Alitalia’s Higher Loss Risks Deterring Air France Investment

VOA Pentagon Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports the U.S. decision comes as U.S. officials adjust their overall strategy for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Video Kenya’s Wounds Will Linger After Mall Siege Kenya has declared three days of mourning for the victims of the terrorist attack on a mall in the capital, Nairobi. But as VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow reports, it may take much longer for the countrys emotional wounds to heal. Video Chinas Elderly Need Beds, Caregivers China has the worlds largest population of citizens over age 65 and in the coming decades their numbers are expected to quickly grow. Already, officials are struggling to cope with the rising numbers of elderly at a time when there is a shortage of nursing home beds and certified caregivers. VOAs Bill Ide reports. Video Nairobi Attack Reveals Al-Qaidas Influence in Horn of Africa The attack by al-Shabab militants on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall has raised fears that the group is broadening its aim beyond winning control of its homeland, Somalia. Security analysts say al-Shabab has morphed from a regional militant group to a terrorist organization closely aligned with al-Qaida. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

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.

Arrests made in Air France flight cocaine case

in Paris, valuing the airline at 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) The Italian airline proposed investors boost funding by completing a subscription of 55 million euros through a bond convertible into stock. 14 to vote on the increase. Air France members on the Alitalia board opposed the plan, news agency Ansa reported, without saying where it got the information. An Air France spokesman declined to comment. Air France said Sept. 23 it would await more information from the Italian carriers board before committing to any move. Hiring Advisers The relatively small capital increase being sought suggests the move is only a short or mid-term solution, said Yan Derocle, an analyst at Oddo Securities in Paris. Air France has hired Lazard Ltd. (LAZ) and Mediobanca SpA (MB) as advisers to consider its options on Alitalia, Italy s Messaggero reported this week, without saying where it obtained the information. Alitalia in turn has hired Gruppo Banca Leonardo as seeks to end operating losses in 2014. While owning Alitalia would give Europes largest airline access to one of the regions biggest aviation markets and help feed trans-Atlantic routes, the need for capital comes as Air Frances domestic unit struggles to stem its own losses. The Paris-based carrier last week scrapped a target of reaching break-even at Air France as it sought to cut 2,800 more jobs. Italys Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Maurizio Lupi, met with his French counterpart yesterday to discuss the situation. He has said the government is not against Air France doubling its stake, while seeking guarantees on jobs and investments for the flagship carrier.