하루 10분이면 영어에 대한 두려움을 극복하고 누구나 유창하게 영어를 구사하실 수 있습니다.

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  • South Korea Celebrates Historic Oscar Wins for ‘Parasite’ South Koreans are celebrating after movie director Bong Joon Ho and his film Parasite won big at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

    Parasite won the Oscar for Best Picture and three other Academy Awards Sunday night.

    Its wins made history in both the Hollywood and South Korean film industries. Parasite is the first non-English-language film to win best picture in the 92-year history of the award ceremony. It also is the first South Korean film ever to earn an Oscar.

    “Can you believe that Parasite won the Academy best picture?” asked South Korea’s biggest newspaper, Chuson Ilbo. “It rewrote the Academy’s 92-year history,” the paper added.

    South Korean social media were flooded with congratulatory messages. Bong Joo Ho, Parasite and related film industry news were the top internet search terms throughout Monday. In the days before the awards ceremony, searches had largely been about the outbreak of the coronavirus from China.

    But concerns about the virus as well as political and economic problems seemed to ease Monday as South Koreans celebrated the film’s success.

    President Moon Jae-in and his advisors began a meeting by clapping their hands in celebration. Moon later wrote on Twitter that he is proud of Bong and others involved in the film. The South Korean leader said he was “grateful to them for giving courage and pride to our people who are overcoming difficulties.”

    At Yonsei University in Seoul, the university Bong attended, students belonging to a school movie club watched the awards show together.

    Student Kim Nam-hoon told The Associated Press, “It’s deeply meaningful for Korean movies and this will open the path for further development. It’s such a great honor. I’m speechless.”

    Another student, Jeong Ho-cheol, praised Bong for pleasing both movie critics and crowds. He said, “His way of dealing with the underside of Korean society and problems such as rich-poor gaps and the way he expresses those issues are very expressive.”

    Parasite is a dark comedy about a poor South Korean family that makes up false job experiences so they can work for a wealthier family. The wealthy family gives them positions as tutors, housekeepers and personal drivers.

    Kim Kyung-hyun is a professor of visual studies at the University of California, Irvine. He told VOA, “Parasite tells a universal story in a way that has made it obviously very successful worldwide.”

    He added, "The film touches on South Korea’s over-education syndrome, but also deals with things like climate change and economic inequality.”

    It is unclear what is next for Bong or the rest of the film’s cast of actors. But Parasite’s success at the Oscars is likely to increase interest in South Korea’s movie industry.

    In addition to winning four Academy Awards, the film has won about 180 awards so far, including the highest honor at the Cannes Film Festival.

    Kim Kyung-min told VOA, "I think people around the world will evaluate and treat Korean movies with more respect after seeing what a great reputation Parasite has.” The 33-year-old South Korean added, “I am proud of what [the director and cast] did, and I am looking forward to seeing more Korean directors succeed.”

    I’m Jonathan Evans.
  • At Home with Australian Couple who Protected Baby Kangaroos from Fires Even as a bushfire threatened the rural Australian community of Wytaliba, Gary Wilson and his partner Julie Willis decided not to flee their wooden house.

    The two had a home full of orphaned baby kangaroos to protect.

    More than 10 of the baby kangaroos -- called joeys – stayed safe inside fabric pouches that hung in the couple's living room. Each piece of cloth looked like the opening in which mother kangaroos carry their young.

    Wilson and Willis have taken care of wild animals before. Recently, full-grown kangaroos and other wildlife that had left their care long ago came back to the house in search of protection as the fires grew nearer.

    “We had way too many animals in the house and around the house so we really couldn’t go," Wilson told the Reuters news agency from his home. "We decided we were going to stay and fight.” Their home is now surrounded by burned land and vehicles.

    “At three o’clock it was a beautiful summer’s day, by four o’clock it was midnight,” Wilson said. “You couldn’t see any more than 20 yards [18 meters] and then the firestorm came through and pretty much burned everything.”

    Wilson and Willis defended their home for at least 14 hours with fire extinguishers and water pumps. Their house also had a special device on top that sprayed water on hot ashes falling on the property.

    Good preparation -- and very good luck -- helped the building stay safe. And the motherless animals have survived. But the November fire that hit the small community killed two of Wilson’s neighbors.

