Voicy Journal

【8/29-9/4】The New York Timesのニュースまとめ 〜Voicy News Brief〜

【8/29-9/4】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!


Teenage Aviator Circles the Globe Solo, Setting a Record

aviator 飛行士
uninhabited 無人の
seagull カモメ
tarmac 舗装した道路
nudge 軽く押す、ゆっくりと動かす

著者:Christine Hauser
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

It can be boring to cross an ocean alone, but music helps. It can be lonely to spend the night on an uninhabited island with only sea gulls for company. And it is unnerving when your aircraft’s backup fuel tank stops working.

These are not a teenager’s typical challenges, yet this was how Mack Rutherford, a 17-year-old Belgian British pilot, spent his summer break as he flew alone around the world.

On Wednesday, Mack landed in Bulgaria, ending a record-setting journey that made him the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a small plane. About 5 p.m. local time, he guided his Shark Aero, an ultralight aircraft that was modified to carry extra fuel, into Sofia West Airport, southwest of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital.

“And touchdown,” he said calmly from inside the cockpit during a livestream of the landing at the end of the final leg, from Slovakia.

“There we go, ladies and gentlemen,” a narrator on the tarmac said to applause from people who had gathered to greet Mack. “We have a new world record.”

Mack waved and smiled before climbing out of the cockpit. “Very happy to be here after five long months,” he said.

The moment marked the end of a challenging and sometimes lonely journey that took Mack nearly 30,000 miles, with stops in 30 countries, in the five months since he took off from the same airport on March 23. He was 16 at the time.

The feat has nudged Travis Ludlow of Britain out of the ranking as the youngest person to fly around the world alone in a small aircraft. It took Ludlow, who was 18 years old when he set the record in 2021, 44 days to complete the 24,900-mile journey.

Solo flying, and breaking records doing it, runs in Mack’s family. He was at the controls of the same kind of aircraft that his sister, Zara Rutherford, then 19, was piloting when she set the world record in January as the youngest woman to fly solo around the world.



Trying to Keep Americans Camping With Treehouses and Yurts

yurt ゲル、ドーム型の簡易式テント
caravanning オートキャンプ
RV (Recreational Vehicle) キャンピングカー
capitalize on (something) …を利用して (≒take advantage of something)
rough it 不便な状態で短期間過ごす
fickle 気まぐれな

著者:Seth Berkman
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

As pandemic restrictions wind down, camping is showing signs that it may maintain its popularity even as many Americans become more comfortable with indoor activities.

The global market for camping and caravanning is expected to grow 6.6% from 2020 to 2025, according to Research and Markets. And the number of RVs shipped in 2021 jumped a record 39% from the previous year, according to a report from StorageCafe, a unit of real estate software company Yardi Systems.

To capitalize on the increased interest, national campground companies such as Kampgrounds of America and Northgate Resorts, which owns several Jellystone locations, are moving beyond triangular tents pitched on bumpy dirt patches. They are adding accommodations akin to those found at resorts and are tacking on theme-park attractions like zip lines and waterslides.

“During the pandemic, I think people came and understood what camping was in the 21st century,” said Robert Schutter Jr., president of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, a franchise system owned by Sun Communities, a real estate investment trust. “It wasn’t looked at being this roughened type of scenario.”

The trend toward adding eye-catching amenities faces pushback from fans of traditional camping, who favor “roughing it” over “glamping,” but camping companies are moving ahead undeterred.

Jellystone is perhaps best known for its branding association with Yogi Bear and other Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters. But in recent years, Jellystone has also become recognized for its inclusion of on-site restaurants, full-service cabins resembling upscale hotel rooms and water-recreation activities such as “spraygrounds” that appeal to families.

Most Jellystone campgrounds average 240 sites, with about eight sites per acre. The company has more than 4 million guests a year, with visitors staying just over three days on average.

During the first year of the pandemic, about half the patrons were first-time visitors, renting lodging that ranged from cabins to yurts.

The travel industry does face obstacles for growth, including rising gas prices, inflation and fickle vacationers. But since most campgrounds are reachable on a single tank of gas, offer all-inclusive packages and allow for social distancing, many owners think the camping renaissance can withstand those hurdles.



EPA to Designate PFAS, or ‘Forever Chemicals,’ as Hazardous

PFAS ピーファス
Hazardous 危険な、有害な
seep しみ出る
Human-made 人工、合成
Undue 過度の

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

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it will designate the two most commonly detected toxic “forever chemicals,” which have been linked to cancer and have been found in everything from drinking water to furniture, as hazardous substances.

The move does not ban the chemicals, known as PFAS, but the proposed rule is one the most significant actions the EPA has taken to date on perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds. It requires companies to assess and report to the government when the chemicals seep into water or soil, and could make companies responsible for any cleanup costs.

