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Voicy News Brief with articles from The New York Times ニュース原稿 7/25-7/31

Voicy News Brief with articles from The New York Times ニュース原稿 7/25-7/31

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2つ読み、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。

7/25(土)の放送

China Orders U.S. to Shut Consulate in Chengdu, Retaliating for Houston

著者:Keith Bradsher and Steven Lee Myers
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

BEIJING — Retaliating for the Trump administration’s order to close China’s consulate in Houston, China announced Friday that it had told the United States to shut its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

The tit-for-tat consulate closures were yet another twist in deteriorating relations between Washington and Beijing, perhaps the gravest one yet. Previous moves by the two sides have included visa restrictions, new travel rules for diplomats and the expulsion of foreign correspondents. By shutting down diplomatic missions, however, the two countries seem to be moving toward a deeper divide.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing said the move was a “legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the United States.” It said the United States was responsible for the deterioration in relations and urged it to “immediately retract” its directive to close the consulate in Houston.

China’s announcement came hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech outlining the Trump administration’s increasingly aggressive stance toward China on virtually every aspect of the relationship — from trade to technology.

“We must admit a hard truth that should guide us in the years and decades to come, that if we want to have a free 21st century, and not the Chinese century of which Xi Jinping dreams, the old paradigm of blind engagement with China simply won’t get it done,” Pompeo said Thursday.

He spoke in California at the library of President Richard M. Nixon, whose visit to China in 1972 set in motion a new era of relations that, he said, China exploited to the disadvantage of the United States.

Chinese officials have reacted angrily to the administration’s moves, accusing Pompeo and others of embracing a Cold War mentality. They have denied or downplayed many U.S. accusations, including that the consulate in Houston was a hub of illegal activity.

Administration officials this week accused Chinese diplomats in Houston of aiding economic espionage and the attempted theft of scientific research in numerous cases across the United States.

retaliate 報復する (7/1, 7/13放送参照)
tit-for-tat 仕返しの、報復の、腹いせの
deteriorate (品質・価値などが)悪化する
grave 厳粛な, 重大な
expulsion  追放、除名、排除
retract  撤回する 
espionage スパイ行為

Trump Abruptly Cancels Republican Convention in Florida: ‘It’s Not the Right Time’

著者:Maggie Haberman, Patricia Mazzei and Annie Karni
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Bowing to threats posed by the coronavirus, President Donald Trump reversed course Thursday and canceled the portion of the Republican National Convention to be held in Jacksonville, Florida, just weeks after he moved the event from North Carolina because state officials wanted the party to take health precautions there.

The surprise announcement threw one of the tent-pole moments of Trump’s reelection effort into limbo, with the president describing in vague terms how the Republicans would hold his renomination in North Carolina and do “other things with tele-rallies and online.” It was an ill-defined sketch of an August week that Trump once envisioned drawing huge crowds and energizing his struggling bid for a second term.

While Trump has spent weeks urging Florida and other states to reopen their economies and return to life as normal, virus cases have surged in Jacksonville and across the region. The president had insisted on moving ahead with the event until Thursday, talking up the big party that Republicans would hold in Jacksonville even with the dangers of large gatherings and some GOP leaders saying they would not attend.

“We won’t do a big, crowded convention, per se — it’s not the right time for that,” Trump said during a news conference.

The convention efforts in both Jacksonville and Charlotte, North Carolina, which have preoccupied some GOP officials and donors for months, now stand as an object lesson in chaotic planning for a party that prizes its ability to raise money and execute splashy displays.

Trump claimed that his political advisers had tried to tell him they could make the convention work in Jacksonville, noting the “enthusiasm” that was building. Florida is crucial to Trump’s reelection prospects, and he particularly needs support from older people to prevail there on Election Day against Joe Biden, who is leading in most polls in the state.

But the president tried to portray himself as more concerned about public health. “I said, ‘There’s nothing more important in our country than keeping our people safe,’” he said of his conversations with advisers. “I just felt it was wrong” to have people “going to what turned out to be a hot spot.”

