06/04/2017 Newsnight


06/04/2017

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis.


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Transcript


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The Chinese President has just arrived in Florida for 24

:00:07.:00:18.

Potential flash points include Korea, Trade Wars - even Taiwan.

:00:19.:00:22.

So which President holds all the cards?

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Meanwhile - the Trump administration considers

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what action to take in Syria after that horrific chemical attack.

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We think what happened in Syria is a disgrace to humanity. And he's

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there, and I guess he's running things, so something should happen.

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Thanks, folks. I'll see you in a little while.

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we'll ask if a United Nations deal is still possible.

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It's his job to get the best deal for the EU out of Brexit.

:00:53.:00:57.

The Irish Foreign Minister tells me he sees no sign that our former

:00:58.:01:00.

Would free school meals mean kids do better in the classroom?

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We ask restauranteur Henry Dimbleby and former teacher Laura McInerny.

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We meet the Russian thrill seekers taking sometimes fatal risks

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Donald Trump watched his words tonight like a man

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who finally understood just how much trouble they could cause.

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It was on the flight to Mar El Lago, ahead of a meeting

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with his Chinese counterpart, that he skimmed the curtain divde

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to talk to the press corp and tell them, with as much

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diplomacy as he has perhaps ever mustered, that something must happen

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but first, to the more pressing question in hand:

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As the United Nations in New York works to find a resolution

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to condemn the chemical gas attack this week at the hands of Assad,

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the Pentagon has suggested it's looking for the appropriate

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response, including detailed discussions on military options.

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Our correspondent, Nick Bryant, is at the United Nations for us.

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Just interpret what you were hearing from the Pentagon, from America,

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tonight, and do you think it includes options for military

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action? They talk about a serious response, so increasingly it looks

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certain that that will be military. James Mattis, the Defence Secretary,

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was already going to be in Florida, but we now understand he will be

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presenting President Trump, the commander-in-chief, with various

:02:42.:02:45.

military options, one of which includes rounding Syrian aircraft.

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There is a lot of chatter at the possibility of not just a military

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strike but an imminent one, possibly as soon as the night, which would be

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aimed at the airbase in Syria from which America believes the planes

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took off carrying that chemical arsenal in Idlib province. An awful

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lot of chatter tonight in the Pentagon that the response will be

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military, and that that response is imminent. What is the rush in your

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understanding? Do you think he expects the UN resolution to fail,

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RAC simply trying to beat the UN to it? How do you read it? -- or is he

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simply trying. I have just received a text from someone in those

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negotiations, and their expectation is that Russia will veto the

:03:41.:03:43.

resolution under discussion. The French and British drafted the

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initial resolution, and the Americans came in with stronger

:03:50.:03:53.

language. They wanted access for international investigators to the

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airbases that they believe these attacks might have been carried out

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from, and they also wanted the Syrian military to hand over the

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flight logs on the day of the attack, on Tuesday. I expect the

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Americans will bring that to a vote in the next hour or two mac, and the

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Russians will raise their hand for the eighth time to veto a resolution

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directed against the Assad regime. The new UN ambassador from America

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said that if there was obstruction and Russian intransigence at the UN,

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then the Americans would take action. You can see a possible

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choreography here - a vote in the Security Council, the Russians veto

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the resolution which the Western nations have been calling for, and

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then the possibility of some kind of military action later on. Nick, it's

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fascinating and complicated. James Carafano is the Homeland

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security and foreign policy expert He might be able to cast a little

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light on what we are hearing in the last few moments. Have you

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understood that any kind of military strike by the United States is

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imminent? What do you make of that? I have heard the same chatter

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everybody else has. It fits and the notion of a narrowly targeted

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punitive strike, kind of saying, this is beyond the pale, that

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certainly seems possible. This is not something that would be part of

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a larger strategy dealing with regime change anything else. It

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would simply be warning shot against this kind of behaviour. It reminds

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me most of some of Reagan's punitive strikes that he did early in his ten

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year send to people messages. I think that seems to be the closest

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analogy of what we are expecting. President Trump would be putting

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himself not just against Basharat Hussain but against President Putin.

