Voicy Journal


Voicy News Brief with articles from The New York Times ニュース原稿 8/15-8/21

Voicy News Brief with articles from The New York Times ニュース原稿 8/15-8/21

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。


Fortnite Creator Sues Apple and Google After Ban From App Stores

著者:Kellen Browning, Jack Nicas and Erin Griffith
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Apple’s and Google’s spats with app developers over their cut of revenues exploded into a high-stakes clash Thursday when the tech giants kicked the popular game Fortnite out of their app stores and the game’s maker hit back with lawsuits.

The fight began Thursday morning with a clear provocation. Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, started encouraging Fortnite’s mobile-app users to pay it directly, rather than through Apple or Google. The companies require that they handle all such app payments so they can collect a 30% commission, a policy that has been at the center of antitrust complaints against the companies.

Hours later, Apple responded, removing the Fortnite app from its App Store.

Within an hour, Epic sued Apple in federal court, accusing the company of violating antitrust laws by forcing developers to use its payment systems.

“Apple’s removal of Fortnite is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the” market for in-app payments on iPhones, Epic said in its 62-page lawsuit.

Then, Epic rolled out a sophisticated public-relations campaign that depicted Apple, one of industry’s most image-conscious companies, as the stodgy old guard trying to stifle the upstart.

Later Thursday, Google also removed the Fortnite app from its official Android app store, the Google Play Store, saying the app violated Google’s policies. Epic replied with a similar lawsuit.

Apple now faces a battle with one of its most lucrative partners over a crucial issue for antitrust regulators investigating the power of Big Tech.

How Apple polices the App Store has drawn intense scrutiny over the past year. App developers have complained that Apple is taking an unfair cut of their business while, in many cases, also competing with their apps with its own offerings.

In practical terms, kicking Fortnite out of the App Store means that new users will not be able to download the app, but it will continue to work on iPhones that already have the app installed. Yet Epic now cannot update the Fortnite app, meaning it will eventually become obsolete as Apple updates the iPhone software.

For Android users, there will be much less of an impact; they can still download Fortnite from Epic’s website. As a result, hordes of Fortnite fans could now favor Google’s devices over Apple’s.

spat ささいなけんか
provocation 怒らせること、挑発
antitrust law 〈米〉独占禁止法
depict  ~を描写する
stodgy 古くさい、堅苦しい
stifle 息を止める、~を抑える
lucrative もうかる、利益の上がる
obsolete 使われなくなった、廃れた
hordes of 大群

Justice Department Accuses Yale of Discrimination in Application Process

著者:Anemona Hartocollis
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

The Justice Department on Thursday accused Yale University of violating civil rights law by discriminating against Asian American and white applicants, an escalation of the Trump administration’s moves against race-based admissions policies at elite universities.

The charge, coming after a two-year investigation, is the administration’s second confrontation with an Ivy League school; two years ago, it publicly backed Asian American students who accused Harvard in a lawsuit of systematically discriminating against them.

The department’s finding could have far-reaching consequences for the ongoing legal challenges to affirmative action, which are expected to eventually reach the Supreme Court. Some conservative groups have long opposed affirmative action, a tool born in the civil rights era, and a handful of states have banned such policies at public universities.

“There is no such thing as a nice form of race discrimination,” Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the civil rights division, said in a statement announcing the Justice Department’s move against Yale. “Unlawfully dividing Americans into racial and ethnic blocks fosters stereotypes, bitterness and division.”

The Justice Department said that Yale had violated Supreme Court rulings on affirmative action by using race not as one of many factors in deciding which applicants to invite to the freshman class, but as a predominant or determining factor in admissions — an effect that was multiplied for competitive applicants.

It directed Yale to suspend the consideration of race or national origin in its admissions process for one year, at which time, the university would need to seek clearance from the government to begin using race as a factor again, the department said.

