28/11/2017 London News


28/11/2017

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Newsnight is coming up on BBC Two.

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Here on BBC One, it's time

for the news where you are.

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Good evening. Welcome to BBC London

News.

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Tonight - the vulnerable young women

who are being treated like slaves

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behind closed doors. That's the view

of one au pair agency in the

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capital. A BBC London investigation

has found that some au pairs are

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being exploited and even bullied by

their host families, who are

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supposed to be looking after them.

We have this special report.

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Some on this march are strangers.

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Almost all are foreign au pairs.

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They have come to support each

other and make a stand

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against exploitation and abuse.

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We meet Ellie, not her real name.

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We have disguised her face and

changed her voice for legal reasons.

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She tells us about her

previous host family.

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The family were very violent,

they were not violent with me,

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but violent with each other.

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I felt really

uncomfortable and unsafe.

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I also did 14 hours a day,

seven days a week.

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It was too much and I left.

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We also spoke to Isabella,

again we have disguised her

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identity for legal reasons.

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She says she worked up to 70 hours

a week for just £100.

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I started at 7 O'Clock,

I tidied, I did three

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washing machines, I cried

after the first day.

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My house mum told me to go

to my room, she said you work for me

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and you need to do what I want.

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After a few weeks I escaped.

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She was scaring me.

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Isabella was homeless

in a foreign country,

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but luckily she was put

in touch with Maggie.

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She runs an au pair agency

in Hampstead and found

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Isabella another host family.

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But only after she provided a clean

criminal record and two references,

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something not required

by the current system.

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Some of them are working all hours.

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She said she was working weekends

sometimes frequently,

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seven days a week.

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Au pairs are entitled to two

completely free days a week.

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But they get really bullied

by family some of them.

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It is unbelievable.

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They told me all about it.

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Slavery is getting so much

publicity at the moment,

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but some of it is going on with some

of these families and the way

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they are treating their au pairs.

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The government says if an au pair

is a victim of modern slavery,

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it should be reported to the police.

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According to government guidelines,

au pairs are not workers

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and so are not eligible

for a minimum wage or paid holiday.

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They are meant to be treated

as a member of the family

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and given a room and meals.

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In exchange, they do around 30

hours of light housework

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and baby-sitting a week.

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In return for what is called pocket

money of £70 or more a week.

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But we found online adverts that

went beyond the recommended hours,

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adverts asking for excessive

household tasks, and

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even proxy parenting.

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The title of the advert up

here is au pair/carer.

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Rosie Cox has carried

out extensive research.

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She has been trying to raise

awareness about au pair

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exploitation for over a decade.

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The government needs to be quite

firm about what an au pair

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is so that somebody can say actually

70 hours a week is not au pair is,

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they ought to be being

paid the minimum wage.

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At the moment nobody

knows where au pairs are.

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They are not registered in any way,

the agencies who pays them do not

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have to be registered,

so there is this unknown population.

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We need to think about how

vulnerable they are,

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it is almost always young women

inside people's homes.

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Not every single au pair we met

had a negative story.

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Anna is Spanish and looks

after Isabel and Rufus in Nunhead.

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For me, from the first minute

I arrived here I feel

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like a member of the family.

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I always have the weekends off.

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so I have a lot of time

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to know London and for me

it is amazing living here.

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I am lucky.

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Anna's host family work long hours,

they are one of many families

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across London who rely on au pairs

to

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help with childcare.

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But experts warn without tighter

rules on au pairs are left open

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to exploitation with few people

to turn to.

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City Hall has said it is to review

how stations are evacuated after a

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false terror alert at Oxford Circus

sparked panic on Friday. A leaked

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official report into what happened

at the station says inaccurate

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information made the situation

worse. 16 people were injured in the

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stampede, after what was thought to

be gunfire on the platform. Here's

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our Transport Correspondent Tom

Edwards.

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This is a Black Friday these

shoppers will not forget as fear

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swept Oxford Circus,

a busy shopping area.

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What happened?

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In a leaked document,

we can reveal a timeline of

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what happened.

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At 16..39pm Oxford

Circus station after

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reports received

a discharge firearm.

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Six minutes later armed police

arrived as the incident was

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declared the most category one.

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By 17:34pm it was over.

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TfL had been given permission

from the police to

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reopen the station.

