% rise in 2022, when the economy is expected to be more fully open. “We expect all countries to experience record-setting growth in consumer spending this year and next,” said Mr. Rakau.

Monday: The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index for April is likely to show another month of strong demand for factory goods, tempered by high prices for raw materials and long delivery times amid supply-chain snarls. Tuesday: The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services is expected to widen to a fresh record for March. Preliminary data show the trade gap for goods at a new high as American demand for foreign-made products surges alongside rising incomes and a reopening economy. Wednesday: The ISM’s services index for April is likely to reflect more vaccinations, falling Covid-19 cases and efforts to open up segments of the economy hard hit by efforts to contain the pandemic. Thursday: The Bank of England is expected to hold interest rates steady. Economists are watching for upgrades to economic growth and inflation forecasts, as well as a signal on when the central bank could start to slow asset purchases. Friday: U.S. employment is expected to post another solid gain for April as businesses hire more workers to meet rising demand for an array of goods and services. Even with another big gain, however, the economy will still have millions fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic. Broad dislocation, generous unemployment benefits and lingering concerns over Covid-19 have kept some Americans out of the labor force and some companies struggling to find enough help.



ne key to solving that puzzle is identifying who has accumulated the largest pot. Household spending patterns vary widely depending on income and age. Older and richer people tend to spend less and save more as a percentage of income, and the reverse is true for younger and poorer people. If that pattern holds this

In the U.S., the richest fifth of the population account for most of the buildup in bank deposits during the pandemic.

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Households in wealthy countries have amassed an unprecedented pile of savings to spend as parts of the global economy thaw after a year in suspended animation. But it isn’t clear whether consumers will seize that opportunity with enthusiasm. If they hold back, the recovery will be less rapid than it could be. Economists warn that predicting how much households will spend is fraught with difficulty, given that there are few precedents for such a large buildup of savings over such a short period. “There’s lots of uncertainty about how that’s going to unwind and how it will support the recovery,” said Alfred Kammer, head of the International Monetary Fund’s European department.



A2 | Monday, May 3, 2021

Black Homeowners Falling Behind Gruff Billionaire

Spread His Wealth



Kurt Rose, left, says he was surprised to find his Colorado home was set to be sold in a foreclosure.



covery threatens to widen racial gaps in wealth and homeownership. In 2020, 45% of Black families owned homes, below the 75% rate of white families and 67% of Americans overall, according to the Census Bureau. Black Americans bore the brunt of coronavirus layoffs: The unemployment rate for Black workers stood at 9.6% in March, compared with 6% overall and 5.4% for white workers. Black Americans are also about twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as white Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “You have this interaction of the structural barriers that were in place that made [Black households] vulnerable heading into the recession combined with the cyclical downturn that just makes those

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disparities worse,” said Michael Neal, a senior research associate in housing finance policy at the Urban Institute. Of the 2.3 million homeowners in forbearance in April, some could be fore-

In 2020, 45% of Black families owned homes, below the 75% rate of white families. closed on or forced to sell their homes if they can’t resume payments when relief programs end. Both of these outcomes could reduce wealth and homeownership levels among Black Americans, who are disproportionately represented among homeowners in

CORRECTIONS  AMPLIFICATIONS Since taking office, the Biden administration has been allowing some migrant families seeking asylum to enter the U.S. at legal border crossings, and the practice accelerated in April. In some editions Saturday, a U.S. News article about migrant families incorrectly suggested the practice began in April. The Pew Research Center says that just under 40,000 numbers were needed for a sample of 800 cellphone responses in its randomized telephone surveys. In Saturday’s Numbers column, the amount of numbers needed was misstated as over 40,000

in some editions. A photo with a Mansion article Friday about real-estate YouTubers showed Enes Yilmazer at a home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. The caption incorrectly gave the location as Brentwood, Calif.

Notice to readers Wall Street Journal staff members are working remotely during the pandemic. For the foreseeable future, please send reader comments only by email or phone, using the contacts below, not via U.S. Mail.

Readers can alert The Wall Street Journal to any errors in news articles by emailing [email protected] or by calling 888-410-2667.

forbearance. Kurt Rose fell behind on his mortgage payments in 2019 after a divorce and job loss. By the time the pandemic hit, his mortgage company had started foreclosure proceedings, and shutdowns made it even more difficult to find work as a building-maintenance worker, he said. To postpone the foreclosure, Mr. Rose in September agreed to enter a forbearance with his mortgage servicer, Specialized Loan Servicing LLC. In late March, Mr. Rose found his Longmont, Colo., home on a government website that lists properties with scheduled foreclosure sales. The early-April sale date was a few days after his forbearance was set to end. Mr. Rose said he had received no notice that the foreclosure process had resumed. SLS declined to comment on Mr. Rose’s case but said it complies with all relevant federal, state and industry regulation. “This includes maintaining the current national moratorium on all foreclosures until June 30, 2021, and notifying borrowers in writing of each instance of a foreclosure being postponed,” the company said. Mr. Rose’s forbearance was extended until July 1. In March, he started a new job with the state of Colorado. He plans to start paying again on June 1 and make up about half the payments he missed. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in April proposed a rule that would restrict mortgage companies from beginning the foreclosure process through the end of the year. The measure is designed to help the large volume of borrowers expected to exit forbearance later this year when relief plans are set to end.

After earning billions by building homes and selling annuities, Eli Broad devoted his life to making gifts to support art museums, K-12 education and biomedical research. Along the way, he developed a reputation for being gruff and impatient. Mr. Broad, OBITUARY who died FriELI BROAD day in Los An1933-2021 geles at the age of 87, acknowledged that he could be difficult. He entitled his 2012 memoir “The Art of Being Unreasonable.” Being unreasonable, he said, was the key to his success: He had huge ambitions, the confidence to “ignore people who said I couldn’t do it” and the discipline to avoid wasting time on lengthy debates. His philanthropy left a major cultural mark on his adopted hometown of Los Angeles, where he led fundraising for the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry, served as founding chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art and founded another contemporary-art museum, The Broad, featuring many of the works collected by Mr. Broad and his wife, Edye. He amazed more traditional art buyers in 1994 by using his American Express card to pay Sotheby’s $2.48 million for Roy Lichtenstein’s “I…I’m Sorry” comic-book style painting. That purchase earned millions of frequent-flier miles, donated by Mr. Broad to art students. The real reason for paying with a card, he said, was to continue earning interest on his cash until the monthly bill came due. An only child, Eli Broad was born June 6, 1933, in New York. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Lithuania. His father, Leon Broad, painted houses, and his mother, Rita Broad, was a seamstress. In 1940, the family moved

to Detroit. Leon Broad opened a dime store there, and his wife kept the books. Because he lacked siblings and had busy parents, young Eli was often alone. That solitude conferred some advantages, he wrote in his memoir: He learned self-reliance and never needed approval from others, “so I didn’t develop the habit of wanting it.” He decided the family name should rhyme with “road” rather than “rod,” and the new pronunciation stuck. After training as an accountant, Mr. Broad joined Donald Kaufman to found a homebuilding company, Kaufman & Broad, in 1956. The company, now known as KB Home, focused on first-time buyers and built no-frills houses without basements so they could be priced lower. “There were no architects’ fees because I designed the floor plan myself,” Mr. Broad wrote. In 1971, KB bought a small life insurance company in the hope that its steady earnings would help smooth out housing busts. The insurance company evolved into a major marketer of annuities. American International Group Inc. agreed to buy SunAmerica in 1998 for $18 billion. Mr. Broad’s support for education included funding for charter schools, training of superintendents and prizes for improvements in urban education. He donated more than $1 billion to create a genomicmedicine research center in Cambridge, Mass. Mr. Broad is survived by his wife and two sons. He made no apologies for avoiding anything, such as chitchat, golf or long meetings, that he saw as a waste of time. When he grew exasperated with discussions, he sometimes interjected, “Anything else?” Longtime colleagues learned that was the end of the discussion, not an invitation to share more thoughts.



Black homeowners are having a harder time catching up on missed mortgage payments than other borrowers, new federal research shows. The share of Black homeowners in forbearance stood at about 11% in mid-April, more than double the overall rate and that of white borrowers, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The rate for Hispanic homeowners hovered around 8.4%. The mortgage-forbearance program laid out in the March 2020 stimulus bill was designed as a short-term solution, a way for homeowners to postpone payments on federally backed mortgages until the economy and consumers recovered. That is how the program has functioned for many. The share of homeowners in forbearance has decreased for eight straight weeks, to 4.49% as of mid-April, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Almost one in 10 homeowners signed up for forbearance at the height of the program’s use last June. But the overall improvement masks a slower recovery for Black borrowers. Between June 2020 and mid-April 2021, the share of Black homeowners in forbearance fell 35%, compared with a 43% drop overall, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Asian, white and Hispanic borrowers saw improvement rates of between 45% and 53%. The uneven economic re-

Eli Broad in 2015 in Los Angeles, his adopted hometown.

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Monday, May 3, 2021 | A3

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NASA Crew Safely Bring Home SpaceX Capsule the ISS. Sunday’s return to Earth was the first nighttime splashdown for NASA astronauts since Apollo 8, which was the first mission to orbit the moon, in 1968. The splashdown was the latest in a series of milestones for SpaceX and NASA. The partners now have regularly scheduled human shuttles to and from space using the company’s commercially built rockets and capsules. Last month, a SpaceX rocket sent a manned capsule into orbit, where it docked with the ISS. Its crew of four is still there. In November, SpaceX said it planned to launch seven capsules for NASA, including three cargo variants, over the following 15 months. The next human mission is set to take place in the fall, sending another team of astronauts for a six-month stint on the space station. —Chip Cummins


A SpaceX capsule with four astronauts returning from the International Space Station splashed down safely in the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday, the first such nighttime return to Earth for NASA in decades. The Crew Dragon Resilience, made by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., completed a “soft” splashdown four minutes before 3 a.m. Sunday, and shortly thereafter was lifted onto a recovery vessel offshore Panama City, Fla. It marked the end of 168 days in space for the four astronauts, and the end of SpaceX’s first operational round-trip mission. Late last year, a SpaceX rocket powered the capsule carrying National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency into orbit. The capsule then docked with

Farmers Want Help Cutting Emissions Migrants’ Boat in RACHEL MUMMEY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

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Colin Garrett hauls manure from a barn to a cornfield near Denison, Iowa, to help trap carbon dioxide. The farm sector produces about 10% of U.S. greenhousegas emissions, with fertilizer application and livestock operations representing top sources, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Some U.S. Department of Agriculture programs can help reduce farms’ greenhouse-gas emissions, including incentives to plant trees, reduce soil erosion and curb overuse of fertilizer. The USDA in April increased payments and added new incentives under its Conservation Reserve Program, which the agency said can mitigate climate change. Big agricultural companies, responding to consumer and investor pressure, have made vol-

untary commitments to cut emissions. Executives said they are using more renewable power, funding climate-friendly farming and overhauling parts of their operations, such as wastewater lagoons and fertilizer-production plants. They said the efforts put the Farm Belt in position to help the Biden administration achieve its target. “The importance of having that goal out there cannot be discounted, so everybody is working toward the same thing,” said John R. Tyson, chief sustainability officer for Tyson Foods, the biggest U.S. meat company by sales. With often-thin profit margins, individual farmers have

tended to be wary of regulations that add costs and complexity to their operations. Concern about tighter environmental rules was one reason some farmers said they backed Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Farmers generally support emissions-reduction efforts but need more specifics on the Biden administration’s strategy, said Andrew Walmsley, director of congressional relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation, a trade group for farmers. “We don’t have a plan to react to,” Mr. Walmsley said. “It causes concern, and allows rumors to fly.” The USDA has been seeking input from farmer and food


In the Ohio River city of Huntington, W.Va., people like Amanda Coleman have fought the opioid epidemic for years in a battle that seems neverending. She traces many local problems—homelessness, mental illness, an HIV outbreak— back to opioids. “It’s implicated in everything that we do,” said Ms. Coleman, the executive director of a homeless-services organization in Huntington, a city of 45,000 near the intersecting borders of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Lawyers for Huntington and the surrounding Cabell County will begin arguing Monday in a federal courthouse that the nation’s three largest drug distributors—McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Cardinal Health Inc.—should help bear their community’s costs of addressing widespread opioid addiction. The trial will be the first courtroom test of a legal theory put forward in more than 3,000 other lawsuits: That the wholesalers created a “public nuisance” by letting prescription drugs flow into the community unchecked, and that now they need to pay to abate the problems it created. Huntington and Cabell have pressed for a trial, even after the state’s attorney general settled with McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal for $73 million between 2017 and 2019. The trial is moving ahead despite the three companies, and drug-

maker Johnson & Johnson, offering $26 billion to settle all of the opioid litigation across the country. The reason for the gamble: Only about 1% of that money would go to West Virginia, and that isn’t nearly enough, plaintiffs’ lawyers say. If victorious in a bench trial in Charleston, W.Va., before U.S. District Judge David Faber, Huntington and Cabell are seeking more than $1 billion, to be used locally to bolster efforts like Ms. Coleman’s. The trial will aim to “hold these companies accountable, and help restore these communities,” co-lead plaintiffs’ lawyers Paul Farrell and Anne McGinness Kearse said. Huntington has been a hardhit city in a state that has suffered some of the harshest effects in the nation from the opioid epidemic. West Virginia’s per capita death rate from opioid overdoses was the highest in the country in 2018, according to federal data. Around 5% of West Virginia babies are born to mothers using opioids, the cause of lifelong health problems, compared with less than 1% nationally. “Painkillers became so easy to get, it almost became cultural,” said Tim Craft, the head of a ministry in West Virginia that helps people overcome addiction. Mr. Craft, himself a recovering addict who lost a sister to an overdose, began taking prescription opioids as a teenager to deal with migraines and later switched to heroin. McKesson, AmerisourceBer-



Opioids Suit in West Virginia Tries a New Tack BY SARA RANDAZZO

Deadly Wreck Off San Diego


A White House goal to slash U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions hinges in part on farmers and agriculture companies changing the way they manage fields and feedlots. The farm sector says it will need the government’s help to make it happen. The Biden administration effort outlined in April has drawn support from agribusiness giants including Tyson Foods Inc., JBS SA, Cargill Inc. and CF Industries Holdings Inc., which have been pursuing their own environmental commitments. Individual farmers, whose participation is critical to meeting the administration’s goals, are weighing the potential costs and benefits to their bottom lines, and say government support will be needed. Near Loyal, Okla., farmer Clay Pope for years has followed some of the carbon-reduction practices being promoted by the Biden administration, including keeping vegetation on his fields even when his usual crops, such as wheat, aren’t growing. While his harvests have increased, he said, so have his costs. “It’s not cheap,” Mr. Pope said. President Biden has called for cutting U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions by 50% to 52% by 2030, compared with the baseline year of 2005. He said farmers could help achieve the goal—and benefit from it. In his speech Wednesday before Congress, Mr. Biden said farmers could be paid for planting cover crops that remove more carbon from the atmosphere.

groups on potential new programs, and the process of developing those remains in early stages, an agency spokesman said. Heidi Heitkamp, a former Democratic U.S. senator from North Dakota, said farmers’ resistance toward emissions-mitigation measures had eased over the past five years. “American agriculture is now saying, ‘OK, what’s in it for us?’ ” said Ms. Heitkamp, now agriculture director for tax-services firm Alliantgroup LP. The U.S. government in 2020 paid out a record $46 billion in direct payments to farmers, to ease the impact of economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and trade disputes. Some agriculture executives said the industry’s sustainability investments may need a further hand from the government. Suburban Chicago fertilizer giant CF Industries is investing in systems that reduce its plants’ emissions of nitrous oxide, roughly 300 times as potent as carbon dioxide. CF Chief Executive Tony Will said the Biden administration needed to consider carbon-related fees or taxes on imported goods to ensure that overseas rivals that aren’t taking similar environmental steps can’t sell cheaper agricultural products into the U.S., undercutting efforts like CF’s. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is considering trade tools like border-adjustment taxes to achieve the Biden administration’s goal, an agency spokesman said.



