2015 The Firing Line


2015

A tribute to the skill and determination of freelancers with a look at the international nominees for the 2015 Rory Peck Awards.


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Transcript


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There were half a dozen men who attacked with ISIS on both sides.

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You have to put yourself in difficult and dangerous situations.

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And when most people would run away, you head towards trouble. Footage

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from remote and hostile places can be our only window on events that

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are shaping our world. These are some of the most powerful pictures

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of the year, all shot by freelancers.

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Each year, we step behind the camera to speak to those who film on the

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front line so that we can better understand what happens in our

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world. We will be hearing from freelance video journalist nominated

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in the three categories of the Rory Peck awards. This year, the judges

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looked through more than 100 entries from nearly 40 countries. The awards

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were founded in the name of Rory Peck, a British freelancer killed by

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crossfire in Moscow in 1993. His memory lives on through the trust,

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which -- which works on behalf of freelance camera crews. First up,

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the news category. The work of Palestinian cameraman Yahya

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Hassouna. It was his harrowing images of escalating conflict in

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Gaza between Israel and Hamas that caught the attention of the world.

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Direct hits from Israeli rockets flattened civilian homes and

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buildings in Gaza city. The human cost is devastating. Yahya captures

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countless casualties arriving at the hospital. What struck him is the

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number of children is coming through the door. -- children.

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Poignant moments caught by the camera convey tragedy about every

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corner. Every destroyed home, every pile of rubble is searched for

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precious mementos. As a local, who has been through this before, Yahya

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understands why. The Ukraine for our next finalist,

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Olivier Sarbil, who has extensively covered both sides of the conflict

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between pro-Russian separatist and Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine.

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Basing himself in the pro-Russian stronghold around Donetsk, Olivier

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produced a series of reports charting the ceasefire and its

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eventual collapse. The battle for Donetsk airport and the ceasefire

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isn't holding. It's at test of Olivier's skills and nerve as the

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rebels take control. Ukrainian troops are just if you 100 metres

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away. I was just filming the guys on the frontline and the battlefield.

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Suddenly, a clash. You have to make a fast decision. What is best?

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Filming the guy firing the weapons, taking cover, falling back? His

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training as a paratrooper in the French army equipped him to deal

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with the chaos of battle. I still have some instincts, some reflex,

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from those times, so I think that helps me on the field. The

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adrenaline is pumping. And so the danger is to feel lost in the chaos.

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The judges commented Olivier's almost cinematic are beautifully

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framed and atmospheric camerawork, but for Olivier the camera in a war

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zone provide the necessary window into the dark corners of our

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civilisation. I am a witness. Pictures of people fighting,

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civilian innocents being shelled every day. Of course we have to tell

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the story. If we don't tell the story, we are not there and the

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situation could be worse. Who knows? What is important is for people to

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understand what's happening. The winner in the news category, Zein

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Al-Rifai, was chosen for his coverage of the ongoing conflict in

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Syria's second city Aleppo. He captures the relentless suffering of

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a people under siege by both the so-called Islamic State and Syrian

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government forces. A barrel bomb has devastated a nearby neighbourhood. A

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native of Aleppo, Zein knows the district well and rushes to record

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the immediate aftermath. Being first on the scene poses a moral dilemma.

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Zein is determined to keep showing the plight of the Syrian people to

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the world. The cost is high for the video

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journalist. Constantly recording distress and destruction takes its

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toll. We stay in Syria for the first

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finalist in the features category, as jihadist factions make

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unprecedented advances in the strategic city. Salam Rizk gained

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unique access to rebel groups, government forces and civilians

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trapped in Syria's grinding four of attrition. The hospital was at the

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centre of heady -- heavy fighting when he arrives on the outskirts of

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the conflict. He falls in with the Jabhat al-Nusra rebels. Syrian

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government troops are in the nearby building. The most dangerous thing

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in the film was at the hospital, because they were bombed by jets all

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the time and there were mortars everywhere. It was scary.

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As he moves around the complex, he very nearly gets hit by a sniper

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himself. When the machine-gun from the jet

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fired, I just put the camera like that and I started moving the camera

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without looking at what I was filming.

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To work in Syria is now super difficult for all journalists. Dust

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in the camera, you are a target for everybody. -- Bruce Reid usually the

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jihadist don't like you. They really don't like the camera. Civilians,

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when they see the camera, they think they will be bombed. I think it is

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worth it to risk my life because it is important to show the reality.

