PARIS/BORDEAUX (Reuters) – Paris prosecutors launched an anti-terrorism probe on Thursday into death threats against a judge who put ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy under formal investigation in a party funding case, and into similar threats against several journalists.
Investigating magistrate Jean-Michel Gentil’s decision about Sarkozy last Thursday raised hackles on the political right.
PARIS (Reuters) – French police arrested four suspected Islamist militants near Paris on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the recruitment of volunteers by al Qaeda insurgents in Mali, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said.
The arrests came as France’s intervention in Mali to rid its former colony of Islamist fighters has prompted the authorities to increase security measures against possible reprisal attacks on its interests in mainland France and abroad.
PARIS (Reuters) – Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is better armed to confront another year of weak demand for telecom equipment after signing a 1.6 billion euro financing deal and starting massive cost cuts, its chief executive said.
In an interview with Reuters, Chief Executive Ben Verwaayen said the loan from Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs, under which the group’s 29,000 patents and U.S. business will be put up as collateral, would give him more time to deliver a promised turnaround.
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s far-right National Front urged disillusioned centre-right voters to cross over to its “Navy Blue” patriotic grouping on Tuesday, as a divisive leadership feud in the mainstream conservative UMP opposition party deepened.
As the UMP split into rival political blocs during televised parliamentary questions for the first time, National Front leader Marine Le Pen was in a nearby room promoting a coalition she hopes will boost support for her party.
LYON, France, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Vivendi’s SFR
launched France’s first fourth-generation mobile service open to
the public on Thursday, kicking off a race with rivals in an
increasingly competitive French market.
SFR launched the service in the southern French city of Lyon
and will add Montpellier in mid-December.
PARIS (Reuters) – Vivendi’s SFR telecom unit plans to cut 856 jobs via a voluntary departure plan, it said on Wednesday, as it restructures to cope with tougher competition in France.
Unions swiftly condemned the move as unacceptable given the more than 3 billion euros ($3.88 billion) in profit that SFR should generate this year, and voiced fears that the cuts were a step towards a sale of France’s second-biggest mobile operator.
PARIS (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people, joined by Catholic church leaders, marched in cities across France on Saturday to protest against government plans to legalize same-sex marriage.
Demonstrators, holding banners with slogans such as “don’t touch civil marriage”, “all born from the union of a man and a woman” and “one father + one mother for all children”, took to the streets in Paris, Lyon, Marseille and other major towns.
PARIS (Reuters) – Entertainment-to-telecom group Vivendi (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) raised its annual profit target by 8 percent to 2.7 billion euros ($3.43 billion) because of strong video game sales, but weakness persisted at its key French telecom unit.
Third-quarter group revenue was in-line with expectations, down 3.4 percent to 6.67 billion euros. Earnings before interest, tax and amortization (EBITA) fell 8 percent to 1.39 billion euros, beating the average of analysts’ estimates.
PARIS (Reuters) – French conglomerate Lagardere (LAGA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will sell its 7.5 percent stake in European aerospace group EADS (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) by the end of 2013 and plans to list its 20 percent holding in pay-TV channel Canal+ by June.
Chief executive Arnaud Lagardere, also chairman of Airbus parent EADS, also said on Tuesday he would use the proceeds to reward shareholders, cut debt and make minor acquisitions.
PARIS (Reuters) – Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is weighing selling its submarine cable business and a unit that sells telephone systems to big companies as part of its effort to shore up its balance sheet, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The company has yet to hire banks to work on the deals, but a previously announced mid-September move to put the two businesses directly under Chief Financial Executive Paul Tufano is a sign they are candidates for sale, the people said.