France pushes for U.N. action on Central African Republic
Credit: Reuters/Chris Ratcliffe/pool By Neil Maidment LONDON | Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:26pm BST LONDON (Reuters) – G4S, the world’s biggest security firm, will team up with French group Oberthur Technologies to bid for a 1 billion pound ($1.61 billion) contract to supply Britain’s next wave of banknotes, a source familiar with the situation said. The Bank of England has invited bids for a new 10-year contract to produce all its banknotes, which for the first time could come in plastic form if the plans are given public backing in December. A source told Reuters that G4S, the group that drew fierce criticism last year for failing to provide enough security guards for the London Olympics, would provide services like cash handling and security alongside Oberthur’s printing expertise. G4S, which as well as cash transportation for banks and retailers runs services like prisons and immigration centres in some 125 countries, declined to comment. Smartcard maker Oberthur could not be reached for comment and the Bank would not comment on the bid process. The contract is due to start in April 2015 and includes the option of a three-year extension. British firm De La Rue, which has held the contract since 2003, is rebidding for the contract. Media reports have said other bidders could include Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient, Landqart – the bank note division of Canadian firm Fortress Paper, and UK-based Innovia Security. The BoE has issued paper banknotes ever since the central bank was created in 1694 as a way of raising money for King William III’s war against France but is now keen to go plastic. Polymer banknotes, as well as being hard to fake, are durable and stay cleaner for longer because the material is more resistant to dirt and moisture, the BoE have said. De La Rue entered the polymer market earlier this year with deals to supply Fiji and Mauritius. Led by new boss Ashley Almanza G4S is embarking on a turnaround plan after a string of blunders by his predecessor Nick Buckles, including a failed takeover bid in 2011, the botched London 2012 contract and a profit warning in May. In August it raised 348 million pounds through a share sale and earmarked more cash to come from asset disposals, as it seeks to cut debt and increase its focus on emerging markets growth.
France sees advances on UN Syria resolution
View gallery French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius addresses the press during the UN General Assembly in New York, September 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Emmanuel Dunand) 13 hours ago New York City (AFP) – Talks are making progress on a UN Security Council resolution on Syria’s chemical weapons including coercive measures to ensure compliance, France said Thursday. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who took part Wednesday in a meeting of the five veto-wielding powers, said that negotiations “have progressed overall” and he hoped for a resolution “soon.” But Fabius also said there remain “some issues to clarify” before adoption of a resolution on ending Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical arsenal. “France’s demands have been satisfied at this point,” Fabius told reporters. France has been seeking a reference to the UN Charter’s Chapter VII which makes the resolution obligatory for a country. But diplomats say that the Security Council resolution will not threaten military force or sanctions but instead will mention the possibility of future action if Syria does not comply. Russia, the main ally of Assad, has resisted references to Chapter VII, calling it a pretext to war. France has also demanded accountability for crimes in Syria and language calling the use of chemical weapons an attack on international security, which would give the Security Council power to act. “On these three points things have moved forward,” Fabius said. The UN Security Council is working on a resolution to accompany a US-Russia agreement under which Assad would give up his chemical stockpile. The deal put on hold threatened military action by the United States and France in response to an August 21 chemical attack which US intelligence says killed more than 1,400 people in suburban Damascus. Politics & Government LONDON (AP) The eagle, red-handed.
“CAR has become a lawless state and in a lawless state, the exactions increase and without any action it can become the refuge of all terrorists,” Fabius told reporters, having earlier told delegates that radical Islamist groups were already operating in the country. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told the meeting on the Central African Republic that the United States was “deeply alarmed” by the prospect of the country becoming a safe haven for violent extremists. “The devastating events in Kenya the last few days only underscore how terrorist groups and other extremists take advantage of lawless or ungoverned spaces,” said Power, referring to the deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall on Saturday claimed by Somali Islamist militants. She said the situation in the Central African Republic “constitutes a terrible human tragedy and a threat to international peace and security, and that merits the full and immediate prioritization and attention of the international community at the highest levels.” The country’s former colonial power, France – which intervened earlier this year to oust Islamist rebels from another one of its former colonies, Mali – has been reluctant to get directly involved in the crisis. It has urged African nations and the African Union to do their utmost to resolve the crisis among themselves. But while the African Union plans to deploy a 3,600-strong peacekeeping mission – known as MISCA – in the country, incorporating a regional force of 1,100 soldiers already on the ground, it is unlikely to be operational before 2014. The African Union has asked financial, logistical and technical support from the United Nations, and senior U.N. officials recommended last month that the U.N. Security Council approve this request. ‘TOMORROW WILL BE TOO LATE’ France plans to draft a resolution to put to the Security Council in October to increase support for the U.N.
New! First Class France-Switzerland Deluxe Pass Exclusively From Rail Europe
ET on October 16, 2013, whichever comes first. ** NOTE: The First Class France-Switzerland Deluxe Pass includes a 3 Days in 1 month France Rail Pass and a 3 Days in 1 month Swiss Pass. The France Rail Pass is valid for travel in France and the Swiss Pass is valid for travel in Switzerland. The high speed Lyria train trains connect France and Switzerland. Travel on Lyria requires travelers with a rail pass to purchase a reservation. Travelers with the First Class France Switzerland Deluxe Pass are eligible to purchase reservations at three price levels. Depending on the type of reservation purchased travelers may be required to use a travel day on each of their rail pass(es) as follows: Tier (Passholder) 1: Will require a travel day to be used on the France Rail Pass and a travel day to be used on the Swiss Pass. Travel must be in first class. Tier (Passholder) 2: Will require a travel day to be used on the France Rail Pass. Travel must be in first class. Tier (Passholder) 3: Will require a travel day to be used on the Swiss Pass. Travel can be in first or second class. ***Prices are subject to change.