Yale pledged to fight the order, saying Thursday that it would hold fast to its admissions process. In a statement, the university said that it looks at the “whole person” when deciding whether to admit a student — not just academic achievement, but interests, leadership and “the likelihood that they will contribute to the Yale community and the world.”

“The department’s allegation is baseless,” said Peter Salovey, Yale’s president. “At this unique moment in our history, when so much attention properly is being paid to issues of race, Yale will not waver in its commitment to educating a student body whose diversity is a mark of its excellence.”

confrontation 対立
affirmative action 〈米〉アファーマティブ・アクション、差別是正措置
predominant 重要な、優勢な
allegation 申し立て、主張
waver  揺れる


Retail Sales Rise for Third Month, Though Growth Slows

著者:Michael Corkery and Sapna Maheshwari
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Even as coronavirus infections continued to spread, in-person school reopening plans were scrapped and unemployment stayed near record highs, Americans kept shopping in July with retail sales rising 1.2% from June, reflecting a rare bright spot in the battered economy.

The jump in sales reported Friday by the Commerce Department, though far smaller than the increases in the previous two months, showed that the bounce back in spending to pre-pandemic levels was not a fluke. It was instead a sign that consumerism, buoyed by government support, remained resilient even as many other facets of American life were increasingly bleak.

“It shows there is a willingness and a desire to spend,” said Michelle Meyer, chief U.S. economist at Bank of America.

Much of that recovery has been helped by the $600 a week in unemployment assistance, which expired at the end of July.

The three consecutive months of sustained retail recovery, which has brought sales above where they were in February, is exactly what policymakers were hoping the stimulus money would accomplish. By spending their benefits on food, clothing and appliances, rather than saving the money, Americans have helped keep many retailers and their employees and suppliers afloat.

The retail rebound is likely to bolster arguments in Congress that a robust form of supplemental unemployment assistance should be extended. Without a large subsidy, economists predict, consumption will stall in August and into the fall, damaging the broader economy.

“It’s very important to the economy that these talks in Washington come to fruition,” said Mickey Chadha, senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service.

Sales at electronics and appliance stores jumped 23% in July while spending at clothing and clothing accessories stores rose almost 6%. Still, the electronics and appliance sales were down 3% from a year earlier, while clothing was down 21%. Some areas that saw strong sales in the previous month, like furniture and home furnishings stores and the category of sporting goods, hobby, musical instruments and bookstores, were flat or declined in July.

Many analysts had predicted that retail sales would be dented in July by surging infections in states like Arizona, California and Texas, which forced restaurants and stores to close again.

It didn’t happen, despite some regional dips. Some economists pointed to the substantial shift the country had made to online shopping during the pandemic.

Fluke まぐれ
Consumerism 消費者(保護)運動
Buoy ブイ
Resilient 弾力のある、耐性がある
Facet 人・物事の一面
Bleak 寒い、荒れた、寂しい
Bolster 支持する、元気づける
Subsidy 助成金、補助金
Fruition 達成、実現、成果

Pinterest Employees Demand Gender and Race Equality

著者:Erin Griffith
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

On Friday, 236 employees of Pinterest, a company known for its virtual pinboards, expressed solidarity on an internal chat app with three former co-workers who have accused the company of racial and sex discrimination and retaliation.

Many employees also shared and signed an online petition calling on Ben Silbermann, Pinterest’s chief executive and co-founder, to change the company’s policies.

Then they logged off, staging a virtual walkout.

The series of actions were the latest in a growing employee movement of discrimination lawsuits, harassment accusations and walkouts over injustices across the tech industry and the investors who fund it.

The Pinterest accusations stand out because they include some of the highest-ranking executives at the $21 billion company. In a lawsuit this week, Françoise Brougher, Pinterest’s former chief operating officer, accused the company of sex discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. When she spoke up about a sexist remark from a colleague, she was fired, the lawsuit alleges.

