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AU REVOIR, SEE YOU IN LONDON
WHY OXFORD IS MORE THAN THE ULTIMATE COLLEGE TOWN
PAUL KRUGMAN ON THE TRAP OF TIMIDITY
TRACY LETTS, PLAYWRIGHT AND ACTOR TOO
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, MARCH 22-23, 2014
In jet search, limits to Beijing’s powers
China prods Malaysia over inquiry but still comes up empty-handed
BY EDWARD WONG
ALEX MAJOLI/MAGNUM PHOTOS, 2008
Taliban recruits in Quetta, Pakistan, where leading organizers of the Afghan insurgency are based. Many of the suicide bombers in Afghanistan are from Pakistan, officials say.
What Pakistan knew about Bin Laden
How can the U.S. fight extremism when it can’t confront it where it lives?
BY CARLOTTA GALL
Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, I went to live and report for The New York Times in Afghanistan. I would spend most of the next 12 years there, following the overthrow of the Taliban, feeling the excitement of the freedom and prosperity that was promised in its wake and then watching the gradual dissolution of that hope. A new Constitution and two rounds of elections did not improve the lives of ordinary Afghans. The Taliban regrouped and found increasing numbers of supporters for their guerrilla action by 2006. As they mounted an ambitious offensive to retake southern Afghanistan and unleashed more than a hundred suicide bombers, it was clear that a deadly and
determined opponent was growing in strength, not losing it. As I toured the bomb sites and battlegrounds of the Taliban resurgence, Afghans kept telling me the same thing: The organizers of the insurgency were in Pakistan, specifically in the western district of Quetta. Police investigators were finding that many of the bombers, too, were coming from Pakistan. In December 2006, I flew to Quetta, where I met with several Pakistani reporters and a photographer. Together we found families who were grappling with the realization that their sons had blown themselves up in Afghanistan. Some were not even sure whether to believe the news, relayed in anonymous phone calls or secondhand through someone in the community. All of them were scared to say how their sons died and who recruited them, fearing trouble from members of the ISI, Pakistan’s main intelligence service. After our first day of reporting in Quetta, we noticed that an intelligence agent on a motorbike was following us,
ASSOCIATED PRESS, 1998
For nearly eight years, Osama bin Laden relied on two trusted Pakistanis as he hid.
and everyone we interviewed was visited afterward by ISI agents. We visited a neighborhood called Pashtunabad, ‘‘town of the Pashtuns,’’ a close knit community of narrow alleys inhabited largely by Afghan refugees who over the years spread up the hillside, building
PAKISTAN, PAGE 2
Finally I got the confirmation: Pakistan’s main intelligence service actually ran a special desk assigned to handle Osama bin Laden. It was operated independently, led by an officer who did not report to a superior. He handled only one person: Bin Laden.
China has not held back in forcing the pace of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. It has deployed 21 satellites and a flotilla of naval shops. It has dispatched investigators to Malaysia, run background checks on the Chinese passengers, and scoured radar images of its vast western regions. Every day it has cajoled, chided and criticized Malaysian officials. And still it has come up emptyhanded. Two weeks after the plane vanished on an overnight flight to Beijing, no trace of the Boeing 777 jet or the 239 people on board, two-thirds of whom are Chinese, has been found. The painful process of working with Malaysia in searching for the airplane and investigating what went wrong in the early hours of March 8 has revealed the limits of China’s power, influence and technological and military might in the region, despite its rapid rise as a rival to the United States and American strategic dominance of the western Pacific. Within China, anguished relatives and friends of the passengers and their many sympathizers are pressing hard for answers, but the government finds itself helpless as Malaysia takes the lead in the search and investigation efforts, which is consistent with international norms on air disasters. Malaysia has been keeping other nations, including China, at a distance, to the frustration of officials here, according to political observers. That tension is reflected in the frequent condemnations of Malaysia that have appeared in the Chinese state news media. China is out of its comfort zone, no longer in the position of strength from which it usually deals with smaller Asian nations, including Malaysia. The two countries have had strong economic ties for decades, and Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, promised
FLIGHT, PAGE 4
closer economic and military cooperation when he visited Malaysia last fall. At the same time, China has not been shy about pressing Malaysia on a range of delicate issues: In January, it sent a naval patrol to a reef in the South China Sea that is claimed by Malaysia, and in December 2012, it welcomed Malaysia’s secret deportation of six ethnic Uighurs who had fled from China. Now, Chinese officials find themselves desperately prodding Malaysia to share information, to allow China a hand in the investigation and to placate the irate Chinese families who demand answers daily. ‘‘If you don’t push them, they won’t move,’’ Zhu Zhenming, a scholar of Southeast Asia at the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, said about the Malaysian authorities. ‘‘It’s mostly to do with their administrative management capabilities, but also their culture.’’ He added that Malaysia was ‘‘too lacking’’ when it came to ‘‘dealing with disaster management’’ — ‘‘not because they don’t want to do it, but because
LAI SENG SIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Anguished relatives of missing Chinese passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are pressing hard for answers.
