Failed Rescue — An attempt to rescue two men held captive by the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram failed Thursday, the Guardian reports. The hostages, Briton Chris McManus and Italian Franco Lamolinara, had been held by the al-Qaeda-linked group since May 2011. Their deaths came hours after U.K. Prime Minster David Cameron authorized a rescue mission, and Italian authorities are angry they were not informed of the rescue attempt until it was under way. “The behavior of the British government in not informing Italy is inexplicable,” Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano told reporters Friday.
Down but not Out — The New York Times explores the ever-changing story of the former rising star of China’s Communist Party, Bo Xilai. Bo’s presence at the annual National People’s Congress has been overshadowed by a scandal involving his key deputy, but he tried to put rumors to rest at a press conference on Friday, the Associated Press reports. “I feel like I put my trust in the wrong person,” Bo told reporters. For more on the scandal, read TIME reporter Austin Ramzy’s analysis here.
Hollywood Heavyweight — Foreign Policy wonders how Hollywood bigwig Harvey Weinstein found his way into French politics. The movie exec recently challenged right-wing politician Jean-Marie Le Pen to an ideological war over the film The Intouchables. The French film, which is being released by the Weinstein Company in the U.S. this spring, has caused controversy over its handling of France’s racial problems. Eric Pape posits that Weinstein isn’t really interested in taking on the xenophobic Le Pen, but wants to prove “his film can’t possibly be racist if France’s most notorious living racist actually sees it as a disturbing plaidoyer for people to come together across racial, ethnic, religious and class differences.”