France expects U.N. Security Council to agree Syria resolution
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. 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
ii. A disconnect between wage growth and the state of the labor market in France, due to the administrative growth in the minimum wage (SMIC, to which many medium range wages are implicitly indexed) and the existence of an “insiders job market” (wage, not jobs, will grow during a recovery, meaning a price vs. quantity adjustment). (click to enlarge) 2. Differences: for the reasons stated above, the outcome has differed strongly in both countries with completely opposite consequences in terms of aggregate distribution of income. i. A high profit share and historically low compensation share in the US. Not only did business profitability recover sharply after 2008, it also reached a historically high level in 2011. This excess saving (cash, notably) could be explained by a wait-and-see attitude before demand picks up and investment recovers. Another explanation is that corporations have shunned bank/loan financing in favor of bond issuance – a pattern that would require a higher cash (insurance) buffer. Yet, the combination of wider wage inequalities, household deleveraging, ongoing downward pressure on compensation and excessive saving by corporations explains why the recovery has been so slow in the US. ii.
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. charter, which could authorize sanctions or military intervention if the Syrian government reneges on its commitments. “For it to be acceptable to France … the resolution should foresee that measures under Chapter 7 are taken if Syria does not comply with its commitments in line with the Geneva agreement,” Fabius said. He added the resolution should also call for those behind the chemical attack to face justice. PUTIN’S WARNING Ahead of the General Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a fresh warning of spillover from the Syrian civil war. In the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, he told former Soviet allies that Islamist militancy fueling the war in Syria could reach their countries, some of which have Muslim majorities. Russia, which has a large Muslim minority of its own and is fighting an Islamist insurgency, has accused the West of helping militants by seeking Assad’s removal without paying enough attention to the potential consequences. Putin told leaders of the six-nation Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) that militants fighting Assad could eventually expand attacks beyond Syria and the Middle East. “The militant groups (in Syria) did not come out of nowhere, and they will not vanish into thin air,” Putin said. “The problem of terrorism spilling from one country to another is absolutely real and could directly affect the interests of any one of our countries,” he said, citing the deadly attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi as an example. Meanwhile, the leader of Lebanon-based Hezbollah, which has backed Assad in the civil war in neighboring Syria and has sent troops across the border to fight on the government’s side, on Monday denied the group had received chemical weapons from Syria. Members of the Istanbul-based opposition Syrian National Coalition have accused Assad’s government of transferring chemical weapons to Hezbollah to escape inspection.