Air France: Ton Of Cocaine Found On Plane

French minister Manuel Valls in front of seized cocaine

In an interview published by Liberation newspaper on Thursday, France’s minister for the digital economy, Fleur Pellerin, said Europe needed new regulatory powers to intervene much earlier, to level the playing field in the internet economy and allow the emergence of alternatives in Europe to U.S. Web giants. She said Europe needed to be able to act quickly, as soon as problems are identified, rather than getting tied up in lengthy and costly disputes that did nothing to help consumers. “The current tools of competition law are totally unsuited to the fast-changing world of the Internet,” Pellerin said in the interview conducted in French. “To get out of this impasse, Europe needs a regulatory authority to act on an ex-ante basis, as soon as conflicts and abuse emerge on the part of internet platforms.” The idea is part of a broader proposal laid out by France ahead of an October 24 European summit on the digital economy, the Internet and innovation. Other elements include revamping tax rules to ensure Web companies pay tax on the profits they make in the European Union, an EU source said, as well as stricter rules on the protection of personal data online. The Wall Street Journal, citing French briefing documents ahead of the summit, said France would ask the European Commission to draw up proposals by spring 2014 aimed at “establishing a tax regime for digital companies that ensures that the profits they make on the European market are subject to taxation and that the revenues are shared between the Member States, linking the tax base to the place where the profits are made.” The tax proposals and idea of a new regulatory body are likely to prove controversial with some member states that favor a hands-off approach to the Web, as well as the United States, home to the largest internet companies and already at the center of a debate over surveillance after revelations about the National Security Agency by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. An adviser to Pellerin said that France would ask the European Commission to study how “ex-ante” – or anticipatory regulation – of internet services could function and what sort of agency would be needed. Then the work of passing a regulation or a directive could be carried out by the next EU Commission, which will be in place by early 2015 after parliamentary elections. (Additional reporting by Charlie Dunmore in Brussels; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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Under French law, justifying a crime in public is punishable by up to five years in prison and a 45,000-euro fine. Guenoun called the decision “severe” and said she was astonished the lower court’s verdict was overruled, arguing that it had weighed the case thoroughly. The ruling centered on a teacher’s complaint after the boy, whose birthday is Sept. 11, wore the shirt to preschool in the Provence town of Sorgues last year. The brother had the shirt made, according to the lawyer. After the teacher’s complaint, the mother quickly apologized, and the boy never wore the shirt to school again, Guenoun said, acknowledging the move showed “bad taste.” She didn’t specify her client’s motivations, but said that Jihad was not an unusual first name. Bouchra Bagour, who was not in court for Friday’s ruling, was not a religious militant and “doesn’t have the profile at all of someone would do this as a provocation,” Guenoun said, adding that her client would wear skirts and was “rather lady-like.” Guenoun said it was not immediately clear whether Bagour would appeal. ___ Follow Jamey Keaten on Twitter at Also on HuffPost: Loading Slideshow French Security officers restrain two Femen activists with “Fly Away from Islamism” painted on their bodies, as the French President Francois Hollande visited the 50th Paris Air Show, at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, Friday, June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) Kenza Drider, wearing an Islamic face veil announces in front of Meaux court house, east of Paris that she will be candidate for the 2012 French presidential elections Thursday Sept. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere) People hold a banner reading: ‘islamic fascism shall not pass” during a demonstration in Paris, Saturday Nov.10, 2012. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) People take part in a demonstration against Islamic extremism, in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.

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10:12am UK, Sunday 22 September 2013 French minister Manuel Valls in front of some of the seized cocaine Email More than a ton of cocaine was seized at a Paris airport after it was found packed into 30 suitcases carried on a passenger plane. French police, who had been working with British, Dutch and Spanish colleagues, discovered the 1.3-ton haul on a flight to Charles De Gaulle airport from the Venezuelan capital Caracas. The cocaine, which was carried on an Air France plane, had a street value of some 175m (200m euros). French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said it was the biggest find of its type in metropolitan France. Six people have been arrested so far, he said. French police commander Mohamed Douhane said: “Such a seizure, in such circumstances, is quite simply exceptional. “Now an inquiry … will have to determine if there were other accomplices, whether within the company or at the arrival or departure airports,” he added. French police discovered the haul on September 11 but only revealed it on Saturday as they put the 30 empty suitcases on display. None of them were apparently registered to any passengers. It is not clear how the stash would have been collected. The office of Venezuela’s attorney general said authorities were investigating how the cocaine-laden suitcases got aboard the flight at Caracas’s Simon Bolivar International Airport. Cocaine comes from coca leaves grown in countries like Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.

France calls for EU to regulate Web giants to counter dominance

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