Paramedics at an overdose call in Huntington, W.Va. The city and surrounding Cabell County are suing three major drug distributors. gen and Cardinal Health aren’t household names, but they are among the highest-grossing companies in America and control the flow of healthcare products ranging from surgical gloves to Covid-19 vaccines.

In Huntington’s lawsuit and hundreds of others, states and municipalities allege the distributors allowed pills to flood into pharmacies largely unchecked, and that the companies should have taken greater

steps to ensure prescription drugs weren’t being diverted for improper uses. The companies counter that there are far too many steps between them and the actual use of opioids to be held accountable for what they acknowledge is a public-health crisis. In court papers, the companies said a doctor first had to prescribe a drug, dispensed by a pharmacy to someone legally entitled to it, which was then given to someone to abuse—a chain of events the distributors say doesn’t involve them. AmerisourceBergen said it followed the quotas set by the Drug Enforcement Administration for opioid painkillers, reported all controlled-substance sales and suspicious orders to the DEA and verified all pharmacy licenses. McKesson and Cardinal declined to comment ahead of the trial. The companies also plan to argue West Virginia has been heavily affected by illegal opioids, like heroin and synthetic fentanyl, that have nothing to do with their business. The thousands of opioid lawsuits filed nationwide argue that illegal opioid use often starts with addiction to pain pills, which pharmaceutical companies fostered through aggressive marketing of their drugs to doctors. The lawsuits drove the biggest target of the claims, OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP, into bankruptcy in 2019. The company is now negotiating a multibillion-dollar deal with states and other creditors.

BY JON KAMP A vessel authorities believe was illegally smuggling migrants into the U.S. capsized Sunday off the coast of San Diego with at least 30 people on board, leading to three deaths, authorities said. The accident came as border authorities increase efforts to combat what they say is a surge of migrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally by sea. The first call for help on Sunday came in shortly before 10 a.m. local time from a commercial assistance vessel reporting a boat near the surf line that appeared to be in trouble, authorities said. That boat, described as a 40-foot cabin cruiser, overturned and broke apart near the Cabrillo

Three people aboard the cabin cruiser were killed when it capsized. National Monument, which sits at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego. Local and federal authorities responded to a chaotic scene as the passengers scrambled for safety in cold and rough waters. Some people made it to shore, said Rick Romero, a lifeguard lieutenant with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. But others were drowning and getting sucked into the rip current, he said during a press conference. Rescuers pulled about seven people from the waves, and three people died, he said. Many others were sent to local hospitals. The nationality and ages of the people on the vessel couldn’t be determined. Authorities said the boat captain was in custody. “Every indication from our perspective is that this was a smuggling vessel used to smuggle migrants into the United States illegally,” said Jeff Stephenson, a supervisory Border Patrol agent in the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego sector. The accident came two days after law-enforcement officials announced a plan to increase operations over the weekend to try to disrupt migrant smuggling by water in the San Diego area. On Thursday, Border Patrol said agents captured a wooden boat known as a panga, packed with 21 people, 11 miles off Point Loma. People are typically apprehended trying to cross the land border between the U.S. and Mexico, and migrant deaths there are common. But the number of maritime apprehensions has surged in recent years, Mr. Stephenson said at the press conference. —Alicia A. Caldwell contributed to this article.

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A4 | Monday, May 3, 2021
































Infrastructure Talks Are Set to Ramp Up

Republicans propose spending $568 billion on infrastructure of which $299 billion would go toward roads and bridges. bridges, an increase from the $115 billion the Biden administration’s plan proposes. The GOP plan also dedicates $61 billion to public transit systems, $20 billion to rail and $65 billion for broadband. Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to Mr. Biden, said Sunday on CNN that the president was willing to compromise

and that “he wants to move this package forward in a bipartisan way—if that’s possible.” “His red line is inaction, that we cannot afford not to make these investments in America’s economy,” she said. Mr. Biden’s proposal includes $621 billion to modernize transportation infrastruc-

Democrats Shut Out in Runoff for Texas House Seat


Biden Has Tough Task On Deficit


President Biden wants enough revenue over 15 years to offset spending increases and tax credits.


big government waste.” Some Democrats have noted that the $1.5 trillion in GOP tax cuts enacted in 2017—which Republicans said would pay for themselves—contributed to wider budget deficits before the pandemic. Recent years have seen a shift in the consensus among many economists, with some, including Mr. Biden’s own advisers, arguing that in an era when interest rates and inflation are projected to remain very low, the U.S. has the capacity to borrow more than previously thought prudent. Mr. Biden embraced those arguments when he called for a $1.9 trillion, deficit-financed Covid-19 relief package, saying it was worth borrowing to propel the U.S. recovery and avoid long-term damage to the economy. Now, Mr. Biden has proposed two more packages—one focused on infrastructure and the other on families—that he has


Continued from Page One ing on revenue more than 10 years in the future is risky. When Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, they included provisions to raise revenues that Congress has since repealed. Negotiations over Mr. Biden’s infrastructure package are expected to ramp up this week, with the president inviting lead GOP negotiators to discuss a path forward. Federal deficits, which were historically high and rising before the pandemic, have soared since March 2020 as Congress enacted several spending measures to combat the virus and cushion the U.S. economy from a recession, and as widespread business closures and layoffs weighed on tax revenue. That drove U.S. debt held by the public from $17.4 trillion before the pandemic hit to $21.6 trillion when Mr. Biden took office, or about 100% of economic output—putting the U.S. in a league with highly indebted countries such as Japan. Some economists have warned that deficit-fueled spending could drive up interest rates and boost inflation, though that hasn’t happened in the U.S. or Japan in recent decades. Republicans have pointed to the rise in debt as a reason to oppose Mr. Biden’s plans, and they warn that tax increases could hurt the economy by discouraging private investment. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who delivered the GOP response to Mr. Biden’s congressional address last week, called his plans “a liberal wish list of

other elements of physical infrastructure. “At this point, I think now that the Republicans have put forth a reasonable offer, it’s up to the president to do a counteroffer to us,” Ms. Collins said Sunday on CNN. Of the $568 billion in the GOP framework, $299 billion would go toward roads and


niors and technology and manufacturing research. In addition, Mr. Biden announced a $1.8 trillion child-care and education plan in his joint address to Congress last week. GOP lawmakers have said they think it might be possible to reach a bipartisan agreement on a more limited package focused on roads, bridges and

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WASHINGTON—Lawmakers and administration officials signaled on Sunday that they expected negotiations over an infrastructure package to ramp up this week, as Republicans and President Biden work to see if a bipartisan agreement is within reach. White House chief of staff Ron Klain said that Mr. Biden had invited Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, one of the lead GOP negotiators on the infrastructure package, and others to meet this week. “We’re going to work with Republicans. We’re going to find common ground,” Mr. Klain said on CBS. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a centrist Republican involved in the discussions, said it was up to Mr. Biden to make the next offer in negotiations with GOP lawmakers. Republicans last month proposed spending $568 billion on infrastructure, offering a far narrower alternative to the plan Mr. Biden unveiled in March, which would spend $2.3 trillion over eight years on programs and services that go beyond transportation, among them home care for se-



ture, $400 billion to help care for the aging and those with disabilities, $300 billion to boost the manufacturing industry, $213 billion on retrofitting and building affordable housing and $100 billion to expand broadband access, among other items. Lawmakers have said they expect that the two biggest sticking points to be the cost of a bipartisan plan and how it would be paid for. Democrats have said this is the time to make investments in the country’s infrastructure and social programs to help the economy recover from the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic. Republicans have been wary of high levels of new spending, after a year of unprecedented emergency spending in response to the pandemic. On ABC Sunday, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, a member of Senate GOP leadership, said “$500 to $600 billion dollars of infrastructure is a massive amount of infrastructure.” To pay for his plan, Mr. Biden has proposed raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and increasing taxes on U.S. companies’ foreign earnings to cover the cost of the eight-year spending plan over 15 years. Ms. Collins Sunday that she opposed raising the corporate tax rate to 28%, saying that would mean that “jobs once again would go overseas.’’ She didn’t specify what rate she would support.


White House invites a lead GOP negotiator to meet in bid to forge a bipartisan agreement

said will lift growth over the long run with new spending on roads, bridges, research and development, clean energy, affordable child care and paid family leave, among other programs. To pay for the plans, he wants taxes that would generate enough revenue over the next 15 years to offset the spending increases and expanded tax credits, the White House said. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that interest rates are low and likely to remain low, “but we do need fiscal space to be able to address emergencies.” The CRFB estimates that Mr. Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal, which also includes $400 billion in clean-energy tax credits, would increase deficits by about $900 billion over 10 years. After that, the plan would begin to shrink deficits, and debt would grow to 146% of GDP by 2041, or less than the 149% currently

projected by the Congressional Budget Office. For this to occur, however, Mr. Goldwein said policy makers would have to allow temporary spending programs such as an expanded child tax credit to expire as scheduled and make sure permanent tax increases remain in place—factors that depend on which party controls Congress and the White House. The CRFB estimate is in line with the Penn Wharton Budget Model, which found that Mr. Biden’s infrastructure plan would increase the debt over 10 years but reduce it substantially by 2050 compared with current CBO projections. The American Families Plan, which includes universal preschool, two years of tuitionfree community college and a national paid parental leave program, calls for $1.8 trillion in new spending and $1.5 trillion in tax increases over the next 10 years.

Voters in a Texas House district chose two Republicans to advance to a runoff election, dashing Democratic hopes of picking up a GOP-held seat. Susan Wright, a GOP activist and the widow of Rep. Ron Wright, who held the seat until his death this year, was the top vote-getter among 23 candidates in a special election Saturday. She will face Rep. Jake Ellzey, also a Republican, who had the second-most votes. Ms. Wright had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. A Republican who stood out by actively distancing himself from Mr. Trump, Michael Wood, placed a distant ninth, with 3% of the vote, an Associated Press tally as of Sunday showed. Democrats were disappointed that their leading candidate, Jana Lynne Sanchez, trailed Mr. Ellzey by about 350 votes, or 0.4 percentage point. Ms. Sanchez conceded the race. Mr. Trump won the district, which is near Fort Worth, in November by 3 percentage points, leading some Democrats to see the House race as winnable. Mr. Wright had won re-election to his seat by 9 percentage points. Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, chairman of the Republican House campaign arm, said Sunday that Ms. Wright’s and Mr. Ellzey’s finish showed that Democratic policy on matters such as border security and taxes had “eliminated any

chance of them being competitive in this district. I look forward to welcoming a new Republican colleague to Congress.” Ms. Wright said: “I can’t tell you how honored I am to be the first-place finisher in this special election to succeed my husband Ron.” Ms. Sanchez, one of 10 Democrats in the Saturday election, had run against Mr. Wright in 2018 and lost. “Democrats have come a long way toward competing in Texas, but we still have a way to go,” she said. The race will go to a runoff

Susan Wright, the widow of Rep. Ron Wright, received the most votes. because no candidate won over 50% of the vote. That election hasn’t yet been scheduled. Democrats hold a 218-212 House majority. It will grow by one when a Louisiana Democrat elected last month is sworn in. Some Democrats said Ms. Sanchez could have made it to the runoff with more support from national party campaign groups. Responding to the criticism, Chris Hayden, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said: “We’re focused on protecting the House majority and defeating vulnerable Republicans who voted against Covid relief.”

Republicans’ Blue-Collar Agenda Is Still a Work in Progress BY AARON ZITNER After the November election, many Republican leaders looked at the surge of bluecollar voters into their party and concluded that their best hope for winning the next time was to cement the GOP’s image as “the party of the working class.’’ But Republicans haven’t

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yet unified behind a policy platform to support that goal. President Biden used his speech to Congress on Wednesday to show that he was eager to compete for those voters, labeling part of his domestic agenda as a jobs program for blue-collar workers. Nearly 90% of the jobs to be created by Mr. Biden’s infrastructure bill wouldn’t require a college degree, he said, calling his plan “a blue-collar blueprint to build America.’’ His climate plan, he said, would create unionized jobs for tasks such as building 500,000 charging stations to power electric vehicles. To Rep. Tom Rice (R., S.C.), the president’s language had a clear political goal. “It’s obvious he would like to win back many of the voters who came to the Republican Party in recent years…the working-class voters,’’ he said.

Working-class voters are sometimes defined as those without a four-year college degree. They accounted for about 60% of voters in 2020 and vary widely in income, according to AP VoteCast, a large survey of the electorate. Some 18% of voters in Wall Street Journal/NBC News surveys last year said they held blue-collar jobs. About half of them considered themselves Republicans, up from 37% a decade earlier and well above the 29% who identified last year as Democrats. In the House, many Republicans have focused on continuing former President Donald Trump’s policies on immigration, energy and trade, while some Senate Republicans have proposed ideas that would give government a more direct role in social programs. The approach to a working-class

Party identification of voters who consider themselves blue-collar workers Republican



2020 0%






Source: Merged Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls for each year

agenda “has varied a lot within the party,’’ said Oren Cass, executive director of American Compass, a group of conservative economic thinkers. “It’s one of the dimensions along which the party is really in flux.’’ Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri this year proposed a “blue-collar bonus’’—a taxpayer-funded subsidy intended to move low-income workers closer to a benchmark median

hourly wage, set at $16.50 and indexed to inflation. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has proposed a parental-leave plan, funded by the parent’s future Social Security benefits, as well as a plan to end the preferential tax treatment for stock buybacks, intended to encourage companies to invest instead in expanding their operations, potentially benefiting workers. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah would refashion a set of

safety-net programs and tax breaks into a monthly cash benefit for families with children through age 17, starting while mothers are pregnant. The plans have so far drawn limited GOP support. What they have in common, said Henry Olsen, a senior fellow with the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, is “a generalized acceptance of the role of the state in a degree of activity that is meant to directly influence the economic well-being of Americans. For the last few decades, that was something very difficult for Republicans to say.’’ Some House conservatives and their allies are still wary. “My point is that it misses the point,’’ said Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.) of the Senate plans in general. “Working families…they’re not looking for handouts and more government involvement in their lives.”

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Monday, May 3, 2021 | A5



Insight, always at the heart of health care, is the tool that is now reshaping it. Driven by the imperatives of COVID-19 and addressing inequalities in care. Pushed to reduce cost. All within the new focus of patients as consumers and improving the patient experience. Insight is informing the actions of health care leaders. We will help you join them. The last year brought unimaginable change, breaking down silos, accelerating innovation and illuminating societal inequities. This change put new stresses on caregivers—stresses you cannot afford to ignore. Press Ganey will help you do more than adapt; we’ll help you accelerate into change. Acceleration driven by insight. Insight delivered through our integrated platform, PGFusion; industry thought leaders; unmatched expertise; and the voices of over 40 million patients and 3 million caregivers. Our insight will help you reshape your organization. Our solutions will help you make the most of this extraordinary era of change.

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A6 | Monday, May 3, 2021

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Resilient Strain Can Be Curbed


Vaccines in U.S. work well against the U.K. variant even though it is highly contagious

Chicago has seen a significant increase in shootings and homicides so far this year, compared with the first four months of 2020, police said. Statistics from the Chicago Police Department indicate a rise in gun violence this year that shows few signs of slowing. The city had five fewer homicides this April than last April, but the number of shooting victims increased to 299 from 225. So far this year, 997 people have been shot, compared with 718 last year. The city has had 187 homicides—31 more than during the same period last year. Police are on pace to seize far more guns than they did last year in the nation’s third-largest city, where officers recover more guns annually than are seized in New York and Los Angeles combined. The 3,600 guns seized so far this year represents a 34% increase from the total in the first four months of last year. —Associated Press

don’t need to wear masks in certain situations. The current seven-day average of cases is just over 52,500, a decrease of about 16% from the previous seven days, and hospitalizations have declined nearly 10%, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday. Other coronavirus variants that scientists have flagged as a concern have also been identified in the U.S., including those that first emerged in Brazil and South Africa, as well as variants that originated in the U.S. The variants from Brazil and South Africa, called P.1. and B.1.351, respectively, so far haven’t gained a strong foothold in the U.S. and some infectiousdisease experts say that the dominance of B.1.1.7 might make it more challenging for these variants to spread. It is likely that B.1.1.7 arrived in the U.S. before those other variants of concern, and early superspreader events might have helped it spread and outcompete them, Dr. Schiffer said. —Daniela Hernandez and Denise Blostein contributed to this article.


