07/12/2017 BBC News at Six


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07/12/2017

The latest national and international news stories from the BBC News team, followed by weather.


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Tonight at Six:

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A stark warning from

doctors and nurses -

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A&E departments can no longer

cope with demand.

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BBC research shows that the number

of people waiting too long

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in accident and emergency has

doubled in the last four years.

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The ability of our system

to cope, it has stretched

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us to our very limits.

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All this as the NHS prepares

for what's expected to be the worst

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flu season in years.

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Also tonight:

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The Croydon tram crash -

an official report says

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the driver

possibly fell asleep.

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Seven people were killed.

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Palestinians clash

with Israeli forces -

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there's growing anger

after President Trump's

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controversial decision

about the status of Jerusalem.

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California's wildfires spread

as high winds are predicted -

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the mansions of the rich

and famous are among thousands

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of homes threatened.

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Three cheers for the Queen,

as the Royal Navy commissions

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the biggest and most powerful

warship built in the UK.

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Coming up in Sportsday, Cardiff

misses out as Wembley is chosen.

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More reaction to that, as Brussels

loses its matches over stadium

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issues.

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Good evening and welcome

to the BBC News at Six.

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As the NHS prepares for what could

be the toughest winter in years,

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new BBC research has revealed

the pressure faced by A&E

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departments across the UK.

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The number of patients waiting more

than four hours in A&E departments

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has more than doubled

in the last four years.

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In the last year alone some

three million patients had to wait

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more than four hours.

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The head of the Royal College

of Emergency Medicine said

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the service "was stretched

to its very limits."

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Our health editor Hugh

Pym has this report.

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Many hospitals are struggling to

cope with the A&E workload, but this

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one, Luton and Dunstable,

has consistently hit its four-hour

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waiting time target for five years -

so what's the secret?

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It is about getting

the whole health economy

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involved, and that includes primary

care, community care...

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A senior consultant

told me it was all about

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managing patients as they moved

from A&E into the hospital to ensure

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there were enough free

beds for new arrivals.

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We have a team of people

who are dedicated to this process

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and serve only this emergency

department to get them

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through the hospital and the system

and back out, so we can see

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new arrivals and new emergencies.

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It sounds simple, but it's taken

this hospital time and a

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lot of hard work and with the right

leadership to ensure that patients

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are brought into the hospital

and through it, and then back home

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again, as efficiently as possible.

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But across the UK it's been

a lot more challenging.

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Over 3 million patients

who visited UK A&Es waited

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over four hours in the last 12

months, according to BBC research -

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120% more since four years earlier.

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By comparison, the number of visits

has only risen by just over 7%,

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to just under 27 million.

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The ability of our system to cope,

it has stretched us to our very

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limits, so there is no more capacity

in the system.

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Staff are working really hard,

our nurses, our doctors.

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Haley from South Wales endured

a lengthy wait for treatment

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after fainting and banging her head.

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She felt unwell and was advised

to go straight to A&E.

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We phoned 111 first,

just for some advice, and they went,

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"No, you need to go to A&E."

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So we headed down,

waited about an hour,

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then there was a telly to say

seven-hour waiting time.

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About another hour or two

passed and they said, no,

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six and a half hours waiting.

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But I got checked over

and I was able to go home.

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So about five and a half hours,

six hours, in total.

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Scotland has seen the best

A&E performance in

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the UK and is close to the 95%

target for patients treated or

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assessed in four hours.

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England is behind,

followed by Wales and then

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Northern Ireland.

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So, Mr Pollard, are you

ready to leave today?

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Back in Luton they're

working hard to move

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patients home when safe to do so,

so freeing up beds for new arrivals,

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with senior social care experts

working in the hospital assessing

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their needs.

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Every single ambulance

that's called out...

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The Department of Health

covering England says more

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money has been allocated

for social care and the NHS.

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Health leaders including here

in Luton have prepared for winter,

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but even so there are warnings

nationally that the service

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will be sorely tested.

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Hugh is here with me.

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We have just seen in your report,

Hugh, how hard doctors and nurses

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are struggling, and that is before

the flu season has hit us?