A Pinterest spokeswoman said in response to the walkout that the company respected and heard the employees and would ensure an open dialogue with them.

Scrutiny of Pinterest’s treatment of its workers began in June when two former employees, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, spoke out on Twitter about their experiences at the company, describing racist and sexist comments, pay inequities and retaliation. They had left the company in May and spoke up after Pinterest expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

“As a Black woman, seeing @Pinterest’s middle of the night ‘Black employees matter’ statement made me scratch my head after I just fought for over a full year to be paid and leveled fairly,” Ozoma tweeted. A petition asking Pinterest to pay its Black employees fairly reached 25,000 signatures.

In response, Pinterest hired a consultant to review the company’s culture, policies and practices.

Unlike some of its peers in Silicon Valley, Pinterest, which caters to a majority female audience, is not known for having a “bro” culture. But being known for having a “nice” culture has not made Pinterest immune to the issues of pay disparities and other discrimination that have plagued the tech industry.

The petition asks Pinterest to provide full transparency about promotion levels, retention and pay. It also asked Pinterest to ensure that the two layers of management that report to the chief executive were made up of 25% women and 8% underrepresented minorities.

Solidarity 結束、一致
Retaliation 返報、報復
Bro Brotherの略、男同士の親友
Disparities 不釣り合い、 不均衡
Underrepresented 過小評価された


Japanese Politicians Mark War Anniversary at Contentious Shrine

著者:Motoko Rich
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

TOKYO — Four Japanese Cabinet ministers, including a rising political star seen as a potential prime minister, marked the 75th anniversary of World War II’s end on Saturday by visiting Yasukuni Shrine, a memorial with strong links to Japan’s imperial past.

The shrine in Tokyo, which honors Japan’s war dead — including Class A war criminals from the World War II era — is revered by Japanese conservatives. But official visits to the shrine have been highly contentious in Japan and elsewhere in Asia, where the history of Japan’s empire-building in the first decades of the 20th century is still debated.

China, which Japan invaded, and South Korea, which was a Japanese colony for decades, have strongly objected to such visits. The South Korean Foreign Ministry expressed “deep disappointment and concern” over the ministers’ visits to Yasukuni on Saturday, urging Japan to “look squarely at history” and to show “sincere remorse through action.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not visited the shrine since 2013, when he was criticized for doing so not only by Beijing and Seoul, but by Caroline Kennedy, then the American ambassador. But he sent a ritual offering to Yasukuni on Saturday.

The best-known of the four ministers who did visit was Shinjiro Koizumi, 39, whose father, Junichiro Koizumi, was a popular prime minister, and who has been seen as a potential candidate for that office himself.

Shinjiro Koizumi, currently the environment minister, has been making efforts to distinguish himself as a young, modern politician in the governing Liberal Democratic Party, which is known for conservatism and hewing to tradition.

In addition to Koizumi, Koichi Hagiuda, the education minister; Seiichi Eto, the minister in charge of territorial issues; and Sanae Takaichi, the internal affairs minister, visited the shrine.

Analysts said the visits by four ministers — the most to visit Yasukuni on the anniversary of the war’s end since Abe came to power in 2012 — could represent a geopolitical message at a time when China has been flexing its military muscles in the South China Sea and sending provocative patrols near the disputed islands known in Japan as the Senkakus.

contentious 議論を呼ぶ, 物議をかもす
revere 深く尊敬する、あがめる
look squarely at 直視する
remorse 自責の念, 深い後悔
hew to 従う
internal affairs minister 総務相
flex one’s muscles 力を誇示する

Trump Campaign Makes Huge Digital Ad Buy During Democratic Convention

著者:Nick Corasaniti and Maggie Haberman
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

The Trump campaign is launching an aggressive four-day digital advertising campaign that will take over some of the internet’s most conspicuous real estate during the three marquee days of the Democratic National Convention, which most viewers will watch online.

