Voicy Journal

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Voicy News Brief with articles from The New York Times ニュース原稿2/20-2/26

Voicy News Brief with articles from The New York Times ニュース原稿2/20-2/26

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。

画像に alt 属性が指定されていません。ファイル名: billboard_20201202-1-1.png

2/20(土)の放送

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Lands on Mars to Renew Search for Extinct Life

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

NASA safely landed a new robotic rover on Mars on Thursday, beginning its most ambitious effort in decades to directly study whether there was ever life on the now barren red planet.

While the agency has completed other missions to Mars, the $2.7 billion robotic explorer, named Perseverance, carries scientific tools that will bring advanced capabilities to the search for life beyond Earth. The rover, about the size of a car, can use its sophisticated cameras, lasers that can analyze the chemical makeup of Martian rocks and ground-penetrating radar to identify the chemical signatures of fossilized microbial life.

NASA’s earlier missions showed that in the distant past some places were warm, wet and habitable. Now it is time to learn whether there were ever any microscopic inhabitants there.

“It‘s an enormous undertaking that’s in front of us, and it has enormous scientific potential to really be transformative,” Kenneth Williford, a deputy project scientist, said. “The question is, ‘Was Mars ever a living planet?’ ”

The mission will also try to make a small experimental helicopter, Ingenuity, take flight in the thin Martian atmosphere — something never accomplished before. A successful test of the helicopter would be “a true extraterrestrial Wright Brothers moment,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science.

NASA has landed a series of rovers on Mars since the 1990s. Each has revolutionized human understanding of Mars. Perseverance has the tools that can search for complex carbon-based molecules that could be the remnants of past microbes.

The setting for the mission’s studies is Jezero, a 30-mile-wide crater that was once a large lake. The rover will crawl along in search of those chemical signals of microbes that were extinguished as Mars turned cold and barren.

Perseverance was the third robotic visitor from Earth to arrive at the red planet this month. Last week, two other spacecraft, Hope from the United Arab Emirates and Tianwen-1 from China, entered orbit around Mars. But NASA’s spacecraft zipped along a direct path to the surface.

At 3:48 p.m. Eastern time, controllers at the mission operations center received word from Perseverance that it had entered the Martian atmosphere at a speed of more than 12,000 mph. At 3:55 p.m. cheers erupted in the control room when Perseverance arrived on the surface.

rover 惑星探査機、ローバー
barren 不毛の、作物ができない、非生産的な
perseverance 忍耐 (力)、粘り強さ、根気 【同】persistence
Martian 火星の
fossilized 化石的な *fossil  化石
microbial 微生物の[に関する]
microscopic 微細な、極小の *microscope 顕微鏡
inhabitant 居住者、住民
undertaking (引き受けた) 仕事、事業
extraterrestrial  地球外の、宇宙からの 【対】terrestrial
remnant  残された物、残余物
extinguish (生物などを) 消滅[絶滅]させる *extinguisher 消化器
erupt  (感情が) 爆発する

2/21(日)の放送

Uber Drivers Are Entitled to Worker Benefits, a British Court Rules

著者:Adam Satariano
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Uber suffered a major defeat in one of its most important markets Friday when Britain’s Supreme Court, in a ruling that could threaten the future of the already unprofitable company, said a group of drivers should be classified as workers entitled to a minimum wage and vacation time.

The court’s decision, the latest in a string of confrontations between labor groups and so-called gig economy companies in courtrooms and legislative halls around the world, represents an existential threat to Uber and other companies that rely on a sprawling labor force of independent contractors to provide car rides, deliver food and clean homes.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court justices ruled that although Uber said it was only a technology platform that connected drivers with passengers, it behaved more like an employer by setting rates, assigning rides, and requiring drivers to follow certain routes and using a rating system to discipline them.

The decision was a major victory for labor activists in the United States and Europe who are pushing for better wages and stronger protections for workers with services like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Grubhub.

It was also a considerable setback for Uber, which had been able to beat back other attempts at forcing it to change how it treats its drivers.

As fast as they have become a part of everyday life and have been valued on Wall Street in the tens of billions of dollars, gig economy companies operate on precarious business models. In 2020, for example, Uber reported a net loss of $6.8 billion.

