Two Australian drug smugglers were taken Wednesday to an Indonesian island where they will be executed despite frantic diplomatic efforts to save them, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia was "revolted" by their looming deaths. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" drug smuggling gang, were woken and given a few minutes to get ready before leaving Bali's Kerobokan jail in the early hours, said justice ministry official Nyoman Putra Surya. The men, sentenced to death in 2006 for trying to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia, said "thank you" before leaving. Michael Chan attempted to see his brother Andrew before the transfer but prison officials denied him entry, with Surya saying the decision was taken because "today is not visiting day".
French nuclear group Areva on Wednesday confirmed record net losses in 2014 of 4.8 billion euros ($5.3 billion) after it was forced, to absorb costs linked to project delays. The mostly state-owned company, which had forecast losses of 4.9 billion euros, said it would see savings worth around one billion euros over the next few years and announce a financing plan by the end of March. "The scale of the net loss for 2014 illustrates the two-fold challenge confronting Areva: continuing stagnation of the nuclear operations, lack of competitiveness and difficulties in managing the risks inherent in large projects," chief executive Philippe Knoche said in a statement. The company, which is 87-percent owned by the French state, has suffered in recent years as interest in nuclear power has cooled following the 2011 Fukushima catastrophe in Japan.
A top rights body ruled on Wednesday that France was in violation of a European treaty because it did not fully ban the smacking of children. The Strasbourg-based Council of Europe said France's laws on corporal punishment for children were not "sufficiently clear, binding and precise". France bans violence against children but does allow parents the "right to discipline" them.