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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II meets Drum Horse Perseus in London last month. Photo: Yui Mok, Pool Photo via AP

A portion of Queen Elizabeth II's private estate was invested in offshore funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda and used to fund a small interest in the takeover of two British retail chains, per the BBC. The revelation was contained in the Paradise Papers, a trove of leaked documents from offshore law firms detailing the tax avoidance strategies of the global elite.

Why it matters: The disclosure shows just how high up some of the information in the Paradise Papers might go. And while the Queen is legally in the clear — she's exempt from paying tax in the United Kingdom, but does so anyway — her estate's investment comes across as poor judgment given the weight of her reputation.

More about the investment:

  • It involved purchasing a stake in the controversial British rent-to-buy chain BrightHouse. The company was accused of "preying on the vulnerable" by the Financial Times due to sky-high interest rates on home appliances and other fixtures.
  • It was notably small — only a few million pounds of the Queen's £500m estate. The current investment amounts to just 0.3% of the estate's total value. The controversial interest in BrightHouse is just 0.0006% of the estate.

Go deeper: The Paradise Papers hit Wilbur Ross on this side of the Atlantic.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.

Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief framework as a basis for jumpstarting negotiations.

Why it matters: The framework, introduced by a group of bipartisan senators on Tuesday, calls for significantly less funding than Pelosi had previously demanded — a sign that Democrats are ready to further compromise as millions of Americans endure economic hardship.