22/03/2017 Reporting Scotland


22/03/2017

The latest news and weather from around Scotland.


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Holyrood is tonight reeling from the terrorist

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attack on its sister parliament at Westminster.

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News of the attack came as MSPs debated asking for powers to hold

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a referendum on independence - that debate was halted just before

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4:00 this afternoon, as news from London filtered

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Our political editor Brian Taylor reports.

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Nicola Sturgeon and her deputy arrived ready to continue the

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debate. Then first reports from Westminster began to emerge. The

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Tories debated whether things could continue. Might it not be more

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appropriate for this debate to be suspended until the situation big --

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became clearer? The initial verdict was... It has been decided to carry

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on with business as usual. The news from Westminster grew steadily

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worse. The decision was made -- taken to close down debate for the

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day. The fact that our sister Parliament has had a serious

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incident is affecting this particular debate, and affecting the

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contribution of members. So it is for that reason we have decided to

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suspend the setting. Politics just fades into the background on a day

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like today. Clearly so many people in the Scottish Parliament have

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friends, colleagues in Westminster, many people in Scotland have friends

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working in London, and therefore as a mark of respect, not because of

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any increased threat to the Scottish parliament, but as a mark of respect

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and solidarity, the decision to suspend business was the right one.

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Most MSP supported the decision. Everyone's very worried about what's

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happening down at Westminster, and it seems more appropriate to suspend

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until we know more details. Some things are more important than

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politics? Absolutely. This is an attack on us all, and -- and until

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there is any clarity, I think the sensible thing to do is to suspend.

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It doesn't look good, given the important matter we are discussing

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right now, to press ahead with that in the face of what is an alarming

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and potentially very tragic situation down south. But some

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dissenters. This is terrible news, but we should never give in to

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terrorism, and I think it was a mistake to suspend the business of

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Parliament on what is an important decision for Scotland. MSPs will

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decide tomorrow when to resume their decision for Scotland. MSPs will

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debate. But this course will resume in Edinburgh and in London. At the

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Palace of Westminster, crisis, a lockdown. At Holyrood, a silent

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chamber and safety first security. Democracy requiring vigilance.

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Our political correspondent Nick Eardley was on the streets

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Here's his report into how events unfolded.

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Terror at the heart of British democracy.

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One of London's busiest tourist spots.

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At the moment it is not clear what is going on behind me.

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We have just seen police darting along there, and what looked

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like ministerial cars being rushed away.

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An incident the police are treating as a terror attack.

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Within minutes of reported gunshots, the scene outside

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There are reports that someone has been shot.

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Armed police flooding into Parliament, Westminster

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On the other side of this iconic building, a car hit members

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a man armed with a knife tried to enter parliament.

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Four were killed, among them a police officer.

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This guy took the police by surprise and ran through and took one

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policeman down, and as another one approached he got up

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and he had a knife and that is when I heard gunfire.

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Order, order, I am now going to suspend the sitting of the house.

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The SNP's Westminster leader sits on the joint intelligence committee.

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In these circumstances I think it is important to reflect that

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whether they were police officers or security staff from

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the Palace of Westminster, they were there to help everybody

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and that is what they were trying to do, and when everybody else

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is being told to run away from danger, those are the people

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who are running into the face of danger, and it is

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would be prepared to put their lives on the line

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It's been about five hours now since those first scenes of panic. MPs,

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peers and their staff are giving statements to the police. We are all

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able to walk out of here tonight in darkness because a police officer's

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put his life on the line so that we can go home safely. You feel

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genuinely upset, and your heart goes out to the people are impacted by

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it, but we will be back in there tomorrow. It is a democracy, and we

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will not let this impact what we do. Tonight Westminster

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remains in lockdown, on the European

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Parliament in Brussels. It appears democracy is the target

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of terrorism once again. Nick joins us now from our

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studio at Westminster. A shocking day, Nick - give us

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a sense of what's happening now. It is eerily quiet, the street just

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outside the BBC office here that you saw in the film there would normally

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be busy with traffic, with people heading home, even at this late

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hour. It is completely deserted, the only thing I could see just before I

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came in to speak to you just know was a police boat going up and down

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the Thames. The streets around Westminster are still cordoned off,

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they are still in something of a state of lockdown. Parliament

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itself, we have heard from police, in the last half hour has been

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lifted out of that state of lockdown, but it will be many hours,

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perhaps days, before this part of the city returns to normal.

