Voicy Journal

【5/16-5/22】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。

このVoicy Journalでは、毎週月曜日に前の1週間分のスクリプトをまとめて紹介しています。放送はアプリやWebページからいつでもご視聴いただけます。Voicy News Brief Season3の記事は2/7(月)以降をご覧ください!


In London, a Long-Awaited High-Speed Train Is Ready to Roll

dilapidated 荒廃した、老朽化した
crusade 十字軍、改革運動、反対運動
lament 嘆き悲しむ、残念に思う、哀悼する
restive そわそわした、落ち着かない、反抗的な
uncoil ほどく、伸ばす
cheeky 生意気な、図々しい
evangelist 伝道者
glitch 欠陥、故障
namesake 同名の人、ちなんだ名前の人

著者:Mark Landler
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

LONDON — When Andy Byford ran New York City’s dilapidated subway system, New Yorkers hailed his crusade to make the trains run with fewer delays and lamented his premature exit after clashes with the governor at the time, Andrew Cuomo. He was a familiar, unfailingly cheerful presence on its often-restive platforms. Straphangers even took to calling him “Train Daddy.”

Nobody calls Byford Train Daddy in London, where he resurfaced in May 2020 as the commissioner of the city’s transit authority, Transport for London. But May 24, when he opens the Elizabeth line — the long-delayed, $22 billion-plus high-speed railway that uncoils from west and east underneath central London — he might find himself again worthy of a cheeky nickname.

“That was fun in New York,” said Byford, 56, a public transport evangelist who grew up in Plymouth, England, began his career as a tube-station manager in London, and has also run transit systems in Toronto and Sydney, Australia. “But I’m really enjoying almost complete anonymity in London.”

The Elizabeth line has been under construction for 13 years, seven years before Britons voted to leave the European Union. It was on the drawing board for decades before that, under the name Crossrail — so long that in the minds of many Londoners, it was never going to be finished.

Byford did not single-handedly turn around the project. Much of the credit goes to new managers, led by Mark Wild, who took over the Elizabeth line when it fell into crisis in 2018. But Byford secured an additional $1 billion from the government in late 2020 to prevent construction from being halted, and he has been running the trains for months without passengers to ensure a glitch-free debut.

Byford and Wild burst with pride about the system, which will open 3 1/2 years late but just in time for the Platinum Jubilee of its namesake, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Elizabeth line does have, in the words of Tony Travers, an urban-affairs expert at the London School of Economics, a “wow factor.” The stations are vast, cathedral-like spaces, with platforms that seem to stretch to infinity. The trains, roomy and twice the length of regular subways, arrive with scarcely a whisper.

“It will be seen as a major engineering achievement,” Travers predicted.



Business Travel Resumes, Though Not at Its Former Pace

albeit たとえ…でも、…にもかかわらず (=although)
supplant (強引な手段で)(…に)取って代わる
upswing  上昇、著しい増大
disparate 本質的に異なる、全く別の
take root 定着する、安定するようになる
stifle (…を) 抑える

著者:Jane L. Levere
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Business travel appears to be returning, albeit unevenly, after all but disappearing for most of the pandemic.

Despite early predictions that Zoom meetings would supplant face-to-face encounters even after the coronavirus had receded, industry trade groups and hotel companies are pointing to significant upswings in small business meetings as well as larger conventions and trade shows in the past couple of months. Airlines also say bookings by business travelers have recently jumped.

What is not returning so quickly, executives and experts say, are business trips by individuals. Some employers continue to set limits on travel. In other cases, because of COVID-19 restrictions, visitors are not allowed in the offices of the people they want to see.

And reflecting the disparate pace of the recovery, domestic business travel has returned faster than international, and travel to and from Europe has had a bigger rebound than Asia bookings.

Even within the United States, the strength of the return of business travel depends on the destination.

In Las Vegas, the number of trade shows and events scheduled is actually higher this year than in 2019. But attendance is projected to be only 60% to 65% of the pre-pandemic level, said Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. In New York, the city’s tourism promotion body forecasts that business travel will not exceed 2019 levels until 2025.

Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst for Atmosphere Research, pointed to data on worldwide airline ticket sales that “shows a steady increase in the number of business travel tickets being issued.”

Yet, for all the positive signs that business travel is taking root again, Russia’s war in Ukraine, China’s “zero COVID” lockdowns and the unpredictable path of the pandemic all threaten to stifle a widespread return to 2019 levels from happening anytime soon.

Robert Crandall, former president and chair of American Airlines, said the war in Ukraine could have significant consequences on the global economy. “People want to feel safe,” he said. “This will make them feel less safe, which will have an adverse impact on travel.”

Harteveldt was more optimistic about the prospects for business travel. “If developed countries’ economies remain strong and the war in Ukraine doesn’t spread, then the business travel industry will have a good fall and winter,” he said, “and 2023 will be a good, possibly great, year for it.”