Yes, the

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system was stretched last winter

seriously and now the margins are

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even tighter. Some tell us they are

already running at 98% capacity.

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Beds are already defined before

winter has even set in and the major

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flu outbreak predicted materialises.

It may well not do so, of course,

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and at one hospital the chief

executive is looking at messages

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early in the morning, two o'clock,

one weekend morning, because of

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concerns about the flow of patients

and worries about the backlog that

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might have been building up. The

Government is making clear money is

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being made available to the system

in England for the winter ahead, and

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NHS leaders have welcomed that but

say it has come too late. They are

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just hoping the planning they have

set in train, and they say it has

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been very extensive, does hold up to

the undoubted rigours and test

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ahead.

Hugh, thank you very much.

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And if you want to find

out what waiting times

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are like at your hospital service,

go to the BBC's NHS Tracker

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page on the website -

that's at bbc.co.uk/nhstracker,

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and put in your postcode.

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Seven people were killed and more

than 60 injured when a tram

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in Croydon crashed just over

a year ago.

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Today an investigation found

the driver possibly dozed off just

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before the accident.

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The tram went around a tight

bend three times faster

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than the speed limit.

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Our transport correspondent

Richard Westcott reports.

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Going three times the speed limit

around a 90 degree bend,

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costing seven people their lives.

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Today the final report

into the Croydon tram crash found

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that the driver probably dozed

off at the controls.

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Well, you can see just

how tight this bend is.

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The tram was meant to be going

around it at 13 miles an hour -

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one three, a snail's pace,

like we are now.

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It actually went around the bend

at nearer 45 miles an hour,

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and one of the survivors

was standing exactly

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where I am standing now,

just checking his phone.

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The injury I sustained on the tram

that day just changed my life.

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It is more than a year ago, but for

Taiye the memories are fresh.

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I just put my phone away,

and I held onto the pole

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in front of me and I said,

God, please save my life.

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And I closed my eyes.

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There were some people

still screaming and

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shouting under the tram

because they were trapped.

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"Please don't step on me -

I am still alive."

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Investigators found

other worrying facts.

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Another tram nearly derailed

on the same corner just

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nine days before, but it

wasn't investigated properly.

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In fact nine drivers admitted

they had used emergency or heavy

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braking on the same bend

but were worried about

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reporting near-misses.

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It also talks of

inadequate speed signs.

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Half of the passengers

were thrown out of the tram

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through smashed windows and doors -

it was the main cause

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of injuries and deaths.

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Investigators say tougher glass

could save lives in future.

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Since the accident,

new speed signs have gone up

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and there is a new system that

vibrates the seat if the driver

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closes their eyes for more

than a second or so.

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Marilyn Logan lost her husband

Philip in the accident.

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She is furious at the failure to act

on previous speeding problems.

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Very, very angry because these

procedures should be

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there to protect the public,

and that is not

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protecting the public.

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The company controlling the trams

says it's putting things right.

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There's a number of lessons learned

that we immediately put

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in place after the events,

and that is better monitoring

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of our drivers, greater education

of our drivers in terms

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of well-being, and working

with Transport for London to make

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sure that the network is safer.

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The Croydon driver is

still being investigated

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by police.

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The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

says he will be visiting Perrin, the

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capital of Iran, very soon, and that

he will be raising the case of dual

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nationals being held in Iran. -- he

will be visiting Tehran, the capital

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of Iran. He will in particular urge

the release on humanitarian grounds

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of Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe a

British-Iranian woman jailed for

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five years in Tehran. Our diplomatic

correspondent, James Robbins joins

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me now.

Yes, the Foreign Secretary

Miss spoke and apparently implied

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she might have been training

journalists there, but he then said

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if his words had been misunderstood

he did not mean to say anything that

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she was in Iran purely on holiday.

Boris Johnson has made clear he

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would be going very shortly. I

suspect that means in the next few

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days. This is not the only purpose

of his visit to Iran, trying to

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secure her release. He wants to

build a better relationship with

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Iran on a whole raft of issues, and

related issues, he will be raising

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with Iran. Concern about their

activities in the region, in Yemen,

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in Syria, but they will also be

reassuring them about Britain's

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continued support about the nuclear

deal in Iran. It is obviously what

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he can help change the climate and

perhaps produce a circumstance in

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which Mrs Ratcliffe and others might

be released, but he is lowering

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expectations. He said in these and

other consulate cases progress could

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be very difficult, so I don't think

he is expecting big results.

