Global Scan

Nicaraguans are told to eat lizards — because of a drought


Nicaraguan authorities are encouraging residents to raise and eat lizards.


Derkarts/Wikimedia Commons

Nicaragua is enduring its worst drought in 32 years, putting upward pressure on food prices and downward pressure on food supplies. So Nicaraguans are having to get creative.

A government official is encouraging Nicaraguans to raise iguanas and eat them as a cheap and available source of protein. The official helpfully pointed out that iguanas are 24 percent protein, compared to chickens, which are just 18 percent protein. Nicaraguan law prohibits hunting for lizards between January 1 and April 30, but they can be kept for food in general.

Nicaraguans, though, aren't exactly thrilled by the government's suggestion. One Nicaraguan jokingly tweeted that he was going to have an iguana for breakfast, until it ran away.  The South China Morning Post has the story.

(Editor's note: The Global Scan can be delivered straight to your inbox every weekday. Just register and sign up today.)

The guy who created the Internet pop-up ad says 'I'm sorry' and wants change

Ethan Zuckerman is now a principal research scientist at MIT's Media Lab. In his younger days, he worked at a startup called, which marketed content to recent college grads. He says an advertiser once freaked out when the banner ad it had purchased to reach those grads appeared on a page that celebrated anal sex.

Zuckerman's team solved the problem of such unwanted associations by writing code so an ad wouldn't appear directly on the web page, but on top of it. And thus the first pop-up ad was born. Zuckerman regrets he was part of the wave that made intrusive advertising the business model for the web.

He writes in The Atlantic that the advertising model has led to deeper and deeper data mining and surveillance of every click we make, all in an effort to better target ads at us and charge higher rates to advertisers. The article is a fascinating perspective at the 25th anniversary of the web. Zuckerman concludes that "It’s time to start paying for privacy, to support services we love, and to abandon those that are free, but sell us — the users and our attention — as the product."

These shark photographs show you the giant creatures — up close and very personal

Michael Muller makes a living taking pictures of two things: celebrities — and sharks. His passion, though, is sharks. The photographer has spent years taking photos of sharks, and he typically does it from outside the protective cages that most of us associate with any voluntary encounter with the giant sea creatures. Muller says it's perfectly safe, too. The only time humans and sharks get into trouble is when they're both near the surface, where sharks feed. At depth, the two can merely ignore each other.

Muller's work was recently profiled in the New York Times magazine. He spoke with PRI's The World about what it's like to do what he does, and how he has to be patient to get just the right shot — from Great Whites to Whale Sharks and all manners of sharks in between. He also shared several of his shark photos with us, as well as a couple of his celebrity photos. You can see those stunning pictures at

Here's how a boy with US citizenship spent a month detained at the border

Amidst the press of immigrants arriving from Central America — and the political pressure to detain and deport them  — one 11-year-old boy got lost.

He came across the Mexico-US border with his mother in July and was ferried to a detention facility in New Mexico. An immigration lawyer, who happened to be visiting the facility, learned that the boy's father was a US citizen, which meant the boy had legal citizenship. The lawyer doesn't think anyone bothered to ask.

The Los Angeles Times spoke with the lawyer, who says the boy and his mother have now been released to join the father. But immigration lawyers fear the rush to process immigrants is circumventing due process and aimed more at deporting people than uncovering and protecting their legitimate claims.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict — through the lens of a fictional show

When the producers of The Honorable Woman started on their project to create a fictional show based on the very real Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they knew they were working with a powerful subject. But they didn't realize their show would be going on the air, first in the UK and then in the US, when the conflict would be splashed across front pages and on news programs virtually every day. But the timing just happened to work out — and now the show, which is airing on the Sundance Channel in the US, is an interesting lens through which to view the conflict.

PRI's Studio 360 talked to Hugo Blick, the show’s writer, producer and director, about his latest project. He says his goal with the show is to get people to feel comfortable — and root for — characters from both sides of the divide, and then challenge those beliefs in later episodes. And while the show is decidedly a work of fiction, it does provide an interesting lens on the current conflict.

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

Passengers on a Ryanair flight in the UK on Thursday would have probably had quite the fright if they could have only looked behind them. As the flight to Palma Mallorca, Spain, was taking off from East Midlands airport, a photographer snapped a photo of a funnel cloud right behind the flight. Funnel clouds are precursors to tornadoes. The flight went off without any problems, the Telegraph reports. The Telegraph also has the photo.

This post is a regular feature of It's a daily brief and email newsletter of stories, events and graphics that are catching the attention of our news staff. The World's Leo Hornak kicks it off from London and various folks on our editorial team around the globe contribute from there, like Cartoon Editor Carol Hills in Boston. Don't expect anything near the standard wrap of major news stories. This blog post and its email companion will be as idiosyncratic as our staff... and we'll want you to tell us what you like and don't like. Sign up for a account and subscribe to our newsletter to get it delivered to your inbox. The newsletter arrives during the US morning hours.