Trump said the party might hold rallies that people could join by telephone or video, adding that the actual work of the convention — approving the platform, for instance — would take place in Charlotte.

abruptly 突然、急に
tent–pole 多額の予算(や期待)をかけた
per se (ラテン語)それ自体は、本来
splashy <米話>目立つ、派手な
prevail 勝つ、勝利を得る

7/26(日)の放送

China’s Mars Mission, Tianwen-1, Begins Its Monthslong Journey

著者:Michael Roston and Steven Lee Myers
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

China set off on what it hoped would be its first successful journey to Mars on Thursday, launching a combined orbiter, lander and rover to the red planet on a voyage that will last until next year.

If successful, the mission would affirm China’s place among the top spacefaring nations, able to plan and carry out complex interplanetary missions on its own. Only the United States and, briefly, the Soviet Union have previously succeeded in landing a vehicle on the planet.

As ever in China, the launch was shrouded in secrecy in advance, though unofficial video streams posted by Chinese viewers showed the vessel beginning to rise at 12:41 p.m. from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on Hainan Island, ringed by crystal blue waters.

Crowds cheered from nearby beaches as the rocket traveled toward the south and east through clear skies on its way out of Earth’s atmosphere.

China’s space agency did not broadcast its own official live video. But within an hour of the launch, state television showed the rocket lifting off and announced that the mission, called Tianwen-1, or “Questions for Heaven,” was safely on its way to Mars.

“The Tianwen-1 mission is a major landmark project in the process of building China’s space power and a milestone project for China’s aerospace to go further and deeper into space,” the deputy project commander, Wu Yansheng, said in a statement from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Group.

It was the second launch of a summer filled with trips to Mars. It came days after the Hope orbiter, a spacecraft built by the United Arab Emirates, launched Monday from Japan. Like the Emirates, China is taking advantage of the brief window every 26 months or so when Earth and Mars are closer than usual.

A third mission — NASA’s Perseverance rover — is scheduled to launch next week. If all three missions take off successfully, they are to arrive at Mars next February. Tianwen-1 is scheduled to enter an elliptical orbit for two to three months before attempting a “soft landing” on the planet’s surface.

Spacefaring 地球の大気圏外への旅行
Interplanetary 惑星間の
Shroud 包むもの、おおい隠す
Ringed 輪のある、環状の
Milestone マイル標石
Elliptical 楕円形の

Goldman Sachs and Malaysia Agree to $3.9 Billion Settlement in 1MDB Scandal

著者:Alexandra Stevenson and Matthew Goldstein
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Goldman Sachs has agreed to a $3.9 billion settlement with Malaysia as it begins to put behind it a kleptocracy scandal that changed the course of politics in the country.

Malaysian prosecutors filed charges in 2018 against several Goldman units for their role in helping to raise billions of dollars for a sovereign wealth fund known as 1MDB that officials were later found to be using as a personal piggy bank. The scandal led to the ouster of Malaysia’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, and a far-reaching foreign bribery and corruption investigation by U.S. prosecutors against the bank and the purported mastermind of the scheme, Malaysian financier Jho Low.

Malaysia said Friday that the Wall Street bank would pay $2.5 billion to resolve the case. Goldman also pledged to cover any shortfall from the sale of $1.4 billion in assets that have been seized by government authorities, including a $250 million yacht, several U.S. hotels, a $35 million Bombardier jet and an Oscar that once belonged to Marlon Brando.

“This settlement represents assets that rightfully belong to the Malaysian people,” the country’s ministry of finance said in a statement Friday evening.

The Malaysian government had previously said it would seek criminal fines in excess of $2.7 billion and had charged more than a dozen executives at the bank with fraud. Under the settlement, the criminal charges against Goldman and those executives were dismissed.

Goldman said in a statement the deal with Malaysia “is an important step towards putting the 1MDB matter behind us.”

But the bank still must still resolve the investigations by prosecutors and bank regulators in the United States.