Uber fought the effort by drivers in Britain to be classified as workers for the past five years, appealing the decision all the way to the country’s top court. The ruling Friday is expected to initially affect only the 25 drivers who brought the case but is seen as setting a precedent for the 60,000 other Uber drivers across the country.

The ruling will now be referred to an employment tribunal, an administrative court that will decide in the next few months how to reward the drivers and how the ruling will affect other drivers going forward.

Uber sought to play down the decision, saying it would press the employment tribunal to limit its scope.

Benefits 福利厚生
Unprofitable 儲からない
Minimum wage 最低賃金
Vacation time 有給休暇
Confrontations 対立・衝突
Legislative 立法
Existential 存在
Sprawling 乱雑に広がる
Activists 活動家
Precarious 当てにならない
Net loss 当期純損益
Appeal 上訴
Tribunal 法廷

2/22(月)の放送

Biden Tells Allies ‘America Is Back,’ but Macron and Merkel Push Back

著者:David E. Sanger, Steven Erlanger and Roger Cohen
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

President Joe Biden used his first public encounter with America’s European allies to describe a new struggle between the West and the forces of autocracy, declaring that “America is back” while acknowledging that the past four years had taken a toll on its power and influence.

His message stressing the importance of reinvigorating alliances and recommitting to defending Europe was predictably well received at a session of the Munich Security Conference that Biden addressed from the White House.

But there was also pushback, notably from the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who in his address made an impassioned defense of his concept of “strategic autonomy” from the United States, making the case that Europe can no longer be overly dependent on the United States as it focuses more of its attention on Asia, especially China.

And even Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who is leaving office within the year, tempered her praise for Biden’s decision to cancel plans for a withdrawal of 12,000 U.S. troops from the country with a warning that “our interests will not always converge.” It appeared to be a reference to Germany’s ambivalence about confronting China and to the continuing battle with the United States over the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Russia.

But all three leaders seemed to recognize that their first virtual encounter was a moment to celebrate the end of the era of “America First,” and for Macron and Merkel to welcome back Biden, a politician whom they knew well from his years as a senator and vice president.

And Biden used the moment to warn about the need for a common strategy in pushing back at a narrative that the chaos surrounding the American election was another sign of democratic weakness and decline.

“We must demonstrate that democracies can still deliver for our people in this changed world,” Biden said, adding, “We have to prove that our model isn’t a relic of history.”

Biden never named his predecessor, Donald Trump, in his remarks, but framed them around wiping out the traces of Trumpism in the United States’ approach to the world. He celebrated its return to the Paris climate agreement, which took effect just before the meeting, and a new initiative, announced Thursday night, to join Britain, France and Germany in engaging Iran diplomatically in an effort to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement that Trump exited.

autocracy 独裁政治
take a toll on… ~に被害・損害を与える
reinvigorate 活力、強さを取り戻させる
well received 歓迎された、評判の良い
pushback (名)反発
impassioned 熱のこもった
make the case that ~と主張する
temper (動)抑える
converge 収束する
ambivalence (相反する)感情の交錯
relic 遺物

2/23(火)の放送

Art Mystery Solved: Who Wrote on Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’?

著者:Nina Siegal
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” from 1893, is one of the world’s most famous paintings, but for years art historians have mostly ignored a tiny inscription, written in pencil, at the upper left corner of its frame, reading: “Could only have been painted by a madman.”

Who wrote the sentence there? Some thought a disgruntled viewer might have vandalized the work; others imagined it was the artist himself. But then why?

Curators at Norway’s National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, which owns the artwork, announced Monday in Oslo that they have determined that the text was indeed written by the artist.

“It’s been examined now very carefully, letter by letter, and word by word, and it’s identical in every way to Munch’s handwriting,” said Mai Britt Guleng, the museum’s curator of old masters and modern paintings, who was in charge of the research. “So there is no more doubt.”

Munch painted four versions of “The Scream” from 1893 to 1910. The first version, painted in tempera on panel with pastels, is the one owned by the National Museum, and is the only one that bears this inscription.

