USDA Head Cited for Breaking Law by Backing Trump Reelection | Political News

By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal watchdog agency has concluded that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue violated the law in advocating for the reelection of President Donald Trump during an August visit to North Carolina. The Office of Special Counsel called on Perdue to reimburse the government for costs associated with his participation in the event.

The Hatch Act prevents federal employees from engaging in political activities while they are on the job. The Trump White House has been dismissive of alleged violations of the act over the years.

Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Politico in late August that “nobody outside of the Beltway really cares” about Hatch Act concerns that were raised during the GOP nominating convention. The White House also declined to act on the Office of Special Counsel’s calls last year to fire then-senior counselor Kellyanne Conway for being a “repeat offender” of

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Long-term first-time buyer mortgages will need big government backing

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There is very little detail on the idea of supporting first-time buyers with small deposits with new long-term mortgages.

Mortgages that offer 95% of a property’s value have been a fairly commonplace feature of the market, but have always been more expensive, reflecting their risk.

In recent weeks they have spiked in cost, and become less available, despite Bank of England base rates being slashed to historic lows.

Commercial banks are focusing on the risk of losing money as unemployment rises, particularly in the immediate aftermath of rapidly rising house prices.

This is a risky time to be lending to the riskiest part of the residential mortgage market.

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Returning that market to normal would be challenging enough.

Banks are currently being told to accept mortgage holidays. But Boris Johnson also wishes to make these new mortgages available on long-term fixes, which has

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Biden deflects Trump’s demand at debate to ‘name one’ law enforcement group backing him

Democratic nominee Joe Biden would not answer when pressed by President Trump during Tuesday night’s presidential debate about whether he has any backing from law enforcement groups.

Both candidates have the backing of various law enforcement groups, but the Trump campaign has leaned into the endorsements much more as the Biden campaign has dealt with a push from the left to defund police departments.

PENNSYLVANIA SHERIFF, LIFELONG DEM, DECIDES TO BACK TRUMP AMID UNREST

“He’s talking about defunding the police. … He has no law enforcement support,” Trump said Tuesday night in Ohio. “Who do you have? Name one group that supports you.”

“That’s not true. … We don’t have time to do anything,” Biden said, sparking a back-and-forth.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Brexit: Government Brexit plan gets MPs’ final backing

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MPs have given their final backing to government plans to override parts of its Brexit agreement with the EU.

Amid concerns that the move would break international law, ministers agreed to give Parliament a say before ever using the powers they would be granted by the Internal Market Bill.

The legislation, which passed through the House of Commons by 340 votes to 256, will now go to the House of Lords.

The government says it will help protect the integrity of the UK.

But Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and the EU argue that – in allowing the government to undo parts of a treaty signed by the EU and UK – it could damage the country’s international reputation and standing.

The UK’s five living former prime ministers – Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May – have spoken out

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Brexit: Government plan gets MPs’ final backing

FlagsImage copyright
PA Media

MPs have given their final backing to government plans to override parts of its Brexit agreement with the EU.

Amid concerns that the move would break international law, ministers agreed to give Parliament a say before ever using the powers they would be granted by the Internal Market Bill.

The legislation, which passed through the House of Commons by 340 votes to 256, will now go to the House of Lords.

The government says it will help protect the integrity of the UK.

But Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and the EU argue that – in allowing the government to undo parts of a treaty signed by the EU and UK – it could damage the country’s international reputation and standing.

The UK’s five living former prime ministers – Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May – have spoken out

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Industrial-scale UK insect farm secures government backing

The UK government is backing the construction of the country’s first industrial-scale insect farm as a way to produce more sustainable animal food for big livestock suppliers.

Entocycle, which is building the farm, plans to breed up to 5m black soldier fly larvae as protein for animal food, while the insects’ excrement, known as frass, will be sold to the horticultural industry as fertiliser.

The government is investing £10m in the project. Supermarket group Tesco is also backing it by encouraging its fish suppliers to buy insect-based feed from Entocycle and planning to supply waste, such as overripe fruit and vegetables and stale bakery goods, as food for the insects.

“Insects are everywhere, every corner of your house, garden, doing their work making sure the planet is in good running order, so why not use them for our good,” said Keiran Whitaker, founder of Entocycle.

The start-up has already secured

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