12/02/2014 The Papers


12/02/2014

No need to wait to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines. Presented by Clive Myrie.


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also bring you the details of England's cricket edition as they

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seek to rebuild after their Ashes humiliation. That is after the

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papers. Hello and welcome to our look ahead

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to what the the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. With me are

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the journalist and blogger Susie Boniface, aka the Fleet Street Fox,

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and political correspondent at the Financial Times, Kiran Stacey. The

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Financial Times leads with the Bank of England's forecast of interest

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rates, which are not expected to rise before the election. The Metro

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calls today's storm "The Big One" and warns there is more bad weather

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to come. The Telegraph has a picture of a woman who it says was blown off

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her feet by the wind in Manchester. The Independent says the African

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elephant could be extinct within a decade because of poaching. The

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Express predicts "mortgage joy for millions" because of the prospect of

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low interest rates. That's the Guardian's main story too,

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underneath a satellite image of the storms engulfing the UK. And guess

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what, that is what we are starting with, the storms. Susie, the metro

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is talking about the big one, 100 mile an hour storms battering

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Britain. We don't have hurricanes here, apparently, we can only have

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storms. Those pictures are reminiscent of one that was released

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a couple of years ago when we had a very big snow . We have a similar

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picture than about how much of Britain was affected. This is not

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just affecting people in Windsor or Datchet or Somerset, it is

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everybody. This has been going on since the end of November, since the

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St Jude's storm. Everywhere was flooded then and people died in that

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terrible storm, and it is affecting everybody so badly now.

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Unfortunately, where the coalition have in handling it is that all the

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ministers have gone down their one-way after another, each of them

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have found a way to screw it up. Owen Paterson did not even get his

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feet wet. David Cameron visited only after Prince Charles. Philip Hammond

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was wandering around Wraysbury in Berkshire this week in his Hunter

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wellies and a long scarf and Barbour coat, looking like a squire going to

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look at the peasants. They are not handling it well. I know they can't

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influence how much rain is falling, but there was high spending on flood

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defences after 2007, when more houses were affected. David Cameron,

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in PMQs today, praised the Labour government for increasing spending

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after that and saving more thousands of houses this time round. But it

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has all been cut since 2010. Of course, the coalition says it has

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spent as much as the last Labour government did. They say they have

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spent more. They did take into account inflation. -- they did not

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take into account inflation. So it is a cut in real terms. They are

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some clever accounting tricks. It has only gone up in the last couple

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of weeks, since they have announced more cash. But is spending more

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money on flood defences the answer? These storms are going to happen

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with increasing frequency, we are told. That is probably because of

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climate change. 90% of scientists would say that. If this stuff is

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going to happen, the Somerset Levels are a flood plain and they are going

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to get flooded more often. We are also likely to see it in the

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south-east and Norfolk. Building sea walls are bit higher will not really

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tackle the problems we are likely to see if it happens year after year.

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It works in the Netherlands, and they are below sea level. But that

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would take a huge decision. The Netherlands has a tiny coastline

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compared to the UK, and it is a relatively small country, and it

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spends double what we do on flood defences. To get to that kind of

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protection, we would be looking at 20, 50 times what we spend at the

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moment. But money is no object! It was a strange day today, because we

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were told yesterday that money was no object by David Cameron, and then

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this morning other ministers were saying, we are not writing a blank

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cheque. So money is no object, as long as people are bailing water out

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of their houses. But preparing for the next one? The front page of the

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Daily Telegraph says it is an unparalleled natural crisis. This is

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the age Chief of defence staff, who is helping coordinates the military

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involvement in this. Is that true? No, it is not true. I assume he

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means in Britain, firstly. But even if we take it in that context, there

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are at the moment 5800 homes flooded. In 2007, it was extra

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thousand. This is not unparalleled. We have had floods before and they

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have been worse. What is bad tonight is the winds. We are starting to see

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power lines go down, train services affected. But even if they damage

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buildings and power lines and, it is nothing compared to the flood damage

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that creates absolute havoc. Not only does it bring the water in, it

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destroys fields and homes. If we were looking at 60,000 people

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underwater, that would be almost unparalleled. But at the moment,

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there is a huge amount of water. We have seen pictures of the Somerset

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Levels, where water has reached the roof. There used to be a road, and

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it looks like an ocean. But it has not affected the same numbers of

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April as a few years ago. But this is forecast to go on until the end

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of March. For as long as the jet stream wants it to go on. But in

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1947, when there were floods, 200 thousand people -- 2000 people died.

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This is nothing on that scale. It is not an unparalleled natural crisis.

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I like the forecasters telling us that the storms are remaining for

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the foreseeable future. They just mean for a few weeks! Hopefully!

