Brazil wins the title for most faked injuries in the World Cup

Updated on
Arjen Robben of the Netherlands falls on the pitch during the 2014 World Cup round of 16 game between Mexico and the Netherlands at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza June 29, 2014. No foul was called.
Arjen Robben of the Netherlands falls on the pitch during the 2014 World Cup round of 16 game between Mexico and the Netherlands at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza June 29, 2014. No foul was called.

Mike Blake/Reuters

Dear Brazilian readers of the Global Scan, avert your eyes — or else writhe on the floor in simulated agony and outrage. The results are in on a contest filled with imagined fouls — Brazil's team has so far faked the most injuries at this year's World Cup. 

The Wall Street Journal analyzed 32 World Cup matches and found that Brazilians held the record — 17 injury incidents in two games. But these injury nightmares were short-lived. Brazilians spent less than three-and-a-half total minutes faking cracked shins and wounded faces, while Honduras wasted nearly eight total minutes on game-acting during its three matches.

Of course, Brazil has actual injury problems to worry about. They'll have to face Germany tomorrow without star forward Neymar, who suffered a very real fractured vertebra in Brazil's quarterfinal win over Colombia.

(Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Neymar was injured in a quarterfinal game against Costa Rica. The original photo of Neymar has also been replaced with an image of Arjen Robben to avoid confusion with photos of Neymar's back injury. The Global Scan can be delivered straight to your inbox every weekday. Just register and sign up today.)

Don't take 'Out of Africa' too literally

If you follow the State Department's travel warnings, you might never set foot in Africa. And you wouldn't be the only one.

The US State Department considers one-third of the continent probably unsuited for a visit — or at least worthy of an official "Travel Warning" to Americans. That's the most serious rating before an outright ban on travel. Kenya, for instance, has been on the warning list for the last ten years, due to insecurity and terrorism.

PRI's The World has a set of graphics showing the rise in US warnings about African travel and the slow decline in Americans visiting since 2010. That's despite another key number: more people have been killed in terrorist attacks in Texas than in Africa over the last decade. PRI has another chart showing just where Americans have encountered real terrorist violence.

British double agents during the Cold War were 'hopeless drunks'

We all know that Bond preferred his martini shaken, not stirred. But was he able to hold his liquor?

Fifty years later, new evidence has emerged that a fondness for booze was seen as one of the main weaknesses of some of the most famous British Cold War double agents working for the KGB. After Soviet handlers had already convinced the British agents, know as the Cambridge Five, to pass secrets to them, they found their often-drunk charges simply couldn't keep their mouths shut.

That's according to the BBC, who wrote about newly-declassified Soviet documents portraying the men as "constantly drunk" and in danger of revealing their identities as Soviet moles. The recruitment of the British double agents was one of the biggest intelligence coups of the Cold War.

A sister gives voice to Egypt's imprisoned dissenters

In Egypt, thousands are in jail for peacefully protesting against the military government led by General, and now President, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. One of those Egyptians with relatives on the inside is Mona Seif, a young blogger whose brother Alaa and sister Sanaa are both being held for political offences.

Global Voices has translated one of her most powerful blog posts, where she writes of her sister's strength in the face of the government's cruelty. "Your prisons don't scare us. If your injustice hurt, the day will come when we will remember all the lovely things in the dream which is making us insist on defeating your nightmare. And we will remember the laughter of all those we were separated from. We have a secret weapon. We have Sanaa."

If you are an Iranian woman who loves sports, you are out of luck

Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Iranian women have been forbidden to attend public sports events at the national stadium in Tehran. They aren't officially banned by a law or even an Islamic fatwa, just by a heavily-enforced tradition.

But recently some Iranian women got around what they consider a human rights violation. You see, foreign women have the right to enter the stadium to support their national teams. So some Iranian women went to a volleyball match wearing jerseys showing support for Brazil's team. PRI's The World reports on other women activists who are protesting the rule more directly. 

What we're seeing on social

Weather around the world

It’s been a tame start to hurricane season in the US, but it’s exactly the opposite across the Pacific. Neoguri, a “super typhoon,” is lashing the Miyako Islands near Okinawa with over 3 inches of rain an hour and waves as high as 50 feet (15 meters.) The storm is expected to hit the main Japanese islands on Wednesday and, according to the Japan Times, the government says the storm will be one of the worst in decades.

The US Air Force has even flown its Okinawa-based planes out of the area to avoid damage. It’s an unusually powerful storm for this early in the year.