Three People Die in Wrong-Way Collision Three people were killed after a freeway crash involving a

A helicopter pilot crop-dusting fields died after the aircraft became tangled in power lines on Sunday. The crash occurred near Bell Mill Road in Wingate, a few miles southeast of Charlotte. The Union County sheriff’s office said the pilot was the only person aboard the helicopter when it crashed. The police had no further information about the accident. —Associated Press


past infection to slow down the spread of the virus also increases when a virus is more contagious, infectious-disease experts say. The variant has several mutations that distinguish it from earlier versions of the virus, including some that impact its spike protein—a structure that sits on the surface of the virus and helps it attach to human cells. All of the authorized vaccines in the U.S. target the spike protein and are designed to mount defenses against it, and are all still effective against the B.1.1.7 variant despite its mutations. At least one lab-based study found the variant also doesn’t increase the risk for reinfection. “The good news is that the vaccines are effective against B.1.1.7,” said Mary Jo Trepka, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Florida International University. “It’s all the more reason that we want to get people vaccinated and want them to get vaccinated now.” Last week the CDC further eased its guidelines for fully vaccinated people, saying they

Crop-Dusting Pilot Killed in Crash


in the journal Science suggested that B.1.1.7 was within a range of 43% to 90% more infectious than pre-existing variants. With a more infectious variant, each person, on average, can transmit the virus to more people. B.1.1.7’s heightened contagiousness is one reason health authorities continue to urge people to keep up with precautions such as mask wearing, social distancing or sticking with outdoor activities until more people are fully vaccinated and cases drop. About 39% of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated, the CDC says. “With an older variant, you might’ve been in that transmission chain and transmitted to one other person. Now you might be transmitting to 1.5 or 1.7 other people, and so if you can cut that transmission chain, you’ll have an even bigger effect,” said Emma Hodcroft, a molecular epidemiologist at the University of Bern in Switzerland. The proportion of people who need to have an immune response from vaccination or



People received Covid-19 shots last month at the Midland Center for the Arts in Midland, Mich.

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The highly contagious U.K. variant of the Covid-19 virus, now the dominant virus strain in the U.S., is making the pandemic harder to control. But it comes with a silver lining: The authorized vaccines work well against it. The variant, called B.1.1.7, is better able to exploit lapses in mask wearing and social distancing, and requires more people to develop an immune response to slow it down. Yet vaccines from Pfizer Inc. and its partner BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc., and Johnson & Johnson, along with safety precautions, still remain effective, and health authorities say the shots are starting to slow down Covid-19 cases in the U.S. “If we did not have this background of vaccination, we would be completely overwhelmed right now,” said Joshua Schiffer, an associate professor in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The virus’s increased contagiousness “makes it much, much harder to contain,” he said. The B.1.1.7 variant first appeared in the U.K. late last year, spurring a deadly new surge in cases and another round of strict lockdowns. It jumped to several other countries, including the U.S., where it rapidly became the most common viral variant. Nearly 60% of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. could be attributed to the variant by early April, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A study published in March



Shootings, Homicides Increase This Year

wrong-way driver, Glendale police said. The crash occurred about 2:30 a.m. Sunday on a northbound lane of the Loop 101 near Camelback Road, police said. Arizona Department of Public Safety officials said a vehicle going the wrong way crashed head-on into a car. They said a man and woman in the car that was hit both died at the scene and the wrong-way driver also was killed. One other person suffered minor injuries in the crash. Officials said it was unclear whether driver impairment was a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation. —Associated Press

LAST RESPECTS: The casket of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man who was shot by sheriff’s deputies, arrived for a public viewing Sunday at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City, N.C.


Investors Stock Up On Shares

Margin debt balances

10-year U.S. Treasury yield

$800 billion


March $823B







0 Monthly 2010







Daily performance of the S&P 500 10%




145 trading days down since end of 2019


Continued from Page One In the coming week, the monthly jobs report and earnings results from companies like Uber Technologies Inc. are expected to provide clues about the strength of the recovery. Millions of new brokerage accounts were created during the Covid-19 pandemic, and some investors who first tried their hands at stock or options trading over the past year have stuck around, adding to their investments. Financial advisers and money managers said their clients have grown more comfortable holding stocks as they witnessed the powerful rally over the past year, with some even questioning why they need bonds in their portfolios with yields still so low. Many investors have bet on the market through passive investments and have learned over the past decade that it doesn’t pay to ditch stock holdings in times of market turmoil. The steadily rising market—recently lifted by impressive earnings from companies like Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.—has drawn even more investors in. Retail clients at Bank of America Corp. have bought stocks for nine consec-

Friday: 1.632%

Office Talk On Politics Vexes Some Continued from Page One limit political conversation on work platforms. With Basecamp, co-founder and CEO Jason Fried cited “especially choppy” social and political waters and said such dialogue had become a major distraction. In an open letter, one employee who had been a part of recent diversity and inclusion efforts at the company called the move “oppressive” and “silencing.” Multiple employees announced over Twitter that they had quit. Reporting in Platformer, a newsletter about tech, high-





Sources: Finra (margin debt); Tullett Prebon (yield); FactSet (daily moves)

utive weeks, while hedge funds and other big investors have recently fled the stock market, analysts at the bank said in an April 27 note. Damon White, a 44-year-old physician assistant based in Sewell, N.J., said he started learning about stocks and op-

tions through social-media platforms like TikTok while he was furloughed from his job in 2020. He is back at work but said he still frequently checks in on his investments, recently pouring thousands of dollars more into the market, particularly in stocks like Apple, Tesla Inc. and

American Airlines Group Inc., bringing his total stockholdings to more than $400,000. “It was nerve-racking when you’re putting in a substantial amount of money,” Mr. White said. But, “if you have a quick finger, you’ll sell…and you’ll lose out in the long term.”

lighted some of the internal issues around diversity, equity and inclusion that led the founders to institute the ban. The episode laid bare a simmering debate at tech companies large and small over how to define what is political, whether such issues can be separated from diversity and inclusion, and how colleagues should engage on those issues. David Heinemeier Hansson, Basecamp’s co-founder, told The Wall Street Journal in an email that since the company’s announcement he had received “an avalanche of supporting emails from executives and employees that work at companies where societal politics are taking over more of the domain, and if you’re sitting with the wrong ideology, it’s very intimidating.” Asking people to compartmentalize is hard after the past year’s political upheaval and the blending of professional

and personal life brought on by remote work in the pandemic, said Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin Corp., a tech-driven real-estate brokerage based in Seattle. Redfin took a public stance supporting Black Lives Matter following the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests. Employees with differing views then got into a debate at work, and Mr. Kelman said he found himself called upon to referee. “I wasn’t trained to do that,” he said. Redfin now approaches broader social issues case by case. Mr. Kelman said the company takes a public stance and voices support for employees internally on issues of fairness, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, even if some employees view that as a political gesture. Mr. Kelman acknowledges the system isn’t perfect. “We tried to come up with a rule,” he said. “And it turns

out it’s impossible.” At Harmon Brothers LLC, a Provo, Utah-based digital marketing startup of 50, employees were posting links to partisan news articles on company channels in messaging app Slack this past election cycle and then getting

Coinbase had about 60 employees take severance packages after its decision. into arguments. CEO Benton Crane worried that interacting remotely was deteriorating the quality of the political debates they used to have in person. In March, the company made a new rule: employees who want to post a link to the

He doesn’t hold any bonds and plans to keep putting money into stocks. Many individual investors haven’t been deterred by market swoons. Data from research firm Vanda Research show individual investors tend to buy more shares when the S&P 500 is down 1% on the day than when it is up by the same amount. David Sadkin, a partner at Bel Air Investment Advisors who oversees $4.6 billion for wealthy clients, said the share of their money in the stock market has increased to about 65% from about 45% last year, while he has whittled down investments in bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note settled at 1.632% Friday, up from around 0.915%, where it started the year, but still a low level historically. “In order to achieve our clients’ goals, we need to take on more risk,” Mr. Sadkin said. “We intend to continue to reallocate into risk assets while interest rates stay this low.” Other investors have been even more aggressive. A survey by the American Association of Individual Investors showed investors’ allocations to the stock market hit around a three-year high of 70% in March. And margin debt—or money that investors borrow to buy securities— stood at a record as of March, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority figures show. Randy Lee, a 31-year-old software engineer based in Lansing, Mich., said he was

initially drawn to the quick thrills of options trading, witnessing his small investments roughly double or triple within hours. Now, he said he still plays in the options market but also holds “boring” stocks like Royal Caribbean Group and Kraft Heinz Co. Jolted by the uncertainty of the pandemic, he also started stashing away more money in his retirement account. Most of his holdings are in the stock market. “I just never had that much time to just sit at home and look at this stuff,” Mr. Lee said. “What better place to create money like everyone else than to start playing the stock market.” He is optimistic about stocks, particularly after seeing the tech behemoths report record profit last week. But he does worry about a market crash in the future and has bought cryptocurrencies, which he views as a hedge against a downturn. He isn’t alone—rising prices have triggered worries about a market bubble. And to some analysts, the exuberance surrounding the stock market is flashing a warning sign. “Retail investors have made a lot of money on many things including equities over the past year. At some point, given how high their equity allocation is, the risk is they decide to get out and take profits,” said Mr. Panigirtzoglou, a managing director at JPMorgan. “That is effectively what happened before in 2000.”

company Slack must first make a video explaining their thoughts about the link; anyone who wants to respond must record a video of their own. Mr. Crane said hardly anyone is fighting on Slack anymore. Facebook made changes to its internal policies surrounding speech about political and social justice issues at work after hearing feedback from employees that they wanted more control over their exposure to these discussions. Google was early in promoting a work culture where debates were common. After years of internal fights and several lawsuits, including from conservatives who felt discriminated against, Google attempted to rein in political discussions on its platforms in 2019. A spokeswoman said the community guidelines Google added support healthy and open discussion. The issues at the center of

these debates can be deeply personal for many people who bristle at what they view as efforts to conflate dialogue about diversity and inclusion with partisan disagreements. When it comes to political and social justice issues for people of color and underrepresented groups, “You can’t detach from it because that’s who you are,” said Lekisha Middleton, founder of the Good Success Network, an organizational consulting and executive coaching firm. Coinbase had about 60 employees take severance packages after its decision. Mr. Fried, Basecamp’s CEO and co-founder, declined to discuss what happened at the company, saying he was taking a pause, “so I can focus all my energy inwards while employees are making decisions.” —Chip Cutter contributed to this article.

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Monday, May 3, 2021 | A7

— 100 YEARS —

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In May 2021, Newmont will mark its 100th year. After a century, we are the world’s leading gold company, a global organization with an outstanding history of growth, exploration and innovation. Our portfolio of assets is unmatched, as are our prospects and expertise. All are underpinned by our strategic focus, proven operating model and superior execution. United by our shared purpose – to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining – we look forward to the challenges and opportunities of our next century.



On behalf of all of Newmont’s employees, leadership team and Board of Directors, I thank you for your support.



Tom Palmer, President and CEO


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Fury Over Super League Erupts in Britain BY JOSHUA ROBINSON


Fans’ fury over aborted plans for a European soccer Super League boiled over on Sunday when protesters broke into Manchester United’s home stadium and forced the postponement of the day’s game against Liverpool, marking the latest eruption among English soccer fans urging their clubs’ billionaire owners to sell the teams. The afternoon had begun with thousands of fans gathering outside Old Trafford in protest—just as they have over the past two weeks at Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham—but took a chaotic turn as several hundred broke through security and barriers and reached the pitch. The target of their anger was the club’s owners, the Floridabased Glazer family, which had signed up Manchester United last month to join a breakaway Super League of elite clubs that fans saw as nothing more than a power play by greedy billionaires. Though the project collapsed in 48 hours, the fiasco has reignited 16 years of animosity directed at the United owners for overseeing what fans see as a staggering decline in the club’s standing. “Our fans are passionate about Manchester United, and we completely acknowledge the right to free expression and peaceful protest,” the club

Hundreds clashed with police at Old Trafford stadium on Sunday, protesting the Florida-based Glazer family’s ownership of the club. spect the strength of feeling but condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated Covid-19 breaches,” the league said. “Fans have many channels by which to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification.” The scenes at Old Trafford were a more extreme form of what has unfolded at games of Super League-affiliated English clubs for the past two weeks. When United withdrew from the Super League on

April 20, the club said, “We have listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the U.K. government and other key stakeholders.” But United’s exit did little to quell the fans’ anger for joining in the first place—or 16 years of simmering discontent. Fans had turned against them almost immediately when Malcolm Glazer and his sons, who already owned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, acquired United in a 2005 leveraged buyout that saddled the club with debt. On the first day members of


side the 76,000-seat stadium, where they set off flares and chanted for the Glazer family to sell off the club. One person could be seen making off with a corner flag. “Love United, Hate Glazer,” read one popular sign among the protesters. “Apology not accepted,” read another. The field was cleared in about an hour, but United, the Premier League and local authorities agreed that the match couldn’t go ahead. “We understand and re-

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said. “However, we regret the disruption to the team and actions which put other fans, staff, and the police in danger.” Hundreds of fans appeared to break into Old Trafford with little resistance as they overwhelmed the security contingent a little more than two hours before the scheduled 4:30 p.m. match. Fans haven’t been allowed at Premier League matches this season because of the pandemic, and security on the scene appeared to be light. The protesters quickly reached the playing field in-

the family visited the stadium, they had to be spirited into the offices via a blocked-off tunnel in an unmarked van to dodge protesters outside chanting “Die, Glazers, die.” To this day, stickers left by supporters can be found on Old Trafford seats saying “Glazers Out.” The Glazers’ image hasn’t been helped by their total silence in public. Though coowner Joel Glazer hasn’t given an interview since speaking to United’s in-house TV channel in 2005, he was among the Super League leaders to issue a statement at its launch. “By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football,” he said at the time. Critics point to how far the club has fallen over the past decade. From being the most powerful team in England in the 1990s and 2000s, it is now unable to maintain a serious title challenge against the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool. United hasn’t won the Premier League since 2013, the final season under its legendary manager Alex Ferguson. Nor has it reached a Champions League semifinal since 2011. “This club now—I know it looks great here—but if you actually go behind the scenes it’s rusty and rotted,” former United defender and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said on British television from inside Old Trafford. “If [the Glazers] put it up for sale now, the time would be right and it would be the honorable thing to do.”