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Palestinians have clashed

with Israeli security forces

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during protests across the West Bank

- it comes less than 24

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hours after President Trump's

controversial decision to recognise

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Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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The leader of the Palestinian

Islamist movement, Hamas,

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has called for a new uprising.

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President Trump's move has been

criticised by China,

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the EU and Britain, as Yolande Knell

reports from Jerusalem.

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Palestinians today

preparing their own message

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for President Trump,

venting their anger over his

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recognition of Jerusalem

as Israel's capital.

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Clashing with Israeli

soldiers in the West Bank.

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Meanwhile in Gaza, the Islamist

Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh,

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upped the ante - demanding

a new uprising, or intifada.

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So far, fiery rhetoric hasn't

ignited protests on a grand scale,

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but these Palestinians in Ramallah

really feared their chances

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of having an independent state,

with East Jerusalem as its capital,

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could now be stamped out.

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He's making it only one

side, and they're taking

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the opinion of the Israelis.

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This has ended the two-state

solution, you know, the dream

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for us as Palestinians.

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Palestinians see the changes

in US policy on Jerusalem

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as a huge setback.

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Donald Trump may say

he is still committed to helping

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them end their conflict with Israel,

but here they say he is

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no broker for peace.

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Meanwhile in Jerusalem the Israeli

prime minister was jubilant.

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TRANSLATION:

President Trump on

himself forever with the history of

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our capital. His name will now be

proudly displayed among other names

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in this city's glorious history.

Many Israelis share his gratitude

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that the president has delivered on

a long-term promise, recognising, as

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he said, the reality on the ground.

TRANSLATION:

Trump is a man who was

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sent from heaven to see the right

things at the right time. -- say the

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ratings.

But there are also concerns

about violence.

On one and I am glad

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he did that and on the other, I am a

realist.

This contested city is at

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the heart of divisions between

Israel and the Palestinians, which

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President Trump insists he wants to

mend. With more demonstrations

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planned, hopes of that seem remote.

Yolande Knell, BBC News, Jerusalem.

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The time is 6:13.

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Our top story this evening:

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Research by the BBC shows

that the number of people waiting

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too long in accident and emergency

has doubled in the last four years.

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And still to come:

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Tonight's the night that the UK City

of Culture is chosen -

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we'll see why Swansea thinks it's

in with a chance.

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Coming up on Sportsday on BBC News,

the power of the Premier League -

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English clubs have created

Champions League history with five

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qualifying for the knockout

phase this season.

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It's the the largest and most

expensive warship ever built

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for the Royal Navy and today

the Queen commissioned

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HMS Queen Elizabeth

at a ceremony in Portsmouth.

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The ship, which won't take part

in military operations until 2021,

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cost more than £3 billion

and has become the

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flagship of the fleet.

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Our defence correspondent

Jonathan Beale has more.

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A day of pride for the Royal Navy

and for the nation.

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The Queen has already named her.

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Today she made her first visit

on board to commission

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HMS Queen Elizabeth into service.

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Almost lost in the cavernous hangar,

still waiting for aircraft.

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But for the Queen, this ship already

holds a special place in her heart.

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As the daughter, wife

and mother of naval officers,

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I recognise the unique

demands our nation asks of you,

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and I will always value my special

link with HMS Queen Elizabeth,

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her ship's company

and their families.

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A true flagship

for the 21st century.

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The raising of the White Ensign

means she's now legally recognised

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as a Royal Navy warship.

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Over the past few months,

HMS Queen Elizabeth and her 700 crew

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have been testing her at sea.

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She's the first of two new carriers.

0:15:520:15:54

Russia has already described her

as a large convenient target,

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but the Government insists

she will be a potent

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weapon and symbol of

British military power.

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This isn't just the largest warship

ever built for the Royal Navy,

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it's also the most expensive,

costing more than £3 billion.

