When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Tehran Terror: When 'Big One' Strikes, Watch Out For Giant Rats!

The Iranian capital of Tehran sits on a notorious seismic zone, and for years now, its residents are intermittently reminded of the potentially calamitous consequences of a large earthquake.

Nobody knows for sure how resistant its building are or whether or not developpers have respected the country's building norms during the construction frenzy of the past 20 years. Most people are convinced however that smaller residential blocks are likely not resistant to a big quake.

Simply put, thousands are expected to die if there were a major earthquake in Tehran. That's the background for a rather particular article Tuesday from reformist dailyAftab-e Yazd, which wrote that the consequences of a major quake might well include people left amid the rubble of their shoddy houses being eaten to death by giant rats.

Rats are numerous in Tehran — few doubt that — but intermittent reports of their increasing size are, well, uncomfortable to read. The daily cited a city pests department official as saying that an earthquake would likely provoke an "explosion" of rats rising overground to feast on the dead and injured.

It also cited local environmentalist Abdolreza Baqeri as saying that the Tehran municipality's "intensified" strategies to curb the population of "aggressive" rats over the past three years had failed to reduce their numbers. Its strategy he said consisted merely of laying out poison and traps, and was considerably less versatile than the "adaptable" rats.

A member of the Tehran city council, Mohammad Haqqani, qualified rat numbers in the report as Tehran's second worst problem after air pollution. Earthquakes, rats, toxic air ... at least Iran is not planning on dotting its fault-ridden territory with nuclear installations — damn, that one too!

— Ahmad Shayegan

Photo: Giant rat in Iran — Jalil via Twitter

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

New Probe Finds Pro-Bolsonaro Fake News Dominated Social Media Through Campaign

Ahead of Brazil's national elections Sunday, the most interacted-with posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and WhatsApp contradict trustworthy information about the public’s voting intentions.

Jair Bolsonaro bogus claims perform well online

Cris Faga/ZUMA
Laura Scofield and Matheus Santino

SÂO PAULO — If you only got your news from social media, you might be mistaken for thinking that Jair Bolsonaro is leading the polls for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, which will take place this Sunday. Such a view flies in the face of what most of the polling institutes registered with the Superior Electoral Court indicate.

An exclusive investigation by the Brazilian investigative journalism agency Agência Pública has revealed how the most interacted-with and shared posts in Brazil on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp share data and polls that suggest victory is certain for the incumbent Bolsonaro, as well as propagating conspiracy theories based on false allegations that research institutes carrying out polling have been bribed by Bolsonaro’s main rival, former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, or by his party, the Workers’ Party.

Agência Pública’s reporters analyzed the most-shared posts containing the phrase “pesquisa eleitoral” [electoral polls] in the period between the official start of the campaigning period, on August 16, to September 6. The analysis revealed that the most interacted-with and shared posts on social media spread false information or predicted victory for Jair Bolsonaro.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