U.S. prosecutors contend that as much as $4.5 billion was pilfered from the sovereign wealth fund — officially known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad — into the bank accounts of Low, Najib, his family and his friends. Goldman Sachs helped the fund to raise $6.5 billion in 2012-13 through a series of bond sales, $2.5 billion of which authorities say was then diverted to senior officials.

Goldman Sachs, which received $600 million in payments for its bond work, has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Kleptocracy 盗賊政治、抑制欠如政治
Sovereign 主権者、ソブリン
Piggy bank ぶたさん貯金箱
Purported うわさの
Pilfer 盗む、くすねる

7/27(月)の放送

Once a Source of U.S.-China Tension, Trade Emerges as an Area of Calm

著者:Ana Swanson and Keith Bradsher
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

WASHINGTON — For the better part of three years, President Donald Trump’s trade war with China strained relations between the world’s largest economies. Now, the trade pact the two countries signed in January appears to be the most durable part of the U.S.-China relationship.

Tensions between the United States and China are flaring over the coronavirus, which the Trump administration accuses China of failing to control, as well as accusations of espionage, intellectual property theft and human rights violations. U.S. officials on Tuesday ordered the closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston, saying that diplomats there had aided in economic espionage, prompting China to order the closure of the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu.

Earlier in the week, the Trump administration added another 11 Chinese companies to a government list barring them from buying American technology and other products, citing human rights abuses against predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region in China’s far west. The two countries are also clashing over China’s security crackdown in Hong Kong, its global 5G ambitions and its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

But unlike previous moments of heightened tensions between the U.S. and China, Trump has not threatened to impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods or take other steps to punish companies that export their products to America. And neither side is threatening to rip up the initial trade deal they signed in January, which took years of painful negotiations to complete.

As tensions between the two countries rise again, both sides appear to think they have more to lose from rupturing the agreement than they would gain.

“Ironically, trade has become an area of cooperation or stability,” said Michael Pillsbury, a China expert at the Hudson Institute who advises the Trump administration.

In some ways, the signing of the sought-after trade deal in January has paved the way for the Trump administration to press China on other fronts. In pursuit of a trade deal, the Trump administration had long shelved various actions to address other concerns about China, including its human rights abuses in Xinjiang, its crackdown in Hong Kong and security threats and sanctions violations by Chinese technology and telecommunications companies like Huawei and ZTE.

espionage (7/25 復習) スパイ行為
crackdown 取り締まり、弾圧
rupture (関係などを)断絶させる、決裂させる
sought-after 強く求められる
pave the way 道を開く
front 面
shelve 棚上げする、延期する

Your Used Mask Needs to Make It to the Trash Can

著者:Marie Fazio
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Helen Lowman looks at litter a lot. It’s her job. But while walking her dog in Westport, Connecticut, in March, she noticed an alarming trend. First she passed some dirty wipes on the ground. Then there were gloves. And finally a mask. Four months later, she said the litter of personal protective gear has only gotten worse.

As more people wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, more personal protective equipment, or PPE, has been found as litter around the world.

The issue has prompted environmental organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency, to sound the alarm. Some local governments, like Suffolk County in New York, have instituted fines for littering involving masks and gloves, and police departments, like the one in Swampscott, Massachusetts, have warned that improperly discarding PPE is a crime.

“This pandemic is causing the face of litter to change,” said Lowman, chief executive of Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit group that organizes cleanups. “We’re seeing a real shift in what is in the litter stream.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that the general public wear reusable cloth face coverings, but disposable masks are readily available; a pack of 50 can be purchased for around $30.

Experts say the risk of catching coronavirus from a discarded mask is minimal, but the litter is causing concern for other reasons: Used masks and gloves, which cannot be recycled, pose a problem for the environment.

Disposable masks and gloves aren’t necessarily better or worse than any other kind of litter, according to experts.

Like other waste, a mask could be mistaken for food by wildlife. Or a heavy rain could wash it into a storm drain or a river and eventually the ocean, posing a risk for marine ecosystems.