Adhering to the president’s penchant for focusing attention on himself during major Democratic events, the Trump campaign will be taking over the banner of YouTube for 96 hours starting Tuesday, the second day of the convention, an expensive and far-reaching digital gambit.

The campaign will also blanket the home pages of The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and FoxNews.com with Trump campaign ads. Even non-DNC programming will be inundated with Trump ads, as the campaign has bought premium, or “unskippable,” ads on sites like Hulu.

The campaign amounts to “high-seven figures,” a significant sum to spend online in such a short period of time, and could top $10 million based on the engagement metrics of some ads (a few digital ads are sometimes charged extra based on engagement). The takeover of the YouTube banner and the news sites’ home pages are national buys, while the spending for Hulu and others will be in swing states.

It’s an attempt to be as digitally ubiquitous as possible during a nearly all-digital convention, and the Trump campaign will be tailoring its message to a direct attack on the Democratic platform as a far-left manifestation of a Republican’s worst fears.

“It’s great that Team Biden let the Trump campaign grab up the best premium real estate on the internet during Joe’s big week,” said Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign. “We’ll show millions of Americans exactly how the radical, leftist takeover of Joe Biden is now complete.”

Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Biden’s campaign, mocked the campaign’s spending as “stunts” that waste money.

“No smoke and mirrors charade can conceal that Donald Trump’s failed leadership has cost over 167,000 Americans their lives and driven the strong economy he inherited from the Obama-Biden Administration into one of the deepest recessions in our history,” Bates said.

But the Trump campaign is also making it nearly impossible to be missed. With a heavy focus on premium unskippable “pre-roll” ads that display before content begins on YouTube and other streaming platforms, users will be forced to watch the entire Trump campaign ad before watching their chosen videos.

conspicuous 人目を引、 顕著な; 明らかな
marquee 看板、入口のひさし
penchant 嗜好
gambit 方策
blanket (動) 覆う
inundate 溢れさせる
ubiquitous 遍在する; どこにでも現れる
stunt 人気取り、人目を引くための行動
charade (見えすいた)うその芝居, 見せかけ


Fire Tornadoes Reported in Northern California Wildfire

著者:Allyson Waller
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

The National Weather Service said it was planning to investigate reports of a rare occurrence of fire tornadoes arising Saturday from a 20,000-acre wildfire in Northern California.

Dawn Johnson, a meteorologist with the service in Reno, Nevada, said Sunday that the agency had received reports of fire tornadoes in an area of Lassen County, California, about 25 miles northwest of Reno.

“It’s not like a typical tornado where it happens, everything clears out and you safely go and investigate,” Johnson said. “In this case, there’s a massive wildfire burning in the same location, so the logistics are a lot more complicated.”

Doppler radar showed at least five rotation signatures, but Johnson said she could not confirm that they would all be classified as fire tornadoes.

Multiple components must come together for fire tornadoes to form: turbulent winds, uneven terrain and extreme heat from fire, which causes the air to rise rapidly, said Ben Gelber, a longtime meteorologist with WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio. Other elements, like gas being released from burning vegetation, serve as fuel for the tornadoes as well.

“It’s applying our traditional knowledge of tornadoes to a rare phenomenon,” Gelber said. “It’s so unusual, it’s a little difficult to wrap our heads around. Of course, the towering clouds created by fires, we’ve all seen that. But the tornadic feature or multiple fire whirls, that’s just incredible.”

On Saturday afternoon, the Weather Service posted a warning about a possible “fire-induced tornado” from the Loyalton Wildfire in parts of Lassen County.

The wildfire “exploded most impressively” Saturday “with a very large pyrocumulus and reports of fire tornadoes,” the service said. “Due to the possibility of very strong fire-generated winds and extreme fire behavior with danger to fire personnel, a tornado warning was issued to heighten awareness in the area of the fire.”

