Holocaust survivor Simone Veil elected to French Academy

The prestigious Academie Francaise, which guards the French language, voted on Thursday to accept Holocaust survivor and former politician Simone Veil as one of its 40 members. The 81-year-old Veil, who survived Auschwitz death camp and is among the most popular personalities in France, thus joins the ranks of the "immortals," as members of the academy are known. President Nicolas Sarkozy praised Veil for her "perpetual courage" after the vote Thursday. She received 22 of the 29 valid ballots.