Air France Staff Questioned After 1.4 Tons Of Cocaine Found On Plane From Venezuela

Heavy smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi Kenya Monday Sept. 23 2013. Multiple large blasts have rocked the mall where a hostage siege is in its third day. Associated Press reporters on the scene heard multiple blasts and a barrage of gunfire. Security forces have been attempting to rescue an unknown number of hostages inside the mall held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists.  (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay)

“We presume there is complicity at the airline,” he said on state TV. Rodriguez said the Sept. 11 seizure at Charles de Gaulle Airport came after several weeks of investigation by French, Spanish, British and Dutch police. The drugs were placed on Flight 368, which departed Caracas on Sept. 10, he said. Air France said in a statement that it is working with police and conducting an internal investigation, and increasing baggage checks at some “sensitive” locations. There was no immediate explanation for why authorities waited nearly two weeks to announce the seizure. Rodriguez said the three National Guard officials arrested were assigned to its counterdrugs command, based at Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar International Airport. “They are the first arrests from an investigation that began the moment information was received from France,” he said. Rodriguez said authorities were interviewing people, reviewing airport security camera video and reviewing baggage tickets for the suitcases. Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington, said the case supports U.S. accusations of high-level support for drug trafficking in Venezuela’s military as it was unlikely two sergeants and a lieutenant acted alone. “The quick arrests were not surprising (President Nicolas) Maduro understands this is a real problem for him,” Shifter said. “But it is doubtful that any higher-ups in the military who might have been involved will be held to account.” “It is hard to escape the conclusion that at least parts of the Venezuelan military are involved in drug trafficking,” Shifter said. “For the Venezuelan government’s image, this sizeable cocaine seizure is a serious blow and gives credence to U.S.

The fight against drugs requires all the players, notably transport companies, to participate in this cooperation. Valls said police knew where and to whom the drugs were heading but wouldnt divulge the information or provide details on who was arrested. The Paris prosecutors office said six people were in custody and expected to appear before a judge Tuesday to determine whether they would be charged or freed. A spokeswoman said none were French but would not discuss their nationality. Britains Foreign Office said three Britons were among those arrested. Venezuelas interior minister, Miguel Rodriguez, said that two National Guard sergeants and one lieutenant were arrested Sunday and that airline workers were suspected of involvement. We presume there is complicity at the airline, he said on state TV. Rodriguez said the Sept. 11 seizure at Charles de Gaulle Airport came after several weeks of investigation by French, Spanish, British and Dutch police. The drugs were placed on Flight 368, which departed Caracas on Sept. 10, he said. Air France said in a statement that it is working with police and conducting an internal investigation, and increasing baggage checks at some sensitive locations. There was no immediate explanation for why authorities waited nearly two weeks to announce the seizure. Rodriguez said the three National Guard officials arrested were assigned to its counterdrugs command, based at Venezuelas Simon Bolivar International Airport. They are the first arrests from an investigation that began the moment information was received from France, he said.

France to Tax EDF Nuclear Output for Energy Shift to Renewables

President Francois Hollande , who vowed during his election campaign to reduce reliance on nuclear to half of total output by about 2025 while also keeping down consumers bills, hasnt yet said how he will reconcile those aims. The country gets about three-quarters of the power it produces from EDFs 58 nuclear reactors, more than any other nation. The energy transition will cost an estimated 20 billion euros a year, Hollande said yesterday. Our nuclear fleet will be asked to contribute, Ayrault said today at the end of a two-day conference on the environment. The tax would apply over the remaining lifetime of our reactors. Frances Green party, which had said it would withdraw support for the Socialist government over the slow pace of policy initiatives, applauded the carbon tax announcement and new incentives towards home renovations for improved energy use. Ayrault didnt give details of how much EDF, which is 84 percent owned by the government, will have to pay. The utility is compensated for the higher cost of electricity produced by wind turbines and solar panels it buys through a tax on power bills called the CSPE. Carbon Tax The planned carbon tax, to be called a climate energy contribution, will be neutral next year and generate 2.5 billion euros in 2015 and 4 billion euros in 2016, Ayrault said. It will be applied to gasoline, diesel, coal, natural gas as well as heavy and heating fuels. Fishing and transport workers will be exempt from the levy while industrial plants that qualify for carbon quotas will keep their system, according to Ayrault. The governments policy announcements appear to be pragmatic, with very ambitious targets, some would even say hard-to-reach targets, said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, who is chief executive officer of Solvay SA (SOLB) and was speaking for the business lobby Medef.