The wildfire started on Aug. 14 near Loyalton, California, about 45 miles west of Reno. As of Sunday, it was 5% contained, the U.S. Forest Service reported.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for multiple Northern California counties.

Shane Snyder, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Reno, said a fire tornado warning was an unusual alert for his office.

Photos and videos from witnesses on social media showed tornadoes emerging out of intimidating clouds of intense smoke and heat amid singed vegetation.

occurrence 出来事
meteorologist 気象学者
typical 典型的な
 ☝️that’s so typical! うわぁ、典型的!
logistics 計画の具体的な実行方法
turbulent 激しい
terrain 地形
vegetation 植物
wrap our heads around 理解する
whirls 旋風
pyrocumulus 火災積雲
Mandatory 義務的な(強制的な)
 ☝️義務教育はCompulsory Education
intimidating 怖がらせる
singed 焦げた

Looming Fee Increase Could Thwart Many U.S. Citizenship Applications

著者:Hailey Fuchs
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

WASHINGTON — When Guadalupe Rubio, 41, contracted the coronavirus in July, she struggled to make the few steps to the bathroom in the mobile home that she shared with her teenage daughter in Kent, Washington.

The pandemic had already shuttered her small construction business, which also provided for her parents and three children in Sinaloa, Mexico. Now, the virus left her struggling to breathe, trapped inside without any means to support the six family members who depended on her.

Around the time the pandemic hit Washington state, Rubio became eligible to apply for United States citizenship. She made a bit too much money to qualify for a reduction in the application fee, currently $640, and the economic effects of the pandemic and her illness sapped away her savings.

If she cannot save the money or obtain a fee waiver before the fall, Rubio’s prospects of becoming a citizen will become more remote. The Trump administration moved late last month to raise the cost of naturalization applications by more than 80% and to substantially tighten eligibility requirements for a subsidized application.

The price for naturalization will jump to $1,160 or $1,170 for online applications. The rule will also lower the income threshold to qualify for a fee waiver and eliminate the partial subsidy for the application.

Almost all other exceptions that allowed immigrants to waive the fee will be eliminated, including extenuating financial hardship and means-tested public benefits, like food stamps. Only some protected immigrants, including victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, will remain eligible.

Advocates for immigrants say the fee increase is intended to stymie legal immigration and deprive immigrants of their right to vote before the election in November.

Some activists say the fee hike is part of a long-running effort by the administration to exploit anti-immigrant sentiment. President Donald Trump promised to restrict immigration early in his campaign in 2016, and he has already made the issue a centerpiece of his bid for reelection.

Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said the new fees would disproportionately target immigrants from the poorest nations, such as those from Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and South and Central America — largely immigrants of color.

contracted (病気に)かかる
sapped 絞り取る
fee waiver 申し込み料免除
prospects 見込み
subsidized 助成する
naturalization (外国人の)帰化
threshold 敷居、閾
extenuating 軽くする、酌量する
 [語源:ex(out)+tenuare(make thin)→細く伸ばしきる]
human trafficking 人身売買
stymie 窮境に追い込む
hike (主に米で:家賃・物価などを)急に引き上げる
exploit (資源を)開拓する、(労働者を)搾取する


New York Has Tamed the Virus. Can It Hold Off a Second Wave?

著者:J. David Goodman
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Health experts in New York City thought that coronavirus cases would be rising again by now. Their models predicted it. They were wrong.

New York state has managed not only to control its outbreak since the devastation of the early spring, but also to contain it for far longer than even top officials expected.

Now, as other places struggle to beat back a resurgence and cases climb in former success-story states like California and Rhode Island, New York’s leaders are consumed by the likelihood that, any day now, their numbers will begin rising.

The current levels of infection are so remarkable that they have surprised state and city officials: Around 1% of the roughly 30,000 tests each day in the city are positive for the virus. In Los Angeles, it’s 7%, while it’s 13% in Miami-Dade County and around 15% in Houston.

