Voicy Journal

【2/21-2/27】The New York Timesのニュースまとめ 〜Voicy News Brief〜

【2/21-2/27】The New York Timesのニュースまとめ 〜Voicy News Brief〜

音声プラットフォーム「Voicy」で毎朝6時30分に更新中の英語ニュースチャンネル「Voicy News Brief with articles from New York Times」。このチャンネルでは、The New York Timesの記事をバイリンガルのパーソナリティが英語で読み上げ、記事と英単語を日本語で解説しています。英語のニュースを毎朝聴いて、リスニング力の向上と英語学習にお役立てください。

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After Mounting a Comeback, Eagles Face a New Threat

lead 鉛、鉛筆の芯
bird of prey 猛禽類
ammunition 弾薬、(議論での)攻撃手段
scavenge (ごみを)あさる、清掃する
devastating 破壊的な、圧倒的な、ひどい
locomotion 自発運動、歩行運動
backlog 在庫、蓄積
phase out (計画・作戦などの)段階的廃止

著者:Maria Cramer
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

The bald eagle, whose resurgence is considered one of the great conservation success stories of the 21st century, is facing a serious threat: lead poisoning.

Researchers who tested the feathers, bones, livers and blood of 1,200 bald eagles and golden eagles, another bird of prey in the Northern Hemisphere, found that nearly half of them had been exposed repeatedly to lead, which can lead to death and slow population growth.

Scientists believe that the primary source of the lead is spent ammunition from hunters who shoot animals that eagles then scavenge, usually during the winter, according to the study, published Thursday in the journal Science.

Nearly one-third of the birds tested showed signs of acute poisoning, or short-term exposure to lead, according to the study, which was led by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Conservation Science Global, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The effects of lead poisoning are devastating, said Vincent Slabe, lead author of the study and a research wildlife biologist for Conservation Science Global in Montana.

Lead poisoning can prevent an eagle from digesting food properly, eventually leading to starvation, he said. It can cause loss of locomotion so severe that an eagle will lose the ability to move, he said.

Slabe said he hoped the report’s findings would help to educate hunters and encourage more of them to switch to lead-free ammunition.

Many hunters, concerned about effects not only on wildlife but also on game meat consumed by humans, have been moving away from lead ammunition and have begun using copper bullets.

But some hunters hesitate to switch ammunition because of tradition, a mistaken belief that copper bullets are less effective or because they have a backlog of lead bullets.

In January 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a policy to phase out lead ammunition and fishing tackle used on national wildlife refuges. The Trump administration reversed the decision.

On Friday, the service declined to say whether that policy would be reinstated as a result of the new study.



With Olympics Closing Ceremony, China Celebrates a Joyless Triumph

constrict 締め付ける、抑制する
tainted (by) …で汚れる、(道徳的に)堕落させる
contentious  議論の原因となる、紛糾した
pull off やってのける
fend off (攻撃などを) 受け流す、かわす
dodge 言い逃れる、はぐらかす
farce 茶番劇

著者:Steven Lee Myers and Kevin Draper
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

BEIJING — All along, Chinese officials insisted that the Olympics were not about politics, but rather sports. In the end, controversy and scandal haunted those, too.

For all of China’s efforts to carry on the Winter Games with a festive spirit, Beijing 2022 unfolded as a joyless spectacle: constricted by a global health disaster, fraught with geopolitical tensions, tainted once again by accusations of doping and overshadowed by the crisis in Ukraine.

As athletes marched into the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing on Sunday night to close the most contentious Olympics in years, China could celebrate pulling off The Games on schedule, despite everything. It is a success, however, as measured by the low bar of avoiding total disaster.

The most indelible memory of these Winter Olympics — beside images of Olympic workers and volunteers enrobed in hazmat gear — will very likely be that of a 15-year-old Russian skater falling on the ice after being allowed to compete despite a test showing traces of a banned heart medicine.

The skater, Kamila Valieva, broke into tears after her dismal performance, only to be berated by her coach.

The International Olympic Committee, which spent years fending off doubts about choosing an authoritarian nation as host, spent much of the past two weeks dodging controversy after controversy in Beijing.

