Mbeki not to attend Franco-African summit

12th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 11, 2007 (AFP) - South African President Thabo Mbeki will not attend next week's Franco-African summit in Cannes in southern France, the country's foreign ministry said on Sunday.

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 11, 2007 (AFP) - South African President Thabo Mbeki will not attend next week's Franco-African summit in Cannes in southern France, the country's foreign ministry said on Sunday.

"The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will be leading a delegation to the summit on behalf of President Mbeki," the ministry told AFP.

"The president must respond to parliamentary questions next week."

Asked if France had been informed the spokesman said: "I am sure it would have been done through foreign affairs".

Mbeki's spokesman said "something urgent" required the president to be at home.

"There is nothing sinister as people are suggesting," he told AFP.

"This coming weekend will see the national executive committee meeting of the ANC (African National Congress), the party that put him into government. It is more important than going to France."

Coach crash injures eight Britons in Pyrenees, one seriously

PERPIGNAN, France, Feb 11, 2007 (AFP) - A coach carrying British tourists crashed on Sunday morning in the French Pyrenees near Andorra, injuring eight passengers including one woman seriously, emergency services said.

The injured woman, who has multiple injuries and not been named, was airlifted to a nearby hospital by helicopter. Her injuries are not life-threatening, according to a local rescue services official.

The seven others were only slightly hurt. Three were taken to a local hospital and the others treated at a medical centre.

The coach, which was carrying 39 passengers from London, skidded on a sheet of ice and toppled on its side as it was driving down a slope, according to preliminary information.

The group had been skiiing in Andorra and was on its way to the airport at Toulouse in southwestern France. The 31 unhurt passengers were taken to Toulouse in a bus hired by the local authorities and were due to be joined by the four from the medical centre."But that's just life: there are millions of women who have children and who work. It's wonderful when you have young children to be able to watch them grow up -- and a whole lot more interesting than a 12-hour day in a city office."

"France has the highest birth rate in Europe -- we have to find some kind of solution!"

Once the children are in bed, she flips open her laptop and links up via Internet chat with the other board members -- three in the United States, two in the Netherlands and one in Germany.

"I work mainly in the evening and part of the night. Fortunately I don't need a lot of sleep, and that's when most of the Wikipedia community is online." Every six to eight weeks the board gathers in a European or American city for a face-to-face meeting.

She admits Malintrat is a far cry from Microsoft's leafy corporate campus in Redmond, Washington, but then, she says, Wikipedia is also "another world" from its big business counterparts.

Wreckage of light aircraft found in France

GRENOBLE, France, Feb 11, 2007 (AFP) - Rescue services in southeastern France Sunday found the wreckage of a light plane that vanished the day before with three people, including a child, aboard.

The plane was found 1,700 metres (5,580 feet) up in the Vercors range at the foot of a mountain, local authorities in the Isere region said.

More than 100 police, mountain rescue specialists and troops are heading to to the site of the crash.

A helicopter equipped with infra-red detection equipment searched the area without result during the night, with two more taking over at daybreak.

The plane, a twin-engine Piper Archer 34, had left Shoreham in Kent, eastern England, for the southern French Mediterranean resort of Cannes Saturday and was reported missing in the early afternoon.

The nationality of those aboard was not known.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, South Africa

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