Researchers used infrared photography to make the text more legible. “He didn’t write it in big letters for everyone to see,” she said. “You really have to look hard to see it. Had it been an act of vandalism, it would have been larger.”

Munch probably wrote the sentence on his painting in 1895, according to Guleng, after his exhibition of new work at the Blomqvist gallery in Oslo. During a debate about the exhibition at the University of Oslo’s Students Association one night, a medical student, Johan Scharffenberg, said the artwork gave him reason to question the artist’s mental state, calling Munch abnormal and a “madman.”

Guleng believes the inscription is written with irony and reflects both pain at being attacked and fear of being regarded as mentally ill. “By writing this inscription in the clouds, he took possession, in a way, or he took control of how he was to be perceived and understood,” she said.

inscription 書き込み [語源: in(中に)+scribere(書く)] [親戚: describe(説明する), prescribe(処方する)]
madman 狂人 🇺🇸mad=angryでよく使う 🇬🇧mad→狂ったように。怒る→cross/angry
disgruntled 機嫌を損ねられた
👆grunt(ぶうぶう文句を言う)
vandalized 故意に破壊された
👆vandalism(落書きなど破壊行為)
artwork 美術品、手工芸品 
identical 瓜二つ [語源: idem(同じ)]
tempera テンペラ [親戚: temper(機嫌), temperature(温度)
infrared photography 赤外線写真
👆UV Rays=Ultraviolet Rays(紫外線)
took possession of ~ 〜を手中に収める
👆近年のslang: “Own it”

2/24(水)の放送

Interest Surges in Top Colleges, While Struggling Ones Scrape for Applicants

著者:Amelia Nierenberg
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Prestigious universities like Cornell never have a hard time attracting students. But this year, the admissions office in Ithaca, New York, is swimming in 17,000 more applications than it has ever received before, driven mostly by the school’s decision not to require standardized test scores during the coronavirus pandemic.

But while selective universities like Cornell and its fellow Ivy League schools have seen unprecedented interest after waiving test scores, smaller and less recognizable schools are dealing with the opposite issue: empty mailboxes.

In early December, applications to Cal Poly Pomona, east of Los Angeles and part of the California State University system, were down 40% over the previous year from would-be freshmen, and 52% from transfer students, most of whom started their higher education at community colleges.

At a time when many colleges and universities are being squeezed financially by the pandemic and a loss of public funding, the prospect of landing fewer students — and losing critical tuition dollars — is a dire one at schools that have already slashed programs and laid off staff.

To avoid that, the faculty and administrators at Cal Poly Pomona, which lost $20 million in state funding this fiscal year, spent December calling students who had started their applications but not submitted them, or who had applied in the past and were not accepted.

The nation’s most selective four-year institutions, both public and private, saw a record-breaking 17% increase in applications this year, according to Common App. Small liberal arts schools felt a boon, with applications to Haverford and Swarthmore increasing by 16% and 12%, respectively. So did large state schools like UCLA, where freshman applications increased 28%.

Applications to the primary campus at Penn State, a Big Ten School, increased by 11%. Harvard saw a whopping 42% spike, while Colgate University in upstate New York received 103% more applications.

But smaller or less recognizable institutions, both public and private, saw precipitous declines. The declines come as colleges and universities have been battered financially by the coronavirus, with estimated losses of more than $120 billion from plunging enrollment and dried-up revenue streams like food services and athletic events.

surge 急増、急上昇
struggle 苦労する、悪戦苦闘する
scrape かき集める
prestigious 一流の、高名な
fellow 仲間、同士
unprecedented 前例の無い、前代未聞の
recognizable 認識できる
deal with 問題に取り組む、解決しようとする
precipitous 急激な、突然の
battered ぼろぼろの

2/25(木)の放送

Where a Vaccination Campaign Faces Skepticism, War and Corruption

著者:David Zucchino and Najim Rahim
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan, whose citizens have largely brushed aside the coronavirus pandemic as exaggerated or an outright hoax, is now preparing to distribute its first batch of vaccines.

