Persian wedding at Burning Man 2017

Jian Ghomeshi found not guilty on all charges as judge acquits him of sexual assault

TORONTO — Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted Thursday on all charges of sexual assault and choking following a trial that sparked an emotional nationwide debate on how the justice system treats abuse complainants as well as raucous courthouse protests over the verdict.

Justice William Horkins said he was unable to rely on the testimony from the three Ghomeshi complainants, describing their memories of alleged abuse at the hands of the former CBC broadcaster as “shifting” and suggesting their evidence at times strayed into outright lies.

All three women testified they were being romantic with Ghomeshi when he briefly turned violent in incidents dating to 2002 and 2003. The identities of two of the women are protected by a publication ban. The first witness alleged Ghomeshi pulled her hair in his car and punched her in his home, Lucy DeCoutere alleged Ghomeshi choked and slapped her in his home, and the third witness alleged Ghomeshi put his hands over her mouth in a Toronto park.

All Horkins had to go on, not unusual in sexual-assault cases, was the complainants’ credibility, which Horkins denounced without mincing words.

“What is troubling is not the lack of clarity, but the shifting facts from one telling to the next,” Horkins said at one point during his hour-long decision. He was referring to DeCoutere’s testimony.

Read the rest here.

Iranian of the Day: Bennetta Betbadal, among victims of San Bernardino shooting

The Sun: Bennetta Betbadal, born in Iran in 1969, fled to America when she was 18 to “escape Islamic extremism and the persecution of Christians that followed the Iranian Revolution,” her family said in a statement.

On Wednesday, she was among the 14 victims shot to death at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino by a husband and wife under investigation for possible Islamic extremism.

“There is no reason for evilness,” her husband, Arlen Verdehyou, said in an interview. “You just have to be strong for each other.”

The family statement said Betbadal settled in New York City after she came to America and eventually moved to California, where she married her husband, a police officer at Riverside Community College, in 1997.

They moved to Rialto and had three children, two boys and a girl now ages 10, 12, and 15. After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in chemistry, Betbadal took a job as an inspector with the San Bernardino County Health Department in 2006.

“Bennetta was proud to work for the people of San Bernardino County,” the statement said. “She loved her job, her community, and her country.”

Verdehyou said he and his wife exchanged texts at 8 a.m. Wednesday. He told her he had withdrawn money from the bank and would do some Christmas shopping. He told her to have a great day.

Betbadal left the house excited about a presentation she was scheduled to give to her supervisors and co-workers at their annual meeting at the IRC.

“She decorated a beautiful Christmas tree,” her husband said.

The couple, religious Roman Catholics, were married in March 1997.

According to her LinkedIn account, Betbadal also had a bachelor of science degree in biotechnology. She spoke Farsi and Assyrian and listed her skills as government, policy, research, training, analysis, community development, policy analysis and program development.

On Sept. 5, 2009, she wrote a Facebook post to Ashur Bet Sargis, an Assyrian pop singer: “My dearest Ashur, I thank God for creating you, for creating such a wonderful loving human, and for giving you such a great talent. May our Lord Jesus be with you all the days of your life.”

On Thursday, Verdehyou was with his two sons and daughter at their Rialto home as they awaited word of Betbadal’s fate. Although he had not heard from her since their Wednesday morning text exchange, he was holding out hope.

The news finally arrived when coroner’s officials came to the door.

Family members said Betbadal’s greatest love was for her husband, her children and her extended family. A gofundme account was established to assist them.

In the statement issued to the news media, the family said: “It is the ultimate irony that her life would be stolen from her that day by what appears to be the same type of extremism that she fled so many years ago.”

Michelle Obama hosts a Nowruz celebration at the White House

Photo from Omid Memarian's Facebook page.

Ploughshares Fund: Michael Douglas, Trita Parsi, Jeremy Ben-Ami and Catherine Zeta Jones

Ploughshares Fund


Drew Altizer Photography — with Trita Parsi, Jeremy Ben-Ami and Catherine Zeta-Jones at Presidio of San Francisco.
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Jahanshah Bakhtiar with his grandfather, Shapour Bakhtiar in their house in Teheran 1977

Related Article in French:


Les révélations du petit prince de Téhéran brisé par les islamistes (Nouvel Observateur)

Nazanin Afshin-Jam and husband greet Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall

"Peter, Kian and I welcomed Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall back to Canada as they landed in Nova Scotia. The following morning Peter addressed them at the Grand Parade in Halifax, marking Victoria Day. He was especially delighted introducing the Royals to his hometown and all the warm, friendly and community oriented people that reside in Pictou County. Kian enjoyed all the pomp and circumstance...the bagpipes, Celtic music and Highland dancing, Lismore lambs, the ship Hector, airplanes, fast motorcade and seeing all the men and women in uniform. I loved watching him waving his little Canadian flag."


- Nazanin Afshin Jam

More Photos form her Official Website Here

Building Saturn: Crown Prince Reza helps daughter Farah with Science Project

Building Saturn - Princess Farah working on her fourth grade science project with a little help from her father Crown Prince Reza .



Arizona Dream: Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi of Iran in Phoenix 2014

Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi of Iran in Phoenix 2014.


Photo Courtesy Reza Pahlavi 

Khosro Jahanbani, husband of Princess Shahnaz Passed away

Khosro Jahanbani Princess Shahnaz's Husband passed away


Crown Prince Reza's message to his Half Sister Princess Shahnaz ( born to Queen Fawzia and the Shah of Iran )
Link Here
خواهر مهربانم،

من و خانواده ام را در غم از دست دادن همسر عزیزت خسرو جهانبانی همدرد و شریک بدان. صمیمانه برای تو، کیخسرو و فوزیه عزیز شکیبایی و تندرستی آرزو داریم و به وابستگان و بازماندگان تسلیت می گوییم.

روانش شاد و یادش همواره گرامی باد.

رضا پهلوی