ニュースで学ぶ現代英語 2022/5/9- 5/13
MACRON WINS, LE PEN CONCEDES DEFEAT
French President Emmanuel Macron has won re-election, but rival Marine Le Pen had the best showing ever for a far-right candidate in a presidential runoff. The centrist Macron won with more than 58 percent of the votes, while Le Pen garnered 41 percent.
(Emmanuel Macron / French President)
“Now I am no longer a candidate in the single camp, but a president for all the people. I have to find one answer to the anger and differences of opinion that led people to vote for far-right forces.”
Macron had campaigned on his achievements, including measures taken against the coronavirus pandemic, as well as his response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Marine Le Pen criticized the government’s handling of surging prices of goods such as fuel. She pledged to take economic measures to raise people’s living standards.
CHINA’S TOP RESPIRATORY EXPERT SUGGESTS EASING ‘ZERO-COVID’ POLICY
An editorial written by China’s top respiratory expert, who once headed Beijing’s coronavirus response team, is drawing mixed reactions over the so-called dynamic zero-COVID policy.
Zhong Nanshan co-authored the article that appeared in a science magazine earlier this month. It argues that China needs to reopen to normalize socio-economic development and adapt to global trends. It also says pursuing a zero-COVID approach is not sustainable in the long run.
Many people took to social media to express views for and against the article.
Media affiliated with the Communist Party said Zhong had stressed the need to stick to the strategy for now in a lecture two days after the article’s publication. Observers say such reports suggest that China’s leadership is trying to contain public opposition to its zero-COVID policy.
EXPERIMENTAL RESTAURANT STAFFED BY ROBOTS OPENS IN TOKYO
Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries has opened a restaurant staffed by robots. The operation will provide the company with data to improve robot development to help ease labor shortages.
The restaurant is located in the machinery maker’s research facility near Haneda Airport in Tokyo and is equipped with seven robots.
Customers place their orders by smartphone. Robots in the kitchen heat up packs of soup or curry and pour them into cups. They also use microwaves for rice.
Other robots deliver meals to tables and serve them using two arms. They also collect empty plates.
Kawasaki Heavy aims to use customer feedback to improve the robot service quality. It also plans to apply what it learns to resolving labor shortages in nursing care.
PRICE HIKES FOR 6,100 FOOD ITEMS IN JAPAN
Household budgets in Japan are being squeezed. A private survey shows price hikes affecting about 6,100 food and beverage items in the first half of this year.
The survey, conducted this month by research firm Teikoku Databank, shows that 54 companies raised or plan to raise prices from January to July. That’s more than half of the 105 businesses approached. Prices are going up by an average of 11 percent.
The processed foods category is most widely affected. About 2,900 items, including cup noodles, ham, and frozen products, are being marked up by 12 percent on average.
The spike in crude oil prices is raising packaging costs. That’s compounding the impact of more expensive wheat and raw materials.
A poor harvest for rapeseed used in cooking oil is driving up prices for 1,300 dressings and other seasonings by an average of 9 percent. The crop is also in demand for biofuel.
JAPANESE SCIENTISTS USE iPS CELLS TO RESTORE SPINAL DISK FUNCTION
Japanese scientists say they’ve successfully restored function to intervertebral disks in rats by implanting tissue derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells.
A team led by researchers from Kyoto and Osaka universities conducted the study on the inner core of the intervertebral disk, called the nucleus pulposus. They say intervertebral disk degeneration occurs when the core is damaged or dissipates, and is a major cause of lower back pain.
The scientists say they found the jelly-like inner core contains cells resembling those in cartilage. They created similar cartilaginous tissue using iPS cells. The tissue was implanted in the intervertebral disks of rats from which the nucleus pulposus had been removed.
The researchers say six months later the rats had no intervertebral disk degeneration, and the shock absorbing function of the disks was maintained. Rats with no inner disk core that didn’t receive the iPS cells showed signs of tissue breakdown and disk degeneration.