WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Governments around the world charge prices for energy that do not account for its harmful environmental, health and other side effects, amounting to a $5.3 trillion "post-tax" subsidy this year, the International Monetary Fund said in a report on Monday. The IMF said China in particular failed to charge its more than 1 billion consumers for the pollution that comes from heavy use of fossil fuels, adding up to a $2.3 trillion subsidy this year. The United States was the second-biggest offender, with an estimated $699 billion subsidy, followed by Russia, the European Union, India and Japan. The report comes as almost 200 nations are trying to work out a deal to combat global warming ahead of a summit in Paris in December. Getting rid of fossil fuel subsidies and setting policies to price carbon pollution are seen as key international measures that would help keep temperatures from rising. The IMF has long urged governments to get rid of "pretax subsidies" that allow firms and households to buy coal, gasoline or other fuel sources below their cost of supply. Many governments, including Egypt, India, Indonesia and Jordan, have recently raised domestic prices to match those internationally, said the Washington-based institution charged with policing global economic and financial stability. But the Fund said it had turned its focus to the post-tax subsidies that mean prices fail to reflect costs like unfair tax advantages and deaths from pollution. In its last study on the subject in 2013, the IMF estimated these post-tax subsidies amounted to $2 trillion in 2011, or 2.9 percent of the world's gross domestic product. With new data about the extent of environmental damage, the IMF says these subsidies totaled $4.9 trillion in 2013 and should rise to $5.3 trillion this year, or 6.5 percent of global GDP. "The fiscal implications are mammoth: At $5.3 trillion, energy subsidies exceed the estimated public health spending for the entire globe," IMF economists Benedict Clements and Vitor Gaspar wrote in a blog post accompanying the report. The IMF said about three-quarters of the damages from energy affect domestic consumers, meaning it is in countries' own interests to get rid of these subsidies. (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
- Associated Press
Rep. Eric Swalwell, who served as a House manager in Donald Trump’s last impeachment, filed a lawsuit Friday against the former president, his son, lawyer and a Republican congressman whose actions he charges led to January’s insurrection. The California Democrat’s suit was filed Friday in federal court in Washington. It alleges a conspiracy to violate civil rights, along with negligence, inciting a riot and inflicting emotional distress.
- The Telegraph
Boris Johnson has challenged the EU's decision to approve the blockade of 250,000 AstraZeneca vaccines destined for Australia, warning that the restrictions "endanger" global efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. On Friday, Downing Street questioned the European Commission over its acceptance of the Italian government's decision to use EU-wide export controls to prevent the shipment from going ahead. Asked about the controversy, Mr Johnson's spokesman pointed out that Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, had previously assured the Prime Minister that the controls would not be used in this way. Speaking at the Number 10 daily lobby briefing, the spokesman said: "We're not privy to the specific agreements between other countries and vaccine manufacturers. "However, the PM spoke to President von der Leyen earlier this year, and she confirmed that the focus of their mechanism was on transparency and not intended to restrict exports by companies where they are fulfilling contractual responsibilities. "We would expect the EU to continue to stand by its commitments. The global recovery from Covid relies on international collaboration. We are all dependent on global supply chains, and putting in place restrictions endangers global efforts to fight the virus."
- Business Insider
Trump's fake inauguration on March 4 was QAnon's latest vision that flopped. A new date is now being peddled to perpetuate the mind games.
QAnon followers were expecting 'The Storm' on March 4. Unfazed by the failure, many are seeking redemption on a new day.
- The Daily Beast
Rosa Woods - Pool/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle has said she was not allowed to make her own choices when she was a member of the royal family.The comments were made in a new preview clip from Oprah Winfrey’s eagerly-awaited interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, which dropped Friday morning on CBS This Morning.In the new clip, Meghan said that she had not been “allowed” to give an interview before.In the clip, Oprah told Meghan that she recalled calling her before her wedding and asking for an interview.Meghan said: “I recall that conversation very well. I wasn’t even allowed to have that conversation with you personally. Right? There had to be people from the [communications team] sitting there…”Oprah then said: “You turned me down nicely…What is right about this time?”Meghan replied: “Well, so many things. That we are on the other side of a lot of life experience that’s happened. And also that we have the ability to make our own choices in way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then. That wasn’t my choice to make. So, as an adult who lived a really independent life, to then go into this construct, that is, um, different, than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say, ‘Yes, I am ready to talk.’ To say it for yourself…. To be able to just make a choice on your own, to be able to speak for yourself.”Meghan’s new comments appear to reiterate a frequent complaint of hers that she was denied her voice and agency when she was a member of the royal family.The new clip came as tensions between Meghan and Harry and Buckingham Palace boiled over into all-out war, with reports in the British media suggesting multiple witnesses were ready to come forward and give evidence to a hastily-announced inquiry into alleged bullying by Meghan of her staff at Buckingham Palace.Meghan’s friends responded to the bullying claims by launching a social media fightback against Buckingham Palace today calling her a “warm, kind, caring person.”In a previous clip Meghan accused the palace of “perpetuating falsehoods” about them.An emotional Meghan said: “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
With "Coming 2 America" hitting Amazon Prime today, Insider took a look back at the cast of the original "Coming to America."