0:16:080:16:10

The F-35 jets that will eventually

fly off her will cost billions more

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and this at a time when the defence

budget is under severe pressure,

0:16:130:16:16

with the prospect of further cuts.

0:16:160:16:24

Today the only cuts being made

were to the elaborate cake,

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made to mark the occasion,

but the Navy is having to consider

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axing other ships in the fleet.

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They still believe it's worth it.

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We knew this ship was coming

and her sister ship,

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Prince of Wales, and the F-35s

they will operate

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so we have been on a long,

complicated, but committed journey

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to get to this point

and the commissioning of the ship

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is a key milestone in that journey.

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Work on the ship began

before the youngest crew

0:16:540:16:57

member was even born.

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But, like the Queen,

she'll be expected to offer

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decades of loyal service.

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Built for the next 50 years.

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Jonathan Beale, BBC

News, Portsmouth.

0:17:020:17:08

Severe gales and snow showers have

caused disruption and left thousands

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temporarily without power

as Storm Caroline

0:17:110:17:12

sweeps in to the UK.

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Gusts of up to 90mph were recorded

in northern parts of Scotland.

0:17:160:17:21

Flights and ferries have been

cancelled while dozens

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of schools have been closed.

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There are calls tonight

for a crackdown on excessive pay

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for university bosses,

and the government agrees.

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Bath Spa University is the latest

to be caught in the controversy

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after it emerged that

its Vice Chancellor received

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a pay-off amounting to £808,000.

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Universities Minister Jo Johnson

promised a new regulator, the Office

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for Students will tackle the issue.

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Here's our Education Editor,

Branwen Jeffreys.

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Bath spa is one of the smallest

universities, proud of a tradition

0:17:580:18:02

of art and design, but it only just

gets into the top 100 despite the

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efforts of its last Vice Chancellor,

Professor Christina Slade.

The new

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residences will be built on glorious

parkland is just outside the city of

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Bath. We are ready for the future.

Bath Spa gave Professor Slade golden

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goodbye, they said £808,000 was

value for money, her legal

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entitlement, but universities face

growing pressure to explain.

I do

0:18:390:18:43

find some of these very large figure

is hard to understand but there may

0:18:430:18:48

be a justification. I'm not

convinced the right benchmark is

0:18:480:18:52

chief executive salaries in the

private sector. I think universities

0:18:520:18:56

are still different in many key

respects from private sector

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companies.

Sunshine and higher pay,

that's what Australian universities

0:19:000:19:06

offer to run an elite institution

around half £1 million a year, so

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does that competition for vice

chancellors justify high pay here?

0:19:110:19:16

If you look at Australia in the

elite group of eight universities in

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Australia, their top internationally

ranked universities, three of them

0:19:220:19:26

in the last few years have appointed

vice chancellors who have come out

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of the British system.

From next

year universities in England will

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have to justify higher pay, all

while trying to continue to make the

0:19:350:19:39

case for high tuition fees.

Universities talk in terms of global

0:19:390:19:43

competition but for many students

there are many more concerns - how

0:19:430:19:48

to find the money for their living

costs, what kind of job they might

0:19:480:19:53

get to pay off their large tuition

fee loans.

We cannot get distracted

0:19:530:19:58

from the the poorest students are

graduating with £57 -- £57,000 worth

0:19:580:20:11

of debt and students are choosing

between heating and eating.

Bath Spa

0:20:110:20:20

is just the latest record in this

row. Universities want the

0:20:200:20:24

Government focus on their future

funding, not their pay.

0:20:240:20:36

The number of suspects arrested

in terrorism investigations has

0:20:380:20:41

reached a record high,

according to new

0:20:410:20:42

Home Office figures.

0:20:420:20:43

400 people were held

for terror-related offences

0:20:430:20:45

in the year to the end of September,

a jump of 54% compared

0:20:450:20:48

with the previous year.

0:20:480:20:49

The increase was partly due

to arrests made following terrorist

0:20:490:20:51

attacks in London and Manchester.

0:20:510:20:53

Police say a man, found strangled

along with his daughter

0:20:530:20:56

at his south London home,

was a convicted sex offender.

0:20:560:20:58

The bodies of Noel and Marie Brown

were found on Monday.

