22/01/2018 London News


22/01/2018

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Good evening.

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I'm Riz Lateef.

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BBC London has learned

that there are fears a powerful drug

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to treat epilepsy could harm

families for generations.

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Sodium Valproate has been used

to treat epilepsy since the 1970s.

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But thousands of pregnant women say

they weren't warned of the risks

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of severe birth defects,

including brain damage

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and spina bifida.

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Tarah Welsh has this special report.

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You're going to swallow it.

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I know, it's horrible.

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Bridget is 19, but she is cared

for at home by her mum, Karen.

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When pregnant, she was

prescribed a high dosage

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of the drug sodium valproate.

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She has epilepsy and the pills

were meant to control the seizures,

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but the powerful chemicals that

protected her health

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damaged her daughter's.

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I popped these tablets

into my system, six months

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down the line, and turned

round and say to me...

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What do you want to do?

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You want to have an abortion, you

are carrying a spina-bifida baby.

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Like many other women,

Karen had no idea it was linked

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to her medication.

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Now 20,000 children

in the UK are believed

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to have foetal valproate syndrome.

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These children have an increased

risk of cleft incleft palate

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and they are more prone to spina

bifida, or other defects.

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The risk of taking the drug

in pregnancy have been known

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since the '70s.

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The Government regulates

what information

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is given to patients and it

chose not to reveal this.

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But in a statement, it told

us that at the time,

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according to clinical practise,

it was for the doctor to decide how

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much information a patient was given

about their medicine.

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Since then, the need for patients

to be fully informed

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about their medication has been

underpinned by legislation.

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Yet many women say they still aren't

aware of the risks,

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particularly alarming in light

of new findings.

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While researching this film,

we spoke to several

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families who suspect

that

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sodium valproate is somehow not just

harming their children,

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but their guardian children too.

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Until now, those suspicions have not

been deemed credible.

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But we have got the results

of a major project in South Korea

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which supports the idea

that the drug can harm

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successive generations.

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The study found autistic-like

behaviour in the grandchildren

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and great grandchildren of mice that

were injected with sodium

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valproate while pregnant.

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That was the first bit

of evidence that we had,

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that this could be carried on.

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This is something now that needs to

be looked at as quickly as possible

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to give families reassurance.

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Three generations of one family.

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They believe the drug

has affected them all.

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Sue was prescribed it decades ago,

her daughters have the syndrome.

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Although they didn't take

the drug in pregnancy

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they believe their children have

inherited the condition.

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I do think my grandkids have

been affected by it.

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I have had my worry

with my kids growing up.

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I have it again with my grandkids,

how long is it going to go on for?

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It is not fair, it is not

fair, it is so wrong.

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So many people's lives have been

affected and ruined.

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Campaigners want the Government to

pay compensation, and they believe

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this new evidence makes their case

for support even stronger.

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We are in a good dialogue,

the Minister appears to have taken

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this very seriously,

is willing to engage with us,

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he appears to be completely

conscious of the need to stop

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this scandal continuing.

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But it could be too

late for Bridget.

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Her health

is deteriorating and she could have

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only months left -

after a life of suffering, caused

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by something that was supposed

to keep her mother alive.

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Jim Wheble has got more on this.

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And just to clarify,

this is one study?

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That's right, but the authors

of this report believe that showing

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that the condition can be passed

on through generations of mice,

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it can give us some kind

of clue the same thing

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is happening to humans.

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lots more research needs to be done,

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What can these families expect in

terms of compensation and support?

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If we look at different parts of the

world like France, the Government

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and supporting families in the legal

action and have set aside millions

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of pounds in compensation. Here, it

was slightly different. In 2010,

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families took out a legal case

against the drugs company who make

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this drug and they had to drop their

case. Faced with the prospect of

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having to pay the drug companies

legal bills. They struck a deal and

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they signed a letter saying they

would never sing again. As we heard

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in the report, there have been

positive conversations between the

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Department of Health and campaign is

looking for a public inquiry. What

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that will result in, we do not know

yet. One other thing worth

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mentioning is that if you are in

this situation, don't just stop

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taking your drugs, consult a doctor

before you take any action like

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that.

Thanks very much.