“It’s quite alarming where these are ending up,” said Gary Stokes, founder of OceansAsia, a marine conservation group. “It’s not just the beaches. We’re getting them out in nature, but also downtown; you see them on the streets, in the gutter, on public transport.”

A University College London study found that if everyone in the United Kingdom wore a new disposable mask every day for a year, it would result in 66,000 metric tons of plastic waste, plus 57,000 metric tons of packaging.

personal protective equipment: PPE 個人用防護具 
institute (動) (制度などを)設ける、制定する
pose (動) (問題などを) 持ち出す
gutter 排水溝、側溝

7/28(火)の放送

Olivia de Havilland, a Star of ‘Gone With the Wind,’ Dies at 104

著者:Robert Berkvist
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Olivia de Havilland, an actress who gained movie immortality in “Gone With the Wind,” then built an illustrious film career punctuated by a successful fight to loosen studios’ grip on contract actors, died Sunday at her home in Paris. She was 104 and one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s fabled Golden Age.

Her death was confirmed by her publicist Lisa Goldberg.

Although she was typecast early in her career as the demure ingénue, she went on to earn meatier roles that led to five Academy Award nominations, two of which brought her the Oscar, for “To Each His Own” (1946) and “The Heiress” (1949).

Those roles came to her in no small part because of the resolve she showed when she stood up to the studios and won a battle that helped push Hollywood into the modern era. She had shown similar grit a decade earlier, in her breakthrough role, when she held her own against her formidable co-stars — Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard — in “Gone With the Wind” as Melanie Hamilton Wilkes.

Warner had signed de Havilland to a seven-year contract in 1935. After her success in “Gone With the Wind,” de Havilland expected more challenging roles. For the most part, they did not materialize.

One exception was “Hold Back the Dawn” (1941). Her performance earned her another Oscar nomination, but this time she lost to her sister, Joan Fontaine, who won for “Suspicion.” The two were rarely on speaking terms after that. (They are the only sisters to win best actress Academy Awards, and their sibling rivalry was called the fiercest in Hollywood history.)

The formula roles kept coming. When de Havilland complained, she was told that she had been hired because she photographed well and that she wasn’t required to act.

She began to refuse roles she considered inferior. Warner retaliated by suspending her several times, for a total of six months, and, after her contract expired, insisting that because of the suspensions she was still the studio’s property for six more months.

De Havilland sued. The case dragged on for a year and a half, but the California Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling in her favor in 1945. What became known as the de Havilland decision established that a studio could not arbitrarily extend the duration of an actor’s contract.

But she did not love Hollywood, and in the 1950s she abandoned it to live in Paris with a new husband, though she kept her U.S. citizenship.

Olivia Mary de Havilland was born July 1, 1916, and was married twice. Both marriages ended in divorce. The first, in 1946, was to Marcus Aurelius Goodrich, a Texas-born novelist, screenwriter and journalist; they had a son, Benjamin, and divorced in 1952. She married Pierre Galante, the author of military histories and at one point editor of the magazine Paris Match, in 1955 after the couple met in France. They moved to Paris, had a daughter, Gisele, and divorced in 1979. De Havilland’s son died of Hodgkin’s disease in 1991.

She is survived by her daughter, Giselle Galante Chulack. Joan Fontaine died in 2013 at 96.

From the mid-60s onward, de Havilland’s acting was largely confined to sporadic roles in television series. In 1965, she became the first woman to head the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. She returned to feature films only occasionally, among them the hugely successful 1977 disaster movie “Airport ’77” and her last Hollywood film “The Fifth Musketeer” (1979).