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Next in the features category is the work of Simon Rowles. The British

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journalist reveals the suffering of mentally ill people in the aftermath

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of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Simon follows it on a

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tipoff from a local charity. The shocking sight awaits him. A man,

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Joel, is imprisoned in a cage by his own family. When we did eventually

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see Joel, it was pretty hard to comprehend. The cage was very

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small. It was too small for him to lie down or a stand-up. And he

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basically slept, eight and defecated there. -- ate. Joel's story is just

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one of several caged men Simon filmed. It was difficult to pick the

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camera. There was something that instinctively felt wrong or

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voyeuristic. The professionalism kicks in and makes sure you treat

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the story sensitively. Chaining is common practice in a country where

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families received little professional support. Joel can

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become aggressive and his mother feels she has no other option. She

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was somebody who clearly was torn apart by the fact that she was

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keeping her son trapped in this cage. These families were doing this

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not out of cruelty but out of desperation. It was a difficult

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story to walk away from. You hope that there may be some power in

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covering a story like this. It is about telling the truth and you hope

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that something good will come out of it. And now the winner in the

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features category, Zmnako Ismael, who charts the extraordinary exodus

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of the migratory people to a refugee camp. Zmnako Ismael travels with

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thousands of people as they flee for their lives from is solid state

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forces pushing their way across the country. -- Islamic State forces

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will star in their desperation to escape, the Yazidis have to cross a

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barren and punishing environment. Zmnako is the only journalist

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documenting their 200 kilometre journey in search of safety.

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When he arrives, a steady stream of people emerge from the clouds of

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rolling dust. It is unknown how many die of

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exhaustion and dehydration on the long track. -- trek.

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The UN estimates some 5000 Yazidi men were killed as Islamic State

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swept through Iraq in the summer of 2014. Their intention was clear, to

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destroy the Yazidi community and their religion.

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Now, as every year, a special award for global impact. The first

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finalist is Palestinian journalists Medyan Dairieh, who spent three

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weeks embedded with the Islamic State. Medyan gained unprecedented

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access as they shocked the world by declaring their brutal caliphate

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across both countries. Once on the inside, IS officials are keen to

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show Medyan how they operate. Emits a preacher who was left Belgium with

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his young son and what he films next is deeply disturbing. -- he meets.

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Trying to understand the mind that would take your child from Belgium

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to this war zone and then offer him out effectively as a sacrifice just

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seemed extraordinary to me. Medyan could not speak to us but Kevin

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Sutcliffe was heavily involved in his deployment. Medyan is the first

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journalist to get to the heart of the jihadi group. That is why the

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film is important. It captures things you really need to think

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about. He brings to that a great knowledge and understanding.

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He knows how to operate and he knows where the boundaries are, so in that

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sense, that was part of why we felt comfortable that he could go. I

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think he is also very, very adept at dealing with the stresses and

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strains of that situation. He made a great, brave piece of journalism.

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Our next finalist is Madrid -based documentary maker,

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Our next finalist is Madrid -based documentary -- Hernan Zim. He

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focuses on the lives of ten children living in Gaza as Israel begins its

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fans. Hernan wanted to make a film that different from every other film

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about the conflict. I wanted to change the point of view not just

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about the bombs in the blowing up but what goes on inside people, the

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drama. -- trauma. So we can get an understanding of the meaning of war

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and its effect on children. A 500 kilograms bomb has landed on

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six-year-old Bisan's home, instantly killing her immediate family. Bisan

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has been left badly wounded and is struggling to make sense of it. You

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just imagine that in one second your life goes away, all the people you

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love. When I came back afterwards, she could not speak any more. She

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was trying to understand that her parents were not going to come

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back. That is what it means to be a child in Gaza. Nothing is certain

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and everything you have can go away in one second. In total, over 2000

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Palestinians died in the 50 day offensive, including over 500

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children. Many of the children Hernan filmed were deeply

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traumatised. It was the first time I have seen

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someone who wants to quit and being a child and being so traumatised,

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that was one of the most overwhelming moments. I don't

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understand why the world is not doing something. We have to keep on

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trying. That is the duty of the filmmakers. And finally, the winner

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of Sony's Impact Award is Haider Ali, who travels to the show are on

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the Afghan border, where he meets with several young boys and the

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paedophiles who abuse them. This is one of many boys regularly abused at

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the bus terminal, who was willing to share his difficult story with

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Haider. Haider wants to give voice to the

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children hunted by sexual predators and dares to give the abusers like

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Arjaz envoys as well. The abusers have no fear of the law

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and act with impunity. And hearing such rank confessions is a profound

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effect on the filmmaker. -- frank confessions.

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Some of the abusers panic after giving such incriminating

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testimony. The team take the threats seriously

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and quickly flee Peshawar, but the abuse continues.

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Haider Ali, winner of the Sony Impact Award That Is? Full Top That

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Is All -- -- that was Haider Ali, winner of the Sony Impact Award for

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Current Affairs. From me goodbye. Some of us would have had some

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wintry weather overnight. Cold air currently coming in all

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the way from almost the Arctic and the cold air is here to stay

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through the course of the weekend. It's also going to be very windy,

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particularly

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