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We saw in your film a moment ago Calum Kerr saying that today's

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events won't impact on the work members of Parliament do -

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It's quite an extraordinary thing that sometimes in the face of

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attacks like this people are so defined. I spoke to a few MPs

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tonight who very much echoed that sentiment, but whatever's happened

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in Westminster today, they will be back at work tomorrow, ready to do

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what they do. Quite often we hear in politics about the tensions, about

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the arguments, about the things we don't like about politicians.

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Tomorrow I think you will see a sense of unity, across parties,

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across Parliament in the UK as well. Saying that whatever our

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differences, whatever our opinions people might have that don't match

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up, they stand for democracy first and foremost. It's not just

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politicians tonight will be recovering from what has happened,

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there will be members of the public, there will be tourists. But there is

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a real sense tonight that tomorrow London will get a buzz normal. It

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has seen something like this before, life will go on.

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being emphasised that there's no intelligence to suggest

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Glenn Campbell reports now on how parliaments are protected.

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Whether it's Westminster or here at Holyrood,

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parliaments in the UK do take security really seriously.

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When this building was going up, they changed

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the design to add in this

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massive blast wall of solid concrete, and that change was made

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following the terrorist attacks on the United States on 9/11.

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In the years since then, security has been kept

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For instance, these bollards have been added

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to the defence of architecture on the Parliamentary estate,

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and I think I'm right in saying that happened

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following the attack on Glasgow Airport.

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The most recent change, though, it is the addition of a new,

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public entrance to the Scottish Parliament.

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This block has been added on, taking airport-style

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security screening away from the main building.

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Let's talk to somebody who knows about security,

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a man in charge of policing this area of Edinburgh at one point.

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How hard is it for police and security services to keep

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It's constantly evolving, and the plan has to be refined

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literally week on week, gathering information

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about not only what is happening in the UK,

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but in Europe and other parts of the world.

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The plan will be refined and rehearsed constantly.

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Will today's incident make a difference?

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Will it change the way Parliaments and other public

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Once we find that what has happened and analyse it,

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But it's not just policing that evolves -

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and their staff also keep their personal

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Let'ss talk about personal safety with two newly elected MSPs.

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Ross Thomson, what has your experience been

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I was a new MSP in May, and it has been a learning curve

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and you do not expect to think about your own personal security.

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You expect to learn everything else about the building,

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We have had some incidents of people coming off the street and I am quite

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but for the staff who work in my office it is not fair.

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We have to be accessible, but you also have to take

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into account that personal security element.

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You have served at Westminster, have you ever felt unsafe doing your job?

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You have to accept it as part of the job.

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I have had several death threats over the years,

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I had a shooting threat against me at my office previously.

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But like Ross said, it is important to reflect on the security risks,

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but also the risks to all the staff and the staff who work in and around

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It's those I think our thoughts have to be with today.

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There is a balance to be struck between the security

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and debate about that will intensify following today's attack.

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with the weather outlook for tonight and tomorrow.

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Well, fairly wet tonight across central and southern parts of the

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country, but that rain easing away. It will take a well though, because

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the low pressure responsible is pushing southwards over the next few

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days, being replaced by high pressure. So we have a change in

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weather type to something generally dry, bright, sunny, and increasingly

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warm. That rain over the next few hours, it will tend to fizzle away

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by dawn, leaving a legacy of cloud to start the day across the south,

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and still one or two spots of rain around. Anywhere from Ayrshire

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eastwards towards the Borders, perhaps fringing into parts of the

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Central Belt. Further north it is a bright, sunny morning, but a cold

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morning with a frost. It will be bright, sunny morning, but a cold

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chilly, despite sunny skies. Similar for Orkney and Shetland, perhaps a

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few showers fringing in across northern parts. Through the course

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of the morning and into the afternoon tomorrow, the cloudy

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weather continues to improve with some sunshine coming through, and

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the winds reasonably light and the sunshine will make it feel OK.

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Across the UK as a whole the wet weather we've had today, anywhere

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from Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex. North of this,

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the Midlands, East Anglia, and Northern Ireland, dry and bright,

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and similar for Scotland. Temperatures up to ten and 11 in the

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South West. Into the evening, largely dry but it will be a clear

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and a cold night. For Friday, high pressure in charge so most of us

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having a dry, fine day. A few spots of light rain at times, but most of

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the Central lowlands and South, plasma, ten, 11 Celsius. Perhaps

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even 12 for some. High pressure for the weekend, staying with us.

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Increasingly warm, perhaps temperatures into the mid-teens for

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the weekend. Our next update is during Breakfast

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at 6:25 tomorrow morning. But from everyone on the late

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team here in Glasgow

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