Inspired by Egypt, Protests Rock Tehran
On Feb. 11, Iran's government celebrated the 32nd anniversary of the country's Islamic revolution with an organized rally in Tehran's Freedom Square. While shouting slogans in support of Iran's controversial President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, many waved Egyptian flags in solidarity with the popular uprising against Egypt's U.S.-backed dictator, Hosni Mubarak. Just three days later, with Mubarak ousted, Egypt cast a far more troublesome pall over Ahmadinejad's regime. Using the type of social-media coordination seen in recent protests against dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia, thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators marched through the streets of Tehran and a number of other Iranian cities in a revival of the mass antigovernment protests that captured the world's attention in 2009. But they suffered the same kind of brutal crackdown that had been meted out then, with at least two known deaths. Some Iranian parliamentarians even called for the execution of the protest's organizers.
World by the Numbers
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7% u.s. Rate of Chicago's population decline over the past decade, matching a broader trend in Rust Belt cities
$3 billion COLOMBIA Estimated investment by China in an all-rail "dry canal" that would create a second link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans
46 THAILAND Number of hours a Thai couple locked lips for Valentine's Day, breaking a Guinness world record
113 JAPAN Age of a law, now being fought as inequitable, requiring women to adopt their husband's last name
10,000 KYRGYZSTAN Number of stray dogs to be culled in the Central Asian state because shelters proved too costly
Immigrants Swamp a Mediterranean Islet
Italy More than 5,000 people fleeing Tunisia have reached Lampedusa, a scrub-covered isle that is part of Italy and is just 70 miles (110 km) from the North African coast. The exodus followed the Jan. 14 toppling of Tunisian dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, who had previously clamped down on illegal emigration to Europe. Tunisia rebuffed an Italian offer to deploy troops to patrol its borders. Aid groups warned of a "humanitarian emergency" on Lampedusa; Rome has asked the European Union for assistance.
Chevron Responsible For Amazon Damage