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That would be the first time those two mac had been set against each

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other so far. People miss the point. -- those two. We have seen no

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evidence of that apart from some tweets. President Trump has

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difficulty in getting over the idea... You don't want to do

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something that will escalate things, because no one wants to start world

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War three of others. It is a diversion. It would have to be a

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limited strike. The argument for sooner rather -- sooner rather than

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later is, do it and get it over with. If it is a limited strike, and

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we have heard Donald Trump trying to explain to the press corps on that

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flight tonight that he thinks something should happen to Assad,

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would it be limited but effective in terms of stopping Assad from going

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on, or not that far? It would be proportional. If you were attacking

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the military installations that were carrying out the chemical strikes,

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you could argue that's a proportional response. I don't think

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he is trying to take down the regime. People read way too much

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into that. James Carafano, thank you, and stay with us.

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Watch the handshake, the body-language and the words

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tonight - this is as good as it gets for diplomacy nerds.

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It's China meets America, Xi Jinping meets Trump,

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and the world's waiting to see who emerges on top.

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Perhaps they're not as different as they seem.

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Nationalists, businessmen who both recognize the Art of the Deal.

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Whether they both end up with one is the stuff of the next

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Trump fans still remember what he said about China

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The question is, does China - and will it bear a grudge?

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Look beyond the sun-kissed setting and you'll find a minefield.

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This is one of those encounters that matters.

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The big beasts get to stamp their ground

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in the same room, to the

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And this is where we really start to see who has

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the upper hand - Xi Jin Ping or the man who airs his

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diplomatic grievances on a chat show.

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The President of China's coming, a man named Xi Jin Ping.

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If you were president, would you throw him a big dinner?

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I'd get him a McDonald's hamburger and say,

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On the campaign trail, Trump never shied away

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We can't continue to allow China to rape our country.

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Jobs disappear, and the way the economy's going right

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For "rape", you might wish to read "trade".

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It's the thing that keeps his trade adviser, Peter Navarro, up at night,

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documentary on the subject he called death by China.

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President Trump has consistently criticised the large

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trade deficit between their two countries, currently around $350

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billion, an imbalance caused by American imports of cheap Chinese

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I don't think it's necessarily bad that a president

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came in having said tough things about China.

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It's almost the norm in American presidential politics, and

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George W Bush, who I worked for, said in the first months of his

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presidency, he would rise up and defend Taiwan if it is attacked,

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And over the next years, he had a very productive relationship with

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But there is also that small matter of nuclear

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Last week, Trump told the Financial Times that if China were

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unwilling to "solve" North Korea, he'd go it alone.

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The US is looking to China to implement

:09:49.:09:50.

sanctions against North Korea as punishment for its recent bout of

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The meeting of these superpowers, visualised so

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powerfully by the 1972 union of Mao and Nixon,

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who normalised relations after a 25-year freeze, has become a

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They expected that he, and the other deputy

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premier, should wear the

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Dong Xiaoping, magnificently incongruous at a Texas

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rodeo, paved the way for the next China trip -

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Reagan in 1984, when the full force of China's economic

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might was becoming too big to ignore.

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And by the time Obama met his counterpart, the pivot to Asia

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The United States is a Pacific nation, and we are very

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interested and very focused on continuing to strengthen our

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Some believe for all the easily satirised bellicose banter,

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famously sent up, you'll remember, on Saturday Night Live, his team's

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There is no major China policy in place, few old China hands in his

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He hasn't got a China strategy in place yet.

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That's why I think the Chinese government

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decided that it's worth their while to take

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the risk on President Trump and

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try to see whether they can persuade President Trump to approach

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relations with China more in a direction that the Chinese

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Trump needs to emerge from this with the

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promises of wins on trade and American jobs.

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He may well get that, but the Chinese may be looking

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significant longer term - confirmation of the reach of their

:11:38.:11:42.

power within the Asian neighbourhood.

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If Trump walks into simple linguistic traps many fear

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the sophisticated Xi will leave, the end result may look far more

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compromising, and it will matter to us all.

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Our China editor Carrie Gracie joins me now.