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The report does say

the incident was "compounded by

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various differing reports

of what the incident actually was."

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The panic spread from

the platforms up here

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onto the street level and right down

to Selfridge's and there are the

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store says a surge of shoppers not

items onto the marble floor adding

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to the pandemonium.

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Inside Selfridge's

the singer Olly Murs

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tweeted there had been

gunshots and on social

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media many posted about

a possible terror attack.

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But commentators say

the panic was understandable.

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To go with the herd is more

than just a survival

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instinct, it is a smart thing to do.

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It is like outsourcing your

cognitive powers to other people,

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With some injured in the station

evacuation, now the

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authorities are looking at their

announcements at tube stations

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and whether they can be improved.

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Clearly there is an issue

about getting people out of stations

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very quickly and that is something

that

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is worthy of more examination.

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How do we evacuate

people really quickly

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in a situation where there

is probably some panic?

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The Met found no evidence

that any shots were

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fired and the authorities are now

looking at what lessons can be

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learn, especially

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When misinformation and panic spread

to quickly.

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It's been criticised over many

areas. Thames Water has admitted it

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let its customers down. Now they've

promised cheaper bills for everyone

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next year but consumer goods say it

is nod good enough.

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This was Upper Street in Angel after

a Thames Water main bust last

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December. Many businesses were

flooded and around 100 people were

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evacuated from their homes

Yes, this

is all flooded. It was flooded right

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up to about here, the line there.

Trevor Turner was one of them. He

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and his wife still haven't moved

home permanently

Whenever I see a

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Thames Water van now, I go - not

again, not again. It is a fearful

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thought. You watch this enormous,

giant bust on a 36 inch mainstream

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pipe leak on Upper Street bubbling

away.

It is just one of the Incep

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dents Thames Water has been

criticised for. It has now announced

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it'll be repaying customers £40

million worth of penalties for past

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leaks, earlier than required, having

the expected annual rise in bills by

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around £8. The company has admitted

it has let customers down and is

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unlikely to meet its targets for

leaks once again this financial

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year. What is going so wrong?

The

thing about a big water company like

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Thames is a lot of these things are

legacy issues, and I think we can

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see a real change happening inside

the company. It's not just about

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paying back our customers early,

it's also a lot of incremental

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investment. So this year we're in

the going to be paying any dividends

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to our investors, what we're going

to be doing is spending the money

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for the benefit of our customers,

improving our service.

And it's been

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aed about year for Thames Water. It

was fined £20 million in March for

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allowing 1.4 billion litres of raw

sewage into the River Thames and it

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was hit with an £8.6 million penalty

for misleaked targets in the fngess

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year. The consumer council says it

must do better.

There have been

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significant bursts. The leakage

problems have not been met at the

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level it should have been and there

have been fines over that. And there

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has been sewer flooding in the

Thames Valley area. It is not

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acceptable it customers.

Around 60%

of the top team has changed at

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Thames Water since last September.

It is a company that looks to want

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to turn a corner and says it wants

it get its leaks back continue

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target by 2020. Well that's it for

now, I will say good night and hand

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you over to Elizabeth for the

weather. It's getting a lot

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you over to Elizabeth for the

weather. It's getting a lot colder.

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It certainly is. It felt colder

today but at least we had sunshine.

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Temperatures reached 7 only and it

actually felt cold we are that with

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the strength of the northerly wind.

We will be keeping that for the next

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few days, the theme is it'll turn

progressively colder there. Could be

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a few showers around at times in the

east but otherwise mostly dry. Some

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sunshine and feeling a bit less

chilly as we head into the weekend.

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Now, overnight tonight, we will

probably see a patchy frost form in

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the more sheltered spots really.

There will be clear spells around

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but quite a bit of cloud. We'll

steefrp tours dip to probably two to

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three degrees Celsius in the towns

but below freezing where we have the

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clear spells and brightness and

sunshine around tomorrow morning.

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Then we will see more cloud around,

maybe one or two showers across

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parts of Essex and Hertfordshire and

we have a northerly wind. That will

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make it feel colder than these

numbers would otherwise suggest. We

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will be keeping the wind, the

strength of that cold wind over the

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next few days, of course. Thursday

is looking like the coldest day. One

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or two sleety showers

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