Demands for sale of Manchester United follow bid by top squads to break away


could attend a religious festival on Thursday at Mount Meron, where dozens of people were killed in a stampede, but health officials had said it would be impossible to check the status of attendees. Organizers estimated that some 100,000 people were at the site by midnight. The country of nine million has led the world’s fastest vaccination program, with nearly 75% of its eligible population fully vaccinated. But given a lack of clinical trial data for children, policy makers haven’t yet extended the campaign to those under 16, meaning about 2.6 million aren’t eligible to be vaccinated. This has limited the extent to which Israel can reopen its economy without causing further outbreaks. Israel says its solution is a stopgap measure



TEL AVIV—Israel has extended its Covid-19 vaccine passport system to children who aren’t yet eligible to be inoculated, allowing them to visit movie theaters, restaurants and other entertainment businesses as it continues to reopen its economy. Under the program, children with negative polymerase-chain-reaction, or PCR, tests will be eligible for a three-day so-called green passport that will be associated with their parents’ passes. The passports take the form of a QR code that can be carried on a smartphone, though their use isn’t always enforced. Religious-affairs ministry officials had stipulated that only those carrying a green passport


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until medical trials demonstrate that children can be safely vaccinated against the virus. Other countries with high vaccination rates, such as the U.S. and U.K., face similar problems. Herd immunity requires between 70% and 85% of a population being protected, health officials say, and this is impossible in countries like the U.S. and Israel if children aren’t vaccinated. Children under 16 account for 22% of the current U.S. population. “We haven’t had any outbreaks from green-pass activity over the past eight or nine weeks,” said Tomer Lotan, executive director of Israel’s coronavirus task force. “We are very confident that the green pass is a very effective defense layer on the economic activity in Israel.” In March, Israel began of-

Sick Left To Care for The Sicker Continued from Page One leaving the sick to care for the sicker. Those still healthy risk infection in crowded pharmacies, clinics and hospitals trying to find medicine and medical help for loved ones. Ms. Goel and her family live in Bareilly, a city in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, which has among the highest numbers of Covid-19 cases of any state in India. The nation has a 1.9% vaccination rate and on Sunday reported more than 3,600 deaths and 390,000 new cases, numbers that public-health experts say likely undercount the toll because so many people are dying outside hospitals. After beating back a virus surge last year, India was unprepared for the magnitude of the current outbreak, particularly in such states as Uttar Pradesh, which has a population of 237 million. Doctors there say beds are full, staff and oxygen is in short supply and medications to treat Covid-19 aren’t available. The state government acknowledged its hospitals are at maximum capacity and that Covid-19 cases among medical staff have hobbled efforts to treat the sick, but it rebuffed reports of oxygen shortages


Israel Grants Children Access to Vaccine Passes

Spectators watched a stage performance at Haifa Municipal Theater on March 30. fering rapid tests at sites such as hotels and sports stadiums, costing about $10 to $20, which allowed children with negative test results to enter. The expansion will include regular PCR tests that are much

more accessible and are free. Israeli health officials said they would begin to vaccinate children between the age of 12 and 16 when the vaccine is approved by Israeli and international regulators. Prime Minis-

ter Benjamin Netanyahu in April said Israel signed new deals to buy millions of vaccines from Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. to begin vaccinating children this year and launch another vaccine campaign for adults.

and any undercounting of deaths. Ms. Goel made dozens of calls and visited 11 hospitals in Bareilly over two days while looking for a bed for her grandfather, Jagdish Saran Vaish. She saw hospital corridors filled with patients, sometimes two to a bed, she said. Families camped out, hoping to get a loved one admitted, and waiting rooms were so crowded there was hardly a space to stand. “At times, I felt I would fall,” she said. The best Ms. Goel could do was obtain a nebulizer from a hospital; the device allows users to inhale drugs in a mist. Another gave her a place on the hospital waiting list: No. 52. She decided to try to recreate an intensive-care unit in the family’s small apartment. Her first job was getting an oxygen tank. She offered to pay four times the usual price to have one delivered. Before it arrived, she said, her grandfather’s blood oxygen levels fell drastically, and he lost consciousness. A relative through a connection secured a hospital bed for him. Tests found damage to his lungs, and doctors put him on oxygen. At home, Ms. Goel’s father, Vijay Kumar Goel, 58, was in peril. His oxygen levels, too, were dropping, and the same relative found him a bed in another hospital. Ms Goel ferried her father to the hospital early, but no bed was ready. They waited hours in the car. When Mr. Goel couldn’t catch his breath,

she screamed at an attendant to get a stretcher and move him inside. A doctor came out to put him on oxygen. Mr. Goel was admitted that afternoon. Not long after, Ms. Goel got a call from the hospital where her grandfather was being treated. They asked her to move him to a different hospital. “They said he is lonely and depressed,” she said. On April 22, Ms. Goel’s planned wedding day, she moved her grandfather into the hospital where her father was. “He looked happy and smiled at me several times,” she said.

her that he had died. Her grandfather was kind and humble, she said. He knew how to read palms and never charged anyone for it. She recalled as a child extending her tiny palm to him to learn what the future held for her. “He would say, ’You will have a lot of money, you will be famous, and a prince will take you to his palace,’ ” she said. The next day, doctors said the oxygen levels of Ms. Goel’s father were dropping. He needed Tocilizumab, an immunosuppressant used to treat Covid-19, doctors said. Because of its scarcity, the family would have to try to find it themselves. Ms. Goel called everyone she knew. Her cousin contacted the drug inspector, a local government employee who oversees supplies of medicines and vaccines. He said he couldn’t obtain it right away. Ms. Goel put out a desperate message on WhatsApp: “Please help my father. Lungs damaged due to Covid infection. Tocilizumab injection urgently needed. Please call or message.” Her father ran a supermarket before he was forced to close in last year’s lockdown and sold it an acquaintance. “He was self-made,” Ms. Goel said. “He taught us never to give up in life.” He died a few days later, and Ms. Goel blamed herself. “I could have done more to save him,” she said. —Niharika Mandhana contributed to this article.

India’s Covid-19 calamity has overtaken families and neighborhoods. Dr. Dinesh Mehta, the doctor who is in charge of Covid-19 patients at Khushlok hospital, where Ms. Goel’s father and grandfather were treated, said oxygen supplies were short. When the hospital runs low, he said, the most severely ill get priority. A hospital bed shortage means there is a long waiting list. “We feel helpless when we have to say no to patients,” Dr. Mehta said. A scan at the Khushlok hospital showed that 90% of her grandfather’s lungs were damaged, Ms. Goel said. Two days later, the hospital called to tell

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Monday, May 3, 2021 | A9


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conditions don’t improve substantially. Close to 19% of China’s small businesses shut last year, compared with 6.7% in 2019, according to a study released in March by Tsinghua University involving more than 50,000 companies nationwide. While the insolvency rate is expected to be better this year, many companies still face serious cash-flow constraints. A survey of more than 10,000 small businesses released in March by Peking University and Ant Group Co. found that 15% have sufficient cash flow to sustain operations for six months or longer, down from 19% in the third quarter of 2020, though some


Modi’s Party Falters In State Election Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party fell far short in its attempt to win control in a fiercely contested state election, one in which its aggressive efforts to get out the vote have been criticized for worsening the country’s surge in Covid-19 infections. Official results coming in early Monday showed Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was poised to win as many as 77 seats in the West Bengal state legislature—a sharp pickup from its previous showings, but well short of a majority of the 292 seats being contested. The state’s governing Trinamool Congress party was on track to win as many as 213 seats. The party is led by Mamata Banerjee, a powerful regional politician who has at times been an outspoken critic of Mr. Modi. Mr. Modi and other politicians drew criticism for holding cam-

Less than 1% of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered globally have gone to people in low-income countries while a handful of wealthy countries have enough vaccines to inoculate their entire populations and still have more than 1 billion doses left over. If the vaccine isn’t everywhere, this pandemic isn’t going anywhere. Join our fight to end the pandemic.




paign rallies attended by tens of thousands of people as a Covid-19 wave accelerated. On Saturday, new cases in India topped 400,000 a day amid a surge that has overwhelmed the healthcare system. The West Bengal results don’t reflect public sentiment over Mr. Modi’s handling of the latest Covid-19 surge. Much of the voting took place before the rise in cases turned into a fullblown crisis. —Wall Street Journal Staff

programs “serious threats” to American and world security and said he would work with allies to address those problems through diplomacy and stern deterrence. “His statement clearly reflects his intent to keep enforcing the hostile policy toward the DPRK as it had been done by the U.S. for over half a century,” Kwon Jong Gun, a senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official, said in a statement. DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name. “It is certain that the U.S. chief executive made a big blunder in the light of the present-day viewpoint,” Mr. Kwon said. “Now that the keynote of the U.S. new DPRK policy has become clear, we will be compelled to press for corresponding measures, and with time the U.S. will find itself in a very grave situation.” Mr. Kwon didn’t specify what steps North Korea would take, and his statement could be seen as an effort to apply pressure on the Biden administration. —Associated Press


Official Warns U.S. Of ‘Grave Situation’

A North Korean official on Sunday warned the U.S. will face “a very grave situation,” saying President Biden had “made a big blunder” by calling the North a security threat and revealing his intent to maintain a hostile policy against it. Last week, Mr. Biden, in his first address to Congress, called North Korea and Iran’s nuclear


Tanker Trucks Burn In Kabul, Killing 7 A blaze that roared through dozens of fuel tankers on the northern edge of the Afghan capital of Kabul killed seven people and injured 14 others, the Interior Ministry said Sunday. Investigators were combing through the tankers that lay in smoldering ruins and a gas station caught in the flames that lit up the area late Saturday, said ministry spokesman Tariq Arian. There was no immediate indication of whether it was an accident or sabotage. Mr. Arian said the fire began when a spark set a fuel tanker ablaze. Nearby tankers were quickly engulfed, sending giant flames and plumes of smoke into the night sky. Several structures were destroyed and electricity to much of Kabul, which usually has only sporadic power, was knocked out. —Associated Press


Close to 19% of the country’s small businesses closed last year.

A fuel tanker truck caught fire late Saturday, triggering fires in other nearby fuel trucks in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Seven people died.


HONG KONG—Smaller businesses are proving to be a weak link in China’s economic recovery as they struggle to fully bounce back from the effects of Covid-19. Like the U.S., China has tens of millions of small and midsize private businesses, including restaurants and shops, which form the backbone of everyday economic activity. They account for as much as 80% of urban jobs and at least half of China’s tax revenue. While businesses have benefited from China’s strong rebound this year, many are still trying to overcome weak consumer demand, rising operating costs and tight credit from banks. Their struggles add a layer of uncertainty to China’s recovery. Many small businesses are reluctant to hire more workers, surveys show. Some say they are at risk of failing if

expect revenue to pick up as the year progresses. Liu Ning, a 49-year-old businesswoman who runs a marketing agency in Beijing, is among those who worry that they might not stay afloat much longer. She said her firm laid off more than half of its 20-plus employees last spring to survive the pandemic, leaving only seven people. It received government support in the form of reductions in tax and socialwelfare payments, though those measures have expired. But business hasn’t fully returned. After being rejected by multiple banks for a business loan, she and her partner turned to online lenders charging high interest rates to avoid running out of cash. “Covid hit us so hard that we are left with little power to fight back,” she said, adding that her business is down by about two-thirds compared with pre-pandemic times. China’s overall economic recovery remains on track, powered by global demand for Chinese goods, from laptops to toys. Gross domestic product surged a record 18.3% in the first quarter from a year earlier. Yet some economists argue that China’s rebound might have peaked, with an unbalanced recovery continuing to create challenges. Although retail sales soared in March, consumer spending overall has been weaker than some economists expected. The latest survey of factory-owner sentiment suggests that economic activity might wane through the rest of the year, with Western consumers expected to shift more spending to services, such as restaurants, instead of imported goods. A recent index released by the state-run Economic Daily newspaper and Postal Savings Bank of China found that smaller businesses haven’t returned to their pre-pandemic strength despite an improving economy this year.

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Smaller Businesses Slow China Recovery

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In December, he shouted out his window to supporters gathered below to mark his 500th day of house arrest. “What is happening to me is a sign of our success,” he said, using a bullhorn: “This is a corporate playbook that is designed really by Chevron and the entire fossil-fuel industry to silence advocacy.” Below his window hung a sign saying “SOS Free Steven!” The company’s strategy “is to pulverize me personally, to criminalize me,” Mr. Donziger said in an interview. Chevron is asking the tribunal that ordered Ecuador to void the verdict—a panel of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague—to also order nearly $800 million of Chevron’s legal costs to be paid by Ecuador. Íñigo Salvador Crespo, an Ecuador justice official, declined to comment. Chevron officials say they have punched back so hard, for so long, because they found fraud in the litigation and because Ecuador in the 1990s granted a release from liability after a cleanup. To some longtime observers of the case, it looks more like a grudge match with Mr. Donziger. “They’re making an example of him,” said Ted


Chevron lost a $9.5 billion verdict in Ecuador. U.S. courts deemed it fraudulent, but it still stands. Above, an oily stream in Ecuador.

lion but otherwise upheld by the Ecuadorean courts. With Chevron having no assets in Ecuador, the plaintiffs tried unsuccessfully to collect in places where the oil company operated, such as Argentina, Brazil and Canada. Chevron hired lawyers around the world to resist such efforts. Its strategy was vindicated in March 2014 when, after a trial, a federal judge issued a 485-page opinion concluding Mr. Donziger and his team had submitted false evidence in Ecuador, paid off a court-appointed expert and ghost-written much of his opinion and promised $500,000 to an Ecuadorean judge to rule in their favor. The ruling by Judge Lewis Kaplan had ramifications: Mr. Donziger couldn’t try to enforce the Ecuadorean judgment in the U.S. or profit from it; he had to relinquish his 6.3% interest. Mr. Donziger appealed the ruling and lost. Chevron lawyers filed motions every time they thought Mr. Donziger might be violating the judge’s orders. An example was when he asked a hedge-fund firm to finance efforts to collect the damages in return for a share of them. A portfolio manager at Elliott Management Corp. said Mr. Donziger told him the plaintiffs had raised $33 million, and 15% to 20% of the damage award was committed

to investors and others. Elliott turned him down, the portfolio manager said in a sworn affidavit. A spokesman for Elliott declined to comment. Chevron also told the court Mr. Donziger had hired an executive coach and agreed to pay him 0.007% of what was collected from Chevron, out of Mr. Donziger’s share. Chevron said that violated the ban on his profiting from the verdict.

In the suit, ‘Both sides genuinely felt the others were criminals.’

In May 2019, Judge Kaplan found Mr. Donziger in civil contempt of court. The judge said he violated orders by not turning over all of his electronic devices and email accounts for imaging, for failing to relinquish his stake in the damage award and for his deal with the executive coach. Later, Judge Kaplan ordered a trial to determine if Mr. Donziger should be held in criminal contempt of court for ignoring the orders. The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office declined to pursue the criminal matter. In an unusual procedure, Judge Kaplan then ap-

pointed a private lawyer to serve as prosecutor and assigned another U.S. district judge, Loretta Preska, to handle the case, which is set for trial starting May 10. It was Judge Preska who put Mr. Donziger under house arrest. A state appellate court had suspended Mr. Donziger’s law license. He requested a hearing. There, 15 witnesses testified about the honest humanrights lawyer they said they knew, among them Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, a cofounder of Greenpeace and an indigenous Ecuadorean leader. Chevron sent observers. A New York judicial official found Mr. Donziger posed no threat to the public and recommended letting him keep his license. “The extent of his pursuit by Chevron is so extravagant, and at this point so unnecessary and punitive,” the official said. New York state’s appellate court said the official was too dismissive of the severity of the misconduct. It disbarred Mr. Donziger in August. He is seeking an appeal.

Arbitration panel For years, Chevron separately pursued an international arbitration case. The company argued that Ecuador’s government had violated an investment treaty with the


Rallying supporters

and Brazil are banned from the U.S. Business travel by anyone to China, most of east Asia and Australia remains near-impossible. “Of course you can do meetings by Zoom, but it’s not the same, especially if you enter new a market,” said Vygaudas Usackas, who traveled to Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv in March for a board meeting of Avia Solutions Group, a Cyprus-based aviation-services company. Kyiv had served for months as a business oasis, until a surge of new cases

pandemic without the kind of toll incurred in the U.S. or Europe. The United Arab Emirates, a country of 10 million people, had a spike of cases in January and February, partly the result of a tourist influx to Dubai, prompting the UK to suspend direct flights. Since then, a speedy vaccination campaign has reduced the seven-day average number of daily deaths by 80% to three. With one of the world’s most intensive Covid-19 testing regimes, the UAE attracted thousands of foreign business visitors to the informationtechnology Gitex trade fair in December and the Gulfood food-industry meeting in February, the first such global meetings since the pandemic. Tatiana Koffman, 33, who is launching a cryptocurrency quantitative strategies fund, came to Dubai from Los Angeles in October for a short trip. Ms. Koffman kept postponing her departure until she formed her own company and obtained a residency permit. “You can actually sit with someone in person, break bread and close the deals in the way you would have been able to do two years ago,” she said.


