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UK hits Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox with fines over private jet pollution

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A parliamentary petition backed by 500,000 people failed to bar Donald Trump from the UK, but the controversial US presidential candidate and climate change sceptic now faces a new deterrent: a fine for the carbon pollution from one of his enormous private jets .

The Bahrain Royal family, 21st Century Fox America, the company chaired by Rupert Murdoch, and British construction vehicle manufacturers JCB have also been asked to pay up for flights to and from the UK.

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The Environment Agency, which is responsible for enforcing the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) in the UK, has issued over £750,000 in fines to a total of 25 operators for “failure to surrender sufficient allowances to cover annual reportable emissions”.

The ETS requires polluters to surrender a carbon permit for every tonne of carbon pollution emitted, or pay a €100 (£75) per tonne fine. Permits are given to many air operators for free but can be bought if needed for about €8 currently.

Donald Trump faces a £1,610 penalty for a flight to the UK in a plane owned by DJT Operations I LLC, possibly the $100m Boeing 757 he uses as a private jet , complete with master bedroom and gold taps. The 757 is 54m long and usually carries 200-300 passengers. Trump opened his golf course in Aberdeenshire in 2012, the period covered by the fines published on 5 January.

The ETS is intended to limit carbon emissions and reduce climate change. This is unlikely to impress Trump, who has called climate change “bullshit” and a concept “created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”. Hope Hicks, Trump’s campaign communications manager, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The Bahrain royal family have been hit with a heftier fine, £60,698, while 21st Century Fox America was fined £17,463.

The 25 operators fined include a series of private jet operators, insurance giant AIG, Air India and a “MIG Russian Aircraft”, which was not a military plane. JCB Ltd were hit with the biggest fine of £157,596.

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“The EU Emissions Trading System is an important means of regulating emissions from aviation operators,” said Liz Parkes, Environment Agency deputy director of climate change and business services. “The Environment Agency’s enforcement activity is part of coordinated action across Europe.” Confidentiality rules mean the EA is unable to disclose whether fines have been paid or not.

• Additional reporting by Scott Bixby in New York.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2016

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’

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On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.

"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."

The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.

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Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE

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Elections 2016

Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls

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When Robert Mueller completed his long-awaited investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he left many questions unanswered.

But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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Elections 2016

Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans

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The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.

In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.

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