France Says Video Of Al-qaeda Hostages Appears ‘credible’

The video shows the seven hostages, who include a Dutchman, a Swede, and a South African, saying they are in good health but face death if their governments dont negotiate their release, said Mauritanian news agency Agence Nouakchott dInformation, which procured the tape. At first view, this video appears credible and constitutes a new proof the four French taken in Arlit on Sept. 16, 2010 are alive, French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Philippe Lalliot said. He said the video was in the process of being authenticated. The French were taken by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb near a uranium mine where they worked in northern Mali . The other three hostages were taken Nov. 25, 2011 in Timbuktu. The video was filmed June 27, 2013, ANI said, citing the speech of one of the hostages. Its the first video of the hostages since September 2012. To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Viscusi in Paris at To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at More News:

France lays out ‘rules of the road’


With the character of the sport coming into question in the past week, NASCAR is taking immediate steps to rebuild its integrity. The cornerstone of the plan is what could be described as the 100 percent rule. “Expectations are that a driver and a team give 100 percent effort, their best effort, to complete a race and race as hard as they possibly can,” France said. Later today, NASCAR is expected to release a technical bulletin detailing new rules that will be effective Sunday. President Mike Helton recited the draft of Tenet 12-4L to the competitors and the media, which states: “NASCAR requires its competitors to race at 100 percent of their ability with the goal of achieving their best possible finishing position in an event. Any competitor who takes action with the intent to artificially alter the finishing positions of the event or encourages, persuades or induces others to artificially alter the finishing position of the event shall be subject to a penalty from NASCAR. Such penalties may include but are not limited to disqualification and/or loss of finishing points and/or fines and/or loss of points and/or suspension and/or probation to any and all members of the teams, including any beneficiaries of the prohibited actions. “‘Artificially altered’ shall be defined as actions by any competitor that show or suggest that the competitor did not race at 100 percent of their ability for the purpose of changing finishing positions in the event at NASCAR’s sole discretion.” Helton offered a “working” laundry list of what actions would be acceptable, such as “contact while racing for position, drafting, pitting, tire and fuel management yielding to a faster car, alternative pit strategy and long fuel strategy.” On restarts, Helton added that if a competitor elected to lay over for one driver, “you lay over for all” but that there would be further explanation in Sunday’s drivers’ meeting. As for what was unacceptable, Helton included “offering a position in exchange for a favor, offering material benefit in exchange for track position” as was intimated but not proved last Saturday night between the Penske Racing No. 22 team and the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports team. Also related to Richmond was, “directing a driver to give up a position to the benefit of another driver, intentionally causing a caution,” the former, which NASCAR found fault with from the No. 38 and Michael Waltrip Racing — the latter, which allegedly happened with the No. 15 MWR Toyota. Helton added “intentionally wrecking a driver, pitting or pulling into the garage to gain advantage from another competitor,” would not be tolerated.