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How important is this encounter for Xi, and what does success look like

:12:03.:12:10.

for the Chinese right now? It is incredibly important. He has a

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Communist party congress at the end of this year and if he can bring

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home something he can call a victory from the biggest foreign policy

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stage, then that enormously strengthens him at home. They see

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this as a moment of danger, yes, a moment of risk, to head into Florida

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without an agenda, with this unpredictable counterpart, but on

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the other hand, it is a moment of opportunity. The US has no China

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strategy right now. As you were saying, it has no team for China.

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President Obama had a strategy - there was the transpacific

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partnership, the betrayed trade deal for Asia, underpinned by security

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alliances. Without the transpacific partnership, the whole of Asia is

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looking on and saying, what is the US policy in Asia? This is a time

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for China to step in while policy is unformed, and to help President

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Trump form it in a way that suits President Xi. I think for them, they

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see a lot they can do, and if they can just the live arena on trade to

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avert trade war if they can deliver enough to avoid serious secondary

:13:19.:13:23.

sanctions against Chinese firms on North Korea, then they can get the

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mood music right and Government call it a triumph. Thank you very much

:13:27.:13:28.

indeed. Joining me now from Washington

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is James Carafano, a Homeland Security and foreign

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policy expert from the In the studio are author and Chinese

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activist Diane Wei Liang, and Martin Jacques, an academic

:13:37.:13:39.

and author of When China Very nice to have you all here. What

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do you believe is at stake, Martin? I think an enormous amount is at

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stake, because from the Chinese point of view, this is the first

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time since Don Xiaoping that they have faced a situation of this kind,

:14:00.:14:06.

president in America who is on a different course to all the previous

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presidents. Why do you say that? Actually, a lot of them have gone in

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with the sabre rattling approach, haven't they? They haven't, like

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Trump, rejected the whole idea of the alliance system of the United

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States since 1945 and said, walk away from global leadership, what we

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want is America first. That is different from any other position.

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What we don't know is how far Trump will go along this course. We know

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he has had a lot of rhetoric about it, but we don't know how much he is

:14:37.:14:41.

actually going to do. James, I want to bring you in on that one point.

:14:42.:14:44.

Do you think we will hear the same rhetoric again from Trump? Does it

:14:45.:14:48.

still work in close proximity, one-on-one?

:14:49.:14:53.

No, I think that President Xi is well matched for President Trump, he

:14:54.:14:58.

can be serious and engaging and I think they could have a fairly

:14:59.:15:02.

productive discussion if they keep it at business level, I think you

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are right on trade, they could come out of the room and both feel like

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they can offer something. But, North Korea, because of the news, that's a

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top thing in the US, they will came in -- come in with a tough series of

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demands and demand China do things and give them 30 days to do

:15:23.:15:26.

something, it will include sanctioning Chinese companies which

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is absolutely on the table for the US. The administration is talking

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seriously about that threat. The perception is that Xi is incredibly

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well prepared for this and sophisticated, the kind of landmine

:15:40.:15:42.

traps that he can set for President Trump, what do you think he will be

:15:43.:15:49.

hoping for? Well, President Xi, I have to say, he has come in in a

:15:50.:15:54.

very strong position actually. I have two disagree with carry on this

:15:55.:16:00.

one, he is into the middle of his tenure -- I have to disagree with

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Carrie Gracie. He is even a strong position, although he has the

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People's Congress coming up. It's a rubber stamping, he has enormous

:16:09.:16:12.

support within China, the Chinese governorate has been used to

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American presidents coming in, and having a dip in the relationship.

:16:17.:16:24.

And, with every US president, the China US relationship had always

:16:25.:16:27.

deteriorated within the first six months. It did not go well with

:16:28.:16:33.

Barack Obama, he was a pacifist and facing the Pacific Ring, it didn't

:16:34.:16:37.

really work, do they admire President Trump's strongman? They

:16:38.:16:41.

see him as a deal-maker and they believe that he is one. Now they

:16:42.:16:50.

suspect that he might be a one trick pony, talk tough and try and get in

:16:51.:16:56.

to get a good negotiating position. For China, on trade, there is

:16:57.:17:02.

definitely room to manoeuvre, and North Korea also has room to

:17:03.:17:08.

manoeuvre. They could offer corporation. China is not an ally of

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North Korea. China does not want a military action. Or tens thousands

:17:14.:17:20.

of refugees at the border. May I strike a slightly optimistic note?