In 2010, Nicolas Sarkozy, then the president of France, awarded her the Légion d’Honneur. In 1999, she was honored with a party in Paris to celebrate the 60th anniversary of “Gone With the Wind.”

movie immortality 映画による不滅の名声
 [語源:im(否定)+mortal(死ぬ)]
illustrious 華々しい
 [語源:illustrious(光っている、輝いている)]
 [親戚:illustrate(光らせる→飾る→絵を描く)]
demure ingénue 「おとなしい、純粋な乙女」
meatier より内容が充実している(肉肉しい)
in no small part  少なからず〜のおかげで
resolve (n.) 決意
 [☝️resolve(v.) 解決する]
grit 気概
 [☝️have some grit(気概がある)]
formidable 恐るべき
materialize 実現する
 [☝️計画を形にする、はrealizeよりmaterialize]
formula roles 公式通りの(典型的な)役
arbitrarily 独断で、勝手に
sporadic 散発的な
 [親戚:spore(種子)]

Hurricane’s Choice for Texans: Shelter From the Virus or the Storm

著者:Edgar Sandoval
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Bartt Howe’s boat was his refuge from the pandemic. Battling diabetes and HIV, he knew that catching the coronavirus as well could kill him, so he had been living alone on the docked boat for three months.

Then Hurricane Hanna began to slam the Texas coast Saturday, forcing Howe to trade one deadly menace for another: To avoid injury or death in the hurricane, he had to risk infection ashore.

“I had managed to stay safe all this time, but the storm kicked me out of my boat,” he said. “Now here I am, back on land, on borrowed time.”

Corpus Christi, about 160 miles north of the Texas-Mexico border, was wrestling with a worsening virus outbreak when Hanna, a Category 1 hurricane, made landfall about 5 p.m. Saturday. Residents like Howe and area officials have had to figure out how to cope with two dueling crises, each complicating the response to the other.

More than 10,000 people in Nueces County, which includes Corpus Christi, have been infected with the coronavirus, and at least 140 people have died.

“When I saw that the hurricane was headed our way, I thought, ‘We have enough problems,’” said the mayor of Corpus Christi, Joe McComb.

Only about 10 people sought shelter in the county Saturday night, said Annette Rodriguez, the county public health director. The relatively low-stakes storm allowed area officials to assess how to help people evacuate safely while diminishing the spread of the virus.

“Having two events tied together, it is just a huge challenge,” Rodriguez said. “It was definitely a good trial run.”

Residents woke Sunday to a battered region. The Red Cross reported some severe flooding in coastal areas, widespread power outages and property damage, but no severe injuries.

Howe, 49, was one of the handful of people who sought shelter Saturday night at a high school in Kingsville, a rural town about 45 miles from Corpus Christi. He returned to Harbor El Sol Marina in Corpus Christi Bay Sunday to check on his 27-foot boat, Sera Sera, a name he found ironic now.

“What will be, will be,” he said. “And that’s how it is.”

refuge 避難所
docked 停泊した
 [☝️dock (n.) 波止場、桟橋]
 cf. 桜木町のドックヤード・ガーデン
menace 脅威
dueling 決闘し合う
 [☝️duel (n.) 決闘]
 [親戚:duo(二重奏曲)]
crises crisis(危機)の複数形
low-stakes 危険が少ない
 [☝️ギャンブルから、「掛け金が少ない」という意味]
(Que) Sera Sera なるようになる

7/29(水)の放送

Marlins Outbreak Postpones 2 Games and Rocks MLB’s Return

著者:Tyler Kepner
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

The return of Major League Baseball took a troubling turn Monday when the league’s worst fear became reality: an outbreak of positive coronavirus tests within a team.

The Miami Marlins postponed their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday — four days after the season opener — after learning that 14 members of the team’s traveling party, including two coaches, had tested positive for the virus. The outbreak was first reported by ESPN.

“The health of our players and staff has been and will continue to be our primary focus as we navigate through these uncharted waters,” Derek Jeter, the Marlins’ chief executive, said in a statement.

Jeter said the Marlins would remain in Philadelphia, where they played three games against the Phillies over the weekend, while awaiting the results of another round of testing for players and staff. The Phillies were scheduled to host the New York Yankees on Monday, but that game was also postponed.

