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新聞  健康  u值媒  udn部落格  
2019/12/13 第288期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Maybe This Time, the Bikes Won’t End Up in the River 自行車葬身台伯河計畫告終止 羅馬再度推共享單車
The Devastating Cost of an Indonesian Export 印尼輸出汞禍害無窮 數以千計兒童嚴重先天缺陷
Maybe This Time, the Bikes Won’t End Up in the River 自行車葬身台伯河計畫告終止 羅馬再度推共享單車
文/Lidia Sirna


In 2013, Rome pulled the plug on its bike share program after it ran out of money and cars kept double-parking in front of its bike racks. Last year, a Hong Kong company gave up after many of its green bicycles ended up in the Tiber river. Months later, a Singapore company bailed after Romans stole the yellow bikes and broke them down for parts.


Rome has been a bike share wasteland, but Uber says things will be different for the shiny new red bikes it has introduced all over the city.


“We’ve tested ours on Rome’s cobblestones,” said Michele Biggi, manager of Uber’s Jump electric-bike program in southwestern Europe, who added that previous competitors’ bikes weren’t up to the city’s demands and “could have fallen down with just a gust of wind.”


He has big plans for the Uber bikes, he said, which “will change Rome and give the city a new lifeblood.”


Uber and its competitors have already introduced similar pedal-assisted bikes and electric scooters in Paris; London; Lisbon, Portugal; Brussels and other cities that in several cases are overrun with rolling menaces. (Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, has decried “the scooter anarchy.”) But Rome, the first Italian city to get Uber’s electric-bicycle service, is not any other European city.


Rome could be a bike-share dream in one respect: There is no shortage of demand. The city has only two finished subway lines (a third is perennially under construction), and buses come late, fail to show up and occasionally explode.


Driving on the city’s notoriously clogged streets is a nightmare. Parking is worse.


But the obstacles to a bike share program are daunting: Rome’s infamous potholes, its mounds of uncollected trash, double-parked cars, a strong vandal spirit in place since the actual Vandals sacked Rome, and a local resistance to change and physical exertion.

Rome’s embattled mayor, Virginia Raggi, urged Romans to show that the city is civilized after all.


“If we don’t want these bikes to be badly treated, guess who it is up to?” Raggi said at the Uber bikes’ unveiling Oct. 21. “Romans themselves are the first defense against degradation.”


The company is introducing a fleet of 2,800 bicycles that can be left practically anywhere, and they seem to be everywhere.


But not all Romans are fans. “Rome Is Gross” a well-known social media feed decrying the city’s degradation, has posted complaints about the high price of the Uber bikes, which cost 50 cents to unlock and then 20 cents for every minute of use. That is about the rate charged by car-sharing services.


The Devastating Cost of an Indonesian Export 印尼輸出汞禍害無窮 數以千計兒童嚴重先天缺陷
文/Richard C. Paddock

印尼輸出汞 禍害無窮

Thousands of children with crippling birth defects. Half a million people poisoned. A toxic chemical found in the food supply. Accusations of a government cover-up and police officers on the take.


This is the legacy of Indonesia’s mercury trade, a business intertwined with the lucrative and illegal production of gold.


More than a hundred nations have joined a global campaign to reduce the international trade in mercury, an element so toxic there is “no known safe level of exposure,” according to health experts.


But that effort has backfired in Indonesia, where illicit backyard manufacturers have sprung up to supply wildcat miners and replace mercury that was previously imported from abroad. Now, Indonesia produces so much black-market mercury that it has become a major global supplier, surreptitiously shipping thousands of tons to other parts of the world.


Much of the mercury is destined for use in gold mining in Africa and Asia, passing through hubs such as Dubai and Singapore, according to court records — and the trade has deadly consequences.


“It is a public health crisis,” said Yuyun Ismawati, a co-founder of an Indonesian environmental group, Nexus3 Foundation, and a recipient of the 2009 Goldman Environmental Prize. She has called for a worldwide ban on using mercury in gold mining.


Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, stands out for its huge number of outlaw gold miners and for concerns that some law enforcement officials assigned to police the trade are instead profiting from it.


As much as anyone, Cece Rifa’i, a former miner, is responsible for Indonesia’s mercury boom and spreading the scourge of contamination across the country.


But he has no regrets.


“I don’t feel guilty about anything,” he said from the veranda of his two-story home on the island of Java.


For years, Cece was a pioneer in a network of illegal mercury producers, traders and smugglers who supply gold miners across Indonesia with mercury, used to extract gold from crushed ore.


On a single day, operating a furnace he constructed in his backyard, he could produce a ton of black-market mercury worth more than $20,000, he said.


For decades, Indonesia got most of its mercury legally from the United States and Europe. But recognizing the harm it was doing, Western countries began reducing mercury exports six years ago.


Since 2013, 114 countries, including Indonesia, have signed on to the Minamata Convention, a treaty that took effect in 2017 and that requires participating nations to reduce the export and use of mercury in a variety of industries.


Nevertheless, United Nations trade data shows that Indonesia became a significant exporter of mercury from 2015 to 2017, peaking at more than 320 tons in 2016.




wildcat當名詞時是野貓,當形容詞時有幾種引申義。第一是「財務不可靠的」,如:wildcat banks,或「財務不可靠的機構發行的」,如:wildcat currency。美國有一本書wildcat currency(中譯「虛擬貨幣經濟學」),就是談虛擬貨幣,包括線上寶物、紅利點數、比特幣等。

第二是本文使用的意思「在合法範圍外的」,所以wildcat miners是「未經官方許可的採礦者 」。第三是「未經工會同意的」,如:wildcat strike。最後是「在未曾鑽探過油氣的地區鑽鑿的」,如:wildcat well,這是美國人早期在德州鑽井時的俚語。

illegal和illicit是同義詞,可以互換,不過illicit多了一個意思「社會不容的」,如:an illicit love affair。

大阪斷崖絕壁 你敢放手往後躺嗎?

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