    “It was a horrible thing," Wilson said. "The whole bush has been burnt. It’s been vaporized.”

    Willis said she had never seen such fierce fires. She said most animals -- such as possums, gliders, lizards and even many birds -- were not fast enough to escape.

    She said, “It’s not until after the fires when it really hits you how close you were to dying...but at the time you are too busy trying to put the fire out.”

    Australia’s bushfire season has killed over 30 people and an estimated 1 billion native animals since September. About 2,500 homes have been destroyed, and more than 11.7 million hectares of dry bushland have been burned through.

    While Wilson and Willis usually care for joeys that are rescued after their mothers are struck by vehicles, they are now welcoming an increasing number of fire orphans.

    Willis said the joeys will one day be released into the wild.

    She said, “We didn’t have children ourselves; this is what we spend our time doing. We think it’s worthy - a worthy cause - looking after our babies no matter what they are...”

    I’m Ashley Thompson.
  • Thousands Trapped on Cruise Ship in Japan Over COVID-19 Virus Fears What is being kept in a small space because of the new coronavirus like? Passengers on a vacation trip in the western Pacific Ocean know very well.

    They are on the Diamond Princess, a huge, cruise ship that is quarantined in the Japanese port of Yokohama.

    More than 200 passengers on the ship have been infected with the new coronavirus, COVID-19. Health officials have reacted by keeping about 3,500 passengers on the ship. They are waiting until existing cases can be treated, and other passengers are cleared of the disease.

    The number of cases from the ship is the largest group of infections in the world outside of China.

    The Associated Press spoke with passengers and looked at their communications on social media.

    Some people are making the best of it

    Even during the quarantine, Cheryl and Paul Molesky appeared to still be on vacation.

    The two Americans from Syracuse, New York, can be seen in YouTube videos relaxing, often in bathrobes. They appear to be enjoying themselves looking at the ocean and snow-covered Mount Fuji in the distance.

    “We try to have an upbeat presentation…we’re not hurt, we’re not in pain...we’re actually just enjoying ourselves,” said the 78-year-old Paul Molesky.

    Fifty-nine-year-old Cheryl Molesky spends several hours each day answering emails and texts and preparing their YouTube videos.

    She said they are concerned when a new group of cases is announced. But she added there was little they could do: “We decided to make the most of every day.”

    Less space and room to move

    One Japanese man in his 30s, who did not want to give his name, said he spends his days mostly taking pictures of each meal. He then posts them anonymously on Twitter.

    “All I can do is to wait and tweet,” he said.

    The ship has restaurants and many forms of entertainment, but they are mostly closed. Passengers now mostly must stay in their rooms.

    Less costly rooms on the ship are not much wider than a double bed. Pictures posted on the ship’s website show that there is space only for a desk chair. The least costly rooms do not have windows. The larger rooms are about 20 square meters or less.

    People on the ship must clean their own rooms and clothes. Contact with the crew has been limited since the first 10 cases were confirmed in early February.

    For many, the days now center on food service. One crew member wearing a mask and gloves hands out the plates, another provides other things needed for the meal, while another notes names and room numbers.

    The boat has added more movies and TV channels to try to help with the boredom. People without balconies are permitted to walk outside for about an hour each day. They must keep two meters apart, however, to avoid spreading the virus. Passengers talk and wave to each other from their balconies.

    For the Japanese man on the ship, the food is one of the biggest problems. “I miss Japanese food,” he said.

    Some people are afraid

    A recent video posted on Twitter shows a group of men wearing masks and what appears to be the clothing of kitchen workers. One man, identified as Binay Kumar Sarkar, says, “We are scared. We appeal to the Indian government and the United Nations to help us.”

    Some of the crew members who got infected with the virus are restaurant, bar or housekeeping workers. They most likely had contact with passengers until those services were closed.

    “Until the quarantine started, everything was business as usual, and everyone was freely moving around,” said Kazuho Taguchi. He is director of global health cooperation at Japan’s health ministry.

    Crew members still share rooms, as the number of cabins for them is limited, Taguchi said. But, one crew member said he had been isolated in his room two days after he reported a pain in his throat.

    “Everyone on the ship is scared. Many people are falling sick, and now the crew’s getting sick too,” he said. While he waits for test results, he has been reading all the news and communicating with friends and family.

