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뉴스&스피킹(영자신문)
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News & Speaking 과정은 다양한 문화,사회,정치,경제 등의 이슈를 다루고 있기 때문에 다양한 지식 습득은 물론 난이도 높은 어휘, 표현들을 동시에 배울 수 있습니다.
학습구성 및 특징
VOA News를 기반으로 한 이 과정은 최신 뉴스기사를 바탕으로 고급
어휘 습득
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Monday
Today
NASA to Launch Newest Mars Explorer to Seek Signs of Life The United States is preparing to return to the planet Mars. The U.S. space agency NASA plans to have a spacecraft, called Perseverance, deploy a rover on the planet’s surface. The vehicle has been called the brainiest Martian rover yet. NASA officials say its mission will be to search for signs of life on the Red Planet.

This will be the space agency’s fifth rover to explore Mars. The first, named Sojourner, was sent in 1997. Then came Spirit and Opportunity, which landed in 2004. The fourth rover, Curiosity, has been exploring the planet since 2012.

The missions have resulted in valuable information. The vehicles helped gather data showing Mars was not always the cold and empty place it is today. Experiments provided evidence that at one time, the planet held several chemical elements that may have supported life. These included running water, organic molecules, and a more favorable climate.

In 2018, Curiosity found large amounts of organic molecules in 3.5 billion-year-old rock in an area that once had a large lake. Scientists have yet to show that the molecules were a product of biological processes linked to life as we know it.

NASA says Perseverance “aims to take the next step” in searching for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will also study the planet’s climate and surface materials.

Perseverance is NASA’s largest, heaviest and most technology-loaded vehicle ever sent to Mars. The six-wheeled rover is three meters long, a little over two meters tall and weighs 1,000 kilograms. It has 19 cameras, two microphones and a two-meter-long robotic arm.

A machine connected to the robotic arm will drill down into the surface to gather rock and soil samples. These particles will then be put in special tubes and stored away for eventual return to Earth. NASA says the tubes went through an extreme cleaning and baking process to remove any microorganisms from Earth.

A mission to collect the samples is planned for 2026. NASA said that back on Earth, “we can investigate the samples with instruments too large and complex to send to Mars.”

The rover is equipped with X-ray and imaging systems to study the chemical makeup of Martian surface materials and to identify possible organic compounds.

It will be a long trip for Perseverance, which is expected to reach the Jezero Crater on Mars in February 2021. The area is 45 kilometers wide and sits just north of the planet’s equator.

Researchers suspect that a river flowed into a large body of water at Jezero between 3 and 4 billion years ago. This was the main reason the crater was chosen for the Perseverance mission, notes NASA project scientist Ken Farley.

The crater area is a promising place “for finding organic molecules and other potential signs of microbial life,” he added.

One experiment planned for Perseverance will involve a device designed to convert carbon dioxide from Mars’ atmosphere into oxygen. The experiment aims to demonstrate a way to produce the important gas, which could be used by astronauts or as fuel on future missions.

Perseverance also is carrying a small experimental helicopter called Ingenuity. NASA says the 1.8 kilogram-aircraft will attempt its first flight a few months after arrival on Mars. NASA officials hope it will be the first helicopter to ever fly on another planet.

Ingenuity project leader MiMi Aung told The Associated Press the helicopter will start out like a baby bird, attempting to rise about 3 meters off the surface. It will then try to push forward into the planet’s extremely thin atmosphere. Other flight tests will be carried out, with Ingenuity trying to go a little higher and farther each time. “It really is like the Wright brothers’ moment,” Aung said.

If the tests are successful, such helicopters could assist astronauts on future search and collection missions.

I’m Bryan Lynn.
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Tuesday
New Yorkers Leaving City for More Living Space People living in New York City are fearful after facing the worst of the coronavirus health crisis. This fear is fueling a sudden increase in home sales and rentals around the small towns and wooded hills to the city’s north.

Anil and Joyce Lilly will not be staying in their Bronx apartment much longer. They just bought a house north of New York in the Hudson Valley. It takes about an hour to reach from the city.

“We were locked into the apartment for three months, a solid three months,” Joyce Lilly told the Associated Press, explaining their move to Washingtonville, New York.

“I feel like I’m getting out of prison and I want to run as far away as possible,” she said.

Property sellers describe an active market recently, with many house hunters able to work from home. Steven Domber is president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hudson Valley Properties. He said a large number of the home buyers are coming from Manhattan, in the heart of the city. Many of them are experiencing “cabin fever, which is wanting to get out of an apartment and having some land if…there’s a lockdown again,” he said.