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The Metropolitan Police has issued

new guidance to its officers

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surrounding searching individuals,

suspected of placing

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packages in their mouths.

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The advice follows the death

of Rashan Charles, who died

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after being apprehended by police

in a shop in East London last year.

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Fashion is big business,

with London at the centre

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of an industry worth around

£28 billion to the UK economy.

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But one model has spoken to this

programme about a darker side behind

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the beautiful images,

and why she wants better

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regulation to protect those

working in the industry -

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as Victoria Cook reports.

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Dunja Knezevic started

modelling succesfully at 17.

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She was excited about the future.

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At 19, that all changed.

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Dunja was raped by someone

high up in the industry.

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Everybody told me

to shut up about it.

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All the friends, fellow models,

agencies, they didn't

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even want to look at me.

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They didn't want to acknowledge

that that had happened.

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Told me not to talk about it,

and to just move on, because it

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would only be detrimental to me.

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It wasn't until later that Dunja

realised she wasn't alone.

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Other models were sharing

similar stories.

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So, against fierce opposition

from the industry, she started

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the first models' trade union.

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Everybody kept saying to me -

and especially models -

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you should just leave.

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Why are you even sticking around?

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I said, no, I love the fashion

industry, I love fashion.

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So that is why I am sticking around.

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Ten years later...

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And models are under the union

Equity.

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Despite that, it says more needs

to be done to protect workers.

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When you are, in that that

environment, models often feel

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like their voice is not welcome.

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It's the last voice anybody

would want to hear on a shoot.

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That has to change.

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We want to see a culture where there

aren't bystanders any more.

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With recent allegation of sexual

exploitation in the media,

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the industry is under a spotlight.

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Questions are being asked as to how

safe models are at work.

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Some high-profile agencies

in the capital have signed up

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to a code of standards.

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I think it is difficult for a model

to say no on a shoot.

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The model doesn't have to make a big

scene, they tell us,

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and if we are not happy

with the situation, we deal with it.

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And if that client is trying to get

them to do something without it

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having been approved by us,

then they are the ones

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in the wrong, abd if they say

they won't want to work with that

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model, maybe we won't

work with them.

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There are plenty of agencies that

don't take that approach.

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The industry is largely unregulated.

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Anyone can set up a modelling

agency, so there are

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calls for the Government

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to step in and introduce stricter

rules to keep models safe.

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The Imperial War Museum has teamed

up with the Oscar-winning director

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behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy

- to use latest technology

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to restore original archive footage

of the First World War.

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Grainy and faded images

are enhanced to bring clarity

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to the pictures from a century ago.

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Each frame will eventually be

coloured - the end product -

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a short film to be shown

in London this autumn.

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We're making a film that...

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that shows this incredible footage,

which the faces of the men

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just jump out of you.

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just jump out at you.

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It's the faces, it's the people that

come to life in this film.

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It's the human beings that

were actually there,

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that were thrust into this

extraordinary situation, that define

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the lives, in many cases.

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I'll say goodnight.

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And it's over to Stav for a check

on this week's weather.

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It is going to be very mild. And it

looks like it will be unsettled with

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it. Outbreaks of rain, and very

windy. The middle part of the week.

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Towards the end of the week, it

turns cooler again before becoming

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milder into the weekend. Tonight is

a very mild night. A lot of dry

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weather to begin with, but rain is

waiting out West which moves during

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the course of tomorrow morning. It

should ease away. Some of the rain

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could be happy for a time. Short

lived. Any brightness will be very

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mild. We could see 14 Celsius.

Compared to what we have seen,

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recently, that feels quite

different. But the winds will be

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strong. They get stronger towards

Wednesday. This area of low pressure

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moves through and it will be more

severe across the North and West,

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bringing heavy rain and very strong

winds. It starts fine and wild and

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windy, and the winds pick up as the

cold front moves through. It could

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linger into the evening. 12, 13

degrees, but cooler air waiting

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behind it. And that arrives across

our patch during Thursday. Around

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nine, 10 degrees. Sunshine in the

morning and showers from the North

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West. Friday is dry, with sunshine,

and even cooler with north-westerly

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winds. But it is turning milder

again into the weekend. But

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