COUNTRIES HELP EXPAND THE HUNT
China, Japan and Britain will join the search for signs of the missing jet far off Australia’s west coast. PAGE 4
AIRLINES SLOW TO ADOPT TRACKING
The industry has the tools to stream data from cockpit flight recorders, but those tools have not been embraced. PAGE 10
As Kiev looks to Europe, Putin tightens Crimea grip
BY STEVEN LEE MYERS, ALAN COWELL AND ANDREW HIGGINS
A small town warily leading Japan’s nuclear reawakening
BY MARTIN FACKLER
To power his plans for Japan’s economic revival, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could soon return his nation to nuclear power for the first time since the Fukushima accident three years ago. But before he can, he will need the consent of the remote towns like this one that host Japan’s idled nuclear plants. All signs are that he will get it. In Japan’s political world, local consent means getting the approval of the host communities’ mayors, many of whom say they have suffered from loss of plant-related tax revenue and jobs that lifted living
NEW YORK, FRIDAY 11:00AM
JAPAN, PAGE 4
standards in their once-impoverished rural towns and villages. Ikata’s mayor says local businesses are clamoring for a restart of their local plant, the Ikata Nuclear Power Station, built in 1977 on a narrow peninsula facing Japan’s Inland Sea. The mayor, Kazuhiko Yamashita, said in an interview that he would accept the plant’s resuming operations if central government regulators proclaimed it safe. Political analysts say such a cooperative attitude has made Ikata likely to be near the front of the line when Mr. Abe’s government turns on the first of Japan’s 48 idled reactors, which could come as early as this summer. But that does not mean all of Ikata’s
KO SASAKI FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Ikata Nuclear Power Station, built on a narrow peninsula, was idled after the 2011 disaster in Fukushima but is likely to be restarted soon to help bolster a recovery in Japan.
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Friday formally completed the annexation of Crimea, signing into law bills passed by Parliament reclaiming the contested province from Ukraine. Hours earlier, the acting prime minister of Ukraine signed a political association agreement with the European Union. The pact has been bitterly opposed by Moscow, and its rejection in November by the Ukrainian president prompted the uprising that led to his overthrow in February. As he cemented Russian control of Crimea, Mr. Putin declared a temporary cease-fire in a tit-for-tat battle of economic and political sanctions between Moscow and the West. The European Union and the United States have frozen assets and limited the travel of a number of Mr. Putin’s close associates for their part in Crimea’s annexation. Mr. Putin responded to the moves by barring nine American officials and legislators. But on Friday he said he did not see the immediate need for further reONLINE AT INY T.COM
prisals, while leaving open the door for future retaliation. With evident sarcasm, he also said in televised remarks that he would open an account at a Russian bank targeted by the American measures, even as the first effects on the country’s economy became clear. Russia’s stock market opened sharply lower on Friday as a second rating agency, Fitch, followed Standard & Poor’s in warning that it would downgrade the country’s credit rating in the wake of the punitive American response to Russia’s move to annex Crimea. Visa and MasterCard ceased operations with Bank Rossiya, the only corporation singled out on Thursday by the new sanctions because it served as a ‘‘personal bank for senior officials of the Russian Federation.’’ Mr. Putin, meeting with members of
UKRAINE, PAGE 6 UPHEAVAL HIGHLIGHTS E.U.’S MISSTEPS
Ukraine’s tumult exposes the chasm between the European Union’s aspirations and geopolitics. PAGE 6
PUNISHED BY RUSSIA, AND PROUD OF IT
American lawmakers and officials on the ‘‘reciprocal sanctions’’ list react with a bipartisan declaration of pride. PAGE 6
s t s s
Euro Pound Yen S. Franc
€1= £1= $1= $1=
$1.3800 $1.3780 $1.6490 $1.6500 ¥102.240 ¥102.380 SF0.8820 SF0.8840
INSIDE TODAY’S PA P E R
+0.52% +0.14% unch. –$0.29
s The Dow 11:00am 16,416.55 s FTSE 100 3pm 6,551.42
— Nikkei 225 close
t Light sweet crude
NEW YORK, FRIDAY 11:00AM
Full currenc y rates Pa ge 13
The Constitutional Court has set the stage for a new vote, further complicating the country’s political crisis. WORLD NEWS, 3
Thailand’s election ruled invalid
Airbnb, the private rentals website held up as a centerpiece of ‘‘the sharing economy,’’ is in advanced talks to raise over $400 million in capital, a round of financing that would value it at more than $10 billion. BUSINESS, 10 The demand for American investments is not just a panic-driven phenomenon. The dollar’s appeal owes much to the fragility of the global monetary system, writes Eswar S. Prasad. REVIEW, 7
Airbnb value may top $10 billion
Waiting on nuclear waste
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No. 40,753 Art 16 Books 20 Business 10 Crossword 21 Review 7 Sports 14
IN THIS ISSUE
Michelle Obama, on the first day of a good-will tour, visited sites in Beijing with the Chinese president’s wife, Peng Liyuan, a pairing that proved a bit subdued and a little stiff. WORLD NEWS, 3
2 first ladies, out on the town
Why the U.S. dollar endures
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, America’s only permanent underground repository for nuclear weapons waste, revived Carlsbad, N.M. But it has been closed since a leak. nytimes.com/us
The government was standing by an order to block Twitter, even as many users, including some high-ranking officials like President Abdullah Gul, were finding ways to circumvent and challenge it. nytimes.com/world Researchers in California, trying to explain how two fires started on golf courses recently, found that titanium club heads created sparks when they struck rocks. nytimes.com/sports
Turkey goes after Twitter
Koch group fine-tunes message
Americans for Prosperity is using a data-driven approach to try to change how voters think about their government. nytimes.com/us
How golf clubs can create fire
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