In addition to troubling issues raised by the Valieva episode, it faced questions about the conditions for athletes who isolated after testing positive for COVID; about the fate of Peng Shuai, the tennis player and former Olympian who accused a senior Chinese official of sexual assault; about the inevitable injection of politics into an event meant to rise above them.

Chinese officials accused the United States and other nations of politicizing the Olympics, denouncing President Joe Biden’s diplomatic boycott as “a farce.” And yet China also injected its own political elements.

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, met the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, only hours before the opening ceremony, a show of support in the face of Western threats to punish Moscow if its forces invade Ukraine.

“What can one say, except to heave a sigh,” said Orville Schell, the director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York. “Such an august occasion, designed to promote openness, good sportsmanship and transnational solidarity, ended up being a heavily policed, brittle, Potemkin-like simulacrum of the Olympic ideal.”



Biden Administration Halts New Drilling in Legal Fight Over Climate Costs

halt ためらう、停止する
indefinitely 無期限に
tackle タックルする、取り組む
wildfire 山火事、森林火災
take into account 考慮する
appointee 被任命者
injunction 命令、(法廷の)差し止め命令
grant 承諾する、(国が与える)補助金、助成金

著者:Lisa Friedman
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is indefinitely freezing decisions about new federal oil and gas drilling as part of a legal brawl with Republican-led states that could impact President Joe Biden’s plans to tackle climate change.

The move, which came Saturday, was a response to a recent federal ruling that blocked the way the Biden administration was calculating the real cost of climate change, a figure that guides a range of government decisions, including whether to permit new oil, gas or coal extraction on public lands and in federal waters.

Under President Barack Obama, the government estimated that the damage from wildfires, floods and rising sea levels was $51 for every ton of carbon dioxide generated by burning fossil fuels. President Donald Trump lowered that number, setting it at $7 or less per ton. Upon taking office, Biden revived the $51 level.

Known as the “social cost of carbon,” the metric is designed to underline the economic threats from greenhouse gas emissions so they can be compared to the economic benefits from acts like oil drilling. Economists and climate scientists say it is needed because climate-fueled heat waves, storms, wildfires and flooding cost the United States billions of dollars annually but those costs are often not taken into account by policymakers.

But 10 Republican-led states sued the government, and on Feb. 11, Judge James D. Cain Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana found that the Biden administration’s calculations “artificially increase the cost estimates” of oil and gas drilling.

Cain, a Trump appointee, said using the social cost of carbon in decision-making would harm Louisiana and other energy producing states. He issued an injunction preventing the administration from considering the metric. The Justice Department said it intends to appeal.

In a twist, the fallout from the judge’s ruling is that the federal government has stopped work on new oil and gas leases, as well as permits to drill on federal lands and waters.

“Work surrounding public-facing rules, grants, leases, permits and other projects has been delayed or stopped altogether so that agencies can assess whether and how they can proceed,” the Justice Department wrote in a legal filing Saturday asking the court to stay the injunction.



Got a COVID Booster? You Probably Won’t Need Another for a Long Time

grapple with 取り組む、格闘する
loom 迫る、立ちはだかる
a flurry of 相次ぐ、立て続けの
dodge さっと避ける、回避する
evade 避ける、身をかわす
repertoire レパートリー
ammunition 弾薬、攻撃手段

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

As people across the world grapple with the prospect of living with the coronavirus for the foreseeable future, one question looms large: How soon before they need yet another shot?

Not for many months, and perhaps not for years, according to a flurry of new studies.

Three doses of a COVID vaccine — or even just two — are enough to protect most people from serious illness and death for a long time, the studies suggest.

“We’re starting to see now diminishing returns on the number of additional doses,” said John Wherry, director of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania. Although people who are over 65 or at high risk of illness may benefit from a fourth vaccine dose, it may be unnecessary for most people, he added.

Federal health officials including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration’s top COVID adviser, have also said that they are unlikely to recommend a fourth dose before the fall.

The omicron variant can dodge antibodies — immune molecules that prevent the virus from infecting cells — produced after two doses of a COVID vaccine. But a third shot of the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or by Moderna prompts the body to make a much wider variety of antibodies, which would be difficult for any variant of the virus to evade, according to the most recent study.

The diverse repertoire of antibodies produced should be able to protect people from new variants, even those that differ significantly from the original version of the virus, the study suggests.