FDA and Abbott Reach Agreement on Baby Formula to Try to Ease Shortage

Baby Formula 調整ミルク
Exasperate 怒らせる、いらだてる
Poised 用意ができて
Conclusive 決定的な
Replenish (〜を)再び満たす、(〜で〜を)補充する
Deplete 使い尽くす、枯渇させる
Exacerbate 悪化させる

著者:Christina Jewett
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday reached an agreement with Abbott Laboratories on the steps needed to reopen the company’s shuttered baby formula plant, which could begin to ease the shortage of infant formula that has frightened and exasperated parents nationwide.

The FDA said it expected Abbott to restart production in about two weeks, and was poised to review progress at the plant in Sturgis, Michigan. It has been shut down since February after several babies who had consumed formula that had been produced there fell ill and two died.

The agreement stems from a U.S. Department of Justice complaint and consent decree with the company and three of its executives. Those court records say the FDA found a deadly bacteria, called cronobacter, in the plant in February and the company found more tranches of the bacteria later that month.

According to the complaint, the same Sturgis factory had also produced two batches of formula in the summer of 2019 and 2020 on different production equipment that tested positive for the bacteria.

Abbott staff “have been unwilling or unable to implement sustainable corrective actions to ensure the safety and quality of food manufactured for infants,” leading to the need for legal action, the documents state.

In a release, Abbott said “there is no conclusive evidence to link Abbott’s formulas to these infant illnesses.”

The company said Monday that production could begin within about two weeks and could translate to more formula on shelves in six to eight weeks. The company said it will continue flying formula in from a plant in Ireland.

As frustration at the crib side and in grocery aisles grew, the agency has been in a race to replenish depleted supplies that have become political fodder for Republicans against the Biden administration.

The plant shutdown exacerbated an existing supply crisis, as parents rushed to stock up on formula.

Susan Mayne, a top FDA food regulator, said Monday evening the agency issued guidance to spur international formula makers to ship their products to the United States. She said the relaxed import restrictions would be in place for 180 days and the effort could take weeks to bring more product to shelves.



Ukraine Wins the Eurovision Song Contest

solidarity 団結、連帯
rousing 鼓舞する、興奮させる
anthemic 聖歌のような
popular vote 人気投票、一般投票
estrangement 疎遠、仲違い

著者:Elisabetta Povoledo,Alex Marshall,Dan Bilefsky and anushka Patil
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

TURIN, Italy — Ukrainian rap and folk band Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, as European viewers and juries delivered a symbolic, pop culture endorsement of solidarity behind Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s invasion.

After 80 days of fighting that has forced millions from their homes, brought ruin to cities and towns across Ukraine’s east and killed tens of thousands, the band won an emotional victory for Ukraine with a performance of “Stefania,” a rousing, anthemic song. Written to honor the mother of the group’s frontman, Oleh Psiuk, the song has been reinterpreted during the war as a tribute to Ukraine as a motherland.

The song includes lyrics that roughly translate to, “You can’t take my willpower from me, as I got it from her,” and “I’ll always find my way home, even if the roads are destroyed.”

After Psiuk performed the song Saturday night, he put his hand to his heart and shouted, “I ask for all of you, please help Ukraine!” Europe’s voters listened, giving the band 631 votes to win, far ahead of Sam Ryder of Britain, who took second place with 466 votes. The band got 439 nods from the popular vote, the highest number in Eurovision history.

Psiuk’s mother had texted him after the win to say that she loved him “and she was proud,” he said at a media conference after the contest at which he thanked everyone who had voted for the group.

Kalush Orchestra had been considered a favorite, traveling with special permission to bypass a martial law preventing most Ukrainian men from leaving the country.

The band’s victory over 39 other national acts illustrated how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has unified Europe, inspiring a wave of weapons and aid deliveries for Ukraine, pushing countries like Sweden and Finland closer to NATO and bringing the European Union to the verge of cutting itself off from Russian energy.

And it underscored just how sweeping Russia’s estrangement from the international community has become, extending from foreign ministries through financial markets and into the realm of culture. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, organizers barred Russian performers from the event, citing fears that Russia’s inclusion would damage the contest’s reputation.



Walmart Profits Drop, Dragged Down by Higher Costs for Food and Fuel

Bottom line 純利益
Ominous 縁起の悪い
Opt 選ぶ
Private label プライベートブランド(PB)
Caught off guard 不意を付かれる

著者:Michael Corkery
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, is being hit hard by inflation. The company reported Tuesday that its profit in the first three months of the year fell 25% from a year ago, an unexpectedly large drop that Walmart blamed on broadly higher costs, particularly in labor and fuel.

“Bottom line results were unexpected and reflect the unusual environment,” Walmart’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, said in a statement. “U.S. inflation levels, particularly in food and fuel, created more pressure on margin, mix and operating costs than we expected.”

The drop meant that for the first time in many years, Walmart did not meet Wall Street’s profit expectations, an ominous signal for other companies trying to navigate the current inflationary environment.

Walmart’s earnings of $1.30 per share in the quarter were lower than the $1.48 expected by many analysts.

The rare profit decline shows how inflation, which is running at a 40-year high in the United States, is rattling even a giant company like Walmart, which typically can use its size and scale to lower the costs of the goods that it sells.

