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François Labatut

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Thierry speaks with the press after a 2011 cannabis bust

Report: Former Head Of French Anti-Drug Police Accused Of Trafficking

PARIS — The former head of France's anti-drug trafficking agency has been accused of playing a central role in the smuggling of tons of cannabis into France, the Paris-based Libérationdaily is reporting.

François Thierry, who until recently headed the main agency charged with combating drug trafficking OCRTIS (Central Office for the Suppression of Illicit Drug Trafficking) is believed to have collaborated with one of Europe's drug traffickers, Sofiane H., who was Thierry's informant at the time, and thus under his legal protection.

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Littered landscape in Bogota

Bogota, Quantifying The Blight Of Cigarette Butts

BOGOTÁ Colombians can add pollution caused by millions of cigarette butts to an already varied list of environmental calamities that include deforestation, forest fires and the pesticides and mercury dumped into their rivers.

It's the huge number of discarded cigarette butts that add gravity to what might seem an insignificant problem. In Bogotá alone, 95 million cigarette butts wind up on the pavement every year, and each cigarette end contains 4,000 chemical substances, 50 of which can cause cancer. Those that make their way into drains dissolve and pollute the country's waterways.

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food / travel

Terrorism And Tourism: Red Alerts On World Tourism Map

A heat map from French tourism professionals, forced to rethink where to send eager would-be globetrotters in the face of new and old security threats.


PARIS — Five years after the Arab Spring, our blue planet has more and more zones turning red and orange. These are two of the three colors used by the French Foreign Ministry to rank countries around the world according to their relative degrees of security.

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In Izmir, Burying The Migrants Who Died Along The Way

In Izmir, Burying The Migrants Who Died Along The Way

Near the western coast of Turkey, a humble imam recites too many lonely prayers in a cemetery that is filling with nameless victims of the perilous migrant route to Europe.

IZMIR — It is both hard and easy to talk about death with a religious man.

We have been chatting for awhile when, sensing a kindness in Ahmet Altan that would prevent him from perceiving my question as an insult, I finally ask him: Are there ever times when you want to rebel against all of this?

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