France to Tax EDF Nuclear Output for Energy Shift to Renewables

According to the Geneva agreement, the Security Council would have to adopt a second resolution in order to punish Syria for any non-compliance with the U.S.-Russian plan to eradicate Syria’s chemical arsenal. “We should take exactly what was foreseen in Geneva. On that basis we should come to an agreement,” Fabius said. DEAL FOLLOWED U.S. THREAT The U.S.-Russian deal followed threats by U.S. President Barack Obama to carry out military strikes against Assad’s forces in response to an August 21 chemical weapons attack on civilians near Damascus. 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.

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.

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France broke open a close game by finishing the third quarter with a 14-0 run that kept Lithuania scoreless for four minutes. The French lead grew to 22 points with three minutes remaining in the third and Lithuania never came close to a comeback. Batum had 17 points and Diaw added 15, while Linas Kleiza led Lithuania with 20. Parker finished with 12 points, after scoring just four through the first three quarters. But his scoring and leadership during the run to the final including 32 points against defending champion Spain in the semifinals earned him the tournament MVP award. “We had a perfect plan, the coach said they would double-team me and that I had to trust my teammates and not to worry if I don’t score much,” Parker said. After finally capturing that elusive gold in France’s record 36th appearance in the tournament Parker led the French team into the stands to celebrate with their fans after the final buzzer. Spain beat Croatia 92-66 earlier Sunday to earn the bronze medal. Guard Antoine Diot all but secured France’s victory with a 3-pointer at the buzzer of the third quarter, after a Lithuania turnover gave France the possession with 0.9 seconds left. Diaw threw the ball to Diot, who nailed a 3 that was upheld after the referees viewed the video to make sure he had beaten the clock. Batum finished the first half with 17 points, shooting 6-for-7 from the field and making three of four 3-pointers. Diaw took over in the third, scoring 11 points on drives to the basket and outside shots. “We didn’t do a bad job defending Parker, but we forgot about the others,” Lithuania coach Jonas Kazlauskas said.

Air France staff questioned after 1.4 tons of cocaine found on plane from Venezuela

But he questioned how nearly three dozen suitcases stuffed with illicit drugs could get through security at a major airport and make it aboard a single commercial flight. “It’s not normal that you can carry more than a ton of cocaine on an Air France plane,” he said Monday on Europe-1 radio. “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 wouldn’t divulge the information or provide details on who was arrested. His Venezuelan counterpart, Miguel Rodriguez, told reporters that “mafias comprised of Italian and English citizens” were involved and that French police had been tracking them since July. The Paris prosecutor’s office said the six people in custody were to appear before a judge Tuesday to determine whether they would be charged. A spokeswoman said none were French but would not discuss their nationality. Britain’s Foreign Office said three Britons were among those arrested. Rodriquez said authorities had interviewed more than 15 people and “in the coming hours we will surely be announcing more arrests.” On Sunday, police arrested two National Guard sergeants and the lieutenant assigned to counterdrug duties the airport when the incident occurred and Rodriguez said authorities “presume complicity at the airline.” He noted that each of the 31 suitcases would have been far over the usual maximum baggage weight allowed at an average of more than 40 kilograms (88 pounds) each. The Colombian cocaine was placed on Flight 368, which departed on Sept. 10, and seized the following morning at Charles de Gaulle Airport, he said. Air France said it was working with police and conducting an internal investigation. The baggage tickets had fake names, said Alejandro Keleris, director of Venezuela’s counterdrug agency. There was no explanation given for why authorities waited nearly two weeks to announce the seizure. Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington, said the case supports U.S.

Venezuela-to-France Cocaine Bust Yields 9 Arrests

Yet the case, kept quiet for nearly two weeks by authorities, also lends credence to Washington’s accusations that Venezuela has become a major drug transit country due to high-level corruption in its military. It controls Simon Bolivar International Airport, the drugs’ port of departure. France’s interior minister, Manuel Valls, praised the investigation that led to six arrests in France and three in Venezuela. But he questioned how nearly three dozen suitcases stuffed with illicit drugs could get through security at a major airport and make it aboard a single commercial flight. “It’s not normal that you can carry more than a ton of cocaine on an Air France plane,” he said Monday on Europe-1 radio. “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 wouldn’t divulge the information or provide details on who was arrested. His Venezuelan counterpart, Miguel Rodriguez, told reporters that “mafias comprised of Italian and English citizens” were involved and that French police had been tracking them since July. The Paris prosecutor’s office said the six people in custody were to appear before a judge Tuesday to determine whether they would be charged. A spokeswoman said none were French but would not discuss their nationality. Britain’s Foreign Office said three Britons were among those arrested. Rodriquez said authorities had interviewed more than 15 people and “in the coming hours we will surely be announcing more arrests.” On Sunday, police arrested two National Guard sergeants and the lieutenant assigned to counterdrug duties the airport when the incident occurred and Rodriguez said authorities “presume complicity at the airline.” He noted that each of the 31 suitcases would have been far over the usual maximum baggage weight allowed at an average of more than 40 kilograms (88 pounds) each. The Colombian cocaine was placed on Flight 368, which departed on Sept. 10, and seized the following morning at Charles de Gaulle Airport, he said. Air France said it was working with police and conducting an internal investigation.