“If people are exposed to another variant like omicron, they now got some extra ammunition to fight it,” said Dr. Julie McElrath, an infectious disease physician and immunologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

What’s more, other parts of the immune system can remember and destroy the virus over many months if not years, according to at least four studies published in top-tier journals over the past month.

Specialized immune cells called T cells produced after immunization by four brands of COVID vaccine — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax — are about 80% as powerful against omicron as other variants, the research found. Given how different omicron’s mutations are from previous variants, it is very likely that T cells would mount a similarly robust attack on any future variant as well, researchers said.



The Dinosaur Age May Have Ended in Springtime

Asteroid 隕石、小惑星
Paper 論文
Cretaceous period 白亜紀
Paleontologists 考古学者
Slosh 水をはね散らす
Cataclysm 大異変
Caliber 口径、質

著者:Kenneth Chang
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

The dinosaur-killing meteor hit in spring.

That is the conclusion of scientists who examined the bones of fish that died on that day when a 6-mile-wide asteroid collided with Earth.

“These fishes died in spring,” said Melanie During, a graduate student at Uppsala University in Sweden and lead author of a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature. “The reign of dinosaurs ended in spring.”

Scientists have known when the meteor hit — just over 66 million years ago, give or take 11,000 years — and where it hit, off the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. That ended the Cretaceous period of Earth’s geological history, but even though three-quarters or more of the species of plants and animals disappeared in the mass extinction that followed, it has been hard to pinpoint fossils of anything directly killed by the meteor.

But in 2019, paleontologists published the discovery in southwestern North Dakota of what appeared to be a mass graveyard of creatures that died hours or days after the impact. Although North Dakota was about 2,000 miles from where the meteor hit, the seismic waves of what was the equivalent of an earthquake with a magnitude of 10 or 11 sloshed water out of the lakes and rivers and killed the fish. Tektites — small glass beads propelled into the air by the impact — rained from the skies.

The researchers spent years exploring the site, known as Tanis, which is in the fossil-rich Hell Creek formation that stretches across four states.

With the new science results, the fossils now provide insight into the cataclysm that was previously impossible to discern.

“It’s amazing that we can take an event, a single moment that happened 66 million years ago — literally a rock falling down and in an instant striking the Earth — and we can pinpoint that event to a particular time of the year,” said Stephen L. Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh who was not involved in the research. “I think it’s a detective story of the highest caliber.”

Animals in the Northern Hemisphere — some emerging from hibernation or giving birth to young — might have been more vulnerable to extinction. “If it was spring, then it was not very likely for many organisms to be in hibernation,” During said.



Hank the Tank, a 500-Pound Bear, Ransacks a California Community

Ransack くまなく探る、あさり回る
Nuisance やっかいなもの、不快なもの・人
Rummage ひっかき回して捜す、捜索する
Deter (おじけづかせて)やめさせる、思い止まらせる、阻止する
Rampage 荒々しく突進する、あばれ回る
Euthanize 安楽死させる
Vandalize 故意に破壊する
Sweet 甘い、甘美な、声の美しい、気持ち良い、楽しい
Dummy 飾り人形、ダミー、標的人形、替え玉、ばか者

著者:Alyssa Lukpat
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Since summer, a black bear known as Hank the Tank has made a 500-pound nuisance of himself in South Lake Tahoe, California, breaking into more than two dozen homes to rummage for food and leaving a trail of damage behind.

So far, nobody has been able to deter Hank, said Peter Tira, a spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Department officials and local police have tried to “haze” the bear with paintballs, bean bags, sirens and Tasers, but he is too drawn to humans and their food to stay away for long.

“It’s easier to find leftover pizza than to go in the forest,” Tira said Sunday.

Residents have called police about Hank more than 100 times since July as he continues to rampage through Tahoe Keys, a gated community about 190 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Now authorities are trying to trap Hank and possibly euthanize him.

“This is a bear that has lost all fear of people,” Tira said. “It’s a potentially dangerous situation.”

Hank, so named by local residents, has used his size and strength to barge through garages, windows and doors. As of Thursday, Hank had broken into at least 28 homes.

