A British-Iranian charity worker who was detained in Tehran for almost six years says she was forced by Iranian officials to sign a false confession to spying before she was freed two months ago. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe said British government officials were present at Tehran airport when “under duress” she signed the false admission. She said she was told by Iranian officials that “you won’t be able to get on the plane” unless she signed. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained at Tehran’s airport in April 2016 as she was returning home to Britain after visiting family in Iran. She was sentenced to five years in prison for plotting the overthrow of Iran’s government, a charge she denies. She was released and flown back to the U.K. in March.
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The Phoenix Mercury have opened the season at home against the Las Vegas Aces without star center Brittney Griner. Griner is nearing the three-month mark of her detention in Russia with no timetable for her release. Griner was detained on Feb. 17 after authorities at the Moscow airport said they found vape cartridges that allegedly contained oil derived from cannabis in her luggage, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The WNBA is acknowledging Griner with a floor decal with her initials on her No. 42 in arenas across the league.
The State Department says it has determined WNBA star Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained in Russia. That means the U.S. will more aggressively work to secure her release while the legal case against her plays out. Griner was detained at an airport in February after Russian authorities said a search of her bag revealed vape cartridges containing traces of cannabis oil. U.S. officials previously stopped short of classifying the Phoenix Mercury player as wrongfully detained. The president of the WNBA players’ union says it's time for Griner to “come home.”
For travelers going to southern Europe, summer vacations just got a whole lot easier. Italy and Greece have relaxed some COVID-19 restrictions before Europe’s peak summer tourist season as life increasingly returns to normal after the pandemic. Greece’s civil aviation authority announced Sunday it was lifting all COVID-19 rules for international and domestic flights except for wearing face masks during flights and at airports. Air travelers were previously required to show proof of vaccination, a negative test or a recent recovery. Italy did away with the health pass that had been required to enter restaurants, cinemas, gyms and other venues. Visitors to Italy also no longer have to fill out the EU passenger locator form, a complicated ordeal.
In this photo provided by Israel's airport authority, shows an unexploded artillery shell at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, Israel, Friday, April. 29, 2022. A bomb scare set off scenes of panic at Israel's airport after an American family showed up with an unexploded artillery shell they had found in the Golan Heights and intended to bring back as a souvenir. (Israeli airport authority via AP)
A bomb scare set off scenes of panic at Israel’s airport after an American family showed up with an unexploded artillery shell they had found in the Golan Heights. The family had intended to bring it back as a souvenir. Videos showed passengers ducking for cover, running and screaming at the departure hall of Ben Gurion International Airport on Thursday. The airport authority says security officers sounded the alarm after they discovered the unexploded shell. Normal operations resumed a short time later and the family was released after questioning. Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 war, and it is still littered with unexploded munitions from that conflict and another war in 1973.