:17:21.:17:30.

If Xi and Tramp can get through this summit on reasonable terms, with a

:17:31.:17:33.

reasonable exchange getting on with reasonable chemistry -- President

:17:34.:17:39.

Trump. On one or two things they may reach some sort of agreement, a

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concession here, gains there, so one. It is not inconceivable down

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the road they could not actually strike a much bigger bargain. A much

:17:55.:17:58.

bigger global agreement. That is not impossible. You mean a different TBP

:17:59.:18:14.

or Nafta? There are things that China could do for the United

:18:15.:18:23.

States. For example, they could open up China to more sectors in the US,

:18:24.:18:29.

and invest serious money in American infrastructure. Either through the

:18:30.:18:37.

AIB or through direct form. China rebuilding America and making

:18:38.:18:42.

America great again? China could have a role in this... James, what

:18:43.:18:47.

are your thoughts? I do agree that they could come out of it looking

:18:48.:18:52.

strong, both of them, or they could accomplish nothing. But I do think

:18:53.:18:57.

this lady is some sort of grand bargain.

:18:58.:19:00.

It is very unreal. There are major strategy issues on the table that,

:19:01.:19:05.

ground is not going to be easy. The South China Sea, Taiwan, that is a

:19:06.:19:09.

bit like Pollyanna. But if we learn to get along, then

:19:10.:19:15.

yes. It is a start. Learn to get along... Until Donald Trump's

:19:16.:19:21.

supporters realise all the jobs that he said had gone to China haven't

:19:22.:19:26.

really but gone to automation? But it doesn't matter, as long as Donald

:19:27.:19:30.

Trump creates jobs, he will be re-elected. That is his challenge. I

:19:31.:19:37.

do not see Donald Trump getting into a trade agreement, and this is one

:19:38.:19:41.

thing that he does not believe in, the trade agreement. But I can see

:19:42.:19:45.

the bilateral relationship between China and the US... But can you see

:19:46.:19:50.

China opening up to more American investment and China wanting to

:19:51.:19:53.

rebuild the railways in America? China does want to invest in

:19:54.:19:58.

America. But opening up China's market can be tricky. It depends on

:19:59.:20:03.

how much you are talking about. China has got to open up to you

:20:04.:20:07.

about everything after America. They've been trying for the last

:20:08.:20:16.

three decades... Absolutely. The Chinese invested $42 billion, a big

:20:17.:20:21.

increase. And they have invested in carriages and the LA subway system,

:20:22.:20:27.

if I remember correctly. Certainly, these are private Chinese firms,

:20:28.:20:31.

some things are in motion already. Thank you very much for joining us.

:20:32.:20:33.

Time now for Viewsnight, the part of the programme we give

:20:34.:20:36.

to those with spiky views on prickly subjects.

:20:37.:20:38.

Tonight, it's the turn of George Mpanga -

:20:39.:20:39.

better known by his stage name, George The Poet.

:20:40.:20:42.

Here's his take on keeping it political.

:20:43.:20:45.

Theresa May has met Donald Tusk for the first time since

:20:46.:23:02.

the triggering of Article 50 - and since the negotiating terms

:23:03.:23:05.

Many are on tenterhooks about the details -

:23:06.:23:08.

Ireland now becomes one of the 27 nations that we will be

:23:09.:23:11.

looking to trade with - and will also crucially have a veto

:23:12.:23:13.

Earlier, I spoke to Charlie Flanagan, Irish Foreign Minister.

:23:14.:23:18.

I began by asking him if Ireland was worried that the rest of the EU

:23:19.:23:21.

would not make Brexit easy for Britain.

:23:22.:23:26.

I don't see any intent, I don't see any disposition

:23:27.:23:30.

on the part of my EU colleagues to exact retribution,

:23:31.:23:32.