    Officials in Japan say isolating people on the ship is one way to prevent the disease’s spread. Other experts argue the measure could create more infection.

    Reiji Goto is a doctor at Diayukai General Hospital in Ichinomiya. He told TBS television: “More and more people are getting infected while they are trapped on the ship, which is not good for disease prevention.”

    Tara Smith is a professor who studies infectious diseases at Kent State University’s College of Public Health in the United States. She said a hospital, not a ship, is the best place to keep people quarantined. Smith added that she has concerns about new infections and the passenger’s mental health.

    For some, however, the fear might be worse than the virus. Many people, for example, do not show strong signs of infection with the COVID-19 virus.

    On Thursday, an Australian mother and daughter spoke to Australia’s Nine Network television from a Japanese hospital. The two said officials took them off the ship after a test showed that the daughter, Bianca D’Silva, was infected with the new coronavirus.

    She said health workers put her in a wheelchair covered with a protective material.

    Bianca and her mother, Suzanne, said they were both briefly sick, but feel fine now.

    “Honestly, it just felt like your everyday cold,” Bianca said. “I had a bit of headache before and just a slight fever but that’s about it, honestly,” she added.

    I’m Kelly Jean Kelly. And I'm Mario Ritter, Jr.
  • What are ‘Cheapfake’ Videos? An edited video of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has raised questions about social media and political campaigns in the United States.

    The video was produced last week after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech. The video shows Pelosi repeatedly tearing up a printed copy of the speech while the president spoke.

    Trump posted the edited video on Twitter.

    Pelosi did tear the pages of her copy of the speech. But she did so only after Trump finished speaking – not during the address as the video shows.

    Pelosi’s office asked Twitter and Facebook to take down the video. Both companies refused to do so.

    Researchers worry the video’s “selective editing” could mislead people.

    “Selective editing” is a term for editing or changing videos in a way that does not show what really happened. Such recordings are sometimes called “cheapfake” videos.

    Researchers fear the number of “cheapfakes” could increase if social media companies do not identify or make rules about such videos.

    The United States has a long history of political candidates showing their opponents in a negative light. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams attacked each other in newspaper advertisements over 200 years ago.

    In 1960, John F. Kennedy’s campaign used an ad showing different images of Richard Nixon sweating and looking weak.

    In some ways, the edited video of House Speaker Pelosi is not unusual. What is different now, says Clifford Lampe, is how widely such videos can spread in such a short time. Lampe is a professor of information at the University of Michigan.

    “The difference now is that the campaigns themselves, the president of (the) U.S. himself, is able to disseminate these pieces of media to the public,” he said. Lampe added that political candidates “no longer” have to work “with media outlets.”

    Facebook, Google and Twitter have reported on their efforts reduce disinformation on their services. The hope is to avoid some of the backlash created by social media misinformation during the U.S. elections four years ago.

    But the video of Pelosi does not violate existing policies, both Twitter and Facebook said.

    Facebook has rules that ban what are known as “deepfake” videos. Such videos use artificial intelligence, or AI, technology to make it seem like someone “said words that they did not actually say.”

    Researchers say the Pelosi video is a “cheapfake” video, a video that has been changed without the use of AI.

    Cheapfakes are much easier to create and are more common than deepfakes, notes Samuel Woolley. He is director of propaganda research at the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas.

    The Pelosi video is “deliberately designed to mislead and lie to the American people,” Pelosi deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill tweeted last week. He criticized Facebook and Twitter for not taking down the video from the social media services.

    Andy Stone, who works for Facebook, reacted to Hammill’s comments on Twitter. Stone wrote, “Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn’t make those remarks and the Speaker didn’t rip the speech?”

    Speaking with The Associated Press, Stone confirmed that the video did not violate the company’s policy. In order to be taken down, the video would have had to have been created with newer, more advanced technology. It would have also possibly tried to show Pelosi saying words that she did not say.

    Twitter did not remove the video either. It pointed toward a blog post that says the company plans to start identifying tweets that contain “synthetic and manipulated media.” The new policy will take effect on March 5.

    U.S. law does not say much about cheapfakes. Social media companies generally police their own websites.