The Marlins played two exhibition games in Atlanta last week before their series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, including Sunday’s series finale, which was played after Miami learned that four players had tested positive. Manager Don Mattingly changed starting pitchers for that game — replacing Jose Urena, who had reportedly tested positive — but told reporters later that the team “never really considered not playing.”

As games began for most teams Friday, MLB announced that only six of 10,939 samples it had conducted that week (or .05%) had been new positives. But most of those tests had been conducted while teams were training at their home parks, before traveling to road sites.

The league is attempting to stage a 60-game season using 30 stadiums across the United States.

With player availability inevitably in flux because of the virus, teams are carrying 30 active players (instead of the usual 26), with a pool of 30 additional players available at an alternate training site near home ballparks.

But the idea was to provide coverage for a stray absence or two, not an outbreak like the one the Marlins are experiencing. The league has known all along that such an outcome could be devastating.

outbreak 大流行、急激な増加
conducted 実施する、処理する 
inevitably 必然的に
in flux 流動的な、不安定な
stray たまに起こる
devastating 壊滅的な、衝撃的な

A Small Georgia City Plans to Put Students in Classrooms This Week

著者:Richard Fausset
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

JEFFERSON, Ga. — When Jennifer Fogle and her family moved from Indiana to Georgia 13 years ago, they settled in Jefferson, a small, handsome city an hour’s drive from Atlanta, because they had heard about the excellent schools. And until recently, they had little to complain about. The teachers are passionate and committed, and the facilities rival those found at some private schools.

But in recent days Fogle found herself uncharacteristically anxious, after learning that Jefferson City Schools planned to offer face-to-face instruction in the midst of a resurgent coronavirus pandemic that has seen thousands of new cases reported daily in Georgia.

As other districts around the state delayed their back-to-school days or moved to all-remote learning, Jefferson school officials announced they were sticking with their Friday start date, one of the earliest in the nation. And while school officials said they would “strongly encourage” masks for students and teachers, they stopped short of making masks mandatory.

Fogle, 46, a stay-at-home mother, thinks these decisions are unwise. But after weighing her options, she decided it best to let her two teenage children embrace the risks and physically attend Jefferson High School. It seemed futile, she said, to go against the grain in a heavily pro-Trump community where many see masks as an infringement of their personal freedom — and in a state where the Republican governor, Brian Kemp, has been urging districts to reopen their classrooms.

“I can’t fix it,” Fogle said. “So I have to learn, how do we live life as normal as possible and still try to protect ourselves?”

The reopening plans have starkly divided Jefferson, a middle-class city of about 12,000 people, offering a likely preview of the contentious debates ahead for many other communities whose school years start closer to the end of summer.

And the possibility of more online-only schooling in the fall — after a spring in which many people were forced to learn from home — is raising concerns about the quality of students’ education, the possible harm psychologically and socially, and the child-care problems working parents will face.

uncharacteristically いつになく、柄にもなく
stopped short 至らない、立ち止まる
futile 無駄な、効果の無い 
go against the grain 〜に逆らう
infringement 侵害
starkly 完全に
contentious 議論を引き起こす

7/30(木)の放送

‘Amazing, Isn’t It?’ Long Sought Blood Test for Alzheimer’s in Reach

著者:Pam Belluck
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

A newly developed blood test for Alzheimer’s has diagnosed the disease as accurately as methods that are far more expensive or invasive, scientists reported on Tuesday, a significant step toward a longtime goal for patients, doctors and dementia researchers. The test has the potential to make diagnosis simple, affordable and widely available.

The test determined whether people with dementia had Alzheimer’s instead of another condition. And it identified signs of the degenerative, deadly disease 20 years before memory and thinking problems were expected in people with a genetic mutation that causes Alzheimer’s, according to research published in JAMA Network Open and presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

Such a test could be available for clinical use in as little as two to three years, the researchers and other experts estimated, providing an affordable, simple way to diagnose whether people with cognitive issues were experiencing Alzheimer’s, rather than another type of dementia. A blood test like this might also eventually be used to predict whether someone with no symptoms would develop Alzheimer’s.

