M4 relief road: UK ministers ‘could bypass Welsh Government’

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Media captionWelsh Secretary Simon Hart said UK ministers would never “rule anything out”

The UK government would never “rule anything out” on bypassing the Welsh Government to build an M4 relief road, the Welsh secretary has told BBC Wales.

Simon Hart said UK ministers would “much prefer” a “collaborative project” to tackle congestion around Newport and the Brynglas tunnels.

He added that while they “probably could” bypass Welsh ministers it would be “complicated” and “controversial”.

The Welsh Government said the relief road was a matter for Wales.

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford scrapped a relief road plan last year after declaring a climate emergency.

The recently published UK Internal Market Bill, if passed into law, will give the UK government power to spend on otherwise devolved areas such as infrastructure and economic development.

Speaking to the BBC Politics Wales programme, Mr Hart

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Former ministers to hold ‘rapid’ inquiry into government’s Covid-19 response

A pair of Conservative former ministers have announced they are to lead a rapid, cross-party investigation into the UK’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, amid worries a government inquiry will take too long for lessons to be learned in time.



Jeremy Hunt wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Photograph: House of Commons/PA


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Photograph: House of Commons/PA

In a rare set of joint hearings, the Commons health committee, led by ex-health secretary Jeremy Hunt, and the science committee, chaired by Greg Clark, who was business secretary, are to hear from witnesses in the hope of producing a report by the spring.

Announcing the plan, Hunt and Clark said the inquiry would aim to produce interim recommendations along the way. It will hold weekly joint sessions, with early witnesses set to include Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, and Patrick Vallance, the government’s top scientific adviser.



Jeremy Hunt wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: The inquiry will cover the need for regular, large-scale coronavirus testing, according to Jeremy Hunt.


© Photograph: House of Commons/PA
The inquiry will cover the need

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Johnson’s Law-Breaking Brexit Plan Faces Defeat, Ministers Fear

(Bloomberg) — Boris Johnson is braced for defeat in Parliament over his controversial plan to re-write the Brexit withdrawal agreement, a blow that could throw negotiations with the European Union into chaos at a critical time.



a statue of Boris Johnson in a suit standing in front of a building


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Boris Johnson

The draft legislation has been attacked by all five of Johnson’s living predecessors as U.K. prime minister because it breaches international law by reneging on parts of the Brexit deal he signed with the European Union. Two senior legal officials have already quit the government in protest.

Johnson eventually bowed to pressure from rebels in his own party and gave Parliament a veto on whether to use the most controversial powers in the legislation.

The Internal Market Bill is expected to clear the House of Commons on Tuesday — but it will then move to the House of Lords, where Johnson’s Conservative Party doesn’t have a majority. Ministers expect

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South African government docks minister’s salary for allowing party members join her trip to Zimbabwe | World

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The South African government has docked the defense minister’s salary for allowing members of the ruling party to join her on an official trip, according to the country’s presidency.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula flew with some members of the African National Congress (ANC) to Zimbabwe while on an official diplomatic visit using an aircraft belonging to the country’s air force.

The government says Mapisa-Nqakula, who heads the Ministry of Defense and Military Veterans, misused state resources because of her “error of judgment” and docked her salary for three months starting next month.

Mapisa-Nqakula didn’t act “in the best interest of good governance” and

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South African government docks Minister’s salary for allowing party members join her on official trip

The South African government has docked the defense minister’s salary for allowing members of the ruling party to join her on an official trip, according to the country’s presidency.



Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula wearing a costume: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula looks on during a cabinet meeting January 29, 2020, in Pretoria, South Africa.


© Phill Magakoe/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula looks on during a cabinet meeting January 29, 2020, in Pretoria, South Africa.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula flew with some members of the African National Congress (ANC) to Zimbabwe while on an official diplomatic visit using an aircraft belonging to the country’s air force.

The government says Mapisa-Nqakula, who heads the Ministry of Defense and Military Veterans, misused state resources because of her “error of judgment” and docked her salary for three months starting next month.

Mapisa-Nqakula didn’t act “in the best interest of good governance” and “acted in a way that is inconsistent with (her) position,” a statement from the presidency said.

Her salary for the three months will instead go into a fund

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Bolivia’s Interim Government Splits as Ministers Quit Over Economy | World News

LA PAZ (Reuters) – Internal splits in Bolivia’s interim government led to the departure of the country’s economy minister and two other cabinet ministers Monday, stoking uncertainty about the Andean country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Óscar Ortiz stepped down from the economy portfolio, citing “deep differences” and pressure from people close to interim President Jeanine Añez, a conservative former Senator who took over in a power vacuum after fraught elections last year.

Bolivia is heading toward a re-run of that vote on Oct. 18, which will set the political direction of the gas and lithium-rich country for the years ahead. Anez recently withdrew as a candidate after falling far behind in the polls.

The landlocked nation tumbled into political crisis last year after allegations of electoral fraud sparked widespread protests and led to the resignation of long-term leader Evo Morales. The pandemic has hammered the economy.

“I will

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Bolivia’s interim government splits as ministers quit over economy

By Daniel Ramos

LA PAZ (Reuters) – Internal splits in Bolivia’s interim government led to the departure of four cabinet members, including the minister of economy, on Monday, stoking uncertainty about the Andean country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Óscar Ortiz stepped down from the economy portfolio, citing “deep differences” and pressure from people close to interim President Jeanine Añez, who recently withdrew as a candidate from Oct. 18 general elections after falling behind in the polls.

The election next month, a re-run of a fraught vote last year that plunged the poor, landlocked nation into political crisis, comes as the pandemic has sapped economic growth and eaten into government reserves.

“I will always put principles first over personal interest. No role, no matter how important, justifies going against the principles and ethics that have always guided my actions,” Ortiz told reporters.

Bolivia’s ministers of labor, development and mining

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