The company’s executives said they had begun to notice that lower-income shoppers were buying more food and less general merchandise, like clothing and sporting goods. And instead of buying brand-name bacon and items from the deli, they were opting for more of Walmart’s own “private label” brands, which tend to be less expensive.

McMillon said Walmart was caught off guard by how quickly inflation rose in the past few months, particularly the cost of fuel, which affected its supply chain.

For the full year, Walmart now expects that the measure of profit that it forecasts for shareholders will fall 1% — a major shift in guidance from February, when the company projected that it would be able to grow profits by 3% this year.

Even as profit fell, Walmart managed to increase its global revenue, which rose 2.4% to $141.6 billion and was higher than expected. Sales in the United States were up 3%.

Going forward, the company expects sales to climb 4% this year, which is higher than the 3% increase it expected in February, a sign that consumer spending remains strong.



A Town’s COVID Money Was Sent to One Man in Error. He Gambled It All Away.

stimulus program   刺激策
wired (wire transfer) 電信送金
eligible  資格がある
fraud 詐欺
atone 償う
elaborate 詳しく述べる

著者:Hisako Ueno and Mike lves
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

TOKYO — Residents of a rural Japanese town were each looking forward to receiving a $775 payment last month as part of a coronavirus pandemic stimulus program.

But a municipal official mistakenly wired the town of Abu’s entire COVID-19 relief budget, nearly $360,000, to a single recipient on the list of low-income households eligible to receive the money. After promising to return the accidental payment, police said, the man gambled it away.

The man, Sho Taguchi, 24, told police that he had lost the money in online casinos, a police official in Yamaguchi prefecture said by phone Thursday. The day before, authorities arrested Taguchi, the official said. The charge: fraud.

The tale began April 8, when an official in Abu mistakenly asked a local bank to wire Taguchi 46.3 million yen, or about $358,000, said Atsushi Nohara, a town official. Taguchi’s name had been at the top of the list of 463 households that were each eligible for 100,000 yen as part of a national stimulus package.

After Abu officials realized the mistake, they immediately visited Taguchi and asked for the money back, the town’s mayor, Norihiko Hanada, said in an address on the town’s YouTube channel.

Taguchi agreed to travel with the officials to his bank in a government car, but he refused to enter the building and later said that he planned to consult a lawyer, according to public broadcaster NHK. Taguchi met with Abu’s deputy mayor April 14, NHK reported, and his lawyer told the town the next day that his client would return the money.

“But he ultimately did not do so,” Hanada said on YouTube. He said Taguchi eventually told town officials that he had spent the 46.3 million yen, would not run away and planned to “atone for the sin.”

Hanada has apologized to residents on behalf of the town for losing “such a precious and a large amount of public funds.”

After the error, town officials sent COVID-19 relief payments to the local households, Nohara said, adding that the money had come from another municipal source. He did not elaborate.

Nohara said Abu sued Taguchi last week for about 51 million yen (about $399,000), including legal fees.



U.S. Soccer and Top Players Agree to Guarantee Equal Pay

landmark 画期的な・歴史的な
pool <人が><金・情報などを>みんなで出し合う
quadrennial 4年ごとに起こる
counterpart 対応する2つのものの一方
morph into ~ ~に変化する

著者:Andrew Das
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

As the women’s soccer stars stared at their laptop screens Monday night and the new labor deal was explained to them, the numbers just kept climbing. A few thousand dollars here. Tens of thousands of dollars there. Pretty soon, the figures had crossed into the millions.

What they added up to, the players all knew, was something many of them had chased for most of their careers: equal pay.

That reality arrived Wednesday in landmark contracts with the U.S. Soccer Federation that will guarantee, for the first time, that soccer players representing the United States men’s and women’s national teams will receive the same pay when competing in international matches and competitions.

In addition to equal rates of pay for individual matches, the deals include a provision, believed to be the first of its kind, through which the teams will pool the unequal prize money payments U.S. Soccer receives from FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, for their participation in the quadrennial World Cup. Starting with the 2022 men’s tournament and the 2023 Women’s World Cup, that money will be shared equally among the members of both teams.

The agreements were reached just more than six years after a group of stars from the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s national team began a campaign to overcome what they said was years of wage discrimination by U.S. Soccer against its female players. The players argued that they had been paid less than their male counterparts for decades even as they won world championships and Olympic gold medals.

The fight over per diems and paychecks eventually morphed into a federal lawsuit in which the women accused U.S. Soccer of “institutionalized gender discrimination.” While the women lost in federal court in 2020, when a judge ruled against their core claims, they eventually won their equal pay victory at the negotiating table, with a final assist from the men’s team.

It was the men’s team’s players, in fact, who opened a pathway to a deal late last year when they privately agreed to share some of the millions of dollars in World Cup bonus money that they have traditionally received by pooling it with the smaller payments the women receive from their own championship.

That split could see the two teams pool, and share, $20 million or more as soon as next year.


Voicy News Brief with articles from New York Times」は毎朝6時30分にVoicyで更新中!いつでも無料で聴けるVoicyの英語チャンネルを活用して、英語力向上にお役立てください。

Return Top