Folkman, an attorney who has closely followed the battle. Chevron’s Mr. Pate said the company has no choice but to continue defending itself because the other side won’t acknowledge court findings. Chevron’s defense and Mr. Donziger’s personal case have overshadowed the plaintiffs, who say their drinking water and quality of life remain damaged by oil drilling. “Chevron wants to talk about the injustices they have suffered. Steven wants to talk about the injustice he is suffering. Who is talking about the people on the ground and how they’ve been affected?” said Judith Kimerling, a professor at the City University of New York’s Queens College, whose research in Ecuador inspired the original lawsuit. Chevron inherited the dispute in 2001 when it acquired Texaco Inc., which operated in Ecuador from the 1960s to 1990 with government-run Petroecuador. They drilled in an area of the Amazon occupied by native people and gave it the name Lago Agrio. Texaco spent $40 million on local cleanup and obtained a liability release from Ecuador’s government in the 1990s. A group of Amazonians sued Texaco in 1993 in federal court in New York, saying they were sickened by water and air polluted from the oil operations. Texaco said the case belonged in Ecuador, and a new suit was filed there in 2003. A new Ecuadorean law let people sue not only for harm to themselves but also for environmental damage. Mr. Donziger became the face of the case in Ecuador. He rallied activists in front of the Lago Agrio courthouse. A documentary film crew followed him as he barged into judges’ offices to make demands. Around 2009, Chevron adopted a strategy of trying to show plaintiffs’ lawyers were acting improperly. It hired Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, whose lawyers probed every aspect of plaintiffs’ case. Using an obscure court process called Section 1782, Gibson Dunn gained access to troves of documents from people who had worked with the plaintiffs. Chevron secured the outtakes of a documentary film on the case and turned up clips such as one where Mr. Donziger recounted a favorite quote to colleagues: “Facts do not exist. Facts are created.” It amassed evidence that Mr. Donziger and his team had pressured Ecuadorean judges to rule in their favor and secretly wrote the bulk of the report of a court-appointed outside expert who said Chevron should pay $27.3 billion. Mr. Donziger said the plaintiffs’ activities followed Ecuadorean court customs. Gibson Dunn pitched federal prosecutors in New York on the idea of criminally prosecuting Mr. Donziger. When they declined, Chevron sued Mr. Donziger and his team civilly under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, often used against mobsters. It filed the RICO suit on Feb. 1, 2011. Two weeks later, a judge in Ecuador handed down the verdict against Chevron, then doubled the damages to $19 billion after Chevron refused an order to apologize. It was later reduced back to $9.5 bil-


Continued from Page One a point, after losing a court ruling or two, when settling seems the sensible course. Chevron never did. Twentyeight years after the Ecuador case was filed, 10 years after it came to a verdict and seven years after Chevron got a different court to find egregious misbehavior by a plaintiffs’ lawyer, Chevron fights on. Chevron’s opponents also refuse to back down, making the case what appears to be the oil industry’s longest-running legal slugfest. Aspects of it have been heard by some 100 judges in 36 courts in seven countries. By Chevron’s estimate, it has cost the company nearly $1 billion, including 1.5 million hours of its staff, advisers’ and attorneys’ time. Executives and lawyers who worked on the case have retired or died since it began. Well before Chevron lost the damage verdict in 2011, it set out to turn the tables on the litigants. It subpoenaed or sued dozens of people who had helped the plaintiffs’ side, legal records show, and unearthed damaging video clips about the plaintiffs’ legal team’s activities from documentary-film outtakes. Chevron’s lawyers obtained the personal notes of the lead plaintiffs’ lawyer, Steven Donziger. It scored a victory in 2014 when a federal judge found that Mr. Donziger and others on his team had offered a bribe to a judge in Ecuador and ghost-wrote the verdict. Mr. Donziger’s New York law license was revoked. He is confined to his apartment, facing trial over his refusal to turn over records to Chevron.

the monthly party for startups at a Mexican restaurant serving frozen margaritas. “In-person is still one of the best methods of establishing a rapport: If I haven’t met you, you probably wouldn’t write me a check,” said Mr. Hooi, who secured in Dubai $200,000 in funding for his investment app, Singular. For now, Americans generally aren’t allowed into the European Union. New arrivals in the U.K. must quarantine for 10 days. Travelers from most of Europe, China, South Africa

each half of the room. A germkilling contraption beams UVC light onto documents and business cards passed between the groups. Food trays are delivered through a special opening. Windows are sealed. “It is a prison,” said Michael van der Heijden, cofounder and managing director of Amsterdam Capital Partners, which develops offshore wind farms. “That first evening, I felt that nagging feeling that I have done something wrong and am being punished.” Mr. van der Heijden, 52, spent a week at the bio-bubble hotel last month to discuss a joint-venture and investment partnership with a Singaporean company. Seeing body language—one of his Singaporean partner’s fidgeted with his hands when an unexpectedly sensitive issue arose—sped up the talks and quelled misunderstandings, he said. “We have achieved in those five days what would have probably taken us at least two months.” he said. “But it’s really boring. I was really, really, really happy to leave.” While Singapore isolated itself from the world, Dubai has remained open during the

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Litigation Is Lasting At Chevron

Terrence Hooi, in Dubai, says he likes to do business in person: ‘If I haven’t met you, you probably wouldn’t write me a check.’


Continued from Page One Dubai, he said, and most extend their visit. The city is one of the few in the world where restaurants, shops and corporate offices are all open for business. “Most of them have found that many of their own friends and colleagues and partners already are in Dubai, too,” said Mr. Christof, 40 years old. In a pandemic, normal is the big attraction. Executives who can afford it are finding their way to the few Casablancas open to conducing international business in person. Dubai, which has no quarantine requirements and few entry restrictions, is one. During a two-month visit to Dubai this year, Malaysian startup founder Terrence Hooi, 35, mingled with venture capitalists, bankers and other entrepreneurs from around the world. One hot spot was


Cities Open for Business

prompted a late March lockdown. Legal requirements also matter. “Statutes and corporate rules are written in such a way that we need to physically meet,” said Avia’s founder and chairman, Gediminas Ziemelis, who lives in Dubai. The company’s usual spots for such gatherings, Cyprus or London, have been off-bounds in the pandemic. That left Dubai in December and Kyiv in early March. Mr. Ziemelis visited his senior management team in the Netherlands but found the logistics confounding. “We have an office there, but it’s closed, and when we met our executives, we had to speak to them outside the hotel lobby, on the street,” he said. “It was ridiculous.” Singapore, a city-state that has thrived on the ease of doing business, now requires the rare visitors permitted to enter the country to quarantine at least two weeks. In March, Singapore opened a bio-bubble hotel made from converted shipping containers by the airport. Visiting executives can meet with Singapore residents in conference rooms divided by a glass wall. Independent air systems operate in

Plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Donziger, facing trial, spoke to backers on his 500th day of house arrest,

U.S., both by not upholding the liability release granted in the 1990s and later by allowing a fraudulent court verdict to stand. In 2018 the arbitration panel sided with Chevron. It ordered Ecuador to wipe out all consequences of the court verdict and preclude anyone from enforcing it, on grounds it was obtained fraudulently. Though Ecuador hasn’t done this, Chevron officials point to instances where, they say, its representatives have admitted the verdict was fraudulent. In one, Ecuador’s ambassador told the U.S. Trade Representative in a letter last July that Ecuador had been in touch with authorities in countries where plaintiffs sought to enforce what she called “the fraudulent Lago Agrio judgment.” The letter from the ambassador, Ivonne Baki, added that Ecuador didn’t know what steps it could take to satisfy the arbitration order, saying its laws and international law constrained it from intervening in the court system. Efforts to reach Ms. Baki for comment were unsuccessful. Investors in Chevron appear to have largely ignored the judgment’s potential financial impact. But its chief executive, Michael Wirth, continues to face questions about the case. At a virtual shareholders’ meeting in May 2020, the actor Alec Baldwin told the CEO Chevron was using shareholders’ money to personally attack Mr. Donziger. Mr. Wirth called Mr. Baldwin’s summary of the case false and offensive, saying: “Mr. Donziger is an adjudicated racketeer.” There have been no settlement discussions since 2012. At a meeting that year, held while the damage award was temporarily doubled to $19 billion, Mr. Pate walked out after the plaintiffs’ side proposed a nearly $10 billion settlement, according to Mr. Donziger. Chevron didn’t dispute that account. Said Dylan Mefford, a California attorney who worked on the case as a Gibson Dunn associate: “Both sides genuinely felt the others were criminals.” —Ryan Dube and Silvina Frydlewsky contributed to this article.

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Monday, May 3, 2021 | A10A


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Fans Organize to Support the Governor

Cuomo supporters rallied in Manhattan in March. A Facebook group called ‘Women for Governor Cuomo’ has about 1,1000 members. Five current and former aides have accused Mr. Cuomo of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior in the workplace. The governor has denied allegations of inappropriate touching and apologized if his behavior offended anyone. Mr. Cuomo has asked New Yorkers to withhold judgment until a review overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James is completed Ms. Morley said Mr. Cuomo is aware of the women’s efforts. One group member posted on the group’s Facebook page a letter from Mr. Cuomo thanking her for her support. “Please be sure to pass along my sincere gratitude to other members of your group,” the letter said. Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to the governor, didn’t

dispute the veracity of the letter. He said Mr. Cuomo’s campaign sends many such letters, and the governor, his campaign and his aides aren’t involved in nor have they funded the women’s activities. “The people of this great state know [the governor] works night and day for them and—while we believe that negative discourse should be discouraged on every side—to the extent there are those outwardly supportive of our efforts, we appreciate it and thank them,” Mr. Azzopardi said. Ms. Morley, a 41-year-old theater director who lives outside Buffalo, said many people in the “Women for Governor Cuomo” group believe the allegations of sexual harassment against the governor are politically motivated. She said she

and other moderators don’t condone all the activities in the Facebook group, including the coordination of some Twitter responses to accusers. “What I’ve told them is if they want to do that, to not be a jerk, because then it’s going to make us look bad,” she said. While some of the group members question the validity of claims made by Mr. Cuomo’s accusers, others say the alleged actions don’t constitute an impeachable offense. Sandy Behan, 68, another moderator in the Facebook group, said there were no clear rules about sexual harassment when she was a marketing professional out in the field. “There’s nothing that an HR professional couldn’t have handled,” she said of the allegations against Mr. Cuomo.


moderator for the Facebook group she named “Women for Governor Cuomo” and treasurer of a smaller group of women raising money to support the governor. Mr. Cuomo has been depending on such public support to ward off calls for his resignation by some of the state’s top Democratic lawmakers. He and his inner circle have seized on public support and polls showing a slight majority of New York voters say he shouldn’t resign. His biggest support is among Black voters and New Yorkers aged 55 and older, polls show. In the “Women for Governor Cuomo” group, nearly 70% of the women are aged 55 and older, according to Facebook data provided by the group’s moderators.

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When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo began facing calls to resign over allegations of sexual harassment, billboard messages, rallies and socialmedia posts suddenly appeared in support of him. The reason: die-hard Cuomo fans who have joined forces in several Facebook groups to strategize ways to show their support for the governor. One of the biggest is “Women for Governor Cuomo,” a private fan club of about 1,100 members who are mostly women over age 55. Some of the women have urged followers in the private group to call state officials, respond to Mr. Cuomo’s accusers and rivals on Twitter, attend rallies and contribute thousands of dollars for pro-Cuomo advertising. Those include banners flown over New York beaches and a billboard ad on a highway in Albany. Others have attacked on social media the former Cuomo aides who have accused him of sexual harassment. Some members said in the group that they were flooding an official hotline that was set up for tipsters by lawyers working for the state Assembly impeachment committee and leaving positive messages about the governor. While the women press on different fronts, many of them have talked, planned and relayed their activities in the Facebook group that started after Mr. Cuomo began facing calls for his resignation earlier this year. “Support for the governor is what brought us all together,” said Pamela Morley, a



Ms. Morley said she started the Facebook group about a month ago after a man in another pro-Cuomo group suggested that an all-female group would show a more powerful message. In the past few weeks, at least two other groups have been formed on Facebook to support Mr. Cuomo, and many women have multiple group memberships. The women’s group isn’t entirely about activism. For some, it is a fan club. They rave about Mr. Cuomo’s leadership and share edited pictures of the governor with special effects, including hearts and sparkles. “Love seeing the sun in his face,” wrote one woman, who posted pictures of Mr. Cuomo speaking at an outdoor news conference. Ms. Morley said a core committee has been focused on Mr. Cuomo’s battle. Weekly, they meet on Zoom to strategize about fundraising and where to focus their efforts. They arrange virtual parties to call statewide officials and to delegate tasks to different group members. Members of the women’s group contributed donations through multiple crowdsourcing websites for billboard messages and aerial banners in support of the governor. At least $30,000 has been raised, and some of the donors are listed as anonymous, including for donations in the thousands of dollars. On a recent Saturday morning, a group of around 30 people—mostly women in their 50s, 60s and 70s—gathered at a rally in front of the governor’s office in Manhattan—one of a number of events posted in the Facebook group. Janet Ferrara, a Brooklyn resident who attended the rally, said she found out about the gathering from a post on Twitter. “He fought Donald Trump for us,” the 61-year-old said of Mr. Cuomo. “What they’re doing to him is sickening.”


As Cuomo combats sexual-harassment accusations, a group of women battle for him

STATE STREET | By Jimmy Vielkind

Demand for Tech Workers Surges State Faces Fight BY IRENE PLAGIANOS



Over Redistricting


Like hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers, Adonis Goris lost his job last year as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in the city. Mr. Goris, 25 years old, now considers himself lucky. The former administrative assistant not only found a new position, but he has moved into a new career in IT. Tech positions like Mr. Goris’s were among the city’s fastest-growing jobs even as hiring slowed in most sectors during much of the pandemic, according to a new study from the Center for an Urban Future. The nonpartisan policy think tank analyzed tens of thousands of job postings between April and November 2020 that were collected by labor-market analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies. The analysis found that hiring for tech positions surpassed all other occupations, even healthcare jobs in New York City, one of the hardest hit parts of the U.S. by Covid-19. The most in-demand job in New York during that period was for software developers and engineers, with 21,268 job postings—nearly double the number of openings for physicians. Tech positions, from information-technology project managers to cybersecurity analysts and user-experience designers, made up the top 11 jobs out of the 50 most in-demand occupations. Tech jobs were already driving much of the hiring in New York before the pandemic, said Eli Dvorkin, editorial and policy director at the Center for an Urban Future. “What’s surprising is just how strong the continued demand for tech hiring was, especially with the economic devastation we’ve seen,” Mr. Dvorkin said. New York City has lost roughly 600,000 jobs during the pandemic, according to the study. Tech hiring wasn’t immune: There were 37% fewer job postings for tech positions than during the same AprilNovember period last year, the study found. But the need for technology platforms to help people work, shop, learn and interact with friends and family, all from home, has skyrocketed over the past year, leading many tech

Adonis Goris lost his job at the start of the pandemic, but was able to transition into a career in IT. companies to thrive during the pandemic, said Julie Samuels, the executive director of Tech:NYC, a nonprofit advocacy group for the city’s tech sector. Some of those tech businesses are “doubling-down on New York,” Ms. Samuels said. Big Tech companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google—which funded the Center for an Urban Future’s report—along with Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. are increasing their footprints in the city and bringing thousands of jobs with them. In 2018, there were 161,000 tech jobs in the city, a figure that is across industries, but in tech-specific occupations, according to a 2019 study from nonprofit technology learning center Civic Hall. That represented a 45% increase in tech jobs since 2008, the study said. New York City-based startups are also bringing in billions of dollars in funding, Ms. Samuels said. Tassos Argyros, the CEO of NYC startup ActionIQ, a customer-data platform that recently raised $100 million in funding, said his firm was aggressively hiring in the city, looking to more than double its 100-person workforce. ActionIQ also plans to open a new office in Manhattan after Labor Day. But the job openings the Center for an Urban future an-

alyzed weren’t only at traditional tech companies; they were across all industries. “The growth of the tech sector has been rapidly accelerating in New York City, and that is in part driven by tech companies opening offices here, but it’s also driven by so many New York employers essentially becoming tech companies themselves,” Ms. Samuels said. “We have real estate and tech, finance and tech, fashion and tech, media and tech, you name it.”