“This blood test very, very accurately predicts who’s got Alzheimer’s disease in their brain, including people who seem to be normal,” said Dr. Michael Weiner, an Alzheimer’s disease researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the study. “It’s not a cure, it’s not a treatment, but you can’t treat the disease without being able to diagnose it. And accurate, low-cost diagnosis is really exciting, so it’s a breakthrough.”

Blood tests for Alzheimer’s, which are being developed by several research teams, would provide some hope in a field that has experienced failure after failure in its search for ways to treat and prevent a devastating disease that robs people of their memories and ability to function independently.

The test, which measures a form of the tau protein found in tangles that spread throughout the brain in Alzheimer’s, proved remarkably accurate in a study of 1,402 people from three different groups in Sweden, Colombia and the United States. It performed better than MRI brain scans, was as good as PET scans or spinal taps and was nearly as accurate as the most definitive diagnostic method: autopsies that found strong evidence of Alzheimer’s in people’s brains after they died.

affordable 手頃な価格の
degenerative (病気が)徐々に悪化する、進行性の
devastating 破壊的な、衝撃的な
rob A of B AからBを奪う
autopsy 検死

Australia Says Chinese Students Are Targets in ‘Virtual Kidnapping’ Scams

著者:Damien Cave
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

SYDNEY — The young woman’s parents in China believed the video was real. It seemed to show their 21-year-old daughter pleading for help somewhere in Australia. She looked to be in pain, and the perpetrators pointed to only one solution: a six-figure ransom payment.

The woman’s family deposited the money in an offshore bank account. But it was all a scam. A few hours after the woman’s housemate contacted police in Sydney on July 14, she was found safe and sound at a hotel, where she had been lured by the scam artists.

Now, Australian authorities are warning that “virtual kidnappings” could be on the rise as anonymous criminals seek to exploit Chinese students in the country and their families back home.

On Tuesday, police in New South Wales said there had been at least eight confirmed cases this year, with more than $2 million paid in ransom for abductions that never happened.

Since at least the 1990s, criminal gangs from Taiwan and China to Mexico and Cuba have been persuading families to pay ransom for simulated kidnappings.

In the Sydney form of the scam, which authorities said they first started seeing a few years ago, robocalls deliver messages to thousands of random phones purporting to be from a messenger service. It says a package needs to be delivered. Those who continue on the call are greeted by someone speaking Mandarin who asks for basic identity information and promises to call back.

For the Chinese students in Australia, the return calls have come from someone who claims to be from the Chinese government, bearing bad news: The supposed package to be delivered holds illegal contents or is somehow connected to a larger crime that could get that person deported or imprisoned, or get one of their relatives hurt. To be safe, the caller tells the mark, the person must check into a hotel and turn off the phone.

The parents, far away, usually receive the ransom demand by phone and are then sent what appears to be evidence of a crime.

In one case from Sydney last month, a family paid 2 million Australian dollars ($1.4 million) to the unknown criminals. In the other cases, payments ranged from a few thousand dollars to more than $200,000.

kidnapping 誘拐
perpetrator 犯人
ransom 身代金
safe and sound 無事に、安全に

7/31(金)の放送

Vatican Is Said to Be Hacked From China Before Talks With Beijing

著者:David E. Sanger, Edward Wong and Jason Horowitz
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

WASHINGTON — Chinese hackers infiltrated the Vatican’s computer networks in the past three months, a private monitoring group has concluded, in an apparent espionage effort before the beginning of sensitive negotiations with Beijing.

The attack was detected by Recorded Future, a firm based in Somerville, Massachusetts. The Chinese Communist Party has been waging a broad campaign to tighten its grip on religious groups, in what government leaders have periodically referred to as an effort to “Sinicize religions” in the country.

China officially recognizes five religions, including Catholicism, but the authorities often suspect religious groups and worshippers of undermining the control of the Communist Party and the state, and of threatening the country’s national security.

