The veterans - many from Senegal, and aged between 78 and 90 - received their new certificates of citizenship at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Campaigners have long been calling for the rights of the veterans, long-term French residents, to be recognised. "France is proud to welcome you, just as you were proud to carry its flag, direct flights from chicago to mexico the flag of freedom," said President Hollande. More naturalisation ceremonies are expected to follow for other veterans in France. One of those granted citizenship on Saturday, Mohamed Toure, said the gesture will go some way towards healing old wounds. "President Hollande did what none of his predecessors ever imagined. And that repairs a lot of things," he said. Image copyright EPA Image caption Many of the veterans fought with the French army in Algeria and Asia The granddaughter of a Senegalese soldier, Aissatou Seck, who is herself deputy mayor of a Parisian suburb, has been a lead campaigner for African veterans' rights. Last year, she started a petition that gained tens of thousands of signatures in less than a week. The veterans have long been struggling for recognition and equality in France. Until 2010, they received lower pensions than their French counterparts.
(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) More SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) With a grin of excitement, Fernando Alonso explained how his crash course for the Indianapolis 500 will include watching old footage on flights between Formula One races. The two-time F1 champion will compete in IndyCar for the first time next month, and skip the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix in order to do so. That does not give the 35-year-old Spaniard much time. He has three F1 races for McLaren in Bahrain, Russia and then Spain cheapest time to fly to hawaii before he makes his IndyCar debut on May 28 in Indianapolis. "On the planes I will try and look at some videos and races from the last years. I'm not ready at the moment, but the next couple of weeks I'm confident I can adapt," Alonso said flights Thursday at the Bahrain GP. "I'm not in my comfort zone driving those cars or thinking of those cars. But I'm not afraid of trying." Alonso's motivation is part of a wider ambition that also includes the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race. "If I want to win the triple crown I have to make the first step this year. It's a win-win situation.
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