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International Day against Nuclear Tests

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nuclear-test-1_2The United Nations’ (UN) International Day against Nuclear Tests brings public awareness and education about the effects of global nuclear weapon tests. The day aims to end nuclear testing and to promote peace and security.

International Day Against Nuclear Tests aims to educate and bring awareness about the effects of nuclear testing.©iStockphoto.com/endopack
What do People Do?
The International Day against Nuclear Tests aims to raise people’s awareness on the need to prevent nuclear catastrophes to avert devastating effects on humankind, the environment and the planet. Many people use the day as an opportunity to share their perspective on the issue of nuclear weapons and testing.  Different organizations may host educational and public activities to bring awareness of the use of nuclear weapons and the dangers involved with nuclear weapons testing and usage.
Public Life
The International Day against Nuclear Tests is a global observance but it is not a public holiday.
Background
The history of nuclear testing began on July 16, 1945, when an atomic bomb was used at a desert test site in Alamogordo, New Mexico, in the United States. More than 2000 nuclear tests were carried out worldwide between 1945 and 1996. Nuclear weapons tests are generally broken into different categories reflecting the test’s medium or location:
Atmospheric tests.
Underwater tests.
Underground tests.
Over the years, there have been calls to ban nuclear test to ensure the protection of people’s lives and the environment around them. The UN approved a draft resolution in late 2009 for an international day against nuclear tests to raise public awareness about the threats and dangers of nuclear weapons.  It was also hoped that UN’s member states would move towards the idea of nuclear disarmament.
The International Day against Nuclear Tests was declared to be annually held on August 29, which marks the closing of one of the world’s largest nuclear test sites (in Kazakhstan) in 1991. The day is devoted to enhancing public awareness and education about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. It also promotes the need for a nuclear weapon-free world. The day’s first official observance was marked for August 29, 2010.

Earthquake Damage to Italian Heritage Sites

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norcia_01 norcia_02The most important thing to remember after an earthquake is saving lives and helping the survivors. At the same time, experts are now evaluating the damage to some of Italy’s heritage sites. World heritage experts now fear that many historic buildings and their contents were damaged in the earthquake that hit Italy very early this morning. The earthquake happened across a region where almost every hilltop town and village has beautiful churches and monuments.

As reported, there has been major damage to many churches, monuments and museums. Some of the greatest destruction was in Amatrice, which was voted one of Italy’s most beautiful towns last year and is celebrated for its Cento Chiese, 100 churches filled with frescoes, mosaics and sculptures. Half the facade of the 15th-century church of Sant’Agostino has also collapsed as reported by the several news outlets. The courtyard of one of the town’s Renaissance palaces has been turned into a temporary morgue.

Many historic buildings are also feared lost or damaged in Norcia, the birthplace of St Benedict as reported by the Guardian newspaper earlier today. The 12th-century basilica, which is said to have been built on the foundations of his house, had been damaged too.

Other historic buildings feared at risk include a museum housed in a medieval fort, and 14th-century frescoes in the church of St Augustine as well as the Roman walls, survivors of many earthquakes, which still partly encircle the town.

Cracks were reported in buildings as far from the epicentre as Rome, including in the spectacular baths of Caracalla. And there have been reports of over 120 people have lost their lives. It is most important to make sure that all survivors are rescued and are given shelter and food.

Ancient temple is turned into a grazing land for Animal

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chogha-1 ghogh-zanbilAccording to a report by Tariana Society, a non-profit in Iran’s Khuzestan province, the ancient temple of Chogha-Zanbil is turned into a grazing land for sheep, cows and stranded dogs. They wander around this site all through the day and the land is covered by their excrements.

The relevant authorities in Cultural Heritage Organization respond to the protests of tourists and friends of cultural sites by denying the facts. Alireza arzaghi, the director of the site, has explained the situation in this way: “The fact is that the farmers are burning their lands and the animals are driven out. Nevertheless, we already have cleaned the site”. But the pictures rendered by the Tariana Society clearly show that this is not a recent incident and the situation has been the same all through the year. The director of this society says: “This one-thousand-acre site has only three guardsmen who work in shifts and they are unable to secure the site. They have not received their wages for months and have no incentive to do their job.

The temple of Chogha-Zanbil is one of the most beautiful sites with 3000 years of history. It belonged to Elamids and has been recognized as a cultural heritage for humanity by UNESCO in 1979.

World Humanitarian Day

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world-humanity-day1The United Nations’ (UN) World Humanitarian Day is held on August 19 each year. The day honors all humanitarians who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause, and those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty. It aims to increase public awareness about humanitarian assistance activities worldwide and the importance of international cooperation.

What Do People Do?

World Humanitarian Day is a day dedicated to humanitarians worldwide, as well as to increase public understanding of humanitarian assistance activities. The day aims to honor humanitarian workers who have lost their lives or injured themselves in the course of their work, and to acknowledge the ongoing work of humanitarian staff around the world.

Many communities and organizations try to increase the importance of humanitarians by distributing publicity and information material. Additionally, some try to speak to the press to help spread these key messages of World Humanitarian Day, while other groups organize public events worldwide that feature humanitarian work.

For the year 2010 and beyond, it is anticipated that World Humanitarian Day will focus on particular humanitarian themes to help increase public awareness.

Background

Humanitarians provide life-saving assistance to millions of people worldwide. They place their own lives at risk to help others in conflict zones and areas of natural hazards. More than 700 humanitarian workers have died or experienced the most dangerous situations while trying to help those in need. Humanitarians provide support for different world challenges such as hunger, gender-based violence, refugees and displaced people, help for children, as well as clean water and access to sanitation.