- LA Times
The airing of Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah lands nearly one year after the couple made the U.S. their home.
- LA Times
"Gone With the Wind," "Psycho" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" are among the classic films that TCM will air and reconsider in its new series "Reframed."
- Business Insider
Jared Kushner is said to have distanced himself back from his father-in-law but is likely to return if Trump decides on a 2024 run, sources told CNN.
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle's wedding-dress embroiderer says she hasn't heard from the royal family since revealing she's on the brink of homelessness
"It just makes me feel like I don't exist," Chloe Savage, who worked on Kate Middleton's and Meghan Markle's wedding dresses, told Insider.
- The Independent
Charlotte Bennett has discussed her accusations of sexual harassment against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as the state’s attorney general moves forward with an investigation into allegations from three women. COMING UP: @NorahODonnell sits down with former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Charlotte Bennett, who is accusing the governor of sexual harassment.
The 'QAnon Shaman' says invading the Capitol was 'not an attack on this country' in wild jailhouse interview
"QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley said he still believes the 2020 election was rigged and wishes Donald Trump gave him a pardon.
The European Union is planning to extend its export authorisation scheme for COVID-19 vaccines to the end of June, two EU sources told Reuters on Thursday, as a shipment of AstraZeneca shots from the EU to Australia was blocked. Extending controls could reignite tensions with countries who rely on shots made in the EU. Under the scheme, companies must get an authorisation before exporting COVID-19 shots, and may have export requests denied if they do not respect their supply commitments with the EU.
- Business Insider
Boris Johnson has yet to appoint a successor to his adviser on ministerial standards, more than three months after the resignation of Sir Alex Allan.
Britain and the European Union are on course to agree a deal on regulatory cooperation in financial services this month, but the UK's actions in Northern Ireland makes it harder to build trust, the bloc's financial services chief said on Thursday. "We are on track," Mairead McGuinness told a Politico event. The British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain's divorce deal.
China will "resolutely guard against and deter" interference by external forces in Hong Kong's affairs, Premier Li Keqiang said, amid criticism from western countries over Beijing's suppression of pro-democracy opposition in the Asian financial hub. Speaking on Friday at the opening of the annual session of China's parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), Li said China will ensure the implementation of law and enforcement mechanisms to safeguard national security in Hong Kong.
'Coming 2 America' legend John Amos says that sentimental kitchen scene was his favorite in the star-studded sequel
The acting legend spoke with Insider about coming back to play Cleo McDowell and reflected on getting fired from "Good Times."
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has a March 25, 2022, release date and ties into "WandaVision," "Loki," and "Spider-Man: No Way Home."
A French cabinet minister urged EU countries on Friday not to use the Russian or Chinese COVID-19 vaccines unless they are approved by the bloc's medicines regulator, warning of a risk to the bloc's unity and public health. After a fitful start to the European Union's vaccination campaign which has left the bloc lagging other countries such as Britain, some member states in central Europe have already bought or are considering buying Russian or Chinese shots. Asked whether each EU member state was now simply doing "what they wish themselves", European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune told RTL radio: "If they were to choose the Chinese and/or Russian vaccine, I think it would be quite serious."
- Associated Press
Justice Amy Coney Barrett delivered her first Supreme Court majority opinion Thursday, ruling against an environmental group that had sought access to government records. President Donald Trump's third nominee wrote for a 7-2 court that certain draft documents do not have to be disclosed under the federal Freedom of Information Act. The case was the first one Barrett heard after joining the court in late October, and it took four months for the 11-page opinion to be released.
- The Independent
NAACP accuses Trump of disenfranchising Black voters and trying to ‘destroy democracy’