I believe it is important that the process now proceeds

:23:33.:23:39.

Yes, there are unique circumstances in Ireland,

:23:40.:23:47.

that relationship between Ireland and Britain is the warmest ever,

:23:48.:23:51.

a positive and constructive relationship that one could only

:23:52.:23:54.

This has been the case under the umbrella of

:23:55.:23:59.

And it is important that that warm and friendly relationship continues

:24:00.:24:09.

Are you putting pressure on the EU now?

:24:10.:24:12.

Do you feel Ireland is being listened to?

:24:13.:24:19.

Ireland will remain firmly a member of the EU, having regard to the fact

:24:20.:24:23.

that our nearest neighbour, the UK, will be leaving.

:24:24.:24:25.

The process has now commenced, Article 50 has been invoked.

:24:26.:24:31.

I believe it is important in our context that we have a situation

:24:32.:24:36.

at the end of these negotiations in two years' time, maybe even

:24:37.:24:40.

longer, where a member of the EU, namely Ireland, cannot be placed

:24:41.:24:46.

in a position of more disadvantage than someone who is leaving.

:24:47.:24:49.

You think that this is going to be painful for Ireland, ultimately?

:24:50.:24:57.

I do - I believe it is going to be painful for Britain.

:24:58.:25:00.

I believe it will be painful, potentially, for Ireland.

:25:01.:25:02.

Ireland is not withdrawing from the EU.

:25:03.:25:05.

Ireland will remain firmly a member of the EU.

:25:06.:25:07.

Irish people enjoy our membership of the EU.

:25:08.:25:11.

But now we've got to grapple with our nearest

:25:12.:25:13.

Ireland will be the only English speaking member

:25:14.:25:22.

We acknowledge the fact that our legal system,

:25:23.:25:26.

our public administration, has been broadly similar

:25:27.:25:27.

Do you believe, are you confident, that a hard border can be avoided?

:25:28.:25:36.

Yes, I believe it is absolutely essential that a hard border

:25:37.:25:39.

We have made great strides here, particularly in the context

:25:40.:25:48.

of the peace process and the hard-won gains of the peace

:25:49.:25:52.

process, which is why I am here in Belfast this evening.

:25:53.:25:55.

It is absolutely essential that the open border remains

:25:56.:25:59.

For example, over 30,000 people travel over the border every day,

:26:00.:26:17.

crossing it to work or to school, or hospital appointments.

:26:18.:26:19.

So essentially, free movement will continue

:26:20.:26:20.

We have enjoyed, since our independence from Britain

:26:21.:26:24.

We have enjoyed the common travel arrangement between

:26:25.:26:28.

It is absolutely essential in the context of these

:26:29.:26:31.

negotiations, that the common travel arrangement endures and continues.

:26:32.:26:35.

I knowledge what Prime Minister May has said in that regard

:26:36.:26:38.

and what the Secretary of State in Northern Ireland James

:26:39.:26:41.

Brokenshire has said in that regard, that is Dublin's policy as well.

:26:42.:26:44.

It would be wrong then, to believe, Britain will start

:26:45.:26:47.

to control her own borders if this one essentially remain

:26:48.:26:49.

This is a matter entirely for the British government

:26:50.:26:55.

From our perspective here in Ireland, we must

:26:56.:26:58.

acknowledge the centrality of the Good Friday Agreement,

:26:59.:27:00.

the Belfast agreement, a legally binding internationally

:27:01.:27:02.

recognised document which brought an end to hostilities

:27:03.:27:04.

We saw deaths of over 3000 people in a 30 year period.

:27:05.:27:11.

The Good Friday Agreement remains the foundation stone of our peace,

:27:12.:27:15.

and anything adverse to that agreement will not be acceptable.

:27:16.:27:18.

I wonder, so on a very personal level, we saw Donald Tusk seem close

:27:19.:27:22.

to tears over the triggering of Article 50.

:27:23.:27:24.

Do you worry that you are losing a major ally at this point?

:27:25.:27:29.

I felt very sad and I believe I'm speaking on behalf of the majority

:27:30.:27:33.

of the Irish people when I say that we felt very sad

:27:34.:27:35.

about the decision of the British people to leave the EU.