Hiring for tech positions surpassed even healthcare jobs during the pandemic. The promise of New York’s tech job growth is also a call to action for the city, Mr. Dvorkin said. “The city and the next mayor needs to react to this demand that’s not going away, and make sure that more New Yorkers continue to gain from it,” he said. According to the report, whether or not a job was in tech, 55% of all available positions required strong digital skills. Mr. Dvorkin says many New

Yorkers, particularly low-income residents and people of color, don’t have enough access to learning the skills and are underrepresented in the city’s tech field. New York City officials said they are working on several initiatives to close the digitalskills gap. City agencies, including the Economic Development Corp. and the Department of Small Business Services, have joined with tech-training school FullStack Academy to offer scholarships to those financially hurt by the pandemic and fellowships aimed at increasing the diversity of web developers in the city. Mr. Goris found his new job—at Maximus, a government-services technology company—after he took a free, intensive course at Per Scholas, a nonprofit school that offers technology training along with job-placement help. He began the program in October, finished in January and started his new job later that month. For Mr. Goris, who doesn’t have a college degree, studying at Per Scholas and starting his IT job has been a dream come true, he said. “It’s pretty incredible that somehow in a pandemic I’m now on a career path that is more in line with my passion,” he said.

New York politicians are preparing for a contentious redistricting process after the U.S. Census Bureau said last week that the state’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives will decrease by a seat. The once-in-a-decade act of drawing new lines for the state Senate, Assembly and Congress is in the hands of a new bipartisan commission. It was created in 2014 to try wringing some of the politics out of a famously political process. This is also the first time in 50 years that redistricting will unfold with one party— Democrats—in full control of New York’s government. That could lead to district lines that advantage that party, observers said, as part of a process that will unfold over the next year. Lines for the House of Representatives could present the biggest challenge, observers said. The Census Bureau allocates seats in the 435-member House among states based on their relative populations. On April 26, Census officials announced that New York’s delegation would shrink to 26 from 27. The result will be a game of musical chairs, according to Blair Horner, executive director of the New York Public Interest Group, an advocacy group that has long criticized New York’s redistricting process for drawing lines that benefited majorityparty incumbents. Mr. Horner said he believes Democrats in Washington will put pressure on their New York counterparts to set lines more favorable to the party. State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, a Democrat from Queens, said the redistricting process would be fair. If map makers wish to avoid conflict among incumbents, they could carve up the state’s 23rd Congressional District, which runs

along the Pennsylvania border. Republican Rep. Tom Reed, who has represented the area since 2010, said he wouldn’t seek re-election and will leave office at the end of 2022. In a break from recent cycles, no sitting state legislators will have a role in drawing the maps. New Yorkers amended the State Constitution in 2014 to create a 10member Independent Redistricting Commission, with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, to analyze census data and draft new districts. Republican and Democratic leaders in the state Assembly and Senate each appoint two members, and those eight people select two remaining members who haven’t been a recent member of a political party. George Winner, a Republican who served 32 years in the state Senate, sits on the commission and said it was focused on hiring staff. Mr. Winner said it hoped to have a set of maps drafted by November. The maps must then be approved by members of the state Legislature, who can draw lines themselves if two proposals by the commission are rejected. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week that he was upset that the state’s congressional delegation was shrinking. New York’s population was 89 people shy of the threshold at which it would have maintained all 27 of its seats. The Democratic governor said the state was reviewing its legal options and didn’t believe the Census count— which put New York’s population at 20.2 million on April 1, 2020—was accurate to within 89 people. “That could be a minor mistake in counting,” Mr. Cuomo said. A Census Bureau spokeswoman responded by referring to a statement last week by acting Census Bureau Director Ron Jarmin that there were many quality checks built into collecting the data. [email protected]

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A10B | Monday, May 3, 2021



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Savvy Scavengers Stoop to Conquer BY ALEX JANIN


Shooting Leaves One Dead, Four Hurt One man was killed and four others were injured in a shooting in New Rochelle, police said. Gunfire erupted just before midnight Saturday near Horton Avenue and Brook Street, New Rochelle police said. A 29-year-old Brooklyn man was fatally shot in the neck, police said. A second victim was shot in the back and underwent surgery at a hospital, police said. Three others were treated for injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening. Police have made no arrests. —Associated Press



Driver Arrested After Ramming Police Car

She said she plans to work fulltime on her new business this summer. “Not everyone can afford to spend $250 on a dresser,” she said. “I want to still make sure that these pieces are affordable to your average New Yorker.” Shelby Veazey, a 30-year-old Brooklyn resident, is the mastermind behind @stoobernyc, which has accumulated nearly 12,000 followers on Instagram in its eight months of existence. Stoober, a name that comes from a combination of “stooping” and “Uber,” is a door-todoor delivery service for secondhand furniture. Users can message Ms. Veazey on Instagram and she will pick up and drop off the item for a flat rate—so long as it hasn’t already been snagged by another passerby. She has a few rules: no stairs (to avoid injury), no mattresses (to avoid bedbugs) and no cash (to avoid being robbed).

She purchased her first van in October. The appetite for her service steadily climbed, and she financed her second van in February. Initially, it was a scary investment, “because then I had to recognize, OK, this is a business. I’m doing this now,” she said. She said she earns about $300 to $500 a day and takes off Mondays and Tuesdays. Ms. Veazey mostly works alone, hauling bookcases, couches and desks. She said she is looking to hire drivers and already has one employee answering some of the hundreds to thousands of messages she receives daily on Instagram. She said she often finds herself delivering discarded furniture from Manhattan’s Upper West Side and Upper East Side—affluent neighborhoods considered high-supply areas for stooping—to Brooklyn’s East Flatbush or, before she shrank her delivery radius, to

Coney Island. Stoober launched after Ms. Veazey, who has a background in sustainability work, noticed that more discarded furniture was piling up on the streets than usual. City budget cuts during the pandemic led to fewer trash pickups while some residents cleaned out their apartments and left the city. Rochel Levi, who runs an account called @uwsprestoopsale, coordinates with landlords and building owners to arrange sale of leftover furniture before it is dumped on the curb, with the overall goal of reducing waste. She also runs a stooping account for free finds on the Upper West Side. She said people who believe street furniture should be considered charity have gotten angry with her for selling pieces. “I’m like, ‘No, that’s not how we give charity,’ ” she said. “I don’t want it to go in a landfill.”


were minor: paint, wood stain and a few tools. Then, she invested in a storage unit to hold the furniture she hadn’t yet sold. “It just grew and grew and grew,” said Ms. Tarboton, who lives on the Upper West Side. “At first I just thought it was so temporary, and then the next day, there’s this stunning designer who-knows-what sitting in my basement, and I’m like, here we go again!” Alyssa Kempinski, an actor based in West Harlem who runs the Instagram account called @refuserestorationnyc, has restored her own furniture for years and recently realized her hobby’s financial potential. The work fills a creative void for Ms. Kempinski, whose acting gigs dried up during the pandemic. She has been in talks with Remix Market NYC, a used-furniture donation-andsale center in Queens, about supplying unwanted furniture.

A 25-year-old man was arrested for fleeing a traffic stop on Long Island and then reversing his car into a police car, injuring the two officers inside, police said. Narcotics detectives tried to stop a gray Porsche at about 9 p.m. Saturday in Oceanside, Nassau County police said. The driver refused to stop and kept driving, the police said. The detectives caught up with the car, and the driver reversed into their police vehicle, injuring the officers, police said. The driver was arrested after a brief struggle and was found to be in possession of a rocklike substance believed to be cocaine, police said. Romaine Robinson, of Hempstead, was arrested on charges including criminal possession of a controlled substance, assault, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest. Mr. Robinson was awaiting arraignment Sunday. It wasn’t clear if he had an attorney who could speak for him. Both officers were taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries to the head, neck and face. One officer also suffered a fracture to his right hand, police said. —Associated Press


Shelby Veazey snags furniture put out on a sidewalk in Brooklyn. She runs @stoobernyc, a delivery service for secondhand furniture.

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Bronwyn Tarboton says she has memorized her Manhattan neighborhood’s garbage pickup schedule and can spot treasure in a pile of trash from 500 feet away. The savvy scavenger recently lugged a mirror with worn wood paneling back to her apartment after finding it on a sidewalk. She polished, painted and covered the mirror with vintage wallpaper that she found in a recycling bag on a street. A week and a half later, she sold it for $185 through her Instagram account, @nyctrashtotreasures. The account sells what Ms. Tarboton calls “highly curated trash,” which she says has grown in abundance in New York City over the past year. The Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to a trend known as “stooping,” in which city dwellers eager to revamp their spaces for little cost scour streets for furniture that some New Yorkers threw away as they fled the city or switched apartments. Instagram accounts popped up helping to flag the locations of newly discarded furniture. Businesses have also sprouted up around the trend. Some enterprising stoopers like Ms. Tarboton have begun touching up and selling pieces of trashed furniture. Others have started companies to transport stooped items for a flat rate, while some have started coordinating “prestoop” sales. Ms. Tarboton is an actor who lost her main source of income as an understudy for the ensemble in “Frozen” on Broadway during the pandemic. She stumbled into her new business in June 2020, after a set of dining chairs she snagged off the street didn’t quite match her apartment’s décor. She listed them on Facebook Marketplace, and they sold right away. After accumulating and selling more abandoned furniture, she realized she could earn more if she started fixing up the pieces. Initially, expenses







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Monday, May 3, 2021 | A11



Aleah LaForce, left, and Benjamin, Katie and Levi Becker, below.

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“I feel connected to the community here,” says Aleah LaForce, who moved back into her mom’s house in Brooklyn, N.Y., in March 2020, after the pandemic interrupted her senior year at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla. Since she’s been home, she has become active in her church and is volunteering for the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Ms. LaForce, 22, began a series of virtual internships at organizations based in Washington, D.C., where she planned to live after college. But now, instead of going to D.C. to find a permanent job, she plans to stay and work in Brooklyn. It makes economic sense: With $30,000 in student debt and aspirations to work at a nonprofit or a government organization, she can save money living in her mom’s house. Going home comes from “a need to seek ways to optimize certainty during an uncertain time. The goal is to obtain safety and security,” says Jacqueline K. Gollan, professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago. Moving home is a coping mechanism provoked by a biological reaction to the uncertainty of the pandemic—a reaction to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the subsequent release of stress hormones. Neal Roese, professor of market-


egan Riner was living alone in a tiny studio apartment in Portland, Ore., when the pandemic hit. Working the overnight shift at a television news station made it tough to find friends. After her job went virtual because of Covid, she rarely left her apartment, exacerbating her sense of isolation. Ms. Riner, 25, decided to leave Portland in July and move back into her old bedroom at her mom’s house in her hometown of Indianapolis. It was a decision that shocked her: All she’d wanted after college was to leave Indianapolis and start an independent life. More than nine months later, she works in digital media at a call center nearby. She just moved out of her mom’s house into her own apartment that’s less than a mile away, in a building where a good friend from grade school lives. She prefers to stay in Indianapolis rather than resume her old life in Portland sitting in that tiny studio, all alone. “I feel so much better, just knowing I live near friends and a support system” she says. Young adults around the country flocked to their parents’ homes amid the pandemic. Now some are staying, finding they like the security and benefits of living close to family—along with the familiarity of being in their hometowns during a time of high uncertainty. More than half of all 18- to 29year-olds began living with their parents after U.S. coronavirus cases began spreading in early 2020, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of monthly Census Bureau data. This surpasses the previous peak during the Great Depression era. These homecomings have accelerated since Covid, says Ashley Basile Oeken, president of Engage! Cleveland, a nonprofit that focuses on career engagement and development for young adults. Two months into the pandemic, she started getting calls from people who had moved home and were looking for a way to stay. She says typically such “boomerangs”—people who move back to their hometowns—are in their early to mid-30s. But now more people in their 20s are returning. Engage! Cleveland launched a social media ad campaign targeting young professionals in New York City, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus and Pittsburgh to lure them back to Cleveland. It’s unclear whether this spike in young adults living at home is a temporary, pandemic-induced acceleration of a trend that was already happening—or if it signals a perma-

nent shift in behavior, says Karen Fingerman, professor of human development and family sciences at University of Texas, Austin. But it’s clear that there’s been a strengthening of the bond in families over the past year, she says. The influx of young people is enlivening many smaller towns and widening the resources for growth and development.




It Takes Work to Unplug

Megan Riner, above, outside of her mother’s house in Indianapolis, where she moved during the pandemic. She has since found a job and an apartment nearby.

ing at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, says the shift stems from changed expectations. Instead of young adults emphasizing independence, jobs and mobility, they experience a renewed need to feel grounded. “Spending less time in cars and on planes and with distant acquaintances makes us rethink the balance of our lives,” he says. Shira Olson and Scott MacPhee, both 29, thought they’d spend just a few weeks at Ms. Olson’s parents’ house in Cranston, R.I., when they left their New York City apartment in March 2020 due to the pandemic. They ended up staying in Ms. Olson’s old bedroom for a few months, both keeping up with jobs that had gone virtual. They’d planned on a big wedding in De-

cember, but instead pushed it up to July. Then they returned to New York. “I was in tears, longing for home and missing my parents. All I wanted was to be near my parents,” Ms. Olson says. The couple lasted a couple of months, then broke their New York lease and moved back to Rhode Island, where they plan to stay in their own apartment. If Mr. MacPhee’s job in educational support switches to in-person again, he will look for a new one nearby. “We had that aha moment where being near family is so special. It’s a gift,” Ms. Olson says. For Benjamin Becker, help with child care was a key reason to go home. The 29-year-old sales executive and his wife, Katie Becker, made the six-hour drive from Chicago to Cleveland with their 10day-old son in April and moved in with his wife’s parents. Now his own parents, who live nearby, and his in-laws split babysitting duties. “Having our parents to help every day is truly a blessing,” says Mr. Becker. They knew they’d eventually want to settle near family, but expected to live in Chicago at least another two to three

Not everyone can easily end up in a place like this.

they’ll find someone else that will. —Michael Hainzl COMPANIES NEED to stop sending mixed messages about vacation use. On the one hand, they say they want you to take vacation. However, many companies send an implicit message that if you take vacation, you are not a team player and are subject to termination. Then if you do take vacation, you’re still expected to answer “important” emails and take calls. —Thomas Byrne

Readers discuss the difficulty of stepping away BY BRANDON SANCHEZ

s vaccination rates continue to soar, many Americans are contemplating vacations. But over a year into the pandemic and working from home, many people have found detaching from work harder than ever. In response to Rachel Feintzeig’s recent column on the topic, many readers shared their own experiences. Below is a lightly edited sampling of their comments.

done, just relax. By taking the time off, you don’t miss out on much. I normally get between 50 to 300 emails per day. During shutdown, it’s down to five or less. All the newcomers to the company see this value and comment on how relaxing the time off can be, even without travel, and no huge backlog of work to return to. More companies should try it. It does wonders, and the forced shutdown requires the use of vacation days. —Thomas Wittenberg

I WORK FOR HP. Last year, the entire company shut down for one week in August in addition to the annual two-week Christmas shutdown. The beauty is that everyone in the company is off. Minimal emails, no work expected to be