In more than a dozen interviews, epidemiologists, public health officials and infectious disease specialists said New York owed its current success in large part to how New Yorkers reacted to the viciousness with which the virus attacked the state in April.

“People in New York have taken matters much more seriously than in other places,” said Dr. Howard Markel, a historian of epidemics at the University of Michigan. “And all they’re doing is reducing the risk. They’re not extinguishing the virus.”

Still a resurgence is all but inevitable, public health experts said.

The same models that predicted an increase in New York City for the summer now see a rise coming in the early fall. Life can be lived outside for now, but will move indoors as the weather cools. Schools are set to open in September. And confidence in the good numbers themselves could breed complacency about masks and distancing.

“I’m not optimistic about a sustained end to COVID-19 in New York,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the Pandemic Resource and Response Initiative at Columbia University. “Even though we had that horrible peak in April, when we were the epicenter, there are still millions of people who are vulnerable.”

Among the biggest threats, officials and epidemiologists said, were out-of-state travelers, who continue to arrive in New York despite a state-mandated 14-day quarantine.

tame 制御する
remarkable 優れた、卓越した
viciousness 凶悪さ
resurgence 再開、復活
inevitable 防げない、避けられない
complacency 自己満足

Washington Hires Former Player as NFL’s First Black Team President

著者:Ken Belson
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Jason Wright, a former NFL running back turned business consultant, has been named the new president of the Washington Football Team, the team announced Monday. He is the first African American to hold such a position in league history.

At 38, Wright, who played seven seasons in the NFL and has worked for the past seven years at McKinsey & Co., the international consulting firm, is also the youngest team president in the league. As a consultant, he has helped reshape government agencies, industrial companies and institutions of higher learning.

Wright has no experience working at an NFL team, though he was his team’s union representative for two years heading into the lockout in 2011. While responsibilities can vary from team to team, club presidents typically oversee all business operations and sometimes look after the football side of the franchise, and report directly to the owner.

“This organization is going through wholesale transformation on multiple fronts,” Wright said in a phone interview. “This is going to be a very challenging but exciting time.”

Wright will be joining Washington at a particularly fraught juncture, becoming the latest new hire by the team’s owner, Daniel Snyder, who is in the process of overhauling his foundering franchise. Wright replaces Bruce Allen, the longtime club president who was fired at the end of last season.

After resisting pressure for more than two decades, Snyder last month abandoned the team’s longtime name, the Redskins. The club is in the process of selecting a new name and logo.

Wright admitted he “was not the greatest player in the world” but that as a lesser known player, he had time to talk to team business personnel and learn about marketing, public relations, finance and other aspects of club operations.

The NFL has been repeatedly criticized for the lack of diversity in its management ranks. While about 70% of the players are Black, there are only two team owners of color. While the league has increased the diversity in its executive positions at its headquarters, the record of its teams has been spottier.

reshape 再形成、変革
wholesale 大規模な
fraught 問題や心配事がいっぱい
overhaul 徹底的に見直す
criticize 批判する 


Democrats Nominate Biden in Virtual Roll Call, Showcasing Diversity

著者:Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Democrats formally nominated Joe Biden for the presidency Tuesday night, anointing him as their standard-bearer against President Donald Trump with an extraordinary virtual roll call vote that showcased the cultural diversity of their coalition and exposed a generational gulf that is increasingly defining the party.

Denied the chance to assemble in Milwaukee because of the coronavirus pandemic, Democratic activists and dignitaries cast their votes from locations across all 50 states and from the American territories and the District of Columbia; from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, to the iconic welcome sign in Las Vegas; and far beyond to the shores of Guam, “where America’s day begins.” They offered a grand mosaic of personal identities and experiences, many speaking in raw terms about their personal aspirations and adversities.