The compounds are among more than 4,000 human-made chemicals that are often called “forever chemicals” because they break down slowly, seep into water and soil and can linger in the human body once ingested. Manufacturers have agreed to phase out the use of the chemicals — but as the nickname implies, the “forever chemicals” are still being detected in products and people. They have been linked to certain cancers, low birth weights, thyroid disease and other health effects.

“Communities have suffered far too long from exposure to these forever chemicals,” Michael Regan, the administrator of the EPA, said in a statement. He said the rule will “both help protect communities from PFAS pollution and seek to hold polluters accountable for their actions.”

The agency signaled it may also regulate other PFAS chemicals in the future, saying it will issue a notice of advanced rule-making later this year to invite comments about designating other compounds as hazardous.

Republican lawmakers criticized the regulation, saying it will impose an undue burden on businesses since PFAS chemicals have been found in a wide range of products including carpets, waterproof clothing and food packaging, including some microwave popcorn bags. In a scientific ruling earlier this year, the EPA found there is no safe level of the chemicals and lowered the health risk thresholds close to zero, replacing 2016 guidelines that had set them at 70 parts per trillion.

Under the proposed rule, the EPA would designate the two compounds as hazardous under the Superfund law, which enables the agency to require polluting companies to clean up environmental hazards.



Job Openings Picked Up in July, Showing the Labor Market Remains Hot

Job openings 求人、就職口
ups-and-downs 浮き沈みが激しい
scramble 奪い合う、奔走する
outnumber ~の数を上回る
postings 投稿、求人数
resilient 回復力のある

著者:Talmon Joseph Smith
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Demand for workers remained strong in July, a sign that the U.S. labor market remains vibrant even as the Federal Reserve tries to cool the economy by raising interest rates.

Job openings ticked up to 11.2 million, the Labor Department reported on Tuesday as part of its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS.

The survey included a large upward revision for openings in June, to 11 million from an estimated 10.7 million. The figure reached a record of more than 11.8 million in March.

Substantial aid during the pandemic’s ups-and-downs has kept businesses of all sizes afloat and household finances relatively healthy, resulting in robust demand for a broad range of goods and services. But the labor force is still smaller than it was before the pandemic, forcing employers to scramble to hire.

Openings outnumber unemployed workers by a ratio of 2-to-1.

The largest increases in openings were in transportation, warehousing and utilities jobs. In a sign of continued recovery, the arts, entertainment and recreation industries — which have greatly benefited from the easing of COVID concerns and restrictions — had a surge in postings.

Several prominent companies announced layoffs this summer. But both the overall rate and number of layoffs have been flat on a monthly basis, while the recently elevated rate of quitting declined only slightly in July.

There were some signs of weakness, however. The survey found that job openings decreased in durable-goods manufacturing by an estimated 47,000. Some economists say this is unsurprising after the intense consumer demand for goods at the beginning of the pandemic. But it may also be an early mark of tighter financial conditions.

Economists and bank analysts said the report made it likely that the Fed would remain aggressive in raising interest rates, as the central bank tries to weaken the labor market so that wage gains and consumer spending, which have slowed, will dip further in better alignment with the supply-constrained economy.

“The job market remains surprisingly resilient to the Fed’s best efforts to cool it off,” said Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “The Fed desperately wants job growth to slow and unemployment to stabilize, even rise a bit, to quell wage and price pressures.”



Snap Cuts 20% of Employees and Restructures

Ephemeral 一夜限りの
Macroeconomic マクロ経済的な
Skittish 驚きやすい
Grapple 取っ組み合う
Vulnerable もろい、傷つきやすい

著者:Kalley Huang
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Snap, the maker of the ephemeral messaging app Snapchat, is laying off 20% of its employees, discontinuing at least six products and appointing its first chief operating officer in seven years, the financially struggling social media company said Wednesday.

The cuts are set to affect close to 1,300 of Snap’s 6,400 employees, the company said. Snap is closing down its division that produced exclusive short shows with celebrities and other influencers, as well as its social mapping app, Zenly; its music creation app, Voisey; and hardware including its drone camera, Pixy.

At the same time, Snap said it was appointing Jerry Hunter, a senior vice president for engineering, to chief operating officer. Hunter will become the No. 2 to Evan Spiegel, who is a founder of Snap and its chief executive. The chief operating officer role had been vacant since 2015.

In an email to employees on Wednesday, Spiegel blamed challenging macroeconomic conditions for forcing his hand.

Snap, which is popular with teenagers and young adults and has more than 347 million active users around the world, has struggled for months. Privacy changes from Apple have affected its advertising business, and rising inflation and economic uncertainty have made advertisers skittish.

In July, Snap reported its slowest-ever rate of quarterly growth since going public in 2017 and said it would “substantially reduce” its pace of hiring. It also declined to predict its financial performance for the current quarter because of “uncertainties related to the operating environment.” Snap’s stock price has fallen more than 76% since the beginning of the year.