World Humanitarian Day was established by the General Assembly of the UN in December 2008 and was first observed in August 2009. The date of August 19 is the anniversary date of the 2003 Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad where twenty-two people lost their lives including, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

The total number of people affected by natural disasters has risen over the past decade, and about 211 million people are directly affected each year. Women and children are especially affected because of their ongoing struggles with poverty, insecurity, hunger, poor health and environmental decline. There are new and difficult challenges that arise each year that will require more flexible funding and adaptable humanitarian work. The increasing economic crisis and global challenges such as poverty, global health problems, increase prices and the rising number of people on the move, increases the need for humanitarians each year

Public Life

World Humanitarian Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

What happened to 400 unique works of art Museum in Tehran?

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19953_lThis week, Ehsan Aghaei, the ex-manager of the Tehran Contemporary Art Museum, has told news reporters that the museum houses 1500 non-Iranian works of art out of which only 10 works are outstanding and unique.

In the era before the Islamic Revolution, the museum held a treasure trove of modern art works. Experts estimate that there were more than 4000 works out of which 400 were considered exceptional.

The museum was set up under the auspices of the ex-queen Farah of Iran and was inspired by old Iranian architecture. Unfortunately, and just like other similar instances, the museum was afflicted by negligence, lack of maintenance, and the plunder of works of art, a process that has recently been reflected in the news. Thus, what the ex-manager of the museum has announced is sadly a fact.

Broadband Plans for UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy

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Italy has announced plans to provide high-speed internet access at tourist attractions across the country, including all 51 of its Unesco World Heritage Sites as reported by several news outlets including La Repubblica and BBC. The list includes major seaside resorts, historic cities and entry points such as airports and stations as well as the UNESCO sites to be added under a trial scheme starting in early 2017. The Italian government has proposed creation of a nationwide wi-fi network, which users can access via a single personal login. The Italian Officials say the plans will make it easier for people to enjoy Italy’s natural and cultural attractions but it will remain to be seen whether there will be major impact on tourism in Italy.

Italy has the highest number of World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world. The country contains major archaeological ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum, to Palladian villas and Sicily’s Mount Etna. However, due to lack of state funding, the country has not been able to keep up with the upkeep and as a result has led to major concerns to the failure in preservation of some major sites including in Pompeii, where several walls have collapsed in recent years.

Earlier this year, in May, the Italian government announced that it would spend over 1bn euros on 33 cultural heritage projects. This is the biggest such investment in decades.

 

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

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indigenous-2International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

What Do People Do?

People from different nations are encouraged to participate in observing the day to spread the UN’s message on indigenous peoples. Activities may include educational forums and classroom activities to gain an appreciation and a better understanding of indigenous peoples. Events may include messages from the UN secretary general and other key leaders, performances by indigenous artists, and panel discussions on reconciliation.

Public Life

The UN’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is a United Nations day of observance but it is not a public holiday.

Background

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is celebrated on August 9 each year to recognize the first UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations meeting in Geneva in 1982. On December 23, 1994, the UN General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People should be observed on August 9 annually during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.

In 2004 the assembly proclaimed the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2005-2014). The assembly also decided to continue observing the International Day of Indigenous People annually during the second decade. The decade’s goal was to further strengthen international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous peoples in areas such as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development.

In April 2000, the Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution to establish the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that was endorsed by the Economic and Social Council. The forum’s mandate is to discuss indigenous issues related to culture, economic and social development, education, the environment, health and human rights.

An Old Quarter in Iran has Perished

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160801120103_meybod_512x288_mehr_nocreditOn August 2, 2016, a large section of the old quarter of Meybod, a city in the Yazd province of Iran, was destroyed. The quarter was recognized as a part of the National Iranian Heritage and was planed to be registered by UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage Index. The recent development has nullified this possibility. As Riahi Moghadam, the director of the Historical Studies Center of Meybod has put it, “this was the largest damage done to the old quarter in recent years.”  

          160801115819_meybod_512x288_mehr_nocredit  He also explains that “the main nucleus of the old quarter, including a dome and its peripheral structures, was destroyed by the trustees of the dome and the residents without permission from the relevant authorities.”

            Nevertheless, independent witnesses report that the operation was executed under the watch of security forces and responsible guards.

Iranian Winner of Top European Math Prize

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sara-zahediIranian-Swedish mathematician Sara Zahedi has won a prestigious European Mathematical Society Prize, the top honor for young European mathematicians awarded once every four years.

Zahedi is being recognized for her efforts to improve computer simulations of the behavior of fluids that don’t mix together.  Her research could be helpful in reducing environmental damage from oil spills, she says.

One of 10 recipients age 35 or under, Zahedi is the only woman to win one of this year’s prizes, which were announced last week. And she’s one of only nine female recipients since the EMS prize began in 1992. Zahedi will receive a check for 5,000 euros.

4,000-year-old Egyptian Statue in Israel

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4000years

According to a report published by haaretz The feet of a 4,000-year old monumental Egyptian statue has been discovered in the northern Israel.

The archaeologists think The statue probably began its career in the official’s tomb or in a temple – possibly a temple of Ptah, the god of craftsmen and architects.

The hieroglyphics carved onto the statue’s base include praise to the official, and the usual Egyptian funerary formula ensuring an eternal supply of offerings to the statue’s owner.