:27:36.:27:38.

It was not our decision, I believe it was a bad decision

:27:39.:27:43.

but as a Democrat I fully respect and recognise the will and wishes

:27:44.:27:47.

The Article 50 process has commenced and I believe

:27:48.:27:51.

it is essential now that we get through the negotiations in such

:27:52.:27:54.

a way that the end result can be as close as possible a relationship

:27:55.:27:58.

between the EU and the United Kingdom, albeit with the UK gone.

:27:59.:28:03.

Charlie Flanagan, thank you very much indeed.

:28:04.:28:09.

Social media has certainly changed the way we view the world.

:28:10.:28:12.

We're more connected, more self-conscious, more interested

:28:13.:28:15.

in whether we are 'liked', but how far would you go

:28:16.:28:18.

Young Russians are at the forefront of a growing trend for extreme

:28:19.:28:22.

selfies and social media videos, performing life-threatening stunts

:28:23.:28:24.

to attract fans - even sponsors - and escape lives in dead-end towns.

:28:25.:28:29.

Lucy Ash has travelled to Siberia to find out why this

:28:30.:28:36.

is a particularly Russian phenomenon, and asks

:28:37.:28:38.

And of course, please don't try this at home -

:28:39.:28:42.

it's incredibly dangerous and many people have died doing it.

:28:43.:28:54.

On the outskirts of this city in southern Siberia,

:28:55.:29:14.

23-year-old Alexander Chernikov prepares for his most

:29:15.:29:21.

Police tell onlookers to stop filming, but footage of this

:29:22.:29:39.

Clocking up more than 10 million views in a month.

:29:40.:29:48.

Nine storeys high, set yourself on fire on the top,

:29:49.:30:02.

TRANSLATION: I felt a sense of victory, joy and pride in myself,

:30:03.:30:07.

that I was able to do it and survive.

:30:08.:30:10.

You are aware of that moment, that you're standing on the line

:30:11.:30:13.

And if something goes wrong, you might die.

:30:14.:30:20.

Would you do all this if you weren't filming it?

:30:21.:30:24.

TRANSLATION: I think that if I couldn't make

:30:25.:30:31.

an extreme selfie or video, I probably wouldn't do it.

:30:32.:30:36.

I would find a different way to get on in life,

:30:37.:30:40.

And it helps me to stand out and show off my achievements.

:30:41.:30:49.

It's inescapable, it comes to us all.

:30:50.:31:09.

In fact, dozens of young Russians have died, and hundreds more have

:31:10.:31:12.

been injured while trying to impress their Internet audience.

:31:13.:31:14.

Pavel Kashin fell 16 floors after trying to perform

:31:15.:31:16.

The Russian government is so worried about this trend it launched

:31:17.:31:27.

a safe selfie campaign, warning people to avoid posing

:31:28.:31:37.

on moving trains and high roofs, with wild animals, or with weapons.

:31:38.:31:40.

TRANSLATION: A Moscow office worker shot herself in the head

:31:41.:31:42.

with a flare gun as she attempted to take a selfie.

:31:43.:31:45.

When people press a button with one hand, they often squeeze

:31:46.:31:52.

This extreme selfie culture continues to grow in Russia.

:31:53.:32:01.

And it can have its rewards, as well as its risks...

:32:02.:32:04.

Angela Nikolau and her boyfriend climbed what is said to be

:32:05.:32:07.

the tallest crane in the world in China, some 640

:32:08.:32:10.

The daughter of a circus trapeze artist, Angela has sponsors,

:32:11.:32:21.

including fashion brands, camera companies, and travel firms

:32:22.:32:23.

which pick up the tab for her foreign ventures.

:32:24.:32:32.

The Moscow art student has around half a million

:32:33.:32:34.

followers on Instagram, and is now something

:32:35.:32:36.

of a celebrity, invited onto Russia's coolest chat show.

:32:37.:32:42.

Angela sees herself as an artist rather than an adrenaline junkie,

:32:43.:32:46.

and explains why filming her exploits is essential.

:32:47.:32:54.