0:20:580:21:01

Detectives are investigating a link

with the sex offence,

0:21:010:21:03

which happened in 1999,

but say they had no evidence revenge

0:21:030:21:05

was a motive for the murders.

0:21:050:21:10

A fast-moving wildfire in southern

California has hit the US state's

0:21:100:21:13

main coastal highway and reached

the Pacific Ocean, according

0:21:130:21:15

to firefighters tackling the blaze.

0:21:150:21:17

Tens of thousands of homes,

including some mansions

0:21:170:21:21

belonging to celebrities,

have been evacuated in an area

0:21:210:21:23

north of Los Angeles.

0:21:230:21:25

James Cook is there.

0:21:250:21:27

James.

0:21:270:21:34

California is used to fires but even

here, this is not normal. Years of

0:21:340:21:39

drought have left this state

parched. Here there's barely been a

0:21:390:21:44

drop of rain for six months and this

tranquil valley has seen some

0:21:440:21:48

terrifying scenes.

0:21:480:21:52

The American west was never really

tamed. The weather here was always

0:21:520:21:56

wild and dangerous, and after years

of drought it now seems worse than

0:21:560:22:00

ever. This is the largest and most

destructive of the blazes, in

0:22:000:22:05

Ventura County north of Los Angeles.

Last night it looked as if a volcano

0:22:050:22:10

was erupting, the hillside glowing

like a lover. And with daylight the

0:22:100:22:15

damage became clear. The tinder dry

ground turned to ash. Swathes of

0:22:150:22:20

Southern California now look like

this, the fire swept through here

0:22:200:22:25

rapidly, charring

0:22:250:22:35

everything in its path and turning

this area into a wasteland. It only

0:22:380:22:40

consumed vegetation here, down in

the valley below now they are

0:22:400:22:42

worried about homes. In the

exclusive Los Angeles suburb of

0:22:420:22:44

Bel-Air yesterday they attacked the

fires aggressively, working hard to

0:22:440:22:46

save scores of homes.

The house will

be on fire soon, unlike what are you

0:22:460:22:51

talking about? You said it was far

away last night. He was like, don't

0:22:510:22:55

look outside, a whole mountain was

on fire.

Celebrities such as the

0:22:550:23:02

musician Lionel Richie and the

socialite Paris Hilton were among

0:23:020:23:05

those forced to flee. Every

firefighting aircraft in the United

0:23:050:23:12

States has been summoned to

California and they are making a big

0:23:120:23:16

difference.

We are not quite out of

the woods yet but here in daylight

0:23:160:23:20

we will do everything we can to hit

it hard, fast and safely, and then

0:23:200:23:25

we will look to see by the end of

the day what we can do in terms of

0:23:250:23:30

providing information.

In times of

crisis, extraordinary moments of

0:23:300:23:36

compassion. Here, a man runs to

rescue a rabbit. He seems in

0:23:360:23:42

distress but one little life has

been saved. At least four major

0:23:420:23:46

fires are burning across the state.

More fierce winds are forecast and

0:23:460:23:53

worst may be to come.

0:23:530:23:57

The UK's City of Culture 2021

will be announced within the hour

0:23:570:24:01

at a ceremony in Hull,

the current title holder.

0:24:010:24:04

Coventry, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent

and Sunderland are all

0:24:040:24:05

in the running along with Swansea.

0:24:050:24:08

As our Wales Correspondent Sian

Lloyd reports, Swansea is a city

0:24:080:24:11

once famous for copper and coal -

now it wants to make

0:24:110:24:14

its name for culture.

0:24:140:24:18

The city by the sea.

0:24:180:24:20

Swansea has seen its fortunes

turn like the tide.

0:24:200:24:25

A sweeping shoreline shapes

Swansea Bay, but its past

0:24:250:24:27

was dominated by heavy industry.

0:24:270:24:32

A busy port, it suffered

in the bombing of the Blitz.

0:24:320:24:35

In the words of its most

famous son, Dylan Thomas,

0:24:350:24:37

"an ugly, lovely town".

0:24:370:24:40

Now Swansea is aiming for a revival.

0:24:400:24:44

A cultural revival.

