We can’t worry about what other people were given.” The third generation France to lead the racing series formed in 1948 by his grandfather, the late Bill France Sr., Brian France has a more open-door policy than his father ever did during his three decades leading NASCAR, particularly since the disastrous debut of the Car of Tomorrow in 2007. France views that car as one of the biggest mistakes of his reign, and since has tried to rely on more input from team owners, drivers and manufacturers on important decisions. “I think Brian’s done a good job. I work with him. Sometimes he listens. He doesn’t listen all the time. We debate issues sometimes. I’m proud to say sometimes I win. I’d like to win all the time,” said Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc. and the late Bill France Jr.’s biggest adversary. “But I don’t.
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)
France’s Hollande says to meet Iranian president next week
Credit: Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon BAMAKO | Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:17am IST BAMAKO (Reuters) – France’s president, Francois Hollande, said on Thursday he would meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly next week, the first meeting between presidents of the two countries since 2005. France has been a strong advocate of sanctions to pressure Iran over its nuclear programme but has been cautious since Rouhani, a relative moderate, was elected earlier this year. Hollande said he had accepted an invitation to meet with the new Iranian leader. “There is a plan to meet with the Iranian president at his request,” Hollande told reporters before leaving Bamako, where he was attending a ceremony to mark the swearing-in of Mali’s new president. Hollande would be the first Western leader of the P5+1 nations – United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – to meet Rouhani, although the White House said on Thursday it was possible that President Barack Obama could meet Rouhani in New York if Tehran signalled it was serious about giving up its nuclear programme. “We should not slam the door on him. We need to see what is behind the words and things will be judged on the acts. The meetings on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly will enable us to establish what the Iranian intentions are,” said a French diplomatic source. Hollande, who will be the first French president to meet an Iranian president since 2005 when Jacques Chirac met Mohammad Khatami in Paris, is due to attend the U.N. meeting on September 24. France’s foreign minister is also scheduled to meet his Iranian counterpart, the first time foreign ministers of the countries have met since September 2011. The United States and its western allies believe Iran is working towards developing nuclear weapons.