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Four French journalists held captive in Syria for almost a year were free and "in good health" on Saturday, President Francois Hollande told AFP, saying they would be back in France within hours. In a statement to AFP, the president said he had "learned with great relief this morning of the liberation of the four French journalists". Hollande said the four, who had been held in Syria since 2013, were "in good health despite the very challenging conditions of their captivity". Didier Francois, a reporter for Europe 1 radio, and photographer Edouard Elias were taken north of Aleppo on June 6.
Madagascar has named Jean Razafindravonona finance and budget minister, making him part of a 31-member cabinet crucial to ending a political crisis on the Indian Ocean island state. President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, who took office in January, has pledged to woo foreign investors and tourists back to Madagascar, which is famed for its exotic wildlife and also boasts nickel, cobalt, coal, iron ore and uranium deposits. Analysts said Razafindravonona has a good grasp of the management of public finances, earned during a long stint as the director of the budget office in the finance ministry. "The question is whether he will be able to put in place good financial governance and stable institutions which investors can have confidence in," said Hugues Rajaonson, an economist.