News Daily: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s diplomatic protection, and heads’ ‘snub’ anger

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Image caption Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year sentence in Iran

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Iranian-Briton to get diplomatic protection

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has both British and Iranian citizenship, was sentenced to five years in jail in Iran in 2016 after being found guilty of spying. She denies any wrongdoing. Now UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to increase pressure on Iran to release Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe by giving her diplomatic protection.

BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale says this will allow the UK to raise her case with greater ease at international forums like the United Nations. So how does diplomatic protection work? Here’s our guide.

And here’s what it might mean for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, whose husband and daughter live in the UK.

Heads angry over funding talks ‘snub’

More than 7,000 head teachers in England have written a joint letter to 3.5 million parents, warning them that schools face a “funding crisis”. In it, they also complain that Education Secretary Damian Hinds has “snubbed” them by turning down a meeting to discuss the situation. “Families have a right to know that our efforts to improve things are falling on deaf ears,” said Jules White, the West Sussex head teacher who is organising the campaign. But the Department for Education said an extra £750m had been negotiated for schools and it was pushing for more.

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Brexit: Support backstop changes, May urges EU

There are three weeks left before Brexit is scheduled to happen. Ahead of next week’s House of Commons vote on her deal with Brussels, Theresa May is urging the EU to support changes to the Irish backstop. That way, she will say in a speech in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, MPs could back her in sufficient numbers to get the deal passed, having turned it down by a majority of 230 in January.

However, Labour said it was now “clear” the prime minister would “not be able to deliver the changes she promised to her failed Brexit deal”. The EU says the UK must come forward with fresh ideas to break the deadlock.

Need a reminder of what the backstop – the plan to prevent a hard Irish border – is all about? Then click here. And, as ever, here’s our guide to Brexit.

Two Koreas and a fractured language

By BBC Monitoring

North Korean defectors who risk their lives escaping to the South face a language barrier in their new home because of the way vocabulary has evolved either side of the border. Having risked death by escaping through China – which hands back refugees it captures – defectors often find themselves at a loss to understand words for tax, homelessness and rent. All are alien concepts to northerners used to state ownership of everything.

North Korea’s closed society means its language has changed little since the post-WW2 division of the peninsula. Meanwhile, the southern version has developed rapidly due to exposure to outside culture and technology.

Read the full article

What the papers say

Knife crime dominates several front pages. The Daily Express quotes one chief constable saying that those guilty of attacks should face “harsh” sentences, while the Sun leads on the father of stabbing victim Jodie Chesney appealing for people to give the police more information. Meanwhile, the i says Theresa May will make a “last-ditch” appeal for the EU to accept changes to the backstop plan.

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Lookahead

Today The Scottish Labour conference begins in Dundee.

Today US President Donald Trump visits Alabama and Georgia to see the devastation caused by the tornadoes which hit the states on Sunday.

On this day

1971 British postal workers go back to work after seven weeks on strike.

From elsewhere

The history of political profanity (Washington Post)

What is seafood fraud? (National Geographic)

The little-known story of Somalia’s disco era (Guardian)

Revealed: The six types of pimple (Daily Mail)

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