TRANSLATION: Imagine an artist painting all alone in his studio,

:32:55.:32:56.

He does this for five years, just for himself, until he's

:32:57.:33:04.

He thinks, if no one sees my work, what am I doing it for?

:33:05.:33:17.

I think we are all created to produce things we

:33:18.:33:20.

Russia does not have a monopoly on risk, but young Russians

:33:21.:33:23.

are building a global reputation for being the most daring,

:33:24.:33:26.

or stupid, depending on your point of view.

:33:27.:33:28.

Maybe because nobody has really told them to stop,

:33:29.:33:36.

says Kirill Vselensky, one of Moscow's most infamous

:33:37.:33:38.

TRANSLATION: It's illegal here, but not that risky,

:33:39.:33:47.

because in America, Canada or Europe, the guys who do this

:33:48.:33:50.

stuff have to cover their faces and only climb at night

:33:51.:33:53.

because they can have serious problems with trespassing laws

:33:54.:33:55.

But here, we did not have many legal problems, which is why it

:33:56.:34:05.

It's a paradoxical situation, isn't it?

:34:06.:34:12.

TRANSLATION: If you don't get involved in politics,

:34:13.:34:16.

and don't bother people here, you can pretty much

:34:17.:34:18.

A Ukrainian friend of his climbed one of Moscow's landmark buildings

:34:19.:34:31.

and poured blue paint on the yellow star on top.

:34:32.:34:33.

He fled back to Kiev, and so the police raided

:34:34.:34:41.

Kirill's flat instead, and the young Muscovite wound up

:34:42.:34:43.

Like Angela, Kirill is a star on social media.

:34:44.:34:50.

His photos have been featured in magazines around the world.

:34:51.:34:58.

Back in Siberia, Alexander Chernikov continues to risk his life.

:34:59.:35:04.

Alexander works as a labourer from time to time,

:35:05.:35:17.

His dream is to be a stuntman - a film star even -

:35:18.:35:23.

and to escape what he sees as a dead-end life.

:35:24.:35:29.

TRANSLATION: Some of my friends just hang out in courtyards,

:35:30.:35:31.

Some are drug addicts, others are in prison.

:35:32.:35:35.

That's what young people here are like.

:35:36.:35:40.

There are very few people who strive for something, success in sport,

:35:41.:35:43.

TRANSLATION: Of course, of course, I want to leave this place.

:35:44.:36:08.

If you haven't lost your stomach already, we're going to talk about

:36:09.:36:12.

school meals now. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn,

:36:13.:36:13.

wants to extend free school meals to all primary school pupils

:36:14.:36:16.

in England and he says he'd cover the cost by introducing VAT

:36:17.:36:19.

on private school fees. The proposal is being sold

:36:20.:36:21.

as a measure that will - in his view - improve the health

:36:22.:36:23.

of many young children by "ending But would it have any direct effect

:36:24.:36:27.

on a child's performance in class? Laura McInerney iseditor of Schools

:36:28.:36:38.

Week and a former teacher joins me here with Henry Dimbleby,

:36:39.:36:41.

co author of the School Food Plan This is a pretty decent idea this,

:36:42.:36:48.

isn't it? It has to be something that can be seen to be helping kids.

:36:49.:36:52.

It is great that Jeremy Corbyn is looking at getting more money for

:36:53.:36:55.

schools, because they are squeezed at the moment. He's talking about ?1

:36:56.:37:00.

billion, which is incredible, but there is a problem: We don't have

:37:01.:37:04.

great data that shows that putting more money into meals for children

:37:05.:37:08.

makes that much difference to their outcomes, so you have to remember

:37:09.:37:12.

that children from low income families already do get free meals,

:37:13.:37:17.

but he wants to add meals for children from middle income and high

:37:18.:37:24.

income families as well. Just because we don't have the data

:37:25.:37:29.

doesn't mean it doesn't do good. If you have ?1 billion, do you give

:37:30.:37:32.

that to children who mostly have meals already, or do you do

:37:33.:37:36.

something different with it? Laura was a headteacher renew when the

:37:37.:37:42.

trials were run between 2009 in 2011. It is interesting and complex,

:37:43.:37:48.

the result from that trials. The children from Key stage two were

:37:49.:37:52.

almost one term ahead of where they were expected to be as a result.

