$270 million worth of cocaine found on Air France flight
The carbon tax will be introduced progressively on fossil fuels in order to earn 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in 2016. 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. The state appears to have a vision about what it wants the energy mix to be and is giving itself the means to achieve it. Hollande said yesterday the an energy law would be passed by the end of next year capping nuclear-power capacity and granting the state the legal means to shut down reactors. The president hasnt said whether more nuclear plants will close, beyond the planned shuttering of Fessenheim in eastern France by the end of 2016. France will also seek to cut energy use in half by 2050 and fossil fuel use 30 percent by 2030, Hollande announced yesterday.
France expects U.N. council to agree on Syria arms measure
The United States blames Assad’s government and said the sarin gas used in it killed more than 1,400 people. Assad’s government blames the rebels for that attack. Russia and China have blocked three U.N. resolutions meant to pressure Assad during Syria’s civil war, raging since 2011. Russia accused the West on Sunday of trying to exploit the deal between Moscow and Washington to push through a council resolution issued under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, which could authorize sanctions or military intervention if the Syrian government reneges on its commitments. “For it to be acceptable to France … the resolution should foresee that measures under Chapter 7 are taken if Syria does not comply with its commitments in line with the Geneva agreement,” Fabius said. He added the resolution should also call for those behind the chemical attack to face justice. PUTIN’S WARNING Ahead of the General Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a fresh warning of spillover from the Syrian civil war. In the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, he told former Soviet allies that Islamist militancy fuelling the war in Syria could reach their countries, some of which have Muslim majorities. Russia, which has a large Muslim minority of its own and is fighting an Islamist insurgency, has accused the West of helping militants by seeking Assad’s removal without paying enough attention to the potential consequences. Putin told leaders of the six-nation Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) that militants fighting Assad could eventually expand attacks beyond Syria and the Middle East. “The militant groups (in Syria) did not come out of nowhere, and they will not vanish into thin air,” Putin said. “The problem of terrorism spilling from one country to another is absolutely real and could directly affect the interests of any one of our countries,” he said, citing the deadly attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi as an example.
The colorful bags weren’t registered to any of the passengers on the plane. When French officials opened them up, they discovered why — 1.3 tons of pure cocaine were stuffed inside the anonymous bags. The street value of the stash? About 200 million euros, or $270 million. Coast Guard makes $20 million cocaine bust Huge drug bust off the coast of Florida Drug busts at sea: 4 tons of cocaine The catch was made on September 11, but French authorities didn’t publicize the find until Saturday. On Sunday, Venezuela’s Public Ministry said that authorities had detained three members of the National Guard in connection with the incident. It wasn’t immediately clear exactly what they are accused of doing. The suitcases came from Caracas aboard an Air France flight to Paris, but did not match any of the passengers on board, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported. “Several” people have been taken in custody, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls told reporters Saturday. Authorities worked with Spanish, British and Dutch police on the investigation, BFMTV said. This case “illustrates the importance of strengthening International cooperation in the fight against traffickers,” Valls said. Venezuelan authorities are also investigating.