Chinese hackers and state authorities have often used cyberattacks to try to gather information on groups of Buddhist Tibetans, Muslim Uighurs and Falun Gong practitioners outside China.

But this appears to be the first time that hackers, presumed by cybersecurity experts at Recorded Future to be working for the Chinese state, have been publicly caught directly hacking into the Vatican and the Holy See’s Study Mission to China, the Hong Kong-based group of de facto Vatican representatives who have played a role in negotiating the Catholic Church’s status.

The Vatican and Beijing are expected to start talks in September over control of the appointment of bishops and the status of houses of worship as part of a renewal of a provisional agreement signed in 2018 that revised the terms of the Catholic Church’s operations in China.

The series of intrusions began in early May. One attack was hidden inside a document that appeared to be a legitimate letter from the Vatican to Monsignor Javier Corona Herrera, the chaplain who heads the study mission in Hong Kong, Recorded Future said in a report to be released on Wednesday.

Recorded Future concluded that the attack was carried out by a state-sponsored group in China, which it named RedDelta. It said that the tactics used by the group were similar to those of other state-sponsored hacking operations that had been identified in the past. But there were also new techniques and new computer code, and identifying the true source of a hack is difficult.

The revelations are certain to anger the Vatican as its relationship with the Chinese government has been enormously delicate, especially over China’s crackdown on Hong Kong.

infiltrate      侵入する/潜入する
to tighten its grip  取り締まりを強化する
Sinicize       中国らしくする (Sino = 中国に関わるもの)
(-icize/-cize = 〜らしくする/〜っぽくする)
(☝️-icize/-cizeという接尾辞に注目)
de facto (7月14日からの復習)事実上の (ラテン語)
houses of worship   礼拝所

Study Says 1 in 3 Children Have Unacceptably High Lead Levels

著者:Rick Gladstone
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Lead contamination has long been recognized as a health hazard, particularly for the young. But a new study asserts that the extent of the problem is far bigger than previously thought, with 1 in 3 children worldwide — about 800 million in all — threatened by unacceptably high lead levels in their blood.

The ubiquity of lead — in dust and fumes from smelters and fires, vehicle batteries, old peeling paint, old water pipes, electronics junkyards, and even cosmetics and lead-infused spices — represents an enormous and understated risk to the mental and physical development of a generation of children, according to the study, released late Wednesday.

The danger is particularly acute in poor and middle-income countries where industrial pollution safeguards are poorly enforced or nonexistent.

“The unequivocal conclusion of this research is that children around the world are being poisoned by lead on a massive and previously unrecognized scale,” said the study, a collaboration of UNICEF and Pure Earth, a nonprofit that seeks to help poor countries threatened by toxic pollutants.

The study also said that nearly 1 million adults a year die prematurely because of lead exposure.

The authors said they based their analysis and statistical conclusions on research compiled by U.N. agencies including the World Health Organization, as well as by numerous universities and nonprofit groups.

Their primary conclusion was that one-third of the world’s children, up to the age of 19, have blood lead levels at or exceeding 5 micrograms per deciliter, a threshold that both the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined is a cause for action.

A major contributor to lead poisoning is a surge in the recycling of lead in automotive batteries to satisfy soaring growth in the numbers of cars and trucks, particularly in the developing world, the study said. While lead recycling for batteries is heavily regulated in the United States, it is often done haphazardly in poor and middle-income countries.

Lead has been known as a potent neurotoxin for hundreds of years — Benjamin Franklin wrote of its harm in 1786 — but the most insidious effects have become clearer only in recent decades.

The exposure of children to lead is linked to reductions in IQ scores, shortened attention spans and potentially violent and criminal behavior.

contamination  汚染
ubiquity     遍在性/普遍性
acute      深刻な
unequivocal   明白な
deciliter      デシリットル
(☝️deci-, centi-, mili- という接頭辞に注目)
haphazardly   でたらめに/無計画に

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