The Grand Canyon, the Matterhorn and the Great Barrier Reef are competing with 25 other spectacular natural landmarks in the final phase of the global poll to choose the “New 7 Wonders of Nature.”
The Amazon rainforest, the Dead Sea, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and Ecuador’s Galapagos islands are also among the finalists, the organization New 7 Wonders, led by Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber, said on Tuesday.
People can vote by Internet or phone. The winners will be announced in 2011 and share in the glory already enjoyed by the seven man-made wonders chosen two years ago.
More than 1 billion people are expected to join in the voting, Weber said.
“This campaign should contribute to the appreciation — to the knowledge — of our environment and not just the one in our country but worldwide,” he said. “If we or our children want to save anything, we should first appreciate it.”
The finalists also include Azerbaijan’s Mud Volcanoes, Lebanon’s Jeita Grotto, Ireland’s Moher Cliffs and Germany’s Black Forest.
A panel of experts chose the finalists among the 77 nominees that gained the most votes in an early round of polling. People had suggested 261 landmarks all over the world.
The panel chaired by Federico Mayor, former chief of UNESCO, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, picked the finalists depending on geographical balance, diversity and the importance to human life.
High voter participation has come from Asian countries, including Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam, as well as from Latin America, he said.
“US voters’ participation is always quite high,” he added.
Africa, where most people vote by mobile phones, has had the biggest increase in votes over the last few weeks, Weber said.
Weber declined to give any specific numbers of votes so far. But the organization plans to release details about voter profiles later. Registration on the Web site aims to prevent people from voting twice.
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
ACADEMIC FREEDOM: One professor told her students to submit anonymized papers and not to record any online classes. Some US schools have announced similar steps Students at Oxford University specializing in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong. The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned that it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong National Security Law was imposed on June 30 by Beijing after more than a year of pro-democracy
Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40. News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides. Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been an uptick in the number
China on Thursday lashed out at the US at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the COVID-19 pandemic, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough.” Two days after US President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, also took an outraged tone — after which her Chinese counterpart showed palpable anger. “I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already,” Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun (張軍) told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference