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The family of a British-Australian woman being detained in an Iranian jail has said they hope she will be able to return home soon.

Jolie King was arrested 10 weeks ago along with her Australian boyfriend Mark Firkin.

They had allegedly been flying a drone without a licence, according to a Persian TV report.

The couple resigned from their jobs in mid-2017, according to Australian media reports, and embarked on a two-year drive through 36 countries to reach the UK.

They had been documenting their journey on social media.

In a statement, their relatives said: “Our families hope to see Mark and Jolie safely home as soon as possible.”

They also requested privacy and said they would not be making any further comment.

The Times cited a source on Wednesday as saying Ms King had been told by Iranian authorities that she was being held as part of a plan to facilitate a prisoner swap with Australia.

Jolie King (British-Australian) and her Australian boyfriend Mark Firkin have been detained in an Iranian jail. Pic: Facebook
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The couple are being held in Tehran’s Evin prison. Pic: Facebook

Ms King, a building designer, is being held in Tehran’s Evin jail.

It is the same prison where British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been since 2016 on spying charges.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in Evin jail since 2016

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said he had met Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab a couple of weeks ago and warned him there had been an escalation in foreign nationals being detained in Iran to be used as diplomatic bargaining chips.

“More people are being taken and the government needs to do a better job at protecting ordinary people from being held and used as chess pieces in this way,” he told Sky News.

In a message to the families of Ms King and Mr Firkin, he said: “My heart goes out to you – it’s a terrible situation to be involved in.”

Richard Ratcliffe, husband of British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
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Richard Ratcliffe, husband of Nazanin, passed on his sympathy to the Australians

Another woman, reportedly a lecturer at an Australian university, has been held in the jail for almost a year but her citizenship and situation are unclear.

The arrests come amid a souring in relations between Britain and Iran, after issues such as the seizure by the Royal Marines in July of an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar.

Two weeks later, the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero was seized by Iran for alleged marine violations in the Strait of Hormuz. Seven of the Swedish-owned vessel’s 23-strong crew members have since been released.

Jolie King (British-Australian) and her Australian boyfriend Mark Firkin have been detained in an Iranian jail. Pic: Facebook
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According to a Persian TV report, Ms King and Mr Firkin were arrested for using a drone without a licence. Pic: Facebook

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said on Wednesday: “The foreign secretary met the Iranian ambassador this morning and raised serious concerns about the number of dual national citizens detained by Iran and their conditions of detention.”

The FCO has been warning dual Iranian citizens not to travel to Iran, but news of the arrests is likely to raise questions about the level of danger to travellers of other nationalities too.

Its travel advice for Iran currently says: “There is a risk that British nationals, and a higher risk that British-Iranian dual nationals, could be arbitrarily detained in Iran.

“All British nationals should consider carefully the risks of travelling to Iran.”

A spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs said: “The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the families of three Australians detained in Iran.

“Due to our privacy obligations, we will not comment further.”

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Archie heads to South Africa for first royal tour with mum and dad | World News

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Harry and Meghan’s baby Archie will arrive in South Africa with his parents this morning for their first official tour as a family.

It is unclear how soon the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be seen with their son after their arrival in Cape Town, as there is no formal photo opportunity at the airport.

The palace said this was due to South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa being at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Buckingham Palace said earlier this month that they were hoping Archie would make a public appearance but were sorting out the details.

The palace said the couple are looking forward to the 10-day tour which will see them visit Cape Town and Johannesburg, with Prince Harry also travelling alone to Botswana, Angola and Malawi.

Duke of Sussex says he will only have two children because of climate change concerns
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Archie was born in May this year and was introduced to the world by his parents

The prospect of seeing five-month-old Archie on his first overseas tour has increased international media attention, with 80 travelling media accredited to cover the trip, along with another 300 local journalists, TV crews and photographers.

It comes after a difficult summer for the Sussexes, including criticism of the £2m bill to refurbish Frogmore Cottage, and suggestions they were being hypocritical for using private jets for their holidays while campaigning about issues around climate change. Some royal commentators see this tour as an opportunity to rebuild their reputation.

One of the issues the couple will focus on is gender-based violence, as their visit follows a series of protests in South Africa against the increase in the number of women being raped and murdered. Mr Ramaphosa admitted the country is facing a national crisis of violence against women, and Meghan is expected to show support for those campaigning on the issue.

Zintle Olayi, the Cape Town spokesperson for #TheTotalShutdown intersectional women’s movement, told Sky News: “I think our country is really broken, and we’re not ok and I’m not sure really how we are going to receive them coming here but definitely it couldn’t hurt to have someone of that profile or that magnitude to speak on the issues of gender-based violence.”

Talking about the impact Meghan could have, Ms Olayi added: “It means the state will take us seriously, the private sector will take us seriously and in general men in South Africa will take us seriously, seeing someone as Meghan speaking against the behaviour men inflict on women on a daily basis.”

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The first engagement of the tour will be at a township in Cape Town where the Sussexes will view a workshop that teaches children about their rights, self-awareness and safety and which provides self-defence classes and female empowerment training to young girls in the community.

They will then go to the District Six Museum to learn about how they are reuniting members of the community forcibly relocated during the apartheid era, when more than more than 60,000 people were forced to leave their homes.

WOKINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor attend The King Power Royal Charity Polo Day at Billingbear Polo Club on July 10, 2019 in Wokingham, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
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Harry and Meghan were seen with baby Archie at the polo in July

Shahied Ajam was living there at the time and now helps those still fighting to return. Speaking about the royal visit and the painful legacy of apartheid, he said: “For Prince Harry to come here, I must say, is a big step towards the what we call the healing process. If people see Harry and talk to him, maybe he will understand and identify with their plight.”

He added: “In regards to the history of the English, or Britain, in this country, if we speak in terms of colonialism we can’t wipe that away but Harry being of a new generation can turn the tables with a gesture. With a practical and tangible gesture to say to the people of District Six: ‘I’m here for you’.”

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<a href='https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-athletics-is-rarely-mentioned-and-it-only-has-itself-to-blame-11817526' target='_blank'>Athletics is rarely mentioned and it only has itself to blame</a>

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<a href='https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-athletics-is-rarely-mentioned-and-it-only-has-itself-to-blame-11817526' target='_blank'>Athletics is rarely mentioned and it only has itself to blame</a>

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Current Paris accord climate targets ‘no longer enough’, UN envoy tells Sky | Climate News

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Commitments made under the Paris climate agreement are now no longer enough to limit global warming to acceptable levels, the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Change has told Sky News.

His comments come as heads of state and government gather in New York for the UN climate action summit.

Luis Alfonso de Alba said: “The biggest problem we have is that we need to increase the targets.

“If we fulfil the commitments that were made in Paris in 2015 we will still be very much below what is needed.

“The latest reports of the scientific community tell us that we need to double and in some cases to triple what we have committed in Paris.

“Climate change is moving faster than we expected, and faster than we are reacting to, so the meeting is a sound of an alarm.”

Mr de Alba said he ‘regrets’ that America, one of the world’s biggest polluters, is pulling out of the Paris accord, but that there is no time to wait for Donald Trump to change his mind.



Luis Alfonso de Alba







Luis Alfonso de Alba says commitments in 2015 Paris accord will have to be altered

I asked if the world can make the progress it needs to while President Trump is in office.

He replied: “No-one is telling us that they are going to wait for others to move before they do.

“The majority (of countries) are moving on… this is not a problem for 2030 or 2050… actions need to take place today.”



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His comments come days after millions of people took part in a series of climate strikes around the world, calling for stronger action to limit global warming.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is optimistic.

Big polluters like China and the UK are expected to announce new commitments at the summit, alongside major businesses who will lay out ambitious plans for helping to drive global net carbon emissions down to zero by 2050.



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Mr Ban told Sky News that eventually he thinks the US will fall into line.

That’s partly because the increasingly dramatic effects of our warming planet will force it to.

Factories pump out emissions
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Factories pump out emissions. File pic

He said: “I’m sure that the United States will have to return… because climate change does not respect national borders.

“The United States is just one of us on planet earth.

“Nature does not negotiate with human society.”

But there are other geopolitical headwinds creating challenges for the UN summit.

The countries have been told that if they even want a speaking slot, they must bring concrete plans and enhanced commitments.

But globally there are a lot of potential distractions, including Brexit, escalating trade issues between China and the US, and tensions with Iran – making collective action on anything harder to achieve.

Professor James Hansen, a former NASA scientist, warned the US Congress about global warming in 1988.



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Greta Thunberg inspired millions to take part in global protests

After decades of talking, he is sceptical of the value of endless summits and says the only viable option is for the biggest economies to adopt a price on carbon.



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He said: “Nations are going to do what is in their best interests for raising their standard of living, and as long as fossil fuels appear to be their cheapest energy, then they will just keep burning them.

“The approach chosen; asking each country to ‘please reduce its emissions’, is simply not going to work.”

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