At the end of the 19th century, Saint-Leu's Stella Matutina sugarcane factory employed some 250 Indian, Cafre and Malagasy workers. It closed its doors in 1978 and has now been turned into a museum. The loading platforms are still functional — a token of the French island's once flourishing sugar economy.
After the Sunni fundamentalist Taliban rulers retook control of Afghanistan, there were initial, friendly signals exchanged with Iran's Shia regime. But a recent border skirmish recalls tensions from the 1990s, when Iran massed troops on the Afghan frontier.
Between 300 and 500 birds (not to mention eggs and chicks) are thought to have died near a natural reserve, potentially all because of a land dispute.