The Catskill Mountains and parts of the valley north of the city have been longtime vacation spots for New Yorkers. But agents say sales and rental activity is far above normal. Domber said his June sales were up about 30 percent compared to the same month last year. Home builder Chuck Petersheim said he took eight orders in one month, compared to his usual one-and-a-half each month.

But New York City is in no danger of losing a lot of people any time soon. The movement north only represents a small part of the city’s population of 8.3 million.

New homes in the area cost from under $200,000 to more than $1 million. They are an escape many people cannot afford. But the increase in sales and long-term rentals suggests many New Yorkers see the city as less livable.

Susan Cohen rented a home in Rhinebeck, New York with her husband after sheltering in their Upper East Side apartment.

She said: “For six weeks in our two-bedroom apartment, all we talked about was without a vaccine, we will never go on the subway again…we won’t go to the movies, we won’t go to the theater...And we said, ‘What are we living here for?’”

County-level home sales numbers from May and June still show a decrease compared to last year. But agents say those numbers are the result of delays of one to three months between offers being accepted and closings on home sales.

Agents have described recent bidding wars over homes that had been on the market for some time and new listings being bought quickly by buyers with cash. Realtor John Murphy said some homes are selling for $100,000 or more above their asking prices.

Home hunters Tony Speciale and Jerry Marsini learned about competition recently when they walked through the front door of a home in Kingston, New York. At that same moment, their agent got a message from the seller about a cash offer from someone else.

“If we find a house that we’re interested in, sitting on it more than a few days doesn’t seem like a good idea,” Speciale said.

The Hudson Valley is not the only area outside New York City experiencing an increase in home buying.

Along the New Jersey Shore, there are far more buyers than homes in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Wendy Smith noted homes are selling above the asking price and “once a thing comes on the market everyone is jumping on it.” She is president of Monmouth Ocean Regional Realtors.

Extremely low lending rates from banks are helping the market. Work-from-home policies resulting from the health crisis also help people to decide to move from the city.

Joyce Lilly said her husband’s ability to work at a distance as an information technology supervisor helped them to decide to move from Riverdale in the Bronx on Tuesday. Susan Cohen just retired in January and her husband is able to work as a financial technology advisor from home.

I’m Pete Musto.
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Wednesday
US, China Face a Tense Point in Their Relations With the increased tensions between the United States and China, observers are questioning if the relationship has reached a turning point.

Last week, China ordered U.S. diplomats to leave the consulate in the city of Chengdu. The move followed the U.S. order to close the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas.

In addition, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized China’s Communist Party leaders as untrustworthy during a speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in California.

He said, “The kind of engagement we have been pursuing has not brought the kind of change in China that President Nixon hoped to induce.”

Nixon’s visit in 1972 opened the way for normalization of relations between the U.S. and mainland China. Before that time, the U.S. recognized Chiang Kai-shek’s government in Taiwan as the true government of China.

Trade dispute

Since 2018, China and the United States have been involved in a major trade dispute. It has resulted in both governments increasing taxes on imports from the other side. The U.S. is China’s single biggest export market – even with import taxes in place. China is the third largest market for American exporters.

The countries continue negotiations, but experts say, if they fail, the disagreement could place pressure on the world economy at a time when it is weak because of the coronavirus crisis.

Technology interdependence

U.S. and Chinese producers of telecommunications, computer, medical and other technology are closely linked. U.S. companies like Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and many others depend on Chinese factories to build smartphones, computers and other electronics. Those Chinese factories need processors and other parts from the United States, Japan, Taiwan and Europe.

U.S. government moves to cut off some supplies to the Chinese company Huawei have disrupted the flow of parts among many technology companies.

Security issues

China claims almost all of the South China Sea as its territory. It has also developed manmade islands built up with military equipment in the area. As a result, China has territorial disputes with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam over the waterway.


Last week, the U.S. rejected China’s claims to most of the South China Sea. In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the claims “are completely unlawful.” Pompeo added the U.S. would consider protecting other countries in the area against China through legal means. And a State Department official suggested that economic measures could be placed on Chinese officials over the issue.

Human rights

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has denounced China for its treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet. As a result, the U.S. Commerce Department placed restrictions on 11 Chinese companies over human rights abuses.

As China established a new security law over Hong Kong, the U.S. said it would no longer treat Hong Kong as an autonomous territory from the mainland government. It said Hong Kong could face visa limits and economic measures similar to China.

Blaming China for the coronavirus

President Trump has also blamed China for failing to control the spread of the new coronavirus. By July 27, Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center estimated that more than 16 million people have been infected with about 650,000 deaths around the world.

Many countries, including the U.S. and China, are researching to find an effective vaccine against the virus. Last week, the U.S. Justice Department charged two Chinese citizens with stealing intellectual property and targeting American companies working on coronavirus vaccine, testing devices and antiviral drugs.

Policy or politics?

Some experts suggest that the administration of President Donald Trump is raising tensions with China because he is seeking reelection in November. However, the competitive differences between the countries remain.

Chu Yin is a professor at the University of International Relations in Beijing. He said Americans who supported closer ties with China have been disappointed. He said China’s economic growth and development of a middle class has helped the ruling Communist Party rather than democratic change.

Steve Tsang is director of the China Institute at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. He said, “We are looking at a structural change in the relationship, which will continue even if Trump does not get a second term.”

I’m Mario Ritter, Jr.
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Thursday
COVID-19 Vaccine Starts Final Test with 30,000 Volunteers The world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccine study started on Monday. A total of 30,000 planned volunteers will help test the effectiveness and safety of a shot developed by the National Institutes of Health and drug maker Moderna.

The volunteers will each receive two doses of a shot. They will not know whether they are getting the real vaccine or a false version. Scientists will then closely follow the volunteers as they go about their daily activities. They want to see which group experiences a higher rate of infections, especially in areas where the virus still is spreading unchecked.

There is still no guarantee that the experimental vaccine will offer protection. The study hopes to answer that question.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the nation's top infectious disease expert with NIH. He told the Associated Press, “Unfortunately for the United States of America, we have plenty of infections right now” to help get that answer.

Volunteers from more than 80 test areas across the country will take part in the study. Moderna said the first vaccines were given Monday morning in Savannah, Georgia.


Several other vaccine candidates made by China and Britain’s Oxford University started later-stage studies earlier this month. Those studies involved fewer volunteers than the U.S. ones. They are being carried out in Brazil and other hard-hit countries.

The U.S. government requires its own tests of any vaccine that might be used in the country. The aim is not just to test if a vaccine works. It is also to check if it is safe.

Through the government-funded COVID-19 Prevention Network, the U.S. plans a new study for vaccine candidates each month through autumn. Each will involve 30,000 newly chosen volunteers. The hope is that, by using the same rules for each study, scientists will be easily able to compare the vaccines.

In August, the U.S. will carry out its final stages of Oxford University’s vaccine candidate. The study of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine will start in September and the one from Novavax in October. Drug maker Pfizer also plans to carry out its own 30,000-person study this summer.

That is a lot of volunteers needed to test possible vaccines. But in recent weeks, more than 150,000 Americans have registered to volunteer for the studies, says Dr. Larry Corey. He is with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle, Washington.

“These trials… need to reflect the diversity of the United States population,” Corey said at a vaccine meeting last week.

He said it is important that the studies include people from different age groups and from populations that have been hit especially hard by COVID-19, including Blacks and Hispanics.

It normally takes years to create a new vaccine from start to finish. But this time, scientists are setting speed records. They believe vaccination is the world’s best hope against the virus.

The new coronavirus was not even known to exist before late December. Vaccine makers got to work on January 10, when China shared the virus’ genetic sequence.

Just 65 days later, U.S. researchers gave the first test vaccine made by the NIH and Moderna to Jennifer Haller, a volunteer in Seattle, Washington. Haller is urging others to volunteer now.

She told the AP, “We all feel so helpless right now. There’s very little that we can do to combat this virus. And being able to participate in this trial has given me a sense of, that I’m doing something.”

That early study included Haller and 44 others. It showed the experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced antibodies in a small group of healthy people. It caused some minor side effects such as a brief fever, chills and pain at the injection area. Early tests of other leading vaccine candidates have had similarly promising results.

It will take several months for the first data to come in from the 30,000-volunteer test from Moderna, followed by the one from Oxford.

Until then, Haller will continue to wear a face covering in public. She is still following the same physical distancing advised for everyone. “I don’t know what the chances are that this is the exact right vaccine,” she said. “But thank goodness that there are so many others out there battling this right now.”

I'm Ashley Thompson.
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Friday
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