Hello 通勤家族，歡迎收聽Look Back Sunday回顧星期天，在這個節目John老師會彙整過去不同國家與主題的熱門跟讀文章，讓你可以在十五分鐘內吸收最精華的世界時事趣聞！我們這週聽聽非洲的趣聞，Let's get right to it!
Topic: Are African Artifacts Safer in Europe? 非洲文物在歐洲更安全？
Is Africa’s cultural heritage better off in Europe or in Africa?
That is the question at the heart of a yearslong debate that has gripped museums in Europe, where many officials say they support the idea of repatriating artifacts, but worry that African museums cannot compare to state-of-the-art facilities in Britain, France or Germany.
That debate has been given new life in recent months after an investigation by the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper found that many of the artifacts that will be on display in the Humboldt Forum, a huge new museum under construction in a rebuilt Berlin palace, had for years been stored in less-than-ideal conditions. The report featured searing depictions of flooded storage rooms and depots choked with toxic dust.
The Humboldt Forum will bring together the collections of several existing museums in the city under one roof, but reports in German news media have focused on the storage facilities of the Ethnological Museum of Berlin, which will be the Forum’s largest single contributor.
Officials at the museum, which closed to the public in 2017 to prepare for the move to its new home, have responded with what observers call an unusual degree of openness.
They have denied some of the reports, in particular the claim of flooded storerooms, but said their depots were beset with problems common to museums across Germany. Those included outdated facilities, a lack of staff members, and a sense of disarray that dates to moments of crisis in German history.
Despite all that, they steadfastly rejected that those conditions might call into question their stewardship of the artifacts, many of which were collected during the era of European imperialism.
Sindika Dokolo, a Congolese art collector who runs a foundation that has organized the return of artifacts to Congo and Angola, said it was true that “a whole generation” of museum professionals, like curators and conservationists, needed to be trained “in most of the African countries.” But while that new generation was being trained, he said, it is European museums’ responsibility to make sure African audiences had access to the artifacts in their possession.
It is up to them to create the conditions that would let African artifacts "play their role where they need to be right now, in Africa," he added.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/345221/web/
Topic: Neanderthal genes found for first time in African populations
African populations have been revealed to share Neanderthal ancestry for the first time, in findings that add a new twist to the tale of ancient humans and our closest known relatives.
Previously it was believed that only non-African populations carried Neanderthal genes due to interbreeding that took place after a major human migration out of Africa and across the globe about 60,000 years ago. The latest findings suggest human and Neanderthal lineages are more closely intertwined than once thought and point to far earlier interbreeding events, about 200,000 years ago.
“Our results show this history was much more interesting and there were many waves of dispersal out of Africa, some of which led to admixture between modern humans and Neanderthals that we see in the genomes of all living individuals today,” said Joshua Akey, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University and senior author of the research.
The study suggests living Europeans and Asians carry about 1 percent Neanderthal DNA, compared with on average 0.3 percent for those of African ancestry. Akey and colleagues believe that this Neanderthal DNA arrived in Africa with ancient Europeans whose ancestors — over many generations — had left Africa, met and mated with Neanderthals and then returned to Africa and mixed with local populations.
“An important aspect of our study is that it highlights humans, and hominins, were moving in and out of Africa for hundreds of thousands of years and occasionally admixing,” said Akey. “These back-to-Africa migrations, largely from ancestors of contemporary Europeans, carried Neanderthal sequences with them, and through admixture, contributed to the Neanderthal ancestry we detect in African individuals today.”
The increasingly fine-grained details of our ancestors’ migration patterns and intimate encounters with other types of human are coming into focus thanks to the advent of sophisticated computational genetics techniques. These statistical methods allow scientists to line up the Neanderthal genome side by side with that of ancient modern humans and DNA from different living populations and figure out whether the different lineages have been steadily diverging or whether there are blips where large chunks of DNA were exchanged at certain time points.
The latest comparison highlights previously unnoticed ancient human genes in the Neanderthal genome, apparently acquired from interbreeding events dating to about 200,000 years ago. This suggests an early group of humans travelled from Africa to Europe or Asia, where they encountered Neanderthal populations and left a faint imprint on their genome that could still be detected more than 100,000 years later.
The paper also highlights the relative lack of genetics research in African populations, despite modern humans having first emerged on the continent and despite African populations today being more diverse genetically than the inhabitants of the rest of the world combined. “To more fully understand human genomic variation and human evolutionary history, it is imperative to comprehensively sample individuals from all regions of the world, and Africa remains one of the most understudied regions,” said Akey.
It is not known whether all African populations, some of whose roots stretch into the deep past, share this Neanderthal heritage. KhoeSan (bushmen) and Mbuti (central African pygmy) populations, for instance, appear to have split off from other groups more than 100,000 years ago. The findings are published in the journal Cell.
Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/02/16/2003731045/2
Topic: About Africa - Mysterious Mineral from Earth’s Mantle Discovered in South African Diamond
A single grain of rock lodged in a diamond contains a never-before-found mineral. And that newfound substance could reveal unusual chemical reactions unfolding in the depths of the mantle, the layer of Earth that lies between the planet’s crust and outer core. The entire mantle is about 1,802 miles (2,900 km) thick.
Scientists unearthed the mineral from a volcanic site in South Africa known as the Koffiefontein pipe. Shining diamonds speckle the dark, igneous rock that lines the pipe, and the diamonds themselves contain tiny bits of other minerals from hundreds of miles beneath Earth’s surface. Within one of these sparkling stones, scientists found a dark green, opaque mineral that they estimated was forged about 105 miles (170 kilometers) underground.
Scientists noted that, for a mantle mineral, goldschmidtite has a peculiar chemical composition.
Topic: Kenyans rush to swap banknotes as cash ban looms 鈔票禁令在即，肯亞人搶著換鈔
A man walked into a Nairobi car yard and paid for a luxury Mercedes with a mountain of 1,000 shilling ($9 euros) banknotes, desperate to offload cash that would be worthless after September 30.
With the deadline looming before the Central Bank of Kenya bans all old edition 1,000 shilling notes, big fish with their fortunes stashed in cash are under pressure.
A new print of the 1,000 shilling banknote, the largest denomination, was rolled out in June. The operation is aimed at flushing out dirty money being hoarded by tax evaders, crooked businessmen and criminal groups. The central bank in June said there were roughly 218 million 1,000 shilling notes in circulation.
People are getting creative, devising schemes to quickly unload small amounts of their cash. For example, a liquor shop owner gets 500,000 shillings every day to bank together with his daily sales, as a deal with a wealthy guy, and get between five and 10 percent in return.
Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1322040 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1321332
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