Appearing with his wife in a Delaware school after his home state put him over the top, Biden was feted by his grandchildren, who burst in with balloons and streamers and wore T-shirts bearing the words “No Malarkey” — one of his favorite phrases — in what amounted to a miniature version of the celebrations that typically ensue after roll call votes. “See you on Thursday,” he said, speaking briefly to thank the delegates and referring to the day he will formally accept the nomination.

The second night of the Democratic National Convention straddled themes of national security, presidential accountability, and continuity between the past and future leaders of the party.

Two tributes by Republicans carried particular symbolic weight for a Democratic candidate seeking to appeal across party lines: Colin Powell, the retired general and former secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, delivered a message of support for Biden, whom he had previously endorsed. And Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain, appeared in a video about Biden’s relationship with her husband.

By voting to nominate Biden, 77, Democrats delivered to the former vice president a prize he has pursued intermittently since before the night’s most prominent young speaker, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was born. Two previous presidential campaigns ended in abrupt defeat.

Biden’s long-awaited victory is a triumph of personal and political endurance, representing the apex — so far — of a slow upward climb by a man who entered the Senate in 1972 at age 30 as a grieving single father.

anoint 指名する
standard bearer 党首、主唱者
gulf 溝、隔たり、湾
adversity 逆境、不運
triumph 勝利、大成功
apex 頂点

Republicans Float a Scaled-Back Stimulus Bill

著者:Emily Cochrane and Jim Tankersley
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Tuesday began circulating text of a narrow coronavirus relief package that would revive extra unemployment benefits at half the original rate, shield businesses from lawsuits related to the virus, and provide funding for testing and schools.

The draft measure appears to be an effort to break through the political stalemate over providing another round of economic stimulus to Americans during the pandemic. But it is unlikely to alter the debate in Washington, where Democrats have repeatedly rejected previous Republican offers as insufficient. The new bill would spend less money, in fewer areas, than those earlier offers.

The proposal, according to draft legislation obtained by The New York Times, contains many of the provisions Republicans first introduced as part of a $1 trillion opening bid before negotiations with Democrats. Those talks stalled as Democrats insisted on a much larger package, initially totaling $3.4 trillion.

With both sides at a stalemate, President Donald Trump circumvented Congress with a series of executive actions aimed at providing additional unemployment benefits and reducing the amount of money workers contribute toward payroll taxes by temporarily delaying collection of those taxes until next year.

It is unclear whether senators, currently scattered across the country until early September for the annual summer recess, will vote on the measure anytime soon. Lawmakers and aides have begun to discuss the possibility of using the looming lapse in annual government funding, which expires at the end of September, to jointly approve a short-term spending bill and relief package.

The existence of the draft measure signaled an attempt by Senate Republican leaders — who have taken a back seat to Trump’s advisers in negotiations with Democrats thus far — to restart negotiations. And it comes after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California called House members back early from their summer recess to vote Saturday on legislation addressing changes to the Postal Service and providing $25 billion to the beleaguered agency.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, told The Courier Journal on Tuesday that the stand-alone postal bill “could open the opportunity for discussion about something smaller than what the speaker and the Democratic Senate leader were insisting on at the point of impasse.”

scale back 縮小する、削減する
recess (議会の)休会、休憩時間
impasse 行き詰まり


Airbnb, a ‘Sharing Economy’ Pioneer, Files to Go Public

著者:Erin Griffith
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

SAN FRANCISCO — Airbnb said Wednesday that it had confidentially filed to go public, taking a key step toward one of the largest public market debuts in a generation of “sharing economy” startups.

A public offering by the company, which lets people rent out their spare rooms or homes to travelers, would cap a volatile year in which its business was devastated by the spread of the coronavirus. Airbnb had been privately valued at $31 billion before this year and the company must now convince investors that it can thrive and turn a profit in a new era of limited travel.

Airbnb declined to comment beyond its brief announcement.

