France To Tax Edf Nuclear Output For Energy Shift To Renewables

Venezuela-to-France Cocaine Bust Yields 9 Arrests

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY The gold medal game at EuroBasket was a matchup of the tournaments second best offense and its third best defense. The offense was better as France won its first ever EuroBasket title with an easy 80-66 victory over Lithuania on Sunday. Frances offense is a thing of beauty when its clicking, and it was doing just that in the final. No big heroics were needed from Tony Parker, who scored just 12 points. Nicolas Batum led France with 17, while Boris Diaw added 15. A big first quarter from Linas Kleiza had Lithuania up three, but France closed the second period on a 14-0 run to take control. They shot just 5-for-21 from 3-point range, but outrebounded Lithuania 42-35. They knocked off two-time defending EuroBasket champion Spain on Friday and backed that win up with the gold medal on Sunday, the biggest win in French basketball history. NBA TV will air the final at 5 p.m. ET on Monday and again at 12:30 a.m. ET Tuesday. Earlier on Sunday, Spain blew out Croatia to win the bronze medal. Spain lost four times, but finished with, by far, the tournaments best point differential. The four losses were by an average of 5.3 points and their seven wins were by an average of 27.3. So mens FIBA action is wrapped up for 2013.

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. accusations of high-level support for drug trafficking in Venezuela’s military as it was unlikely two sergeants and a lieutenant acted alone.

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.