Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe freed temporarily from Iranian prison: Husband

British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was accused of links to mass protests in 2009 and was sentenced her to five years in jail for sedition. (YouTube)
Updated 23 August 2018
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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe freed temporarily from Iranian prison: Husband

  • Richard Ratcliffe says his wife was released from Evin prison Thursday morning
  • He says Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s lawyer is hopeful the period of release can be extended

LONDON: British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been allowed to leave an Iranian prison for three days, her husband said Thursday.
Richard Ratcliffe says his wife was released from Evin prison and has been reunited in Iran with her 4-year-old daughter Gabriella. He says Zaghari-Ratcliffe's lawyer is hopeful the period of release can be extended.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested during a holiday with her toddler daughter in April 2016. Iranian authorities accused her of plotting against the government. Her family denies this, saying she was in Iran to visit family.
A former employee of the BBC World Service Trust, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was working for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency.
Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was heavily criticized last year after he claimed Zaghari-Ratcliffe was "teaching people journalism" when she was arrested. Although Johnson later corrected himself, Iranian state television highlighted his comments as justification for imprisoning her.
There was no immediate response from Iran's judiciary or its state-run media to her release Thursday.

However, officials rarely comment on such furloughs, especially when they involve people with Western ties.
As recently as May, Zaghari-Ratcliffe learned that she faced a new charge of "spreading propaganda against the regime," her husband said. It remains unclear if that threatened charge remains in play.


Never mind climate change, Davos prefers private jets

Updated 2 min 36 sec ago
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Never mind climate change, Davos prefers private jets

DAVOS, Switzerland: The Davos elite say they are more worried than ever about climate change. But that isn’t stopping them chartering private jets in record numbers.
The convenience and comfort of flying privately rather than commercially appears to outweigh any concerns about the outsized carbon footprint it involves, judging by a number-crunching exercise by the company Air Charter Service (ACS).
It forecast nearly 1,500 private jet flights over the week of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to airports near Davos in the Swiss Alps.
That would be up from the more than 1,300 aircraft movements seen at last year’s forum, despite climate change registering as the top risk factor identified for the global economy in a survey of WEF movers and shakers last week.
In a blog post, the website privatefly.com forecast an even higher number of private flight movements related to Davos this week, of around 2,000 in and out of local airports.
And while most people reach Davos by car or train after alighting from airports such as Zurich, two to three hours’ away, a select few CEOs and government leaders hire helicopters to save time.
Demand for private jets in the week of Davos far outstrips other events that also loom large on the private aviation calendar, such as the Super Bowl or Champions’ League final, according to Andy Christie, private jets director at ACS.
“We have had bookings from as far as our operations in Hong Kong, India and the US — no other event has the same global appeal,” he said in a statement
And the trend is toward even more expensive, larger private jets such as the Gulfstream GV and Bombardier’s Global Express.
“This is at least in part due to some of the long distances traveled, but also possibly due to business rivals not wanting to be seen to be outdone by one another,” Christie said.
WEF organizers insist they are making the annual forum environmentally sustainable, offsetting the carbon emissions generated by private aviation as much as possible through their own initiatives on the ground.
“We encourage our partners from business and others to take that (offsetting measures) on,” Dominique Waughray, head of Global Public Goods at the WEF, told AFP last week.
“Most of the private aircraft that come in are actually for government officials, because under the Vienna convention the most efficient and secure way of getting people to an event like that is via an aircraft,” she said.
“So that is a sort of security brief, but we still offset them.”