France's Constitutional Council says the country's proposed carbon tax is illegal. This is being seen as a severe blow to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to fight climate change.
The council said the tax had too many exemptions
France's Constitutional Council has struck down a carbon tax that was meant to take effect on January 1. The council, which is charged with ensuring the constitutionality of French legislation, said too many polluters were exempted in the measure and the tax burden was not fairly distributed.
It was estimated that 93 percent of industrial emissions, including the emissions of more than 1,000 of France's top polluting industrial sites, would be exempt from the tax, which would have charged 17 euros per ton of emitted carbon dioxide.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has argued the tax is necessary to combat climate change and reduce the country's dependence on oil.
Observers say the council's ruling is a severe blow to both Sarkozy's environmental plan and as France's budget for 2010. The government now has to find a way to come up with about 4.1 billion euros in revenue that was expected to be generated the tax.
Editor: Chuck Penfold
Former German politician Sebastian Edathy has confessed to using his official work laptop to access pornographic videos and images of children from the Internet.
More than 6,000 people have been killed since eastern Ukraine's separatist insurgency erupted last April, the UN says. The Geneva-based body warned the situation had "dramatically deteriorated" in recent months.
Top US diplomat John Kerry has begun talks on the Ukraine conflict with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. Kerry will also push for a 'credible' inquiry into the death of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.
Anne Frank, the young girl who kept a journal about hiding from the Nazis, captured hearts all over the world - an in Japan in particular. Seventy years after the war, she remains a touchstone for young Japanese.