:37:53.:37:56.

Other interventions were going on, but every single headteacher... And

:37:57.:38:04.

these kids were the more forced -- the most deprived? New baby food to

:38:05.:38:07.

everyone, and the poorer children did better. Every headteacher in new

:38:08.:38:14.

said it improved morale, behaviour and the cohesion of the school. You

:38:15.:38:19.

are not contradicting Laura, who says it might help the poorest, but

:38:20.:38:28.

it might not have the same benefits for the others. In order for it to

:38:29.:38:33.

help the poorest, you have to do it for everyone. Why? It is not just

:38:34.:38:37.

the chemical process of the food, making them not sleepy in the

:38:38.:38:41.

afternoon, it is the cohesion of having the whole school eating and

:38:42.:38:45.

working together that makes the difference. That makes difference,

:38:46.:38:51.

doesn't it, Laura? It does. I was a teacher at the time. As you

:38:52.:38:55.

mentioned, there was lots going on, many interventions. The authors of

:38:56.:38:58.

the report said themselves, yes, there was an increase in

:38:59.:39:02.

achievement, but we don't know that it was down to the food. We have had

:39:03.:39:07.

no further trials, even though, currently, under sevens do get free

:39:08.:39:15.

meals. The head teachers said it was a good idea, and there were other

:39:16.:39:19.

interesting benefits. For example, the amount of crisps eating went

:39:20.:39:28.

down 18%, fizzy drinks down by 18%, sandwiches down by 27%. So

:39:29.:39:40.

we have had the introduction of free school meals for 5-7 -year-olds. But

:39:41.:39:51.

not above? Why wouldn't you listen to a teacher, given that Laura has

:39:52.:39:57.

worked as the head of a school, why would you not take on board but she

:39:58.:40:03.

says? I have listen to lots of teachers and talked to

:40:04.:40:06.

schoolchildren. We agreed in certain areas that in terms of the roll-out

:40:07.:40:10.

of it, I would look at the areas with high free school meal

:40:11.:40:14.

percentages as the place to start, rather than a very affluent area.

:40:15.:40:21.

Laura, are you saying that you would not spend the money? I was a

:40:22.:40:29.

teacher, not a headteacher. I was reporting on this when we were

:40:30.:40:33.

seeing the roll-out across the country, nationally, and I suddenly

:40:34.:40:36.

realised that deprived parts of London where this was piloted are

:40:37.:40:40.

not the same as everywhere else in the country. You suddenly saw

:40:41.:40:44.

primary schools where loads of children already had food,

:40:45.:40:47.

everything was fine, it didn't have the kitchens to deliver it, so money

:40:48.:40:52.

was poured into schools to do up the kitchens, then children who already

:40:53.:40:55.

had food were given more money, and in the meantime, the pupils I was

:40:56.:41:00.

teaching in London, who were coming in without breakfast, who at half

:41:01.:41:04.

term do not get lunch, they don't get anything. If I had that money, I

:41:05.:41:09.

would have to think seriously, do I give that to a child... I would also

:41:10.:41:22.

spend it on breakfast. Michael Gove did well to protect the education

:41:23.:41:26.

budget. It is the most important thing. Do this and those things, and

:41:27.:41:29.

I think you will see our children grow up not only better but

:41:30.:41:35.

healthier. You must be a head chef as well, just to even it out.

:41:36.:41:38.

That's all we have time for this evening.

:41:39.:41:40.

But before we go, all politicians know that the odd egging or flour

:41:41.:41:43.

attack is part and parcel of political life.

:41:44.:41:45.

Nonetheless, spare a thought for Francois Fillon,

:41:46.:41:47.

who might well think the scale of this one today really

:41:48.:41:49.

MUSIC: Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros

:41:50.:42:59.

It will probably be a chilly start for southern and eastern parts of

:43:00.:43:04.

the UK tomorrow, but warming up quickly in the sunshine.

:43:05.:43:06.

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