Voicy Journal


Voicy News Brief with articles from The New York Times ニュース原稿3/27-4/2

Voicy News Brief with articles from The New York Times ニュース原稿3/27-4/2

Voicy初の公式英語ニュースチャンネル「Voicy News Brief with articles from New York Times」。チャンネルでは、バイリンガルパーソナリティがThe New York Timesの記事を英語で読み、記事の中に出てくる単語を日本語で解説しています。

Voicy Journalでは、毎週金曜日にその週に読んだ記事を、まとめて紹介します!1週間の終わりに、その週の放送をもう1度聞いて復習するのも良いかもしれません。VoicyのPCページやアプリでは、再生速度も変えられるので、自分の理解度に応じて、調整してみましょう。

画像に alt 属性が指定されていません。ファイル名: billboard_20201202-1-1.png


‘Power for Power’: North Korea Returns to a Show of Force

著者:Choe Sang-Hun
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea issued warnings for more than a week. It swore that the Biden administration would pay a “price,” accused it of raising “a stink” on the Korean Peninsula and called Washington’s effort to open a channel of communication a “trick,” vowing to deal with the United States “power for power.”

Now, it appears that North Korea is done talking.

On Thursday it delivered its latest warning by launching two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast — the first such test by the country in a year and its first significant provocation against the United States under President Joe Biden.

North Korea confirmed the test Friday, saying that its military hit a target 373 miles away with a newly developed tactical guided missile that used solid fuel and could perform “gliding and pull-up” maneuvers in low-altitude flight. It indicated that the new missile was a modified version of one of the three solid-fuel ballistic missiles that it has tested since 2019.

The new solid-fuel missiles, which are on mobile launchers, are easier to transport and hide, take less time to prepare to launch and are harder to intercept because of their maneuverability, missile experts said. The North said its new missile would be a potent deterrent to South Korean and U.S. troops.

The launch, which defied the U.N. Security Council’s ban on ballistic missile tests by North Korea, reflected a country resorting again to shows of force, raising tensions to gain leverage as the Biden administration finalizes its North Korea policy review. The test was also seen as a signal to Washington that Pyongyang will carry out more provocative tests, involving longer-range missiles, if it decides that Biden’s policies are unreasonable.

“North Korea uses weapons tests strategically, both to make needed improvements to its weapons and to garner global attention,” said Jean H. Lee, a North Korea expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “With the United States hinting that it will seek to tighten the sanctions regime, North Korea will be looking to expand its arsenal by ramping up testing.”

The Biden administration has been reviewing whether to deal with North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats with more sanctions, a new round of dialogue or a mix of both.

ballistic missile 弾道ミサイル
provocation  怒らせる (挑発する) こと  
tactical   戦術の、方策の
maneuver 《軍事》(航空機の) 機動飛行
mobile launcher  移動式発射装置
intercept (~を) 途中で捕まえる、妨害する、封じる
maneuverability   操縦性、機動性
deterrent  抑止するもの、戦争抑止力
leverage  影響力
provocative (人) を刺激する (挑発する・怒らせる)
garner 獲得する、集める
sanctions regime 制裁体制
arsenal  貯蔵武器 (兵器)


After Failed IPO, WeWork Will Go Public Through a Merger

著者:Peter Eavis and Lauren Hirsch
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Even though WeWork has long lost billions of dollars, it always found ways to attract huge investments from deep-pocketed investors. Now, less than two years after it was rescued from a collapse, the coworking company has found yet another backer willing to overlook its losses.

The company announced Friday that it had agreed to merge with a blank-check firm in a deal that would give it a listing on the stock market it was denied when it was forced to shelve an initial public offering as investors questioned its financial strength and dubious governance practices.

Instead of a traditional IPO, WeWork is merging with BowX Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition companies, or SPAC, listed on the stock exchange for the sole purpose of buying a business.

BowX is backed by Bow Capital, an investment firm that counts Shaquille O’Neal, the former basketball player, as an adviser.

WeWork leases office space and then effectively sublets it to its members. Its heady expansion was fueled by SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate, which became WeWork’s largest shareholder and rescued the company in 2019 just as it was about to run out of cash.

