Paris, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Paris-based UN educational and scientific body UNESCO on Monday unveiled the list of projetcs on best practices for the protection of underwater cultural heritage, which includes schemes from France, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and Mexico.
"Designated on the recommendation of UNESCO's Scientific and Technical Advisory Board (STAB), best practice examples are projects presented by States Parties that promote responsible public access to underwater cultural heritage, promote scientific research and ensure the sustainable management of archaeological sites," UNESCO said in a statement.
The projects, which entered Best Practices Register for Underwater Cultural Heritage Protection, are France's excavation, reconstruction, restoration and presentation to the public of the Barge Arles-Rhône, underwater cultural heritage in the Chinchorro Bank from Mexico, subaquatic archaeological charter of the Azores from Portugal, Slovenia's the Ljubljanica river phenomenon and the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes Project (Spain).
"By designating these best practices, UNESCO promotes concrete and directly applicable solutions for the protection of underwater heritage. I call on all states and stakeholders concerned to draw inspiration from them to amplify the drive to protect these remains, which bear the memory of our human history," said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.
Adopted in 2001, the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage aims to provide better protection for the millions of wrecks and historic remains preserved on the seabed, and halt looting and increasing destruction of underwater heritage.
The Convention also targets to promote public access to this heritage and to encourage archaeological research. To date, it has been ratified by 61 States, according to the statement.
Zhengzhou, June 25 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Senior Chinese archaeologists have evaluated astronomical relics discovered in central China's Henan Province as the country's earliest evidence for "observing the images and giving time," advancing history by nearly 1,000 years.
Archaeologists found the "Big Dipper Nine Stars" marker at the 5,000-year-old Qingtai Ruins in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. The size of the nine objects is basically the same as the actual brightness of the celestial body.
More than 30 astronomers, historians and archaeologists from the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Institute of History of Natural Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the National Palace Museum were invited to the site to give their evaluations of the ruins last week.
They believe the astronomical relics and the surrounding sacrificial remains constitute a whole, which is consistent with the records of the "Winter Solstice Sacrifice" in ancient Chinese documents. It is of great significance to the study of early Chinese astronomy and the origin of Chinese civilization.
The experts said the relic indicates that the ancestors of Qingtai had some astronomical knowledge, and the worship of the celestial body may have formed a grand sacrificial ceremony for observing the solar terms and praying for a good harvest.
Gu Wanfa, president of the Zhengzhou Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, said that Qingtai is a large-scale trench settlement in the Yangshao Culture period, with a total area of about 310,000 square meters.
He said nine pottery pots were arranged in the "Big Dipper Nine Stars" pattern. They were surrounded by urn coffins of the same period, tombs, mortars and sacrificial pits of different periods and other related relics.
Previous to Qingtai, the Taosi Observatory in Xiangfen County, northern China's Shanxi Province, of 4,200 years ago, represented the earliest evidence in the study of the astronomical calendar in ancient China.
The experts suggested researching the relationship between the two astronomical relics and functions of the relics.
Pascagoula, Jun 25 (AP/UNB) — A historical marker has been placed near the river where two men in southern Mississippi said they were abducted by aliens in 1973.
News outlets report the city of Pascagoula dedicated the marker Saturday at Lighthouse Park.
Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker said they were on the shores of the Pascagoula River when what appeared to be aliens pulled them onboard a UFO, examined them for about 30 minutes and then returned them to Earth.
Both reported the event to the sheriff’s department and were checked out at a hospital after it happened Oct. 11, 1973. The story has become known worldwide.
Parker published a book about the experience in 2018. Hickson died in 2011. Both said many people doubted their story. A few witnesses have come forward to corroborate some details.
Flagstaff, Jun 25 (AP/UNB) — A recently adopted puppy that disappeared after her owner crashed in Arizona survived 13 days in the mountains and has been reunited with her owner.
The Arizona Daily Sun reports volunteers found Bella, a 4-month-old mixed yellow lab, almost two weeks after driver Michael Crocker rolled over his SUV off the historic Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Crocker was airlifted to a hospital in Phoenix after crashing his GMC Yukon Denali on May 14 but Bella was nowhere to be found. Cocker and Bella were on a cross-country trip from Alabama to Southern California.
A Humane Animal Rescue and Trapping Team member found the whimpering pup not too far from the crash site of broken glass and car parts.
Officials say Crocker and Bella are recovering together in Southern California.
Dhaka, Jun 25 (UNB) - Women have outperformed their male counterparts in entrance examinations for a medical school in Japan that last year admitted rigging admission procedures to give men an unfair advantage, reports The Guardian.
Juntendo University in Tokyo said that of the 1,679 women who took its medical school entrance exam earlier this year, 139, or 8.28%, had passed. The pass rate among 2,202 male candidates was 7.72%.
It was the first time in seven years that the pass rate among women was higher than among men, the Asahi Shimbun reported.
The university attributed the exam results to its decision to “abolish the unfair treatment of female applicants” after last year’s revelations.
Tokyo medical school 'changed test scores to keep women out'
Juntendo was one of several medical schools that were found to have manipulated exam results to give first-time male applicants an advantage over women and others who had previously failed the exam.
The dean of the medical school, Hiroyuki Daida, initially attempted to justify the practice, saying women matured faster than men and had better communication skills. “In some ways, this was a measure designed to help male applicants,” he told reporters.
The sexist admissions policy drew widespread criticism after the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper revealed in August last year that Tokyo medical college had rigged exam scores for more than a decade to favour male candidates, citing concerns that women who went on to become doctors would leave the profession to have children.
Last month, the medical school said female applicants had performed slightly better than men this year after gender-based anomalies in the admissions procedure were removed.
The pass rate among women at Tokyo medical school was 20.4%, 0.4 percentage points higher than among male candidates, the university said, according to the Japan Times. The success rate the previous year, when the discriminatory marking practice was still in place, was just 2.9 % for women and 9% for men.
In 2016, women accounted for just 21.1% of all doctors in Japan, the lowest level among nations belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Among G7 countries, Britain had the highest proportion, at 47.2%, followed by Germany, France and Canada.
The medical school scandal reinforced claims of institutional sexism in the Japanese workplace and education, frustrating efforts by the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, to create a society “in which women can shine”.
While women’s representation in the workplace is rising, Japan compares poorly with other countries in promoting women to senior positions. Many female employees face discrimination when trying to return to work after giving birth.
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