ONE OF THE ASSISTANTS in my office saved her vacation days all year so that she could take off every Tuesday and Thursday in the summer. When I asked her why, she said she always knew that on the Mondays, Wednesdays and Fri-



years. They just bought a house in Cleveland. “All of a sudden, it became a really appealing place to go,” says Jessica Beringer, a 33-year-old lawyer, who also moved from Chicago back home to Cleveland, where her parents and her in-laws live. She, along with her husband, their 3-year-old, their baby born five months before the pandemic and their dog stayed at her childhood home for five months. Ms. Beringer found a new job with a law firm in Cleveland in October and they bought a house in Shaker Heights, the neighborhood where she grew up. She likes having more space, but she misses having her mom cook dinner every night. “There is a sense of relief now that we are home,” she says. Sabrina Ahmadzai was lining up jobs at pharmaceutical companies in New Jersey and central Pennsylvania in anticipation of graduating from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia last spring. She was living with her parents in her childhood home nearby. When the pandemic hit, all her plans changed. Instead of pursuing those jobs, she found one within driving distance of home. She decided her younger sister, who started high school this year, needed her home to help with virtual school. Her shift in mind-set surprised her, because she usually loves exposing herself to new experiences and relishes change. But, she says, “This is the time for precious family time.”

days that she worked, she would not have to work the next day (or two on the weekend). You have to admire someone who planned ahead that way. —Maxine Enderlein THE PROBLEM IS the pile just gets bigger and bigger every day you’re out. Nobody else is going

to do your stuff while you’re out on vacation because they’re buried, too. It’s just easier to keep up with email and calls while on vacation so you don’t spend a week (or more) digging out and undoing the damage when you return. In the end, nobody in the C-suite cares. Get it done, make the deadline, or

I’M SELF-EMPLOYED now, so I can work to my heart’s content, but when I worked for companies, I never took vacation time. It’s too stressful to return to a mountain of work. It’s far less stressful to just plow through and disconnect over the weekend periodically. In addition, I find air travel to be one of the worst experiences in life. I would rather repeat my busiest week at work, over and over ad infinitum, than ever get on a plane again. —Sharon Weiss


Back to Their Hometowns— For Longer Stays

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A12 | Monday, May 3, 2021



A Coral Line for An App Developer BY TE-PING CHEN

SEA CHANGE Name: Kenny Lin Age: 40 Location: Staten Island, New York Education: B.A. in economics, Stony Brook University Former job: Digital application developer New job: CEO of Pieces of the Ocean, which sells coral and fish

At the same time, his passion for saltwater life had taken off, too. He turned his dining room into an aquarium, including a 6foot-long fish tank. He began growing his own coral and swapping specimens with other hobbyists. He was spending serious money: In one year alone, he estimates he spent at least $35,000 on coral and fish, including a rare wrasse that cost $1,000. That gave him an idea. “I’m thinking, I’m spending all this money. Who’s making this money?” he wondered. Mr. Lin liked the work at AKQA, where he built digital mobile and web experiences for big-name clients. But his projects operated on short deadlines: a one-week project here, a two-week project there. Technology was constantly changing, and pressure to keep up was intense. “I was like, do I see myself as a 50-year-old still sitting in front of a computer still trying to figure this coding thing out?” he says. Mr. Lin started small, selling the coral he’d grown here and there online. In 2016, he quit his job. By then, he and Ms. Chan had married and had their first of two

children. They had moved back in with his parents, who took care of their daughter while he tried to build out the business, growing corals in his parents’ 400-squarefoot basement. In 2018, with $80,000 in investment from family members, he and a business partner opened a store selling saltwater fish and coral in Staten Island, N.Y., called Pieces of the Ocean. It was a difficult first two years: Mr. Lin had underbudgeted and had to take out more loans, and the store lost money. “Accounting was not my strong suit,” he says. They grew more disciplined and learned which suppliers they could trust, how to manage their cash and price their wares. In 2020, as more homebound customers stepped up their purchases amid the pandemic, business boomed. Last year, the store grossed $650,000 in sales; this year it is on track to exceed that. Mr. Lin says that when he steps out onto the floor and sees the rows of glowing tanks, he has the same sense of delight nature kindled in him as a child. “I love it,” he says. “It doesn’t feel like it’s a job.”


Kenny Lin at his store, Pieces of the Ocean, which he opened after giving up a career in technology. A selection of cultured stony corals in his store.


Aha moment: In his 30s, he asked himself if, at the end of his life, he’d regret not trying to turn his passion for saltwater aquariums into a career. The answer was yes.

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home and filled it with cichlids and a Bala shark. “After looking at a computer 12 hours a day, it was very soothing to go home and look at a fish tank,” he says. A friend was giving away a 90-gallon tank, which Mr. Lin populated with saltwater fish and corals. While in natural sunlight, coral usually appears brown—or white, when dead—he discovered that when il-

luminated with special lights, living coral would light up in brilliant color, turning his aquariums into fluorescent wonderlands. He got a job at a digital agency, AKQA, in 2008 that offered more regular hours, taking a demotion to make the move. In his eight years there, he worked his way up to become a senior creative developer, making six figures.

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his week, collectors are expected to head to Frieze New York, the first major U.S. art fair since the pandemic and a likely litmus test of their willingness to attend such events in person. In past years, 50,000 people usually turned out for the contemporary art fair known for showing edgy artists. Last year it was canceled and when the fair opens Wednesday, the experience will be different. Instead of being held in a tent on Manhattan’s Randall’s Island, Frieze will take place in a multipurpose cultural venue called the Shed, near the Hudson Yards commercial and residential development on the West Side. Visitors will have to wear masks, use timed tickets and show proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test result. Roughly 730 visitors may wander the fair at any given time, organizers said, to keep total occupancy around 850, including Frieze and gallery staff. Frieze moved to the Shed in part so organizers could space the 60 gallery booths over three floors—in contrast with the warren of around 160 booths at Frieze New York in the past. International travel restrictions and concerns led 100 galleries to show in the fair’s concurrent online viewing rooms. Fair director Rebecca Ann Siegel said some VIPs might be surprised to learn they can’t just drop by during the opening hours. Her team has reassured top collectors and art advisers that major pieces will be available throughout the fair, which runs through May 9. People also look to Frieze to discover art trends and breakout stars. Here are highlights, whether attending in person or online.

Art as Protest Nearly every gallery is showing pieces that illustrate how

artists wrestled with events of the past year—so expect plenty of works that pack a political punch. “For many artists, the past year was as characterized by the Black Lives Matter movement as much as the pandemic,” Ms. Siegel said. The fair commissioned several pieces to honor Harvard University professor Sarah Lewis’s Vision & Justice Project, an effort launched in 2016 to explore how Black people have documented their lives visually, often despite systemic injus-

booth will feature a showdown: Trenton Doyle Hancock’s potent paintings of his Black superhero, Torpedoboy, confronting the hooded figures often seen in Philip Guston’s paintings.

Art as Wall Power

After a year where art was seen mostly on screens—or as NFTs—expect galleries to emphasize the heft of standing before a canvas. David Zwirner will show a new series of 7-foot-tall, jewel-tone paintings by Whitney Biennial alumna Dana Schutz. Eva



hen Kenny Lin was a child growing up in southern China, his family didn’t have much money. His entertainment came from nature: keeping pet chickens, climbing trees, chasing frogs. “I’d be that weird kid with some insect in my hand, scaring everyone. But to me, that was fun,” he says. Even in New York City, where his family moved when he was young, he tried to tame pigeons and catch cicadas. His mother worked long hours sewing pockets on shirts at a local clothing factory, making 6 cents apiece. The family struggled financially, but nature was a familiar refuge. He never knew what he wanted to do professionally. At Stony Brook University he experimented with electrical engineering, computer science and business administration, but none of them stuck. He got a degree in economics. “I just needed to pick something,” he says. In college, he’d started teaching himself to code, and after graduating in 2003 he worked to build his portfolio, finding website-building work on Craigslist and searching for technical advice online when he needed help. It was a lesson in resourcefulness. “I attribute a lot of my business-building [instincts] to that period of time,” he says. He landed his first full-time job in 2006 at a digital-advertising company, building ad banners. The hours were punishing: He recalls leaving the company’s Manhattan office once at 7 a.m. His girlfriend, Sid May Chan, bought him a small tank for his desk with neon tetra fish, so he’d at least have some nature to look at. “That was the fuse,” Mr. Lin says. He installed a bigger tank at

Ewa Juszkiewicz's 'Untitled (after Joseph Karl Stieler)’ tices. Carrie Mae Weems, known for her searing look at race and class, will display a billboard-size photograph of books on the Shed’s fourth floor, where it can be seen by people outside walking the Highline elevated path. Hank Willis Thomas and Mel Chin are hanging huge vinyl signs with sayings like “Who Taught You to Love?” Among the galleries, Gordon Robichaux will display Otis Houston Jr.’s spraypainted signs, which at one point hung along the city’s FDR Drive. James Cohan’s

Presenhuber and Sprüth Magers have teamed up to show a 35-year survey of Philadelphia icon Karen Kilimnik’s surreal landscapes and castle scenes. Gagosian is showing Polish painter Ewa Juszkiewicz’s portraits of Rococo women, some with faces wrapped in ribbons or leafy plants that evoke masks. Other highlights include Michael Werner’s display on Sigmar Polke and White Cube’s 2019 view of a skeletal golden hand by Georg Baselitz, “Manopola-Fausthandschuh.”

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ly Richard Neumann, left; Neri di Bicci’s ‘Madonna With Child’ (probably mid-1400s), above; Alessandro Algardi’s ‘Pope Innocent X’ (1600s), above left

display creates a modest, pseudodomestic encounter, with a sofa, a couple of chairs, dim lighting and low ceilings. Wall photographs make the actual Neumann villa, at 30 Hasenauerstrasse in Vienna’s fashionable 19th District, look finde-siècle gloomy, overladen with dark furniture and heavy drapery, and much in need of fresh air. While you’ll find El Greco, Murillo, Ribera, Brueghel and Andrea del Sarto elsewhere in the Worcester Art Museum, most visitors will be unfamiliar with Neumann’s artists—there are no big names in the



nies in Bohemia and Austria, Neumann was bit early by the collecting bug. By his early 40s, he’d accumulated more than 200 works, with a special focus on Baroque and Rococo art. In 1938, after the Anschluss, he and his wife managed to escape to Paris and to export some of their collection to join them. In 1942, they fled again, selling almost everything to afford passage on one of the last boats from Spain to Cuba, where Neumann worked as a foreman in a textile mill and integrated himself into Havana’s artistic communities. Late in his life he moved to New York, to be near his daughters. He died there. As early as 1950, he had initiated lawsuits to regain his art. All failed. In 2002, his heirs resumed his efforts. With helpful, detailed wall labels, the Worcester exhibit explains how changes in international law, plus personal persistence and sheer luck, have brought about a moderately happy ending. Seeing the art now, in a small room, is different from what it will be like to see it in the future, when the Neumann pictures—on an extended loan—will hang in the museum’s permanent galleries upstairs, integrated with other works from their period. The downstairs

‘Girlhood’: Twins, Teens and ‘Tiny’ BY RICHARD B. WOODWARD

ments that grew into books. In 1983, for instance, Life sent her to Seattle Washington to document homeless teenagers. ary Ellen Mark (1940-2015) Her experiences there, in particular sustained a long career in a friendship with a 13-year-old photojournalism by satisfynamed Erin Blackwell (known as ing the deadline demands of cli“Tiny”), turned into a lifelong docuents while always reserving blocks mentary venture. For the next 32 of time for extended self-directed years, in photographs and two films projects. She bonded with subjects (directed by her husband, Martin across a vast social spectrum, Bell), Mark chronicled Tiny’s develfrom Hollywood celebrities to the opment from streetwise hellion, to poorest castes of Indian society, teen prostitute and drug addict, to and had a special affinity for chilstruggling mother of 10 children. dren, perhaps because One picture here, she didn’t treat them of two unnamed runas such. aways sitting against Portraits of “I’ve always felt a concrete wall, is that children and teen- children and from the initial Seatagers are not ‘chilvisit. Another, adolescents—no tle dren,’” she once from 2014, shows bluntly told an interTiny’s young daughboys allowed. viewer. “I look at them ter J’Lisa peering as little people and I warily through a set either like them or I of broken blinds, her don’t like them.” only companion an anxious white “Mary Ellen Mark: Girlhood,” at chihuahua. the National Museum of Women in From the 1960s to the ’80s the Arts, serves as a compact retroMark mainly shot with 35mm film spective of her work on this theme. but also tinkered with other, Installed against cheerful blue walls larger, formats. In 1998 she went in a ground-floor gallery, the 25 to The Twins Days Festival in prints—dated between 1965 and Twinsburg, Ohio, an annual event 2014, all but one in black-andwhere sets of twins gather by the white—were selected by exhibition hundreds. Distinguishing one twin coordinator Hannah Shambroom from another required maximum from more than 160 assorted photo- detail, and so she favored a 4graphs by Mark recently donated to by-5-inch camera on a tripod. Not the museum by the Photography content with the results, she Buyers Syndicate. shipped out a Polaroid 20-by-24Samples from her most celeinch camera from New York for brated series are here, many of return visits in 2000 and 2002. which began as magazine assignThe portrait of Tashara and



exhibition. But his pictures merit a viewer’s attention There are pleasures, like Giovanni Battista Pittoni the Younger’s early 1700s oil of “Hannibal Swearing Revenge Against the Romans.” Pride of place, however, goes not to a Baroque or Rococo piece but to a pair of altarpiece wings by the Netherlandish Maerten van Heemskerk (1500s, oil on panel). These depict, beautifully and luminously, the handsome, meditative faces of the unnamed donors and attendants, as well as realistic details like the donor’s arthritic left hand. The Nazis included these panels in the “Reichsliste” of national treasures destined for the unbuilt Führermuseum in Linz, the city of Hitler’s youth. After he got to Paris, Neumann was compelled to sell them to Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum for an under-market price. Among the surprises in the exhibit is another picture dated earlier than Neumann’s favored pe-

What the Nazis Stole From Richard Neumann (and the search to get it back) Worcester Art Museum, through Jan. 16, 2022 Mr. Spiegelman writes about books and the arts for the Journal.


Worcester, Mass hat the Nazis Stole From Richard Neumann (and the search to get it back)” is a somewhat cumbersome title for a small but compelling exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum. This show offers its viewers two different but equally valuable experiences: first, a chance to take a close look at 14 works (12 paintings and two bozzetti, terra-cotta casts for larger sculptures); and second, learning the story of a collection, its seizure and subsequent dispersal, followed by its partial reassembly. It also addresses larger historical and cultural issues. Our age is replete with questions of ownership, patrimonies and familial or personal rights. Cries of “restitution” ring out. Like people, works of art can exist in perpetual motion. Such was the case of Richard Neumann (1879-1959) and his collection. An haut-bourgeois, fully assimilated and therefore comfortable and safe (or so he thought) Viennese Jew with a doctorate from Heidelberg, and a series of jobs with textile manufacturing compa-

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riod. Neri di Bicci (1419-1491) was a Florentine painter trained in older styles. His “Madonna With Child” (probably mid-1400s) depicts the nursing Virgin as unemotional, her oval face set off by slanted, heavily lidded, narrow eyes with arched brows, and an oddly dimpled chin. The picture’s rediscovery testifies to serendipity. In 2017, it appeared at a Sotheby’s sale in London. The family reached out to the owner, and arranged to acquire it. More within the historical scope of Neumann’s tastes are two pictures by Alessandro Magnasco (1667-1749), a Genoaborn, Milan-based painter of dark, fantastic scenes punctuated by flashes of light. His subjects are hardly usual fare: “Washerwomen” and “Monks at Mealtime” are group scenes in which individual faces are shaded, muted or unfinished. Sharp, pearl-like pin-pricks of light create a weirdly enameled texture, but the general mood is of an unrealistic eeriness. “Monks” also turned up, on consignment, at Sotheby’s. And it, too, returned to the family. According to Claire Whitner, the museum’s curator of European art, probably 30 paintings—as well as sculptures and works on paper—from the collection still remain out there, somewhere, waiting to be rediscovered and restituted. Worcester is Massachusetts’s second-largest city. Its museum, which was founded in 1896, has holdings that raise it above a second-tier status. “The Worcester Hunt,” a dazzling floor mosaic from Antioch, greets visitors in the central, High Renaissance courtyard after they enter the building. Not only the museum’s many significant paintings from the 14th to the 20th centuries, but also its major compilations of Japanese prints, arms and armor, and a reconstructed Chapter House from the 12th-century Benedictine Abbey of St. John at le Bas-Nueil, might have pleased Neumann, who as early as 1921 sought landmark status for his collection, in order to make it accessible to the public.