WeWork said the deal with BowX gave it an equity value of $7.9 billion, far less than the nearly $50 billion value its investors placed on the company in 2019. WeWork will receive $1.3 billion in cash from the deal.

The pandemic has emptied WeWork’s offices — memberships fell to 476,000 last year, from 619,000 in 2019 — and it is not clear how much demand there will be for its office space in the future.

Still, BowX CEO Vivek Ranadivé told CNBC on Friday that the pandemic would be a “tail wind” for the office-sharing company.

“Companies have now decided that flex space is the must-have,” said Ranadivé, a technology entrepreneur who owns the Sacramento Kings basketball team. “Maybe for their own headquarters they want to own that space. But for everything else, they want to hand it over to a WeWork.”

A presentation released Friday said the company lost $3.8 billion last year, about the same as in 2019.

Deep-pocketed お金のある
Backer 支持者
Blank-check 白紙のチェック
Dubious 怪しい
Sublet また借り
Conglomerate コングロマリット、複合企業
Equity value 株式価値
Must-have 必要不可欠


Google Aims to Be the Anti-Amazon of E-Commerce. It Has a Long Way to Go.

著者:Daisuke Wakabayashi
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

OAKLAND, Calif. — Google tried to copy Amazon’s playbook to become the shopping hub of the internet, with little success. Now it is trying something different: the anti-Amazon strategy.

Google is trying to present itself as a cheaper and less restrictive option for independent sellers. And it is focused on driving traffic to sellers’ sites, not selling its own version of products as Amazon does.

In the last year, Google eliminated fees for merchants and allowed sellers to list their wares in its search results for free. It is also trying to make it easier for small, independent shops to upload their inventory of products to appear in search results and buy ads on Google by teaming up with Shopify, which powers online stores for 1.7 million merchants who sell directly to consumers.

But like Google’s many attempts during its two-decade quest to compete with Amazon, this one shows little sign of working. Google has nothing as alluring as the $295 billion that passed through Amazon’s third-party marketplace in 2020. The amount of goods people buy on Google is “very small” by comparison — probably around $1 billion, said Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of Marketplace Pulse, a research company.

Amazon is a fixture in the lives of many Americans. It has usurped Google as the starting point for shoppers and has become equally essential for marketers. Amazon’s global advertising business grew 30% to $17.6 billion in 2020, trailing only Google and Facebook in the United States.

But as the pandemic has forced many stores to go online, it has created a new opening for Google to woo sellers who feel uneasy about building their businesses on Amazon.

Sellers often complain about Amazon’s fees — which can account for one-quarter of every sale, not including the cost of advertising — and the pressure to spend more to succeed.

But since 2002, when it started a price comparison site called Froogle, a confusing play on the word “frugal” that required a rebranding five years later, Google has struggled to chart a cohesive vision for its shopping experience.

Last year, Google brought in Bill Ready, a former chief operating officer at PayPal, to fill a new senior position and spearhead an overhaul of its shopping strategy.

playbook 脚本、作戦計画書
wares 商品
alluring 心を奪う、魅力的な
fixture 定着したもの、固定物
usurp 奪う 
trail 後を追う                                                                   
woo (人に)…するようにせがむ、懇願する
frugal 倹約した、節約した
cohesive 凝縮した、まとまりのある
spearhead 先頭に立つ、指揮を執る
overhaul (組織・方法・考えなどを)徹底的に見直す


Can New Gun Violence Research Find a Path Around the Political Stalemate?

著者:Sheryl Gay Stolberg
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

WASHINGTON — Dr. Bindi J. Naik-Mathuria, a pediatric trauma surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital, has a $684,000 federal grant to track every gun-related death and injury in Houston. The goal: identify and address “hot spots.”

Dr. Garen J. Wintemute, an emergency room doctor and longtime firearm violence researcher in California, is supervising scientific research on whether community interventions in Detroit and Cleveland can drive down gun-related deaths and injuries.

And Andrew R. Morral, a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corp., a research group, is using sophisticated modeling tools to estimate rates of gun ownership in every state to search for patterns in firearm homicides and suicides — a first step that could lead to reducing them.

The recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado, have once again left Democrats and Republicans in a stalemate over background checks for gun buyers and assault weapons bans. But public health experts say a new round of research could pave the way for gun policies that avoid partisan gridlock — and ultimately save thousands of lives.

The studies by Naik-Mathuria and the others are being paid for by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is once again funding research into gun violence after a nearly 25-year hiatus imposed by Congress.

Like cancer, there is no single cure for the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. If politicians want to make a difference, experts say, lawmakers need to quit the fruitless fights over whether liberals want to take people’s guns away and start financing — and listening to — research that could inform policies that could address the carnage.

“It’s not either, ‘Keep your guns or prevent gun violence,’” said Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who helped establish the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “There’s a strategy that science can help us define where you can do both — you can protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and at the very same time reduce the toll of gun violence.”

Federal money for gun research all but disappeared after Congress in 1996 enacted the Dickey Amendment, which barred the CDC from spending money to “advocate or promote gun control.” But the CDC and the National Institutes of Health are now financing nearly two dozen studies.

pediatric 小児科(の)
surgeon 外科医
👆doctor(医者), physician(内科医)
federal grant 連邦政府補助金
firearm 火器(特に小火器)
interventions 干渉、介入 [語源: inter(間に)+vene(入る)+tion(こと)]
sophisticated 洗練された、精巧な
homicides 殺人 [語源: homo(人)+cide(殺す)] [親戚: suicide(自殺), pesticide(殺虫剤)]
stalemate 手詰まり、行き詰まり
partisan 党派心の強いもの
gridlock 大渋滞、停滞
hiatus すき間、割れ目、休止状態 [語源: ラテン語であくび]
fruitless 実りのない
carnage 大虐殺
👆carnivore(肉食動物), carcass(死体)
toll of ~ 〜の犠牲/〜による損害(の数)


Nearly 200 Baby Tortoises Are Seized at Galápagos Airport

著者:Johnny Diaz
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Officials at an airport in the Galápagos Islands seized 185 baby tortoises Sunday that were wrapped in plastic and packed in a suitcase that was bound for mainland Ecuador, the authorities said.

The tortoises were discovered in a red suitcase that was on its way to the port city of Guayaquil, Ecuador, during an inspection at the Galápagos Ecological Airport on the island of Baltra, the airport said in a statement.

Airport officials said Sunday that 10 of the tortoises, which were estimated to be at least 3 months old, had died. Five more died Monday, according to Ecuador’s environmental minister, Marcelo Mata.

The theft is the latest episode to prompt outrage in the environmentally fragile Galápagos archipelago, which is about 600 miles off the Pacific coast of Ecuador. In 2018, a group of tour operators wrote to Ecuador’s tourism minister to express concern that the growth of land-based tourism on the islands had the potential to harm its photogenic landscapes and beaches as well as its famous wildlife, including giant tortoises, sea lions and iguanas.

A motive for the tortoise smuggling effort was not immediately clear. James P. Gibbs, a professor of environmental and forest biology at the State University of New York in Syracuse, said a healthy juvenile tortoise could be sold for about $5,000. Tortoises are killed in the wild for food or for their oil, he said.

The suitcase, he said, was “a tremendous amount of value to somebody.” He said the theft was “brazen,” adding, “The cruelty of it is what struck me.”

The surviving reptiles, which were described as giant tortoises, were transferred to the Fausto Llerena breeding center on Santa Cruz Island, he said.

Mata announced Monday that a police officer, Nixon Alejandro, had been arrested in the case, which was being investigated by the Ministry of the Environment and Water and by state prosecutors. The authorities said that Alejandro would be charged with a crime against wild flora and fauna, which is punishable by up to three years in prison.

The tortoises were being evaluated by veterinarians, who reported on Monday that they were not in good health, Mata said.

tortoise 陸亀
bound for 〜行きの
on its way (物が)輸送中である
inspection 調査、検査
theft 窃盗罪
outrage 激怒
concern 懸念
harm 危害
brazen 平然を装う
cruelty 残酷、残忍な行為


One Vaccine Is Good. How About Mixing Two?

著者:Carl Zimmer
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

In January, Britain made a change to its vaccine guidelines that shocked many health experts: If the second dose of one vaccine wasn’t available, patients could be given a different one.