At 500 pounds, Hank is “exceptionally large,” state wildlife authorities said. The average black bear in the western United States weighs 100 to 300 pounds, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

But Hank’s diet of human food and garbage has expanded his size, said Ann Bryant, executive director of the Bear League, a wildlife rescue service in Homewood, California.

“He didn’t get fat like that eating berries and grubs,” she said, adding that it was not clear how Hank developed a taste for human food.

Hank became one of the neighborhood’s least-wanted residents in July, which is around the time that bears enter hyperphagia, a period when they bulk up on calories before they hibernate for the winter, according to the National Park Service.

But Hank’s penchant for breaking into homes did not slow in the winter, leading the state wildlife authorities to believe that he never went into hibernation, Tira said. Sometimes bears do not hibernate if they have year-round access to food, he said.

Hank did not wander into a trap set for him this month, so authorities are brainstorming a new approach, with euthanasia being their “last option,” Tira said.

If officials move the bear to another area, that could simply relocate the problem, he said, adding that all the sanctuaries are too full to take Hank.

And that is the point of contention between the California wildlife authorities and the residents of Tahoe Keys. Many of the residents want to see Hank sent to a sanctuary and not euthanized, Bryant said.

Black bears have roamed the area for generations. They have coexisted with the residents, who have learned not to leave food out and to seal their trash in bear-proof containers. Still, bears have occasionally caused trouble in the area. In 2007, The New York Times described the animals as “home-wreckers.”

The bear situation took a turn during the coronavirus pandemic, when some people moved to the area to work remotely. New residents were not all “as bear aware as they should be,” Tira said. And after people fled South Lake Tahoe during the Caldor fire in September, the bears assumed the place of humans, walking the streets and checking out homes, he said.

Even though neighbors do not want Hank to vandalize their homes, they want him to be treated with respect, Bryant said. State authorities took down a bear trap in the area after someone spray painted “Bear Killer” on it.

Residents are quick to point out that Hank is gentle and sweet. When he breaks into a home, he is far more interested in the food than any people who may be inside, Bryant said.

“He just sits there and eats,” she said. “He doesn’t attack them. He doesn’t growl. He doesn’t make rude faces.”

Although homeowners have reported that Hank has caused extensive property damage, he has not harmed any humans, authorities said.

“Why should this big dummy die?” Bryant said.



Sea Ice Around Antarctica Reaches a Record Low

Antarctic 南極(地方)の
extent 範囲・程度・限界・広がり
variable 変化しやすい
atmospheris 大気(中)の・雰囲気に富む
dip ちょっと浸す・下がる、減少する
reversal 逆転・反転

著者:Henry Fountain
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Sea ice around Antarctica has reached a record low in four decades of observations, a new analysis of satellite images shows.

As of Tuesday, ice covered 750,000 square miles around the Antarctic coast, below the previous record low of 815,000 square miles in early March 2017, according to the analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

“It’s really unprecedented,” said Marilyn N. Raphael, a professor of geography at UCLA who studies Antarctic sea ice. Warmer ocean temperatures may have played a role, she said, “but there are other factors that we will be working on finding out in the next months.”

Antarctic sea ice extent is highly variable from year to year but overall has increased slightly, on average, since the late 1970s, when satellite observations began.

Edward Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, a climate scientist at the University of Washington, said that many scientists expect that global warming will eventually lead to declines in Antarctic sea ice. But right now, he said, “it’s really hard to connect the two, especially in terms of single events like this one.”

Instead, a complex group of factors is at play when it come to Antarctic sea ice. Large-scale atmospheric patterns, often occurring far from the continent, as well as local ocean currents and winds can all increase or reduce sea ice coverage.

Blanchard-Wrigglesworth said that to understand why the ice extent is so low now, researchers will have to examine how conditions might have shifted last year.

This year’s ice extent could dip even lower, depending on the weather, but should soon start increasing as temperatures begin to drop heading into the Antarctic fall and winter. Ice coverage reaches a maximum each year around the end of September. The average maximum over four decades is more than 7 million square miles.

Blanchard-Wrigglesworth said that events like this one and the previous record low offered researchers an opportunity to better understand the connection between climate change and sea ice in Antarctica. “A valid new research question might be, are these the first few indications that there is starting to be a reversal in the long-term trends?” he said.


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