Prized Pieces With History

Monday, May 3, 2021 | A13

Tanesha Reese, twins dressed in matching cowgirl outfits—white boots and hats, and fake-fur pony heads on poles—is from the 1998 trip. Seated at an angle in a grove of trees, both look professionally

lens is able to find ambiguity in their facial expressions, differences that animate the picture. Mark’s later series on highschool proms took even fuller advantage of the Polaroid. One can sense her pleasure in the lens’s fine rendering of jewelry, a corsage, folds and sheens of fabric, and the brown skin tones of a handsome couple at the Malcolm X Shabazz Prom from 2006.

Mary Ellen Mark’s ‘Tashara and Tanesha Reese, Twins Days Festival, Twinsburg, Ohio’ (1998) bored, as if they had posed for others umpteen times before. The giant Polaroid was used for the portrait of Idesha and Mikayla Preston. Posed against a plain background, the 8-year-olds are also costumed alike, in colored tops and shorts. They stand in bare feet and face forward. The

As she grew older, Mark preferred the personal exchange of formal portraiture to the game of capturing life in flux. A 1967 glimpse of a girl jumping over a wall in Central Park is the only true action shot here. When she discovered the Indian circus in the 1980s, she chose to portray the performers after a

show. “If I had photographed from the audience’s point of view, I would have just been a spectator,” she reasoned. The museum is unnecessarily defensive about Mark’s intrusions. The wall texts stress that when Mark chose to work in an Oregon psychiatric hospital in 1976 or the child brothels of India between 1968 and 1981, she photographed “each of her subjects with dignity and empathy.” Mark was fully aware that the gulf—economic, racial, psychological—between herself and many of her subjects made her job ethically fraught. “You have to feel a situation; not hurt someone, not aggress someone to the point that it’s obnoxious, but accept the fact that you are a voyeur—you’re stealing something from people,” she said in a 1989 interview. “You have to be able to live with it. You have to accept the aggressiveness of it. And to try constantly to be better, to constantly try to learn.” An exhibition restricted to the theme of one gender is confining to an expansive artist like Mark, and several of the choices here reveal her weakness for the mawkish. But the National Museum of Women in the Arts may be the only art institution in Washington to grant photography near-equality with painting and sculpture. In the galleries on the upper floors, you can find Ruth Orkin in a room with Helen Frankenthaler. Mary Ellen Mark looks right at home. Mary Ellen Mark: Girlhood National Museum of Women in the Arts, through Aug. 8 Mr. Woodward is an arts critic in New York.

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A14 | Monday, May 3, 2021



European Soccer’s Forrest Gump From Barcelona to London to Monaco, Cesc Fabregas has always found himself around revolutionaries and trophies

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For a man who has been a professional soccer player for more than half his life, Cesc Fabregas still can’t say for sure where on the field he spent most of that time. Over 18 years at the top, he has been a playmaker, a winger, a deeplying midfielder, and he has even played in roles that were invented midcareer. He played for Spain as a “false nine”—or withdrawn striker—before anyone really knew what a false nine did. “I think I played in basically every single position except the back four and goalkeeper,” he says. But wherever he was, Fabregas had an uncanny knack for making it the right place at the right moment. From Barcelona to London to the French Riviera, major trophies and seismic shifts in tactics just happened to materialize wherever he went. Somehow, he was just always there. Fabregas is 21st century soccer’s Forrest Gump. He was a gawky teenager at Barça’s youth academy when a shrimpy 13-year-old arrived from Argentina named Lionel Messi. He left home at 16 and landed at Arsenal just in time to learn from the only modern squad ever to go an entire English league campaign undefeated. His emergence with the Spanish national team—which he played for 110 times—coincided with an utterly dominant run of two European Championships and a World Cup. And in that time, he also became one of a handful of players to work under three of the modern game’s most influential managers: Arsène Wenger, Pep Guardiola, and Jose Mourinho. The part that really snuck up on him, though, was turning into a veteran along the way. Now 33, Fabregas is the oldest player at a revived AS Monaco as the club chases the French league championship and the domestic cup. Most of his appearances come off the bench. But for the second youngest squad in the league, he has turned into an elder statesman — the guy with so much top-level experience he can retweet 15-year-old highlights of himself lighting up the Champions League. “Obviously, things changed from when I used to play every single game, every single minute in my career,” he says. “That doesn’t mean you can’t be important.” Everywhere he’s been, Fabregas has made a habit of challenging for titles. Monaco, when he first signed in 2019, presented a different challenge. Few teams have had a more up-and-down decade than the club from the glitzy principality. Ten years ago, Monaco was relegated into France’s second tier after its most disastrous season since the 1970s. It was only rescued by a sudden takeover by the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.



At the age of 33, Spanish star Cesc Fabregas is the oldest player at AS Monaco as the club chases the French league championship and the domestic cup. Since then, it has been the only club to break Paris Saint-Germain’s eight-year monopoly on the title and reached a Champions League semifinal, but has also finished 17th and 9th in the past two seasons before turning into this year’s freewheeling attacking surprise. The club known for its tradition of building around youth—it has produced the likes of Kylian Mbappé and Anthony Martial in recent years—has made young talent its primary focus again. For a guy like Fabregas, who once was that young talent, the next generation’s progress is barely recognizable. “Nowadays, when you are 16, you are already a professional doing everything, in terms of videos, in terms of the gym,” he says. “Before it was not like that. We didn’t really used to watch videos or have this preparation that they have before matches. Which isn’t to say that Fabregas felt out of place at that age. He had emerged from Barcelona’s youth academy with the carefully honed tactical instincts that most never learn. But he had understood that the club’s pipeline at his position was too jammed for him to break through any time soon. The source

of the clog was the outrageously gifted midfielder three years ahead of him, Andres Iniesta. So Fabregas landed at Arsenal instead, where the 5-foot-10 teenager was suddenly surrounded by a team of super-athletes running the Premier League ragged. “I was not well prepared physically. But I was well prepared here,”

Fabregas has always said he would like to reach 20 years at the top level, and then call it quits.

Fabregas said, pointing at his skull. “I was ready to fight. I didn’t mind if it was Patrick Vieira or Gilberto [Silva] — if I had to kick them, I kicked them. This was my mentality. I was a bit ‘stupid’ in a way, because I just didn’t realize where I was.” Fabregas figured it out and stayed for eight years before returning to Barcelona, where he caught the final season of Guardiola’s tenure. By the time he was 25,



he had played for two of the most aesthetically pleasing attacking units in Europe—and helped a revolutionary Spain squad win its first World Cup. Yet for all the attacking free jazz he experienced under Wenger and Guardiola, the manager who truly showed him the shape of soccer to come was Antonio Conte. The two years they worked together at Chelsea, Fabregas says, was the moment he realized the game was shifting. Until then, creativity had flowed directly from the players. Wenger and Guardiola’s main tactical focus at practice was on how to handle transitions, bringing the ball from defense to attack as quickly or as smoothly as possible. Once they reached the final third, inspiration could take over. It helps when your soloists are Lionel Messi or Thierry Henry or Robin van Persie. Conte was more prescriptive. Sensing that soccer was becoming faster and more physical than ever, he saw no time to leave things to chance. “It was more like, ‘You have to do what I want you to do. You will do this, and we will repeat it over and over again, for months and months, until you get it right,’” Fab-

regas said. “And we played like a mechanized, robot thing. You can play with your eyes closed.” The approach is similar to what has grown out of German soccer in recent years, with its hard-running, high-pressing systems—like those deployed at Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. Only the fitness levels achieved in soccer over the past decade have made these styles possible. Fabregas has found a similar approach at Monaco under manager Niko Kovac, where he is back to helping out as an offensive playmaker. The other positions he used to play, he says, barely exist as he was taught them anymore. More physical midfielders now play high up the field to press opponents. The more creatively inclined technical players often sit deeper, almost as quarterbacks. Fabregas has always said he would like to reach 20 years at the top level, and then call it quits. By then, one of the longest careers in Europe would be ending at just 35. “You still have a full life,” he says. “Sometimes it doesn’t look like it in football, because they call you old. But in normal life you are still a young guy.”

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. Vancouver Vancouver


60s 50s

Seattle Portland Portl d


Billings Eugene g





Ch y Cheyenne


an Francisco San

70s Los A Angeles An l San Diego


Las L Vegas Veg


Denver C l d Colorado Springs p g


Santaa FFe

60s Ph Phoenix

Albb q q Albuquerque

Tuc Tucson

D ll Dallas


U.S. Forecasts

Boston t

50s 60s

Ft. Worth

90s 100s

90s 80s


City Omaha Orlando Philadelphia Phoenix Pittsburgh Portland, Maine Portland, Ore. Sacramento St. Louis Salt Lake City San Francisco Santa Fe Seattle Sioux Falls Wash., D.C.

Tomorrow Hi Lo W 63 41 c 94 73 pc 84 65 t 94 69 s 76 57 sh 52 45 r 69 44 pc 91 55 s 64 49 t 69 46 pc 70 52 s 69 40 pc 64 44 c 61 38 c 88 68 t

International City Amsterdam Athens Baghdad Bangkok Beijing Berlin Brussels Buenos Aires Dubai Dublin Edinburgh

Hi 54 87 97 93 77 52 57 72 99 53 47

Today Tomorrow Lo W Hi Lo W 46 c 49 41 sh 67 pc 81 61 pc 69 s 101 72 s 80 t 95 80 t 57 s 73 51 s 44 pc 57 44 sh 44 c 53 37 sh 55 t 63 51 s 84 s 101 81 pc 38 r 52 31 sh 38 r 49 31 sh

City Frankfurt Geneva Havana Hong Kong Istanbul Jakarta Jerusalem Johannesburg London Madrid Manila Melbourne Mexico City Milan Moscow Mumbai Paris Rio de Janeiro Riyadh Rome San Juan Seoul Shanghai Singapore Sydney Taipei City Tokyo Toronto Vancouver Warsaw Zurich







25 30


34 37 42











40 45

51 53
















Today Hi Lo W 59 47 pc 60 41 pc 93 74 s 83 77 sh 76 59 pc 92 78 t 80 64 s 66 46 s 53 45 r 64 45 pc 96 83 c 65 52 sh 80 55 s 63 47 sh 62 41 r 93 83 s 62 48 pc 80 68 s 98 70 s 66 48 pc 87 76 pc 65 51 pc 76 68 pc 88 77 c 74 60 s 88 74 c 69 58 pc 54 47 sh 55 46 sh 49 38 sh 59 38 pc

Tomorrow Hi Lo W 55 42 sh 61 49 sh 92 73 s 86 77 pc 67 53 c 90 78 t 82 66 s 69 48 s 54 39 sh 72 47 pc 95 82 pc 57 51 sh 80 59 t 65 52 pc 44 39 sh 94 84 s 60 42 sh 81 69 s 96 69 s 67 53 s 87 76 pc 64 52 sh 75 61 r 88 78 t 65 56 sh 89 74 c 73 63 s 61 43 c 58 44 pc 60 48 c 61 46 c

























Ice Today Hi Lo W 61 43 c 92 72 pc 78 65 c 88 66 s 69 61 t 54 44 c 62 49 c 90 62 s 81 59 t 64 47 pc 72 55 s 59 37 r 56 47 c 59 38 pc 75 67 t



l d Orlando Tampa






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80s 90s


J k Jackson

Houston t






SHIFT KEY | By Mike Shenk Across 1 Close bud, for short 4 Annoyance at checkout 8 Imitated Eminem 14 Melber of MSNBC 15 Olfactory input 16 Friend of Jerry and George, on “Seinfeld” 17 Resort city of southwestern Florida 19 Decide with a show of hands, say 20 California rolls and the like 21 Give approval 23 Addition column

25 Requiring immediate attention 28 Untamed 30 Bro’s sibling 31 Strap for a stallion 33 Having a low pH value 34 Had lunch 35 In the raw 36 Sgt. or cpl. 37 Popular BBC show, and a hint to 3-, 8-, 24- and 26-Down 40 Unsatisfying game outcome 41 British rock’s Jethro ___ 43 Pester incessantly

44 Brought up 46 Cambodia’s continent 47 Parched 48 Ailment 49 Hire 51 Warm spot for a sleeping cat

67 2020 presidential candidate Andrew 68 Conclude Down 1 Deep singer 2 Herr’s wife 3 Orchestra’s concertmaster 4 Blowing one’s stack 5 Wedding words 6 “___ moment too soon!” 7 Historical stretches 8 Drill command used for solemn occasions 9 Beside 10 Skirt-making aid 11 Diner dessert 12 Ambient music’s Brian 13 Lair for a lion 18 Further forward 22 Composer’s creation 24 Criticize by hindsight, say

58 As an example 61 Osceola’s tribe 63 Beautiful boy loved by Aphrodite 64 Scheme 65 Denial in Dijon 66 Past, present and future

26 Buffer between Federation and Romulan space 27 Did some housekeeping 28 Seasonal visitor 29 Point a finger at 30 Drooping 32 Requiring a lot of attention 38 Removes rinds from 39 Televising another time 42 Spots for snorkelers 45 Poe’s middle name 50 “Tomorrow” musical 53 Catch sight of 54 Ward of TV’s “FBI” 56 Magnate Musk 57 Transmit 58 No-no in some diets 59 Keats work 60 Florida governor DeSantis 62 “Holy cow!”

Previous Puzzle’s Solution

52 Burdens 55 Tears down

Solve this puzzle online and discuss it at WSJ.com/Puzzles.


s...sunny; pc... partly cloudy; c...cloudy; sh...showers; t...t’storms; r...rain; sf...snow flurries; sn...snow; i...ice Today Tomorrow City Hi Lo W Hi Lo W Anchorage 52 38 pc 47 34 c Atlanta 79 69 t 81 65 t Austin 87 65 pc 75 55 t Baltimore 76 65 t 88 66 t Boise 67 45 pc 67 42 pc Boston 59 49 c 57 49 r Burlington 57 48 sh 65 53 c Charlotte 78 67 t 85 67 t Chicago 75 53 t 56 45 c Cleveland 70 60 t 72 47 sh Dallas 90 62 s 75 55 c Denver 48 36 sh 61 41 c Detroit 68 58 sh 71 45 c Honolulu 85 73 sh 84 73 c Houston 89 74 pc 78 62 t Indianapolis 74 62 t 66 47 r Kansas City 72 49 t 62 42 r Las Vegas 83 63 s 91 67 s Little Rock 85 70 t 78 54 t Los Angeles 79 59 pc 83 60 pc Miami 88 78 pc 89 78 s Milwaukee 68 49 t 53 44 c Minneapolis 58 41 c 59 39 c Nashville 81 68 t 81 58 t New Orleans 87 78 t 88 72 t New York City 71 60 c 82 63 pc Oklahoma City 76 52 c 65 47 c

Ab y Albany

A Atlanta h Birmingham

Littlee Rock

ew Orleans New

60s 70s

Augusta A g t


Milwaukee k

an Antonio A t i San Honolulu l




90s 90s 90s 80s





A ti Austin

A h g Anchorage




T Toronto 60s tford Buffalo Hartford ew York t Detroit C d 70s New Cleveland Des es Moines Chicago h g Omaha h Phil d lphi Philadelphia Pit b h Pittsburgh Spring i fi ld Springfield Kansas Indianapolis d p h gton on D.C. DC Washington C tyy City Charles h St.. Louis Charleston h d Richmond Topeka 80s Lou Louisville 80s 70s Wichita h Ch Charlotte gh h Raleigh h ill Nashville Columbia C b k ahoma homa City Oklahoma phi h Memphis

P El Paso

20s 30s 40s



oux FFalls ll Pierre Sioux

lt Lake L ke City C City Salt



Mpls./St. Paul pls //St. P a

40s 70s Reno 80s