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Staying with the Daily Telegraph, the three main parties unite to deny

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a separate Scotland the pound. The Liberal Democrats, Labour and the

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Conservatives are as one on this. And every time they have been as one

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previously, it has gone wrong. They were as one on the European exchange

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rate mechanism, which went wrong. They were as one on the Iraq war and

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on intervention in Libya. They were not as one on the Iraq war. But the

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vote was pretty much unanimous. They were as one on intervention in

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Libya, which has now turned into one of the major terror training centres

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on earth. They were as one on the Leveson report. But what about the

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pound? Let's stick with that. They clearly do not think Scotland will

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work if it has the pound, or they don't feel the relationship they

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will have with an independent Scotland is what they would want. If

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they deny Scotland the right to have the pound, they are pretty much

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saying they all want Scotland to stay within the union. That is the

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one thing which might make people vote to stay in if you were

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otherwise wavering. If you don't have control of your own currency or

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have some impact upon a currency like the euro, it is like being in a

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car where someone else is controlling the brake and

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accelerator. It is aft. You want to have some impact upon your own

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currency. You can't have your cake and eat it. They want the pound, but

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they don't want the national debt. It is all up in the air. Is this

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lack male? That is what the SNP will say -- this is lack male. They have

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said this is bullying by Westminster. Somebody else and they

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are being bullied into accepting more independence. It is a step that

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none of the parties have taken so far, for a good reason, which is

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that they don't want to look like it is the powerful Westminster

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government telling the Scots they can't run themselves. I wonder if,

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in the last few weeks, the polls have started to close. There is more

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worried in Westminster that actually, the Scots might vote to go

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independent in September. Maybe they have thought, we have to press the

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big red button and warned them that they can still have something they

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can call the pound, but they can't share a currency and they can't make

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interest rate decisions. They would not have the same fiscal constraints

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they would have if they shared the pound and have a seat on the

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monetary policy committee at the Bank of England. It is a massive

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issue for Scots. They now have to say, what do we do? Create our own

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currency? Or do we join the Euro? Which used to be the SNP policy.

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They could return to bartering. Actually, there is a good case for

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them to have their own currency. If they are supposed to be an

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independent country, why not have their own central bank? If the SNP

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had any guts, I would say they would say, that is fine. Full independence

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means an independent currency. The Hubble is, they know that that

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worries people and their entire policy since they announced the

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referendum has been not to worry people. Onto the Financial Times.

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Rate rise unlikely before election, according to the Governor of the

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Bank of England. Forecast boosts Osborne's claims on the economy.

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This is because they Governor of the bank of England, Mark Carney, came

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across from Canada and said he would link fitting to a 7% rate of

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unemployment. When we hit at level, good times are here again and

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interest rate will go up and stop he has now said the opposite. I think

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this is because... He made his first announcement after one week in the

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job. While he has been here, he has realised the way we can unemployment

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in this country. Our figures include people in part-time work and people

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on zero hours contracts who are not necessarily earning. It includes

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people who have been sanctioned from their job-seeker's allowance at

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other benefits, who are not necessarily working. So he came over

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here from Canada, thinking, they are going to count the unemployment

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figures in a certain way, and I am going to base my entire policy on

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the way that is counted. But in fact, they did a switch and started

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counting unemployment differently. He has realised our unemployment

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figures are bogus. Easy! Is that fair? Not entirely! The policy was

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probably fairly nuts in the first place. Chris Charles, our economics

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editor, has said right from the beginning that this means nothing.

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We will get to 7% unemployment and then the Government will take a look

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at the economy and say, if everything else is in the right

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place, if people are getting wage increases, people are in full-time

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employment, then there will be a rates rise. Why did he say it? He

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wanted to give banks more certainty in the long run. He wanted to say,

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don't worry, it will be a long time before we raise rates again. But now

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we are wondering if they will move the goalposts again when some

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indicator does not fit the methods that he had. He is being a good

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banker, being cautious. It may be that unemployment would hit a

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certain level and then it would be OK, but having got here it is not a

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cave. The boom is not sustainable and could be temporary and we have

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to be cautious. -- having got here it is not OK. He is being a cautious

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man. The trouble is the Bank of England are talking about

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underemployment, the number of people in part-time work wanting to

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be working full-time. It is larger than they expected and it is not

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changing. Over the last few months, unemployment rates have gone down

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about underemployment rates are stable. People are going into work

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but only getting part-time jobs. Lots of people want to do more work

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but the work is not out there, which is the big worry. If businesses do

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not feel confident enough to employ people on a full-time basis, are

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they going to be strong enough to keep the recovery going next year?

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All right. You will be back to look at more stories on half an hour. At

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11 o'clock we will have much more on the ongoing problems with all the

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storms and bad weather today. But now an BBC News, time the Sportsday.

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