Many social media companies are grappling with the prospect of a recession. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter have also slowed their hiring in recent months. But Snap, like Twitter, is especially vulnerable to economic shocks because it is a smaller social media company and relies heavily on one main way of making money.

Some of Snap’s executives have left. Its chief business officer, Jeremi Gorman, and its vice president of sales in the Americas, Peter Naylor, recently departed for Netflix.

Spiegel said the scale of the layoffs would “vary from team to team.” He said the extent of the cuts would also “substantially reduce the risk of ever having to do this again.” The company said it expected to save $500 million from the restructuring.



Why Do Some People in New Jersey Suddenly Have Bags and Bags of Bags?

Curbside (路上の)縁石
Heavy-duty 頑丈な
Gig Worker ギグワーカー
Garbage ゴミ
Totes トートバッグ
Hiccup ちょっとした問題

著者:Clare Toeniskoetter
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Nicole Kramaritsch of Roxbury, New Jersey, has 46 bags just sitting in her garage. Brian Otto has 101 of them, so many that he’s considering sewing them into blackout curtains for his baby’s bedroom. Lili Mannuzza in Whippany has 74.

“I don’t know what to do with all these bags,” she said.

The mountains of bags are an unintended consequence of New Jersey’s strict new bag ban in supermarkets. It went into effect in May and prohibits not only plastic bags but paper bags as well. The well-intentioned law seeks to cut down on waste and single-use plastics, but for many people who rely on grocery delivery and curbside pickup services their orders now come in heavy-duty reusable shopping bags — lots and lots of them, week after week.

While nearly a dozen states nationwide have implemented restrictions on single-use plastic bags, New Jersey is the only one to ban paper bags because of their environmental impact.

Emily Gonyou, 22, a gig worker in Roselle Park who provides shopping services for people through Instacart, said she was surprised when she learned the delivery company had no special plans for accommodating the ban. “They pretty much said, ‘OK, do exactly what you’re doing, but with reusable bags,’” she said.

Gonyou said she goes through up to 50 reusable bags a day, many of which, she suspects, could end up in the garbage.

Compared to single-use plastics, the more durable reusable bags are better for the environment only if they are actually reused. According to Shelie Miller, a professor at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, a typical reusable bag, manufactured from polypropylene, must be used at least 10 times to account for the additional energy and material required to make it. For cotton totes, that number is much higher.

The ban in New Jersey, which applies to grocery stores 2,500 square feet or bigger, is meant to encourage in-store shoppers to skip single-use plastic and paper entirely, and instead bring their own reusable bags.

But that, of course, doesn’t work for most online orders.

“There’s clearly a hiccup on this,” said state Sen. Bob Smith, a co-sponsor of the bill, “and we’re going to solve it.” Smith said that the legislature would most likely create an exception by amending the rule to allow paper bags for online orders.



Myanmar Gives More Prison Time to Its Best-Known Convict

Landslide 大勝、ぼろ勝ち
Junta 軍事政権、臨時政府
Verdict 評決、判断
Stem 生じる、起こる、由来する
Clinch 片を付ける、決める
Mete out 割り当てる、与える
Quarry 採石場

著者:Sui-Lee Wee
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader who was detained in a coup last year, was sentenced to three more years in prison, with hard labor, on Friday when a court found her guilty of election fraud in a case that the army brought against her after her political party won in a landslide in 2020.

The latest sentence brings her total prison term to 20 years, an indication that the junta is not easing its pressure on Suu Kyi despite international condemnation. The guilty verdict comes as the military seeks to erase her influence in the country. Last month, Myanmar’s military-backed Supreme Court announced that it would auction off her residence, where she spent nearly 15 years under house arrest under a previous regime.

The election fraud case stems from a November 2021 charge brought by the junta-controlled Election Commission: Suu Kyi and other senior officials were accused of manipulating voter lists to clinch the 2020 election. Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy, crushed the military-backed party in that vote, which independent international observers declared free and fair.

The election commission’s previous members also pushed back against the claim of voter fraud, saying there was no evidence. A day after announcing the coup in February 2021, the army dismissed all the members of the commission and installed its own people. It later announced that the election results had been canceled.

In July, Suu Kyi testified for the first time on the election fraud charge, saying she was not guilty. On Friday, a judge in Naypyitaw, the capital, also sentenced Win Myint, the country’s ousted president, to three years, the maximum term, on the same charge.

Friday’s sentencing was the fifth verdict meted out against Suu Kyi, 77, who has already stood trial on a series of other charges that include inciting public unrest and breaching COVID-19 protocols. It was the first time she had been sentenced to hard labor, which forces convicts to carry heavy rocks in quarries, a practice international rights groups have denounced. She is appealing the sentence, according to a source familiar with the legal proceedings.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, has denied all of the charges against her, while the United Nations and many other international organizations have demanded her freedom.


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