The new rule was based on sheer guesswork; there was no scientific data at the time demonstrating that mixing two coronavirus vaccines was safe and effective. But that may change soon.

In February, researchers at the University of Oxford began a trial in which volunteers received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine followed by a dose of AstraZeneca’s formulation, or vice versa. This month, the researchers will start analyzing the blood of the subjects to see how well the mix-and-match approach works.

As a growing number of vaccines are being authorized, researchers are testing other combinations. A few are in clinical trials, while others are being tested in animals for now.

Mixing vaccines might do more than just help overcome supply bottlenecks. Some researchers suspect that a pair of different vaccines might work better than two doses of the same one.

The concept of mixing vaccines — sometimes called a heterologous prime-boost — is not new to our pandemic era. For decades, researchers have investigated the approach, hoping to find potent combinations against a range of viruses, such as influenza, HIV and Ebola.

But scientists had little to show for all that research. It was easy enough to demonstrate that two vaccines may work well together in a mouse. But running full-blown clinical trials on a combination of vaccines is a tall order.

Some of the early successes for heterologous prime-boosts came in the search for vaccines for Ebola. Many researchers focused their efforts on presenting the immune system with a protein found on the surface of the Ebola virus.

The gene for that protein was inserted into a different, harmless virus. When people received an injection of the vaccine, the harmless virus entered their cells; the cells then read the instructions in the Ebola gene and mass-produced Ebola’s surface protein. The immune system encountered the Ebola protein and made antibodies against it. And those antibodies protected the vaccinated people if they became infected with a full-blown Ebola virus.

sheer guesswork まったくの当てずっぽう、推測
mix-and-match さまざまな物を組み合わせて作った
bottleneck 障害、ネックとなるもの
heterologous prime-boost 異種プライムブーストワクチン接種法
potent 効能のある、有力な
full-blown 満開の、本格的な
tall order 難しい注文、無理難題
immune system 免疫システム
antibodies 抗体


Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Is Said to Be Powerfully Protective in Adolescents

著者:Apoorva Mandavilli
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective in young adolescents, perhaps even more so than in adults, the companies reported Wednesday — a finding that could speed a return to normalcy for millions of American families.

No symptomatic infections were found among children ages 12 to 15 who received the vaccine in a recent clinical trial, the drugmakers said; the children produced strong antibody responses and experienced no serious side effects.

Depending on regulatory approval, vaccinations could begin before the start of the next academic year for middle school and high school students, and for elementary school children not long after.

The companies announced the results in a statement that did not include detailed data from the trial, which has not yet been peer-reviewed nor published in a scientific journal. Still, the news drew praise and excitement from experts.

Vaccination efforts are accelerating throughout the nation. As of Tuesday, 29% of Americans had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and 16% had been fully inoculated, according to the CDC.

But the country cannot hope to reach herd immunity — the point at which immunity becomes so widespread that the coronavirus slows its crawl through the population — without also inoculating the youngest Americans, some experts say. Children younger than 18 account for about 23% of the U.S. population.

“The sooner that we can get vaccines into as many people as possible, regardless of their age, the sooner we will be able to really feel like we’re ending this pandemic for good,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virus expert affiliated with Georgetown University in Washington.

The trial included 2,260 adolescents ages 12 to 15. The children received two doses of the vaccine three weeks apart — the same amounts and schedule used for adults — or a placebo of saltwater.

The researchers recorded 18 cases of symptomatic coronavirus infection in the placebo group and none among the children who received the vaccine. Still, the low number of infections makes it difficult to be too specific about the vaccine’s efficacy in the population at large, Rasmussen said.

The adolescents who got the vaccine produced much higher levels of antibodies on average, compared with participants 16 to 25 years old in an earlier trial. The children experienced the same minor side effects as older participants, although the companies declined to be more specific.

adolescent  青年/若者
normalcy  正常性/通常
symptomatic  症状あり/症候的な
clinical trial  臨床試験/治験
side effect  副作用
peer-reviewed  査読済み/審査済み
herd immunity   集団免疫
placebo   プラセボ/偽薬
efficacy   効き目/効果
at large   全般/あまねく

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