0:24:470:24:50

Internationally renowned composer

Sir Karl Jenkins is one

0:24:500:24:53

of those backing this bid.

0:24:530:24:56

His story started here in Swansea.

0:24:560:25:06

I was born in 1944 and the town

was devastated in the war

0:25:130:25:16

by the bombing so it's had one kind

of serious period of regeneration

0:25:160:25:19

I suppose, but I think it

could do with a helping hand

0:25:190:25:22

now and it deserves it.

0:25:220:25:23

The shape of the arts

and culture here is changing.

0:25:230:25:27

Swansea wants to design itself

as a forward-looking digital city

0:25:270:25:29

where talents can flourish.

0:25:290:25:30

This art college workshop

is a creative hub, which Swansea

0:25:300:25:33

would like to see more

of in the future.

0:25:330:25:35

It definitely inspires me.

0:25:350:25:36

From the architecture,

it's very urban in the town centres.

0:25:360:25:39

There's lots of art

around everywhere.

0:25:390:25:40

Then you walk down more to the coast

and it's a completely different

0:25:400:25:43

atmosphere all in one place.

0:25:430:25:50

# I see the buildings.

0:25:500:25:52

# Cluttering the skyline.

0:25:520:25:57

# Built by miners

on a pittance of pay.

0:25:570:26:00

# They worked together,

never on Sunday.

0:26:000:26:01

# That was not their way.

0:26:010:26:05

Swansea is trading on its sense

of place and heritage

0:26:050:26:08

but as cultural ambassador

Mal Pope says, its people

0:26:080:26:10

are at the heart of it too.

0:26:100:26:11

You know, we've built

this city in the past

0:26:110:26:14

on copper and steel and coal,

but to actually build the future

0:26:140:26:16

of the city on culture,

what an amazing opportunity

0:26:160:26:19

that is for our kids.

0:26:190:26:21

# And these are golden days...

0:26:210:26:30

After losing out to Hull last time,

Swansea hopes these

0:26:300:26:32

will be its golden days.

0:26:320:26:34

Sian Lloyd, BBC News, Swansea Bay.

0:26:340:26:38

And the winner of the City

of Culture 2021 will be

0:26:380:26:41

announced here on BBC One,

on the One Show, at 7 o'clock.

0:26:410:26:48

Time for a look at the weather.

0:26:480:26:58

Heard -- we heard of Storm Caroline

0:26:580:27:00

Heard -- we heard of Storm Caroline

earlier, what's the latest? Storm

0:27:000:27:04

Caroline is moving away to

Scandinavia but it is allowing this

0:27:040:27:08

cold air to push down, and see this

little trough here, it will bring

0:27:080:27:13

snow showers, already starting to

develop in the last few hours across

0:27:130:27:17

Scotland. Some significant snow is

likely through the night tonight

0:27:170:27:21

from Scotland into Northern Ireland,

driven by these gale force gusts of

0:27:210:27:25

wind. Be prepared for further

disruption in the Northern Isles but

0:27:250:27:32

as we go through the night tonight

the emphasis is with the showers on

0:27:320:27:36

zero and west facing coasts. A cold

start of the day and the showers

0:27:360:27:40

will be fairly widespread as well,

even at eight o'clock in the

0:27:400:27:44

morning. It is worth bearing in mind

if you have to be out on the roads

0:27:440:27:48

early on, particularly the further

north you are, because the ice could

0:27:480:27:54

cause some issues. This is eight

o'clock in the morning, through

0:27:540:27:58

Scotland and Northern Ireland. They

tend to filter down through the

0:27:580:28:03

Irish Sea, and across Wales as well.

Further south and west, more of a

0:28:030:28:08

wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow.

Notice how I haven't mentioned the

0:28:080:28:16

east too much and that's because it

will be predominantly dry but don't

0:28:160:28:20

befall, it will feel quite miserable

out there when you factor in the

0:28:200:28:23

wind. So, top temperatures

struggling really. Factor in the

0:28:230:28:31

wind and it will feel better out

there. Will we see that much change

0:28:310:28:36

as we go into the weekend? It looks

like Saturday will start off cold

0:28:360:28:40