France Says To Negotiate On Sunday Trading But Not On Late-night Shopping

In a prepared statement, the Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office said 17 people have been arrested in the drug trafficking case. The flight originated at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital. An Air France executive in Venezuela, six airline employees, a security guard and a loading platform supervisor are among those arrested. Eight members of the Venezuelan national guard are also in custody and were scheduled to appear in front of a judge Wednesday afternoon for a preliminary hearing. On September 11, French authorities discovered 1.3 tons of pure cocaine stuffed inside 30 suitcases on the flight. The colorful bags did not match any of the passengers on board, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported. Coast Guard makes $20 million cocaine bust Huge drug bust off the coast of Florida Drug busts at sea: 4 tons of cocaine The street value of the stash is about 200 million euros, or $270 million. Woman busted in Spain for cocaine in breast implants 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,” French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said. Suspected drug smugglers sail to jail In Venezuela, authorities promised a swift investigation as soon as the confiscation was announced in Paris. All 17 arrests were made in less than three days. Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres told reporters in Venezuela that authorities think an organized crime group with Italian and British members is responsible for the shipment. “The suitcases were not taken into the plane through the regular baggage platforms at the airport. We’re investigating how the drug (shipment) got to the airport,” he said.

France challenges Iran to act quickly on nuclear talks

Unions, trying to defend the 35-hour work week, are pitted against some retailers and even some employees who want to increase business at a time of record unemployment and stagnant economic growth. Retailers Leroy Merlin and Kingfisher-owned Castorama were open Paris and its suburbs this Sunday, defying a court ruling on Thursday. “The (Sunday-trading) law is a kind of machine that churns out lawsuits,” Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told Europe 1 radio. “Given that there are some employees who want to work and shoppers who today want to shop, could we not try to find some kind of path to an appropriate response?” His comments echoed those made by a junior minister for trade, Sylvia Pinel. “We have inherited a kind of regulatory ‘millefeuille’,” she told Sunday newspaper Journal du Dimanche, referring to a layered French cake and the different trading regulations that apply in various districts. “We will now work with sector professionals to address the question of Sunday trading,” she said. Apparently referring to a separate legal ruling on Monday that ordered LVMH-owned cosmetics store Sephora to close its Champs Elysees outlet at 9 p.m. (2000 GMT) instead of midnight, she said, “Late-night labour must remain the exception in order to preserve the health and free time of employees.” “Flexibility is possible via employee-management talks but reforming this law is unnecessary… It is always possible to wait till tomorrow to make a purchase,” she said. No one at Leroy Merlin, Castorama, the prime minister’s office or the Elysee Palace of President Francois Hollande was immediately available to comment.

Arrests made in Air France flight cocaine case

“The Iranian foreign minister discussed the heart of the matter … he spoke about taking a year to move forward, but I reminded him that his president had spoken about three to six months, and he said that he’d be pleased if things could be done more quickly,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters in New York. “I told him that we had to move quickly and that’s one of the issues that needs to be dealt with, because does nuclear production continue during the negotiations?” Fabius added. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his counterparts from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States at the United Nations to discuss the nuclear issue on Thursday. Zarif, promising to address concerns within a year, made a presentation about the next steps that Iran and the six powers might take to try to resolve the standoff, which has eluded a solution for a decade. French President Francois Hollande was the first Western leader to meet new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly this week, warning that Paris expected “concrete gestures” by Iran to show it will give up a military nuclear program. France has been a strong advocate of sanctions to pressure Iran over its nuclear program. The United States and its allies suspect Iran is seeking nuclear bomb-making capability despite Tehran’s insistence that its program has only peaceful aims. “We can’t find ourselves in a position where the discussions last a year and during this time the number of centrifuges increase, and to enter the technical details that the Arak reactor progresses, which would be a problem,” Fabius said. Hollande told the U.N. General Assembly he was encouraged by the words of the new Iranian government but he now wanted Tehran to follow through with concrete action.