Airbnb’s offering would signal the end of an era for the first wave of highly valued startup “unicorns,” many of which were founded in the recession of 2008 and then rode a wave of growth fueled by smartphones, gig work and copious amounts of venture capital. In recent years, many of Airbnb’s well-known “sharing economy” peers have gone public (Uber and Lyft), sold themselves (Postmates) or unraveled spectacularly (WeWork).

Its debut will most likely be helped by an ebullient stock market, which has remained robust despite the economic destruction caused by the pandemic. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 hit a new high as investors focused on signs that the worst might be over.

Airbnb was founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia as a way to help people make money renting out their spare rooms. The platform has spread to almost every country.

Airbnb takes a cut of the stays and activities that its rental operators book. It has come closer to turning a profit than Uber or WeWork — until the coronavirus evaporated more than $1 billion of bookings almost overnight. In the spring, Airbnb projected its revenue for 2020 would drop to half of the $4.8 billion it brought in last year. The company quickly cut costs, raised emergency funding, laid off almost 2,000 employees and shelved its plans to go public.

Last month, Chesky announced to employees that Airbnb had resumed its plans to go public.

go public  株式公開
rent out   貸し出す
 ☝️A rents 〇〇 from B. (A →→お金→→ B そして B →→〇〇→→ A)
 ☝️A rents 〇〇 out to B.(B →→お金→→ A そして A →→〇〇→→ B)
 ☝️A lends 〇〇 to B.(お金△ A →→〇〇→→ B)
 ☝️A borrows 〇〇 from B. (お金❌ B →→〇〇→→ A)
cap     締めくくる/最後を飾る
volatile   不安定な/変わりやすい
ebullient   活気がある/沸き立っている
the S&P500  エスアンドピーファイブハンドレッド(アメリカの代表的な株価指数)
the worst is over 最悪な事態が終わった/峠を越した

Fires, Blackouts, a Heat Wave and a Pandemic: California’s ‘Horrible’ Month

著者:Thomas Fuller
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

VACAVILLE, Calif. — How many things can go wrong at once?

On Wednesday millions of California residents were smothered by smoke-filled skies as dozens of wildfires raged out of control. They braced for triple-digit temperatures, the sixth day of a punishing heat wave that included a recent reading of 130 degrees in Death Valley. They braced for possible power outages because the state’s grid is overloaded, the latest sign of an energy crisis. And they continued to fight a virus that is killing 130 Californians a day.

Even for a state accustomed to disaster, August has been a terrible month.

Across the state there were 23 major fires reported on Wednesday and more than 300 smaller ones.

In the San Francisco Bay Area alone there were 15 wildfires, most of them burning out of control and feeding off the grasses and shrubs desiccated by the extreme heat. Thousands of residents were ordered evacuated in the wine country of Napa County and from the hills above Silicon Valley in Santa Cruz and San Mateo Counties.

In Southern California, fires were reported in Ventura and Riverside counties — and sweeping through one of the world’s biggest collections of Joshua trees, burning a 43,000-acre stretch of the Mojave National Preserve. Images of the fire showed the iconic trees shooting flames into the air.

The evening breezes that many Californians rely on to chase the heat from their homes had vanished. And for those with air-conditioning, the power outages were a constant threat.

But closer to the fires, residents had more urgent concerns.

Edie Kansas left her home outside Vacaville, northeast of San Francisco, at 1 a.m. on Wednesday as a wall of fire traveling down hillsides threatened the cattle ranch that has been in her family since the 1860s. When wildfires struck in past years, inmate fire crews from nearby prisons quickly arrived to help protect homes. But this year, partly because of the coronavirus, the number of inmate crews has been slashed.

The fires, the power outages and the threat of the coronavirus have conspired to make 2020 the worst year Kansas can remember.

“This year,” Kansas said. “It’s just so horrible.”

smother  厚くおおう/もみけす/息を詰まらせる
(power)grid   送電網
accustomed to   〜に慣れた
desiccate     乾燥させる/脱水して粉状にする

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