    A law, section 230 of the Communication Decency Act, protects technology companies from most legal action related to the information posted on their sites.

    Most social media companies now ban violent videos and videos that could cause real-world harm. In recent years, Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube have received criticism about offensive videos that have appeared on their sites. The companies sometimes remove the videos. Other times, they leave the videos on their sites, pointing to the right to freedom of expression.

    The future of misinformation through social media is unclear. Jennifer Grygiel, an assistant professor at Syracuse University, called for laws to better govern social media in cases of political propaganda.

    However, this proposal has some weaknesses, she admits. One difficulty is that the “very people who will be regulating them [social media sites] are the same ones using them [social media sites] to get elected.”

    I’m John Russell.

    And I’m Ashley Thompson.
  • US Investigates Foreign Influence at Two of Its Top Universities The United States Department of Education has launched an investigation into Harvard University and Yale University. Earlier this month, the agency announced the schools had failed to report hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign gifts and contracts.

    Yale University is in New Haven, Connecticut. It may not have reported at least $375 million in foreign money over the last four years, officials said in a statement. They are also concerned that Harvard, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, may not have fully met reporting requirements.

    “This is about transparency,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “If colleges and universities are accepting foreign money and gifts, their students, donors, and taxpayers deserve to know how much and from whom.”

    Federal law requires most colleges and universities to report gifts from and contracts with foreign sources twice a year, if the amount is more than $250,000.

    Reed Rubinstein is the head of the Education Department’s legal team. He recently sent a letter to Yale President Peter Salovey. The letter accused the university of not reporting "a single foreign source gift or contract" from 2014 to 2017. Yet the school operates in many countries.

    The letter requested all records from the school related to gifts or contracts from Saudi Arabia, Saudi nationals, China, Huawei Technologies and ZTE. Huawei and ZTE are two major Chinese technology companies that aim to provide worldwide systems for the high-speed phone and internet network called 5G. The companies were placed on a U.S. sanctions list last year. The U.S. has said Huawei is a national security threat, and President Donald Trump has been highly critical of the company.

    Reed Rubinstein sent a similar letter to Harvard President Lawrence Bacow. Rubinstein said the Education Department knew “of information suggesting Harvard University lacks appropriate institutional controls."

    The letter comes shortly after an investigation into Charles M. Lieber, the head of Harvard University’s chemistry department. Leiber was charged with lying to federal officials about financial support, or grants, he had received from China. The Education Department requested all records linked to the Thousand Talents recruitment program and the Wuhan University of Technology. These Chinese organizations gave him the grants.

    Lieber was arrested on January 28 and released early this month on a $1 million bond.

    The investigation of Yale and Harvard is part of a larger examination by the Department of Education. The agency says since July its enforcement efforts have led to the reporting of nearly $6.5 billion in formerly undisclosed foreign money. Much of that money came from China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

    “This sum may be significantly underestimated,” the education department said.

    Karen Peart is a spokeswoman for Yale University. She confirmed the school had received a request from the department for records of some foreign gifts and contracts under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

    “We are reviewing the request and preparing to respond to it,” Peart told reporters.

    Harvard spokesman Jonathan Swain made a similar confirmation. He said that the school had received a "Notice of Investigation" from the agency and was also preparing an answer.

    Last year, the department also sent letters to several other schools. They included Georgetown University, Texas A&M University, Cornell University, Rutgers University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland. Department officials wrote that they were seeking records dating back as far as nine years ago. Their requests included records of agreements with groups and governments in countries like China, Qatar, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

    A year ago, a U.S. Senate committee on investigations described foreign spending on U.S. schools as “a black hole.” It revealed that fewer than 3 percent of 3,700 higher education institutions that received foreign money reported receiving gifts or contracts over $250,000.

    But some experts argue blame for this "black hole" should not fall on colleges and universities alone. In July, the American Council on Education, or ACE, which represents hundreds of colleges and universities, wrote a letter to the Education Department. ACE's senior vice president for government relations, Terry W. Hartle, pointed out the rules governing these gifts are over 30 years old. He added that the department has never made an effort to make the rules clearer.

    "It is…unfair to enforce requirements that do not exist in writing," Hartle wrote.

    I’m ­Dorothy Gundy.
    And I’m Pete Musto.