A half-million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, produced by an Indian manufacturer, were delivered to the capital, Kabul, by India on Feb. 7. But the arrival was greeted with indifference by many Afghans, who have rebuffed government warnings that the virus is a deadly public health threat.

The cheap and easy-to-store AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is being delivered as part of the Covax program, a worldwide initiative to buy and distribute vaccines to poor countries for free or at a reduced cost. On Feb. 15, the World Health Organization authorized use of the vaccine, which requires two doses per person.

The vaccine arrives as Afghanistan is fighting off a second deadly wave, even as most Afghans go about their daily lives as if the virus never existed.

“Of course I won’t take the vaccine because I don’t believe in the existence of the coronavirus,” said Muhibullah Armani, 30, a taxi driver in the southern city of Kandahar.

And even among Afghans who believe the virus is real and want to be inoculated, there is little faith the government, mired in pervasive corruption, will equitably distribute limited vaccine supplies.

“This vaccine will be available just for high status people,” said Khalil Jan Gurbazwal, a civil society activist in Khost province in eastern Afghanistan.

The Attorney General’s Office said Thursday that 74 government officials from five provinces had been charged with embezzling coronavirus response funds. Among those charged were former provincial governors and deputy governors.

As the vaccination program got underway Tuesday, the first dose was administered at the presidential palace in Kabul to Anisa Shaheed, a television reporter who has covered the pandemic.

Distributing any vaccine in a desperately poor nation consumed by unrest is a daunting logistical challenge. In addition to overcoming public suspicions and traversing dangerous territories, the Ministry of Public Health must also navigate vaccine delivery in remote provinces with poor roads and primitive infrastructure.

Afghanistan has recorded more than 55,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 2,500 COVID-related deaths, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

skepticism 懐疑論
corruption 汚職、(政治的)腐敗
outright hoax 完全なデマ
with indifference 無関心な、無頓着に
rebuff 拒絶する、はねつける
mire in (苦境に)陥らせる
embezzle 横領する
unrest (社会的な)不安
daunting 手ごわい、気の遠くなるような
不正関連用語
bribery わいろ、贈収賄
graft 汚職
under the table 取引などが不正な方法

2/26(金)の放送

Powell Says Better Child Care Policies Might Lift Women in Workforce

著者:Jeanna Smialek
(c) 2021 The New York Times Company

Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, suggested on Wednesday that improved child care support policies from the government might help pull more women into the labor market.

The Fed chief studiously avoided commenting on specific government policy proposals during three hours of wide-ranging testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. But he did acknowledge, in response to a question, that enabling better options for affordable child-care is an “area worth looking at” for Congress.

“Our peers, our competitors, advanced economy democracies, have a more built-up function for child care, and they wind up having substantially higher labor force participation for women,” Powell said, answering a question from Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa. “We used to lead the world in female labor force participation, a quarter-century ago, and we no longer do. It may just be that those policies have put us behind.”

The Fed chair, who had also testified before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, repeatedly refused to weigh in on the $1.9 trillion spending package the Biden administration has proposed or any of its individual provisions. The central bank is independent of politics, and it tries to avoid getting involved in partisan debates.

But Powell did voice qualified support for a few broader ideas — like exploring better child-care options — and he stressed that in the near-term, it is critical to help workers who have been displaced from their jobs during the pandemic. He made it clear that the labor market remained far from healed, that the pandemic’s economic fallout has disproportionately hurt women and minorities, and that both Congress and the central bank have a role to play in supporting vulnerable families until the economy has recovered more fully.

“Some parts of the economy have a long way to go,” he said Wednesday.

Women’s labor force participation had climbed for decades in the United States before stalling out — and then actually dropping slightly — starting in the 1990s. As Powell alluded to, adult women in the United States hold jobs or look for them at lower rates than women in some other major advanced economies, such as Canada or Germany.

studiously 慎重に/念入りに
testimony 証言/証明
enable  可能にする/許可する
affordable お求めやすい/高くはない
worth  〜甲斐がある/〜する(ほどの)価値がある
wind up 最終的に/結局
substantially かなり/大幅に
testify  証言する/証明する
weigh in (on) 意見を言う/議論に参加する
provisions  規定/供給

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